Newest Member: AcesEights

Wayward Side :
Trying to get better and be worthy

default

Wanttobebetter ( member #72484) posted at 2:20 AM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

OP, I think what you describe as blow up the previous evening was to be expected from your BW given the broken trust. It sure feels draining trying to defend yourself. That said, this may be the only way to regain her trust by showing you are telling the truth. It is a long road that may not lead to R. As you mentioned in previous post, the changes you are making are to make you a safer partner going forward being with your BW or someone else.

Good luck.

posts: 172   ·   registered: Jan. 6th, 2020
id 8693920
default

 ShatteredImage (original poster new member #79477) posted at 3:02 AM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Thanks Wanttobebetter, yesterday was hard - to be expected, didn't sleep well and had IC today. I can't even recall everything that was discussed in IC, I felt very down but know I talked about a pending out of town trip to visit friends for a birthday.

I am of two minds:

1. If I go then it avoids raising questions around where I am, and we can just arrange to sleep in different rooms with one of the kids. She won't worry about what I am doing home alone, although the AP is in another state and of course won't contact. The drive will be awkward/difficult, but feel it's the better choice.

2. If I don't go, it of course raises questions at the event which is fine, but I am afraid of the emotional toll driving with one's thoughts. She said not to worry about driving and that she's perfectly resilient and doesn't need me or anyone.

The therapist suggested that I keep trying to be there and that getting some of her anger out could be a good thing but only time would tell. He also suggested that I continue to try to pursue - the fight sprang up right after I asked he to go out to a new place together (then she asked for my phone and the battery usage as I mentioned yesterday etc). This happened right after speaking with a different friend about colleges, which could have been a catalyst.

I downloaded a book suggestion from DaddyDom, Rising Strong but have only just started. Work was harder today after yesterday's events. We continue to write to each other daily, but I find it easier to write here than elsewhere.

She's said I am regurgitating whatever I read, but I try (sometimes fail) to accept that without being too defensive and indicate that I am reading, self-examining and the different books/articles/forums give me alternate perspectives. Some threads are harder to follow, but liked Dom's comment about political protests and how sometimes a protest leads to looters...resonated with the destructive behavior I had. Even thought of the breakfast exercise in the link that was shared...simple example of why are you eating breakfast, but I almost feel like I am deluding myself asking why. I feel simple, maybe that's how it starts - maybe I never learned how to deal with some of these stresses and have just been very fortunate/lucky until now. I think about coping skills and the natural response is to withdraw and not lean into vulnerability....maybe with time. I worry about having set a bad example for my boys, with the A of course, but even before that being too passive in the marriage - it's not the time for examining those thoughts now I supposed, maybe if we get to marriage counseling in a few months.

[This message edited by ShatteredImage at 4:25 AM, Wednesday, October 20th]

D-Day 9/11/21 - 9/19/21WS(me 40sM)Status: IC, reading and forums

posts: 27   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2021
id 8693927
default

Wanttobebetter ( member #72484) posted at 4:33 AM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

OP, I just want to echo DaddyDom about you owning it, the cheating. It is not easy for a WS to accept they alone own that shit.

Reading your last post, you seem to over thinking things a bit. There is no way to fool proof all possible outcomes. I am a simple minded person. If going to the trip will help ease your BW mind and not going will raise doubts, then go and deal with whatever comes with positive thoughts and energy. If things still blow up, you can say to yourself you try your best. This is just one of many steps to show your BW that you are making decisions with her in mind.

Good luck.

posts: 172   ·   registered: Jan. 6th, 2020
id 8693939
default

RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 6:15 AM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Slight t/j:

@BraveSirRobin

It helps you look at conflict and resentment in a healthy way.


I agree with this.

end t/j

You cannot cure stupid

posts: 908   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2016   ·   location: South East Asia
id 8693942
default

forgettableDad ( member #72192) posted at 8:19 AM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Let me as you a question that might not be so popular and frankly, I doubt I would be able to know the veracity of the answer to.
How manipulative would you rate yourself as? (let's say on a scale from 1 to 10)

And, I guess, another question in the same vein..
How often do you lie? about big things, about little things.

****
I'd like to poke at a last point (which, to my reading of your posts has the same repeated underlying pattern). You've spoken about her opening up about your affair because she wants to punish you. Why is that punishment? How will the truth lessen the chances of the reconciliation process?

You've had an affair. It's yours. You'll never be able to undo that decision. It's part of your past and your relationship and her past.

Reconciliation is not a "gift" that she gives you (though it's spoken as such here often). Reconciliation is a process your wife will have to go through in regards to reconciling the fact that her relationship now involves an affair. It's a process you and her have to go through to accept the fact you've cheated on her and that you both want to build on top of that a better relationship. And it's a process you have to go through to accept that you've cheated and to develop the tools to be a better person (regardless of the other two processes I've mentioned).

posts: 275   ·   registered: Dec. 1st, 2019
id 8693949
default

 ShatteredImage (original poster new member #79477) posted at 3:12 PM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

How manipulative would you rate yourself as? (let's say on a scale from 1 to 10)

I'm not sure, I think I'm passive aggressive at times which is a form of manipulation. I took a quick internet quiz at a UK Psychology site (I am in US) and it said "You're too sincere to be manipulative" but I think that is letting me off easy. I think I am manipulative in allowing people to confide in me and then not pushing them hard with counter topics all the time. This allows me to be self-serving and also be in the know.

I'd say a 3-4 with 10 being the most, I'm not overtly manipulative but certainly have some tendencies of how to navigate business politics etc but doesn't mean it isn't there.

How often do you lie? about big things, about little things.

Big things - I tend to omit, I don't do it frequently aside from the A, cant think of another situation.

Little things - an omitter or as she says a technical answerer (focus on the minutiae), she gets frustrated if I answer without providing more context. Recently she asked if I had any cryptocurrency, I said no I had sold it all. She was upset because I had $1000 in Coinbase in cash, but didn't mention that. I interpreted it as implied since I had sold it and didn't own any crypto.

I think I still omit things - I dont mention if my grandmother tries to call in 50% of the cases because it brings up negative feelings, nothing comes of it. I do share when she tries to insert my mother or rebuilding the relationship there - since that's been a topic we've discussed a lot I mention those interactions.

[This message edited by ShatteredImage at 2:59 PM, Tuesday, October 26th]

D-Day 9/11/21 - 9/19/21WS(me 40sM)Status: IC, reading and forums

posts: 27   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2021
id 8693985
default

BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 4:20 PM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

It's an unusual experience writing to you, because my typical interaction with a new WS is trying to shake them out of the fog and stop making excuses. We speak in absolutes because they take any nuance as justification for the A. You, on the other hand, were apparently able to drop your AP without a backward glance and start the work immediately. It's not surprising that your BW is concerned that you're behaving like a chameleon or saying what you know you need to say to earn a chance at R. It leaves me trying to analyze how to advise you, because I'm not sure if you're in shock, or a cold strategist, or genuinely ready to dig into steps that are usually months away.

There's so much to unpack in what you've written about resentment and your lack of connection with your BW. As I'm sure you realize now, that doesn't justify cheating; you could have sought counseling to help you reconnect and/or let her know that the status of the marriage was unacceptable to you. Instead, you took a very common wayward path of allowing your resentment to develop into entitlement. That's the "why" you now need to deal with: why didn't you feel you had enough value to stand up for yourself in healthy ways? And how do you develop those skills now, in a situation where your BW justifiably feels that this is not the time to work on making you feel better?

For what it's worth, I've learned here that some people need regular sex in their relationship in order to relax and form a connection, and some need that connection in order to relax and want sex. It sounds like you and your wife were on opposite sides of that gulf.

How did the AP enter the picture? Was it a standard sex-for-ego-kibble exchange?

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2136   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8693999
default

 ShatteredImage (original poster new member #79477) posted at 4:53 PM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

It leaves me trying to analyze how to advise you, because I'm not sure if you're in shock, or a cold strategist, or genuinely ready to dig into steps that are usually months away.


Thanks BraveSirRobin - I don't know where or who I am either. I feel like I can suppress feelings of shock during the weekdays with work as a distraction...dropped off a call just now as I wasn't needed and so mind wander to come check here.

There was like a surge of adrenalin on D-day and I couldn't stop shaking for a while; my mind was furiously looking for a way to conceal which I did with trickle truths. I spend a few nights at a hotel and the enormity of my actions hit me over that time, but there was still fear trying to grab hold and conceal remained through that stay but has gradually faded. Some fear still remains but it's more selfish, what will people think of me, will sharing sexual details hurt her recovery etc so I've asked that she talk through it with her therapist.

Now I feel like I'm going to what I am good at, perhaps a strategist, but I accept the situation and want to find what I can do to recover or improve myself - realizing that it may be months away because while I feel more relief (aside from the remaining eggshells, which I became accustomed to in marriage) after disclosing the secret - I know her recovery will take time.

BW doesn't want to do MC until after 6 months and I'm understanding of her needs although I don't necessarily agree. She is driving her recovery and I am trying to, and probably failing at times, support her in that - am I deluding myself? I deal with having to make a lot of hard decisions everyday at work and so I can follow direction of superiors or make the decision, so I want to genuinely dig in but am also tactical and I find myself thinking about the question - how manipulative are you? Am I manipulating myself - if I am manipulative, can I manipulate myself into new behavior. The whole thought has me in a spiral right now - what's real, what's a veneer placed by my ego to deceive me?


why didn't you feel you had enough value to stand up for yourself in healthy ways? And how do you develop those skills now, in a situation where your BW justifiably feels that this is not the time to work on making you feel better?


I always saw my mother going from one relationship to another, she was a hard liner with her relationships and very much like my wife in some ways while being totally opposite in others. I grew up never wanting that - I wanted consistency or myself and kids. I think as a kid I couldn't change my situation much and I kept that passive approach or in some cases settled into different roles that weren't overlapping. I think that is my job in IC, but of course counseling doesn't really give you answers they help to draw them out with different perspective or that's how I feel.

Man I wish I could have video calls sometimes with this group - I don't know what's going on inside me, I cry but seldom, I feel shame and continue to retreat - changing the interaction with BW is going to be slow because I think the things I need to change would come across as self-centered now.

D-Day 9/11/21 - 9/19/21WS(me 40sM)Status: IC, reading and forums

posts: 27   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2021
id 8694004
default

 ShatteredImage (original poster new member #79477) posted at 5:31 PM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Forgot to answer

How did the AP enter the picture? Was it a standard sex-for-ego-kibble exchange?

It was a work trip where in 2020 (Jan) there was flirtation that I was oblivious to until she said something that resonated; a second work trip (Mar) became more overt and by the end of the week were physically together once. I had a few drinks but don't think that is to blame aside from lowering inhibitions. The next day was super awkward before flying out that evening. As we live in different states, it evolved into more of an emotional affair with chatting, then more physical with video calls or pictures - sometimes of a sexual nature. Most of the discussion was pretty domestic, doing this today or that, but once every two weeks or so there'd be more sexual discussions.

Earlier this year, wound up flying and seeing her and then she came down to see me and things became more frequent like once a month. I think we both knew there was no future - we even had those discussions in round about ways that it was impractical, but couldn't stop. Upon my return home from seeing her, she sent a bunch of messages that popped up on my phone while driving with the wife, she had been drinking as she went to Mexican with her family I think - I opened the chat program without thinking and BW saw a face.

I got lots of praise from AP, physicality was an element but didn't seem the overriding element - she said she was a very physically affectionate person and that was true when we saw each other, but was more a source of frustration due to distance and when we were together in person my difficulty to perform. Even the ability to be expressive was more difficult in person because we were so used to the chatting or small phone screen.

Worth noting that I am trying to look for another job and per AP's husband so is she.

[This message edited by ShatteredImage at 3:53 AM, Wednesday, October 20th]

D-Day 9/11/21 - 9/19/21WS(me 40sM)Status: IC, reading and forums

posts: 27   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2021
id 8694011
default

BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 8:12 PM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

changing the interaction with BW is going to be slow because I think the things I need to change would come across as self-centered now.


This is accurate. If your marriage was founded on your conflict avoidance, then healthy self-advocacy may come across as arrogance and lack of remorse. You have a lot of work to do on rebuilding trust before you can reasonably expect to address that dynamic.

I don't know how far back you've read, but we have a WW here named hikingout who pulled back from the site in the last few months to spend time on the road with her husband. Several years ago, she had an exit affair in which she used typical resentments (he doesn't appreciate me, he expects me to be Superwoman, etc) as a justification for cheating. Her AP got caught and dropped her like a hot potato, at which point she began the work to get over losing him. Gradually, she realized that her attraction to him was just a projection, that he was a player who knew how to make her feel "seen," and that a lot of those "unfair expectations" from her BH were things she had put on herself. Her childhood experiences made her believe that she had to be perfect in order to be worthy of love. She unpacked this, took it to heart, and became a model recovering WW.

Then the other shoe dropped. She discovered that her husband used his own resentment as justification for cheating with one of their employees. His affair went on for 18 months before she caught him in similar circumstances to how your BW caught you. In the aftermath, hikingout revisited her willingness to absolve her husband of all blame for their marital problems. Just as it wasn't fair for her to vilify him for her own perfectionism, it also wasn't healthy to agree that all her grievances were figments of her imagination. Some of those feelings were entirely legitimate. It takes enormous growth to trust your own instincts about the difference between healthy humility and toxic shame.

This was an interesting recent thread on the topic of conflict avoidance and self-advocacy after an affair.
https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums/?tid=654857&HL=62313 Mrs. Walloped weighed in on it, and she's another excellent resource.

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2136   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8694037
default

forgettableDad ( member #72192) posted at 9:34 PM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Big things - I tend to omit, I don't do it frequently aside from the A.

Little things - probably still an omitter....

Crikey, so to answer bluntly. You lie. Alot.

As far as manipulations go, if I have to judge by your posts, I'd say you're definitely good at reading a room and adjusting. Again, not trying to be mean. I'm stating how I read your words. I might be wrong. Hard to know on anonymous forums.

Why did you call yourself "ShatteredImage"?

What is it you want to gain from going to therapy? Your marriage is over; so it clearly can't be that. I mean, you can rebuild (if and when she wants) but that's not what therapy is for. Why did you want to sleep with another woman? Why aren't you consistent with your children? Why have you never reached an understanding between you and your wife regarding disciplining the children? There's a million questions that you're going to have to examine and answer in the real world, related to your life and your character before 'healing' can happen.

Do you understand that no matter how much you work on yourself and get better your wife owes you nothing. There's no guarantee that therapy, books, SI etc will stop her from divorcing you. Do you trust her enough to let her (at least in your mind) make that decision?

I don't know if I'm taking this anywhere in particular. I think the best advice I can give you is that becoming a better person, actually a better person, is hard and takes a long time. And it is and has to be its own reward.

I think most relationships can be rebuilt, infidelity and all. But it takes genuine effort over time (from both people) - not pretty words on the internet.

[This message edited by forgettableDad at 9:35 PM, Tuesday, October 19th]

posts: 275   ·   registered: Dec. 1st, 2019
id 8694051
default

 ShatteredImage (original poster new member #79477) posted at 10:39 PM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Crikey, so to answer bluntly. You lie. Alot.

@forgettableDad maybe, I can't think of big lies other than the A, but I'd rather err on the side of needing improvement than say no and wanted to share how I omit, hence the crypto example. I didn't see it as a problem since I didn't hold crypto, but she saw it as a way I could buy cryptocurrency. In business, I have to omit certain details so I've adapted or probably always used that to answer a question technically correct. I can't even perceive it so I am using what she'd say because if there's introspection to do then I'd rather do it than delude myself all is good.

As far as manipulations go, if I have to judge by your posts, I'd say you're definitely good at reading a room and adjusting. Again, not trying to be mean.

You can be mean if that's what's needed, I don't take it as such. I am adaptable, but trying to focus on this process - which as you say and I understand has no guarantees. I genuinely do self-reflect, but I look at how I behaved and am in shock and disgust.

Why did you call yourself "ShatteredImage"?

The view of myself has changed, it changed the instant the A began. I used her previous threats made during arguments to try to justify my actions and rationalize them, ridicule in arguments, the lack of attention, coarse words - all sorts of s**t to try to justify. She may have said hurtful things but I had the A and was most hurtful, she used some words in anger because she knew it would get my attention. I also think about how others will perceive me and how I will perceive myself, a stain that stays forever and I've also heard the analogy from BW to break a vase and then remake it the same as it was - you can't. My mother was married 3 times, I swore I would not go down that path - that it would be for life and I know that might not be the case anymore.

What is it you want to gain from going to therapy?

I hope to gain some better understanding and ability to eventually communicate more effectively in a rebuilt marriage if that's possible.

Removed reference here

I'd like to rebuild, I'd like to be more vocal, what I did wasn’t right but the marriage would need to change. I'm examining why we never reached equilibrium - the closest was if one is disciplining the kids the other parent should not pile on. I think IC will help me make progress on improving but am doubtful at the same time: I want to understand why I did what I did and how to prevent it from reoccurring. A lot of my hopes are for MC if we make it that far, but as others say it’s the journey over which I have no control of the outcome.

@BraveSirRobin Thanks for the link to the other user.

[This message edited by ShatteredImage at 4:03 AM, Wednesday, October 20th]

D-Day 9/11/21 - 9/19/21WS(me 40sM)Status: IC, reading and forums

posts: 27   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2021
id 8694060
default

 ShatteredImage (original poster new member #79477) posted at 12:57 AM on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

BW saw this post and thread and is upset and asking me to leave the house. I've been staying in a spare room. There are things that I haven't included about our early relationship, my lack of enthusiasm, lack of drive or purpose compared to her and a lot of things.

She feels like I am full of vitriol and have no empathy.

I don't know if that's how my posts read - it isn't how I wanted them to.


I am trying to share my perspective or side of why might I have done it. I've read Dom's post twice, the one with the breakfast analogy of why. The things I've shared are certainly not intended to come across as if I am without fault in this relationship, even before the A there are things I should have done - outside of what we've talked about.

I;m trying to understand why I did what I did and if I can be better - she doesnt believe me but I hope I can be better for whatever is in the future.

D-Day 9/11/21 - 9/19/21WS(me 40sM)Status: IC, reading and forums

posts: 27   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2021
id 8694082
default

forgettableDad ( member #72192) posted at 1:14 AM on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Dunno if it's the insomnia but this is the most I've interacted here for a while laugh

I'm not really big on metaphors and analogies but the one that stuck with me for my lying, sorry, omitting the truth, is this. For me, telling the truth is a race, I can see the finish line just a little bit further but every step takes enormous effort because the weight of the stone I carry is crushing. Then again, every time I cross that line, the stone gets slightly lighter (I know that it'll never fully go away, too much time spent in shitty patterns).

I think you carry a very heavy stone; I don't even know if you can see it yet.

****

I'd like to rebuild

The harsh truth is, you can't. It's not your choice to make.

I'm examining why we never reached equilibrium

This is something to do later. Together (if you both can). Now is not the time to examine her or your relationship. Which I guess is my point.

What I had to do, for my wife,

Trust her. Give her space. Support her decisions and her rage/anger/hate. Be there under her terms. And dive into therapy for yourself. Not for her. I hope she sees a good enough core in the relationship and you to find her way back - as I said, I believe in most relationships. But you need to figure out how to get out of your own hole. And I think you need to figure out which hole you're in because I don't know that you can see how the entire way you've lived your life ended up with you betraying the one person you've sworn to love. I sure as hell don't know, given that I'm me and not you.

Keep posting here but do the work in real life. And give yourself time - because it takes a shitload of it.

Ah, and learn to understand that you can't control the outcome (wow, that was a difficult lesson for me).

[This message edited by forgettableDad at 1:17 AM, Wednesday, October 20th]

posts: 275   ·   registered: Dec. 1st, 2019
id 8694084
default

 ShatteredImage (original poster new member #79477) posted at 4:22 AM on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

@forgettableDad I'm glad for your insomnia. laugh

I appreciate you calling things as you see them. I don't know how my posts read to others. I am trying not to censor myself when I write (which might be a bad thing at times ); I probably tend to look for clues from the past that might have opened the door for this terrible behavior. Maybe those are my poor attempts to look inward. I go in circles with things lately, asking myself why and how I could ever reassure her it won't happen again. How does one trust someone who lied and behaved so poorly? The D-day was full of denial for a week and I exhibited terrible behavior.

Putting down my thoughts in this forum frees me of them for a brief period of time, and different perspectives help. I don't go into every detail of the relationship, but I presume that those reading know it's only half the story. It's hard to concentrate now.

D-Day 9/11/21 - 9/19/21WS(me 40sM)Status: IC, reading and forums

posts: 27   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2021
id 8694100
default

BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 4:38 AM on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Sigh.

One of the common characteristics of waywards is that we're validation junkies. We want to be seen as the best at whatever we're doing, and it's all too easy to turn our SI posts into a piece of performance art. But remember, when you're posting on the Wayward Forum, you're speaking to an audience of accomplished liars, manipulators and self-deluders. We'll give you the benefit of the doubt when we post, but that doesn't mean our mental wheels aren't turning as we read.

ForgettableDad didn't need to be told that there was some important context you were leaving out because he shoveled plenty of bullshit in his own rodeo. Until your BW unveiled herself, I personally was 50/50 on whether you were a troll. It's unusual to see someone so immediately receptive to our advice. Typically, when new WS arrive here in self-flagellating mode, they drown us in flowery language and then vanish when we aren't full of praise for their insight and dedication. You appeared to be doing the work, but there were these little breadcrumbs you were dropping about isolation from your family, endless criticism from your BW, a dead bedroom, her inconsistency with the kids. You were playing the long game by trying to get us to drag out your side of the story -- hence FD's inquiry about manipulation. We're all skilled practitioners here.

I'm not walking back any of my advice. Most of the time, I'm writing for lurkers anyway. But here's a new piece: if you're here to leverage our opinions in a fight with your spouse, it's going to backfire. It has never gone well when a BS and WS try to use SI as a mediator or jury. I mean, sometimes it has gone SPECTACULARLY badly. So it might be that you're best off reading the extensive archive of posts from experienced waywards and forgoing the feedback from now on.

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2136   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8694101
default

 ShatteredImage (original poster new member #79477) posted at 12:57 PM on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

One of the common characteristics of waywards is that we're validation junkies. We want to be seen as the best at whatever we're doing, and it's all too easy to turn our SI posts into a piece of performance art.

Validation junkie, yes - I want to be told that what I am feeling and the process is normal. I've never been here before, have almost never commented on any forums of any kind.

but that doesn't mean our mental wheels aren't turning as we read.

I certainly hope not.

ForgettableDad didn't need to be told that there was some important context you were leaving out

I think that's inherent in my posts, I'm trying to race to some great epiphany or understanding and I'm impatient. I'm looking for ways to address BW's desire for assurance that I'd never do this again, so it's inherently an effort focused on me. That doesn't mean I don't try to take your suggestions or advice, I try to ask how she's doing and I've failed at trying to outwork her in reading as I've said I wasn't a reader but have been reading a lot.

I personally was 50/50 on whether you were a troll. It's unusual to see someone so immediately receptive to our advice. Typically, when new WS arrive here in self-flagellating mode

I hope this shows I am real - maybe that's more seeking validation, but also the truth. The crumbs are real for me, just as she has crumbs and whole loaves she's been upset about but either had pseudo accepted because of children and faith that I had morals, which has now been broken.

I in no way want to earn sympathy or recruit supporters, no one here knows me personally or my spouse. I came here because you've all been on one side or other and because BW posted a link to another post on this site. I have an IC that's trying to help me through this, she attended the first session to share her side. I'm skeptical that IC's become more understanding of their clients, so some of the crumbs I've posted about my family started there as a discussion.

It's unusual to see someone so immediately receptive to our advice.

I hope I am the exception and am appreciative of what's been shared, and may continue to be shared. As you later suggest, maybe I forgo the feedback now. It will be hard - it was easier to share what I was thinking here and as I said it helped free me of some thoughts for a few precious moments and let me get your perspectives. My expectations may be wrong, the things I've posted are from my point of view and as with any M there were ups and downs. I started off on the wrong foot at the very start with BS not being as expressive or understanding what I needed to give, but nonetheless we continued on and had built something good, which might end now. We continue to write each other every day and I'm trying to be an empathetic person, to own my mistakes, to take the actions suggested - yes reading it must sound like the need for more validation. I just met some of you, why do I care? I care because if there is hope to guide me out of this and into a loving M with BW, I want that for my kids, myself and if I can be deserving her.

[This message edited by ShatteredImage at 12:58 PM, Wednesday, October 20th]

D-Day 9/11/21 - 9/19/21WS(me 40sM)Status: IC, reading and forums

posts: 27   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2021
id 8694129
default

Bulcy ( member #74034) posted at 3:44 PM on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Shattered,


Welcome to SI from a WS who is still working on himself after years of lies and TT. There is a huge amount to unpack from this thread. You’ve received a load of replies from people further down the road than I am and this needs to be taken on board by you…Hey, even me. I would like to comment on things though and offer my opinions as I’m not in a position to offer advice without coming over as a hypocrite.

It seems you are doing the right things and seeking advice from here and from professionals (that said some of the posters on here are better than professionals I have dealt with). Some of what I write might come over as an attack, I hope it doesn’t, it is genuinely not meant that way.

One of the early posters mentioned affair recovery. This is an amazing resource and they are constantly adding new items. If you have not already done so subscribe. You mention you have done lots of reading, books, forums, watching YouTube clips etc…PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not just offer these lip service. Read and digest what you are being told. I’ve read so many books, listened to people, had counselling, had mentoring and still I lied and omitted the truth from my BS. This cannot be the way for you to move forwards. The books you’ve read (Linda MacDonald being the best) are great if you follow the advice. I read them and remember thinking how good the book was and how much of it I was doing. To the extent that I even mentioned this to counsellor and a former mentor. They thought I was doing the right thing as did I. However, I was far from it. There were still lies, I was not doing EVERYTHING from the books I was only doing the easy stuff or the not so painful stuff. The work I did was rendered worthless as it was not always true and not done with the right intentions. Yeah, there was some truth there, but given there were some downright lies and omissions the work was a complete waste of time. I’m not saying what you are doing in any way mirrors me, but please learn from my lack of effort and truth while I was working through a false recovery.

I know it’s hard, shutting down is dangerous and in no way helps. This is a big problem for me, when conversations get tough I shut down. I’ve sometimes countered this by saying the first thing I can think of (using think loosely) and say something crass or down right damaging to my BS. Seek help from IC on this. I’ve watched YouTube clips on this and anger in the last couple of days and will revisit as I need this to change if there is any chance if me healing, let alone the marriage healing. Which brings me to another point. Right now, you need to understand you and heal you. Daddy Dom says you need to love yourself before you can love others. I did not and maybe do not still get this. I confused loving yourself with selfishness, but they are utterly different. Work on yourself with your counsellor and try and become the man you wanted to be. Don’t give up hope. In saying that, do not neglect you BS entirely. You can’t fix her, you can’t make decisions for her, you can’t get upset when she shouts and screams at you. Man, this is hard. I struggle with this. I put my Mr Fix-it hat on when we are talking and try and fix any small issue that comes up. I’ve also increased the level of work I do round the house, do the odd repair job and have tried to solve the issues created by my infidelity by doing other shit. While it’s appreciated by my BS IT DOES NOT FIX ANYTHING.

Any justifications you have for the affair…Let them go. Previous posts have commented on issues with your parents. Re read what Daddy Dom says and what others have said about it being your choice to cheat. I don’t think you’re blaming your mother, but if there is any thought it your head that this is the case then please stop. Everything you did was your choice. Why you chose to do it is a long hard road that we both need to walk. Good luck with this. Hopefully you have been 100% truthful with BS. I see you initially though along the lines of "What she don’t know, can’t hurt her". Trust me it can and WILL hurt her. If you BS is anything like mine and so many others on here they know more than you will ever believe. They can sense when you’re hiding something and given your previous lies she will imagine the worst. Even if you are telling the truth she still may not believe it and she is utterly entitled to feel that way. Like me and all other WS, you have broken your BS in ways you can’t begin to imagine at the moment. You feel shame, of course you do. You do seem to be showing empathy though which is encouraging. There is a great series of Ted talks by Brene Brown (The power of vulnerability) where she discusses the difference between Guilt and Shame as well as Empathy and Sympathy. I found this enlightening, even if I still struggle with putting her words into action. The shame spiral is an awful and damaging place to be. I’m trying to get out of this with the help of a poster on this site. Living in shame means you cannot and will not do anything constructive in your recovery.
Focus on the now and stop TRYING to do things and actually do them, again I think you’re doing well in your work give the short time since D-day. It is easy to get complacent and think I’ll read that book or take that advice and then either forget or only do it for a short time. Learning new behaviours is really difficult. From introducing new boundaries to checking a simple reply to a text message to BS, you need to make sure you give 100% (hey even 110%) as one slip can really push recovery backwards.
Its good that you have done a timeline, can you do me a favour and re-read it? When you’ve done this, ask yourself how honest have you really been? What have you omitted? Have you added feelings that you were going through at the time? Have you been honest to the point of being brutal to BS if she were to read it? Is it compassionate or just a list of facts? I would then recommend writing it again and if necessary, again. It is highly likely that your first draft…." could be better". I can’t remember the authors name, but initial recover has been described in the past as the "shitty first draft" You need to be honest with yourself. I’m not accusing you of anything, I’m speaking from experience and from reading this forum. Many timelines are initially awful and untruthful.

You’ve mentioned only telling a few people about the affair, if this is what BS needs then great, but I think she probably wants and needs to tell others. Previous posts have pointed out this is her choice, not yours. They are correct. BS and I held back on telling people, even now her parents are unaware. We told my parents and my sister in January of this year. It was a pivotal moment for both of us for both a positive and a negative reason. For many years now my BS was convinced my father (and my grandmother when she was alive) did not like her. BS commented on time my father made hurtful comments and would make her visits to them uncomfortable at the very least. I did not see this or refused to see this until I told him about my infidelity. He basically brushed it aside as some of my infidelity happened before we were married, he ignored the fact I was upset and needed help from him and then proceeded to tell me that he has not really liked BS. He effectively suggested the affairs were OK as he did not like her. My sister on the other hand was extremely supportive to both me and BS. She gave me a kick up the arse, while at the same time saying I can and need to save the relationship. I have not told any friends about the affairs (those who knew and were affiliated with the affairs are not longer friends). I do, as mentioned before, have a male friend on SI who I can sound off to and get advice from. (You know who you are and thank you). Enough about me, sorry for the t/j.

Let’s move onto trust, your BS does not trust you. She may never trust you again. Being open and honest at all times can help this. However, the smallest f*ck up can bring the world crashing down on you. (Another thread mentioned buying milk on your way home from work, if you say you’re going to do it, then do it). You mention the blow up you had recently. This has possibly unwound the good work you have done up to that point. Accept this is the case, try not to get too upset by it and pick yourself up. I liked Rockets boat analogy. You’re struggling getting the boat to the jetty and every screw up you make adds another hole to the boat. Hey, it might even be the hole hat sinks the boat. Be prepared for this. Other posters have mentioned that you may well get all the answers, become a better person and be the man you need to become, and this might still not be enough. You have broken your marriage and you’ve broken your BS.

I’ve been there and still am there with the need for validation and attention. All my affairs were based around this and my recovery to this time has also been about me and how good I look should others find out. I’ve lied to counsellors and I’ve told them only the good work I have been doing. I avoid discussing my screwups and have convinced myself I’m further down the road than I am. Avoid this, really did into where you are. Also, you mentioned going away for a birthday. Have you spoken to BS about her feeling on this? My point is twofold. Your opinion does not really matter, hers does. You’re going away, I’m not sure if she is going with you or not, but if not then you really need to think. You had your affair while away. This could be a HUGE trigger for her. Try and dig deep into her true feelings. Secondly, you are working on recovery, your BS is devastated, and you want to go away and have fun. While this is a fantastic idea if she agrees, it could be detrimental if she views it as you are hiding away from your responsibility to recovery. Avoidance is very damaging, even if it is inadvertent. Try to avoid "How good am I?" this applies to counselling, discussions with BS, any mentoring, posting here on SI and to yourself. The WSs on here have been there, seen it and done it. The BSs on here have heard it all from their BS and others posing on here. The same should apply to counsellors too. Most important in your BS. She will likely see through you bs (bullshit) and will not react well to it. Yes, you need to see the good work you’re doing as does BS, but be careful when pointing this out.

The work you are doing needs to be done because you WANT to rather than you NEED to. Certainly, from my experience anyway. I knew I need to do the work and I have tried to do it for my BS. I did not want to do it, I hate doing it, I hate thinking of myself as a broken person who has who made the choice to do bad things to make myself feel better, ignoring any consequences to my BS or my marriage and indeed me. I hate looking back at all the awful thing I have out BS through, the list goes on. It has put me in the shame spiral several times. When there the work being done is pretty much worthless. If it’s not done with a clear head and the right intentions (improving yourself) then you’re going to struggle with honesty and openness in the work you do. It will build resentment towards BS because you’re feeling like crap and you’ll blame her for you felling crappy. Please try and avoid this. I wrote notes of points I wanted to cover and have just seen one on sharing details of the sexual acts and does this hurt recovery. My answer to this is both yes and no. Because of my previous lies my BS needs complete openness on what happened with the affairs and what we did together. This has had an impact on our sex life as she has triggers and mind movies all the time. We try to work through this and I’m on the constant lookout for her triggering. It does sometimes impact performance and it has even made us stop what we’re doing and talk about the triggers either one of us has had.

M/C is important, but really this needs to be on BSs terms. Waiting is probably a good idea. May on here (me included) have not had good experiences of MC when undertaken too early. I lied to our counsellor and was really not in the right place to take any advice that was given. Additionally our first one was awful and played down the affairs. I of course chose not to see it as she was validating me. BS saw it for what it was and we stopped using her. If you can find a good one then this can be useful. One who will see past any bs you’re spouting. When you do got there, be honest and listen. The downside with MC is that they’re there to try and save the marriage…Not a bad thing in itself of course, but they may not focus on the things you need. They may brush aside the affair and focus solely on the future. It’s their job, right? It does not however help in your journey of discovery the true whys. That needs a different kind of help and maybe needs an additional source of help.

I really don’t want this to come over as too negative. I’m writing this from my experiences and the advice I’ve ignored until now. All the WSs on here have made mistakes the "older and wiser" ones have see WS come and go especially those who do not want to listen to the advice offered or wanted a pat on the back or even worse validation for their affairs. It’s important to take on board what you read on here, but even more important to follow though and act on it. I’ve not done this and am in a much worse place as a result. You seem to be doing the right things, but make sure you actually are and continue with the work.

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs. Two ONS (2000) D-Day's 2003 August '17 and Jan 21

posts: 94   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8694154
default

 ShatteredImage (original poster new member #79477) posted at 4:59 PM on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Great response Bulcy, I appreciate the clear and direct language. It's easy to understand when I'm encountering some difficulty following more abstract thoughts.

a few notes

Also, you mentioned going away for a birthday. Have you spoken to BS about her feeling on this? My point is twofold. Your opinion does not really matter, hers does. You’re going away, I’m not sure if she is going with you or not, but if not then you really need to think.

She is going, so it would be me accompanying her and the kids.

The work you are doing needs to be done because you WANT to rather than you NEED to. Certainly, from my experience anyway.


This is actually huge for me - I probably am doing it because I NEED to and some of the things I'm reading in particular are becoming enjoyable. I hope that starts the transformation of turning NEEDs into WANTs. I want to be a better person, but as many indicate confronting your behavior and challenging self isn't easy. It is hard to put everything into action, to take the advice and live it.

Great note on marriage counseling - makes sense, it is their job. Tight on time but wanted to say I appreciated the post.

D-Day 9/11/21 - 9/19/21WS(me 40sM)Status: IC, reading and forums

posts: 27   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2021
id 8694174
default

BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 6:46 PM on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Terrific post, Bulcy.

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2136   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8694191
Cookies on SurvivingInfidelity.com®

SurvivingInfidelity.com® uses cookies to enhance your visit to our website. This is a requirement for participants to login, post and use other features. Visitors may opt out, but the website will be less functional for you.

v.1.001.20211124 2002-2021 SurvivingInfidelity.com® All Rights Reserved. • Privacy Policy