If you are wondering who should go first, your ego may be involved in the process.
The down side shows up when you have an expectation that your spouse will do some introspection, realize how they have caused you pain, and apologize for that, except that they don't end up doing it.
Yes this is exactly what I am afraid of.
I've spent my whole life giving with unspoken expectations of receiving, and giving only that which I wanted in return and not what the other person truely wanted.
I never want to be in a position where I blurt out "my apology was so much better then yours..." but I'm almost certain that is the thought that is going to roll around in my head.
I read "How Can I forgive you" by Janis Spring (or whatever her name is) and definitely found myself thinking that not only do I expect the type of apology she describes (regarding "earning geniune forgiveness") but I owe my WS one like that too.
Going through R properly is like an art. It's full of judgement calls on the timing of everything, when to say this, when to ask for that, is she ready to face reality yet, etc. It's especially complicated having kids and knowing that pushing too hard on this will cause my WS to withdrawl into a shell.
I don't really know how to gracefully end this post. I've deleted about 12 paragraphs of additional thoughts.
In the end, simply put I am committed to R and that means trying to both make myself happy and healthy and meet the needs of my WS.
I am finding it hard to balance these priorities when it comes to this issue. I feel I will be better able to meet the needs of my wife with this apology, but I also fear it could be an unhealthy source of resentment within myself - therefore at this time I feel I cannot give it.
I am still unsure of how to procede. In retrospect, I did not come here for the "answer" but I did come here for some perspective as well as some empathy, both of which I am getting. I appriciate the posts of everyone here and certainly don't mind hearing more on this subject.