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Feeling Stuck in Anger/Plain of Lethal Flatness Phase

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RocketRaccoon posted 11/27/2019 03:23 AM

From all you have posted about your WW, it looks like she is still in defensive mode, and not 'true' remorse.

She makes all the right moves, and says all the right words, but it rings hollow.

It looks like her mindset is that of 'I need to say and do theses things, because they are expected of me. They will also ensure my BH is feeling safe with me, so that my safety is guaranteed'.

Fundamentally, her approach is for herself. If she were truly remorseful, the outcome of the polygraph would not worry her, as YOU will need it for YOUR own sanity.

She has not let go of the outcome, and is still in wayward mode of wanting to be in control of the outcome.

Has she explored this with her IC? You could also ask your IC if this could be possible?

She needs to put on her big girl pants, and deal with the fact that she has to do everything she can for YOU, and not for herself.

Butforthegrace posted 11/27/2019 04:49 AM

Butforthegrace, I love it when you use "ersatz" - it's become a favorite new word for me.

Here's one that could be used in some threads here on Reconciliation to describe certain WS's who aren't doing any work: "Schnorrer".

totallydumb posted 11/29/2019 19:22 PM

Schnorrer definition is - beggar; especially : one who wheedles others into supplying his or her wants.

Found this definition. Does it fit?

Thumos posted 11/29/2019 19:52 PM

That sounds highly accurate for a lot of WS’s

Butforthegrace posted 11/30/2019 08:06 AM

Found this definition. Does it fit?

A lot of Yiddish speakers use "schnorrer" also to describe a team member who does not carry his weight, who rests on the work of others. In a group bicycle training ride, for example, a "schnorrer" is a rider who stays near the back of the peloton the whole way, without ever taking a turn at the front spot to break the wind and set the pace.

In infidelity stories, so many threads involve a marriage that has lost some of its initial zing, but the WS chooses to cheat instead of invest time/energy into trying to fix the marriage.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 8:07 AM, November 30th (Saturday)]

paco2000 posted 12/1/2019 03:53 AM

As a jewish guy from Israel totallydumb's definition is the most accurate.

Wish you all the best.

sisoon posted 12/1/2019 13:36 PM

National origin/residence isn't all that useful - how's your Yiddish?

Schnorrer definition is - beggar; especially : one who wheedles others into supplying his or her wants.
That's what my sort of Yiddish-speaking father told me.
A lot of Yiddish speakers use "schnorrer" also to describe a team member who does not carry his weight, who rests on the work of others.
That goes too far, IMO. I haven't heard anyone use it that way.

That specific example - I've always heard that called 'wheel-sucking' or 'drafting' - as in, 'Is it OK if I suck your wheel?' or 'Can I draft?' Of ocurse, 'Beat the draft' is entirely different.)

paco2000 posted 12/2/2019 05:52 AM


The first definition is right, the second one is not (anyway how we use it in Israel).
I am not of European descendant , both my parents were born in Morocco but I do know some Yiddish and that word is pretty common in Israel.

Butforthegrace posted 12/3/2019 05:33 AM

Thumos, I wanted to address the "mature view of casual sex" concept a bit more, but not in the context of a TJ over on that thread in General.

Based on what I understand to be your timeline, there was a period (I'm estimating about 18 months plus or minus -- more or less June, 2016 - December, 2017) during which your WW was exceptionally cruel to you. She treated you with outright contempt. You have outlined the extreme degree of gaslighting during the actual A, and the heavy-handed bullying to try to force you to rug-sweep after.

As to the gaslighting, what I've learned from recent posts is that the AP was a social friend who was regularly at your home drinking wine. What I am inferring from this is that he and your WW were openly flirting and courting, right before your very eyes, and as you protested about this, your WW beat you into submission via extreme gaslighting. When you were away for work, realized the precise moment they were at your home fucking, even to the point of texting the two of them at that time, she had to know that was exactly what was happening. My view is that she took some pleasure rubbing your nose in it.

The "mature view of sex", in context, was a continuation of this. She really did treat you with contempt. Her intent was to make you feel small and insignificant, unworthy. A comment like that might arguably have a place in a discussion between a single man and a single woman about her casual sex with other men, before meeting the man she is involved with. It is totally irrelevant to a situation where a spouse has extramarital sex.

As discussed in the other thread, if it truly was "meaningless", and if her view is that a "mature" view would consider extramrital sex to be no big dealas long as it is meaningless, then why did she hide it? Why not just give you a heads up that she is doing the deed and assumes it's okay with you.

Furthermore, I sincerely doubt it was meaningless, as she has said. This was a man she knew for some time. She was attracted to him, flirted with him in front of you, in your home, and built up an emotional affair into a physical affair with. She decided that sex with him was worth the risk of losing her marriage to you. This is a giant decision for any married person to make, but in her case, where she knew that you were acutely aware of and worried by the obvious signs this relationship was moving dangerously in the wrong direction, it was especially significant. Shopping at Victoria's Secret for the lingerie she would wear. Continuing with the sex even while you were texting her in a manner that made it obvious you knew what she was doing. He was a boyfriend/lover, and the sex was something she very much desired and craved both emotionally and physically, to a degree that she was willing to give up her marriage for it. She is lying if she says otherwise.

The "meaningless sex" comment is also belied by the extent to which she went to preserve and protect the cocoon of intimacy that she created with her lover from discovery by you. She opened up your marriage and invited this man in. She revealed much of your marital intimacy to him, and berated and demeaned you, to him. But she has not done the obverse. She has, to date, steadfastly protected the intimacy she created with him as something above your marriage, and I have not heard you make a mention anywhere about her demeaning her AP to you.

Thus, though I say in General that it was part of her effort to browbeat you into rug-sweeping -- which it was -- it was also part of a larger campaign of emotional cruelty. It was also a part of her process of creating a cocoon of intimacy with the AP. She literally shared more emotional intimacy with him than with you, and she has, to date (approximately three year anniversary of Dday), preserved and protected that intimacy. Contrast that to the easy manner in which she allowed the AP into the marriage and shared with him all manner of intimate marital details.

I'm gathering that stopped some time around the end of 2017 (1st Anniversary of Dday), not because of any epiphany by her, or any healing, but mostly because you simply shut up about the A and she then coasts along in the status quo. Hence, the Plain of Lethal Flatness during 2018, leading to the second anniversary of your Dday.

It was some time not long after that when you began posting here. You are now approaching the third anniversary of your Dday. You have explained how your WW has taken steps to behave as a good wife: taking you to events that interest you; initiating sex; doing domestic stuff unbidden. These are all normal things any good spouse would do. You've also described her as a generally attractive woman, both physically and in terms of her personality.

You have not described anything she has done to help you heal, other than the ridiculously protracted disclosure theater she is dragging you through at present. From my point of view, your trauma is the elephant in the room in your marriage. Without some affirmative steps from her to acknowledge that she has injured you and that she has a role in healing you, the marriage cannot progress. On this point, all I recall you mentioning is her dismissive statement along the lines of "I'm sorry for my contribution to the state of our marriage."

On that last bit, I know you perceive your relationship with your MIL to be good, but your MIL has also recently made a comment about the state of your marriage suggesting she also views it as "not good".

It's almost as if your WW views your trauma as some sort of MacGuffin, a device that is currently propelling the drama of your marriage, two protagonist spouses trying to work through the issues of a troubled marriage, but in her mind the A and your trauma ultimately has no separate meaning, so if she goes through the disclosure theater that she has spent the past 3 months framing, then it will be done.

I do wish you luck. My gut, though, is warning me that this disclosure process will not bring the catharsis that you seek. It will not bring a light of realization to her eyes that she must take steps to help you heal.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 1:49 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)]

nekonamida posted 12/3/2019 10:49 AM

Amazing post, BFTG. You really nailed an issue I've seen with Thumos's WW's behavior recently.

Thumos posted 12/5/2019 20:20 PM

So... saw the AP tonight at a school program. This is the first time in a long time. For whatever reason I haven’t seen him all Fall.

I triggered hard. I was enraged. Code Red. Blind. I could barely sit thru the program. As usual I had to focus on keeping myself outwardly calm.

I still can’t believe she did this to me. That sounds so weak and feeble. I guess I just continue to be shocked that someone could dishonor a person they claim to love so much.

It’s been three years and I still feel like this. I don’t know what to do. I feel like this is slowly killing me.

[This message edited by Thumos at 8:34 PM, December 5th (Thursday)]

newparadigm posted 12/6/2019 08:58 AM

I am really sorry that happened to you. I don't know what I would do if I ever saw my wife's AP.

Luckily, he is several states away, so the chances are slim, but still...

I have been silently following your saga and I truly wish you the best. I hope that you get what you need from the disclosure and poly to finally have a definate direction.

Thumos posted 12/6/2019 12:15 PM

I should mention that my WW did reach out to hold my hand and said “I want to comfort you.” I gently rebuffed her bc I simply couldn’t see straight or think straight. It’s like I was in a fugue.

I talked to another dad at the event for a few minutes and I’m sure I came across like a zombie.

Thumos posted 12/6/2019 12:21 PM

I need feedback on any steps I might be missing right now.

We will have a formal disclosure session this week where she will read her 17+ pages written timeline to me with our IC’s present with us - they both specialize in betrayal trauma and work together. They are not letting her off the hook.

Then I’ll ask a series of questions - I’ve got 7 pages of them and have worked with my IC on them.

After that, we’ll do the polygraph measured against her written timeline.

And after that, based on whatever does or doesn’t emerge, I’ve got some thinking to do.

The pressure in thinking about divorce as a possibility is pretty weighty. A lot of big decisions about my kids futures - son not too far from middle school, daughter about to enter college. A lot of expenses. I make a very good living but divorce will make our financial situation much harder.

These are the practical considerations that middle aged BS’s must weigh. It’s not so easy as “do what is right for you.” Sometimes as unfair as it is, if you’re a middle aged adult, you’ve got to “adult” and put your big boy pants on.

She has now done almost everything I asked although it has come really late in the game. She’s definitely putting in the effort. That said, as others have pointed out, this has been a rather protracted “disclosure” drama throughout the fall and holiday season.

What additional practical steps or considerations should I be thinking about during this time? I’m not talking about long term decisions, spiritual or psychological considerations and the like.

Does anyone have feedback for me?

Butforthegrace posted 12/6/2019 13:16 PM

Suggestion 1: Hire a divorce lawyer. You wont file a divorce. Rather, you should pay for an hour of her/his time. Maybe $500. Use that hour to get a very clear understanding of what divorce would look like, both in terms of assets/finances and in terms of custody and co-parenting. Ask a lot of questions about creative solutions to minimizing the disruption for your kids.

You will get a ton of information and you will need time to process it. I would suggest scheduling a follow up hour a week or two later to ask questions.

Suggestion 2: Talk to your WW in advance to clarify that this disclosure session is not intended as a "one and done". Rather, it is the first baby step of an ongoing conversation that, if you stay together, could continue for years. Most betrayed spouses who report successful R relate that they asked the same questions of their WS over and over and over. I would suggest you propose a specific time, an hour or two once or twice a week, for these conversations.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 1:20 PM, December 6th (Friday)]

Butforthegrace posted 12/6/2019 18:16 PM

Suggestion 3: consider the concept of consequences. We often read on SI about WS facing some consequences from cheating. Beyond Rages WW is giving up her running hobby, for example. Or spouses who cheat with coworkers leaving jobs.

Suggestion 4: Keep in mind at all times the Thumos who will be staring you down in the mirror 10 years from now. You are facing a choice of lesser evils. There is "the devil you know versus the devil you don't" concept. There is also the concept of "if you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting"

RocketRaccoon posted 12/6/2019 22:34 PM

We will have a formal disclosure session this week where she will read her 17+ pages written timeline to me with our IC’s present with us

There is a good chance the out of the 17 pages, 10 will be 'I neve meant to leave you', 'I am sorry I hurt you', 'It was just one time', yada yada yada. Skip all that, and get straight into the 'meat' of the timeline.

The prefaces are superflous to the whole session, and will serve only to waste time. Make your time with the ICs as productive as possible.

As to your questions, prioritize them, as you may not have enough time to ask, and get answers from, them (this again helps to maximize the efficiency of the time with the ICs, and will help you focus on your most pressing questions).

Striver posted 12/7/2019 02:05 AM

I should mention that my WW did reach out to hold my hand and said “I want to comfort you.” I gently rebuffed her bc I simply couldn’t see straight or think straight. It’s like I was in a fugue.

That is sort of a baby step I guess. Though she should be the one broken and ashamed in that situation. You have miles to go in that direction if she ever gets there.

BeyondRage posted 12/7/2019 09:59 AM


It reads like you have a pretty complete plan. My suggestions to you would be

(1) divide your 7 page list of questions into three parts. CRITICAL, IMPORTANT, THE REST.
You define those not the IC or MC. You are not going to cover seven pages of questions on the amount of questions asked on a polygraph.

(2) take But For The Grace's option #2. She needs to fully understand that this will NOT be all over in all likelihood once this session and polygraph ends. His points 3 & 4 are also relevant.

I would hold off on the attorney because I think you might want to ascertain your feelings without knowing the ramifications first that could influence your thinking. Consulting the attorney can be done in a New York second should you want to do that.

I find these stories like yours and Neanderthals particularly grave since you were both aware something was going on which as BFTG pointed out shows a higher level of disrespect for whatever reason.

I guess and hope you are prepared to buckle your chin strap during this questioning session as if you are correct and they hold her feet to the fire you are likely to hear some very hurtful shit again.

You know what you are doing. And you are smart enough not to make any snap decisions. Good luck

Thumos posted 12/7/2019 13:23 PM

To be clear the 7 pages of questions are not for the polygraph - they are for our disclosure session. Different. But yes, my IC and I have already trimmed and categorized. Some of the questions will be reserved for later for what they call an emotional restitution document and even later for couples counseling if we both decide to reconcile.

We’ve trimmed the bulk of questions back to “just the facts” stuff - still quite a bit of those!

The polygraph will have one question based on what I find out during the disclosure session. Either something like “did you have sex more than once” or “are you continuing to lie about any aspect” - something along those lines. The examiner will help craft it.

take But For The Grace's option #2. She needs to fully understand that this will NOT be all over in all likelihood once this session and polygraph ends. His points 3 & 4 are also relevant.

I am absolutely making that clear . I’ve already told her I find the protracted three month build up to this unnecessary and unacceptable — and this won’t be a “capstone” movie moment for everyone to hug and feel better. I’ve taken that option away from her. But your take makes me think it would be wise to reiterate this to her the night before.

You are right the disclosure session and going into the poly are bound to a very bumpy ride. Frankly it can’t be any worse than the past three years. I would rather know.

BR, I really appreciate you weighing in here and giving men your perspective. You are only a short time out but your circumstance is one of the more unusual I’ve seen — and you’ve handled it like a boss. It really helps to get your take on things. Even if our circumstances are different, we’re both the same age and we’ve both been in long term monogamous commitments and we’ve both never wanted anything else. So it really helps. Please keep commenting.

[This message edited by Thumos at 1:26 PM, December 7th (Saturday)]

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