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Compassion for healing of WS

textbookbetrayal posted 12/11/2017 14:32 PM

Hi all, for the few things I've posted I've received incredibly helpful feedback. This community has been priceless, thank you!

I'm going to guess my question will be far from popular, but I don't want to feel as if I had a missed opportunity.

I've given a lot of careful consideration to all the intricate daily interactions and work within myself, my marriage and my spouse DDay - April 2017.

Do I still feel pain and hurt, yes. Do I have a remorseful spouse that would give anything to take this event in our life back, yes. Am I a very strong willed and independent person that struggled a lot with forgiving myself for giving him a second chance - yes, but I've done that.

For him it's been death by a thousand cuts. Should he be hurting as a WS, absolutely it's part of healing and his work on himself. However, I feel as if I am at the point where I want to show him my commitment to him in a visual and memorable way. I am grateful for the work he is doing and changes I see. Do I still hurt at times, absolutely but I feel safe with him and as if I have the partner I've wanted back for years now.

In summary. He hates surprises. He's a simple man who loves cars, mma and technology. He's also very emotional. I am planning to rent a private screen at a local movie theater and play for the two of us the movie we saw on our blind date 18 years ago. I want to do this to show him that I am committed to him. Until now, it's been primarily his display of actions.

It will be a surprise but I'll tell him we're going to the movies so it's less of a surprise (beings he hates surprises). I was thinking of having a present brought out to him with a note as an offer of forgiveness and starting over. I would like to include a few more thoughtful items or gestures to make this a very memorable date and potentially a new anniversary moving forward of starting over.

Thoughts, ideas?

numb&dumb posted 12/11/2017 15:10 PM

It is OK. Our WS are human and, while they don't hurt for the same reasons we do, they hurt too.

The movie idea seems like a great idea. Maybe rent a really good sports car to drive to the date ? Maybe drop the kids off at a relatives so you can have the house to yourselves ? Get a hotel room in a larger city near where you live ? Make it a weekend get away just to be together and connect without reminders or distractions ?

I think if the intent behind it is as you describe it will mean the world to him. Whatever that it.

As a guy I can tell you that surprises in your intimate life are usual OK.

One thing I think you should be prepared for is him to feel not worth that kind of effort. It reminds him that he doesn't deserve it. It can drive a lot of guilt. Closer to Dday my W tried to avoid accepting gifts that were sentimental. They just became a reminder to her of what she had done and caused her great shame. While some Bs would like it if their WS felt shame, I don't think that is your intent here.

Mementos, especially, can be a double edged sword for a WS this close to Dday.

Just make it a fun outing something you to would enjoy together. Try not to put too much pressure (detailed plans, etc.) on it. Keep it light and fun.

hopefulkate posted 12/11/2017 16:38 PM

I would warn you that although you can forgive through compassion, it will not take the pain away. You will still be on this roller coaster, which may (it may not) have you saying that you donít forgive and you take it back...

I like the idea and the sentiment behind it, as long as it comes from a place of processing and not rugsweeping. Does that make sense?

I felt very similar at many times on this journey. I do forgive MrKate. I did a long while ago. (My definition has just grown and changed over time.)

I have also had angry fits in and around it. Only this past year have I committed to forgiveness even in anger.

We are all different, so follow your gut. I just was worried about you feeling anger again and not being prepared for it. Again, could just be me projecting from my own personal journey.

textbookbetrayal posted 12/11/2017 21:32 PM

Thank you numbanddumb and hopefulkate for your sage advice!

Agreed, I definitely had minimized both of your points. He is definitely going to feel some sense of guilt/shame. Thank you for reminding me. He doesn't feel worthy of forgiveness for himself and he's likely going to struggle if I make a big production of this. Keeping it intimate is going to be key and what follows afterwards I'll keep flexible as I try to read him.

Hopefulkate, you are so right this rollercoaster is far from over and I need to remind both him and myself of that as part of this gesture so there is no pressure or misunderstanding of the future.

sisoon posted 12/12/2017 10:49 AM

I think Kate's point was that forgiving your H and compassion for him won't take your pain away. If that's not Kate's point it's mine.

It's one thing to support your WS in his healing, but if you use your compassion for him to avoid your pain, you're doing both of you a major disservice. I'm just concerned that you're not letting yourself heal.

I suggest you imagine that you hate surprises and that your H has just surprised you. If you're at all like me, you'd go through a period of major discomfort before you'd be able to begin to comprehend that your H is trying to give you a gift.

You say he hates surprises, and you're planning to surprise him. That makes absolutely no sense to me.

I wish I could support your plan, but I think it's a big mistake.

textbookbetrayal posted 12/12/2017 14:15 PM

Thank you Sisoon!

I can see your points. When I say he hates surprises it comes from hating being the center of attention. I think I've overcome this by making it between just the two of us. At least I hope so and your point is well taken and inserts some caution for me.

Yes, agreed this won't take my pain away but it's something I want to do as a gesture to show for commitment of moving forward. He's doing a lot of work as am I but it feels as if we're nearly entirely focused on me for our day to day and my healing (i.e. Hurting). He's riddled with guilt and rightly so and has fears (unfounded) that I will leave him, that I will cheat, that I will never be able to get over this. Even in my hardest times I know I will be able to work through this and want to. He doesn't feel the same security in that because he's worried that this is a deal breaker for me and something I will never move past - ultimately leaving him. I understand where he's coming from and I'm hoping to provide a positive gesture and a nice step for us in reconciliation and moving forward. It's not meant to be closure but rather a commitment of my stick to it- ness and reassurance I'm not leaving. I think he most certainly should have those feelings of unworthiness, potential loss of me and etc along the way, but I want to help him remove them now. I want him to know I don't want him to feel shame. I don't want him to be fearful that I have one foot out the door. Does that make sense. I feel I'm all in now and at 7 months out I feel this gesture is appropriate because he's come a long ways from how broken he was.

Yes - I understand 7 months is still fresh and there's a lot to work through yet. But with weekly small group marriage meetings, individual counseling and marriage counseling I think we've done a lot of work and I know assuming we continue on this path I'm staying. I am a very strong and independent woman who never would have imagined it was in my DNA to do anything other than throw him out the minute I discovered the betrayal. But I'm not that person anymore and that's hard for him to truly believe that I'm committed in spite of his prior actions.

sisoon posted 12/12/2017 16:16 PM

Thanks for the clarification.

I Have the following suggestion: A little before entering the theater, say something like, 'I really appreciate the work you've been doing, and I want to do something nice for you.' That would give him a moment to accept that he's going to be the center of attention.

Alternatively, since the movie may bring thoughts of love to you both, perhaps you should view it at home. No projectionist, usher, candy counter attendant, ticket taker, manager. Alone. Freedom to move. After all, you might want to interrupt the movie....

But, you know, that's me. Physical touch is my primary love language....

Also, you can stream the movie at home or use a DVD. You won't have to get the theatrical print of the movie. Or do you already have it?

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