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Author Topic: My Story Only Time Will Tell  (Read 1001 times)

Offline FaithWalkerTopic starter

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My Story Re: Only Time Will Tell
« Reply #50 on: January 11, 2018, 09:28:13 PM »
So today I would like to share an article from my email inbox called Hope-Now:  How Do You Deal With The Awful Reminders?

Overcoming reminders remains a CORNERSTONE to the recovery process

Back in the mid-eighties, I had a business fail.  I guess that's not unusual in the world of business, but it was new to me.  In fact when I went down, I went down big.  I lost just about everything as I desperately tried to save the business.  I spent our savings, our retirement, even borrowed money, all in an attempt to hold out until the market turned.

The only problem was, the market never turned so we ran smack dab into financial ruin.

It was so bad, that as a family of five, we actually qualified for food stamps.  You might be able to go lower than we did, but that's about as low as I ever want to go. Thankfully, God was faithful and met our needs and took us in a new direction.  As usual, he was able to take the worst thing that ever happened to us, and make it the best.

Now you may be wondering why I'm sharing this story, or what this has to do with surviving an affair, but I have discovered that almost every crisis has stinging parallels.  How we respond has little to do with the type of crisis, but rather the particular impact of the crisis that we have to deal with and process.  I assure you, there are few things that impact life quite like infidelity, but financial ruin has a few similarities.  After careful reflection, the pain of infidelity is unmatched in its long term effects and reoccurring hurt, pain and trauma.

Emotional Flooding
From my financial crisis I began to notice some interesting responses, hopefully you can relate to them as you are dealing with betrayal.  Every time I encountered a reminder of my business, I experienced an emotional firestorm.  Each time I drove by a location where I had worked I would emotionally flood.  If I ran into someone with whom I had previously had dealing, I became overwhelmed with palatable feelings of dread, insecurity and paralyzing anxiety (and I'm normally emotionally constipated.)

There seemed to be reminders everywhere and I continually had to battle my emotions just to barely be able to function in regular life responsibilities.

Itemizing the Losses
The trauma experienced by a couple upon the revelation of a betrayal is no small matter and it creates an emotional firestorm that has to be dealt with by both parties in order to eventually recover.  To be sure, the initial stage of recovery is about grieving.  For the hurt spouse the pain of the many losses is in no uncertain terms, overwhelming.  Oddly enough, identifying the losses can be a tool to actually work through them and diffuse their impact upon both the betrayed spouse as well as the unfaithful spouse.

Take for example the list below of practical losses a betrayed spouse feels:

     *The loss of self-confidence
     *The loss of the life they thought they had
     *The loss of their dreams
     *The loss of security
     *The loss of their belief about who their mate was
     *The loss of the future which seemed so certain
     *The loss of innocence
     *The loss of reputation

And...the list goes on and on and on.

It's pivotal that losses are identified and grieved.  These stages of both loss and grief, simply stated, cannot be avoided.  There will be anger, bargaining, and depression, but ultimately if the right help is utilized and acquired, there comes a point where we find meaning and acceptance in what has occurred.

The act of grieving does not however resolve the issue of reminders.

But How Do You Do It?
How does one move beyond the trauma and possibly back into relationship after an appropriate amount of time?

Long after affairs have ceased and if the betrayer is an addict and had to pursue and hopefully achieve sobriety from sexual addiction, the battle of the thought life and the impact of raw trauma sets in.  In many ways, dealing with betrayal is the struggle that will determine how quickly (or if at all) a couple will be able to recover from an affair.  Each party has to make a conscious decision at some point along the way to either live in a past hurtful event or to recommit to the marriage and focus on what can be.

That decision is even more difficult than it sounds because it's not just a matter of a choice, but rather it is a battle that has to be fought by the will, often for a period of months (usually about 18 to 24 months).  This journey of recovery and transformation takes a great deal of motivation to be willing to engage in this daily battle of surviving an affair.  If however, the betraying spouse is still not safe, as I've said before, forgiveness may be found, but not reconciliation.  While forgiveness is a must and is a gift we give ourselves, the time may not be right for reconciliation, or even the initial pursuit for such reconciliation.

Tangible Occurrences
For each partner there can be multiple daily reminders of the catastrophic events.  For the betrayed it can be a name, the arrival of a cell phone or visa bill, ads for a topless club, certain songs, crass TV show remarks, or a betrayal being portrayed in a T.V. show or movie.  Even a sighting of a couple seemingly having a good time can be enough to send the hurt spouse down memory lane, which can easily lead to a painful remembrance and emotional meltdown.  For the unfaithful spouse though, life is also filled with these reminders.  Each time their mate says they want to talk, coming home at night wondering what type of mood their mate may be in, computers, recovery groups, counseling, and many other things can all serve as reminders which cause the betrayer to flood mentally and emotionally.

It is at this point that the battle in the theater of the mind begins.  The greatest distance known to mankind is the 18 inches between the head and the heart.  In fact, it takes up to 7 years for truth to move from our head to our heart, but for some strange reason it only takes a lie about 3 seconds to travel the same distance.  Maybe that's because we seem to fall at 32 feet per second (the speed gravity), but it takes a great deal of energy and resolve to move uphill.  At some point as you're dealing with betrayal, each party has to come to the point where they choose to focus on something other than the betrayal, and to decide that it is not this event(s), that will define or control the rest of their life.  There has to be a conscious choice to move beyond the carnage and truly recover from the affair; to see what is possible in the future.

Leaving The Old, Pursuing The New
Restoration is never about going back to what 'was' as what 'was' is now, sadly enough, gone.  True restoration is about the possibility of something new, and though seemingly incomprehensible right now, the fact is, a saved marriage is, absolutely possible.  I can introduce you to many who will testify that their post-affair marriage is actually better than their marriage was pre-affair.  Our invitation to you and your spouse is the glory of a restored marriage which will take effort, struggle, expertise, and tangible grace.  However, it will prove more than worth it should both parties remain committed to the process.  Trust me, recovery is a process.  More than likely your situation didn't develop overnight and will not be fixed overnight, yet there is a hope that transcends the very heartache and hopelessness you may be facing now.

If you are the unfaithful spouse, you might find it useful to both you and your spouse, to list out 40 reminders that your mate could have on any given day which could send them down the path to their personal house of torment.  Your understanding of their struggle and sharing of that insight, might just go a long way in helping your spouse to heal.  If you are the hurt spouse and you believe your mate is becoming a safe person and has moved into recovery, then choosing to no longer be a victim of painful reminders would be an excellent step toward health.  When possible, be willing to fight the battle by attempting to focus on what is good and pure and noble rather than focusing on the failure.  Counterintuitive to what we may feel about life, as we walk out our own recovery, we can find meaning in the suffering we are faced with, allowing that suffering to provide a richness to life and a redefining of life we never knew existed.
M-39
H-42
S-17
D-15
S-12
Friends for 7 years before dating
Married for 14 years
BD 12/14/15 - 2 weeks after 14th anniversary
Divorce final 4/13/16
EA - 9/15-4/16
New GF 12/16
Engaged to her 6/17 (I found out 8/10/17)
Moved to her State 4 States away - 7/13/17
Engagement off 8/20/17
Moved back to our State 8/24/17
Joined POF within the first month back


Link to my journey: 
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=9711.0

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... it's about learning to dance in the rain."

"Never become a container for bitterness.  Bitterness is a toxin that destroys what it's carried in."

"Sometimes -- some things have to break all apart so better things can be built."

Online Treasur

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Re: Only Time Will Tell
« Reply #51 on: January 11, 2018, 09:52:26 PM »
The point about head to heart vs heart to head really struck me, Faith...and why it feels like such a mental battle for LBS sometimes as we restore our life if not our M.
BD - Oct 15, mostly silent vanishing husband, diagnosed with severe depression in Dec 15 & seeing psychiatrist/on ADs since then
OW since Apr 16, maybe earlier?
H filed Jan 17.
80/20 strategy for me in 2018

"her soul is fierce, her heart is brave, her mind is strong." R.H Sin
Grace is...Elegance, good will, unearned blessings, a prayer of thanks and how to address a duchess.
"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

Offline Clara 12

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Re: Only Time Will Tell
« Reply #52 on: January 12, 2018, 09:44:47 AM »
attaching Faithwalker.

Read your threads and you show such calmness despite everything that has happened.

X
Married - 1995
BD1 - March 2016 - ILYBINILWY
BD2 - Jan 2017 - Left
BD3 - May 2017 - OW discovered

Online FearNot

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Re: Only Time Will Tell
« Reply #53 on: January 12, 2018, 10:20:52 AM »
What a gift you have for writing!! Thanks so much for sharing. I too find the head to heart thing really interesting and insightful!!!
M 46
H 39
No Kids
Married 5yrs, Together 11yrs
BD Oct 31/17
ILYBINILWY Dec 21/17
2nd BD- Dec 27/17
OW-Confirmed Jan 3/17

"It's ok to be scared. Being scared means you're about to do something really, really brave." Anonymous

Offline No expectations

  • MLCer Type: Clinging Boomerang
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  • One day at a time. And time is my friend.
Re: Only Time Will Tell
« Reply #54 on: January 12, 2018, 11:01:25 AM »
Faith,

That really resonates with me. Thank you for sharing.
Married 10 1/2 years, together 17.  BD 9/2016, 2nd BD 10/16.  H moved out 10/16.  2 AS's from my first M.  Me 55, H 49.  OW 23.

"And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through; how you managed to survive.  You won't even be sure if the storm is really over.  But one thing is certain; when you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person that walked in...that's what this storm is all about."

"The trick is to enjoy life.  Don't wish away your days, waiting for better ones."

Offline CanLetGo

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Re: Only Time Will Tell
« Reply #55 on: January 12, 2018, 10:41:30 PM »
CLG, one of my good friend's and I sang Michael's "Friends" as a duet on our last Sunday at Church before we graduated from High School.   :)

That would have been beautiful 😊

Hope now have some good articles 😊
Me 44
H 47
3 young adult kids
BD December 2013, left home August 2014
OW 17 years younger

Offline FaithWalkerTopic starter

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Re: Only Time Will Tell
« Reply #56 on: January 13, 2018, 01:10:52 PM »
Well, oops.

So...a while back I changed MLCers name in my phone contacts.  Nothing bad, really.  I put his first name, and then his middle name is one of the books of the Bible.  I added that, with a scripture reference (19:6), and it was a reminder of what I believe, an encouragement for me, and a reminder to pray for him every time I see it.

Yesterday I had to forward an email from S12's school that he needed to see because it has to do with a Saturday that he has S12 and S12 wants to participate at his school that day.  Well, somehow the forward didn't get attached, just my notes about the forward, so when he came to get the kids last night after school, he pulled up the email to show me that my forward didn't attach, and to my surprise, the email has the "special name" I had for him.  I didn't know it would do that!  I thought it was something only I could see.  Oops.  So I've changed it now, for future correspondence, but I'm curious if he will look up that scripture verse.  I had just caught a glimpse of the two/from columns before he hid it from view, lol.

The verse was:
"So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."

I attached the forward and re-sent it and he showed me the new email, only this time I did see for sure that it emails that way.  So after I sent that 2nd email, I changed it back to just his name.  I mumbled, "oops, I didn't know that it would send that scripture with it," and he didn't say anything.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 01:12:20 PM by FaithWalker »
M-39
H-42
S-17
D-15
S-12
Friends for 7 years before dating
Married for 14 years
BD 12/14/15 - 2 weeks after 14th anniversary
Divorce final 4/13/16
EA - 9/15-4/16
New GF 12/16
Engaged to her 6/17 (I found out 8/10/17)
Moved to her State 4 States away - 7/13/17
Engagement off 8/20/17
Moved back to our State 8/24/17
Joined POF within the first month back


Link to my journey: 
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=9711.0

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... it's about learning to dance in the rain."

"Never become a container for bitterness.  Bitterness is a toxin that destroys what it's carried in."

"Sometimes -- some things have to break all apart so better things can be built."

Offline MCSINME

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Re: Only Time Will Tell
« Reply #57 on: January 13, 2018, 02:43:25 PM »
FW:
That's a beautiful verse, and so appropriate.
I'm not surprised that he didn't comment; but sure he read it and seed planted!
I love that idea and may love to do the same.
Will do some praying and figure out appropriate verse for H.
M56
H57 - Live-in MLC
Met 1984
Married 1990
MLC Began after major move 12/2016
BD#1 EA 5/17 Found by accident, denial, lying
BD#2 EA/PA 11/17 Found by accident, still Denial and lying.  Currently at least one ow (39)

S16, S19, S22

"but those who have hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint"  Isiah 40:31

Online FearNot

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Re: Only Time Will Tell
« Reply #58 on: January 13, 2018, 05:15:25 PM »
FW,

I think that's awesome that the email showed that! Everything happens for a reason, sometimes God doesn't reveal his plan to us!
M 46
H 39
No Kids
Married 5yrs, Together 11yrs
BD Oct 31/17
ILYBINILWY Dec 21/17
2nd BD- Dec 27/17
OW-Confirmed Jan 3/17

"It's ok to be scared. Being scared means you're about to do something really, really brave." Anonymous

Offline FaithWalkerTopic starter

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Re: Only Time Will Tell
« Reply #59 on: January 13, 2018, 06:48:01 PM »
FW:
That's a beautiful verse, and so appropriate.
I'm not surprised that he didn't comment; but sure he read it and seed planted!
I love that idea and may love to do the same.
Will do some praying and figure out appropriate verse for H.

Can't wait to hear what verse you're given!

FW,

I think that's awesome that the email showed that! Everything happens for a reason, sometimes God doesn't reveal his plan to us!

I just didn't want him to think I was preaching to him or manipulated the situation.  I was so surprised that it showed up that way on his side!  You're right, God doesn't reveal his plans sometimes.

Journaling:

Last night after MLCer picked up the kids (he's had them since W, but they come home with S17 after school every day and then he picks them up after he gets off work), I went to my SIL's and we did some freezer cooking.  I came up with 3 recipes and she came up with 3, we make two of everything and then trade.  She also made a bonus recipe, so I came home last night with 4 crockpot meals and 3 freezer-to-oven meals.  She got her hot tub fixed, so after we spent all evening prepping, I'd brought my suit and we slipped into the hot tub with some individual bottles of pink champagne moscato she had leftover from New Year's.

My mom came over this morning for a little bit.  She brought me some pot roast as she cooked a big one and couldn't eat it all herself.  And she made a really delicious looking pie.  I took a slice out and put it in a container in the fridge for after lunch tomorrow.  I figured since the kids are gone until tomorrow night, that's all I needed.  She was going to take the rest to my B's family. 

Today I had my book club and realized that I hadn't finished my book, so I did some speed reading.  Finished about 30 minutes before the book club.  Met my book club for dinner and I think 2/7 of us actually finished the book, lol.  We had some good conversation for a couple hours and decided on our next book.  We just read Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin.  I thought it was interesting that she quotes from John Gottman's book, The Relationship Cure.
M-39
H-42
S-17
D-15
S-12
Friends for 7 years before dating
Married for 14 years
BD 12/14/15 - 2 weeks after 14th anniversary
Divorce final 4/13/16
EA - 9/15-4/16
New GF 12/16
Engaged to her 6/17 (I found out 8/10/17)
Moved to her State 4 States away - 7/13/17
Engagement off 8/20/17
Moved back to our State 8/24/17
Joined POF within the first month back


Link to my journey: 
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=9711.0

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... it's about learning to dance in the rain."

"Never become a container for bitterness.  Bitterness is a toxin that destroys what it's carried in."

"Sometimes -- some things have to break all apart so better things can be built."


 

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