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Acknowledge or not?

RedeemedSinner posted 3/26/2020 21:37 PM

Things are going ok, talking about daily things and BS is communicating about daily life stuff. D-day was four months ago. I feel like I should at least acknowledge her undeserved grace of at least talking to me and never being mean or aggressive towards me. Itís hard to bring up the A when she is trying to talk about ďnormalĒ daily conversations.
Should I acknowledge her kindness which I appreciate greatly or just not bring up those thoughts?

foreverlabeled posted 3/27/2020 05:12 AM

Of course you should. And it doesn't have to be during the conversations of daily life. You can start this conversation on your own at anytime.

4 months is very early, your BS is thinking about it every minute of every day. You could even go a step further and ask if she would like to talk about the affair or her pain, anything that might help her.

Okokok posted 3/27/2020 06:24 AM

Speaking as a BS, something like that would have meant a lot to me in R.

MrCleanSlate posted 3/27/2020 07:39 AM

RedeemedSinner,

I can tell you that learning how to actually tell my BW what was on my mind, letting her know I appreciate her and the things she does, and generally communicating made the difference for us to move into a successful R.

It was about 3 months post D-Day and I wrote with a washable marker on our ensuite mirror a long list of all the things I appreciate, love and thank my spouse for. I took up the whole mirror. I actually started to cry about part way through as I was really pouring out my heart.

My wife left that up for about 3 months.

Tell her everyday.

(PS - my wife and I leave each other messages on our mirror to this day).

[This message edited by MrCleanSlate at 7:42 AM, March 27th (Friday)]

Chaos posted 3/27/2020 09:24 AM

As a BS yes you should. At 4 months post DDay it took every ounce of effort I had to put one foot in front of the other and go about my day to day life. I cried a lot in the shower so no one would see. I held a lot in or I'd be a constant puddle.

I'm not sure you and your BS communication style - but foe me it would have been nice to have a simple shoulder squeeze or a good night "I'm glad we are still here" It didn't need to be a grand gesture - just a gesture.

When I flooded - WH did get me my favorite chocolate. It was appreciated. I actually am smiling a bit as I type that.

I also wish he wouldn't have waited until I flooded to do something like that. Perhaps if he'd have done those little things all along some of that flooding wouldn't have been - at least as much.

RedeemedSinner posted 3/27/2020 12:31 PM

Thank you all for your responses and advice. I greatly appreciate them. I think my hesitation is not wanting to ďmess up any more than I haveĒ. Or say something to upset her more. She has asked for space which I am fully respecting. I just donít want to come off as pushy. I am definitely being sensitive to when she has a rougher day and acknowledging those and caring for her best I can. So I guess the better days should be the same.

Twinkies posted 3/27/2020 16:14 PM

I agree with Chaos.

Also know the affair is never far from the top of her thoughts even if she's not talking about it. If you have something to say/share/express maybe ask her if its a good time. I know I would have appreciated of he would have brought it up occasionally.

HellFire posted 3/27/2020 16:20 PM

What you view as a better day,is different for her. There may be days where she is better able to push through the pain. But, at only 4 months out, every day is painful. Every day is tainted.

Don't worry that bringing it up might make things worse. The worst has already happened. There is never a minute,of any day, that its not on her mind. It helps to acknowledge it,so she knows she's not in this alone.

Brew3x posted 3/27/2020 17:51 PM

I know as a BS it would have been helpful if my WS spouse brought up the A. Itís always on my mind but I have a hard time talking about it.

dancin-gal posted 3/28/2020 12:34 PM

As a BS .. I needed and need to know that my WS cares .. a hug .. a touch goes a long way .. just holding my hand can give me a secure feeling . Think of a baby crying .. you want to make the baby comfortable and show they are loved .. same with a BS .. respect space but at same time show you care ..

RedeemedSinner posted 3/28/2020 14:12 PM

One of the hardest things is that I canít physically show I love her as she has made it clear she wants that space and is uncomfortable around me. I see it every time I am around her. It is truly heart breaking to see what my horrible choice has done to her. So I am trying to show support and loving her with the limited ways I can. Also saying I love her makes her uncomfortable. Thank you all again for the great insight you have given.

forgettableDad posted 3/29/2020 04:44 AM

Your wife doesn't just want space. She needs space to heal. There are many ways you can show appreciation.

Take more responsibilities around the house. Help her define a space that's just hers. A safe place. Take the kids (if you have) more often, help her discover and go out with friends to be herself (kinda hard these days with the whole quarantine I guess). Encourage external hobbies. Help her understand that the financial security of a home is there and is there to stay.
When she is triggered and the anger & bitterness happen; be there, listen, absorb and understand.

All of that so she can find herself and find the strength she has (because she does). And more than that. Through all of that, you need to learn how to appreciate and love her in a healthy way (unlike the man you were) as a person and a woman not just "wife" or "mother".

And time. Because it's going to take a lot of it for any movement forward.

In the end, both of you (and me and my wife, and all of us really) we're not just working to reconcile. We're working together to forge a healthy loving married relationship. And that should be the norm for the rest of your (ie. our) lives.

[This message edited by forgettableDad at 4:45 AM, March 29th (Sunday)]

MickeyBill2016 posted 3/29/2020 13:13 PM

Also saying I love her makes her uncomfortable.

Yes it might. But if you let her know that you appreciate her efforts and that she is still there might help.

RosesandThorns posted 3/29/2020 13:36 PM

My d day was over a decade and a half ago (online infidelity), but one of the things that helped me was when my husband thanked me for helping him to wake up and be a better man. For giving him the chance to change. He was steadily careening towards a cliff and came close to losing everything. He had to do the hard work himself, but my willingness to stand up to him while letting him see how he'd hurt me was the catalyst that led to him dealing with his $&#@. We don't talk about it much anymore, but he still every few years when we discuss something relevant will thank me for not rugsweeping or letting him rugsweep. Everyone's different, but in the early years after DD I found this easier to hear than "I love you" or "I'm sorry."

RedeemedSinner posted 3/29/2020 21:43 PM

Every time I look at her and see the pain Iíve caused her it is a reminder of how terrible a choice I made. I just want to be able to love her fully again. I may not be able to speak the words I love you, but Iím just focusing on showing love and caring to her and our kids. Not because Iím trying to prove something, but because she deserves that. I have told her I appreciate her talking to me even though I donít deserve that. She has been respectful and never yelled which is truly a gift undeserved. I do see every day she gives me as a gift. Thanks again for all your replies.

RosesandThorns posted 3/30/2020 16:33 PM

Every time I look at her and see the pain Iíve caused her it is a reminder of how terrible a choice I made.

Have you told her this? When I asked my husband how I could trust him and expect he wouldn't do this again, he said the look on my face was something he'd never forget, and he didn't ever want to see me look like that again. Especially not because of his choices.

I just read back through a couple of your posts. It's to your credit that you confessed because your conscience pressed you. I suspect you were hopeful that because it was in the past it would be easier for her to get over. I wish it worked that way, but I don't think it does.

I was a newlywed of less than a year and pregnant with our first child when I discovered that my husband had a double life. We were Christians, waited until we were married, and I felt as if I had been completely duped. I don't know exactly what level of infidelity you pursued (don't need to), but I'm *guessing* your wife feels ten times worse than I did. Physically, she may feel inadequate and tainted. I felt violated that I had bared my body to a man who could betray my trust like that. I was sure he was comparing my pregnant body to the others' (large breasted, perfectly shaped, and tight) and I had never felt so ugly. The infidelity was very sexually charged but hadn't yet turned into a PA, so I can only imagine how your wife feels. The feelings of betrayal and devaluation are a sickening, lethal combo.

Whatever you do, do not indulge in self-pity. Find male friends to talk to about that or post on SI. (Though I strongly recommend you not private message females.) Make sure they will also hold you accountable. We went to a pastor, who rugswept and got embarassed b/c he really had no idea how to handle any of it, and he made everything worse. I'm not a fan of pastors as counselors. (I find they are good at shepherding but horrible at counseling, unless they have real training.) Please make sure your pastor understands the gravity of infidelity.

I know you want her to commit to R, but don't pressure her. It is trying to control the outcome, and you already did that by cheating and then choosing not to tell her for so many years. Think of it as if you'd assaulted her. We don't expect victims to make friends with or even associate with their attackers. Remember that when you feel impatient. Instead, continue to thank her for every day she gives you to help her heal and spend with your family, to prove you do love her. That you are working on your "why"s and boundaries in order to be safe. At this point tell her she IS NOT ON A TIMELINE to work through this, especially NOT YOURS. You are in this for the long haul. If she says she doesn't want R, tell her that it will kill you but you will still be here, doing your best to take care of her and your family, however she allows that, however she wants that to look.


Do share if you're concerned she is bottling up her anger/grief and want her to know she can talk to you about it or anything else whenever she wants. Offer to schedule a regular time for that. Tell her you don't want to hurt her but are committed to not rugsweeping. Make it a point to confess any other lies--even not related to infidelity--that you've told her and make sure you are being truthful in all things.

If she's having trouble eating, tell her you're worried about her health and serve her healthy snacks or meals. Smoothies. Something that proves you care about her long term well-being and are not just trying to make her happy or get points. If her love language is service or gifts, speak to her that way, even if she doesn't show appreciation (remember, this is not about your feelings). If she asks you to stop, perhaps continue to put small things you wish you could give her in a box with notes attached and squirrel them away so she doesn't have to see them. (But write notes so she knows they were for her and not someone else.) Write her notes or letters telling her how you feel about her, what you appreciate about her. She can read them when/if she chooses. If she rejects them, start a dated journal and write down the things you wish you could say to her and do for her. If she ever changes her mind, you can present it to her. But don't tell her about it or use it to manipulate.

What you've done has hurt your children, but you are doing the best thing now in coming clean, manning up, and dealing with the consequences. Continue to show them humility. Model for them how you should have treated their mom. Talk to them about that. Tell them how God has changed your heart and is continuing to work in your life. If my father had dealt with his infidelity this way, it would have meant the world to me. Would have gone a loooong way towards repairing our relationship and helping me to understand grace. And probabably helped me to have a better "picker" when it came to relationships.

Again, your confessing because you wanted to do the right thing vs because you were going to be caught is a good sign. (If eventually getting caught was a factor, confess that to her immediately.) I know this is a lot more advice than you asked, and I apologize for that. Hopefully you will find something helpful. I am rooting for you, Redeemedsinner, and I hope and pray that you and your wife are able to R. Take care.

[This message edited by RosesandThorns at 5:46 PM, March 30th (Monday)]

RedeemedSinner posted 3/30/2020 23:04 PM

Thank you Rosesandthorns for the in depth response I truly appreciate you taking the time to do so. I have told her how I see the pain and hurt Iíve caused her when I look at her. She canít even look at me which is totally opposite of how we were before I confessed. My true purpose in telling her was to fully give this sin to God and to hopefully allow healing in our marriage. Honestly I wrestled with this alone for so long swearing I could never have the strength to look her in the eyes and break her heart. I just felt like God was saying it is time to bring it into the light completely. No more holding onto it in private. She says it hurts to talk to me and sheís tired of hurting. I just said I am sorry Iíve caused her this pain and can only hope for mercy from her even though I donít deserve it. Waiting so long was terrible, because we learned how to truly love and care as husband and wife, but now itís been washed away. We became best friends and I believe the hurt is so much deeper because of where we had come.

RosesandThorns posted 3/31/2020 06:00 AM

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but it takes 2-5 yrs on average to heal from infidelity. (You can't rush that, so you've got to buckle in for the ride.) That's if both parties are doing the hard work. And forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation.

I can hear the stark pain in your posts, your urgency to fix this, but gently...you're not in the driver's seat for the healing of your wife and marriage. God and your wife are. You can tend to your own journey. But you can't hop a plane and meet her on the other side. You have to ride through the hurricane with her, letting her drive, no matter how scary that is for you. And that's with the knowledge that you don't know if you all are headed to R or D.. (And you don't get point to the guy in lane beside you and say, "See, she already told him they're headed for R!") You can support her in her healing, but you don't get to back seat drive, either. You have to endure the whiplash. That's where leaning into Him comes in.

Again, I would consider writing her letters that she can read at her leisure or keeping a journal of all you would say to her if you could. Perhaps ask experienced SI members how they managed their own feelings of remorse and pain while supporting their spouse. And if you haven't done so already, I recommend Samuel's videos and blog on Affair Recovery.

I really am praying that you and your wife are able to reconcile eventually. Above all, I hope for your healing as well as hers.

RedeemedSinner posted 3/31/2020 06:21 AM

Thank you again. Yeah I have been journaling everything along this valley, including prayers and truths revealed in this. Documenting every hurt and pain so hopefully one day I can look back and remind myself and help others of why creating boundaries to protect ourselves from falling like I have is vital.
I have had to learn that lesson that I can not look at other peopleís recovery in comparison to our own. It can be hopeful and also heartbreaking. I have been spending a lot of time watching videos from Samuel and many other podcasts and books. Just trying to manage day to day as God works in both of us.

RosesandThorns posted 3/31/2020 06:49 AM

You seem to "get it" (as much as is possible and if you're working on your "why"s) and sounds like you are doing all you can. If God prompted you to confess--which sounds like Him -- He will also give you the strength and wisdom to persevere. Through every excruciating moment, as well as the healing ones. Keep on keeping on. (For King and Country has a good song about keeping on, called "To the Dreamers.")

[This message edited by RosesandThorns at 8:38 AM, March 31st (Tuesday)]

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