After the weekend’s fun, I went back to work, trying to deal with that nonsense as well.

Yesterday I was feeling very hurt.  I couldn’t get things out of my mind and I felt on the edge of tears all day.  I felt alone and unloved.  It came over me in a way that I hadn’t felt over the weekend.  A lot of self-pity and sadness.

I struggled with this all day and I may way home I was almost in tears just thinking about going home.  Brief chats with my wife during the day made me feel that she still had her guard up and was emotionally disconnected still.

She called to ask me to pick up some stuff at the supermarket and I felt unappreciated and sad even more of this request.

What was running through my mind were all kinds of ‘bombs’.  In the Pia Mellody book,  Facing Love Addiction, she writes about how people will drop ‘bombs’ to get the reaction they want out of their partner.  Sometimes it’s a seduction bomb, sometimes an anger bomb or a sadness bomb.  In my case, I wanted my wife to move toward me, toward more intimacy and empathy with my feelings.  My mind was racing with ways to get this behavior from her.  Various scenarios ran through my mind, from picking a fight to crying to demanding sex.  All kinds of crazy thoughts.

I realized what I was doing and knew I had to avoid it.  I was still hurting, but knew that dropping a bomb wouldn’t make me really feel better.

When I got home, I worked to be cordial but not overly happy or overly sad.  I was avoiding putting on a false face.  My stomach was upset, as it does when I’m emotionally hurt, and I said I wasn’t hungry.  She and the kids ate without me.

I went to the bedroom and watched some TV to get my mind off of things.  She came in a couple times to ask about dinner and what was wrong.  She could tell I was upset.  I simply said, “I’m not feeling good, and I had a bad day.”  She left me alone.

After a bit I started to feel better and less crushed.  We watched some TV together and the distance seemed to close a bit.

This morning things were better, I didn’t feel so hurt and she was trying to talk more and engage with me.  I did start to feel micro-bursts of anger over trivial things.  Like discussing if she needed cash today, her saying no, since she wasn’t doing anything, and in my head I heard myself popping with the words “because cheating on me doesn’t cost anything…”   I didn’t say that out loud, but it’s what ran through my head.

I realize that there was nothing wrong with what she said, but that it’s the leakage of my anger toward her coming out in strange ways.  I’m not sure of the right way to process this anger.  I need help with my anger…

As I think about things, I’m starting to see a pattern.  When something happens with my wife that is upsetting, I have been doing these things.

1) Protect myself – stick to boundaries, resist urge to enable/fix, focus on myself

2) Hurt – once the immediate crisis is over, I can let go enough to feel my hurt over what happened

3) Anger – after I’ve recognized the primary feeling of hurt, the secondary feelings of anger surface

4) Refocus on recovery behavior – get back to my good behaviors, reinforce my self-esteem, healthy engagement with my wife

I don’t know if it’s the right way, but it’s what’s happening.  I don’t feel so hopeless these days, I tend to see light at the end of the tunnel more quickly.

Progress not perfection, right? ;)