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Am I asking too much?

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JustSoSad42 posted 2/12/2014 19:28 PM

I already posted this in a thread below, but I'm reposting in hopes of more responses...

I would like to share and email I sent my husband, and what he wrote back, and get some third party feedback.

Here is what I sent him, while he is at work:

You've probably already guessed this, but I am hurting pretty badly today. I don't know where it came from, but I can't seem to shake it today. As you read this, keep in mind my tone is not angry or anything else. Just matter-of-fact, and a little bit sad.

You did ruin everything. My life was perfect and you ruined it for nothing. Now it feels like the best possible scenario is that we get back to the way it was, only there is this big ugly shadow lurking around reminding me that I can't trust you, that you are so susceptible to temptation. I HATE that that stupid bitch put you in this position. I hate that you were too weak to tell her to get lost. I hate that I didn't mean enough to you at the time to keep that from happening. I hate that as you walked out the door today, I wanted to remind you not to have sex with anyone if you ended up having to sleep there. I can't believe that that thought even enters my mind.

I understand that you get frustrated, and that you can't help feeling what you feel. But it is SO hard for me when you shut down and get frustrated because it just feels like you are ripping my heart out yet again, and that I am not worth putting aside the frustration in order to be present with me, and be sad WITH me about what we lost as a result of your poor choices.

I need you to continue to grieve with me when I am sad. You lost a lot too. You have plenty to be sad about. Be sad for a few minutes with me, so we can both move on together. Please don't just shut down because it sucks thinking about what you did. You NEED to think about it.

I need you think think about things, and share your thoughts with me. The other night when you told me how angry you were at me in church was one of the first and only times I feel like you told me what you were REALLY thinking. I need you to try harder to continue to tell me thing, good and bad, because I am not a mind reader.

None of this means that "nothing you do is good enough for me," it just means that there are some things I think it's extremely important to work on, and the fact that you get frustrated and shut down when I ask you about this stuff makes me feel like I am not worth the uncomfortable work of actually feeling feelings and sharing them. And that stings pretty badly.

I'm not sure where I am going with this, but it's some stuff I needed to get off my chest. I'm about to press send and hoping I don't regret it.

And this was his response:

IJLY{<--means "I Just Love You" it's a "thing" of ours}. I'm sorry that I make you sad. I really am. I'm sorry that my actions and poor choices have essentially destroyed our marriage. I really am trying to make everything work. I wish it were easier to share my feelings with you, but that is not something that I really know how to do. You and I have very different coping mechanisms. We have very different ways to deal with adversity. We have very different ways to show love. I'm sorry the way that I do things does not mesh with the way you do things. But again, I'm trying. I'm sorry that you can't just tell me "bye" with out disgusting thoughts crossing your mind. I still love you. I will always love you. I know that I made a mistake. I'm passed it. I'm trying to do everything I can to help you get through this. You make me the happiest person on the planet.

I love you,

I know he is trying, but am I asking too much by asking him to really take time to feel actual feelings? And share them? I know they have to exist somewhere inside of him. Is it asking too much that he find them?

lostworld posted 2/12/2014 20:13 PM

No, you're not asking too much. Unfortunately, you may be asking for something he just doesn't have available right now (don't get me wrong, you need it and he should give it but...). His response sounded like he was trying, but that it came from his head rather than his heart, which is where you need it to come from.

By your registration date, I'm assuming you're pretty early in this whole miserable process; I hated those early days--in fact I hated the first couple of years. Anyway, I wouldn't quit asking for what you need and deserve, especially in your honest and forthright manner. However, I don't know if someone as locked in his head as your H seems can find a way to his heart without some serious work and IC. With work on themselves, I believe many people can learn to access their more vulnerable self so that they can give to those that they love all that they rightfully deserve. Hopefully, your H falls into that group.

I'd also encourage some IC for you, as well as some MC for you both, if you're not already doing so. Not everyone needs IC/MC, but I know it literally saved me and my M on numerous occasions. Infidelity is so very soul-crushing that it's a wonder that any of us make it through; but we do, and so will you. Hang in there and keep fighting for what you need. Hugs.

JustSoSad42 posted 2/12/2014 20:24 PM

Thank you for your response. I wish I could get my husband into IC, but I won't ask him to do that. I know that he has FOO issues out the wazoo (to name a few, his bio dad lived minutes from him most of his life, never wanted anything to do with him, adoptive father (mom's 2nd husband) killed himself when hubs was 6, his younger brother was killed in a car accident where my husband was driving, hubs was only 16 at the time...etc etc) I am aware that it's not healthy to keep all this inside, but there is SOO much to deal with, I'm not going to make IC a "must" or anything. I'd be totally supportive if he wanted to go, but it will be a cold day in hell before that happens, and I'm OK with that.

I try really hard to ask calm, probing questions to try to get him to THINK about how he feels when I say how I'm feeling. I know he is trying, but he is getting frustrated because he feels he has nothing more to give, nothing else he can do for me, but I still need SO much. This is so hard. Sometimes I just want to quit, but I can't. (not possible financially to remain in the same state if we were to part ways, I'd have to live half way across the country with my parents and I'm not willing to do that to my kids.)

industriousbee posted 2/12/2014 22:15 PM

This is not asking too much.

industriousbee posted 2/12/2014 22:15 PM

This is not asking too much.

mesoSTUPID posted 2/12/2014 22:30 PM

Just So Sad,

I know someone said they didn't get that your WH's response was from the heart but the mind. I really didn't get that. I sensed more frustration and maybe because I can relate. It seems that our WH have closed that chapter and moved on but we BS keep them there because WE haven't moved on yet.

My WH's A was over for 2 months by the time I found out so naturally he had MOVED ON. Now 2 years later (this week made 2 years) I still have not moved on and this causes some frustration because I always want to bring it up to ask or discuss somehow. Yes he's patient and yes he answers my questions but I sense the frustration.

Hang in there and ((HUGS)) to you.

Sammy2013 posted 2/13/2014 06:32 AM

This is exactly where we are right now. He has moved on, but I haven't. And he is frustrated. Says if I can't move on we have no future. Which I know, but don't I get a little time here? Ugh. Everyone is right that his is a logical response and we, as BS, want a heartfelt one. And we want it more than once to give us comfort. Right now my WH is at the "I said I'm sorry and won't do it again. Move on." In a very logical tone. It feels like no remorse and wanting to rug sweep.

JustSoSad42 posted 2/13/2014 07:59 AM

He just can't get it right. I waited up for him to get home around midnight, and he came in after our emails (I responded with what I thought was a pretty clear, detailed email outlining even more why it is important that he go out of his comfort zone emotionally for me, etc etc) and didn't even get so much as an "I'm sorry you were having such a rough evening." I was really hoping for him to come home and just give me a big hug and tell me again how sorry he was for causing me so much pain, but instead I got nothing but an awkward husband pretending like everything was normal. Barely a cuddle when we got in bed, no good night kiss (both of those things are normal in our house, so to NOT do them last night of all nights was just another blow.) Sigh.

I am so frustrated. He really CAN'T do anything right at this point. I don't know what to do. I can't leave him. I am stuck.

FightingBack posted 2/13/2014 08:41 AM

I feel what you feel. You are not asking too much, but the minimum of what is required (for me) to have a loving, intimate relationship.

Without this openness and sharing, the relationship is heavily unbalanced.

My H has difficulty with showing his emotions, and even recognizing them. I they truly want to reconcile, in my opinion, they will step out of their comfort zone for our sakes, but will reap the benefits themselves.

karmahappens posted 2/13/2014 08:47 AM


He has moved on, but I haven't

When you have 2 people actively working on R ^^this^^ cannot happen.

Your spouse should not be willing to let anything go until you have turned over every piece of dirt you need to turn over.

They stand by you, work with you, do not push you faster than you can heal to make themselves feel better. Their #1 priority is fixing themselves and making sure they make themselves the safest partner possible for you to be with.

If you are feeling rushed, unheard, unloved (aside for the normal A doubt) and cast aside by a WS's actions, or lack of you need to take a look at R and possibly have the IC/MC's help with adjusting your/their plan or possibly altering how you proceed with your healing.

MandMs posted 2/13/2014 08:53 AM

This is such a painful time you are going through in your marriage and I can totally relate 100%. I remember when I first heard my H say he had moved on. I was like "what the…?" It was all still so fresh and all the information and feelings were so new and sharp for me. But for him it had been months/years. (lots of TT in our story and lots of different women spread out over many years) He had been doing the work he had to do to come to terms with what he did to me and our marriage. He was much further ahead in the healing process than I was at the time and I wanted to drag him back to that painful place with me so I could have proof that he felt remorse and regret. This was not something he wanted to do and I don't blame him for that now. I get it. Would I want to go back and feel the way I felt when I first found out? Hell no! That shit hurts and I never want to go backwards if I can help it.

That being said, this is what he did to help me. He listened and said sorry. He told me how he was feeling during the times he cheated, he answered any questions I had. He apologized again and again and he went to 12 step meetings, and helped other men with this problem, and he did the work he needed to do to insulate his life from the possibility of betraying me again. And that was all he could do.

Then I had to do my part. (Still doing it and so is he) I had to get a life. I had to make friends and expand my world beyond him and our home and our life together. I had to start considering myself and what I wanted first. I had to learn how to see myself as a separate being from him. We are two different people capable of different things.

I would suggest thinking about what you need from him right now to feel safe in your marriage. Do you need to ask questions? Do you need him to check in with you throughout the day? Do you need him to get into therapy?

The things I needed from him at first are not the things I need now, so this will change and evolve over time. I was lucky because my H was, and is, willing to do what I needed. There were a few not so reasonable requests I had a the beginning I had to reevaluate (like un-friend all your female friends on FB. This changed to un-friend females you have flirted with or are attached to your past in some way and I have unlimited access to your account)

One more thing that was really important to my recovery. Find people you can talk to about this who are not emotionally involved. No family members, no friends. SI is a great start but also joining a support group is a great way to find people who have been through this (church, al-anon, s-anon) This was probably the one factor in our R that helped the most. It was really tempting to spill my guts to my H nightly when things were so emotionally charged at the beginning ( and I did this a lot) and he was freaked out and didn't know how to help me. And then I blamed him for not helping me. This got us nowhere fast.

I hope some of this helps! You will get through this.

Althea posted 2/13/2014 16:36 PM

Gently, JustSoSad42, it sounds like you are trying to fix him; and take it from someone who has BTDT, it will never work. The real question you should be asking is why aren't you asking for more?

Everything you said in your first email is true. He ruined your life, and you future will always have the A as part of it; and now he can't be bothered to figure out why. It sounds like you are fed up, and with good reason. What you have to decide is whether you are going to continue trying to do this for him.

I think there are a couple of things going on. First, the two of you seem to have a relationship where you are constantly going to him to talk about things and he is constantly running from that. It may be that he feels attacked due to the way you are communicating your needs. He clearly resents that you want to talk about the relationship or at least the way you want to talk about it, and is shutting you down. Apparently, this is a super common dynamic in marriages. You can go to marriage counseling, and a counselor can teach the two of you how to communicate more effectively.

However, there is a bigger problem I see. He isn't willing to do the heavy lifting needed to heal your marriage from the A and that is 100% his job. At the same time you aren't getting your needs met, and you don't feel like you have the right to ask for your WH to do some pretty basic things, like get into IC, or talk about the A with you.

Here is my suggestion. Get a little more fed up, in fact, get to the point where you are no longer afraid of what your life will be if he leaves. Get into IC and figure out why you have settled for so little since you found out your WH cheated on you. Work on yourself. Once you get to this point, you will no longer fear asking him to get into IC. He needs it. Honestly, if he is going to leave you before he goes to IC, don't you deserve more?

I hope this is helpful, I read SO MUCH of my own relationship in your post including the way WH and I used to interact with each other. FWIW when we got stuck in a similar pattern early on. I rephrased what I was saying so that it was more along the lines of, I'm hurting and I need your help. I can't see my way out of this myself. This freed him from the "nothing I do is good enough" shame spiral long enough to see that I wasn't trying to punish him. However, like the MC, it is a communication technique that is going to get you limited mileage.

The very best thing I did was just stop. Stopped trying to give him books, stopped telling him what I wanted him to do to help me heal, stopped forwarding him articles, etc. I stopped, took care of myself, by getting into IC, and told him that unless he got into IC and figured out what broken part of him let him do this to us, I was done. And I was.

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