From your perspective;
What does she really feel or wants?
Does she really want to R?
Does she really miss me and love me as she said?
All three have the same answer? Yes. Why? Because she is still so close to the A that she cannot see what she truly wants inside.
The A is like a drug. It meets some form of unfulfilled need within the WS. But also like a drug, it distorts how a WS sees reality.
For many of us (I won't speak for all WS's), the initial feeling after D-Day is guilt or regret. But that guilt or regret is still self centered around getting caught, not around the damage we did to our M. To get to true remorse and to a place where we can express what we really feel, time and distance from the AP are required.
We need the silence of no influences surrounding us in order to quietly look inward and know where our heart is truly placed. I needed five months of separation from the AP to get there. A week after D-Day? I could tell you that I was committed to trying to save our M, but I couldn't tell you where I wanted to be until I could clear the clutter and listen to my internal compass telling me where I should have been focused all along.
Is there hope?
Under the current circumstances, no. His thinking is influenced by the proximity of the AP.
Is he coming out of the fog?
Not a chance. Not while he is still this close to the AP. The fog does not clear until a WS has given themselves the opportunity to think away from the impact of what the AP says, thinks or does.
They disagree? Sure, the reality of a relationship that is no longer based solely on fantasy is setting in. So he will waffle back and forth so long as he let's the AP remain in his life.
I can't tell you whether finalizing a D is right or wrong for you, other than you need to do what is in your own best interest. What I can tell you is that given your situation, my own choice would be to state that your WH had until X date (and it wouldn't be long - a week or two at most) to either leave the AP, establish NC, get into IC and try to heal the M or the D had to be completed. No dragging things out. There is no middle ground.
By planting that ultimatum down, you will be holding him accountable for the consequences of his own choices. And accountability will either start the path to healing or allow him to bring his own demise on himself.
I am wondering if any WS has experience with their BS and ptss? If so, in what way were you able to help, or not, your BS to work through it?
That wasn't my experience, but I wanted to bump your question in case someone can respond for you.
Why should we even bother to try?
Not all can and not all should.
In my case, if my BW were to ask me that question at the beginning it would have been because I was willing to take all steps necessary to try to make our M the best possible place for both of us. I did not fight against NC, IC, transparency, etc. So the why at that stage was really to make our best effort to find our way back to a solid M, to give our kids the stable parents they deserved, and to know we had exhausted all options before giving up.
Now, three years plus out, the reasons are because I have attacked my own weaknesses head on. Because we make each other incredibly happy. And because neither one of us can picture living another day without the other's love in our lives.
I know that's not everyone's experience and that there are WS's who push back, who balk at requests for the things they have to do to heal the M and who continue to lie to their BS as well as themselves. In those cases, I'm not sure the BS should give their WS any more chances. Because if one or the other is not working toward R, then they are working against it.
Is it too much to expect forward momentum 10 weeks from Dday?
No, but it requires two key words to be applied:
Consistency and Consequences.
A WS must consistently do the work needed to clear the fog and come to truly know themselves. Her answers ring hollow because they are not the root cause of her issues.
If she felt unloved, why did she not state so?
If she thought you were just there for the kids, why didn't she say so?
And ultimately, if she was not happy with you, why did she not simply let go of you and D, making herself free to pursue whatever happiness she thought she would gain elsewhere?
In my case, I didn't tell my BW about some things she said that hurt or bothered me because I was afraid of the conflict it would raise between her and I. So it wasn't that my BW was mean to me, it was that I didn't defend myself when I felt attacked.
I let the ego stroking from xMOW take the place of respecting myself and my own value because I didn't know how to value myself without someone else doing it for me. So it wasn't that xMOW treated me well, it was that I didn't treat myself well enough.
Answers about why an A happens that are external (was unloved, needed attention, etc.) are surface level symptoms, not causes. Answers that are internal (I beat myself up inside, I was afraid to speak up, etc.) are the causes that need to be dealt with in IC.
Have you ever used that as an excuse?
I didn't use the "I don't know what xMOW will do" excuse, but it did cross my mind at times. She had wild emotional swings, playing martyr one day only to come out swinging the next.
I think the place that serves both BS and WS best is if both are committed to R, then agree that you are a united front and nothing the OP can do will split you apart. It's much easier to face a challenge as a team than on your own.
I know it's not fair, and that BS's did not bring "less than sane" OP into their lives. But if there is a commitment to R, then the issue is one to be faced together, not alone.
When you had occasion to have a "close" encounter with your BS -- the death of a family member or pet, for example -- and there was mutual grieving and support, did you immediately back away from contact with your BS? If so, why? What were you feeling? What were you afraid of?
"There would be no grand absolution, only forgiveness meted out in these precious sips. It would well up from his heart in spoonfuls, and he would feed it to me. And it would be enough."
Love and family/friends are the only things in life that really matter.
Thank you Fallen. That's certainly what I believe, and have for some time. Now if my WH would only come to believe it as well!
What was it that brought you around to R?
My situation may prove completely untenable. My WW refuses couseling, SI, and even reading a book. She swears its all too depressing to focus on any more than she already deals with.
Is there any single thing that your BS said or did that brought you around?
If I had to boil it down to one thing, I would say that it was her hard and fast adherence to what she would accept in her life.
My WW refuses counseling
This would have resulted in A. Refusal to take the steps necessary to heal not only her but our M were requirements, not options.
My WW refuses SI
My BW introduced me to SI. While I don't believe she would have required me to join here, doing nothing was not an option and I would have had to offer an alternative with the same value (getting feedback to help me understand what I had done).
My WW refuses reading a book.
Again, this would have resulted in D for us. We ended up reading "After the Affair" together, and as we both completed chapters we discussed them and how we viewed them together.
Sure, any number of things might motivate a WS to change including self awareness, consistent pressure to discuss the topic, and even the deterioration of the relationship with the OP. But the one thing that definitively seems to break the limbo and move things forward one way or another are direct, immediate and sustained consequences for the actions of the WS.
The book in question is After the Affair. She continues to live in some delusion, many times quoted as saying "we're never getting divorced." It may be time to shatter that fantasy and show her some hard reality...
My situation is this. IASS has slowly but surley over the last 8 months making great progress in R and now is doing EXCELLENT.....except in one department.
I am having a hard time excepting the story as given. There are few things that just don't add up and also that my gut says that there are others.
When we have a really good heart to heart talks and I bring this up, the look on his face is priceless. It looks like he really wants to say something but is holding back.
This has happened 2 times. The first time I wasn't quite sure and kind of dismissed it. But when we talked again a few months later (9/22/10 to be exact)the face was definetly there. I saw it, I know I saw it, and I'm not crazy that I saw it.
I don't know what he wants to tell me, BUT I NEED TO KNOW.
I told him that he can tell me and that after all the hard work we both have putting in, that we can work through this.
I need him to be open and honest. That is a cornerstone of my R. I don't know what to do.
I feel like in the immediate time I can live without this knowledge but I know that I can't live with not knowing for the rest of my life.
I fear that while it's not a dealbreaker at this moment, that it WILL be one later down the road. And I don't know what later means. I do know it's getting harder and harder and this is making me feel stuck.
Insight and advice please!!!
I am wondering if any WS has experience with their BS and ptss? If so, in what way were you able to help, or not, your BS to work through it?
My SO is pretty confident that he has PTSS/PTSD: it's only(?) been about seven weeks since D-Day, so it's hard to say how long-lasting the symptoms will be, but he certainly has all of the characteristics: flashbacks, nightmares about the event, inability to stop thinking about what he could have done differently that night, powerful triggers, and lifestyle problems (decreased functionality w/r/t eating, sleeping, working).
For him, a major thing that helped him deal with the trauma was simply the step of realizing that he was suffering post-traumatic symptoms. A good deal of the book "Transcending Post-Infidelity Stress Disorder" is available through Amazon book preview - http://www.amazon.com/Transcending-Post-infidelity-Stress-Disorder-PISD/dp/1587613344#reader_1587613344 - and when he read from it and saw how universal some of the things that he was going through were, and how they can be overcome, he said that a weight was lifted. It hasn't been very long, so of course he is still in the recovery stage, and I regret that I cannot tell you much about what that consists of until he's successful. But perhaps books like the one I linked could help you, as well as the knowledge that this is a very real thing but something that can be healed.
As for things I've done: avoiding known triggers has helped a lot. Sometimes I feel a little bit uneasy about the fact that he does not want me to say the OM's name, because I don't want him to go through life reacting to that (common) name whenever he hears it, but he is confident that the effect of the triggers will fade as he heals.
[This message edited by 19andbroken at 12:53 AM, October 5th (Tuesday)]
It makes me feel like I am slowly going insane.
I recently got a message from someone claiming to know my husband, saying "she" (?) would like to talk. I don't know if this is someone who knows about the MOW...or the MOW herself...or someone who has new info...or someone who is just trying to screw with me. I haven't yet decided how I am going to handle it.
But oddly enough, the note hasn't completely shocked me. Why? Because it would offer a sense of relief that I was not insane.
I am very intersted in how other WSs have finally come clean - no ,atter how horrible the withheld information is.
I love my husband dearly and want to work through it. But this sense of "more to the story" is the wall I have been hitting for some time. And I sense that it is the wall HE has been hitting in finally breaking through that last bit of slight pushback whenever discussions turn a little deeper into the A.
I don't have anything really to add...just that I would love to get the WS perspective on this, too.
I know my H is truly the only one who can give the honest answer, and he's tried, but they don't make sense to me hoping they'll make sense to a wayward here and perhaps your response or POV can help me "see it".
They had sex at her hotel room, but why not his? When she offered it to him, they were at his hotel lobby already, literally steps away from his room, yet they got in her car and went to her hotel, why? He says there was no way she was going back to his room, he didn't want her there???
He walked back to his hotel took a shower trying to wash off the shame, and threw his underwear away. If he wanted sex that badly or the attention or whatever, why throw your underwear away? He says because he was disgusted by the whole thing yet just before he got caught, she was making plans to "hook up" again at the next conference and he was not stopping her. Why?
He called her 3 & 4 times a day every day for 3 weeks til he got caught, and every chance he got, he talked about me, bragged really, told her I was the smarted person he knew. Talked about my degrees, my job, everything that is good, why??
We're R and these little things shouldn't matter, but they do, because I don't understand them? Anyone, thoughts from a wayward perspective?? Thank you!
It's been close to 18 months since dday. For the past year we have not discussed any detail about his As. Any discussions have been on feelings, changes we are making, why, etc. Nothing really tangible. Whenever I had asked him details, like what did he talk about with them, I always got the "I don't remember" speech so I never pushed it as I assumed the worse and took it from there.
Yesterday I asked him a detail I had not asked previously. I asked him to tell me the name of the motel where he took her, and if he didn't remember, then to tell me the general vicinity.
At first I got "that information is not going to help you". I told him he needed to stop deciding for me in regards to what would help me or not. Then I got the "we are trying to forget..." I told him I was not trying to forget, I was trying to process and deal with what has happened. Then I got the "can't you see how this hurts me?" I told him why I needed that information, that I do all that I can to avoid the 2 streets that are notorious for being red-light districts and thus have tons of motels lining the streets. If I could at least know where it was located then I could attach the memory to a specific location and not trigger at the sight of every "motel". That way, I'd be able to take one of those 2 streets home so I can get home faster.
After a few minutes, he told me where the motel was located.
I have the following questions:
1. Have we been rugsweeping? I don't expect a perfect response but after 1.5 years I guess I did not expect these WS catchphrases. I kinda thought he was over that. Should we have talked more about the details?
2. Overall is this a good thing or a bad thing? On the one hand, his excuses make me question his progress, on the other hand he did finally give me the information I requested.
3. Could he still be hiding information because he believes it wouldn't help me or because he doesn't want to face it?
4. Would it help him to go back to IC or is this something that can be addressed in MC?
Beauty is a calling...a call "to transfigure what has harden or was wounded within you"
-- John O'Donohue
Why would a WS who is doing everything that is needed to R, still lie, withhold information?
For me, I withheld while I was still afraid for myself. And to be honest, I can't say that I'm not selfishly afraid anymore. Once my husband found out the truth of my last sexual encounter with the other man, there was barely anything left to tell on my own. My new found empathy hasn't been tested.
Perhaps the same goes for your husband: he needs to stop acting out of selfish fear and start acting out of empathy.
I'm not sure that there's anything you can do to soothe his fear. You've obviously told him that this is what you need, and tried to reassure him that to you the secrets on top of the betrayals are worse than just about any thing he could have done.
Sorry you're in this spot.