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TimT
SuzieQ wrote:
...But I see he's trying. I know he's followed the NC. I know he wants his feeling for her to go away. So I'm still here. But I feel like a twig about to snap. The load is getting to be too much to bear. But when he confesses that sometimes he's worried he'll feel like she's "the one that got away" I'm so hurt. So discouraged...

An encouragement and a caution...

Encouragement: What your husband is expressing (the fear of the OW being the one that got away) is an honest expression of what many unfaithful spouses feel after breaking an affair with a strong emotional connection. He's being honest about that and it CAN change if he is being attentive to the right things. 

By the way, you he doesn't need to be telling you how much he misses the OW. That's probably not too helpful to you to hear. But you can ask him to simply give some sort of honest measure (scale of 0-10) in regard to his feelings of longing/desire for her and for you. An honest answer here will hurt, too. It would common to have an early answer that is something like this: 9 for the OW, 5 for you. But this should shift as time goes on.

IF HE BELIEVES THAT CHOOSING YOU is consistent with who he is and the story he wants to tell, then there will be a shifting of those emotions in time as you both begin to act in ways that are consistent with that better story.

Caution: If your husband is only doing this because it is "the right thing to do" and doesn't shift from that motivation... and if he privately invests time & thoughts into the OW and longing for that relationship... then you may not see a shift in the desire ratings. If over the following weeks his longing for her does not begin to diminish and his desire for you and the marriage increase, then you probably need to establish boundaries, even at the risk of seeing him return to the OW. 

He cannot continue to carry emotional regret over losing her. You must not become a consolation prize. That will never be satisfying to either one of you and your marriage will likely remain vulnerable.
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