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Putting it all out there...

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phoenixrises posted 7/24/2014 18:16 PM

Hi all, Iím a newbie here but have been lurking for months as my D-day was in February. My WH and I have been working on reconciling and after living separately since January of 2013 due to his job relocation (this separation played a big part in his A) and we plan to finally move in together as a family next month and Iím having cold feet. And I mean hypothermia kind of cold feet. We have been doing so well in R for a while but now Iím starting to have all these doubts...

Hereís whatís bothering meÖWeíre sitting down together this weekend to talk about our expectations and I realized that if he so much as initiates any contact with OW (who is a work colleague but in a different department/state) I am DONE. Likewise, if she contacts him again and he doesn't ask her to stop (she did contact him re: a work related topic and he feels he hurt her so much he didn't want to add insult to injury by saying 'don't contact me again')

I just feel like he has put me through so much I am too emotionally fragile to put up with anything else. I am trying this because I love him, but in our last few conversations these past few weeks about OW he continues to defend her. He says that he played a father figure/protector role to her and made her all these false promises and feels badly about it. OW knew WH was married but unhappy and was waiting for him to leave me and our small children. He still talks about how guilty/awful he feels about how he treated her. When I mention things that are especially hurtful (she sent my kids several presents that WH said were simply from a colleague), my WH mentions her terrible childhood, horrible mother, etc. etc. On the one hand, itís good that he humanizes her because I donĎt want to think sheĎs a complete monsterÖBUT this also scares me because it means he still has feelings for her if he's still defending her... Right? I also worry that he doesn't have strength to ask her to not contact him if she does reach out because he has mentioned how emotional she is/was worried she would commit suicide when he ended it with her...

I plan to actually ask WH outright this weekend if he does still have feelings for her, but Iím wondering do I want to know the answer? Would you? He has said several times he felt a responsibility for her because of the false promises he made her. I ask because I think if he does still have feelings, it might be a deal breaker. We had taken a long break on talking about the A because I'm trying to move forward and he's been great and helping me do so but now I'm thinking of all these questions I should be asking before we agree to be together again as a family...Feeling very scared but I want to know the truth!

Rebreather posted 7/24/2014 18:43 PM

So, does he not feel a responsibility to YOU and the promises he made YOU when he married YOU?

I see why your feet are frozen. I'd not be ok with any of this.

At this point, he should feel nothing for her but disgust. He should NOT be defending her. He should tell you unequivocally that if she reaches out he will not answer in any way. Hangs up the phone. Period.

He's still hurting you and holding a torch for her. He needs IC to help him process his feelings of shame for how he treated her - but what he really needs to focus on, is how he is treating YOU.

He's not remorseful, not yet.

MissMouseMo posted 7/24/2014 19:25 PM

Unless there is something magical or pressing about next month, do you think it might be wise to tap the brakes? For your sake? For the kids?

Your cold feet are very reasonable from what you've outlined, and I'd hate the kids to be whipsawed.

I'd say trust your gut and just slow down a little. Safety first. Take care of the details and the big picture will emerge more clearly.

kate0421 posted 7/24/2014 19:25 PM

Sorry but I feel no empathy for anyone who knowingly got into a relationship with a married man/woman. Just as I have no empathy for a married man/woman who choose to have an affair. That being said, why is he so caught up on not hurting her? He has no issue with causing you pain?
This does not sound like a man who is remorseful, he should feel nothing but disgust when he thinks of her. Sounds like your WS may still be in the fog or on the fence. I would really try to get down to the bottom of this, I personally wouldn't except anything short of a NC that he writes up and sends to her in front of you. Also lay it all out on the table for boundaries, tell him what you feel is and isn't okay, talk about them together in detail so there is no misunderstandings. He should be grateful you are offering another chance at your M.
I'm sorry you are going through this and sometimes it does take some time for the W to snap out of it and really accept what they have done ( my WS was in denial at the true pain he caused because let's face it, he didn't want to really face himself), but don't sell yourself short hoping he comes around. (((Hugs))) put yourself and your needs first.

I know it can be hard to just put your buisness out in the public. I'm glad you have found SI and hope you keep posting for support.

[This message edited by kate0421 at 7:27 PM, July 24th, 2014 (Thursday)]

LA44 posted 7/24/2014 19:33 PM

Hey phoenixrises, I am sorry you are here, but welcome.

I distinctly remember my H telling me was that the only time he called AP was to tell her NC...AND to say that I might expose the A to her supervisor. I told him that NC means, NC and that it was time for him to start protecting ME. Not her. Me! This seemed to shake him out of some dream-like state he was in.

Since Feb., have you two been in IC or read books like, Not Just Friends and After the Affair? I highly recommend that BOTH you and your H pick them up before you start going over your expectations.

After the Affair speaks about High Cost Behaviours (HCB). A HCB for you would be, NC with the AP. Another HCB would be, Tell me every time AP contacts you whether it is work or personal.

Note: Many WS mess this up whether its an outright call, note or whether they are confronted in a hallway, on the street, in a store.

but in our last few conversations these past few weeks about OW he continues to defend her. He says that he played a father figure/protector role to her and made her all these false promises and feels badly about it

And what does he say about breaking the vow of marriage to you?! Does he feel badly about that? It never cease to amaze me the dumb-ass things they say!

Let him know that under NO circumstances do you want to hear how badly he feels about hurting her and that defending her to you is unacceptable. That too would be a HCB.

We had taken a long break on talking about the A because I'm trying to move forward and he's been great and helping me do so

Sorry. But (and I say this gently) if he is defending the AP then I don't think he's been great at helping you move forward.

As Rebreather said, he needs IC to straighten him out.

If he is remorseful you will know it. You will see it. You will feel it. It will be consistent. But right now, he is not remorseful. This is still all about him.

I asked many questions in the first year and then started clamming up. We are 19 months in and I realize I cannot clam up. I need to express my needs and talk to him about his feelings and mine. This is a very long and painful process but I believe will be worth it.

Keep reading. Keep posting. And keep talking about the A with him. Write your questions down. Ask him what you need to know. The questions might go on for months. Tell him this. The more answers you get - and you want honest answers no matter how painful - the more you two can find your way to a relationship that is authentic.


phoenixrises posted 7/28/2014 19:51 PM

Hi all, I apologize that it took me a few days to respond to your posts but felt I needed to. I very much appreciate your responses and support. I agree that although DH is regretful, I donít quite feel he is remorseful. I had a problem pre-A where I felt like a doormat largely due to my inability to tell others what I want/need. After reading some of your posts, I did sit down with him and discuss my frustrations and tell him what I expected of him/boundaries if we still plan to move in together. Asking for what I need/expect is so new and scary for me but I realize if not now, when?

LA44- We both started reading After the Affair at the suggestion of our counselor but he stopped because he said he wanted to throw himself in front of a bus and I didnít push matters. I have read Not Just Friends and found it very helpful but he has not read it for reason he couldnít finish other book.

We are re-starting marriage counseling (for reasons Iíve mentioned in this post) and I am so glad I have found SI. It being my first post and already finding support that helped me when I needed, I just felt I needed to come back and say Thank you!

veronique12 posted 7/29/2014 12:53 PM

Yes I agree he sounds sorry, but sorry for whom? Sounds like much of his sorry is for himself. I gather he stopped reading After the Affair because it was too painful, right? Even though it would help you move forward, he's still more concerned about his own feelings than yours. He's lost in self-pity land worrying about the pain he's caused everyone else but you. Exactly the wrong focus for R for begin.

My H did this too for several weeks after DDay. Defended the OW as feeling "nothing but empathy" for me (oh that one set me over the edge!), that telling her soon to be exBH would jeopardize their relationship with their kids, that she really did care for him, she was a good person. He didn't get it that she had ZERO empathy for me, didn't care at all about our children, didn't care about his best interests, and was not a nice person. It took some time before he realized what a jerk she really is and I think that was because it revealed a lot about him and the disgrace of his actions.

Yes he needs to shift his focus to you. You should be priority now. The issue is how to get him there. IC and reading. He should not be putting down those books because they touch a nerve. I recommend How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair. That book says that the focus of the WS needs to be on helping the BS deal with his or her pain if R is the goal.

phoenixrises posted 7/29/2014 14:40 PM

Thanks, Veronique. I do plan to order that book for him and ask him to read it. I'm not one to ask for things but I now realize that 5 months in and finally getting ready to move in together I need to tell him what I need, otherwise R is just not going to work.

I think that as I figure out what I want I realize that things I allowed to happen post D-day -like him writing a letter to AP apologizing for his actions and telling her how extraordinary she was and that he hopes she finds happiness should have been unacceptable to me. Wish I had SI at that time but now I am learning what I need from him and will be better at communicating my needs.

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