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Reconciliation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Normalcy, and Punishment
DWBH
♂ Member
Member # 35512
Question  Posted: 10:23 AM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The last few weeks have been going well for us, overall. After a failed attempt to wean off of my AD a month ago, which really sent me into a tailspin, I realized itís either just too soon to go off of it, or this is just something I need to avoid depression. Since resuming the AD, weíve really been good.

Anyway, yesterday I got pretty low again. It started with suspicion about a charge on an old credit card, which turned out to be nothing, and then I triggered from seeing OM at work, after he was gone for a few days. Just normal occurrences really, but by last night, I was very depressed and low. Thoughts of dealbreaker, regrets over decisions and actions of mine from last year, and of course the mind movies.

This morning, two things I journaled about: Normalcy, and Punishment. Not related, but definitely something I continue to struggle with.

Normalcy: It seems there is a definite pattern where we have weeks of ďgoodĒ like I describe above, and then suddenly things go south for no real reason. After analyzing my thoughts and emotions from yesterday, I think itís just paranoia... waiting for the shoe to drop. Dropping the defenses, enjoying life, enjoying our marriage... and pow... the slightest little thing can grease the ramp and send me spiraling.

Is this just a time thing? I believe this pattern is trending so it happens less frequently, but thatís just my gut feel. For those that can relate to this, any methods youíve put in place to help out with this?

Punishment: I still have not let go of my desire to see my W punished. For her to experience negative consequences for her A. This isnít something I am always aware of, and at times, I really think Iíve gotten over this. But when Iím low... I realize that I definitely have not. My thoughts at these low times? That Iím rewarding her actions by staying in the M. Even though, that is what I want, what she wants, and obviously what is best for our daughters.

I know this is destructive thinking, and has to do with the balance of power and control. Something weíve both had issues with our entire M.

Again... time? Methods to let this go?


Me: BH, 43
Her: FWW, 41 (ThornyRose)
M: 16 years, together 19
2 Daughters: 14 and 12
D Day: 9/25/2011; Lies & TT to 5/4/2012
~Double betrayal; caught them in the act~

Posts: 729 | Registered: May 2012 | From: WI
rachelc
♀ Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 10:31 AM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Punishment: I still have not let go of my desire to see my W punished. For her to experience negative consequences for her A. This isnít something I am always aware of, and at times, I really think Iíve gotten over this. But when Iím low... I realize that I definitely have not. My thoughts at these low times? That Iím rewarding her actions by staying in the M. Even though, that is what I want, what she wants, and obviously what is best for our daughters.

I know this is destructive thinking, and has to do with the balance of power and control. Something weíve both had issues with our entire M.

Again... time? Methods to let this go?

I could have written this. I'm struggling with this as well. I had an affair, and I got smacked upside the head with consequences. Where's my husband's for his affairs?


his Dday: 2/10
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4950 | Registered: Dec 2010
sisoon
♂ Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 2:54 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I deal with this basically in 2 ways.

First, I actively take responsibility for my choice - I could have chosen D, but I chose R, because that's what I wanted. No one made me do that. (Of course, it's easier to make an autonomous choice when there are no kids around, but even if kids are part of the equation, a BS in R chose R.)

Second, I played out all my punishment fantasies. In every scenario, if my W got hurt, so did I. Not wanting any more punishment, and not being able to figure out how to punish my W without hurting myself, I gradually gave up the revenge/punishment fantasies.

IMO offering R is of course a great gift, but it's not really a reward. JMO.


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10103 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
hurtininHouston
♂ Member
Member # 39250
Default  Posted: 3:12 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow, again as the above said I could have written this. My wife had an ea for 5 mos. I night spent with him. One night that I keep reliving over and over over and over. She says, oh it was uncomfortable, I felt dirty, I did not like it. Yea right! I want her to hurt, but I don't. I love her to death. I am trying R. It is what I chose, but I am still angry and keep thinking of them together. I am not perfect. I have not had an affair but did things that are hurtful in the past. I try to tell myself that I have hurt her and she has hurt me. Unfortunately I feel hers is way up there. Staying feels just like you said that I gave her a pass. However, I chose to stay. Catch 22! Damn. I guess that's it. Time. Hopefully. Mine is very remorseful. Hopefully yours is as well. It helps.

Posts: 60 | Registered: May 2013 | From: Houston
DWBH
♂ Member
Member # 35512
Default  Posted: 3:25 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Ah, Sisson, you are a wise man.

I'll be noodling these, as they resonate with me...


Me: BH, 43
Her: FWW, 41 (ThornyRose)
M: 16 years, together 19
2 Daughters: 14 and 12
D Day: 9/25/2011; Lies & TT to 5/4/2012
~Double betrayal; caught them in the act~

Posts: 729 | Registered: May 2012 | From: WI
TxsT
♀ Member
Member # 39996
Default  Posted: 3:28 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

DWBD

Shall we call ourselves twins??? Your post hit very close to what we have been going through for a while. I too am on AD Thank you for letting me understand the initials AD meant Anit-D's ( sometimes I feel like and idiot) We are now almost at 11 months and we have come through 2 months of exactly what you wrote about. We are however, getting to the other side of this.

This summer my H and I took a trip to England for a wedding. We decided earlier this year that to help speed up making new memories for our new and improved marriage, we would take a 5 day weekend each month through winter and just focus on us. this wedding was the finality of 6 months of new experiences and we made it into a 2 week trip. I was personally worried that we wouldn't be able to make it all the way through the trip without having what you called punishment. triggers, a small set back for me, etc.

Imagine my surprise when, during the only setback on the whole vacation, my husband took the reins of the bad experience (a trigger) and fix it for both of us!!!! Keep opening up and honestly telling your H your feelings when these things happen. You are both in a NEW MARRIAGE and still learning the new normal. The more you can share together, bad or good, the more you will grow comfortable.

I still spiral but their frequency and their strength and length of falling has lessoned in frequency and intensity. I read a post from an older member in their 3rd year after R. They said that, once you can go 2 to 3 months without a trigger you have successfully come out the other side. I am more like 3 to 4 weeks now but I have gained enough strength that last night I extended my hand across the table to my husband and offered that we stop focusing on my pain and start to help him heal. You should have seen the look on his face.

Don't worry, the pendulum slows down. Start looking for the brighter things and you'll stop worrying.

T

[This message edited by TxsT at 3:31 PM, August 1st (Thursday)]


Me: BS 50
Hubby: WH 53
Together: 32 years
Married: 25 years 09/10/2013
2 boys: 23&21
Dday: 09/11/2012
A length: 4+ years (yes years)
status: Ongoing Reconciliation :o)

Through thick and thin we will survive but he gets only one shot at it!


Posts: 605 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: CDN
numb&dumb
♂ Member
Member # 28542
Default  Posted: 3:33 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yeah I get the punishment thing too.

I had to realize that my W has paid dearly for her choices. I actually had her write them down for me.

It took awhile for me to see them, but it was hard denying that they weren't there.

As BS we choose R, we choose to stay, but staying does not make it go away. R is a gift and needs to be given in the spirit of such. (i.e.-nothing in return).


Me-35 her-35

DS 1, DD 6
Dday 8/31/11. ONS that occurred 3 years earlier. Lied to for 3 years.

Every truth comes to light in a long enough timeline.


Posts: 2554 | Registered: May 2010
crazyblindsided
♀ Member
Member # 35215
Default  Posted: 3:36 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm stuck in this cycle too!

Also I relate to this:

I had an affair, and I got smacked upside the head with consequences. Where's my husband's for his affairs?

My WH left me for a week and constantly threw in my face the following "You slept with someone else and I never have." Ok my WH said this before I discovered his EA was an actual PA with MOW and yet he was using my RA as leverage in his own private deception.

I struggle mostly, and WS does too, with still feeling the need to punish him.

I know that normalcy comes and goes now and I'm finally okay with it, but the feelings of having to punish WH because I am in so much pain, ugh it's so hard.


BS/FWS (me):40 Madhatter
WS/BS:42 Serial Cheater
Together 18 years, Married 13
DD(10) DS(7)
DDay(s) 5/08, 5/09, 3/30/12
Final Dday 7/11/14 Affair never ended

Posts: 2266 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: California
TxsT
♀ Member
Member # 39996
Default  Posted: 3:46 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thankfully I have never felt like I need to punish because I see him punishing himself every day. I see it in his eyes, I can feel it when I see him staring off into the distance. He has spoken of how he wished we could just go back but we both know going back would never be the answer. What was back there was broken, and even though our new normal still doesn't feel normal at all, we have both said it is better then the old.

T

[This message edited by TxsT at 3:47 PM, August 1st (Thursday)]


Me: BS 50
Hubby: WH 53
Together: 32 years
Married: 25 years 09/10/2013
2 boys: 23&21
Dday: 09/11/2012
A length: 4+ years (yes years)
status: Ongoing Reconciliation :o)

Through thick and thin we will survive but he gets only one shot at it!


Posts: 605 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: CDN
rachelc
♀ Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 3:54 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm actually grateful to hear others feel the same way. And grateful for Sisoon's reply which I take as: if you're going to stay and choose R, you have to be active in it. Currently, I'm staying, working on myself and waiting for him to fuck up again. I guess that's not really recovery.

And DWBH, your comment on power and control, this has been an issue in our marriage as well, and I posted in the I Can Relate MH thread wondering if my husband had his affairs to equalize the "badness" in the relationship.

Sometimes (most times?) this shit is beyond me.


his Dday: 2/10
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4950 | Registered: Dec 2010
crazyblindsided
♀ Member
Member # 35215
Default  Posted: 3:55 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thankfully I have never felt like I need to punish because I see him punishing himself every day. I see it in his eyes, I can feel it when I see him staring off into the distance. He has spoken of how he wished we could just go back

This is interesting^ I wonder if most BS's feel this way if their WS already seems to be punishing themselves.

I know it has taken my WH a long time to 'get it' and that also plays in to my need to feel like punishing. I am hoping it will start to fade because it is really starting to wear on me and him.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 3:55 PM, August 1st (Thursday)]


BS/FWS (me):40 Madhatter
WS/BS:42 Serial Cheater
Together 18 years, Married 13
DD(10) DS(7)
DDay(s) 5/08, 5/09, 3/30/12
Final Dday 7/11/14 Affair never ended

Posts: 2266 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: California
crazyblindsided
♀ Member
Member # 35215
Default  Posted: 4:02 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I posted in the I Can Relate MH thread wondering if my husband had his affairs to equalize the "badness" in the relationship.

^Wow I can relate to this. My RA felt very much like this to me. Thank god I view A's very differently now and have had the support and IC to deal with my own A. I have no desire even throughout the aftermath of my WH's last A, to have another A. It never crosses my mind and my boundaries are iron clad.

I believe my WH's A's were an ego boost and also to get back at me for being: Good, responsible, taking care of the whole family, paying all the bills, taking kids and raising them practically by myself, it goes on and on. My WH told me he felt like I didn't need him, MOW did so off he went like the wind.


BS/FWS (me):40 Madhatter
WS/BS:42 Serial Cheater
Together 18 years, Married 13
DD(10) DS(7)
DDay(s) 5/08, 5/09, 3/30/12
Final Dday 7/11/14 Affair never ended

Posts: 2266 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: California
1985
♂ Member
Member # 28171
Default  Posted: 5:41 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't know if this will help but here goes.
"Punishment" is a vague, amorphous, general term in many respects. So ask yourself "what would I want to do or see happen if my W could be punished"? What do
you come up with?
Children can be given time out, or spanked or grounded. At your job you can get demoted or a pay decrease. A criminal goes to jail. Punishment.
So what would you see as punishment for a wayward spouse? I am betting you can't come up with anything specific because what is appropriate?
I think what you really want is --- "justice"? A sense of "fairness" in the relationship?
And if you get this far, perhaps you can begin to understand that, as the saying goes, "life isn't always fair". It is a fact. I think when you can reach the point that you accept that life is not fair and that you have to just move ahead and accept that life will never be fair, you will get past the need to see punishment. Perhaps what you should hope, and strive, for instead of punishment is that your wayward spouse comes to understand the full depth, breadth and extent of the pain and devastation that the A has caused to you. That it never will fully leave you; that there will always be that dark place in you head where it resides; that the feelings of inadequacy, the mind movies, etc will never fully leave you alone. And that nevertheless you are still present -- out of love and faith in the future.
Perhaps a wayward spouse knowing and understanding all of that in fact is a form of punishment to them. I don't know. But I think that if you can get to that point of just accepting that fairness or justice is not available in thins world, you hopefully will then get past the point of thinking about some active form of punishment.


Me-BH 63
Her-fWW 63
DDay: June 1985. 5 years after A ended
DDay June, 1985
DDay June 1985
Still married - actually in love
2 grown kids; 4 grandkids

Posts: 591 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: Midwest - large city
Sal1995
♂ Member
Member # 39099
Default  Posted: 5:59 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

"Punishment" is a vague, amorphous, general term in many respects. So ask yourself "what would I want to do or see happen if my W could be punished"? What do you come up with?

Good point 1985. I had a recurring fantasy in the first couple of months. I find out about my wife's affair before she knows I know, then serve her with divorce papers while she's dining with the OM at their favorite restaurant. The revenge made sweeter by ruining their dining experience, I suppose.

The only problem is that I don't actually want to divorce her, even though she has done all she can do to earn one.

As Clint Eastwood's character said in Unforgiven, "deserves got nothin' to do with it."

"Punishment" in our case is limited to me being a pained and often difficult spouse. Letting her off the hook less than 6 months post D Day after she got to enjoy 10 months of hot illicit sex doesn't strike me as justice, especially since my sentence will be much, much longer. But I suspect hers will be as well. She's carrying an awful burden right now and has a lot of bad behavior to sort out. I see the shame daily. I'm trying not to be a source of hurt and punishment, and sometimes succeed. Lately I've been failing.

Maybe the real punishment is internal like you said.


Me (BS)-45, WW-42
DDay 2/17/13, 9-10 month PA/EA
Final NC late Feb. '13
M - 18 years, 4 children
Reconciling

Posts: 1389 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Texas
DWBH
♂ Member
Member # 35512
Default  Posted: 6:30 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks to all for the responses and feedback. Some good stuff here.


"Punishment" is a vague, amorphous, general term in many respects. So ask yourself "what would I want to do or see happen if my W could be punished"? What do you come up with?

External judgement, I guess. A friend or family member to lay into her, tell her how awful her actions were. Everyone is very accepting of the situation and her, of course because we're still together. Hell, if anything, I suspect most that know likely blame me for her A.

[This message edited by DWBH at 6:31 PM, August 1st (Thursday)]


Me: BH, 43
Her: FWW, 41 (ThornyRose)
M: 16 years, together 19
2 Daughters: 14 and 12
D Day: 9/25/2011; Lies & TT to 5/4/2012
~Double betrayal; caught them in the act~

Posts: 729 | Registered: May 2012 | From: WI
rachelc
♀ Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 6:35 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

what would I want to do or see happen if my W could be punished"

humility, for starters...


his Dday: 2/10
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4950 | Registered: Dec 2010
DWBH
♂ Member
Member # 35512
Default  Posted: 8:37 AM, August 2nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Just re-reading the responses here... I want to clarify, that "active punishment" is not indicative of my feelings. I've never considered an RA, or anything like that. I think consequences is more accurate... like I said, just external judgement from someone who knows. I can see how it's not logical or healthy for me to feel that it would help me heal. What occurs with her is not something I should be reliant on, to make myself feel better. To feel more sane, or to rationalize the pain I feel.

I get the sense many BS' struggle with this though, and I'm just disappointed in myself that I'm approaching the two year mark and still feel this at times.

It's hard for me to accept R as a gift, N&D... I've just never thought about it in those terms, so I will actively work on that. I don't know if TR can help with this, because part of me thinks she just expects it, or feels entitled.

This goes back to the power struggle... Rachel, I can totally relate to what you say about the why of the A... to equal the 'badness' in some way. For those 7+ months of TT, she told me repeatedly how she felt she was entitled to find happiness, due to our marriage, lack of communication, my depression, etc. While she has admitted the conditions of the marriage only set the stage, and her real reasons are all internal (her own)... the scars of those months of lies and BS run deep.

Another thought I had last night, was I think I'm projecting the pain I feel towards OM (my ex very close friend) onto my W, which isn't fair (but fuck, life ain't fair, right! ). I trigger from seeing him, and want justice served... and I can't/won't talk to him or acknowledge his existence, which is extremely frustrating... and that transfers to my W.

More unhealthy thinking, I know. I've chosen to stay at this job (looking hard though), so it's my choice to still be subjected to his presence. That is not on her. The faster I can get away from him, that daily trigger, the better off I'll be.

Anyway, thanks again for all your input.

[This message edited by DWBH at 8:38 AM, August 2nd (Friday)]


Me: BH, 43
Her: FWW, 41 (ThornyRose)
M: 16 years, together 19
2 Daughters: 14 and 12
D Day: 9/25/2011; Lies & TT to 5/4/2012
~Double betrayal; caught them in the act~

Posts: 729 | Registered: May 2012 | From: WI
rachelc
♀ Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 8:47 AM, August 2nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

DB -
I trigger from seeing him, and want justice served... and I can't/won't talk to him or acknowledge his existence, which is extremely frustrating... and that transfers to my W.

I do the exact same thing. When I see the OW, I want to rip HIS head off. If I'm all in in this recovery, i have got to change this. But, I don't know how....


his Dday: 2/10
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4950 | Registered: Dec 2010
Sal1995
♂ Member
Member # 39099
Default  Posted: 11:31 AM, August 2nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I can see how it's not logical or healthy for me to feel that it would help me heal.

I'm not so sure of that. The desire for justice is a normal human emotion. Assuming it doesn't lead to destructive or criminal behavior, it's not healthy or unhealthy to want those who have committed "crimes" (marital in this case) to experience the consequences of their behavior. It just is what it is.

[This message edited by Sal1995 at 11:31 AM, August 2nd (Friday)]


Me (BS)-45, WW-42
DDay 2/17/13, 9-10 month PA/EA
Final NC late Feb. '13
M - 18 years, 4 children
Reconciling

Posts: 1389 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Texas
TxsT
♀ Member
Member # 39996
Default  Posted: 11:49 AM, August 2nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sal...your second last post was a good one. I agree with everything you said about what you feel punishment is in your situation. I am glad that you have figured out the same thing I did around 4 weeks after Dday. I too wrestled with the fact that, while he was in lala land I was being set up for a life time sentence of always knowing what he did.

One of the stages I went through when I was angry was....how can I live with what he did...how is that fair to me. It took me a great deal of thought and sadness to come to the realization that I too had a hand in creating the situation we now find our self in. I too didn't nurture our marriage, didn't respect what true commitment really means.

In the end I realized that this was just a fact I was going to have to live with. My husband lives with so much more. He has lost so much respect for himself and it shows through his actions. His pain and remorse and shame are eating at him. I guess I am lucky in this regard. I have read so many horrible things on this site that I truly feel blessed my situation, while horrible in length, lacks so many of the other incredibly diabolical things some of you are dealing with.

At 4 weeks I was able to consciously make a choice to at least try 100% to R and that meant I had to fix me and the things I had brought or neglected in our marriage just like my spouse did. Without that joint effort I would still be back in my black hole looking for a way out.

T


Me: BS 50
Hubby: WH 53
Together: 32 years
Married: 25 years 09/10/2013
2 boys: 23&21
Dday: 09/11/2012
A length: 4+ years (yes years)
status: Ongoing Reconciliation :o)

Through thick and thin we will survive but he gets only one shot at it!


Posts: 605 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: CDN
Topic Posts: 23
Pages: 1 · 2

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