What realityblows said is what I was going to say in terms of how this is important to your bs. They are never not thinking about it.
We ws tend to believe that by hiding certain things that we are protecting our spouse. In reality we are trying to control the outcome of whether they decide to leave- it’s fear based. But it makes it worse for the bs, who needs to process, and there is only so much they can process at once.
The ws is like that too when it comes to processing. We may logically understand something but integrating it into our hearts and behaviors is a lot harder. So in some ways you have to see these conversations as healing for you too. You need to understand what you did, why you did it, not just in the forest sense but in the trees and branches too. Some of your frustration in these conversations is that you too don’t understand why you did that particular detail or that particular thing. When you don’t have a good answer then you go to your default- trying to shut down the conversation.
Also of course working on our shame is another step because it creates hiding. Recognize the shame you have from your affair is really just added shame to how you have always seen yourself. Our shame doesn’t compartmentalize in individual situations, it just snowballs over the years and becomes bigger. Shedding that and coming into the light is a process that breeds compassion for ourselves and others. It allows us to be authentic, be deeply seen, and that experience promotes future vulnerability which is a key ingredient to intimacy.
Fear of our spouse finally giving up and leaving causes us to want to control and manipulate. In the moment it might help to say "I want to answer all your questions. Let me take a deep breath here and gather myself so I can get myself into the moment you are asking me about so I can answer truthfully" or another thing that I found helpful sometimes is "truth is I have no idea why I did that. I can see now how callous it was and how much it hurts the person you are married to would do that. I want to understand why I did that too, can I think about that more?" But always follow up as quickly as possible, this will show her she can trust you aren’t just putting her off or being avoidant. I think you just become overwhelmed and you need to let that feeling pass enough that you can keep the conversation productive.
There are other things you can say to slow down the conversation so you aren’t overwhelmed. Having some go to things will keep you from being hurtful in that moment. You might ask some suggestion scripts from your IC.
Also, always try and remember what you want most is to be on the same team, so be on her team now. Eventually she may want to join your team again as well. She needs to see you are a good teammate who always has her back consistently.
It’s hard also sometimes to admit the truth to ourselves and accept that we have been very foolish in our decisions and how we structured all our justifications. It may help of you can get very real with yourself. Sometimes early on I found myself answering in a way that was the way I wish It was but that never holds up under scrutiny. It took some time for me to stop worrying about the fact I am the bad guy, and just be the person I wished I had been all along in that moment. The more I did that the more I became the kind of person I wanted to be and that increased my confidence in my overall direction.
Be open and honest with yourself, and allow that to flow into the conversation. If you are honest there are probably a lot of good traits that you have. There are some bad traits. We all have good and bad. We work in the bad things as much as we can l, and we work to remove the obstacles that we have to give and receive love.
Your relationships with others are often a product of our relationship with ourselves. Work on who you are with yourself. Can you find compassion for yourself? If you have that you will find compassion for someone else. Are you honest with yourself? That lends our abilities to be honest with others? Do you respect yourself? When you on ow how to do that you can do it for others. So in and so forth but your external world is always a reflection of your internal world. Keep cleaning that up, keep growing, and keep trying to be on your wife’s team completely and woo and pursue her every chance you get.
[This message edited by hikingout at 11:19 PM, Monday, August 8th]