I will try to encapsulate our story in another post but the short story is that I had a long-term affair that she had to uncover (D-day about 6 months ago) and just to pile on the hurt I was foolish and immature enough to not take precautions. So while there are no diseases to contend with (been checked by our family Dr.), I did sire a child with the OW.
My biggest challenge right now I think is dealing with the anger. I was bullied for most of my childhood and suffered a lot of abuse in my previous relationship. This history has made me deeply conflict averse and so when the anger pours out my whole being screams at me to run away or to hide or to curl up in a ball or lash out in defensive retaliation.
I know that *I* am the one that put all this anger in there and I am committed to facing up to the hurt and devastation I have caused. I try very hard to receive it as an expression of her pain. But how do you keep from shutting down? I am getting better bit by bit, but still I know that I am nowhere near as strong as she deserves me to be.
You're only 6 months out and there is a baby to contend with...this is an extremely painful situation for your W.
I have no experience with the OC aspect of things, but one thing to try and remember is that your W is probably furious at what she has to now deal with. The baby is a constant reminder.
Please keep in mind that she probably hates what you've done, but doesn't hate you. Your actions from here on out will help define the final outcome in your marriage.
Have you two looked into counseling? What is the situation with the OW and the baby?
My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.
First, being here is a good step. There will be a myriad of aspects to deal with as you continue to work through.
In regard to just the anger and shutting down, I found my way through it bit by bit using this;
1 Name it.
However or whatever works for you, give it a name.
2 Claim it.
This takes repeating over and over each time, accept responsibility. You have to claim your actions/emotion/response etc.
3 Tame it.
Recognize how it effects you and others, consciously plan how to respond to the issue and stay with the plan, regardless of the responses that come up inside yourself.
4 Aim it.
Put it into positive motion to benefit your spouse and reparation for your betrayal. Stay the course.
This will not be an easy road, but there is a road.
One thing that has helped me, I can feel when my body starts to shift. I can feel the pressure in my ears and losing the focus of sound. that is my first sign. But now that I have recognized this, when it starts to happen I visualize sunlight. For me that helps keep me in the present and not pull back into the dark recesses of myself.
So try to find your warning signs. Feel them, identify them. and look for an opposite response you can give. i.e. I feel pulling into darkness I focus on light. It is slow going do not lose hope. For me, at first it worked for short periods, and then longer, and now I can usually pull myself out for the remainder of the conversation.
"If you don't eat the elephant in one bite, it might trample you while chewing"
ME: WH HER: BS (holesinmybucket)
no stop sign = BS always welcome
I do not PM with women
Stay there, look at her, listen to her.
She gets to tell you what she needs. You as a wayward need to give that to her, even if it makes no sense at the time. Even though its hard. It's worth it if the marriage can be saved.
Be honest. Tell her all of it, dont hide anything.
Yes it will be awful, but ripping off a bandaid slowly hurts so much more and saves her nothing.
Remember that the anger comes from her humiliation of being put in this position. Not from you, per se.
But also remember that if she's still here today, she is choosing to be, and by you doing the right things now, it helps pave the way for the marriage from now on.
Counseling helps if you have a good one. someone who is tough and wont take less than the truth.
Hang in there. keep posting.
In my mind, when I am in either the broken and sad mode or angry mode there is one thing that I ALWAYS am looking for from my H. (There a many things but this is a constant)
I want to believe the that he 'gets it'. I can't tell you how big of a deal this is and how much mind space this takes up.
The truth is, unless you've experienced it, you can't ever really understand, IMO, but as much as is humanly possible, I need to know that he does. For example, I may write my H an email describing vivid mind movies or thoughts that constantly enter my mind and he may 1. Not respond because he thinks it's not necessary because it was just a vent or meant to be informative only (wrong) 2. Respond and say I'm sorry you're feeling bad. I hate to see you hurting. It breaks my heart. (Meh. Nice sentiment but not sending the feeling that he 'gets it'. Definitely appreciated though and obviously better than being ignored. 3. He validates my feelings by repeating back some of what I said in his own words. He puts himself in my shoes as best he can and relays to me how he can imagine he would feel. I explained in more detail in a response to another WH, who read my response with his BW who said it was exactly what she had felt but never been able to put into words. It just occured to me it probably would be easier to just link you to that thread. Interestingly, the initial poster was also speaking about dealing with his BSs anger. I hope this helps you some. (and in turn helps her)
Here is the link to that thread....
I hope you keep posting and reading here. Some of the best people you'll ever find and some of the best advice you'll ever get. Occasionally you may need to look past certain posts because the posters may be projecting their own situation or baggage in their response and may not be the right advice for your situation but for the most part it is incredibly insightful, supportive and full of wisdom. Is your BW on SI? .
And when your Anger comes, as does mine, this is what I do:
1. Acknowlege it (oh F..K, I'm angry). If you say to yourself "I hate myself". Consider that you don't, you hate your history. Keep in mind your history is history, if you have changed then it only has control of you when you let it.
2. Try to identify the root, the trigger.
3. Do something physical, take out the trash, go for a walk, hit a punching bag, something.
4. Keep it up until the anger and intention to lash out subsides.
5. Once you are relaxed go back to step 2 and think more about the trigger, what you experienced and see if there is any learning in it.
Remember Anger like any emotion has chemical basis and is often a memory triggered reflex. Getting your reflexes healthy again matter. This goes for any negative emtoion you deal with eg., saddness, etc.
“Whatever follows after DD is much more crucial than the infidelity action itself” Quote by SI Member Melian40
"I'm a good man, not an option" - Steppingup
And what is terribly upsetting is that it gets in the way of being there for her...I wind up on what I've called the gerbil-wheel of becoming overwhelmed and then saying something stupid or insensitive which makes me feel guilty and makes her more angry...and now with me angry and frustrated at myself to boot I am even more likely to self-protect or get angry myself.
Normally I would remove myself to try and release or get my perspective back, but in the middle of such a discussion I don't want to walk away from her...I know she needs to get it out, and I know she needs me to listen. Also I don't want to tell myself it's okay to walk away because I am determined not to allow that as a crutch or 'escape hatch'.
I will try to work on doing some of the things you all have suggested and see if it helps.