I don't think there are many WS's here who left for OW. Since to be on SI a WS has to be getting out of the A and not involved with the AP, the very people you hope to get answers from aren't even able to join the site.
That being said, I think lots of us get very close to that point of leaving the house.
Is it true that your BS and your children are your "emotional mirrors"? In other words, after the A blew up and you were sort of backed into a corner, was it difficult to look at your BS and your kids?
For those of you who left the house, what thoughts went through your mind? Was it a progression of "thank God I'm free" to "what the hell did I do"??
If your BS employed the 180/NC, how did that impact your thoughts as you sat alone in the dark?
I imagine that if I had not come around, I would be putting the kids to bed every night wondering what in the hell I had done.
Maybe this isn't fog, maybe it is something else?
I did let him know that I did not want to get divorced or even seperated. By him saying I don't know, does anyone have any insight as to what is going on in his head right now?
Oh and it possible (although I am not 100% sure) that he may be talking to someone else already.
As a Wayward who wants to reconcile, we lose the right to any privacy what-so-ever. Truth be told, we should have never made "privacy" from our spouses in the first place. Your WH doesn't have a right to get upset if you decide on any given day to look at his phone or e-mail. This isn't a fog issue, but it could be difficult for him to get used to. If he truly wants to make things better in the relationship, he will ultimately understand and get better about it. Unfortunately it's a long process to reconcile...it takes steady and meaningful baby steps. Phones and e-mails should be public domain between the two of you.
D Day 3/23/2008
By him saying I don't know, does anyone have any insight as to what is going on in his head right now?
Sure. It's called fence-sitting. It means he's likely seeing someone else, unfortunately, and doesn't want to make a decision on which one of you he wants.
The best way to deal with a fence-sitter is to knock him off. Take yourself out of the game. Enforce the 180 and file. If he cleans up his act and meets your expectations, you can always decide to not to follow through.
In the meantime, don't settle for being his second choice.
Does it paralyze one from looking inward at demons better left uncovered? Does Shame break intact loving families? I truly believe shame is culprit for ongoing family pain and it barricades us from our loved ones, our only real accountability members in our lives. Thoughts about shame being the driving force keeping M and family from being repaired?
Shame over what I'd done made it much harder to do the post-dday work. It certainly could have been a barrier to accountability and could have kept me from real R.
what gives one person strength to confront his/her shame and retrieve their family from one who continues to live with it unattended?
Those feelings of worthlessness could have kept me in the dark, but the very real possibility of losing my H was motivation. For the first time in my life, being healthy and whole was a priority. My H had always wanted that for me but I never felt worthy of it. Didn't love myself, so how could I accept his love or even fully return it? When my father died about 2 years after dday, I had to deal with a lot of that old pain and that also helped. Of course, I don't recommend the death of a parent as a way of attending to shame. When Dad got sick, it made me even more determined to heal myself and to make real, lasting changes. Life is too precious to waste hating yourself.
"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."
Has he quit drinking? Yes. Does he spend more time with the family? Yes. Grown up some and started doing husbandly things he has neglected for 18 years? Yes. I see the changes he has made since he pulled his head out of the fog and saw his carange. I see him working through and doing things better all across the board. I am concerned though because when a trigger hits his reassurance is you can have faith in us/ trust in me because "I'm not that guy". Like I said I do see changes and I am proud of him for the work he has done, but does it make him a different person?
To hear him say that feels like rug sweeping and blame shifting on a made up person. He is very ashamed of the affair. I get that. For those who say this, do you really believe you are a different person?
Sometimes when we talk it s like he's in third person - sincerely awkward it is him and what he has done we are talking about. Is this a healthy coping mechanism? Or just a tactic to deny/ avoid the demon within?
The way you describe it does sound sort of like rugsweeping. And I can see how talking about it from the third person perspective would make it seem that he has not taken full responsibility for his actions, but rather set up this old version of him as the fall guy.
While he has done some some work as far as being present at home, spending time with family, making you feel safer by stopping drinking, you don't mention anything at all about him doing the hard work to figure out why he did what he did. And that right there is why you don't feel comfortable with his blanket statement of "I'm not that guy anymore".
His actions have not been what you need to really trust him again. His actions, while good on the surface, are not enough to make you feel really safe yet.
It sounds like you might have tried talking about this in the past and have gotten the "I'm not that guy" response. Your next step should probably be to get it through to him that this statement isn't enough for you right now. Explain to him that you need more and that this statement does not make you feel safe or able to fully trust him again.
I certainly can understand the thought of "I'm not that guy" but the truth is, I was. Saying or believing in the statement "I'm not that guy" doesn't make what I did go away or make it less likely that I wouldn't have an A again. Doing the work, accepting that it really was me that had the A is what will keep me from having another A. So I guess my view now is that "I don't want to be that guy again".
To expand a bit on what BaxtersBFF said:
I see "I'm not that guy" as a sign of disconnect from the A persona, the A fantasy. If left unattended, yes, it can be seen as rugsweeping and blame shifting. It's a first step of many.
There needs to be more. More of the things that BaxtersBFF laid out to you. There also needs to be an inquiry "well, then who the heck are you"?
At some point (with a lot of hard work)the two will reconcile because ultimately he IS that guy. How is he changing his inner workings to make sure "that guy" stays safely tucked away in the past? I wouldn't say he can become a different person, but he can definitely become a better person. He can be someone who values himself, you, and your M in a healthy and productive way.
I hope that made sense
I have pain for what he did to me. Nothing was done to him, I don't feel He has had no real consequences that I see.
Thanks in advance
The most recent term that I have seen which might convey the type of pain a WS feels is "soul suicide".
The difference between the BS pain and the WS is the difference between having something done to you and realizing you are capable of doing something horrible to someone else.
On the BS side, you don't really have a choice as far as the circumstances that brought you here to SI. Something was done to you. It was the complete obliteration of something that the little idealist inside of all of us took great pleasure and comfort in giving freely - Trust. As long as you were able to trust, life was fine. Without that trust, everything you knew is gone, and not just with your spouse, but likely with many other aspects of your life too. You didn't have a choice. This was done to you.
On the WS side, we have a choice. While there are many degrees and different configurations of WS, the one commonality is that we all made a choice which inflicted horrible pain on someone who trusted us. I think that the WS pain that you read about here (and remember, the WS here on SI for the most part have pulled their heads out of their nether-regions...), is the realization that we were capable of inflicting such horrible pain on those who had such immense trust in us.
The pain of the WS is the realization that our coping mechanisms which have defined our lives are in fact wrong. What we believed to be the right way to live led us to the wrong choice. Everything we knew about ourselves and put in place to make us believe we were valued, that we were good people, that we were confident, is gone and shattered. We are left wondering how we could have made such a choice, how we could have betrayed our own hearts.
For me, I lived my life a certain way for 38 years. I felt I was confident. I was a good person. I wasn't an ass. I valued those around me. I loved my wife and family. I am a good worker. I was normal. Then, in a matter of a couple months, everything that I thought I knew about myself and that I believed was good about me was gone. My pain, speaking only for myself here, was that my life as I knew it was gone. I had committed soul suicide. And it didn't stop there either. I then tried to blame it on everyone but me. I tried to run from it. The pain is realizing that I did all of this to myself and also accepting that I did it to someone else too.
We aren't taught to acknowledge pain which is self-inflicted. However it is okay to acknowledge pain that has been inflicted on us by others. For the WS pain, there is a general feeling of "you did this to yourself, so deal with it". That is just how society operates. It happens in the workplace, at home, everywhere. You did it to yourself, you fix it. While it is true the WS has to fix this within themselves, it is an almost insurmountable task. How do you fix something that you have lived with your entire life?
I've brought this up in the Wayward forum before. I liked who I was pre-A, but who I was before was the same person who chose to have an A. Now, post-A, there are still many things about my pre-A self that I liked, but now that everything has been blown up, how can I know what of that old me should be saved for the new me? I have nothing to go on anymore. It is a very painful and scary place to be at in life. This is his consequence.
Ultimately, there isn't a comparison between BS pain and WS pain. They both exist, but for different reasons, even though they were discovered by a single choice made by one individual.
THANK YOU! for your responses. You said just what I have been feeling but have not spoken because he has come a very long way from D-day and the preceding years. I haven't wanted to question and thereby undermine the statement if it was indeed a healthy way for him to separate himself from old behaviors, but it seems to be his go to line when we talk.
Little background, we are in the 2 yr anti-versary of the affair time right now - AP works in his department so he sees her daily - and her birthday is right around the corner so she is the buzz of conversation. Anyway, it is a crappy time for triggers and insecurities for me.
Part of my work is dealing with feelings as appropriate and not burying or dismissing to keep the peace. His "you don't have to worry because I'm not that guy" has not been much of a reassurance to me for just the reasons you stated.
I will talk to him further about his own acceptance of who he is and what I really need from him in this time. I really appreciate your feedback.
Part of my work is dealing with feelings as appropriate and not burying or dismissing to keep the peace
Is there any possibility of your WH finding another job?
If you ask me, I will tell you yes. That he even has other options within the same company. A sticking point in R for us because......
If you ask him, he will say he has it very good where he is at and to put in for a change will undoubtedly mean a harder position. He will go on to tell you that working with her has been a good thing for him because she moved on into another affair "too soon" (he believes she was cheating on him) and seeing her "true colors" lifted the fog, made him see things for what they were. Made him see the A for it was. Any delusion of specialness, lingering love, or guilt of hurting her by staying with me after D-day killed by her. He claims and his actions speak indifference for a long time now.
I have made it known as best I can that it will never be ok with me. He tenderly responds saying he knows what he did, he is disgusted and ashamed, it will never happen again with her or anyone, and wishes I wouldn't worry because what happened was a perfect storm of events, influences, and emotions. Then the go to line: "He's not that guy" He has no desire before or since to go down that path.
Wish it was that easy for me. It is the never wanted to before or since that gets to me. This was a decision. When I pointed this fact out. He agrees and tries to reassure me with. Like it is a good thing he has control over whether it happens again and he doesn't want that. The part he misses is he had control over his decision this time too. He doesn't see working with her as a threat to us because he doesn't want her.
I don't find her a threat either anymore, but it offends me and the situation makes for triggers.
I was discussing with a friend and came up with this analogy:
If someone loses their home playing craps, they'll be ashamed of themselves and sorry they did it, and afraid of what will happen to them now. BUT they played willingly, knowing what the risks were.
And how hurt would they be if they had won? It just doesn't add up for me.
Thanks in advance for any responses!
This is for WS only. I want to know If any of you are in R and would have any reason to, or rather, would feel ok and justified starting a friendship with a same sex person that you are clearly attracted to but feel that you can "handle" the friendship?
Would you change your passwords to emails & Facebook that your BS had but would then refuse to give them the new one?
I want to know if I am overreacting.. H says I am but to me it seems clear as day that something isn't right. If I demand the passwords and tell him he has no right to privacy anymore, he usually tells me I am controlling and that my jealousy is unbearable ( for the record I'm not even a jealous person by nature.)
So what are your thoughts? I want to be firm but am not sure how to approach it without him feeling attacked..
I had a lot of residual pain from FoO stuff that I had to deal with, but the majority of my post-A pain was about my H. It's not a simple matter of "just" shame- there's way more to it than that if you're a remorseful WS.