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Help me understand my WS

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Patchy posted 7/8/2013 22:03 PM

My husband and I are reconciling after his A. However, we keep getting stuck on a theme of conversation that comes up over and over. He has a hard time dealing with my triggers and my pain and often gets upset or irritated when I bring something up. He has said at times he is not mad at me, he's mad at himself. He's a sensitive guy and can get pretty emotional. I know he has a lot of guilt and doesn't want to think about what he did. He doesn't want to have the memories of he and her together, which is understandable and I'm glad for that. They bring him pain.

Yet I'm trying to recover from this massive betrayal and feel like I can't ever say anything about my pain. I can't let him know about a trigger and what he can do about it. He has been wonderful and loving and comforting many times, but I think he past his "limit" months ago. Now he "sometimes" is all those things and sometimes just doesn't get why I bring things up. He has said he feels that some of my triggers are "over reaching".

We have had multiple conversations about him reading the book "How to help your spouse heal from your affair". He flat out won't read it, though he has said he will, and the conversation always comes back to what about HIS pain and what HE'S going through. I don't think he gets what I'm going through at all and he says the exact same thing. This leaves me at a loss as to what to do.

This weekend was our anniversary. It was pivotal beyond the fact that we're still together after his affair. It's pivotal because last year when we celebrated our anniversary he gave me a card with wonderful romantic things he wrote in it about wanting to breathe me in for the rest of our lives, after he'd just begun an EA with her . . . and the very next morning he kissed her for the first time.

This is massive for me. I can't stand that we celebrated our anniversary and maybe 6 or 7 hours later, after they went running together, he kissed her.

We went away for our anniversary this year and he knew that the "day after" was a big deal for me and I wanted to be gone on that day. The day "of" our anniversary he went running that morning. I wasn't happy about it and even cried briefly after he left, but I had hoped that since he went running that day, he wouldn't the next. I needed him to be in bed with me holding me that morning.

When I discovered he was planning on running again, I chose my moment to bring up what I needed. I knew he'd be disappointed, but I really thought he'd understand and not make a huge thing out of it. Well, that wasn't the case. He was clearly very frustrated and said he'd be leaving at 5:00 and I'd be sleeping the whole time he was gone anyway. Only I wouldn't be. I'd be losing it and crying the whole time he was gone. I have many triggers and many key "days" that cause triggers, but that specific day is the one I've been dreading the most.

Well, it turned into a massive thing that involved him, once again, saying that I don't try to get what HE'S going through. He didn't even remember why that day was significant when I brought it up, even though it had come up two months before when we scheduled the trip. So once he sat there and went through the process of recalling why the day was significant (after I had walked off and tried not to fall apart just before we were about to eat at a restaurant) . . . he then became very distraught. Again, he doesn't want to remember that stuff. Here it is our anniversary and we'd been having a really great time up until that moment.

So I'm left with, what the hell am I supposed to do??? Do I not bring it up at all and just deal with my pain while he goes running for three hours . . . a trail run, which is exactly what he did with her that day a year ago before kissing her?

He said I should have brought it up a long time ago so we weren't talking about it on our anniversary and he could have planned ahead for it. Yes, this makes sense. But I didn't really think about it. Silly me, but I kind of thought he would think to hold his wife in bed on that day all on his own. Or if he hadn't thought it through like that, I still didn't know that he would choose to go running and had hoped I wouldn't have to bring anything up at all.

I told him that it seems that while he clearly would have preferred I brought it up long before, it sounds like he would have been irritated none the less. It's as if I can't ever bring up any trigger and ask him to do anything to help me with it.

So, again, its back to me understanding him. I do a search for "understanding your cheating spouse" or "helping your spouse recover from 'his' affair" . . . but it's really quite laughable and nothing comes up. Everything is the opposite, how to help the betrayed spouse, how to take ownership, how to understand what your BS is going through and to do whatever it takes to help them.

I also constantly read that the A is not my fault. Yet he seems to think it's at least partially my fault. I understand his thinking, since he wasn't feeling loved by me and all. I've always loved him, but I admit there were some issues in that regard that I struggled with for years . . . really being able to totally love him the way he needed. I don't have any of these issues anymore and do feel horribly for how lonely he felt. I take responsibility for that. But I don't take responsibility for how he dealt with it. While I knew he was struggling and frustrated, and I was trying to work on things, I did not know he was having thoughts of our marriage ending after our youngest graduated high school in a few years. I had NO CLUE!!! I'm in this forever. And how am I supposed to know how bad off he feels our marriage is when he tells me on our anniversary he wants to breathe me in for the rest of his life???

So while I'm pretty sure I know what a lot of replies will be like, I don't want this to be about bashing my husband, but I really do want to understand what he's going through and what I can do to show him that and minimize his pain when I do have a trigger or something comes up.

Thanks in advance.

KBeguile posted 7/8/2013 23:53 PM

To me, it sounds like your husband is behaving very narcissistically: everything is about him, there's nothing on the table about you, and the moment you feel like you finally have an opening to discuss your own problems, he makes it about him. He promises to do things (read books, etc.), and then miraculously never seems to do them.

You said you didn't want people bashing your husband, and I respect that. But, if he really IS behaving in a way consistent with narcissistic behavior, he may not ever see that these things are actually hampering progress for both of you.

You might want to do research into narcissistic behavior to see if it sounds at all like your husband. If so, a narcissist - especially one who can't recognize this as a problem - is a dangerous person to try and reconcile with.

Tread lightly. Take care of yourself.

knightsbff posted 7/9/2013 00:59 AM

He DOES NOT get it. He's not remorseful. I'm very sorry but are you sure he hasn't taken the A underground?

He said I should have brought it up a long time ago so we weren't talking about it on our anniversary and he could have planned ahead for it.

You should not have had to bring it up. He should have brought it up. He might have been able to anticipate your triggers as he should be doing if everything wasn't ALL ABOUT HIM.

Why isn't he here in wayward asking for us to help him pull his head out of his ass? I'm sorry Patchy, you deserve better treatment.

authenticnow posted 7/9/2013 05:06 AM


BSs are not to start threads in this forum. You can go to the I Can Relate Forum and ask your question in the BS Questions for Waywards thread if you'd like.

Thank you.

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