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Distinguishing emotions from reality

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'm a new member but a lurker for quite some time and this is my first post, so I've kind of jumped right in. Hope you all won't mind the length, I just don't know I can condense it down without losing valuable info.


I, for as long as I can remember, have been a passive aggressive, fence straddler. I always try to stay neutral and unbiased about issues including my own. But then it makes it difficult to know if I'm robbing myself of what I deserve and making excuses for what I don't deserve.


My partner and I don't identify with the traditional idea of marriage, I guess we've kind of grown to see it as a friendly business adventure. <<It sounds cold but that's not how we behave. We moved too fast as a couple but lucky for me my mate is overall a great friend and wonderful father. He's even been more of a father figure to me than my own dad could've been. I truly love him for that but I don't believe I've ever been in love with him. I could never give him all of me with so much childhood baggage. I have a hard time trusting, I'm not routinely affectionate and barely enjoy sex. Guess you could say I have serious daddy issues. :(


Out of our 8 yrs together, he cheated on me twice during what I thought were our better years and both while I was pregnant. The first was a close but no cigar type thing. Second was the real deal, not the same woman, mind you. And goodness the affair and subsequent shame hurt worse than I could've imagined. Shame on me for thinking I had managed to have a better family than I grew up in. I always leaned towards Buddhist ideals so after his second affair, I took a more spiritual approach to help me cope. He jumped on board as well. To, in effect, keep the family together for the kids because I'm a child of divorce and I wasn't about to let cheating be the end all to an otherwise decent family dynamic. He's always been good to me in every way but that. That was me shoving logic ahead of emotions. 


Anyway, I wanted to be realistic and told him I don't own him and he should do whatever he feels is spiritually right but be open about it and I would do the same. Yeah, so that's what I wanted to believe in so badly but my emotions, my mind wants me to be jealous, to feel ownership, to...I guess feel I deserve a man who won't sleep around on me despite all he does for me. But then I question why i care if he ever cheats again, I don't like sex anyway. It seems so complicated cus I want to not care but I keep finding myself caring anyway!


Can anyone see something within all of this? He's aware of most of my feelings but I can't make any sense of it all. I hate to ask what I should do since for most people cheating is a deal breaker, but really I don't know what to trust, my emotions or the logic? 

post #2 of 8

I am  Buddhist and I do not thing it mean not having emotions or feeling.  Non traditional marriage does not necessary mean business like arrangement.


It all sounds really confused to me. Do you have a teacher with whom you can talk?




Perhaps you should read up about polyamory,  Ownership or jealousy have nothing to do with Love, and I think are antithesis of love. Many couple have poly marriages. The idea that we can get all we need form one partner is very unrealistic to me.


There a few book on the subject and on online groups. I urge you to explore it.

post #3 of 8

I think you have to get really clear with yourself about all your inner beliefs and thoughts about marriage, relationship, and what you think you deserve. One good tool for this might be Loiuse Hay's you can heal your life workbook. She lays out questions which one can answer and help find out what some of your inner beliefs are.

The first step is identifying what you are working with,

IF you had a poor model of marriage, likely that is directing your own beliefs about what is normal and what you think you deserve.


I think first you need to identify (write it in a journal) all the beliefs you inherited from your parents about marriage, Just really get clear. then you can start to look at those beliefs and decide if maybe they are not serving you any more.

Maybe you believe you don't deserve a man who will not cheat and who will value you alone above all others. I have no ide what your beliefs about this are, I was just giving an example of one type of belief you might have about it,


so once you figure out all those voices in your mind and past and all, you can then start deciding what you really want. Then you can tell yourself, I see that I have been feeling that I don't deserve what  really want, but actually I now see that I do deserve what I really want.


Then you write your journal entries of exactly what you want in relationship and marriage if you could have everything you want.

then you see how your relationship matches up to that,

Get really clear about your underlying beliefs first. Then decide what you really want and make whatever choices you can to try to actualize as close to what you want as you can.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

I am  Buddhist and I do not thing it mean not having emotions or feeling.  Non traditional marriage does not necessary mean business like arrangement.


You're right about that. I was trying to take the approach of live and let live by wanting to distance myself from those negative emotions associated with cheating. By asking myself why did his cheating hurt and why would him cheating again hurt to identify whether I'm just taking on cultural dogma. 


It all sounds really confused to me. Do you have a teacher with whom you can talk?

I'm so sorry. This post definitely reflects my inner confusion. I essentially can't decide what part of me to listen to. Logic tells me to stay and work out my issues with his cheating because he's an overall great guy, if not a little difficult. But every time I feel an ounce of vulnerability or insecurity about his faithfulness, my emotions call for me to run away from this life... it's un-salvable. I can see why it's a deal breaker for most. You'd have to have amnesia in order to get past emotional triggers and move on.


Perhaps you should read up about polyamory,  Ownership or jealousy have nothing to do with Love, and I think are antithesis of love. Many couple have poly marriages. The idea that we can get all we need form one partner is very unrealistic to me.

I agree as well. I think if anything, we're both in need of strong, close friendships but don't really know how to acquire and foster them. So we're in effect, getting a little tired of being each others' motivation and shoulder. But he has more access to vent if not friends than I do, so its more him getting tired of me. I probably do need more "loving" partners in my life. 


There a few book on the subject and on online groups. I urge you to explore it. Thank you, I will gladly explore it. It may be just what I need to understand myself further.


post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Snapdragon, I think that's a very good first step for all of this. We conversed on our relationship this evening and it didn't amount to much. So we are as static as ever. I'm hoping your advice will at least lead to some talking points and moves in some direction.

post #6 of 8
You've gotten some great responses so far. I'd like to share my perspective as well. You remind me of myself in that you are not terribly affectionate, you dont really enjoy sex and you try to take a spiritual approach to experiences. This is how i was for a long time, anyway. I was celibate for about three years and didnt feel deprived, i'm a philosphical person who didnt understand the importance of listening to emotions--they felt too reactive and chaotic to me, and i valued self-discipline above all else. While on the surface that looks like a healthy way to go about things, underneath it all i was actually afraid of intimacy, scared of being emotionally vulnerable and non-trusting of people. I had no clue how to go about asking for what i want, i didnt even know how to feel strong desires, let alone act on them. I was inept emotionally and romantically because i had very poor role models growing up: my mom had volatile emotions that she expressed however she pleased which terrified me and made me not trust emotions and my father was cold and rigid, preferring logic over emotions, i rarely saw him express emotions, only rage on occasion. My parents also fought a lot, i rarely saw them happy together, so i havent known how to go about having a romantic relationship or a healthy one.

I'm describing all of this in case it resonates with yourself and what you've experienced. If it does at all then you might benefit by hearing what has helped me: letting go of my need to be fair, just, and "right": letting go of these things has made it easier for me to trust my feelings more and not take myself so seriously. Life is not about staying above our irrational emotions and reactions, its about owning them, learning from them, and enjoying them. I used to be passive aggressive, too, because i hadnt learned how to own my anger. Anger will come out, no matter how much we try to stifle it, and when we stifle it its only natural that it'll come out in unhealthy, unproductive ways. If you're angry there is a reason for it. If you're feeling any type of emotion, there is a reason for it, and with practice you will learn how to figure out the source of the emotion. It helps to have a therapist who can work you through the feelings and help you understand them since its difficult to do it all yourself.

Also, its okay to be angry at your husband for cheating on you twice. That would make anyone angry. It sounds like you dont want to let go of the relationship, though, which is making you not want to own the anger. If you want to feel better and have a better life its important to own how you feel. Emotions can be destructive but if allowed to be expressed in healthy ways then they will help you have new experiences that benefit you. You shouldnt beat yourself up for not wanting sex--that is something your partner should be willing to either help you with or not be in a relationship with you if he doesnt like it. Cheating on you is not a good solution--it shows that he is not able to effectively communicate his needs, either.

It sounds like you need to face your fears when it comes to intimacy. Really take a good, long look at yourself and what troubles you. Are you ashamed of your body? Do you fear intimacy? Questions like these will help you understand the root of your issues. I think you would be greatly helped by a sex therapist, they have helped a lot of people with problems like yours.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

PrimordialMind, your account beautifully resonated with me. I can start to see where I'm dooming my happiness. I tend to compound experiences as if it all happened to me at once, past and present. I once told my partner that everyone seems out to hurt and use me, and I thought I had someone (him) that wouldn't put me through such pain. I think it would do me some good to seek therapy or at least follow Snapdragon's advice. It's like a can see how owning my emotions would make sense, but then I can't really see how to go about implementing it. As you said, I need help understanding them in the first place. Thank you all.

post #8 of 8

As a child of divorce as well, I don't want to give my kids that example, so I can completely understand where you're coming from. But the flip side of that is you're showing your kids that marriage is a business like arrangement, etc., and what type of example is that setting for them as well? Just something to consider.


Hope you find some sort of peaceful resolution soon.



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