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How do you talk about it?

Ascott58 posted 7/26/2020 10:44 AM

So I'm 2 months out from dday. I feel like I want to talk about my husband's affair all the time. Me and him have talked alot about it but at this point he is starting to get upset. Said that he feels horrible about himself all the time. Says he knows he's f'ed up. He's reminded everyday of every hour I've really try not to bring it up all the time, but I find myself throwing in little digs here and there which are what upsets him the most. I know that does nothing to help and I dont know why I say that. I always feel worse after i say it. I'm in pain all the time. Maybe I think he should be too. I need to figure out how to explain to him it helps me to talk.
How do you all talk about it with your WS? We do therapy but we don't really talk about the affair. More on how to recover. We've read some books and alot on online. I have so many questions I would like to ask. Should we set up a time each week to talk about it and that be all for the week? I know he is going through shame. And feels horrible about himself. But I need to heal if we are going to make this work.
We are going to stay together till December and then reevaluate our situation and see if we should move forward. I want to see he has changed and he wants to see if im going to be able to forgive him.
We are getting along and having good days. He just doesn't understand how bad this is on me. I feel he is being selfish and only thinking of himself. There had been some really rough nights and he had tried to be there to comfort me.

We are both 33. No kids. Both dont want any. Husband had a 4 month emotional and physical affair.

sleepylove posted 7/26/2020 11:10 AM

How to help your spouse heal from an affair. By Linda McDonald. You both need to read it soon.
You will not be on the road to recovery by December if the A is rugswept. You are dangerously close to doing that now.

SoCalCountrygirl posted 7/26/2020 11:39 AM

Hi Ascott58,

I am in a similar boat, my husband had a physical and emotional affair that lasted a little over a year. He did not confess it, I had to find out....Anyway 3 months has passed since D-day and I am wanting to talk about it less and less but at the beginning I asked a lot of questions and recorded his response so I could go back and listen to it.

Has your husband done a full disclosure? If not the full disclosure could help answer a lot of your questions, you could have him write it down or record it so you can go back to it when you have questions. I would caution you about getting too many details, I think I have too many details and they are haunting me. However, I do think some details are necessary to help make you the best decision moving forward.

I am so sorry you are going through this, it's a pain I wouldn't even wish on the AP. For me it's the emotional part that hurts the most. My husband pretty much had a whole girlfriend behind my back. Wishing you complete healing through this process and a completely restored marriage.

[This message edited by SoCalCountrygirl at 11:40 AM, July 26th (Sunday)]

Robert22205https posted 7/26/2020 11:41 AM

Why couples therapy? He's broken (a cheater) and needs to fix himself and make himself a safe partner before it's appropriate to discuss your marriage.

2 months is a drop in the bucket. Think in term of 3-5 years (although in time if he proves he's a safe partner the frequency declines).

Your comments are expected and are part of the grieving process (so let it all out).

Your husband's comments on the other hand are evidence that he is not on track to be a safe partner because his thinking is wayward (selfish and lacking in empathy for you):

1 - he's selfishly equating his feeling horrible as something you should give him some sort or credit for. No he gets zero credit.

2 - The reality is that you are the victim here (not him). Your pain is 1,000 times worse than him feeling horrible.

3 - Him feeling horrible is him looking inward at his pain vs looking outward at your pain (which he caused).

4 - He should provide you with a detailed timeline of the affair subject to a polygraph test. Writing it all down converts it in his head from a harmless romantic tryst to him being: selfish, entitled, deceitful, and lacking in empathy for you.

Most people need to know 'what' they are forgiving before they can heal. That includes all the little conversations, what he was thinking Otherwise this will haunt you

sisoon posted 7/26/2020 12:19 PM

What do you want to talk about?

What do you do in CC?

W got us in to see her IC on d-day. I was skeptical at first, but her IC quickly proved her worth as our MC by dealing with the A first and by telling my W to answer any question I asked about her thoughts, feelings, and actions. I had LOTS of questions.

TBH, the law prevented my W from talking about ow because ow was my W's client, but that proved not to be an impediment. In any case you can also ask about the ap.

I think asking questions is a great test - if your H answers truthfully, maybe he's a candidate for R. If he doesn't, he's not.

[This message edited by sisoon at 12:20 PM, July 26th (Sunday)]

Hurt1227 posted 7/26/2020 15:07 PM

Donít apologize for wanting to talk. Do whatís best for you. I see it as being part of the consequences that he needs to face. He needs to figure out how to love you through the pain. Hang in there. Take care of yourself. It is a pain and hurt that canít be explained, but you can get through it. Good luck!

Newlifeisgreat posted 7/26/2020 15:25 PM

You talk about anything you want to talk about, anytime you want, for however long you want to!!! And he does t get to say ďno, because it makes me feel bad about myself.Ē Well too damn bad!! Any pain he feels is a tiny fraction of the pain you feel, which was caused by him!!!

He can either talk to you to help you heal from his betrayal, or he can talk to your lawyer!!!!

Find a counselor that specializes in infidelity! Sounds like the counselor wants to work on the finish line without work on what he did to cause you to be here

faithfulman posted 7/26/2020 15:40 PM

What it sounds like is your husband just wants to put it behind him and doesn't want to think about it all the time regardless of your feelings.

trust me, during the affair he thought about that affair all the time and he had no thought or regard for your feelings outside of how your feelings would affect his feelings by ruining his good time if he got in trouble.

I admit I am not a big reconciliation person because I find that cheaters are incredibly selfish people by nature who don't really care about the people they hurt. Certainly not until it is way too late.

Now he wants you to shut up and get over it because it makes him feel bad to hear about what an asshole he is and how his actions have created a constant hurt within you.

What is holding you to this man? is it the love of the person who you thought he was? He is not that person Ascott58 - can you love the person he really is?

You're kids... how financially intertwined are you?

[This message edited by faithfulman at 6:52 PM, July 26th (Sunday)]

annb posted 7/26/2020 18:38 PM

I talked about it daily for YEARS.

I repeated many of the same questions for YEARS.

My husband didn't like it, but too freaking bad. I HAD to talk about it.

Your husband doesn't get to drive this train of recovering from do. If you need to talk about it, he needs to talk with you. No compromising, no woe is me attitude. Two months is a drop in the bucket, it takes years to navigate through this trauma.

oldtruck posted 7/26/2020 20:03 PM

talk as much as you need to get the full truth.

difference between getting the truth and giving digs. it is
pain for a BS to hear the truth well it is painful for the WS to
tell the truth without the digs. When the BS makes it to painful
for the WS to talk they will no longer will be willing to talk
about the affair.

talking about it everyday leaves no time for healing, for the both
of you. quality time is needed to heal. Building new good
memories cannot be done if the affair is talked about all the

try to not talk about the affair friday through sunday. leave the
week days for that. talk every M W or T Th or M Th.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 7/27/2020 08:28 AM

This was the first thing I wanted to know, so it bears repeating as I'm not alone with this thought:

What do you want to talk about?

When you say you have so many questions, what are they?

Are they logistical (time, place, how often, where were you when this was going on)?

Are they related to what was said/done (was there an emotional connection? did you say "I love you" to the AP? Do you want to know details about sex/intimate relations?)

Are they related to your WS's emotional state regarding you (how did you feel about me at the time? What did you think of our marriage? Did you feel guilty)?

And so on...

The reason I ask is this: I found myself going over and over and over things, asking what seemed to be the same damn questions time and time again. But, what I figured out was, they usually weren't the same questions. Or, more specifically, they were questions that related to the same topic, but were not the same.

Granted, I did not get tons of TT like other people. I got tons of gaslighting, and lies and everything during the A (and then again during false R) but when caught my WH did seem to be fairly open about the A up to D-day. He would then go right back to lying about what was happening at the time, but the past he wasn't much of a hider. BUT, I didn't know that at the time. For all I knew his 8 hour "confession" was a bunch of bullshit and lies. It wasn't..and I felt like I was going crazy, because after he information dumped me with time/place/manner questions and some of his emotional stuff about me and about him, he thought he was done. He couldn't understand why I was asking anything else.

For example, I recall asking my WH numerous times about "why" he did this.

His answers were:
1) He felt like I had lost interest in him
2) He felt lonely
3) She gave him attention and made him feel special
4) He got an ego boost out of it
5) It made going to work something to look forward to (he has been depressed and bored with his job for years - this is true - he talked about it often years before the A)
6) She was very social and made him feel a part of things
7) They had the same job and knew all the same people therefore had something to talk about/connect over
8) It was very fantasyland-exciting

So, when I would go back and say, something like:

"I heard you tell her you loved her. So you are telling me that isn't true and that in your mind you loved me and that all that stuff with her was just exciting unreality - like it was fun to tell someone you loved them as it made the whole thing more intense?"

He would be thinking, and would sometimes say: "I already answered this" but what he really would be doing is referring in his mind to the list above and thinking "I already told her this" and then felt like I was trying to punish him.

Thing is, sometimes I WAS trying to punish him - and I have to own that. I accept that there were sometimes I did just want him to repeat outloud to me what a fucking asshole he had been. But, I don't get to bitch and say "He is complaining I am asking him the same questions over and over again" if I am doing it to punish. Or at least, that is what I have to admit

So my suggestion would be to think about why you are asking something. Sometimes when faced with my WH saying "I feel like I already answered this" I would try to explain, yes we talked about this - but what I'm getting at is not that you told her that you love her, but that how could you think you loved me when you were doing that? Or why do you think that now?

Or whatever - sometimes explaining why you think your question isn't the same thing is helpful, instead of getting frustrated anyway.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 8:30 AM, July 27th (Monday)]

Anna123 posted 7/27/2020 09:56 AM

he wants to see if im going to be able to forgive him.

Something doesn't seem right about this. You have till December for him to decide if he either 'feels' enough forgiveness from you, or you actually do forgive him and can convince him of that. It seems to me one of the big excuses of cheaters that ultimately want out anyway, is that their BS couldn't forgive them or get over it. This is an EXCUSE of someone either not capable of reconciliation, or who is choosing to continue an affair anyway, not the fault of the BS I should add. Just a thought anyway. I like the lists here of things to look out for.

Take care.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 7/27/2020 16:02 PM

In my situation, it was both of these:

It seems to me one of the big excuses of cheaters that ultimately want out anyway, is that their BS couldn't forgive them or get over it. This is an EXCUSE of someone either not capable of reconciliation, or who is choosing to continue an affair anyway, not the fault of the BS I should add.

I think my WH thought he wanted out, and he was choosing to continue the A anyway. And it was not my fault. (He has since changed his mind, but only after telling me he was done, me agreeing to leave, planning to leave, and my departure date getting closer...and I'm 3 years out from the start of his A and 2.75 from d-day1). You are much closer to the start than I was...and honestly, your WS is sounding like mine did after d-day2. My WH was frustrated after 3 months with my talking about it, and went back for time #3 to the AP, and that was the beginning of the real end for us. I'm not saying your WS is the same as mine, but just be careful how much you are willing to put yourself out there for someone who is starting to stonewall you at this stage.

All that being said, sometimes it helps to rephrase what you are asking - if you are dealing with someone who actually wants to try to "get it." Only you (and your WS) can know if that is your case or if it is just avoidance.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 4:07 PM, July 27th (Monday)]

Jameson1977 posted 7/27/2020 16:42 PM

I did the same as you Ascott58. We talked about the Aís a lot for the first six months. I think we talked about the Aís a lot because things didnít add up. Guess what, I was right. Got TT in the 1st year, 2nd year and 3rd years after Dday.

The book recommendation is a good one, well worth the read. This is a long haul. 2-5 years. Iím at 5 years from Dday 1 tomorrow

I still think about it everyday, but time does tend to heal wounds, just takes forever. The biggest thing in our R was my WW investing and being open and honest in intensive IC.

Thumos posted 7/27/2020 17:35 PM

Couples therapy is usually a bad idea in the wake of infideltiy. The anecdotal evidence at places like SI and elsewhere is filled with story after story of couples/marital counselors encouraging blameshifting and rugsweeping ó and looking the other way in instances of trickle truth.

Couples/marital counselors are focused on the idea of ďsavingĒ the marriage and/or relationship and less on healing the betrayed spouse. They are ill-equipped to deal with the toxic minefield of infidelity.

Instead, this should be triage with the first priority to help the betrayed heal - a person who is literally in physical trauma and shock in the months after disclosure or discovery.

Youíre better of looking for an IC who specializes in betrayal trauma, one each for both of you. If the two ICís work together and you allow them to share information collaboratively to help each of you separately, so much the better. One IC for the wayward will hold their feet to the fire, the other for the betrayed will help you with tangible steps you can take in healing.

This ...

We do therapy but we don't really talk about the affair.

... is basically rugsweeping. If the couples counselor is encouraging rugsweeping, that sounds about par for the course.

Ascott58 posted 7/27/2020 19:21 PM

Last year June 19th I found out that he had an EA. I saw a snap hat on his phone from her. It was a really hard time. He said it was only emotional and it was over. Little did I know it was physical and it lasted another month after me finding out. So 2 months ago she texted me when she realized he was never going to be with her again. She had been trying for months. So I guess I've already dealt with the emotional part of the affair. I feel like im obsessed with the physical. She is very fit with big fake boobs. I feel she is so different than me. So i can't stop thinking he wishes i looked like her. All i do is picture them having sex. My therapist says that the images in my head is what I would think it was like if I had an affair. All I see is this passionate love making. I've asked alot of questions. Some I wish i didn't. Im really working on my self confidence. Which is helping. But why do i want to know sex questions? Am I trying to find something?
Thanks guys for all your help!

Notmine posted 7/28/2020 10:10 AM

IMHO, your therapist is right in that the reality of the affair is different from how you visualize it, but infidelity is a trauma and you are processing that trauma. This is an important part of what you need therapy for. If your therapist does not have experience in infidelity, you might want to find a new therapist. BS often exhibit the symptoms of PTSD, including:

Repeated intrusive thoughts.
Unstable emotional regulation.
Out of body experiences.
Alternating between feeling numb and striking out in retaliation.
Inability to stop scanning for any new data that might cause more distress.
Feeling overwhelmingly powerlessness and broken.
Needing to regain self-worth by assigning blame.
Confusion and disorientation.

Recognize any of these?

Your husband needs to man up and answer the questions you have about the affair. I was also obsessed about the sex. I asked about the sex in detail, but it was very hard to hear some of the answers. At the time of my husband's affair, there was no sex in our marriage. I was pissed about my husband's porn use so I did not want to have sex with him. I obsessed about the first time he and the OW had sex and how it must have been incredibly mind blowing since my husband had not had sex in so long. Turns out that what I imagined was far worse than the reality. Over time, the details of the sex became less and less important and devastating, but it took a lot of hard work in counseling for this to happen. I had FOO trauma, so the affair brought all of that up. I had a lot of work to do to become stronger and able to process the trauma that had happened to me over my lifetime.

I think my bullshitometer also became less tolerant to bullshit. I began to put myself first. My FWH knows that I can investigate at any time and if I find any trace of bullshit that involves deception or another woman, I am out. I cannot spend my days thinking about what inappropriate crap he might be up to. He is responsible for making sure he continues to perform the actions it will take for him to be safer for me and to deserve being married to me. If something comes up that I am uncomfortable with, I trust my gut and I immediately address it. There will be no more rug sweeping or acceptance of bullshit in our marriage. I have learned to live with the affair. I do not forget who I am married to.

As I said before, your husband needs to man up. HE is responsible 100% for his shitty choices and now he must live with the consequences of these. This is what adults do. In order to expedite healing, your WH has to recognize that he must go to IC and work on his lack of integrity and other issues that drove him to give in to an affair. This will help him to recognize and feel true remorse for the act of the betrayal itself. He is legitimately on trial for invalidating the worth of his marriage, succumbing to self-serving motivation, and the willingness to risk severely wounding you. No matter how many times you need to ask questions, or cry or blame or yell or accuse, he needs to sit through this without defense, for, NEWS FLASH, there is no defense for what he did. He also needs to practice rigorous honesty in all things without exception or you will never be able to be comfortable in the marriage again. This includes all questions about the affair. Your healing is YOURS. He lost the right to an opinion when he betrayed you. This is not about him or his hurt feelings (poor baby tripped and fell into a vagina - and your questions make HIM feel bad? bullshitometer is going off big time).

Serenity2019 posted 7/28/2020 11:43 AM

Hello Ascott58. I'm sorry you're here.

I'm about 15 months post D-Day, but I can relate to a what you're going through.

For the first 4 months after finding out about the affair. I talked about the affair constantly. That is literally the only thing I could think about. I asked so many questions. I got so many details that in some ways contributed to the mind movies I was experiencing. I could tell that each time my husband would get more bothered, but he knew it was what he had to do.

I too pictured them having sex constantly. I pictured it being intense and way better than what we had. I pictured her much better and more attractive than me. My self-esteem was broken. I thought I would never be able to stop this.

I no longer feel the need to talk about the affair as often anymore. We only talk about it about once every 2 weeks or so... Even now when I bring it up my H gets defensive. He hates being reminded of it and that is what we are struggling with right now...

I also no longer have the mind movies 24/7. It pops up in my head here and there especially when I see something online or in TV or in a song that mentions cheating.. or other little triggers...

I know this is probably not much help as I too am struggling. But, I just want to say that it does get better if you put your energy towards your healing. Do things that make you feel good about yourself. Remind yourself constantly that even though that woman may have fake boobs and what not... she is not better than you. I remind myself this constantly. I tell myself that even if she is physically beautiful (because my H AP is), that doesn't take away from my own beauty. I also remind myself that she is trash on the inside because she willingly engaged in an affair with a married man while she too was in a relationship. I really can't ever imagine myself engaging in something like that without regarding the feelings of others.

So anyway. This probably didn't help, but I feel you it will get better. Whether you're able to stay together or not you're still responsible for your healing because this is trauma we are dealing with and it will get better.

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