An epiphany

An epiphany, or maybe it is just one too many glasses of wine. . .With the boys away, the moms went out for dinner and drinks. Ah, it was nice.

So, yesterday, I mentioned how after my mom died, I was finally able to let go of my anger and resentment and find forgiveness. In her case, a big part of that was simply letting go of hoping she could and would find earthly redemption. I’ll get back to that point some day.  This post, however, is about the fact that when I let go of the anger and resentment, I found emptiness.

I found emptiness that I had ignored, not seen, not admitted to, I’m not sure. But, in that emptiness, I also started seeing more clearly just how empty my relationship with MC had become. I expressed this to him to no avail, asking for us to seek help together. He saw no problems needing help. I found anger toward him that I had not allowed myself to find before. He was selfish. I admitted to myself his many daily actions were selfish. And I began to lose patience. I began to question. I had no idea just how deep that selfishness ran. But, my eyes were slowly opening. And, then d-day hit just one year later. I don’t think that was a coincidence. 

I now have a heart too often filled with anger and resentment again. Perhaps it is time to let it go and allow emptiness to take its place, face the emptiness head-on. And, then, from that place start filling the emptiness from within. Well, it sounds right in theory anyway. Putting that into practice is an entirely different matter.

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19 thoughts on “An epiphany

  1. I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. Is this just part of the roller coaster of reconciliation or throwing in the towel? I’m going to be watching my friends’ case as it goes along. I hate that I can’t help them with this. 😕

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    1. Sonofabeach,

      Thank you as always for your support.

      I actually see this as a good thing. I don’t necessarily mean to get to that place of emptiness by ending the marriage. Just that it seems more realistic to me to replace unproductive negative with empty, where apparently I find more clarity to see what I need to see, and do what I need to do, whatever that may be. Then, from there, start to fill the tank with healthy. Does that make sense?

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        1. I wouldn’t go that far. Just working toward letting go of the resentment and anger, not the memories, not the realizations and even not the sadness from those realizations, just finding a way to detach from the resentment and anger.

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          1. I was just curious. I have two friends who are two weeks in from d-day. Just kinda picking brains to see what they may expect, in the event that they stick with reconciliation. That’s not a certainty at this point I’m afraid.

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            1. I’m so sorry. It is a hard road.

              I think that whether the betrayed decides to reconcile or divorce there will be anger and resentment. And, I also think that no matter the path the betrayed will have to find a way beyond that at some point to start truly healing and living. But, that cannot and should not be rushed by anyone.

              Two weeks is very fresh, can you and your wife be an ear to each. You for the husband and your wife for the wife? I know isolation in the wake of such a discovery can truly be a lonely place.

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              1. We can. I’ve known my friend for over 30 years, but I’ve known his wife for over 20. She hasn’t reached out to me yet, as she was the cheater. She has spoken to my wife though. I was so mad initially, it’s better that she hadn’t. I would’ve said something I’d regret. I’m in a better place about it now, and I love them both. I’m just struggling to understand, as I’m sure they both are as well. It’s terrible to watch, and I feel helpless.

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                1. They are lucky to have the two of you as friends. Given the circumstances, I think it is best if your wife remains her support and you his, or the two couples talk together. I hope she is taking responsibility, not engaging in any blame shifting and getting professional help. Sending our best to all involved.

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                  1. She took responsibility, but she couldn’t really deny it. She was busted. But as far as his half of the root problem, I’m not in the loop entirely yet. He admits there were issues, but the affair blindsided him. Not looking forward to the next few weeks and months.

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                    1. IMHO, there is no half of root problem that causes cheating. Her focus now needs to be on fixing what made her choose the most hurtful coping mechanism possible and to help him with trauma.

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                    2. He says she’s remorseful. She’s saying the right things. But I don’t know that he’ll ever get over this, no matter what she says or does. I’m of the same mindset, that no matter what, the cheating is wrong. But I didn’t want put my foot in my mouth. I’ll keep your words of advice in my mind for when/if he asks for mine. Thank you so much. 😊

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  2. Hi TL,

    Anger and resentment consumes a lot of energy. Letting go of it is scary, as there will be a void and not only that, the most scary part is the vulnerability and the fear. Fear for the unknown or more precisely fear for what we know and for what we fear we cannot handle anymore.

    I think that I was before age 17 that I started to see that I had not the best upbringing. The easiest way to handle this was by being rebellious, but by no means did I have the guts to do something “very wrong”. The fear to even try something really bad like drinking or even thinking about doing something with a boy already gave me anxiety attacks.

    My rebelliousness was expressed in opposition and debate (to an extent as I had to be polite), but “beating them with my knowledge” was a fun thing to do. Needless to say that it was not appreciated.

    My mother was jealous and I will never understand it, but the only thing I get is that she did not do stuff, that she saw me doing and she resented her life and me for doing something she did not dare to do. Even when she was still young and could have done so much in a country like the Netherlands, she did nothing out of fear…and she resented those who did stuff. She never ever recognised my academic progress. My dad idem-dito…I forgave my mother when she got ill and she passed away two years ago. I understand where a lot of that resentment came from. Too bad that she did all in her power to push me down.

    My dad loves the PhD. He knows what that means, a Dr. He was very disappointed though that my maiden name was not on the certificate. I should at least have given him a mention. So wrong of me….he was invited but did not dare the fly. I would have picked him up from the airport…all to no avail.

    My dad has always and still does have the highest scores in neuroticism..(Assessment Big 5) .I do not even have to assess him. It is right there…FEAR FEAR FEAR.
    He is alive and very healthy. We have a good relationship as I totally forgave him and I go with the “punches”. I even enjoy his company and have the most fun when I hear him speaking English with my daughter.

    To forgive parents is not as hard as to forgive a life partner. Our parents are getting older, they were from a different generation. Religion played a huge role and Catholicism thrived on fear.

    Forgiving my mum when she was dying was not hard. Speaking to her younger sister and finally obtaining some background also helped.

    The forgiveness and the love I feel for my father has liberated me.

    The emptiness to let go of some more resent anger and to liberate myself of the caging affects of fear…is another story.

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    1. Dr. E, thank you for this!!! I can see and feel that you understand so well.

      Yes, to forgive a partner as opposed to aging and/or dying parents is a much harder thing to do. Not quite sure how to do it, but know in my heart, for my own sake, I need to do it.

      The emptiness is scary, yes! The unknown is scary, yes! But, carrying around this anger and resentment that too often feels like it is eating me alive has finally become scarier, or at least I have flashes where I realize it is scarier.

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      1. TL…I am finding that same emptiness. I am at a point where the anger and resentment is almost more comfortable..it has been with me for almost a year now. Kind of like a toxic family member…you don’t want it around but you sort of get used to it and are a little worried about what will happen if you get rid of it. I am trying to find a way to give up pieces of the ugliness a little at a time and fill the those spaces with something better, happier, healthier. It is really hard, not gonna lie, but it is so much better than the pain. Good luck with your letting go too…it’s no fun..nothing about this is..but you can do it. *hugs*

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        1. Thanks Leigh. I’ve been thinking, how we like our analogies. . .

          When I was in high school, I had this beater of a car. The trunk was tied down and the battery kept running low (finally figured it out and got it fixed).

          Before getting it fixed I would occasionally have to pop the clutch to get the car going. You cannot be in gear or in park to pop the clutch, but have to put the car in neutral then shift into gear once you’ve gotten a little push to get moving. This whole time, I’ve been in park. No matter the counseling, the self-help actions and ideas, the new memories being created, or what MC does or does not do, I’ve been in park. The anger and resentment keep me in park.

          Time to put myself in neutral, so with the little push I can put myself into gear and get going. Of course, I still need to find whether I need a new battery, alternator or voltage regulator so I don’t need to pop the clutch again. But, until I figure that out, I do not need to stay in park, unable to move or drive. I have to be able to put myself into neutral to pop that clutch and get going.

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          1. Great analogy. Once in neutral, once you’ve popped the clutch and are able to move forward, then you can also regulate your speed by choosing the gear that is comfortable for you and shift accordingly. I would say that for all of us, being a safe and cautious driver is crucial but first we have start the car. Big hugs to you my sweet friend!

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  3. In the decades before D-day, I reached a point where I think I was holding onto my anger and self-pity simply out of habit. I had carried around those burdens so long that they became almost a part of me, like a favorite shirt, or perhaps a hairstyle I was too lazy or afraid to change. I didn’t ultimately change those things about my life until I had already done so much damage. I only changed when I felt I had no choice. As long as I felt I could choose the security blanket of anger and self-pity, I clung to that blanket like a frightened baby.

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