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He's in some type of fog still? How to get remorse?

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careerlady posted 8/4/2013 01:26 AM

I don't know what to title this or what all to say I just wanted to post and get some ideas. We are trying to R. But WH has gone mad. He always had anger issues and is worse with his temper and also defensive about his cheating. He keeps spinning this narrative that explains away his cheating and why he wouldn't do it again in a neat box.

He claims to be remorseful but everything is a struggle. He was procrastinating on getting tested and I asked him when he's do it. He had the nerve to respond "when I feel like it" and claimed he had his reasons for not working on the M currently. I know some of it has to do with him being angry with my mother and her living with us currently. After he said that I told him to move out. He said he would and we stopped talking but then later that day he came and gave me a paper with his test results. But there was no apology, just rationalization for why he acted the way he did.

He says he will meet all my terms over time, including therapy this time, but everything is S-L-O-W and hard like pulling teeth. I'm thinking he's still in denial about what he did and it's impact on me, ie not truly remorseful or at least not showing it. I don't know what to do. I want to at least do the therapy no matter what in the hopes it will help with his anger issues for our son's sake so I'm not ready to end R over it. But is there a way to get an improvement in his attitude? Has anyone been through this? His affairs were casual and I know he is NC, it's not the OW causing the issue.

Happy for any advice or thoughts.

cantaccept posted 8/4/2013 05:29 AM


I have been through similar with h. It is so very hard to not get the validation you need when you want so badly to R.

I understand how much it hurts.

I have found the most helpful thing for me has been IC. Especially in the beginning when H was not "ready" for MC. If you can find a wonderful therapist,I had to try 3 before I found a good fit. He helped me to focus on me, begin to take care of me.

The one thing that I found the hardest to accept is that you cannot force someone to do the work. No matter how badly you want it and know it is the path to healing, you can only control what you do.

We have been back together since December 2012 and I must say it is only the beginning of healing for us.

H is just starting to express remorse, to acknowledge the selfishness of his acts, to see and empathize with the damage that he has caused.

Even still, it is a rollercoaster. Some days he regresses and gets defensive. It is so very painful when those days happen. I try to tell myself, "it is just a day, wait until tomorrow and see if he comes back".

I am giving it some more time. I know that I need consistency and time to trust this is real. It truly feels like hell sometimes.

I wish that I could give you a magic potion to make him come around, but unfortunately there isn't one.

The most important thing is as everyone says, take care of you. Learn about you and what makes you happy.

Reading about affairs, relationships, helped me enormously.

I think MC with my therapist made a huge difference. Talking and not being afraid of the consequences.

For a while I struggled with being afraid to say what I felt. I was afraid that if I said the wrong thing he would not love me. It took me a long time to realize that if that were true, then I really didn't want to be with him. That I would be ok without him and I deserved so much more.

I certainly am no expert and every couple is so different, what works for one may not for another. I can only speak of my experience.

Again the most important thing is take care of you.

I wish you relief from your pain. You really are not alone with this, keep posting, it helps.

atsenaotie posted 8/5/2013 10:21 AM

But is there a way to get an improvement in his attitude? Has anyone been through this?

Hi careerlady,

There is no way for you to change or improve his attitude. He has to decide he wants to change and then do the work to make the change occur. As for his claims of being remorseful, after dday I believe that actions speak MUCH louder than words. His actions do not look so remorseful.

I want to at least do the therapy no matter what in the hopes it will help with his anger issues…

It will do no good for him to attend the therapy if he does not want to change. He has to want to change and work for it. If he dopes not see that he has a problem, and want to fix the problem, little will change.

He cheated in 2008, and again 5 years later when under stress about the OC. He has anger issues and a temper. He is passive aggressive about issues like your Mother staying with you rather than communicating openly. You have let him know that these are unattractive features of who he is, and that you do not like them; that these behaviors have, and continue to hurt you. The thing is, he does not care, or at least does not care enough, about how you feel to change who he is.

Rather than you trying to figure our how to make your WH be someone you want to be M’d to (while he plays the petulant child), why not put the ball in his court? Make it his responsibility to prove to you that he can be a man you want to be M’d to. Not in words, but in sustained changes and actions.

I suggest taking your focus off of your WH, and putting more focus on you, your son, and your mother. Work on expanding your social networks, your financial stability, and your health, whatever would make your life better whether your WH is there or not. Decide if you want to be with your WH as he has shown you he is, or if you would rather not be with him as he is. If you would rather not be with him as he is, start your plans to make this occur.

I am not saying to use detachment and possible separation or D as a club to bludgeon your WH with, but as tools to decide what path you want your life to take. Your WH will either decide he wants to walk that path with you or not. If he wants to, he will do what it takes on his own without prompting from you. For now he gets a W and home without the hard work of introspection and change. There is no reason to change. If he wants you and sees you moving away, he will take action of his own initiative.

I have been through this with my FWW, and she did not take action to do the most difficult steps of adressing her issues until it was clear I had given up on her and was leaving.

careerlady posted 8/6/2013 03:05 AM

Thanks all, good advice.

Ever since I told him to move out and he came back with the HIV test he's been more amenable to conversation and says he'll do what I ask. I told him we either do everything this time or I'm out, and I mean it. Will definitely focus on me and my little one and see how he meets my terms.

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