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Remorseful WS here. BS refuses to talk. Help please

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redhawk1 posted 12/7/2019 23:15 PM

Long time lurker, first time poster. So here is my story. I am early 40s, W is late 30s, 3 kids. In late 2017, I became involved with COW in her mid20s. Initially was lots of flirting and turned physical but no intercourse and didn't kiss her and did not have an emotional attachment. You could say it was indulging a curiosity. There was some sexting and pictures sent from COW which I foolishly saved. Fast forward to Sept 2018 D-day where W discovered pictures and the road to hell began.

Initially, like most WS, I tried downplaying it, but when I saw the damage, I created, guilt overtook me. Oct-Nov 2018 we tried an in-house separation which didn't work and then did a trial separation rotating weekly while kids stayed in house for a few months early 2019, but ended it in spring 2019. We began seeing same therapist individually and therapist created issues by giving complaints of one party to other, but never addressed infidelity. W was insistent that communication was her priority not infidelity (somehow I think that was a form of denial of the trauma I created in her). I began seeing a different therapist who has helped me and focuses on being present and emphasizes mindfulness. W and I did see him a few times for MC which did not go well because infidelity was never addressed as W did not want to discuss it. Both in counseling and at home, I have asked W to discuss infidelity and she said that she does not want to discuss it.

We are now 16 months from D-day. For the first year, guilt and particularly shame brought me down. As I learned, the shame made it more about me and reaffirmed W belief of me being selfish. I had difficulty with being empathetic because of the severe guilt. This has improved, but should have been there from much earlier. Anxiety is less, but I think we both still struggle with it.

Here is the issue. Since 12/18, W has basically shut down communication, which is difficult for me to understand because this was her main issue. We had bad fights over summer and I think emotionally she became spent and has detached and essentially done the 180. During the last 16 months, I have read countless infidelity and relationship books, watched hours of videos, attended IC, and written cards notes letters and expressed my regret and tried showing my love and affection in multiple ways. This has not softened her resentment or anger and W limits communication to only kids or house stuff. She currently walks away when I talk to her about anything serious and avoids eye contact and does not text or call me unless it's related to kids or house.

She has said to me multiple times that the marriage is done and there is no relationship. I believe due to social shame and cultural factors, she is hesitant to pursue divorce so she is willing to stay married for the kids. I have expressed my regret and expressed my desire to stay married and work on the relationship. Her response is that I have broken foundational trust and her sense of security in the world. She has isolated herself and does not do IC. She was very close to her mom, but when her mom wants to discuss things, W refuses to discuss with her. Her parents recently told my parents that if marriage issues are brought up, W will refuse to go to her parents.

W does not discuss with anyone and has isolated herself. She exercises, reads, and spends probably more than 10 hours on her phone daily mostly on social media and answers my questions in short responses. Initially I was pushy to get her to open up and this likely created more damage and now I give her space, but I get concerned it's leading her in a further state of despair.

Reading other stories on SI has been helpful and so I have several questions:
1. How can I demonstrate empathy to W when she doesn't talk and when she does talk, she is full of contempt and criticism?
2. W says she feels nothing for me and I have asked her to go on dates and she refuses saying she only wants to do family stuff.
How can I create situations of connection?
3. I have focused on making amends, but it hasn't really softened her resentment. Should I just focus on improving myself at this point? How do I try to have some semblance of a relationship? Or given my selfish poor decisions, forget that since I destroyed the marriage.
4. I want the marriage desperately (yes, I should have thought about that before I made poor choices). W says I am going down a checklist to "Fix" things and she doesn't feel anything because of the checklist. Because she doesn't discuss relationship stuff other than to tell me that it's over, I grasp at straws trying to figure out how to make things better. Should I stop focusing on making amends?
5. How long do I give this? I don't see things changing and I struggled with patience, but am willing to give it 2 years from d-Day

Any help would be appreciated. I have no idea what to do as I want this marriage badly, but know at some point, I have to consider moving on. I have deep regret over my selfish poor choices and W is best thing that happened to me, but I have severely traumatized her.

Help please!

Striver posted 12/7/2019 23:30 PM

BS here, but no stop sign.

There is something here called letting go of the outcome. I think you need to focus on that.

You destroyed the marriage with your infidelity. You do not deserve a second chance. Some WS get them, some do not. You do not deserve it regardless. Be grateful for anything that you may get, that you got to have children, have time with your now wife.

In reading your post, you mentioned being perceived as pushy. I would pursue that angle. Your BW has already expressed that she feels she needs to stay to keep the family together. If she feels that you are actually trying to drive the train of recovery, that you are the one in charge of that, she is going to resent that. You need to do your work. But she is the one ultimately in charge, NOT you.

Personally, I would back way off and just signal that you will work amicably with your BW regardless of outcome. Including divorce. I think that is the best route for you.

redhawk1 posted 12/7/2019 23:47 PM

thank you for your response and you are spot on with regards to letting go of outcome and W being resentful of me driving train of recovery.

what does backing off look like on a day to day basis? are we essentially roommates? does that mean I shouldn't text or contact her at all? I honestly don't know. so at this point, we are living separate lives?
what's the point of living in same house- I'm miserable but will do it for kids

k8la posted 12/8/2019 00:26 AM

What is her love language? For me, acts of kindness mean far more than words. Words are cheap. For me, the biggest thing my husband could do for our marriage is the one thing he still won't do and that is take financial responsibility for the needs of the family. His selfishness has its roots in pain avoidance for him while allowing others to take on his responsibilities. Acts of kindness would mean he doesn't have to have the perfect employer, just someone willing to hire him.

nightmare01 posted 12/8/2019 01:18 AM

Sorry if I missed it, but do you still work with your AP?

With the pictures she found, she may not believe that your affair was not physical - I certainly wouldn't believe it, but that's just me. This may feed into a sense that you are still lying, holding back secrets (lies of omission). You seem to be an intelligent guy and she may believe that you could find ways of hiding the truth from her.

They younger woman may also be a factor - your BW could think you are settling for her - that she is your plan B.

You cannot answer any of these questions directly though, instead you have to show her actions - words are cheap.

Add an app to your phone that shows your location in real time. Unlock all your electronic media and modes of communication to her. Compliment her, take her out on the town. Do things with her that SHE likes.

This is the struggle for the love of your wife. You're either all in, or if you can't commit to that you should end the marriage gracefully and get out.

free2016 posted 12/8/2019 03:43 AM

I have no idea what to do as I want this marriage badly, but know at some point, I have to consider moving on.

You already stepped out of your M, so if BW feels in any way that you are bidding your time or there is some time frame within she should heal, she will never re-commit to M.
Why should she?
My suggestion is to make decision now, you either stay or leave.
If you choose stay, just focus on doing 50% + some more of the house chores and child care, allowing your wife time to take care of herself. There must be a strong message that you are not leaving, regardless of her behaviour. It is very hard but if you are not ready to tolerate her emotions, no point in trying, because why would she recommit to a person who betrayed her?

redhawk1 posted 12/8/2019 06:34 AM

her love language is quality time. I have stepped my game up big time at home and went out of my way to be kind and show her how much I love her. W has even acknowledged this, but says it's too late. I've read so many relationship infidelity and Gottman books and understand now that kindness, friendship, and turning towards the other person are the key to strengthening the relationship- yes all stuff I should have done before being immature selfish and introducing the crisis of infidelity to our lives
She does not want to spend time with me alone

@nightmare01 @free2016
I am here DESPERATELY seeking advice, so I have no reason to omit details of affair on an internet message board. yes, there was physical episodes, but I did not spend overnights, go to dinners or share meals with AP, or really share an emotional bond. I liked AP as a person and her sexual aggressiveness was appealing.
W has access to everything and knows I want the marriage. I do Not view AP as plan B. In fact, I had a director position that I resigned where AP worked under me and am currently trying to leave my current place of employment (it takes 3 month notice for me to leave)
My W doesn't care about any of that. She doesn't ask about AP, doesn't ask about any details of my life, and honestly at this point my assumption would be that she wouldn't even care if I started again with AP as my W has said she feels nothing for me anymore. Previous therapist said that W had the most unusual reaction to infidelity in her 35 year career as a therapist and said she may have been suffering from low grade depression for years. I have no idea

I've been all in and done significant amounts of household chores and child care and made all sorts of efforts to show my contrition, which W has acknowledged. I did not deal well with her emotional outbursts at first because they would be about random things and not infidelity and this triggered my guilt and shame, although I should have been more empathetic that infidelity affects everything.

as a background to why my W is upset and a path to my
Whys, my personal flaws and relationship flaws: due to my messed up childhood, I developed low self-esteem and bad shame triggers; lazy, passive and my W did most of planning dates and trips although she is a control freak; and generally didn't express gratitude enough to her.

fundamentally, her mindset hasn't changed that things are broken and I destroyed the foundation of trust and security. I am realizing the depth of the betrayal, but do not understand why she is choosing to live in misery just for the sake of kids- maybe a mother's sacrifice, but I don't know.

this isn't sustainable. she acknowledges the changes I have made, but says it's too late. she sleeps in same bed with me but places a pillow barrier between us. she turns her head when I try to kiss her and turns her body when I try to hug her. her rejection has destroyed me although I shouldn't use her response as a determination of my self-worth. I think in past I relied on her validation as a source of confidence and over last few years, she got more critical than supportive (not an excuse or justification for what I did)

I am all in and want marriage badly, but she consistently over 16 months has said that there is no marriage and she has detached herself from me and lives her own life. I know that I have to build myself back up and confront all my issues, but her current emotional state triggers guilt and anxiety in me and so I wonder about a separation. However,I worry if I go down that road, marriage may likely end although I have to let go of the outcome.

No idea what to do and obsess over how to fix this every day which I need to stop, so need to find other things to develop myself as a person.

thanks for everyones input

Zugzwang posted 12/8/2019 08:30 AM

What reasons do you have for cheating other than curiosity? If I were betrayed, I would not be satisfied or feel safe with such shallow introspection. Have you owned up to who you chose to become and what you did to her? Or are you flippant about it, as in it was a one time thing done from curiosity? Have you expressed remorse instead of regret for how your choices have impacted her and changed her?

You can't make her love you again. You can show her respect and compassion. You can choose to stop wallowing in your guilt and shame. You can focus on making her life a little easier for her. Giving her space and opportunities to heal and find joy in things that fill her up in a good way. Take the kids and give her time to herself. Things like that.

I would bet your wife does care that you work with the AP. Did it occur to you that your wife is leaving it up to you to make some selfless decisions and not act as your Jimeny Cricket? She also may not talk about the infidelity because she may already know it has nothing to do with her. That is you and your epic self destruction because of your character weaknesses and where you lack in your character. Not about her or the marriage or even about who the AP was. She could just be indifferent because she knows it is on you to get your shit together and grow up.

You have intentionally hurt the one person you swore to protect. From yourself and others. You burned her. I would imagine it pretty crazy for a person to feel the same way about someone that intentionally hurt them like they did before. I mean really, why would they love us the same way? Why would they love someone that intentionally hurt them?

Realize you are not stepping back into a relationship or marriage with the same person you left it abandoned. Realize you are not stepping back into the marriage where you left off. You are worse than a stranger on the street at this point. That stranger has never hurt them. You are in the negative. Proven to her that you are capable of inflicting pain for your own selfish pleasure. Then asking her to stay in the same room with that person that has intentionally hurt her. Before you argue that it wasn't intentionally. It was. From every WS here. We knew it was wrong. We knew it was a hurtful thing. We chose to still do it. Regardless of what it does. Even for the ones that HOPED their BS would never found out. We chose to take the gamble knowing they could. Owning that is a big step in trusting yourself with the reality and truths of infidelity. I am not saying these things to make you feel more guilt or shame. I am saying them to help you understand that letting go of the outcome is your only choice and to get to remorse and not just regret. To stop thinking of what you want and how you feel. To think of what is best for her.

I think in past I relied on her validation as a source of confidence and over last few years, she got more critical than supportive (not an excuse or justification for what I did
) Are you still stating this like this to her. That her not supporting you is not an excuse or justification. You should just state. You need outside validation. That is my fault. I set that need and want. I shouldn't rely on other people to do that. It is not their responsibility or fault if they don't. I do this due to my lack of self confidence. and so on. Not you didn't do x,y,z so it led me to cheat.

HellFire posted 12/8/2019 08:41 AM

Zug beat me to it. If you cheated out of curiosity,no wonder she is doing a hard 180. She doesn't feel safe, because she isn't safe.

You say no sex,but admit it was physical. You speak of the other woman's sexual aggression. So how physical was it? It would help is, to give better advice, of you would tell your full story,in detail.

Please understand. Plenty of waywards come here, and lie in their first several posts. Some never do tell the truth. So,saying you are desperate,and have no reason to lie on an anonymous forum, really means nothing to those of us who have been here for awhile,and have witnessed many waywards do just that.

What work have you done on yourself to become a safe partner?

Have you been fully transparent? Does she have passwords to All of your accounts, phone include?

Did you take a polygraph?

We're you tested for stds?

Have you answered all of her questions, honestly, without anger, or defensiveness?

Are you accountable for your time when away from her?

Do you iunderstand it takes 3 to 5 years to heal from this?

You say you have bad fights, have a problem with empathy,and have been defensive. All 3 of these are signs of an unremorsrful WS.

Have you shared this site with your BS? Please do so. We can help her.

Oh, and your wife is NOT choosing to live in misery. Are you fucking kidding me,man? You have traumatized this woman. Every day is a struggle. She is drowning in pain BECAUSE OF YOUR ACTIONS. Seriously. That comment alone says you are not remorseful. You may be regretful, but That is not the same thing as remorse. You clearly have no idea what you have done to her. You shattered her soul when you betrayed her and your kids.

[This message edited by HellFire at 8:47 AM, December 8th (Sunday)]

HellFire posted 12/8/2019 08:48 AM

Does the other womans husband know about the affair?

Household chores, and childcare, is something every adult, and parent should be doing. That is not the work you need to be doing on yourself. That is not the way you help heal the damage that you have done.

[This message edited by HellFire at 8:51 AM, December 8th (Sunday)]

HellFire posted 12/8/2019 08:59 AM

Also, those random outbursts, that were not about infidelity? Were absolutely about infidelity. Because,for a long time, after dday, everything is about infidelity. They're called triggers,and every BS experiences them.

You say you are 16 months out,and you are just now trying to leave your job. That it takes 3 months to leave. So, for 13 months,at least, you worked with OW. If you think that hasn't affected your wife's emotional state, you are flat out wrong.

You say her rejection has devastated you. Understand, your complete rejection of her, the kids, and the family has devastated her.

ibonnie posted 12/8/2019 09:18 AM

Initially was lots of flirting and turned physical but no intercourse and didn't kiss her 

yes, there was physical episodes, but I did not spend overnights, go to dinners or share meals with AP, or really share an emotional bond. I liked AP as a person and her sexual aggressiveness was appealing.

Quit beating around the bush -- what did you do with your AP? I would guess oral, which many BSes would consider intercourse. What else comes to mind when you say, "sexually agressive" but "no intercourse" or "kissing"? I doubt your AP was hugging you aggressively in a sexual manner...

[This message edited by ibonnie at 9:18 AM, December 8th (Sunday)]

Crushed7 posted 12/8/2019 09:35 AM

There is a simple truth that goes for BS's and WS's alike -- you can't control anyone else, only yourself.

For WS's, the way that should play out is with a focus on understanding the underlying, deeply hidden/subconscious elements that allowed them to choose to have an affair. Understanding the character gap leads to the opportunity to choose to change core false beliefs which leads to a change in actions and character. It also should lead to a deep level of remorse -- being deeply sorry for the pain others are experiencing due to your actions.

You've started down that path...

due to my messed up childhood, I developed low self-esteem and bad shame triggers; lazy, passive and my W did most of planning dates and trips although she is a control freak; and generally didn't express gratitude enough to her.

The question is what you are doing with it. Based on what you've written so far, it appears that you have a lot more work to do though. But you are asking for help, which is a good step. Here is what I see...

- You've found that you have low self-esteem, are passive and lazy and have shame issues. That's a good starting point. Digging into those more deeply to understand how those things are lies that have driven your behavior is key for you to be able to begin to take full responsibility of your choices/actions and change your actions/outlook.

- You call your W a control freak. You blame her reaction to being betrayed and try to back it up with an IC's opinion. You are fully opposed to her own form of grieving and her attempts to have time to process. Despite her indicating that she feels the marriage is over since you shattered her trust, you continually have pushed on trying to change her position. That's totally unempathetic all while focusing on how you'd like to change her. It's focusing on "controlling" her rather than on yourself.

- You blame ICs for not fixing your marriage. There is no doubt that there are good and bad ICs, but this seems to be a trend in your thinking -- it is your childhood's fault for your shame, your W's fault for her reaction to infidelity and the IC's fault for not doing exactly the right thing. Take responsibility for your own actions, choices and, potentially, the consequences for them.

- Your focus continues to be on your own objective -- avoiding losing the marriage and venting your own shame/guilt. Your questions about empathy, connection, making amends, how much time to allow, etc. are all about your self-centered desire and you admit that you've been pushy about it all. Your W can sense all of this and it contributes to her increasing insistence on wanting nothing to do with you.

No idea what to do and obsess over how to fix this every day which I need to stop, so need to find other things to develop myself as a person.

1. Stop obsessing and focusing on fixing her or the marriage. You can't control either of those things. The only thing you can control is yourself.

2. As an extension of #1, stop obsessing over books, videos and MC/IC as the fix for her or your marriage.

3. Focus on understanding and "fixing" yourself. Don't obsess or try to speed race through this either. Broken childhoods are awful. There is typically a lot to unpack and a ton of engrained beliefs/habits to unwind. While a really good IC can be key in helping you look in the right places and dig in more deeply, it ultimately depends on you having the self-motivation to change and to do the introspection and self-work necessary to change.

How that all plays out practically is your responsibility. If you take all of that seriously and let go of the outcome with your W and marriage, then I think you are taking the right steps. In terms of your family and your W from a practical side, my own opinion is...

1. Apologize to your W. Simply say something like, "I've come to see even more ways in which I haven't treated you with love and respect. You've made it clear that I broke your trust and that you want space, but I continued to chase you because it is what I wanted. That was selfish of me. I am increasingly seeing my own flaws and shortcomings and I'm going to invest time in working on those. I believe that in doing so, I'll come to more deeply see the ways in which I'm broken and need to change. I want you to know that it, unfortunately, has taken me this long to understand the importance of giving you space to grieve what I've done and that I now am turning my focus on how I can fix myself, be a better father and support you in whatever you need." Then make sure your actions are consistent with that going forward.

2. Dig into what environment you need in order to heal and grow while also granting your W what she needs. If you can do so in an in-house separation, that is great. If not, then it is something you need to discuss (with a particular focus on how this is aimed at helping her).

3. Be patient with her. Even if that involves receiving sarcasm, bitter comments or outright anger. You don't yet understand the depths of the wounds you've given her or the level of emotional and psychological pain they bring. Take responsibility and let her vent if/when she chooses to.

This is all about love. You broke your W's trust because you showed her through an A that you care more about what you want than self-sacrificially loving and committing to her. Since the A, you've reinforced that it is still about what you want -- trying to manipulate her back into the marriage through "being nice", forcing her to talk, raising the topic of infidelity when you wanted to discuss it, etc. Slow down, focus on yourself, implement change and get yourself into a better place where you are more aligned to being able to give love. That is your only real chance.

[This message edited by Crushed7 at 9:37 AM, December 8th (Sunday)]

redhawk1 posted 12/8/2019 10:05 AM

thank you Crushed7. your response was very helpful, observations on point, and advice enlightening. You are correct I have a lot more work to do and I am accepting that I can only control myself. I am working with my IC to dig into the issues that led to my poor decisions. I do accept responsibility that my actions have consequences which include possible end of the marriage and I admit I am struggling with the damage I have created and that triggers further guilt. I do not want to be the person I was and I understand that the most important thing is doing the self-work to change and to let go of the outcome, but that is proving hard to internalize, but I'm getting there.

I do have questions as to your suggestions
for point 1, I have apologized many times and some have touched close to what you have written, but I don't know what actions to do on a day to day basis - do I just leave her alone ?
for point 2, your suggestion of what environment she needs to heal is the main priority, but I'm not sure I can do the work to heal living with her and am willing to move forward with a separation and perhaps that's a conversation she and I need to have. maybe I need to man up and deal with the pain I've caused
for point 3, I have struggled with patience and my therapist says it's because I want my suffering to end which again makes it selfish.

You are right it's about love but I'm not sure what being "more aligned to being able to give love" means practically

Once again, thanks for your helpful response

BraveSirRobin posted 12/8/2019 10:07 AM

This may not be very popular advice, but I would believe her. Sometimes infidelity is an instant and permanent dealbreaker. Your two choices are to accept that you agree to live as uncomfortable roommates for the sake of your kids, or leave and give her the best possible financial consideration in the divorce. It sounds like she truly means what she says, and she has no intention of ever trying to reconcile with you on any level. That's her right, and as long as you don't file, it's also her right to stay married on those terms. You have to decide whether you can live with that.

I find myself in the weird space of giving advice that is usually given to a BS. You have to be willing to give up your marriage in order to save it. If faced with the reality of you leaving, it's possible she will discover that that's not what she really wants, and that it's worth it to her to get therapy to help process the A and evaluate whether she wants to build a new marriage with you. Or she may just need you to file so that she can move forward without feeling responsible for being the one who legally cut the cord. Some BS have expressed resentment at being put in the position of having to be the one to officially end the marriage when they were not the one who effectively killed it. It's hard to know, if she won't communicate on any level.

I will add that if she does decide to try R, you still have work to do on avoiding minimization. "No overnights" doesn't reduce the impact of what you did, and the fact that you threw away your wife for meaningless sex is just a different kind of mindfuck than throwing her away for something you thought was meaningful. Both are very hard for a BS to accept, just in different ways.

I'm sorry that you both are so unhappy, and I think that your guilt for having caused this situation is well placed, but marriage is not a life sentence. You can't help her heal if she is unwilling to accept help from anyone.

gmc94 posted 12/8/2019 10:40 AM

yes, there was physical episodes, but I did not spend overnights, go to dinners or share meals with AP, or really share an emotional bond. I liked AP as a person and her sexual aggressiveness was appealing.
. This is but one (of several) statements that dont pass the BS smell test (or at least don’t pass mine). Read it a few times and maybe you can understand. Then read all the rest of your posts and try to understand how much is all about you and minimizing what you did and how it impacts your BW. Try to see the ways in which your language reflects your thoughts and beliefs about your A and your BW, and how much implies (or flat out states) blame.

As a BS, I don’t give a flying f*ck about ANYTHING after the “but”, and IMHO neither should you.

“There was physical episodes” is it. End of sentence. You had a PA. Admit it. Own it. Do not minimize it. NOTHING after the “but” matters to most BSs.

I suggest listening to “The Addicted mind” interviews with Marnie Breecker to understand the depth of trauma caused by your “curiosity” and PA (that lasted a year?)

Trauma causes our lizard brains to go into high gear. We don’t want it. We don’t like it. We are often very frightened by it and our inability to stop it. We are exhausted just trying to control that old lizard and get through the day.

Most BS think about the betrayal constantly. It never leaves us- even in “good” moments. I still have a pretty awful emotional hangover after “quality time” with my WH. If she is able to put her mind at ease - even for a moment- by detaching from you, she deserves it. Just like your PA was not “about” your BW, her detaching is probably not “about” you. It’s about trying to cope and process and find some semblance of safety in the world.

Listen to those podcasts. Listen to anything with dr Omar Minwalla (he did a good interview on the Betrayal Trauma Recovety podcast, as well as the new Helping Couples Heal with Breecker and Osterlind). You can only control you. You can also learn about trauma and just how deep the damage runs. A clear understanding there may help you reframe some of your thoughts. May help find empathy, which is a CRUCIAL step in healing and supporting her healing journey.


Crushed7 posted 12/8/2019 15:02 PM

for point 1, I have apologized many times and some have touched close to what you have written, but I don't know what actions to do on a day to day basis - do I just leave her alone?

My point in my previous post was not so much that it is another apology, but more that it signals to her that you are beginning to "get it". It is verbalizing that you messed up previously, but even more it is signaling her to watch your actions going forward.

So, yes, you give her room and leave her alone to the extent that she has asked for it. It is showing her that you are beginning to change.

for point 2, your suggestion of what environment she needs to heal is the main priority, but I'm not sure I can do the work to heal living with her and am willing to move forward with a separation and perhaps that's a conversation she and I need to have. maybe I need to man up and deal with the pain I've caused

I think the question you need to ask of yourself is why you can't do the work/healing living with her. You need to really understand if your reasons are primarily about you or not. If it is really about helping her, even then it is going to be a very difficult conversation if she doesn't see the need and/or it goes against what she currently wants for the kids.

In my case, we separated. It wasn't something I was seeking out or wanted, but I made the final call on it. For us, being separate was a hard time (about a year and a half), but it did provide both of us with the time to really work on ourselves individually which proved to be pivotal for our marriage.

for point 3, I have struggled with patience and my therapist says it's because I want my suffering to end which again makes it selfish.

It sounds like your IC is likely right. While difficult, tackling your shame and guilt head on is the best way to really dig into yourself and heal.

You are right it's about love but I'm not sure what being "more aligned to being able to give love" means practically

You need to be able to love yourself. That is why grappling with your self-esteem is so important. If you don't sort that out, you'll always be looking for ways to fill the hole inside. It's at the root of why you pursued an A. It's also a key part of why you are frantically trying to hold onto your marriage. Healing on the inside will put you into a position where the dynamic with your W will change -- you won't be pursuing self-centered aims outside or inside the marriage -- and that underlying difference is key to being able to love well.

Practically, that is all out in the future. For now, focus on taking the first steps. In the case that the future doesn't line up the way you hope it will (e.g. saving the marriage), this is still a win -- you will be stronger and healthier both for your kids and for yourself.

[This message edited by Crushed7 at 3:06 PM, December 8th (Sunday)]

Thumos posted 12/9/2019 02:02 AM

No stop sign, I mean no disrespect, but since your wife has said she is willing to stay for the kids why not back the f*ck off?

We’re getting your side of the story here, but it’s been only two years since you decided to unilaterally open your marriage and get feelz from a co-worker. Then you trickle-truthed and minimized. And got resentful and pissy, if I’m reading between the lines of your euphemisms.

You had “difficulty with being empathetic.” Uh huh.

In other words, you’re an adulterer who had an adulterous affair and then DARVO’d your wife. Let’s call it what is there, fella.

But you’ve read so much and you’ve GROWN and you’ve written so many apology cards, right? Why isn’t she getting over it? Why haven’t all those Hallmark cards “softened” her, damn it?

I know of an older woman whose husband was unfaithful years ago. They are physically and mentally healthy and now in their 70s. He’s pushing for more intimacy. Guess what her response was? Essentially, “I’m sorry but you’ve hurt me so deeply I don’t think I’m capable of that.”

Yeah. Let that sink in, brother.

You done f*cked up real good. And now you’re being pushy. And let’s face it, not really all that empathetic after you sexed up a coworker.

Timeline is 2-5 years. Read that again. Your wife may need a lot longer than you’ve been giving her.

Wake up.

[This message edited by Thumos at 2:06 AM, December 9th (Monday)]

oldtruck posted 12/9/2019 06:35 AM

no BW can recover when the WH still has contact
with the OW. you need to leave that job.

to show a BW that you are serious to recover then
you must send a proper NC letter to the OW.

Did you block the OW phone number and all electronic
means for the OW to contact you?

talk is cheap and you are not showing your WW action
hence she is staying closed to you.

do you keep her car tank filled and car clean?
do you do anything to help lighten her load?
do you plan family activities and include BW?

MrsWalloped posted 12/9/2019 07:27 AM

When I see a new poster come here and say they’re remorseful, I get a bad feeling. To me, remorseful is a term that’s reserved for my husband to use about me if he feels it’s appropriate. It’s not something I should call myself. I don’t remember if I ever have or not, but that’s not how I really think of me when it comes to what I’ve done after DDay. What I mean is the label is not for me to say. I just do what I think is the right thing to do for working on myself and helping my BH heal. I think every BS gets to decide whether their WS is remorseful or not and it’s different for everyone because everyone is different.

What I’m saying is that there is no such thing as saying you’re remorseful because you do these list of things and therefore your BW is wallowing in misery or should recognize how wonderful you are. If your BW doesn’t feel you’re remorseful, then you probably aren’t. And even if you she agrees that you are, an A is a dealbreaker.

I would advise you to let go of the narrative you’re telling yourself and us. It’s not helping you or your wife. And it’s likely an obstacle in you really digging deep and doing the work on yourself.

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