Forum Archives

Return to Forum List

Only Address A in MC?

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

peoplepleaser posted 2/19/2014 06:54 AM

So a brief history...

My WS and I have had a horrible communication pattern in the relationship where I respond emotionally and instantly and WS needs time to think on her own and address the fact. Also, WS feels responsible for rescuing me from my emotions even if they aren't due to her. After DDay 2 she became incapable of handling my emotions when we separated because of her continued lies. Interestingly, between DDay 1and 2 she expressed some remorse and tried to address my emotions.

Since I found the worst of what she has done, DDay 2, I have been given little opportunity to respond to the EAs. When she came to me last week offering what I needed to work toward R we agreed to discuss the EAs in MC so she would feel comfortable being vulnerable and "sitting in my pain and anger." Her words. I'm sure there is more about the EAs than I know, though she has told me there isn't. From what I've read and from what my gut tells me, it seems that the compartmentalization and the tendency to minimize personal involvement leads to WSs lying to themselves and/or lying by omission even to "protect" the BS.

Our first MC session is Friday. Since we have agreed to move forward toward R I have been having intermittent intrusive thoughts about the EAs and am fearful of what will come out...or what won't. I'm beyond needing ALL the details, but I need to know the worst in order to heal. For instance, the most recent EA, DDay 1, I'm pretty sure are went to OPs house, though she denies that. With the first EA, DDay 2, she has minimized her involvement by saying she only responded in agreement to what OP was texting her (OP was telling her she loved her, planning a life together, and explicitly offering details about the sex they were going to have--and OPs xBS told me that WS was texting about planning a time to get together). WS even told me with that one that it was OP that planned getting together and WS responded by saying it wasn't going to happen. Maybe she did at some point, but 4000 texts in 6 weeks points to more involvement. Also, DDay 2 revealed a pattern of an inability to maintain boundaries, which worries me that there were more breaches even if there were no more EAs.

So, I feel like I'm going to explode waiting to talk about this. Do I let the session be about information gathering, or do I just jump in? I thought about, and it was recommended to me to use Joseph's Letter to explain how important it is that I know the truth, somewhat unsolicited in order to begin healing.

Thoughts about this?
How bad were the details that came out later in MC?
Is it realistic to only discuss the EAs in therapy sessions?

sisoon posted 2/19/2014 07:40 AM

First, accept that your position is very difficult. You've got a lot to say and a lot to hear, and you've waited a long time already.

A good MC will provide an environment in which both of you feel safe to talk and listen. More important, a good MC will give you each techniques to talk and listen that you can use on your own. So you have to wait longer, but you're on your way, and you will arrive.

Is it possible to talk to the MC by phone before the session? If so, you can tell the MC that you're recovering from infidelity, that you have a great desire for the MC to guide you both in getting the truth about your WS's As, and that you want to start as early as possible.

You can then ask the MC how much time you'll have in the first session for discussing the As. If this MC has a process that doesn't allow discussion early, you could look for another MC.

You're in control of your counseling.

Joseph's Letter: It's taken me a long time to realize why I've been unhappy with Joseph's letter - to me it has a Victimy tone, when all he's asking for is what he deserves - the truth. Especially if you're a people-pleaser, now is a time to find your strengths and to assert yourself, and Joseph's Letter doesn't do that, IMO.

Have you looked at the thread in WS titled something like 'What Every WS Needs To Know'? That's WS to WS, with no holds barred and no pulled punches. I think it might be a better way for you to start.

peoplepleaser posted 2/19/2014 11:30 AM

Thank you for your reply. It will help me be patient by expecting the need to wait. I see what you are saying about Joseph's letter. Maybe I can rewrite it to sound less victim-like.

Blobette posted 2/19/2014 15:43 PM

Call me a cynic but it sounds like she's being very successful at calling the shots here. It's all about her needs and not yours. She's saying she can't deal with the repercussions of her actions. I get that it can't be all A talk all the time, but your DD was pretty recent and you can't be expected to have more control over your emotions than she has -- after all, she knows what's been going on and you're trying to adjust to this new reality... is she in IC? Yours might be one of the cases where getting in MC too early might be a negative thing. She has to understand herself before you start working on your M.

[This message edited by Blobette at 3:45 PM, February 19th (Wednesday)]

Rebreather posted 2/19/2014 15:48 PM

Every couple found a different path, but there is no way I would be reconciled today if we only talked about the affair in counseling.

We talked about it every day for months. We talked about it in the morning, in the evening, into the wee hours. Many a day he went to work with just a few hours sleep. Many a day he left work early because I was about to pack my shit.

MC only would never have worked for. It's really something I can't personally understand, really. This is MY life. I'm not waiting around for my abuser to feel "safe" telling me the truth of my reality. Now, to be fair, I also really pulled a lot of punches and didn't lash out. But I talked when I needed to talk, period.

peoplepleaser posted 2/19/2014 16:55 PM

Right. It seems she has a lot of control to me too. Part of why I agreed is because I did have some extreme emotional reactions after DDay 1, which I believe were totally warranted. She is in IC, which has led to some personal insights that include WS recognizing how she set up the roles in our relationship and how she alone was responsible for the EAs. She is in the process of adapting to not reacting to my emotions in a personal and all consuming way. However, it is my hope that through MC we will be able to discuss how my emotional responses to the EAs are hers to own, even as she learns to separate herself from them in other instances.

sisoon posted 2/19/2014 17:52 PM is my hope that through MC we will be able to discuss how my emotional responses to the EAs are hers to own....

Mmmm...that's not the usual approach. Your emotional responses are yours, and yours alone. R requires 3 healings - you're responsible for your healing; your WS is responsible for hers; and you work together to heal your M. You can support each other's healing, but only you can heal yourself.

If you're talking abut anger, grief, and fear, those are your feelings. She needs to hear what you want to share of your feelings without getting defensive or minimizing or gaslighting. She needs to own her responsibility for the damage she's done, but you - not she - determine your feelings.

My own R, like Rebreather's, required hours each day of discussing my W's A for several months.

My hope is that your MC helps you and your WS learn how to conduct the necessary discussions on your own, outside of MC. That way you can have the hours of conversation that you seem to and probably want.

[This message edited by sisoon at 5:54 PM, February 19th (Wednesday)]

peoplepleaser posted 2/19/2014 18:10 PM

Yes, sisoon. You put into words what I failed to do. She is responsible for the damage caused by the EAs. That damage evoked feelings in me that I need to share with her and that she should be willing to listen to without minimizing, getting defensive, blame shifting or gas lighting. What she's looking for overall in our relationship are calmer, more focused conversations, which I can do. But I am going to have some crying and some visible anger in discussions about the EAs, which I believe is appropriate and should be accepted by her. What I've seen so far is done confusion or overlap about the separation between her personal decision and actions outside the relationship and the problems within the relationship for which we share blame.

So I'm wondering, how bad are the added details and confessions that come later?

Also, I couldn't find the WS thread you mentioned, and I went through every page. Do you know more about it so I can find it easier?

peoplepleaser posted 2/20/2014 07:10 AM


So we talked last night because WS asked why I seemed distant. And again our communication difficulties were highlighted...but it was good. Apparently I misunderstood what she was asking. She wasn't asking that we only talk about the EAs in MC. She was asking that we not talk about it every day and that we talk about it without extreme emotional outbursts. After realizing that we had a good talk where I got to ask all my questions. No new information that revealed more of her involvement came out, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. She understood why I had difficulty believing her, at least. I guess time will tell. But she was available, remorseful and attentive.

sisoon posted 2/20/2014 10:28 AM

The thread - It's on the 3rd page now.

Last night's conversation bodes well for the future.

[This message edited by sisoon at 10:29 AM, February 20th (Thursday)]

Return to Forum List

© 2002-2018 ®. All Rights Reserved.     Privacy Policy