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Loving my BS

sim1 posted 5/24/2020 07:39 AM

I am a WS. I have been married for over 30 years. Married to a wonderful woman. 4 children. Entered into an affair with coworker 30 years younger than me that lasted 10 months. DD was 2.5 years ago. I am an alcoholic and addict as well. My wife has stayed with me despite everything I have put her through. I have not had a drink for 2.5 years but still with problems with prescription drugs.
I have I had thought doing an admirable job reconciling with my wife. That was in my mind unfortunately. I thought I was doing all the right things. I even gave up drinking for goodness sakes and joined AA. I was doing great. What a wonderful guy I had become. My wife should forgive me and forget about my affair. That was obvious.
Not even close. The hurt I have brought on my wife is utterly devastating and so cruel that I don’t think she can ever get over it completely. I have tried in earnest or to the best of my ability to do all the necessary work she has asked of me. That should be enough right?
Not even close. I have to be more understanding and above all find a way to love her that that I should have all along. I have to wear her shoes. Understand how she feels and feel her pain. I have to have the love for her as stated in Corinthians 13. Love is patient, love is kind... I do love her this way I feel in my heart. I certainly did not during my affair. I loved her as an object. Just as loved my AP. I think I have grown much since DD but have a long way to go. I will do whatever it takes to make my wife feel safe and truly loved in a unconditional way. I hope she stays with me for this to happen.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 5/24/2020 08:00 AM

Welcome to SI.

Please share with us what you have been actively doing to heal from infidelity. I can tell you that working through your Step program in conjunction with posting here and IC, you can get to a better place, but you must put in the effort.

Your betrayal and alcoholism together will add layers to her pain that neither of you will realize until you really start to actively dig and heal. You will need to find a deep understanding of yourself, finding your why’s.

If you haven’t already, I recommend reading How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair” by Linda J McDonald. It’s a great quick read with valuable information.

Keep posting. Take working your step program seriously. Share your specific struggles. We are here to help.

sim1 posted 5/24/2020 08:16 AM

I have read Linda McDonalds book at least 3 times. Have worked the 12 step program with a sponsor, have tried to do all that my BS asks. Have told her verbally a time line. I thought I had given it to her but I did not. I wrote one out. She asked me to try to recall my thoughts and feelings. I tried to be honest. It was not complete and she read what was there and was utterly devastating to her.
Made me learn that I have a lot of work and may things to learn. Will be an ongoing process that I will need to put forth more effort into.

BraveSirRobin posted 5/24/2020 11:57 AM

Is she aware that the timeline is incomplete? It's beyond cruel to withhold anything while telling her she knows everything. There's always the possibility of remembering something later, but your primary responsibility is to give her all the facts currently in your possession. Otherwise, you're just setting her up for another round of devastation down the line.

Lucky77 posted 5/24/2020 19:20 PM

Sim,

Brother. Fellow Wayward. You’re a big asshole aren’t you.

That’s OK. So am I. Big assholes unite.

You’ve really fucked up.

Stay for a while. Sit with us while we beat you with clubs and you join our posse.

Side chick
Booze
Addiction
Long time time marriage

Ya check all those boxes. There’s no single recipe out of this shit box. But. Hang in there brother. You asshole. Ha ha.

sim1 posted 5/25/2020 08:24 AM

Thank you for all your comments. I am a big A-hole, or I was a big A-hole. I have a lot of repair work to do. Completing my timeline. Must try to get that done today. I can’t control how my wife will react to it. I can only be honest. However she acts is how it is. It is the truth. How she is-honest and true to the core. Not how I was- dishonest and rotten to the core. I am learning to be a better man from her and whether we make it or not I will be a better person because of her. I don’t know where I went wrong. I need to dig deeper.

sim1 posted 5/25/2020 18:16 PM

I completed my timeline finally 2.5 years after DD. Talked to my BS about it. I was just looking at her now and wondering how I could do such a horrible horrific thing to the person I was supposed to love most. To the person I vowed to love honor and protect in sickness and health til death do us part. She correctly said that both my AP and I were narcissistic. We most definitely were. I’d like to blame my alcoholism but that is just a cop out. It was my thinking that was the problem and my alcoholism, affair were just side effects of my so distorted sense of being. I admire my wife so much. Her values and just who she is and always was. She says I have to love and care for myself. So hard to do. I am not going into any self pity which just puts me back into selfishness which is part of my problem in the first place. I have examined why I was like this in the first place. Goes way back to childhood and too much to post on this forum. What I can do is search in myself how I let that selfishness hurt and destroy the person in the world I love most. How I let myself do what I did to the love of my life. And now how I can show her I could never be that kind of person ever again. I have a lot of work to do

JBWD posted 5/28/2020 13:11 PM

And now how I can show her I could never be that kind of person ever again. I have a lot of work to do.

I think the most important point to come to in the process hinges on this statement. There has been some discussion recently of if a WS should be motivated to heal their partner or heal himself. (Post will use him as a placeholder, acknowledged that there are plenty of WWs as well.)

First- Showing someone what you’ll never do is proving a negative. Difficult to do at best. This is where the semantics get messy with the “Can a wayward ever say never?” question. As such you’re already setting an unrealistic goal, and we know what happens when we don’t set those appropriately. You’re setting yourself up to become exceedingly impatient if you believe the goal should be that the person you betrayed “believes you won’t ever do it again.” That person believed you once already and got royally fucked, so just bear that in mind.

Second and more importantly- The distinction between “doing it for you” and “doing it for her.” One of the profound elements of love is that what we do on a daily basis we do simply because. Being open and honest isn’t done to “meet another’s” degree of openness and honesty. It’s done because that is the most honest and straightforward way to live. If we continue to “try and prove” then we’re simply putting in to get something out of this effort. As long as it’s not motivated by understanding how destructive a life of fractured self is, your progress on a path to integrity is not ultimately going to be effective. That’s a result of point number 1 as well- The logical outcome of your BW NOT believing you in this scenario is a sense of frustration expressed as “I made myself trustworthy and you STILL don’t believe me!”

As opposed to “I renewed my own sense of worth and integrity, would love to share my life with you still, but ultimately know that you may never reach a similar point with me.”

I think this is likely best summed up with this statement- If you think showing her you’ve “changed” is difficult, try showing yourself first.

sim1 posted 5/31/2020 05:55 AM

Thank you JWBD. You are so right that I have to fix myself. I’ve been reading a lot about “fixing” myself. The inner child in me that always felt entitled and wanting soothed. Did it so much with alcohol and drugs and with the affair. Never wanted to face life on life’s term. I’ve always had fear. Never really understood it until recently. I was always fearful of what I couldn’t control. And when it was out of my control I resorted to alcohol, drugs and having an affair. Just to sooth. FEAR-false evidence appearing real. And as I work through “fixing” myself and for once in my life loving myself then I can work on being a better husband, better father.
I’ll have to admit I still struggle with trying to love and care for myself. Outside I’m this confident successful appearing professional. Respected at work. Inside just a broken soul. Always medicating to sooth all of the obtrusive thoughts that run through my clouded brain. As I work on fixing myself-and I have worked on trying to fix my inner demons-AA,IC,rehab etc I can work on being the husband and father I always should have been. One day at a time.
Especially to love, honor and cherish my wife the rest of my days

Hephaestus2 posted 5/31/2020 08:09 AM

sim1 - Congratulations on your honesty and your obvious ability to look at your problems squarely. Also, congratulations on 2.5 years without drinking and good luck with dealing with your addiction to prescription drugs. Are you getting any help from a specialist who deals with addiction? If you have been involved in AA for 2.5 years you know that there is no chance that you will be able be a good father and husband without first dealing with your addictions.

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