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BS torn between D and R

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ThatGuyNoMore posted 5/31/2014 06:49 AM

My BS is deeply ambivalent about D vs R, but I think they are for unhealthy reasons. She thinks she wants R because she is afraid of being alone and destitute in her old age. She thinks she wants D because she and society will perceive her as a doormat for staying with an adulterer. Obviously neither is a good choice.

Here's what I believe: one could choose D because you believe it will help you heal better than you could if you stay in the M, which is often the case when the WS isn't remorseful, is repeating bad behaviors, etc. One could choose R because you believe that you and your WS can build something better & stronger than before, which is only possible if the WS is truly remorseful, is not repeating bad behaviors nor creating new ones, etc. I believe these are positive reasons to make choice to D or R, ones that you can feel good about rather than those horrible choices my BS feels she's stuck with--the ones that I stuck her with. (To be sure, there are other valid reasons to D or R, even ones that negate the generalizations above.)

I wish she were strong enough to leave and strong enough to stay. Last night as we were driving around the neighborhood, she was just bawling as she lamented the situation I created and anguished over the decision to D or R. I hurt so much for her. I desperately wanted to comfort her, hold her, stroke her. I'm the one person she is supposed to be able to turn to when she's upset, but I'm the monster she's scared of. She feels so trapped and alone. I don't know what to do for her.

RomanticInnocenc posted 5/31/2014 07:29 AM

Last night as we were driving around the neighborhood, she was just bawling as she lamented the situation I created and anguished over the decision to D or R. I hurt so much for her. I desperately wanted to comfort her, hold her, stroke her.
Why didn't you? In my experience when I am lamenting about staying or going to my WH what I'm really doing is looking for a reason to stay. I'm looking for him to comfort me, to hold me, to get emotional and vow to never hurt me again. I'm looking for him to show his honest feelings. Do I believe them yet? No. But the consistency in his response is slowly allowing me to look at things post dday and wonder if the changes could be real, that what he says could be truth. Without that, I'm a ship on a rough sea with nobody and no land in sight, hoping the next wave will sink me because I no longer want to live in this hell. Take a chance and reach out to her when she is like that, she might say no, but each time keep offering it (not by asking but by action unless she has asked you not to) and maybe one day she will allow you to be the person she comes to for comfort, even if the comfort is from the person who betrayed her most.

solus sto posted 5/31/2014 07:48 AM

It's a four-letter word, but TIME. It will take TIME for your BS to even approach having the ability to make decisions from a place of emotional strength.

Please resist the impulse to either direct or evaluate the way in which she perceives her options. She does not want to be where she is, emotionally. She did not want to be pressed to make this decision. It is not one that needs to be made right now. If your registration date is an indicator, you are barely out of the gate--and healing is a lengthy, arduous process.

Focus on being the best person you can be--not just in the marriage, which was effectively ended and will require building from the foundation up if R is the path chosen---but in all aspects of your life. THAT is the way to help her make decisions from a place of strength and conviction and confidence.

Consider, too, stepping out of director mode to offer her comfort when she needs it. It's very difficult--very confusing-- to need comfort from the one who caused pain, but the need is real. When it is not offered, it feels...well, for me, it was confirmation I was again not worth the effort. (Really, it was a reflection of many things having nothing to do with me, but it did not feel that way.)

Stop analyzing your BS's decision making. Focus on yours. That is the best way to help yourself, her, and your marriage.

[This message edited by solus sto at 7:49 AM, May 31st (Saturday)]

JustWow posted 5/31/2014 07:58 AM

R, or even attempting R takes gargantuan strength. Try not to judge where her feelings are coming from as weak. They are hers and they are real.

Nobody ever wants to be in a position that they even have to consider R or D because of infidelity. Just being in the place that you need to choose that puts you in a place of mourning. And mourning loss isn't weak. It is a process. One that takes strength and time to go through.

At 2 1/2 months from d-day, even if you are being the all-time perfect, remorseful, empathetic WS, she is still in the process of mourning the loss of her M, the lack of trust in her own judgement and in you, the hurt of the betrayal and a whole poop-load of other losses. And she's doing all that while even entertaining the idea of R. She is much, much stronger than you may see.....

Empathize, TGNM, empathize. And you will see her strength.

Sammy2013 posted 5/31/2014 08:22 AM

First, is your BS in IC? If not, I highly recommend it. I felt (and to a point still do feel) exactly like she does. I have been in IC for 6 months now. It sounds like its a codependant relationship. I had to do a lot of work on me. To know I would be fine no matter what the outcome was going to be for my marriage.n to know my decision to stay or go had to be what was right for me, not because if how others would perceive me. It took a lot of work, and I'm only scratching the surface.

And I agree with Romanticinnocence. When I am crying like that I really was looking for something from my WS. That was when I was looking for the remorse from him. Most of the time he would simply stand there and look at me. I know now it was because he felt like you do. Unsure of what to do. But at the time, I took it as "oh geez, here we go." I felt like he threw me off the boat and was just watching me flail around in the water. I wondered why he didn't want to help me. All I wanted at those times was a sincere apology and to have a feeling of being safe. If he would have hugged me and said he was sorry it would have helped me so much. Would I have believed him? Not at that time. How could I? But just the effort. Even if I didn't believe it, I needed that effort from him.

Try it next time. Show true remorse to her. Tell her you are sorry and why.

Melian40 posted 5/31/2014 18:47 PM

It's the most common question BS ask themselves.
What made me stay and try R was an article that I read.
It said that when you decide to exit a marriage, you will have to win this exit. It means that you have to be sure that you tried hard to save the M but it didn't work and there was nothing more you could do. That's when you D.

solus sto posted 5/31/2014 19:38 PM

I believe any BS has "earned" the right to exit the marriage. The marriage has, in fact, already been exited--and not by the BS.

The aim is not to provide ways to guilt a freshly betrayed wife to stay. It's to begin to provide reasons she might wish to build a new marriage from the rubble.

Willfightforit posted 5/31/2014 23:27 PM

I sometimes think my BW feels the same way, trapped. Damned if she stays and damned if she goes.

Ultimately, I have to show her that what can be rebuilt from what I so easily destroyed will be worth her pain and will assist her and my recovery.

I need to show her how I am changing through my actions. If I can do this, consistently, she can be strong enough to make choices for her. I can only hope they include me.

Melian40 posted 6/1/2014 04:27 AM

When I say earn the exit of the marriage I don't mean staying when the WS is unremorsful or when there is abuse.
I'm talking about the cases where your WS is remosrseful. You give it a try, you don't leave immidiately after DD. In that case it's more unlikely for the BS to feel guilt after divorce.
I agree that both D and R are painful for the BS.
A BS is suddenly put in a bad position where he/she has to pick between two evils.

ThatGuyNoMore posted 6/1/2014 17:56 PM

Thanks for all the advice.

Yes, it's very early for us. From everything we've read, in time, she will feel stronger and more confident about making a decision. There is no fast-forward button, unfortunately. She has to endure the emotional roller coaster that is making her feel crazy and weak as she processes her pain and comes to terms with the terrible things I've done and what the outcomes might be. That she is still upright demonstrates her fortitude.

When she breaks down, I need to reach out to her and not fear rejection--as she says, sometimes touch just makes things worse for her. Touch is my love language, and she has rightly pointed out that touching her makes me feel better, not necessarily her. But I have to try anyway to show that I care. Sometimes touch is just what she needs but she doesn't know it until I do it.

I lied so much to her that my words are not believable, yet saying nothing seems like I don't care. But I have to try anyway. I've said I'm sorry 1000 times already 2 months, and I'm sure I'll say it a million times more if we stay together. I must keep saying I'm sorry and what I'm sorry for. Though it doesn't change the past, continually conveying my remorse, my desire to help her heal, and my determination to fix my broken self are all important stones in the foundation of the bridge I'm trying to build back to her.

RomanticInnocenc posted 6/2/2014 00:29 AM

Just some food for thought- as a BS I have come to learn that when I am calm and emotionally stable, I mean every word I say to my WS. Therefore when I'm calm (and don't confuse that for emotionally shut off either) if I say to WH don't... Tell me any details unless I ask for them, I mean it. However if I'm in the throes of the emotional roller coaster and I tell him stop saying you're sorry, it doesn't mean anything, it comes from hurt and frustration. I do in fact need to hear that he is sorry over and over until I can believe it. One of your hardest jobs I think as a WS is to continually reach out to her and put aside your fear of rejection and judgement because it really does show your commitment. And honestly at 5 months out I'm only just starting now to take in everything WH has/is doing and start to wonder if there is a possibility he could finally be authentic with me. It's a hard, long road and you really have to be prepared for this, for years! Don't put her through this if you can't do that!

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