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Wayward Side
User Topic: How to "Soothe the Spouse"?
WPaul
New Member
Member # 35166
Default  Posted: 3:52 PM, July 15th (Monday)

Hi,

About 28% through "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from an Afair" (wish Kindle had page numbers!) it says "Successful Rebuilders are not startled when occasional reminders of their past indiscretions still cop up. Rather than resent such intrusions, they immediately seek to soothe their spouses".

Now my wife gets triggered any time she sees the model of car driven by my AP, and she has taken to thumping me on the upper arm to let me know this has triggered her, because previously when she would mention it to me, she tells me I ignored her.

So, the question is, what is the best way of "soothing" my wife when this happens? It needs to me more than the "level 1 apology" I am often accused of issuing.

Thanks.


me=47 yr old FWH
wife=43 yr old BS
DS 3

Posts: 42 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: Southern UK
Jrazz
Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 4:00 PM, July 15th (Monday)

I would ask her if offering the acknowledgement first would help.

She seems to be especially triggered because she feels like you are not involving yourself in her feelings.

If it were me, and I was going to have the trigger either way, I'd really appreciate an acknowledgement and apology without having to say something myself.

For example - you're both in the car, you see said offensive vehicle. You put a hand on her knee and say "I see the "yada yada" car and it makes me regret what I did. I'm sorry that this is a trigger."

Part of you probably hopes that she just won't see the car, but that's selfish and unlikely. Humility and acknowledgement is soothing to the BS. Avoiding and hiding behind "I don't know what to say" is stressful.

If you are "often accused" of not handling the situation in a way that soothes her, best put on your compassion gloves and seek a better, deeper solution.


If you can't learn to enjoy your life when you have problems, you may never enjoy it because we'll always have problems. - Joyce Meyer

Posts: 16850 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
KBeguile
Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 4:03 PM, July 15th (Monday)

Total agreement with you, Jrazz. It's all about being proactive.


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 754 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
Sal1995
Member
Member # 39099
Default  Posted: 4:06 PM, July 15th (Monday)

Awesome response Jrazz, you nailed it.


Me-45
WW-42
DDay 2/17/13, 9-10 month PA/EA
Final NC late Feb. '13
M - 18 years, together 19+
4 children

Reconciling


Posts: 1351 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Texas
WPaul
New Member
Member # 35166
Default  Posted: 4:18 PM, July 15th (Monday)

Jrazz, thanks very much for the speedy response. I shall try doing that in future.


me=47 yr old FWH
wife=43 yr old BS
DS 3

Posts: 42 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: Southern UK
Jrazz
Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 4:24 PM, July 15th (Monday)

My pleasure.

I'm really glad you're reading the book. It helped Crazz and I immensely in the beginning.

Sorry if my post was terse... I think it hit close to home. You asked a very considerate question, and I feel very strongly that looking at it from a proactive way will benefit both of you.

Do you feel like it will come easily or does it raise concerns? It's ok to talk through this - it is very hard for my FWH to offer up anything he thinks is going to be "upsetting." It takes a lot of practice, for sure.


If you can't learn to enjoy your life when you have problems, you may never enjoy it because we'll always have problems. - Joyce Meyer

Posts: 16850 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
WPaul
New Member
Member # 35166
Default  Posted: 3:22 PM, July 18th (Thursday)

Jrazz,

I've started doing this, and it wasn't too hard... But it started to feel like I was just repeating it and my wife even says its not really sounding genuine... which I suppose it may not be.

Don't get me wrong, I am genuinely unhappy with the number of triggers she receives per day (there are lots of these cars), but how do I keep it original every time. I am trying, but it is hard...

Thanks for your thoughts.

Paul.


me=47 yr old FWH
wife=43 yr old BS
DS 3

Posts: 42 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: Southern UK
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 5:41 PM, July 18th (Thursday)

 Now my wife gets triggered any time she sees the model of car driven by my AP, and she has taken to thumping me on the upper arm to let me know this has triggered her, because previously when she would mention it to me, she tells me I ignored her.

This needs to stop. Physically "thumping" someone is not an acceptable way to communicate.

You posted you are conflict avoidant. There isn't a whole lot of detail in your posts so just going on what I've read. I know that CA can create huge issues in a relationship, however, if a majority of interactions other than the bicentennial moment updates about schedules and kids are worthy of a suplex one would tend to deflect and avoid engaging.

You posted that it's over 2 years past dday and divorce is mentioned frequently along with the thumping. Doesn't sound like a safe environment for anyone. 

Boundaries are important for healing WS's. I think it's appropriate to state, "I understand your uncertainty about our marriage. If you feel divorce is your only option I respect that. It needs to not be a threat or weapon in our communications."

Answer questions without being defensive. If the conversation escalates or starts resembling a match, table it until calmer heads prevail. 

Accept this may be a dealbreaker for her and she doesn't want to or have the tools to pull the cord. Doesn't mean your sentence is life long. Tolerating disrespect from another doesn't help either party. Yeah, the affairs were the ultimate disrespect. No need to finance payouts with more. 

Kids pick up so many things from seeing this on a regular basis. 


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
Topic Posts: 8