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Montreal posted 7/15/2014 11:52 AM

Any thoughts on the following email exchange? Gently please, I'm trying to R here, and could use the encouragement and positivity in what is a lousy week for me (D-Day an TT week anniversary).

ME: I know this is not a good day for you, but itís not a good day for me either, and I gather from what MC has been trying to tell us I am supposed to tell you what I need in these circumstances. So today I could really use hearing you apologize again, specifically for the things that I read a year ago. Doesnít have to be a long letter or anything, but it would be comforting to hear that I was not as bad a husband as was implied. That some of the things you said were either exaggerations or even outright lies that you told yourself and others as justifications for your actions. It would go a long ways towards making me believe that you really do respect me as a man, and not just as babysitter and house-cleaner.

WW: I am very sorry for all the pain I have caused you and us. While I won't deny that I was not happy with certain aspects of our marriage, I never thought you were a bad husband. I don't need anyone out of convenience and I am not going through this process because you come in handy. This is way too draining and emotional for someone to do if their heart isn't in it. I hope you will see one day that mine is in.

I am trying to work past this, so we can work on the issues that were present before the affairs. I know you don't understand my unhappiness, but I hope that once you do, it will bring us closer together, just as I want to find the right ways to make you happy.

I am sorry you are dealing with the memories of last year's events. I wish I could undo what was said and done, but I can't. All I can do is be present every day and show you that I am sorry and that I am trying.

ncharge posted 7/15/2014 12:03 PM

This sounds liike regret and not remorse to me. I'm not saying that she doesn't love you or doesn't want to reconcile. But, it is very self-centered and not focused on your needs. Rather like my WH, who just doesn't have it in him to be more than that at this point.

Rebreather posted 7/15/2014 12:19 PM

What is it that you would like us to say? What are you looking for?

While she isn't falling all over herself with expression of love for you and loathing for her actions, it appears she is trying. I was personally never very ok with "trying," but that is kind of sematics issue for me.

Antiversaries suck. Hang in there.

DixieD posted 7/15/2014 12:36 PM

She is trying, but it's somewhat like back handed compliments. I don't think she's wording it well.

She needs to work on her empathy. I get the feeling she's still tying some of her unhappiness pre-affair into her choices and that is blocking her empathy. But it's hard to tell in an email exchange. Things can be misinterpreted. Yet it sounds like she wants to try to get past this (your hurt) sooner rather than later so you can both work on pre-affair things that are important to her and you see why she was unhappy, like that will make everything clear for you.

I'm sorry if that's not encouraging enough. She is trying and she has more to work on.

rachelc posted 7/15/2014 13:00 PM

I am trying to work past this, so we can work on the issues that were present before the affairs. I know you don't understand my unhappiness, but I hope that once you do, it will bring us closer together, just as I want to find the right ways to make you happy.

Translation: can we please rug sweep, focus on me, and pretend this is both our faults? This smacks of a person who think affairs are a symptom of a poor marriage. No, they're symptoms of a person who can't handle their own shit.
Puuleeze! Is she in IC? Post here?

[This message edited by rachelc at 1:02 PM, July 15th (Tuesday)]

20WrongsVs1 posted 7/15/2014 13:28 PM

ITA with RachelC, even though she mighta missed the "gently please" part of your request. As a straight shooter myself, no disrespect meant to RC, because it's really hard to answer this one delicately.

Sorry, but my interpretation of this is, "I'm toughing it out until your pain subsides enough for you to realize how unhappy I was, and still am, in this M. When are you going to start making me happy!?"

Montreal posted 7/15/2014 13:37 PM

Thanks all. My wife is extremely defensive by nature, so while it appears that her response is very self-centered - and it is - I know where it is coming from. Her need to protect herself. If I was to pop-psychoanalyze her I would say that the whole mess came out of her low self-esteem and need for validation (I know, shocking). So her go-to move is to go on the attack.

She does not post here, although I have suggested several times that she do so. She is afraid too, honestly. See above. She is also not in IC. She was, at my insistence and against her real wishes (again, see above, defensive) but it turned out to be a disaster. The guy she was seeing was a complete nut-case. He ended up telling her that I was wallowing in it, and that she needed to get cut-throat with me, which while wrong could have at least made some sense had it occurred several years after D-day. But no, he told her this about a month after discovery of the affair. So yeah, he really set us back, and jaded her on her already sceptical view of IC. We are in MC now (our third one, finally found one that is working for us) and he is very good, for the most part. Spends a lot of time "validating" her by telling her how messed up her FOO was (of course) and that he understands why she reacts the way she does. And then tells her not to react that way. He pretty much does this in some way, shape or form, at every session. He has never, not once, mentioned anything about my upbringing or past. Almost a quasi-IC for her, but in an MC setting. Not ideal for me, but he has been getting some results from her (albeit slowly). Were it not for him I think I would be done. I'm very close to being done as it is, and really given all that has happened I cannot provide a rational explanation as to why I am not.

It's all so very tiring.

rachelc posted 7/15/2014 13:44 PM

Montreal- I'm sorry. I was rather gruff . But I do stand by my general sentiment. You deserve more... They say around here that it's a race for the WS to " get it" before the BS runs out if patience. I'm so sorry you're going through this ..,

whattheh posted 7/15/2014 13:53 PM

Its positive that she tried but her response shows she needs to do more work and build empathy etc. Maybe you two can talk thru your feelings about her apology and what's missing in it from your perspective.

You could bring it to MC session and work thru it there if that would be more effective? You followed MCs advice and got a response. But that didn't do it for you so what does MC suggest to help WW build empathy etc?

20WrongsVs1 posted 7/15/2014 14:06 PM

Montreal, may I ask, how do you feel about her email? You've expressed a pretty complex analysis of where WW is coming from, her FOO, her defensiveness, and POS AP's influence.

But, I didn't see you express one single feeling about it. FTR "very close to being done," IMO, is a thought, not a feeling.

Montreal posted 7/15/2014 14:53 PM

Honestly, I was disappointed in it. For all the reasons mentioned above. I wanted it to be perfect, and while it's clear she is trying, it's not perfect.

I did so many things wrong after DDay - pretty much everything wrong in fact - and we got such bad advice from her IC that sometimes I really think the whole thing was set back by months and months, and that I really should only look at her words and actions over the last couple of months. As she put it to me not so long ago "it's a process, and I'm learning too". By that standard things are getting better. But Christ it's tiring.

I believe she can get there. I do. I know she wants to, but her low self-esteem and defensive nature are a huge hurdle to get past. Working on herself is like an admission that her mother was right all along, that she really is as bad as her mother made her to be. It's why our MC has to coax her to admit she is ashamed of herself, and feels guilty for what she has done. Admitting failure in one area is tantamount to admitting failure in her whole life. She has to win at everything, otherwise she is a loser at everything. So I feel like I have to baby her, praise her for even the slightest efforts she makes, in the hopes that it will lead to more and more efforts. Which is working, but again, so slowly. I didn't mean to marry a child.

Or maybe it's just a bad antiversary day.

Alexisk17 posted 7/15/2014 15:15 PM

I wanted it to be perfect, and while it's clear she is trying, it's not perfect.

One of the things our MC warned me against was expecting perfection. No one acheives perfection, it doesn't really exist as we are all imperfect in our own way. You do deserve excellence though, which takes into account the individuals journey to the place they are now.

If my WH had written the same response your WS had, I would be thrilled... he is awful with words (especially written communication) and has a very difficult time sorting through his emotions. BUT only you know your spouse and their journey to the place they described in the email.

Sounds like a really difficult time, hugs!!

blakesteele posted 7/15/2014 15:28 PM

I did so many things wrong after DDay - pretty much everything wrong in fact - and we got such bad advice from her IC that sometimes I really think the whole thing was set back by months and months

hmmmm......were you looking over my shoulder as I worked on this "test of tests"???? That is MY experience!

Regret vs remorse. Know that one too.

I have studied "compassion". It really appears to me that true compassion is a fruit of true grieving.

Example: I would watch a movie with girls getting hurt or injured in it BEFORE I had my daughters and I would feel bad. AFTER I had my girls, and felt what it felt like to have one of them hurt or injured, that same scene in a movie moves me to tears.

I think a wayward is like this. Until they truly grieve what their choices have resulted in, true compassion is tough to come by. Regret is is a reaction to the surface level issues. Regret they got caught, regret they lost their "soul mate" in their fAP, regret others know about their sin, regret it hurt their spouse and family and friends. But once they find the courage to really face all that led up to adultery being chosen they are introduced to true.....grief.

Grief is a painful experience. Most waywards have spent a lifetime avoiding grief. To find true remorse I believe most waywards have to trek much deeper then simpley stopping their affair. I see how tough it is for my wife to dig deeper to find her "whys" and come to deeper wisdom other than "Whew, I will NEVER do that again!".

This is a process. 2-5 yrs is pretty universally accepted. 'Course, there are so many variables involved here its hard to put a timer on this trial.

It appears your wife is pleading with you to understand where she was coming from. A noble request had adultery not been chosen. This plead is what healthy couples do BEFORE they choose to destroy the original M. Her pleading BEFORE her A was, most likely, unthinkable! Might have even been viewed as "needy" or "weak" by your wifes standards pre-A....very confident in her own abilities and level of "control".

For what ever reasons she was not able to bring up pre-M issues in a way that allowed them to be worked on....and most likely this was a factor within her, not a result of her dynamics with you.

NOW that the atomic shit hit the fan, it is actually a much easier choice to plead with you to look at pre-A M issues than what truly needs to be done. Kind of makes the "pain" relative in nature. KWIM?

She may not want to do what she needs to do, but it must be done for your M to R.

That excuses, full ownership, repentence and aggressive restituition to be paid BEFORE pre-M issues are addressed.

Not making excuses for your wife (or other waywards) but this is her first step to doing just that. I believe she is testing the waters to see just how deep she has to dig into her shit.

Short answer....needs to dig down deep enough to expose the original shit that existed. Her regret is like her trying to dig a few shovels full...peek in the whole....and say to you triumphantly "Look here!!! THIS, THIS is why I did it!!!"

Wrong answer.

Keep in mind that this is traumatic for all involved.....the timing of the trauma differs. My opinion, waywards often times are slower to accept the trauma that has happened.

Try to accept her email in the kind light it was offered in while finding polite ways to say "Thats good honey.....I look forward to seeing more of your journey."

God is with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 3:32 PM, July 15th (Tuesday)]

lifeistough posted 7/15/2014 15:37 PM

Wow, Montreal, for a minute I thought you had hacked into my email. That looks very much like the things my wife has said. And I know they're two different people but my WS sounds like yours in some ways (including the mother part).

It's a process. And someone (I think it was Sisoon) gave me some good advice - you have to give plenty of opportunities for the WS to step up. It won't happen at once. And don't try to script what you want her to say because you'll almost always be disappointed.

But, that doesn't mean you accept a half-assed response either. And you feel like this is half-assed response (and I don't disagree). The folks on this forum didn't let me accept a similar response last week and it forced me to start a conversation with my wife that was probably the best yet. I was direct and she was direct back in a positive way. It also helped her to read some of the FAQs from this site, so she could start to understand a little more. That really seems to have helped her gain a little more insight. We're not close to being done, but it certainly has helped.

R requires a lot of patience and a willingness to live in the grey a bit (I'm not good at either). And, you're right, it is tiring. But I know it's possible - whether my wife and I are ultimately successful or not. And I also know that a marriage can come out stronger - ours actually is in some ways already. So, hang in there.

Montreal posted 7/15/2014 15:55 PM

That's good advice on the "not expecting perfection" and giving her time and all. It's a process. 2-5 years, etcetera, etcetera.

I guess a lot of my pain today is just the date for one, and the fact that over the last couple of weeks I've been reliving those awful first few weeks after DDay, and not liking who I was, or acted. I was a chump. Not really my fault, I didn't know any better. Not like they offer courses on this in University. So I did it all wrong, and now I want to do it all right. Like the pendulum has to swing all the way back to my side or something. Like there is no more room for error on her part. While that's true for certain things (obviously no more chances) I have to recognize that she didn't get to take any courses on how to deal with this either. Of course this can only take you so far, but it is something to keep in mind. She needs works, and that takes time. Whether I will be there at the end of it remains to be seen of course.

What a cluster-fuck we all find ourselves in, eh?

FixYou71 posted 7/15/2014 23:48 PM

Montreal, ...A clusterf#*k indeed. Ha. Ha.

I agree with a previous poster that it would be a good idea to take the email and use it as a conversation point at MC. Let him/ her guide the autopsy of that email and perhaps your MC can use both your Ws poor response/lack of actually addressing the requested apologies and your Ws need to focus so much on the pre A stuff when the crisis situation is the A.

This is a triage situation. She doesn't seem to be able to get that yet. I actually think having this convo in writing could be very beneficial with the help of an enlightened MC.

Rooting for you. Let us know how MC goes.

Dare2Trust posted 7/16/2014 02:15 AM


I sent you a PM.

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