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WS projecting his bad behavior onto me (WS welcome)

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tess0908 posted 12/12/2013 21:59 PM

My husband had an emotional affair (although they did heavy petting). It lasted 25 days in September, and was well on its way to becoming sexual (he had condoms and Viagra ready).

I work at a restaurant one night a week, which would be more if my baby took a bottle. Last Saturday I worked until 3:30am, which has never happened before. I arrived at 4am and was badgered with questions such as " who were you out having sex with?" He finally dropped it.

I sent him a text the other day asking what time he would be home Friday. He texted back 5:30ish. I responded that I was making plans for Friday evening with a friend. (This is in fact unusual for me, but I'm currently trying to acquire a non-mom related existence. Did I mention he said he loves me only as the mother of his children?) He immediately called me and said he thought we were supposed to do something Friday. I reminded him that he said we couldn't afford to this week. He said that if I was going to spend money going out on Friday anyhow then why can't we just go out together. I felt like he was just behaving paranoid, like maybe my plans were not in fact innocent. (They were.)

Last night we were at my daughters nativity pageant. I told him I was going to take the baby in my car, and he could take our 4 and 5 year old girls. The 5 year old announced that she wanted to ride with me. I sighed and he noticed my disappointment. I told him I wanted to go someplace she could not go. He quickly became inquisitive, wanting to know where I was going to go. I said I couldn't say there because we were in a church. Angrily he said I had to tell him. I know he was thinking the worst, like I was stopping off to see someone else or something. I whispered to him that I wanted to stop off at the adult novelty store to get something we had talked about a couple of days prior.

So, now I'm kind of enjoying the fact that he is getting a little freaked out. He has shown no remorse for the affair, only saying he's sorry he hurt me and he thought the marriage was dead. He doesn't feel sorry for making out with her, for being with her, for "petting" her and getting himself "petted". In fact, he truly believes that we would not be where we are today had he not had an affair. That is straight up bullshit. He could have quit pissing me off with his 2+ time a week drunk driving episodes, for example.

I'm now of the opinion that I should gently encourage his head to race with thoughts of me doing what he did. No, I wouldn't actually do anything. But at some point I would remind him that he doesn't think what he did was wrong so why would me doing it be any different?

Is it bad that I encourage his paranoia. I really need him to feel remorse for the actions of the affair, even if it means him questioning my current actions. Or will this just blow up in my face?

karmahappens posted 12/12/2013 22:12 PM

I think it will blow up in your face. If he doesn't feel bad you feeding his paranoia will probably make him say "eff it, if she can I can" IMO.

If he shows no remorse WHY are you rewarding him with toys from the adult novelty store?

You deserve better...

silverhopes posted 12/13/2013 01:14 AM

At this point, I would say your energy is better spent taking care of yourself. I wouldn't try to do the paranoia angle, not because of any reason to do with him really, but rather because it won't help your healing. It diverts energy away from you to someone who is unremorseful. He won't get it. He needs to own his choices on his own, and unfortunately there isn't anything you can do to make him get it.

The best thing you can do is to have your boundaries - if he asks you questions about where you're going, you can tell him honestly, and also say that he is not welcome to come with you until you see him showing remorse and helping you feel safe. You can say that right now is about taking care of yourself, and you will not cross marital boundaries (unlike him) but that you are taking charge on your healing (going out with friends, getting time away from things to clear your head, taking mommy breaks, etc). It's up to him if he wants to catch up and be a team.

He says he loves you only as the mother of his children? He's not remotely sorry for the acts of the affair themselves? Well, you can tell him that his attitude isn't healthy for you or for R, and that's the truth.

Do you feel you are in R at the moment, or in limbo?

sisoon posted 12/13/2013 07:01 AM

I really need him to feel remorse for the actions of the affair....

No, you don't. You can heal no matter what he thinks or feels or does, and you have to, for your own well-being.

Your healing has to be independent of your H. Otherwise, you're letting him control you, and he's proven himself not to be in your corner. In fact, if he says he values you only as the mother of his children, he's still acting as an enemy, because he's ignoring your value as a human being, and he's ignoring your many strengths.

If he's not remorseful, put him out of your mind, as far as healing goes. Remember, living well is probably the only type of revenge that doesn't hurt you.

Is it bad that I encourage his paranoia.

Have you read about the 180 (Healing Library - BS FAQs - #11, IIRC)? It's good to live your own life. If he gets paranoid, that's his problem.

It could be unhealthy if you spend too much energy on encouraging his paranoia, but what's too much?

cl131716 posted 12/13/2013 07:12 AM

My WS has been paranoid as well. Before I would coddle him and reassure him I wasn't doing anything. I would attempt to prove my innocence. Then I thought about screwing with him but ultimately that would backfire and make him more paranoid.

So I told him to start writing his thoughts down. He can talk to me about them but not accuse me of them. I tell him to stop when I feel attacked. I used to modify my behavior but as of late I stopped. I realized no matter what I do he will have those thoughts because they stem from his fears and possible desires not mine. I can't control them...only he can and I will no longer enable them.

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