I am willing to do all that I can to create a NEW marriage, a safe one.
Any suggestions on how to guide him in opening up to the idea of having me as a wife again (only, in a new way)? (through love, and time)
Right now, he also doesn't see any good in our history, which I assume is a mixture of the fog, and the hurt that I caused.
The A and the abuse both came up last time we saw each other (neither of us wanted to talk about it, it just happened). I said I want to reconcile, and hope he makes that decision one day, too. I made it clear that we both need individual healing, as well. He messaged me later to cancel plans with me for Friday. I said I understand, and he un-cancelled them.
I would love to build a new marriage with H, but don't know what the next step is. I am working on myself, and he sees the changes, but he says that he wants me to change, so that I can be a good wife to somebody in the future.
Any suggestions on how to help him to open up emotionally? He knows how to shut down, and does it willingly. He even told me that he did that.
(He feels no remorse, or any other emotion. He knows what he did was unacceptable. We both know what I did to hurt him. He now knows that he did his part in the destruction of our marriage, as well, and admits it)
Even though your situation is a bit different from most, I think you would still really benefit from the 180--from focusing on you. You are getting therapy and working on yourself, which is great; unfortunately, I don't know whether it will be enough for your husband to rethink his current desire for distance. Since you can't control that (and since it also could be that the A is still happening), work on building up your own happiness, your own self-sufficiency, your own mental health. That way, you know that you are moving in a good direction no matter what happens with your H.
Good luck honey.
Do people open up to their abusive spouses changing? He wanted me to get help for years, but it took me hitting rock bottom (him leaving. The A didn't hurt as much, because by the time I found out about it, I understood that I did create an atmosphere that led him on that path). Once I hit rock bottom, I desired to change. I needed inner healing, it was killing me.
Also, you can't 'make' him open up to the idea of reconciling.
Please, focus on you. Keep up with the counseling and being the best you that you can be.
Since there is a history of abuse and neglect, wouldn't the 180 push him further? I don't see how he can learn to trust me, if he can't really see that I am trust-worthy, I suppose.
No matter what happens, that is a powerful thing to remember. Focusing on him, on what he's thinking and how he might react and how to win him back, will not do you any favors. You cannot do better than to respect his need for distance and place all of your attention on your own healing and growth.
I had given him distance, and he eventually called wanting to have 'family time'. He was the one who ended the distance. Now, he seems to want to spend time as a family, but then a day or so later, he shies away from it.
I was all for giving him space, distance, anything (when I did that was when he confessed). Then, when I continued to give space, is when he suggested family time.
and yes, I am working on the issues.
It will be a long process, but at this point, I am able to think more rationally, calm myself, process emotions, and control my anger. Working on my issues is hard, but it's worth it to not be the person that I was.
Thank you for the encouragement.
It took hitting rock bottom for me to do it.
...and I let it destroy my marriage, the man I love, my family, and our dreams (we had a lot of them, as a couple)
Knowing it's most likely the end of my marriage hurts more than the healing of being an abusive person. Healing from being that way is easier than this.
[This message edited by standinghere at 4:54 PM, April 7th (Monday)]
I did create an atmosphere that led him on that path
No, you didn't.
You were abusive, but that doesn't lead to cheating. He could have dealt with this in another way, but chose to cheat.
He has his issues, you have yours, you work on you, he works on him, and together you can work on the relationship.
Get counseling together to help for the children's sake, even if you don't remain married.
I am more upset that he left, and THAT was what my abuse drove him to do (my abuse did not lead to cheating, that was his own fault)
i am going to Individual counselling (church, as well as psych), he is unwilling to go for individual counselling.
I am very willing to go for counselling together, but he isn't. Maybe, in time, he will. He just gave up on OW one week ago, so maybe that is still affecting his reactions, too.
Do you guys think it's a bad idea to spend time with him "as friends" (he knows that I want reconciliation, and he also knows that if there is an OW in the picture, I cannot be friends) right now, as I work on things? To build trust, I suppose?
[This message edited by isthisforever at 5:10 PM, April 7th (Monday)]
I wish there was a way to make H want to stay but its on him to decide. In the meantime i am workg on me, lining up my ducks and preparing to be S or D at some point. It kind of feels like i dont belv things will work out by doing this and possibly saboaging everythg. I hope it does though, and i can toss all this prep aside.
And i hope yours does too. ((((Isthisforever))))
Spend 4 or 5 years alone and then start over with someone new. Spend time in counseling.
In this instance his affair is a secondary matter, domestic violence is terrible regardless of the sex of the perpetrator or victim.
My sister was in a horrendously abusive relationship and every time she left he would seek help. She'd go back and soon it would start again, this went on for years. My ex H was emotionally and physically abusive too, I never left I just stayed while my self esteem was destroyed until he met someone else.
If you really want to deal with your issues you need space, it has to be from you and not because he walked out. I for one applaud him for leaving although I do not believe an affair was the correct way to deal with it.
I am almost tempted to apologise for the harshness of my post but as anyone who has dealt with domestic violence knows treating the perpetrator as a victim and refusing to name the violence for what it is will not help you in the long run.
[This message edited by nolight at 2:13 AM, April 8th (Tuesday)]
I have to tell you, though, I eventually divorced him. He stopped drinking and then stopped living -- he didn't want to do anything at all. Just watch tv.
So please keep your eyes on yourself, continue counseling, and in about 6 months you may see him begin to believe in you again. However,,,,, even if you see him turn your way, do not begin a relationship with him unless he, too, gets counseling.
Do everything it takes to take care of you. You've had a lifetime of learning your coping skills and it will take a lot of work and determination to learn a new way to live, but you can do this!
The hard part for you to accept at this point, is that the marriage is truly secondary at this point. Both you and your WH have deep personal issues that need to be continually worked on, so as to make yourselves better people, future spouses, and parents. The key is for you to let go of the outcome, because no matter what...divorce or reconciliation...your personal growth needs to continue.
Many marriage fail without infidelity being a factor. Whether the abuse was the primary reason, or just one of many in a potentially toxic marriage, the bottom line is that at this point, he does not want to reconcile. There is nothing you can do to MAKE him recommit. But your best chance of making him WANT to recommit, is to make the marriage as attractive and healthy as possible. It looks like you are already heading in that direction, so I believe the best advice is to continue on this path.
No matter what the outcome of your marriage, you will be a healthier person.
And just to add, from a personal view:
On my last D-day, I was hell-bent on divorce. My WW was an active alcoholic, and after my last discoveries, I dumped her off at a crisis center. I then focused on dissolving the marriage.
When my WW was released 5 days later, I told her that no matter what efforts she put into the marriage, that I was done. And that she better get healthy for herself and her children. And you know what? She never asked or begged for me to stay. She accepted that she had no control over me, and went to work feverishly on herself.
Three years later, and she continues to do so....every single day.
I am proud of her efforts. And while we are nearly reconciled(I keep the divorce tagline as a reminder), I look back at how I was drawn back into our marriage---not because she asked me to stay, but because I saw the transformation in front of my very eyes. She hasn't put in her hard work for me(although I hope that I was a positive reason)---she did this for herself. Just as you need to do for yourself.
Maybe your WH will see this, and maybe he won't. But as long as you put in the effort for the right reasons, you can't go wrong.
All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day: 9/18/09 D-Day#2: 2/19/10 The Marriage Killer: 6/6/11
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