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inshockandhurt posted 3/29/2014 19:45 PM

My husband is a good man and he seems to be remorseful and on the surface he seems to be trying to be as transparent as possible, caring and supportive when I trigger and on the whole things between us are good. The only complaint I have, is that he doesn't take initiative to help with my healing; he never reads stuff unless I suggest it and then after once or twice he stops reading until I remind him, we have had the Not Just Friends book since early February and he is only a quarter of the way through the book, we have had the How Can I Forgive You book for probably at least six months and he is only about halfway through that one. I have tried to tell him there is a lot of good information in there about getting through this and although he says he wants to do everything he can to help me through this and get though it himself he procrastinates in reading; something else always seems to be more important, homework, video games, guitar practice. I have tried to talk to him about this issue and he always says he will try to do better and for a few days he does, but then he starts slacking again. I have tried to figure out why this bothers me so much and I am still not sure. I think it is because it makes me feel like he is not 100% committed to healing our marriage, it makes it feel like it is not a priority for him, and maybe in the back of his mind it is not really what he wants. He does a lot of other things though, like trying to be affectionate and understanding when I am sad, letting me talk when I need to and not getting irritated. He has been transparent and even offers info that he doesn't necessarily have to, like telling me that an old “friend” who would never recognize him anyway is in our online Psych class. But when he neglects the reading and a few other things I have asked him to do it makes me wonder if it is because, in his heart of hearts he really doesn't want to be here, and the longer his procrastination goes on, the more I think I am right. I don't know, maybe I am just being insecure? Procrastination is often way of life for him, even sometimes when it is something he wants to do. I will give you an example; I asked him to write out a timeline of sorts of the affair, more of a confession with detail, because I have so far had to pull the details out of him with relentless questions, he has never provided detail for me, he has made me ask... so I asked him to write something out and he said he would and to give him a few days to get it together.... that was almost a month ago, and though I know he has worked on it, he has not been very diligent about it, it always seems to be pretty low on his list of priorities, he will work on it for maybe fifteen minutes once or twice a week and then quit to play a game or do his hour-long workout or practice his guitar, it just doesn't seem super important to him. I know that I am not going to leave him over this stuff, so maybe I will just have to resign myself to this behavior, but I also don't think I will ever heal properly unless I see him making this more of a priority. He tells me that healing from this is a priority and that it is important but his actions tell me other wise. If it was really that important I would think he would spend more time each night getting the information to work on the healing process than he does working out or even doing homework (I know homework is important too, but more important than this?) but he consistently puts reading and things on the back burner. I don't know, maybe I am just being insecure or not appreciating the things he does do? Do I need a 2x4? I know that I tend to be too demanding and over-critical so I am trying to decide if that is what I am doing. And like I said, his doing these things is not a condition of reconciling, I will be staying whatever happens (unless I catch him cheating again of course) but I don't think I will heal either unless he shows me this is really what he wants by making our healing the TOP priority in his life. What do you all think? Just so you know, if I don't answer back right away I apologize, we had another baby a few months ago and I have been sooo busy with him because he refuses to let me put him down most of the time, so please don't get mad if I don't answer your response right away. :)

eachdayisvictory posted 3/30/2014 10:59 AM

The thought I had as I read was from a while ago in my journey. I was, like you, upset that my H didn't want to spend, basically every waking second reading, talking and learning about why and how this happened.

I have a wonderful support person at work who is a FWW, and the OW as well. She reminded me (in regard to this particular issue) that I cannot expect a different person to think, learn, and grow exactly the same way I do. It was a revelation for me, and helped me to re-examine steps in our recovery from what works for ME to what can work for US.

Reading is still important to me, and I now believe that we are both trying to do what the other needs/wants, so we read out loud together. It's not much, just about 5 pages at a time, and definitely not every night. We do it when either one of us feels compelled, and it is almost entirely me - but that's ok with me now. I take comfort in the fact that he is always willing, never rolls his eyes or complains, and the fact that we both hear the same words at the same time.

We did this with 'after the affair' early on, but now we are reading books about relationships instead of survival.

Hugs. You are not alone.

whattheh posted 3/30/2014 12:11 PM

My fWH is the same way and I came to realize that we are different people in different situations. If I really want him to read a book then we read it out loud and discuss it as we go. Really I'm a bigger reader than he is and I want him to know the content more than anything.

We also read posts together on SI occassionally. This approach has worked for us.

[This message edited by whattheh at 12:11 PM, March 30th (Sunday)]

inshockandhurt posted 3/31/2014 11:38 AM

Thank you both for replying. I definitely see your point about trying to remember that people are different and deal with things differently. I guess I am just insecure. I will try the idea of reading aloud, that could be a good thing for us. Thank you again.

[This message edited by inshockandhurt at 11:38 AM, March 31st (Monday)]

SpotlessMind posted 3/31/2014 12:07 PM


I could have written your post a few weeks ago.

The thing that really struck me is your line that procrastination is a way of life for him. So, his lack of initiation and follow-through doesn't just apply to working on healing your relationship, but everything. I know firsthand how challenging it is to believe your spouse is fully dedicated to R when they seem to spend more time surfing the web than talking/reading/etc, but it might just be that procrastination in general is actually the issue, and not his dedication to R.

My husband has been diagnosed with ADHD. He's starting meds this week. While not a panacea by any means, we're super hopeful that when combined with habit modification, positive behavior changes will be easier. I don't know if this might be applicable to your husband, but it can't hurt to read up and discuss in IC, just in case.

It's so frustrating sometimes to think you are the only one pushing R, and without you, the life boat would sink. I'd suggest maybe being very explicit with the things you'd like him to do--finish x book by y date so we can discuss--and writing a list for him. Sometimes having a visual reminder can help, especially if your husband, like mine, struggles with auditory memory.

peoplepleaser posted 3/31/2014 14:17 PM

It definitely can be a difference in how you approach things. I go full-force and whole-hog. I can talk about things for hours and hours. I can have passionate emotional outbursts and receive them. My WS cannot. She needs down time, space and time to think about solutions before coming to the table for a discussion. She can't talk for longer than an hour. I read information I looked for on google (based on what I read on here at one time) about a pursuer/distancer relationship. Check that out and see if it applies to you.

This struck something in me about my own journey, too. It seems he's very focused on helping you with your pain and doing things to move forward, but avoiding things having to do with the past. I might be wrong, but from your post he listens to you talk and ask questions about the A, but doesn't really initiate those discussions or share his feelings and thoughts about it--doesn't explore it WITH you. These observations, along with his possible resistance to doing things on his own that explore the A (reading, writing, etc.), might reveal a resistance to "going there" with you. His guilt and shame might make it difficult for him to "be in it" and explore the ways in which he hurt you and damaged the relationship.

LdyD posted 3/31/2014 14:58 PM

inshockandhurt, aside from the video games and homework, I could have sworn I wrote this topic! My FWH is the exact same way, and I too have the same thoughts as you. Like others have already mentioned, I had to realize that reading is not a priority of my H's (even if it's something he's interested in) if it's too much info on a website, he'll get overwhelmed and skip it!

I've had success in reading things that I want him to hear out loud to him, or I'll dog ear pages and hand him the book to read those pages.

It's not that my H doesn't think our R is important enough, he is a procrastinator with a very short attention span when it comes to reading. I on the other hand enjoy reading.

inshockandhurt posted 4/7/2014 14:15 PM

Peoplepleaser, I think you are correct, it seems like his shame and remorse gets in the way and so he instinctively avoids the subject. I have never been this way, when something is upsetting me, I have to talk about it, I can't bury it. When we do talk about it he always looks so bruised after that I feel bad and so I avoid it too sometimes, which is really bad for me because I just end up bottling, but I feel so bad bringing it up. I think that is why I want him to be the one to initiate specific conversations. I don't know, maybe it is just different ways of dealing with the situation, and I suppose I can't expect him to deal with it in my way. I just wish his way didn't leave me worrying that he doesn't really care.

rachelc posted 4/7/2014 14:37 PM

shame can be very selfish. He can be there for a short time but anything beyond that isn't very healthy. It becomes then all about him and how he can't handle his pain and then he can't help you. And the codependency thing starts where the BS tries to protect the feelings of the WS. Don't enable this way...

I am a fWW. I can speak about what I did honestly because I am no longer that person. I make healthy choices now. When/if my husband comes to me with hurt and I can't respond due to my own pain then it becomes about me. Your husband may gain some help by posting here, specifically on the wayward forum?

Rebreather posted 4/7/2014 14:47 PM

While his behavior is not uncommon, I think it is totally unacceptable.

He found the time and the ways to cheat on you, he can find the time and the energy to help make it right. It is very important for the BS to not accept less that what you NEED. And right now, he's dragging his feet and making your hurt worse instead of better. Many waywards think they can half-ass their way through recon much like most of them half-assed their way through their marriages. Well, that doesn't work any more. It's 100% effort, all day, all the time. To allow less it to only torture yourself and drag this process out even longer.

Whether he is conflict avoidant, or full of shame, or what have you, is irrelevant. His job is to identify it, and fix it. You should not have to hand hold him through this process. While many do, it slows the process down.

There came a time when I told my FWH that I would not remind him of my needs any more. But that if they were to continue to go unmet, they he would need to exit the marriage. Period. I mean, seriously. I don't care if someone isn't much of a reader. If it is going to save your marriage? Read the fucking book and stop being a fucking baby about it.

Demand more, my friend.

rachelc posted 4/7/2014 14:52 PM

I love you Rebreather! ha!

inshockandhurt posted 4/8/2014 11:31 AM

Thanks Rebreather,
I wish I could demand more but I don't think that's possible. I have asked and asked and asked and usually it gets better for a couple of days maybe and he makes an effort to bring the subject up every once in a while, but he always just reverts back to the way it was before. For example, he worked for a bit on the timeline two days last week and hasn't touched it or any of the books since then. I don't know if it is just his usual conflict avoidance or procrastination but I do know that I am tired of being the Reconciliation Nazi, and I am giving up. I will just have to try to heal with what he is giving me, though knowing myself I don't think it will be enough. I asked him to sleep on the couch last night, and so for the first time in a long time we slept apart, that didn't even happen on dday, but I am starting to realize that talking to him isn't going to change anything, and I was just too angry to lay there sleepless and listen to him sleeping peaceful. I know that I am not going to immediately leave him over this because like I said before he is doing a lot of other stuff right, he does everything except anything related to the affair, and besides, I truly love him despite all this, but I really don't know what the long term chances are, I have never been very good at letting things go without working through them completely, and I can't do that without more from him. I just know that I am tired of bugging him about it. I have worked so hard to try to change my own behaviors, to buck up even when I am dying inside and maybe I am blind but I just see the same old patterns of behavior from him and like peoplepleaser said, the pursuer/distance dynamic with us; I ask him for something that I need, he makes an attempt and then quits and I get upset so I ask him again and it just happens over and over and at some point I have to break the cycle and just realize it's not going to happen and I guess I am at that point. Thanks everyone for your help.

[This message edited by inshockandhurt at 11:48 AM, April 8th (Tuesday)]

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