Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Word Hug...

"When you've been through an unexpected change, the old you dies and a new one is born. And therefore you must allow yourself to be a baby. Get emotional and moral support any way you can. Give yourself a limited time each day (at least an hour) to do nothing but focus on this adjustment. And don't make big decisions until you've got your legs under you. You don't even know who the new you will grow up to be, so postpone large commitments, giving yourself time and love. Everything else will take care of itself."
~Martha Beck, author and O Magazine columnist


  1. In the last year and a half there have been so many new mes:

    the angry me who went in our home office one night and threw my husband's papers all over the floor, the one who when he said bringing up the affairs wasn't good for him replied with "who cares?"

    The indifferent me, who went thru periods of wanting to just lay in bed and not move, who was just going thru the motions with kids activities.

    The bitter me who can't listen to a love song without rolling my eyes, who can't watch a romantic movie without saying yeah right, who can't go to a wedding without crying during the vows because I'm thinking just u wait, u have no idea what's going to happen. If only u knew.

    The cynical me who goes to my sons soccer games and looks at every father there & wonders: did u cheat? With whom? For how long?

    The sad me who cries at work, in the grocery store, & in my car for no reason, who feels like my entire first pregnancy is tainted because my h was with someone that entire time (longer actually), who can't read an X-ray from 2011 without feeling like that entire year is tainted by the 2nd sexual affair partner.

    I have spent some time recently trying to convince my h that for 10 years I had problems as a result of suspecting him of cheating: it slowly eroded my self esteem, kept me thinking I wasn't good enough because if I were than he would be faithful. He doesn't see it. He says I'm only remembering the bad (which I know is common), that there was nothing wrong with our marriage before, & that I was happy. He says I am unhappy now. Ever since he said that I have tried to be happier & feel like I have been. Is he right? Does it matter? I was trying so hard to convince him that those 10 years were torture for me so he wouldn't think everything was ok til he got caught, but maybe it's good enough for him to think its te getting caught that did it, since he says obviously he wasn't as good at not getting caught as he thought. If the result is the same (a deterrent to him cheating again) does it matter if he's right or I'm right?


    1. I love "A Word Hug". It is quintessentially everything my therapist and I discussed tonight. Tonight he told me there are three things that matter right now in my life: 1) taking really good care of myself and giving myself what I need 2) taking care of my daughter and 3) my career. H is going to do what H is going to do.

      Perhaps the deterrent to cheating is getting right with oneself, understanding why he did it, what he's doing to fix it and what we both need to look for in order for this never to happen again.

      Tonight I realized that I don't know how to take care of myself. For far too long I've been in the space of needing to take care of or fix H, so that this would never happen again, as if I have any control over what H is going to do or not going to do. Tonight, maybe for the first time ever, I saw the real need of learning how to fundamentally take care of myself so that I can make real decisions regarding what I want in my life.

      Sam, I read you completely. I am the angry V who took H into the laundry room and literally slapped the shit out of him. I'm absolutely the cynical/sarcastic V that looks at happy couples and thinks: "don't worry, it only gets worse." I'm the anxiety ridden V that had to go back and do a bunch of billing from the end of last year when my world dropped out from under me and as I inched my way closer to DDay, I just felt ill.

      I love this idea of giving yourself (at least an hour each day) time to focus on the change/adjustment. Tonight we discussed what I would be giving myself during the week to get back in touch with what I love in life that brings me fulfillment. I love my work; however, my work revolves around caring for others and I am depleted. I force myself to show up which I do and when I'm there I can get into it. My therapist has used this idea of giving to myself some of the experiences in life I used to find fulfilling, so that I don't go to work to process what's happened and I like this idea. I've put all of myself aside to care of kids, home and H.

    2. Sam and V (and TigerLily and Ann below),
      I've realized that (with the recent diagnosis of my daughter's OCD, which sent me into a tailspin again) I tend to anticipate bad things. Even when my life is full of good things, I'm still peering around the next corner ready to duck. But I made a decision in the past while to stop doing that. It doesn't stop bad things from happening, it simply prevents me from enjoying the good things I've got right now. And it really is a mindset. A choice to let tomorrow take care of itself and focus on today. Trite...but I feel so much lighter now.

  2. Thank you so much for this beautiful word hug, it really resonates!


    I totally get about the different new meS. I think we have to allow ourselves to experience the pain, the sadness, the indifference and even the bitterness. At the least, these are very normal feelings and I certainly identify with all of them. But, I think these feelings help us transition into being more of a realist, maybe even one day an optimistic realist.

    Sam, may I ask, what is your husband doing to look into his behaviors, his choices, and to become a safe and healthy partner for you? TL xx

  3. Yes the ability to learn to take care of you is essential. The anxiety releases its grip when you learn that you have control of you and the ability to make decisions to make change happen. So if you train yourself to focus on your mental wellness, what is peaceful and edifying to your spirit, you will begin the up swing to the healing process. Again, remember you can't make others feel happy with true joy, they have to find that God given peace inside themselves. You do have the ability to control your joy and turn it back on. ;) I learned this is my 14 month sabbatical of healing. Phase one of this cycle I have been in. I've returned to "the Scene". Not without inner kicking and screaming. God has indeed heard from me. Not only had I indured my child's health issues brought in by an accident, my h and how he dealt with it, my sister falling ill, but my momma becoming ill also. My momma is what drug me back. I didn't realize that I didn't have to fall back into despair until 2 months after my return. I realized facing my hidden bitterness back at "the scene" started phase 2 of my healing. God has taught me now to begin to build "painting a new scene". This helped me to start letting the hurt go. It's a slow process, but at least I started.
    Love you guys - Ann from Texas

    1. Love you right back. Thanks for this comment. You teach us well.

  4. Sorry ladies. I guess when I posted I was feeling a little down.

    What is my husband doing to make me feel safe? Basically what I ask: accounting for his whereabouts, calling me from work phone & not his cell when he's late, showing me texts from the guys who invite him out, access to his phone, etc.

    What is he doing to ensure this doesn't happen again. Pretty much he said been there done that no more. He sees how much it hurt me & he says he won't do it. He won't hurt me again. He won't even be tempted because he knows know he can't have close friendships with other women because I won't allow it.

    Sounds weird but that's another new me: the assertive me. For the last 10 years I thought he had inappropriate relationships w ow and although it bothered me I never demanded him to stop, never really told him how much it bothered me. I thought he was with me because I was self confident enough to be comfortable with him being like that. I was afraid he would leave me if I said anything. I don't know where I got that idea. Now I tell him what I want. When he asks me what I want for birthday or Mother's Day i tell him & he follows thru. When I want to go somewhere for dinner we go. If I want to watch a movie we do it. No more Sam the martyr. My wants & needs don't always come first, after all, this is a marriage and we have 2 kids, but I don't feel like I come last anymore either. I feel like we all have equal time now, which is how it should have been all along. THAT was all on me. I never said anything so he didn't even know I felt that way.

    So the best new me in this transformation is that me-- the assertive one who doesn't feel she has to be a martyr to be a worthy wife and mother. The empowered me who is not afraid to tell him how I feel or what I want.

    Thank u all for listening.


  5. Yet another post about the transformed me:

    My first post described the angry, sad, bitter, cynical, & indifferent me's;

    My second post describes the most important me-- the assertive no longer have to be a martyr me.

    This last post describes the best transformed me, which can exist simultaneously with the assertive me & that's the appreciative me.

    The me who graciously accepts compliments when my husband gives them, who no longer rolls her eyes at him when he says something romantic (believe me the ow were eating it up, not rolling their eyes), but says aw that's so sweet when he quotes some new romantic song and says it reminds him of us.

    And the me who also appreciates my h. The me who periodically texts him I love you for no reason, the me who tells him thank u for working so hard, the me who listens to him complain about how hard he's working even though it's mostly his choice (his drive to be the best at what he does in his field in his area), because again believe me the other women were laying the flattery on thick.

    I think that me is the best, the one who says thank u when paid a compliment and the one who freely compliment s her h & k (when deserved of course, even if only for the little things. After all all those little things add up).

    Hugs and kisses to all of u


    1. Wow Sam, that's "me" too. I was horrible with the eye-rolling, the brushing off compliments, the exasperation with his woe-is-me stuff when I'd been up seven times the night before with infants. But you're so right. All of us -- ALL of us -- just want to be heard and valued. We all want to matter to somebody. Maybe it's that simple.

  6. I have been following all of this advice to take care of myself. And my husband (soon to be ex) calls me selfish. Saying I am just thinking about myself and not our daughter. (Basically, my "me" time is going to yoga once a week and going to the mall to by clothes to fit me since my depression led to a 30-lb weight loss...) Hardly a party animal. Meanwhile, he contintines to have an affair with his mistress.

    I know he is crazy. I know I need to be strong and not fall victim to his manipulation. I know I can control whether or not I am a victim. I know all of that.
    But it's hard. Really f-ing hard. (Sorry for my language).
    He still wants to be married to me (and live together) and have his mistress.
    I can take care of myself. Go to therapy. Buy cute clothes. Get my hair done. Meditate. Eat well. Go fun places with our daughter. Organize my life. I am and can be awesome. But seeing him every day is killing my soul.
    -- Becky

    1. Becky,
      If you haven't already discovered Barbara Coloroso, the parenting guru, please do! Her parenting philosophy also works GREAT with adults. For instance, any time we assert our wants/needs, there will be what she calls countermoves, which are basically intended to get us to back down. A child, for instance, might scream that he hates you when you tell him he can't have a sleepover. That's a countermove intended (not necessarily consciously) to get you to feel bad and let him have his way. Your husband is giving you a classic countermove. Your new-found self-care routine is likely throwing off the rhythm of your relationship (even if he's about to be an ex) and so he's, on some level, trying to get you to go back to the old routine, which is familiar and comfortable for him. Don't give in!! The key with countermoves isn't to really do anything except expect them. Know that they will appear and simply carry on doing what's healthiest/best for you or the child.
      When my kids were younger, I printed off Colorado's Three Cons -- the three basic countermoves. Weeping/wailing/gnashing of teeth is number one. Number two is anger/aggression and number three is sulking and pouting. Your husband seems to be falling into somewhere between two and three.
      You're doing great. Your job is to take care of yourself and your daughter. He's an adult.
      You'll get there. You know this is just a rough patch. And you're strong enough to get through.

  7. I'm not sure exactly which posting this belongs under- I haven't been on for almost 2 weeks and the change I've undergone in those two weeks is profound.
    I've learned so much in the past year since D-day- about me, about H, about us. But the main thing I guess I've learned, is that I'm strong enough to get through this...even when I was falling apart. I've learned that my H never faced a difficulty even close to his issues and his infidelity and so he doesn't have the emotional toolbox to help himself through personal issues- the reason the whole 10 year episode happened. I had those tools since I've learned how to face difficult situations my whole life. And that toolbox taught me that I know myself better than counselors who were worried that I wasn't far enough along in "recovery," when I should have been farther along. And that what I was asking of H was totally reasonable...but I was made to feel as though it wasn't. So I finally got mad enough at my IC and MC and H when my request to clean her mementos out of our house was being questioned. I stood up for myself for a change. That was a big step forward- I didn't back down this time.
    One last uncomfortable night- maybe our worst night. But then he did it. He cleaned out the remaining forgotten souvenirs from those 10 years. I found out there was, once again, more "truth" to come out (seriously??? after more than a year???) and that once again, he had lied to me..(this time about money)! And I demanded to know if there was more truth to come out. And he thought for a long time, then said no- you know everything now, then I said to him- very softly...y'know, all I ever wanted was the truth. That's all I asked for from day one. Why couldn't you tell me all of this earlier? He doesn't know...another surprise (not).
    The relief I felt was tempered with the recognition of yet again another lie...but the next day all I could think was "It's over." IS over. I made it...and I haven't thought much about the whole situation since then.
    I have boundaries again. I respect myself, I feel good about myself- I know I'm resilient and that from now on, I will not allow anyone to walk all over me or take advantage of me, and I will not defer to anyone again and will work to get what I need out of our relationship. I've learned how to stand up for myself and that I have value. Now we have to work on us...and that's the work we started this week in MC. He still has issues he's working out with his IC, so there will be more to the story when he figures things out, but those are HIS issues and really, it IS over and we can now move on.
    I really feel like a new person- I'm a bit guarded in how I feel after being on a roller coaster of a year, but I feel like I have my life and my marriage back.
    I would not have made it this far this fast without all of you. I learned a lot from this site. I NEEDED all of you and your experiences and advice. Thank you to all of you. I'm still going to lurk and check in...not sure if I'm healed yet, but I feel like I'm on my way to healing. This site is THE best resource. I'm actually happy again, and I didn't think that could happen.

    1. Oh my goodness, C. That is fantastic! You defended YOU. Your are your own champion. Good on you for standing up for the VERY reasonable (I would argue crucial!) step to clear out reminders of an affair. To expect you to live with that is beyond twisted. You sound like the only sane person in the bunch!
      What's more, it sounds as if you're completely clear that rebuilding your marriage with him is YOUR choice. And it's a choice you can alter at any point if he's unwilling or incapable of being honest and transparent. You now know you'll be just fine.
      I hope you will check in. And I know there are many readers on this site who would love to know more about how you got yourself to a place where you were able to stand up to the so-called experts and claim your power. Wow.

    2. Yeah- it was very strange to feel as though I didn't have the support from the counselors- and without everyone's experiences on this site, I might not have insisted and let the "experts" lead me down the wrong path for me. You and everyone on this site helped me become empowered. A big thanks to all the members! As I figure out more about how I got here, I'll write again, and I'm not disappearing, either. There's too much wisdom here.



Related Posts with Thumbnails