Community Leader
Registered: 05-23-2003
Thu, 12-20-2012 - 7:12pm

So something that RB said got me thinking.  And since things have been quiet around here, I figure that it's a perfect time for some discussion.  :)

She was talking about justifying a stumble.  So, that's our topic.  Stumbles.  And justifications.

So we all know that stumbles happen, generally speaking.  We know from our time here and elsewhere that more often than not, endings are rarely perfect or clean, and that lots of people end up tripping up somewhere and having to pick themself back up again.

Why do they happen?  And what can we do to prevent them?

I want you to think about when you've tripped, or come close to tripping.  What were you thinking?  What was your frame of mind?  Were you tired?  Sick?  Hurting?  Were you angry?  What was driving you in that moment?  What tipped you over the edge?

I want you to think about this, for the next time, if there is a next time.  When there is something that we want to do - most of us become experts at talking ourselves into it.  Even if it is something that is bad for us - we can still almost always manage to justify it to ourselves, and to give ourselves permission to do it anyway.  Sometimes the justifications necessary are just little ones.  Sometimes we have to stretch a little and they turn into bigger ones.  But where there is a will...there is always a way, and in the ending and after process, when our brains are kind of scrambled and not really working so great - well, that's a bad combination.

Instead of talking yourself INTO something - why don't you talk yourself OUT of it instead.  I know it's hard, when you're in that moment, hanging on the edge, waiting to see which way you fall.  Logic probably won't work all that well - chances are good that you are being driven by your emotional side, and logic doesn't really stand a chance in that moment.  But, try it - and anything and everything else you can think of.  If emotions are driving the bus - then hit back with an emotional response -- but a healthy one, that will make you feel better at the end of the day, not worse.

Let's brainstorm - and see if we can come up with some ways to fight back, and stay steady.  Tell me where your cliff is - and how close to that edge you've stepped, and let's talk it through, and see if we can find some better response than just flinging yourself off of it.

I know, heavy stuff and with the holiday coming, you just want to put all of this aside and be happy.  And that's great - we can be happy!  But you know, there is a new year coming too - and the opportunity to maybe start fresh, and make some changes.

I don't want anyone to be unhappy.  And I really don't want anyone to hurt themselves any more than they already have. 




iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2012
In reply to: justkim2007
Fri, 12-21-2012 - 10:45am

not ignoring this. need some time to think about this one...working on it!

  The difference between who you are and who you imagine yourself to be, is what you do.

Avatar for ratherbeme
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
In reply to: ratherbeme
Mon, 12-24-2012 - 9:23am

Good reply, RB.

Aren't we all looking for happiness? Maybe even grasping at it?

It's too easy, Kim.  It's the fantasy of what we would like it to be. What we want our life to be in the dream world we have created. When we wake up, we realize thats all it was. A dream. A bad dream.

If, big if, it could have gone the other way, we would have wondered off, hand in hand, down the garden path, to never, Neverland and would be residing in happiness.  It's the peek at reality that sobers us up and here we are. SOBER.

When we don't give up the fantasy, we stumble. Sometimes on our own, sometimes with help but I think we all know it is never the same. You really can't go back. We have become more critical. More judgmental. More understanding about what the word happiness is really about. 

Then it is when the tiredness sets in. Tired of being abused is what it comes down to. Tired of the emotional abuse. The wise ones, understand and grab it and hold on to reality. Others stumble. Stumbling always hurts. Has anyone ever seen any good come from it? I don't think so.

Merry Christmas to all, 


We only miss what could have been. I know I don't miss what it really was.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2012
In reply to: justkim2007
Mon, 12-24-2012 - 9:42pm

Okay. I've been giving this some's questions on stumbles and know..amidst christmas prep chaos...and stalling. I was sort-of hoping some others (insert cough here with an ahem, ahem) would offer some insight.

  So this is me speaking..about my own personal stumbles and justifications. I think it is a tad different for everyone..but I suspect there are some similarities among us as of those everything different in common kinda things.

    I have stumbled at times when I feel really lonely and overwhelmed by life in general.

I became involved with xAP at a really difficult time in my marriage, at a time when I was feeling really lonely and when our son with autism was going off to college and we were not sure if we were going to gain custody ..or not..of our ..then..newborn nephew. I was sleep deprived, I was an emotional basketcase...and I dealt with it all by checking out emotionally while staying in motion. I justified my involvement with xAP because I was having fun..and feeling cared for...and because I have a long family history (both parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) of long-term affairs. It is what people in my family do. And while I will be the first to admit my childhood family had a SLEW of problems, i romanticized the notion of an affair. My grandmother..who was one of my greatest role models...had a 30 year affair, which I learned about after her death. I would say to myself.."Breeze,'s not that big of a deal.Your the only one who hasn't!" . I justified the A by saying I was much nicer and happier to my family in general, while I was involved with xAP.

In reality, I simply cared for xAP much more than he cared for me. THe whole situation became unpleasant...and when it became unpleasant I was not happier and I was NOT nicer. Far from it.  So we ended.He ended, actually.

 I stumbled when he contacted me after a couple month absence. I felt flattered. He said all the things I wanted to hear. I was completely overwhelmed by work, but that was it. I justified jumping back into the A with the same reasons as earlier...I was nicer to my family, and family history. And really? Who doesn't like feeling like someone cares about them?

I ended because I had changed during our  2 month break. I couldn't do it anymore. And I knew that I cared for xAP more than he cared for me. I was learning I needed honesty back in my life...

and now? When I want to stumble ..or start to is when I am feeling overwhelmed (I.E...H really sick, bills piling high..still sleep deprived, etc.) but mostly..when I just miss the guy. I  start telling myself that hey..there are way worse things in life than having an a. I deserve a break..and this is what my family does. Why shouldn't I? I'm just not that different from anyone else.

.or maybe I am. And then I remind myself why I stopped. And I remember the personal boundaries I have learned i have. The need for consistent trustworthiness in myself.. being one of those boundaries. And I look at my H and kids...and think

No. Way. I can't do it.

...and maybe..I am special..and maybe I can break the ridiculous cycle of extramarital affairs that I romanticized as a child. Because really? There is nothing romantic about an A. It just plain sux.

  The difference between who you are and who you imagine yourself to be, is what you do.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-23-2003
In reply to: justkim2007
Wed, 01-02-2013 - 4:14pm

Hello, hello - is this thing on?  :)

Very nice posts and points, RB and Rather.  And what Rather said especially struck me - "Stumbling always hurts. Has anyone ever seen any good come from it? I don't think so."

It really does hurt.  And I can't think of many times where anything good did come from it.  Not a real, lasting sort of good anyway.

I mean, we do see those who say that it was a good thing, that they gained the closure they were looking for, that it was good to clear the air, that it was good to "redo" the ending, to make it better, now they feel much better, etc.  But...I think that in most of those cases, it doesn't end up preventing more stumbles down the road, does it?  And I don't know...I guess I sort of think that maybe, you get a false sense of security there or something.  Like, now that you've had that last talk and things are really REALLY ended and settled and done, you feel good and all of that, and like there won't be any more stumbles ahead - and then BLAM...there you are again.  And it hurts more because you convinced yourself that it wasn't even coming at you, that it wouldn't, or couldn't, and you were unprepared.

(General "you" there - not thinking of any specific person or event, just a general pattern that I've seen.)

I think that's the real issue - or at least, it is what I think it can come down to.  It hurts, so we reach for something to make the pain better, and maybe it works for a minute or a day or a month...but we reach for the very source of the pain, so it ends up making the pain worse instead of better.  Reaching for the source of the pain can never make it better, can it?  Maybe it can make it seem better...but then it comes right back.

And maybe that is where the difference is, between those who make it out, into the after, and those who are still either in, or in the limbo-land:  Being able to stop yourself from reaching for the thing that hurt you to begin with...

And...this is what happens when I have to talk to myself.  :)