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Unresolved questions

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BSPheonix posted 7/31/2020 16:47 PM

It's almost a year since my D-day. I still have unresolved questions. I attribute this to only recently becoming compos mentis/ having full control of my mind. It seems that, with time, new questions arise and, old questions become re-framed as a result of new perspective. A polygraph is not an option for me. I fear my wife is holding back on some points ("I don't remember", "haven't we covered this already" and, "how long is this going to go on" are common responses). I'm wondering if it's wise (or not) to, essentially, use the threat of talking with her best friend, AP or, the AP's wife, as leverage (i.e. a threat that, if I'm not satisfied with what you tell me, I'll talk to all of the aforementioned).

I fear that she hasn't told me as much as she should have (I can elaborate if need be) and, hasn't -- despite IC -- arrived at a point where she understands why she had an affair (or, if she has, she can't -- or won't -- satisfactorily explain this to me). There is a risk she will encounter the AP at work in future and, given she has been infatuated with him twice in the past (her term, not mine), naturally, I'm concerned about what may transpire should that happen.

Thoughts? Despite the comments about being compos mentis, I don't feel that way tonight...

[This message edited by BSPheonix at 4:53 PM, July 31st (Friday)]

Ladybugmaam posted 7/31/2020 16:56 PM

I'm 17 months out. I totally understand and felt similarly to you. Though, do you really think you'll get the truth from the AP? Even the AP's spouse will reopen wounds. My FWH has said the same too. I think it's in the playbook of I'm super ashamed over what I've done and can I push it all away NOW.

What is she doing to be safe for you? Particularly, if there is more interaction at work. Do you need that risk to go away? And, while we can't be everywhere the WS was, despite wishing to desperately know ALL the truths.....will knowing help or hurt you. Will knowing help if you're trying to reconcile OR will it be something you can't "unhear" even if you split.
Hugs to you. It is a super Sh&tty place to be.

dancin-gal posted 7/31/2020 22:52 PM

I totally understand the need to know the whole story especially when you hear I can recall or remember.. I personally would not say to her you are going to the OBS .. or her friend .. if WS is lying she will rush to call her friend to back up her story .. calling OBS and comparing stories is something that other BS have done .. some will cooperate some don’t .. my WS . did the I forget, trickle truth and omit lots of information during our DDay 18 yrs ago .. the A continued underground .. DDay. Last year it started trickling information and some really ridiculous answers .. he finally came clean about 1 month following D day .. had a polygraph last Dec .. the last bit of information WS was revealed was about a week before the polygraph .., the OW my WS was involved was divorced so didn’t have anyone to collaborate .
I know the feeling in the pit of your gut that tells you there is more to the story .. have you given your WS the Dear Joseph letter found in healing library .. that was my go to letter for my WS .. very well written ..

The1stWife posted 8/1/2020 07:07 AM

Her responses are disturbing. First you need to realize she doesn’t appear remorseful. Second she doesn’t appear to care about YOUR pain. Or your healing.

Because if she did she would not respond with her Defensive dismissive answers.

You have a real cause for concern given her answers AND the fact the OM still works with her.

I’m not sure how you live with this. That anxiety and threat hanging over my head would make me wonder if I was truly reconciled or if I was just living in limbo.

Unhinged posted 8/1/2020 09:12 AM

It's almost a year since my D-day. I still have unresolved questions. I attribute this to only recently becoming compos mentis/ having full control of my mind. It seems that, with time, new questions arise and, old questions become re-framed as a result of new perspective.
This is all completely normal (although I'm sure that doesn't help much). I went through the same shit and I'd imagine that most, if not all, BSs experience this, too. Our brains, it would seem, get a little rewired after a sever trauma. Trying to understand why the traumatic events occurred is simply our brain's way of trying to help us avoid a similar trauma in the future. I'm sure I asked my FWW hundreds of questions, often the same ones over and over again. It took me at least a couple of years before I stopped asking questions and even then I had to constantly remind myself, especially when triggered, that I already had a lot of the answers I needed (it takes time to process all of the information).

("I don't remember", "haven't we covered this already" and, "how long is this going to go on" are common responses).
Unfortunately, your WW's attitude isn't all that helpful (as you already know, right?) A truly remorseful spouse might have some memory gaps. However, her refusal to engage with you, to be empathetic, patient, and to put your needs above her own, does not bode well in terms of reconciliation. I cannot recall my FWW ever making any of the above comments. She was resilient and tried very had to answers all of my questions.

(Has your WW read "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair?")

I'm wondering if it's wise (or not) to, essentially, use the threat of talking with her best friend, AP or, the AP's wife, as leverage (i.e. a threat that, if I'm not satisfied with what you tell me, I'll talk to all of the aforementioned).
Don't threaten. It doesn't usually work. Just do it. If you believe that having a conversation with the OBS (other betrayed spouse) will help you, then do it. She might not be all that receptive, but then again, she might be able to shed some light on a few things.

Your WW's best friend and the AP, however, are probably not the most reliable sources of information. Your WW's best friend will likely attempt to dodge the situation and the AP will most likely lie.

I fear that she hasn't told me as much as she should have (I can elaborate if need be) and, hasn't -- despite IC -- arrived at a point where she understands why she had an affair (or, if she has, she can't -- or won't -- satisfactorily explain this to me).
It's a reasonable fear, brother, and all too common as well. In general, I don't think any of us ever truly understand why our WSs were capable of doing the things they did. It's sort of like an asymptotic curve; the hard we try the closer we get to the limit, but can never actually reach that limit.

What's truly important, I believe, is that your WW does everything she can to help you to understand as much as possible. It's not the end result that's important (although it certainly helps), but her willingness to be authentic, empathetic and patient enough to make even Job proud.

There is a risk she will encounter the AP at work in future and, given she has been infatuated with him twice in the past (her term, not mine), naturally, I'm concerned about what may transpire should that happen.
What, if anything, is your WW doing to mitigate the chances of that happening? A truly remorseful WS who is fully committed to reconciliation would move heaven and earth to ensure that no contact remains fully in place until the end of time itself.

Hand in there, man. Keep asking your questions. Let your WW know, in no uncertain terms, that she cannot avoid the consequences of her actions. It takes most couples years to reconcile. Years, man. Years. You'll cover the same topics repeatedly until you're no longer interested or feel a need to cover then again.

sisoon posted 8/1/2020 12:40 PM

IMO, R fails unless both partners are honest with themselves and each other. If your W holds out on answering your questions, she's holding out from R. If you have to go around her to get the info you want, R is failing.

If you need more answers but she won;t give them, are you prepared to dump her? If so, let her know.

If not, I think you need to develop requirements for R - if she doesn't meet the requirements, she's gone from your life. If you don't have a bottom line, I would urge you to find a good IC to help you create good boundaries.

Like Unhinged, I asked questions intensively at first and kept up asking questions frequently well into our 2nd year. After that, I asked questions from time to time. I asked a question I had never asked before only a few months ago. I'm in year 10.

The goal of R, usually, is to build an M that serves both of you. I think that means building an M in which neither of you has to stifle yourself.

[This message edited by sisoon at 12:40 PM, August 1st (Saturday)]

Butforthegrace posted 8/1/2020 13:10 PM

how long is this going to go on

My friend, as long as this phrase, or some version of it, is passing her lips, you have no business in the R forum.

BSPheonix posted 8/3/2020 03:29 AM

Thanks for comments.

What is she doing to be safe for you? Particularly, if there is more interaction at work.

I can check phones, email, etc.and, if she's going out to see friends, she volunteers details (not that any of us go out a lot at the moment). As for interacting at work, they don't work in the same building but, are within a few miles of each other. When they met last year (at a training course my wife was delivering) they hadn't (apparently) seen each other for years. I believe this given what I've seen in messages to her best friend.

(Has your WW read "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair?")
I doubt it. I mentioned to her that I was reading it to get insight and, suggested she did the same. Her perspective is that she knows she's done wrong and won't again. I had to convince her to read Not Just Friends, which - to be fair - she did find useful. The thing is, I'm the one who did the digging to find those books, not her.

If you don't have a bottom line, I would urge you to find a good IC to help you create good boundaries.

I hadn't considered this. I'll start looking.

My friend, as long as this phrase, or some version of it, is passing her lips, you have no business in the R forum.

Sadly, I agree. Again, thank you all for the sage advice. I wish you well.

BSPheonix posted 8/3/2020 06:29 AM

I'd also welcome opinions on this. Last night we had a 'date night' while my in-laws looked after the children. I made an effort in my appearance (I think I do this daily anyway), whereas my wife wore a 20-year old, threadbare, toothpaste-stained 'hoodie' and jeans that are too big. This is not an isolated incident and, I know other things could be at play (e.g. she feels comfortable this way; she's in the process of buying new outfits as part of slimming down, or, perhaps she's even depressed, etc.). She could even be comfortable in our relationship and not feel the need to make an effort but, if that's the case I think I resent that. Do I come across badly? I never used to feel this way but I think after someone's had an affair they should go above and beyond (at least for a while).

Edit: I should add, she recently told me she feels really happy but, I don't yet trust words and, I certainly don't expect her to be dressing for me o. a daily basis.

[This message edited by BSPheonix at 6:45 AM, August 3rd (Monday)]

thatbpguy posted 8/3/2020 13:58 PM

I fear my wife is holding back on some points ("I don't remember", "haven't we covered this already" and,....

Yes, she is holding back. She neither wants you to know nor does she care. For me, this would be a dealbreaker.

..."how long is this going to go on" are common responses).

As long and as often as it takes for you to heal and feel safe with her again. Is she is unwilling, again, she really doesn't care.

I'm wondering if it's wise (or not) to, essentially, use the threat of talking with her best friend, AP or, the AP's wife, as leverage (i.e. a threat that, if I'm not satisfied with what you tell me, I'll talk to all of the aforementioned).

I have no problem with this. But only do so if you will follow thru.

I'd also welcome opinions on this. Last night we had a 'date night' while my in-laws looked after the children. I made an effort in my appearance (I think I do this daily anyway), whereas my wife wore a 20-year old, threadbare, toothpaste-stained 'hoodie' and jeans that are too big. This is not an isolated incident and, I know other things could be at play (e.g. she feels comfortable this way; she's in the process of buying new outfits as part of slimming down, or, perhaps she's even depressed, etc.).

You, the betrayed, makes the effort. She, the betrayer, makes little to none. C'mon, what do you think?

Thumos posted 8/3/2020 14:33 PM

I don't remember", "haven't we covered this already" and, "how long is this going to go on" are common responses

Her responses are a huge red flag of avoidance and rug sweeping. If she’s saying these thing then:

1. You are rugsweeping
2. You are not reconciling
3. She is not remorseful.

Saying “I don’t remember” Is almost always a lie. Some will even say “I don’t know” which is even more insulting.

Did she ever write a timeline for you? Did you ever talk to the OBS? Did she read “How to Help Your Spouse Heal FmAfyer Your Affair?”

The reason the questions keep coming is because you aren’t an idiot. The questions won’t go away. Your brain won’t let them go away.

If she can’t or won’t answer then she’s not good reconciliation material.

I found this out the hard way so please don’t futz around with this. There are opportunity costs at stake for your time, your years, your life and your mental and physical health.

[This message edited by Thumos at 2:34 PM, August 3rd (Monday)]

Thumos posted 8/3/2020 17:11 PM

Her perspective is that she knows she's done wrong and won't again.

This is the equivalent of an alcoholic whiteknuckling it and being a dry drunk.

Buster123 posted 8/3/2020 19:10 PM

Why is polygraph "not an option" ? the WW you have described is still light years from being a good candidate for R, wants to rugsweep, doesn't take the initiative to read books or the necessary work and of course after just a year from Dday wants you to "get over it already" which you know is the true meaning of her question "how long is this going to go on?".

There's a reason why polygraphs are recommended here a lot on SI, simply because they're much more reliable than a proven cheater and liar, plus you may even get a parking lot confession right before, during or after the test.

survrus posted 8/3/2020 21:47 PM

BSP,

The best kind of compensation for an affair is honesty, what she wears is minor in comparison.

If your WW is not completely truthful then she will not really recover either.

nekonamida posted 8/3/2020 23:47 PM

BSP, is the polygraph not an option because you know that she would never agree to it? Are you afraid of her using it as an excuse to end the marriage? Or is it more of a logistics issue?

I'm wondering if it's wise (or not) to, essentially, use the threat of talking with her best friend, AP or, the AP's wife, as leverage (i.e. a threat that, if I'm not satisfied with what you tell me, I'll talk to all of the aforementioned).

It's not wise for 2 reasons:

1. Best friend and AP have very little reason to be honest with you and tons of reasons to lie to you. They cannot be trusted at all. AP's wife should absolutely be talked to and relied on for information.

2. The MORE important reason is that it's not wise because you're only doing this to control your WW. You're coaxing her into the truth but experience here says it does not work. Your WW will only admit to what you can prove. She can deny anything best friend, AP, or AP's wife said and unless they have the smoking gun, she can reasonably explain any evidence away. This is not a convincing threat to her in the slightest. You may not believe her if she tries to explain it away but if you are not ready to enact boundaries, she will continue to get away with it.

If you do talk to AP's wife, do so WITHOUT warning WW. You already know she hasn't given you the truth. You already know what excuses she will use when confronted. Why try a slight variation of something that didn't work on the off chance that it might? Skip your WW as the middle man and go straight to the potential source that you can trust - AP's wife.

This is not an isolated incident and, I know other things could be at play (e.g. she feels comfortable this way; she's in the process of buying new outfits as part of slimming down, or, perhaps she's even depressed, etc.). She could even be comfortable in our relationship and not feel the need to make an effort but, if that's the case I think I resent that.

Trust your gut. She's choosing not to put the effort in when she did put the effort in when it came to OM. Don't doubt yourself and talk yourself out of things like this by making excuses for her. If your gut is wrong, she will prove it but so far she is saying loud and clear that you're not worth the effort. That's not a reflection of you and your worth. It's a reflection of her selfishness.

BSPheonix posted 8/4/2020 06:05 AM

I'm using my mobile to read comments. I'll respond to questions later when using a device with a decent keyboard. Thanks for telling me what I need to hear.

Butforthegrace posted 8/4/2020 07:35 AM

I'm wondering if it's wise (or not) to, essentially, use the threat of talking with her best friend, AP or, the AP's wife, as leverage (i.e. a threat that, if I'm not satisfied with what you tell me, I'll talk to all of the aforementioned).

Seriously? You're seriously wondering this? You've clearly not spent much time reading here on SI. It's a useless idea. First, you should have spoken to the AP's wife long ago; it's a failure by you that you've not done this. Second, the rest of the idea smacks of a gambit to try to lure your wife into an ersatz fake R, the appearance of R without any real remorse or work on her part.

Feel free to torture yourself and stiff upper lip your way through your broken marriage if you wish. Many people do. But don't kid yourself that you are making any actual progress toward R. You're not.

DIFM posted 8/4/2020 09:07 AM

I'm wondering if it's wise (or not) to, essentially, use the threat...

This absolutely, positively is the worse thing you can do, if you are not 100% ready to back it up. Threats that are not followed through become positive reinforcements to the cheater that the BS is weak, and in fact they are in control and are calling the shots.

Never, ever make a threat if you are not ready to let go of the relationship.

BSPheonix posted 8/4/2020 09:58 AM

Still on mobile here. I should have made it clear: I spoke to the OBS last year; she was helpful but it got a bit messy. In hindsight, I should have phrased it something like, "should I reach out again to the OBS...".

Unhinged posted 8/4/2020 10:52 AM

I spoke to the OBS last year; she was helpful but it got a bit messy.
What do you hope to gain from contacting the OBS (again)?

Look, man. As a BS, we have plenty of reasons to doubt the sincerity of a WS. Reconciling and restoring trust takes a long time and a herculean effort by a WS. From what you've written, your WW doesn't seem like she's either willing or able to do what it takes.

It seems to me that you're looking for some sort of leverage to force your WW into reconciliation. It's understandable. I think most of us experience a desperate need to regain some control over our lives and our marriages. Unfortunately, the only leverage any us have is to make decision for ourselves, for our own sakes, for our own happiness.

You cannot change your WW. You cannot force her to change. You cannot manipulate, encourage or otherwise exert control or influence. The only thing you can do is determine what is and what is not acceptable to you.

In other words, let go of the outcome.

Whether your WW is willing or able to do what it takes to reconcile with you is absolutely, positively beyond your control.

Sucks, doesn't it?

Focus on you, brother, your recovery and healing. Step-back, detach, watch and observe what your WW does with the opportunity you've given her. If she's got what it takes, maybe reconciliation will happen. Not all WS are capable or willing to do the work. Prepare yourself for the possibility that R may not happen. Examine what that would look like for you. Prep your finances, see a divorce lawyer (if only to educate yourself).

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