The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
I'm having to relearn kindness! I've always tried to be kind to others just like I want others to be kind to me! This was taught to me at a very early age by my wonderful grandparents. I was also taught to turn the other cheek! These lessons were thrown under the bus when I learned how unkind my h had been behind my back. I'm also still processing how unkind his ow was with every text she sent to me and the ones she knew he was sharing. I'm in the process of forgiveness for both of these people who were so selfish during their time together that all she could say was 'we knew someone would hurt for a little while'. I'm trying so hard to be kind to the woman who gave me birth but spent her life belittling me every chance she had, but now depends on me to drive her to dr appointments and shopping for groceries. Some days the memories of their unkind actions drive me to be kind to everyone who crosses my path that day! I smile at folks who look sad or angry and tell them to have a great day. This is necessary for me to grow back to the person I was during those years when these people didn't influence my ability to share kindness! I'm getting there one day at a time with a little help from some of my new friends I'm struggling down this new path with! Thanks Elle!
Theresa, you touched on exactly what I'm feeling today. I was raised to treat others with kindness and turn the other cheek, as well. This situation has put me to the test on that. It's hard though to acknowledge how someone could hurt you so deeply and not react out of anger toward them. I feel like I have come so far in my healing but this area is something I still wrestle with specifically in regard to the OW. My husband has certainly been on the receiving end of ALL my emotions. But I have come to terms with my husband's porn addiction and choice to have an affair. I understand the issues that led to it based upon what we've discussed in therapy and on our own. It hurts but I know he's working to be a better person. With her, I still wonder why. What is so wrong with her that she made a conscious choice to hurt me and still occasionally takes opportunities to make herself visible? I know that she is broken in some way as most of these women are. I see it in my story and in the stories of a lot of other ladies' here. I know that any energy spent on attempting to hurt her is wasted. And I know that I'll continue to do what I believe is right for me and my family which is not to engage her. But some days, I feel like I'm being tested and I wonder what it would take for me to break.
I struggle to be kind in my mind to the OW way more than I struggle to be kind to my H. For me, there are 5 OW and none of them are aware that I know about them (these were all one-night occurrences with no contact afterwards). I am able to do some psychological acrobatics to let go of some of them. The one that I have the hardest time feeling any kindness towards was the one who is also married, was friends with my H on facebook, commented on some of my posts in a friendly way, and has a special needs son just like me. I wonder what in the world is wrong with her!? Just like you, Dandelion and Theresa, I simply don't have it in me to do this to another person (even a stranger). I think the mistake I'm making is judging her on paper only and deciding that we have so much in common. She is broken in ways that her Instagram photos just do not show. Ways that I'll never know. While she presents herself as an intact package to the world, she is capable of this level of cruelty to others. I feel pulled to speak to her, to ask her, to try to figure it out. If I bump into her or her husband, I can't promise that I won't ask all these questions I have about her and what in the world she was thinking. Until then, I sit with the discomfort and just try to stay honorable and kind when I can. It is a minute-to-minute struggle. I watch TV. I am aware that this situation is totally a motive for murder. I feel like I should receive (we all should receive) a medal for even striving for kindness to these OW. Not murdering them is going to have to be enough on lots of days! Lol.
Dandilion I did lash out in anger at my h but it happened after the extra six months of her harrasment. Yes I too wanted to hurt her the way she tried to destroy me! However, the truth is, she probably went through much more pain than me because she had to do it all by herself! She destroyed her own marriage, her son hanged himself and I was left feeling so sorry for her kids that the hate and bitterness turned into a compassion I never knew I could have. She still looks at my h on linked in and occasionally rides through our neighborhood but she is no longer a threat to my marriage because for us my h finally had to come to terms with how mentally ill this woman is. He sent her back to the judge when she broke the no contact order because he's tried so hard to help her move on but finally realized that is not his responsibilitie. She emotionally blackmailed him an extra year so yeah for him there was no affair fog, he just wanted her to go away and now she has. So we can and are working on our relationship one day at a time. Hugs!
I work so hard to send positive energy out there and not let this betrayal make me jaded or too cautious. It has been a real struggle. I too was always taught to be kind, look out for others and treat them the way I would want to be treated. I was always taught to do the right thing no matter what. Dday was a slap in the face and to my entire being. In the end I will not let my husband and the two ow's behavior define me. It is not easy but they wasted enough of my life I will not let them drag me down. I have to tell myself this often but it is working.
I had to learn to have kindness for myself again.
Oh Theresa. Your kindness hasn't waned in the face of betrayal and cruelty. You have been so generous and extended kindness to me. You are remarkable because in your pain you choose to offer a hand to a stranger and that is the truest reflection of who you are isn't it? There are scars upon scars reopened with battering rams and hotel room keys, but in all of the muck there you stand throwing ropes to people around you. Thank you Theresa and thank you to Elle and all of the Sisters here. After D-Day I started a rescue for animals destined for slaughter. Yes I'm one of those annoying vegans (who is deeply NOT-judgy), but I sit among these discarded beings each day loving them with every shard of my heart. I tell them my story over and over again and they always decide to love me. To sit with me (or on me) and to simply hold a place with me in this confusing Universe. Love and Peace to all.
I think I struggle most with being kind to myself. I am 3 months post Dday and struggle still. I caught my h talking to someone he worked with. I packed the kids up and went to my moms house for a few days. Two days later I pulled up the video monitor and found him and the ow in the house. After that he cut ties with her... she told everyone at work that he couldn't get it up and he had been very open with my questions.i am so hurt. And now I check his phone when he is sleeping and check the phone records. I can't stop. Then I am horribly hard on myself for being so snoopy. I know I need to stop and that it's not healthy but gosh i can't seem to quit. I need to find a way to be kind to myself no matter how many times I mess up.
Ever since I started Mindfulness training, meditation and yoga at the suggestion of my therapist I've tried to focus on Kindness. There is a Loving Kindness Meditation that is great. For me however, when I'm feeling stressed and out of sorts and my mind is lashing out at my husband, I often breathe in and out. On the in breath I say to myself, "Be Kind" and on the out breath I say, "Be Calm". It may take more than a few (hundred) breaths but it does work for me.
What resources do you utilize for meditation and mindfulness? I am very interested in exploring this area more. Even my fitness is hard charging and intense. I love it and feed off of it but I need to add this in for me.Another thing my husband has told me is when you need to take a moment is to just remain still. He describes it as if you are in the woods and you see a deer and you remain silent and still. He suggests doing this in a tense situation and it helps. I know I am quick to respond and usually emotional where this makes me stop and take a step back. It helps in an odd way.
Hopeful 30, we have a blue tooth speaker. There is an app we use called Insight Timer. Once you open that there are many wonderful guided meditations. If you like yoga, you can find a couple of yoga classes on there also. I have a bunch of guided meditations bookmarked. The yoga practice I use is located under Mindfulness Northwest. The teacher is Tim. He is a bald guy. I also like a guy from UK and you will find Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield there also. I love so many things about this app because I can plug in my ear buds or listen on the speaker. I almost always mediate laying down because of some back and hip issues. The yoga home practice has very easy stretching exercises and most of them are fairly common if you have ever taken a yoga class. We do yoga regularly and I really want to start doing it every other day again. It is a 35 minute sequence. I also subscribe to Lion's Roar magazine. They will send you articles if you go online and give them your email. I love Pema Chadrom but man is she hard to read in one sitting. My therapist introduced me to all of this. If you can possibly take a Mindfullness class for stress reduction I highly recommend it. The Mindfulness Northwest classes are sliding fee. I try to pay toward the top of the scale because that encourages me to attend because I hate to waste money. (bizarre I know but it works to motivate me)
Hopeful 30I'm a huge fan of Terrie St. Cloud and each morning she gives me inspiration for my hour of candle meditation. She focused me on the small things that I was just beginning to see again. Sunrise and Sunset and the dew or the rain. How to focus on anything except negative thoughts and for me it's working! I also add music!
Great info! Thanks to both of you. I do not take enough time for these type of things. Everything I do is I would say more intense and with kids my am's tend to be busy then off to workout which is intense and then work work work. All good though. I love yoga. I had a teacher I loved years ago but never found anyone like her once we moved. I am trying out a new studio next week in an effort to slow down and take a break. You guys are so helpful!
It keeps coming back to kindness --and that along with compassion both come easily to me. It was the 2nd round of d-day that took the wind out of my sails and stole my kindness. Whoa. I had no idea the vile things that could come out of my mouth or keyboard. I didn't want to be kind any more. Where had that gotten me? Right to another effing d-day. So I often fought expressing the kindness I felt within - where was it being offered to me in return? Sigh. I was keeping score with the universe. So now every time I turn around there is another reminder to be kind. I have not read the book yet, but it's called "an unbroken brain". -what does it stress that an addict needs(my h is a sex addict) ? Tough love? Harsh reminders? No. it's Kindness. Sigh. It feels so hard to give it, like I'm doling out a REWARD for bad, horrible behavior. But I'm getting back to it. Kindness is lighter to carry than anger--at least after a sufficient amount of time has passed and it's not as scary to offer it. I know that I mean everything I say. It's putting it into practice that is the hardest, and still scariest part.
Steam, that is just what I was thinking! How can I be 'rewarding' my h for his selfish actions with all this patience and effort? I believe in kindness to all and I say to myself that if I would do something simple for a stranger (like smiling or holding a door), I should do it for him. But I'm afraid he's taking it that I'm not upset about his affair. (I have told him my feelings, but calmly, not screaming, so maybe it hasn't sunk in for him...) I need to be kinder to myself I think.
I have mentioned Steven Stosny's Living and Loving After Betrayal and Love without Hurt in another post. An affair (and other forms of verbal and emotional abuse) bring us right down and make us feel core hurts of being unloved, uncared for, ignored, worth nothing. Stosny focussing on helping restore self-esteem and belief by helping us rewire our brains. Every time we think about how hurt we were by some action (reliving those terrible feelings) he encourages us to match it up with examples of our own loving kindness, competence and appreciation of the nature, art, etc. The emphasis is on recognising our own beautiful selves for the caring and compassionate ones they are in the face of others cruel actions. We are also encouraged to forgive ourselves for feeling the core hurts when those awful events occured. The idea behind that is to reinforce that we are not, and should never think of ourselves as 'worthless,' 'unloved' 'unlovable,' 'unimportant' and so on. One exercise he gets us to do is to visualise a compassionate moment where we are caring for a child in the desert who is thirsty and suffering. It is a powerful image that calls up our strongest feelings of care. Like some of you have mentioned doing in this post, offering kindness to others, animals etc can help us heal because it reinforces our own view of ourselves as worthy and caring people. This kindness, more than anything needs to be offered to ourselves. I am practicing these techniques but am really struggling today as there was a very bad incident with my eldest son who has Aspergers and can be very verbally abusive 'why did you leave that plate there' 'you do nothing around the place' 'go into your room' 'look, you've done x wrong again'. I am heartbroken. I know it comes from his own insecurities but I fear for myself. Like so many of you I've suffered from many of the negative effects of PTSD 'irritability,' 'lack of pleasure in life' 'lack of feeling I can love others (though I can get through that with my kids' 'isolation' on and on. Psychologically things are moving as I realise that my husband was undermining me (unintentionally and because of his own hang ups) long before the affair, dismissing, stonewalling, acting as if I was being unreasonable. Now my son is going on with this stuff. I can't divorce him! I want to heal and help him for his future relationships. I've also realised how undermining and controlling my mother was and how it affected my confidence. I know I am on the right track but I feel so concerned for how I will end up if these situations persist and saddened that age 46 I've been in this sort of situation for so long. In the meantime I will keep bestowing kindness upon myself (and the family, and community - all ways of restoring the self according to Stosny).