Sh!t sandwiches. I get it that they'll be on the menu for a looooong time. Yes, it is not easy for me to do this. Yes, when I think of CL saying a tiny bit of $hit in a sandwich is still a $hit sandwich even if the rest of the sandwich is wagyu beef, I want to spit out the d@mn sandwich and tell the person serving it to me to F off.
So yes, LH and WF. You guys are right. This is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. It was easier earlier in my sitch. I svcked it up because that is what I needed to do in the moment to move towards my ultimate goal. I think I thought once he decided to stay and R for real that he'd get to start loving the sweet, sweet taste of $hit for awhile (or at least crow). And now I'm seeing that nope, even though some things have changed, as long as I want to walk this path, they'll be on the menu for me for a good while longer. I get it. I can still zoom up to the 30,000 foot level and feel that I can keep going in service to the end goal.
I do think, to all of your points, that letting go of caring so much where H's head is, letting go of wanting/needing him to understand the full gravity of what he's done, detaching and stopping the flow of my energy into H's headspace really is helping. I've found that just sitting with whatever impulse I have at any given moment to say something to H about the A or react in a certain way can help me let it go without doing anything about it. Maybe I do still need to reset every morning or every 10 minutes, but I feel progress here and it feels good.
And again... all things I was able to in the depths of my sitch. I think all the posting and work over the past couple of weeks has really helped me to kind of reset where I am, what I am and am not okay with, and this time with a keen awareness of the anger and sadness that I'd been kicking down the road to deal with later.
Originally Posted by Sage
So, a gentle 2x4 here: I don't think your R has any room for being snarky and I am going to be that friend that asks you to be the highest, most evolved May you can be. You can't both CL and DB this relationship at the same time. Are you allowed to have those thoughts and feelings? Absolutely. But it is your column, not H's to deal with your emotions, witty comebacks and anger surrounding the A.
This is sticking with me, Sage, particularly the part about not being able to both CL and DB at the same time. I think I hold onto CL in case he leaves again. I'm getting less and less worried about that, though I'm not sure how much of that is me detaching from the possible outcomes or his behaviors/words. But point taken, anyway.
I am feeling less snarky, generally, since my last post. Letting go both reduces the impulse to go to the snark and I find I'm taking things less personally. WIP though still for sure. Also, the punching bag helps.
(Note: I got one that isn't a heavy hang-from-the-ceiling kind, but has a base you fill with water and then a small bag on a pole, on Amazon for only $55. It also comes with gloves. I so so so recommend this for anyone who doesn't want to spend a ton of money or has a ton of space but just wants to punch something when the mood arises. The bag itself is helpfully about the same size and shape of a head, so quite easy to imagine someone's mug on it. )
Originally Posted by wayfarer
They have to heal themselves, forgive themselves, and then attempt to empathize with what they did to you. That's a lot. It's a burden. One they deserve and gave to themselves but it's still a heavy load to bare. That in and of itself deserves patience.
Wow, the visual of your H not even being able to look you in the eyes was powerful. I know this is very much the case with my H. He told me on the weekend something he's said before but with a lot more detail and depth, about him working with his IC on why he did what he did and his inability to believe that what he did was fully wrong, because if he did, it would crush his soul and he wouldn't be able to live with himself, doesn't think he'd be able to function in life as a husband and a father. I listened to this, it makes sense to me that he feels this way, knowing him. At the same time, feeling like this process will be important, acknowledging the truth even if it is really hurtful and not simply spackling on justifications. Again, his work to do (or not to do) and I think that this is an area where I need to stay out of his column and his way. my interference will only hinder this process.
I did try the "hey, I need to process some stuff, please don't take it personally" with mixed results, though repetition might help. I had a rough workday on Friday and he pulled out all the stops that night, went and picked up dinner and good beers and dessert with the kids for me, let mommy choose the movie, cleaned up everything, and then proceeded to basically do the same thing all day Saturday and Sunday. He then gets frustrated that I'm not Susie Sunshine (also, noting how much easier it was for him to pull out all the stops when I was in a bad mood about work and not about him). He said again how hard it is for him to see me sad and doing everything he can to make me feel better but it isn't working and he can't erase the past. I said, you just gotta let me work through some of this stuff. Just like you can't snap your fingers and get over AP, I can't snap mine and get over it either. It's a process, and it's normal. So I'm doing the best I can, I think, to help him not to freak out when I'm not being all happy, while also not reinforcing his (still very) selfish view of the world with a lot of reassurances or validation.
Without any set agreement we've basically been confining these conversations to once a week (thanks WF). I am able to have them with close to zero spew, so that's a plus. He takes a tiny bit more responsibility and is able to convey a tiny bit more remorse each time, though I only can see that when I dial back up to 30,000 feet and recall our conversations from before. He says things that feel more like he's in this for the long haul. I think detaching-- even in bits and pieces-- helps here too.
WF, I think you're right in the saving myself from an interaction that is draining and provides no relief is right on. I kept banging my head against the wall of thinking if only I explained it this way to him, he'd get it. And then went through cycles of anger/sadness/frustration plus a fear that if we don't deal with this we'll just fall back into the same M1.0 patterns and never really heal... but then again, once I can release control over outcome on this, I can let things unfold as they will and know that as long as I'm protecting my own boundaries and checking in frequently with myself and on the kids, we'll deal with what comes when it comes. I can leave. I can stay. I can make the most of what I do have in my life, today. All the possibilities are out there and it's okay to relax and let go.
Alison, I recognize so much of our M1.0 interactions in your description of the dysfunction between you and your H. It makes me stop and think about the SSM and how this may have impacted things between us. I agree that validation is generally the DB way but... and a big but... DBing is also about seeing what works and changing things up that don't, so in a lot of ways I think you're still DBing.
Originally Posted by AlisonUK
And it was because I thought by interacting with him - one way or another - I could get him to process it more quickly, or come to the conclusions I wanted him to, or taking responsibility in a way that felt good to me. It was still control. And that was disrespectful of me towards him, in many ways.
This very much holds true for me as well. He is an adult human being who made his own choices and needs to process his feelings and actions and what he wants out of life on his own. I need to step out of the way-- it is a mechanism of perceived control for me in these moments, whether wanting him to understand how I feel or simply being quiet, knowing how that impacts him.
I think I'm starting to get it. Very much a WIP. But I feel progress, I do.
I am very thankful for you guys and this entire community. 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