My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.
On reading your story, it's raised a lot of questions. Do you and your wife talk freely about your behaviour? Have you been completely honest with her now? Has she told you how this affects her? You mentioned IC, if you're honest, did you tell him/her the truth? Otherwise I wonder if you shouldn't find a different one and try again and look into the possibility of a diagnosis of sex addiction from a CSAT.
As a BS I, like others here, could tell you exactly how it feels to be in your wife's shoes, but it wouldn't be pretty. I have been (rightly) chastised for sticking with my SAWH for 2+ years - how your wife has coped for decades I really don't know, because from my own experience, it's soul destroying. What are you doing currently to heal and help your wife heal?
You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think (A A Milne)
Thanks for sharing your story. You say you want to hear from BSs as well as WSs, but I'm not sure what you want to hear. Do you ant advice? Encouragement?
I'm not being rude (I hope) - I would like to provide what it is you're seeking, but I'm afraid it's not clear - to me anyway.
I think it's admirable that you're here seeking answers, and trying to help your wife. I hope you stick around. There are many good people here that have a lot to offer.
Welcome. It sounds like you have some good building block to start this reconstruction. A couple of things:
I tried IC again, but I wasn't getting anything out of it, so, I stopped after 10 or so sessions.
Did you let your IC know you were not getting anything out of the sessions?
Do you think your issues are worth a second opinion?
Maybe a different IC?
Did you open up to IC about the abuse?
minor case of sexual abuse towards me when I was 11. I had buried this for so many years when it all came bubbling up this past summer, and, I told my wife. I know it might be a contributing factor. I don't know
I agree that this information might be a contributing factor and something you can build on in IC. I'm not sure that any for of sexual abuse should be considered minor. To me it sounds like you may be minimizing the abuse because you are afraid to ask for help. Maybe I'm reading into it too much.
Have you made the commitment to 100% honesty? Is there anything you may be hiding, consciously or not?
This place is such a wonderful tool for self discovery, one of many tools to help you work on yourself. But it is hard work. Use as many tools as you can find to help you along. Try to be open and welcome help. Show your vulnerabilities. I imagine this path would be impossible to navigate alone.
She needs me to open up and talk about it more. I have a really hard time doing it. Im racked with guilt and shame, and am always scared I will set her off if I talk about it, even though she tells me that's what she needs,
This can be incredibly difficult. Try to remember how hurt she is. If you had a sick child, wouldn't you would give that child what he/she needs? You're scared it will set her off, so you think by not bringing it up, the waters will remain calm. Well, they are not. She thinks about it daily and often I'm sure. Show her that you do too. "Honey, I was thinking about how much pain I have caused you and I want you to know..."
Its been 2 and a half years since then, and my wife, who I know really does love me has stayed and tried to work it out. I know what I need to give her, as she has stated it clearly. She needs me to open up and talk about it more. I have a really hard time doing it. Im racked with guilt and shame, and am always scared I will set her off if I talk about it, even though she tells me that's what she needs, When she gets angry, rather than comfort her, I retreat, and that just fuels her anger.
needhlp - I am almost the same age as you - 59 and 3 years from DDay. In the first 2 1/2 years I did not talk openly about my infidelity to my BS. My BS had to ask me and that really hurts the BS because to them it is an indication of our lack of remorse. How much do we think and reflect on what we have done? If we are sorry and recognize the enormity of the pain we caused them we have to make it known to them. As difficult as it might be for us, it is our obligation. I also turned away and abandoned my BS emotionally when she was expressing her rage and anger. I learned to recognize that when this happens she is not attacking me but she is expressing her pain that I caused. This perspective really helped me. I listen and accept her anger and affirm her feelings and apologize for causing it. I also joined a 12 step group - CoDependents Anonymous. I also seek the help of religious mentors. I also sought the help of IC's. Then there is SI - a wonderful anonymous support group. I apologize to her as often as I can - if not through the spoken word then through the written word. Hang in there. Good luck on your recovery and reconciliation.
[This message edited by Sparkle0504 at 2:20 AM, February 17th (Monday)]
Just a thought about your fear of upsetting/angering your wife; if you are completely open with her (have you tried writing a timeline for her?), then she at least has the ability to deal with and heal from what has happened. I and many others BS here will tell you that often the most damaging part is the withholding of truth. How can she/we be expected to move on and heal, eventually forgive, if constantly suspicious that there is more (and she will be).
It's alot about intimacy and mutual respect - with those two things established, you may well find yourselves in a better quality of relationship. But you need to accept that these are things you have to put a lot work in for and relearn.
But as you say, she is worth it:)
I know exactly how my wife feels, and how much I have devastated her.
[This message edited by devasted30 at 8:32 PM, February 18th (Tuesday)]