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My reader WH won't read. Should I care?

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naivewife posted 9/12/2013 13:39 PM

So we're on our way to hitting the 6 month mark. WH has been attending both IC and MC. He has morphed into the perfect husband and father. He is totally open (I think!) accountability wise. Doesn't go anywhere if it makes me uncomfortable and doesn't make me feel bad about it. Talks openly about the A if I ask him. Is reassuring, loving, you name it.
BUT... he will not read a book related to A's or even just relationship/marriage help books, at all. And he IS a reader. If I bring home a book for him to read he immediately starts reading his own books and buying kindle books and basically looks for every possible distraction from being able to read the books I pick out. He originally told me A books "hit too close to home" and were too painful. Okay, not thrilled with that but dealt with it. Then bought a copy of 5 Love Languages. He read the first few chapters and then got engrossed in some other book of his. Then when I mentioned last night that I wanted him to finish reading it he made some remark like "Don't I speak your love language already?" and acted hurt or offended. I don't know what to do. Or if I should do anything. What's your opinion. When a WS is doing everything right, is reading still important? I guess my thing is, I want to be sure he's truly looking inward and facing what happened, instead of basically becoming Superman while emotionally rugsweeping. And of course, I like to think that doing the reading will have some effect on preventing this from ever happening again.
Thoughts?

SisterMilkshake posted 9/12/2013 13:57 PM

Its not so much that he needs to read the books as this is something you view as important and he seems to be blowing it off.

Maybe it is too soon for him to be reading these books, though, to be fair. The 5 Love Languages shouldn't be a problem, I would think. Does he speak your Love Language? We started reading Not Just Friends about 8 months after d-day and parts of it were pretty triggery for us.


rachelc posted 9/12/2013 14:06 PM

He originally told me A books "hit too close to home" and were too painful

my husband has the same problem. I'm not sure if it's a man thing or a shame thing or what? I'm a wayward too and dont' have this issue. I relish the opportunity to learn more about myself and what I need to do to become healthy.
But I do think some people can take only so much.
As someone else pointed out here - he should be doing what YOU need him to do. Not what he necessarily wants to do or lack thereof. If this is a need of yours, insist on it.

LosferWords posted 9/12/2013 14:30 PM

Have you suggested "How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful" by Linda J. MacDonald to him?

I've heard a lot of good things about this book, and it is very compact - just under 100 pages. Should be a blip on the radar screen for him to finish this one, yet at the same time the subject material could open up some good discussions between you two.

Has his IC or MC made any reading recommendations to him? Maybe there would be some reading that would be beneficial to him that isn't necessarily directly related to the A, but related to working on him self, dealing with FOO issues, etc.

At the very least, I would think he'd be able to split his time between his reading for entertainment, and his reading of A-related/healing-related material, IMHO.

sinsof thefather posted 9/12/2013 14:30 PM

He originally told me A books "hit too close to home" and were too painful

This smacks of avoidance, rugsweeping and entitlement to me. He doesn't want to face what he has done, and he won't do it just because you want him to. That's what this says to me.


Doesn't he owe that to you? Being as you have no choice but to face it every day?


Frankly if he won't dig deep and face it when it gets 'uncomforatble' for him - how is he every going to 'really' understand what was in him that allowed him to think it was OK to betray you? Avoiding what was broken in him won't make it go away. If he refuses to face it now, and work on it, how can he ever ensure that he won't do it again?


Personally, I think this is a big issue. He's not meant to feel 'comfortable' He's meant to be doing the work to make himself safe. He didn't consider your feelings when he had an affair - and he's not considering them (or at least not putting them before his own comfort) now.

naivewife posted 9/12/2013 21:04 PM

Thanks for responding everyone. He actually told me tonight that he had read more of the 5 Love Languages book when I was putting the kids to bed the other night. Didn't exactly dedicate hours to it, but I'll take it! It was also nice because it allowed me to talk more about why it was important to me. He also made a few introspective statements that were nice to hear, nice to know he's thinking on that level. It's hard because I think at most times in life, if someone is clearly trying so hard to make you happy you don't look for the one thing they're not doing and criticize, but in light of what he did, it really does feel like yes, you need to do EVERYTHING right. It's not my style at all, but it seems like not a single step can be left out.

sinsof thefather posted 9/13/2013 02:45 AM

It's hard because I think at most times in life, if someone is clearly trying so hard to make you happy you don't look for the one thing they're not doing and criticize, but in light of what he did, it really does feel like yes, you need to do EVERYTHING right. It's not my style at all, but it seems like not a single step can be left out.


Certainly not a step as big as this one. Doing everything to make you happy now is a very good move on his part, but ultimately not good enough. It won't make your marriage a 'safe' place for you if he doesn't make himself 'safe' for you.


I'm not trying to hurt you by being so frank naivewife, quite the opposite in fact, so please forgive me for it. But him facing what he did, owning that he chose to do it and persistently digging and looking at it, no matter how 'uncomfortable for him' it gets - is what he has to do - what he owes you - and him finding out how and why he chose to betray you like that is about as vital for your marriage as it gets. It being 'too close to home' and 'painful' for him to do it is a complete cop-out and a dangerous one for you going forward. It's completely selfish and him still putting himself first. Believe me, it's not my style to be this hard or pushy either, but for some things you've just got to be. For your own sake.

[This message edited by sinsof thefather at 2:48 AM, September 13th (Friday)]

Knowing posted 9/13/2013 15:36 PM

If its a condition for R, then so be it. My fWH is a voracious reader as well, but after reading "How To Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair" he wouldn't pick another book up. We now read together once a week, taking turns. It's working. We had to find a way, and we did.

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