Question that H and I are struggling w/

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Registered: 09-16-2009
Question that H and I are struggling w/
Thu, 10-29-2009 - 4:00pm

Okay, this seems like such an elementary question, I'm sort of embarrassed to

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-16-2006
Thu, 10-29-2009 - 5:20pm

Oh Ties, this is such a struggle; I remember it well.

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Registered: 02-04-2009
Thu, 10-29-2009 - 9:41pm

This is a tough one, and I think it's yet another thing that's situational and dependent upon a hard look at the person you're with. It's something I've struggled with. We often talk about our WS's being flawed, and the A being connected to that flaw. How big is that flaw? Is it something that's small enough and sufficiently shallow to actually fix, or is it deeply rooted and part of our S to his/her core? I say this because one of the things that Phd has been very insistent on from the beginning is the idea that W may well think she loves me, but does not feel or experience love in the same way as do I. I'm still grappling with that, but it's starting to make more sense to me, and I'm starting to feel that Phd may just be right. How flawed is flawed? What's the nature of that flaw? We know some of our S's successfully rehabilitate. We know some of them try really hard but can't quite make that jump. We know some of them never even actually try.

Sorry, I haven't presented much in the way of answers. I guess that's why I'm still struggling with it.

"If something cannot go on forever, it will stop."

"If something cannot go on forever, it will stop."  Herb Stein

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Registered: 02-01-2008
Sat, 10-31-2009 - 7:40pm

I'm kind of brainstorming here, but only have a couple of minutes before we're off to trick-or-treat, so here goes and hopefully this will make some sense.

One thing I realized during this rebuilding process is that when I am upset about things, I often think about my H: What is he upset about?, What is he thinking about me?, What will he do from here?

And when my H is upset, I think he mostly thinks about HIM, too: Why is this happening to him? Why does he do this?

I think is pretty typical addict/co-addict thinking. He is basically selfish, and I am basing my actions on him.

I think it is important in the rebuilding process that things get more even: You have to spend time thinking about YOU and taking care of YOU. The WS has to spend time thinking about YOU and taking care of YOU.

I think that if you see your H taking actions that indicate that he is truly thinking about YOU on a more consistent basis, you are making headway, and maybe he really does love you.

I also think it is much easier to trust someone when they prove that they are thinking about YOU on a consistent basis. I think someone who cheats has to be pretty wrapped up in themself at the time.

So, don't know if that helps, but I appreciate your post and making me think this through. Love is such a difficult (impossible?) thing to define, but I think it does us all good to think about what it means in a practical sense.

Avatar for pater_familia
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Registered: 09-12-2008
Sun, 11-01-2009 - 10:23am

I would like to add to the brainstorming aspect of this thread.

Right after the affair my spouse and I began to tell each other what it was that we were missing "right at that moment" in our rebuilding. I came up with "ASSURANCES," and "kindness." (I didn't know how to articulate what I wanted then but "kindness" meant TOUCH. I needed physical touch from her as part of the assurances that the reason why she touched the other men was because she wasn't repulsed by me. She needed "affirmation" and "fun."

We struggled to do this for each other but at least we had words in which we could shoot for.

I think that what you may be trying to articulate is that you want assurances that what he's doing is authentic. Maybe I'm not hitting it on the head but that's what it sounds like to me.

Personally I found that one tactic for us is to read some of the self help books together. When she stops the reading and expresses how some aspect of the book reflects her in some way. Positive or negative. I find that the bridge from fantasyland and the authentic world gets shorter for both of us.

I hear her narratives about what makes her happy change over time.

Right after the A, we took the 10 year-old twins roller-skating. She said that night that she wanted other people to see us having fun as a family and how important that was to her. NOW a year later, I don't hear her saying that sort of thing about wanting outsiders to envy us. I think this has to do with the fact that I'm giving her the affirmation she was missing from me from before and she's not having to look to outside sources (like other men) for her self esteem. Being able to see this in her helps me to feel that we are doing something authentic.


5 kids ages 16-10, D Day: August, 2008

What I'm doing to rebuild: Therapy, Books, Exercise, Forgiveness.


We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.