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Getting to "why"

anxietydepressio posted 11/26/2018 07:58 AM

I believe my BS has forgiven my drunken ONS. She has told me I no longer need to apologize, she doesn't want any more "details", and that she doesn't need to know about the character flaws that I am working on in IC. She has moved on.

Here is where I am trying right now. At times since we had this discussion I have felt great. Feeling like I just for the greatest gift in the world, and I will never look back.

However at other times I feel terrible. While she acknowledged that she sees that this was many years of my feeling bad about myself that just came to a head with this event. And I was using unhealthy ways of dealing with my low self esteem and anxiety, rather than getting counseling. We have never really talked about the specific "why" of this happening. We haven't talked about what I found in therapy (although on a few topics I have told her things I haven't told the therapist yet). She really only cares about my actions. She said "actions speak louder than words." She knows this was all my issue and she had nothing to do with it.

So the question is? Is the answer to "why" only important to me. That she doesn't need to know (or be burdened with) what I uncover in IC in order to forgive me? While it was a drunken ONS, I recognize this doesn't happen in a vaccum, that there are deeper issues at play. Is my wanting to go into the detail of "why" with her my way of sabatoging her forgiveness and validating my shame?

I know what I did wrong. I know why it was my issue (which I don't feel the need to go into detail about on here). I will continue IC to work on healthier ways to deal with my self esteem and anxiety.

hikingout posted 11/26/2018 08:12 AM

That's a hard question to answer.

It sounds like both of you are clear on your why. So, what you are really talking about is what you are going to do about your why. She knows that you are still in IC, and based on what you have written about knowing this didn't happen in a vacuum says that you are owning responsibility and your reasons.


It sounds a little like she wants to rugsweep. I am assuming your timeline is close to when you joined in March? However, I know there came a time when my H seemed to pivot more towards what I was doing about my whys rather than wanting to rehash details of the affair. He rarely wants to revisit that part of it any longer, and based on what I read here he is somewhat of an anomaly (A ended 17 months ago)

I think that maybe keep sharing epiphanies you have about yourself. You don't have to relate them to the affair, the affair was a symptom of these deeper issues. I think I would still tell her when you feel things - I express remorse often still. On Thanksgiving, I expressed how thankful I was for his grace and that we were able to have the special holiday together and with our adult children.


I guess what I am saying is I think you have to respect that she may not want to rehash the ONS any more (after all there could only be so many details to cover in a single event), but keep showing her that you are committed to dealing with your issues. I also hope that since this had to do with being drunk that you are abstaining from alcohol or at least following some sort of one or two drink rule and only when you are in each other's presence? If she needs actions, then those are the actions I would be showing. I think you still have to weave into each other's internal worlds and share what you learn about yourself and hold different discussions.


If it seems like she is just trying to bury it so she doesn't have to deal with it, maybe you guys could embark on couples counseling or something like that to ensure that you aren't burying a timebomb into your marriage.

thatbpguy posted 11/26/2018 08:18 AM

From a BS perspective, either she is rug sweeping or has emotionally moved on from you as a spouse. If you have had on-going issues for years and have not properly addressed them, then maybe she simply has had enough and just doesn't care. I do not say this to be harsh, but there comes a point in time when if a spouse isn't going to help themselves, the other just tunes it out and stays in the marriage for various reasons.

Suggestion: Work very hard on making yourself better and in so doing try to become a better spouse. Easy to say, I know, but nonetheless important.

anxietydepressio posted 11/26/2018 08:32 AM

She hasn't "emotionally" moved on. She has shown me that she loves me in MANY ways especially recently. So that is not the issue. In fact she has told me that she feels closer to me now than ever, and she is very proud of the changes she has seen in me.

I will talk to my IC today about this recent revelation. He knows my situation better, and will hopefully give me more guidance.

Hikingout, I went back and reread yours and I want to clarify. She is willing to talk to me about anything that I want to share with her from IC. However she said I don't need to. I guess that is a pretty big difference. Again this to me isn't rugsweeping. However she DOES NOT want to have details about that night. I imagine that is so she doesn't have mental movies assosiated with it.

[This message edited by anxietydepressio at 8:49 AM, November 26th (Monday)]

thatbpguy posted 11/26/2018 09:09 AM

She hasn't "emotionally" moved on. She has shown me that she loves me in MANY ways especially recently. So that is not the issue. In fact she has told me that she feels closer to me now than ever, and she is very proud of the changes she has seen in me.

That's really great!

Keep at it.

NeverWillAgain posted 11/26/2018 11:28 AM

anxietydepressio

Is my wanting to go into the detail of "why" with her my way of sabatoging her forgiveness and validating my shame?

I think you are reading too much into this. For her, she wants to see actions and that is how she will know you are doing the work. Actions take time and consistency to demonstrate. It's quite admirable, actually. Many BS want to know every little thing, in a way, over manage, in order to start the process to feel safe again.

I think you want to show progress faster and telling her what you are finding helps you demonstrate your progress. It's just not the process she wants. So, keep working on yourself and doing, living right. It's seems to me it's working by your comments on her attitude towards you. Why not journal it instead? Then, if someday she want to know more, hand it to her.

OrdinaryMuse posted 11/26/2018 11:49 AM

Just another BS perspective. In my process with my WH, I've had to work on boundaries and what is my space and my things to work on and what is his. The more space I give him to own his process and do what he needs, the more he has the opportunity to grow and claim it. So, he can do his work and know he chose it instead of doing it because I pushed or insisted. Sounds like your BS is offering a gift and getting in touch with her boundaries. I want my WH to feel free to have IC just for him. When he comes to me and shares his heart and emotions and what he is discovering and learning, it is a gift in return that I greatly appreciate and helps me to know that he is proactive and the process is not my burden alone.

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