Hopefulforthefuture
For the betrayed: I would like any insight, personal experience or story that would help a wayward spouse “get it.” 

I’m the WS, and I struggle with this. Please help!
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Reese
Hello Hopeful,

My wayward husband had an affair, left me for her and ultimately abandoned myself and our children.

It's been heavy on my heart lately, I feel robbed. I feel robbed of my past, of my future, of all my Hope's and dreams for my marriage and family. I often question my self worth and what I had done to deserve such treatment. I am flawed, I contributed to the issues in our marriage however he is at fault for the affair. I doubt greatly that he suffers in the way I do. I've been depressed a great deal and most every time I think I'm starting to do well I completely fall apart. Not a day goes by that I don't grit my teeth and try to pray through the tears from the pain of what he's done to me and our children. Our children. They have been robbed of their happy home, their perfect family and all the plans we had. They have been robbed of a present father and ALL of his side of the family. 

My wayward husband apologized and expressed wanting to reconcile and avoid divorce but so far has refused to give any of the things I have asked for. This hurts most, makes me feel like I must mean absolutely nothing to him to throw away a second chance and an attempt to gain forgiveness. 

I recently realized that I think I may be suffering from something more than depression related to the trauma of the affair. I would be the first to tell you how strong I am and how capable I am of dealing with stress, but I know this has affected me in a way I truly do not believe I can fully recover. 

My husband was my best friend. We were struggling due to some pretty intense life circumstances regarding our children, but instead of talking to me, he broke me. I've come to find out he was likely engaged to his tart before I even knew about the affair. He told me he ended it because he realized she wasn't what he wanted but did not come straight to me to try to fix anything. 

If you love your spouse, if you want to keep them, do whatever they need. Be honest and open, be reassuring, be present, be accountable and most of all, be PATIENT. Your spouse is hurting,  do what you can to help them heal and avoid ending up on the same path again in the future. 

To me, finding out, felt like death. It was like he died, except worse. I was grieving as your spouse likely is too. 

Lastly, if you are not 100% committed to making it work do not string them along. All or nothing. 
Quote 7 0
TimT
Reese wrote:
If you love your spouse, if you want to keep them, do whatever they need. Be honest and open, be reassuring, be present, be accountable and most of all, be PATIENT. Your spouse is hurting,  do what you can to help them heal and avoid ending up on the same path again in the future. 

To me, finding out, felt like death. It was like he died, except worse. I was grieving as your spouse likely is too. 

Lastly, if you are not 100% committed to making it work do not string them along. All or nothing. 


Good words.

Hopeful, if you read through this forum, you'll find plenty of messages filled with honest expressions of betrayal's pain. When I sit in a counseling session and witness the grief of a betrayed wife, my heart is still moved over the realization that I caused pain like that in someone I was supposed to love. Your quest for an empathetic understanding is important. I've attached an article that briefly addresses the need for empathy.

Here's something you might consider doing...

Listen again, carefully, as your spouse/partner explains in detail what he/she experienced when the affair was revealed. This is a time to listen and ask questions, not to defend or argue. The purpose is to understand the experience from the partner's point of view. Take notes or record the conversation.

Once this is done, take the time to review and reflect on what was said. Write the partner's story from the first-person perspective, describing the experience as if YOU were the betrayed partner. Use your own words to express what you believe your betrayed partner experienced.

After taking a few days or a week to get it right, read it back to your partner, telling the story as if you had been betrayed. Then listen as your partner
gives feedback regarding how accurate your account seemed to be. Stay curious and learn. You'll NEVER really know their pain, but you can get closer to it.
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hurting
I’m in a slightly better place now, but it took a long LONG time to get here... yet I will never forget the pain and trauma that my WS dealt me. I bear the scars of this. I believe I always will. 

Finding out about his affair was like having everything that I knew, every facet of my life explode in my face. Set off by the very person who I thought would always have my back. The one who vowed to love me and protect me in all ways. The act of an affair shows a BS beyond all doubt how very worthless we are to the cheater. We are forgotten. Discarded. Our love and care trashed without a second thought as you embark on a mission to destroy everything we believed in... without so much as a thought to the destruction you are causing. Your wife has just lost everything that she knew or ever believed in. All at your hands. She has lost her past- she now questions every memory. Every decision that was made. Every conversation, every claim of ‘I love you’. She has lost her future. The certainty and life she had is gone. Though absolutely no choice of her own. 

You have stripped her of EVERYTHING. In the most brutal, invasive and humiliating way possible.

The damage and pain a WS causes is unimaginable. I had absolutely NO concept of this kind of pain till it was forced upon me by my husband. It changes you. And not for the better. I felt pure hatred for my husband. Complete and consuming rage. Fear. Mistrust. The fear and mistrust linger, even now.

These words that I write now are so very mild and withheld, compared to those I used in an attempt to express the torrential pain I was in at the start of this process. Spend some time on these boards, and read. Many of us have expressed time and time again how we feel. Maybe reading the words of someone who has been betrayed other than your wife will let you glimpse the suffering she is going through. 

My words of advice to you? Be patient. NEVER EVER be defensive in your replies. Above all, DO NOT LIE. I’m talking omissions, evasions and ‘I can’t remembers’. Answer every question to the best of your ability, as though your life depends on you being honest. Your relationship is going to depend on this. Do NOT through some misguided notion of trying to ‘protect her’ lie. You are protecting no one but yourself in doing so. You failed to protect her by cheating. YOU put her in harm’s way. The harm is done. Lying now will ONLY harm her more. It will absolutely not ‘protect’ her from becoming ‘more upset’.

She will rage. She May look at you with contempt, hatred and disgust. You deserve every shred of it and more. If you want to make this work, then you will need to see that YOU are the reason for all this, and face it all with love and acceptance. 

Your wife is right. You need to find the reasons that you decided to take this terrible path. You need to work on yourself. No excuses, no just trying to forget the past. You need to dig deep and look inside yourself. What is wrong inside YOU, that you decided to betray the person you promised you would protect and love? What did you do it for? Why? 

This is going to be a very long hard road. Not one step of it will be easy. There will be many steps backwards for every step forward. But if you both persist, it is possible to make it to the point where there are more steps forward than steps back. 

You are in the right place. Stay here if you can stomach it, and read. Be part of this community. I honestly think that if a WS is able to come here, share their thoughts and struggles and are able to read the replies of we BS without leaving or being defensive then it would be invaluable to the process of ‘getting it’. 

I would also suggest you read ‘How to help your spouse heal from your affair’ by Linda MacDonald.

Look at her and see her pain. Do not try to reason it away, or rationalise it. Accept that she is suffering from pain and loss that is incomprehensible to you in its intensity. Accept that you caused this. Hear her when she tells you how she feels you have ripped her heart out, stabbed her in the back while smiling in her face, then invited someone else to help you with twisting the knife and digging it in further because she was clearly that worthless to you. Because she truly means it. That is how it feels, and that, is a sadly meagre description of what you have done to her.
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HangingOn
It is a death blow.  But you get no funeral, your friends can’t grieve with you because no one died in reality.  Her life as she knew it, your marriage, her trust died.  It is the loneliest grief ever and to make it worse you don’t get closure until you do a great deal of painful work.  BS grief, trauma, self worth are unbelievable painful and hard to work on.  If she is with you thank her for that strength because she feels so fragile.  You likely broke her.  The things you once found a part of your love equation are likely shattered.  Trust, loyalty, value, commitment, partnership.

WS work on guilt, shame, what caused you to make such a choice, what’s deep in there, I’m sure also painful.  DO IT and open up to her.  Let her into those scary places.   Then More work as a couple.  You can’t go back to what you had.  The challenge becomes Can we save it?  In all honesty the scar will bring pain for the rest of your lives...learning to live with that takes incredible commitment and change.  

Never lie, never omit truth, never use I can’t remember.  Never get defensive and NEVER leave when things get rough.  Ask for a break maturely.  And most importantly WORK, initiate the WORK, be proactive...avoiding the topic and her need to heal is the worst sucker punch!  The work you initiate will if nothing else help her redevelop self worth.
best wishes to you...it’s an awful place to be. 
Quote 3 0
Keepabuzz

I agree with others above. The three things that should form the the umbrella that should encompass all of your efforts to help your wife heal are:

100% Honesty, 100% of the time, forever
Zero defensiveness in regards to your affair, what damage your actions have caused.
EMPATHY, this is key. If you’re not good at it, get really good at it, really quickly. If you can’t/won’t do this. Just hang it up right now. 


I have read everything there is to read, watched everything there is to watch, and listened to everything there is to listen to in regards to healing from my wife’s affair. One thing that is true, but can (and is) used or twisted by the WS is this, the BS is the only one that can heal them. The Was can’t heal the BS. While this is true at a very basic level, many WS’s will use this as “well I can’t do anything, you have to heal yourself, etc”. Do not do that. Even though this is 100% YOUR fault, you caused all this damage. You literally destroyed your wife in just about every way possible. You actually have an extremely powerful ability to make this terrible journey farm far easier on your wife,  but this is a ”triple” edged sword. That same powerful ability you have to help, can also be used to make it far harder on your wife, and inflict much more pain. The third edge of this sword will cut you. For you to do the work required to fix yourself. Do the work required to transform yourself into a truly empathetic person for your wife. To sit and listen as she pours out her pain to you, and TAKE it all. It will hurt. It SHOULD hurt.  You must then fight your own battle to not be overcome with your own shame. 

You need to help her carry her pain. At the same time, don’t hide yours. I know you may feel like you don’t have any right to tell her about your pain. Although I would agree you don’t have that “right”. As strange as it sounds, it will help her. Not anything about missing your AP, or feelings of loss from that relationship,  those need to be discussed with a therapist. But the pain and shame you feel for what you have done to yourself, and to your wife.  Her hearing that from you can be very healing for her, that is you letting her in.  If you don’t share that, then it can appear that either you don’t feel those things, or you are rug sweeping. 

Don’t ever, ever, ever not ask her if she ok if she seems off, or having a hard time. Don’t ever ever, ever not bring up your affair because you don’t think it’s on her mind and you don’t want to put it in her mind. I assure you without any shadow of a doubt it IS on her mind.


Conduct yourself at all times with her feelings of safety first and foremost, forever.  It does get easier, but it takes a very long time. My wife asks me if ok with things she does. I’m over 4 years out, and when I’m out of town my wife will text me when she goes to work and when she leaves for home. I no longer require that, but she does it just to make me feel safe.


You coming here and asking puts you miles ahead of most WS’s. You have done terrible things, and caused damage to your wife that you will never fully comprehend, but, BUT you are not beyond redemption. You have an opportunity to now be a healing force for your wife, as opposed to a destructive force. 

Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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ThrivenotSurvive
Once again, Keep has said  what needs to be said succinctly and perfectly.  READ his words.  LIVE by them.  

My husband and I are about 3.5 years post DD.  We are really happy with each other, our marriage and our life.  Our marriage has emerged the other side of this horror in many ways better.  We are far more protective of each other and our bond, we honor and treasure one another far more - our love is more transparent, more mature and even deeper in many ways - and yet - there was an innocence lost that I will likely mourn forever.  

That being said -  I can state with absolute certainty that his affair and the two years after DD was without a doubt the most painful period of my life.  Which is frankly saying something, given that I haven't exactly had a bump-free existence.  But it was the first time, that alongside grief, I also had to deal with a complete loss of worth - and even worse - my faith in people and the universe as being a place worth living in.  Sounds extremely melodramatic and yet - it is EXACTLY how I felt.  It was the first time in my life I truly had very little will to live.  I wasn't exactly suicidal, rather completely devoid of happiness, passion, joy.  It was as if my capacity to feel anything but pain and fear had evaporated overnight.  I questioned my own judgement, I questioned what I thought I knew about life, love, people, relationships... everything.  I was constantly exhausted through an effort to get through a day.  Getting up, not allowing my mask to fall when I was around people and sob or rage... took SOOOOO much energy.  

For someone who had for the 45 years previous to DD been know to be unusually joyful and energetic (I have a touch of ADHD - with an emphasis on the hyperactive side), it was a shock to my system.  I felt like I'd not only lost who my husband was on that day - but who I WAS.  

THIS is only the tip of the iceberg of what your wife is feeling.  Realize that whatever you are going through (and I know from talks with my husband it is a LOT) - it is NOTHING compared to what she is experiencing.  

Dig deep and offer her compassion - even when she is raging, sobbing, saying things that are hurtful.   Right now she is a wound filled with pus that YOU CAUSED.  It needs to come out if that wound is ever going to heal.  She needs to be able to speak her truth and know that you HEAR her.  Not that you deflect, deny or try to justify.  There will come a day when you can discuss the context in which you made your choices.  But now is not it.  Because as I hope you realize - there was NOTHING that made what you did okay.  No amount of unhappiness made cheating okay.  You had other, far more ethical choices.  You chose the nuclear approach - and blew up her and your world without her knowledge or consent.

I really suggest reading a lot of my posts because my husband has been a good example of a WS that had to learn a LOT of emotional intelligence VERY quickly to have a chance at saving his marriage.  He "got it" but it took it took him a while to figure out how to navigate these new emotional waters.  There is a LOT more you need to learn from reading our forum users posts... but here are some really important pointers to get you started.  

1. The honesty and transparency thing can NOT be over emphasized.  Do not hedge on one thing, do not be tempted to not share something you think will upset her.  If you have ANY chance of saving this marriage it will depend on your ability to be able to be 100% honest no matter how bad it makes you look, or how much you want to "save" her from it.  That doesn't mean giving her the blow by blow.  But it does mean answering her questions honestly and OFFERING information that you know would be meaningful but she doesn't know about yet.  Did you take the AP to meet some of your friends? (don't let her find that out later) Did you talk about marriage with the AP during the height of the affair?  (tell her now so she doesn't find out about it 6 months into reconciliation.)  Did you take the AP to a favorite place of your wife's?  Give her the same necklace you gave your wife, etc?  DON'T LET HER FIND OUT ANOTHER WAY,  She will be hurt, YES.  But the ONLY way to go forward from here is complete honesty.  And better to rip the band-aid off and give her the ugly all at once.  Trickle-truth is horrible and probably kills many of the marriages that might have otherwise survived the infidelity.  To give you two examples of this: 

On DD I asked my husband why he was acting so oddly and if he was unhappy with me/with us.  My husband confessed.  He was having a very difficult time with the dishonesty and lying to my face (the affair had happened when he was on a long-term assignment away from home)  But he acted "hazy" about the details of how long it had been going on.  In his mind, because he was honest about how far it had gone (sex), that it had been emotional and physical  - and ongoing over months (rather than a one night stand) - he'd told me all the "important" parts.  In his mind, he was "saving me" further pain.  How could it help me to know that it was on and off for almost 10 months rather than the four I was guessing based on behavior changes? 

Needless to say, once I knew it was not difficult to start putting a lot of things together and realizing the truth.  And when I realized that it was longer than I had thought - and had been ongoing during a time when I had visited him?  I went ballistic.  Because how I interpreted his omission was VERY different.  I saw it as "Why, if you've already hurt me and broken my heart - would you leave ANYTHING pertinent out?  Why would you leave me an a position to be humiliated and hurt all over again if I find out something is different than what you have told me - possibly at someone else's hand?  Why ARE YOU INCAPABLE OF TELLING THE TRUTH?"  And furthermore, if you can't tell me the truth NOW, why should I believe you will ever be able to?  

Once I found the first discrepancy and confronted him with it, he realized the stupidity of trying to conceal anything.  He sat me down and walked me through everything he could remember and invited me to ask questions.  He told me things I would likely have never found out and while they hurt like hell, they were the first step into me believing that he really did want to come clean, really did want to rebuild based on truth, not lies.  That he was no longer mocking me and my trusting nature with his half-truths but treating me with the respect I was due by being vulnerable enough to be honest about the horrible things he'd done and face the consequences - whatever they might be.  To date, I have never found proof of anything that he didn't tell me that day.  That also sowly rebuilt trust.

The only other significant error my husband made was about 3-4 months after DD.  He still had to communicate with the AP via phone and email because they were still working on a project together.  After the project she left the company and moved across the country to everyone's relief, but for the 4-5 months before then it was uncomfortable as hell.  I had asked him to let me see and/or listen in on every text/phone call in the interim, which he complied with.  But every time she would reach out for BOGUS reasons or to ask him if they could "be friends" it would send me into a tailspin.  I'd tell him that I wanted to get off this episode of Jerry Springer and withdraw for a bit.  To his credit, he wasn't doing anything to encourage her and was trying to be as cool/distant/polite without being mean as he could but it still was a painful reminder to me that she felt that she had a right to demand his attention because HE had given her that right without my consent.  

So after about a month of the project being quiet and them having zero contact, she started contacting him again about the project.  It was only a handful of texts spread over about a five week period and all during work hours, etc.  So he decided in his infinite wisdom not to share it with me.  Things had started getting a little better and he didn't want to rock the boat.  He reasoned in his mind that since he knew exactly what he wanted (us) and planned to not do anything unethical ever again and the texts were work-related,  why get me upset again?  STUPID.  When I decided to pull records and saw them, I lost it in a way that was actually WORSE than DD.  Because i had JUST started to try and believe that their was a semblance of hope for us, that the man I knew and trusted wasn't completely lost to me.  I had panic attacks that made me worry for my safety.  I have always hated when people give you the silent treatment and I have never done t - even when I was a kid.  This was the only time I did.  I couldn't speak with him for three days.  It wasn't a ploy.  I just could not look at him, think about him or consider talking to him without being so overwhelmed with pain and fear that I could barely breathe.  We actually came as close to divorce that day as we did on DD.  I can guarantee that it set back our healing not just to DD - but even farther than that.  To betray my boundaries even after I was wounded seemed cruel and it took me a LONG TIME to get past it.  If he'd ever done one more tiny thing like it I'd have been gone. 

I've told him over the years that one of my greatest personal fears in reconciliation is that he'd lie/hedge about something stupid (how much he spent on a new grill) and I'd divorce him over it.  Not because that lie was a big deal, but that ANY lie is now a deal-beaker.  And that I'd end up looking like the jerk to family and friends because I "overreacted."  Luckily seeing me in the near hysterical state, followed by a nearly catatonic state for the next three days after that event convinced him that 100% transparency was the only way forward.  He started telling me EVERYTHING - even when he wasn't sure I cared and needed to know.  i think at first it was really, really hard on him.  He'd always been a very private man.  But then he saw how it helped allay my fear, how it began to help me build faith and trust, how I recognized that it was hard - and saw it as a way he showed me that I mattered.  That I was valued.    At this point it's become a habit for him.  A reflex.  And it has been a BIG part of why we've not only made it - but are really happy together.

The other thing is EMPATHY.  Please, please read the books suggested here.  Read our posts.  As Keep said - if you don't have empathy (or think you do but no one else seems to agree) - get some in a HURRY.  If you get frustrated with her for being angry, sad, scared, you will invalidate her ON TOP of what you've already done.  It's like kicking someone when they are down.  I am sure hearing about the pain you've inflicted and what she currently thinks of you and the AP is hard - but don't try to shirk it.  Take it.  You not only deserve it - she needs to be able to see that you are willing to own it.  You have made her feel powerless and discarded.  YOU need to show her that she is not.  That she has the power to reject YOU.  That she has the power to hurt YOU.  That she is desirable and that you will feel her loss to the depths of your soul should she decide not to reconcile.  Does that make you feel too vulnerable?  Too bad - you've already made her feel that vulnerable.  So if you want to save this you are going to have to be willing to put youself in the position to be hurt.  No more holding back, no more keeping an AP on the hook in case your wife bolts, no more playing it safe where YOU always have a seat to sit in.  You need to sit out there in the cold WITH HER.  

As Keep said - being here already shows that you are more prepared to do the work of reconciliation than most WS.  But this is, without a doubt, a marathon - not a sprint.  I can say that (at least for me) the rainbow at the end of the marathon can be pretty spectacular.  But it will be very HARD won.  
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
Quote 4 0
stillstanding
Has your wife kept a journal?  IF so,  ask her if she would share it with you.  The journal receives our harsh words - yup, even worse than we sling out to our partner - it receives our raw pain - exactly when we are experiencing it.  I would not object my husband to reading it with the hope that he could understand more of the pain.  In reading it, you may have a view of her triggers also.  This may help you give her the support (hugs, acknowledgment, distraction and more hugs) when certain triggers are present.  
Continue to "try to get it" because the journey is long and difficult, however, when you continue to show up and walk beside her every step of the way - then even the steps that seem too difficult are manageable.

Betrayed Wife
DDay = 12/2016 plus
BS ~ sometimes I fall but I am always #stillstanding
Married 38 years
DD 12.2.16 plus many other smaller DDs 
Quote 1 0
GuyInPain
I second everything that previous writers have said, and they have been very eloquent.  Most or all of the writers seem to be betrayed wives, so I note that I'm a betrayed husband and the feelings and needs are the same.  The anguish is intense. 

Just last night my wife and I watched episode 10 of season 5 of 'The Affair,' which we've followed through all the seasons.  I was touched when Noah as the betraying husband asked Helen his betrayed wife how his affair affected her.  In the years since the adultery he had never asked her that before, and now finally he was opening himself to being vulnerable to what the experience had been like for her.  Not defending.  Not shielding himself.  Not taking refuge in self-pity for his shame.  My wife and I have come a long way in healing and reconciliation, and we are definitely with one another for the long haul.  But she has never simply asked me what it was like.  I've told her some of what it was like, but it's so hard for her to hear it that she shies away from it.  Empathy is hard for her.  She becomes defensive or responds with self-pity in her shame.  I suggest you ask your betrayed spouse what it was like to go through your betrayal.  And just listen.  And empathize.

I'm also very struck by StillStanding's suggestion that you ask to read your spouse's journal.  I've kept a journal throughout our journey.  I know my wife would be upset at the mere fact that I've journaled about it all, and my journaling is important enough to me to avoid that becoming another conflictual point between us.  But if your spouse has kept a journal it would be good for you to ask to read it.  Obviously, you would need to commit to not criticizing your spouse for anything you read in it, but rather accept whatever you find there as another window into how you have hurt your spouse. 

The other post above that struck me was the suggestion that you write a piece in which you put yourself in the place of your betrayed spouse and write what the experience of betrayal might have been like.  That would be a true exercise in empathy. 
Quote 0 0
Cam28
I concur with all those who have previously posted.  It is amazing to me how truly devastating this experience is and how our society and the media can make it seem so minor in the scheme of things.  This country really needs more education focused on the prevention of infidelity.  We are 6 months from DD.  My WS has done most things right.  He is constantly showing me that he loves me and is sorry for what he has done.  We are doing very well however, he has done what many other WS spouses do.  He has minimized (to protect me and the marriage) and he thinks it is best to forget about it.  We have only done one counseling session.  I was disappointed that the counselor only wanted to focus on the marriage rather than the affair recovery.  My husband was so against going that I didn't push it any further.  He told me that he knew how to work on himself.  What he is doing really wrong in my opinion is keeping everything to himself.  There are no outwards signs to me that he is doing anything differently than before.  Our marriage was good before and during to affair to his own admission.  He says things are better now.  Some things are but I still feel stuck because he just wants to forget.  He says talking about it is too painful for him and he says he has told me everything.  What I got from him a lot was "I don't remember" which I know was only true a fraction of the time.  I also got a lot of "how can I explain to you what I don't understand myself".  I think that if he were truly "working on himself" he would have more answers by now.  I also think it is right that I should have to brace myself for his frustration when I just want to talk about it.  Please don't underestimate the power of talking this out even if it seems repetitive.  As a BS, I find that I see things differently as time goes on so rehashing something previously discussed is not really repetitive.  I would expect the same to be true for him.  It would also be helpful for me if you could help me understand how you are feeling right now.  What would you need from your BS to help get through this?
Quote 0 0
Phoenix
Hello,
My situation is very different than yours, I was unfaithful 20 years ago, Dday 2 years ago. I emotionally abused him for the first 18. It is an extreme situation. 
I have heard from a few people on this forum that I am one of the few WS that gets it. Why can't my BS see it? It's been 24 months since Dday. I have done 2 years of therapy and have read and seen everything under the sun regarding infidelity and recovery. I am on my third therapist. He is still ambivalent about reconciliation. He still shames me on a daily basis. He does not want to do any recovery work. He still tells me that he hates me and can't wait to see me get what I deserve so he can laugh in my face the way I laughed at him. 
I hope that this sight, the work you do, and your will to work on this will bring you better results. 
I do not want to give up, it is very hard. A few weeks ago we (people on this sight and me) thought we saw a light at the end of the tunnel. That light has since faded. 
Triggers can be brutal and will bring everything you worked so hard for down in a second. If you are not vigilant about your wife's feelings you can very easily throw 6 months (in my case a week) of progress down the toilet. 
If you really want it please show her. I have read so many post here of BS that are so hurt and frustrated because their WS is not giving the situation the importance it deserves. 
Quote 0 0
darlyn
Cam28 wrote:
I concur with all those who have previously posted.  It is amazing to me how truly devastating this experience is and how our society and the media can make it seem so minor in the scheme of things.  This country really needs more education focused on the prevention of infidelity.  We are 6 months from DD.  My WS has done most things right.  He is constantly showing me that he loves me and is sorry for what he has done.  We are doing very well however, he has done what many other WS spouses do.  He has minimized (to protect me and the marriage) and he thinks it is best to forget about it.  We have only done one counseling session.  I was disappointed that the counselor only wanted to focus on the marriage rather than the affair recovery.  My husband was so against going that I didn't push it any further.  He told me that he knew how to work on himself.  What he is doing really wrong in my opinion is keeping everything to himself.  There are no outwards signs to me that he is doing anything differently than before.  Our marriage was good before and during to affair to his own admission.  He says things are better now.  Some things are but I still feel stuck because he just wants to forget.  He says talking about it is too painful for him and he says he has told me everything.  What I got from him a lot was "I don't remember" which I know was only true a fraction of the time.  I also got a lot of "how can I explain to you what I don't understand myself".  I think that if he were truly "working on himself" he would have more answers by now.  I also think it is right that I should have to brace myself for his frustration when I just want to talk about it.  Please don't underestimate the power of talking this out even if it seems repetitive.  As a BS, I find that I see things differently as time goes on so rehashing something previously discussed is not really repetitive.  I would expect the same to be true for him.  It would also be helpful for me if you could help me understand how you are feeling right now.  What would you need from your BS to help get through this?


Cam you should be very concerned that your husband "doesn't remember" or says he doesn't want to talk about it. No sh*t he doesn't want to talk about it! It's painful and requires vulnerability and coming to terms with the fact that we're not nearly the people we thought we were or we wouldn't have done this. Why is he refusing to face it? If it's over and he's truly trying to move on it should be hard but doable. Keep pushing. 
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BorealJ
For the betrayed: I would like any insight, personal experience or story that would help a wayward spouse “get it.” 
Hi @Hopefulforthefuture , I see you haven't been around in a little bit.  I am trying not to make this place a habit, so I only pop in occasionally, but I do think I can speak to this a bit if it still helps. 
For me, and I think for many, the sense that our WS's don't "get it" comes down to not seeing our spouses connecting to our pain and that is related to the idea of shame vs. remorse.  The two words are often used interchangeably but are very different.  Remorse is connecting to somebody else's pain.  Shame is connecting to one's own self loathing and often takes the form of narratives like "I am worthless".  In my early stages, every time I saw my wife start to open herself to seeing me and I'd get hopeful, it would turn inward on her and I'd feel left out again.  It took the form of statements like "what kind of person am I that I would do such a thing?"  She wasn't connecting to my pain, only showing me hers.  She was having her own existential crisis and she wasn't okay enough to be anything for me. 
If this at all sounds like you, I'd suggest you look into Brene Brown's stuff.  She puts the shame language into very precise definitions and it can help with perspective.  You'll have to dismantle your shame if you're going to be able to connect to your wife like she needs.
My wife addressed her shame through CBT and other counseling.  Shame had influenced many of her lifelong patterns so it took a long time and even though it still colours a lot of her emotional responses, she knows how to recognize when it comes up and she can consciously choose alternative responses to help develop new patterns. 
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Phoenix
I am attaching a couple of youtube videos that will help you. I have come to realize that I don't get it either. When I saw these video I saw that I am still not doing the right things to make my BS feel safe. I think I have caused so much damage because of it that I don't think there is anything I can do anymore, but it seems like you are in the beginning of your journey with yours. Hopefully they will shed some light and make a difference. 

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