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Reconciliation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: This is remorse, right?
Arden
♀ Member
Member # 44285
Default  Posted: 1:36 PM, August 22nd (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So, d-day anniversary #1 was this summer and pretty much sent me back to square one. I found SI around this time and have learned a lot from everyone's experiences. At the same time though, I think I project feelings from a lot of the negative stories into my own life. This lead me to feel very guarded and suspicious around my WBF, more so than I think is warranted. Bear with me - I'm just trying to return myself to my own reality and recognize what is going right. I constantly read stories about unremorseful WSs, but am hoping mine is on the right path. Here's what I mean:

-Sent NC letter to OW last winter, had already not made any attempts to contact her for months prior, and none since.
-She broke NC request in April by email. He immediately showed me and again requested her to stop. Told her that I was the only one that mattered and he had no desire to speak w/ her ever again.
-Willingly gave me a list of all passwords to emails, bank accounts, etc.
-Does not take his phone anywhere. Leaves it with me to look at and check messages.
-Sends me emails from work to let me know he is thinking about me and what he is doing.
-Always comes home on time, or tells me exactly when he will be home if plans change.
-Does not go anywhere without me, or at least asks if I want to come.
-Agreed to MC, and we've been going for most of the last year.
-Agreed to polygraph if I need it. (we don't have a place locally, but it's still on the table).
-Has read through a couple books, and tries to talk to me about things he reads and how they apply to us.
-Has written me numerous letters of apology
-Endures many of my emotional tirades, mood swings and late night conversations. Comforts and reassures me as best he can.
-We've discussed his "whys" and he explains the affair was a result of poor self-esteem, need for external validation, and poor understanding of boundaries. Accepts responsibility for affair and many of our issues prior.
-Is going to write a complete timeline of events for me today (I hadn't asked until recently, but should have earlier)
-He seems much less emotionally guarded, willing to talk things through, and asks me what I need. I've seem him cry more in the last year than in the past six we've been together.

BUT - and this is where my fears stem:
-There have been small details he withheld or lied about, claiming he was so ashamed and did not want to give me more mental pictures. He has expressed a fear of conflict resulting from FOO issues. I tend to react in anger, and have not made him feel it was safe to express himself. I am trying to be understanding of his needs, and not react so harshly when he is genuinely trying to be honest. Not trying to rugsweep or minimize, but feel free to whack me over the head if you think I'm being too easy, or have anything else to add about what he/we can do.

Longer than I planned for. I'm just trying to process some thoughts floating through my head


Me - BGF 30
Him - WBF 31
Together 7 years
Dday 7/21/13 ("Mostly" EA)
Got TT, but both trying to R

Posts: 80 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: United States
peoplepleaser
♀ Member
Member # 41535
Default  Posted: 1:52 PM, August 22nd (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow. We have similar WS's, as she has kept stuff back both to avoid hurting me and to avoid my emotional outbursts. I'm Italian and intensely expressive. She learned at a young age to fear emotional intensity.

It seems to be remorse. Yay for you! I'm not sure the severity if what was held back or it it's important to you that you now have all the information. I'm struggling with knowing because I got TT over a long period of time. I cannot yet trust her because of it. Worse, if they are similar with FOO issues, it seems a family thing, this lying. I expect it takes time to change that behavior, which is painful following infidelity.

Good luck to you.


WS: 39
BS: 39
DS: 6
9 year relationship
DDay #1: September 6, 2013 EA for 5 weeks August 2013 with TT
DDay #2: January 2, 2014 EA for 6 weeks summer 2011 with TT
"I am still learning." -Michelangelo

Posts: 832 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Midwest
whattheh
♀ Member
Member # 40032
Default  Posted: 1:59 PM, August 22nd (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Ive come to realize that ultimately they withhold information for their own self interests and not to protect us. The best thing for us is the truth and the whole truth. My fWH finally got this and thats when our true healing began. We have a "no secrets" policy.


BW- mid 50's (me)
fWH-late 50's
M 33 T 35
DD-Early 2013 PA 2010
In R but I have PTSD...

Posts: 587 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
played-a-fool
♂ Member
Member # 29476
Default  Posted: 2:14 PM, August 22nd (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

No doubt this is remorse. If my FWW had done all of these things it would have been much easier to heal.

As for the holding back, here's my take. I had to know details and I demanded them. Problem is the A took place 19 years prior to dday so she honestly couldn't remember the details. At 4 1/2 years out I am now kinda glad she couldn't remember. The details I do have are forever imprinted on my mind in the form of mental images that I put together and I know these to be accurate. The rest are also mental images but I know they're probably not accurate so that somehow makes them less painful.

I may be the exception to the rule and you may feel totally different than I do. Everyone handles this situation differently so if you find comfort or peace in his actions then allow yourself to feel that comfort and peace. For a long time I would not let myself feel peace over anything my FWW did or said. I kept myself in a dark place all the time. It infected every aspect of my life and maybe that was just a bi-product of the immense pain I felt. Who knows?

I do know this. There is happiness after the darkness.


Me - BH
Her - FWW
Trying to R

Trust is difficult to earn but so very easy to lose. It's a gift that should be treasured and guarded.


Posts: 637 | Registered: Aug 2010
notanavrageangel
♀ Member
Member # 44154
Default  Posted: 2:15 PM, August 22nd (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

At the same time though, I think I project feelings from a lot of the negative stories into my own life. This lead me to feel very guarded and suspicious around my WBF, more so than I think is warranted.

ding ding ding lol

I am not nearly as far out as you are, but I do this same thing. It thrusts me back into DDay and even if I am having a good day, sometimes it brings me down. I am "lucky" with a very remorseful WH. We sit and talk for hours now when we get home from work, versus watching TV for 5 hours. I feel strangely more connected to him because he is finally opening up. Seems like his reasons are the same as your WS, and on DDay it was like he was whacked in the head and snapped out of this hell he was making for himself (and me). I can see him changing, see him opening up, doing the hard ass work. At this point, I want to believe that this is our new future, because it's looking better than our M was pre-a (only married for 1 year at time of DDay but WH had been getting to a very dark place for a few months and wasn't letting me in or opening up to me at ALL). So I can only hope that he continues. It sounds like your WH is remorseful to me...but then again I don't have a lot of experience with this yet so I could be wrong, I don't think so though.

I am starting to learn that I need to trust my gut, feel whatever feelings I have in the moment (even if they are happy...i don't need to keep dragging myself through the mud), and take all the advice I get here with a grain of salt. :) Keep posting, I look forward to hearing more of your success as I am sure it will keep coming.


Me: BW, 28
Him: WH, 28
DDAY 7/4/14 TT till 7/18/14

"Reconciliation means working together to correct the legacy of past injustice." - Nelson Mandela


Posts: 249 | Registered: Jul 2014
SadFlower
♀ Member
Member # 37725
Default  Posted: 2:29 PM, August 22nd (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It sounds to me as though your FWH is remorseful, Arden, and doing all the right things, except for holding back details that would give you "mental pictures." My best guess is that his shame and guilt might be so intense that he can't bear to talk about those particular details for fear of either hurting you, or deepening his shame.

However, he needs to understand that knowing the truth, even when it hurts, is more conducive to your healing than forever wondering. He also needs to feel safe in revealing the details you want, so try to control expressing the anger that you (justifiably) feel.

On the other hand, played-a-fool brings up a good point:

At 4 1/2 years out I am now kinda glad she couldn't remember. The details I do have are forever imprinted on my mind in the form of mental images that I put together and I know these to be accurate. The rest are also mental images but I know they're probably not accurate so that somehow makes them less painful.



Me: BW, age 66
Him: WH, age 64
Married 19 years
In R.

D-Day: August 14, 2012
9 year LTA with former co-worker and family "friend"/7 years EA+PA, 2 more years EA


Posts: 412 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Connecticut
olwen
♀ Member
Member # 39759
Default  Posted: 2:43 PM, August 22nd (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

All sounds good to me

Regarding the withholding and your anger, try not to beat yourself up about it. You're not the only one. I made it almost impossible for fwh to tell me everything. I freaked every time.

I didn't get the truth until I realised this too. Not all my fault of course. He should have told me it all at the start.

It's not always a smooth ride when this stuff comes out.

Sounds like you're doing well


Together 19yrs
me BS 36
him WS 41 (silent lucidity)
ea 1 facebook flirting with an ex 2011
ea/pa - co worker 6wks feb to apr2013 pa for 1 wk with sex one time
too much tt to count = latest tt 30/7/14

Posts: 807 | Registered: Jul 2013
Didact
♂ Member
Member # 42867
Default  Posted: 3:32 PM, August 22nd (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The positive behaviors are all consistent with remorse. The failure to tell you small details is (slightly) inconsistent with remorse.

You won't know whether it is true remorse for some time. But sure sounds good to me!


No matter how painful, life either adapts or it dies.

BH (Me) 49
WW 48
Married 1985
D-Day Mar 19, 2014
1 year passionate EA/PA, ended by me on d-day.
Attempting to R


Posts: 253 | Registered: Mar 2014 | From: United States
Arden
♀ Member
Member # 44285
Default  Posted: 8:53 AM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you all for your thoughts! Even a year out, because of the TT, I find myself bouncing between days of (almost) happiness and very terrible, dark days. I realized that at times I am willingly keeping myself in that dark place and hiding behind walls of anger and sadness out of fear. Sometimes I just want to ask, is it safe to come out yet?
Having an open and honest relationship is a goal and a need, but I am trying to realize that this is a process of healing and growth for both people. We still have some work to do, but have also made a lot of progress. Unfortunately, because he withheld details my process of healing will be extended. Still, many days I do feel as if we've gotten to that place where I look toward the future and feel optimistic about the outcome.


Me - BGF 30
Him - WBF 31
Together 7 years
Dday 7/21/13 ("Mostly" EA)
Got TT, but both trying to R

Posts: 80 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: United States
Wodnships
Member
Member # 42750
Default  Posted: 9:08 AM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Be careful trying to simulate everyone else's experiences into your own. So many of the situations are so similar it's easy for people to miss when something is different. Even in this email you invite others to try and dissuade you from what you know is true.

I did the same thing for a long time here. It got to the point that I felt better when I wasn't reading or posting on here I felt better. When I was here, I focused on the affair, felt like I couldn't trust my own instincts and in general felt bad. I disappeared for a couple of months.

A fight brought me back here and in a recent thread some people made a really good point to me. Take what you need and leave the rest. If you instead try to take in everything everyone else is saying it will only bring you down. Enjoy your remorseful spouse. Far to few around here get that.


me: BH 35
Her: WW 28

Married 4 years. Dating 8. Living together 7.

If a man took his time on earth
to prove be for he died
what on man's life could be worth
I wonder what would happen to the world

- Harry Chapin


Posts: 539 | Registered: Mar 2014 | From: California
Arden
♀ Member
Member # 44285
Default  Posted: 9:18 AM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wodnships - I think I may need to take a break as well. I came here to find perspective on my situation, but it is just too hard for me to distinguish between what is applicable and what is not. I was not looking to be dissuaded, but rather encouraged and supported (that's what SI is for, right?). I want to move forward, but often feel that I am holding myself back. More so when I spend too much time here. I might need to return when I am in a better place and more firmly rooted in my own reality.


Me - BGF 30
Him - WBF 31
Together 7 years
Dday 7/21/13 ("Mostly" EA)
Got TT, but both trying to R

Posts: 80 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: United States
olwen
♀ Member
Member # 39759
Default  Posted: 10:06 AM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You know what, I think what you're feeling is totally normal. I can identify with it anyway.

it sounds like you're dipping a toe into letting your walls down but it's scary without them.

My therapist told me something that really helped. She said I clearly loved H but was too scared to let him in fully and start moving forward because - and here she sort of looked to the side of her and screwed up her face thoughtfully - I'm just not quite sure yet if I feel safe with you.......She went on to say that is totally healthy.

Even if you know the full story, even if you love them, even if you want to move on and throw yourself back into the relationship, there will still be doubts, niggles, insecurity, worries etc.

It's normal, you have been hurt and those walls keep us safe.

I don't know if this will help but I am finding as I feel a bit more secure (since his last revelation I feel I have the truth) that the walls are developing little holes all by themselves. I keep poking a few more bricks out when I am feeling brave and more tumble free.

There are a lot of bricks though so I am taking my time. Nothing wrong with that. I still have plenty to hide behind and lick my wounds when I need to, and I still do. I am sort of half in and half out depending how safe or worried I feel on any given day/situation and I am ok with that.

I loved how you said 'is it safe to come out yet' it conjured up an image that really sums it up beautifully.

I take regular breaks from SI, I tend to only come on if I am feeling really good, or really bad. I also identify with other people's stories and they can trigger my insecurities and doubts like nothing else on earth.

Just my thoughts.

[This message edited by olwen at 10:10 AM, August 23rd (Saturday)]


Together 19yrs
me BS 36
him WS 41 (silent lucidity)
ea 1 facebook flirting with an ex 2011
ea/pa - co worker 6wks feb to apr2013 pa for 1 wk with sex one time
too much tt to count = latest tt 30/7/14

Posts: 807 | Registered: Jul 2013
StillStanding1
♀ Member
Member # 40144
Default  Posted: 11:16 AM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Duplicate post -partial. Full post below. Sorry.

[This message edited by StillStanding1 at 11:25 AM, August 23rd (Saturday)]


Me: 40s BS, Him: 40s WH
M 21 yrs - 3 teens
LTA = 2+ yrs, Dday = 2/10/13, he moved out, he officially moved back in 1/25/14 and our work continues...

Posts: 738 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: MidWest
StillStanding1
♀ Member
Member # 40144
Default  Posted: 11:19 AM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I can totally relate!!!! It is very scary to let the walls down. When do we ever feel it is "safe to come out"? I don't know the answer, but I feel myself inching out a little at a time.

You are lucky to have such a remorseful WS. Really. All of what you wrote sounds good. I do have some compassion for both sides when it comes to holding back some details. I get why people do it. It is hard for them to accept the concept that the whole truth is the answer. It is very hard to deal with the shame and guilt of the ugly details IMO especially if the person is remorseful. It is easy to convine themselves that they don't want to hurt you worse, but they also don't want to shred their last bit of self-respect or self-image protection. But in reality, keeping little pieces of the truth secret really IS damaging. I think it's a more difficult concept to internalize than SI makes it seem.

I do think your WS is on the right path though. But I also understand how TT will keep your defenses up and continue to hurt you. Hang in there. I think you are doing great.


Me: 40s BS, Him: 40s WH
M 21 yrs - 3 teens
LTA = 2+ yrs, Dday = 2/10/13, he moved out, he officially moved back in 1/25/14 and our work continues...

Posts: 738 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: MidWest
hopefull77
♀ Member
Member # 43221
Default  Posted: 11:29 AM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Is it safe to come out yet......
That says it all...it is scarey to let your guard down
I never check up on him anymore ...there are SO many ways to cheat if they want to....I don't want to live my life constantly looking over my shoulder.....his actions are my judge.....he is back 100% ....I see it in his actions and words daily...we are reconciling BECAUSE he is remorseful ...
trust yourself...if it acts like remorse....sounds like remorse....it most likely IS remorse!
I wish you peace


me-BS
him-WS
3 adult children 1D 2S
married-1977
LTA 06-2010 - 11-2012
D-day - 11-11-2012
status - reconciling and very hopeful
"Let Go of Control; Let God's Life Flow" ...Richard Rohr



Posts: 676 | Registered: Apr 2014 | From: sunny california
peoplepleaser
♀ Member
Member # 41535
Default  Posted: 2:27 PM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree with Wodnships. I took a break, too for a while for similar reasons. It wasn't because I was necessarily trusting others over myself, but it did keep me focused on what "could" happen, or "could have" happened, or "might happen," feeding my fears in my relationship with my WS. However, I think it also was because I needed a break from the pain. I need better balance, though. The break was long enough that I think I ended up in denial and rugsweeping, so the pain was very great when I came back. Ugh. Anyway, that might be t/j.

I agree. Trust YOUR gut. If you believe he's being remorseful, then he is. If you feel he is holding back, then odds are good. Use the information shared on here to explore what you know about yourself rather than talk you out of what you know to be true. When I come here I basically know what my gut tells me, I just need empowered to follow through.


WS: 39
BS: 39
DS: 6
9 year relationship
DDay #1: September 6, 2013 EA for 5 weeks August 2013 with TT
DDay #2: January 2, 2014 EA for 6 weeks summer 2011 with TT
"I am still learning." -Michelangelo

Posts: 832 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Midwest
Lucky2HaveMe
♀ Member
Member # 13333
Default  Posted: 4:03 PM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am willingly keeping myself in that dark place and hiding behind walls of anger and sadness out of fear. Sometimes I just want to ask, is it safe to come out yet?

Nursing the hurt. It is a comfortable place to be at times. You will know when you can do it less and less. Look at the progress you have made - it will continue. The 2-5 years quoted for healing isn't stagnant time. You guys seem to be on the right track. There will be ups & downs. It's all normal.

Perhaps not reading other threads will help you. Maybe concentrate on just your own journey and posting and learning are where you need to be right now. There will come a day when others' stories won't become your own - you do have to be diligent about reminding yourself of that.

Is your WBF in IC? I see you seem to think he has gotten to his *whys* but has he worked to learn new coping skills so that the next time he feels he is not being valued he doesn't look for external validation?


Love isn't what you say, it's what you do.

Posts: 6635 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: WNY
Arden
♀ Member
Member # 44285
Default  Posted: 11:09 PM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

He is not in IC. He tried, and his therapist suggested we see an MC in the same office instead. I think he was mostly talking about "us" stuff and gave her the wrong impression. Still, I don't know why she would just pass him off.
We talked to our MC last week about individual sessions, but he seemed more concerned with me separately. I'm not opposed to IC, but I don't have insurance to cover it (student). If I meet w/ him he manages it somehow to be under WBF's insurance. The problem is, even though he is supposed to be some kind of marital specialist, he acts as if my feelings/actions are irrational. I feel as if I am handling things in a normal way, and doing my best to process FOO issues along with the affair, whereas WBF needs some assistance to get him digging deeper.


Me - BGF 30
Him - WBF 31
Together 7 years
Dday 7/21/13 ("Mostly" EA)
Got TT, but both trying to R

Posts: 80 | Registered: Jul 2014 | From: United States
Lucky2HaveMe
♀ Member
Member # 13333
Default  Posted: 8:36 AM, August 24th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

IMO MC is a waste of time with an unhealthy person. And it sounds like it's time for a new MC if you are going to continue on that route. He doesn't seem well versed in infidelity. It seems as though he is almost expecting you to take some of the blame for the A and that is unacceptable from a counselor.

Your WBF seems remorseful. Time for him to take the next step with an IC well versed in WW behavior/thinking and getting to the root of the problem.


Love isn't what you say, it's what you do.

Posts: 6635 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: WNY
cosmicjoke
♀ Member
Member # 39159
Default  Posted: 10:48 PM, August 24th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Arden- WOW.. your H sounds like THE Poster Child for real 'remorsefulness'....! (Is that a word??) Lucky you! All WS should take a page or 2, or, 10... on how to do this. Or maybe he can teach a class.??
Actually.. HE is the lucky one too.. that you're giving him another chance. It sounds like he truly values you now. Kudos to him for his transparency and doing all he can to put your mind at ease.. Now all he has to do is keep it up and make it a permanent lifestyle.
And yes if COURSE what you're going through is normal! But it sounds like you are doing great, considering.
A couple questions-
Has he worked on boundary issues w/ females?
Does he understand that kind of 'validation' (is that code for 'ego boost'..?) is NOT worth the price you pay?
Despite everything he's doing to reassure you... in reality, what would he do the next time a scenario comes up? What is his actual plan/ strategy?


Posts: 234 | Registered: May 2013
Topic Posts: 23
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