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Having trouble accepting WW's efforts

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FeelingSoMuch posted 6/12/2013 22:46 PM

We're almost four months into R.

My WW says she's making a lot of efforts daily and that I'm not accepting them. She says that I would feel better if I accepted them.

She also says that it's hard for her to make a greater effort and take more risks if I'm not accepting what she's already doing.

She's not wrong. When she tells me she's sorry I feel like I need more. I feel that I need her to be in tears and that's not the case. I get that she's guarded because of my reactions and I feel that that's stalling R.

If I don't immediately accept something, she gets defensive and it all spirals down. I expect other BS to say she shouldn't get defensive, etc. I agree wholeheartedly, but I can't change that. I can only accept it or not. I'm looking for advice focused on my reactions only, please.

How do others view this resistance to positive actions and if you have encountered this, how did you overcome it?

We're both in MC and IC. Have been since d-day.


musiclovingmom posted 6/12/2013 22:59 PM

I made a decision early on that catty responses were not helpful to our relationship, so I started choosing my words much more wisely. I wanted to be constructive. I have been known to respond 'I hear your words, and thank you for saying them, but I just don't believe you right now'. I also asked my H to not say 'I'm sorry' and leave it at that. I told him I need to hear the specific things he is sorry for - 'I'm sorry I lied to your face' for example.

BaxtersBFF posted 6/12/2013 23:15 PM

Your WW is full of shit. Feel what you need to feel. Don't let her manipulate her into minimizing or taking blame for anything right now.

She needs to step up fully, not partially.

still-living posted 6/12/2013 23:21 PM

You discovering her affair rather than her coming clean, her breaking contact twice, her still working with the OM, and with your DDay only being four months out, I don't see a big problem with how you are responding, which sounds guarded. She needs to rebuild your trust through time with consistent positive action.

The next time she says she's sorry, ask her why? for what? Ask her to explain and see if she understands.

[This message edited by still-living at 11:22 PM, June 12th (Wednesday)]

Rise And Shine posted 6/13/2013 00:18 AM

How do others view this resistance to positive actions and if you have encountered this, how did you overcome it?

I view your resistance to her positive actions the same way I viewed my resistance: Logical, rational, prudent, wise.

How did I overcome it? It took several years of his dedication to making sure that his words ALWAYS matched his actions. His dedication to finding his courage so no matter how I responded to him it didn't stop him from taking "risks" with me or from charging forward while doing the right thing. Anything less from him and I would have divorced him long before the first year after dday ended.

Wonderingwhy11 posted 6/13/2013 00:42 AM

I am still working on controlling my reactions to WH's defensiveness. There are times I walk away. There are times I don't back down and call him on his defensive behavior. I feel I backed down for years and let him walk all over me. Since DDay I feel I have nothing to lose and I don't backing down. I try not to be nasty and say hurtful things. I try to address his defensive behavior. The hardest part is when he refuses to admit he is being defensive and continues to defend defend defend. Over time the defensiveness has become less - with the help of MC.

My advice is to try not to engage in defensive behavior and say words you can't take back no matter how hurt you are. It is not easy.

I agree with BaxtersBFF comment. It sounds like she is trying to get you to stop asking more of her. Mine did this tactic for about 5 months until I got fed up. Her being "guarded" is not good for R and has you wrote stalls R. Something I would explore in MC.

[This message edited by Wonderingwhy11 at 12:43 AM, June 13th (Thursday)]

AFrayedKnot posted 6/13/2013 06:07 AM

What work has your WW done to understand what you are going through? Has she done any reading? Is she on here?

She should start by reading the book How To Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair.

She should read he thread in Wayward called "Things Every WS needs to Know". Its currently on page 6. Print it out if she is not on here.

You both need to buckle up this is a long rollercoaster.

As for your reactions. Mine were the same for a long time. If she said "I'm sorry" I thought I wanted a hug. If she gave me a hug I thought I needed "I'll never do it again". If she said "I'll never do it again" I thought I needed some thing else. Nothing was good enough. Nothing helped.

But at the same time it all helped. It was the consistancy of effort to help me heal and the consistency of effort to heal herself that mattered. Knowing that she would not give up no matter how frustrated she got. That she was fighting for it. That I was worth fighting for.

Baxterbff is spot on. Looking for pats on the back is the same wayward behavior that caused the A.

refuz2bavictim posted 6/13/2013 07:33 AM

it's hard for her to make a greater effort and take more risks if I'm not accepting what she's already doing.

Ok, you only want advice focused on your reaction to her...?

You will accept the "positive", when you know in your heart that it comes from the right place. When your positive words feel like gifts and not like incentive...they will flow easily. She will not require them and you won't have some sort of obligation to attach them to the string in front of her.

If she is only going to make effort and take risks based upon YOUR reactions, and you continue to allow that, you are helping her remain in a wayward state of mind. I only do X when I know I can get Y....and when I don't get it I will go somewhere else to find it. If you believe that your reactions are going to make or break her ability to do what she should do...this is a problem. That's not healthy relationship material and something for IC.

It requires work and risk, without expectation of medals and accolades.

Heal yourself first. I think she has a long way to go.

brokensmile322 posted 6/13/2013 07:57 AM

Your reactions will change once she is doing the work over and over again....

and not just one thing. She needs to be tripping over herself helping you and expecting nothing in return. Slowly you will start to come around. And it takes a concerted effort to do it on your part when that time comes.

At four months out, you are still gun shy.

It's like being bit by a dog. It will take a long, long time for you to trust that the dog will not bite you again... even when the dog hasn't bitten you the last 100 times you were near. KWIM?

She needs to get over herself, IMHO.

20WrongsVs1 posted 6/13/2013 08:27 AM

When she tells me she's sorry I feel like I need more. I feel that I need her to be in tears and that's not the case.

You asked for advice focused on your reactions. This is not advice, but perspective from the enemy camp. How often in your M has your WW cried? Due to my damage (which until now I never examined) I am empathy challenged, and in my adult life have hardly ever cried. Or apologized. (Hope this goes without saying, but I'm not excusing her attitude, which IMO sucks. "It's hard for her?" Boo fucking hoo.)

Are you resisting her positive actions, or doubting them? Doubt is not something you should overcome. Trust your gut.

I can't change that. I can only accept it or not.


FeelingSoMuch posted 6/13/2013 11:26 AM

refuz2bavictim, what you're saying makes a lot of sense. Thanks.

20WrongsVs1, my WW has cried many, many times during our marriage.

When I say that it's hard for me to accept positive actions/words, I don't mean that I outright refute them. I question what I'm hearing.

When my WW says that she knows that from now on she only wants to be with me, I respond that it's hard for me to believe that because before the A she told me that for 12 years -- she told me that on our wedding day! And then she went and had the LTA.

I guess I'm still trying to reason out what the risks of staying are. My IC says I need to be all in or all out at this point. The therapist also said that she cheated on her first husband and was cheated on by her second. Her third marriage is wonderful.

I don't know what to make of that confession by the therapist...

What a mess.

Rebreather posted 6/13/2013 11:34 AM

I think I'd find another threapist! Mine gave me the opposite advice; I don't EVER have to be all in if it isn't comfortable for me. That each day I can decide, "yes, today I choose to stay another day" and take it like that, literally, day by day. You DO NOT have to be "all in" right now. Like Rise and Shine said, you are prudent to be careful and guarded at this point. It is a true sign of your wife's lack of remorse that she is saying these things. Real remorse takes time though. I would point out that her concerns are about HER instead of YOU, and SHE is the one that needs to be all in right not. Otherwise, things are likely to not work out.

Rise And Shine posted 6/13/2013 11:45 AM

My IC says I need to be all in or all out at this point.

You're not going to find very many members of this forum who will agree with your therapist. For good reason.

The therapist also said that she cheated on her first husband and was cheated on by her second. Her third marriage is wonderful.

There's no doubt in my mind that your therapist said her first marriage was wonderful at the time she was in it. She also said her second marriage was wonderful at the time she was in it. Seems to me that her claim about her 3rd marriage being wonderful doesn't really mean all that much...

I concur with Rebreather- find a new therapist.

The feelings your having are normal and you're exactly where you're supposed to be in the healing process.

sisoon posted 6/13/2013 12:04 PM

I can only accept it or not.

I disagree. You can also ask your W to make changes. You'll probably have to negotiate whether or not she'll make those changes and her schedule, but you don't have to simply accept where she is now or call it quits.

R works a lot better if you're all in. The question is when to go all in. I didn't commit to R until I saw consistent R behavior from my W for 90 days. She committed to do everything I asked of her, and she was able to go NC immediately. Given your sitch, watching and waiting before committing makes perfect sense, and you probably should wait - for your own sense of safety - a lot longer than 90 days.

Your W may be remorseful, or potentially remorseful, but she doesn't sound like she gets how long it will take her to rebuild trust. OTOH, she had a long A, and that may make the shift from A to remorse a longer process than for most WSes. In other words, she could naturally grow more supportive and less defensive as time goes on, but why wait? Why not address your desires with her in one or more MC sessions, and use your M to help your W understand how important honesty and non-defensiveness are.

I, too, question the competence of your IC. If she's pushing you to go all in or all out this early, I don't think she understands the process of recovering from being cheated on.

If you consider sticking with her, I urge you to ask her what her general beliefs are WRT recovering from infidelity, how many people she's helped recover, how many have R'ed vs. how many have D'ed.

Also, if her answers sound good, I urge you to ask her what she did to recover from infidelity and what she does for supervision - if she didn't do a lot of therapy herself, and/or if she doesn't get supervision for infidelity cases, pay your bill and walk out.

[This message edited by sisoon at 12:23 PM, June 13th (Thursday)]

numb&dumb posted 6/13/2013 14:19 PM

I have to agree with Baxters and others points. I will not rehash.

Anyway I had a real hard time seeing the effort my W did for awhile. I think I was too detached, while was good for me, it was bad for our M. One thing that helped me was to write down the things that she did for me each day. It was kind of like a log of sorts. Once I had a few weeks of data I looked and was amazed at what I saw. I am sort of a data driven guy, so that helped me. Just thanking her even if I did not feel like it seemed to light her up and made her work harder.

I got some advice shortly after Dday from DS that I will share with you. In hindsight it was some of the best advice I ever got. It is important to encourage the WS effort from time to time. R works when you lean on each other.

I am not saying what your W is doing warrants a ticker tape parade, but simple thank yous go a long way. Encourage her to do more. Ask for it and thank her when she does. You are well within your rights to tell her if something falls short too.

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