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Wayward Side Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Need help with empathy
qwerty2012
♂ New Member
Member # 41311
Default  Posted: 8:21 PM, December 7th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Stop with this nonsense. :) Of course you "deserve" to live, you are a human being.

LOL - done!
I have lived my life with very low self esteem (until now). So, you can imagine that when someone says I am a loser or i am apathetic or that i don't deserve to live, etc. ... i believe them. It doesn't matter if they were hurting/angry when they said it .... i believe them.
If it was not for IC - i would have been on a completely different path.
I noticed that i wrote that on 11/11 ... made me realize that i am on a serious roller coaster .... just went through reading all my posts and emails to my W - just to see my journey - wow!

I don't think you lack empathy. You lack the ability to hear things about yourself that you don't like, the truth. To have empathy, simply put yourself in your wife's shoes and imagine what it is like. Don't think about you or your "reasons" for your bad behavior, think about being at the receiving end and really feel what that must be like.

A counselor told me/us that the trauma i caused was next to losing a child. This one thought simply knocks the wind out of me .... so, i do put myself in her shoes. I also think of her fears - i truly do - because i have those same fears (except that i don't believe she will hurt me like i have hurt her).

My issue was being able to be empathetic through all the anger - through the roller coaster of emotions - through the impossible questions.
My single biggest challenge - ask me one question, and when i am answering the first, interrupt/insult me and ask the 2nd, 3rd, etc. for hours on end. And when this happens - i realized (just yesterday), that i think i am talking to my wife pre A (because that was what happened), and not my amazing wife who i hurt horribly.


Posts: 43 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: Hell
astudentoflife
♂ Member
Member # 25821
Default  Posted: 4:22 PM, December 8th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am interested in this

My single biggest challenge - ask me one question, and when i am answering the first, interrupt/insult me and ask the 2nd, 3rd, etc. for hours on end. And when this happens - i realized (just yesterday), that i think i am talking to my wife pre A (because that was what happened), and not my amazing wife who i hurt horribly.

Are you saying this was the dynamic of your marriage pre affair and that you are having trouble with it now, because it was always a problem for you before?


WS:52 Male
BS:47 Female
Working towards R and forgiveness.
Also working on domestic abuse issues (9 months abuse free, working hard for more)
My wife is my greatest teacher and best friend.


Posts: 320 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Florida
astudentoflife
♂ Member
Member # 25821
Default  Posted: 4:26 PM, December 8th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I had the same issue. However, I have learned that my wife's and my communication failed pre A and abuse, because I was the one communicating poorly.

It was difficult in the beginning because I would end up yelling and screaming at my wife when I should have offered her comfort. My solution has been to carefully examine my own communications and when I am helping my wife with something, I let all of that go. It was difficult for me as well because I wasn't just a betrayer, I was an emotional, verbal and physically abusive man, talk about issues! I had swathes of knowledge to learn at that point.


WS:52 Male
BS:47 Female
Working towards R and forgiveness.
Also working on domestic abuse issues (9 months abuse free, working hard for more)
My wife is my greatest teacher and best friend.


Posts: 320 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Florida
gypsybird87
♀ Member
Member # 39193
Default  Posted: 6:24 PM, December 8th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi qwerty. I'm a BS and though I've read occasionally in this forum I've never posted here before. But one thing struck me about your post:

i try to explain myself - but i am not heard - and the cycle continues

^^This, and how you go on to say that she asks questions, but as you try to answer, she interrupts/attacks with another question, and so on.

Just my observation here... there is no answer you'll ever be able to give her that will satisfy her needs. No explanation you can give that will ever make any sense to her or create any justification for what happened.

I think she knows this, that's why she doesn't give you a chance to respond. She's not really seeking an "answer", she wants to be heard. This is a common man/woman thing even in healthy, happy relationships. The woman has a problem, a bad day etc. We vent to the guy. The guy starts coming up with solutions, suggestions, aka answers. The woman gets pissed, and now the guy is confused and hurt.

So often women don't really want answers, we just want to be heard. My XWH had zero remorse and didn't care how I felt. R was never on the table. He walked out to live with OW and never looked back. So I can only speculate what I would have wanted to hear had we tried to reconcile.

But again just speaking as a female, and listening to what you've said about her interactions with you, this is my two cents. Maybe shifting your focus from how can I respond to how can I make her feel heard, will help.

Best of luck. I hope someday she realizes how fortunate she is to have a truly remorseful, loving spouse. Some of us would give anything to have had that.


Me: Enjoying life
Him: Someone else's problem

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. ~ Anais Nin


Posts: 870 | Registered: May 2013 | From: Oregon
qwerty2012
♂ New Member
Member # 41311
Default  Posted: 9:59 PM, December 8th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Astudentoflife . yes, that was the dynamic and i never got a handle on it. Still don't. Picked up a few ideas to try from NVC.
My solution has been to carefully examine my own communications and when I am helping my wife with something, I let all of that go.
How did you let it all go? I am suppressing my anger by thinking how painful it is for her - justifying her anger. But after a few hours - my emotions start running high and when she refuses a break . my voice creeps up. 9 months ago my threshold was 15-30 mins - now it is like 2-3 hours . But i still have not let it go.

gypsybird thank you for the suggestion.
When i think i need to listen - she asks for a response. When i respond . you know. Then there are like 10 questions to be answered and when she stops - i am a deer in a headlight.

Maybe shifting your focus from how can I respond to how can I make her feel heard, will help.
Hear the content or feel the pain and insecurities i have caused?

Seriously . communication and emotional intelligence should be a mandatory course in school/college - speaking is not communicating.


Posts: 43 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: Hell
gypsybird87
♀ Member
Member # 39193
Default  Posted: 11:00 PM, December 8th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi qwerty,

Hear the content or feel the pain and insecurities i have caused?

Both. You mentioned that you also think to yourself how her pain and anger is justified. I'm sure you must have said this to her also, and not just thought it? If not, she needs to hear that. Yes, her anger is totally justified, and no.. even though you are in your own brand of hell you will never truly understand the pain you have caused her. (As we BS's always say, people who haven't been through it simply do not understand.) She needs to hear those things from you if she has not already.

But the flipside of that is that she is never going to understand the burden of pain and remorse that you carry. I'm sure it's a heavy load. Because you love her. If you didn't care, like my XWH, you wouldn't be in such misery.


Seriously . communication and emotional intelligence should be a mandatory course in school/college - speaking is not communicating.

So very true. Effective communication has far more to do with listening than speaking.


I'm going to put one more thought out there, again from a BS perspective and not really knowing that much about your situation. For some BS, infidelity is simply a deal breaker. They can never get past what happened. They may try, but even with a truly remorseful spouse they may still not be able to recover. Do you feel your BW may be one who feels this way, and her intent (maybe even subconsciously) is only to punish you, with no real hope of R?

As a BS I feel an affair is the #1 worst thing you can do to your partner. Letting the BS believe the marriage is still intact, while secretly demolishing its foundation of trust is so, so wrong. But not far behind that is (to me) a BS who lets the WS believe the marriage is salvageable, when it is really not. That is just torturing you, and holding both of you back from any sort of separate future healing.

Again I express my respect for you being here, and caring, and trying.

((qwerty))
Hugs to you.


Me: Enjoying life
Him: Someone else's problem

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. ~ Anais Nin


Posts: 870 | Registered: May 2013 | From: Oregon
astudentoflife
♂ Member
Member # 25821
Default  Posted: 7:19 AM, December 9th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

But after a few hours - my emotions start running high and when she refuses a break

Gently, everyone is entitled to a break to gain their composure. Because you are a WS does not take that away from you. Tell your wife in an honest way that you have trouble maintaining during extended sessions. That you would like a time out and check back during the time out with your wife and let her know how you are doing. If you use this legitimately, Ill bet your wife will enjoy the peace it brings to discussions. This is one of the "tactics" that I learned as an abusive man, and it helps.


WS:52 Male
BS:47 Female
Working towards R and forgiveness.
Also working on domestic abuse issues (9 months abuse free, working hard for more)
My wife is my greatest teacher and best friend.


Posts: 320 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Florida
Topic Posts: 27
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