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Matilda23 posted 3/24/2014 22:50 PM

Honestly, I do not know where to even begin. I'm just filled with so many emotions and thoughts.

I have been in a relationship with my BSO for a little I over two years and just recently he has learned that I had an A and in his words I "took a nuclear bomb and bombed our relationship". We were on two separate pages, he was about to propose, while I was out with the AP. It's true what he says and I take full responsibility.

I hate to see that I have hurt him and torn his heart into pieces. I understand what I say he will never trust without actions. I have changed my phone number and deleted any men in my phone that were not my brothers or family. I go to IC weekly and so does he. I am constantly working on myself and trying to figure out the why. I am looking for a new job and just recently applied for a transfer because a position was opened. I am constantly reading books and forums to help our relationship.

We currently live together but in separate rooms. I am at a lost because last night we talked about remorse. He feels like I am not remorseful and I feel like I am. He says he sees all the big steps and changes and he is proud, but he says it's all regret and I am not remorseful. I send him pictures to ease his mind, I give him a schedule and I let him know if I'm running late from work. He has passwords to my financial accounts, emails, phone and fb. I don't mind because I have nothing to hide.

But how do I know when I am remorseful. We have learned that I have emotions of a five year old. I know the basic ones and I know I have emotions but I just can't differentiate them. Just recently my grandmother passed away and all I could feel was angry and sad. I was confused and I understand that it stems from my FOO. I was always told to suppress my emotions. So how do I know I'm remorseful if I don't know the feeling. Even if my actions may show it, he says it's regret.

I'm sorry I'm babbling but I would like some SI advice.

SorrowfulSoul posted 3/25/2014 00:15 AM

I too, Matilda, have trouble understanding my emotions and if I truly feel remorse. I had an EA/PA for a period of three years. DDay was Sept 1, 2013. The LTA ended in 2006 and I have denied committing adultery for the past 7+ years. My BS has asked me if I feel guilt or remorse and I can't find those emotions in me. I am sad, truly ashamed and hoping learning to understand and be remorseful for the pain I have caused my H. I think as time has moved on over the past 7 months; and as I have read here and on other sites regarding adultery, not to mention numerous books on adultery and FOO issues; and I have watched the agonizing and debilitating pain my H has gone through; I think that more than anything has helped me to understand and feel remorse. I have FOO issues, with my father abandoning our family of 4 kids (I was 11) and a SAHM and my mom an emotional desert, not too mention some sexual abuse as well, I learned to bury all my emotions. Not sure what I feel or what to call what I do feel. It is a process and I am in IC to work on it. I think remorse, if you are like me, and are not deeply connected with your emotions, will be something that you will have to dig deep to understand and recognize, and will come with time...and hard work.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 3/25/2014 16:37 PM

Even if my actions may show it, he says it's regret.

What he might be seeing from you is shame and guilt. That is not the same as remorse, but I can understand how that might be confusing. You feeling horrible for what you have done, feeling sad, angry at yourself, maybe depressed all may seem like remorse but in reality haven't quite hit the nail on the head. You see, all of those feelings are still very self centered. I don't mean that as in selfish, I mean that as in those feelings are self based.

For example, when he expresses his pain and anger do you have a tendency to look down, become quiet, sad, maybe cry? Does your body close in on itself? If so, this is more shame than remorse. In the beginning, it's very difficult to understand the difference. It's my belief that remorse comes in bits and pieces. It's not something that you can have all at once. Which honestly, is a blessing because true remorse can be quite painful.

As you begin to comprehend the magnitude of what your affair has done, you can then begin to demonstrate true remorse. As you examine aspects of your affair, you can begin to "get it". When you get it, you can own it. Getting and owning it is the key to remorse. You can't feel something until you really feel it. Until you can truly attempt to place yourself in his shoes and understand (to the best of your ability) how he feels. An affair in general is too broad a thing to feel all at once. But you can demonstrate remorse for aspects of it.

For example, you may have talked to your AP on your BSO's birthday. Now his birthday may feel ruined to him. Apologizing specifically for this action will demonstrate an understanding for damaging this aspect of his life. Talking about it, explain to him how you understand that it was thoughtless to disregard him on his special day and that you understand that must make him feel second in your eyes. That you want to do what you can to make up for that in the future because he deserves to have a day that is special and just about him without having to think about how much you hurt him.

When "aha" moments come be sure to share them with him. Share your feelings, don't attempt to stuff them and pretend they aren't there for the sake of a good day. Initiate conversations about how the affair has affected the both of you and what your plans are to change to make him feel safe. Reach out to him when he is pain or distant. Don't wait for him to let you know that it's ok to get close.

There will never be a day that you can truly understand how he feels. But with remorse you can view the actions of your affair and feel it through his lenses (perspective).

Don't be afraid to feel his pain. Just be careful not to let it paralyze you. There is a long road to travel still.

Matilda23 posted 3/30/2014 22:35 PM

Hi, first off I want to apologize for not getting back to you two sooner. It was very inconsiderate of me. A busy and stressful week should not give me a reason to stop reading helpful advice on SI. Also, I want to thank you for your time to read my post and reply. They have been helpful. I have learned this week that I do not know how to empathize. I have compartmentalize my feelings beause I was taught to show or feel emotions was weak. I'm trying to be vulnerable so I can feel again. I have emotions of a five year old child, angry, sad, and happy.

Today, was the first day I felt like I had emotions. While my BSO and I had breakfast with his parents I learned that his mom is struggling with shattered dreams. I caused it. I always knew that not only have I betrayed my BSO, I have also betrayed those around that I love. I shattered her dreams of having large family gatherings with grandkids. That was the first I was able to understand and feel. I went home to write her a letter apologizing to her. I'm not going to send it out, maybe one day. I told my BSO about my feelings and I cried. I cried because I could feel but there were no names to these emotions. He's a very intelligent man, so he came up with an idea to write down all emotions and their definitions, and if I ever feel a certain way and I can't identify it, to come back to my list. I will continue to be vulnerable to experience more emotions and try to identify what they are so I can be remorseful with him.

Thank you again, I really appreciate your time and thoughts.

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