where to draw the line..

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2009
where to draw the line..
7
Thu, 03-12-2009 - 5:59pm

I am wondering where to draw the line between compassion for my h and making him accept the actual consequences of his actions (affairs).


We went to therapy last night and the psychologist said to my h that he wasn't all bad, that he hadn't beat me and that he had been a good provider and father.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-01-2008
Fri, 03-13-2009 - 12:14am

I don't know if I can be of much help, but I could relate to a lot of what you were saying, so at least I'd like to say that you're not alone!

How long have you been married and do you have any kids? I ask because the road ahead of you may be a difficult and long one. I have been married for 23 years and have two kids, so I am heavily invested in working things out with my H. If you are not so invested, you may want to see a counselor individually to decide if this is something you want to continue working on.

"There seems to be a common thread here of one partner doing most of the work in the relationship." My H has an addictive personality, and I of course tend to fall into the role of co-dependent. I realized the other day that one of the things that this means is that when we are dealing with something, he tends to think about him and how it makes him feel, and how terrible he is for what he did, etc. And I tend to think about, of course, HIM and what he did and how it effects HIM and what is he thinking, etc. I'm not sure how that ever changes, but I think it's good to be aware of it being there, and I know that I times I have to take care of ME regardless of what he does.

A book that has given me a lot of insight is "Healing the Shame that Binds You" by John Bradshaw. His solutions take a lot of work and counseling, something my H is not up to at this point, but we both found the book very interesting. I read excepts to my H over a weekend while he was doing a home project, and it was amazing how much of it rang true. If nothing else, it gave us some perspective on my H personality and a feeling of knowing that there are other people out there that have the same problems that he does.

I think the minimizing is very typical especially for someone with low self-esteem. My H had a realization of how much he had hurt me and how much what he had done had effected me, and he was extremely depressed about it and still is to some extent. We all try to avoid that kind of pain whenever we can.

As far as perspective, I struggle with that all the time. For 20 plus years I thought we had this wonderful relationship and that my H truly had "forsaken all others" for me. I was very comfortable with him talking to other women at parties and such (he never went over-board in front of me) and trusted him. Then when I found out he had cheated on me multiple times during those 20 years I was in shock. I still don't really know what to make of it all. Maybe it's because the WS can compartmentalize it all and we can't.

I am sorry that you find yourself here, but wish you the best. Keep us posted.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2007
Fri, 03-13-2009 - 8:49am

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2009
Fri, 03-13-2009 - 10:09am

Thanks for your good advice.


We have been married 34 years and have 2 kids, the youngest a sophomore in college, the oldest is an attorney working as a Public Defender.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2009
Fri, 03-13-2009 - 10:21am

Thanks again for answering.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-10-2009
Sun, 03-15-2009 - 5:28pm

This sounds so much like my H. he had a terribly lonely childhood, not much acceptance from his father and an overprotective nervous mother(both were Holocaust survivors.) This has caused him much damage. It's amazing how our childhoods shape us into the adults we become.

My H 's therapist also said he wasn't evil which really is true- after all, they are not serial killers, just serial cheaters! Your H is probably acting out of remorse and love, he does need to accept his mistakes before he can change. I am going to tell my H tonight that he can stay FOR NOW, but if he slips up and doesn't tell me or his therapist immediately and continue in therapy, we will get divorced.

They need to understand their flaws, accept them, and rebuild their self -esteem. is your H in individual therapy? Also, he has to be completely honest w/his therapist otherwise it won't work. My H wasn't completely honest the 1st time around, but now he is. I know this b/c he has given his therapist
permission to speak w/my therapist.

I hope this helps- you have been so helpful to me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Sun, 03-15-2009 - 7:01pm
It's all well and good the therapist is telling your husband he's not all bad, but emotional abuse hurts down to the bones.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-10-2009
Sun, 03-15-2009 - 8:05pm
I love what you've written here, myradorn. It applies to my situation as well.It is so true that they cheat b/c something is missing inside of them. Even my H said that something "flipped the switch" and caused him to do this and he wants to find out what ,why, and how to stop.