Last week we had a heart to heart in which WS said she understood what I needed to heal and how she could help. For three days she answered questions I had about the A. Then one night I ask her a question after she says she didn't feel good (I was stroking her hair even) and she jumps up and gets angry at me. Then she starts an argument about how my selfishness caused the problems in our relationship (she didn't directly blame me for her choices, and actually did take the blame for the A) that lasted over to the next day. She told me that our entire relationship was never the love she had envisioned for her, and that I needed to start paying attention to the things I did wrong to her.
I was flabbergasted. From what I've read and what we talked about prior, some healing from her A needs to happen before we can adequately address the relationship
Issues. Am I wrong? In my mind I was feeling so bad and so depressed about it all, I sunk into a deep depression and began wondering why she even wanted to stay. She kept telling me she loves me, but wasn't able to rescue me from my thoughts about how horrible I was or how the OP was right about how love is blind and she's a fool for wanting to stay. We resolved it somewhat, by her saying she was sorry she brought it up and wouldn't talk about it again, but it's still haunting me. Is this more of her way if justifying the A? I know I was wrong about how I behaved in our relationship, but not to the extent she was conveying.
You may not have been the perfect partner (no one is) but it does NOT justify an affair.
If you were has horrible as she is making it out to be, then she should have/could have left you BEFORE she started an affair (and the TT and lies).
At this point in time, your focus needs to be on you NOT:
and that I needed to start paying attention to the things I did wrong to her
Have you read in the Healing Library? If not, please do so. You are responsible for your portion of the problems in the relationship, she is responsible 100% for her affair. Nothing you did or didn't do caused her to cheat. She made that choice all by herself.
To your direct question and the title of this thread -- yes, I was attacked for my issues. But my issues did not cause his affair. They contributed to the state of our marriage, but in no way, shape, or form caused him to cheat.
I tried to explain that we are both equally responsible for our relationship problems, but she is solely responsible for her A. Therefore, I need to heal to get where she is, which is in a state ready to tackle the relationship. Is that healthy? Should I be expected to repair her at the same time I'm still in so much pain from her actions?
She kept telling me she loves me, but wasn't able to rescue me from my thoughts about how horrible I was or how the OP was right about how love is blind and she's a fool for wanting to stay.
Is it unrealistic for me to expect to heal from her bad choices before she gets to point out all my faults in our relationship?
By having an A she took away your choice in the matter and by doing so she loses the ability to tell you how and when to heal and what to work on first. She STILL has the option to leave but if she wants to remain in a relationship with you she has lost her ability to be selfish at all with you for the forseeable future. She used up her quota of selfish for a very long time.
To answer your original question, you may not believe it but you are going to heal whether your relationship works out or not. The relationship and the A are two completely seperate issues. You can work on them separately or together via counseling. With an unremorseful partner like you have working on relationship issues isn't going to work right now because she is still blameshifting and rugsweeping. If the relationship is to have any chance she needs to figure out what in her made her think it was okay to go out and have an A. You have to deal with the elephant in the room first and her A is that elephant. If you don't, then every discussion you have will always come back to what she wasn't getting out of the relationship from you. The problem is with her and she needs to resolve that or no relationship will ever be enough for her. If you think you have some issues you want to work on then by all means do so but you can work on your issue separately. She needs to work on hers because nothing you did and I mean nothing you did in or out of the relationship made her have an A.
Keep posting it helps and you will get through this.
Therefore, I need to heal to get where she is, which is in a state ready to tackle the relationship. Is that healthy? Should I be expected to repair her at the same time I'm still in so much pain from her actions?
[This message edited by 7yrsflushed at 8:07 AM, December 27th (Friday)]
Disclaimer -- I will be filing for Divorce as soon as I obtain a job (was laid off 1 day before I confirmed the affair had started up again).
One of the reasons for the divorce is that my WH wanted to dictate the terms of my healing. IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY!!!!!!!! He doesn't get to decide how I heal. He got upset that I triggered 1 year (almost to the day) after the affair officially ended. So he got mad, stewed on it for a month or so and decided that the OW was the only one who understood him since I wasn't going to rugsweep and started up the affair again.
I'm not saying your partner will start her affair again -- but I am saying that if she wants the relationship, she will have to put any issues with you off the table while you heal (FOR YOU) and she gets some IC to determine why cheating was her choice. AFTER progress has been made in those areas (to your satisfaction - not her's) THEN you can address other issues (if they even still exist).
What 7years is saying is right on, IMO. When I'm talking to my WW (rare these days), it's always my fault because I didn't do this or that (you fill in the blank, and she's probably said it).
I personally have set a "time limit". At that point, I'm filing for D if she is not remorseful. IMO, there is no chance of R until the WS owns their crap and resolves to help the BS recover from it. After that, then I think you both have to work out the relationship issues that each of you had pre-A.
[This message edited by RealityStinks at 9:41 AM, December 27th (Friday)]
While crazymaking, this is typical WS behavior.
Then she starts an argument about how my selfishness caused the problems in our relationship (she didn't directly blame me for her choices, and actually did take the blame for the A) that lasted over to the next day. She told me that our entire relationship was never the love she had envisioned for her, and that I needed to start paying attention to the things I did wrong to her.
This is bullshit, and a HUGE Red Flag to me. In the early days of R. Anytime my H would get pissy, or blame me or attempt to make me feel weak, or crazy, I found that NC had been broken, and he was in contact with OW again. This screams to me that there is either ongoing contact that you are not aware of, or that at a minimum she is still pining for him on some level. She is still foggy, and if she expects to just start working on relationship issues, and not deal with the massive destruction she has caused by her actions alone, then you will be set up for failure.
It's like trying to replace the roof on house that was destroyed by flooding, it makes it look nice on the outside, but on the inside it's still full of damage, and black mold.
You have to stand up for yourself when she does this, it is a form of manipulation, and makes you feel broken, and hurt, and lost. You have to say that is bullshit, we can't work on us until you have worked on you, and I have worked on me. You needing to find your strength, confidence, and self again, and her figuring out her WHY. Not that she blames the poor state of your relationship, but the real why, why did she seek out attention from another, rather than sharing her unhappiness in your relationship, and working to heal that.
I'm so sorry that happened. The A is absolutely not your fault, and any marriage issues beforehand are dual-sided--not just you. To me, it sounds like blame-shifting, for sure.
Also, not to be a pessimist, but every single time when my WS went from talking to lashing out/defensiveness & then clamming up, it was bc he was hiding something. The things he was hiding weren't always huge (trying to ease your mind a little) but still...the deception/TT continued. I would be concerned that maybe your WW was hiding something further and that particular question hit the nail on the head. But again, could jus be my pessimism from m particular experience coming through..
While WH was still TTing and hiding details, he kept on bringing up how the pre-affair stuff was my fault, and how angry he was. But since coming clean, all that has stopped (for now). So there is hope. And not to say I wasn't partly responsible for pre-A relationship issues, bc we both were. We both sucked at communication and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. We've come a long way in a short time.
I wish there was a way I could help you to not blame yourself. The A is not your fault. There are always other choices, and you WW chose deception. She chose poorly, and that is on her. But the guilt can be hard to deal with, so the rationalizations persist. Plus, they rationalize in their heads for long to justify the A to themselves, it's probably hard to stop that behavior.
Stay strong. Tell her you will accept half of the responsibility for pre-existing marriage issues, but you won't accept blame for the A.
[This message edited by SpotlessMind at 11:02 AM, December 27th (Friday)]
Relationships take 2 to work and succeed...but only 1 to fubar!
Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass is a book you and she need to read together. My STBX basically refused to read this while we in false R. It is going to be my manual for future (far future at this point) relationships.
We both read Not Just Friends and found it extremely helpful with regard to how the relationship was vulnerable. That was the first month.
A bit more information might shed light on my confusion and my fears:
She began the secret friendship as an attempt to resolve her building anger and resentment toward me for my behavior and her own baggage of fears about our relationship and where it was headed. The EA was an accident, and she has accepted full blame for her choice to continue it as a way to vent and get her ego stroked once she realized it crossed a line.
In the beginning, right after DDay, she blamed me for all the relationship issues. As we talked she discovered her own blame in assumptions and lack of communication. It was very helpful to both of us.
I definitely had trickle truth and there are some aspects that done make sense. She has gone back and forth about her intentions of leading OP on, about her own awareness of what she was doing and saying, and about her feelings for OP. She insists she had no romantic or sexual feelings for OP. She backed that by saying that the needs she was getting emotional needs met that she thought I couldn't provide and she's never felt attraction or sexual urges toward others because out sex life is so fulfilling.
She has shared things that are pretty transparent, like things she said to OP that were probably perceived as flirting. Stuff I would never know if she hadn't told me. She has also expressed extreme remorse and disgust for herself, telling me she often cried about what she did and feels nauseous about it. Sharing the few details she did helped her realize how she was more invested in the A than she thought, both during and after. However, the OP says she wasn't led on, but she's really not that bright.
The question I asked was about those things. I asked what else was said, because she's only shared two or three comments over a three week period before OP propositioned her for sex and she ended it. So what scares me is that she may be resisting the realization that she had more involvement or even romantic, if not sexual, interest in OP. It scares me about what she is hiding from herself, and then me. I know that TT can make it always seem like there's more, but I have felt that there is. I just can't out my finger in what that might be (her actual feelings, her conscious intent, that she hadn't really ended it three days before I found evidence, etc.)
So at this point I'm stuck a bit. Do I resign myself to the fact that I might never know? Does it need to come out for us to heal? In a way the depth if the deception is directly related to these answers, and how we move forward in our relationship will be effected by her full acknowledgment of her own actions. I love her and I know that she loves me. She's terrified of me leaving her (which may be in the way of her revealing more to herself and me). I don't think she would do this again, but I worry that if we don't explore all this she will be vulnerable to it again. On the other hand, she has been working to reverse doors and windows in all her relationships so that might be enough that knowing the depth of this particular A is not necessary to moving on. Such tough decisions. And I don't know how to get her to fully explore or reveal the deeper stuff.
I think the answer to your last question varies by person, but the fact that you have questions and concerns is telling to me. Personally, I have to know all the things. I'm the person who researches online extensively to make choices about simple things, like which hotel to book, or what kind of dog food to pick. So the details were important to me.
I also think that the choice should be YOURS. You get to decide which questions you want answered, and if she is truly remorseful and onboard for R, she will answer them all. Patiently, without anger. It sounds like maybe she's not quite there yet.
For me, I ultimately got to the point where I was done with the defensiveness. I told WS if he couldn't tell me everything, without anger and defensiveness, then we needed to move to trial separation. Luckily it didn't come to that, but I was at the end of my tether and would have followed through. I absolutely thought that I needed all the info for true healing to commence--partly bc I'm a huge digger and would have kept coming up with my own info or more unanswered questions otherwise, and it was too damaging to continue that way, since every uncovered lie or half truth sent me right back to the trauma of D-Day.
Only you can decide what you can live with...or without. But, based on what you've written here, I would guess you will have a hard time healing without full on support from your WP. And you absolutely deserve that.
[This message edited by SpotlessMind at 3:25 PM, December 27th (Friday)]
She says she's still angry at me (not like she was at the height) for my behavior in the relationship. She also feels like she is doing double work, both to heal the A and to address her issues in our relationship before the A. And I can empathize with that, because to heal the A she has to do a lot of things she wasn't doing before, like talk about how she feels and share her thoughts with me. So it is a bit confusing I guess. So is the defensiveness her lingering anger or to hide more?
So it is a bit confusing I guess. So is the defensiveness her lingering anger or to hide more?
All I can tell you for certain is that in WS's case, it was to hide more. A lot of the anger was further rationalization, I think. And our history for about 2 months sounds almost identical to yours. Forward progress and apparent openness to questions I'd ask, followed by outbursts of anger about how my digging was keeping us from moving forward, how I'd never get over it, how we should be past this by now, etc, etc. Those periods almost always included mention of how he was angry/resentful of me prior to A.
Basically, it was usually when I was close to uncovering a new detail. Like when I discovered he was on dating sites, or when i found the email account he used for dating sites. Like when I reactivated the email account, and discovered he'd met more women than he'd said.
And even though my gut knew things were amiss, and the pattern was there for me to see (defensive outburst = hiding something), I kept letting him convince me otherwise. Except not deep down, bc I kept digging.
Once a wayward partner or spouse has an affair they take away the good will or enthusiasm that existed in their betrayed partner towards working on the relationship (towards life in general TBH)..This good will is replaced with anger and resentment..Most especially if the marriage or relationship had been difficult pre A...
My WS was/is un remorseful and also blame shifts..We are NOT in R..
Counseling was ineffective because the counselors weren't experienced in infidelity drama/ trauma and my WS was too angry and stubborn to listen to anybody who disagreed with him..WH made himself out to be the victim of a mean wife..I lost all my love and respect for him because he wouldn't bend an inch to give me empathy, to put himself in my shoes..
So whenever my WH pointed out my faults and what I needed to do to improve the relationship, I felt so much resentment.. In my mind I flipped him the bird..I think I did that IRL a couple of times as well..
I was asked to sweep things under the rug and that led to the demise of our marriage...
[This message edited by doggiediva at 6:33 PM, December 27th (Friday)]
60 years young..
Anger defensiveness, accusing all of it equals dishonesty. Not the only one here that feels that way either. This is a voice of experience. What ended it? Me finally getting strong enough to demand the respect I deserved. Me finally having enough. Me deciding this is not the relationship I signed up for or wanted my kids to witness as a normal happy marriage.
I handed him my rings. I was done. I told him to pack his shot and get out. That's when he finally completely and totally defogged. That's when he realized he was losing it all. His wife his kids his home. That's when he had his snot running down his face, boo hoo crying begging for one last chance.
I gave it and he got it right. But had I never done that he probably would have continued for god only knows how long.
I hope that you too find your voice and your strength.
You deserve much much more.
He also did a bunch of reading online, too. He was afraid that the details would be harmful to our R, but when he read a ton of posts about how TT was way more damaging, it's like it finally clicked.
Maybe that would help? Compiling a list of links that show how TT causes more failed marriages than the actual A itself? Bc I fully believe this to be true. I had a lot less difficulty forgiving my WS for the sex than for the deception.