Lookingahead
Why is it so difficult to give your WS credit for the work they are doing to repair the damage they have done? I want to acknowledge his efforts and all of the things he has done to show remorse, guilt, shame and sorrow and I do this from time to time as I believe he does need to hear it. However, when something comes up in discussion and he asks me if he's done anything since to make me believe he is anything less than committed, well, I find it very difficult to say "I believe you". When he asks if I think we will make it, even though I believe we will, I hesitate before saying yes or depending on my mood I'll say "I hope so". It's as though I want to give him a little, but not too much. At least not just yet. 

Is this normal? 
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Ginger
Because they have single handedly destroyed everything you believe in once already.
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TimT
Lookingahead wrote:
Why is it so difficult to give your WS credit for the work they are doing to repair the damage they have done? I want to acknowledge his efforts and all of the things he has done to show remorse, guilt, shame and sorrow and I do this from time to time as I believe he does need to hear it. However, when something comes up in discussion and he asks me if he's done anything since to make me believe he is anything less than committed, well, I find it very difficult to say "I believe you". When he asks if I think we will make it, even though I believe we will, I hesitate before saying yes or depending on my mood I'll say "I hope so". It's as though I want to give him a little, but not too much. At least not just yet. Is this normal? 
Yes, it's normal. It takes time to forgive, heal, and trust again. 

But don't confuse the normal experience with healing change. The fact that you "want to acknowledge his efforts and all the things he has done..." is a good thing! Pay attention to that longing because it will lead you toward empathy and encouragement. And your right: he does need those things from you. He may not deserve it, but renewing a marriage requires grace, not justice.

Even if you have a hard time acting that way now, at least be vulnerable enough to tell your husband that you know that's what he wants and that you want to give them to him. He will be encouraged to know that you want those things rather than wondering if things will ever change.

This is why affair healing is a joint project. The unfaithful spouse cannot do it on their own. They have tremendous responsibility to comfort and rebuild trust, but there are things that can only be done by the betrayed spouse. It's hard work for both, but it's worth it.

Get help if you need it.
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Lookingahead
I have been very open and honest with my husband that I 100% want this to work. I want our marriage and am working daily to heal and hopefully forgive his actions. I actually feel forgiveness has begun although it is such a confusing thing to know how to express that to him without falsely making him feel as though ALL is forgiven. I have made the choice to forgive and have clarity. Now it's about making the effort to keep going forward. I have yet to let go of all resentment although it rears it's ugly head less and less. I mark my words and and am as mindful as I can be to not say things in a way to hurt rather than continue to communicate the pain in a healing way. It's so difficult. 

So, yes, I think I am stuck at times not wanting to be vulnerable. I don't want him to forget what he did, yet I don't want to exact justice. I simply want him to ride this roller coaster with me as we heal and not assume all is well because I suddenly "believe" what he says is true, even if deep down I think I believe him. I really do believe he does not want to do this ever again. I see all his changes and efforts to help me through my pain and repair the damage he has caused our family. He has said repeatedly that he cannot stand the thought of having to pick his wife up off the floor again because she cannot stand due to the pain he has inflicted. He has never known his own such pain, guilt or shame and although his parents NEVER taught him consequences he clearly sees there are many. 

When I look at him I see all of the wonderful things I fell in love with. I also see a man who has never worked so hard to change his own behaviors and live a value based life as his IC is teaching him. I have never ever seen him be so honest and transparent. I have never seen him be so selfless. Perhaps I need to say these things to him and let go of some of my vulnerability to give him encouragement. After all, this is the man I love and he needs these expressions of encouragement to keep going, not just for me but for himself - right?
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