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User Topic: saying "I'm sorry"
helplessme
♀ Member
Member # 41598
Stop  Posted: 2:45 AM, December 16th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have noticed that every time I say "I'm sorry", it would send my BH over the top. He gets mad and it seems to trigger his anger.

Whenever I see him sad (and probably feeling hurting), I get close to him and say I'm sorry. He gets angry and gives me a dagger look

Why is that? I thought I would somehow be soothing his pain. I think I am doing the exact opposite! HELP please!


Posts: 69 | Registered: Dec 2013
WPaul
♂ New Member
Member # 35166
Default  Posted: 3:05 AM, December 16th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My wife is not quite like that, but she usually says something like "not enough". What do you say to that? Can we waywards ever be "sorry enough"?


me=47 yr old FWH
wife=43 yr old BS
DS 3

Posts: 42 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: Southern UK
astudentoflife
♂ Member
Member # 25821
Default  Posted: 6:14 AM, December 16th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I try to be more specific. "I am sorry for making the choice to have an affair, I see it so painful to you. What else would you like to see from me?"

Tears help too. Real, uncontrolled crying for what you have done. That comes when we really look at our behavior and it's effect on our BS.


WS:52 Male
BS:47 Female
Working towards R and forgiveness.
Also working on domestic abuse issues (9 months abuse free, working hard for more)
My wife is my greatest teacher and best friend.


Posts: 320 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Florida
SurprisinglyOkay
♀ Member
Member # 36684
Default  Posted: 6:35 AM, December 16th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I didn't say I'm sorry for quite a while, it felt hollow.
How many times did I say I'm sorry and eventually go back to my crappy behavior? WAY to many.

I did start apologizing, most of the time my BS was good with it.
It wasn't until I really started doing the work to change that my words didn't feel hollow to me.
Changing myself, and sticking to the changes will be the best way for me to make my amends to my bs, and myself.

I try to be more specific. "I am sorry for making the choice to have an affair, I see it so painful to you. What else would you like to see from me?"
Tears help too. Real, uncontrolled crying for what you have done. That comes when we really look at our behavior and it's effect on our BS.

^^This too!!


FWS me 36 (recovering addict)
BS him 39 AFrayedKnot
Together 7 years
2 children


"Your secrets keep you sick"


Posts: 1134 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: 221B
Daisy1967
♀ Member
Member # 41627
Default  Posted: 7:11 AM, December 16th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Well damn, why don't they just divorce us?

I mean, I understand that this is something that will take time, but it seems to me, that some BS use this to punish forever.

Been two years for me and I am still paying and paying and paying. I am about to get out of my marriage because I am sick and tired of it.

Yes, I OWN what I did. I deserved the anger, the remarks and the judgment, yes. I know I did. But two years later, I am still being punished and treated like a piece of shit. Even criminals don't pay for their crimes forever. And I still think he has some culpability for the breakdown of our marriage. When you are rejected, tossed aside and disregarded and disrespected for a long time, it will make you want to do things you never thought you would just to get that human touch, and closeness again. YES, I should have made another decision.

But I refuse to take the blame for EVERY.SINGLE.THING that caused the breakdown. I am not to blame for it all and I am tired of being told and made to feel like it is all me.

It has to stop sometime.


Posts: 70 | Registered: Dec 2013
20WrongsVs1
♀ Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 8:37 AM, December 16th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think my BH is starting to believe that I'm sincerely sorry for what I did. But when he senses that I still have lingering anger or resentment from the pre-A state of our M, that's when my apologies ring hollow.

I'll go out on a limb and say practically every WW here blamed our BH, during our A, for not making us happy enough, or validating us enough, or whatever. To quote my mother when I confessed my infidelity to her, "Every M has problems." Sure. But problems in the M did not cause me to have affairs.

Case in point...

And I still think he has some culpability for the breakdown of our marriage. When you are rejected, tossed aside and disregarded and disrespected for a long time, it will make you want to do things...

Daisy, if you believe the lousy state of your M (for which you partly blame BH) drove you to have affairs, this could be why he's having trouble forgiving you.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1237 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
pointofnoreturn
♀ Member
Member # 41034
Default  Posted: 10:53 AM, December 16th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree with being more specific. If for example something triggered him, it's easier to just say "I'm sorry" than to explain WHY you're sorry. "I'm sorry that (thing here) is triggering you due to my actions. You don't deserve to feel this way. Is there anything I can do for you?" Or something to that extent. Apologize. Own the consequence of your action. Offer to be there for them. I think that speaks more than just saying "sorry" like a kid that for caught stealing a candy bar.


Me- WGF 22
Him- BBF 21
Ddays:
August 2011
September 26th, 2013

"A lesson is learned. Life is. Simply. There is no Death. There is no Before. There is no After. All is in Flux. Simply."


Posts: 187 | Registered: Oct 2013
Daisy1967
♀ Member
Member # 41627
Default  Posted: 3:17 PM, December 16th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Obviously I am not making it clear.

No he is not at fault for the affair. Not at all. But as far as the breakdown of the marriage, it was happening way before that.I refuse to take full blame for all of it. My actions, no.

I have already said I OWN it. I have kissed his ass for two years, gone to counseling, been an open book. He still mistreats me. But then again, he did before.

My mistake was not staying gone when I moved out. But I will be seeing an attorney after the first of the year to see about my rights. I have sunk my inheritance in our home and land and I will be damned if my mother worked her butt off to give me that money and I don't see a penny out of it.


According to him, it has always been my fault. He has no problems. And for years it has been, "If you would just change" or "If you just cleaned the house perfectly", and on and on and on.

If you all seriously think that ONE person is to blame for ALL of the problems in a marriage, then something is definitely wrong with you, because last time I looked, there were TWO people in a marriage.

Maybe in some cases it is one-sided. But in my case, NOPE.

He wanted a perfect looking, Betty Crocker, Donna Reed and June Clever meek little church mouse. He got me. And resents the hell out of it.

[This message edited by Daisy1967 at 3:29 PM, December 16th (Monday)]


Posts: 70 | Registered: Dec 2013
atthedoor
♀ Member
Member # 25993
Default  Posted: 3:39 PM, December 16th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

this will not help you much, but my BH has forbidden me from saying I am sorry, it has to be all actions because....I am a liar for what I did and nothing I say can be trusted and so on.
And I am 5 years out...
so, maybe ask him what words will be accepted for you to use to convey how you feel. It's tough. I know. my actions have to be very specific and very consistent, I can not slip AT ALL.
And to Daisy 1967, I FEEL YOU AND AGREE WITH YOU 100%, I have written that post many many times..... still going strong 5 years later...
I was advised once that you can not work on pre A issues until the A has been completely dealt with. So my BH continues to use it as a defense to cover a multitude of sins.


Clearly we are on the ten year plan.
DD 10/14/2009

Posts: 138 | Registered: Oct 2009
astudentoflife
♂ Member
Member # 25821
Default  Posted: 7:04 PM, December 16th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Today I was a bit worried because my wife's excema is back in force. I asked her a question in text this morning and she reassured me she is feeling the pressure of this time of year, because I have screwed up every Christmas for the past 6 years. She also told me that trusts me now. That she is proud of me. Later at work I triggered remembering the worst of my abuse, affair and lying to my wife. I got home, apologized to her specifically for that and then I cried like a baby. Deep, heart wrenching sobs. I felt good to be able to feel that and my wife so appreciates the apology and me showing I am vulnerable.

Of course backing these up with action, transparency and fidelity is really icing on the cake and actually gives the WS more of an opportunity to actually feel remorse with the comfort of knowing that he/she is doing no more damage to the marriage.


WS:52 Male
BS:47 Female
Working towards R and forgiveness.
Also working on domestic abuse issues (9 months abuse free, working hard for more)
My wife is my greatest teacher and best friend.


Posts: 320 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Florida
Aubrie
♀ Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 7:13 PM, December 16th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

helplessme,

I would start to apologize. I'd get out, "Babe, I'm sor..." and he would cut me off, "I already know. Just stop." He would get really uncomfortable. Shifting on his feet, turning his body away from me, drop eye contact.

He didn't want to hear the words. He wanted to see the actions. SHOW me you're sorry Aubrie. SHOW me your remorse. SHOW me the new you.

I know your husband is still reeling and in an incredible amount of fear and pain, but see if you can have a conversation. Does he want you to apologize, apologize specifically, or maybe use actions. kwim?


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne


Posts: 6317 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
helplessme
♀ Member
Member # 41598
Default  Posted: 9:06 PM, December 17th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you everyone for the feedback!

Aubrie, I do that. If I say sorry, I would like also to start a conversation with my BH. But most of the time, he would start in an already angry state. Worse, his anger grows throughout the conversation to the point of calling me names (again)

Thus, sometimes, I do not even want to start any "talk" at all. It seems matters get even worse. I'd rather keep quiet. Instead, I give him loving touches. But sometimes even this reassuring touches trigger him again, he shows signs of rejection. Ouch!


Posts: 69 | Registered: Dec 2013
qwerty2012
♂ New Member
Member # 41311
Default  Posted: 11:46 PM, December 17th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thus, sometimes, I do not even want to start any "talk" at all. It seems matters get even worse. I'd rather keep quiet. Instead, I give him loving touches. But sometimes even this reassuring touches trigger him again, he shows signs of rejection. Ouch!
I so relate to this. However, i have come to the conclusion that it is better to face the fear and disappointment of the rejection and anger - in the hope that BS feels a little better and in the hope that we are in the process of R'ing. I also hope that by my initiating conversation it helps reduces the intensity of the rage cycles.
I wish i could say that i practice what i preach.

However, i am curious as to how you show someone you are sorry? What are you doing beyond being a model and moral citizen, full transparency, etc.?


Posts: 43 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: Hell
helplessme
♀ Member
Member # 41598
Default  Posted: 1:22 AM, December 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Qwerty2012,

I not only verbally say "I'm sorry" to my BH. I do all I can to show him through the mundane things how genuinely sorry I am. Trying hard to meet his needs; do the little things for him. And not only for him but for the kids.
What I do not clearly understand is that, the more I do the positive, it's as if the more he sees and remembers my "mistakes". Sometimes he even tells me "all you do is a fake"
I try hard not to show him I'm hurt with his words and his acts of rejection; but sometimes I simply can not hide it. I cry and just walk away


Posts: 69 | Registered: Dec 2013
nealos
♂ Member
Member # 35284
Default  Posted: 9:48 AM, December 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

repost from LonelyHusband on May 15th-- I have no idea what year. I found it helpful when my "sorry" wasn't enough for my ex-F.


“An apology is a thing both simple and complex. It can be meaningful and deep, or superficial and even cruel. It can be heartfelt, or a platitude. a BS wants an apology that meets several criteria. The more of these criteria you meet, the more the apology will be accepted. I'm going to walk you through the evolution of my wife's apologies, and explain my reaction, and how each one affected me if at all.

Level1 Apology
Example: "I'm sorry"
A level 1 apology is just a reaction to seeing someone in pain. It comes from discomfort. There is no real acceptance of the depths of pain being suffered, no ownership taken of responsibility of the pain. There is no specific action being apologised for, and no understanding of why this action caused pain. Basically, "I'm sorry" is just a waste of Oxygen. This will be meaningless to your BS and most likely to end up in them thinking, or even saying "If you were sorry you wouldn't have..." A WS who apologises like this doesn't really know what they are apologising for. It suggests they are probably more sorry for the situation they are in than the situation they have created for others.

Level2 Apology
Example: "I'm sorry you are in so much pain"
Some understanding of the level of pain is emerging in this apology, but ownership of the pain is specifically avoided. This is a very uncomfortable apology. It might be heartfelt, but there is little understanding here. The reaction from the BS is likely to be anger and words along the lines of "Well, you caused this!"

Level3 Apology
Example "I'm sorry you feel so rejected"
A little better. Now you are recognising some specifics. There is, however, still no ownership. Your BS might react more positively to this, but the crucial element is still missing.

Level4 Apology
Example "I'm sorry I made you feel so rejected"
This is a huge step forward. Huge. Now you are recognising a specific pain felt by the BS, and critically you are taking ownership of being the cause of that pain. A WS who apologieses like this is almost certainly remorseful, and means what they say. When they say it they are probably ashamed.

Level5 Apology
Example "I'm sorry I made you feel so rejected by continuing to break no contact after my affair was disovered"
You get it. This is nearly a perfect apology. Now you are apologising for something specific, which shows you understand the details of the pain you have caused. You are also not hiding from the fact that this specific pain was caused by a specific action on your part.

Level6 Apology
Example "I'm so sorry I made you feel so rejected by continuing to break no contact after my affair was disovered. I recognise now that you must have felt helpless, lost and out of control when I was rejecting you, and I'm very ashamed. I don't know how you survived it, you are so strong. "
This is the type of apology that OktoberMest gives me these days. It tells me that she has complete ownership of my pain. It tells me she has put thought into how her specific actions have resulted in pain. It tells me she now empathises with the pain I feel, and also that she feels a personal horror at her actions. It's also proactive. She comes to me and apologises. Finally, she acknowledges that holding this pain takes strength so she works admiration into the apology.


So, at the beginning of this post, I said there were several criteria, and the more criteria you meet, the more effective your apology. Here are the criteria.

1. Ownership
You caused this. Recognise it and do not hide from it when apologising.

2. Be specific
"I'm sorry life is shit" doesn't cut it. a BS is looking to see that you understand the specifics of their actions, and the specifics of the result. So think about what you did and apologise for something specific.

3. Think about it
A BS does not want a knee jerk reaction. They want an apology out of the blue, which shows that your actions, and the consequences of those actions, have been on your mind.

4. Show remorse.
It's possible to apologise without remorse. Your BS will know, even if only subconsciously. Mean what you say.

5. Empathize
Don't just apologise for what your BS says is going on. Think about how else they must feel. Walk in their shoes. And make it clear you are grateful that you only have to wear those shoes for a short time.

6. Be proactive.
When your BS asks you what you were thinking about, hit them with a level6 apology. There is NOTHING you can do that will affect them so much as a proactive, heartfelt, genuine apology

Good luck.
p.s. I may be back if OktoberMest figures out a level 7...


31yo WS-SA

“When we disclose the thought and intents of our hearts in surrender, we identify with one another at depth.”


Posts: 258 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: 5280'
Tesseract
♂ Member
Member # 39624
Default  Posted: 5:42 PM, December 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for the repost nealos, that's a very helpful list. I've been reading the Non-Violent Communication book and contemplating it. To me it would seem that saying 'I'm sorry' simply fails to communicate enough or acknowledge what's going on in the other person.

I know it hasn't worked at all for me. I've said it so many times that the words have lost all meaning. It's true that actions speak many times louder than words. I've thrown lots of words at my spouse and they've all been rendered empty by subsequent actions.

That doesn't mean, however, that words, especially apology are useless. They just need to be deeper.


Posts: 55 | Registered: Jun 2013
helplessme
♀ Member
Member # 41598
Default  Posted: 12:21 AM, December 19th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Nealos,

A big Thank You!

Very helpful for me and others here at SI. I say thank you to OktoberMest too

I would just like to say that immediately on DDay; or if there is such a thing as DMinute, I have NC automatically. I didn't want to have anything with the AP.. period!

So I really don't have to add: "by continuing to break no contact after my affair was discovered" because it is not applicable in my situation.

I just want to send the truthful message of saying "I AM DEEPLY, TRULY, HONESTLY SORRY"


Posts: 69 | Registered: Dec 2013
Wayflost
♀ Member
Member # 41583
Default  Posted: 1:45 AM, January 17th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm bumping this because I've only now found it, and I find it has given me a TON to think about. Apologizing through actions and words... hmmmm.


Me: WW
Him: BH (totalheartbreak)
Both: 30s

Posts: 424 | Registered: Dec 2013
Topic Posts: 18

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