SurvivingInfidelity.com Forums
Wayward Side
User Topic: Seeing other BS: advice requested
nightmarelife
New Member
Member # 42884
Default  Posted: 11:58 PM, May 6th (Tuesday)

As some of you know I had an A with my BIL, who is married to BH's sister. After trying to go to some of the same family events around the holidays, SIL and I haven't communicated or seen each other (at her request) for three months. My son's birthday is this week and he requested that his cousins (SIL's kids) attend. So BH called her to invite them and also to see whether she was feeling up to attending herself. To our surprise, she decided that she would come. I'm cautiously happy that she feels healed enough to try being in the same place as me again but also extremely nervous to see her and unsure of how to act around her. I want to be sensitive and respectful to her feelings. Has anyone been in a similar situation or have words of support or advice?

I take most of my cues from BH, who recently attended a family barbecue where he ran into AP/BIL and struck up a short conversation with him. He thinks if I happen to bump into her by accident I should acknowledge her and say 'hi' (which scares me to death) or I will just make the situation more awkward. But otherwise I plan on giving her plenty of space by not making eye contact or walking near her corner of the room.

Me: WW
Him: BH
1 DS, 1 DD, and 1 DD on the way
Married 12 years
Dday: 10/26/13

[This message edited by nightmarelife at 11:59 PM, May 6th (Tuesday)]


Posts: 42 | Registered: Mar 2014
BaxtersBFF
Member
Member # 26859
Default  Posted: 9:00 AM, May 7th (Wednesday)

Have a plan for any triggers, whether it is your trigger, or hers, or your BH's. I would suspect that she is doing this because of the kids only, and I would not presume to think she has healed enough to try this for anyone other than her nephew and her own kids.

I wish you luck. Could be very tough.


WH - 44
BW - gerrygirl

Posts: 6099 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Boise
5454real
Member
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 9:12 AM, May 7th (Wednesday)

Wow, awkward. Definitely stick nearby BH. Does AP plan to attend?

Here's the biggest issue I see. This is about your son. Has your BH talked to the BW about her attendance and what her plans are for the inevitable face to face? I wouldn't want anything traumatic in front of the kids.

I'd like to tell you to have an escape plan in case of confrontation, but it's your sons event. Have a contingency plan in case of escalation.

Sending Mojo and saying a prayer.


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 20(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 2813 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
somethingremorse
Member
Member # 42047
Default  Posted: 9:22 AM, May 7th (Wednesday)

Our plan for a recent bridal shower was for my BW to take control. She could say hello or do more if BW felt comfortable. It was totally BW's call.

At the shower, my AP pretty much stayed in the corners and avoided BW. BW said goodbye as she left. BW felt pretty good about herself that day.

My advice is to give your SIL room. Let her have some control. I know that if my AP was the center of attention, laughing and socializing as if nothing ever happened, that my BW would have triggered a lot. My BW would have felt like AP didn't have any remorse.

Also, maybe have an emergency exit plan, if things get too, well, anything. This includes any kind of confrontation.

You are way ahead of me WRT the other family. Just being in the same spot is a huge step. It would make me feel like it is possible to get back to a "normal" family life. Even if it is the coldest, most awkward day you can imagine, it is a step in the right direction. Try to remember that it's bad now, but the only way it will get better is to go through days like this.

Good luck.


Me: WH (42)
DDay 11/03/13
In MC and IC

Posts: 535 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Pennsylvania
Bigger
Member
Member # 8354
Default  Posted: 11:46 AM, May 7th (Wednesday)

I dont think this is an appropriate moment to meet.

This is your sons birthday. Its HIS day. I would focus on that.
If you, BH, SIL and OM all agree that NC isnt realistic (and I can see with the family ties that this might be the case) then IMHO some sort of meeting where you all discuss this and the extent of contact is laid on the table.
I can fully understand that such a meeting might sound terrifying and just maybe you need some sort of moderator or therapist to control it but IMHO it can clear the air and establish the ground-rules for future interaction.


"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

Posts: 5549 | Registered: Sep 2005
nightmarelife
New Member
Member # 42884
Default  Posted: 3:14 PM, May 7th (Wednesday)

BaxtersBFF, will I ever not be a trigger for her? I agree with you re: presuming she's coming because she's feeling better about me except that she could very easily send the kids with her parents (who know about the A) or one of her siblings (all know about the A), something she's done in the previous three months. She also has a son who is old enough to drive and could take the rest of her kids to any of our family events. But I can see why she wouldn't do that because her kids don't know about the A. She made it very clear in her conversation with BH that she's coming intentionally, if not for me of course but for the kids and all the other family members who want her there and to see things move forward. In her words she said that she doesn't want to be "chatty" or "my best friend or anything" and she will "avoid" me but she's still willing to see how it goes. I know it's very likely that it will go poorly and she'll go back in her shell for awhile and that's okay. Just trying is a step in the right direction.

545real, no, as far as we know AP is not coming. BH has been up to trying a family event with all four of us. We've just been waiting on SIL being okay with it. As far as I know she doesn't mind AP and I being in the same place. She just hasn't wanted to see me, period. But he's showed up unexpectedly in the past so we have to be prepared for anything.

Try to remember that it's bad now, but the only way it will get better is to go through days like this.

Somethingremorse, I know that as hard as it will be for SIL/OBS, this is what she wants as well, for things to get better eventually. Otherwise she wouldn't be willing to put herself in such a traumatic position.

My advice is to give your SIL room. Let her have some control. I know that if my AP was the center of attention, laughing and socializing as if nothing ever happened, that my BW would have triggered a lot. My BW would have felt like AP didn't have any remorse.

YES, I worry about this. And I completely agree re: SIL having some control. I'd actually prefer for her to be the one to say 'hi' or initiate any interaction if she's feeling up to it. But my BH and inlaws tell me to be myself and that being the first person to politely and very briefly break the ice might be appreciated. At the barbecue that AP and BH both attended, when they happened to be alone unexpectedly for a moment AP was the first person to speak, just saying "Hi BH's name" and as hard as it was, that meant a lot to BH. He thinks that if SIL and I find ourselves in a similar position I should act similarly, and that instead of being offended she might appreciate it. The few other family events we both attended I tried to stay quiet and downcast out of respect for her feelings but I can't do that at my own son's birthday party and BH and my inlaws think I shouldn't act that way at all going forward. I struggle with this idea so much because I don't want to hurt her more than the situation already will.

Thanks everyone, I'll keep you posted.

[This message edited by nightmarelife at 3:17 PM, May 7th (Wednesday)]


Posts: 42 | Registered: Mar 2014
nightmarelife
New Member
Member # 42884
Default  Posted: 3:56 PM, May 8th (Thursday)

Bigger, I didn't mean to not respond to your comment.

It may not be appropriate but it's not the first time we've met since DDay. My SIL and I had a chance to talk before Christmas and then we spent some of the holiday events together. In January we even had a few text conversations and phone calls about how she's feeling but those ended in February when she couldn't deal with the anxiety any longer.

NC has never been considered. As much triggering that SIL does in my presence and BH in AP/BILs they both don't want it. A meeting between all four of us with my MIL as a moderator was suggested (by her) about a month after Dday. But at that point most of us were not ready for it. Personally, I think a meeting between BH, SIL, AP/BIL, and I with a therapist could be helpful and even healing if everyone is ready emotionally and can remain civil. But SIL has not been able to be around me at all. Maybe one day it will happen but I doubt that everyone will agree to it at the same time. Occasionally my AP/BIL will call BH to discuss family events (and I commend BH's ability to handle that "normally") but otherwise it's all between BH and his sister and sometimes their communication isn't all that great. But there's not much I can do about that except gently urge BH to be open and communcate with her when necessary.

The birthday dinner is tonight. I'll let you all know how it goes.


Posts: 42 | Registered: Mar 2014
somethingremorse
Member
Member # 42047
Default  Posted: 9:16 AM, May 9th (Friday)

It will be OK. Another small step towards healing.

Personally, I think a meeting between BH, SIL, AP/BIL, and I with a therapist could be helpful and even healing if everyone is ready emotionally and can remain civil. But SIL has not been able to be around me at all. Maybe one day it will happen but I doubt that everyone will agree to it at the same time.

I feel the same way, and I'm in the same spot. I hope that my BIL/your SIL get to that point someday, for their own good.

Good luck.


Me: WH (42)
DDay 11/03/13
In MC and IC

Posts: 535 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Pennsylvania
nightmarelife
New Member
Member # 42884
Default  Posted: 12:23 AM, May 13th (Tuesday)

UPDATE

Well, the party was rougher for me than I expected and I wasn't in a place to give you any kind of rational update right afterwards. SIL came, we successfully avoided each other, and she left after an hour with no confrontation or contact between us of any kind. BH said that she looked more at ease than the last time we were together, but who knows. She's great at hiding her emotions, whereas I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve.

As for me, my discomfort was noticeable. I felt ashamed and paralyzed, worrying about her seeing or overhearing me the entire time. As a result I didn't enjoy my own son's birthday dinner. After she left I couldn't hold my emotions back any longer. I started to cry before we could leave and some other family members saw me lose it. I sobbed for awhile after we got home and felt very hopeless that night, wondering if trying to be around each other is really worth it and if it will ever get better. We're not rushing to do it but BH will call SIL and ask her how it went for her in the near future, probably when we need to talk about another family event.

On a semi-related note, I saw her again two days later at one of my FIL's campaign events. Things weren't nearly as awkward. We even exchanged a few words in a way that we normally would've in the past. She seemed ok but I wonder if that's how she was really feeling. I'll take anything as progress though.


Posts: 42 | Registered: Mar 2014
somethingremorse
Member
Member # 42047
Default  Posted: 8:43 AM, May 13th (Tuesday)

I was wondering how it went. I understand why you felt how you did. It's OK. It was a step forward. Some of those steps are more painful than the others.

felt very hopeless that night, wondering if trying to be around each other is really worth it and if it will ever get better.

Obviously, no guarantees on it getting better. I'd bet that it will, because it seems like time and repetition will help. But there are four people and two marriages -- that's a lot of variables. Be patient.

I think it is important to you to get to some level of comfort being around each other. I know that is a HUGE concern for me and my BW. I think that you'll just have to see what that level turns out to be.

We're not rushing to do it but BH will call SIL and ask her how it went for her in the near future, probably when we need to talk about another family event.

That sounds like a great idea. Maybe there is something that could help the next time.

Hang in there. You are doing great.


Me: WH (42)
DDay 11/03/13
In MC and IC

Posts: 535 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Pennsylvania
nightmarelife
New Member
Member # 42884
Default  Posted: 3:53 PM, May 14th (Wednesday)

it seems like time and repetition will help. there are four people and two marriages -- that's a lot of variables. Be patient.

BH is helpful in reminding me of this. The true platitude "time heals all wounds" gets old really fast and frustrates me at times but keeping in mind that repetition also helps is encouraging and makes me feel like we have some control over the situation and it isn't just about waiting for time to pass. SIL and AP aren't as far along in the healing process as we are so taking that into account helps me understand why she's still up and down WRT me. I know that she's trying not to blame me for problems in their R which aren't my fault but it's unavoidable sometimes. Unfortunately the way SIL feels about their R will affect how she feels about me for awhile I think.

Hang in there. You are doing great.

Thank you I appreciate your genuine empathy and support. BH actually talked to his father yesterday and he said that she was "fine" on both days we were around each other, especially on the day of the campaign event, when we interacted a little bit, which she called "a good day." I feel a little more at peace, at least for the moment.


Posts: 42 | Registered: Mar 2014
Topic Posts: 11