My H and I never talk about the issues we have had. We never talk about my PA, not sure why. But we never do.
I will admit that I did bring it up at least once by asking him why we never talk about it. He didn't want to talk about it. Then on our anniversary, last year he did talk about it and was talking about how we never talk about it. We made a contract that night to do all kinds of things but have not brought it up since.
How do you all help your BS to open up about it? I don't want to make him feel hurty again if I bring it up. I love him and I want him to heal, and I think it might help.
We attempted to see two MCs last year, but they were all wrong for us. I want to share my personal progress and let him know I care but cannot get myself to start the conversation.
[This message edited by stupidgurl at 1:41 AM, September 8th (Sunday)]
2002/3 (him) EA
If I was in your shoes I would write him a letter. That way you could leave it for him in a place where he could find it on his own and read it. He may choose not to say anything but at least you got your message to him.
When there is something I cannot say I write it out. It helps me edit it so that it is exactly what I want him to hear.
Through thick and thin we will survive but he gets only one shot at it!
I also am big on writing letters. Helps me communicate my point without getting overly emotional. I edit and re-read before I give it to him and sometimes I don't even give it to him. Sometimes it just helps me to vent.
As a BS, there are some questions I don't ask because I fear the answer. I'm not sure what is holding your H back. But I do know that you both do need to discuss it or you cannot truly heal. Good for you to push the issue and try to get him to open up. When and if he does, don't get defensive. Listen, try to understand, be honest, and apologize (a lot and sincerely).
I wish you the best.
We made a contract that night to do all kinds of things but have not brought it up since.
Did you write this down, or just talk about it?
The people you do your life with shape the life you live
Not how it worked in my house.
I really had no interest in talking to my wife about the A for the longest time. She was dangerous, defensive, blameshifty. Even when she thought she was being supportive, she really wasn't. It didn't take me long to figure out that it wasn't healthy for me to show her my pain, hurt, fear, or worry.
So I didn't. I took a healing trajectory that excluded her. I came to my own conclusions. When I wanted info, I obtained it from third-party sources or various computer systems (most of which turned out to be more reliable sources of truth, in any event).
My wife made strides over the first couple of years. Honestly, I didn't care and I largely ignored them as gestures to placate rather than authentic changes. Here's the thing: not everybody looks at recovery as a team-building exercise. I certainly didn't. Part of that was stubborness; part of it was just spite -- my wife, as the person who inflicted the wound, would never be given the right to claim that she had stabbed me, but then she had healed me. I was determined to give her no credit for my recovery. The best thing she could bring to the table was not continuing to fuck things up (which she was marginally successful at, given that we did have a second D-day when she broke NC at the 18 month mark).
That approach doesn't lend itself to a reconciliation narrative that insists the post-A relationship will/must become the Best.Marriage.Evah., but it worked for us. My wife needed to stand on her own two feet and learn to live in the grown-up world, and I needed to demonstrate to myself that I could survive and thrive without using my abuser as a crutch.
....but cannot get myself to start the conversation.
Just trying to understand. I realize you don't want to bring it up bc it will hurt him but perhaps it is also bc it will hurt you.
This is "big school" now. We have to do things that are highly uncomfortable. If not now, when?
As T xs T said, I would perhaps write a letter about your progress, express that you wish to share it with him. I think the other valid point wincing made here is that he does not feel safe to express. Has he always been like this? Unable to express? Or is it just this particular topic? Perhaps he grew up in a home where everything was rug-swept.
In your short post I just see a complicated sitch that will only get moreso without professional help.
We attempted to see two MCs last year, but they were all wrong for us.
I would keep searching.
Finally, have you read Janis A Spring's book called, After the Affair? It focuses on healing and rebuilding trust. There is a chapter called, "How to talk about the A". I highly recommend.
I loved your response. Every. Single. word. It was exactly what I needed to read tonight. Thanks.
married 2y, together 2.5y
1 beautiful daughter, 23m
"Someday soon, I'm going to put my life together; Win or lose, I'm starting over again."
Communication was a HUGE problem in our marriage before the A. We both try to keep communication open now, even if it has to be written instead of spoken.
I did read the After the Affair book we have had it for a few years, I read it before and was reading it recently, and it prompted me to want to talk about it. He thinks I don't do enough, I ask what can I do (I was NC immediately, and try express my remorse in varying phases) he says he doesn't know. I certainly don't know what to do besides reassuring him, not having any more A's, and saying how wrong it was and I was. I am not saying I have done everything perfectly, but I have been doing it.
I honestly think sometimes he wants to hold on to it and punish me forever. I don't know if I want to live like that for ever though.
That said, he has rugswept his EA for years, he finally gave me details about it a few months ago, he is finally apologizing. I didn't want to hold it over his head I wanted him to take responsibility and give me reassurance. That helps finally after like 11 years of rug sweeping.
I want to do that for him, so he is not so angry.
Well we did talk tonight, only because he wanted to resolve with me another issue between me and his brother's wife. I am sad that he only wanted to talk about it because his brother prompted him, but I still talked about all the issues. But we still did not talk about it enough, he still cannot tell me what he needs from me.
I took a healing trajectory that excluded her. I came to my own conclusions. When I wanted info, I obtained it from third-party sources or various computer systems (most of which turned out to be more reliable sources of truth, in any event).
This is EXACTLY the road I have been on. It's the only way for me. I only trust myself now.
Well an update, we talked about it last NIGHT, he hates talking about problems before bed because we end up not able to sleep. We talked about things last night. We came to the conclusion that we both needed to put each other first in our lives, no longer allow things to fester and just move along from those past actions because neither of us is who we used to be. He apologized for his vasectomy that he swore was reversible and after two expensive reversal surgeries that have left us struggling financially (he wanted more kids too not just me, and thought that reversal was easy). I apologized for my A, and he told me to stop apologizing.
I am doing the conversation no justice here, but the point is we talked and it felt good to yell, cry, and then smile when we told each other how much we want to work it out.
Thanks for the encouragement!