After finding out about my affair, my wife said that it was over between us. She said for the time being we are just roommates who are co-
parenting, until she can get the strength to leave. I've asked her if she wanted me to move out, if she wanted me to sleep in another room...to which she replied it doesn't matter, and then went on to say I could sleep in the bed with her.
Besides dealing with children issues our conversations/discussions are few and far between. I have answered all of her questions, I have accepted full responsibility for my actions, I have apologized numerous times. I have let her know that I want to stay married and work it out. I have also let her know that first I need to fix myself, but I also want to help her heal as well. I get mixed signals from her about our future together. Besides the HB, which she has said don't get the wrong idea it's just sex and means nothing, she will make comments during our conversations that lead me to believe she is going to try and work it out. I know that it is still early and she is still processing everything. I also know that everything needs to move at her pace.
My question is I don't know what to say to her. She doesn't want to hear the apologies anymore, because she says they mean nothing. If I tell her how much I love her, she reply's with if I loved her I wouldn't have done this to her. I've told her I want to help her heal, to which she says I can't. What can I do or say to her to help her through this, to know what she's feeling, to know what she's thinking, to know if we have a chance together. Everyday seems so uncomfortable, as I am forcing myself not to do the things I normally would do, like holding her, kissing her, telling her I love her...
You are only 3 weeks in on a journey that takes a minimum of 3-5 years so don't panic yet.
It seems that you are taking some steps towards healing but the reality is that at some level, you have had quite some time to come to terms with your cheating alter-ego but for your wife, this seems like it was only yesterday.
Todkbear - What can I do or say to her to help her through this...
Continue with what you are doing. And then add the dimension of TIME into the equation, for it will take time and lots of it before your wife will come to term with what is happening, make her decisions and communicate this to you.
There is a healing library (yellow box to the left of the screen) that has many articles which can answer the questions that you have.
Stilllovinghim - You have got to work every single day on yourself and on your M if you want this to survive. This is the most important thing in your life. This is the air in your lungs. Don't squander it.
Listen to her when she expresses emotions, even anger. Do NOT get defensive. Acknowledge that you are the cause of her pain and reassure her that you will never do it again. Repeat this process over and over again for as long as it takes for her to heal.
She doesn't want to hear the apologies anymore, because she says they mean nothing. If I tell her how much I love her, she reply's with if I loved her I wouldn't have done this to her. I've told her I want to help her heal, to which she says I can't.
What you're describing is normal, and to be expected. Imagine how you'd feel if you'd caught your wife having an affair. If you really think about it, I'm guessing "devastated" wouldn't begin to cover it, am I right?
What can I do or say to her to help her through this, to know what she's feeling, to know what she's thinking, to know if we have a chance together.
What I'm sensing here, is that you're afraid she'll leave you. Gently, though...you left her. You ended the marriage. What you can do is respect her wishes, give her space, and heal thyself. It's not up to you to "help her through this," if she doesn't want you to.
Everyday seems so uncomfortable.
Oh, you poor thing! How awful for you, not being able to hold and kiss your wife. Look, I don't want to read you the riot act, but your post reads very self-centered, with a very high "I" count. Again, this is common with WSs close to DDay. Our affairs were the epitome of selfishness. I don't expect you to turn on a dime and suddenly put your wife's needs and feelings first.
Besides dealing with children issues our conversations/discussions are few and far between.
Around here we call this "the 180," and it's for BSs to protect themselves. As she should be, at this point, because in this post you're not showing any sign of recognizing how deeply you've hurt her. I'm basing that on the number of times in your post you mentioned how hurt, sad, and devastated your wife probably feels. Let's see, hmm, count by two, carry the one, I'm getting about...zero.
You can TRY to empathize with her pain, but I think that's mostly impossible, unless you've been through it. I don't know how many BSs I've seen here talk about how they didn't truly understand, until it happened to them. So, I get that you may not truly understand, and I understand WHY. I hope you never have to truly understand because it is soul crushing.
You can't tell her how much you love her, right now, because your actions have shown her that you treated her with complete disregard. The only thing you can do is SHOW her, with your actions- and this has to be a consistent pattern of loving behavior that persists from now on. If you are inconsistent with your behavior, she won't be able to trust you again. What I mean by this is doing things without her having to ask- it could be as simple as making dinner or taking out the trash, etc. It doesn't have to some grand gesture because she'd probably find that unbelievable, too. Just little things on a daily basis from now on.
If you haven't told her about SI, you might want to tell her, at some point. This place has saved a LOT of marriages, including mine.
As another said...it is a 3 - 5 year rollercoaster. Keep doing what you can. Be honest, transparent, loving, and accepting of her pain. It is VERY raw and VERY real. There will be good days and bad days on this road. There will be anger a few months from now too. Keep doing the hard work of IC/MC. There is no crystal ball of knowing if at the end, this was a dealbreaker this early on.