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When to stop fighting?

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BrokenButTrying posted 2/9/2014 16:02 PM

May need some 2x4 here, swing at will.

Today I have been doing a lot of thinking and then about an hour of talking with BH.

My thinking was along the theme of him not being ready to talk about our pre-A marriage issues. Our MC says he is not yet willing to accept responsibility for his half of those issues (please note, I am separating the M issues and the A. The former does not justify the latter.) My thought was, what if he's never ready?
He's refusing to continue MC, won't even entertain the idea of IC, says I am broken and need fixing (true) but that he is fine and is dealing with everything well (not true, he has admitted depression and suicidal thoughts).

About two weeks ago I wrote seven pages of waffle, not to anyone in particular, just trying to figure out my 'why'. Our MC (now my IC) said I should show this to BH. I chose not to, recognising that he wasn't in the right place to hear it. This was the topic of tonight's discussion with BH.

He says he isn't interested in finding out my 'why', it makes no difference to how he feels. He says he cannot forgive me, he doesn't want to because he's never going to be able to forget and therefore we can never be together and be happy.
I have tried explaining what forgiveness is not (condoning, excusing, etc) That forgiveness and R don't go hand in hand. That of course he won't ever forget, I don't expect him to. He says the fact I think our M can one day be stronger and we could ever be happy again means I don't understand what I've done to him.

He is also resentful that I am working on myself. He says it demonstrates how selfish I am.
I have never been defensive, I haven't TT, I am calm in the face of his lashing out and punishment because I know the pain it comes from. I ride the rollercoaster with him, I support him, giving comfort and space as and when needed. I am open and honest. I ask him what he needs from me but he says nothing. He doesn't want or need anything from me. And yet his anger that I am working on myself and him saying 'you don't care about our M at all, you only care about yourself', suggests that he had an idea of what he wanted me to do, had expectations of my behaviour but he didn't share them and now he's angry I haven't delivered.

We do have good days, we laugh and play, we have intimacy, loving moments and, you get the picture! I welcome those moments with open arms. By his own admission they are happy moments although the A is always in the back of his mind. But at the same time as those happy moments, he's saying he wants to separate (I have agreed to this but as yet he is yet to go through with it) he swings from wanting to separate permanently to not knowing what he wants after the initial separation.

I can't help him heal. I can't even help him recognise that he needs to heal. All I can do is wait and work on myself. But I love him and care about him so I worry, what if he rug sweeps (he's done that A LOT in the past with FOO issues and our M issues) and never heals? What do I do then?

He is the most stubborn person I know, he will never back down from anything, ever. I know his pride is hurt because of my actions and choices and he doesn't want to damage it further by admitting he needs help or to heal. But I don't know what to do now, I don't know how we can move forwards.

I don't want to stop fighting for our M, I truly believe we can get through this. I'm putting everything into it, I am totally committed to it. But I worry I may flogging a dead horse?

Sorry, I'm rambling. Knock some sense into me, please.

Brandon808 posted 2/9/2014 17:16 PM

He is also resentful that I am working on myself. He says it demonstrates how selfish I am.
This is ironic to me because had my WSO (any of them) ever truly committed to R then this would have been one of the requirements. Fix yourself.

I'm not sure what to advise exactly. Every BS handles things differently but he does not seem to be taking ownership of his healing. Regardless of R a BS still needs to attend to their healing.

bionicgal posted 2/9/2014 17:22 PM

Is this your husband's nature (to avoid and to detach when faced with difficulty), or does he usually do this initially, and then come out swinging? He is surely very hurt, and may not be ready to face his issues for a while. I don't know when your dday is, but it may just take some time. He may spend quite a bit of time just being hurt, and that is just the way it is.

Other waywards will surely have better advice than me, but I think patience is in order. Your BS has had a heavy blow, and no one can predict if he is really up to R. And, it may change over time. But, be careful of him being the "bad guy" for not being on the time table of healing you think he should be on.

(I do think counseling is a must though, especially if he is depressed.)

isadora posted 2/9/2014 17:26 PM

Your dday is very recent. Your BH is not ready. Everything you do at this point is going to scream selfish because he doesn't know which way is up. It takes at least two months to start to stabilize and don't even think you are at two months yet. This is a 2-5 year haul. Patience. Give him some space to learn the lay of the land before you start pushing IC, MC or pre A marital issues. Just breathe.

painfulpast posted 2/9/2014 17:45 PM

I can't help him heal.

Respectfully, I disagree. There is actually an e-book titled "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from an Affair." It's a very good read - concise, to the point, and short enough to get to the end in less than a month.

There are a great many things that can be done to help comfort a BS, which is part of helping them heal.

VERY gently - if you are saying that you are working on you, and not on him or the marriage, I'm not surprised that he's seeing it as selfish. His entire world has been shattered, and now you're telling him your concern is you.

I'm not certain that's the case, but if that's why he is saying you're selfish, that may be why. Also, wanting to discuss pre-A issues such a short time after DDay is, from what I've read, not recommended. Your H is still in shock that an A happened. He most likely isn't ready to hear that he didn't wash the dishes enough, or hold your hand, or anything that could be perceived as pushing any blame at all his way. The A needs to be dealt with, his pain as a result, and the rollercoaster he was pushed onto. It's great that you're separating the two - pre A issues and the A - but think of it as an emergency room patient.

A man enters the ER. He has butter on his hands, there is oil on his shoes, he looks very tired, and there is a 14 inch knife sticking in his chest. He needs the knife removed, the wound cleaned and allowed some time to heal and lots of loving gestures. Sure, at some point, there needs to be a discussion with him about using a knife in shoes covered in oil with butter on your hands while tired is a bad idea, but not right now.

If he has asked for a separation, you may want to let him know that if this is what he wants you will go along with it. Let him know that you will wait for him, and you desperately want things to work out. Let him know you're sorry and you love him. BUT, respect his needs. If he needs time alone, please don't force yourself on him.

How long was your A? Did you confess or did he discover it? If the latter, how? You've mentioned he knew OM. How? Were they good friends?

I'm sorry you're struggling. Please remember your BH is as well. You can help him heal by showing him love, empathy, and remorse. By respecting his wishes and, while working on yourself is important, him feeling like the number one priority is very important.

Again, I'm sorry you're struggling. Beyond IC, what other work have you/BH done towards healing? Any books? Meetings? I'm just curious as you're both very new to this world post DDay.

Thanks in advance (((hugs)))

DixieD posted 2/9/2014 18:07 PM

IMO going to MC so soon after dday did more damage than good. Trying to even discuss pre-A marriage issues when you aren't even a month from dday? That's insane -- other BS may think it's a great idea. I don't. A BS has experienced a trauma. You may try to separate those issues in your mind, but how does he? At a month out? He'd be in shock. Even having to think about pre-A marriage issues at that point can bring up a lot of confusion and anger. Your affair and the damage that caused should take center stage for a long LONG time.

I stopped going to MC shortly after Dday. It was just far too easy to link marriage issues to the affair and that just pissed me off tremendously. I was of the mind that my husband had to fix himself first. I don't regret not going to MC.

Now unfortunately your husband should go to IC, especially if he is depressed. But I can tell you how upsetting it is for a BS to have to go to IC because of something their WS caused. It's maddening and frustrating. I wouldn't suggest his IC (if he is agreeable at some point) be your MC if they have been pushing pre-A issues on him so soon.

he doesn't want to because he's never going to be able to forget and therefore we can never be together and be happy.

That contradicts this:

We do have good days, we laugh and play, we have intimacy, loving moments and, you get the picture!

As you can see, that is the rollercoaster. He isn't going to know how he feels from one minute to the next. His emotions will be on this rollercoaster for some time to come.

He is also resentful that I am working on myself. He says it demonstrates how selfish I am.

What does he think you are doing as far as working on yourself that he see as selfish? That could be his anger and depression talking.

IMO BrokenbutTrying, you are looking far too ahead from where you are right now. This is all fresh and new. You are in triage mode, trying to stop the bleeding. You aren't anywhere close to seeing actual healing taking place.

ETA: PainfulPast and I responded at the same time with the same idea....that must mean something

[This message edited by DixieD at 6:23 PM, February 9th (Sunday)]

DixieD posted 2/9/2014 18:19 PM

About two weeks ago I wrote seven pages of waffle, not to anyone in particular, just trying to figure out my 'why'. Our MC (now my IC) said I should show this to BH. I chose not to, recognising that he wasn't in the right place to hear it.

If these seven pages in any way linked your reasons "why" to how you felt about your husband or your marriage, no don't show him.

And if they did, again I question your IC's approach.

BBT, you are so new to all this as well, you why's may involve and change as you dig deeper and deeper.

BrokenButTrying posted 2/10/2014 01:39 AM

Thank you all for your replies, I appreciate your honesty. It has really helped.

Bionicalgirl - Yes, this is how he has dealt with things in the past. I had very bad depression after the birth of our first child. He walked out on me and our son, unable to deal with the healing process I needed to go through. We were separated for six months while I was in IC. When my depression lifted, he came back. He has a distancer coping mechanism, so his instinct is to detach.

Painfulpast - I want to help him heal, he says there is nothing I can do. Says he doesn't want anything from me because he doesn't need to heal, it is me that needs to be fixed.
Based on that, my plan was to wait until he is ready and use that time to work on myself. I am also working on our M, I am reading a lot, SI, talking to him about his feelings and the A. It's hard, he gets irritated that I read so much about it, says I can't learn this stuff from books and websites. He says he knows I am truly remorseful though, which is something I guess.

The A lasted four weeks last summer, I confessed to my BH, Dday was 24/12/13. He and the OM work together (UK army), they don't know each other but know of each other.

I have agreed to a separation, I recognise that's what he needs ans I hope it will start his healing. Unfortunately, the children and I have to leave if we separate. Which means we'll be living several hours apart, huge upheaval for the children and I'm not sure how we'll even co-parent let alone anything else.

Dixie - I agree, we went to MC too quickly. He refuses IC though so at the time it seemed better than nothing. This thread has given me a lot of food for thought, I will discuss it with my IC.

I keep saying to him to give it time, that things will settle down and then we can think about things more clearly. His words say he is rushing to push me away and he wants out so he can forget about it all but his actions (the loving, happy moments and the fact he hasn't actually done anything about separating yet) say the opposite.

I think I'll talk to him tonight, reassure him that he is my main priority and that I'm in this with him for as long as it takes.

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