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WS still doesnít grasp the damage

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Tigersrule77 posted 9/25/2020 14:56 PM

Tanner, how long are you going to wait for your WW to "get it"? From the little I am reading, it seems that she doesn't seem to understand what a M is supposed to be. She can't spend the entire M walking on eggshells afraid to upset you and going into a shame shell and avoiding the issue isn't part of M either. It sounds as though she is terribly averse to conflict and that is also causing trouble. That is not a partnership and doesn't sound like a relationship I would want.

Do you feel like she is making progress? Do you believe your M is better than say 3 months ago? Does it seem to you that you are moving toward when you WOULD recognize your anniversary?

ThisIsSoLonely posted 9/25/2020 15:20 PM

This is a fact:

Cheaters, in general, have a below average ability to empathize.

Of course "in general" being the key term.

My WH just last night, in talking about "respect" in the context of something totally unrelated to relationships (nevertheless ours) looked at me and said "I respect you, for example, and I think you respect me, and we have done a much better job than ________ (insert actual topic of our conversation here) in showing that to each other." He then looked at me, expecting me to be nodding in agreement. Instead I paused for a long time and just said "Sure."

In my head I was thinking ***Are you fucking kidding me??? You fucked one of your best friends and co-workers wife, lied about it, snuck around under my nose (and the OBS who works with both of them - all 3 work together), got caught, apologized to him and begged me to give us another chance instead of letting me leave the state as I had said I would, and then continued the A for a YEAR, got caught again, apologized to him, begged me to give us yet another chance (which I would not) and then told me all the time how you are were going to do whatever it took to convince me to give you another chance, and then, after 3 months of no-A, did it again for 3 more months...and you have the audacity to say you have done a pretty good job of respecting me?!?!?!?!?*** (if there was a fire emoji it would be here too).

But I said nothing because we are not in R, and I am leaving, so engaging in that conversation is pointless and I don't have the time or energy to deal with it. Rugsweeping never felt so good (or so right)...you gotta know when to hold em...

OwningItNow posted 9/25/2020 16:31 PM

Our MC had us do an activity. She had us each write down the feeling that triggers us, asked us to name it. "What are you feeling when the other typically triggers you?"

Me: ignored, dismissed.
Him: ashamed, not good enough.

She said to my H, "When you feel ashamed about something, what do you do?"

He said, "I guess shut down, ignore her."

She then said to me, "When you feel ignored, what do you do?"

I said, "I get really angry and probably mean. I probably shame him."

She said, "You two are trapped in a cycle of avoiding triggers by causing the other to trigger until you both rage inside."

I resisted the idea. After all, fuck him. He should be ashamed, asshole. But after a few days, the idea had percolated a bit until I thought that possibly I could attempt conversations without shaming him. The upside: we had much more productive conversations and I felt heard. The downside: he has still never once started a conversation. I guess I've let that part go since I could feel so much more empathy from him? The shame in him is strong, going back to childhood. I think shame is strong in all cheaters. Maybe I am letting him off the hook with the starting conversations, but they are going much, much better. I stay calm. I say I hurt. I say I feel sad. He hears me, condemns himself, sounds sincere in his comfort and apology. It is enough to move forward. I know he is changed.

Just an idea you might try.
Look, divorce is always an option, but many people see no harm in trying, in putting some work in and seeing where things go. If you feel that way, Tanner, it's possible that your hurt triggers her shame in a way that further triggers your hurt. Patterns can be altered. Not saying it will be life changing, but you never know.

OwningItNow posted 9/25/2020 16:39 PM

Look, a lot of people advocate for D if the WS doesn't immediately get it. And that's fine if the BS wants it. But those D advocates often take years to heal, too. Marriages go through hard times, people go through hard times. There's always someone to blame, a wrong that was done, a mistake that was made. The world is filled with rage-a-holics these days.

But there is nothing wrong with working at an M if you want to. Hell, many think it's a pretty noble cause, IF you think both partners seem invested. Tanner, your WW is going to weekly IC? That's not nothing, my friend. If you've had enough, go ahead and walk. But if you want to keep trying stuff, go for it. My M literally came back from the dead. It can happen (but no guarantees). Please just do what feels right to you because D is hard, too. LIFE is flipping hard! We're all just doing the best we can.

Peace to you.

Tanner posted 9/25/2020 16:54 PM

Do you feel like she is making progress? Do you believe your M is better than say 3 months ago? Does it seem to you that you are moving toward when you WOULD recognize your anniversary?

The M is destroyed, we are in rebuilding mode, I consider us in a new relationship. We are married but donít have a marriage. She is well aware of where she stands.

Consider this metaphorical example, she burned our house down, we no longer have a house and we cannot get it back, we are homeowners but we donít have a home. we have bulldozed all the debris and started building. We live in a small cramped uncomfortable apartment during the construction.
The house is framed but still dusty and dirty, not livable. She is reading books about home building and meeting with the contractor weekly (IC). At this point says letís move in. I say no itís not livable yet, then says in a few months letís have a House warming party (Anniversary). I say no itís ready!

To answer your question I feel we are making progress, we will keep building, as long as she never plays with fire again.

Tanner posted 9/25/2020 18:21 PM

She said, "You two are trapped in a cycle of avoiding triggers by causing the other to trigger until you both rage inside."

This is good, and thanks for your input. I donít rage at her I clam up and say whatís the use?

[This message edited by Tanner at 6:22 PM, September 25th (Friday)]

oldtruck posted 9/25/2020 19:44 PM

i do not see the need to beat up your WW after every time she
has her weekly IC session 2 years after D day.

is WW still blame shifting, in the fog, trickle truthing, not in
NC, still false justification will a false re-writing of the
marriage history?

if the answer is no then after 2 years you need to learn how
to deal with what WW did. coming to terms with WW's
affair has nothing to do with that you still remember her PA

no BH forgets what his WW did whether he divorces his WW
or he recovers his marriage.

Tanner posted 9/25/2020 20:30 PM

after 2 years you need to learn how
to deal with what WW did.

Iím barely one year from Dday and 10 months from Dday 2

steadychevy posted 9/25/2020 20:52 PM

I doubt anyone will truly know what the betrayal of adultery does to the betrayed unless they've been betrayed themselves. The damage that it does. I didn't although I had a bit of an idea having been of some support to a friend whose wife cheated on him. More than 20 years later I called him. He was better support for me than I was for him.

A possibility of describing the deleterious effects of adultery on the betrayed might be in reading the book "Cheating in a Nutshell" by Wayne and Tamara Mitchell. The subtitle is "What Infidelity Does to the Victim". The book comes the closest to describing the damage as anything I've read. There once was another website that was pretty good but it's not online anymore.

Wintergarden posted 9/26/2020 05:44 AM

The expression "shame shell" is new to me but so accurately describes where they go. I'm caught between quite a few of the responses to this thread. My WH asked what I was thinking the other day. When I told him he went into that "shame shell" as I don't talk about it (we just go round in circles with no conclusion) he had no idea that I was still struggling about a future together. On the other hand he thought he saw us together for the long term future. Such a lack of communication.
Tanner at least you are working towards R that is a real positive.

sisoon posted 9/26/2020 11:22 AM

A few thoughts for your consideration ....

First and foremost, you're 10 months/a year out. You are still very much a work in progress. Your Life will get better - but not as quickly as you deserve.

1) I agree that no one can know a BS's pain. Being a BS probably gives some insight into what other BSes go through, but people are different entities, and we can't know any more of another person than the person tells us.

2) Besides, if your W did 'grasp the damage,' how would that help you?

The damage you talk about is in you. You're the only one who can repair it. Unfortunately, your W can't undo the damage she did to you.

Perhaps even more important is this: IMO, BSes do a lot of damage to themselves with their attack-self self-talk. The self-talk is generated internally, and only the person who generates the self-talk can change it from attacking to nurturing or neutral self-talk.

I understand the 'graph immediately above this is a belief, not an established fact, but it's a belief that has helped people heal.

I mean this point to be empowering. When I finally got the point that my own self-talk was hurting me, changing my attack-self messages to nurture-self still took a lot of effort and more time than I wish - but knowing I had the power to change my internal messaging kept me going.

3) I think you're missing something in your rebuilding metaphor.

That is, you have a history with your W that dates from before her A. Using the courting metaphor, you know a lot about her now that you can't forget and that you didn't know during your initial courtship. You both know a lot about yourselves that you didn't know during your initial courtship.

That knowledge keeps you from starting fresh. It's important to keep that in mind, IMO. I have no idea how the knowledge will affect you, your W, and your path, but I do know you need to keep cognizant of what you know (and don't know).

4) A number of BSes actually do want something like a big vacation for their anniversary.

Also, you could translate 'let's go there' into 'I want to go there' or even 'I want to go there with you so we can connect with each other in a warm, lovely place.'

5) What's with the 180? It was designed for BSes whose WSes were unremorseful but who can't detach.

The 180 minimizes communications. If R is a possibility, you need to communicate a lot, because that's how you'll find out of your WS is or isn't a good candidate for R.

How do you use the 180?

Thumos posted 9/26/2020 20:55 PM

We have been out of infidelity for a year, but she still doesnít grasp the damage she caused. We were watching wheel of fortune last night and the guy won a beach trip and W says ďletís go there on our next anniversaryĒ. Anniversary? Really? I just looked at her and didnít respond, kids were in the room. Iím thinking Iíve told her that we wonít acknowledge the anniversary until Iím ready and itís gonna be a while. Hell, I would rather celebrate Dday 2 and the end of TT over some bullshit vows. Maybe I could just save the money and join her in La La Land.

This happens a lot unfortunately. They just don't get it. I would say stop hoping she will.

Tanner posted 9/27/2020 13:13 PM


I was referring to a thread that I started a while back about the 180. I feel that my issue was resolved in that matter and the thread died.

The 180 saved me, I took care of me first and made self improvement changes. I felt my W was threatened by the new me and walked on eggshells around me.

I have worked with her in R but some of the changes to me and my attitude will remain. Iím not the same pathetic yes man I was prior to 180.

[This message edited by Tanner at 1:14 PM, September 27th (Sunday)]

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