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Humiliation and emasculation of a BH

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Snowyjune posted 4/17/2020 05:00 AM

As a WW trying to get on the road towards R, BH has always told me that he doesn't know how to get over the humiliation and emasculation of what I have done (EA/ PA).

I have read that betrayed husbands process infidelity differently than betrayed wives because of how different we are fundamentally.

I see his pain and sadness, but have no idea how to resolve this issue.
I will apologise for it and try to hold him, and let him know I'm working on us, but it doesn't help my BH heal.

I understand that recovery process is more than just this, but I am really stuck on this aspect. I need to be in the driving seat for this and could use some advice.

How do I help my BH with the humiliation I have caused him, on top of being safe and transparent?

I have begin to seek his opinion more (as a red flag has been my over independence), appreciate him and express my feelings of love more.. But seems small in the grand scheme of things..

Iamtrash posted 4/17/2020 07:21 AM

Sometimes, there’s not much you can offer in regards to what they’re feeling. Right now, mine is dealing with all of those feelings plus he is having non-stop nightmares about me having an affair. I cannot control his mind and what he thinks. I certainly can’t control his dreams.

What I can do is be consistent and safe. I can make sure to tell him that I love and appreciate him. Tell him why you value him. Tell him why he’s important to you. Tell him all the things he does right as a man, as a husband, as a father (if applicable). Tell him how much you enjoy and value the sex, touching him, being close. I can be fully honest and transparent. If things bother you, talk to him. Show him you’re willing to communicate openly with him. Most importantly....MEAN WHAT YOU SAY.

There are so many things they need to work through over time. It is truly a roller coaster. You may not be able to stop the ride, but you can be there next to him as he deals with all of these feelings.

Snowyjune posted 4/17/2020 07:42 AM

Thanks iamtrash, that is what i thought to do as well, just be on the roller-coaster with him, giving him time to work it out internally, showing him I care.

Then on the angry cycles, BH will get overwhelmed and ask "what have (you) done to ease the humiliation??" and I have no answer. All the telling him how much he means to me, how I am falling in love with him all over again and craving his every touch seems like trying to douse a forest fire with a pail.

I feel immensely guilty that I havent been able to help him feel better, and not knowing how to help with this really important aspect of the affair is killing my BH.

My BH has bad nightmares too.. Its excruciating isn't it.. To see our spouse writhe in pain from our mistakes.

Sanibelredfish posted 4/17/2020 07:54 AM

SJ, I hope you realize your reassurance of how much you love him may ring a little hollow. You’re less than a year away from the end of the affair, right? You were likely saying and doing similar things while in your affair so your words aren’t particularly valuable these days. Actions matter more, and the words must match the actions. Hopefully you’ll get some good suggestions.

Separately, I’m always kind of shocked when questions like this arise and it casts some doubt on the earnestness of the OP. Because all you have to do to gain some insight into how he is feeling is to google a phrase like, “man describes humiliation of cheating spouse” or something similar and there are literally pages and pages of links on the subject. Likewise, you could go to the JFO forum and read the BH stories. You’ll have insight to spare if you read enough.

Newlifeisgreat posted 4/17/2020 08:35 AM

Have you offered to move out so that he can have some space to figure out what he wants? This might be viewed by him as you putting his best interests before your own.

DoinBettr posted 4/17/2020 08:39 AM

SJ -
He will feel something is wrong with him. It is how the BH will feel they can stop (I know, it is stupid but it is a coping method. Otherwise we(BH) have to blame the WW 100% and most can't handle that.) this from happening again.
The other main thing to contemplate is how often you initiated sex prior and during the affair. Be sure to increase that 1000%.
Self esteem is something that my WW knows I still resent her for destroying in me. It is never going to be the same. Your BH isn't going to be bold and trusting like he used to be. The questioning or worry about where you are will annoy you at some point during your reconciliation. Just remember this is a scar he has to carry his whole life.
3 things my wife did which helped:
1) She started by writing out 30 reasons she chooses me. This pissed me off because I did it first as part of our counseling and it took her way too long. When I did get it, it was a nice thing to look at sometimes when I feel low. Send it to him as a text if you can, so that he has it on him at all times. If you can add to it periodically, do that as things pop in.
2) She implemented a daily compliment system. This felt weird from my side at first, but it is simpler than it sounds. She told me she would give me a compliment every day and remember what it was and try not to repeat them too much. She said she started increasing them to when she saw me working out she would mention my physique, if I was dressing up, she would mention how good I look in the clothes. It slowly wormed its way into my head and at first it didn't do anything, but it felt good later on. You are countering the terrible things he is telling himself in his head.
3) This one was really tough for my wife. She started talking me up to other people when we would meet them. I started to withdrawal from conversations with her present which is not like me at all. She apparently read somewhere about how to help me with this. She started talking me up every time I would approach if she was talking to someone. It would diffuse my suspicions if she was talking to a man. It also diffused some of my suspicions/paranoia that other people were talking about her affair or affair partner. (Yeah, it messes up some of the most confident guys heads.)
If you get really past things, you should talk to your BH about if you can discuss your affair in public. It takes a while to get there.

I am glad you see that he is going to be hurt for a while.
Just an FYI - if the AP was less attractive then the BH he will feel like he is uglier than he knows. Maybe even internally and question why he isn't loved. If the AP was better looking or more established, he will feel he can't compete. Just so you know it swings both ways.
Don't expect much help on this for your BH. I asked this in reconciliation and all I received back was BH heal yourself and people saying they didn't feel humiliated after the affair. Kind of stupid, but I think a guide or thread for this would be good.

[This message edited by DoinBettr at 10:14 AM, April 21st (Tuesday)]

leavingorbit posted 4/17/2020 08:57 AM

Hi Snowyjune, I’m sorry you’re here. Your husband will heal or not in his own way and at his own pace. You can’t resolve it for him. You can help, certainly. I think IAT had great advice.

Have you cleared asking and posting here with him? My husband never, ever wanted me to ask other guys for advice on this stuff or take their opinions as gospel. I would bring things I read to him and we would have great conversations sometimes. It would have to be more of a, “I read blah blah, what do you think/does that resonate/etc.” no assumptions, in other words. I needed to leave it 100% up to him and really be honest with myself that asking any questions about him or focusing on his feelings instead of my work was more about me, kwim? My husband put it like, “why would I want a bunch of strangers standing in and speaking for me?”

That’s just my husband so ymmv.

HellFire posted 4/17/2020 09:05 AM

Less than 3 weeks ago, you gave him another dday. He found out the affair continued for months after he thought it ended.

He is 3 weeks out. It doesn't matter when your first dday was. Everything has been reset based on dday 2.

Right now, you are his biggest trigger. Talk to him about moving out. Maybe go stay with your parents for a bit so he can breath.

If that doesn't work, ask if he wants you to move out of the bedroom. It's extremely difficult to sleep next to the person who has continuoisly stabbed you in the heart..his nightmares are inductive of that.

Ask him what he needs. And do it. He may not know. He may say one thing one day, and the next he wants the opposite. Do both. Welcome to the rollercoaster you've put him on. Buckle up.

Have you scheduled a polygraph yet? Do it. Because of the continued affair,and lies, he has no idea what it true. Schedule the test, so he has at least a basis of truth.

I really despise the " you can't heal him" line often said here. While he has to work on his own healing, there are hundreds of things you can do to aid in that healing. And hundreds of things you can do to hinder his healing. Many waywards hear that line and shrug their shoulders, focus on themselves( which they did during the affair), and when their spouse is hurting, they do nothing, or worse, pretend it's not happening, because, hey, they can't help them heal. Bullshit.

[This message edited by HellFire at 9:11 AM, April 17th (Friday)]

Iamtrash posted 4/17/2020 09:17 AM

Also, please remember that my suggestions are applicable to my BH. We are also nearing a year out from my affair ending. For way too many months after d-day, I didn’t know how to help him and I did all the wrong things. Even if I had done all these things immediately after d-day, they would have meant nothing. We are both in IC. We are both growing and changing from this even and from our own issues. Over time, he was better able to express his specific needs. He needs consistency, he needs my actions to match my words, he needs me to take initiative. That’s where we are at after a lot of work together and individually.

His needs may stay the same, they may change. What’s important is that I am always listening to whatever he needs and accommodating that. I need to be consistently safe no matter what his needs are. He needs to know that I hear him and am willing to meet his needs.

leavingorbit posted 4/17/2020 09:29 AM

Brief T/J: Hellfire, I agree. I did this and my husband did it and it was maddening. I think that if someone wants to throw up their hands when they find out they can’t control the whole shebang, they’re still engaging in self defeating thought cycles and aren’t candidates for reconciliation anyway.

Thus, you can’t do this - you CAN do this. If they’re going to give up because they fixate on that one piece, that’s on them. There are a zillion things that I may do to both help my husband and be a better spouse/person. However, his feelings are his feelings and he is in the driver’s seat. I had to put in a lot of work on not managing them. End T/J

So Snowy, the message is you can’t fix his feelings because 1) that shouldn’t be your goal and 2) his feelings are valid. And if you want to help with his feelings, I believe the best way to do that is to get that info FROM HIM.

[This message edited by leavingorbit at 9:30 AM, April 17th (Friday)]

HellFire posted 4/17/2020 09:37 AM

Thus, you can’t do this - you CAN do this. If they’re going to give up because they fixate on that one piece, that’s on them. There are a zillion things that I may do to both help my husband and be a better spouse/person. However, his feelings are his feelings and he is in the driver’s seat.

I believe that all of that is the, typically, unspoken meaning behind the "he has to heal himself " advice. The problem is, it's unspoken. A new WS is often looking for a quick fix. The easiest route. So if they are told they can only themselves, and can't heal their BS, then that's exactly what they concentrate on. We see it all the time on here. The BS is hurting, and the WS says they can't do anything about it,can't change the past, and just sit there while their BS is in agony.

New WS need to be told that while their BSs healing is ultimately up to them, there is SO MUCH they can do to aid in that healing.

WontBeFooledAgai posted 4/17/2020 09:45 AM

You need to understand a few things...

1. Your actions really cut him to who he is as a man. His very own wife had chosen another man over him. And if in fact you "affaired down" that is in a way, even worse. Your husband had all these things over this other guy and yet you still chose OM.

2. You need to understand that your words mean very little and your actions are suspect. For all this time you chose OM over your H. All the while you lied to your H. Now you are choosing and fighting for your H. Why is that. Is it only because you got caught? Because that is all how it looks to your H.

You need to be figuring out your why's--for both doing what you did and now fighting for the marriage.

Compounding all this is that your last D-Day was only a few weeks ago. You were on here expressing all this regret for the pain you caused and then it comes out that you were *still* lying to your BH. What other secrets are you keeping for your H. And if no then why should he even believe you.

[This message edited by WontBeFooledAgai at 10:14 AM, April 17th (Friday)]

Zugzwang posted 4/17/2020 09:46 AM

I am going to be blunt, simply because I don't see much change since your first thread. You really still seem to be on damage control. Which in the beginning is normal and since your husband is suicidal, understanding. Especially with all the TT and breaking NC. I believe you really aren't looking for a shortcut, I also believe you are using the marriage to keep you from focusing on some ugly things about yourself.

I will apologise for it and try to hold him, and let him know I'm working on us, but it doesn't help my BH heal.

I'm working on us

It isn't about US. He didn't cheat. You did. It is about you. Stop working on us. Work on you. Stop blameshifting it on this and dig deeper and admit it to him.

I have realised i compartmentalise and disassociate too easily.
This is the road. How you let yourself get there. Not the whys. You talk an awful lot about how dependent your husband is on you. How affected. I have to wonder if you liked having him being so dependent because of your own character flaws and weaknesses. It is an ugly thing to look at. It needs done though if you really are serious about changing. Having someone need you that desperately and being with someone so dependent means that you have the upper hand always. You enjoy knowing they will never leave you due to your own lack of self respect and love. You chose to take that for granted and chose to take advantage of that. You chose to hurt him and he knows it. Have you admitted that to him? To yourself? People can still lack self love, confidence, esteem, and respect and put on a false show of independence. When it comes down to it...it is all acting. Ask me how I know. I was the same way. Deep down I thrived off of undivided constant attention. I enjoyed having multiple people want me.

Of course he is going to still be where he is. Which is normal right now. Shock because of another Dday half a month ago. Of course he is going to say in his mind FO, it isn't about us. It is about you. You cheated. I had nothing to do with it. Eventually he will realize he also did nothing wrong and it wasn't his fault.

Have you opened up to him? Become vulnerable? Figured out your whys? Or are still stuck on how you got there, like using compartmentalizing as an excuse? If you haven't dug into your whys still, then of course he is going to feel humiliated and emasculated. You are keeping him that way (in a way-he still has the ability to leave). Think about it. He is defeated. You are of a level where he probably thinks he failed you. That is why you cheated (in his mind) because you left it at that in order to run and not face yourself. You have the upper hand. Feeling falsely confident from your ego boost with AP at his expense. Him feeling unworthy of you. He most likely is dependent on you...if he has been suicidal over you. You aren't digging into your whys and you aren't choosing to be humiliated in return. Once you did into your whys, like lack of self esteem, self confidence, and self worth...which is humiliating for a WS to admit...then you begin to see them at their level and become vulnerable. Have you? Or are you still in damage control?

Dday because of broken NC and TT was only late last month. You are pushing him too hard. Stop focusing on him and focus on yourself. IMO what I see in your posts...you are using him as a scapegoat to ignore your own self introspection.

But seems small in the grand scheme of things..
If it comes from a place of true remorse and not regret and damage control...or possibly enjoying someone being so dependent on you...every little thing adds up.

faithfulman posted 4/17/2020 09:57 AM

Just imagine if you were standing in a crowded public place with your husband.

Then you slap him in front of everybody, kick him in the balls, and to finish him off, you rub his face with mud.

Then a while later, when it is explained to you that what you did was wrong, you ask: What can I do to ease my husband's humiliation and emasculation?


The answer is you can't.

You can't un-fuck the other man. You can't undo whatever other sexual acts you did with him that haunt your husband. You can't make him un-think about how you came home to him after having been sexually used by someone else. You can't take away the lies you told him, whatever horrible shit you said about him or what you did to justify betraying him.

You can't do it.


It is the selfish nature of a cheater's twisted mentality to think that after they do everything to humiliate their spouse and destroy their self esteem, that they can "do something" to somehow reverse that.

You cannot.

The damage you inflicted on him - you cannot make it better. All you can do is stop inflicting more damage.

That starts with telling the complete truth, always. Anything you hid, get it out now.

But the damage you already did, humiliating him and emasculating as a man? That was your special gift to him that only you could deliver. And he has to deal with that on his own.

Okokok posted 4/17/2020 10:11 AM

Even after a few years, the most soothing feeling I get here on SI is when I read a comment from a truly remorseful, hardworking WS about their process, journey, tips, tricks, etc. I truly, truly appreciate this when I see it.

@Iamtrash and @Zugzwang have given you some great advice here. Truly great. And, not a WS, but @DoinBettr's advice is also great. These are good little tips for you to try out.

Be honest. Mean what you say.

Watch your pronouns. Don't include him in things that are only really about you. Know that 'us' is a shit word in the context you're using it; it rings of blame-shifting or blame-sharing, and that can hurt on a subconscious level.

I would be careful about offering to move out...that could very easily be taken the wrong way or be super triggery. Use your best judgment there.

There is probably some truth on some abstract level that you "can't" fix this...but there are certainly things you can do to help him on his journey as @HellFire suggests. A WS really putting the work in there, even if it doesn't work out in the end, is truly a gift.

Jameson1977 posted 4/17/2020 10:21 AM

Snowyjune, I'm a BH, nearing 5 years from dday.

I had mind movies for close to 2 years after dday. They didn't happen every night, we're more frequent after dday, but became less and less as time goes on.

I don't want to be graphic, but since I and lesked about all the dirty details, my mind movies were basically reenactment's of her and her AP, except my mind would add in self destructive talk about me between her and her AP, while screwing in my mind. Talk about a mind fuck! This is probably one of the biggest reasons to not ask for details, but not knowing was just as bad as I would imagine what happened.

Your BH will need time, reassurance from you, and would suggest IC for both of you.

Snowyjune posted 4/17/2020 10:33 AM

Hi everyone, as aptly put, I have read in many places that it's not something that I can help with or he has to come to terms with it etc, and I have grown increasingly uncomfortable with the fact that I cannot do anything. I would like to take initiatives to try and help.

I have tried reading and googling, but must sites don't give much suggestions on what can be done and it's the same message as above.

Whilst I understand that I had given him another dday through TT just a few weeks back, the same underlying messages have been coming through. There are many issues that I am working through and this is just one of the bigger ones. The whys and and vulnerabity are ongoing processes.

Whilst I'm working on the why's, to understand the lack of self respect and corresponding behaviour from childhood trauma, I don't want to sit and wait for this issue to resolve itself while I take small insignificant steps to help as my words don't really count anymore.

Hoping to hear advice specifically on this, hence this post. I understand that I might have pissed many people off here. I am trying to learn to be better. I apologise for any anger I have caused.

It is precisely the fact that I know I can't unfuck my AP that I'm lost in trying to help. I want to help. Not trying to reverse it..

I have tried asking from him, but him telling me what is needed and me then doing it makes it less helpful. I'm hoping to gain insights here on how to help him and then take a proactive approach.

Moving out would mean me giving up on helping him heal. It is on the table nonetheless.

I love my BH and I'm not trying to do damage control. He deserves so much better, and I want to be the better person for him, myself and my family.

thatwilldo posted 4/17/2020 11:17 AM


You said:

I need to be in the driving seat for this and could use some advice.

No, no, no! Your BS needs to be in the driver's seat. You've been manipulating him long enough. I did that, too. For instance, I held on to secrets and lies because I wanted to control the situation.

Have you read the Linda McDonald book? She explains very well why it's now the BS's turn to make some decisions. You're getting some eye-opening advice here. As many say here, stop trying to control the outcome.

DoinBettr posted 4/17/2020 11:21 AM

I will give you the one thing that people on this site don't tell most WS. Always keep doing something to improve the marriage. Try to make it something new. Maybe grab a calendar and write down what that something new is every month and make sure you do it.
This comes from seeing lots of BS talk about how they feel the WS isn't "doing enough". Go to JFO and you will see plenty of posts along those lines. Mine hit at a year out. Some call it the plane of lethal flatness.
He is going to feel like that at some point, but writing it out will be something you can give him later and show your progress. Also, journal if you can. Make sure you write out the best and worst parts of your days. Mention your feelings for your husband and for yourself. Maybe even write out what you are doing the next day to take another step forward. Again, this won't help now. It will help in a few months when he wants to see things move forward.
I will try to keep giving you little things. Trust me, these little things add up. Maybe I will make it a thread, but little things are what make people love each other. Think of the little things your husband does that you would miss if he was dead. I know divorce is better example, but this makes the feeling more permanent. It helps because even divorced you would have hope to see/feel those things again.
Little things like how he smiles, his smell, his laugh. That food he makes that you can never duplicate. The phrase he says that drives you nuts but you would miss if he stopped saying it. The way he feels when you hug him.
Love is little things that someone else needs.

leavingorbit posted 4/17/2020 11:27 AM

Zugzwang’s post is gold. It is a feint to focus on the marriage - what marriage? There’s a key though, in your post:

I have grown increasingly uncomfortable with the fact that I cannot do anything. I would like to take initiatives to try and help.

This is about you and your feelings.

I don’t want to sit and wait for the situation to resolve itself

Also about you.

Do you understand that you can’t control your husband? Do you understand that all you can do is offer and ask? If he doesn’t want to answer or respond, then you keep focusing on your work. Your whys. I feel that you are scrambling for damage control and I get it. One of the most important things you can learn is that you can’t fix it.

I did this. I thought my husband just needed to share and be open and angry. Focusing on him was just more external validation.

Who did I want to be? How did I become the person who cheated? How could I change? Why was I so uncomfortable with him not giving me direction? Why did I need to push for do much “insight” or “progress?” Why so much emphasis on my marriage? My cheating had 100% NOTHING to do with my marriage or husband. It was a me problem. Until I addressed those me problems, I couldn’t be a full person much less help another effectively. I couldn’t help my husband or possibly build a better marriage until I came from an authentic place, not damage control central. My husband is not a prop for my story.

I needed to let go of the illusion of control and it sounds like you do too. Are you in IC? Focus on fixing you.

Edited punctuation.

[This message edited by leavingorbit at 11:28 AM, April 17th (Friday)]

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