Hey, let’s do an exorcism! ‘k?

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Alternative title: What I got from my affair that I wasn’t getting from my marriage…

The truth about truth is that it comes up when it comes up, ready or not. In writing a response to one of my favorite fellow bloggers (@bombladoze) I saw an opportunity to dig a little deeper, in detail, into something I needed to worth through.

Why did I have an affair? What did I get from the other man that I couldn’t/wouldn’t ask for from my H?

For now I will merely set forth a list. In later blog posts I may explain some items in detail. It depends upon what depths of introspection are required to exorcise these demons…

  1. Acceptance of Me for who I really am as opposed to an illusion that has been co-created over the lifespan of 25 years.
  2. Lightheartedness and laughter.
  3. The opportunity to unwind my constant anxiety and to stop feeling like I was going to be “in trouble” all of the time.
  4. Someone who saw me as perfectly imperfect and loved me anyway. (Fantasy-world notwithstanding, the feelings were genuine in both directions and I am grateful for the lessons I learned from my AP.)
  5. Someone who didn’t take me for granted.
  6. Eye contact and therefore the depth of connection that I craved.
  7. The freedom to do what I wanted without hearing it was wrong or without hearing a step-by-step litany of instructions on how to do it before I even started. Or, worse yet, a controlled dictation of every choice I made or would make, in one way or another.
  8. A release from the transactional [albeit necessary] drudges of daily life [read “reality”].
  9. Sexual expansion, newness and excitement; feeling desirable.
  10. An outlet for my need to save someone [else].
  11. An opportunity for me to reexamine myself and to begin the process of challenging what I believed to be “constraints” and “restrictions” in my life.
  12. An opportunity to practice Tantra in the spiritual sense (not only in the sexual sense) with a partner who was well-versed in this practice and other related practices.
  13. Intellectual stimulation in areas I had not previously experienced.
  14. An opportunity to be heard, really heard, without being dismissed.
  15. An opportunity to release the pain and self-inflicted suffering I had been carrying around for most of my life.
  16. An opportunity to have some relief from the horrible realization that my relationship wasn’t working.

The outcomes produced the following opportunities for:

  1. Forgiveness for myself for being ill-equipped and too weak-minded to be more aggressive in telling my H that the relationship wasn’t working.
  2. Forgiveness for H’s tenacious hold on illusions and unwillingness to admit there was a problem for many years.
  3. An honest examination Me as an individual, rather than Me as a part of a couple.
  4. Total acceptance of the light and the dark within Me.
  5. Become a better person and ensure I would do whatever it takes to avoid repeating the same mistakes.
  6. Be OK with the unknown.
  7. Take responsibility for the hurt I caused and to make amends, wherever possible.
  8. Explore the idea that my marriage and my affair may constitute my drug(s) of choice (i.e., how do “addiction” or addictive behaviors fit in?).
  9. Stop hiding from myself and to learn to speak My Truth so I can reawaken/awaken higher parts of Me.
  10. Address my lifelong relationship with codependency, shame, guilt, and self-defeating behaviors and put an end to as many of those behaviors as possible.
  11. Build new behavioral and interpersonal relationship frameworks, dispensing with efforts to repair old ones that clearly weren’t working.
  12. Begin again and decide what I want my life to be, freeing myself from the ideas of what someone else thinks I should be and busting the illusion of living for someone else.
  13. Learn how to set healthy boundaries and give up the notion that I can/should fix/save someone else.
  14. Fully and finally recognize what abuse is and commit to myself that I will not allow it in any form.
  15. Recognize that when I do not learn lessons from what has been presented to me that those lessons will keep coming up until I do learn and change.
  16. Learn how to feel and not just pretend to feel.Β 

In short, it was a rebellion it the negative and positive sense and I have paid dearly for it. The whole thing would be for naught if I didn’t break down and surrender to the fact that there was a whole lot of dysfunction building up over my lifetime which I needed to address. It takes a lot of courage to look into the dark, dank catacombs of one’s psyche but it must be done, otherwise, recovery is not possible and illusions will prevail.

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15 thoughts on “Hey, let’s do an exorcism! ‘k?

  1. Someday I’d like to break things down as effectively as you just did. Oddly enough I get just about all of this. My relationship was codependent, had so much in it that was wrong…control and mental abuse from both sides…whether she is capable of admitting that part or not. I think at first she held all the cards and controlled most everything…the moment I rebelled and took “control” she felt violated and abused. She never once saw her own behaviors in a negative light and fails to address the core of her problems. All her past abuse from previous relationships started to present in ours and suddenly I was bearing the brunt of all her release. And I’m sure I returned the favor. I will never look back with regret on the end of my marriage…only on how ugly it got. It was needed for both of us to be able to grow again as people.

    • I really enjoy your insights. It’s a drag that the culmination of what was an awakening on your part (and seemingly furthering of denial on her part) had to be so emotionally violent. While we’d all like to avoid that, sometimes we can’t. Things that go wrong in relationships are never, ever one sided. Unconsciously we enable, facilitate, reinforce, and do more damage on top of damage. It’s only when we commit to stopping the madness that we can really understand what parts we played in all of it and move forward.

  2. ” It takes a lot of courage to look into the dark, dank catacombs of one’s psyche but it must be done, otherwise, recovery is not possible and illusions will prevail.”

    Exactly. It must be done, for the good of each person and for all of mankind.

    Good piece. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Interesting comments. For me I always know when I’ve come through a lesson if a person’s behaviour no longer triggers me in the same way. When I can make the response that ‘I can’t believe I used to let ‘this’ behaviour (add your own this) get to me.’ Then I know I’ve come out the other side. It was never about tolerating behaviour that I found untenable; it was more that I would come to see that person’s acting out in fine detail and now knew for certain, that it had nothing to do with me. Just as my acting out had nothing to do with them.

    Therefore I no longer had to carry that relationship around with me and keep trying to ‘fix’ it. My video on ‘Radical Forgiveness’ explores how I came to terms with, and let go of; a very abusive relationship. Perhaps you may find something in it of use. πŸ™‚

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