Thanks Pommy, Alison, Valeska.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
Alison used the term 'supply' which does suggest a narcissistic trait, and I do feel it is true, that both our Hs need a constant supply of attention and are not comfortable in their own company. I do know for a fact that my H does not like himself much right now. How does your H feel about himself?

He does not like himself very much either, which is a very very very uncomfortable place for him to be. He says he wants to work with his IC on his identity, who he is, what does it mean that he was capable of such enormous betrayal. On how to be a better person. And at the same time not wanting to throw out everything associated with the A in the garbage (a bit of MLC/YOLO stuff). We had a conversation about an indigenous perspective of having responsibilities vs having rights, and he very much wants to be someone who cares first and foremost about his responsibilities.

I'd say, though, my H is comfortable generally in his own company. he just needs/wants my approval and buy-in. I think the fact that I'm not, this time, saying "oh great, thank you H for ditching your OW, you've done the right thing" like I was the first time around, and also not being super angry and telling him over and over "you're an irredeemable duck" for having had the A, like I did on the trip, is making him uncomfortable. He said to me, if he'd left for AP, at least he knows she would have been happy. I haven't yelled at him or been really nice to him. I've just been. I have said when it occurs to me that I feel betrayed, I can't trust him, and he's listened and accepted that. I feel like in not giving him something to react to it is forcing him to think about stuff more on his own and with his IC. Which I do think is happening. The week he almost left I told him I thought he was a narcissist. He told me last week he read up on narcissism, talked to his IC about it, reviewed the different types, thinks some things fit and others don't. He talked to his IC about taking the inventory test. We'll see. Maybe just another ploy for attention.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
How do you interact with H when you have to remind yourself not to trust him?

I'm trying to gut check my natural (or maybe habituated) responses before responding either to him, or when I have an urge to go talk to him about something. I can, if I want, let it go and have fun with him. I've only let myself do this a couple of times. If I feel the anxiety pit of not trusting him, I listen to it and don't engage-- I feel like the first time around I would have shoved it down and acted as-if, the second time around I would have spewed my feelings onto him. This time, I think about other ways to soothe myself that don't involve H.

I think acting as-if has its place... I was thinking about your situation, and being the loving wife whilst your H hasn't committed to cutting off all contact with OW-- and thinking, maybe this is a cheeseless tunnel for you. Acting as-if and being the loving wife hasn't gotten you where you want to go. Instead, it seems to have enabled your H's continued cake-eating and waffling/ambivalence. I believe this was the case in my own sitch and something I need to remember and guard against. So, maybe don't act the loving wife anymore?

Originally Posted by Pommy99
would say you are right on both counts - he needs to know he's used up all his 9 lives, and he wants to know that if he did transgress, he wouldn't be faced with a difficult decision of leaving you - you would kindly do it for him.

I think you're right on in this interpretation. I think I'll just leave it without responding, though maybe asking him that "why do you ask" question would also be interesting. My plans are for me. Alison and Valeska, I also see your points in that I've done this in the past where I talk through my reasoning or boundaries with him and that gives him a chance to poke holes or push things or whatever. In this case, you're absolutely right, Alison, in that there will be no need for words.

Generally, with the added distance I have in my head right now having been ready to S/D and not engaging as I have in the past, I feel like I've tried different things that haven't worked, and from a DB perspective now trying something different-- something that is harder on me, for sure, to button my lip and not engage-- but knowing that what I did in the past didn't work for either of us, so time to try something new, and something just on me that doesn't require his participation.

Alison, Ginger, it has been just two weeks now since he said he was choosing the M and just about a week since he told her it was over. I believe him that he isn't in contact with her. Whether that remains the status quo is yet to be seen. I also don't know if he is actually working in his head to actively disentangle himself from her emotionally, like he said he would. But that is all beyond my control. he will or he won't. But, I will say that he hasn't been wishy-washy about her since he made that decision. Again, only two weeks. But his behavior and words are very different this time. I'm not trying to justify my decision or make you guys think I did the right thing-- I'm fairly confident a good number of people following along are thinking I'm just delaying the inevitable and taking over/unders on when he'll be back in touch with AP-- but, I am where I am, today.

I feel like if I was going to kick him out, I either should have done it back when he was still talking with her, or in the future if/when he does again. Right now doesn't make a ton of sense to me as I do believe he is trying and this isn't something where you'd expect to have any real change in just a couple of weeks. So, the best I can do given where I am right now is to -- as you've all been saying-- buckle down, focus on me, detach.

And, I talked to my IC yesterday about helping me to enforce the boundary of kicking him out if he gets back in touch with her. So you guys too-- please keep me honest here (really honest, not Lindsay Graham honest). If he gets back in touch with her, he's out. The post-nup will be signed, all the financial details worked out. The only things to do will be getting him out ASAP and what we tell the kids. I'm trying to set myself up for as easy a transition with as much support as possible to ensure I can follow through.

Originally Posted by Valeska19
Originally Posted by may22
Question-- do you think that validating him right now interferes with his need to work on himself without leaning on me?

I think the bigger question is why are you asking this? Is it control? Is it fear?

You can validate people all the time w/o engaging or even accepting it as true for you. You are just understanding that they are in pain.

I think the reason I asked this was because folks here and my IC have been very very clear that this is his work to do, not mine, and I need to stop shouldering his emotional processing load for both of our sakes. So I guess I was wondering if validation counted as helping him to do the work that is really his to do, not mine. Is the act of validating helping take off some of his mental burden? I am definitely not open to validating or listening at all to him processing his feelings around AP-- that is a boundary for me and easy to enforce. But his concerns about his own identity, why he did this, and both his hurt from the SSM in the past and his worry that we'll slide back into it eventually-- I'm unsure if listening or validating these thoughts is crossing any lines. (I feel a little bit like the SSM talk is-- I told him last time he brought it up that I'd be happy to discuss it once he was over AP, but in the near term it didn't feel good on my end to discuss it. I'm not sure if that is a boundary for my own safety, or if it is a discomfort I need to push through eventually.)

Originally Posted by Pommy99
I just wondered if you are making time for "date night" (even if under lockdown), R discussions off limits, doing something fun together just the two of you? How do you feel about showing him love and warmth? (I'm asking for myself!!)

Yes, I've given myself permission to have sort of a truce twice now, both Saturday nights. We've had some drinks, hung out, chatted. Stayed away from R talks. (maybe had a bit too much to drink and blew our shared/agreed upon boundary of no physical intimacy for the time being last weekend... oh well.) Not sure if this generally is a good idea or a bad one. It does help me to blow off some of the steam and weirdness between us to have a little window of what was normal before, focusing on the positives of what we do still have between us rather than what we don't.

Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2