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SAR681 posted 1/21/2014 23:20 PM

So, I am just over a year out and it, of course, has been a roller coaster. fWH, for the most part, has been wonderful through this whole process. He has been completely transparent, accountable, has helped me through triggers, has quit drinking, quit flirting, etc. It has taken him a while to admit to his own issues that lead to his A, but he is finally there and is working on those as well.

Anyway, something that I've been asking for is more communication from him. He has built up this wall and it's hard for him to let down his guard. In the last week or so, we've had 2 very scary (but not angry) conversations basically dancing around the fact that we're both scared that we've both changed and that we won't be able to recover from this.

During our most recent conversation, he confessed that feels like he'd like to talk to OW again. He did preface it by saying that he had no plans on enacting it or had even thought about what he would say, but that it's just a feeling he gets.

My heart lept into my throat, but I sat quietly and listened to him. He rambled something about bookends and maybe if he talked to her, he'd stop thinking about talking to her. And he wasn't thinking about anything secretive, like before. To be honest, I was only half listening at this point because I was making such a conscious effort to contain my visceral reactions.

After a few moments of silence, he asked what I was thinking and all I could whisper was "I'm scared." He immediately got mad at me ("You're the one who wants me to open up to you"), but then turned it around ("I'm sorry, I know you can't help the way you feel either"). So, I let him know that although I have no control over what he does (he made that VERY apparent during his A and TT), but I did not think it was a good idea to contact her and I don't know that I can stay in this marriage if he does. I also told him that I can appreciate his wondering that if he just contacted her that would end him thinking about contacting her. But, that this was too close to the circumstances (per him) that kept the A going on for as long as it did - he tried to break it off a few times, but just needed one last goodbye and that started everything up again, plus he only had her to commiserate being in the A. Anyway, now that I'm typing this out and rehashing our conversation, I think he thinks that she hates him (which is likely true) and he doesn't like that.

And it's like little things are making more sense. The way things went down, an official NC letter was not necessary because there had been NC for a while and she even messaged him before DD and he shot her down. But, it has always bothered me that he said "we shouldn't be talking" vs "I don't want to talk to you." And then after he ended things with OW, but before DD, he was messaging a girl from work - I happened upon these messages. It never crossed any official line, but were too friendly for my taste. He told her "my wife isn't comfortable with us talking." And he never seemed to understand why the way he was wording these things bothers me. I've always told him that I don't want him to keep NC FOR me, I want him to keep NC because he doesn't want to talk to her.

I am VERY grateful that he actually opened up to me. And I do think that it's a good sign that he told me, as I know how difficult that would be for him. But, I have some major concerns. I would like to think that by 1 year, his urges to talk to her would be basically diminished. (He did say that he didn't think it was actually talking to her that he was wanting because he knows that she was just playing a role). I trust that he doesn't plan on sneaking around NOW, but I know how certain memories can fade with time and I worry that down the road the pain of the aftermath of his A might fade for him.

I don't know. I'm just scared.

steadfast1973 posted 1/22/2014 02:40 AM

Is he in IC?

Frankie80 posted 1/22/2014 04:17 AM

I'm not very good with advice but what jumps out at me is this

He did preface it by saying that he had no plans on enacting it or had even thought about what he would say, but that it's just a feeling he gets.

That feeling is what he needs to try and understand. Maybe it's not about the OW at all but what she gave him/made him feel during his A. He said himself he had no intention of talking to her and doesn't know why he wants to. That says to me that the feeling isn't about her. Maybe you could dig a bit deeper together and understand what it is he needs.
My H also said soon after dday # 2, after he threw OW under the bus and she had to leave her job, that he felt like he wanted to speak to her to apologise, he didn't want her to think badly of him or have someone out there hating him. He never did speak to her and now it doesn't bother him because he sees she was just as much to blame for all this as he is and he sees her as she really is and not a victim of his stupidity.
Just some thoughts, Sorry if I'm way off the mark with this.
I get being scared, I feel that everyday!

[This message edited by Frankie80 at 4:20 AM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]

bionicgal posted 1/22/2014 06:45 AM

That feeling is what he needs to try and understand. Maybe it's not about the OW at all but what she gave him/made him feel during his A.

I agree with this. I am almost certain this is true, but he needs to figure out what he is trying to feel by contacting her. Is he depressed? It is kind of like an alcoholic who has been sober for a year wondering what it might feel like to have a "sip for old time's sake" and thinking, "But I'll just have one."

My guess is he is self-medicating -- so I'd make sure he is dealing with that through IC or whatever. It is good that he told you.

20WrongsVs1 posted 1/22/2014 06:54 AM

bionicgal nailed it. I know because like your WH, even though I know I'll never act on them, the urges are still there. My IC said pretty much verbatim what bionical said, and it really resonated with me. Developing new, healthy coping mechanisms takes a lot of time and effort. Falling back on the maladaptive coping mechanisms...that's easy.

SAR681 posted 1/22/2014 06:59 AM

Thank you guys. Yes, he's in IC. He said he's talked to her about it before and she asked what he thought he'd get out of it. He actually has an appointment today. I know through my work in codependence that I can't dictate how his IC goes, but I guess whether or not this comes up today should be telling.

SAR681 posted 1/22/2014 07:00 AM

20wrongs, it really does help to hear that the urges are normal, thank you.

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