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what I really want for my birthday

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cantaccept posted 10/13/2013 05:15 AM

Tomorrow is my birthday. In that place of last year I thought this was real but now I now that was real. It sucks, it hurts, it physically hurts.

What I would really like for my birthday, what would have the most meaning to me? I have a list.

I would like empathy. I would like to hear him tell me that he thinks about what it must be like for me to live everyday with this knowledge. I think of what it must have been like for you when I left. The nights when you were here alone screaming and feeling so shocked and abandoned. It must have been terrible during the hurricane when the power went out. I know you always counted on me to be there with you, you must have been so heartbroken and afraid, it had only been a week and I was so terrible to you.

I would like a real apology. Not I am sorry that "this" happened. For everything and there is a lot. I am sorry that I made you feel disposable. I am sorry that I walked out on you and left you to suffer through all that pain alone. I don't know how I could have spent all day talking with her while you were at work and then looked you in the eye, let you do all the housework, cook for me, do for me and be so cold and self centered. I look back now and cannot comprehend how I could have not appreciated how much love you were giving me everyday. It wasn't that you were not loving, it was me, I took all my frustrations out on you and all you did was love me. I am so sorry that I treated you so shabbily. You are the best thing in my life and I didn't value or appreciate you. I see that now and I promise, from now on I will never lose sight of that again. I am so sorry for lying to you at the Park, I was being selfish again, protecting myself and not considering the damage that I was doing to you again.

I am sorry for the pain that you feel now because of my actions. I see you struggle every day and it breaks my heart to know that I am the cause.

I am sorry for taking away your trust. I see now what a gift that trust was, how valuable it is. I want to earn that back.

I am sorry that I caused this pain. I am sorry that I betrayed you in so many ways.

What can I do to help you, to help us?

I am willing to do whatever it takes to repair the damage that I caused. My life with you means everything to me. I am willing to invest all the time and energy that is required to heal us, to make you feel whole again. I have been resistant, just protecting myself, I am afraid of my own emotions, I know that I have to overcome that, work on that everyday if we are going to heal.

to be continued

blakesteele posted 10/13/2013 07:08 AM

Hi Cantaccept.

I hear the pain and hurt in your post...following you since the beginning so I know your journey as you post it on SI.

Curious if your husband has offered specific apologies?

Has he read How To Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair? Put it into practice if he has? My wife did....put into practice some of the suggestions, not all but really did help. Even though you are a ways out from DD, there is still good stuff to be used in this book.

Just noticed some of your recent posts indicate your intuition is up....feel your anxiety.

While I don't think it is healthy for a BS to try and figure out the motives of their fWS, I do think it healthy to express some reasonable expectations to the fWS (like...Thank you for your apology, I appreciate that. Can you be more specific please?)....and it is healthy for a fWS to do the same (like...Can we conclude our heavy discussions by 11:30 pm, except for when you are triggering, since I have to be at work by 7 am?)

Also, if you are like me....we key into specific word choices. I have found it more beneficial to feel the flavor of my fWW actions then to actually analysis the texture of them....we are all humans, we will occasionally not use the exact right words....but if you can rise above some of the specific details it might help you to add to these constructive moments....rather then get defensive, which deconstructs these moments.

I realize that, in this one post, I suggested being specific and general all at the same time. There is a balance to this....I haven't reached it yet....but there is one to be strived for.

Dang if I don't feel your pain again.

This is really really challenging.

Keep the faith.

cantaccept posted 10/13/2013 08:00 AM

Hi blake,

H read How to Help, took him 6 months, no he has applied nothing.

I am riding the roller coaster, the accelerated version.

The biggest hurdles for us at this moment are, (I think anyways)

Lack of consistency from h. I am vulnerable, express pain.

One of two things happens,

a. he is supportive, listens, says I'm sorry "this" happened. Not great but I get his struggle.

b. He becomes defensive and puts the blame on me for taking so long to heal.

I never know, cannot predict what his response will be. It is a risk every time.

His lack of effort. Sporadic reading, a couple of paragraphs and then he is done.

I printed for him, at his request, What every wayward needs to know, after 3 weeks he is on page 2, I think, because they are turned over. I don't ask anymore about the reading because it does nothing but cause an argument. At this point the choice is his.

Also, he has not faced his actions. Mostly I think he is so good at compartmentalizing that he never even thinks of them until he looks at me. Then he becomes angry at me, like I am the source of his discomfort. It is crazy.

It has been up and down like this every couple of days.

He started with a new IC this week. Thankfully, first one was telling him that my reactions were too extreme. Not good.

After 2 days of not talking to each other except for the most trivial and polite exchanges, we had a real conversation this morning.

I asked him for the truth. Tell me what is really happening inside you. Do you want this marriage? Do you want your life with me? Please just tell me the truth. The truth will not cause me any more pain than the pain I am in now. I can accept the truth, feel it, recover from it but this just feels like limbo, it is causing more pain daily. I do not want you to stay with me out of pity, obligation, shame, fear of what your family will think. I want you to stay because you love me, because our marriage, your life with me is more important than anything else. If you do not feel that way please be honest, it is okay, I will live with it, recover from it, I can live with the truth but I cannot live with this ambivalence.

If you don't feel like this is the most important thing to you, please tell me, let me go, I want to be loved completely and honestly, if you do not give me the chance to start a new life. I honestly was prepared for him to walk and I knew I would be okay, it would hurt but so does this.

He broke down and cried for the first time. He said that he needs to face what he has done. He says he feels the pain but shuts it down and does not express it. He says he feels anger at himself and is afraid of the other emotions. He said that the thought of losing me terrifies him.

I told him I want my life with you but it is not going to work unless we go through this together, face the events, talk about them, cry about them, together. It will not just go away on it's own. Just because you don't look at the elephant doesn't make it not there. It is real, it is a part of our life now and must be dealt with.

If we don't deal with it honestly and openly we will not last. I will not be able to love you like I want to, I will always feel as if I am betraying myself, wonder if you are truly committed to me if we are not honest about all of this.

We are going to fill in the blanks of a calendar I made. Several weeks ago I told him that there are a lot of dates coming up that are going to be especially painful for me. At the time he seemed to want to know, but he has yet to even look at it.

We talked about that this morning also. He avoids it because it causes him pain.

So, today we are going to fill in the blank days, the days I have questions about. I guess it is our time line. We will see how it goes, if it even happens.

Cheryl Crow, just this line, "are you strong enough to be my man?"

That goes through my mind over and over.

It feels good to know I am strong, it still hurts, but I AM STRONG.

I will update later, if I have any brain cells left at all.

strength and honor

(isn't that from a movie?)

eachdayisvictory posted 10/13/2013 09:03 AM

thanks for this post. It was real and honest, I can feel the pain and confusion in your words that I have felt so often. We make plans like you as well; reading, him doing some writing, total truth, but it feels wrong when I am the only one who starts these. When I feel like if I don't ask him to do it, he won't.
The only reason that I can keep going is that when we do talk, he is open about the reasons he is having difficulty managing the shame and guilt, and that I see at least one small action taken from him each time we talk about it. I am giving time to our recovery, but it's so hard to know how long to wait to see changes and actions the way I need to see them.
I have learned from our experience and this site that I can expect a long roller coaster of progress and set-backs, and the important thing is to check that it's right for me every now and then.

You are phenomenally strong. I'm glad to hear your pride in that fact, it's one of the only things about myself that I feel proud of these days.

Sending all the support I can to you, and perhaps the knowledge that your story and struggle are helping people like me will make a difference to you today.

cantaccept posted 10/13/2013 09:49 AM


Wow, the idea that I am helping someone else makes me smile. Kind of like, REAllY!?

It is a struggle for me every day. I do feel the internal strength growing. There is no turning back for me now. To go back to the "old life", I would have to have a lobotomy.

Now that I see what is possible, see what I want, see what I deserve, I could never go back and accept so little.

I am glad if my story helps someone else.

Sometimes I wonder if people see the user name and go "oh no, another novel"

It really helps me to put my thoughts out here. It organizes things in my head and it seems to force me to be absolutely honest. I feel kind of an obligation to be brutally honest because I see it from others.

Not that I lie a lot but I guess honest with myself, what I really feel and not what I "think" I should feel.

Here I go again...

I really must get something tangible accomplished today. I want to paint the living room and here I am on SI again.

My life line...

Never would have gotten through this without all of the compassionate, wonderful people here.

StillStanding1 posted 10/14/2013 15:08 PM

I didn't see this yesterday, but saw it referenced in your irthday thread today and wanted to read it. So glad I did. As per usual, I feel like you manage to pen the thoughts that are raging inside my head!!!! Ugh. I truly feel your pain. If I weren't at a waterpark with my DS, I would've started sobbing at these posts!!! God, how I wish there were the remorse that would lead to these apologies and insights. I'm beginning to let go of the hope that I'll ever get them. And without something like this, we are done.

Sometimes I wonder if people see the user name and go "oh no, another novel"

Not a chance. I ALWAYS want to read your posts. You speak straight to ( and from) my heart.

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