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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, I want to say that I'm not looking for sympathy but would like input on what I can say/do to help when this happens.

I had a break in meetings yesterday and invited my BH to have lunch together (no baby so just us) and spend a little time together.

As it often does, the topic of our damaged marriage and my EA come up. He talked about how he just feels like this was an example to him why he can't trust anyone and that trusting someone, even me, just leads to hurt and pain.

Background for him, he grew up with a very physically abusive mother (his dad died when he was only 4 years old), went into Spec Ops in the Army so shutting down emotionally is something he's very good at doing.

I apologized again and told him I'll continue to do what I can to help rebuild that. I was even able to get clearance to remove any of the confidential work applications from my phone so he can access my work phone now as well. He has access to email/FB/etc.

What else can I do to help him?
 

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Except this consequence and push forward with your resolve in the belief that time heals all wounds.

You got one thing going for you and that is he excepted the offer for lunch, some former waywards don't even get that. So on the bright side your glass is half full. :)
 

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I don't have the answers for you as I am on the other side right now. I do want to say that it is good that you are trying to work on the relationship and admit what you did wrong, rather than the alternative. I hope my spouse does as well and is as willing to work on it as you are.
 

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He talked about how he just feels like this was an example to him why he can't trust anyone and that trusting someone, even me, just leads to hurt and pain.
I didn't understand this part.
Did he mean you being available for lunch? If so, how was than an example.

I've read your posts and you seem to be doing all that's possible. Have you asked him what he'd like to see you do to demonstrate remorse?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I didn't understand this part.
Did he mean you being available for lunch? If so, how was than an example.

I've read your posts and you seem to be doing all that's possible. Have you asked him what he'd like to see you do to demonstrate remorse?
He was happy to meet me for lunch and it was going well until the topic of our marriage came up (he brought it up).

The 'this' I'm referring to is my EA and how I lied to him and kept secrets.

We have our next MC appointment, I think I'm going to bring this conversation up during that to see if we can get some solid direction. I know he's hurting and it feels hypocritical to try to soothe him when I'm the cause.
 
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TCSR, does he see that you are trying, reaching out?...my wife has of late, and I didnt even notice it, I was just worrying about me and not seeing she was reaching out and trying her best, I have been PMing with another poster about this and they pointed it out to me... right in front of my face and I just couldnt see her efforts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
He says he sees it and appreciates that I'm trying. I know it will take time. I guess I just have to keep trying and hope for healing.
 
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Red,

I was the bh in a 23 year marriage. She had a PA with a co-worker for several months, and at least and EA with my former best friend from childhood.

I wish my ex would have had half the courage and remorse that you do. The silver lining is I am now happily re-married to a wonderful woman that I adore, and I she shows me that she feels the same way about me.

You only can control yourself. He needs time. I think if you listen, avoid the blameshifting, be sensitive to triggers, and allow him to choose what he wants it will help.

You are in the same boat as the rest of us, we don't have any guarantees, and our marriages might crash. None of us can control our spouse, whether they are the betrayed or the disloyal one. Maybe that is the life lesson for you. It has been the lesson I had to learn too.

If he is damaged beyond repair, support his decision to move on. A fresh start is not the end of the world for either of you. Just try to show that you learned that hurting others is not what you want to do.

A good ex is sometimes a bigger blessing than a bad spouse.

Bless you for trying! You are an exeception to the disloyal crowd!!!
 

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He is expressing a lifetime of cause and effect experiences where everyone he trusted ended up hurting him. He may have thought that you were the exception to the rule and then you had the EA that proved to him there are no exceptions.

He is not just dealing with your EA, he is dealing with a lifetime of betrayals and hurt that the EA brought back to him.

For him, you just joined the long list of people who betrayed his trust until he concluded that unconditional trust equals getting betrayed and pain. The sad part is that, for him, he is right.

He will eventually learn to trust you again up to a point. But it is going to take years of you proving to him that you love him and deserve his trust for him to be comfortable again.

Keep working on it. And remember it is not just your EA that he has to come to terms with.
 

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...and it feels hypocritical to try to soothe him when I'm the cause.
So if you had (god forbid) sliced his arm with a knife you would feel hypocritical in attending to the wound. NO you wouldn't

Don't feel this way. You're doing things right. Completely right!

Props - as my teen says!
 

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Hey Red,

So as a BS (wife had a 4-month PA I discovered and our D-Day was just over a year ago) I have to say I get where your husband is coming from. My wife and I have been working really hard over the last year on reconciling. And making a lot of really good progress.

But even in the MUCH better place I am a year later, I am confident that I am forever changed. I will never trust the same again. He's right. After you go through a betrayal like this, it forces you to reevaluate your entire approach to relationships. I know that I will always hold back that last little piece of myself, out of self-preservation as much as anything.

But don't think about trust as an on and off switch. Think of it like a dimmer switch - it's not all or nothing, it's a sliding scale. Over time your husband's ability to trust in you (and others) will get brighter. But it will likely never go as high as it did before the affair. The dial will never turn all the way to right again. It's just human nature.

We shape our definition of reality, our thinking and our behavior based on our past experiences. He now has a past experience that says trusting can lead to a bad/painful outcome. And the more recent an experience, the more influence it has on our current behavior and thinking.

Over time, and with the type of work you have been embracing, you can help to push that betrayal experience further down the list. It can become the one outlying experience that is older and less relevant than many of the new trustworthy experiences.

Don't give up. Give it time. Give it space. Trust will slowly begin to come back, just don't expect it get all the way back to the level before the affair.

Always enjoy your posts, I think you're doing a great job. Keep it up!
 

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I am in a similar position and don't really have any extra advice to offer, though I too want any suggestions that are out there.

All I can say is keep doing what you're doing: inviting him to lunch, contacting him throughout the day, listening to him when he needs to vent. I am hoping in my own marriage that the consistency will be appreciated over time, and my husband will see that I am faithful and committed.

One new thing that DD and I have started using is video chat on our phones. He hasn't said this helps him, but I know he likes it, and I do too. It's fun to see him during the day, and when he called yesterday morning, he got to chat with the kids for a few minutes as well. I also think it might help when he's feeling anxious, since he can call and see where I'm at/if anyone is with me/what I'm doing right at that time.

Hang in there, red, and I will too. :)
 
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I know how your BH feels. I also have a trust noone mentality (also ex-military, if that has any connection??). I have been cheated on and lied to in before and it is really hard to gain my trust now. I trusted my wife with everything and will see what happens over the weekend. I certainly understand where he is.

Just keep doing what you are doing, it sounds like you want it to work out. Time.....lots of time.
 

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All you can do is keep coming back. Keep being open, honest and willing to talk about it. Don't get discouraged when he tells you things like that, don't get defensive. He has to get all of those words and thoughts out of his head in order to make space for trust to try to move back in. Just keep making it as easy as you can for him to tell you what he feels. He's not doing it to punish you, he's just trying to work through it, all you can do is try to help him and not get frustrated when he doesn't make progress as quickly as you might like.
 

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You had an EA on a man in the Spec Ops? Besides the fact I am EXTREMELY angry at wives that cheat on military men, I am surprised your AP isn't dead.

Now, I don't know the whole story. But I assume you are doing exactly what all the WS and BS tell you. Give him you passwords, your phone, be on lock down.

But tell me, what does this man get by trusting you with his heart again?
You already dropped it once and shattered it.
Why should he give it back to you? What would he gain from that?

Sounds like this guy's go to mind set is indifference. And once the BS hits indifference, the marriage is pretty much dead. But since that is his go to mindset, we don't really know how well he is coping. He may be dieing on the inside.

I think I see the problem.
This is a man loves that which will hurt him.
His mother was abusive.
His wife cheated.
And his job is dangerous.

And I see the distinct difference between the two of you.

He wants to ignore. That is why he shuts down emotionally. Shut down, ignore, forget. It is all just an unhappy memory.

You want him to heal. You want him to confront it, deal with it, get over it in the best manner he can, so you two can be a loving couple...

See the difference?
As for how to deal with it...no idea. Until the guy can open up, you can't really help him heal. ANd who knows how long that will take.
 

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You had an EA on a man in the Spec Ops? Besides the fact I am EXTREMELY angry at wives that cheat on military men, I am surprised your AP isn't dead.

Now, I don't know the whole story. But I assume you are doing exactly what all the WS and BS tell you. Give him you passwords, your phone, be on lock down.

But tell me, what does this man get by trusting you with his heart again?
You already dropped it once and shattered it.
Why should he give it back to you? What would he gain from that?
Here is an answer for her which hopefully will satisfy him:

He gets a woman who has had a PAINFUL lesson in what the lack of boundaries brings. He gets a woman who is working 100% at affair proofing her marriage. He gets a wife who won't be alone with another man EVER!

Will a new woman undesrstand this? Will she pooh pooh his worries and think she can handle whatever? Because sometimes they can't.

Best I got.
 

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When you get a chance read (if you haven't already) "devistated Dad"'s thread. He is the BH of "changing me"

She's doing things right as are you. Keep faith.
 
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