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Newest Member: Watermelonhigh

Wayward Side :
Any advice on how to word this or bring it up?

Topic is Sleeping.
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ReluctantEmu ( new member #82500) posted at 1:37 AM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

I think you know by now that you shouldn’t prop up the AP at your BH expense. Why would you say that AP had to deal with your triggers? I get that it’s strange, but to him that’s a part of you that only BH witnessed. Our BPs want us to be theirs so sharing experiences with others can sting a lot. Trick for now is to not spiral, assure him that triggers with sex are something you’ve always dealt with, no matter who it was, and that BH is the only one. I mean, surely you’re not going around saying to BH he compared worse to AP physically or that you enjoyed it with AP, are you, given that AP violated you in the most damaging and disgusting way? So this should be an easy thing to explain to BH.

Me: WW (33),Him: BH (33)

LTA from Nov 2020-Feb 2022

In recovery

posts: 13   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2022   ·   location: Australia
id 8835521
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 morted (original poster member #84619) posted at 4:33 AM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

I think you know by now that you shouldn’t prop up the AP at your BH expense. Why would you say that AP had to deal with your triggers?

I was trying to point out that my triggers weren't something that was BS's fault. AP wasn't very good at dealing with my triggers. I see from what you're sayin how it sounded like I was talking AP up though. Eww.

BS is better than AP by every metric, even without the violations. I don't think BS likes the comparison at all though.

Hikingout,

You are catastrophizing.

It feels like a catastrophe so maybe?

You have to find a way to it for the knee jerk reaction to be he doesn’t love you, doesn’t love you.

It's hard when he's saying that he doesn't anymore. Maybe I should explain what's happening now. It might be a little heavy of a story.

So Tuesday, I came back in the house at BS's request. He said today it's because he missed me. I spent most of the day cleaning and organizing and making things nice and still giving him his space. I also had therapy that day and got really in touch with my hurt child part holding all the CSA trauma. That's probably a good thing overall but hard to appreciate at the moment with the trouble it's caused. Tuesday night, BS invited me to cuddle and watch a movie together. We had sex after, the first time in a while. I'd been missing it, wanting it, and then I got triggered during sex. I pushed it down because I didn't want it to affect BS. We cuddled after, which was nice, but it also felt like I abandoned the little girl part by not stopping the part she didn't like. I didn't tell BS all this because he's not willing or able to be my emotional support right now for obvious reasons.

Yesterday, we each woke up and did our own exercise/self-care. I started deep cleaning BS's grill for the summer, but then he invited me to go to town for errands and taco truck so I cleaned up, put on make up, and went. I did my best to work on being a better listener and giving him space in the conversations rather than making it all about me. I also tend to dissociate when we're out but I've been working on being a more active participant in the shopping. I wasn't perfect but felt good about the effort that I put in. The day was pretty chill. He even showed me how to do some exercises to help my posture and seemed happy to do it. We watched some videos then went to bed. We had sex again and I was triggered again. This time it was very obvious. After, I felt the awkwardness between us. It seemed like he was triggered too. I mentioned it to BS and explained what happened, but that I was telling him so he wasn't left in the dark, not to ask for emotional support. I didn't want him to think it was about AP, and thought that might be why he was triggered. It was.

We woke up and did our self care routines separately. BS usually does the morning routine with the kiddo, but this morning he had went upstairs. I wasn't sure what was going on so I texted him about it. I should have known after last night he needed some space to himself that morning and just taken care of it but I'm codependent on top of everything else. So I bothered him when he needed space.

He's asked me to leave again. He also told me to get the information we needed together to sell the house. And seems to have some ideas of what he's going to do after we do. He said sex was the last connection we had, but he just wanted casual sex, not anything heavy that he'd have to support me through. Which is understandable. He said he doesn't want me to abandon myself to keep giving myself to him. I tried talking to him about ways that I could manage triggers during that wouldn't involve his support or abandoning myself, but he just doesn't want to anymore. He shared a lot of things that it seems like have been on his mind a while. He said that he hasn't been wanting to reconcile all this time, that I'm delusional to have any hope that we could ever reconcile, that the most he had hoped for from me was someone he could casually date and sleep with until he was ready for a real relationship. With someone else. Someone younger and fitter he could have his next child with. That even if I became someone with more value and character, that it won't change because I could never be the woman that he wants again. I will always be the woman who lied, cheated, and made his life miserable for 10 years. He had sent me some videos about the kind of relationship he wanted and what he was looking for in a wife, so I had taken that as a sign. I asked him about it, and he said that he saw potential in me but changed his mind. I asked what he meant by potential if he didn't ever think we could be together. He said it was potential that I could be someone he could tolerate living with while he had to live with me. That there's not any hope for R and hasn't been for a long time. He said right now he's focused on putting his life back together after what I did, and when he has he's not going to want the person who blew it up in the first place, he's going to want someone new. And I just am never going to be a hot 25 year old again so I don't fit his criteria. I totally believe he could find a hot 25 year old too. He's pretty amazing and hot, and he's on the path to just get better. I fucked up and lost out.

I said that he earnestly loves me because he did before DDay. I thought he did since then. I thought I had seen signs of it. He's still been supportive of me in some ways, though there's a lot of ways he's withdrawn that for his own good. Have I just been delusional all this time? I'm not giving up on making amends for the harm that I've done to him, but should I give up hope that he does love me and we can repair things? I know he's hurting, too. He said that I didn't do anything wrong by being triggered, but also that it's rejecting him even though I didn't reject him intentionally. I can see how it feels that way and why that would be hurt and triggering. I also didn't say I didn't want to not have sex anymore. I wanted to do things to reduce the possibility of being triggered. He said he's just not interested in me anymore and that I actually disgust him.

This is all something I just need to be a rock through, right? Is this normal roller coaster stuff or a sign that repair is doomed. Should I just let go on trying to figure out how he feels for me? Should I take what he's saying at face value? I guess I need to let go of the outcome. Also, if he really doesn't love me anymore and that's already dead and gone, I think that would only make a difference in that I need to accept that's reality and grieve. Accepting reality for what it is is part of doing the work for me. I feel like I've taken one step forward and twenty steps back.

I hope I didn't paint a harsh picture of him. He's an amazing man who didn't deserve what I put him through. He's traumatized and grieving right now and doesn't need to be judged by strangers for that.

posts: 56   ·   registered: Mar. 19th, 2024
id 8835531
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 2:10 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

Hard to say. Sex is a tricky thing after infidelity and it’s entirely possible he might just be feeling hurt that he has to deal with triggers, some of which the AP added to and then also the comparison was made.

My husband and I almost fully went through a divorce. So there is the idea of the rollercoaster, and this could be a low.

At the same time, given your history, I think if he really does just want a casual sex arrangement until he can find someone else then I think you have to consider whether or not that is a mutually beneficial arrangement. I would give it a bit and see if this continues to be what he has to say after there has been some cool down time. If so, it’s probably not advisable to continue letting people use you for company and sex.

But I just would be patient for the next while and keep focusing on working on you. Kee your eye on the ball, your longest relationship is going to be with yourself and these issues you have are going to take a while to work through.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8835547
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 morted (original poster member #84619) posted at 3:35 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

Thank you for being so level headed. It really does help with the catastrophizing.

At the same time, given your history, I think if he really does just want a casual sex arrangement until he can find someone else then I think you have to consider whether or not that is a mutually beneficial arrangement. I would give it a bit and see if this continues to be what he has to say after there has been some cool down time. If so, it’s probably not advisable to continue letting people use you for company and sex.

This probably is important for me to think about. Of course when he mentioned it I jumped on the idea and said I could do that. He wasn't offering at the time though. But now that I've calmed down a bit, I can say to myself that that we wouldn't be on equal footing there. Even if I could honestly accept that our casual relationship has an expiration date that would come in the form of another woman, I would still be looking for ways to continue while he's looking for ways out. But maybe that could be a way to give him some justice after the affair. It's unfair that I can pursue "justice" in some sense against AP, but BS has no recourse for me.

If I think about it selfishly, at least where I am now, I'm still jealous and insecure. It would hurt to just be the placeholder until he finds the pretty young thing he's going to replace me with. Though it's 100% within his right and I understand where he's coming from with not wanting to continue our sex life, I'm in a really fragile place right now. Things from my childhood are being triggered and I have no one else but my therapist and advocate to walk this with me. People keep saying they don't believe me. I don't mean to sound ungrateful but at the same time it's not a lot of support. And when the case has come up with BS recently he's had some things to say that hurt to hear. Not to judge him. He's in a really hard place. And they're probably true anyway. It was just a bit of a double whammy last night to get triggered and not have his support through it (which he doesn't owe me) AND then to be told "You're too much. I don't want sex anymore with you." How much worse is it going to be when he's ending the casual relationship to add, "...and I found someone better" to that? It would be be desperately hoping he would change his mind, obsessing over if he's talking to anyone else, scanning and analyzing and looking for signs he's moving closer or father away.

And typing all that out, part of me is still saying, "So what? After everything you owe him that. Maybe discarding you for another woman would give him some justice." And I know if he offered it again right now I'd be seriously considering it. But is it really that bad of an idea to want to date my husband? Maybe it would remind him why he fell in love in the first place. Maybe it would be a space to show him I've grown and can keep growing. Maybe he could want me again.

Yeah, I have a lot of work to do on my relationship with myself. crying

posts: 56   ·   registered: Mar. 19th, 2024
id 8835553
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 3:56 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

If I think about it selfishly, at least where I am now, I'm still jealous and insecure. It would hurt to just be the placeholder until he finds the pretty young thing he's going to replace me with.

I personally think you would do better not to over analyze here. Instead as these things happen, just wait. Keep working on you, keep making your steps.

And if the message he is giving is consistent, I would start to believe it and worry about it then.

Your husband is in an emotional tornado and he is going to be all over the place. He is in pain, likely doesn’t know what he wants because it changes by the minute. Do your best, it’s all you can do.

Now, if it does remain the message, you have to stop self abandoning to get love. You can’t be a place holder for someone. For now, I dont think it’s time to make a decision on that and just remain open ended for now. Watch and work, and try and be patient. If he was so hurt over the sex thing, he likely just wanted to withdraw from you. Some of his words may be to push you away. But if he didn’t love you he wouldn’t be hurting, and you have to remember that.

I just always when my husband felt angry tried to be there for him but I let some of those things he would say go without latching onto it.

But it’s the codependency saying you deserve to have him use you until he discards you for another woman. No one healthy would agree to that. I just wouldn’t put stock into him meaning it yet.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
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 morted (original poster member #84619) posted at 4:23 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

The thing about consistency is really helpful. I actually felt some of the tension release when you said that. Like, now I have a road map.

What you're saying makes a lot of sense. He's still talking to me even this morning. It's not happy talking but like you said it's a sign of the love still there. If he didn't it wouldn't matter as much that we couldn't have sex right now because he can just get that somewhere else. He's also sharing how he's feeling which is an opportunity to be there for him, make amends, and help him with his healing. That's really the most important right now.

I do need to work on loving and caring for myself and being able to stand on my own two feet. I feel like I was doing better at being his rock a while back but lately I've been getting swept up in the tornado too. Neither of us needs that.

posts: 56   ·   registered: Mar. 19th, 2024
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 6:08 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

This is all something I just need to be a rock through, right? Is this normal roller coaster stuff or a sign that repair is doomed.

While I think the WS has a role in kind of sitting there and taking/being the calm, steadfast shock absorber of a bit of the BS’s flailing/spiralling in the aftermath of an A, but I do think there are limits on what you should be expected to accept and this recent update sounds like he’s perhaps crossed some boundaries. Him suggesting he has no intention to reconcile with you, but wants to use for no-strings sex until he can find someone "better" is….atrocious. I will cop to not being familiar with the entirety of your story. But like, is this him just lashing out in anger or is he being serious? Is it normal for him to speak to you with this kind of disrespect?

Look, I’m not a WS and so this is probably out of my depth, but for what it’s worth, I definitely don’t think you should allow yourself to simply be a doormat for him to treat you like shit. I don’t care if you cheated, you’re a person – the mother of his children – and lashing out when you’re overcome with anger/triggers is one thing (if that’s what this is), but this is not okay. To be clear, I definitely did my fair share of lashing out when I was a new BS and tortured with hurt and trying to make my husband feel the pain I was in so maybe he could possibly understand and empathize, but I also had a certain built in moral compass, that meant that I felt badly when I said something that crossed a line. And so when I crossed those lines, I made a point to apologize to my husband. I didn’t want a marriage where I always had the upper hand and he was always going to expect (and take) my contempt. That’s not real R - that's not real love.

You’re worried he doesn’t respect you right now but the reality is that he’s not going to come around to respecting you again if you let him treat you like disposable sex toy (your wants and desires be damned). Honestly, I understand that your instinct right now is to go-along to get-along right now, but I’m willing to bet that part of your work as a WS is to learn to be the kind of person who acts authentically and in line with your own moral code (rather than being swayed by your desire to keep everyone else around you happy) and you are not going to be able to get there by continuing to choose to disrespect yourself. You’re probably just going to confirm to him that you’re not the type of woman he wants to be with. He might be irritated by you setting boundaries with him in how he’s allowed to speak to/treat you "You didn’t do that with the AP", but that’s part of your work. He needs to see you have changed – YOU need to see that too.

So I want to echo what Hiking has asked. You need to sort out if this is something he’s just saying in anger to hurt you, or if it’s actually the truth. If it’s the truth, you need to decide whether this what you want. Do you want to be his no strings attached booty call placeholder, while he looks for someone "better"? Or are you only considering this as a way to stick around long enough that you hope he’ll change his mind? To be honest morted, I can’t imagine that you want what he is proposing. That is not healthy for you (or him to be honest). I also can’t imagine that it is healthy for your kids to witness their parents in a marriage without love and respect. So if it’s not what you want, you need to stand up for yourself and set some boundaries for how he’s allowed to speak to, and treat you. I know that’s scary. I know you feel your marriage is only holding on by a string right now and that if you make a single wrong move, that thread will snap, but you have to be willing to lose the marriage to save it. I know that goes against probably every fibre of your being right now, but it’s true. You will never be a safe partner to him or anyone until you are able to do this. It’s so cliché, but you really do have to love yourself first.

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

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id 8835572
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 7:10 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

I certainly contemplated finding some nubile beauties to service me after d-day (at my age, I couldn't count on servicing them), but it was the nubile beauties or R, not NBs and R.

I can't ever imagine telling my CSA-survivor co-d W that I expected her to be available for casual sex until I found someone better but that R was out of the question. That strikes me as downright sadistic and contemptuous, and if I was that contemptuous of my W, I certainly wouldn't have wanted to R with her.

So I think your H may have told you who he really is, unless he's so emotionally immature that he said those things to you out of anger, grief, fear, or shame.

I think it will be MUCH harder for you to heal if you have to experience abuse from him; in fact, his abuse may make healing impossible.

You apparently had consensual sex with the POS who raped you, and you were sexually abused by your father. Those are very heavy burdens to carry and to heal from. But you are working to shut down your vulnerabilities to cheat again. I imagine you're working to shut down your barriers to true intimacy. That's hard work, but there's a lot of reason to hope that the work will have good effects. I wish you the best. Paradoxically, the more you come to value yourself, the better partner you become.

This is all something I just need to be a rock through, right?

I think your H may be making your life more difficult than it needs to be. You don't describe a person who is a good candidate for R.

My reco is to sit down with your H, perhaps with a neutral observer like an MC in the room, and tell him you want to R. Ask him what his requirements are, and tell him you'll need support to R. That should result in a decision to D, to R, or to spend more time figuring out what you both want enough to work for.

The conversation I recommend will end best if you stay focused on yourself - your wants, your needs, not selling yourself out - and he stays focused on himself in the same way.

You can both be great people but not be able to R. And make no mistake: underneath the victimized child and woman you are, there's a loving, lovable, capable person who is as valuable as any other human being. Same thing for your H. It may just be that you don't fit together well enough now.

If you have to choose between being yourself and stifling yourself to stay with your H, I hope you choose being yourself.

*****

IMO, your were absolutely right to tell your H that your POS ap had to deal with your triggers. Without honesty, R is impossible. If one of you can't handle the truth, I don't see how R can succeed.

Courage, morted, courage. Patience, too....

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 30051   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:30 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

. And make no mistake: underneath the victimized child and woman you are, there's a loving, lovable, capable person who is as valuable as any other human being.

This. Your work is to see exactly this. It will change the lens in which you see everything. This is your journey, your work, the number one thing.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8835585
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 morted (original poster member #84619) posted at 7:58 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

Emergent and sisson,

Your responses weigh heavy on my heart, but I appreciate them. I'd rather face the hard truth then live in a fantasy.

I'm not sure how to approach the R conversation. Right now we're still talking about past grievances in the relationship and I'm doing my best to apologize and be compassionate and understanding. He was really angry when he said the things about R and sex and wanting someone else. He's said he didn't want R a long time ago, and that he just wanted to attempt to be healthy coparents together so we could continue providing a roof over our son's head. Our son also seems to be less anxious and reactive when we're both around. He's good with just his dad at home (BS is an AMAZING father), but then he has a harder time in school. But then there seemed to be signs that maybe he was considering R. He also said I needed to work on this for me and not to get him back or save the marriage, so I thought maybe even if he wasn't actively in R, he might be open to it in the future if I could show him I was doing the work consistently. This isn't the first time he'd asked me to shape up because the relationship wasn't working for him, and I didn't put in real consistent effort before.

He's also saying now that he doesn't want the casual dating/sex thing now. Maybe that's what we were doing before and not R. I don't know what to make of it. Our situation is complicated because we don't really have the finances to support ourselves separately at the moment. If it comes to that we could probably both figure out how to make it work but it would be rough. I don't want my child to have to spend parts of his childhood in shelters or temporary housing. I feel like our housing is the one stable thing we have left to provide my son and I'll put up with hell to keep giving that to him. Right now I'm mostly staying in the garage to give them space. BS is pretty hurt right now and I'm a two legged trigger.

I'm terrified of asking where we stand. I don't want to pressure him. I don't want to anger or upset him and destroy what we have left by being impatient. I'm ok with the answer being "I don't know yet." I think his answer is probably, "I'm just trying to survive here until I can move out and in the meantime when I can tolerate being around you I want to hang out and get some human affection to ease the pain you've inflicted on me."

But he's also talking about his feelings. He's telling me about what's been hurtful for him, how he hasn't felt loved and cared for. He sent me a video the other day about what he's wanting out of a relationship. He's still sending me videos today about things that he thinks relate to our problems in the relationship. Wednesday night he was even helping me out by showing me the proper form for some exercises he thinks will help with my scoliosis, and even though we went to the store for workout stuff for him he picked out some stuff for me too. So that sounds like there's something, right? Even if he's also saying when he's upset he's done? Right now he's focused on himself and getting his life back, which I want for him. Could he secretly want R but be scared to say it or hope for it until signs from me that it works?

Is this another conversation that I'm avoiding that we need to have? And if he doesn't want to R, do I have to say we have to move apart? I don't want to give up, and it feels wrong as the wayward to be the one to end the relationship. I feel like if he's in, I should and want to be in too. But he's also saying the relationship is over. The more I think about it the more confused I get.

---

I think what hurt about the comment about AP having to deal with my triggers is that it felt to BS like I was saying AP provided the same level of love and support around my triggers that BS has which is absolutely untrue. BS has gone above and beyond in his support around my sexual trauma pre-DDay and even for a while after. He just can't be that emotional support anymore.

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id 8835592
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 morted (original poster member #84619) posted at 8:00 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

underneath the victimized child and woman you are, there's a loving, lovable, capable person who is as valuable as any other human being. Same thing for your H. It may just be that you don't fit together well enough now.

I want to believe that.

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3yrsout ( member #50552) posted at 8:15 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

I am concerned by your comment that now that he’s taking good physical care of himself he looks so good.

Sometimes people do that as a way to sublimate suicidal ideation. I guarantee he is not ok, and commenting positively on his looks could be…. Insensitive at best.

Tread carefully around that issue. Him "looking good" to you is soooooo complicated, and it’s concerning to me that you see the superficial aspects of it and might be missing what’s likely underneath. He is not ok. This is a coping skill, a way to gain control for him.

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 morted (original poster member #84619) posted at 8:20 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

I appreciate that perspective. I've seen him suicidal. This is something I haven't seen before. He's working out but also just all around taking better care of himself and getting himself into a daily routine. He's very much thinking of what he can do in the present to be his best self in the future. Seeing him being disciplined and becoming his best self is what I find attractive. If that could come off wrong I could be more careful about how I word my compliments.

I know that doesn't mean that he's just fine or ok. I see that he's hurting a lot too. I find it really impressive that he's using the pain he's going through as motivation to work on himself and get to a better place rather than stagnating or further isolating.

[This message edited by morted at 8:21 PM, Friday, May 3rd]

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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 9:18 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

Seeing him being disciplined and becoming his best self is what I find attractive.

I find it really impressive that he's using the pain he's going through as motivation to work on himself and get to a better place rather than stagnating or further isolating.

And that's exactly what he might find attractive about you. Salivating at the chance to keep him at any cost is not attractive. It's weak and repellant. Strength is attractive. (I know these things from firsthand experience.) Work on taking very good care of yourself and detaching from him, because he's told you that he doesn't want to R. You might tell him that you're interested in R, but not at the expense of your mental health. That you'll be working on yourself and if he changes his mind, please come talk to you. And then detach like a MFer.

Remove the "I want you to like me" sticker from your forehead and place it on the mirror, where it belongs. ~ Susan Jeffers

Your nervous system will always choose a familiar hell over an unfamiliar heaven.

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 9:37 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

And that's exactly what he might find attractive about you. Salivating at the chance to keep him at any cost is not attractive. It's weak and repellant. Strength is attractive. (I know these things from firsthand experience.)

Agree. But just don’t pretend to be there to use it as a lure either, you will give yourself a way and that will read like more lies/manipulation. Truly, look after your side of the street, be earnest in what you want and what you don’t want, and keep developing.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

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 morted (original poster member #84619) posted at 9:51 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

Is it normal for him to speak to you with this kind of disrespect?

I didn't want to answer this. I avoided it so in the spirit of avoiding it I want to answer it. I also don't want to badmouth my BS. He is amazing. He's also been through a lot and met me in a really fragile place in his life. All of the good things that I've said about him are true. And also when he's at a certain level of angry/triggered, he does talk to me pretty cruelly. Like now. Things like name calling and saying he hates me and saying he's ending the relationship. The first time he said that he hated me, I sat him down and told him that that's a line for me in relationships, that if he felt that way about me should leave, and if he ever said it again we'd have to be done. He said, "Well I said it because in that moment I hated you." And I accepted it. I don't know why. I know it's normal for BS's to go through periods of hating their WS after the trauma we put them through, so now I can tolerate it more. In his defense I have been really awful and I see how it's a reaction to my abuse. I'll link my original post discussing how I wasnt good before DDay. Tbh, I haven't shared the most hurtful things he said to me in this conversation.

https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/topics/662596/help-i-ruined-my-life/

So my questions are, what boundaries is it ok for a W to set on the BS in regards to respecting them? What's reasonable to expect when the BS has lost all respect for you due to you acting with no respect for yourself, them or the relationship by having an affair? How do you set those boundaries?

SacredSoul, hiking out,

What do you mean by detaching? What's that look like when living together? Should I move out? Should I stop doing the things for him that I was planning on doing and want to do? If he's seeing if I'm committed to working on the relationship and myself without a guarantee of R as a reward, won't that sabotage it?


Now I'm starting to feel more angry, resentful, and guarded but he's still trying to tell me how he feels. I don't know how to navigate this.

[This message edited by morted at 9:53 PM, Friday, May 3rd]

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 10:52 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

It’s normal for bs to lash out in early days after dday. I think Sissoon was asking was this a pattern in your relationship prior?

I don’t think you should put up with abuse but a bs saying they hate you after finding out you cheated on them would be not out of the ordinary.

Suggesting you stay and service him until he finds a girlfriend is not appropriate, but he backed off that pretty quickly. He is hurt and he wants you to hurt. A longer pattern of this would be bad. After dday the lashing out is just part of it, but like emergent said there should be a coming around of I didn’t mean that.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 11:01 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

So my questions are, what boundaries is it ok for a W to set on the BS in regards to respecting them? What's reasonable to expect when the BS has lost all respect for you due to you acting with no respect for yourself, them or the relationship by having an affair? How do you set those boundaries?

Just by virtue of being a human, you deserve to be treated with respect. My H and I agreed to no name-calling; no "I'm done" from either of us unless we really, really meant it; and anger shared in an appropriate manner. ("I feel so angry right now!") Also, if we popped off in anger and said things similar to what your WS said, we'd follow up ASAP with something like, "I'm sorry. I don't mean that. I'm angry and hurt."

"If you [violate this boundary] I will end the conversation." Mean it, and defend your boundaries. Do what you say that you're going to do.

What do you mean by detaching? What's that look like when living together? Should I move out? Should I stop doing the things for him that I was planning on doing and want to do?

To me, detaching is internal. If I do something nice for my H like fix his plate or make his favorite meal, it's because I want to give him a little gift, not because I'm looking for approval or a reaction. Continue doing things for him because you want to be kind to him, but not because you're trying to earn anything from him. Make it a gift. An NSA gift. Don't even expect a thank you or a smile. And go ahead and be proud of yourself when you're able to do this. It's not easy to stop clawing at someone from whom you desperately want approval and attention.

If he's seeing if I'm committed to working on the relationship and myself without a guarantee of R as a reward, won't that sabotage it?

Your work on yourself is so that you can be the best possible version of yourself, whether you're alone or with him. It helps you either way, and it makes you a much better candidate for R. If you do some reading in the General section, the main thing that a BS wants from a WS is for them to "do the work" of making themselves a better person.

Also, do not "work on the relationship" right now. He's told you he doesn't want to R. Respect that unless he tells you otherwise. The nice things that you want do for him should not be transactional - they should not be because you want him to stay in the relationship with you, though of course you do want that. He's hurting, you see he's hurting, you caused the hurt, you own the hurt, and you're trying to help with the hurt. For him alone. Not because you want something from him. Does that make sense?

Remove the "I want you to like me" sticker from your forehead and place it on the mirror, where it belongs. ~ Susan Jeffers

Your nervous system will always choose a familiar hell over an unfamiliar heaven.

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 morted (original poster member #84619) posted at 12:57 AM on Saturday, May 4th, 2024

Hikingout,

It was a pattern from early on, but thinking about it now that had improved a lot before DDay. It makes since in the hurt, traumatized place that he's in he'd be regressing at times. He backed off the "casual dating until I find someone better" thing but said it was because we have too much baggage and now I don't have anything to offer him. Maybe though I do need to give him a lot more grace. I don't know. He doesn't come around usually. Sometimes I bring up that something hurt me and he'll either dismiss it or say something like "It seems like that really hurt you."

SacredSoul,

I think it's hard because I'm not sure what's appropriate to set. He should be able to vent his pain and frustration that I caused at me. I also just don't know how to word the boundary. No conversations about how happy you're going to be in your new life without me? No talking about how I'm nothing to you and don't do anything for you? If we're not in R just keep these to yourself while me move apart? Is that fair to put on him?

What you said about detaching makes sense. I feel like I've been trying to do that with my actions. Like, I would do the same stuff for him even if I knew he was serious about selling the house and moving out. I feel like the only thing that would change is how much venting I would deal with and the topics of venting.

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 morted (original poster member #84619) posted at 1:13 AM on Saturday, May 4th, 2024

What hurts right now is that he seems angry that I was triggered during sex. I can sort of understand that from his point of view. It probably feels like rejection and is triggering all sorts of insecurities. It's probably not that easy to separate it from everything else going on in our relationship for him. It still hurts and is triggering for me too. Part of me almost wants to say, "Fuck, I should have stuffed that down for him. I made things worse." This is why I don't like saying no to sex. Am I just being selfish with this though? It's the only thing I really have to give him at this point. It's always helped him destress and been the place where we can connect. Without this we have no connection.

Are "don't call me a worthless whore" and "don't yell at me in all caps" reasonable boundaries this early in?

posts: 56   ·   registered: Mar. 19th, 2024
id 8835629
Topic is Sleeping.
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