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Copingmybest

A question to BS on letting go of anger

So, in my latest IC session yesterday, my therapist had me dig into the most traumatic event I could remember since DDay. I told her no problem, I could easily pick that out with no effort. Upon describing some of that night, she instantly went to the realization that I may still be in shock. We dug deeper and she feels I’m still holding onto anger (I don’t feel like I’m always angry). It roots back to what she believes is one of my highest core values, integrity. I was raised to believe that if I do something wrong, or if I wrong someone, I must go above and beyond the level of damage or pain caused to "make things right". It’s this belief that seems to be driving the anger (resentment?). My WW hasn’t in my eyes put in the effort to even get close to the break even point. That’s where we seem to be. If that is indeed the case, my question to those BS’s on here, how did you learn to let go of the anger. My therapist actually suggested me asking this on here. Any and all responses greatly appreciated in advance.

Edit: I know I’ll get questions as to why my WW isn’t putting in more work, but that’s an issue she needs to work on and she’s not yet there where she thinks IC will help her. My therapist thinks there’s a chance that my projected anger (again, I don’t feel like I’m projecting anger, but may be so in subliminal ways) may be blocking her from stepping up and sharing with me or doing the work.

14 comments posted: Monday, February 12th, 2024

Hats off to those working on themselves

I just want to say that I’ve been reading quite a few posts today and I see so many of you working on yourselves to be better people, both wayward and betrayed spouses. My hats off to all of you, congrats on finding it in yourselves to become better people. The world needs more better people and I am proud to say that I am a part of this crowd. Let’s spread the word that we should all strive to be the best we can be. (I know this may sound corny, but it’s true). If we were all better people, none of us would probably be here. None the less, I’m glad to know all of you.

Let’s keep on keeping on!

2 comments posted: Monday, January 22nd, 2024

WW says she doesn’t need IC

So this is mostly for waywards. My WW and I were having a discussion about my recent therapy sessions. She sometimes asks me if there is anything I want to talk about, and I usually say no because I fear her reactions to said discussions. She sometimes gets angry which is not conducive to a healthy discussion. She says it’s because I tend to keep it all in then unload a crap load of stuff ion her all at once. I typically don’t share with her because I just don’t get the two sided communication with her. In essence, yes I’m sharing what I’m feeling, but so what, I’m not getting much of a response from her. She is lacking in empathy, and it’s like she just can’t/doesn’t understand the pain I deal with daily. She’s getting worried that through my new IC counselor (who is awesome by the way), I’m going to be convinced that I should leave the marriage. I reassured her that usually therapist don’t go right to D talk. That being said, I did tell her we are working on me, trying to rebuild my self esteem and get me out of this feeling of being unlovable. I told her one of my biggest issues is her not working on herself, and this is where my question to other waywards come in. She says she doesn’t NEED IC because she doesn’t have any demons running around in her head. She knows what she did was wrong, she says she never wants to do it again but she’s adamant that she doesn’t need IC. She obviously won’t listen to me that she needs it to get to the source of her reasoning to accept what she did was wrong, why she seems unable to openly communicate her feelings with me. She cried a lot the other night, but when she hears of my struggles she tends to get distant when one would hope a little empathy would come into play but that’s not the case. To be fair, during our discussion, I did let her know that due to her lack if engagement these last almost 3 years that I feel more like a friend with benefits than I do a spouse/life partner. I think that may have pissed her off a little. Not sure what to even say to her anymore at this point. I’m just going to keep working more in me and see where it goes.

9 comments posted: Sunday, January 21st, 2024

Cut and paste

Could someone teach me how to cut and paste so I can more easily answer questions by quoting said question?

2 comments posted: Saturday, December 16th, 2023

new therapist and emdr tomorrow

As the title suggests, I'm meeting up with a new therapist tomorrow and they are versed in EMDR. I've felt I hit the end of the road with my previous therapist. Didn't see anything new to gain from him. I've heard about EDMR therapy on here numerous times and was hoping others who have done it could chime in with their thoughts. Many of you know my back story, not a lot of change there. A couple weeks ago my WW and I had another "talk" and I had told her that for a couple months I'd been dealing with issues when driving around our area of whether or not places that I see every day were places her and her AP would visit. She refused to do a timeline, so I told her if she could just give me a list of the places they did go that would help me to process and ultimately get closure on the matter. She did not, which leads me down the path of "I must not matter enough to her". I'm moving forward with my new therapist under the premis of "I just want to heal and feel better about myself". Our relationship together has become much less of a concern or even a desire as I feel we have been moving more towards "friends with benefits" than spouses in recovery. I have put in the work while she has not. Feels like it is now time to shit or get off the pot.

18 comments posted: Saturday, December 16th, 2023

Question on WS behavior

My WW, I feel, is sort of "still living the lie" in the regards that she is still trying to keep her secrets well hidden. It’s not like a good bit of the community probably doesn’t already know, but she hasn’t told her only sister of the A even though her sister cheated on her husband years ago, she hasn’t told her cousin that she’s close with (who was cheated on by her husband several years ago), and she most certainly is hoping our two grown boys 22 and 24 won’t find out. From a WS standpoint, how disfunctional is this. I’ve told her before that maybe she should let our two boys know, to use it as a learning experience as to why one should never resort to this behavior, and to show that we value our relationship and are hoping to work it all out. Am I wrong in that regard? I have told my WW the things I need the most. Most important on the list is for her to do the work to show me that she is becoming safe, and can identify the reason why she cheated. That one thing would make all the difference in the world, but she just won’t go there, it’s like she is ashamed of the A and she just doesn’t want to deal with it. I’ve done all I can to help her but like many have mentioned, I can’t fix her, she has to want to fix herself. As I still only average around 4 hours of sleep per night, this going on for 2-1/2 years, and after much internal reflection, I can honestly say that I love my wife more than anything, but I’m falling out of love with her because I’m learning that she simply can’t be there for me in the capacity that I want my spouse to be. I’ve really been thinking hard about a trial separation and then onto divorce even though it will reek havoc on my business, my source of livelyhood. That was initially the fear I’d been dealing with is not wanting to go into debt to balance our possessions and wind up having to go back to working 7 days a week for another 5-7 years to get back to where I am now, but it’s looking more doable as every day passes.

Edit: I sure wish I’d have discovered SI before DDay, I would have handled things much differently. Now I almost feel like I let the opportunity pass to handle this the right way. 🤷🏼‍♂️

Edit #2: I think her primary flaw right now is her coping abilities with major issues.

22 comments posted: Tuesday, September 19th, 2023

A percentage question for BS’s (and WS’s if you’d like to chime in)

From a percentage standpoint, what percent would you place on level of destructiveness.

The actual physical affair itself vs the WS behavior after DDay. At 2-1/2 years in, while the thought of my wife with her AP makes me want to puke, I feel extremely confident that I can get past that, but her behavior and lack of visible desire to "right the ship" by working on herself and being empathetic and remorseful is viewed as continued destructiveness.

I’d place my percentages at:

PA = 20%

Behavior afterwards = 80%

Edit: I guess I should have specified that for WS’s, what percentages would you use to describe what you believe caused the most damage.

19 comments posted: Monday, September 11th, 2023

Good read so far

Hey all, I'm back. (Never really left, just wasn't posting). Anyway, since you all told me the deal I made with my wife about NC with SI here for 3 months in exchange for her starting IC was a bad deal (you were all right) I've decided to tell my wife the deal is off. She's only had one IC visit and I don't think anything came of it. She just said at the end of the session that her counselor said fight like heqll for the marriage and she said that's the plan. Let's just say we all have differing opinions of what "fight" means. Also, last weekend she noticed for the first time in two months that I wasn't wearing my wedding ring. She informed me that she didn't like it and I told her she didn't have to like it. I told her that seeing that ring every day reminded me of her broken vows and promises. It was causing me to be depressed and it's now off as it makes me feel better. She then threw me the "for better or worse" comment. That comment had to sink in for a couple days but I now see it as I should subscribe to "for better or worse" but that didn't have to apply to her when she had her affair. She is still selfish and she is still a threat to my safety. But to the main point of my post. I just started reading a book this morning at 1 am (yup, still not sleeping worth a shit) called "When I Say No, I Feel Guilty" by Manuel J. Smith (not sure if I'm allowed to recommend a book here or not). It's an assertiveness training book and so far it very well describes my passive-aggressive mentality and how my wife and others have manipulated me over the years. It's been very enlightening and I can feel it giving me a new sense of inner strength. I did the pick me dance for quite a while and had I read this book years ago, I doubt I'd of had the self doubt to be taken advantage of or be manipulated to bend to my wife's will. I'm hell bent on change and becoming a stronger minded and assertive individual. Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

8 comments posted: Saturday, August 5th, 2023

An unusual statement

Have any of you WS's ever said, or any BS's ever heard their WS say "You should be thanking my AP for the affair, because it broke the marriage out of the dull state it was in". I've heard that from my WW twice in the last two years since D Day. Last weekend I politely said no to that remark. But wow, a knife to the gut still hurts even though it's a different knife. I get the reason behind it, but no, I'll take a hard pass on that one.

52 comments posted: Sunday, July 16th, 2023

Made a deal…..sort of

So a little over a week ago, we had another what I call "big discussion". They can be quite nasty but usually something good always comes out of them. Long story short, my WW snipped at me because I was gone most of a Sunday afternoon picking up a few things from friends. My friends like to BS a lot and I lost track of time. Anyway, when I got home she was a bit pissy with me as I didn’t let her know I’d be home late (7 pm. I should have texted her and told her but she did know where I was going and that I tend to get caught up BS’ing. One of them is my best friend) anyway, she told me she didn’t appreciate me being gone so long without notification and that in the past she’d have let it go, but now she is going to speak up about things like that. (I’m fine with that). Anyway, I was feeling a bit upset as she’s not really put a lot of work into Recovery so out to the office I went to do work and get my mind off of it. She came out a little later and asked if I was OK. I kind of vented a bit and let her know what I’d been feeling most recently. I told her I didn’t think she was doing enough to support recovery and asked her what she could note by writing down on a piece of paper everything she has done to support recovery that I doesn’t include the things I’ve told her to do. We wound up not speaking for two days and I approached her to break the ice. She said that comment really hurt as she said she’s done lots of things. ie: she recently gave me a massage, does my laundry, cooks, etc. those aren’t quite the things that promote recovery, or damage repair (at least to me). I appreciate those things, but I need more. But to the main point, she said she doesn’t think me coming to SI is a positive thing. She thinks it’s making things worse. (Maybe worse for her but it does help me). In any case, I decided to make a deal with her. I’ll stop visiting this site if she begins IC to work on herself. And I demanded MC to help with our terrible communication skills. I hate that I had to use this forum as a bargaining chip, but if it promotes healing than I’m all for it. All this being said I will continue to come here until she begins IC which for some reason feels like I’ll still becoming here for a while (LOL…sort of) there are probably many more details to how this came about but I didn’t want to write a book.

20 comments posted: Sunday, July 9th, 2023

Is this normal

So it is now 2 years and 2 months since D day. After a VERY slow start to my WW putting in effort she has begun. Still slowly but positive progress is still positive progress. Early on we really engaged in renewed sexual activity. I believe I read somewhere that is called Hysterical Bonding. Lately though, when we try to engage in sex, during the act images of her and her AP enter my head ins it’s lights out for passion. I also read in another book that a lot of times the role of the AP and spouse effectively swap places. I still feel now like I’m just a really good friend. I don’t feel like I’m her spouse or soulmate. This is all coming to fruition more as tomorrow is our 26th Wedding Anniversary which doesn’t really mean much to me anymore since she broke her vows and promises of commitment. Those words she said on that day 26 years ago really meant something to me.

We never really sat down and wrote out a timeline and I’m feeling like we should as I still wonder what, where, and how things progressed. There was a situation one fall day where she went to and historic City on the Ohio river with an old highschool friend (another girl) they took a bunch of pictures of sightseeing stops. Once when I was snooping early on after D day I saw her friend sent her a bunch of the pictures and my wife responded with "thanks for these, but these aren’t the pictures I want to see!" I asked her about this and she got really defensive and said "don’t I get any privacy?" She never did answer my query on that. I asked about it again a year later and she still just changed the subject. I’m thinking how can I really trust her if she can’t be 100% honest. Is all of this normal for me. Mostly asking about the feeling of being just a friend and the images re entering my head 2+ years later. Thank you all. I truly value your advice and support.

12 comments posted: Tuesday, May 30th, 2023

New revelation

So this is my second anniversary of learning of my wife’s affair. Two days ago I was struggling with D day +2 years and since I couldn’t sleep I thought I’d write in my journal. Unfortunately my journal wasn’t in my drawer. This morning I asked my wife what happened to it as I knew she did something to it. She told me she threw it away as she was afraid of something happening to us and our kids finding it. I’m not happy about that as she is still being selfish and thinking of herself. I’ve been at the bar for the last 4-1/2 hours. I’m beside myself. It’s time for a big talk, and I think a tough decision, but right now I can’t think straight. Life sucks and I’m so tired of it.


Sorry for the shitty attitude but I’m so tired of it.

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30 comments posted: Saturday, April 1st, 2023

Not sure of the right direction from here

Ok, been a few weeks since I last posted. Some of you may know my back story and where I'm at currently. For those that dont': BH here, almost 2 years out. I've researched the shit out of infidelity, things that I/We should be doing for recovery, things that the wayward spouse is possibly feeling after DD. I love my wife more than anything, we are best friends. I have been extremely supportive to her through the last 22 months. Her, not so much. I think she's still in denial, or dealing with shame, or whatever. I really can't ever get her into a heartfelt conversation about her feeling on this. Some have suggested she's just rug sweeping. I have been patiently waiting for her to "get it" and show true empathy and compassion for her actions and for what I'm going through, but as one member on here wrote, "hope is not a strategy"

So a couple weeks ago, we were taking a hike through a very old cemetery and ran across a stone that had the name "Shellenberger" on it. She commented "I think there's a Shellenberger Park here in town". I left it lie, but my thoughts were "yes, there is, that is one of the places you and your AP would meet up". So a couple weeks ago, I again didn't sleep and the next morning she asks if there's anything I need to talk about (she doesn't ask that very often). I reluctantly decided to tell her my feelings on the matter. I told her I couldn't understand why she would act like she's never been there when in fact she most certainly knew. I told her how that made me feel and when I was done letting things out. All she had to say was "do you feel better telling me that and getting it off your chest". There was no remorse, no I'm sorry, no empathy. Just "do I feel better now", No, I don't feel better now, I feel worse because I open up to her and she doesn't want to enter into conversation about it. So for the last two weeks, I've been a bit cold towards her because I've been into some pretty serious thinking about how she wasn't really honest with me and if she sort of lied about that then what else is she not telling me which leads me to where to go from here. Do I continue to wait until she finally "gets it" and begins to enter into true healing. Do I tell her that maybe we need to separate for a while so that she has time to truly think about whether or not me and our relationship together is worth saving and worth putting in the effort to do so. I've always felt she is putting in very minimal or non existant effort into getting through this. I think she feels it will fix itself. I guess I am hoping to hear from some waywards here on maybe what she's thinking/feeling/hoping for. I truly believe she wants to be with me and have our relationship be better than ever. I just have a feeling she's still wallowing in shame and that is preventing her from thinking of others first.

I'm getting exhausted from pulling the train by myself. I'm really beginning to think that if we split up, I could at least move on and be at peace, but damn it, I love that girl so much, even given the pain she's put me through. Am I a fool for continuing to hope she's going to get there. I really want to spend the rest of my life with someone who can/will be there for me, but these last two years, she has not. I have a really difficult time talking to her and opening up when she won't participate in the conversation. Should I force the issue of getting her to go to a couples counselor? I feel like I need an impartial 3rd party to ask the pertinent questions that I just can't, or don't know to ask, and for someone to try to "pull" the answers from her. These last two weeks of thinking have begun to steer me in the direction of being OK with being alone and living without her. Help me out Waywards, please.

26 comments posted: Friday, February 10th, 2023

What’s your advice, thoughts

So some background. I’m 55 my wife is 51. Married 25 years last May. I’d known her for years before we officially met and the years prior to meeting I felt we had a connection. She lost her mother to breast cancer at 10 and she lost her father to cancer/blood clot at 23, the year before we officially met/started dating. I knew I wanted to marry her right away as she is the type of girl I’d always envisioned spending the rest of my days with. As with so many others, kids entered the picture, excess work, being tired and the sex life became somewhat stale. I’d told her several times that I really wanted to be able to fully please her in that arena and had asked a couple times what she’d like, or what I could do for her as she didn’t seem like she was enjoying intimacy. Her response then was "I can’t think of anything ". That was quite a blow and eventually I felt like a failure in that regard and we kind of drifted away in the intimacy department. We still enjoyed spending time together, going on trips, playing games, we seemed generally very happy, just not intimate. I drifted toward not initiating sex as I knew from past experiences that she would show no enjoyment and that would end up depressing me with no way to fix it. Any time she wanted to get intimate, we did, but she would have to initiate it. Fast forward to fall of 2020 and one day she flirted with me and that caused me to say F it and just go for it. It went great and from that point on we really progressed in the sex department. It was getting to the point that I felt our marriage had finally turned the corner and we were on track to really going where we hoped to be. I was still working a ton trying to help pay to send 2 boys through college and keep up with investing for our future retirement when one day in March of 2021 something in my gut felt wrong.

She liked to hike a lot and as she was usually alone I could keep tabs on her through find a phone in case she got home late. One day she was going for some new tires and I saw she went to a local lake instead for a little while. I texted but no answer, I called and again no answer. 15 minutes later she called me back and angrily said she was waiting on word about her tires and was on the phone with her friend. Lie #1. After that I got suspicious and started researching infidelity. I put Verizon messenger on her phone so I could see text messages. It only barely worked until March 31 when it picked up some texting between her and her AP. I watched the messaging unfold and tracked her on her phone going to meet him at the lake again. I had to sit by and watch the progress as I was commuting between two different towns to give work estimates helpless to intercept them. I did call a local friend who did a drive by and reported that they were just talking in separate vehicles and he said he could see she was crying. Later that afternoon a phone number became available through the Verizon device and a quick google search showed it was a local friend who is director at our town funeral home. That afternoon I bumped into him at a chiropractor office and that was gut wrenching.
Later that evening, my wife, who hadn’t been sleeping great, went up to the spare bedroom (I sometimes snore) and when she did I went to the recliner and waited and watched the messenger app. It began that night with then exchanging pictures of themselves when they were younger, then moved to why they felt so compatible. After that it moved to the detailed description of the things he’d be doing to her at that moment if she was there with him. He described their situation as something that maybe happens for a reason and hinted about how maybe they could end up together. She responded with "Sounds amazing and unobtainable ". Shortly after she came downstairs for a snack and saw me sitting there not sleeping and asked if it was still work bothering me, I said no it was her and Mark. She dropped to a footstool and her first words were "I don’t want to be with him, I want to be with you". She explained a bit of how it all came about, I then began my research into infidelity and how it affects both spouses. I never once yelled at her or showed anger toward her. I was emotionally crushed. I could have never thought she could do that to me. We pretty quickly hashed out the Joe’s and why’s this could have happened ( not that it helped me much) but I did understand, and I have been very understanding of the feelings she must have been feeling through it all. For the first 12 months she maybe once said she was sorry, and it was only a "I’m sorry" (after one year she admitted to not thinking she should have to apologize after the way I treated her for years, remember my lack of intimacy due to feeling like a failure). About 6 months ago, after a bit of IC and prescriptions for Zoloft (I now suffer from pretty intense depression), I found the sticky here on what wayward spouses need to know about their betrayed spouse. I copied that and sent it to her in a text and asked that she read it. I told her that it was pretty spot on about how I feel aside from the anger parts. I told her that if she didn’t begin to step up and take more of a part in R that she stood a good chance of losing me. She said she read the article and that it was very good. That being said, she still shows no remorse. Never really has. On a few rare occasions she has made a small comment that made me start to think she was "getting it", but then nothing. I could count those instances on one hand and have fingers left over. She really seems to sincerely love me, we hug, hold hands, kiss passionately, enjoy our sexual experiences, but I honestly don’t think she has the mental capability to cope with the pain of the aftermath. I asked her if she has ever ready an articles on affair recovery and she said no. She said it makes her feel bad and why would she want to feel that way. My therapist tells me that if I show how much work I’m putting in, it might compel/convince her to step up her part of R. It has not. I think she just wants to put it behind us, act like it never happened and move on with our lives. Neither once of us sleep very well anymore and I know I don’t because of the affair and the lack of recovery, I think I know why she doesn’t sleep but she doesn’t talk about it. I used to check in weekly with how I’ve been doing but I stopped that because it was always just me talking and no real rapport between us. Occasionally something I say would make her upset then she would especially quiet and usually just walk away. She said when she gets that way she just wants to be alone and not even see me. When she’s that way I just want to hold her and tell her it will be alright but in those moments, that’s the opposite of what she wants. I’m come to terms with the physical affair for the most part, but right now I’m struggling with feeling like I just matter enough to her to be worth the effort for an effective recovery.
After D day I addressed her concerns point blank. I stopped working on weekends to devote time to her, I began planning days together so she wasn’t always the one doing it. I acknowledge to her how attractive I find her and how much I love her and how desperately I want to be happy for the rest of our days. I wish she would finally just "get it" and show me that I truly matter to her. im in seventh heaven when we are together doing things and going places, but when I’m alone, I’m in hell feeling unwanted and it’s just getting worse.
Well, that was a long post and I’m sure there’s more to it but I need a break from typing.
So as a BS, am I being unreasonable i my actions or beliefs. I can’t make her do something she doesn’t want to do, nor do I want to. I want her to want to help, and I’m not sure how to do that. I’m just going day by day and trying to survive.

19 comments posted: Friday, December 2nd, 2022

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