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Timing and remorse

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peoplepleaser posted 3/3/2014 17:10 PM

So we had a good first MC session followed with WS realizing she needs to show remorse and coming home with flowers the next day. Since then I have had some intrusive thoughts and some soul searching about what I need and why. Given the history of our relationship issues, I have been holding the promise that I will communicate respectfully by allowing her to be prepared and in a good space.

I left for the weekend for a family event during which time WS got sick while caring for our child and balancing work disruptions. I was already feeling sensitive before leaving from the thoughts and discoveries. So I emailed her, which we decided gives her time to process and prepare. It's been two days and no response. She's still sick so I am taking care if her and our son, but finding time to read SI and cry on my own and self sooth. Is it selfish of me to feel the need to talk in spite if all this? I feel like I'm going to explode from keeping it in. I should also mention that since she's said she can and will show remorse the opportunity hasn't happened given the course of events. Is she avoiding it?

I should mention that the issue is total disclosure and the reasons I believe there is more. I've also been reeling from not feeling special. And this whole time I'm going beyond myself to show her I care and can wait until she's ready, but it's so difficult to do. Help.

[This message edited by peoplepleaser at 5:15 PM, March 3rd (Monday)]

lilacs40 posted 3/3/2014 17:47 PM

Wanted to let you know you've been heard. I'm sorry you're here and hurting.

How sick is she that she can't answer? It does seems like she should at least be able to respond. Is she not responding because she's not well or she is avoiding a confrontation?

I hope you get your answers soon. (Hugs)

peoplepleaser posted 3/3/2014 18:28 PM

She doesn't want competing needs I think. She wants me to put my needs aside and be there for her until she's in a space to respond. She hasn't even read my email yet, I just found out. She just got angry with me for not being present emotionally today because she needed that for comfort in addition to my physical presence.

FixYou71 posted 3/4/2014 00:41 AM

I think at only weeks from day I would have found it hard to wait on my WH too. Not because I didnt care for him but because it would have required me to be more vulnerable than I could bring myself to be at that time. Fearing giving too much and questioning wether my investment, love for him, deep desire for intimacy between us could be reciprocated.
I did the same thing with my post d day letter. I waited to send it because A. I was afraid of the answers to the questions I posed in the letter and B. I was afraid of my neediness at the time. I was afraid I would turn him off if I pushed too hard. I did ultimately wait until he wasn't completely exhausted (a few extra days) only because I felt it best for both of us and I wanted his best self present when he responded.

sisoon posted 3/4/2014 12:58 PM

For her to heal, she needs to be called to account. That's essential - she MUST be called to account. Right now, and at least since her first A, she's been dodging responsibility, and you've been aiding and abetting her dysfunction.

For you to heal, you need to call yourself to account for letting yourself be stepped on, and you need to change yourself.

It sounds like you live in the Drama Triangle as a Rescuer, and she lives in the DT as Victim. And my initial response to your post was to Persecute you. That's not good at all.

I urge you to get into therapy with a goal of replacing people-pleasing with authenticity. You're valuable as a complete person, one who receives as well as gives. You're lovable as well as loving, and a good life requires us to exercise both sets of muscles.

peoplepleaser posted 3/4/2014 13:47 PM

Thanks for the support. What's different in this situation is that even though I'm a people pleaser, I have been very open about my needs and I lead with my emotions. In the relationship, trying to keep it short, she adopted the time if rescuing me from all of my emotions without revealing hers. What that means now is the competing needs. In her IC she is working on expressing them and expecting that I meet them without being derailed by mine. It gets very confusing for both of us while healing from the EAs. On one hand I need to be more attentive and respectful of her time and space when I have needs, but on the other, the needs from her betrayal should be addressed more timely. So behind the balancing act. This makes it so much more difficult as we work toward R, because I hurt so bad and when I wait it gets worse. In my IC I am working on regaining self soothing. That would be fine if we were separated or if we were doing this independent of the EAs. However, it compounds the issue. So while I wait she judges my emotional availability, even though I'm doing the motions right. And my emotional availability wanes because I'm hurt so bad and haven't seen remorse, though I've heard it.

Morhurt posted 3/4/2014 13:53 PM

In my case my H is also just learning to recognize and express his feelings and emotions but honestly, as the betrayed spouse, the wounded one, mine need to come first.

It sounds like you guys need some structure to help you have these difficult talks. Have you read "What Makes Love Last?: How to Build Trust and Avoid Betrayal" By Gottman? It has some concrete ways to communicate effectively. Sometimes we need to actually practice these methods so that when the hurt is there we can still function. It's a very quick and easy read, maybe a little "surface" but we still found it helpful.

sisoon posted 3/4/2014 17:09 PM

Sorry, pp, I see it differently.

Your WS isn't coming clean. Instead, she's making demands on you for support, but she gave up the right to that support by cheating (not once but at least twice). She's using her 'needs' as a way of avoiding meeting yours.

Worse, one of the best ways of rebuilding trust and healthy bonds is to answer questions about the A. There's at least some evidence that the more the WS satisfies the BS's desire for info, the better R is. Your WS is simply not taking the opportunity that is presented to her.

Further, and worse than that, the best thing she can do for herself and for you is to own her own shit - acknowledge what she's done, accept responsibility, etc. That's the first step in her healing. That's her major need right now, as an individual and as your partner. And that's exactly what she's avoiding.

That's not remorse in any way that I can see.

Ordinarily, I'd say that you know better than I do, because you know so much more of your actual situation. In this case, though, IMO, the odds are pretty high that you're making excuses for yourself and your WS.

In the end, of course, you do know your sitch better than I do, and you have to make your own choices about what advice to take. Whatever you decide, I hope the outcome is what you want - but I hope you consider the possibility that what I've said above is an accurate reading of where you are.

After all, if satisfying your desire for information is really the best thing for her, for you, and for your M, not forcing the issue will do damage to her, to you, and to your M.

peoplepleaser posted 3/4/2014 19:45 PM


I have noticed that you provide great insight and guidance on SI, so anything you say is taken seriously and with much thought.

While I've "waited" I've done a lot if journaling and one if my entries touches on the point I think you were making. I am allowing my needs to not be taken seriously because the needs resulting from pain from the EAs are confused with the needs we both have to heal in the relationship. So, to work on the relationship I need to allow space and time without emotional pressure or outbursts. However, this seems to be the opposite of what I deserve or need for R as a result if the EAs. It's a mind screw to try and tease them apart and find a balance.

One of the main issues we need to discuss is her (I believe inadvertently) implications that trusting I won't "walk all over her again" emotionally is on the same level as me trusting her after the EAs. I've tried over and over to explain that out trust in each other for changing behaviors that disrupted our relationship are comparable, but there is no comparison to the damage of trust and security done by the EAs. That's where the lack of remorse and accountability seems to lie right now. That's a huge issue for me, as it invalidates and minimizes my unique position in the relationship based on her disgusting actions and the gift I'm giving her by attempting to R.

We are taking tonight, so I'll update later or tomorrow.

Thanks for all the support. It's been so comforting to be able to come here.

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