Gracey (original poster new member #79334) posted at 3:29 PM on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021
My WH has always had a problem with responsibility & blames others when he is clearly at fault. He has recently started admitting things he is guilty about that happened years ago. We are supposed to be reconciling and yet there is still things about his affair that he is keeping back. We also have the occasional tears when I think he allows himself to accept he is to blame however he remains silent on explaining. Has anyone else had this as not sure if he cannot face himself or is still lying?
Together 33 years Married. 17 years
suddenlyisee ( member #32689) posted at 5:25 PM on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021
My WS was able to describe some of her silences in these ways:
Early, it was flat-out selfish lying. Deny, deny.
As fog lifted and she really began assessing whether she thought she could salvage things, silence was more about self protection not revealing too much, so if she decided to leave, it could stay secret - and taking smaller steps until she was sure she could take the hammering.
When she owned it, her silences were much shorter and were less about self protection or self doubt and more about wanting to understand what she needed to say before saying it (she would clarify thoughts in IC and then open up).
When she committed to R she struggled with staying silent because she didn't want me to hurt more.. and I really think, as mis-guided as THAT was - it made sense to her.
Now, silence is solely about her just feeling like crap about things - and it doesn't last more than a few minutes.
Gracey (original poster new member #79334) posted at 6:59 PM on Monday, November 8th, 2021
Thank you suddenlyisee, that has helped as I do feel that my WH has been fence sitting about going or not. What timescale did it take to get the full answers and how did full ownership happen, did you do or say anything or did your spouse just get there by themselves? I am trying to be patient and not to anxious however when there is so many unanswered questions, its hard not to doubt the genuine reconciliation.
Together 33 years Married. 17 years
Notaboringwife ( member #74302) posted at 7:48 PM on Monday, November 8th, 2021
I am two plus years in R, after our separation following D-Day.
My husband has not been cheating during our R. Out of deep, deep shame and ego bruising, he is really changing his behaviour with me. Shame is not the same as guilt. From his shame, he had great difficulty in answering hard questions about his affair, once we started R. That was year one..
Year two, he opened up a tad and his behaviour started to be more giving towards me. And by then, I no longer was obsessed about getting answers. My IC helped me adjust and I remain today just curious about his past behaviours during his affair. His consistent "good", caring behaviour is what I need. And I am seeing that going on for three years. Oh yes, there are ups and downs, but overall good progress.
He went to one couples session in year one. I remember he was quite guarded with the therapist. He stopped but I continued with IC and this worked well for us. Going to IC or MC was not my requirement for us to reunite after our separation.
We are both in our late sixties. Together for 40+ years. I know I will never get all the answers to his affair behaviours...that's OK. All I know for certain, is that things do change. And they will change in the future for us and I will never ever let him hurt me again. He knows that.
I think patience is a must for us former BS. It helped me a lot. I hope it helps you too...
It's your road & yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you. Though nobody can go back and make a new beginning... you can start over and make a new ending.
shellofme ( member #57133) posted at 7:52 PM on Monday, November 8th, 2021
If a WS isn't "acting out" anymore, and is committed to recovery and reconciliation, then they should be willing to talk about whatever you need to talk about. How long ago was your DDay? Is your WH getting support? Is he in IC, a program, or some kind of a group?
Rug sweeping and trickle truth are common for a FWS who has recently stopped acting out behaviors. It can take a while for even the most honest and committed FWS to fully pull his/her head out of their own ass. However, continuing to gas light you about whether he is currently acting out isn't a reconciliation behavior. Do you believe he is still seeing his AP? On your profile you stated your WH might be still acting out and also that you aren't sure if it was/is a PA? If you are not sure if he is currently acting out, then how can you decide if he is reconciliation material?
Your decision about whether to attempt reconciliation would need to be made once you know everything you need to know, once he has gone NC w/his AP, has completely stopped lying to you, and has committed to recovery in observable ways (not just by talking about it). Even then, it takes a long time of sitting back and observing a FWS' behavior for a BS to be able to make a decision about whether they are willing to give the FWS the opportunity to reconcile.
Even once a WS becomes a FWS, he/she might take a long time to understand why they did what they did, and to be able to explain that to themselves, or to their BS. Someone doesn't become the type of person that leads a secret life and lies to their BS in one day, so they aren't going to be able to heal themselves and change their brains overnight either.
NC needs to happen before you can decide if you want to attempt reconciliation together. Recovery and reconciliation are HARD work, and it takes a long time. It requires both parties be totally honest and committed.
suddenlyisee ( member #32689) posted at 9:48 PM on Monday, November 8th, 2021
What timescale did it take to get the full answers and how did full ownership happen, did you do or say anything or did your spouse just get there by themselves?
I'd say it took a good 12 months (the second time around) for her to get to a place where I really believed she 'got it'.
In hindsight, I think it could have happened much quicker and that I was probably the hold up. I was simply afraid.
As a lot of BSs do - I felt not good enough, and felt like I would stand a better chance if I was "patient" and "helpful". Sounds dumb, but a lot of us fall into the role of 'teacher' or 'tour guide' when it comes to reconciliation. That's not patience OR help - it's just trying to control something you know nothing about.
"Being in control" of the reconciliation really isn't possible. All it did was make me feel like I was doing all the work - and it gave her a REALLY clear picture of the work she needed to do: which was, as it turned out, not a damn thing more than what I specifically asked for. I felt like I was micromanaging things, and over-reacting - and she picked up on it and became irritated that I couldn't get over it - because, as we established, she was doing everything I asked, and I still wasn't happy. I realized we were right back where we were after the previous affair, about to rug-sweep the whole thing and white knuckle it again.
In response to another "I don't know what you want me to do!" I basically said "No kidding. I don't know what I want you to do either - I don't really know what you DID, or why you did it, so I can only GUESS what you need to do. I've been waiting for YOU to figure that out. From now on it's up to you. You'll either get there, or you won't. Hope you do, I'll be patient as long as I can. I'll help you if you ask."
After that, empathy blossomed - our conversations became open and productive. She started working at it when she needed to - and not a day before.
Gracey (original poster new member #79334) posted at 7:34 PM on Tuesday, November 9th, 2021
Thank you for all your replies. I think my WH is having a hard time knowing what to do to make things better and is avoiding looking at his own behaviour in all this. I saw IC for sometime and we saw same therapist as a couple. Unfortunately it has been suggested to me by IC that WH’s AP probably is a narcissist. My WH sometimes recognises her behaviour has been serious enough to be abuse and utterly vile and then he goes back into denial about it all and wants me to just deny it all as well. I think understandably I am now extremely anxious that the AP may have been in touch with him.
Together 33 years Married. 17 years
nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 10:20 PM on Tuesday, November 9th, 2021
Is everything you know about AP through your WH? If your WH has a tendency to blame others for things he did, I wouldn't be so quick to believe everything he says about her. Not to defend her but he's probably passing off some of the blame of the A her way when he feels like it. I'd be curious to know what he says to his IC and others about you when you're not around.
Can you verify that he's broken NC? What would the consequences be if he's talking to her again?
This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 1:37 AM on Wednesday, November 10th, 2021
Rugsweeping, blame shifting, and trickle truth isn't R. It's at best limbo.
Has he read "How to help your spouse heal from your affair"? Identified his stumbling blocks? Worked on them?
Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.
Seeking2Forgive ( member #78819) posted at 4:57 AM on Wednesday, November 10th, 2021
During R my FWW made the process of getting answers complete torture. Sobbing in the dark for hours while I lie there waiting for two, maybe three, terse answers. She said that it was the overwhelming guilt and shame. Maybe that was true but I believe that over time she used it to manipulate me. It worked. Eventually I put her pain ahead of mine and followed a doctor prescribed regimen of rug sweeping and blame acceptance that has me back here almost two decades later looking for answers.
Do not stop asking until you know everything that you need to know to be comfortable that you can reconcile with that person. You should know what they have to be remorseful for. You should know what you are trying to forgive.
Likewise, you should accept no blame. None. My FWW blame shifted heavily for the first six months. She had the support of our therapist and her "both partners share responsibility..." counseling. Finally it was what she learned here at SI that moved her to accept full responsibility. She wrote me a letter taking responsibility 8 months after Dday. Unfortunately I had already strapped on my share of blame and would carry it with me for almost 20 years. Don't do that.
If you have not already, ask him for a detailed, written timeline of all infidelities. Writing it out may help him feel safer than talking face to face. Then he just needs to find a moment of courage to share it with you. Let him know that you're going to give him a written list of follow-up questions to fill in any blanks to help you understand happened and what he was thinking and feeling about it.
This is what I did with my FWW. She made a good effort at the timeline that helped me put a lot of things together. It also showed me how foolish I had been not to demand full transparency at the time. I gave her nearly 100 follow-up questions which she's working on now.
Take my advice, ask those questions now while the memories are still there.
Me: 59, BS
Her: 58, FWS
Married 37 yrs