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What should I have done?

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1bigidiot79 posted 12/23/2013 10:23 AM

Sorry for all the posts here lately. I don't know what I would do without this site.

So last night we went to church for a special Christmas service and at one point about half way through I look over and see tears coming down her face. I put my arm around her and just rubbed her shoulder as my eyes watered up as well. Afterwards we had a family function to attend so nothing was said. When we got home she went immediately to bed and said she just wanted some peace and quiet. I asked if everything was ok and she said yes.

Disclaimer: I am a terrible communicator and never know what to do or say in these situations. She has been talkative this morning but not about anything pertaining to our situation. Not sure if I should bring it up or not or even ask her again if she is ok?

rachelc posted 12/23/2013 10:33 AM

1bigidiot - I think you did what you could.
There's a new book out there titled The 5 languages of apology or something like that, by the guy who wrote the Five love Languages... I've heard it mentioned by several as a good book. People have a certain way that apologies are more meaningful for them.

qwerty2012 posted 12/23/2013 10:54 AM

Wow . i can relate . Unfortunately, i don't have a suggestion for you at this time . and waiting to hear what others suggest.

I went through an identical situation - 2 nights ago at dinner i got the response 'i am okay' when i enquire to how she is doing regarding us. I apologized and conveyed my gratitude ....
At home, she suggests watching a movie - she can't pick one - so i take a long time to pick and we finally decide on one . not sure if this is a missed opportunity to talk to her.
She says she is tired, yawning, etc and sleeps till noon on sunday. I do apologize for making her so mentally tired. So, i go about my day - since she didn't appear to be mad - just tired.
Kids are with in-laws not sure if i should have left them there to talk . possibly another missed opportunity?
She sleeps the rest of the day into this morning - and she appears to be hurting this morning .

I am horrible with reading these situations and i am even worse at responding appropriately. And then on top of that i am torn between responsibilities to kids and my BW .

[This message edited by qwerty2012 at 1:21 PM, December 23rd (Monday)]

plainpain posted 12/23/2013 11:34 AM

1bigidiot, whether your BW brings it up or not, I guarantee that she is thinking about it. She is thinking about it all the time, every minute of the day. She is triggering all the time, and probably trying to be strong, ride through the waves of pain, and not let it wreck Christmas for everyone.

It doesn't take much. Just acknowledge. If you, out of the blue, just say, "I'm so sorry for all the pain I've caused you", or "I will never forget what I did to you. It will never be ok," that will always be appropriate, IMO.

We watched The Nativity movie last night, and I triggered the whole way through it. I'm watching Joseph look at Mary, and I'm imagining my WH looking at OW. It doesn't make sense, but it's everywhere, all the time.

It's never too late to bring it up. Maybe don't ask her if she's ok. She's not ok, and you have to know that she is not ok. And that's just a yes/no question... it's like asking, 'Do I need to engage you right now, or can I just go about my business?' Engage her. Take the initiative and show her that you WANT to know what she's thinking and feeling, even if it's painful for you to hear. Maybe ask her what it was that made her trigger at the service.

overandone posted 12/23/2013 11:39 AM

Speaking as a BS, I think you did just the right thing. Sometimes we need to talk, sometimes we simply want time to process on our own. So long as you're aware of her feelings and show her you care, and are always prepared to answer her questions honestly, all you can do is be patient. This shit takes a LONG time to process, and it's a bumpy road.

solus sto posted 12/23/2013 11:50 AM

As a BS, I think you did the right thing.

You can't take away her pain. But you were there for her--and that is big.

AML04 posted 12/23/2013 12:43 PM

I also think you did the right thing. And I also agree with not asking if she's ok. I know my H doesn't do it on purpose but sometimes he asks if I'm ok, and I want to scream. I try to answer honestly but sometimes I'd rather just process through what I'm thinking about and move on. But him acknowledging my pain goes a long way.
The "I'm so sorry what I did is causing you pain" apologies are great. Sometimes I would like him to let me know that he is willing if I need to talk. This comes with a disclaimer though; I am at the point that I only want to talk if he can fully participate, not just listen.

Good luck to you!

Edited for typos

[This message edited by AML04 at 12:45 PM, December 23rd (Monday)]

1bigidiot79 posted 12/23/2013 14:37 PM

Thanks for the replies. I kind of sensed that I shouldn't just ask if she was ok but like I said I suck at knowing what to say in those situations.

I sent her a text today to say she was on my mind and that if there was anything at all I could do for her I would do it.

I think with where she is at right now the best thing is to just be there for her as others have said and let her come to me when she is ready to talk. I think my problem in these instances is I think I have to say something to help. I feel the need to try and "fix" the problem. I'm glad that the consensus here is to just be there for her. I can do that.

Skan posted 12/24/2013 15:34 PM

One of the best things that my FWH can say to me, when I'm in that place, is what can I do for you, what do you need from me?

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