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WS is too remorseful

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ShockedBird posted 6/19/2014 05:52 AM

D-day was a few days ago. I'm still processing a lot, but one pattern I am noticing is that my WS is too remorseful.
He suffers from depression and other emotional problems (which were contributing factors to the A). He has been very distant since it happened, and now that I know everything and he is seeing how hurt I am, he is sometimes becoming physically ill - he has stomach issues, panic attacks, etc.
As I am used to helping him through his emotional problems, I find myself still inclined to try to help him, despite the A, because I can see how much it is tearing him up inside. I also worry that he might "steal the show" in a way, making my discovery of the A more about him beating himself up instead of about me processing and healing. I love him and plan to R, but I worry about my own healing process being lost in the whole mess.
I realize I am very lucky to have a remorseful spouse, but does anyone out there have experience with this type of issue? Any tips or advice is much appreciated. Thanks for listening.

brkn_heartd posted 6/19/2014 07:07 AM

Mine was pretty regretful in the beginning also. There is a difference and I believe even with regret one can have the physical symptoms you describe. Remorse to me comes over a period of time. He might try to "steal the show" as you put it to help him feel better and be comforted. It is up to you as to how much you do that. I was empathetic but did not get overly worried/concerned when mine was having physical responses. I would ask how he was feeling, help when he needed, but made it clear that I too was having problems. I imagine your WS symptoms will start to resolve shortly. Probably some individual counseling would be helpful for him.

MindMonkey posted 6/19/2014 07:34 AM

Absolutly happened to me. As soon as the fog lifted she became sick with herself to the point of contemplating suicide. I found myself more often supporting her than the other way around.

But I'm codependent. It's not supposed to work like that.

Anyway FWW is in counseling and back on ADs but she's still more needy in her healing. It's hard for me to bring up a sensitive subject without her hating herself...which makes me feel like crap.

It's also manipulative.

10yearsafter posted 6/19/2014 07:35 AM

I don't want to sound cold but he brought this on himself. If he is suffering that much chances are he may never do it again.

With his betrayal come consequences and now he is feeling the full force of what he has done.

I would not show him pity just let him know you love him.

He did rip your heart out and stomp on it, he should feel bad about that and ask you every what he can do to help you heal.

norabird posted 6/19/2014 12:44 PM

This is not remorse. Guilt, maybe. But remorse focuses on the BS not the WS.

You are very right to focus on your own healing. He needs to man up and do the same. A shame-filled WS is not a safe WS.

Try getting him to read "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from an Afair". Your needs matter and his inability to see beyond his own suffering over being such a dick (boohoo) is bullshit and, again, not actual remorse.

Amazingyetlost posted 6/19/2014 13:05 PM

Dear Shocked Bird
Love and hugs to you in your strength and compassion... Though I hope you have more compassion for yourself in the process, and take care of yourself first. I am a little over two weeks in from DDay. I understand what you are asking about the authenticity of your WS reactions, and, if they are trying to steal the show. Just for you and your trying to get your head around things, try watching these two short videos from researcher Brene Brown. My IC shared them with me and they gave me insight about vulnerability and shame. They are not about A's specifically, but rather, about the sources of vulnerability and shame, but still, they may ring a bell for you, or give you a perspective in small ways about what you experience now with WS, or experience in the future R process

Wrap yourself in the knowledge of who you are, what you will allow, but also, what you keep for yourself. It's a lifeboat situation, and if it is a choice at the crux of survival and healing between yourself and the uncomfortable demands of WS, then compassionately dump them from the life raft. They will either sink or swim, and if they swim, they will be the better for it.

redsox13 posted 6/19/2014 13:09 PM

My wife attempted to suicide after our last D-Day. It wasn't an attempt at stealing the show - it was just that she wanted the pain to go away. This led to a long journey wherein we dealt with the underlying illness. As a result, she is a much healthier person than she was. No question I resented, and to some extent sill resent, the fact that the attention had to be focused on her after D-Day. But as she got better our marriage got better and at least at some level I understood why it all happened.

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