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How do I convey my thoughts and feelings to my WS?

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Booyah posted 11/21/2020 03:03 AM

36 I understand your desire to get things off your chest.

I also know (per your comments here on SI) that in the past when you've done this with your wife it's been met with "when are you going to get over this"?

No reason to believe that this time will be no different.

Does this mean you don't say what you have to say?

Absolutely not.

As long as you know it's going to go in one ear and out the other and that she'll get defensive and give you push back.

Your wife (again per your comments) has shown that she will not take ownership of her shit. Just remember this so that when she acts in character you don't get frustrated that she's unwilling to truly hear your pain (what it's done to you) and more importantly to try to help you heal.

sisoon posted 11/21/2020 11:25 AM

My reco is to tell your W you want to get some things off your chest and ask if she's ready to listen. If she's not, my reco is to save your energy for something that will be more satisfying.

I can't think of any human interaction that will be less satisfying than pouring out your heart to someone who's supposed to care about you and who is not interested in hearing you.


You realize you're trying to change her, right? You know that's a losing proposition, right? On 2 counts: 1) trying instead of doing, and 2) you can't change anyone unless they're willing.


What positive response is likely to come from this?

What responses do you want? Another reco: ask for what you want.


Another reco is to stick to feelings, not thoughts. IOW, tell her how sad/mad/glad/scared/ashamed/desiring/loving you felt and feel.

I second Evertrying in recommending you say 'When you did ____, I felt ____,' but my reco is to emphasize the feeling part of each statement.


Good luck. I hope the convo achieves your goals.

This0is0Fine posted 11/21/2020 11:43 AM

Surely your WS has canned responses you hate.

They probably are already covered in Linda McDonald's book. Flag them.

When you WS starts to say some shit, just go to the flag. "I said I'm sorry" not useful. "I'm trying my hardest" not good enough. "Stop wrapping everything into the affair" deflection and minimization.

Show her the list of useful responses and how to show remorse properly.

"I understand I've put you through a lot of pain. I see your hurt and I'm so sorry. If there is anything I've done to trigger your pain or cause you more, just let me know and I'll avoid that behavior." This is what she needs to get to.

My experience is the opposite of everyone else here. When I'm calm and rational I don't get the anger and the pain and the hurt across. I sound cold and controlling. When I am half yelling through tears (this has only happened twice now in a year) that I want her to just stop hurting me she starts to get it.

Just my 0.02, but I'm headed toward D. So take it for what it is worth.

Pippin posted 11/21/2020 12:00 PM

If she wants the issue to just go away and thinks there is some kind of timeline for that, and if thinks that if she waits it out it is bound to go away or at least diminish to only coming up once a year or so, the thoughts and feelings you want to convey probably won't matter to her because she'll wait for the conversation to be over. But you could convey - this is not going away, in fact it gets worse the longer you are dishonest/hiding/uninterested in how I am doing and what you can do about it. Maybe you could repeat that daily or weekly so she doesn't relax into the idea that the issue is on the way out? I have no idea what the endgame to that is, either you get sick of the relationship and leave or she gets sick of it and leaves or you spend a long dissatisfied life living with her. I doubt it will make her change. She came face to face with her worst self and doesn't want to change. If she isn't internally motivated she's not going to be externally motivated.

Butforthegrace posted 11/22/2020 09:48 AM

Did you have the talk? How did it go?

Stinger posted 11/22/2020 10:57 AM

If I ever tried to let my XW know how she affected me, I would get DARVO in a heartbeat.

Wanttobebetter posted 11/22/2020 11:14 AM


I tend to agree with Elle as to what you want to get out of this conversation. It seems , in my opinion, you want more than getting things off your chest but want to have a reaction, specifically empthay, remorse and other reaction from a truly remorseful spouse, not the canned reaction.

My fear is that you aren't being honest with yourself and setting expectations that most likely your WW is not going to meet and more importantly setting yourself up for more hurt.

Hope the conversation goes well and be strong brother.

36yearsgone posted 11/23/2020 10:55 AM

We had our sit down over two days, Saturday and Sunday.

I put together an outline/agenda of the things I wanted to talk about.

The discussion really didn't include much in the way of questions for her. I wanted her to understand my feelings and point of view of her behavior, how it affected me, then, now and for the foreseeable future.

It was quite cathartic for me as she actually listened and wept.

I closed the conversation by stating the following:

I love you, but some things have changed: I will fight to protect you, but for the discernable future, I will not fight for our marriage. The marriage we once had is completely dead and not worth resuscitating. If we are to have a marriage at all, it has to be something brand new and alive.

If you decide now or at a later date that you wish to leave the marriage, you are absolutely free to go. My perception and interpretation of a desire to leave the marriage will also include the slightest whiff of infidelity. I will not go through it again. As mentioned, I won't fight for this marriage. in the case of infidelity, my reaction will be instantaneous. We will divorce. You won't lose everything in the divorce, but you will lose me.

I have plans now for a future with or without you. I want you to take a couple of weeks to do some soul searching and decide what our future will be.

If you decide you want a future with me, then you will need to invest some treasure into our relationship. That treasure is your time, your affection, your love and your respect. I have invested much into you, even during the hell that you introduced into our relationship. You did things that killed my love for you. But, I invested into you and our relationship, believing that where my treasure is, my heart will follow.

At this point she really broke down with some deep heartfelt sobbing.

Empathy? Too soon to tell, but I felt encouraged.

Westway posted 11/23/2020 12:40 PM

Huh...Good job!

HouseOfPlane posted 11/23/2020 13:57 PM

Sounds like a good conversation, that you were heard.

If you decide now or at a later date that you wish to leave the marriage, you are absolutely free to go.
Wise words. Told mine the same. Welcome to go find someone smarter, better looking, richer, or all three.

36yearsgone posted 11/23/2020 15:03 PM

It's hard to believe that it took over three years to have this type of conversation. D-day was one thing, and the months that followed were another. But I never felt like I had been heard. Now I do.

36yearsgone posted 11/24/2020 10:22 AM

It's been two days since the closure of "our talk." I have to tell you she seems to have a new positive attitude; so do I.

Seems that for some BS's we just need to know we have been heard. I was heard and got everything I had been holding in off my chest. I did so politely, without anger, intimidation, shouting or extreme pain projection. I simply spoke in a calm voice and shared the baggage she created for me.

I feel refreshed.

Westway posted 11/24/2020 13:36 PM

Now you have the years long task of watching her closely. Can you be a monitor for the next five years? Can you stick to the boundaries you laid out? This will be as much a task for you as it will be for her.

36yearsgone posted 11/24/2020 13:43 PM

Now you have the years long task of watching her closely. Can you be a monitor for the next five years? Can you stick to the boundaries you laid out? This will be as much a task for you as it will be for her.

Not exactly the response I was hoping for, but ok. I don't plan on watching her closely. I know what to look for, but I think I will be able to see it without scrutinizing her on a daily basis.

GTeamReboot posted 11/24/2020 14:03 PM

Your “closing words” were very powerful and articulate. If they are written or printed out you might give her a copy and say that she should revisit it often, especially if she’s feeling complacent. It will remind her how you are feeling and spare you repeating it. What the WS doesn’t seem to understand is that we BH will often start acting and outwardly seeming (and even superficially feeling) “better” even when the old hurt is there just as strongly just below the surface. That’s actually when they should double down with the reassurance and proactive positive steps like affection, apologies, and checking in on us. I think those situations are when it can have the most lasting effect.

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