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Re: Card29 VII [Re: Wonka] #2517876
12/16/14 09:30 PM
12/16/14 09:30 PM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 898
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Card29 Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Wonka
Card,

You're doing really good. Easy does it. You two won't resolve this problem that's been years in the making in one week.

You might want to join a porn addiction group online to get support in trying to work with your W in regaining her trust.

Keep going, buddy.

I did about 4 months ago, and the things I've learned and practiced from that have helped more than anything I've tried since I was a 15 year old kid first discovering porn. I tried will power for years, I tried accountability groups, I tried internet filters. Will power can only work for a few weeks at most, LOL at internet filters (where there's a will, there's a way), and accountability only gave me more shame, which just made me lie to accountability partners (friends from church, etc.). I am the sexually healthiest I've been in my adult life, still a long way to go.

Tonight, WAW is very hurt and angry. Tonight was supposed to be her's with D2, but she asked me to get her from school "Because I think I will really upset D2 if she's over here." I asked if she's crying a lot and she said, "Not your concern." I simply said Okay and agreed to get D2.


Me 30, STBX 30
D3
M 8 years
BD 6/3/14
S 7/26/14
Off-and-on. PA since BD. Possibly "off" since Winter 2015?
Light Switch/I'm Over Her 12/31/14
D finalized 1/10/16
Re: Card29 VII [Re: Card29] #2517881
12/16/14 09:44 PM
12/16/14 09:44 PM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,339
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uRworthy Offline
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Card, not sure why you asked if she was crying a lot.

Leave her to sort this out. She is working through it. You need to let her.

You are going to see more anger, I would bet. Dont try to fix it. Listen, validate and then listen some more.

Re: Card29 VII [Re: uRworthy] #2517890
12/16/14 10:29 PM
12/16/14 10:29 PM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 898
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Originally Posted By: uRworthy
This has to be about her. She keeps saying she felt violated. The fact that she keeps repeating it leads me to believe that she isnt feeling validated on this.

It is best to keep it simple,"I am so sorry you are hurting. It was never my intent to make you feel that way. I was wrong to look at porn and put it before my wife. I know that caused a great deal of problems between us."

It is really important that she feels heard. This is really, really difficult for a woman, C. Its why she is asking if she was a good wife. She feels that it is her fault in some way.
That it was because she was lacking.


I will make sure to validate her any chance I get. Thank you for the insight.

Originally Posted By: uRworthy
Originally Posted By: Card29

I told her that she took her frustrations out on me for a long time, even ones that had nothing to do with me, and that drove me away for her for a long time.


I would imagine she was frustrated with the way your marriage was and knowing what you did. Be careful there.


That's true. She asked, so I told her very simply without too much emotion behind it. I'll have those conversations with her only if she really wants to talk. Like you said, right now this is about her. But in case you didn't follow my sitch very closely, she has battled depression for years, even before I met her. I'm sure the lack of intimacy made it worse. I'm definitely not bringing up her depression right now. That is for a totally different conversation, if it ever gets there. She is trying to deal with it, seeing a psych and taking meds. I would love to support her, I know I can't fix it. I didn't bring it up, though, because I know she is very insecure and the last thing I want is for her to feel guilty about her depression.

Originally Posted By: uRworth
Originally Posted By: Card29
I think I could have overcome my porn habit a long time ago if she had met me with love on the topic. Instead she just expressed her disgust.


I know you didnt say that to her, but, I am concerned that you are thinking that. It sounds as if you are blaming her. I would imagine it would be very difficult to meet that topic with love. It is a very hurtful act that clearly made her feel as if she wasnt enough.


I definitely do not blame her. It wasn't just with porn confessions - she met just about any failure or limitation of mine with anger, judgment, etc. For example, last Christmas we decided to try to sing Christmas songs to D2 while I played them on piano. I normally play by myself. I was a little nervous, so I kept screwing up, and she got extremely mad and just left the room after a couple of minutes. That kind of thing happened regularly.

But I definitely understand your point that it might be impossible for her to meet the porn topic with love. She obviously sees it on a similar plane as having an affair, which I would not expect her to react with love towards. Hopefully this is a moot point, though...if my current flight away from porn succeeds permanently, I would never have to worry about how W reacts to a porn confession again.

Originally Posted By: uRworthy
A woman needs intimacy before the physical, C. She needs to feel connected, loved, cherished. She didnt feel that.

As I said, this has to be about her right now. There should not be anything from you to imply that if you got back together, things would be different. She will think, "Yea, right."

You need to show her that you have changed. She needs to see something different than what she has seen before. And she needs to see it over a long period of time. She needs to feel heard.

Her trust has been broken. You have to earn it back. You do that with consistent actions over time.


Here's my plan for that: I will continue to focus on myself, focus on my 180's (no porn or inappropriate thoughts ... intentional, thoughtful listening ... no angry outbursts ... validations of her feelings ... "No More Mr Nice Guy"). I will continue to utilize and practice my new traits in everyday life, not just when I'm around her (which isn't that often right now, except for this week, moving week). I will not try to simply think of what she needs to see and act that out. That won't last, and she can see through BS from me.

Originally Posted By: uRworthy
Let her lead. Do not get pulled into convos like the one about whether she was a good wife. That just leads to problems. No matter what you say right now, she is going to think she wasnt a good one because she wasnt enough.


So if she brings it up again in this context, my strategy should be to validate her feelings, briefly validate her as a wife, but primarly put the blame of my behavior back on me?

Originally Posted By: uRworthy
Treat her respectfully and with dignity. Show her compassion, strength and honor.

You can do this, C.


Thank you for the kind words, and for spending so much time and putting so much thought into your responses.


Me 30, STBX 30
D3
M 8 years
BD 6/3/14
S 7/26/14
Off-and-on. PA since BD. Possibly "off" since Winter 2015?
Light Switch/I'm Over Her 12/31/14
D finalized 1/10/16
Re: Card29 VII [Re: uRworthy] #2517891
12/16/14 10:29 PM
12/16/14 10:29 PM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 898
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Originally Posted By: uRworthy
Card, not sure why you asked if she was crying a lot.

Leave her to sort this out. She is working through it. You need to let her.

You are going to see more anger, I would bet. Dont try to fix it. Listen, validate and then listen some more.


I guess I was just trying to show her that I know she's hurting. Clumsy attempt, I admit

One thing I've noticed...this feels a lot like when I confessed my problems to her early in our relationship. She was extremely hurt for at least 2-3 days both of those times. And of course back then, she was in love with me, so we began to heal together, and it led to some really good stretches (porn-free, intimate, etc.). My bad strategies at quitting porn never worked, though, so it sent me back down the same spiral.

Last edited by Card29; 12/16/14 10:31 PM.

Me 30, STBX 30
D3
M 8 years
BD 6/3/14
S 7/26/14
Off-and-on. PA since BD. Possibly "off" since Winter 2015?
Light Switch/I'm Over Her 12/31/14
D finalized 1/10/16
Re: Card29 VII [Re: Card29] #2517915
12/16/14 11:53 PM
12/16/14 11:53 PM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,339
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uRworthy Offline
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C, I like your plan. smile

I know you arent her, but, do you have any idea why she met any failure or limitation of yours with anger or judgment?

I apologize. I did not know your w suffers from depression. I am sorry she does.

I suffered from depression for many years until I finally found what I needed in order to feel better. It took a lot of hard work, perserverance and trial and error with different meds and finding the right therapist.

Depression feels like you are swimming in mud with 300 pounds of weight on your back and no shore in sight. Some days just getting out of bed takes enormous effort. You know something is wrong, yet, you dont know exactly what that is. You feel unworthy and less than and cant understand why the feelings wont go away.

Sometimes you feel as if you would do anything to get the pain to stop.

When all this happened with my xh, I was very, very small. I went into my therapist's office and squeezed into the corner of the couch. I proceeded to tell her it was all my fault. I was a horrible wife and he was right to want to leave me. I felt so badly about myself.

Now, that wasnt true, but, its how I saw things at the time.

Depression comes out in different ways with different people. Sometimes it is anger, sometimes it is frustration, sometimes you cry all the time or become apathetic.

It isnt something that you can snap out of. It is very real, very debilitating and life changing.

I do hope she finds the right help. She has a long road ahead of her.

If she asks again about being a good wife and you feel you have to answer. "You were a great wife. We both could have handled some things better." Because there isnt ever going to be answer that is enough for her. If you go on about how good she was, she is thinking...not good enough that he didnt look at porn. If you say what things were wrong with her..you feed into her feelings of being unworthy. It just isnt a good convo to have now.

I know you want to fix it for her, but, you cant. This is something she needs to work through in order to come out the other side.

You keep working on you. Give her space.

Re: Card29 VII [Re: uRworthy] #2517922
12/17/14 12:19 AM
12/17/14 12:19 AM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 898
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Card29 Offline OP
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Thank you for your thoughts on depression. I'm so glad to hear you were able to work through it. I didn't know anything about depression before I met her. When she first told me about her depression, when we were first dating, I said, "Yeah I feel sad sometimes, too." I totally didn't get it. I regret that I didn't try to learn more about depression pre-BD, but from what I've learned, it seems there isn't a whole lot I can do for her in that regard, anyway.

Originally Posted By: uRworthy
I know you arent her, but, do you have any idea why she met any failure or limitation of yours with anger or judgment?


I'll never know for sure unless we piece and possibly reconcile, but here are a few of my thoughts:

- Her depression. It was hard for her to be joyful or loving. As we've discussed, a portion of that behavior can be attributed to the lack of intimacy due to my faults, as well.

- I was her only "safe" outlet of frustrations. She is an extremely professional employee and would never go off at work. She is distant from most of her family. She only had a couple of close friends throughout the last 10 years. I did not stand up to borderline verbal abuse, so it was a "safe" outlet. Of course that only explains why she took it out on me, not why she needed to take it out on anyone to begin with.

- Just like me, she did not learn good marriage and/or communication skills during her childhood. Her parents grew distant, then her dad had an affair and left the family. Parents fought like cats and dogs, or at least her mom was very hostile towards her dad.


Me 30, STBX 30
D3
M 8 years
BD 6/3/14
S 7/26/14
Off-and-on. PA since BD. Possibly "off" since Winter 2015?
Light Switch/I'm Over Her 12/31/14
D finalized 1/10/16
Re: Card29 VII [Re: Card29] #2517940
12/17/14 01:12 AM
12/17/14 01:12 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,174
Mid-Atlantic, USA
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GoatGal Offline
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Hey Card,

Well, there is a LOT here... is there something specific you wanted some insight about?

I understand how your W reacting to your porn use in a shaming way, instead of in a compassionate one, didn't help your recovery at the time.

But understand, it wasn't her job to help you feel better about something that was hurtful to her. IF she gets to a place where she is willing to work with you on that, then that's something she'll need to learn. She was hurt, and that's how hurt people react.

I don't think most women would flip out if they found that their partners looked at porn on occasion. But the situation you described is different.

When there is secrecy, lying/hiding... when it because a guilty-pleasure that you're unwilling (or unable) to give up, when you know it bothers your partner, yet you keep doing it and just hide it better, when it starts having a negative impact on your relationship in general (secrets will do that) and your sex life in particular, (she felt like she was just a body/parts), then yes. It's a real problem.

For me, I began to feel like my H was really only interested in my body, not me as a person. AT ALL. Any compliments were very vulgar... I never heard "You look beautiful". I got a leering..."NICE BOOBIES!!!!"

It was very objectifying. And over time, degrading. I really started to feel like I wasn't even there in bed. I started to disassociate myself from the experience because it became that unpleasant. I didn't understand why at the time. I loved my H, and yet I was feeling more and more repulsed.

It has taken hindsight and information to finally understand what was going on.
For lack of a better word, in this situation the woman becomes a masturbation tool. (Sorry for the frank wording folks, but that's the REALITY of this situation.)

I felt exactly like that ^^^^. And it did NOT make me feel loved AT ALL. I felt used, and dirty, and I didn't know why.
And when I complained about the disconnect, I was told I wasn't attractive to him, or I wasn't enthusiastic about acting out his fantasies.

And let me say--he was not the LEAST bit interested in changing any of his repertoire to please me. Not ever. Any attempt was once, and half-hearted at best.
He just wanted what he wanted.

Lucky for me, I'm easy to please, if you get my drift. smile

But still, it became unbearable.

Sorry for the TMI, but just so you understand how we wives start to feel.
When guys are over involved with porn, it SPILLS OVER into HOW THEY TREAT US.

And not in a good way.

---(G)GGG


Me 54 Him 63
M 23 T 29
0 Kids
Funny Farm of Rescues
12/12 OW--
5/13 ILYBINILWY: A denied
9/13 Proof OW: ENDED
2/14 Got D papers on my BD
I kicked him out for my sanity
9/14 He wants to "talk"?



Re: Card29 VII [Re: Card29] #2517948
12/17/14 01:27 AM
12/17/14 01:27 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 7,319
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Wonka Offline
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GGG,

Thank you for sharing your experiences here for Card's benefit.

Originally Posted By: Card29
We texted again this morning. I basically communicated what you recommended, in my own words, expressed my sorrow for causing her to feel like that. She answered the open ended question with:

Quote:
I'm saying that without the emotional intimacy I felt like I was being used as a sexual object then. That's why I always just left when you were done. Now I feel used and violated.


Now that you've detailed how your H's porn addiction affected you and your M, could you please guide Card on the some of the ways he can communicate to his W in an empathetic way that he's heard her and what are some concrete steps he can in healing this rift for his W?

Let's say that Card is your H what would YOU like to hear and see from him that shows you how serious and sincere he is about this issue. What would it take from Card to make you feel heard? What steps can Card undertake to repair the rift?

What would it look like to you, GGG?

Re: Card29 VII [Re: Wonka] #2517950
12/17/14 01:35 AM
12/17/14 01:35 AM
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Posts: 7,319
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Wonka Offline
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Card,

I'm not suggesting that you engage in heavy talks with your W all day/night this week. Step back for a while and allow her to process her own emotions. I'm putting forward questions to GGG to get the ball rolling for your benefit as I think she'll be a valuable resource for you.

Re: Card29 VII [Re: Wonka] #2517952
12/17/14 01:37 AM
12/17/14 01:37 AM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,685
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GGG your post was spot-on. You are brave to give all that words, and you nailed it perfectly.



"Don't look back, you aren't going that way"
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