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Wayward Side :
2021-already fun (vent)

Topic is Sleeping.
doh

 MIgander (original poster Member #71285) posted at 3:06 PM on Thursday, January 21st, 2021

SOOO...

-boss has stage 4 cancer- went in for gallbladder surgery and found WAY more than he bargained for...

-friend's mom may need another leg amputation from injuries from a bad fall

-HR investigation into my reporting of hostile interactions with AP post affair stirred up a lot of shit and didn't yield any guarantees on us not being on the same campus ever in the future. basically said (as lawyers told me last year) that there's nothing they can do, work w/ boss to not have to go on my old campus and report any further misbehavior on his end. so much for easing BH's anxiety when I do have to go into work.

-inability to focus on anything and it's affecting my work life

-kids are unhappy with my lack of attention to them and depression

-IC and meds not doing it for me anymore- stepping up exercise, prayer, reading, sharing w/ friends and sisters, still not enough as this pandemic drags on

-BH entering lethal plane of flatness. multiple "tennis serves" over net in form of positive interactions are not returned. Stirring up insecurities in me on our marriage healing and thriving.

-Added to insecurities and anxiety over my job situation now I've reported my affair (and bad judgement and all the fun that comes from being a female and the subconscious judgement that comes with it- really does put my job in jeopardy next round of layoffs).

-Need job if BH decided to D me, which would be just as I deserve after my actions. Don't think he will though, he's been really supportive in the best way he can be lately.

Basically, my basket is empty, my well is dry and it's very hard.

*world's smallest violin playing*

But I'm still alive, healthy and the sun is out in MI in the winter- got a walk with the dog to look forward to today.

In the words of Caddy Shack, "so at least I've got that going for me."

Anyway, how's y'all's 2021 shaping up?

posts: 173   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
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thatbpguy ( Member #58540) posted at 4:14 PM on Thursday, January 21st, 2021

Need job if BH decided to D me, which would be just as I deserve after my actions. Don't think he will though, he's been really supportive in the best way he can be lately.

Here you go. Build on this. Keep praying and take one day at a time. Be appreciative for what you still have.

ME: BHHer: WWDDay 1, R; DDay 2, R; DDay 3, I leftDivorcedRemarried to a wonderful woman

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." C.S. Lewis

As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly...

posts: 4449   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2017   ·   location: Vancouver, WA
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fooled13years ( Member #49028) posted at 5:33 PM on Thursday, January 21st, 2021

MIgander

-boss has stage 4 cancer- went in for gallbladder surgery and found WAY more than he bargained for...

-friend's mom may need another leg amputation from injuries from a bad fall

You have enough on your plate and while these things are terrible you need all your strength and attention in dealing with your BH and kids right now.

-HR investigation into my reporting of hostile interactions with AP post affair stirred up a lot of shit and didn't yield any guarantees on us not being on the same campus ever in the future. basically said (as lawyers told me last year) that there's nothing they can do, work w/ boss to not have to go on my old campus and report any further misbehavior on his end

I don't know if you have the grounds to but it may take a court order injunction (TRO) to prevent him from being in the same area as you.

so much for easing BH's anxiety when I do have to go into work

It is up to you to ease your BH's concerns not your employer or the court.

-IC and meds not doing it for me anymore-

Have you discussed this with your IC and the meds prescriber?

stepping up exercise, prayer, reading, sharing w/ friends and sisters, still not enough

So, what do you need to change or increase?

as this pandemic drags on

Do you really think this situation would be better if it were not for the pandemic?

-BH entering lethal plane of flatness

multiple "tennis serves" over net in form of positive interactions are not returned

Are you sure this isn't just your take on your actions? If it isn't, have you talked with your BH about this?

Stirring up insecurities in me on our marriage healing and thriving

.

It would appear as though you still have work to do as if you need your BH's positive reinforcement to quiet your insecurities you might find them elsewhere if he doesn't provide them.

I removed myself from infidelity and am happy again.

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hikingout ( Member #59504) posted at 6:56 PM on Thursday, January 21st, 2021

I think it's great to vent. Yell into the abyss if you need to. And then take a deep breath and think about the way you frame things to yourself.

I try and remember that in most things there are hidden blessings, usually opportunity to shine and grow. Sometimes I have to get still and say "What is this teaching me?"

I have grown to look at life as a a series of hills/mountains we climb. Each one teaches us things that makes the next mountain possible for us. Instead of fearing it, and knowing we can not change it, sometimes we have to stop believing our emotions about it. Our self talk about it.

Stress is a very real thing. Worrying is a very real thing. Not all of it can be avoided. But, I have learned to try and avoid as much of it as possible. I don't shy from the challenges, but I frame them as challenges, and know that I am smart enough and resourceful enough to make my way through them.

I am not saying this to say "look at me" or to get on a soapbox. I am saying this because I have learned the more I let go, the more I accept, the more I don't sweat the things I can not change, the more personal peace that I have.

The more personal peace I can create the more space I can create for others.

I am a tremendously bad perfectionist and overthinker. I have been training myself to just not go down in those rabbit holes. I used to get anxiety after social interactions. I do not allow it any more. I tell myself "not my problem how they react to me or what they think" as long as I am showing up, being a good person and being me. The people who are meant to be with me on my path will be attracted to that. The others? Well why should they matter anyway?

Coping is an extremely difficult thing to learn to do. But, in many ways it's simple if you do not overcomplicate it. It's not about what is happening but how we react to it. What emotional importance we place on it.

I think I am getting to that place more rapidly the more I can surrender. And, it's a good thing too, timing wise for me. I am getting ready to leave a very lucrative career with salary similar to yours. I am leaving a home I loved very much. Everything is changing. And, instead of fretting or fearing it, I am saying BRING IT ON. I am about to see what my next chapter looks like, and the only thing I can be sure of is that I can handle anything that comes my way.

And, so can you!!!!!

[This message edited by hikingout at 1:18 PM, January 21st (Thursday)]

WW/BW BH/WH
Turnthepage
My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PA
His Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

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 MIgander (original poster Member #71285) posted at 7:59 PM on Thursday, January 21st, 2021

Thanks for the reframing HO. It's taken me a long walk with the dog, some texting w/ friends and sister and a whole lot of refocusing on my work (and cleaning up my "to-do" and inbox!) and my mood is improving.

Looking at it from a "systems" standpoint, the dumps were brought on by lack of sleep, sudden unexpected stressors (boss, HR) and BH's and kids' unhappiness.

F13Y, thanks for the breakdown.

-My boss's illness brought up memories of my father's pancreatic cancer. He found his at stage 4 (like my boss did) and it was incredibly painful to watch him suffer and feel helpless to do anything to fix it. That whole feeling of helplessness and loss got stirred up by my boss's situation. I'm not taking things on to myself, rather shit is getting stirred up by outside factors.

My friend's mom isn't a burden on me, but I am concerned for her and looking to see if I can cheer her up/ support her in this- she's been loyal to me through this hell and is one of the few people who haven't given up on me (out of the ones who know).

-HR can't really do much in the situation- AP has had no further contact with me (thank GOD) and we were "consenting adults" not involved in each other's direct org, so, bupkiss.

-Per BH's anxiety, I understand that it's not the law or HR's job to reassure him. I have been working hard to be a safe spouse for BH. On days when I go in, I've made clear where I was (pics on arriving and departure, texts and calls when in the office or on the road), arriving home when I say I will and keeping all my emails/phones/etc. open to him for review. I discuss other contacts with other co-workers with him and otherwise keep him informed. I'm on separate campuses (when I do go in) and WFH right now.

-Lethal plane of flatness: Not sure what more I can do aside from telling him and showing him I love him and choose him (hence the "tennis serves" analogy). When I do get little input returned or no positive response, I do get disappointed and down. Not from needing his validation, but from losing hope of having power to improve the situation or improve his mood. Lack of hope and sense of powerlessness to affect change in our relationship (and hurt from rejection) put me in the hole.

I think of it as a basket of tennis balls- my basket is only so full, I'm only able to put myself out there in ways he usually enjoys so often. If the ball is not returned to my side of the court, then my basket eventually runs out of balls and there are no more for me to hit over. So, I stop serving and go elsewhere to refill my basket- talking to God, sisters, friends, hanging out w/ dog, exercising, working on projects, helping kids and reading to them, etc. The basket fills up again, and I begin serving tennis balls back over the net. Usually takes a good 4 days for me to refill my basket and my serves only last about 3 days before they run out. Working to change that, but that's where I am.

We've talked a lot about this- the tennis analogy. He gets hurt and feels rejected too when I run out of "tennis balls," but aside from being honest with him about my hurt from his repeated rejections, and going to fill my basket again from healthy sources, I don't really know what to do for him. I don't need him to validate my worth, I'm wanting him to participate in our relationship when I am making a distinct effort. He's been showing me little kindnesses and much empathy, which is good and helpful. It's what I hold on to when I'm feeling the insecurities and lack of hope. Just talking about these things and working through them and cognitively changing my inner thoughts though isn't enough for me to not feel my feelings. It helps bring me out of them, but feel them I do. Right now, as I understand it, all I can do is keep trying and be patient with where he's at emotionally. However, I'm not superwoman and I do get run down and depleted. If I don't institute healthy expectations around my capabilities (which I didn't used to do w/ my people pleasing), I just set him up for disappointment. He's disappointed with my limitations and lack of skills and abilities (which I am seeking help for), but that's what it is.

He's hurting, disappointed and disillusioned with our marriage (rightfully so) and seeing me for the very flawed person I am. I'm working hard on fixing my weaknesses and becoming a better person and a safe partner to him. Being honest about what I'm capable of doing and how I really feel when I'm feeling disappointed or down myself (especially when it stems from his reactions to me) is probably the scariest thing I've done. It puts me at risk of displeasing him and losing him. However, it does make me a more honest person around him and allows him to make better informed decisions rather than hearing my people pleasing BS. He's disappointed when I can't provide him the companionship or cheerfulness or sexiness or whatever he's needing at the time he wants it, but he at least is learning what's real and what's not. I'm not being nearly as fake as I was around him in order to fend off his disappointment and the pain of rejection I feel on my end. I'm becoming more comfortable with being uncomfortable and with his discomfort over my own truth.

-Regarding insecurities around marital stability: these are not based in his lack of positive reinforcement, but rather direct communication from him. His anger, hurt and disappointment and frequent questioning of "why am I in this, what am I staying for? What's in it for me?" are direct expressions of his examination of D vs R options. That's not feelings on my end, that's fact. The marriage is in a precarious position because of my affair, my job is in a more precarious position because of my complaint to HR and I'm feeling insecure around it. It's an insecure situation- insecurity is not coming out of nothing.

Of course, I can't justify my right to be in the marriage, and I can't provide him with the answers to his questions. He asks and asks, and I tell him (and do my best to show him) that I love him and want to be with him. However, I can't give him a laundry list of my positive qualities and utilities as a wife and mother. Either he will see the value and worth there, or he won't. My job is to work on me to make myself more worthy and valuable to him and the marriage as best I can.

That and keep the tennis serves coming.

posts: 173   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
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hikingout ( Member #59504) posted at 8:39 PM on Thursday, January 21st, 2021

The basket fills up again, and I begin serving tennis balls back over the net. Usually takes a good 4 days for me to refill my basket and my serves only last about 3 days before they run out.

I would like to challenge this a little further. This *sounds* to me like this is a story you are telling yourself. The biggest clue is that it sounds so consistent when life is not that consistent. This sounds like self fullfilling prophecy, and also a bit like an excuse not to engage. I would be concerned that this is part of your control issues you have talked about often, and this is really your way of controlling demand on you?

I am not trying to beat you up, but this is the type of thing that you need to mentally challenge. Challenge the origins of it, the accuracy of it, the motivations behind it.

We've talked a lot about this- the tennis analogy. He gets hurt and feels rejected too when I run out of "tennis balls," but aside from being honest with him about my hurt from his repeated rejections, and going to fill my basket again from healthy sources, I don't really know what to do for him.

This has been the struggle I have noticed all along. It *sounds* (again I emphasize that, because it may not be what you mean) like you are making your needs more important than his.

On one hand, I understand that. People like us who act like doormats sometimes have to over correct in the other direction in order to find where the boundaries need to be. I did this, for certain. But, not for a prolonged period of time. Saying no was the scariest thing that I ever had to do.

Where my concern really lies here is instead of finding INDIVIDUAL situation boundaries, you have set up weird rule boundaries in which you are available 3 days and not for 4. This is why I think that you have to rethink this. It's healthy to set boundaries and learn where they are. It's unhealthy to substitute that process with arbitrary ones. What is your IC saying to you about this?

I don't need him to validate my worth, I'm wanting him to participate in our relationship when I am making a distinct effort.

This *sounds* controlling. "I want him to participate when I am participating. I want him to give me room when I need room." How about when he is making bids for attention when you aren't making a distinct effort?

And, there is no integration of learning you need room more organically, and instead saying you need it 4 days a week?

He's been showing me little kindnesses and much empathy, which is good and helpful. It's what I hold on to when I'm feeling the insecurities and lack of hope.

This statement actually just contradicts that you aren't looking for validation of worth. Keep in mind I think validation is still part of any relationship to a certain extent. I am just pointing out that this conflicts with what you just said.

talking about these things and working through them and cognitively changing my inner thoughts though isn't enough for me to not feel my feelings. It helps bring me out of them, but feel them I do.

Interesting. Another perspective on this is feelings can't be trusted. Emotions are arbitrary, and actually are formed due to our thoughts and framing. I am not saying it's unhealthy to feel your feelings. I am just saying your feelings can be shaped by simply monitoring and challenging what you are telling yourself about things.

Right now, as I understand it, all I can do is keep trying and be patient with where he's at emotionally. However, I'm not superwoman and I do get run down and depleted. If I don't institute healthy expectations around my capabilities (which I didn't used to do w/ my people pleasing), I just set him up for disappointment. He's disappointed with my limitations and lack of skills and abilities (which I am seeking help for), but that's what it is.

This is probably the more healthy way of describing this. I do get what you are saying. Boundaries are hard for me, and I struggle with guilt still when putting them in place. But, again, it's going to be better to look at individual situations rather than making blanket rules. Sometimes we do still have to give when we are depleted, it's a matter of choosing our battles.

My therapist talked to me a lot about shoulds and coulds. There are things that we do because we think we should do them. But, most things are just options of things we could do. We must feed ourselves, our children. We must go to work. We do not have to have every room in the house perfectly clean. We do not have to overdo things. I am saying this because you sometimes things are a must, and sometimes that must has to do with what our spouse needs regardless of where we are mentally.

He's hurting, disappointed and disillusioned with our marriage (rightfully so) and seeing me for the very flawed person I am. I'm working hard on fixing my weaknesses and becoming a better person and a safe partner to him. Being honest about what I'm capable of doing and how I really feel when I'm feeling disappointed or down myself (especially when it stems from his reactions to me) is probably the scariest thing I've done. It puts me at risk of displeasing him and losing him. However, it does make me a more honest person around him and allows him to make better informed decisions rather than hearing my people pleasing BS.

I understand this. It's really hard. It seems to them like they are being punished further, you have to still know how to provide reassurance at the same time.

He's disappointed when I can't provide him the companionship or cheerfulness or sexiness or whatever he's needing at the time he wants it, but he at least is learning what's real and what's not. I'm not being nearly as fake as I was around him in order to fend off his disappointment and the pain of rejection I feel on my end. I'm becoming more comfortable with being uncomfortable and with his discomfort over my own truth.

Also very healthy. And needed. Just make sure you are balancing the idea of compromise and being there for him as well.

WW/BW BH/WH
Turnthepage
My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PA
His Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

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MrsWalloped ( Member #62313) posted at 8:55 PM on Thursday, January 21st, 2021

*world's smallest violin playing*

You know, I'm not really comfortable with complaining or venting here. And honestly, it took a very long time where I felt comfortable doing that at home too. It took a while before I felt I had a voice in my M. But even today I hesitate, reframe, and probably hold back from complaining too much.

I don't have any answers for you and I'm really very sorry you're dealing with so much, but I did want to say that threads like these help me a lot. I take a message that it's okay to vent. We are allowed to not be okay about some things. Obviously things are different in our M's after DDay, but we are allowed to be human.

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

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Username123 ( Member #77150) posted at 10:06 PM on Thursday, January 21st, 2021

MIgander,

How long was your affair ? What kind of affair was it? Did you ever tell your AP that you loved him ? How many times did you have sex with your AP ?

Also...

I agree with HO when she said "It *sounds* (again I emphasize that, because it may not be what you mean) like you are making your needs more important than his." I agree with this statement and also think your posts on this thread are full of wayward thinking.

posts: 223   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2021
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fooled13years ( Member #49028) posted at 2:30 PM on Friday, January 22nd, 2021

MIgander

I do get disappointed and down

Any time any of us get disappointed or feel let down it is because we have a preconceived and expected outcome to a situation that does not go as we had planned.

If you are doing something for your BH with the expectation of receiving the response you would like it may be that you are trying to manipulate the situation.

Should you change your approach and do something for your BH without an expected result you may find you will not be disappointed and need to refill your basket.

Not sure what more I can do aside from telling him and showing him I love him

This is good for every spouse to do whether trying to R from infidelity or in the perfect marriage but please, if you have ever told him this and choose him never say that again.

You chose him when dating and then when you married him. To imply that you chose him over your AP places him in an untenable situation knowing that he is nothing more than an option to you.

I removed myself from infidelity and am happy again.

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 MIgander (original poster Member #71285) posted at 3:53 PM on Friday, January 22nd, 2021

Thanks again HO, your advice is especially helpful right now as you're on the receiving end of an affair as well. I'll address your breakdown here in a second. It's a long one, so thanks in advance for your patience and attention.

MrsWalloped, thanks for the encouragement. It's hard to be on here and express needs for our own care. Often a WS may express unmet needs of their own and look for empathy from other WS's in it but get piled on by BS's. I don't find that kind of posting to be particularly helpful as it often puts the WS on defensive mode. As we WS's know well, once defensive, we're just reacting and not responding. This in turn makes much of the input from BS's lost to us. Shaming and abusive input rightfully should be ignored, but often good perspectives framed from a place of hurt and anger are missed in our reaction to the emotional tone.

Username123, my story is already outlined in previous posts. It was a short (1-2mo) exit affair that took place June-July of 2019. BH found out in mid July 19.

HO, the 3/4 day thing isn't set in stone, it's just the typical pattern. I don't explicitly say, "now you've had your 3 days, suck it up while I take my 4." BH often comments that all we can maintain is 3 good days and then a period of bad days where we're disagreeing, his needs are unmet as I either get defensive or avoid him. I'm improving in this in working on curbing my defensiveness (last night I was NOT successful- stressful day already w/ news about my boss's cancer). Avoidance is something I need to tackle next.

What follows is a typical example of our interactions. BH comes home from a night out running errands, and quickly criticizes my performance as a mother unfairly. He was triggered more harshly than usual as other BH's notice as minor things become all about the affair. He started in with "kids spelling words aren't down pat, IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT, WHY CAN'T I JUST GO OUT FOR ONE NIGHT AND COME HOME TO EVERYTHING BEING DONE RIGHT!! THIS IS SO HARD- YOU'RE NEVER HELPFUL and I CAN'T TRUST YOU IN ANYTHING!" Everything tends to become about the affair and not the situation at hand. Part and parcel of the reactivity and hyper-vigilance I've foisted upon him w/ my affair. Instead of calmly stating, "I understand you're upset and disappointed. I did the best I could, I made sure DD did her spelling HW and quizzed her until she got them right with me. DS's HW was behind and we did it to the best knowledge I had. The HW rubric was not posted on any of the classroom sites." I got defensive and raised my voice (not yelled- I've squashed the yelling).

It felt unfair and unjust and like he was attacking me without listening to my side of the story. This was an established pattern early in our marriage with his disappointment over the disorganization of the house when he came home. He would get stressed out by the mess and the kids running around. They were babies and toddlers and being wild and noisy or fussy, and 6pm was the witching hour for DD's colic at the time. So his expectations were unrealistic. Instead of him working to adjust to that with a sense of grace and humility, he would get depressed that his desires were unmet.

After his stressful day at work, he wanted to relax and had difficulty with that when kids were being loud and hyper- they were 1-3yrs old). His reaction to all this stress was to immediately criticize and complain and be harsh with it. No kiss, no hello, how was your day, no room for recognition of the stresses of SAHM w/ 2 non-potty trained kids and a nursing and mildly colicky baby. His anxiety over being sole provider, stress from a hard day and a long commute would overwhelm any of his ability to have compassion and treat the situation with humor or gentleness. He wanted to come home to one place in the world that was under control, set up to his standards and accommodating completely to him. My established pattern of defensiveness (and hurt and disappointment and anger at the unjust unkind treatment) came out and I just threw fuel on the fire.

Oh well, back on the horse and doing my best to be better. He's wanting consistency. With my ADHD, that's really hard (and something I'm under treatment for). I've asked him to consider persistence instead. I think in general it's a healthier concept as no one is perfect and we all will fall down occasionally. Leaving room for that with the ideal of persistence (picking back up and working to do better next time) is more human. Only robots are perfectly consistent. And robots are incapable of real love.

Per the "4 days avoidance" thing, it does stem from control. I can't control his lashing out and he isn't a safe place for me to share my emotions freely. His anger is frightening to me and triggers enormous anxiety from my end (hence the defensiveness) from abuse suffered in childhood and established patterns of his harsh criticism and continued frustration with my inability to fulfill his needs. It's a viscous cycle. I reach out, and inconsistently get accepted or get rejected. If accepted, I continue to sustain until my anxiety over the next outburst of his anger or disappointment ("this is too good to last" buckle up- here it comes...) brings it crashing down. Either that, or I disappoint him and he either lashes out in anger or is crushing in his criticism.

There's a dynamic there between us that I want (and have been begging for years) to do MC for. However, he's not ready right now and didn't see it as his problem in the past. It's a standstill right now- I'm doing a lot of work on my end, only he's not on his end (still in survival mode but not in IC for it- when he was, IC said he's doing the best he can and seems to be handling it well ). I would like to disagree with IC's assessment. I have definitely delayed his healing with my mental health problems and continued defensiveness and avoidance. However, there is a contribution to it from his end. If we are both working together on this, I see it resolving MUCH faster and alleviating his pain and anxiety much more quickly. I want to reduce his suffering in this, but can only do so much by myself on my end. I can become a safe spouse and restore transparency and trust to the best of my ability. However, I can't heal the marital relationship on my own.

I'm getting better at talking through his constructive criticism (brought to me in a civil tone in a calm manner) and taking it as helpful. It's when it's expressed harshly or in an outburst of his anger that I either get defensive, or calmly hold my ground/ disengage from the conversation ("I'm feeling hurt and becoming overwhelmed and likely to be defensive. I need to take a break from this until I can respond in a positive way.") Doing this takes enormous amounts of emotional energy for me. Anxiety over his response to my need for space and a breather (BH: "You're giving up, I'm not feeling you really want this, IT'S JUST NOT THERE!"). His responses feel manipulative and hurt me deeply as I am trying my damn hardest to not get defensive and lash out myself. I'm doing this for both our benefit- his so he doesn't get more abused by me lashing out in return. On my end, I'm doing it for my own self-respect as well as to save the marriage.

There's no way I can have any hope for any healthy relationship with ANYONE if I can't take the breaks I need to calm down and come back to the issue with a rational brain. It's like with learning to read- in the beginning as a kid, they need to slow down and sound out the words. Once they become more proficient in reading, the words flow off the page more easily. I'm still having to spell out mindfulness and self-centering activities when under stress. It's been my natural reaction to become defensive and go on the attack myself (justifying, blaming or in general losing my cool).

With BH's reactions, he drains my well (see other post to another WS needing validation from BS). Since he was the one drawing from my well so deeply, I have trouble trusting him enough to give him access to my emotional life for a while. Then I avoid. Either by not being emotionally/physically intimate or by outright doing my own thing. This is the pattern I need to work on.

BOUNDARIES ARE HARD! I'm not explicitly trying to make my needs more important than his- that's not my conscious intention. That's not what I'm working to be. It's after these outbursts (on his part and then my reactivity to them) that I don't trust myself enough or him enough to interact positively. I'm working at it (with the mindfulness and the spelling out of emotions and the taking a break when needed). It's painful really, I'm hurt from rejection, afraid from his anger (triggers FOO abuse when I would literally NOT be home all day- I'd stay out in the woods in the dark freezing rain not to be around my sisters if my parents were gone for an evening). I understand he loves me and is very hurt. However, the way he's treating me in his pain feels like the manipulation from my mother and the abuse from my sister and schoolmates that I experienced as a child. I am working hard to overcome the trauma triggers. It's extremely tough to be capable of giving kind, open and warm companionship from someone who is triggering my abuse with their own (unconscious) manipulations and abuse.

He's been showing me little kindnesses and much empathy, which is good and helpful. It's what I hold on to when I'm feeling the insecurities and lack of hope.

The insecurities I feel are around his weighing D or R, not his validation of my worth. When I do feel those insecurities again (again, feelings do come up, but as you said, they're not necessarily reality!), I go to God with it and do self-care (exercise, eating right, going to bed early, walking the dog, talking to sisters and friends). This helps bring me out of that place and back into reality where I feel more able to participate in the marriage as a person worthy of respect and care. I'm feeling insecure primarily in our relationship, not necessarily in my self worth. I still feel the shame and insecurity of my own worth, but I'm no longer making it BH's job to pull me out of it and validate me. I think this is confusing to him and he's reading it as me moving away from him. I don't think he understands this as a healthier way of managing my emotions and healing from my FOO. Codependency is a bitch. This is a new regime for him and he's not sure how to adjust to it. He's used to being the source of my worth and has grown comfortable with the control it affords him. I'm taking that away as it's not healthy for him to be burdened with that and he's losing that lever to pull when things are not going as he pleases.

Thanks for hanging in here on this post- I do write novels.

Wish us luck. It's a mess of my own making.

posts: 173   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8627294
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Neanderthal ( Member #71141) posted at 6:45 PM on Friday, January 22nd, 2021

I see a lot of similarities between your husband and I. At least through how you described him. I am overly critical as well. Many times it comes from a positive place, like offering advice or a solution. I fix things for a living, being a critical thinker has allowed me to progress in my career. Unfortunately its helped create some awful communication methods within me. I never know when to listen, or just accept less than my expectation. That's terrible for the people around me, but just as bad for myself. Who do you think is my worst critic? I suspect your husband is the same way. He possibly thinks he failed you, his family and himself, by you cheating.

Becoming self aware of this problem is really hard. Changing your way of thinking and communicating is even harder! Especially if no one else calls you out on it. My ex wife rarely did and my coworkers probably just accepted I am a dick. I know you feel like you're not in a position to call him out on it, but for his sake and yours, I think you need to. (unless there's cause for real fear based on violence and abuse)

Codependency is a bitch. This is a new regime for him and he's not sure how to adjust to it. He's used to being the source of my worth and has grown comfortable with the control it affords him. I'm taking that away as it's not healthy for him to be burdened with that and he's losing that lever to pull when things are not going as he pleases.

This also rang true to me as well. The problem was, I didn't know it. I never viewed it as control. I just thought I was supposed to make her feel she had value. When she no longer needed that from me (during her affair) and afterwards, I felt lost. What's my purpose? She doesn't need me anymore. That was difficult to accept and understand that it was for the better (after the affair anyway). I wish I had an answer to help you help him. My IC has done a good job of helping me reframe my thinking.

His anger is frightening to me and triggers enormous anxiety from my end (hence the defensiveness) from abuse suffered in childhood and established patterns of his harsh criticism and continued frustration with my inability to fulfill his needs.

I couldn't imagine someone I love being afraid of me. That's an awful thing. No one should ever be afraid of their spouse. I come from a very destructive and violent FOO as well. One of my sisters has coped by becoming violent and scary herself when confronted with conflict. If you were just an observer of the fights between my sister and her husband, you'd never know she was afraid. She looked more like a crazy animal ready to strike any weakness that presented itself. But she was petrified inside. Id talk to her afterwards, and she tell how scared she was. That it felt like DAD was back and about to beat her. Her now ex husband never knew she was afraid of him when he raised his voice. She never felt comfortable telling him.

If he's violent or threatening, there is no excuse. You should not live in fear. He needs to stop or you need to separate yourself from him.

Or is the fear based around your triggers from FOO, rather then his actions and words? If it's this, is he aware of it? Do you show on the outside, what you feel on the inside? IMO, a good man, a man of character, would immediately crumble once he realizes his family fears him. Personally once aware, I'd probably turn into a bowl of jelly, or whatever the least threatening thing possible is.

Sorry not much help here. Just saw some commonalities and decided to post. I hope you continue to share. thanks.

Me: WS/BS
XW: Lifedestroyer (LD)

posts: 433   ·   registered: Jul. 30th, 2019   ·   location: OK
id 8627386
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 MIgander (original poster Member #71285) posted at 9:36 PM on Friday, January 22nd, 2021

Hi N,

Thanks for the insight. I think BH does struggle with perfectionism. It's hard to tell as he shuts down emotionally with me when we're arguing (and who can blame him?). I think he holds himself to inhuman standards sometimes and escapes it through too much tv or other numbing behaviors. That and I'm such a difficult person to be around, I don't think he has the energy to really even want to try and open up anyway.

Anyway, depressing and depressed day. Was told I'm not trying hard enough for him to feel like going to counseling. Said if he saw me trying harder (compared it to our kids doing HW), then he would be motivated to go. Just don't see any hope. Maybe I'm blind to it. We're likely to move to IHS soon. I'm so tired and overwhelmed. I feel like nothing I do is enough or acceptable to him. It's a feeling I've had a long time in our M. It's just really strong right now. It's been such hard work to even get to the point where I can begin to be honest about my feelings and be assertive when I need time to process/calm down. To even get to the point of taking responsibility for my actions and work to correct what was broken inside me.

HO, you have a much better perspective on this than me. I'm staring at a mountain to climb and I don't have a partner to hold the line on the other side. I've not been allowed to hold his line on the climb for many years. I'm at the point now where I need a hand, only we've never really roped up together.

I'm trying as hard as I think I can. I have this underlying belief that I'm not going to ever be good enough for him, that he'll never be satisfied with me as his wife. This doesn't just stem from feelings either- this was confirmed fact with his comparisons to my good friend (put me down, "why can't you be more like her?" "you need to learn from her how to be a wife, mother, holy person, cook, housekeeper, sexy dresser, etc").

Self fulfilling prophecy? I'll never be good enough for him, he has demonstrated all the ways I'm not good enough for him, so it must be true. This leads to thoughts (before affair) of, "maybe I'm not good enough for anybody? Oh look- HE says I'm good enough..."

So, now I've accepted AP's attentions and really shown that NO I'm NOT good enough for BH, how will I ever be?

It's a hard mountain to climb, and I've been told to climb it alone.

I say I don't need his validation, but it is so crushing to have the one person you thought would have your back and fight the problems in life with you wash their hands from an early stage in the marriage and keep washing their hands of it until the end. I thought it was normal and healthy for 2 people in a marriage to support and encourage each other? He's not responsible for my core value as a person. I'm looking for a marriage where I can be a partner with someone who genuinely is cheer leading the other on from the sidelines as they run their races. Too often I've felt dumped off at the track meet with no shoes, water or uniform and told that unless I bring home the gold, I'm not worthy of their attention and praise.

Anyway, thanks for those who've listened. This year can already go fuck itself.

posts: 173   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8627428
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 MIgander (original poster Member #71285) posted at 9:52 PM on Friday, January 22nd, 2021

Also, to make clear, BH is not physically threatening. He doesn't make threats with words (other than him getting despondent or angry and lashing out). His angry tone, his belittlement of me during discussions, his demeaning of me and my efforts are hard to bear up under.

The reaction on my side is most sensitive to his belittlement. THAT stems back to my FOO. I watched my dad belittle my mom for YEARS and sit back and smirk when she inevitably flew off the handle. Mom never sought help for keeping her cool and ways to handle him, and dad never saw himself as part of the problem- he wasn't the emotional one, he was so logical and cool, so he MUST be fine and my mom the source of the problem. Guess whose marriage that sounds like? Mine.

Sooo... BH isn't overtly abusive in a physical way. He's emotionally degrading at times and often devoid of encouragement. His family didn't do encouragement- you either did the work correctly, or you didn't. You had to fix the problem and that was it. Since he's a PM at a tier 1, it's his job (like yours) to solve problems, fix them, and make sure the rollout of the program is as flawless as possible. Having that level of problem solving, control and privilege to call co-workers out on the carpet for their failures gave him the sense that he had the right to be just as harsh at home with his own family. That was accepted in his family, and at his work, so it should be fine at home.

Only it's not. He has worked to be gentler with the kids and has been better with me over the past year and a half or so. Largely with me I think he's been stuffing it and now has no more capacity to stuff. He's not in IC, and not interested in MC, doesn't think he needs either and again, I'm the only problem and I'm not trying hard enough and if I just did xyz he would finally be able to do abc for me.

I'm so hopeless and overwhelmed and angry and sad and depressed right now that I can't pay attention to my work, sleep or eat well. I force myself through the day and force myself through my chores and force myself to keep on keeping on. It's really sad looking ahead and trying to make plans for the year. Only 2 weeks ago we were both happily chatting about getting rid of the last bit of our unsecured debt, refinancing the house and paying off other debt and what we'd do with the extra income that would generate. We were talking about vacation with the kids, about me building a large veggie patch, him finishing the basement. All good stuff. We were even discussing going to Chicago for his 40th together just the 2 of us. I've been asking for YEARS for weekends just the 2 of us.

All that is now taken away. He wants IHS, I don't know what more I can do on my end right now to fix this without his help and participation. Maybe it's controlling? Is it reality? What the hell it is I don't know. I just know that right now I am out of hope.

Hopefully that's just emotion and not based in reality. So far though, the evidence from him has proven to exist in reality.

posts: 173   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8627432
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EllieKMAS ( Member #68900) posted at 9:57 PM on Friday, January 22nd, 2021

What follows is a typical example of our interactions. BH comes home from a night out running errands, and quickly criticizes my performance as a mother unfairly. He was triggered more harshly than usual as other BH's notice as minor things become all about the affair. He started in with "kids spelling words aren't down pat, IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT, WHY CAN'T I JUST GO OUT FOR ONE NIGHT AND COME HOME TO EVERYTHING BEING DONE RIGHT!! THIS IS SO HARD- YOU'RE NEVER HELPFUL and I CAN'T TRUST YOU IN ANYTHING!" Everything tends to become about the affair and not the situation at hand. Part and parcel of the reactivity and hyper-vigilance I've foisted upon him w/ my affair. Instead of calmly stating, "I understand you're upset and disappointed. I did the best I could, I made sure DD did her spelling HW and quizzed her until she got them right with me. DS's HW was behind and we did it to the best knowledge I had. The HW rubric was not posted on any of the classroom sites." I got defensive and raised my voice (not yelled- I've squashed the yelling).

I am going to preface what I am about to type out with this: yelling and all that is not okay and not healthy for anyone.

-However-

As a BS... the triggers are insane. I'm a woman and I suffer from PMS. You know when you're PMSing and the smallest most inconsequential thing (like your socks feeling annoying on your feet, or the towels not folding right, or the sound of the dog licking his paw makes you literally want to scream) can make you so over-emotional, and you KNOW intellectually that you're being overly emotional and borderline ridiculous but you just can't stop it? Yeah, infidelity triggers are like that times a million. The triggers from infidelity are so insidious, and they can happen at the weirdest times and for the smallest thing.

I have been D'd for over a year and I had one the other day - I remember pictures my xwh had saved on his phone of the ap where she was dressed in a mint green corset and I saw a mint green top in a catalog and it pissed me off - I tore the page out and crumpled it up and said some curse words. Do I know that's completely and utterly ridiculous? Yes, I do. Did it stop that gut churny angry feeling? No it didn't.

I know for me when I was still attempting R, I really did not feel like I had any control of when something would hit me hard. I've gotten a lot better at it, but things still make me twitchy even now. It is just part of things for the BS unfortunately.

I imagine it must be difficult as the WS to deal with times when your BS triggers because they can seem so off the wall and nonsensical and not even related to the situation at hand. Please have patience with him when he is having one of those moments. He does need to learn to manage his triggers in a healthier way, but that takes time and practice to get there.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"Being weird is just a side effect of being awesome."– Unknown

posts: 3138   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8627435
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Username123 ( Member #77150) posted at 10:24 PM on Friday, January 22nd, 2021

Inappropriate

[This message edited by SI Staff at 7:06 PM, January 22nd (Friday)]

posts: 223   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2021
id 8627444
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WalkinOnEggshelz ( Moderator #29447) posted at 11:00 PM on Friday, January 22nd, 2021

Username123 you have a pm.

Me: WS late 40’s
Him: BH (HoldingTogether)
D Day: 7/24/2010
If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

posts: 14259   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2010   ·   location: Texas
id 8627455
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sundance ( Member #72129) posted at 3:53 PM on Saturday, January 23rd, 2021

I'm so hopeless and overwhelmed and angry and sad and depressed right now that I can't pay attention to my work, sleep or eat well. I force myself through the day and force myself through my chores and force myself to keep on keeping on. It's really sad looking ahead and trying to make plans for the year. Only 2 weeks ago we were both happily chatting about getting rid of the last bit of our unsecured debt, refinancing the house and paying off other debt and what we'd do with the extra income that would generate. We were talking about vacation with the kids, about me building a large veggie patch, him finishing the basement. All good stuff. We were even discussing going to Chicago for his 40th together just the 2 of us. I've been asking for YEARS for weekends just the 2 of us.

All that is now taken away. He wants IHS, I don't know what more I can do on my end right now to fix this without his help and participation.

What is IHS?

And I'm sending massive HUGS and good vibes to you right now.

Any chance you'd be able to take a weekend away just for yourself? You sound like you need a respite ASAP.

Why do you think the IC "quit working" for you? Are you at odds with the advice your IC has given you -vs- what you continue to do in your day-to-day life?

Can you build in more "you" time-- like walking the dog? Since you and your H both work, is H helping with the household chores-- doing his fair share in helping with tidying up?

I hear you saying that you need his help. And that his answer is that you are undeserving of his help. Did I get that right? So, you have to earn back his help? Did the two of you make a check-list that you can be held accountable to/for? Sounds juvenile, and something you'd do for a middle-schooler that wasn't keeping up his/her end a bargain, but I'm thinking it would be helpful for you to have something drafted that you BOTH agree on and that would help keep BOTH of you accountable.

Ex: you are responsible for accomplishing A,B,C before he gets home from the office every day. If you accomplish those things, H agrees that you get a smiley face for the day, and he doesn't get the luxury of exploding at you on a whim (win-win for the both of you).

You can also do a chart for venting time-- this worked well for me and H. We drafted one, with the help of our MC. I can't remember the specifics, but H was given a certain amount of time to vent his frustrations with me/the A-- but once that time ended (or if he didn't use the time), H agreed to live peacefully under the same roof with me and the kids. Eventually we didn't need this chart-- but boy was I grateful for it in the beginning.

So hopeful that you can turn this around. Please continue to reach out for support. You are loved and I heard you.

Rusty: You scared?
Linus: You suicidal?
Rusty: Only in the morning.

posts: 78   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2019   ·   location: USA
id 8627545
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 MIgander (original poster Member #71285) posted at 4:36 PM on Saturday, January 23rd, 2021

Sundance, thanks for the kind words.

IHS is in house separation.

We were able to come back together and work some things out last night/this morning. I shared how I felt I'd never be good enough for him, that I had to become perfect before he'd love me and how alone I've felt. He's felt alone too. He wants my joyful companionship and to feel that I really do like him. We agreed to work together to be more supportive of each other, to work on being more open with our hearts.

The things you've listed are very helpful. BH does do a lot with the kids (helps w/ HW, school, chores, fun time and activities) and has started cleaning dishes in the kitchen while I put the kids to bed. He does his own laundry too, which is helpful. We're both awful with letting it sit around too long. I think we both have 3 weeks worth of clothes because we both hate washing/folding/putting away .

As for MC, I'm going to see if I can be better with joyful companionship and work on the self talk of not being worthy of him.

We've made lists of things for me to do to show my love/ determination to be in the marriage with him. Problem is, it felt like another burden on me and too much like one of the check lists and laundry list of flaws/disappointments that he had with me. I think, with my baggage with myself and his perfectionism, it's wiser to work on how we are BEING as a couple than what we are DOING as a couple? Like, if you get the heart right, the rest will be easier to do?

IC is helpful in terms of being able to vent and reframe my thinking. It's the concrete day to day interactions I need help with. That's why I wanted MC- not to bitch about how bad he is, but to practice concrete ways of interacting in a safe space. Ways to interject joy and humor into our conflicts and come out stronger. We both don't know what we're doing in that area, and I'd like some actual coaching on it. Not the traditional talk therapy- tactical stuff to build trust between us.

So, I'm getting back on the horse and he's opening up a bit and we're hoping to mend. I'm going to really focus on opening up to him on my fears and hurts in a more trusting and gentle way. He's going to try doing the same.

Triggers are a bitch and I think he was triggering hard (per EKMAS). This week was rough.

Thanks everyone for the support.

posts: 173   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8627554
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EllieKMAS ( Member #68900) posted at 7:52 PM on Saturday, January 23rd, 2021

Problem is, it felt like another burden on me and too much like one of the check lists and laundry list of flaws/disappointments that he had with me.

Maybe the list-making isn't ideal, but I think it would behoove you to pay very close attention to what's on his list of things you need to do. A lot of those to-do items speak to the larger underlying issues that he really needs you to work on.

Ex: I made lists too. Things like 'plan a date night', 'help clean the bathrooms', etc. The larger issue was that my xwh paid little to no attention to nurturing our marriage at all. He had plenty of complaints about how 'we never tried anything new' or 'he felt like all I cared about was staying home and cleaning'. But truthfully, I worked 50+ hours a week keeping a roof over our heads and foods in our bellies and by the time I got to the weekend I was exhausted (rightfully so!). Asking him to put forth a little effort wasn't wrong for me to do. And as it turns out my asking him to do any of it "felt like constant criticism" from his perspective.

All of that to say, dig into your BH's list and see if you can identify the underlying issue behind the request. Cus I can almost guarantee you it ain't really about household chores.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"Being weird is just a side effect of being awesome."– Unknown

posts: 3138   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8627584
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Twinkies ( Member #56551) posted at 4:54 PM on Sunday, January 24th, 2021

As a BS be careful with not paying attention to thay list. It may feel like a list of how you are not good enough but i having an affair you food him nothing he had done or was/is is good enough for you. Now with this list he's telling you what he need to see from you. You deciding its not worth trying is going to reinforce that fact and show to him he's not worth your time/effort.

Pick a few items you could v work on AND as EllieK suggested ask him what the things on the list mean to him. What they make him feel like.

You have told us what you felt before the affair have you asked him? Do you know? How is your reluctance to do the items on the list reinforcing those thoughts for him? How did the affair reinforce those thoughts?

I remember shortly after shit hit the fan we went an eyeglasses place. The guy working there had things us one thing and did another. I was frustrated and expresses that. Did not make a scene but was not nice when expressing my frustration. My H made a look or something that he was frustrated with me and that sent me in to a spiral about how awful a person I was and that it total made sense what he did and that he was leaving (he didn't leave) and tapped into ways I felt not enough in the past as a response to his actions.

If you want him to feel like you're making the effort it needs to be in ways that mean something to him. Otherwise he might not see it or it can feel like once again (like the affair) it's about you and how you want to things. I know you want and have asked for xyz but that makes me uncomfortable so I'm going to do abc instead and wouldn't it be great if you helped me with abc too?

posts: 128   ·   registered: Dec. 26th, 2016
id 8627704
Topic is Sleeping.
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