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At Armís Length

sadie28 posted 1/31/2020 08:28 AM

My second post. My first one on the Wayward Side forum. Per prior, I have been reading posts on this SI site for the past year. I both enjoy and hate reading all.
Per prior, my Story, I am an FWH. 13 months beyond D-Day after an 8-month Affair. An Affair that started with complimentary comments and looks and texting with a co-worker that then progressed and escalated to the ultimate in betrayal. My Wife of 29 years and I are now, and have been, working every day towards Reconciliation. Always forward but often backwards.
Of late, my wife is keeping me at armís length. A difficult time for us both, obviously. An even more difficult dynamic in that she has previously emphasized the need for my affection. How I should want to show and emphasize my affection for her. Even more so now after what I did, to show her how I truly feel and help her to heal. And I do want to! This IS how I feel! I WANT to at every chance. Because it is how I feel. And more importantly, because she has asked me to show such to help her feel better about herself and heal. And I/we do from holding hands. To looks. To touches. To comments. To notes. To reaching in or touching base. To hugs and holds and more.
But now with the pull-a ways and keeping me at armís length, I can no longer address one of the things that I want to improve to help my Loving Wife heal. One of the things that she has asked for or emphasized as important over the past year.
Any similar stories at a year out? Or any other time in Reconciliation? Or any other time after an Affair? What do I do?

hikingout posted 1/31/2020 08:51 AM

You always try and respect where she is in her journey. Just because she needed one thing earlier doesn't mean that's what she will need indefinitely. There are lots of changes and phases to this, healing is not linear.

Maybe take a step back and think about whether the problem is really you need this for reassurance as well. It could be clouding your thinking. While you were being very loving together I am sure that provided a sense of security to you that now is absent. This is a good time for you to examine your insecurities and dig into your patterns of thinking.

And, it's also a great time to communicate. Talk to her about it. Tell her you want to give her what she needs and you understand that will change. Listen to her.

I will say that there is such thing too as a vulnerability hangover. For a long time there is often a pattern of after a day or a few days of closeness the BS pulls away. It's often because they are still hurting and they have fears of you thinking things are going back to normal, when in their mind nothing that is happening is normal or secure.

MrCleanSlate posted 1/31/2020 12:33 PM

Sadie,

Needs and expectations change. At 13 months post D-Day your BW is possibly feeling burnt out by everything. The reality that the A will forever be a footnote in your M.

One thing that happened with me around the 12 month mark was I dealt with the A (I ended it before D-Day) and was wanting to work on us and our M. My BW was still processing my infidelity. She was still hurting and she was tired of it all.

We kind of worked through things. We spent a lot of time talking. Best thing I ever did was start asking her what she needs, or what I can do for her.

Talk to your BW.

Zugzwang posted 2/1/2020 09:11 AM

Maybe you two should take the love language test. It can change over time. As certain things are met and others not.

I suggest watching the series "Laugh Your way to a better marriage". My wife and I watched it together at her church marriage group.

Where are you in your journey? Have you become totally vulnerable? Have you owned it? Are you ever defensive?

Lastly, I remember this with my wife. Though for us, we aren't the same since I had a TT and my wife knew and sensed it. I think she was disappointed that she wasn't where she wanted to be with the marriage and healing.
We both expected more at a year out. Even with my selfishness and TT. I expected her to be healed more. Around this time she was really 180 me and I think in her lethal Plain of Flatness. Obviously because I had a TT withheld and wasn't owning it or getting it. Things really changed when I did shortly after 18 months with the TT.

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