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Wedding Anniversary’

LastChanceDaddy posted 7/7/2020 19:25 PM

I have only posted a few times on SI. But I need a little help...

Friday is my wedding anniversary. 21years. I started an affair 7 days later. That makes my affair right after our 20 year wedding anniversary. As I know I have killed our marriage. She does not want to even acknowledge what Friday is. I am at a loss. Do I comply with her wishes or do I do a little something? To fill you in, there is nothing I can say nor is there nothing I can do. As through the years, my gaslighting and manipulation has said and done it all. I have been operating on my own frequency for years only focused on me, myself and I. There have been moments of realization and awakenings for me that have brought me into full reality. Moments I wish I could share with anyone about to begin an affair.

First and foremost... Don’t do it. An affair is not worth it. But by the time you get here and read my post it will have been too late for that advise.

Second... The one you have cheated on has, probably, given you the “ unconditional” acceptance you were looking for in your AP. Your affair is probably not your first offense in the marriage, as it definitely was not mine. And yet they were still there. That is unconditional.

Third... The realization that you are the abusive one. No there may not be bruises and scars you can see. But all the gaslighting, manipulation and continual lies have left a trail of relationship trauma and abuse that is just as real as physical abuse.

We are not in reconciliation. Not sure if it when that will ever happen. One thing I do know... a real man would never have done what I have done. But a real man would do everything he can to be there in EVERY moment. Triggers, flooding and times of rage and sadness. It is not easy to get out of your own way and be present in the moment with your wife and truly feel the pain you have caused.. Through SI, Affair Recovery videos, Helping Couple Heal and many other resources I have learned so much on what to expect and what betrayal trauma looks like on both sides. I have been as ready as I can be for so much of my journey. BUT, though, I knew it would come, not ready for this part.

suftum19 posted 7/8/2020 02:33 AM

Totally agree with your 3 points. Also wish I had looked at these forums early in my affair, I could and probably would have ended it immediately. Too little too late.

My 6 year wedding anniversary is next month and it is the same situation - she refuses to acknowledge the date but I am also wondering if I should do something for her anyway?

We are D Day +14 so still fresh.

Stinger posted 7/8/2020 07:40 AM

Why not get divorced? Looks like your marriage is toast.

lovelorn posted 7/8/2020 08:16 AM

I am a BS. My husband had two affairs. The first Dday was 2018. I found out that on our anniversary he lied to me and went to see his AP. We tried to R and then second Dday April 6, 2020. So speaking as a BS with a very triggering anniversary I told the BS that he had ruined our anniversary for me forever. I did not want to "celebrate" that date bc all it meant for me was a betrayal. However, I will say that I would have liked him to acknowledge the date in a different way. He never did this but it would have meant a lot to me if he had just said something like "I know our anniversary is hard for you and triggers you. I know that I have wronged you and hurt you. I am here if you want to talk about anything. I am here if you want to ask me questions, or cry or if you want me to just hold you." I would also have liked if he had told me that he was planning a weekend getaway or a trip for a different weekend. Create a new anniversary to celebrate- like the date of our first date or the date he proposed. to acknowledge the pain caused to your BS and offering anything needed might help with anxiety and anguish around that day. I know it would have helped me.

HellFire posted 7/8/2020 09:15 AM

So it's your wedding day,and 7 days later is the anniversary of the day you became involved with anotber woman?

Your anniversary will be painful. Add in the very close proximity to affair day, and it will be horrific for your wife.

If she wants no acknowledgement, then respect that wish. Doing anything else will prove you continue to put her needs after your own.

It would be ok to write her a letter,telling her all the different things you love about her. Just in case she does say she wanted you to do something. Then you can give her the letter.

Write her another letter to give on dday. One that acknowledges the day, and her pain, write in detail how you know this affects her, how you feel now,and the ways you are going to become a safe person for her. Write, in detail, how this has affected you, to hurt her,and destroy your marriage. And apologize, in detail. A sweeping, "I'm sorry" won't cut it.

One more thing. It doesn't matter what any other BS tells you on here. YOUR WIFE has said she wants NO acknowledgement of the day. And her needs are the only ones that matter. Have the letter,just in case, but do not give it to her unless she says something,that day, about wishing she hadn't told you that. BS are on an emotional rollercoaster. She might realize she did want something, but not until that day.

gmc94 posted 7/8/2020 09:49 AM

I agree with Hellfire. It's important to show your BW the RESPECT she deserved all along, including on your anniversary.

My WH & I were S on our 25th anniversary. I very clearly said that I did not want to see him or celebrate. Late in the evening, at home with my DD, I heard someone on my front porch and went out to see what was going on. He'd bought a gift and was leaving it for me. I don't remember being particularly angry..... more disappointed. It was just another of the "data points" to indicate his needs were more important than anything. He could not tolerate respecting my wishes. Could not tolerate respecting or having any empathy for my feeling that the M was dead and there is absolutely nothing to "celebrate". Sure, we managed to be M on paper for 25yrs. AND they were all bullshit, as he was lying to me, in one form or another, about the existence of his old GF or "secret friend" since before we were even M (and God knows what else). I don't see any reason to celebrate 25+ years of being hoodwinked by a man who professed to love me and care about my well being whilst stabbing me in the back over & over & over & over.

I very much appreciate your three "points". And I always get a little chuckle when I read things like "But by the time you get here and read my post it will have been too late for that advise", as it brings back a dday memory in which I told my WH "I bet in the last year you googled 'why won't my wife fuck me', but not once, in over a decade, did you google 'why am I having an affair'", and I got the sick puppy dog look (FWIW, our bedroom was very much alive when the EA went PA, and died over the course of the PA). It amazes me that WS embark on this very dangerous path, and don't ever bother to seek any information outside of their entitled minds.


And finally, a little lecture on language/linguistics (hopefully not too much of a t/j). This is not to shame you or call you out as a failure or anything like that, esp with such very well written "points" in your post (which may be why this one thing stuck out to me). I think being curious about the words we use is healthy and can help clarify or (if needed) reframe our thinking, so I offer this point in good faith....

You wrote: "Do I comply with her wishes". The term "comply" gave me a sort of gut check, as to me it may reflect a parent/child dynamic. I'm not asking for me - I'm merely a stranger on a forum. I ask bc it may be worthwhile to explore/ get curious about your inner talk about your BW's needs or wishes & how you relate to them. IOW, do you see yourself as having / needing / being required to "comply" with her wishes (or 'demands' )? Or do you WANT to "respect" her needs/wants? I think it's pretty common for a WS to put their BS in a kind of parent role - even before the A. Some could argue that dynamic can be part of the underlying ways of thinking that put the WS on the path to infidelity to begin with (eg resentment over perceived "control" by a BS whom the WS has pidgeonholed into a parent figure).

I bring this up bc IME (and from a lot of what I've read) that perception of a BS as a parent figure (even if only after dday) can be at odds with the work that needs to be done post dday. And I think it's a sticky wicket in that the WS can feel very small & ashamed - like a child - once their behavior is known. They've been caught with their hand in the cookie jar which IMO brings back feelings of shame experienced by most (all?) during childhood. Every human does stupid shit as a kid... and most of us were yelled at or otherwise punished (some physically) for it. We were shamed, even if for our own safety (eg the only time I spanked my DS was when he ran into the street around age 4... my response to spank him was shaming and my rationale was he needed to feel SOOOO bad about it that he'd never do it again).

The problem is that in the aftermath of dday, the WS needs to drive the bus for their recovery & healing, and driving a bus requires adulting. If the WS' inner voice (or inner child?) sees it as being "compliant" with the BS' wishes (or, in many cases, what the WS feels are "demands" ), the WS is still riding in the BS' bus (or trying to) rather than driving their own. And it can be a barrier to empathy.

I certainly experienced this. My WH uses words like "comply" all the time (and FWIW, we are not "in R" ).
An example is w/in 48 hrs of dday I asked him to remove his wedding ring, both bc it symbolized something that was broken or a mirage to begin with, but also bc he wore that ring when his hand was manipulating his girlfriend's privates (the imagery of which is still humiliating & grosses me out). Although we didn't talk about it more than a few times, his continued wearing of that ring hurt me... every time I saw it on his hand brought mind movies and pain. When he finally removed it >6 months later, it was bc he felt he was being forced, or "complying with my wishes". IOW, he had not gotten to an internal emotional place where he RESPECTED that his wearing that ring hurt me and he wanted to be cognizant and mindful of that hurt. It was not about EMPATHY for my pain (a position that an adult takes with another adult), but about doing what he was told (a position that a child takes with a parent).

So. That's a lot of words to explain why the term "comply" strikes me as something that might be worthy to explore. Sorry if this is a t/j.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 11:09 AM, July 8th, 2020 (Wednesday)]

LifeDestroyer posted 7/8/2020 09:54 AM

I too really agree with Hellfire. If she has told you that she wants that day to not be acknowledged in anyway, then respect that. Writing a letter is very smart just in case she does get upset that you didn't do anything.

LastChanceDaddy posted 7/8/2020 11:49 AM

I purposely left the stop sign off of the post as I wanted responses from all different perspectives. I do know that everyone’s situation is unique to them. There are many similarities to all of our stories. But a lot of uniquenesses alike. I have done some preparations just in case she does want me to do something. That is a good call. I ,also, feel I should honor her wishes and not force anything on her. This would be just as selfish as the person I am working to leave behind. I am planning on taking the day off to be with her. Though I know very good and well she may want to spend the time alone. This morning, our MC gave her some good advise for self care that day. It is going to be a difficult season of time. For her and for me as well. Thank you all for your input. It has been well taken and considered.

LastChanceDaddy posted 7/8/2020 11:56 AM

gmc94

I find it very interesting that you picked up on the word comply. I had not noticed it. The word should have been very much “respect” as that is what I meant. You are correct there has been very much that dynamic of a parental role in our marriage. One that I have been working on and will actually address in my IC appointment tomorrow. That Freudian slip let’s me know where I am in my own healing and that I still have a very long way to go on my journey. I very much appreciate you noticing and taking the time to comment. Means a lot to me.

fournlau posted 7/8/2020 12:12 PM

I am speaking as a BS with some insight into this very issue.

Your BS has specifically stated she in no way wants to acknowledge or celebrate this day. Respect that, don't second guess. If she expects you to read her mind and do something anyway, well, that is on her, not you.

Speaking for myself, our anniversary was 5 months after Dday in March. In Jan. I told my WH that I did not want to celebrate Valentines day (we never had before so anything from him would have felt like his guilt gift) nor did I want to even acknowledge our Anniversary. He was hurt because he said he had already gotten me a Valentine's day gift (IN JANUARY). I just rolled my eyes, like I said, it just felt like a guilt gift from him and he made himself out to be a victim of my lack of gratitude. VD and our anniversary went uncelebrated.

This year, again, I stated I did not want to celebrate either day. He again, did the puppy dog face and said he had been planning something for VD. I said that was fine, but we could do it on a different day. Well, Vday came and went, nothing. February came and went, nothing. Our anniversary came and went without a word, but, he gave me a kiss the day after and said "Happy Day after Anniversary". Which made my heart sink because I was actually happy that he had complied with my wishes then he went and ruined it.

Now, there is an OC in our situation who last year was born on Mother's Day. Yep, another celebration ruined for me! So, this year I also told him I didn't want to celebrate with him and wanted no gifts. I went to visit my oldest daughter out of state and was going to be gone on Mother's Day, so what does he do? He gives me gifts before I leave because "you won't be here for MD." He does this in front of my other 2 daughters so I refrain from saying anything. But inside I'm once again disappointed. I felt he was doing these things not for me, but for him, to make himself feel better and not even taking my feelings and wishes on the matter into consideration, just like when he decided to fuck another woman without taking my feelings and wishes into consideration! And guess what he did on MD? Yep, he texted me "Happy Mother's Day"! I told him that he wasn't even listening to me! He may not like it, but guess what, these are consequences of his actions! His response was that he was unsure of what to do or not to do because I had been upset that he had done nothing during Valentine's day even though I had said I didn't want to celebrate the day. I told him that was different, because he had said he was planning something and I had said we could still do that something, just not on VD, then he did NOTHING! Had he said nothing and VD came and went without any mention of it, I would have been fine! Ugh! And again, I got the feeling that he was playing the "poor me" victim, "I can't do anything right"! Please!

If you go against your BSs wishes, then you are doing it for you. To make you feel better. You are not doing it for her. I'm sure it hurts, but remember, you are not the victim here, she is.

gmc94 posted 7/8/2020 12:30 PM

I felt he was doing these things not for me, but for him, to make himself feel better and not even taking my feelings and wishes on the matter into consideration, just like when he decided to fuck another woman without taking my feelings and wishes into consideration
This is sooooooooo important for a WS to come to terms with, ie what is the WS MOTIVATION for their gifts/action? IMO, for most WS it requires some digging and introspection (which they are obviously on a huge learning curve about, or they wouldn't have had an A to begin with). And it's not "just" the WS' motivation, but also the need for the WS to recognize that 2nd part - that in the mind of most BSs, anything that feels like a lack of respect today can immediately trigger the BS to the lack of respect shown by living a secret sexual life.


And LastChance - I have to admit that after I posted, I wondered if I'd done a disservice in that I can see how a WS (esp a "newbie" ) may read that and become supervigilent about their language without the tools to turn it into curiosity (or vigilence) about the underlying feelings/dynamic. My WH (and sooooooo many others) can get caught up in saying the 'right' or 'perfect' words. And while I usually see that as a good thing (ie say what you mean and mean what you say), there can be value in those "freudian slips" IF the WS is in a headspace that can avoid defensiveness, shame, failure, etc. when being called out. So, I'm glad it seemed to hit as hoped for, and thanks for the reply.

Chaos posted 7/8/2020 14:02 PM

Hellfire is spot on.

In my case - I'm a BS who does NOT want that day [or a few others] acknowledged. At all. Ever (for now anyway).

The only thing that would make me rethink that is if WH presented AP head on a silver platter a la Creepshow. Then maybe. Short of that - I do not want any of my trigger days - yes I have a list - LTAs will do that to a person - I want none acknowledged in any way.

If that reality hurts you please consider the pain and suffering your BS is experiencing.

By your wanting to do something for her, essentially you are asking her to put her own feelings of pain and suffering aside to spare you from having them yourself. Think about that. You'd rather HER hurt so YOU don't have to. That's what you are asking. Consider it from that perspective.

LastChanceDaddy posted 7/8/2020 19:54 PM

Gmc94 and chaos. No offense taken. I value very last word from you both. That is why I posted with no stop sign. I really wanted to get BS feedback. It has taken some hard work, and I know I have a long way to go, to be able to get beyond the shame spirals and paralyzing guilt feelings. I am not wanting to prove anything to anyone. I have fully enveloped the path of destruction I have laid behind in my wake. I can see the pain in her being. I do not want to disrespect her anymore than I already have. I really appreciate you both for your words. Never will take anything cross. I am the wayward spouse. I am all the adjectives that come along with that and more.

dancin-gal posted 7/8/2020 23:22 PM

I also didn’t want my WS to acknowledge wedding Anniversary, Valentine’s Day .. but my WS didn’t really listen .. for Valentine’s Day .. he made reservations at a 5 star Hotel in NYC. And dinner reservations at one of the top restaurants in The city . another Valentine’s Day I was serenaded by a sining group .. another year I received 6 dozen different varieties of flowers .. since the 3rd. D day .last year .. my birthday was celebrating at a beautiful resort .. Valentine’s Day was a trip and again dinner at a top restaurant .. my WS want to be my night in shinning armor.. those actions mean he cares .. my I suggest that you do something .. to show that you care .. if dinner out isn’t in the cards arrange a dinner for her with a friend, a spa treatment .. she will be hurting but just my feeling is there will be more hurt if you do nothing .. .. really you are dammed if you do at the same time dammed if you don’t .. so my thought is do something ..
editing to say .. my WS had a long term A .. the OW got flowers , cards , gifts .. etc I hate thinking that he did so much for the OW .. if he ignores a special date that we have celebrated in the past .. I would take it as she ment more .. so by his acknowledgment of something that was special is important.. actions speak loudly .. if there isn’t an acknowledgment then for me it would mean he didn’t care ..

[This message edited by dancin-gal at 11:55 PM, July 8th (Wednesday)]

MrCleanSlate posted 7/9/2020 08:52 AM

LCD,

Given your Anniversary is so close to when you started your A, and you are not in R, then I would say respect her wishes.

You know the entire day will be painful for her. All you can really do is be there and be empathetic, unless of course she absolutely wants you out of sight to grieve on her own. Because she will be grieving.

Our first anniversary after D-day was almost 10 months later so we had started to heal and work on R. It was still hard for my BW. We spoke a lot about where we were and where we were hoping to be heading. I cooked dinner.

Maybe try to just be available. Offer to cook a smiple dinner and clean up as she may not be in the mood for doing much for herself.

LastChanceDaddy posted 7/14/2020 13:25 PM

I want to take a few moments and thank everyone who toook time to weigh in on this topic. I know this is something everyone of you have experienced. I, also, knew that by posting this that I would get responses all over the board. But a couple of things I did get as a common theme was the consideration I needed to take and awareness I needed to have going into our anniversary and into the season of my affair last year. We spent the day together. I took the day off not knowing what to expect. I did have a letter prepared for her and I did give it to her. Only because it was fitting and proper to do so. No other real talk about the day but it was mentioned by both of us. This is a very difficult journey. By both my betrayed wife and myself. Putting more emphasis on her. As I have stated, we are not currently in reconciliation and not sure if it is possible. I hope and pray that in time, I can help her with some type of healing. Weather we are together or not.

Again, I greatly appreciate all of your thoughts and feedback.

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