By far the biggest conflict we have is the part the adultery plays in our current situation. To me, the adultery is the star of the show, front and center, the number one issue. To her, our marriage has many issues, the adultery is but one of them. She has said this, and has gotten offended when I have used the expression "affair recovery" as she prefers it be "marriage recovery."
We started marriage counseling and that's where I learned that I was being emotionally abusive. After a couple months of sessions I left therapy with that counselor, I lost trust for her and felt that our sessions were very biased. Wife felt it too and wasn't comfortable being part of it. It was a good decision. We have since looked for another marriage counselor but are currently not seeing anybody.
Still, I felt convicted on making up for my behavior. I attend individual counseling for my abuse issues and am working hard to fix them. I got better control of my emotions.I identified my core fears (feeling weak and helpless) and recognize the controlling tendencies that follow. I get more specific in talking about how I feel. I buy books and read about abuse and affair recovery. I establish some routines so Wife feels safe. I slobber apologies non-stop and ask for forgiveness, which she does.
She has met my needs in many areas; she treats me nicer, stays away from triggers, removed all reminders, buys things I like, makes meals I like. She lets me track her on her phone. She has also been open sexually which I appreciate because I don't masturbate and haven't for 10 years (religious commitment).
At first she was very open in telling me everything that happened and it helped a lot. She fought it and didn't want to talk about it, but she did for me and I really give her credit for that. But lately I feel she has fallen short in meeting my needs emotionally. Discussing my hurt, what it meant to me, identifying with my pain has been a struggle since day 1. I have had a couple apologies but generally she doesn't display much remorse or empathy. It never really was a strength of hers since I've known her, but I could really use it now.
I'm lonely. She goes about her day, meets with friends, goes to book club, we haven't had many date nights. Our conversations are mostly superficial chit-chat. Currently we have negotiated talking 3x a week, but before that we generally talked once every 1.5 weeks about anything real, the longest was almost 4 weeks between any substantial discussion.
By most accounts, she is over everything and only wants to move forward. She has thrown herself into revitalizing her career now, and doesn't offer much by way of effort or ideas to reconcile.
I purchased, read, and handed to her the book "How to help your spouse heal from an affair" and it sits on her nightstand, under a layer of dust, with a bookmark around page 5.
Whenever she brings up her own past hurts I gush with apologies and empathy. When I bring up my hurt or pain she gets defensive and annoyed.
She wants to be forgiven and have us just move on.
I'm working on it.
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