Our MC said that he tends to use a lot of Gottman's work, of course I had already read it. I know it's still very close to D-Day...but for me, it was months of turmoil before I was able to figure out what was going on (figure 6+ months now for me).
I guess what I'm asking folks here is, has anybody dealt with such a detached WS post D-Day and made it through? Again, the only real positive I have right now is that she's willing to go to MC.
My only experience with a "distant and detached" WS was the time period following my discovery of his first affair, back in 2006. For me, that time was filled with bits and pieces of new information (trickle truth) and constant checking up by me to see whether or not they were still in contact. From what I could tell -they weren't and WH appeared to be making an effort toward reconciling (we moved forward with our plans to get pregnant with baby #2). I was very pregnant with our second child when I discovered he'd only take the affair underground (a secret pay-as-you go phone, lies about whereabouts, etc).
What I can tell you is that there is a night and day difference between a WS who is remorseful and committed to making things right in their marriage, and a WS who is still in the proverbial fog about what they're doing. It's great that your WW has agreed to MC, that is definitely a first step - but I given that she's still detached from you and refusing to talk about it, I would suspect you only have a few pieces of a much bigger puzzle.
I would refer you to the healing library and the articles about the 180. I did that with my husband after dday #2 and it helped me a lot in that it gave me the strength to know that I would rather be on my own than be somebody's "obligation." If WH wanted OW1 - he needed to move in that direction. And oddly enough, when given the freedom to get out of my life, he fought pretty damn hard to stay in it.
(not sure what happened after that, but we're working on it).
I will never stop trying... because when you find 'the one' you never give up. (Cal Weaver)
"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."
Have you considered IC for help dealing with the feelings of grief, anger, and fear, and with the possibility that your W may not be a candidate for R?
I, too, recommend the Healing Library for the articles on R and requirements for R, as well as on the 180.
You can't R with a WS who isn't remorseful, and the first step in remorse is for your W to be honest with herself and with you. Another early step is to commit to doing the work necessary for R, and being distant and detached doesn't sound congruent with a desire to R.
My W committed to R immediately after confessing, long before I did, so I can't answer your Q from personal experience, but I've read posts by numerous members who have R'ed or are in the process of R'ing with WSes who started out as pretty lousy candidates for R. But my sense is that they got to R by means of confrontation and holding the WS to some serious requirements (NC, honesty, transparency, IC, MC, etc.).
The consensus here is that you can't nice or love a WS into R, especially after ILYBINILWY.
My believe is that it's pretty unhealthy for any BS or for any M for the BS to commit to R with a W who isn't committed yet.
That's the bad news. The good news is that you can make mistakes along the way and still end up healthy, happy, and thriving.
[This message edited by sisoon at 3:30 PM, May 10th (Friday)]
It took WH 8 months from the time I "caught" him, until he stopped TT, lying, etc. He has a detached personality anyway, so after I found out, his aloof detachment was even worse a lot of the time.
We started MC right away and he lied there too for the first 3 months. We switched counselors only because of logistics, and the new MC convinced him to tell me of his A from 13 years ago, and to get honest about the current one. That was the turnaround. Once he started telling the TRUTH, the detachment started fading.
I agree about the 180. I thought I could not do the 180,because it is so alien to my natural disposition. But it did help me to reclaim my heart, and get my life back. We are in R,but that doesn't mean that we always progress forward. It is 3 steps forward, 2 steps back.
Probably none of this helped, but I just wanted you to know you are not alone You WiLL get through this.
In the last quarter of last year (2012), I was hot on my WW's trail in my investigation into her transgressions, which culminated in her flying multiple times across state lines to be with her AP, while leaving me and our son at home thinking she was just an hour away at the beach with a friend. Not to mention, her flying her degenerate AP back to our state for an airport hotel romp. With the evidence mounting against her, and pressure from me by being only 1 step behind her, she caved and finally confessed (TTing, of course). After her confession, she indicated she wanted to work on our M and that she wanted to R. Of course, she was very disconnected and detached, seemed like something was "off", etc. I just KNEW in my gut that something wasn't right, but I didn't know what. Well, it turns out I had a couple more DDays in store for me after this date.
You see, when a WS is detached (emotionally or physically), seems shifty, and especially if you confront the WS about the A, they are likely to give false R. The thing is, the WS is NOT done with the A, and still has a LOT of emotions wrapped up in their AP. But they want to give you the false sense of security and hope, so they continue to dehumanize you by lying and hurting you.
When my WW finally got the message that I was serious and not going to tolerate that kind of abuse and behavior in our home, basically by way of an ultimatum, she finally got in gear, ended her A, enforced NC, and was no longer detached with me. She was VERY eager for MC and IC, and led most of that.
So, in short, it is a HUGE red flag, at least IMHO, if a WS is detached, shifty, avoidant, etc., after you "catch" them (Dday), and they usually react with false R, continued lying, TTing, and definitely a sense of being detached. That is because they are still HUGELY invested in the AP (emotionally, physically, blah blah blah), and will say anything to get you to think they are over it and ready to commit to you.
My WW actually told me she was done with the A, not in contact with her AP, not cheating on me with her AP, etc., after I "caught" her, but she later told me she was just telling me that to "throw me off her trail".
So I caution you to be VERY leery of your WW's professed desire to R, NC, etc. Trust your gut. It won't lead you astray during this time, and will be your best ally.
[This message edited by Theradin at 4:35 PM, May 10th (Friday)]
This also meant no MC this week, and I really needed it. In our last session WW asked for space to figure things out, I asked for her to make an effort to ask me about my day on a regular basis.
Guess which one of these requests are actually happening.
Her AP dropped her immediately after I called him and his wife. I so desperately want to ask my WW if she seriously thought that he was going to leave his wife for her.
Patience for the MC to show signs of something, patience for the fog to lift...I just need to be patient...and it's really hard.
That got better with time. There were improvements each week. We're now three months removed from d-day and she broke NC twice -- both times phone calls. The second time she was actually out of the house thinking that I wasn't going to accept her back -- which is weird because she walked out on her own.
She talked to the OM and discovered that he was in it for sex. Felt stupid and then came home to apologize and ask for R.
Maybe it's love. Maybe it's co-dependence. Maybe I'm just stupid. I said yes, let's give R a chance.
Up until that point she had not said a single negative word about the OM.
She still gets defensive about a third of the time that I bring up the A and with MC that's getting better.
The 180 is brutally hard to do, but I'm trying. Some days with more conviction than others. To be honest, I just want my old life back and it hurts that I'll never have it back.
To answer your question, I had a similar situation with my WW and slowly over three months I'm in a place where I can sleep at night and function at work. I don't think she's remorseful yet, but she seems to be on the way there.
The MC therapist says to give it six months.
Stay strong and I'm sorry for your pain.
I didn't want him to see me mourn my A. I needed to get over it on my own, and frankly to work on myself, and the constant tiptoeing around the A while we were doing an in house Separation had me on edge at all times. Within a month of my H moving out, I finally started to see what i had done, who I was, and what a jerk I had been.
I am not necessarily advocating separation, but I am saying, there is still a good chance, that even though y'all are in MC (we were too during this time) she is probably still getting over her AP, and that she cannot even look at you without some sort of anger for ruining her life, unreasonable and unfair, definitely, but she will most likely snap out of it. Will it be too late for you? Maybe, only you can decide that, but a lot of WW and WH do snap out of it.
Status - Divorcing
And if you're not faced with a de-fogged remorseful WS, then you can find comfort in the fact that at least you're moving in the right direction and that no amount of "waiting patiently" for her to get out of the fog would've helped.
We've only had 2 MC sessions thus far, and I while I wish our counselor was pushing her harder, I think he's probably taking the right path being "gentle", for now. Things are still very raw for the both of us.
I just wish she'd talk to me about the A, but she's such a proud woman that I'm not sure she'll ever be able to, as that would entail admitting she did such a sh*tty thing to me.
So, I agree you should be patient, but set a time limit for yourself. If you see no remorse at 3,4,5 or however, many months you decide, it may be time to call it. But I agree, doing the 180 isn't about scaring your W, it is about protecting yourself, and moving on with your life in a positive way.
Good luck on your journey, and I hope your wife gets it soon.