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It´s a great update Blu.

When I read your posts, I feel it´s my wife writing them.

I´m glad you are walking the family road. We are there too.


Thank you.


WW H(me): 51
W: 47
T: 26 M: 21
S: 16
Piecing since 03/2016
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Don't you hate it when you write up your replies and then your computer crashes and you lose them? Grrhhh! So I will do another more rushed version.

Maika -- So glad you commented. I wrote on your thread.

CW -- Thank you. If I have not already told you, I appreciate you and your contributions to the board.

May -- I am glad you are still visiting here and updating. I am disappointed in what was happening and that we lost people here. I hope they are still reading here and will consider coming back. ... If you are reading this and left because of conflict, please at least drop us a line here. We miss you!

So my H was so much of a Nice Guy that when he read that book, No More Mr Nice Guy, it felt as if it was written for him. He read it after he returned to our M and it was extremely eye opening. He has had to work on all of that and I do feel it has gotten better. He has always been very kind, warm, flexible and accommodating, especially with the women in his life. Honestly, with everyone, men, family, friends, coworkers, etc. He also is conflict avoidant and not good at speaking up for himself or expressing his opinions. I imagined growing up with such an overbearing and strict Catholic mother, at times he felt he wasn't allowed an opinion. There was a lot of guilt and shame too. But that is another post for another day.

I think today we have a better understanding of toxic masculinity than when we were kids. I think I lost some respect for him in our M and at times was easily frustrated by him or saw him as a doormat. In turn, I think he grew to resent me and saw me as controlling and a nag. And round and round we spun.

I would say that most of this is much better now. However, there are certain characteristics that are just who he is that are not necessarily a bad thing. He is very nice, warm and understanding with people. It is why I was attracted to him initially. Also, he generally is more flexible and easy going than I am. I tend to have more ideas and opinions about things. We can balance each other well as long as there is mutual respect and good communication. So there are still issues and conflicts of course, but the unhealthy dynamic is much improved. ... Is any of this relatable? I did not get the sense your H was like this. I have seen other posts where men talk about Nice Guy Syndrome, and I think the term has been overgeneralized.

When it comes to anger, you have really helped me think about my own issues. I realize that I encouraged you to hold on to anger and that in part I was projecting my own. Anger is complicated and deeply personal. I am glad you are working through it. Taking what people say at face value when there has been trauma is a challenge, but also an important practice. Your sitch is still new and raw. You will get there. ... Can you share what DNJ posted about beliefs?

I am glad things are going well overall. And please do hijack my thread! I want to keep it going but I don't always have much to share. I wouldn't say that I am actively piecing or working on my marriage. Some days we do I guess, but most days we don't, and we just live our own lives. Some days in harmony and other days more independently in close proximity. I prefer it this way. We can have many intimate relationships in life, not just the one partner.

Wayfarer -- Thank you. I am so glad you are here too. Your support and posts are wonderful. And I am glad you are still willing to share your journey. Perhaps when this thread reaches 100, I will start the next one in the Piecing area and then link these.

Neffer -- I would love to meet your lovely W. She sounds amazing. LOL.

Blu


Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon. Nelson Mandela
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Hi Blu,

This is all such great stuff. thank you for continuing to share.

In/re the NMMNG stuff-- you're right in that this is not something that fits my H. However, I was more remembering that the book had resonated with your H as being part of the unhealthy dynamic prior to the affair (and possibly a factor that led to it?) I recalled him making some big changes that helped him (and you) a lot, and I was curious to know if he had stuck with those changes or if he'd slipped back into old patterns. I'd also be curious to know more about how you two have improved your communication. Have you simply developed healthier/more open channels of communication, or are you (either or both) intentional about it? I also remember a year or more ago, you had some frustrations regarding date nights (am I remembering that correctly?) Is that better? Or just not an issue right now with covid and all the rest? It seems like covid has brought you guys closer generally.

Regarding the anger.... I'm glad you pushed me there, you and others. I needed it. It was buried and I was honestly afraid to access it because it would consume me. (A moment of wistfulness for AlisonUK, who helped me so much in walking that path of understanding and experiencing my anger without letting it take over (most days wink. I wish she was still here.)

It's actually funny-- I was reading through my threads from last summer, because I was trying to figure out when it's actually been a year since we had our final come to Jesus moment. OMG. He was such a pathetic, sorry, sad sack of a man-- no wonder you guys were all so bewildered that I wanted to stay married to him. LOL. I think maybe some of my anger was also absent because this just wasn't HIM in front of me-- instead of the cruel alien H some people get, this was a wimpy, sorry excuse for a man and I both didn't really recognize my H in him but also it is kind of hard to be mad at someone who is so weak and lame, unable to make any real decisions on his own. It is helpful to go back and see how far we've come, and especially to see how different he is now than he was a year ago.

The last thing I think about anger is that I was so wholly focused on keeping a two parent household for my children that I simply couldn't afford to be angry. I had to put every bit of energy into controlling my own emotions, trying to DB, and trying to be the best mom I could be to them. It wasn't until I started to feel a bit more safe, I think, and realize that the danger (as I perceived it at the time) to my children was no longer so immediate, that I was able to relax a bit and let myself feel angry over what my H did to me and almost did to my kids.

DnJ-- he's really incredible. I'll paste a couple of posts below. This first one is from Sage's thread on MLC:

Originally Posted by DnJ
Indeed your primal nature, your beliefs, are core to you - and are slow to change. It that slow changing nature that makes these tenets such good heading to follow. Emotions can change, and do change, quickly. Following those is the bane of our crisis spouses; don't want to go down that kind of a road.

So where do I go from here?

Get in your intellectual car, and consider, think, about your values, your beliefs, your nature. Reflect upon them. Strengthen those that you like, are honourable, serve you, and feed your soul. Alter or discard those beliefs that run counter to the view you want.

Look to others you admire, respect, and would like to emulate. Consider their beliefs and how those deep values have shaped them and lead them to their life. Consider if that is a role model you would like to follow.

Take your time with this process, this is some deep soul digging. It takes consistent effort to alter those deep held values within you. Now, I suspect most of your values will be strengthened, few will require altering, and very few will require discarding. However, the codependent beliefs are ones that do need to get tossed out.

This is along those lines of we teach ourselves how to teach others how to treat us.


The mechanics for crafting, altering, and strengthening a belief:

There are four 'cars' or paths or facets of your life - physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual. Of those, one can only directly control physical and intellectual. We can only influence emotional and spiritual, not directly control them.

All four paths influence each other. Our emotions can cause certain thoughts; when we get angry our thoughts turn to anger vindictive ideas. Our physical actions also cause certain feelings and thoughts and beliefs. Consider when we smile, a feeling of happiness comes from seemingly nowhere.

Do it. Smile right now. See how you suddenly feel better?

Now frown. A deep solid frown. Big bottom lip. Good. You probably also, without thought, dragged your eyebrows down and even growled a bit. And of course your feelings followed along.

Smile again. It feels better. smile

Feelings change quickly. And are easily influenced. I just had you run from happy to mad to happy within seconds.

Feelings are fleeting. They are real and temporary, unless they are reinforced.

The physical car: One can purposefully perform physical actions that promote good emotions and beliefs. For example, living a peaceful life. Close the cupboard door gently - every single time. Just enough force to have it close silently and almost elegantly. That single little action, such a minor behaviour, accumulates, spreads to other parts of your life, and has a huge impact.

The intellectual car: Intellect is where you will produce the most gains. This is the wheelhouse of influence. Even your physical behaviours start here. This is the stronghold of mental assertiveness and rational thought. Thoughts influence everything.

We can directly control our intellectual self. This control produces thoughts and actions which influence our emotions and beliefs. This is the kernel of wisdom that allows one to strengthen, alter, or discard their beliefs.

The emotional car: Emotions are born with our subconscious. They are irrational by nature. Emotions are easily influenced, and often without the realization of the influencing. Feelings and emotions are a large part of what makes up a healthy person. We are rational / irrational creatures. It is needed to spend some time within this car and examine our emotions. However, it is good practice to influence when we do this, for how long, and for which events.

With practice it gets to a point where it 'feels' like one can actually control their emotions. This control is actually true, the mechanism is not direct though; it is influence, and the accepting of that influence.

The spiritual car: Spirit, faith, belief, convictions, values - our core self. This is our deepest self. This binds everything else. Our spiritual path is influenced by everything we do, think, and feel; and influences everything we do, think, and feel.

Getting a handle on one's beliefs and values is a enlightening view. It is quite incredible to actually meet yourself for the first time. It takes a very traumatic experience to knock one out of their routine enough for them to examine who they are deep down.

An LBS has an incredible opportunity seldom afforded to others. And for those who avail themselves to this opportunity, do the inner work and craft themselves - They Become.

Do make the most of it. The benefits are so worth it. One does look back upon this time, these efforts, and the changes they make, as the blessings they are.

Currently your beliefs, emotions, thoughts, and behaviours are not in sync. Imagine when they are. Imagine when your four cars are travelling together side by side and not spread out along the path. Imagine what that will be like.

I spoke of mental assertiveness. This is intellect. This is us exercising our control. Mental assertiveness is sword and shield.

Keep you sword sharp and use it to cut through the projections, blame, and justifications. Cleave yourself from H and his path. Your sharp sword is your mightiest weapon and tool in your arsenal. Use it with compassion. Use it for detachment and to find indifference.

Keep your shield bright and polished. This is your mental defence against the onslaught of H and from within. Your shield is strong and broad. It protects you from H's rewritten narrative and your self-doubts and fears.

Mental assertiveness is your most powerful force at your direct control; and must be wielded with compassion. That caution is, like everything else, for you.

An example of the actual mechanics for strengthening and altering a belief.

Stop speak and thinking of H as a d!ckhead, and having d!ckish behaviour. Do not speak of H disparagingly anymore. This is not about H being deserving or not of those thought - it's about you.

Remember, craft and strengthen that which serves and feed your soul.

Disparaging thoughts and comments seem like they detach one. This is short lived. Those thoughts influence feelings. Disparaging turn to resentment. Resentment is attachment. One is firmly attached to that which they resent.

You want your detachment to live within your spiritual realm, to be part of that which you believe and influences everything within your life. To detach, one needs compassion.

Remember - counterintuitive.

Compassion, understanding, empathy, all leads towards forgiveness. Forgiveness is freeing.

When one is free from resentment, vengeance, retribution, grudges, judgemental thoughts, and so on, they are detached.

This is very counterintuitive and people usually strengthen beliefs that influence those traits of resentment, judgement, retribution, and so on. Forgiveness is something that seldom is ever found.

Looking within one's self and seeing those beliefs, and then doing something proactive to alter them, is such a good thing. A good for you thing!

Sage, I empathize for where you find yourself. The internal bargaining and attempting to hold on. (((Sage))) Believe me. Really - believe. It's ok to let go. It's ok.

Believe - compassion and kindness. Detachment and indifference. Compassionate indifference.

D

I read this so many times. It made sense to me. But I had a hard time putting it into actual practice, particularly around my beliefs and values. I did some work identifying my values (both at work and at home) and this also helped me with waiting out feelings/emotion.

But it wasn't until I read what he recently posted on BL's thread (https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2921516#Post2921516) that something finally clicked for me. I think it was the part about seeking justice, which is oh so tempting of a pit to fall into... and I suddenly realized, that isn't me. I'm not a bitter, angry person seeking vengeance. I believe in the ability of people to grow and change. I believe in forgiveness. And I need to actually practice these beliefs through my thoughts and behaviors, and let go of the idea of justice.

Life isn't fair. My H cheated on me. I am still dealing with the aftereffects of that betrayal. It rocked my whole world. But at some point I need to let go of my anger and my feeling that this was all so unfair and desire for H to crawl on his hands and knees begging for forgiveness if I want to be the kind of person I want to be, and live out my own values. Does that make sense? I'm still a big WIP on this. But it was a lightbulb moment for me.

xx M


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D11
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
9/20-present R attempt #2
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May,

I am so glad that you keep coming back and posting to me. I wish there was a way we could connect outside of the boards. Are you on IG? I think if I shared my handle and you messaged me, I could tell if it was actually you... I just wrote on Maika's thread in response to LH's post and it dawned on me as I was typing that these boards no longer offer a strong sense of community and I just can't see them fully recovering. If you had been here 7-8 years ago, you would have seen several posters like Sandi and there was so much support and rich information being shared. People really spent time getting to know one another and gave thorough and well written feedback. And people had boundaries, which for me is number one in life, esp as I have had to do so much self reflection and fix a broken marriage!

I think the beginning of Covid/quarantine in March 2020 did help our relationship. It shook us out of our daily routines of running around -- work, kids, sports, etc -- and we found ourselves at home and spending time together every day. In terms of him recovering from all the MNG stuff, well I would say yes, but only to an extent. There are just things about him that will never change. In fact we have been talking about that recently. I am not sure that is such a bad thing tho. There are also things about myself that I am realizing I still need to challenge myself to accept and improve on. Mostly in the way I communicate. It is much easier for me to write things out, proofread and then edit. When I am frustrated and having a disagreement I can easily lash out and let emotions take over.

I wish AlisonUK was still here also, but I completely understand why she left. My hunch is that another poster named KitCat won't return either. I am disappointed because I had been catching up on her threads and wanted to offer her some support and ideas as well. ... Anger is a tricky thing and I imagine different and deeply personal for us all. Some people learn to use it as a tool early on in life and some people are taught to bury it. I think gender plays a role in how we are modeled and taught to express or not express our anger.

Going back in time and rereading your old words is a good idea. I have done that too. I imagine your perspective on it will continue to change and evolve with each year that passes. Yes, he was weak, lame and a sorry sack. lol. Mine was too. Sadly for them they still have to carry that burden of shame and regret. But again with the boundaries, it is not our job to lighten their loads. We can say our piece and listen, but I don't think we can try and alter or change their relationship with their past. I can recognize now how much I lacked boundaries in that area after my H came back. I felt so burned and justified in my anger and he felt so guilty and deserving of it, that I often used it as a weapon against him. It didn't help anything and it just prolonged things. On the flip side, I needed that time. It took me years before I could really work on real trust/intimacy again.


I think I need to reread that post by DNJ several times. It's so poetic and metaphorical that I can't quite wrap my brain around it!

Blu


Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon. Nelson Mandela
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Blu,

Quote
Sadly for them they still have to carry that burden of shame and regret. But again with the boundaries, it is not our job to lighten their loads. We can say our piece and listen, but I don't think we can try and alter or change their relationship with their past. I can recognize now how much I lacked boundaries in that area after my H came back. I felt so burned and justified in my anger and he felt so guilty and deserving of it, that I often used it as a weapon against him. It didn't help anything and it just prolonged things. On the flip side, I needed that time. It took me years before I could really work on real trust/intimacy again.
This is so interesting. I remember that Alison also felt like she'd weaponized her H's guilt around his EA after they reconciled (though maybe less via anger and more via sadness). And Wayfarer talks about her first H bringing up her A for years, into every single conversation. I know my H thinks I do this also. (Since he doesn't suffer from NMMNG, he doesn't willingly swallow it, though-- he will to a point and then he says something.)

I think I need to continue to remind myself of boundaries and taking responsibility for my own healing. For instance, my H has said to me that I control my own thoughts/feelings (and I know DnJ would say the same) but I always tell him I can't control the triggers, these things come up and it is hard. But I have been trying this past week to take more ownership of my own mental space. I realized also the past month or so that it really doesn't feel painful to think of the A, most of the time. It comes up for me and I think I'm like poking that sore tooth with my tongue over and over to see if it still hurts... but it is far, far less painful (most of the time-- sometimes I still feel that rush of sadness and anger). It took me awhile to realize that the pain was really reduced though. I had to step back and reflect on my own feelings and really consider them before I realized I felt a lot better about all of it. So now I'm trying to get over this habit I seem to have acquired of really dwelling in thinking about the A when it comes up for me, by acknowledging it (and also acknowledging any feeling or lack thereof it brings with it) and then dismissing it and moving on to something more productive.

And... I would love to connect with you via IG. Yes, please. smile xx May


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D11
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
9/20-present R attempt #2
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Something that helped me to think about, which is over simplified, but worked for my brain was to reflect on past events that were painful and how I felt about them as time passed. A few examples. When I was 5 my own parents divorced and it was rough. In middle school I was bullied and sexually harassed. In HS I was involved in a dramatic/emotionally abusive relationship. He also cheated. Each one of those things was painful and took years to recover from, but I did. And so when things with my H were incredibly difficult and triggering, I would remind myself that years down the road, it would look different as well. And now many years later I assure you it does. When I was at my lowest point in life, I would remind myself that everything will look different in the future, and it helped me get though a hard day or night. That small glimmer of hope worked.

The thing is May, and I know you know this, but you can’t control or rush that process. I think we might be similar in that we are hard working, effective and put a lot of energy into things. And it works! I have accomplished some things in my life — studying at a top university with young children and a full load of sciences courses — and look back at my drive now and think, whoa, I was unstoppable! However, when it comes to our personal relationships with others, we don’t have control. We only can control our own choices, reactions and behaviors. The time still must unfold in it’s slow and sometimes painful way. There is nothing we can “do” other than accept that some days will be harder and feel slower than others. But maybe that is good for people like us? Just letting go a little ….

My handle is ktkara. I think I’m smart enough to filter through private messages and decipher who I know and who is some dirtbag trying to pick me up. Lol. I’ll try and delete the name in a couple days. And if the moderators do not approve and delete this, my apologies!

Blu


Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon. Nelson Mandela
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Originally Posted by BluWave
Something that helped me to think about, which is over simplified, but worked for my brain was to reflect on past events that were painful and how I felt about them as time passed....I would remind myself that years down the road, it would look different as well. And now many years later I assure you it does. When I was at my lowest point in life, I would remind myself that everything will look different in the future, and it helped me get though a hard day or night. That small glimmer of hope worked.
This is a great outlook. Thanks for sharing!


Me:39 Ex-W:37
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:3
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
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Something that helped me to think about, which is over simplified, but worked for my brain was to reflect on past events that were painful and how I felt about them as time passed....I would remind myself that years down the road, it would look different as well. And now many years later I assure you it does. When I was at my lowest point in life, I would remind myself that everything will look different in the future, and it helped me get though a hard day or night. That small glimmer of hope worked.

this reminds me of the Stockdale paradox, which I've been trying for a long time to keep in front of my mind, especially when I feel low.

The Stockdale paradox is named after Admiral James Stockdale who was a POW in the Vietnam war. He was asked about about prisoners who did not make it out of the POW camps and he said,

"The optimists. They were the ones who said we're going to be out by Christmas. And Christmas would come and Christmas would go. Then they'd say we're going to be out by Easter, and Easter would come and go. And they died of a broken heart."

I am totally not comparing being a POW to what this board is about, but just looking at how do we develop hope that will not destroy us. For that he said, and which is the Stockdale paradox:

"You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end - which you can never afford to lose - with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts about your current reality, whatever they might be."

This has helped me a lot because I never said i would feel more detached, better etc. if ____ happens and if i do _____. I just had faith that it will be better and didn't deny the facts on the ground of what was happening - basically not shying away from reality and putting my head in the sand.

I still struggle with this at times, but this paradox helps to reframe things and bring me back from delusional thinking or fantasizing about some outcome. It's not easy, but it has definitely helped me a lot to stay grounded.


No one is coming to save you!

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