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When they can't even look at you...

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LifeDestroyer posted 9/29/2019 13:10 PM

I don't think that the pain will go away if I'm not in the room. It's more of a hope. A hope that maybe for a few minutes he can allow himself to think of something else and not feel all the pain for that time. Since moving into the guest room, that's where he always is. I want to be in there with him or him out here with me all the time. I have to force myself to sit out here because I feel that I'm pushing myself into his area when I go in there. I question the whole time "should I go in there? Does he want me in there? Will he be uncomfortable if I'm in there?"So, I'll walk by the room and try to make small talk to gauge a feel if I can go in or not. Or I'll just go in and sit down. I'll also ask sometimes if I can come in, but then I feel bad because he's then put in a position of "do I let her in or not."

LifeDestroyer posted 9/29/2019 13:17 PM

I'm not making this about me. Those feelings are ones that he has shared with me. I definitely know this won't ever go away or has a quick fix. I just want to know if it's actually possible for a BS to look at the WS with something other than pain. I want to be around him all the time, but I know that just adds to his emotions. It's a catch 22 I guess.

skerzoid posted 9/29/2019 14:09 PM


When I was a one year old child, I was stricken with polio. I was put in a polio ward with other victims. The fear was so great that Doctors, nurses, & parents did not come in. Food was left outside the door for the patients to bring in. Two seven year old victims took care of me.

I was deprived of my mother for two weeks at the age of one. Two years later I was operated on to repair damage to my left leg. Once again, I had to spend time away from my mother.

A year later, I became a victim of childhood sexual abuse by an older female cousin for an entire year we slept in the same bed.

I wore braces till the age of five like Forrest Gump.

I eventually overcame this stuff, played football basketball, swimming etc.

I was so damaged mentally however, by the trauma, that I was considered a special needs child. My teachers would make fun of me as the class tortis and slow learner.

In fourth grade my life was saved by my teacher who taught me to read, made me a lover of literature, and saved me.

Eventually, I overcame my feelings of inferiority, became an athlete, became a student of history, and lived as a history teacher/athletic coach. I am in my high school and state athletic hall of fame.

I married a beautiful woman, and had two fabulous kids and four grandchildren.

The thing that motivated me was the struggle to overcome the things that should have destroyed me. I was too stubborn to give in to the things that tried to set me back.

Would my life have been easier without those challenges? Sure, but life isn't meant to be easier.

I still have the scars of those things that happened. They will never go away. But they are the source of my strength now. They made me stronger than I ever would have been otherwise.

They say when we stand before God, he will look for scars not stars.

You can fight through this, you can come out stronger from this. You have said you will fight for him forever, do not give in to your fears and doubts.

Prove to him by your willingness to bear every burden that it will take to come through this.

[This message edited by skerzoid at 2:25 PM, September 29th (Sunday)]

MickeyBill2016 posted 9/29/2019 15:22 PM

I don't see hollow or dead eyes. I see pain. I see disgust. I see confusion. I see hurt. I see sadness. I see depression. I see shame. I see my failure.

It must be very hard for both of you. For him to see you after your affair and for you to see how much he has changed because of your choice to have an affair.
But if you saw indifference and an "I don't care look" that may be worse. As would a response from him of " do whatever you want."
He is still processing his feelings, and he can't control how long it will take to get better...if at all.
Offer to stay, offer to sit with him. Just being there is a positive thing. Saying "All righty, sorry you feel that way, I'll be doing laundry or mowing the lawn" would not be a good response.

[This message edited by MickeyBill2016 at 3:23 PM, September 29th (Sunday)]

LifeDestroyer posted 9/29/2019 15:47 PM

Skerzoid, I don't even know what to say about your life story. I'm sorry that all happened, but I am glad it helped you become a very strong person.

Mickey, it is hard, but much harder for him. I'm very grateful that I don't get a look of indifference from him.

Hope2B posted 9/29/2019 16:44 PM

It's been 6 years and 2 weeks today, since the final TT Dday.
As with BS, the betrayal was beyond egregious. I'm still in IC.

For my own reasons, we are still legally married, we live under the same roof and continue with the same division of how we share household expenses. In my family, only a sibling knows about his LTA. In my circle of friends living nearby, only one person knows about his A.

I still cannot look at him. I find him disgusting. I've kept my backstory rather private, so I realize you're not getting the full picture.

Just know there is not enough acid, fire, bleach or kerosene in the world to "clean" him. On that final DDay, I told him "you will NEVER touch me again."

However, anytime I want to make a point with him--and this has only happened twice in the past 6 years--I will tell him "I'm going to look at you, right in your eyes, so you know I really mean what I say about this!"

For me, I don't care how he handles my not looking at him. I have a deep emotional disconnect from him. Any "care" I have regarding his health, is no more and no less than I would offer anyone. I'm not emotionally involved. I'm not sure my response is of any help to you.

DoinBettr posted 9/30/2019 09:14 AM

You are still in the first year. This is how you come to terms with the pain while your BS does the same. It always takes a year to get past that point. After the 1 year anniversary of D-Day, you will see a shift where the vacant look isn't going to be him closing his eyes, instead it will be him looking at you and trying to understand "How" and "Will" this happened.
Maybe force yourself to be cute or funny. Change the mood of the room. Instead of letting the pain draw you in, pull him out. It kind of made me mad when my wife would do that to me, then I started to realize she was pulling me out of self doubt and self pity. She learned that later in the process, but it could help you now. He may react badly at first, but give it a little consistency.
Just like he didn't like being controlled before, this will make him feel like he is being controlled again. But eventually he will get past that feeling. Give it a year.
Things are better than the first 2 months right?
This is why you journal. You look back and see his pain pulling away.
The problem will be eventually the injustice will sink in. That will suck. It is why WS hate year 2. See him closing his eyes but not leaving as him trying to be near you while pulling in the pain. He is trying. Don't give up.

Chaos posted 9/30/2019 09:33 AM

We canít look at you because it hurts. It makes us this person who is looking at us did so the entirety of the affair and we had no freaking clue. We wonder how they could do this to us. We wonder why. We question everything.

When you leave Ė it is saying you are too much of a weak coward to stay and see what youíve done. You are running away from the destruction left in the wake of your affair and running away from any attempt at seeing what is salvageable and any possibility of rebuilding.

We donít get the option to run away. We see it. We see it when our eyes are closed or open. We see it awake or asleep [if we are lucky enough to sleep], we see it every time something reminds of us of it [and almost everything does]. We canít un-see. We donít get to leave it in the other room.

You were bold enough to have the bleeping affair. Be bold enough to face the destruction.

When you leave it speaks volumes. None of it good.

waitedwaytoolong posted 9/30/2019 11:06 AM

I also moved into another room. It was my sanctuary. I went in there to sleep, and if I felt I couldn't be around her. I was in there for months and periodically over years. My suggestion is do not go in there. It is his space.

If you are both in a common area, that is a different story. I would stay with him unless he says he doesn't want you too. I agree with those who say you shouldn't even ask. It is not a good signal.

If he doesn't want to be around you, he can get up and leave to go back to the guest room. My suggestion is don't follow him in, but maybe address why he left, and tell him how sorry you are after he comes back if he does.

You should be prepared that you will be a trigger for a long time. Some get over it, others like me do not. But I think all men for a while can't look at their wife without images of some other man having sex with her. Hopefully like others here that will fade.

Aftershockgoldfish posted 9/30/2019 14:11 PM

Chaos said it well:

We donít get the option to run away. We see it. We see it when our eyes are closed or open. We see it awake or asleep [if we are lucky enough to sleep], we see it every time something reminds of us of it [and almost everything does]. We canít un-see. We donít get to leave it in the other room.

It is good that you don't leave when you want to. Your BS cannot, because his mind will follow him to any room.

Try to see his pain, his marriage, his narrative, when is hurts him too much to look at you, namely: try not to focus on what it means about you, on your shame. It sounds like you are aiming in that direction, and I commend any WS that can tackle this herculean feat of ego-busting compassion, I am sure it can be excruciating.

As far as asking what he needs, as a BS, I can say being asked for too much direction in the moment can feel like having to do work for your perpetrator. It is 100% my responsibility as a BS to communicate my needs and expectations when I have clarity. That being said, there are times when I don't know in the triggered moments what the heck WW can do to support/help. Having the choice to accept what is offered or not is a small drop of agency in the ocean of betrayal. While I need my WS to respect my boundaries, it makes all the difference when she gives me the option, like a text to let me know she is there for anything I need when I do take space, or an offer of specific reconnection at a later point. I can always say no. And if I do, when I see WW accept this without hurt, I see growth.

LD, you're asking good questions. I would say it is possible for a BS to look at their WS without pain. Not as a 'never again', just as a 'maybe eventually in moments', because of long-term consistency from the WS, and the healing done both separately and together. Hopefully, eventually, those moments stretch longer over time, because the new life, the authenticity, and the marriage a BS deserves, grow louder over time to drown out what once made eye contact feel impossible. I think this depends on the individuals very much, and on the healing work that is actually done.

Much luck in your journey.

faithfulman posted 9/30/2019 23:07 PM

Probably a lot of the reason is just overwhelming feelings of disgust, mind-movies etc.

And also he probably doesn't trust you and cannot stand to look in your face and see lies.

Maybe you can remedy that first part. Have you secured a polygraph yet? Recovered your phone?

Buffer posted 10/1/2019 08:28 AM

Hey LD

How are you and BS going?

Jsmart posted 10/1/2019 08:35 AM

He's used up his emotional tank on your betrayal that there's isn't much left to mourn his mother. The pain that you caused is actually worse than what he feels over losing his mom and he hates that. He berates himself for having such an attachment to the woman who betrayed him.

Then there's also what your timeline revealed about you being preoccupied with OM while he was dealing with seeing his mother's condition deteriorate. When he needed you the most, you were on team OM, so you didn't have the emotional energy nor desire to be there for him. So it's not just the mind movies of the sexual things you did with OM but the emotional abandonment that took place.

LifeDestroyer posted 10/1/2019 08:44 AM

His mom passed away this past Sunday. I want to be there for him just like he was for me when mine passed away, but my actions have made that hard/impossible.

Jsmart, you're right. My betrayal is making it hard for him to mourn his mother's passing. He doesn't want my support now, but it's there when he needs it. For the timeline, I'm not sure what you're talking about.

TimSC posted 10/1/2019 10:29 AM

Just looking at you will be a trigger for him for a long time to come.

He sees the wife that was taken away from him by her own actions and betrayals.

It will take a long time for him to get over this. But the good news is that he is still there.

A friend of mine had a wife who was a nurse. She had an affair with a man at work. A married doctor. My friend was so destroyed he told me he had to divorce her for his own self respect.

After the divorce she pursued him...for two years while he dated other women. Then he finally asked her on a date and six month later they remarried. That was 20 years ago and he tells me he is happier now than he has ever been.

LifeDestroyer posted 10/1/2019 10:47 AM

While I would love to hope that there could be the possibility of getting back together, he has made it very clear that if divorce happens it will be final.

NotSureAboutIt posted 10/1/2019 11:15 AM

LD - There is always hope. He may not think so now. He may divorce you. My BS did. But I spent three years not dating anyone else, constantly trying to re-establish trust and show true remorse. We re-married 25 years ago and are now very happy. You need to come completely clean - absolutely no more TTs. Write out a complete and detailed and truthful timeline. Get the texts and messages off if your phone for him. And schedule the poly. No more emailing the examiner - either call or go visit NOW. Every day that passes makes it harder. Good luck!

NoOptTo posted 10/1/2019 11:37 AM

Buy tickets and go to your husband. Bring your DD. Even if he gets mad, you are showing him that you care for him. If the least, bringing his DD to him in his time of need.

LifeDestroyer posted 10/1/2019 13:26 PM

NoOptTo, I really want to be there for him, but I am not wanted there. I will respect him and not go. I have fucked up enough. I won't go against him now.

landclark posted 10/1/2019 13:47 PM

I really want to be there for him, but I am not wanted there. I will respect him and not go. I have fucked up enough. I won't go against him now.

You seem to have matured in your way of thinking. I feel like previously you may have just done what YOU wanted, with no regard to his needs. I will honestly say that as a BS, sometimes I don't know what I want. I don't know what I need. I do know when I say "I don't need this.", I am very sure of that. It's definitely best to respect your husbands wishes. When he gets home, he may need your support, and you can be right there for him, but don't force it.

Back to your original question, I find what works best for me is to simply ask. Ask what he needs. Wait until you're in a good space and say "Hey, when times are tough and you understandably can't look at me, what do you need me to do? Because I am there. Whatever you need."

I just want to know if it's actually possible for a BS to look at the WS with something other than pain.

It is possible. I have my days/moments. This is all so fresh for you guys though, as it is for me, so it's going to be tough right now.

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