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Feel Bad

Camel posted 4/15/2021 11:38 AM

Anyone else feel bad for there cheating spouse while going through all this bullshit? I can see she is doing her best to try. Maybe just a soft spot for me because I do love her.

Unhinged posted 4/15/2021 12:37 PM

It took me a long time to feel much empathy for my FWW. I was in too much pain to really care. It was at least a year after d-day and probably around the two-year antiversary.

Infidelity, I think, is self-destructive. The rest of us--betrayed, family, friends, careers--are but the collateral damage. It's hard, sometimes, not to feel sorry for someone who deliberately choses to blow-up their own lives.

Empathy is a good sign. Just remember that it's her job to pick herself up, unlearn some untruths about herself, and become a healthier version of herself.

Tanner posted 4/15/2021 12:40 PM

Yes, after she became remorseful and I realized how she was hurting I did feel for her. But, I will not spare her the pain, triggers and intrusive thoughts I have.

Underserving posted 4/15/2021 13:48 PM

I sometimes feel compassion towards my husband. He really is ashamed of his actions, and all of the damage he has done to our family. Iím sure itís a heavy burden to carry.

Most of the time I still want to punch him. Lol

Apparition posted 4/15/2021 14:28 PM

My feelings vacillate. Some days I have empathy for the shame over what she has done, the pain over the hurt she has caused, and even the fear and uncertainty she's created in her life. I even have empathy for her selfishness, who among us hasn't been selfish on occasion? I feel the humanity of us all being sinners. I see her current works and wonder if its a new her or a repentant her, and I think positive thoughts.

But then some days I feel very little empathy for her because I know she did not care about me, she did not think about me, and she is capable of doing it again. Also - getting over the A has been much easier than recovering from her post A treatment and lies. Anyone that has done a thing is capable of doing that thing again - it's proven. So my empathy for the consequences just dries up when I have these thoughts. Besides, what consequences really? Once they get forgiven, they have no debt to pay and proceed with seemingly very little on their conscience.

BetterNowReally posted 4/15/2021 18:35 PM

My wife hid two affairs from me for two decades and most of the worst details of the third affair for about 13 years. She could not completely hide the third one because I caught her.
When she finally told me "everything" (not really), she then insisted that we never talk about it ever again.
I tried my best (stupid, I know), but as you might imagine, that was impossible.
For many years after that, if I broke down and brought it up, she would cry. She knew I could not stand to see her cry or feel bad, so I would then just drop it. I really did feel bad for her. To this day, I am not sure if the tears were from legitimate shame or just more manipulation. They certainly were not from any type of true remorse.
After a few decades of that, I started to get tired of it. After reading fora like this and getting into therapy with a really good therapist, I realized that I needed to stop letting her get away with using her tears to shut me up.
One time when I was not dropping it, she actually told that she was now the "victim" because I would not let it go and "get over it."
Not long after that I really started standing up for myself. One night I made her talk it out with me, and continued to do so until I got everything I needed from her.
One thing I made her understand was that I was no longer going to put up with her little pity parties. I thought that was more selfishness on her part. She had done absolutely nothing to address the pain and living hell she put me through, mostly with her post-affair behavior even more than the betrayal itself, yet she wanted me to be feel sorry for the shame she put on herself with her own horrible actions.
She did thereafter accept that if I needed to talk, she had to talk. And we had MANY talks after that, whether she felt bad or cried or not.
Ultimately, it helped her, too. She got it. She changed. She became what I now consider a great wife. She is now caring, unselfish, empathetic, doting, etc. etc., etc. She is now the wife I always dreamed she would be. I was pretty skeptical at first since she knew I was considering leaving her, but she has kept it up for over a year and half with total consistency.
At this point, we rarely discuss the affairs or even her post-affair awfulness. But if we had never done it, we would not be where we are today, which is very happy with each other.
I know now she does feel pretty terrible about everything she did. I am not unsympathetic to that. I do feel somewhat bad for her.
I do not see anything wrong with feeling bad for someone who is struggling with the devastation caused by their own misconduct, especially someone you love. However, that can be taken too far. And some people use it to manipulate others. It is a delicate balance, kinda like most things in life, I guess.

Notaboringwife posted 4/15/2021 19:07 PM

It took me a couple of years before I could look at my husband and feel sympathetic understanding for the insecure man that he was in the past: pre, during and post his affair.

The1stWife posted 4/15/2021 22:19 PM

Occasionally yes I feel bad.

Itís called consequences.

HellFire posted 4/16/2021 08:06 AM

Are you still verbally abusing her?

What steps have you taken to stop?

Camel posted 4/16/2021 11:28 AM

I'm doing my best to not do that but the truth is that I am. When we argue things get said that should not be. I'm reading a very good book right now that has helped a little but like I said when we argue I tend to blow up on her.

HellFire posted 4/16/2021 14:04 PM

She's taking a lot of heat over her abuse claims. I think it would help her,and help the two of you, as a couple, put each other's usernames in your signatures.

The truth is, we get a lot of wayward wives who come here claiming abuse. Some have been. Many claim the normal response from a BS is abuse. Therefore many members are hesitant to believe abuse allegations.

Camel posted 4/16/2021 14:30 PM

Can you PM me how to do that? I don't have enough posts to message you myself.

HellFire posted 4/16/2021 14:35 PM


hikingout posted 4/16/2021 14:53 PM

Camel - Yes. Definitely.

In our case I had done the cheating first. His affair began 18 months later, and I found out about 18 months after that. For me, I already knew the struggles of a WS. I wouldn't have wanted him to have to know that side. I also think he has created a lot more pain for both of us and made the struggles that much harder.

Even though I have a lot of empathy for him, I do not choose to do the work for him. I do not choose to lead him to his work. I will not save him from natural consequences of his actions. It's tough love in a lot of ways because if we are busy saving them they have no reason for real reflection or change.

It was very difficult as a person who cheated to turn around and say I will leave if you do not do x,y, or z. But, it's in his best interest regardless if we stay together for him to find a better path to get on. I am better for having gone down that path of figuring out what the hell was wrong with me and what I needed to do about it.

One last piece of advice - keep in mind that we have other couples on this site. When the couples are newer things can be far more volatile between them and this creates some side taking on the forum. This puts a magnifying glass on a lot of things. There is no issue with both using the site but keep in mind that you need to have a firm grip on the idea that not every piece of advice or observation made is appropriate for your situation. Just think about if you guys have ground rule for engagement and be vigilant for a little while as to whether it improves the situation or complicates it.

Poppy704 posted 4/16/2021 15:58 PM

You should feel bad. You abused your wife and yet youíve faced zero consequences. Now you are taking her over the coals for an affair and you get the undeserved moral high ground and SI telling you that youíre right.

The fact that you feel sympathetic is a good thing. Go get help.

nekonamida posted 4/17/2021 11:22 AM

Are you in IC? How's that going?

Notaboringwife posted 4/17/2021 15:15 PM

Hi Camel, your question got me thinking hard.

A year ago, I would have said:" no way, I feel no empathy, no sympathy for my husband." I was still feeling outraged at what he had done to me and our family.

Today, I have moments where I feel sorry for him, he is the one who carries a label of a past cheater, he is the one who deceived me in the past, he is the one who has to make so many amends to me and our adult children. He is the one who has to learn how to cope with his insecurities. He is the one who is making a huge effort to help us heal from his bullshit.

ISurvivedSoFar posted 4/18/2021 06:25 AM

I think I had too much sympathy for him to my own detriment. I took on his pain with mine (as I had before) only this time it ended very differently. I learned that the role of fixer wasn't going to work with this type of infraction. Andin fact, it only served to restrict his ability to understand the depths of what he had done.

It was only when I started to take care of me without regard to him that he began to realize the value I placed on myself and therefore the value I required him to place on me. While I agree the disrespect a WS shows is first to themselves, the collateral damage to us is profound and a keen reminder to them of the depth of harm they caused. They only way for them to know it is by actions not just words.

I think the question you need to ask is whether your WS is trying to save her own shame or trying to right a wrong she's done to you. I suspect it is the former right now.

gmc94 posted 4/18/2021 08:04 AM

Somewhere during year 2 I began to find empathy - generally and for my WH.

And I share some of ISSF's views, in that I spent time with that empathy and compassion to my own detriment. Took awhile to allow the empathy to exist w/o letting it overshadow the need to work on my own self respect.

They only way for them to know it is by actions not just words.
Seems silly that should be a form of "lightbulb" for me, but it is. IOW, we spend a LOT of time educating BS about the need to see action from the WS and to not trust their words, but I don't think I've ever really SEEN that the same is true in reverse - that the WS seeing us respect ourselves by our actions can also be part of the equation. And I suppose that's what the enforcement of boundaries really is.

Guess I know what I'll be pondering for awhile :)

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