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Feeling Stuck in Anger/Plain of Lethal Flatness Phase

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Striver posted 8/28/2019 00:01 AM

Your WW may love you and not respect you at the same time. Mine had the same issues.

Not a big fan of the whole "hind-brain" manosphere concept, but in your case there may be some elemental drives on your WW's part that the affair brought to the surface. Or caused her to have the A in the first place.

There are kernels of truth in some of those things, once you get beyond the single minded advocates anything male related always attracts. My ex is a strong woman and a narcissist. Probably high risk to do what she did, knowing what I know now. Someone once told me she wanted to argue more than I did but she wanted to win every fight as well. I hate arguing, I hate arguing with women especially. I'm an analytical guy, hard to move to invective. Pre divorce and post separation I was as direct and cutting with her as I am ever going to be. With mine though, the only victory I ever got was silence. Cheers from the male chauvanist pigs on that one, I suppose, but not really all that satisfying. If you D your WW it may not be all that satisfying but still the best of your options, a way to get a healthier you going forward. Maybe part of her knows that she deserves to be divorced by you and doesn't respect you for not doing it.

The religion angle is interesting. I don't know that I am fervently religious, but I like the traditions and I'm a regular churchgoer. Family reasons. My ex went with me but will never set foot in a church again now. Ex felt entitled to trash all sorts of crap on her way out the door with the exception of my religion. That was the only one where she showed any respect and fear.

I would follow up on anything you can find dealing with more elemental emotional responses.

ISurvivedSoFar posted 8/28/2019 00:17 AM

Thumos - first I am so sorry you are hurting.

Every time you get close to the conversations or revelations you need with your WW related to the betrayal and she has to truly face herself, she cannot. It is a pattern...and then she gets angry and puts you back on your heels. Do not feel guilty...do not take the blame...do not engage.

You.must.change.the.dance and that results from changes in you. She is on her own path...that may or may not lead to R. But you must not expect anything from her emotionally because she hasn't done the work. She cannot go there...and that may be a condition for R for you but cannot be a condition of your happiness.

She isn't doing this because she does or doesn't love you. She is in flight or fight mode and is scared for her life. She is afraid of the consequences and freezes so whatever she wants to do or knows is right to do is impossible in that frame of mind.

But this is not something you can fix nor can you help her with it directly IMHO. You must hold your boundaries and change your reaction. You are worth the work on you. You are worth not allowing this in your life. That does not mean separation or it may. But for sure the expectation of her has to change with regard to her behavior towards you.

I went through a lot of ICs and MCs but came upon an MC who really helped me. During one of our sessions the MC said, "How are you showing your WS how you deserve to be treated?" And I froze because I realized that I had always tried to help him leaving my needs un-surfaced to him and to me. So how could he be concerned about my needs when I allowed his to be mine and mine to be unspoken?

Make your needs known. Put you first. Be clear on your needs in order to R. And part of that may just be IC until she is able to find her remorse. Set your clear expectations as a condition of R.

Mene posted 8/28/2019 01:07 AM

Why are you seeing the AP occasionally. Can you avoid that? For me that would be a massive trigger and I donít know how you can cope with seeing him often. You need to keep a distance or rather he needs to keep a distance from you.

Thumos posted 8/28/2019 04:14 AM

Make your needs known. Put you first. Be clear on your needs in order to R. And part of that may just be IC until she is able to find her remorse. Set your clear expectations as a condition of R.

I have done this repeatedly and I donít know how much more clear I can be. At this stage I think she believes ďwell heís been saying that for three years and we just keep chugging alongĒ ó so I donít think she gets it. I donít think she will unless we separate and likely not even then.

Butforthegrace posted 8/28/2019 04:15 AM

Why are you seeing the AP occasionally.

The AP lives nearby to Thumos, he is the father of a best friend of Thumos's son, who just started fourth grade. The boys do many activities together, including school, sports, birthday parties, etc.

The A occurred on and around the beginning of first grade for the two boys. Since then, Thumos frequently sees the AP at school, at sports fields, etc.

Thumos, as to using text, I'm aware of the constraints of modern life and agree that you are a literate good writer. That doesn't change the reality that text (and email) is the worst tool for problem-solving. You can't convey inflection, emotion, etc. You can't capture misunderstandings like the one you had.

A very successful man I know, CEO of a publicly traded company, often says: "If you have a little problem and put it in an email, it will turn into a big problem."

Thumos posted 8/28/2019 04:17 AM

Why are you seeing the AP occasionally. Can you avoid that? For me that would be a massive trigger and I donít know how you can cope with seeing him often. You need to keep a distance or rather he needs to keep a distance from you.

We live in the same suburb in the same neighborhood and our kids attend the same school. In fact they are in the same class.

Thumos posted 8/28/2019 04:30 AM

You.must.change.the.dance and that results from changes in you. She is on her own path...that may or may not lead to R. But you must not expect anything from her emotionally because she hasn't done the work. She cannot go there...and that may be a condition for R for you but cannot be a condition of your happiness

Ok I agree - time to get off high center. I agree and I think itís why the pressure cooker in me finally blew a seam and prompted me to post in the first place.

To me changing the dance looks like a hard 180 and separation.

Iíve done the 180 once before during the affair, but that was when I thought I had falsely accused her and I was trying to prepare for a divorce based on what I thought was my bad behavior. It was ďeasierĒ because she was in the fog of her affair (though I didnít know this) and for a little while she didnít notice I was disengaging; then she realized what was happening and quickly patched things up (which is what allowed me to understand I was being subjected to gaslighting).

A 180 now would be harder, and it frankly might be easier to separate. This seems like the only ďcommunicationĒ she actually understands. Remember she invoked an in home separation during the affair as a way of controlling me. So maybe itís the only smoke signal she can interpret accurately.

Thumos posted 8/28/2019 04:48 AM

Your WW may love you and not respect you at the same time. Mine had the same issues
.

Agreed - insightful comment and it gets at what I was trying to say: I do think she loves me, and as long we are talking about manosphere concepts, I think she receives comfort from me. Those donít amount to respect, though, and maybe I simply dig that hole deeper for myself by not hard ďnextingĒ her on D-Day. On the occasions when I allow myself to break down in front of her, Iím now wondering if she just sees weakness.

Not a big fan of the whole "hind-brain" manosphere concept, but in your case there may be some elemental drives on your WW's part that the affair brought to the surface. Or caused her to have the A in the first place

Like you, I think ďred pillĒ formulations are overly simplistic. But I also think that people on SI dismiss these ideas too easily. There is some predictive and explanatory power inherent in notions like AF/BB, hypergamy, the hamster wheel, Mr. Nice Guy syndrome, branch swinging, the dynamics of the sexual marketplace, and the interplay of dopamine and oxytocin. These ideas are useful but incomplete because they tend to treat people as little evo-psych robots.

But what are you specifically suggesting related to her hind brain and elemental drives? Can you say more?

[This message edited by Thumos at 4:49 AM, August 28th (Wednesday)]

Jorge posted 8/28/2019 11:46 AM

Back to the love and respect part. I still see it as a lack of both.

The lack of respect was not just the affair, but demonstrated by having sex in the house.

The lack of love (at least for me) is that it's not enough to see you no longer suffering. One common denominator in remorseful waywards is witnessing and feeling the pain their spouses are experiencing and wanting to help remove or decrease it at any price necessary.

To me, her love for you is not deep enough to help you remove the knife that remains embedded in your back, and you're still writhing in pain from it. And you're not doing it in silence, she actually knows it and can't decide to help you remove it and have real healing begin to take place so that you aren't in pain from morning to night.

Once upon a time, I experienced a really deep, long lasting depression. My wife's career was flourishing and my career was non-existent. I kept thinking to myself, how beautiful my wife's life could be if she was with someone who provided better than I.

It wasn't because I had given up or was or wanting to be unfaithful. Nor was it because I didn't want to be that for her. It's because it hadn't happened yet and the pain I was experiencing from seeing her being held back and suffering, allowed me to think of her being with someone who could give her everything, because she deserved it.

My self doubt was at an all-time high and I didn't want to see the best years of her life wasted waiting for me. It had crossed my mind many times, but I never expressed it as I also believed in my mind, I would become that person for her.

But the doubt of it possibly not happening led me to begin thinking of it and in fact, was prepared to give her everything and more in the case she wanted a divorce on grounds of me not progressing in life, as I would have understood.

She had said, many others would have divorced me by now and I agreed with her. I have issues, no question and am dealing with them. However, nothing makes me happier than my wife being happy and her not being happy is a constant quest of mine, and vice versa.

My general belief is, I would think, if your wife loved you deeply, she'd let go of the outcome and within reason, provided you with what you wanted, when you wanted it and regardless of why you wanted it, and because this isn't the case, my on the love aspect remain.

Perhaps, it's not a matter of love versus not love, but how much of it is there, and her actions clearly say, it's not enough to say, I'll do whatever you need to be with you, even if the risk is you possibly not wanting to be with me.

gmc94 posted 8/28/2019 12:33 PM

If we can say one loves w/o respect, then IMO we are denying a basic tenet of "love" .

As to the 180 and S? I'm ~19 months from dday and we S about 2 months ago. I really struggled with the 180 and IHS, and decided I had to be physically separated in order to get my head out of HIS ass!

The point of S is NOT to try and force (read: manipulate) the CS into change or action. The point is to allow the BS some space to think clearly about their wants and needs, to enable clear and well held boundaries.... to allow BS space to heal and figure out their next steps.

IF - in the meantime - the CS can pull their head from their ass and take some action? That's gravy on the cake. It can also be a time for the CS to focus on themselves, the things that need to be addressed and changed, etc. BUT THAT IS NOT THE BS' PROBLEM or REASON.

In my situation - my CS has not made any significant strides in "getting it", "owning it" or "changing it" since we S. But the time apart helps me see him more for who he REALLY is and not the person I want (read: project) him to be.

S did allow me the breathing room to do things like set a firm deadline for his timeline - to recognize there is no reason to stay in the M w/o it, to clearly communicate those feelings in MC, and to just stop all talking about it. I've let him know how I feel when he avoids and doesn't follow through (eg devalued and disrespected and "not worth" his best efforts or energies). Now it's on him to either follow through - or not. This is NO different than before we separated... what is different is that I know I will be OK if we D.

So now I work on what I want. For instance, what do I want in my next romantic partnership (bc I considered my M dead on dday)... what does that look like to me? Does my WH has enough of those qualities to remain M? Has he made enough progress for me to consider giving him one more moment of my time or energy?

I recently read something on SI along the lines of BS hiring for spouse position. I think it's an excellent way to look at things. On dday, we learn that the CS has, without telling us, basically 'quit' their role as our spouse. So, there's now an "opening" to be filled -or not. It's up to us if we want to re-hire (CS or from "outside" ) or simply get along without someone in that position. But make no bones about it - the person filling the role of faithful spouse has QUIT and left the building by having an A. They may want to reapply for the job, they may not, but the "position" is currently and unequivocally VACANT as F.

The question then becomes - what does the CS' "resume" bring to the table? To me, any CS who thinks their dday resume is acceptable to ANYONE who requires monogamy and honesty in their romantic partnerships is still pretty delusional. My CH's resume is like an ex-con in the pokey for fraud trying to get hired by a bank - IOW, it needs some SERIOUS FUCKING WORK. It's up to him to figure out what he would like to add to that resume to make him eligible for a position as ANYONE'S romantic partner. And it's up to me if I'm willing to take the risk and re-hire a man who committed felony fraud or to take a different risk by seeking someone else.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 1:23 PM, August 28th, 2019 (Wednesday)]

sisoon posted 8/28/2019 13:06 PM

I mean the following as feedback on how I interpret your posts, and it's JMO. If you think it's psycho-babble, I urge you to read it as if it isn't, and see what your gut says.

I have done this repeatedly and I donít know how much more clear I can be.
My understanding is that she's not doing what you want her to do, and I wonder if you've set requirements - real requirements: 'If you don't do this, we D.'

We went round and round in circles about issues like a written timeline, her seeing an IC, the fact that she never got tested for STD's, doing a polygraph, not being allowed to see the texts (that ship has really sailed; the phone was traded in), and the fact that I just don't believe I've been given the complete truth.
This makes me think you have not set requirements.

I read your posts to say that you're looking for universal truths. They may exist, but they're too vague to be useful. If you've been telling your W what you want based on 'science,' I can understand why you're stuck.

Recovering from being betrayed is specific to the individual. Your recovery is specific to you. Even if you and I use the same words (and we don't), we probably understand the words at least slightly differently.

If you want to R, you need to determine what you want in your new M, you need to ask for those things directly, you need to wait for a clear answer that sounds a lot like 'I will/won't do ____.' When you agree on your new M, you need to act to build it, you need to monitor performance, and you need to adjust as you go along.

But your own recovery needs to come first. You need to take responsibility for your own healing. You heal you. Your W heals herself. Together you heal/build/rebuild your M.

You know you're angry. You also probably feel grief, shame, and fear. You need to acknowledge all your feelings and thoughts (but especially feelings) about being betrayed, and you need to process them out of your body. You DON'T need anything from your W for this work, although her emotional support can be very helpful and positive for R.

Your W's work is work only she can do. I would have required IC, except that my W already was in C. But effective C is likely to be about what I think of as the self-talk that your W used to enable the A, not about helping you. Your W's recovery will benefit from your emotional support, and your emotional support is positive for R, but she has to do her work, which is to change from betrayer to good partner, to make R worth the effort, again IMO.

*****

You seem to want rules. Recovery requires you to write your own rules. R requires the partners to write their own rules.

In another thread you attempted to define certain basic requirements that a WS owed a BS if R is on the table. Many of those requirements did not apply to me or to many other BSes who have been active on Si over the years, and we're only a minuscule fraction of BSes.

You quote Proverbs 30:20. It doesn't apply to many WSes.

If there are rules, nothing actionable has been identified. You have to figure out effective actions based on your own specific sitch.

*****

There are, IMO, some - 5? 10? 20? - basic patterns in As, and within the patterns, I suspect there are myriads of variations. My bet is that there are enough variations to make it impossible to establish a single rule for R.

If you want to heal from being betrayed, my reco is minimize looking for patterns and focus on your own recovery.

If R is something you may want, my reco is to still minimize looking for patterns and instead focus on what your WS is doing to heal herself and on finding a fit between your desires for your new M and those of your WS.

If the fit isn't good enough, you can figure out how to deal with it - but first you have to accept the bad fit.

I'm sorry you're in pain Thumos. If you've asked for what you specifically want, and your W has not delivered, I'm very sorry. She has missed a chance to heal, and she's slowly alienated you. Alas, you're the only one who can get you out of pain.

[This message edited by sisoon at 1:08 PM, August 28th (Wednesday)]

DevastatedDee posted 8/28/2019 15:55 PM

I recently read something on SI along the lines of BS hiring for spouse position. I think it's an excellent way to look at things. On dday, we learn that the CS has, without telling us, basically 'quit' their role as our spouse. So, there's now an "opening" to be filled -or not. It's up to us if we want to re-hire (CS or from "outside" ) or simply get along without someone in that position. But make no bones about it - the person filling the role of faithful spouse has QUIT and left the building by having an A. They may want to reapply for the job, they may not, but the "position" is currently and unequivocally VACANT as F.

The question then becomes - what does the CS' "resume" bring to the table? To me, any CS who thinks their dday resume is acceptable to ANYONE who requires monogamy and honesty in their romantic partnerships is still pretty delusional. My CH's resume is like an ex-con in the pokey for fraud trying to get hired by a bank - IOW, it needs some SERIOUS FUCKING WORK. It's up to him to figure out what he would like to add to that resume to make him eligible for a position as ANYONE'S romantic partner. And it's up to me if I'm willing to take the risk and re-hire a man who committed felony fraud or to take a different risk by seeking someone else.

I LOVE the way you put this. Love it. It's right on.

DevastatedDee posted 8/28/2019 16:09 PM

I seriously don't understand how someone who can arrange an affair cannot google how to help their BS and work on their own issues and follow the thousands of suggestions to be found online, maybe join a forum and get advice, etc. Grown people. Adults with access to the internet and one can assume, sufficient literacy to read what is written there.

Oh, I know how. They don't want to. They don't sufficiently care enough to do so. I know what I do when I'm super concerned about how to fix something. I google it. I look for solutions. I probably put more effort into researching how to fix my ceiling fan than most waywards put into how to help their BS recover from infidelity.

Thumos posted 8/28/2019 18:52 PM

Oh, I know how. They don't want to. They don't sufficiently care enough to do so.

Yep. Iíve been indulging in way too much hopium.

Marz posted 8/28/2019 21:13 PM

Simplified:

You can't make her "get it". IMO you are putting in way to much effort when you should be looking out for yourself.

Go your own way. It maybe the only option to bring you both back together.

I've never seen where talk gets you much in these situations.

Striver posted 8/28/2019 22:51 PM

I brought up the issue of loving without respecting.

For one BS I really never have had a problem with being triggered by the Wayward board. I can total get the attraction of cheating. More sex, sex with more people, who would NOT be into that? Now the hurting your loved ones, ignoring that is another issue. But I get the motivations.

Thumos, your WW may not care about AP but she probably wants to hold on to what she means. She had A for whatever reasons: bored, not feeling young anymore, resented you. Now she proved she still got it, she feels she's one up on you. It shows through in your descriptions of her.

She may love you still, but it is not a love of equals. It is a condescending love. She has tasted the fruit and feels she knows more than you now. I suppose in a sick way she's right. It's like criminals who think that people working regular jobs are suckers.

I dealt with this with my ex. Deep down, my ex respects almost nobody. I just have no interest in that crap. But it's a big deal for her. Frankly it's something that shows through with ALL WS that post here. Every last one, I can tell. Maybe that's what the Bible meant by the knowledge of good and evil.

So if your WW thinks she's one up now, she doesn't want to go to what would work for you, because she sees that as one down. A big comedown from where she is now.

What I meant earlier about elemental, hind-brain stuff. Look to the raw emotion that may motivate your WW. I do not see anything between you and your WW than can be fixed with words at this point. That has to end, others have said the same. I want to see you get better, though I know the complications we all face and the courage it takes when it's your relationship make it easier said than done.

seekers posted 8/28/2019 23:32 PM

she has gotten angry or frustrated saying that what she did doesnít rise to the level of the sh*tstorms and behavior of other WWís on here,

You'll get great advice from others here but this stuck out to me.
Next time she references how morally higher she is than the other CW here, I'd remind her she purposely set out to make you think you were crazy. She suggested medicating you. Pathological much? That is cruel and twisted. She really needs to sit with what she CHOSE to
do. You need/deserve the texts. Polygraph. Timeline. Therapy (she can find a way to pay for it). Sorry for pain, you found a great place here.

gmc94 posted 8/28/2019 23:34 PM

quick t/j for Devastated Dee.... right after dday I asked CH:

I bet you spent plenty of time googling how to get my wife to have more sex, but did you - even once - in TEN FUCKING YEARS, google "why am I having an affair?" ... His response was pretty much:

I apologize for the t/j - returning to regular programming.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 11:36 PM, August 28th, 2019 (Wednesday)]

1492 posted 8/29/2019 10:12 AM

I think you need some time to re-evaluate where your best interests are for you and your kids. She needs to be out the door so you and your children can have some peace and get grounded again. She says she loves you, so what! It takes way more than that to have a marriage.
Does she think you are going to leave and not take the kids? They need the stable parent, if you go the AP may move in and try to be daddy to your kids.
She needs a reality check.
I sincerely hope you find some peace within yourself.

Thumos posted 8/29/2019 14:31 PM

If you think it's psycho-babble, I urge you to read it

Sissoon, youíve been very helpful, patient and kind.

Iíve been very angry and said impatient and unkind things, letting my anger bleed through the keyboard at people I donít even know who have done me no wrong. Itís not my way, most of the time, but Iím obviously walking wounded and I have let my words be sharp and unhelpful.

Anyway, I wanted to say thanks and take my bluntness with a grain of salt. Thanks again

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