Originally Posted By: sexymamabear
Originally Posted By: GreenMile

I could tell she was agitated, worn out, and feeling uncomfortable before,




Do you understand why she was agitated?

When you do, the natural response would be....

compassion.



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and then she lowered the boom, accusing me of seeing and having sex with my old affair partner.




Does this not seem to you like a logical conclusion based on her personal experience?



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I tried to my best recollection to explain why things were moved around in the car,



I would appreciate more detail here, GM. Exactly what explanation...or explanations....did you offer?

Were they truthful?



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but she became angrier and angrier and more accusative.



What do you think caused her more anger?



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I had had a bad rehearsal and was tired and agitated myself, and I became defensive. That made her worse, which caused me to become angry instead of lovingly supportive.



See my response above...

When you understand WHY she was already agitated, your response will be very different than defensive.



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I have made a lot of progress in the last year (I think), and we have been resuming MB lessons.



Progress over the last year...or last 10 years...will mean very little to a BS who is faced with a situation where it appears their FWH may have been unfaithful yet again.

We were gaslighted, tricked, and manipulated before. We are no longer naive enough to think it not possible to once again be gaslighted, tricked and manipulated.




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I suggested that she call our director in the morning to confirm I was at the rehearsal, but her anger and agitation just accelerated and pushed me into a state of frustration, and I became defensive.


It might have been more helpful to provide the proof yourself. I don't know...ask DWG's LATER if that would have helped her at all.



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I had been doing much better handling these episodes, but this just knocked her waaay back.



This should tell you something...

What?




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I don't know how to make myself stop getting defensive and make myself become calm, comforting, and reassuring,




I do....

STOP IT!




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especially when I am not at my best because of any frustrating circumstances going on at the time.



If your music rehearsals are causing you to become frustrated and aggravated, and causing DWG to be triggered, why do you participate in them?




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How do I help her and make her understand that I am not the guy I was all those years,



By not being that guy.

Defensiveness IS that guy.

She's seen it many times before over the years, hasn't she, GM? So you ARE THAT guy when you respond to her hurt with defensiveness.

Her conclusion was very logical IMO. I would have come to the same conclusion if in the same situation tst responded to me defensively.

A defensive person is often acting that way because they are hiding something.


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that I have EP's in place that are sacrosanct to me, and that I can be trusted?



Let me point out the obvious. Or at least, it is the obvious to any BS.

A FWS can have the most stellar EPs in place, and can at any moment decide to ignore them.

When tst goes to work, I KNOW that he COULD choose to meet up with OW on any given day. Just now he called to ask if I was comfortable with him stopping by a friend's business to check on him while on his way home from work. I admit, it causes me a twinge of panic as I contemplate...is he telling me the truth? I mean, these are the same types of excuses he came up with during the affair.

A BS's reality is that IF the FWS ever decides to get involved with OW, they CAN find a way...and still appear to be living within EPs.

So, no, I don't even consider stellar EPs as a pass to be "automatically trusted".



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How do I not become sad and frightened, when I am accused of being dishonest, even though it is a logical fear she has because of those many terrible years?


GM, the only answer is to CHOOSE to not be that and then you ACT upon your choice. She is making very logical conclusions, whether they are correct or not.





Those are all great questions, SMB. Good to hear from you. I don't know whether to try to actually answer all of them or merely say that your points are definitely understood and well-taken. But being the wordy guy that I am, I will try.

"Do you understand why she was agitated? "

I think it is stressful for her, whenever I am away for a couple of hours. Perfectly understandable. I do understand. She wants me to be able to continue to play music, because she is a musician in the symphony and knows what it would mean for me to give it up. I have been playing since I was 9 years old. That's 53 years. I did tell her that she seemed agitated and asked her what was wrong. I did that in a compassionate way, I thought, I and I was truly concerned.

"Does this not seem to you like a logical conclusion based on her personal experience?"

Of course, though our rehearsal schedules and are total calendars are known and shared, and she knows I have a concert coming up. She did not express any of those feelings when I left, and when was driving home and called her to see if she would like me to pick up some food for her to eat, she seemed fine. What triggered her was the way things had been moved around in the car. I had moved the binocs, so that my music stand would not hurt them, but was confused by her agitation about that and did not remember why I had put them in the back seat, so I hmmed and hawed trying to remember exactly why I had moved them. That seemed very suspicious to her. Some junk mail was on the floor in front, and she remembered it being tucked next to the seat. I did not remember when they fell all over the floorboard, and my answer must have seemed evasive...because I did not really know and tried to explain it logically rather than saying, "I'm not sure".

"What do you think caused her more anger?"

My defensive and incomplete answers to why things were moved around in the car ( I really could not answer specifically). She immediately accused me of cheating rather than going to rehearsal. Then I became really defensive, because it had been a bad and difficult rehearsal. Our lead trumpet was sick, and I had to play lead, and I am not a high note player. It was a disaster LOL. Plus they were all new charts, and I was sight reading everything, which is not my best thing. I was stressed and embarrassed even before I got home. I think that answers another of your questions. Overall, I love playing in that band. I play mainly mid-range harmony and a lot of solos (improv).

My explanations for why the binocs and the mail were where they were were uncertain and seemed evasive. This made her certain of her suspicions, and I knew we were in for a long bad episode and trigger. At that point, I became very upset instead of steady and loving and reassuring. On any other evening, I probably would have handled it much better, but I was definitely not in my best frame of mind. I reverted to my old patterns and became angry and agitated and told her that I would quit the band. I became the victim. I was definitely at my worst at that point, and she responded as would be expected for someone who was victimized by ME all those years. That seemed to reinforce her suspicions and convinced her of my untruthfulness and of her own suspicions. SMB, I know I handled this very poorly. I did all the wrong things.

"Progress over the last year...or last 10 years...will mean very little to a BS who is faced with a situation where it appears their FWH may have been unfaithful yet again.

We were gaslighted, tricked, and manipulated before. We are no longer naive enough to think it not possible to once again be gaslighted, tricked and manipulated."

Oh, I do understand. Totally. I built this myself. I own it. I have to deal with it. Really, SMB. I understand that. It doesn't make it any easier.

"This should tell you something...

What?"

It reminds me how wounded and fragile I have made her.

"I do....

STOP IT!"

At those times, I need faith and the strength that it affords. I am not there yet, obviously. You make it sound easy. It is not, not for me,,,not yet. But the next time this happens, I will settle myself and remember your words. I have read TST's wisdom and advice over and over on this. The simplest sounding things can be the hardest. But I know that I have to do it, or there will be no recovery.

"By not being that guy.

Defensiveness IS that guy.

She's seen it many times before over the years, hasn't she, GM? So you ARE THAT guy when you respond to her hurt with defensiveness.

Her conclusion was very logical IMO. I would have come to the same conclusion if in the same situation tst responded to me defensively.

A defensive person is often acting that way because they are hiding something."

I do understand that. Still, it is such a catch-22 to try to answer questions or accusations completely and honestly when that history is there. Every truth becomes another source for suspicion. Every attempt at explanation sounds like a cover-up. But to not answer or attempt to explain would seem to be worse, would it not? It is truly a no-win. That is the hardest and saddest thing of all.

"Let me point out the obvious. Or at least, it is the obvious to any BS.

A FWS can have the most stellar EPs in place, and can at any moment decide to ignore them.

When tst goes to work, I KNOW that he COULD choose to meet up with OW on any given day. Just now he called to ask if I was comfortable with him stopping by a friend's business to check on him while on his way home from work. I admit, it causes me a twinge of panic as I contemplate...is he telling me the truth? I mean, these are the same types of excuses he came up with during the affair.

A BS's reality is that IF the FWS ever decides to get involved with OW, they CAN find a way...and still appear to be living within EPs.

So, no, I don't even consider stellar EPs as a pass to be "automatically trusted".

I understand, SMB, though at the time, I did not remember this. I have certain tools at my disposal, certain strengths that I can use to be the person I feel that I am now. I am grateful for those tools and strengths, because they are my life's blood. I have to put enormous weight and trust in them. If I think of them as you describe, they cannot be that for me. This is one where I have to keep in mind your experience and DWG's experience to appreciate why this is so difficult to trust for the BS. But I cannot allow myself to lose faith in those things. I just can't. Neither can TST.

I wish I could go way back. Back before I was married. When I was still a child, and fix these things before they created pain and tragedy. But I can't. But I do have a strong will, at least, and I am confident of my ability to be a loving, honest husband who will heal the wounds I have caused and make a new life, with years of happiness. I can and will do this. I suppose that is what you mean by simply saying DO IT.

Thanks, SMB, and please give my best to TST. He has been so helpful to me.


FWH, age 63. 24 years of narcissistic behavior, infidelity, and emotional abandonment of my BS, age 57, DancesWithGoats (DWG). D-day two years ago, leading to emotional breakdown. Been working MB program and toward spiritual transformation and personal growth since then, with some slow but real progress. DWG still with no trust, but with grief starting to subside a bit.