bringing the good back into focus

I’m visiting my home town for a few weeks this summer – the town where I spent the better half of a decade with my ex. This is the same ex that I returned to and had an affair with after discovering my own husbands indiscretions. I drive through some neighborhoods and there are memories of my old relationship on every street corner. My mind replays the fun, carefree moments of our youth and puts my ex on a pedestal of my own making. It’s funny that I only seem to remember the good when there was so much bad wrapped up in our relationship.

I recognize that I am idealizing the old relationship and force my mind to think of something else rather than waste my time longing for an undeserving man or dwelling on a romance that was best left behind.

It’s common for people to romanticize their pasts in this way – its the very reason why so many times we return to old relationships that are no longer good for us. We forget the reasons we split and exaggerate the parts we miss.

I have been trying to practice this mindset in my current relationship with my husband. And it’s working.

It’s been a couple solid months now that I have felt in love with my partner on a daily basis. That may be nothing to normal couples but is a huge accomplishment after the devastation of his infidelities and his sex addiction. It was only a year ago that I found out that he had been living a lie for over 6 years, so to be in this place now is beyond anything I imagined.

The bottom line is that many years ago I fell in love with my husband for good reason. He is kind, thoughtful, generous, attentive, sexy, understanding, strong, communicative, sensitive, funny, etc. The more I can focus on those amazing traits and the other initial reasons why I fell in love with him the easier it is to be truly and madly in love.

Wasting my time reminiscing about an ex boyfriend won’t serve anyone. I’ll leave that pedestal for my husband alone to stand on.

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5 comments on “bringing the good back into focus

  1. Nicetomeetu says:

    I’m curious….did you ever feel not IN love with your husband? If so, how we’re you able to great it back? And I agree, no use thinking about old relationships….there’s a reason it didn’t work!!

    • oh yes…I felt not in love for years! Getting it back took time but I think it breaks down to 3 parts. First, I had to share with my husband how I felt – I had to tell him that I was no longer in love (that was hard to do). Then I started to treat him as I did when I WAS in love – doing sweet things, complimenting him, making his favorite meal. Finally, I needed to work on my willingness to be vulnerable enough to allow myself to feel in love again. Part of my not loving was an attempt to protect myself from pain. I will think about this and expand on a blog later this week. But a post I wrote a few months ago may help – here it is:

      It’s so easy to get focused on the negative while trying to cope with infidelity or to heal a broken marriage. But when you only focus on the negative things, then all you will see are those negatives. That isn’t a good way to get out of this rut.

      For today, maybe you can instead focus on the things – even just one thing – that you still love about him. Visualize this thing/memory/trait if you can. Don’t let yourself think about anything else. When the negative thoughts start trying to creep in again, force yourself to go back to that one good thing and think about it…really think about it…until it makes you smile.

      Letting yourself feel a little piece of love and happiness again isn’t the same as ignoring the areas that need improvement or allowing him to be “bad”. It’s just giving yourself a well deserved rest from the anger and the hate.

      Someone once told me is you “act as if…” you can start loving again. Maybe it’s worth a shot.

      • Nicetomeetu says:

        Thanks! My thing is that I went through the motions for about 9 years . I did all those things after finding out. Then through the following years a lie here… an email or two there…etc. All that I did to try and keep him happy and satisfied. I really haven’t felt in love in years. I tried through the years …. at my age I don’t have another decade to invest and have lived NOT true to myself for way too long.

      • At some point, you can’t carry the entire burden. If your husband isn’t actively trying to live a rigorously honest life – and you if are no longer in love with him – then there is certainly nothing wrong with exploring other options. Many women are happier alone, affording them time for all the things they have given up during their relationship. Time to rediscover yourself. In my heart I always knew that my husband and I had the potential to get back to the place we are now and I am thankful I didn’t give up on him. If your soul can’t give any more then it’s probably time to be “true” to yourself. At the very least, you should consider a change to ‘shake things up’ and see what comes to surface. Maybe a separation is in order so you can feel it out (and so can he). I know there aren’t easy answers…but you have survived this much, I’m sure you will get through the next step…no matter what that ends up being.

      • Nicetomeetu says:

        Thanks for your encouraging words! 🙂

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