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Reconciliation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: WS attitude/mood reflective of my own?
Crushed15Feb13
♂ Member
Member # 38846
Default  Posted: 3:29 PM, February 19th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I often see posts here referencing how people's WS's are doing everything right, doing the work on themselves, etc. I want to ask about a pattern I think I'm noticing in my WS.

First, and I'm not sure if this is fair, so tell me if I'm off base here- when I think of a model WS's mood or attitude, I think of adjectives like Consistent, Loving, Grateful, Supportive, Humble, Caring, etc. Is that fair to say?

I think my WS's attitude is more a reflection of what mine is. If I'm loving and in a playful mood, she will be too. If I'm in a more thoughtful mood, she'll be more reserved. If I'm feeling angry, she'll pull away.

My W is great about emailing me through the day to let me know where she is, what her schedule is, and talk about plans for the night. These emails most often end with an affectionate closing, like "I love you" . I have noticed if I am angry or hurt or triggering or whatever, and I do not respond in kind, the remaining emails become less and less affectionate, to the point of ending without any affectionate greeting. She basically mirrors my mood, taking on my behavior as hers.

Am I causing this, and is this something I need to watch? If I add an affectionate closing without really feeling it, aren't I being dishonest with my feelings? Am i just thinking too hard about this?

I think I'm sorta shell-shocked at her recent TT revealing a much greater extent and participation on her part in the affair, and since I was formerly one of the BS's who would claim "my WS is doing everything right", I may be overly critical or hypersensitive now. I haven't brought this up between us at all, other than to ask to be allowed to angry or sad or hurt and be able to express it without making her feel hopeless about R.


Me: BH, 54
Her: WW, 54 4 yr LTA
Married 31 yrs, 2 college age boys
DDay #1: 15Feb13 - LTA 2008-2013
DDay #2: 27Jan14 - ONS, same AP 2007 - turns out it was a 5 yr LTA
Trying to understand

Posts: 251 | Registered: Mar 2013
Lostinthismess
♀ Member
Member # 39210
Default  Posted: 3:34 PM, February 19th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Am I causing this, and is this something I need to watch? If I add an affectionate closing without really feeling it, aren't I being dishonest with my feelings? Am i just thinking too hard about this?

IMO, you can't be responsible for her behavior. It's something SHE needs to watch, deal with, address in IC..... I offer affection and I love yous when I can. When it feels right to me. You need to be true to yourself right now.

I would say my husband is doing everything right etc. but sometimes, what's 'right' still needs to be modified according to what I need, which is always changing.


'You just keep living, until you are alive again'
'I don't want perfect, I want honest'

Posts: 331 | Registered: May 2013
Simple
♀ Member
Member # 18814
Default  Posted: 3:46 PM, February 19th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

First, and I'm not sure if this is fair, so tell me if I'm off base here- when I think of a model WS's mood or attitude, I think of adjectives like Consistent, Loving, Grateful, Supportive, Humble, Caring, etc. Is that fair to say?

Honestly, in the real world, I have to say no.

Remorseful FWS have a lot to deal with regarding themselves and they have to deal with us too. PLUS they are in the WRONG! Add a little pride, fear, and self-hate and do you really think a person can have all those adjectives?

Your WS may be mirroring you because she just doesn't quite know how to act with you. I told my FWH how to act around me. I want him to specifically say certain words, hug me, etc. Maybe sit down together. I am feeling, IF she is indeed remorseful, that she's afraid that you will change your mind about the R and she's not quite sure about her feelings, the need to protect it and the need to give it all she's got.

If I add an affectionate closing without really feeling it, aren't I being dishonest with my feelings?

A big fat NO. There are times when I don't want to deal with my children but that doesn't mean I don't love them. My FWH at times before DDay would not tell me he loves me because he said he didn't mean it as of that moment. You know what I say to that thinking? FUCK YOU. Love is something you continually work toward. Love is hard work, which can include saying "I LOVE YOU" when you're angry at that person. You're either in the marriage or you're out. Same goes with her.

I hope that helps you.


Love is a choice.

True love is harder to come by than soul mates. True love requires work.

Ignorance can be cured with knowledge. There is no cure for being an idiot.


Posts: 927 | Registered: Mar 2008
7yrsflushed
♂ Member
Member # 32258
Default  Posted: 3:48 PM, February 19th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My response is based solely off my experience with my STBXWW. YMMV, it's a good topic for IC or MC.

So are you ever allowed to have a bad day? If you have a string of bad days does that mean your WW is allowed to be evil all the time. Also if your have great days does that mean your WW isn't allowed to have bad days. Each of us is respnosible for our own happiness. Yes our spouses can influence that happiness but at the end of the day we are responsible for our own feeligns, moods, and emotions. IMO, if your WW's behavior and moods are determined by YOUR moods that isn't good. What happens when if you cycle through an extended anger phase. IMO, this type of mirroring leads to constant walking on egg shell behavior. It can lead to neither of you begin authentic with each other.

My D will be final in 4 months. You know how I figured out my WW wore a mask and had no idea how to control her own emotions and feelings? It was when I did the 180. She didn't have me as a barometer to determine how she was supposed to feel that day. I could be myself around her and she could never figure out how to be herself. It was like she was an emotional vampire. She literally wore a mask for our entire marriage and when she needed to be her true self around me she didn't know how. Just my 2 cents.

ETA: I'm not telling you to do the 180, i'm saying you need to talk to your WW about this or talk to an MC about it.

[This message edited by 7yrsflushed at 3:50 PM, February 19th (Wednesday)]


D-day 5/24/11
BH = Me
2 children
The first true sense of calm I felt in YEARS was when I filed for D...
Divorced 9/2/14 and loving life!

Posts: 1912 | Registered: May 2011 | From: VA
Simple
♀ Member
Member # 18814
Default  Posted: 3:48 PM, February 19th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just want to add, no you do not "cause" someone to act or say certain things. However you can influence them.

Again not saying that you are even influencing her as there's not enough data for a conclusion. Just saying it is possible.


Love is a choice.

True love is harder to come by than soul mates. True love requires work.

Ignorance can be cured with knowledge. There is no cure for being an idiot.


Posts: 927 | Registered: Mar 2008
Crushed15Feb13
♂ Member
Member # 38846
Default  Posted: 3:56 PM, February 19th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

How did I forget Remorseful off that list?!

I think I'm seeing that my urge to omit the affectionate greeting or closing when I'm angry is the same as with holding affection, and that is not right or helpful in a relationship, especially one in so tender a crossroad as ours?


Me: BH, 54
Her: WW, 54 4 yr LTA
Married 31 yrs, 2 college age boys
DDay #1: 15Feb13 - LTA 2008-2013
DDay #2: 27Jan14 - ONS, same AP 2007 - turns out it was a 5 yr LTA
Trying to understand

Posts: 251 | Registered: Mar 2013
Lostinthismess
♀ Member
Member # 39210
Default  Posted: 4:24 PM, February 19th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


I think I'm seeing that my urge to omit the affectionate greeting or closing when I'm angry is the same as with holding affection, and that is not right or helpful in a relationship, especially one in so tender a crossroad as ours?

Do you know why you don't end with an affectionate closing? Two months after dday, I was NOT dropping I love yous. I didn't know how I felt. Now, I'm starting to feel it some. So I say it. I don't always say it. Sometimes when he says I love you, I say I know or thanks. It just doesn't come easy. Spouting off I love you as a reflex is meaningless to me. Just words. So he knows when I do say it, I mean it. He doesn't have to wonder. I'm in pain. If he demanded I say I love you, I'd be more than happy to go tell him to go fuck himself. I'm not a brat. I'm not withholding it to hurt him. YMMV.

[This message edited by Lostinthismess at 4:29 PM, February 19th (Wednesday)]


'You just keep living, until you are alive again'
'I don't want perfect, I want honest'

Posts: 331 | Registered: May 2013
AML04
♀ Member
Member # 39682
Default  Posted: 4:39 PM, February 19th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This never occurred to me!! WH does seem to mirror my moods a lot. Definitely something to think about. I do think that is on them though. They need to be able to express their own emotions/feelings. Part of what got WH to the A was NOT expressing his real feelings. He started to feel detached and resentful that I wasn't meeting his needs.

Very interesting topic.


Me-BS Him-WH DS 5/12
Met 2000, Married 2004
DDay 5/26/13, TT through 8/13
2.5 yr EA w/co-worker, PA 12/12 to 4/13
Hopeful for R

Posts: 875 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: MA
eachdayisvictory
♀ Member
Member # 40462
Default  Posted: 4:57 PM, February 19th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I would like to add a couple of things that have been helpful for me related to this;

First, the wording of your question feels a bit like you are taking responsibility for your W's mood, and that thinking is generally (IMO) not a good place to come from. We (BSs) have to work really hard to constantly remind ourselves that we cannot control other peoples' minds, behaviours, choices or treatment of us. We can only control ourselves and the choices we make.

Secondly, the best piece of advice I got from something since dday (I dunno if it was a book or a therapist or what), was to 'act in loving ways even when you're not FEELING loving.'

This second thought has been a complete game changer in our R. We both cycle through ups and downs, and historically in our relationship, we would wallow in our lows. We would let each other work really hard to cheer the other up, while never communicating about what was wrong (pretty hard to support your partner when you have no idea what's wrong with them). Then the person doing the cheering would eventually give up and do something like a 'shut down'; just stop trying and be sad too. The one of us that had been down all day would notice this change (as it was generally accompanied by passive aggressive behaviour, snarky comments, meaness) and start to 'suck up' to the other.

It was horrible. Now when I notice this pattern happening, I stop it. I go over to my H and hug him even if I'm feeling anger toward him. I tell him thank you for something instead of festering on something he has done to bother me, and then we address it after the kids go to bed.

Act in loving ways even when you're not feeling loving. Make it a purposeful plan for both people in the relationship. Think about it, we are so ticked off at our WSs for being foolish enough to think that their feelings during the A were real, so who's to say that our feelings deserve to be in the driver's seat all the time? As hard as it is after the betrayal of my H, I want to expect the same behaviour of myself that I expect of him now. And in the long run it feels great for ME. Actually, it was one thing that didn't take that long to feel. I feel good as soon as I act in loving ways when I'm not feeling loving. And then, some love creeps back in.


me, BW: 34
FWH: 35
Dday: Feb 2013
LTA for 2+years
children: 2 boys age 3 and 6
Reconciling

Posts: 380 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: nova Scotia, Canada
womaninflux
♀ Member
Member # 39667
Default  Posted: 5:15 PM, February 19th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

YES - model WS's mood or attitude, adjectives like Consistent, Loving, Grateful, Supportive, Humble, Caring, etc. come to my mind as well.

If you just had another truth revealed, even if it's not NEW (as in happened after the the initial fallout), it's still traumatizing. I think our MC would suggest you looking at your WS's eyes, holding her hands, and telling her that it is very difficult for you to feel upbeat right now because when you find out new details, it makes you "go to the dark place" you were when you first found out. Now, MC would also say to me, "Is WS STILL doing X behavior? If not, then you need to stay in the present." It's a strange balance…trying to remain in the present, be hopeful for R, but maintain an awareness while processing all of the fallout.

Has your WS given you a full disclosure and timeline of all of the acting out? I found this was helpful for me to process everything. Mind you, it doesn't make all that happened "ok." I do think it makes them take a personal inventory of all of the shitty things they did and the lies they engaged in to cover it all up and think about all of the damage it caused in the end.


BS - mid-40's
SAWH - mid 40's
Kids - 2 elementary school aged
Getting tons of therapy and trying to "work it out"

Posts: 910 | Registered: Jun 2013
sisoon
♂ Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 5:42 PM, February 19th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree with your list of attributes, but they come in a context in which your WS generally doesn't have the same feelings you do at the same time.

I recommend checking your W's responses with her. It could be that's she's mirroring you, which is one way of building rapport, but it could also be a symptom of Co-Dependence and a person who's co-d is not in a healthy place. If you're in MC, the mirroring is an excellent topic for discussion and possible change.

So is the expression of affection. My own approach has been to be honest in expressing my feelings. That computes out to: I've probably said the words 'ILY' as much since D-Day as I used to say in a week before D-Day. Our R is going very well, so that works for me. Each of us has to find what works for ourselves, so as someone already said in this thread - YMMV.

In general, I wouldn't expect a couple to feel the same feeling at the same time, so I'd make sure to check out the apparent synchronicity WRT mood. (Co-D is a big problem if you do it, but it's eminently solvable.)


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: 10352 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
Joanh
♀ Member
Member # 39146
Default  Posted: 6:32 PM, February 19th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

WS here I hope you don't mind.

My BH and I have been aware of each others moods, I can tell by his voice, comments, if I see him I can tell by his smile, his eyes, the way he holds the kids or how he walks. Everything. AS he says is aware of me now too.

Now in the beginning and up until I would say 2 months ago, we both seemed to move up and down together. Tried hard not too, but it seemed to happen. For different reasons, but it happened.

I, in the beginning, didn't know what he needed nor did he. When I was aware he was on a downward turn I would try to be upbeat, then the fear of being too "ok" would be read wrong , I would start to temper down and get worried that that would be taken wrong,. He had said to me to try to stay level when he was having bad day(s) and I would I would try being loving , keep quiet or give him space. I would try all the things we had talked about. And I tried to read how I should respond so I wouldn't make it"worse" So its been mentioned its like living on eggshells.

If I was headed down and couldn't hide it, he would try the same.

Now, well we are trying to be more proactive. If I catch him going down, one of two things happen. Either we talk a bit and then he likes to be left alone, or I keep us moving forward once we know the feeling or the issue.

For me as a WS its been a hard thing to be still OK when my BH is down. I feel guilty, horrible, ashamed. And to be walking around and acting like its all okay, feels wrong. I feel that I should not be ok , should not be happy, so when my BH is up or when he is down it still does affect my mood, As a WS I have to learn to be okay and have the right to be. This dynamic of feelings I think though does play a part in my BH recovery, I need to be okay. No matter what , in a way kinda like I hear the BS needs to be okay on their own too.
Kinda of a catch 22 thing.

So in all that I would ask your WS if this is happening for her or what is happening.

Even relationships, without infidelity, each other are affected by the others mood. I'm not sure but I think we just are now hypersensitive .

Not sure any of that helps, sorry if I overstepped.


BH 39
WW 43
D day November 9, 2012
3 children 22, 8, 6
Just....

Posts: 435 | Registered: Apr 2013
Topic Posts: 12

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