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Saddest,

There are days that make my time here worth a great deal. Today was such a day.
Quote
Originally Posted By: Just LearningHarley says it takes on average two years for people to recover from an affair.

This hit me like a ton of bricks. "People". I'm a person. I have to recover too. I thought it was only him.

Wow.


Yup, you are which is why we all have been talking to you. laugh
Welcome to the land of human beings and married ones at that. cool

IF you don't recover, your marriage has no chance. Hence all everyone has been saying from day one, yup especially the 2x4's were about YOU RECOVERING.

Quote
However, my number one EN is for conversation. I would prefer H go do something that interests him and have something besides the M or the kids to talk about at the end of the day (I always have stuff to talk about, it just doesn't interest him.) H said he is concerned/worried that he doesn't have it in him to meet this need.


You then list many things he enjoys doing and you have many things you enjoy doing. Share them with each other in conversation. Perhaps you are not so interested in the details of the hunt, but you might find the people he hunts with interesting.

Saddest, my W and I have been married almost 35 years and from a hobby standpoint I like golf and backpacking. She does not golf and doesn't backpack but will car camp sometimes. Further, my profession holds absolutely no interest for her and in fact she cannot understand it, and doesn't want to.

Yet, we have shared life and our children for all of these years. We share experiences and talk about her fund raising, our children's weddings, their schooling when they were in college, their jobs now that they are out. We have friends that we meet for dinners.

I think in the case of your marriage, you need to share the joy each of you receives from your respective hobbies. You two should be talking about politics, as you two should be voting on people, taxes, schools, etc. You two do live on the same planet with the same idiots running it, so please don't tell me you don't have anything to talk about or agree about.

You are limiting yourself in a self-destructive way when you describe things as you do.

If you and your H are really working on this and he is helping you more, and he is trying to become a larger part of the family, you two need to tell your children this. S19 may have earned many things, but he has not earned the right to tell you and your H to fail. No one has that right.

You and your H need to discuss your children's view of this marriage and decide how to change it into a positive one. That should keep the two of you talking for at least a year and working together for longer.

You two many not share much in the way of hobbies, but you do share a family and that should keep you busy and connected to your H for years IF you two decide to actually work on it. I will tell you, your children's view of your marriage and your H depends to a large extent on you and how you present it. Your H has the same responsibility.

So I would say you both have a lot to discuss, plan, and execute. I wouldn't think either of you would or should be short on things to talk about.

Trust me, as your children leave for school, you will find you two have even more to talk about. When they graduate college, you will have even more. Start there.

Please think about this.

God Bless,

JL

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Originally Posted by Just Learning
.

I think in the case of your marriage, you need to share the joy each of you receives from your respective hobbies. You two should be talking about politics, as you two should be voting on people, taxes, schools, etc. You two do live on the same planet with the same idiots running it, so please don't tell me you don't have anything to talk about or agree about.

SW,

I was going to post yesterday to see how you've been doing lately, and then I saw the post from JL above. So I put down the computer and talked to my W...about politics of all things. Since our votes tend to cancel the other out, it was kind of a nice discussion.

Conversation with my W has, lately, not been my strongpoint though I can always think of things to say with complete strangers or friends in social situations. I think that just "trying" to think of something to talk about makes the attempt even worse. I asked my W this, and she agreed 100%...said she felt the same way. I wonder if your H thinks the same way. Not sure if y'all are in a position to ask that, but maybe in a joking manner?

Spontaneity in conversation sure is hard, I guess you just have to relearn it.

Anyways, end threadjack. So what did you guys do, as far as RC, when you were dating? Maybe a day trip would be in order, or, as a small start, a run to Home Depot and lunch, or a lengthy browse through a furniture store or Best Buy? Nothing too long, so that the two of you aren't sitting there in silence trying to think of what to say. As for dinner, to avoid the above, I've always thought that the Benhihana type places are good...the ones where they cook in front of you and gives you both something to watch or look at besides the elephant on the table.

Hope things are going ok for you.


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Saddest,

To follow up on Northwood's comment. My W and I find that reading the newspaper ( I know how old fashion) at breakfast often gets the day off to a good start conversation wise.

We read articles to each other or point one that interests us out to the other, and then discuss after the other has read it.

Given that I live on the "left coast" and our broke cities have a love of paying their city managers well "how does $800k a year sound for a town of about 30,000? sigh " we find lots to talk about. Oh! and we don't always agree on things either, but it does allow each of us express ourselves.

My point, life is too darned fun to waste it not talking to your spouse about it and laughing at it.

God Bless,

JL

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I would love to hear from any WW or BH whose WW initiated the coaching process with SteveH, got her BH on board with coaching and then worked SteveH's recovery program.

Things are better with the M right now -- H went hunting and I didn't heave a huge sigh of relief when he left which I historically did for years prior to the A. And he went hunting so he feels safe, or at least safer. In the past I would have gone out to dinner with a friend but that feels kind of mean to H (core value=kindness) and I'm not ready for that (core value=self care) as I'm not confident I'm not still low hanging fruit. I don't know how he would feel if I did go out with a friend, and haven't asked because I'm not ready.

Getting H to talk to SteveH (which H will willingly do if I ask) feels like stirring things up -- let's just let that sleeping dog lie, shall we?

I know the right thing to do is ask that my H to talk to SteveH (core value=integrity) as I know my H has no way to manifest his pain (core value=compassion) and there is no way this period of relative tranquility can be maintained. But I'm scared.

Really, really scared.

REALLY scared.

I'm an information gatherer so any insight into what I can expect -- good or bad -- will alleviate my anxiety.

JL -- took your advice and hunted for news of interest to us both -- found that Texas came perilously close to eradicating Thomas Jefferson from the history textbooks because of his church/state views? Since we both attended Mr. Jefferson's University, we had a lively discussion about that. It was actually fun!


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OK, to get it all out there, here is what I am scared of: the "what happened" step of the treatment protocol.

H hasn't asked much and what he's asked I've answered honestly. But since I don't want to tell, H not wanting to know works for me. I've been telling myself that it is up to H to determine how much information he wants. I wonder if SteveH is going to press my H to ask for more.

Meanwhile, I am working really hard at forgetting.

I'll use the approach suggested by JL (word for word) that H write down his questions if H needs more information. It's a sensitive, compassionate approach and it will buy me some time.

I'm NOT saying I won't tell him whatever he asks. I'd just prefer he not ask. But if he is going to ask, I need to be ready, and I don't mean ready to lie. The times we have talked about it, I have come off as very dispassionate and clinical and that doesn't work. H's reaction to my demeanor was "you really just don't care, do you." Well, no, I don't.

But the theory is that some day I will care, so I need to be ready. If I'm not ready, I'll default to dispassionate and clinical.

Actually, that's not true. I'm starting to care. Maybe that's why I am so scared. I'd rather get whatever he needs out there, see how he reacts, and then decide whether I want to care.

I DESPISE being out of control.

Last edited by saddestwife; 09/01/10 12:15 PM. Reason: Added: Actually......

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Saddest,

Ya know. You paint your H in a very bad light and then you say
Quote
I DESPISE being out of control.
Has it occured to you that you need for control is why your H has acted as he has. Your H should hear what he wants to hear.

My guess is that he wants to know a lot, but he is deeply afraid because he KNOWS you don't care at all for him. He suspects you will drive great pleasure from hurting him.

The reality may not be this, but your lack of compassion, your need for control, and how you have delivered what you have certainly tells him to stand back.

Now this may sound great for you, but actually it is the worst thing in the world for you. You may divorce but you will KNOW that it was because of your failures and fears. You may stay married, but there will be a low level of intimacy because deep down he will not trust you or open up to you. Your failure to to actually feel and to be honest will haunt you for the rest of your life.

Finally, has it occured to you that some of your H's behavior is in response to you and how you have treated him over the years. I am not talking about the A, I am talking before the A. One thing that is very clear from being here all of these years is that in most cases marriages are nonlinear and a modest change on the part of one spouse leads to changes on the part of the other. This happens over and over. You can get the marriage you want, but you need to model the marriage you want in how you treat your H.

My guess is that he is receptive.

Think about it.

JL

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Originally Posted by Just Learning
My guess is that he wants to know a lot, but he is deeply afraid because he KNOWS you don't care at all for him. He suspects you will drive great pleasure from hurting him.

Having been a BS in 2001, I think this statement has some truth to it. When we were in the first "working it out" phase, my W's PA ate at me. I wanted to know the details but didn't want to know because I was scared of what I'd hear and didn't want to hurt anymore. She, like you, had said that she'd tell me whatever I wanted to hear.

I felt that he (the OM) had won, that I was being compared to him and that my W would always compare us in what had, until then, been a private matter. That she didn't love me and that she would, I don't know, rub it in so to speak. I didn't want to hear "Well we did [this] and, even though I know it was wrong, I enjoyed it." That is, I didn't want to hear the truth.

In the end, I asked a few things and got answers, but it took a long time, nearly a year, to get over that. For a while, when we were together, I couldn't help but wonder if she was thinking about OM. The most horrific was when I noticed a technique (sorry to be blunt) that she obviously hadn't done before, and I kept wondering where it was learned. Over time, and because we worked on our underlying issues, it passed and, thankfully, there were times when I no longer thought about it. I felt superior to the POSOM, that's the best way I can describe it. I'll never forget it as long as I live, but I can forgive. I don't know if there was anything that W could have done (with regard to answering questions) that would have helped me...it was fixing our other issues (meeting other EN's) that kind of worked it out. I had to get to a place myself where I felt ok to be ok again.

Of course, fast forward nine years later and we're in a rut again, but that's how I felt in the intervening years.

I doubt this helps much, but thought I'd share my perspective.


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Originally Posted by saddestwife
I don't know how he would feel if I did go out with a friend, and haven't asked because I'm not ready.

If it's a married friend, why not a "double date"?


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Originally Posted by Just_Learning
You paint your H in a very bad light

Living with him was death by a thousand cuts. No single cut is lethal, and some are so small you hardly notice them. It's so hard to explain and I get so frustrated trying I start crying, and I don't cry. Not frustrated here -- frustrated with him.

He wasn't a very good husband -- he tried to mold me into his vision of the perfect wife so I would make him look good. I didn't say that. He said it when we started talking about reconciling. I asked him what was so wrong with me that he needed to change me so, and he wouldn't or couldn't answer. I'm not at all sure he likes me very much, and I'm talking pre-A. He says he loves me, but I don't know what that means. I think maybe he just needs me.

I wasn't a very good wife -- I tried to be the perfect wife he wanted and then resented the hell out of him. From his standpoint, I was a very good wife. You are going to have to trust me on that.

Nothing I did to try to change the dynamic seemed to have any impact. Maybe I wasn't doing the right stuff, or maybe he just wasn't willing to change. No way to know.

We both failed dramatically in dramatically different ways, but it's still failure. We retreated into our respective trenches and started fortifying them. Even if it was miserable, it was safe.

Then a dropped the A bomb so the trenches aren't safe anymore.

He's trying to be a better husband. I'm trying to be a better wife. There's movement on both sides.

He has a lot of shame about how he's treated me. I have a lot of shame about how I've treated him. Maybe leaving that in the past and looking only forward is the right answer, hence my question about delving into the details of the A. We were so disconnected at the time, I wonder if he really feels as much pain as I'm told he does.

The A is over. He wants the M to be emotionally intimate -- whenever I hear him use that phrase I have to laugh, and not in a mean way. It's just so funny hearing those words come out of his mouth -- like he learned French overnight or something.

He may not have been a good husband, but I know with certainty that he is very good man -- I have never once questioned that. But if you take that to its logical conclusion, the question arises "if he is such a good man, why does he treat me this way?" And the only logical answer to that, given that he is a good man is the constant in the equation, is that I deserved it and if I deserved it, I shouldn't complain about it. So I didn't.

It's so hard to explain.

I know for a certainty that he is trying really hard. And so am I. Trying goes a long way.

I like the guy again. He's gone and I sort of miss him. I can't remember the last time I felt that way. Is it really smart to mess with the status quo?

Originally Posted by Just_Learning
how you have delivered what you have certainly tells him to stand back

Exactly. I know this. How do I change it?

Originally Posted by Just_Learning
low level of intimacy because deep down he will not trust you or open up to you.

One thing H and I are in total agreement on is that if we can't create a great marriage, we will end it. Mediocrity is not an option. Been there, done that.

Originally Posted by Just_Learning
Your failure to to actually feel and to be honest

I am being honest. I don't know how to make myself feel something. It may be that I am like someone who won't go to the funeral of the three year old they ran over while driving drunk and texting because they can't face the horror of what they've done. That explanation seems to fit the facts as I know without question that I am a very empathic, fair person.

I seriously have to be careful with this stuff. Falling back into the abyss of suicidal clinical depression isn't going to help anyone. I can't do that again. I won't survive. You are just going to have to trust me on that.

And I know H is worried about that too and that is a factor in his hesitancy to discuss the A. He has to know that I'm not going to go back into the abyss. I have no idea how to reassure him on that point as I can't say with any certainty that I won't.

I HAVE to understand this process and be ready.

I don't have a controlling bone in my body. You are going to have to trust me on that one too. My kids say I'm too lazy to be controlling, but what they don't know is that I worked really hard to give them to tools to make good decisions when they were younger so I don't have to control them. Me being controlling is like when someone asked me here if I was narcissistic -- my psychiatrist and family burst out laughing when I posed that question to them. I'm not a control freak.

When I say I despise being out of control, I'm saying I don't like being blindsided. There are a lot of moving parts here and they can move the way they need to move. I just want to know if there are more parts out there.

And yes, I know my H got blindsided by my A and that blow was way worse than anything I might face. That is actually the piece of it which speaks to me the loudest. That look on his face.

I don't want to go to the funeral. Who would? But I'll do the right thing. I just need a map.


WS
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SW:

Are you the same person as you were before DDay? Before the A?

No, your not. Your something different.

When you state this:
Quote
The A is over. He wants the M to be emotionally intimate -- whenever I hear him use that phrase I have to laugh, and not in a mean way. It's just so funny hearing those words come out of his mouth -- like he learned French overnight or something.

It shows that your BH is TRYING to be different. He is trying to do things in a better way in order to GET to that type of M.

Yes, you both have changed......

It is a matter of time to see if it was enough change, or the right kind of change.

You asked if counseling with SH will require your to "spill all the beans" about your A to your BH. SH may or may not require it. He may have a conversation with your BH one day in the future after talking with you a number of times, and SH may ask your BH what he still needs to know. Make that be SH's part in this. If you are counselling with him, then let him guide you to the right place and time, what your BH needs.

Now, I can tell you that you should reveal ALL the info to your BH anyway. Some men want every detail, some only want to barest amount. You, I believe already KNOW from being here that this decision is your BH's to make. Not you.

Since it is already making your squirm, then I can tell there is an awful amount of info there that is going to make you look bad, making your BH think even less of you, and revealing just how depraved you were when you were in the middle of the A high.

Understand, I gave my BW all the info in the two weeks after DDAY that she wanted to know. We still talk about some issues, 5 years later, as needed by her. She has the info she needed to process her life going forward. Much of it leaves scars I will never understand. I try my best to make it better for her.

However, that squirminess? That is WHAT HAS TO BE REVEALED. These are the "secrets" of your affair that you still share with OM. And by revealing them to your BH, you are in effect, betraying your (misplaced) confidences with your OM. When I have a secret, and I keep that from my BW, then *I* am creating emotional distance from my BW. Becasue your BH will continue to sense that something, whatever it is, is still out there, and waiting to hit him at the worst possible time, you two will *NOT* start bridgeing this gap between you. JL has talked about your BH having defenses, becasue of the past experiences in your M. ONe of those ways to reduce his defenses is having you drop yours, and revealing what needs to be revealed.

Might you fall in to the abyss once again? Maybe. But growing an increasing emotional attachment to your BH will probably result in it being MUCH more unlikely that will happen.

I have something about this line:
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He wasn't a very good husband -- he tried to mold me into his vision of the perfect wife so I would make him look good.

I want my wife to make me look good, and I want her to feel that I am helping her to look good. He was trying to make sure you didn't fail to be a perfect wife, but there was much that was keeping YOU from becoming that perfect wife, whatever that was. His idea of a perfect wife could have been dramatically different from yours, but that doesn't mean that there could not have had some common elements. However you rebelled from these efforts because of your own reasons. He may not have ever known what these reasons are, but he still stayed, and stayed a Good Man.

And you can, even NOW, recognize the fallacy in this equation, right:
Quote
And the only logical answer to that, given that he is a good man is the constant in the equation, is that I deserved it and if I deserved it, I shouldn't complain about it. So I didn't.

His treatment of YOU, as a GOOD MAN, did not meet your standards of how a GOOD MAN should be treating his W. You didn't deserve bad treatment, you just didn't know a way OUT of this type of treatment, and I am sure that your BH has no real concept of how those actions were hurting YOU. (I mean, you have the BOOK, right, you were given it on your wedding day? "How to treat your Spouse." it was on page 34, everything you needed to know.... J/K) You mention the death by a 1000 cuts. The first 500 were noted, but not understood, so the resentment started to build, and then the cuts started to noticable, as you started to string them together and recognize the pattern. But at that point, you had NO IDEA how to stop the cuts...

What would have happened if you found MB after 100 cuts? How to address it with him, how to modify your own behaviors to address the knife, etc?

You have finally found MB. Start to work the process, continue the change, and see where this goes. You see a definate improvement, already. Take hope from that.

MB ain't perfect, but I believe it is far better than anything else out there.

(((SW)))

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Hi Saddest.

I have not been on much at all but saw your most recent and sort of caught up on you and just wanted to say "hi" a few things.

First is you need to change your sign on name to something else. More positive. Don't wear your heart or your emotions on your sleeve anymore.

Second, I wish you had a chance to meet Vince Lombardi, as I did back now 47 years ago. That is just what your story and your situation honestly tells me. He would have knocked your socks off! I.e., he would have recognised very soon what your team (your marriage) needs - from both players. He probably could have excelled in most any professional field (properly trained), including MC.

There is a story I learned about him of when the Packers lost badly, he showed up the following Monday morning with a football. He simply held it in the air in front of the team and said, "gentlemen this is a football." Well, Sad, the players on the team pretty much knew what was coming, but Max McGee, the team wide receiver (and a favorite of Lombardi's) and team jokester replied, "Coach, would you slow down, you're going too fast"! This broke the ice. McGee had been one of the players who missed some catches and did not play well, and he knew he and others would have incurred Lomabardi's wrath probably for the whole week. Point of lesson - Lombardi is like the MB vets here, you are the Max McGee, and of course, the Packer team at that time is your M. Simplistic, I know. McGee didn't back down from the coach, but he humbled himself and made fun for the sake of the team. Nobody carried resentments over the next week about what happened the previous game, and as I recall they went on to win a big game the next week.

Your team, Sad, is being guided by you. Know matter what MB tells you (i.e., Lombardi) you are an intregal part of that team. And, the next Monday morning teal meeting you are going to have to decide if you are going to be part of it, or begging for a trade, or free agency. Imho, you have to get over the past and focus on the future - as Lombardi and McGee did nearly 50 years ago, and focus on what you want with your H for the rest of your marriage season. I think this is the biggest obstacle preventing you and your H from true intimacy. If you have to be humerous and humble yourself, so be it.

This is not a very good analogy, but I am concerned for you. Take care.

Tom


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Saddest,

Boy this is going to be a long one. First, the answer is yes, ask him to talk to SH. You are assuming this is all about you, but SH is going to talk to your H about him and how he sees the marriage, now, during the A, and before. You MUST understand that nothing great can happen until you understand that this is about BOTH of you, not just you, not just him.

OK, now let's get down to a few details OK?

Quote
Living with him was death by a thousand cuts. No single cut is lethal, and some are so small you hardly notice them. It's so hard to explain and I get so frustrated trying I start crying, and I don't cry. Not frustrated here -- frustrated with him.

He wasn't a very good husband -- he tried to mold me into his vision of the perfect wife so I would make him look good. I didn't say that. He said it when we started talking about reconciling. I asked him what was so wrong with me that he needed to change me so, and he wouldn't or couldn't answer. I'm not at all sure he likes me very much, and I'm talking pre-A. He says he loves me, but I don't know what that means. I think maybe he just needs me.

I wasn't a very good wife -- I tried to be the perfect wife he wanted and then resented the hell out of him. From his standpoint, I was a very good wife. You are going to have to trust me on that.

Nothing I did to try to change the dynamic seemed to have any impact. Maybe I wasn't doing the right stuff, or maybe he just wasn't willing to change. No way to know.

We both failed dramatically in dramatically different ways, but it's still failure. We retreated into our respective trenches and started fortifying them. Even if it was miserable, it was safe.

Then a dropped the A bomb so the trenches aren't safe anymore.

He's trying to be a better husband. I'm trying to be a better wife. There's movement on both sides.

First the good news there is movement on both sides. Remember that. This whole thing is about Baby steps and you two are taking them.

I know I have said this to you before, but Harley's big breakthrough in marriage counseling was that often damage was done in the marriage by spouses that were actually trying to be good to the other spouse. Further damage was/is done by a spouse that does not understand how their actions/inactions/words/silence have been interpreted by the other spouse. Often this happens both ways.

So look at these statements for a moment and then think about the "needs questionnaire", and the need to meet the needs of the other spouse. Think about the concept of "radical honesty" and the concept of the "policy of joint agreement." They were developed to help provide each spouse the information they needed to evaluate themselves, their spouse, and how the marriage was doing and then make a plan to make it better. You and your H are poster children for the dysfunction that Harley recognized in so many marriages. Please have some confidence in yourself and in your H.

What I see is that your perspective is heavily colored by his behavior pre-A, but not so strongly colored by his behavior post-A. It should be the other way around, but you and I know that you used his behavior to justify you're A. But, Saddest, if I could convince you of one thing I would love to convince you that you're a isn't going to kill your marriage, it hurt it yes, but kill it no. What will kill it is either of you failing to develop a new perspective on marriage, yourselves, and each other. Your H has indicated he believes he can recover from the A.

Quote
He has a lot of shame about how he's treated me. I have a lot of shame about how I've treated him. Maybe leaving that in the past and looking only forward is the right answer, hence my question about delving into the details of the A. We were so disconnected at the time, I wonder if he really feels as much pain as I'm told he does.

The A is over. He wants the M to be emotionally intimate -- whenever I hear him use that phrase I have to laugh, and not in a mean way. It's just so funny hearing those words come out of his mouth -- like he learned French overnight or something.

Saddest it is very very common for the BS to take an immersion course in "French" smile it really is. You have no idea how badly he was rocked, but what he knew was that he HAD to find a way to communicate with you in a way different than the past, he clearly had failed. You don't know it but the biggest hurdle a BS has to overcome is the sense of failure which leads to a lack of trustIN THEMSELVES. You are not doing him any favors by not suggesting SH to him because he needs to develop some new perspectives to help him cope.

The fact that he has shame for how he treated you is a great sign. It means he has taken to heart your complaints about his behavior and he sees them as valid. You don't leave it in the past you discuss it and learn from it. You mentioned you liked intellectual stimulation, I actually chuckled a bit when I read that, because when you are ready the most stimulating discussion you are going to have are about what each of you want from a good marriage.

Envision a conversation with your H where you start it by saying: "Honey, I was thinking back to our marriage before I chose to have the affair. I often felt that you were trying to change me because you did not like me. Could you explain to me what you actually were thinking?" Notice you have not attacked him. Notice you have stated your concern and internal response to him "back in the day" wink Yet, you are saying "I may have had it wrong, or saw it wrong. But, I would like to better understand." This is an inquiry of knowledge and information. Now why would you have asked him that? What are you trying to learn? You need to know those answers before you ask. If he asks those questions, you might say "you know I carry a lot of resentment from those days and with the resentment comes frustration. I want to lay that aside but I need to understand so that I can better understand where you were coming from then and where you are coming from now. I want us to be happy with one another." Notice a statement of intent, a need for knowledge, coupled with the seeking of a new perspective. Those are deep things Saddest.

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He may not have been a good husband, but I know with certainty that he is very good man -- I have never once questioned that. But if you take that to its logical conclusion, the question arises "if he is such a good man, why does he treat me this way?" And the only logical answer to that, given that he is a good man is the constant in the equation, is that I deserved it and if I deserved it, I shouldn't complain about it. So I didn't.

It's so hard to explain.
ORRRRR there is a different answer. He was a good man bereft of the proper tools to take being a good man and become a good husband. It is just possible it was not you and you did not need to complain but you did and do need boundaries. He needed to know those boundaries as well.

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I know for a certainty that he is trying really hard. And so am I. Trying goes a long way.

I like the guy again. He's gone and I sort of miss him. I can't remember the last time I felt that way. Is it really smart to mess with the status quo?
No! the status quo is not where you should be. You are still hurt, he is still hurt, and your marriage is nowhere near as good as it can be. That much is very clear from your posts and what you say about him. He needs more and you need more. You two need to not just exist or be friends you two need to be LOVERS. And by that I mean the verb love, not the feeling love. It can happen Saddest.

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I am being honest. I don't know how to make myself feel something. It may be that I am like someone who won't go to the funeral of the three year old they ran over while driving drunk and texting because they can't face the horror of what they've done. That explanation seems to fit the facts as I know without question that I am a very empathic, fair person.

I seriously have to be careful with this stuff. Falling back into the abyss of suicidal clinical depression isn't going to help anyone. I can't do that again. I won't survive. You are just going to have to trust me on that.

And I know H is worried about that too and that is a factor in his hesitancy to discuss the A. He has to know that I'm not going to go back into the abyss. I have no idea how to reassure him on that point as I can't say with any certainty that I won't.
NO ONE can say that with certainty Saddest, but I can say that as you and your H work on this your likelihood grows less. You are not feeling as a defense mechanism, it is you protecting yourself and trying to control your environment. The control you speak of is not about what you necessarily do to other people but what you do to protect yourself. You don't try and control your children because you trained them and you trust them. Your H???? Not so much right? So you control the interactions, you worry about being honest with him, you wonder if he should be sent to talk to SH. Do you see what I am saying???

Most of this is natural and actually very common in the WS who is trying to reconcile with their spouse. They don't want to face the pain, and then the 2x4' start coming in. I think we are beyond that phase, but open and honest is the way to a good marriage and that goes not just for you, but your H.

Saddest I see a very vulnerable person trying to protect herself. I think your H is starting to see you in a new light. You are bright, you are well educated, even if you did go to Mr. Jefferson's University. cool And I think your H did not know you nor have the tools to know you in the day. He has grown, he has been hurt, and he has decided. You have grown, you have been hurt and you have decided. And it seems that you have decided to try, why not try together?

This will take you forgiving him for his failures as he forgives you your failures. Saddest forgiveness is not forgetfulness, it is laying aside the resentment and giving someone something that they may or may not have earned in the past.

Just thoughts. Hope this helps.

God Bless,

JL

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SW,

Aren't you glad this guy is still around and just learning...

Bravo, JL!

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Saddest.

Wow you are silent...*s*


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Hi saddest. You know....I've been quite uppity and know-it-all-y lately. But I have to say that I'm a sister in pain today. I hope you are doing okay. How are things going.

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Saddest here under my Hague Convention Expert screen name.

I can�t come up with a better name and I�m tired of being saddest. And today it fits.

I�m totally burned out. I woke up at 2:38 this morning and never went back to sleep, chasing thoughts around and around.

We had our 25th wedding anniversary and I think I�ve been holding my breath to get through that. It was very emotional.

I�ve done all the stuff I�m supposed to do for my H, or at least all I know to do � meeting EN�s, avoiding lB�s. I�m quite vigilant about taking responsibility for the A and trying my mightiest to carry all the weight of recovery.

H gets anxious when I meet with friends so I�ve pretty much cut that out, and he gets nervous when I see my pdoc , so I�ve cut him back to once or twice a month

I thought I was going to get to go out of town to see my brother, one of my very favorite people on the planet � I thought we had agreed to that, but H is going to go watch a football game at a friend�s house Saturday afternoon � a highly unusual thing for him to do � so now I can�t go because I have to take S15 to a tennis tournament. I would rather H go to the football game than me go see my brother because H needs friends.

But so do I.

H doesn�t want to talk to SteveH, doesn�t want to go to MC, doesn�t want to go to IC, doesn�t want to read any books, and perused this website and was unconvinced.

Nothing I can do about that -- I control me, he controls him.

My S19 left for college (how DARE he leave me!) so it is just H, S15 and I in this suddenly quiet house. S15 and H butt heads like ... your average adolescent boy and his father. S19 didn�t act S15 at his age because they are, in fact, different people. H says his anger at S15 is not displaced anger at me, S15 says he�s clueless as to what the problem is. Keeping the peace is draining. There is a terrible storm building there, and I don�t know how to stop it.

I miss S19 so much � the hole in my life is ginormous. He was my buddy, my companion, my debating partner, my fellow reader. SUCH a cool kid.

I made a HUGE mistake last week reminding my H that my number one EN is conversation as he feels he can't meet that need but it's still a need.

I told H last night I my emotional filling station was out of gas. I�m not sure why I told him that as I don�t know that there is much he can do about it. He didn�t really respond � what's there to say, anyway? I withdrew after that instead of pressing it which I know I�m not supposed to do but I�m just so exhausted that solitude seems the only way to re �energize and I really didn't know what else to say.

For almost 3 months, I have deliberately put myself in a position where he is the only one I have to talk to, and I still really can�t. Except for two nights when he was away, and the occasional errand or lunch, we are together 24/7 � in the same house if not the same room. UA time, though plentiful, is superficial. We are very pleasant to each other and have had a couple of actual conversations, but I�m lonely. When I tried to talk to him about my loneliness a few days ago, he started crying which I did not understand AT ALL. A few weeks ago, I copied H on an email I sent to an Episcopalian priest I know about some issues in my life and H cried at that too and I didn't understand that either.

My secret mental life continues unabated, except without OM. During one of our conversations, H asked if I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and when I replied yes, he said it isn�t going to happen. But I�m still waiting.

I'm present, attentive, empathic and totally burned out. I know he's in pain, but so am I.

Because it makes H feel safe, I think not talking to anyone and rarely leaving the house is what I�m supposed to be doing. I don�t really resent it � I built this prison for myself so I can�t complain about living in it � but I�m wondering how long I�ll need to live like this, and I wonder if there isn�t a certain amount of masochism at work � I tend to beat the ever loving sh** out of myself given half a chance. I wonder if I�m doing the right thing or if I should call up a friend and go out to lunch and let him deal with the resulting anxiety.

Figured someone here might have the answer to that question.

Figured someone here would be able to tell me what I�m supposed to do next if there is next thing to do.

Probably I just need to buck it up and accept this is the price I pay but that doesn't feel right either. Nothing feels right.



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I will anxiously await replies to your post as it is similar to my situation.

My problem is that before my A every choice I made centered around my husband and would it get him upset, angry, annoyed. Eventually I started putting myself first (hence the A) and now I am afraid.

Afraid to put myself anywhere near the top of any list but also afraid that if I don't pay attention I'll lose it again.

He was late home from work. I was annoyed. I had errands to run and I needed him home. I was spent from dealing with the kids and I needed him home. He was sorry. I couldn't tell him. I had an affair. How can I be upset that he was late? What right do I have?

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Exactly,

What right do you have?

Because of what you did, you now have a precarious situation where you will be emotionally and mentally abused for x amount of time. How long? If you search the boards, some WS are stronger and can take the recourse longer and some BS show the pain they are in differently and do not lash out. The guilt you feel is yours, not your BS. At some point the remorse will be flat and you will feel that you need to start getting on with your BS in a building mode. You may be at this point sooner than your BS and have to weather that storm and carry that burden. After all... you caused it.

The WS must bare the brunt and carry the load. Your BS must come to a point where they want you in their life or out. That is why this is a marathon and not a sprint. If you are so heartless to only be a couple of months after dday and want things to start being ok... well you are probably the type to have an A in the first place. Impatient and demanding and wanting a mind reader. Sorry for the mean tone, just having a rough day myself as a BS.

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Originally Posted by sosickofthis
H gets anxious when I meet with friends so I�ve pretty much cut that out, and he gets nervous when I see my pdoc , so I�ve cut him back to once or twice a month

...I would rather H go to the football game than me go see my brother because H needs friends.

But so do I.

Are you both sitting there realizing that you're stuck in a rut, don't know how to get out of it, and are scared that it is just history repeating itself? Are any of your friends married so that the four of you could go out to eat? You'd get outside contact, he'd know where you are and, possibly, meet some new friends?

Originally Posted by sosickofthis
I made a HUGE mistake last week reminding my H that my number one EN is conversation as he feels he can't meet that need but it's still a need.

Do you think he is frustrated by the small-talk conversation? Might ask him. One of the more interesting conversations that me and my W had was when we talked about how we had nothing to talk about. Obviously you cannot create spontaneity when you're both trying to think of something to say, but (for us) just talking about it was an icebreaker.

If you guys can create new situations (i.e. lunch with other couples, a trip to your son's college, etc.) then you'll have something new to talk about. I know how it is to just stare at a wall with nothing to say, awkward to say the least.

Originally Posted by sosickofthis
When I tried to talk to him about my loneliness a few days ago, he started crying which I did not understand AT ALL. A few weeks ago, I copied H on an email I sent to an Episcopalian priest I know about some issues in my life and H cried at that too and I didn't understand that either.

Did he say what made him cry?

Originally Posted by sosickofthis
I wonder if I�m doing the right thing or if I should call up a friend and go out to lunch and let him deal with the resulting anxiety.

Involve him in activities instead of doing the same old thing. Your friend will still be there, time for a new way of thinking. To save both of you from awkward silences at a restaurant, go with others. Afterwards it will give you guys something to talk about. I know, kind of piddling but what if it turns over a new leaf?

You mentioned your son's tennis game. Do you and H both go? If not, both go, stop by a pizza place or something afterward. Go play putt-putt, browse for a new couch or Blue-ray DVD player thing, go get some ice cream, the three of y'all rent a cabin at a state park for a weekend, go fishing, go to a lake and rent a canoe, anything to break the cycle. Blow off work if you have to or can.

Will it be strange at first? Yes. Will you probably both be uncomfortable at first? Yes. But what if y'all start to enjoy each other's company again?

You don't want the old marriage back, do you? I suspect you want a new one, tossing the refuse from the old one in the trash. Try something new. What's the worst that could happen...you guys divorce? Might as well do whatever the hell you can think of to reinvent things.

Hope things start to look up for you real soon.






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themud, I'm sorry you are having a bad day.... but....

Originally Posted by themud
you now have a precarious situation where you will be emotionally and mentally abused for x amount of time.

I have read nothing in any of Dr. Hartley's books or the materials he published on this website that the WS should be prepared to endure abuse of any sort for any period of time. In fact, the MB recovery program suggests exactly the opposite - that the BS must learn to meet the EN's of the WS that the AP was meeting.

The description Dr. H gives of the Giver and the Taker on this site is, IMO, exactly right -- the BS needs to settle down the WS's Taker to give the WS's Giver some room to maneuver.

I believe Dr. Hartley would say that while anger is natural and to be expected, abuse has no place in recovery.

Originally Posted by themud
If you are so heartless to only be a couple of months after dday and want things to start being ok... well you are probably the type to have an A in the first place. Impatient and demanding and wanting a mind reader.

This is unkind and unfair. I didn't lose my need for human companionship and interaction by having an A, nor am I demanding anything. I want my H to meet my EN for conversation. I don't want to go outside the M for that because the MB program is very clear that one spouse should meet the other's top five ENs.

I'm lonely. I'm trying to work the program and I'm stuck. I'm looking for ideas -- there are only so many times you can re-read SAA and HNHN for inspiration. Typically, it seems it is the BS trying to implement the program. I'm trying to do it from the wayward side.

I know he's in pain. But so am I.

Originally Posted by sunnydaze53
My problem is that before my A every choice I made centered around my husband and would it get him upset, angry, annoyed. Eventually I started putting myself first (hence the A) and now I am afraid.

Afraid to put myself anywhere near the top of any list but also afraid that if I don't pay attention I'll lose it again.

Exactly. It's hard to know where the lines are. I don't want them where they were pre-A, Giver running the show and Taker seething in the backstage.

My Giver is about worn out right now. I'm not sure what to do about it, but my A gave me a new, healthier respect for my Taker.

The fear complicates an already complicated situation. Historically, anger and its progeny have been the "go to" emotions in my H's emotional Rolodex. The anxiety is draining.

Originally Posted by Northwood3312
Did he say what made him cry?

The email to the priest made him cry because it was a wail of such utter despair.

I'm not sure why he gets so upset when I say I'm lonely. I do know he hates it when I'm sad. I think he's really struggling with opening up to me and when he hears I'm lonely, he views that as a comment on him that he may not be in an emotional position to do anything about.

We've done a lot of damage to each other.

I think he misses S19 too. Some kids churn the family (D21) and some kids calm it like S19. He is a powerful, unifying element.

Originally Posted by Northwood3312
Are any of your friends married so that the four of you could go out to eat? You'd get outside contact, he'd know where you are and, possibly, meet some new friends?

You've suggested this before and I didn't do anything about it, but now I really am going to get to work on this. We are both pretty anti-social, but I am a butterfly compared to him. We had one couple friend that we did everything with for years before we moved three years ago. In the past three years, we have been out to dinner once with another couple.

We largely led separate lives for many years, an easy trap to fall into with three children and his 100 hour work weeks (no exaggeration there) for many years and commuting to another city for work for many years after that. It's like he showed up for the M about a year ago when he stopped commuting and I'm like, who are you?? The resentment crept in and there was no time to deal with it because he was never home and when he was I wanted it to be pleasant for him and nice for the kids. So I stuffed it.

I'd guess our M is pretty much a poster child for my generation's typical dysfunctional M. It seems that people only 10 years younger than me have some quality of life limits on work. Suddenly there were fathers at the soccer games. There seriously was a noticeable shift in the last decade or so.

My issue isn't simply about being lonely and wanting some outside contact. It's also about ensuring that my H is the one who meets my top five emotional needs -- or three, really. The rest aren't a big deal to me. I've historically, according to him, done a good job of meeting his needs. He wasn't meeting my needs, so I got them met elsewhere. Anyone can fall victim to an A if their needs aren't being met.

So I want H to be the one to meet my EN for intimate conversation. If that means I talk to virtually no one, so be it. It's him, or no one. Either I'm going to do the MB program or I'm not. I'm not going to do it halfway and hope for the best.

Hope things are well for you Northwood -- last I read things were improving.

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