I understand he isn't speaking to you much. (Rightly so) But I seriously think you need to talk to him about Monday. What he would like from you. What he wants. What he expects. Keep your opinion and comments to yourself. And no, I'm not talking about table decor and where to hang the paper lanterns. Kwim?
Y'all are flipping bleeding out here. You sure a party, regardless of "tradition", is the best thing to do?
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne
"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?
Have you ever watched Gone With The Wind? There is an early scene at some party at a plantation where Scarlett O'Hara is at the party surrounded by multiple adoring men. And she's loving every second of it. To the dismay of the other Southern Belles there who can't be the center of attention.
I hope this isn't a t/j, but that's a really good point. Gone with the Wind is an incredible novel (I haven't seen the movie). We are conditioned to think of Scarlett as a heroine. But when you look at it from a relationship perspective, she is someone who feels entitled to attention. Her relationships are shallow and based on very little other than desire and appearance.
She also happens to be a remarkably strong person, which encapsulates the spirit of perseverance during Reconstruction. But she reaps what she sows when it comes to relationships, and that's why the book's last line is so powerful. Margaret Mitchell was far ahead of her time when it came to historical fiction.
So, yeah, you need to look past the appearances here and figure out what it means to be part of a marriage. Scarlett began to understand this late in the novel, but it was too late.
but I can also feel him slipping away
He's not slipping away, he's getting stronger. He is reevaluating everything and he knows he will survive, with or without you.
And thats OK.
Guns don't kill people; Affairs kill people
Do you realize that by your reaction at the lunch, you once again made yourself the center of attention?
As gently as I can SoSorry, I'm telling you that the whole thing isn't about you. I know that might come as quite a shock, but you need a wake-up call. Even with your voluminous words about how you're worried about him, you still talk about yourself more than you do anything else.
Backing away from the keyboard now.
Swat was angry, so angry he was shaking. He said a lot of hurtful things. He was angry I cheated, who AP was, my lying about the affair, my attention seeking, my seeing AP at the bar. The list seemed to go on forever. I had nothing to say. He was 100% right and I told him that. I don't have any defense against what he said. I was seeking attention, I disrespected him, I tried to blame him and I lied to him and about him. I did so much to hurt him. He said he never doubted me before but now he can't look at me without doubting what I am saying or doing. He said he isn't sure he can trust me or if he even wants to trust me anymore. There was more but it really doesn't matter at this point. I really think he hates me now. He said he doesn't want my help to get better. He said he is fine and will deal with it, but he isn't fine. Right now he is different, he reminds me of a wounded animal.
I have no defense for what I did. I'm not even sure how to say it. I never thought of myself as selfish or manipulative. I didn't think I was mean or spiteful. I never thought I would be capable of cheating. But I did it all. It is surreal in a way. I can see each decision I made to get to my affair and I can see how I lied to everyone, but mostly myself to justify what I was doing. I've always thought of myself as good and since he loved me he would always be there and he was always there. He sacrificed a lot. He sacrificed sleep, his hobbies all sorts of things for me and the kids. I just didn't see it. He worked so much OT so I could stay home with the kids, which I wanted. We always got a vacation and they weren't cheap either. I had the best of everything and I demanded it. How would we pay for these things if he didn't work extra? But that didn't matter to me and my selfishness. I wanted it all, but I was not willing to help. I wasn't a partner, I was a burden. I could have stopped this entire thing if I wanted to. I could have done so much more. I made myself unhappy but I didn't do anything to fix it. My family saw what I was doing and how I was acting, but I'm not sure they thought I could or would take it so far.
I know Swat has every right to feel the way he does and I understand it. I know I caused it and would do just about anything to fix it. But I can't fix it, because it has already happened and there is no magic time machine. I've tried to talk to him about it and while he listens. He does not believe me.
I have read this post five times and I'm not even sure it makes sense. I know there is a lot of "I" here. And I wish there was more "he and him", but he isn't really giving me much to go on. He is really closed off and isn't talking to anyone that I know of. After we talked he left and went running. That was four hours ago and I don't know where he is. I just don't know how to get through to him so we can talk. He will be back I know he has promised the kids they would go riding today.
You are in a shame spiral. It's common after Dday, when the gravity of your actions hit home. It's an important step to 'getting it'. But you can't let yourself get sucked down.
What good is sitting around thinking 'I'm such a horrible person, I've hurt everyone. Woe is me!' That's not going to help SWAT, your kids, your family and it isn't going to help you.
When SWAT is angry and lashing out, don't sit there hanging your head in shame, saying nothing. Validate his feelings, ask him what you can do to help him. There is no defence for what you've done, there is nothing you can say to make it better. Focus your energy into fixing your shit. Show SWAT over and over again, in all your actions, for the rest of your life you are striving to be a better person.
It doesn't matter whether he divorces you or not. Do it for you, for your kids. So that no matter what happens in the future, whether you're with SWAT or not, you'll be a safe and authentic person.
Come on sosorry! Fight! You can do it!
My Ddays - 01/10 & 12/04/14
His Dday - 23/12/13
Chin up. Unwavering. Fight. I can do this.
When he's angry he's expressing his feelings. There is pain and suffering in those angry words.
You're right, he probably doesn't want your help. He doesn't trust you to help him. So help yourself, put everything you have into healing so he can see the changes in you.
I'm exactly five months out from Dday today. Last week was the first time that BH asked for my help on something. He actually confided his feelings and asked me to help him. It was a huge step for us.
It won't happen straight away, you have to work hard. Unwavering, consistent actions from you. Keep going to IC, keep reading, write a journal. You'll get there, one day at a time.
tried to blame him and I lied to him and about him. I did so much to hurt him. He said he never doubted me before but now he can't look at me without doubting what I am saying or doing.
The interesting thing about these actions of yours is that they're like a little acorn. Sometimes it takes a while for those actions to mature into the tree of distrust. Do you see how you watered and fertilized it well?
He said he isn't sure he can trust me or if he even wants to trust me anymore.
Nor should he trust you right now and not for a long time. You've not only shown him that he can't trust you, you rubbed his nose in it repeatedly.
There was more but it really doesn't matter at this point.
Because it's part of the ripple effect. Those waves are going to keep coming for a while.
I really think he hates me now.
He might. But that should be evidence of how much he really loved you. If he hadn't loved you so intensely, he wouldn't be feeling the intense pain of betrayal now.
He said he doesn't want my help to get better.
Because he knows he can't trust you and he feels he's better off in a pool of sharks than with you.
He said he is fine and will deal with it, but he isn't fine. Right now he is different, he reminds me of a wounded animal.
I remember my big accomplishment at 5 years old. I jumped off the high dive. I didn't dive, I just jumped off, but it was a big deal to me. Climbing the ladder to get to the top, walking out on a wiggly board to get to the edge, looking down at the water, knowing it was a great distance (to me, and then taking the plunge. Your description of trying to "fix it" sounds remarkably to me (a BS) like someone holding a gun to my head and making me climb that high dive ladder, and then having to walk backwards to the edge just wondering how long it'll be before they shove me off. Let him pick what time frame HE needs to recover from this damaged and broken heart. Be patient.
I had nothing to say. He was 100% right and I told him that. I don't have any defense against what he said.
I can tell you from experience that early on in R, I would often say nothing and that was infuriating to my BH. My BH would be angry, express to me his hurt and I would sit there 'listening' with my head hung and sad eyes with nothing to say. If you asked me then, I would tell you it's because I had no defenses. I get that. But the reality is that it was reactionary. It was shame taking over and me allowing it to. Because of that, I wasn't truly listening to my husband. I was wrapped up in my shame. My shame then became my pain. I felt bad, but it was more because what he was saying made me feel bad. And there is a huge difference between that and feeling bad because my husband is hurting.
Once I could stop having that internal dialogue about what an awful person I was for doing this while my husband was talking to me, I could begin to actively engage in the conversation. You need to listen to him, feel what he is trying to tell you. Actively listen by telling him you hear what he is saying. And when he isn't talking there is no reason why you can't, unless he says otherwise. You obviously have thoughts and feelings about what happened. There should be no reason why you can't share them with him. If you have an aha moment, let him know. If you feel empathy for a particular aspect that you didn't think about, share it.
Do not be afraid to bring up the subject because you don't want to rock the boat. I'm certain he will begin to appreciate you taking the initiative to start a dialogue. Sometimes it's just too difficult for a BS to open up. They have to be vulnerable to a person that had already demonstrated that they are capable and willing to hurt them. So now is your time to be vulnerable to him. Forget about what he is going to think about you. Your character is already in the toilet and you have nothing to lose at this point. It's time for you to give back to this dynamic and be proactive.
[This message edited by WalkinOnEggshelz at 7:26 AM, May 23rd (Friday)]
But you're unable to do that. At this point all you can think about is yourself. That's judgmental, yes, but I can tell that's where you're coming from because I was the same way. Many of us WW were (or are) in early days. Some never shake it off.
How do I validate his feelings when he doesn't really express them?
Wait, what?! Are you truly that dense? I'm not buying it. He may not be using the words, "I feel completely devastated by your actions" but he is telegraphing it loud and clear. This "he doesn't express his feelings" line is a convenient cop-out, so quit it.
If you really are that dense, though, I have a book recommendation for you. Nonviolent Communication by Rosenberg. It will teach you how to listen with your heart, instead of your ears.
Even with your voluminous words about how you're worried about him, you still talk about yourself more than you do anything else.
I can see why some are responding this way, but isn't that part of the point of the Wayward Forum? When SS17 talks about herself, it gives other Waywards a chance to call her on her thinking if it's off, etc.
The restaurant incident is an excellent example. That was real for SS17, her experience, her response. Honestly sharing that here is a good thing, as it allowed other Waywards to say, "Uhm, wait a sec. You're still making this all about you. It's not. You need to learn how to do X, Y, Z when something like this comes up. It's not up to SIL to comfort you. You have to learn to calm yourself, deal with the effects of your A without having others go with 'there, there...it'll all be OK.'"
In that particular case, it wasn't about SWAT, per say. She needed to talk about herself, what she did, how she reacted. Because the only way we can shake our Wayward thinking is to put it out there, get the reality check, learn to cut through the bullshit. It doesn't magically happen just because all the cards are on the table.
My best thinking brought me to SI.
It is a long, dragged out process that includes heartache and pain. There isn't always something to be done.
I know that sounds harsh, but that is the truth. We don't always want to talk about what we are feeling. Sometimes we just want to forget for a while, and sometimes that is easiest when the spouse isn't there.
You are obviously trying. From what I can see you are doing well. But what you are doing now isn't the problem.
I can tell you from experience that early on in R, I would often say nothing and that was infuriating to my BH. My BH would be angry, express to me his hurt and I would sit there 'listening' with my head hung and sad eyes with nothing to say. If you asked me then, I would tell you it's because I had no defenses. I get that. But the reality is that it was reactionary.
It drove me crazy when my H would not respond. For one thing it was reminiscent of his previous avoidance, and for another it did nothing to validate my feelings.
When he managed to get out of the shame spiral he started being responsive. Now, it doesn't seem to matter whether I'm sad, angry, or confused, he is able to express remorse to me, and that is a huge positive. It is almost infuriating to me now that if I start to slip into an old pattern, the change in him completely takes the wind out of my sails. (I'm kidding of course - this is a wonderful thing!)
I know that moving on from shame is difficult, but you absolutely MUST do that if you want to heal and be a safe partner for SWAT. IMO a wayward spouse caught in the shame spiral is very dangerous, and I have advised BSs whose spouses were in that place to be very wary of them. Your IC should be able to help you with this, and if not, find someone who can. You might also want to check out some of Brene Brown's books.
Wishing you healing...
I tried talking to him about the drinking when he called. He sounded really drunk and he just hung up on me when I asked if he needed any help. He will not answer his phone either and it seems he has turned it off because the gps isn't working. I'm worried and I'm not sure what to do. My parents and brother have been looking for him.
He knows you are sorry at this point, when he reaches out for you, be there to support him. Make it about him and not you. Try not to get stuck in the shame spiral. Listen to him and his pain. It is about him. It takes practice to learn how to do that when we have been so focused on ourselves, but you can do this.
I doubt your husband is in any mood to be lectured. I know this may sounds harsh, but anything you say beyond are you OK is probably going to make him angrier.
Taking back our wayward spouse sometimes makes us feel like weak men. At times we really just want to be left alone. We need space to process.
When he goes away like that the best thing to do is leave him alone. Your H doesn't sound like the type who will put himself or his children at risk, and I would be very careful before you say anything that might give him the impression that he is.
[This message edited by redsox13 at 11:37 AM, May 24th (Saturday)]
You remind me of myself. So the best way for me to make my point might be to tell you my experiences.
My DDay was very public. We were at my 20 year high school reunion. We were all "friends" and we drove to the hotel in the same car. My husband ended up staying in our room that night, my AP's BW went home, and I stayed with my AP in his room. If you look back on it, it's all pretty horrifying. The next morning I kept attempting to get ahold of my BH. No answer on his cell phone. No answer when I knocked on the door. No answer when I called on the hotel line. Several attempts had been made with no answer each time. What if something happened to him? I began to go beyond worried to scared. I involved the hotel personnel to open the door to the room. There he was in bed, sleeping. He woke up to a room full of people staring at him. The hotel personnel questioned him to make sure he was ok and then left. And I left too. BH was angry and rightfully so.
The reason why I share this story is because I don't want you to do anything that will purposefully hurt SWAT or humiliate him any further. You have already made your infidelity public. Just like I had made mine public. Can you imagine how my husband must have felt to wake up and have perfect strangers staring at him but know so much about what is going on his life. In that situation he would be pitied and trust me when I say that's not a position thing. I made him feel like a complete shmuck. I added insult to injury by busting into that room out of the guise of caring and worry. Yes, I worried about him, but the problem is that I was worrying about me too. How would him hurting himself affect me? That would clearly make me a horrible person, a complete monster!
So if he wants space, give it to him. Don't make any more drama by involving people that really have no business knowing what is going on. Because trust me when I say that even well intentioned actions can be very hurtful when you are still in a very self directed world.
All in all it sounds like SWAT is handling all of this with a lot of grace and strength. In time you will appreciate just how well he has done.
[This message edited by WalkinOnEggshelz at 12:25 PM, May 24th (Saturday)]