Wedding: April 9, 1994
Son: 1998 (college freshman)
Son: 2002 (high school freshman)
Caught at AP's house: 10 Aug 2012
I do not have it all together.
Communication is key!!!
We took our "temperature" every night and weekly. We put the energy where it was needed. Some days were focused on me. Some days were focused on us. On better days she had more opportunity to focus on herself.
Also in my opinion there is no fixed. It is a life long process of improvement for everyone.
So she is working on herself and she needs to but we seem to be on the back burner. Can I wait (I am 63) what seems to be years to me to get to we. Still no timeline, no personal history, no identification of needs. She answers questions but so many IDK, IDR.
So, I think you have posed a verry, very important question. I hope it generates a lot of responses. Those responses help so many of us. Thank you for no STOP sign.
I also think that there will not be a day that I can say 'my shit is fixed'. We're all works in progress. So, while I am definitely much healthier than I was 7 years ago, I will continue to be mindful of my areas that need work and live in constant awareness of self and my relationships.
You'll know when the 'big work' is happening and when it's working. You'll feel a shift within, you'll start to feel lighter and healthier and happier. You'll know your new patterns are better than the old ones, it will feel real to you.
SteadyChevy, I hope that someday I (and we) can get to a maintenance dose of introspection, questioning and overall self-work.
BTW, thanks for chiming in, guys. I really appreciate insight provided by other BHs. I think it gives me a peek into my BH.
[This message edited by Neznayou at 9:19 AM, August 10th (Sunday)]
ETA Either way, it really isn't pointless because, bottom line, you're doing it for you.
[This message edited by SI Staff at 9:22 AM, August 10th (Sunday)]
We had Sunday meetings that were very business like. At our first one, together we brainstormed "To Do" ideas for:
Healing Herself (SI, IC, 12 Step Work, Hobbies, ect)
Healing Myself (SI, 12 Step Work, Yoga, Hobbies, ect)
Healing Our Relationship (Praying together, Reading together, Date Nights, Quality Time, ect)
We then took those ideas and broke them up into daily, weekly, and monthly goals. On Sundays we would check our progress toward those goals, set priorities, and add new ideas. We would also discuss finances, childcare, upcoming events, and other general "housekeeping" issues.
The nightly meetings were much more intimate. We had a list of questions that we both answered out loud and wrote down in a journal. The questions evolved over time but were geared to check our "temperature". Our latest list of questions are:
1. What did I do for healing today?
2. What feelings did I have today? and Why?
3a. How did I see you Honor me today?
b. How did you Honor me that I did not see?
c. How could I have Honored you better?
4. What am I grateful for today?
It certainly is complicated--the simultaneous healing/fixing individually and fixing the relationship. I suspect that's part of why the experts always stress how HARD reconciliation is.
In my case, I have more or less agreed to wait around and see if he is/can be fixed (recognizing of course that no human being is ever a completed project). He has very serious FOO issues. Our therapists work together and consult about our case. Once he and his therapist have made some progress, she will meet with me (I'm not sure if he will be present for this or not), and give me a prognosis.
I have committed to wait out this process: I won't leave until I have a clear sense from a third party professional of what I might be able to expect from him in the future.
But it's very tricky, because at the same time, I have this enormous and more recent trauma inflicted by him. Traditionally I have been the caretaker in our relationship (which is probably something that helped set the stage for infidelity), so it also demands that he take on an unfamiliar caretaking role while dealing in an intensive way with his own problems.
For my WH, I think part of the motivation to keep going with the therapy even though there are no guarantees that it will fix the marriage is a healthy selfishness. Not only is he completely owning responsibility for the affair, he's also recognizing that he damaged himself in addition to damaging me. He realizes that regardless of what happens to the marriage, he needs to do this work for himself--that even if I leave him, he will be better off for it, and our children will be better off for him having "fixed" himself.
Without this "selfish" angle, I think it would be easier for him to be discouraged. If we were having a bad day, for instance, and he felt utterly hopeless about the marriage, and then went off to therapy, if he were ONLY doing it for the marriage, maybe he wouldn't put as much into it. So a touch of selfishness in this regard--doing it for himself AND for the marriage--is probably a good thing.
Naively optimistic username (chosen in frustration when everything else I could think of was taken or too close to my real name)--but 2 years on, R is truly going well
dunno how similar but all I can offer is a second-ing YES to AFrayedKnot's "all of it"
Yes the balance and timing of prioritizing per day is tricky. I tried explaining to my WH that I expect 100% but that doesn't translate to "being perfect". So yah, I ask him to be 100% focused on fixing himself and 100% invested on healing me...so it's like the sports comment or sales buy-in = a best effort / all in = totally dedicated meaning for 100% twice over
I've found that when WH works on himself regarding focusing on the family needs, on being a better listener, not getting defensive when I open up and share a hurt (mind you, my responsibility is to focus on stating it as "I feel and My fear etc. not me being judgmental or in his head) the result is a better overall US
So I agreed to be patient. I focus working on being a better ME as he works on digging thru IC and his whys etc.
dunno if the journey gets to a point of "Look, I did it." but I would like to believe the possibility of feeling love may result from working intently on being loving
how will you know?
relational knowledge = same way you know something is funny ... you just understand humor even if you can't explain it to anyone else and that'll be all that matters - it's between the two of you
[This message edited by Merida at 1:23 PM, August 10th (Sunday)]
"The darkest night is dispelled by the humblest of flames."
Well, I guess some people are so broken that they have to fix themselves first before anything else. But from experience, I believe it really needs to be all inclusive if the goal is to R.
I agree with AN, in the fact that your shit will never be "fixed". It's will always be a work in progress. So of you wait until you have fixed yourself, your BH will get tired of the wait as that day may be years upon years away. It's unfair to ask him to wait don't you think?
Work on yourself, work on the M, and work on helping your BH heal all at the same time. Why are you struggling so much in regards to helping him heal and working on the M? Have you specifically asked him what he needs/wants from you to help this M survive? Are you becoming a safe partner to him? Are you putting effort into the M as whole and being sensitive to how he feels in regards to your A? Or are you ignoring them because you are too focused on fixing you?
Sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed by all the shit that needs fixed - me, him, us.
that being said, all 3 tie together. so you are working on you, you go through pain, you share the pain with your BH. Here is what you have just done. worked on your issue, shared your true feelings with your BH encouraging a safe environment, and also worked on communication in the M.
When your BH, shares his pain with you. You validate and take in his feelings. This again works on all three parts. You get the idea here.
Where do you start cleaning it?
ME: WH HER: BS (holesinmybucket)
I do not PM with Women
Our IC/MC (who's advice has been called into question more than once by the SI community)
From looking at this story from both you and your BH side, I think that your MC/IC will be the death knell of your marriage. She has no empathy for how much pain you caused your husband and I don't think you really grasp what you did to him.
He's acting out of pain and dealing with it practically on his own. You are stuck asking who comes first, but if you had true remorse you wouldn't have to ask that. You would be too busy fixing yourself while you are making him feel safe all at the same time.
Did you use a guide book of any sort, or did you just make it up as you went along?
Did she lead the way in establishing and maintaining these meetings?
I'm going to assume that you worked into the schedule a contingency plan for unexpectedly busy nights or illness or some such. Do you still hold the meetings?
I'm going to further assume that they change in tone over time, yes?
After I confronted my wife about her affair, she made me feel like I came first. One time about a couple of weeks later she told me she was too tired to do something I wanted to do and I told her, "you never were too tired for other man" (I didn't know that to be true, but I had seen a lot of messages between them and she said "no" to him zero times).
I wanted to be the love of my wife's life. If I wasn't going to be that, then I didn't want to stay married. I had seen too many messages between her and other man. I KNEW what she had done for him. If she couldn't put AT LEAST the same effort in for me, then I wouldn't feel that I was the love of her life; I would feel that I was the guy she needed to pay the bills and help raise the kids and keep up appearances, and I had no interest in being that guy. So, initially, after the affair, it was all about me, I had better come first or else I wouldn't be here. Also, prior to the affair, in our marriage of 20 years, I felt I ALWAYS had been the one to sacrifice for her to make her happy. And look at where that got me. I think she took for granted the things I did for her, but not the things she did for me.
Anyway, my opinion is that he has to come first until he feels that he is the love of your life and not the other man.
I was up above it. Now I'm down in it.