I was following the couples counseling thread started by Kris in the Healing Heart forum and like so many other discussions when Tom comments I am always enthralled with what he say. Especially on the topic of how long and it took his wife to start really owning what she did.
Every time he mentions it and how damaging it was/ is I send the thread to my FWS to read because I feel like he is doing the same thing. Not that I feel I KNOW he is. The thing is I cannot really prove it and when we discuss it we end up so frustrated with one another it is a disaster.
When we were in counseling he lied and then we ended up moving to a new state. We have not returned to counseling and while I am sure we should like so many others it is a luxury we can't afford right now.
One common issue we have has to do with his instinct. While he was with the OW he always seemed to know what she needed or wanted from him. Instintually he would do nice things for her to make her smile everyday. One thing he said she did quite often was show her pictures of herself with her friends at parties etc and compare herself the them. He said the most apaulling was when she went to a wedding and constantly spoke of how much better than the bride she looked and even told him the groom was hitting on her.
When things like this happened he would play along. He said that while he didn't understand exactly why she wanted to say mean things about people she called "friends" he went along with it and told her she was right and was way better looking any of them etc.
Early on after Dday number one I looked up the OW to see who she was and in my anger commented on her apperance. My H chose to ignore me. HE wouldn't play the game of telling me I was better looking. Now I realize that was a childish thing, but at the time I just needed to hear something nice.
This continued even after all the Ddays. I could never get him to not care why i was doing something,and just do it to make me feel better.
HE tells me now he wants to understand me and that is great, but in the meantime it makes me feel judged and shameful.
I told him this and felt even more shameful. I realize it is shallow, but everyone is or can be at times. I dont want him to lie to me but how come he has to be logical or sensible to me and just flatter her like he under some love spell.
I use this behavior to point out that he is not being as honest with me as he thinks he is being. I point out that he has all these answers that tie everthing into neat little bows and yet.. he does not see the bigger, deeper picture.
Here is another example
after 3 ddays I was having a hard time knowing my H was at work everyday with OW. He swore to me and to the therapist that he had no reason to see her and that she was no longer interested in him
I found this hard to believe, naturally.
Whenever I would bring up OW my H would change the subject or say he didnt know because they dont talk. He would deflect. In the meantime he would be telling OW everything going on between he and I. What we did on the weekends, what we talked about in therapy!
And so I find it hard to believe my H when I ask him how come he never wanted to talk about the OW and his answer is " I wanted to keep everything separate" I can see that. You dont want me thinking about the fact you are still cheating and you are still cheating with OW so you have to reason to hide anything from her becaus that relationship has become your main focus.. right?
But he denies this fact.. it drives me nuts.
He said he just wanted to keep things separate
So what do I do in the meantime? When I think of these discussions of how he "gets it" but is not really getting it. I get so mad I want to throw things at him. I get cold and distant.
I feel alone in working on things and he acts like it is just a matter of me accepting his answers and moving on in time I see that he will not cheat and we live happily ever after.. but that is not what I see happening.
is counseling the only way he will ever catch on? Do people who never go deeper in to the WHY of it all end up cheating again?
A quick response to a few of your questions, Louise.
Yes, Tom is very good in the way that he puts things, I'm going to give my WH a copy also, as he did the same thing when we had our DD and to this day, 25 yrs. later, I still don't have all the answers. Now he says, "It's been to long ago and he can't remember." I don't buy that at all. If a child dies, you don't forget that day and on DD, a hugh part of me died and has never recovered back to the way I was. He doesn't even remember the house we lived in when I threw the love letters on the bed at midnight, after my 2 daughters had to give them to me. How in the world would he forget that and also the year he ended it with her?
That's why I have always stressed, get your answers now so that you aren't in the position I'm in, if PTSD hits you years later. I only wish HH had been available to me 25 yrs. ago, so that is one lucky thing you have going for you. Their is so much help on here and I've learned so much and I'm sure you have also. The inside of Tom, EI, Amy and I'm sure I've left out a lot of names, is invaluable.
In regards to your WH not validating your looks, feelings, etc., and always validating her's, I feel that my H did the same thing. When I read the love letters that he sent to her on her birthday, with a whole page, telling her how much he loved her, couldn't live without her and no one had EVER meant as much to him as her, I just get sick to my stomach. He never wrote anything on my birthday cards, other than Love, John. That's in 25 years, but he did write nice things when we were first going together, but never as much as he said to her. Those things were written on 3 birthday cards, so you get where I'm coming from. He either meant it, or part of it or he was out to impress her and who knows, she might have been wanting to end it and he was desperate. I'll never know, as he won't talk about those things as he says it's to depressing and it's in the past.
I wonder if he told her that she looked very pretty when he met her? I would guess he did, but I would have to ask him if he liked my new dress, when we were going somewhere special. So, don't feel alone, I feel they all do it and we are like "old shoes" they don't have to impress us, not that it makes you or I feel any better. Now he tells me and I don't even care as I don't know if he's being sincere or not. You shouldn't feel shallow in expecting verification of what you do or how you look, he should want to do it, especially after what he has put you through.
In regards to counseling, yes it is definitely the most important thing you can do. Do I think without it that your WH would cheat again, I can't really answer that, as it looks like he's still involved with the OW, unless I'm reading it wrong. My WH went to counseling with me for 4 years or so, but he really wasn't there. He only went to please me and keep us married. Do I think he would have cheated again if he hadn't really gone, no I don't. What he had to go through after I found out, the fighting, lying, his children finding out wouldn't be worth it.
I hope that I have helped you a little bit. My heart goes out to you, as I can really relate to not getting the answers to your questions. It makes you feel like the third wheel and it's the two of them together that only knows what truly went on. I hate it more than you can imagine and it's so unfair. I hope that he opens up at some point to you, it's not good to shove it under the rug like my H did, as it will come back to haunt you later. I would tell him that and also, maybe their should be some consequences if he isn't cooperating with you? Just a thought!