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Reconciliation :
Could use some encouragement, I screwed up

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RocketRaccoon ( Member #54620) posted at 6:45 AM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

She has, but on her terms, not when I need them. She doesn't think about the A, doesn't consider my feelings, and when I state my needs she feels I am being controlling.

Now, what this tells me (and you would have probably realized this also), is that your WS does not care about you in the way you want her to.

We were happy, I believe we can be again.

For whatever reason, she is not willing (not able?) to step up.

See the pattern? YOU want to R, whilst your WS does not care, or is not bothered to put in the effort.

She pulled out all the stops getting her career in order. Lots of internet searches, paid subscriptions to different organizations, calling people / networking, attending meet-ups, etc. She's very resourceful when interested in something.

So, what does this tell you?

This is what I posted on another thread:

The amount of effort a WS puts into the relationship, indicates how much they value the relationship.

Little effort = Little value, Max effort = Max value.

.... and it is a hint to you, on the answer to my question above.

You cannot cure stupid

posts: 888   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2016   ·   location: South East Asia
id 8675721
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MrsWalloped ( Member #62313) posted at 2:51 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

Hi HowCouldSheDoIt.

I'm a WW. I just wanted to say that after reading this thread, I 100% agree with everything people have said to you about your WW. Everything. Even Thumos.

This thread is full of hard but undeniable truths by people who have been there and have lived it and seen it all. Some of these very same people gave my BH hard truths 6 years ago and I thank God for them and that he listened to them. I don't know where our lives would have ended up without them. HoldingTogether, sisoon, Oldwounds, OwningItNow, Butforthegrace, gmc94, OrdinaryDude, Hellfire, EllieKMAS, nekonamida, SMS, ISurvivedSoFar, HouseOfPlane, GoldenR, Chaos, DevastatedDee, and Thumos and so many others have been handing you gifts of wisdom. Take it and internalize it.

I'm sorry for intruding on your thread. But maybe hearing it from another WW instead of a BS may make you realize that these people actually know what they're talking about. Hint: They do.

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

posts: 683   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
id 8675770
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 HowCouldSheDoIt (original poster Member #78431) posted at 3:24 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

sisoon:(btw, I would like to know what the name means)

Do not state your needs. Ask for what you want. Make a lot of requests. A lot of 'yeses' indicate maybe you're a good mach for each other. Too many 'noes' means you're not a good fit.

If your W offers you something you don't want, tell her. How else will she learn to give you what you want?

This brings me to a point that I started a few weeks ago about putting together requirements for R. What seems to undergird this list however, is the fundamental requirement that she's all-in. I have no idea how to state that foundational requirement to her; at this point I'm just a broken record.

I understand your previous point about being specific and measurable, but that leaves me with requirements like this:

-I want a note hung on the bathroom mirror that reads "Giving your husband what he needs, in addition to what you want to give, is not being controlled." The note needs to stay there until I remove it.

-I want a discussion about the Linda MacDonald book, chapters 6-13

-I want to have a discussion about R. I don't want this to be a "lecture", I want you to participate in it without defensiveness.

-At least three times a week I want a comfort break. This is a hug or hand-holding, closeness for at least 10 seconds, accompanied by the words "I regret hurting you. It won't happen again." Any words to make amends for the A are acceptable.

-I want to share emotions with you and I want you to respond with a comfort break. When I have an emotional flare, I want you to ask about it, explore it with me. No defensiveness.

-Once every couple weeks I want you to initiate a discussion on progress, how you're feeling, how I'm feeling.

-On your phone, change my name from "Husband" to "Husband who at this moment is uncomfortable and a little scared" so that when you see it while travelling, you will remember "Oh yeah, I remember, he's not cool yet with this and I need to acknowledge it and get ahead of it."

I think you get the point. These are what I need, but they feel silly to me to write down. These are things I wouldn't have to tell her if she is all-in.

And since she's not all-in like I thought she was, I'm wondering what this is going to look like anyway with her schedule. Away for a few days, home for a few days.

So it just feels very silly to me.

Me: BH Early 50's
Her: WW Early 50's
D-Day Nov 2020
Married 21 years before D-Day
3 children
Working toward reconciling. The most difficult thing I've had to do in my life.

posts: 239   ·   registered: Mar. 3rd, 2021
id 8675774
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HellFire ( Member #59305) posted at 3:54 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

That list breaks my heart. Notes to remind her you are hurting. Notes to remind her you aren't the problem. Requiring empathy, and tender moments,but only a few times a week.

It's sad that you don't know your worth.

posts: 3706   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8675784
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EllieKMAS ( Member #68900) posted at 4:19 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

I'm with hellfire on your list hcsdi. Not saying there is anything at all wrong with what you have written, but don't you see that it is very very problematic that you are having to remind her to hold your hand or hug you for 30 seconds a week?

Read through the wayward forum and take a hard look at those waywards who are actually here trying desperately to fix things with their BS - those waywards who are 'all-in' don't have to be reminded to provide 'comfort breaks' - they do it all the time without prompting. They get on SI to ask other waywards and BS's what more they can do, they explore everything they can get their hands on as far as books, podcasts, forums etc to start digging in and fixing their shit.

As far as I can see and understand things for waywards, it is not about perfection - it is about progress. They mess up. They say the wrong things. They react badly or defensively sometimes. They have to overcome shame, and anger, and all the crap that comes as a result of their choices. But the ones who do want to fix things... you can tell reading their posts. You can see their desperation to repair.

Your ww is still in full wayward mode. She is not trying AT ALL. Maybe she will 'get there' eventually, but thus far she hasn't even set her pinky toe on the path. And you aren't obligated to stick around forever waiting for her to do it either.

"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: 3140   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8675797
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ramius ( Member #44750) posted at 4:54 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

If you have to coach her up on how to be a human being…... to show empathy......

Then even if she does it it’s not genuine. You’re just training someone to act a certain way

How many scars have you rationalized because you loved the person who was holding the knife?

Their actions reveal their intentions. Their words conceal them.

posts: 1604   ·   registered: Sep. 3rd, 2014
id 8675804
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 HowCouldSheDoIt (original poster Member #78431) posted at 5:06 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

Ramius:

You’re just training someone to act a certain way

Yes, but she was never really an empathetic person. Just like I have never seen her crying jags before (ever!) she just isn't naturally a sensitive person.

Ellie:

Yes, I see it as problematic! Obviously I'm painting a picture of my pain but as HoldingTogether wrote, she's not a moustache twirling villain and she does do good things for me, takes care of things, makes meals I like, mindful of triggers/reminders, has bought me a few gifts, etc. And what is heartbreaking for me is all these nice things she's done and is doing feels good and I appreciate it, but it still leaves me feeling unheard and misunderstood.

And for the record, she will hug and be affectionate without issue; she just draws the line at any words that express amends for the A. That has been a constant struggle. And it's not like she hasn't said some very empathetic, nice things, she just won't say them when I want/need to hear them. This is a power struggle and I have no idea why.

The list above is something I have never gotten. It kind of feels like treating a previously broken nose, the Dr. has to break it again to get it to set right. Like we need to dig back into the A to get things to resolve.

I don't know the best next step, I mean she told me a couple weeks ago that she wanted to address the A. She had heavy tears, she did and said some very nice things and I felt some repair. Then she got offended at my "name calling" and we setback, but I still feel like I should take her at her word that yes, she does want to address the A. Thing is, I know that if I write this list out and put it in front of her, she will be insulted as hell.

That might be a good launch point though, because these are needs I have and they aren't going to go away.

Me: BH Early 50's
Her: WW Early 50's
D-Day Nov 2020
Married 21 years before D-Day
3 children
Working toward reconciling. The most difficult thing I've had to do in my life.

posts: 239   ·   registered: Mar. 3rd, 2021
id 8675806
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EllieKMAS ( Member #68900) posted at 5:34 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

Thing is, I know that if I write this list out and put it in front of her, she will be insulted as hell.

And?

I mean... you need all of this BECAUSE of the affair SHE perpetrated. And she is unwilling to address that. Soooooo, where does that leave you exactly?

I'm not trying to pick on you - I see so much of myself in you. But for YOU... you need to start looking objectively at her actions as it relates to the A. I know how hard that is and I struggled mightily with it too. Thanks to a lot of posters here on SI, I was able to remove the rosy glasses and actually SEE what my xwh was doing. And, more importantly, what he wasn't doing.

You keep talking about she's made you meals, she's given you a hug, etc. I can tell you from my own experience, that is NOT enough. Until and unless she is actually willing to address her affair, you are just polishing brass on the titanic my friend. Eventually that ship is still gonna sink, the question is how long will you stand there polishing it before you decide to put on a life jacket and save yourself?

"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: 3140   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8675814
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Chaos ( Member #61031) posted at 5:38 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

I'm going to give it to you straight. I've been following this thread closely.

I have never seen her crying jags before (ever!) she just isn't naturally a sensitive person.

I didn't see big fat tears from WH like I did on DDay1 either. Didn't stop DDays 2 or 3. Even a hardened criminal will cry big fat tears when they realize they are busted dead to rights. I'm sure she's sad and sorry. But she still has to adult up and face the music. Dance is over and the piper has come a callin'.

she just draws the line at any words that express amends for the A.

Huge red flag. And her playing victim to circumstances she created. You don't have to play. There's a clue here.

And it's not like she hasn't said some very empathetic, nice things, she just won't say them when I want/need to hear them. This is a power struggle and I have no idea why.

We all know why - and have spent the previous 9 pages of this thread telling you. Please go back an re-read everyone's comments. We've all BTDT and keep telling you the same things from our vast experience. Listen to our collective wisdom.

She had heavy tears, she did and said some very nice things and I felt some repair. Then she got offended at my "name calling" and we setback

You didn't have a setback. You told the truth and she didn't like it and tantrum you back into silence and submission while convincing you that you were the problem. Pro Tip - look up DARVO.

I still feel like I should take her at her word that yes, she does want to address the A.

Gently - if this were true you wouldn't have had to make this post and you wouldn't have 9 pages of responders telling you virtually the same thing.

She's playing you like a bass fiddle.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decadesChildren (1 still at home)Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBSBrandishing a sword, channeling my inner Inigo Montoya and saying "Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3264   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8675816
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Oldwounds ( Member #54486) posted at 6:36 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

It kind of feels like treating a previously broken nose, the Dr. has to break it again to get it to set right.

That’s a solid take. You’re right.

My wife confessed her A — 18-years later. She thought she had healed herself, figured it all out, but she did NOT heal properly and we had a ton of stuff to work out in MC.

Like we need to dig back into the A to get things to resolve.

Horrible as it may be, this is the ONLY path forward if either of you consider the relationship worthy of saving.

It sounds like any attempt that you make to reach out and share your pain is translated by your WS as an opportunity to rub her face in it. This is the wall you both have to knock down.

You clearly care about her, and she seems to want to hang around, but on her terms.

If you don’t try and re-break the nose, with a really good MC, the resentments will pile up pretty quick by BOTH of you.

[This message edited by Oldwounds at 12:36 PM, July 15th (Thursday)]

Married 34+ years, together 40+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived
Restoration takes time.
"Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself." ― Epictetus

posts: 4175   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8675831
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Unhinged ( Member #47977) posted at 7:53 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

I don't know the best next step,

HowCouldSheDoIt, I think you're next best step is going to be something that you clearly don't want to do.

It seems to me that you're reading what other members are writing to you, but it's simply not registering. I've gone back and read most of your previous posts, including those from other threads. From what you've written, right now, your WW is not a good candidate for reconciliation. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that she's not even close.

If you truly want to save your marriage, you're going to have to risk it's ruin. I know that seems counter-intuitive. Consider, however, that for the vast majority of people, infidelity is a deal-breaker. Your WW has already broken the deal.

Of course, as you've written, she blames you, which is so fucking typical it's almost infuriating to read it over and over and over again from one betrayed spouse after another.

Nothing you ever did or didn't do, nothing you ever said or didn't say, would have made the slightest difference in the world. Your WW's decision to have an affair is 100% her responsibility and hers alone. She had other choices to make and infidelity, breaking the deal, is what she choose.

From what you've written, your WW, like the vast majority of other WS, wants to put this all behind her and move on. She doesn't want to know how badly she's hurt you or understand that damage she's done to your relationship. She's looking forward while you stand around stunned, shocked and traumatized, wondering where the fuck your wife disappeared to.

So, what next?

Step-back and detach from your WW. Start giving divorce serious consideration. Consult a lawyer (or two) and educate yourself on your rights. Starting thinking about what your life might look like divorced. Do the math, figure out those pesky finances.

There's a great article in The Healing Library entitled: "Understanding the 180." Print it and read it two or three times a week (I did this for about three months).

Watch and observe what your WW does with the opportunity that you've willing offered. Reconciliation is a gift, my friend. When it's not received with humility, it's one massive slap in the face to a betrayed spouse. I'd imagine you're already tired of having a sore face, so to speak.

Is your WW willing to do whatever it takes (within reason) to repair the damage and rebuild your relationship? Is she being honest, open and vulnerable? Is she showing remorse? Not guilt, not regret, not shame, but straight up honest, authentic remorse? Is she willing to answer every single one of your questions, no matter how many gazillion times you ask them?

Focus on you, your recovery and healing. Find you own peace of mind, body and spirit. Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own happiness in life.

I've been an active member of this community for over six years and I can tell you from experience, both personal and from reading countless members' stories, that reconciliation is never, ever a foregone conclusion and that very few couples are capable of reconciling (for lots of reasons).

I know you don't want to admit to yourself that divorce may be the best option for you. Until you're comfortable with both possible outcomes, you're setting yourself up for further abuse.

Be strong, brother.

[This message edited by Unhinged at 1:57 PM, July 15th (Thursday)]

Heading towards divorce
D-Day April, 2015

"The Universe is not short on wake-up calls. We're just quick to hit the snooze button."
-Brene Brown

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OwningItNow ( Member #52288) posted at 9:30 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

Yes, but she was never really an empathetic person.

Well, there is the problem. She has always had trouble seeing you (or anyone else. Who cheats in front of their daughter!?!?! Gross!!!!), and you just accepted it all this time. I could ask Why you chose a partner lacking in empathy, but that is an issue for a good IC. Now though, your WW has crossed the sacred relationship line, and there is no reconciling with a non-empathetic partner (i.e. no feeling safe, feeling loved, feeling vulnerable or open) unless that partner steps up and changes. CHANGES. It's not enough to just not cheat anymore; that's not reconciliation. True reconciliation requires empathy and healing of all that was broken, and your WW has never had any empathy. Reconciliation heals. Stopping the cheating simply keeps the legal marriage intact. There is a huge difference.

Dude, if she's never had empathy, then you're screwed.

You have to save yourself (your dignity, self-esteem, personal value, and future happiness). Will she change when she loses you? Who knows. But I can almost guarantee that she will never, no how, no way change unless she loses you. Not gonna happen.

me: BS/WS
h: WS/BS

Reject the rejector.
Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5263   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8675868
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trustedg ( Member #44465) posted at 9:45 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

One more person saying you didn't screw up.

It sounds like she needs a lot of therapy, also sounds like she is not truly remorseful.

Best of luck.

Me BWHim WH DDay 12/2012Married a long time, in R

posts: 2307   ·   registered: Aug. 11th, 2014
id 8675870
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DevastatedDee ( Member #59873) posted at 10:31 PM on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

Yes, but she was never really an empathetic person.

That is the nail in the coffin for your marriage. It always was, you just didn't see it. It is not safe to live with someone who lacks empathy. If they do not empathize with you, they can do anything at all to you and it doesn't matter. You don't matter if she doesn't have empathy.

You say it like it's a personality quirk, like "she never really did like eggs". It's more "she never really did care about my feelings". Ouch.

See her. Getting to a point of clarity about who you're living with is the most important thing post-DDay.

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

posts: 4442   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8675885
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gmc94 ( Member #62810) posted at 12:18 AM on Friday, July 16th, 2021

she's not a moustache twirling villain and she does do good things for me, takes care of things, makes meals I like, mindful of triggers/reminders, has bought me a few gifts, etc. And what is heartbreaking for me is all these nice things she's done and is doing feels good and I appreciate it, but it still leaves me feeling unheard and misunderstood.

My WH is the EXACT same way.

Just bc they aren't "mustache twirling villains" doesn't mean they aren't.

Or at least it doesn't mean they aren't TO YOU.

re-read what Unhinged and DevDee wrote this afternoon, and Mrs.Walloped.

EVERYONE here has been touched (or more like decimated) by infidelity.

And if I read this (and all your other threads) correctly, we are ALL saying the exact same thing.

Your WW is NOT worthy of R. She is NOT "R material".

What you do with that is up to you. It can take time to come to accept that about that person we loved for so long... about that person who used to be so fucking "special" to us. It's a frightening and painful thing to come to terms with.

And FWIW, I GET IT. I really really really do.... I'm in year FOUR of this shit show, and throughout all of this time (including a 6 month S), my WH has made virtually ZERO objectively identifiable progress. Say it again... z-e-r-o. That includes empathy. He's had THREE+ years of IC, a period of MC, 18+ months of a CSAT, etc. He's a horse that is surrounded by water, but damned if the sucker will EVER drink.

You get to take your time with all of this. Post here. VENT here. figure it out here. That's OK.

And

PLEASE do not rugsweep or try to "nice" her to change. It won't work. One thing that really helped me in this respect is the AlAnon mantra: I didn't cause it, I can't control it, I can't cure it. Same with an A. NOTHING I did - good or bad - had one damned thing to do with my WH deciding to sleep with someone else I cannot - no matter how much I may want to or try to- control what happened (ie no time machine) or how he will behave in the aftermath (like trying to "nice" him into doing the work, or whether he will or will not ever have even the slightest bit of empathy for the harm he's cause me and our family) and I sure as hell cannot "cure" the broken parts of my WS that made it OK with them to begin with.

It took my brain months/years to come to terms with that - with the interior self "knowing" that there was NOTHING I could do to get my WH to "get it" or "own it" or change any damn thing. There is no magic word or book or post or anything that will do that for a WS. It's out of my control. Completely.

The best thing I could do was to DETACH from him and his crap, and focus on myself.

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

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id 8675929
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 12:59 AM on Friday, July 16th, 2021

I started looking for help on the 'net a week or so after d-day. It took me a couple of weeks in 2011 to find a forum. I needed to name myself to post. Inexplicably, 'soon' was available. I looked for that because I wanted the pain to stop 'soon'.

The main voices recommended things that made no sense to me. They were really nasty to a WS who asked for help. Eventually, one of the posters contemptuously told the WS to go to SI where they liked WSes.

I wanted to R, so/because I liked my WS, so I looked at SI, where I found a lot of voices that made sense. I read for a while, then saw a post I wanted to respond to. (Fuck the preposition rule!) I needed to name musoef, so I became SI's 'soon'. I'm lazy, and I'm a hunt and peck typist, so I chose 'sisoon' - no shift key.

*****

-I want a note hung on the bathroom mirror that reads "Giving your husband what he needs, in addition to what you want to give, is not being controlled." The note needs to stay there until I remove it.

OK. As an aside, I would never have thought of this as any BS's desire (even though it's a reasonable desire). Your W can't read your mind. You need to ask for this, whether you think it's silly or not. (Hint: I think BSes need to demand a lot of themselves in R, and I don't think this is silly.)

-I want a discussion about the Linda MacDonald book, chapters 6-13

-I want to have a discussion about R. I don't want this to be a "lecture", I want you to participate in it without defensiveness.

Do you want a discussion, or do you want her behavior to change?

My reco is to ask directly for what you want. WSes are stupid; BSes need to be very exlicit with them.

-At least three times a week I want a comfort break. This is a hug or hand-holding, closeness for at least 10 seconds, accompanied by the words "I regret hurting you. It won't happen again." Any words to make amends for the A are acceptable.

I think it's good to talk about guidelines about what you want to hear. I think it would be better for you to ask for emotional support when you want it, even if it's once an hour. Trust me on this.

If your W is a good candidate for R, and if you ask for a lot of support, my guess is she'll start offering it, if only to do more when she wants to do it rather than getting interrupted.

But the main reason asking when you want support is that it exercises your 'you' muscles.

Asking does bear the risk of hearing 'no'. You need to learn you can live with that. Also, too many 'noes' tell you you don't have a good fit with your W or that she's not a good candidate for R.

-I want to share emotions with you and I want you to respond with a comfort break. When I have an emotional flare, I want you to ask about it, explore it with me. No defensiveness.

Do you mean 'share' or do you mean you want to hear about her emotions or do you mean something else? Be clear.

I suggest limiting feeling words to sad, glad, mad, scared, ashamed, and desire. The first 4 are the most important. Keep it simple.

And distinguish between thoughts and feelings. If a statement doesn't parse down to mad, sad, glad, scared, ashamed, or desire, it's a thought. If you want feelings, don't offer or accept thoughts.

BTW, is there a man who shares enough of his emotions to satisfy a woman?

-Once every couple weeks I want you to initiate a discussion on progress, how you're feeling, how I'm feeling.

Sounds good. My W would have loved this, but we did it in MC, because we found a great MC.

-On your phone, change my name from "Husband" to "Husband who at this moment is uncomfortable and a little scared" so that when you see it while travelling, you will remember "Oh yeah, I remember, he's not cool yet with this and I need to acknowledge it and get ahead of it.

You know that's too many words, right? Fewer words are stronger.

My reco is to engage her in deciding how to stay connected while she's on the road. I suggest something like Zoom, Facetime, etc. - sound and vision is better than sound alone, IMO.

...they feel silly to me to write down.

Fuck that! Just stop! You get to want what you want. You get to ask for what you want. Your W gets to say 'yes' or 'no'. If she doesn't like too much of what you want, she's free to end your M, but she also has the option of working with you to resolve any conflicts.

These are things I wouldn't have to tell her if she is all-in.

IMO, you DO have to tell her and ansk her to deliver what you want. She can't read your mind. At this point, she can't read your non-verbal communications, either. You have to ask clearly for what you want.

That means asking in a way that a 6 year old would understand. TBH, a former therapist (former because she retired from therapy and moved away) really wanted me to ask so a 4 year old could understand, but I never could do that.

Good luck.

You're a tough nut to crack. One of the reasons people keep writing to you is that we hope to get through to you and see changed behavior. Another reason for the responses is to communicate with lurkers. I hope you see some humor in that.

OTOH, coming up with your list of requirements is good work. I think you're getting some place - I wouldn't have commented if I thought otherwise.

[This message edited by sisoon at 7:06 PM, July 15th (Thursday)]

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 26008   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8675938
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BluerThanBlue ( Member #74855) posted at 1:24 AM on Friday, July 16th, 2021

There is no point in sharing your requirements for R and here’s why:

1. You can’t control what she does or doesn’t too.

2. Your list, in its current form, is entirely focused on providing you with comfort and reassurance… there’s nothing there that’s actually about shifting the paradigm of your marriage and addressing the deep wounds in your marriage.

3. You are setting yourself up to be disappointed when she doesn’t do what you ask.

4. You are also setting yourself up to be disappointed if she does everything you ask… and not a single thing above or beyond that. Then, after you realize you’re still unhappy, she will proceed to accuse you of being a controlling asshole who is constantly shifting the goal posts.

So here’s what you should do while she’s away for 6 weeks:

1. Schedule a free consultation with a lawyer. You don’t need to file but you should at least get a picture of what divorce would look like for you if you decide to go that route or if she springs it up on you herself. It looks like she is already getting her ducks in a row anyway.

2. Do not call her (unless it’s to call her back) or remain glued to your phone waiting for her call. Wait and see when, how often, and for how long she talks to you. This is a great opportunity to sit back and observe how much you factor into her thoughts when you’re not in front of her face and how much she’s willing to reach out to you on her own volition.

3. Plan fun and enjoyable things to do for yourself. Make plans every weekend. On weekdays when you’re not working, binge watch movies that you want to see but don’t interest her.

4. Spend time with your kids or schedule long phone calls with them, especially your daughter who was thrown into the middle of your affair. You’ve been so caught up with your marriage that you don’t even realize the toll this has taken on her. For just 6 weeks, be her Dad 100% and a husband 0%.

5. Get a hair cut, shave or groom your beard, dress well, and spray some cologne on yourself that you usually reserve for special occasions. Or do some other form of self care that makes you feel good.

6. Plan a trip for yourself, even if it’s just a long weekend. She got to go to on vacation, she likes spending money on herself, so why not splurge on a getaway for yourself? Maybe invite a good male friend or relative to join you.

The point of all the above is to build your confidence, keep you occupied with things that aren’t related to her, and get a little taste of what your life could be like if you were living entirely on your own terms instead of hers.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 4:34 PM, July 19th (Monday)]

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 474   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8675950
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Thumos ( Member #69668) posted at 1:39 AM on Friday, July 16th, 2021

She can't read your mind.

She can't read your mind but presumably she is not a complete dipshit but rather a reasonably intelligent woman who knows exactly what she did, why it is wrong, why her continuing behavior is wrong and the trauma it has caused. If she can't or won't learn that for herself, then I suppose she's not a good candidate for R. Let's stop making excuses for this woman. She is a cold entitled fish lacking in empathy who has to be begged for a hug.

[This message edited by Thumos at 7:40 PM, July 15th (Thursday)]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH (me): 50, WW: 49
Married: Feb. 1996
DDAY: Dec. 20

posts: 4218   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8675952
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Thumos ( Member #69668) posted at 1:43 AM on Friday, July 16th, 2021

Get a criterion channel app subscription and start watching the oeuvre of Kurosawa. I'm willing to bet these films will make her want to scratch her eyes out, while you will probably enjoy them.

Look up all the things within a 5-8 hour drive radius of your home. Start planning trips to these places by yourself as recommended and stay in a cheap Airbnb.

[This message edited by Thumos at 7:49 PM, July 15th (Thursday)]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH (me): 50, WW: 49
Married: Feb. 1996
DDAY: Dec. 20

posts: 4218   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8675954
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M1965 ( Member #57009) posted at 2:11 AM on Friday, July 16th, 2021

she's not a moustache twirling villain and she does do good things for me, takes care of things, makes meals I like, mindful of triggers/reminders, has bought me a few gifts, etc. And what is heartbreaking for me is all these nice things she's done and is doing feels good and I appreciate it, but it still leaves me feeling unheard and misunderstood.

That is similar to buying a Hershey bar for someone who has just lost a leg. Nice, but nowhere near what is needed.

And for the record, she will hug and be affectionate without issue; she just draws the line at any words that express amends for the A. That has been a constant struggle. And it's not like she hasn't said some very empathetic, nice things, she just won't say them when I want/need to hear them. This is a power struggle and I have no idea why.

Your wife having sex with some random opportunist was her way of getting back at you for what she perceives - in her entitled way - for years of not being treated like queen of the universe.

What your wife wants is not you forgiving her for her infidelity. She wants you to say that you deserved it, and that what she did was perfectly justified. That is why she will not go anywhere near anything that suggests she was bad to do what she did. That is the power struggle. And that is probably why she cheated in the first place. She did it to disempower you, and to assert her independence.

And then she wants you to shut up about what she did and never mention it again, because it interferes with the delusional picture of herself as a martyr and a victim that she has created in her head.

There is a term, 'justifiable homicide'. In your wife's mind, she committed justifiable infidelity, and so she will not consider whether she was in the wrong, because that spoils the whole dynamic of it for her.

Are you really expecting her to admit or take responsibility for deliberately doing something far bigger, and far worse, than anything that was done to her? That blows her project right out of the water. And as a recent poster said in another thread, no-one is the villain in their own story.

[This message edited by M1965 at 4:43 AM, July 16th (Friday)]

posts: 1177   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2017   ·   location: South East of England
id 8675959
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