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At what point should WS needs count?

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Alyssamd24 posted 4/6/2014 19:36 PM

I hope the title doesn't come off as selfish, that certainly is not my intent....I know what I am trying to say with this post, just don't know how to do it....let me try.

As the WS, it is my responsibility to show my remorse to my BH, and to try to make myself a safe person to him again. It is my responsibility to be sure that I am doing what he needs so he can heal from the damage I have done to him and our family.

I accept this, and know it is what needs to be done because of the bad choices and selfish decisions I made. I hurt him more than anyone else ever has, and ever will,and intend to do whatever needs to be done so I can repair our M and fix myself so I am no longer the person I was.

But at what point after DDay and after beginning to R do we, as WS get to bring up our own needs? When do we get to acknowledge what we need from our BS?

There is a huge part of me that feels I don't have this right, that I gave it up when I allowed myself to get involved w another man....that right now, all that matters is my BH and what he needs. I don't get to have requests or issues because I am the one who screwed it all up and almost lost it all.

heartache101 posted 4/6/2014 19:52 PM

What needs? You need a hug?..or need financial needs?
I believe communication is the key to a good marriage. BS or WS has needs. You should be able to talk about those needs with your spouse.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 4/6/2014 19:53 PM

I think it depends on what your needs are. If you need him to stop an unhealthy or potentially destructive behavior such as using drugs or binging on alcohol, then you have every right to express your needs. If you need him to pick up milk for the wee one on his way home, fine. But if you need him to tell you you look nice in an outfit or you need him to touch you daily, I'm afraid those needs may need to wait.

You can, however, let him know what things you may want...when he is ready. You may want physical contact because it makes you feel connected. That is something to work towards. You may want validation. But you need to work on not needing it. You may want to be romantic. But he may not be ready.

It all depends on how you define your needs. And it depends greatly on how much healing you and your BS have done together.

20WrongsVs1 posted 4/6/2014 23:10 PM

At what point? Not yet.

Sorry, I'm trying to inject a little levity into what I realize is a sensitive and loaded topic.

There is a huge part of me that feels I don't have this right, that I gave it up

Read my last thread. And Joanh's. You're not alone in this. We feel as though we're damned if we express our wants and needs "too soon" or not in the right way, and doomed if we keep them to ourselves and build up resentment.

I'm so torn about this subject, I can barely manage to express a coherent opinion. Yes, I truly feel that we gave up some right to have needs. OTOH for true R, I think we have to. Eventually. And carefully.

What I've slowly come to realize is, BH *actually cares* about my wants and needs. Had I realized this before, I wouldn't have stabbed him in the heart. Repeatedly. For months. That's on me. What I believe it's important for me to do, now, is to have faith that BH loves me and cares about my wants and needs. Forgiveness, trust, respect, admiration...I want all that from him again, but nobody can ask for that, not from anyone. It has to be earned, and freely given.

Unagie posted 4/6/2014 23:41 PM

I got lashed out at when I asked for a hug. He wanted me to keep planning dinners and dates and I used to ask him how I looked before A after getting ready. He was always honest with me and I trusted that, I also just wanted to look pretty for him. I remember asking him that one day and later on during the week falling into a shame spiral and asking how he could love me and what he love about me because I could no longer see it. I got told I was fishing for compliments and ego kibble. I NEEDED him to make me understand how he could forgive me when I couldn't forgive myself. How he could think me pretty when all I saw was a monster? I needed his hugs and cuddles. I needed his love. To fucking bad, he was hurting how could I expect that.

Fucked up part the day he told me he had fallen in love years ago with a mutual friend (someone I had demanded he go NC with because I knew something was going on) he cried. Cried because he just realized he'd loved her and missed out with her. I was on the floor in fetal position crying so hard and he asked me to hold him. He had just stabbed me in the heart and yetall I could see through the pain was the kNew I loved. I yelled and told him this was low to ask but I held him...I couldn't not.

Alyssamd24 posted 4/7/2014 07:16 AM

Good to know I am not the only one who has struggled with this, but it seems like I am not the only one who thinks my own needs are not a priority right now.

I can understand why they are not, but dont know when it will be safe to bring up.

BH and I are trying to heal, and overall it is going well. His new work schedule makes it very hard for us to spend time together, or even to talk. I try to do what he needs me to, but feel like I should be doing more.

AFrayedKnot posted 4/7/2014 07:43 AM

I think they should count from day one as long as:

1. They are not used to justify, rationalize, minimize the A behavior.

2. They do not conflict with the needs of the healing BS.

3. You are realistic in having them met. BS healing may take some time and it may be a quite a while until they are able. Don't let yourself get resentful.

Honesty is always the best policy.

somethingremorse posted 4/7/2014 08:26 AM

Great advice Chicho. I'll try to remember those points.

I'm asking the same questions. I want more physical contact. Some time way out in the future, I hope that our M includes more of that. But right now, BW is justifiably afraid to be too close to me. So I'm putting my needs on hold. I am living with the third point in Chicho's post.

bionicgal posted 4/7/2014 11:39 AM

Whew - tough one. I think Chico answered well - I am finding much more empathy for my H at 10 months out. We did read His Needs Her Needs, and How to Affair Proof Your Marriage early on, though and I think I have tried to be respectful of his needs. The sex thing is tricky, though - obviously.

Actionsoverwords posted 4/7/2014 20:03 PM

WH here.

You said:

There is a huge part of me that feels I don't have this right, that I gave it up when I allowed myself to get involved w another man....that right now, all that matters is my BH and what he needs. I don't get to have requests or issues because I am the one who screwed it all up and almost lost it all.

This is how I feel every single day....when I am not angry and feeling entitled. My BW and I are currently living apart, but after work every day and on the weekend, I go over to spend time with my son and occasionally talk with her. I miss hugging her closely, holding her hands, cuddling with her, and just any type of physical touch; but the closest I get these days is when I give her a foot massage and she gives me the occasional hug. The truth is, I disregarded her feelings and pain for YEARS to pursue my own agenda and now, I am suffering the consequences of my actions.

You pose a great question, I guess the answer is, it depends?

I think emotional needs and physical needs are out of the question until the fundamental issues are solved. Maybe after that, you all can work on the aforementioned. If you guys have children, then their needs come first. As one poster said, communication is key. You can ask, but you might not like the answer.

Best of luck to you.

Mrs Panda posted 4/7/2014 20:37 PM

There is no magic cutoff date to suddenly start bringing up your needs or your problems with the M. You wait 6 months, a year, 2 years....then one day start asking for what you want. Now your BS is blindsided wondering why this didn't come up before?

I think there has to be a gentle way to talk about all of these issues without the BS feeling like it is blameshifting. We WS tend to be conflict avoidant. So isn't talking openly part of R?

I can't say I handled my situation well though. Although who knows because we are great now. My BS knew that he had to make some changes too for our M to work. Not to keep me from cheating. But to survive infidelity and be better. We ha the same ultimate goal, which was lucky. But I do know I dumped way too much shit on him when I was still foggy.

Alyssa. What are your issues?

[This message edited by Mrs Panda at 8:38 PM, April 7th (Monday)]

AFrayedKnot posted 4/7/2014 20:58 PM

So isn't talking openly part of R?


AML04 posted 4/8/2014 05:03 AM

Agree with Chicho and MrsPanda. And I have to say as a BS this question scares the crap out of me. Part of my WH's why is that he didn't feel like his needs we're being met but felt like he couldn't talk to me about it.

There are two reasons I want him to share his needs with me. One, I love him. The other is I still don't feel "safe". Not that he'll cheat again now but that he'll continue to suffer in silence and grow resentful and we'll end up right back where we were pre-A.

Also, I'm not sure I'm able to fully meet the needs he has but I still want to know. And hope that he's ok with what I can give him now.

somethingremorse posted 4/8/2014 08:21 AM

This is a great distinction:

My BS knew that he had to make some changes too for our M to work. Not to keep me from cheating. But to survive infidelity and be better.

I can honestly say that if I had done the right thing and insisted on MC before I had A's, that we would be talking about the same things as we are now, wrt M.

No12turn2 posted 4/8/2014 10:06 AM

BS here. Man this would be hard for me. I personally know we had issues before the A and I would say those needs should be met, if reasonable. I think the rest depends on the BS and the details of the A and how it was handled. My WS doesn't want to R so I can't imagine what I would even require from her to even know she was serious about it. I'm often jealous when I read stories or posts from people in R. I often wish I would have gotten the chance, but based on how my WS acts, I know it's for the best.

Good luck to you

heforgotme posted 4/8/2014 12:48 PM

I think they count right now. I think they probably always DID, whether you knew it or not.

But now. I think you can express them, as long as you are a little bit careful. I think you should be cautious not to make demands as this would probably not go over well. So. For example....

If you want more affection, the next time he hugs you say..."I feel so safe in your arms. I just love when we hug."

Very affirming to the BS. And it still expresses your need for affection w/o being demanding.

FTR, this is a very important point to me. FWH would never express his needs and even went so far as to lie about them (bc they weren't "manly" or whatever), so there was no way for me to meet them. So, now I love when he expresses them. And I bet your BH does too. You just gotta be careful bc of course now things are a little touchy.

Good luck.

Trying33 posted 4/10/2014 03:30 AM

When do we get to acknowledge what we need from our BS?

I think now is a good a time as any.. if your needs are not addressed and communicated how is he to know what is needed to build connection? Like everyone says, as long as they are done in a tactful and respectful loving manner and based on realistic expectations, I see nothing wrong in sharing what your needs are with him.

During his working hours does he have time to email? My BH and I communicate mostly via email (when it comes to stuff like this) during busy times as then we can communicate in our own times if our schedules are clashing. That way he can read your requests, digest them and then respond in his own time which may help the process a little.

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