How to bring up your cheating and her pain
PBF sent me this quote in a different thread (Complacency), but it is worth moving it to its own conversation:
"Initiate Discussion About the Injury
Each time you bring up the violation, you let the hurt party know that it's on your mind, too--that she's not alone with it. When you demonstrate that you won't forget what you did and will continue to be mindful of its lessons, you help release her from her preoccupation with the injury. I often say, If you want your partner to move on, you must pay attention to her pain. If you don't, she will."
So how do you do this? Every time I want to it all sounds so laden with platitudes and complete minimization of her pain that will only hurt her worse. Looking at what I just wrote seems like total cowardice and excuses... This isn't going away and I really don't want to just stick my head in the sand.
How do you WS's out there do this? PBF how do you do it?
Thanks in advance for your wisdom
4 comments posted: Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024
Asking for advice on how to not be complacent. By this I mean when things are "good" (by this I mean my BS is internalizing her pain and choosing to not at that moment outwardly express her pain and anger), how do I not take for granted that my BS is still in horrible pain, angry, hut, sad, depressed because of my actions? I put "good" in quotes because that is the way my dumb ass perceives it..."we are getting along and not fighting and doing things together so things are good!" But every time I chose to think this way I completely minimize her and her pain, and hurt her more.
What do all of you do to keep from being complacent and minimizing your BS?
Thanks in advance for your wisdom
4 comments posted: Sunday, January 21st, 2024
What should the restitution be for involving the family cars with kids car seats strapped in the back in my affair?
7 comments posted: Thursday, January 18th, 2024
Love Dare, Day 2
Day 2, Jan 2.
Journal. Well the Kindness ship sank a long time ago. I am not kind. Is cheating kind? Is deception kind? Is lying kind? Is fraud kind? Is abuse kind? Is gaslighting kind? Is selfishness kind? Is arguing kind? Is minimizing kind? Is justifying kind? None of those actions are kind, and they all describe my actions towards my spouse. So how in the world can I BE kind? Yes I need to stop immediately justifying, defending, lying, minimizing and arguing. That is a start if I can consistently do it. But what then? I am still all those things as my actions bear out. Can I actually be a kind person? Will that word ever be applicable to me? I don’t think so, which is really discouraging. All I can do is to try and act with kindness and humility going forward for her and my children, but I will never BE kind.
The 4 elements of kindness makes sense: Initiative, gentleness, helpfulness (meeting the needs of the moment) and willingness (being cooperative, flexible and accommodating). All I can do now is look for ways to demonstrate these every day to form habits of kindness instead of being my selfish, lazy, argumentative self.
Dare: Resolve again to say nothing negative to your spouse, and do an unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.
Q1: What did you do?
A simple gesture – he basket of clean towels was sitting unfolded outside the laundry room in a hamper, and had been for a few days…I have walked by them several times and done nothing. Today I stopped and folded them all neatly and placed them back in the basket so that they were ready for her to put away or use.
Q2: How did you show kindness?
I think this small act met 3 of the 4 components of kindness
Q3: How can you make this a habit?
We accept what we walk by right? So as I move about the house, I can actively look for things that I can take the initiative to do right then; to not accept that "that isn’t mine to deal with" and instead do, not for kudos, but because it is the right thing to do to be helpful, willing, and thoughtful. Doing this will never earn me the title of "kind person," but forming kind habits are good in and of themselves.
7 comments posted: Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024
Love Dare, Day 1
I have tried and failed at the Love Dare many, many times, and admittedly not given it or change my best effort, and sometimes no effort at all, because of my ignorance, selfishness and laziness. So I am trying something new, hoping that all of you whose wisdom I have not appreciated before now, will allow me to keep my love dare journal here, and feel free to comment on what I am doing with stories of your own journey, criticism of how and what I am doing, and guidance if you have it to offer. I certainly need help, and have resisted help from every source. I do not know what the future holds, and I know I cannot control the outcome, but with new resolve all I can do is try harder to change. Today was another day one.
1 Jan 24, Day 1
Journal: Patience is a choice to control my emotions for the sake of others. The opposite of patience is defensiveness (which I do constantly). Instead of viewing a situation as a frustrating obstacle, I need to see it as a chance to pause, reflect, or even learn something new. I do not know anything. That is the approach I need to take with humility…if I think I know better, or anything about a topic or interaction at all, I immediately close out input, I stop listening, and that breeds rudeness and defensiveness. I need to listen and observe then do with humility and the perspective that I don’t know. When I start to feel impatient, especially in the middle of a conversation, where other calming and mediation techniques are not possible because breaking contact is rude, instead I am going to try to imagine a place or situation where I feel calm, happy, and relaxed. Visualizing positive scenarios can shift my mood and help in reducing impatience. For me I decided that is a visualization of fishing; at a mountain lake, focusing on the bobber out on the water with the occasional slow glance at the beautiful mountain scenery, clouds in the sky while smelling the scents of nature. All the while waiting patiently for a fish to nibble or strike, something completely out of my control, yet I happily wait while I observe, listen and center.
Day 1 Dare: Resolve to demonstrate patience and say nothing negative to your spouse
Q1: Did anything happen today to cause anger towards your mate?
1.She clearly did not thoroughly read my morning e-mail, as her sharp response involved me going to the store today on a holiday (which we have discussed and made clear is not a cool thing to do to all the people who have to work - it's a statement) and using her car (this is an important boundary that I am trying to respect - her car is hers and I am not entitled to it. mine is pending repairs after I got rear ended), despite me stating that today was building a meal plan and grocery list to make a delivery order for tomorrow morning, and nothing about taking her car.
Q2: Were you tempted to think disapproving thoughts and let them come out in words or actions?
1.Yes. I was irritated at the response.
Q3: How did you handle that?
1.I did not respond as I thought of and changed to her perspective that she is already deeply hurt and angry, and looking at anything I do or say through a very negative lens that I created. I have not earned trust or confidence, so it is natural for any response to be heavily influenced by those facts and all my actions. I don’t deserve a better response, so I try to see where she is coming from and adjust my thinking.
I think I acted with patience today, said nothing negative, and tempered any irritation and arrogance I started to feel with perspective and humility. I am not a good judge of myself (been lying to myself for years that I am an okay person despite being a serial cheater and raging narcissist). But I felt like to day was a good try.
All comments welcome.
0 comment posted: Monday, January 1st, 2024
I have googled and researched the term, but am wondering, for a WS does it have other meaning? How do you as WS's define adulting, and how to the betrayed spouses out there define adulting when it comes to your WS?
3 comments posted: Monday, January 1st, 2024
Therapy - where to start
I am raging entitled narcissist who also had multiple affair partners over the course of my entire marriage. I have completely failed and helping my spouse heal, and have hurt her beyond measure and continue to hurt her because I am not making any progress on me and my problems. I lie, I rage in frustration that I'm not getting a free pass and that things are getting better, I have so many problems I don't know where to begin with a therapist. I have not honestly sought help before but I need it if I am ever to be a decent person and be anything of value to my spouse and kids. When everything is the problem, where do you start?
4 comments posted: Wednesday, August 30th, 2023
It really is just that simple...however it isn't right? Every WS is by definition a liar, then add the the cowardly flight response of the human "fight or flight" nature which makes you want to lie more to avoid the consequences of your actions and you find yourself lying to your BS again, and again, and again.
Only 100% truth about your transgressions will give you a chance at reconciliation, and even still you must go into it with the knowledge and acceptance even that might not be enough.
I did not do this...I continued to lie, gaslight, minimize, deflect and deny my spose the dignity of truth and making her own decisions because I did not want to face the possible outcome...which I know have anyway.
You cannot lie your way out of this...you did this. So now that you are a WS, the most important question you can ask yourself is how are you going to face the consequences of your actions and accept the reality of your actions? And I don't mean the "reality" you want, but your betrayed spouses reality.
So how do you do it? How do you face that reality from the starting position as a liar, cheat, and cowardly person to start with?
Hoping that the answers to this question, and my complete failure, can give brand new WS's a reality check to get on the right path immediately and ever look back on their cheating, lying former ways. For me it is too late, except to maybe learn how to accept the reality I have created.
Fight or flight? Fight - which means fight yourself and your every bad instinct that got you into this position, and fight for your spouse with the truth.
All comments are welcome.
6 comments posted: Monday, August 28th, 2023
Starting your day for others
How do you start your day thinking of others first to set the mindset of selflessness and giving to the ones you hurt? Interested in your habits and techniques to avoid being the selfish and entitled each day. Thank you in advance.
4 comments posted: Wednesday, January 18th, 2023
0 comment posted: Monday, January 16th, 2023
Hoping to hear people's thoughts and techniques for developing and maintaining personal accountability (in all aspects of your life) after you have cheated and lied, and are working on being a better person. Thanks in advance for sharing.
3 comments posted: Monday, January 16th, 2023
Acceptance and Humility - What has worked for you?
Asking for help in self awareness and improvement.
How have you as a WS come to acceptance and humility?
What actions have worked for you to help change from the selfish, arrogant person you were that allowed you to give yourself permission to cheat and lie and hurt people?
What have you done to stop being defensive?
9 comments posted: Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022
Not understanding at all
I was such a raging entitled dick yesterday that I got told to leave. Sundays and Mondays are horrible trigger days. I had planned to be there to work at 0700 Monday before a big storm and to be with my son. But after being kicked out i was not sure I should be there and the plan still stood. I texted at 0930 to ask if I could come late. She was pissed. I’ve been arguing all over the place for 5 hours now because I don’t understand. Where did I go wrong?
6 comments posted: Monday, February 21st, 2022
Love Dare Progress - Am I doing it wrong?
In the love dare, I have been not moving past a day until I can actually accomplish the task given on that day. If I fail I stay on that day, If I take too long to get it done, I start back at the beginning. Is that right? or am I floundering still like I have been for years on this? Thanks!
2 comments posted: Wednesday, February 16th, 2022
If the AP knows you are married, are they blameless? I made the mistake of trying to accept all the blame for my cheating and said it isn't APs fault. Which sure sounds like defending the AP.
13 comments posted: Tuesday, February 15th, 2022
Last Chance Ultimatums
a little over 2 years ago BS gave me an ultimatum to quit my job where I had a very inappropriate relationship with the CEO and focus on the family I got frustrated and angry because I had recently got the job and did not want to lose it, and I minimized the whole thing because it wasn't sexual. I got angry and punched a post and said no I wanted to keep the job. That was my last chance.
2 years later through many ups and downs I am asking for a "Final Chance." Is there a Final chance after the last chance?
5 comments posted: Monday, February 14th, 2022
DS as leverage to stay in the house with BS
I am moving out and BS says I should take our 13 year old DS with me and that she will make the visitation arrangements plan. I feel like he is better off here with his mom, and she says no because if he is here that is leverage I have to come over to her house. I have fought moving out for years and she is done with me here using the kids as a reason to be here in her space. I don’t want to take him away from his mom, but also don’t want her to feel threatened. I don’t want to use him as leverage and want to do the right thing. What to do?
6 comments posted: Monday, February 14th, 2022
Still not getting the most basic concepts, and have not changed
It has been a long time since I have been on here - part of my problem that I arrogantly thought I could figure this out and change without help. I cannot and have not.
I currently live at BW's home conditionally but have managed to really screw that up to. The conditions are not hard... 1) Don't argue, minimize, justify or defend. 2) lean in to events, especially holidays which I have made traumatic from my cheating and lying. 3) Provide consistent good meals for everyone, and 4) answer her questions with yes or no, not my usual justifications, platitudes or excuses as to why I am right.
Pretty simple and gracious of her right? Yes.
Yet I insert my justifications into my thinking all the time, which turns otherwise simple conditions of service for my family into selfish choices.
How do I stop rationalizing and justifying alternative choices in my head? How do I accept simple yes or no answers when I always feel like there are so many details, extenuating circumstances that need explaining to give a full answer?
I have thought about this a lot and know I am certainly afraid of being wrong when the situation does not seem so black and white, so I try and make a choice that makes sense - despite it being contrary to the conditions of service and being here. It goes sideways every time, yet I keep doing it and am not learning. It really is simple yet I'm making it so hard.
Thank you in advance for the help.
5 comments posted: Tuesday, December 28th, 2021
Still not getting the most basic concepts, and have not changed.
0 comment posted: Tuesday, December 28th, 2021