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Healing Past Hurts

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RippedSoul posted 7/31/2014 18:14 PM

This may be an odd question . . . How do you--if you do at all--heal past hurts? My SLAWH and I are well into reconciliation (considering his addiction), but we haven't discussed all the ways he hurt me. I feel like I have all the truth; I feel like it's been there since the end of 1/13 when he confessed. And then again in 10/13 when he'd relapsed. Each and every month, I see him healing and opening up and making small (sometimes giant) steps forward with only a few back here and there. So do I just swallow the pain of the individual A events/untruths/secrets that still bother me?

For example, in 11/12, to NOT celebrate my birthday and my DD18's last lead performance in her school musical, WH took off for the South Pacific with AP (suspected potential EA) on a 10-day work assignment. He flew to her city first, so they could fly all the way there together. The whole time he was out of the U.S. (8 days), I heard nothing. On the return trip, once he had a layover in Hawaii, he finally texted me. I didn't respond. The next day, he kept texting me: in the rental car, at the airport, in my seat, landed, etc. I didn't respond until he asked if I was ignoring him because he'd been in paradise (nice). No, I said, I've not responded because the lack of e-mails, calls, and texts and my breathlessly waiting for contact that surely would come--he wouldn't abandon me for a week, right?--branded my forehead with a big "L."

To add insult to injury, after landing the first leg of the trip, he told me he forgot his camera. When I teasingly questioned how he could possibly forget his camera (and his swimming suit), he said he could get photo copies from his co-worker--if I didn't mind. I asked why I should mind. He said because I'd said I was worried about her. But, I protested, you assured me there was nothing to worry about (in our early b-day dinner before he left we conversed about that). Again, he reiterated that there was nothing there.

It was all lies. All of it. Of course, right? The A's are made up of 'em. Hundreds of them. Thousands of them. Do I just wrap it in a package and realize I need to deal with it in bulk--not in separate? I guess part of me wants a specific apology for each wrong-doing. I want him to acknowledge how painful, how trust-breaking each of those incidents was. And is. I want empathy! Yet when he's already so caught, so stuck in the shame cycle of addiction, it seems counter-productive.

How to Help Your Spouse Heal? Not top on his list and not because he isn't remorseful. He just can't heal himself and focus on the issues that led to his A and subsequent acting out while at the same time healing me. I'm a big girl and I often "have" this. The compassionate part of me understands; the petty part of me is throwing a hissy fit.


LosferWords posted 7/31/2014 23:59 PM

I think hurts are hurts, and you have to go through them and deal with them individually. Some hurts are more detailed, and some are the "sum of the whole". I tend to lean towards the side that any of these feelings that you are feeling are valid. If they are still causing you distress, it is perfectly okay to talk about them.

Is there a way you can prep your husband ahead of time, and maybe set aside some time where you want to talk about these things? Maybe him knowing ahead of time that there will be some rough discussion material to discuss would make him more receptive and empathetic towards your feelings?

Maybe writing some of these things out to him, and picking out one or two topics to talk about at a time might be helpful.

Just throwing a couple of ideas out there. Best of luck.

So sorry for those hurts.

ItsaClimb posted 8/1/2014 07:56 AM

Inspired by something LA44 posted some months ago, I made a list of ALL the things I felt I had to accept if my fWH and I are going to R. I listed these things on a Word document and added to them as I thought of new things over a week or so.

I went into detail e.g:

I have to accept that fWH lied to me by telling me he was sleeping at a B&B and that he went so far as to describe the B&B to me

I have to accept that fWH would phone me to say good-night from OW's house every night that he slept there and that she overheard these personal phonecalls

I have to accept that OW saw my husbands naked body

I have to accept that fWH had sex with OW approx 40 times

There were pages and pages of this stuff...

I thought that writing it out would help, but once I had done that I felt I needed more, I realised that basically I needed him to apologise for these things individually.

So one day, when we had lots of uninterrupted time I sat fWH down and I read this list out to him. By the end of it he was very emotional. And he apologised to me.

It helped a lot, in several different ways. I think it made him realise the depth and volume of hurt he had caused me. It also helped me to have tangible evidence of what he had done and to know that I had had a formal apology for all of those things. I realised that on some level I had been feeling that the blanket apologies I kept on getting - you know the "I'm sorry" or the "I'm sorry, I know I was a jerk and I hurt you" wasn't enough, but on this occasion, with each item being specified, it felt better, more like a genuine real apology for all of those (many, many) things. Since then I have noticed that I revisit all those hurts far less... it's like I could pack them away, because I felt like we had dealt with them.

It was emotionally draining, and certainly not an easy thing to do. But it definitely was worth it in my opinion.

I'm not saying those hurts are completely healed, or that R is now going swimmingly though. I certainly haven't reached full acceptance of all those things either. But it was a significant step in the right direction for us.

Not sure if it will help in your situation, but I thought I'd mention it.

Hurtbuthopeful35 posted 8/1/2014 10:23 AM

It actually dawned on me this morning why this is so hard to move passed. WH wants me to step dwelling on his affair and move on. I keep asking myself, why I dredge up the details and keep asking questions when I could just focus on the future.

I was thinking about "how would you feel" questions this morning. How would you feel if I spent Valentine's day with another man? How would you feel if I slept with another man? I thought about how just one hurt, even as simple as someone raising their voice, can take days to over come. And I realized an affair isn't one hurt. It's a string of hurts. Thousands upon thousands of choices that were made without regard to our feelings. Some of these hurts are worse than others and each will require processing.

Additionally, our spouses are our lives. What they've done in secret creates blank pages in our own books. Like a person with amnesia, we naturally want to fill those in.

I know that eventually I'll have to pack it all together and choose to let it go. No amount of explaining will ever undo what has been done. But for now. I think I owe it to myself to allow the time I need to process and WH also owes my his support while I do that. I chose to keep the relationship despite the pain, he needs to respect that.

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