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Men only - Timeline to regain respect for FWW?

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LifeisCrazy posted 1/16/2014 08:27 AM

Good morning, all. I haven't posted on this site in quite some time and, over a cup of coffee, was reading through this thread. Man oh man does all of this strike a nerve!

I wanted to pass on some thoughts that might be of value. Maybe it will bring some clarity that can help to ease a troubled mind. It's all good, ya know?

My wife had a 3 year, very serious relationship with a coworker - terrible consequences that don't need to be rehashed. But I, like all of you, really struggled (and, at times, still do struggle) with the "respect thing," not to mention the occasional "did I do the right thing?" retrospective. Here's what has gotten me through:

I really came to understand that "respecting my wife" was something in my head. I needed to get past the constant reliving of "what happened" and restructure my psyche to commit to where we are NOW. This absolutely required something that's not easy to achieve - 100% remorse and full recommitment to the marriage by my wife.

I have often said that without this 100% renewal I would never have been able to reconcile. There's no question that I would leave, despite the financial/family issues that would ensue. For many of you who can't do that, and don't have full commitment from her, I would certainly recommend an understanding that you're just in it to get through XX amount of years.

The reason I say that is because to me, respect and reconciliation require certain things to happen from a WW. Let's take sex for example - since one of the posters here has mentioned that his sex life isn't what he wants: For me, reconciliation meant that I needed from my wife certain things that were non-negotiable.... more frequency, more initiation, more experimentation.... these were requirements for me. I needed to know that I was getting more - and better - sex than the OM. Plus, since our communication has been SO much better since dday I was able to look at my wife and simply say, "Look, I want a trapeze installed over our bed and, every other month, I want you hanging on it. " That allowed her to show me that she was serious about meeting my needs and that she was available for whatever I wanted to make the marriage work.

This is just one example, of course. Today, my wife has to travel for the day. She has texted me 20 times, including pictures of where she is and who she is with. No questions. Not even a request from me to do it - it's just done. She realizes that this makes me feel better and that she owes it to me to do whatever is necessary. She is 100% recommitted to the marriage and to making sure that I know, with complete and total certainty, that there's nothing to worry about.

I guess my bottom line suggestion is that the key to reconciliation is communication and 100% commitment. Anything less is bullshit. You tell her exactly what you need and if she can't or won't meet you there - well, you're waiting for the kids to graduate, as they say.

The respect does come back. It comes back slowly but she can definitely help it along. As all the conversations go when it comes to reconciliation it will boil down to her level of effort. Can she do what is required - AND - can YOU tell her what you need. If not, I'd stop worrying about it and start the process of just living my own life.

Can you? Can she? Are you both up for the challenge.... not just to "hang in there" but to make your marriage better than it ever was? To get to the "other side of awful" as my wife once elegantly asked?

Today, write down a list of 10 things that you absolutely require to have an AWESOME life together, despite the affair. Let her know that you want to talk - the way you used to, after you first got married - and present it to her. Ask her, straight up, can you meet these needs? What are YOUR needs? Write ME a list. Become partners again in making a great life.

The respect can come back. It can.

I am pulling for all of you.

64fleet posted 1/16/2014 09:59 AM

100% remorse and full recommitment to the marriage by my wife.

I'm pretty sure many of us are lacking in that area.

Itsgoingtobeok posted 1/16/2014 12:37 PM

Hello All - this thought came to me from another thread . Any way my WW is so feeled with guilt that she has treated this R very automaticly for lack of a better word . She will do to the letter what I ask but nothing more . I tell her I want her to call me every morning so she does but she doesn't do anything extra to prove to me she can be faithful . Through mc I've found out that our m was not perect and there are area I need to imporve . My ww wants to venture down that path rather then focusing on what she has done . In otherwords giving her a excuss to why she did what she did . It seems like she wants to act like the A never happened ?

Ascendant posted 1/16/2014 12:55 PM

Itsgoingtobeok-

I love your name, btw. Because it IS going to be ok....no matter what your wife does or doesn't do. I think you need to tell your wife in no uncertain terms that talking about the pre-A marriage is off the table until AFTER you have dealt with the affair. It does not matter right now. That being said, your registration date is a little prior to mine....how are YOU personally doing?

Brandon808 posted 1/16/2014 16:58 PM

Itsgoingtobeok
How she handles her guilt is her problem. How does her guilt prevent her from doing more than the minimum instead of motivating her to do more?

Uhtred posted 1/18/2014 09:34 AM

I'm nine months out here and my ww is doing all she can to say she is sorry and try and R. I'm a total yo-yo and go back and forth on it. Right now I'm in a better place than I have been in eight months.

Respect? What does that mean? I still have zero respect for my wife and that is a direct feeling that I developed after DDay. There was a time when I held her to the highest esteem as a wife and a mother.

Back in the day I used to brag on her to my friends and my friends always said what a good person and mother she was and how lucky I was to have her. She was a successful stay at home mother (her choosing) our children are geniuses! Had I known that she was abusing my success and enabled her to have all the time in the world to fuck around.

I'm not sure that it will ever return to the degree that it was. I like her and we can have fun together but shit is never going to be the same. I hate this for me as it was never in the plan to be married to a fornicator. Our young children mean everything to me and I will not upset their apple cart.

I hope that its possible for the respect to return but for right now it is what it is.

Ascendant posted 1/18/2014 11:40 AM

I think what has worked for me is to separate the respect into different areas.

I can say I respect her as a co-worker, because she's a dedicated worker, and always has been.

I can say I respect her as a mother (now), because she puts a lot of effort into that area.

I can say that I respect the effort she's putting into being a wife and partner right now.

To me it's like having a buddy who is really cool in some ways, but really flakey in others. You like him for what he is, you hope he shores up the weaker areas, but you wouldn't ask him for advice on the things that he sucks at.

Ascendant posted 1/18/2014 11:42 AM

Uhtred-

How are you doing, buddy? I seem to remember you going through some stuff substance-abuse stuff a while back.

greengiant posted 1/18/2014 13:42 PM

Well said, FacePunched. I think this is were I will be. Respect will never be the same as it was. I'll never respect her again as a whole, but she will gain more respect on some others areas.

Ascendant posted 1/18/2014 14:16 PM

I'll never respect her again as a whole
I don't want to say that I NEVER will, because I don't like dealing in absolutes. I can say that it's hard for me to envision that day, but that doesn't mean I'll never get there. YMMV. I mean, you can read through this whole thread and see the evolution of some posters from "Never again." to full respect. I remain, as always, a firm believer in the capacity of a human being to change.

Justgreatnews posted 1/19/2014 09:08 AM

I was reading thru the thread, and way back on page 7 Alex1 admitted that were his wife not beautiful and desirable, he'd probably divorce her.

I admire your honesty. I think lots of men feel this way, and wonder how many here will admit to this feeling?

My hand is up.

May sound petty, but infidelity is a dirty business, with stark realities.

neverwillhapn2me posted 1/19/2014 09:27 AM

I was reading thru the thread, and way back on page 7 Alex1 admitted that were his wife not beautiful and desirable, he'd probably divorce her.
I admire your honesty. I think lots of men feel this way, and wonder how many here will admit to this feeling?

My hand is up.

May sound petty, but infidelity is a dirty business, with stark realities

.


Justgreatnews,

Im going to D but this thought creped up on me yesterday. Me and my WW are staying in martial home together right now. She was handing me our 7 month old. Generally do not look my WW in the face since DD but I did and my first thought was what a stunning women she is gorgeous.

It took a few minutes of me pondering R and how much better it would be for my children. Asking my self questions : "Maybe she is not a cheater, just simply a person who cheated"

Then the 18 month A was back on my mind, the lies, deceit, dishonour and lack of any empathy on her part for me (BH) and our DSx2.

Slowly I pealed the skin back to reveal her true self and it was not so beautiful.


Alex1 posted 1/20/2014 22:50 PM

was reading thru the thread, and way back on page 7 Alex1 admitted that were his wife not beautiful and desirable, he'd probably divorce her.
I admire your honesty. I think lots of men feel this way, and wonder how many here will admit to this feeling?
My hand is up.

May sound petty, but infidelity is a dirty business, with stark realities

Thanks Justgreat for posting this. I went back and read that post and remembered feeling that way. In some ways I still do. I'm not addicted to her like I was but my feelings for her remain wildly ambivalent.
I still find her beautiful yet I have flatlined on her sexually and emotionally. She is remorseful and caring, etc at the same time she is so passive that not much happens. We are not moving forward only getting older. We enjoy our home, our kids, our lifestyle. However, after years of “not divorcing” we are both pretty miserable. I think we are in it for the kids. It’s a real and convenient excuse. Now age is becoming an issue. If I look down field the idea of starting over once the kids leave and beginning a new life when I’m 60 doesn’t sound particularly delightful.

The odd thing is that this has gone on so long that I have grown accustomed to feeling unsure of her actions, of being hyper vigilant, of not trusting her. I am now accustomed to feeling like crap in our home and insecure of our stability. And like any habit it can be comforting. One knows what to expect.
Not exactly the life I had in mind but these are the cards I have been dealt.


Facepunched,

Your post was great. A very simple and solid tip on how to navigate this.

I think what has worked for me is to separate the respect into different areas.

I can respect her for trying to save our M.
I can respect her for being a good mother.
I can resect her for her flashes of wisdom.

But

I can't respect her for screwing other men.
I can't respect her for the lies and deceit.
I can't respect her for her weakness and passivity.

But

I am not perfect and have made my share of mistakes.
+ - = 0

And so it goes.

But I will remain grateful!

Later posted 1/20/2014 23:32 PM

Given that I am heading down the divorce path I am not sure why I am even reading this thread, let alone posting.

But I have to say, since it became clear that we are divorcing my STBX has not uttered anything that has remotely sounded like an apology for what she has done to our family. She is "cordial," and invites me over "to see the kids," but she is seemingly incapable of showing any concern for me, and no genuine concern for my relationship with the kids. (I have no doubt that she regrets her decision and she is in a horrible place mentally, bit her concern is for herself).

I guess two things cross my mind. First, I never thought she was capable of true remorse and so I never held out any real hope for R. Second, I have noted a common theme where BM decide to pull the trigger on D -- anything that remotely resembled remorse ends when the WW sees the writing on the wall.

It seems to me that genuine remorse would include respect for the BH's decision that R is not possible. Even though we are divorcing, I would have a whole lot more respect for my fww if she could own what she has done to our family.

[This message edited by Later at 11:35 PM, January 20th (Monday)]

greengiant posted 1/21/2014 08:20 AM

FacePunched,

I don't want to say that I NEVER will, because I don't like dealing in absolutes. I can say that it's hard for me to envision that day, but that doesn't mean I'll never get there.

I agree with your post, it made me think. Two months ago, I could not see me where I am today, so how can I say I will never be somewhere? Thanks for clearing it out.

Ascendant posted 1/21/2014 08:27 AM

That's where I'm at in a nutshell. I'd still say that I feel angry and sad about the affair most of the time, and I'm a year out.... but it doesn't absolutely dominate my thoughts like it did 6+ months ago. Meaning, at 6 or so months, it took conscious effort to push the affair to the back of my brain in order to enjoy other parts of life..
Now, when cool shit is going on, the affair automatically takes a back seat for a while.

greengiant posted 1/22/2014 18:25 PM

I see what you mean. At my stage, the only time I'm not thinking about this right now is when I am at work. I'm having physical symptoms because of all those things, so my doctor wanted to stop me from working so I could "rest myself" ? I told her that she must be kidding, that was the only place and time I was able to rest my mind...

By the way, any of you guy's is still having trouble at looking at your WW straight into the eyes? She say's the this is hurting her a lot that I can't look at her, but sometimes it's just too damn hard.

Ascendant posted 1/22/2014 19:04 PM

Yeah, greengiant, I've actually noticed that lately, at a year out. I don't know why. I'm not ashamed of myself, why am I the one avoiding eye contact. It's weird.

cvs2kkids posted 1/24/2014 14:33 PM

It's a case by case basis.

I like FacePunched's analogy..dead on.

It's been over a year since dd for me, but the affair was already over and my wife was falling apart mentally about it without me even knowing.

She is working on her messed up self and that's encouraging to me. She apologized over and over and has become a superior wife.

There will always be the hurt, to some degree, cause you can't forget. But I have 100% respect for her in the NOW, but not for the past.

Nitrobob posted 2/4/2014 22:58 PM

I'm only 3 months out, and the pain out there is palpable. That there are so many of us here in this terrible circumstance is overwhelming. I have a few thoughts.

Realize we are a self selected group. The men who stay married but who are still unhappy return to post and gain support. The ones who truly survive wave goodbye. Most aren't here to help us have hope.

I'm hoping I can respect my wife again, that I haven't wasted 12 years of my life. I think maturity demands you set out criteria to establish trust, and then follow through and grant it accordingly. I think if you can't ever see yourself doing that divorce is the better option. So decide and then act.

I also feel the sting of feeling foolish and weak for accepting WW back. I think the work around is the promise YOU made, "for better or worse". She broke her promise of fidelity; that doesn't mean I break my promise to stay against adversity. That is strength, not weakness.

Uhtred posted 2/7/2014 16:51 PM

FacePunched,

I'm doing ok and getting weaned off the meds. I got hooked on pain pills when I had my finger cut off from punching the other mans fucking lights outs. I'm working with a pain management and having my dose reduced every month.

I never thought I'd get hooked on something like this but Hydrocodone is a mother fucker. I guess I just liked being high all the time while I was dealing with all this bullshit that my wife dumped on me. The doctor kept prescribing and I kept gobbling them up. I'm not in any physical pain at all. I'm just about kicked off of them. How have you been buddy?

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