Grateful

Shift your focus. It’s impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment.

Since my D-Day I usually feel uncomfortable when I read my friends lists of their blessings on social media. I understand the value of writing down what you are thankful for but I’m not sure about how I feel about public postings on Facebook. I’ve watched enough Oprah in my life to understand that expressing your gratitude will bring more blessings into your life. It will shift your focus to the positive. Two years ago I had friends posting their blessings every day leading up to Thanksgiving. Then the 100 Day Gratitude Challenge took off and I read through my friend’s posts for what felt like endless months. I have two friends at work that spent the summer writing down what they were thankful for every day. I would walk by and reluctantly read their board.

thankful struggle strengthIt’s not that I dislike or resent reading the blessings of my friends but it stirs insecurities within me. I would read their comments and think about my husband’s affair and that seemed to cloud everything. I could make a list of things I am thankful for too but there was so much uncertainty in my life that it seemed daunting. It felt like a lie to tell the world I was thankful for a life I was so unsure about. A life I wasn’t certain I wanted anymore. So I tried to be happy for my friends and their ability to publicly tell the world what makes them happy. Secretly, it made me question my life more. Then something happened. A few days ago one of my coworkers asked to take a picture with me. I didn’t think twice and then he told me he was participating in an eight days of gratitude challenge. Each day posed a question that he needed to answer with gratitude. The day we took our picture he was asked to be grateful for someone that is plays a small but big part of his daily routine. And so there I was reading why someone who barely knows me is grateful for me and it made me realize how much I have to be grateful for in my life.

My life is not perfect. I’m not always certain that I love my life every moment of every day. I’m not always certain that the path I’m on is right or the words I’m typing are expressing what I feel or want to say. Sometimes I fall short in paying myself a bit of gratitude. So I’ve decided to torture you (my readers) with my gratitude list.

  1. I am grateful for my children. They are my lifeline, my greatest loves and inspirations. They are the reason I was able to get up out of bed after my D-day, they gave me a reason to live. They made me smile again and made me remember why family is the core of my being.
  2. I’m thankful for lifelong friends that celebrate life’s big and small moments. For friendships that pick up right where they left off the last time we were together. For my best friend that calls me every single morning to check in. I am grateful for her knowing almost the whole affair story but never pushing to know everything. I’m grateful for new friends. Women that help me live in the moment. Women who will dance with me until 4 a.m. in the kitchen or in a bar. Women who don’t judge. I’m grateful for all my friends who have given me strength during the past two years.
  3. The unexpected friend. I am grateful I found you. You are the only person in my life that knows my story, reads my blog and never judges. You’ve given me strength, insight, criticism (when I needed it), and love. You fill a space that would be empty otherwise.
  4. I’m grateful for the parts of my life that did not changed because of the affair. We stayed in our home and work at the  same jobs. In the beginning I didn’t know if I could live here with the affair “ghosts” haunting me. I still don’t want to ever bump into Bat Shit when I’m out and about. I still have mixed emotions about my husband working a mile from her home. But I’m glad that we didn’t have to leave the town we are raising our children because of his affair. I’m grateful for the community I live in.
  5. I’m grateful for my husband. I’m grateful for all the nights he held me in his arms. I’m grateful for his honesty after I discovered the affair. I’m grateful for his willingness to do whatever it took to rebuild our marriage. I’m grateful for amazing sex. I’m grateful for a new found intimacy.
  6. I’m grateful for my imperfect marriage. It seems impossible but my marriage is stronger now. The intimacy, both physical and emotional, between my husband and I is deeper, spicier, and better than ever before. I’m grateful for a marriage that didn’t break. I’m grateful that in the day and age of broken promises and marriages that mine is weathering the storm.
  7. I am grateful for my inner strength. I am grateful for being able to trust myself and life. In a time where I could have given up, I didn’t. I won’t. Some days are more difficult than others but I’m still here. I still want to be here.
  8. I’m grateful I started this blog two years ago. I found strength and clarity not just in writing but in reading comments from you. When I couldn’t sleep at night I would come here for solace. This blog has helped me understand I’m not alone. I’m not crazy. Most of all, I’ve realized that I’m not an island. I couldn’t do this without the perspective and support from all my readers.

If gratitude lists make you cringe, I apologize. Thanksgiving is only a few days away and it’s a time to reflect on our life’s blessings. I know that holidays can be difficult as we heal after infidelity but I hope that everyone can see their life’s blessings. It may be a struggle to say this every single day but I am grateful for everything I am.

gratitude

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35 thoughts on “Grateful

  1. Gee, I’m grateful I hadn’t heard of such a tradition. In my day, thanksgiving was a fun autumn holiday to share joy and company or not. It was optional and fun. Always included friends that had no where to go. I believe joy trancends lists. I believe gratefulness underlines emptyness. Gratefulness, joy, love, pain are all parts of us. Enumerating them would help sort a crisis and keep one focused, it would be essential in a crisis. But why do we need to make it a project?
    I would prefer more living deeply, constructing, rather than reflecting.. I’m from an older time when people often had a solid base to count on. The generation I observe from what I call the puppy litter school of child care seem to have less to hold on to and I am sorry. This includes my own children.
    In general, being grateful should be a heartfelt continuum, not an occasion with a label.
    For the bruised of us it helps, but if everyone were more grateful automatically there would be less bruised people.
    Happy Native Anercian /Pioneer Autumn Feast day to you and your friends. The day the artistic kids finally get their chance to draw autum leaves on the blackboard with coloured chalk ( um, what blackboard?!) and I’m grateful for this blog, but you should know that without being ” gratefulled”

  2. Wow your blog always seems to say the right things. I was at church last night and the pastor was talking about his blessings. It did make me sad especially when he spoke of his wife and how terrific she was. I’m coming up on the anniversary of my D day in December and have a hard time being thankful. Thank you I needed this one.

  3. Thanks for a honest and raw post. I am four months into finding out about my husbands affair which resulted in a child. I accepted this child even though we never had children of our own for reasons too long to get into. Lately I have felt overwhelmed, unsure of my decision to stay and support. Reading your blogs and others have helped me get through difficult days. No one except a few close friends of ours together know but none of my friends or family. Please tell me it gets easier. I thought I had a handle on it and was over all the betrayal but lately it’s all I think about. Maybe I need to write what exactly I am thankful for and see if it helps

    • It does get easier. Everyone says time heals all wounds and there is some truth in that statement. You are very strong–I can hear it in your the words you’ve typed. You’ve accepted a child into your life and you are trying to heal and rebuild your marriage. There’s a quote in “The Fault in our Stars”: Pain demand to be felt. You are in that stage right now. It’s painful. I remember where I was at four months… the roller coaster of emotions. That feeling that I had no control and no idea what else I could handle. Day by day you will heal. The pain will hurt more some days than others. It’s okay. Feel the pain, acknowledge it and then let it go. It’s a tremendous mind exercise sometimes. Take care of yourself. Xoxo.

    • It gets easier. Keep reading everything you can relate to. and trying to understand. This blog really helps. The first year is unbelievable, the pain/rage unbearable. the second more rational. But still hard days, some good/great. Don’t push yourself but keep moving with thought. You can always leave. But take the time to heal and make the decision one way or the other at your own pace, for your own peace of mind. Sometimes I play a game with myself “supposing this hadn’t happened, what would I do to improve my life in general, how would I like marriage to be as well” good luck

  4. Thanksgiving Day is my D-day so I am struggling on this 3rd year. But I’m so grateful that we are still together but you really said it all in your blog. I feel guilty that I still fear the worst and am not appreciative of how far we’ve come in 3 years. I say I’m grateful, BUT…is how I think about it. Today and D-day I’m going to decide to make the most of it. I’m not going to let it steal my joy and instead I’m going to look for the many things I’m thankful for. This blog is one of them.

    • Sometimes I think that is all we can do–make the most of what we have and where we are on this journey called life. We have to remember not to allow anything steal our joy–sometimes that is easier said than done. There is so much to be thankful for and so much to embrace in life. I don’t want to lose another moment of my happiness to the affair.

      • Reflecting on this d-day 3 years ago today. It came out of the blue, no signs or warnings. Like getting hit by a semi-truck at 70 mile an hour. The first year I feel like I just picked up the bloody pieces of my heart and survived the days, not sure what to do. We went to a “counselor” but she told him to go be with her to see if that’s what he really wanted. He didn’t go. I didn’t leave. I prayed, called psychics, read every book that looked like it might hold the answer. Year 2 was more about me working on my anger, stopping the pain, trying to ask questions he wouldn’t answer. He won’t talk about it. I felt like I was dangling by a thread but my heart was being stitched together and I tried to focus on feeling better, doing things for just me. Year 3 has been about true forgiveness of “her” and my husband. I still wish that state she lives in would drop off in the ocean. I still shudder when I hear anyone with her same name. But I’m grateful that I’ve been able to learn how to be independent, that if something does happen I’m going to make it. Thank you so much for all your support. You blog has offered my kinship that I can get from nobody else.

  5. I am so thankful I found your blog! Your story sounds JUST like mine in so many ways, D-day was oct 2012. I have so much to be thankful for and my marriage is better than ever, but I am still in what I call crazy train mode and have days where I relive it all over again. I am hoping this next year brings even more healing.

  6. Thank you for sharing. It’s so helpful to know someone else gets it. I am almost five years post D-day. However, thanksgiving will be 1 year past when I discovered it never ended 5 years ago. So truly 1 year post the end of his affair. I too feel grateful for so much but I struggle with the fact that it took him 4 years to wake up and fight for what we have. He has given his all this time to prove himself but I am so resentful. Your words are always encouraging.

  7. Each year the feelings of the affair control you less and less if you keep the list of things you are grateful for in front of you. I put a list on my frig at Christmas time 2009 (which was 27 days post d-day) I would update it occasionally through the years. Looking back one year out hubby made the bottom of the list year three he made the top and has maintained that spot since. It is because we both work everyday to be thankful and grateful for our marriage. As d-day x5 is 5 days away, we have grown beyond belief. Stay positive, stay focused and allow yourself to grow!

  8. Your words inspire me and I am grateful to have come across your blog months ago. When I needed to hear that I was not alone, I came to this blog. I always read the comments and was to shy to comment because I thought people would find out who I am. I can say that I am grateful that I have a voice now and not shy to share my feelings with my husband even if it hurts him. As a woman, I have learn from this experience of lies and affairs. I am grateful for my kids for being so strong when they saw mommy cry and for having the support that I needed and still have post affairs. At times I have let these affairs consume my life because I blamed myself. I no longer blame myself because I did nothing wrong but fall in love with a man that was weak. Through his weakness I am finding strength and myself.

  9. My husband and I sat in church this morning, 7 months post D-Day, and unbidden tears welled in my eyes as the all-too-present grief crept into my heart. I reached out and took his strong hand, and his fingers clasped through my mine, gently squeezing…sending an acknowledgement of my sadness. It was difficult to stay in the moment as the pastor passed around a microphone and encouraged folks to share the blessing for which they are thankful. I began to sink into despair when through the pain came the voice of a 60-ish year old woman. “I know you won’t believe this.”, she said. “But I am grateful for the cancer that has stricken me. Though I don’t know how my journey will end, I know God is there with me, through it all.”
    Her words struck a chord…how could I sit there, washed in self-pity and still shattered by my husband’s affair — when this woman was fighting for her life?! And she is GRATEFUL for the cancer?!
    My husband is sincerely remorseful and shamed by his lapse in
    fidelity. He feels the pain as keenly as I do when I have my still-frequent emotional meltdowns. He holds me, rocks me, soothes me, saying, “I’m sorry I did this to us. I’m so sorry I hurt you. I love you. I’m here.” His weakness has turned into a strength I could never have imagined. And yet…still I cry.
    But that woman’s testimony touched my bleeding heart this morning and put a Band-Aid of healing and hope on it. Today, I choose to be grateful my marriage is still intact…bent and battered, but not broken.
    I choose to be grateful we are healing together. I choose to be grateful he listened to his conscience, turned his truck around, and came back to me.
    This is truly the most gut-wrenching and sorrowful time I have ever faced in my life…but I am grateful for our new beginning.

    I am grateful for your blog. I found it shortly after D-Day, and your openness and candor has helped me find my footing. You touched my life by sharing yours, and I am grateful for your courage, strength and willingness to share.

    We are not fools to forgive our husbands and forge a stronger and more intimate marital relationship. That is a gift we are giving to ourselves, even through the doubt, despair and clouds that shadow any given day.

    Today, I choose to love.

    • I feel like a fool still…especially when people who have never been thru it think they know what they would do and have pity on me.

      • Lynda, you are not the fool.
        The world is full of patronising people that feel stronger if they perceive weakness in others lives. Sometimes they are hiding their own fear and insecurity by telling you what you ought to do. Well meaning or not, try to avoid them. Ignore them, smile enigmatically and keep mending.
        The world is also full of people that know how complicated and painful life can be. They offer true support, sometimes through silence, or humour, thoughtfulness, insight, empathy or sympathy, even distraction but never pity. Find one or two true friends or professionals that understand your viewpoint.
        Best of luck.

  10. Today is my 1 year D-day!!! I made it this far!! That is such a celebration! I’m thankful that my husband and I BOTH fought for our marriage. It wasn’t easy and the milestones didn’t always brin the peace that I needed but we made it!! He & I both had individual therapists and a couples therapist, all of that was necessary but my biggest strives came from this blog! I needed true sympathy, I needed to know what was normal for this circus I didn’t sign up for.. My family and friends couldn’t give me the insight I gained from this blog. Read everything you can!! Then read all the supporting comments, there is so much comfort in knowing that my irrational feelings are not alone!! Thank you for everyone for being honest enough to share their challenges and their joy!! I couldn’t have made it to this milestone without this support!! I hope that many of you will make it to your 1 yr, 2 yr, 3 yr…Dday and keep on ticking!!

    • I don’t know if congratulations is ever the right word for reaching a milestone after D-day – but that’s the best word I can find. Congratulations. It is something to celebrate even if it doesn’t always feel like the right thing to do. You have made it one year, the best is yet to come.

  11. This was amazing, and also makes me want to write what I am also grateful for. I know one of them was finding this blog right in the midst of looking for answers and someone that relate with my situation. Which is almost a replica of mine. Thank you for your opened heart which I am able to view via text. All the best on this continued journey you have in this life. You are an amazingly strong lady <3, Even Though in my Country we have had ThanksGiving already. Many blessings and Happy ThanksGiving to you and yours! Cheers

  12. I am so grateful for you and your blog. Your blog has helped me so immensely that I turn to it when I question things in our marriage. It is so good to hear how you feel. I share many of your posts with my husband. Your posts sometimes help me find my words and what I want to say. I tell my husband to “read this! This is exactly how I am feeling”… Thank you for sharing and helping many of us not feel alone. I have only told two people at work…my boss and another very kind, non-judging woman. Only because I wasn’t myself and I was worried about losing my job. I haven’t told any of my dear friends or family. I’m not sure I want to… So again, I am thankful for you! God bless you!

  13. I am grateful for this post. I am dealing with a similar situation and it is still “new” for me. Posts like this give me hope that things might be ok between my wife and I. Only time will tell what I will be truly grateful for from this situation.

  14. I thank you for the time you put into this blog. I am now 94 days out from D-Day and struggle most every moment. Your words and thoughts and all your reader’s words have helped me immensely. We are fighting for our marriage, I hope it works.

  15. I had EMDR therapy yesterday, amazing. I think it is going to be my life saver. We have been going to therapy since DDay which was Aug. 30th, and I was not really progressing. Our therapist suggested this therapy which is for PTSD and it worked so quickly on one of my main visions and issues I was having. Please check out this therapy.

  16. I am always so grateful to read your posts. It helps me get through on the days where I feel I cant go on. My husband and I are chipping away as D-Day was June 30, 2016. Last year for Thanksgiving she was in our home and I cooked for her and introduced her to our families. This Thanksgiving has been a struggle to find what I am thankful for in my marriage. I am obviously thankful for my children and my health…but how do I let go and be thankful for my husband? He has been very supportive and remorseful through this entire sh*tshow…but I want to feel thankful and grateful for him again.

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