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nogoodap1 posted 3/22/2014 15:56 PM

How do I fix the damage that I have caused on my BGF? While I'm being an open book, She has all my passwords, I've told her the truth to all the lies I've told and things I've hidden. I'm fixing myself in ways that I've never bothered before. I've stopped porn. I've stopped checking out women. I tell her about my days and what I encounter. But she tells me this isn't fixing what I've done. That they are just things I should have been doing from day one. So how do I fix, make better, repair, the damage I've done.

BrokenButTrying posted 3/22/2014 18:05 PM

There is no quick fix. It's a process. It takes consistent action, openness, honesty, transparency, love, patience, the ability not just to listen but to hear what your BS is saying, dedication, reassurance, empathy, a continuous effort to rebuild trust and most important of all, time.

She will heal but you cannot rush her and she cannot rush herself. Is she in IC? That would help her.

The general thinking on SI is 2-5 years to recover from infidelity. But, I'd say five years is more realistic and the changes you're making must be for your whole life. Not just until she's over it.

You can't fix it for her. But you can be there for her while you heal together.

seenow posted 3/22/2014 21:10 PM

You, you fix yourself. You do everything you can to be the best person you can be. You figure out your FOO issues. You work!

She makes her decision and you let go of that.

Skan posted 3/23/2014 17:04 PM

You fix yourself, you become and stay consistent in speaking the truth, being transparent, and allowing her to monitor your electronic/social media usage for as long as she needs to. You answer all questions truthfully and you offer up insights to her as they become apparent to you. You do this for as long as needed and without making her feel guilty, petty, or minimized. You offer yourself with love and you proactively look for what you can do to help her and to make things a bit better for her. You start filling up that trust bucket that you dumped over with drops of water. And you realize that it is going to take time, lots and lots of time, for any of this to register. Just keep filling that bucket drop by drop.

nogoodap1 posted 3/23/2014 21:33 PM

You are right broken. I need to hear her instead of just listening to her. I need to work on that part of me more. But it's hard. I sometimes think I have an idea of what she's trying to say but I'm usually wrong. I really wish my communication skills were way better.

But as I've said. Most of the other things are what I should have been doing from the begining. And don't fix the damage I've caused.

I've also got to learn to keep my cool and stop acting like a 5 year old and get angry. I'm tearing her apart. And every time I hear a sweet song or think about the good times or read every mans marriage I realize what a precious gift she is for me and I'm trampling on her and I'm not being one with her. She deserves the best in everything.

peoplepleaser posted 3/23/2014 22:35 PM

Of I may offer a BS perspective (I didn't see a stop sign), all the responses are good ones. I would add that telling her what you posted in the last paragraph if your last response would be extremely helpful. Sharing thoughts like that voluntarily and unsolicited goes a long way toward making her feel special to you again. There are several threads in the Reconciliation forum where BSs discuss needing to feel special again. I'm not going to get into all of the reasons why in this response, but I encourage you to look them up if you are interested. What you are doing goes a long way to rebuild trust, which is important, but feeling special to you will go a long way toward helping her heal from the pain. Maybe wooing her again, like you probably did when you first met is a good place to start with that. If course that's if she's open to it.

I wish you strength and luck in your journey toward R.

Bumbling posted 3/26/2014 21:14 PM

Nogood, what was your main transgression? Are your sins really are just porn and checking out other women (by which I presume you mean looking.)

The checking out women thing is weird to me. Certainly, a girl you're with deserves to feel special, like the most important girl in the room. But it's pretty natural to look. Have some discretion of course, but you're going to be attracted to other people.

Dunno that I'm helping exactly, but it sounds like she's got some unrealistic expectations. You're not going to suddenly not be attracted women.

RegretsTillIDie posted 3/26/2014 22:56 PM

For me it's trying to express my feelings and not just actions - most of the nice things I'm doing are things that every good husband ought to be doing anyway - I don't, and shouldn't expect any atta boys or pats on the back for doing what most good husbands are doing all the time. I have to work on me, never take her or the gift she has given me for granted and keep letting her know -by my actions and words - that there is a new person inside here and its the husband she thought she was getting in the first place. I realize I critically damaged my wife in ways that will never heal and I've got to live with that for the rest of my life - just like she has to live with it. I bought a plaque that's hanging in our house that says "It's never too late to live happily ever after" - a little corny but it offers a glimpse of hope that I don't want to let go of. Good luck and keep up the work

nogoodap1 posted 3/27/2014 06:38 AM

I welcome BS responses, it offers more perspectives to the other side of the fence. I'm making more of an effort to show her and tell her how I feel. it's just hard to take advice on here. Not because I don't want it or want to follow it. It's that I don't want it to look like I'm pretending. I love her with every part of me, and want to show her every day.

Part of my sin is porn and checking women out. On top of my cheating with a ONS and also flirting with women that I considered friends, that I would have taken the chance if given :(. I also lied about women I was intimate with in the past (not during this relationship), and then brought them into my BGF's life and our home. I was a really crappy person and an even crappier boyfriend. I'm a whole new person. I've gotten rid of my toxic guy friends. I have no female friends. I've done a lot of things to give her peace of mind. But as far as the "looking at other women" thing goes it's highly unacceptable. While I understand that there are attractive people out there. no one is turning your head to look but you, and that was what I was fighting. I was so use to checking out women that it became second nature. if you took a boy and raised him away from society and taught him respect and nothing sexual and 20 years later threw him into society I HIGHLY doubt he will be checking out women because its his nature. It's how we are raised.

I do have a problem expressing my feelings. I sometimes can't find the words and I wish I was as amazing as her. She's my idol. I'm trying to do better and better every day and I hope it's enough to show her that I want to stay in this faithfully forever. She is a precious gift that I want to cherish and treat with love, respect, dignity, passion, care, and awe. And by the way I love that sign you have, It's sweet. And I'm trying to be the boyfriend she thought she was getting in the first place. I just hope it's enough to fix what I've done.

[This message edited by nogoodap1 at 8:22 PM, April 3rd (Thursday)]

Itsgoingtobeok posted 3/27/2014 08:53 AM

Never get defensive . If she gets upset at you for not taking out the trash don't say " the trash wasn't filled or I'm doinging it later " say I'm so sorry " . You can never say your sorry enough .

Bumbling posted 4/2/2014 17:30 PM

Being attracted to other women isn't a sin. You've been wired by thousands of years of evolution to be interested in them. Making your GF feel unappreciated, not respected, or unimportant are all damaging to your relationship, and if you're gawking at other girls, it's going to do exactly that. If you see a pretty girl and find the urge to stare, take a mental picture instead. Close your eyes and store the image away for later. Don't crane your neck to watch her sashay away. Pretend everyone can see exactly what you're focusing on, because they pretty much can. Those little glances down at her cleavage? Yeah, they notice those too.

Honestly, and I expect to get some push back on this, porn is kind of the same thing. Almost all guys use it. It can be used in a way that's respectful of your girlfriend's sensitivity to it. I'm not encouraging you to lie to your girlfriend, but have some discretion in when and how you partake. Remember that 99% of porn is male fantasy, and a lot of the stuff in it isn't how people in a loving relationship connect.

She needs to learn that porn isn't the devil, and you need to figure out how to not rub it in her face.

4everfaithful83 posted 4/2/2014 20:39 PM

There are many things you can do, most of which have been listed.

A big one for me is NEVER getting defensive. No matter how many times you get asked the same questions, always answer truthfully. Never rush recovery. It takes time to heal. And always except full responsibility for your actions. Apologize without being asked to apologize.

You sound remorseful, which is an important first step!

Actionsoverwords posted 4/3/2014 21:28 PM


There are many things you can do, most of which have been listed.
A big one for me is NEVER getting defensive. No matter how many times you get asked the same questions, always answer truthfully. Never rush recovery. It takes time to heal. And always except full responsibility for your actions. Apologize without being asked to apologize.

You sound remorseful, which is an important first step!

That is a huge one. It is easier said than done, but something I just thought about when I started reading this thread was that when one person is defensive and the other is aggressive or vocal, you are both not speaking the same "language" sort to speak and no one is being heard. Better to de-escalate and answer questions respectfully and without condensation.

I apologize if I come off as condescending. I am a person that is constantly exhibiting resentment AND aggression towards my BW even though I did everything wrong. It is a bad position to take and all it does is alienate and hurt your spouse even more than he/he is already experiencing.

JustWow posted 4/4/2014 07:30 AM

Bumbling, you said

She needs to learn that porn isn't the devil, and you need to figure out how to not rub it in her face.

I will respectfully say that, to HER, it may be the devil, for many reasons. And for their relationship, it may very well be the devil, as, well. If the original poster can agree to that boundary, there likely is no productive R advice in trying to get him to try to change her boundaries.

He needs to work on a relationship with her that she is willing to be in, trying to convince her otherwise, is counterproductive to R, in my opinion.


Have you asked her directly what types of changes and behaviors and actions that she would find helpful? I think I can empathize with her in that all of the positive changes that you have been working on, while good, are things that should have been there all along. So that repairing "you" doesn't necessarily repair the relationship. I am willing to bet she may have some concrete ideas, or suggestions, of what would help her. If not, it may open a productive dialogue where you can suggest some things you have thought of, or at least, let her know you are willing to do whatever it takes...

[This message edited by JustWow at 7:31 AM, April 4th (Friday)]

Bumbling posted 4/6/2014 13:20 PM

I appreciate your stance, JustWow. There's a larger context to my comment. If you'll forgive some hetro-normative gender simplification, porn is for men what romantic comedies are for women. Both portray unrealistic interactions that are skewed to vicariously fulfill the need for fantasy that one gender wants. We've been programmed to want those things by thousands of years of evolution (we didn't make sex, sex quite literally made us) and cultural suggestion. But our culture is sex negative enough that it sees porn as a bad corrupting force. I'm arguing that it's more accurate to see it as a reflection of what we quietly want. It's not so different than wanting to be a super hero, as long as you are clear that one is fantasy, and real relationships are very different. They take work, and investment. They also have much greater depth of connection with a full partner with preferences and quirks of their own, rather than the one dimensional characters in a fantasy.

I don't think that NoGood can tell his GF what I've said about porn. I can say it though, and she may well read it. The long term happiness of both people is more important than short term reconciliation in my opinion. If one wants porn (which 90% of men do) and the other forbids it, they're going to be in a cycle of resentment and wounding each other.

angerisme posted 5/31/2014 18:50 PM

Anytime someone defends a desire righteously...I wonder to myself why it is so important to them. Often there are redeeming aspects of the NEEDED behavior. I think considering pornography a NEED rather than an object of minor amusement may be indicative of a more psychically draining problem. You are wrong sir when you say 90% of men want porn...empirical research points at less than half of your quoted percentage, and many women have no interest at all in "romantic" comedies. Indeed, it would seem a majority of infidelities are comedies with only imagined romance or love. Empirical research also shows that a majority of women experience a greater physiological response to pornography than men even when they do not pursue pornography. I hope you can find a therapist to help you with basic faulty understanding of generalizations according to sex. It would be a shame to miss out on the message just because you are speaking the wrong language.

TrulySad posted 6/1/2014 22:16 PM

Oops...Please see Nogoodap1 in next post

[This message edited by TrulySad at 10:18 PM, June 1st (Sunday)]

nogoodap1 posted 6/1/2014 22:19 PM

That's just it. PORN IS BAD FOR ME!! I was using it for only my desire to get a release at hurting my GF as an expense. And I have lived this way my whole life it has seemed. I thought IT was something I needed but as more time stretches from the last time I used it (well over a year and counting) I realize it was only a selfish want. If more men who read my words stepped away from porn for a couple of months because they truly wanted you realize its not water, food, or shelter. It's a waste of time that could be better used elsewhere. And you will realize stopping porn and all that goes with using women as objects. your life will not only improve in many ways but your home life with your spouse will get better 10 fold. Every woman is hurt by porn that their man is using... EVERY WOMAN IS. Regardless if they admit it to you or not. Unless they have a sick fetish and love that they aren't all you need to get off.

Bumbling posted 6/3/2014 17:06 PM

nogood- Sounds like you've got a solution that works for you. Excellent!

angerisme- I was curious about what the numbers really were for porn use, since honestly my 90% number was something I pulled out of my butt. I found half a dozen studies here on ye olde internet, and they all had wildly differing results. One psych study couldn't find any young men who hadn't seen porn, some cited about 25% self reported porn use. A lot of the sites have a clear vested interest in some specific result, to sell filtering software or a religious ideology. I don't see how to sort out an accurate number from all the noise.
I think my defense of porn is more a function of my compulsion to be right and uncover the truth than it is about any particular affection for the genre.

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