Wisdom and Insights...renewed for 2013

Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Wisdom and Insights...renewed for 2013
2
Wed, 01-02-2013 - 8:04pm
TIME TO REBUILD OUR insight and wisdom thread that CRASHED AND BURNED. this is a perfect post to kick off the rebuilding effort. 
CL-WITHclarity...And if anyone feels that a particular post should be here, by all means, bring it here :)


FROM READYTOMOVEON IN RESPONSE TO ?KITTERY 1/2/13
27 MINUTES AGO

Kittery, Clarity and RBM pretty much summed it up. Total NC and time are the key words when ending. The first few months are the hardest. We are so vulnerable and in so much pain but pushing through and believing that it will get better keeps us on track.

Posting on here constantly in those first few months saved me. When we delve into ourselves and write it out and when we post on other's threads of struggle, it reiterates to our minds that we are done and we are moving forward. I remember someone once posted about trudging through snow. We don't get snow here where I live in Australia so I had to pretend it was a bush walking trail instead but our brains have paths and we trudge down the same ones over and over until the path is well and truly worn. During the affair, the path gets dirty and sludgy but we still walk it even though it tires us. Til eventually we realise that path is no good for us. It hinders us and we have to spend so much time washing off the mud everytime we walk it. So we have to make a new path. And it seems hard because it is not carved out for us. We come across hurdles and it would just be so much easier if we go back to the old path. But the beauty about the new path is despite the hurdles and the hard work, we are still clean. Making a new path in your brain means telling yourself you are worth more, you are done and you will never go back. It is teaching our brains that it is okay to feel sad and all the emotions that come with ending an A but we are going to try something different now. We are going to start listening to our heads and letting them lead the feelings for a while. And when we do that a new path begins to form. And the beauty of it is this - it crosses over to all areas of our life and that is what makes walking the new path worth while. For when we rebuild after a storm, we get to rebuild something better if we want, with a stronger foundation.

Don't give up, do what needs to be done and start believing that you are worth a new path.

RTMO

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

Avatar for Sogladitsanewday
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-22-2012
Wed, 01-23-2013 - 8:36am

This is a post which rang true for me so I copied and pasted it onto my computer. I don't know who wrote the post, so unfortunately I can't give them the credit for it, in fact I may have found it on Baggage Reclaim, but it really made me sit up and think about my situation whilst I was still in my A ...

Why hold onto the beginning? Surely that is where the smoke and mirrors were most strongly employed. I was wooed in the beginning. It was wonderful, a heady time when he couldn't get enough of me, wanted to know all about me, emailed me constantly. But that was all just a ruse which he revealed to me the second time we got together. "It's just sex, right?" Those words burn me now. It was all very calculated. Something akin to being on fire and having someone ask you if you'd like a bit of water.

Don't hold onto the beginning. It wasn't real. The only part of an A that's real, in my limited experience, is the end.

Now, that doesn't mean your feelings weren't real, even if it was chemical trickery. So, if you felt you loved him, you loved him. However long, however short. And I can't believe we lower ourselves in love. It's only later when we realize we were living in the fog of fantasy that we get to examine our feelings.

Now I can be harsh with myself. I was flattered by the attention and hungry for it. And then I allowed myself to be used and I used right back.

Don't look at the beginning; look closer to the end and ask yourself why you were really in it. And then work towards accepting that, making peace with it and then promising yourself to do better. That's the battle you're working towards: doing better than yesterday, and tomorrow doing better still.
If you are a single woman that has been seeing a married man for some time and reading this, chances are that you have already gone through the initial stages of infatuation and blinding bliss.
In these initial stages you are not wanting to think too deeply about the realities you are creating in your life by pursuing this relationship.
But as things progress and the honeymoon period wears off you start to have questions, you bring them up to you lover, but most likely come away with answers that leave you only partially or not at all satisfied. These questions have to do with what you mean to him, whether or not he will leave his wife for you, how he can justify cheating on his wife, whether or not he has done this before, or is cheating on you now.
Getting these answers become more and more important as you become more involved and then obsessed with your lover and realize that you are not as central to him as he is to you. (I am using the term “the other woman” as a literary convenience because statistics show that married men have affairs more frequently than do married women. However, most of the following also applies to men who find themselves in this position.)
Rona Subotnik illuminates a list of paradoxical realities that you may find yourself living with as the other woman. Here is my version of her findings:
Treasured, but used
Being in love gives you the feeling that you are precious and treasured by him, but you cannot help but wonder…if it wasn’t for the sex, would he still want to be with me? If you didn’t make it so easy and perfect when he is with you, by not complaining and making sure you look absolutely gorgeous, by having the house spotless…if you were just your ordinary every day self, the way his wife is, would he still treasure you? If you weren’t providing an escape from another relationship, would he still want you?
Intimate, but isolated
You have a wonderful newfound closeness with this man that you may not have had for a very long time. However, as time goes by he becomes one of the few people you can be intimate with because you cannot share what is most important for you in your life with most others. Friends and family sense you are closed off in some way, and can become confused and discouraged about your relationship with them. You can feel this, yet are afraid it would cause more damage to their feelings about you if they knew. Your sense of intimacy with your lover can seem more intense when he becomes one of the few people you can really talk to.
Free, but a prisoner
You have been freed from the dating game, from the painful aspects of being single, yet you are tied to his schedule. You find yourself forgoing activities that you used to enjoy that might make you unavailable to him should he suddenly have time to see you. The silence of the phone can feel like the bars of this prison.
Safe, yet in danger
Being in love creates a sense of safety, yet the foundation for this safety feels, at it’s core, shaky. You know he could decide at any time to stop the affair and try to work on the marriage, or that his wife or someone else can find out and blow his cover. You know you are participating in something that is potentially damaging to many people and that there could be repercussions for yourself. You maintain the sense of safety by trying not to think about these realities.
Self-righteous, yet guilty
You tell yourself you deserve to be happy, that you are making him happy. You may even tell yourself you are helping him to be a better husband by the love and comfort you provide. You tell yourself their marriage is already over anyway, or that it’s not your responsibility, but his, since he is the one cheating and you are not cheating on anyone. However, deep down you know you have made a choice to participate in something that can result in devastation for any number of people.
Powerful, yet powerless
You may feel very powerful in your ability to attract a man who is married, maybe with family and cause him to betray this family. Yet as time goes on, it becomes apparent to you that you frequently feel powerless. You may eventually be giving ultimatums, only to be put off or given false promises. You may find yourself stood up when various situations arise with his family that prevent him from keeping dates. Sitting alone on New Year’s Eve or Saturday night, you feel you have no power at all.
Feeling very good/very bad about yourself
Everyone’s self esteem soars when they experience attracting someone who is attractive to them. However, at the same time you know you are treating yourself as if you do not deserve someone who could be there for you 100%.
Reading the above may bring up strong feelings that you haven’t been aware of before. Participating in an affair necessitates entering an altered state of consciousness where only part of reality can be processed, the part that has to do with pleasure. It’s like being in a trance, complete with it’s own logic. When the full reality begins to hit home, it can be a painful and frightening time. Deep issues can surface, issues that, in the end have to do with your relationship to yourself more than anyone else. If talking to your lover is making it worse, it is important to break your isolation by finding someone who you can trust to talk to. Therapy can be very useful at this point.
But as time passed, I started to get more attached and feelings of jealously began to emerge everytime he went home to "her" or he had to go to a function with his W, etc. He on the other hand began to do a 360 on our "future" with excuses like "my kids are still too young - I am afraid to break up my family and your family - yada yada yada". So I would constantly break it off with him because of this and he would come back fishing every single time the next day and I would cave and we would be at it again and then I would be totally miserable afterwards. This circle went on and on until I tumbled into EAS late 2008 and that was the beginning of the end of our A.
Avatar for Sogladitsanewday
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-22-2012
Wed, 01-23-2013 - 8:38am
Many of us here are self proclaimed "strong" people. I for one have always been considered strong. I never tolerated to accept less from anyone than I deserved. I actually liked myself. Clearly I had some issues lol because I made the terrible choice to have an A.
Anyway, I entered my A and my self-esteem eventually plummeted to null. Here is why I think this occurred. In an A you never truly feel secure, you never really know where you stand. Sure you are being told you are their soul mate, the light of their life, but truly who knows where you stand? This weighs on us. The insecurity grows. In a RL relationship, you know where you stand, you aren't sharing this person with someone else. As time passes you come to realize you are not number 1 in their life, you may be a distant 2 or less. The insecurity that was building due to never truly knowing where you stood with this person now goes into over drive. How can I be number 2? How are they not choosing me? Now we start hanging on for dear life, no way did I invest all this time and energy and ignore the sense of vulnerability I was feeling. No way did I ignore all the signs that this was heading in the wrong direction. We may even start to overinvest thinking we can somehow make this all work, make it all be worthwhile. At the end we are left feeling inadequate, not good enough.
Not true, we are more than adequate(do you read the amazing things people post here? We are not a bunch of slackers. We are a group of high performers my friends!). We merely got into a space where amidst those highs there was no security but an awful lot of risk taking....prime breeding grounds to plant the seeds of insecurity. Eventually you see most of the relationship is crumbs. We realize we are settling for crumbs. Unfortunately for me this realization led me to think that was all I was worth. I had lowered my expectations along the way. I had lowered my standards. I believed this was all I deserved.I couldn't get over how low I felt about myself. Where was strong hopeful I wondered. How did I lose her and how could he not have chosen me?
YUCK.
As time has gone by over these past few months I am regaining my sense of worth. I gave it away by remaining in a situation that caused me to feel unsafe and that lack of security ate away at my confidence. We are our best selves when we are in a safe and stable environment. An environment where we are not riddled with the anxiety and challenges of leading a double life. Please do not make the mistake of wondering why you werent good enough or feeling inadequate. It isnt you. It isnt your x....it is the nature of the relationship. It really has nothing to do with being good enough. You are actually too good to live the lie of the A. You are too good to subject yourself and your loved ones to such pain. You are too good to waste another second ruminating over why the fairy tale didnt come true. It wasnt you and it wasnt your x. Its the relationship that isnt good enough. Be thankful you are out of it.It is the only way to become all the wonderful things that you are.
Each day make a goal for yourself. Commend yourself each night that you are free of the A. That you are making the right choices, that you are present in your RL with those that can openly love you. It is positive self talk. The more you congratulate yourself, the better you will start to feel. You will see your day as an accomplishment. That will help fuel the fire of confidence. When you wake in the morning tell yourself what you will do that day. Dont hope to have a good day. Make it a good day. Yes, it is a rollercoaster and there will be twists and turns ups and downs.Regardless, make it a habit to pat yourself on the back each day for a job well done. Even if that job well done means today I only cried 5 times today.Well done, you havent caved and you are moving forward.
You are definitely more than good enough.