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Long Term Affairs Part 38

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Waggingthedog posted 9/1/2018 13:21 PM

Hi all! I'm about a month in. Not the full story but 14 years married. One child. I just found out a few weeks ago my WS had two LTAs. One seven years ago. One the past two years.

Curious, what did you see from your WS (wife) in the first few months if she wanted to keep the marriage together?

Aasha posted 9/1/2018 21:52 PM

Waggingthedog,
You may want to post in the Just Found Out (JFO) forum to get some timely response to your posts. This particular thread doesn't get as much "traffic" as does the JFO or General Forums. There is a lot of collective wisdom on SI so posting to the other forums will get more replies from the SI veterans.

Everyone's situation is different - but the goal is always the same = to get out of infidelity.

As far as your question is concerned, your Dday was not very long ago, its still very early in the process. You need to take time to heal yourself first, allow yourself enough time before making any decisions to reconcile (R) or divorce (D). The decision is ultimately yours to make, don't allow the power to shift to your WS about whether to R or D. It's going to take a lot of time to work thru this circumstance in your life.

Spend time reading as much as you can in the Heading Library on this site. Take care of yourself and your child.

Unfortunately, your WS is a serial cheater and they seldom change their wayward ways.

Please consider posting in the JFO or general forum, you will find a lot of people who are willing to help.

Sorry to hear about your situation, good luck.

4yearsoflies posted 9/3/2018 17:55 PM

Blocked all access to her and her ability to contact him. A promise that any attempt by her to contact him through work would be shown to me immediately. Willingness to answer any questions. Access to phones emails etc. Willingness to continue answering repeated questions. Willingness to go to individual counseling. Continual will check ins on me.

More attentiveness.

I have to remind him to be more verbally appreciative of this second chance I have given him. That means a lot to me. Other than that, he's doing, "everything right"

Do I have 100% faith in him? No. Do I trust him? No.

Am I willing to try? yes.

Good luck.

Butforthegrace posted 9/4/2018 07:29 AM

Wagging: It's too early for your WW to have grasped the depth of the trauma that she has caused you and found true remorse. But 4 months in, she should at least be offering you full details on all A activity. She should be working on writing out a timeline of both A's, with as much detail as you want. She should be reading books like "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair" and trying to figure out how to do these things. And she should provide you with all contact and name info of both AP's.

If any A activity occurred in the house, or if she has any horcruxes left from either A (such as gifts she received from an AP, or lingerie she bought to wear for him), she should identify these objects and dispose of them.

She should support you in whatever level of public disclosure you desire for your own healing. You reaching out to any betrayed wife/wives of AP's is a minimum. You can use info from these contacts to compare notes, etc. You should do this, by the way, on your own, without consulting with your WW first.

But there is then the matter of disclosing to family, friends, etc. Bosses if the A involved a co-worker. Etc. The general wisdom is that the more exposure, the quicker the A limerence dies and the R can begin in earnest, but there is a balancing act because BH's often feel a sense of humiliation from an A and disclosure can exacerbate that for some men.

Good luck.

We can offer much better advice if you write out your story. Also, you'll probably get a lot more advice in either JFO or General than over here.

Waggingthedog posted 9/4/2018 16:46 PM

Thanks guys for all the advice. I posted here because these were long term affairs and figured the people who frequented here we're more knowledgeable of this specific situation. She's hit those metrics and more. I guess time will tell. I also figured that with LTAs there is more to learn about how to handle them longer term.

Butforthegrace posted 9/4/2018 16:54 PM

Wagging, in some ways an A is an A. There is the betrayal. Often there is deceit, followed by lies, followed by TT, etc.

The difference with an LTA is the sense that some significant percentage of the entire marriage was conducted in the shadow of an A. It causes the BS to re-think huge swaths of the marriage. It sort of multiplies the natural questions the BS has along the lines of "how can you say you love me when you spent so many years falsely saying that to me, whilst loving somebody else."

In addition, there is often the fact that the AP knew the reality. In other words, the AP knew the WW was married to you. As a result, there was more truth and honesty in the A than in the M. Full light of truth in the A; darkness of deceit in the M. The WW was in fact more intimate with the AP than with the BH. For many, this makes it more difficult to see a path to R.

Waggingthedog posted 9/4/2018 18:03 PM

Butforthegrace, that is an excellent point I had not considered fully. I always assumed it was a cake eating type deal with a fantastesy of falling in love. But I think your take is probably closer to the truth. I wonder how long it takes to turn that ship around in an authentic manner.

Svon posted 9/4/2018 19:43 PM

Waggingthedog,

Not all long term affairs are about love. Some are an addiction some are just sex. Donít assume your wife loved another over you. That is something she needs to answer. Ask her what the affair meant to her? What the other man meant then and now? Ask her if she loved him and if she stil does. Ask if she misses him. Be prepared for the answers as painful as they may be and look for actions that indicate she is telling the truth.

Butforthegrace posted 9/5/2018 05:59 AM

I wonder how long it takes to turn that ship around in an authentic manner.

This is why you ought to post your story in JFO. You're making a rookie mistake. You're trying to figure out whether she will turn around and come back to you, how long that will take, and what you might do to encourage it.

Rather, you should be focused on you. Your trauma is deep, and real. You should assume your marriage is dead and you have no wife. You assume it because it's true. Regardless whether she felt "true love" for the POSOM, or "false love", or just lust, the fact remains that the woman you thought you were married to does not exist.

You thought you were married to the sweet young thing you married years ago, who adored you and pledged her life to you, and who for years has faithfully stood by your side as your companion, lover, and helpmate as you navigate toward the other end of life.

Instead, you were married to a conniving liar who is willing to sneak around behind your back, fuck another man, possibly deny you sex, and share a greater degree of honesty and intimacy with another man, whilst pretending to be your wife only when you are around.

If somebody asked you today whether you would choose to be married to that second woman, would you say "yes"? Because that is in fact who you are married to today.

This is why the over-arching focus of a newly minted BH is to heal himself. First step is to simply overcome the trauma. Exercise. Eat right. Meditate. Whatever it takes to be able to stand on your feet without stumbling.

Practice the 180. Create distance between yourself and your cheating wife. Find your heart. Figure out what you need from her if you are to consider R. Then communicate that clearly, and do not waver.

Remember, R is a gift you might choose to give her. She does not deserve it and never will. It is purely a function of your grace. If she wants a chance at R, she should be treating you like the most valuable prize she has ever tried to win. It is an ephemeral matter of the heart whether she is doing this with genuine feeling.

Remember that mind-movies of her having sex with him will haunt you for years, possibly decades. It is very common for BH's to feel emasculated, humiliated, and be unable to perform sexually as a result of these mind-movies. It is very common for BH's to experience blistering rage. It is very common to feel that you are a sexual "Plan B" for your WW. After all, she injected a huge amount of energy and imagination and creativity and time to the task of creating opportunities for secret sex with her boyfriend. I'd bet she has not injected a fraction of that level of energy into sex with you.

In the end, seeing her and being in her presence will always be a trigger to you. R works when the depth and sincerity of her remorse and love overcomes even the worst of the triggers. R doesn't work when the degree of her efforts do not ameliorate your pain, when, no matter what she does, it hurts to be in her presence.

We see many threads here of BH's who divorce their WW's after years, even decades, of trying R. Often the BH's file for divorce even though they truly love their WW's. In the end, though, the heart tells them that the WW's desire for the BH is not true and not strong, that the triggers and knowledge that she felt greater desire for the POSOM is too painful, and the path of lesser pain is to move on.

Butforthegrace posted 9/5/2018 07:13 AM

Wagging, there is a thread over in JFO called "Just Venting and a Word of Caution". I suggest you read it, and also the thread in General about "Why Did You Stay with Your WS" (or something like that).

Generally, successful R requires two things to happen: (1) the WW figures out how to make the BH feel safe that she won't cheat again, and (2) the WW figures out how to show the BH that her love and desire for him are deep and true.

As to (1) (feeling safe), as mentioned, you now know the reality of the woman you married: she is the type of woman who will fuck another man, or more than one man, while married to you, and she will lie and sneak over a prolonged period to do it multiple times. I doubt you want to stay married to that woman.

To feel safe, she must make herself into a different woman, somebody other than the woman you married. This means going to IC, figuring out her why's, fixing what is broken in her. After she is done with that, then you decide whether the new woman she has become is somebody you'd feel safe being married to.

It has been my observation that the "whys" generally fall into three groups (with possibly some blending in each individual instance)

(a) Inner demons, such as inferiority complex, FOO issues, negative body image (for example a mother who has put on a lot of weight after having kids), etc., that cause her to seek affirmation and ego kibbles outside of the marriage, to the point where she is willing to trade sex to get them.

(b) Marital stress, such as a husband with low sex drive, or substance abuse, or simply distracted with his own life, to the point where she feels neglected as a wife and seeks affirmation outside of the marriage.

(c) Immaturity and cake-eating. The enjoyment of the thrill of illicit sex, purely for the thrill of it, to kill time.

As to (a), the task is to figure out those demons and how to quiet them without spreading her legs for another man. As to (b), the task is to figure out how to work with the BH to solve the marital issues or, if they cannot be solved, leave the marriage rather than sleep with somebody else, which is a Band-Aid for cancer. As to (c) this is the hardest to cure because a sense of immature entitlement is innate in the spirit.

Your role in this is merely to watch and see if she becomes a person you can desire to marry, notwithstanding the trauma she has inflicted on you.

As to (2) (re-establishing a belief that she truly loves and desires you), this is much more difficult to quantify. An ephemeral matter of the heart, I am wont to say. You know for a fact that she has a history of directing her desire to another man. In the case of an LTA, or multiple LTA's, she invested time, energy, creativity, imagination into creating opportunities for sex with him. No matter how much she may try to tell you it "wasn't about sex", my guess is that sex is pretty much all they did when together, and their energy was focused on creating venues and opportunities for sex.

How can she now convince you that she desires you as much or more than she desired another man? This is especially difficult if a significant chunk of your marriage to date existed whilst she was clearly lusting another man more than you. It is even more difficult if she did things with him sexually that she had previously denied you, or simply showed more sexual brio with him than with you.

Only you can know your threshold on this issue. For many men, the dick tells the story. If the johnson is limp and non-responsive, that pretty much tells you what you need to know in terms of your believe in whether she has genuine sexual desire for you.

All of the above can take years to accomplish. It requires patient, consistent, sincere effort from her over a long time period. The mind-movies and triggers will likely haunt you for life. Is she ready to be remorseful, empathetic, supportive ten years from now when you go limp during sex because a pesky mind movie has cropped up at an importune moment?

Finally, are you being honest with her about your emotions? This includes letting the full fury of your rage out -- all of the pejoratives and invective you are thinking, you should hurl at her. And don't do it in a passive-aggressive manner. Be aggressive (but do not harm her physically -- men don't hit women, only punks do that). It also includes showing your pain and tears, and describing in graphic detail whenever you have a mind movie. Are you ready to be that naked in front of her? Does she make you feel safe enough to do that?

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 8:16 AM, September 5th (Wednesday)]

Svon posted 9/6/2018 11:00 AM

I think this site is a great tool and useful, however lately I have been reading posts that seem counter productive. I assumed this site was to provide support and understanding for all of us affected by the hell of infidelity. The thing is, we are all different. Our reactions and feelings may be similar, but as no two people are the same nether will our recovery timeline, choices, or decisions be. I donít believe this site should be a diatribe against everyoneís WS or a lecture on what the betrayed will definitely feel and experience. Warning people of what they may encounter is different than dictating how they will feel. Ranting about your own personal situation is healthy and acceptable. Promising or projecting your hell into the unique situation of others is just plain wrong. I have read many betrayed spouses write how we will all feel and how our WS will continue in life, etc...much of it has not occurred in my situation.. I am truly sorry that we are all here, but we need to provide comfort and encourage each other to find our happiness whatever that may be and as fast as it may be. Bringing each other down since we may be having a rough time is not the right idea. We are better than that.

WhyAgainWhyHer posted 9/6/2018 16:39 PM

I am experiencing really weird feeling, maybe someone has had the same?

I honestly feel like I am the one in an A and they are the ones with true love and a real relationship. I feel like the outsider in my own "was supposed to be forever" relationship.

Anyone else?

Svon posted 9/12/2018 00:22 AM

I felt that way on D day and for a bit afterwards. Itís up to your husband to make you feel differently. If he canít, then maybe your feelings hold merit. Hang in there! It all sucks

Lorisa posted 9/12/2018 00:57 AM

Whyagainwhyher, yes, I am feeling that way too. It sometimes freaks me out. They were living in truth and I was living the lie. How does one get over that? It is very difficult.

gmc94 posted 9/12/2018 01:11 AM

Lorisa - I feel that way for sure - they were living in truth and I was living the lie.
I've said to my WH "your POSOW knew the "real" you.... what do I know about you that she doesn't?"
she knows how you put on your shoes, what your body looks like/feels like/tastes like, what your armpits smell like. She knows about your work, about our lives, our children & their lives, our roles in our community, our friends, my WH'S sexual history (yes, he felt perfectly fine telling her that he cheated on others after they dated), and that he's more than happy to keep her a secret for >25 years. Oh - and she knows he'll have sex with someone not his wife and not bother to wash himself afterward (gross, I know).
It's a question he has yet to answer other than he'll say that I know his love.
If keeping secrets from the get-go "love", WTH?
what's strange is that I have come up with a few things I know that she's not experienced - but he can't.

Svon posted 9/12/2018 10:07 AM

The way I see it, is she doesnít know what it is like to share the birth of a child with him. She doesnít know what heís like when planning a future, building a home, celebrating family time, holidays,... he has never held and comforted her when she was ill or recovering from surgery. She doesnít know what itís like to comfort him when he is ill or worried about his kids, etc.... she doesnít know what itís like to sleep next to him every night. She never knew what it was like to be his priority. She always had to settle as second choice. Thatís the way I like to see it. Yes, she knew about me and what my husband was capable of doing, but she was insanely jealous of me knowing that he was never truly choosing her. He had the opportunity and means to leave. Everyday he came home to me which was everyday, he denied her. I never had to nor would I be so pathetic as to ďchooseĒ to share a man. I would never be okay with that knowledge. I have more respect for myself than that. I didnít know about her. She knew about me. She was fighting for my husband in a battle I didnít even know existed and still slayed her ass. That had to eat away at her everyday.

Mickeymom posted 9/12/2018 11:12 AM

SVON: I really like what you wrote here very true.
Itís been awhile since I have been here. I am about a month away from 4 year DD. I can say I feel healed it was a long journey, but I am at a place where I have come to terms with his LTA. That does not mean I forgive but I have accepted it was an ugly thing that happened in our lives. In those first two years I could have not imagined being here being ok my world exploded and I did not know how to turn it right. This blog was my life line it helped me connect with people who understood my pain like no one could in real life. My WS works hard each day to be a better man. Did he get it right from day 1 heck no he wasnít ready to face the reality he had created through therapy and truly both of us still wanting to be M we slowly rebuilt itís taken almost 4 years but I believe our foundation is strong we continue to work on the structure of our M.
I never not even for a second thought of her as my competition. Yeah they had a dirty little secret but thatís exactly what is was dirty and there was no competition cause when the light of day came it was her or me and if it would have been so let it be I do not share or compete for Love she may have thought thatís all she was capable of getting as for me I do not settle. Also in the M I too had to be all in to make this work there were days I didnít know if I could, but I also knew I could not settle and just stay cause we had been together for 20 years I needed to love him I deserve that. So here I am 4 almost years out and can say I am good and I am happy we could work through something sooo ugly.

Svon posted 9/12/2018 13:15 PM

Mickeymom, good for you! Hearing these stories is so good for all of us. Believe it or not, I am only 3 months out and doing better than I believed possible even a month ago. Donít get me wrong, I still hurt and obsess more than I should, but a few weeks ago I finally just said ďfuck thisĒ. I am tired of playing the depressed and wounded victim. Itís getting me no where. I donít even like to say we are ďworking on reconcilingĒ. I look it as I have made the decision that for now, I am happier staying married to my husband. We are working on our imperfect marriage. He is doing all he can to make me feel safe and loved again and getting various help and therapy to figure out HIS problems. I will not allow any more of my life to be put on hold in the ďwait and seeĒ mode or the ďI am too sad to enjoy lifeĒ mode. Fuck that. I donít deserve that. I am doing what makes me happy even if the pain is still there. Itís my anniversary next week. It doesnít feel
Like a ďcelebrationĒ at all, but damn it, all marriages can be hard and we are still here! We are spending it in Hawaii. I am not rugsweeping this at all . there is still a huge healing wound, and he has a lot of personal work to do, but I am enjoying life again and even him. Wallowing in self pity is not good for me. The more I let go and live, the better I feel and that is all that matters to me at this point. I choose happy!

Mickeymom posted 9/12/2018 19:17 PM

SVON: awesome this is your journey you do it the way it works for you and if you want to celebrate you deserve it this is your anniversary too you did nothing wrong. I have not read your story and 3 months is early, but hey we all do it our own way and choosing happy is good. There are no guarantees in life so if today your happy cheers to that. You deserve happy. Have a great time.

Svon posted 9/12/2018 20:50 PM

Thank you Mickymom,

Youíre right. Life is short and nothing is guaranteed. I simply refuse to allow pain I do not deserve to rob me of whatever time life gives me. I see people with life ending illnesses enjoying what time they have left. I am healthy and am blessed for that. The pity party and woe is me lasted 2 months. I may still hurt, but I can also laugh, smile, love, and live. Time to focus on the positive!

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