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awaggoner1999
Scarlett wrote:

Kal you mention some of the women on here, but are they currently working on their M, or did the leave or their WS leave?  There are going to be different factors and feelings for the BS who is not currently working on the M. I can imagine their anger and bitterness would even be stronger than ones whose WS has decided to work on the M. 

I took it that cwo2116 is aware of the pain he has caused and what needs to be done, but his W is still having trouble forgiving. I think TimT is correct that this may have more to do with time. I'm not sure how long Dday has been for cwo, but from what I've read and heard from my MC, 2 years is pretty normal for getting over the A. In my case Dday was 15 mo. ago and we were separated for the first 2 mo. That was long enough for me to get out of the affair fog and decide I wanted to work on my M. I don't expect my H to be over the A at this point, and he is doing very well considering, but the question is how long does it take for the BS to start focusing more on the marriage than on the affair?  

CWO, I'm thinking your W is being triggered by some of your actions such as texting. Did she see texts between you and your AP and she's afraid it's happening again? I know my H gets triggered by things like texts and Facebook messaging. Have you asked her if that's what's happening and what you could do to make her feel safer in those situations? 
 


As a BS, I am not anymore bitter than a BS trying to work on their marriage, that is a bit of an unfair encompassing statement. One would think that bitterness is individual in nature and if it is more individually based then each person will deal with the messiness of betrayal and moving forward with or without the WS based upon who they are as a person and not whether they decide to stay in the marriage or decide to walk away.

After my D-Day, I stayed for 6 months and made every effort to show that I was fully invested and willing to work on our marriage, despite the hurtful ways my WS acted and his continued refusal to own his actions. At the end of 6 months, I realized he was not in it, and I subsequently made the move to relocate apart from my WS.

So my motivation for moving out stemmed from the desire to save myself and not get bogged down in the mire of the mess my WS was in and continued to stay in. I am not bitter, I am saddened by the loss of my best friend, my marriage and any future I had with him. More grief like in nature... My goal has been from that point forward to embrace being happy. Bitterness, for me, just doesn't fit into that equation. I couldn't control what happened, but I could control how I chose to handle it. 

As each day passes, I feel better and better and with the continued focus on me, my children and life's future opportunities, I focus less on the failings of this marriage and the impact of it. Now don't get me wrong; I didn't say it was super easy, but I use all that energy I allocated to make my marriage better and redirected it, so with the same intensity I implement and act on things that improve my present and  my prospective future.

Time is key, in conjunction with a partner that is fully responsible for his/her actions and the willingness and ability to recognize the damage done and the willingness and ability to help heal and work towards a marriage that both partners can feel safe in. The BS, definitely needs to clearly communicate on the things that will make them start to feel safer. The WS will need to understand that the BS is wounded and hurt beyond measure, and that a wound of such depth will take time, patience and love to heal what the WS played the key role in creating.

So patience, kindness, and understanding...are needed...in order to move forward together...
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awaggoner1999
Kalmarjan wrote:
I think that whether they are working on their marriage or not is inconsequential. The idea is to understand, and empathize with how his wife may feel. This way he can have a better understanding of why his wife is lashing out. 

I agree that communication is of utmost importance, but first, he needs to drop the ego. Period. 

You want to live in purgatory, the best way to that is to continue the cycle. Be defensive when attacked, (even if it's not warranted) and you will find yourself back at square one. 

No one is saying that you need to walk on eggshells, but you do need to understand the WHY your BS is acting that way. Quite simply, it's because you cheated and betrayed their trust. Now is the time to build that back up. 

I've read through CWO's posts. The best advice I can give is this...

You don't need to defend. You don't need to attack. You just need to be honest. Period. 

There is no defense for your choice. See, sure... maybe your wife neglected you, etc, etc... maybe you were different. All in all, who cares? You chose to cheat. Period. You lose. Automatically. 

So, stop defending yourself. Don't go on the offensive. Don't get mad. 

When she comes at you, pissed off about texts or email, Facebook, whatever... let her into your world. If she says that you are cheating, show her that you are not, but not in a defensive way. 

You said that you "proved" to her that you weren't. That's the wrong mindset right there. It's not about you being right, proving anything. It should be about you reassuring her. Otherwise, you come off as a douche, trying to make her see that she is wrong about you.

But, she isn't. You cheated once, and you could do it again. What are you doing to show to your wife that you won't? Words? They don't matter. You used a bunch of words before, and you cheated. So, in her mind, what do those words amount to? 

One way you may go about it is to figure out why you were such an ass in the first place. Why did you choose to cheat? Focus on YOU. Why did YOU choose what you did. 

I must caution though, leave out ANYTHING your wife did to lead up to that. Why? It's just justification. Your wife may have been the biggest monster in the world, but that still doesn't excuse the fact that you cheated, lied, manipulated, and basically destroyed all that she held dear in your relationship.

In other words, your words mean nothing. Your promise means nothing, unless you can demonstrate that you understand what was WRONG with you that you thought the best way forward was to lie to your wife and have an affair with someone whilst you were still with her. 

Once you can demonstrate to her that you are working on yourself so that you can convince YOURSELF that it will NEVER happen again, and WHY it won't, THEN, and MAYBE then, you will deserve the PRIVILEGE of her trust. You know, what you so casually threw away. 

I bet, once you have it again, you will NEVER lose it. 

I don't mean to be inflammatory, just trying to bring you to reality. This road is never easy. My wife and I are almost 2 years to DDay, and I've been back for 7 months, and while we are doing much better, make no mistake, I still work HARD to regain that trust. The one I stupidly threw away.


Well said.

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Anna26
awaggoner1999 wrote:
Scarlett wrote:

Kal you mention some of the women on here, but are they currently working on their M, or did the leave or their WS leave?  There are going to be different factors and feelings for the BS who is not currently working on the M. I can imagine their anger and bitterness would even be stronger than ones whose WS has decided to work on the M. 

I took it that cwo2116 is aware of the pain he has caused and what needs to be done, but his W is still having trouble forgiving. I think TimT is correct that this may have more to do with time. I'm not sure how long Dday has been for cwo, but from what I've read and heard from my MC, 2 years is pretty normal for getting over the A. In my case Dday was 15 mo. ago and we were separated for the first 2 mo. That was long enough for me to get out of the affair fog and decide I wanted to work on my M. I don't expect my H to be over the A at this point, and he is doing very well considering, but the question is how long does it take for the BS to start focusing more on the marriage than on the affair?  

CWO, I'm thinking your W is being triggered by some of your actions such as texting. Did she see texts between you and your AP and she's afraid it's happening again? I know my H gets triggered by things like texts and Facebook messaging. Have you asked her if that's what's happening and what you could do to make her feel safer in those situations? 
 


As a BS, I am not anymore bitter than a BS trying to work on their marriage, that is a bit of an unfair encompassing statement. One would think that bitterness is individual in nature and if it is more individually based then each person will deal with the messiness of betrayal and moving forward with or without the WS based upon who they are as a person and not whether they decide to stay in the marriage or decide to walk away.

After my D-Day, I stayed for 6 months and made every effort to show that I was fully invested and willing to work on our marriage, despite the hurtful ways my WS acted and his continued refusal to own his actions. At the end of 6 months, I realized he was not in it, and I subsequently made the move to relocate apart from my WS.

So my motivation for moving out stemmed from the desire to save myself and not get bogged down in the mire of the mess my WS was in and continued to stay in. I am not bitter, I am saddened by the loss of my best friend, my marriage and any future I had with him. More grief like in nature... My goal has been from that point forward to embrace being happy. Bitterness, for me, just doesn't fit into that equation. I couldn't control what happened, but I could control how I chose to handle it. 

As each day passes, I feel better and better and with the continued focus on me, my children and life's future opportunities, I focus less on the failings of this marriage and the impact of it. Now don't get me wrong; I didn't say it was super easy, but I use all that energy I allocated to make my marriage better and redirected it, so with the same intensity I implement and act on things that improve my present and  my prospective future.

Time is key, in conjunction with a partner that is fully responsible for his/her actions and the willingness and ability to recognize the damage done and the willingness and ability to help heal and work towards a marriage that both partners can feel safe in. The BS, definitely needs to clearly communicate on the things that will make them start to feel safer. The WS will need to understand that the BS is wounded and hurt beyond measure, and that a wound of such depth will take time, patience and love to heal what the WS played the key role in creating.

So patience, kindness, and understanding...are needed...in order to move forward together...



awaggoner1999/Scarlett

 I don't think it makes any difference whether the marriage is being worked on, or whether one spouse or the other has 'left the building'

awaggoner1999: I think you put it perfectly here, I'm almost in this situation myself.  I was prepared to fight for my marriage and wanted to be able to put it behind us and make a fresh start. But it didn't seem to matter what I said or how much I tried.   For the first three months he was still at home with me, but I knew things were continuing between them and asked him to move out.  There was no way that I was going to live with him still doing this, and then coming home to me, still cooking, cleaning and washing for him, and for what?  But even after he left I still had empathy with him and wanted to be supportive should he have decided to recommit. 
Even in those early days I could see all the things he still can't, how the BS needs to ask all those questions, because it's part of a process that needs to be gone through.  That the WS needs to be as supportive as possible while this is going on, and most of all that both people need the support and empathy from each other to get through it all.
 
But he just doesn't understand why I need the full story and answers to questions, he's basically touched on this once and it seems that's all I'm going to get. Lately, he also feels that I might fling the affair in his face repeatedly in the future, and also that he feels he will be moody and hard to live with.  Could I live with that( he asked). Quick answer, who knows..but I know I'm not prepared to put up with his moods long term AND not be allowed to vent my feelings if I need to on occasion.
I would have wanted to be as supportive and as understanding as possible but it seems he might have different ideas of how I will be.

It's now eight months since he moved out, and nothing has changed, except, where I felt that he might possibly have been NOT contacting her, I now know it's started up again.  He's still in the fog, he still thinks, like Kal said in another post, that he is 'special' to her, that what they have is wonderful and real love, and that gives him a great big ego boost. And this is despite him knowing she won't leave her husband. But all I can see is that she is probably using him, to make herself feel good, to stoke her own ego and to know that she's still 'got it'. 
I don't know what he is waiting for, but the longer it goes on, I can see that the more he will be hurt and end up a lonely and bitter man himself.

But as for me, right now, I don't feel bitter. At times I am angry, but it's an anger born out of the frustration that I feel because he doesn't seem to see or hear what I'm saying.  I can't believe that he can't see, where the road with her is taking him. And the longer things go on the worse the anger becomes. Most of the time I keep it in though, and that gets me down. That's why I feel the time is fast approaching where we go our separate ways.
I just feel so incredibly sad that all my best efforts seem to have come to nothing, and that all I may have in the future, at least for a while, are some incredibly painful memories and a huge hole where my heart used to be.
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Graceandhope
My husband had ended the affair before I found out. He had decided to work to make things right. Even with that and him telling me and showing me that he was her and wanted to be here and trying to be better with all of us, it still took a long time to get moving in a good direction. He did try to not talk about things and things did not turn around or even feel like here was a possibility of being ok until he started facing what he did and why and actually talking to me.

You need to talk to her. Tell he what you are doing BEFORE you do it or before she has to ask what you are doing. Check in with her on how she is doing. Apologize! You already did ? Yeah, keep doing it. It will take a lot of them. Ask her what she needs. Tell her the truth, not softening it, we can feel it when it's the truth and it may hurt but it helps because we can feel when it s not quite right. Or at least I could.

It's a process.. She may need to feel your being open and honest and she may still test you, before she really makes the decision to stay. I still had a couple of freak out after we started talking but you have no idea how you undermined her. She needs to reconcile what you did , how she missed it or didn't face it, how she could have been so wrong about you, and your marriage .

It will probably get worse before it gets better and even then you'll have set backs.

I left once, thought about leaving many times, accused him of many things, and had a number of dark days. It wasnt until a couple of months ago that I really felt like I was committed to making this work. Don't get me wrong I really did not want to leave and I needed to know where he was at but I did not know that I could do it, especially if there was any doubt in his part.

You need to talk with her. Ask how to help her. If you want it to maybe work, humble yourself. You screwed up ( not a bad choice, not a mistake) she needs to figure out if she wants to forgive you.
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cwo2116
It's not easy, I didn't expect it too be easy, I don't want it to be easy cause if it was easy then it would mean there was no love. Yes, I was hoping it would be a little easier than it is. I was hoping she would by now be willing to show something, even just a little, of love back towards me. I have come to realize tho that it's not going to happen, not because she doesn't want to, but because she is scared too. She is scared cause I have not proven yet enough that I am a safe partner for her. That is no fault of her's at all. It is completely my fault cause I truly and totally destroyed her. Seeing her pain shows me just how much she loved me.

I have more too add to this but I need to go with her and pick up stuff for a new baby. Another sign that she does love me that, until I started reading the forums and really taking everything in, I would of completely missed. I'm not anywhere's close to where I need to be to make her feel safe, but I am getting there.

The advice from here has really helped.
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Angrywife
I have had that seemingly uncontrollable rage and then look at myself and don't even recognize the person behaving that way. It is very true that is is a defense mechanism. That the depth of that anger stems from some of the worst hurt imaginable. But underneath all of that, the reason we are able to have that much anger toward you, is because we love you. Without love for your spouse, they wouldn't have the capability of hurting you so much. The anger stems from that hurt. We feel violated, the innocence of our marriage stolen. We need understanding. We need to to be humble. No matter how many times we become angry. Understand where that anger is coming from. In my experience my spouse was humble at first but as time goes on he had become more and more defensive. Bringing up other marriage problems that intuition hit on earlier. That's not the big issue that needs resolving. It is true that you don't feel safe anymore to even begin addressing those issues. It feels like a blame game. It feels like justification for the the indidelity. It makes the betrayed spouse become even more angry and defensive. It's a vicious cycle. In my case, I don't want to hurt my spouse by the anger that sometimes spews from me, many times I feel very bad about it. Other times I think he deserves it. Try and have some patience with your betrayed spouse as she deals with her anger, get a third party involved that can help you with some communication skills.
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DP1122
I'm new here.  But blown away by what I'm reading. 

I am a serial cheater.  I have cheated numerous times in the past until I was caught.  Even then I denied it for years.  Then a few years ago I confirmed that I had cheated.  But I lied about that too.  I told her that it was one drunk time.  I've actually been faithful for the last four or five years, but my efforts to change are not good.  In an argument recently I realized that she would never trust me because I haven't been honest with her, and she knows that.  I confessed, and while it seems like I unwound the years of good lately, I think I have only uncovered that there has been no healing at all.  She seems to plan to stay with me, but I have lost her.  I think as I read Tim's comment about Trust=Time + the Right Stuff, that I'm not adding in all the right stuff. 

I don't see a lot of religion on here, but I did come back to the church when I stopped cheating.  I have just been hiding the truth because of the shame.  I have a hard time being honest with her.

Years ago when I first confessed, she was the one looking at sites like this.  I was trying to do my part, but I was angry and justifying my actions.  Blaming her even.  Now, she has pretty much given up.  The only thing I have is that she seems to plan to stay with me.  She says I can't hurt her anymore.  She says she just doesn't care.  She says she doesn't love me that way anymore. 

I know the first person I need to change is me.  She has told me to stop apologizing, and I've made a commitment to stop apologizing and show her.  As far as being a punching bag, she can punch the snot out of me.  I deserve every bit of it.  I am making a plan for myself.  Everything I do from now on is in the goal of restoring my marriage. 

I liked how Kalmarjan said that he now knows he would never cheat on his wife again while before he didn't.  I thought I wouldn't before, but I was never really sure.  I feel positive that I won't again.

I have dragged this out longer that I should.  That has probably been worse than the actual cheating.  I have to change.
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Guiltguilt
Do you have to, or want to? That's the question you have to ask yourself. The answer isn't often straight forward.
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TimT
DP1122 wrote:
...She says I can't hurt her anymore.  She says she just doesn't care.  She says she doesn't love me that way anymore. 

I know the first person I need to change is me.  She has told me to stop apologizing, and I've made a commitment to stop apologizing and show her.  As far as being a punching bag, she can punch the snot out of me.  I deserve every bit of it.  I am making a plan for myself.  Everything I do from now on is in the goal of restoring my marriage...

I applaud your single-mindedness in working to heal your marriage. My encouragement to you would be to stay on that course and nurture the desire to do so because you believe it is consistent with the way you want to love, the kind of man you want to be.

I make that distinction because in the end you cannot control your wife's response to it. I would hope that, in time, she will come to trust you and allow herself to be vulnerable to you again. That is the only way you will be able to return to an intimate relationship together.

She will have to decide whether or not she is willing to move toward forgiveness and trust. It certainly is not required of her. For some, the pain of betrayal is great enough that they refuse to put themselves at risk again.

I hope you will continue to show her that you can be trusted. As you do, I hope she will be willing to open her heart to you again.
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DP1122
GuiltGuilt, the answer to that isn't straightforward, but it's both.  I want to change because I hate the person I am.  I have to change, not just because I want my marriage to be restored, but also I either change or my life goes back down that path to a point where I can never come back. At that point I lose not just my marriage but my soul.

Tim, my plan is to do so.  As I said, I think to do anything else is but a "death" sentence for myself.
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Kalmarjan
Well... Have to is a strong phrase. Why? What will happen if you don't? Who are you trying g to impress? In the end, who cares, but you?

I know what you are going through, I went through it myself. But, the question should be how far are you willing to go to change? How deep will you look at yourself in order to change?

It will come from within. Bottom line is that any relation you have will resolve how it needs to, eventually. That's because it is how it is supposed to be. Period. You may be able to prolonge the inevitable, but it will always come to how it has to be

So, the question I'd ask myself in your place is, why do I cheat? The away all the justification, bullsh+t answers, blame, blame shifting... And just look at it.

What helped me immensely were two books. First, No More Mr Nice Guy, and Taming the Outer Child.

Those two books helped me to realize what drove me to what I was doing. Why, and what triggered it. Then, it became a point of where I think the biggest hurdle to my recovery was.... The ability to forgive myself.

Until that, you hang on the guilt and it serves only to cover your pain. You wallow in the guilt and get nowhere. You don't "have" to do anything. At the end, you only answer to you.

Check out those books, and the resources here as a start. As always, we are here to help.
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