"Knowing is half the battle"
Expecting progress not perfection
My wife never did enter that real, deep, I will do anything for you phase. As I read in the Wayward forum it appears some WS never do have that "My God, what have I done?! I am so sorry...please forgive me...I will do anything." phase. So try not to gel that up in your mind as a pre-requist to true healthy R. If it happens...great! If it doesnt...it wont become another thing to process.
I am glad you both read the 5 love languages book...it is a must read.
Love can and should be unconditional. Trust is earned. Maybe your husband is confusing the two?
You earn trust by passing tests. My boss trusts me more today then he did 7 years ago...and I have additional duties to prove this increased trust. This trust increased because I passed tests....I completed projects as planned, I handled conflicts in an efficient manner, etc. What I have in my career that I didnt have in my marriage pre-A was a partner (my boss) who was radically honest with me. When I was given a task most of the expectations were lined out well. If they were unclear I asked for clarity and recieved it. When I messed up my boss would let me know in a constructive way..allowing me to modify my actions and ultimately succeed. In my marriage both my wife and I would NOT express expectations fully and would not "complain" when each others actions did not fit in with what we desired....eliminating any chance we had to modify our behavior to achieve our jointly agreed to goals.
We both thought this is what love was....to not complain about small stuff. Now I see that complaining in a healthy, non judgemental, non critical, non sarcastic way is actually the BETTER (and maybe the only way) to move to healthy intimacy and deep trust of each other.
Trying to implement this now. It feels wierd because we did the other way for so long...but does feel better.
It does appear that if you "complain" early on with regards to "discomfort" it is far less likely that that complaint will take the form of a Love Buster such as harsh judgement or angry outburst...because the destructive emotion of resentment is not allowed to build up and pressure you to "act out" rather then to communicate.
This is where our WS need to focus...earning our trust back....this is where their heavy lifting differs from BS.
BS have heavy lifting to do ourselves with what we were doing pre-A that was hurting our marriage. In my case I was not aware of the damage I was doing until we entered counseling. Now that I am aware of it I can go about changing it....but at the end of the day my wife knows I did not intentionally ignore these hurts...she may have doubted my ability to change these things about me...but I never really broke her trust in me. Know what I mean?
Conversly, she actively choose to have an A...and she knew that it was dishonest and hidden. The choice to have an A totally gutted my trust of her. Went from 100% tust to 0% in less then 1 hour....then the lies afterwards during TT kept it at 0% and added to the list of future "tests" that she will have to take to earn my trust back.
So this is where, in my mind, the tests lie...not in love but in trust. And trust leads to open and honest communication...which leads to true intimacy.
Hope this helps.
God be with you.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 7:58 AM, July 19th (Friday)]
It took me a VERY long time to realize that his stopping had nothing to do with me at all. It had to do with the fact that I was asking a man who'd never done these things for me before (ok, maybe he gave me flowers 3 times in our 9 year marriage) to suddenly change into a man who would give those things to me a couple times a month. He's not a romantic person, that's not the guy I married, but that's the guy I was asking him to turn into during R.
I realized that I had to change my expectations. It wasn't fair of me to expect him to change the basics of who he is, he's not romantic and that's not really something that I could teach him. Sure I can tell him to send some flowers, write a note, call and leave a romantic voicemail, but if I wasn't there coaching him, he would have no idea what to do next, when to do it, at what intervals, etc.
He does do those things more often now than he did pre-DDay though. I used to leave him notes on the mirror all the time and never get one in return, now he will give me a note on the mirror once every other month or so, so he is better and does think of it sometimes. I have had to accept that even though he knows my love language, it's just not a language that he will ever be fluent in. He can speak broken sentences of it sometimes, but that's as good as it will get.
I know he still loves me, and I have accepted that not giving me a note or sending me flowers does not mean he loves me less, it means he's still the guy that I married way back when, and that's ok.
I'm so sorry you are struggling Weeping!
[This message edited by Spideysense at 8:48 AM, July 19th (Friday)]
My wife and I are learning to speak each others love languages. Before my wifes A we spoke in love languages...but used the language that we knew best, which is NOT the language the other understood or appreciated...at least not at the emotional level ones own love language speaks to within them.
By that I mean my wife appreciated me bringing her flowers (gifts) and my regular compliments (words of affirmation) and knew that those were borne out of love...but her love languages are quality time and physical touch. So I was missing daily opportunities to depost love units in her account set up for me.
I would encourage us all that, just because we are not immediately good at speaking a new love language to the other it does NOT mean it won't improve and actually get to the level that overflows your Love Bank...it absolutely can. Just like learning English...we did not do it well at first...but through training and a desire to learn we improved...and continue to do so. Each time we do it successfully we are more confident and more encouraged to do it in the future.
God be with us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:48 AM, July 19th (Friday)]
I know that does not fit your situation exactly, but I think it's close enough to consider.
BTW, I am not taking his side. I am saying this for your benefit in the hopes you don't set yourself up for a bad day.
I hope everything works out. Keep in mind that often we men fail in these areas. I know you have been doing work to let him know your needs, so hopefully he starts to get it.
Trust, like a reputation, is slow to gain and quick to loose...this is where TT'ing is so damaging. Early on I, like other BS's, WANTED to believe my wife...the trust level was 100% before the A....it dropped sharply after DD but the high level it was pre-A afforded some cushion to remain...that cushion dissappeared upon months of TT'ing. It might of headed there anyway, but TT'ing guaranteed it would empty.
The intentionality of the TT'ing is what slows my trusting of her. I kinda get that her A started unintentionally...so if the betrayal had stopped their the path to trusting would have been easier.
Where am I at today? Hard to put a percentage on that...so I will say I am at about 10%..plus or minus 5%.
As a person who is familiar with statistics...this is a wide margin of error...indicating the original 10% is shaky at best.
But this is my best answer.
With continued healing it will go up. Dont know what the final level will be...but I know what I have with my wife is worth taking the risk that it will keep improving as we continue to heal....heal from both the A and from our pre-A issues that damaged our intimacy.
Hope that helps. As person who works with statistics and manages projects I realize it is not the confident answer you or I really WANT....but it is the truth...which is what we both desire I believe.
Some key actions that help me...full transparency,her initiating conversations that pertain to her growth and her thoughts, answering my questions in a non-defensive way, patience from her as I trigger (which is much less now!), and her sharing her daily schedule with me without me asking.
May I ask the same questions of you?
[This message edited by blakesteele at 11:12 AM, July 19th (Friday)]
We're going to the MC this Friday, so I may bring it up then.
Yeah, it is a little bit like working with a child, but in my WH's case, that is kind of where he was emotionally at the beginning. He needed some guidance.
Last night he made himself a sign to post as a reminder in his home office to do something special and out of the ordinary every day to show me and our daughters how much he loves us. Maybe something like that would be helpful for your WH. Make himself a sign - such and such is WB's love language. Have you done something kind for her today?
Reconciliation is tough, and obviously there are some people who just do not have the constitution to do what it takes. Is it any wonder that the same person who was selfish enough to have an A is also too self centered to do what it takes to R?
[This message edited by Later at 1:59 PM, July 23rd (Tuesday)]
We all become very sensitive to anything that seems out of line with normalcy and even go through flashbacks when anything occurs to remind us of the events leading up to that trauma.
Has your husband been trying to live a transparent life since your D-day?
Does he understand and support your need for assurance that he is remaining faithful? I believe those are two very necessary components to recovery of the marital relationship.
I can attest that four months is very new to the whole experience of learning to heal.
Give yourself some time.
It takes years to restore the sense of security that is normal for a faithful marriage.
It really depends on how much betrayal there's been, how repentant the wayward spouse is, and how willing the betrayed is to let down their guard (takes a LONG time).
With work you can eventually work past your need to have him prove his love for you but if that is what you need right now, tell him. He can't read your mind.
Hope the meeting went well.