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BrokenButTrying posted 3/30/2014 16:05 PM

Today has been wonderful and awful all rolled into one.

BH and I have had a good few days just enjoying each others company with the kids over the weekend. Today was Mother's Day so we all went out to a safari park and had a great time.

On the drive back home, BH triggered. He didn't say anything but I could sense it. He left pretty quickly after getting the kids settled at home and we talked about the trigger awhile later via messages.

He rarely shares triggers with me although I know when they happen so that in itself is good. But our conversation went on to him expressing his feelings, I asked him to show me his feelings face to face, let me see the pain etc.

He talked very openly and honestly about how he's been feeling. He spoke about trashing his room in anger, breaking down in tears and trying to hold it all together so I couldn't see it. He spoke about only being alive for the kids and what a mess he is.

I comforted and reassured and then we got down to the crux of the matter; he blames himself.

I am heartbroken. BH talked about being so disgusted with himself that he wishes he could rip his own skin off and start again as someone new. To change who he is as a person completely. He wasn't there for me when I needed him, not the husband he should have been, so I went elsewhere. Devastated doesn't even begin to cover what I'm feeling at him telling me this.

This is the most he's ever talked to me about his feelings and the A. This is the most open he's ever been in the history of our marriage. So far, he's said he doesn't want to know about my IC, work on myself or about my 'why'. I have written it all down for him in a letter, saving it until he was ready to hear it. Maybe it would help him now?

Question for BS - Have any of you blamed yourselves? How did you move past that? How did your WS help you see that it was 100% their fault?

ThoughtIKnewYa posted 3/30/2014 17:07 PM

I think most BSs blame themselves, at least in the beginning. For me, it took a long time and a long, hard look at all that was going on with my H. When I realized that his issues began before he even met me, I knew it couldn't be my fault.

Hang in there!! This is a really rough ride, but there are lots of us here who can prove that you'll survive- and perhaps even thrive.

[This message edited by ThoughtIKnewYa at 5:07 PM, March 30th (Sunday)]

hpv50 posted 3/30/2014 17:12 PM

BS, here. I initially blamed myself. I worked a lot over the years, we drifted, and I closed myself off from WS emotionally (unconsciously). So when I discovered his EAs, it woke me up. I felt terrible about my part in our marriage, and blamed myself. Unfortunately by then we had an unhealthy dynamic, whereby I tended to own our problems, and he tended to let me. So for a very long time, WS blamed me for his EAs. So this sounds different from your situation.

How I figured out it wasn't my fault: reading a lot of books, IC, and of course, SI. It took a long time. My FOO issues definitely complicated things.

I think your willingness to own it will help him in the long run - he'll remember it. Would he be willing to read short articles that you sent him? Or let you read things aloud to him?

HeartFullOfHoles posted 3/30/2014 17:13 PM

I do blame myself for not being the husband I should/could have been, but I accept no responsibility for the affair. My WW has/still does? blame me for her affair and when this comes up I now push back. I was probably too understanding of her perspective early on.

My suggestion would be to make sure you leave no ambiguity with your husband that you see the affair as 100% your fault. Sharing some of your whys that have no possible connection to him may help him understand that you truly believe this and are not just trying to make him feel better about himself. One downside to this is you could get a complete flip where his self anger get focused on you. A good MC can help manage that.

Vickeybear posted 3/30/2014 17:20 PM

I am so sorry that both you and your bh is going through this situation. I am a bs of about 7 months and can only offer my experience thus far. I am glad you posted this as it has helped me personally because just today I had a breakdown with one of the root causes being me wondering why I wasnt worth fighting for. My feeling of being special is totally gone and that I am replaceable. So much for the fairy tale marriage huh? So,I guess the answer to your first question is yes, bs blame themselves! Even knowing in the back of my mind that my ws should have handled things differently as far as the breakdown of the marriage it is still very hard not to assign blame on ourselves.

How did I get past it? Well, I havent yet but I am trying. I can share with you some of the things my ws has done to help me heal so far, and it may be different because I am a female but it really helps me when he apologizes to me. And not just saying Im sorry, but acknowledging that he realizes the pain he caused and how wrong it was. It helps me that he does this often, whenever I am feeling down, have a trigger or even when things are going well and he looks me in the eyes and sincerely says "How could I ever have done what I did, I am so sorry."

At this stage,at least for me, repeated apologies are the things helping me the most. I try to understand the fog and how ws usually dont consider the aftermath of an affair because they dont believe they will get caught, but it is important that bs can feel that the ws has empathy and an understanding of the depth of pain they caused from the affair.

I have had the same feelings your bs has. You should take some comfort knowing that he wouldnt have all these emotions and want to transform himself if he didnt really love you! He may or may not be able to completly show you right now but he needs you to show him the love you have for him. Betrayal breeds insecurity! Actions speak louder than words especally after betrayal.

I am so appreciative of all the ws on this forum willing to share their feelings and experiences. It helps bs like me to have empathy for what my ws might be feeling.

Hang in there, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family!

BrokenButTrying posted 3/30/2014 17:29 PM

Thank you all so much for your replies. It's late here and I'm about to go to bed, it's been an exhausting day. I'll re-read in the morning and reply properly.

StorybookGirl42 posted 3/30/2014 19:42 PM

I'm a BS as well.

I did blame myself in part, and still do sometimes.

My husband and I had been struggling for a while when his A began. It started when I was having some issues at work, was feeling very stressed, and felt like my husband wasn't really there for me like I had been for him when he was dealing with a custody case for his son.

Because of the lack of emotional support, I pulled away. He let me, didn't pursue me, and then later was in a situation where he and his ex/baby momma were in counseling due to some issues with their son. He suddenly had a new problem to focus on, so he did, and it led to an EA with some physical stuff though he swears no full intercourse (not sure that really matters).

I blamed myself for not trying harder to get him to talk to me. I blamed myself for not speaking up sooner when I saw him turning towards her. I blamed myself for not being sexy enough, or pretty enough, or funny get the point.

But I also blamed him. He didn't have to kiss her back the day she kissed him. He didn't have to rebuke my attempt to kiss him when I got home that day and then lie to me when I asked if something happened. He didn't have to sneak behind my back and use me as a babysitter for their kid.

The blame game is hard. You go back and forth, as a betrayed partner. Some days you feel more like it is your fault and some days you want to burn the world.

But time does help. Having a WS who gets their wrongs and is doing everything they can to be right from now on helps. Having open communication helps. Knowing that there are still good times in the midst of all the icky emotions helps. You hold on to those good moments like buoys sometimes when the emotions get to be too much and too rough. Just keep working, but together. You both have to work towards the goal.

Good luck. :)

Kelany posted 3/30/2014 19:44 PM

Yes, I blamed myself. Well my health rather. My health, being very close to death, and almost losing the child I was carrying as his initial trigger, and my continued severe health issues for 5 years being his reason for his continued affairs.

He has foo issues, was abandond by his father, has ptsd. Me going septic when my gall bladder literally exploding during my 4th month of pregnancy, blood transfusions and the doctor telling him they may lose both of us made him shut down and detach from me as a protective mechanism. Continued health problems due to Dr. screwups led to 5 years of health hell.

I blamed myself a long time.

Then I stopped that shit. I had no control. I wasn't a troll bitch wife. He chose to detach and abandon me during the worst possible time, abuse me mentally and verbally.

No, not my fault. But I had to get there first.

BrokenButTrying posted 3/31/2014 03:25 AM

So sorry to hear what you went through, Kelany. That sounds really traumatic.

I'm really glad he told me, as much as it hurts to know he blames himself, I'm pleased he opened up to me.

I told him emphatically last night that it was not his fault, I talked for a long time about all his good qualities and let him know how I see him. I apologised and reassured him that I love him - he doesn't believe me. Why would he? I lied so much during the A.

Our M was in dire straits before the A. There were a hell of a lot of issues so if we R we are going to need MC to resolve them all. I think they might be the reason he blames himself.

Hpv50 - I am reading like a trooper but BH isn't interested (yet) he just says it's a waste of time. Hopefully he'll be more receptive to it now. I don't want to push him too hard though.

Heartfullofholes - We're already in the situation where all his self anger is directed at me. Last night was the first time he's admitted that he blames himself.

BrokenButTrying posted 3/31/2014 08:44 AM

Today he is completely closed off. He said he was only telling me how he felt last night, he doesn't want to discuss it further or do anything about it.

Now I really don't know what to do. I think he might just want me to let go, stop trying and detach.

numb&dumb posted 3/31/2014 09:21 AM

Blaming himself is about control. Sure it is a trade off in that he focuses on his failings, but sometimes being in control is preferable to comprehending things that are outside of your control.

He'd rather have the illusion of control over the cause of the situation.

The truth is no one can take responsibility for anthers actions. Another truth is that it has always been true, just some people are better are fooling themselves.

Best you can do is try to show him that this was your choice. Chances are if a lot of the early on discussions centered around the state of the M or blame shifting the choices of the A, it will be much harder to overcome.

Before he can realize that your A was something you did to yourself as much as to him, he has to believe that it was still a choice and regardless of the state of the M, it was still a choice.

IC is really the only thing that helped me process this.

My W acknowledging that she had caused the majority of the M issues due to her not getting treatment for her depression was a distant second. Her creditability for a long time was nil, so I had to fill in the blanks with the only person I felt I could trust. Myself.

I would approach the M and healing the M as a separate issue from the A right now (don't talk about M issues even in the same convo if you can help it), it may help him.

Remind him that you don't blame him for your choices and he shouldn't blame you for his either.

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