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Weird suspicions/suggestions (BS welcome)

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AchillesHealed posted 7/31/2014 07:28 AM

Hi all, and my apologies in advance for this rambling post...

My BH and I are two and a half years out from D-Day. I thought things were going really well lately, but this morning something odd happened. My husband looked at the bed and commented that it seemed to be pushed over "funny," that it looked like it had been moved so that there was barely room to walk between the bed and the dresser (mind you, we live in a small apartment, and there really is barely room to walk between the bed and the dresser). To me, the bed looked like it was in the same position and not out of place at all. Now, I am not the most graceful person and do have a tendency to walk into walls/doors/furniture without even realizing it. Perhaps I did that and inadvertently moved the bed, but if I did I don't recall it. I just said that it looked like it was in the same place to me.

He acted a bit funny for the rest of the morning, before he left for work. I asked him if something was wrong, and he said he was just "stressed." In my mind, I'm wondering if he's thinking I had my ex-AP (or someone else?!) over in our bed. So then I try to overcompensate, asking him again if something was wrong. He said, again, that he was just stressed but I can tell he's off. I didn't want to keep asking, and I didn't want to directly say, "Hey, if you're thinking I was fucking someone here during lunch, that is NOT the case." He is the sort who never wanted details, who doesn't like to talk about the affair. He is trying to heal and move on in his own way, and I try to respect that.

But I also hate feeling like I am being put on the defensive (even at this late point) for something I did not do and will never do again. I suppose I deserve it, but I don't like it. I don't know whether to mention something later, like, "Hey, I must've just walked into the bed and moved it," or let it go and hope he realizes it wasn't what he thought it was, and move on. I have gone out of my way to be accountable, to send text and photos when I'm out--never occurred to me that I might have to start doing that during the day (I occasionally work from home). Any suggestions on how to help him through this/reassure him would be greatly appreciated...

[This message edited by AchillesHealed at 10:39 AM, July 31st (Thursday)]

authenticnow posted 7/31/2014 07:35 AM

I'm pretty sure that happens to my BH also, and we are almost 7 years out. If my work schedule changes, if I decide to wear pretty panties one day, if I take an extra shower, if my blanket is rumpled. I know his mind races with these thoughts.

I have spent a lot of time comforting him. I truly feel that at this point it's his issue to work out.

If I know I'm being 100% transparent, honest, authentic, then there's nothing else I can do.

If you're not as far out, maybe some comforting words can help. Something like, 'I'm not sure what you're thinking right now but I want to assure you that I am being completely honest and transparent in my life now and there is nothing else for you to know', or something like that.

AchillesHealed posted 7/31/2014 07:47 AM

Thanks so much for this response--it's helpful to know this is normal, even well after D-day. The thing is, I would love to say something like that to him, but worry that even such an oblique reference to the affair would upset him (I know he's thinking about it anyway, but a part of me feels like I should defer to him in terms of making a direct reference to it). I wish it were easier to talk with him about this. Maybe if he's still acting funny tonight, I'll try.

The other thing is, even if I say something like that to him, he might not even believe me. Edited to add: Should I text him, or maybe try to talk to him tonight about it? I'm guessing the latter... but still, I don't know if it's the right thing to do.

[This message edited by AchillesHealed at 7:54 AM, July 31st (Thursday)]

Tred posted 7/31/2014 07:56 AM


I'm a BH. It's called hypervigilance. I don't know your back story, but after DDay the betrayed spouse can have a tendency to fixate on missed clues, the red flags that we ignored during the affair. After DDay (for most) everything is now looked at in the affair lens - to see if it's a red flag that we should pay attention to. Does that make sense?

AuthenticNow gave you good advice. Has your BH been to IC?

LivinginLimbo posted 7/31/2014 08:00 AM

We're about at the same point as you are. I still get suspicious, it's part of the baggage we carry.

We're still doing MC. One of the things I've mentioned is that I know my FWH would be thrilled if I never brought it up again. He doesn't deny it.

Honestly, on the rare occasions that he makes the first mention, I'm thrilled. It shows that he's sensitive to what I'm dealing with. I suggest you make the first move and ask your BH if the bed being moved made him think that something was going on. You can then reassure him that it's not the case and his mind can stop racing.

AchillesHealed posted 7/31/2014 08:03 AM

Thanks, Tred. That makes sense. And no, my BS did not go to IC--his choice. We did not go to couples' counseling, either. Again, his choice. So it's been sort of a lonely road, figuring it out as we go along. Given that this is someone who really, REALLY, does not like to talk about it, is it disrespectful for me to say something?

The last time something like this happened, he insinuated I was cheating with an old colleague (not my ex-AP). When I insisted we were just out at a late dinner and that I would show him the receipt (with time stamp) as proof, he did not want to see the receipt. I showed it to him anyway--it is not fair to accuse me and then refuse to let me address the accusations. But this time, there was really no accusation, just a feeling. And I don't want to blow up this dresser thing bigger in his mind if he's really on his way to forgetting about it. Then again, I don't want to fail to address it if it really is bothering him.

[This message edited by AchillesHealed at 8:04 AM, July 31st (Thursday)]

AchillesHealed posted 7/31/2014 08:07 AM

Thanks, Living in Limbo. I really would like to say something, to let him know that I am sensitive to these things, but then again, I want to be sensitive to his not wanting to talk about it, too.

I am contemplating texting him about it, but I'll wait to do it in person. It's just really, really hard to bring it up, since he never does.

I would have loved to have gone to MC with him to address these sorts of things.

PS: if I do bring it up and tell him the bed thing was all in his mind, what's to say he's going to believe me? Or is he going to think that my bringing it up suggests guilt?

[This message edited by AchillesHealed at 8:09 AM, July 31st (Thursday)]

TheIrishGirl posted 7/31/2014 08:20 AM

Another BS. I say mention it. My WH doesn't bring it up much, but I tell him he can- it's not like I don't think about it- even on good days, it's still there. Bringing it up on a good day 99% of the time will not ruin the good day, and may even make it better because it proves that it's on your mind too.

It's actually a lot like where I was after a miscarriage- you're never not thinking about it, and even if it's not forefront in your mind, it's not like you forgot that it happened. Someone mentioning that baby doesn't make me sad, it's actually somewhat comforting that 'you' are thinking about it, and my pain/grief.

If he's the "don't talk about it" type, I would still say something, but probably allude to the underlying issue rather than be blunt about it. I like what AuthenticNow suggested saying.

LivinginLimbo posted 7/31/2014 08:25 AM

It's unfortunate that he doesn't want to try MC. Perhaps you can suggest trying it out as you want to help him heal but are at a loss as to how to go about that.

I can imagine the inner turmoil both of you live with. It's no wonder that you're left with trying to figure out what he's thinking. In the meantime, whatever his thoughts are escalate because there's no release from them.

You can't spend the rest of your life walking on eggshells and he shouldn't be ignoring the dead elephant in the middle of them. It's not healthy for either of you.

Are you in IC? If he sees you benefitting from counseling, perhaps he'll have a change of heart. It has helped enormously in getting us to be able to communicate.

5454real posted 7/31/2014 08:33 AM

Another BH. Tred was spot on. Even if I don't say anything, you can bet my mind went there. We're almost 3 years out. Most of the time I don't say anything, but when I do, she's very quick with an apology and amends. I'm in AN's court on this. It's becoming my burden. Nothing she has done since true remorse set in has been indicative of concern.

Just a quick question. The bed moving seems odd in and of itself, was/is there something else setting off his alarms? Honestly, I'd be blunt and just ask.

AchillesHealed posted 7/31/2014 08:41 AM

Well, I sent a text. I noticed a nasty bruise on my right leg that directly aligns with the corner of the bed, and realized I must have slammed into it without thinking (this is a daily occurrence for me, along with the nasty bruises, which he well knows!). So in my text I said, "I think I figured out the bed movement. There's a nice bruise on my right quad that directly aligns with the corner of the bed." Then I moved on to talk about my plans for the day. He texted back and commented on my plans, but not on the bed or the bruise. So now I don't know whether to leave it, or to say something else (an indirect statement, as Authentic Now suggests)...

Living in Limbo, I was in IC for a long time, addressing my issues, including childhood sexual abuse. He knows it was very helpful for me, and yet has never expressed interest it in for himself. He works a lot, which is part of the problem--it is not convenient for him.

5454, thanks for your input. Maybe he does see it as his burden at this point, but still, he does not deserve to have that burden, and if I can help lift it I would like to do so. There was nothing else setting off alarms (at least not that I'm aware of)--things were perfectly normal until the bed comment. But he does know I walk into furniture all of the time, and the bruise is clearly there, so hopefully that will put his mind at rest?

Still, I wish he had commented on it. Maybe he will when he sees the damn bruise.

bionicgal posted 7/31/2014 08:49 AM

As a BS, I might appreciate more directness. ("I wondered if your mind went to an affair when you saw the bed out of alignment. I can assure that you not only is that not true, it is the furthest thing from my mind. I am totally devoted/dedicated/in love (whatever feels right) to you.")

Otherwise, you risk sounding like you are looking for excuses. But also realize that he may be feeling uncertain or insecure in general for any host of reasons. Or, it could just be a brain-fire thing. We can't really control them, sadly. The number of times of day I (and most BSes) think about the AP or the affair from seemingly unrelated stimuli is mind boggling. And while it lessens over time, sometimes the random ones are whoppers because you've gotten so used to not feeling them.

AchillesHealed posted 7/31/2014 08:55 AM

Thanks, BG. I didn't even think the bed was misaligned, so when he first said it, I was like, "Huh? I don't see it. It looks fine to me." Then I noticed the bruise, and realized he must have been right, even if I hadn't noticed it. So it already looks like I've deflected and then scrambled for excuses. I feel like I can't win with this.

I guess I'll leave it alone for now and let him go on with his work day, and then maybe say something else in person. I try to reassure him all the time about how committed I am without directly mentioning the affair. It's so, SO frustrating and upsetting when this happens. I just feel powerless to do anything about it.

MissWhoKnew posted 7/31/2014 09:09 AM

I am a BW and I am going to come at this from a different angle. As a BS I am hypervigilant and I am not sure that ever truly goes away. My WH is not a person who wants to talk over touchy subjects. All his emotions are kept on the inside.

The way I found to initially get my WH to talk was through texting. It allowed him a chance to read and digest what I was saying without feeling put on the spot for an answer. I even emailed a couple of letters to him about my thoughts and feelings of our marriage. I know most people feel this is the wrong way to handle talking. However I found that I could text him for information about the A and he would answer back. Sometimes it took several tries to get a real response. Sometimes I would refer to advice given on SI, etc. He slowly started opening up a little with face to face talking about our situation and what our common goal was for the relationship.

Your BH has to be living in his own kind of mind prison. If you truly love him, are truly remorseful for the A, then he really needs to know that. The vulnerability the BS feels tells us to keep our guard up at all times and be prepared for the worse. We don't want to be blindsided again.

I would suggest maybe a soft start by texting something about how you feel that shows your remorse. Some of the hopes for your future together. Maybe how you see his pain and want to know how you can help him. I cannot even begin to express how important it is that you constantly let him know you love HIM!! Do small things like ask to meet up for lunch once or twice a week if it is possible. He needs to know and feel that he is the center of your world. It really is in the small things everyday. Do little things that let him know you are thinking of him only.

The other thing I wondered from your post was about the mattress. If you had your AP at your place and that mattress was need to replace as soon as possible. Otherwise that will always be a trigger for him. If it was not than please disregard.

[This message edited by MissWhoKnew at 9:13 AM, July 31st, 2014 (Thursday)]

somethingremorse posted 7/31/2014 09:14 AM

Remember that he hates thinking along those lines. So in addition to addressing his suspicions, you have to reassure him that it's OK for him to think that way, and that you are sorry for making him face those kinds of doubts. He feels like he is jumping at shadows, but you are the one who made him that way.

AchillesHealed posted 7/31/2014 09:17 AM

MWK, thank you for this. I didn't bring my ex-AP here, so the mattress it and of itself is not an issue.

Honestly, I tell him all the time that I love him and that I know how lucky I am--basically I make any declaration of love/commitment I can make without directly mentioning the affair. I check in with him throughout the day. I try to make date nights for us. I'm physically affectionate all the time. I don't know what else I can do, short of directly mentioning the affair.

I sent the text about the bed/bruise, trying to open the door, and didn't get a response. If you were me, how would you take that?

AchillesHealed posted 7/31/2014 09:19 AM

Somethingremose, thanks... I would love to address these issues with him, and reassure him on all fronts, but again, if he does not want to talk about it or hear about it, what am I supposed to do?

seethelight posted 7/31/2014 10:06 AM


It must be hurtful to you that he is suspiscioius.

At the same time, I think this will always be something that will be in the back of his mind.

Can you live with that?

It is well known that infidelity can cause PTSD, in the faithful spouse.

As others have mentioned, one symptom of PTSD is hypervigiliance and being easily triggered.

I read in a book that triggers from PTSD never go away.

Even worse, the intensity of the trigger, once triggered remains as powerful as the first time.

What changes over time, is the duration of the anxiety caused by the trigger. Over time, the duration of the anxiety decreases, but not the intensity.

somethingremorse posted 7/31/2014 10:34 AM

Could you text (my BW and I tend to text. Sometimes it's easier to say what you mean in writing instead of face to face) "I don't know if the bed being moved, or my reaction to it, made you suspicious. I am sorry that my actions put these doubts in your head. That is my fault."

AchillesHealed posted 7/31/2014 10:36 AM

Thanks, seethelight. It IS really hurtful, and at the same time I feel like I deserve it, even though there is nothing going on. It's just a horrible reminder of what I did to him.

I don't want to live with it--I want to make it go away--but I suppose that is beyond my power.

The question remains of whether or not to say anything explicit to him, or to just continue with my usual reassurances and declarations of love, etc. I guess I'll follow his lead. It's so hard to know what would be best for him to hear.

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