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Wayward Side Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: BH - self protection and waiting for the other shoe to drop
Macsecond
♀ Member
Member # 43972
Default  Posted: 1:47 PM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Since a trauma in his childhood, BH has a tendency to disconnect to protect himself from further emotional trauma. He did have a day of anger and freaking out after DDay, but nothing since.

We were discussing this yesterday, and I asked him if he felt he was preventing himself from feeling or reacting strongly and whether that might get in the way of moving forward.

I've been completely forthcoming, I have made no contact with xAP, though xAP has tried to email me. I've let BH know right away when this happens, and the latest BH actually found before me because he's got access to my email accounts now. He will be responding to it in the next day or two as he figures out what he wants to say to him.

I've made changes to help him feel safe, started IC and we'll be arranging to start some MC soon.

I let him know that I knew it would take time to process and didn't want to rush him through it, but he was wondering if this is just how he processes it.

We said we both felt like we were waiting for the other shoe to drop. He also feels like he wants to rush right into "fixing things" and to have some control over the matter, wants to address communication and relationship building stuff in MC right away, but we both feel like he might be skipping over the grief and processing part of everything, and wondering if it'll all come out later.

I know I can't rush it, and can't predict what that might look like, but can provide him with a safe space to do so, that I accept anything he wants to throw my way because I deserve it for hurting him and betraying him.

I've also let him know about SI and IC as avenues to just vent and process if he doesn't feel like he can do so with me.

He likes that we talk. We've talked and communicated more in the last two weeks than we have for years.

He's still in "protector" mode, but how important is it for him to let go of that and to open himself up to feeling the negatives? He's a very logical, rational person, and I know part of it is making sense of everything and developing a plan to attack and "fix it". Jumping right into reconciliation mode.

I did tell him everything, but also wrote up a timeline and a separate list of other details I didn't know where to fit in the timeline. He hasn't read either yet. He wants to but at the same time doesn't want to. Perhaps he's waiting for this and everything will come out? Perhaps he's waiting for a protected environment like MC to voice things?

Any thoughts on how I can help him through this? Meeting his needs, but at his pace and without pushing him?

Rambling. Sorry.


Me - WW (38)
Him - BH (36)
Married almost 14 years.
2 kids
DDay - July 4, 2014 (I confessed to 5 month OEA)
In IC and MC, working on R.

Posts: 141 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: Canada
Lark
♀ Member
Member # 43773
Default  Posted: 2:08 PM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

There isn't a stopsign, so I hope it's ok that I respond.

As a BS, my thoughts are that it's only been 2 weeks. In my situation, I found out that everything I thought was real for the past year was not.

It has been very difficult to cope with the loss of that reality, the loss of the image I had of my husband, and the loss of belief in my husband's honesty.

It feels like an almost physical reaction to turn inwards and protect-protect-protect what you *do* know is real, and be suspicious of any and everything that might hurt you again - including the words of the WS. We've been hurt once, we don't want to be caught with our back turned again, so to speak.

So I imagine the only thing that does help is time and consistency. Showing him consistency that you are doing the work to be honest, to make him feel safe, and the work required to fix this.


"Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul." - William Ernest Henley

Posts: 525 | Registered: Jun 2014 | From: California
Macsecond
♀ Member
Member # 43972
Default  Posted: 2:15 PM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you Lark. Yes, BS input is very much appreciated. I know everyones' reactions will be different, combined with different backgrounds and different situations.

I think I expected more of a reaction from him, especially based on what I've read of others' experiences on the various boards here. I guess I am worried his lack of response will either be detrimental for him, or that I won't be prepared for it.

He just seems to want to put the cart in front of the horse, and I don't know if that would be a good thing, a bad thing, or just... it is what it is.


Me - WW (38)
Him - BH (36)
Married almost 14 years.
2 kids
DDay - July 4, 2014 (I confessed to 5 month OEA)
In IC and MC, working on R.

Posts: 141 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: Canada
DrJekyll
♂ Member
Member # 43618
Default  Posted: 2:21 PM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This is a completely understandable and normal reaction for your BS. He thought his whole world was one way, and in the blink of an eye, Everything he believed in has been flipped upside down.

If this were a boxing match, he just took a strong hit right to the head. He is dazed and falling back on his heels trying to grab for the ropes. reaching for anything to catch his balance. Trying to figure out which way is up. And he feels that there is another blow coming, but cannot see straight to find where the punch is coming from.

So he has gone into protect mode. Can you blame him? you and him got into the ring together, and when he was counting on you to protect his blindside, you turn and punch him right in the head.

So first, his body knows what he needs to heal. And his healing is all on him. You need to help him and be supportive. But until he hands that to you, you can do nothing. You probably helpless, you want to help but might feel like he will not let you. Well he feels helpless to. helpless to change the past, helpless to undue all the damage that has happened.

We were discussing this yesterday, and I asked him if he felt he was preventing himself from feeling or reacting strongly and whether that might get in the way of moving forward.

what was his response?

He also feels like he wants to rush right into "fixing things" and to have some control over the matter,

why not let him, maybe what he is telling is: "I feel so out of control that I need to feel I can make a difference before I can continue forward"
So work on something, work on communication.
read with him "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide "

I think he is telling you what he needs at this moment. Listen to him. Give him what he asks for, what he wants. Everyone's feelings are different. Your MC is going to have more credibility than you or us. Maybe your MC can encourage him to "Feel it"

Any thoughts on how I can help him through this? Meeting his needs, but at his pace and without pushing him?

Your answer is in your question itself. Meet his needs (what he asks for, not what you might think he should be asking for) at his pace (not any predetermined timeframe)

Try to just "Be" everyone's healing pace is different requiring different things.


Moving from Jekyll the destroyer to Jekyll the rebuilder.

"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


Posts: 605 | Registered: Jun 2014 | From: United States
Macsecond
♀ Member
Member # 43972
Default  Posted: 2:30 PM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you for your input DrJekyll.

If this were a boxing match, he just took a strong hit right to the head. He is dazed and falling back on his heels trying to grab for the ropes. reaching for anything to catch his balance. Trying to figure out which way is up. And he feels that there is another blow coming, but cannot see straight to find where the punch is coming from.

So he has gone into protect mode. Can you blame him? you and him got into the ring together, and when he was counting on you to protect his blindside, you turn and punch him right in the head.

This makes perfect sense.


We were discussing this yesterday, and I asked him if he felt he was preventing himself from feeling or reacting strongly and whether that might get in the way of moving forward.

what was his response?

He wasn't sure. He did acknowledge that it felt very fast for him too, and that it was very likely he was avoiding "feeling the feels" but neither of us was sure if it was necessary to do so in order to move forward or not.

why not let him, maybe what he is telling is: "I feel so out of control that I need to feel I can make a difference before I can continue forward"
So work on something, work on communication.
read with him "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide "

Good point! I'll add that to our reading list.

I know I shouldn't expect things to move in a linear fashion, I just want to make sure we're not covering things up and that he's not rugsweeping to cope. We both miss the way we interacted before I brought this down on us. We're both still navigating it and learning to cope with it all. But we both acknowledge that us talking it through and being totally honest with each other is important.

Meet his needs (what he asks for, not what you might think he should be asking for) at his pace (not any predetermined timeframe)

Okay. I can do this. We've assured each other that we'll communicate our needs (quite unlike we used to do before), so I trust that once he figures out what his additional needs are, he'll tell me.


Me - WW (38)
Him - BH (36)
Married almost 14 years.
2 kids
DDay - July 4, 2014 (I confessed to 5 month OEA)
In IC and MC, working on R.

Posts: 141 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: Canada
DrJekyll
♂ Member
Member # 43618
Default  Posted: 2:38 PM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

at a couple weeks out, he could very well still be in a form of shock. I would not press the rugsweeping issue at this point. probably save that for an MC topic.

The healing process - is more like having one end of a baseball bat on the ground and then bend down rest your forehead on it. Spin in a circle 20 times and then stand up dizzy. grab a crayon and try to color in the lines. The result of the crayon lines is more like how the conversations and feelings are going to be.


Moving from Jekyll the destroyer to Jekyll the rebuilder.

"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


Posts: 605 | Registered: Jun 2014 | From: United States
redsox13
♂ Member
Member # 43391
Default  Posted: 2:46 PM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

He also feels like he wants to rush right into "fixing things" and to have some control over the matter, wants to address communication and relationship building stuff in MC right away, but we both feel like he might be skipping over the grief and processing part of everything, and wondering if it'll all come out later.

As a fellow fixer and a BS, what you want to fix initially is the insecurity. You want to make the hurt go away as fast as possible, so you make a list of things to do and think the faster you check them off the quicker you will feel better.

It works in a way - as you work down the list you get comfortable the WS isn't leaving, and so the panic feeling subsides.

But if you aren't careful, you never address the other feelings it brings up.There is no hard and fast timeline for dealing with the deeper issues A raises, and if you don't confront them they may resurface later.

Having said this I don't think there is much you can do. The BS has to do this work - you can't do it for them - and if you try to get them to do it they will resent it.

Hopefully this makes sense.


BS - 45
WW - 43
In R for 5 years, still hurting but finally letting go

Posts: 252 | Registered: May 2014 | From: nh
Macsecond
♀ Member
Member # 43972
Default  Posted: 2:51 PM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

at a couple weeks out, he could very well still be in a form of shock.

I was wondering if this was the case too. I know shock in itself is a protective response, so this makes sense.

The healing process - is more like having one end of a baseball bat on the ground and then bend down rest your forehead on it. Spin in a circle 20 times and then stand up dizzy. grab a crayon and try to color in the lines. The result of the crayon lines is more like how the conversations and feelings are going to be.

Good to know! We're both aware it won't be an easy ride, neither of us can predict the outcome, but we both know what we hope for in the future. We're aiming for the same goals, and would like to work as a team towards it (with our own individual work to do as well), but I know that forgiveness, and being able to move forward is on him. I can't force that.


Me - WW (38)
Him - BH (36)
Married almost 14 years.
2 kids
DDay - July 4, 2014 (I confessed to 5 month OEA)
In IC and MC, working on R.

Posts: 141 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: Canada
Macsecond
♀ Member
Member # 43972
Default  Posted: 2:55 PM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You want to make the hurt go away as fast as possible, so you make a list of things to do and think the faster you check them off the quicker you will feel better.

Yes. I think this is it.

It works in a way - as you work down the list you get comfortable the WS isn't leaving, and so the panic feeling subsides.

BH is calling it "learning to adapt to the new normal"

Having said this I don't think there is much you can do. The BS has to do this work - you can't do it for them - and if you try to get them to do it they will resent it.

Hopefully this makes sense.

Makes total sense, and I agree. I'm just trying to provide an open environment where he feels safe unloading on me if he needs to (I worry that he's holding any negative feelings about my A back for fear of hurting me, but I've assured him I deserve it, and am prepared for it if he wants/needs to communicate that to me). I've also tried to let him know other avenues he can pursue support or a listening ear if he wants to go that avenue as well.

Trying to encourage and maintain open communication but not push.


Me - WW (38)
Him - BH (36)
Married almost 14 years.
2 kids
DDay - July 4, 2014 (I confessed to 5 month OEA)
In IC and MC, working on R.

Posts: 141 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: Canada
notsoOK
♂ New Member
Member # 44014
Default  Posted: 4:54 PM, July 18th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

As others hav said you are VERY early in the process he hasn't even begun to understand any of this. Even you probably have not fully processed this. Gonna take along time for both of you. But sounds like the love is there on both sides counciling especially with the "right " counciler is so important hoping it gets better. One question how is guy still able to email you havn't you blocked him as part of NC.

Posts: 22 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: South
Macsecond
♀ Member
Member # 43972
Default  Posted: 5:39 PM, July 18th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

One question how is guy still able to email you havn't you blocked him as part of NC.

I shut down all other email addresses, but forgot to do this one since I rarely checked it. It was the last email address he had of mine, and my NC email (with BH's knowledge) was sent from this address, but I haven't shut it down yet. I guess I naively believed him when he said he'd respect my request to not contact me again and didn't think I'd need to.

Regardless, BH has access to all my emails and accounts for all social media. I've cut back all activity on these and am only active here and on work email now.

BH has taken over the account and will send him a response, reiterate NC, and shut it down after.


Me - WW (38)
Him - BH (36)
Married almost 14 years.
2 kids
DDay - July 4, 2014 (I confessed to 5 month OEA)
In IC and MC, working on R.

Posts: 141 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: Canada
plainpain
♀ Member
Member # 40139
Default  Posted: 6:13 PM, July 18th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I would echo others who have said he may still be in shock. Do not under-estimate the trauma - it really is overwhelming, and there really is no rushing through the healing. Be prepared for every possible range of emotion, and do everything you can to remain compassionate, stable and steadfast in your responses to him.

My advice is to let him tell you what he needs, and when he does do not question it. He will figure out what he needs from you, if anything, and what he needs to move forward. It is up to you to continue to demonstrate that you are willing to do whatever he needs for him to heal and to show that you can be a safe person again. In the meantime, put your energy into your own healing.

Best of luck to you.


Me: Believer; 40s
Him: Liar; 40s
Married 19 years
1 year EA/2 month PA/incidental infidelities I can't begin to process
OC born 2014
OW:21
In successful R, but still in just plain pain.

Posts: 807 | Registered: Jul 2013
Macsecond
♀ Member
Member # 43972
Default  Posted: 6:34 PM, July 18th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My advice is to let him tell you what he needs, and when he does do not question it. He will figure out what he needs from you, if anything, and what he needs to move forward. It is up to you to continue to demonstrate that you are willing to do whatever he needs for him to heal and to show that you can be a safe person again. In the meantime, put your energy into your own healing.

Thank you. I believe I'm doing this, but just want to make sure I'm on the right track.


Me - WW (38)
Him - BH (36)
Married almost 14 years.
2 kids
DDay - July 4, 2014 (I confessed to 5 month OEA)
In IC and MC, working on R.

Posts: 141 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: Canada
Topic Posts: 13

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