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Is it Okay for me to Ask?

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Neveragain1221 posted 3/6/2014 18:00 PM

I want to know if it's okay for me to ask things of my BS. Things that will help me alleviate my own fears and hurts. I know and completely understand that he is going through a lot, and his emotions are all over the place, and I don't want to have torely on him. I want him to be able to rely on me. That is my conundrum. I want and need him to be open and discuss his hurt and feelings with me.

Is it okay for me to ask that of him? He's riding the rollercoaster right now. One day he's up and saying he's willing to R, then the next day he's down and saying he's got the D papers all drafted up, and there's no hope of us moving forward. I want to help him through the down days, but he pushes me away and bottles up his hurt. It seems to me he does nothing, outside of weekly MC with me, to help himself heal. He took a month off work to be home with me (he travels), and he spends his bad days doing nothing but sitting at home brooding and watching tv when I'm at work. When I come home he asks for dinner, then spends the night watching more TV. While the TV might take his mind off the pain for the moment, it does nothing for him long term.

As the WS, I sort of feel like I have no right to ask anything of him. On the other hand, I can't be the only one trying to heal. I am doing what I can to help him get better; IC, MC, total transparency, looking for a new job since AP is a coworker, being home more often, being attentive to his needs, and trying to be there for him when he lets me.

However, at some point he has to help himself. He's been to a few IC sessions, and comes to MC with me, but beyond that there's nothing. No effort, no willingness to put any effort forward, nothing

craig2001 posted 3/6/2014 18:04 PM

Things would have been a lot better if my fWW had asked me if we could talk.

When he says he has divorce papers ready, a lot of times that is about the only angry words a person can say. It usually means he was picturing in his mind what happened or something else triggered the anger. That can go on for quit a while until he gets uses to the mind pictures and they got old.

BrokenButTrying posted 3/6/2014 18:24 PM

Hi Neveragain,

We a little over two months out from Dday and my BH was, until very recently, in exactly the same place as your BH.

On the roller coaster, bottling everything up, refusing to discuss anything at all. Huge ups and downs, pushing me away, pulling me back in.

I am 100% committed, willing to discuss anything and everything. Always ready to talk at any time. But he resisted, said he didn't need to heal he was doing just fine and I should just leave him alone. For awhile I thought I would never get through, I felt like I couldn't reach him.

So I just carried on as normal. I kept going to IC, I worked on myself. Sometimes I pushed him a bit to talk, all I got was anger but I figured that was better than nothing, sitting in silence staring at the TV. But mostly I let him alone.

Patience is the key. Slowly, he is starting to talk more. It's still early days but he's more open to discussion now and we have a started to put together a plan on how to move forward. We are going to do a trial separation because he needs space to heal - his very own words just two nights ago. I am over the moon! I think R is possible, he seems to want it but it's going to be awhile before he's ready for it.

Be patient, be kind. Be loving and calm. Be rational and understanding. You can't force him to recognise your infidelity as a trauma he needs to heal from, he will get there in his own time. If you're in this for the long haul then you just have to wait it out and ride the roller coaster with him.

I need to talk. I need to get my feelings out so if talking to BH isn't an option I write it all down. I have a journal, set out as letters to BH. He knows where I keep it, he can read it any time he wants. Maybe that would work for you too?

You have hurt him deeply, caused him pain and ruined all trust he had in you so it will be hard for him to open up to you, he's scared of getting hurt again. Are you in IC? Reading? Working on yourself? If he sees you doing all that it will help restore his faith that you are committed.

Sending strength, I know it can be tough. Hang in there.

Neveragain1221 posted 3/6/2014 18:44 PM

Thanks. It's hard to be patient, and I think that is mostly my fear. I am very afraid that he's going to say "Sorry, I can't do this," and walk out without trying. He said he's going to give himself until April to make a decision, and I personally think that is way WAY too soon. Especially when he is not trying to help himself.

The hardest part is I know that a huge part of him wants to R. I stumbled on some posts he made on a separate infidelity support forum, and they were so hopeful. He was so committed and wanting to try. Up until very recently, he was 100%. He hadn't committed to staying in M, but he had committed to trying. We were both open with each other, we were video chatting every night when he was away, and on the weekends we'd call each other in the morning and talk for 10-12 hours. We learned things about each other that we should have told each other years ago. It was a great, eye opening, and loving experience.

Then he crashed, and now says he doesn't think he wants to try. He says it will be too hard, and we can both just go find someone else. That scares me, but I also know that that's not what he really wants. There are moments when he cracks his shell, and opens up again. These times only last for a little bit before he clams up again, but I know those are glimpses into what he truly feels. He pushes me away when he's awake, but when he's asleep he rolls over in bed and pulls me close, clinging like he'll never let go.

He was diagnosed with Major Depression around the time he crashed, and to make it worse he also has adult ADHD. I've done a ton of research on both of them since I found out, and from what I read, ADHD makes Depression symptoms MUCH worse. I know that is playing a huge part in his fatalistic attitude. He doesn't think things can get better because he literally can't. His brain won't let him. His heart knows they can, and it shows itself every now and again, but his head is trying to kill it.

The only solace I can take is that, even if he does walk out, I will know that I gave it my all, and I never gave up.

[This message edited by Neveragain1221 at 6:46 PM, March 6th (Thursday)]

TheClimb posted 3/6/2014 19:06 PM

As a BS I need to be very careful in responding to your post. It has been a little over two months since your husband found out about your four year affair and you are upset that he isn't doing enough to heal himself? At two months out I was sleeping only 2-3 hrs per night. I was not eating and could barely function. I was crying every day.....EVERY DAY. Just breathing was a big deal for me. Surviving was about all I could do. I believe you need to be much more patient and allow him to decide the time line on his healing.

Hon, you might feel bad about your affair, but you are not seeing what effect this has had on your husband. Just because it is over for you does not mean it is over for him. Can I suggest that you read some of the BS stories in the Healing Library so you can see that you are expecting way too much of your poor husband at this time?

Later posted 3/6/2014 19:27 PM

I am not trying to be a smartass, but what is it that you are going to "ask" of him that you have not already asked before?

The reason that I ask you that is I think you need to be careful about crossing over from "asking" to "insisting."

I can tell you that my STBXW seemed to have a timeline for my healing in her head and it was totally unrealistic. It sent a strong signal to me that she did not have the endurance that I felt was going to be necessary and that I was investing in a long shot.

Mind you, she was no where near as proactive in her own work as you are.

I think there is some danger of this coming across as, "I blew up your world, now get off your ass and make me feel okay."

I sincerely wish you the best of luck.

StrongerOne posted 3/6/2014 20:21 PM

Neveragain, your intentions seem good, but really, it's been only two months. Hardly enough time for him to be on the upswing. That's the first thing. Second is, it's pretty presumptuous to suggest that he's not doing what he ought to be doing to heal. He's going to weekly MC, he took time off from work, he's cutting himself some slack and taking his mind of some pretty horrible stuff by watching tv. Maybe he's thinking. That's how some people process things. Third, why should he open up to you -- at this point, you are not to be trusted with his heart.

TBH, what I'm really hearing is that this isn't about him -- you say you want and need him to be open and discuss his hurt and feelings with you. It's about you, what you want and need.

You can support him. You can show him you are working at being worthy of some of his trust. But I don't think it's reasonable to ask him to fork over his feelings to help you with your feelings, or to do so in order to meet your idea of how to heal and your idea of the right timeline for healing.

Hope I have not overstepped as a FBS here. If so, mod please let me know and I'll edit.

Neveragain1221 posted 3/6/2014 21:38 PM

I know we're super early on and his emotions are roiling. I guess I'm afraid he'll decide to D without giving himself time to start healing. I'll do my best not to force him to decide on anything. I guess I'll just go back to giving him space.

cdnmommy posted 3/6/2014 23:14 PM

While I agree 100% that your BH must take an active role in his own healing there are two things working against that. One is how soon it is, particularly when dealing with an LTA. I think you are fooling yourself if you expect much from him at this stage. The second is that you still work with your AP. I know I was not able to feel even a little safe while my H was still working with the MOW.

sohowamI posted 3/7/2014 04:40 AM

I'm a BS and it's 20 months since I found out about my WS. I am still 'all over the place.' For the first year I was unable to sleep, eat, function... It took my WS a good year to get out of 'the fog'. If he was in any proximity to any of his APs, then it would have been the end for me.

I think that you really need to give your BS as much space and reassurance as he needs - in fact, he probably doesn't even know what he needs! He's in shock. He's traumatised. He needs to process. This process needs to be about HIM and not about YOU! If you are concerned that he's going to walk out on you, then you need to try even harder. You need to work out why you did what you did without considering the consequences and then ask yourself how you would feel if the roles were reversed.

Sorry if I'm overstepping the boundaries of the BS but you did ask.

spond posted 3/7/2014 06:34 AM

I would probably avoid it right now. Have you read "Not Just Friends by Shirley P. Glass?

My fWW read it and she has been great through our recovery process. I would suggest picking this book up and reading it from cover to cover.

rekindle posted 3/7/2014 09:16 AM

I'm about 3 months out from DDay #2 (about an OEA 4 years ago) with about a month and a half of trickle truth and we're on the same rollercoaster of limbo also. He pulls me in and pushes me away too. One day we're almost "normal" and the next a divorce attorney is calling his phone because of a form he submitted online. When he calms down, he tells me the divorce threats are out of anger, and if he truly wanted a divorce, he would have thrown me out by now. This is the time we really need to embrace the "actions speak louder than words" mantra, because the fact that they still allow us in their presence at this time speaks volumes. Of course its hard to really remember that when we're going through this hell we created, but at least try to remember that.

Absolutely ask him to talk to you about his feelings. There isn't a lot you can do to comfort him, but asking him to talk to you is another way of showing him that you care. On a relatively calm day, my BH told me there are times when he is furious but wishes I would touch him and show him love and affection. I had no idea that was anything he wanted when he's spewing obscenities at me, but that was his request, so that is something I'm going to work on. Maybe that would help your BH too? Something to think about. If I can do anything to show my BH that I'm remorseful and I love him, and remind him of his love for me, I want to try and do it on a regular basis.

Neveragain1221 posted 3/7/2014 10:07 AM

Thanks all for the advice. I am trying to be patient, but I know I'm probably not being as patient as I should. I spent a lot of time last night re-examining my behavior, and I think I have been pushing too hard for a commitment from him. When I look at it, I know I'm acting out of fear.

I'll try to take heart in the fact that he's still living in the house with me, and we're still sleeping in the bedroom together. I try to let him know that I am there for him if he needs to talk, even if he has to call me at work. When I ask, I usually get the same disheartening response of "I'm just upset about the same stuff as usual, and I don't know what I want to do." I wish he'd elaborate, but I'll try not to push him from now on.

We had a mild hiccup last night, where I looked at his computer and discovered he had looked up a girl he admitted having feelings for. He didn't contact her, but he had searched for her after he promised earlier on he wouldn't do things like that. I asked him about it, and I think I managed to be non-confrontational. He said he was feeling very depressed when he looked for her and wanted to see if he had options if we did D. He did not contact her even though he had the opportunity, so I can't be too upset. I am bothered by it, but I am going to wait until our MC session on Monday and see if I'm still upset. If I am, I'll bring it up with the counselor. If I'm not, I'll just let it go.

[This message edited by Neveragain1221 at 10:25 AM, March 7th (Friday)]

IsthereEVERanend posted 3/7/2014 11:24 AM

Never, it might just be his way of coping. You are really only a few weeks out and I have been in your bs shoes. This is going to take a lot of time. More than you can even guess at right now.
He has a lot of shit to process and the devastation is very fresh.
Good luck and best wishes for your success.

Later posted 3/7/2014 11:26 AM

Well, regardless of how you are feeling Monday I think you should discuss the issue with your counselor. Rug sweeping, avoidance - I have personally had enough to last me a lifetime.

BTW, I realize that you said you were looking for a new job but I would encourage you to make that a priority. I honestly don't think that the progress you are anxious to see is going to happen so long as he knows that no contact is not even a possibility.

Neveragain1221 posted 3/7/2014 11:30 AM

I am trying to make it a priority, but it's hard I wouldn't mind a change of scenery and job, and I desperately want to get away from fAP, but the issue is this: My job provides us with fantastic insurance. It's Federal benefits, and there is absolutely no place I can get a job that will cover as much as my insurance currently covers for as cheap. Right now we're really leaning heavily on it for our MC, IC, his Depression meds and ADHD treatment.

I really do want to quit and start somewhere else. I've applied for several jobs, but they're all Federal (so I can keep my insurance), and I know from experience that it can take a long, long time to hear back about anything.

Right now I'm taking solace in the fact that the fAP and I work different shifts in different departments, so we rarely to never cross paths. The few times I have run into him, I ignore and retreat, and I immediately tell BS.

[This message edited by Neveragain1221 at 11:31 AM, March 7th (Friday)]

cdnmommy posted 3/7/2014 11:32 AM

In the meantime, what steps are you taking to make sure you don't have contact with the OM?

Neveragain1221 posted 3/7/2014 11:50 AM

To minimize contact, I have:

-Cut all ties with anyone who is a mutual friend of myself and OM. This means I removed them from social media, deleted their contact info from my phone, and blocked their email addresses.

-I stopped going to social activities that OM would be at. OM and I, along with all of the mutual former friends, were part of a gaming group that met every other weekend. I am no longer a member.

-I removed OM from my "friends list" on online games we both played and blocked him. He can still send me friend requests, but if he does I can report him for harassment.

-I sent a strict NC letter to him, and CC'd his wife, about what would happen if he attempted to contact me in any way. I stressed that I would not be contacting him, and if he tried in any way to speak to me or get a hold of me, I would treat it as harassment and report it as such, either to HR at work or the police outside of work.

-I get to work around 930 in the morning. OM works the early morning shift. His shift ends at 1230. I work in a small office, and he works elsewhere. From 930 to 1230, I do not leave my office other than to use the bathroom. This prevents me from accidentally running into him.

Jrazz posted 3/7/2014 12:03 PM

I think that it's important for the FWS to share their feelings. That being said, I think that you bought a fair share of the cause of this insecurity, and it's time to look inside and see if you are capable of offering your BH unconditional support while he tries to stop the world from spinning around him.

His up-down-up-down feelings and outlook is normal. Part of what fuels it is that he doesn't know who or what to trust. His future stability has been taken out from under him, and everything is confusing on a moment to moment basis. It's like losing gravity.

If you can be his rock, despite his spinning, it could be of great benefit to both of you.

Crazz took the stance of "I will be here for you no matter what." and that was a miracle of an attitude that helped me find my way back, even though I didn't realize it until I felt safe again. I would talk about divorce. I would talk about revenge affairs. I would go from "maybe I could commit to you again" to "I fucking hate you and don't see how I could ever love you" within seconds. That calms down after a while. If Crazz has said, "Well I'm scared because you might leave me and I need an answer before I put more effort into this" I might have told him to kick rocks years ago because that indicated to me that he could leave me again at any moment. I'm lucky I didn't have to face that. I had him sitting there and holding me as I raged. I had him giving me space, and then holding me when I would cry that he was "abandoning me" even through I had asked for space.

The betrayal is crazymaking, and it's my observation that the more history the BS is robbed of, the harder it is to get back to something resembling peace.

Can you be his rock? Can you love and support him with the knowledge that you might wake up and his bags will be packed and he'll have one foot out the door? Showing him that you are going to be faithful and support him NO MATTER WHAT would actually be a long-term healing attitude. This is a foundation on which trust can be built. Slowly. Consistently.

You have every right to your feelings and fears. It makes sense that this is scary for you. The unfairness would be asking him for an emotional commitment right now when he didn't have a choice while you stepped away from the marriage. Showing him that you will never step away from him again, day after day, is something you can do to fix this - over the long term.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 12:07 PM, March 7th (Friday)]

Later posted 3/7/2014 12:21 PM

Well, regardless of how you are feeling Monday I think you should discuss the issue with your counselor. Rug sweeping, avoidance - I have personally had enough to last me a lifetime.

BTW, I realize that you said you were looking for a new job but I would encourage you to make that a priority. I honestly don't think that the progress you are anxious to see is going to happen so long as he knows that no contact is not even a possibility.

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