Now we are working on starting over and building back our life together. I built a very strong wall between us and it's taking some work to tear it back down after so many years.
Or at least that's how I understand things today, 2 months after d-day. I expect my understanding will deepen and change as reconciliation proceeds.
Nothing much but love to give you, even less have I to hide - Tim O'Brien
The selfishness is really the key for me. I expected everything from him, and didn't give anything in return.
I've learned that giving in a relationship is so much more rewarding.
I've learned that communication is vital.
This has been such good insight and is really about getting downto the real issues. The day to day 'stuff' needs to be gooten out also BUT getting down to the true issues is where healing comes.
So yes, it made me feel great since she thought I was funny, smart, etc. etc. etc. I loved how she made me feel about myself. I loved how she just listened to me when I told her about work or other things and how she remembered it. I loved how she surprised me. I loved the sex we had but in the end: IT WAS ALL ABOUT ME!
I realise that I was just selfish and thinking about myself only risked the most important thing I had in my life. Not our kids, not our family but the trust I had from my wife. How she was completely ignorant when I did what I did behind her back for a year with her best friend. How she felt things were going on but was too insecure to say anything to me about it.
And yes, it was much more exciting in some aspects than my marriage was but the affair was also incomplete and not even close to real life. It could not have gone on and I should have been stronger myself for wanting to get out.
Now I realise how much I had and risked and we are now very busily in R and have just passed our first antiversary. We are on the right track but I realise that I need a lot of hard work, transparency and patience to regain her trust.
in IC the other day, i actually had a discovery and i stumbled onto it myself. BH is very nonchalant and aloof about alot of things, hell, mostly everything. he's fairly laid back and most things can't, won't, and don't get a rise out of him. i used to joke that if we won the lottery i'd have no way of knowing because his facial expression wouldn't change. he agreed. my discovery was this - maybe i had the A to get some kind of reaction out of him. like i said, he's pretty aloof - doesn't say much, only gets upset if the Lakers lose or only win by a few points or if our finances aren't lookin' so hot. now, d-days 1 & 2 arrive and i actually see some kind of reaction out of him - he shows me anger, pain, despair, frustration, sadness, etc. - reactions i have either never seen before or haven't seen in years. i'm still uncovering my whys - but i'm trying to uncover them, and i do believe that's critical, whether we R or not.
There was no love making, no caressing, cuddling, not even holding hands. I craved that again. I think everyone needs to feel loved and needs physical contact. I was not getting that, and this was almost 3 yrs. prior to my A.
I learned through IC that its not abnormal nor is it asking much to be shown love. I think over time we take eachother for granted, and forget all the little things that made us fall in love.
I didn't and don't want a roomate, I want a lover/friend. I never got that from my H, as much as I voiced it. All I kept being told was, I was bitching and complaining about things that weren't important.?? Not important??? Thier very important in a relationship.
Yes, I regret how I handled things and how I went about seeking what I desired. But at that time I didn't care. I was selfish, not thinking about anyone's feeling but my own.
Even after months of R'ing, things didn't change. I tried and did everything I could with no luck. What I want/need my BS didn't want to give me. Again, he didn't think it was important. He even called me to "emotionally high maintance".
I think it was then I realized that this M was not going anywhere. It was hard, but I chose to leave. I couldn't live they was it was anymore. I needed to save my sanity.
Don't get me wrong, I miss my BS terribly, but I cannot go back to the way things were. I do hope one day that fate will bring us back together. I will never stop loving him.
All affairs are variations on a theme. No one has 'Beethoven's 5th' to everyone else's 'Chopsticks'.
Why did yo do it?
Bottom line, I was selfish...
Nobody forgets what happens, the secret is learning to live with it.
fWH seems to have same opinion of himself. A#3 started as EA & OW making him feel special. He said recently, it could have been anyone (being with OW again was easy/familiar because of previous 2 As). After my accident, I didn't feel like a man in a wheelchair. I needed someone to touch me & make me feel special. When I first came home, you made me feel that way, but over time, it had changed & I honestly thought you didn't leave me because everyone would be angry for you leaving a paraplegic.
The touch thing was a big reason for all fWH's affairs. He feels love through sexual intimacy. I think it's because he started having sex @13 with classmates his own age. I think he confused sex with LOVE. He has dysfunctional family as child (extremely physically/verbally abusive father toward his mom & he/brother both).
For me, I got addicted to CyberSex while in college (I guess you'd call me a fWF @the time). We were engaged & I was only home on weekends & breaks (lived there full-time during the summers). We couldn't afford to talk much on phone, so I guess I really loved the attention of the online A. But, for me also, I liked the excitement & "dirty" part of online element. I didn't have to actually touch anyone and I never loved OM @all (love for him never even popped into my head). I've always been miss Goody-Goody. Felt like I had to behave in certain ways, or my family wouldn't approve of or love me. I was always the ugly fat friend that hung out w/the pretty girl (or that was my opinion of myself) and I was prone to having major crushes on boys in school. So bad, that I would get really depressed once I was rejected by them. Almost obsessed with my crushes. I never had a father (even though my uncle was a male figure I respected in my life). I think, being without a father, made me have low self esteem. That I thought no MAN could love me, since my father chose to never meet me. And, my mother leaving me & my brother with our Nana for a few years to straighten her life up (NC w/us whatsoever)...well, that really secured my poor self opinion.
A few times on vacation at my cousin's as a teen, I displayed very careless behavior & I think it was because I wanted to "pretend" to be someone else. Cybersex let me be Someone Else.
As a preteen/early teen, I actually starved myself, to fit into what I thought was acceptable. Yea, I was skinny....seeing the photos, I was warmed-over death.
I think too, that my relationship w/fWH is more like an obsession. He was the most handsome man I'd ever met in my life (still don't know what he ever saw in me) and receiving his attention put me on cloud nine. Having him around, made me feel like I finally had a home & family. Like I WAS something special, attractive, & even SEXY. I guess, I secretly couldn't live up to what my outward appearance was...the CyberSex changed his opinion of me....but, I think it was my way of saying "I'm not perfect & it's exhausting trying to be - when nobody ever accomplishes that."
P.S. I think fWH craves being KISA. Almost all his long-term girlfriends (including me & OW) had an absentee father (one was deceased). I think he likes to be the father-figure or a controlling presence. He's not abusive or anything toward me, but I never actually stood up to him until we had children & I had very strong opinions about how I wanted them raised. I was more of a laid-back, wishy-washy type. He said he liked me because I was shy & quiet (unlike his noisy past girlfriends).
[This message edited by repeatBS326 at 2:46 PM, October 6th (Tuesday)]
Any other BS who's WS got involved with an old flame might benefit from reading. Thanks for the thread and all of you for your insights.
Like others have said I need the external validation. I have discovered that this also traslates into my expensive shopping sprees. I always want others to notice me and compliment me. I wont go anywhere without make up, even when I go to casual affairs I am over dressed. The OM was always complimenting me. Telling me how great I looked, how he liked certain parts of my body, etc. When I mentioned to him I wanted to lose weight he would say I was perfect the way I was. On the other hand my fiance would say I needed to start losing weight. It's not that he wanted to put me down, but because he knew I always wanted to get back to my pre pregnancy weight. So many issues... too many to think about.
If anything positive has come out of this, it is that it has allowed me to examine myself and many of the things I do.