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

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Brokenandsolost posted 10/1/2019 14:08 PM

As a betrayed spouse who is still in the thick of it so to speak I would like to add my thoughts on this because I feel it often.

Let me say that in my situation because I wont speak to anyone else's opinion on this but for me what happens is images and mind movies. I look at my wife and all I see is her in the arms of another man, pleasing him, kissing him, fucking him. And in those moments it feels like a red hot knife being driven into my heart. I can see the images so very clearly in my minds eye and the worst part for me is that all of her physical betrayals happened in our home. I can see her kissing him in the kitchen which is where she told me it happened for the first time. I can see her giving him oral in our living room where that first happened. I can see her in our basement on the couch fucking him. I can see her in our bed where she took him on a day they had more safety because she had the car while I was at work and knew I couldn't show up unexpectedly.

These are just some of the things I see in my mind when I look at her. It is probably the worst feeling in the world as a betrayed spouse to have to endure these thoughts and feelings. It rips the heart from your chest and throws it against the wall shattering it over and over again.

For me it is not always that these images come out but when they do they are gut wrenching and brutally painful. Other times I can see the woman I fell in love with many years ago and I can feel the unwavering love I still have in my heart for her.

I guess the only real advice I can give you is this. Be there for him and show him you will fight to keep him. Show him that you are willing to do anything it takes to support him in his time of need. Be genuine and show compassion because we can see that and feel it and for me at least it is soothing and very needed.

Jsmart posted 10/1/2019 15:49 PM

Part of the reason he didn't want you to go was to protect you from any slinging arrows that may come your way from his family. I don't think he trust in your love for him being strong enough to endure possible strong interrogation or bad mouthing from his family.

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.

Think back to your actions during the affair during the key event with his mother's deteriorating state. You may have pushed what you did into the far recesses of your brain so you don't relive it but for him, it's front and center.

[This message edited by Jsmart at 3:50 PM, October 1st (Tuesday)]

LifeDestroyer posted 10/1/2019 17:09 PM

Part of the reason he didn't want you to go was to protect you from any slinging arrows that may come your way from his family

I'm not too sure about that. Only his one sister knows. I texted her shortly after dday and apologized to her. He hasn't told anyone else in his family. He doesn't want me to go because of what I have done to him. He needs to focus on grieving and being there for his sister, not me.

gmc94 posted 10/1/2019 18:39 PM

BrokenAndSoLost nailed pretty much everything I went through for a LONG LONG time after dday. When I'd look at my WH I saw the lies, flirting, kissing, covering his tracks & deleting emails, and (of course) the sex and EVERY step that went into that (from the call to set the "date" to him picking out what to wear on that particular day while I lay in bed 15 feet away, to the lunch, to the driving together and him rubbing her knee, to the walk through the hotel, to the way they took off each other's clothing. Even if we don't have those details, we usually make them up in some way - we are haunted).

Those images can morph from pain to anger to disgust to contempt - all in the flash of an instant. It takes a ton of time and healing, yet I still have those moments, esp when he says or does something that allows the wayward mindset to slip out. I don't say this to be a 2x4, but that healing - getting to a place where he can look at you w/o an immediate reaction of unpleasant feelings - is for him and his recovery. Not you. It's not like any of us wanted those images - and we are shocked and scared by it - truly afraid at the way it takes over our entire being, like a tidal wave of emotions that we can't even run from.

Be genuine and show compassion because we can see that and feel it and for me at least it is soothing and very needed.
This is really really important. Our spidey senses go on overdrive after dday (it's actually normal and part of the trauma response - our lizard brains are on high alert and we can damn near smell insincerity).

[This message edited by gmc94 at 6:44 PM, October 1st, 2019 (Tuesday)]

Walkingthewire posted 10/1/2019 18:53 PM

In those moments that I can't look at him because all I can see is him holding hands or kissing her on the cheek, kissing her, she sent me those pictures, and the screenshots of texts saying that I was the cheating bitch who ruined him (not true) and even though I've never asked for the gory details; fucking her.
I just want to cry and I want him to see what he's done to me. How he has broken me. How much he's disappointed me.
He needs to see that shit. He needs to look me in the face for all my depression, PTSD, nightmares that I wake up screaming.
So no, I don't ask him to leave the room. I will not hide that shit.
Call me crazy ( I know I am ::shrug:: but its his decisions last summer that made me feel this way. Not completely anyway, but you know what I mean.

3yrwait posted 10/1/2019 23:46 PM

BH here. Ask him what he needs or wants from you...then provide it. As someone else said, donít make it about you.

There was a point where I had complete contempt for WW. She has difficulty accepting responsibility and providing information that makes her vulnerable. I needed that information so that I could make choices for myself. WW decided it would be better if I didnít know.

I never hated someone so much. Ultimately, it gave me strength to stand up for myself, but my view of her changed permanently.

Tallgirl posted 10/2/2019 06:46 AM

LD, I think you are wise to ask. And brave. I am a BS, here is how I feel when I canít look at him.

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.

I sit there and wait in hopes that he might actually see me for a little bit, not what I've done. I guess the real question is, does that ever happen? Do you ever see us and not the affair? Will he ever be able to look at me and not feel pain? Is that actually possible?

My husband cheated and betrayed me for 10 years. I am nearly 18 months out from DDay1 and I have trouble looking at him often. I feel all the same things. I often hear his voice and Hear the man I loved so much 27 years ago but I canít look at him because he is not the same. I see a cheater, a man who went to sex workers, a man who abandoned me, our kids, who put a prostitute ahead of all of us, a man I donít know. A man I no longer understand. The only man who has hurt me like this.

What should you do? Apologize, acknowledge that he is in pain as well as what you are doing. At some point talk about him not being able to look at you. Understand.

I lost my mother 5 years ago, he was supportive but distant. He didnít hold me or wipe away my tears. I resent the shit out of that. If he doesnít want you at the funeral or with the family respecting his wishes is good. But support him. Having you at the funeral just makes his pain worse and he is less able to cope because you are no longer a safe haven or a comfort. You are his pain. Be available. Call to check in. Be ready to go. Offer. FaceTime. Whatever it takes.

When I lost my mom I truly had a hole in my heart. That was where it hurt. And it was terrible.

His lying and cheating gutted me. It was more crippling than losing my mother.

Your husband has both at once.

I recovered from losing my mother, I have her memories to enjoy. From the affair, There is only pain and resentment. I can look at him without averting my eyes. I sometimes forget but I am changed. We are separated now. Not sure if we can, if I can, be married.

I wish you the best.

LifeDestroyer posted 10/2/2019 07:01 AM

I will admit, I feel like I am failing right now. I can feel myself wanting to shut down. I can feel myself being rejected and not knowing how to handle that. I know that is my selfishness. I know I have to stop that. When those thoughts come into my head, I shut them down. I tell myself that he is the one who is going through this now. You experienced this with your mom, you know what is going through his head with that, and you know how you were during her death. I remember him being there and trying, and there were times when I pushed him away. Not to push HIM away, but because pushing anyone away who wanted to help made it "easier." Even though I wanted sympathy, having it made the feelings all the more real and hard.

I want to be there for him. I want to hug him. I want to sit by him. I want to talk with him. It feels like all of that just makes him feel worse right now. How do you handle wanting to be there for someone, while not being wanted? I can't just stop wanting to support him through this.

Please don't suggest I go. That is not happening unless he changes his mind and tells me to go. I will not go against his wishes and buy tickets behind his back.

Tallgirl posted 10/2/2019 07:53 AM

Sweetie I hear your pain. And I am sorry for you both. I am not suggesting you go. Respect his wishes. Offer to go at any time. Be ready if he decides he needs you.

If you withdraw it will hurt him. Honestly if my husband gives me good reason, it will push me over the edge. Donít give him a reason. You have to deal and get over feeling rejected. This is your problem. Your personal challenge. Keep being there. Remember you cheated and now if you want your marriage it is all about making him feel safe. I see my husband struggling. I feel bad. Neither of us would be going through this if it wasnít for his selfish decisions. Get support, go to IC.

I reject my husband regularly because I hurt. Yah I feel bad but he abandoned me, rejected me, disrespected me incredibly for years. If he canít take a little rejection which he earned, then I quit. It will happen again. He has to fix himself. . The rejection comes from pain and no trust.

You have to be brave and vulnerable and open and strong and truly remorseful. There is nothing easy here. It all hurts and you have to go through it, not run away or avoid it.

Face it, donít turn away. It may or may not work out. But if you donít try and be honest ,it certainly will not.

[This message edited by Tallgirl at 7:55 AM, October 2nd (Wednesday)]

LifeDestroyer posted 10/2/2019 07:56 AM

I know I deserve the rejection and gave to face it. I am trying every day to do that. I am not trying to give him a reason to leave. I have given enough of those

Tallgirl posted 10/2/2019 08:01 AM

Good. Keep doing it. Now go get a little pick me up, (coffee, cookie, hug a pet, etc) and stand tall, and keep going...

I hope I have helped you a little.

Sharing my experience is the only way I can, I think.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 10/2/2019 09:49 AM

EDIT: After going back and reading other BS's responses it just confirms to me 100% what I said below - you need to ASK and put yourself out there with your BS, as we are all different.

When I avoided eye contact it wasn't due to mind movies (I seemed to reserve them for when I was alone so I could really relish the misery...sigh). I didn't think about wanting to kill him either.

what do you want your WS to do when that happens?

This is an interesting question for me, as it's something my WH has mentioned from time to time, and I know it's something that I do more now than ever. I wish I could know what he is thinking in those moments - granted I'm surprised he even noticed it happening...but to answer your question:

I don't know.

I know it's a shitty answer, but I really don't - now - as a BS who has been through false R for over a year I'm jaded and I don't know where you are in your process, so I will think back to when all this first came to light.

I used to want him to see me being unable to meet his gaze and to LEAN IN and ask me what I was thinking about. Talk to me. Engage me. Try to help me. That's what I wanted. He has since admitted he was "worried" as to what I was thinking about or he "knew" what I was thinking about and he wanted to avoid dealing with it. Neither of those responses told me that he wanted to help me. And the operative word here is wanted not help. Help is great but the desire to do anything shows a BS that the WS desires them, even if it is on some baseline level. As a BS you feel rejected in a way that is impossible to explain until it happens to you. It is terrible on so many levels and you want it acknowledged, but you WANT your WS to WANT to acknowledge it because they want to - not out of some alleged altruistic gesture.

There is a song line that I think is absolutely appropriate when relating to all things infidelity and how a BS feels. It says:

Kiss me out of desire, not consolation.

You can replace the "kiss me" with anything - again the operative word here is DESIRE. Show your BS that their feelings, their distant stares, their mindset is IMPORTANT TO YOU. That's the best advice I can give you. Ask, and don't be afraid of the answer. Don't stop asking even if you get a response that upsets you. That's the best thing you can do.

My distant stares now, after having been lied to for so long about so many things, are different than after d-day1. Now, they are about self-protection - a purposeful attempt to not engage with my WH. His eye contact used to feel like truth and honesty and love and warmth - now it feels like manipulation and disdain - so I avoid it as best I can to protect myself. (note, we are not attempting to R so I don't feel the need to put myself out there anymore either).

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 11:49 AM, October 2nd (Wednesday)]

Buffer posted 10/2/2019 23:28 PM

Just keep on supporting him donít wait to be asked just start doing. Make the travel arrangements for him, donít have wait to be asked.

He is unsure what he needs, but he needs you.
Remind him you can consistently can help and want to. I understand that you are and to help just un sure how.

Remember he stated he was beaten into submission due to badgering. He is not in a good place mentally.
Prove to him you are worth it

[This message edited by Buffer at 12:34 AM, October 3rd (Thursday)]

Jsmart posted 10/3/2019 07:49 AM

Death reminds us all that our time is finite. It always makes us take an inventory of our lives. He has already been doing a deep dive on his marriage but losing his mom will really make him focus even more on these matters.

Like I said in an earlier post, he's looking back on the last 6 months like a laser beam and thinking about your actions as revealed by your timeline, text history, and pics/videos. He'll think back about the loss of your mother and how he supported you during that time and contrast it with where your heart and mind was while he had to put his mother in hospice. He'll think about how you used his preoccupation with his mother's deteriorating health to deepen your love for OM.

So you have to allow him to vent but judging by your reactions to that venting, it feels like there's a limit to what you're willing to tolerate. If I'm getting that vibe, I can imagine that him hearing your responses and body language, has him doubting the depth of your love.

LifeDestroyer posted 10/3/2019 08:06 AM

I have told him that he can use me as a shoulder or a punching bag. Whichever one he needs. I was there for him while they put her on hospice care. I was talking to him each day, trying to reassure him that it was what his mom needed as I too had to put my mom in hospice. But yes, my actions also had me elsewhere via text. Trust me, that is another thing that I will never forgive myself for.

No, there isn't a limit on what I'm willing to take. This post wasn't about the feelings now after her passing. I think I started this before that happened. I sat there last as he said things that made me feel like shit. There was a moment when I wanted to leave the room so I didn't have to hear anymore, but I didn't because I knew I had to hear it.

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