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Wayward Side
User Topic: What happens?
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 3:00 PM, February 5th (Wednesday)

Hypothetically,

What happens when a WS has done all they can? When they've done everything they can to help their BS, but there's no more they can do? What happens if the BS has rugswept to a degree, or can't/won't heal themselves? If they can't/won't look at their own deficiencies or they project their issues onto their WS? Does the couple limp along? Does someone pull the plug? Do they find a place of peaceful co-existence?

I know the drill folks. Work on you for you. That's Wayward101. But when you're further along in healing and you find yourself in one of the above situations, what then?


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

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


Posts: 6308 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
Joanh
Member
Member # 39146
Default  Posted: 3:35 PM, February 5th (Wednesday)

I wish I had insight to this question, as I am struggling with this as well.
I can understand some of the resentment I hear on other thread on how can the WS be happy or act like nothing happened or move on. ( I don't meanto generalize I believe my BH feels this way some of the time too)
Cause I feel guilt for even feeling good when I wake up, or be able to take pride that one of my issues is understood and there is solution to the "problem"

Now the new problem is how to keep moving forward without the pain of our BH or BW , holding us back or sending us back down, and how do you move forward as acouple when the other person can't heal.

I have a BH who won't talk to anyone else except me. Which makes it very difficult. Cause on one hand I am the person who hurt him, and yet before when there was a problem he came to me to fix it! Now its heard as "get over it!"

The only answer I have for myself, is as long as I don't slide backwards, and continue building my own self esteem and continue to be loving caring and supporting and not start to become resentful or withdrawing I will keep working and moving forward.

The guilt and shame wrecked my life before.I cannot let it again.
Sorry if this offends anyone, I have finally begun to understand the importance of loving oneself. Its like a plane going to crash, you need to put the oxygen mask on first to save anyone.

Sorry for the t/j this has been a big issue for me lately.


BH 39
WW 43
D day November 9, 2012
3 children 22, 8, 6
Just....

Posts: 435 | Registered: Apr 2013
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 3:55 PM, February 5th (Wednesday)

Now the new problem is how to keep moving forward without the pain of our BH or BW , holding us back or sending us back down,
No, that's not how I meant it.

A WS owns it. Period. They messed up, they do their best to fix it. Where I'm coming from, and I know it's not a popular belief, is two flawed human beings join. Let's face it, we're all human. Everyone has issues. Even "normal" people. One cheats. One doesn't. The cheater works to fix the damage. But can only do so much because the betrayed has their own set of issues.

So what I'm saying is, if the issues on the forefront are not A issues, but BS issues, yet they're thrown on the WS, or the WS is expected to fix it, (which can't happen) how do you work thru that?

Disclaimer - I'm fully aware that alot of BS issues are tied into A issues and it's one huge, freaking issue.

It's the whole three things have to heal bit. WS, BS, the marriage thing. That's what I'm trying to get at.

Clear as mud?


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

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


Posts: 6308 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
knightsbff
Member
Member # 36853
Default  Posted: 4:02 PM, February 5th (Wednesday)

Communicate. Does QS know you feel this way?

Is he content to let things remain as they are? Does he know you want more?

Could it be you guys are just in a rut?

My BH is not very proactive either. I've had to take charge of our R. From what I've seen you have too. It seems right anyway to me...

My BH has been willing to do things with me if I ask for them/plan them most of the time. Things I never thought he would do, like: IC/MC, retrouvaille, read books together, go to an SI gtg... He isn't willing or ready all the time but some of the time works great.

OK this is weird but I feel like sharing the nursing process. It works for me in a lot of situations. The M is the patient.

ADPIE
Assess- What is the state of the M?
-What is good?
-What needs improvement?
-Strengths?
-Weaknesses?
-Resources?
Diagnose- look at the needs improvement, and weaknesses.
-What would you like your marriage to look like?
Plan- what can you both do separately and together?
-look at the resources.
-Retrouvaille?
-read books together, taking notes, and then discussing?
-small changes can make a big difference
Implement- execute your plan
-don't give up if it doesn't go right all the time just keep at it.
-you don't have to do it all at once. Baby steps.
Evaluate- reassess regularly.
-Are you making progress?
- do you need a new plan or to change it up a little?
-rinse, repeat the process...

I hope I didn't overstep. I'm being motivated by a few posts like this one today to get busy on working our plan again so I'm really talking to me more than you I think.

Aubrie, you have to decide what you want for your life and your M. Are you willing to peacefully coexist? Are you willing to D if QS is unwilling to do the work? Make sure you at least communicate what you need and what you would like to do to get there. Sometimes Knight just can't do anything but exist for a while and I have to be patient. But I at least let him know that "I would like to do x,y,z to help our M be better for both of us if you aren't ready now we can talk about it again next Sunday."

((((Aubrie))))


FWW 40's
D-day August 27, 2012
3 kids and 2 dogs

I edit often because I make a lot of typos. ☺️


Posts: 1499 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Deep South, USA
Sal1995
Member
Member # 39099
Default  Posted: 4:04 PM, February 5th (Wednesday)

Not real clear, Aubrie. If the BS issues are intertwined with the A issues, it might help to remember that healing from an A is a 2-5 year process, with 2 years being the absolute best case scenario. Judging by your join date, you just recently passed the 2-year mark. It could be that he has a lot of issues to work out still, and just hasn't had enough time to process the marriage issues and personal issues. Maybe he doesn't know what to do.

Does the couple limp along? Does someone pull the plug? Do they find a place of peaceful co-existence?

The answer could be yes or no to any of those questions. I guess it's up to the individual how much work they want to do and how much pain and disappointment they are willing to do in the process. IMO a couple should work like hell to heal each other for as long as possible, and not pull the plug until the situation becomes intolerable and hopelessly unworkable.


Me (BS)-45, WW-43
DDay 2/17/13, 9-10 month PA/EA
M - 18 years, 4 children
Reconciling

Posts: 1451 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Texas
knightsbff
Member
Member # 36853
Default  Posted: 4:26 PM, February 5th (Wednesday)

So what I'm saying is, if the issues on the forefront are not A issues, but BS issues, yet they're thrown on the WS, or the WS is expected to fix it, (which can't happen) how do you work thru that?

I'm working on not letting this happen. It causes friction but I say, "hold on a minute there sweetie! I'm not owning that one. That's all you." I'm always very tactful, gentle, and diplomatic about it though.

I have actually come to him and said, "Honey, when x,y,z happens I feel abc, can we talk about this?" If he isn't up for it right then I ask him to mull it over and we can talk later. He has made changes in things that really surprised me. One that I NEVER thought I would see any change in is how he deals with FOO. Very passive aggressive, manipulative MIL. I said, "I'm going to speak my mind and live my truth, I will do my best to not cause a rift but I'm not playing the game anymore. It your family and I know it's super hard but you will have to chose to be healthy or to continue this pattern." I let him deal with it how he wanted. He has put up some boundaries and is holding strong. It's early yet. We are due for some major push back and fall out. We will see how we both do.

We fight sometimes. We talk about it. We go on.


FWW 40's
D-day August 27, 2012
3 kids and 2 dogs

I edit often because I make a lot of typos. ☺️


Posts: 1499 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Deep South, USA
WarpSpeed
Member
Member # 32051
Default  Posted: 6:04 PM, February 5th (Wednesday)

What happens when a WS has done all they can? When they've done everything they can to help their BS, but there's no more they can do?

I don't buy that doing "everything" you can do equates to there is "no more" you can do. I've observed you on these boards over a couple of years. As much as you can tell from observing posting behavior, you absolutely seem to be someone that works very hard to heal your spouse, yourself and your marriage. I don't question that premise. BUT - I don't know that there is a timetable on healing and the "more" that CAN be done is to keep working to rebuild the relationship.

You're not sharing a great deal here, so it isn't easy to tell what the issues are that you are referencing. It certainly can be that at some point the marriage isn't what either of you want or deserve and you decide to move on. That happens with and without infidelity. It is sad and/or unfortunate, but a reality.

I'm saying if you still see the possibility of a truly rewarding marriage and it is what you want, there is "more" to do. Keep working.

Where I'm coming from, and I know it's not a popular belief, is two flawed human beings join. Let's face it, we're all human. Everyone has issues. Even "normal" people. One cheats. One doesn't. The cheater works to fix the damage. But can only do so much because the betrayed has their own set of issues.

I'm a big believer in what you're sharing above. I was flawed as a BS. I had the benefit of my wife actually leaving and divorcing me to kickstart my determination to work on my own healing and growth. I'm not advocating that as the path to trod. I am suggesting that I empathize with the thought that in ANY good marriage both parties deserve partners that work on themselves on the marriage.

How much do you share with your BS about what you'd like to see in your growth and HIS that would make for a better relationship?

I absolutely believe that open, honest, loving and caring communication about what we are thinking, feeling and needing is essential to marital growth. Do you have those loving, caring but hard conversations with your husband?

Rooting for you.

[This message edited by WarpSpeed at 6:06 PM, February 5th (Wednesday)]


Me: BS (51)
Her: fWW (50)
Married 27 years
Two sons in college
Empty closet and note on bed Jan 2010, She filed for D Mar 2010, D final May 2010, Actually had D-Day and found out why it all happened July 2010. Remarried on 23rd Anniv Aug 2010

Posts: 1498 | Registered: May 2011 | From: Dallas
Joanh
Member
Member # 39146
Default  Posted: 6:17 PM, February 5th (Wednesday)

Sorry. I don't think I can help with that one my BH has a few FOO issue predating my affairs that are IMO from the first time I met him.
I may be off track again, but here it goes.

But "there not a problem, we just have to fix me"

So how to deal with it Just came to me. I did, maybe. :-)
I am not yet. I don't believe he is even close to having a discussion like that. Tried and it was a big mistake. It will have to be a bit yet.
My problem is how to communicate to him to his understanding, so it also get jammed up when we do work on BH issues. To close to DDAy though.

How to work through it..

THis happened the other night when talking to my BH (he is still away at work going 5 weeks with (6 of them at home the rest away) ( I might still be off Aubrie , Sorry if I am )and he was a little off when I was talking to him distance. I could hear it in his voice. So I asked him strait out How he was doing. And he said his anxiety was high. So I asked him what started it. He said he didn't know,then said when I called you, I said ok I understand. Makes sense. Then in the next minute he says no it started this afternoon. In the shack . Everyone thought it was visiting day and I'd had enough. To amny people small space. So we talked a little more. About space. Then I remember he been to town. He HATES the city. Allways , allways gets mad, worked up, frustrated, anxiety, Pre A. And of course now any emotion seems to be on surface for him . Its "new" and doesn't understand it.
Well we put it all together. The past reaction to going to the city, to the feeling in the morning to the people in the shack to havening to talk to us in the evening, to just needing some "me" time and the anxiety from the city caused it all. NOT my A, but his own past anxiety issues.

But it has been 1 year. that it has been my fault totally and I believed it was too. till we started to process it. My cheating enhanced it, but he had this issue BEFORE, its his, not mine.

Sorry for the long story. Baby steps? I am probably off track again,


BH 39
WW 43
D day November 9, 2012
3 children 22, 8, 6
Just....

Posts: 435 | Registered: Apr 2013
AFrayedKnot
Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 6:21 PM, February 5th (Wednesday)

I agree with sal about the 2-5 year healing from the last hurt. I would say at the five year mark if no progress has been made the WS can walk with a clear conscience.


BS 40
fWS 36 (SurprisinglyOkay)
DD DS
A whole bunch of shit that got a lot worse before it got better.
"Knowing is half the battle"

Posts: 2632 | Registered: Aug 2012
SpotlessMind
Member
Member # 41775
Default  Posted: 8:18 PM, February 5th (Wednesday)

For me, I guess it would depend in part on if the BS's and marital issues predated the A or not.

I think for many people, the answer is yes. I subscribe to your "two flawed" beings theory. I think more often than not, something was amiss in the M prior to the A that increased the likelihood that an A would happen. The A is still entirely the fault of the cheating spouse, but the state of the marriage leading up to the A...that rests on both partners' shoulders.

If that is the case, then I think it's reasonable for a WS to hope for/expect their BS addressed the issue(s) more readily. I'm pretty sure I've read that whether the marriage survives or not is strongly predicted by whether or not the BS will accept responsibility for pre-A marriage issues.

If it's a new, post-A issue, then I'd be in favor of more time and leniency for the BS. As mentioned above, the timeline is 2-5 years for healing.

That said, I believe BOTH partners need to be putting the work in, because good, healthy marriages require work. Otherwise, you are auto-piloting...which is something that leads to affairs in the first place.

Intentional marriage--that sounds like it's your goal. If it's not your partner's, you need to communicate the importance to him. If he's not onboard, then you need to decide if you are willing to accept less.

Totally cheering for you two. It sucks when it's so difficult, even when you are doing all the work.

[This message edited by SpotlessMind at 8:20 PM, February 5th (Wednesday)]


fWS/BS--me
BH/WH--him
Married: 12 yrs
D-Day: October
Kids: yes

Posts: 277 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Where am I?
grains
Member
Member # 32590
Default  Posted: 11:44 PM, February 5th (Wednesday)

Thank you for posing this question. I think that the work on having a successful, loving and wonderful marriage will never be done. I feel this is true for all couples and harder for those who are dealing with an infidelity. All of us are in recovery for something that has affected our lives deeply. We will never be without that moment where we can make things better. We will also never be without that moment where we can make things worse. I am very grateful that for each day that comes, we still have a choice.

[This message edited by grains at 11:45 PM, February 5th (Wednesday)]


WH 60
BS 50
No Children
Together 17 years
Married 7/21/2001
D-day 03/01/2011

Posts: 313 | Registered: Jun 2011
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 11:53 PM, February 5th (Wednesday)

I guess I''m confused as to whether you mean he''s not doing enough to pro-actively heal himself from your affair, or whether he''s failing to address pre-affair issues?

To the first, it''s just (you knew this was coming) time. If we say that it takes 2-5 years, that would mean the median is around 3.5 years, right?

If it''s the second one....mmmm....it''s a little murkier, in my opinion. Since we don''t know what the specific issue was/is, even more so. In my experience, us menz tend to be ''fixers'', and we''ve also *kind of* been told all our lives that women know more about relationships than we do...so a great many times I believe that when our wives identify a ''problem'' in the relationship, we want to fix it, even if just by paying lip service to the idea of doing so.

Here''s the issue, though: For many of us guys, we were, or are, fine with that particular aspect of the marriage. We were fine with it in the first place, but we committed to fixing it because it seemed like that''s what you wanted, and we thought making you happy was our job.

However, one of the things that happens after an affair is that our WW''s credibility as a narrator is shot to hell meaning that we think of all those ''pre-affair issues'' and start to wonder why we should do anything about them at all, because we were fine with things as they were, KWIM?

I''m not even just talking about about stuff that happened during the affair/crazy period....I can tell you from my personal experience that after the affair I started to question my wife''s perspective on every single aspect of the relationship from the jump...because (IMO) if her perspective was skewed enough to allow her to have an affair, why should I trust that same perspective when it comes to identifying healthy vs. unhealthy in any situation?

I''m not saying your husband is going through any or all of this, it''s just my thoughts on what could be going on in his head from my experiences. As guys, I think that in relationships we tend to ''go along to get along'' because many times it''s easier that way, and maybe QS is doing that verbally, but doesn''t really think he needs to fix anything?

Again, just some thoughts. If you feel like he''s withdrawing from the marriage and/or you....maybe that''s his way of healing? WAL posted something a long time back that isn''t 100% pertinent to this discussion, but some of his thoughts here are conclusions that I think many of us BH start to come to on our own re: healing ourselves. http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid158510&hl&ap841

Hope things get better.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2169 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
Jrazz
Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 1:30 AM, February 6th (Thursday)

Honestly, I still don't know how far along I am in my healing. That's not to say I haven't healed - I definitely have. I just couldn't tell you where in the world it is on a scale of crazytown.....-.....healthy. I still have weird days where I get panic attacks for no reason, or have to struggle to pull myself out of bed. I also have days where I'm happy, confident, and optimistic. Lots of good days.

That being said, we're at the 3 year mark here and we're still having to weed through which are MY issues to own, and what is collateral damage from the A. The most productive looks at this happen when I don't blame Crazz or the A for my dysfunction, and he in turn assumes an apologetic demeanor just in case we ARE dealing with a case of affair fallout. The key to working through it is to communicate through it. Honesty, compassion, humility, and being as forthcoming as possible are what keeps things moving forward even during a backslide.

I don't think there's such a thing as "I've done all I can." There's only the limit to which we are willing/able to put energy into the partner and the relationship. If you feel that QS isn't meeting you with the work to make it through this, it's your prerogative to make a change. You can only tell him exactly how you feel, and ask him to respond with his true feelings.

I know this sounds really backsy forthsy. As a BS, I still know that I have much to own with my own healing. Crazz chooses to have patience and work with me through my issues and I appreciate what that means at 3 years out. I think he regards it as reciprocation for the fact that I'm trying to stick with R as he struggles with behaviors that make me feel like pulling the plug somedays myself.

I think it's gonna take a lot more time and work, Aubrie. You just gotta be really honest with yourself about if you have it in you, and what it's going to take.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - FranÁois-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17846 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
SlowUptake
Member
Member # 40484
Default  Posted: 3:37 AM, February 6th (Thursday)

But when you're further along in healing and you find yourself in one of the above situations, what then?

You learn to be patient.


Me:WS,50+
Her:BS,50+ (WantToWakeUp)
Married 33yrs
Dday Dec 2009

"Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few." Pythagoras

There are two kinds of people in the world.
Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.


Posts: 390 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Limbo in Oz
refuz2bavictim
Member
Member # 27176
Default  Posted: 4:22 AM, February 6th (Thursday)

when you're further along in healing and you find yourself in one of the above situations

The further along you get into the "healing" process the more you realize how far you still have to go. It's a bit like 'the more you know, the more you realize you don't know".

Dropping the WS/BS label for a moment.

When I start feeling like I'm on some kind of growth/healing plateau, and light years ahead of my H I usually discover that it's me that is stuck in some kind of growth rut. I'm so focused on where I believe he isn't, that I am failing to watch where I am headed. How can I encourage the growth of my partner if I'm focused on my perceived lack of his?

The use of the absolutes, "all and everything" would be an indicator that its time for a growth check up. Following those absolutes with "I CAN'T do anymore" might be more of an "I'm not WILLING" I can't is a passive statement. I am not willing is an active statement that accepts ownership.

Before I ruffle feathers, think of this. Individuals grow and different rates within the whole of the relationship. Especially in times of conflict or stress. We sometimes find ourselves having to wait for our partner to catch up, and sometimes it's us that needs to catch up. Yet we can't control our partner. We can only encourage them, and if they don't accept our encouragement in our time the way we want, we get frustrated, or detach. As the perceived gap between the partners widens, the whole of the relationship is weakened.
That's where it becomes a question of willingness. Am I willing to be patient, while they process their own need for growth. Am I willing to be patient for as long as it takes, or am I not? That's a much more active and ownership taking stance than "I can't"

Deciding to exercise patience is not a passive act. Its very deliberate. The intentional reciprocity of patience within a relationship is necessary to withstand growth gaps between the two individuals. (barring abuse of course)

"Finding oneself" (very passive) in these situations indicates a need to reestablish focus, and take an honest self assessment. We find ourselves in situations, when we aren't deliberate and intentional in our decision making. We are always making decisions, even if it is done passively.

The absolutes and the passive language, resemble outcomes from passive decision making.


You learn to be patient.

Any chance this situation, could be that kind of growth opportunity?

[This message edited by refuz2bavictim at 4:25 AM, February 6th (Thursday)]


BS:ME DDay: 7/18/09 Last of TT 7/11/10
MOW's EA/PA all were my "friends" but one


Posts: 2372 | Registered: Jan 2010
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 9:15 AM, February 6th (Thursday)

Pre-A issues. That have nothing to do with the WS. But ultimately get put in the WS lap. Cause ya know, since they're in the business of fixing crap, here fix this too. Either that or, "Problem? Issue? What are you talking about?" followed by, "Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, guess I'll eat worms and die." Which has been a trend throughout the marriage.

I can become the most Martha Stewart, June Cleaver, Stepford wife, Jenna Jameson, Jillian Michaels woman on earth. But ultimately it won't ever be "enough" or really matter, if he has his own issues. Ya know, kinda like he was never "enough" for me for all those years. Nobody was ever enough. Being "enough" comes from within one's own being.

R is not a destination. I get it. I'm not looking for a banner to burst thru, on the waters edge of an exotic ocean, with beach chairs and mai-tais standing by. It's a constant journey ending only when one or the other is in a casket and put 6 feet below the ground. Or cremated. Which seems fitting. A twisted way of finally burning the whore at the stake.

Sorry. Dark humor today.

Ok patience. Got it. Doable. Next question.

How do you let down all your walls, all your guard, all your defense, all your fears, all your everything, knowing your BS has holes in their boat, knowing they can't/won't fix it, and still keep total intimacy and openness? Just doesn't seem possible. And if it is, someone will ultimately get hurt. But hey, and eye for an eye.

Guess it all boils down to the risk that one takes when getting into a relationship, yes? The risk of things turning out horrifically and painfully, or beautiful and almost fairytalesque. (Think I totally just made that word up)


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

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


Posts: 6308 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
refuz2bavictim
Member
Member # 27176
Default  Posted: 9:48 AM, February 6th (Thursday)

knowing they can't/won't fix it,

How do you know this? How do you know that this is a certainty and the only outcome? Why do you believe that?

I don't think those wonderful things (intimacy openness etc) can coexist...in a place where one partner has decided for the other what they can't or won't do. Does that make sense? How can you encourage or influence him if you are certain that it can't be done?

As a BS I often fall into the trap of thinking with certainty that my FWH will or won't do something. I decide for him. Which is really overstepping on my part. I make up my mind that this is so, because I have the proof of history. I often use the A as that history of proof. Fortunately and quite often that happens just before I am proven wrong.

Ya know, kinda like he was never "enough" for me for all those years. Nobody was ever enough. Being "enough" comes from within one's own being.

Think about how long and what it took for you to learn that very important lesson. I can't believe I spent 40 some odd years on this planet to finally learn something so simple. I learned from the BS experience. Other folks learn it in other ways.

How do you let down all your walls, all your guard, all your defense, all your fears, all your everything

By learning that we may not know what we think we *know*. There is no way on Earth, you would be able to accomplish that task above while holding the firm belief that he can't or won't work on his own growth at some point in the partnership.

It would be ok if you don't want to stick around for him to learn that lesson. It's ok if you don't want to wait for him to catch up. But don't decide for him that he can't or won't learn it. That's where patience may come into play on your end. Instead of making the decision for him, about what he will or won't do, you leave room for his growth in your own mind and make decisions about what YOU will or won't do only for yourself.


BS:ME DDay: 7/18/09 Last of TT 7/11/10
MOW's EA/PA all were my "friends" but one


Posts: 2372 | Registered: Jan 2010
HUFI-PUFI
Member
Member # 25460
Default  Posted: 10:41 AM, February 6th (Thursday)

Aubrie - Does the couple limp along? Does someone pull the plug? Do they find a place of peaceful co-existence?

The reality of the world is that most married couples find themselves here at one time or another, without or without adultery in the equation. It would be the rare couple indeed that finds themselves growing in lockstep with each other, totally in tune and singing from the same hymn book, never mind the same page, for every day of every year of a marriage. While the A complicates matters to a certain degree, the fundamental questions remain the same.

Am I happy? Should I stay? How much time and effort do I need to put into my marriage before I decide to call it quits? What happens now and what does a future look like without him?

The decision to come, stay or leave is never a easy one but sometimes, it needs to be made. You may be aware that my twin brother, also a WS, had filed for D a few weeks ago. And yes, while we are disappointed in that decision, at another one, we are happy that at least a decision was made one way or the other. While seeing a marriage collapse maybe painful, watching a marriage turn into a quagmire of anger, hate, resentment, disappointment and regrets maybe even worse.

Sal1995 - The answer could be yes or no to any of those questions. I guess it's up to the individual how much work they want to do and how much pain and disappointment they are willing to do in the process. IMO a couple should work like hell to heal each other for as long as possible, and not pull the plug until the situation becomes intolerable and hopelessly unworkable.

Sal said it very well in this reply. It comes down to your indicial judgement. The decision to quit is rarely a joint decision. For me, the phrase of ďa couple should workĒ is the most telling. In any relationship, if both couples are fighting for the marriage, you should almost by definition, be 100% successful. The question of divorce invariably arises when one member is fighting and the other isnít. Hell, in some marriages, the other spouse sometimes seems totally oblivious to the whole angst issue of their partner and is seemingly happy and content with the state of affairs as is.

refuz2bavictim - Deciding to exercise patience is not a passive act. Itís very deliberate. The intentional reciprocity of patience within a relationship is necessary to withstand growth gaps between the two individuals. (barring abuse of course)Ö. "Finding oneself" (very passive) in these situations indicates a need to re-establish focus, and take an honest self-assessment. We find ourselves in situations, when we aren't deliberate and intentional in our decision making. We are always making decisions, even if it is done passively.

I found this reply to be very insightful. The question which seems to stem from this is how do determine the length of time it will take to bridge the growth gap and are you willing to put forth your time and effort for this indeterminate period of time.

Quite often, when discussing the issue of divorce, a question is posed asking, what if your spouse came down with some horrible crippling disease? Would you throw them on the trash heap just because they weren't the perfect mate anymore? I think that question is disingenuous to say the least. It puts the duration of a marriage ahead of the quality of marriage and IMHO, thatís not appropriate. Each of us gets to make the decisions in our lives including the one to start or finish our marriages. Obviously, we hope that the decision is not flippant and easy but neither should raise the bar to divorce to some impossible level.

IMHO, those people in the divorce/separation forum may have plenty to say on the matter of making the hard decision to divorce and move onward. While quite a few there may have made their decisions immediately after the A was discovered and the hurt was front and center, I think that there are also a community where that decision was made after a whole lot of painstaking thinking.

refuz2bavictim - make decisions about what YOU will or won't do only for yourself.

http://www.mediate.com/articles/dermangregson1.cfm

Like all of the big decisions of our lives, it would be best if we did this one right. Make a conscious decision and not a emotional choice. So, ask yourself the 8 questions and ultimately, make a decision. Iím not saying that marriage demands or needs mad passionate love each and every day, after all, we are only human, but if you donít have a sense of joy and happiness when you walk into your house to your spouse, then perhaps, a decision needs to be made.

Unless it's mad, passionate, extraordinary love, itís a waste of your time. There are too many mediocre things in life; love shouldn't be one of them - Anon

I watched my brotherís marriage fall apart, piece by piece, because he was afraid to make this decision. Afraid to stay and afraid to leave. Indecisiveness cost him and his wife, years of anguish, unhappiness and did nothing to promote healing for either of them. It just prolonged the misery for both of them.

Sometimes, happiness does mean letting go. Sometimes it means fighting for it tooth and nail. But not making a decision results in none of these outcomes. You get to make this choice and whatever you do decide, I am sure that it will work out.

HUFI

Wisdom from Gamine - Make a decision and discipline yourself not to waver. Don't be someone who stands for nothing. Stand for what you decide and back it with the full force of your character and conviction. DECIDE. CHOOSE. COMMIT. PERIOD.


Donít listen to your head, itís easily confused. Donít listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3280 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 10:49 AM, February 6th (Thursday)

refuz2bavictim, I feel you're taking this can't/won't thing entirely way too literal. What are we taught here? Actions, yes? My comments are based upon actions that have been in place for many years. What causes those actions to change? A crisis, a come-to-Jesus, a rock bottom?

So based on previous actions, previous patterns, and current ones as well, then yes. Can't/won't. Or doesn't/hasn't/isn't. Take your pick. They're all the same thing. I'm not saying it's in infallibly, positively, 1000000% totally sure that he can't/won't. I believe every person has the potential within them. The question remains whether they act upon it. That is the whole point. If they do, yay. If not, then what? At the present moment, we are in the "Nothing's happening. Avoiding." phase.

You ask the question how long it took me to see the light. 8 1/2 years. So is that the gauge I would use for him? And yes in this conversation we're talking infidelity. But it can be anything really. Drug addiction. A motorcycle obsession. Sniffing gas. Buying coins and stamps. Financial infidelity. Pick your poison. If a WS has a 15 year LTA, does the WS then wait another 15 years for the BS to catch up? Do you see what I'm trying to say? Look, I'm not trying to be a witch. Healing takes time. Everyone's got their own pace. Totally get that. But is that fair to both parties? To be miserable for not just 15 years, but for 30. Just to find out at the end of it all that it isn't going to work out, or someone's not healing, or whatever? Is that when you just chalk it up to a risk and say, "Welp. Live and learn" and move on?

There is no way on Earth, you would be able to accomplish that task above while holding the firm belief that he can't or won't work on his own growth at some point in the partnership
Again, you are taking it way too literal. Hasn't/isn't. In this present moment, there is no change. So how does one continue to open themselves up, knowing based on prior experience and in this present moment nothing is changing and the potential for hurt is there?

But don't decide for him that he can't or won't learn it
I have made no such decision. I'm looking at past and current actions.

Instead of making the decision for him, about what he will or won't do, you leave room for his growth in your own mind and make decisions about what YOU will or won't do only for yourself.
I'm getting to the place I'm cool with me. How do I make me cool with us in the present, nothing's changing on his end, situation?

If a person is to look at their own growth, their own decisions, only for themselves, especially in a situation like this, then where exactly is the wall-dropping, intimacy building happening?

I feel there's this whole ball of fucked up, drop your walls but protect yourself, be intimate but not gullible, be open but don't be stupid going on. In getting healthy, you protect yourself from unhealthy people and safeguard yourself. So....what if that someone is your spouse? How do you do all that crap, but leave down your walls when it comes to the person closest to you? The person that could potentially inflict the most damage? I simply cannot find the middle of the freaking road anywhere.

Dumb example. Without going into detail, end-of-the-week and weekend from hell. I'm scared, I'm hurt, I don't know what to do. Peeling back all the layers, him and his issues which he then projected onto me. And he acknowledged that's what happened. But then, nothing. It's buried again.

I made a pact with myself to do something fun and corny for Valentine's Day. Got everything ready and was waiting for Feb 1st. When it rolled around and our lives were up in the air, I struggled with what to do. Do I throw all my stuff away? Do I go ahead and do it? I chose to continue. Every morning when I get up, I put hearts on the bathroom mirror with a reason why I love him. Feb. 1 there was one, Feb. 2, there was two, and so on and so forth.

To say I feel incredible fear while putting up those Valentines, is a gross understatement. All the reasons that I love him. And the fear of his issues. It's crazy making. I want to help him, I want to heal him. I want to take it all away. But some things I cannot do. It is impossible. So I'm putting up hearts on why I love him, consumed with fear, and totally unsure of our future.

Maybe I'm crazy. I just don't know anymore.

Sorry HUFI. Cross-posted with you. Gotta catch up now.

Another thing. I think maybe some people think I'm ready to just ditch the guy if he doesn't change immediately and move on. That's totally not the case. I'm asking questions to learn. To try to understand how all this works. If you think I'm in my room in between posting packing suitcases, relax. I'm not going anywhere.

[This message edited by Aubrie at 10:56 AM, February 6th (Thursday)]


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

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


Posts: 6308 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 11:05 AM, February 6th (Thursday)

So I'm putting up hearts on why I love him, consumed with fear, and totally unsure of our future.
Epiphany of sorts. I'm thinking of this entirely way to long term aren't I? It puts an enormous amount of stress and pressure. I suppose this is where the one day at a time thing comes into play.

I homeschool. Terrifies me. I'm doubting my ability as the kids progress. The thought of high school makes me want to slit my wrists. A dear friend told me to stop thinking so long term. Take it a year at a time. If it works to homeschool this year, good. If next year is too daunting, make a decision then.

Maybe applying that logic to this situation would help.


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

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


Posts: 6308 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
HUFI-PUFI
Member
Member # 25460
Default  Posted: 11:28 AM, February 6th (Thursday)

Aubrie - Maybe I'm crazy. I just don't know anymore.

Stop. Breathe. Repeat.

Aubrie...Life can be so overwhelming. Decisions. Feelings. Choices. What to do. When to do it. The list goes on.

BUT

The overwhelming part comes when we feel,in our hearts, souls and gut that we have no control. That we may make mistakes. When we fear the outcome. That's understandable, especially for the WS who has the ugliness of their affair staring them in the eyes, reflecting the mistakes and decisions of the past, making them second guess everything that they say and do.

May I make a suggestion that you take a nice leisurely walk to the local bookstore and get the book, 10-10-10 by Susy Welch. Take it home. Read it when you get the chance. No rush. If the process she writes about makes sense, then do it. It does work. Its as good as any other technique out there to base your decisions on. And if that doesn't make sense, then try the flipping coin technique.

Life changing actions should be conscious decisions and not emotional choices. Emotional choices are driven by fear. As Glen Cook says, not only fear but most other emotions are mind killers. We do stupid things when we let emotions take over. Then we are forced to endure the consequences for the rest of our days.


HUFI

Donít listen to your head, itís easily confused, donít listen to your heart, its fickle, listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.



Donít listen to your head, itís easily confused. Donít listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3280 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 11:38 AM, February 6th (Thursday)

I''m curious, Aubrie: if QS said to you today, point blank, "This is how I am. I''m fine with it. I don''t plan on changing in the foreseeable future."


... how would you feel?


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2169 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
sunnyrain
Member
Member # 30164
Default  Posted: 12:44 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

I think slowing down is a good idea. To me, it almost seems like you are running a race to heal, or recover, and then wondering why your spouse is not moving/healing as quickly as you are moving.

Not all humans move at the same pace or go about reaching the final destination in the same way. Some like to focus on one thing at a time. You seem to focus on several topics at once. No right or wrong-- just different approaches.

Why the rush?

Btw, I found the letters you wrote to your parents to be the beginning of your healing with them. I'm wondering if you see the letters as the beginning of a new journey with them ... or if you see the letters as more of a closing the door and being done with them? Did you feel in a hurry to finish those letters? Are those letters finished?

Are you in a hurry to be finished with your own personal healing? What do you fear would happen if you slowed down a little? Do you believe in golden standards? Are you trying to reach the golden standard in healing from infidelity? Is there such a thing?

Btw, I don't expect you to answer all these questions... I like to think out loud.

The hearts on the mirror are lovely. Keep going.


"I'm not much into health food, I am into champagne."

Posts: 450 | Registered: Nov 2010
abbycadabby
Member
Member # 27428
Default  Posted: 12:58 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

How can you, personally, fix his issues?

Look. I have as many issues as the day is long. I made some pretty shit choices in my marriage. Never had an A, but I wasn't healthy.

I tried to R but at that point I was in survival mode.

At 2 years out, had I had a remorseful spouse, I feel like we'd be working on my issues by now, if not already. I imagine we'd be both in IC and MC and I imagine we'd be working through all my issues AFTER I could tread water again.

The point is, I know I made shit choices. I know I was a terrible wife at times. I own that. I've learned from that, and even though I'm D now I try to carry those lessons forward in my relationship with SO. I've changed a lot about myself and my issues.

I think the question you're asking is better phrased this way:

"how long do I continue to stick around if my spouse is seemingly unwilling to work on his issues?"

Combined with this:

"how can I be vulnerable with someone who seems unwilling to be vulnerable in return?"

These questions don't even address taking into account the compounding issue of the A and the layers of emotion that adds on.

I have these same fears. I fear vulnerability. I've had enough hurts in my past that it borderline paralyzes me to think about giving myself totally and completely over to someone else without a damn near ironclad guarantee I won't get hurt again. My SO knows this. And God help him, he wants to try anyway. He knows my past. Knows my fears. Sees my ugly.

And guess what? He still hurts me. It's what humans do. I hurt him too.

The reward is so much sweeter than the risk.

My IC recommended finding videos by Brene Brown (I think on youtube) about vulnerability. I highly recommend that.

In the meantime, if you love him, keep on truckin' and look at your signature.

You're courageous everytime you stick a note on that mirror, girlfriend. Only you know when you can't be courageous anymore.

(((Aubrie)))

*emphasis on seemingly and seems because I know you're not trying to say QS is rigidly incapable or unwilling to change but based on prior experience and history it seems that way.

[This message edited by abbycadabby at 1:02 PM, February 6th (Thursday)]


Posts: 1272 | Registered: Feb 2010
DixieD
Member
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 1:20 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

I could be way off base here but this is what I'm wondering.

Having a BS who says they forgive immediately and that things are ok and moving on would be awesome for a WS.

-- Being the type of BS I am, I can't personally imagine that and I question if it's really possible from a healthy standpoint to begin with.....but that's beside the point.

Naturally with that, you've thought you are on the 2 Year or less Plan when the majority of people here are on the 5 Year Plan and struggling.

When in reality, having a BS who is not addressing things and burying stuff could actually put you on a Long-Term Plan perspective, IMO. That's gotta mess with your head.†

You've been under the impression that you are on one track when really it's another. You've done enough work on yourself now -- and this is a good thing and very admirable and the only thing that has kept this train moving ahead -- to start to see that things are not moving ahead as they 'should' be.†

The relationship is suppose to be further ahead than it is now because you were told/convinced that it would be. And let's face it, if you'd been a rug-sweeper, it would be. Things would be better.than.evar.†But you aren't a rug-sweeper.

I'm not sure if that makes any sense, but I sensing some fear and panic that seems understandable.

The hearts on the mirror are awesome.


Growing forward

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2011
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 1:42 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

I''m curious, Aubrie: if QS said to you today, point blank, "This is how I am. I''m fine with it. I don''t plan on changing in the foreseeable future."

... how would you feel?


Well fuck, after dropping serious inhibitions and trying new TMI things with him, then 4 hours later hearing he has a crush on a friend, then him watching workout clips on social media in a 2-3 hour sitting, then him telling me that he prefers hard-bodies, (but he loves me either way. Pshhh, don't do me any favors. I don't need pity) then rejecting me sexually (after I dropped inhibitions for him and his hardbody announcement) and him resenting me cause I got sick (cause I can totally help that) and telling me I'm abusive cause we got into a spat over flipping peanut butter, I guess you could say after all that, for him to announce he's just swell just the way he is and he's not going to change, I'd feel pretty rejected and betrayed.

How about you FP? If you're doing everything humanly possible to heal yourself and the fucking relationship and all that crap comes out of left frickin' field, how could you not feel scared, and hurt, and damaged? And after the layers are forcibly peeled back, it's his own insecurities and hurts that have been projected on me, yet somehow I'm magically supposed to know what's going thru his mind, and not take it personally, and to fix his broken, eventho 9 times out of 10 he doesn't acknowledge his issues, how exactly am I supposed to just freaking bounce back and be totally chill about it?

So there you have it. Everyone is thinking I'm 2 seconds away from bailing ship. Not the case.

But when you're dealing with all that, his stupid crush is freakin' fine as frog hair and there is NO way I can physically match up, THEN he announces he likes hard bodies, it's more than just a little hard and more than just a little hurtful to be posting, "I love that your kisses are the very first thing and the very last thing I do every day" and "I love the way you run your fingers thru my hair when we're watching a movie". on the bathroom mirror every morning. It's hard. Because I start to doubt myself. Because I can't trust that he's really on freakin' board with me 100%. I'm taking a chance. And I don't know where it's going to take me. And I'm putting myself out on a limb and feel that the tree trunk is on fire.

Do I know that the stupid crush has nothing to do with me? Deep down, yes. But coupled with all the other events, it's next to impossible to not compare myself. I'm a recovering insecure-aholic. Not healed. Still recovering.

I'm still working on my letters to my parents. I'm still processing all that junk. I'm still dealing with the hurt and betrayal from that. I'm still reeling after they announce that a family member is dying. And they knew that they've been dying the past 5 months, but ya know, nobody tells me cause I'm some witch from hell that has a bad attitude and is mistreating their mother.

I deal with it quietly. Why? Because QS has this magical ability to quickly deal with a situation, put it in a fancy flash little box, and put it on the shelf of History. No he isn't pushing me to deal with it quick, fast, and in a hurry. He stated that he is supportive. But I have caught his short or curt replies. It sends the message he's tired of dealing with it. He's tired of hearing about it. Because I know how he processes things, and because I'm more obsessive about things. I don't exactly feel safe enough to let it all hang out day in and day out till I'm completely done processing.

I'm dealing with it. Him. Them. Me. All of it. I'm generally pretty flipping epic at multitasking. But this is dang hard. Hardest thing I've ever done. So yes, I'm cracking. I'm losing my crap. Have I dropped any of the balls up in the air? No. I'm still juggling. The best I can. It's all I can do.

I have no clue if there is some impossible perfect FWS standard. If there is, I'm failing miserably. I'm doing the best I can. At the end of the day, my best may not be enough for him. Or anyone else. But all I can do is try. For me. And those who are affected by me in my every day life. And it scares the life and soul out of me.

[This message edited by Aubrie at 1:55 PM, February 6th (Thursday)]


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

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


Posts: 6308 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
Wayflost
Member
Member # 41583
Default  Posted: 1:49 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

((Aubrie))

I agree, take a deep breath. We are all here pulling for you too.


Me: WW
Him: BH (totalheartbreak)
Both: 30s

Posts: 420 | Registered: Dec 2013
SandAway
Member
Member # 37775
Default  Posted: 2:33 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

Why did he tell you he has a crush on a friend? How did that come about? Were his comments said to hurt you? Is this a friend of yours or his from outside the M?


fWW
BH Tred
M 16yrs
DDay Nov. 2011

Guns don't kill people; Affairs kill people


Posts: 439 | Registered: Dec 2012
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 2:51 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

Well fuck, after dropping serious inhibitions and trying new TMI things with him, then 4 hours later hearing he has a crush on a friend, then him watching workout clips on social media in a 2-3 hour sitting, then him telling me that he prefers hard-bodies, (but he loves me either way. Pshhh, don't do me any favors. I don't need pity) then rejecting me sexually (after I dropped inhibitions for him and his hardbody announcement) and him resenting me cause I got sick (cause I can totally help that) and telling me I'm abusive cause we got into a spat over flipping peanut butter, I guess you could say after all that, for him to announce he's just swell just the way he is and he's not going to change, I'd feel pretty rejected and betrayed.
I don't know what to tell you, Aubrie. I don't know you or QS well enough to determine a ton about your situation, especially in this particular situation, because there's a ton going on here that you seem really upset by and that is hard to sort out cia the internets. The reason I said what I said was that I was unsure of what kind of 'issues' QS has that he was 'refusing to work through'.

I have seen a great many WS identify things about their BS that they don't like and would like changed...traits that, while somewhat annoying, sound like regular guy/girl squabble traits to me...but then after the affair all this stuff that the WS didn't like about the BS is now supposed to change because it'd brought up under the guise of 'pre-A issues'. I was curious about your situation because I think the particulars are sort of relevant/important to the discussion. I didn't want to pry, but there is a world of difference between 'QS spends too much time on hobbies' and 'QS spends 3 hours watching chicks workout on YouTube', KWIM? Your original post made it sort of hard to parse out how 'bad' (for lack of a better word) his pre-A issues are.

The watching of the social media workouts for 2-3 hours is weird and obsessive, to me. Some of the other stuff, though, sounds like he was being honest with you, and that you didn't like how his honesty made you feel. Maybe he DOES prefer hard bodies, but still thinks you're fine the way you are. The ideas are not mutually exclusive. If he has a crush on your friend, while it's not the best thing ever, he came forward and shared it with you. He has the right to turn down sex if he feels the need to do so, regardless of whether you're going to feel rejected or not. One of the signs of healthy boundaries is being sexual for self, not for others.

I don't think anyone here can tell you anything you don't already know, re: his behaviors.

You know that you didn't cause them, you can't control them, and you can't cure them.

His action, reactions, and failings don't say anything about you as a person.

The only thing you can control is your own actions, thoughts, feelings, and responses.

Good luck.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2169 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 3:15 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

So here's the drill. Everything comes to a head and there is a small come-to-Jesus moment when I attempt to express my hurts, frustrations, fears, anxiety. Like all the garbage from the weekend.

What inevitably happens? He feels backed into a corner. And in starts the: "Noooobody loves me. Eeeeeeverybody hates me. I'm gonna eat worms and dieeeee." It's deflective in every way. So then instead of us focusing on the real issue (The crush, the 3 hours viewing, the physical attribute comments, the resentment, the rejection, and the passive-aggressive peanut butter crap) I'm trying to pat him on the head and tell him how he's loved and I'm doing everything I can to fight for us, and I'll work my fingers to the bone for him.

Somehow, the conversation turns. It goes from the real issue, to his boo-hoo guilt trip, and I'm suddenly the bad guy. And I'm not "understanding him" or his "problems". Which when I try to address he's all, "I don't have a problem". Hello? Am I crazy? What just happened here?

He's "reassured", he gets his ego jacked off, and I'm left with a pile of crap that still hasn't been worked thru. And I'm supposed to just let it all go. And if I don't, I'm obsessive. Or I'm not looking at it properly. Or I need to just get over myself. (Which is oddly familiar. My Dad does that to me too)

We don't argue or fight in a healthy way. There is no fighting. Because it turns into a shame spiral on his end. He doesn't take confrontation. Why? Because his FOO. With every disagreement, the bottom line he was trash, stupid, and worthless.

And lets not go into the fact that while his mother blamed him for everything wrong in their lives, she got drunk on Coke and rum and got knocked up. Her choice. Not QS's. Yet he carries this baggage and this sense of worthlessness. It's always been there. And it's worse post Dday. And I cannot get him out of it.

Any fight or disagreement sends him straight back to Cray-Cray FOO-land. No amount of reassurance will ever tell him he's good enough. That he is my life and breath. That he is the song in my heart. That I would take a bullet if it meant life to him. He can't hear that thru the screaming insecurities in himself.

I know that even though he smiles when he sees my hearts on the bathroom mirror, the belief in those sentiments is only fleeting. Because he doesn't believe it for himself.

Trust me, if I could absorb his hurt and take the fault for everything, I would do so in a heartbeat. But there is some stuff I just cannot absorb. Because it's not my battle. And there is literally nothing I can do. Nothing.

There are things about him I would love to change. We all have those irritations and quirks. I would LOVE that he doesn't eat apples in our room. The crunch drives me crazy. It's a pre-A condition. But it's not marriage ending. His workaholic tendencies crush me. It's a pre-A condition. I have had to learn to accept it about him. I deal with it. My children suffer, I suffer, but I'm learning to accept that as long as I'm married to him, I'll see him just a few minutes to an hour a day before he passes out in bed.

His worthlessness is a continuing trend that existed pre-A. Did I recognize it or know what the cycle was? No. Just like he didn't know what an EA was or what AP 1, 2, and 3 were. I learned these things post Dday. We both did.

I just don't know what to do with it. Or how to help. If I even can. Or how to deal with it if he doesn't.

[This message edited by Aubrie at 3:25 PM, February 6th (Thursday)]


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

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


Posts: 6308 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
abbycadabby
Member
Member # 27428
Default  Posted: 3:41 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

Somehow, the conversation turns. It goes from the real issue, to his boo-hoo guilt trip, and I'm suddenly the bad guy. And I'm not "understanding him" or his "problems". Which when I try to address he's all, "I don't have a problem". Hello? Am I crazy? What just happened here?

I hesitate to label this but it sounds like manipulation and crazymaking. I hope I'm hypersensitive to it because I've experienced it from my exH. He was super extreme about it at times, threatening to kill himself if I wanted to leave, etc.

And in starts the: "Noooobody loves me. Eeeeeeverybody hates me. I'm gonna eat worms and dieeeee." It's deflective in every way.

That is deflection. He sounds afraid to deal with strong emotion/afraid to be vulnerable maybe because he carries a sense of rejection from his FOO, which was perhaps reinforced by your As? Just a theory. But that's why I posed this question:

"how can I be vulnerable with someone who seems unwilling to be vulnerable in return?"


Posts: 1272 | Registered: Feb 2010
Joanh
Member
Member # 39146
Default  Posted: 5:50 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

"
how can I be vulnerable with someone who seems unwilling to be vulnerable in return


Yep the fear of this, the protection, where we were before and so don't want to be again.

Sometimes when I look at my BH and I, I find our roles have reversed. He was the one that tried a few things he "gave me everything" yep issues there too. Now its me doing it. Trying so hard, but still knowing I may be holding back cause my BH may not really be healing. A lot of what you said about QS sounds very familiar around here..

I guess the one thing that stands out and I am trying is this, My sister got married this past weekend , 2nd marriage. and instead of gifts wanted inspirational quotes. Don't have much right now, however, I had a piece of thought I gave to her and him.

Be the first one to ask for the date, be the first one to share your feelings, be the first one to say I love you, be the first one to say your angry/hurt/scared/ashamed and don't expect it to be returned. Tell the other person what you want and know what you want.

In our case its our time to be vulnerable mine was, I am and was the only person he trusted to cry infront of to share his fears, he was once, now he's scared. I did that, now I am the one that has to open myself up to being hurt. I didn't before. Just remember, the growth you have done, and the strength you have learnt by cleaning out your closet and building up your self esteem and self worth, no matter what you will be okay.

Not sure any of that helps, I do hear you.


BH 39
WW 43
D day November 9, 2012
3 children 22, 8, 6
Just....

Posts: 435 | Registered: Apr 2013
plainsong
Member
Member # 37826
Default  Posted: 6:44 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

Long post Ė if any of this is off-base, please ignore

I am so sorry you and QS are going through this kind of pain. I want to start by emphasizing the positives that others have mentioned -Ė he does at least sometimes realize that his painful feelings are coming from his own issues, and he told you about the crush and his body type attraction instead of keeping it a secret.

Then Iím going to give you what may seem like the opposite advice to what some have said. While it is true that there is always more that you can give to a marriage, and maintaining a marriage is a lifelong task, the question is, WHAT is it that will be valuable to give at any given point. You have been active and loving and self-revealing for two years, and that has had tremendous positive effects for your healing and for QS and your marriage. However, it sounds like if you continue with the same actions now, without QS being able to respond more, that you will start to get resentful. You may be in danger of getting into a pursuer-pursued bind Ė the more active you are, the more pressured QS feels, and the less he has to deal with his issues himself.

I hear that you donít want to give up and that you are NOT giving up. You may just need to try some entirely different approaches to get beyond your usual dynamics.

One book that offers suggestions for changing approaches that are not working is Divorce Busting, by Michele Weiner-Davis. She has a lot of creative ideas for ways to change the interactions in your marriage, and to honor and care for your own needs in the process. In particular, she has suggestions for when your styles are very different and when your partner is not actively participating in the repair effort. Another book that gives good explanations for the ďopposites attractĒ phenomenon and positives that can come from working through conflicts and stuck places in a marriage is Getting the Love You Want, by Harville Hendrix. You should be able to get used copies of either of them cheap online.

I am hearing the great pain that QS is in as well. I wonder if, having been so accepting and supportive earlier in your process, he is now for the first time really getting to the anger stage that usually happens at the beginning. This may be like Dday for him, with the accompanying desire for revenge, or just the awareness that he can feel tempted by other attractions as well. Paradoxically, he may be able to feel his anger now just because you are doing so well and he knows that you are not depending on him to keep you afloat. Because he is, from what you describe, basically a kind and generous person, he may have put his anger on hold before. Also, as I know from my own experience with my AP, taking care of another person is a soothing distraction from facing and dealing with our own pain.

Workaholism is another way of self-medicating our pain. That was a coping technique that I used all my life. It works very well, but not permanently. Again, it is true that you may need to accept that his temperament will always make this the fall-back self-soothing mechanism for QS, but when it is being driven by old pain and old beliefs, and fear of the pain of intimacy, it will keep escalating like any addiction, and lead to collapse in the end. At some point QS will need to face his FOO issues and sense of worthlessness and hopelessness, for himself and for your marriage. The best way I know of to do that is with IC. You mentioned at one point that QS was not in favor of IC for you. I wonder if he feels the same way about IC for himself. The reason it is useful, as someone in another thread said recently, is that you can tell your IC ANYTHING, without dumping it unprocessed on your partner. I am not saying it is easy or pleasant. It is HELL, but at least it leads somewhere.

About either you or he wanting/wishing for you to be able to heal his shame issues, you are right that it just canít be done. That is not to say that knowing that you love and admire him wonít help eventually, when he is also working on them himself, and with help from a therapist, someone else who is not part of his family system. It was not until my third year past Dday, with intense IC and MC for the whole time, that I am now able to sometimes actually EXPERIENCE that my husband loves me, accepts me, and wants to be with me. And this is after 47 years of his saying and demonstrating that as strongly as possible. So I would say, keep saying and showing how much you love QS, but donít let your well being be destroyed by his inability to respond now. I can now draw on all those years of love and SEE his loving look, HEAR his loving voice and FEEL his loving touch in my previously impregnable core. All you say and do is being stored up inside QS, a treasure for him to draw on when he is ready.

As far as how much time you want to give him, there is no formula. My husband told me toward the beginning that if I couldnít change my self-hate, at some point, he didnít know when, he would have to separate, not to punish me but because it would not be healthy for him to live in that atmosphere indefinitely. If QS is really just starting processing now, he would need more time, but only you can decide how much is healthy for you and your children.

PS Ė My IC is constantly telling me to live in the present and not get into generating scary ďwhat-ifísĒ about the future. You will be able to think through what you want to do about a possible separation later Ė in one year, two years, three years, five years, or whatever. For now, you just need to take care of yourself and start clarifying for yourself what you will eventually want from, and with QS.

All my best to both you and QS. I have faith that both of you have the desire and the ability to do what is needed to create the satisfying and heart-nourishing marriage you want.


Me,WW,69;
Him,BH,70 - Happy Birthday!
Dday,12/22/2010
I use capital letters for emphasis, not yelling!

Posts: 73 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Chicago area
CryingEyes
Member
Member # 11826
Default  Posted: 8:21 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

Is it possible to NOT be hurt when you hear your spouse talk about a crush they are having or about hard-bodies? I'm also a recovering insecure-aholic, so my thinking may be way off. We all suffer from insecurities. I think it is natural to "hide" oneself when something like this happens. It hurts. I think all you can do is talk with QS on how it makes you feel, yet it seems if you do that, it runs into the boo-hoo guilt trip.

Are you needing validation from QS that he still finds you attractive? Has there been any reassurances given to you after finding out about the crush and the hard-bodies?

You have a TON of emotional stuff on your plate with dealing with the FOO stuff, let alone a crush, hard-bodies and being rejected. This just sucks!!!

You're getting healthy. Part of the process is learning to identify what is yours and what isn't. You've done a great job. To me there is another part of getting healthy. Learning that what you "think/feel" matters and has value. It can't be shoved off like it doesn't. It's great when your spouse supports you in your new found health, but what happens when that health hits up against some of the "old" behaviors that are not so healthy?

Wouldn't it be easier if you could fix this because I'm sure you would be all over that $hit working away to make it better. I'm giving you permission to not pick this up as yours to own. This isn't yours to fix.

And in starts the: "Noooobody loves me. Eeeeeeverybody hates me. I'm gonna eat worms and dieeeee."

This is deflecting. You don't have to accept this dynamic. You can change this. What I'm seeing is that you and QS have an established pattern with communication when the talk is about something that has happened between you and you are trying to express yourself. It seems that you both fall into Guilt/Shame when he pulls out the big guns of "Noooobody loves me. Eeeeeeverybody hates me. I'm gonna eat worms and dieeeee.".

What would happen if you simply said, "That is not true and it hurts me to hear you say that. I think/feel you are trying to change the topic of the conversation, and this is important to me. We can discuss what you have to say after we talk about this." Not easy to say especially when the patterns is established. Every time he starts to deflect the conversation from what you are talking about, you direct him back or end and come back when he is in a better place to hear what you have to say.

You cannot fill the black hole he has, and you know this. He has to do that, so the question is, why are you trying to? What is driving you to "fix" this for him? He knows what buttons to push in order to get the conversation off of him, and onto you.

Figure out how he is able to derail the conversation when he behaves in this manner. Is there someone in you FOO that uses the same tactic?


((((Aubrie))))


Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

Posts: 1254 | Registered: Aug 2006 | From: WA
TOMTEFAR
Member
Member # 39257
Default  Posted: 3:10 AM, February 7th (Friday)

I feel for you Aubrie.

Have your H Always done things like this or is this new? Is he punishing you by doing this? Or is this the way he has Always been? I asume you have talked to your H about these things? How does those talks go? Are you comming of in a way wher he feels you are attacking him in those talks?

Also, just for some perspective:

But when you're dealing with all that, his stupid crush is freakin' fine as frog hair and there is NO way I can physically match up, THEN he announces he likes hard bodies, it's more than just a little hard and more than just a little hurtful to be posting, "I love that your kisses are the very first thing and the very last thing I do every day" and "I love the way you run your fingers thru my hair when we're watching a movie". on the bathroom mirror every morning. It's hard. Because I start to doubt myself. Because I can't trust that he's really on freakin' board with me 100%. I'm taking a chance. And I don't know where it's going to take me. And I'm putting myself out on a limb and feel that the tree trunk is on fire.

Doesn't your H struggle with this every day aswell? Can he trust you? Is he sure you are 100% in? Isn't he taking a bigger chance than you? Of cause it is hard for you. It is hard for you both.

[This message edited by TOMTEFAR at 9:54 AM, February 7th (Friday)]


Posts: 107 | Registered: May 2013
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 11:52 AM, February 7th (Friday)

Thanks everyone for your help, comments, and insight.

Plainsong, your post is awesome and I'm still working thru it. I recognize alot of the things you pointed out. Will definitely be checking those books out cause right now, I'm at the end of options. Time for something new.

Are you needing validation from QS that he still finds you attractive?
After the breakdown of last weekend, yes it would be nice to hear something positive from him.

And look, I don't need validation 24/7. I don't need to hear him say, "You're the only chick I wanna bang" 48 times a day. I don't even need to hear it every day. Contrary to popular belief, I have really made progress in my "neediness" for validation.

It's something I've been trying to find a balance in. Too much validation or zero validation. Validation is a sticky thing with waywards. We're preached to and preached to and preached to that we shouldn't need, want, or crave it. But I think that some validation in a relationship is necessary. I mean, come on. How many men on this earth are nervous on whether their dick is long enough? They want their wife to coo and carry on over how amazeballs it is. How many women on this earth are scared their butt looks fat in those jeans? They want their husband to say, "Ya know Honey, you're doubting yourself right now, but I think you've got the cutest happy ass evah!" Ya know? We all want our spouse to like us and compliment us. Isn't that the point of a relationship? Liking and loving a person?

Has there been any reassurances given to you after finding out about the crush and the hard-bodies?
Nope. I tried to go to him with my concerns, he "shame spiraled", and slept on the couch. I spent the next day doing squats and lunges till my body screamed.

What I'm seeing is that you and QS have an established pattern with communication when the talk is about something that has happened between you and you are trying to express yourself. It seems that you both fall into Guilt/Shame when he pulls out the big guns of "Noooobody loves me. Eeeeeeverybody hates me. I'm gonna eat worms and dieeeee.".
Winner, winner, chicken dinner! And I don't recognize that its happened till after I'm left in the rubble continuing to hold the issues I tried to approach him with, and he's gotten out of the conversation.

Doesn't your H struggle with this every day aswell? Can he trust you? Is he sure you are 100% in? Isn't he taking a bigger chance than you? Of cause it is hard for you. It is hard for you both.
Look, I know where you're coming from and it's something I think about. It's like Dixie said. QS said he has forgiven me. He said he's worked thru the pain. That he doesn't think of the A anymore. I'll use his example. It's like when he cut off his thumb. Every blue moon, he bumps it and it hurts and he remembers the day he cut it off. But then it goes away and he's ok. He's said he trusts me, he feels safe, he's content.

So, based on what he's said, I continue to move forward. I have to trust that he will bring an A related issue to me. Or if/when something is an issue and the A is piggy-backing.

However, if he's on a different time line (say the 3-5 year plan) and I'm still moving forward on the 2-3 year plan, I'm waking up every morning shooting myself in the foot. I'm set up for failure. Unless he tells me otherwise.

I'm done guessing. If he's got an issue, speak up Sugah Boo. I can't guess. I'm not God. He knows this. We have that understanding. Goes the same for me. BUT when I come forward, we have issues.

What's going on now isn't A related. It's just relationship related. BUT because I did have an A, I do know that there is the chance that it's somehow tied in. Jesus can it get any more complicated?

SO! Allllll that to get to this. He's not working the next two days. Our 11th anniversary is tomorrow. (Can this timing be anymore awkward?) We woke up and I started talking. Here's how I feel.

We process things very differently. He can be approached by a situation and within a few hours, he's worked thru it all in his mind, he deals with it, and throws it away. I'm not like that. I take days to process. I don't think he's always aware of that. He forgets. Cause we're different.

Every time a major incident happens (say with FOO) it takes about 4-7 days for me to work thru it. First I'm in shock. Then I laugh hysterically at the insanity of it all. Then I get pissed. Then I'm left feeling hurt. And I have to work thru each emotion, in whichever way they come, as they come, till I'm able to accept and move on.

As long as I am dealing with emotions toward other people (FOO, friends, the kids, the neighbor, the pizza dude who delivered our stuff to the wrong house, the doctor who was rude) he's ok to listen to me. BUT, when I come to him with emotions directed at him, eeeeeeverything changes.

So from Friday afternoon to Tuesday, things were happening and piling up on me. I was connecting dots (that may or may not exist,) but it's how I was processing.) I went to him to try to talk, he started the shame spiral. I started thinking, well maybe my A is triggering him, maybe he's really hurting too and isn't telling me, and my attention turned from my issues with him, to his shame spiral. He slept on the couch. And I was left alone with the pre-existing issues from last week, on top of the fear and anxiety of why he was on the couch.

I see it clearly now. And this morning I asked him why it was I couldn't approach him with issues with him. Why can I not say to him, "You know what? I appreciate your honesty in announcing your crush. I'm not happy about it. It hurt my feelings. Can we talk about this?"

Do we need to work together to find a way for me to safely approach him with my negative feelings toward him? Or do I need to just figure out how to deal with this alone? And if I do indeed have to go it alone, how exactly is that building trust and intimacy between us? Isn't it defeating the purpose of having a relationship to begin with?

We're all human. We're all going to hurt one another. He's going to say something stupid and hurt my feelings. I'm going to speak in anger and insult him. People hurt one another a million times in a lifetime. But how can we work thru that together? Or can we?

Do you believe the things in your shame spiral? Do you really feel worthless, that nobody wants you, that you're just a waste of air? Do you really believe that about yourself? Do you recognize that all that has nothing to do with me or anyone else, but yourself?

Is there anything I can do to help you work thru that? I can't fix it for you, but I can support you thru the process.

And he dropped the bomb. He doesn't feel those things about himself. He's cool with him.

Alrighty. So. Why the shame spiral when I approach you then? Are you trying to manipulate the situation so you don't have to deal with ugly feelings?

Don't tell me I'm crazy and don't recognize it. Dad does it to me all the time.

There is a slight difference. Dad will actually have a conversation. But he turns it all around and says, "It's all in your head. You're just imagining it. I didn't mean it that way. You saw it all wrong. Change your perspective." He speaks those words.

With QS, he uses the shame spiral which changes the course of the conversation. He gets his ego stroke, and walks out of the room. A-ok. And I'm left sitting on the bed going, "WHAT just happened??? And what do I do with this??? Am I CRAZY!? WHAT am I doing wrong???" He doesn't say the words, but his actions leave me feeling them.

The feelings I get after I've had a conversation with Dad and QS are the same. I'm crazy and stupid and confused and hurt and it's all my fault.

So now I see the manipulation the shame spiral is. And I'm going to call him on it. He said this morning that he didn't recognize it as a manipulation tactic till I broke it down. So I guess it was happening on a subconscious level? I don't even know. I'm still processing that one.

I don't know what the next couple days holds. I don't know what he's going to do with everything I just said. I don't know if I can ever safely go to him with problems. Right now, I'm waiting.

*shrug*


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

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


Posts: 6308 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
CryingEyes
Member
Member # 11826
Default  Posted: 2:51 PM, February 7th (Friday)

I don't have time to respond to everything, but just wanted to say that ^^^ is huge. Great job!!!! I'll be back when I have more time.


Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

Posts: 1254 | Registered: Aug 2006 | From: WA
CryingEyes
Member
Member # 11826
Default  Posted: 8:55 PM, February 7th (Friday)

Iím going to jump around a bit. Sorry if it doesnít make sense. Keep in mind that this is a process and it takes ďtimeĒ to learn new skills that weíve never used before. Iíve been working on this process for a while. Iím only NOW starting to change how I react to in these types of conversations.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner! And I don't recognize that its happened till after I'm left in the rubble continuing to hold the issues I tried to approach him with, and he's gotten out of the conversation.

Itís ok that you donít recognize it until after the conversation. I think if you think back to not so long ago, there was a time when you didnít recognize it AT ALL. You are working the process of getting healthy. To me, that path is not a straight path. What Iíve seen with myself is that, I learn something. I work hard to adjust my thoughts/feelings. I stumble; end up feeling like a complete failure, but I keep doing it. At some point, it isnít as hard. I stumble less, and it starts to feel natural. You start thinking that youíve always been this way, but the true is, you havenít.
Start becoming more ďawareĒ of how the conversation became derailed. Go back and figure out where ďyouĒ sidetracked from your intent. Not QS, YOU. You already did that with this conversation:
I went to him to try to talk, he started the shame spiral. I started thinking, well maybe my A is triggering him, maybe he's really hurting too and isn't telling me, and my attention turned from my issues with him, to his shame spiral.

So, if this is true:
So, based on what he's said, I continue to move forward. I have to trust that he will bring an A related issue to me

Why did you Ö.
I started thinking, well maybe my A is triggering him, maybe he's really hurting too and isn't telling me,

Your right, you do have to trust him to bring these things to you. I suspect you donít trust him to do that. The thing is, you cannot have open honest communication if he doesnít. You will always be guessing if you got it right this time or not. Itís QSís job to bring up his issues to you. It isnít your job to ďguessĒ if something is bothering him or not. If you start to wonder if it is A related, ask him. If he says no, believe him. Easy for me to write. Hard hard hard to implement.

Part of why the conversation derailed was from your shame from the A. Iím a BS, so Iím talking out my a$$ on this one. Please forgive me. I do think that at some point, the shame the WS carries from the A starts to hold them back from progressing to be healthy. There is a time and place for healthy shame about the A, however, toxic shame will always keep you stuck. I understand the shame you feel about the A and I cannot even begin to understand how you process that and let it go. I think itís an important step for you to take in order to realize your own value and give you the straight to stand up for yourself and what you think/feel. I see this as a step so you can stop asking yourself:

Am I CRAZY!?

I use to do this ALL the time. I would start a conversation with my H hoping he would validate me and tell me I wasnít crazy. Guess what. It never worked. NEVER!!! I would leave the conversation wondering what the hell I was doing wrong, and how can I fix this. Feeling completely and totally unheard. I was spinning my wheels for years ending countless conversations in tears and feeling much worse after the conversation then before. QS cannot validate if you are CRAZY or not. You need to validate to yourself that you are not crazy. Itís ok to have feelings even if they are not valid. They are yours and they come from somewhere. That doesnít make you crazy. I see that this is a FOO issue and something you are already working on. You have value and what you think/feel matters. Even if the other person does not agree/see it.
So now I see the manipulation the shame spiral is. And I'm going to call him on it. He said this morning that he didn't recognize it as a manipulation tactic till I broke it down. So I guess it was happening on a subconscious level?

You bet this is happing on subconscious level. From what you have written here, QS FOO itís all about how ďunwantedĒ he was and how horrible he is. How does one get through childhood ďhearingĒ that every day? We create our own tactics to surviving our FOO. Some not so healthy.
Do we need to work together to find a way for me to safely approach him with my negative feelings toward him? Or do I need to just figure out how to deal with this alone? And if I do indeed have to go it alone, how exactly is that building trust and intimacy between us? Isn't it defeating the purpose of having a relationship to begin with?

I think you both have parts you need to work on in order for you to have a safe environment to approach these conversations in. You can do them together, but you donít need to. I agree that doing it together builds trust and intimacy between you both, but even if you do this alone, it still can build trust and intimacy. It doesnít have to be one way or another. Does that make sense?
The feelings I get after I've had a conversation with Dad and QS are the same. I'm crazy and stupid and confused and hurt and it's all my fault.

This is a huge realization and will take some time to process. Your Dad and QS are not the same. I understand at that moment, the feelings are the same. You are no longer the little girl who needed Dad to save her. You CAN standup for yourself and protect yourself. To both your Dad and QS. You are already working on this process by addressing your FOO issues. You are in the middle of that $hit storm and you are doing a great job. I admire your courage. I applaud you. This $hit isnít easy.

I don't know what the next couple days holds. I don't know what he's going to do with everything I just said. I don't know if I can ever safely go to him with problems. Right now, I'm waiting

How about instead of waiting, you do something for yourself that would validate you? How about patting you on the back for having the conversation? Instead of asking how you could have done better, look at ALL the great thing you did. I know it doesnít ďfeelĒ good, but maybe that is because of how you are "seeing" it.


Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

Posts: 1254 | Registered: Aug 2006 | From: WA
TOMTEFAR
Member
Member # 39257
Default  Posted: 7:25 AM, February 8th (Saturday)

Look, I know where you're coming from and it's something I think about. It's like Dixie said. QS said he has forgiven me. He said he's worked thru the pain. That he doesn't think of the A anymore.

QS is a typical H in a M. We tend to avoid conflicts. For some it is because they are affraid of them. For some it is just the easy way. This is true in roughtly 70% of all M. I know I'm one of those H. However, this doesn't mean that your H is OK. I know I wasn't OK. I kept building things up and once in a while my glas was full. I see some of myself in QS although QS is way worse than I am.

Now to my Point. Just because QS sais he is OK with the A doesn't mean you can asume he actually is. He might just be avoiding the conflict with you, taking the easy way out. This actually fits well into his behaviour right now.


Posts: 107 | Registered: May 2013
painfulpast
Member
Member # 41038
Default  Posted: 8:38 AM, February 8th (Saturday)

Hi Aubrie,

I'm going out on a limb here - and only because I think we live in the same house, or at least have the same H. My H can deal with anything in record time. I think he should write a book titled "How to Solve Any Issue in 3 Minutes or Less" and it's frustrating as hell sometimes because, as you mentioned, the hints that fly are that we should be able to do the same.

I think you and I come at problems the same way, if from different sides of the coin. My H had his A, and I wanted to dig. Why? What drove him to it? What caused his unhappiness? Why didn't he discuss it with me? Oddly, his A had ended before I discovered it, and he already had these answers. He ended his A, and he analyzed why he did it, and changed. Cased closed - or it was until I found out. For you, you had your A, and confessed. And then you wanted to analyze why. What made you want that? Why did you enjoy it? Why didn't you get that feeling at home? Could you get that feeling at home? And so on. Your H? He wanted to know it wouldn't happen again, case closed - or so he wanted it to be.

So let's take these attitudes beyond an A. Let's take them to the comments about your H's crush. He said it. Why? Who knows. To hurt you? Because he's just not thinking? Because he likes being honest and open with you? Whatever - he shouldn't have said it. It was an obviously dumb thing to say to one's wife. I'm sure there are men you find attractive, and yet you don't need to inform him of every one. I'm sure you have a type of body you find attractive - and yet you still find your H attractive. Do you need to advertise your ideal body to him? Or how about (to steal your reference) your ideal penis? No, because there is a thing called tact. Some things just don't need to be shared.

Now, on the the need to 'analyze' which is where his 'nobody likes me' mentality probably comes from. At least, in my house it did. I wanted to discuss everything - and yet my H saw it as a long winded discussion on his flaws. I didn't - I saw it as getting to the heart of an issue. The problem was, for my H, getting to the heart of the issue is as simple as "Don't tell me you have a crush on her. What is wrong with you? Do you think I want to hear that?" Case closed. He won't do it again. It took me a while to realize that sometimes, some people just need instructions, not a deep dive into what drove the behavior. Why? Because to them, that isn't important. To them, the outcome is what matters, not the method to get there.

In other words, if we are going on a road trip, I can discuss 1000 different routes to take, and the pros and cons of each. My H only wants to know one thing - what route are we taking? He isn't interested in my decision process - just my decision. Did that hurt me for a while? Did it make me feel like I wasn't important? Sometimes. Eventually, I heard him - it wasn't that I wasn't important, or my feelings didn't matter - it was that he wasn't getting anything from dissecting the events that led us to the discussion. He wanted the answer on how not to hurt my feelings, not why my feelings were hurt, or what in my past makes these things hurt, or anything else. Just tell him how to not do it again.

What was really going on was this: I wanted to discuss the events, and his refusal made me feel unimportant. I would persist, and continue to insist he discuss these things with me. What I realized was that by doing this, I was saying to him that his feelings weren't important, and that my way was the only acceptable way to solve a problem. We were both guilty of the same crime - our way was THE way, and the other party was just selfish and inconsiderate by forcing their way. It's a never ending no-win situation.

I can't say this is happening in your home, but from your description, it sounds like it may be. It's hard, because you're trying to solve problems, and yet somehow the problems just grow. For your H, he wants to correct the behavior and move on, and yet he isn't allowed to do that.

What worked for me was simple - give his way a chance in small instances. For example - in your situation - if my H said he preferred X type of body (that wasn't my body) instead of spending an hour explaining why that hurt me, and how I felt, and what we could do in the future, I would try his way. I would say "Why are you telling me that? Do you want me to tell you every time I find someone attractive?" and he's say "sure - it wouldn't bother me." and I would then say "well it bothers me, so knock it off!" The end. If he does it again, then we do it my way - why does it make me feel badly about myself. What it does to my esteem and my desire to be open with him, etc. Yes, he gets a full on lesson in why such behaviors are hurtful. If he doesn't like it - too bad. I tried his way.

Now, on big issues, we go my way. But he knows that this is a big issue, so he deals with it. I don't take every incident as a way to dive into all of his actions and reasons why. When I do that, he feels that I'm attacking him and using the incident as a means to discuss all the things I don't like about him.

I don't know if any of this is making sense to anyone else honestly. I know that for us, it works. I now see how he hears me, and not just what I feel I need to get across. The reality was, I didn't need to get it across. I wanted to. I thought that discussing things was always the answer. It's not. Sometimes the answer is just walking away.

So, for the doctor that was rude - before I would have wondered for days why. I would be offended, I would wonder if my Doc hated me, etc. Now? Now I assume my Doc is a person that has bad days. I accept that I'm one patient in a thousand, and the reality is my Doc doesn't really have an opinion on me one way or another. It was just a bad day.

For family - I would sometimes try to dig into it. It was his family really - lots and lots of FOO. I wanted them to accept me. I wanted to know why they didn't. I felt badly, and yet didn't even like them. I wanted them to see my point of view, and admit they were in the wrong.

But why? I don't like them. I don't need them. If they want to be jerks, it's because they're just miserable people and they are only happy when they can talk negatively about someone else. It stops them from looking at themselves. That's their issue. I could care less now. I've had to do that with members of my own family too, sadly. Just walk away.

So, you're writing letters to your family, and you're discussing it with your H, and then something else happens, and more discussions, and more hurt feelings, etc. Your H may be thinking "as long as they're the focus, it's not me", but really, they shouldn't be the focus, because regardless of the reasons, they are just jerks (paraphrasing). Sometimes, people are just jerks. It's worse when it's family, but everyone is someone's family - even the jerks. Sometimes, the answer is found in 3 minutes - walk away. Worry about yourself, and not take everything personally, because sometimes a rude checkout girl is just a rude checkout girl. Sometimes a passive aggressive mother is just a passive aggressive mother, and getting away is the only solution. Sometimes, a thoughtless comment is just a thoughtless comment, and calling the person out and saying 'don't do it again' is all that's needed.

I'm not saying this is how you should live your life, or that any of this will even mean anything to your situation. It just all sounded very familiar to me, so I figured I'd toss out what's worked for me - for the most part

EDIT: Happy Anniversary. Maybe call a truce for the day, and just be happy being together?

[This message edited by painfulpast at 8:39 AM, February 8th (Saturday)]


The stones from my enemies, these wounds will mend
but I cannot survive the roses from my friends

Posts: 1898 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: East Coast
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Default  Posted: 10:30 AM, February 8th (Saturday)

Your right, you do have to trust him to bring these things to you. I suspect you donít trust him to do that. The thing is, you cannot have open honest communication if he doesnít. You will always be guessing if you got it right this time or not. Itís QSís job to bring up his issues to you. It isnít your job to ďguessĒ if something is bothering him or not. If you start to wonder if it is A related, ask him. If he says no, believe him. Easy for me to write. Hard hard hard to implement.
Understood. However, in a difficult time when a BS starts the spiral, I don't think there is a WS on earth who wouldn't at least think, "Hmmm...triggering? Feeling like crap cause of the A?" Whether the BS says it or not. A WS mind is going to do there.

I've read ever so many threads on a BS and their self-esteem struggles post Dday. Armed with that knowledge, and the habits of my husband, I realize I'm never guaranteed at any given moment what's actually going on. Also...

Just because QS sais he is OK with the A doesn't mean you can asume he actually is. He might just be avoiding the conflict with you, taking the easy way out. This actually fits well into his behaviour right now.
Which is probably part of the reason my mind "goes there" when we're in a conversation like what happened earlier this week. Cause he has been known to not say things in an effort to "protect" me, or cause it doesn't help us, or whatever.

And yeah I know. All on him to speak up. I get it. We don't have this system down 100% yet. Obviously.

QS is a typical H in a M. We tend to avoid conflicts. For some it is because they are affraid of them. For some it is just the easy way. This is true in roughtly 70% of all M.
I'm not sure I subscribe to that. Isn't it a type of cop-out? Crap goes down and a man can segway out of a conversation by saying, "Pshhh, what do I know? I'm just a guyyyy." How does that go for a woman, "Dammit Harold. I'm hormonal!" It's all deflective. Right? I think the guy/hormonal thing is just a convenient way to distract. Distraction and deflection don't prejudice against a particular sex.

Anyway, while I'm not addressing it all right now, I'm still working thru your post and your comments painfulpast. Thank you for taking the time to help. Gotta mull it over a while. Will come back to it.

EDIT: Happy Anniversary. Maybe call a truce for the day, and just be happy being together?
Thank you.


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

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


Posts: 6308 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
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Default  Posted: 10:59 AM, February 8th (Saturday)

I'm not sure I subscribe to that. Isn't it a type of cop-out? Crap goes down and a man can segway out of a conversation by saying, "Pshhh, what do I know? I'm just a guyyyy." How does that go for a woman, "Dammit Harold. I'm hormonal!" It's all deflective. Right? I think the guy/hormonal thing is just a convenient way to distract. Distraction and deflection don't prejudice against a particular sex.
Absolutely. Agreed, 100%. Deflection IS deflection.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2169 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
Topic Posts: 42