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It's really hard to follow the PORA sometimes, especially in regards to these triggers.

My biggest trigger is anything that even closely resembles dishonesty. Whereas before the A, I would accept any logical explanation, now I get suspicious and have to snoop to verify.

The problem with the PORA in these cases is that my wife does not respond well to anything that sounds even remotely critical. While she accepts that her behavior is what made me not trust her, she still responds with despair that I don't "just believe" her.

When I try to be honest about how I feel so that we can talk about it and come to a mutual understanding that makes us both feel better, she responds with tears and crying (no matter how nicely I say it). In turn, I feel bad for making HER feel bad about the way I feel.

More often than not, even after reaching a mutual understanding, me being honest with her withdraws love units from her love bank. There is almost always a noticeable distance between us after one of our talks when I'm triggered. I almost always have to be the one to extend the olive branch and act like nothing is wrong and show extra affection to get us back on track again.

Is it wrong of me to want HER to be the one to make ME feel better? (I kind of already know the answer here...just venting to anyone that is still listening).

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I'm listening!

I know how you feel, I have similar problems, even getting him to open up feels like I'm pushing against a locked door, then he gets all upset and miserable, then I have to do things to make him less miserable, and then I get all resentful cos I feel like I am the one doing all the heavy lifting when it was him who went playing away and I get to put it all back together!! What a gift they give us.

Yep I need him to want to make me feel better too........not sure of your time frames but we are 6 months after Dday and I think sometimes we are getting there, then others we ain't.

welcome to the world of the rollercoaster!!


Me 50
WH 52
WH in A 6 yrs in total, last 5 yrs JGF (Not!)
DD final 1.12.10
NC letter sent 3.12.10

Working at being the best I can be, the rest is up to you.

He is still a plonker, but he is my plonker!
Tanam #2524931 07/01/11 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Tanam
... then I get all resentful cos I feel like I am the one doing all the heavy lifting ...


That's exactly how I feel a lot of the time.

I don't like the resentment. That's what got my M to the poor state that it was in. Years of resentment that MY important emotional needs were not being met led me to (out of stubborn ignorance, pride, and ego) go out of my way to not meet her important emotional needs.

I can't let that happen again. So, when I'm feeling that way I swallow my pride and extend the olive branch every time...even though I'm the one who is still hurt by her past actions.

Which brings up a question I've had on my mind. All these triggers are based upon her PAST actions. There were still a few things that we never discussed fully. I never got how I felt about them off my chest and because of it, they still eat away at me. Her current actions are what they always SHOULD have been. She HAS come around 180 degrees and even though she doesn't know it, she goes out of her way to emulate the same MB principles that I do for her.

So, my question is am I wrong for bringing things up from the past that bother me when I'm triggered? Or, should I just suck it up and get over it and not mention it? I've tried the latter unsuccessfully, so if that's what I should be doing I definitely need some help in how to cope.

(oh...I'm sure you all caught on that I meant PORH up above when I posted PORA)

Last edited by ShatteredHope; 07/01/11 02:05 PM.
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Shattered,

I don't post often, and am still trying to implement MB principles into my own marriage. However, I had to reply because what you describe is very similar to what my W does too. Can't believe I am questioning her honesty, can't understand why I don't trust her.

Ultimately I think you are on the right track with PORH. This eats at you, like it eats at me. It is really about control. I believe that even though very minor when it happens, our W's are really trying to establish some baseline of credibility that we are not supposed to breach at any time. By avoiding discussion of the issue and resorting to emotional response they are actually exerting control.

This is a barrier to true intimacy, where they would be stripped of any rational defense for ways they hurt us or anyone else. I truly believe my W, and maybe yours, are not comfortable with true intimacy. They hide this by such breakdowns and reactions. Not only do they avoid discussions that are uncomfortable for them, they also try to play the victim card to some extent to get us to back off and as you say "offer the olive branch".

I am working very hard with my W to address this. In my mind it sets a dangerous precedent, and one which over time she can build upon. It is likely what happened previously in my marriage. Give an inch, and over time take a mile type of entitlement. I think you MUST address this when it is at the smallest level - every single time.

You have given her the greatest of gifts by choosing to lead your marriage, stay with her, and try to work things out. She is very lucky to have you and the chance to build true intimacy and a great marriage. It starts with baby steps. Although I don't think our MC did much for us, one thing that was valuable from our sessions was to try to get from eachother the single thing that was hurting / scaring / angering us. Your W's avoidance of your hurts and hers does not help you.


Me: BH 50
W: 43
DD 12
DD 10
EA Exposed / D Day: 4-30-2010
W strongly disputes / denies EA - thats the problem
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Originally Posted by ShatteredHope
It's really hard to follow the PORA sometimes, especially in regards to these triggers.

My biggest trigger is anything that even closely resembles dishonesty. Whereas before the A, I would accept any logical explanation, now I get suspicious and have to snoop to verify.

The problem with the PORA in these cases is that my wife does not respond well to anything that sounds even remotely critical. While she accepts that her behavior is what made me not trust her, she still responds with despair that I don't "just believe" her.

When I try to be honest about how I feel so that we can talk about it and come to a mutual understanding that makes us both feel better, she responds with tears and crying (no matter how nicely I say it). In turn, I feel bad for making HER feel bad about the way I feel.

More often than not, even after reaching a mutual understanding, me being honest with her withdraws love units from her love bank. There is almost always a noticeable distance between us after one of our talks when I'm triggered. I almost always have to be the one to extend the olive branch and act like nothing is wrong and show extra affection to get us back on track again.

Is it wrong of me to want HER to be the one to make ME feel better? (I kind of already know the answer here...just venting to anyone that is still listening).

I sounds like you are already trying to be kind and careful when you are honest with her, but you may find an article that Steve Harley wrote about it interesting and helpful. It usually helps to review, even if you are already doing well.

The Policy of Radical Honesty: It�s not a Hammer!
By Steven W. Harley, M.S.
============================================

It�s a sad commentary about our society when we have to have a
rule called �The Policy of Radical Honesty.� It is difficult
to pinpoint, but somewhere along the line being honest became
radical.

I believe that the trend toward dishonesty got its foothold
when experts or advice-givers began selling the idea that what
your spouse doesn�t know won�t hurt them. (In other words,
sometimes it�s acceptable to lie and deceive.) Following with
the added punch that being completely honest will just hurt
your spouse, which should be avoided at any cost. (Again,
meaning that sometimes it�s acceptable to lie and deceive.)
Unfortunately, those ideas were bought lock, stock, and barrel
by most people, leading to the creation of secret second lives
and untold secrets between husbands and wives all in the name
of �protecting my spouse�s feelings.� All of which allow
cancers to form in the marriage.

On the bright side, when couples are introduced to the idea
of radical honesty, most tend to see its value and importance
within the process of creating a mutually enjoyable marriage.
Couples understand that if true connectedness and emotional
intimacy is ever going to be achieved, nothing short of
complete honesty will work. What most couples also understand
is that there is some work involved in getting used to the
true intent behind Radical Honesty.

Contrary to common belief, Radical Honesty does not include
bludgeoning your spouse with your unprocessed thoughts and
feelings. One of the most common misinterpretations of this
policy is believing that it is a license to dump raw opinions
about, then say �Hey, I was just being honest with you.� This
response is the product of a misguided belief that the Policy
of Radical Honesty trumps all other Marriage Builders� concepts
(i.e. Love Busters). There is no policy that truly trumps the
most important tenant of Marriage Builders�: you must protect
your spouse, which includes protection from yourself. All
policies are meant to help you more effectively and
successfully achieve that primary goal.

So, what about being truly honest about your thoughts and
feelings? It almost sounds like I�m contradicting myself by
saying that on one hand you must be completely honest with
your spouse yet on the other hand I�m saying don�t hurt your
spouse. I am a firm believer that you can do both. For
example, if your husband is showing you a tie that he picked
out himself and wanted to know if it matched his suit, what
would you say if you were thinking that it was the most
ridiculous idea to think that the tie he picked out would
even come close to matching not only that suit, but any suit
in his closet? I would suggest that you use a processed
response such as �Honey, I believe that you would look much
better in the tie that the kids gave to you for Father�s Day
because a solid color goes better with that suit and will
make a much better impression in your meeting today.�

Notice that the response I suggested did convey a dislike for
the tie he chose, but was done in a thoughtful and sensitive
way instead of a cruel and insensitive way.

Even in situations when your spouse tells you to be brutally
honest with them instead of candy-coating your thoughts, your
marriage is far better served by understanding the Marriage
Builders� mandate to protect each other and agreeing to never
be brutal about anything.

I�m not necessarily telling you to disregard your spouse�s
request, but I do recommend that a discussion take place
regarding how you want to make every effort not to do anything
that will potentially harm the safety of your marriage.

The bottom line is that it is not ok to commit a Love Buster
under the guise of any of the supporting policies or concepts,
which includes Radical Honesty. Again, this does not mean
that you are not to be completely honest with your spouse, it
means that you must honestly convey your thoughts and feelings
in a controlled, thoughtful, and sensitive way.

End of Article

I hope things continue to improve.

SS


I think sometimes about all the pain in the world. I hope we can ease that here, even if only a little bit.
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Shattered,

I'm afraid your WW is going to have to live with the consequences of her affair. Hell no, you don't trust her (Dr. H says no one should trust their spouse; we're all vulnerable to an affair given the right conditions..

You can explain to your wife what triggers your suspicious behavior and see if the two of you can come up with some ideas of how to avoid the trigger (think extraordinary precautions).

Regarding past grievances, try at all costs to avoid bringing up past misdeeds. It will only make your WW resentful and defensive and make her believe you want to punish her for the rest of your life. Vent here is you must, or to a friend, but bite your tongue with your WW.


Me: BW,56
Him: WH,57
DD#1 25 yrs ago
DD#2 7 yrs ago
DD#3 May 12
freefall #2565993 11/19/11 11:01 PM
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This sucks.

Still here. Still struggling.

What's hardest is that I feel all alone.

I'm trying to follow the guidance I've received here to the letter.

The problem is that by following it, I feel I have no one to talk to and no right to have any feelings. I can't discuss what I'm feeling with my FWW because I'm not allowed to talk about the A with her.

If ever I slip up and let the topic come up, she reminds me that I'm not allowed to talk about it to her. She tells me that she feels I'll never forgive her.

It's not fair. I feel I have to suffer through this alone.

The Five For Fighting song, Superman, pretty much sums up how I feel.

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If ever I slip up and let the topic come up, she reminds me that I'm not allowed to talk about it to her. She tells me that she feels I'll never forgive her.
Shattered, are there questions you still have about the affair? I didn't go back to the beginning of your thread - how long have you been in recovery?

What EPs did you put in place?

Your WW should have answered all of your questions about the A. After your questions have been answered you should not bring them up again.


D-Day 2-10-2009
Fully Recovered and Better Than Ever!
Thank you Marriage Builders!

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She didn't answer all my questions. I only have my very strong suspicions as to the entirety of what took place. Therein lies the problem. I let her off the hook too soon.

She has complied with all of my EP's. BUT, because of my extremely obsessive nature I have lingering doubts as to all that transpired because we NEVER truly talked about what happened. And now, because of the "stop talking about it" rule, I can never find closure.

It sucks. Too many things still trigger me. I guess I'll have to get over it. I'm just venting and thank you for listening.

You don't know how many times I've wanted to post. It's just that now I spend ALL of my time outside of work giving her UA and have not had the opportunity to post.

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BUT, because of my extremely obsessive nature I have lingering doubts as to all that transpired because we NEVER truly talked about what happened. And now, because of the "stop talking about it" rule, I can never find closure.
It's not obsessive to want to know the truth of your life. Stop thinking that. You should have gone over every detail of the A that you needed to hear. You let your WW off the hook on this, to the detriment of your marriage.

I don't get the 'no talking rule' - where did that come from?

You and your WW are not doing your M any favors by sweeping this under the rug. I'm not sure what I'm missing. I'll go back and read your thread in case I've missed anything. I read it originally, but it's been a while.


Last edited by maritalbliss; 11/19/11 11:26 PM.

D-Day 2-10-2009
Fully Recovered and Better Than Ever!
Thank you Marriage Builders!

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