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Joined: Nov 1999
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Essyboo Offline OP
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We are closing in on 2 years now. My H's OW is out of the picture. He is home. We are working on each other's needs, I'm trying hard not to lovebust and to not be overly lovebust sensitive.

I think I have grown numb again. When I think about our marriage I feel nothing. If I think about divorce I feel nothing. When I think about his affair I feel the same painful stab in my heart that I have felt for 2 years. I think it is a little less acute, but still there.

Is this learning to cope, or is it the absence of any feelings or love toward my H.

I know I am not happy, but don't know what must change to get me that way.

I have been working on myself and feel good about myself, but also feel that I wouldn't miss a beat if my marriage ended today. This scares me.


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Essyboo,
I just posted a similar thread in the recovery section. We are doing well in the recovery process and I do love H but in a platonic way most of the time. I don't want divorce....I'm stubborn. Think marriage is for life. Can this thing be too much to survive with the same intenstiy of love I had for him before the betrayal?
Maybe this is just a stage of recovery? Hopefully we will get some input on these feelings.
Take Care,BECCA

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Essy and Becca,

A guitar player gets a callus on his fingers from the repeated pressing on the strings. At first the pressing is painful, but the callus eventually prevents the pain. The callus is developed through positive action (practicing, making music), but requires the endurance of some initial pain which enables a greater good in the end.

The other way to prevent the pain is to wear gloves to protect the fingers. The problem is that you can't play the guitar with gloves on. No positive action can occur, and the greater good can not be achieved.

So the question is, have you developed a callus or are you wearing gloves?

Only you can answer this for yourselves (I am wrestling with the same issue), but it is a useful analogy for the thought process.


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Essyboo Offline OP
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The other option is to leave the guitar alone, in the corner of the room so you remember you still have it. You may need the guitar someday, or it makes you feel secure knowing that you have it in case you decide to cherish it again. It might come in handy, so you don't sell it in a garage sale or give it to someone else. No gloves or callouses are needed.

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But no music gets made that way.

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Essyboo Offline OP
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Okay, we are getting very philosophical here

No music. There was a time when that would scare me to death, but I have even become apathetic about that. I sometimes feel I just want quiet.

When I was taking piano as a child, I loved to play, but when it came to competition I didn't enjoy it anymore. Piano was a pleasure and I was fulfilled by it until it became a job and a threat to my personal comfort. I could play a song perfectly as long as I didn't have an audience. I guess that is where I am now. I never expected my marriage to be a potential harm. I never expected it to be a performance or a job. Now I am faced with success or failure, not fulfillment and joy. It is no longer something I deal with on a personal level, it is something I do to keep my H faithful to me, to keep the choice of staying my choice and not his.

You see, if you leave the guitar in the corner and don't play it, then you won't play it badly. You won't fail. It can always remain something that you could have succeeded at IF you had chosen to, not something you failed at even though you tried.


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Essy,

Ok, Ok...pianos, guitars... a metaphor can only be stretched so far

The point I was trying to make is that the feeling of not caring could be just a defense mechanism - a way to reduce the pain (or the fear of failure). If that's what it is then that can actually get in the way of progress. It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

On the other hand, it could be the natural desensitizing effect of being in constant turmoil - eventually it loses its edge.

I am in the same boat. I feel a great burden has been lifted from me, so I am not in turmoil. I am using this "grace period" as an opportunity to try even harder (which is possible because I don't have the burden of caring so much dragging me down). My hope is that it propels me to success. My fear is tht I will burn out like a roman candle before that success happens.

I don't know how to read the current situation, so I am giving the most positive outcome the benefit of the doubt. Yeehaa! What is left to lose?


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Essyboo Offline OP
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I wish I could find that attitude in me. I did at first during the beginning stages of recovery. I went all out to win him back.

He was willing from the beginning so I didn't suffer like so many here have with their spouses leaving and "trying to decide".

I fear I am burned out.

I have said before that my heart is calloused. It went through so much pain for so long that I fear it cannot feel anymore.

I find myself telling myself that I will never be hurt again by him. If he is unfaithful to me again I will not be hurt by it. I will be ready.


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Essyboo Offline OP
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Here is my main question. We are closing in on 2 years since he ended his affair. At first I tried so hard and he tried to, then my anger set in. I've gone through the stages of mourning one by one.

I am not sure if I am in the stage of acceptance now, or if I just don't care anymore.

For so long I would go out of my way to make sure he wasn't mad and if he was I would worry and want to cry, or I would get angry and defensive, or even lash out and become accusatory. Now I just feel that it is another day of him being mad. Another shortcoming on my part. Another day less of my life.

I would like to think that now that my inner turmoil is calming that there might be room for the rebuilding of my feelings toward him, because for the past year I have been motivated by fear, not love. In the absence of the fear can love grow again? Should I worry that I don't feel much of anything right now?

Yes, I'm on antidepressants .

I have been so busy doing something (anything, everything) to try to save my marriage. Is what I'm feeling now a form of withdrawal because I'm done doing, or is it realization that what I was so busy doing for so long just isn't working?


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Easyboo

Maybe this is a natural stage you must pass thru during recovery.

I hope it's temporary and you will regain the feelings of love.

I've not gone thru it and I'm NOT speaking from experience here. Just a guess...

Keo


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Gosh! I missed out on the analogies. On the guitar issue - as you learn to play (getting the calluses) you are also playing the music that drives you to master the skill. If there was no music during the practice, then why keep playing? I feel empty - no music! I'm burning out and tried of everyday willing myself to get past this. I get in the crawl into the bed and sleep away the trouble stage again. What do I get in result of all this work? Do you ever feel complete and secure? I also know that if H does this agian he's gone(he knows it too) but it's the scar that stops me from feeling love for him in the same way. Is this being happy? Is it just TIME?
BECCA

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Essyboo Offline OP
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I think we must realize at some point that things will never be the same way they were before. I say "Thank God" to that in a lot of areas, but there are so many things I miss about my "OLD ME".

The old me saw myself growing old with this man (granted this scared me sometimes because our marriage wasn't very good in a lot of ways).

The old me never questioned where he went or what he did. I didn't worry about where he went on his days off and never even checked up on him.

The old me didn't feel any cometition when it came to sex, because there was no one to compete with.

The old me smiled and even ate regularly.
The old me didn't take sleeping pills and had never drank a whole beer or other alcohol beverage in her life.

Our lives have permanently changed and we can not go back, whether we save our marriages or move on alone.

I know this, but I don't accept it as reality. I still sit around wishing it had never happened. I keep wishing I could put it behind me and get over it. I may have to convince myself that I can't get over it and I can't move on without taking this with me.

There is a "NEW ME"

The new me knows that I can take care of myself and I can grow old without this man.

The new me knows that marriage is a job and is something we must always work at.

The new me is skinny.

The new me has gained some respect and a little more attention from my husband than I had before.

The New Me needs to embrace myself and move on.



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