We are 16 months in and this sucks! Everything sucks (is how I feel). BH has been in leveled up, hyper turbo, super duper pissed off mode since we came back from Christmas card elves trip. It was like he enjoyed something about it and it pissed him off big time.
The kids are complaining, his mother is complaining, and I'm trying to cover for him because no one else knows why he is unhinged and I'm the one who did it to him. It has been an ugly week.
I have felt loving and supportive. I have been loving and supportive but I have felt it too (you know how you can be that way without really feeling it? I almost always feel it all the way through me but today it started cracking.
Tonight we were looking at recipes and pretty pictures in Southern Living Magazine and there was a picture of a nice inn in the town I graduated from high school in.
Me: That looks like a nice place to stay. Oh, it's in (nice historic city)...
Him: Yeah, the most hated city on earth.
He hates the town I went to my last two years of high school in because I had sex then, twenty years before I ever met him... I'm aware of this and I usually tolerate it better but tonight it just pissed me off. I'm tired. I'm tired of walking on egg shells. I'm tired of him yelling at the kids. I'm tired of freaking breathing.
I got a bit of a 'tude. Turned over and have been short in my replies since then. He knows I'm pissed. This feels like the pre-A marriage, not the one where we've been working so hard to communicate. I feel like I'm back before step one. No progress at all.
As I'm posting I turn around and he has my profile open on his iPad. So I sniped at him for stalking my posts. He said not to worry, he will never read my post again. He will just get off the site... That's not what I wanted to say at all. Now he's checking the obits and arrests for OM....can that really be therapeutic somehow?
I need a timeout. PLEASE HELP! I feel like I'm loosing it. I'm not handling anything right.
Does it suck that he's angry again, yup but it's a consequence, looks like he hit a down on the roller coaster and needs you to ride it out with him. Think though if it sucks for you, how is it for him? He's trying, just by being there he's trying. You had a high moment and maybe it made him think of all the lows. The whole hating the town because you had sex there before you met him seems a little much to you, but not to him. You need to communicate here, he's not the only one lacking on that. You sniped at him, got angry, gave short answers, turned your back....sweetie that's not how to approach his anger, you know this. So yes he backslided too, he's already angry, was probably checking your post to see how you were feeling since you weren't communicating it and then you hit him with another verbal whiplash. Boom he goes to a comfort zone, an unhealthy one but a comfort zone nonetheless and zeros in on OM and all his horrible qualities.
He is hurting, and you are too, but perhaps take a step back and realize that yes it's better but it's not 100% there yet. You both need more time and work and need to hold on to the lessons already learned. Communicate with him, apologize for the attitude and the sniping and let him know how you feel.
No longer together
Do not let others be your reference for who you see in the mirror.
Stop allowing people to hurt you, because you don't love you enough to walk away.
After reading your post I tried to put myself back to the place of 16 months out. That was shortly after my final TT, and it was not a pretty time for us. Even without TT, that is really so early in the R process, and year 2 is so difficult.
A couple of things come to mind for me...I remember being emotionally exhausted. This shit gets draining after awhile! I remember being angry, and yes, pissy at my BH, which makes you feel torn, because we are WSs after all. Balancing the 'I'm pissed off but he's pissed off and I really have no right but I'm still feeling this way and what do I do with it?' is very, very tiring.
So, I feel that you do need to be patient and mindful of what Knight is dealing with every day, probably nonstop. As tiring as it is for you, multiply that by a lot, and that's his reality.
However, I remember LD posting about his troubles and at some point a BS on here (it was Nokidding) called him on it. She said at some point the A is no longer an excuse for your misery. You and AN are doing the work and you have to let go of the anger if you want to R. It isn't always about the A. Life is tough, there are challenges, and if it always comes back to the A you are cheating yourself (no pun intended). Move on! she told him.
It was a strong message, and thankfully LD got it. I felt like no matter what was happening in our lives, no matter how hard I was working and how transparent, remorseful, authentic I was being, it was always about the A. It is valid, of course, but at some point it's not.
All that being said, I don't think Knight is there yet. For him it is still very much about the A. Again, 16 months is so early in the R process. I can't remember when Nokidding told LD all that but it was awhile after 16 months. And the healing timeline is different for everybody. I think you'll know when it's past the point of being about the A and Knight being stuck in it. Nokidding made the point of that place being comfortable...staying there allows us to not look at the other issues.
We had plenty of pre-A issues. I believe it is hard for the BS to let go of the A and go back to pre-A, because doing that makes them feel like they are giving you the message that the A was okay. LD would say to me that it was tough to swallow that my cheating made him a better husband (after we worked on all the pre-A stuff). No shit, I would feel the same way if I were him. A better marriage was a gift to me after I chose to cheat. He also said that he committed to R so he would go all in, and make this the best M that he could. That blew my mind.
MC MC MC...this was all stuff that we worked through in MC, and at home every minute in between, lol.
But you can get there.
I'm rooting for you .
"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."
I read a lot on here and wonder about what we are "allowed" to feel and express. For a WS like me, who was emotionally dead and unwilling to share its a whole new ball game and I don't know the rules of how to play. So when things like this come up it doesn't have to mean anything more than your angry or just tired. And yes I know its 100x worse for our BS but we still have our moments.
It was like he enjoyed something about it and it pissed him off big time
Although there are certain things or events that can trigger sadness or anger, you must remember this simple fact. It's not that thing or event he is pissed off about. He is pissed because you had an A. And he has a right to be pissed about that. And it takes a very long time to work through that.
The holidays in general can be very difficult even for people who aren't dealing with infidelity. People feel lonely, some desperate. Suicide rates are highest this time of year. Instead of being compassionate towards others around him, Knight can also be taking some of that extra stress in and internalizing it. Feeling like 'ya! Life does suck ass, doesn't it?' The holidays in general are rough.
So that being said, it's how you deal with it can make all the difference in the world. You can join him in his anger and frustration. Get annoyed and snippy when things just don't go your way. Which in turn I can guarantee will only cause more anger, more frustration. Or you can have compassion and understanding about where his emotions are coming from.
Some of the things he may say might not be valid or might be over the top. But have an understanding about where it's coming from. When you feel yourself getting frustrated, stop and take a step back and remember this is a man who is hurting.
Ask yourself why you are so pissed? Is it because you are tired? Is it because deep down you feel he should be doing better than he is? Is it because you really just want things to go back to normal?
I mean honestly, him not liking your hometown isn't the end of the world is it? Instead of becoming short with him, telling him you understand might go a little farther. Unless you are struggling with understanding in which case I urge you to ask him to help you understand.
I really struggled with understanding male pride. I had to have HT explain it in numerous ways. I posted about it to get other BM's perceptions. I will never fully understand but it helped tremendously to ask for the help. Don't be afraid to ask him to explain some of his feelings with you. And try not to be dismissive or annoyed when his reactions don't seem to fit the situation. Because I can guarantee they make sense to him, now. And that can change and grow over time.
So back to your original question: is it allowed? Yes, you can be angry. You can be tired. You can feel hopeless at times. But I don't feel it's productive to be reactionary in a negative way. It sends the message that you don't understand how he feels. It sends a message that how you feel is still the priority.
As far as him reading your posts. Well, HT has read every post I have ever written and vice versa. Some may not agree with this but it works for us. Him reading my posts gives him another peak inside my head. I can give him lip service all day in person but what I write helps to solidify what I say. Nothing I write is a surprise to him. Nothing he writes is a surprise to me. We really try to be an open book about all this stuff.
You have heard it before. Year two is hard. Bit if you keep communication open, you can get through it.
It was like he enjoyed something about it and it pissed him off big time.
I believe it is hard for the BS to let go of the A and go back to pre-A, because doing that makes them feel like they are giving you the message that the A was okay.
LD would say to me that it was tough to swallow that my cheating made him a better husband (after we worked on all the pre-A stuff). No shit, I would feel the same way if I were him.
One thing I wanted to add is that for myself, the culture we live in makes everything so much harder as far as trying to live in the present....the desire to rugsweep the whole thing sometimes feel reinforced from every angle, and fighting against that tide is exhuasting and makes one cranky.
It seems like you're doing a great job, though.
"A lesson is learned. Life is. Simply. There is no Death. There is no Before. There is no After. All is in Flux. Simply."
why is he upset that you had sex with someone before you ever met him? Was it like this pre-A?
It may not be wholly rational, but it's not a huge stretch, either. When you've been betrayed and feel as though you are being compared to others, it's really difficult not to feel threatened by EVERY relationship that might be held up as a yardstick against which you will be measured. Even relationships that predate your relationship.
(((knightsbff)) I'm sorry you're in a rough spot. This is a hard time of year.
I promise, though, there's not a BIT of "enjoying the pain" involved.
Sometimes, I enjoy something with my husband and kids, then...boom, out of no where, I trigger thinking, how tainted my memories are of similar activities during his A year's. Then my happiness is suddenly clouded. Then the anger and depression comes in.
Sometimes, I can tell my husband why I'm upset. Sometimes, I can't. I'm too angry and I just want to feel the emotion for awhile, or I can't explain it in words at that moment. Sometimes I just want to be left alone until I can get my emotions under control.
For me, the absolute worst thing my husband can do is get snippy with me and turn his back on me. It then brings back the rush of feelings I felt when he abandoned me during his affairs. That it turn causes me more pain, anger and fear.
What does help me is when he asks me what is wrong, gently. Asking what he can do to help me. Asking if something he said or did triggered me or did something else. I respond to that. Even if I say I'm not ready, knowing he's trying usually diffuses some of my anger.
I doubt that this was really about your home town, but rather underlying andger that he couldn't put into words. I think you could have asked what was really hurting him in that moment instead. Show him your compassion and desire to help comfort him. That you're making positive changes.
Former 80s Icon wishful thinking
I was feeling tired and overwhelmed and handled it poorly. I'm feeling better this morning and have apologized and tried to talk about where I went wrong. I'm still trying to figure out what I should have done.
I know for me...it would have gone better if my husband would have said something like "Hey, I noticed you're upset, what's going on? Did something happen today that triggered you? How can I help?"
If I wasn't ready to talk about it him asking if he could hold my hand or just hold me while we watch TV or something until I was ready would have been helpful.
I know its really hard NOT to shut down and turn your back, but, he needs to see that you're trying to think of his emotions and not react like you would have previously. He may need some prodding by you to help him open up.
Knight let me ask you something, why was he reading your posts?
You need to communicate
I remember being emotionally exhausted.
As tiring as it is for you, multiply that by a lot, and that's his reality.
For a WS like me, who was emotionally dead and unwilling to share its a whole new ball game and I don't know the rules of how to play.
Ask yourself why you are so pissed? Is it because you are tired? Is it because deep down you feel he should be doing better than he is? Is it because you really just want things to go back to normal?
I really struggled with understanding male pride.
@Facepunched, your story about last Christmas made me feel sad and ashamed. There were time my BH was taking care of us, working hard, struggling, while I was busy betraying him. I need to keep it in mind. I'm sure it's never far from his mind.
Solus sto said:
EVERY relationship that might be held up as a yardstick against which you will be measured. Even relationships that predate your relationship.
@Samantha Baker, thank you for the insight. I really screwed up in how I acted. During the A I would get snippy with him and turn my back on him to communicate with OM on my phone or iPad. He know this now and it is a major trigger for him. Yesterday I was working on my suckiest wayward of the year award. Today is a new day. I will handle things better. Back to my mindfulness app. Pausing before reacting or speaking. THINKING....
[This message edited by knightsbff at 3:53 PM, December 15th (Sunday)]
Knightsbff, you have done things with your prior relationships and AP that you haven't/won't do with your husband. That has to hurt him deeply. And yeah sure, you can move forward with the best of intentions of, "Dadburn it, let's kick this trigger square in the butt and make new memories together!" But honestly, it's not that easy. Why? Because if you suddenly start doing it now, he knows you're only trying to make him feel better. Which reminds him why you're doing it. Which reminds him that you did it for/with other people for years and only after Dday would you attempt to do it with him...it just goes on and on in his mind. kwim?
Should pre-relationship sex not matter? Generally yes. But not if you do ABC with some people and refuse your spouse.
[This message edited by Aubrie at 9:17 AM, December 16th (Monday)]
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne
"You can do it!" - R. Schneider
And like Aubrie said, if you start offering that stuff now, then for the BS there is a little bit of a sarcastic, "Hey, don't do me any favors."-thing at work.
BH has been in leveled up, hyper turbo, super duper pissed off mode since we came back from Christmas card elves trip. It was like he enjoyed something about it and it pissed him off big time.
Sounds like he might be experiencing some post-G2G letdown. There tends to be a lot of positive energy any time SIers get together, and sometimes it's really tough to go back to "the real world" after being surrounded in person by people who really get it. I've found that it really helps to start figuring out which G2G I can make it to next.
We've been having 2 big Texas G2Gs a year, one in the spring and another one in the fall, in case either of you needs something to look forward to.
Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less than, less than perfect
Knightsbff, you have done things with your prior relationships and AP that you haven't/won't do with your husband. That has to hurt him deeply.
I think even though he knew what he was getting when he asked me to marry him it was still very tough for him. He was raised with the belief that if you save yourself for the one person you marry and spend the rest of your life with you will be blessed. He did that, I didn't. We couldn't talk about his feelings about this prior to the A because if he brought up any feelings of hurt or loss I would get uber defensive. "He had no right to be upset about what I did prior to meeting him." Truthfully it was a super sore spot for me because I had all kinds of guilt and shame attached to everything I had done prior to meeting him mixed up with guilt and shame I was refusing to face r/t CSA. He couldn't communicate his feelings and I couldn't communicate mine. Things were very tense...for years. Obviously we both need work here. I have done a lot of work on facing mine down. Right after d-day he was insistent that I needed to tell him about every sexual experience I had ever had. We talked to our ICs and the consensus seemed to be that that wasn't necessary and might not be helpful. I haven't done it as I'm afraid of even more triggers and mind movies. He hasn't asked for it lately either.
I would love to help him to come to terms with my past relationships but I think this may be something he will have to do himself.
Aubrie & Facepunched,
I understand what your saying. This is awful for him and even though our sex life is better now he's still got those tracks playing in his head that I'm only doing things now to make up for before. But I think all I can do is be authentic in offering myself to him because I love him and want us both to enjoy each other and then hope T-I-M-E will do the rest. The alternative is to accept that I've messed this up for us permanently and there's no hope for change. Not willing to take that approach but I'm open for ideas.
He sounded interested in future GTGs. Hopefully he will still want to go. I think I will suggest when the time is near and then follow his lead.
You're right, I do need to open up more dialogue about this. I think me seeking to understand his feelings more fully will at least help me to temper my reactions. I'm not proud of getting huffy with him the other night.
[This message edited by knightsbff at 2:08 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)]
I know that for myself, 11 months out, the valleys are sometimes brought on by the peaks.
For whatever emotional/chemical reason, I remember that moments of happiness triggered sadness and rage in me during the second year. It was very frustrating for FWH, and for me as well.
It's like, we are afraid and angry that every happy moment is chased down and destroyed by the memory of the A. Holidays make these feelings explode exponentially for someone early out. All the joy and family and good times we were supposed to be experiencing are enmeshed with the memory of what we have lost, and then we become angry that we can't just be plain old content for one second.
It DOESN'T make sense on paper. It is really really hard for a FWS to deal with, especially when they have been putting their heart day after day, minute after minute into R only to have the kindest of gestures rejected.
This is a valley, kbff. You are absolutely allowed to have your feelings about this. Just know that where Knight is in his healing is indeed like that rollercoaster we all talk about - and the holidays are like the corkscrew part.
Sending you both big hugs.
I ask her every night if there's anything I can do on my way home from work, then once I'm home from work. One of the things she told me is that it helps demonstrate the changes I've made if I notice and compliment her on something she's managed to do that day, so maybe this is something you can use?
I reiterate asking if there's anything I can do throughout the evening, and I make certain to take time out of what I'm doing for sessions of time where I do nothing but pay positive, constructive attention to her: it could be bonding over a TV show or conversation or anything you like, so long as it's just you two and nothing else steals your attention.
I also take the time to do a little of the housework each day. It may not be much, but it shows I'm paying attention and that I care about the welfare of the house and its people -- a far cry from what I used to only care about, which is myself.