A Reason to Believe

Tree 2012

I saw the picture of Tentatively Hopeful’s tree on her blog and enjoyed her post about how she treasures it. My family’s tree is very much the same – each ornament a memory of some kind. I even still have a couple of ornaments that are nothing more than coloring book cutouts stuck onto construction paper from our first tree in our own home. Our daughter colored them when she was 2 – out of the lines and all – but I love them. So they are still on my tree, right along with expensive Hallmark ornaments from her when she was older, and crocheted angels from my mom, and all the rest. Even with the mess our marriage has gone through, I still love carefully unpacking them and putting them up, and then admiring them at some point each day during the season. My life history can be traced through the ornaments. The Nativity Story is told with some of the ornaments as well, with a star that my son made in preschool, professional-looking angels that my sister made, and a little manger scene we made as a family when the kids were in high school. It is us. My husband loves it, too.

Yesterday he sat with a drink in front of our tree for a while. When he got up, he came and lavished me with hugs and kisses and fondling all over. He said nothing – typical of him – but I sure felt the love. It’s moments like those that keep me here through the crap he dishes out when he’s feeling insecure, which is a lot these days. I have a half-written post about how bad things are right now… and then he goes and does that. I know he’s insecure because he does not believe that I could possibly really love him and that I’ll really stay forever. He’s punishing himself. Right here at this point in the aftermath is when so many marriages fall apart… maybe it’s like this for a lot of couples… in his insecurity he lashes out in anger, and then he holds back emotionally, distancing himself from me… he makes it so damned difficult for us to go on. I’m trying so very hard to love and accept and forgive, and to live a normal life, but he makes it so difficult.

And then he goes and does that whole loving up thing, and I am left breathless and the walls come tumbling down and I want so much for things to work out. So I’ll hold off on that post about how bad things are, and again I’ll wait and see. See what? See how things go over the Christmas holiday, I guess. Well, he has at least committed to more counseling in January. So maybe I’ll wait until after that… a final hope for reconciliation… I am trying “to find a reason to believe.”


22 thoughts on “A Reason to Believe

  1. Paula says:

    Pleased your health is returning! Yes, yes, yes. The roller coaster of this ride is pretty sick-making, lol. The, “I wish I didn’t love him, I wish he loved me more and didn’t make those fateful choices,” the melt when they do the loving things, say the loving words, and wishing you were a harder person, and could keep the protective walls around your heart, but knowing full well, you just love them too much not to show it, and go all squishy when they show their deep love. I had hoped the roller coaster would slow down with time, it doesn’t really. I just said to a friend on this journey – this never “goes away” healing is now a lifetime choice for us all. Once upon a time in our fairyland of “perfect” (cough, cough) marriage, there was no work, love and sharing, and commitment, and trust, just HAPPENED. Now, it is daily work, but it is work we choose to take on if we decide to stay with this man/woman. Take the happy, the good, even the small amounts, and grow them, fanning those baby flames, to try to crush some of the bad, the hurt. It will never be crushed, but it can be overshadowed somewhat by the good. Mixed metaphors, sorry! As an unmarried (lived together for 24 years) I used to say (and think) I will only stay in this relationship as long as the good outweighs the bad (I came to the conclusion as a very young person that marriage was not for me, I wanted to “be happy” in whatever form that took, and naively thought marriage would tie me – or tie him, to me too! – to a man I may want to be free of one day! I had every opportunity to be free of this one after he cheated, I’m stil here, lol!) Merry Christmas all – we survived the Mayan end-of-the-world here Down Under 🙂 hope all are coping with the added triggers of this family time xxx

    • Not Over It says:

      Hey Paula – so you’re still alive Down Under – yay! – so far anyway. At this moment, there are another 36 hours or so until the last of 12/21 disappears from the Earth. LOL!

      Yes, the roller coaster ride continues. At my vantage point right now, I think I might actually be able to get off if my husband and I could just get on the same page. Not that I expect to completely forget and never hurt again – but maybe I could get on a less turbulent ride. A merry-go-round perhaps? Right now it kinda feels like the Mad Teacup ride, spinning and spinning…

      Just had a thought – right now it doesn’t feel like a carnival ride for me. It feels like bull riding. I’ve gotten thrown a few times now, but I keep getting back up for more… at some point, if we don’t head for something less wild, I may not be able to get up again…

      If you’re not online before Christmas – have a good one. May the triggers be few and the laughs many.

      Love & prayers,

  2. kayboo24 says:

    I swear we are living each other’s lifes. Things have been bad with JR recently. We decided to do a trial seperation after Christmas. He is so depressed and I am just angry these days. We met for lunch and he told me is going to seek medication for his depression, he says he can’t come to me for help. I asked him why not, he says, “How can I ask for help from someone I screwed over so much?” Even though that’s true he doesn’t seem to grasp that I am his wife, his partner, and I LOVE him, and even with all of the bad, I am still here. He pulls me in, feels bad, then pushes me away…it’s like the tides in the ocean, and it’s exhausting. Just now when he left for ball practice, (I haven’t let him touch me in days) he walks away then walks back to me, grabs me, hugs and kisses me with tears in his eyes and says, “just in case something happens to me or you”.
    Every year we go out to dinner and go looking at Christmas lights with our children, I always plan this. This year I asked him to make the plans. Tonight is that night, so I am hopeful…maybe it will “spark” something and we can actually enjoy Christmas together.

    • Not Over It says:

      Yep, Kayboo – I had the same thought as I was reading your blog yesterday. I have not said much about it because there were people here who needed help, but I am also just coming out of a very angry phase. Acceptance is near, says my coach. We’ll see…

      I hope your Christmas traditions go well tonight. Maybe some words from my coach will help: Try not to expect from your husband what he cannot give. Fear sometimes paralyzes us,and shows itself as the inability to act. Help him if he needs it. He is trying to fix things with methods that worked before, but now with your eyes open to his dark deeds, it doesn’t work for you anymore. He knows no other way and he is floundering.

      Unfortunately for my husband, he stubbornly refuses to see other ways of doing things. He wants to go back to how we did things before. He refuses to learn anything new. I am hoping the counseling next month will open his eyes.

      As much as we’ve all said that love is not enough, it is still the only thing that keeping your marriage and mine together right now because everything else is falling apart. It has to be rebuilt from the ground up, but our husbands want to just patch up the old and try to live in the tattered ruins. Hopefully all is not lost and they will come to realize what needs to be done.

      Have a good time, Kayboo!

      Love & prayers,

  3. DJ!!!!!! Your coach thank him for me hahaahahhahaha I needed to read those words: Try not to expect from your husband what he cannot give. Fear sometimes paralyzes us,and shows itself as the inability to act. Help him if he needs it. He is trying to fix things with methods that worked before, but now with your eyes open to his dark deeds, it doesn’t work for you anymore. He knows no other way and he is floundering.

    The thing is is he’s not trying to use the old methods and I haven’t seen that. He’s actually thinking about me and what might hurt me that it paralyzes him. I’m the one used to the old ways and expecting the same old thing.He never cared how I felt. He used words, empty promises and gifts to distract me. Yikes! I got mad at him because he was afraid to hurt me. What a revelation!!!

    I hope this Christmas becomes one of the most significant Christmas’s ever for you and your family. I pray God gives both of you amazing revelations and his eyes to see each other the way he sees you both. I pray that 2012 will not be remembered for all the pain but for the changes. We can’t trust our husbands for our happiness. We have to trust God and let him be the Holy Spirit not us. It takes all the pressure off of us so we can enjoy HIM. OMG!!!! I’m finally getting it! Bless you DJ!! Thank you for sharing this. I know I turned it around but I wouldn’t have done it without reading it!!!

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi HE – your prayer made me cry. God is walking with me, and I am fine, even though my marriage is not so fine.

      I’m glad Coach James’ words helped to give you your own revelation. He’s a young man, but he always knows what to say. He is also a faithful Christian and God blesses many people through him. I will definitely pass on your thanks to him.

      I also pray for you, that your Christmas is centered on God and His endless love for you and for Lee.

      Love & prayers,

      • You know financially it’s the worse Christmas ever. We only bought for the grandkids this year and that was a blessing that we received to be able to do that. Our kids have been so understanding and have all told us that the best gift we gave them was to stay together. For me I think it will be the best Christmas because I will remember it as the year we fell in love with each other again. Have you ever watched the movie Fireproof. I watched it til 2 am. You know she was having and emotional affair with a man in the movie and yet her husband wooed her back. It’s such a beautiful movie. I watch it almost every time I see it come on.

      • Not Over It says:

        My husband and I watched it together last Christmas. We both cried and apologized and hugged and kissed for a long time.

        Ah, now you have made me think of something… I bought him the book Love Dare after seeing it in the movie. He only did it for a couple of days. It was too Christian for him. But for me, it’s perfect. Maybe I should turn the tables and do the exercises in the book for him instead….

        ABSOLUTELY! I’m going to start as soon as my children all leave after the holidays. Thank you, HE!

        I know exactly where the book is on the shelf – gonna go look for it now…

        Love & prayers,

  4. junebug says:

    Glad to see you are up and around a bit more. I am sitting here trying to decipher my feelings for my husband,. Pure apathy still ranks pretty high – highest, actually. We were texting today that we are in a better place than last year (if for no other reason than the truth finally came out). ANYWAY – better than last year because last year I truly did not care if he were around and didn’t figure he’d be here this year. At least this year I am ok with him being around, but there are no bells and whistles, no hearts and flowers. I want more. I need more and I hope to have more someday. I am seeing alot of me in the posts and comments. I am seeing alot of my husband too. I look and I see where he is trying. I know there are still a few lies floating around and I need to get beyond this intense desire to know everything. I wish cell phone records and texts, emails were recorded somewhere we could easily get to them. Your marriage coach is very wise. I am wanting something for/from my husband and I that at this point I don’t think he can give and I certainly am not ready to receive. argh. Better than last year is my mantra these days.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hey Junebug – It was a long time before I could receive my husband’s attempts at showing his love. It often paralyzed him – I see that now. But if you once had love, you can love again if you really want to. The thing is, you are not ready to want to yet. And that is ok. You have been badly injured by his betrayal. It’s natural.

      For me, at this point, I know there are things I will never know and things he will never admit to lying about, but it’s not important anymore. Most of us come to that point at some time in our healing.

      The details are important when you are still trying to make sense of your life and how his affair fit into it. We all need to know that. There was a giant piece of our lives that we didn’t even know existed and it definitely influenced everything in our lives. How unfair that we couldn’t even decide for ourselves about our own lives! So that’s why we all need to make some sense of it. It will never make complete sense because affairs are by default nonsensical, but we have to make some semblance of truth out of it. You will struggle with this until you feel you know enough. For me, I pieced together more than my husband ever told me, but he left a lot of evidence behind that made it possible.

      But there came a day when I knew enough. I tried to think of questions that were important to my sanity, and couldn’t. It was done. Once in a while, some detail will come to mind, but it’s not really important to my healing anymore. You will get there, Junebug, if you keep working at it.

      That’s not to say I don’t need to talk about it anymore. But the things I want to talk about today are how he feels today and what he has learned so that he doesn’t repeat his mistakes. I want to rebuild on a firm foundation. Like you, I’m not getting what I need.

      Let’s hope that our husbands will come to understand what we need to heal.

      Love & prayers,

  5. […] was reading DJ’s Blog A reason to believe just a few minutes ago and got hit with an amazing life giving, freeing revelation.  She wrote […]

  6. Liberty says:

    Great post today. Loved your coaches words of wisdom. Take care. Glad your feeling better.

    Liberty xoxo

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Liberty – it’s so good to be here with you again. I have missed you, too. Yes, Coach James is a gem. I would never have made it this far without him. I have to tell him that he made an impact on my friends today!

      You take care, too. I pray that God’s love will shine into your life this Christmas.

      Love & prayers,

  7. Teresa says:

    DJ, well, how about that!! My husband has agreed to go back to counseling after the new year also! I’m hoping that this time he’s REALLY going to take it serious, not like last time!
    He wants me to go with him, but I feel he should have this time, at least in the beginning, for himself! Am I wrong?
    I have no problem with going to counseling, we NEED it, but I feel he really needs to do more introspection….he still struggles with opening up to me, and I did catch him in that lie a few weeks ago!
    He says he finally gets it, TWO yrs later, that he has not been there for me and wants us to move past this!
    I’ll try to remember what your coach said, when I’m having a bad day, ….it makes sense, but dang it, I’m kinda tired of ALWAYS having to be the one who has to “work” on us!!
    I’m afraid to let him get close, its like I’M paralyzed with fear, because then the next day, he might be distant again….and yes, I agree, help him if he needs it…but who helps ME when I need it!?!? I’m trying to fix things, and he isn’t…so while what your coach said makes sense in regards to my husband…what about me?
    Does that make sense?? LOL….being a bit of a whiner, I guess, but as a BS, I’m ready for my H to step up to the plate and do more!!

    • Not Over It says:

      Hey Teresa – let’s keep track of counseling together.

      I also feel my husband needs his own counseling to straighten things out in his own heart and mind, but he will not go alone. My coach says it can still work this way so we’re going to do it as couple’s counseling. My coach will help me to know what to ask in the sessions, and to know how to help Daniel as we go though it.

      I’m glad your husband is starting to see the light. Daniel does not. He thinks all his gifts and acts of service should be enough. He does not understand that when I have really needed him, he has turned away, unable to reassure me when I am falling apart.

      I don’t think Coach James expects us to do all the work ourselves. He just wanted me to realize that sometimes I want Daniel to do things that he is really, seriously unable to do.

      I think Daniel is paralyzed with fear when he thinks about me leaving. He doesn’t feel he has the right to ask me to stay after his betrayal. So he doesn’t. And then I feel hurt that he doesn’t show that he wants me to stay. He doesn’t tell me that he loves me and wants me to stay. He tells me that it’s ok if I want to leave. He says I *should* leave if that will make me happier. And he couldn’t say anything else and he turned and walked away. I was hurt. James said that was a very emotional thing for a man like him to say. He put his own happiness aside for mine. He most likely turned away because he was paralyzed with fear that I would agree. So it didn’t come out very well and he turned away from me when I needed him to reassure me… again. Counseling will hopefully help us overcome these things, and help him see what I need. He says his needs are met and he has no need of counseling, but he has agreed to go for my sake. With Coach James helping on the sidelines, I think I am ready for some serious work.

      James has also told me that if my husband is not good at planning romantic evenings, don’t expect it of him now because I want him to prove his love for me. He was never, ever good at that. Why think he could do it now? He has never, ever been good at communicating. Why expect it now? Use counseling to help him communicate with me. He shows love physically by wanting sex. It’s not that he only wants a physical release. That’s how he shows love to me and how he responds to my love. But in this case, I do know how to enjoy what he offers!

      I know what you mean about us being paralyzed with fear. Everyone has fears and can be paralyzed by them. I often find that I am paralyzed myself. I am so tired of feeling hurt and rejected. Any small rejection brings back the feelings of rejection that came with knowing that he went to another woman. His usual response to his paralysis is to turn away, which feels like rejection. So my wound keeps festering. That may never go away… just a consequence of his actions? I don’t know. Time will tell, I guess.

      Sorry, Teresa – I know I’m rambling here – there’s just so much involved in a dealing with betrayal in a marriage. A lot of this is two years of work between Coach James and me all scribbled into one note to you…

      Hope your day is going well – it’s raining where I am. But my son is coming home today! Yay!!!

      Love & prayers,

  8. GoddessWife says:

    I’ve been reading through your blog this evening. I had no idea there were so many women and marriages out there like mine. I don’t feel so alone anymore, but feel sadness reading over all of these posts and blogs. I sit nodding my head to the reactions from the husbands with their lies and again from the wives with all of their hurt. I’m glad you have a reason to believe and I hpe your reason continues on and on and on.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Goddess – good name! Indeed you are not alone if you join our blogging community. We help each other and understand each other like no one else can. I look forward to getting to know you better. -DJ

  9. Keep us posted on how the Love Dare works!!!!

  10. Fighting says:

    Merry Christmas from Norway. The tree is up and everything is ready for christmas. No snow yet, but we may get some later this christmas (northern norway). I will continue to follow your blog in 2013 🙂

  11. kali4ever says:

    DJ, our tree is similar with the ornaments telling a story of sorts of our life together, including many ornaments made by our sons when they were little. Funny how they can speak to our WH’s in a way beyond words to remind them what is real and true.

    Lately I have been trying on the idea that my experience with my husband’s betrayal is a quest of sorts. I’m re-reading “Women Who Run With the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes (read it probably 20 years ago but was probably not ready for its wisdom, lol).

    According to the author the loss of innocence and initiation into the knowing that things are not always as they seem strengthen our instinctive natures and lead us to a deeper consciousness, the “underground forest.”

    She says that “in the underground forest a woman who has lived through the demise of her innocence is seen as someone special, in part because she has been hurt, but much more so because she has gone on, because she is working hard to understand, to peel back the layers of her perception and her defenses to see what lies underneath. In that world her loss of innocence is treated as a rite of passage. That she can now see more clearly is applauded. That she has endured and continues to learn gives her status and honor.”

    So even though none of us asked for the betrayal of infidelity, we can use its teachings to deepen our knowing, live more consciously, and be more fully alive.

    That is what I wish for you, DJ, and the rest of us on this journey – to use our experiences to learn to live and love more deeply than we ever thought possible.

    A joyous Christmas to you and your family, DJ!!

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