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Reconciliation :
Am I wasting my time?

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 Breachoftrust (original poster member #66252) posted at 10:27 PM on Friday, June 10th, 2022

Ok so, here goes.We went for a walk the other day. I mentioned a fun memory I had of him and the kids. He said something about not having a lot of memories with the kids. I asked what happy memories he has of me. He brought up a memory with the kids and again I asked about me. HE COULDN'T COME UP WITH ONE. 24 fucking years together and he couldn't find ONE memory.

He mumbled something about feeling like he had failed some test. OMG, does he not even care about me? Am I reading too much into this? I have said nothing for days about it. I thought, maybe I put him on the spot and he just couldn't think then. I figured if he had a chance to think about it then he would come to me to talk. Nope. Nothing.

Married 19 years, together 24. 3 children. DD1 2/21/18. DD2 6/7/18 EA. BS 49, WH 50.
DD3 3/30/22 PA

Actions prove who someone is; words prove who someone wants to be.

posts: 64   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2018
id 8739694
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 10:42 PM on Friday, June 10th, 2022

There isn’t a way I can know what your limits are, but I found when I asked questions similar to this early on in my recovery, I really knew the answer in advance.

It sure as Hell doesn’t sound good.

But a follow up question from you could give you the answer you’re looking for. Maybe he has had time to regroup his thoughts and he does have some good memories.

I would add for his clarification, that neither question is a test, if he doesn’t have ANY good memories, that’s an answer.

If you need more from him — then yes, you are likely wasting your efforts.

At the end of the day, I would need to feel some kind of connection or know WHY the person is with me. If no happy memories, what connection if any, does he feel he has to you and his family. Obligation, for me, isn’t the right answer for R (for some people it is).

Married 34+ years, together 40+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived
Restoration takes time.
"Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself." ― Epictetus

posts: 4364   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8739695
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 6:38 PM on Saturday, June 11th, 2022

I often write about 'testing' one's WS, usually in the context of checking to see if they are contrite/remorseful or just acting. But the tests also sheck out whether or not the BS wants to spend the rest of their life with their WS.

In the early days after d-day, I often found myself working up some rage against my my W only to get interrupted by good memories. Often I'd ask my W if she remembered the incident, and she often did. For the ones that had big impacts on our connecting, her memories matched mine (though from her perspective, of course).

Much later I found that the Gottman school observes that couples tend to stay together more if they get happy memories when the relationship is stressed than when they don't.

Your H's memories say a lot about him and not much about you. I don't know if you're wasting your time, but if he can't access good memories of you, R seems especially iffy.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 27413   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8739752
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 7:30 PM on Saturday, June 11th, 2022

I don’t think you are off the beaten path here.

Not one good or happy memory? Nothing? Not even something recently?

Wow! I’d be insulted too.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12289   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8739755
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 Breachoftrust (original poster member #66252) posted at 7:39 PM on Saturday, June 11th, 2022

I asked him why he loves me and he said because I love him. I said that wasn't good enough. I said anyone can love you. You could go find yourself a new love right now! I want to know why I am special to you. He says he doesn't know what I want from him. Pretty sure I just said what I want but ok. I just said I wanted to be special in his eyes. He says you are, but can't seem to tell me why.

Married 19 years, together 24. 3 children. DD1 2/21/18. DD2 6/7/18 EA. BS 49, WH 50.
DD3 3/30/22 PA

Actions prove who someone is; words prove who someone wants to be.

posts: 64   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2018
id 8739757
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 9:27 PM on Saturday, June 11th, 2022

Not attempting to defend an apparent lack of empathy from your spouse, but after reading your follow up question after he had time to think, he may be one of those people (and I know more than a few guys like this) who are unable to communicate their feelings.

Both responses seem like he is searching for perfect answers and that NO answer is a safer bet for him.

I guess my question would be, was he better at sharing his thoughts about you pre-A?

If he has never been great at it, maybe some MC or IC could help (maybe, maybe not).

It sounds like you need more.

Ask for more.

Tell him again he knows what you want, because you SAID what you want.

If you can’t get it, then you really will have the answer to your question about wasting time.

Married 34+ years, together 40+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived
Restoration takes time.
"Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself." ― Epictetus

posts: 4364   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8739773
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 12:32 AM on Sunday, June 12th, 2022

I know you would have been thrilled to hear anything.

Funny, smart, good cook, even you are hot!

Anything would have been better. But has he always Been this non-communicative or less communicative in a heartfelt way?

[This message edited by The1stWife at 12:43 PM, Sunday, June 12th]

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12289   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8739797
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ISurvivedSoFar ( Guide #56915) posted at 1:39 AM on Sunday, June 12th, 2022

I would be horribly hurt if my H could not identify any good memories with me for the 20 years pre-A.

That said, early on post d-day my H was always like a deer in the headlights when I asked him anything. He was so afraid he'd look bad or make the situation worse that he tended to freeze. Dunno if that's what is happening here?

Are you comfortable telling him how hurt this makes you?

DDay Nov '16
Me: BS, a.k.a. MommaDom, Him: WS
2 DD's: one adult, one teen,1 DS: adult
Surviving means we promise ourselves we will get to the point where we can receive love and give love again.

posts: 2816   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2017
id 8739802
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 Breachoftrust (original poster member #66252) posted at 2:31 PM on Sunday, June 12th, 2022

We talked some last night. Seems he felt unlovable and was ecstatic when he "discovered" I loved him. He did express that he doesn't feel his words will be believed or I don't like it when he can't remember. I have pointed out how he was lying to himself that he wasn't loved. He acknowledged that. Seems he's all in NOW. He said he was telling himself the story so it fit what he wanted. Trying to figure out his why's. Great, but none of this tells me how he feels about me. I bought the book how to help your spouse heal from your affair. It will be here Wednesday. Maybe it will help him with what I'm needing. If he won't read it then I know.

Married 19 years, together 24. 3 children. DD1 2/21/18. DD2 6/7/18 EA. BS 49, WH 50.
DD3 3/30/22 PA

Actions prove who someone is; words prove who someone wants to be.

posts: 64   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2018
id 8739845
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 5:16 PM on Sunday, June 12th, 2022

That book helped my wife a lot - I hope your spouse reads it and gives him another chance or two to show you some of the kind of empathy you need.

Married 34+ years, together 40+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived
Restoration takes time.
"Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself." ― Epictetus

posts: 4364   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8739861
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 7:00 PM on Sunday, June 12th, 2022

HE COULDN'T COME UP WITH ONE. 24 fucking years together and he couldn't find ONE memory.

Does he have a low IQ? Is he generally able to hold him own in conversation, or not really? If he's generally challenged with complex concepts or conversing in general, then it could possibly be that. Otherwise, yeah, I'd say this shows a lack of love.

How does he behave towards you? Does he connect in other ways besides words? Does he look at you with love, touch you a lot, care for you when you're feeling off, etc.? If not, then I'd say you are wasting your time if you want love. If he does all of those things, then I'd say he's more likely a poor communicator and needs therapy.

posts: 454   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8739885
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 Breachoftrust (original poster member #66252) posted at 3:26 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

He's very intelligent. I'm trying to go through my memories and be honest with myself. I don't recall him not being able to express himself. I think I am asking for reassurance on how he feels about me because he's made me doubt his love. And unfortunately he is not able to. I will give him a few days to mull it over and see if he can come up with ANYTHING.

Married 19 years, together 24. 3 children. DD1 2/21/18. DD2 6/7/18 EA. BS 49, WH 50.
DD3 3/30/22 PA

Actions prove who someone is; words prove who someone wants to be.

posts: 64   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2018
id 8739955
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 4:38 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

What about the nonverbal signals I asked about in my post? Since he's bright and not connecting verbally, those are the clincher. If he isn't making you feel loved in that way (loving eye contact, touching, caring checking-in, etc.), then it doesn't sound like he loves you.

Your WS sounds a lot like mine. Very smart & successful but not loving after the honeymoon stage. R didn't work.

posts: 454   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8739970
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Fof9303 ( member #70433) posted at 11:21 PM on Monday, June 13th, 2022

I am sorry that you feel so lost right now. Has your husband always been a man that has a lack of words? I know plenty of men that cannot express their feelings or don't even say I love you to one another. They are just a different kind of guy. I am certainly not taking up for him in anyway, just wondering if he was always that type. I am glad that he is trying now and hopefully he will get better with understanding that you need this kind of communication. God bless.

posts: 137   ·   registered: Apr. 27th, 2019
id 8740040
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