NOTE: It's been nearly a year since I posted this on StormVictim's thread in answer to his questions. Sorry, SV but it looks like I killed your R-thread with my long post.
I'll move it over here since it's been over a year since I've posted on my own recovery thread. I'll be back to compare our current status with what I described last June.
Again, if you're still around, I apologize SV. Feel free to kill my R-Thread if ya want.
#411429 - Sat Jun 25 2016 09:06 AM Re: Wading Ashore [Re: Ace]
Member Registered: Wed Aug 25 2010
Originally Posted By: StormVictim
But your note confuses me - and since ignorance is NEVER ultimately bliss, such confusion generates concern. Are you implying that you found your recovery being hindered by continued participation on threads such as MA?
So, (and not knowing you at all, this is a truly intrusive question) approximately where in Mark's checklist would you say you and your husband were when you felt it advisable to take a break from actively posting here? And were you satisfied by the change in your marital situation for doing so?
Again, I apologize for my delay in addressing your thoughts and questions. Regarding your question about taking a break from online posting and how it affected our recovery.
I took an earlier break briefly from another forum (MB) after one week of posting (January 2007) when I got blasted for questioning Delayed Exposure. I allegedly misquoted a veteran poster who I thought had stated that there are times when delayed exposure might be advisable but such late action could be worse than letting "dead dogs lie" or however that saying goes.
I was off the forums for 2 weeks, researching more on the subject of Delayed Exposure to the other woman's husband. It had been 6 months and I had had what I thought was verifiable NC. My confidence came from my husband telling the site owner and his wife on their radio show that "he would do anything to help me heal" and he was consistently following up his pledge with actions.
In that instance, I took a break due to my own concern for what I was and was not learning. Instead of participating in the firestorm I apparently had caused and possibly getting more confused, I went to the source information and avoided the 'discussion' for 2 weeks.
Interestingly enough, the answer I got was that I should expose to OWH if it would help me heal. If it was for revenge or any other reason, the fact that it might backfire would not be worth the risk. I was advised to tell the OW that if she didn't tell her H what she had done, then I would do it myself.
My situation was very different from most BS's. I was actively trying to be the OW's friend, thinking she would not betray me any longer if she liked me. I had a severe case of what many call Betrayed Spouse fog. I think we have a BS Fog thread on MA.
This happened in January, 2007. Taking a 2 week break helped my marriage at that time because I could keep a focus on what an "expert" said I should do. It also helped when I decided that delayed exposure would help me avoid feeling paranoid about what OW's H might or might not do if he discovered what my H and his W had been doing at a later time over which I may or may not have control.
I took that possibility off the table by exposing to OWH myself, even after 6 months of verifiable NC. I called him first to verify his work address and then sent a packet of photo copies of OW's handwritten notes to my H and their emails about them wanting to get together IRL.
Keep in mind, my H and OW never met one time in person and obviously never had physical intercourse. But they did engage in phone sex so from that perspective, theirs was both a physical and emotional affair or what I call a P/EA. From my experience, emotional interactions can sink extremely deep roots into the infidelity addictions of vulnerable spouses. Quite possibly, those roots wreak more havoc than the quick thrill of a ONS with no emotional attraction IMVHO. That's from what I've read and heard from those who have experienced both.Did my posting on an online marriage forum help or hinder our marriage and at what step were we on Mark's list?
My guess is that we were around Step #4 at the time. However Step #5, relating to triggers and Step #6--- allowing things to fester by avoiding what could be controversial topics---were also issues for me/us.
I began relying on my postings,--- first on MB in 2007 and then here on MA once we started it in 2010---for my self-recovery goals. Thus I developed an addiction to posting that progressed for 7 years. I knew I needed to change something when I realized that I did not feel like we were recovered after all those years. So I wondered if there might be a possible correlation between my reading and posting about infidelity issues and my inability to progress to where I felt like we were recovered. My husband feels like we are recovered because he has an uncanny ability to forget everything unrelated to sports. But he is sensitive enough to my needs so that he supports me in whatever I think will help me and US as a couple.
There is no question that posting helped us progress in recovery for those 7 years. I was not sure if it hindered our achieving the status of being recoverED but I was willing to find out. In order to do so, however, I knew I would have to break my posting addiction and subsequent withdrawal symptoms that we all know (and love) so well. NOT! blush
In the fall of 2014 my work load changed so drastically that I had very little time to take care of my personal life, our marriage and family, and my job, let alone continue daily reading/posting on an anonymous online forum that continuously reminded me of things I was trying to forget. I was also trying to work on an intense "10 year piles to files" project that I was nearing completion on when DDay 1 exploded and everything got randomly shoved back into several dozen un-labeled boxes. About the same time, some issues developed on MA but I had no time to seek clarification after my brief inquiry led to another question.
I melded all four events (needing to break my posting addiction, increase in work commitment, my piles to files project and my question about MA) to use as motivation to attempt to break my posting addiction. Thus, with zero fanfare I quietly disappeared from all MA forums. Fortunately not many noticed or if they did, I didn't see anything publicly the few times I lurked...and only a few said anything privately. Thus I was able to break the posting addiction I had started over 9 years ago. (In January 2017 it will have been 10 years since I registered and began posting on MB.)
I do appreciate those who called or emailed me during my absence. In answer to your question about where our marriage is today and if posting or not posting helped or hurt us.
Here are my thoughts in no particular order:
1. Posting helped our marriage by giving me an outlet to vent in a safe space. I have an excellent memory, which is a double edged sword when trying to forget bad images. Even when everything seemed great, my continued posting often brought out issues that others could challenge and thus, possibly help me avoid potential land-mines down the road.
2. I knew that my addiction to posting might possibly be worse than my H's 6 month EA combined with the previous 3+ decades of my willingness to tolerate a sub par relationship and marriage. This was something I needed to do for myself if I expected him to continue changing, too. (More about that later.)
3. I realized that I needed to break my own habits and addictive posting inclination cold turkey. I did not say anything on the forums about where I was going. I just took a break. I occasionally emailed and even met with a few MA friends to update them on our progress but because of the four issues mentioned previously, I had little time to dwell on what I was missing by ceasing posting temporarily and decreasing reading about other's infidelity issues for over a year.
This may not work for others but it's what helped me. We may have been at Step #10 at one time but eventually may have regressed back to Step #5 relating to triggers because of my excellent memory for things I'm trying to forget. Go figure.
In spite of that, I would say that our marriage is much better today for several reasons which I will detail on my own recovery thread soon. (I promise to relearn how to link but in the meantime it's called "Ace's Missing Pieces" on this same Recovery Forum.)
In conclusion, I think that my 2 years of initial posting on MB really helped us on our recovery journey tremendously. Fortunately, I had many veteran MB posters reach out to help me via email when I could no longer post safely there. That's one of the reasons that I and others badgered the eventual founders to create MA in the fall of 2010.
I hope both you, SV and SK will use MA to give advice and get help in ways you may not realize you need until way down the road. And if, after 7 years, you feel like you may need a break to reach the fullest status in achieving a recoverED marriage, I hope you'll find a way to do whatever you need.
In the meantime, I hope you'll both continue to share your stories, seek help for the many challenges ahead---yes there will be more I'm sorry to say---and continue to grow together, using your experiences to help others who find themselves on this un-intended (or for some, initially unknowingly deliberate) journey.
I'm guessing that you two have increased your chances at success because you are both seeking help with changing yourselves, here on MA and elsewhere. My H will most likely never post on a discussion forum for anything, not even for sports. I don't fault him....he's just different. Anytime we need to seek help from our tough MC, however, he's willing to make the appointments so I can't complain.
Again, we appreciate your being here on MA and thanks for asking about our status. I've only glanced at SK's thread (could not read any of it while I only occasionally lurked) but I've been impressed with what you both seem to have accomplished in a relatively short period of time. May you continue to recover your marriage and rebuild it to an even better place than it was before the A-bomb nearly blew it all to smithereens.
Thanks for reading and Best wishes,
P.S. Sorry to put such a long reply on your recovery thread, SV. Let me know if you prefer that I move/link part of it to my own recovery thread.