In the beginning, I didn't hear it nearly enough, probably once or twice a month, and I needed it almost daily.
My fWW still says it about once a month, and I'm OK with that even though I would like it a bit more often.
I get lots of "I love you" but need more specifics. We read "Five love languages" and I am definitely a "words of affirmation" type!
I think WH feels mentioning the A, even to apologize is bringing up the past. He will talk if I bring it up, but he never brings it up himself.
WH meeting with new MC individually today, then we go together next week, maybe we can make some progress...
I told him all the time post Dday (first few months) that I needed reassurance frequently, but couldn't be more specific as I was so wounded I just wanted the bleeding to stop.
A little further out he was great about the ILY's, but would not bring up the A voluntarily, and that was not fair to me. I would ask him, do you think about it ever? Do you have feelings for her still? I would get the answers that were of course Not really, no. but not much more.
What I came to decide, and do as I continued to heal myself and get stronger, what I really wanted from him was the reassurance that he was happy he stayed, that he wanted to be with me, and the kids. I also realized he was a bit of an emotional retard. So I would have to be very specific with him on what I needed.
I would tell him I need to know at least on a weekly basis that you are happy with me, with the choice you made, and that you are doing everything you can to help me heal. You can choose how to do this anyway you want, by giving me a card, by saying some heartfelt words along those lines, by giving me a little extra attention, but so I know that you get it, and that you are here for me.
For me his actions spoke much louder than his words, and as we came to about the 5-6 month mark he was really really getting it, and doing what I needed. He would do silly things like leave candy on my car while I was working, send me an email out of the blue with some sweet message, that he would do some extra chore around the house that I dread. All of those things communicated to me the assurance that he was there to stay, because he wanted to be. Not because he had to be.
I hope this rambling makes some sense. But it is important for him to know that you need the assurance and that he is all in.
But I am reassured when:
1) He tells me how wonderful I am and how lucky he is to have me. Not just because he loves me but because of the way in which I've handled myself in this mess. There is something very reassuring about hearing him point this out because it shows that he gets my pain, while simultaneously complimenting me as a person, which shows appreciation and admiration. Appreciation and admiration were missing during the A, so these words are super helpful.
2) When I'm going batty about a specific thing or a trigger, even something seemingly inconsequential or indirect, I don't necessarily feel reassured by an "I'm sorry I caused this." But I do feel reassured when he gets right in there with me, as in, "yep, that makes sense, Rocky. What a mess. That would drive me crazy, too. Let's work together together to prevent or soothe the trigger." It is really reassuring to have him empathize with the trigger and NOT get a deer in headlights look and fumble around with "I'm sorry." It is almost like he feels crazy alongside me! He sees the crazy, I think, as an opportunity to build trust.