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Wayward Side :
Resentment

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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 10:13 PM on Tuesday, July 4th, 2023

Something I'm working on is dealing with feelings of resentment. This is resentment towards BS for my infidelity.

This has manifested in many ways

- I resent examples of my infidelity being brought up to make a point. A point that was essential to helping me, but still bringing up my failings.

I changed this prior to posting as I originally used past tense. Resented rather than resent. While I am getting an understanding of this and I am trying to keep ownership of the hurt that I allow to manifest as resentment, I am still feeling this.

- I hate BS mentioning OW and what I did for them and what I don't to for BS.

- I feel that every time infidelity is brought up in conversation, this was done to hurt me. To make me feel bad and to punish me. Even knowing this is not true, I've resented BS for trying to help me

- I've resent BS for putting boundaries in place. Boundaries that are completely fair and necessary. Yet these feelings pop up.

- I've resent "having" to post here on SI. Reaching out to people who have tried to help me. People who do not know me and still take time out of their lies to help. Yet I hate writing about my past and my obvious issues. Even when getting support and possibly even improving as a person I still resent BS at times.

There are others. I am trying to see this resentment now and intercept it. Use the feelings of hurt and pain caused by living with my past and use this to understand me better. To place the blame for my hurt at my own feet. Yet, I'm concerned that I am still feeling these resentments building towards BS. I'm ashamed that I even have to block them and hold myself accountable for them.

I assume I'm not alone in having these resentments. How did these manifest in you or your WS and what the hell did you do to deal with it? I am trying, but sometimes they are strong and I'm having to make an effort to control them. I do need to try and understand them when they come, right now I feel lie there is a lot of suppression and not a lot of understanding of where the pain is coming from specifically.

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 356   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8798153
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 11:00 PM on Tuesday, July 4th, 2023

Hi Bulcy,

BS here, no stop sign.

Resentment is tough and can be incredibly toxic in a relationship. I think it is wise of you for trying to get ahead of it.

I would encourage you to examine each of the issues you have mentioned and ask yourself why. Really dig into WHY these issues bring up feelings of resentment for you. In my experience the issues that make us the most uncomfortable tend to be the ones that need to be addressed the most. So for example:


- I resent examples of my infidelity being brought up to make a point. A point that was essential to helping me, but still bringing up my failings.

Why do you resent this? What part of it causes friction in your brain? Is it the fact that you are reminded of your actions in the A? Is it shame? Is it centered around your BS in particular? Would it be okay if it was someone else was bringing it up or would that bother you too? Would you resent someone else if they brought it up to make a point or just your BS? Why is your default DO you think she does it too often? Do you feel like she is lording it over you? Is there a way you could think differently about what she's doing that might cause you to feel more charitably towards her? Do you WANT to feel resentment towards her? What does that resentment allow you to avoid dealing with?

Examine the other things or people in your life that cause you to feel resentment (either in the past or in the present). What do these things have in common? What is different about them? Are there common themes? How do you overcome those feelings?

Me: BS. Him: WS. Together 16 years.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
6+ years (and two kids) into R. Happy.

posts: 1887   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8798159
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DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 5:39 PM on Wednesday, July 5th, 2023

- I resent examples of my infidelity being brought up to make a point. A point that was essential to helping me, but still bringing up my failings.

For the first few years after Dday, this was a big resentment for me as well. Every time she brought it up, it made me a little more angry than last time, and every time I got angry about it, it made her a little more angry than last time. Rinse and repeat. With love I tell you, this is something you need to figure out. It took a lot of digging through my why's, and for me, those why's had very little to do with my marriage or my spouse, and everything to do with me and how I handled my shit internally. I don't know how to explain it... there was, for me anyway, an internal "wall" that I had put up that didn't allow me to understand the reality of things. The guilt, the shame... it was overwhelming for me. And so every time she said something like that to me, it felt like an accusation, like an insult, like a real "fuck you and the horse you rode in on". And to be fair, to some degree, it is. But what I realized over time was that she kept saying it, not to hurt me, but because it was the truth, and she wasn't getting that comprehension from me. She was stating a fact, a fact that I was acknowledging but not "owning". The moment I actually "owned it", she never, ever, brought it up again. Ever.

As an example, imagine that you wife did something horrible to you. Let's say that she signed up for a bunch of credit cards in your name without your knowledge or permission, and then went on a shopping spree, leaving all the bills for you. When you confront her, she admits what she did, but seems defensive and angry, and tries to blame you for not giving her enough shopping money to begin with. Years later, you are still paying off the bills for things you never bought. But she still seems to be careless with money. When she asks to go spend a lot of money on something new, you remind her that you're still paying off all that debt she left you with, and that she doesn't seem to care. She gets aggravated and asks you why you have to keep bringing that up? She said she was sorry, so what the fuck do you want from her now? She says you just want to punish her forever. But the truth is, you aren't trying to punish her, you are just frustrated, and hurt, because she doesn't treat you like someone she fucked over, she doesn't seem to care that you are still dealing with debt that she's long forgotten about, and she doesn't seem like it has motivated her to change or do anything differently in the future. Can you see how frustrating this would be? Now imagine that maybe she took an extra job to help pay the bills off. Or maybe she sold some stuff to help? Or maybe she even just offered to come up with a budget that's reasonable for you both? Something? Anything to show she not only "knows" what she did, but moreover, "gets it" and doesn't keep getting angry at you for her shitty spending. If she helped pay the bills and took steps to do better with spending in the future, how often would you need to bring up the credit cards again?

I think the most helpful step I took was to reframe my thinking about myself and what I had done. One thing I know you often speak about is your timeline. Okay, so let's relate it to that. No matter how much work you've put into your timeline, it is not yet done, and that's because you are still alive, and moving through life. So there is more story left. You can't decide the story that's already happened, that story is part of history now. But you can write anything you like about tomorrow. You can be anyone you want to be tomorrow. I understand that might sound like a bunch of smoke being blown up your ass, but I swear, it's true. The way you let go of the past and move on without the baggage is by solidly understanding that who you were at that point in the story... was the villain. Yes, you did something horrible at that time in your life. Yes, she's right, you did make more effort to cheat than you do to move forward. That's her point of view at least, and it's a valid point of view. If she had fucked a bunch of other dudes and then got mad at you for even bringing it up now and then, you'd be pissed too. If she brings it up and you respond with anger and deflection, then her feelings get invalidated and she feels attacked "again". It resets the healing meter to zero.

I know it sounds ass-backward, but in a way, you need to take "pride" in your failings, in who you were, even if who you were was an asshole in your opinion. Look at some of my posts, or posts from other long-term R'd members, and you'll notice a common theme. We often talk freely about what massive assholes we were and how badly everyone got fucked as a result of that. We talk about our experiences as much from our BS's perspective as our own. Look, I HATE what an asshole I was during the A, and I never, ever, want to be that kind of person again. But I'm also not ashamed of who I was. I'm disappointed, yes. Clearly, I am not proud of my actions. But that is who I was. I was small as a child, but now I'm much larger as an adult. I was very uneducated, but then I went to school. I had no ambition, but then I learned to program. In each case, I lacked something that I later gained. But also in each case, the things I lacked weren't really my fault, they reflect who I was, and what I was capable of at that time. When I knew better, I did better. When I was a cheater, I lacked the ability to love myself or others. I also had issues with entitlement and selfishness, and lying. That's who I was. I was doing the best I could with what I had to work with. Sadly, it wasn't enough. But that's okay, you know why? Because I learned that, owned that, and then did better. I cannot own being a better person until I own my faults as well. Stop hating who you were. See that person as your "rough draft", and yeah, it needs a lot of work. When you finally get to the final draft, you can look back on that first draft and appreciate how far you've come and how much you've grown and learned. It's all about self-love brother.

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1420   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017
id 8798247
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 8:22 PM on Wednesday, July 5th, 2023

Incredible post, DaddyDom. So much good stuff in there.

A lot of the time, feelings of resentment arise because of negative or uncomfortable feelings we have about ourselves that we project and externalize onto others.

There is a big difference between acknowledging something and OWNING IT. You are certainly describing the latter.

But what I realized over time was that she kept saying it, not to hurt me, but because it was the truth, and she wasn't getting that comprehension from me. She was stating a fact, a fact that I was acknowledging but not "owning". The moment I actually "owned it", she never, ever, brought it up again. Ever.

Your wife sounds like a pretty incredible person. smile

Me: BS. Him: WS. Together 16 years.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
6+ years (and two kids) into R. Happy.

posts: 1887   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8798277
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 8:54 PM on Wednesday, July 5th, 2023

Thanks for responding guys.

emergent8

Some interesting questions there. I'm going away for a couple of days, but will ponder these and relate them to instances where I've allowed resentment to build. Certainly something to share with BS.

DaddyDom

As ever a great response.

But what I realized over time was that she kept saying it, not to hurt me, but because it was the truth, and she wasn't getting that comprehension from me. She was stating a fact, a fact that I was acknowledging but not "owning". The moment I actually "owned it", she never, ever, brought it up again. Ever.

I've really struggled with this. I'm shifting my shame and guilt onto BS because I've refused to "own" what I did. So many times I've thought that acknowledging was enough, owning is so much more difficult (preaching to the converted I know) I spoke with my counsellor today on this and we're going to look in to it further as this could be part of the key to my "whys"

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 356   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8798286
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 9:14 PM on Wednesday, July 5th, 2023

My reco, based on my experience, is to start treating 'resentment' as 'anger'.

We feel what we feel. You feel what you feel. The feelings aren't the problem - what we do with the feelings is (the problem).

IMO, you're angry when your W calls you on some of your shit. Who isn't, at least sometimes? So yeah, I'm projecting a bit here.

Resentment turns in on itself and perseveres. Anger can be released. You can teach yourself to feel the anger, evaluate it, and let it go or ask for changes as appropriate.

You've discovered your W hits you on things she thinks you haven't owned. I have no problem with your getting angry with that. I think your insight is great. IMO, one way to handle that would be something like:

'I'm angry because I've been called on what they think is my shit, which makes sense. Are they right? If so, I'll own my shit and maybe make some changes. If not, I can ignore the comment and maybe explain why I'm ignoring it.'

I was taught that one way to view ager is that it's a sign you want something to be different. You can change some of those things - like, you can take your anger in these sitches as a potential for insight. Other things you can't change very effectively - it's 88 and very humid here today. If someone wants to go outside here, they have to deal with that in one way or another.

I so hope the above makes sense. smile

[This message edited by SI Staff at 9:15 PM, Wednesday, July 5th]

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: 29568   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8798288
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DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 9:18 PM on Wednesday, July 5th, 2023

Just one more "hint" that might help you Bulcy.

Shame and regret and self-hate are what are the things keeping you stuck. I know when I was going through it, similar to you, I understood that I needed to "own it", I just didn't know what that felt like or looked like. I didn't understand how to get there from here. And so I kept going to my (broken) default defense mechanism, which is that I tried to feel even more horrible about what I did, in hopes that it might "sink in" for once. But like I said, that was broken thinking. If you are stuck in shame and regret, then how can diving deeper into more shame and regret help? It won't. It just makes the hole even deeper.

I can tell you then that the answer to stop feeling the shame is to... well, stop feeling the shame. :*

Seriously though, it really is kinda that simple. What you have to get through your head is that what you are doing now isn't working. At the end of the day, you can hate yourself more than anyone else on the planet, but it won't accomplish anything other than making things worse. You feeling shame doesn't help your wife heal. At all. Your self-disgust won't make you a better person. Feeling bad is not a solution, not a destination. It's merely a symptom, a warning sign, that something is wrong and that things need to change. When you get hungry, you don't sit around feeling badly about needing to eat and wallowing in hunger... you go make some food. When work get overwhelming, you don't take a week off and bitch about work, you go on vacation. When you've been shitty husband and a shitty person... you decide to be someone you like much better. Shame, regret, remorse, failure, guilt... none of those things are part of this process at all. In fact, once you start just "doing better", those things will naturally fall away. It's like cleaning out the basement or the garage... it seems daunting, and that can lead us to keep putting it off. But the truth is, you can probably clean that garage in an hour or two, and once you do, it's done. It goes away as a source of stress and as a reminder of what you've NOT done. It actually feels better to just deal with it (own it) and then you don't have to go to bed every night feeling like a failure. Instead, you go to bed knowing that, even if you could maybe still be better, you did your best today, and having done so, have no regrets from today at least. Once you start having regret-free days, it becomes pretty awesome, and feels really good. You can breathe again, live again, not wake up in self-hate every morning. 5 stars - would recommend. :)

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1420   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017
id 8798289
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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 9:25 PM on Wednesday, July 5th, 2023

Incredible post, DaddyDom.

I third this. It should be pinned.

The moment I actually "owned it", she never, ever, brought it up again. Ever.

I think it's important to note that, even after the WS has owned behavior and gets it, sometimes the BS needs to share their thoughts and feelings in the interest of transparency and authenticity, and sometimes that truth ain't so comfy for the WS to hear.

Let the world feel the weight of who you are and let them deal with it.

posts: 945   ·   registered: Mar. 10th, 2023
id 8798293
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 6:25 PM on Sunday, July 9th, 2023

Shame and regret and self-hate are what are the things keeping you stuck. I know when I was going through it, similar to you, I understood that I needed to "own it", I just didn't know what that felt like or looked like. I didn't understand how to get there from here. And so I kept going to my (broken) default defense mechanism, which is that I tried to feel even more horrible about what I did, in hopes that it might "sink in" for once. But like I said, that was broken thinking. If you are stuck in shame and regret, then how can diving deeper into more shame and regret help? It won't. It just makes the hole even deeper.

I have struggled with the acknowledging it and owning it. While struggling through my lies and denials, I felt that when I was being honest, this was enough. Of course it's deeper than just saying "I did X, with person Y" The feelings of shame and regret are over powering some days. I thought that this was "getting it" but it's not. These are steps along the road.

For the first few years after Dday, this was a big resentment for me as well. Every time she brought it up, it made me a little more angry than last time, and every time I got angry about it, it made her a little more angry than last time. Rinse and repeat.

This. Every time there was anger it pushed us further apart. BS feeling less and less wanted every time. No special feeling and no "us". The anger was/s linked to lies and will be forever linked.

The guilt, the shame... it was overwhelming for me. And so every time she said something like that to me, it felt like an accusation, like an insult, like a real "fuck you and the horse you rode in on". And to be fair, to some degree, it is. But what I realized over time was that she kept saying it, not to hurt me, but because it was the truth, and she wasn't getting that comprehension from me. She was stating a fact, a fact that I was acknowledging but not "owning".

I'm very much still there. I keep reading these posts and every time see more of my behaviour in them

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 356   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8798796
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Copingmybest ( member #78962) posted at 11:34 AM on Saturday, July 15th, 2023

Bulcy, BS here. I feel for you and the struggles you are going through. I think my wife might kind of be in the same boat, but she can’t/won’t express those feeling to me. While I won’t ever condone cheating on another, when I see a WS truly putting in the effort and struggling to work through it, they get my heartfelt compassion. We all make mistakes of some sort, but the big point is "are we willing and able" to learn from it and become a better person. In the matters of infidelity I can only imagine that for a WS who is truly sorry for their actions, the burden they carry must be immense. Similar in nature, but not quite to the extent of the pain a BS carry’s. I wish you well and hope you can find what it is you need to be the better person you are trying to be.

[This message edited by Copingmybest at 4:04 PM, Friday, July 21st]

posts: 172   ·   registered: Jun. 16th, 2021   ·   location: Midwest
id 8799523
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survrus ( member #67698) posted at 1:49 AM on Sunday, July 16th, 2023

Bulcy,

One thing you might want to consider is that for every time your BW mentions your cheating she as likely thought about it 1000 times.

Have you written out a timeline for your affairs or taken a polygraph or offered to do so?

I ask because although the last affair was 2017 "discoveries" were made in 2023?

posts: 1443   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
id 8799566
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 5:13 PM on Sunday, July 16th, 2023

Thanks Copingmybest

but the big point is "are we willing and able" to learn from it and become a better person.

This, on the face of it, is simple. Surely EVERY WS wants to be a better person? I would have though this true, but clearly there are WS out there who don't. But those that do... WILLING and ABLE? I suspect that all WS are able to change, yes we all need guidance, but with that guidance (IC, MC, SI, book, online guides etc) there is no reason a WS cannot change. I was not born the asshole I became, I learned behaviours that were unkind and unhealthy (to say the least) so surely, with time and effort, these behaviours can be unlearned and better behaviours replacing them. So, that leaves us with willing. That's the tough one. A WS being REALLY willing to make the changes, to be REALLY WILLING to do the work. Speaking for myself I did not want to do the work. I wanted to either rug sweep or read a magical post on here that would cure everything. The work is hard, I really did not appreciate how hard, hard work that I felt I was being forced into doing (cue resentment). I do see now that the work is hard.

Let me slightly go off topic. I am educated to masters degree level. Not a boast, but to get there I kinda half arsed my way through school, collage, university and through my professional qualifications. Yes, there were times I worked hard and times I got lucky too. I made it through every time. I assumed I was super smart and could tackle anything that came my way. I did not entertain the fact I was lucky, or that a couple of those exams I had to take twice or that if it was not for a 12 hour cramming session that day before the exam where I finally could answer questions on corporate taxation, I would have failed and failed again. My point is, I've tried to half arse my way through affair recovery and as such, I've failed on multiple occasions. Not doing the real work and hoping someone on here would give me answers.

The work is hard and I need to decide NOW if I am willing to do it. This came up in conversation with BS over the last week. Things got tough and I ran. I emotionally left the marriage again and struggled coming back. Resentment and "why are we even bothering" flowing. I cannot let this be the end of my marriage. I cannot let me being scared of who I was and how much thinking about this hurts be the end of my marriage, I cannot let my negative wayward self be the end of my marriage. I have, kind of, accepted that even if I become this better person, my marriage might be over. That's difficult to deal with. However, BS has given me multiple chances to improve and to be that man. If I do not try and do not do the work then I've failed once again. I have a quote posted in my footnote "My history is not my destiny" I cannot keep living as this broken wayward. I need to make that decision, as sthe long term guys on here have done and become the "me" I desire

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 356   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8799610
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 5:35 PM on Sunday, July 16th, 2023

survrus,

I appreciate you responding

One thing you might want to consider is that for every time your BW mentions your cheating she as likely thought about it 1000 times.

Have you written out a timeline for your affairs or taken a polygraph or offered to do so?

I ask because although the last affair was 2017 "discoveries" were made in 2023?

Yeah, that's a great point. I am trying to live my infidelity more than I have in the past. What I have not regularly recognised in how much BS thinks about my infidelity. When she has a question, that question has been buzzing around her mind for hours if not days before she plucks the courage to ask it. When I ignore or dismiss the question I am not validating her worries. Then, when I get defensive or resentful about her getting upset, this is hurting her even more.

I have written multiple time lines. Fuck....20 maybe? All contained lies, omissions, minimisations, justifications, resentment, lack of empathy or any other possible wayward attempt at hiding the truth or hiding from the truth. Now, I can see and accept that even the "best" wayward might need to have a couple of attempts. But mine have not been real, I've given information to fit with the story I was telling my wife and myself. Lots of "She does not need to know that" or "this involves a friend of mine, so I'll not share that". I did once believe I was holding back information to "protect her", for me that was utter bullshit. I've always been protecting myself. My own self image, how will others perceive me, will I lose everything if I say that. ALL ABOUT ME.

So, We're still working through the time line, BS has questions and it's these that I'm working through as I type this. IC and I are refocussing, I'm reaching out to you guys for support (not answers) and I need to involve BS in this whole process without being the dick I have been.

Polygraph, No, I've never sat one. I have booked one (two years ago maybe) but weaponised this. I shouted and screamed as I booked it hoping BS would back off. I would have failed. As for now, I don't know where we stand on it. I know that there are things in my past that still need to be pulled apart, IC and I also BS and I are going to do this. Maybe then I could do a Poly in good faith. It will have to be discussed when BS and I are more confident in my ability to "not be a dick". As you see, 2017 to 2023 and I've still not got there. I have convinced myself that I have, hey, I've convinced pervious IC that I have. BUT getting better, less lies, less defensiveness, not longer screwing other women, doing some of "the work" but avoiding other elements. This is heading in the right direction, but not yet worthy of being in R. On the path, but staggering and too many steps backwards

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 356   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8799612
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 6:12 AM on Monday, July 17th, 2023

Have you watched the movie The Truman Show? How would you feel if you were Truman and found out your life was basically a lie?

Your wife is trying to piece together her reality.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3117   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8799681
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ThisIsSoLonely ( Guide #64418) posted at 9:03 PM on Monday, July 17th, 2023

Bulcy,

BS here - but I wanted to express that my WH and I have had many a conversation about this, and his comments echo DaddyDom's:

there was, for me anyway, an internal "wall" that I had put up that didn't allow me to understand the reality of things. The guilt, the shame... it was overwhelming for me. And so every time she said something like that to me, it felt like an accusation, like an insult, like a real "fuck you and the horse you rode in on". And to be fair, to some degree, it is. But what I realized over time was that she kept saying it, not to hurt me, but because it was the truth, and she wasn't getting that comprehension from me. She was stating a fact, a fact that I was acknowledging but not "owning".

I knew for a long time that WH HATED my bringing up the A - even now I can see him bristle a bit sometimes (I talked in another relatively recent post about a recent inter-action where he clearly seemed uncomfortable at my discussing the A). He also has admitted that for a long time he really did make it all about him: my questions or comments in some cases, made him uncomfortable, and much like DaddyDom said, internally angry at times, at me. I think some of it really was about his internal wall, and some of it was about control, and another large part was his inability, for a long time, to fully recognize and understand that his A had CHANGED me, forever, and that I too was struggling with (and don't like) some of that change.

For me, for a long time I was suspicious, and then with a year of false - "full-blown-hidden-A" - R, and the daily lies and manipulations that took place, when it all came out - I was not only hurt and angry, but also mad at myself for "allowing" such lies to be perpetrated against me again, that I was struggling with who I was. I had held in things for so long or, when I did ask questions I was lied to for so long, I was asking/bringing up the A to test the waters so to speak - to see what the reaction would be. Was my WH really safe or was I being manipulated again? Did he really want me to heal/feel better/get through it, or was all of this just an act again? I too hated feeling that way - hated asking questions - hated living with this A and A-aftermath - hated being suspicious - hated not trusting my own gut (or hated not trusting it enough) - hated feeling like I had been/or could again be made a fool of, and hated feeling like I had to walk on eggshells in order to keep communications with my WH open. It's not that he didn't know on some level that I felt all those things - but I don't think he realized how many of my questions and comments were so much more about about me than about him - even subconsciously sometimes. I recall many times wishing I could have the "old me back" and I know my WH was wanting the old me back, but I think he failed to realize she wasn't coming back -not totally - and he resented me for that. Thing is, I resented the "new" me too, for quite sometimes (but we're cool now lol). It really sucked.

I say all this not to make you feel shitty - but to give you a bit of insight into my thought process during all those question and answer sessions - and to maybe give you something else to focus on that perhaps you had not thought about - the resentment is likely on both sides. There is more common ground there than you think, and if you BS is still around, embrace those commonalities and talk about them. I would guess even sharing these feelings of resentment with your BS will help some of them dissipate.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 9:30 PM, Monday, July 17th]

You are the only person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with. Act accordingly.

Constantly editing posts: usually due to sticky keys on my laptop or additional thoughts

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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 11:20 AM on Sunday, July 23rd, 2023

leafields

Have you watched the movie The Truman Show? How would you feel if you were Truman and found out your life was basically a lie?

An interesting analogy. Yes, I've seen it, its true to say BS has no idea on what aspects of or life together are real. The sad reality is that we have to accept that our whole relationship is a lie. I find this thought totally overwhelming leading to the shutting down or resentment. I cannot keep allowing these feeling to become shame. I need to use them as a driver to move forwards.

For me, shame and guilt come from the same source. A discussion with BS recently points out that my shame is still selfish behaviour and thinking. Shame is "woe is me" "I'm a truly awful person" thoughts that drive me into negative thoughts and wanting to give up because I will never be able to fix this or be a better person. Guilt can be a driver. I have to accept what I've done, feel the pain I have caused BS and know that with time and understanding I can be this me I want to be and that can show compassion and empathy while continually striving to better myself.

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 356   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8800607
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 11:30 AM on Sunday, July 23rd, 2023

Thisissolonely

I knew for a long time that WH HATED my bringing up the A - even now I can see him bristle a bit sometimes (I talked in another relatively recent post about a recent inter-action where he clearly seemed uncomfortable at my discussing the A). He also has admitted that for a long time he really did make it all about him: my questions or comments in some cases, made him uncomfortable, and much like DaddyDom said, internally angry at times, at me. I think some of it really was about his internal wall, and some of it was about control, and another large part was his inability, for a long time, to fully recognize and understand that his A had CHANGED me, forever, and that I too was struggling with (and don't like) some of that change.

This is where I am. Even thinking about talking about the affairs ties my stomach up in nots. My thoughts become illogical and I'm immediately on the defensive. The walls go up, BS talks to me and I'm on edge and feeling like she is going to go on the offensive and attack me. Pointing out my past failings and brining up where I am failing today feel like it is done to push me down rather than bring me up. I know she is not attacking me, I know she is doing this to try and understand and to help us. What else could she be doing? She is not doing this for the fun of it, obviously, Yet, when I get overwhelmed these thoughts and feelings are very powerful. I struggle to fight them off.

For me, for a long time I was suspicious, and then with a year of false - "full-blown-hidden-A" - R, and the daily lies and manipulations that took place, when it all came out - I was not only hurt and angry, but also mad at myself for "allowing" such lies to be perpetrated against me again, that I was struggling with who I was. I had held in things for so long or, when I did ask questions I was lied to for so long, I was asking/bringing up the A to test the waters so to speak - to see what the reaction would be. Was my WH really safe or was I being manipulated again? Did he really want me to heal/feel better/get through it, or was all of this just an act again? I too hated feeling that way - hated asking questions - hated living with this A and A-aftermath - hated being suspicious - hated not trusting my own gut (or hated not trusting it enough) - hated feeling like I had been/or could again be made a fool of, and hated feeling like I had to walk on eggshells in order to keep communications with my WH open. It's not that he didn't know on some level that I felt all those things - but I don't think he realized how many of my questions and comments were so much more about about me than about him - even subconsciously sometimes. I recall many times wishing I could have the "old me back" and I know my WH was wanting the old me back, but I think he failed to realize she wasn't coming back -not totally - and he resented me for that. Thing is, I resented the "new" me too, for quite sometimes (but we're cool now lol). It really sucked.

Thank you for sharing this. I know BS is going though similar. She hates asking questions, she hates being the one driving the work, she hates not trusting me and having to be suspicious of EVERYTHING I do. Reading this hurts, I feel for you and for BS. I do feel shitty, but that is because my actions are shitty and need changing.

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 356   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8800609
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ThisIsSoLonely ( Guide #64418) posted at 6:22 PM on Wednesday, July 26th, 2023

This is where I am. Even thinking about talking about the affairs ties my stomach up in nots. My thoughts become illogical and I'm immediately on the defensive. The walls go up, BS talks to me and I'm on edge and feeling like she is going to go on the offensive and attack me. Pointing out my past failings and brining up where I am failing today feel like it is done to push me down rather than bring me up.

I point blank asked my WH about this last night - this feeling and how it is now, as opposed to 3 years ago when he started really trying to address these feelings in him. He said:

Those feelings are still there, sometimes, and he realizes that how I phrase things oftentimes is the difference between how attacked he feels...and that irritates him still as he knows I am not going on the attack. The difference between 3 years ago and now, for him at least, is his concern with feeling attacked.

First, there were times when I WAS on attack, especially after d-day 2 when the year of false-R had been exposed - when I wanted to make him feel as shitty as possible about what had happened. And yeah, admittedly I wanted him to suffer a bit. Things were really bad for awhile - and we have the luxury of not having kids so there was nothing holding us back from having true screaming matches. It was bad. Really bad.

With that context, he says that a big thing for him is reminding himself of what a "real" attack feels like. The second is when he feels attacked, he says so, and then asks for clarification as to why I am asking what I ask. He just comes out with it, and sometimes I can tell that it is uncomfortable for him to say it...BUT, when he says that out loud, to me, it gives me the opportunity to explain why I am asking what I am asking/taking about, and it de-escalates his anxiety pretty quickly.

Part of this process has required me to be honest. There have been a few times where, when asked why I am bringing up something, my honest response has been: "there isn't really a valid reason, so I think it was an unnecessary jab." It still happens, even as unconstructive as it is - I have moments when I am still in "fuck you" mode, even after all these years. It's not helpful and I know it. We are well beyond my WH accepting what he did and understanding how it affected me, to the extent he ever can.

Usually, my response is to explain that my questions/comments/whatever are more about me than about him. Just last night we talked about TV's portrayal of affairs generally being not very realistic and glazing over how destructive they are and how sometimes I get really pissed about that and can't keep watching because of it, and that it doesn't make me think badly of him specifically, but that my emotional reaction is about society's lack of compassion about this topic (and about how it likely fueled my own lack of compassion about it prior to his A). We ended up talking about how much he hates it when a show we are watching has an infidelity component because it makes him feel like shit and that he feels anxious and on edge, fearing my reaction, and that he has to make conscious decision to consider how I feel about these things - that maybe I feel like the lack of compassion shown in these shows are more of an attack on me than on him - that how I feel isn't portrayed as "normal" and instead is over-reactionary. Sometimes that is enough and the moment passes.

Basically, he says he has accepted that some things are not comfortable, and are never going to be...especially as he is a very non-confrontational person. He does not do well with discomfort/confrontation. It is easier in the short term to just avoid, rug-sweep, but, he reminds himself from where we have come - the discomfort was immense. The conversations/arguments were ugly at times - yet we are still here, talking, and not yelling or fighting. It has gotten easier. I'm guessing it has for you too, even though at times it seems like the same old same old - it's not. I guarantee you.

Oddly, I too was very non-confrontational before the A, but the aftermath of the A, and especially false-R, kicked that out of me quite a bit. Letting go of the outcome, and being bluntly honest has paid dividends for me personally, and now that my WH is much more likely to do the same - for "us" generally.

Things are still uncomfortable at times. Some topics always will be uncomfortable. I suspect some of your defensiveness stems from that discomfort. The sooner you are able to get your brain to accept that some topics are always going to be uncomfortable, and realizing that passing thought that discomfort quickly, leaning in and dealing with it, takes the sting out and lets you get to the other side more quickly, the sooner you will have less of those feelings.

I'm not going to lie - my WH is still defensive. The difference is that I call him out on it now pretty quickly. I try to explain why I am discussing something before I get deeply into it, not just for him, but to keep me accountable too. You can do the same by just saying it out loud - "I am feeling defensive." "I am feeling attacked, and I don't think that is what you are doing but I still feel that way. Telling me why you are asking/discussing X and what you want from this discussion would help me participate more constructively..." Or something like that might help. Sometimes he will admit he is feeling defensive and that he needs a minute - and I give it to him. It's give and take - that's what R is like, and admittedly while IDK if we are trying to R in the way it is used here, we are trying to R our friendship - it's the same process, the same work, the same commitment to dealing with uncomfortable shit.

IDK if this is helpful at all or if its just incomprehensible ramblings. I guess what I'm to say is that sometimes talking about the discomfort itself is half the battle. Getting it out there into the light renders it less toxic.

You are the only person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with. Act accordingly.

Constantly editing posts: usually due to sticky keys on my laptop or additional thoughts

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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 7:07 PM on Wednesday, July 26th, 2023

First, W & I went through an evolution very similar to what TISL describes. One of my favorite singers has a song that is similar to ow's name. Almost 4 years after d-day, on a road trip, I was playing the song, and my W asked me to turn it off. She thought I played it to remind her of her A. Since I knew the real name of the girl that the song was about, I never even thought of ow or her name or my W's A.

I also asked questions every so often, and my W said that her stomach knotted up when I asked and that I wanted her to feel shame. None of that was in my mind. I, too started telling my W why I was asking, and that solved the problem.

Don't wait. Ask your W to tell you what she wants from her questions. Tell her the reason doesn't matter, just so you know what it is.

The work is hard and I need to decide NOW if I am willing to do it

Screw that! Psych yourself up to do the work and keep the psyching and working going. Your life will become way easier as you become more and more authentic. You'll get a tremendous positive payoff from doing the work.

A simple example: You are not happy about your tendency to lie. Just imagine what your life will be like when you automatically tell the truth as you experience it - no need to make up the lie, no need to remember the lie, no need to fear getting caught. Think about the energy you'll free up that you can use doing something joyful.

That's just one of the ways you'll benefit from doing the work.

And BTW, the work gets easier the more of it that you do....

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: 29568   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8801006
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 11:55 PM on Wednesday, July 26th, 2023

IDK if this is helpful at all or if its just incomprehensible ramblings. I guess what I'm to say is that sometimes talking about the discomfort itself is half the battle. Getting it out there into the light renders it less toxic.

That was very helpful. I will read again in the morning and respond. My reply tonight might be incomprehensible ramblings

Thanks sisoon, I appreciate the response, especially the "screw that"

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 356   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8801039
Topic is Sleeping.
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