And when confronted with my anger, my WW had the effen gall to suggest that I was just following some textbook course of things. I'm not sure what she was suggesting, because it really makes no sense even in my clouded emotional state, but it's getting me even more angry.
me (WW/BS): 48
4 kiddos in mid 20's
“Follow your intuition. Be smart, be brave. Tell the truth and don’t take any shit.”
I want to take the OM out of the equation in my head -- I understand from a rational perspective that I need to cut his ghost out of the picture to move R forward. But I'm having a hard time doing it, and my revenge fantasies are not mitigated by successes in R. I'm getting more and more concerned that the A -- and my WW's involvement -- has broken something in me that isn't going to heal and allow for successful R no matter how much I want it.
I've tried to put the OM on a shelf to deal with later. It was your wife that cheated on you, not him.
It sounds like your WW is the bigger issue. Your comments make it sound like she's not remorseful nor empathetic. If she's not participating in MC and working to help heal the marriage, she needs a wake up call.
But where is the line?
you have to figure that out. Are you in IC?
Because you are in love with someone who is not loving you and you need to determine why this ok with you.
People stay for all kinds of reasons, don't get me wrong, but I guess you need to figure out the reasons and accept them and the shitty things you'll have to put up with because of it.
Here's the thing: WSes are clueless until they start feeling remorse. They need a lot of guidance, and explicit requirements provide at least some of the guidance they need. Which means your best bet is to figure our what you require and see if your W is willing to meet your requirements.
IMO, virtually all WSes need IC, because they have to change so much about themselves that they can't do it without help - and one spouse should not be the other spouse's therapist.
2) Regret vs. Remorse: The basic remorse process, I think, is 1) accepting responsibility for what one has done, 2) realizing the doer betrayed herself, and 3) deciding to change from cheater to good partner. At this point, your W seems unwilling to accept responsibility for what she's done, so she's not even begun to be remorseful.
You may choose not to D at this point, but she's not a candidate for R at this time.
IMO, R requires your W specifically to do IC because she won't begin to do the work unless something jostles her internal system enough to make her want to change.
3) Have you read about 'the 180'? (See, for example, http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/faq_bs.asp#FAQ11.) The 180 may be your friend right now.
4) She didn't do this to you. WSes cheat for their own reasons, and they betray themselves before they betray their partners. IMO, the underlying reason people cheat is that they won't face their own pain. BSes are just collateral damage. (I got that from a member whose name I don't remember.)
5) Well, there IS sort of a textbook for recovery, and we all pretty much follow it. The next time your W mentions it, just tell her, 'Yeah, and you forced me into this process. Now, back to the issue I raised....'
6) With anger, it will probably help not to say things like, 'You BITCH!'
It will probably help to say things like, 'I'm FURIOUS that you (name specific thing you're angry about)!'
The first is an attack on your W, and it invites her to defend. The second shares your feeling about something your W did, and it invites her to recognize what she did, its impact and maybe even to apologize and change.
[This message edited by sisoon at 9:22 AM, May 14th (Wednesday)]
Sometimes I think something similar. When something hits BW out of the blue, she can feel frustrated that she triggered, or that she took something out of context or something like that.
I have been guilty of thinking that "this is a normal part of the process, and you shouldn't feel embarrassed/frustrated/confused by what you're going through." Not to minimize her emotions, but to remember that they are normal and expected.
I usually don't quite get this right. It's best to follow it up with "I am so sorry that my actions have caused you to go through these feelings."
If that is what your WW is trying to say, make sure she understands the second part is the important thing.