Forum Archives

Return to Forum List

Did WS need something extreme/A to wake up?

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

Pages: 1 · 2

ILINIA posted 10/15/2013 13:12 PM

I am worried to ask this, but it is eating at me and some members allude to this. Do you think your WS needed to hit rock bottom for them to wake up? It is is for both BS and WS to answer.

I am starting to realize my WH was in a mini-fog all his life on certain emotions. I don't think he has ever felt really deep feelings or fully connected to anyone. He seemed to have guarded his emotions with an arrogance and selfishness. I think he has many wonderful traits, but these four things are what bit our marriage in the end. We did have a good marriage, but I realize now what was lacking and how surface-level it was. There had been many times I would ask him what he needs to have fun and get excited about his life. We had several discussions throughout the years about him being a workaholic and putting his family as second priority, but none of it sunk in.

Post A, it sunk in. It seems he has finally woken up emotionally, it seems he gets it now. He realizes how guarded he was and has even matured as a person. In his words, the scales have fallen from his eyes. I don't know if this growth happens because of fear of your life crashing or something else causes it. Obviously, I struggle that he had to go to this length and drag me through hell before he became enlightened.

What are you thoughts? Did they/you need something extreme to wake up? Would they/you have eventually gotten it on their own without an A?

SurprisinglyOkay posted 10/15/2013 13:18 PM

Yes, Absolutely.
I had to hit MY bottom to be able to reach out for help and find out what I needed to do to deal with my shit.

I thought I had hit bottom so many times over the years, but my A and the destruction caused to my BS and myself was The bottom that woke me up.

I've been climbing up ever since, slipped back a few steps here and there, but the Journey has been amazing.

[This message edited by broevil at 1:20 PM, October 15th (Tuesday)]

LA44 posted 10/15/2013 13:28 PM

Great post Ilinia! I would say Yes for both of us.

Since we have alcoholics in the family my H said that he felt like he hit rock bottom the last time he was physical with the AP. He said, "If I was in AA, I would have had to go back and get my first chip again."

Because a bit of time passed between his second last time (argument with her) and the last time I believe this also helped him get to where he needed to be in terms of ending it. He knew it had to end anyway and while I wish it would have ended sooner, it relieves me that it ended with him feeling like shit.

In the year or so leading up to D-Day, I was very frustrated with our marriage. I was resentful, angry, scared that this would end in divorce. I thought, "if he ever cheated, I will end it."

Guess what? That is not what I really wanted. I realized even in that dark, sickening night of D-Day that I truly wanted our marriage.

Funny you should mention that re: emotions. My H has always had fun but the past 10 months he is much more in touch with his feelings - he is going deeper. It's him but there is more to him now, you know? A maturity. I think he is becoming the man he was always meant to be.

It is too bad that it came through an A. This is something we need to make peace with.

StillStanding1 posted 10/15/2013 13:28 PM

Sadly, I see similar traits in my WH, but feel he hasn't (or won't allow himself to) hit rock bottom. I'm beginning to allow the reality to sink in that he may never "get it". I just can't believe he would throw it all away... However, his powers of compartmentalization and justification are so strong, I think he will believe that he made a great choice. It just makes me so terribly sad. I've wished for a long time that he would "wake up", but I think he prefers his fantasy dream state...

Glad yours is waking up!!!!


LA, we cross posted. Just have to comment on:
"I think he is becoming the man he was always meant to be." Sadly (again), I really wish my WH could do the work to become the man I believe he COULD be. Glad yours is stepping up!

[This message edited by StillStanding1 at 1:31 PM, October 15th (Tuesday)]

Jrazz posted 10/15/2013 13:33 PM

I got an out-of-the-blue confession, but FWH was thoroughly yanked out of any remaining fog when I took DD (8mos at the time) and went to live with my dad for 2 weeks.

He went from, "Why bother working on this - I've ruined everything and there's no fixing it." to completely TERRIFIED of what he had just lost.

TrustGone posted 10/15/2013 13:34 PM

I don't think my WH#2 has hit rock bottom yet, but when I told him I was done the second time and he could see I was serious he ended his A. His actions are still lacking alot to what we need to truely R, but I can't fix him. He has to do that himself. He unfortunately is a slow learner when it comes to things so I am having patience as much as possible. He is an alcoholic and I think it will take him hitting rock bottom with his drinking before he can even start to deal with his other shit.

heartache101 posted 10/15/2013 13:59 PM

No. I think he did all that he has done because of bad boundaries lack of self esteem and on and on......
He is terrified of losing me if he didnt do all that he has done to show me he loved me I would be gone! He said he tries to show me every waking day how much he loves me and how sorry he is. I just wished I loved him like I use too

catlover50 posted 10/15/2013 14:00 PM

This was so true of my H. I had tried so many times over the years but could never reach him. He was "fine". Even he acknowledges that it took the complete devastation of what he had done to me to cause him to examine himself for the first time. He was also a master compartmentalizer, even dissociative, selfish and unable to fully connect with anyone.(this is why I believe his LTA was the way he describes it). He lied to avoid confrontation and to get away with shit. Our whole relationship. Mostly he lied to himself.

He didn't realize everything all at once; it took a few months and he still continues to grow and change. I suspect that will be a lifelong process. But, wow! I never would have believed he could be this way. He truly has become self-aware, giving, unselfish, open, honest. What a difference.

I wouldn't go back to before the A if I had the chance (I know I am in the minority here). The pain I have gone through is worth it both for the payoff I have received in the improvement of our M, but also in the fact that the man I love more than anyone in the world if finally becoming whole and at peace. The A was never about me, never about our M, never about the OW. It was about his dark, destructive impulses, and one way or another they were bound to come to light.

I am happy to still be with my H and help him on his journey.

[This message edited by catlover50 at 2:02 PM, October 15th (Tuesday)]

strongerdaybyday posted 10/15/2013 14:04 PM

my WH hit rock bottom when I moved out (took our kids) and he moved on his own. He went from rug sweeping to what can i do to fix this. what can we do to repair our marriage. his last text to me was (and this was sent for no reason, just because):

"All I want or need is you. You're the love of my heart and soul."

This is a guy where all he said was "I love you" no deep emotions. We're not there completely, but, he's getting it. The fog has lifted.

My only wish? It didn't take the A for us to realize how our marriage was lacking AND that we needed to work on it. Honestly, we were just going through the motions of a marriage.

[This message edited by strongerdaybyday at 2:06 PM, October 15th (Tuesday)]

LA44 posted 10/15/2013 14:06 PM

He was also a master compartmentalizer, even dissociative, selfish and unable to fully connect with anyone.(this is why I believe his LTA was the way he describes it).

Wow. I see my H is this before D-Day.


I wouldn't go back to before the A if I had the chance (I know I am in the minority here).

I am with you on this Catlover. As bizarre as it sounds, I agree.

(stillstanding1)) ((trustgone))

Kelany posted 10/15/2013 14:07 PM

Yes, he got fired for sexual harassment. That woke his ass up big time and he hit bottom hard.

It was the best thing that ever could have happened. I'm so glad he got fired.

neverdidithink posted 10/15/2013 14:14 PM

Yes. A week after Dday I caught him in a lie and very calmly told him to get his clothes and get out then to notify me what day the movers were coming for the rest of his stuff.

I told him I will love him always, but I will not live like this so I'll have the divorce papers filed this week. I'd tell my kids in the morning, it was up to him what/when to tell his kids but don't expect me to candycoat why we're divorcing if they ask me.

I think how calm I was and the fact that there was no question in his mind that this was no idle threat
shook him to the core.

TXBW68 posted 10/15/2013 14:23 PM

Most definitely! My H was on a moral downward spiral for several years - but compartmentalized everything and kept most of it from me. I felt that he was spending too much time with his band friends. I tried to get him to prioritize the marriage/family many times. But his band was Really good and I was trying to support him. He never gave me any reason to suspect cheating. Turns out his were ONS or on-line EAs turned PAs while on business trips. He never had a girlfriend in our city that he was splitting family time with.

For him, rock-bottom started with our separation. He now says that he realized he messed up the minute he left. But, he was determined to "show" the world he was right about his decision. Three months later he finally consummated his lurve for COW #4, who lives 1600 miles away. But that was only for 4 days. Then he came back to our city and finally moved out of his friends' place and into his own little apartment.

So, he's sitting there staring at the walls, waiting for the next visitation with the kids, when he realizes that OW#4 is not going to work out - he still loves me, and never really loved her. They break up. BUT, Pride gets in the way and he continues to sit in his little apartment.

A light bulb goes off somewhere around month 5 and he sees that all the things I was trying to tell him about his so-called friends was true. They were users and bad influences on his life. But he sees that I'm finally starting to be happy again and he doesn't want to cause me any more pain. So he continues to stare at the walls.

Finally, at 6 months from separation, I declare that I'm finally "done". I told him I had spoken to a lawyer and was ready to divorce. The kids were good with it too. THAT was the final straw for him. He broke down and started crying "What have I done?"

We've come a long way since then. We had a couple of setbacks in the beginning of R. But now we are solid. He has changed so much. He doesn't take anything for granted anymore. He appreciates that I am his wife, his partner.

While I hate that we separated and the kids/I went thru so much pain for his stupidity, I do believe that he would be up to OW#6 or 7 by now if things had remained the same for us. The separation and pending D woke my husband up from his stupidity!

SorrowBhindSmile posted 10/15/2013 14:28 PM

Sadly, yes, i think it took the A to extract WH's head from his arse. In the first few months following DDay is the hardest i have ever seen my WH work. REALLY dig deep and see, not just the lack of respect from the A, but the lack of respect throughout our whole marriage. The A has changed the way he sees everything in life, and he is different in many ways. The person WH is becoming now is the person he should have always been.

Sadly, yes, i think it took the aftermath of the A for me to really SEE the way my WH had been treating me over the years...and to finally say NO MORE, i wont accept this anymore. It took the devastation of the A for me to learn to stand up for figure out what i really needed out of my marriage and to accept nothing less. I have readjusted my standards...not just with WH but with the people I allow into my life as friends. I have learned to be less of a people pleaser and more of a ME pleaser. Whats that Dr Seuess saying????.......something like "those who matter dont mind and those that mind dont matter"

It had been 20+ years. It breaks my heart more than i can express...but no, i dont think we would have gotten here if it wasnt for the A. It is so so so sad that it takes something like this for people to make those epic life changes. Guilty as charged. I was one that was "happy enough"...muddled thru because its what we were used was was good enough....comfortable enough.

No more. Its worth the hard work. Trying to keep facing foot in front of the other!

hugs to all of you!

TheAmazingWondertwin posted 10/15/2013 14:45 PM

Obviously, I struggle that he had to go to this length and drag me through hell before he became enlightened

I know others have chimed in, but yes...I feel the A was definitely rock bottom for my WH, and D day was such another wake up. And seeing me the way I have been over the past few months. But, yes, his A was rock bottom. He is still processing through it right now. We had a talk the other day about how for the first few months we were just trying to stop the bleeding and take care of me- now that im a little more stable ( ) he is starting to become really refective and self evaluative---without me prompting him all the time.
It is hard for him. I see how disgusted he is by what he did, and who he was during that time.
It is making for some sad times, and some difficult conversations on both of our sides, but is in NO WAY the way it was pre A.
He wasn't bad pre A, we just bottled stuff up and didnt ever talk...for real. We were too busy trying to make everything look perfect and not upset th other one.
I don't care now. Ill say whatever at this point, because I WILL NOT get to this point again.
Hopefully, he is truthfully feeling the same way.
Time will tell.

ILINIA posted 10/15/2013 14:52 PM

Thanks for the responses. I hope some of your WS wake up soon...sending hugs your way.

I think this is a hard concept for me to wrap my head around.

As a spouse, you want/assume your are their number one person. I struggle with feeling invisible, why wasn't I enough to snap him out of it, and why wasn't he more aware of what he was doing to us?

It does always help knowing many of you are in the same boat.

SisterMilkshake posted 10/15/2013 15:01 PM

I do think my FWH needed something extreme to wake him up. I don't feel he would have ever owned his shit otherwise. I don't see how he would have all of sudden acquired some emotional maturity and depth. He was in denial that he had any issues. It didn't have to be his having an affair, though.

I could have left him, he could have left me. If I had left him and started dating right away, he would have totally freaked and hit bottom. If I had actually died, he would have hit bottom.

We had tried MC, he thought we were picking on him. FWH took me for granted. Only when faced with really losing me did he wake up and start owning his shit.

I wouldn't go back to before the A if I had the chance (I know I am in the minority here).
I wouldn't either, however, it didn't have to be an affair that made him hit rock bottom.

hopeful2013 posted 10/15/2013 15:03 PM

My husband's A ended 2 years ago (she moved out of state). When I ask him how do I know this won't happen again, he says he couldn't put me through all the pain again.

I can tell you I found out 2 months ago, but he changed before then. He became much more involved with the kids, spent more time at home, and spent more time with me. He was definitely less angry, less volatile, and less gloomy.

I hope things will stay this way. Although I wish it didn't take the A to wake us up, we now constantly text each other how much we love each other and constantly compliment each other. I hope this will make for a stronger marriage. I always thought I would leave him if he had an affair, but the day I found out I knew I would never leave. And that realization is terrifying in its extreme vulnerability.

TheAmazingWondertwin posted 10/15/2013 15:41 PM

You last sentence about knowing you would never leave and vulnerability really struck me. I felt the same thing.
As I get further along in this ...oh the word..PROCESS ... I have learned that I would now- be able to keave i mean.
NOT based on how things are now, they are moving along and he is doing as great as I could hope- but... I have deal breakers now. I have requirements. And for me, they are non negotiable.
I love him and am committed to working this out- truly. But for the first time in our 15 years, I had to ask if I COULD leave if I needed to.
I'm pretty sure I could now. I don't want to, and don't plan on it, but I am ready should the need arise.
I hate that I am speaking like this now- but, such is life at the moment.
I had to throw out my fairy tale goggles and realize that this is going to take some work.
So I guess, my question wasn't "can I leave?" But,
"Is it worth staying for if it takes this much work?" And my answer right now, is yes. It is worth the work.

20WrongsVs1 posted 10/15/2013 16:31 PM

This is a such tough question. I do hope I eventually would've "woken up" without turning to As, and I wish to hell I wouldn't have made that choice. But yeah, the A aftermath got me to start IC, 23 years overdue, and my C helped me realize how profoundly affected I was by childhood trauma that I'd never processed. I always knew I was "empathy challenged," but I didn't realize that condition was curable.

The therapy, the reading, the introspection, the work...these improvements are helping me become a better wife, mother, and human. And I really needed it, more than I ever could've realized. Ask my 9-year-old son. He recently flat-out told me he was mistaken before, when he told me I was the best mom in the world, because he would never want to go back to *old mom.* But he says *now* I *really* am the best mom in the world. And I'm just getting started.

Pages: 1 · 2

Return to Forum List

© 2002-2018 ®. All Rights Reserved.     Privacy Policy