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Am I the problem?

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disillusioned12 posted 9/5/2013 03:10 AM

I don't know how to get through this. I feel paralyzed with fear. Fear from another false R, fear from another D-Day, fear from hitting rock bottom all over again. I am afraid to have hope.

My fWH and current IC counselor feel I am looking for reasons to D. Maybe I am. My fWH is being transparent, is reading on his own, is patient, and is doing everything he can to put our marriage and me first. He's not seeing an IC now, but committed to see one when we are home. (We are currently staying in another state for his job.) So, why do I feel he's not doing enough? Am I the one with the problem?

I remember pleading with the powers that be for my fWH to pull his head out of his ass. Now, he has and I don't know if its enough. I'm just so damn scared of being hurt again. I feel I'm taking all the risks by staying.

I tried explaining this to my current IC, but she doesn't get it. She believes the EA is a symptom of our marriage, that there were vulnerabilities leading up to my fWH's EA. She wants me to try and put off dealing with my fWH's EA and focus on the marriage. She feels the EA is too painful for me and I'm spinning in circles. She says we can revisit dealing with the EA once the marriage is stronger.

How am I suppose to work on strengthening my marriage when I don't feel emotionally safe with my fWH?

Knowing posted 9/5/2013 03:22 AM

The EA was a symptom of your WS' brokenness. I think IC should be for you and what you need, not what your IC thinks you need.

I understand feeling like WS can never do enough, because my WS cannot do the ultimate, which is "make it so it never happened".

What would make you less fearful? Do you have transparency? Passwords? Do you talk openly and freely about his infidelity? Did you get a timeline? All questions answered? Do you have people IRL who support you?

Looking for reasons to D may be part of your process. Why is it that you still don't know if it was an EA or a PA? That would drive me batty.

disillusioned12 posted 9/5/2013 03:32 AM

I have transparency and passwords. We talk as freely as his memory allows. He denies a PA, but I am having a hard time believing this. No proof of a PA. No timeline because he doesn't remember most of it. No support IRL because my family thinks I'm making a huge mistake. Some have cut me off because I didn't follow through with the D as planned.

Kelany posted 9/5/2013 07:22 AM

I think you need a new IC and one who has more experience with infidelity. Most IC don't.

You can't deal with pre-affair issues until you deal with the affair. It isn't fair to you to rug sweep the affair to work on marriage problems.

Sure there may have been vulnerabilities, but he didn't have to make the choice to bring someone else into your marriage. You didn't. He could have addressed those with you. Instead he went outside of your marriage and sought out someone else. You have to be able to address that!

Seriously, I would find a new IC. Of course the affair is painful! (No sh!t Sherlock!) How can your marriage get stronger without addressing the affair?

bionicgal posted 9/5/2013 09:05 AM

I am not sure I agree with some of the other posters. Your IC may understand infidelity just fine. I think what she is trying to do is get you guys on more solid footing before/while you work on the issue of the affair.

Sometimes the focus on the "brokenness" of the WS here ignores the fact that if interpersonal and marital skills are missing between the husband and wife, it is exponentially harder to deal with the reality of the affair. This does not mean you are responsible for the affair, it means that you need to work on your marriage to be strong enough to deal with it.

I also think you'll feel safer if your foundation is worked on a bit. I know in our list of goals for marriage therapy, dealing with the affair itself is only 1 of about 5 of them.

Cliffhanger101 posted 9/5/2013 20:25 PM

In our case, it is far less stressful to discuss the state of our marriage (pre-affair), family of origin issues, communication issues, etc, than to flat out discuss the affair. It's really pretty raw still.

I think all of the above conversations are necessary for recovery. They are also easier conversations to have. Plus, the "easier" conversations have helped to restore a little more friendliness and closeness and understanding in our, often, hostile relationship.

Of course you have to deal with the affair. But, in my case, sometimes a wading- in approach is better than a head first plunge.

Maybe that's all your therapist is suggesting?

Undone1 posted 9/5/2013 20:57 PM

It is horrible to be paralyzed by fear. I have been there just like you! Afraid to look forward and deathly afraid I would hurt all over again! Most of us have been there during this process.

Recognizing that you are so scared is a great first step. Now you have the opportunity to look at that fear and begin to let go of it. When we are so fearful, we cannot move forward with healing or with reconciliation. As you let go of the "what if's" and realize that you will be OK no matter what happens, you can begin to accept and give love. You can let go of over analyzing negative experiences of your past and the potential for negative events to occur in your future....let go of the "what ifs". You are just waiting for the other shoe to drop, and not experiencing all the joys of the present.

There are no guarantees by staying or leaving. If you stay there is the possibility that you can have a marriage that is stronger and better than you could have dreamed of. If you go, you will have a new set of possibilities. You risk either way!

Stop focusing on what he is doing or not doing and focus on yourself, your healing and the present. The past will still be there for you to look at later. You might pick up the book "Love is Letting go of Fear"

gonnabe2016 posted 9/5/2013 21:31 PM

No. You aren't the problem.

Your WH is doing everything that he is *supposed* to do.....and yet he's playing the *I can't remember* card on you? Really? The freaking guy CAN do a timeline for you if he really wants to. Pull out social calendars, bank statements, credit card statements, etc.....

Your marriage will NOT get stronger until this A issue is dealt with. How in the world are you going to build a *stronger* marriage if your WH isn't being totally up-front, open, and vulnerable to you? (IMHO, you can't...obviously your cracker-jack-box-IC doesn't agree with me)

She believes the EA is a symptom of our marriage, that there were vulnerabilities leading up to my fWH's EA.

Ask her *why* she thinks so. What is she basing her opinion on? Flat-out ask her if it is acceptable for your spouse to 'take-up' with someone else if s/he is *unhappy* with you. Idk, maybe I'm a total PITA (my stbx says I am), but if my IC says something that I think is total bullshit....I tell my IC that what she said it total bullshit and ask for an explanation.

He's not seeing an IC now, but committed to see one when we are home.

I see this as a big problem. IMO, if your WH felt that he had an issue, he would deal with it matter what. Think about are in the same circumstance as him, right...and YOU are finding the time and wherewithal to be in IC. What is HE waiting for?

PeaceLove187 posted 9/5/2013 21:47 PM

Of course you feel paralyzed because you're being asked to accept what you believe is a lie. You believe it was a PA. He says it wasn't but can't supply the detail needed for you to begin to believe his story. If you're like me, it's really tough to move forward if you don't have a clear picture of what happened, and it's really tough to move forward with a man you believe is still lying to you.

But maybe your IC is trying to get you to stop focusing on your H and start focusing on you? If the A had never happened, what would you want your marriage to look like? What changes would you want to make? What do you want your life to be like? I absolutely don't agree with the IC that the A was a symptom of problems in the marriage, but I do think it's healthier to focus on the things the can change than those we can't--and we can't change the past.

SorrowBhindSmile posted 9/5/2013 22:48 PM

hi disillusioned. Your DDay is just a month before mine, so we are at a similar place on the timeline. I have experienced these same feelings. I still do, every day. My WH is a model remorseful transparent WS. He has made some very significant personal changes, and is working hard. Yet, i am still paralyzed with fear sometimes. (we are in MC/IC)

If i may...i dont think you are LOOKING for reasons to D so much as looking for him to give you reasons to stay and give you hope. If you have the feeling that your WH isnt doing enough....then he probably isnt.

This is very hard (it was hard for me to) but you need to really soul search and come up with a list of things you need your WH to do. We started small and came up with a list of "low cost" behaviors....small everyday things he can do for you to rebuild faith and trust...things that maybe he never did before, or did begrudgingly. (for example, some of the things on my list were run errands with me, take walks 1-2 times a week, cook sunday morning breakfast together, work on household projects together instead of "his or her only" projects, text me randomly throughout the day to let me know you are thinking of me, dont be dismissive of small requests i make, while they may seem dumb to you, they are important to me otherwise i wouldnt ask) Think about all areas of your life....communication, household, sex/intimacy, personal habits, family.

Once you get some of the smaller things on the on the bigger things. Its hard. it took me a while to really figure it out. But once you figure out what you can talk to your WH about it...and if he CANT give you what you need....well....then you have your answer.

I tried explaining this to my current IC, but she doesn't get it.

Yeah, its time for a new IC. (i dumped my first one) You will get nowhere, you will make no progress and you will never heal if the person you go to for support wont listen.

I do not believe you are the problem. I believe you are a BS who has been betrayed. You are a BS who didnt ask for this pain. You are a BS who didnt deserve to be treated this way. The burden lies on your WH to make you feel safe. You need to feel what you feel...process what you need to process in your own time, in your own way. Hopefully, over a period of time, if your WH displays continuous, transparent actions, slowly that safety will return for you. But you have to figure out what you need from him...and be open to giving him the chance to provide that for you. R is a giant leap of faith. R means putting yourself out there, and being vulnerable again. Its hard, and its a LONG LONG process. you are only 9months out. if you WERENT afraid, i'd be surprised.

For the past couple months, we have actually tabled a lot of the A talk during MC...and we have been focusing on the marriage. Finding out the weak spots helped me to understand WHY my WH was vulnerable to an affair. Finding the flaws in the marriage has actually helped me to start to begin to find an inkling of safety with my WH...because we knew what was broken and we can work on fixing it.

just know you are not alone in your feelings. hugs to you

disillusioned12 posted 9/7/2013 00:12 AM

Thank you for everyone's responses. Fortunately, the IC I have now is on a temporary basis. I've been living in another state for a couple months with my fWH due to his job. My IC back home didn't feel comfortable with me not seeing an IC that long, and my insurance wouldn't cover sessions via Skype or over the phone. I'm returning home soon so I have not bothered looking for another IC. My FWH joins my IC sessions when his schedule permits, and he's actively participating.

Sometimes the focus on the "brokenness" of the WS here ignores the fact that if interpersonal and marital skills are missing between the husband and wife, it is exponentially harder to deal with the reality of the affair. This does not mean you are responsible for the affair, it means that you need to work on your marriage to be strong enough to deal with it.

This might be what she was trying to say. I will confirm at my next session. I am not sure how to table discussion about the EA. I still find myself thinking about it 80-90% of the time.

I need to shift my focus and energy back onto myself. There is a lot I want to change, including my part in our pre-A marital issues. Thank you for the reminder.

My fWH and I had a decent talk tonight after he read a suggested thread from SI. A lot of the thread discussed what I have tried talking to him about, i.e. his triggers, why/how, and getting defensive). Maybe hearing comments and advice from other WSs helped? He refuses to lurk or post on SI, but will read threads I send him.

As for my fear, logically I know I need to work through it to get rid of it. One of my biggest problems is my tendency to "run" from emotional pain. Perfect example is my rush to D. I look back on past relationships with friends and family and see a pattern. When I get seriously hurt, I shut the person out or sever the relationship. I don't try and work it out to better or maintain the relationship. So, I am having a very difficult time staying married and trying to R. I'm constantly fighting the panicky feeling and the urge to just leave my fWH. Staying and working through this with him is probably the scariest thing I've gone through in my life, so far.

sri624 posted 9/7/2013 02:14 AM

you are not the are just in pain...and very normal. i agree with the other posters. you cannot move forward when you dont feel as if you know the whole truth...or at least what you want to know. my h kept lying about lot of things....he TT for a long time. it has only been within the last 10 months that he has just told the mc mostly about his horrific behavior.

i think it is important to know exactly what you are dealing with, so you can make an informed decision on moving forward in your m, if that is what you want.

most waywards play the "i dont remember game" when they get caught. fact is, they do remember. but just dont want to share the dirty details. and it is not so much to protect you from the pain...but it is to protect themselves from having to face the terrible behavior. big difference.

as for your ic...i do see where she is coming from. i do. but i also believe that pre a marital issues simply cannot be addressed until the a is dissected, litigated, and hashed out...and all the terrible pain that comes with that. i think not doing it is rugsweeping.

we have been in ic for about 10 months...the entire time we have been in this real r. and once a week for 10 months...the topic has been about the cheating in some way or another. mostly my pain...and steps that we both can take to discuss it in a constructive manner, and really "go there." a lot of tears have been shed in these sessions. sometimes we have left her office furious, yelling at each other, crying, giving up...and a million..."how could you do this to me" conversations. only recently have we taken steps to discuss issues outside of the a. but dealing with the a is the main focus. it has to be. once that is hashed out...then work on the overall m can begin.

hugs to you...i know this hurts.

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