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Sitting on the fence isn't helping

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Tammy1 posted 7/8/2014 09:37 AM

D-day was three months ago. We are in MC. I realized this week that I've been trying to R with one leg out the door. It seems to be causing more issues, and confusion for both of us. WH has gone into self-protection mode, because he thinks I'm looking for any little reason to leave him.

Should I just step off the cliff and go all in for R? I'm tired of being stuck in limbo land. I've always been an all or nothing kind of person, so being in limbo is very difficult for me.

I think I've finally figured out how to be a great wife. (I know the A wasn't my fault, but I made a lot of mistakes over the years.) I want to do all of these nice and thoughtful things for my husband. But I'm just scared of giving so much to him.

TheIrishGirl posted 7/8/2014 10:00 AM

I'm on just about the same timeline. What I told WH on DDay (or maybe the day after) was that I'm not making any decisions for a year- I'm not committed to staying, but I'm not filing for D either.

In the mean time, we are together (a 3yo & infant make separating impractical, plus how would we attempt to work on us if we aren't physically together). I'm not being a particularly doting wife because he's not particularly worth doting on given his past behavior. He has a year to improve, to prove to me that he's working on it, that he's turning into a better man, that he will be a safe place for me.

This works for me. Maybe because I hope to R. I suppose we're in the early stages of it since we've been talking the life out of everything whenever our 3yo is sleeping. He's certainly making changes in himself. And I'm working through the shock and pain. It all seems pretty much like the right place to be.

tired girl posted 7/8/2014 10:04 AM

Detaching and watching his actions to see if he is fully remorseful and is going to fix himself, IOW sitting on the fence is not a bad thing. It is up to him to show you that he is in this thing all the way. He should not be in protective mode, it is his job to show you that he can do this. He needs to get in IC and do a better job of working on his issues. I sat on the fence for two years and watched my H. Granted that is a long time, but we had a lot of issues and I wasn't stepping back in till I was comfortable that he was truly authentic.

DixieD posted 7/8/2014 10:10 AM

At only 3 months from dday have you really come the realization that the affair had nothing to do with you or your marriage and was all about about your husband? Is he in IC?

What do you mean by self-protection mode? What is your husband doing exactly? I question any WS who has gone into "self-protection mode" against the person they betrayed. When my husband was in self-protection mode after confessing, he was lying (TT) to me to protect his image. He was defensive. He was not remorseful. You can't R with an unremorseful spouse.

A WS who is remorseful understands the damage they caused their BS and to their relationship. They're actions wouldn't be tied to if you left or not. That means they are only in it for what they are getting out of it. That is still selfish thinking. What is your husband doing to show that he is all in?

You can still do nice and thoughtful things, there is nothing stopping that. But you should be watching his actions and seeing if he is working on himself. I worry with what you've written that you think by being this great wife suddenly things will turn around and everything will run smoothly. R is hard. You will get hurt regardless.

MJane posted 7/8/2014 10:15 AM

Hi - I'm 9 months out and like Irishgirl also have promised to give it a year - three months is so early and maybe you know what you want but I found (and still find) I need to process what has happened and if I can live with it. I think the best advice I got on SI is not to rush yourself into making a decision (and for each of us that may be a different time!) It has been a roller-coaster for me - one week I feel like R is really going well and another I feel deeply sad and something takes us back a step. Much will depend on your H and for me that is something that is hard to accept - like you I tend to want to take action and sort things - but some things we can't sort - only our WS can heal themselves and only they can come to true R. I too have small kids in the mix which complicates the decision - I do want the M to work for them but am trying to come to a decision of whether it also can work for me in the long run. I wish you all the luck in the world and I'd say be gentle on yourself - while limbo is a tough place to be sometimes we need to step back and take in a bigger picture to make the best decision for us...

Tammy1 posted 7/8/2014 10:21 AM

Thank you for your thoughts. DixieD- maybe I didn't explain it correctly. I absolutely know that my husband's A had everything to do with me and our marriage. But I'm not blaming myself for his A. We were both very unhappy at the time. He chose to cheat, I did not.

WH's self-protection is to pull away emotionally. He says he doesn't believe that I want to R when I keep changing my mind/ fence sitting.

Undefinabl3 posted 7/8/2014 10:23 AM

I think that there is a difference between fence sitting and actively participating in R, while still having a back up plan in place in case things go south again.

Fence sitting to me literally means that in one instant you go from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other. You literally can't decide if you can stay or go.

Cautious participation is like you making the choice to dive right into R and not lose any exit plan. Leave the door open if you want by way of the exit plan.

Save money in another account, continue to save important documents in another area, check and verify to make sure that things are on the up and up. I am sure there are other things you can do to make yourself feel better about any 'what if' in the future, if there ever is one.

DixieD posted 7/8/2014 10:42 AM

Ok, so what does your husband think R should look like? How should you be reacting? What is he expecting?

The fact that I didn't kick my husband out showed that I wanted to R. Every day he was still here, meant I was willing to give it another day.

tired girl posted 7/8/2014 10:46 AM

The fact that I didn't kick my husband out showed that I wanted to R. Every day he was still here, meant I was willing to give it another day.

We are twins! I knew it!

Rebreather posted 7/8/2014 11:06 AM

I absolutely know that my husband's A had everything to do with me and our marriage

Ack! Can open. Worms everywhere.

No, it didn't. Your husband's affair had everything to do with him being a selfish, entitled asshole. Don't get me wrong, it's not just him. It's all waywards. Instead of using healthy coping mechanisms for his unhappiness, he threw a nuclear bomb in your general direction. Why? Why did he go that route? You say you were both unhappy; why did he go the nuclear route? He has to dig around in there and find out. Otherwise, we'll see you back here for another dday or 2. I challenge you to deeply reconsider your perspective here.

I use to have this very big "I need to decide" issue with R. My IC was very clear to ask me, "why?" Why did I have to decide? Why can't I just do it day by day? Every day I didn't leave, it meant I was still in the game. That was what I could offer him and he gladly accepted it.

However, I still was "all in" as much as being loving and attentive. Honest and open. I told him how much he meant to me, why I loved him and why I thought he was special. But reconciling early on needs to be a whole lot about the wayward and what they are going to do to be worthy of your time and love. He's ripped you guts out and instead of going all in and busting his ass, he's "self protecting." There is no self protecting in a successful recon. It's very likely you are on the fence because you know, inside, that he isn't doing what he needs to do.

Mom-of-4 posted 7/8/2014 11:11 AM

Tammy 1:

Just 2 things…

1. HIS AFFAIR WAS ALL ABOUT HIM!!! HIS FAULT!! if he needed something from his wife he should have told his wife- YOU!!!! You could NOT be more wrong!

2. I had 1 foot out the door for 3 years. Cut yourself some slack. This is a 2-5 year deal and don't let anyone tell you different.

Tammy1 posted 7/8/2014 11:35 AM

Thank you, I needed to hear that. WH was very remorseful the first 2 1/2 months. Every day he would tell me he just wanted to earn that day. He would tell me daily how sorry he was from the bottom of his heart. Now I see him starting to revert back to his old ways. He gets angry and defensive when I talk about the A, and we fight. He says he is not rug sweeping, but his actions don't seem to support that.

Our MC told us that most couples never even get this far, because it takes so much courage and work to R. I'm starting to wonder if WH thinks this process is too difficult.

tired girl posted 7/8/2014 11:41 AM

Tell him to get the timeline out of his head. He needs to get into IC.

Rebreather posted 7/8/2014 11:41 AM

It takes some pretty major stones to reconcile, from both sides. I see waywards turn themselves inside out and it's so very impressive. This may be a two month slump for you guys, where he has yet to really embrace that he has radically changed the course of your lives. Forever. There is not going back to the old ways. There is no going back to "normal." You forge ahead and create a new normal. Everything will be different. Forever. That takes some time to wrap the brain around.

But that's not to say you should let him meaner about too much. It takes 2-5 years to get through this. It's not even a marathon. It's an ultra.

Don't accept his defensivness. He has done nothing worthy of defending. Is he in IC? Are you?

Mercilesslynuked posted 7/8/2014 12:22 PM

Someone once told me "you have all the time in the world to decide, and she has all the time in the world to prove she is worth it". If he is not willing to be "all in" after being "all out", why should you? I agree that he needs to delve deeper into his issues and figure out how to become comfortable being uncomfortable. At six months I still hold that I am not compelled to make any decision yet, and that watching actions and waiting is perfectly acceptable for the time being. I'm not quite sure I'm on the TG route of waiting 2 years before I hop off the fence but there is nothing wrong with waiting as long as YOU need!

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