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t/j Reality is hard.

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wincings_sparkle posted 10/28/2013 21:19 PM

My BH did not commit to Reconciliation for 3 years. It was difficult, not knowing if any of the progress that I was making would change the outcome. I had to let go of the outcome, let go of trying to control the situation.

Then, as I became healthier, I started changing for me, not my BH, not my children, just me.

When my BH was angry, I let him be angry. When he was mean, I let him be mean. For about 2.5 years I let him process however he needed. He didn't ever get physical with me. The average day wasn't an issue. He'd trigger, have a day when he was cold and hateful. He usually would just be distant unless I pushed for an explanation. (I could be really pushy when I was digging at him.) I was learning about myself, learning about regulating my own emotions and I could literally see him processing.

Generalizing from my own experience: No "You" intended.

The fact that a BS is feeling secure enough with WS to be hateful is huge. The anger usually doesn't start coming out until a BS feels secure enough to express it. Don't internalize the BS's anger. Acknowledge it, validate their feelings by letting them know that they are heard and apologize for specifics. Then, let it go.

There came a point when I was done letting my BH be hurtful. I told him that if he couldn't treat me with common courtesy he could leave. He stopped being mean and hateful. I could have stopped this treatment at any time. I made a choice to accept it. I gave him that time and I'm glad that he took it.

It is not easy to watch your spouse's anger and process knowing that you are the cause. It is not easy to admit and accept that you are not the "cure". All you can do is be understanding and accept the process, respect them and yourself through the process. Knowing the source was your own actions cuts to the bone.

That knowing also allows you to understand and accept what some would consider abusive. I don't excuse what my husband did and said when he was angry. I understand it. There is a difference. I allowed it until it was no longer acceptable to me. This will be your choice. You can allow them time to work out their thoughts, time to be angry. It is your choice to accept it or not. You will know when you are done being the verbal punching bag.

Honestly, I wasn't ready to say enough until I felt that I had changed enough. YMMV. I personally felt that I had to earn a portion of my redemption. I could never undo what I did, there is no payment big enough to be redeemed for a betrayal of the magnitude that I perpetrated. I knew this early on. I felt and still feel that to save my marriage I had to accept my portion of the shit sandwich. I made it after all. I should have to choke it down. When I felt that I had eaten my fill, I said enough.

The Reality is drenched in empathy. Without empathy for your spouse's pain, you cannot accept their anger with any sort of grace. With empathy, you can accept it and allow it to not poison you. You allow it because you know the source, the wound that needs cleansed.

I would rather accept the cleansing of the wound than watch as the poison is stuffed down and allowed to fester. Why would I want my spouse to stuff down all of that anger and poison any future that we might have? Selfishness.

I hid from some of my spouses pain. In the beginning, I couldn't deal with any of his hurting so I pretended it wasn't there. This selfishness cost both of us. It compounded the hurt that he was feeling and I left him wounded and unvalidated... festering.

When I finally came out of the hole that I had crawled into, I had choices. I could have thrown away the chance to reconcile (it was slim but still there). Or I could accept my BS and his anger.
It was not my anger and there was the truth in that anger that I could now see clearly. Accepting it was worth the chance for me. My BH had always been a kind man before my A. His core values were still there, under the hurt and anger. I took that chance.

I was graced with a BH that looked up one day and listened to me, saw me and was amazed to find an adult where a child had once been. I grew up while my BH was angry. I needed to grow up and he had to get to a place where he could see my authenticity.

Sometimes, I look back and marvel at how far Wal and I have traveled. How grateful I am to God and Wal, how blessed we have been to have healed our marriage and our children. We have healed so much that we could even agree to adopt 2 children that have been through a nightmare. I would have not believed in the beginning that this would be our lives at this point in time. I would have thought that this was impossible. I would have been wrong. Anything is possible.

The shit sandwich was consumed by all and it all came out in the end. The Reality is that recovery is hard, it hurts, and then reconciling is hard, it hurts as it heals.

JMO, YMMV, Take What You Need and Leave the Rest.

gonnabe2016 posted 10/28/2013 23:17 PM

was amazed to find an adult where a child had once been.

^^^This is why I push so hard for the WS' that I encounter to work on themselves and stop focusing on the BS and the 'marriage.'

Apologies for 'past' behavior are wonderful. However, there's a point where they become hollow if no *change* is occurring.
Frequent texting, phone calls, flowers, proclamations of love are wonderful......and become 'hollow' if no *deeper level* change is occurring.

You, Sparkles, have hit on a 'touch-point' for me and a concept that is very important. The past is the past and it cannot be changed. That past will cling to a BS whether the future holds divorce or reconciliation. I became a wary (what some may refer to as a hard-ass) BS. I wanted to know what was *different* now. Whenever my stbx was presented with a 'fork in the road', I was watching to see which path he would take. In my circumstance, he always took the 'wrong' path. The one that illuminated in neon lights that he was still a *child*. If he had EVER shown a glimmer of *growing-up*, perhaps our family would have been able to remain intact.

In some instances, and I believe that this is an instance where you'll know it if you see it....the A is an immediate dealbreaker. In the cases where it isn't, though, the WS needs to realize that even through all of the anger, the disgust, the grilling the hatred, the non-committedness that the BS may be exhibiting -- the BS is *watching*.

The BS WANTS to see that grown-up instead of the child. Seeing a *grown-up* is what makes the difference, IMO.

Zayda1 posted 10/29/2013 04:12 AM

Thank you. Bookmarking this for WH to read.

heforgotme posted 10/29/2013 07:10 AM

The fact that a BS is feeling secure enough with WS to be hateful is huge. The anger usually doesn't start coming out until a BS feels secure enough to express it.

Wow. I never thought of it that way, but you are so exactly right. Excellent (and important) point.

*Edited bc I submitted too soon.....

[This message edited by heforgotme at 7:12 AM, October 29th (Tuesday)]

Neznayou posted 10/29/2013 07:52 AM

Thank you. One of the things I appreciate most about SI is the feeling of "I'm not the only one" I get. I also appreciate the stories from couples who have developed solid relationships despite the scars of infidelity.

cantaccept posted 10/29/2013 08:50 AM

This gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes.

I wish I knew how to quote.

The BS needs to feel safe enough to express the anger.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

This is where I am just getting. I have been stuffing it for a year. It has surface just recently.

I thought that I had just missed it or that I just didn't have it, I wondered if I was lacking the ability to feel it, I was wondering if there was something wrong with me.

It just became safe, that is all. Funny, but now that I know it is safe, now that I have let it out, only once so far, I feel better.

I still did it in a careful way, if that is possible. I screamed, I sobbed and I let loose with a string of very inventive obscenities. What I did not do was direct them at h, just at the pain of it all. Let it out of me and out into the world.

I have no clue if I am making sense but that is how it felt.

The best thing about it, he stayed with me. He did not try to stop me, he held me, he encouraged me to get it out. After I calmed he soothed my embarrassment, yes I felt shame for my behavior. He expressed his appreciation for my giving him a second chance.

I never would have thought in a million years that anger and screaming would bring you closer.

I have learned though that you do have to let it out.

Also, the reaction, be it comfort and understanding or rejection and dismissal, that is the key to getting past it, being able to let it go and move on to the R.

lostmylight55 posted 10/29/2013 19:48 PM

wincings_sparkle, excellent post.

I could have written this myself if I was better at writing. There are too many good insightful point in your post to pull out any one. Although I will...

Your point about growing up while your BH was angry was huge for me/us as well. I had to do a lot of growing up after d'day. It wasn't immediate and it wasn't smooth. My BW threw a lot of anger at me and I was defensive at first. I tried to protect myself but eventually realized that by protecting me, it was hurting my BW even more. As much as I didn't want to hear it, I couldn't dispute what she was saying about me. Once I dropped my defenses and listened to what she was saying, things started changing for me.

I had to let her be angry, to express her feelings no matter how hard it was to sit there and hear it. Her underlying pain was the hardest to absorb, more than the anger.

We are in a much better place now. The good days far out way the rough days. Like you say, recovery is hard.

Again, thank you for sharing this.

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