This thread is not for BS's to go back and forth on. It's specifically for BS's to ask questions of the WS's here, please follow the thread format.
"I'm happily indifferent to the ones who have consistently been wrong" ~kd lang~
..i'll stand by, wanting exactly the same question answered for my situation.
thx..for asking this one!
From what I've read of your situation, it sounds as if WOES was really expecting an exit affair. She was trying to find a way to leave and punish you in the process. As things in the M became distant, your WW was uncertain about where she was at in life, she was maybe a bit vulnerable, and didn't know why.
Your M was good, but she reached her limit of there not being the connection she wanted/needed so distance grew, MOM swoops in, resentment begins, justification begins, but they aren't ready to make their move, so they are going to punish you for not doing anything to save the M, biding their time until they can be ready, and kablooey. WOES is thrown under the bus wondering what happened (which really sucks at so many levels), how she ever talked herself into what she had done, how she could have ever gotten into a situation like that in the first place.
The high of the A is enough to overcome feelings of guilt. And since the MOM was so close, that high was there all the time.
This whole possibility of your situation could also include some sort of perception on WOES part that since everything seemed fine, everyone was "happy", then what they were doing was okay. Nothing would change, everything would be amicable and everyone would understand that it was all for the better because nobody was really happy before.
In retrospect, all of this is a total load of shit. But when you are in it, as the WS, it makes total sense, and if it doesn't, if that chink in our armor widens a bit, the we can go to new levels to protect what we are doing.
I don't know. I think guilt wasn't an issue during the A. Everything else, the high, the constant contact, the ability to maintain friendships during the A, the fact that you remained unaware for so long, it all became justification that they were on the right track.
The part I mention above about how much it sucks to be thrown under the bus, well, initially it sucks because our life preserver has been yanked away from us. I know this shouldn't matter, but it does. It's something that the WS has to work through. Then, the realization of what we did sets in. that is when the flood gates of guilt open up and we become swamped.
I don't know if I am on track with this line of thinking, or if I have taken it far enough. But that's all I got for now.
People honestly do it very often and quite effectively. Anyone that smokes will tell you they love their families and certainly don't want to die. Yet, smoking is been proven to kill you most of the time. Imagine doing something many times a day guaranteed to shorten, end your life while interacting with the very people that will be devastated by your death.
It helps you avoid cognitive dissonance which would have given her the behaviors and feelings you hoped she'd feel...guilt, discomfort with her actions, shame. You can balance things that truly can't exist together successfully.
Your wife had choices. She either removed the OM, changed her beliefs, or somehow rationalize she was supporting her beliefs the best possible way in an untenable situation (and here's where the demonization and "borderline trait" of people being all good or all bad) comes into play. Any of those choices would be very difficult to cope with and process and all would require actions and thoughts most don't want to do.
Compartmentalization enables you not to have to. At least not then. It's very "in the moment" short term thinking.
I honestly think that's what many BS's use in the early stages to cope with what's happened and even contemplate staying with someone that betrayed them so horribly. In time, and hopefully with the remorseful WS proving they've done the work and are committed to the relationship, integration can happen and they can work through all the fall out and bullshit that now hits with that.
I think that's sometimes why the rage is delayed and the 2nd year may be harder than the first. The shock, trauma, and compartmentalization needed to protect and maintain dissipate. That's just my belief and may not resonate at all.
Eventually those two conflicting things need to be processed by both, your wife and you. How could she act the way she did and still be a good person who loves her husband (her) and how could you stay with someone who caused you such pain and disrespect (you). It's possible HT and is seen here with some amazing couples.
The integration is brutal...but necessary.
'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth
From what I've read of your situation, it sounds as if WOES was really expecting an exit affair. She was trying to find a way to leave and punish you in the process.
This is part of what I am thinking must have been going on. When we discuss this aspect though, I don't feel that she is in agreement with that. She seems to be trying to tell me that hurting me, "punishing" me wasn't a factor. It seems as though she is still maintaining that she didn't want to hurt me, but that sentiment simply doesn't stand up to the simplest of analysis. There is simply no possible way she could not have seen that some very specific actions on her part(don't really want to elaborate on those at the monent) would be enormously hurtful in the end. Not unless she is either sociopathicly unempathetic or criminally stupid. Neither of which are options I would like to believe. KWIM?
I don't know, maybe we are just failing to communicate effectively on this issue. Maybe we are saying the same things but from different directions and just aren't managing to connect. I am really struggling with this today, we both took a mental health day off from work as we try to work this out.
Eventually those two conflicting things need to be processed by both, your wife and you. How could she act the way she did and still be a good person who loves her husband (her) and how could you stay with someone who caused you such pain and disrespect (you)
That seems to be what is going on in a nutshell. I worry alot that in the end I will simply prove unequal to the task of resolving that cognitive dissonance in my head. I just know that for me. The kind of person that I am? I have got to find a way to make it work in my head. I would like to be the kind of person who can live with the idea that I will never understand it, but I am pretty sure that's not how I am mentally constituted.
Thanks again for the response guys. Keep em coming please, we are literally trying to hash this out at this very moment. I think we both appreciate all the help we can get.
For some reason today many posts are reminding me of quotes I collect.
"Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field, I will meet you there"
Jalal ad-Din Rami
When you can accept you may find you did understand and as foreign as her thoughts and actions were and are to anything that is part of you, she herself is familiar and someone you can build a future with safely.
You are probably right about him wanting to erase you. And there may be some truth to the despising theory. They both are related to the guilt issues too. You said he did these things before you knew about OW. Your thoughts and ideas about it make sense.
Moving out on his own, while in the A, it would be presumable that he also didn't want to expose himself in any way to the OW. Pictures, trinkets, sentimental things...those are all a part of the truth. Letting OW see those would mean facing moments of honesty with her.
But of course having those things around when she was there, he would then have the extra "burden" of being reminded of you, of what he was doing, of his choices while he was telling himself that OW was everything he needed.
It isn't surprising to me that he didn't want these things. Less hard evidence of the life he was giving up, all for lies.
Not all men push for sex. The "I'm delicate" statement sounds like crap. Maybe he was silent because he couldn't believe he said something like that. Who knows...
When it comes to A's, one thing that is difficult for both BS and WS is being intimate. In your case it sounds like you want to be intimate because you have worked through the R process and healing process to the point where you can be intimate. Your WH hasn't done that work yet, so he is a few steps behind and being intimate with you is something he can't deal with. Even when it hurts you.
It may be that he still thinks of the AP. He may not have found a way to shut the OW out of his mind when he is intimate with you, or that he fears he will let her intrude. If that is the case, then in a way, his problems with not being able to be intimate with you are a fairly honest way for him to protect you. I mean that in a good way. Maybe he truly wants to be intimate with you, and not have thoughts of AP during those times. Since he can't do it yet, then he is going to wait until he can.
If that is the case, then he really needs to do the work to go mental NC. There are some WS who can shut out the AP. Others have a much more difficult time. I think this is related to the type of A and also to the type of person the WS is. Some WS struggle more than others when it comes to committing to R. Doesn't mean they don't want R, just that they aren't sure how to go about it. It took me a long time to get there.
If you are up for it, then let him take things at his own pace, gently nudging him along when needed. You can lay down your ground rules too. My BW waited me out, then laid down a rule. Once I started working on things in a way she could perceive as being active and committed, she was willing to wait for a while again.
This is one where I'll stick to my own situation, and my own self...
I'm a good person. I have integrity and I value honesty. So reconciling what I did during the A with who I was has been very difficult. Each lie, each boundary that I crossed, both the external boundaries and the internal ones, has been looked at in detail, with intensity and honesty, to find an answer or a reason for what I did. In short, all the hooks and barbs I threw out during the A and post d-day didn't catch. I've been left standing all alone with nowhere to place the blame except at my own feet. So reconciling what I did during the A with who I am now is just a matter of accepting it and making sure I don't put myself or my BW in that position again.
The lies I told during the A were done in an attempt to push my BW away from me. That was the only way I could justify what I was doing. My mindset was that I was in this EA which was a pretty incredible experience, so it must have been right, because I was someone with integrity and who valued honesty, so I started believing that my life prior to the A was the lie. I started trying to find any reason I could to lay the blame at my BW's feet.
In your case, only you can know what you are able to believe. Your WH was that man with honesty and integrity before the LTA. Is he taking responsibility now? Has he gotten to the point of being able to accept what he has done? It he doing anything now to make you feel safe at the moment? Some of the basics include NC, transparency, honesty when answering questions about the events of the A. More difficult will be the why. He may not be able to give you an answer for a while. He may not know. But if he is working on it, and you can see it in him, then you will know.
I think that a BS will never trust their WS 100% post d-day. I think that is okay. Blind trust is a dangerous thing as many of us now know. But you don't have to make a black or white decision. You can choose to R, to trust him a little bit, and at the same time bolster yourself enough to be able to take care of yourself. If things turn out, great. If they don't, it will hurt like hell, but you will know that you can take care of yourself.
The answer/solution will be different for everyone.
It's okay. You have every right to make the decision that best suits you. Nobody can fault you for that.
Someday you may be able to see your WH in a different light. Maybe he will become that person he was before, or maybe he will be able to take those good traits from before and fold them into a new, better person. If he makes it, then good for him. It will just be a sad thing though that he wasn't able to do it the first time around.
What's the first thoughts that enter your mind in the morning when you wake up?
Same old stuff, getting ready for work, what I have to do that day.
It has been 6 years since the last dday.
Adopt a chihuahua in your area
but if so, how bad is it really for you?
I ask my WH all.the.time if he thinks of OC and he always says "no" or that he's trying not to.
I've seen pictures of OC but my WH doesn't want to (which I guess I can understand), but I just can't imagine that this isn't awful for him.
It's awful for me.
"I need to text BH, tell him I'm up now, and see how his day is going so far. " No joke. Every single morning. My day hinges on how he is doing.
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
I'm just wondering if you always end up seeing the OM/OW for what they were? Or do you still think of them as a "good" person.
My WW is still not remorseful and still works with OM. And whilst she admitted to me she no longer loves him as she did and does not have the intense feelings for him. She says they have not fallen out and I cannot change her mind about him not being a good person. She holds herself fully accountable and says she thinks she is a bad person for cheating on me and betraying me. But even though he has done the same to his BS, shes till thinks of him in a positive light.
I realise that NC is probably needed for this, i'm just annoyed I guess that she refuses to see him in anything other than a positive light!
It's too early, want more sleep.
What's your real question? Do you think of the affair first thing when you wake up?
I'm just wondering if you always end up seeing the OM/OW for what they were? Or do you still think of them as a "good" person.
What do you mean by "what they were"? Is the only right answer that the OP was "bad"?
I don't think anything of the OM. I'm sure he has his good points and his bad points. He is like any other person whose life I know nothing about.
Or do you mean what the OP was during the affair? He was a target, he was available, he said "yes".
He was a symbol, not a person. That's what he was. The bad person was me. He was nothing.
If you considered yourself a good person, a person who had integrity and valued honesty before the A how do you now reconcile who you thought you were and your A actions?
but this is his second time.
This second quote is your real question, right?
Will he change? If not, you have to decide how you want to live the next 50 years.