Empathy and a true unde3rstanding of what we did to our BS can only come after time, and time spent really thinking things through and focusing on the BS, at that. It's definitely not something that happens right after DDay.
I've been thinking about this aspect a lot lately. My WW has made a strenuous effort the past three years or so to be the "perfect wife." Some would describe her behaviors as "Stepford wife" doing constant acts of service, providing sex on a never-ending tap, showering me with gifts and affection, indulging my hobbies, catering to my extended family, taking on household duties and more.
It's not that I don't appreciate it, or even value it. Of course I do. But it's HOW it came about that gnaws at me. It's the price that was paid. The price seems too high. And that exorbitant price seems to give the whole thing an air of being counterfeit, of being less than genuine.
I don't know if that's fair or makes sense. Does it make sense?
And when I measure it against her pattern of a lack of real transparency (destroying evidence, refusing me access to texts, refusing to write a timeline for three years, failing her polygraph) that conflicts with the "perfect wife" treatment (which I admit has been pretty consistent) I find myself deeply ambivalent.
I don't know how to square it or really feel about it.
And then there's the aspect you hit on MrsWalloped, that a WW/WS is really not thinking much about their BH/BS wellbeing -- certainly not before D-Day, but even for a long time after D-Day.
My WW followed this pattern for the first year.
Even six months after D-Day she was telling me the affair was "private." In that first year she said awful things, such as that I was "sexually immature" when I expressed my horror at her explanation that sex with her AP was "meaningless" and "that's your problem" when I expressed sadness that she was my one and only. She tries to write those things off as "heat of the moment" now, things she didn't really mean to say. Usually she'll preface this by saying that from her point of view she only said these things out of frustration after long hours of discussions during which I questioned her. My reaction is "well too bad." And she doesn't seem to understand how heavy these things weigh on my mind, after already having been traumatized and betrayed by her with the original sin.
It seems pretty clear to me that as much as she has tried to work on empathy, like many other WW's she just doesn't "get it." I'm wondering if she ever will. It's really like men are from Mars, women are from Venus, and we live in two completely different emotional universes.
I guess my question of the day is, if we waited, what really makes it worth it to have to wade through all that nonsense and wait around for a WW to figure themselves out? Why should we have to wait?
I know the answer is "you don't have to do anything." I get that.
But a lot of BS find themselves at this juncture a few years out from DDay where we are scratching our heads wondering why a WS took so long, and that waiting brought with it a whole new level of toxic garbage (in addition to the initial anxiety and trauma while the affair was going on, the psychological damage of gaslighting, the post DDay denialism and subterfuge and stonewalling, etc).
I guess I'm asking whether a BH is just better off extricating themselves from all of it and moving on with a different life.
[This message edited by Thumos at 5:32 PM, July 22nd (Thursday)]