Discussion – Working on YOU

Letting goOne of the therapeutic philosophies that we subscribe to and preach to others in posts, emails and comments is the aspect of working on YOU in your efforts to heal after the affair.

In short, turn the focus on to yourself and get strong both physically and mentally and prepare for the rough road ahead.  This is great advice but not always easy to do if you’re not used to putting yourself first.  It may involve baby steps to learn how.

Working on you can encompass many things, like exercise, taking up a hobby, therapy, meditation…the list goes on and on.

Here are a few examples that I’ve picked out that some readers mentioned:

I started focusing on myself — what I want, what it takes to get it. I’ve hired a trainer and gotten physically strong and lost weight. I make my thoughts/opinions known. I don’t give in just to make things easy and I don’t let my husband off the hook to make his life easier.

I forced myself to go to more theater, have coffee/ lunches with friends, go out even when I had to peel myself off the chair.  But now I love those things and look forward to them.

I have little quotes in places where I see them each day, adding or switching out as I come across a new one.

I spent a good six months with a rubber band on my wrist, which I snapped every time I thought of my CS! And you know what? It worked!! Eventually. I made myself think of lovely things about my life and focus on my hobbies/ my own interests every time I snapped that band. Some days I had a stinging wrist, but NOW I focus on my own life a lot more.

Every morning I take 15 mins by myself, just to quietly check in with my heart and see how life feels today.

I have learned how good self-care leads to feeling better long-term.  There was a time when I couldn’t see beyond this moment and didn’t care what I ate, whether or not my clothes were ironed.  I am very grateful now that I am not in that place. 

I have picked up my pencil and have started sketching again. And my pictures are coming together. I started a picture last night and before I knew it an hour had passed and I was very pleased with the outcome.

I am spending more time playing with my dogs.

I am also going to start adding another day of Zumba a week, that alone has brought me really far.

With these examples in mind, here are the discussion points for this week:

Have you been working on YOU after the affair? If so, how?

What did you do today/this week for YOU, that made You happy and fulfilled and inched you forwards?

How has it affected you in your recovery and in your relationship?

How has your spouse/partner reacted to this?

As always, please reply to each other in the comments. Each person leaving a comment is not an isolated incident. Many folks find the comments very helpful.

Thanks again!

Linda & Doug

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6 Responses to Discussion – Working on YOU

  1. emotionalrollercoaster February 5, 2014 at 7:34 am #

    I go to the gym everyday and exercise 1 1/2 hours then I tan. I have lost 35 pounds. Just yesterday after 4 1/2 months since d day cs commented on my weight loss.
    The tanning and gym makes me so happy I would have never spent this kind of money on myself. I do now and I don’t feel quilty.
    When I get really stressed it is amazing how exercising works it all out, then I can face the rest of the day. That is my time, my cs is not allowed in my thoughts there. I rarely think about ow, she is not allowed in my head at all!
    As far as my recovery I am calm and at peace with myself. I’m not healed I still have my bad days that is when I go to my room and pray, meditate, and let the bible read to me. I have it on my smartphone, Psalms is so encouraging to me
    cs said he can see a difference in me. You know what I am not doing this for him I am doing it for me.

  2. Jeddy February 5, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

    I got a part time retail job with girls half my age. No stress, deep discount, very physical, no mental. I have to dress up and slap a coat or 2 of paint on my face and deal with the public. And because of these university girls, I know the whole new beyonce album (although I’m the only one who calls it an album). Walking around having to be pleasant eventually makes you smile all on your own. Wardrobe is better, my street cred with the under 24 crowd is rockin’ and it’s all good. Having to be somewhere at a certain time looking a certain way is good, even if you don’t realize it right away.

  3. webbgurl February 5, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

    I love me. I was a nearly housebound agoraphobic with no life for years after being codependent with my husband. When the facts about him began to come out, God showed me a vision of a little bird leaving a cage. That was me. He gave me the strength and courage to fly to Denver for New Life’s Women in the Battle, a 3 day intensive for betrayed women of sexually addicted spouses.

    My new theme songs are Take Me As I Am and Just Fine by Mary J Blige, Roar and Firework by Katy Perry, and Adele’s Set Fire to the Rain. I confronted the last issue of a 2 year affair with a woman that looked like gutter trash. I asked him to leave for good and take everything that looked like him. He wanted to die, and got the help he needed for his sexual addiction. He is a godly man now, but I am cautious and will never put all my eggs in any human beings basket again.

    Ladies or gentlemen, only God can meet all of your needs. People will fail you. I am taking classes that teach me how to be whole and not codependent on others. This was the wake up call we both needed. I am never going back to that half person I was.
    Rise up Girls!!!

  4. Recovering February 6, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    You know, I don’t even know what it MEANS to take care of myself!! I’ve spent money on crap I thought I wanted, and then just regret the bills! I go out with my friends, but then just wait for him to say something about him being able to go out with “the guys”, but he is no longer ‘allowed’ because it was him going out with me that enabled his cheating. Not caused, mind you, but enabled. I hate being at work, I hate being at home… I wonder on most days if I am depressed, despite being on meds for anxiety already! All I ever want to do is sleep and stay in bed – even on the nicest days!! I have gone from being outgoing and fun to just tired and dull and crabby! And it’s been 2.5 years since D-day!! I swear I wasn’t like this even a year out from finding out… I just don’t feel like ME!! Idunno… maybe it is this awful winter, but I just want to be in BED!! And ALONE in the BED!!

    How do I go from being the one who takes care of everything to someone who takes care of ME without it being the same selfish thing that HE said he was doing when he cheated? He said he was finally doing what HE wanted, and that he was selfish (though why anyone would WANT to sleep with another married person, much less find them attractive in that way is beyond me). Idunno… I can’t seem to come to grips enough with who I am because I was SOOOO wrong about who HE was! Does that make sense? I just feel lost – and I don’t WANT to feel this way anymore!!!!! I love my husband! I REALLY do!! I don’t want us to be over! Sometimes I wonder if that is the only way to get myself back though…

    Am I the only one who feels this way? I just don’t know how to do ME when HE is in the picture! See… I think I have totally lost it!

  5. forcryin'outloud February 6, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    I stopped working on me when I became a SAHM. Before that I had a great career and knew my self worth. Somewhere along the road of the 7 years between that time and my CS turning into a world class jacka$$ I had begun to lose myself. Like all CSs he was keen to point out every flaw I had along with all the ones he conjured up in his own head. After some time I was quick to allow them to stick and define me.

    I grew up in a family in constant chaos and abuse but a mother who always presented us like the “white picket fence” family. And boy did I adopt that pattern once my marriage starting spiraling downward. It was amazing how I became what was modeled for me as a child in a time of crisis. The worst part is I NEVER wanted to become that person and it went against my every bit of my fiber, character and demeanor.

    The year following d-day I did an excellent job of working on me. All the things mentioned here and then “life” starting happening in year two. H’s layoff, moving to a new state (against my better judgment) father dying, grandmother dying, hysterectomy. So now 3 1/2 yrs post d-day I’m a floundering middle aged woman who so desperately wants to find her canoe to ride the rest of this journey. I have unbridled hope even if a plan still eludes me.

    I’m a completely different person than I was the first 3 yrs post d-day. My H’s family drama and my family drama no longer control me. I remember my therapist told me early on that I don’t have to engage in other people’s tantrums. At the time I had not a clue but now I understand completely. I was always trying to be the fixer the rock for everyone else. The life enforcer for the illogical mistakes of others. I don’t do that anymore.

    I have not created the next big thing or gotten my master’s degree or started some incredible job. What I have found is a way to be my friend along with appreciating my uniqueness. My self worth is no longer dependent on the value I see myself in other’s eyes. I eventually will become what I’m meant to be and I will have great joy in my life again. For now I am learning to accept all this drama as one of life’s hurdles and I’m finding peace. As far as my marriage it’s better than it was during “fantasyland” but our love story is forever tarnished. And maybe that’s just what happens with some of us. But I’m COMPLETELY HOPEFUL for the first time since my world was blown apart.

  6. Mrs C February 7, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    Dear Recovering
    I was the same last year and couldn’t work for around 7 mths. I’ve found it really hard to continue running my own business as it needed a lot of my attention and focus. Starting small helps, once you shift your focus away from your husband and onto yourself, you will feel better. Nurture the relationship you have with yourself as well as with those who care about you. My friends and actually my mother-in-law really helped me get through it, reminding me that there is beauty and joy in life, and that I had those qualities about myself too.
    I’ve done so much reading to gain many insights and have learned and understood about what led my husband to the affair, I acknowledge the part I played in ‘abandoning’ him. I dont blame myself, but our naivety and passiveness in handling our problems.
    I read on Andrew G Marshall’s site (go check it out – its a highly recommended resource together with his books) that affairs are often a symptom of marital problems and there is no point in focusing on the OW as they are just a symptom. this makes so much sense to me.
    Remember the person your husband fell in love with, nurture yourself back to health – emotionally and physically and you will only reap the rewards. You have to heal yourself and not play to the dramas of the affair. Your spouse should notice the changes as did mine. One of the best things I did was get new clothes that make me feel feminine so I felt good about myself, exercise to get my endorphins hit and spend time with people who love me and whose company I enjoy. And watch your favourite comedies etc. date yourself and flirt with other men! Have fun and plan something that gets you out of bed, like morning coffee and cake with your friend! Smile!
    Take care of yourself.

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