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Wayward not bothered at all by scenes of adultery

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HowCouldSheDoIt posted 4/20/2021 11:27 AM

I'm a betrayed, wife had a sexual fling while on vacation about six months ago. Glossing over a lot of details, she confessed and we've been trying to reconcile.

A few days ago we were watching a show when a one night stand / hookup scene came on. I got triggered and very uncomfortable. I didn't fast forward as it was over quickly, but she could tell I didn't like it and she asked "does that scene bother you?" and I said yes, then I asked her "Did it bother you at all?" and she (almost defiantly) answered "No."

So I'm kind of hurt by that, it feels like she obviously doesn't have a deep regret. I would have expected her to have some difficulty with those scenes, at least watching them in front of me.

So I don't know, I guess I'm looking to see if something like that is an indicator of future trouble. I will say that she never was a good listener nor had a good ability to express empathy, so maybe I'm just sensitive to that?

asc1226 posted 4/20/2021 11:50 AM

she confessed and we've been trying to reconcile.

Did she confess entirely of her own volition, or did you have suspicions and confront? What are your terms for R? Has she been meeting these and has she done extra work on her own?

then I asked her "Did it bother you at all?" and she (almost defiantly) answered "No."

Have you voiced your concerns over this? Has she been “defiant” or defensive about any other aspects of R or about her affair?

[This message edited by asc1226 at 11:51 AM, April 20th (Tuesday)]

hikingout posted 4/20/2021 11:57 AM

I am a ws and I think your concerns here are valid.

I will also say it takes a long time to realize all the damage you created - to your spouse, your marriage and even to yourself. Once you can really take that in remorse is an unshakeable force. You are right that your wife is not there yet as she has an obvious lack of empathy.

I am not saying it will stay that way, but what is she doing to work on herself? Is she in IC? Is she reading anything? What's she doing for you? My guess is the answers to this are weak.

She needs to figure how how and why she was able to do what she did to you and make changes accordingly. Until she is willing to do that and motivated then she isn't a safe partner for you. I would recommend reading about the 180 in the healing library to protect yourself until (if) the time comes that she is able to recognize all of this. 6 months is early in the process, I can honestly say I wasn't there then either. There are no assurances she ever will or won't. Just know what you are recognizing is valid and true.

Thumos posted 4/20/2021 12:09 PM

HowCouldSheDoIt, I think you're seeing the regret vs. remorse dichotomy play out in real time here.

What you've outlined from your WW is the behavior of someone who doesn't get it and lacks empathy. The (almost defiant) tone you picked up on was, in fact, defiance.

Has your WW read How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair? Has she given you a written plan for how she plans on implementing the books details in concrete detail?

Someone who is, in the words of the author of that very important book, moving from being a destroyer to a healer would NEVER even semi-defiantly proclaim that a scene of adultery in a show didn't bother her.

WontBeFooledAgai posted 4/20/2021 12:23 PM

You know, if there is any pattern I am seeing on here, the BHs that have the most success repairing their marriages are the ones who are the toughest on their WWs. The most successful Rs are the ones where the WW has had to go through a trial by fire to both fix herself and save the marriage. The Nice Guys who are too quick to reconcile, the ones who hide their pain and rage, seem to be the ones who end up losing.

OP, I am sorry to say this but I think the problems here run far deeper than any movie. Your WW hardly sounds even regretful, nevermind remorseful. Please think about my above paragraph when it comes to how you accepted your WW after her fling.

[This message edited by WontBeFooledAgai at 12:27 PM, April 20th (Tuesday)]

HowCouldSheDoIt posted 4/20/2021 12:29 PM

asc: Yes, confessed entirely of her own. I didn't really dictate terms for R, but some of my requests have been honored like avoiding triggers and putting away reminders, and not wear our rings. She also as of a few weeks ago has been making more of an effort to treat me nicer. Biggest issue though is that I'm not allowed to share my pain or my hurt, and she refuses to identify with my feelings. She calls these conversations negative even though I'm doing my best to follow the Gottman gentle startup and avoid the horsemen. She just doesn't want to talk, and whenever I get emotional or bring something up, she gets annoyed and defensive.

hiking: I would say I feel safe, we have a long way to go yet but it has been stable. I appreciate what you're saying and it feels validating to hear. If I could ask you, if 6 months was too early for you to be ready to turn it around, how long was it?

HouseOfPlane posted 4/20/2021 12:41 PM

then I asked her "Did it bother you at all?" and she (almost defiantly) answered "No."
I wouldn't hesitate to ask her if it made her aroused, if it brought back fond memories, if her situation was similar, etc.

Don't be afraid to drag her down the rathole a little bit. Let her see what scenes like that make you think. If humanly possible, discuss non-emotionally, like she was your friend.

So I'm kind of hurt by that...

She likely has no idea how much it hurts you. Let her peek into the rathole.

If she then understands it but remains unbothered, you've got (more) problems.

hikingout posted 4/20/2021 12:47 PM

If I could ask you, if 6 months was too early for you to be ready to turn it around, how long was it?

Probably 9 or 10 months. I was in IC the entire time, and working hard at it. It takes a while to learn that your thoughts and perceptions were so skewed and what they should have been.

asc1226 posted 4/20/2021 13:02 PM

Biggest issue though is that I'm not allowed to share my pain or my hurt, and she refuses to identify with my feelings. She calls these conversations negative

So she’s willing to do the work for reconciliation as long as it doesn’t make her feel bad? Yeah, if she didn’t want to get dirty she should have stayed out of the sewer. She wants to rugsweep the hard parts and avoid consequences. This is not remorse. This is the equivalent of apologizing by sending you cute cat videos. The trauma you have sustained is not going to sit quietly in the corner unaddressed forever. The longer it takes for her to get this, the less likely it will be that you give much of damn about what she’s willing to do.

crazyblindsided posted 4/20/2021 13:12 PM

Biggest issue though is that I'm not allowed to share my pain or my hurt, and she refuses to identify with my feelings. She calls these conversations negative even though I'm doing my best to follow the Gottman gentle startup and avoid the horsemen. She just doesn't want to talk, and whenever I get emotional or bring something up, she gets annoyed and defensive.

This is not at all remorseful or supportive. In fact it is exactly what she needs to do, listen to and understand your pain, to reach any kind of humility for what she has done. This is rugsweeping. She can be nice all day but doesn't want to discuss the meat of the issues. My STBX also told me I was being negative or living in the past whenever I brought up the A and how I felt. That I was trying to bring him down special snowflakes they are.

Not a good sign she has issues with empathy too and that coincides with the behavior above.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 1:14 PM, April 20th (Tuesday)]

Bigheart2018 posted 4/20/2021 13:22 PM

My Friend,

Your wife had dictated terms for R and you have accepted it. Your path of R is destined for failure due to your wife's lack of empathy.

Best

HowCouldSheDoIt posted 4/20/2021 16:57 PM

BigHeart: You make a good point, what I did is I accepted the premise of "Stay married if you can" where a better premise might have been "Divorce unless..."

I guess the good news is that there is no expiration date.

nekonamida posted 4/20/2021 19:47 PM

There is no expiration date. And nothing is set in stone either. If you do decide to D and she turns this around by doing some of the things you need her to, the D can be stopped too. You have more power than you know.

BraveSirRobin posted 4/20/2021 20:19 PM

You know, if there is any pattern I am seeing on here, the BHs that have the most success repairing their marriages are the ones who are the toughest on their WWs. The most successful Rs are the ones where the WW has had to go through a trial by fire to both fix herself and save the marriage. The Nice Guys who are too quick to reconcile, the ones who hide their pain and rage, seem to be the ones who end up losing.
I think extremes in either direction are problematic. There have been cases here where uncontrolled rage from a BS really made it advisable for the WS to extract themselves from the marriage. However, I agree that the pick-me dance is never a good idea. A cake eater will continue mooching around the buffet as long as the desserts keep getting replenished.

The1stWife posted 4/20/2021 20:44 PM

Not a good sign.

My H was the same way. Still in the affair fog. Then the affair resumed.

However at dday2 he was a very different person and knew all the mistakes he made. Including not being remorseful months prior.

No remorse = no reconciliation

WontBeFooledAgai posted 4/20/2021 22:31 PM

@BraveSirRobin,

I am coming to believe that if anything, it is much better to err on the side of being too much the asshole.

But even besides that, I don't think this forum gives a uniform sample of the men out there. It does seem that almost every poster here including myself included, is too much of a Nice Guy. We could stand to be much better when it comes to standing up against unacceptable situations.

[This message edited by WontBeFooledAgai at 10:47 PM, April 20th (Tuesday)]

BraveSirRobin posted 4/20/2021 22:49 PM

I am coming to believe that if anything, it is much better to err on the side of being too much the asshole.
Actually, I agree. It's just that there's a wide range between being firm and going nuclear. Neither my BH nor I endorse abusive treatment, but we both believe he'd have been better off giving me an immediate ultimatum on D-Day 1. It wouldn't necessarily have improved our chances of reconciliation (though I think it probably would have), but it undoubtedly would have helped his healing -- with or without me.

I'm sad that "nice guy" is a derogatory term. Being resolute, empowered, and respectful of yourself are not characteristics of assholery, and "nice" does not equal "weak."

WontBeFooledAgai posted 4/20/2021 23:56 PM

There definitely is a big range between being firm and going nuclear. I have found myself rooting for reconciliation in a few stories, where the WW is clearly remorseful and has done the work.

You can be kind and compassionate without being weak, but after your partner stepped out, the only self-preserving and appropriate thing to do is to set a strong certain boundary. Just as we would have to fight against anyone who would do us or our family harm. We have to have that gear when we need it. For better or worse.

[This message edited by WontBeFooledAgai at 11:57 PM, April 20th (Tuesday)]

Booyah posted 4/21/2021 06:26 AM

She refuses to hear your pain?

These conversations are "negative"?

So you are NOT in reconciliation.

She's not bothered by the hook up scene speaks volumes on who she is.

Sounds to me that your cheating wife is driving this so called R and she wants this to be forgotten and unfortunately you're obliging.

The question is why??

She cheated on you and it's very obvious that there's NO remorse on her part.

Just shut up and forget it!!

You're OK with this?

This woman STABBED YOU IN THE HEART (not just any woman but your freaking WIFE) and you're laying there bleeding and in pain and she tells you to "shut up...I don't want to hear how much in pain you are"???

Brother WAKE THE F UP!!!!

Is this who you want to spend your life with??

Is this what you call love?

Has her actions shown you (or in this case NON actions) that she's a safe partner??

Let's cut to chase, you came here to SI either to vent or to get advice. This is an infidelity site.

So the question I would ask you is what are you so afraid of?

Are you afraid if you stand up for yourself she's going to leave you?

Listen your marriage is dead!!

If you're OK staying in a dead marriage fine have at it.

If you're trying to change things because what's going on is killing you inside than you NEED to stand up and say to her "this shit isn't working".

From here on out here's what you're DEMANDING from her and if she can't do it you're going to divorce her (and Don't say this unless you're prepared to do it).

Fear is what's keeping you from doing what you know you need to be doing.

Fear of her?
Fear of being alone?
Fear of what others may say?
Fear of starting over?
Fear of speaking your truth?
Fear of what this would do to your kids (if you have children)?

Is this really how you want to live your life 24/7 seven days a week?

Is this what you envisioned when you asked her to marry you?

Your wife betrayed you and she's not shown you one ounce that she truly gets what she's done to you.

IT'S ALL ABOUT HER.
HER FEELINGS.
HER DEMANDS.
WHAT SHE WANTS (and she wanted some stranger to have sex with while on vacation).

She's shown you who and what she really is the question is why aren't you believing her??

This is obviously bothering you or you wouldn't be here (an infidelity site) and it should be bothering you.

Your wife has shown you that she's not a safe partner nor she is someone who values and respects you.

You can sweep this under the carpet but rest assured she is going to do this again and in the meantime your daily existence is going to be inner turmoil because you'll know you didn't have the guts to stand up for yourself and the pain that you're feeling now is only going to grow.

Is this what you really want?

The choice is up to you and that's all it takes....to make a decision that this is NOT working for you....that this is NOT what reconciliation is about...that it's a gift that ONLY YOU CAN EXTEND but most importantly your cheating wife has to have shown you that she's worthy of such a gift.

She shows you by her actions.
That she truly gets that her betrayal has caused you immense pain and she's going to do whatever she can to help you heal.

That means LISTENING to you if you want to talk about it...even if that means talking about it every single day!!

Answering any and all questions.

Social media becomes open for you to check at any time you want (cell, texts, emails, ipad, computer, etc etc).

Be willing to take a polygraph to confirm that what she's telling you is the truth.

Has she ever had any other affairs?

Her getting into counseling to find out why she did this.

I can go on and on but as you can see it takes a lot of work to potentially build a new relationship after your wife killed your marriage.

They say it takes two to five years.

There's consequences to her actions and she hasn't had to suffer ANY. Why? Because she's making the rules and for some crazy reason you're sitting there letting her????

Are you good with being stabbed in the back bleeding and in pain and desperately needing her help and she looks you in the eyes and says "SHUT UP....quit complaining....I do NOT WANT TO HEAR IT"??

If yes suck it up and live in misery but know you are the one who's keeping you where you are.

If not decide to stand up for yourself and do what you need to do for YOU!!

If that means she winds up getting on board because she sees you're serious and she's willing to put in the work to do whatever YOU NEED (not what she wants) than great maybe the two of you can attempt true reconciliation.

If not, she's sticking to her guns and isn't willing to see the error of her ways, you file the divorce papers and go your separate ways.

The choice is yours and all I can say to you is choose wisely and have the courage to face your fears!!!

Hippo16 posted 4/21/2021 06:51 AM

HowCouldSheDoIt

Booyah posted @ 7:22 what I would post if he had not beat me to it.

I suggest you read it slowly a few times and write down answers to all the posers in the post.

BTW, did you get VD tested?

Also, you don't have any history of your marriage in your posts - seems some things missing in your relationship.

then:


Yes, confessed entirely of her own.

How did this "confession" come about?

Given the sparse information you have here regarding your relationship - thought comes to me that she "confessed" to rub your nose in her moral transgression.

Add that the rest of your statements regarding her spoken attitude - It seems to me that she is baiting you to divorce her.

I suggest you get a copy of No More Mr. Nice Guy and read at least twice.

[This message edited by Hippo16 at 6:52 AM, April 21st (Wednesday)]

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