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1bigidiot79 posted 10/24/2013 11:30 AM

My BW has opened up a little in the last couple of days. It is bittersweet because even though I'm thankful she is finally talking to me about very hard things, the reality of the situation is dire at best.

When you hear things like... how long are you willing to just live cordially in the house and what if things never get better, how long will you stay? Things like I do not know you, I never knew you and I was fooled when I married you. She says her counselor doesn't see much hope and that almost all the people she has talked to say they would be gone.

She is just totally hopeless. She has resigned herself to the fact that she cannot ever trust me and that I will never change and she is just going to live in the house for the sake of our son. She says she cannot even think about letting me touch her again.

I know, I know everyone is going to say at least she is in the house and you need to make the most of that opportunity to show her. It's just hard to do that with the energy that I need to have to do it when she is just so hopeless. I feel like I can't bail the water out of the lifeboat fast enough and we are going down. It's not that I'm not trying it's just that the water is coming too quickly.

I have told her all the things to reassure her that I understand how she feels now and that I am committed to making this work and in time she will she the change but she doesn't ever see it happening. The reality of the situation is there is nothing I can say or do right now to make her feel any differently and that is hard for me. I know it is the every day repetition of transparency and trustworthiness that will ultimately begin to make a difference. It's just hard to hear words like that come from someone that I love so dearly.

Sorry for the trouble...I just needed to get it out. I don't have many people to talk to about this.

painfulpast posted 10/24/2013 11:56 AM

BS here. No stop sign, so -

What does she say she wants you to do? Does she want you to stay in the house? Does she want you to leave? Does she want you speaking to her, or no?

I'm sorry - not fun questions I know. I think right now she needs to have her feelings respected, even if it isn't what you want. A BS feels so unloved and disrespected, as if they don't matter at all. If you can, please respect her requests, even if it kills you. Let her know that you are doing it because it is what she wants, but that it does not mean that you are not sorry, and that you will still and always do whatever it takes to show her how much she means and also for her to see how truly sorry and ashamed you are.

Sorry you're having troubles. I think sometimes it's impossible for a WS to truly understand the pain of a BS. You say you know how she feels, but I doubt that. I don't say this to hurt you. I say it as a bit of a warning maybe? I wouldn't tell her you know how she feels. I know if my WS had said that to me soon after DDay, it would have been another slap. How could he know? And if he knew, then why did he put me through it?

Your wife is hurting. I know you want to make things better. Right now, the best way to do that is to respect her wishes. Never stop letting her know how much you care, but show her that she means something to you by respecting her wishes.

Good luck.

Neznayou posted 10/24/2013 12:15 PM

t/j... Painfulpast, I am struck by your signature line ... Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right.... My husband says that and it took me sooooo long to understand what he meant. Until now, I've never heard it from anyone else.

nicjean83 posted 10/24/2013 12:16 PM

Hi big!

may I inquire as to when your d-Day was? Just curious how long it has been it sounds pretty fresh. thats the boat I am in right now. Trying to understand How my BS is feeling. I KNOW it's gotta be crazy difficult for him to get over what I have done. Reality is something we have to face. Last night I was hit with everytime I look at you i see him F&*^ing you. I felt so embarassed and ashamed. and guilty. we as WS deserve this reality hit. The sooner you can accept the pain and damage we caused the better. . I'd give anything to hug my hubby again. but he is not ready to be touched by me either. If you feel this way as well. you should TELL HER she needs the reasurance you still love and want her. If looks pretty one day tell her. if you miss her while at work or out somewhere, text her and tell her. Let her yell if she needs to yell. Let her take a break and visit a friend if she needs to.

as for her councilor. Umm I think she needs a new one!!! STAT. It is not a C's job to discurage. It's thier job to help you find hope! mention this to her that her C is not helping. also. are you 2 seeing marriage Councilor ( MC) make sure you are both together working on this. This ( though it will be hard or her to accept) it BOTH your problem. it has to be solved together.
best wishes to you and your family

painfulpast posted 10/24/2013 12:26 PM

as for her councilor. Umm I think she needs a new one!!! STAT. It is not a C's job to discurage. It's thier job to help you find hope!

Respectfully, it is a councilorís job to help sort through feelings and make decisions, not Ďhelp find hopeí, and his BSís definition of hope may not be yours or mine.

As a BS, I can tell you that there were days when my C told me things didnít look good, and days when they did. My C was great Ė always helping me get to the end of a thought when, as a BS, your mind is spinning so fast you sometimes have no idea what is even true. Also, if my WS had told me that I needed a new councilor because he wasnít saying what my WS wanted him to say, I would be very upset. I would feel like my WS wasnít interested in my healing, but in my getting to a place where I could feel normal being with him again. No, my WS had to let me decide if I liked my councilor or not.

At best, maybe ask why he or she likes the councilor, and see if there is thoughts on not liking him/her. If so, perhaps then suggest a new one. But donít do it simply because you donít like what is being said. You donít know the context, and again, it seems like youíre pushing for a specific outcome and not what is in the best interest of your BS.

1bigidiot79 posted 10/24/2013 12:52 PM

Some of the others know my story . I need to put it in my profile I guess. The short of it is I did not have an affair but rather lied to my wife from the inception of our relationship about looking at pornography. She feels the entire relationship is a lie. Dday was in July.

Painfulpast - I have been respecting her wishes. I have been giving her space and doing what she has asked. She just started to open up a lot more today. She hasn't asked me to leave. I'm sleeping in the spare bedroom. Up until now she has been cordial except when we have tried to talk about it and she explodes in anger (rightfully so).

She says she doesn't know if she even wants to be happy with me. I asked her if she wanted to be happy with me if she knew I could make the changes and love her unconditionally and she said she didn't know.

That is hard to swallow.

nicjean83 posted 10/24/2013 13:19 PM

and I am now even more grateful for the C we have found. i can't agree with a C speaking to a BS or a WS in this manor. you go to a C why??? you need hope. you need to know and figure out how to survive so If I had a C tell me "it doesn't look good." Or there wasn't hope. I'd be out of there!!!

All mine does is speak positively. She knows how messed up we were before the A but she doesn't let onto that in a negative manor. She just acknowledges it, shifts gear and talks about how to fix this. how to be better with one another. It's almost like being in a relationship/communication class. and in just a short 3 weeks we are being different. BETTER with one another. We are calmer more respectful. every convo using her techniques gives us... HOPE! So no I don't agree with a C having that kind of attitude with those who are injured. Would you want a dentist to shove the metal scrapper in youR cavity???? I know for my BS hearing " It doesn't look good" would be doing just that!

[This message edited by nicjean83 at 1:21 PM, October 24th (Thursday)]

painfulpast posted 10/24/2013 13:44 PM

Would you want a dentist to shove the metal scrapper in youR cavity???? I know for my BS hearing " It doesn't look good" would be doing just that!

???What? A councilor is there to help you work through your issues. Not provide 'hope'. What if your dream is to become the most notorious serial killer? Should your C give you hope? No.

If you want to pay for hope, go to a mind reader. Seriously, a counselor is to help a person work through issues. You don't know the context of the BS saying that. It could be "Well, is your WS doing the work?" "Yes" "Well, how do you feel about that? Does that make you happy?" "I don't really care." "Well, if that's your attitude towards the marriage and your WS making efforts, then what do you want to happen?" "I want to be left alone and never have to think about his affair again!" "Well, if that's what you want, is there really much hope for the marriage?"

And she goes home and says 'C doesn't see much hope'. You don't know what went on in the counselor's office. But thinking a C's job is to provide hope meaning the marriage will work out is not true, period. If the BS here doesn't want the marriage to work, then saying there isn't much hope of that is providing hope.

As an outsider, before saying someone 'needs' a new counselor, shouldn't the question be 'does your BS like her counselor?' You're looking for a predetermined outcome to counseling. Also, you're bringing up your MC sessions. This is IC. No one goes to MC to hear 'well, there isn't much hope here'.

There are a great many viewpoints, and courses of action. A counselor can assist in finding the roots of problems, and in helping to determine a course of action. They aren't leprechauns - they aren't there to provide hope. I'm sorry, but that isn't their purpose.

painfulpast posted 10/24/2013 13:55 PM

1bigidiot79 - I just read some of your earlier posts. I'm going to change my answer. I think your wife is being VERY hard on you. I understand that she isn't accepting of pornography. Fine. And yes, you lied, but lying about that is understandable. Not acceptable, but after 3 months if she can't see that you were embarrassed to discuss it, particularly given her extremely unforgiving nature, then she doesn't want to understand it.

You didn't 'cheat'. You looked at full on naked pornography. Your wife has been punishing you for 3 months. No, I don't look at her as a BS. There was no infidelity. Her pain isn't remotely close to someone that has a spouse that has cheated. She is punishing you, and it sounds like she's using your pornography as justification to end the marriage. She may want you living in the home, but she doesn't want to be your wife any longer. It's very unfair to you.

Let's break this down - you looked at adults having sex. That is all. You did not tell your wife to act like the women in porn. You did not tell your wife you wanted to behave like people in porn. You didn't do ANYTHING except look at grown ups having sex. For that, she has slept in another bed for 3 months? Excessive.

I apologize. I know you want to be with your wife. But you left a church position over this (I promise, others in your church look at porn). You've been acting as if you cheated on your wife. You did not. You looked at something that is legal. Your wife may not like that you looked at it, but it is legal.

Let me ask you this - honestly - do you feel your wife is overreacting, or do you hold the beliefs that she does - and that you are evil and need to repent and are not a man worthy of a wife because you looked at porn?

If you feel like almost every man on the planet, you enjoy porn but you aren't using it as a tool to get through life. Your wife sounds extremely uptight. That's ok - lots of people are - but I do believe she is punishing you for not behaving the way she wants you to. This isn't about a breach of trust, other than saying you don't look at porn - and that's what most people say, yet it's a billion dollar industry.

Really, I think you are jumping through hoops for a woman that will eventually find fault with something else that you do, if she ever lets you off the hook for looking at something that most men (and a great deal of women) look at. Others will disagree with me, but as a BS, if I could trade what my H did for what you did, I would in a second - and I bet every other BS here would say the same.

If I were you, I would probably have a discussion about being an adult and boundaries. Your wife, imo, is acting very childish and quite spoiled. That's my opinion. Again, I'm sure others will disagree.

nicjean83 posted 10/24/2013 13:58 PM

I just can't and you can't get me to believe it's ok for a C to be negative. when you are knocked down you don't need to be kicked. when you go in to fix something, negativity will only chip away at you more. And telling someone there isn't much hope. Is about as negative as you can get!

painfulpast posted 10/24/2013 14:02 PM

i just can't and you can't get me to believe it's ok for a C to be negative. when you are knocked down you don't need to be kicked. when you go in to fix something, negativity will only chip away at you more. And telling someone there isn't much hope. Is about as negative as you can get!

Did you read my post? It may not have been negative. And you may want something destructive, so yes, they can be negative. If you want to stay with a serial cheater, they can be negative.

You have a very narrow opinion on this, so I'm just going to let it go. It has nothing to do with the original poster's issue and we're being a bit rude continuing this.

OP - I did respond again to your original request.

DixieD posted 10/24/2013 17:50 PM

Bigidiot, your wife is acting like any one of the BS on this forum. Regardless if you physically cheated on your wife or not - you lied to her and gaslighted her for the entire run of your marriage. Obviously the moderators on this site don't have issue with you being on this infidelity forum specifically, and you can get help here.

You need to accept that you created this situation. You and you alone. That is the reality. Stop trying to control the outcome and just do. Work on yourself and not just while looking at your wife hoping she notices the work you are doing. That's manipulation and a BS can spot that a mile away. It is hard, but you work regardless if your wife says it's hopeless. This is a rollercoaster - feeling hopeless comes with the territory. If you are so tied to your wife's moods that you spiral down when she goes down, you will both sink. Find strength within yourself to work on this for both of you.....or don't.

Painfulpast, do you really want to compare betrayals? Do the LTA BS's tell the WS's who had a ONS's that their BS are overreacting? That their spouses shouldn't be upset or they should get over it already? How is that helpful?

It doesn't matter what your opinion is of BigIdiot's betrayal because you are not his BS. It matters how she feels, and clearly she feels betrayed.

gonnabe2016 posted 10/24/2013 19:14 PM

I'm riding Dixie's bus. I just cannot stand behind some of the advice that you've been given.

I see no good outcome for a WS that tells his/her BS:
"your counselor isn't helping you";
"my betrayal is a *we* problem"; OR (god forbid)
"it was *just* porn. It's legal. Stop being so childish."

BigIdiot -- you gotta stop looking to your BS. Like Dixie said: you cannot be so influenced by your BS' mood or words. Her sentence about spiraling is spot-on.

I asked her if she wanted to be happy with me if she knew I could make the changes and love her unconditionally and she said she didn't know

Stop asking and just DO IT!!!!
Show your BS that you are capable of standing on your own two feet and 'carrying your own water'. You shouldn't be making any changes just to get a 'cookie' or some kind of praise or some type of promise or affirmation from your BS.

If you feel that changes need to be made within yourself so that you become the person that YOU want to be.....then make those changes. But making *changes* only to attempt to guarantee the outcome that you a recipe for disaster and is bound to blow up in a spectacular fashion.

1bigidiot79 posted 10/24/2013 19:23 PM

Dixie, thanks for the tough love. You are exactly right that I let my BW's emotions affect me. It is very hard for me to not plead and beg for her to just give me a little hope and hang on her every word. I do better some days than others.

I know I have to just work, work, work every single day as hard as I can regardless of how she responds. I keep telling myself that. I also know that I can't let myself get down because it seems like what I'm doing isn't working. I have to remind myself that every good thing I do IS being noticed by her even if she doesn't act like it.

I'm trying very hard to do the work but I'm finding it very difficult to find any concrete answers as to why I felt the need to lie to her. My IC helped me realize that I was very afraid of disappointing my mother and I may have carried that over into my marriage but I think that's just an excuse. My answer right now is just that I would do it when I was bored and I was a selfish butthole for choosing it over my wife. I was very ashamed but that is just an excuse too. The single greatest thing to come out of this so far is the fact that I now have an accountability partner for the first time. It has helped tremendously but while that is good, it still doesn't help me know why I did what I did in the first place.

DixieD posted 10/24/2013 23:22 PM

Sorry if I came across as blunt, that wasn't my intention.

BI, my husband spent time scrambling as you describe because he was very tied into my moods and my moods were not good for a long time. If he asked for some sort of hope or reassurance from me, honestly, it just made me more angry. I could not give it. I didn't know what I wanted, what I was feeling exactly or what to do about it.

Thankfully, he broke out of that cycle and was able to stand on his own two feet and carry his own water, as Gonna said. Not easy, because he'd never done that before. I started to gain more respect for him when I saw he was able to do that.

You won't find your why's overnight. I know that is difficult for a WS (and BS too), with the added pressure because a BS probably wants these answers, like yesterday. When you think you've found something, ask why again. Keep digging. Sometimes you will hear people refer to it as peeling back an onion, removing layer upon layer. It's a process. And of course, when you discover these things, make a plan of how you are going to change these behaviors.

Keep at it. Keep posting. Good luck.

sailorgirl posted 10/24/2013 23:55 PM


I think your IC might be on to something about your relationship with your mother being similar to the dynamic with your wife.

Had your wife every withdrawn her approval or affection from you in a punishing way before d-day?

Did she ever withhold sex before or make you work to "deserve" it?

Is she critical of other things about you besides the lie about porn?

Did you really gaslight her? Did you make her feel crazy for suspecting your porn use, or tell her it was her fault you looked at naked pics? Are we really just talking naked pics on an occasional basis?

I do think it's possible that your wife has some issues beyond being a BS. I would consider doing a bit of a 180. Keep working on being your authentic self. Be a great dad and do well at work and keep up all the good platonic stuff you do for your wife. But detach from her reactions.

Become the person who meets your own approval. Get proud of yourself. Your wife may be like your mother in that nothing will ever be good enough. If so, she needs counseling, too.

1bigidiot79 posted 10/25/2013 08:01 AM

sailorgirl, we are talking about naked pics on a sporadic basis. My BW's primary issue here really isn't about the porn. It is 100% about the lies. She says I have destroyed her by lying to her about this from the time I met her. I have talked to my IC about this and here is my argument. When we start dating someone we want to put the best foot forward, right? So as an immature teenager I chose to hide that part of my life. As that immature teenager, I didn't think I had a problem, I just thought I was a horny teenager and when when we got serious and got engaged my thinking was it would go away or I would quit looking at it when we got married. Well, that didn't happen. I still chose to hide it because I was truly ashamed. I kept telling myself I would stop and I wouldn't do it again. Before I knew it the cycle had been going on for years. Because of this, my BW views our entire marriage as a lie. She says she doesn't even know me. She says she was fooled or tricked into marrying someone she didn't know. She says she loved someone she thought she knew.

The difference this time is I have truly hit rock bottom with this. Before I tried to do it on my own. Now I have came clean and I have confided in one of my best friends and he has agreed to be my accountability partner. As far as the porn goes I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off of me. That is why it is so hard for me to hear my BW say the things she is saying because I know in my heart I am making lasting changes in my life. Will I ever fail again? Most likely. The difference is now my problem is out in the open and I do not feel the need to hide it any longer.

Now, with all that being said, how do I reconcile what I consider to be faithfulness and truthfulness in every aspect of our marriage with the exception of this one thing with her perception that the entire marriage was a lie? I think I have to operate here under her point of view because whether she is right or wrong makes no difference. Perception is reality and her perception is our marriage was a lie. I truly do want to carry my own water and stand up and be a man. I know I need to distance myself from her emotions with the exception of continuing to show her empathy and remorse. Just as the title of this thread says, reality is hard. Doing all these things are harder than knowing and saying them. I am trying. I just have to believe that if I just keep bailing the water eventually we might wash up on the shore.

sailorgirl posted 10/25/2013 23:09 PM

It seems like your BW may be prone to black and white thinking.

When we fall victim to Black and White Thinking, we have mistakenly reduced an entire spectrum of possibilities down to the two most extreme options, each the polar opposite of the other without any shades of grey in between. Often, those categories are of our own creation, and we are attempting to force the world to conform to our preconceptions about what it should look like.

Either her whole marriage is a lie, or it's completely authentic. Either you are were a good husband or a terrible one.

Either she can trust you completely or she cannot ever trust you at all. Either you are the person she has known since you were teenagers, or you're a complete stranger.

You see how she's made these the only two possibilities, and she's going with the second of each pair.

But that's simply not reality. Most human beings are both selfish and compassionate, flawed and admirable, sinful yet capable of great kindness.

You are obviously a devoted, thoughtful, patient husband and father. You are the same person she fell in love with. Yes, you hid a small part of your self because you were ashamed. You couldn't admit that trying to handle it on your own wasn't working. That's a very common human failing.

She says she cannot even think about letting me touch her again.

This must feel like a punch in the gut. It's cruel and sounds shaming to me. Was she generous with physical affection pre d-day?

I think I have to operate here under her point of view because whether she is right or wrong makes no difference.

I would like to respectfully disagree. It is your job to judge yourself (and God is the ultimate judge). Your BW does not get to decide for you whether you are a good, trustworthy, authentic or faithful person. She can have her opinion, but you must not accept it as the truth.

You and God alone know whether you're doing your best to strive for those qualities. You have already succeeded in many ways throughout your marriage, and recently you have tackled a very challenging fault head on.

I just have to believe that if I just keep bailing the water eventually we might wash up on the shore.

Say you bail the boat dry, repaint the hull, put up all new sails, learn to read nautical charts, get a degree from the Naval Academy and spend years perfecting your sailing techniques. Your BW may still say that you're a horrible sailor because one time, you capsized. Is she right?

1bigidiot79 posted 10/26/2013 14:37 PM

sailorgirl, wow, thanks for taking the time for such a thoughtful response. I must agree with you that my BW is thinking in a black and white manner. This entire time since DDay even though I have been bending over backwards and doing everything I possibly can to show her how much I love her and how incredibly sorry I am that I lied to her, there has been a part of me that says she is taking this too far. My counselor has basically said the same thing. He thinks there is something in her past that is causing this.

I'm hoping once we move from IC to MC at some point some of these issues can be discussed and put on the table. She told me that her IC has been doing this a long time and that she told her that she sees no hope for us. Who says that? My IC couldn't believe she was told that and said it was borderline unethical given our situation.

I hope no one thinks I'm trying to take the easy road out here. You can read my other posts and see that I definitely am not. I do however think that I would be doing myself an injustice to not at least question my BW's response to this. I am admitting I screwed up big time but is this grounds for her reaction?

Can someone else weigh in here ? I am kind of torn. Part of me wants to treat this like a true affair and give her everything and more but part of me says, yes I screwed up but the punishment doesn't fit the crime. Opinions anyone?

20WrongsVs1 posted 10/26/2013 15:32 PM

Whew. I'm distressed that your wife's IC says there's no hope for your M. FTN.

No, I don't look at her as a BS. There was no infidelity. Her pain isn't remotely close to someone that has a spouse that has cheated.

Respectfully, painfulpast, nobody here has the right to be the "who hurts more" arbiter, minimize the pain of a BS, or invalidate how someone labels themselves. Read my story, I'm sensitive to that shit because some on SI considered my BH "less betrayed" than others because of our unconventional M.

1Big, I take hope from her opening up recently. Focus on that. We're 6 months post DDay and just in the last couple weeks have started feeling like a "team" again. Hang in there.

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