My past marriage is dead

So, I recently watched an AffairRecovery video on grieving being a necessary step toward healing.

A couple quotes stood out to me,

“In these situations, we may be powerless, but we’re not helpless. We still get to choose how to respond.”

“Pain that is not transformed will be transmitted.” Richard Rohr

That last quote has been something that kept me alive in my darkest moments at the beginning of all of this, when I thought my life had been through too many struggles, and I just could not do it anymore. The realization that we have generations in both our families that have been transmitting their pain on to the next. The realization that taking the dark and drastic step I was contemplating would not eliminate the pain, but simply guarantee that my pain would then be transmitted to my children. I knew that I did not want to be a part of that. We have to stop this pain being transmitted from generation to generation. And, that is why that first quote is so important.

But, in my pain, in my loss, I am still transmitting instead of transforming. Rick discussed how we have to let go of the past we thought we had, let go of the marriage we believed existed, it is dead, it is gone, and we must mourn it. No wishing for things to be what they were before. I was thinking, that is easy. I really don’t wish for that. But, then I was just realizing how I do this thing where I ask MC to share memories of our past that were meaningful to him. Maybe, this means I have not fully mourned my past marriage with MC. Why else would I ask for such memories? I don’t know the answer to that yet.

Then Rick talked about the process of death, in the tomb and rebirth. A very Christian concept obviously.  Perhaps I would label it differently, but I think the concept holds regardless. First, we MUST accept the past we thought we had is dead. Second, we exist in the tomb as we are in a time of figuring out our place in the world, what G-d wants for us, what we want for ourselves. Mostly, I feel as if I am in this stage and have been for far too long. Third is rebirth, where we create a new vision for ourselves and the direction we want for our lives. Each step must be in order. And, so, I wonder if my asking MC to share memories of our pre d-day life is me trying to hold onto a part of that life instead of letting it die like it needs to die? Perhaps this is why I am still stuck in the tomb, I still have one foot trying to not accept that my life before d-day is gone and dead. I really don’t know. Just brainstorming some thoughts to explore.

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5 thoughts on “My past marriage is dead

  1. I think, at least for me, you become curious of their perceived good times because you know longer have any. That is to say, all the past memories are now tainted by the other life that was simultaneously going on. I know it was hard for me to hear my ex talk about what he thought were great times in our marriage because I was like….but you had a girlfriend? I no longer could merge the two lives.

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  2. If your ex is like me, prior to D-day he had two simultaneous yet separate lives. I really do have sincere, genuine memories of enjoying my marriage to TL before D-day. And, yes, I also betrayed her during the same timeframe. Both realities, no matter how contradictory, were equally real for me. That’s literally a lack of integrity.

    I’m sure that’s no comfort to the betrayed. And, it’s a shameful thing for the betrayer to admit. It’s almost like TL had two husbands at the same time: one who enjoyed some “normal” aspects of marriage with her, and another one who stabbed her in the back. Sadly, they were both me.

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  3. I finally got a chance to watch that video yesterday (and finally got to read your post today – lol). After watching that, I’m not sure I have finished grieving. I know I started the process, but I think I stopped somewhere mid-stream, although I’m not sure where, why, or how I stopped. I just know that now I feel dead…as though I’m just going through the motions of life. It’s been just over 2 years since D-day. Most days the stabbing, physical & emotional raw pain is NOT present anymore…but then some days BAM – it hits out of nowhere. It’s almost like some triggers are more raw than others. Other times, when some reminder or thought of the affairs comes up I feel dead, cold & lifeless…almost like I’m in denial.
    There was one comment (I believe on his video….can’t remember now) that I did find comforting. For a while I have thought, how much easier grieving is (and would be) in the case of death, vs. infidelity. In death, at least you have the finality of it all. Some sense of closure. In infidelity you have no finality, no closure. In death, that is it. No coming back. Final. In infidelity sometimes you even have the death of the marriage you knew, while trying to live with the person who murdered it (my situation). You also have the fear of wondering “will it happen again?”. With death – there is no fear of the person dying again.
    I know I need to finish grieving, but at this point I’m not sure where to start…HOW to finish grieving.
    I notice you say “you have been that stage far too long”. Don’t beat yourself up. I don’t think there is a timeline for this. I am often guilty of thinking I should be over it by now or farther along in healing than I am, but I starting to finally understand that it takes as long as it takes. Think of it this way (and yes, I’m speaking to myself right now too), would you rather go on vacation to Hollywood because it’s a closer destination, or do it up right and go to Bora Bora? Yes – they are both destinations…and both “vacation spots”, but one is the more desirable place to be, even though it’s more work (and money) to get there. I think the same is true with our healings.
    Blessings to you TL.

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    1. 15gen, I wonder if what you describe is what I’ve heard referred to as the “plain of lethal flatness?” I’m not exactly sure how to move beyond it fully. Some days I think I’ve gotten through that part and then other days I find myself back in it. I guess that is the whole, it is not a linear process thing rearing its ugly head.

      I wonder if it is allowing ourselves to have a new vision, new dreams, for our future. But, whatever those may be, I feel I must not become so set on such a vision or dream that it clouds my ability to see reality. Perhaps this is why I find myself a bit frozen. I don’t know?

      Perhaps the compromise is to create new dreams, visions and goals to work toward, while understanding that they are only a guide that will lead us forward, but not necessarily to where we expect. Hmmm?

      Blessings back to you dear 15gen! TL xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve never heard of the “plain of lethal flatness”. Going to look that one up.

        I agree that we probably do need a guide of a new vision, yet I think we have a (near paralyzing) fear of that vision being crushed, as our previous “white picket fence” vision was crushed. Trying to figure out how to move beyond that fear is where the true challenge lies for me.

        It’s so good to bounce all this around with people who “get it”. I hate that we all have to go through this, but I sure do love our little blog community.

        Liked by 1 person

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