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not sure what to do

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Thisfknsux posted 11/11/2018 00:51 AM

I have read many of your posts isleguy and i read your BW's post. I think you 2 are much like me and my WH and we have many similarities regarding our marital history. I could go on and on regarding how our stories are similar but in this post I'd like to share with you what i believe you could do to help your wife.

--- give her a weekend with NC by sending her to a hotel/friends house for a weekend getaway. Plan it all for her and give her the details along with a letter stating that you have decided to finally commit to change 100%...that upon her arrival home, you will be a changed man. Express your feelings and your hopes and your DEEP remorse for how you have destroyed her. Then plan activities youre going to do with the kids but leave room to have the house clean and everything prepped for the workweek.

--- upon her arrival home you stay consistent and you carry the "joy" of the household. You are optimistic and rigidly consistent with reading, reflecting and sharing. You anticipate and respond to her triggers. You offer support emotionally about day to day issues and A related issues. You are complimentary to her about her looks, her accomplishments, etc.

---you journal 3-4x/week about what you're learning, what realizations you have, how you feel differently now versus in the past. You make this journal available to your BW. Read books and articles about your specific areas that need growth and self improvememt. As others mentioned, decide who you want to be and figure out how to get there.

--- you continue to offer support in the household duties and child care. Let your wife see you really bonding with the children....as a group and individually. Plan activites with just you and the kids every 3 weeks or so and offer her alone time during that period.

--- develop or refine your transparency plan. How will you ensure she is comfortable during these times where she is not with you....when shes having alone time and when youre doing stuff with the kids?

--- expect that there will be times when she explodes. Dont be defensive; recognize and validate her pain amd emotions. Apologize specifically for what anger she is spewing. DO NOT get stuck in shame. Respond to her bitterness and the little jabs she takes by showing LOVE and remorse and do not defend.


---schedule weekly conversation time with your wife. Be prepared to discuss insights you have gained through reading and reflecting.
Schedule date nights at least monthly. (This is separate from her alone time). Date nights will be tricky at first. Ask for date nights to be free from in-depth A-related talk but do not think this means you shouldn't respond to her triggers...and of course try to pick non-triggery date night activites. (Almost everything is a trigger because you systematically "attacked" from all angles. Be aware of her mood and emotions, apologize and tell how you thought then versus how you think now).

---consistency IS THE KEY!! You have said it time and time again....you are lazy. You have lacked the consistency that is needed to get the 2 of you out of this long, painful, maddening cycle.

Decide to commit to 100% from this day forward. I get it...4 kids, jobs, houseowrk, bills, car repairs, school functions....it's tiring. You have to decide that your wife is REALLY your priority. Think of ways to help you stay on task...maybe a calendar that allows you to plan the kid functions, her alone time, date nights. You could track your journal entry schedule and progress with reading on there also. Think of a mantra or maybe use a picture that will help spur you when youre tempted to not do what you know you should do. She will not believe in this "change" for quite some time and that is understandable because you have failed at being consistent time and time again. Be consistent!! Since you 2 have been stuck in this cycle so long i believe it will take extreme willpower for you to push through her pain and anger but the consistency is what will do it. Be Consistent!!

In case i haven't mentioned it...BE CONSISTENT!

islesguy posted 11/12/2018 08:28 AM

Thisfknsux,

Thanks for your post, yes I agree it sounds like we have been in similar situations. My problem has always been consistency, defensiveness, and trying to keep from being overwhelmed. I appreciate the time you put into your response and your ideas for actions.

islesguy posted 11/13/2018 17:07 PM

So, things have been quiet the last few days because we have not had any interactions. I do better understand her mindset now and that is that she is tired of hearing or reading my words about what I am going to do and either wants to see the actions or nothing. The recent Saturday thing that was earlier in this thread was the latest failure of my words not matching my actions as they have not made her feel special at all.

pinkpggy posted 11/13/2018 18:01 PM

So what happened this Saturday?

islesguy posted 11/14/2018 08:45 AM

So, I wasn't sure what to do Saturday. I had a few ideas of things that she might like to do by herself but didn't plan anything because I wanted to respect her space. The day wound up being a day that we had to run some errands as a family. Since things were cordial I offered to pick up some dinner for her from a restaurant, she declined because of it being unhealthy. I then suggested something that I had prepared ahead of time in case she might want it and she said ok. So, then I thought that I wanted to suggest one of the things I had been thinking about. A few months ago I was thinking about her and how to make her time more enjoyable on the treadmill and I had explored virtual reality so she could walk on the beach or something. But, I instead decided to do something different. The virtual reality thing seemed cool for her to try skydiving also as that is something she has always wanted to do, but is waiting until the kids are older. Then when we were out on Saturday, we saw a hot air balloon, which is not unusual here and I immediately thought about the virtual reality again because it was also something I was researching for the kids gift ideas the day before. I hadn't ordered the one I wanted to try yet but saw that Target had one left in stock so I ran over there and got it. I suggested it to her, she said she might have been interested on a different night but declined. She also assumed that I was only suggesting this because I had been looking at them for the kids and it was nothing special that I was getting for her, which wasn't true and I tried to explain the back story that I wrote above to her. In the end it was another fail.

Zugzwang posted 11/16/2018 16:03 PM

I am very depressed for letting her down again.

You are depressed that she is mad at you and slacking off didn't work. Regretful.

Why couldn't you put in the work and effort. She obviously isn't more important than being comfortable and lazy. THAT is your message. You put more effort into your APs, affairs, and yourself than her. DO YOU GET IT YET! Damn Islesguy, you have been here long enough to know and see that.

If you really felt awful, you wouldn't keep doing it. Get out of your shit and shame, guilt. Whatever the fuck is leaving you stuck and just do.

Sorry, but if posters are frustrated. I can only imagine how your wife feels.

islesguy posted 11/19/2018 15:59 PM

Zugzwang,

You put more effort into your APs, affairs, and yourself than her.

I do get this and my BS has said it many times. I don't know why I let my shame and failures stop any tiny progress that I might have made. It is like a constant roller coaster where I feel like I am doing something right because I am putting in the effort but then something goes wrong and the coaster derails and completely falls off the tracks and then I get depressed angry with myself and just pull back into my own head. I can't seem to fight my way out of being an asshole and I can't stand it.

Zugzwang posted 11/19/2018 16:50 PM

I don't know why I let my shame and failures stop any tiny progress that I might have made.

The only thing I can say to that, is that you just haven't reached the point where you are disgusted with yourself enough. Saving face is still more important. Choosing to not be vulnerable and protecting yourself is more important. You just haven't realized there is nothing to protect. That what you are protecting about yourself is just not worth it. You are holding onto poison instead of trying to vomit it out. You are changing for her and for an outcome. That isn't going to get you any real change. You are doing something right for the wrong reasons? Just my thought. Otherwise, when things get derailed which of course in life they always will- you wouldn't get so upset or discouraged. You would just keep trying. You would feel confident you really tried and gave it your all. Life isn't about perfection. It is about learning and you keep trying. If you keep making the same mistakes then obviously you keep choosing to do the wrong thing hoping for some different and maybe even self serving outcome. Like taking an easy route or being complacent. Just thoughts.

ISurvivedSoFar posted 11/19/2018 17:03 PM

IG - sorry but your post reeks of narcissism - all about you and how you are hurting and my guess is that's why your BS is having a negative reaction. She doesn't want anything from you because she doesn't want to be hurt/disappointed/sad anymore particularly when she gets her hopes up (because you say something and don't act on it) only to be let down again. Words are meaningless to her - actions are the only thing she trusts at this point.

And then there's this comment

The only thing I can say to that, is that you just haven't reached the point where you are disgusted with yourself enough. Saving face is still more important. Choosing to not be vulnerable and protecting yourself is more important. You just haven't realized there is nothing to protect.
She sees you believe me. She sees every part of you - even the parts you won't admit to yourself. That's another reason why she doesn't want to connect - she knows exactly what she is connecting with and doesn't want the pain. So whatever you think you are protecting is completely out in the open in her eyes. I know...sadly I know.

It is difficult to want to help you at this point because as others have said, it is the same story. At what point are you going to change? If you don't want to change, then don't but stop expecting more from her because she has changed and she cannot go back.

SelfishCheater posted 11/20/2018 12:21 PM

Thisfknsux .... Thank you. I also have not been consistent with my BS but your post really hit home. I appreciate the selflessness of your time and energy to put this post together for us clueless and lazy waywards.

islesguy posted 11/20/2018 23:22 PM

ISurvivedSoFar,

that's why your BS is having a negative reaction. She doesn't want anything from you because she doesn't want to be hurt/disappointed/sad anymore particularly when she gets her hopes up (because you say something and don't act on it) only to be let down again. Words are meaningless to her - actions are the only thing she trusts at this point.

This is a million percent true because I have let her down so much.

So whatever you think you are protecting is completely out in the open in her eyes. I know...sadly I know.

This is something that I don't understand because I know I am still protecting myself when I am being defensive with her but I don't understand why I do it because logically I know it is a stupid thing to do.

ISurvivedSoFar posted 11/21/2018 09:01 AM

Because you refuse to see you. You refuse to admit who you really are and continue to on some level delude yourself into thinking you can control the outcome because you can hide that part of you from her. It is the ultimate irony of the wayward IMHO. You are hiding absolutely nothing. She sees you more than you see yourself. That's why this continues.

Zugzwang posted 11/21/2018 09:05 AM

This is something that I don't understand because I know I am still protecting myself when I am being defensive with her but I don't understand why I do it because logically I know it is a stupid thing to do.

Because you aren't committed to change. You are still trying to save face. You just aren't disgusted enough with yourself to want to change.

islesguy posted 11/21/2018 20:45 PM

ISurvivedSoFar,

You refuse to admit who you really are

But, I know I am a lying cheating hurtful person who has hurt my BS more than I will ever be able to comprehend. My life choices are carless and selfish and have caused permanent devastation to my BS, my kids, their future marriages, etc. I believe know who I am and I am not trying to hide it.

But, I also know that I have been overly focused on my BS seeing any tiny positive change in me, which to your point would not be admitting who I am presently because that is again self focused behavior and not beneficial to my BS. I know this is also not letting go of the outcome but instead focusing on the outcome and trying to control it. Ugh, it is so frustrating to see my repeated behaviors again and again.

islesguy posted 11/21/2018 20:46 PM

Zugzwang,

I am beyond disgusted with myself but I know that hasn't translated to a surrender of trying to control the outcome. My last post was some more eye opening into this for me.

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