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The new normal

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PenitentMan posted 8/11/2014 12:26 PM

BW and I were feeling amorous last night over a bottle of champagne but DS was upset about something, so she went to tuck him in. She comes back down and finds me in our master bathroom. I ask her what his deal was. She says he was upset again about missing the other couple's kids and never seeing them again. "Kind of a buzz kill".
I apologized for doing this to him/them. I don't remember my words exactly.
But OK. I let it wash over me and pass. We start talking about her coworkers at the restaurant and I remarked that one of them doesn't really acknowledge me at all while all the rest are amicable. She said "Oh, that's so-and-so. She has a hard time looking at you because of what you did." I said, "Oh, she knows too?" She says "Everybody knows, but the rest of them follow my lead. If they see I'm giving you another chance they're going to give you a chance." I said "Oh. K". I let it wash over me and pass.
I'm generally euphoric how much progress we've made in 4 months, but I fed my family a nice shit sandwich and they still have indigestion from it.
There's nothing I can do about it aside from putting myself in their shoes and feeling it with them. I'm still unsure what to do with myself these days. She works a lot, and when she's home she doesn't want to go anywhere. So we order in, or I pick up, or we cook. TV. Video games. We'll play guitar hero together. I told BW that our son said he didn't really get to have any fun this summer or go anywhere. I suggested that perhaps next summer we could plan something fun, but no pressure or anything. So, life is a couple steps above limbo, but I don't want her to feel that things are too boring or normal, even though I feel like I've gone out of my way to suggest and generally be available to do family/couple things together. I know it's just going to take time. And I'd gladly relive the past few weeks over and over compared to the few weeks after dday in April.

"BW and I were feeling amorous". I use BW here like a casual nickname; something to protect our identities. Yeah, I was chatting with BW and blah blah blah. Except that, when you really wrap your head around it, you realize that it stands for betrayed wife. Because I betrayed my wife. Because I lied and was a coward and wanted dirty taboo sex. Who do I think I am being generally euphoric about our progress? I know self-pity and despair and smothering my poor wife won't solve anything.

I don't need to tell any of you how hard it can be being both the destroyer and the healer. We're all in the same boat. I feel so icky. People know who I barely know, looking at me, judging me.
Sometimes I really feel like I have a big red A on my back.

DrJekyll posted 8/11/2014 12:46 PM

I don't want her to feel that things are too boring or normal

Curious as to your thought behind this. most BS just want to get back to a normal.

Great progress. Keep hanging in there. Keep digging. Keep reflecting. Keep posting.

PenitentMan posted 8/11/2014 13:11 PM

She's complained before about things feeling too normal or like they were before we met other couple, back when she wasn't happy anyway and "I was boring". But I realize that it's not on me if I suggest activities and she doesn't want to do them. I'll keep suggesting them of course.
She's working on herself too now so things aren't the same anyway. Now that she has this job, which she didn't before, she has more self esteem. And she's lost a lot of weight both as a result of what I did, and as a result of the job where she forgets to eat, and as a result of consciously not eating.
Plus, those mentions of boredom and things being "too normal" tend to come out when she's in a bad mood or it's that time of the month. And, it's only been 4 months, so there's that; of course doing couples things with me is going to be hard.

DrJekyll posted 8/11/2014 13:15 PM

here is something to try.

Decorate the house for her one of these days. give it a theme. put some effort into it. your DS can help. do something fantastic and for no reason besides that you care.

just a thought

hihn posted 8/11/2014 13:15 PM

I don't know if this helps you, but looking from the BS's side she is also feeling judged from individuals that barely know, I guarantee you there are people out there that believe she did something to you to drive you to your affair. Which is the farthest from the truth, but she still gets the label. I am not saying this to add guilt or to make you feel worse than you already do. I am saying this so you recognize that you are both being judged by others, & it hurts. When the people that love me (friends and family) are judgmental of my WS I like to remind them "that was who he was & not who is trying to be now". So lean into one another, intimacy comes in many forms. There is intimacy in cooking with one another, watching TV with one another, playing videos with one another. My point is that you are with one another & interacting with one another & that IS intimacy. Take advantage of your time with her to get to know her and who she really is, what gives her joy, what makes her sad, what brings her peace, etc. One gift you can give her is to allow her to get to know who are in the same way. Just guessing here, but, you have lived a secret life before your R and that probably made her feel she didn't know who you really are, so let her know you now. You have been given the time.

PenitentMan posted 8/11/2014 13:26 PM

Thank you, that's very true that there's intimacy in doing these things and maybe it's just me that has cabin fever, but then again I'm not the one who complained about the normalcy out loud. One guitar hero evening she did exclaim "*This* is what I like, just spending time at home relaxing together and making music etc". And I'm sure eventually we'll work day and weekend trips back in and vacations. It's just going to take time. Time, time and more time. At least time is moving forward faster now. It flies when we're having fun, right? And when we're not, man does it crawl.

katumus posted 8/11/2014 19:02 PM

Do keep in mind that really there is no 'normal' anymore, at least not for a long, long time. She has been hurt so deeply that she might be avoiding the pain herself to some extent. I know that 3 months after my wife's discovery of my affair we were doing far better than we are now.

hihn is so right that there is intimacy in all the little things and you should be thankful every day that you get to share those little things with her. I hurt my wife so deeply that some days it seems like everything is a trigger. Even the little things can bring tears and anger (taking pictures at our daughter's black-belt test this weekend for example). And sometimes it is all I can do not to get exasperated and defensive (and I do not always succeed).

It takes time, yes, but so much more than that. You have work and commit to being a better man every single day. If you merely let time pass without truly working at healing you will very likely find yourself looking wistfully back at these 'boring' days and wondering where they went.

I apologize if I seem like a downer but coasting back into the same old routine seems to me
1) a potentially dangerous repetition of history and
2) something like whistling in the dark

hihn posted 8/11/2014 21:33 PM

katumus, you are so right for both sides of the fence, WSs& BSs.
[I apologize if I seem like a downer but coasting back into the same old routine seems to me
1) a potentially dangerous repetition of history and
2) something like whistling in the dark]

somethingremorse posted 8/12/2014 01:20 AM

SH --

You know that anything better than "quickly going backwards" is a win right now.

Keep it up. Be mindful of you and your BWs feelings. Hang in there

RMarred posted 8/12/2014 10:53 AM

Thanks for this thread. Thank you.

Iwastheworst posted 8/14/2014 15:00 PM

To break from the normalcy, try doing something wildly different...

In the case of me and my BW I used a tool that I previously used against her (my motorcycle) and completely changed my view of it and included her in it. While our DD was away with GP's for the summer, I planned a bike trip to a different location every weekend. She had never ridden a motorcycle before and was terrified of them, plus I unfortunately used me going to bike nights with said motorcycle to meet the OW. She over came her fear of riding and we visited some truly great places in the area, and made some new "good" memories.

While things still could be a little better now, they are much better than then, and she still says to me that she credits me taking her on those trips saved us and helped to do a good bit of healing for both of us.

[This message edited by Iwastheworst at 3:02 PM, August 14th (Thursday)]

PenitentMan posted 8/14/2014 16:16 PM

Actually, we both used to ride. I sold mine when my son was about 3 because I didn't want to risk getting killed and not seeing him grow up. There was a lot of crashes in the news at the time. I thought about getting a bike again and we both talked about it recently. She refuses to ride on mine and would have to have her own, and my son stipulates that mine would have to have a sidecar on it for him.
Of course, that comes with its own issues. Storage, insurance, maintenance. I dunno. It's one thing for me to say, hey, wouldn't it be great if we all could ride as a family. You could commute with yours and save gas, I could have father/son trips. And another thing for her to actually say, ok, let's go over to the dealership.
But stranger things have happened. *shrug*

In any case, the problem is not ideas for doing things out of the norm, the problem is her being ready or comfortable to actually do them. In the meantime if she's content to always be at home when she's not at work (aside from shopping or getting her nails done, or the occasional girls night), then that's what I have to live with. Not unreasonable after 4 months.

BrokenheartedWif posted 8/14/2014 16:29 PM

No stop sign. Adultery is such a traumatic hit to the BS that they often lose their desire to do anything. It's a struggle just to get from day to day, sometimes hour to hour in the early part. she needs time to heal. She may not care about anything, and be very tired from the mental struggle to concentrate just to do her job and keep the rollercoaster thoughts at bay. Keep showing her you love her and will be there for her, while she heals from your choices. She also, may not know what to try, because she isn't sure what will be a trigger and send her spiraling or having to expend lots of energy to fight it off. Adultery where's out the BS.

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