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Author Topic: My Story Reconnecting The Heart Behind The Hurt

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My Story Reconnecting The Heart Behind The Hurt
#20: December 01, 2020, 09:45:45 AM
Nodding right along Barbie to almost everything you are saying.  Truly remarkable. 

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I fully understand  and believe that no matter what he may ever do in the future ( I cannot control him) , I will infact be totally 100% fine in finding my own way. This has to be a happier healthier place!!

This right here is what I believe we all need to get to as an LBS in order to continue into reconnection.  I talked about this in MC last week.  I told him I was staying by choice to have a new relationship  not because of desperation to save my marriage.  I would be fine either way, and for the first time in 4.5 years I believed it. 

You have done the work and are continuing to do the work on yourself.  A new self awareness is difficult to achieve but oh so necessary to move forward. 

Thank you for continuing to share. 
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Husband 55
Me 55
Kids 3 sons 29, 27, 25 1 daughter 20
BD #1 Spring 2016
BD #2 Winter 2017
married 33 years.  Together 35
H never moved out except 3 weeks after BD #1
OW 30 year single mom employee-He says EA only I don’t believe him.

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The Heart Behind The Hurt
#21: December 01, 2020, 05:06:21 PM
Barbie -
As always, you post with such honesty and deep introspection.
I can see that there is a change in you from what -- maybe a year ago -- when you were distraught with questions to your husband...
You do seem more at peace and settled, but alas, PTSD is a never-ending gift - like MLC.
You, and only you, know within your heart where your true happiness lies, and I'm glad that you were able to articulate that. 
I agree that it's impossible to have a completely stress-free life, but I strive to decrease my stress by trying to accept what I have been given and to realize that I can't control everything.  AND -- to give it all to God which has been a major stress-reliever to me...

Let us know how your on-line course is going.
Proud of you for pursuing it...

Sending you many hugs,
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The Heart Behind The Hurt
#22: December 01, 2020, 11:35:50 PM
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I no longer feel compelled or absolutely driven to pursue , question, demand , chase or "need" him to do anything for me. I am OK inside of me, I can deal with myself with no expectation that he needs to be doing anything .It is very difficult to explain. Some of the changes I feel just happened on their own ( it seems) .

This is a big deal, Barbie, a big shift. I completely get that it is hard to explain but that you know it when you feel it.
And I am so so glad that you feel it.

Imho, as a fellow PTSD sufferer, that shift - ephemeral as it might seem - is real and more vital than what you do or choose from here. And yes, strange how we chase and chase it out of desperation and then it seems to come without us chasing, isn't it?  It is a state of mind, of being, that gives you a completely different foundation to work from. Will it ebb and flow a bit? Maybe. But imho and experience you never drop back to the old foundation entirely even if you dip a bit. And you may find that all kinds of new positive feelings that have nothing to do with MLC/PTSD et al pop up....moments of joy....bc you are standing on different ground. (I remember being a bit surprised by these; it was rather like really enjoying a glass of water after being thirsty for a long time or learning to walk again after being on crutches and feeling delighted by it.)

Of course normal life is not stress-free. But as you know stress and PTSD are completely different things, chalk and cheese. Like you, I find it hard to explain but I knew deep down when I started to live without a PTSD brain. I could feel it. Didn't mean I didn't/don't have triggers or PTSD moments....but they were different with a non PTSD brain, a brain that wasn't mechanically stuck somehow. I guess it felt like I had a PTSD experience sometimes without having PTSD or more accurately it having me. That's about the only way I can describe it.... ::)

Keep going, my friend. It gets better and easier from here, and there is good stuff on the other side of it.  :)
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H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
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"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

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Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#23: December 02, 2020, 12:54:01 AM
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It truly feels "right" to me, where I am now. I feel a contentment and internal peace about myself ...not always about my marriage, if that makes sense. 

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It is not so much about my marriage.  I fully understand  and believe that no matter what he may ever do in the future ( I cannot control him) , I will infact be totally 100% fine in finding my own way.

Yep and on reaching this point you are able to deal with so much more. You are able to decide what your responses are; you are able to decide what to walk away from and you are able to say "Meh - whatever"  and get on with what matters to you.

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As far as I am concerned "happy" is over rated and can be a very selfish thing.

This is what MLC teaches us as LBSers.  Happy is a place to aspire to but it is very hard to maintain if the reason for being happy is not solid, shifts and becomes unreliable.   Content or at peace with oneself is a much better place to be. 

Happy is ephemeral  Happy is the little child who opens the longed for Christmas present and then notice how quickly that happiness changes  if the gift breaks or if a better gift is given a few minutes later.
Contentment and joy are found when the child cherishes that small unexpected gift more than the expensive big toy, which might have given them happiness on opening, but actually they'd rather cuddle the little teddy.......

Perhaps that analogy applies to the MLCer and LBS......


Great progress Barbie.
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The Heart Behind The Hurt
#24: December 02, 2020, 09:31:38 AM
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  I have found a new place inside of me and I am still exploring what it all means ...but I feel deeply comfortable , I like the possibilities in this space , I like the calm and in control of myself  ME.  Yikes... that made me cry.  Some shift is moving inside of the new me .. I think I like it .  I am going to stay in this place of exploring acceptance until I have learned what it has to teach me .
Wow, Barbie - what an incredible leap forward for you.  Your post almost made ME cry too, lol.  I read your posts frequently and this post is the best I think I’ve ever read  from you.   :)
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The Heart Behind The Hurt
#25: December 02, 2020, 07:10:55 PM
Celebrating with you on such a positive shift!
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M-42
H-44
S-20 (mine)
D-18 (ours)
S-15 (ours)
Friends 7y before M
Married 14y
BD 12/14/15 - 2 weeks after 14th anniv.
Divorce final 4/13/16
EA - 9/15-4/16
New GF 12/16
Engaged 6/17 (I found out 8/10/17)
Moved to her State 4 States away - 7/13/17 (told me 4 days before)
Eng. off 8/20/17
Moved back to our State 8/24/17
New GF 2/29/20 (Told me 4/22/20)
Married her 4/24/20 (Told me 4/22/20)

Link to my journey: 
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11618.0

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

"Don't become a container for bitterness.  It's a toxin that destroys what it's carried in."

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

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The Heart Behind The Hurt
#26: December 03, 2020, 02:50:30 PM
Is it not true that the very second you believe you are finally on solid ground , you will be tested ?  Is it not true that  even though you "thought" you were over it , you can still have times of circling the top of the big black hole? .  Is it not also true that healing is somewhat "teeter-tawtterish"...sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down ?  Healing is messy.  And today was messy ... just as I wrote about calm, content, shift etc.  I am just going to laugh at this point.

Messy only lasted 2 minutes for me but with incredibly high anxiety and likely blood pressure to match. This is actually a repeat performance of the same issue 2 weeks ago. Maybe its me ...maybe its him. I am not sure. Here is the scene.  He ( as I have said before) is seeing the marriage counsellor by himself and I was to continue to work with my therapist . This is at the request of the marriage counsellor . ( he has not seen his own therapist since march due to covid ) .  The idea was he was to go on his own every 2nd friday and I would be invited back when she felt he was ready or we were on the same page . I was perfectly satisfied with that arrangement . He on the other hand did not say yay or nay ( very typical) but he did go and has been attending.   Two weeks ago , I asked him what time is your appointment on Friday ? . He said he never made one, never thought about it , does not have to be fridays etc etc . That did not go well.  I told him that there was a plan that he attend every 2 weeks as I understood it and I was not sure why he had not followed the plan ? He just had a total fit...honestly it was shocking . I went outside, he followed me and it was more than obvious that he was triggered by something . He said " there was never a plan ".   I replied "yes, there was a plan ". Boom...he was gone. Twenty minutes later , he comes back out with an appointments time for the next day .  I never said a word.

Ok...here we are today . Same thing . His appointment is supposed to be tomorrow . He has not said 1 single word about he is going or he is not going . Period.  I will admit...I need a "plan" . I want to know what, where , why and how. I am the anxious -pre-occupied one in this relationship and I want the plan. It honestly fills me with anxiety until I can barely breathe ..no matter what I do . So in my brain I am arguing with myself.  "do not bother to ask, not my appointment, his responsibility, let it go, look after yourself etc etc.   And then the other side  " he should have stepped up and said " I have an appointment tomorrow at 4 OR, I did not make an appointment , I will go next week instead etc . Either would have been fine. But he says absolutely nothing and I am in full anxiety over it.  This has been a re-occurring problem. 

He comes into the kitchen and says ..." do you want to go get some shopping done ?".   I agree ...but I feel shakey and sick and now this blood pressure thing is scaring me . And I do not want to go feeling like I do.  So, I decide ( or my anxiety decides) that I have every right to ask, to know the plan and to be respected by being in the "know". It will ease my anxiety...maybe. The truth is more that I could not stop myself and feel physically well.   So I asked him if he had an appointment tomorrow and that not knowing gave me anxiety and stress . He is immediately defensive ...wow. He has no appointment ..period.  So, I ask  " what is the plan then?  I just need the plan .  Holy... he is having none of that . "there is no plan, if its not this week it will be sometime before christmas , not a big deal , talked to _______- ( the therapist ) and it does not need to be every second friday! .  oh... " so what you are saying is you will go whenever you want, whenever it crosses your mind, whenever you have time or feel like it ...and you will not tell me anything about it.  I guess I missed the part where _____ ( the therapist) said " you can do whatever you want".    And I finished with " so the plan is ...YOU will do whatever you want. And you have no plan to tell me ".   I was calm, never raised my voice, never went on and on and left it at that .  Told him we will do shopping another day .  And he went back to his office.  I had to go thru a list of self-soothing sh$t .    So, now we have a little tension. He has not come out of his office.  And yet again...there is no way to solve even the tiniest problem with an avoidant person. OR  the anxious pre-occupied should never ask questions or need a "plan".   So ..forward, backward, forward ....and a little backward.   HE will not EVER bring this up again. He cannot solve or discuss or resolve . So I expect this issues to re-visit in the future .  What should have been done differently ?   No clue.

Now I shall take a bath and watch a christmas movie in my bed on my IPAD. I simply cannot be around him when I feel like this . To me , it is so simple . Talk , agree, comprimise , figure it out , swish hands together ...there all done! . Ridiculously simple mature and done. He cannot do that and he will ignore until he dies. There ya go.  The typical way he responds to this kind of minor dispute ? He will sleep for hours. Another way to avoid. It is the anxious attachment style that suffers far more in relationships. Far more .
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Bomb Drop April 2013
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Affair discovered November 2013 (i guessed who)
Home December 3 2013
The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

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Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#27: December 03, 2020, 05:51:16 PM
:/

(((HUGS)))

I get it, about being “tested”, and I value your honesty about that because I go up and down a lot too, just when I think I’ve got a clean grasp on equilibrium again. Maybe part of it is the little challenge of can we recalibrate or pivot when the blood pressure and anxiety start to rise.

But more, barbiedoll, it sounds like what you need from both h and this MC is transparency. It also — I don’t know whether to say this or how, exactly, but — if it were me, I think I would be feeling like the MC is triangulating, and I also would not respond very well to “her” deciding the terms of “our” marital counseling. You know? Because isn’t that part of the problem you and h are trying to heal from? Together?

I don’t think many of us want the full inside scoop on what our spouses talk to therapists about. But knowing at least the appointment schedule does not seem like too big an ask. I’m sorry you are getting grief from your h and remotely from this MC. I don’t remember if that was the one who was preparing you both for a Gottman weekend, but if it were me struggling with this, I might contact the institute and ask them what usually happens when an MC carves off time for only one part of the couple.

You both need support and it sounds like this MC is lax in helping you, the partner that needs more significant care in all this.

I’d be mad too, is what I’m saying, for whatever that’s worth.

Your peace will come back, I know it. (((HUGS)))
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The Heart Behind The Hurt
#28: December 03, 2020, 10:54:20 PM
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Is it not true that the very second you believe you are finally on solid ground , you will be tested ?

Oh yes  :) ::)
But I'm going to offer a different angle on it, and call it 'refined'.....

Another way one could look at it (from the cheap seats far away lol) in case it is helpful.
With lots of oversimplifying bc you can't see the detail from up here in the theatre 'gods'  ::)

You realise that you have been caught in a loop trying to find your healing in the head/hands of your h and that this hasn't worked as well as you hoped. And you feel you have invested a lot of effort in trying to heal a joint endeavour that you didn't break and with a less than equally energetic spouse. Which you sometimes feel resentful about bc that hasn't produced what you hoped for either. You decide to step back and focus on just you....your IC, your healing, your self care and your life.....and feel a sense of peace with that choice.

And then you feel a burst of anxiety bc you feel your h is not sticking to a previously agreed plan about his IC. And his reaction feels like more of the same avoidant gaslighting BS so now you feel even more anxious. And that anxiety monster wants to be soothed and it wants to be soothed now, damn it.

But what if, Barbie, just a 'what if' you DID see it as your PTSD testing you? And a chance to refine your approach?
You could say to yourself something like this....
Well, it is HIS IC.....and it arguably wasn't entirely MY plan but his/the MCs.....so maybe it just isn't my monkey.....whether he goes or doesn't, has a plan or doesn't, sticks to the plan or doesn't......why does that change anything really about my focus on me, for me? Surely that would only logically matter to me if I was still thinking that MY progress is contingent on HIS in some way? Or if I was making his actions part of MY plan? Or if I was still looking for evidence that he had changed so I felt safer in some way....which might keep me on that old loop that I have already decided doesn't work for me?

What if I just shrugged my shoulders, said 'whatever, nothing new to see there, keep walking' and let it go as not my business and not my plan? Just an old PTSD trick in my brain trying to keep me hooked to my old loop....and I'm not doing that anymore....ha ha caught you, silly PTSD brain (I called mine Lucy the Lizard when she was getting creative but irritating  :) ).....eyes away and back to me  :)

What if it looked like that, Barbie? Is there peace and relief there?
Just a thought fwiw....which may be nothing at all, of course  :)
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

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Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#29: December 04, 2020, 01:44:13 AM
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Is it not true that the very second you believe you are finally on solid ground , you will be tested ?  Is it not true that  even though you "thought" you were over it , you can still have times of circling the top of the big black hole? .  Is it not also true that healing is somewhat "teeter-tawtterish"...sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down ?

Yes. And what can you decide to do about it that looks after you - not the situation, not H and not your marriage?

Somewhere in your "plan" I infer that there is a whole bundle of expectations.  I like to plan too -I have even done a spreadsheet of costs in selling the house, % commissions, tax etc to see what I may have should we actually sell the house.  It's called "safety planning". It keeps you focused when you wobble and trust me there will be a whole lot of wobbling.  However I have reduced the expectations to achieve a certain level of income and now just expect to sell the house at some point.

With your H - you expect him to attend counselling so that he can move forward which helps your plan in moving forward too. 

Detach Barbie - detach.   The more you push the more he will resist.   The more you seek a plan even something as simple as whether he is going to counselling or not - the more he will disappoint. 

Do some safety planning instead - what if he doesn't go to counselling, what if he resists - how does that affect you and your plan? Can you rethink your plan.........
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BD march 2013
Stay at home MLCer
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Reconnection started 2017 and still going with no sign of reconciliation.

 

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