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#1158962 07/14/04 07:43 PM
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RookKev Offline OP
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Okay, my fww and I are doing fairly well. Even had a bout yesterday discussinga potential contact breach. I still have my doubts about her answer, but, I'm trying to write that off towards my own paranoia. She seems to be trying to be supportive of the pain the situation caused me, just the thought of the contact. Not too much, but enough that I see it, I guess that is what matters.

Anyways, I'm really struggling with my own self respect at this point. I don't know if this crosses sexes equally, but, is a man who allows his wife back into his house someone to be respected? I know Biblically, God will smile and does smile upon me for my efforts here, to saving the marriage, being obedient to His Word, for trying to forgive, for not seeking the divorice 'option'. But, even so, can my wife respect me. I don't think so. I know she can look at it Biblically and see that I am doing something to be admired...I know she can watch most movies and see where the male spouse who gets betrayed often goes pyscho and a killing spree ensues (Secret Window), but, can she look at me as a man, her husband, and protector, and respect me? I just don't feel like she could. With that lack of respect, I think any positive feelings of love (in love) will be hard to accomplish.

So, men, are some of you struggling with that also? Any ideas? I'm sure some of you are very wealthy and others not...I'm curious how this plays out. I don't think money has much to do with it...I'm not sure ANYTHING has ANYTHING to do with this, the self-respect way we look at ourselves, and how we view our fww look at us. Even if/when they are home, saying consistently they love us and choose us.

Buster? You see this? How are you doing? Heidi? You behaving yourself? I hope you two are doing well.

#1158963 07/14/04 08:10 PM
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I understand this sentiment exactly! Not only do I not feel like "a man" for not noticing the signs, losing my wife's faithfulness to another man, etc. I also feel that she can never respect me for having put up with it all. How can I be her protector if I can't even protect myself or "protect" her from her own stupid decisions? How can I be strong for her when I am laid so low so easily?

Intellectually, I understand how God feels, and how others on this board would tell me I should be proud to be "a man" for recovering my marriage. However, I am not seeing that yet in my heart. Maybe someday I'll get there.

Great question, Kev!

#1158964 07/14/04 08:39 PM
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o.k. A woman's opinion here and just myyyyy womans opinion so others may vary. But I look at it differently. First of all I don't want some one to protect me, I want a partner that shares in my life and cares about my needs and me about his. But I can't protect him and he can't protect me. Of course before the A I just let H protect me from everything, finances, work worry, myself even, but now that I've grown I realize I was wrong to allow another person to "protect" me. I want an equal.
Also Woman do not find men who "allow" a wayward Wife back into the home and someone who is willing to work their butts off on their marriage as weak. In fact the opposite if I heard of a man who did so. I would go AHHHHHHHH, how sweet and wonderful is that. Perhaps other men see it differently however.
And you know at the beginning I thought that others would look down on me for working on our marriage when H was so fogged and that I would be embarrassed. that people would say "boy, she's desperate, must think she can't get anything better etc etc". I found it totally untrue and it is the men who most affirm my actions, one friend of my husbands told him recently that his father had an affair and his mother stuck it out and he always had the most respect to her for doing it and he has that same respect for me. Most of H friends of told him he is in the wrong and that the grass is not greener. It is more likely women who tell me its time to get out and look for greener pastures.
interesting
km4

#1158965 07/14/04 10:55 PM
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km4,

See that is what I mean, precisely, I think this is one of those things that on one aspect does cross sexes, but on another, it doesn't. When I say protector, I use that very loosely. I know I'm not her guardian, but more that 'man' stance in the house. He safeguards things. Equals, for sure, I feel we are very much equal. Always have been with everything... but just the concept of the man's role in the marriage. It carries a different amount of weight than a womans. In God's eyes, we are not equals in the marriage. The burden falls on the husband, the blame.

I hope this can develop more, I find it very intriguing, and would also love to hear from some other fww's, or even some ww's, to see what they think of their husbands who they see trying to save their marriage.

Thanks for the responses so far. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

#1158966 07/14/04 11:30 PM
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Your question brings tears to my eyes.
So let me rephrase your question for you. How is this:
Can you respect a man who stands by the woman he loves, unconditionally, and holds to the vows he took to love, honer, and cherish her forever? Even when she has gone through a very rough time in her life,and doesn't even respect herself anymore?

When my H first left, I felt like I had a neon sign over my head that said: LOSER. I was afraid to go to the grocery store. Afraid that other people would look at me,and somehow they would KNOW that I couldn't keep mu H around. That my boys did not have their Dad anymore - becuase of me.(literally could not go to the grocery store - my sister in law brought me bags of groceries so the boys would have food) And I wanted to scream out - we had sex all the time! I swear we did! Because, after all, if a woman can't keep "her man" around, it must be becuase she is no good in bed. And then I figured, heck, I will never get another man to go out with me even, because he will know that my H had an A, and that had to be because I was no good in bed.
I know all of that sounds crazy now - but you all know what I am talking about. Those are the thoughts that fill your mind.
A friend of mine, whose wife left him (by the way - they are back together now) once told me that you feel like you walk into a room - naked. Like all eyes are on you, and everyone KNOWS.
In reality - people are so caught up in their own stuff that they don't KNOW.
Take this forum for instance - I'll bet any one of you could run into me at the grocery store, and have no clue that I was just posting to you the night before. And for that reason - when I get bad service somewhere - or someone does not smile when they pass me on the street - now I think to myself "I have no idea what is going on in their personal life - it might be something just awful." I guess I am just hyper sensitive to the reality that we all are going through some $hit in our lives. We all have different $hit - but it is big to us.
I don't know if I helped. But I can not imagine that anyone who knows you, and knows your W, would think of you as anything less than heroic. I applaud you for a life well lived.
As for your W - she respects you still - she just doesn't respect herself.
Hang in there.

#1158967 07/14/04 11:38 PM
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RK,

PRIDE GOES BEFORE ALL OTHERS.

mac

#1158968 07/14/04 11:57 PM
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Hi Rookev!!!

Missed you around here! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="images/icons/wink.gif" />

I am the W of a FWH, and I see your point exactly as you do.... <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="images/icons/shocked.gif" /> (what does that say about me???? lol)

I am a female who sometimes thinks "wow...can HE respect me now? a W who would stick around thru all this? because my thoughts still are this " If it had been I??? I believe H would have walked. period."

Now..........as a W if I were to have been the WS (would happen when hell froze over~), and my H was willing to work on the M?? I would not have any problem respecting him. I think the BH has more of a issue with his "self-image" when he stays with a WW. As in " It's not too macho!" "Real men wouldn't take this crap" etc..etc...

To me this is just another one of those societal "scripted images" given to us as M and W.

Gods desire for Man is that he LOVE his wife, Which apparently are DOING WELL!

God also desires the W to "respect" her H. Seems your W does that well too~! The question you present is about your own opinion of yourself as a man and Husband. If you look very carefully you will see that you CAN respect yourself!!!! You have EARNED that respect for yourself Rookev! You have chosen to endure.

Oh and also differant than some other womens desires I do want my H's protection. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" /> Part of that includes NEVER leaving me unprotected again as he did when he had A. <img border="0" alt="[Teary]" title="" src="graemlins/teary.gif" />

Blessings,
Atruheart

#1158969 07/15/04 07:29 AM
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I know exactly where you are coming from especially when you are in plan A. I used to think how could anyone respect someone that allows themselves to be walked on? I'm considered a manly man and at one point I told one of my friends that I thought I should just take the nads off and hand them to my WW, sorry ladies.

I also felt that I was looked down on by the community and even many of our friends for staying with a WW. One of my weaknesses is pride and that was something that was very hard for me to put aside but I did, I had to.

FWW and I are well on the road to recovery and she now calls me her Knight who did save her. I saved her from "herself".

Always remember that it's a great day to be alive!!!!!!!!!

#1158970 07/15/04 08:04 AM
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RookKev...

Trust me (BS) when I say that I SHARE ALL YOUR FEELINGS AND DOUBTS.

For myself (we must all find our own pathes and motivation), when it's all said and done...

I WANT TO BE ABLE TO LOOK MYSELF IN THE MIRROR, AND BE SATISFIED WITH WHAT I SEE.

#1158971 07/15/04 08:17 AM
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RookKev, the self respect issue is a big one. Getting cheated on cuts you down to size PDQ. In my case, that was coupled with TBXW's views that I "lacked balls", etc. That was pretty much a double blow.

So, after we tried reconciliation for two months, and she said she didn't want to try anymore and wanted to separate, I went in another direction. I felt naive, blind, foolish, and that I had been the butt of a massive fraud that others were wise to but not me. Most of all, I didn't want to be seen as somebody who would just slink quietly into a corner and lick his wounds.

So, rightly or wrongly, I talked to my friends and my family about how I felt. The things I said were often offensive and hurtful (and got back to her, though by that point I didn't care), and I acknowledge that they weren't helpful or mature. I also acknowledge that, as much as she was fully responsible for her actions in cheating, I was responsible for my actions in the things I said.

But, I don't regret the mere fact that I talked to friends and family about things and didn't keep it all a secret. I needed to talk to people because she'd decided she didn't want to work on things anymore and I couldn't talk to her. My self-respect was at absolute rock bottom and I had to reclaim that. Like Mr. E, I felt that nobody would respect me if I allowed myself to be walked on and just crawled quietly into a corner.

So, can I look in the mirror and be satisfied with what I see? On balance, yes. Are there things I regret? Of course. But I also know that, whatever my failings in my marriage, I was loving and faithful right up to the end. That says something.

#1158972 07/16/04 01:23 PM
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RookKev,
Did you ever get any of the those books I referenced a few weeks back??

mac

#1158973 07/16/04 01:51 PM
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This is an interesting subject because I feel really ashamed in our circle of friends that my husband had a relationship with OW. Even though friends have told me how sorry they feel, I still feel very humiliated that another woman was able to have such an impact on my husband. I've also noticed that other women sometimes have avoided me during this time. I guess probably out of fear that I was gonna go for their husband. Stupid! During times like this, you will really get to know who your friends are and whom you can trust. I'll tell you, there are very few...

But I keep holding my head up high because I know that this can happen to anyone. I did not do anything to deserve this. I may have contributed to the unhealthy state of our marriage, but this does not justify an A.

Kati

#1158974 07/16/04 02:16 PM
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Self-respect... starting from zero...

As recovery began...

I reazlized this about myself...

I had lost all respect for WH due to his A. And I also realized that I did not want to be with a man I had no respect for. I needed to look up to him.

We were starting below zero really, in the negative numbers if respect could be given numerical amounts.

Soooooo, I purposely made the task of returning to the family DIFFICULT for WH...

hurdles to jump

He had to do some things that took an enormous amount of GUTS ... like face the OW's husband in person and tell HIM how sorry he was.

Like go to our family MD and tell HER he needed an STD check and tell her why.

Like go to my parents, and apologize to them.

And some other things....

And each time H did these acts of bravery .... HIS self-respect was raised.... and I had to admire him for his effort....

A man usually loves to be ADMIRED by his woman

Pep <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" />

#1158975 07/16/04 03:04 PM
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Hi Rook, nice to see you back. I wish you felt stronger about things but all in good time. Have FAITH. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

I know you're asking about BS self respect but I'd like to share a FWS perspective here. My H had every right and reason and ability to walk but he chose not to. Why? LOVE. Our marriage vows included Love is Patient, Love is Kind, Love is Not Self Seeking..... Was I any of those things? NO.

My husband on the other hand exhibited Love in the flesh, a drive to show me how much he really did love me, the one who did the most unloveable thing possible. He showed respect both for himself and me by his actions. He honored God and that is why he could hold on to his self respect through the difficult times.

How can I not respect a man who puts the world aside, who holds his own council in spite of the negative opinions of others? I never saw this as weakness but as incredible strength of character even as we struggled through recovery.

This weekend we had some "marriage building" <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="images/icons/wink.gif" /> conversations and in the middle of one, I brought up the affair. He looks directly at me and says "Hey, I'm fine with that!" I am so floored by the casualness of it all that I start crying my eyes out. I mean I've KNOWN I am forgiven but for him just to toss it out like that! No anger, no bitterness. I am amazed and humbled by this man.

SELF RESPECT, RESPECT, yes he has earned it a million times over. We are a success story, not because of me but because of him. He kept his eyes on the goal and kept at it until I caught up to him.

There are people on this board that I have such admiration for because of their dedication and perserverance when most would have given up. Those people are my role models now and I always look forward to what they have to say. THEY HAVE EVERY REASON TO HAVE SELF RESPECT. I know I am blessed to be married to one such person in real life.

Don't lose hope or faith Rook, this is your time to shine. Trials will always be with us but you are not alone. Best, KB


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