He hates himself a lot of the time, which isn't really helpful. When I need to talk about the A, to him it is like rubbing salt in the wound. But I need to talk some times and he knows it. He makes the effort to do it and has frankly had mixed results. But he continues to try, as do I.
In the early days, this makes R difficult. I was not really capable of having much sympathy for him and his feelings. I do better now, but am still sometimes resentful. This should be all about me, right? I am the aggrieved party. But the truth of the matter is, when you are in a relationship, if you want it to work, you each have to consider the other's feelings, even if you have a problem with those feelings.
I woud say that it is good that your (F)WS is sharing these feelings with you, as long as it is not in a "I can't deal with this, it is too hard" sort of way. Maybe the best way to explain it is you have to focus on whoever is having the roughest time at the moment--and it will vary, depending on the day. Early on, it is certainly the BS, but after some time, the WS deserves some consideration also, assuming he is doing the work. If, after a period of time, you find you are averaging out so you each get about the same amount of focus, you are probably where you need to be.
You each will need to hold the other up. R is a long, tough road, which can only be travelled together.
Per my H, it was harder for him to R than to stay separated for this very reason. We were already in a routine for CS and visitation. Our separation had become civilized. I was ready to divorce him and was ok with that decision. According to him, he was 1 step away from total freedom, which to him by that time meant sitting in his tiny apartment night after night, waiting for the next visitation. He had already cut ties with OW4 and most of the bad influences in his life. He tells me it would have been easy - not happy - just easy to continue down that path alone just existing while watching me/boys become happy again.
He says it was much harder to have to face me and the boys and admit he screwed up. He says it's hard to watch me cry, knowing he is the cause of my pain. He says it's hard when our oldest gets upset and pops off about Dad leaving him.
BUT - he also says it's worth it in the end because we are the most important people in his life and he wants to make this right.
I try to remember all of that when I get upset. His LL is Words of Affirmation. I try to make sure I tell him how happy I am that we are back together, how proud I am of his progress as a remorseful spouse, etc. I hope that as he is helping me get through this, I am also helping him. The boys and I will never forget what he did but we can forgive him and have a happy life together.
It is not uncommon for WS to fall into depression after confession and not just because they may be experiencing withdrawal. It's part of the healing process and, honestly, it is what a BS wants to see because it shows that the WS really does feel incredibly sorry for what they've done and is beginning to fully comprehend just how much their actions impacted the M.
I know this may sound incredibly hard...and it is...but what I did was try to emphatize with her. The MC and reading His Needs, Her Needs really helped. I've also been told that After The Affair is a good book to try and understand what the WS is going through post-confession.
What you don't want is for the depression to disrupt the healing process or for the depression to lead to the both of you growing even further apart.
R is all about taking measured, active steps to draw closer to one another. Use every opportunity you can to do this.
My WH is swimming in a pity pool.
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
For the record, I love my wife to death, and I'm doing everything I can to R. It it ever gets too hard or not worth it, she still has options.
[This message edited by Tred at 11:20 AM, May 29th (Wednesday)]
This thread is interesting.
I'm not condoning their actions in any way or trying to belittle anyone's experiences, but when stating...
Fact: They chose to have an A
Fact: They are choosing to R.
[This message edited by Grimwyrm at 2:16 PM, May 29th (Wednesday)]
I know he feels awful about this catastrophe he has created & I have forgiven him. But, I'm a long, long way from being able to empathize. I just can't go there yet.
You're under no obligation to put your pain aside to be his therapist/cheerleader, or even to feel sympathy, but if you want to R you have to see and acknowledge that your WS is more than just a villain- it IS hard to look at yourself in the mirror after such a colossal f'up as an A, face the bad parts of yourself and then change them to become a better person. And it is hard to see the results of your selfishness and stupidity (your case, this would be the pain he caused you.)
I'm not saying the man deserves a gold star or a pat on the back, but R is "hard" for both parties.
A year of false R. I grew and worked, he didn't. He took off his wedding ring during an alcoholic relapse, I packed and left the next day. I went back 8 weeks later, working hard
Thankfully, those days are very rare now.