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Destroyed my BH

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Change4thebetter posted 6/5/2019 17:30 PM

You are currently not a safe partner for your BS.

LyingUnsafe partner for anyone.

Unable to remember crucial major details of your life Unsafe partner for anyone.

I know that Iím not yet a safe partner for him. I am not holding anything back but itís killing us that I donít have ALL of the information to give him.

Weíve made progress and heís getting details as they come back. Iím answering every and any question that I can by listening to my gut and not just relying on memory.

I know that people canít understand. I know Iíve felt the need to explain and defend myself. BH has defended me as well. Even though the answers are coming out slowly, Iím afraid itís too slow for BHís needs.

Morph posted 6/6/2019 00:29 AM

I havenít read all the responses and your replies, but I am responding because your post struck me (maybe triggered me) so take it for what itís worth..

Not long after DDay, my WH told me that his AP was better looking than me. Now (and for a while) my WH tells me he was wrong. He says he just couldnít hold me in his mind (or something). Anyway, not too long after his epiphany that I was in fact better looking (I am, but there is no accounting for taste), WS also told me about his amazing visual memory. I was irate. I do not want to hear about how good his memory is particularly when thatís his ďexcuseĒ about how he ďforgotĒ me. It has done permanent damage. I know I am attractive to other men, but I will never believe I am attractive to my husband. I canít tell you how much that hurts. Choosing to R means that I stay with a man that doesnít find me attractive (no matter how many times he tells me Iím wrong). I have given up (willingly for my kids) being with someone who finds me attractive. Itís a horrible choice. By the way, my WH and I get along very well these days, yet here I am. He has no idea of the depth of my pain. He canít handle it.

So, my point is that you need to be consistent ALWAYS. You canít tell him about your amazing memory and then expect him to believe or accept the holes in your memory. Let go that you have a great memory. You donít.

RocketRaccoon posted 6/6/2019 02:41 AM

Change,

This is something I am working in IC to figure out. My lack of initiative is from intense fear. I donít know the cause of it. Why am I SO afraid of hurt that I wonít take a chance? Why wonít I put myself out there and make myself vulnerable? Why do I fear rejection and loss so much? I donít know what happened in my life to be more than the normal amount of afraid.

Are you afraid of undergoing hypnotherapy because you don't want to find out more about yourself?

You wring your hands at why you cannot take the initiative to do things to help your BH feel safe with you, but make reasons (more like excuses) not to do them when things are suggested. Why is that?

A possibility could be; it is common to WS who want to R, to think of themselves as 'good people', and genuinely good people do not do such things, ergo, the WS blocks out the memory because they are good people, and don't do such horrible things.

You seem to want to be a remorseful spouse, but you cannot really reach that point because of your Pride, Ego, and Entitlement, which halts the development of Humility, which is crucial for reaching the point of Remorse.

I have read your BH's posts, and it is heartbreaking to see the potential that you two could have, but because of your own personal demons prevent you from reaching that potential.

It is a Catch-22 situation, your BH needs answers to feel safe with you, but you cannot give him the answers he needs. Until that cycle is broken, the two of you will spiral futher, and your children will be the ones who ultimately suffer, as they will have a set of parents who are heavily damaged individuals. This will not bode well for your children.

Take the initiative to break the cycle. Get IC, hypnotherapy, whatever you need (but for goodness sake, don't make up more lies for convenience) to break this destructive cycle. Try and find the strength to do this if you REALLY want to save your M.

Your level of actions will show your intent for the M.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 6/6/2019 08:19 AM

Being proactive and taking initiative has been something that Iíve been working on. A few months ago I would have said I was incapable of it. Today I say that I struggle with it. I may always struggle with it but today I at least put in the effort and try.

What does trying look like for you? I ask because I used to think I was trying before my affair. I felt like I had tried to talk to my husband about his drinking, I thought that I had been initiating sex more, I thought that I was supportive of him finding a more fulfilling career. When we really started communicating, I realized that my trying meant putting all of the effort on him. I would throw small bones and if he didnít pick them up, well it was his fault...I tried.

After DDay, I realized that trying meant not just starting a conversation and letting him pick it up, but listening to his side and taking in what he was telling me without getting defensive about it. Trying meant that if I threw him a hint and he didnít get it then I would keep trying different things and ways until he understood what I was saying or doing. Trying meant being ok with failing and trying again. Trying meant letting my husband see me warts and all.

Your husband is in an enormous amount of pain. Do you acknowledge that? Are you attempting to show him how special he is on a daily basis? Do you apologize for very specific acts without him prompting you? Do you mention the work you are doing without prompting?

Or is trying looking more like spinning your wheels, racking your brain? Ask yourself at the end of the day, what did I do to show BH I love him today? What did I do to work towards self healing? What did I do to become a safe partner again?

Change4thebetter posted 6/6/2019 17:33 PM

So, my point is that you need to be consistent ALWAYS. You canít tell him about your amazing memory and then expect him to believe or accept the holes in your memory. Let go that you have a great memory. You donít.

I brought that up just because until I found myself having so much difficulty retrieving the memories that he needed I found it ironic how I always used to pride myself on my excellent memory. Now, not at all.

You wring your hands at why you cannot take the initiative to do things to help your BH feel safe with you, but make reasons (more like excuses) not to do them when things are suggested. Why is that?

A possibility could be it is common to WS who want to R, to think of themselves as 'good people', and genuinely good people do not do such things, ergo, the WS blocks out the memory because they are good people, and don't do such horrible things.

I do believe I felt that way about myself. I thought I was a good person. I felt such intense shame and guilt over what I did that I blocked out those memories for years and had a very hard time recovering them...and even now there are only so many details that I can remember. Iím trying so hard to get to where I need to be in order to show remorse. I started IC and I want nothing more than to truly be able to develop humility and let go of my sense of pride, my ego and my sense of entitlement as you said. I havenít been able to truly express my gratitude to my BH for the patience and multiple chances heís been giving me. Heís been so focused on my healing and my ability to remember my past and remember what I did to him

Your husband is in an enormous amount of pain. Do you acknowledge that? Are you attempting to show him how special he is on a daily basis? Do you apologize for very specific acts without him prompting you? Do you mention the work you are doing without prompting?

Or is trying looking more like spinning your wheels, racking your brain? Ask yourself at the end of the day, what did I do to show BH I love him today? What did I do to work towards self healing? What did I do to become a safe partner again?

Right now itís a combination of the two. The effort is there but itís no where near enough. Iím doing much more than Iíve done our whole marriage but itís peanuts to make a difference to him at this point. I still struggle. I still spin my wheels and race my brain and get afraid. Right now Iím very afraid.

Booyah posted 6/6/2019 18:25 PM

"I always used to pride myself on my excellent memory".

You're 27 yrs old.

No mention of physical trauma to your head.

And now you're trying to spin it to your H that you can't remember details of your A?

Pull my other leg and it plays Jingle Bells.

Change4thebetter posted 6/6/2019 20:38 PM

You're 27 yrs old.

Iím 33.

And now you're trying to spin it to your H that you can't remember details of your A?

No physical trauma. Just immense guilt and shame from the A was traumatic to me and my character and who I wanted to be. I betrayed my self and my values long before I betrayed my BH.

[This message edited by Change4thebetter at 8:38 PM, June 6th, 2019 (Thursday)]

Pippin posted 6/6/2019 20:53 PM

Change4thebetter, setting aside your memory (which I understand is crucially important to him but is a fraught topic) what is the most important thing to your husband right now?

For my husband it shifted over time. First it was: don't leave. I had to decide and honestly and thoroughly reassure him that I wouldn't leave. Second, after several weeks, it was: try to be close to me however you can. We had quite a bit of hysterical bonding (of a different sort, more emotional than just sex) Third, a couple of months later: let me try to help you. I didn't want his help or believe he could be helpful, so I had to find ways to let him help me. Fourth, several months later, after the fog was lifting: you must understand who the AP really is and what really happened. I had to focus on listening and listening and try to understand, even though it was counter what I thought I understood. And so on.

I couldn't do everything at once even though the aftermath of the affair was absorbing almost all of my time, attention and emotional energy. The changes weren't totally sequential, but I had a big picture focus. Those were my husband's needs. What is the MAIN THING your husband needs right now? Can you put that in the center and work super hard on that? What have you already accomplished that works for him that you can hang on to (I think I remember reading better sex)? Can you make sure to keep doing that, and add the next thing?

RocketRaccoon posted 6/6/2019 21:02 PM

I havenít been able to truly express my gratitude to my BH for the patience and multiple chances heís been giving me.

Why not? Is it because your sense of self-entitlement is overriding the need to show empathy?

We BS know that words from a WS are cheap, but sometimes words do help.

Change4thebetter posted 6/6/2019 21:42 PM

What is the MAIN THING your husband needs right now? Can you put that in the center and work super hard on that? What have you already accomplished that works for him that you can hang on to (I think I remember reading better sex)? Can you make sure to keep doing that, and add the next thing?

There is one thing my husband has said repeatedly since dday that scares me. He says he needs for us to redo every big date and trip we took ASAP in order to make it better. He says it all has to be redone and redone better (heís not sure what better means though and Iím not either).

We are struggling so much financially right now, now we have two young kids and so much CC debt but he says our financial struggles are ultimately due to the way I treated him during the A and after dday. If I had been able to focus on him, support him and had been there for him then he would have been able to be more successful and we wouldnít be in this financial situation. He wouldnít have had such a long unemployment period due to his depression and being unable to get out of bed for months after dday.

I am honest to Gd petrified that I could lose him over this. Not because I donít want to. I just donít know how to make that happen and not have it ruin our future and further our financial troubles. There are some things that are more manageable but everything together is over 10K we donít have.

I have opened myself up to him tremendously in the bedroom. Weíve done so many things weíve never done before and so many things heís wanted but I had always said no to just because I wasnít interested in them and his pleasure didnít matter to me at that time.

Iím terms of communication and keeping each other company- there was never a time since I met him that Iíve spent so much time with him. Weíve spent our entire evenings together since dday. We communicate and talk like we never have before. These are things that he has needed but honestly I think these are things that I should have been doing all along so they donít feel like R work to him. And it doesnít feel like R work to me either. I have really been enjoying being near him and with him during good times and bad. Even being present and there during the dark times- I know 5 years ago I would not have been able to do it.

Why not? Is it because your sense of self-entitlement is overriding the need to show empathy?

We BS know that words from a WS are cheap, but sometimes words do help.

I would say yes. Iím still afraid to speak first. I know better now but it still scares me to rock the boat and Iím afraid of bruising my pride even though I KNOW that I shouldnít be thinking about myself at all.

EvolvingSoul posted 6/6/2019 22:04 PM

There is one thing my husband has said repeatedly since dday that scares me. He says he needs for us to redo every big date and trip we took ASAP in order to make it better. He says it all has to be redone and redone better (heís not sure what better means though and Iím not either).
Start with the low hanging fruit. You might not be able to do everything, immediately, but start with anything that you can do. The black and white thinking of "if we can't do every single thing the entire effort is doomed to failure" is not going to be helpful.

What is one example of one of these dates/trips that you can do now?

RocketRaccoon posted 6/6/2019 22:05 PM

I would say yes. Iím still afraid to speak first. I know better now but it still scares me to rock the boat and Iím afraid of bruising my pride even though I KNOW that I shouldnít be thinking about myself at all.

I wish there was a SMH icon to choose.

This is soooooo frustrating. At this rate, I will not need to go to get my hair cut, as I will be bald from pulling my hair out.

Both you and your BH are doing some kind of bizarre dance around each other. Each wanting the other to act first.

How will telling your BH that you value and appreciate him rock the boat? Yes, he will probably scream and yell, and berate you and tell you he does not believe you (after all the lies and TT, it would be tough to argue against that), but keeping quiet, and not doing ANYTHING would be even more frustrating.

Your BH needs to see action. You are scared your actions would 'rock the boat'. Catch-22.

Booyah posted 6/7/2019 06:43 AM

So you're 33 not 27.

How convenient that your "excellent" memory has now been distorted just for this one area of your life (affair details) but no other areas.

Zugzwang posted 6/7/2019 11:03 AM

This is something I am working in IC to figure out. My lack of initiative is from intense fear. I donít know the cause of it. Why am I SO afraid of hurt that I wonít take a chance? Why wonít I put myself out there and make myself vulnerable? Why do I fear rejection and loss so much? I donít know what happened in my life to be more than the normal amount of afraid.


Here is something that helps. So, you are afraid and in pain. Who cares. It is your BS...who is more afraid and in pain then you. With your BS. Can you grasp that? You are afraid of the very person you screwed over- who is in more fear of you and the pain you caused him? Yet, there he is trying to connect and you are pulling away and worried about the person who you hurt. So, why can't you put your pain behind you and focus that it is nothing to him because he is feeling exactly what you are feeling and more. Your issues begin to seem like a scratch to him. So, what is there to be afraid of if it is with him you are getting intimate with. It is ridiculous if you think about it. That you are afraid of taking a chance with someone that you hurt who is taking a bigger chance than you. It isn't even just ridiculous. It is selfish that you continue to make the chance of R about you. You don't want to be the selfish person anymore. You don't want to be the person holding the two of you together back. Just let go. You are afraid of taking a chance on a sure thing. Being vulnerable (which is what he has asked for and wants) with a person who is taking a chance already. I mean really. Push yourself over the hurdle already. Stop making the whole thing harder. There is nothing there left to protect. Build anew.

I am honest to Gd petrified that I could lose him over this.
You already have. Now, you are proving yourself worthy enough to be a friend and if take the initiative to trust yourself and be vulnerable and honest you just might gain a marriage better than it ever was.

[This message edited by Zugzwang at 11:05 AM, June 7th (Friday)]

Change4thebetter posted 6/7/2019 15:52 PM

Zugzwang- youíre right. I read your words and they are so on point. I need to get out of my head and get to work.

Pippin posted 6/7/2019 16:32 PM

I don't want to diminish that your husband needs to see actual progress in honesty, supporting him in the way he needs, etc. But for my husband something that went a long way was EFFORT. Even, and maybe especially, when the effort seemed to be not working.

So this:

There is one thing my husband has said repeatedly since dday that scares me. He says he needs for us to redo every big date and trip we took ASAP in order to make it better. He says it all has to be redone and redone better (heís not sure what better means though and Iím not either).

Can be reframed from an unreasonable request that you can't possibly meet financially, to an opportunity to show real effort and creative thinking based on what he has told you he needs.

For example: Creative Alternative Approach: pick a big date that he wants to re-do, maybe dinner at a 2 star restaurant. It can't be redone and redone better, because you can't afford to do that. Don't let that paralyze you. How could you make it happen in a different way? Get recipes from a 3 star restaurant. Learn to cook them. Plan a fancy picnic. Take candles, a blanket, the best strawberries of the season. Handwrite a fancy menu and beside each item write why you chose it just for him. Wear sexy underwear and slip a photo of you in that into the menu so he knows what "dessert" is. Take photos so he will remember that evening. Write a note on the back of the photo about how much you love him.

OR

Fantasy Approach: Print out the menus from a fancy restaurant in Hong Kong (or whatever city he dreams of going to). Snuggle together on the couch with Chinese takeout and fancy silverware. Circle what you would order in pink highlighter and have him circle what he would like in orange highlighter. Eat your takeout looking at photos of Hong Kong and what you would do during the day before the dinner. Pick a fancy hotel to sleep in, look at photos of the hotel pool, etc.

OR

Future Planning Approach: Print out a calendar five years from now. Circle a date. He's a details guy, right? Plan together a trip that re-does a trip you took before but so much better. Together (if he would like) or on your own (if he likes you to plan for him) make a daily itinerary around what he would like to do on the trip. Make a detailed financial plan for saving up for the trip. $X per month in trip savings gets you $60X in five years.

And *don't expect him to melt into your arms when you do these things.* Expect that you will make this effort, and he will complain and be annoyed that it isn't real, and be depressed and sad during it, and maybe sabotage your planning. Then if he doesn't do those things, it's all upside. And if he does those things, and you persist with the effort, he'll know that you are always there for him, not terrified of his sadness and despair, you will carry him when he needs it, imperfectly but with all the energy you have, making him your first and most important priority.

ugca36 posted 6/7/2019 17:19 PM

Pippin - These are great ideas on effort and not being limited. It has made me think of a few other places where I could be creative as well. Thank you for posting!

[This message edited by ugca36 at 5:30 PM, June 7th (Friday)]

SorrowfulMoon posted 6/7/2019 20:46 PM

I think you are a very lucky WS to get so much advice from many real heavyweight members here. Please have strong regard to that.

Have you considered seeing a Psychiatrist rather than just a counsellor? You seem to have some very deep seated issues. Perhaps even a medical check-up as well.

The next time you consider being defensive with your husband please bear in mind this quote that two highly respected and regarded members that are contributing to your thread will no doubt recognise:

Today those feelings are hitting me deep in the core of soul where it hurts and every time I feel that pain all I want to do is hold my dear husband because I know that whatever I feel, he feels it 100x worse!

Change4thebetter posted 6/11/2019 12:43 PM

Pippin- thank you so much for your ideas! I know that it wonít change what BH needs from me but getting creative and showing effort is something Iíve been struggling with.

Tonight weíre going on a date and re-doing one of our first dates. Iím actually getting nervous and the butterflies-in-my-stomach kind of excitement I would get before our dates.

Im so thankful for all of you that have been here for me and all of your advice. I assure you, it hasnít been falling on deaf ears. I know change takes time ans im trying to make this change as true and real as possible.

Pippin posted 6/11/2019 18:05 PM

Aw, have a wonderful time! He might like to hear about the butterflies.

I was just talking to someone else about let go of the outcome. That might help you too. Imagine that the worst happens tonight instead of the best. What if he is disappointed or it's not enough for him? What if he yells at you for missing a critical detail that shows your vast misunderstanding of him, or cries because it makes him so sad that he's in this place? I wouldn't give up! You can ask for a do-over and try again. And again. After five failures you can come to SI and ask for ideas to make a better date. Then try ten more times with ideas from your SI friends. And on the sixteenth do-over, when you give up and cry in a puddle and say you are so sorry, you want to do well and you just don't know how, I predict he would pick you up and tell you he loved the effort, the creativity, showing him he's your priority. I haven't read his threads but it sounds like he wants to reconcile, wants to love you and be loved by you, but his faith is very very shaky.

But I do hope it goes well tonight!

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