For the sake of compliments from a meaningless shit bag, she gave her body, her integrity, our marriage, all our secrets, put our children in clear and present danger.
You’ve just described my wife’s A. Or the vast majority of all infidelity.
I hear some of you saying that you’ve come back from a place like this. How? Why?
Well, I didn’t expect these questions this morning, after the very tough day yesterday.
The why was a few things. I still loved my wife despite the tragedy she chose, I still saw some good in there, despite her complete abandonment of reason to even start an A and some of it was curiosity — trying to understand it all. I learned a LOT over time, but some parts of me will never need that kind of validation from a stranger, so I will never completely understand the decisions.
How. That’s a much bigger get.
Every day you wake up wanting some signs of the person you fell in love with, you want some effort to rebuild some level, any level of trust. Without trust, there is no real intimacy, which means no vulnerability and a relationship you don’t want to be in.
Every day your WS wakes up and knows the damage she caused, wants to be loved and earn back respect and doesn’t want to be the person who hurt you. Which means, she doesn’t want to reveal more of what she did wrong, and anticipates her next wrong word or action will end things — so she gets trapped like a deer in the headlights and tries to protect whatever esteem she has left, which isn’t much. Those defensive walls prevent the honesty needed or any chance of vulnerability or intimacy.
This is why R is uphill both ways.
The foundation is literally burned down to ground.
The how is like any good relationship, it is two people reaching out for the other — but it is a much tougher job to do that unless both people find a way to drop their guard.
Not easy to drop your guard when you don’t trust, and not easy for your wife to drop her guard when she knows she did this to you and yours.
Your wife said yesterday she didn’t want to be treated poorly. Yes she did, that was the A.
Your wife said yesterday she wanted self-respect. No she didn’t, not during the A.
Same with my wife, and I told her my fear was, she LIKED being treated like shit, and I wasn’t going to be able to be as horrible to her as the AP!
But your wife, I think, really wants those things NOW. She has to learn how to earn those things back by being brave and vulnerable FIRST, to give you something, ANYTHING to hold on to.
[This message edited by Oldwounds at 1:57 PM, Wednesday, May 17th]