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Regaining respect for WS

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roses303 posted 10/12/2013 10:53 AM

We talk a lot about the process of rebuilding trust. It is such an important part of reconciliation and there is a process of doing it over time.

There seems to be much less out there about regaining respect. I have no respect for WH right now. I know there were some pre-A issues making this problem worse in our case but I'm guessing this might be an issue in other relationships.

It worries me because so many of the marriage books talk about how men need respect and admiration from their wives and how contempt is a destroyer of marriages. So how do we start respecting our WSs again. I know I will someday be able to forgive and accept with time but respect seems so much more difficult.

Blobette posted 10/12/2013 11:41 AM

So true. I used to say that the secret of a happy marriage (back in the days when people used to ask me how we managed it for 20-plus years, back in the days when I used to think I had a handle on this...) was genuinely thinking the other person was better than you in some profound way. Well, that's been blown to bits for me. When I look at WH, I see this seething mess of out-of-control, childish neediness. I see someeone whose inner demons were such that he did something seriously fucked up. I see someone I don't really trust.

I think this is slowly changing over time, but it's taking a while...

sisoon posted 10/12/2013 12:35 PM

It probably takes as long to rebuild respect as it does to rebuild trust. As a remorseful WS heals herself, she'll rebuild both. It just takes time.

UnexpectedSong posted 10/12/2013 13:34 PM

genuinely thinking the other person was better than you in some profound way

Wow. That is not how I define respect.

broken81 posted 10/12/2013 15:59 PM

I had to start focusing on the things I had not lost respect for.
For example before and after his A he is a hardworker.
I started to try to think of things to put on the list.
I really didnt like the feeling of not having any respect for him so I looked for the things that I might have overlooked.
I started to repect how hard he was trying to change himself...thats hard to do and stick with.
Even if it was something as dumb as how nice he keeps the lawn. its a little building block building up to someday being where he was.
he will probably never be as much as before just like trust but he can get closer.

ItsaClimb posted 10/13/2013 00:56 AM

You've raised something I have been thinking about a lot lately.

I have been wondering how on earth I will ever dredge up any respect for my fWH ever again, because when I look at him all I see is, as Blobette said "this seething mess of out-of-control, childish neediness"

How can I respect someone who would do all those deeply disgusting things, without a moment's guilt or shame? Right now I have ZERO respect.

sailorgirl posted 10/13/2013 08:45 AM

I respect the courage it took for my H to admit that he was deeply messed up, and to go to IC twice a week for months to talk about all the ways he is damaged.

I respect the guts it takes to stay with me and really listen when I'm heartbroken or furious. It takes a ton of self control to stop the instinct to defend himself. He keeps owning his shit in words and actions.

I respect the hard work he's done to come out of denial and face an abusive childhood. He had lied to himself for so long and it was deeply scary and painful for him to stop and admit the truth.

I admire him for the strength of character it takes to be honest about what he did, to feel huge shame, but to refuse to get stuck in a pity party or go back to denial. Instead, he is starting to go beyond the self-disgust and become a better person who will not do anything like this again.

eachdayisvictory posted 10/13/2013 08:52 AM

I agree with the responses in general. I can respect the hard work my H is doing now. I can respect the changes he has made, and the courage he is finding now that he never had before.
As far as men needing respect, I find that we build that through a sense of 'togetherness' about our work lives. He is talking to ME about those stresses now, and I can find lots of things to respect in his work efforts, his changes in handling stress and people at work, and his constant checking-in with me about decisions.

I can't and never will respect his decision to engage in the affair. That can only be repaired for me with true and constant remorse, and me making regular checks with him about what he feels about his betrayal NOW. I told him that I cannot stay in our M if he holds on to any justifications or sees the A as something that was inevitable. It's hard slugging, but my needs are being met - and I have some respect for him from that.

morethantrying posted 10/13/2013 19:53 PM

I think it is important to remember that the A is NOT everything that they are, and if (and this is not always easy) we can put aside our hurt and disbelief for a while, we know that there is so much more to this very, very human person....we are all human and it ain't pretty, but we are all so much more as well and ALWAYS have the capacity to grow and change.....we ALL make horrible mistakes...different kinds...but we are all human deserving of love and respect....I hope my WH can also love and forgive me for the many things I have done over the years that were "human" as well...compassion for the struggle of being "human" is the precursor to respect I think...and we should be compassionate and loving to ourselves as well...we are sooooo forgive, care and "eventually" let go and love.

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