Love, Acceptance, Belonging

A Mindfulness Objective Takes Root

mindset

I find myself craving love, acceptance, and belonging in my weakest and best moments. I want to be worthy of being loved, accepted, and to belong; and I want to love, accept, and belong to my life story. My struggle with all three became magnified in the aftermath of my husband’s affair. To understand my struggle, I identified the opposite of these mindsets:

Love – Indifference, Neglect

Acceptance – Rejection

Belong – Disconnect

There have been so many times during the last three or more years that my mind felt chaotic. I would be fine and then one stray thought about the affair sent me into a panic, making me feel neurotic. I could trust my husband completely and not trust him at the same time. I’ve spent countless hours writing mental rationalization lists of why or how my husband is not still cheating on me or lying to me. I often have to be mindful of what is real versus the triggered emotional memories that awaken in my most insecure moments. My most insecure moments were affirmations of the opposite of what I truly need and want to feel. In the movie, Pretty Woman, Vivian and Edward are lying in bed in an incredibly intimate moment and she says:

The bad stuff is easier to believe. You ever notice that?

Yes, I have noticed the bad stuff is easier to believe. So I’ve made a resolution for 2016: Mindfulness. For me, mindfulness means awareness and acceptance of my thoughts and feelings without judgement or belief. My goal is to bring myself closer to truth and become more objective of my experiences and see my life with greater clarity. My life choices and motivations need to align better with my authentic essence.

On Christmas Eve I sat in the back of the church sanctuary next to my husband and children. As I held my lit candle in my hand I felt a moment of complete stillness and peace wash over me. There can be so much discontent after an affair. We are left with thoughts that race through our minds when there are no distractions, and mindfulness can feel unattainable. My moment of peaceful mindfulness on Christmas Eve was comforting. In that moment, I felt content.  My mind was not wandering to sadness, anger, frustration, or guilt. Instead, as I sat in my pew, I meditated on those three words:

Love, Acceptance, Belonging

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31 thoughts on “Love, Acceptance, Belonging

  1. Love this. It is very similar to how I felt this Christmas. It’s only been 5 months since discovering his affair. I have been on an outrageous roller coaster of emotions lately but on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I was at peace with my family. My husband and our children were my greatest gifts that day. I felt love, acceptance and incredible sense of belonging.

  2. I’ve missed you my friend. Although we have never met, our journey being so similar, keeps you close to my heart. Meditation and mindfulness are also my hope for 2016. Wishing you peace, sending you love, and feeling total connection to a stranger. Thank you

    • Hi Julia.how are u ? 1 been deeling very big issue now in my married . Anyways both of us second married . I have 2 girls and he hv I handsome son from is xwife.
      My husband very good gentleman and very goodlooking and his a cosmetic surgeon quit popular becouse he really great with his work ! He very every women dream . Goodlooking and charming and of coz his hv money . I don’t undsertand all why he cheeted my 1st when after 3 month we married March 2011 those issue not settle it until 2013 and I just found out from other girls that someone put picture two of them my husband with gf and I know why the girls create acct Instagram just to tell the world wht both of them done .. Well … It’s just shock me and my heart alrdy numb no feeling …
      I need help bcoz since so hard to talk to me !

  3. Part of me is numb. I’ve lost joy. At this point if joy is not found by the end of year 2, six months from now, I may decide to move on. Not that my husband hasn’t, and isn’t, doing everything he can to make amends. I understand on a rational level that he feels shame, guilt, remorse. My rational brain knows that he’s doing his best to make me feel loved, appreciated, wanted. But my heart wants joy. My heart wants peace. We’re in a good place right now. Just not where I want to be. Will we get there? Hopefully with more time.

    • Leah, I feel the same way as you do and I have to say I’m so fed up of not feeling joy in my life anymore. My husband is so lovely and is doing also everything he can to make me happy again. He is now the husband I always wanted to have, but I am not able to be real happy with him anymore. I love him and I love to be with him, but unfortunately the thoughts of the affair don’t go out of my head and I’m so tired of those terrible feelings.
      I hope we can get over it and have the joy back in our lives, with or without them.

  4. In March we will be married 43 years and October 19, 2013 is Dday! Our marriage is so much better this past year, I still think of the F—–g whore, but, less and less! I hate how I feel when I do , and hope I come to a complete peace. I know we are stronger and better because we made a decision to work together and stay together. We have a long life together and so many memories to cherish and I can’t let 5 months of hell ruin it.
    Thank you for your blog and wish you happiness and peace in 2016!

  5. Another great post. Funny, I’ve been trying to figure out how to describe my intention for yoga recently, and could only come up with to take back control of my mind. I think I’ll steal your title in the future. Happy New Year! -Jules

  6. Thank God for this blog and the comments along with it. Its been exactly 8 months ago today that I discovered my husbands affair with of course….his assistant. I am so tired too of this joyless life. I don’t know how to get past this. I think what I am feeling is true grief. I struggle with the uncertainty of this marriage. I crave normal and then when we start getting in to a routine it only reminds me of what he did. It brings out a fear in me that I cannot describe. We were “normal” before the affair so I get it in my head that he will cheat again. He was bored and selfish once so I get this fear that it will just be a repeat. Which of course makes me hyper vigilant and I obsess and I lose myself all over again. I swear I think sometimes this marriage feels like a bad date. I feel uncomfortable and nervous with the man I have been married to for almost 30 years. That being said thank you for your words they bring me hope.

    • I really relate to your comment about when things get into a normal routine that you start to fall apart again. All I can say is that it truly does get better with time. If you work together and communicate fully with each other, a new normal will feel right. It is still early days. Thinking of you and hoping that you travel the ups and downs of the next year or two smoothly. – Jules

      • Thank you Jules for responding. This is such a lonely process that words of comfort and understanding are invaluable.

      • Hi Jules – Good question. Struggling this last week since it was a year ago last week that he started sleeping with her. God I hate that woman and him too at times. I do think he is remorseful but sometimes I just don’t care. I am honestly just so beyond disgusted yet at the same time grief stricken that I get frustrated with myself. Or maybe even disgusted with myself that I am staying with him.
        It seems that I will have a run of good days and then “bam” memories come flooding in. He says it seems cyclical and he knows that the bad day is coming. I told him that is when HE needs to bring up the topic so I am not the one who has to because I think that will ease this process. This is not the first time I have told him that but he is obviously not a fast learner.

        Next week it will be 9 months since I found out. By far the worse 9 months of my life. Worse than my own father dying in front of me. The fact that the person that I devoted my entire life to did this to me puts me in a place that I cannot describe. Can I ask you how long has your recovery been? How do you communicate? I seem to think “why bother” since his communication with me for 5 months last year was total BS.
        Thank you for reaching out. It truly does mean a lot to me.

  7. I feel many of these same things. I am at 10 months since dday number 1 and 5 months since dday number 2 and even one more major reveal after that. I find myself feeling anxious and distressed when things seem “normal”. All it does is makes me feel like the past. My husband had two affairs over 10 years and multiple other issues. I just keep thinking how will I ever get past this and trust him. Is it possible or will this anxiety always be there. I feel like there is no way to guarantee me feeling safe and secure. Nothing seems to work. He has done so much and really worked hard to change the dynamic of our relationship but I just am struggling. I think at the root of it is the multiple disclosure days over such a long period. It really has changed for me since that second dday. Honestly things did not add up yet he kept telling me it was covered ground yet then he dumps new info. Which made me question other details. Then even more came out. I am just feeling lost.

    And in the end is he ever really going to be changed. I mean 10+ years is a long time. Is that who he is. Then someone that protects himself and takes care of himself first. The things he says now are amazing but sometimes I think is this a joke. While all this went on I was an amazing wife, he told me he loved our life together, etc. now things are different and improved but hearing how I am so amazing and mean the world sometimes make me feel skeptical.

  8. Grateful for finding these words today….feel so incredibly alone and scattered. Almost 5 months since D-day for me, the up and down swings make we question my own sanity.

  9. Everything that you have written makes me feel so validated. Since finding out about my husbands year + affair I have felt so alone and sad. In just 1 day I can go from feeling joy to feeling like I want to crawl away in some bed and just be alone. In my head every morning I say – today will be the day I don’t let the images/thoughts of my husbands affair creep into my day, I will be happy…I will not ask questions about her and just talk with my husband. Sometimes I can do it and too many other times I cant get past 9am. I love my husband so deeply but I am so afraid I will push him away with my sadness. It has been a 7 months since I found out. Thank you for this blog-it really helps

  10. It’s been 2 .5 months since I found about my husband’s affair. I had no idea he was having an affair and I’m devastated. We are trying to save our marriage with the help of a wonderful therapist. The pain is so much to bear. Tomorrow is our 9 year wedding anniversary and my heart feels so sad and I feel so alone in this grief. This blog and the comments have helped ease that a little. It’s so heartbreaking how many of us have felt the devastation of an affair.

  11. We are almost four and a half years out from Dday. I do know the day he first slept with her and I think that may be a harder day for me. I can remember the second year our daughter’s First Communion was on that day. It was a bit surreal, but we made it through it. The first year I was truly a mess. We did start going to a counselor who was luckily a good fit. We started twice a week and then once a week. My husband just told me we only went five times last year. We still feel it’s helpful to go and make sure we are staying on the right track. We have worked on our communication. I have learned to speak up if I feel he is drifting back to not being emotionally connected. Our counselor really wanted us to pick a day in the week to have a meeting to discuss how we are doing. We aren’t that disciplined, but we no longer keep our feelings to ourselves. We do try to go out on date nights(though not as often as we did initially) and we have tried to take short trips together. It does help. One thing I would say is that it didn’t work for me to try not to think about it. That seemed to make it worse. Once I relaxed and accepted that I was going to lose that battle, it annoyed me, but I got better. Some time after the second anniversary, I noticed it was no longer continual. I wish I could say that I go days without it crossing my mind, but it isn’t as emotional as it used to be. I think as our older children have healed, it has made my healing possible. When we are all together enjoying being a family, I realize it was worth saving and worth the huge risk I’ve taken to continue to love him. -Jules

    • Jules – I am sorry if I was prying. That was not my intent. You just sound so positive and centered that you give me hope that one day that will be me. Thank you for your story. I connect with what you said about the kids. When we are together and laughing and I see my kids are happy I too think this fight must be worth it in the end. As you said, it is a risk to continue to love our husbands. Staying was not in my character and acceptance and forgiveness is still far out of reach. But every day I continue to stay despite the horrible truth.

      You comment about your daughters communion is heart wrenching. The first sex encounter day I think means more than the discovery day. Only time will tell for me. I’ve got a few months to prepare : )

      Communication I think is so important and I suppose a point of difficulty in our marriage pre affair. We are working on that. Not good at it but working. I like the 1 day a week discussion. Our counselor said get a journal and he should use it to write his feelings as he is not good at expressing them, and I should read them to know how he is feeling. Can you guess how many entires? One. Obviously not good at writing either.

      Today I woke up and looked out the window, and I thought: my kids are all in good places in their life despite our marriage, I am lying next to a man that I really do love, we are healthy, and its Saturday morning and the sunrise is a beautiful pink over the lake. Deep breath. Just enjoy for a moment. I will have to take back my life 1 day, 1 moment at a time.

      Again thank you for your story and checking up on me. I imagine you are quite a remarkable woman. – TB

      Oh I almost forgot the link to the blog post. Loved it! I could have written that right down to the running part except I run but am far from a runner. It made me reflect, laugh, and it shocked me to see how much us wives are living parallel lives.

      • What a perfect way to start your day. If you can try to do it often, then I think you will be miles ahead.
        I didn’t mention that the first book our counselor gave us to read was 5 Love Languages. My husband found it life changing. Somehow, it had never occurred to him that I might receive love differently than him. My thought was great, I’ve been married to this guy for 26 years and this is just occurring to him. I guess better late then never, right? I did find it a good read and the surveys in the back are helpful. We have given it to our two oldest who are starting out their lives with significant others. I do want to break the cycle of poor communication. Our daughter is getting married this summer and that has had me wish for the person I was before all this. I’m much more flat line than I was. I wish my heart was bursting for her. I’m happy for her, but worried too. Her future husband and she have been dating for seven years, so we know and love him. I just don’t feel things as fully as I once did. Maybe I’m smarter than I used to be; I know that I am not as naive as I once was.
        You’ve got this. The plan to take back your life one day at a time, one moment at a time, is a perfect plan. -Jules

  12. I crave the moment when I feel love acceptance and belonging. And I hope it is possible. My husband says all the right things and is patient. But I am stuck and stressed. When someone lies to your face every day for over 10 years then tells you didn’t you know it was so bad I feel confused. And now I am all he wants and the most amazing person and 100% committed to me. How can this be? How can this be trusted. It is hard to rectify this in my mind. I think keep giving it time but someone how time does not change the past. It just feels like it is all fake and the joke will be on me in the end.

  13. That is a good way to put it feeling flat. I feel that way a lot. I think I am holding back. I find that in a lot of aspects of my life and with a lot of relationships. I have pulled back. I am guessing it is my way of protecting myself and trying not to get hurt or disappointed. I feel if is easier to isolate and be alone. And if is hard to share with friends. If people want to go to the movies, book club, dinner so much of it triggers discussion related to infidelity or other relationship issues. I am not open to sharing what we are going through so I feel like I shut down or struggle at those times. I feel like every book, movie or tv show hits on infidelity.

    I am not sure if I will ever feel totally safe and like I will ever be myself again. I consider myself to be extremely trustworthy and loyal. And it is hard to start to trust someone again. And how do I ever forgive him. I am not sure how to get there. He says he has told me everything he can but things don’t add up. My therapist said the cautious. He said for someone to say they are fine and have learned from what they have done with no help is risky for me. Ugh. Not what I bargained for…

  14. My D day was eight months ago. I read some of your blog then but haven’t been back to it. We have been going to counseling and doing pretty well, but I was having a bad night. I ran into your blog again and was glad to see such positivity. It’s crazy how I can feel so happy for so long and then I just think about it again. My husband has gotten very good at listening and trying to hear my feelings. Sometimes it just seems I need to see or talk to other women instead of him. I have met a group of women but sometimes it just gets too negative. I liked the comments about spending time with your family and seeing why it was worth it. I have three wonderful kids who love to spend time all together with both parents. It helps me to see their happiness too. Thanks again for the mental uplift.

  15. Thank you for your blog and all of the reader’s comments. I am coming up on 5 months on my D-day; I have good days and bad days. I struggle with the mistrust and betrayal, lack of loyalty. I also struggle with the decision to stay. I keep telling myself that forgiveness is love. Trust building will take a long time. Some days I can hardly breathe. We are in counseling but not enough in my opinion. Communication is a struggle at times but we are working on it. His lack of accountability and remorse is very difficult for me to deal with but one thing that has improved immensely is our sex life. I am rambling……….thank you again.

  16. I want to thank you. I discovered my husbands affair on December 11, 2015, though I didn’t get the truth until the 14th, during a 6 hour message session with his affair person. I never would have believed that I would stay- it was my number one rule. I never believed it would happen either. I have learned a lot- about my husband, my marriage, myself, my friends and family, and love in the weeks since. I found your blog about a week ago, and have read and reread since, stunned that someone else was writing so much of what is on my mind and in my heart. I don’t know if and when this roller coaster ride ends, or where it ends for that matter, but I want to say that I am grateful for your words. When I can get my feet solid on the ground and my tongue untied and my brain to slow down, I think I will write it out too. It will help me navigate this new and incredibly frightening, raw and vulnerable place, and maybe it can help someone else as you’ve helped me. So thank you.
    Signed
    Another incredibly smart, strong, confident woman who just happens to have been betrayed by the man she believed loved her beyond anything that could allow such a thing to happen

    • You are very welcome. I never expected to connect with so many women when I began writing. I just needed a safe place to write down my story – for me. This journey is never one I would have chosen but it is not the worst thing that could happen in my life. Because in this journey I have gained a new, stronger voice and love for my husband that is stronger than before. I hope that as you find yourself on this journey you grow stronger too. Much love.

  17. Excellent Blog, You are Brave and Inspirational I am going through the aftermath of My Husband having an Affair after 10 years and 2 Kids.
    He is Genuinely Sorry but I am aware this will take time. Thank you for Giving other women Hope and Just Sharing Your Story!

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