Originally Posted by Mulan
I would do anything short of lying about my feelings to help her with this, so I don't know how to get past this current roadblock.

"I can't give her what she wants, but that's her fault."

Of course she feels like garbage. That's how you treated her for years. What did you expect?

When do you stop worrying about what SHE is doing/thinking/feeling and start concentrating ONLY on what YOU are doing/thinking/feeling?

If you love your wife as you say you do, you will STOP blaming your recovery problems on her (and you are).

You will concentrate ONLY on what YOU YOU YOU are doing to make things better - big things, little things, and things done with NO expectation of reward.

Next post, just come here and tell us about what YOU did today to make things better. Not one word about DWG's problems and DWG's roadblocks to recovery. ONLY what GM did today to make something, anything, just a little bit better - with NO expectation of reward.

Little kids do things for a cookie and they want the cookie RIGHT NOW.

Grownups do things because they're the right thing to do and because they're going to make things better in the long run - maybe not right now, but in the long run.

Thanks. Mulan. I appreciate your thoughts. In this case, I am NOT expecting reward. You have that wrong. I am just trying to help DWG, because this particular thought is just eating at her and keeping her wounds festering. But I am probably not in any position to do that, only to do what I can do to give caring love to her. It may be that I interpret everything that she says as something where she is looking for a response or for me to fix the problem rather than her just telling me her feelings. That has always been a trait of mine, and I am learning that (slowly, but surely). We even talk about this. When I try to answer everything with some attempt at helping, it comes across as trying to control her feelings, and that is exactly the wrong thing to do. Markos explained that to me, but I am still doing it. When she states this idea to me, I somehow have to listen and just affirm her feelings of pain and misery and not try to come up with some kind of band-aid. She is not a patient of mine. She is my wife. That may be the clue to the actual answer I am seeking. Don't try to fix it. Just validate and support her.

I do keep making this same mistake all the time, and I had better learn new ways of reacting to her...and fast.

Last night, she stopped what she was doing at the computer when I came in the room, looked me straight in the eye and asked me, "Why are you here?" She wanted the big answer. Why am I still in this marriage? She had had bad dreams during a nap in the afternoon...recurrent nightmare about my cheating. It woke her up, as it does for the umpteenth time, and she had not had much sleep the night before, anyway. In this case, she really was looking for an answer, because of the thought that I did not feel "in love" with her. I tried to explain, but it did not help. When she asks for a response specifically, I am compelled to answer and explain, but it is always wrong or simply not believed due to the destruction of trust. Is she really wanting an answer? Does she just want to talk about her feelings? In this setting, she is looking for some kind of response. That was my difficulty. I am at a loss in a situation like that. Being honest in my answer is of no real help, and I cannot be dishonest in my life any longer. It is a no win, but she is looking for a response that will make her feel better, even though she knows full well that any response will not do that, nor will it be believed. I could say, "I know you are feeling horrible about us and the life that I ruined for you, but I cannot give you any answer that you would be able to trust, so I want to just say that I understand why you are asking that. Then I would just touch her and kiss her. That would be ideal, but at those times, she does not want me to touch or kiss her.

Today, our beloved golden retriever may be dying. She has metastatic cancer and is unable to get up. We may have to make the awful final trip to the vets today. So, if anyone reading this posts and does not get a response anytime soon, that is what is going on.

Last edited by GreenMile; 08/13/10 02:03 PM.

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.