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User Topic: A safe environment for WS to open up and talk
sisoon
♂ Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 1:17 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

A BS can't force the WS to talk, so the WS has some power here.

I think you have make answering Qs a requirement. It's sort of a 'stick' - if you'll kick your WS out unless s/he talks, s/he knows it's a big deal. If the WS doesn't want to S or D, then answers will materialize. Even so, the WS may not talk, even if it's a requirement.

As a madhatter, your WS needs to meet your requirements for R, and you need to meet his, too. Your need to hear from him isn't cancelled out if he doesn't want to hear about your A from you.

I recommend communicating (orally or in writing) with your WS to define and create a 'space' that's safe for both of you. After all, you're the best placed people to define safety. I'd say use an MC or a joint IC session if you want to, if you can't create a safe place as a couple.

My W responded the same way DS did to my questions. When I jumped up and down on some of her choice answers, my W shut up. When I listened non-defensively, she talked. I could express anger (with 'I'm furious about that'). I could show pain (crying as I listened, for example). But if I called her a name, the conversation stopped.

**************************

After dealing with this for almost 3 years, I've concluded that WSes probably will never initiate conversations about the A - and IMO they don't have to.

R is a joint project. It doesn't matter who initiates as long as both partners do the heavy lifting.


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 9991 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
ShockedErica11
♀ Member
Member # 37550
Default  Posted: 2:03 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you everyone for all the great and awesome responses.

I had a blow up at WS, and vented, and am just...not having a good day.

But there's definitely a lot in terms of food for thought.

In some ways, I understand what some are saying for conflict avoidant types that having a safe place allows them to express themselves without fear of reprieve.

I just have a lot of hurt feelings so trying to create that safe space, espcially when I attempted to do that during the TT is even harder to achieve because I attempted that and it got me nowhere except being lied to further.

I've attempted writing out the questions (5 pages worth, I think) and I've still gotten nothing. I try different strategies and nothing seems to work. I wanted to revisit the safe space strategy, and know that on my better days, I am capable of doing so, but it's such a struggle right now because he has been so resistant.

It's not just about him bringing it up, there are other factors involved in him bringing it up that I feel would satisfy me. My mother (wow!) actually gave me some good advice this after noon in terms of the men that had cheated on her: it's his willingness to endure the discomfort and go through the fire that makes the difference; it's his willingness to talk about it is what makes the ability for the relationship to get on track more successful.

The more resistant he gets the more hurt I am and the less likely I want to put myself through having to do the "Safe space" tactic all over again because I know what it cost me when I did it the first time. If he is cognizant of that, then maybe it could work, but I need him to put forth some kind of an effort.

Today just sucks, and I was really hoping that I would be able to use different strategies, but I'm wondering if I am even emotionally ready.


Him (31): Taurus517 (17 mon EA/PA); others
Me (27): 3mo EA/PA (kissed once)
One too many D-days
(Full story: see profile)

Posts: 230 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Atlanta, GA
Jrazz
♀ Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 2:10 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((ShockedErica11)))


It is better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie. -Russian Proverb

Posts: 17058 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
rachelc
♀ Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 2:11 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

it's his willingness to endure the discomfort and go through the fire that makes the difference;


so true, great advice...

when I suspected my husband's first affair I gently told him that we needed to talk to each other about uncomfortable things. We talked at length, all very calm. He said nothing was going on...
when I found out the truth the next day I lit into him, leading with a right hook.

honey, I so get it. willingness is a first step... good luck!


his Ddays: 2/10, 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4776 | Registered: Dec 2010
ShockedErica11
♀ Member
Member # 37550
Default  Posted: 2:54 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

A BS can't force the WS to talk, so the WS has some power here.

And that might be the rub too: him having power in this relationship. I think this hits on a family of origin issue, in being very powerless against my circumstances. But that's another thread for another day.

I just want us to talk, but communication between us is so hot right now. He just texted and suggested we have mediator to talk through our issues, but I just wonder what's the point?

Okay, I think I'm t/jing my own thread here. Let me not do that.

Are there any strategies that anyone has been able to implement in terms of keeping their emotions under control when talking about the A?

My IC has suggested Mindfulness, and it helps when I have my bouts with nausea and vertigo, but it's been less successful in terms of controlling my flare ups of anger or crying fits.


Him (31): Taurus517 (17 mon EA/PA); others
Me (27): 3mo EA/PA (kissed once)
One too many D-days
(Full story: see profile)

Posts: 230 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Atlanta, GA
ShockedErica11
♀ Member
Member # 37550
Default  Posted: 2:55 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

honey, I so get it. willingness is a first step... good luck!

Thank you very much. I especially need it today.


Him (31): Taurus517 (17 mon EA/PA); others
Me (27): 3mo EA/PA (kissed once)
One too many D-days
(Full story: see profile)

Posts: 230 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Atlanta, GA
sisoon
♂ Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 3:27 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You have a lot of power here, too, even if you don't recognize it.

I'm concerned that you seem to reject a mediator out of hand.

In a good MC session, you can both say what you want to say, and the MC can translate for you and make sure you know when your message has gotten through and when it hasn't. A good MC can also help you craft your message. If you blow up, a good MC can help you get back to equilibrium and do things that may keep your H from walking out and vice versa.

And an MC can help you learn to talk with each other.

The MC creates the safe place along with you and your H - and the MC maintains it.

This could be a big win for you.

Or are you really done with your H? If you are, that could be a reason for not wanting to go through some sessions with an MC.

Remember, if the A or your H's post-A behavior is a deal breaker, it's a deal breaker, and you can walk away/kick him out with your head held high.

[This message edited by sisoon at 3:28 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday)]


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 9991 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
ShockedErica11
♀ Member
Member # 37550
Default  Posted: 3:38 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm concerned that you seem to reject a mediator out of hand.

In a good MC session, you can both say what you want to say, and the MC can translate for you and make sure you know when your message has gotten through and when it hasn't. A good MC can also help you craft your message. If you blow up, a good MC can help you get back to equilibrium and do things that may keep your H from walking out and vice versa.

And an MC can help you learn to talk with each other.

The MC creates the safe place along with you and your H - and the MC maintains it.


It's not the MC; we had one when we first started, but eventually had to stop as my emotions were too raw.

We've attempted to get the mediation of friends and family; even some people who have a neutral opinion.

The thing is: I suggested the MC, but WH has a tendency of suggesting the other people because he says he can't "learn anything if he's not talking to people." So I acquiese. The problem, I feel, is that when he is done talking to many of these friends and family members, the resolve he has to not talk about the A is strengthened because many of them will tell him: "Why does she want to know? What are the details going to do for her?"

The few people that have consistently told him to talk to me about the details, he ignores or doesn't go back and have a follow-up conversation with. His reason: he doesn't want to "burden" anyone with his problems. Despite being the one to initially suggest meeting with someone anyway.

It's mostly frustration. The people who tell him to open up and talk to me, he doesn't listen to. The people who tell him he doesn't need to tell me too much, he listens to. Even the MC we had was progressing things too fast and din't take time to sort through what has and has not been done on either of parts in terms of the marriage, and subsequent A.

It's just really raw.

But I did message a counselor; I want to make this work with him, but I keep getting the feeling that he's just not going to budge one way or the other. And if he doesn't, then that may be a deal breaker.


Him (31): Taurus517 (17 mon EA/PA); others
Me (27): 3mo EA/PA (kissed once)
One too many D-days
(Full story: see profile)

Posts: 230 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Atlanta, GA
Kierst13
♀ Member
Member # 39197
Default  Posted: 3:56 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just have a lot of hurt feelings so trying to create that safe space, espcially when I attempted to do that during the TT is even harder to achieve because I attempted that and it got me nowhere except being lied to further.

I've attempted writing out the questions (5 pages worth, I think) and I've still gotten nothing. I try different strategies and nothing seems to work. I wanted to revisit the safe space strategy, and know that on my better days, I am capable of doing so, but it's such a struggle right now because he has been so resistant.

I hear you and this part hit home for me. It seems the BS has to carry the load and not only eat the shit sandwich, but then pretend like it tastes good so we don't *upset* the WS.

We can give until we are empty only to discover the entire process has been futile due to TT and outright lies.

I understand not verbally attacking and screaming, but the WS has to belly up to the bar and take a bite or two of that shit sandwich they brought into the marriage. If the BS gets to a breaking point the WS has to realize it is them that brought the poison into the marriage and that means at times the BS will not react well to fucked news and MORE TT.

You can't continually abuse somebody and expect them to be calm and *safe* so you can feel okay about giving them more devastation. It doesn't make sense, and BS are already taking on too much.


Story in my profile
He lied, I gave the gift of R
He became the model remorseful WS...all while lying and seeing her
Am I done? Yes I am!

Posts: 347 | Registered: May 2013
cissie
♀ Member
Member # 17637
Default  Posted: 4:05 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

it's his willingness to endure the discomfort and go through the fire that makes the difference;

My BH said he wanted me to write a letter to our kids explaining what I did.
I did.It was hard. I showed it to him, we worked on it together. he told me not to give it to them for which I was extremely relieved.
Later on,he said he did not know how I could have done that.
I thought if it was what he wanted I should do it. How could I refuse?

Sorry did not mean to T/J . This thread has moved on while I was writing. I am very slow.

[This message edited by cissie at 4:08 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday)]


Posts: 528 | Registered: Jan 2008
circe
♀ Member
Member # 6687
Default  Posted: 4:11 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Are there any strategies that anyone has been able to implement in terms of keeping their emotions under control when talking about the A?

Yes. I'm a mad hatter too, so I've been on both sides of the fence and DH and I have, sadly, had to work this out a few times over.

The first thing that worked for us was one, two or three written questions given to the WS to answer, and the WS HAD to answer, this was a requirement of our R. After some adjustment we settled on doing this once per week.

When I was the BS I would write out either one big question, about how he felt about the OW or some lie he told about a work trip - something that if answered properly would require a few pages of answer - or maybe 2 or 3 questions that were straightforward (had he met her sister, did they go to our favorite restaurant) - but a max of 3. He had to answer all of them.

I'd give FWH the questions on a certain day and he'd have until a certain other day to answer them. After that a few days HAD TO PASS before our designated day to talk. If a few days didn't pass between me reading the answers and then us talking about them, I'd lose my shit and FWH would clam up. All of the "But he SHOULD be able to..."s or "But I shouldn't have to......!"s in the world wouldn't change the outcome. I'd get crazed, he'd shut his mouth, the end. So there would be a wait period, and then we'd talk about the answers.

On our talk day it would be more of a follow up. "So you said you felt friendship and not love, does that mean..." etc. Or "When you said you both went to LA, was she on your flight?" or whatever. It was incredibly painful for us both. But my initial reaction had already happened. Oh and we also had a rule that we would never, ever drink any alcohol on the days we asked and answered or had our discussions. We tried to make it as low key as we could. We wanted inhibitions, you might say!

So that process helped. Question, answer, cool down, talk.

MC was crap for us until I was less raw. We went to two sessions and she recommended IC for both of us and then to come back. We could no way have done the homework about communication and expectations when we weren't able to have a conversation without fighting about whether he did or did not meet the OW's mother. It was a waste until we got a bit further along. Actually I think IC did more than MC for us.

However if we were not able to do the paper question and answer thing, we would have benefited from a third party who might have been instructed to just help us talk. I wouldn't reject that suggestion if I were you. Anything that helps you two communicate right now might help you - and as far as I'm concerned, you are the priority right now and even if it takes sacrifice on your part in the short term to get to the much larger benefit (answers!!) then that's what you should try.

(((SE11))))


Posts: 3189 | Registered: Mar 2005
Ostrich80
Member
Member # 34827
Default  Posted: 4:12 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Although it may not be fair that ws has to feel safe from explosions from bs, I think that it may be necessary to get the answers you want. I'm just trying to put myself in that sich, I would prob keep the big stuff to myself if I thought it was going to cause a blow up. Then again, my ws won't say an effin word so I really don't know shit. Jmo


BS..me
WS..him
Been with him over half my life
4kid
DD1 10-01-09 DD2 02-12-12 discovered it never ended
OW..nothing special. Just your average skank
Status..#$%@????

Posts: 4932 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: midwest
Deeply Scared
♀ Administrator
Member # 2
Default  Posted: 4:26 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Kierst...

It seems the BS has to carry the load and not only eat the shit sandwich, but then pretend like it tastes good so we don't *upset* the WS.

Again, this isn't about not upsetting the WS, it's about listening to them when they're opening up and being honest.

The amount of verbal lashing I got from MH, well, there were so many, I wouldn't even attempt to try and count them. He was really pissed off and rightfully so. I never stopped him during his angry outbursts, I let him vent, he needed for me to know how hurt he was. I understood that then and I still understand it now.

What we're talking about are two different things. You're focused on that the BS somehow needs to suck it up and play nice. This isn't about BS's never being able to vent at their WS.

But creating a safe place to talk openly and honestly must be done constructively. You can't expect someone to continue to be truthful when it's met with fits of rage and yelling. It just won't work that way.

I don't know how else to say it, I've tried three times now but nothing seems to be working...lol!!

All I know is as a WS, learning to trust myself with being honest was crucial in our healing and reconciliation.


"Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest." My Mom:)

My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.


Posts: 197314 | Registered: May 2002
Card
♂ Member
Member # 23667
Default  Posted: 4:32 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

But creating a safe place to talk openly and honestly must be done constructively. You can't expect someone to continue to be truthful when it's met with fits of rage and yelling. It just won't work that way.


Said very well!

My wife made it safe for me too.


WH (me)
BS (her)

D-Days April - Oct. 2007 Recovery started Nov. 2007

"Found Myself", I was right there in my shoes all along!
Search for self called off!

Why Repentance Is Necessary? Because Undeserved Mercy Empowers Entitlement/Sin


Posts: 570 | Registered: Apr 2009
Rebreather
♀ Member
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 4:33 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree with DS. I think the concepts are two different things.

I call this my "shut up and listen." If I want the man to talk, I can't interrupt him every 10 seconds and bash him. Who could handle that? He says I am verbally intimidating to him. I have to balance my very real need to call bullshit with my ability to out-talk most anyone. So I listen, and I mentally note the areas in which need response. And when he is done, then I talk.

Once I stopped NEEDING to respond to every damn word that wasn't perfectly placed, then I could HEAR what he was saying. I had to shut up and listen in order to understand him. He has every right to talk about his thoughts as I do. And once I could hear him, I could understand him, and we could work together on what needed work.


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6359 | Registered: Jan 2011
Card
♂ Member
Member # 23667
Default  Posted: 4:45 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

SE,

My wife and I created a safe zone for affair talk.

We set aside several times a week to bring up questions or talk affair..... We agreed to work hard to limit ourselves to only doing affair talk during these times.

There were rules we agreed to ahead of time.

Like;

No interrupting
No yelling or Angry Outbursts
No accusations
No disrespect

I think you get the idea...

Kept it safe!


Some of the other rules;

One Hour of time and then the discussions ended.
We made plans to spend at least an hour afterwards offering each other our undivided attention. Going out, staying in, Whatever we agreed to, but no more affair talk after that hour. It was a time to reconnect.

Again, I think you get the idea.

These greatly helped eliminated the walking on egg shells for us.....

I don't know if this will help you, but I have a great marriage as a result of all the things we've purposed to do to love and protect each other after the affair.

[This message edited by Card at 4:47 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday)]


WH (me)
BS (her)

D-Days April - Oct. 2007 Recovery started Nov. 2007

"Found Myself", I was right there in my shoes all along!
Search for self called off!

Why Repentance Is Necessary? Because Undeserved Mercy Empowers Entitlement/Sin


Posts: 570 | Registered: Apr 2009
ladies_first
♀ Member
Member # 24643
Default  Posted: 4:52 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

it's about listening without reacting with yelling or belittling your WS...

But creating a safe place to talk openly and honestly must be done constructively. You can't expect someone to continue to be truthful when it's met with fits of rage and yelling. It just won't work that way.


Worth repeating!

It's like he'll tell me things will be done on my time and not his; that he needs to start moving at my pace,...Itís just this reoccurring theme is that I can ask him to do something and he doesnít actually do the things I specifically ask for until a day or so later, a week or so later, or a month or so later, and then Iím fuming because he waited so long that he overthought himself into inaction. Then I yell, he argues back and claims heís going to do as I ask, that I never let him speak, that Iím always demanding things of him, constant defensiveness.

So, after listening to the problem, it's about ownership and BOTH partners agreeing to a solution and then setting a timeline for action.

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." ~Albert Einstein



"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~J. Campbell
"In the final analysis, it is your own attitude that will make or break you, not what has happened to you." ~D. Galloway

Posts: 2143 | Registered: Jun 2009
Kierst13
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Member # 39197
Default  Posted: 5:36 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Again, this isn't about not upsetting the WS, it's about listening to them when they're opening up and being honest.

What we're talking about are two different things. You're focused on that the BS somehow needs to suck it up and play nice. This isn't about BS's never being able to vent at their WS.

No, we are talking about the same thing, but SE is also saying she has done this before and he continued to lie to her and give TT. She has tried other avenues and at best her WS is resistant and at worst he lies and is not open to her.

She is willing to try the safe environment again, and that is kind of her, but she also should be realistic. She has been down this road and if he lies or gives non-answers, she shouldn't be held to a standard of keeping him safe if he continues wayward behavior. From what I am reading from her, he does not have a good track record.


Story in my profile
He lied, I gave the gift of R
He became the model remorseful WS...all while lying and seeing her
Am I done? Yes I am!

Posts: 347 | Registered: May 2013
rachelc
♀ Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 5:49 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm going to answer this a former wayward. My BS does NOT need to create any environment for me in order to talk. He can wake me up in the middle of the night, have me call in sick so we can discuss this all day or berate me if he needs to vent. This - 3.5 years out. If this is what he needs I'm not going to put myself in a little effing box to protect myself from his outbursts. He gets truth all the time, any time.
I have found that if I respond in a very calm manner and without anger or defenseiveness myself, things de-escalate (is that a word?) very quickly...
most of the time, our BS just need us to listen. with our mouths shut....

[This message edited by rachelc at 5:51 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday)]


his Ddays: 2/10, 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4776 | Registered: Dec 2010
Deeply Scared
♀ Administrator
Member # 2
Default  Posted: 6:44 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

No, we are talking about the same thing

Oh good!! I was basing my posts on the title and content of her original post...I'm glad we're on the same page


"Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest." My Mom:)

My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.


Posts: 197314 | Registered: May 2002
Topic Posts: 42
Pages: 1 · 2 · 3

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