Newest Member: Serenity7

Reconciliation :
Could use some encouragement, I screwed up

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HardKnocks ( Member #70957) posted at 3:46 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

HCSDI do you have any professional support?

BW 30 year marriage.
DDay2 2/20 5 month PA
My Ducks are Aligned and I'm Good to Go! :)

posts: 307   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2019
id 8674268
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 5:52 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

To spell it out explicitly: The problem is NOT what your W said and did.

The problem is that you think you screwed up by talking about her A.

You keep avoiding conflict. You cannot R without learning to resolve conflicts, and you can't learn to resolve them without embracing them when they arise - and conflicts WILL arise. Conflict is inevitable.

It's not a matter of growing a pair. It takes balls to keep stifling yourself.

You've been stifling yourself for so long, I think you'd benefit greatly by working with a good IC with a goal of being and expressing yourself.

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 8674305
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Thumos ( Member #69668) posted at 6:14 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

It's not a matter of growing a pair. It takes balls to keep stifling yourself.

You've been stifling yourself for so long, I think you'd benefit greatly by working with a good IC with a goal of being and expressing yourself.

Agree with Sisoon. By the way “no more nice guy” is not a guide for becoming a macho asshole. It is instead an eye opening does of reality on how to get yourself out of harmful patterns of thinking. You're seeking approval from a woman who isn't deserving of this adulation.

"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 8674311
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Oldwounds ( Member #54486) posted at 7:43 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

For myself personally, I don't want to transfer or transmit pain anymore and so this slip-up is hard for me personally.

Ah, logic. It fails us when we want it to work the most. It makes sense, to NOT want to add more pain to the horror show. However, there is no logic in infidelity. None. Not with the WS who makes emotional illogical choices to the BS who wants to understand what cannot be understood.

I’m guessing you feel a bit overwhelmed by the responses in the thread. But when you have a chance, reread HT’s (HoldingTogether) post. Lots of good advice going on in the thread, but HT hits the really key points.

Whatever you try to AVOID now, will haunt you later in the form of resentments you only think you have now. Of course you have some, but nothing like the monster created by sweeping your feelings, your real feelings (anger, sadness) under the proverbial rug.

Your wife may be finally understanding a small part of the pain and damage caused.

That’s a good thing.

But she can’t hide from her shame either. If she doesn’t tackle those issues now, that will also hurt any attempt to rebuild the relationship.

Good counseling is hard to find, my wife and I got lucky with an MC who experienced infidelity himself. That helped us a bunch.

You CAN get there from here, but you don’t have time to do that “dance” you described where you gently help her temporarily lower her wall.

None of our WS have empathy for us during the A. And they don’t always get it back for us, because it’s a risky investment due to the damage THEY caused.

I didn’t name call or shame my wife along the way, but I did compare her early lack of empathy to that of a shark — cold, dead, unfeeling eyes and all.

She hated that.

Why?

Because NORMALLY, when her head is screwed on right, she is a person of great empathy for all the family and friends around us. So, she learned to reach back out, lower her defenses.

It took a while, but she’s no shark anymore.

It takes both people working really hard, or it ain’t R.

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 8674327
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HouseOfPlane ( Member #45739) posted at 9:44 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

Her reaction is not ok, and is manipulative.

For sure.

If you had turned the TV to that channel so you get to that specific scene and then use it to springboard into a guilt session, that’d be manipulative on your part. If you were just watching, she asked the question, and you answered, that is communicating. You may have let some anger build and shine through, oh well.

Her job as a WW is to stand in the eye of the storm and take it. She made the injury about her, instead.

Her tactics seem to work too. No reason not to double down on them.

Sending strength!

[This message edited by HouseOfPlane at 3:45 PM, July 10th (Saturday)]

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

posts: 2718   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8674342
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Iamtrash ( Member #71135) posted at 10:01 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

You didn’t scream in her face. You didn’t call her derogatory names. You answered a question she initiated. You didn’t continue to rub her face in it. You didn’t lash out. You answered calmly.

I’m a WS and I don’t even see the problem with your answer. I do think there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed when talking with your WS, but all those lines are when anger becomes consuming and takes over anything productive. (Not to say you should never talk or be angry, but when you’re consumed by rage, communication isn’t effective. Sometimes it’s best to return when calm.)

posts: 347   ·   registered: Jul. 29th, 2019
id 8674344
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GoldenR ( Member #54778) posted at 10:22 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

Seems to me the only R you're in is Rugsweep.

posts: 2642   ·   registered: Aug. 22nd, 2016   ·   location: South Texas
id 8674351
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ButAnyway ( New Member #79085) posted at 10:29 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

I feel so silly as a grown man fretting over this shit. I might be over thinking things because she just came up to tell me to come for dinner and she did it warmly and leaned in and kissed softly.

So maybe I just need to grow a pair and fuck it.

You didn't do anything wrong AT ALL. Since when is stating the truth "screwing up".

I also don't understand the dynamic of you walking of eggshells around your WW ... it should be just the opposite.

When I was where you are now our marital dynamic took a 180 degree turn. Pre-A I tended to go along with my W's wishes most of the time, even overlooking some of her quirks, which turned out to be red flags. However, post-A I no longer put up with any of the stuff she did before and took back my place as the head of our household.

Remember, in relationships, the one that cares the least holds the power. I suggest exercising some more testicular fortitude and reclaim/establish your power within your relationship or simply cut bait and D, because you are currently not in any form or R.

posts: 20   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8674353
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OwningItNow ( Member #52288) posted at 10:40 PM on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

I know you think that we don't understand, that you DID cause this problem, that you ARE partially to blame due to your anger and dismissal of her needs. Unfortunately that part where you own your own sh$t is great, but it has spread into owning her sh$t due to your codependency and fear. Her inching towards you is not "doing work". Please, the work is SO much more than that. It's crumbs. Why would she send you some crumbs?

Because she wants to keep her life and lifestyle, not own her sh$t and become a better person. THIS is who you are married to. How does it feel? Not good, I bet.

HowCouldSheDoIt, one of my IC's asked me a rapid-fire series of very hard questions about my cheating, maybe I've told you. But I'll tell you again. She said to me, "If you were so miserable in the M when he was selfishly and sexually acting out, why did you not divorce him? Why did you pretend to be ok and just plaster a smile on your face? People take their cues from the people in their lives, and he assumed that you were just complaining about the porn and the websites and drinking. Like married people complain. After all, you were still THERE, having sex with him and being his wife. Why did you not communicate honestly that you were miserable, miserable enough to cheat? Why didn't you say you wanted out of the M so that he would KNOW he needed to change or he would lose you? Why did you pursue another relationship instead of speaking openly and honestly to him, like a healthy adult should do? If he was a drunk, cheating, crap husband, why cheat on him instead of just leaving? Why do you think you get to sit there and blame him when you cannot explain your lack of honesty and assertiveness in ending your M before sleeping with a new partner? Where is your accountability?"

HowCouldShe, your WW was absolutely allowed to be miserable in the M and feel taken for granted. So was I. But she was supposed to tell you that, tell you that she was angry, tell you that she wanted to hurt you and was going to cheat. She needs to own that she did NOT do that. How exactly can you blame yourself for that? And how can she not blame herself for the way she handled her misery?

Have you asked your wife the types of questions my IC asked me, HCSDI? She needs to OWN her willingness to stab you in the back rather than speak honestly to you. Her idea of payback is hurting you, not divorcing you? Can you accept that in a partner? Until she answers these questions with humility and vulnerability, you will never, ever trust her again.

And you will continue to trigger, trigger, trigger. You MUST be willing to lose this M to actually save it.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 10:06 PM, July 10th (Saturday)]

me: BS/WS
h: WS/BS

Reject the rejector.
Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5263   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8674354
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Butforthegrace ( Member #63264) posted at 3:07 AM on Sunday, July 11th, 2021

HCSDI: As a spouse who is attempting reconciliation, the one thing you owe your WW is radical emotional honesty. If you cannot give her that, then you may as well give up.

Your thread here, it reeks of a default belief by you that you ought to be dishonest with your WW in order to maintain some sort tete-a-tete or detente. That's not marriage.

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3771   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8674403
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BluerThanBlue ( Member #74855) posted at 2:12 PM on Monday, July 12th, 2021

One of your conditions for R, as I recall, was that your wife be willing to speak candidly about the affair without getting defensive. She had that opportunity and reverted back to her usual stonewalling and giving you the cold shoulder.

Your wife needs to feel some consequences for her behavior. Instead, you keep accepting— and in this case, volunteering to take— blame for her bad behavior.

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 8674757
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 HowCouldSheDoIt (original poster Member #78431) posted at 3:42 PM on Monday, July 12th, 2021

Thanks to everyone for the replies. One of the big challenges I have in this mess is that it is such a busy time, mostly because DD is leaving soon and we're trying to spend as much time as we can with her but I have other kids too, and helping my DS with his car, I have a full time job and I think neglecting my youngest DD a bit. I enjoy sharing on this forum but I'm limited here as well.

I really appreciate the replies.

HCSDI do you have any professional support?

No, not currently. I was seeing an IC but I haven't seen him for a few weeks. It was probably not a good idea to stop going but it happened.

As an update WW was upset because she thought I called her a name, she thought I said "you are unprincipled." I might have, and I don't mean to call names. She was being somewhat withdrawn Friday and then I was somewhat withdrawn Saturday, we made mention of the conflict but we had a busy Sunday and haven't really addressed it.

I can probably boil down my biggest issues into a few examples, and one of them is the way we do conflict. With me having said "you are unprincipled" and she got offended. I think a much better way to handle it is if she said "Ouch, that's name calling" or correct me and say "I was unprincipled but I'm working on it" or something. Addressing things like that is not her style and really, it is what got us into this mess because over time things built up in her where she overflowed and cheated.

I'll have to respond more when I have more time.

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 8674783
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Chaos ( Member #61031) posted at 4:06 PM on Monday, July 12th, 2021

DUDE - you did and said nothing wrong. In fact, you answered her question with specificity.

It is NOT on YOU that the truth hurt your WW.

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 8674787
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grubs ( Member #77165) posted at 4:17 PM on Monday, July 12th, 2021

You behaved in an unprincipled manner will be more effective than you are unprincipled.

posts: 736   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8674792
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Thumos ( Member #69668) posted at 4:57 PM on Monday, July 12th, 2021

It's interesting to me that your WW came to you with the big weepy allegedly remorseful crying jag after daughter is leaving ... and here you are just a short time later with her giving you the silent treatment FOR DAYS because she is being willfully obtuse and purposefully misinterpreted what you said.

This is GASLIGHTING, brother. Please open your eyes.

"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 8674808
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EllieKMAS ( Member #68900) posted at 5:01 PM on Monday, July 12th, 2021

Ummmmm.... she had a ONS while on vacation with her daughter and then has acted awful to her BH for the better part of a year.

Sooooooo, what exactly about that displays anything about having principles?

Calling her what she IS is NOT 'name-calling'. And TBH, if she can't handle a spoken truth about her choices and the way those choices have greatly affected you hcsdi, then that's a serious issue that will stymie any chances for R IMO.

"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 8674811
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Rnzwithscissors ( Member #57292) posted at 5:06 PM on Monday, July 12th, 2021

I'm a little confused by what you think you did wrong. She asked you how you were doing and you shared. Her choice to cheat was unprincipled, does she need you to pretend it wasn't?

If anyone needs to be apologizing it's her. Her response says to me she's not ready to R and you should be very concerned.

Good luck!



posts: 59   ·   registered: Feb. 6th, 2017   ·   location: NJ
id 8674814
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OwningItNow ( Member #52288) posted at 6:09 PM on Monday, July 12th, 2021

Well, I'm glad to hear that all of these posts caused you to do some serious thinking...about what is wrong with you.

Sigh.

How is No More Nice Guy going? Finished the book yet?

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 2:47 PM, July 12th (Monday)]

me: BS/WS
h: WS/BS

Reject the rejector.
Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5263   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8674842
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Thumos ( Member #69668) posted at 6:24 PM on Monday, July 12th, 2021

Addressing things like that is not her style and really, it is what got us into this mess because over time things built up in her where she overflowed and cheated.

Really? This is why she approached another man while on a solo vacation with your daughter and offered him sex?

Do you really think that?

Also look at the language you use:

“not her style”

“got us into”

“This mess”

“Where she overflowed”

This is euphemistic rugsweeping Nice Guy language. Please stop doing this to yourself.

"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 8674849
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EllieKMAS ( Member #68900) posted at 6:32 PM on Monday, July 12th, 2021

You know? Communicating about things wasn't huge in my marriage either. I felt overwhelmed a lot of the time.

I didn't 'overflow and cheat'.

Just no. That's a cop-out and another way to deflect blame.

She cheated because she has major issues. She has treated you like crap for months on end because she has major issues. She involved your daughter in her affair drama because she has major issues. She chose to do this because she has major issues.

I get it - I did this too. Blaming his cheating on 'environmental factors' and 'life stress' and and and. Because for ME I wanted to find anything other than the truth to 'blame' it on - if it was some external factor, then it was something that could be 'fixed'. But it wasn't any of those things. He cheated because he is a deeply flawed human. He refused to address what he did or to seek counseling for it because he is a deeply flawed person. And there was no fix that I could EVER do - he had to want to fix himself and he didn't and probably won't ever. Took me 9 months to get there in my own head and to stop dodging the truth about what an incredibly screwed-up man he was.

"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 8674854
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