As I proofed this it comes across a bit harsh, this is not my intent, but these questions touch on areas where I still have not fully released all of the pain. I see in your post attitudes my FWW had that frustrated me in the first couple of years after dday.
This is my opinion, from my reality.
I see a man who's been broken to the core, COMPLETELY by me with my sledgehammer.
A lot of hyperbole gets used on SI, but most BS are not broken to the core. Our miss-perceptions are ripped away leaving a new reality, our belief foundations are shattered, and in many cases, our best friend is gone, but we are still the person we were fighting through all of this. As we work through this we do gain new skills, new coping mechanisms, new perceptions of our reality. Hopefully, most of these new attributes are positive and replace or shore up their less skillful
... and now it is MY job to start our NEW M from the ground up, because the old M is blown to bits and can NEVER be "fixed",
I disagree. I believe that post dday it is the WS's job to understand why they had the A(s), and then to heal and fix whatever they find that is inconsistent with whom they believe they are or they want to be. Certainly do not create additional stress for the BS through TT, NC violations, etc., but the WS's job is to become authentic to them self. While this is going on, it is the BS's job to heal him or herself. To understand and own the new reality, to learn from past behavior (like tolerating mutual dysfunction in their M) and refocus on who the WS wants to be and how to get there. This is a time for creating new beliefs and perceptions, and making mid-course adjustments in life. Once this work is accomplished or well underway for both partners, only then can meaningful decisions about rebuilding or abandoning the M be made.
My plan is to take a quiet moment when we are alone for a few minutes and tell him I love him, I am sorry and that I will hold him up later today when he needs me to.
My H many times has the approach of "don't mention it or bring it up" etc etc etc.
My H many times has the approach of "don't mention it or bring it up" etc etc etc.
So what I see here is you intending to do what your BS has many times asked you not to do. I see you trying to control the day and the feelings of others. This is not your job, and you cannot do it anyways.
It's as if he gets annoyed by me always asking him if he's okay.
FWW and her older DD used to ask all the time if I was OK; that really annoyed me. By the third time I was asked if I was sure I was OK, I was no longer OK. I was becoming angry that I was being blamed for someone else’s discomfort. Most of the time FWW or her DD was worried that I was upset with one of them, and wanted me to say no I am not upset with you and explain why I might have been tired or focused on a problem, whatever. The thing is, it should not have mattered. Are you going to treat your BS any nicer just because he is upset? Are you going to withdraw and stop talking to him if he is upset? A person being upset (or happy, or jealous, or shy) is their feeling to own, and to work to change if they so desire. I can feel sad if my FWW is struggling or upset, I can be available to listen if she wants to talk, but I cannot control or change her feeling. FWIW, your BS clearly is not OK, he is doing the best he knows how and is comfortable with to become OK.
Many days I don't know how to appraoch him.
He may not know either. FWW wanted to know how she should "act" when I was upset or triggering. 1st, I wanted authentic, not an act. 2nd, my need was not always the same. Sometimes I needed to be alone, other times I needed to be held. It was my responsibility to communicate what I needed or wanted. Still, ask him what his expectations are, and ask him to share with you. Other than that, be authentic. You cannot act in the right way to have a successful M. You and your BS must learn to be authentic, and then determine if you are compatible. Many, many M fail after an A, especially it seems after a LTA. Once an A is discovered, neither the BS nor the WS alone can determine or control the outcome.
he is the type to stuff it down until he explodes and that's not good for any of us
Again, you are being controlling and making decisions for your BS. It is good for him, if it were not he would not do it. The benefits of most of the time controlling the emotions that he is uncomfortable with outweighs for him the negatives of these outbursts. I understand this, I felt and acted out with more rage in the year after dday than any other times in my life. It frightened me, and I was honestly afraid of doing something regretable (beyond screaming at FWW).
Also, remember that for men anger is an approved emotion. Hurt, shame, frustration, pain, humiliation can all express as anger.
ETA: Hi njgal, early morning.
njgal is one of our survivors with an intact M, there are not very many here. I hope that at 4, 5, 10 years out I count myself as one too, but it is to soon yet to know.
[This message edited by atsenaotie at 7:19 AM, February 25th (Saturday)]
I have a lot to say as well, but I think ats hit the nail on the head.
I'm completely in agreement that you shouldn't be trying so hard to decide how he must be feeling or what he wants.
As for the upcoming trigger today, I would take a different approach than what you mentioned. You should tell him you love him, but you should tell him that every day. If you can sense he is struggling with the proximity to the hotel, only then should you say something. Do not say things like you will hold him up, that will only serve to emasculate him more.
Something I've learned in this process is that while I felt broken in the beginning, I wasn't. My world was shattered, my marriage was exploded from the inside, I saw that I couldn't trust anything my husband and so-called best friend said, but I wasn't broken.
I was sad and angry. I'm still sad and angry. But I'm not broken. He is.
He is beginning to see that now. And I am regaining the inner strength that I always had.
Another word of advice, listen to njgal. She truly is one of the only ones here who've made it through the LTA hell and back. There's much to be learned from what she and her fwh have been through....and the amount of time they've been at R should tell you that this is indeed a marathon, not a sprint.
[This message edited by worst-year-ever at 9:51 AM, February 25th (Saturday)]
*Do not assume that when your BH acts as if all is normal, that you are "off the hook" and can let the relationship slide for a while.
*Do not do things that he has asked you specifically not to do.
*Do not ever assume that you can control his emotions.
*Do not ever think that he should be doing something because you think that's the way it should be done.
*(Or, stated another way...) Do not make suggestions "for his own good" unless he's doing something that is truly damaging (i.e. drinking so much that you are afraid for him).
*Do not stop trying to make YOU better. Not just, as ats said, fixing whatever allowed you to cheat on your husband for six years. But also working on becoming a better woman in general and specifically a better wife. You can do that all by yourself (I know you can, I did it while MR. STBXNell was having his LTA and it made me better partner material... if that makes sense).
*Realize that if your BH doesn't work very hard on healing himself from your betrayal, that his healing will take all of the 2-5 years commonly ballied about on this site... and probably longer.
*Do not think that you can "fix" the M... it is what the two of you make it. But you are what YOU make you. And he is what HE makes him.
*Do not ever expect your BS to heal himself and then rejoin you in the M, now that you're ready to have a M again.
*Do not ever "cross it off your list"... even if you feel like you've been there, done that, got the Tshirt, you can certainly continue to learn something by reviewing the old materials.
*Do not ever let your boundaries slip.
Sorry, that's all I got. Need to make lunch!
ETA: Thought of one more!
*Do not ever think/act like he should just know that you [fill in the blank... love him, are not currently doing anything behind his back, are working on yourself, think he's the greatest thing to ever have happened to you, etc.]. If you don't tell him and show him, he doesn't know.
Oh, mediation was nearly 5 hours long but it went as I assumed it would... no big surprises (for me). Mr. STBXNell wasn't a big fan of the cold water of reality hitting him and has explained to me in great detail how much this sucks FOR HIM. Because he is going to have to give up some of the comforts that HE has worked so hard for. Never mind that he will have a little slush to play with at the end of each month while I'll be $147 in the hole (according to his worksheet).
Same ol, same ol... is what I'm saying. I will be FINE! I'm my dad's daughter. I can cut back and live within my means and sacrifice in the short term to be happy in the long term. It's all good, my friends. Thanks for the thoughts yesterday.
[This message edited by ImNellNow at 3:20 PM, February 25th (Saturday)]
Firstly HUGS to those struggling. As there are so many I don't want to name names for fear of missing someone. HUGs to all.
Some of the latest posts:
I have read all of these a couple of times and agree with the wisdom of them.
However, I need to chime in with a couple of things. These may be 'me' because of my sich or my time past dday.
I DO need FWH to ask if I am OK (But see more appropriate questions below). I like it when he does because it is recognition of the hurt he has caused. It bothers me if he doesn't because then I start to think that he thinks it is all in the past. It is not. After 21 months it is my reality, and when I see him going through daily life with no apparent thought for what he did it really upsets me.
As for triggers, I have many daily. I do not always discuss them with FWH because if I did then our entire lives would be dominated by the As. Which I already resent enough. However I get very upset when FWH fails to "notice" or verbalise that he notices things which if he was sensitive to my needs he would notice.
eg a couple of months ago we drove past the place where we were married. I triggered like crazy. He kept chatting as though nothing happened. All he had to do was say "I hope you are coping Ok with seeing X" and I would have been satisfied. I probably would have replied "No it really hurts but thanks for thinking of me". He made no comment and I became angry thinking that any fool should have noticed something like that. Later when I asked him why, he said he didn't want to upset the day. I then had a meltdown. I need him to acknowledge these things. If I am OK I will say. If I am not I will say. If I want to talk about it I will but generally the acknowledgement takes the sting out of the trigger and I am fine. The lack of acknowledgement comes off as callousness.
I am convinced that if he had made a simple statement then I wouldn't even remember this now.
To me, a key part of R is the destruction or at least the weakening of triggers. Some may be small and able to be brushed off but many require that acknowledgement. IMHO every time a trigger is acknowledged it loses it's power. Failure by the WS to acknowledge triggers strengthens them.
As for asking "Are you OK?". Well frankly I see that as a dumb question which shows little real thought for the BS. A far better question would be "Is/has there been anything which has really bothered/worried you today?/now? (whatever)". "Are you OK" is perfunctory. The latter questions suggest real concern and a genuine desire to help.
When FWH asks "Are you OK" I sense that he hopes I will say yes so we can quickly move on to something else. I hate this question.
A person being upset (or happy, or jealous, or shy) is their feeling to own, and to work to change if they so desire. I can feel sad if my FWW is struggling or upset, I can be available to listen if she wants to talk, but I cannot control or change her feeling.
Ats I generally agree with what you say but I would like to elaborate/comment on this. I do not expect my FWH to control or change how I am feeling. But his recognition and concern for how I am feeling is clearly necessary if I am to begin feeling closer to him.
to work to change if they so desire.
Yes my feeling upset is my feeling to own but in a truly loving relationship the partner reaches out to help the other when they can. Sometimes this means conversation. Simply being "heard" about one's feelings is often enough. If I have to work to change my feelings alone then I cannot see a future for us. The feeling of betrayal I have comes from his actions. The hurt and anger come from his action. I can spend every day of my life trying to change these feelings but this will never happen if I do not see real remorse from him and being willing to take responsibility for causing those feelings is essential. By being open to discussing my feelings and being genuinely interested in trying to help me to control or change them then he is showing that remorse.
Building a new M is not about wiping the slate clean and starting afresh like someone who has amnesia. That is unrealistic. Building a new M is about creating a partnership as it should have been in the beginning and throughout the M. The As need to become a hurtful horrible thing that happened in the past but have no impact on the present EXCEPT that the WS must continue to do what it takes to ensure the BS feels safe.
The consensus on SI is that it takes 2-5 yrs to recover from ANY A. I have also read some comments which suggest that it takes this plus as long as the A lasted. In my sich that would mean 16-24 yrs. Probably the rest of my life. I truly hope they are wrong.
I need to feel my FWH is doing all he can to help me recover. When I do I feel positive about the future. When I feel he is avoiding communication about anything to do with his As because he doesn't want to feel uncomfortable or "spoil the day" I feel very pessimistic.
If you have followed my argument then this would be my advice. Simply say to your BH "I understand that being near X may make you feel bad/hurt/....whatever. I just want you to know that I realise this and that I am so sorry for what I did. If there is anything I can do/say to help please let me know". A statement like this is neither controlling nor emasculating. It is simply acknowledgement and an expression of remorse.
Although it is probably too late now, perhaps you could think of this approach in a similar situation in future.
Anyway, just some Sunday morning thoughts from Laura's place.
Love to all
We had a nice dinner, came home put the kids to bed and watched a movie. Right before we went to sleep he said to me that he knows I'm trying and he told me not to "be discouraged". He said he knows I'm trying and that I am sorry.
I had a sort of "a-ha" moment. I was upset after my H said that after we had such an affectionate, loving, hand holding day. When he said his statement to me and i felt his emotional distance, like I do often. Ir felt like yesterday had been fake. I realized that is how my H and all the BS's feel. How the BS can look back to A MILLION instances/days when they thought everything was good, loving, close and fine, meanwhile the WS was carrying on with a third person the ENTIRE time.
I know I am in SO many ways early on in our R, I have SO much left to learn about myself. I am going to truly tackle my issues in IC when I start up again in 2 weeks.
My biggest thought about last night is that I asked my H if he feels like he is trying, meaning that in all the posts i have read from the BS, even though the true R is in the hands of the WS, the BS still knew they were looking to R. But when I asked my H if he was trying, he hesitated for a bit and then said yeah I'm trying, I'm trying to stuff it all under. I didn't know what to say, so I said nothing. I didn't want to tell him what he "should" be doing. I was trying to take the advice here and let him heal in his time, his way, even if it isn't MY way. I hope I did the right thing because EVERY fiber in my being is telling me that to "stuff it under" can't be good for him, but then I thought that maybe he is just at that point in his journey and he will take another approach when HE is ready.
I notice a difference in the way WSs and BSs talk about their partners and marriages post-A. It seems to me that in general, WSs on this site talk in glowing terms about how lucky they are, how much they adore their BSs, how wonderful their relationships are. While BSs (again, generalizing) talk about struggling to regain their happiness, wondering if things will ever be good again, how they love their WSs but... etc. It seems that after many years of healing, BSs can get back to the authentic good feelings, but the joy takes a long time to regain.
The injustice of this frustrates me to no end, which is why I steer clear of the starry-eyed "i luv my BS" threads in the Wayward forum. I personally struggle with it. I would love to be in love, to be starry-eyed about my partner. I remember how wonderful that felt.
I see that too, here and in my life.
fWH gushes positivity these days, tells people how great our marriage is, how much he loves me.
And, me...I'm just like eh.
I felt that way once.
Laura- You put into words what I was trying to say far better than I did. I was meaning to suggest that RSEB should take the initiative with expressing her love and concern for him, just word it differently so that it isn't making him seem weaker and needier. Does that make sense?
In a lot of ways, I wish my fWH took more of a role like what you are trying to do, RSEB. I wish he would be proactive with recognizing triggers, and maybe someday we will get to that point. I don't know.
Ultimately, you have to remember that this is an emotionally charged thing and everyone will respond differently. Your husband may welcome your thoughts and words one day and push them away the next...it's part of the rollercoaster we are on.
Some days I crave that from my fWH, other days it nauseates me when he is open and affectionate.
In WYEland, things have been pretty good. MC sucked completely, but I think it may have opened a door for him. He saw his new IC the following day too, and I could tell immediately that things may be different if he keeps up with it. Both the MC and IC call him on his defensiveness immediately (which is nice....he tries to say that it's my interpretation so often, and it's not. it's him, and they both saw it).
He's seeing now that the whole affair nonsense is far more related to his childhood issues than our marriage, and that he needs to go all the way back there to figure it out.
I don't want to get my hopes up, but I'm thinking this can only be a good thing...assuming he is now committed to the hard work he knows he needs to do.
Nell congratulations on surviving mediation karma has a way of taking care Of both major and minor inequities you have a lot of courage and confidence which you have deservedly earned
WS must overcompensAte In their. Actions to heal their M after an A the good feelings a BS feels are fleeting.ng and need to be reinforced often. Through actions show your H how. ImportAnt he is to you
• My W had 4 OM over 5 years.
• FWW apparently has to have testosterone shots and vodka shots to have sex with me.
• She wants to get matching tattoos.
• I never did get all those questions answered.
She asked if I am all right. I said sure, and she seemed pleased.
At least nobody broke anything I have to fix this weekend.
Thank you in advance for letting me be heard here tonight. This is so huge for me...I just needed someone to hear it.
(this is what I posted)
He got it!!! Today, Feb 26,2012 he got it.
Abused as a child between 5-8 yrs by his brother, he was emasculated. When we married so young at 19 & 20, (in his mind) "I" was to be the answer to make him "feel like a man" and take away his pain. I never knew about the abuse. His pain was relieved by control and sex. I was the scapegoat. If I said no to sex or wanted something "I" chose, the anger and pain welled up inside of him and I paid for it. This horrid feeling caused by his brother was only soothed by sex and control over me. (Both made him feel like a man) I coped by investing in my life...my children, my career, my hobbies. I had a good life...I had a horrid marriage.
In 1999 the affair started...I won't sicken you with details but I found out within 3 months and he promised it was over, blah blah blah...it went underground for 12 years...12 fn years. I forgave and invested everything I could into the marriage. He didn't. I grew bitter but still had MY life. I found out that all this time she was still part of my life on 01/15/11.
Nothing made sense...nothing...so much pain...why didn't he love me...why didn't he EVER love me and worse yet...why didn't I leave?
We've both been in IC for a year. He has been focusing on the abuse issue. He finally understood that ALL THIS TIME...it wasn't me causing his pain...it has ALWAYS been his brother...NOT ME.
We saw The Descendants last night...I wanted him to see the pain from a BS point of view. I didn't think it had much impact but today...everything fell into place...all the pieces came together in his mind...***HE SAW ME*** He really saw me for who I am, who I have been and what he has done to ME. ALSO I SAW HIM...the man I lost immediately after I said I do. I SEE the man who had so much pain in his past...I see a man who truly loves me...I see the man who wants to be who he was always supposed to be...who he was inside but couldn't let out. I don't see a WH. I see the real him.
I also see such a broken man who can never begin to repair the damage of 27 years of marriage and 12 years of infidelity. We're not going to repair...it would be like remodeling a condemned building.
We're starting over. Today, I told him we can go look for a promise ring...a promise for a better future...a promise to keep working on us.
Thank you to so many who have followed our story...**sinsofthefather**, njgal, Frank2010, mandmr and many others who have helped both of us along the way. Thanks to the LTA gang where I lurk and look for advice and to MH and DS for their courage to start this site and dedication to keep it going.
Back later...going shopping
ats... You are just like me.. We love with our penis. You don't need any more questions answered. You need your W to love you by not faking sex, making it real, wanting to have sex with you, and often... What can you do to attract a woman? Not just your W, but any woman? Me, I would shoot her up with that drug, then give her a few shots and bang the heck out of her... Tell her, next time, I just gonna use the drug and not the vodka... and she is gonna like it. I told her that I am leaving if she does not initiate a few times as year. Guess what happened?
RSEB.. You are two years out from dday. IMO, your H behavior needs to change and you must help him. I doubt he is damaged to the core like you believe. It’s time. You start placing some pressure on him slowly. He need to start loving you like a marriage is suppose to be or you need to do him a favor and D him. Do you know how to do this?
Next time he is critical, mentions the A, anything like that… just say AND ALWAYS SAY, I regret what I did, I am sorry and will be sorry until the day I die. It was a huge mistake I made but I have made the choice to love only you! I want to be with only you. I want to be the kind of W you deserve. Then warn him slowly.. maybe with a few of these… I cannot be someone who cannot forgive... or I need to be forgiven... I will not be with any man who cannot treat me like any wife NEEDS.. I am sorry and always Then Make him pay... Take a walk, go shopping, leave and go to the other room... etc. Let him think about it. So you know, my W has done some of this to me and it works for me. And a warning, this may be the end to your M. But then again, deep inside, that's what affairs really mean anyway. I want out, I am not being treated like I need...
Every woman needs to feel good in her M to be happy even if she did eat the apple…
Men think of love so much more different than a woman. Does he initiate sex? The very core of a man loves with sex. To allow another man into you was the ultimate insult to a man. It is the ultimate putdown, the very opposite of love… Ats's W and my W are so selfish they cannot understand nor know what God gave men to want and need often and with good effort. We in turn struggle as men to give our W's what they need.. those emotions to make the feel a certain way... equal to us having sex... Kinda messed up but that is what it is meant to be..
I hope you courage. Everyone deserves to be in a marriage full of love, intimacy,
[This message edited by trynhard at 7:43 AM, February 27th (Monday)]
while i agree at some point in time he needs to contribute to the marriage, first she has to repair the damage that she has done....while it should not be a life sentence....it still needs attending imo.....the overwhelming shock of it all takes time to go away, calm down....getting used to a new normal, i am over 3 years out and am now just beginning to feel normal within myself, yet not a day goes by without me thinkin bout it....damn gotta go, class is starting.....
...tryn if pfm ever gave me the line your telling rseb to give her husband i would tell him to take a short walk off a long pier....
But you are not trying to R iwam, and RSEB is.
Tryn, you are right. None of the other stuff matters when I feel that she is attracted to me, not just comfortable with us. When I feel like I am just convenient, I fixate on how having sex with OM in the middle of the day was not a problem, that she made a point of telling me she had screaming orgasms. But with me she needs chemical help, and alcohol to remove inhibitions.
Last week no sex because she was not feeling aroused, end of the month on her shot. She got the shot Friday, when I tried to initiate Saturday she said wait until later in the month.
the infileity crap needs to be dealt with before you can deal with the marriage crap...
and all of it needs to be done with the help of good counselors....with them guiding both...
Suffice to say it would not go over well.
WYE.. too early for you.
I think repairing is being the kind of woman a man needs. RSEB’s H needs to be the kind of man she needs. He can only repair himself. He has been hurt with a violation of some others man inside his woman. Not a damn thing can turn back time. RSEB, Infidelity takes your manhood away. The only way he can get his manhood back is to be a man. Once the grief begins to end, we must dust ourselves off and be men again. Not little boys. I don’t think a WW treats his BH the same as a WH would need to treat his BW. Men need different love than a woman. Woman needs different love than a man. I see nothing wrong with in a loving but firm way to tell her H to be a man. (not like “that”, but the way I said) You cannot take back what you have done, but to be happy again, you must find a balance. He must love RSEB. He must forgive and do those things I mention to be a man. That is all those desirables I’ve posted many times. The reality is these are nothing more than a man did during his chasing and courting his W before M.
For you ladies... Do I know what I need from my woman?
I need a woman who will want to make love to me and makes the effort.
I need a woman who can enjoy my love of touch like God made me to need.
I need a woman who can nurture my children.
I need a woman who can build me up when things go wrong.
I need a woman who can tell me I smell good, I look good, I am strong like she likes it.
I need a woman who will work her fair share.
I need a woman who believes in God.
I need a woman who enjoys taking care of her own health.
I need a woman who will be truthful, honest and faithful to me.
I need a woman who is strong enough to tell me when I am wrong.
I need a forgiving woman because I am far from perfect and will make mistakes.
I need a woman who can laugh, have fun, play, and be happy.
I need a woman who is positive.
.... Just off the top of my head.
Those things I mentioned on Page 30 was things I came up by reading. Heck, I don’t need those but I need them because woman need them. I loved Nell post.. Her list is exactly what I need to be doing right now. Heck, a man doesn’t even know what it means to “control his emotions”. Lol.. His emotions are do you want to love me with touch? Give me 30 seconds… lol
And I am going to do those things Laura says too. When I am doing my thing, I am just going to stop, and ask my W how she is doing? Then just listen. I am going to pay attention a little more. I’m going to start helping her be more positive. All those items Laura said.
And WYE.. I’m gong to try and be proactive with recognizing those signals you woman like to give off… lol…
And.. I am going to keep moving toward being stong to get those things I need or my W won't get all great things I try hard to do for her. I am sure a woman in Indiana would love to have someone like me.. Fully trained!
Anyways.. peace out.
[This message edited by trynhard at 12:26 PM, February 27th (Monday)]
But then, I struggled mightily with the concepts of forgiveness and acceptance until I read Janis Springs' "How Can I Forgive You" book and accepted my acceptance. I did have a conversation with Mr. STBXNell about my view that "I accept what you have done; it's now part of my past and I'm not going to keep trying to force you to make amends." What he took from that is anyone's guess.
ETA: Flipping bad memory. I came in specifically to tell 0115 that I am so happy about her news! Thank you for sharing!!!
[This message edited by ImNellNow at 12:43 PM, February 27th (Monday)]
as for RSEB... Are you happy? Is your H treating you like he needs to be treating you?
I know that Mr. STBXNell did not make amends. I know that I have not forgiven him. I know that I have accepted what he did, and I no longer hold any sort of grudge toward him.
I believe that what he wanted, really, was to be "off the hook" for his A, and my acceptance gave him that and that was enough for him. (This is a huge assumption on my part, obviously... I'm just going by what he has done and said in general since I had the acceptance talk with him.)
I believe that my "acceptance" is probably the same as someone else's "forgiveness." Semantics. It's past, it's done, it doesn't hurt me any longer... I've grieved over it and I remember it and I continue to learn from it but it no longer hurts me. ETA: And I no longer hurt him with it.
I don't know if Mr. STBXNell loves me, or ever loved me. No idea. His words and his actions don't match. I refuse to believe that I am at fault for his unlove (if he doesn't love me) because I didn't hand him my forgiveness upon demand. I'm not cheap like that.
[This message edited by ImNellNow at 12:53 PM, February 27th (Monday)]