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Newest Member: CMisME

Reconciliation :
guidance please

Topic is Sleeping.
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 ladyphoenix (original poster member #72766) posted at 2:06 AM on Monday, January 30th, 2023

I am in the quicksand of the timeline of FWH A, four years later..

I am doing so much better this year than the past few years, but I have a really good memory for dates. And I have CPTSD from all of the TT and detective work I had to do to get the truth (EMDR has helped). I know what happened and when and those days can hit me like a ton of bricks.

I am trying hard to be mindful and stay in the present (he is nothing like the version of himself that he chose to be during his A), but the hurt me wants to lash out at him and throw all of the dates and details in his face. He says he doesn't remember the specific dates or sequence, but does remember his actions. I would like to believe that he is telling me the truth. He feels remorse and disgust at his past behaviour.

I do not want to rugsweep at all, but I am not sure that I should be itemizing all of the pain four years out. Is it enough to inform him that today in particular is an awful day or should I be more specific as to why? The next three weeks are riddled with painful memories and I still wish I could sleep through until the worst days pass.

I am having a hard time with all of this. I just want to heal, and I am afraid that I am creating my own roadblocks because the dates/details are so cemented in my mind.

M 25 years, together 31. DD1 Feb 2019, DD2(TT) June 2019, DD3 (TT) July 2019, (TT) March 2020, (TT) Sept 2020.We have 3 children: 24,20, 15 and two grandchildren since 2019. We work daily on R and building a stronger relationship.

posts: 149   ·   registered: Feb. 8th, 2020   ·   location: Canada
id 8775290
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 7:05 PM on Monday, January 30th, 2023

My W doesn't organize her experience sequentially. I do, and it looks like you do, too. I'm not sure what you're asking, but I think my response may help.

My W didn't blameshift or minimize, and she actually came clean on d-day. I got more details as time went on, but the details were always congruent with what she told me on 12/22/10. And I asked every question in multiple ways, always getting essentially the same answers. I couldn't get dates, though. She's very smart, but she just doesn't do dates.

By that I mean she doesn't do dates on anything. We have similar memories of events in our lives together (which began in 1965), but she just doesn't associate events with dates.

If your WS remembers dates about many things, but doesn't remember A-related dates, he's probably lying. If he is weak on dates in general, he may just process experience in ways that you don't understand. I sure don't understand my W's methods. He very well might be telling the truth when he says he doesn't remember dates.

You're coming up to what SI used to call an 'antiversary'. Since dates mean a lot to you, it's normal to feel some of what you felt the first time through. My W's A lasted from August to 12/22 in 2010. I was wreck from August to 12/22 in 2011. I was also a wreck during that period in 2012, but less than 2011. 2013 was better than 2012, 2014 better than 2013. Now I don't notice the period, but we still mark 12/22.

My point is that the antiversaries brought up pain for me for at least 4 years, and my W came clean on d-day. Your H did not, and I don't think there's anything unusual in your feeling pain after 4 years. IOW, I think this is part of your healing process.

If I read you right, all I can say is that this sort of angst goes with focusing on time and sequence - it's the downside that comes with the upside of being time-focused.

*****

I think it's a great idea to share what you go through with your H. Letting him know that the dates bring pain with them is a loving act. If he's really on board for R, he'll respond with support, even if you have to ask for specific support - and that support will help you deal with your angst. If he doesn't step up, you'll know there's an issue that needs to be resolved for R to proceed.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 29787   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8775411
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 11:47 PM on Monday, January 30th, 2023

I'm with sisoon.

You're a dates person. It therefore makes sense that anti-versaries or significant dates are triggers to you. It makes sense that he doesn't focus on the dates quite as much if he isn't a dates person. Everyone's minds latch onto different details - I'm not surprised that he's oblivious to that aspect of it.

I don't think you need to lash out at him or throw things in his face, if he really is committed to R and is doing the work. I do think it would be helpful for you to let your spouse know that affair season is difficult for you and that the next few days/weeks are going to be tough for you for X,Y, Z reason. Let him know what you'd like/need from him during this period. Being vulnerable, and sharing your triggers in calm way can actually be something that builds connection between the two of you. I think this is what John Gottman calls turning towards one another versus away.

Me: BS. Him: WS.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Happily reconciled.

posts: 2028   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8775444
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ChamomileTea ( Moderator #53574) posted at 2:03 AM on Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

If it helps at all, date-triggering really can fade over time. At four years out, I was still having a rough time with them. At more than 8 years out, only a few even register a blip on the radar.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 40 years; in R with fWH for 8

posts: 7017   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8775459
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 2:28 AM on Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

As others have noted, I am the one with a near photographic memory and I did the heavy lifting on the timeline work because my wife didn’t confess until many years after the fact. My wife could recall events, and I added in the dates. Eventually, she tried to put a timeline together on her own, and when she offered to show me, I didn’t look at it. By that time, I had already put reality back together to understand what my world really was during the A.

At some point, the past needs to be just that, the past.

However, it is much more important that you choose when it is time.

I think you’re on track:

I do not want to rugsweep at all, but I am not sure that I should be itemizing all of the pain four years out.

We all itemize the pain — that sounds normal to me.

I was able to express my timeline concerns or lack of details along the way. It was key to my recovery and helping our R.

Rugsweeping, to me, is pretending nothing happened. This doesn’t sound like rugsweeping.

That said, you should tell him what haunts you, tell him what is slowing down your healing. And he can either help some by recognizing the dates you have assembled and (maybe now, maybe later) you can give him a little room about not having an inner calendar with his bad choices on it.

I still have the calendar in my brain, but I also allow for new days, new dates, new memories and while it doesn’t overwrite the past, it gives us room to focus on how kind we are to each other TODAY in the now. I’m sure a few dates and memories will jump out more than others, but it all fades a tiny bit more as each year goes by.

Married 35+ years, together 41+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived. M Restored.
"It is better to conquer our grief than to deceive it." — Seneca

posts: 4699   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: Home.
id 8775464
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 ladyphoenix (original poster member #72766) posted at 8:13 PM on Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

Sisoon,

Thank you. Dates do mean a lot to me and always have. I made many assumptions that they meant a lot to my FWH. What I have found is that he stores memories in more of a "what was going on at the time" and not by date. I know the A dates because I was hyperfocused on it in the beginning, going over and over what happened and where he was on each day. When he finally did write his own timeline, all of the details were present but he could not identify the dates, aside from ones like the night of the superbowl. Or when he got home from a trip.

The first year was the worst, days of the week and dates both triggered me. I was a mess. This year I was hoping that I could be one of those BS that didn't notice the date until after it had passed. That is not the case.

He acknowledges that it is a very difficult time for me because of his past behaviour, and although he doesn't know which trigger is hurting me, he wants to help me through my pain.

I just don't know if there is value in saying "this is the day you did XYZ..." because I may just spiral and lash out at him for being so selfish. Is it enough to say it's an especially hard day for me?

The part of me that wants justice says he should be in as much pain as I am. I should remind him of the awful things he did. But my healing self wants to just let the days pass even though I am in pain.

M 25 years, together 31. DD1 Feb 2019, DD2(TT) June 2019, DD3 (TT) July 2019, (TT) March 2020, (TT) Sept 2020.We have 3 children: 24,20, 15 and two grandchildren since 2019. We work daily on R and building a stronger relationship.

posts: 149   ·   registered: Feb. 8th, 2020   ·   location: Canada
id 8775563
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 ladyphoenix (original poster member #72766) posted at 8:16 PM on Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

Sorry it took so long to get back to this thread. We had a family emergency and I was unable to log in on my phone. I had typed a reply to Sisoon and did not have time to review and send when I was called away to take my mom to the hospital.

I appreciate the time you all took to reply and it helped me immeasurably to check back in and read while I was waiting.

M 25 years, together 31. DD1 Feb 2019, DD2(TT) June 2019, DD3 (TT) July 2019, (TT) March 2020, (TT) Sept 2020.We have 3 children: 24,20, 15 and two grandchildren since 2019. We work daily on R and building a stronger relationship.

posts: 149   ·   registered: Feb. 8th, 2020   ·   location: Canada
id 8775566
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 ladyphoenix (original poster member #72766) posted at 8:26 PM on Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

Emergent8,

Thank you, it helps to be reminded that I do not need to lash out. He is really getting good at acknowledging that I am in a difficult space right now. He sees it on my face and doesn't shy away for the most part.

I think this is what John Gottman calls turning towards one another versus away.


I really needed this reminder. It is sometimes easier to manage my feelings on my own, but to be authentic with him I have to lean in to him instead of away. The risk of vulnerability.

M 25 years, together 31. DD1 Feb 2019, DD2(TT) June 2019, DD3 (TT) July 2019, (TT) March 2020, (TT) Sept 2020.We have 3 children: 24,20, 15 and two grandchildren since 2019. We work daily on R and building a stronger relationship.

posts: 149   ·   registered: Feb. 8th, 2020   ·   location: Canada
id 8775567
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 ladyphoenix (original poster member #72766) posted at 8:32 PM on Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

ChamomileTea,

It helps so much to know that the dates may fade over time. There are a few that are firm in my head, but others that are not as much. This year I am trying to keep myself from painshopping the 2019 calendar. I find that managing my work calendar in Jan/Feb is extremely painful. I try to focus on the tasks I am required to do and not on the number of the day.

I am certainly aware that this year is better than last year.

M 25 years, together 31. DD1 Feb 2019, DD2(TT) June 2019, DD3 (TT) July 2019, (TT) March 2020, (TT) Sept 2020.We have 3 children: 24,20, 15 and two grandchildren since 2019. We work daily on R and building a stronger relationship.

posts: 149   ·   registered: Feb. 8th, 2020   ·   location: Canada
id 8775569
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 ladyphoenix (original poster member #72766) posted at 8:53 PM on Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

Oldwounds,

I think I have a semi-photographic memory and am so glad I didn't see any physical details or history of messages that would be branded into my brain. It's enough that I saw on the phone records that there were over 1500 messages between the two during a weekend he was away with his friends. I cannot imagine the trauma I would be feeling now to see what they actually wrote to each other!

At some point, the past needs to be just that, the past.

This helps a lot. This is what I am working toward, and although I am really not quite there yet I am closer than I was last year.

I don't need him to have an inner calendar about it. It really is enough for him to recognize that it's a difficult time, and mostly he does. Sometimes with guidance.

I am a little afraid (perhaps insecure) that reminding him of the time he spent with AP will keep those memories alive for him. It hurts me that he has recent memories with another woman. One of the things I have to learn to accept and move forward knowing.

M 25 years, together 31. DD1 Feb 2019, DD2(TT) June 2019, DD3 (TT) July 2019, (TT) March 2020, (TT) Sept 2020.We have 3 children: 24,20, 15 and two grandchildren since 2019. We work daily on R and building a stronger relationship.

posts: 149   ·   registered: Feb. 8th, 2020   ·   location: Canada
id 8775572
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Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 2:57 PM on Thursday, February 2nd, 2023

What I have found is that he stores memories in more of a "what was going on at the time" and not by date

I don't have a ton to add, but when I read this I was like...it sounds like she is describing me. I'm terrible with remembering dates, but I'm really good at remembering contextual things. As a silly example, I was telling my wife about a party and an incident with a girlfriend in college from years before I met my wife. The event happened at a Halloween Party that my roommates and I threw in October 2005, so I have a sense of when it was towards the end of October...but what I remember very clearly is that it was a Saturday night and earlier that day I had attended the Nebraska/Oklahoma football game. A Google search tells me that was on October 29, 2005, so the party happened that night. I don't remember the exact date, but through the contextual memory I can find the exact date...if someone ever needed to know the details of that night (the incident I describe was a friend who I thought was a friend backstabbing me kind of deal).

Memory is a funky thing at time. But I do describe the Saturday night before the Super Bowl in 2020 as the D-Day of the my wife's PA because all I can remember is how excited our son was for the game (SF 49ers fan) and I was a zombie and mental wreck since the night before my wife confessed and TT'd me for a few hours until the wee hours of the morning.

Myself - BH & WH - Born 1985 Her - BW & WW - Born 1986

D-Day for WW's EA - October 2017D-Day no it turned PA - February 01, 2020

posts: 664   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020   ·   location: Miami
id 8775800
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 ladyphoenix (original poster member #72766) posted at 1:48 PM on Sunday, February 12th, 2023

The last ten days have been so exhaustingly busy. My mother is going through some major health issues that require further testing and she needs help with getting to appointments as well as help periodically in her home with harder tasks. My youngest daughter has a GI virus that brought her to the ER with extreme pain and nausea. I have had two assignments for my college courses. I have been working my two jobs on less sleep and concentration. All the while mentally reliving the most "active" time in FWH A. Every day in the first two weeks of this month is a trigger day.

I am mentally worn out. I wish I could take a break from my own brain. The good news is that I am almost through the A timeline and I haven’t attacked FWH physically nor verbally. We have had some long talks, I have cried, he has cried. We have faced my feelings together. I listened to a few good podcasts on betrayal trauma in the car during the long drives to my mother’s house. They helped me to see that I am in a progressive place in healing. It takes a long time to heal the broken trust.

I was able to distract myself this week when driving past a particularly triggering location and thus avoided trying to figure out the things that don’t make logical sense to me, which sends me into a loop thinking he is still lying about the details. He asked me how my drive was, even knowing that every other time my response is to accuse him of still lying and then we usually argue about his ability to TT and keep things from me "for my own good". But this time I was able to have a regular conversation. My brain was not stuck in the past.

Little wins in the healing of my brain and my heart. DD is four years ago tomorrow. I am hopeful. It’s not going to be an easy day, but I will get through it.

Reconciliation is not an easy path, it is becoming worth it as healing continues.

M 25 years, together 31. DD1 Feb 2019, DD2(TT) June 2019, DD3 (TT) July 2019, (TT) March 2020, (TT) Sept 2020.We have 3 children: 24,20, 15 and two grandchildren since 2019. We work daily on R and building a stronger relationship.

posts: 149   ·   registered: Feb. 8th, 2020   ·   location: Canada
id 8777392
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JasonCh ( member #80102) posted at 2:30 PM on Sunday, February 12th, 2023

ladyphoenix,

Dates / timelines, memories are a funny and fickle thing. You can never pick how a particular event will mark you. For example my grandmother died on April 5, 2006. I remember visiting her in hospice and then getting the call that she had passed when i walked in the door from that visit. I do not recall the day of the week. I do recall working outside early that year because it was unseasonably warm. My grandfather died years later. I found him in his kitchen -- it was a Friday afternoon at 4:47 pm. I have to really try to remember the day and the year that this happened.

Every year around April 5 the memory of my Grandma comes back to me. Every week on Friday afternoon the memory of my Grandfather comes back to me. I am not sure why they are different. I have spent time trying to sort it all out but at this point i just welcome them in when they come. The triggers surrounding my wife's affair are the same. Some are dates, some are day's of the week, some are times of the day, Holiday's, .... I am still sorting through all of them and trying to get to the bottom of the 'what' and the 'why' each of them reaches out to me. In the end i think they will be similar to my grandparents -- my mind associated different triggers to similar events. The thing with affairs is that they are not singular points of time -- it is like the affair was a liquid and it was poured over your entire life. For reconciliation, in my mind, i believe your WH needs to meet you wherever you are for each of those triggers and assist you with them.

The quicksand (rabbit hole) are hard places to get out of. You have to be still and calm while trying to escape. Congratulations on the victories!

Best wishes and thoughts of health to you and yours.

posts: 431   ·   registered: Mar. 18th, 2022
id 8777395
Topic is Sleeping.
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