Originally Posted by Mrs_Vanilla
Another great post by Mark! hurray

GM, do you get it yet? You can say all you want, (which, by the way, is still leaving me confused and wondering what exactly is up with you), but it's what you do that will get to DWG.

And before you say you know all of this already, that you are already practicing just this such thing, stop. Think. Would you guys be at this particular low in recovery right now if that were the case?

What you're saying and what DWG is seeing are two very different things.

I suggest you reassess your treatment plan. Go back to first year of medical school - you know the "OLD CARTS" mnemonic? Focus on the CARTS part - what are the characteristics of DWG's pain? What is associated with it? What aggravates it? What alleviates it? Does it radiate - are there other parts of her life affected by this? What has she done to treat it? What is its significance?

You may think you have these answered, but I suggest you approach it again. Re-evaluate. You acknowledge that you are supposed to be the one leading and guiding the healing here - clearly your strategy has not been as successful as desired. What are you going to do differently?

This is not about what you think is best, or if you decided something at one point and are just sticking to that even in the face of it no longer working...Infidelity and recovery from it are many-faceted beasts, and you will need to constantly revisit and reassess your plan to heal your victim.

You say you get all of this stuff, but your actions don't always seem to show it. Now's your chance to start showing it.

I try to show it, Mrs. Vanilla. I want to show it. My heart is there. I do make mistakes. I am trying to eliminate them. Maybe your conclusions about my failure in this regard are based more on not knowing the extent of the damage, the thousands of embarrassing and shameful episodes and actions of mine that hurt DWG, the length of time it went on, and DWG's own sense of embarrassment, where she is taking some of the blame for allowing it to happen (which I disagree with). Cumulatively, I did so much damage in so many ways for so long, that part of the difficulty in our recovery is the magnitude and length of the damage. That takes a huge amount of time and intense careful effort to show my care, consistency, and sincerity. It might take us ten years to put a dent in it. It is worse than nearly all, if not all, the stories in here. I would be careful about attributing it to something that I am just doing wrong. I am giving it my all, and my effort is not perfect yet, and I still screw up. Please just wish us well. It will take us much longer than it would for younger couples with less history and long term patterns. Something wonderful can eventually happen, but there is no quick way in our case. Effort and faith and diligence. It is all I can do right now. Encouragement and not doubts is what I need now and in the long term. I feel especially bad about posting in clinical terms and using words like "obsession" which Pepperband did not interpret that way I meant it. My intentions are good, and my cry for help here is real.

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.