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WS says he "doesn't really feel shame anymore"

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tigrislilium posted 7/31/2014 11:42 AM


This triggers the SHIT out of me for him to say that.

And he also says this, which makes me feel atomic anger:
"I've forgiven myself and I know I'm a good person". (This usually followed by what seems to be a judgmental look on his face of "if only YOU were as forgiving as I am, you big, mean, holder-on of THE PAST, non-forgiver...")

I know it's been 2.5 years (how could I forget?? - he reminds me EVERY TIME I'm hurting or angry about it!), but how do you just... STOP feeling shame for a 5 YEAR AFFAIR?? 5 years of lying to my face and destroying our marriage and bank account (we will be homeless by this time next year thanks to the lies he told me and his appallingly selfish choices with our money) - AND two 1.5 year affairs, one of which with someone your heartbroken BS believed was one of her best friends??

How do you convince yourself that 2.5 years is some magic number at which you can put down your burden of shame and guilt - especially seeing how deeply I struggle daily with the pain of your affairs IN ADDITION TO the most recent deceptions and omissions, and how much work I'm putting into IC and trying to work MY FOO issues out so that this marital journey can commence and be peaceful and content and mutually loving and supportive?


I need REMORSE, not "I'm so OVER this, why can't you just let it go??"
(See my recent post: "why are you staying with your WS?"...)

TheIrishGirl posted 7/31/2014 11:48 AM

Um. I think he should be ashamed of that behavior for life. Maybe he doesn't need to be ashamed if who he is anymore, assuming he's made some real true changes to who he is at the core, but he should forever more feel shame at what he did.

And you don't need to be over it at 2.5 years. That's only half the length of his time in the As.

WH fail. Try again.

Razor posted 7/31/2014 11:55 AM

This statement is right up there with something WW said to me after Dday. *you are crying just to make me feel bad. well it WONT work!*

I have come to the point were I genuinely dont give a crap if my WW feels shame or not. Her healing is her business.

We are still together but its tenuous. We enjoy each others company. I consider her a friend. I like her. But thats as far as it goes because loving her would be too dangerous. There are boundaries to her actions now and if she crosses them I wont give it a second thought when I leave her.

We can only heal ourself. How our WS heals or fixes themself is their business. Having boundaries of what is acceptable behavior on WS part is important. Her staying within those boundaries is all that I really care about. What goes on between her ears is her problem. not mine.

steppingup posted 7/31/2014 11:58 AM

Shame = punishment

Remorse indicates the WS knows what they did was wrong.

Guilt and remorse are cousins mostly.

To say he does not have shame means to me that he has forgiven himself and feels changed but that does not mean you have to follow suit.

My WW cheated on me the first time 13 years ago and I'm still not "over it" and if she dared to tell me to "Get over it", I would explode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So self absorbed these WS are

We are still together but its tenuous. We enjoy each others company. I consider her a friend. I like her. But thats as far as it goes because loving her would be too dangerous.

..its funny how the WS never bet things like this (above) can come of their selfish behavior..

a little "fun" for this? Nobody in there right mind (and most of the affairs stem from this) would ever trade the love and care and safety of a good relationship for the losses. NOBODY, they have all gone mad.

[This message edited by steppingup at 12:00 PM, July 31st (Thursday)]

Crushed1 posted 7/31/2014 12:32 PM

Is your H passive/aggressive or a narcissist? I'm not being sarcastic, it's a sincere question. Because my H has traits of both of those and he said something similar to me! A narcissist will seldom if ever feel true shame or guilt at the heinous actions they've committed and they aren't capable of having empathy for others, because in their 'world' it all about them!

tigrislilium posted 7/31/2014 13:44 PM

Thanks, all, for your insightful replies.

Crushed1, I have tried to determine if "narcissist" is a category my WS fits into, and I don't think that's the case. He can absolutely be passive aggressive, but so can I, so I don't hold that against him as much as the outright selfishness and thoughtlessness he's shown.

What he is is a messed-up little boy still (at 40+ yrs old) who has read a few things here and there which tell WSs that "you have to forgive yourself and heal yourself". Well, he's done the first part, but I have a feeling if he'd done even half of what the second part of that says, he actually WOULDN'T be able to forgive himself... not yet, anyway. Or at least would still be feeling SOME shame. Don't get me wrong - I don't want him to suffer forever and WALLOW in the misery of knowing he deeply hurt his family, but come on! At least he could SAY (lie?) he still feels shame! That might be one lie I could be okay with.

Oh, to put this burden down the way HE has been able to do! If there was one thing I could make true of infidelity, it would be that these WSs could feel equally the pain that we feel. I've never felt anything so painful (though I'm sure there are worse things in the world), and the lack of empathy so many WSs demonstrate would be a thing of the past.

I also cannot stand when he says "I only neglected to tell you about that/ erased it/ lied because I didn't want it to hurt you."

Do WSs EVER GET IT that it's the LIES which destroy us?

The sex with others, the shared words and feelings and time, the obvious excitement they had in their lives while we sat by cluelessly - these only account for about 10% of our pain (or mine, anyway). The rest is THE DISHONESTY. 90% of my pain is the memories of him looking into my face and LYING.

Dishonesty seems to be part of his lexicon at this point. He doesn't know HOW to be 100% honest. I blame that partially on his LENGTHY time of using it to keep getting his ego kibbles, but I also have to blame his FOO issues.

And THAT'S why we're still here. He isn't trying to heal, he's only trying to get past it and hopes it gets buried - just like he's done with his FOO issues.


steppingup posted 7/31/2014 15:31 PM

Yes the truth is and cannot be overcome, there will just be certain things the WS will tell us that we just will only "Partially" believe or we will accept for the sake of not wanting to have a conflict over, but in our hearts we will not be sure if we have the truth or not. For example, since my WW has had many lovers, would I ever believe her if she said I was her "best", not likely. As a good husband is that something I would like to her, absolutely. So just that as one example, the relationship cannot EVER be made whole, there will always be holes in it which cannot be repaired, no mattter what. That is my belief at this moment.

WhatsRight posted 7/31/2014 19:37 PM

I think all of us have something in our past that we are ashamed off or for which we feel shame. Should the people that love us want us to continue to feel shame? Or, if we are trying to heal and are remorseful and are paying for our shameful behavior, Shouldn't those who love us want us to stop with the shame at some point?

There is a huge difference between feeling shame for a behavior, and feeling shame for yourself as a person. I'm not sure which of these things you are talking about. And of course I don't know if you're wayward spouse has felt enough remorse for you to believe there is true remorse. But shame is such a destructive feeling that I don't know that anyone should feel shame the rest of their life.


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