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feeling lots of guilt suddenly- WS welcome

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painfulpast posted 11/2/2013 08:29 AM

My fWH had an EA with a former girlfriend. Their history is fairly ugly and I never even thought of her. Besides, she lived as far south as possible, and I'm in the north - a few thousand miles can make a person feel relatively secure. Along comes myspace and FaceBook, and poof - distance means nothing.

DDay was nearly 3 years ago. the EA ended over 3 years ago. Yes, he ended it well before I found out, and it was relatively short comparatively - 2 1/2 months. He started it, and he ended it. She was not ready for it to be over, and spent 4 months begging him to call her. I have the emails. So does her BS. I have no worries that he really wanted to be with her.

He did the usual - said terrible things about me, about us. Said he was only here because he felt sorry for me, said it 'wasn't that kind of relationship' and denied being married. Nothing new here.

So there's some of the backdrop. Here's the part that's on my mind these days - I feel terrible guilt for some of the things I've said to my H. I mean, really awful things. I was so hurt, and I wanted him to hurt, and I said some sickening things about his family (his family is, to put it nicely, a disaster). I went after him, at times, with everything I had in a very twisted arsenal. And today, I couldn't feel worse.

He's never mentioned any of the things I've said or done. Well, in arguments (fights really) he'll bring up things I've done, like him spending a weekend in jail or me destroying a LOT of his things, but he's never mentioned the things I've said. I know they get to him because he's lashed back with some terrible things of his own, but I always played the 'how dare you! I was CHEATED ON and I'll say whatever the hell I want!!'

How have others handled this? We are still in R, and for the most part we are amazing. Better than we've been in years. Yes, for me the EA is there, and I'd trade this amazingness to not have had that, but I'm sure he really doesn't think about it and he never even looks her up, and hasn't since 3 or 4 days after DDay, and then it was just to warn her (not good, but it wasn't some heartfelt goodbye or anything like that, so maybe that helps? I don't know half the time honestly).

I just feel terrible, and I don't know if I should tell him because it will only be dragging it all up, or should I just learn from this and be sure to never do this again? I just feel terrible and I can't stop crying because of the guilt. Help!!!

toughernow posted 11/2/2013 08:40 AM


I did the same thing. There were times when I was going off on him so bad that I sounded like someone with tourettes

Not my proudest moments. I try to tell myself that it was a traumatic circumstance and we both know that under "normal" circumstances I would not have behaved that way.

Having said that, I like you, have felt remorseful for the things that I have said to him. But, I am trying to remind myself that "guilt" over it is not going to help him or change anything in our R.

So, I am trying to walk that line in our "new" marriage where I can assert myself, but in healthy way.
I dont know how far you are into R, but we are 15 months and when I feel the anger welling up inside I am just now starting to get better at diffusing it.

I find coming here to the forum very helpful.

eachdayisvictory posted 11/2/2013 08:51 AM

I have recently begun feeling some of these things, and I thought about what I expect of remorse from my H. We were telling our 4 year old son about apologizing one night, that he has to say 'why and what' he is sorry for in order to make it real and meaningful. He said that he didn't want to say what he did because it was embarrassing and he didn't know how to say it. We told him that him feeling embarrassed meant that he didn't like what he did, and he really is sorry, so it is so important to figure out the words to use, and to say what you did even if you're embarrassed.

From the mouths of babes. It was like a moment of awakening for me. H and I talked that night and I told him that's what I need from him; when he has a trigger or gets down about shame, he needs to tell me why and apologize for the specific act he was sorry for. It has made the world of difference for us. When I used to think he got down and missed the OW, now I know that he's thinking 'how could I have done that to you', and I am free to work on forgiveness instead of worrying about whether or not I should stay with him based on my assumptions of his mind.

When he says sorry in a real way, I feel loved. Really loved.

My point is, you are well into R, 3 years out, you clearly love your H and feel loved by him now, right? So if you are feeling sorry about something hurtful you did to him, why not write him a letter and lay it all out? No doubt it will help him feel loved, and he will see that you are willing to hold yourself accountable for your relationship just as much as he is.

Just a thought.

painfulpast posted 11/2/2013 09:15 AM

Thanks - it helps knowing at least I'm not alone here.

I really like both ideas - write him a heartfelt letter, and to really learn from it and use it. I'm definitely not like I was 2 years ago, but I wonder if I haven't let my nasty comment self become who I am when I'm upset. I need to work on this, definitely.

Thank you!

Rebreather posted 11/2/2013 10:42 AM

I just think apologizing for poor behavior is never the wrong choice. Nor is hiding our feelings. Let him know how you are feeling. Be honest and authentic. I think that will be a good thing.

cantaccept posted 11/2/2013 10:54 AM

I recently apologized to h for something I had done 7 years ago. Until I expressed my feelings of remorse to him I felt like it was something always between us.

I tried through actions through the years to atone but I don't think he saw it.

By opening up and really saying how I see how I hurt him and how it must have made him feel and how sorry that I caused his pain, seemed to finally put it in the past. Resolve it. It seemed to make him feel better and it helped me too. By expressing this to him I felt a weight of shame lift from me, it was healing for me too.

I wish he were able to do this, I know it would be healing for both of us.

TheAmazingWondertwin posted 11/2/2013 17:58 PM

I too had to come clean about things I had done in the past and kept hidden. I never cheated- this was about things before I had ever met him, but I lied for our entire marriage about them.
My guilt over the deception really messed with my head after d day. In the process of R, I felt I had to come clean.
It was so hard- but being able to explain why I lied and how sorry I was for how it effected him (he knew I was lying but never knew exactly WHAT I was lying about ad it are at him for 15 years)..
I remember being angry that I was feeling guilty when HE was the one who cheated. Why should I apologize?
But we had decided on complete honesty and I couldn't keep it from him. I loved him and felt so awful for having hurt him- he had hurt me, but I saw this as a separate issue from the A. It was mine to own.
Telling him how horrible I felt and how sorry I was opened a whole new road of communication for us. It was a turning point and we continue to build on it.
If you feel you hurt him- tell him. And explain how you feel about hurting him. My WH was very appreciative that I would even think to consider his feelings during this. He was shocked and touched.
I decided to R Because I love my husband. I do not want to hurt him- despite the chaos he has brought upon us.
Telling someone you are sorry for hurting them cannot be a bad thing. No matter how long ago it was.

Hugs to you :)

Unagie posted 11/2/2013 18:17 PM

Things he said and did to me after my confession still haunt me. He die things that were blatantly meant to degrade me and laughed when he did them. For example *warning TMI* he asked me to make love one day and I was desperate for intimacy with him, we'd spoken about how physical intimacy was non existent this was a few months past dday. Well we have sex and right before he orgasms he pulls out, straddles my chest and lets loose on my face....he's 100 lbs heavier then me, I couldn't even struggle. I just laid there in tears afterwards. I have mentioned it to him and his response was "oh you cheated on me but my doing that was the worse thing ever!" This was his response to evrything hes done or said, even his RA's.

If you feel remorse for what you've done or said go with that. Yes he cheated but the things you did and said went beyond what you felt you should have said. Sometimes we degrade ourselves when trying to shame someone else.

20WrongsVs1 posted 11/2/2013 19:08 PM

When newspapers publish something inaccurate, they print a retraction later. Then it's supposed to be erased, obliterated, as if it never happened. IMO...not that the things you said in anger were inaccurate...retractions help. A lot. Even much later. BH called me names when he was hurt and angry, I totally get it. When he came back later and said he didn't really mean that...I considered it retracted and it no longer bothered me.

heme posted 11/2/2013 19:27 PM

I have no issue apologizing to my WH if Ive done something wrong. IMO its what you do when you make a mistake. Now I just tell him I need some time alone and he will leave for a bit. Better to cool down then say things you regret later.

painfulpast posted 11/2/2013 21:03 PM

Thank you, all. Unagie, what a horrible and sad tale. How disrespectful and just cruel. I feel badly that something so sad happened to you.

I apologized. It wasn't how I wanted it to be, but he gave me a big hug and told me he loved me, and I started to cry. He asked what was wrong and I, assuming he would think it was him, told him that it absolutely was not him and that I was having a bad day. He asked again why I was sad, and I told him. I told him that I've said horrible things to try and hurt him, and that I can't believe some of the things I've said, and that I was so very sorry. He looked at me cross eyed and said "That? That's why you're upset? I just chalk that up to anger and never give it a second thought."

I know that isn't true, because there have been times when he's been completely frustrated and he'll repeat some of what I've said and say that this is all he'll ever be now, and that there isn't any point (this was after 2 years of R, and yes, he gets frustrated. I understand that). He doesn't want to be those things, and he isn't. It was who he was while in the A, but it isn't 'him'.

So I've apologized, and he's told me to not even worry about it, which is his way of saying it's ok. I still feel badly, but I feel better. I hope he does too., but as usual, he's holding it all in.

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