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nowYOUseeME posted 7/8/2019 00:51 AM

My WH is struggling with guilt, shame etc. I know it's not my responsibility to save him but I'd like to throw him a life preserve in the form of a book or pod cast.

He is not spiraling into depression yet but I can see that overwhelming look on his face. We are hunting for a new IC as last one said A was my fault and even WH felt he was way off base and must be a WS himself.

Any advice would be great.

foreverlabeled posted 7/8/2019 07:07 AM

Even though I've not actually read any of her books,just Ted talks, Brene Brown is great for shame work.

Also, Healing Your Emotional Self (Beverly Engel) was a game changer for me. This one might prove to highly useful.

And finally, Unfuck Yourself (John Bishop) this one has a tough love approach which works for me. Plus it's humorous. I like this because it allows for you to make your own conclusions and requires thoughts of your own.

Chaos posted 7/8/2019 07:16 AM

Here's the thing. [after multiple DDays I've become quite cynical].

I get it. I really do. You see him suffering and want to help. That shows a lot of beauty inside of you.

It is not your responsibility to save him. You know this I think. I get wanting to throw him a life preserver. He may even use it to float to shore. [I've BTDT with my WH]


Until he kicks his damn feet because he wants to save himself - all he's doing is spending his energy looking pathetic for you to see.

If he truly wanted to save himself - he'd do his own research and find his own damn book. Or IC. Or podcast. Or article. It isn't hard - they are out there at the click of a button.

You can lead him to water. You can't make him drink. BUT he already knows the way. If he's sitting there stewing in his own juices waiting for you to lead him because its easier than getting off his ass and walking the damn path - he's not ready or worthy of you.

He's just spending a lot of his time, effort and energy making you feel the need to dance for him. Tell him to get off his ass and do it his damn self.

I hope you spend the time, effort and energy you are spending on trying to help him heal on helping yourself. Because, quite frankly, that's what should be happening. Him doing the work on himself and showing empathy for you. Not the other way around.

tl502 posted 7/8/2019 07:38 AM

Brilliant post as usual, Chaos.

Learning to be a fws is a difficult journey. He has to step up to the plate and show you that he is worthy of R. Otherwise, he just isnít a safe partner.

hikingout posted 7/8/2019 07:38 AM

Ws here.

I agree with Chaos. He has to be self motivating and come to this himself. Change has to happen because he canít stand himself not because he feels an external motivation. It will always be to put on a show if he thinks he needs to be this or that to stay and all that does is take one inauthentic behavior and trade it for another.

I donít know how far out you guys are but judging from your start date itís not far at all. The state you describe him to be in is a necessary stage I believe. I think the shame keeps us thinking about who we need to become and the pain spurs on the work. Very rarely have I seen someone change because they are happy or comfortable. Be careful not to coddle him and to focus your attention on your own healing and what you need from him. Donít take the stance that you continue to stay in the back seat because he is going through so much. It would be my instinct to try and ease my husbandís pain too so I understand that comes from love. But be comfortable that heís uncomfortable- he should be and needs to be. He should not want to stay where he is.

That being said, I have read Brene Brown and agree with that as a suggestion. Rising strong had me thinking about vulnerability and authenticity and the ways that my shame had kept me from being those things. Change is very slow. It took me almost a year to come to terms with a lot of that and to dedicate myself to getting out of my shame. Keep expectations on him but know that change takes pain and discomfort and there will be a lot of stages to get through to the other side. Holding him accountable is a good thing for him. My h did that and it reminded me that we love by doing - itís a verb - the effort has to be there 100 percent. Those actions I put forth was part of what burned out the shame. The actively loving him and utter commitment to that helped so much in my own healing. So donít worry about him feeling better - there arenít short cuts - he has to climb out of this himself.

[This message edited by hikingout at 7:39 AM, July 8th (Monday)]

landclark posted 7/8/2019 08:32 AM

I am a BS and I completely understand where you're coming from. I love my WH, truly, and hate seeing him hurting. Hate seeing him crying. I also hate that I care about it though because I am hurting and need to deal with that first. I can't heal both of us. It's just too much.

It's a regular struggle, but I am getting better about putting my needs and feelings first. My WH is going to IC (we also do MC), and will read Not Just Friends with me. He also follows these forums. I will check out the other books mentioned above as well, but at the end of the day he needs to do the work. He has a lot to prove at this point, and taking that initiative is an important step.

[This message edited by landclark at 8:33 AM, July 8th (Monday)]

totallydumb posted 7/8/2019 09:05 AM

Chaos, that was a excellent post.

sisoon posted 7/8/2019 09:29 AM

Chaos and hikingout often say what i want to say. This is one of the few times I will put forward a slightly different view.

The thing with shame is that it's sometimes impossible to get out of without help. IOW, I think suggesting a book may be worth while, especially if he asks for help.

BTW, in seeking a new IC, he can ask about the IC's views on responsibility for cheating and the IC's approach to healing from betraying one's partner.

For the record, I believe the WS heals the WS. This is one of the very few areas - maybe the only area - for which I think unsolicited counsel is OK.

Shocked123 posted 7/8/2019 09:42 AM

Chaos and Hiking out, Great posts.
NOW, my WH did exactly as you are describing. Sometimes I felt it was sincere and other times I felt he was using his guilt to keep me at bay. He knew I had a hard time watching him wallow in self-pity and remorse and he got what he needed from it; compassion and acceptance from me.
To do it over, I would certainly be firm with my expectations of him getting help without me guiding it. However, in the back of my mind, I feared that he would take his own life and for the sake of my children and the love I still have for him, I did help him out with seeking therapy.
Once he felt stronger, he sought help. Once that got hard, he gave it up and claims to be "fine".
My window of opportunity is very narrow now. When I bring up therapy that has been pushed aside, he becomes defensive.
What I am trying to say is that there is a period of time in which your H will be open and cooperative. The more the spouse allows them their own time and takes a gentle approach, the less they become accountable for their recovery and healing.
I am sure your H has full intentions to feel better one day but he has to want it for himself, not because you want it for him or your marriage.
I'm just don't want you to experience what happened to me.
I'm not trying to be hard on your H but only want what's best for you and your healing.
Good luck.

nowYOUseeME posted 7/8/2019 19:51 PM

Thanks for all the replies.

I come first now, I have been in IC twice a week since dd as I have PTSD so I need to be vigilant in regards to PTISD.

He has not asked for my help and he tries to hide his shame. We have times for our talks and have a time limit, this is what I need to not become overwhelmed. I still don't know where I sit in D or R. Being pregnant my judgement is screwed on top of post dd screwed.

Thank you for your concern in regards to it being false shame etc. It is nice to look at things from a different angle. I'll watch him over the week and our next talk it out coffee date.

This site is an invaluable tool to my recovery. That is where most of my energy goes. I guess I am worried as over our last two coffee dates that look in his eyes has got dull and dark. I recognise that look from the mirror when my PTSD triggers.

We have always watched Ted talks together so I may try that Avenue as a gentle nudge for him.

Seriously thanks again and now I'll sit back and watch him and check his motives.

SuZQ154 posted 7/9/2019 13:40 PM

Your heart seems to be to save your marriage. Taking care of yourself spiritually, emotionally, and physically are so important right now. There is hope and if both of you are willing to work HARD individually and together, you might be able to restore your marriage. It seems like that is what you want and it will be HARD and take a long time. Marriages are worth fighting for. Blessings and prayers!

Pippin posted 7/9/2019 14:16 PM

I'm a WW.

I agree with Hikingout and Chaos. When you want to heal, there is help everywhere around you. It's impossible to miss. That doesn't make it easier to do the work, but you put out your hand, and there is IC, websites, TedTalks, books, forums, journaling, literature, poetry, art, etc etc etc. The help is abundant, if you want it.

I also agree wholeheartedly with sisoon.

The thing with shame is that it's sometimes impossible to get out of without help.

The help that I needed was an environment where I could work on myself without fear of judgment or abandonment. My husband understood that and tried to provide that environment, while not denying what he needed or how he felt, without denying reality and patiently helping me see it.

What I needed was pretty specific to the things I feared. Do you know what he fears? Can you provide reassurance for his fears so he can settle his fears and get to work?

I know I didn't deserve his help and wasn't entitled to it.

nowYOUseeME posted 7/9/2019 18:22 PM

Sorry cant quote on my phone.
I am not sure of all his fears but one is me walking away.
As we were in different states when he had the A I feel it was like a freedom from everything, then when he visited for holidays he realised what he was really missing and that was us, not his fantasy life.

He knows I am struggling to stay as I grew up in a house who's father was a serial cheater. What my siblings and i dealt with as kids weighs heavily on me. I dont want that for my kids.

He knew that when we started dating as i said to him then that it impacts all my relationships now.

So long story short, he knows i am not all in yet, my past is clouding my judgement. My father's character was to constantly cheat in his 15 year marrige to my mother. That's what my IC is helping me with. Yes all WS have a similar play book, some its character some it's a time of weakness and selfishness in their life.

I'll try to bring it up next coffee date. He may open up but I wont push. Same with a new IC for him, I wont push as he needs to do it. I know when I needed it, I found it hard to just make that first appointment and to find one I felt comfy with.

Part of me wants to throw a book at him and tell him to wake up, but I cant as that benefits no one.

I need him to be safe and stable for our children and especially with a new one due soon.

He is fighting for me, fighting to show he is safe and worthy of me.

Sorry, prego brain I keep going off track.

k8la posted 7/9/2019 18:44 PM

Another amen to Chaos and HikingOut: great responses.

My first thought was Brene Brown - vulnerability is the solution to shame. But shame has to teach him what it needs to teach him so don't be so quick to help him out of it. That's on him.

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