Adrift
Another area I am struggling:  Supporting her in her recovery.

I am fully invested in my marriage.  I have no contact with the AP.  I try my best to avoid all semblances of cheating behavior.  I don't go to questionable websites. I tell her where I am going, I tell her where I am. I have opened all emails, texts, bank & credit card accounts.  I provided my info so she can track me via my phone in my daily travels.  For all of that, she still mistrusts me. I understand.  I cheated, lied, destroyed her trust.  It must be earned back over a long period of time.

What I see though, is my wife hurting. She wants so much for me to say something to take the hurt away.  Time and again she reaches out in hope of hearing something therapeutic. Time and again what I say to her has no positive impact.  Then, she withdraws. She sees interacting with me as pointless.

What can I do differently?  I can't just keep trotting out the same tired statements over and over again and expecting them to help her.  How can I SHOW I am committed beyond what I have been willing to do already?   I love her.  Despite what I have done, I do not want to lose her.  I feel her groping in the dark for a sliver of hope and I'd like so much to give it to her.

Help!!!
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TimT
Even if you respond in a 100% correct manner 100% of the time, it will take your wife time to trust it enough to step into vulnerability with you. You cannot shortcut time in this.

I think the best thing you can do is simply state again and again, "I want to help you; I want to give you relief from the pain I caused. If I knew what else to do, I'd do it. Please let me know if there is something else you need from me, or some other way I can do this. Thank you for not giving up on us; I will keep trying."

The book How To Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair is a good resource, too.
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Fionarob
Read "How to help your spouse heal from your affair" by Linda Macdonald (if you haven't already.)  It is a very good book and not very long. 

I don't know what words your wife needs in order to help her heal, because everyone is different.  But for me, if my husband had accepted full responsibility and not blamed his affair on me it would have gone a long way.  If he had apologised sincerely and often, it would have meant a lot.  If he had told me how much he had regretted his actions I would have felt a lot better.  If he had said how much he realised he loved me then I would have had more hope.  Sadly for me I never heard any of those things.

Another good article can be found on affairrecovery.com - how to make amends.  If my husband had followed the advice in the article it would have really helped me a lot.  (see link below)
https://www.affairrecovery.com/newsletter/founder/how-does-unfaithful-make-amends

But I would like to say don't give up even though you feel like nothing is working.  Every little gesture you make, everything you say, every time you offer transparency, every little word you utter in apology really is making a difference.  Your wife won't want to show you that because she is protecting herself and she doesn't want you to think she has stopped hurting.  But I believe that inside it will be having a positive affect, even if it is very small. 

If you continue to be true and consistent and persevere then it will eventually make your wife realise you mean what you say.  Good luck
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Graceandhope
It will take time. She will need to figure out what she needs and tell you. When she does this, listen . Listen to what she is and is not saying. Ask her!!!! Be emotionally vulnerable with her. Tell her what you want, how you came to it now when you obviously didn't think that way before ( this is what she will think when you tell her she is what you want) She won't hear you , she won't believe you. It will make her mad. It will make her cry. Keep telling her keep asking her. Listen. Repeat. Repeat repeat.

It may all change day to day.

Work on making yourself into the man she thought you were. Let her figure out if she really wants to work through this with you.

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EAM
I found that taking responsibility and taking concrete actions helped. I opened my internet world up to her, but I took the responsibility to show her what I was doing, rather than leaving the onus on her to inspect my email, facebook, etc. She didn't want to have to be a detective, she wanted to be shown that I was trustworthy and open.

I tried to show, through my actions- counseling, AA, research and discussion, specific attempts to be more present and patient with questioning, not defensive when questioned- that I was working to change to become a better guy.
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Valntine66
Like TimT and Fionarob said, it will take time.  we are 4 months since D-Day.  I am told the same thing and believe me, what you stated in your first post, I ditto it: "I am fully invested in my marriage.  I have no contact with the AP.  I try my best to avoid all semblances of cheating behavior.  I don't go to questionable websites. I tell her where I am going, I tell her where I am. I have opened all emails, texts, bank & credit card accounts.  I provided my info so she can track me via my phone in my daily travels.  For all of that, she still mistrusts me. I understand.  I cheated, lied, destroyed her trust.  It must be earned back over a long period of time."

She wants to see consistency.  For my BS, it is very awkward for he to see me like this, but I was like this when we were first married but over the last 30 years, I have changed and practiced behaviors I should not have introduced into our household.  It will take a long time, but I am committed to restoring our marriage, earning her trust, and proving to the 98% of the people telling me to get a divorce (or let her file) that the 2% of the people who believe we can restore, God is still on the throne.

Like Linda McDonald says in her book, continue to express deepest apologies, request for forgiveness, and empathy although you think you say it too much, but it is not enough.  it will eventually subside, but it will take time.  We are seeing our pastor for counsel, while I read books upon books to help change me and allow God to change her.  I'm like you, when will this start to work, but I am reminded, no short cuts, not hurrying up the healing process, and no forcing her.  You just have to ride it out.
 
Val
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Dirazz
We also went to Biblical counseling. My WH also broke it off with the OW a week after it got physical and he was going to try and live with never telling me. But I truly think God intervened because for whatever reason I looked at our phone records which I never had before. There was no red flags that my husband betrayed me. We were still very much a loving couple. I believe God used me to help my husband. I know he wouldn't have been able to live with that secret and guilt without it manafesting in drinking himself to death or worse. He still wrestles a bit with guilt 10 months later. But he knows God and I both forgive him. God has made good out of bad for us just like he told me he would at the beginning of all of this!
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UrbanExplorer
I am not religious at all, but I will say you have to ignore the people in your life who give unsolicited advice about divorcing or reconciling. It is great to have a few people who support you no matter what, but no one can really stand in your shoes in your marriage and have a clear idea of what is best for you. I also think affair recovery involves compromises for both partners.
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Dirazz
Absolutely Urban. I didn't want our few friends and family that knew to take sides one way or the other. Just to be there for us. Both of us. There were many times during this whole thing that even though I was the betrayed one I needed to be the stronger one. I could see my husband in pain and despair. I saw him break down at my feet many times telling me how sorry he was. But I also knew I had to be a active participant in the healing of our marriage. I only bring up God because that was BOTH of our source of grace and reconciliation. I can only tell our story and what helped us. I do realize it won't work for others. But if I can help one person one couple with our story and what helped us I'll shout it from the rooftops!
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Valntine66

My BS said to me a week ago, "Stop comparing us to other couples, we are not like them."  this was said after I shared with her that of all my reading of "affair healing" and “rebuilding your marriage” books, the testimonies of couples reconciling and getting back together, couples did 'this' or 'that' to heal. The one thing I am really wanting out of this is how can I help my BS in the healing process, if she refuses any of the helps or things I do?  I get it, I caused the damage and according to "How to help your spouse heal from your affair" by Linda Macdonald, she states that it is my job to help heal her and it will seem awkward.  I am doing all the things to help heal but her behavior is, “You are the last person on earth I want to receive any of your healing.”

She moved out 4 months ago, the day of D-Day and started coming to the house on the weekends but only because our church ministry is closer to my home.  Call me blind, an idiot, or maybe stupid, or Captain Obvious, people keep telling me that her willing to come to the home over the weekend is her healing process, her not filing for divorce is a sign of wanting to work on the marriage, her talking on some level to you is progress.  But my feeling and her actions towards me feel like they are not and I end up responding the opposite of healing.  I am trying to ride this roller coaster but like the rider who wishes they could get off on the initial climb or the first twist, I am sometimes that rider.  But it is too late, I said I am in it for the long haul.  Just wish she could convince me of the same.  I would love to hear the words from HER mouth, "I want to work on the marriage."  It's my kids who tell me that she makes those kinds of statements.  Then why is her actions the opposite?

Val
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Graceandhope
She's not ready to. She is still in contact, she is still working with you. She's processing, healing.
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Valntine66
Graceandhope wrote:
She's not ready to. She is still in contact, she is still working with you. She's processing, healing.


Graceandhope,

I get it that she is not ready, healing, processing, and working with me.  I just have to remember all this because I am starting to practice the big mistakes of an unsuccessful rebuilder.  I am jealous that she has someone to talk with A LOT (our pastor, but on another topic).  Maybe I am the confused and still foggy one in this chapter of our reconciliation. 
Val
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