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I'd like to thank Blu for contributing to my personal thread. She has given me a lot of really good perspective on my sitch that I think will be very useful for me soon.

I would like to corroborate the notion that the wayward sees the affair as one huge giant fack up. To my XW, it is almost like the entire affair was part of an EPISODE she experienced. She seems to even lump cheating on OM with OM2 as part of the same episode. Yes, she remembers hateful texts she sent me. Yes, she remembers spiteful things she did to me in in our MH. Yes, she remembers some of the things she said to me.

Does she regret it? Absolutely! But as much as I -- as an LBS -- want to get an apology for each offense, she can't provide that. She apologizes for the situation. The cheating. The lies. But I've come to realize that it is very difficult for her to apologize for many of the individual attacks.

I have received maybe a tiny handful of very specific apologies. One was a text she sent me when she told me that I was not a real man and my personal success was only because of her. She owned that one and fully regretted telling me that. The rest of the time? I think she was in full-on wayward beast mode and that, coupled with her insanely high personal drive turned into a hurricane of destruction. She has actually told me that her memory of that time is foggy.

What I am encountering now is that I have a need for very specific apologies because my pain is VERY granular on an enormous scale. Her pain seems to be extremely broad, but overwhelming. I have to remind myself to imagine what I would feel like if I literally threw away all of the good things in my life in one week's time. How would I feel if I realized that I DESTROYED the only real love in my life and replaced it with an abusive person that left me with less than a dollar to my name? That's what happened to my XW, and she did it to herself. That's got to hurt.

That's tough stuff right there.

Last edited by Joe2017; 01/25/19 12:04 AM.

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(((Joe2017))) This is tough stuff. It is a very different kind of pain than what we deal with post-BD and during the separation. I would describe that time as more acute survival mode with peaks and valleys of desperation cycled with relief and optimism. When piecing starts there is an initial relief that soon becomes chronic aches and pains. This can lead to depression, and feelings of hopelessness, as the new reality sets in. The reality is that we do not get the same marriage back, or prior feelings that came with it, and this new one starts off tainted with new hurtful wounds and betrayals. And the hurt went both ways.

When my H and I started piecing, I was all over the map. The triggers/PTSD took over much of the time and that made it hard for me to stay focused. I very much felt that I had to understand why he had done what he had done and forgive him.I thought that had to come first. I also told myself that if the M was not going to last, that I didn't want it to be because of that one time period when things were at there worst. If we are going to go our separate ways and D, I want it to be because we are no longer compatible as a couple. I still feel this way today. It has been a challenge, but also necessary, to understand the difference between the two. I do not want my resentment towards what had happened to influence how compatible we are now and can be in the future.

That's not easy to do. The thing is, there were issues in the M before BD. Those are issues we are still addressing. Some are things we can navigate through and both make adjustments, but others are things we simply must accept about one another. I find myself not always knowing what I can and cannot accept. Perhaps before I could have accepted them, because I was blinded by love. Now that I see how flawed and imperfect he is, I somehow do not want to accept certain things. Perhaps I feel he owes me (our M) to work harder to change these things? Writing that doesn't read healthy or fair tho.

It is still not entirely clear to me. Because after several years of piecing, my perspective on Ms in general has also changed. I don't think people should give up easily. I also think we really owe it to our S to be clear about what we want and expect from a partner. It is also hard to simultaneously create feelings of love/romance when everything else requires so much "work" and compromise. I don't tend to feel that dissecting and negotiating the relationship leads to more feelings of intimacy, in fact quite the opposite.

Blu


“Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.” – Nelson Mandela
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To my XW, it is almost like the entire affair was part of an EPISODE she experienced. She seems to even lump cheating on OM with OM2 as part of the same episode.


I'm so glad you explained it this way. I think I thought of it like an episode. I never realized it in those terms, but I can see how I put everything connected to the A in a time frame. It's like some people who use a serious operation as a time marker. There is the life before the operation and the life afterwards.

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Does she regret it? Absolutely! But as much as I -- as an LBS -- want to get an apology for each offense, she can't provide that. She apologizes for the situation. The cheating. The lies. But I've come to realize that it is very difficult for her to apologize for many of the individual attacks.


My H didn't bring it up, but I'm sure it would have felt very defeating for me.....since I was trying to do the right thing. The night I had my "come to Jesus" and finally felt true remorse and gave him a humble apology for my actions........that would have probably been the time for him to bring up individual offenses. But he didn't want to talk about it. If he had come back at a later time and brought up some specific incident, I could see myself thinking that he was going to hold things over my head forever........but that was just me.

I never moved out or S from my H during the A. Considering the experiences of some people such as you and Blu, it makes perfect sense that you need to hear an apology for individual offenses. When I first arrived on the board and would read how the wayward spouse should apologize as often as the betrayed spouse needed.........I thought, "Not this gal, honey!" But I thought they meant to keep apologizing for the same offense to which they had received forgiveness. Am I making sense? If you've really forgiven her, it was it for just one specific incident? I mean, if the WS sincerely apologizes from their heart, and the betrayed S forgives them.......but continues to confront the WS........IDK. I see what you all are saying. There is a lot of hurt that has not healed and you need to talk it out and hear a humble apology for it. I just don't know if the average WS gets it. Look how long I've been here reading this stuff..........and I'm pretty average......or I thought I was until now. frown

When I read Blu's explanation on your thread.........I thought to myself, "Oh, that's why they need to keep hearing apologies." Until then, I had just tried to accept it as part of the LBS's healing, but I had not heard anyone ever explain it this way. I thought LBS's meant that they needed to keep hearing the WS say, "I'm sorry I had an A". Like your W, I saw it as a lump offense that included deceit, lying, and the whole shoot'in match. That's why I think a couple coming back together needs a therapist who specializes in healing after an affair. ( I just lumped it together again, didn't I?) Hopefully, you know what kind of therapist I mean. There are so many things you suffered by your WS, that it must sound like a cop-out for them to think one apology cuts it. A therapist could approach or address these areas in a non-confrontational manner, and the WS would not take it the same as if directly from the betrayed S.........maybe.

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She has actually told me that her memory of that time is foggy.


You don't believe her? Do you think it is selective memory? This not just some type of defense tactic, it is true that some memory of that time gets a little foggy. The further it gets behind me, the less I can remember details, especially putting certain events in order or with the calendar. I suppose you would just have to evaluate how genuine she appears when she says it is foggy. I hope that is not painful to read.

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What I am encountering now is that I have a need for very specific apologies because my pain is VERY granular on an enormous scale. Her pain seems to be extremely broad, but overwhelming.


I don't want to come across as being insensitive to you, Blu, or any betrayed spouse. As a recovering WW, it appears that maybe you want your WS to heal your wounds. IDK that hearing an apology for every single cut is going to do the job. I see how it would help to see the sorrow on the face that caused that cut. I just don't think the WS is capable of doing your healing for you. S/he has their own healing to do. Who is going to do their healing? You? How are you going to do their healing? You can't. Neither can s/he do yours. I'm not saying s/he should not apologize, I'm just saying s/he has stuff to work through that you can't help with, and s/he can't handle it and your stuff too. See what I mean?

Yes, her pain seems to be extremely broad,,,,,,b/c it is. I've said it over & over that a LBS's pain and a WS's pain are not the same. How could it be? It is two entirely different experiences, with two separate mindsets. If the WS is or has genuinely gone through the inner process of changing their heart/mind.......and if they have suffered consequences of their actions, then they will have pain. But they have nobody to give them an apology. They are the guilty ones, and nobody knows it any better than they do. So, knowing no apologies will be coming for them, where or how do you suppose the WS finds healing? Forgiveness is a good starting place. Which goes back to bringing up single offenses, if she's thinking, "He said he forgave me, but he keeps bringing up stuff". (It's two different views of the overall forgiveness/apology issue.) You can see how it causes more pain for her, too. So, neither of you make fast progress when you are trying to work this out between yourselves without professional therapy. If it were my H saying what you have, my response would probably be, "Either you have completely forgiven me, or you haven't".

It depends on the personality, IMHO. As for my personality, (and I think I can be as humble about my wrong as anyone).......it doesn't mean I'm going to let someone just keep on & on bringing it up. While it is fresh...... or in therapy......... but not in our private lives. Perhaps someone will find that to be a character fault, just like they see having an affair as a character fault........but I'm trying to be as honest as I can about myself.

I dare say that one of the biggest problems for the WS recovery, is not having the proper information. I feel very fortunate that I received information before I totally destroyed my family and ruined my life beyond repair.

Joe, you did not heal after the D, and now you are feeling all this pain afresh. You could have been proactive in getting professional help, but you ignored it until she reached out to reconcile. What can she do to help you? Do you just want to hear her say, "I apologize"? Somehow, and I may be wrong.....I think you need more, and I'm concern you are resenting the fact that she doesn't feel the same type of pain.

I want to be clear and say that nobody is wrong here. It is two separate people who come from separate experiences and some have not received all the information or guidance to help them heal. Whether we are the LBS or the WS, we cannot expect the other spouse to automatically know what we need them to do, or to feel the same emotions. I think that is why Piecing is so hard. We don't see the responses or behavior patterns we need, and we get discouraged and frustrated b/c we want more.


P.S. Blu, I'm glad you did not say anything to your H about giving his input. Not for your sake, but for his. wink


It is not about what you feel should work in your M. It is about doing the work that gets the right results. Do what works!
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Sandi Blu and Joe

I just want to say thank you for writing this all down

I think the LBS has a fantasy

When the one who left comes back

There will be this wonderful reconciliation and happily ever after

The reality it is another roller coaster with different twists and turns

Shout out to Blu for explaining this so explicitly

There is one thing I would add to / emphasize about Sandi’s list:

This is not necessarily linear

And sometimes you think you are one place on the map

And then you realize a few weeks later you are someplace else

Best wishes to all


Gordie 40s W 40s M20+ kids
2016 BD W fantasy affair w OM1 I do everything wrong
2017 I start to DB W says TLTL files for D PA w OM2
2018 I do LRT W drops filing and OM2 situation slowly improving
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Thanks Gordie.


It is not about what you feel should work in your M. It is about doing the work that gets the right results. Do what works!
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Thank you, everyone. I am not posting a lot here because I am trying not to hijack this thread. I will post on it more when I have useful info or ideas for piecing. Right now I am lacking in that department and questioning myself all over again. Seeing XOW last week certainly didn't help. We are going on almost 4 years of my H being back. This is still hard stuff. I am tired. Sometimes I wonder if there was just too much damage to repair. Or maybe I just need to accept things as they are and that it's going to be this way now. I dunno. Again, I think the damage in my sitch was extreme. Or maybe I am not very good at this. It's always easier to give advice to others than take it for ourselves.

Blu


“Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.” – Nelson Mandela
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Sandi I don't like doing this but can you check out my recent events, I feel I took some big steps back. I respect your perspective so much because of where it is coming from.


H-50
W-48
T-19
M -18
S23, S14
BD - 5/9/2018
OM discovered 5/10/2018

In house sep - 8/18/2018
Rope drop 2/15/2019
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Thank you, Lost, I'd be glad to take a look.


It is not about what you feel should work in your M. It is about doing the work that gets the right results. Do what works!
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I just posted about a recent situation that happened on my thread, when my BFFs friend interjected her opinion of my H and my M., without knowing me or without being asked. It was hurtful but I am going to try and learn from it, rather than let it hurt me.

I think another challenge in piecing is not allowing fear of judgement from others motivate your decision making process. This can be thought of an several ways. If your S had an A, there can be personal shame that others will judge you, judge your S, or not approve of you taking them back. There will always be people in your life (close friends, family, or even strangers) that will have various opinions. Ultimately, everyone needs to do what is right for themselves and their children. We cannot let fear of what others think drive our own choices. They may think about it, or gossip, but most likely, they don't care as much as you think they do. They also do not know all of the circumstances and may only choose to see things from one angle. Their will always be opinions of others and you can't please everyone.

I think the same can be said if you, yourself, had the A or made mistakes. There can be fear that you are not good enough for your S or that others may not forgive you. You cannot wait on the forgiveness of others or let that hold you back. I don't see forgiveness as a switch that you can turn on or off, but it is a journey. And it is one you continue to walk on, and some days it will be more challenging, while other days it will feel more smooth. If you wait for others to forgive you, or approve of your M, then you disband yourself of any power that you have to make things better.

Another thing that I am realizing is that I don't need other people to tell me to do the right thing or that they do approve of my H or my M. I find myself seeking permission from my close friends, as if I need to know that they will validate that yes, H is a good guy. Yes, we think you should make this work. For me, I get that from them. My friends and family do like him and they do approve. .... But I have to remind myself that I don't actually need it. It can only really come from me. I am the one that is here beside him each day, not them.

Just my thoughts today.

Blu


“Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.” – Nelson Mandela
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I hope to keep this piecing thread alive, however there are not many of us here actually doing that. I am going to try and post in it every few months or as I think of things that seem relevant.

I want to add some thoughts I have been having lately and they are on the concept of "time." Time is fascinating to think about and talk about because while time has passed (the past), there is still more time (the future) that has not yet happened. The known verses the unknown. While everything we do (our actions, thoughts, feelings, ideas) influences and thus creates the future, there is still no way to know what will ultimately happen. It is also impossible to predict the outcome or what our perception of it will be when it happens.

This is important for all of us, and particularity important in piecing, because we are going in on a leap of faith. We are trusting that if we keep choosing to work on our M, that over time, we will feel better about it. One thing to know is that when our S comes back to us, there is this initial wave/flood of relief and positive emotions, however they do not remain that way. There are so many other challenging things that can get in the way of the process. In order to stick it out, we have to believe that in time over the months (or in my case years), it will get better.

We cannot control the time that has passed but we can control the way we move into the future and how we influence it. That is something I have been reminded of recently and that I posted about in my own thread. The way I think about my H, my M, and how we interact definitely molds and shapes the outcome. When I was DBing, I didn't feel as if I had control. I actually did; I couldn't control him or if he came back, but I could control how I took care of myself and how I allowed him to treat me. I also can control the way I move froward now. I can't ever be 100% certain, but I can believe.

I am finding that I can move forward in a more positive way, if I allow more positive thinking. I cannot let triggers or negative thoughts control my emotions. I can see what is in front of me and accept my reality. I can choose to be loving, kind, patient and forgiving. I can also trust the process that this may actually work out. By allowing that trust in, over time, I am far more likely to have success. And if I don't have success, I am more likely to feel better about the failure because I will feel better about my efforts.

Most importantly, I have to trust that time really does heal all wounds.

Blu


“Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.” – Nelson Mandela
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