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BS Questions for WS's - Part 13

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destroyedwayward posted 12/10/2018 09:26 AM

@lovegolf - all the reason(s) for the A point to the WS, they are our deficits, our deep flaws and flawed thinking, our lack of maturity, consideration, empathy, love of self and therefore love of anyone, etc. Our behaviors, including sexual or physical, are personified in those voids. IMO, if a WS has taken the steps to heal and recover (I am just getting started) then there is no enjoyment from the memories of the A, of the AP, and certainly not ourselves during that time. At least for me, this is true. I'm not sure if that helps with coping.

destroyedwayward posted 12/10/2018 09:55 AM

@firenze - my first "oh shit" moment was the day I confessed, which was a week after the ONS. I wanted to immediately, but hid in my shame until I finally accepted that my first step to being a decent human being again was to confess. The second "oh shit" moment was in the weeks following the crisis phase, when the immediate trauma and reactions from the "shock", settled a bit. It was one morning, getting ready for work, as I watched BS getting ready for work, all the energy, joy, and light about him was drained. I did that. As we are closing in on the half year, as he is slowly recovering, he is able to do so despite what I've done, despite ME.

[This message edited by destroyedwayward at 4:26 PM, December 10th (Monday)]

destroyedwayward posted 12/10/2018 10:10 AM

@teeny18-

<how do I approach him to discuss my triggers without going back the way hes gets really defensive>

As a WS, it's part of our thinking that makes defensiveness our first reaction. I couldn't face my issues headfirst; heck, I couldn't even truly acknowledge that they were MY issues, within ME, let alone face them. That's how I gave myself permission to treat BH and the M the way I did. So, at least for me, my BH triggers are my responsibility (if not more mine) as they are his. As gently as possible, does your WS recognize this or seem to recognize this?

That being said, it's not easy to alter that thinking. And I know I have been stuck more than once in shame. It took/takes an active shift in perspective to realize that's not about me, I already made it about me with the A. As the months have passed, it's gotten easier, I won't say its innate, but it takes less of an effort for me to make that shift. I hope it'll only become more and more natural. Listening to meditations and reading/understanding about mindifulness helped a lot. I think it can help both the WS and BS in staying present and not getting completely sucked into the emotions around triggers.

Wishing you much luck and peace as you and your WS continue your journey. I hope it gets better for both of you with time and practice.

[This message edited by destroyedwayward at 10:13 AM, December 10th (Monday)]

inthedark99 posted 12/12/2018 09:08 AM

Good morning all, am opening up with a few questions this morning!

1. Can any of you WSís shed some light/experience on POLF as it pertains to your BS and how they managed it, how you managed while they were going through it? did your BS talk about it (if so, howíd that go), did you recognize it?

2. Social occasions, events, birthdays, holidays....UGH. am not interested in any of it. did any of your BSís experience that and how did you work thru that with them?

3. The dreaded affair season, trickle truth and DDís. (for me the whole process was about 5 weeks in duration) itís coming up not long after the dreaded holiday season. how did you all help your BS get through it?

As always, your willingness to respond is so appreciated.

hikingout posted 12/12/2018 09:45 AM

I am sorry, I am not familiar with POLF. I suppose your autocorrect could have changed PTSD to that?

I don't know if my H had PTSD. He never saw anyone other than our marriage counselor. However, I do believe he was traumatized, experienced depression and triggers, and some of the things you are asking about.

I hate to generalize but I think because my spouse is male there could be some differences in the way he exhibits and processes things. I think females (generally though not always) really try and verbalize their feelings as part of processing them. Though I do think females can sometimes hold back their feelings, they still sometimes work in a different way to understand them. In my situation, I had to watch him closely because he would not really want to connect with what he was feeling, so he would ignore it, or just chalk it up to a bad day. I use the generalization because boys grow up learning to be stoic and hiding their feelings. I don't think they get as practiced with processing and discussing, especially in the days my husband would have been a boy.


Also, in our household, he doesn't do the holiday trimming type stuff, that's just never fallen under his role. Last Christmas we were only a few months out. The hardest thing he said was putting on a happy face when the kids all came home. I took care of the details of the holiday. Can your husband do that instead of you? Or if you don't have children, do you need to go through the rigors?

I can say that for the first six months or so he had trouble with managing his work, and was sluggish on the weekends. I sometimes could get him to go out to have a walk or run with me (this practice increased over time), or to ride a long to do errands. I found that he was better when he was in my presence, so I tried to spend as much time as possible together when I wasn't working. I brought up the affair often and checked in with him a lot. Though, I did not do that early on - the first 6 months were rough in our household.

Early on I was so caught up in my shame I thought by not talking about it, it wasn't bringing it all up for him. I learned through this site that wasn't at all true, that it was always on his mind and me bringing it up was a relief to him.


Mostly I just tried to keep in mind that I had done all of it and I needed to try and do the best I could for him every day. I know in hindsight I failed some, and then in other ways I can see that once I had overcome my fears about brining up the affair, or sitting and just letting him talk and ask questions that things were easier for him. Not easy, but better.


Honestly, I think that while I did those things for his support, I think that he detached from me for some time. He envisioned his life without me. He made some plans on what that would look like and how that would work. He told me that he was going to be happy no matter the outcome. In other words, I had a part in showing him I was remorseful, that I wanted him, that I was taking care of my side of the street...but he did a lot too in getting to a better place. Detaching and having that back up plan provided him confidence and security. He kind of watched from a long way off from me on what I was doing, he was protecting himself as he should have been. When he finally came to terms that he could divorce me and be fine, that's when I saw him circle back and say that he didn't want that as long as I proved myself and kept proving myself for the rest of our lives.


I am not sure if that helped or not, but I think it took him finding ways to manage things along with me really showing my love, concern, and support towards him. And, showing him I was going to work on myself and make changes. That is still where we sit today 15 months past dday.

inthedark99 posted 12/12/2018 11:49 AM

Thanks for the insight @hikingout. Much of what you wrote about your BHís mindset resonates with me.

POLF is the plain of lethal flatness. I am currently parked there and am struggling to get out. Bad timing with that with the holiday season upon us, but thatís where I am.

hikingout posted 12/12/2018 12:07 PM

Ah....I am sorry, I don't always know all the acronyms.

My H hit that around month 8 and by month 9 had asked for a divorce. We even moved everything around to accommodate an in house separation.

My reaction at first was to accept his wishes. I was doing anything and everything to make that easy. That backfired because he took it as I didn't care. The folks here at SI helped me to make sense of that and I laid myself bare in what I wanted, how I felt. But, before they explained to me that he needed me to do that, I was operating under the understanding that I did it, and it wasn't up to me. That I didn't have the right to speak up and ask him to reconsider. I am glad I was here at the time, I really think it's possible that we would have continued that separation and possibly never gotten back on the road.

LoveGolf posted 12/13/2018 01:27 AM

Waywards who were not remorseful on Dday how long did it take you to become remorseful ?

Is there such a thing as fifty percent remorseful or is it always an all or nothing proposition?

Sayuwontletgo posted 12/13/2018 11:24 AM

LG I donít know if I knew what real remorse was on DDay. I was sorry and I knew that what I did was wrong but getting through the defensive, blameshifting and entitlement took atleast 3-4 months. The regret was immediate but learning the depth of the pain that I caused took some time. Is your wayward still in the fog of missing AP or just not showing you what you need?

DidItAndAshamed posted 12/13/2018 11:26 AM

LoveGolf -

As a WS, I will tell you that my remorse started long before the day it was discovered. I didn't like what I was doing, and I knew the bill for it would one day come due. A natural question would be: "why, if you felt remorse already, didn't you just cut it out before all went to hell?" That is a good question, but I find that there is not a satisfying answer. Lack of willingness and ability to deal with character flaws, weaknesses, selfishness, and cowardice is what put me in the situation to begin with, so it's a fool's errand to inject logic and wisdom during the infidelity.

When the fact of the infidelity came out, remorse was not the word I would choose. I would say that my first sensation was overwhelming sadness and guilt, because I could sense that some of the burden of my secret was taken off my back, and put onto my spouse's. The remorse came as the days passed and the questions started, and every single little detail that I'd buried and forgotten about was unearthed. The remorse grew from there and now there is a cumulative feeling of remorse, sadness, shame, and guilt. I think true remorse means that one can feel those things for themselves, yet manage it all quietly while they provide required support for the ones they've betrayed. To me, remorse means that one is willing to carry a similar burden that was carried concealing the infidelity, this time in support of the one s/he has betrayed.

I don't see how remorse can be partial, part-time, or conditional. It just has to be.

WantaFuture posted 12/13/2018 14:37 PM

Waywards, thank you for all the insights. My question is, in instances where your BS discovered an EA and you agreed to NC, how did you continue contact against you BS wishes. Thank you in advance.

Gravycake posted 12/13/2018 21:22 PM

Not for one second and not one word was exchanged afterwards. And have never even let the thought cross my my mind. I understand others have reacted differently.

Evertrying posted 12/14/2018 17:50 PM

For the waywards,

My H and I are moving forward and really trying to R. In a conversation we had recently, he made the comment that he hates himself everyday he wakes up. He hates the fact that he was weak and did such a horrible thing to me and to our marriage.
I believe his self loathing is hindering our healing. He wants to R and wants our marriage to heal and love and all the good stuff that needs to be present in a healthy marriage, but all the self hatred is in the way.
As a wayward, did any of you feel this way and some point and what did you do to over come it?

Barregirl posted 12/15/2018 06:40 AM

Evertrying, I got stuck in self-loathing for a few weeks at the beginning of recovery. It was definitely a roadblock for my BH and I. It was almost as if there was nothing but self-hatred. It didn't last that long though, because my H sat me down and talked me down from the ledge. He basically said that he didn't hate me for what I did. He was angry, hurt, and scared, but there was no hate and if we were going to try to fix us, then I had to find anger, hurt, and fear instead of hate. That really reasonated with me and a few days later, I wasn't stuck there. I still feel self-hatred sometimes, but that's ok, as long as it doesn't take a starring role.

Gravycake posted 12/15/2018 21:20 PM

I feel I dealt with being betrayed repeatedly better than I am dealing with being WW. When betrayed, I stuck my nose to the grindstone pushed forward without looking back and functioned on auto pilot as I do 90% of house chores, kids, running both of our businesses etc. The fallout didnít accumulate until realizing years later we had rugswept yet again. As a WW, I came unglued. My response for the first month or so was complete and and utter destruction. I couldnít eat. Or sleep. I drank and ran and cried. Two totally different ends of the spectrum. I canít explain why. Both reactions were just physical responses to my surroundings and scenarios. Iím hoping soon that johndoe will realize rugsweeping will get us nowhere and sooner or later we will either have to discuss the affair or discuss a divorce

blindsided18 posted 12/18/2018 09:22 AM

How long does it take for a WS to really understand the depths of what they've done?

hikingout posted 12/18/2018 09:38 AM

Wow, blindsided - I wish I could tell you. On this site I have seen a large variety of timelines.

If I were a bs, knowing what I know now, and I was interested in seeing if we could work it out - I would watch more for progress. Continual and consistent progress. I think many WS's go through stages, and some of the stages can vary or be omitted by the type of affair they had. Here is some general things I think are common:


1. After dday - some disorientation. They told themselves stories while in the affair to justify it to themselves. That has to begin to unravel as they reach for their whys and hows. Some of us go through affair withdrawal, which is we miss the chemicals that flooded our brain during the affair. We are sad and disjointed for a period of time.

2. The digging of the whys took me a good 8 or 9 months. And, The reason they are important to your question is they have to own that they had the affair - this is completely on them - that nothing you did or didn't do caused it.


3. As they realize this is on them, they will be freed up more to focus more energy on listening to you, understanding you, and taking responsibility.


4. This leads to remorse. I was getting to remorse by about the 9th month and that's continued to deepen as I understand more and more of what I have done.


Those are just general things. There are all sorts of bumps in the road or nuances that could effect things. Some will draw out the trickle truth and trying to protect your image of them for a longer period of time. Some have trouble leaving justifications aside. We get stuck along the way in our pride, shame, etc.


I have also seen some come to this site that got it all and got it very quickly, way quicker than I have. I would say about a year for me...but I have seen others draw that out to 2 and 3 years. I also know from some bs's here that some don't ever seem to get it.


So, with you being just a few months out, I would say watch and wait, and look for progress and that they are fighting to get to the right place. That their actions are consistent with wanting to R.

blindsided18 posted 12/18/2018 20:04 PM

Hiking, your posts always thrill me because they are so thought out, insightful and wonderfully written. Thank you so much for the response, I actually read it three times because there's so much good information!

AbandonedGuy posted 12/19/2018 07:11 AM

I have asked a different form of this question a few times now--oh how it nags at me--in different conversations, but what does it say about a completely remorseless cheater who then blocks you on everything after the legal heavy lifting is done? Someone who, it appears, is doing so to avoid facing the shame and having to answer to anyone or having someone around who knows their secret. Do these people even feel guilt? This type of WS is a rare breed around these parts, but I would love opinions on what they are thinking and if they eill EVER feel remorseful about what they did.

destroyedwayward posted 12/19/2018 12:56 PM

@blindsided18
I don't know that I'll ever know the depths of the pain or betrayal or loss the way my BS does. Realizing that has been my anchor anytime I start to feel sad about what I've done. That, by the way, was the first phase - what I've done. That the A, the ugly whole truth of it was on only me and I did it. No amount of shame or hiding or crying or redemption will undo it. The next phase was recognizing that whatever sadness I felt from my doing, he feels 100 fold. He's not punishing me (and even if he was, he'd be entitled to do so). And the current phase, that my remorse, my betterment, my empathy will not take away the pain I've caused, the pain I'll never feel because I was not the betrayed. What it does do - the learning, the consistency, the support - is ensure that I will inflict no more pain. There are many successful fWSs and through their writings, I found a common denominator in that they stepped fully and without hesitation into their own pain and their BSs, no matter the outcome.

Your recovery should be paramount to both you and your WS. Sending you both good thoughts and strength through this journey.

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