Any resources for WS

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Registered: 06-02-2012
Any resources for WS
8
Mon, 10-08-2012 - 12:47pm
Does anyone have any books or movies or anything for the WS that helped them understand your hurt? My H is trying to be supportive and comforting but I do not feel that he REALLY understands the level of betrayal and hurt he has caused. He says he was horrible and how wrong he was and how sorry and so on. I guess since I am unable to find the words to describe just how devasted and broken I felt, how your world is just turned upside out, shaken and smashed. If I can't describe it how can he understand? Am I expecting too much?
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Registered: 06-02-2012
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 7:25pm
BlueSky Wow! That was really insightful and helped me think about some things. We have turned a new leaf and are working on being soo much better to each other. The biggest thing right now are the triggers, and like Pater said, feeling like there is "something else." Perhaps it is H shame of what he did or just not being able to deal witht the hurt he has caused, but I feel he is still guarded and it doesn't make me feel safe. It makes me feel sad and alone and it makes those ugly thoughts and doubts easily creep into my mind. I look forward to feeling like he is quiet because here is nothing else to say not because he is walking on egg shells. Like he is being vulnerable and again like Pater said, confiding in ME. Thank you all again for your advice. I feel this will help us move on to the next level of truely deep rebuilding.

Thank you
Bettie
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Registered: 09-12-2008
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 5:04pm

blueskyabove,

Great post. I found that the farther away from D-Day, the more wisdom I found in the 180 and advice I received by people on this list. I found some truth in that after a long period of time (and in my case 18 years), that my spouse was not the same person that I married, nor would she ever be that girl again. Nor me for that matter. My spouse began listening to people who were giving her really bad advice. When the house of cards crashed, she was alone, vulnerable, and had really messed up. Lying to people was her protection. I sorted out the biggest part of it quickly.

What I found was that the main things I really needed to know was when the affairs started, when they ended, who they were and that she wasn’t going to do this anymore. The more information I learned beyond that has had lasting consequences. If I could go back, I would try and stick to these basics for my own wellbeing.

I remember saying “Is there anything else?” The answer was always no, but there was, and always is, going to be “Something else.” That “something else” is usually related to unnecessary pain.  

Sometime after D-Day, I took a week off from my work and she and I took a trip with an agreed attempt by both parties to talk about things. After a week of really trying to be nice to each other, listen like crazy to each other, we had this moment when she finally told me what, in her mind, was the rest of the “something else.” She--and this is important--She told me about the really hard things why she did what she did and about the problems she felt that she created for herself and for us, and how she had formed feelings for the final affair partner and how screwed up her head was. She told me these things as one friend would tell another, and instead of it really hurting like all the other times she told me hard things, remarkably, it didn’t really hurt as badly this time. I became her confidant instead of him now. I was the one she was trusting with her secrets, and at the end, she apologized for it all. It was a game changer for both of us because we were equals in the conversation. I wasn’t demanding answers, and she wasn’t hiding anything. Things were returning to her-and-I against the world. We had bad times after that, but we also began having really normal times. Normal times are really important in rebuilding.

I’m four years own now. I can’t imagine asking my spouse “Is there anything else?” That just isn’t going to be our discussion now. Our discussions are so really normal now. Kids, school, work, adventures, normal stuff, but there is no way to get to where we are now without having had the really long hard talks about how things got all screwed up, and what is now our bottom line behavior that we expect from each other. The forgiveness offered by both parties, and allowing normalcy to creep back into daily life. A spouse can’t go through life anticipating to be ambushed at any moment about their affair, or conversely, having affair information fall into the BS lap because of unresolved issues by the WS.    

Thomas

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

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Registered: 08-24-2007
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 2:39pm

bettie6057,

The book "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair:  A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful" by Linda J. MacDonald was very helpful.  It's less than 100 pages which is helpful for getting the WS to read it as it doesn't appear overwhelmingly difficult to them.  IMO this is one of the deterents in rebuilding that isn't apparent to the BS in the earyly stages...especially if the WS is remorseful and truly wants to rebuild the marriage...they're just as overwhelmed as the BS.  There's a lot of help available for the BS, but very little for the WS.

Speaking from my own experience there seems to be a general consensus that the WSs are in complete control of their falculties and emotions, and have available to them all the reasons as to why they chose to have an affair.  While this might be true in an Exit affair, it isn't true in all affairs.  IMO, most WS have poor coping skills when it comes to dealing with problems and chose to play in fantasyland rather than face personal issues.  If I'm right, then it should be fairly easy to understand that they don't have a clue as to how they can help their spouse heal from the trauma they themselves have caused.  Again, I'm speaking only about the WSs that are remorseful.  I have come to understand that shame, especially for male WSs, is a big stumbling block.  Most men aren't comfortable dealing with emotions and do not have the words to express their feelings.  If you, as a woman, don't feel capable of describing how you feel, then maybe this can help you sympathize with your H's predicament.

Are you expecting too much?  IDK, I guess it depends on how much you care about yourself, your H, and your marrriage.  I firmly believe that if you care about someone then you hold them accountable.  I also believe this is why most affairs don't last...the affair partners dont care enough about the other person in the affair to hold them accountable.  Think about it:  if you care about someone do you want to watch them destroy their life, would you HELP them destroy their life?  For most of us the answer is obvious---No.  But........

Affairs are all about the individual.  Me, me, me.  What can "I" get out of this?  It has nothing to do with the BS or even the affair partner.  It's just about me.  Who really finds that sort of person attractive?  Who have you ever known that has openly stated that they wanted a relationship with someone who was completely self-centered, who lies, cheats, and steals?  On the other hand, as a WS, how do you continue to even like someone who finds your behavior acceptable to them and doesn't hold you to a higher standard?

Don't we all have dreams of grandeur?  Deep down, don't we all want to be a better person than we perceive ourselves to be?  HOW does a person resolve the inner conflict of having an affair and being a good, decent person, and maybe more importantly, the good, decent person your spouse thought they married?  Knowing what I know now, I'd rather be a BS than have to deal with being a known cheat and liar.  If that wasn't my inherent nature then the repercussions of living with myself would be painful for me.  I think I would need a lot help to recover.  This leads me to another helpful book:

"How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It" by Patricia Love andSteven Stosny

It isn't a book about affairs per se, but it was incredibly informative as to the dynamics in male/female relationships. According to the authors, a woman's fear and a man's shame are the driving forces behind a couple's disconnection with each other. These are core vulnerabilities in the sexes.  Understanding your spouse's vulnerability leads to compassion which leads to intimacy and love.  You're scared, right?  Your H is probably ashamed.  If your goal is to stay married and have a thriving, successful relationship with your spouse then I believe this book will be invaluable to both of you.

Good luck!

 

 

Nothing has any meaning save the meaning I give it.

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Registered: 02-22-1999
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 7:44pm
I hear ya. The whole avoiding thing if my h. He just doesn't know what to do so he does nothing.
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Registered: 06-02-2012
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 6:50pm

Thank you both for your suggestions. I looked them up right away and I know they will all be great since I could barely get past the intros with out wanting to break down and cry. Crying as I type actually. The whole dicovery process has been a  nightmare and since my H came from a family of avoiders and liars, he did everything wrong after DDay. So he is trying to learn a whole new way of handling things and being vulnerable but he is still doing things wrong, that hurt. For example when he sees me experienceing a trigger he freezes, not knowing what to do, or say, or not wanting to "make matters worse." 

If he would only understand just how horribele it is for me he would understand it can't get much worse. And when he freezes it makes me feel alone and that he doesn't care and that he wishes I would just "get over it." He assures me this isn't the case but simply a case of not knowing what to do. 

Again thanks for your suggestions.

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Registered: 02-22-1999
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 6:14pm
I like how to help your spouse heal from your affair. My H really isn't interested in revisiting his A. He has moved past it and while he knows I still go through some stuff he doesn't want to analyze it. Honestly I don't think he wants to truely understand how bad he hurt me. HOWEVER if your spouse is open to wanting to help you I think this is a.great resource.
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Registered: 09-12-2008
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 5:24pm
Yes,

The most comprehensive book for us was "Getting Past the Affair." It had lots of materials for both WS and the BS. In fact, when we finally read it together it helped us wrap our minds around each others struggle.

I don't really know why, but my spouse loved the book "Forgive and Forget" by Smeads. She devoured it and wanted to read it to me after I had already read it. She took a lot more from it as the WS than I ever took from it as a BS.

Thomas

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