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Destroyed my BH

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Change4thebetter posted 6/12/2019 06:16 AM

The date went terribly. I first messed up in a big way and misinterpreted what he wanted. I chose a place he was not ready for and while I had some thoughts throughout the day that I really need to change the plan I didnít say anything until it was too late and he brought it up.

Then I spent hours trying to come up with an alternative plan but he nixed all other ideas. We left the house almost 30 min later than we intended to and then sat in the car for another 30 minutes trying to come up with something to do. It was miserable for him and I felt defeated and worn out.

At the end of the night BS said that was only one night of wasted effort on my part...imagine how long he tried and failed with me during the first few years of our relationship when I wasnít receptive to him or his efforts. I didnít know how to respond to that. I just felt so badly for my previous disgusting behavior towards him.

I didnít get defensive last night. I took in and listened to what he had to say no matter how much it hurt I didnít tune him out or lash out at him. Iím still so thankful that he is here with me and giving me these chances. Iím afraid of shutting down on him while feeling like a failure.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 6/12/2019 13:34 PM

I feel like these dates can be a really great opportunity to learn to communicate with your BH.

First of all, I recommend no surprises. Make sure he knows ahead of time where you are going so that big of you can discuss possible triggers. Heís been surprised enough at this point. Itís ok to let go of any expectations or outcomes.

Let him know why you chose the date you did. Why you feel itís important and why you want to recreate it for him. This can open a dialogue about the specific hurt you have caused and allow for an opportunity to demonstrate remorse and empathy regarding that pain.

Have back up plans. Know ahead of time that his feelings are all over the place. What may sound ok one hour could possibly change within the next.

Last, try to understand that even when a date appears to have failed, a lot of good can from from it if you keep an open mind. For example, he opened up to you to try to show you how he felt and you didnít get defensive. That is actually a success in my book.

sisoon posted 6/12/2019 13:46 PM

I'm really sorry the date didn't go well. Healing is a marathon, though ... you can recover.

I recommend giving up trying to control outcomes. After all, if a bad date kills R, I don't see how R was going to succeed anyway.

As a BS, I hated when my W thought she understood what I wanted. The 'mind reading' is projection, and I wanted her to see me as I was, not as some construct in her mind.

Therefore, I recommend asking for what you want. For example, you may want to give your H a hug. I suggest saying something like, 'I'd like to hug you. Would you like that?'

OTOH, if you really want a hug from him, ask for one.

Think straight. Talk straight.

Oh - remember KISS: Keeping It Simple is Smart.

And yeah, easier said than done - but eminently worth the effort

[This message edited by sisoon at 2:11 PM, June 12th (Wednesday)]

Change4thebetter posted 6/12/2019 16:10 PM

Thank you WOE and Sisoon.

I feel like Iím failing at life right now.

Iím barely hanging on.

BH wonders how I function and get through my day ...

I have to be strong for him, I have to be strong for my kids and I have to find my own strength because I know heís worth the fight and he deserves my blood, sweat and tears now.

I want nothing more than to turn back time. I want nothing more than BH to be happy and content as he once was. I feel obligated to give back what I stole from him.

Booyah posted 6/12/2019 19:16 PM

"I feel obligated to give back what I stole from him"?

How can you "steal" something from him that you never gave him to begin with?

RocketRaccoon posted 6/12/2019 22:07 PM

How much effort you put into your M MUST be more than what you put into your affairs.

You did not 'hit the spot' with the date, so what? Try again! Do something to create new memories, not try and put some foundation cream over an existing scar.

Your BH will want to see how much you value your M with him, and part of that is putting in the Herculean effort.

You had shown that your vows were meaningless to you when you first got married, and that could be a fundamental issue that your BH is feeling (BTW, don't think about renewing your vows just yet. Too soon, as it might come off as a mockery).

You were supposed to forsake all others, but instead, he probably feels that you forsook him for your AP. Your AP got to have you and his own wife, and he 'won' in a sense. Your BH will feel this loss.

So, what do you do? Fall in a heap, and have a self-pity party, or put on your Big Girl pants, and do what you need to do to make your BH feel wanted/needed again?

sisoon posted 6/13/2019 15:01 PM

I have to be strong for him, I have to be strong for my kids and I have to find my own strength because I know heís worth the fight and he deserves my blood, sweat and tears now.
I don't think a person can heal for someone else. A person has to heal for him/herself. I urge you to find good reasons for healing yourself.

Self-motivation for doing the necessary work, coupled with actually doing the work, sets up a virtuous cycle.

I think you'll have an easier time if you heal for your self. After all, if you heal for your self and he decides to D, at least you heal. And if he doesn't choose D, you heal and become a good partner.

LivingWithPain posted 6/13/2019 17:58 PM

You talk about your husband like he's your dad.

Just an observation.

Zugzwang posted 6/13/2019 19:49 PM

Honestly, I wouldn't say the date was a waste. You are learning empathy.

At the end of the night BS said that was only one night of wasted effort on my part...imagine how long he tried and failed with me during the first few years of our relationship when I wasnít receptive to him or his efforts. I didnít know how to respond to that. I just felt so badly for my previous disgusting behavior towards him.I didnít get defensive last night. I took in and listened to what he had to say no matter how much it hurt I didnít tune him out or lash out at him. Iím still so thankful that he is here with me and giving me these chances. Iím afraid of shutting down on him while feeling like a failure.
You are learning to appreciate what other people did for you. You are learning to stop being entitled. You are learning humility and how to not be defensive. You weren't a failure. You learned and faced things.

Zugzwang posted 6/13/2019 19:50 PM

You can feel good about that. You can feel good about the understanding and the bridge of communication.

66charger posted 6/14/2019 09:50 AM

Effort can only be wasted if it is used on the wrong person.

The date went badly because the BS could not appreciate the effort. The initial request was a tall order. The solutions suggested by someone here, were really good. Unfortunately, the BS expecting perfection or mind reading was setting you up to fail.
Berating someone who is trying to fulfill your request seems petty. Calling the effort wasted and tying it to the affair is just...sad.

Not a fan of selective memory or the inability to give an A for effort even if the results were a D.

Some WS are not good candidates for reconcilliation. A BS who lives in perpetual victimhood is not one either.

Change4thebetter posted 6/14/2019 18:26 PM

I think you'll have an easier time if you heal for your self. After all, if you heal for your self and he decides to D, at least you heal. And if he doesn't choose D, you heal and become a good partner.

This is something that BH finds so unfair but we both know that this is true and I canít heal him. He does, however, need my support and strength to help him heal.

There are days I feel stretched so thin. I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders but I canít and donít let it break me. I canít because I did this and I need to carry him right now while he is working on his own healing. 5 years ago I would have run so fast from this mess I created. I wouldnít have it in me to do anywhere near this much work. I would have denied my problems and taken the easy way out.

You can feel good about that. You can feel good about the understanding and the bridge of communication.

Ultimately BH didnít feel like the date was a waste. It was my lack of effort in the initial plan- going somewhere with so many triggers and misunderstanding what he wanted. The alternative ideas I came up with afterwards were options that he could work with on a better day but I had already destroyed his mood. The communication we have had since then though has been very good and beneficial to us both.

We both went to IC this week and I think it was good for both of us.

I am questioning whether or not I should continue with this particular IC. Iíve spent 3 sessions so far talking about the A and my past. Iím just not so sure how I feel about her. Iíve never had IC so I didnít quite know what to expect and Iím not sure if she is any good or not. I feel like I have too much control of the session. There are things sheís said about my BH, his actions and reactions that I feel like I spend time defending him and Iím surprised by some things she says.

For example, she had concerns about him still constantly digging into my past and the vigor with which he still feels the need to do so, his still pretty constant scouring into my google history and lab results going back 5+ years and then how it makes him feel and how angry it makes him. She says, ď how long can he continue like this. Itís not healthy for him, it doesnít allow for trust to be rebuilt and itís not good for you either because at some point itís going to upset you too.Ē I agreed with the first half. So did BH. Itís the second half that bothered me and I had to say that while I know it shouldnít go on forever, I understand his need now to get as much info as he can. It doesnít bother me for him to look through my stuff, I have nothing Iím trying to hide and if anything his searching is what brought the PA to light but there hasnít been anything else to be found since then and it only bothers me to see him get so upset by that.

She made comments about his emotional maturity. While they were pretty on point it irked me that she felt she could say these things about him even though she admitted herself that she never evaluated him so please take it with a grain of salt and I havenít felt like sheís been evaluating me. Do I have to ask her to??

After my IC sessions BH and I would discuss and BH would ultimately get upset. I would get upset as well. BH requested that I call him immediately to tell him what happened in my sessions. We have been having fights afterwards because some revelations I made that involved him I would tell over without having had time to fully process or soften the blow. He said he doesnít want me to wait to discuss my session with him because he didnít want me to re-write the session or misinterpret things. After my sessions would ask what I told her, how I told her, did I remember this detail or that, what did she say, etc. Iíve been feeling like I canít really be 100% honest and vulnerable with both my therapist and my BH for fear of hurting him and I feel like my IC is compromised by this. While I do understand his need to know and I will do what he asks, it has been very difficult and I donít know if the problem is me, my IC or my BHís requests. Instead of IC for me itís been feeling like warped MC without BH for the session and without IC for the discussion afterwards.

Iím willing to leave this IC if sheís no good. Iím happy I was able to open up with her but Iím on chartered territory and I have a lot of doubts and uncertainties about how this is supposed to work. I also feel like I need to give it some more time. I donít know what to do yet. Iíve asked BH if we could either a)not discuss my session until I get home. Itís a ten minute drive and I feel like I could use that time to organize my thoughts before telling them all over to him or b) let me share what Iím comfortable with afterwards and let him know how it went but not doing an immediate play-by-play of the session and having him ďdirectĒ it after it already happened and thereby getting upset by what I chose to discuss or how I said things etc.
As of now BH doesnít feel comfortable with either of these options so I feel at a loss. I really want to make IC work.

Booyah posted 6/14/2019 20:40 PM

Ok I'm calling total bullshit on your counselor having "concerns about him still constantly digging into my past and the vigor with which he feels the need to do so"????

You want to know WHY he "feels" the "NEED" to "do so"?

Because the person who should be providing him with the info he needs (YOU!!!!) is NOT giving it to him because she is hiding behind some lame ass excuse that she can't remember (more like chooses not to do so).

And this counselor can't understand this? Yes you need a new counselor ASAP!!!

Yes "it's not healthy for him" and "how long can he continue this"?? And at "some point it's going to upset you too"??

It's not that you're "hiding" info but you're not providing any either.

The problem here is that even now you have no idea what empathy is because if you did you would have the damn courage to face the truth and quit hiding behind "I can't remember".

Until you come clean this marriage will never be saved.

You realize your marriage is on life support, correct?

"And the truth will set you free".

Rustylife posted 6/15/2019 10:15 AM

I'll have to agree with your IC as well. You should continue with her. Becoming an 'ideal remorseful wayward' does not mean losing your own individual voice and having to agree to arbitrary and unreasonable demands. You can disagree and not follow through with him on demands that don't sit well with you. Try to explain your POV as best as you can and with as much empathy as you can.

Him acting out in this way is maybe because you still haven't tried in any way to disclose the full details of this affair. This scouring of your google results sounds so invasive and unhealthy. He'll never heal if this keeps going on. Even if I accept the theory that you have gaps in your memory, you could atleast answer the broad questions with something other than "I don't remember". Did you have sex with the guy after marriage? Did you meet up with him afer marriage? Were there other affairs after marriage? Your level of emotional attachment with the guy(that you still try to minimize). Answering these broad questions will surely help and you really haven't ventured one step in this way. You guys had a relatively short courtship(if we can even call it that) but look at how much the goalposts have moved in your favor since it all came to light. Tbh I'd have walked away from what sounds like an intensely mediocre marriage a long time back. 7 men in 2 yrs is virtually nothing in the grand scheme of things. It's the lies and deceit and the general callousness that is the most destructive part of your affair.

Put the brakes on any deeper introspection and fill the basic broad details of the affair if you can. And no need to completely lose yourself and acquiesce to unreasonable requests. I think you both are wildly incompatible and would be better off with other people but that's not my call to make.

He'll have to heal himself even if it's unfair. And recreating every past date even when you're in a financial hole? Not prudent imo. You have kids and I don't see how this really helps. 100 exotic dates won't fill his void as well as a single statement of truth and authenticity from your side. Even if it's something he won't like to hear and even if it's something that drives you guys apart. Start with that. You both are desperate for reconciliation. Him out of love/codependency and you out of guilt/obligation. Let go of the outcome and be honest with him.

RocketRaccoon posted 6/16/2019 21:41 PM

Sorry, but your BH's behaviour is a direct product of the TT and the multiple DDays.

He probably feels that the M is no longer on solid grounding, and that is throwing him off badly. He wants to be able to find somewhere that is solid, real, and untainted, so that he can find comfort.

As long as there are new revelations, there can be no stability in his mind. He will always be hunting for the truth. It is extremely unhealthy for him, but unfortunately, you had put him there.

Now, you will have to find ways to get your M on solid foundations. Making new memories with him is one way. Memories that are not tainted with the thought of your APs. All the memories has currently has are tainted. He feels that on all the romantic dates/memories, you were thinking of your APs, and not him, so those memories are no longer special to him.

So, what are you going to do to help get your M on solid foundations? *based on the assumption that you want your M to survive*

High effort has higher chances of high rewards.

BraveSirRobin posted 6/16/2019 22:03 PM

I don't think IC is going to have much of a chance at success if you're required to disclose every detail to your BH immediately afterwards and submit to his armchair quarterbacking. The point of IC is to try to heal yourself. In this process, you may unearth thoughts and impulses that you would never disclose to another human being outside of therapeutic confidentiality. You need to feel safe in that moment of self-confrontation, or you're just going to lie to yourself in therapy the same way that you lie outside of it. That's a waste of everyone's time.

IC is individual counseling. You are the individual. I feel deep compassion for your BH, who is left in the dark about things he has every right to know, but a complete transcript of your counseling sessions does not fall into that category.

sisoon posted 6/17/2019 17:30 PM

I tend to agree with BSR here. I think all the BS in R really needs is to be assured that the WS is, in fact, committed to R, committed to changing from betrayer to good partner, and is being honest with her IC.

Rather than debrief the way it seems your H wants, let me suggest the following:

1) Sign a release that allows your IC to talk with your H.

2) Conduct periodic joint sessions in which your H can get (honest) assurance that your goal is to R and that you're being honest with your IC.

[This message edited by sisoon at 5:30 PM, June 17th (Monday)]

Pippin posted 6/17/2019 17:58 PM

This is more in response to your original post than the IC branching, but I've been mulling it over for a while.

I think I see some of my own story in yours, and since your husband seems like he wants to reconcile, Iíll share what has worked for us in hope there's something in there that helps. (Iíll note that our story is far from complete).

Hereís what I see: You engaged in relationships and sex that was secret, illicit, rule-breaking, and totally against what is acceptable in your community. During that time, you met your husband and had an immediate attraction to him. But he fit the norms of your community. You wanted to be a person who could be with him and you wanted to leave behind the other person, so you hid what you had done and what you had felt, super-compartmentalized, actually forgot, mentally moved on. It was hard to do that on a dime - you had a links to the past (the EA that you brought in to the marriage) but that stopped after a while. You thought you had successfully left behind that part of your life and moved on. And you were so used to hiding that part of yourself from your husband (and from yourself) that it didnít even feel like the ďyouĒ who married your husband doing that.

Thatís parallel to my story in some ways. The sexual life I had before I dated my husband was something I wanted to hide and forget. I didnít think it had any place with my husband, who seemed to follow all of our communityís rules so successfully with nothing of his own to hide. I loved my boyfriend/husband and wanted so much to be with him, but I thought that the part of me that engaged in those impersonal, emotionally violent sexual interactions had no place with him, so I put it away. I gave him a vague cover story that had some poetic truth to explain my eyebrow raising reputation, and he tacitly agreed to not ask anything else because I signaled it was off limits. I thought that part of me would shrivel up and fade, and I only showed him the part of me that I thought conformed to what he wanted to see.

So you and I both had sexual lives that were not acceptable to our communities, met a ďgoodĒ man that we loved, were worried and ashamed that we had feelings and impulses that we thought were not able to come out around our husbands, and stuffed the feelings away to we could get on with our good lives. Our husbands worry that they are inadequate/Plan B because they think our ďrealĒ feelings are the stuffed away ones; we think they are off-base because those feelings are bad and we are trying to get rid of them and leave them behind.

Iíve finally allowed him to see and know everything, and Iíve been shocked Ė and relieved and excited Ė to find that my husband actually likes all the crazy parts of me. He loves them, in fact. Not the affair. But the intense fighting way I was trying to deal with my life, all on my own. The violent sexual power plays Ė he LOVES that. He's not such a rule-following guy himself, it turns out. We find ways to elicit it, within our marriage. He feels so much more like a man, Plan A, all I want and need. And he is sweet and gentle and loving in talking about the hurt that caused all of that craziness, to be part of the healing that will allow me to not be driven by those impulses but to understand them and manage them.

Iím sure there are many reasons your husband is spending frenetic energy checking into your past but at the root I think he wants to know who is this woman I married? Does she really want me or is she pretending? And as he discovers more of who you ďreallyĒ are I think heís despondent, in part, because you are not allowing him a place all parts of you. But I think heís also fascinated with who you are. He probably sensed a rule-breaking side of you when he was first attracted to you and loved it. He may want MORE of that for himself. I think he wants to know that side of you, and he wants to share that with you. I wouldnít be at all surprised if he is thrilled by breaking rules with you in reality and in fantasy. So part of creating that timeline for you is giving him a gift of the full you, not warts and all, but fascinating nooks and crannies. Don't be ashamed of it - own it! You were not some rule following patsy*, you wanted to live! And then figure out how to give him ALL of you in the marriage. Tell him just how ďbadĒ you are, what your secret passions are, and you may find that, directed at him, he doesnít think itís bad at all. This is what will help you be honest and not hide. It will be reassuring to him if he is able to know and meet all of your needs, and it will feel healing and make you more in love with him than ever if you feel like the whole Change4theBetter is known, accepted, and loved.

*note - one problem with too many rules is that the dumb ones that you were probably rebelling against (good girls should not be sexual) get tossed out with the really really important ones (stay away from married men). Your husband can you figure this out.

HellFire posted 6/18/2019 09:06 AM

I think your IC has no clue about infidelity.

Is it healthy for your husband to keep digging? Right now, yes. He is desperate to figure out what has happened during his marriage. He is,what? Four months out? His digging is normal. Add in he has a wife who had TT, who also claims to not remember extremely significant events that happened 3 to 4 years ago, and of course he is digging. Not healthy? Neither is living with an unsafe person. But..you're ok with that. You want that. But the digging might uncover more of the truth,so that's unhealthy.


Some believe you were traumatized by the pregnancy scare,and that is why you couldn't remember having sex with another man during your marriage. That's a huge stretch in my opinion. Because,you had sex with him again after that pregnancy scare.

The kindest thing you could do,is tell him the truth.

[This message edited by HellFire at 9:17 AM, June 18th (Tuesday)]

Butforthegrace posted 6/19/2019 20:38 PM

Iím sure there are many reasons your husband is spending frenetic energy checking into your past but at the root I think he wants to know who is this woman I married? Does she really want me or is she pretending?

Agree with this 100%. One major aspect of infidelity is that it creates an "intimacy hole" in the marriage. The only effective way to fill that hole is, well, to be intimate, which means sharing, with blunt, brutal honesty, all of the details the BS wants to know about that period. Your BH is trying to do that on his own because you are failing to do it for him.

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