"But I love him/her, I would do this for anyone that I love."
Nice sentiment. But it is a false narrative. Why do I say that? Because we aren't doing those nice things to try to win them back out of our love for them, we are doing them out of fear. Many of those behaviors have been absent from our MRs long before BD happened. Did we not love our spouse prior to BD? So "But I love him/her, I would do this for anyone that I love" isn't really true is it? The thing is maybe, just maybe, if you had done those "nice" behaviors all along then you wouldn't be in your situation. I say maybe because that may or may not be true. There are plenty of D'd LBSs that were good spouses before their lying, cheating, walkaway up and left them. There are no guarantees in life.
But for sake of argument, let's say that you could have prevented your sitch with those loving behaviors. The fact is, that now it is too late. After BD the last thing you should be doing is trying to smother your WAS with kindness, loving actions, and being nice to win them back. I often say that the last thing a LBS should do after being told that their WAS wants less of them, is to try to give their WAS more of the LBS! And I think a lot of this has to do with how we, as a society, think about love.
Here's my confusion. There are lots of nice things that I've always done for my spouse. From the outside, the few friends that know what is happening, some of my wife's family that knows, and recently I've gotten unsolicited comments from the kids regarding their struggle with my wife's actions because they only see the outside.
My wife has PTSD. It was caused by my situation. It was compounded by my absence. Healing was further compromised by my being passive and emotionally withdrawing from her once I got home. I get how she got to this point.
But even while being emotionally withdrawn and incommunicative, I was also always doing nice things for her and the family. I'm working on being more open with my emotions when dealing with everyone else. With WAW, I continue being withdrawn. I'm increasing communication, but focusing on logistics and kids stuff, not any communications about us, the future, the marriage, or the past.
So when you talk about "doing those nice things to try to win them back...out of fear", well I just have trouble becoming the person that doesn't do all those things for others including her. It is part of who I am. I don't want that person to go away, I just want him to be more open with his emotions and communications rather than only showing love through actions.
Originally Posted by Steve85
Do you love being married to your WAS more than you actually love your WAS?
No. I want her to be happy first and foremost. I just disagree that a divorce will get her there. Just like I want my kids to have happy relationships in their future and I always have and will continue to teach them that you put in the work to make it happen. Learn from Dad's mistakes. Learn from Mom's mistakes. Read Michele's books when you start the relationship, not when its coming unraveled.
Obviously, I can't "teach" this to my wife. She has to learn on her own and find her own path. I understand the problems with pursuit. I understand the problems with clinging. But I can't become a person that is helpful and doing nice things for everyone else even strangers, and I struggle excluding her from how I normally operate.