Anyway, I wrote my BS a lengthy letter like none I have ever written before. I have already came completely clean about the details of my pornography use but I wanted her to know that I am working and digging and realizing things about myself that are not good traits that I have been displaying for years. I explained in much detail and confession all the things that I have done over the years that were flaws of mine and that I realize them now and how I am working to overcome them. Things like selfishness, arrogance, being conceited etc. I am completely owning ALL my behavior up to this point in our marriage.
Here is my questions...my BW seems to like the fact that I am obeying her wishes of not talking about it all the time and taking a step back to give her time and space. The problem as I see it is we are not talking about it AT ALL. Zero. Nothing.
Is this healthy? I mean don't you need some discussion to try and move forward? Do I just need to remain patient and let her come to me when she is ready? I realize I am needy and want her to talk to me but at the same time I think it's just ignoring the problem to totally avoid it all together. Will she eventually want to talk to me about it after she sees I'm working my butt off to show her and prove to her through my actions that I am committed to her and to truly changing myself? Anyone have any experience with this...the BS just totally shutting down but remaining in the relationship?
Is this healthy? I mean don't you need some discussion to try and move forward? Do I just need to remain patient and let her come to me when she is ready?
Perhaps discussing it in IC is enough, at this point, for your wife.
If the IC has instructed you not to push her (to give her the space she is requesting) then I would recommend following the IC's advice.
From what you've written, it sounds to me that your wife is well aware of the fact that you are willing to answer any questions and/or discuss the A when/if she is ready. That seems to be enough for now.
Best of luck to both of you!
If so, your BS is completely overwhelmed. I actually don't fault her at all for not wanting to talk about it. She's been burned too many times. She's overwhelmed and overstimulated.
I mean don't you need some discussion to try and move forward?
Do I just need to remain patient and let her come to me when she is ready?
I realize I am needy and want her to talk to me but at the same time I think it's just ignoring the problem to totally avoid it all together.
Will she eventually want to talk to me about it after she sees I'm working my butt off to show her and prove to her through my actions that I am committed to her and to truly changing myself?
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne
Even though I think you were thinking of someone else I still think your answers are applicable to my situation. I agree with everything you say but I have to admit that I am beginning to see that I am a much needier person that I ever thought. It's easy to say I'm going to give her space and work on me but it's another thing to do it. The working on me part is going pretty well. As I said in the first post I am discovering a lot of things about myself that I don't like and didn't realize were there. I am working on these things and slowly making progress.
On the other hand, I am really struggling with giving her space. I love her so much and I just want to proclaim it to her through words, actions, gifts etc. We have been together since we were kids and I cannot imagine my life without her. It scares me to death. I have the typical male trait of just wanting to fix something when it's broke. Sadly I know that I can't just fix this. I can only work on becoming a better person and husband by digging into my self, identifying the bad stuff and begin to do something about it.
To be honest I just wish we could still be somewhat of a couple while the work is going on. I read all these threads about people holding their BS's when they hurt, giving them hugs, all the way to having sex. I hurt and long for intimacy with her. Not just sex but being able to give her a hug or kiss or even just holding her hand in mine. She will not let me touch her and it breaks my heart. This is my wife of 12 years and I haven't slept in the same room, hugged, kissed, or even held her hand in almost 5 months. I know she is hurting even worse so I try not to mope but the pain and longing in my heart is real and it hurts a lot. I know I can't ask her for anything right now but I just wish she would give me something. I guess that is the real reason for my initial question and the title of this thread. I just miss her.
What have YOU been doing for the last 5 months? How have you been reacting to everything? What have you been saying to your wife? All of that is important to understand what's been going on.
The stuff you read about couples after dday having closeness and sex is called hysterical bonding and it's a form of marking territory, which probably wouldn't happen without AP(s) to mark territory against......if that makes sense. But, every spouse reacts differently anyway. Each having their own set of FoO and beliefs that come into play.
I agree with everything you say but I have to admit that I am beginning to see that I am a much needier person that I ever thought.
This is a big step. My husband was very needy. When I was angry after dday his neediness really grated on my nerves. It didn't help R, I can tell you that. He was a mess and didn't know what to do.
Some WS realize they've screwed up sooooo spectacularly that they are now panicked that their spouse could actually leave them. Some beg and grovel and sob. Some love-bomb their spouse. I got both -- and it really pissed me off quickly, because I could see that it was self-serving.
That was not remorse. It is guilt and fear driven. It's selfish in nature. It's the "OMG.... MY life is really screwed now". It's still self-focused, when a WS (even a porn viewing one) who has lied to protect themselves, has already been self-focused for a very long time.
Perhaps your wife's IC was trying for you to see this about yourself and change your approach. Clearly your approach was not working. It's time for you to respect your wife's wishes. If she needs space, that should be respected. Especially if you've been smothering her with pleading and begging. And no, that's not the same as a 180. You can be loving and giving without being an oozing pile of neediness.
A lot of us were trying to explain to you in previous posts that you needed to start focusing on your own behavior, not your wife's behavior. It sounds like you are starting to understand that. If you do that, with time and consistency thrown in and IMO, you will make more progress than with tears and pleading -- but I'm not your wife. Only she knows how she feels.
On the other hand, I am really struggling with giving her space. I love her so much and I just want to proclaim it to her through words, actions, gifts etc.
One thing to remember is that you do it, without looking for or expecting an outcome that benefits yourself. You do it because you love her, she's made a request and you respect that because she deserves that respect.
Now, ideally you could talk to her about what you are finding out about yourself -- again not looking for a reward. She may be receptive or not. If you are doing it for praise, she will know it. Hopefully the lines of communication stay open and most importantly you can ask/talk to your wife about HER feelings, instead of yours. Basically, you start back from square one and rebuild.
Good luck on your journey.
It doesn't have to mean the end of the work. Right now perhaps she is doing silent work, and you might too. Keep showing through your actions your remorse and personal changes. If you found writing the letter to be helpful, then keep doing it. You might or might not give them to her, or perhaps you two could agree on a place you leave them, giving her the option to read them if she would like to.
After a time, I think you all will need to talk about it again, so that it does not become rugswept. But a period of quiet work can be very helpful. It sounds like IC is helping her too. Don't stop doing your work. Now can be a time for great introspection.
Anyway, thank you for you response. You answered a lot of my questions and validated what I was already thinking in some instances.
You are exactly right and pegged me perfectly about my neediness being selfish. I am realizing that now and have begun to see how it must be playing in my BW's eyes.
You are right that 6 years ago I was "semi" found out. I didn't get found out completely and I used that to continue to cover up. Worst decision I've ever made. So I can see how my BW would be very reluctant to want to think this time is any different. I get that.
You asked what I have been doing the past 5 months other than pleading, begging and sobbing. Well, I have read several books about infidelity since we view my behavior as unfaithful. I have been in IC for the past 3 months. I have given my BW the whole truth this time. Everything. I have confided my transgressions to 3 of my closest male Christian friends whom I talk with frequently. I think that was such an important step because the secrecy was so much of it. So many years of living a double life and now I am free of that. These are some of the things I've been doing and all of which are different from the last time. I have freely admitted to my wife that the last time it was a half hearted attempt to change and the lie continued. Not this time.
I have noticed me catching myself before I speak. Maybe even if it was something that didn't matter. If it's not 100% the truth I think better of it and just tell the truth. I am digging, working, praying and making strides everyday I believe. Got a long way to go but one day at a time right?
I hope you are right that I am starting to get that I need to work on myself. It's like I knew I did all along but I wasn't doing it for the right reasons. I am now. Time just seems to be going so slowly and patience is not a strength of mine. Thanks for the comments, they are greatly appreciated. I am trying.
It sounds like you are heading in the right direction and learning a lot about yourself.
I have freely admitted to my wife that the last time it was a half hearted attempt to change and the lie continued. Not this time.
It's like I knew I did all along but I wasn't doing it for the right reasons. I am now.
IMO the reason for the motivation is key. You have to want to do it down to your core, and be proud of what you are doing, for yourself first and foremost.
I don't want to project too much here, but my father is an alcoholic. Deep down he doesn't think he has a problem. It's the rest of us who do. He goes to AA because he is expected to go to AA. It's a complete waste of time.
I know from that experience, if my husband stopped viewing porn strictly for my benefit, it wouldn't last. Changing because HE wanted to, is what needed to happen.
Keep at it, BI. Hopefully you and your wife will be able to communicate soon and you can discuss where things are headed for you both.
[This message edited by DixieD at 5:30 PM, December 13th (Friday)]