We have been in MC continuously since. I am not over it. He is remorseful and transparent and yet we have had numerous set backs, I.e., him sending other women (everyone from Facebook friends to casual acquaintances) emails or messages that they are "beautiful" or "look great" or him having numerous email exchanges with a woman from his gym. He gets angry and defensive, seems to feel he should have a right to do this and maybe because his mom is a narcissistic controlling woman and he has, as part of this I think, reacted to her control (and maybe what he thinks is my effort to control him). So, where I am going with this is, I am so tired of these issues. They set us back, make me feel needy to even have to raise them, and frankly, I feel like he has the burden to fucking over correct this situation and make sure there are NO CROSSED BOUNDARIES.
If it were me, I would (not have done this, but if I had) realize how this impacted my spouse and be very sensitive. Instead I feel like he is reaching his limit and thinks he paid his dues and we should be over it. Doesn't the WS have the burden to make it better? Should he spend his time thinking how he could fix this? Why do I have to tell him .... Yeah, so it fucking upsets me when I see you communicating with other women how beautiful you think they are. If it were me, I would (a) say sorry every day (b) say I love you every day even if my spouse can't reciprocate that and (3) say I think you are beautiful, EVERY DAY. I have told him this, and he doesn't do it. Why? Does he not want to recover? Should I take this as a sign? I'd love to hear if you feel your spouse is doing the same or similar and whether I am right to feel this is not an appropriate response.
I found that for the first year after dday I carried most of the water for R. I set up counselling, I bought books, I initiated discussion, I changed my behaviors....
What changed this was at 10 months post dday while she was on a trip she broke a boundary we had agreed to (there were not that many, and they were not difficult). I ended up moving out of the house at that point, started the process for D, and started to detach. That is the point FWW decided that she did want to be M to me, and that she would do what was needed. She went on to over a year of IC every other week to work on her issues. She apologized in frot of me to those who knew of her A and were torn between keeping her confidence or telling me. She took ownership and stopped blaming me.
You can lead a wayward to R, but you cannot make him think.
Estabnlish you boundaries. No Facebook may be one, no commenting to women on their bodies, being able to explain to you in detail why he turned to OW and lta and why he won't in the future, reading and discussing Not Just Friends by Glass and Sexual Detours by Hines with you, full access to emails and phones, etc. Once you have done this, work on 180 and let him take the lead.
While you are waiting to see what he does, work on your goals. Independant of your WH, what would you like your life to look like 6, 12, 24 months form now? What actions can yopu take to move in that direction?
If your M is going to work he needs to figure out and own what his issues were that made 2 year A and others seem okay. He also needs to figure out how to meet your needs and expectations.
It has been a year, let him sink or swim.
emails or messages that they are "beautiful" or "look great" or him having numerous email exchanges with a woman from his gym. He gets angry and defensive, seems to feel he should have a right to do this
^^^This is very concerning, your husband is not getting the enormity of his actions nor is he understanding that when you are married there are boundaries you do not cross. What does your MC say about this?
You cannot truly R if your WH does not understand that his actions will continually set you back. Irrespective of the A, had my WH been complimenting other women, I'd be very upset.
Your husband should not be having casual conversations with any women other than professionally-related discussions on the job. Period. In order to rebuild the marriage, he must lose himself. He needs to change. He needs to understand boundaries. He needs to feel the pain you are feeling. These emails and messages could very easily lead him back down the slippery slope. Is he in IC? Personally, I would ask him to shut down his facebook account. He should not be exchanging emails with other women. His focus needs to be on you and your marriage and your family.
reading and discussing Not Just Friends by Glass and Sexual Detours by Hines with you, full access to emails and phones, etc
^^^This, at minimum.
ETA: To answer your question, both have to work on the marriage, BUT your WH has the burden of doing everything possible to make you feel safe, to understand how/why he took the infidelity path. After my D-Day, my WH took ALL focus off of everything else and placed it on my needs.
[This message edited by annb at 8:25 AM, May 2nd (Thursday)]
Wanted to add to your list of things they should be saying to us BSs frequently: "Thank you for giving me another chance."
Inca, how about putting in writing your minimum boundary requirements re: behavior with other women: It is not ok with me for you to communicate personal things/be alone with other women unless it is your mother/sister.
[This message edited by mchercheur at 9:36 AM, May 2nd (Thursday)]
I would suggest setting the boundaries way into safe territory, or as you put it "over correct". Maybe he shouldn't be on Facebook and he shouldn't spend time alone at the gym? If you don't see progress and progressively smarter avoidance of risky behavior then you may need to reassess your decision to R, which it sounds like you're reassessing anyway. You're absolutely right that his betrayal was horrific and you have every right to leave the marriage if that's what you want to do. I'm told divorce isn't always easier than R so it sucks either way, but it's entirely your decision.
Should he spend his time thinking how he could fix this? Why do I have to tell him .... Yeah, so it fucking upsets me when I see you communicating with other women how beautiful you think they are. If it were me, I would (a) say sorry every day (b) say I love you every day even if my spouse can't reciprocate that and (3) say I think you are beautiful, EVE
In answer to the question, what does our MC say, she says it is such a trigger (not sure she calls it that) issue for my BS (b/c he gets pissed and defensive) that she will not take sides about whether this is a crossed boundary, but she tries, I think, to get him to see that since it upsets me it is behavior to be avoided. That is frustrating to me because I feel like we all need to be on the same page as to what is an ok thing or not, and what is a slippery slope or not, and her not backing me up is not helping for us to get on the same page on this.
Your MC probably realizes your WH is not going to change his behavior and might be trying to keep him engaged and not “run him off”. Our MC did this and I knew when WH became defensive nothing was going to get resolved. I wouldn’t say your MC is not backing you up but is trying not to alienate WH to keep him from retreating and stopping MC. Have you tried IC to help you work through whether to try to R or decide to leave the marriage?
Your comment about WH mother being a narcissistic controlling woman problem could play a big role in your WH’s behavior. Does your WH talk about this in MC? I believe part of my WH’s behavior is because his mother was very controlling and his father was very passive. WH never saw his father have a voice in the family. WH never wanted to be like his dad so he is more like his mother.
Continue working on yourself. It is not easy.
Gotta love the life that we livin'