Question for those 1yr + into rebuilding

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2009
Question for those 1yr + into rebuilding
37
Tue, 03-17-2009 - 4:38pm

I want to ask, do you feel that your WS has been 'punished' either through guilt or remorse or anything else enough

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Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 03-17-2009 - 10:58pm

I never thought of what was happening as punishment for him, actually, it felt more like I was being punished for his bad decisions. Gradually, he came out of the fog and began to understand why what he did was wrong and take responsibility for it. As he did this, I began to heal. Knowing that he was remorseful and doing his best to help me heal went a long way towards helping me heal.

One day, about a year and a half ago, I realized I had my spring back. I have always had a natural spring in my step, but it disappeared after Dday. Then on another day, I went a whole day not thinking about it. Pretty soon, it was no longer the last thing I thought about before going to sleep and the first thing I thought about getting up. The key is that when that happens do not intentionally revisit it. Let it go and be glad it is gone. Then there was a week without talking about it, then a month, then months went by and it never entered the conversation. I was always pleasantly surprised when this happened.

I promise it does happen. True, normal resembles nothing like what was normal before the A, but much of that is due to changes we have made in our lives much of which have nothing to do with the A. We would have made changes if the A happened or not, so I cannot grieve not having what we had before.

The potential hurt to me was never a deterrent for DH. As an A happens, WS simply don't let themselves think about how this might affect them long term. Some do, but it doesn't stop them. I am glad that DH finally got that I was deeply hurt and more importantly WHY I was deeply hurt. I think that was part of him coming out of the fog. I think the biggest deterrent was the possibility of loosing me. That was what motivated him to figure out why he allowed it to happen and then develop strategies for keeping it from happening again.

You were hurt and talking about it is what helps you heal. Don't do it to punish him or to keep reminding him of the pain he caused. You don't have to. But, do talk about it when you need to for your own healing. When you are ready to let go of the pain, you will know it, and then you will find forgiveness and a new normal.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2009
Wed, 03-18-2009 - 4:39pm
Thanks Pamm. It's going pretty good. Thanks.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2007
Sun, 03-22-2009 - 3:27pm

A lot of what pamme said is similar to how I've felt as well. There was a time very early on where I was so angry and hurt that I suppose there was part of me that wanted him to "suffer" a bit (like I wished he could feel what I was feeling), but at the same time, I don't think there was ever a time that I wanted him to be "punished", and I don't feel that anything that has gone on in rebuilding was some sort of punishment for him.

I guess I've just never thought of an affair as being something where the WS receives their "punishment", and then it's over and you move on. I guess I've never felt that it was like they had committed some crime, and they "do their time", and that's it. To me, it's more felt like we both had to work through anguish and pain, and we both had to learn how to live in a new way, and within a new reality.

Some changes that were made earlier on helped me to feel more reassured that he wouldn't do something like this again (that he didn't WANT to), and some changes were made so that we could have a better relationship, and one where it felt like it was "working" for both of us. From there over time as I've healed, and as we've worked through the aftermath of the affair, and as time has gone by where he hasn't done anything he "shouldn't" (no NEW hurts), gradually the affair was discussed less and less, and I've thought about it less and less. We went through a time where we weren't talking about it anywhere near as much, but it was still on my mind quite often (I just didn't feel like talking about it anymore). Then from there, it's like the amount of time that I spent thinking about it lessened gradually to where now... I hardly think about it at all anymore. Pretty much I only think about it when I come here, and maybe once in awhile other than that. It's only very rarely where he and I talk about it, and even then, it might only be a couple of sentences and that's it.

I think we talk about it and think about it as long as we need to. Once we've "worked it out" within ourselves, I think that's when we sort of naturally just stop talking about it or thinking about it.

It's hard to describe what it's like with H and I now, but if I try, it's like we are "back to normal" in a WAY... but it's sort of like it's a NEW normal. It's not the same as before, and never will be, but that's not only "OK" with me- I'm GLAD about it. Because in a lot of ways the new normal is better than the old one. I now feel like we've returned to normal life, but things are much different than they used to be. We're not on a roller coaster anymore, and this new changed life that we've built now feels "normal" and natural to me.

Val

Val                                   &n

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2009
Mon, 03-23-2009 - 8:50am
Thank you Val.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2007
Tue, 03-24-2009 - 3:32pm

Hey G-

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Maybe it's just me, but I think there's a difference between throwing it up in their face or rubbing their nose it, from talking about our feelings and discussing it. I think a lot depends on the context of the conversation, and the delivery.

Like, if we were to be triggered by something and we said to them, "When this or that happened today, I started to feel anxious or angry or hurt, etc", I guess I don't see that as throwing it up in their face. If we are telling them where our heads are at, and maybe looking to talk with them where afterward we might be feeling better because it helped soothe some of those emotions, I guess I don't see anything wrong with that at all. In fact, I've found conversations like that to be quite productive, where it felt like my H and I were working through it together and were pulling closer.

Now, if a long period of time had gone by and we were still frequently making remarks that were somewhat "snarky" or "confrontational"... those are the types of comments or conversations that I would consider as rubbing their nose in it. Like, if the BS might have some part of them inside that intended to cause harm or bad feelings with their words.

If we are only talking about how we feel, and because we are ultimately looking for a way to work through that, and in response the WS feels badly for what they've done, I don't think that's us "punishing" them. I think those feelings of remorse in the WS are the consequences of what they've done. If we aren't purposely intending to incite remorseful feelings in our WS but they are feeling remorse, I think that is more just a result of what they've done.

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I did that for awhile too, and what I came to sort of figure out was, part of it was that I did still need to talk about it then because there were still things I needed to work through. Sometimes it was because I would feel anxious and would suppress it because I didn't want to bring it up to H, and then it would build up until it felt like I couldn't hold it in anymore. And, another part was, I went through a phase for awhile where I was afraid to let my guard down further. Once some time had passed and things had been consistently good for awhile, it was like I felt like I should start relaxing back into the relationship more, and like I should be letting my guard down more emotionally. But it was like I would start to, and would "catch" myself doing it, and it was almost like there was this little voice inside me saying, "Don't do that! Look out!" It was like I would start to relax, and then my mind would go back to or remember the pain, and I think it was like a defense mechanism. Like my mind was reminding me of the past pain to try to have me keep my guard up to "protect" me from that pain happening again.

I'm not sure exactly how that "got better", but I do think it started to help once I realized that's what was happening and recognized it. Then as more time went on, I just gradually found myself relaxing into that "new normal".

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With these past hurts... I've also never been the type of person that could just say "what's done is done" and just go on like nothing ever happened. I don't know if it's a "female" thing, or if it's more of a personality type, but I'm just not made that way.

Coming from that perspective, I've found that I CAN completely let go of past hurts once I've worked through it. But it won't happen UNTIL I've worked through it. And it "took" different things for me to work through different past hurts. Just from my own experience, and what happened to work for me with my own "personality type" or whatever, I do know I needed to be actively trying to work through it though. I had to sometimes look at what was bothering me and try to get to the bottom of it, and then look for solutions or things I could try. I think if I hadn't done that, and had instead held onto those hurts rather than looked for ways to really TRY to work through them and let them go, I probably would still be feeling angry, resentful, or hurt a lot of the time. It really did take a conscious effort to work through and let go of this stuff, and after awhile it started to feel and happen more naturally. Coming here helped me, and writing in a journal to sort things out I found to be really helpful too. And I also think a big part of it was I had to come to a place where I decided I didn't want to let those things bother me anymore. Where I was doing it for me, because I didn't want to be angry or resentful anymore.

I don't know if anything I said in there helped or not, but I hope something did. :)

Take care-

Val

Val                                   &n

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-08-2008
Sun, 03-29-2009 - 11:18am

Hi G,


I know this post is a bit "late" since you started it. I read it right before we were leaving for vacation and had no time to respond, but

S
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2009
Mon, 03-30-2009 - 5:41pm

Thanks for the advice. I will use those words exactly, "When you said this, it made me feel hurt".

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2009
Mon, 03-30-2009 - 7:31pm

Thanks so much devastatedstill for your comforting words. It's good to know there are others feeling as I do.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-08-2008
Mon, 03-30-2009 - 8:41pm

Georgiannasx,


I have been anxious to hear back from you. I think I remember you from a while back as well.......I believe we have both been married for close to 30 years....You made me feel good

S
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2008
Tue, 03-31-2009 - 2:10am

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