The Beginning of Something Else

On June 1, 2007 I found out my husband and partner of almost two decades had been unfaithful to me since before our marriage, and had been having intercourse with prostitutes for 3 1/2 years. This is what happened next.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Seven things I'm grateful to have learned in recovery

I have been memed by one of my favorites, The Junky's Wife, and the game directly overlaps what I've been thinking about as Thanksgiving approaches.

I've been having a hard time finding time to write, and I've also been struggling with a little funk. It's a combination of my friend finding a "perfect" guy, her thinking about having more kids (which we've been trying to do,) and seeing some (bad) movies that had me thinking about the unpredictability of life's tragedies.

But here I am right now, with both the time and the spirit to finish this post, so here goes.

Here are the rules for the meme:

Link to the person’s blog who tagged you.
Post these rules on your blog.
List seven things you're grateful to have learned in recovery.
Tag seven people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.

Seven things I'm grateful to have learned in recovery are:

1. I'm grateful to see that my "illness" is my need to fix and solve things for others, often at the expense of actually listening to or hearing them; that I don't have to do that; and that if I don't do that, I can have a better experience of myself and better relationships with others.

2. I'm grateful to have learned that a healthy adult has defined boundaries with everybody, even with people they love and trust, and with people who love them and treat them with love.

3. I'm grateful to have learned that I don't need to agonize about or be hurt by things that don't have anything to do with me.

4. I'm grateful to have learned to reach out to others.

5. I'm grateful to have been given the insight that my husband is human, and not the perfect person I'd unintentionally held him to be. This awareness frees us both from certain pressures and expectations that inevitably create problems.

6. I'm grateful to have learned that when Husband is angry it doesn't mean Husband hates me and will certainly have less respect for me, that I've completely failed, that I'm a bad person, and that I alone have to fix whatever the problem is. And I'm grateful to learn that Husband is responsible for his own feelings.(I'm also grateful to have learned what an absolutist I am and how that impacts me and my relationships.)

7. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to see how truly unknown the future is, regardless of how knowable it feels, and to have the chance to face the unknowableness of life and the accompanying fear and not turn away from it, and to try to learn from what I experience by not turning away.

There is so much more I've learned. I wish I could learn all the good lessons I'm learning without the accompanying pain and fear - I certainly wouldn't say I'd gladly do this all again. But there is no question that I've experienced profound personal and spiritual growth that I am deeply thankful for.

I have only two people to tag at the moment (a lesson on reaching out more!):
Fiona at Ionafiona
Chris at Grateful Recovering Sex Addict

5 comments:

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

I'm grateful for many of the same things. In line with your gratitude for reaching out to people, I'm grateful I'm learning to ask for help when I need it. I'm also grateful you tagged two folks I missed!

thejunkyswife said...

Isn't it awful realizing that you're an absolutist? I've always thought of myself as so open-minded, free-thinking, free-spirit, and all that kind of bullshit. I guess I'm actually pretty rule-bound and all full of expectations and other yucky stuff that I wouldn't ever have believed about myself. It helps to know, though...

Recovery Discovery said...

I came over here to tell you how much I appreciated what you had to say about boundaries on TJW's blog. This was a good meme for me to do when I was in a funk, too. Thanks for sharing.

Recovery Discovery said...

p.s. I just added you to my blog roll. Hope that's ok.

FI0NA said...

I'm sorry I never blogged your meme. I am trying to move my blog away from the hurt and disappointment that was the SA disclosure. I did write something though, which I will put in this comment.

Seven things I'm grateful to have learned in recovery

I have been memed by woman.Anonymous7, and whilst I'm sure even the turkey curry is finished up now, and I don't live in a country that celebrates thanksgiving...there is always time to be thankful.

Recently I have been trying to focus my blog away from infidelity, (or sex addiction which I don't understand) - straight infidelity is easier. I am recovering, but from what is still under debate.

I still do not fully accept that a partner of an SA is by definition co-dependent, so have prefered to label my partner's behaviour as infidelity. In writing this I realise the only alternative to co-dependent is "the moral high ground".

Here are the rules for the meme:

Link to the person’s blog who tagged you.
Post these rules on your blog.
List seven things you're grateful to have learned in recovery.
Tag seven people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.

Seven things I'm grateful to have learned in recovery are:

1. The ability to hand things over to a higher power - (religious corny version "let go and let god")

2. The ability to resist snooping into my partner's life - if he cheats, the evidence will come to me. I beleive it will be served to me on a plate :)

3. Powers of reflection, bringing new insights every day, (see below for today's insight)

4.That some of the seamingly happiest marriages have holes you can drive through.

5.That many of my friends' and relatives relationships survived (or even started with) infidelity, and nobody talks about it.

6. How strong I am, and how I can survive.

7. I now know my priorities, My child, my health, my work.

Today's insight:

I believe that underneath all his blustering and bravado, my partner is a Frightened Little Boy (FLB) with abandonment issues. He has used women in the past to bolster his self esteem, and they have used him because he is an easy target (He's funny, he's flirty,and more to the point he's easy). He claims to be strong, and in control of his own destiny, having rejected relationships with previous FBs because they were not perfect, had baggage, were "crazy". this is easy to believe especially when told with such confidence, and how flattering to finally be THE ONE..

...HOWEVER It could just as easily be the case that after initially being interested in him they saw him for what he is:
superficial and self centred. They were not willing (or able) to take him on at any deeper or more meaningful level than FB.

I have been in search of people to tag, outside the circle of strength that this meme has already touched, but I think it it too little too late. Thanks though woman anonymous Number 7!!