I think any WS who is actively posting and trying on SI IS AT LEAST TRYING TO "get it"
WW only posted here 3 times. That was over 7 months ago and it took her a year after being asked. WW is trying to be patient and supportive when I trigger or want to talk, but she still gets defensive and shuts down.
[This message edited by devotedfool68 at 6:47 AM, August 8th, 2014 (Friday)]
Do you believe that is the case for you? Would you have continued if you hadn't been caught?
I think i would have continued and i think it would have escalated well beyond what it got to for me. Having said that i also know that it was reaching critical mass and was all about to implode so just how far - can never be sure. the point it, i was never going to come forward. Sadly, i had to be caught.
Do you think that being caught was a good thing for you to snap you back into reality and realize who you were really hurting, and do you feel like you are genuinely becoming a better person because of it? Are you and your BW working on R?
Yes. Being caught and having to face the true nature of the pain i have inflicted on an unsuspecting, innocent and truly beautiful soul - has been the most unbelievably self disintegrating experience i have ever gone through - and as yuou would know - is still a mere sliver of the pain BW is in 24 hours of every day. That experience has set me on a path to working on myself in a way i never have before. I am discovering who i am, and why i am the way i am. I am giving my BW a chance to fall in love with the real and genuine me. Not the pretender i presented as for 10 years. We are working on R, BW committed to it less than a month ago, 6 months out from DDay.
I feel like I keep reading and searching for a "magic pill" that will make this pain go away and bring us back to a happy place.
This really resonated with my BW. As its where her mind often leads her also. in all of her questioning of details she is often looking for an answer that will have that magic pill effect and somehow show her that i did in some way display a sense of sanctity over our marriage. That that will bring her some relief and help her move on... like magic.
Sadly, that magic pill doesnt exist. For anyone. the only thing that makes this better is a truly remorseful, consistent wayward - and time.
I thank you truly for your insight and sharing with me your experience. When I first found all of this out, I don't think I could have spoken with the WS on this forum but I feel like it is actually most helpful to hear from people who had similar dispositions as my WH. It helps me to understand that him saying his A had nothing to do with me, he was happy in our M and that it was deep dark feelings inside him he was trying to "make better" are not just a crock of shit and that if it weren't an A, he was in such a dark place that his IC believes he would have found some other destructive outlet.
I am discovering who i am, and why i am the way i am. I am giving my BW a chance to fall in love with the real and genuine me
thank you for answering Neverwudaguessed's questions with such honesty. I had the same question about WS making an about face because my WH seemed to really snap out of his "funk" on DDay and has really committed to improving himself, building his self esteem and living a more authentic life in all aspects. I was feeling a bit like this may be a facade to keep me around, but I see how much work he is doing on himself and in his life, and he really seems happier. He has said to me that even though we are going through this, he has realized I truly am his best friend, and he will work his ass off every day to be the best man he can be and stop feeling sorry for himself. He has a great new job that is aligned with the field he is studying, he is excited about school to start this semester, and he has been so helpful with housework and always asking me how I feel, if I am okay and if I need to talk. He has been so open which is something I never experienced with him before and I am enjoying getting to know him all over again. I know that only time will heal these wounds and a truly remorseful WH, I hope he continues the way he has been going.
"Reconciliation means working together to correct the legacy of past injustice." - Nelson Mandela
I was wondering if any of the other WSs could give me some suggestions for helping him feel good with our friends again.
Time is the #1 answer.
At some point, I convince myself a little bit that I am human, and that we all make mistakes. Even if they are huge, awful mistakes. We don't get to erase those mistakes. But how we react to them, whether we try to take responsibility and make amends, that counts for something, too.
If I can see myself as someone who is recovering from my mistakes, then I can start to believe that maybe others see me that way, too. And that makes it a little less uncomfortable.
Let me say that this happens a little bit at a time.
One thing that has helped is having BW support me. When my inlaws see BW holding my hand, maybe they think I am worth a second chance in their eyes, too.
When my inlaws see BW holding my hand, maybe they think I am worth a second chance in their eyes, too.
I hope for that day.
I am trying.
I too shut down, and get defensive. It is reducing, but I know that I am not as successful as I want to be. Most often when I get defensive or shut down it isn't about my BH or what he is saying. There is a lifetime of self talk going on in my head at the same time. Unfortunately for him, he is having to deal with me in relation to my own dialogue.
When I fight back, it isn't me fighting back against him. It's me fighting back against everyone in my life who told me wasn't, couldn't, and would never be good enough.
SI isn't for everyone. I'm sorry that your WW hasn't tried more. Is she reading? In counseling? Anything like that?
Appalled by my actions, and the choice to set off several atomic bombs in my life.
[This message edited by Neverwudaguessed at 11:28 AM, August 11th (Monday)]
IT seems more than that though as my husband truly believed at the time, in his loneliness that I had stopped loving him
I think you are on the right track. For me, it was some combination of:
1. using the "she doesn't love me" thought to justify the A;
2. taking little things out of context to prove my position. Like when BW was tired and not in the mood for sex, immediately jumping to the conclusion that she wasn't attracted to me;
3. extrapolating one incident to the foreseeable future. "If BW isn't attracted to me this exact moment, then she will never be attracted to me"; and
4. the very real fact that while in my depression, and especially during my As, I was pushing BW away.
It took me a while to figure out that last one. I thought I was keeping my A separate from my M, but it wasn't true. The A made me more isolated and unhappy. So I brought that into my M. there was more and more distance between me and BW, but an awful lot of that was caused by me. It was a downward spiral.
[This message edited by lovehonorcherish at 3:39 PM, August 11th (Monday)]
My experience does not exactly parallel that of your WS but I did have the experience of 1) seriously considering leaving BS for AP in the immediate aftermath of D-day and 2) I was not really completely on board with reconciliation for several months. I would say it was someplace in the 6-9 month mark that I committed to burning the AP bridge forever. I had no contact with AP during this time but I had not yet sent an "it's done forever" letter. So take what I have to say with a grain of salt, varying mileage, all that. Some of it might make sense though.
During the affair and if I am honest for most of my adult life I related to people more as sources of feelings than as actual people. Having a relationship become a source of bad feelings was, to me, a sign that there was a problem with the relationship and/or the relationship partner. Figuring out how and when I started thinking this way has been part of my "why" work, and the details are rather beyond the scope of this post (unless you really want to know.
What do I mean by sources of feelings? Well, to a large extent I was never really completely myself with anyone. I am not sure that at time I even had a self, just a bunch of characters that I had unconsciously tailored for individuals or groups of people. They shared common properties (nice, funny, happy) but it was in their pathologies that they differed. What they were willing to do in front of the "audience" as it were. That varied wildly. I actually thought of it as a gift. "Being able to meet people where they are" is what I called it. I can see now that I was sacrificing my authentic self every time I changed how I behaved to get the response I wanted from my audience. People were, in effect, just mirrors.
As such, my sense of motivation came almost entirely from outside of me. My self image was what I saw reflected back to me by other people. And when I did not like what I saw reflected back, I would distance myself from that mirror. This strategy for making decisions about with whom to spend time and what to spend it doing obviously turned out disastrous for me and for my BS. While I was in the affair I resented him for so much. But mainly for reflecting back to me that what I was doing (blatant EA, hidden PA) was not okay.
Okay, so, I didn't leave BS. I went cold turkey on contact (although mental NC took a bit longer to figure out, thank you SI waywards!). I committed to fixing my shit, as they say, even though at the time I committed to it I had no idea the depth of the work to be done. And I have fixed a lot of it. I don't look back on AP and those times with dreamy stars in my eyes. I no longer think AP and I were star-crossed soul-mates, and all that dreck. I see it for what it was. It was a source of good feelings at the expense of my BS's emotional and physical well being, and at the expense of my marriage and at the expense of my own soul.
I don't know how your WS is wired. But if he is wired anything like I was, and he has not seen that yet, then he's likely still running his decision making process on the good feelings/bad feelings evaluation strategy. As the reality of either relationship crashes in, they can switch places as a source of good and bad feelings. It is aptly summed up in that old adage "the grass is always greener..." Also, there is the "not wanting to be seen as the bad guy" need. This is a need that he may have been willing to meet at your expense, the expense of being dragged through the infidelity wringer for an additional year. The expense of additional damage that has to be healed on top of the original damage.
In trying to fix my shit, I have learned that I was emotionally stunted at about age 19. I have had to actually learn about adult ideas and expectations of love and commitment. I have had to rewire my brain through behavioural choices, meditation, IC, to be able to consistently think of marriage in those terms. It is so much deeper than anything I was willing to do or could even conceive of doing preD-day. Up to then I lived very much on the emotional surface and faked being a deep person pretty well. Is it possible that your WS has not really ever gotten his mind wrapped around what it really means to be in a committed, lifelong relationship? That it's not just about having a stable of people who help him get his emotional needs met? That as adults part of our work is to stop expecting everyone else to meet our needs (which is normal if you're a child) and start helping other people meet theirs?
Okay this is starting to get a little ranty. Been processing a lot myself lately. I hope this gave you some insight into the processes that power the terrible decision making upon which betrayal is built.
I am so sorry you have been put through this. Peace and healing to you from this occasionally EvolvingSoul.
Digging our way through.
Wow. You described something for me better than anyone or anything ever. I have played a role so often in my life. I used to point to that chamelon- like quality as a strength. I know now it was mostly faking.
I have noticed that every girl or woman I have ever "dated" has fallen in love with me. That is not always because of the genuine me. It's because I was acting the part of "whatever would get this girl to like me."
I am changing that. Trying to figure out what makes me happy, rather than relying on others.
I have received so much excellent feedback, comments, 2x4s and support from the member of this forum that I almost feel bad asking for more. But here it goes anyway:
When it comes to the privacy/integrity of the WS during and after attempted R I understand that many (most?) of you have demanded and received full openness and access to any and all phones, computers, logins, passwords etc. etc. etc. Correct? How have you handled this? To what extent have you really checked up on your WS? Do you tell them when you do, or after you did? For how long did you monitor their communications? And, a question of conscience here, did you ever read anything else of their communication with others than their APs? Are they fine with that? Do the WS not also need some privacy and unmonitored support from their family/friends? Did you read their journal/diary if they have one?
I would really appreciate comments from Waywards on this topic too. What is your take on my questions above? How did you feel about releting control and allowing full transparency? How much/what is OK, and what is not from your point of view?
I am not sure how to handle this as I feel extremely bad "snooping around", even though my "control" is very limited. Should I check more? (I haven't found a shred of evidence or indication that my WW has been communicating with the OM since D-Day.)
D-day #2 Jan 18, 2014: 12 month EA/PA (AP#3)+ admission of 5 month EA/PA in 1994 (AP#1).
D-day #1 May 2001: 2 month EA/PA (AP#2)
I used to be very secretive. I had an easy excuse because of the line of work that I'm in.
A few days after DDay when she asked for all my passwords, of course I gave them to her. Being fully transparent is the very least I could do to help my BW feel safe. I had to be transparent to prove as much as possible that I still wasn't carrying on my A. I say "as much as possible" because my BW can't monitor what I do 24/7. That would be the only way to give my BW the level of certainty she needs that I'm being faithful. She is always going to have some doubts & suspicions. She's always going to wonder if I have just gotten better at hiding stuff. Goodness knows there are enough horror stories on SI about Waywards who do that sort of thing and commit false R. (I just want to smack 'em because they are just destroying their BS's forever AND they're making it so much harder for those of us waywards who are making a genuine effort.)
Initially I was nervous because I was still hiding the whole truth from her. She knew about my recent LTA, but she didn't know about all the ONS, the online EAs, the porn. Once I finally came clean about that, it was a relief.
Today, I'm not nervous about her checking my phone, my email, or my browser history because I know I have nothing more to hide. Occasionally I do get anxious that her deep digging my produce something--an old photo or note, for example--not because I am hiding anything deliberately, but because I have honestly forgotten about the existence of whatever it was that she found, and frankly it's hard to have to explain it. There are only so many times you can claim "I didn't know it was there. I forgot about it," before your BS starts to think you're hiding stuff. I just want all that crap gone. I told her, if she finds something objectionable, delete it. I don't need to know what she deletes because I've clearly long forgotten about it or else I would have deleted it after DDay. Anything that remains is an old pollutant in the muck in the bottom of the river. I'm operating under the assumption that I have deleted everything. I haven't gone looking for anything else because I have no interest in any of it.
As for how often my BW looks, I know she looks at my phone every day. I don't know how often she checks my computer at home, nor do I know about other investigations she might be conducting on me. She is not naturally suspicious and cynical, she hates this about herself, and she resents the hell out of me for making her this way. She will check on me until (1) she feels confident that I'm telling her the truth, or (2) she decides she doesn't care anymore because she's divorcing my ass. I hope for Option 1! By being fully transparent, I at least create the possibility for Option 1. If I don't, then I seal Option 2 as my fate.
For me this is very black and white. I used to absolutely hate the idea of BW looking through my things. Whether it was personal property, accounts, phones, computers or what have you... I was never comfortable with it and i always preached my right to some level of privacy. What i never acknowledged at the time was that i was only doing this because of the mountainous heap of lying shit that lay just on the other side of that wall she was often keep to peep over and i was never prepared to risk her finding it.
Fast forward to now. If a wayward spouse is genuine in his or her remorse, humility in the face of what they have done, and determination to live an authentic life - then i believe the right to privacy with your BS has been relinquished. Not temprarily - forever. Gone. Surrendered. Not withstanding the fact that in a marriage there really shouldnt be any devices or journals or even any feelings or thoughts that you should not be able to safely share with your spouse. The trust should be there that you can be vulnerable with that person and know that no matter what, they love you and have chosen you for life. They will support you, empathize with you and guide you through your darkest issues. So you should never need that privacy anyway.
But not withstanding that - now that we have committed the ultimate betrayal and wiped out sometimes decades of happy, beautiful, safe memories - we need to respect the utter terror that we have bestowed upon our BS that we will do this again. It will never be completely enough to simply say we NOW love them or to behave in a loving and present way in our relationship because as far as they thought, we were doing that before. And we lied to them.
So I say leave no stone unturned. That is the arrangement i have with my BW, and it is not my intention to hand that back ever. She will always know all my passwords, what accounts i have, the right to burst into the bathroom when im on the loo, the right to show up at work unannounced and demand to view my browser history, to trudge through phone bills and ask for answers on who every singe number and call is to, to scour my phone daily for call logs, text messages, apps etc.
If a WS is genuine, as TGNM said, we have no reason to be nervous anymore because we have nothing to hide. I think i still get nervous sort of by habit? Ive spent 10 years being edgy about it and while its a massive weight that i am thrilled to have lifted now, i still flinch a bit. But i am blessed to now know beyond any doubt or concern that i can be completely open and free with my wife. The big point here is that only I know that. She never will. And THATS why you give up your privacy. Out of respect for that fact.
I really have no idea how much BW checks up on me. I know of two times where things were innocently messed up (IT turned off the track my phone on my Iphone, and once where BW misread the app - -both situations I have written about on Wayward forum) .
BW says she doesn't check much. That might be true or not. I think that even if she checked three times a day, she wouldn't tell me. That's because she wants me to be honest and safe because I want to, not because I think she is checking up on me.
I don't know if that helps, but it's my story.