After the discovery of infidelity in your marriage, did you and your spouse remain together, trying to heal and repair the situation? If you did, you’re not alone. Most surveys indicate that the majority of couples DO try to work through the situation and remain married. For this to happen most experts agree, there are certain things that are required for reconciliation to be successful. Remorse, regret, humility, shame, guilt, restitution, transparency to name just a few.
Maybe you’re like me, You decide to offer enough forgiveness to get communication going between the two of you again. The winding road back from infidelity is long and and can be very bumpy, but you’re getting along fairly well, having some fun. Maybe even having sex again. Yet, the pain from betrayal (whether emotional or physical) doesn’t seem to subside, the affair can still fill your thoughts, possibly non-stop. You’re still hurting and yet your spouse seem to resume their lives and basically act like the infidelity never happened at all.
Does it feel like your the only one making changes to help recovery along? You begin to wonder, they told me they were sorry, they made a mistake, didn’t mean to hurt me, but are they TRULY SORRY? Because they just don’t act like it. They may say one thing and then do another. No follow through.
Unmet needs tends to be a common reason mentioned that becomes a catalyst in some affairs. So during your healing you may have made sure that you try to address those things (not just sex either) to ensure that your doing your part on improving the relationship. We betrayed spouses have needs as well and they are all vitally important to the healing after infidelity. In my opinion, the #1 reason that we continue to doubt them is; that we need to know that you are TRULY, TRULY SORRY for what you have done. That you understand how much pain and suffering your affair has caused us.
So if you are in the midst of healing after recovery – let me ask you ARE YOUR NEEDS BEING MET? Is your spouse doing all they can to help you heal? Or are they only focused on the pain of being caught? Don’t like that they are now branded a cheater? And why is it, that despite stating they don’t want the marriage to end, they seem unable to understand any of it from our point of view? Show any empathy which would indicate they understand the depth of our pain?
Dr. Bob from Break Free from the Affair describes this so perfectly in his post titled How do you know if your significant other is TRULY sorry for what he /she did?
” Frequently in my coaching sessions, I hear the BS WANTING and NEEDING to FEEL that the CS is truly sorry.
* in some cases it just doesn’t seem genuine or enough
* the cheater, out of guilt may want to forget it ever happened and refuses to talk about it
* the cheater, fearful of the feelings of the BS may also attempt to put it behind them
* the BS is often looking for remorse, expressed with deep felt feelings. THAT remorse often does not
* the cheater may say “I’m Sorry”, but the depth of those words are called into question
An EXPRESSION of the apology or heart felt remorse is often seen as the tipping point in the ability to
trust now or in the future.”
Wow! reading that last statement really hit the nail on the head for me. My CS wasn’t doing much to make sure that I felt safe with him. That he understands how hurtful and destructive his actions and choices were to me. I get that him being a narcissist, most the emotions required to heal (remorse, regret etc) are not in their personal book of feelings, so I just waited hoping that he could see my need for something to happen, (tipping point) demonstrating that he gets it. Dr. Bob said it perfectly “an expression of the apology with the heart felt remorse.
It could of took on many different forms and worked for me. He could of said something like ” Oh chely, I’m so thankful that you didn’t walk out on me that d-day. So thankful you’ve given me the opportunity to make this up to you”. Or any number of other kind and loving things that he could try. So I waited and patiently waited some more. Our anniversary was fast approaching, our 20th anniversary (Jan 28th). I thought maybe he’s waiting so he can express that without feeling so bad about himself, on our anniversary. I mean I’ve waited for over a year for some gesture/expression as Dr. Bob describes.
I even wondered if he might forget (he did think it was the 19th year). But a couple of days before he began to talk a bit about what to do for anniversary, mentioned that in Feb. (Valentines Day) since we are going to stay in my favorite hotel in Half Moon Bay that, that was kinda part of our celebration. WAIT A MINUTE! You mean to tell me the trip you had already told me about is now also part of our anniversary celebration. I think NOT. So he asked me to go to dinner, it was a week night so we were to meet at the Chilis in town at 7pm.
Now don’t think i’m an ungrateful bitch, but this is where we normally go on our date nights- so I don’t get how this celebrates this 20 year milestone. Then I thought, maybe he is planning to give me a really great gift so doesn’t want to go over board on the restaurant. I really almost didn’t want to go. But I’ll bite and see what he has planned. If I was finally going to get the expression of his feelings about me (which are kinda like remorse for a narcissist), about us, about his affair and AP. Then I must notice the positive things as well as the negative ones.
So we meet in the parking lot, and he has flowers in his hand (just a mixed bouquet not roses), and a big potted mum plant. We had dinner, (I had two cocktails and a shot, I had a feeling I needed more) and chatted and that was it. No card, no expression in the way of a good gift, no I’m so thankful you didn’t leave me. No tipping point for me.
How will I ever trust him again? I really don’t think I will ever be able to. I didn’t let him know how disappointed I was in him. That I feel like this entire reconciliation is just a big joke, a fraud for the world to see, not what is truly going on here. Since most everything revolves around him his needs, his wants, it makes me realize that I will never receive what I truly need to get over this. And despite that we can enjoy each others company, live together and be married, I’m not sure if he has ever really loved ME. I don’t know if he loves “her” either, (since it appears they have not had any physical contact, but there’s always those damn smart phones to keep things up close and personal). Maybe he was done with her and has moved onto the next target already? Who knows? I don’t believe that he can just give up so quickly someone who he, has had an emotional connection for years.
But the time is just about here for me to call him out on his failure to deliver. His narcissistic ways, the job that gives him more than enough freedom to continue his pursuits without me knowing. The way he continues to disregard me and my point of view, (Okay the sex has been pretty good, but that’s just not enough to be the glue to hold us together anymore). It’s time for him to know I’ve seen an attorney, I know my rights and if you continue to use your SOP, whether your still cheating or not, I’m done. You will loose me and have to admit to all that you have failed. I’m now pretty sure the reason he didn’t walk out on me that first d-day, I bet once he saw how much he would have to pay me he made his decision pretty quickly. As I’ve said before the saying “it’s cheaper to keep her” is the best analogy of my situation. Yes I got my sign from him. His actions DO NOT match his words. This is your last opportunity MOFO – so you better kiss me cuz you’re gonna miss me when I’m gone!
Are your needs being met?
Step back and LOOK at your situation through different eyes.
I hope your answer is YES!