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Newest Member: Rooroo22

Wayward Side :
My second post (losing hope)

Topic is Sleeping.

Meridiana ( new member #82885) posted at 9:19 AM on Friday, March 3rd, 2023

Hi lonelypilgrim,

I'm a BS. My H is exactly in your same situation even if we are few months from D-Day compared to you and your W; he is also doing the right things, but feels like he is failing and he has a hard time handling my mood-swing regarding his ONS.

Much like you said, my H is not good at expressing emotions, it's something he has never been good at as he was brought up in a family where the only way was to bottle up, so our conversations and especially MC are very challenging for him. He is scared of saying the wrong thing or not expressing himself in the proper way and he is afraid of my possible reaction.

For me, what he is doing by not expressing himself and share what he feels, is exactly the opposite of what I need and I told him that... we had a car ride where he shared his feelings and, not only I felt a genuine connection to him, I felt better.

You may feel frustrated, I'm sure it's normal as you want to help your W, but she may see your frustration and have a reaction that is not helping her. When I see my H frustrated, I understand it's because he wants to help and he is angry at himself, but my reaction is either to withdrawn or get angry in defence.

So her quizzical look this morning was actually a heavy dose of doubt. Not at all the moment of connection i thought it was.

What you did was great, but you shouldn't assume what your W was feeling. Did you reply to her when she said she believed what you did in the morning was fake? Are you watching the trial together?

[This message edited by Meridiana at 9:21 AM, Friday, March 3rd]

posts: 11   ·   registered: Feb. 16th, 2023
id 8780444

SkipThumelue ( member #82934) posted at 12:17 PM on Friday, March 3rd, 2023

Downstairs just now she said to me how this morning was fake and she didn't believe a word i said.

You gave her an honest, thoughtful expression from your heart. She is doing the same for you in return, even though it's not at all what you wanted to hear. Keep doing what you're doing, no matter how painful! I struggled mightily with this myself and still do at times. I believe it was Bulcy who mentioned in this thread or one of his own about how us waywards "expect abc after doing xyz" (or something like that). That has to stop too. It's just more wayward thinking. Doing the difficult work on ourselves while expecting nothing, or even scorn, in return is part of the healing process. It's also part of being human and how we learn humility.

[This message edited by SkipThumelue at 12:18 PM, Friday, March 3rd]

DD: 5/2019
Reconciling and extremely grateful
I do not accept PMs
"The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself." - St. Augustine

posts: 113   ·   registered: Feb. 24th, 2023
id 8780449

Hannah47 ( member #80116) posted at 12:28 PM on Friday, March 3rd, 2023

lonelypilgrim, I read and re-read all your posts. I’m a BS. My story is not very similar to yours. However, what you are describing hits close to home. I recognize my husband in your words, I recognize myself in what you write about your wife.

First, I’d like to thank you for posting. My husband mentioned stuff you’re writing about, but not so eloquently. Your posts helped me to understand what he might be going through. I’m gonna share your posts with him, in hopes of conversation to understand our situation better, and possibly finding a way out of this limbo. Please, keep posting. Also, thank you for allowing BSs to comment.


Second, I’d like to add my +1 on what Wiseoldfool, Stolenpast & Bulcy wrote:

A) initiating discussions about the betrayal – yes, yes, yes. You say you are afraid. My husband also used fear to explain his reluctance to do stuff that I need. I’m struggling to understand that, as it seems so irrational. If that is something a BS needs, what’s there to fear? I guarantee you it might make things worse – in the short term. Meaning, your BS might cry, might say some nasty words, might "criticize" you, you might end up fighting… However, your BS might actually react positively. In any case – long term is what matters here. In the long term, it is so much worth it, I promise!

When my husband is reluctant to do what I need, that tells me yes, he just hopes I’ll get over it and we won’t have to discuss it anymore. Also, it tells me he is still in the avoidant mindset. And that kind of mindset very much contributed to the betrayal in the first place (if it’s not the biggest contributor – if I’d have to single out one "why", it would be his avoidant personality). You also wrote it – betrayal allowed you to avoid difficult things. And now, you are afraid to initiate discussions, so you rather avoid to do that. Mate, avoidance has to go. Do not give in to fear, do not allow it to control you. If I read you correctly, you are afraid of failure. Guess what - the real failure is not to try at all!

In my book, as long as my husband is exhibiting avoidance, he hasn’t changed. He can do 99 other changes, but this is the change I need to see. This is the most important change as I feel it would have a huge effect on many other issues. I understand it’s scary, I understand it is not something you can change overnight, especially if you’ve been like that your whole life. But you can do it, and it will be worth it.

B) It is ok to talk about yourself and the changes you have done / experienced. It is ok to make it about yourself. It is ok to talk about your struggles. This is how you demonstrate vulnerability to your spouse. She might appreciate that. You and your wife are in this together, you are a team, and both of you matter. Talk to her, and together find a balance in addressing her feelings and your feelings.

C) About doing ABC when she needs XYZ – it’s not that ABC don’t matter, it’s just that quite often ABC are things one should be doing in a marriage / relationship by default. At least that is what pisses me off with my husband. When he says stuff such as: I spend more (quality) time with you; we communicate more often; I no longer harbor resentment; and many other things that to me are the default, the way things should be in a marriage. I understand those are changes, I understand those things were absent in our relationship prior to the betrayal, I appreciate and welcome those changes, I don’t take them for granted. But I also don’t feel I should give out special stars for them. Bulcy is spot on – talk to your wife, understand what she needs and do that.


Third, about criticism and defensiveness.

As a BS, I struggle a lot in expressing my feelings about something without sounding like I’m criticizing. Even when I apply Gottman’s advices, my husband too often still hears criticism. Then he gets defensive which prevents him from really hearing me. Then emotions get high, and all hell breaks loose. Then I just don’t care anymore whether I’m criticizing. It’s frustrating.
Please keep in mind that your BS is not a perfect communicator. No one ever taught me how to communicate effectively. I’ve re-read Gottman’s chapter on constructive conflict (from the book What makes love last?) many times. It is great, but it just doesn’t come naturally. And to be honest, his example dialogues don’t sound human to me at all. Sometimes they are just ridiculous – I mean, who on Earth communicates like that?!!

My advice here to both of you is to work on communication skills, accept that it takes time, and until communication improves focus on the content of what is said, not on how it is said. Also, guess what – not everything is about you, even when it looks like it is. Yes, hearing stuff like

"You’re a stupid, selfish shithead, and I wish I never met you. I’ll never forgive you"

repeatedly (something I constructed based on your earlier thread) is disheartening, I understand that. I’m also guilty of saying stuff like that (repeatedly). How do you hear this?

i) I’m stupid, selfish, and a shithead. I’m worthless, I don’t deserve forgiveness. I hurt my wife so much, it’s all my fault.
ii) My wife would rather live without me = I bring no value to her life. She doesn’t see I’ve changed. Perhaps I don’t try hard enough. I can’t do anything right.
iii) She’ll never forgive me, it will always be like that, what’s the point of trying then? There’s nothing I can do.
iv) This is just her pain talking.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Not wrong, but misleading.

If you hear this as i) or ii), you are making this about yourself. You switch your attention from her to yourself. This will prevent you from really hearing her. This will prevent empathy, understanding, validation, and providing support.
i) is a negative self-talk and wallowing in your own shame and guilt = not productive.
ii) will lead to defensiveness. You feel you have no control over things, it’s scary. Fear leads to anger (thanks, Yoda), as anger is a way of regaining a sense of control. You get frustrated and feel the urge to defend yourself – what you are really doing is regaining control. You might even get pissed at your wife for not recognizing your efforts (remember, anger leads to hate).
If you hear this as iii) you are again switching the attention from her. Also, you are demonstrating signs of avoidance, and allowing your fears to take the best of you. This shit is hard, I want easy. There’s nothing I can do, so might as well give up / escape.
If you hear this as iv) you are probably right. However, you are also minimizing and not validating her feelings. That’s why I believe it is misleading to think like that.

Let me try to decipher these sentences for you (the way I see them):

"You’re a stupid, selfish shithead" = "I’m frustrated"
This is equivalent to her standing on the top of the mountain and screaming her lungs out. This is not about you. At worst, it is about the guy you used to be. Most likely it is just her frustration, and her attempt to regain control (remember, anger is a way of regaining control)

"I wish I never met you" = "You hurt me, and I’m sad / frustrated about it"
She’s doing the bargaining phase of healing, negotiating with herself to try to undo the loss. If you two had never met, she wouldn’t be hurt now. As simple as that. Again, this is not about you!

"I will never forgive you" = (most likely) "I’ve already forgiven you (as shown by the fact I’m still here), but I will never admit that, as I’m scared you'll do it again"
This is a threat, as she’s scared you will hurt her again. This is her trying to protect herself from future pain. In her head, if she makes it clear to you that you will not get another chance – she will not forgive another betrayal – that somehow lowers the chance you’ll betray her again. Once more, all about her, not you!

Alright, I’ve written more than I intended to, I apologize for the long post.

To conclude, it would be awesome if all of us could communicate in Gottman’s kinda robotic, but constructive way in all circumstances. But this is real life, not a textbook, and none of us is perfect. Sometimes our emotions get the best of us. It would be awesome if we could just mindmeld. But we can’t. Keep your eyes on the prize (successful reconciliation), and don’t let anything distract you!

Fate whispers to her, "You cannot withstand the storm."
She whispers back, "I am the storm."

posts: 363   ·   registered: Mar. 21st, 2022
id 8780450

BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 12:36 PM on Friday, March 3rd, 2023

So her quizzical look this morning was actually a heavy dose of doubt. Not at all the moment of connection i thought it was.

Ouch, I'm sorry. It's demoralizing to attempt vulnerability and have it received with contempt. Unfortunately, her reaction makes perfect sense. You have a long history of manipulation and dishonesty, so her protective instinct is to identify what you have to gain. She can't look into your head and see that you're sincere... and unfortunately, even if she could, she would be worried that this is just a momentary attempt by a leopard to change his spots.

Your username is apt; remorse can be a lonely pilgrimage. Your sincerity won't suddenly pay off in your BW seeing a brand new you. Maybe she will never be able to see it. But if you want it for yourself, you can stick with the journey, no matter how long it takes, how many tiny good choices you have to make to rewire your mindset, or how many assumptions people make about how you are living now.


posts: 3541   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8780452

InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 2:12 PM on Friday, March 3rd, 2023

Saying what i said came from the heart and was me showing emotion (something i'm not good at). I know that to be true with every fiber of my being.

So her quizzical look this morning was actually a heavy dose of doubt. Not at all the moment of connection i thought it was.

Sorry, mate, that is some heavy whiplash and must have felt terrible. With regard to ABC instead of XYZ, it’s important to know what she individually wants and needs. Us here on the internet may heartily agree with WiseOldFool’s advice, but it’s worth asking if your wife feels the same way. We aren’t all clones.

I would guess she would want those things, but also has major trust issues. Does that sound right? Is that something you are working on in MC or do you talk about it at all? The damage of the betrayal goes crazy deep, down to the foundations of love and trust and even identity. Everything I’ve read tells me that R is a very hard, slow, painful, INTENTIONAL road. Decide for yourself who you are going to be and be that regardless of feedback from your wife. Consistent positive actions in her XYZ categories are the best you can do, but you can’t control her. Again, I wish you well.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. - Max Plank

posts: 1193   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8780484

Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 4:14 PM on Friday, March 3rd, 2023

Downstairs just now she said to me how this morning was fake and she didn't believe a word i said.

I'm sorry that moment didn't work out as planned. But good on you. You took charge and did something positive.

Proven behavior over time. That's what it will take. Proven behavior over time.

You've had 2 years of the old LP and the old ways. You've only had one morning of the new LP and the new ways. Your BS is right to be wary. Trust can't be rebuilt in a day. And sadly, once betrayed, everything is questioned - everything is suspect.

Baby steps. Patience. Proven behavior over time.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home) Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS 2018 Cease & Desist sent spring 2021"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3719   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8780572

Revenger ( new member #80445) posted at 4:35 PM on Friday, March 3rd, 2023

I'm a BS. I understand how your W feels that anything you do is insincere. Her reality and everything that she felt was sincere from you turned upside down in a moment. So you have to keep trying and do things without expectation. I still feel my WH is insincere three years out. But he has done things, like cut off his toxic parents, that have been a major sacrifice for him to benefit me and our relationship. And that is sincere.

My issues with my WH stem from his lack of empathy when I get upset and angry as well. He wants to focus on all the changes he's made and how much stronger we are but doesn't understand that doesn't erase my pain. When your W gets sad and angry, just apologize, apologize, apologize. And not in general terms--in very specific terms. And don't sound rehearsed. Try to listen and really understand how life feels after an atomic bomb has been dropped on you. You teamed up with the AP against your wife for two years. It was you and AP vs. her, and now she knows it. You have to prove every minute of every day that you are Team Wife, even if she is not Team You.

To offer hope: at two years out, I was VERY much one foot out the door and ready for D. We would have constant blowout fights and I would kick him out and make him sleep in a hotel. I stayed because of our very young children and seeing hope in his progress.

Now things have improved so dramatically, I can't imagine ever having a massive fight or kicking him out again. And those times weren't that long ago. Things can change with good therapy and if you keep fighting for your M. You say you and your W "discuss" D? Don't! If she brings up D, FIGHT!! Tell her your life is over if you D! Any time I threw accusations about how my WH must really be feeling and he conceded, I would lose all hope and only think about that any time after when he was trying to be "sincere."

Married to an SA
Many DDays after discovering many, many EAs/PAs Working on R

posts: 35   ·   registered: Jul. 20th, 2022
id 8780590

Luna10 ( member #60888) posted at 5:07 PM on Friday, March 3rd, 2023

BS here, 5+ years out.

I’ve doubted my WH’s words (and actions) for the good part of 3 years. I remember at one point telling my IC what he said or did and how I am anxious he is plotting all this just to better deceive me. I remember her asking me "do you truly believe, deep down, that you are married to a sociopath?" It was that bad, I could not allow myself to become vulnerable to him or trust any word he said.

The level of deceit a spouse goes to in order to have an affair is debilitating for the BS. I remember telling WH how it felt like my spouse not only wouldn’t take a bullet for me, but would hold me in front of him as a shield from said bullet.

I’m originally from an Eastern European country and in my country we have a saying: it takes more than one flower to blossom for the spring to arrive.

Please understand that earning back some sort of trust after infidelity betrayal takes a long long long time. The visceral pain your BS is going through now is making her obsess, interpret every word you say, analyse the risk of believing you, realise the risk of additional pain if you’re putting on a show could kill her, and then go round and round in circles in her head….

It is exhausting. I remember telling my WH once that I just wanted the thoughts to stop, I could not take it anymore.

Oh and it is worth mentioning, each time I would start to get some trust and vulnerability with WH my lizard brain would kick in its defence mechanism and I’d have a meltdown where I would list (again) all his lies and deceit. Similar to what your BS did relation to the criminal case, found a link and is asking for reassurance that you’re not that man.

I’m telling you all this as I think it’s easy to find more empathy if people confirm to you that what your wife tells you or the behaviour she displays is relatively normal. I was shocked to read that intense trauma (such as infidelity) can trigger bipolar behaviours.

What I can tell you, just to bring some hope into your life, is that if you find it within yourself to join her in her pain, to find empathy, to drop the defensiveness and be willing to open up completely, the reward on the other side is worth it. I think defensiveness is dropped when the WS is willing to truly acknowledge their shortcomings. Do all this consistently and it may work out.

By the way, one thing that my WH developed was his ability to acknowledge his shitty actions himself (not all at once), so throughout the day he would come and show gratitude for giving him a chance "thank you for still letting me be part of your life", apologise for something specific, for example "I am sorry I have lied to you so many times, I can see why it is hard for you to believe anything I say", followed by his commitment "I am going to work as hard as it takes to make you proud of me again and be the man you thought you married".

Because without this acknowledgment it falls on the BS to "check" that the WS has not forgotten the betrayal. And when we need to check, we assume it has been forgotten and any reassurance received is just lip service.

My WS kept the gratitude part of his life therefore he still surprises me at random times and expresses his thanks to me that I gave him a chance. And recently I told him I am proud of the man he has become.

It is not impossible to emerge in a better place post infidelity but it is hard work. Good luck!

[This message edited by Luna10 at 8:39 PM, Friday, March 3rd]

Dday - 27th September 2017

posts: 1788   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2017   ·   location: Europe
id 8780615

TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 9:27 PM on Friday, March 3rd, 2023

Just want to echo what others are saying, lonely. I'm sure it hurt to hear her say that she doesn't trust your words that morning.

But as BSR pointed out, it's a legit reaction. She has no reason to really trust you despite the internal changes you describe. You did lie. You did betray. I am not saying that with judgement, it's just the facts.

If you can remove the emotional sting from those words/interactions (super tall order) and look objectively at what she said, you will see facts and then perhaps realize her assumptions about your current sincerity are pretty normal given, well, the facts.

My advice: lean in to those moments. Put your feelings to the side. Acknowledge that what she believes is based on your past behavior (facts). Acknowledge that she has every right to not trust. Validate what she feels (sincerely and repeatedly). Then reaffirm your commitment to this process, to her.

You will be a better man. You will show her through consistency. It's ok that she doesn't trust you right now. You will carry the burden for both of you. Her feelings are right and they matter. You will do what it takes to earn her trust back.

Something like that.

This is not a one time fix kind of thing. It will take years to regain trust. But every little bit will feel better and better.

posts: 519   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8780664

This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 11:47 PM on Friday, March 3rd, 2023

Back up your words with a actions and understanding

"I understand you don't believe me, and that's fair. I know words aren't enough so I will also work in showing you that I love you. I'm also not going to stop saying I love you or that I'm sorry just because you think I'm lying. It is how I feel and I'll keep telling and showing you until you believe me."

Something like this. I'm not great at speeches.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2501   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8780685

 lonelypilgrim (original poster new member #79865) posted at 4:45 AM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

This0is0fine - you seem pretty good at speeches...i sure like that one and might ask for creative license and plagiarize it!

Again, thanks to everyone who has replied to this. Especially Hannah47. To put together something that detailed and that thoughtful takes a lot of time. The fact that you gave me, a total stranger, that kind of thought and that kind of time is humbling. These perspectives are a great help to me and i'm sure they are to any other wayward's reading along. It makes a difference and is appreciated.

I've been jotting down notes over the past week. Things for me to focus in on - either to do more of, or in many cases, things to stop doing and how/why it's important they stop.

This idea of avoiding the avoidant mindset....that is rising to the top of the list of something i need to do more of. Be proactive, raise things about the betrayal so we can talk about it without my W feeling like she is pulling teeth. And i get the message loud and clear - drop the defensiveness. I know i need to get back to that. I was good for a while, backslide recently. Stop making it about me and make sure i'm focused on listening and hearing what my W is saying. That will get me closer to being an empathetic partner. The other theme to all the feedback - consistency in actions. Proven behavior over time. That has come up in IC for me as well. In recent discussions between the two of us, these thoughts run through my head and i use your collective feedback in real time to make sure i show up better.

One comment was about apologizing and continuing to do so. And to do it without sounding rehearsed or robotic. That's another one that gets tough as time goes on. Any apology i give is sincere. I am not spewing BS. However, i often feel like i'm saying the same things she's heard from me 100x. I don't know how to say a similar thing 100 different ways. I bet it does sound old or rehearsed to her at this point. She tells me she's tired of hearing me saying "i'm sorry". I think that goes back to consistent actions...i can say "sorry" all day and all night but what really matters is actions.

I do know that my W's reactions are normal for what she is going through (for what i have caused her to go through). And i let her know that as well. I've said many times to her that there is no timetable to healing. Whatever it takes, it takes. I'm here for her and i am committed to her and to our marriage. I realize the outcome is uncertain. But i'll keep at it regardless of outcome.

Me: WS, Mid 50s, 25yrs M, 21 month PA, D-day 4/21, Working hard to earn R

So when you look at me
You better look hard and look twice
Is that me, baby
Or just a brilliant disguise?

posts: 18   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2022
id 8780918

Breachoftrust ( member #66252) posted at 9:52 PM on Thursday, March 9th, 2023

BS here, 5 years out. No, I don't believe my WH when he tells me he loves me. My mental note is always...yeah, today. I have not forgiven him. I don't know if I ever will. My WH did NOT follow your lead and my last trickle truth was March 30, 2022 when he FINALLY admitted he had sex with his wh@re. Istopped asking. He never brings it up. His actions do NOT follow his words. Example, I received NOTHING for Christmas but some lame excuse about how he misunderstood our plans. I receive the bare minimum effort. Given our previous dynamic I did put up with bare minimum. That is no longer acceptable. I have made this clear. I bought the book How to help your spouse heal...he read it, said something nice that night and never mentioned it again. I no longer see him as a partner. You say you have been truthful since your first disclosure so I can only suggest time and through your actions to build trust. I know I watched for a long time for him to step up. I no longer do so.

Married 19 years, together 24. 3 children. DD1 2/21/18. DD2 6/7/18 EA. BS 49, WH 50.
DD3 3/30/22 PA

Actions prove who someone is; words prove who someone wants to be.

posts: 76   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2018
id 8781428

HotPinkFlairPen ( new member #82968) posted at 3:55 PM on Sunday, March 19th, 2023

Hi there. No stop sign, so here I am, chiming in as another BW.

LP, I feel for you. I am so new to this whole process, my first DDay was only a month ago, the most recent only days ago, and I feel almost too inexperienced to chime in. However, I have chosen not to walk down the road of R, and as I slowly detach myself from the idea of being with my WH, I've come to recognize just how hard the road would have been for him, and how much pain it must also be causing you and other WSs in your situation.

You are trying to mend your internal brokenness. You're trying to rebuild better. Your partner in this situation cannot support you. She brings hostility, she brings fear, she puts up walls. Of course she does. You don't blame her, I can tell from your posts, but the work you are trying to do would be hard enough if you had her unconditional support and a stable M. You don't have either of those things.

I read somewhere that most people who try mindfulness exercises don't keep up with them, because most people only turn to them when they are already stressed. It's very hard to learn a new habit when you are under duress. Everyone knows the mindfulness is good, but it's almost impossible to master if you only turn to it on your most desperate days. We don't learn well in unsafe environments. Yet here you are, trying your best to learn anyway. Bravo, man.

I commend you for the work you are doing and for sticking with it for two years. I have seen people on the other side of this who have incredible marriages, WSs and BSs who say the A was the turning point that took their M to a new level. They are in the double digits in terms of R years. I hope you and your BW find your way there.

Regardless of whether your M can be saved, the work you are doing is vital. Recovery is a lifelong process. Keep going, one day at a time. Even these hard days are a gift to you and your BW. These are the days when you've chosen love and recovery.

I hope you keep doing trustworthy and estimable things. The more you do, the more trust and esteem you create. Over time it does add up, so I hope you give yourself credit for every kind action, even those that aren't met with gratitude or appreciation. Your BW has to focus on the negative right now, it's a way to keep herself safe, but the positivity of your actions is still there.

Rooting for you both.

BW, 34 years old, married 10 years. Twin sons born 2021.

Dday 1: 2/16/23. Dday 2: 3/16/23 (STBXWH tried to rekindle A, AP sent NC). Dday 3: 8/20/23 (new AP, same bulls***)

posts: 36   ·   registered: Feb. 27th, 2023   ·   location: Back to the US after 10ish years abroad
id 8783017

Bulcy ( member #74034) posted at 8:05 PM on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

LP how are things with you? Have you had thoughts about what you are being told and how this can improve your situation?

I don’t want to hijack the thread, but would like to thank all the BS who have posted on here. I’ve read your responses and really still need to do so again. However I am taking a great deal from the comments. As I said in my reply to LP, I struggle with empathy and with not feeling like the victim. While on an intellectual level I know this is really not the case and that I am the guilty party. The one who forced pain and suffering on my BS. I have and continue to make discussions about me. Even when I tell myself that I have inflicted this on the marriage and try to approach the conversations from an empathetic perspective and trying to use active listening, "truth or opinion" and STOPP, I still find that many times I feel like I’m being attacked.

Reading the replies, I’m encouraged in some ways that I’m not alone and others have been where I am. I am trying to "just don’t" when it comes to this defensive behaviour. I keep trying to breathe and not let what is being said to me upset me. It is often about doing "the work" or times when I’m not 100% focussed on my BS. I accept this being pointed out, but find myself resenting my BS pointing out that "You would have done it for AP". The pointing out of my past choices upsets me and I have to take time to not let this make me annoyed. Then, after a bit of time to reflect, I see that what was being said was either to help me understand or my BS letting out her frustration at me not doing what she needs me to do. I am trying not to say anything like "well, I’m doing this though!"

What did WS or indeed for the BS what did your WS do to get their head out of their ass? I’ve said a lot recently that I can understand things on an intellectual level, but really struggle with my own emotions and deep rooted selfishness.

I appreciate the positive feedback I get from my posts on here and really need to dig deep to ensure I follow my own advice.

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 340   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8783360

Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 2:54 AM on Sunday, May 14th, 2023

Hi there.

I am a BS. My ex had a 5 yr LTA, he confessed, but only because the AP forced him. 3 DDays, trickle truth, 10 yrs of lying.

We did a year of counselling, then separated after DDay 3. We tried for 1.5 yrs and another 1,5 yrs of maybes

I’d like to help you, and the only way I can think of is to share what did or didn’t work with him when we tried.

So here is what worked
- dedicated time away in a place where "she" had never been. Doing what I liked.
- activity based time, we did fun things like zip lining etc..
- games, family fun time
-doing things for me, coffee, treats, lunch, a book.
-sincere compliments, sharing true excitement
-conversations from the heart

These are things that didn’t work
- going anywhere he had been with her
-impatience…. He often lost patience when I triggered. He felt a year was enough time to get over it. It isn’t. The 5 yr thing was real for me. When you shatter, and you piece yourself back together, but you are not the same as before, and you are fragile in unexpected ways.
- complaining that it took too long, that he couldn’t be sorry forever. I heard this as a lack of commitment.
- not sharing things - he didn’t share some things, it felt like lying.
- lack of commitment …I suggested twice he move back in after we separated. He said my reasons were not good enough. Then a few month later he asked for a divorce. Then 4 months later he wanted to try again. I was stunned and done.

An LTA is so tough to come to terms with. I often thought, if it had only been a couple of months we could have made it. We wouldn’t have. Our marriage wasn’t strong enough, but my head would have been more able to cope.

I know two years is a long time, and it is discouraging. Remember that it is nearly as long as your affair. I am sure she is thinking that.

Don’t give up on her again. Keep your heart in it, it can come back. Every test you pass, is another step closer towards healing.

You broke her trust, it is a slow process.

I hope it works out for you both, one day at a time.

To be redefined

posts: 2200   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8790830

Elica ( new member #79932) posted at 4:56 AM on Sunday, May 14th, 2023

"For anything I've done or been doing that demonstrates positive change, that counts for nothing."

Look, you really screwed up. What you did reached deep and wide. If you expect to come back from that, if you want to with your wife, one time of doing it right isn't going to cut it. You will have to prove yourself - deep and wide. Be consistent. You will have to prove yourself over and over because the trust is gone for your wife. If you can persevere, you may be able to prove to her she can start to trust you again. Well, provided your she can come back from this to begin with. But she's willing so far so that's a good sign for saving your marriage.

You are being tested. As you should be. There will be more tests.

That's how it went with us. Back and forth. I still don't trust him like I did. And I still get triggered. Wow, ... I really hate it. I often think it would have been easier to leave at the get go. But I couldn't, he wouldn't. We had so much good together before this thing neither of us could let that go.

Again, there will be tests. You have to prove you are really comitted. It's up to you if you want to.

posts: 23   ·   registered: Feb. 13th, 2022
id 8790837

WhatsRight ( member #35417) posted at 2:53 PM on Sunday, May 14th, 2023

BS here. Thanks for letting us chime in.

First of all, regarding the idea of your actions toward her being "emotional abuse". I think if you look up "abuse" you will find that there are several definitions. One includes the physical. But there are other definitions of the word that certainly encompass what happens to a person in infidelity.

I honestly feel like if you’ll be vulnerable to the idea/concept that you have emotionally abused her with your actions, then that will put you in a position to better understand what she is going through. And that will increase your ability to better respond to her about it. The fact that you are resisting accepting that characterization of your actions indicates that possibly you are putting your feelings before hers. That you would rather deny the possibility of having been emotionally abusive, than to allow yourself to accept it, and therefore put yourself in a better place to try to rectify whatever you can. Just my humble opinion, as much as it can be possible to say not knowing you.


Says she can't believe what i say and this morning didn't believe me.

I have said this to my WH many times over the past 17 years. And I don’t believe him. His story. Partly I don’t believe him because unlike you, he was not honest and completely forthcoming from the getgo.

But also, I haven’t believed him because I was (am) too scared to believe that he really is truly sorry; that he does still love me; that I can trust him now. If I believe that, and am truly open to R, that makes me TOTALLY vulnerable for more pain.

So maybe it is not so much that I don’t believe him, but that I "can’t" allow myself to believe him. For the fear of what would happen to me down the road if I opened myself up to him again, and was hurt again.

I’m not saying that this is rational, and I’m certainly not saying that this is taking ownership for my own progress. I’m just admitting the effect his infidelity had on me.

You have a been given great advice here. And I do believe that the wayward spouse has a "right" to feel desperate, defensive, like giving up. What I would suggest to you is that simply, don’t. Don’t give up until that is your only option left. If at some point she ends the marriage, there is nothing you can do about that. But whether or not you give up is totally up to you.

I wish you the best.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 8089   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8790858

Breachoftrust ( member #66252) posted at 4:53 PM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

Update: I tried once more indicating that he never brings it up, never checks in with me on how I am doing etc. Explained what I need from him.

It has now been 7 weeks.
I will be filing for divorce.

Married 19 years, together 24. 3 children. DD1 2/21/18. DD2 6/7/18 EA. BS 49, WH 50.
DD3 3/30/22 PA

Actions prove who someone is; words prove who someone wants to be.

posts: 76   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2018
id 8791253

Devon99uk ( member #82658) posted at 10:55 PM on Monday, May 22nd, 2023

Breachoftrust, wow at least you know you tried your hardest to make it work and will have no regrets about your actions. Some waywards really just don't have the emotional depth that is required do they, I feel your pain as it's just soooo frustrating & disheartening. Sending you all the support in the world xx

posts: 72   ·   registered: Jan. 2nd, 2023   ·   location: South of England, UK
id 8792090

TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 8:05 PM on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

You do what you need to do Breach of trust. You deserve to be loved and happy. I wish that for you.

posts: 519   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8792217
Topic is Sleeping.
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