Just wondering if I am off the mark here or what?
I went step by step with him through the events of that night. It wasn't until two rounds of sex was over and done with, lying on the bed with the "after-glow" (my term, not his) that "what the hell have I done" (his term) FINALLY hit him. (Nearly 3 hours after the steep slide down the slippery slope.)
Is this common?
I just can't wrap my head around the fact that it took THAT LONG for "something" inside his brain to kick in and say, "Who, cowboy, what you're planning to do is WRONG!"
Not while waiting for a ride to the hotel with "it", not while "it" checked them into a room, not when "it" removed her clothing, not when he began removing his clothing, not when he laid down on the bed, etc. Not until the DEEDS were done did his conscious "function".
Having a VERY difficult/impossible time in understanding why it took so damn long.
When an A starts, logic leaves. During the A, memories are changed or erased entirely. As the A continues to get deeper, the addictive nature of the A takes over and has some documented/studied interactions with the brain. It isn't just the WH or WW.
Many WH or WW are also MOM or MOW, so the same things you are trying to figure out about your WH are the same things the MOM in your situation probably did.
If it is a single OP, then I think it is a bit more of a dilemma as to how the OP thought it was okay. Sometimes that is all out manipulation by the WH/WW. Sometimes the single OP just doesn't care and is out for some sex.
@unhappy - for me, it was a realization that I had 2 fractured and damaged relationships going at the same time. Neither was complete, and neither was filling the emptiness that I felt. I ended the A and am trying to figure out my M. I'd rather have no relationship than juggle 2 seriously fractured ones.
@devestaed - yes, it can take that long to feel the hammer hitting you in the head. Before that, it's just a little voice in your head - one that can rather easily be silenced by some of us. Hormones and validation take over, and there you are, 2-3 hours later, wondering WTF? I think it's the epitome of thinking with the wrong head. Of course we had a choice, and of course we ignored the voices telling us NO. But, we did it anyway :(
@mostly - I may not be the best to answer this one since as a MOW I eventually came to the realization that there was NOTHING meaningful about the A. Before that, I just saw it as a relationship separate from either M. Never once did I think that he he would leave. In fact, I feared it because I was M too. Some OW will feed his ego and then drop the bomb that they expect him to leave. Some pretend that it's OK he's a cake-eater for a while, but they get tired of waiting and leave or find a SG. Some were lied to and strung along but they believed what he said about leaving his W and family.
I will keep talking if there are more questions. PM if you prefer.
Devestatedx5 Ė Having a VERY difficult/impossible time in understanding why it took so damn long (for him to .feel that what he was doing was wrong).
The BS's often comment on how hard it is to understand the mindset of the WS during the affair and in truth, quite often, you hear that that WS canít comprehend wheat was happening in their heads either.
I can go on about compartmentalization and rationalization. I can talk about minimization and sublimation. I can even talk about the chemical haze in the brain that distorts the sense of judgement and reason. But the truth is that nothing that we say can fully explain how it is that our common sense disappeared completely during out affairs.
Whether it was a deliberate way of creating some inner space between guilt and desire or whether itís an involuntary reaction to the conflicting desires that were in existence, the reality is that we were disconnected at some level. Some of us ignored the sense of guilt and wrongness and others perhaps didnít even have a sense of guilt but still knew on an intellectual level that it was wrong.
Unknown Poster - The mind of a WS is a very sordid, confused place during the preamble, main body, and post mortem of an A. Don't give us too much credit for rational thought.
In truth, I have a hard time integrating the affair especially as I was writing out pro and con lists in the first week of my EA and I was writing about how conflicted I was and yet I still walked into the affair without hesitation on some level. Itís almost like having these blinders on that keeps you focused on the affair as to compared to seeing anything else. Itís wasnít so much that I could not see the consequences, it was more that they were an unreal phantom compared other pull of the affair. Hard to explain rationally now but at the time, it was just this powerful pull that swept you along without rhyme or reason.
nlovemyfamily - I have always lived intentionally with a clear vision of a future or a goal I intend to reach. Family was the embodiment of this vision....Seems like one of us has shifted to a more day to day existence.... My XH has recently told me he has no vision and lives day to day. Is this a common thread in those who veer off the path of the intended vision as a "family" or a "couple"?
Iím not quite clear about what you are asking but m going to take a stab at it anyhow.
I guess in one sense, all affairs have to be considered a shift in WSís vision of how they viewed their marriages insofar as the affair represents a major veering off the straight and narrow path that so many of us implicitly and explicitly thought we were going to be following when we got married. If this is what you are asking about, then I guess it is quite the common occurrence because up to 50% of all marriages seem to be affected by infidelity.
However, I donít think that this is what you are asking with your post. I believe that you are wondering if itís common for the WS to find themselves reconsidering their entire viewpoint about marriage and relationships from one that encompasses a long term outlook as compared to a short term (day by day) vision as a consequence of the affair.
If that is what youíre asking, then I have to be honest and admit that I donít know the answer with due consideration that SI is more or less populated by WSís who are committed to reconciliation. I think that most of us here still are trying to resurrect our marriages with a viewpoint that is not much different from how we originally saw it. I suspect that most of us are still hoping for a long term, family oriented relationship with our spouse.
However, I can see that reconsideration may be fairly common if the WS has come to a whole new way of seeing their lives, their valves and their viewpoint to relationships after they have dug deep in IC. You commonly hear that people got married because of the kids or they figured out that this was the only way to have sex or because it was expected or whatever. Lots of reasons that perhaps, in the aftermath of an affair, the WS may be reconsidering this time around. Perhaps they have come to the a new level of understanding that says, I am really not temperamentally cut out to be a long term partner and parent within the normal vision of life and family.
I think that depending on various factors (age, degree of emotion hurt etc), the whole experience of seeing the inherent disparity between our fantasy of what marriage and life is and the actual reality that we experience would almost guarantee that a certain degree of ďreconsideration and reframingĒ would be normal and common for a lot of people, affairs or not.
Is this common? I donít know for sure but considering how many people (divorced and/or widowed) decide not to get married again, it seems that reframing how we look at long term relationships is becoming more and more common.
Unhappyladyinluv - For those WSís that weren't really broken just thought they could have their cake and eat it too. What made you decide to change and become a faithful spouse again?
Whether the cake eating is driven by the WSís confusion (I donít know which one I love the most) or whether its driven by desire (I want to have both of them), the simple fact is that the WSís ability to cake eat is driven by one thing and one thing alone and thatís the BSís failure to have this as a deal breaker.
It canít be cake eating if one of the pieces of cake isnít on the menu anymore. If the OW isnít out of the picture, then the wife has to be the one that is off limits. Make it simple, me or the other. No if and buts. A simple black and white decision is all that it takes to get rid of the cake eating problem.
As long as the WS is allowed implicitly to continue his affair, he will. To my way of thinking, there is no bigger slap alongside the head than waking up to find the moving van in the front yard or the bags packed and outside the door. I simply canít see a more emphatic way of forcing the decision.
Bunnyhop - Within my boundaries are green pastures, beyond an abyss.
My XH has recently told me he has no vision and lives day to day. Is this a common thread in those who veer off the path of the intended vision as a "family" or a "couple"?
I the case of your XWH, he is still slinging shit around trying to get some to stick. He is unable to commit.
So, I think you are off the mark if you are trying to determine a WS pattern. Maybe it is a characteristic or phase that a WS goes through or gets stuck in, but the WS here are more likely to work through it instead of letting themselves get stuck.
Mostlymine ĖI can't wrap my head around what would make a married woman (OW) think she could have a meaningful relationship with a married man that is not her husband (WH) and that they would be together. That he would leave everything for her. That she means more than his own wife.
Well, I donít know of your husbandís relationship with his AP and I canít speak for the emotional entanglement that existed. But I can speak for what happened in my affair and in large part, I think that her feelings about what sort of relationship she would end up with were due to what I told her to expect. I was the one that talked about feelings from day one, not her. I told her that I cared for her and had never stopped loving her. I told her that my passion ran deep and that I was still in love with her. Admittedly, she was emotionally vulnerable due to some issues in her own marriage but if it wasnít for the hook line and sinker that I fed her, I donít think it would have evolved into the EA that it did. In my situation, the married AP didnít come to any conclusions as to our ďmeaningful futureĒ until I talked her into it.
So, what was your H telling her? While there is a possibility that she came to these ďunreasonable expectationsĒ on her own without him ever mentioning things, I think that its slim odds that he was not guilty at some level of leading her on.
The OP can seem like a shining beacon of light versus the humdrum of marriage. It is only too late that one realizes that the beacon of light is coming from the flames of hell- HUFI
Any WSs out there who have very stubborn personalities? You know the kind - the ones that will rarely and very reluctantly admit they were wrong; the ones that have somewhat of an issue with authority when backed against the wall?
I ask about the stubbornness because I believe that those types of people take a MUCH longer time to come around to look at themselves and admit what they threw away.
Perhaps his stubbornness has the same origine as his baiting you for conversation. He could be trying to 'prove' how normal and human he is... It's a stretch, I know.
We share children and barely talk.
Some of us ignored the sense of guilt and wrongness and others perhaps didnít even have a sense of guilt but still knew on an intellectual level that it was wrong.
Here's what I don't get.
He'd never have sex with an animal, or a child. Why? Well, something deeply ingrained and repulsive to him. He SHOULD'VE had the same aversion/repulsion to a ONS, but didn't.
His reason/justification/excuse of "I let things get out of control" just isn't settling right for me, long-term.
And, since he's asked me to marry him again, I stand uncertain. I see the great improvements he's made personally and with me over the last nearly 4 years, but I (and yes, this may be MY problem), I "compare/contrast" those improvements against our first 21 years. (If that makes any sense to you.)
I know, deep within my "being" that robbing a store is WRONG, I know it when I think about it, I know it when I plan to do it, I'd know it WHILE I was doing it. I may internally tell that "voice" to shut the hell up, I'm going to do it anyways, etc., but nonetheless, that voice IS THERE!!!!
So, what "happens" when one DOESN'T hear that little voice? Is it a sign of .... I don't know, inability to distinguish between right and wrong? Inability to care?
[This message edited by NOTINKANSAS at 2:35 PM, April 13th (Wednesday)]
Here's what I don't get.
He'd never have sex with an animal, or a child. Why? Well, something deeply ingrained and repulsive to him. He SHOULD'VE had the same aversion/repulsion to a ONS, but didn't.
Well, I was abused as a child, and I find the thought of sex with children so extremely abhorrent, it's hard for me to understand someone did that to me.
As a wayward, I engaged in mostly ONS. The distinction, for me, that I make, is that sex with children or animals is not only repulsive and disgusting, but it's because the acts themselves are done with such a disparity in power between the individuals, a child vs an adult, an animal with a human. Neither a child or an animal can give consent.
Two, legally, consenting adults engaging in adulterous behavior, where is the disparity in power? There isn't between those two selfish people. That is how I can see and say at the time, the ONS were not as repulsive as sex with animals/children.
However, due to the selfish nature of the WS and our inability to see the bigger picture, is that we are not even thinking about the third person (or more) who are being just as injured as an abused child or animal by our harmful choices. In my mind, when I was engaging in ONS, my direct actions, I didn't view as directly doing harm to my BH. But that's the lie we tell ourselves. We're not really hurting anyone, when in actuality, we're decimating our loved ones.
Just as a child, I could not control the abuse that was being done to me, in the same manner a BS cannot control the abuse that infidelity is doing to them. The vast difference is that a child, an animal, is utterly powerless to change their circumstances. A BS, an adult, yes hurt beyond words and sometimes action, does have the choice to change their situation.
As a faithful spouse, I would never rob the store for fear that I would be sent to jail and not be able to be with my family.
As a faithless spouse, I would never rob the store for fear that I would be sent to jail and not be able to be with my family.
It's hard to make analogies because there simply are no absolutes. I don't understand how, generally speaking, some people are pro-life but are also pro-death penalty. I don't understand racism, or sexism. I don't understand murder. Do you see what I'm trying to say? Not trying to be political, but trying to point out that each individual carries their own set of values, and some may match up to your own and many will not, and that goes for your spouse, your neighbor, even your children. Each of us lives by our own moral code, that is shaped by our experiences, FOO, etc.
In short, I guess I'm trying to say that being faithless, doesn't mean I'm more likely to rob, murder. Am I risking my family in the same manner, yes.
I hope I haven't confused.
And my heart goes out to you as SURVIVOR of abuse.
Although you were both in the same M, the M wasn't viewed the same by both parties, esp when most WS rewrite their marital history. For many, communication and boundaries are a no brainer and for others its not so obvious. For some of us, we've had little to no boundaries all our lives. Its what we know. For some of us, communication can become difficult as time passes by in an M.
That doesn't mean we don't love our spouses, a lot of us didn't know how to properly communicate from the start; Read The Five Love Languages. My H responds to physical touch and I respond to time together. We never spoke the same language. I always assumed it was just sex and I would want to talk instead. He'd think I wasn't interested in him, see the miscommunication? Couple that with the daily grinds of work and parenting, if your not really communicating its lonely, esp if the person already feels terribly lonely inside.
This loneliness leads to self pity, for me it did. From there, the douche who gave me his undivided attention was the murder partner, KWIM?
I had major FOO issues, horrible boundaries, I was immature, selfish, depressed, over worked, burnt out, all those things just kept building and building. I would walk around for weeks wearing nothing but black feeling like my head was going to explode at any second. Like I had an internal time bomb ticking down.
For me, I could have talked to my H and I chose not to because I had convinced myself he either wouldn't care about what I had to say, or I'd be beating a dead horse over things we couldn't change. That was a deadly deceit. I should have pushed myself and made myself talk. I married my best friend. He didn't beat or abuse me. I could have talked to him. Its hard to focus on the positive when you've surrounded yourself with so much negative that's it becomes all you can see.
I got wrapped up in ME. My wants. My needs. My so-called happiness that I stopped looking at anything my H did that was good and forgot all the great stuff about him and us. I just everyday wound myself up in me, me, me.
I know for the BS, you guys have to scratch your heads in bewilderment and say to yourselves, "What the hell? I've passed up temptation. I've set strong boundaries in place. I've been able to remain faithfull and I was able to place my spouse in front of me. We were in the same marriage." That's one of the reasons why it comes as such a shock to the BS.
I'm not trying to provide excuses or justify anything. Some of us grew up handling life in ways a little differently than others. I never in a million years thought I would ever cheat. Looking back on my life tho, way way back when I was a kid, I NOW see a lot of danger signs. Some things about myself I thought I grew out of as I got older, some things just slithered down into the dark and waited and just quietly built up waiting to strike.
Its like every single bad thing about me just blew up and manifested itself into something dark and sinister. I never thought I could or would hurt my H like I did. I also never knew how poor my boundaries and communication was.
Your WS can find the answer, it can take some longer than others. He has to be willing to look inside himself and get really uncomfortable with what he finds. Talking to you and a MC will help as will SI if he's not on here yet. He has to be willing to work. He has to be committed. It can be done.
I wish you both luck!
[This message edited by stilllovinghim at 4:35 AM, April 17th (Sunday)]
Thank you so much for that insight. I truly believe that much of that describes what my STBXH was going through and what caused his choices. It's a good insight into the mind of someone who never saw this coming for themselves.
Can I ask, what made you start to see? My STBXH looks beat down; he doesn't have that cocky swagger that he tried to display before. I've filed for D; it is moving forward; it's hard to see it on paper and he's now had to disclose thousands of dollars in debt that I had no idea about!! If we look at the receipts and statements, my guess is that a lot of it will be for onling gambling, expensive dinners and gifts for the OW. He looks like it's all hitting him now. I don't believe he's strong enough to pull his head out of his ass, but you seemed to have hit the nail on the head when it comes to his mindset before the A. Any thoughts?
So please don't think for a second I'm trying to get your sympathy, I wasn't suffering. My life wasn't horrible. I had a wonderful H who would lay down his life for me. I chose to give up and I chose to have the A. I chose to take my H and our M for granted and I chose to be ugly and selfish. I chose to deceive and lie and afterwards TT. My H did nothing to me that would have ever hurt me or our beautiful DS.
I stopped appreciating my H because I didn't feel appreciated. I threw the biggest pitty party. My H was in the same M and remained faithful. I was in the same M and did not. I took advantage of my H and took him for granted.