While I can't answer for every WS, I will say for me, its almost impossible to remember every single detail. I had an online EA/not yet PA. It lasted exactly a month. But it was all day every day. A minimum of 8 hours a day. On Dday, BH had me delete the email account associated with OM. All emails, links, photos, and hundreds of chat logs were gone. Later BH asked questions that I honestly could not answer. The whole month was and still is jumbled up. I cannot give exact days when things started. All I can say is, around week 3 I sent him pics. By the end of week 3 we webcammed. Just general time frames.
For my BH exact dates, times didn't matter. The point was, I chatted, emailed, webcammed, and sent pics to another man.
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne
"You can do it!" - R. Schneider
Would you have stopped cheating if you never got caught?
Is he still carrying on with the A? Is he NC? If you have all the evidence, and think that he is done with the OW, but is just being stubborn or is just scared to admit the truth to you and to himself, then maybe it is time to lay it all out there for him to see. At the same time, you will have your answer.
Right now you are saying "I know more than you think I do. All the bullshit you've been doing, it all has to end now." What would happen if you drew your line in the sand? Have you told him that his choice will determine whether you go or stay?
When you two talk, how does he handle the conversation? Does he get angry? or exasperated/defensive? Have you printed off the articles in the Healing Library and asked him to read them?
He may just be at that point where he thinks he is "protecting" you when really he is just trying to save his own ass. That doesn't work out so well for the WS in the long run, so it is only a matter of time.
Basically, what I've said is "I know more than you think I do. All the bullshit you've been doing, it all has to end now."
Or what? Don't make ultimatums that you will not follow through.
If he's not, please get him into counseling. He shouldn't have to be begging his mom to come home and see what she's doing.
He needs security and reassurance you all will be ok without her and you will.
I would draw clear boundaries with her and enforce them. Do you have a visitation schedule? If so stick to it. She shouldn't be popping in and out at her whim. That will keep the kids off balance and is not ok.
She made her choice. She needs to accept that choice. You needs to be active and protective of both you and your children.
Are you in touch with the school and working with your son? If so give her the information of his status and let it go. Just kids and finances.
She's left. Fog, no fog, she needs to not be your focus. You and your children.
'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth
What did the emotional part of your affair feel like? Feel like you were 'in love'?
I wrote in another area I'm not sure if I had an EA with a 'friend'. IC says inappropriate -- yes. EA -- probably not.
We were --
Reconnected old friends. Too much flirting goin on for damn sure. His side mainly. I didn't shut it down -- I minimized it.
He was interested in more than friendship at times. Romantic fantasy. I thought of him sexually and thought -- nah, Dixie, that's crazy. Good thing -- distance was on my side too. Glad I dodged that bullet.
Didn't think I was in 'luv'. Didn't feel I was in 'luv'. Loved him as a close life-long friend. Told him so.
Shock me up when he questioned where we were headed. Blast of cold water I needed.
Most of the friendship wasn't secret to Mr.DixieD. I'm pretty much an open book. The friendship that was too close for comfort though.
If NC would have been asked for I would of fought it. Would have held tight because of our history. We were just friends after all.
Since learning about EA's I've told my 'friend' to be friends now means new rules. It's a whole new ball game out there. His response -- he thinks we were lovers in a past life. Deeply connected. WHAT? Hell no. I never thought that.
That's why I didn't think I had an EA. Denial? If it's an EA w/o feeling love. I've had a few. Time invested in others instead of my spouse.
OTOH -- Mr.DixieD had a full-out affair. Daily contact. Lottsa sex. He was infatuated -- may be in 'luv' for a bit. When it was said he said it back. Wondered about chucking his life and starting over.
I can separate sex and love. Mr. DD -- not as much.
He tried on the new life and it didn't fit too well. Got out of it on his own. No withdrawal. May be cuz he chose to end it.
How was I the one with more emotional connection to my friend w/o sex and w/o feeling 'luv' and not thinking I was in an affair. while Mr. DD knew he was in one with all the fixins and gave not a **** about his AP after dday?
Seems everyone says if there is a emotional connection there is withdrawal. There wasn't. If you don't have that did you still have an EA or addiction? Or when you know you are done, you are done?
I think EA's can be one-sided, or at least lean toward one person or the other.
Since you are questioning it, I would say stop splitting hairs and just treat it as an EA. I would also suggest you do a lot of introspection about what was really going on with your emotions. I read what you wrote, and I think you are not delving deep enough. I think you are making light of it, regardless of what your H knew or didn't know. What is it inside of you that is making you question your own behaviors?
I had an EA, with only one text convo that remotely resembled a sexual interest, and that was all initiated by MOW. It didn't matter to me. The high of the EA was what kept me going.
I know you didn't intend it, but you are making a distinction between EA and PA. There isn't one when it comes to the damage and fallout.
You either had an EA or you were at the very least on a slippery slope that you maneuvered well on. Maybe you just didn't trip at the edge like a lot of us. Maybe it would have been different if you found yourself alone and drinking with this guy. He obviously wanted you. That is very flattering and intoxicating. Would it have been enough over time? Would you have begun flirting more?
IDK. Your call.
I bet I've minimized what happened. What was said. I don't know any more. My emotions have been wrapped up in other things IYKWIM. I never heard of EA till this year.
A BS and possibly a WS too -- it's a lot to take in. The thought of having to question it makes me feel sick.
I'm getting more introspective. Never been in-touch with my feelings before. No solid feelings meant no EA. I have work to do. Starting with boundaries where there have been none.
I know you didn't intend it, but you are making a distinction between EA and PA. There isn't one when it comes to the damage and fallout.
Mr.DixieD says if it was a EA -- he's not convinced it was -- it was like stubbing my toe when he chopped off his arm. I put on brakes -- he didn't reach for his.
He doesn't want me to have guilt on top of everything else. Says he has no right to say anything after what he did.
Remorseful WS think that after dday. All rights are gone. I disagree.
The EA part was most devastating about his affair.
In the end he had no withdrawal and little emotional connection to AP. He says I had more connection because we had a core friendship that was not completely based on lies and fantasy. May be. Doesn't make sense to me to think I had more connection when I didn't think I was in love.
About withdrawal -- Is it wrapped up with rejection? If a WS ends some thing are they less likely to feel withdrawal than those who were forced to end it (caught) or who had an AP end it?
My BW believes that a WS is going to have the type of A that will be most hurtful to their BS. In my case, my BW knows that I said ILY to MOW. That just about kills her. You H can believe what he wants. I appreciate that you believe a WS hasn't lost all their rights. So maybe this is something you do for yourself, to heal yourself from both your H's A, and your own pushing of boundaries.
As far as I'm aware, the withdrawal is a real thing. There are things happening in our brains and bodies which can make an A very much like a drug addiction. So, the person who ends contact is possibly someone who wasn't as vested in the A. The one who is left is experiencing "cold turkey" withdrawal, which is probably the best, but it is painful.
Does your H know that the guy you were talking to wanted you sexually? Does he know this guy asked you where things were headed?
Does your H know that the guy you were talking to wanted you sexually?
At the time he called him my 'boyfriend' and questioned if I was infatuated with him. I said -- don't be silly, he is just a friend. I KNOW! -- sounds terrible. I really believed it.
Honestly -- I was overly interested in him. Non-sexual so not to say infatuated.
I get obsessions of the week. People and their problems. Topics. Hobbies. Then it ends and I'm onto some thing else. Mr.DD knows this about me and thought this was like that. He trusted me. Still does.
Yup -- work to do!
He didn't know to what extent the guy wanted me sexually -- in another life time -- without risk to our friendship. Friendship was more important.
Yeah -- the guy was flattering. I told him he was crazy. I'm no catch. We would not be compatible that way.
Mr.DD says now if he'd known exactly what the guy said he would have been upset about it.
Does he know this guy asked you where things were headed?
I told him as soon as it happened. Ran to him and said -- he misunderstood my intentions.
He didn't seem to care.
My theory -- he checked out by then. Was hurt by this 'friendship'. Wouldn't express it to me. Another reason to detach further. .
Reading your profile was helpful Baxter.
[This message edited by DixieDevastated at 4:12 PM, January 23rd (Monday)]
You've been together approx. 2 years, and plan to marry in 2013... You have a 9 mth old child together and your boyfriend works away from home for weeks at a time...
And now you've learned that he has cheated on you.
You have a great window into your future....
Is this the future you want?
My guess is, as long as he has a job that takes him away from home, he will get lonely again and again. I would also suspect that he still has some contact with the OW in the other city and possibly others too...
Again, you have a window into your future here as you're not even married yet...
I'm sorry B333 but IMO you really deserve better than this.
D-Days April - Oct. 2007 Recovery started Nov. 2007
"Found Myself", I was right there in my shoes all along!
Search for self called off!
Why Repentance Is Necessary? Because Undeserved Mercy Empowers Entitlement/Sin
No, he doesn't want to work things out, he wants you to forget all about it so he can go on living without consequences.
If he doesn't want to talk to anyone, fine. His choice. However, I don't think he has any choice regarding your anger. If he can't face it, that is his problem, not yours.
Him getting angry at you is his defense mechanism. If he gets angry, then that means you're wrong and the conversation ends. It works for him. He uses his trump card (anger) to shut you down. It's a fairly common tactic, not always just a WS thing, but common enough.
As Card points out, you need to think about where you are in life and where you want to be. You need to consider whether or not your BS has the ability to do the work to make your future M safe and to make you feel safe being with him.
The problem is, you can't make him want to change. He has to reach that point within himself where he is willing to let his guard down. Many WS never get there, or they get there too late and they have lost their chance to R.
Right now, he isn't getting it. So it's time for you to take the reigns of your own life and do what you need to do.
I never heard of EA till this year
I had never heard of it until SI. Dixie, I think it's really good you're looking at this.
But, he didn't just stop there, he goes on to say - well why do you think there will be a next time....why would you think I would do that to you again??
There are certain things that make the difference between a WS wanting to work things out and a WS wanting to rugsweep. Right now, your WS is wanting to fix things by rugsweeping.
Your best bet is to talk with the other BS's here on SI about how to respond when your WS says these things. The WS's here can generally smell the bullshit, but the BS's will help you to walk around it.
I'm wondering - is this more evidence of his mindset in that he wants to erase me because it's too hard to face what he did. Or, does he really just despise me that much even though I had no clue that we were even in trouble?
My WS had two affairs 11 years ago that I found about it. We swept the dirt under the rug and from then to now there were 4 more. The last one being a 3 year affair.
The only reason we are still together and attempting reconciliation is because he is doing the hard work now. IC, MC, SI and everything else required.
You deserve better.
FWW's OM, his BW, his kids, the whole family were all good friends of our family. Holidays spent together, birthdays, vacations, you get the picture. And, while I am able to get my head around the idea of a WS compartmentalizing the affair, I struggle with understanding or believing it in a case like ours. I can certainly see how a person can live a double life and somehow keep the two separate in their heads. I can get how that could work. What I have trouble understanding is how FWW could keep shoving OM and I together. She literally went out of her way to arrange times when we would all be together. I realize know that what she really wanted was an excuse to be around him, I don't like it but I get that.
What I can't get is how she could live with the guilt she should have been feeling during all those times we were all together. How can someone compartmentalize a double life when those lives are constantly colliding? I simply cannot fathom how she was able to just blissfully continue without being entirely eaten up and destroyed with guilt..
The only thing that makes any sense is that she was so angry or disdainful of me that she really didn't give a shit about or even consider the effect all of this would have on me. She says that I paint her as some mustache twirling villain and she insists that that simply wasn't the case. But still, when I ask her to try and tell me how else I SHOULD be looking at it, she is unable to give me an answer I find acceptable.
So any helpful WS's out there willing to take a crack at that? How does someone compartmentalize two realities when both those realities keep overlapping and intersecting? How could a WS continually spend time together, over and over again with the AP and the BS at the same time, and not be consumed by the contradictions and guilt?
I am trying hard not to look at my FWW as a mustache twirling villain, really I am. But I am having a hard time understanding. And yes I know I am trying to make sence of a senseless act, an yes I know I should stop trying. But humor me this one time Ok?
[This message edited by HoldingTogether at 9:15 AM, January 27th (Friday)]