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Men only - Timeline to regain respect for FWW?
This is all new for me as well. Hard for me to say how or if i will ever get the respect back, but something that SoulDreamer said is what sticks in my head "It's about not telling them you're marriage sucks and f*cking them and agreeing to move in with them."
That is what my wife did to me, she even tried to tell me that she was going to be sleeping on the couch when she moved in with him....yea, like she slept on the couch in that hotel room 2 hours away. I still love and enjoy my wife's company very much, but as to trusting her....not even sure wheer to begin....
[This message edited by wizver3 at 3:51 PM, October 3rd (Wednesday)]
Of course, the immediate question that leaps to mind is, how can I feel that way about my wife, but yet I don't feel that way about some of the WS's *here* who have D-days after mine? I have plenty of respect for their opinions on issues of fidelity.
Maybe it's because I don't live with them, so I can take their words at face value. One of the things I should mention is that it isn't like my FWW was giving her nieces *bad* advice. It was more that she had the gall to give them advice at all.
But again, I don't feel even an inkling of that about WS's that aren't mine, ya know? That feels like an irrationally applied principle to me -- which is one of the reasons that I hold out hope that it's one of those losses of respect that will fade in time.
I was trying to respect her after the first affair. Fat lot of good that did me.
After a lot of work we're to the point where I don't think she will cheat on me again. But I know I can't rely on her.
Some of you guys fear getting sick--I fear getting old.
Don't think about a timeline. I'm only 2 months from D-day. I'm taking every day with a day-to-day mentality. 5th week of MC has helped and he says we are making progress. I had feelings of hate and anger but defeat and dispair creep up too. It's that rollercoaster that slowly is starting to level off for me. In some ways i feel guilt for my wife's A. i wasn't good enough. She lost her attraction because I put on weight because of my sedintary Office job since I graduated college. (all for my family). I'm just holding on. i've said mean things but i do regret them. I'm with those who will have problems with WW decision making. trust is starting to work out but a new beginning is important. New friends help too.
hang in there.
Wincing, is your D-day just recent? Sorry I didn't read your profile yet.
We can hurl all the most painful insults to our WS but I heard from my IC (I'm a BS) that one good thing about a truly remorseful FWW is her ability to be able to provide the soundest advise to people who are in danger of succumbing to the same mistakes she did. She will be way more effective than an someone who has not learned the lesson the hard way. My IC told me to be objective about it.
I'm more than a year out, bittermusic. My FWW is just an idiot. :)
Edit to clarify: She was also giving scads of marital advice to her girlfriends *during the affair* about how to be a good wife and keep their husbands happy. She was giving her great, hypocritical advice to friends who *knew* she was having an affair.
Her friends subsequently have told me that even they had their share of roll-eye moments with her.
Of course, for the sake of full disclosure, I should also add that my FWW is bipolar.
[This message edited by wincing_at_light at 7:46 PM, October 3rd (Wednesday)]
Although I am not R, much of your WW's progess may depend on her support system. My WW gets her sage advice from two friends who are both alcoholics(as is my WW), both desserted their families for OM when their kids were young and both hate men and marriages. My WW continues to be seduced by their advice twenty months or so past DDay.
I urged the "no friends who are not friends of the marriage" posture but it fell on deaf ears. Hopefully your WW has positive and supportive friends. It can make a huge difference.
Couple more points:
1. ToddC has some great insight. Ever heard the phrase, "You can tell a man's character by the company he keeps." It applies in spades to WS's. People who continually associate with immoral "friends" who don't value fidelity tend to become and/or remain unfaithful. Good friends keep you accountable to yourself and your marriage because they have your best interests at heart. Bad "friends" don't ever judge you because they don't want to be called to the carpet on their own behaviors either.
Part of earning respect is acting honorably and developing a support system that requires you behave honorably.
2. My wife will always be the wife who cheated on me. She may become more than that, and accrue the respect that comes with it, but she will always be that. What she becomes will never change what she did.
3. There's a big difference between feeling a lack of respect for my wife because of what she has done and what her actions have revealed about her character, and giving voice to that lack of respect.
Just because I don't respect my friend's skills as a parent doesn't mean that I tell him so. It just means that I don't seek out his input on parenting issues, know what I mean?
I don't need to badger my wife with my lack of respect for her. That doesn't help anybody get through this. I mean, if she's acting like an idiot, I can call her out on that behavior, but I don't need to constantly rub her nose in the fact that I might think she's an idiot.
With infidelity, the marriage loses its innocence and scar tissue grows over the emotional wounds. When I was new at SI, Bigger told me to think in terms of W and WW. W will never be back because she left when sweet innocence was taken by the A. If you R, you have WW. If however, you both work hard at R, including transparency, NC, and MC/IC, you can potentially get RWW or FWW, which maybe an improvement over W and certainly WW in many ways. It is akin to physically working out to heal scar tissue but on an emotional level. The innocence is gone I am afraid but time will mitigate that wound as well.
Some of you guys fear getting sick--I fear getting old.
HUM1021 -- I'm with you. I fear getting old. I'm here working on R. I am giving it everything I can muster up. But I am also realistic in that there is no guarantee that we will make it through this.
One of my biggest fears? Being in my mid thirties, divorced, 3 kids who I love very much, lots of baggage (jaded/hurt) and the inability to reproduce due to the Vasectomy my FWW and I agreed I should have because we didn't want more kids. Which in turn would potentially limit my options if I happen to run accross someone who might want to have a family of their own. Silly me was thinking as a couple when I had that done, not as an individual.
I don't know how or when the respect comes back. There are many things I agree with in here. I just wish I knew what to say to make it better for all of us.
Edited because I can't type.
[This message edited by Hurt&Crushed at 9:25 PM, October 3rd (Wednesday)]
As one who is already older, I don't fear it anymore, and it sure beats the alternative:-) As far as when the respect returns, I'm not sure you can go back there. In my relationship, we got to the root of both of our problems(see profile) and moved forward without much looking back. Did I forget about the past? No, but we did begin a new relationship built on the trust that we newly built. Trust built on the communication that we hadn't had before the A. I was deeply hurt as every BS is, but FWW was remorseful, transparent,maintained NC from the beginning, and was willing to do whatever it took to make our M work. I'm very confident that it will never happen again, and that helps me to renew my respect for her as well. She made a huge mistake, paid for it in full (owned her sh*t) and has stated many times that she is very sorry it happened, and wishes it had never occurred. I also believe that we forgive others based on the seriousness of the offense against us. We need to remember and it is difficult,that most times the WW is not deliberately offending us by having an A. Usually we don't enter their minds until they begin to feel the guilt of what they've done. They compartmentalize the A separately from their BS. It really isn't about anything we did or didn't do in most cases. They tell us all sorts of stories blame shifting the responsibility to us or someone else because they don't like the person they became if they feel guilt. If they are not remorseful, then they are still involved in the A in some way, either physically or mentally, and they've checked out of their M or relationship with us anyway. IMO we only begin to respect someone when they deserve our respect. I wouldn't respect someone still seeing the OM whether they were sleeping on the couch or not.
You know Wincing, My wife always had the holier than thou attitude with her brothers when it came to advice with her brothers when it came to marraige and relationships also...
Her older brother cheated on his second wife and my wife blasted him for it, her middle brother was carrying on with an old girlfriend behind his wife's back while my wife wass having her little trist and she made some big stink about it in front of her parents as if she was Mother Teresa,(do you see a pattern here with my wife and her brothers?) now if I would have known then what I know now I would have told her to shut the F up and look in the mirror. She even allienated a friend in the past giving her marriage advice on what she needed to do to be a good wife.... Yeah..my wife really knew what to do to be a good wife... Checking into the Local Motel with an employee 15x for some nooners is a good wife....
So when it comes to respecting my W's advice and opinions now, well lets say, as others did above, if it comes to things without moral implications I may listen, it will take a long time before I take any credence in anything other than minor matter, until some trust and respect is built back up.....
[This message edited by BadBack at 6:22 AM, October 4th (Thursday)]
I still don't respect my WW. I remember before the A I use to be proud of my wife. If people asked how she was I would rattle off some of her recent accomplishments, how she was doing well at work, how she was happy at her job. Both WW and myself work in similar field so it was a common occuurance to run into people who knew her.
Now I keep the answers as brief as possible. I tell them that she is fine and leave it at that. It saddens me when people ask how she is doing because in some ways I don't care how she is doing. During the A and after dday she disconnected from me totally. She legally changed her name back to her maiden name, removed all the pictures from the office and acted like I no longer exisited.
If I was killed during the A I am sure her biggest worry would be how to get the wake over as quickly as possible and getting me in the ground ASAP.
You only own one thing in your life, your reputation. Everything else is rented and returned after you die. My WW decided to trash her reputation for a pathological liar.
[This message edited by certman at 7:59 AM, October 4th (Thursday)]
"When NC has been established and WS is remorseful, do you ever gain the respect you once had for your wife?"....no
"Did the feeling of being "so grossed out" and "she's-a-dirty-whore" ever fade?"...yes...but they still come back to kick you in the ass every once in a while....
"What is the timeline?".....I am 7 years out.
I here ya Certman, FWW and I are also in the same field, I also was proud of my wifes accomplishments and actually coached and pushed my wife into taking her current management position that empowered her to have her affair. Its almost like a slap in the face, because I have always been her personal cheering section when it came to her career.
Before I found out the truth a few weeks ago who OM was, I actually helped her with figuring out a way to get rid of him ( I thought he was just a problem employee, not her ex-man-toy).
My FWW was always career driven and funny how when I asked her to tone it down to and spend some time with me when I was recovering it couldnt be done, but she could find the time to spend with him..she stole what little time she claimed to have available for me and gave it away to him... and my biggest loss of respect for her was lying to me over this past year and making up a false OM while this butthole was there the whole time. and me here, the fool, being duped all over again...even if the affair was over...the lies and deceit were still very much alive.she claimed NC, that he was gone, and the truth was he was still there every day during our first false R for over a year...Yeah, what respect I regained over the past year or so has been shot to shit....
ToddC... Thanks for the insights... that really put the lost innocense in a nutshell for me...hopefully, F-RWW 2.0 will work out for the better this time....
Certman...hang in there bud... Beleive me I feel your pain!
[This message edited by BadBack at 8:35 AM, October 4th (Thursday)]
You sound like you need a manly pat on the back today, cert. Anything we can do to help?
Wow, I'm there with you guys about losing my respect for my FWW.
I was always so proud of her. Sure, I knew some of the "drawbacks" that other people might see (her obesity, for example), but that didn't matter to me. I talked about how wonderful she was, how smart, what a great wife, how loving and loyal, how great she was at her job, etc. I, too, was her personal cheering section.
I was there when her first job here didn't pan out (stupid boss) and her second job also ended (evil boss), and then when her third job turned out to be the charm. I was there when her father died (they were very close), driving 1400 miles alone & non-stop from work to be with her. Of course I was there through the pain of infertility and then the dramatic ups & downs of adopting a newborn.
So then what happens? She gets her husband, she gets her house, she gets her baby, it's like she had a checklist. Then she got involved with OM. And nearly lost the whole thing over THAT.
Do I trust her ability to make good judgments? To form healthy friendships? To keep appropriate boundaries? To take good care of our children if she's in the throes of something else? The answer is a resounding NO.
D-Days were still pretty recent, I realize that. I hope for the day when I will regain my respect for her. She got a little bit back by going absolutely NC with both OP and especially by writing a letter to OMW confessing and apologizing and offering to answer any questions she might have. That probably earned my respect more than anything else she's done since D-Days. But still....
Now she's just my wife. I love her, but I'm not proud of her the way I used to be.
Like another guy said, "This is my wife, who has been there for me through everyt... well, ALMOST everything."
Speaking of jobs, I was always so proud of FWW. She loved her job. Was very good at it. Had a lot of respect. Used to tell me how busy she was. I wouldn't contact her at work unless it was important because I didn't want to "bother" her. Come to find out, she met all of the OM through work, and carried on long phone, e-mail and IM conversations with them. I felt cheated (pardon the pun). Hear I am respecting her, and she's using the time to meet other guys?!? Then to add insult to injury, after the last d-day, she was given a new assignment, and is actually busy now. (I do know that she is actually busy) Took me a while to come to grips with this.
regaining respect 100% is a long, if neverending road off for me here.
now, that being said, my FWW has earned a certain degree of it back by owning her shit, showing remorse, doing NC, and sticking around while the shit hit the fan.
that may not sound like a lot but reading on here has taught me that is something to be thankful for.
i will respect her more as time goes on and she continues it all... but yes, there is sort of an "innocence lost" as mentioned by others on here. The garden of eden has closed and the serpent is laughing.
all i can do is learn to laugh too and move on... to err is human. granted, that was a huge fuckup but I believe it can be measured by the progress and rebuilding that comes after that...
respect is just one piece of the puzzle of how I feel about FWW.
as for a timeline, I think actions being compiled is a better measure, time for personal measures varies so greatly from person to person, depending on their maturity levels, emotional strength, etc.
respect for me just comes one day at a time.
One of the first things I told my W after I decided not to leave was that she had to make me proud of that decision.
3 months from D-day and I feel very far from being proud. She has done anything his weak mind allows her but she has always been a very dependent person, she doesn't like to make decisions. That's how the OM got her, he always took the initiative, she only followed him without thinking what she was doing.
That is why I lost all respect I had for her. When I ask her details about the A, she always responds that the OM used to say what to do, when and where. She didn't worry about protection or being caught, she left all that stuff to the OM.
I still have to take a parental test, since I forced her to leave her job, we can't afford it yet. But I know that if when I take the test I discover that my little princess is not mine I will not only had lost any respect for her, I will hate her.
I hate to be a downer but...
My simple answer is that I never regained respect for her. She never gave me a reason to. I worked very hard at R and was beginning to rebuild that trust and respect her again.
Unfortunately, my wife wanted to just put the whole thing behind her and pretend it never happened. That enabled her not to deal with her issues of why she did it. I didn't realize it was happening at the time. I really wanted it to work and I really wanted to be able to trust her, but it was all smoke and mirrors on her end.
One year later, she had another affair and I will always think she is a dirty whore from this point forward. I have even called her those exact words. She didn't like it, but the truth hurts.
I think if she showed real remorse and tried to work on our marriage and -- this is a big one -- did NOT cheat again -- about one year out, I would have been fully trusting and respecting her again. As it is now, she clearly doesn't deserve my respect.