Trinity
Good Day all.  I need some help and suggestions on having a productive conversation with my wayward spouse.  1st know that he and I dont live together, he is in the Military so 99% of conversations are via telephone; which makes communication difficult.

We had a bit of an argument about the "incident" and he hung up on me.  I sent him a TXT and he didn't respond.  That was Thursday evening.  He sent me a TXT this morning saying "if you still want to talk, I can call you when I get off work".  

I am trying very hard to move on from the affair and I do want to talk to him.  We have been having ups and downs and we seem to take 2 steps forward and 3 back.  I cry, he hangs up on me and the cycle goes on.  Right now I do want to talk to him so WE can move on together and try to repair our marriage.  

Any suggestions on how to have a pleasant and productive conversation that will move us forward ?  

Thank you [smile]
BS - DDay July 2017

O GOD, take me, break me, make me. 
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Guiltguilt
Research "the 180" and look after yourself. I know I harp on about this, but my ex wife did this naturally. Even though the main reason for doing this is to look after yourself, and not go mad chasing after the WS, preserving your sanity, your actions will be noticed. 
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Keepabuzz
I also did the 180 naturally. It wasn’t about “winning her back”. I honestly didn’t want her after her confession. I was just trying to survive and protect myself from further damage. Self care.
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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anthropoidape
I have spent a lot of time feeling lousy about myself because I didn't do the 180 naturally right away. Like I am some kind of co-dependent weakling because of this. 

I feel okay about it now. I was just being me. In the end I did my kind of 180, which is to say that I was clear about what would or would not work, and made it clear that if things were one way, we might make it, and if they were another way, we surely wouldn't. And that if she wanted to go then I'd help her.

Best I could do. The 180 works if it is genuine and not just a tactic. It's good to understand the 180 and why it can have a big effect but ultimately being genuine and authentic is the thing that works. I suspect that usually the 180, and the genuine and authentic thing, end up coming together on their own.
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Guiltguilt
I'm not sure it's possible to do it entirely authentically at first if you really want the marriage. It goes against every instinct. The hysterical bonding, wanting to fix it now, stop further damage. It's one of those "fake it till you make it" things. I sure as anything wish I'd known about it when my first marriage was disappearing before my eyes. 
This, coming from a bloke who is being shown far more grace as a WS than what I showed my first wife.  
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TimT
Trinity wrote:
...I am trying very hard to move on from the affair and I do want to talk to him. We have been having ups and downs and we seem to take 2 steps forward and 3 back. I cry, he hangs up on me and the cycle goes on. Right now I do want to talk to him so WE can move on together and try to repair our marriage...
The comments have jumped straight to setting boundaries instead of how to communicate, so I thought I'd offer some thoughts that addressed your question. Trying to figure out how to have honest conversations before your establish these kinds of boundaries can be a good thing. (A "180" shift can be a good thing and I write about this kind of choice in my article, The Right Response to a Wayward Spouse.)

There are a number of important facts that you didn't include, like what the "incident" was (I assume infidelity of some sort), how and when you found out, and what kind of conversations (if any) he has been willing to have about it in the past. You talk about this being a cycle and that you have "ups and downs" but I cannot tell if he stops talking whenever the issue comes up or when you get emotional about it. Either way, he needs to stay engaged with you to help you heal, but his reluctance may be due to a number of factors. It's interesting that he invited you to call back if you still wanted to talk about it.

Whether he wants to avoid the subject or avoid your emotions, the fact is that you DO need him to be engaged with you. If he betrayed you in some way, he needs to take responsibility for providing comfort & relief to you. This may be hard for him to do, especially if he wasn't very good at it before the infidelity. When you pile shame on top of that natural reluctance, some people (especially men) become quickly flooded and so they do the only thing they know how to do... they back off and maybe even get defensive.

I'm not trying to excuse his behavior, just trying to understand it. The fact that he invited you to call back leads me to wonder if he really does struggle with wanting to help, but feels really uncomfortable about doing so. If that's true, then establishing strong boundaries right now may not be the best thing to do. Instead, you may want to: (1) point out the pattern of his avoidance, (2) with curiosity, ask him to talk about why he backs away from your pain, (3) explain your need to talk about these things. 

Two books that might help: (1) For him: How To Help Your Spouse Heal..., and (2) for you: Affair Healing manual.

If he avoids talking about it, maybe you need to first talk about talking about it. I've worked with couples in situations like this (a spouse in the military or away for other reasons) and I know it complicates things, but I hope you'll both be able to listen to each other with curiosity.

Having said all that, if you do you best to explain why these conversations and interactions are important but he makes it clear that he has no interest in figuring out how to do that for you, THEN you need to move to set up boundaries that have been talked about in previous comments.

Hope that helps.
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Trinity
Thank you ALL for the comments; they really help me navigate this.  

Just to add to my story; My husband did have a sexual affair.  I found out via phone records and confronted him to which he didn't even try and lie about it but admitted it.  This was in July.  We had a few heated conversations about the affair and I found out all I really needed to know. I'm not into torturing myself with all the details but it did last about 1 month.   He apologized and (of course) said it would never happen again and it was a horrible mistake and he was "being selfish".

He feels that I need to move on and we need to move on.  He will say "GOD, it was 2 months ago, why are you trying to start a fight."  IF I bring anything about it up. This would be when he usually hangs up the phone on me and ignores me for a few days.  Honestly, I DON'T really want to talk about the affair, or her or anything that went on or didn't go on; I really just want to move my marriage forward and not give it anymore airtime in my life.  

Tim T, you hit the nail on the head !!  He has always and does struggle with being empathetic, wanting to help and not knowing how.  This adds to the complication of communication because if I get emotional he backs off.

We have been sexually intimate since the affair and I don't have any issues or hang ups with that part. I guess fortunately, our sex life really has not been affected at all.  

It is hard to be the best person I can be with this BS in my wake but I am trying.  I don't feel the need to punish him in any way, I want to figure out the good can come from this and make a "B" line for that path.  I guess I am looking for that Phoenix. 

Does my whole outlook on this seem weird ??  

Again, Thank You ALL for responding, I really appreciate it.  
"T"
BS - DDay July 2017

O GOD, take me, break me, make me. 
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Keepabuzz
I’m 28 months out from d-day, and I still bring it up. It is, and that will always be my right.  I’ve earned at the very least that.  But, like you I know all I need to know of her affair (honestly more than I want to know), I haven’t asked a question about it in a very, very long time.  Now when I bring it up, it’s more about how it still affects me.  The sadness, the pain, the triggers.  I think it’s just being honest. I have no desire to punish her. I actually never did anything to punish her. But she does feel it is “punishing” at times, even though she knows that is not my intent.  I think it is just her shame.
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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