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guilt and more shame

MIgander posted 11/3/2020 09:42 AM

BH shared his pain, disgust and visions of me with AP again last night. Something finally clicked with me and now I'm feeling the shame and guilt I should have felt from the beginning. Maybe finally I'm in a place where I can deal with it.

Anyway, it's a hard day and he's still being nice to me and I don't understand why. Don't deserve him and don't know if I can ever make it up to him or ever be good enough for him after what I've done.

I don't understand someone who's felt so much hurt and disgust (visceral disgust with me during sex and yet still persevering in holding me at night while we sleep) can be nice to someone who's done that to him. He's a better person than I am.

So yeah, finally starting to get it.

leavingorbit posted 11/3/2020 16:50 PM

Hey, MIgander, nice to “see” you. I was hoping you would update. How’s IC going?

MIgander posted 11/4/2020 12:28 PM

IC's ok. Becoming better able to sort out what came from FOO and what came from BH. I'm working through issues from our early marriage that I allowed to build resentment and justify my affair. I'm finding that while our opinions differ, his intentions were not harmful toward me.

The following is a brain dump, so those who don't want to read, don't bother. I get it . I can't stand being in my own head these days, let alone subjecting others to it, but here it goes...

He's having a hard time with my discussions of his hurtful behavior and selfishness in our marriage. He has a hard time dealing with it as it's "all about me" and "Migander's show" and "when is it going to be all about him?" I feel guilty and ashamed that I can't make it more about him and can't adore him and cherish him as he deserves and needs me to in order for me to heal him.

I've had a hard time making it all about him in a positive way as we've had so much misunderstanding in our marriage that I've built up issues with trusting him since his actions were so harmful/hurtful to me. That's easing up now as I begin to understand him better and learn to understand how I filter my experiences through my FOO and father's behavior towards my mother.

Husband has been working to understand my multiple impairments from the abuse I suffered as a child, and my undiagnosed/untreated ADHD I've lived with up till now. He's understanding it and changing his behavior towards me and becoming a better and more gentle husband and father to our son (who likewise has ADHD). He wishes that he knew more about this before we married. I didn't let him know about my difficulties and struggles- I was incredibly hurt by the last bf I had before him left me so he could sleep around before our marriage. He had me convinced we would marry as we had multiple conversations about it, but still he wanted a greater variety of experience before he could commit. I really showed my exBF my heart (ugly and good) and he saw fit to reject it as he didn't have enough notches on his belt yet before settling down to marriage. Maybe he too had second thoughts from my flaws and didn't feel safe sharing them with me. I'm glad for his sake that he did- he's married and has kids and is happy from what I can tell. Either way, there must have been miscommunication on both our sides and likely I dominated the relationship and he went along to get along.

From all that though, I figured if I showed weakness or let others in to my struggles, they would leave me for someone more easy going and appealing. I mean, the guys I had last dated and opened up to in that deep a level left me for cheap ass, so maybe that's all men wanted anyway- an easy going woman who had the perfect body and looks. My prior dating experiences and father's behavior toward my mother growing up led me to believe that you're a burden if you're not physically contributing to the marriage in complying with their wishes/ pleasing them. I was also led to believe that if you show emotional pain/vulnerability, you'll become a burden and they won't want you. My father had lectured me multiple times that the reactions others had to me were the fault of my behavior not being pleasing enough to them. Also had a lot of insecurity from being compared by multiple men in negative manners to my sisters (one of whom was also my primary abuser). It's currently a sore spot with my BH and I as he is more comfortable talking to my sister (the non-abuser one) and revealing his emotions to her as he feels they have more in common and she's easier to talk to than me. I've asked him not to talk to my sister anymore as I have the double anxiety over a. how my sisters were always perceived by other men as more desirable than me (and his behavior now confirming that again) and b. his history of seeking emotional intimacy and companionship from other more desirable women outside our marriage. He is upset and disappointed and hurt by this and sees it as a loss on his end to have this restriction on himself- especially after my affair and he needs comfort that he can't get from me- but is still honoring my request as he sees the distress that puts me in.

Shit. That sounds wayward on his part. Whatever, I'm the one who cheated, so maybe it's a case of me being delusional? Like "if all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail" kind of thing? The gas-lighting I've had to come to terms with... ie: his actions and underlying thought patterns are painful to me, but his intentions were never bad. He was incurious about where my pain and anger were coming from, because of the overwhelming pain I was putting him in with my over-reactions. So, he never became aware of my abuse, which makes it not his problem, but mine for not communicating. This whole mindfuck has distorted my grip on reality some days and makes me question my abilities to understand and navigate the world around me in ways that I can't even begin to describe. Like, how could I possibly be hurt by his natural desire to gravitate towards pleasing easy going women (and physically more attractive ones w/ blonde hair and bigger boobs) who share his opinions and are so kind and sympathetic towards him? It's natural for a man to be attracted to an attractive, pleasing woman. He never intended to sleep with any of these women as he respected them too much. So, how can I question any of his efforts thus far when mine have been so lacking in anything he desires to see to move our marriage forward and heal him? He reads my posts online and wonders what everyone else wonders- "do you even like this guy?" I shouldn't even be posting this as he will read it and be hurt. I know I love him and want to be able to swallow this pain and process my own hurts and not put them on him anymore and be a partner who can be deserving of his love and desirable to him again.

All I want to do is just pick on any flaw. I can't just accept him as he is and trust that he will never intentionally hurt me and cherish him as he is a good and honorable man who has honored his commitments and hasn't slept around like I have. How can I not be grateful for this man who has given his all and been a good involved father (unlike our brother in law who mostly drinks and sits on the couch or his dad who was too busy with work to do more than buy him things) and reliable provider and a partner who has listened to my needs and provided vacations, furniture and landscaping and a beautiful home to me and our children? How can I not be grateful to a man who has done all this in the face of a mentally ill, shrewish, negative and unattractive wife? I don't provide him companionship, I am no longer physically attractive, I demand he pays down debt, stops talking to other more appealing women and what does he get for the effort? An unfaithful, unattractive, physically disgusting wife.

I'm starting to get it. There's really not much for him to stay for in this marriage, but the desire not to break up the family. Maybe the desire that one day, with enough work on my end, that I can be the wife he really deserves and desires.

In my husband's requests for implants, blonde hair, whatever, he wasn't telling me that he saw my brown hair or body as disgusting or unattractive, just that he was attracted to big boobed blondes. He didn't see the problem with asking me to undergo surgery and damaging hair treatments as that's what the people/culture we're surrounded by accepts as normal. I see them as damaging (not the hair so much now, eh, it's hair and will grow back, whatever)- breast augmentation is very invasive, potentially carcinogenic and lines you up for further health problems down the road. My sister has a pre-cancerous lymph node and a screwed up back from hers. My other sister had to have corrective surgery on hers twice. My husband sees no problem with his expectation/desire for it as he's able to comfortably talk about liposuction and other body modifications with my sister and wishes he could feel so comfortable with me discussing this stuff as he does my sister and other women. Other people in our social group whom he respects sees it as respectable and laudable, and he does too. He agrees he shouldn't have mocked me at a party in front of my friends for my differing views, but really, I'm the odd man out and likely the one taking this stuff too personally.

My personal problem with this is in seeing a deeper seated consumerist attitude toward a PERSON in your care- that if they're not made in YOUR image for them, that you can just buy them stuff until they are. He still doesn't agree with me on this, but he understands where I come from and is disappointed that I won't do these procedures out of love and gratitude for him. He's sad that we see things differently and is disappointed that other women are ok with it and I'm not and that other men get to enjoy the results of these surgeries and he doesn't. He's also hurt because he is still disgusted by my body and wishes that he could erase some of that through having it altered. My problem that I've thought too much on this topic and dug deeper on it that it really deserves and now am making a hypocritical "principled stand" on it when really, at this point, if he wants the boobs, I should get the boobs as a sign of gratitude to him. The problem with the procedure is mine and one I need to overcome in gratitude and a sense of loyalty to him.

It's still painful to me that he doesn't cherish me as I was created (this created no end of suffering and resentment in me and led me to justify my affair). I'm learning in my IC to let it go as it is HIS problem and not mine. It's one of the disappointments I will have to accept in my marriage going forward, just as he has had to accept my flaws with the emotional extremes/reactivity and executive functioning impairment I've saddled him with in my ADHD. I'm leaning toward getting the surgeries and body modifications for him as a way of showing him that I do take his desires seriously and want to remove that sense of disgust he has for my body now that I've had the affair. What was once just a matter of disappointment to him (and pain for me as I internalized his disappointment/lack of affirmation of my body as it was as a failing of mine to please him- see the problematic internalization on my part!) has turned to outright disgust as he has to deal with the PTSD mind-movies my affair provided for him. So, I'm getting a brazillian laser job to start and saving for the $16k surgery for a year or so down the road. Hopefully I have a good bonus this year and can make that happen for him.

My husband has trouble wanting me now that I've had the affair on him. He told me he cannot trust or respect me and has visceral disgust when he is trying to be intimate with me. Which is all what I signed up for in the affair and a natural outcome of my actions. While he's become more understanding of my limitations from my mental health, he is becoming more disappointed, angry and disillusioned and not sure he can handle this marriage any more. He says he could have understood it and may have been able to come to terms with my moods and lack of planning and impulsivity and anxiety and depression from internalization of faults, but that after the affair and all he has done to stay this long, he is no longer sure he can take it. It's on me now to change and manage my self to be a better spouse for him. I'm learning to better control my emotional responses (and the medications I'm on are helping- going to keep uping my meds until this anxiety is stopped). I'm learning to not internalize my failings as signs that I'm a bad person because I have limitations. I'm just a person with limitations. They disappoint and frustrate my family and husband, but that's a natural reaction to having to deal with me in a daily context.

So, dealing with my own self fulfilling prophecy- if you act like no one wholesome will love you guess what, they'll eventually leave you. All this because I believe I am unlovable because of my limitations and abuse. Turns out I couldn't love myself enough act in a respectful manner. Now I've thrown away the very thing I most wanted- the opportunity to be understood, loved and cherished in spite of my many many flaws.

So yeah, that's how IC is going. Glad you asked?

[This message edited by MIgander at 12:36 PM, November 4th (Wednesday)]

MrCleanSlate posted 11/4/2020 12:52 PM

MIgander,

First of all - wow. Good for you to be able to lay it all out there the way you did in this post. That is a lot of stuff to bear.

First of all, the hair and boob job stuff - I can't agree to another guy tossing that kind of suggestion out to any woman. It's your body. It is one thing to make personal changes, quite another to have someone else tell you to change to meet some ideal they have - and this coming from a guy as I am sure some women will have more to say on that.

You know what I see though - a couple who are not on the same page and he is rubbing things in your face. It doesn't sound like you are working towards a real R - at least not as a couple. Sorry, not trying to make you feel bad, just making my observation. To really get to a true R, both WS and BS need to be willing to work on fixing their own issues and to be willing to accept that the M needs to change as well.

MIgander posted 11/4/2020 13:10 PM

Hi MCS,

Maybe I don't give a full picture when I'm on this site? I usually write when I'm overwhelmed with anxiety or pain from our relationship and or in great confusion over his intentions/motivations for the things I've been hurt by over the years.

My husband is in the anger phase right now. I'm stabilizing enough to not have suicidal ideation anymore and have largely diminished or stopped the self harm (I use ice cubes in my hands, pick at split ends, fiddle with my cuticles instead of hitting myself or scratching my face). So, since I'm coming into better self control, he is becoming more comfortable expressing the hurt and anger built up over the past year and 3 months of living with me, his unfaithful wife.

He feels safer sharing his pain and not worrying it will send me off the deep end and committing suicide like I nearly did last year. I had a gun in my car and was going to shoot myself by my dad's grave last November. It was a mess. He has been through all that, stayed and nursed me through that winter from hell and it's now justifiably his turn to be the one cared for.

I'm just trying to hang on through all this and hope we can come out on the other side intact. He's allowed his pain. It was cruel on my end to expect that he would want to work on himself when he had to bear so much just to keep me alive, let alone have a partner who could help him with his burdens.

So yeah, if he wants the boobs, at this point I'm alive because of him, so I'll get the boobs.

MrCleanSlate posted 11/5/2020 08:11 AM

MIgander,

Apologies. I didn't grasp the whole backstory....

I've been through the ringer with my son (too many times to ER worried about suicide). It does take an emotional toll. But that is what you do for loved ones - you stand by them and try to help.

Have you communicated all this with your BH - I mean the guilt and shame and your self-image stuff? I mean like really laid it out there?

MIgander posted 11/5/2020 12:35 PM

Hi MCS,

Yeah, I have. Not effectively when I was younger, but since I've been medicated and coached, I can better communicate it. My husband has trouble with empathy, so it's hard for him to imagine what it's like being female in our society, let alone one with the background I had. I also didn't talk to him too much about my FOO before or even after our marriage. I wanted to escape the pain of it by pretending it and my past didn't exist.

So, not necessarily his fault for not understanding on a gut level what it's like for me to hear him praise other women and compare me negatively to them. Maybe now he has an understanding of what it feels like after what I did to him in the affair? It's going to be a long time and a lot of healing before he will be able to make that connection and form empathy for me in the years he was mooning after other women.

And really, that's too much for me to ask as he's in hell right now anyway.

Shame on me for bottling up my hurt and not working harder on communication to help him understand. Or setting boundaries in a healthy way against the kind of BS I endured as he did what he saw as perfectly normal and acceptable- praise other women without building up his wife, eventually culminating in disparaging her in comparison with one of her close friends.

MIgander posted 11/8/2020 15:35 PM

Anyone remember where the mind movies and how to stop them conversation went? BH is having trouble with that and I'm not sure how to help him stop them. Aside from what I'm already trying...

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