My blood pressure is in check, and I've learned to relax. Some nights BW wants me to hold her. Some nights she doesn't. Some days I post. Some days I don't. When we do have sex it's after she plays her angry music. For example (Warning explicit lyrics: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/seether/fmlyhm.html). So, um, yeah. I lay there in the dark, full of passion, waiting for her to put her phone down and turn the light off. Finally it happens, and I make my move, and I "make it about her", and things are fine. But, still, the music choice puts me off. I guess it's like whoever quoted the princess bride recently "Goodnight, I can always divorce you in the morning." Good stuff.
I don't get defensive. I don't say, "do you really have to play that music right now? It's not exactly putting me in the mood". Which would sound like it's all about me again. Which it isn't. So, she wants to play that music before we have sex? That makes her feel better? She likes to sing along by the light of her phone while I lay there trying to stay...motivated... and not fall asleep? Well, you're damn right I'm not going to say anything.
Everywhere I go and everything I do, I'm always thinking about her, and us, and my family, and my dumb choices.
And just when I'm having a moment of peace where I'm not thinking about it, WHAM: "What are you wearing, Jake from State Farm!??"
Like, *really* TV? You had to play that commercial *right then*?
Looking back on the first month when I didn't know where I'd be sleeping in the house on a given night, or whether there would be crying, not knowing whether to try to comfort her or whether to leave her alone.
Now I can stroll in there, ask her how she is ("Fine" is usually the answer, which I'll take). And then I can give her a nice foot massage, if nothing else.
I just wish she would be a little more affectionate and reassuring, but I get why she can't.
I know, I know. Let go of the outcome. Work on myself. Keep digging.
The funny thing is, I can totally see replying to this post, my own post, as myself, giving myself the same advice. It's very schizophrenicky...
Saw Queen (plus adam lambert) in concert recently with BW and son. She pointed out to me that her attendence was totally for our son, but yes, it was a good time and memorable etc.
They played this song. Of course they put Freddie Mercury's picture up on the screen during the song which made everyone there tear up. Very touching the way they presented it. Of course, my tears were for BW and I.
Had this song in my head a lot lately.
and now you come along, now you turn to see me. why didn't you do this earlier? or not turn around at all? in the you'll come around when statements
and then strength and affirmation
you'll never break me.
pretty deep stuff
I just wish she would be a little more affectionate and reassuring, but I get why she can't.
now for the stuff you know
let go of the outcome, keep digging
ME: WH HER: BS (holesinmybucket)
I do not PM with Women
I can just tell you from those lyerics, as I listened to many of those songs myself, she has a very deep anger inside of herself towards you. Right now you are still thinking of what she can give you. What you need from her. She has nothing for you. This is coming from me from my BS side, not my WS side. Back off, quit expecting anything from her. If you don't, you may have nothing left in the end. If my husband had kept expecting something from me like you are, I would have left. I also wanted nothing from him. I only wanted space to figure out if I could heal enough to stay in the M. When it got rough for him I told him that I had no problems with leaving. I think you have no concept of what you have done. You feel it is hard for you to lay there staying in the moment to have sex. You have no idea what is going through her mind so that she can have sex with you.
BTW, it took me two years to figure out if I was going to stay in my M. Do you have two years of this in you?
I get it, I'm there too.
(Gently) Suck it up, dude. What are you going to do? Get your game face on, dig deeper, try harder, commit more. You know this.
Chin up. Unwavering. Fight. You can do this.
Chin up. Unwavering. Fight. We can do this.
Everywhere she goes and everything she does she is thinking about you, and 'us', and your family, your choices AND you with the AP. That was certainly the case for me during a 3m False R.
I had to basically short circuit my memory and stuff my feelings in order to be affectionate or kind or even enjoy a nice moment - there was a lot of having to forgive myself for staying after any 'nice' moments especially. After sex in particular. Everything once ours felt tainted. Because it was.
As pissed off/hurt about it as you are she is too - I'm hesitant to say moreso because hurt is hurt but it is certainly in a different way. The person who did this to you isn't also the person you want/need to comfort you at this time. It is a very confusing and scary place for her too.
You're both trying to be strong and bond and at the same time you're both terrified the other is going to turn away. You both want the same thing and your paths are intertwined but separate.
She has nothing for you because she needs it all for herself. I remember resenting that he had triggers and that he sought comfort from me about them. That intertwined but separate thing was very difficult to navigate and also very difficult to accept.
It is a mindfuck. For both of you.
I will continue to fight the good fight, with my chin up, and with humility.
(and thank you all for taking the time to respond. I'm grateful as always)
-edited for gratitude
[This message edited by SelfishHusband at 4:56 PM, July 14th (Monday)]
"Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few." Pythagoras
There are two kinds of people in the world.
Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.
DDay 1: March 2013 (EA/PA that *I* rugswept)
DDay 2: April 2014 (PA with double betrayal. OW was wife's friend)
SH, give this some thought - your BW went through a full year of R, the pain, the fear that she was still being lied to, the giving of trust no matter how hard it may be, the hard inner battle to stay or to leave, all of it, and then was hit with another DDay, this time with her friend.
She is now only 3 months from that second, and I imagine far more crushing - if that's possible - blow, and you're here saying you wish she would be more 'reassuring'. Forgive me, but where is her reassurance? Where does she get to know with certainty that a third blow isn't just around the corner? Where is her security?
Gently, no, I don't think you do. If you did 'get it', these thoughts about her being more reassuring wouldn't even exist. I'm not saying you wouldn't vocalize them. I'm saying they wouldn't exist. It takes a while for many WSs to 'get it', and some never do. Right now, it seems as if you can logically understand it, but you don't 'get it'. Remorse vs. Regret kind of thing.
Regarding her music - just as the song by Queen made you feel something, and many songs make you feel something, these songs make her feel something. I was a big Seether fan after DDay. I had quite a list of music, all about betrayal, hatred, pain, etc. It was all I could listen to, for a variety of reasons. First, just as the song by Queen seemed to fit your situation to you, these songs 'fit' for her. They're singing what she's feeling. Second, there is nothing in these lyrics that will make her trigger. No love songs, no lines that she knows were said between you and OW, no situations where someone is missing someone else, etc. These are 'safe' songs. Third, she knows you can hear them. She probably wants you to know that this is how she feels. My H would make comments in the form of jokes about my angry music. I didn't care. To me, that meant he knew that's where my head was, and I was glad he knew the anger and pain he'd brought me. Do I know your W shares these feelings? Nope - not at all. These feelings were true for me, and they may be true for your BW.
For most BSs, the 'healing timeframe guideline' is 2 to 5 years. Now, I know that everyone is different, and some heal much faster and some much slower, but I would imagine that if one DDay puts a person at 2 years, knowing that the WS was cheating while watching the BS go through that incredibly hard year 1 would add significant time to that. Part of why I started to feel 'safe' again with my H (ignoring any current situations) was that he saw all of the pain he'd created and he was willing (usually) to let me vent, yell, cry, stare into space, listen to very angry music, whatever I needed. I felt that now that he'd seen that pain, that devastation, it would be so much harder for him to once again become a WS. If I had found out just after my first Antiversary that he was once again cheating, after witnessing my pain and struggles that his cheating had caused, I would feel extremely unimportant to my H, and very unsafe, and the last thing on my mind would be reassuring him.
I want to say again - this is me. I'm only speaking for me. I don't know your entire story, I don't have insight into your BW's mind. I only offer my feelings so that you might understand a little more what she may be feeling or thinking.
I have a lot of hope for you and your M SH. Your BW is understandably keeping her distance emotionally, but she is there. All infidelity needs not only remorse, NC, transparency and understanding to heal - it needs time. There are things that simply cannot be rushed through. I won't say that you need patience, because you can have all the patience in the world, but if you don't 'get it', your R will be filled with frustrations and unmet expectations.
I know you're waiting for the 'magic post', and I know you know logically that it doesn't exist. I do wonder if emotionally you are aware of this. Your post sounds like you are hoping for some magic turn-around from your BW. VERY respectfully, I think she may be waiting for the same from you.
My husband tried an exercise, and said it helped him, so I'll post it here. If you like it or think it may offer some assistance, fantastic. If not, no harm no foul:
Each time you're wondering about the state of your relationship, feeling anxious about her mood and how your night/morning/afternoon will go, or wanting her to reassure you, stop everything else and try, really try, to imagine what that moment looks like to your BW. What does she see and/or feel based on the history of the M, the As, recent events and discussions where she may have opened up a little more, etc. Shut everything else out - your wants, the other events that are happening, day to day life, all of it - and just try to feel what she's feeling.
I really hope your M continues to move forward SH. I've been reading a lot of your posts, and while you're still learning and finding your way (and who on this planet isn't right? ) I get the feeling when I read your words that you really are willing to be the H your BW needs and that you're willing to do whatever is necessary to save your M.
SH (and all other WSs) - I know I say this a lot in this forum, but I want to say again - nothing I've written here is meant to be judgmental or critical. All of my posts, particularly in the WS forum, are written with the hope that a different perspective might help someone move forward on their journey. If anything I've written has hurt or triggered anyone, BS or WS, I sincerely apologize.
If you did 'get it', these thoughts about her being more reassuring wouldn't even exist. I'm not saying you wouldn't vocalize them. I'm saying they wouldn't exist. It takes a while for many WSs to 'get it', and some never do. Right now, it seems as if you can logically understand it, but you don't 'get it'. Remorse vs. Regret kind of thing.
Respectfully, I disagree with this part. I think it is healthy to look at your interaction and be able to say "I wish we were more affectionate." If you were like me, during the A's, you rationalized a lack of affection as "she's not interested in me/she doesn't find me attractive/I'm just her roommate/etc." So just being able to see a lack of affection for what it is, is a step to right thinking.
I have been through the same thing. I think you are empathizing with your BW. You realize why she cannot be affectionate right now. And you accept that, and will wait. I think that is right where you should be.
For me, it was a "good" moment when I brought this up in MC. I said out loud that: (1) I would like more affection. This is different from me just stuffing my feelings and being resentful; (2) I understand why BW cannot be as affectionate right now. I hurt her badly, and she needs to feel safe before she can reach out to me. This is my fault; (3) I will wait. This was very reassuring to my BW. I have to confirm that for her from time to time. Even if she doesn't 100% believe me, she still is comforted hearing that; and (4) I am now focusing on everything I have, instead of just complaining about what I think I am missing. I accept that my level of physical affection and my BW's level are never going to match up exactly. Same thing goes for stuff on "her side." Physical affection is just a part of the whole. When I look at the whole, I am completely satisfied.
Time, communication, perspective, empathy. Keep practicing all of these.
I think it is healthy to look at your interaction and be able to say "I wish we were more affectionate."
This isn't what was said. OP said he wanted BW to be "more affectionate and reassuring" to him. That's totally different than "wishing we were more affectionate".
To me, the difference is 'we' vs. 'her'. OP wants reassurance from a BS that has had 2 DDays. That was what I was referring to - and again, it's 'we' vs. 'she'. I spoke of the reassurance part, and wanting it from her to him.
It's my opinion - nothing more. I agree with your statement, btw. Any 'we' statements suggest thinking as part of a couple. A WS wanting to be reassured, 3 months from DDay #2, to me, says that the WS isn't remorseful yet. Regretful? Sure, but remorseful? In my opinion, no.
[This message edited by painfulpast at 8:35 AM, July 15th (Tuesday)]
why else would I check SI a million times a day
Are you still suffering from the spare time/energy that inevitably follows once you end an A? What are you doing physically with that time? Working out? Focusing on work?
I'd like to explain a few things, if I may. Not because I have to get the last word or be defensive, but just to clarify. :)
I just wanted to point out that I brought my thoughts and venting *here* and not to her. My copy of "How to help your spouse heal from your affair" is getting pretty worn. I know what not to say to her. I'm not really walking on eggshells anymore; if she wants space, she gets it. If she's in a good mood, I spend time with her. I'm constantly asking her how she's doing and if there's anything I can do for her. If she starts telling a story, I stop what I'm doing and listen. I'm all over that. She said in MC that she can tell I'm making lots of effort.
My original post was just a depressed/wistful moment. Wishing I could be reassured and that she would be more affectionate doesn't mean I don't "get it". It just means I wish things would be different, as do we all. We wish we had a time machine and none of it ever happened. Not a full blown self-pity party with cake and candles, just a brief moment of sadness. Because you know what? This shit is hard.
My IC told me that 95% of therapy boils down to "Change is hard". Of course, that was said tongue-in-cheek. She seems to think I'm doing real well, and in fact, only wants to see me every 3 weeks now instead of every week.
I also want to say, the heavy metal is nothing new. That's actually her type of music and she's always listened (and sang along) to stuff like that. I just don't particularly enjoy it during intimacy. But it's not the first time that's happened, even before the A's. She had her playlist on random and I guess I got lucky with that particular song.
I wish I had this forum after the first A and really understood the seriousness of it then. But it was "just a mistake" and I was forgiven, and things returned to normal pretty quickly. She's said many times that she's over that one, though I know many here will feel that there's extra time involved now despite what she may say.
And that's fine, I'm all in, so it doesn't matter if it's 1 year or 5 years or the rest of my life.
I'm *not* the person I was. I know whatever feelings I have, she has all the same *plus* the trauma of having been betrayed by me. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, FTG. I know she might yet decide to leave. Every day she chooses not to leave, or even chooses to let me sleep in the bed with her. It's all a gift.
I appreciate all the responses and I know that sometimes our ramblings don't paint a complete picture of how things really are and we're all just doing the best we can with our replies and to be helpful.
What are you doing physically with that time? Working out? Focusing on work?
Well, I'm the new mom. She even said as much. And I'm embracing that role. It's a pretty busy day working my own job and keeping the kitchen clean, and doing laundry, and taking care of the pets.
Son and I have been trying to take walks. I watch TV and play some xbox. I'll tickle the ivories and I'm trying to learn how to play guitar. I'll sit out with the neighbors and watch the kids all run around and play. That's my socializing right there.
I killed my friendship with AP's H. So nobody to go play golf with now. Sometimes I'll take my son over to Top Golf. Having male friends is the only piece of my life I never really had, but I managed just fine (or so I thought). So yeah, if you're in the Houston area and you're a guy and you want to hang out, let me know :) My son is thinking about joining the boy scouts in the fall, so that's something I could do with him and maybe meet some bro's there. I'm not too worried about it though. All I'm worried about is keeping my family together and regaining our happiness some day.
I am curious how in such a short amount of time you have managed to get to the root of all of your whys and fix them and know that you are not "that guy" anymore?
Well, I'm still giving a lot of thought to the whys. But there was a lot of low hanging fruit to be picked. I know I never want to go through again, what we're going through. I know that if it happens again, she's taking my son and vanishing like a fart in the wind. That's pretty good motivation right there. I'm finding healthier ways of coping, and in fact, I'm a lot happier now that I've given up on all that porn and facebooking. Ignorance is bliss. All that seeking validation and likes etc, all gone. The only alcohol I'm going to consume now is with my BW and never in excess if we're out with other people. Lines were being crossed which only made it that much easier to cross more. So with being sober and in control, and with the daily mindfulness and awareness I have now, I'm confident I will not be putting my marriage or family at risk ever again. It wasn't love. It wasn't real. It so wasn't worth the aftermath. Friend's of my wife are not my friends. I will not be fixing their computers. I will not be friends with them on facebook (not that I'm even on there anymore). If someone even remotely looks at me cross-eyed, I'm high-tailing it in the other direction! Seriously though, I know avoidance and healthy boundaries can only take you so far. I continue to ask myself why I was able to put her out of my mind and go do something that I knew was wrong anyway. I continue to explore the different rationalizations I had. No matter how bad I thought things were, there's no excuse for going outside the marriage. I was immature to not deal with my marital problems like an adult. When the lines started getting crossed and BW expressed her reservations about it, we should've started spending less time with these friends and not more. Coulda shoulda woulda. But, really at the heart of this, is my inability to say no. I wanted the attention. I wasn't happy in my own skin. I wasn't an adult. Hindsight is 20/20. I'm changing. I will be better. I will do better. I refuse to lose this new mindfulness and awareness. It's my new jiminy cricket and goes everywhere I go.
I wasn't happy in my own skin.
This right here. All the other stuff, rules. And rules can be broken. Us wayward are really great at figuring out how to get around rules, and justifying why we can break just this one, just this one time.
But figure this out, right here, and you are on your way to figure out your why and making yourself safer. Truly safer.