Off the Chart Emotions

facing my feelings has led me to look at the truth-survivors blog-elizabeth-off the chart emotions

If there was a scale of emotions, I think it's safe to say we all prefer to be somewhere right in the middle; somewhere between 65 and 75 degrees. . . not too hot, not too cold.

If your story and recovery has looked anything like ours, then you've probably realized that you and your mate's emotions can go way off the charts. We have been on roller coasters of highs and lows. We've experienced days where there seems to be no love or hope left at all. Days where frozen is an understatement and we have nothing to give one another but icy feelings and a steel heart.

There have also been times we have been on the other end of the spectrum. Anger fired at one another by means of blazing, hot words and a rage that burns so deep, it makes you feel nothing short of crazy.

Still other days, we feel an inkling of hope. Is there a chance we can make it? Was that a smile I just saw? Did we both just laugh and enjoy one another?

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure I have looked at the Hallmark card aisle and have never found the card to describe the range of emotion infidelity creates. There are so many of us out here crying out, desperate for some of these emotions and feelings to subside.

So what exactly do we do with all of these feelings?

One thing I am learning in recovery is to befriend them. Be curious about them. To simply feel them and trust that maybe, they won't always feel this way. Perhaps they're God's way of helping us learn about ourselves.

Is there a particular feeling you avoid?

I tend to avoid anger. I have been afraid of that feeling ever since I was a child. It is in no way an excuse for my behavior, but I've come to the realization that I used my affairs as a way to continue to deflect my anger. Oh, how I wish I would have been healthy enough to tell my husband I was angry instead of acting out and reaching to someone else. I still have a hard time feeling this emotion and the fear it brings up for me, but I am trying to learn it's okay. It's okay to simply acknowledge "I'm angry"

If I feel the avoided emotion, what will happen?

The process of working through my anger has caused pain from long before the infidelity to surface. Facing my feelings has led me to look at the truth and reality behind the issues that started early in my life. In a sense, avoiding the feeling helped me avoid the truth.

A few months ago, I was fed up with the lack of control over my emotions. I marched into my therapist's office and strongly suggested he help me. I rationally explained that I was doing everything I could think of in recovery. We have been through disclosure. We have created safety. I have spent well over a year finally talking about and working through trauma. But my emotions were still all over the place. I wanted to return to a normal, comfortable and calm place. And by God, I needed his help to do so!

I couldn't believe how he responded to my request. He laughed.

My initial reaction was to be insulted by his laughter but I knew he really cared about me. I asked him why he thought such a seemingly reasonable request was funny.

He then explained to me how normal it was. In light of what we were going through, he said he would be more concerned with me if I weren't feeling. He then suggested I read all of the Psalms within two days. So I did.

King David (who wrote most of the Psalms) sounds a lot like us. He is all over the place. Every emotion I had felt or continue to feel is in there.

Agony, despair, rage, fear, hopelessness, abandonment, joy, gladness, simplicity, hope and comfort.

Chances are this pain is bringing up feelings you didn't even know you could feel or hate.

You might be well versed in Psalms. Maybe you've looked at them in bits and pieces but never in their entirety. You may not even believe in God or own a Bible, and that's okay too. However, I encourage you to use the Psalms. Learn from them. Lean on them. Like one beggar who can show another where to find the bread, I will leave you with some of my personal favorites. I would be honored to hear yours.

"You keep track of all of my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book"

"Create in me a clean heart O God. Renew a right spirit within me".

"You did it. You turned wild lament into a whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers."


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Thanks for sharing! When your

Thanks for sharing! When your emotions get so cold and hopeless what keeps you there? I’m sure your mind wonders to the AP and those perfect type feelings and the thought that it would be so much easier to just go to him. What do you do at that moment to get back off the edge of the cliff? Especially if it’s after something your husband may have said that hurt and now you see him as the bad guy again?

Good questions. I hope this

Good questions. I hope this gets easier the more we allow ourselves to feel, period. To not escape. To not fantasize. To just grow up, basically! I want to be mature (infidelity is the opposite of maturity), so I just remind myself that I can just be a big girl and accept I won't always like my emotions, but I can get through them.
As far as mind wandering to the AP's it doesn't happen much anymore but when it did, I always used the 3 second rule. I wouldn't allow myself to stay there so I would change the radio station, start a task, reach out to an accountable friend. I would then just ask myself how is that going to help me and what is it I am really needing. (Am I wanting attention? Am I needing care? Do I want someone to listen to me?). I can get those needs met through God, girlfriends, or usually myself. And if my feelings are hurt by my husband, I sometimes just need to say that out loud. "My feelings are hurt". It sounds silly, but for us this is huge. We can just directly put it out there for each other.
Thanks for reading and hope this helps. If it doesn't, I know there are tons of folks on the forums that can offer some widsom and insight too.

Reply to emotions

I agree. When my feelings are hurt, I tell my husband. When I feel rejected, I tell him. When I hurt , I tell him. I actually think this level of honesty has brought us closer but there remains a gap and I do not feel the contentment and safety I felt pre affair. I do not feel settled. I want separate financial arrangements, stuff in my name and the ability to walk out the door.

And I really need an apology from the AP. Is that unrealistic??? I do not know her but I just feel like she is Plan b if we do not survive. My husband assures me there is no Plan B. I have no evidence or suspicion to prove otherwise.

Is it unrealistic to expect an apology and how do I get my contentment back?

Well, I won't be your

Well, I won't be your therapist or give advice here but maybe try this. What would your apology from the AP look like? Can you write it or imagine it out with a friend or your husband? And then do you really think that would give you the assurance you're looking for?
Have you taken Harboring Hope? Have ya'll done individual counseling? Or marriage counseling? If your husband is serious about his recovery as most of us former unfaithful are, he would probably be willing to do whatever it is you need to make you feel safe. But as far as the AP...I long for you to be indifferent towards her. She likely is pretty shallow compared to you. And broken. It sounds (like me!) that you have quite a bit of anxiety and need some reassurance often. (I have a very anxious attachment style). Thanks for trusting, reading and looking for help.


EVERYTHING YOU HAVE SAID is EXACTLY how I day I hope to be strong as you and NOT think about the AP..cause I know deep down it was a fantasy land.. I want to be strong willed once again where I don't need a man to fulfill me my heart my soul..i want to look toward GOD for those things n I especially want to build my self esteem that I never had..i don't want a quick fix from a man . I need to fix ME

Yes. It is possible. Keep

Yes. It is possible. Keep working.

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-D, Texas