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Reading Matter and Food for Thought. Your recommendations please!

(18 Posts)
Ate Tue 29-Jul-08 13:11:49

Can anyone suggest empowering books to help healing during and after the aftermath of an affair?

Can't talk about it without crying, cant discuss it (counselling) without being sent into a tailspin of headfeckery and woe.

I realise now that it's at the point where I could make my way away from negativity towards a more positive place. Maybe! Books being something I could pace myself with, IYKWIM.

Any ideas?

Elasticwoman Tue 29-Jul-08 16:59:23

Do you mean his affair or yours?

Perhaps you should just read something that has nothing to do with adultery, eg P G Wodehouse (always good for escapism) or John Diamond's C: Because Cowards Get Cancer Too.

What I mean is, if you're not ready for counselling, why should reading about it make you any less miserable? Maybe you need a little distance.

Ate Tue 29-Jul-08 21:25:01

Hmm, see what you mean. (His philandering, BTW!) but.... the reason I found counselling difficult is that she cried. The counsellor. Now, I'm all for humanity, empathy and sheer emotion but it kind of placed me in a strange place whereby I was going to counselling, putting a brave face on it all and basically lying through my back teeth following that first sesh. Couldn't cope with her emotion , so would arrive home in pieces with head firmly up bum and time and money wasted.

A faceless, emotionless, inanimate object is just what I'm in need of smile

Have tried other, various reads but no, can't geet stuck in and this has to be dealt with.

Elasticwoman Wed 30-Jul-08 18:19:29

Sounds like you had a rubbish counsellor, Ate.

Of course, you could sound off about your experience on here, and you would probably get some very frank opinions that people might not dare to give to your face.

Let me tell you a true story. My friend was married when I first met her, and apart from complaining about her dh's fecklessness with money, she did not let on there was anything amiss with their marriage. Then 16 years later, when their youngest left for university, she left him. The reason, she told me, was that she had discovered he was being unfaithful, before I even knew her. She discovered he was serially unfaithful, had been seeing some one else even when declaring undying love for her and threatening to top himself if she didn't marry him, when she was about 20. She said if she'd known at the time, she would never have married him. He continued to be unfaithful but she stayed with him for the sake of not breaking up the family and not wanting to be a lone parent. He used to say he loved her, and all the other women didn't matter. She said she didn't want to be part of his harem. He was still begging her to stay even as she eventually left him, but she knew he was seeing some one else even then.

Is your dh as faithless as that, Ate?

Ate Thu 31-Jul-08 02:44:45

Impossible to compare I'd say, EW. What makes a betrayor more or less betraying?

Food for thought, thanks for sharing.

Elasticwoman Thu 31-Jul-08 10:59:54

Have you tried ringing Samaritans for a listening ear, Ate? They are trained to listen. You do not have to be suicidal, and the service is free. Or you can even email them now.

Are you still together with betrayer and trying to forgive, or contemplating how the future is to be with him, or are you distancing yourself?

Ate Fri 01-Aug-08 12:41:25

EW, I'm kind of through with talking. Don't really feel as though there's much left to say or think. It's as if I've gone through every aspect of it all from all the perspectives I can reach yet still, I'm in a limbo of some kind.

He doesn't live with us now, not sure I even want to forgive. His philandering had awful consequences (an infection) for our baby, whom I was pregnant with at the time.

Though, I didn't find out until the day before her EDD. A video of them at it. I'm angry! More angry than I have the tools to deal with. I've lost respect, trust and faith in him. Still, there's love. Annoyingly. I hadn't banked on that.

I contemplated and dithered and I'm pregnant to him again. My fourth baby due within a year of the last and I love(?) yet hate it's father.

For the first time in my life, pregnancy and birth scare me and nothing about the future is clear.

Elasticwoman Fri 01-Aug-08 17:57:08

Ate, I'm so sorry to hear about this. Of course you are angry. Have you read or seen any Ibsen plays? He deals with this issue exactly. Ghosts is one, and *Wild Duck* is another. Have you read these?

Ate Fri 01-Aug-08 18:36:26

No, I haven't EW but I've found brief synopses of both the works you name and I'm amazed at just how relevant each are, in their own ways.

"Summons of the ideal", the 'ideal' being too much for the human heart to bear? You are more than a little astute? smile Thank you.

'Ghosts', uncanny. I spoke with a friend earlier (when I think there is no more, more pours forth regardless!) funnily enough our discussion turned to the relevance of sociology, cultural constraints and conditioning and how they apply to my current feelings and situation. Very interesting.

I will seek both of these plays, immediately!

Elasticwoman Fri 01-Aug-08 21:00:29

Ate, I've been thinking some more, and have come up with Graham Greene - the Catholic novels. You don't have to be Catholic to appreciate them, but it helps if you have some idea what they believe in. I'm thinking particularly of The Human Factor, although the one he's most famous for is The Power and the Glory - the one about the "whisky priest" who says (among other things) "our sins have such beauty". The End of the Affair was filmed with Julianne Moore but it's not his best. Most of the Catholic novels revolve around sin, forgiveness and redemption.

girlnextdoor Fri 01-Aug-08 21:13:18

What about The Road Less Travelled- google it.

Personally, I would suggest you saw another counsellor- the fact that you cannot talk about it without crying shows you are nowhere near over it and need to talk.

Your counsellor sounds rubbish-I have several friends who are counsellors and do similar work, and that is a very unprofessional response.

girlnextdoor Fri 01-Aug-08 21:15:55

Synopsis of The Road Less Travelled by Peck.

Confronting and solving problems is a painful process, which most of us attempt to avoid. Avoiding resolution results in greater pain and an inability to grow both mentally and spiritually. Drawing heavily on his own professional experience, Dr M. Scott Peck, a psychiatrist, suggests ways in which facing our difficulties - and suffering through the changes - can enable us to reach a higher level of self-understanding. He discusses the nature of loving relationships: how to distinguish dependency from love; how to become one's own person and how to be a more sensitive parent. This is a book that can show you how to embrace reality and yet achieve serenity and a richer existence. Hugely influential, it has now sold over six million copies - and has changed many people's lives round the globe. It may change yours.

Ate Fri 01-Aug-08 22:26:36

GND, I had felt strength returning, had begun to see a way through it all. Hormones put paid to that healing and threw me again into confusion.

A few weeks reprieve following the eventual passing of those first couple of heady months of motherhood and awful realisations - and before those first heady months of pregnancy and further awful realisations.

I've been for counselling briefly before now. I've trained in some basic counselling concepts, I understand where I need to be to take it on and now isn't that time or head space.

I think today I made my first conscious decision to stand up and fight. That is a milestone for me in this whole process and one which might just open the road to healing. I have found it all so overwhelming that it's blinkered me to the option of, well...... living! blush

I know that reading (merely the act of) will help and at present the relevant appeals rather than scares me so I'll grab that opportunity while it's within my grasp.

My pregnancy, the birth. I think I've been struggling with the concept of a time limit. i.e. within six months time I need to have my head straight or this is going to be all the more awful. A judgement, restrictive to natural thought.

I'll add The Road Less Travelled to my list. Thank you.

I'm not catholic EW but I did attend a convent school for a year. I have some understanding of catholicism and will add The Human Factor to the list.

The ow (bots) has become a damaging force on my road to recovery. Sniping, staring, sneering, gabbing. My whole town now knows (not paranoid, she's gone to great lengths) a story but not the truth. How do I ignore when the sight of her creates a pain in my chest so severe its extent is truly indescribable. I'm in hiding. For no good reason. I have no reason to hide!

Except the fear of that pain.

Elasticwoman Sat 02-Aug-08 10:21:11

Something of a side issue, Ate: did you choose not to bf #3 (or wean early) because of the infection? Or maybe for emotional reasons? If I'm right, may I suggest you see a breastfeeding counsellor who can give you some information about relative risks, and some counselling for your situation in general. Do not fear that the counsellor will have an agenda of pushing bf on to you and put you under further pressure. She should not do that.

But maybe it's not counselling in the modern meaning of the term, but spiritual support that you need. Probably a bit harder to come by in this day and age.

I was also thinking of Anatoly (now Natan) Scharansky, the Soviet dissident who was imprisoned and maltreated in the USSR of the 70s and 80s. He dealt with some of the appalling ways he was treated by saying "No one can humiliate me; I can only humiliate myself." In fact, he said a lot of things about standing up to adversity, and recognising when one is being bullied and not allowing one's spirit to be crushed.

Sounds like you are a very strong person and are starting to stand up for yourself. Stand proud, Ate.

anothermum92 Sat 02-Aug-08 20:35:18

Message withdrawn

Ate Sat 02-Aug-08 21:57:32

"No one can humiliate me; I can only humiliate myself."

Akin to something my dad would have said, EW. We would have had a talk, he would have heard what I meant, what I felt, not just what I had to say and would have offered a few nuggets that I could relate to, like that, in response, amongst other things.

Your perception of our bf experience is spot on, on each count. I have some thinking to do WRT feeding this next one.

Thanks AM for your suggestions. I'll look them up smile

Ate Sat 02-Aug-08 22:00:53

EW, apologies! Bf not quite spot on, on each count. That would of course be impossible! We fed, antib's and emotional issues led to a transfer to synthetic milk after a few months.

Elasticwoman Sun 03-Aug-08 11:18:34

Still worth talking to a counsellor in advance of baby being born.

My dad had a few sayings that spring to mind occasionally. Many are cold, but few are frozen! And about a rich person fallen on hard times: oh dear, must be down to his last million. Funny how our parents can still support us even after death.

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