Then when we catch them, we make the changes, and life goes on.
Or, they leave. And life goes on... only better!
All I can say is they are NOT for you. I would say f that!
but i really do not care one way or another-I really don't even look at her much anymore-if she is stupid enough to think she needs to spend $5-10k on plastic, she can go right ahead-I'll remind her abt it when she calls me crying because she can't put the kids in college.
I know they would not be for me, just like I knew the padded pushup $50+ VS bras weren't for me...
My wife had a flirtatous friendship that turned physically intimate while on a work trip.
I've always had problems with understanding her frame of mind because the first time a woman married for 14 years cheats and she directly moves right into spending three nights with him. I think what I've had trouble grasping is because she was so physically intimate, that I assumed she must have had an emotional level if intimacy to match.
What it comes down to is my wife had serious self esteem issues and couldn't believe this guy was paying attention to her. She used physical intimacy to gain and keep his attention.
The part of this that has made it hard for me to understand and move on from is that I assumed her connection and love for me would have at least caused an internal conflict with conflicting feelings for two different men. As we continue to discuss things and reflect on where we have come from, I'm really starting to understand how messed up she was in that shenever saw him as a replacement for me or really even felt romantic feelings for this guy.
As a guy I hear this and think.... Oh I see, then you just wanted to get laid. The thing is though I believe she's trying her best to describe what she was feeling at the time when she tells me it wasn't the sex she was after but rather his attention. She just learned as a teenager without great role models that you get boys attention by putting out.
She demonstrated terrible self respect by sacrificing so much sel worth by getting attention in this way.
I guess 2 years out I would say when dealing with different genders and maybe some deep personal development issues is when it quacks like a duck it isn't always a duck really.
If I changed the word attention to milk, and sex to a buck, it would work right?
If she no longer drinks milk, from other stores, you're good, if she is still shopping around, well............
The way I see it, it's having enough sense of personal value and boudaries to offer appropriate responses in our personal interactions. I compare it to not kissing the refrigerator repairman for fixing the fridge. That's no more appropriate than screwing a friend to get attention. KWIM?
Another IMHO is that WW sometimes say things that are less than true in an effort to smooth us out. Things like "the sex wasnt good" or "he had a little dick" or "he could not get it up sometimes" or "I had no emotional involvement with him". Just something to watch out for. Hope I am wrong tho.
I am 12 years past Dday#1 and 2 years past Dday#2. After Dday#1 WW told me she hated OM. That he used her. That she didnt miss him at all. Then 10 years later she contacted him again thinking they could be "just friends". You can guess how that went.
So at 2 years you still may have some stuff to go thru and watch out for. Just keep you eyes open. Hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
The way I see it, it's having enough sense of personal value and boundaries to offer appropriate responses in our personal interactions. I compare it to not kissing the refrigerator repairman for fixing the fridge. That's no more appropriate than screwing a friend to get attention. KWIM?
I think you might be onto something really deep and profound that I'd sort of relegated to the "not so important" bin.
First, you need some context:
My wife's LTA was with my best friend of 20 years. And when I say "my best friend", I mean that our families socialized 2-3 days a week. We worked on each others cars. We swapped houses every week to host football parties. We were *tight* and involved and entwined with one another's kids and families.
Their family was non-traditional, as in, my friend's wife had cheated on him and left him, then couldn't hack it on her own and had moved back in with him for a couple of years to co-parent their kids while both of them dated. Their house was a constant coming-and-going of friends, temporary boyfriends and girlfriends...almost a college scene of largely irresponsible adults hanging out and drinking, bitching, watching movies, etc.
During her LTA (the weekend I busted her, in fact), my wife also had a ONS with OM's ex-wife and ex-wife's current boyfriend.
One of the things my wife said to me near D-day was "I just wanted to feel like I fit in with them. I wanted to feel like I belonged with them."
I dismissed that as meaning drinking, drugs, partying and being generally irresponsible.
But she didn't ever say, "I wanted to feel like I belonged to *him*." That is, to xOM. When she talks about it now, it's almost as if her affair wasn't with "him" at all, but with "them". She was screwing them all vicariously through his dick, integrating through his cock into their family dynamic.
In some ways, for her the price of fitting in and being accepted into that group was fucking. Fucking xOM at first, but then fucking the ex-wife and her boyfriend...being sexually available like she perceived everyone else to be, plus they all had that shared sexual history from either having been married or currently fucking one side of the formerly married pair. What they had was a bizarre your kids/my kids shared family dynamic where everyone was responsible for all of the kids and no one was individually responsible for any of them.
She didn't feel like she belonged enough because our family was normal, stable, and even though we socialized frequently, wasn't intertwined in an unhealthy way (at least while I was in the picture, because I'd always maintained that I thought that arrangement was a little creepy, unhealthy and irresponsible).
My wife's affair started at the same time that I was actually withdrawing from that group because it was clear to me that they were into a spiral of self-destruction that wasn't good for us. While I was backing out and voicing my concerns, she was digging in, trying to become part of it.
Anyway, what I'm getting at is that their currency for belonging to the group was sex. Everyone but her currently was or in the past had been having sex with others in the group. She was isolated by that lack of sexual involvement and the shared history that goes along with it.
Sharing sex was the price of admission to belonging, and she didn't have either the self-esteem to say that she didn't need to belong to another group in that way (i.e., that she was valuable enough to be accepted on her own terms) or the boundaries to recognize that the sort of trade she was making was inappropriate.
She just wanted to belong to them, to feel like a part of their group. And I think the self-esteem component is critical there...it shows a much deeper deficit than just "He gave me attention and I gave sex to keep it coming." That's not just an ego stroke, that's a fundamental flaw where someone truly believes that they are unworthy of friendship and acceptance unless they're offering something enormous back to keep others interested in them.
I can't even fathom it, personally. What must it be like to think so poorly of yourself that for just a hint of acceptance, you're willing to burn down the rest of your life and everything you claim to be and believe in just to fit in? I don't know that there's a therapy ingenious enough to convince someone that a self-perception that toxic is untrue...at least not when you're 30+ and thus have spent the bulk of your lifetime believing it.
That all makes complete sense to me in the context that my wife is a SAb. She's always believed that you traded sex for love or sex for friendship and that was a square trade. Does any of that resonate with what you know of your wife?
[This message edited by wincing_at_light at 5:42 PM, September 30th (Wednesday)]
I didn't mean to imply that my wife had NO emotional attachment to the OM. They shared a friendship and started at some point with the BB texting bitching about people at work and such. Well, throw in a few smarmy compliments from the OM here and there and my wife starts getting addicted to the attention. It was never a romantic type of thing where they spoke of emtional subjects. It was a friendship that turned flirtatious and then they had opprtunity with the work trip.
What I am saying however is that the emotional investment that was made was not consistent with how it was expressed in phyisical intimacy. Even though they physically were the most intimate two people can be, there was no "tenderness" so to speak, no cuddling, no caressing after the sex. Hell he left her room a bit after the sex each time and didnt even spend the night. With the exception of the sex, they just acted like best buddies. The physical intimacy was not consistent with the level of thier closeness emotionally. This was not an emotionally intimate relationship. This leads me back to having value for yourself beyond "kissing the regrigerator repairman".
I do think they are some consistencies in our situations. My wife was not a SAB but she did lose her mom at a young age and had no clear female role model. She also had some abadonement issues from that. She had recently been laid off from one job and was very much trying to prove herself at a new job. She was feeling stupid and that she was over her head so she just sooo much wanted to be accepted. This OM was in a leadership position (not directly over her) and she respectd him.
She remembers being suprised at first when he would send her an IM after work hours. She just couldn't believe that she deserved any atention from anyone like that. It's the old her husband HAD to pay attention to me.
In some ways I too think the affair was as much with a situation (hers being work) than it was with an individual. When I confronted her with evidence she dropped him like a hot potato without even a hint of looking back. He continued to work there for 3 more months and she was uncomfortable even being around him. I believe all of this (with some tidbits of external verification thrown in). It wasn't about him, it was about the attention and belonging.
The other dynamic at play is that she had been losing alot of weight prior to the affair. I really don't believe it was because of the affair because it was over a few years and it was really a health issue. Well after being overweight your whole life, she now feels there should be training to know how to handle attention from men when there never was any before. She was always the "fat girl".
My wife does seem like a different person now in many ways. She says he feels like she was a stupid little child with no self respect and she feels she is so much more an actual adult now with a higher view of her self worth.
We can argue 'till the cows come home but the root cause of this subject discussed is attention related.
It now seems possible that enough is not enough in many cases.
T2G, attention is exactly the root, and may be the absolute cause of many WS's. Women, and I really don't know how to not generalize here, seem to need to "fit in" more then men. In my observations, anyway. I think one of my W's biggest things was that she was hanging with a bunch of single women, most of whom were on the prowl. A couple of them were OW, knowingly, some were young singles, and others were divorced women looking to prove they still had it. I have met most of W's friends, past and all present, and it comes down to, "you are who you hang out with". Luckily for us, she realized most of the toxic friends, and removed that element from her life.
Most of us learn by high school where we're unwilling to make compromises in order to fit in. We're comfortable enough in our own skin to say "This is who I am. Like it or suck it." And we forge lasting bonds based on what we're willing to share with our peer groups (and what we're not willing to share, where we're not willing to compromise, etc. That's about identifying friends/groups with like values with whom to form associations).
What many of us have seen is that essentially, our WW's failed to learn the lessons of Junior High and have simply aged with this core feeling of inadequacy and not really knowing who they are and where their boundaries are. Their entire lives are conducted with a Junior High mentality...which probably also explains why my wife hates disciplining our kids because it makes her "the bad guy" and she really wants our kids to "like" her.
(Note: this is not to say that she doesn't parent them anyway, just that she prefers to have them identify her as a friend and behave towards her like a friend rather than as a parent/child.)
This is the first time Ive told my story here.
My WW had a strong EA going on long before the PA started. She didnt tell me this was the way it was on Dday#1. It was something I discovered later.
You see we were the typical "married with kids and jobs" couple. We had a house and 3 boys to take care of and we both had jobs.
For work we had nearly opposite schedules by choice. That way one parent would be at home in the morning before school and the other parent would be there in the evening to handle things.
I handled the morning shift by getting up a bit later and coming home later as well. She on the other hand handled the afternoon-evening shift with the kids by going in to work very early and getting off early as well.
So by the time I got home she would be in bed asleep or nearly so. And when she got up in the morning I would still be asleep. We really only saw each other on weekends.
Neither of us was happy with this situ. But it seemed like the only way we could cover what we needed to with the kids and still have us both employed. I knew this and tried my best to make the time we had together good. We did date nights on the weekend and took nice vacations (often without the kids). I bought her cards and flowers regularly and also jewelry on occasion. She still wasnt happy. And I have to say neither was I.
When I would arrive home a bit earlier than usual and she would still be up she would be an absolute bitch to be around. Or she would be silent and just sit in front of the tele. I didnt know what to do. I felt confused and helpless.
In the end I self medicated. And now I suppose she did as well. I got more involved in work. I took on larger projects and gained responsibilities. I also got involved in a number of hobies to pass my time with. She on the other hand self medicated with having the OM.
The OM was a guy from her work. He was a serial cheater. She knew this and yet she befriended him. At first they would talk about work stuff. In time tho their talk became more personal. This lasted for several years.
Slowly the OM made his advances. Suggesting they should take their friendship to the "next level" She said that at first she refused. But she didnt break off their friendship when that happened so the PA became inevitable.
The first time they screwed was when I was away on a business trip. It was in our bed after the kids were at school.
The PA then was off an running. They would meet at our house after I left for work. They would meet at our house in the afternoon before the kids got off school. They would take breaks at work and drive to a secluded area and screw in his van.
Eventually we moved because of a work opportunity for me. At her work her entire department was let go. It was a down sizing where all the jobs were moved to Malaysia. Her OM stayed with the company by transfering to a different division. We moved.
After we moved she took repeated trips home to "see her family" and "see her girl friends". On these trips she didnt see any family or girl friends. Just the OM. So I was paying for flights. Rental cars. And their hotels together. They took weekend trips together to romantic locations. They dated. Went to museums. Did all the things people in love do.
She was gone roughly 50% of the time from our home and kids. And I was left there to work to pay for all this. And take care of the kids. And take care of the household chores.
So why did I do this? I knew she was unhappy and I was trying to change that. Stupid me. I TRUSTED her. I never believed she would have an A. Stupid me.
When I outed them I first got the line that they were just friends. Then got the line that it was just a physical thing. Later I discovered love letters. And more and more about what they did together.
All I can say is that a LT PA/EA is a bitch to get over.
My wife's second(?) affair was with a guy she had been with, abused by, left, left by, and came back to, over the course of most of her adult life. I'd say there was an emotional attachment there. The thing is, until she did IC, she confused his emotional abuse, for affection. He knew which buttons to push, and she always responded. To tell the truth, until he dies, I'll fear this.
[This message edited by Razor at 1:49 PM, October 1st (Thursday)]
You know if they want to have another A there really is no way we can stop it.
As it was with the first one. Trust is incredibly vulnerable.