INTB; there's a great thread on setting down what you need as the BS at http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=446349
The basic rule being whatever you as the BS feel safe with. WSs who are remorseful inherently KNOW they have a hundred loops to jump through and then some.
I don't know if outside links are allowed, but this is also very helpful in defining action post DDay;
As the WS, I can surely say that the urge to minimise and rugsweep is IMMENSE. However, an educated WS (through forums and books or one through a helpful MC/IC) will recognise the damage that this can have over the long run. It took me a few months post DDay, but I had to ENSURE the safety of my BS to have her and myself committed to R.
I'd also grasp at any opportunity when I felt like I was 'getting off lightly' on some aspect such as transparency, or accountability and I'd suggest that you clearly communicate to your WW when you feel they're taking the easy way out.
Boundaries also help a lot. The WS has sometimes perceived boundaries which a BS may be uncomfortable with. I'd say that you help your WW define and be accountable to you (or an IC/MC) for new boundaries you both get to set based on her failures which led to the A.
Please, this early on, let your WS know when you're left feeling like they're taking days off. You can't make them work, but you can point out when you feel they are faltering. Again, reading/educating yourself and hopefully your WS on the work that's required (read through the FAQs and point your WW here) will best communicate to her what is the base requirement for R. Mileage varies, but at least you're setting the right expectations.
I'd say that a WSs complacency might also arise from the emotional roller coaster and a feeling of hopelessness. There are plenty of articles here which can give hope to the WS that R after the A is achievable and a better M can be built atop that.
Best of luck and I pray you find yourself in a better place soon.
I don't know about emotionally unavailable. More likely scared. I did the same thing. I didn't want to "make waves" and ruin my H's day. All excuses but not because I was "emotionally unavailable" just scared. Most of us WS are non confrontational/passive aggressive (sorry about the labels) so for some of us bringing up the A is like being terrified of heights and offering to jump out of an airplane multiple times.
This is it! This is exactly what WW has stated in MC and to me alone. She over thinks what she wants to do and say, and then doesn't do it at all some days because she's scared of how I'll react. WW has always had what I call "Ostrich Syndrome". She tends to bury her head in the sand when any little bump in the road arises. It's just part of her FOO issues. Also God forbid she does try something and it doesn't work perfectly. When that happens she turns into a crying lump of self pity. At this stage I can't, and won't, be party to that pity. In fact, it only gets me angrier when I start to think she's trying to make the whole situation about her emotions and needs. BTW, WW is in IC and is trying to get a handle on her FOO stuff & more.
Our MC suggested that I tell WW in written form what I need from her to heal. She told me that I can't just assume she will know because she's not me. I agreed to do this and gave WW a list of what I needed from her. It worked great for about 3 days and then it was like she had never read it. I've just recently asked her to reread the list and to try and keep going back to it so she wouldn't lose focus anymore. I don't know, I'm just tired of feeling like I always have to ask. IMO, if she's serious about wanting R, and our M, she should be doing this shit without constant prompting from me.
Would you be opposed to your W posting on SI so she can ask questions and receive advice?
WW has been lurking on SI for months now. However, she refuses for some reason to join. She runs a cooking forum site that I built for her, so it isn't that she's unfamiliar with how it works. It's another thing that pisses me off to no end because I feel like she won't go the extra mile and do the heavy lifting needed to help me heal.
[This message edited by ImNotToBlame1241 at 2:36 AM, March 25th (Sunday)]
Thanks for all the info and the links. I'll definitely be taking time to read what's offered there.
At this stage I can't, and won't, be party to that pity. In fact, it only gets me angrier when I start to think she's trying to make the whole situation about her emotions and needs. BTW, WW is in IC and is trying to get a handle on her FOO stuff & more.
Ok, first things, it's really good to know you guys are in MC and she's working in IC to get a handle on things. Secondly, she's resorting to a familiar coping mechanism. Avoidance of the issue; or like you said Ostrich Syndrome and then when that gets old or she gets called out on it by you, she refers to her other comfortable reliable ol' standby of trying to get the attention on her, feel sorry for her and this way you'll either drop the subject and go to her and pitty her, or you'll completely let go of the subject forever and ever and go to her and pitty her. It's worked before. Don't fix it if it ain't broke, right?
I did this I was a master at this and I'm not only referring to the A. Mine was definitely FOO. One of many examples:
I used to fake having to go to the bathroom (#2 cause it takes longer)to try and either get my way out of a whippin' or to bide some time before I got the whippin'. You wouldn't hit someone with a belt or a switch or with your hands if they were trying to drop a deuce, would you? Didn't think so. See how that works though? Clever little thing, though wasn't I?
Once you're (the WS) on the outside looking in, you'll (the WS) realize how selfish, deceitful and immature this type of behavior is. You're (the WS)also taking away from your spouses hurt. She needs to see this within herself. Acknowledge it and fix it.
It worked great for about 3 days and then it was like she had never read it. I've just recently asked her to reread the list and to try and keep going back to it so she wouldn't lose focus anymore.
*sigh* That sounds a lot like me. How long ago was your d-day? I didn't really start getting my shit together till over a year later when my H found SI. He was at the end of his rope and I had no clue! I avoided the subject of the A like you would a leper and I did basically zero to help him. He'd ask something of me, I'd half-ass it or would do it for a while then stop. My head started to finally wiggle free from my ass when my H had me read "What Every WS Needs To Know" and "How Much Does My BS Hurt?"
It still took a while but I did start doing more and caring more after reading those posts and especially after joining SI.
She doesn't need to feel afraid. The greeting says, "Come in, it's safe here." There are WS's and BS's on the board who will be more than willing to help her out. The one thing I wouldn't suggest her to do would be to either:
1)Cop an attitude and be rude and mean to everyone. That will not be tolerated.
2) Still be in the A.
Other than that, she can say hi everyone, I'm new, I have questions and she can post with the Stop Sign. We don't come out swinging 2x4's and when we do, it's not on first posts. Remember, the 2x4's are used to build, metaphorically and irl.
She needs to get scared and realize how really REAL this is. You don't HAVE to R. You could still choose to S or D. She needs to realize this.
She must do the work, be transparent, give you a timeline (if she hasn't already) tell you the truth and remain truthful, be willing to work her ass off and stumble and get back up again and again and again. Until she really gets it, I'm afraid she'll remain doing what's comfortable. Sometimes this takes time especially for foggy WS's that's why I asked you when your D-day was.
I hope that helped! Good luck!
[This message edited by stilllovinghim at 3:20 AM, March 25th (Sunday)]
How long ago was your d-day?
I have to be careful here. While I'd really like for WW to join here and get some help, I'm also conflicted because this is my ONLY safe haven to be myself, rant, vent, scream, holler etc... Recently I discovered WW lurking on SI and found out she was reading my posts. I had a ton of personally identifying shit in my profile and sig so I knew that she could easily put 2&2 together and know it was me. I knee jerked and DS was kind enough to allow me to re-register with a new user name.
Anyway, I know she doesn't visit this section of the forum so I can tell you that my first d-day was 11/18/11. There was a ton of TT and then 3 more after that. The final one was 12/4/11. That's what the numbers mean after my handle LOL. Without going into the whole sorted shitty story, WW's A was almost 4 years. It started out as a PA on a forum site and developed into a full blown PA with-in 3 months. There were 7 meetings over the span, 4 that I can't let go of,. Two while we were on vacation in FLA with relatives and two while I was recovering last year from back-to-back major surgeries, including a total hip replacement. There were also over 1000 emails, tons of pics & vids and much more. The A is definitely over & there is a handwritten NC in place, both of which are 100% verified. Eeee God, I gotta stop now cause I'm about to throw the f*ucking computer out the window thinking about this sh!t! Anyway, now you know the whole story, well almost. Enough anyway to get an idea of where I'm at in this thing.
It's funny that you mentioned "What Every WS Needs To Know" as a turning point for you and H. That has been my bible thus far, well that and "Not Just Friends". I gave them both to WW early on and she's just started reading them again. It has helped but as I said, she still takes too many days off, blame shifts & is a master at justification.
Ah sh!t, this is way too long already. Thanks for listening. It's good to just let it out again sometimes.
[This message edited by ImNotToBlame1241 at 6:28 AM, March 25th (Sunday)]
So- I have to encourage you to get your WS involved in SI if at all possible. My BS did this and it turned us around. I had been seeing an IC who was telling me things like "He has not recommitted after an entire month- that is abusive to you!!!" I had read nothing. I really was NOT getting it. I started reading this and it was like the scales fell off my eyes. Now my goal in life is show my remorse in every action word and deed (while working on myself and everything else )
As to each other's posts- I try to stay out of "his" forum. I usually read on my iPad when I have run across his posts it is usually because the window is so big I am half way through before I realize....its him. Usually it is nothing he has or would not say to me. Honestly what cuts me is the comments and speculation the other BS have on me. One in particular always attributs a particular nasty motivation to everything I do. At first i would break down crying- she doesn't know me- why would she say such things??? All WS may have committed the same offense- but we are all different people with different experiences bringing us to this place. now I try to let it go. She is a human who has experienced a terrible betrayal. She is protecting MY BS from something i did not. All in all- I don't cyber stalk his posts. I also don't forbid him from reading mine. I don't LIKE it- but I am not going to deny him access to anything. I keep no more secrets. If he reads them we don't discuss it. But I think it must help more than it would hurt.
"taking a day off"- I guess I am not sure what that means. I am always ready to address anything about the A, our relationship, anything I can do- BH usually does not want to talk or does not know what to say. Of course- I am pretty new to this- so maybe in time i will be guilty of this as well. i can see it would be wearing to always be the one to bring it up! Would it be better to schedule a time? Or is the point that you want them to make the effort?
Is there anything else specific I can answer- or babble on about in an effort to answer?
Thanks for the post. I have to say I think it's admirable that you're taking time to offer assistance being you're only a little more than 3 months out.
Or is the point that you want them to make the effort?
Yes! That's it exactly. IMO, effort = actions. actions = getting it. getting it = healing. healing = true R. Hope that equation makes sense.
From the previous page...
Isn't there something positive about your WH telling you what he did? Do you like knowing what kind of life you are living? I'm not being snarky, but I've only seen a couple of BS's who would rather have never known about the A. I don't understand it.
His excuse regarding knowing the A would end when he got his wife back is a pile of shit meant to place some of the blame on you for being pregnant.
I would bet that if/when the OW becomes a BW, she will have a much different attitude about her part in the A and how it still hurts you so much years later. However, I know there are BW's who have posted in NB about getting involved with a new guy and having no idea that he was M, in effect making the BW an OW without their knowledge. Your WH sounds like a pro in the lying department.
You don't have to forgive your WH if you don't want to. It's your choice. Your description of where he is at now is not really showing him as a remorseful spouse. He may be working that direction, but I don't get the sense that he is there yet. And for you, it may take upwards of 5 years for you to process all of this. It's okay. You need as much time as you need, and hopefully your WH will understand that and be there with you through all of this.
Yes, I thought about giving up, but I knew that was a cop-out. If I gave up, I knew that my problems would just follow me wherever I would have ended up. I don't think I have a life sentence. The M is changed, that's for certain. Giving up now, as a WH, would mean that I wasn't being honest with myself or with my BW. It would mean that I was unwilling to really accept that I was responsible for the choices I made.
I don't want to R with my WH because something tells me that he still thinks that OW was just a nice girl who he took advantage of. It's a long story, but my WH started the affair when our DS was 7 months old. He hired her the month before the A stared. I have no doubt that he un/consciously picked her with the idea of becoming an A partner. I hold him 100% responsible for the A. What I hate about the OW is that she met me and my DS before the A began, so it wasn't like she didn't know we existed.
I really hate the OW for that. I don't care what lies my WH said to her about me, it kills me every time that she went ahead and did it anyway knowing I was a real person with a baby. I still think my WH set up the whole thing, and maybe that's why he said that she is innocent. Well, to me saying she's innocent means that he still thinks she's this nice innocent girl (she was 27 during the A) who was taken advantage of. So really she's just a victim. And that really burns me because to me that implies that he still thinks she's wonderful, its just that he's married and has a kid, so he can't be with her. To top it off, WH refuses to talk about the A,or go to MC, or IC because, "It just makes you (W2D76) mad". It's been 1 1/2 years since D Day and I really want this to end.
After that long ramble, my question is: Should I let my concern over how WH remembers OW as an innocent victim go? I really think that its destructive and he's rugsweeping and I think the way he's been avoiding talking about the A since D Day is grounds alone for D. Sadly, he has become more attentive to helping out around the house, but I still feel there is this distance between us that has been there since the beginning of the A.
Thank you to all WS who answer.
How did you as a WS get past caring about the AP's being hurt? My H and I have had 2 conversations recently and he seems to be really bothered by the destruction that he caused, not just to me and our family, but to the OW. Apparently, he led her to believe that he REALLY loved her and that they had a future.
A big part of me recognizes that this is who my H is. This is the man I fell in love with 16 years ago, who has a conscience and cannot cause harm without feeling bad about it. I get that.
But OW knew he was married. Not at the beginning, but from the time I discovered the EA and kicked him out. She knew I was devastated. She knew we had 2 children, one of whom was suffering immensely.
I am okay with him expressing these feelings, but don't want to be stuck here. How did you, and how long did it take to get past caring about the damage to the OW?
Let's eat Grandma. Let's eat, Grandma. Commas save lives.
4 kiddos in lower 20's
“Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace."
I will send you duplicate private messages, but publicly:
I don't necessarily think it is imperative for us as waywards to think or talk about our AP's like they are horrible people and/or not feel bad about the pain and hurt we caused their family. I TOTALLY understand the WS need to do that, to hate us, etc...but for us to do that, in my opinion is really blameshifting to a degree. Sure, we could sit there and rip them apart with you, agree with you and everything you say, and I'm sure that would make you feel better. But it is really how we feel? Maybe not.
That being said, WhatToDo..it sounds like your husband's not wanting to discuss the affair with you is a bigger part of the missing picture. Just being a more loving/caring partner isn't enough.
HFSSC...was your husband's AP married? I am assuming he is upset at the destruction to her family that he caused, but maybe that is incorrect? Because if she was just a single person, what sort of destruction did he create to her when she knew what she was doing?
That's the destruction he sees. She gambled on him and lost everything. Sucks to be her, in my opinion. But I can't feel that for him.
It just is so hard for me to see. In August, he was suicidal. He told me over and over that he was sick of her and wanted to end it for months but couldn't because he was afraid she would kill herself or go bunny boiler on us. He saw the destruction that she caused to both of us as well as our sweet children. I just do not get it, and probably never will.
Thanks for your input. I really appreciate it.
It took a long time to see the OW in something other than the light that was on her during the A. My BW thoughts and ideas about what OW was went against what I believed at that time. As the truth came out, as work began on R, the thoughts and ideas my BW expressed about who OW really was made more sense to me. But then, eventually, it seemed to not matter so much anymore.
Your bigger issue is that you don't have the whole truth yet. Until you have that, it doesn't really matter what your WH thinks of the OW. You wrote your situation the way you did because that is what your gut is telling you.
Is your WH that devious that he would have hired the OW with the intent of having an A?
Personally, I think that as long as your WH isn't willing to talk about the A, it doesn't matter what he thinks of the OW. How long are you going to let this continue? Filing for D would probably make an impact. It might finally impress upon him the importance of talking about his A. It might also cause him to go the other way. You can't really know until it happens. But, making the decision to D is making the decision to take care of yourself, and that is the most important step.
The fog - From the time the EA ended, to the time real R began was about 2 years. Even then I was foggy, but had made the decision to actively work on R instead of making a half-assed effort.
Multiple A's - usually this seems to be an issue of the WS not doing the work. This may be for a variety of reasons, whether they are a serial cheater or just scared to admit they are damaged and broken. In my case, a lot of the past behaviors were a result of not recognizing there was anything wrong in the first place. So patterns developed and boundaries went by the way-side which made each subsequent "relationship" a bit more intense. I have my reasons for using "relationship" in this case, but it isn't relevant to answering your questions.
Continuing A behavior - Not sure how to say this...A's can feel really good. I'm sure you've seen reference to the drug-like effect A's have on many WS. It is very difficult to let go of that. It is very difficult to admit there is a problem.
Each WS is a bit unique. We each have our own problems. And it sounds like your WH has some big problems if he is still seeking A's. That is not R. That is not even working toward beginning R. There isn't much you can do to change that about him. The WS needs to be ready to face the issues. The WS needs to be willing to let their guard down just a bit to even realize there is an issue to deal with. Because of that, the only option left to the BS is to take care of themselves. That's what my BW did. She made that decision, for herself. It snapped me out of my fog, but I've seen it go the other way too.
Hi. Here is my two cents, which may be all it is worth
With all the reading I have done, I see love not only as a feeling but as a choice. I always loved my BH, but for reasons I am still exploring (FOO, insecurity, loneliness, rejection) I chose to respond not by commication and working on my M with my BH, but by responding to online flirting from the OM.
The "fog"- I hate this term. I guess it depends on how long/ how much feeling the WS has developed for the AP. Keep in mind there is also a very selfish number one reason why a WS stays in communication (IMHO) - when we are dealing with our BS we have to face the pain/shame/reality/devastation of what we have done. We have to answer painful questions and be honest. When we go back to call the AP, we are relieved of guilt and excused- told how wonderful we are. It's all the BS's fault according to the AP. welcome back to comfortable fantasy land!
I don't know if there is an average time. I knew immediately when confronted I wanted to stay with BH, but broke NC for a month! Then it took me another month and finding SI to really see the pain I caused the man I love.
I am still working through the why of my shameful behavior, but I know nothing NOTHING could ever be worth causing or going through this again. I don't know how a WS who gets to this stage of remorse could ever do anything like the on line sites again. Maybe he was never remorseful? Maybe he was unable to really face what motivated him to need to do that in the first place?
I am sorry for your pain and that you are headed for D. I may end up there myself, but it will be my own fault. Keep this in mind. Unless your WH addresses why he has these needs and why he cant be satisfied with what sounds like a good M, none of those other women are going to satisfy him either.
It is not a lack of love for you, but something he is lacking in himself. Seriously. I would have sworn that was psychobabble eight months ago and I was a poor neglected wife. I have found out sooooo much more.
Best wishes to you
I was good at comparmentalizing (common but sounds unbelievable if you have not been there).
Could you give me some ideas of what your IC did that helped you? Did they have specific tasks or exercises for you to complete?
WH seems comfortable talking with IC, but that seems to be all that happens. He sometimes feels he understand things a bit better when he is forced to try to talk about them, but IC never seems to give any feedback or ask anything of him. H will say he told IC about something that happened, or something from childhood, and then I ask, What did IC say about that, and H answers, Nothing - he just listened.
I feel he needs more of a coach or guide on how to address some of his issues. Are there IC who do that? What did you find valuable with the experience?
Thanks for anything you can share!