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User Topic: defensiveness...anger...withdrawal...I'm sorry
WhatsRight
Member
Member # 35417
Default  Posted: 8:31 AM, September 8th (Sunday)

These seem to be the stages of my husbands responses to my attempts to either talk about or heal from his infidelity.

This is good, right?

At first he was defensive - after the initial shock wore of of both of us. Then anger when I brought it up - and put HIM through it again. right?

Then, for about 5 years, there was the withdrawal. Just no response. Just leave the room.

Recently, when something is said, by me, (or even not said-just my behavior) that aludes to his infidelity, he says, "I'm sorry".

The other night "The Descendants" was on the TV. At some especially triggering moment in the movie (actually the whole thing, right?) I started to squirm a bit in the bed. It was very late and I thought he was asleep. But, even though I didn't say a word, I hear this humble, soft, "I'm sorry" from the other side of the bed. I was so taken aback, that I didn't even respond - for fear I would ruin the moment. Being the highly intelligent person that I am, I have decided that a "thank you" would have been nice on my part!

Anyway, my fears of that kind of response from him being a 1 time thing were shattered the other day when I was packing for him to go on a trip. (My husband is disabled and I do a few more things for him than perhaps some other spouses do.)

As I was driving him to the place he was leaving from, I said something about going home and sleeping a long time and waking up less stressed. He again said "I'm sorry". I asked "What for?" He said, "For making you feel stressed." (His ONS with the prostitute was when he was on a trip.)

So......I got a little brave and asked him if he wanted to know what was wrong. He surprisingly said "Yes". I told him I was triggering. That it would go away after a while, but it couldn't be helped. I asked if he wanted to know why I was triggering. Again he said "yes". I'm pretty sure he didn't want to talk about it - but he did step up in continuing the conversation.

I told him that I always helped him with getting ready, packing for him, etc. and that now, whenever I pack for him, I think about the fact that I had actually probably groomed him and gotten him ready for the trip when he was unfaithful. I told him that to me that seems like such a cruel truth.

He just said, "I'm sorry."

I'm sure some of you will think that he should be saying more than just that - but I have to say that it is such an improvement over what I have gotten in the past.

After that conversation, we were able to chat about 1 or 2 other topics (lighthearted stuff) before he left. I am trying so hard to provide a more 'safe' environment for him for us to communicate.

When I was giving him a hug before he left, we hugged for a longer time than usual, and then he said "I love you - give me a kiss". (Mind you, we have not touched or kissed in probably 2-3 years with the exception of when there were deaths in the family.) We shared a nice kiss. If was comforting.

Anyway, thanks for reading all this.

Its an improvement, right?

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 8:41 AM, September 8th (Sunday)]


"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy


Posts: 1850 | Registered: Apr 2012
gahurts
Member
Member # 33699
Default  Posted: 8:36 AM, September 8th (Sunday)

I think it sounds like a step in the right direction. I never experienced what you are going through. I just had the door slammed shut on me so to me this seems major.

One suggestion: The next time he says "sorry" at a particular moment and you don't want to ruin that moment, if you are up to it hold his hand. Sometimes a small touch like that can mean so much.


"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indominable will" - Mahatma Gandi

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - Aubrie


Posts: 3324 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: Georgia
confused615
Member
Member # 30826
Default  Posted: 8:43 AM, September 8th (Sunday)

I don't know. You have been wanting him to open up for a long time..and he has seen your frustration...and doesn't like how it affects HIM.

I wonder if this..an occasional "Im sorry" is his way of hoping it will be enough for you..that if he says it once in awhile,you will settle for the crumbs he is offering you.

Because..that's all it really is..it's just crumbs. Words are just words. Unless that 'Im sorry" is backed by actions that SHOW you he really and truly IS sorry...then that apology is insincere and empty.

Im sorry,WhatsRight. I just don't think he really is *sorry." Ya know?

(((((WhatsRight)))))

[This message edited by confused615 at 8:44 AM, September 8th (Sunday)]


BS(me)41
FWH 45
4 kids..21,20,11,9
M: June 2001
D-Day: 8/10/10
Status: Happily Reconciled.

..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.


Posts: 7138 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Indiana
WhatsRight
Member
Member # 35417
Default  Posted: 8:45 AM, September 8th (Sunday)

gahurts...

The next time he says "sorry" at a particular moment and you don't want to ruin that moment, if you are up to it hold his hand. Sometimes a small touch like that can mean so much.

Thanks for this. And especially for the "if you are up to it" part. I want to do this, but being the one to make that move is usually VERY VERY VERY hard for me - I guess out of a feeling of having been rejected so much in the past.

But I am getting braver lately, and he seems to be responding in a positive way - feeling less threatened.

I am going to do my best to try!


"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy


Posts: 1850 | Registered: Apr 2012
WhatsRight
Member
Member # 35417
Default  Posted: 8:50 AM, September 8th (Sunday)

confused...

Words are just words. Unless that 'Im sorry" is backed by actions that SHOW you he really and truly IS sorry...then that apology is insincere and empty.

I can see what you mean here. The thing is, I believe he is truly sorry. I think it is HIM that is empty.

And, although these aren't the types of efforts I would wish to heal from his infidelity, there is the absence of any indication of any more inappropriate behavior. And he has been willing to do Retrouvaille and marriage workshops.

I do plan to watch and see if this is a gateway behavior to doing more, or just a token - as you say it might be - to get me to leave it alone.

Thanks for your response.

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 8:52 AM, September 8th (Sunday)]


"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy


Posts: 1850 | Registered: Apr 2012
confused615
Member
Member # 30826
Default  Posted: 9:14 AM, September 8th (Sunday)

I understand. I believe my WH is truly sorry,too. I don't think he would ever do this again.

But his standing passively by while I am in a world of hurt..and offering the occasional "Im sorry"..really does nothing for me(ME..not you,lol).

WH has started to turn things around in the last month though....miracles DO happen..there is hope for your WH yet.


[This message edited by confused615 at 9:15 AM, September 8th (Sunday)]


BS(me)41
FWH 45
4 kids..21,20,11,9
M: June 2001
D-Day: 8/10/10
Status: Happily Reconciled.

..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.


Posts: 7138 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Indiana
WhatsRight
Member
Member # 35417
Default  Posted: 7:08 PM, September 8th (Sunday)

I really am very happy that your husband is turning things around, confused!

I also think there is hope for mine!

Today, in church, I triggered. His exfiance attends the same church as we do. Her kids and our kids were in preschool together. She is a very nice person and she speaks to us all the time.

But every time I see her, I feel that he would rather be with her. She is younger, prettier, etc. He told me once that he would always love her - before we were married. This has always stayed in my mind, especially since I found out that he is capable of cheating.

Today, she sat directly in front of us - the row in front of us at church. I was holding it together as best as I could. Then its time to greet those sitting near you. So she and I speak and ask about each other's kids, etc. And she and my husband speak.

Anyway, my husband knows this bothers me, but neither of us wants to be rude. So, after we sat back down, he grabbed my hand. ***(If you don't know from my previous posts - we do not touch - hold hands - kiss - sex - NOTHING. He sat there today and held my hand with both of his. For the entire service.

Yeah, I think there is room for a miracle for me somewhere down the road, too!

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 7:09 PM, September 8th (Sunday)]


"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy


Posts: 1850 | Registered: Apr 2012
WhatsRight
Member
Member # 35417
Default  Posted: 6:46 AM, September 9th (Monday)

But his standing passively by while I am in a world of hurt..and offering the occasional "Im sorry"..really does nothing for me

I really understand this, too!


"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy


Posts: 1850 | Registered: Apr 2012
Topic Posts: 8