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Wayward Side :
triggers

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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 5:57 PM on Wednesday, October 26th, 2022

Not going into specifics, but am triggering really badly today around a discussion of whether or not our M was better before my A or not. The same M that produced my mental breakdown, suicidality, emotional and financial abuse, endurance of EA's and spiritual A's. This was considered better than the M we have now. I'm expected to have empathy for H and his pain and I just can't bring myself to do more than acknowledge, take responsibility for what I did. H has still only accepted that his comparisons of me to HER were wrong. That his spending was out of control. It would heal me so much just to hear him say that, "Yes, I realize now that I abused you financially, emotionally and spiritually. I am so sorry that all I did in my ignorance caused you immense suffering in our M. I'm incredibly sorry I hurt you by all the times I refused to take ownership and refused to participate in healing our M. I wish I had more compassion, patience and courage in the face of our struggles to take responsibility for my share in them. I truly see now that our M was irreparably broken before your A, that the suicidality and mental illness you struggled with for so many years were only exacerbated by my actions. Our M is no where near where I want it to be now, but I see now that where we are is truly on a path to healing and that we have more real hope now we are honestly doing the work together."

Is that too much to ask? Yep, yep it is.

So, what kind of person does that make me, that I think honestly that our M is in a better place now than before my A? Does it make any difference that I don't believe that it's better for my A? Rather that my A put it out of its agony and now there's a shot at birthing something that truly is an M in the first place?

I wish I didn't have my A. I wish that I had written D papers at that time instead. It would have been more honest and a more integrity-preserving thing to do.

I don't want to write D papers now. The person I am and the person H is now are different. The relationship is different. We've grown and our M has too. I just wish that it didn't have to come at the cost of me devastating him with an A.

Sometimes I really don't know how to get through to him? I'm learning now that that's in part what my A was about- screaming and trying to snap him out of his fantasy that he was this fantastic husband and good father and great Catholic and wonderful son and righteous God-fearing man and pillar of the community. How can you be all that when you're financially and emotionally abusing your wife?

I had to do my work getting my head out of my ass. Some days I feel like my H has not done any of his own. That's how I feel, and not necessarily the truth, but here I am.

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her. Financial infidelity again- who says you only cheat with lovers?

posts: 894   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8762240
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doublerainbow ( new member #82239) posted at 1:43 AM on Friday, October 28th, 2022

I believe it was through Affair Recovery that I heard a quote that seems to apply here. Those who are betrayed are responsible for 50% of what went wrong in M, while the unfaithful are responsible for 100% of A. I can’t tell in your post, but MC if you haven’t pursued it or revisiting it assuming you both want to work on M might be a way to go.

I don’t have much advice as I’m new to SI, just wanted to wish you all the best in your recovery journey.

Me: BS (38)
Him: WS (45)
D-Day (Jan 2022), going through D.
1 DD age 4.
Just want to know there’s light at the end of this mess.

posts: 43   ·   registered: Oct. 26th, 2022   ·   location: West Coast
id 8762473
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humantrampoline ( member #61458) posted at 3:29 PM on Friday, October 28th, 2022

Hopefully a Wayward will come on this post and comment. Surely there are WS who can empathize.


When i think of people who have hurt me and the people i love with their behaviors in the past, I don't think too much about an apology. I'm not referring to my WH, but instead family members whom I'd like to try and have a continued relationship.

I do understand you wanting an apology from your husband. Maybe, more i.portantly, you want an acknowledgement that his behavior was hurtful and unkind.

For me to continue a relationship, what i really need is for the person to stop repeating the hurtful behaviour in the same or a similar way over and over with me or my other family members. And when I make a boundary that doesn't tolerate the behavior, I need for them to respectfully acknowledge and accept it.

I wonder if you are looking for the apology or for your husband to stop repeating a version of the same behavior you can not accept?

posts: 590   ·   registered: Nov. 17th, 2017
id 8762604
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:28 PM on Friday, October 28th, 2022

Gently, this is how I responded to your opening post in this thread.

So ... before your A, your H could spend money freely and abuse you, and you were vulnerable to betraying him, he thinks that is better than now?

I don't think he gets that the abuser hurts themself while hurting the abusee. Are you sure he wants to stop abusing you and stay stopped? Has he really stopped even now?

If he looks back on abusing as better than now, I'd be concerned, too.

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: 27872   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8762647
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 10:20 PM on Friday, October 28th, 2022

Thanks for the responses everyone,

HT:

I wonder if you are looking for the apology or for your husband to stop repeating a version of the same behavior you can not accept?

Yes, this is it. H doesn't think that the way he treated me was wrong on a moral background. He sees it as wrong for him to do to ME because of MY pain and abuse background. I'm not comfortable with this since it seems like a relative morality. What if I said, "well, it doesn't bother me that I cheated on you since I don't see anything morally wrong with that. But since I know it bothers YOU and plays into YOUR insecurities, it was wrong of me to do to YOU."

Would that make you feel comfortable and secure knowing that the behavior would never happen again? They may or may not be equivalent offences, but... someone who is comfortable with hurtful behavior because it doesn't bother THEM when it's done to them, but stops because they know it's harmful to YOU... it just shows a different understanding of how to human. THAT's what scares me.

H didn't get abused, bullied and picked on and criticized to the same extreme I did. He holds that if you want to avoid bullying and being picked on, you change yourself to fit in. That it's on YOU to either not be bothered by people's negative reactions to you or to change your behavior to get the validation/civility that you want.

Being the bullied person, who tried their very best to fit in, I can tell you that bullies and abusers are bullies and abusers. THEY are the assholes and bending over to please them and fit in to avoid their attentions... past a certain minimum of hygiene and manners... doesn't stop someone from getting their negative attention. Only grey rock and (if that doesn't bore them so they go away) putting up a decisive fight (for me, actual violence worked) gets them the hell out of your way.

H hasn't had the experiences I have had and I believe him to be naïve on this. I firmly believe that assholes are assholes and no amount of catering to them will change their behavior from shitty to nice. ASK ME HOW I KNOW- in my childhood and in my M. It's not what I've experienced in my life. Maybe my best efforts to fit in inevitably fail because I just don't have an inherent understanding of herd/wolf pack dynamics in humans. H doesn't mind being picked on or spoken to harshly- he also doesn't mind having others speak like that to him. Thus, he doesn't have a problem acting like an asshole to others.

Making me the exception does not make me feel secure that I will remain the exception.

Hi Sisoon,

I don't think he gets that the abuser hurts themself while hurting the abusee. Are you sure he wants to stop abusing you and stay stopped? Has he really stopped even now?

He has really stopped. The last thing (financially) with the watch was shortly after I told him "IC or D." That's over 2 years ago now. He really has stopped comparing me to other women and instead makes an effort to tell me I look good when he thinks I look good. He also is doing MC for me and the sake of our M and takes better care of my wants/needs around the house. We're working more as a team.

The last point of vulnerability and trust that I am holding out with him is the whole thing with J. I don't believe that it's completely dead. I don't trust him that he's not still talking to her. The night out where I would meet her never materialized. H claimed it was because he didn't want to call or talk to her about it and upset me that way. That it was weird between them and he would rather have stopped all contact.

Thing is, both of them are still on snapchat. The texting and calling have stopped, but she still views his "stories" on snap and I really don't trust that they're not texting. I want him off snap. He stopped for a week or so, but started posting again. I know other people here have seen their WS get off one platform only to jump on another, so I'm trying to figure out how to trust H again about J or any other woman he idealizes. What behaviors to look for and what boundaries to draw. The whole "BS" hat is still a new one for me, and really, my husband's hat is a full size 10 gallon hat, while mine is more of a beanie.

Between me being the exception to him being as blunt an asshole with his negativity and criticism and him not really owning (beyond the whole, "I'm sorry I lied, your A made me so vulnerable to this stuff and I'm scared")... I'm not secure in this M.

H can level the same thing at me- I'm having to go into work more now and he's on edge with the supplier visits and meetings on campus. It's something he has to live with. So, maybe this thing (J and the other women he idolizes) is something I have to live with too? Sigh.

It's exhausting. I haven't been coming on here as much because I've really been very numb to the whole situation and focusingon other aspects of my life (friends, volunteering, work, getting better from being sick a whole month, finishing our basement). It's still in the background and Wednesday was hell on wheels anxiety attack of a day. Can only shove so much of the shit onto the back burner before the pot overflows.

So ... before your A, your H could spend money freely and abuse you, and you were vulnerable to betraying him, he thinks that is better than now?

H clarified for me today that he misses the blind trust the most. The trust that I would let him know something was up and that he wouldn't have to worry about me sneaking around behind his back and blindsiding him with my A. That kind of blind trust is forever lost. I didn't understand what blind trust looked like, nor knew to value it, because I had never had it for myself. Not from the time I was about 5/6 years old and could reason. It's like telling someone who is blind how precious and rare a Michaelangelo painting is. They would have no clue what you're talking about, it would be just another piece of flat canvas to them. H misses the old security.

I did speak with him today about how I tried to communicate all the painful things that were wrong to him in our M. I owned that the yelling and screaming made them incomprehensible for him. But, with the flaws I have, I did try. He just COULDN'T hear. I interpreted that as him not wanting to hear, not caring. Like, if he actually gave a shit, he would fight through my anger and yelling and actually put himself and his emotions aside and pay attention. Looking back, I didn't have those listening skills, so how should I have expected HIM to have them? I'm learning now that it's on me when my communication doesn't get through- that I'm in charge of my expression of my feelings. That I'm responsible for expressing them in a manner that can be accepted and digested. Before, I put all that on him.

I don't think H misses the spending freely and abusing me that way... too much. I think he does put upon by my requirements of him speaking gently and with sensitivity around my weak spots. That wasn't something he was exactly trained to do- he got to watch his grandpa treat his mom that way and his mom treat his dad that way too. Mom babied him, but dad was critical. Interesting that. ANYWAY... I think H does miss idealizing the other women. I do believe he feels at a loss on how to communicate his desires for my dress/appearance and house/kids/cars appearance. Appearance (outward beauty) is very important to him (as he's said directly to me). I can't fault him with that, it would be just as bad if he said that it's stupid for me to value kindness and sincerity as essential in my life.

Hm... physical beauty and fitting in as needs vs kindness and sincerity needs... I think I've always been thirsty for positivity and validation. To me, only those who are kind and sincere in their kindness (not using civility to cover their own mockery/judgement) are really trustworthy. I'm not sure that H has ever had to worry about people treating him honestly since his parents were so reliable. They were kind to him and they are people who are generous with their resources and time. But also negative, critical and judgemental and not generous with praise or warmth. I guess it comes down to me valuing emotional generosity over material generosity (beyond basic responsibilities being met). It appears we are a bit different in that regard.

Right now it comes down to both of us building trust with each other. I have to decide to trust that the changes H has made are permanent (minus some occasional errors). Just as he has to decide that the vulnerability I used to have toward cheating is gone too. It's a bit of a standoff right now, which is leaving us both flat and on brother-sister track right now. POLF for him. Me, it's more of a "meh" sexually because the "romantic" isn't there.

Things are better- we're co-parenting better, managing our household and income better, communicating better. Just, that spark... it's not there. I'm sure there's a lot of people out there who can relate to this. It's something I'm willing to be patient with. As I pointed out to H this evening, "Our baseline used to be anger and resentment. Now it's brotherly/sisterly indifference. I'll take that as a win any day. I'm not satisfied with staying here, but I'm ok that we're here for now."

Maybe we just need a rest and a break before digging in and doing heavy emotional work again? I don't know. Right now, I know I'm burnt out from being sick the past 3-4 weeks and having such an emotionally sterile M.

[This message edited by MIgander at 10:21 PM, Friday, October 28th]

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her. Financial infidelity again- who says you only cheat with lovers?

posts: 894   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8762707
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HFSSC ( member #33338) posted at 4:20 PM on Sunday, October 30th, 2022

Oh, wow. I think we’ve discussed before how much you and I have in common. I can relate to so much of this post. And you have put into words something that has always simmered under the surface for me. And I don’t know if this is a phenomenon specific to MH situations or if it’s just harder for a BS to recognize or acknowledge.

Our M sucked for 14 years. There were good moments, some good periods of time. But we were both selfish, impulsive, entitled people ill suited to adulthood much less a healthy M. We caused so much hurt to each other, which just fed the awful cycle of hurt and entitlement. I’d get in trouble with drugs, lose my job, JM would work crazy hours to get the bills paid. He’d then feel entitled to… whatever made him feel better whether it was drinking or buying something ridiculously expensive or ego kibble from some other female who wasn’t a shitty wife/drug addict. I’d find out his secret and be furious. I’d explode and then eventually start using again and the cycle continued. My acting out branched out into online sexual activity and an intense EA that would absolutely have been a PA if the OM had not ended the A.

One of us had to stop. Our M was a disaster just waiting for a spectacular explosive ending. My sobriety starting in 2008 was the catalyst of the change. By the time our final d-day in 2011 happened there was no way I would go back to the way things had been before. I see it the same way you expressed… we just put the previous M out of its misery.

There were some vestiges of the old M that were difficult to let go of. Most of that was related to our childhoods and FOO stuff. It was very hard for me to trust that he would make good decisions for us and or our family and so I had a hard time letting go of unilateral decision making. But he has proven over the last 11 years that he has wisdom and is always looking out for me and our family. Your H, I think, has been less willing to own his part and make amends for the damage he caused to you and to the pre-A M and that’s where your current discomfort arises from.

Your comments about bullying— thank you for that. I’m dealing with that at work and my boss’s response is pretty much your H’s position. I need to grow thicker skin. “Let the high school stuff roll off” me. No, how about you shut the HS stuff down? Tell your staff that none of that will be tolerated? That might be a threadjack but it really helped me to see your thoughts written out like that.

I’m not sure if I’m being helpful to you but I am grateful for your thread because it has provided some really good insight for me.

Me, 54
Him, 45 (JMSSC)
Married 24 years. Reconciled.

posts: 4813   ·   registered: Sep. 12th, 2011   ·   location: South Carolina
id 8762881
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 7:10 PM on Monday, October 31st, 2022

But we were both selfish, impulsive, entitled people ill suited to adulthood much less a healthy M. We caused so much hurt to each other, which just fed the awful cycle of hurt and entitlement. ... He’d then feel entitled to… whatever made him feel better whether it was drinking or buying something ridiculously expensive or ego kibble from some other female who wasn’t a shitty wife

HFSSC, this was us to a T! It's hard not being a selfish asshole in the M! That's probably the hardest lesson I've had to learn in my life!! laugh I'm lucky in that most mothers learn that faster as we're forced to once the kids are born.

we just put the previous M out of its misery.

Yes, this is what I've been trying to help my H understand. He's having a hard time grieving over what he THOUGHT our M was before the A. He's slowly working through it. Confronting this shit is hard, especially if you're not open to insight from IC or really interested in taking a look at your won warts in detail. And really, who does want to look at themselves and their ugly parts? I certainly didn't want to!

I had a hard time letting go of unilateral decision making

Ugh, this is my H. I'm learning that if I want to get something done or to see some change in the family dynamic, I have to influence and not demand. I only knew how to demand, being raised by a woman with a chip on her shoulder toward men. That may work for me in my job, but it doesn't get me anywhere in my M. It's letting go of the idea that if I yell forcefully enough or make my anger so huge, that the other person will give me what I want just to shut me up.

Your H, I think, has been less willing to own his part and make amends for the damage he caused to you and to the pre-A M and that’s where your current discomfort arises from.

Yes, this is the root of the situation. I feel like when it comes time to address the issues he contributed to pre-A, he goes back to how much worse our M is post-A so that he can minimize it or not have to confront himself. He's done some good work there, but there's still a lot of pride around his idea of himself that is making it difficult for him to self-examine on the level that I would like to see. Maybe he is and I'm just not being let in to see it. That though too is problematic for us to have in our M. Hard to feel connected to someone who has a brick wall between you and their interior life. He's not throwing grenades over, and there's been some rows of bricks taken off the top, but we've a long way to go.

No, how about you shut the HS stuff down? Tell your staff that none of that will be tolerated?

Yeah, your boss sounds like a real dick! Unfortunately, people will rise only to the level of the expectations around them. If the boss is tolerating the highschool cattiness in his employees, they will see it as a green light to continue. What a shitty person to work for. Are there other options in your area? I frequently left or moved positions in my career for one of 2 reasons (aside from childbirth): 1. I was bored, 2. I was working for someone I couldn't respect. I had 2 of those before my current company. #2 was at the last heat treat shop I was in. Boss treated the ex-cons and extremely poor folks working for us like garbage. Looked down his nose, acted all paternal and superior. Condescending. Note, he graduated out the same uni program as me maybe 1/2 years earlier. We were in our early 30's. Paid only $10 an hour... so, what do you expect of manual laborers who can only command that wage?? It was #1 and 2 at my previous company (automotive supplier) before the one I'm at now. Got called back into corporate 5 days a week when my plant I was working at closed. There in the office, the work was slow and slim. All the ideas I put forth... no backing. I was told to write program timing in various software programs. I pushed paper a year there and got an offer from my current employer before the VP actually asked me into their technology program meetings where projects were allocated and approved. By then, it was too late, I was already on the way out. I learned from one of the directors that the VP had to be told to include by someone other than my boss. That my boss (manager) never brought my ideas to the VP even. He didn't want to rock the boat or take any risks on of a failure. Cowardice, and as I heard from others after I left, a pathological aversion to allowing people under him shine brighter than he did. mad

Yeah, condescending, unsupportive bosses suck and need to stop managing people! laugh

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her. Financial infidelity again- who says you only cheat with lovers?

posts: 894   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8763004
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stubbornft ( member #49614) posted at 8:16 PM on Monday, October 31st, 2022

Can I ask why you are reconciling? Sounds like you both have been abusive and cheated in some manner. And the two of you aren’t healing well and don’t seem to have a lot of empathy for each other. So why not end this and work on yourselves?

Me: BS 40 Him: WS 51 He cheated with massage parlor sex workersDday 01/19/2021
Kicked him out in 2021 - life is better on the other side. Moved on with the help of a wonderful therapist.

posts: 837   ·   registered: Sep. 14th, 2015   ·   location: TX
id 8763017
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