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Is being proud of your spouse a prereq. to R?

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joeboo posted 6/30/2013 23:03 PM

Although I am a BS, I intentionally didn't distinguish between WS/BS. It just seems to me that being proud of your spouse, even if it is a little scarred, is a prerequisite to R.

I guess I am having trouble wrapping my head around what R really means compared to a lesser form of cohabitation under the guise of marriage.

My wife and I are physically (not legally) separated right now for about a month for legitimate reasons. Nonetheless, it is giving me time to experience life completely on my own (empty nester). As I contemplate many things, the one glaring defect in our post d-day relationship is me not being proud to be her husband. Mostly because I still feel very ashamed and embarrassed of the circumstances. I really don't want to hold her hand in public. I really don't talk about her to other people. I have no desire to be around people that she knows better than I. ....I think you get the picture.

I think that pre d-day, I was proud to be her husband. In spite of my suspicions, I still wanted people to associate me with her. It didn't bother me to hold her hand in public, I could deal with social settings (with the exception being when I would witness the red flags and gaslighted to believe it was all just part of her "bubbly personality").

So now that feeling is gone. I see it, but really don't understand it. It feels so permanent as I am very guarded with my emotions now. My opinion of her has really changed dramatically since d-day too, and I am having a lot of trouble seeing her in a positive light. Please don't misunderstand, I don't wish ill upon her but I am slowly coming to the realization that she is not who I thought she was, and I am not sure if she can be who she says she wants to be.

Is this just a phase, or is this irreparable damage? Have you ever restored your pride in your spouse after it seemed to be very low?

[This message edited by joeboo at 11:04 PM, June 30th (Sunday)]

sri624 posted 6/30/2013 23:44 PM

hi there....i am where you are right now. even today, we were out as a family...and he wanted to hold my hand. i did out of obligation...but i wasnt proud to be his wife. i dont even wear my wedding ring anymore. i feel like it is he is not the man i thought i was marrying. i have no interest in being around his family, or his know the people who know him best. they all knew...and i am embarrassed by that. here i was talking him up to his friends and family...proud to be his wife...and all of that...and they whole time, they knew he was cheating on me. i feel like a fool now. it is almost like i never want to be affectionate with him in public, or say positive things about him, because everyone knew he was such a jerk to me....behind my back.

it really is hard to respect him. i mean, what a loser, you know? he is doing all he can to save the m...and he is remorseful...but so much had to happen in order for him to get here.

i dont see him as strong strong husband who was my protector of me and the family. no. i see him as a weak man, who couldnt "keep it zipped" as his ow told me soon after dday. all of the behavior associated with his cheating was so disrespectfly..almost like a teenage kid in a way. i mean, when i would go out of town on business, he would actually have one of "his boys" watch our baby while he was sleeping so that he could go cheat. juvenile.

not sure how i get that "special feeling" back...or the respect. or if it is even possible.

i have very brief moments...when i pretend this nightmare didnt happen to me...when i will just be in the moment, and be "happy" with him.

but proud of him? no. for me, all of his actions now, are just what he should have been doing in the first place. and that is nothing to be proud of him is expected.

maybe after a few years i will feel different. but way.

i just see him as a weak man.

betrayed5years posted 7/1/2013 01:15 AM

joeboo..One of things I was keenly aware of was my WS did not hold my hand during the A and had moved emotionally away from. I did not know about the A but knew something had changed and confronted him many times over the years. He lied to me bold, face lied.

I have lost all respect for my spouse, but still love him and am in R. Respect is just one of the many things that he has lost from, being my best friend, my rock and he knows it. I do not wear a wedding band or the dear engagement ring...I gave them back to him as he broke the marriage, I did not. In my mind, he threw me away, our marriage (which was a very good marriage by both of us), put everything in jeopardy (his job, our finances, respect of many friends-one being the OW's husband)

I will not continue to be in this marriage for sake of being married. I have more respect for my self and what a marriage should be. We had been an empty nesters for 7 seven years when he choose to have an affair with a friend, co-worker and neighbor....she and her spouse continued to share meals in our home and other on-going activities during the affair.

I sought legal counsel early after d-day and was the best money I spent. Have consider all the options...but am still here by my own choice, and have made some major life changes without input from my spouse.
My spouse has given up mosst of his activities that did not include me, by his choice and now joins me with my friends. He is attentive, caring and does all the extras that he stopped years for no real reason, calls just to check on my day and etc.
I understand how your opinion of your spouse has does. Is it a phase? I am not sure as it is a path/road to recovery of betrayal/hurt/loss and we each take a different road and pace. Will respect/pride in your spouse ever be restored? Don't know....Will my heart ever skip a beat just from the sight of him? Don't know. I have chose to work on staying in the marriage with help of MC and lots of understanding from spouse for what he has done to me, our kids, and the marriage we had.

One thing that a person from SI said I needed to decide in making a decision to stay in the marriage was if my spouse was a good person. I did alot of thinking on that one.....and know he is a good person that made bad choices.

To me R has been being openly honest and forth right about how things are, have been and will be. Each sharing perceptives openly. Accepting fault, from wayward spouse, and apologizing for hurt, pain, deception, lies and etc....and doing everything needed to make amends while understanding it is not going to be easy.

My heart goes out to you and your pain, hurt and all that you have lost!!!

Tired05 posted 7/1/2013 01:18 AM


Hold the phone.... They all KNEW?? What?? I would be more than embarrassed around them... I probably wouldn't talk to them for quite a while actually... I would feel betrayed by them almost as much as my WH, I mean, we are supposed to be family right? Did no one think you deserved to know?? ....But that is just me...

I feel the same way sometimes... But I think mine is more of a disgust thing. Sometimes I will look at my WH and think "Now I know exactly where those hands have been, and I don't want them anywhere near me." But then I bounce back to being very affectionate... I'm definitely stuck on the Rollercoaster.

I really don't have advice for you since I am still at the beginning of the journey myself. I do feel like he is a complete stranger sometimes, the disgust and extreme anger, and...I can't think of the word...but it's like I am dissapointed in his...lack of respect for me, our M, and lack of values or a brain sometimes. But I guess in a nutshell, that is the opposite of being proud of your spouse. For me though, that 'devalued view' of him is how I feel about 40% of the times, about 10% is sexual desire, another 30% is a somewhat happy or hopeful feeling, 20% on a very sad or grim outlook on him and love in general, and the last 10% is hatred towards my spouse and him allowing any of this to happen in the first place.

Betrayed67 posted 7/1/2013 01:58 AM

I don't know the answer to your question. I guess I am in the same situation as you. After my WH's ONS and 9 months of apparently "innocent" online friendships with multiple women -the trust and respect are gone. And I am struggling to restore the trust and WH knows it. He is doing everything that a remorseful husband should , but at lot of times all I can see in him is a weak, irresponsible man who doesn't consider the cost of his selfish actions.

We are in R, but sometimes I still question if it is worth the effort at all.

And no, I am not proud to be his wife anymore.

[This message edited by Betrayed67 at 2:03 AM, July 1st (Monday)]

sisoon posted 7/1/2013 11:20 AM

Before my W's A, I never lost the sense of being in love with my W, despite 40+ together. In the aftermath of my W's confession, a lot of that remained. In dealing with her, I did my best to account for my ILY feelings and put them aside.

After D-Day, I still felt tremendous love for her, even though I didn't know if I'd stay M. I knew she was in deep existential pain, so I wanted to support her while I decided what I wanted to do. Also, I wanted to keep up appearances in case I wanted to R. I held her hand in public, etc., except when an angry feeling hit me.

I used to be very proud of her accomplishments. Since her A was a result of forgetting everything she ever knew, I'm no longer all that proud.

Now, when I think I'm close to declaring us 'reconciled', I love her, I'm in love with her, I'm proud of her accomplishments, but I see her as a very flawed W, so I'm not proud of her as a W.

My sitch is a lot different from yours, though, so YMMV.

I understand your feeling shame - I would feel it, too, for sure, but I'd do my best to avoid her oms, and I'd do my best to get myself to believe I'm avoiding them because they're lousy human beings, not because they put one over on me. I know it would be a hard fight for me, though.

Remember, though, they're the ones who did the shameful things. They're the ones who are not fit for human society.

I guess my bottom lie is that pride in one's W isn't necessary for R, but IMO R requires both parties to have long-term reasons for wanting very much to stay together, and the reasons need to be 'reliable', something you can count on for the long term.

Also, IMO R requires a pretty clear image of what type of M you want in R and after you've reconciled.

IMO R requires the partners to have reasonable hope that the R they desire is attainable.

Finally(?), IMO R requires both parties to do the work to build the M they want.

ETA: Underlying my entire view of recovery is my belief that each partner needs to come to love and be proud of themselves. Certainly BHes need to find or build a strong sense of being OK, as Eric Berne would say.

Cuckolds are objects of derision. Unless a BH internalizes the ideas 'the A isn't about me' and 'I'm loving, lovable, and capable', I don't see how a BH can heal.

The BS's healing/recovery is a prerequisite for R, IMO. I usually don't think in terms of 'pride', but when I do, I think my pride in myself is essential to R, even if pride in my W may not be.

[This message edited by sisoon at 11:38 AM, July 1st (Monday)]

joeboo posted 7/2/2013 23:05 PM

Much to think about. Thank you for the replies.

Cuckolds are objects of derision. Unless a BH internalizes the ideas 'the A isn't about me' and 'I'm loving, lovable, and capable', I don't see how a BH can heal.
Probably fodder for an IC as I have no idea how to get further along than what I have. I know my wife cannot possibly help me with this as I just can't credit her words enough to be truthful in this department and would fear bias.

I usually don't think in terms of 'pride', but when I do, I think my pride in myself is essential to R, even if pride in my W may not be.
Now here would be an interesting question to pose to an MC. How am I supposed to be proud of myself if that is dependent on being proud of my M which is dependent of being proud of my W?

I struggled with the thought of "pride" being the right word, but I think it is because once the self esteem and self confidence diminish so does the pride. I understand that too much pride can be bad, but I think there is a minimum amount necessary to function. I am just not sure if I am proud of my M or even how to be.

sisoon posted 7/3/2013 08:08 AM

How am I supposed to be proud of myself if that is dependent on being proud of my M which is dependent of being proud of my W?

IMO, that's fallacious. Pride comes from inside - it comes from loving oneself and recognizing one's accomplishments. A person can fell pride in him/herself irrespective of weaknesses, and it doesn't depend on other people.

For example, I'm proud of how I conducted myself in my M (by and large, that is, I'm not proud of every action); the fact that I missed important cues doesn't take away from my accomplishments in M. I think the vast majority of BSes can make that claim, and I bet you're one who can be proud of your behavior as a loving H.

I'm no longer proud of my M, however; our M is a relationship. It takes 2 of us, and I'm uncertain about my W. She's unknown in too many ways. But her fuck-ups are hers and are about her; they're irrelevant to my sense of pride in myself. *

I think one's own pride/humiliation/shame are best addressed in IC, not MC ... in MC, the client is the relationship. Shame seems like an individual, not a relationship, issue. JMO, of course.

* ETA: How, then, does one deal with the inevitable damage to one's self-esteem that comes from being betrayed???

I won't pretend it's easy, but I think/suspect/believe it comes down to self-talk around some basic ideas: the A is about the WS, not me; the WS - not I - did the shameful things; I did my best; I'm loving, lovable, and capable; I'm not going to let this trauma rule my life, etc., etc., etc. For me, the alternative is to let my W's fucked up actions ruin my life forever. I just won't do that to myself, and IMO no BS should.

[This message edited by sisoon at 11:49 AM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]

hopefullromantic posted 7/3/2013 13:55 PM

Is being proud of your S a prerequisite to reconciling? No, I don't think so. Is it required to being reconciled? Maybe.

It took me a long time to be proud of my H again, just as it took me a long time to trust him again. But over time, both of those qualities became more and more certain. He earned both, thru his actions over time.

As for the marriage itself, I am extremely proud once again. I was very proud of my marriage before the A, but wondered if it truly even deserved pride, as we had never really been tested and it seemed silly to take pride in something that was so easy. But now.....we stood the test. It took me several years to reach that point tho, as I had one foot out the door for a long, long, time. Now, since the pride is back, the trust is back, and the love never left, I guess I must consider us R'ed. Finally.

StillGoing posted 7/3/2013 15:51 PM

I dunno, pride and respect have their own nuances. I'm proud of my kids and will brag on them but I really don't give a doggie shitbarf jalapeno popper if somebody doesn't agree with me, my pride is for my sons and their awareness of that is all I am concerned with. If I am bragging to someone then it's because I'm thinking about how awesome they are, not the opinions of those I'm bragging to. Honestly they're probably thinking "please stfu already about your kid." But as a parent we all stand there politely because we know that doggie shitbarf jalapeno popper is just rude, and it's someone loving on their kids.

I guess pride in your spouse the same way would be important. There's a love and respect involved that is an automatic feature. That it would be undermined and shattered isn't surprising though. It would take a lot for my sons to get to that point, but they could break my heart to the point I wouldn't be bragging on their awesomeness to anyone too slow to escape my laser focus ADD jabber.

Separation.. I dunno how you would build that back up. She's not there to try and restore that respect and love to an automatic place, so why would you be proud of her? I don't think anything is irreparable but if she isn't out there with a hammer that shit isn't going to get built, and your phase is going to be a phase transition into another part of life.

I can talk about my wife now without thinking, like I did a long time ago. It feels awkward after I realize where we are and how we got there, especially if there's one of those rare people who have even a remote idea of what happened around. But I think they understand the doggie shitbarf jalapeno poppers and why you don't serve them up. I dunno if I'll ever be back to where I was, but everything is a phase.

So it goes. Also, doggie shitbarf jalapeno poppers.

[This message edited by StillGoing at 3:52 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]

kansas1968 posted 7/3/2013 16:01 PM

I know exactly what you mean. I have a bit of trouble with the pride thing also. It is just I thought better of him, and now I have to include a seve year affair into my assessment of him. I hate it, but there is no going back. I either love him for who he really is, or bail out. He has so many good qualities, that I am just choosing to stay and try to view him as a flawed human being, but one worthy of my love. So sorry you are suffering so, but affairs cause more pain than I could ever have imagined.

crazyblindsided posted 7/3/2013 18:22 PM

Well I am still proud of my WH for some things, like taking care of his ailing mother and having started a business on his own.

I am not proud of what he has done and I am not proud of those characteristics and traits that go along with self-destructive behaviors.

I am proud that WH wants to change and I am proud that he is actively doing things to change that.

Now catch me on a bad day and I'll tell you I'm not proud of him at all

joeboo posted 7/3/2013 19:07 PM

It's so difficult to lose sight of who she was that it clouds my perception of who she is, or at least who she is trying to be. I really don't know how to gauge progress. There are still those occasional episodes that make me want to run, mixed in with those occasional episodes that make me want to stay.

It's like someone kicking you in the marbles a couple of times a day then backs off to once a week. I am not ready to stop wearing a nut cup. Even if it slows down to once a month, the progress is still there, but is it worth the risk to take a sacrifice bunt to the marbles if I stopped wearing the nut cup? (Sorry, I am metaphorically challenged) It's a better M, but not necessarily a good M yet. That would explain simultaneous posts in both the R & S/D forums.

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