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Did I just confuse my wife?

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ArableSands posted 8/1/2013 16:01 PM

So I 180'ed, worked on me. I went to IC, and in the very first session uncovered something just under the surface that was brutal but ignored. My controlling. Then spent the last 2 days focused on how to heal myself. I extended an apology to WW for something particular that was inappropriate on my part. WW seemed to very much appreciate it.

Each evening it's been me not saying much to WW and WW being very talkative, which is a reversal. I don't talk about my pain. Last night she kept shifting around in her sleep. Held my arm or my hand, wouldn't let go. I don't KNOW that she's involved in a real R. I still get the sense that she's holding a lot back until she visits her family in a couple of weeks. She asked this morning, "How do you feel about us?" (A real change.) I gave it some real thought, and said, "I haven't, in a while. I've been focused on fixing me." She nodded silently. Saw me to the door, gave me a long hug and a kiss.

I do NOT want to punish my wife. I think when she finally starts to really process what she's done, she'll come close to destroying herself on her own. Am I doing the right thing, by being this much of an 180 hardass?

AFrayedKnot posted 8/1/2013 16:13 PM

What expected results do you have in mind from the 180?

ArableSands posted 8/1/2013 16:17 PM

More openness from WW. I think she's going through the motions of R, although her tactility is genuine (it's the way she best communicates, through touch). I also want to see more actual remorse. I haven't seen any in over 10 days.

AFrayedKnot posted 8/1/2013 16:19 PM

How can closing someone out create openness?

RyeBread posted 8/1/2013 16:20 PM

"How do you feel about us?"

Sounds like she is fishing for reassurance. Make sure you are putting that on her. She was unfaithful, it is up to her to reassure you. Don't fall into that trap. I think you gave a great response.

Ultimtely your WW will either work on herself or not. At that point if you have worked through your issues you will be in a much better place to handle her implosion if that in fact happens.

Keep focusing on you and your needs.

SisterMilkshake posted 8/1/2013 16:22 PM

No, if you don't feel you have seen real remorse from your WW, I don't feel you are doing the wrong thing.

You have to take care of your emotional well being. An unremorseful WS doesn't have our best interests at heart. I don't feel like the 180 is punishment and shouldn't be used as such. It is the best way for a BS to detach emotionally from the unremorseful WS.

With an unremorseful WS they haven't given you transparency. Maybe they haven't gone NC with the AP. Maybe the affair has gone underground (an aside, I find that term "affair going underground" kind of redundant), it would be best if you are emotionally somewhat detached so if the WS is "caught" again, it is not quite as devastating because you have been becoming emotionally devested from the marriage/spouse. You can hope for the best, but be prepared for the worse.

The 180 shouldn't be used on a remorseful spouse who is working/trying to reconcile wholeheartedly.

eta: To answer your topic title question, yes, you may have confused your WW. Oftentimes BS beg the WS to stay with us, as if we did something awful, and not them. Or, if we don't do the begging thing, the WS feels we should be and gets confused that we aren't.

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 4:27 PM, August 1st (Thursday)]

solus sto posted 8/1/2013 16:37 PM

She may well be confused. I would not accept responsibility for that, in your shoes.

You're doing the best you can in terrible circumstances.

I think you've only seen the very tip of the iceberg, and that the clinginess/need for reassurance likely stems from concern that you will find out more---and worry that you will leave if you find it out.

This is just a hunch, and I hope I am wrong.

Either way, I don't think you've sen anything resembling remorse---and that the 180 is still appropriate.

When she starts digging and offering and giving, then you might reconsider.

Right now, her confusion stems from the lies she's telling herself, not your confusion in the midst of a shattering experience.

TxsT posted 8/1/2013 16:41 PM

Arable....a bit your wife remorseful and sick about her actions or not. I think I have heard you wrong in another post and just want to make sure I have it straight.

I never did the 180. I was lucky enough to have the remorse right their in plain site form the second day forward. Yes I feel you should go slowly and yes I feel you need to make sure of what your wife is feeling. but don't make the mistake that I did and discount true remorse and good deeds. If those go over looked for too long the WS will slowly get the message that nothing they do will be good enough.

I got to this stage in my own journey and it was hell to get back out.


ArableSands posted 8/1/2013 16:54 PM


For 2 weeks after DDay it seemed like genuine remorse on her part. She did EVERYTHING I asked and more to make me feel safe and make amends.

Then something shifted. Not sure what. But anger was mixed in and she started pulling away. She insists she's still remorseful, but I'm not feeling it.

Not sure what to make of it.

TxsT posted 8/1/2013 17:05 PM

Oh thank you for clarifying I get it. Sorry for the confusion.

Just so you know, my WH did the same thing. The reason behind it was because I was too upset and fogged out to properly understand his intentions in the beginning. I don't think any BS can understand what's up or down at that point.

My IC helped a big deal in slowly pulling me out of my huge black hole and when I got there I realized I had made my WH feel like everything he had tried to do in those first 8 weeks was for not and that he felt like nothing he ever did was going to make up for the mess he created. Talk about the guilt shoe shifting to the other foot.

That's when I went and got medical help and started AD meds. I didn't want to all of the sudden be the reason why I drove my husband away from me instead of towards me.

When you are so unstable you don't think clearly. When you have PTSD symptoms you need to start getting higher help to stabilize yourself. This isn't your fault but your over active mind can drive you mad. Be kind to yourself.


ArableSands posted 8/1/2013 17:08 PM

New info.

When she offered her phone to me last night to check I said No Thanks, which surprised her. Just now I explained I didn't want the phone not because I didn't care, but because I was in the right headspace to trust her. She shrugged and said "ok, whatever." I asked, "That's not important to you?" She said, "I don't attach any feelings to any particular thing right now because things seem to change day to day."

Is that reasonable? Or should I launch into a super hard 180?

1985 posted 8/1/2013 17:15 PM

To me the key is your statement about not wanting to punish her. If you are hoping to R, then you should not take actions (or inactions)if the sole purpose of them is to punish her. While punishing her may make you feel good in the moment, the long term effects would be harmful to R and coming back together.
BUT, remember that there is a difference between punishing and actively consoling her or sweeping it under the rug. Two things need to be happening. First, you have to be taking care of yourself. You have to regain equilibrium; rebuild your ego and self respect; learn that you can be happy without her if it comes to that. Secondly, she needs to face, fully and frankly, what she has done and the consequences it has brought on you and your family. And she needs to learn and embrace what she has to do to try to repair and heal all of the devastation that she has caused. You both have to work towards those goals or true R will never be possible.
So it sounds like what you are doing is working on your part -- taking care of yourself and trying to rebuild yourself. That process may very well include spending more time on yourself than you used to. It may mean less attention to your W than she has had in the past. So long as what you are doing is legitimately directed at healing yourself, and not done solely to punish her, then you are doing the right thing. If she suddenly feels slighted by you from time to time -- she needs to think of how you must feel; a bit more than "slighted". She needs to understand that it is called "consequences" of what she did. That kind of insight is not going to happen for your W if you spend your time consoling her for her pain and worrying more about her emotional status than your own. And she would not be forced to take that long hard look at what she has don, why she did it, and what it has done to you. Which is why I said there is a difference between you punishing her and you doing things that are designed to help you heal. Work on you. If she feels a bit slighted or scared, well maybe it will help her make the changes she needs to make in herself.
I was reading a post in the "I can relate -- Betrayed Men" forum and saw a statement that fascinated me. I think it was flup who was describing how he is pursuing a course intended to help him heal and to help him learn that he could be happy alone if necessary. He said his wayward W looked at him at one point and said " I think now I love you more than you love me". And I believe flup was indicating that she seemed a bit puzzled and sad at that revelation.
A wayward spouse has to learn that there are consequences from his/her cheating. If those consequences include feeling some sense of loss or fear because your healing process makes you become stronger and more independent, so be it. Don't feel guilty.

TxsT posted 8/1/2013 17:19 PM

Yes it is reasonable. Think about how you change from hour to hour. Now think that your wife is sitting beside you watching these violent swings in your mood, behavior, ability to function and knowing she caused this. My husband told me I was so far gone he was afraid for me and afraid to make it any worse.

He told me he, at the very start was eager for positive action. But as the days turned into weeks and we didn't get any further ahead and I got angrier and angrier he started to feel like it was hopeless. He too was waiting for the other shoe to fall. What was the next trigger, the next thing that would come along to help me spiral out of control. He has confessed that those earlier days were the hardest on him too. he felt like he was failing me all over again.

It wasn't until I decided that it might be time for me to leave that he got his butt into high gear. He knew I was becoming stronger. I had never promised him that, at the end of our journey, I would still want to stay. I only promised him I would try to go forward with him.

I don't know what the answer is but it is helpful to start thinking not only that there is negative in your wife's actions but that their also might be positives. Yes she might very well be lying but the one thing I do know....she is still under the same roof as you and that is the most positive thing for both of you.


ArableSands posted 8/1/2013 17:47 PM

Thanks TxsT. I was thinking she would be appreciative of the small trust overture, but was disappointed that she was not. Also, we are under the same roof because at this juncture neither of us have much choice. I have no support out here and neither does she. My only remaining family is headed for a nursing home soon and all of hers is in the US on the East Coast (we're in Canada on the West Coast).

If we were living closer to her family I'd wager she'd be gone by now. Even if it's just for space. Hence the trip she is about to make Aug 11-17. I confess I am very worried about what that time apart will do to our already broken marriage.

doggiediva posted 8/1/2013 18:52 PM

I think your 180 was done out of natural instinct to whatever was happening to you at the time..

This is YOUR time to get up, take a deep breath and take care of yourself without passing out or dropping dead..

You need time and space to stop the bleeding and clean your wounds so that the pain is more tolerable..

That is what the 180 is about..

Let me give you an example..

Pretend you are in this work situation..
You just found out that a close and trusted buddy of yours, for no reason, stabbed you in the back causing your good reputation in that community to be forever ruined..

It is a stretch of the imagination to think that you would respond to this betrayal by giving your friend a hug or immediately continuing the relationship as if nothing happened..

If there is to be healing you have to allow yourself space to figure out what the heck happened and why..It is natural to feel distant during this time..

IMHO a truly remorseful WS is going to sense that you aren't trying to punish him/her, you are just trying to breathe and process things...


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