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Wayward Side :
Death of Silence

Topic is Sleeping.
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 gentlemango (original poster new member #83756) posted at 12:13 AM on Saturday, August 19th, 2023

Hello, SI. This is my very first post. I really hate that I now know this website exists. Anyways, I’ve been lurking pretty much every day since D-Day and thought it would be more helpful if I involved myself, so here we are!

We are 1 month post-nuclear explosion bomb on our marriage (dropped by yours truly), and I pray that he gives me more months, years, decades. I’m grateful for every day he has given me since. I see a lot of you have been in R for much longer lengths of time, I feel a bit silly for making any observations as this is all new. But here’s my earth-shattering take: silence is terrible!

My BH and I have spent countless hours together in the car, in restaurants, and wherever else sitting in comfortable silence. At peace, enjoying the company of one another and whatever was around us. Maybe that isn’t so unique, but WOW did I take it for granted. I took everything for granted. Being that we’ve been together for so long I suppose one should hope that the silence was comfortable, however dealing with the "need to be liked by everyone" issue that I have, it has always been very difficult for me to let silence sit in any company. This made our quiet moments so special to me. And now I’m reaping what I sow. The silence now is deafening. Every second of it feels heavy and unbelievably cumbersome. This is the effect I have had on our relationship, I’ve tarnished something so precious.

I’ve tried telling him what’s on my mind, and it has helped. We’ve had long and short conversations, tears and laughter. There have been some instances however, where he’s told me he doesn’t want to talk. And we just sit with the big, scary silence. I don’t blame him at all, I know the talks while healing can also be emotionally taxing to him.

I know what runs through my mind in these moments now - self-hatred, torment, guilt, shame, fear of the future. These emotions I feel I deserve to sit with for quite some time. What worries me is what runs through his mind. I can’t bear to think of it and I only hope that his brain shows him mercy. He seems to have been in good spirits for the past few days, but I still worry about what is unspoken.

To the other WS’s with more experience, and maybe even hopeful R, how do you deal with the silence?

posts: 10   ·   registered: Aug. 18th, 2023
id 8804957
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WalkinOnEggshelz ( Administrator #29447) posted at 1:19 AM on Saturday, August 19th, 2023

Hi gentlemango, welcome to SI. I hope you find this site to be as valuable as I have. smile

Instead of sitting in silence, you may want to fill that time working on becoming a safe partner for him. Start journaling, reading, therapy, to fill that time. Make sure he knows you are there are for him. Initiate conversations that would be productive in both of your healing. As you dive into your why’s, share your discoveries. When you think about how you have hurt him provide him with specific apologies. Make him feel understood.

Your actions can speak louder than any words.

If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

posts: 16686   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2010   ·   location: Anywhere and everywhere
id 8804963
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DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 6:17 AM on Saturday, August 19th, 2023

WalkinOnEggshelz has great advice.

One thing my wife and I did was to start reading to each other in bed at night. We chose to read Brene Brown's "Rising Strong", and would recommend the same to you. Each night, we'd read a few pages or a whole chapter, and then we'd discuss what we read... what we each took from it, what we learned, what made us think, what we saw in ourselves or each other. (If you are unfamiliar with Brene Brown, search for her name along with "The power of Vulnerability" or "Ted Talk" and watch the video).

I’ve tried telling him what’s on my mind, and it has helped. We’ve had long and short conversations, tears and laughter.


This sounds pretty good to me. It sounds as though you guys DO talk and ARE able to open up. Trust me, a lot of WS's would pay you a million bucks just to have that experience, ever again. It sounds like you two had comfortable periods of silence before. Is it so weird that he still wants that sometimes now? Is there more to this you haven't told us yet? Why is this bothering you? Is it just the guilt eating you up now?

Have you told him about your discomfort with this? What was his response?

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: 1437   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017
id 8804967
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fhtshop ( new member #83337) posted at 7:50 PM on Saturday, August 19th, 2023

What worries me is what runs through his mind. I can’t bear to think of it and I only hope that his brain shows him mercy.

More than likely mind movies of you and your AP doing things that he thought were special between you and him and never to be sheard with another partner. If you have children, he is possibly trying how to work them into his decision of whether to R or D. There is just so much going on inside a BS head especially this early.

With me my WW PA and more the 20 years later I still get images in my head of them being intimate with each other.

[This message edited by fhtshop at 7:52 PM, Saturday, August 19th]

posts: 34   ·   registered: May. 12th, 2023   ·   location: New Zealand
id 8804986
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Nexther ( new member #83430) posted at 10:47 AM on Monday, August 21st, 2023

What worries me is what runs through his mind. I can’t bear to think of it and I only hope that his brain shows him mercy.

Don’t worry about what’s on his mind. His thoughts are his own. If you’re worried he’s thinking he should D you, then you are still a selfish person. If you can’t bear to think of his painful thoughts then you’re still being selfish, worrying about how he’s processing your shitty behavior. Your profile write up says you “made the biggest mistake of your life”….you didn’t have sex with your boss twice by mistake. You’ve got your work ahead of you.

[This message edited by Nexther at 10:53 AM, Monday, August 21st]

posts: 36   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2023   ·   location: Nunya, USA
id 8805075
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SkipThumelue ( member #82934) posted at 12:22 PM on Monday, August 21st, 2023

I’ve tried telling him what’s on my mind, and it has helped.

Don't just try. Tell him. Make this a regular, reoccurring thing. And anytime he asks a question, answer it honestly and openly.

I read in your profile that you've scheduled IC. That's a good step forward. You have to get into those "whys" that WalkinOnEggshelz wrote about. You will never make any progress toward becoming a safe partner until you can pinpoint exactly WHY you felt cheating was an acceptable option. The guiding hand of a qualified therapist can do wonders.

Shame and self-hatred can be deadly things for you and any hope of R. The spiral those two emotions create can keep us locked in to wayward thinking and behavior. There's a difference between guilt and shame and it's so important to recognize. Much of my shame originally started with trauma I suffered as a child, and it continued to build layer by layer like a poisonous pearl. My therapist has been invaluable to me in getting through that crap and getting me to own my actions and reactions.

Also, forgetting an item on your shopping list is a mistake. Having an A is a deliberate series of choices. This is something else that's important to understand.

Please keep posting. There are lots of good people here who can listen and help, though it won't always be gentle. All the best to both of you.

WH

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: 131   ·   registered: Feb. 24th, 2023
id 8805081
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 gentlemango (original poster new member #83756) posted at 5:53 PM on Monday, August 21st, 2023

Woah, thank you for all the messages. Definitely didn’t expect all this.

To WalkinOnEggshellz, thank you for all your advice. I have some questions:
When you say initiate conversations, what do you mean? I will admit, I have difficulty bringing up the topic now that he seems to be in better spirits because I don’t want to bring his mind back to it. I’m aware this is unproductive, but I would like to talk to him about it in a way that hurts him the least. And with specific apologies, could you give me an example? I’d really like to give this R my very best shot for him.

To DaddyDom, I totally understand him wanting the comfortable silence back, but the silence that is present now is not the same. I have told him about this, and he agreed. The discussions we have regarding the A tend to make us both sad, naturally, so the silence comes back when he doesn’t want to discuss it anymore. As of the last two days, he’s been in a very upbeat mood and almost back to normal. This includes comfortable silences. HOWEVER - we have not been having productive conversations. I’m worried we may be living in denial. I’m not sure how to handle the issue, as we have been interacting and showing affection (in all ways) before the A. I could use your advice!

To fhtshop and Nexther, you’re both totally right. We do not have children, and it was his decision that we should attempt R because he loves me despite the pain I have caused him. I do not worry if he decides to D me, because I would be more than deserving of it. I just worry about his mental state. I know I should’ve thought of him before, but like you said there was no mistake. I made the conscious decision to possibly destroy my marriage. I only hope I can help heal him and make him feel loved, because he is.

To SkipThumelue, when I have thoughts and regrets regarding the A, should I bring them up even if we aren’t discussing it? This is a legitimate question, as I am a WS not a BS. I don’t know what he would want to hear and when, and don’t want to inflict any MORE pain when not needed. Again, this is all new. I have been digging into my whys and I have a whole list ready for my therapist - my appointment is coming up in two days! And yes, like you said there was no mistake but a decision. I have to own up to that, I hope I can get to the level of selflessness that other successful WS’s in R have. I feel like a lot of my thoughts are still guided by my ego. Thank you for your words!

posts: 10   ·   registered: Aug. 18th, 2023
id 8805111
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Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 8:24 PM on Monday, August 21st, 2023

When was your D-Day and how did your BH learn of your A? Did someone else tell him or did you confess?

You mention in your profile that your AP was your boss, what have you done about your job? Have you submitted your resignation from that job? You will need to have no contact with this AP in order for him and you to be sure that your A is completely over.

As you dig through your whys, it is important to understand your family of origin and how your upbringing may be a factor. Your views on relationships and sex are influenced by those formative years and you will have to address that as part of a broader picture. One thing that jumped out at me is that you may have put a lot of your self-esteem/self-worth into the external validation bucket, which was something I know that my WW also struggled with.

Myself - BH & WH - Born 1985 Her - BW & WW - Born 1986

D-Day for WW's EA - October 2017D-Day no it turned PA - February 01, 2020

posts: 669   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020   ·   location: Miami
id 8805133
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 gentlemango (original poster new member #83756) posted at 12:44 AM on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023

Bor9455, thank you for your response! I confessed, but not a truly good confession. I had been acting strange and when he questioned me regarding my behavior I folded quickly. I’ve since quit my job, but before that I had gone NC(?), now completely, but while still at work limited to professional speaking. What you mentioned about upbringing is completely true, my H and I have discussed that exact topic. I’m planning on deepening it in IC. How did your WW become a healthy partner again for you? It sounds like we have similar issues.

posts: 10   ·   registered: Aug. 18th, 2023
id 8805153
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Nexther ( new member #83430) posted at 6:49 AM on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023

From your profile:

This was the worst and most selfish decision i’ve made in my life, and I want to be a better person

You’re starting to get it. Keep going, one step at a time. Good luck to you and BH

posts: 36   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2023   ·   location: Nunya, USA
id 8805163
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SkipThumelue ( member #82934) posted at 12:44 PM on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023

gentlemango,

I can only speak from my own experience of course, but my BW almost always appreciates when I bring up the subject of the A before she does. My wife has always been the one to ask "Whatcha thinkin?". In my wayward days, this always felt like a violation of my personal space and I would clam up even more. Now, I answer her immediately and honestly and it usually initiates a good discussion that can go anywhere but is mostly positive.

Even though we are in year 5 of R now, there are still (and always will be) questions, thoughts, etc. that need to be asked or shared. It's one of those things that you can broach very gently. If you have something to share, such as an insight from IC or something you read in a book (I highly recommend How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair and also Not Just Friends), ask him if he would like to hear it. And it doesn't have to be something grandiose or the ultimate deep philosophical stream of consciousness.

Letting our spouses inside our inmost thoughts is something we should have been doing all along. Now it's non-negotiable.

WH

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: 131   ·   registered: Feb. 24th, 2023
id 8805167
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Talisman ( member #75398) posted at 2:22 PM on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023

Does your husband have ALL the details of what happened? Did he ask for them? How did the "affair" go down? What happened? Did your ex boss initiate it? Did you let him know that your husband was away? Where did it take place? These are all factors that need to be discussed in order to achieve some chance of R.

posts: 103   ·   registered: Sep. 11th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8805175
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WalkinOnEggshelz ( Administrator #29447) posted at 3:36 PM on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023

When you say initiate conversations, what do you mean? I will admit, I have difficulty bringing up the topic now that he seems to be in better spirits because I don’t want to bring his mind back to it. I’m aware this is unproductive, but I would like to talk to him about it in a way that hurts him the least. And with specific apologies, could you give me an example?

Even when your BH seems like he is doing well and in good spirits, I can guarantee he is still thinking about it in the back of his head. He most likely is struggling with feeling "good" as well. I imagine during these times the affair is still on your mind too.

Waiting until he is upset or triggered will only make him feel like he is alone in his pain. If you think of specific instances that you know were painful in regards to your affair, never wait for that trigger to apologize. For example, because you left your job, you could apologize specifically for the hardship that brings on the family. Did he ever come to work functions and meet your AP? Think about how that might have made him feel in hindsight and apologize for that.

You can initiate conversation by sharing things you have discovered in therapy, journaling, digging into your why’s. You can share with him things you are reading and how you intend to become a safe partner for him. You can also share remorseful feelings regarding the specifics of your affair.

I understand the fear of disturbing those "good" moments, but I guarantee they will come more frequently if you are proactive.

You are asking great questions. Keep it up. smile p

If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

posts: 16686   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2010   ·   location: Anywhere and everywhere
id 8805181
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Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 4:45 PM on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023

How did your WW become a healthy partner again for you?

Slowly but surely she did. For her, one of the biggest things that has changed is she is far less conflict avoidant. See, my wife was born and raised in El Salvador, which is culturally a different place. Having visited El Salvador now many times since we first met in 2007, I can tell you that in general it is a far more socially conservative society than most parts of the USA. There is no separation of church and state like we have in the USA to the point where there are religious influences in the political system and laws. I will give you a little bit of a silly example, our son, who 12, died his hair red and blue for the start of 7th grade. My wife did all the work, she bleached all of his hair and then did all the dying of red and blue to his hair. Any who, my wife had shared some photos with the family and my in-laws from El Salvador were beside themselves that we allowed it and you can imagine how they reacted when they found out that not only did we condone it, we did it.

So, one of the things that we had to address with her was that her very socially conservative upbringing had taught her to stay silent as a wife and not to question her husband. She does not abide by that anymore. If there is something that upsets her, she tells me and tells me in real time. That has gone a long ways toward avoiding the buildup of resentments. For her, she worked on these things in therapy and it has been a process. She isn't always perfect about it, sometimes holding little resentments and then saying something a few days later, but it is far better than it once was when I would get a backlash from her that listed months/years of things that she had bottled up.

Myself - BH & WH - Born 1985 Her - BW & WW - Born 1986

D-Day for WW's EA - October 2017D-Day no it turned PA - February 01, 2020

posts: 669   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020   ·   location: Miami
id 8805189
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 gentlemango (original poster new member #83756) posted at 5:57 PM on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023

WalkinOnEggshellz, thank you so much, your words have been incredibly helpful. I’m going to muster up some courage and start these conversations! Hopefully with time this will get easier, but your words have brought me strength, and i’d love to transfer it to my BH. Updates to come!

Bor9455, your WW seems very similar to me! However from less of a cultural background and more of just having a family that discouraged expressing negative thoughts and opinions. I suppose this leads me to keep my complaints to myself rather than expressing them, then coming out later with a laundry list and making a huge argument. However, I think all of us would rather have regular conversations where complaining doesn’t have to lead to a huge battle! IC starts tomorrow, and i’d love to get to a place where I can speak to my BH freely without all the mental blocks.

posts: 10   ·   registered: Aug. 18th, 2023
id 8805195
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Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 7:29 PM on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023

having a family that discouraged expressing negative thoughts and opinions. I suppose this leads me to keep my complaints to myself rather than expressing them, then coming out later with a laundry list and making a huge argument. However, I think all of us would rather have regular conversations where complaining doesn’t have to lead to a huge battle! IC starts tomorrow, and i’d love to get to a place where I can speak to my BH freely without all the mental blocks.

I would say that as a spouse, you are obligated to love your partner, but you are under no obligation to like them or their actions. In most cases, in a healthy relationship where both partners are committed, disagreement is actually a healthy outcome. Two spouses may disagree on the way to do things and find a compromise solution that both are comfortable with through that disagreement. Also, if what may not seem like a big deal to your spouse is a huge deal breaker type thing to you, it is important that you share that with your spouse too. At the end of the day, what it really comes down to is having an open line of communication and safe place where you can reveal your innermost secrets, fears, etc. with you spouse.

Myself - BH & WH - Born 1985 Her - BW & WW - Born 1986

D-Day for WW's EA - October 2017D-Day no it turned PA - February 01, 2020

posts: 669   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020   ·   location: Miami
id 8805201
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WontBeFooledAgai ( member #72671) posted at 9:18 PM on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023

No Stop Sign.

The thing is that OP, you will have far far rougher seas ahead than "silence". Right now your BH (mostly) is relieved that you have returned to him so to speak, just as you are relieved that he has not kicked you out yet (as well as sorry for the pain you caused). But this feeling of relief will wear off, on both sides. This means a couple of things.

First, his real anger and rage is coming. It will surprise and scare even himself. It will be about both obviously big and seemingly minor things, including things such as the way you lied to your BH down to your exact wording, sexual positions tried with AP, the outfits you wore for AP, who in your circle of family and friends knew of your affair, did you wear your wedding ring or no, the loss of income for the both of you as a couple due to your infidelity, etc. Be prepared for a lot of angry questions, asked over and over again.

Please understand: He feels emasculated, and he will hate having you see him that way, and at the same time he will be furious at you for putting him in this position in the first place.

Second, you are still the same unsafe person who decided to get herself into an affair. Your previous ways will resurface unless you do the work with a good IC who will hold you accountable. I mean, you mention your intense regret, how sorry you are about what your BH is going through. But c'mon, you had to have known even before you cheated that your infidelity would severely affect him, no?

I hope you are, in addition to the responses above, working on a full timeline of your affair. Not only your actions, but your thought process at the time, why you decided it was OK for you to do so, to act as you did.

And please keep posting here, you are in the right space.

[This message edited by WontBeFooledAgai at 12:34 AM, Wednesday, August 23rd]

posts: 928   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2020
id 8805210
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 gentlemango (original poster new member #83756) posted at 4:01 AM on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023

Thank you for your advice, WontBeFooledAgai.
You’re completely correct in knowing the consequences. I pushed them to the back of my mind during the A as a way to hide myself from the reality of my actions, and now is the time I need to be holding myself accountable rather than hiding away from the guilt. As far as what actually happened, I have given my BH a timeline. I discussed with him today some of the driving forces behind my A, but I don’t think I’ve hit the true roots yet. I’m still working on it, and I’m hopeful that IC will help me find an answer that really hits the nail on the head, and I plan on telling him everything as I dig. In terms of the anger, I know this period of peace is temporary. What are some ways you think I could help him navigate his emotions once they surface? I will be signing him up for IC next month when the insurance kicks in, but I want to help on my end as well. These are tough to read, but accountability is important - thank you for your help.

posts: 10   ·   registered: Aug. 18th, 2023
id 8805252
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SkipThumelue ( member #82934) posted at 11:51 AM on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023

You've mentioned several times that you will be the one signing up your BH for IC. Has he expressed any reluctance to see a therapist? Why wouldn't he be doing this himself?

One more thing about IC. Don't ever be afraid to fire your therapist. I was incredibly lucky that I found a good one on the first try. Many folks aren't so fortunate. If the therapist you're going to see mentions anything about "unmet needs", run like hell.

WH

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: 131   ·   registered: Feb. 24th, 2023
id 8805266
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WontBeFooledAgai ( member #72671) posted at 5:27 PM on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023

Yes I am feeling some sort of way about what you wrote about signing your BH up for IC. Did HE decide that he needs IC or are you signing him up because YOU think it is best.

Yes he should get IC. Look at it from his perspective though. You took away a lot of his agency when it came to his own life when you had your affair. You don't get to take away his agency in how he decides to try to heal. You don't get to make his decisions on that for him (such as insisting on talking about your affair when he does not want to or unilaterally signing him up for IC).

[This message edited by WontBeFooledAgai at 5:34 PM, Wednesday, August 23rd]

posts: 928   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2020
id 8805301
Topic is Sleeping.
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