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Wayward not bothered at all by scenes of adultery

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This0is0Fine posted 4/25/2021 10:43 AM

-Staying married is the right thing to do, generally. My promise was for better or worse.
-I genuinely regret my prior behavior and want to make it up to her. This failure is a huge shame for me.
-I'm so hurt by her decision to bring another man into the mix. I haven't forgiven her for that yet.
-I'm very frustrated by her unwillingness (inability?) to emotionally identify with me here, and frankly quite hurt.
-I'm scared of starting over financially, it would be a big hit. This doesn't control my decisions, but it is a factor.

1) You would be right if she hadn't broken your vows. The contract is void and in most religions the default for adultery is divorce (and sometimes death).
2) Your failure has nothing to do with the affair. Stop comingling them. Stop shifting blame to yourself.
3+4) You aren't even at the starting line. She has hurt you and doesn't care.
5) Material factors are important. I'm not going to pretend like they aren't. Read the fear vs reality thread in the D/S forum.

sisoon posted 4/25/2021 11:13 AM

What I don;t see in your list is the answer to the question, 'What do I want?'

If you and your W jointly decide to make an M that you both want and that serves you both, do you want to spend the rest of your life with her?

If 'yes', R is likely to be worth a shot. If 'no', you might as well D now.

If you don't know the answer, your best bet is probably to work on yourself and on your M for now. That will allow you to gather the data you need to decide between D & R.

My reco is to go with the outcome that promises the best long term payoff. It may take some time to figure out what that is. This decision will affect decades of your life. It's worth putting some time into it.

You would be right if she hadn't broken your vows. The contract is void and in most religions the default for adultery is divorce (and sometimes death).
That's an opinion. I hold a different one - that the M continues until it is formally ended.

What counts most, however, is your opinion.

*****

A lot of BSes consider RAs. (My W gave me a hall pass, but I rejected it. Why would I want to fuck someone who was willing to fuck a married man?)

In the end, I saw that an RA is just another A.

[This message edited by sisoon at 11:16 AM, April 25th (Sunday)]

HowCouldSheDoIt posted 4/25/2021 12:35 PM

What do I want?

A faithful wife and a time machine.

Other than that, this is the future I want with her:

#1) We have full forgiveness for everything. We both do what we need to do to be able to have a clean slate.
#2) Improved skills for communication and conflict. To manage both in a way that brings us closer.
#3) A commitment to cherish each other
#4) A commitment to pursuing mutual interests
#5) I want to retire in 3 years (I have some flexibility here, my main purpose though is I don't want to work for another 15 years just to have a higher standard of living)
#6) Ideally everyday, but time each week for me to do something creative, and a space for it. Music is my first choice (I have a dream to write, record and self-publish an album) and I also like other forms of art.

These are my non-negotiables, everything else can be addressed as needed assuming we have #2 and #3.

The first one is going to be the sticking point I think.

nekonamida posted 4/25/2021 16:30 PM

#1) We have full forgiveness for everything. We both do what we need to do to be able to have a clean slate.

Is she working towards forgiving you? Is she following through working on herself in order to be worthy of your forgiveness?

Keep in mind that a clean slate will not fix this. She needs to understand how she went from faithful wife to cheater otherwise she can't prevent it from happening again. A clean slate implies that you just want to rugsweep and pretend the past didn't happen but you can't reach forgiveness without understanding how it happened and being guaranteed (as best as possible) that it will never happen again.

#2) Improved skills for communication and conflict. To manage both in a way that brings us closer.

Is she working towards this? What is she doing to improve her communication and work out conflict with you?

#3) A commitment to cherish each other

Is she committing to cherishing you? Is she following through with words/actions if she has?

#4) A commitment to pursuing mutual interests

Is she offering up any mutual interests to explore? Is she willing to give some of yours a try?

[This message edited by nekonamida at 4:30 PM, April 25th (Sunday)]

HowCouldSheDoIt posted 4/26/2021 07:59 AM

Supposedly she has forgiven me. I don't call her a liar but I don't feel forgiven.

The CleanSlate is important to me because I don't want to be one of those couples who is still dealing with issues many years down the road (I've read stories about people who never forgave and were still troubled 20 years later). It is a direction for her, to suggest a reason why it is good to deal with all of it, her feelings, motivations, changes she'll make, everything.

The rest of the areas, is she pulling her weight? Is she committed to fixing things? Is she showing her committment? No, she isn't. I put the status of our marriage in a "do no further harm" category, she avoids triggers and reminders, is nicer to me, has done things I've asked for (like touch me three times a day). She has not moved into "healing mode" yet. But, these are my non-negotiables, she knows them, and assuming she doesn't decide to walk away we'll get there, I just don't know the timing.

DaddyDom posted 4/26/2021 09:01 AM

Goals #2 through #6 are fantastic. However, Goal #1 will make those goals, and any other goals, impossible to achieve (in my opinion).

#1) We have full forgiveness for everything. We both do what we need to do to be able to have a clean slate.

The thing is, all of your other goals, are ones based on connection, communication, honesty, integrity, vulnerability, authenticity, and so on. We simply cannot have those things without taking ownership and accountability for who we are and what we've done. Otherwise, we are simply rug-sweeping.

Please don't misunderstand me. I think what you are saying here is that you don't want this to be something you can't "move forward" from by getting stuck in it. You can move forward, and even build something much better and much stronger together, but that new relationship needs to be built on a frame of accountability, honesty, a willingness to own and grow from our mistakes, and a determination to be people of integrity. Forgiving each other, and ourselves, is a great step. Just understand that forgiveness, and a clean slate, are two entirely different things. Forgiving doesn't mean forgetting, nor does it mean that what happened was okay. Forgiveness is a decision we make in order to respect and unburden ourselves. It is never absolution. Either we learn and grow from the past, or we repeat it.

To be honest with you, speaking as someone who is 5 years into R, one of the most helpful things we've done is to see the infidelity as a "shared story". It is something that happened to both of us, a history we share, and while it is a painful and horrible history that we never want to repeat, it is also something we survived, together, and if nothing else, it is simply what happened, and that cannot be denied.

One of the very best approaches to building a new relationship together (and re-building our new individual selves as well) is to look back at what doesn't work, what failed, and what we regret most, as our guide. Lying didn't work out well, so we move forward as honestly as we can. Not taking ownership when we did wrong failed, so moving forward, we become authentic. Avoiding conflict only caused things to get worse, so moving foward, we talk about the hard things before they fester. So on and so on.

I know it might sound sad on its surface, and it is of course, but there is also something incredibly beautiful about two people, leaning into each other, surviving the unsurvivable together, and fighting like hell to make it work moving forward. That is a foundation that is rock solid. It provides for imperfection. It provides for failure. It provides for when things get tough again, and they will. It also provides for joy, and growth, and honesty, and shared emotions, and friendship, and love, and all the good things in life.

That's my two cents. Take what works for you and leave the rest.

HowCouldSheDoIt posted 4/26/2021 10:50 AM

DaddyDom you have a wisdom and force that I want badly to see in my WW.

In your message I see an initiative and sense of responsibility that I want badly to see in my WW.

This is almost worthy of a post by itself, but I see forgiveness as different levels, although I don't know if "forgiveness" is the right word in all cases. What you wrote:

Forgiveness is a decision we make in order to respect and unburden ourselves. It is never absolution.

I would call that "acceptance" or I've also read "pardon" because in my mind, forgiveness is absolution. Forgiveness requires the other person to ask and repent; acceptance requires nothing from the other person. How do you absolve if you don't know everything? How do you forgive if you still have unresolved issues? How do you forgive if you're concerned it is going to happen again? You can't, and this is why I need this stuff resolved so that I can forgive.

I want to say I've reached acceptance although I still struggle a bit with resentment...

sisoon posted 4/26/2021 11:04 AM

I, too, question making forgiveness a goal.

And there's no clean slate without wiping out memory, and I think wiping out memories wipes out a piece of oneself ... a downright bad thing to do.

Back to forgiveness: my definition of this is something like 'giving up all thought/desire to see the other person punished, and giving up all desire for revenge.' What's your definition?

I see forgiveness and trust as 2 things that go together. Thousands of trust-building actions rebuild trust and earn forgiveness.

It's true that each of you chooses to give or not give forgiveness and trust - but IMO it needs to be based on actions.

To give trust without the actions just sets one up to be betrayed again by the same person.

To give forgiveness without the actions ... that sort of makes it worth what the forgiven person paid for it.

The rest of your wants look good. They're pretty much observable, so you'll know if you're getting what you want or not. If you're not, it's pretty clear what you need to do to get back on track.

Forgiveness, though ... it really isn't a requirement for R. If it comes, great; if it doesn't, not necessarily a deal killer.

gmc94 posted 4/26/2021 11:31 AM

There is a book on forgiveness that I highly recommend - and not "just" for infidelity. It's called "How Can I Forgive You" by Janis Spring (and FWIW, Spring also has a book on infidelity that I think is AWFUL and would never recommend). Spring differentiates between "cheap" forgiveness, "earned" (or genuine) forgiveness, and acceptance.

Cheap forgiveness is basically deciding you want to forgive. Apparently that doesn't really work.
Acceptance is when the antagonist (in infidelity, the WS) is unwilling/unable to work to earn "genuine" forgiveness, and the harmed (here, the BS) does the healing work on their own to come to terms and accept and move forward.
The "gold standard" would be "genuine" or "earned" forgiveness, in which the antagonist/WS DOES THE WORK to earn the forgiveness of the person harmed/BS. IMO, the thing that can make R happen is when the WS does the work to get to what Spring calls "earned forgiveness".

Now, there are BS who would say they are Rd or "in R", but are very clear they have not "forgiven" the WS. IMHO, in those situations, the semantics of Spring get tricky, bc those BS will almost always say they've "accepted" the infidelity & aftermath. So, if viewed in the context of Spring's book, the elements of earned forgiveness seem to be present, and all that's kind of "left" is actually saying it (that's overly simplistic, but I think you get my drift.... it's like making an agreement, putting it in writing, and everyone saying "yes, I agree to that", but just not signing the document).

Anyhow, I have gotten a lot of mileage from that book, from thinking about the work we have to do to accept/forgive, regardless of what the WS does (or does not).

HowCouldSheDoIt posted 4/26/2021 11:35 AM

Well I'm still struggling with all of this, but generally this is how I would define it:

'Moving past the issue such that it doesn't bear any consideration in the future. For practical purposes you remember it no more.'

What you wrote:

giving up all thought/desire to see the other person punished, and giving up all desire for revenge

This is acceptance. I can make this decision on my own, you don't need to be part of my life, you could be dead, nothing you do matters. This is a gift I give myself, and it has nothing to do with you.

To forgive however, you need to show me. You need to ask, you need to repent, you need to act in a way that warrants forgiveness.

For example, if my CFO embezzles money, I can accept or perhaps a better word is "pardon" and and I won't expect that money back. I do this for my and my business sake, to move on with our lives. The money is gone and I've written it off.

However, if I fully forgive them, they ask, repent, show signs of being trustworthy, etc. then after forgiveness I will hire them again to be my CFO.

I will never forget the hurt, but forgiveness in my mind means that the hurt caused is no longer a consideration. To get there it requires the other person.

DaddyDom posted 4/26/2021 11:54 AM

I don't want to thread jack anything, but want to mention quickly "The Book of Forgiving" by Desmond Tutu. He discusses what forgiveness is, how it works, how we go about forgiving ourselves, and even what to do when the person in question is no longer available.

As for the meaning, here is what I suggest.

What word, or situation, would you use to describe something in your life which caused you pain, and which is not and never will be acceptable or "okay" in any way, but which you also refuse to carry the burden of daily? Use that word to describe this process.

Forgiveness is simply a choice. The meaning behind it is that which you attach to it.

Part of this process, and this is true for both the WS and BS, is that we have to each define for ourselves what effect the infidelity had on us, and who we are going to be moving forward. It is a trauma, it changes us. We each get to respond to that trauma in our own way, however some choices will lead to continued pain, anger, or resentment, while others will open up paths to discovery, joy, peace. We don't always get to choose what happens to us in life, but we do always get to choose how to respond. We can choose to live carrying anger and resentment or choose to instead focus on joy.

Or another way to think of it... being angry at someone else is energy wasted on someone else, and negative energy to boot. Choosing to NOT spend energy on being angry and resentful is what I refer to as "Forgiveness". It is for the SELF, not someone else. You say to yourself, "Self! I love you entirely too much to allow you to waste one more second of your life being pissed off and hurt by something that is already over and that you cannot change in the present. So stop it. Starting today, I'm going to start focusing my energy on ME, on my future, my JOY, whatever makes me feel good about myself as a person. It doesn't mean I'm okay with what hurt me, I'm not. It just means I'm not going to waste my time on that which does not bring me joy and growth."

I hope some part of that works for you, it is only my opinion. There have been some great conversations about forgiveness on this forum, you can try searching for them. Just enter the name of the website along with your search terms into Google, and it will usually yield results.

HowCouldSheDoIt posted 4/26/2021 11:54 AM

Ok, interesting, I've never read that book, I arrived at my position mostly from reading discussion boards and other online resources.

It sounds like Spring's ideas are out there and they aren't being credited to her!!

I will have to check out that book, thank you so much.

HouseOfPlane posted 4/26/2021 14:18 PM

Some thoughts to ponder on...

However, if I fully forgive them, they ask, repent, show signs of being trustworthy, etc. then after forgiveness I will hire them again to be my CFO.

Is it possible to forgive them for the past, but never trust them for the future? Or vice versa?

Think about it...forgive is all (and ONLY) about the past. Trust is only about the future. Decouple the two.

To get there it requires the other person.
Why do you feel the person you forgive has to know they are forgiven?

What if it is a person who cut you off in traffic, causing an accident, long gone? Or your spouse passes away before you've forgiven them? A parent who you never resolved and issue with?

Are you then doomed to an eternity of being consumed by anger?

Is the forgiveness you are offering really a part of a power play? A manipulation to get a behavior you want?

Sending strength!

[This message edited by HouseOfPlane at 2:20 PM, April 26th (Monday)]

nekonamida posted 4/26/2021 14:52 PM

Supposedly she has forgiven me. I don't call her a liar but I don't feel forgiven.

The rest of the areas, is she pulling her weight? Is she committed to fixing things? Is she showing her committment? No, she isn't.

How do you see yourself going from here to where you want to be with her? How do you think you will get there?

HowCouldSheDoIt posted 4/26/2021 16:20 PM

Is the forgiveness you are offering really a part of a power play? A manipulation to get a behavior you want?

Ok, I see your point, of course not. I'm probably arguing for the sake of arguing.

Part of my view comes biblically; Jesus forgives when you repent. In that order, repentance, then forgiveness. If you don't want forgiveness, He won't offer it.

HowCouldSheDoIt posted 4/26/2021 16:45 PM

How do you see yourself going from here to where you want to be with her? How do you think you will get there?

What I want is to talk more frequently and openly, get validation and empathy for my feelings, get some assurance that it won't happen again, and continue with trust building behaviors.

I would like to see her initiate some discussions, I won't say that is a strict need but it would go a long way demonstrating she cares about my hurt and pain.

After that I don't know, but ultimately I would like some type of event, renewing vows or something that indicates a new marriage and a new start.

OwningItNow posted 4/26/2021 17:16 PM

Um, it seems your goals revolve around getting her to change, open up, and empathize. Can we really have goals that center around another person's changes? How will you go about getting these changes in her that you seek?

Goals for yourself?

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 5:18 PM, April 26th (Monday)]

nekonamida posted 4/26/2021 18:12 PM

What I want is to talk more frequently and openly, get validation and empathy for my feelings, get some assurance that it won't happen again, and continue with trust building behaviors.
I would like to see her initiate some discussions, I won't say that is a strict need but it would go a long way demonstrating she cares about my hurt and pain.

After that I don't know, but ultimately I would like some type of event, renewing vows or something that indicates a new marriage and a new start.

Have you told her all of this? What has her response been?

HowCouldSheDoIt posted 4/26/2021 19:46 PM

OIN:
I wouldn't say these are goals, rather more of a path forward. My goals right now are to continue to engage in IC and look for another MC to help forge a plan.

neko:
Yes, told her this. Major sticking point. She doesn't want to talk, if you remember in my earlier posts, she views these talks as too negative.

Well it isn't that she doesn't want to talk, she'll talk about stuff: about her day, about my day, things she has going on, stuff with her friends and the kids, etc. She'll talk business as usual. So long as I don't bring up any of my hurt or pain, things are fine.

We've gone for 4 weeks without talking about anything other than fluff. Typically it is about 1.5 weeks in between any kind of real talking, and usually because I'm bursting.

My IC suggested scheduling the conversations a couple times a week so that she can relax the other time and doesn't feel ambushed. She liked that idea and suggested once a week for an hour only, I proposed three times a week, she agreed to the 3x, but only for 30 min each time. Heaven forbid we confront the hurt and deal with it...

I know I should do more to make the marriage a more enjoyable place to be, and for her to feel emotionally safer. That surely is part of the problem here. I plan on finding another MC and work on an approach.

That's because generally, she's completely over things. She pretty much told me a few months ago that she wants me to work with my IC and figure out how I'm going to forgive her so we can move on. That is still her position although she is a little more careful now. because I told her how hurtful it was when she suggested this adultery was a "me" problem vs. an "us" problem.

I know many of you will be quick to tell me that she should be leading the effort, she should be helping to plan a path forward, she should be concerned about my feelings and checking in, etc. I couldn't agree more. But she isn't.

She is nicer to me, she has done small things for me around the house, makes meals I like, has brought home flowers, stuff I like. My IC, always the optimist, says these are good signs that we're in a better place than I would have you believe.

Other than scheduling time to talk, my IC has not really given me any action plan to try and draw her out, only saying "she's not ready." So I wait, and while I'm waiting I stand on the rug corners as she tries to lift them and sweep under. My IC suggests filling my mind with as many positive thoughts as I can, so that the negative thoughts don't take hold. Choose to look at the positive. Generally good advice, but really hard to do nowadays.

EllieKMAS posted 4/26/2021 20:32 PM

Oh dear...

Well it isn't that she doesn't want to talk, she'll talk about stuff: about her day, about my day, things she has going on, stuff with her friends and the kids, etc. She'll talk business as usual. So long as I don't bring up any of my hurt or pain, things are fine.

We've gone for 4 weeks without talking about anything other than fluff. Typically it is about 1.5 weeks in between any kind of real talking, and usually because I'm bursting.

This is a huge flapping red flag. How convenient for her. She gets to cheat then say it's your fault and do zero work on why SHE chose to go outside your marriage. I'm not being gentle with you cus I got sucked into that glue trap too. HER CHOOSING TO ENGAGE IN AN AFFAIR HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. You were in the same exact marriage. You didn't go sleep with another woman.

Her cheating is about her poor boundaries and brokenness. I don't care if you were the worst husband on the planet (spolier alert, you ain't), she could have handled her martial issues by literally ANY other means.

Please stop accepting any blame. If there's changes YOU want to make for YOY, great. But stop letting her blame her crap decision on you.

My IC suggested scheduling the conversations a couple times a week so that she can relax the other time and doesn't feel ambushed. She liked that idea and suggested once a week for an hour only, I proposed three times a week, she agreed to the 3x, but only for 30 min each time. Heaven forbid we confront the hurt and deal with it...
Hey rugsweeping might work for a while, but sooner or later, whether your marriage survives this or not, you will have to deal with this in your own self. It sucks and it isn't fair but you cannot heal until you deal. If R has any chance, she is gonna have to get her head outta her rear and start facing the damage she had wrought.

Psst, I know this tune too. My xwh pulled the same. Exact. NONSENSE. It's too hard to talk about it?? Funny it wasn't too hard to cheat on your spouse... I gave him softballs for MONTHS, all while my soul was dying. Point is, if it's too uncomfortable for her to allow her husband that she cheated on to express his very VALID feelings around that... Dude that isn't a good sign.

I know I should do more to make the marriage a more enjoyable place to be, and for her to feel emotionally safer. That surely is part of the problem here. I plan on finding another MC and work on an approach.
Nope nopetty NOOOOO. Nyet. Nein. Non, and otherwise heeeeelllll naw. This is the advice of a really crap MC. Oh yeah, I danced to that tune too. About how the "marriage" was the issue. No. Your marriage didn't make her cheat. Please please please don't buy into that. I did it too, but it's not. On. You. Or. The. Marriage. Her cheating is on her. And guess what... Her sleeping with someone else can only make things uncomfortable. You shouldn't BE comfy in your marriage right now. Neither should she.

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