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#720923 02/08/02 09:17 AM
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I haven't posted here in so long but need some help!

I can't seem to get rid of obsessive thoughts about the past. I have done so much work in this area over the past two years but feel I am getting nowhere.

I have written pros and cons lists about the past, I have read books, talked to friends, been in therapy, been in group therapy, been in two separate divorce care classes, attend church, go to accountablity groups and I pray endlessly.

But, even after all of that, I still can't get rid of the obsessive thoughts that maybe my x will come back someday or maybe if I did this or maybe if I do that, things will change. Why can't I be happy in the moment!! I'm now considering taking medication. I actually did get something for anxiety a few weeks ago but I'm afraid to take it because it is habit forming.

Is anyone else feeling this way? Any suggestions? I keep praying for patience and acceptance of where I am right now but still end up feeling empty after all is said and done.

**********************************

Dated x for 5 years before getting married Married 13 years
Separated 2/2000
Divorced 5/2000
Two well adjusted children (Thank God)
Amicable Divorce
Two unsuccessful relationships since divorce (Big mistake)
7 months on my own (no relationships)(Good thing)
Still having hard time being "single" (Bad thing)

[ February 08, 2002: Message edited by: 711 ]


#720924 02/08/02 09:35 AM
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711,

Hello, and I remember you. I am sorry you are still feeling 100% responsible for the past. Look, I think that you are still grieving. It is true that as we grieve and heal, we go back and forth in various stages of the process. I think you are doing that.

Each of us has been traumatized by our former spouse's affairs. To me, the entire process was like going through an unexpected death, except the person we loved did not die. They went off on to a happy life with another, and that makes the acceptance so much worse and harder.


#720925 02/08/02 09:45 AM
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711,

I accidently submitted my foirst post before I was finished, so this is a continuation.

Anyway, each of us grieves and heals on our own special timeframe. You are still in the process, and you can not expect yourself to fit into some generic timeframe of healing.

I often think this too - many people look back because they have yet to find something to look forward to. Or, perhaps sometimes we are afraid to move forward into the unknown, so we subconciously keep ourselves mired in the past.

My thoughts are this - if my exH had died instead of having an affair, I would have grieved the same and had just as hard a time adjusting to life without him. Yet, I would not be expecting or waiting for him to come back. I would know that in this lifetime, it would be impossible for us to be together. Now, my exH is alive and yet, I still had to tell myslef that he was not going to come back and in this lifetime, it was impoissible for us to be together. I had to think about that and remind myslef of that.

711, keep your thoughts focused on moving ahead. When thoughts of the past creep in, try to gently remind yourself that that was the PAST and you are now here in the PRESENT. Try to make a life for yourself that is as fulfilling as possible. Look forward to the future - set some goals for YOURSELF that are attainable and work toward these goals. Give yourself a reason to go forward. You are healing and you are still grieving, and you just aren't quite done yet.

you are normal and what you are experiencing is normal, considering what you have been through. You are doing the right things to help yourself. Just be patient, as you continue to move forward. You have had a huge loss in your life, and you will always feel for that loss. But, one day it will no longer consume you as it still does now.

Prayers and hugs, Desiree


#720926 02/08/02 10:17 AM
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Thanks Roll Me Away for your comments. And, I remember you as well.

Yes, I think I am still grieving the loss of my marriage. And, I realize now that I delayed my healing by at least a year because of getting into new relationships too quickly. And, I have added the issues caused by those relationships to my list of things to worry and wonder about now. Like I really needed to do that. Why didn't I listen to the good advice of others??? But, I know I can't change the past and I can't beat myself up over it either. And, I know I have learned valuable lessons from all of my past experiences.

I also know that I need to give myself more time to accept where I am now and to enjoy and appreciate what I now have. I do have many things to be thankful for in my life.

I think I am really having a harder time right now because my sister is getting ready to move in two weeks. She has been my best friend and buddy over the past two years and I'm really going to miss her. She is only a year older than me and is single (never married) so we do everything together. She has been my substitute spouse, if you will, over the past two years. So, losing her is just as bad (actually it feels worse) than when my husband left me two years ago.

For the first time in my life, I feel like I am truly going to be on my own and it scares me. I have met many new friends recently but it is not the same as family.

I know that her leaving has its pros and cons. It forces me to continue to step out of my comfort zone and call new friends when I feel lonely. I realize I have relied way too much on just a few friends or my x for my happiness. So, when I lose these people it is harder on me than it should be. I am thankful that I have met some very nice people over the past years and that I have become very active in the church and other activities. I know I can call on these new friends when I feel done and out and they will be there for me. But, again, it's not as easy as just calling up my sister to hang out. Hopefully, it will be with time.

My biggest fear right now is that I might run to someone new to cope during this time or run to someone from my past that is not good for me. And, I know that is the last thing I need to do. I know I am stronger now than I was before but still don't completely trust myself. I know I am very vulnerable right now. And, because of the way I'm feeling, I am thinking way too much about people from my past and have even gone back to thinking about calling my x and asking one more time if he has ever thought about trying again. But, I haven't done that for many reasons. And one of the biggest reasons is because I think it would be a huge mistake and I also don't want to hear him say "No".

It's these thoughts that are driving me crazy now. It's these thoughts that I want to get rid of. And, I get so angry at myself that I'm still having these thoughts after so much therapy and time.


#720927 02/08/02 11:45 AM
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Talk to your dr. about some medication, I think that you had a good idea there. It is worth a shot, you don't have to take it if you don't want to, but considering all you have been through... There are physical causes for these feelings sometimes. A chemical imbalance can easily be fixed, just like a broken arm. It sounds like you have really paid your dues in the shrink area, maybe you truly do have a physical issue. When I am on prozac it does not feel as if I am "drugged", but it is almost like an extra inch of clarity. I can consider things a bit slower, and I had this nasty problem of going over and over the same awful things in my mind. Poof. Gone. It sounds like you might have that same deal. My dr called it "an endless loop". I would wake up and start going over in my head all of the things I had done wrong in life. When I reached the present, I would start all over again. It really sucked. About 2 weeks after I started the prozac I realized I had gone through the day without feeling like I was a horrible person. Pretty cool, I thought. Anyway, this is probably way to much info, so ..

It sounds like you are on to a good idea with considering some type of medicine. Nuff said.


#720928 02/08/02 12:26 PM
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Thanks for the info on medication. You describe how I am feeling to a tee. If medication can help with my obsessive worrying, than bring it on.

I do realize, however, that medication alone won't solve my issues. I just want a little help now and this is the only thing I haven't tried in the past two years.

I see the doc on Monday.


#720929 02/08/02 06:28 PM
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711,

Thanks for explaining about your sister leaving. That adds alot to underrstanding where you are coming from. You are so right - I think her moving is compounding your feelings of loss and giving you a slight set back. However, you are also right in that this will force you out of your comfort zone a bit.

You know, 711, there is nothing in the world wrong with leaning on others sometimes. Humans are social creatures, and we all get some value back from our interactions with others. It is FUN to share time with others. It is COMFORTING to be validated back that we are loving and worthy of love and friendship. It makes us feel NEEDED to be of comfort to others in their time of need. You are not wrong to want and to need the support and friendship and love of other people. As long as you know deep in your heart that you are worthy of love and friendship, then I say that you are just a normal human being.

Your attitude is AOK by me. You recognize how much you will miss your sister - sounds like she is your best friend. How wonderful for you both. I can easily understand how you can be feeling so sad once again. I think justthewife hit the nail on the head. You may need some temporary meds to help get you over the hump. Yes, I agree about seeing the doc.

All in all, you are doing everything right, 711. Your attitude is good. Although we can take the place of your beloved sister, you can always come here when you feel down. We have all helped eachother so many times over the past several years. Hard to believe - 3 years for me!

Friend, enjoy the time you have while your sister is still in town. I will say an extra prayer for an extra boost of strength for you.

Take care, Desiree


#720930 02/09/02 09:12 AM
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Thanks Desiree,

It helps to hear from others that we are not insane!! Just normal human beings with a wide range of emotions.

I appreciate your support and words of encouragement. They really do help.

I'm feeling better today. My kids are with me and we are going to spend time with my sister this weekend. We are all going to miss her.

It is comforting to know that I can always come back to this site and get support from new and old friends going through the same things as me.

Thanks!

Jen


#720931 02/09/02 07:57 PM
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As soon as the meds kick in and turn off your "endless loop" it will then facilitate working through your issues. Only then it is a lot faster process because your brain isn't working on all that other crap at the same time. I worked on some (now)silly issues forever in therapy, but it wasn't until the meds kicked in that I could do anything about it. I started on a dose of 20mg. Prozac, the generic is fluxotine. Make sure you explain to your doctor about what happens with the thinking, the more you tell him, the better he can figure out what to or not to prescribe for you. Outta here - Mardi Gras party tonite!!! Back Monday...
Elizabeth

#720932 02/10/02 10:55 AM
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Yikes!

Haven't been out here in MONTHS. I got your first post of course, but never got to read the responses. Ever thought of the pride issue? I think that was my problem. I hate failure, especially if I feel there were alternatives. My ex admitted for a long time that he did not handle things right and he didn't try. That ate at me and I kept thinking the "what if" thing. I So I held on with pride, didn't want to lose. Fought for so long and built up in my mind during the separation that I was going to fightfightfight. It was so hard to stop. Almost instinctual. Almost like blasphemy to suddenly STOP and give up when I fought for so long. I felt like a hypocrite.

Somewhere inside I forgot the specifics of WHY we got divorced, why he left, and what he could not give me. All I could see, blinded by my pride, was what I was cheated out of. I held on for a long time, even through other "relationships" and periods of recovery. Even small hope and occassional obsessive thoughts nagged at me. I kept wanting what was denied me instead of accepting what was and what SHOULD be. Hard for someone who believes in marriage and committment as much as I to admit that.

You have said many times that your marriage had innate flaws in it, in its inception and during the marriage itself. Don't lose sight of who you have become without him....it is probably a better person that you could have been WITH him.

cher


#720933 02/10/02 03:56 PM
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I will have to think about whether this has anything to do with pride. My gut instinct is no in my case. I know I failed in this marriage. And, I know he did too. I think I still mourn for myself and the children the loss of the "family" we once had even though it wasn't a very good marriage. And, the thought of having to start all over with someone else or just accepting being single for the rest of my life isn't too appealing right now.

You are right that our marriage had many problems. I haven't forgotten about those. In fact, that is one of the reasons that I haven't seriously pursued this with my x. It wasn't good then. Could it ever really be good now? Could we work through all the issues or get to a point that the marriage would be healthy? Could we have a marriage that would be beneficial for our children or would we be setting ourselves up for another failure and more pain for the kids. Probably the second alternative. And, why mess with something that is working now. I do have an amicable relationship with my x and my children are adjusting well considering the circumstances.

But, this is all hypothetical and crazy thinking and it is the reason I am considering medication now. He hasn't even asked for a reconcilliation. He just sometimes acts like he may want that. I'm tired of constantly wondering about things that aren't even options at the time. I just want to be happy with the here and now.

I also am still not comfortable with being single and being on my own. And, this feeling has been compounded by the fact that my sister is moving. However, I know this may be a blessing in disguise. I will be forced to get out of my box and find new activities and friends that interest me. I know I am a dependent and needy person and in the past have relied way too much on boyfriends, my husband and my family to fulfill my need to be with other people. I need to get over this for my own good and for the good of any future people that may enter my life. I do believe that you can't really have a good relationship with someone else until you are comfortable living without one. And, I'm not there yet!! But, I'm better than I was two years ago.

Soooo, bottomline, I don't think reconcilliation is the answer. I think I just need more time alone, more therapy and medication so I can stop all this ridiculous thinking and worrying.

[ February 10, 2002: Message edited by: 711 ]


#720934 02/12/02 03:52 PM
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Hi 711,

Remember me? I am D now too. I have been feeling very much like you have, you're not alone. I don't think I would say I'm obsessed, altho I still hurt really bad when I think of my x-H and the loss of our marriage, also the things he did and said to me during the A.

I don't necessarily think my x-H will come back, and even if he did I'm pretty sure I'd say "NO" to any relationship with him, but I do still love him. What my thoughts are about my x-H are that he and OW to fall apart ... badly.

I keep hearing the stats regarding an A lasting, but for the life of me 4 of the friends I have made here (BS's) are almost in the same boat as I and their WS's A haven't waivered and are still going strong. Makes me question what the staticians are telling us.

I pray too, every night and lots during the day. I pray that I can forget all that has happened and move past the pain, to be able to be happy for my x-H. Because when I think bad thoughts of him, I feel like a bad person.

I just wanted you to know that you're not alone. I guess this all takes time and mega patience. I'll keep you in my prayers, Hon.

Lv,
Jo

[ February 12, 2002: Message edited by: Resilient ]


#720935 02/12/02 07:03 PM
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Hi Jen

let me see if i have this right, you go to work each day, do your job, come back home, and the house is fine, and except for your youngest child, who has her own life, you are sort of at a loss as to what to do. . . not much feels like the old family, and the lack of adult interaction is rather apparent. . . .

OK, at this point in your life you are free to pursue some new goals. . . its just that you don't know what those goals would be. . .

is this close to the mark?

tom


#720936 02/12/02 10:43 PM
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Hey Jo -

Yes, I remember you and I thank you for sharing your thoughts on all of this. I agree it takes mega patience to get though all of this and also mega time!!

As to stats on the OW, in my case, it only lasted 1 month and my x hasn't been serious with anyone since. So, I'm lucky in that regard. I didn't have to deal with the pain of the OW as long as most of you all have here. I just have to deal with the memory of her every now and then.

In any event, I am just very frustrated with the fact that I keep obsessing about things that in my heart I know will never happen, like reconciliation. Or, obsessing about things that I think might happen and usually don't. It's so irrational. And, it is why I'm going to get some medication for this. I'm anxious all the time, I think way too much about things and I definitely have an obsessive-compulsive disorder. But, it is comforting to hear from so many people here that I'm not alone. Sad but comforting.

Hey Tom:

I was wondering if I was ever going to hear from you. Thanks for responding. You are half right.

I do work almost full time and I do spend a lot of time with my two girls at home. But, my x and I share joint custody, so 50% of the time, the children are not home. And, when they are not around, I am actually overly active and have a lot of adult interaction. In fact, I have come to realize that I have really over-extended myself. I have gotten way too involved in church activities and have given up much of my free time. And, when I'm not involved in those activities, I am usually with my sister. Especially, this past year after I ended my last relationship in June. She is just a year older than me, single and we get along great and enjoy all the same activities like hiking, movies, good food and wine and just hanging out. So, her leaving is going to be a real loss for me.

Luckily, through all my activities I have met some new friends and I know they will be there for me when I need them. I have also decided to cut back on some of my church activities so I can get back to some of the things I really enjoy doing by myself like taking walks in the park, reading novels, watching movies, and just relaxing.

So, I have decided to take some action regarding my life and I do feel better today than I have in awhile.

Thanks everyone for listening to my story and helping me see things more clearly.

Jen


#720937 02/12/02 11:26 PM
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You know, this is just the post I needed to read when I sat down at the computer.

I will de divorced within the next few weeks and it's one of those situations where my WH made a decision about whether to stay or go on D-day - basically chose to go, and has never looked back.

I know that all the prayers are helping me and my children get through this, but I also wonder when is it time to close my heart and really move on.

I'm the kind of person who hates ambiguity and just needs to know - do I continue to hope, work and pray for the marriage or just cut my losses and get to the next step.

For the sake of my children, I want to hold out hope, but then I see so many others whose Hs don't return and I see how much personal work my H as to do to even get to a point that I'd even consider taking him back that I just desire some closure.

Being Catholic, I still believe that we're married, even if my H doesn't and that alone is hard to take. And he won't even mention an annulment - not that we'd necessarily qualify for one, but the church gives them out so easily now that it's probably just a formality.

I was hoping that the waffling in my mind would have an ending, but as long as you have to deal with the ex-spouse, unless they are remarried, then it seems like you're never quite sure when to "give up." Maybe God can give us a sign.

I'm just tired of waiting and tired of fighting and tired of this whole thing, and the divorced part of my life hasn't even started yet.

I know that my life is going this way for a reason, it's just that sometimes I wish I knew what the reason was.

K


D-day 8/25/01
Married 6/6/92; Dated 3 yrs. before that
3 boys 7 1/2, 6, 3 on girl on the way 2/27/02
Divorce hearing scheduled 2/26/02
OW has 2 kids - should also be in divorce court sometime this month
WH is no longer the man any of us knew - totally forsaken all spiritual and moral beliefs


#720938 02/13/02 09:19 AM
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I think the hardest part is knowing when it is time to give up. Especially, if you have an amicable relationship with your x. And, if you have children, you also want to make it work so they do not have to deal with such an awful situation. There are many times that I really feel that it is truly over and it is time to move on. And, then, Wham, I back thinking about it again.

I think the holidays really brought all of this back up for me as well. Having to split Christmas holidays and not have my children on Christmas Eve and morning this year was heartbreaking. The children seemed fine with it. They actually celebrated Christmas 3 times last year. But, I hated it and really missed not having them there. I cried so many times over the holidays. Then, I started thinking again about why it had to be this way. Why didn't we try harder. Why Why Why.

But, you are right. God is in control and there is a reason for all of this. We may never know the reason. All we can do is trust that we are right where we need to be and pray for peace and comfort for all of us during this time.

Jen



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