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Can't Talk about how she felt

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unfortunate posted 8/6/2014 14:09 PM

Almost 3 months since DDay and we are working on R. There is a regret on her part but not a lot of remorse. In other words, I am doing most of the work. So my question of the day is, she has been good about answering my questions about the affair and for the past month she has been honestly answering them. However, whenever I ask her questions about her feelings or how she felt at this period of time, it is like a wall goes up and she is unable to answer. She absolutely glazes over like she is looking for the answer in her mind but cannot find the answer.

Example: How did you feel when I picked you up at the airport, knowing that you has sex with the AP for the first time the night before. Literally she could remember me picking her up.

Example 2: What were your feelings for me during the year long affair? Dead silence for a very awkward 10 minutes. She was like in another world and couldn't even form a sentence. It wasn't like she didn't want to answer, it was almost like she mentally couldn't.

Is this something normal that happens? Granted she had a hard time expressing her feeling throughout our marriage, but this was down right creepy!

gettingbyjj posted 8/6/2014 14:20 PM

It can be normal. This is how my fWW reacted to several of those types of questions at first. One of my questions was "What did you expect to get from the A?" or phrased another way "Where did you see it ending up?" The answer to the first was a long time in coming, and it had to do with her self esteem issues arising from FOO and CSA. She felt alone and needed validation but had a hard time believing my attempts at validation. The second question never had an answer because she really didn't know and never thought about where it would end up.

A lot of it is going to be coming to terms with why she had the A in the first place. Is she in IC or are you both in MC?

Once she can understand the why, she may be better able to explain and answer. As long as she's not being defensive, I think the remorse is there but she may not comprehend it yet.

PrtyInPink posted 8/6/2014 15:04 PM

Coming from a WS point of view....and of course this is only MY view on this....when my H asked me these sorts of questions I didn't want to answer in fear of hurting him. If he would have said "how did you feel when I met you at our DD's softball game knowing that you had just made out with your AP a couple hours before that". The correct response should be "I felt bad. I felt regret. I was so sorry for what I did". But no, honestly, I didn't feel anything. I wasn't elated that I had gotten away with what I did at the moment and I also didn't feel bad for it either. Of course, that isn't a question he asked because he had no idea when I kissed my AP.

Similar question as you asked your WW about what were her feelings for you during her A. If my H would have asked me how I felt about him during the time my answer would have been "well to be honest, I felt the same about you as I always have. I loved you during my EA and I still saw myself growing old with you."

I think when BSs ask these sorts of questions they want answers that fall along the lines of "well I didn't love you during this time" because to a BS that is the only explanation as to why the WS did what they did. When I think about my H having sex with his OW, I 100% don't think he loved me with an ounce of his body because there's no way that he would have done something like that if he didn't love me. Now is that true about how he felt? Probably not. Usually As have nothing to do with the spouse at all and everything to do with how the WS feels inside and about themselves.

So...I guess don't take your wife's silence the wrong way. Maybe she is trying to think of the best answer for you

[This message edited by PrtyInPink at 3:08 PM, August 6th (Wednesday)]

2married2quit posted 8/6/2014 15:12 PM

She thinks she's protecting you, but she's actually protecting herself. You should have all the questions answered. My FWW was the same. Still is kinda. But she's out of the fog so she blames the fog obviously.

There's a book for WWS's to read. It really puts it in perspective and the work they SHOULD be doing. It maybe a good read for her. I know my spouse hated it. Cause it spelled out what she did and what she needs to start doing to save the marriage.

Sorry to hear my friend. Hugs to you. It's a tough place. Glad you're here. You're among good company here.

PrtyInPink posted 8/6/2014 15:19 PM

2married2quit what book is this?

2married2quit posted 8/6/2014 15:28 PM

Found it:

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful by Linda J. MacDonald

VERY good stuff. I bought it, gave it to her and said, "if you want to save what's left of our marriage, read this".

RippedSoul posted 8/6/2014 15:59 PM

Those are such dangerous questions, unfortunate. I understand the need for them, but I feel that the potential answers might be worse than the A itself in terms of pain. While I really cannot abide lies, I'm not sure I could handle the ultimate truth. The closest I've come to that--and these words still hurt me more than 18 months out--is the day my SLAWH confessed, in 1/13. His AP had broken up with him 2 months before. I'd known something was up (I'd seen e-mails that he'd set up an appointment with a prostitute) and I suspected an EA with the AP, but I didn't know anything more. So when I asked him, when he re-committed to our M (which is the only reason he confessed at all), what he'd do if she called the next day and asked to reunite, he paused and said, "I honestly don't know. I'd like to think I'd still be committed to us, but I can't promise." That was almost more devastating than anything else.

Another question about how he felt during the A garnered the info that it was heady getting away with it, it was an adrenalin rush, and it was "good for him." WTH? About 6 weeks ago, he actually told me that he felt a lot of regret and remorse for what he did. I cried when hearing those words for the first time. When he asked why, I answered that I wasn't sure I'd ever hear them. He said he truthfully didn't think he'd ever feel that way. He'd been so caught up in the moment, in the illicitness, in the fog, that he--although everything he'd ever been taught to believe pointed to an A being wrong FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER--justified, justified, justified. And it took a long time for those excuses to seem as empty as they actually were.

So while I believe outright lies are meant to protect the wayward, I believe an inability to answer might be meant to protect the betrayed. IMHO.

[This message edited by RippedSoul at 4:00 PM, August 6th (Wednesday)]

craig2001 posted 8/6/2014 16:05 PM

My fww said that when looking back, it was like watching a totally different person. How they felt at the time and how they feel today looking back can be two entirely different feelings.

If they loved the excitement of the affair, they almost cannot look back and say that now, because it seems so ridiculous and unreal.

Also, WS's have an uncanny ability to compartmentalize. One affair life and one home life.

2married2quit posted 8/7/2014 10:07 AM

My fww said that when looking back, it was like watching a totally different person FWW too. When referring to it soon after DDAY, she said it was "so much fun..". Now she says it was crazy and seriously stupid. She came home one day feeling like a total idiot for doing what she did and feeling all that she did. It started out as a deal to be honest about their attraction, made out a few times and with the idea that it would NOT ruin their friendship they agreed to have sex. Well, they never did have "penetration" sex, but then after a few weeks, the feelings started. Yes, anyone would feel like a fuck up if they did this. Glad she does.

So yeah, I can see where it's hard for them to talk about what they felt at the time. At one point they know they will hurt you if they tell you and at another point they know they were stupid and probably kick themselves when they think about it.

[This message edited by 2married2quit at 10:09 AM, August 7th (Thursday)]

Chinadoll30 posted 8/10/2014 15:37 PM

My WH was in a state of complete dissociation. Due to FOO issues, he goes into this supremely self-centered mode and completely shuts off from his feelings. He just denies all feelings, and that's what he did during the A. He just goes on auto pilot. The feelings are there, but so buried. He's been in IC for 4 months and still can't access much of what he was feeling. It is really tough for me to deal with. Is your WW in IC?

ReconcilingWife posted 8/10/2014 15:43 PM

My WH also has serious FOO issues, and he also tends to shut down. The first week after DDay, he was in total emotional lockdown. He was desperately stressed (not eating, not sleeping) so it's not that he was immune to it--he just wasn't FEELING. He's improved a great deal since then (we're at 10 weeks post DDay) but it is still his default reaction to anger--lockdown. His therapist says this is a normal coping mechanism for someone who dealt with attachment issues and abuse as a child.

It sounds like she needs a really good IC to help her unlock.

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