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Countering Despair? BS welcome.

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cindergirl posted 4/15/2014 13:45 PM

Does anyone have any specific advice or resources for working with the BP's feelings of despair, any advice for rekindling hope?

I've been doing everything I can think to do to rebuild trust and instill hope; I've been devouring every book and article I can find on rebuilding after infidelity and putting the information to use. We're only 5 months out from D-day and I recognize that we're still in crisis. Right now, it seems as though the concern I'm hearing the most is just a general feeling of despair and hopelessness about the merits of working on the relationship. We're starting couples therapy likely next week (hammering down scheduling), but I am hopeful that someone here has words of wisdom for this particular aspect of post-affair blues that I can work on until then. I just don't know what to say when he says he feels despair. I hear him. I repeat his feelings to him. I empathize. I take the information without getting defensive and without falling into hopelessness myself. Just looking for anything I can say or do to help show him a glimmer of hope. I feel like I'm banging my head against the wall. Thanks.

slater13 posted 4/15/2014 13:50 PM

5 months was tough for me. It was starting to really set in. Sometimes it just doesn't matter what the WS does.

But- keep doing what you are doing. ACTIONS-ACTIONS-ACTIONS! Show him you love him and will always put him first. And most of all be patient.

cindergirl posted 4/15/2014 14:04 PM

Thanks! I appreciate your feedback having been in this place. Perhaps the key is just that: PATIENCE. I'm working very hard not to feel (or act) impatient! I only worry that he'll lose patience drowning in despair.

Jrazz posted 4/15/2014 14:07 PM

Be as consistent and strong for him as you can. There's no immediate fix for his pain, but showing him every day that you are there for him no matter what will build trust and good feelings.

numb&dumb posted 4/15/2014 15:52 PM

Actions that demonstrate commitment were helpful for me when I get low.

Making future plans small ones. (next month I would like to go away for the weekend, etc.)

When you think that your painful feelings are going to bring him down, don't hide them from him. He needs to see them. Explain how you feel with respect to how bad you hurt him, etc.

You might not see an immediate benefit, but trust me he will notice and they will matter.

Don't be afraid to fail either. More than likely you will, but the persistence shows commitment. He really needs to see that right now.

Effort counts as much as effect does. The effort is really what he is looking for and will be most meaningful for him.

RippedSoul posted 4/15/2014 16:34 PM

If you've never figured out his love language before, maybe now is the time. Maybe he just needs you to sit next to him and play with his hair. Or for you to make all his favorite desserts or to clean out the garage. Or to tell him how wonderful he is, what a great provider he is, how you've noticed that he's looking more tan/slim/dapper (whatever). Or to give him small gifts that tell him you've been thinking of him while you've been apart.

Something along those lines. And then be consistent. And patient. And keep doing it. Over and over and over again. Show him you're in it for the long haul, you're not abandoning him again, you're committing to him and his happiness.

plainpain posted 4/15/2014 17:00 PM

For me, what helps is my WH saying, even after all this time, "I am so sorry." If I am in despair, he says, "I made you feel this way. Take as much time as you need. I am not going anywhere." Your BS needs to feel that you see them for who they are... not just as a wounded BS. You have to see that the A pain is something you have inflicted upon them, against their will, and that it has changed them forever.

Sometimes I despair that the 'new me' is bitter, depressed, devoid of joy. My WH reminds me that all that is not ME, it is my pain. He reminds me who I am... points out good things I do, tells me how strong I am, thanks me for having the courage to forgive him... it helps me when the darkness closes in.

catlover50 posted 4/15/2014 17:59 PM

I also appreciated the regular apologies, along with expressions of gratitude that I was still there. eg "I am so incredibly sorry that my horrendous behavior that was so completely thoughtless and in no way what you deserved is causing you this pain. I would do anything to go back and erase all of this and I regret it with every fiber of my being. Not a minute goes by that I don't feel shame and disgust at what I have done. Thank you so much for still being here and giving me the chance to be the spouse that you have always deserved. I will spend the rest of my life making it up to you, if you continue to give me that chance."

Of course, followed up with the actions that the others are referencing.

Best of luck to you.

[This message edited by catlover50 at 5:59 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)]

deena04 posted 4/15/2014 18:09 PM

BS here...your actions are proving yourself. Keep that up!! Actions speak louder than words. It takes time and if your spouse is receptive, you will see your actions help. Best wishes!

cindergirl posted 4/16/2014 10:44 AM

Thank you all for the feedback! You've provided me lots of valuable insight. The main takeaway I'm getting is: Actions. Consistency. Patience. Actions. Consistency. Patience. Actions. Consistency. Patience. And continued heartfelt apologies.

(It's hard not to get discouraged when he doesn't seem to appreciate my sincere apologies, or worse, seems to be annoyed by them at times. Yesterday, he asked if I was apologizing to him or to myself. ::sigh::)

RippedSoul, I am working on sorting out his love language. I confess it's a challenge. I've been trying to figure it out for years! He can't figure out what it is, either. I've got it narrowed down and am going to keep plugging away at what I hope will work.

I'm very grateful for all the responses!!

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