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Could use a little perspective

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tikismom posted 3/13/2018 13:36 PM

Hoping someone else can at least relate. Maybe I am just "reacting" to something my WH said, but its been bothering me. For my Birthday recently, I said all I wanted was a card with a loving note inside. I did get a card (even surprise flowers) but wasn't blown away about the note part at all. I let him know I appreciated it, but was a little disappointed. WH brought it up in IC today & talked about it. The IC said my expectations were too high (I agree with this) & then WH said he didn't want to write something just to write it, he wants to feel it. While I respect that, I am also feeling pretty hurt. To me, he is saying he didn't write more because hes not feeling it for me. I could be looking into this, but it's hurtful. Just hoping for some feedback as to what others experiences has been.

Just quick back story. WH has an EA & PA with an EX GF from HS. He told me he fell in love & she was his soul mate. I think reality sent him back down to earth & we are trying to R, but as you all know, this process is hard!

[This message edited by tikismom at 3:01 PM, March 13th (Tuesday)]

BobPar posted 3/13/2018 13:49 PM

What is WH love language? He is probably "tries to connect" with that. He needs to learn yours (needs to identify it first). I would suggest it to the MC so that WH can be "instructed" and take the "initiative for himself". And the curve is steep right now.

Sounds like words of affirmation may be something to look into. Regular cards or notes. He can learn to do this. Practice. Freshman in college learn communication skills and the improvement is significant by the time they become a senior. Listen to the conversation differences between the groups. I think willingness to learn would be a good sign versus the lack of a skill. At this point anyway.

It is all so new for you tikismom. Wishing you strength today.

[This message edited by BobPar at 1:49 PM, March 13th (Tuesday)]

tikismom posted 3/13/2018 13:57 PM

He is a communications major! He knows all about how to do it. The point is, he said he didn't want to write something he wasn't actually feeling.

BobPar posted 3/13/2018 14:07 PM

That happening right after the discussions about the blameshifting...
Do you feel it is associated with the blame shifting or maybe passive agressive?
Or he just wasn't feeling it... but that doesn't seem good.

[This message edited by BobPar at 2:14 PM, March 13th (Tuesday)]

tikismom posted 3/13/2018 14:15 PM

I dont think he was doing any blame shifting this session. Haha. I wasn't there so dont really know. He just called me to discuss his IC appt as he always does. What I think, is that he still has more feelings for OW than he is willing to let me know & that is impeding on us healing & moving forward. I asked him today if he still loved her & he said no, but I wonder if he is lying to me. Why else does he not want to write me a loving note for my Birthday? What other reasons does he have for saying he doesn't want to write something if hes not feeling it.

Mamabear312 posted 3/13/2018 14:18 PM

TikisMom,

Can I ask if you think he's fully out of the affair fog? Has he had "real" consequences from his affair?

I only wonder because my WS said similar things when he still hadn't come to terms with his affair relationship not being "real." He still believed on some level that they weren't together due to life circumstances (you know, those pesky spouses and families), rather than because their relationship was fantasy based and never could have transitioned into reality. He couldn't have OR express deep feelings for me, because he still had them for her. He was physically with me and saying/doing all the right things (no contact, IC, MC, etc), but emotionally? He was still hers. (It still makes my stomach churn to write that 1.5 years later-- affairs suck).

It wasn't until he hit a rock bottom and consequences were REAL (affair bubble popped for good), that he actually started looking inward, saw the affair for what it was and himself for who he was, and engaged in individual therapy in meaningful ways. About 6 months later we both were able to re-engage in the marriage emotionally and we were able to start our reconciliation process.

Not at all saying your WS is the same, but the comment that he's not able to express his feelings about you, to you, made me wonder... Anything about that strike a chord as feeling true, or not so similar?

smokenfire posted 3/13/2018 14:24 PM

Rabbit hole. Sorry.

If he's a writer, words SUPER matter. It feels like betraying yourself to write something you don't mean IN THAT MOMENT, even though you feel that way frequently. It feels dishonest and dirty.

If he's a communication person, particularly written, it could totally be that. Doesn't mean he doesn't FEEL it, it could be that he didn't feel it in a way that lined up with the giving date.

Hope this makes sense.

tikismom posted 3/13/2018 14:26 PM

Mamabear

Can I ask if you think he's fully out of the affair fog? Has he had "real" consequences from his affair?

I only wonder because my WS said similar things when he still hadn't come to terms with his affair relationship not being "real." He still believed on some level that they weren't together due to life circumstances (you know, those pesky spouses and families), rather than because their relationship was fantasy based and never could have transitioned into reality. He couldn't have OR express deep feelings for me, because he still had them for her. He was physically with me and saying/doing all the right things (no contact, IC, MC, etc), but emotionally? He was still hers. (It still makes my stomach churn to write that 1.5 years later-- affairs suck).

It wasn't until he hit a rock bottom and consequences were REAL (affair bubble popped for good), that he actually started looking inward, saw the affair for what it was and himself for who he was, and engaged in individual therapy in meaningful ways. About 6 months later we both were able to re-engage in the marriage emotionally and we were able to start our reconciliation process.

Not at all saying your WS is the same, but the comment that he's not able to express his feelings about you, to you, made me wonder... Anything about that strike a chord as feeling true, or not so similar?

I really dont think he is fully out of the affair fog. He has come a long way, but I think he is still somewhat in the fog. And if you ask him, he will say there has been consequences, but I'm not sure what they are. He said he is hurting. What you said in your next paragraph is word for word what he is doing. He knows on some level it was fantasy as he never experienced real adult world with her (she was his EX GF from HS though, so he knows her), but he thinks hes one of the lucky ones where his affair happened and it was real love. He definitely said he wasn't with her due to life circumstances (man, why did I come in the way! They could have reconnected & lived happily ever after if not for me) He just mentioned this morning that he knows he has her up on a pedestal & I don't think he sees her at all for what she is & what she helped do to me & our family.

My WH & yours sound very similar. What made his bubble pop? I am waiting for that. My WH has been in IC weekly since November. I know he is trying, but I dont think he sees the affair as I think he should.

[This message edited by tikismom at 2:28 PM, March 13th (Tuesday)]

Crushed7 posted 3/13/2018 14:46 PM

WH said he didn't want to write something just to write it, he wants to feel it.

If nothing else gets points for honesty. It is absolutely hurtful though because it demonstrates a lack of love and respect. However, that isn't news at this point given what happened with the A.

Personally, I buy that it takes time for a WS to go through withdrawal post A. And I specifically say "withdrawal" because I see the entire event as not that different than pursuing a repeated high. The AP wasn't special, it was just someone who was available to be used. Framing things this way actually helps lessen the pain of it all.

Luna10 posted 3/13/2018 14:52 PM

Mine was part of the the same affair bubble, as you can see from my signature they tried to remain friends (impossible) because obviously they must have had something so special... He was ticking boxes at home for 4 months, doing everything right but without any emotion behind it really. It would either be crying in self pity (God knows if he was crying for her at that point, he says he was crying because he felt hopeless in the mess he has created) or saying the right things without actually putting any emotion in it.

I remember the Christmas conversation we had when I asked him to write me a card/letter/note, deliver flowers to me or do something out of his character to show me he’d do anything for me. He basically told me he wouldn’t do something that is not him, he then proceeded to tell me that he’s doing his best and his mental health matters more and he needs to think of himself. This while I was a mess crying and begging for him to put in the effort to save our marriage... He was horrible at times, he really was, the more horrible he was the lower I was sinking. I remember one night sobbing and asking him how can he say he’s attracted to me when I am naked in bed next to him and he doesn’t feel the urge to touch my skin, not have sex, just touch a leg, a boob etc. He was going through phases of being fully engaged (she was probably not very a very nice friend) to disengaged but saying the right things (I assume that was when she was telling him that he’s being abused by his wife).

In our case the bubble burst when the ow turned crazy and showed him who she really was. He’s now putting in all the effort possible, found his writing side, is loving and reassuring beyond belief, he thinks of me a lot and he’s fully engaged, I can feel it. He says so himself, he didn’t realise how much influence she had on our marriage by keeping in contact as “friends”.

I don’t mean that your WH is the same but it does sound like he’s still in his fog...

[This message edited by Luna10 at 2:54 PM, March 13th (Tuesday)]

tikismom posted 3/13/2018 14:56 PM

crushed

WH said he didn't want to write something just to write it, he wants to feel it.

If nothing else gets points for honesty. It is absolutely hurtful though because it demonstrates a lack of love and respect. However, that isn't news at this point given what happened with the A.

Personally, I buy that it takes time for a WS to go through withdrawal post A. And I specifically say "withdrawal" because I see the entire event as not that different than pursuing a repeated high. The AP wasn't special, it was just someone who was available to be used. Framing things this way actually helps lessen the pain of it all.

He loves being honest! lol. Some of the stuff that has come out of his mouth makes my eyes roll. Anyways, she was special though. She wasn't a random person, he grew up with her, he was with her when he was younger. So I am still hurt by it. I guess I am asking if this is normal on this situation & if I should just continue on as it is now & hope he gets his head out of his ass (or hers?) or if I am pretty much walking around with a hopeless WH.

Satine posted 3/13/2018 14:56 PM

My heart is breaking for you, and for everyone in this thread that has experienced the "life circumstances" thing.

My WH for reals in his NC letter (that he knew I would read) told his AP that "if they had met under different circumstances, maybe in an old person's home, they could be so happy together. So happy."

I was suicidal after that. Because why shouldn't I get out of the way?

tikismom, hang in there. It takes them a long time to come off their affair drug. That's all it is for them - a drug. And he can't feel something for you enough to write it because he's all messed up on his drug still. Lots of hugs in the meantime.

Luna10 posted 3/13/2018 15:11 PM

Oh yes and the honesty, I had so much honesty in those 4 months. I also heard, when challenging him on the texts he was sending me again without emotions, I still remember one saying “Hi, I just came out of a meeting” (bare in mind that during our marriage our texts were often and we had jokes, loving texts and mundane texts, so now all of a sudden I was getting “Hi...” like I was the next door neighbour), he also said he cannot write things that are not coming naturally given the circumstances. And this was the man saying at home “I will do anything to save my marriage”. This was apparently his best attempt to keep a smart, intelligent and beautiful woman (and modest ) married to him...

They don’t understand that once this bomb is being dropped on the marriage if they want to keep it, they need to see that it has all been reset to zero. They need to become the pursuers, the lovers, they need to act like in the beginning of any relationship. To act and put in the same effort they did to get into their affair really and more as they are dealing with a broken heart really... but indeed they have to feel it...

And no, she wasn’t special, please don’t say that. Just because they grew up together and dated at some point doesn’t give them a right to destroy somebody’s life. Why didn’t they marry then? Because if they did he would have been in the same place with her that he was with you: REALITY. No, they rekindled their old romance and picked it up where they left it, stuck in young teenage years when fantasy world tells you that unicorns fart pixi dust. Nothing special, believe me...

tikismom posted 3/13/2018 15:18 PM

Luna

And no, she wasn’t special, please don’t say that. Just because they grew up together and dated at some point doesn’t give them a right to destroy somebody’s life. Why didn’t they marry then? Because if they did he would have been in the same place with her that he was with you: REALITY. No, they rekindled their old romance and picked it up where they left it, stuck in young teenage years when fantasy world tells you that unicorns fart pixi dust. Nothing special, believe me...

Thank you, haha. I needed that. I guess its just hard sometimes because people say it could have been anyone. I'm not sure that is the case with my WH (but really, who knows). But it feels good to have someone validate what I am feeling. I think it was easier for them because they had already known each other & had history, but he did say she made him feel alive again like he was in HS. I am just so sick that he can compare what he had with her, during their affair, to what he has with his wife.

Even though this was probably rhetorical, they didnt marry because she was possessive & he didnt like it. Then he decided he wanted to be with her later & she had moved on. What is "funny" is that she became somewhat possessive again during their affair & he loved it while happening, but that gets old quick. He has a job & lifestyle where you can't be so possessive & that would get old for him quick, just like it did in HS; he just has a hard time seeing that

[This message edited by tikismom at 8:34 AM, March 20th (Tuesday)]

Crushed7 posted 3/13/2018 15:45 PM

Anyways, she was special though.

I understand what you are saying. Circumstantially, there was history, a past connection, etc. But that doesn't make her "special" or, for that matter, better than you in any way. The past familiarity just meant that she may have been an "easier" target for your WS to obtain the ego kibbles (e.g. high) that he was after.

I really want to underscore this as believing that the AP was "special" contributes immensely to the pain. My WW has been a serial cheater and, as a result, I ended up seeing and even hearing very specific things that made them "special" (which seemingly translates into better than me and that hurts like hell). While there might be some element of truth in how the AP was different/unique (after all, everyone has their own qualities), it doesn't make them better.

I guess I am asking if this is normal on this situation & if I should just continue on as it is now & hope he gets his head out of his ass (or hers?) or if I am pretty much walking around with a hopeless WH.

You'll need to become very good at discerning where his heart is through his actions and attitudes. While I believe that going through "withdrawal" is a real thing, where his heart is at is going to make the difference. Is he doing the necessary work to change and to help you heal or is he wallowing in the grief of losing his "soul mate" and happy to just stay there for now?

My own experience was that the first 4-6 weeks post DDay was the hardest. My WS's "withdrawal" produced a grief and depression-like symptoms. It was hard to not sense that my WS missed the AP and that, in turn, was difficult to absorb and not turn into believing that I wasn't important. In hindsight, I tolerated too much as any expressions my WS had about her feelings belonged with her IC and not me.

He loves being honest! lol. Some of the stuff that has come out of his mouth makes my eyes roll.

While honesty might be a virtue, knowing when to keep your mouth shut is another.

From the looks of it, you are at least several months post DDay and that would put you at about the low point of the first year. Unfortunately, reconciliation is incredibly difficult. While I wish that my words could be a shortcut for you, the reality is that you'll have to work through them and find your path to easing the pain in your own way and time. So let them just serve as a reminded that you are unique, valuable, worthwhile and that your WH's previous and recent actions aren't a commentary on you at all.

[This message edited by Crushed7 at 3:46 PM, March 13th (Tuesday)]

tikismom posted 3/13/2018 15:57 PM

Crushed, thank you so much for your insight! Very helpful. I appreciate it so much. His last date of communication with OW was just shy of 3 months ago now, so I feel he is coming out of that fog slowly. He's a much more emotional guy than many others & he also needs people to like him so hes not doing well not being able to be in contact with her & know how she is doing. He is friends with many of his ex's & stays on good terms with them. I know besides the point here, but I already set the boundary that there is no more personal communication with people of the opposite sex (other than his family obviously) where he is allowed to discuss his marriage or anything personal like that. He did agree to this.

Crushed7 posted 3/13/2018 16:14 PM

he also needs people to like him

Only he can choose to pursue changing himself, but this seems to be an important piece of the puzzle. It isn't the root cause. That is even deeper. He needs to sort out why he needs people to like him. Part of that story, especially given that he holds onto his connection with his Ex's, will likely also include why he specifically needs women to like him. If he is being "good", he should be devoting a significant amount of effort (both on his own and in IC) to sorting this out as his path to heal and become a safe partner for you.

[This message edited by Crushed7 at 4:16 PM, March 13th (Tuesday)]

sassylee posted 3/13/2018 16:19 PM

I’d be interested to read what he did put in the card.

I too asked for a message for my first bday after dday. What he wrote was NOT what I wanted. It was all about his love for me and my great attributes...but I wanted words of regret about the affair...i wanted to hear what a fool he’d been and how he didn’t deserve me. It’s hard because its meaningless if we tell them what to write...

So what he did put in your card...how “lacking” was it?

Iwantmyglasses posted 3/13/2018 16:37 PM

He doesn’t have more feelings for OW. He was having a high school love affair. Googlethe high school affaie. There are specific chemical connections released with the memories:feelings of being young.

tikismom posted 3/13/2018 16:38 PM

Sassy, I didn’t want that! Just words of love. The card itself was nice. It said: It’s your Birthday; I love you. On the inside it said: and just so you know, I’ll be loving you the very same way tomorrow. And next Tuesday. And next birthday. And always.

His personal words:

Tikis Mom,

Happy Birthday.

I love you very much. I look forward to our special weekend together.

Love,

Tikis Dad

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