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Help me to help him...

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Endy posted 10/7/2019 15:25 PM

You shouldn’t justify your act! You need to help yourself and get yourself together entirely, that should be the priority..

SeekingABetterMe posted 10/8/2019 15:47 PM

He says I need to fight for him. He says I need to be more compassionate at times. I tell him daily that I love him. Multiple times a day. I tell him I'm sorry for all of this an awful lot. When he's upset, I'll hug him or hold his hand. We talk through it. But apparently I'm somehow missing something.

My BH has said almost the same thing word for word and I have thought I am fighting for you, why can't you see it. I often don't post on others threads because I feel that with my relationship still in Recovery and still such a mess, I don't have much to offer others. So take my advice with that in mind. I feel like more recently I might actually be starting to "get it" a little bit.

He is confused and hurting and wants to know that you actually want him and the marriage. Some days he does and some days he doesn't. He is probably still trying to figure out if the affair is a deal breaker or not for him. Some BS know right away, some don’t want it to be, but they need our help to not make it so. I won't go into all the details here, but in IC today I admitted that I have a fear that the affair was a deal breaker for him and I believe that some of my not working on us has been because of that fear. When I told my BH this, his response was "Why shouldn't it be a deal breaker", we WS need to give them a reason it shouldn’t be. If your BH hasn't walked away yet, he is giving you the chance to not make it one.

I find the back and forth really painful. Yes, I know I deserve all the pain in the world for having hurt him, but it still hurts me. He'll say he wants to be here and how much he loves me. How he doesn't want a life without the kids and I. But then the next day or later the same day he'll say he doesn't want this anymore. Or he doesn't think he'll ever get past this. He says to keep fighting for him and I'm trying to do that. But how do I know when he doesn't want me to fight anymore? How do I know if or when he is just done? I sure hope it never comes to that.

I am terrible at metaphors, but I like to try anyway. The way I started seeing it recently is that I am a soldier. I am on the battle ground, am I hiding behind a rock hoping not to get noticed or am I confronting every enemy that comes near me? The enemies being recognizing hurts inflicted on my BH before the affair, during and after the affair, my whys, my character flaws, and flawed thinking, behaviors, dysfunctional beliefs, masks I wear, bad habits, whatever. While I am on that battle field I have no idea how the battle is really going, Are we winning or losing. I have no idea. If I don't fight with all my heart despite that uncertainty, we will lose. If I stay behind the rock, we will lose.
My BH is on the hill overlooking the field with reinforcements. He can see everything that goes on. He is waiting to see if I will fight to my last breath for him or if I am going to keep hiding. He can see if I decided to tuck tail and run. If he sees that I am doing everything I can, he will show up with reinforcements, but he is not going to risk all he has left if he can't see my effort. He doesn't want to leave me to die on the field, but it may be what he needs to do to save himself. He is asking me to not make him make that choice.
Down on that field you won't know which way he is leaning and you and I don't have the time or energy to worry about it. Every bit of energy has to be directed at facing our demons. I won't be the solider that costs us the battle because I thought it was over before it was. I want to win the battle, that’s all that matters to my actions. I can't control anything else.

Regretitall posted 10/9/2019 08:03 AM

SeekingABetterMe, thank you for that metaphor. It is pretty spot on, isn't it? I won't give up. I'm prepared to fight for him and for us. I'm prepared to fix what I have broke. I know it's not going to be easy, but I'm going to be stronger than I ever have been before.

One of the big sticking points for him is whether or not I enjoyed sleeping with the other man. I've told him exactly how things happened; all of the details of the times. I allowed things to turn physical. My husband and I were very infrequently having sex for a couple of years, so while I enjoyed the sex with the other man in the sense that it was sex, it was not good sex. I was very much in my head because at almost 40 years old and always being opposed to cheating, this was not something I ever would have thought I'd do. I would rush things along. Actual intercourse only took place 2 times. He says if it was so bad, I'd not have went back for more. Or been planning a third time, which is when he caught me. I enjoyed talking to the other man. He would compliment me and make me feel good about myself. Obviously he was doing this to get the sex that he wanted, and I know this now. But at the time, I wasn't smart enough to figure that out. So I'd do what I thought I had to do to keep him talking to me. To get my ego stoked. If I was just looking for sex, I'd have found someone else, cuz the other man did not satisfy me at all. But my husband has a hard time believing that I didn't enjoy it. I hope in time he will.

I thank everyone for the words of advice. I'm going to keep plugging along with fixing myself, my husband and our marriage. I'm going to keep fighting for him.

xhz700 posted 10/9/2019 12:23 PM

Actual intercourse only took place 2 times

Lose the word "only" permanently when referring to your infidelity.

fareast posted 10/11/2019 11:10 AM

Regretitall:

I am posting as a BS, and I want to offer my two cents worth. You have received excellent feedback here and I hope you take it to heart. You have mentioned you have a hard time admitting when you are wrong and admitting you can’t fix things. You are not alone in this but if you want to successfully R with your BH you do need to drop any defensiveness or need to punch back at your BH when he expresses his feelings. Accepting that you did this horrible thing to your BH and working on your “whys” is crucial moving forward. I have long R’d with my fWW, and one of the keys to my ability to stay with her and rebuild outr M, was her commitment to fight for our M and her demonstrated humility. Pre A I can tell you my fWW was selfish and proud, could never admit she was wrong. After our separation following her confession she worked very hard to demonstrate humility and compassion consistently over time. I am sure a5 times it was extremely hard for her to maintain that consistency when I would lash out, but she did.
Show your BH in ever way possible humility and acceptance, be attuned to his pain and hurt more than your own. Good luck.


gmc94 posted 10/11/2019 11:54 AM

Quick t/j: great metaphor SeekingABetterMe. As a BS, I wish my WH had had the ability to come out from behind his rock. End t/j.

RegretItAll - curious why you won’t do IC? This thread has good advice, but the simple “lose the word ‘only’ permanently” feels like point A. Your OP and replies have lots of underlying justification and minimizing. While some may say it’s understandable, IMO it really needs to stop - now. It’s time to put on your big girl pants and climb out from that rock on the field and PROACTIVELY work on yourself and support your BH. If all that background info (cancer, loved one’s deaths, etc) is truly irrelevant, why spend so much time waysplaining it?

I don’t need a reply - just food for thought/observations from a BW.

Beachwalker posted 10/11/2019 15:35 PM

Another BS, here:

Actual intercourse only took place 2 times.

What he heard was, “It only happened twice, so it’s really not that bad.” ONCE is way more than enough! Yes, you are minimizing. Go to IC. Regardless of whether or not there is R, you need to make yourself a safe partner for either your current H or your next Significant Other (SO). YOU will come out of that a better person. So, your H doesn’t want to go? Go anyway! And you don’t stop going until your counselor says you are ready for MC.
He would complement me and make me feel good about myself.

And as you found out, he had selfish motives. But, why would his complements make you feel good about yourself and not those from your H? Or, why do you need that external validation? These are questions you need answers for – reasons to get into IC.

Sometimes spouses feel the complements from their H/W are not genuine, that they HAVE to complement you because it’s required; however, the AP DOESN’T have to complement you. His/her comments must be genuine since they are not “required”. You learned the AP did it for his own selfish agenda, and I hope what your H says from now on has greater meaning. Remember that he is NOT required to complement you, so when you hear those positive comments, know they are from the heart, ok?

HardenedGuy posted 10/11/2019 17:15 PM

Regretitall,

If your husband is anything like the rest of us BH's, he is utterly devastated and emotionally paralyzed by what you've done. He is a beaten and broken version of his former self and right now he is flat on his back in life.

What you need to understand is that standing over him exuding a lot of positive energy and encouraging him to get to his feet, maybe even going so far as to reach down and lend him a hand up, is not at all helpful, despite what you might think. That is what all your endless supply of "I'm sorry's" and "I love you's" are to him right now, fancy, upbeat phrases that completely gloss over the fact that he is completely crushed.

What you need to do is get down on the floor with him. He is looking to see if you are as crushed by what you did to him as he is crushed by what you did to him. He needs to know that you truly empathize with the pain that is weighing so heavy on him. Only then with a humble "I'm sorry" and "I love you" resonate with him. From there you can work on sitting upright, slowly, and together. And from there you can work on getting to a knee, again slowly, and together. And finally you can stand.

Your problem is empathy and compassion. He doesn't see it in you, and that's why you're struggling.

Regretitall posted 10/13/2019 19:14 PM

xhz700, you're right. Using only is a minimizing word to something that is in no way minimal. I will remember to no longer say only when referring to anything to do with my affair.

Part of why I craved the nice comments from the OM is because my BH had stopped giving them. For many years. So when I heard something nice, I jumped to the wrong thing. I know now that he only said anything nice to get what he wanted. I see that now. If only I had been strong enough and smart enough to see it for what it was back then.

I'm doing everything I can to show my BH true remorse and sincerity. It's so hard when you read conflicting things; "don't cry when he's upset. This isn't about you". But then you're told to show emotions. So when he's upset, sometimes I just let him cry on my shoulder and sometimes I join in on the crying. He's seen me angry at myself and the OM. He's seen me crying cuz I was so stupid as to try to ruin our marriage and our family. He has told me many times that he has no doubt that I'm sorry for what i did. His problem is that I don't always show the compassion that he was needing. He gave me some pointers on what is important to him for that, and I believe I've been doing much better.

I'm right down on the floor with him. I'll do anything to get him back up on his feet again. My husband is a truly amazing man, and I'm sorry that I lost sight of that for awhile. That we both lot sight of our marriage for awhile. We are both committed to fixing the marriage and the destruction that I have caused to it. We have good days and we have bad days. He's still very much on a rollercoaster, and I'm in the seat next to him, as much as I fear rollercoasters. I believe we will be one of the couples who make it on this site. I sure hope so anyways.

Thank you again to everyone for your kind words and helpful pointers. They are very much appreciated. My husband is also a member here who has a couple threads of his own, and he does check in on me on this thread. I think this site is very helpful for the both of us. Thank you all.

Roadhouse posted 10/13/2019 19:50 PM

[This message edited by Roadhouse at 6:51 AM, October 14th (Monday)]

HardenedGuy posted 10/13/2019 22:45 PM

Problem I'm having is I don't always know what to do for him. He has access to all of my emails, facebook, texts, etc. Always. He has looked at banking and credit cards. I'm very accountable with where I'm going and when I'll be back and with checking in with him while I'm gone. I'm doing everything that I have read in books or articles when it comes to transparency. He says I need to fight for him. He says I need to be more compassionate at times. I tell him daily that I love him. Multiple times a day. I tell him I'm sorry for all of this an awful lot. When he's upset, I'll hug him or hold his hand. We talk through it. But apparently I'm somehow missing something.

All of this stuff you listed here is superficial. It's easy. It is expected if you even want the slightest chance of reconciling. This is the standing above him, helping him to get up part.

I'm right down on the floor with him.

I'm not saying you are not, but where is your list of things to prove this? How do you show him that you feel his pain? How do you let him know what you're willing to do to help relieve his pain? Do you initiate conversations about your affair, your marriage before, and your marriage after ... not for the purposes of dwelling on the past, but to carry learnings into the future? Do you understand his triggers and how you can help him through those? Do you talk about trust and what he needs to gain it back? Do you talk about self confidence and what he needs to gain that back? Are you on the same page about what aspects of your relationship will never be the same, and are you both at peace with that? To be on the floor you need to get deep.


RocketRaccoon posted 10/13/2019 23:03 PM

It's so hard when you read conflicting things; "don't cry when he's upset. This isn't about you". But then you're told to show emotions.

Basically, when you were with your AP, you made it all about yourself. You were the centre of attention.

Now that your BH knows the whole truth (hopefully) about your A, he has to become the centre of your attention. Showing emotion is not really an issue, it is why and how you show your emotions.

If you make a big deal whilst crying (big huge heaving sobs, wailing, etc etc), then you are drawing attention back to yourself again. Making a huge dramatic production out of it, so that everyone looks at you. It is a selfish act then as you are not the victim.

Your attention has to be back on your BH.

DoinBettr posted 10/15/2019 17:16 PM

My husband and I were very infrequently having sex for a couple of years, so while I enjoyed the sex with the other man in the sense that it was sex, it was not good sex.

Could I ask why you stopped having sex frequently with your husband?
Because you sound like a PROUD person, you most likely controlled that aspect of sex.
Have you been vulnerable with your husband?
Sex is very important: before, during, and after the affair. So this question will state a lot, most likely about your feelings about sex.
If you denied your husband sex except twice a year, then gave these men 2 times, you gave away your husbands ration of sex for less than he gave you. Just something to think through. I have a friend who we think his wife is cheating because she is pulling this and they are in their late 40s. If she is cheating, it will be a mountain for him as he missed the sex, he just was shot down enough times, he stood back and waited for her to initiate. Then she replaced him. Just something to think through.

Regretitall posted 10/19/2019 22:48 PM

DoinBettr...we stopped having sex for a number of reasons. My BH and I actually just talked about this yesterday. He remembers things differently that I do. He's 3.5 years older than I am, but he had a child much younger than I did. When him and I met, his son was 11. I wanted kids so badly and that was sort of a deal breaker for me. So he agreed to try with me me for one. I always wanted a girl. So one turned into two. I had our children at 31 and 34 for my ages. A miscarriage, and then a son and a daughter. Of course children make things difficult when it comes to sex. So as time went on, sex became much less than the daily we were accustomed to in the beginning. More of less became once a week on a Saturday night when the kids were asleep. Then with his health issues, he wasn't always feeling up to it on the Saturday. Not only was there the thyroid cancer, but also his Mickel's diverticulitis which gave him stomach issues. I'd almost always be the one to "ask" if we could on that Saturday. Over the years, I had also gained weight. Believe me, I was never small, but I gained weight. He found himself resenting me for numerous things and used that as an excuse.

I got tired of "asking" if we could "visit" that Saturday night and being rejected. So I quit asking. We literally probably slept together 6 times in a year.

We talked about this yesterday and he doesn't recall it the same way. He says that he stopped wanting to initiate cuz I never did. But I did.

Sex since Dday one and Dday two has been amazing. I say Dday one, cuz that's when the caught me texting in July of 2018. I tried to cover my ass and swore up and down that it was just an emotional affair and he tried to believe that. In August of 2019, he mentioned a polygraph and I told him the full truth.

I've been completely and totally honest with him since then.

Regretitall posted 10/19/2019 23:09 PM

We're currently fighting again. I'm wearing his ring, cuz he's done. When we were first together and we'd fight, I'd call it quits when times got rough. He begged me to stop doing that. So I have. For 8 or so years, that's no longer my go to answer. But since my affair, that's become his go to. Any time he doesn't like an answer to something or something that he perceives | have done wrong, he quits.

Tonight it's cuz I smoked. He asked me to stop smoking when I go to my friend's for beers on the weekend cuz that's a trigger for him. Cuz I told him that every time the AP came over, we'd smoke. I've been a smoker since I was 14. I'm 41. I quit when I was 34 and only use the electronic ones, except for my on my 3 or 4 times a month of going out drinking with a friend.

He used to be a HUGE pothead. Every day, multiple times a day since he was like 12. He's 44. He quit more or less when we met. Then it came legal here like a year ago. Said he wanted to buy it for the first time in his life "legally". Said it'd be a couple times here or there. It's now daily. Twice a day, most day since my affair came out. Me smoking costs nothing. Him doing pot costs money. I get why he hates it on account of me smoking with my AP, but it's damn hard to quit a habit like smoking. When I bring up him quitting the pot again, that's always a no answer. So why is my smoking cigarettes, at no cost to be a big deal?

Is it normal for the betrayed spouse to want to "quit" every few days? To toss their ring at you and say they're done?

The affair is long past done. No further contact. Nothing that he can misconstrue as something bad with anyone else. I am completely invested with him. Am I fighting a losing battle? Is he ever going to stop calling it quits like he asked me to do all those years ago?

doin just fine posted 10/20/2019 00:36 AM

The affair is long past done.

No it’s not. The affair ends, at best, when the duplicity ends. Which was, again at best, a couple weeks ago.

Barregirl posted 10/20/2019 07:39 AM

Is it normal for the betrayed spouse to want to "quit" every few days? To toss their ring at you and say they're done?

The affair is long past done. No further contact. Nothing that he can misconstrue as something bad with anyone else. I am completely invested with him. Am I fighting a losing battle? Is he ever going to stop calling it quits like he asked me to do all those years ago?

It is very normal for a BS to be on a roller coaster of emotions. They have experienced massive trauma.
You are not completely invested with him. You are all about you. As a fellow WS, your lack of empathy is like a flashing neon sign. The things you list that you have done to try show you want R are the bare minimum of what should be in any M. No lies, transparency, and NC with AP are the first step.
To really help him, you must show him he is your 1st priority. Nitpicking him about smoking pot does not show him he is your 1st priority. Certainly by continuing to smoke while with friends after being asked not to as it triggers your BS is not putting his needs above yours. This to me is petty and cruel, to do something intentionally that triggers your BS.
Maybe that is a good starting place for you to dig.

Regretitall posted 10/20/2019 11:50 AM

Doin just fine; I thought that the affair ended when contact is stopped with the AP. So that would be back in July of 2018. If it's when all of the truth of it comes out, then that would be the end of August of this year. Sorry about understanding incorrectly.

As far as the smoking, that is the only thing that I do that he doesn't agree with. I actually don't nitpick him about the pot. I just brought it up here. Smoking is a hard thing for me to let go of, especially when having beers. I literally leave the house with a friend on most Friday nights. Other than that, I'm at home. I work from home. So once week or less I go out and see friends and they all smoke.

We've been doing tons of communicating. Massive amounts of talking about what I am discovering as my whys. I am a complete open book about everything and he checks in on what I'm doing all of the time. I text to check in whenever I leave this house so he feels secure. I'm doing all that he's asking me to do. Reading books, articles, this site, more compassion and plenty of other things. But it's hard when I'm totally invested and he keeps telling me he's done every two days. Tells me to fight for him. I try to fight for him and he says he's done.

[This message edited by Regretitall at 4:05 PM, October 20th (Sunday)]

RocketRaccoon posted 10/20/2019 22:15 PM

This

I'm right down on the floor with him. I'll do anything to get him back up on his feet again.

does not gel with this

I get why he hates it on account of me smoking with my AP, but it's damn hard to quit a habit like smoking.

Your actions show that you are NOT 'right on the floor with him'.

I'm a smoker, and can relate to the difficulty of quitting smoking, but the words that come out of your mouth does not match what you do.

If you were truly committed to his healing and to R, then you would hold yourself accountable to stop smoking because it triggers him, and work like hell to get him back. Instead, you are trying to divert attention to his pot smoking.

Why is this so?

[This message edited by RocketRaccoon at 5:31 AM, October 21st (Monday)]

Regretitall posted 10/22/2019 13:04 PM

If you were truly committed to his healing and to R, then you would hold yourself accountable to stop smoking because it triggers him, and work like hell to get him back. Instead, you are trying to divert attention to his pot smoking.

Why is this so?


After a very large fight last night, followed by reflection and talking last night and today, I have determined that I divert attention because I don't like to be criticized. "If you can do this, then why can't I do that". I have a hell of a time listening to him lash out at me. Hearing the hurtful things. I feel as though I need to defend myself. We were always told to not be put down or put up with a bully, right? Even though the things he is saying to me are true, it hurts to hear and I fight back. That got us nowhere last night. In fact, it got us closer to ending.

I worry sometimes that if I let the fighting go the way that it's "supposed" to, by letting him vent at me and me not be able to respond, that this will be the rest of our lives. Is a fight or a disagreement not a two way communication?

I am committed to not smoking. As hard as that will be for me. My H explained in more detail last night why that is such a big deal for him. I won't do it again. The lies and broken promises are done.

I just want to fix this so bad and I guess I don't know how. When he's in a good place he'll tell me how good I'm doing and thank me for things I have done, on bad days, he throws them in my face and says that I only did it cuz he had mentioned it. I've dug deep into why I did what I did. I emailed him a couple times with different things I have truly discovered.

I feel like I'm losing him and I don't know what to do to keep him. He tells me to not stop fighting when he wants to quit and then said last night that when he wants to be done, that's his choice. So does he want me to keep fighting for us or let him walk away?

I f&&king hate what I've done to him and to our kids. I hate that I've hurt him so deeply and if we do break up, our kids will be hurt. That's my fault. Everything is my fault and it sucks to know that.

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