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Wayward Struggling with Madhatter Feelings

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WaywardInHayward posted 7/7/2014 14:05 PM

Hi all,

My wife and I have hit a roadblock on our way to recovery/reconciliation. It has come out that I have been faking my remorse due to feeling like she was never remorseful even one bit over her wayward actions long ago. See the full story here

My childhood wounding has always lead me to lie to keep the peace, and that's a pattern I continued in our marriage, which ultimately lead to my affair.

So, she is obviously seriously upset and deeply wounded herself. My standard pattern of telling her what I think she wants to hear is something I will not do anymore, however because I'm not saying the things she wants to hear, she feels very alone and like I'm being vicious to her. I attribute that to the fact that she's used to hearing my soothing words (many of which were lies) and they are absent now.

I still tell her I love her, cuddle her, feed her, make sure she's taking care of herself, tell her we're going to make it through this and that I want to work in earnest to find true remorse and deal with my own wounds from her betrayal. I feel like that's not being vicious or mean, but she feels I am. I can see how feeling a lack of true remorse would feel that way - boy do I know how that feels - but I don't want to slip back into lying to her to make her feel better. I know remorse isn't a light switch that will suddenly turn on. It's something I have to truly find by dealing with my own feelings of betrayal and not getting what I needed when she cheated on me.

What else can I do or say at this point to help her through this very trying transition? I really do want to help her through this.

[This message edited by WaywardInHayward at 2:23 PM, July 7th (Monday)]

Unagie posted 7/7/2014 18:07 PM

It has come out that I have been faking my remorse due to feeling like she was never remorseful even one bit over her wayward actions long ago.

Your actions are not based on what she did or did not do. I am a madhatter as well. He never showed remorse for his actions that doesnt mean I didn't. Its my personal belief that how we react to difficult times is an indicator of who we truly are. You cheated as did she but now your using her actions as a way to just be okay with your own. You have not both his a roadblock, you have hit a roadblock. Nothing is stopping you from feeling remorse other then you. Remorse isn't just about feeling it for what we did to out BS its also what we do to ourselves through our actions.

hardlessons posted 7/7/2014 19:40 PM

My childhood wounding has always lead me to lie to keep the peace, and that's a pattern I continued in our marriage, which ultimately lead to my affair.

Hello WiH, welcome. We all have issues here, pretty standard with our jacked up way of thinking. What we try not to say is that we were lead to our A. It was a choice, regardless what your wife did. We have to claim our own actions.
Good luck

WaywardInHayward posted 7/7/2014 22:46 PM

Thank you both, Unagie and hardlessons.

Yes, I do know that I still have too much unremorseful wayward thinking. Something I desperately want to eradicate, so your feedback is welcome.

Question for waywards (particularly any madhatters, if reading this): was there any particular thought process you had to eliminate or realize about your state of mind that turned out to be the "key" to becoming truly remorseful?

I feel like I've spun the web of self delusion so thickly, that even when I get rid of one of the "thickets", 2 more pop up in their place.

Any help/advice is greatly appreciated.

tired girl posted 7/8/2014 08:38 AM

That I was the problem. Not him, not my marriage, not outside problems. Me. And until I fixed myself, nothing else would work. At that point I became all about actions, trying to repair the damage I had done in our marriage and fixing myself, and truly recognizing all of my messed up thinking. I truly cared more about his pain than mine.

You see he had cheated before I cheated as well. I had to put that to the side and forget about it for awhile. It didn't matter. My H was in pain because of what I had just done. That was what was on the front burner. It had to be dealt with first. I had to deal with myself as a wayward before I dealt with myself as a BS.

[This message edited by tired girl at 8:41 AM, July 8th (Tuesday)]

WaywardInHayward posted 7/8/2014 17:29 PM

Thank you, tired girl.

Yes, we were on that path, but sadly my habit of lying about my feelings (wayward unremorsefullness) sabotaged it.

When I hold onto gripes so long and say nothing (lie and act like everything's okay) it really turns from a small gripe into a huge mess that I've created. It becomes poisonous to me and all my relationships.

I end up creating a laundry list of "offenses" she has committed, but because I don't bring them up, SHE has no ability to address them.

It's an ugly downward spiral that I need to address.

rachelc posted 7/8/2014 17:39 PM

I end up creating a laundry list of "offenses" she has committed, but because I don't bring them up, SHE has no ability to address them.

yep same here, wondering why he couldn't read my mind to know what I needed. I just needed to open my mouth. It comes from years of conflict avoidance, co dependent crap and some abandonment stuff - if I keep the peace maybe you won't leave me. But, as you can see, it doesn't work.
If this is your issue it is one of the biggest things that needs to change, IMO.
I feel sorry for my husband. I'm not the girl he married for so many reasons. One being, I don't let anything go unsaid now.

[This message edited by rachelc at 5:40 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)]

WaywardInHayward posted 7/9/2014 00:09 AM

I don't let anything go unsaid now.

That's where I want to get as well. One thing I struggle with is how to say it kindly. I feel like telling the *truth* will be hurtful to her, so wording it in a way that doesn't sound callous or even vicious is something I want to learn how to do for her.

tryingsodanghard posted 7/9/2014 13:21 PM

What's a Mad hatter?

rachelc posted 7/9/2014 13:35 PM

Mad hatter - both spouses have had affairs.

tired girl posted 7/9/2014 14:55 PM

Have you tried communicating by email with her?

WaywardInHayward posted 7/9/2014 16:08 PM

Have you tried communicating by email with her?

Hi tired girl,

Not recently, no. In the past I have attempted writing things out and letting her read them. It didn't go well then, but that doesn't mean it will go poorly this time.

We have actually talked about me writing things out and how that might be a better way, at least initially, for me to say the things I find hard to say verbally. So I'm hopeful that method may help us move forward.

[This message edited by WaywardInHayward at 4:09 PM, July 9th (Wednesday)]

WaywardInHayward posted 7/9/2014 17:09 PM

On that note of written communication... I have a question for you all.

When it recently came out that I was not being 100% honest in my reconciliation, one of the things I said I would like to do is not just lurk and read here, but be able to post, and it would at times be very direct because I need to share exactly where I am, without the fear of her judgement. So we agreed this would be something I can do without her reading it, much like Swat and SoSorry have done.

Today she said this feels like a lack of transparency, which I kind of understand. I told her I didn't intend on keeping this boundary forever, but that while I'm doing some "thrashing" about with my feelings, it would be better to feel completely free to do that without feeling I needed to censor my posts for her.

How do you all feel about the idea of transparency and how it may conflict with requesting this boundary?

tired girl posted 7/9/2014 18:09 PM

Do you feel that she would use the things that you say here against you?

WaywardInHayward posted 7/9/2014 19:15 PM

Yes, and take a statement I've said in a venting moment and treat it as the ultimate truth about how I feel.

As I know with my journaling, I vent, hash things out, analyze them and come out feeling different from the process it took to get there.

So for the same reason I wouldn't want her reading my journal and treating one entry as my absolute truth... I want the "space" to do the same here, allow you all to be an external mirror and give me a good dose of reality from time to time. Once I've considered everything, particularly in the light of other people's experience and wisdom, then I'm ready to share my feelings.

I guess that's also part of where I need to heal, too. Learning to trust that she can be upset at something I feel or say, and not turtle up, or worse, lie.

tired girl posted 7/10/2014 08:52 AM

If she can't be trusted with what you say here safely then she shouldn't read what you write. Until she can be willing to discuss what you write here in a safe manner then your threads should be off limits. Not because you aren't transparent, but because she will use them against you. Tell her this is like IC in a way. When she can get to a place where she can be trusted with what you are saying then it can be shared.

WaywardInHayward posted 7/10/2014 10:52 AM

Hmmm... in an effort to ease her mistrust of my actions here at SI, I just told her this morning she can read what I post.

She appreciated that.

We'll see how it shakes out in the end. I will try to remain uncensored so I can get the wisdom of the group replying to my truthful feelings and thoughts.

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