True, internal and life changing healing?

I have been feeling recently that perhaps I cannot get past my husband’s affair.  He continues to show that he doesn’t understand why I can’t just get over it and go back to the way I was before and the way our marriage was before.  My coach James says that an affair changes everything.  There is no relationship to go back to.  There is no spouse to return to.  There is no marriage to return to.  It was destroyed in the aftermath of the fire and pain of betrayal.  If you stay together, you rebuild a brand new relationship with a spouse who is now different and a marriage that can never be what it was before.

My trip did nothing to change this feeling.  It did wonders for me in rediscovering myself.  I feel more grounded and self-aware than ever, and I am stronger and more in control.  But this feeling that it’s not going to work pervades…

I came across a blog today and this particular piece spoke to me.  Maybe it will speak to you, too.    My husband certainly needs to see it.  I’m going to send it to him.  I have copied some of it here, but here is a link to it:

http://www.affairrecovery.com/survivors/Samuel/its-not-about-you

Affair Recovery.com is a blessing to people on both sides of infidelity.  This is a portion of a blog on that site, written by a contributor named Samuel on July 19, 2012.  He cheated on his wife and is trying to rebuild his marriage.  He talks of true, internal, and life-changing healing.  It makes me cry to read it.  That is what I have longed for 21 months now.

Here is an excerpt:

“Perhaps I had married the wrong person. Perhaps the affair partner and I were meant to be together instead of my wife and I. Maybe this was all a sign and I needed to take action.

I was seduced by the illusion of it all and gave way to one of the most powerful addictions in existence: “self-addiction.”

It was all about me. What I wanted. What I needed. What I deserved. What I was feeling. The pre-imminence of what I deserved as a hard-working, married man who had needs and desires that were going unnoticed.

How wrong I was and how deceived I had become. It’s truly sad to think of how much of a self-absorbed wrecking ball I was for anyone and everyone in my life.

If you’re trying to heal today, one of the best things you can do is remind yourself each day that this is NOT just about YOU. As long as you are addicted to yourself, and your focus is on yourself, your mate will never find the healing that they need. I promise you, YOU will also never find the true, internal and life changing healing that is available for you.

My own recovery never really took off till I put my focus on Samantha and her recovery first. Then, almost seamlessly, my recovery began to flourish and life made so much more sense, even in the midst of great pain and anguish.”

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16 thoughts on “True, internal and life changing healing?

  1. recover3 says:

    Thank you for sharing that. I have found the affair recovery website to be such a great source of help. And the Harboring Hope course is actually helping. As hard as it is to go back over some of the things, I am facing the fact that I really need this.
    Like you I have also been wondering if maybe I’m just not going to get passed the affair. But this course is actually showing me how I can still grow.

  2. Not Over It says:

    Hi Recover3,

    Thank you – it’s good to hear a reference from someone in our blogging community. I had glanced over the courses on the site and wondered how they were.

    Hope your pregnancy is going smoothly. Take care –

    LOve & prayers,
    DJ

  3. katesworld40 says:

    DJ,
    I completely agree with your coach. I feel like a completely different person in a different marriage. My husband want to got back to the way we used to be. I am like , why would we want to do that to ourselves? Obviously the way we used to be wasn’t working for us.

    We were both tempted. We both strayed from ourselves, each other, our family. He with my sister and I fell into the attention and arms of another man. So, like it or not, its out with the old, in with the new: attitude, boundaries, tolerance level, respect for ourselves, each other & life in general. And a new marriage and relationship.

    Revamping our life and relationship is no easy task. There are days when I doubt his love, my love and our commitment. I too feel like the other shoe is going to drop. But, for better or for worse, I find the fight for what I want.

    I love what Samuel said in that excerpt and I need to read it in its entirety. The excerpt sounds like it could have been written by my husband. It resonates on a few levels. Thank you for sharing it.

    I am glad to hear that you are on the journey of rediscovering yourself. Enjoy that journey! You will be amazed at how amazing you truly are!

    Make Your Own Adventure!
    Kate
    http://www.katesworld40.wordpress.com

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Kate,

      Wow, both of you are double-whammied with being both the cheater and the betrayed. That must be a strain on all sides.

      My husband was very sweet on the phone tonight. He said he can hardly wait to come home to me. I am afraid to allow myself to be moved by it. This roller coaster ride through recovery is making me nauseous already.

      Take care –
      DJ

  4. Amy says:

    Glad you’re sharing again. Your trip seemed to make you learn who you were. Maybe throughout the years you lost you. I know I am working on finding myself after having lost myself for various reasons. I think part of this is to determine whether you want to reinvent yourself with him in your life or go it alone. It it a hard decision to make. And I think you have to figure out what would make you feel safe and secure and help with your trust. Is he willing to do that? I don’t think men realize that an affair isn’t just an infidelity. It is a way of robbing us of our trust and security and once that is gone it is hard to to get it back. The people we trusted with everything betrayed us. I think it can be overcome but it is a very slow process. I have been betrayed by most people I have loved and trusted and I don’t trust easily anymore. I wish you well, hon! ❤

    • DJ says:

      Hi Amy,

      That is a powerful way to put it – “an affair isn’t just an infidelity. It is a way of robbing us of our trust and security…” I love the way you phrased it.

      Yes, during the whole mess of his affair and the fallout afterwards, I lost myself. I used to be a confident and capable person, comfortable in my own skin and always there to help others. That all disappeared. I am still not where I was before, but I’ve come a long way to rediscovering that person again. I fret about my looks and about getting older, but less so. I still need major amounts of affirmation and self-study, but I am more able to step outside the gargantuan problems in my life and focus on others. It has been slowly happening over the past year, but my journey brought it all together in my head. It was like no other journey in my lifetime.

      Hope things are going well with you – keep in touch!

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

      • Amy says:

        It affects us on so many more levels. It’s not just one issue. If that was the case, maybe we could “just get over it”. But it is deeper than that. It shakes our core. I think the only thing that can really shake a man’s core is to challenge his masculinity and tell him he isn’t a real man. That would be about the only thing to make him feel close to this. And I think that is sometimes the reason for affairs…they aren’t feeling really secure but rather than say it, they try to go prove themselves. All it proves is that they’re an ass.

        Love & prayers to you too!

      • DJ says:

        Absolutely, Amy – again, very well put.

        I would like to say to the waywards here that I do believe it is possible to change. It takes a lot of soul searching and pain, and it doesn’t always happen, but it does happen sometimes, as I have seen in some of you. I am grateful to have both sides here so that we can all better understand what we are dealing with.

        I wish my husband would talk to some of the waywards here. He needs to hear the reality of it all. As Amy says, he was an ass. Absolutely. But he does a lot of good, too, and he genuinely likes to help others. A bit too much, in the case of his OW… but he is not a hopeless case. And so I persevere… for now anyway.

  5. Ariella says:

    I don’t think they can ever possibly understand what we are feeling. I know that I have tried to make John understand my pain and why I just cannot “trust him” again. Sometimes, I feel like I am getting through to him, but most of the times I feel like I am speaking to a brick wall.

    I have found that not discussing the affair with him has not only worked for us, but it has worked for ME! Yes, most would think that John got off easy, but continuously discussing the affair with him was bringing me down. I finally realized that John could say nothing to make it better. There was no question I had asked that the answer made me say, “Ok, I get why you did it.” Talking about the affair automatically put me in a sour mood. And if he ever spoke of her by name, my stomach would turn and I swear I could have punched him in the face. It is difficult enough for me to say her name, but when he said it??? My blood would boil.

    Everyone has a different way for healing that works for them. I think this is our way. Don’t get me wrong, there hasn’t been a day that has passed where I have not found myself wanting to ask him questions, but I refuse to bring it up. I cannot remember a time where I actually got something positive out of our “talks” about his affairs.

    I think about it all day long, I have triggers and I get angry but I do not discuss the affair with him. We do discuss other issues at times like trust, but eventually it all leads back to him cheating. He has made great steps these past few months and I have to believe that is due to the fact that I am not constantly pestering him with questions. Questions that I have already asked him a 100 times. I one day wondered why I was asking him the same questions over and over again. Why? Maybe because the first answer was not good enough for me. Maybe I didn’t believe him, or maybe it just wasn’t what I wanted to hear.

    Everyone requires something different when it pertains to the healing process. I cannot speak for anyone else; I can just share what has worked for me.

    Anyway, I am so happy to hear that you at least had a great trip and that your journey helped re-discover YOU! That is wonderful! I wish I had the strength to just get away. I really believe it would do wonders for me. . .

    • DJ says:

      Hi Ariella,

      I’m glad you figured out for yourself what works for you.

      I no longer have questions about his affair. It is not the affair itself that I want to talk about. I have worked that all out of my system. The things I would like to talk about are how I am feeling right now, which usually has something to do with the aftermath of being ripped apart. I would like to talk about how he is feeling. He claims to be just fine and says he doesn’t need anything, but I know he isn’t.

      From what I have read, healing in a marriage and building a strong new marriage has everything to do with openness, honesty, and communication. Daniel and I still sit with an elephant in the room that I dare not mention, or he will throw fits.

      And to me, he has not made any realizations or changed any of his attitudes, so he is a time bomb waiting to go off again. I cannot handle that.

      So all in all, we are stuck. We’ll be great for a while, but then fall in a pothole. The potholes seem to be getting bigger instead of smaller. I can’t seem to get out of this one. Maybe we need counseling again.

      But everyone is different. If it is working for you the way it is, I’m glad. And I’m glad you shared about it. People need to read about different ways of handling things.

      If you can possibly get away for your own journey, I cannot say enough about how wonderful it was for me. It doesn’t have to be three weeks long, but it probably needs to be more than just a few days.

      Take care, and let me know how you’re doing…

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  6. hiddinsight says:

    This is ABSOLUTELY sooo true…!! Starting over with a brand new relationship with my husband has helped us both to focus on what really matters: US.

    • DJ says:

      Hi Hiddinsight,

      That’s wonderful that you can focus on you as a couple. Maybe one day we will get there.

      When Daniel brushes me off and doesn’t want me to ever look sad or insecure, I cannot help but be resentful. And that resentment turns my mind to thoughts of how he betrayed me, lied to me, and made a fool of me. It’s hard…

      I hope things are going well for you. Let us know…

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

      • hiddinsight says:

        I think it’s a journey of learning how to communicate properly. I have found that when I have had a chance to really hear what is going on behind the situational “crap” I am able to empathise with what it is he is asking of me. It always draws us closer together.

        That, and when I tell him things that I think he will freak out about…but he doesn’t…I am in awe of how much he can actually handle. I am definitely a fan of communication. And learning how to communicate is an art. I would encourage you to go deeper…

        (Sorry for the slow reply…I just realized I had all of these responses hidden in a different area…I thought nobody was replying to me…but they are all over here!!)

      • Not Over It says:

        No need to apologize. I myself read comments over the weekend but did not log on to do any writing until today.

        I understand what you mean about communication. It truly is an art. It was my major in college. I generally do not have many communication issues with anyone besides my husband. And even with him, real problems did not start until he strted lying to me. Now there is layer upon layer of deceit and betrayal and hurt and – so much so that real communication is difficult at best.

        I appreciate the time you took to reply and tell me the things that work for you. I will try to look deeper.

        Love & prayers,
        DJ

      • hiddinsight says:

        It’s a hard habit to break, especially when it has been going on for some time. When he feels safe enough to express the stuff he knows is risky and learns (through experience) that you can handle it, it will pull him out of his deceitful trap, and you will be well on your road to healing. It really is a trap. But it’s also a choice to stay there or come out. I hope things continue to move in the right direction for you. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to create a “safe” environment for him since you must be so incredibly destroyed by his betrayal. It takes much deliberate courage to move out of this mess. It seems weird that I am talking about this like I know. Even weirder that I was the betrayer…but in some ways I can only hope that it helps to get inside the mind of the other side. It’s all I can do to right the poor choices I made.

        Hug.

      • Not Over It says:

        I’m so glad that we can communicate this way. I respect the way you are handling it today, and appreciate your insight.

        I am thinking about going back for more marriage counseling with a different therapist. Just last night, my husband finally agreed. I hope that a therapist could help us see the “situational crap” and get to the real issues behind them.

        With just the two of us, no matter how much I try to be open and not react badly, he will not even try to see any other perspective. The fights we had this past weekend were overheard by my daughter and her husband. (We didn’t know they were home.) They were appalled at the lengths to which he will go to keep up his delusional thinking.

        We weren’t even fighting about his affair. We were fighting about his sister-in-law calling him at all hours of the day and night, texting him and emailing him, too. She is having marital problems with his brother and needs a shoulder to cry on. Yeah, right. I find it inappropriate, especially when I hear the notifications on his phone going off all night long. But he will not see it. He said I am taking something good and making it dirty.

        I am about ready to give up.

        But thank you. You have made a real difference for me.

        DJ

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