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Damn right it's a test

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WeepingBuddhist posted 7/19/2013 06:35 AM

WH says it feels like "everything is a test". Well today he is right. I have a huge meeting this afternoon that has been freaking me out for the past couple of days. He is well aware of the importance of it and how much stress it has been causing me. By the time I get home, he will either do something (note, flowers--I am assuming a balloon drop is too much to ask) to indicate he recognizes how difficult this day is for me. We've done the five love languages so he is well aware of what I need. I'll know if I matter to him or at least how much. I pretty much already know that I don't but for some reason I want to believe.

AFrayedKnot posted 7/19/2013 07:03 AM

Unexpressed expectations are resentments waiting to happen. It would be nice if our spouses knew what we needed when we needed it but they don't and many times can't. Don't be afraid to express your wants and needs. It may not mean as much when he is just compliant but sooner or later he may have the ability to start anticipating what you need.

WeepingBuddhist posted 7/19/2013 07:37 AM

Good point. I have clearly stated what I need in order to feel loved and to feel as though my happiness is important to him. At MC earlier this week, I pointed out it has been three weeks since he left me a note or gave me flowers. He was surprised that much time has passed. He is either going to step up or not.

blakesteele posted 7/19/2013 07:47 AM

You are just a few months out from be patient with yourself...and try to be patient with your husband. This is serious trauma.

My wife never did enter that real, deep, I will do anything for you phase. As I read in the Wayward forum it appears some WS never do have that "My God, what have I done?! I am so sorry...please forgive me...I will do anything." phase. So try not to gel that up in your mind as a pre-requist to true healthy R. If it happens...great! If it wont become another thing to process.

I am glad you both read the 5 love languages is a must read.

Love can and should be unconditional. Trust is earned. Maybe your husband is confusing the two?

You earn trust by passing tests. My boss trusts me more today then he did 7 years ago...and I have additional duties to prove this increased trust. This trust increased because I passed tests....I completed projects as planned, I handled conflicts in an efficient manner, etc. What I have in my career that I didnt have in my marriage pre-A was a partner (my boss) who was radically honest with me. When I was given a task most of the expectations were lined out well. If they were unclear I asked for clarity and recieved it. When I messed up my boss would let me know in a constructive way..allowing me to modify my actions and ultimately succeed. In my marriage both my wife and I would NOT express expectations fully and would not "complain" when each others actions did not fit in with what we desired....eliminating any chance we had to modify our behavior to achieve our jointly agreed to goals.

We both thought this is what love not complain about small stuff. Now I see that complaining in a healthy, non judgemental, non critical, non sarcastic way is actually the BETTER (and maybe the only way) to move to healthy intimacy and deep trust of each other.

Trying to implement this now. It feels wierd because we did the other way for so long...but does feel better.

It does appear that if you "complain" early on with regards to "discomfort" it is far less likely that that complaint will take the form of a Love Buster such as harsh judgement or angry outburst...because the destructive emotion of resentment is not allowed to build up and pressure you to "act out" rather then to communicate.


This is where our WS need to focus...earning our trust back....this is where their heavy lifting differs from BS.

BS have heavy lifting to do ourselves with what we were doing pre-A that was hurting our marriage. In my case I was not aware of the damage I was doing until we entered counseling. Now that I am aware of it I can go about changing it....but at the end of the day my wife knows I did not intentionally ignore these hurts...she may have doubted my ability to change these things about me...but I never really broke her trust in me. Know what I mean?

Conversly, she actively choose to have an A...and she knew that it was dishonest and hidden. The choice to have an A totally gutted my trust of her. Went from 100% tust to 0% in less then 1 hour....then the lies afterwards during TT kept it at 0% and added to the list of future "tests" that she will have to take to earn my trust back.

So this is where, in my mind, the tests lie...not in love but in trust. And trust leads to open and honest communication...which leads to true intimacy.

Hope this helps.

God be with you.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 7:58 AM, July 19th (Friday)]

doesitgetbetter posted 7/19/2013 08:20 AM

I know just how you feel. I set myself up often in the first few years of R. I would tell my H "I need flowers, I need a note, I need a card, I need something to show me that you thought of me today and care". He did pretty good for a few months, but then it would become too much for him and he would stop.

It took me a VERY long time to realize that his stopping had nothing to do with me at all. It had to do with the fact that I was asking a man who'd never done these things for me before (ok, maybe he gave me flowers 3 times in our 9 year marriage) to suddenly change into a man who would give those things to me a couple times a month. He's not a romantic person, that's not the guy I married, but that's the guy I was asking him to turn into during R.

I realized that I had to change my expectations. It wasn't fair of me to expect him to change the basics of who he is, he's not romantic and that's not really something that I could teach him. Sure I can tell him to send some flowers, write a note, call and leave a romantic voicemail, but if I wasn't there coaching him, he would have no idea what to do next, when to do it, at what intervals, etc.

He does do those things more often now than he did pre-DDay though. I used to leave him notes on the mirror all the time and never get one in return, now he will give me a note on the mirror once every other month or so, so he is better and does think of it sometimes. I have had to accept that even though he knows my love language, it's just not a language that he will ever be fluent in. He can speak broken sentences of it sometimes, but that's as good as it will get.

I know he still loves me, and I have accepted that not giving me a note or sending me flowers does not mean he loves me less, it means he's still the guy that I married way back when, and that's ok.

I'm so sorry you are struggling Weeping!

Spideysense posted 7/19/2013 08:47 AM

When I was the WS, my H discovered my A. There was no doubt in my mind I wanted my h and M, my H tends to avoid conflict though so after some rough days essentially said he wouldn't leave me, we would work it out but really gave me very little else to go on.
At that point I was scared to ask for anything else, ideas to help him, what to do for him (I didnt know about this site then) etc. so i did what i thought was best. My dday was in january, to date I still have not left the house except to go to work by myself, I always have H or kids with me..always. I unfriended fb people that were not appropriate, I gave my H free access to my phone, left it out, had him use it, had him check texts for me etc. I made plans for activities as a family, i squeezed his hand, etc. I behaved in a way I thought was helpful.
After my H dday two months ago, I expected him to behave similarly. I was devastated that I had risked my m for so long and was willing to do whatever to get it back, I didn't get that feeling from him. I left work to come home to talk to him after my dday, i went to counseling the night of my dday etc. When his dday occurred he left the house, he went to go see OW, he didn't want to go to counseling initially, he blameshifted, he was angry, etc.
I was miserable. H couldnt understand my triggers...I would have a bad day, he would say whats wrong? i started saying nothing, the same thing was wrong every day that had been wrong the day before. I grieved his betrayal much differently than he did mine and we couldnt understand each other.
At one point in MC, I said that when he says "whats wrong?" it sounds mean, like whats wrong with you now, why arent you over this etc. that to me i would feel much safer if when he saw something was wrong he would say are you ok? or offered, you don't seem ok, im here to talk if you want to. but he never did those things. MC put me in my place...told me "Dont make him mind read you!!!" It has been one of the single most helpful things ive ever been told.
MC said H doesnt see the difference between whats wrong and are you ok. H just sees somethings wrong so says whats wrong. not trying to hurt me further just how he sees it. TELL HIM WHAT YOU NEED.
so thats what i started doing, black and white. I need you to do these things to help me. I need you to stop doing these things. etc.
Now, WH doesnt do all of these things, but thats a different post. I will say that this week when it came up, i was able to proudly say..WH-I told you in black and white what i needed, dont tell me you are just dumb and will try harder...i told you what i needed you choose not to do it. I wouldn't have been able to say that two months ago when i was making him mind read me.
There are still times when i wish he would just do x y or z because hes been with me for 16 years and should just know that i would like it....but i cant always dwell on the one thing that is a priority to me and because he didnt do it means he doesnt care.
Yes after he knows ive had a horrible day, it would be nice to come home to clean house, bathed kids, my favorite dinner...but it was also nice when three days before that when he knew i had a hectic morning, he brought me my favorite coffee treat to work to cheer me up...he does that often...i expect it because he does it...why does he do it? because he cares.
idk im rambling now...I'll stop

Spideysense posted 7/19/2013 08:48 AM

duplicate post

[This message edited by Spideysense at 8:48 AM, July 19th (Friday)]

blakesteele posted 7/19/2013 09:45 AM

doesitgetbetter...I appreciated your post...makes a lot of sense.

My wife and I are learning to speak each others love languages. Before my wifes A we spoke in love languages...but used the language that we knew best, which is NOT the language the other understood or least not at the emotional level ones own love language speaks to within them.

By that I mean my wife appreciated me bringing her flowers (gifts) and my regular compliments (words of affirmation) and knew that those were borne out of love...but her love languages are quality time and physical touch. So I was missing daily opportunities to depost love units in her account set up for me.

I would encourage us all that, just because we are not immediately good at speaking a new love language to the other it does NOT mean it won't improve and actually get to the level that overflows your Love absolutely can. Just like learning English...we did not do it well at first...but through training and a desire to learn we improved...and continue to do so. Each time we do it successfully we are more confident and more encouraged to do it in the future.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:48 AM, July 19th (Friday)]

Later posted 7/19/2013 09:46 AM

If you have not already, I think you would benefit from reading up on covert contracts. Basically, it's where you do something with the unspoken desire that someone else will respond in a particular way. When the other party, who is unaware of the "agreement", does not live up to his end of the deal the first party becomes resentful.

I know that does not fit your situation exactly, but I think it's close enough to consider.

BTW, I am not taking his side. I am saying this for your benefit in the hopes you don't set yourself up for a bad day.

I hope everything works out. Keep in mind that often we men fail in these areas. I know you have been doing work to let him know your needs, so hopefully he starts to get it.

Spideysense posted 7/19/2013 09:55 AM

Later-I completely agree and that was something my MC helped point out. i had this expectation of what my WH "would" be doing if he was truly sorry, he had no idea I had this expectation from him so it was a vicious cycle of me being disappointed because he was failing me and him being frustrated and feeling like nothing made me happy. we are hopefully moving passed that now that we have recognized it.

struggling3 posted 7/19/2013 10:42 AM

Blakesteele...I'm curious at where you would put your trust level right now. Where do you think it can go with continued healing....just wondering how someone else feels about it.

blakesteele posted 7/19/2013 11:07 AM

struggling3...good question.

Trust, like a reputation, is slow to gain and quick to loose...this is where TT'ing is so damaging. Early on I, like other BS's, WANTED to believe my wife...the trust level was 100% before the dropped sharply after DD but the high level it was pre-A afforded some cushion to remain...that cushion dissappeared upon months of TT'ing. It might of headed there anyway, but TT'ing guaranteed it would empty.

The intentionality of the TT'ing is what slows my trusting of her. I kinda get that her A started if the betrayal had stopped their the path to trusting would have been easier.

Where am I at today? Hard to put a percentage on I will say I am at about or minus 5%.

As a person who is familiar with statistics...this is a wide margin of error...indicating the original 10% is shaky at best.

But this is my best answer.

With continued healing it will go up. Dont know what the final level will be...but I know what I have with my wife is worth taking the risk that it will keep improving as we continue to heal....heal from both the A and from our pre-A issues that damaged our intimacy.

Hope that helps. As person who works with statistics and manages projects I realize it is not the confident answer you or I really WANT....but it is the truth...which is what we both desire I believe.

Some key actions that help me...full transparency,her initiating conversations that pertain to her growth and her thoughts, answering my questions in a non-defensive way, patience from her as I trigger (which is much less now!), and her sharing her daily schedule with me without me asking.

May I ask the same questions of you?

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 11:12 AM, July 19th (Friday)]

WeepingBuddhist posted 7/23/2013 10:18 AM

Thanks for all the replies. It's almost funny (ALMOST)---when I got home Friday evening, WH gave me a chapstick that he was given during a promotion earlier that day. "I was thinking of you!"

We're going to the MC this Friday, so I may bring it up then.

Althea posted 7/23/2013 10:40 AM

Here is a suggestion. Next time something stressful or big like this is coming up, have an open conversation with your WH about whatever you are feeling and about what you need from him. Don't be specific as in I want a card and not chapstick, but specific as in you need to feel from him in whatever your love language is that he is there and was thinking of you. Then let him be the one to come up with the specifics.

Yeah, it is a little bit like working with a child, but in my WH's case, that is kind of where he was emotionally at the beginning. He needed some guidance.

Last night he made himself a sign to post as a reminder in his home office to do something special and out of the ordinary every day to show me and our daughters how much he loves us. Maybe something like that would be helpful for your WH. Make himself a sign - such and such is WB's love language. Have you done something kind for her today?

Later posted 7/23/2013 10:41 AM

I think you should absolutely bring it up at MC. It's obviously important to you -- so please talk about it.

WeepingBuddhist posted 7/23/2013 12:02 PM

Making a sign might work, but I know I would resent having to do it. I feel like I am the one doing the work enough as it is. It's possible that he is simply too selfish to be able to be the partner that I need. I certainly suspected as much before his A. While things in our marriage have improved, his basic inability to put his needs aside remains a problem.

heartache101 posted 7/23/2013 12:12 PM

Your spouse can not read your mind. If you need something you need to talk to your spouse. The key to a long relationship is communication.

WeepingBuddhist posted 7/23/2013 12:54 PM

I do talk to my spouse. I calmly and clearly tell him my need for tangible evidence that I matter to him. The last three weeks, he has been indifferent to my needs regarding this (other than the nice chapstick!)

Later posted 7/23/2013 13:58 PM

I completely understand. I have tried to point my wife in the right direction, but she is more concerned with her needs (forgetting about the A)

Reconciliation is tough, and obviously there are some people who just do not have the constitution to do what it takes. Is it any wonder that the same person who was selfish enough to have an A is also too self centered to do what it takes to R?

[This message edited by Later at 1:59 PM, July 23rd (Tuesday)]

1Faith posted 7/23/2013 15:20 PM

I think yours is a normal reaction to the emotional trauma of infidelity.

We all become very sensitive to anything that seems out of line with normalcy and even go through flashbacks when anything occurs to remind us of the events leading up to that trauma.

Has your husband been trying to live a transparent life since your D-day?

Does he understand and support your need for assurance that he is remaining faithful? I believe those are two very necessary components to recovery of the marital relationship.

I can attest that four months is very new to the whole experience of learning to heal.

Give yourself some time.

It takes years to restore the sense of security that is normal for a faithful marriage.

It really depends on how much betrayal there's been, how repentant the wayward spouse is, and how willing the betrayed is to let down their guard (takes a LONG time).

With work you can eventually work past your need to have him prove his love for you but if that is what you need right now, tell him. He can't read your mind.

Hope the meeting went well.

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