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Wayward Side :
Not being believed

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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 8:33 PM on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

There have been some great posts on here recently on defensiveness, empathy, getting past our own heads and coping with selfish thoughts. All of which are areas I’m working on. Something that pops into my head periodically is the idea of not being trusted or believed.

Again, as with lots of my current thoughts, I get that I’ve caused a huge amount of pain and damage to BS. In having the affairs in the first place and years of lies (TT, minimising, omissions and big bold lies included). I get that I may never be trusted again. However my question is this -

For those of you in R how did you cope with the thought of not being trusted? How do you get past the hurt of you BS not believing the "I love you" or indeed anything you say. I mean this from an emotional level. What do you say to yourself to stop the upset from hitting home? Do you try and stop it or do you use it as a constant reminder of your betrayal? For BSs out there what did you WR do when it was obvious you did not believe them? I think I’m dealing with it better than previously. I’m no longer saying to my self "I’m not going to bother saying I love you then" but it still hurts to know I’m not believed. Hey even if my understanding of "love" is skewed, I mean it when I say it.

This does not only apply to "I love you" but everything. Everything we discuss, everything I do and everything I say I’m going to do. I can see it in my BSs eyes she is not convinced, especially considering how much I’ve let her down and continue to do so.

I get that my actions speak louder than words and am working on making myself more "in the moment" I just need to know how to stop the hurt.

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: 366   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8783364
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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 10:11 PM on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

responding to your question to BS…

Sometimes my husband seems frustrated that he isn’t believed although he is well aware that he continues to get caught in stupid lies about the A. He seems truly incapable of honesty when it comes to the A.

I wanted him to write me a three page letter about what honesty and the truth actually mean to him and how his feelings about telling the truth have changed over time. He has conveniently not done that. But maybe you could? I assume your BS needs to know you have seriously changed (or are at least starting to change) in your relationship to the truth.

Other times it seems like he has accepted that it will take years to regain my trust. That is the kind of attitude that makes me want to start trusting him again.

But then he messes up and tells another lie about the past. Hopefully you don’t do that.

posts: 363   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8783377
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 1:35 PM on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023

Bulcy

I have a close relative who battles cocaine addiction. He’s been clean for nearly a decade through intense 12-Step and AA work. One thing that he’s learned is to be totally accountable and to be brutally honest.
OK – that honesty has limits. Like he wouldn’t tell his wife her dress looked terrible or that the meatloaf I cooked tasted like trash. But on key-issues… he’s honest. He tells the truth.
I asked him about this and he told me honesty was a key-factor in personal recovery. He might – at most - lie by omission but was totally honest when asked, even difficult issues. His boss asks him if he will meet a deadline? No – if that was the truth. His bank asked if he could pay? No – if that was the truth. However he would make every effort to prevent negative situations (like tell his boss that the deadline for the task was too tight right at the start, or take care in his finances to avoid defaulting).

I mention this because after listening to him and realizing the peace this honesty offered him I have myself taken this snippet of personal improvement to heart. I do my best to be totally honest on all aspects of my life. If nothing else, this eases the tension of maintaining dishonesty.
This goes deeper than just work or finances. My wife asks me if I will mow the lawn next Saturday afternoon, I might reply that I’m going to watch the game so I will mow in the morning. I will then stand by that comittment. My friends invite me to golf that same Saturday morning. No – I have committed to an hour on the mower. I want to be honest, reliable and accountable.

THAT could be your goal. Honest, accountable and reliable.

Do that for some time and the reasons people have to doubt you diminish. You replace doubt with trust. But you aren’t doing this for other people – you are relieving yourself of deception, becoming more accountable to yourself and generally progressing as a person.

Having said that…
We tend to place so much emphasis on what the WS needs to do after d-day that we forget the BS too has a lot to do. You BOTH have the option to end the relationship, and you BOTH willingly and freely decided not to. That doesn’t mean the WS has to do all the work, but rather that both need to do individual work and relationship work to recover.
Part of that is letting go of the burning sword of infidelity-revenge…
Like she cant pull out infidelity or the lack of trust caused by infidelity if you two are arguing over bills or whether to get the blue Toyota or a red one.
This is hard. It requires a lot of letting go, and of changed communications. It’s a "normal" path in resolving issues to fall back to what you know works.

The loss of trust is normal.
The will to regain trust in your spouse needs to be learnt, understood and worked at. As a BS that is one of her tasks.

Probably never again blind trust, but if you repeatedly show you are honest and trustworthy then she needs to give some credit to you for that, and with time it’s to HER advantage to reestablish trust.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 12374   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8783444
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Copingmybest ( member #78962) posted at 2:32 PM on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023

While I can’t speak for other BS’s on here. For me, at two years post D Day, it’s still more of a defense mechanism that I use to protect myself. My wife hasn’t been the most open person dealing with the affair and opening up to me about what it really meant to her, or how she feels about it now. She is slowly beginning to learn about it, but for me, it’s the need to feel secure and safe from it happening again. I feel I’m sticking my neck on a chopping block so I am very vulnerable right now and her not doing (in my mind) everything she can to help heal the relationship causes me to not really believe everything she tells me. I’ll never blindly give full trust again. At least right now I don’t feel like I will, but I bet you a dime to a dollar that I won’t. For me, what would help, and would have helped tremendously in these last two years is constant reassurance from her that she is committed to me and that she’s sorry for the pain that it has caused. One of my current major hang ups is that she just hasn’t "gotten it" yet and can’t put herself in my place as to what I deal with on a daily basis. If she could show me that she gets the damage she caused and was empathetic toward the pain of that, it would go a LONG way towards healing the trust.

posts: 219   ·   registered: Jun. 16th, 2021   ·   location: Midwest
id 8783448
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Copingmybest ( member #78962) posted at 2:32 PM on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023

[This message edited by Copingmybest at 8:30 AM, Thursday, March 23rd]

posts: 219   ·   registered: Jun. 16th, 2021   ·   location: Midwest
id 8783449
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 3:08 PM on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023

it’s still more of a defense mechanism that I use to protect myself.

This is a classic example of what I try to describe when I talk about letting go of the burning sword of infidelity-revenge.
This is such normal and expected behavior. Its so normal to react to what we perceive as dangers or threats with actions that we think empower us or give us an advantage. In most confrontational situations this can really help us…

But relationships shouldn’t be confrontational…
If the BS can take a fraction of a second before responding in a non-trusting/believing manner and think "is this answer my true answer or my defensive answer" it can make an immense difference.

Example: Imagine a scenario where both are committed to reconciling and a WH tells his BW that he needs to go out on a work-related event next Thursday after work.
Let’s say the AP was work-related, or the hookups were when the WH said he was "at work".
It would be stupid for the BW not to have concerns…
It would be counter-productive for the BW to respond with "Ah! Heard all that before. You are going to screw AP!"
It would be just as stupid and counterproductive for the BH not to understand (even beforehand) the concerns of the BW.

Maybe the ideal way would be for the WH to let the BW know of the event and the need to go there and then say "I fully understand if this triggers you. What can I do to make this easier for you?"
If there isn’t a response then maybe even offer "I have to go, but I won’t drink, you can phone me at any time. This is where we are going. I will be home by 10" and then stand by every word.

Do repeats of the above for triggering events, and then depending on the time and frequency at some point you can start expecting the BS to trigger less and be more acceptable to believe and/or trust you.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 12374   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8783455
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CFme923 ( member #82955) posted at 3:12 PM on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023

I am a bs. I actually made a post on another board about something similar and having a difficult time believing my people pleasing husband. This personality type he has coupled with the betrayal has made it incredibly difficult for me to take anything he says at face value. This has definitely caused hurt in him and I know that he has to overcome that defensive reaction to feel hurt.

That being said, I think a lot of it is time and understanding on both parties if reconciliation is something that you both want to work towards. The wayward needs to be honest at all costs, no lies ever unless it's something simple like telling your wife that she's gain weight. Don't do that. That consistent truthful behavior will put you in a more comfortable spot with yourself and the betrayed spouse should practice always taking a second to think about the situation and saying does this feel real? Does this feel true rather than a knee jerk reaction to throw something back in the other person's face.

posts: 97   ·   registered: Feb. 27th, 2023
id 8783456
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Copingmybest ( member #78962) posted at 4:07 PM on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023

While I can’t speak for other BS’s on here. For me, at two years post D Day, it’s still more of a defense mechanism that I use to protect myself. My wife hasn’t been the most open person dealing with the affair and opening up to me about what it really meant to her, or how she feels about it now. She is slowly beginning to learn about it, but for me, it’s the need to feel secure and safe from it happening again. I feel I’m sticking my neck on a chopping block so I am very vulnerable right now and her not doing (in my mind) everything she can to help heal the relationship causes me to not really believe everything she tells me. I’ll never blindly give full trust again. At least right now I don’t feel like I will, but I bet you a dime to a dollar that I won’t. For me, what would help, and would have helped tremendously in these last two years is constant reassurance from her that she is committed to me and that she’s sorry for the pain that it has caused. One of my current major hang ups is that she just hasn’t "gotten it" yet and can’t put herself in my place as to what I deal with on a daily basis. If she could show me that she gets the damage she caused and was empathetic toward the pain of that, it would go a LONG way towards healing the trust.

Edit: another thing I can add after thinking about it a bit. Show your BS the work and let them know of the things you are doing. For me, acknowledging the destruction caused and showing the effort you are putting in to repair the damage for me would help as well.

[This message edited by Copingmybest at 4:42 PM, Wednesday, March 22nd]

posts: 219   ·   registered: Jun. 16th, 2021   ·   location: Midwest
id 8783460
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 12:24 AM on Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

I just need to know how to stop the hurt.

Don't we all. That's not snark Bulcy, that's the reason we are all here. BS/WS/Madhatter alike. But the thing is - you can't stop the hurt. You can heal the hurt.

You caused someone great hurt. And every act of defensiveness rubs salt in that already gaping wound. And that sets healing [hers, yours, the marriage] back to less than ground zero.

To help the hurt, you need to figure out what hurts you [no - it isn't her not believing you]. But what hurts you so bad that you are so afraid that defensiveness is your knee jerk go to. You need to figure that out and heal it. You will need IC for that - one who holds your nose to the gridnstone.

Your BS needs to heal herself. And let me tell you, that's a pisser of an acceptance. A lot [and I mean a freaking lot] of time/effort/energy gets wasted in that resentment - but it is a phase that must be gone through. Worse in many ways [although you couldn't convince me at the time] is the POLF. And trust me, I've navigated it after each DDay - and the discovery of LTAP cyberstalking and trying to duplicate our lives. At least with the hurt/anger/resentment and even sorrow you felt something. The POLF is a never ending void!

So, Bulcy, I think you know what you need to do. And what you need to stop doing. You need to accept that healing is not linear and does not take a straight path. There is no infidelity balance sheet of sorts - one act by you of resisting defensiveness does not erase one act of defensiveness in the past. One great act of compassion does not eradicate previous act(s) of defensiveness. It simply doesn't work that way.

You need to show proven behavior over time. Lot of time. And for the longest time understand that will be met with great denial and speculation. Because she will be waiting to see how long it lasts, if it lasts at all. Let's face it - most people can hold onto "good" behaviors for about three months before they start slipping. She's watching and waiting. You can look at that as Eeyore "woe is me - she's just waiting for me to fuck up - why even bother" OR you can look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow within yourself. Each act is a choice. The one nurture is the one that will win. It not an easy battle and you probably have years of re-conditioning to do. It is worth it.

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: 3792   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8783546
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 2:32 AM on Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

Maybe the ideal way would be for the WH to let the BW know of the event and the need to go there and then say "I fully understand if this triggers you. What can I do to make this easier for you?"
If there isn’t a response then maybe even offer "I have to go, but I won’t drink, you can phone me at any time. This is where we are going. I will be home by 10" and then stand by every word.

This is really good advice from Bigger. It is absolutely part of the script to building back trust. I probably had the exact exchange he described happen 10+ times after D-Day.

To that, I’d also add being proactive about potential triggers and notifying your spouse about the those types of things, even if you are not forced by circumstance to do so. For example, if you run into your AP’s sister at a gas station you call your spouse immediately to inform her. Even if you never spoke with the AP’s sister. Even if it’ll make your BS upset. Even if there is no possible way she would ever find out about the encounter otherwise. That type of thing proves to her that you value honesty and integrity more than your comfort, more than avoiding a fight. It shows her YOU will be vigilant and protective of the marriage even when she is not watching. Once she really believes that is the case, she will eventually feel like she can loosen the death grip she has being vigilant herself.

Me: BS. Him: WS.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Happily reconciled.

posts: 2083   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8783553
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 4:40 PM on Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

As ever, thanks for the replies.

A general response to everyone first.

It needs to be pointed out that we’re only a few months from the last d-day. That I’m still in the early stages of finding my own path. I’ve lacked and still lack empathy. I’ve TT’d and lied continually through most of our relationship. So, of course, BS has no reason to trust me. Why would she. I understand the need to reframe my thinking so that when I’m feeling hurt, I need to understand where this has come from and that we’re only in this position because of my actions. There have been a number of posts recently that I have connected with, not necessarily because I learned new things from the content, but I realised that the thoughts I have are common. Also that the stages BS and I are going through are also quite common too. BS has said for a long time that while the individual circumstances of peoples affairs differ, the general theme is common amongst most.

I did not really believe this for a long time. I felt I was different to everyone and that my pain, my story, my journey, my justifications you name it were different and therefore the advice I was receiving was not necessarily relevant to me. Especially when it came to being open and honest or me being honest with myself about my past, my feelings or the impact everything I’ve done has had on BS. I think I wrote this post to kind of make me feel that others are in a similar place to me and if some BS’s have been there what they did to help themselves. As Chaos eluded to, I know what I need to do and I know what people have done in the past. I think I just needed to read it directly posted to me. Maybe something that I can discuss with IC. Possibly some for of avoidance on my part, avoiding the obvious need to accept.

Stillconfused2022

I’m sorry that you’re in a similar place to my BS. While I’m working on being totally honest, this is something I still need to work on. The time line is still under review by me as I need to ensure there are no more self lies that I TCS myself or previous minimisations of omissions. Additionally there is still work to be done in every day activities. Full disclosure of everything I feel, think about or do. I recently posted about an e-mail sent to a female colleague and how the content was inappropriate for a wayward spouse like myself.

I like the idea of the letter about honesty. This, along with a similar thing on love is something I need to do. I clearly have a skewed view on what love is and evidently have my own issues on trust. Both in accepting I’m unlikely to ever be fully trusted again and my own trust issues with being open and honest.

I too have and do still "conveniently forget" lots of things. Often I remember some of it and forget the more uncomfortable things. As with a lot in my journey, I’m working on it. I now see how damaging this is to my BS and how much it is hurting her. The next step for me is to be more empathetic to her and actually allow myself to feel any pain that come with being empathetic=tic.

Bigger

Thank you for the post. I really take a lot from "Honesty, Accountability and Reliability". Something to have tattooed on my forearm. I believe it is as simple as this. Maybe I’m overthinking or letting the negative self talk make it seem more complicated.

Copingmybest

Something I need to keep working on is "getting it". It is something I often feel that I do "get it", but then prove to BS and myself that I don’t. I think this is similar to my progress into R. Sometimes I see myself much further down the road than I actually am. The truth of my actual progress used to bring me crashing down. I’m trying to welcom feedback on this now so that BS and I are on the same page, while at the same time I try not to get defensive if BS has different views than I do. I look forward to the day I am consistent in this approach and don’t allow previous behaviours to win.

Chaos

Thank you for the opening comment, it made me smile. I certainly did not see it as a snarky comment, but thanks for pointing it out. Some days, when in a shame spiral, I could have seen it another way. Hey, the pleasures of coming to term with emotions and feelings. You’re right in what you said. I do know what I need to and indeed what I should not be doing. Consistency is indeed the key and I need to keep doing this with BS even when I feel down. Any improvement is not going to come with one act of "being a good husband" while letting her down in other ways.


Thanks you. Again and I welcome further feedback

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: 366   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8783603
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 6:48 PM on Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

Consistency is indeed the key and I need to keep doing this with BS even when I feel down. Any improvement is not going to come with one act of "being a good husband" while letting her down in other ways.

While I do think it's commendable to want to do/say/be for her, IMHO you need to do/say/be for YOU. You need to make these changes for yourself, not for her and not for your marriage. I know it's not what you want to hear, but a lot of marriages just don't survive infidelity - so if you're only trying to make these changes to save your marriage what happens if the marriage can't be saved? But if you commit to YOURSELF to do better, to keep learning, to strive for being your best self - if you do those things for YOU, then her and the marriage will naturally benefit from those improvements.

I give you a lot of credit Bulcy. You keep trying. You keep showing up and questioning yourself in really good ways. I think you are really trying to dig in and figure out what makes you tick. All of that is awesome and I give you all due credit for the hard work you are doing.

However I also think you still put a lot of focus on doing the things to steer the outcome and I think you do a lot of those things to try to move your wife's feelings in a direction. Ultimately you can't heal her, only she can heal her. You can certainly support that process by dropping the defensiveness and being honest and by being consistent, but she has to work on her own healing. Speaking as a BW, the best thing you can do for her is to be better for YOU because you want to be the best version of yourself that you can.

Hang in there - none of this is easy. Good changes are never ever easy but they are worth it.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

posts: 3901   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: Louisiana
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TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 8:33 PM on Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

I was going to reply earlier but got pulled away. Coming back in here I see Bulcy that you have kind of worked out what I would have said.

The advice in here is about trust building and obviously that is the number one priority to your BS and your marriage.

But you asked about how to control your feelings of hurt when your wife doesn't trust you.

As you pointed out to yourself, reset your expectations. Thoughts lead to feelings. So what are your thoughts in that moment? She should believe me by now? I'm tired of being treated like a liar? I need to feel good about myself and she's not doing that for me? I need praise for not lying today?

All of the above? Analyze your thinking that lead to your hurt and disappointment. Challenge that thinking.

I truly can't imagine how you feel. How very difficult it must be to have done the damage and have to face your failures every.single.day seemingly without end.

But you are doing the work. You are trying. You are on a better path. Celebrate your small victories so you aren't so triggered by her hurt. When you can detach a bit from "why is she doing this to meeeee?" to "of course she feels that way. She'd be a moron not to. That's ok. I know who I am and who I am becoming. I like that guy. And he will do right by her and his family. I got this."

posts: 594   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
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DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 4:54 AM on Friday, March 24th, 2023

I give you a lot of credit Bulcy. You keep trying. You keep showing up and questioning yourself in really good ways. I think you are really trying to dig in and figure out what makes you tick. All of that is awesome and I give you all due credit for the hard work you are doing.

I'd like to second this sentiment. Those of us who have been here long enough to remember when you were first begrudgingly posting, can now see progress and change made so far. Yes, there is a lot of road yet to travel, but both you and your spouse have stuck with it, and stuck together, all this time. So you know you can do it.

All you can do right now is to stay the course. Keep taking the time to check yourself, to improve when you can, to grow and be someone you are proud of being. Your wife doesn't believe in you because you don't entirely believe in yourself just yet, and that's okay. We each heal on our timeline. You are both still healing as individuals, and I'll tell you something that I learned through my own therapy... it often gets worse before it gets better.

You cannot be a confident, responsible, independent person when you still judge your value by the feelings or opinions of others/another. So what does that mean? It means you have to let her go enough to let yourself in. It means really letting go of the thought, the emotion even, that somehow, things can ever be the same, or be like they were. It's a process of grieving, of letting go. Of knowing, deep down, that if you ever parted ways, while it would be painful as hell, that you will really be okay. And know that the journey you are on right now will continue, regardless of the outcomes. You have to fill that empty space inside of you, and fill it with the new and improved Bulcy instead.

Once you manage that, everything else just kinda falls into place. Empathy returns in spades when aren't emotionally needy anymore, and with empathy comes understanding, compassion and innate kindness. And that kind of person is much easier to consider R'ing with.

It's a slightly different path for a BS, but they have their own trauma to get over, and that trauma really does a number on one's psyche, on their confidence, on their sense of reality even, and certainly decimates the very notion of trust. So they need to put those pieces back together again, and similar to you, they need to not worry about you and focus on their own healing.

That's why I say it gets worse before it gets better, because in essence, you have to grow apart first in order to grow back together again in a new and beautiful way.

You've got this Bulcy, keep working on that defensiveness and on understanding and mastering your triggers. That's half the battle for you. Every single day that you go without getting defensive, acknowledge it. Pat yourself on the back, it's okay, you deserve it. After a while, a new way of thinking starts to take root. I think you're around that place in your personal journey right now. So keep at it. Good luck

[This message edited by DaddyDom at 1:49 PM, Friday, March 24th]

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1435   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017
id 8783726
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numb&dumb ( member #28542) posted at 4:22 PM on Monday, March 27th, 2023

The loss of trust is normal.
The will to regain trust in your spouse needs to be learnt, understood and worked at. As a BS that is one of her tasks

This is much harder than it sounds. For me, I had to work on detaching and to get there I had to care less. So if I care every bit of information was scruntinized. Nothing was taken at face value. Anything that couldn't be collaborated with a third party was assumed to be a lie. I put that effort in to "make sure," I wasn't going to be hurt again. I was a mess.

The only thing that seemed to help was detaching. "Sorry I was late. I had to stop at the store on the way home." Vigilant me would want to see GPS data, receipts, etc. Detached me said, "ok," then went back to doing whatever I was doing. I assumed it was only a matter of time before we divorced.

When my W asked me I told her that I have to detach and stop caring. Caring about our M hurt me too much. I didn't see how we were to R. It seemed impossible.

To her credit my W kept consistent, kept sharing everything and tried really hard to engage me despite my reluctance.

It was not easy on her, but by her keeping transparent and consistent she little by little chipped away at my indifference. She showed remorse in talks she initiated. She answered all my questions and made sure her words and actions aligned to show she wanted to be with me and was willing to wait for me to get there.

Sometimes a BS has to be detached before they can be objective enough to see the attempts at trust building as just thar versus more manipulations.

At the end of the day I really only need to trust myself and that I will make decisions that are in my best interests no matter what my W decides. Today being M is where I want to be, but it took a lot of "letting go," on both sides.

R requires work for both, but I feel that the WS winning back the BS has to be part of it. The BS has to believe the WS wants to build a new M for the right reasons. No way that happens without trust being restored to a level that somethings can be taken at face value again.

Dday 8/31/11. EA/PA. Lied to for 3 years.

Bring it, life. I am ready for you.

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id 8784344
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 8:33 PM on Monday, March 27th, 2023

Ellie

Doing the work for myself is something I struggled with from two perspectives. Initially I did not understand "doing it for myself" as I still believed I did not need to change. Yeah, I needed to stop having affairs, but assumed that this would just happen because I wanted it to. Once I had done this I was staggered that BS did not see that I was a "better" man. I started working on me begrudgingly and to help BS "get over it". Obviously this did not work. After this I translated do the work for me as "only work on me", while this did improve me in certain ways, I was not empathetic to BS and was not communicating with her to show any improvement in me. Yes, the work has to be for me, but it has to be the right work for us. BS needs to see me improving and know what the hell is going on in my head. Of course this level of openness can only come from self improvement.

I am really trying to work on the defensiveness and openness. To make this improvement however I think needs both self evaluation and input from BS. So many times in the past I’ve thought that I am well down the path of R, to be told that I am barely walking in the right direction…Cue defensiveness and anger. I, hope, that now I’m showing more respect to BS opinion and thoughts while listening to her. Not jumping to conclusions or listening to my own negative self talk.

I agree 100% that I’ve been trying to control the outcome. It’s something I’m still working on and have a lot of improvement to come.

The End

As you pointed out to yourself, reset your expectations. Thoughts lead to feelings. So what are your thoughts in that moment? She should believe me by now? I'm tired of being treated like a liar? I need to feel good about myself and she's not doing that for me? I need praise for not lying today?

All of the above? Analyze your thinking that lead to your hurt and disappointment. Challenge that thinking.

My thoughts at the time are generally around "I’m being honest about this, what the hell do I do now?" Or "I know I’ve lied in the past, but to think that XYZ happened is just too much. I know I did ABC and then admitted E and F, but how can I prove that XYZ did not happen?" I feel that I’m at a loss. I have no chance to give any evidence that what BS thinks happened did not. In the past when she thought something happened and I denied, she was right. So, I’ve royalty screwed myself. I hate being in that position and at times push the blame onto BS rather than accepting that I’ve made this shit storm and I have to live in it. Yes, sometimes I get tired of being treated like a liar….Big deep breath and realise that is what I am. Even now, while working on the self lies, I uncover previous lies that need to be brought up. I am, I hope, getting better at not wanting praise for doing what a "normal" husband does and that includes not telling lies. Again, some days are better than others.

DD

Thanks, I appreciate your feedback whenever it comes.

Numb&dumb

Thank you for your story. Letting go of the outcome and as others have said, accepting the marriage (as was) is over was really difficult for me to even comprehend never mind come anywhere near to accepting. I can’t imagine how hard it is for you BSs to stop caring and de indifferent to your WS. You and others have consistently told me that consistency is the key. For the record BS tells me this too. One thing that keeps making me feel like a real ass is reading and starting to accept things that BS has been telling me for years. I know this is a source of frustration and upset for her. For this I am sorry

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: 366   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8784398
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numb&dumb ( member #28542) posted at 9:10 PM on Monday, March 27th, 2023

One thing that keeps making me feel like a real ass is reading and starting to accept things that BS has been telling me for years. I know this is a source of frustration and upset for her. For this I am sorry

So does the shame you feel over that make your W feel anyy better. Just be/do better. You can apologize for the past, but you can't change it, right?

I can feel the shame through your words. Apologize for the past and do better the next time.

I know that sounds simple, but it never made me feel better if my W sat in her shame. Honestly it made me feel worse.

If she sat in her shame she did nothing to help me. No talking, no apologies, just selfish shame that eventually got stuffed down only to appear at a worse time.

It would have meant the world to me if she had paused her shame and explained what she was feeling and why. It would have been even better if she'd explain how she plans to do better next time.

Dday 8/31/11. EA/PA. Lied to for 3 years.

Bring it, life. I am ready for you.

posts: 5116   ·   registered: May. 17th, 2010
id 8784418
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 3:05 PM on Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

N&D

Something I trying to do now is to acknowledge where this is happening. I’ll say, I appreciate that you told me this X months or X years ago, but I’ve now recognised that I need to be doing ABC or that I did indeed feel like I was the victim while I worked though XYZ. I’ve found that by recognising and acknowledging this to BS is both listens the shame on my part and (I hope) shows BS I am now attempting to get my head out of my ass. I apologise for this and we may talk around what has changed in my thinking to make me accept this.

Something I am working on and really do need to be better at is telling BS how I’m feeling when I’m feeling shitty about myself, my past behaviours, my self work etc. I know she needs this and I need to break the narrative that bringing up the affairs will only hurt my BS. It’s bullshit I know.

Shame is something that in recent months has been a real barrier to my development. I find positive self talk helps and hope that this becomes a more natural tool for me to use.

[This message edited by Bulcy at 3:13 PM, Tuesday, March 28th]

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: 366   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8784525
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MrCleanSlate ( member #71893) posted at 8:20 PM on Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

Bulcy,

All this takes time and growth.

I handed my wife my cellphone the other day to look over some messages from a buddy. Weird thing is that I still feel like I am going to be in trouble for handing her my phone as she may see something. Stupid thinking today as there is nothing wayward going on. Not so stupid 8 years ago though.

Now can you see the problem? I still feel guilty. I'm not doing anything wayward. But it is still there. So how do you think my wife feels? We're talking 8 years later. Once in a while that cheating of mine rears its ugly head. Yes it sucks.

Now for the good. We have grown a lot. And I mean a lot. We both are appreciating each other and life and see things through a much better lens after 30+ years of marriage. We can speak of my affair in a past tense. In a lot of ways it got us to where we are today. I really spent the time post affair to grow as a person.

From reading your posts, think you are on the cusp of doing the same growth both personally and within your marriage. You just need to accept how much you love you current wife and be willing to go all in to be the man/husband/father that you can be.

Bulcy, all I can say is if you are committed to your wife, then take the leap and be there.

In some ways I recommitted to my wife after D-Day. I meant that. Last 4 or 5 years have been so much better for me. I finally learned how to share.

You can do it to. Just learn to let go. Trust her. She will respond when she sees you are all in.

This is coming from a guy that threw it all out there for his wife after fucking up badly. Best thing I ever did was trust my wife.

Now go and trust your wife.

WH 53,my BW is 52. 1 year PA, D-Day Oct 2015. Admitted all, but there is no 'clean slate'. In R and working it everyday"
To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day

posts: 690   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2019   ·   location: Canada
id 8784717
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 11:35 PM on Friday, March 31st, 2023

Mr CleanSlate,

It's great to see you again, especially with positive news about you and your BS.

Trust is a big talking point for us at the moment. BS has said a few times recently that I need to trust her with the truth and with myself. This is amplified by the crazy blind trust I put in my AP's. I trusted them to keep our secrets and to not tell my BS, I trusted two AP's that they were using contraceptive and were clear of STI's when we had unprotected sex. So many breaches of trust inflicted on the BS too.

I think this is one of the things that I need to remove from my ass. As DD said "I had my hear so far up my ass, all I could see was my own bullshit" This lack of trust (I've only recently seen this as such) is a stumbling block. An obvious one too as you guys can all see it.

Thanks for you wise words, I'll make sure I keep reading and following the advice give on this forum. Sadly I took the "Take what you need and leave the rest" advice too literally and left some good advice on the board as I was not in a good enough place in my own head to see that I needed it.

I feel daft (and a hypocrite) sometimes posting on here when offering support to other WS's. I tell them to listen to the great advice given to them, while at the same time not always following 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: 366   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8785217
Topic is Sleeping.
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