24 Hour Trigger Smackdown

17 Apr

In less than 24 hours Green and I have our first encouncter with marriage counseling.  At nearly two years into this mess of infidelity recovery it has been a long time coming  At this time tomorrow, we will have either grown by surviving our first session of marriage counseling together or we will have driven each other to passive aggressive madness because of its utter failure to connect.  I am hoping for the former.   Green for his part is being sweet, kind and attentive.  Lately Green is always checking in on me (text/chat) and trying to be more helpful around the house.  Green even enrolled Dot in Daddy & Me soccer classes which helps because now I can take Ditto to ballet at the same time without dealing with Dot’s terrible-two-tantrums outside of the dance class.    Lets just say I was shocked, you see, Green usually leaves the kids schedule and related activities to me so his taking initiative to schedule and attend an activity with one of our kiddos on his own showed great initiative to participate in our family life again, inMrT_Shut Up Fool large my opinion.

So my goal for the next day before our fateful marriage counseling session is to chill the fuck out.  I am going to tell those dark thoughts to give me some peace and shut the f’ up!  I am going to purposefully NOT engage in thoughts that negatively affect the successful rebuilding our marriage.  Triggers happen, I know that, but I am going to try today to push those thoughts away when they occur with something positive instead.  Say I think of Green taking the whore on vacation instead of me?  Well I will try to refocus that energy and I will instead think of how Green is now planning to take me on two vacations this year… in honor of our anniversary and my upcoming 40th birthday. Suck it whore!  

This is NOT me letting Green off the hook.  Instead its me letting me off the hook.  I am so tired of being hurt and pissed off all the time.  Carrying around this bitterness and the dark need I feel to constantly remind Green of what he did to me is exhausting and not productive.

Instead I would rather spend the next 24 hours reminded that yes in life there is pain but I have so much to be grateful for!

  1. I have had the same good paying job for years where I telecommute and my boss is 300 miles away! (it lets me be with a mostly stay at home mom and that’s important to me)
  2. We own a modest home that is not upside down in value and our mortgage is current (yay, in this economy that’s a win!),
  3. We have super smart, healthy and cute kids…. they look like me! 🙂
  4. I’m hot! At 5’8″ and with measurements of 34-26-38  this nearly 40 year old is smoking hot for someone who birthed those two kids, and
  5. Yes I also have a flawed, damaged and broken husband who did something very very bad.  And I am trying to show him that my love is strong enough for both of us provided he wants to grow, change and mature into the good man I know he can be.

All in all my life SelfLoveAndForgiveness isn’t half bad and I am going to try to think of only the GOOD things for the next 24 hours.  Tomorrow can be different, I don’t know, but I can try control how I look at things and my reactions to them for the next day or so, I hope.

Am I forgiving him? I don’t think I am quite there yet.  The forgiveness process is something that remains elusive yet.  Perhaps for now it’s just finding the strength to value and love myself  so that I can find the path to forgive Green and move forward.  Married or not.

What do I know?  I do know that I cannot let this pain consume me forever and with baby steps perhaps the next 24 hours can turn into something more permanent and lasting.  Both Green and I deserve to be free of this pain so that we can find love and friendship again.  Pray for me friends!

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7 Responses to “24 Hour Trigger Smackdown”

  1. betrayalsurvivor1981 April 17, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    “The following is from Anne and Brian Bercht, founders of Beyond Affairs Network (BAN). Anne is the author of “My Husband’s Affair Became the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me” (PLEASE DON’T MISJUDGE THAT BOOK’S TITLE! WHEN YOU READ THE BOOK YOU’LL SEE THAT THE TITLE IS SOMEWHAT OF A “TEASER” AND THAT ANNE BERCHT IS A VERY RECOGNIZED AND QUALIFIED COUNSELOR AND FORMER BETRAYED SPOUSE.) Her article (below) concerns the MISINFORMATION in the entire world (INCLUDING therapists) pertaining to Betrayed Spouses and Wayward Spouses. I’m sharing this with everyone I “know.” Rescuing My Marriage (a former mental health therapist) works regularly with Anne and Brian Bercht and highly recommends their programs.” from 1981

    Reposted from huperecho.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/regrets-the-fine-line-between-contributing-to-marital-problems-and-causing-a-spouses-infidelity ” I thought this was a good read and it comes from a woman who has successfully healed from infidelity and is still with her husband today. You can read other articles at beyondaffairs.com ” from Marie (huperecho)

    Regrets – The Fine Line Between Contributing to Marital Problems and Causing a Spouse’s Infidelity (by Anne Bercht):

    A Reader’s Question to Anne Bercht: Dear Anne – I am noticing that I am entering a new stage of grief. I am struggling with finding the line between contributing to some of our marital problems, and causing his infidelity. My heart and brain say 2 different things. Can you explain this?

    Anne Bercht’s Answer: The more I learn about extramarital affairs, the more amazed I am that society generally fails to see the elephant in the room when it comes to the cause of affairs.

    When you discover that your spouse has been unfaithful, most people ask themselves “What did I do wrong?” (The answer is nothing, but we can’t grasp that yet, neither can our friends, neither can our spouse, AND OFTENTIMES NEITHER CAN OUR THERAPIST.)

    The people in our lives help us blame ourselves. I don’t know how many times I was faced with a well-meaning friend asking, “Anne, I wonder what you did to cause Brian’s affair?” Then we ask our unfaithful spouse, “Why did you do this to me?” They are usually ready with a list of grievances of how unhappy they were and can readily tell us what we did to cause their affair.

    When you go as a couple to see a counselor or therapist (devastated and desperate for support, love, and empathy), you will usually be faced with this statement: “Let’s not talk about the affair. Let’s talk about what was wrong in the marriage to cause the affair?” The very premise of the question may lead you astray from finding the answer you need. OFTEN NOTHING WAS WRONG IN THE MARRIAGE TO CAUSE THE AFFAIR.

    Why do we not get it that even in happy marriages, especially long-term relationships, it can feel enticing when a 3rd party starts paying attention to us? Most unfaithful spouses are unaware of what’s happening at first. The beginnings are often very subtle.

    Of course since there are no perfect marriages and no perfect people, when we go looking for the “problem in the marriage,” or the problem with the faithful spouse, we can always find something to blame the affair on.

    One woman came to my BAN group after 30 years of marriage. She was a mess. Her husband had an affair every 5 years in their marriage, and every time he had an affair, they went for therapy and discovered what SHE did wrong to cause the infidelity. The first time it turned out it was because she didn’t keep the house clean enough and this really bothered her husband. So she became a better house cleaner, and they moved on believing they were healed. Ten years into the marriage it turned out she was a poor listener. So she became a really good listener, and that therapist affirmed them both that all was well. 15 years into the marriage it turned out she wasn’t having enough recreational companionship with her husband. So she began to play golf with him and they were supposedly healed. 20 years into the marriage it turned out that she was not adventurous enough in the bedroom, so she became a sex goddess, acquired an extensive lingerie collection, and got experimental. WHY ARE WE MISSING THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM HERE? HE is the problem! HE is the one who is engaging in the unacceptable behavior! HE is the one who keeps breaking his promises!

    By the time the last affair was discovered 30 years into the marriage, the wife was losing her mind (testament to her high level of sanity that she made it this far). She admitted herself to the psych ward at the hospital. When she finally realized that SHE WAS NOT THE PROBLEM, she was able to heal. Had the real core issues been addressed from the beginning BY THEIR THERAPISTS, this marriage may have been saved.

    The “I DON’T LOVE YOU – I LOVE YOU BUT I’M NOT IN LOVE WITH YOU – I’VE NEVER LOVED YOU” lies that many Wayward Spouses say:
    One woman’s husband told her that in all the 35 years they had been married, he had never once loved her, not even when he asked her to marry her. Really? If this were true one could only conclude he was a total idiot. Why would you choose to marry someone, and choose to stay married to him or her for 35 years when you never once loved him or her? After all, it was not as if she’d taken a gun to his head, right down the aisle to the altar and said: Say “I do” or I’ll shoot. He CHOSE to marry her and he is responsible for his decision. I hear this line from most unfaithful spouses we work with: “I never loved my spouse.” ***IT SIMPLY ISN’T TRUE!*** Unfaithful spouses convince themselves of this to give them permission to have affair/s, because otherwise, they would think of themselves as a ‘bad’ person. “If I love my spouse and I have an affair anyway, then I must be a bad person,” they reason. In addition, their thinking gets distorted. THEY REWRITE THEIR MARITAL HISTORY IN THEIR MINDS. BAD MEMORIES BECOME BIGGER, AND THE GOOD MEMORIES AND THE LOVING FEELINGS THEY ONCE HAD ARE FORGOTTEN.

    The elephant in the room, which society is missing completely, is that just because you have a good marriage, does not mean you cannot be tempted by an affair.

    To every betrayed spouse: YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE AFFAIR

    To every unfaithful spouse: YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR AFFAIR

    I am often asked when I appear on television talk shows, “Do you accept responsibility for your part in Brian’s affair?” I answer, “I didn’t have a part in Brian’s affair, and if I would’ve been given a part I would’ve voted ‘no, let’s not do it.’”
    When I stand before God to give an account for my life, one question God will not be asking me is “Anne, why did you make Brian have an affair?”

    I will, however, give an account for ways that I may have failed Brian in the marriage, but these things did not cause the affair. For every marriage where we discover problems where there has been an affair, I can point to other marriages with worse problems where there has not been an affair. PROBLEMS IN MARRIAGE DOES NOT LEAD TO AFFAIRS. I’m appalled that I must state the obvious, but there are actually healthy ways to deal with problems in marriage!

    There are many marriages today with problems, and it is true that these marriages are more vulnerable to affairs than marriages that are happy. There are also many other factors that lead to affairs. These are the gaps. These are the things we bring forth by working in person with couples through our Healing From Affairs weekends. You can also have access to the cognitive part of this teaching and our assessment tool, which will help you determine the root causes of the affair in your marriage by listening to our Healing From Affairs DVD program.

    There is no time like the present (working through the devastation of an affair) to look at what could’ve been better in the marriage, but if we label these as the causes, we’re going to be missing significant factors that led to the affair. This thinking is the reason why there are so many repeat offenders. If you don’t find the real root, it’s going to happen again. If you over simplify the answer, you’re going to make some improvements, but be missing the big picture.

    Usually when the betrayed spouse asks the unfaithful spouse, “Why did you do this?” And the unfaithful spouse answers, “I don’t know.” THEY ARE TELLING THE TRUTH. THEY DON’T KNOW YET. YOU ARE GOING TO DISCOVER THIS TOGETHER.

    When we worked through our Healing from Affairs journey, of course I discovered things I did wrong in the marriage. Brian discovered things he did wrong in the marriag. We uncovered many behaviors of mine that had damaged and wounded my husband. We also uncovered many behaviors of my husband that had damaged and wounded me. We both made changes and it’s been wonderful to make and experience those changes.

    However…
    A defining moment for me came when Brian said, “Anne, I appreciate all the changes you’ve made since we’ve worked through the affair. Our marriage is so much better today, and I really value that. I’VE LEARNED, HOWEVER, THAT EVEN IF YOU’D BEEN THE PERFECT SPOUSE BEFORE MY AFFAIR, I STILL WOULD’VE HAD THE AFFAIR, BECAUSE MY AFFAIR HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU, AND HAD EVERYTHING TO DO WITH MY SHORTCOMINGS AS A MAN.”

    This is the elephant in the room.

    If you are the betrayed spouse, and you are less than 6 months from the day of your discovery of the affair (d-day), please don’t push yourself to look at your contribution to problems in the marriage. It’s too painful. Do it when you’re ready. It’s so important that we separate marital issues from affair issues. They must remain 2 separate issues if the marriage is to be healed. If they are not kept separate, the betrayed spouse struggles for ongoing years with unhealthy obsessiveness, that goes something like this:

    Am I pretty enough? Are we having enough recreational companionship? Are we having enough sex? Enough sexual 10’s? Am I being a good enough mother? (or Am I being a good enough father – if the BS is a man)? Is the house clean enough? The list is endless, and living with this list, believing it’s directly connected to the possibility of your spouse having another affair, is like living with a ball and a chain around your leg. You may as well be in prison. No one can live this way. I’m all for spouses working towards meeting each others’ needs and being conscious and intentional about their marriages. I highly recommend it, but not when we attach, “And if you get it wrong on any given day, I might have an affair.” No one gets it perfect all the time. I need permission to fail sometimes and know that my spouse will seek a healthy way of dealing with his dissatisfaction, not that my failure to get it right is going to lead to the pain of betrayal.

    I hope this serves to clarify the fine line between taking responsibility for ways we may have failed our spouse VS. taking responsibility for the affair.

    Again, I emphasize:
    To every betrayed spouse: YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE AFFAIR
    To every unfaithful spouse: YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR AFFAIR

    Sincerely,
    Anne Bercht
    ©Copyright 2011 Anne and Brian Bercht. All rights reserved.

    • betrayalsurvivor1981 April 17, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

      (Flaca, I didn’t know that you’d already reblogged the following when I forwarded it to you. Ooops! Sorry.) 😀

      Friends,
      To clear up any ambiguities, I want to make it clear that the Anne Bercht article (above) is reposted from the blog of my friend Marie huperecho.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/regrets-the-fine-line-between-contributing-to-marital-problems-and-causing-a-spouses-infidelity

      The addition that I made is the first paragraph, “The following is from Anne and Brian Bercht, founders of Beyond Affairs Network (BAN)….and highly recommends their programs.” from 1981

      I’m careful to NOT take credit for someone else’s good deeds, and I’m WORKING ON (I haven’t gotten there yet) not taking the blame for someone else’s bad deeds. Marie’s blogging of Anne Bercht’s article is very much a good deed! As I’m not as blog-savvy as most of you, I don’t know how to “reblog”; therefore my reposting consists of “copy & paste” (old-fashioned word processing technique). 🙂 1981

      • Flaca April 17, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

        No worries 1981 I think I “reblogged” it on accident! I too am new to this blogging! 🙂
        Thanks for sharing this!!

  2. Moddie April 18, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    Great post by Anne Bercht-love her. But I don’t think I will ever say my husbands infidelity was the best thing to ever happen to us.
    The only thing I would caution is not to expect too much from the first few sessions as you’ll be getting a feel for each other. Also, listen to your guts, ensure the therapist in no way lays any of the blame for the affair on you and be cognizant if anything feels “off”. The wrong therapist can make things worse. I remember feeling disappointed with my first therapist, she definitely had reactions to my “passion” and clearly did not know how to deal with the depth of my pain. She mislead us in saying she dealt with infidelity before. Don’t be afraid to shop around and ask questions. Our current therapist is great, empathetic, and extremely knowledgeable, an expert on helping couples cope with the trauma of Infidelity. She acknowledges that forgiveness is not even on my radar yet, that I need to heal and feel safe first and that this is a profound trauma and that working through the process cannot be rushed and it may take a while to heal, that we need to recognize this and be compassionate to ourselves. Good luck!

  3. Comfortably Numb April 18, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    Let us know how it goes/went. I feel your pain, Personally I am struggling at the moment to NOT take it out on him all the time. Yes Im allowed to be angry every now and then but constant digs about the past while hes clearly trying etc are not helping (him) I have had to force myself to remember that my husband NEEDS help and that -although he has hurt me deeply- it is NOT all about ME (all of the time), but like you said it is so draining being pissed off and angry/upset all the time and something needs to change that. Hopefully your sessions will help in some way.

    These men need to sort themselves out, they need to face their own issues, it is not our fault It is also easy to lose sight of why you are staying (some days) so listing the things you are thankful for is a great way to think positive. Hugs and all that xB

  4. aloneagain3 April 18, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    letting yourself off the hook is a good thing. I pray you have a good counseling experience… When my husband and I went it was good for us except for the part about him still talking to his AP so we got booted from counseling. My counselor was going to work with both of us but I stopped it because I didn’t think the husband was going to change anything. So I go by myself,,, the husband was going till he began working out of town. he needs to go again… not for our marriage but for himself. fixing our marriage would hopefully be a byproduct of that but it might not be. any way it would do him good but it isn’t going to happen anytime soon anyway.
    good luck and good counseling.

  5. Flaca April 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    thanks everyone! we survived. it was better than i thought it would be. honestly i thought green would just shut down. he didn’t. he owned his actions, he was calm and he was thoughtful. i think he still has a way to go with this ‘walls’ and the truth trickling… but i am in it for the long haul. well for the next 6 months at least?! 🙂 hugs to you all & thanks for your comments – they mean everything to me!

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