Once a cheater, always a cheater"...... answer honestly please, I'm serious…. Is this saying true?
From my heart, I can honestly say no. Never again! No exceptions!
I think this might hold true to those of us whose's affairs were driven more by “specific situational circumstances” than they were by basic unresolved character issues.
For myself, I feel that this was a very particular personal situation that I was caught up in that can never repeat itself. The “buried feelings” that drove the affair are not buried anymore. I know too much to be the same person anymore.
Do you believe it is possible to R when the spouse still thinks highly of the OP?
If “thinks highly of the OP” means desiring or wanting the OP, then it’s not possible. I’m not sure that we have to vilify the OP but we do have to have total indifference to make R work. My battle right now in my R is trying to convince my BS that I have achieved indifference. She is not sure that I have put the OP in the past and it seems that nothing I say or do yet is addressing her fears. And yes, I have NC and total transparency in place. I have gotten rid of the OP triggers and am facing the reality that the “woman of my dreams” was also a BS/WS in her marriage at the time we had an affair. Butt none of these actions seem to help my BS resolve her fears about the OP coming back. In fact, I have volunteered writing a letter to the OP that is insulting/ evil/ vindictive in nature in order to ensure that all possible emotional attachments are destroyed by the sheer hatred expressed but in fact, my BS says that’s not necessary. I am going to write one out in the next few days so I have it in hand when I get home (work overseas) so I can hand it to her with my permission to mail it as a good faith sign that I have achieved indifference.
Do you really not think of the OP unless we talk about them?
IN some respects yes and no. Part of putting the A into perspective for the WS requires us to achieve indifference to the OP and that means we have to try come to terms with the “dream woman” of the affair and the post reality "other woman" of the affair. That’s called creating indifference and yes, it means, trying to close off the memories as good as possible. You try to stop thinking of her because you risk continuing the romanticizing pattern that you lead you to the affair in the first place. Another big thing for me is that I am already having a tough time keeping composure when my BS is in the room due to the amount of guilt and shame that I trigger each time that she looks at me with her hurt puppy dog eyes. Thinking of the OP and how my involvement with her lead to the affair also triggers the shame and guilt feelings and I really don't need two triggers and so, since I need to focus on the wife, I am trying to erase the OP from my head instead. Thus the deliberate forgetting part.
Did you LOVE your spouse? WW's encouraged to post.
Yes, I loved her pre-affair, loved her during the affair and am working hard to prove to her that I love only her post affair.
Jollum writes “My WW told me "but I always loved you". This just totally pissed me off. My contention is that the "love" she said she had is no more than general caring and concern for someone you've known a long time i.e., your grandmother or other family member. The "love" she had for the OM was the love that was missing from our marriage. Love is an action not a feeling. For me to show someone I love them is to do what makes them happy or is best for them. Did her cheating and lying fit either one of those? How do you love someone who you refuse to have sex with and lie to every day??? This has me so perplexed. Is she still in the FOG? Are we in false R because of this? She seems to be trying hard but this just floored me and makes me wonder if she is even close to getting it.
I don’t know if I can do justice to this post but I honestly do think it can happen that you find yourself “loving” two people at the same time. Too many people speak of “torn between two lovers” to discount the feeling from existing. And yes, I understand that this emotional tug of war did not mean that I had to succumb to the temptation. It my choice, fog or no fog that lead to the affair and I take full responsibility for that choice whether or not it was driven by lost feelings, love or lust.
Love is not an emotion that has special specific characteristics and parameters and if not met means that we can not continue to use the word love. For instance, we use the word exact same word “love” in conversations about our job, grandparents, dogs and wife and yet everyone seems to have a tacit understanding that each of these words does not have the same exact meaning and reference. Yes, the “love” emotion exists for all of these but it’s different and we all seem to understand that. Well the same applies to the affair and the OP and it explains how the WS can continue to say "I love you" to the BS and OP at the same time.
Jollum writes that “Love is an action not a feeling” and yet other posters have written totally conflicted opinions of what love is.
My love for my wife is a construct of emotions that have accumulated and evolved from day one. The giddiness of the first encounter had the pride of parenthood added, mixed with the trials and tribulations of 20+ years of marriage created the love that I felt before, during and after the affair. Yes, I know that some argue that I obviously did not have "love" if I had the affair but I disagree with that.
I can’t talk for the other WS, but the love for my OP was driven by the “buried and unresolved feelings” unleashed by the affair. Was it the same love as for my BS? No, it wasn’t but it felt like love in my heart and so that’s the words that I used to express those emotions.
And yes, I do understand that no matter what my feelings were, my action of having the affair negates how my wife perceived my love. It does not justify the affair, it merely explains it. I am not sure that I am phrasing this right but I think that a lot of the WS out there can understand where I am coming from even if I don’t articulate it well.
[This message edited by HUFI-PUFI at 1:36 AM, September 30th (Wednesday)]
Our marriage hasn't been all that easy. Lots of money problems, family stress, job issues, illness...we truly could not afford to separate even if we wanted to. In a sad sense, we're both kind of "stuck" here.
I have a question that I hope makes sense. I'm wondering how often people who are in "stuck" marriages maintain long-term affairs (you know, the kind that last for years and years) just to feel some sort of happiness, some sort of "hey, this is what love is supposed to feel like," some sense of normalcy.
I know any affair is not the norm, but I really wonder what some folks do when they really CAN'T split.
5/6 affairs tells me he doesn't really want to be here, and even after reconcilliation, I'm not sure the marriage is truly fixed.
Do people ever stay married with the understanding that "straying" is okay because they're stuck?
All opinions welcome...especially those WS's who have been in long-term relationships.
Better off I sparkle on my own ~ Anna Nalick
I started counseling before NC was fully established but after I had confessed to my H. I was still considering leaving, honestly. So the A had ended but I was open to renewing it (knew that I could) and basically becoming a permanent long-term OW (which is what xOM really wanted)
so ... one thing my IC did was point out that my thoughts were obsessive. He always referred to my thoughts about xOM and the A as obsessive thoughts. That was very helpful to me, it angered me on a lot of levels, but it helped.
He made me go get the "Feeling Good Handbook"
and work through it, I think that is what gave me concrete tactics to consider lies I was believing and acting on.
he asked me "What do I lose by losing xOM?"
and that question was really rooted in helping me to discover that the A wasn't about true love, it was about deep seated issues I had. If I answered that question honestly it opened up a lot more questions about what this was really about.
The other thing was he did a lot of probing about what I really wanted, how I really felt. It was when he did that that I realized I had no idea how I felt sometimes or what was true.
hope that gives you some direction.
wasfooled2: I wrote a thread back in 2006 for the LTA'ers, the BS's of LTAs. I bumped it for you in the WS forum. I will try to answer your specific questions but the thing you must understand is that your H is broken. Insane.
you do not really believe that but it is true. This isn't about you or the marriage. His A's are not about you.
read the thread, it might help you to come to see a bit more about the mind space of such a broken person. I know you are wounded and angry.
I'm praying for you now.
[This message edited by Maia at 10:44 AM, September 30th (Wednesday)]
This question comes up every now and again....
My answer is still the same.
I would rather kill myself then to go through that again. NEVER will I cheat again.
Adopt a chihuahua in your area
Thank you, that helps. I am doing counseling. It's part of my program, so I don't really have a choice. It's not what I want to do indefinitely, but for right now it's pretty fascinating.
I hope you are doing well.
Is it possible to have multiple A's over 4 years and when caught stop cold turkey and stay faithful. Also my WS says he loves me more than life it self, and wants to be with me forever, and always has. How can that be true. How can he love me when he is sleeping with another woman, calling her half a dozen times per day. Can anyone help me understand or is this all lies
Did any WS take their OP to their BS's favorite restaurant or watch their BS's favorite tv shows? I JFO that my WH took his OW to my favorite restaurant and watched MY favorite shows with OW. How could he do that?
Hang in there.
[This message edited by beach at 8:51 PM, October 1st (Thursday)]
Or because of the guilt and remorse of the affair, the WS thought that they were in love with their BS yet later figured out that it was just guilt leading them to think they loved their BS?
FWH and I have had a recent discussion about the A that has put him in a terrible funk... at first he responded angrily, but then he became pretty much despondent.
He says every time we talk about the details of the A, it makes him relive the hurt he put the kids and I through and remember what a jackass he has been.
I think he's started to internalize this view of himself as just a bad person because of his A.
Is this normal? Is this what people talk about as toxic shame? Is there anything I can do to help him through this stage?
At times like this, it seems like the kinder I am to him, the more depressed he becomes... It's a little hard for me to understand... I mean, after our original discussion, I wanted to shake him and say, "hey, I'm the one that just had a horrible trigger and I'm over it, why are you still wallowing?"
But I figured that would be the opposite of trying to move forward in a positive direction...
Any suggestions on helping him deal with himself?
Is this normal? Is this what people talk about as toxic shame? Is there anything I can do to help him through this stage?
When I went through this stage, it boiled down to having the feeling that I had done so much wrong I didn't deserve anything good in return. Every time I had to face the consequences of the actions I took, I had to remind myself of how low I had let myself fall.
Any attempt to remind me that one event didn't define me would just drive me deeper into a funk, because I would further compare the "pre-A me" to the "A me" and see just how awful I had been. In the early going, it was real difficult to see any way out.
IC was the only thing that really helped me get past that phase. I had to reach a place where I stopped letting others define me and started defining myself. As I learned to make myself the best person I could be each day, I gradually pulled myself out of the hole I had dug.
1. Ensure IC happens. It's a must.
2. Hold him accountable for his wallowing. Remind him of the choices he is making in the here and now. He cannot change his past. But he can choose today to either make your world a better place or a more depressing one.
3. Try to have as much patience as you can as he works his way through the recovery cycle. It took me five months post D-Day just to break the fog, and probably another seven months to stabilize the emotions and my focus on becoming a better person each day.
you no longer even think of the op?
my ws never made love to me....he had sex with me and out loud made love to the op...he would ask close to climax "what does "SHE" want?', was one of his out loud comments....i have since put 2 and 2 together and he confirmed the the she was the op....so anyways, he and i never made love because "she" was always there....he was completely disconnected from me and the kids, everything and everyone was prioritized over me and the kids, he was emotinally abusive, he also had multiple affairs not just the one he loved, because she was married before they became a "they"...she was not available as often as he wanted so he branched out...
but still he loved her, he believed he loved her deeply, her smile just her smile made his day, she was also the one who "did it" for him...no matter how unavailable she was he never gave up....
so how can this love be over just because i found out..he said that it less then 10 days to no longer feel this so called love...yet when i had questioned him upon finding out and this was months later, when he spoke of her, the love part was not in the past tense...it was kind of a just is...
would you believe him that he no longer loves this person and that he now sees he never did?
i personally believe that he was so used to compartmentalizing and putting her away that that is exactly what he has done since....and i don't think he ever really dealt with the pain of losing her....because he is too wrapped up in losing me right now anyway...
any insights would be greatly appreciated....i need to put it all together so that i could let go of it and him...
I’ve looked through but not read all the posts and hope this question hasn’t been asked too many times before.
As a BS, one thing I hear often is that the OP is irrelevant. Nothing would be gained by trying to speak to her, get answers from her, get an apology from her, nothing. Be the “bigger person” and ignore her.
I’ve never made any attempt to contact her in any way.
In MC recently the topic of my continuing resentment of the OW came up. Our MC asked me if it didn’t give me some measure of satisfaction to know that I’m being the bigger person in this situation. My answer was “No, not really”.
Yes, on one hand I know it's the correct thing to do to ignore her and focus on our M and our R. On the other hand, it feels a little wimpy as well. It would make me crazy to think she thought I was afraid of her. Or too weak to open my mouth and confront her personally. For her to think she has ANY power over me whatsoever. I already feel that she’s gotten off scott free in this mess.
Is my thinking way off base?
My husband thinks the same as you, he feels like a wimp because he hasn't gotten up in XOM's face. He does follow the XOM when he can find him and does a few other things but never has done anything face to face.
We have been in R 3 1/2 years now. This is still going on.
From my side I can tell you that this is keeping XOM in the marriage when I want XOM GONE. It keeps my husband upset and it upsets me. I really wish he wouldn't do the things he does but it started out that I thought it might be a way for him to heal. Now it has become an obsession.
I hope it doesn't become an obsession with you.
Thank you. I haven’t gone so far as to physically follow her or anything like that but I do try to keep track of what she’s doing. I did drive by her house once just so I would know how to find it if I ever needed to.
I see your point about my behavior keeping the OW in the M. My WH doesn’t know I still seek out information about her. So far I’ve kept these activities to myself and, I admit, it has become an obsession. Maybe I should tell my WH I’m doing this.
Can I ask you this? Would you think, in your case, that XOM considers your husband a wimp?
1. When followed XOM does everything to loose my husband.
2. (We work in the same building) If XOM is standing outside and sees my husband on the street or parking to watch XOM, XOM will go inside where he cannot be seen.
3. When my husband calls XOM will not answer.
[This message edited by Sandcrab at 2:47 PM, October 6th (Tuesday)]
Thank you for your candor. I hope that wasn't an inappropriate question.
I'm sure what I'm asking is something so individually specific that it may not even be answerable. It just burns me that the OW could be somewhere gloating that she's somehow superior because she not only screwed my H and got away with it without a scratch but all I did about it was slink away like a wounded dog.
I hope you find closure.
I find it hard to believe...he didn't hurt when he was doing it (yeah, I know he was in a fog, but still)...I'm just having a hard time believing he can actually understand the severity of the excruciating pain he has caused. Is it possible he really can?
[This message edited by Jessy1501 at 3:50 PM, October 8th (Thursday)]
Do you really "hurt" for the pain that you caused your WS?
I'm assuming you meant to type the pain that we caused our BS here. The answer is absolutely.
he didn't hurt when he was doing it
It's tough to explain it to anyone who has never experienced being in an altered state of mind. During the A, I had convinced myself all kinds of falsehoods were reality. And one of those falsehoods was not considering the damage I was doing.
When a WS finally faces their own actions and sees clearly for the first time, the pain they created comes flooding to the top. It's not the same kind of pain the BS feels, but it's just as intense and just as real.