Staying Isn’t Foolish

This scene….I still can’t watch it without a lump forming in my throat.

We are 4.5 years out from the worst of it all.  4.5 years from when I chose to stay.  4.5 years ago I chose to make my life not about the world’s definition of a fool but the definition of a wife who made a covenant to a marriage.  4.5 years past when I too could have let the feelings of being a fool over take me.

The days pass easier now.  The work was hard to get here.  I am a stronger.  I am a better me.  I look back at the person who typed the words in my very first blog ( This is a nightmare right? ) and the emotions run high.  I feel compassion and pride all at the same time for that woman sitting at a computer just trying to process it all.  Her journey made me who I am today.  The test has become a testimony (and let’s be honest at some points it’s still playing itself out).  I still wish I would not have had to face the storm but I can claim gratitude for who it has made me today.

The gift of time has allowed healing.  Obviously,  I don’t need to blog as often as I did.   Raw emotions, or over powering triggers don’t sneak up on me much anymore.  To see us, me, him now verses then, is so different.  We still have disagreements and we will always have improvements to make of our relationship.  One thing is for sure the moment you think you don’t have to work at marriage, of that things are perfect it’s time to take restock.  Marriage isn’t easy! ( Behindmychoice: Defining Love ) Even the BEST ones need tender loving care and prioritized to matter.  But staying did not make me a fool despite it still calling for work and grace and forgiveness etc!

Karen tells Harry in this scene, “…yes but you’ve also made a fool out of me.  You’ve made the life I lead foolish too…”  How those words resinate back to how I felt when we were in the trenches, working our way out of the worst of it.  I did feel like a fool, how could you not?  When you realize your trust has been stomped on by the person who held the most vulnerable part of your trust, it hurts!  But, staying and deciding to live a life of hard work at forgiveness and grace was not foolish.  It was at times a daily, even a minute to minute purposeful choice.  Behindmychoice: Allowing Respect to Grow Trust

It has been months since I created a post here. But today, I could not shake the nudge to type these words out.  Someone reading this must need to hear IT’S OK TO STAY!!  FORGIVENESS is OK! ( Behind my choice -To say “I Forgive you”  )Working past the pain and trauma will be hard but if you both want it…GO FOR IT!!

Please don’t think I am saying it is ok to be abused it is not. If that is your situation seek help and protect yourself.  Being physically or emotional abused is never ok.   But choosing to rebuild and regain a committed, loving and mutually respected marriage is never a wrong thing.  If you have the gift of confession from your spouse and an even bigger gift that he or she is willing to change  and wants to rebuild it is NOT FOOLISH to want that too!!

Who ever you are reading this.  Know you are not alone facing this.  You will get through this and you are NOT a FOOL!!

 

 

 

 

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Humbled by “Lovely Blog” nomination

WOW! I am humbled!  Thank you Fighting the Fight  (https://secondchances685.wordpress.com/)  first for taking the time to read the simple words of someone just like you trying to make her way out from the trauma of adultery.  Secondly, thank you so much for the nomination of “Lovely Blog” award.  I am truly touched.  I started behindmychoice as a safe place for me to work through all I was facing.  I published my first blog with a prayer  it would not only help me heal and focus on the blessings but also help or bless someone else.  To know that others have read my words and found comfort or encouragement is humbling.

My nominations:

jackiesill.com

theaffairdiary.wordpress.com

lifepostaffair.wordpress.com

workingtowardshealingafterhisaffair.wordpress.com

reconcile4life.wordpress.com

luvcanbuildabridge.wordpress.com

livelovelaughagainblog.wordpress.com

marriagetroublesite.com

The RULES: (as I have read them)

  • Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog
  • Post about the award
  • Share seven facts about yourself
  • Nominate at most 15 people
  • Tell your nominees they’ve been nominated for one lovely award

7 Facts About Myself:

  1.  I try every day to live out my faith first, in hope that all else will fall into place after that.
  2. I love my husband-grateful we have worked through all we have.
  3. Being a mother has taught me and showed me I have more strengths than I ever knew.
  4. I also love music, singing is such a joy to me.
  5. I still have insecurities and fears-part of me thinks I always will, despite what I have proven I can live through and learn from.
  6. Music, sweet treats, exercise, being outdoors–just a few things that make me smile
  7. I want my life to make a difference, I want my testimony to turn into a testament!
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Behind my choice: real, authentic, honest

Despite all the blessings, all the good, all the progress, all the forgiving and loving and survival….I just have days where I don’t want this to be my testimony.

Today is just one of them.  Really can it wash away completely?  Can it go away like turning the tv channel? If only it were that easy.

Days of weakness are real.  Moments of raw pain and tears still hit.  Rages of wanting to get even and lash out at the “other woman” flare up. Resentment tries to take the reigns.

Will I be strong again? I know I will.  It may be tomorrow, later today, I may even brush off all this angst in 5 minutes. Maybe even before I am done typing this will pass.  But truth is at this moment….I am just not ok.  That’s what this journey is about; even over 2 years later.  Embracing the truth of it all.  Good, bad, ugly, all of it.

I am human.  I have a heart that is fragile.  I bleed, bend and break just like everyone else.

I’ve heard (as I am sure you have) the quotes of encouragement:

God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.  

Don’t look at all this as a test look at it as a testimony.

Just when you don’t give yourself enough credit, God comes along and shows you what you can get through.

Now before those of you out there jump on the “don’t be a victim” slam I’d like to just say   I AM NOT a victim.  Nor do I live like one, honestly I can say I don’t think I ever did.  Even when this whole trauma hit.  I never allowed the victim mentality to take hold.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have to trudge through the emotions of living this journey and living through it fully!

There are just times when you just want to scream and make it all go away and not deal with it anymore.

There is nothing wrong with feeling anything.  There is nothing wrong with not embracing with gratitude a difficult journey.  There is nothing wrong with me or anyone else who just has moments when they pray (ok scream) out to a God to take it away.

I will be fine.  This reaction is not a defeat but a reminder that I am human.  It’s not about the desire to not be here, but the ability to turn the desire not to be here in to healthy healing.

I don’t have to like this.  I don’t have to like being here.  That doesn’t make me weak.  It doesn’t make my faith weak.  It doesn’t make all the blessings and positive steps we’ve made in our marriage any less valid.

Moments like this just make me:

—REAL—AUTHENTIC—HONEST—

 

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Behind my Choice: To Not Let “alone” In

I started this blog a few years ago to let out what I was feeling, to continue healing, have a safe place to leave everything out there.  I wanted to give a voice to the scared and shattered little girl, whom I felt like when the pain was at it’s worst.  I also thought maybe just maybe someone out there might need to know they weren’t alone, trying to navigate their way through their own wreckage.

My entries, posts, whatever you want to call them, have always been nothing but honest.  I haven’t sugar coated the feelings.  At least I haven’t felt like I have.  But part of me has always fought this underlying fear that my story was so rare and singular it left me alone,  a version of alone that terrified me. It’s something I am not sure I have ever put out there before now.

So my go to response whenever anything flares up like this, ask God why it’s there.

What are you trying to teach me?

Am I supposed to be learning something here?

Have I missed you in the mess?

Help me focus on blessings, the good things please don’t let the dark and evil win.

 

Over the past few weeks I  have noticed something.  I’ve taken mental notes as I’ve gone about daily life.   Adultery is more common  than I realized.  Between the movies, tv shows, novels, song lyrics, even personal stories,  it just seems to be more abundant than I ever thought.

Now, I had to try and keep my brain in check and not let things become obsessive.  Maybe you know what I’m talking about.  That weird phenomenon like when you are thinking about buying a new car and you’ve never seen that make or model around; then wham; it seems to be at every stop light with you or parked a few slots down in every lot.  Was that what was happening to me.  My life was focused more on adultery and affairs because I was dealing with getting past my husband’s so I was just zoning in on references?  Or maybe I am just more sensitive about the subject so I noticed it more?

It’s been over 2 years since I started taking notice of it.  And the frequency and theme just doesn’t seem to be going away.  It’s almost getting more frequent.

WHY IS THAT?

The theme isn’t something new.  Pull up lyrics to songs from the 1950’s (maybe even earlier).  Search the American Movie Classics channel and read so many of the synopses of movies from the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s.  The writers, authors, directors have to find (sorry for lack of a better word here but) inspiration from something.  And truth is, even the fiction is based or built on some perception of reality if you ask me.

Reality is people are hurting and healing from some form of adultery or infidelity in their marriages, friendships,  in all relationships.  But once again that still small voice inside my heart was screaming not to let the negative and that sad truth win.  That can’t be the focus.  The sad, painful side of any affair or infidelity can NOT remain the focus.

 

It has motivated me over the past few weeks to pray for those who feel alone.  I may never know your name.  I may never know your story. You may never know mine.  Please know this, that someone has prayed for you.  I have prayed for you. aloneAs I was thinking about it this morning I came to the conclusion that despite the reality I have chosen and will continue to not let alone in.  Even if it’s a simple blog post that no one ever reads.  It’s a purposeful productive way to not isolate myself and to keep moving forward.

It saddens me that so many people are facing this same pain. The reasons, excuses, explanations from both sides of any affair or infidelity are so many.  Evaluating them or working through them far more complex for my simple blog.

To any of you facing this journey as well I hope you have found your voice toward healing.  That you have found at least one book, one Bible verse, one song, one blog, counselor, support group whatever it may be to give you strength.  A strength that comes from knowing you aren’t alone.  You are going to get past this.

alone-2

Don’t let the “alone in”.

Because you aren’t!!!

 

 

 

 

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Really Brain? Really?

We are good.  I know we are good.  We’ve made such great progress.  I can see the changes in him. I feel the changes in me.  I can feel the difference in our daily interactions.  Our family life is so much better.  It’s been weeks since we even brushed by a conversation having to do with everything that happened.

But it was another night of nightmares.  After a few days of me fighting back evil’s attempt to make me question all the good and proof of reason’s to believe we are ok.

I really, truly am just tired of evil seeping it’s way into  my thoughts and joy.  I have every reason to believe in the good I have experienced over the past 2 years.  I have every reason to trust my husbands actions.  There really are more positives than I can count.  Yet my brain just takes a nose dive every now and then.  It runs with the slightest, dumbest little thing.

I AM SO SICK OF IT!!!brain

I mean really.  God is bigger than this.  Why on earth does my little brain keep taking the dark path?   SO WHAT if my husband has to travel for business again and certain, former business associates may be there.  SO WHAT if it’s been a rough week at work and he’s had to be connected to his phone a bit more.  SO WHAT if he made a dumb comment about some hot actress on the tv.  NONE of that, even if added all together, can take away from the reality of where we are.  And that reality is a good one, a healthy one.  We have done a lot of work and we are good.  Truly good.

But Satan knows my weak points.  He knows just how to leak enough truth into all his lies and deception to make me nervous and anxious.  At times it’s just enough to make the pit in my stomach feel a mile deep.  When the heat flames up behind my eyes and that little voice says, “see what if…”

I’ve had to stop myself.  Purposefully and diligently stop myself from letting fear and anxiety snowball into sabotaging all that is good and worked hard for in our marriage now.  It’s still hard at times not to let the negative win a battle.  And honestly it wins a few here and there.  Not nearly as many as it used to, but I’ll be damned if it’s going to win this war.

Reality is I am just a simple Christian woman, doing her best.   My limitations to be perfect and handle this well all the time are just tangible reminders to stop relying on my own abilities.    Honestly anything I have hasn’t come from anything I’ve done anyway.  I have never and will never be able to change, direct, persuade, or determine my husbands actions, thoughts, reactions or choices.  Same goes for my children or friends, or family.  It’s up to God and their relationship with Him to determine all that.  I can express my pain and fears with honest vulnerability but that only brings to their attention the consequences of choices in front of them.  It serves the ball into their court to take those reactions on my part to influence change.  A change that needs to come from the inside out-my pain doesn’t have that power no matter how much I want it to.

Pain has a way of altering the perception of our responsibilities  I think.  When we are in pain and need answers to the questions of why and how, it seems so common to think we are supposed to do something to fix it.  To think we are called to change things that are out of our control.  The reality is we most often can’t. I actually believe we can NEVER do that.  For me to say that I have that power demotes the power of my God.  Ultimately He is the one in control.  We are created to be emotional, relationship driven people.  From that design I truly believe God can convict someone’s choices to be different next time.   Because they have learned the pain it caused yet, that knowledge, no matter how eloquently I explain it to them, is just a indirect element however to why they change.

My pain is my journey.  My stupid nightmares are my challenge.  My ridiculous brain’s wandering path toward the negative is my mountain to climb.  It’s frustrating.  It is!  And I have been knows to shout out loud, “Really brain? Really?”  I did not ask to be in this position.  But I am.  How I move forward from it is all mine though.  And I will tell you I want the brain to shut up more than it does.

So how do I get it to shut-up?

It comes down to this simple fact for me.  When my brain starts to win over with negative, anxiety ridden fears it is a huge red flag that I have been relying on myself too much.  That I haven’t actively sought God to be a part of my thoughts, actions, reactions, choices…

When my faith is right, my thoughts are less tormented.  When my heart is humbled before God it seems easier to find grand joy in simple things.  When my focus is on where God is taking me, not my own plan, things feel less anxiety ridden. (Easier, not always, He doesn’t promise easy).  God doesn’t want to see me fail.

jeremiah

I’ve done all kinds of things to shut up my “bad brain”.  Here are a few that have worked for me:

  • PRAYER
  • writing out a list of positives in my marriage
  • gone for a run
  • call a friend
  • open scripture and read it aloud
  • blogging
  • turn on music to uplift me
  • cleaning (odd I know, when feeling out of control there is something to be said for cleaning and organizing.  It’s a tangible immediate result)
  • help someone else, do a good deed to take the focus off me

So today is another day that I will roll my eyes at my silly brain.  Find what works to push back the nightmares from last night and move forward.  I’ll give negative thoughts the one two punch, knock them back a bit.  Maybe I’ll be lucky enough that one of the punches will send them all to that pit a mile deep and never been heard from again.  Until that happens I’ll regain focus on my faith and cling to God and giving back the control to Him.  His plans are better than bad brain moments for sure!!

plan

 

 

 

 

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BehindMyChoice:Attitude Adjustment

Anniversaries are supposed to be a date to celebrate.  Today is an anniversary I struggle to even want to acknowledge.  I still fight back dark emotions and reactions of what this “anniversary” reflects.  Honestly I still take active measures to count the blessings not the burdens at times while we continue to move past all the truth that came out 2 years ago.

We hover around the 2nd anniversary of when I found out all that had been happening, all my husbands selfish and (pardon my french) crappy choices.  The tornado crashed through my heart, my soul, my safest place on earth—my marriage.  Even 2 years later there are reminders.

But as through any other time in this journey of recovery, I refuse to let the dark win.  I will count the blessings of today and the past 730 days where we chose to honor what God has given us, rebuild, regain, and remain.

Neither one of us can change what happened.  The past is just that, the past. What’s done was done.  What I can control fattituderom here on out is today and the me that faces today.  The moment I am living right now is mine for the taking.
At some point I need to stop letting things revolve around one traumatic event in my life but be filled with all the good and blessings and love and positives.

 

Because the reality of today is, I have survived, I have survived something horrific.  Truly I have not just survived but I have thrived.  I am stronger.  I am more aware of God’s grace and mercies.  I am more grateful for little things.  I have grown in my self awareness and my self worth.  Moving past this, working through this, has made me, a better me.  I have a right and the responsibility to myself to own that in a positive way.  The test I was thrown into is part of my testimony.   God never promised life would be easy or without trials or troubles.

attitude victory

My marriage is gaining strength each day too.  We still have issues.  We still have pains and hurts.  But I don’t want to live dreading what has ultimately given us the platform to make our marriage stronger and healthier.

SO today as I reflect on the reality that this is and always will be an anniversary I’ve decided to make another purposeful choice.

Behind my choice to face today is an attitude adjustment!

 

 

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Behindmychoice: Address the Emotions…again

Emotions hit out of nowhere.  They take over at times, even 2 years later.  They fluctuate from anger to fear, sometimes it’s frustration or just plain sadness.  And I’ll be honest it’s annoying.  Especially when I feel like I’m the only one still facing them.

You can’t ignore them or squash them down because like a soda being shaken at some point when that top comes off it’s going to all come exploding out.  I get that and I feel like I have done a good job not repressing things.  But I’ll admit it’s hard not to be uncomfortable or uneasy when you feel like the only one left still dealing with all the emotions of the pain of what happened.  That brings upon a whole  new set of emotions on top of what you where already feeling.

I don’t want to still be hurting or have triggers effect my day.  The reality is there are still days when the scar and phantom pain from the trauma are too hard to move past.  It’s what to do with them that counts.  It’s choosing which moments or emotions to share with my husband.  I will be honest I don’t share with him every time I still have a nightmare.  I don’t bombard him every time a trigger takes hold or I get a punch to the emotional gut.  Why?  For a few reasons.  The biggest being I don’t want to rehash it all and let the bad win again.  I don’t want to still be reliving all that happened all the time. There is self preservation too, there are times I don’t say anything to him because I don’t want it to be about him. He is still healing and dealing with his own stuff and there have (and will) be times when even just sharing my pain it becomes about his quilt and pain of wanting to just move forward. There is also concern of telling him every little incident of pain I feel would aid to the cancer of what happened coming out of remission.  We have come such a long way and things are different.  We are committed to each other and honestly happily married today.  I am sure many would say, “Let him know.  He deserves to know how this all still hurts you.  So what if he has to feel guilty.  He doesn’t get to make this about him. He created this mess”  While I have had those thoughts myself, he has taken responsibility for what he did.  He has shown remorse. He has created change that instills my trust to grow and rebuild again.  And while he may need to know the overall scar is still there, to constantly draw attention to it I fear would begin to eat away at the all the progress we have made.  What good does constantly throwing it in his face do?  At some point constantly being pecked at by my remaining pain could lead to him feeling unforgiven or unable to move past this himself.

I choose very carefully the times I share when the emotions have the upper hand.  I deliberately select when and to what level I tell him I am struggling.  I don’t want to continue to add to the pain myself.  While he needs to take ownership so do I.  He can’t fix my heart only I can.  I could give him a book of rules and regulations to follow to provide me a sense of security.  I could throw it in his face every time I was feeling off and make it all about what he did.  But at this point in the healing process, what he did, is no longer the issue.  It’s how it left me to heal and move forward and the process of healing, that is the issue.  That is not on him, my heart and my emotional well being is my domain.  Yes he should care for me.  The Bible gives clear definition and expectations of how a husband should love and be present for their wife in Ephesians 5:25-30,

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body.  

NO where in there does it say that he should be a minion in my army or hold responsibility for making me love myself or take responsibility for my healing.  He is expected to love me and respect me as the wonderful creation I am in Christ.  He is to love me as he loves himself and care for me as he would care for himself.  And while that may mean listening to me say the same thing over and over again or walking along side of me while I still process and move forward that doesn’t mean I have to make it any worse than it already is.

I don’t want to go from the one hurting and healing to the one causing the pain and hurt.  There is a difference to me.  Not every emotional falter needs to be put in front of him.  He knows it hurts.  He knows this is the hardest thing I have every had to get through in my life so far, why constantly add to the tension by jabbing him with my every twinge of pain? So I filter them.  I believe in a healthy way.  Many out there won’t agree with me.  Many will be reading this and want to tell me I am being too kind, a wimp, or maybe even uglier names or have other impressions of me.  I refuse to make facing and addressing emotions become the chance for the bad and ugly side of them win.  There is a balance between self ownership and the accountability of anther person for you pain and hurt.

So like yesterday when the emotions of pain and some fear hit and I couldn’t just acknowledge them and still go about my day I told him. Telling him was messy.  It came with his own emotional response.  Last night was awkward….again…even almost 2 years later. We talked it out some.  He asked what he was supposed to do to fix it.  He had his own emotions to address after I placed mine on him.  Did we fall asleep with answers last night? No.  I’ll be honest I don’t have the answers even still this morning.  What we both had last night and still this morning was compassion for each other and respect, not to mention love.  Neither one of us blamed the other for the emotions we had.  Neither one of us insulted or belittled the other.  Sometimes it’s not about fixing but just addressing, admitting, or sharing.

Last night behind my choice to address the emotions was to let him in when it was just hard not to let the emotions out.  There will be more and more days when the emotions don’t even surface and they pass as fast as they come. Until then I will address them for me, not him and prayerfully choose wisely which ones need to be shared before allowed to be any more than a reaction to healing.

 

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