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Feeling awkward around extended family

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AFrayedKnot posted 6/23/2013 08:51 AM

We are on vacation visiting extended family. They all know. We told them soon after Dday. I vented to them regularly. They saw my pain. They were very supportive of R. I am so grateful that we had them.

Now I feel awkward around them. I feel uncomfortable showing affection to Broevil in front of them. I wonder if they think less of her (they have never said one bad word). I wonder if they think I let her off the hook. I wonder if they think how can he love her so much after all the pain she caused.

There are no funny looks or comments. This is all in my head. I wonder if I am displacing some of my "wonders" on them.

painpaingoaway posted 6/23/2013 08:58 AM

OMG Chico, I have the same problem! And you are the first person on SI that I have heard mention this. I thought I was the only one.

I have no problem whatsoever showing or receiving affection from H in front of strangers. But if it happens in front of anyone that knows of the A, I shut down.

painpaingoaway posted 6/23/2013 08:59 AM

I do think it gets better with time though, so just hang in there.

LA44 posted 6/23/2013 09:00 AM

I am going to be watching you Chicho as we go see my family in a couple weeks.

I hope my famiy is as gracious and forgiving as yours. Certainly, history has shown that to be the case.

Perhaps yours is this way bc your family stands behind you in your decision to R. I think that is wonderful.

twodoves posted 6/23/2013 09:29 AM

Today is the first time we'll be seeing most of WH's family since everything happened, so I'm feeling trepidation about this very thing.

5454real posted 6/23/2013 09:54 AM

Hey brother, sorry you're feeling this way.

I wonder if they think less of her (they have never said one bad word). I wonder if they think I let her off the hook. I wonder if they think how can he love her so much after all the pain she caused.

Honestly, so what? This is your life, not theirs. The only thing you can do is live as an authentic life as you can. Do the best you can with what you have been given.

I feel uncomfortable showing affection to Broevil in front of them.

Totally understandable, but
There are no funny looks or comments.

What's going on? Gut?


jo2love posted 6/23/2013 11:57 AM


I think it's normal for you to feel that way. They've seen you through good times and through bad.

They may be following your lead. Trying to act "normal" so as not to make you or broevil feel self consious. Yet maybe sending out vibes that "hey we are here if you guys need to talk". If you want to hug Broevil...go for it. It may break the ice and help move things forward. Sounds like they love and support you both.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 12:04 PM, June 23rd (Sunday)]

cantaccept posted 6/23/2013 11:59 AM


I feel the same way in front of my h's family. Almost ashamed of myself for loving him?

They were very supportive of me during his a.

My family has pretty much disowned me for trying to reconcile, sister told me I am toxic.

I guess she has her foo issues too. Haven't spoken to her since December 1, 2012.

She doesn't even know if I am alive.

cuppacoffee posted 6/23/2013 12:24 PM

I feel the same way in front of our parents and we haven't told anyone.

I wonder if they can tell something is different or not.

Have fun and enjoy your vacation.

Heavy Sigh posted 6/23/2013 12:31 PM

I can't help you with this one. We didn't tell anyone and as far as affection goes, it is just NOT DONE in our extended family.

If I so much as held my husband's hand after 30 years of marriage, the relatives would raise eyebrows and give us the "Get a room!" look.

The thought that this might be a tad abnormal didn't occur to me until late in life.

[This message edited by Heavy Sigh at 12:32 PM, June 23rd (Sunday)]

AFrayedKnot posted 6/23/2013 18:57 PM

What's going on?

I wonder if they think less of her (they have never said one bad word).

Here's the hit...I wonder if they think less of ME

Here's the real hit...I wonder if I think less of ME

CatchyUsername posted 6/23/2013 19:25 PM

I totally get this too - in fact my brother mentioned to me after a family event that it made him SICK to see me being affectionate with WH. I hope it gets better with time...

Lucky2HaveMe posted 6/23/2013 19:35 PM

I get where you are. I discovered I had to forgive myself. Yes that may sound odd, but I had to come to terms with trusting so blindly, giving the 2nd and 3rd and 4th chance (due to false R). And add in that before Dday I would have said cheating was a deal breaker and ring with a cheater was just about the stupidest thing one could do... Then I had to walk in those shoes and really examine myself as well.

I don't want to hijack here, but I think your feelings are valid and worth looking at. I did and we ate better for it.

njgal480 posted 6/23/2013 19:48 PM

It does get better with time.

In my case-everyone knows about the LTA.
After I decided to try to R it took awhile for family members to feel comfortable with the idea.
I think they were worried that he would hurt me again.
Over time as they saw my FWH's actions and how serious he was about saving the marriage and making amends etc. they became more accepting.

One thing that my FWH did right after d-day was to contact all of our family and apologize to them for his actions and for how he hurt me.
This was while we were separated and heading for divorce.

I think that's when everyone began to see that FWH was genuinely remorseful.

It still took quite awhile for everyone to trust him but it did happen. And now everyone is very supportive of our decision to reconcile and happy that our marriage survived.

5454real posted 6/24/2013 10:24 AM

Here's the real hit...I wonder if I think less of ME

That's the real rub, isn't it? I've had 4 LTR's that ended when the WW/WGF committed infidelity. I'm currently dealing with the fifth.(five for five for real, ya know) Desperately trying to R for the first time. Every other instance was an instant deal breaker.

The long and the short? I'm right there with you. Do I not respect myself enough to get out? She sure didn't respect me. I'm hoping that with the help of the people here that R is possible.

What I've learned so far is to put myself first. Make sure that I am meeting my own(and by extension my kids) needs first and watching what and who she is becoming. M issues are kind of on the wayside and not a real priority, at least for now. The ironic part of that is that the M is becoming better on it's own as we both become better people. We don't ignore problems anymore and hold each other accountable for our own shit.

I guess my point is keep focusing on you and your needs. Broevil will be who she is on her own. You have to decide if the person she is becoming is someone you want to be with. Would you marry the person she is today?

I wish nothing but the best for the two of you.


sisoon posted 6/24/2013 16:35 PM

I think that's it exactly, Chicho.

It's hard to be a betrayed man and not think less of yourself.

I just urge you to think of how you've taken responsibility for yourself, of how you've shown your ability to love under tremendous stress, of how you've given strong support to people in pain, and how you shown yourself to be a man worthy of respect to so many here.

Thinking less of yourself is just a mistake, bro. We all make 'em (I bet we all make this same mistake!), and we all recover from making 'em.

[This message edited by sisoon at 5:27 PM, June 24th (Monday)]

Darkness Falls posted 6/24/2013 16:41 PM

Although I've not had any contact with XH's family post D-day, they know we're reconciling and I wonder if they feel the same as your musings, Chicho. I wonder if they think less of him for being with me again after the divorce. I wonder if they think he's crazy or stupid or both. And I wonder if HE ever wonders this. Knowing him, probably not. I can't ask him, as he'll say he already answered this question a long time ago (technically he did; he said they said "We just want you to be happy, and if this makes you happy..." although while that answers what they SAID, it doesn't answer what they FEEL) and that I'm just trying to borrow trouble where there isn't any.

But I do wonder.

libertyrocks posted 6/24/2013 16:46 PM

I get it. I get you. I'll say it, I think less of me. I really do. Yes, I said it. But, on other days, I think I'm incredibly strong. And, I think you are, too Chico.

[This message edited by libertyrocks at 4:47 PM, June 24th (Monday)]

AFrayedKnot posted 6/25/2013 07:58 AM

Thanks for the support and words of encouragement. I didn't mean to get to deep, we are in vacation right? I can think about that stuff next week.

Heavy Sigh- Thanks for your experience. We have been observing the rest of my family for affection since I posted this. Aside from the typical greeting hugs there is very little physical affection shown. Broevil and I are the most affectionate couple by far. That probably adds a lot to the uncomfortable feeling.

You guys are awesome. I don't know how I would survive without SI some days.

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