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Normal to take awhile for full remorse?

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JustShine posted 1/26/2014 08:36 AM

So, WH is doing some things right, and he's "getting it" more all the time.

Things he's doing right:

- NC
- transparency (passwords, full access to everything, checking in, etc...)
- being a better husband in some ways around the house (being more engaged in day to day stuff, helping out more, etc.)
- MC and IC

Places where he isn't quite getting it:

- he still seems to focus on "problems in the marriage" as the cause for A. Even though he agrees with me that our pre-A marriage was probably a 7 or 8 on a scale of 10, and better than almost anyone else we know.
- he tries to have conversations with me about how I'm feeling, and what we need to be doing in R (he even brings things up on his own sometimes), but if our conversation gets too heated, or too emotional, he gets defensive, angry, detached.....
- he's not nearly as affectionate as he was pre-A, when I've expressed that I really need him to be. He's generally an extremely affectionate guy.
- he's inconsistent in his ability to make my needs a priority
- he just doesn't seem as remorseful as I would like him to be.

I guess I wish he were constantly expressing how grateful he is for this second chance, and I just don't feel that from him.

But I see huge improvements from, say, a month or 2 ago.

So my question is if this is normal? Like if he isn't feeling full remorse, is it possible that he will at some point? How long does that freaking take?!?

I'm not really doing any marriage work right now. I'm just focusing on my personal health and growth. I'm pretty detached emotionally much of the time from WH. Not mean or spiteful or even cold, really. But I feel like I can't give to US until he's all the way there. And I don't know if that's a completely unreasonable thing to expect or not.

JustShine posted 1/26/2014 08:41 AM

I should add that WH does express true regret over A, and seems devastated by what he has done to me and to our family. He has overwhelming shame and guilt over this, and is having a hard time processing that. (Thanks FOO. :( )

But when I look at the regret vs remorse stuff.....a lot of the characteristics of true remorse is missing.

bionicgal posted 1/26/2014 08:42 AM

Are you all in MC? Has he read anything, like "Not Just Friends," or "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair?"

In my experience, fully defogging took a couple of months, and remorse came with that. And, really, the more you talk about it, and the more you open up and he sees your pain, the more remorseful he is likely to be. It does take time - the pain is all so theoretical until they actually see the damage they did. Even at 8 months out, my H and I are still seeing the far-reaching repercussions.

So, yes, it takes time, but it can't be passive time, for either of you. And, I am afraid your being detached isn't really going to hasten the process much, although feeling the desire to completely understandable.

JustShine posted 1/26/2014 09:01 AM

Ugh...yes, the detachment feelings have me really confused. I feel like if I'm all loving and working on our marriage when he isn't all there, then I'm just setting myself up to be treated with the disrespect he clearly felt towards me during, and after, the A. This is such a hard balance for me to find.

Yes, we're in MC, and he has read Not Just Friends, and bits and pieces of other things I've shown him.

I guess I just feel like is I'm willing to give him a chance, the he should be giving 200%, starting immediately. I know that maybe it's not a realistic expectation. But the unfairness of all of this sneaks up on me sometimes.

Trying2Survive1 posted 1/26/2014 09:10 AM

This is such a hard balance for me to find.

Huggs, I do hope it will come with time. I hear you about the balance, maddening....from reading here, time and communication are key to achieving that IMHO.I still struggle.

AFrayedKnot posted 1/26/2014 09:11 AM

I just bumped a post on remorse in wayward that really helped me early on.

rachelc posted 1/26/2014 09:14 AM

zengirl - would he come here and read and post? That helped me a lot, speaking as a former wayward.

blakesteele posted 1/26/2014 09:22 AM

Took my wife about a year to find solid remorse.

She was quick to find REGRET.....she regretted getting caught as she was so into her A.....but that is not remorse.

Not sure if this matters to you , but it does to my journey.

My wife's fAP dumped her.

My wife was slow to admit her actions harmed our girls.

Remorse "leaked into her".

It was painfully slow. Had to complete embrace and own that my wife had killed our original M before I could move on.

I had this silly notion, propagated by my own FOO issues and advice from our MC and pastor (2 different people), that we were somehow still a "couple" spiritually, that we were in this together, that this was the " for better or worse" part of a M (which it is, just thought the worst meant we were still committed to each other).

17 months out now.....I can say I am glad I offered R and found courage to endure this trial.......I still pray for courage....still struggle......but am better.

It does get better.

Post helps me a lot.

God help us all.

canteat posted 1/26/2014 10:03 AM

It took my husband a while to get to feeling full remorse. It was a process for sure. I think he had to come to the realization that he was happy in our relationship again and then realize what he could have lost. That's when it hit him. In the beginning my H had concerns about working things out-not that he didn't want to but because he wasn't sure that we could repair the damage that was done.(both before and because of the A) He wasn't sure that the things that were lacking in our relationship could change-that I could change. He had concerns about my ability to get past the A and being able to forgive. At the same time, I was putting demands on him for things that he had to do/show me in order for me to even give him a chance. It wasn't until we got past all that and started to work on making our relationship better and not just focusing on the A issues that we really made progress.

We did a lot of work together to repair our relationship and I feel we needed to both be "all in" for it to work. I see a lot of posts here talking about what the WS has to do and sometimes it makes me feel that we put too much emphasis on that and not on what the couple has to do together. True, the WS has a lot to prove but the BS can't just sit around waiting for the WS to do all the work. There seems to be a checklist that we BS have as we wait for our WS to show us the things we need to see. You can't dictate the time frame of how things progress but if you do the work you will get there. We are hurt and scared-but don't forget that the WS is too.

But I feel like I can't give to US until he's all the way there.

You just have to take a leap of faith and go for it.

Morhurt posted 1/26/2014 10:03 AM

Chicho, we're struggling with the same thing, I went over to wayward but couldn't find the remorse thread.... What's it called?

JustShine posted 1/26/2014 10:05 AM

Thank you all so much. It just breaks my heart, again, that it is so hard for him to find that true remorse. Deep down in my gut I believe he'll get there. I just fear that the longer it takes, the more angry I'll become - as if the A and the lies that followed weren't enough. It's as though the betrayal is still continuing in some ways as long as he isn't totally remorseful.

I'm going to ask him to check out this site. I'm not sure he will.....

Oh, and I didn't see the bumped post, Chicho....can you tell me what the post is titled?

Thanks again to all of you. <3

JustShine posted 1/26/2014 10:45 AM

Canteat, thank you so much for your post. This is exactly how WH feels - he keeps saying he really wants to work on our marriage, and that he thinks making our marriage stronger will help him get to a healthier place. He also has fears about my ability to overcome such a huge betrayal.

Somehow, it's easier hearing that from you than it is from him. :)

AFrayedKnot posted 1/26/2014 10:59 AM

Sorry, I think that post was to old to bump.

Here is the part that really struck me, and helped me find patience.

For me, when the enormity of my actions hit there was a great deal to process. A complete internal pull of all my resources inward to accept what I'd done and to sit with it for a bit. I'd have failed most BS's test right off the bat. I said very little, was very quiet, and distant. I had to work through what I was feeling and the intensity I was feeling it. It surprised me and actually paralyzed me for a bit.

I'd have been the last thing anyone would want to see from a "truly" remorseful wayward yet the work being done was very real.

I'm like that when I find out I hurt someone else's feelings. When I apologize I mean every word and do what I need to do to make sure it never happens again. It doesn't look like a hallmark card though. My SO has seen that. I also don't need apologies when I've been hurt. I know from the person's actions whether it will happen again.

I'm not posting as a spokesman for wayward's at all and know that everyone is individual. Just hope some don't assume that because their WS isn't showing what they thought they'd be seeing and should see that they aren't doing the work and not appreciating the enormity of their actions. It may be exactly because they are that they're seeing what they're seeing.

This shit takes time and a lot of very hard painful work. When some BS's find out the person they thought they could trust betrayed them it levels them, shatters all they knew and believed. Some of us go through a similar thing and are leveled by the fact we could do that to ourselves, much less someone that we promised to love and cherish.

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