So what have others done to work through this?
Sorry if I don't have much good advice, but journaling has helped me a lot. It could help to take the journal to your IC as well so he/she can see where you were and how you were feeling. If nothing else you can look through it while meeting and bring up points you need to. Navigating this crap sucks - plain and simple. Getting it out by writing, running, baking, something you enjoy helps me and may help you. Best wishes (((peoplepleaser)))
I also went dancing. I took the dog for a walk. I forced myself to watch stand up comedy. I watched animal videos. I wasn't pretending it never happened. I just needed relief from overwhelming emotions.
NOW I think I have the whole truth, but am skeptical. A part of me thinks he's still lying about a couple of things. When I get angry,
I still watch animal videos and other things that take my mind away! Also, H can now hear me say something about my anger and not throw it back in my face, or act like a jerk.
It's not healing, but it's a start.
Is your W ever able to listen and say, "I hear ya"? No matter the issues that led to her cheating, until you can deal with that cheating, and her decision to break her vow of fidelity, how can you even begin to heal without knowing if she's a moral person who would not make that decision again?
After she works on HER, if she convinces you she's a person worthy of a second chance, then you need to find a way to channel the anger.
[This message edited by PollyA at 7:28 PM, May 13th (Tuesday)]
The journal helps me out as well. It also organizes my thoughts so I can dig deeper than WHY?? I don't share it with my WW.
Don't short change your anger. If you do, you'll slow your recovery, at least IMO. (BTDT.)
2) Part of your WS's healing is to share her feelings with you, but there may need to be limits. There was a need in my M, and the limits have helped a lot.
It's one thing for my W to tell me she's glad, mad, sad, or scared. That's positive for our relationship and R.
It's quite another for her to explain her thought process and justifications for her feelings. That just pisses me off. I simply have no interest in hearing her self-pitying bullshit. I know it's part of her recovery, and I know she has to voice it to get it out of her system, but I don't want to hear it. She saves that crap for IC.
If this sounds familiar to you, I suggest trying the 4 feeling approach - limit your WS to telling you what she feels, and let her work on why she feels that way with her IC.
I'm glad she came back around, but don't stuff the feelings. Give her the opportunity to be successful in comforting you by sharing how you are feeling. It is scary when you aren't sure if sharing is just going to cause you more pain, but I always figured there was no reason for me to suffer alone.
She is also mentioning from time to time that she doesn't have a right to being up relationship issues right now. I'm guessing that there is some resentment about that. However, the issues she brings up are (in my mind) linked to the misperceptions she had of me based on both FOO distortions and things she looked to find in justifying her EAs. There have been times she recognizes this, but there is still some clarification that needs to happen on her part with regard to that before I'm ready to address them. I'm not declaring that free from blame for relationship issues at all, but I am certain that I wasn't as bad as she is still making me out to be. Especially when some of the statements contradict other things she has said about her ability to misperceive, pass judgment and hide her true thoughts and feelings. For instance she contends that I rejected her. I'm flabbergasted by that. I NEVER rejected her. Further, to hear her day that fills me with rage. Given the nature of her betrayal and the timing of it (I was begging her for intimate attention she was giving and getting from someone else while I was reeling from depression after my third miscarriage) she doesn't understand what true rejection is!
So I probably need to journal more. And I will tell her when I'm having a rough time immediately and tell her we can talk when she's ready. Maybe that will help.
And I will tell her when I'm having a rough time immediately and tell her we can talk when she's ready. Maybe that will help.
I think it is a better strategy. But I'm going to tell you, my husband talked when I needed him to talk. His choice was a) learn how to deal with how *I* needed to communicate or b) he could leave. Don't hand hold her through this too much. I know there is the "oh we have to communicate in a way our partner can understand" kind of stuff and it's all cool. Except for when the partner took a fishknife to your guts. Then? Then can suck it up and change, and quick, because who knows how long a BS can sit around waiting for that change.
Your communications can become a bit more balanced out later on. For now, it's about you and your needs. She's still awful worried about herself; which is a problem.
Our communication patterns were a huge contributor to our relationship issues. I'm very open and genuine with my feelings, but I also express them in a raw and passionate way that comes across as aggressive to most people. In this case I am dealing with a WS with codependency from FOO issues, so any expression of emotion was seen as a personal attack and a failure on her part. In order to get to a fully safe space for me to express my feelings in general we have work to do. I see a lot if it plainly, but she's still getting there. Basically right now she is able to field my emotions related to who she was but not who she is, if that makes sense. A pp mentioned that she needs to just share her feeling while avoiding interpretation or assignment to my behavior, which is true yet she has not come to a place where she understands that I don't "make" her feel any particular way. Until she gets that we are a bit stuck.
That said, she is showing remorse, giving me 100% transparency, going to IC and MC and recently agreed to take time and recover the details from her first EA that was almost 3 years ago now. We are 9 months from DDay 1, 5 months from DDay 2, 4 months in R following a horrible in-house separation and still uncovering truths due to "not remembering." I see her as a good person at heart who suffered misguidance from maladaptive behaviors learned from FOO. I know that it will take time for her to uncover the expanse of damage she caused because of those behaviors even before the EAs. Her heart is in the right place as she navigates learning how to share her thoughts and feelings, demanding what she needs in the relationship, identifying what needs she has to fulfill on her own and facing the true horror of what she was capable of doing to the love of her life as a result of her past. I am navigating understanding all of that, recognizing what I need from her to successfully R and teasing apart my own responsibility for relationship issues while letting go of the resentment for both her destructive behaviors in the relationship and outside of it. I know she wants to move through this and go on with the wonderful life we could share, but I don't think she has yet fully realized the time it will take to do so.