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The uphill battle for a Wayward (Waywards invited)

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WilliamM posted 2/6/2018 13:07 PM

Where to start? Is this too simple a question?

How can you say you love me when you did this to me?

How can I prove I love you after I did that to you?

Unhinged posted 2/6/2018 13:38 PM

I think a WS has to do most of the heavy lifting during reconciliation. The road they have to travel is much harder than that of a BS. It is an uphill battle.

I don't know if one can ever 'prove' their love for another. They can demonstrate that love through acts. Post-infidelity, words don't have the same meaning. Actions do, in deed, speak louder.

This isn't a simple question, btw.

I think, in a very general sense, infidelity stems from a faulty sense of self-love, self-esteem and self-worth. It has little to do with the spouse or partner, and everything to do with the cheater. When it comes to love... maybe their ideas, ideals, concepts and notions are a bit skewed to begin with. I think that's also a part of it, which is also a part of why it's so much harder for the WS in R.

I hope you get some better insights than these.

Trying2copeinMD posted 2/6/2018 13:56 PM

It is a simple question, but the answer isn't.

I would love to know what someone's answer to this really is.

I guess, if I had to put words to it, maybe taking full responsibility and accountability for your actions. True transparency in what you did, and knowing the pain that it caused. Promises to do whatever it takes, and actually following through. Understanding that the WS is going to feel like an emotional punching bag a lot of times, and they ask for you to hit them more and harder. They have to be the ones that facilitate the healing the most.

Basically, you need to be the one that holds the box of tissues when your partner is crying. You need to be there for them, no matter how much it hurts knowing that you've caused the pain. There needs to be a promise of a brighter future, and actually follow through

Root posted 2/6/2018 14:58 PM

WW here. I tend to take things literally so I'm not sure I completely understand the questions. That said here are my answers.

Where to start? I read every book, website I could on cheating. They told me what to do. People here told me what I needed to do.

How can you say you love me when you did this to me? I love my BH I just loved myself MORE. What I wanted trumped what he wanted. I had the emotional fortitude of a 5 year old. Being an adult is hard and I wanted cookies and a nap.

How can I prove I love you after I did that to you? Time and consistent loving behavior. Years and years not weeks or months. Think dating behavior. The little things that show I care. Not forced. Not manipulative. Pure and selfless. When you love someone you pay attention. You notice that crack in their windshield and you go get it fixed without being asked or expecting praise. You get up early to make their coffee. You bring them lunch at work when they are too busy to go out. You do these things naturally as they should be when you love someone. You can't do enough for the other person because their happiness matters more than your own. That is love.

Chaos posted 2/6/2018 16:39 PM

How could you do this to me? - it is what it all boils down to. And to keep doing it for so damn long too.

How could you destroy the most loving, trusting, caring person in the world? How could you keep lying and betraying and praying you wouldn't get caught and not change your freaking behavior.

How can you fix this? - you can't. I am beyond broken and will never be the same. I have to pull myself up and rebuild myself and resent every minute of it.

What you can do - STOP WITH THE DAMN TT. Give it to us straight. We may not want to hear it but we need to. We can't deal with something we don't know. No Freaking Contact. Ever. Under any circumstance. Hold us when we cry. Tell us you are sorry [if you truly are]. Tell us what you'll do different. Tell us we matter [if we do]. Tell us you are so damn thankful we are staying and trying to figure out our future [if you are]. And as hard as this is to type - if you aren't any of the above or willing to do any of the above - or are going to put us through this again and go further underground with the A - let us go.


MrsWalloped posted 2/6/2018 17:01 PM

How can you say you love me when you did this to me?

As Root said, because it wasnít about you as horrible as that sounds. It was about me and what I felt I needed and wanted and I put myself first. I didnít think this way then but basically I put my own selfish needs and desires ahead of my husband, my children, my family. I rationalized and compartmentalized. I put you in a safe place in my head so I could go live in my fantasy world and escape from me and my issues. It had nothing to do with my love for you and to my eternal shame, I ignored that love and cheapened it.

How can I prove I love you after I did that to you?

Actions. Big and small. Therapy, lots of it. Exercises. Reading everything I could get my hands on. I learned his love language (acts of service) and did everything I could for him. I answered every question no matter how times he asked. I told him I loved him. I showed him. I initiated sex. Often. And I held him. There were so many times when he didnít want me to and I did anyway and just held him and whispered that I was so sorry and heíd say that he hates me and Iíd tell him that I know but Iím not going anywhere unless he forces me to and I just held his head to my chest and let him cry and cry.

Sorry, this is hard to write. I donít mean to sound like Iím patting myself on the back because Iím not. But I told him he should divorce me. That he deserved better. But that Iíd live every day to make it up to him and more importantly to make it up to myself because I betrayed me too.

Chaos said it well. If youíre not willing to do everything for your BH, let him go. Itís the least you could do.

Sastrugi posted 2/6/2018 18:59 PM

Boy, I am on a roll today...

How can you say you love me when you did this to me?

My exact question when i first found out. Her response, " it wasn't about you"

[This message edited by Sastrugi at 7:00 PM, February 6th (Tuesday)]

StevieJ posted 2/6/2018 19:08 PM

It's all about behaviour. Words literally mean nothing. Especially to a betrayed husband. Look at the relationship like a joint bank account. A WS has been secretly withdrawing thousands of dollars. Every loving action puts a dollar back in. It's going to take a lot of time. One day the account won't be in debt. It might be rich. I suppose a divorce is like filing for bankruptcy.

5454real posted 2/6/2018 19:15 PM

I suppose a divorce is like filing for bankruptcy.

There are times it may feel like that to some.

However, divorcing an unremorseful personality(borderline) disordered WS?
Jackpot

(Took a long time after the D to truly realize that though)

WilliamM posted 2/6/2018 19:47 PM

Thanks for the responses. Love the truths posted here.

cptprkchp posted 2/7/2018 09:41 AM

What MrsWalloped said times 1000. That answer, for me, was so spot on I could have written it myself. Beautifully done and painfully honest.

moralhighground posted 2/7/2018 10:26 AM

Get ready to make mistakes even when youíre not making mistakes.

I canít stress this enough. There are things I want my husband to do and say and then he does or says them in the wrong minute of the wrong hour of the wrong day and there is no way to be right.

Thatís right.

Keep doing that shit even though I got mad when you apologized. Even though I looked hurt when you said how grateful you were that we were all together. Even though I cried when you told me you loved me.

Because this is not the action that was wrong. Thatís in the past and Iím just not over it yet. So be patient and donít quit. I lose heart every day, sometimes for five seconds, sometimes for 8 hours, but I am fighting hard to drag myself back out of the dark. So keep looking for me.

reallyscrewedup7 posted 2/7/2018 13:45 PM

"It wasn't about you." While those words are a key tenet of emotional intelligence (the actions of others are not your responsibility), the flip side of that is really dark.

While the affair is never about the actions of the betrayed, the actions of the wayward are, well, soulless. Yes, they are doing what makes them "feel good." But they know they what they are doing is wrong (otherwise, why hide all this great fucking joy). And they know what they are doing while the one person that they pledged to love and protect doesn't even rate a second thought.

Insidious cruelty to the one person you are supposed to love constitutes permanent damage to the person who is betrayed.

So, how does the wayward overcome that? I'm not sure they ever really can.

Its been seven plus years for me and while I have forgiven, I will never ever forget.

DaddyDom posted 2/7/2018 14:26 PM

These are good questions. I was actually writing a post about this but want to respond briefly...

How can you say you love me when you did this to me?

They can't. Well, let me clarify. I don't think it is possible for a WS to truly love their spouse/family and yet lie, deceive and put themselves first. Love is a complicated topic however. I don't think the problem is always one of "not loving you", it is often more one of "they were not capable of loving you" at the time. The issue for most WS's, when you really get down to the core of things, is that they don't love themselves enough (or at all) to have the critical character traits that prevent other people from doing such damaging things. They don't feel that they are worthy of love, of dignity, of real happiness. The sad truth is that the BS is collateral damage in the bomb that is the WS.

This is a bitter and often impossible pill for the WS to swallow. You, as the BS, see "the real WS" now for who and what they are. You already know there was no way that they loved you and yet cheated on you. But the WS has to face that harsh reality about themselves before they can accept it and change. That is where most WS's get stuck, because accepting that they are so damn broken that they aren't even capable of really loving the people they care most about in this world is just too painful to face. Up comes the denial and defensiveness, the self-pity and the self-destruction.

What I would add however, is that this doesn't mean that there was/is nothing. Love is not an all-or-nothing thing. Your WS may have loved you as best they could, and as much as they could, it is just that their best is based on the empty hole they carry around inside of themselves. In other words, if love were money, you may love your spouse and kids a whole dollar's worth, but they only loved you back a nickel's worth. However, if a nickel is all they had, then that nickel was them giving you all they could, and that's something to consider.

By learning to love themselves, the WS's capacity for true and meaningful love will also grow. Empthy comes back. Compassion. Honesty. Authenticity. If the WS is willing to do the work and capable of seeing themselves as their "true selves", then you can actually build something that was better than before, because your WS will be capable of true love.

How can I prove I love you after I did that to you?

The million dollar question. As you already know, words are meaningless at this point, at least, until backed up with actions. Love is proved through actions and consistency.

Most of the advice in books and even on SI is based around "damage control" and things the BS needs shortly after D-day hits and the BS is still dealing with the shock and pain of what just happened. So things such as NC letters, timelines, transparency, and so on are recommended, however, none of this has anything to do with "proving love". It's just triage.

The WS "proves love" by putting the BS first in all things. By putting more effort into saving the marriage and themselves than they put into having the affair. By being sacrificial in nature and putting the BS first in all things, even to the WS's own detriment if needed. By showing empathy, honesty, understanding, compassion. By dropping their defensiveness and owning the damage they've done. By showing true remorse. All of these things and more are part and parcel of loving someone. You will know love from your WS when you see it, and odds are, it will come in the most unexpected form. But you will know it. They will do something so completely unselfish that they don't even realize it, and that fact that they did it without realizing it, means they meant it.

The biggest thing, in my opinion of course, that a WS can do to show love is to fix whatever it is within them that allowed them to cheat in the first place. Again, they must love themselves first before they are even capable of loving you. The effort to pursue that goal and to make progress in that goal is, in itself, a loving act, and is about the best they can do in their broken state. Fixing themselves makes them a safer partner and a better person, and that alone is a good start to being able to love another unselfishly and authentically.

I hope that makes sense.

gmc94 posted 12/6/2018 12:13 PM

I just stumbled across this thread... wanted to thank the WS who posted for their candor. Pretty much all of it really resonates with me. Thanks again.

SelfishCheater posted 12/6/2018 14:17 PM

How can you say you love me when you did this to me?

My BS often asks me this question but in his own words he asks "(After the affair) WHEN did you realize you loved me?"

My response is that at every moment (even DURING the affair) I truly believed I loved him. However, today I learned more and became more awake to what loving someone truly means. Today I love you more than I did yesterday. And tomorrow I will love you more than today. With each minute that I am growing I am at the same time learning to truly love HIM.

I don't know how he feels about this... probably that it is a damn injustice and he would be right. But MrsWalloped is right.. I'm not going anywhere. As long as I am blessed to have his ear then I will never give up.

PeaceLily210 posted 12/6/2018 14:52 PM

How could you do this to me? - it is what it all boils down to. And to keep doing it for so damn long too.
How could you destroy the most loving, trusting, caring person in the world? How could you keep lying and betraying and praying you wouldn't get caught and not change your freaking behavior.

How can you fix this? - you can't. I am beyond broken and will never be the same. I have to pull myself up and rebuild myself and resent every minute of it.

What you can do - STOP WITH THE DAMN TT. Give it to us straight. We may not want to hear it but we need to. We can't deal with something we don't know. No Freaking Contact. Ever. Under any circumstance. Hold us when we cry. Tell us you are sorry [if you truly are]. Tell us what you'll do different. Tell us we matter [if we do]. Tell us you are so damn thankful we are staying and trying to figure out our future [if you are]. And as hard as this is to type - if you aren't any of the above or willing to do any of the above - or are going to put us through this again and go further underground with the A - let us go.

THIS^^^^^ Nailed it.

MrsWalloped very well stated.

StevieJ, that is a great analogy!!

Moralhighground - YES, thank you for putting that into words. So often WH says or does something that at another moment may have hit the mark. It may not have been a bad thing to say, but it hit at the wrong moment for me internally. So hard to explain but you just put it into words for me. Thank you.

veryhurt2018 posted 12/6/2018 18:50 PM

How can you say you love me when you did this to me?

I ask this to my WH at least once a day and he can't even answer me. That's what pisses me off so much. I want to do it right back to him!! I don't want to though because I'm not that low of a person!!!

destroyedwayward posted 12/6/2018 19:16 PM

WW here.

I think more relevant question, for me, was that I wasn't enough. I wasn't good enough, I was weak, I was selfish, how could my love mean anything when all that remains true?

There are 3 elements to "I love you", there must be conviction of all three of those, the I, the love, and the you (seeing and appreciating the BS for who he/she is not for what he/she does for the "I").

Angelvictorious posted 12/6/2018 23:47 PM

Some very good replies on here from WS, I wish mine got it like they seem to. Especially root and mrs walloped. Some of the things you both mentioned are things Iíve been looking for from my ws but just havenít got there with him.

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