I just need to take care of me.
Sometimes I think I prevent this because it may set me up to be hurt?
There's the conflict, right? That to take care of yourself you need to put up a shell - a wall against the hurt your WS might inflict on you by continuing wayward behavior.
I think most FWS's get that blind trust is gone forever. Many of us even understand the long term need for trust but verify. And I don't think any truly remorseful FWS would take any of that reassurance away from the BS.
What we need is periodic reassurance that what we are changing is having a positive affect.
Look at it this way. Say your car won't start in the morning. So you try to jump it and it doesn't turn. So you buy a new battery. Still nothing. You replace the spark plugs and wires. Still nothing. Each time you do something, the feedback you get from your car not responding is "nope, the work you've done isn't what I need". And with each guess at what to try next, you get more and more frustrated.
We have an advantage over a car because we can use words to indicate what does and doesn't work for us. That's the feedback your WS could use most of all. I found for me that understanding the Five Love Languages was an important step in knowing what changes would matter most to my BW. For her, I could buy all the flowers in the world and hug her constantly at home, and she would just feel smothered. Yet cook dinner for the family as a surprise and that made a huge impression.
Should I have known this about her years ago? Yup. But that hasn't stopped me from continuing to try to learn as we go ahead with our R.
try to jump it and it doesn't turn. So you buy a new battery. Still nothing. You replace the spark plugs and wires. Still nothing. Each time you do something, the feedback you get from your car not responding is "nope, the work you've done isn't what I need". And with each guess at what to try next, you get more and more frustrated.
And the car has told him exactly what needs to be done, yet keeps trying to jumpstart it, replace new parts, kick the tires, everything BUT what the car want and has said she wants done.
The car is appreciating the new seat covers and tells him so. Loves, the new mats and the fuzzy dice, makes a big fuss when they're delivered. But none of the above are going to matter until the catalytic converter is replaced.
Then the H sits there and wants to "give up" because "look at all the work I've done and you still won't "run".
Try not. Do or do not, there is no try. -- Yoda
My WH has a pattern of inappropriate adulterous relationships with women that he says are "friends". I am his third marriage, two of the women he committed adultery with in his second marriage showed up in this one as EA's, along with two more PA's.
One HUGE problem we have had in the past is his hobbies taking over his life and priorities. He used to play in a band in college, and wanted to do that again. That is fine by me, but I had a friend who's husband was a musician by night, and know the problems they had with the time commitment and the threat of him being out performing on stage and drunk women coming on to him frequently.
He had previously formed a band where he worked 10 years ago, they could practice at work, play at work functions.
He has returned to same workplace 10 years later, I suggest we make up flyers, he could try to form another band, he could find time to practice at or after work there and perform etc. He doesn't want to do that he wants to put up an ad in a local guitar shop and join an existing band, doesn't want to start one up on his own.
I am uncomfortable about this idea for alot of reasons, I think about it for about an hour and I think of how to approach him like our MC has coached us.
I tell him I am uncomfortable with his joining a band. I tell him that I have two concerns that I would like to address.
The first I would not be comfortable with him performing in a nightclub or bar, that it needs to be a family friendly place I could feel comfortable bringing th children too. He tells me that he can't control where they would play.
The second condition is that based on the problems of the boundries that he has had with women in the past, I would feel very uncomfortable with him joining a band with female members.
This second request really sent him through the roof. It said it was "insulting".
I was very careful in the language I used and the softness of my tone. I don't understand how I was insulting???
I asked him how I was insulting and he said didn't want to talk about it he was too upset. I asked him to please think about it and maybe we could talk about it the next day.
Next day I ask him how I could have asked him about my concerns without insulting him and he said he didn't know that it just made him he was still too angry to talk about it...
I tell him we need to find a way to talk about these things if we are going to stay married, otherwise he will just go underground,lie and do what he wants and that is going to put us back in the same position again.
This really sets him off and we get in a huge argument in front of our two children.
I am going to post a troubling aspect of the argument in General.
So here is the question and I want honest answers, what am I doing wrong in communcation???
It doesn't sound to me like you are doing anything wrong. You have approached him in a supportive and non-confrontational way. You have made your needs known in a way that is respectful.
The fact that he is flying off the handle like he is and getting angry shows a woundedness based upon his own guilt at his past actions. Is he in IC? I think this should be brought up in MC and with his IC, if he has one.
I don't think you have done anything inappropriate for the situation.
Just my opinion...
So for me the question becomes: Are both you and he in a place where you are comfortable that he can handle this kind of risk? Has he made enough emotional progress and demonstrated in your R that he will not repeat what his history says he will?
Obviously for you the answer is no. For him the answer is yes. Its yes for him because he wants something, so he has to have it because that's how it is for him. He is selfish.
For you it is no because his history is like a fire alarm screaming in your ear. To say yes you are the one who has to shoulder the anxiety of whether or not he can handle the risk. You should not have to do this.
He won't die if he can't play in a band for a few years. The time he would spend practicing and playing in a band should be devoted to developing his R and getting to the root of the problems that made him betray you and all of the other people in his life.
Maybe after a few years of hard hard work both of you will feel comfortable with him forming a band and you won't feel the need to try to find safeguards on his activity because he will have shown he is beyond that. That he totally committed to you.
I'm a musician too...there are about a billion other things you can do with music than playing in a band and still satisfy your love of music. In short: he should just stop being a f*ing baby and start being a man. Your R is WAAAAAY more important than any band.
For you it is no because his history is like a fire alarm screaming in your ear.
OMG, that is exactly the feeling that I have! It is like an alarm going off.
Given someone who simply can't or won't listen, it's hard to expect much will change.
I read both posts (here and General).
I'll respond to the issues around your other post there. Here, I'll stick to the subject of the band.
Recently (early this week, as a matter of fact), Wells and I were discussing the fact that some guys in my chorus want me to join a quartet. We performed on an inpromptu basis and got some very positive feedback about our sound. The challenge of course is that Wells and I have four very active girls and a household to maintain, multiple careers, and family. So time away is a real issue.
During the conversation, she surprised me. She wasn't totally against the idea. But in order to proceed, she made a basic and well deserved request. That we have details around what the decision to do this means. Rehearse how often? Where? Are you performing gigs? How often? Are you competing? Which competitions? Basically, what does this commitment mean? It's possible that we could make it work, but we need to know up front the full impact.
And no trickle truth (asking for two rehearsals a month turns into 5 hours every week). List the full commitment at the beginning and stick to that.
That's what I am working on now.
Of course, this is a little easier because it's a barbershop quartet (all guys), we would perform as a "chapter quartet" in chorus gigs (all at family friendly venues) and competitions are twice a year with nothing but hundreds of other guys singing harmony. So I don't have the same risks your WH does.
If he's into being in a rock band, it's gonna be tough to say you can't play in clubs. That's where these groups are in demand. However, he's not entirely right in saying he can't control where the band plays. When forming any musical group, the members have to first agree on the purpose (are we just going to jam? Are we playing gigs? bars or the wedding/prom type thing?). He has the ability to seek out a band who is more in alignment with your comfort zone. And if the group says they will play bars and that's not for him, he waits and looks for a different band to join.
He can also control whether or not he joins a band with women in it or not. It's a choice, not out of his control.
I would say that he needs to do the same thing I am doing now. He needs the details of the band he wants to join, and then the two of you can discuss the potential impact. But he is not to agree to join unless you both are in agreement it's ok.
This seems like a little bit of mid life crisis at work and he just doesn't want someone putting any kind of limit on his behavior. It's not cool, you know?
Give him a couple of days to think about the needs that you listed and approach him again. Reality here is that he's not trustworthy, so he doesn't get to set the boundaries for what you need. YOU do.
"There would be no grand absolution, only forgiveness meted out in these precious sips. It would well up from his heart in spoonfuls, and he would feed it to me. And it would be enough."
I want to know how to deal with my WHs "fog."
What worked for us was a line in the sand. I was either 100% committed to R, or we would be starting the path toward D. There was no in between. This forced me off the fence from the start.
D-Day for us was on a Saturday. I was given until that Monday to make my choice. No long drawn out drama. No endless fencesitting. One choice - and then the next steps would follow.
If given that one choice your WH chooses you, his next steps are clear. He needs to go permanent NC. You should probably draft an NC letter. He should change his cell number so no texts can come in. Block her address from email, IM, any other programs. He should give you all passwords. He should commit to IC to sort out his own challenges, and then MC can start to work on the relationship issues.
If he chooses the OW, then he needs to clearly see what life will be like without you. The full 180 is a minimum. Beyond that, it may involve strong actions such as forcing him to find a place of his own, sorting out finances, etc.
How am I supposed to react to this?
Force the choice and don't let him fencesit.
I think that sometimes this is a big issue when people are faced with really bad choices they've made, and faced with the negative consequences to their lives.
I am dealing with this - or rather - have been for the last few months, with a friend. Not infidelity related, but he made a really horrible decision, is facing some really tough consequences, and has felt - over the last few months, that he does not deserve to be happy... been punishing himself far more than anyone else ever could. I've tried to help by explaining how we are all human, we all make mistakes, we all make bad choices, and the MOST important thing - is learning from them and changing the behavior.
Just thought maybe some WS also do this...
[This message edited by stupidstupidme at 9:00 AM, December 9th (Tuesday)]
After a few weeks I came to realize that this self-hatred only kept me in the cycle that I used as a reason for the A in the first place. I mean, you can only do this to yourself for so long, and pretty soon something inside you rebels and then BAM, you beleive your ENTITLED to do anything you want. Either that or you just start to implode into depression and deadness.
I decided that what I truly needed to do for myself and those I love was to take care of myself properly and work to express my feelings and needs appropriately-so that they can actually hear them. To try to live a healthy life. That to destroy myself is really a selfish act and in the end benefits nobody.
I have had to consciously work on this. Constantly. It is hard hard hard. But in the end I hope that it not only allows me to be the person I hoped I could be, it brings me closer to other people as well.
My friend was intentionally denying himself the love and support that he really needed - over the last few months. Felt that he just didn't deserve anything good.
What is pushing 'too hard' when the WS is at this place - doing some work, but not fully ready to do all the work it's going to take? I do not want to make the mistake of pushing so hard that he totally gives up the good things he is doing and stops trying altogether or leaves. On the other hand, I don't want to sit and wait indefinitely for him to 'think about things and figure them out by himself.' How hard should I push him to go to IC? How hard should I push that he take a more active role in starting down the road of fixing things? I am close to my breaking point as the EA went on for months and there was a previous EA by him (last year). I want to fix what was broken in our relationship and I want to start down that road now. I know I can't do it by myself.
What is pushing 'too hard' when the WS is at this place - doing some work, but not fully ready to do all the work it's going to take?
The foggy state of a WS can last for a while. Mine went five months. But I still maintain that the greatest gift my BW has given me (and she has given me more than I can ever repay her for) is being very direct and very clear on decisions. On D-Day, she gave me a simple one. Call a counselor or call an attorney. No in between.
I didn't become fully transparent until my fog lifted. So I can understand the challenges there.
First things first - IC is a must and should be placed as the first requirement of R. Your WH needs to learn and understand why he allowed himself to have an A. Even MC needs to take a back seat because you can't fix your relationship unless he is on the path to healing himself.
Many WS's have the foggy notion that they can still keep the relationship with their OP to a friendship only. This is a fallacy, and needs to be shut down. I would say that until he stops looking at OW's MySpace, he cannot break from his addiction to her and focus on his own healing. It may help to have him read "Not Just Friends" in conjunction with removing his MySpace contact. The book helps explain why he needs to do this.
On his issue over privacy, what he needs to hear is that he is sacrificing your trust for his privacy. And right now, his trust bank account with you is overdrawn by $1,000,000. He needs to progressively earn your trust back. In addition, when asked what he needs to keep private from his BW, who is supposed to be his life partner, my bet is he will be challenged to come up with a justifiable answer.
Focus on his learning process first - IC and reading (Not Just Friends and After the Affair are great for starters). As he gains understanding, the other pieces will start to fall into place for him.
He does say he needs time, he wants to make sure this never happens again, which I understand completely. We didn't get into this mess in a day and it's going to take more than a day to get out and for him to clear his head.
My question is, Is he still in the fog, or is there something I should be doing or just give him his space.
[This message edited by LostatSea4 at 2:00 PM, December 10th (Wednesday)]
Is it ok if I post what I am considering as something I want to tell him when we go to MC next week - so I can get opinions?
Of course. You may want to make the post in General so some of the BS's can add their experience as well.
3 days of NC? He's still in a thick fog at this stage. He's detoxing from the A, and he may not know it but he has no idea how he really feels. His vision is still very clouded. Once he has had time to distance himself from the OW, he will be able to better tell you his true feelings.