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divorce?? building trust??

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leavingorbit posted 6/26/2020 15:17 PM

This is not about "me, me, me" here. It's about me saying, "I don't know what I'm doing here, let's go talk to someone who does and get on a plan."

That is about you. Heís told you what helps him. Itís not ok with you. Thatís fine. I saw a lot more ownership in the last post, but thereís still a laser focus on your husband. Have you ever read about ďlearned helplessness?Ē I think that could be beneficial for you to read about how to empower yourself without focusing on external stimuli. Additionally, it sounds very much to me like you still engage in weaponizing boundaries and protest behavior in a big way. Boundaries arenít judgmental. Theyíre about whatís comfortable for YOU. This is the kind of thing I struggled with too, lots of blame for everyone instead of thinking that theyíre just doing the best they can at any given time. If I donít want to deal then thatís on me. Fooled13years has some good advice for you. Your husband may just not be ready for all of these changes you want to make. Do you want to stay? Why are you staying?

MIgander, I feel like you are a walking trigger. Your distress seems evident to me. Do you see that in yourself? Do you feel that your husband is also in distress? Your response to your husband being very vulnerable and admitting to a weakness feels very sharp edged and blaming. I donít see a lot of self compassion for yourself, much less your husband. What specifically have you addressed with your IC?

Could you answer a couple of questions that we could try to unravel?

When you think about the future, what do you want?
Do you think you have the ability to learn and change?
Do you think your perceived marriage is responsible for your affair?
What is your personal definition of marriage? Whatís its function?

Buck posted 6/26/2020 15:44 PM

I would caution you about tossing D around casually.

You're going to end up throwing one too many straws on the camel's back and things will rapidly be out of your control.

nekonamida posted 6/26/2020 15:53 PM

I still have not dropped my anger, but there's room now in my heart to recognize his value and worth.

How about telling us what he is doing right then. How about telling us something he is doing right now that you are grateful for.

This is where you start changing your thinking. You do it one compliment at a time. One re-framing at a time. I know you're trying but again I see another novel of a post about, "Yep, I'm angry. Yep, I'm resentful. Yep, BH needs to do X, Y, and Z because I can't do this alone. My feelings. My resentment. Me! Me! Me!" Can we even get one sentence acknowledging one positive thing about your BH? I handed you a platter of them but still - no where to be found.

Stuff like this:

I said, "shoulda, coulda, woulda doesn't help much. We need to work with where we are."

It needs to stop. It has no place in your R with him. It is shame-y. It is blame-y. And again - THE EXACT SAME THING COULD BE SAID ABOUT YOU! Shoulda, woulda, coulda, stood up for yourself and tackled these issues back when they started before you cheated by getting in to IC in order to address your boundary issues and saying the financial issues get solved now or the marriage ends. No, none of it is helpful and he doesn't need that reminder. He needs you to step up and show a little compassion when he shares his regrets with you. He is being vulnerable and honest with you and you are shutting him down.

When you get the urge to make a retort like that, stop. Think. Who does this help? Because that comment certainly didn't help you. It didn't help him. It didn't help your marriage. It didn't get you closer to R. It didn't help your communication. It made you feel better in the moment to toss a little jab referring to him not listening to you has lead to the state of the marriage crisis today.

Here is what a GOOD answer looks like:

"Yeah, you're right. I wish we did this sooner too but we gotta work with where we are today."

Do you see why your answer was needlessly divisive? You didn't need to be divisive in order to send the exact same message. You didn't need to throw a little jab in there and make him feel bad. You can say the exact same thing and do so in an uplifting way.

Worst part about this - it completely hand waves all accountability you have for the state of the marriage. "Nothing to see here! Just some big fat financial failure entirely caused by my BH making me want a D!" while you throw a tarp of that ugly, shameful A you had.

And this:

Resentment is the huge elephant in the room for me.

Is about as subtle as an automic bomb going off. If that is your elephant in the room than the A is a freakin' dinosaur you've been pretending is a new addition to your house. An elephant in the room is something you can clearly see but everyone ignores but here's the rub: NO ONE is ignoring your resentment. Not your IC (hopefully). Not your BH. Not you. There's nothing about your resentment and the reasons for it that are being ignored today. I can see where they've been ignored in the past but again - fact of the matter is your BH is doing exactly what you've asked of him and is genuinely taking your concerns seriously today. But who is taking his concerns about your behavior seriously? Not you. That's the real elephant in the room and it's why you focus SO so heavily on it and why you've used it as a crutch and an excuse for further wayward, unremorseful behavior.

I question your need for MC because again, what I see from your own account is that your BH is communicating with you but you're shutting him down. You're dismissing him. Even him acknowledging where he has failed you is met with a shut down from you. You have had pages and pages of posters telling you where your perspective may be wrong and still it persists. You have books, The Healing Library, and resource after resource of information full of everything you could be doing right to foster a safe environment where both of you can communicate and be heard. But you're ignoring them. What do you think a MC has to give you to accomplish a goal you have seemingly been sabotaging? What more could a MC do for you that has not been said a dozen times by people on SI, by books about infidelity, by marriage websites, etc.? And if you're not willing to even take 1 second to try something else someone here said, what hope does a MC have to get you to do it? By your account, the person with a massive communication at this moment is YOU. Why isn't your IC working with you on this already and why aren't they sufficiently addressing your issues with resentment?

To be honest, I get the strong impression that you think you've paid enough for your A for now. That you stopped the cheating, went to IC, and that should be enough for your BH until a time when he's sufficiently taken enough of a whipping from you for what he did wrong. I see you swinging a 2x4 at him over and over again but as soon as he tries to raise his hand about the A, WHAM! It's like he's gotta take his lumps but every time you taking a lump is even brought up, you are here asking how you can make the lumps start while you beat him over the head for good measure. When are you going to be accountable for your A? How much more does he have to do until he's lucky enough for you to take the focus off of punishing him? He's doing what you want him to do. He's showing you honesty and remorse. Why can't you show him some back and stop punishing him? It's seem like your attitude is just, "Well, I'll get to it tomorrow. Well, I'll get to it after MC starts. Well, I'll get to after BH grovels appropriately at my feet a few more times." He's been waiting for nearly a year. When?

To me, from a betrayed perspective, your insistence on going to MC to address an issue that lies primarily with you is a huge red flag because either you think your BH is responsible for your bad behavior (He's not), you think he's capable of doing something beyond the honesty and vulnerability he's already shown you to fix this (He can't), or you believe you have a leg to stand on in insisting he continues to deal with your anger getting in the way of R and that a MC can teach him how to effectively manage that without it resulting in further consequences to you or the loss of the marriage (Impossible). And then I have to wonder, if this MC hears what I've read in your posts and identifies ways in which your BH is trying and you're not, how is that going to go? Will you be able to step back and be like, "Wow, you're right. I was a jerk about that and next time I need to do it differently," or are you going to hand wave it and go right back to acting the same way you are today because you didn't listen and absorb their message like you have here? Are you going to be factual and fair to your BH in your description of what's happening or are you going to minimize, gloss over, and toss in a bunch of pointed little jabs so that the MC knows exactly who the real bad guy is while you sit pretty on your victim seat? If you can't show us that you're capable of stepping outside yourself for the time it takes to write one good thing about your BH or one acknowledgement of the situation you've put him in, how the hell are you going to do it in front of the MC?

I don't think that's going to change until you confront this head-on and actually acknowledge what you're doing. That's a lot more than just saying, "Yeah, I'm angry. Yeah, I'm resentful." It starts with you actually DOING something. It starts with you picking up a copy of "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair" and practicing empathy and how to be remorseful using it as a guideline. It starts with apologizing to your BH for your anger each and every time and trying to do better the next. And honestly, if I were you, I'd write one HELL of a sincere letter apologizing for each and every instance of shitty behavior on your part for anger and defensiveness shown after DDay in regards to his needs and healing over your transgressions. What he did does not give you the right to deny him his feelings regarding how you hurt him and does not give you a free pass to act in the despicable manner that you have. Start owning that and atoning for it today.

Cross post:

I have been communicating clearly that I don't know what it looks like to show him the remorse he's looking for (parent's never modeled it for me, haven't seen it in his parent's marriage or any one else's up close).

Oh come on! That's crap of the highest degree. You have been here for nearly a year. I see that you post on other people's threads and you want any of us to believe that you don't know what remorse looks like? Dozens of threads about it literally named "Regret vs Remorse". Every single thread on the WS forum is filled with nuggets of gold about accountability and owning your shit. Every single thread on the BS side is a myriad of posts pointing out what's remorse and what's not. The Healing Library, What Every WS Needs to Know, How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair, Codependent No More. I could go on and on! But some how, you never saw even one of those things that we post about here CONSTANTLY? You don't know what remorse is because no one's calling you out and telling you to look around and get a clue. Do a Google search. Read a book. Read an article. Read any thread on it.

It is NOT his job to teach you. It is NOT his job to manage your work for you. You want to know what remorse is? You look it up like you look up how to get to a place you've never been before. Like you look up what the best new tv shows is. Like you see what new dishwashers are available at Home Depot before you waste your time going to the store. It's not his fault that you don't know what remorse is and he can't answer that question for you. It's your fault because you shouldn't even have to ask him that question in the first place.

I have said to him repeatedly over the past 2-3 months, "I can't do this alone, I need MC, I need financial planning, you need IC." In calm voices I have told him this, about every 2-3 days this past month alone.

And when did you say "I will not continue this marriage and R with you if you are not in IC/MC/financial planning with me"? That's what a boundary is. Where was your follow through? Did you ask him when his first appointment was or just keep repeating yourself? Why didn't you book an appointment and tell him to go like you just did? Why didn't you sit down with him at the table and refuse to move until you had an appointment booked? Why did you think your only options were the broken record method that didn't work the first 50 times you did it and seeing a lawyer behind his back? Why didn't you give him a head's up and pushed for a conversation about it?

This is not about "me, me, me" here. It's about me saying, "I don't know what I'm doing here, let's go talk to someone who does and get on a plan."

So then if you said word for word, "Let's go talk to someone who does and get on a plan," how did an appointment not get booked? Is it because when you said, "Let's" you really meant, "You must" instead? That's what it sounds like and if that's true, that's doesn't count as an honest conversation because you didn't follow through with making sure the appointments got booked. And then you punished him by talking to a lawyer and dropping a bomb on him.

We are spinning our wheels and only hurting each other and our children more each day.

What's interesting to me is that when there's blame to go around and there's responsibility to fix your marriage, suddenly you're a team and your BH has to step up and do all the work. But you're not doing the work. You've admitted to turning to him to tell you what work to do. You can yell all you want about how you both need to figure out how to work together but I'm going to remind you - He CANNOT fix you. Only YOU can fix you. Only YOU can control you. He CANNOT make you do anything. It is NOT his responsibility to teach you how to be remorseful and hold you accountable for it. It is NOT his responsibility to teach you to be a team player and hold you accountable for it. It is your IC's responsibility and if you are not addressing this in IC:

I DONT HAVE THE SKILLS NEEDED TO FIX THIS.

Then you need to start. If your IC isn't giving you those tools, you find a new one. You need to pick up the books and read the articles I mentioned earlier. You need to start reading up on what remorse looks like and actively practicing it. You need to apologize to your BH and tell him what you are grateful for that he does. You need to learn to be your own teacher. No excuses.

Carissima posted 6/26/2020 16:25 PM

Why do I think you have the idea the MC will back your reasoning of what's going on in your marriage.
I have the suspicion your BH is going to be blindsided once again in this MC session when he becomes the villain who forced you into the arms of another man.

Tseratievig posted 6/27/2020 15:53 PM

To me, the amount of control you require/demand is mindbending.

Newlifeisgreat posted 6/27/2020 16:19 PM

Wow!!!
Thatís all I can say. Wow!!!

You are incredible!

I hope Iím allowed to say this, if not, Iím sorry, Iíll delete this.

But I think for the good of all concerned, you should keep your appointment with the lawyer and move forward. This will limit his pain and healing time

Stinger posted 6/27/2020 19:48 PM

I would not believe a word this woman says about her husband. She is a cheater, by definition a liar.

Thissucks5678 posted 6/27/2020 21:42 PM

Migander, Iím going to say this as gently as I can - one time after DDay my WH told me that he ďwasnít sure if he could do this.Ē Thatís all he said. I told him that if he ever even alluded to divorce or quitting again, we were done. Because I absolutely was not going to put myself through another second of this hell if he was not all in. That was in the first couple of months after dday and the trickle truth. If he would have scheduled an appt with a divorce lawyer behind my back, I would have been done right then and there. That is such a huge step backward. I think itís perfectly fine to get a divorce after infidelity - just donít string your BS along.

I really think this is showing him that you are not all in. That you really are done with the marriage. I donít know how you come back from this. Communication is so important. I know you are resentful and working on that - this was an impulse decision that if you truly want to reconcile, I think you will regret. Good luck.

Carissima posted 6/28/2020 01:10 AM

I really want someone to direct your BH here so he can learn what real remorse looks like and how to recognise blame shifting.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 6/28/2020 12:36 PM

Migander, I am posting this to you as a member and not a mod.

Prior to my affair, I had a valid reason to be unsatisfied in my marriage. Had I asked for a divorce, I would have received plenty of support of friends and family. My BH is an alcoholic (hasnít had a drink since the day after DDay). So much so that his drinking quite often put us in financial binds. I didnít have the resources to deal with it in a healthy way. Had I been able to acknowledge he was an alcoholic, I could have addressed it properly and gone to al-anon and my history may have been different than it is today.

That being said, in no way is his alcoholism related to my infidelity.

How I dealt with it was on me and me alone. I had a multitude of options that didnít include sleeping with his best friend. After my affair was exposed, in order to go forward it was necessary to learn to separate the 2 issues. There would be no tit for tat in our healing. No blame shifting.

Healing from my affair was about exposing how I could justify hurting him, learning my whyís (without blame), and learning how to move forward holding myself accountable for my own actions. It was a difficult, sometimes very painful journey learning about dark thoughts and feelings within me. It was learning how to be vulnerable with him and breaking down walls that were there in the name of protection. It was learning that those walls were only hurting myself. It was about learning to have a respect for myself that I never really possessed which in turn allowed me to have one for him, as well. It was about being honest and open and transparent in ways I never knew existed.

It was never about my anger or hurt regarding his alcoholism. At least not until much later. We did talk about it. We werenít blind to the fact that it was an issue in our marriage. I (we) had to learn to discuss it out of context of my affair. It wasnít until we were years down the road that we could discuss them together and to this day we are both very careful not to blame his alcoholism for my affair.

I understand the anger and triggers. You need to learn to separate that from your own betrayal. I think a financial advisor can help, but it wonít heal your marriage, not by a long shot. You have to do the hard work on yourself in order to get that ball rolling. I also think IC for him is a good idea too, but again it doesnít change what you need to do for yourself.

You canít buy new drapes if your house is still on fire. Figure out a way to separate your infidelity from his financial problems. If you can do that, maybe you will find the empathy that is absolutely necessary to heal from your affair. In the process, you may even manage to find a better understanding of why he has finial issues and trade your resentment in for empathy there as well.

Okokok posted 6/28/2020 14:56 PM

WalkinOnEggshelz has given you a great post. I hope you can see its relevance to you and take from it what you can.

All I want to add to everything you're getting is that, beyond all else, you have to be brave.

If, at the end of the day, divorce is what remains in your heart, you need to find a way to be brave enough to compassionately see that process through (at least through an actual, legitimate separation) without once again stepping out on your BH, opening the door for another man, or "laying the groundwork" to ensure you have someone waiting for you on the other side.

It's important for so many reasons, for you and for BH, that you find the strength to do that if that's the way you end up going. Divorce may be your best bet, and you can still find support here for that.

Good luck with everything.

brokenmanchild posted 7/2/2020 22:23 PM

I am WH and I carry all sorts of emotional damage from childhood. My BW recently (April, 2020) found out about a 3 month EA/PA. I immediately called the AP and asked for NC.
I have struggled with some of the same issues of not knowing how to be empathetic, how to show remorse without devolving into shame and self-loathing.
But I have a really good IC, and my incredible BW is giving me a shot at R. Even after I then came clean to her 2+ months after DD that I had had 3 other affairs years before.
So I try. I repeat the things that the books say I should say, or that my IC recommends. And yes, the first time or two it feels awkward and forced, but then it started to feel more natural. And now it is genuine. I am able to see the incredible damage I caused to her, and I am truly remorseful and want to do whatever I can to lessen her anguish.
So I don't buy the "I don't know how" mentality. I am far from perfect, my affairs prove that and so do many other choices I have made in my life.
But if something is important to you, really important, than make the freaking effort to show it.

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