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hopefor1day posted 7/23/2013 10:34 AM

I know that its my responsibility to make up for having an affair and betraying my husband. I try so hard to be a great wife to him and take care of whatever needs he has. I feel that I am doing a great job at this and my H says the same. He tells me that I am doing fine in that area but I need to do more to prove that I am sorry and to make it up to him. I had a book to read and it took me a year to read it. I felt that it did not relate to us in many ways and our situation but I should have read it right away because it was important to him. I now have another book I'm reading but again its a slow read for me. I am not reading it fast enough to satisfy him as it has taken me 4 months to read about 75 pages. Another thing he requests of me is to talk about the A more often but I truly have no idea how to talk about it or bring it up. If we are just say watching tv how do I bring it up? What am I supposed to say to start a conversation? I know I have read that its best to apologize, apologize, apologize but he wants to hear more from me. I have said I'm sorry a dozen times a day whether verbally, email, voice mail or text message. I just have no idea how to satisfy his needs of talking about it more and bringing it up on my own. We have went through a timeline and I always answer any questions he may have. I feel stuck because I don't know how to ever be good enough for him. I know I brought all of this on and its all my fault and I probably do not deserve him but I don't want to lose him. I will continue to keep trying to show him he can trust me again and that he is the only one for me.

[This message edited by hopefor1day at 4:19 PM, July 23rd (Tuesday)]

20WrongsVs1 posted 7/23/2013 11:39 AM

Hope, you are clearly hurting too. Your post is all about taking care of BH's needs, and that's an important part of the process. But, what are you doing to heal yourself? So that you can feel "good enough" for him?

I'm reading a great book now about compassionate communication skills (Nonviolent Communication by Rosenberg). The author writes at length about requests vs. demands. When I read your post, I wondered: are you (perhaps subconsciously) resisting these books because you interpreted the reading as a demand, not a request? Rosenberg says, "A demand explicitly or implicitly threatens listeners with blame or punishment if they fail to comply." Demands, he writes, are often met with resistance. Maybe think about that, see if it resonates with you? If you'd chosen the books, would you be reading them faster?

As for bringing up the As: I'm resistant too, because I don't want to "remind" BH of them, especially if we are having a nice evening. But recently I applied a suggestion I read on SI: anticipate your BH's triggers, and head them off at the pass. If you're about to drive by a hotel or restaurant where you and the AP met, you can say, "Honey, I'm so sorry if driving by this place is painful for you now, because of what I did there. You did not deserve that."

[This message edited by 20WrongsVs1 at 11:39 AM, July 23rd (Tuesday)]

hopefor1day posted 7/23/2013 19:17 PM

Sorry but I did not mean to put a stop sigh here. Anyone can reply if you want to. Sorry!

SI Staff posted 7/23/2013 20:00 PM


Neither Betrayed Spouses nor madhatters can post on a thread with a Stop Sign. We'll get the Stop Sign removed shortly.

Thank you

StrongerOne posted 7/24/2013 00:06 AM

I suggest starting with things that are obviously important to your BH. He's told you two things -- read the books, talk about the A.

Unless you genuinely have a learning disability, you have no reason not to do this. Set aside time every day -- even 30 minutes-- to read the books. Take notes. Then spend time talking with your BH about what you learned from the book, questions it raised, how it might apply to your situation, etc. That totals the time for one tv show. Show your husband he's worth one tv shows worth of time.

This also gives you a good structured way to talk about the A. I get not knowing how to bring it up casually so to speak. So structure it in.

Keep working at it. R is a long and hard process. It can feel discouraging! But the effort can really be worth it.

[This message edited by StrongerOne at 12:07 AM, July 24th (Wednesday)]

Later posted 7/24/2013 01:28 AM

I had a book to read and it took me a year to read it. I felt that it did not relate to us in many ways and our situation but I should have read it right away because it was important to him. I now have another book I'm reading but again its a slow read for me. I am not reading it fast enough to satisfy him as it has taken me 4 months to read about 75 pages.

I am guessing that your husband bought these two books. I can tell you that one of the big reasons that my wife and I are likely heading for divorce very soon is that she has drug her feet on reading the two books I went and bought. After she took weeks to get through about 60 pages of the first book I tossed it out. Now, she has made it through 70 pages of the second book and I suspect the divorce will be final before she hits page 71.

To me, it showed a certain disrespect for me and the pain I am going through. It sent a signal that she is not willing to face the A and work through the pain.

Also, if she had actually read the books she might have actually learned ways to help us both work through this.

In short, read those books --and then be proactive, select additional reading yourself.

If you are slow reading the books because they cause you pain, tell him. You might be ready for him to blow up a little because he is in pain, but I think that it would help him to know that you are not just blowing his request off.

As far as talking about the A, don't worry so much about bringing it up and reminding him. He hasn't forgotten. The oddest things remind him anyway, so at least this reminder has a purpose and is helpful.

I don't know whether this describes your situation, but it gets very old for the BS to always be the one who initiates the discussion. If you don't already do it, go to him and ask him in a loving, soothing way how is doing, and whether there is anything he wants to talk about.

Also, and I don't mean to sound harsh, but the next time you hesitate to bring up the subject ask yourself if you are really trying to protect him or yourself. He has told you that he needs you to talk to him more. Take him at his word.

Best wishes.

[This message edited by Later at 2:34 AM, July 24th (Wednesday)]

womaninflux posted 7/24/2013 07:47 AM

The book GEtting the Love You Want could really help BOTH of you learn to communicate and navigate some tough issues. It has exercises in it so you can just follow those vs. having to come up with your own topics.

And if you have time to watch have time to read and do the work you need to do.

[This message edited by womaninflux at 7:50 AM, July 24th (Wednesday)]

SurprisinglyOkay posted 7/24/2013 08:01 AM

I just have no idea how to satisfy his needs of talking about it more and bringing it up on my own.

This was hard for me too.

It felt like well we're not talking about it so why bring it up or You're having a good day so I don't want to ruin that.

At first my shame was so great that I never wanted to talk about it. As time went on my shame lessened. It just got easier to talk about. It took practice. I would get all anxious, wallowing in my own self pity. I don't know where the shift was but it just got easier.
Not that It's a walk in the park, I don't skip around singing let's talk about the A.

I know how much work I'm doing, got past the shame of it. Stopped rolling around in self pity trying to make myself a victim (I know, funny right?)
It was a big shift in my thinking, and it took a lot of work to get out of it. Now I can see those unhealthy thoughts coming from a mile away, and can head them off.

I guess I started with my own triggers.
It helped my Bs to see that I had triggers, that I thought about my A's and what they did to him, me, our family.
That the damage caused consumed me too.

I don't think it's possible to make up for what we've done to our BS's. What we can do is make ourselves safe, so this doesn't happen again. Make them feel safe.

Get cracking on that reading. It's helped me a lot.

Try and be proactive, I've really struggled with that, but I'm giving it a go.
Good luck!

Love4myDragonfly posted 7/24/2013 08:50 AM

Well, I to have not finished 2 of the books that I was told.asked to read. My question to you is: what kind of book/anything reader were you before?
I have never liked reading. I am ha high school fail out due to not wanting to read, not even things I wanted to read. I have tried and tried and I find no joy or pleasure of any kind in it and just plain avoid it.
Our MC told us to read these books, I did, it took me more than a month to read about 90% of it (about 70 pages), I thought I was doing good with that time frame, however since my BW is a huge reader it took her about a day and I get crap for taking so long. YES, the A is my fault, however it is very hard for me to just sit and read. There have even been books she sat and read to me. However much I hate to read, she soon realized that I did/do want R, so she found another book for me to read,, well not read, but listen to. WOW!!! I wish beyond all wishes that we had read that book together when we got married and every year thereafter,, The book, -His Needs, Her Needs- by Dr. Willard Harley. We listen to it together driving from here to there, we listen to it at home, I got to listen to it at work and at the gym,,, over and over again, I listen to it. It took us about a month to get through it, and I learned a lot about myself and just how bad I screwed up, and for the most part, "Why" I did it. I have it on my smart phone and can "read" the book, anytime, anywhere with my headphones. And it has made a big difference in our R.
However, I still have to read other books, long emails and things on this site,, and that kills me. mentally and physically it causes me pain, but I know it is nothing of the pain she is still in,, pain that I caused.
I know I read in this post someone was talking about being forced to do something -v- asked. I do so much better being asked. I do resent and resist being told and will put up blocks and barriers with it. Even being told repeatedly the things I am not doing good enough or fast enough angers me and creates resentment. I am working very diligently to learn how to control and change those thoughts, however it has been very difficult.
So for the reading,, You HAVE to do it! If you want R, then it is your responsibility to both of you to figure out how you can get past your own mindset of "books" and "reading", even if that is by listening to them on tape/cd.
The one I mentioned earlier you should listen/read to together the first time. I think that is very important.

So, good luck. I cannot and will not tell you how you need to read the books, I can give you, as I did, what has worked for me.
I think if she asked me again what my passion is,, I think I would have to say, "My one passion is to hate reading,, anything."

hopefor1day posted 7/24/2013 09:34 AM

Thanks for all your thoughts and opinions. I realized though that I should have explained more in my original post and put more info out there. First let me say that he has not made me or forced me to read any of the books. I wanted to do this on my own. When were in MC it was suggested to us to read it. I thought it was a good idea. It was After the Affair. Once reading it I felt that it was not geared towards our situation. It had to do a lot with marriages with children and we do not have any. There were many good points to the book though. I have another one now called Fighting for Your Marriage. This one is more about how to keep your marriage strong to prevent divorce. Not a lot to do after one party has an affair. I actually went out yesterday and got 2 more books that I feel will also be helpful. I spent time reading the books lately and feel this is in the right direction.
Also I feel a lot of the comments I received are based on my watching tv and not reading the books instead. I was just using that as an example of how to start a conversation with my H. I don't want to be spending time with him and just out of the blue say...'I had an affair honey and I'm sorry.' I was more asking of how to start a conversation. Thanks again for your help and input. I really do appreciate any thoughts and opinions you have. This is supposed to be a place for healing and I need to take the positive and negative thoughts at the same time.

Later posted 7/24/2013 09:51 AM

That's great that you are being proactive by selecting new material. Be sure to let him know. I think just letting him know that you realize there is more work to do and you are available to talk should be a relief to him.

Here is the thing -- as the BS it is tough if you are the one who always has to open the discussion. If that is the case, there may be a tendency to "hold off" between discussions so that you are not badgering the WS. It's during these periods that the pressure builds, and what could have been a healing conversation turns into a mindless rant.

noescape posted 7/25/2013 00:11 AM

Try not just friends. Great book. You could also use the chapters and questionnaires in the book as cues to start discussions.

My W is conflict avoidant, she always avoided bring up any A related topic, not so much about relationship related topics or what she perceived as failures on my part in the M. IMHO, this was salt on the wound, though I indulged her. I would suggest you write if you can't initiate conversations.

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