Sam gently here but you had time for the AP. You don't have your priorities straight obviously.
Chico- I'm not tired of apologizing. I just don't want to feel like a tape recorder. I am sincerely sorry and I do tell my BW that.
K- I have never asked if something I'm doing isn't helping. I will bring this up though.
Rachele- I don't expect my BW to get past the affair. She's more at a point that she's stuck in a rut and can't get out of it. I would love to help her out of it and continue the healing but can't.
Cinnamon- I use the word try because I haven't succeeded. I keep trying and when trying is accepted it turns into doing.
Heart- I'm speaking about today. I'm always doing work stuff and hardly at home to help. This is something my BW and I recognize. I'm trying to switch positions at work in order to make more time.
I think the short answer to your question is to display your remorse by your actions rather than your words.
I know we are all different and what "works" for one may not work for another. But, certainly in my situation, I want to SEE that my husband is deeply remorseful rather than hearing "I'm sorry" The words are so easy to say, but putting those words into action is a lot more difficult and IMO shows the true level of his commitment to us. (Also, "blanket apologies" do nothing for me....he can say "I'm sorry" a million times a day... means zero. IMO an apology should be specific and should include a commitment to not do the same thing again eg. "I am sorry I did (insert specific thing) to you, I can see it was wrong of me and very hurtful to you and I will ensure that I never do that again.)
Speaking from my experience, one of the biggest causes of conflict between my fWH and me has been that he is extremely good at doing all the easy stuff (saying "I'm sorry", giving me hugs, feeding the dogs etc etc) but then overlooks the tough stuff. And I think this is where the "doing more" comes in... the "more" a BS is looking for is generally the tough stuff.
The tough stuff I think many BS's would like to see their WSs doing:
*Being proactive about R and recovery - e.g. suggesting books for us to read, showing me SI posts he has seen that apply to our situation, inviting me to listen to an infidelity-related podcast he has downloaded
*admitting something he has noticed he is doing wrong, before I call him on it.
*Inviting me away on a "retreat weekend" for us to go and work on our R (even just an afternoon if a weekend is impossible.. heck even just a coffee date!)
*Coming to me and asking me how my healing is going
* asking me to point out anything I think he could be doing to help in my healing
*coming to me and telling me some detail about the A he has remembered that I haven't thought to ask about.
*Writing me a heartfelt, detailed letter of apology (SOOO much better than a "blanket apology")
*Posting questions on SI and humbly acknowledging the replies, and accepting the 2x4s
*Saying words to me something along the lines of "I was SUCH an idiot to do this to you, I don't deserve you in my life. I had something of such value and I risked it all for nothing"
*Digging DEEPLY into his "Whys" not just scratching the surface and being happy with that. <= This is HUGE! My fWH is quite happy that he has worked out his "Whys" - he says he was selfish and enjoyed the ego stroke. That is SO not deep enough IMHO!!
* helping me re-build my self-esteem by telling me when he thinks I have done something well (be it a meal I have cooked, a new hair-style... whatever)
* saying SERIOUSLY that he "gets it" that he gets the magnitude of the hurt he inflicted on me, that he gets how life-changing and devastating this is for me.
*showing me he still finds me attractive by (tastefully!) flirting with me - winking at me in public, squeezing my hand under the table in a restaurant...that sort of thing ... not groping kinda stuff that takes me straight back to trigger-central...
*telling me that he will always be there for me, that he will stick with me through my healing, as long as it takes and then showing that he is genuinely willing to do this by not getting impatient with my lack of "progress"!
.... Sam IMHO it's all about being vulnerable, being brave enough to dig deeply into your "whys", being strong enough to admit how weak you are, being willing to do that for your BS, being willing to shelve the arrogance, the denial, the defensiveness and genuinely DEEPLY show your remorse, your sincere love, your gratitude for the chance to R...
And when your BS says she can't do it, she can't get through it.... if she is still there, with you, then IMO deep inside there is a part of her that still has hope...
[This message edited by ItsaClimb at 9:12 AM, July 8th (Monday)]
The words are so easy to say, but putting those words into action is a lot more difficult and IMO shows the true level of his commitment to us.
Good post, Itsa. Your bullet list is a good one.
Actions truly do speak louder than words. One thing that does feel good is when I know I'm actively "doing" - versus just "saying". The difference is profound for me and my BS. She appreciates every single action I undertake for myself, her, or us...small or large.
When I was in my A, it was amazing just how little action I put into my marriage, and how easy the empty words came. Add to that the fact many of the words I directed toward my BS were meant to undermine her and our marriage (thus in my mind justifying my affair) it really was a double whammy she received from me. And all the more amazing she has chosen a path toward reconciliation...a path toward a stronger and more meaningful us.
That gift I've received comes with responsibilities, and a big part of that is making sure I'm a WS of action, and not just words. I know I won't do that perfectly, but I am asking for her help, my IC's help, and the help of you fine folks here.
It does feel good to be pointing my energy, besides that which I need to point inward toward myself, toward the woman and family I love. Feels really, really good.
Her "self esteem" is hers, her healing is hers. What if she did leave? What if she drops your ass? Are you going to continue to be the sorry cheater you have been or are you going to try and improve yourself? That was the decision I faced as well, I believed my BS would leave and I decided regardless I didn't want to be that guy anymore. I knew I was a POS, but wanted to change that. If I spent the past year only looking at my BS's pain we wouldn't be together. Go back to the questions BC was asking and put more thought into them then "I guess".
Only way you truly help your BS is by changing you.
This bullet list is very good. At this moment my wife is not inclined to do these...still has the expectation that I will come to her with my needs.
This is why I spend most of my time now in the General secition and not in the Reconciliation section.
Was sad about that at first..but now it feels right.
This was a good thread for me to read...nice to look inside the WS section...to get some understanding that some WS really are getting this. Early on I encouraged my wife to join and post....have not made that request in months. I realize she will do what she can and I want her to do what she does honestly from this point forward.
So here I am...finding inner strength that at first I didnt know I was missing...then didint know I had.
God be with us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 11:15 AM, July 8th (Monday)]
I focus on my BW because that's who I broke
I think two of the key things that i realized were;
1) I was broken before I broke my BW, so fixing what was broken inside of me was/is very important so I am safe in the future, and
2) Not only did I betray and lie to my BW, but the first person I betrayed was myself. If I was true to myself, honest with myself, I would never have been able to allow myself to cheat.
That is where getting to the bottom of the issues is important.
Your only that powerful if she decides to let you be that powerful.
I find what caused my BW to say what she said and try and learn from it
Not your wife's job to spark your learning. One of the biggest downfalls I have seen and learned the hard way as well as a WS is we can't be Pavlov's dog, we can't sit there and wait for our BS to say "you hurt me this way" or "I am furious you did XYZ" and then act. We have to dig and go to our BS and share what we find as we dig.
Ok, try this. TakeBS out of the equation. Just focus on you, and how your actions hurt you. What part of you felt that an A was the right choice? For example, if you felt the need for validation, what made you feel you needed
to find it outside of yourself. Why couldn't you find it within yourself?
Journal as many of your own thoughts and feelings as you can. its a helpful tool to use on your own and to bring to IC. Its a process, and its not going to happen all at once. But if you consistently do the work, you will get results. Just keep asking questions, and keep your mind open.