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An emotional equation...

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Prayingforhope posted 2/2/2014 10:05 AM

We've had an emotional week. I'm working through the severance process to quit my job so my BS and I had to trade emails a few times. For a workaholic like me, so defined by his job, this resignation is a big one.

So I'm at the jumping off point, no turning back now and I wrote my BS about some of the emotions I'm going through. Technically I was within boundaries since anything work related (I'm the only income for the house) is an approved topic for email.

Long story short, she responded to my note with agreement and appreciation. She actually thanked me for sharing what was going on emotionally and agreed that a fresh start, wherever this resignation takes us, is better than current state (my A happened at work). I've never loved her more than in the minutes and hours after getting that email. It was the first "sharing" we've done of any kind since DDay and it felt good.

But the emotional pressure was growing through the week (no contact has a way of doing that) and Sat she broke her own boundaries and decided to talk to me face to face (we have a cross-over window in the house when I am finishing with the boys and she is taking over). It started out sad but flipped instantly to rage, hate and pure vengeance. I still can't believe the words that came out of her mouth and I can't write them here without loosing it.

But I realized something in the middle of her anger. It seems to be directly proportional to my sorrow. The madder she got, the sadder I became. Before she was even half done with her onslaught, I was crying like a baby. Her anger is such a painful reminder of what I DID, of the situation I PUT US IN, of the woman I BETRAYED, that it brings my remorse to the surface like an overflowing bathtub.

This really is the roller-coaster because if you talked to me Friday I really believed there was hope we could rebuild a better life. By Sat, driving away from the house crying, I felt like it was all over.

I wanted to share where I'm at because I've done something unforgivable to a person that didn't deserve it and her pain, HER HORRIBLE VIOLENT PAIN, breaks my heart. I pray it's true that the wayward can become the healer to the betrayed, because my willingness to help her is off the charts - but today it's still not help she wants from me...

DTERMINED2SURVIV posted 2/2/2014 11:17 AM

I hope you dont mind a response from a BS. I read your your topic and i was almost in tears. I can really tell you understand what you've done. If you love you really want to R hang in there!!! It will definitely take time! I can tell this is truly heartfelt! Thanks for letting me know how much a WS can regret theyre actions!

nevergiveup10 posted 2/2/2014 11:22 AM


She's sharing, and unfortunately for us we can't choose what it is. My BS just recently started sharing her anger with me again. Close to dday it was the pure rage you see, but now it's her hurt and pain. I know it's hard for you to hear those things from her, but it's better than her cutting you off all together from her emotions.

We had a great MC session last week and what I have realized is that she is my greatest teacher and I am her best healer. Listen listen then listen again.

Time and consistency... I've noticed things are changing bit by bit for you and her. You're doing great, keep it up and good things will keep coming.

Prayingforhope posted 2/2/2014 11:44 AM

Thanks Never...I needed to read that. It's so hard right now, but you're right, I have to be encouraged she decided to share at all. Little by little, I have to stay the course, give her space to heal and keep praying for hope. Oh man, who knew life could hurt like this...

SpotlessMind posted 2/2/2014 16:59 PM

Sorry this is such a continued struggle, Praying.

The anger does have to come out--and even if it's painful for you to hear, it's still communication.

Though, I feel like I remember you saying that she tends to really lose it when angry sometimes, and I hope you are okay. Her anger is understandable and a healthy part of the healing process, so long as it doesn't tip into abuse.

iwillNOT posted 2/3/2014 00:03 AM

From what you write, it seems to me this is the very beginning of her sharing with you. First, her response to your email. Then, her choice to engage with you in person. I know it ended up with terrible anger. Have you ever heard the saying anger is pain turned outwards? She is showing you her pain. For me, how my WH reacts to my pain is critical, because sharing my feelings makes me vulnerable, even if they are anger. Him meeting my anger with anger or defensiveness is guaranteed to wound me and make me retreat emotionally. Him meeting my anger with sorrow, love, and remorse felt healing. Almost as if he took some of it from me, absorbed it, and lifted it away from me. It's hard to have that degree of anger directed at you. It's poison to her and to your reconciliation, she has to get it out.

I have heard that the opposite of love is indifference. She is definitely not indifferent.

I am sorry for the pain you and your wife are
dealing with. I wish strength.

Prayingforhope posted 2/3/2014 04:20 AM

Thanks Spotless, I really don't know where the line is on me receiving what I deserve VS. abuse. For now, in this early stage, when I really don't have any rights, I am taking it all on the chin. In the future I guess it will be different.

Thanks IwillNot, it helps to read and re-read what you wrote. Her anger is coming from somewhere and I just need to be happy she is sharing it with me in any capacity and continue to meet it with love and remorse. One thing is for sure, it is impossible for me to be angry or defensive when she is with me. I don't have it in me...I'm just filled with sorrow when I see her in pain.

SlowUptake posted 2/3/2014 05:13 AM

Before she was even half done with her onslaught, I was crying like a baby

A piece of advice. While I know it's hard, don't do this.
She needs you to be her rock right now. She's not interested in your sorrow or pain at the moment and won't be for a while.
When she sees you breakdown all she will think is 'Selfish dick, I'm in pain and all he can think about is how much he's hurting'.
We all know that's not accurate, but trust me, that's what she is thinking.

sinsof thefather posted 2/3/2014 05:29 AM

Prayingforhope, sometimes when a bs has even a 'little thaw' toward the ws (her empathic e-mail to you) it can bring on a renewed and even stronger outburst of anger again because they are angry with themselves for having 'let you in' even a tiny little bit during that thaw. They think you don't 'deserve' anything from them after what you have done and it sounds to me like this is what happened with your wife between that e-mail and Saturday when she saw you in the flesh again.

I can't talk for your wife and I don't know what she will ultimately decide about your R - but I can say that from my perspective as reconciled bs that you are doing everything you can to give yourself the best chance of achieving the chance of R that you want. Resigning your job with no guarantees from your wife that it would gain you anything was a very brave move on your part - it showed your commitment in actions not just words. It was a very big gesture that I have no doubt will count in your favour in your wife's thoughts as she weighs up whether she wants to try to reconcile with you in the future.

I'm sorry that you are both in such pain but I'm glad that you do 'get' what you have done to your wife. You are proving your remorse and your resolve in your actions, so just keep moving on that forward path towards integrity pfh. It's the best thing you can do for the both of you right now.

newbeg2011 posted 2/3/2014 06:46 AM

I am 3 years out from DDay LTA. The anger , rage swearing is all so normal. I think it helped my w get through the moment with me or she would have trembled with fear. She hurt So bad that the anger gave her strength. I too cried seeing the magnitude of destruction my A caused. But what I learned is the more she was able to vent and see I wasn't running or denying anymore. The more she could heal. The more sh is able to vent the les she is holding bottled up inside. Keep showing her a man who will do what ever it take to win her back and live his . You need to find our whys for you so you can be the man you want to be. Keep working on you she can't invest back in if you don't.
I am praying for u

ItsaClimb posted 2/3/2014 09:12 AM

Praying, I can really feel your pain coming through in your post.

Some of us BSs can really fling the anger right out there, others seem to cope more.... gracefully. I am NOT one of the graceful ones and my anger was off the charts from about 4 months out, right up until about a month or two ago. It was awful for both my fWH and for me too. As a BS it is scary and humiliating to have that kind of rage flowing through us. I hated it. I felt like I lost any remaining dignity when I had really bad anger outbursts and felt shame on top of all the other emotions I was trying to process. I suspect your wife is feeling this too.

Personally I feel that I had to release that anger, bottling it up didn't work for me. I tried. I hated all these angry outbursts and would try to keep it in, but sooner or later, like a volcano it would explode all over the place. Horrible!

Remember anger is a secondary emotion - it is masking something else, often fear is what lies beneath that anger. A "the best form of defence is attack" kind of thing going on. It took a long time before I was able to get to the bottom of what was making me so angry and face the fact that it was fear - fear of being abandoned again, fear of rejection, fear of being so vulnerable, fear of betrayal... once I could really look at that fear, acknowledge it and express it, my anger slooowly began to diminish.

I'm going to disagree with SlowUptake and say that I wish my fWH had been able to express more sorrow at the times when I was angry. I think seeing my husbands tears would probably have made me feel that his remorse was genuine. At the beginning my fWH would either appear very controlled or else he would mirror my anger, which only inflamed me more. This whole surviving infidelity thing is so personal and we all react and relate differently, so what works for one doesn't always work for another.

It seems to me you are doing the right things to demonstrate your remorse to your wife. Keep at it and don't give up hope. Honestly, for some BS the commitment to R comes quickly, for others it takes a really long time before the BS can truly feel that successful R is possible. I committed to trying to R quite early on, but I made no promises and there were no guarantees. I had a LOT of stuff to process before I got to a point where I began to have hope that my fWS and I could make something good out of this mess and that successful R was possible.

It was only at 16 months out that I felt a shift - before that I had the odd day, sometimes a couple of days, when I felt hopeful and then a new surge of anger and resentment, or depression, would hit me and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't hang on to the hope of a good future.

My fWS hung in there for 16 months, never knowing if we were going to live in a war zone forever (that seemed likely!) or whether I was going to up and leave at any moment. Those 16 months were absolutely awful for both of us, we had VERY few good days, but we endured it and things are looking good for us now. Finally! So if you really love your wife and are committed to R, don't give up hope, not for a long time.

[This message edited by ItsaClimb at 9:16 AM, February 3rd (Monday)]

1bigidiot79 posted 2/3/2014 09:40 AM

Praying, I just wanted to offer you a word of encouragement because I can relate to what happened to you this weekend. I am a little further out than you but what you are describing is exactly what I went through as well. Especially the emotional part for you.

I have read a lot of your posts and you seem to be doing a lot of the same things I was doing back then as far as seeking the advice of others on this forum and truly seeking to be a WS that "gets it" and wants to put in the work and do whatever it takes to help your BS.

I want you to know that the best thing you can do is to continue to work, continue to dig for your "why" and to continue to learn. There is definitely a learning curve for us WS's I think as we try to navigate the waters of becoming a better partner.

Hopefully this will be an encouragement to you. Just this weekend my BS told me that she wants to be happy with me. She told me she is no longer angry and is not trying to punish me but just doesn't know how to feel any different or how to move forward. That is kind of a good news bad news situation (bad news being she doesn't know what to do now) but for a guy who has spent the last 6 months basically where you are now, the good news outweighs the bad news a million times over. What to do next is just the next big hurdle we have to cross and I plan on being just as steadfast and committed to helping her with that as I have been in helping her get over the anger. You see it's just one step at a time. So many people gave the advice to just keep up the good work and stay committed. So that's my advice to you as well. Stay the course. Ride the rollercoaster and recognize the hills and the valleys but don't lose site of the end.

I'm not saying everything will turn out all rosey and with no speed bumps along the way as I realize that I still have a tremendous mountain left to climb. But with each little victory my confidence and hope grows that one day we will make it. Hang in there man.

NoGoodUsername posted 2/3/2014 11:05 AM


I firmly believe that it is better to experience these emotions, face them and work through them. Her fury, your shame, everything else. We are emotional creatures and ignore that at our peril. Somehow our society has labeled strong emotions as being negative and that it is better to stuff them away than to actually have a feeling about something.

I submit that if we don't take the time to experience these emotions and examine what is driving them that it will be harder to really own the feelings their sources.

As far as your wife seeing you break down goes, it's not one size fits all. My wife needed to see me experience the pain of what I did. I needed to go through that fire and own it. Much of what contributed to my affair was not having good ownership of what I felt or what I was doing to self-medicate. (Ego kibble and sexual titillation being my drugs of choice.)

Be there for your wife as she rages. It's going to be hard, but she needs to express this wholly legitimate anger. You need to see the hurt you have done and experience the whole thing. If things get too unstable, back off and return later.

Good luck, this is hard.

Prayingforhope posted 2/4/2014 06:16 AM

Hi everyone, I waited to post a response to all these amazing comments and support as I wanted to take the time to fully absorb them. There is a lot of insight here that helps in so many ways remind me I’m not alone and perhaps more importantly, how to improve my empathy towards my wife.

@bigidiot – that is encouragement and I have gotten a lot of encouragement from your posts. When I joined over Xmas I realized instantly that our ddays were 3 months apart, making you some sort of a future beacon in my own recovery. Thanks for sharing where you’re at with your BS and God willing I’ll continue to follow your path.

@sinsofthe father – thank you for the insight. That is a really clear example of “1 step forward, 2 steps back”. My BS is so hard on herself for ‘letting this happen’ that I can perfectly imagine her getting angry because we had an almost normal Thursday last week. It also helps to know that it seems I am doing the right things – from moving out when she asked, to taking over household chores, to quitting my job, to dropping my friends who weren’t FOM, to IC, etc. I’m doing everything I can think of to make her safe, learn about myself and hopefully lay some groundwork for a future together. Time will tell what it means to my marriage but I can see clearly enough already to know that I’m going to come out a healthier person regardless.

@newbeg, thanks for the words of support. LTAs are a beast of their own variety so your POV helps. The fact that I was able to be in an LTA for so long really expands the need for IC, self-reflection and understanding how to change behavior, rebuild boundaries and generally just heal myself. It’s shocking to me how deep the rabbit hole goes on understanding the reasons “why” and really coming to grips with the two people inside of me.

@Itsaclimb, THANK YOU for the perspective on rage. My BS is a hot-blooded in the best of times, so you can imagine the kind of volcano she is trying to control since DDay. While I understand better what is driving this, I didn’t realize her anger may also be making her feel even worse. That makes total sense and explains some of the rage when she says “I hate the person you have turned me into”. As insightful as that is it really is even more material to be sad about, but hank you for sharing that and no worries, I will never give up on my marriage. This is the only woman I have ever loved and I’m settled in for the long haul to fight for our marriage. I’m always encouraged by the thought of knowing that, in the end, I MUST be able to look myself in the mirror and know that I have done everything possible try and reconcile. What happens after that is out of my hands.

@Nogoodusername “Taking the time to experience the emotions” is a big part of my IC and overall therapy. I don’t know about other people, but since DDay, every day has gotten slower for me (in a good way). It’s amazing what has happened in my life now that I’m able to stop running from my lies and constantly chasing distractions through the A, work, drinking, etc. Life slows waaaaay down and it is able to be experienced now. Emotions are NORMAL, not something to be avoided in addition to all the little things, like cooking for my children or taking the time to talk to them about their day in school, etc. that I’m now capable to appreciate.

Thanks everyone for the insights and support.

somethingremorse posted 2/4/2014 11:17 AM

My wife needed to see me experience the pain of what I did. I needed to go through that fire and own it. Much of what contributed to my affair was not having good ownership of what I felt ...

This was/is my situation , too. I think the time I completely broke down in MC was a moment that pushed our R forward.

Hang in there.

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