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User Topic: What can I do to help her heal once R is off the table
badchoice
♂ Member
Member # 35566
Default  Posted: 1:34 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

There is no R in the future. Only D. My problem is that I don't know what to do, if anything, that will help my BS heal.

This is what I am doing; 50/50 with kids, we agreed to not file for d until BS has a job and insurance, so I am supporting the family, I am being respectful to her boundaries, we are mostly staying NC expect kids and finances, IC (both of us) I am sure there are other things, just can't think of them.

My problem is as I heal myself, I feel like BS needs my help to heal. Maybe I am projecting? As I write this, I feel like this is my problem not hers. Is that the case? Is my guilt keeping me stuck in feeling like I can actually help her? Guilt, me thinking that I can control this still?

I am working on rebuilding her trust in me so we can co parent our kids. Is that all I really can do?


Me: fWH/BH 46

Separated transitioning to D


Posts: 730 | Registered: May 2012 | From: L.A.
tired girl
♀ Member
Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 1:39 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The best thing you can do is respect what she asks of you and offer no more. Do not second guess what she might need, that is where you get yourself in trouble. You don't know what she needs more than she does.

It sounds like you are doing exactly what she needs. Keep up the good work.


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 5064 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
badchoice
♂ Member
Member # 35566
Default  Posted: 1:44 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yeah. I do get in trouble when I try to "help". I think my guilt takes over and I try to make her feel better, or make myself feel better.

The communication is an issue. She triggers, calls me about it, and I just freeze up because I don't know where the boundary is anymore. It's gets really hazy. Then I will say or do something the next day that I think will help, and she gets upset.

I know we are less than a year out from the last of the TT, and our one year anti-versary was yesterday, so lately it's been hard for her.


Me: fWH/BH 46

Separated transitioning to D


Posts: 730 | Registered: May 2012 | From: L.A.
gonnabe2016
♀ Member
Member # 34823
Default  Posted: 1:49 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Why does she call you when she triggers? Is she still looking for information from you about the past? Or are these calls *angry* calls? Or are they *I'm hurting* calls?


"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." - Sir Walter Scott

In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.


Posts: 8075 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Midwest
badchoice
♂ Member
Member # 35566
Default  Posted: 1:57 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

A few reasons.
A)
She doesn't believe she has the whole story, she still thinks I slept with my first AP. plus she asked for some details that are from 6-14 years ago and I just can't remember them.

For example, on Saturday she asked again when AP #1 reached out after the A was over. I have narrowed it down to 6 -7 years ago via email, but without any hard evidence, it's just my estimate based on my memory of what else was going on. She then told me that I don't care because it is not something that is important to me, but it is important to her, so it's another example of me not caring.

B)
It used to be that she was angry, but the last few have been that she was hurting.

ETA, when she calls and says stuff like its important to her, and not to me it kills me. I keep thinking if I can just give her the right answers or the ones she will finally believe that we could somehow move into the R column. Again, she has not said that, and she has said over and over that there will never be R, but I always think that if I could just say the right thing, things would change.

[This message edited by badchoice at 2:00 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)]


Me: fWH/BH 46

Separated transitioning to D


Posts: 730 | Registered: May 2012 | From: L.A.
tired girl
♀ Member
Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 3:06 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Have you discussed this with your IC? Have you and your IC discussed there being boundaries around these calls?


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 5064 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
WishingForLethe
♀ Member
Member # 34805
Default  Posted: 3:12 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

We are also starting the D process. The boundary issue is so tricky, i fully understand what you mean.

I would caution you not to confuse the "need to help her heal" with the "need to remain close in any possible way." For instance, my BH and I have been closer and more emotionally intimate in the past year than at almost any point in our marriage. We have been turning to each other with every thought, insecurity and feeling which passes through our heads (at least I have). This is very hard to turn off now that he has decided to D. As BAD as going over A details feels, at least we are emotionally close to the BS during the process. However (as I am trying to tell myself) part of the D process is putting distance between yourself and the BS.

I think it would be very tempting to keep working on the "healing" in any way possible- especially if there were a chance of R.

i would say be there if they reach out, but don't push yourself into her emotional life even if it is "for her own good."


Don't look at how far you have to go, but how far you have come

Posts: 350 | Registered: Feb 2012
badchoice
♂ Member
Member # 35566
Default  Posted: 3:13 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

TG,

I have in the past, but it is on my list for IC today.

BS and I have also discussed boundaries about this in the past too. On Saturdays call, BS asked if we could talk about it before starting, and I said yes. I was just not expecting it to be on the subject of AP contact from years ago.

During the conversations I just freeze up, not knowing what to say, it reminds me of after Dday when I was still lying, trying to lie my way out of it. Afraid to say the wrong thing. I don't know what to do. She gets emotional, I get emotional, and then she says something that upsets me and then I get cold and distant.


Me: fWH/BH 46

Separated transitioning to D


Posts: 730 | Registered: May 2012 | From: L.A.
badchoice
♂ Member
Member # 35566
Default  Posted: 3:18 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wishing,

I get what you are saying. I have been working hard at NC, but sent her a text yesterday that crossed the line.

The last month has really been a step towards detaching. But then a wave a guilt comes in after a day of feeling ok, because something triggers me.

[This message edited by badchoice at 3:19 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)]


Me: fWH/BH 46

Separated transitioning to D


Posts: 730 | Registered: May 2012 | From: L.A.
tired girl
♀ Member
Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 3:18 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

What if she emails you these questions instead?


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 5064 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
badchoice
♂ Member
Member # 35566
Default  Posted: 3:37 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think I know the two questions she has, she doesn't like the answers I have given her.

She has asked when AP #1 saw me, after NC and got my email address, and when AP #1 sent me an email that began our EA. I can only give her what I think the year was, but BS is not convinced that I am right or being honest.

I don't blame her for feeling that way. I lied for so long, to everyone, about everything. I have lied so much that I am not even sure if I have the time frame right. My BSs memory is different than mine, she remembers everything. I have blocked out so much, mostly rugsweeping in the past.

My IC says that when I don't have a strong emotional touch point with an event, it is much easier to forget. I was in such an emotionless shell for many years, I barely remember anything.


Me: fWH/BH 46

Separated transitioning to D


Posts: 730 | Registered: May 2012 | From: L.A.
tired girl
♀ Member
Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 3:40 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Does she understand this or has she spoken with your IC about this problem with your remembering?


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 5064 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
badchoice
♂ Member
Member # 35566
Default  Posted: 3:44 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

She has not spoken to m y IC. I have discussed this with her.

She just doesn't believe me. I understand that. I was an emotionless robot after Dday last year. I lied to her face as she crumbled. Then once I started to get in touch with my emotions it was all about me, and my sadness over what I was losing, she looks at what I did in the past, and even though she sees some progress from me, she still sees that person from a year ago.


Me: fWH/BH 46

Separated transitioning to D


Posts: 730 | Registered: May 2012 | From: L.A.
tired girl
♀ Member
Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 4:50 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Then you have gone as far as you can with this. At this point it becomes about her healing and what she chooses to do about her own. You can't do anything about it.

I see setting up some boundaries in this area as a good thing for you and her. I am curious as to what your IC is going to recommend. I don't think you stop answering questions, however email maybe a good format at this point for the two of you.


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 5064 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
badchoice
♂ Member
Member # 35566
Default  Posted: 6:50 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

TG,

My IC said to look at my boundaries, and decide how productive these conversations are.

Productive for BW if she just needs to vent about some triggers, or productive for me if I feel like I can contain my emotions while the conversation is happening.

The thing she asked me to understand is that no matter what I say or do, I will not change BW's perspective of who I am. It is not something I can fix or control, that is my challenge in this.


Me: fWH/BH 46

Separated transitioning to D


Posts: 730 | Registered: May 2012 | From: L.A.
tired girl
♀ Member
Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 6:59 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The thing she asked me to
understand is that no matter what I say or do, I will not change BW's perspective of who I am. It is not something I can fix or control, that is my challenge in this.

Exactly, which is why I said I think at this point it is really her healing that is needs to happen, and I don't know that you can help with that. You may need to let go of the outcome with this.


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 5064 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
heartbroken0903
♀ Member
Member # 27879
Default  Posted: 9:22 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Badchoice,

For me, when R was off the table, I made a promise---to my XH and to myself---that I would do whatever my XH needed to help him heal. Whatever it took. If he had needed to ask me questions about the A, even after we had divorced, I would have answered them. I felt like I owed him anything.

It turned out that what he needed was simply to be away from me. He and I were cordial when we saw each other at work; there was no animosity in our interaction. He just, basically, needed me to leave him alone. And I kind of needed that too, for my own sanity.

I admire your willingness to be there for your BW, to take care of your family the way you are despite the eventual divorce filing, and to be asking the question of how to help her.

It may be that your BW keeps reaching out WRT the A talk because she too might think that if only you say the "right" things, it can help her heal. She might also be looking for that lightbulb moment where it will suddenly all make sense to her and she can start to move on & heal (in whichever direction that takes the marriage).

Trouble is, I don't know if that's possible.


Me: XWS, 30s, 5-month EA/PA in '09-'10
Husband: XBS, 40s
No kids

Married 2.5 years
D-day 3/6/10
Divorced 5/14/10

Remarried.


Posts: 2227 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: the cat's meow
gonnabe2016
♀ Member
Member # 34823
Default  Posted: 3:37 AM, April 3rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Oh, BC. You know that I have extremely fond feelings for BB and so it is really hard for me to put this out there....but YOU have to keep your conversations to kids/finances. If she says that she wants to talk, ask her to send her thoughts to you in an email.

The response that you mentioned....

During the conversations I just freeze up, not knowing what to say, it reminds me of after Dday when I was still lying, trying to lie my way out of it. Afraid to say the wrong thing. I don't know what to do. She gets emotional, I get emotional, and then she says something that upsets me and then I get cold and distant

.....is doing more harm to her than good.

If BB has a question or would like clarification for something that you have done, then yes.....as TG said. Email. Email gives you a bit of *distance* and doesn't subject BB to the freeze, cold, distant, *I'm gonna lie* response that has become the pattern. And the questions should be geared towards figuring out what her *real* life was.....

IMO, she shouldn't be talking to you about her triggers. Clarification questions, yes. Triggers, no.

Actually, your IC is kinda wrong. Changing BB's perspective of you will take time and work, but it is possible. BB doesn't have to see you as a liar forever. Consistent actions over a long period of time are key. I think that the important thing to focus on right now is to *say what you mean, and mean what you say* and keep whatever agreements are made between the two of you, come hell or high water.


"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." - Sir Walter Scott

In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.


Posts: 8075 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Midwest
disgracetoh.race
♂ Member
Member # 33491
Default  Posted: 4:03 AM, April 3rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi Badchoice,
I have been following your story for a while and Iím more-less in the same boat, with longer history, but, somehow, still in the house with my family.
Iíve got no advice, because, I donít think there can be an advice in a situation like this.
I just want to wish you all the luck in the world.


WH 50 years
BS 48 years
Married 24 years
Son 16 years
DD 1 - 15.11.10
DD2 - 18.2.11
DD3 - 25.4.11
Desperately trying to hang in tiny space left for me. Sober since DD1, no relapses, not even close.

Posts: 100 | Registered: Sep 2011
badchoice
♂ Member
Member # 35566
Default  Posted: 10:46 AM, April 3rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for all of the feedback. It is great to have a place to really express what is going on and get such great support.

TG, letting go of the outcome. yes, I think 2 weeks ago i finally (85%) let go, but with the dday anniversary this week, all of these feelings have come up (for both of us). My IC reminded me that I spend a lot of time reacting to BWs feelings, but foget to process my own. She reminded me to work on my feelings more.

heartbroken, that is where I want to be, answer any questions she may have, but she is still in the no trust, doesn't believe me. That is where I think the disconnect is.

gonna, bb has fond feelings for you as well.

Actually, your IC is kinda wrong.

she actually said it more like you said it. If her feelings about me are going to change, it will take time, and she will have to change them. It isn't something I can control. That is most likely a more accurate way of saying it.

doesn't subject BB to the freeze, cold, distant, *I'm gonna lie* response that has become the pattern. And the questions should be geared towards figuring out what her *real* life was.....

That makes so much sense. I really connect the freezing/cold look that I still get sometimes when I start to panic because I don't know what to say - to the right after Dday feelings until yesterday or the day before. I can really get how seeing me react like that can be a huge trigger for bb and bring her right back to dday. I will work on this.

disgrace, thank you.


Me: fWH/BH 46

Separated transitioning to D


Posts: 730 | Registered: May 2012 | From: L.A.
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