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Long Term Affairs Part 38

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ButterflyBeauty posted 11/20/2018 12:27 PM

I apologize it has taken me so long to respond. I want to thank everyone of you for responding to my post and offering your support. Each one of us has a different perspective based on our personal experiences with betrayal. I respect everyone's individual journey through this nightmare that is infidelity.

Regardless of the decision to R or D, or the details of the LTA, or the perspectives we each have or how we each find healing, I found myself nodding my head as I was reading the responses. I can relate to each one of you (on so many levels) and to many thoughts/feelings that have been expressed here. I respect, appreciate and value all of the support, encouragement and insight I have received.

I pray we all find increased hope and healing in our lives. Thank you again to everyone! It is so good to know I am not alone and it's not just me that thinks/feels this way.

Sdynee posted 11/20/2018 22:48 PM

To anyone involved in a LTA, if you were involved for many years with AP what made you want to stay with your BS after DDay other than the guilt of getting caught, and is your heart really in it. I would think after several years of an A there must be real feelings for AP so why not just move on to a relationship with them and leave your unwanted BS? I cannot wrap my head around LTA. It seems so simple that leaving the BS for who you obviously want to be with would make sense. How anyone can carry on this way of life is just so hard for me to understand. I am not judging, just looking for input from people who can relate. The healing process has many stages. I am so thankful for these forums.

hopeandhealing posted 11/20/2018 23:04 PM

Sdynee,

I would suggest you post your question in the Forum entitled "BS questions for WS". It has been my experience that those who post in this forum are BS, so we can't really answer your question from a wayward perspective.

That said, I agree with what Svon said a few responses ago, something to the effect of with a LTA, our BS had all the time in the world to leave us and they didn't. Why? For my WH it is because he never wanted to. He wasn't seeking to begin a new life with anyone else, he just wanted his ego stroked (and something else stroked ) more often than what he perceived he was getting at home.

Most WS distort their realities and tell themselves lies to justify their actions. For my WH it was "I am not getting enough sex or intimacy from Hope. I deserve more, I am a young guy, these other woman find me desirable, why should I miss out on what is a need of mine when Hope is clearly never going to meet it". Rather than come to me and have dialogue about what he perceived he was missing/ how he was feeling, he decided he knew what my reaction would be and justified having sex with coworkers and a friend (not a real friend) of mine. He can now clearly see how his thinking was very flawed and selfish and that if he would have opened up to me about it, we likely wouldn't be here. He acknowledges my continued presence is gift he has to continually earn.

You wonder why the WS doesn't leave the BS for the person they "obviously want to be with"...but I simply don't think that is the case. I believe many in LTA don't actually want to lose the BS (as they had ample time to do so), they just want their cake and eat it too.

Their capacity to compartmentalize is astounding. My IC told me I am the opposite, I don't compartmentalize, so again, a foreign concept I won't really "get" through experience.

Good luck to you.

Svon posted 11/21/2018 08:56 AM

Sydnee, I agree with Hipeandhealing completely. You wrote that it is obvious that WS would rather be with the AP. I donít know about your situation, but in mine and that of many others, that is NOT obvious. Itís the exact opposite. Even in the worst situations where the WS is in turmoil or believes he/she is in love itís still not clear who one prefers. My husband was not in ďloveĒ with the AP, but even if he had been, I would not give their relationship more validity than the one we have. I think it is the exception in LTAís where the WS has trouble choosing or letting AP go. Often, itís a relief. The secret and shame they have been carrying for years is out and they can get the monkey off their back. I know my husbandís affair went on longer than he wanted out of fear. He knew that she would never let him walk away without a fight and disclosing it all to me. He was a coward, too weak to face the pain of what happened And is happening now in this recovery process. Feeding the beast so to speak was his weak lazy way of coping for years. Once discovered he droppped her and never loooked back. He was relieved. Weird, yes.... compartmentalization to its finest! I donít get that either.

hopeandhealing posted 11/21/2018 09:12 AM

I just wanted to add...

and is your heart really in it?

I can tell you, my WH's heart is really in R. Maybe not true for everyone, but I think if you are truly in R, your heart is in it. That is a big part of why I am still here trying to heal what he broke. My WH never gave his heart to his APs and it wasn't there for the taking by them. I don't believe for my WH anyway, that they could have. I know for some they fall into the fantasy and limerence, but it is not real love. It is distorted. A very small percentage of As turn into relationships, very small. It's not real (and it's based on lies and betrayal, always a good foundation upon which to begin a relationship)

I would think after several years of an A there must be real feelings for AP so why not just move on to a relationship with them and leave your unwanted BS?

My WH said his APs were "nice people", broken like him to do such a thing, but nice people. He was fond of them as people, but didn't develop feelings beyond that. He didn't experience the fog many WS describe, missing them when it ended as he simply says the A's "ran their course" and he would end it with them, typically as a result of a moment of non compartmentalizing/feeling guilty for what he was doing and that was that. No further follow up, no fog. They were simply a means to an end for him and he used them for that...which makes him sound like a total jerk, but my perspective is they used each other and got what they had coming when the truth was revealed.

Good luck to you.

[This message edited by hopeandhealing at 9:18 AM, November 21st (Wednesday)]

amethyst0323 posted 11/24/2018 04:55 AM

.

I think it is the exception in LTAís where the WS has trouble choosing or letting AP go. Often, itís a relief. The secret and shame they have been carrying for years is out and they can get the monkey off their back. I know my husbandís affair went on longer than he wanted out of fear. He knew that she would never let him walk away without a fight and disclosing it all to me. He was a coward, too weak to face the pain of what happened And is happening now in this recovery process. Feeding the beast so to speak was his weak lazy way of coping for years. Once discovered he droppped her and never loooked back. He was relieved. Weird, yes.... compartmentalization to its finest! I donít get that either

I agree with this. My husband kept it going for longer due to her threatening suicide, sending self-harm pictures and threatening to tell me.

He was and still is utterly terrified of losing me. He got sucked into something that at first felt exciting and desirable but quickly became a huge source of stress in his life but by that point he was too much of a coward to stand up and get out of it. He ended up due to his cowardice making it far worse though, he now realises this. Whilst dealing with it all is horrific he is utterly relieved that it is all out in the open and he isn't still in his affair

If a WS truly wanted the AP more they would leave. They would not carry on an affair if it was the OP they really wanted. My husband has said to me numerous times if he wanted her he would have gone. She made it clear she wanted that even when he was saying he would never leave me to her. She even made a last ditch attempt just before DD2 to tell him she was divorced and he could now live with her. Of course she is still living with husband and it was all just more bullshit that she fed him. I really can't understand how my usually sensible, logical husband fell for all her lies. I even told him at the start of the relationship to be careful as she was manipulating him. Idiot!

deephurt posted 11/26/2018 07:49 AM

I think it is the exception in LTAís where the WS has trouble choosing or letting AP go. Often, itís a relief. The secret and shame they have been carrying for years is out and they can get the monkey off their back. I know my husbandís affair went on longer than he wanted out of fear. He knew that she would never let him walk away without a fight and disclosing it all to me. He was a coward, too weak to face the pain of what happened And is happening now in this recovery process. Feeding the beast so to speak was his weak lazy way of coping for years. Once discovered he droppped her and never loooked back. He was relieved. Weird, yes.... compartmentalization to its finest! I donít get that either

This is my WH-definitely. He said he was relieved that it was out
He said he was trying to end it for about 6 months. Too afraid to actually do it. Or maybe that was just another lie. Only he knows if that is true.

Svon posted 11/26/2018 09:20 AM

Deephurt, our stories are eerily similar. My WHís AP would accuse him of ďfíing another womanĒ when he suggested they end it and that she would need to ďinform meĒ. She was not letting him go without a fight. I mean, of course the coward chose the ego boost over the pain and shame of his behavior? 🙄 Selfishness, complete utter selfishness!

tapered posted 11/27/2018 09:29 AM

Iím in the process of divorce (I filed), otherwise I would remain in limbo for I donít know how long.I would like to know, for WS that have been in LTA (my WS and AP: almost 4 1/2 years, long distance relationship), is their love affair true/real at this point and time since affair has been going on for this long?? Why would a WS not leave sooner (WS 54, me BS 58) so he can be with AP 54 while they are still young?

Svon posted 11/27/2018 11:09 AM

Tapered, you might as this question in the wayward forum to get more answers. Most of us lurking here are the BS and have spouses who were not in love with the AP and had no intention to leave the marriage. They had a play toy... playground equipment until they were caught and forced to give them up.

CaliforniaNative posted 11/28/2018 00:04 AM

Tapered,

I can tell you - he may think he is love, but he is not. He will wake up once out of the fog....and by that time itís too late. At least it was for me. I see many people in R struggling as their WH or WW are still in contact with AP after D Day or unsure which person to chose. I didnít wait to be picked. I was out. Turns out OW didnít want him either.

Did your WS say he loved her? The unfortunate thing we all have in common is that our WS are skilled liars to us and probably to AP. As a matter of fact they the have the art of manipulation down pat. It sucks to be lied to your face for years. So disrespectful. I have seen way too many false Rs here to know that We will never know 100% the truth.

I have read once that relationships out of an affair only last 5 percent of the time. Those odds mean that if he continues to see her after you part then it will end soon. Sometimes they donít leave because most of their needs are being met at home and those that are not are being met by AP. Itís not your fault. They are just cake eaters. I read that answer in the wayward form and I believe it to be true. However we all have different experiences. My X likes shinny young objects that boost his ego. Heís far from Hugh Hefner lol.

[This message edited by CaliforniaNative at 12:15 AM, November 28th (Wednesday)]

tapered posted 12/1/2018 15:01 PM

To CaliforniaNative,
Thank you for your response. The reason I asked is so far the people I have seen around me that have had affairs seem to do well for the most part. My MIL had an affair with a married man in her late forties (this was her third marriage). The affair turned into marriage that lasted about 15 years, then she told him in front of family to leave. She verbalized she got tired of him and she did not want to take care of someone getting old. My MIL was about 64 at that time and he was 74. My SIL had an affair with her third husband. They seem to be thriving and happy also. They have been together for 10 years. My co worker's daughter had an affair with her first love who she found on Facebook. She has been married to him for 6 years and what she post on Facebook are positive images of them going on nice vacations and spending time together. She has three sons and he has three daughters. They all live together and seem to be happy. My WS also had an affair with a married woman while he was in the military. He was single and she was married. WS told me about it before we got married 33 years ago. In fact, he told me before we got married that he was having second thoughts about marrying me because of her. I told him at that time that we should not get married and if he was still in love with her, then he should think of her asking for a divorce from her husband so they could be together. My WS ended the relationship with the married woman and we got married 33 years ago. Our marriage has had all its ups and downs just like any marriage, but as a whole, I thought we were happy and looking forward to eventual retirement and traveling, enjoying our grandkids, and growing old together. But it has not come to be.
That is why I asked if this long term affair relationships become so real, that maybe they truly love each other and yet I do understand what you are saying. Thank you so much for responding.

tapered posted 12/1/2018 15:07 PM

To Svon,
I tried posting my concern on the Wayward forum. Unfortunately, I was told, BS are not allowed to post in that section.
I do wish every BS that have reconciled with their WS many blessings. The journey as A BS is difficult, but I am happy for those that have reconciled and are living a more joyous marriage and life.

notoverit posted 12/2/2018 18:40 PM

Svon, amethyst0323, deepHurt,

Eerily similar!
My husband says the OW blackmailed him, made his life a living hell and was also relieved that I found out and immediately ended the A.

6 year LTA and he hated it? He went to restaurants and every hotel within 25 miles, my bedroom - sometimes with the kids in the house. Had to play 'basketball' twice a week because 'don't you want Daddy to be healthy?' Left for days and wouldn't tell me where he was 'because then you'll come here' But I'm ranting.

I'm posting to ask how you have the kindness to understand your H? I just don't get how he suffered and the OW made him have the A. If the OW threatened to tell me, why didn't he just tell me the truth instead of letting me live for 6 years in a lie? I was working on the farm all those years, worked hard even while H and OW were on their overnight trips. At the end of a long day farm day they had a nice dinner and went to a hotel. I stayed home and cooked for the kids and cleaned.

H and OW knew the truth that I was denied. How did you R? How did come to your understanding of your H's LTA? Thanks. Now H says I humiliate him when I tell him I still don't believe his explanation. It's more than 2 years since DDay.

I also don't mean to threadjack Tapered's post asking if waywards and their AP develop deep feelings. I guess some people have affairs because they love their AP. This seems more 'normal' than professing hate for AP for years while having sex and lavish rendezvous, and lying to family.

Svon posted 12/3/2018 00:35 AM

Notoverit, I love your user name. Letís be clear, I donít expect to ever ďget over itĒ, but, I can accept it happened and choose to move on. It HAPPENED whether I divorce my husband or not, so I have to move on in the way that is best for me, my
Children, and our long term happiness. My husband is in therapy, taking medication, reading self help books, etc... doing all he can to figure out why he did what he did so it never happens again. He is kind, generous, and remorseful. He was happy to be rid of his AP. I know this is true as she was heartbroken when he wouldnít leave me for her and was actually shocked. She was so devastated she exposed details to me I did not need to know, but was hell bent on hurting me as she was scorned and heartbroken. What do I have to lose by continuing in this marriage? I loved my life when he was a cheating asshole, so I am sure I can love it even more when he is not. For me I weighed the pros and cons of marriage vs. divorce. The only pro for divorce for me was ďsaving prideĒ which in the end seemed lonely and void of importance. 6 months out and the pain is continuing to decrease. I can breathe again. I have days of joy and fun. In the end, joy, happiness, and stability is all I want! My kids are happy. I continue to heal. My husband continues to be the husband I want. Unless something changes, what do I have to lose by loving my life, my kids, and yes, even my husband? I do think your and all WS need to be ready to listen to our fear, pain, struggles etc. and all affair related as crap as itís needed without giving us shit. Your husband needs to be patient and understanding with that. He caused the pain, he needs to be present and patient as long as it takes you to heal, Period! Ultimately, happiness is a choice. We donít need a great marriage to be happy. Choose happy and what you want in life. It canít be dependent on him! It comes from within. He may compliment it, or maybe not, but ultimately, itís up to you .I am a firm believer that people can be happy in a crappy marriage and others can be miserable in a great marriage. Relationships do not define us or our mental stability! Work to be happy.. regardless of your circumstances!

[This message edited by Svon at 12:42 AM, December 3rd (Monday)]

Svon posted 12/3/2018 08:10 AM

Notoverit, I realized I didnít answer your question. I donít think my husband ďhatedĒ it. He enjoyed it at times I am sure. He also resented her for it and wanted out. His words are it felt like a ď choreĒ I was resigned to do and just like with all chores you can enjoy yourself st times but you overall would prefer to not have to do it.

amethyst0323 posted 12/4/2018 02:56 AM

I'm posting to ask how you have the kindness to understand your H? I just don't get how he suffered and the OW made him have the A. If the OW threatened to tell me, why didn't he just tell me the truth instead of letting me live for 6 years in a lie?

H and OW knew the truth that I was denied. How did you R? How did come to your understanding of your H's LTA? Thanks. Now H says I humiliate him when I tell him I still don't believe his explanation. It's more than 2 years since DDay.


I don't think the other woman made my husband cheat. He wasn't forced, he admits he made lots of terrible choices and judgement. She did manipulate him though, she cottoned on quite quickly that he is a KISA - so tales of husband raping her, husband beating her, ex raping her, family traumas etc flew fast. He looks back now and sees how many lies she told and that most of her stories were probably rubbish. He said she changed her stories often e.g. How often she was raped, the fact she was raped at one point was ignored and she told him her husband wouldn't have sex with her ever. I can't believe how stupid he was to believe it all.

I like to think I am a fairly balance person who tries to see all sides. I hate what my husband did, I haven't forgiven him yet and I'm not sure I ever will but I do love him so I am trying to understand so we can have a better marriage going forward.

The way I try to look at it is that at first it was fun and exciting, text with sexy snippets. Ego boosts. Selfies. Feeling adored etc. You step over that first boundary and them slowly each step sucks you in more and before you know you have a woman who is at points saying these nice, ego boosting things, a woman who is happy giving you a blow job and you giving very little back but who at the same time starts getting angry and jealous. A woman who starts threatening you when she doesn't get her own way (suicide, self harm, telling me etc in my case). And you are in so deep you can't get out plus there still are bits that are good after all you get the blow jobs still while she get nothing during a quick fumble in a cupboard.

I had always said I would leave if I was cheated on and I think this stopped him telling me. He was sure our marriage would end the minute I knew. He was so stressed at points during the affair that I was terrified he would have a heart attack. There were good bits, there were things he got (arguing in my WH's case - she was a relief for his anger and frustration that he couldn't let out on his father, who he was having major issues with), but there was a lot of crap in his affair.

I know not all affairs are the same so I can't speak for everyone but I do think the gradual crossing of boundaries until you are sucked into something you never thought you would be will be a frequent occupancy.

Oh and you aren't humiliating him by not believing him. He humiliated himself by behaving so appallingly. My husband accepts that I struggle to believe things, he knows his two years of lies are the reason for this. He is humiliated, angry and disgusted but only by himself not by me. Your husband needs to acknowledge this in my opinion. Trying to twist it on you is not acceptable

amethyst0323 posted 12/4/2018 02:56 AM

I'm posting to ask how you have the kindness to understand your H? I just don't get how he suffered and the OW made him have the A. If the OW threatened to tell me, why didn't he just tell me the truth instead of letting me live for 6 years in a lie?

H and OW knew the truth that I was denied. How did you R? How did come to your understanding of your H's LTA? Thanks. Now H says I humiliate him when I tell him I still don't believe his explanation. It's more than 2 years since DDay.


I don't think the other woman made my husband cheat. He wasn't forced, he admits he made lots of terrible choices and judgement. She did manipulate him though, she cottoned on quite quickly that he is a KISA - so tales of husband raping her, husband beating her, ex raping her, family traumas etc flew fast. He looks back now and sees how many lies she told and that most of her stories were probably rubbish. He said she changed her stories often e.g. How often she was raped, the fact she was raped at one point was ignored and she told him her husband wouldn't have sex with her ever. I can't believe how stupid he was to believe it all.

I like to think I am a fairly balance person who tries to see all sides. I hate what my husband did, I haven't forgiven him yet and I'm not sure I ever will but I do love him so I am trying to understand so we can have a better marriage going forward.

The way I try to look at it is that at first it was fun and exciting, text with sexy snippets. Ego boosts. Selfies. Feeling adored etc. You step over that first boundary and them slowly each step sucks you in more and before you know you have a woman who is at points saying these nice, ego boosting things, a woman who is happy giving you a blow job and you giving very little back but who at the same time starts getting angry and jealous. A woman who starts threatening you when she doesn't get her own way (suicide, self harm, telling me etc in my case). And you are in so deep you can't get out plus there still are bits that are good after all you get the blow jobs still while she get nothing during a quick fumble in a cupboard.

I had always said I would leave if I was cheated on and I think this stopped him telling me. He was sure our marriage would end the minute I knew. He was so stressed at points during the affair that I was terrified he would have a heart attack. There were good bits, there were things he got (arguing in my WH's case - she was a relief for his anger and frustration that he couldn't let out on his father, who he was having major issues with), but there was a lot of crap in his affair.

I know not all affairs are the same so I can't speak for everyone but I do think the gradual crossing of boundaries until you are sucked into something you never thought you would be will be a frequent occupancy.

Oh and you aren't humiliating him by not believing him. He humiliated himself by behaving so appallingly. My husband accepts that I struggle to believe things, he knows his two years of lies are the reason for this. He is humiliated, angry and disgusted but only by himself not by me. Your husband needs to acknowledge this in my opinion. Trying to twist it on you is not acceptable

shellofme posted 12/5/2018 11:33 AM

I hope it's okay that I'm posting here. My FWH didn't have a LTA, but someone I care about had a husband that did, and I'd like to steer her to some healing books and resources.

She's not a member of SI, and I don't want to reveal to her that I am. She's in pain, blaming herself, and she needs help on her journey to heal.

I already recommended Not Just Friends, and HTHYSHFYA, but are there other books any of you BS/WS involved in a LTA found particularly helpful to the specific differences/traumas related to LTAs?

gmc94 posted 12/5/2018 20:17 PM

Hey ShellOfMe.
I've read a TON of infidelity-related books (I should have invested in the publishing houses on dday I've spent so much $$ on these damned books). I've yet to find anything that specifically relates to LTAs.
But if I had one piece of advice for any BS - including those suffering from an LTA - it would be this.
Read the 2 books you mention. Review/re-read as needed/desired.
Then - ditch the infidelity related books. They either say the same things you've read in the 2 you mention, or they are going to piss you off bc they are subliminally - or sometimes outright- blaming the BS (and this includes the WS-sympathizing bullshit spewed by Esther Perel), or they will be long on theory but short on practice. There are a couple of exceptions, and I may re-read some now that I'm in a less fragile state, but NJF and HTHYSAYA are really ground zero, IMO.

Instead -
First read at least one Brene Brown book (I've read all, but recommend Rising Strong - I'm probably partial bc it was the first one I read).
Then
Read Rick Hansen's Resilience - and do ALL of the exercises (I suggest getting an audible version [I borrowed the CDs from my local library and ripped them to my iphone], so you can actually do the exercises by listening vs reading what to do - just makes it a heckuva lot easier).
Meditate - every morning and every night if you can (I use an app called Insight Timer, but there are tons of other free ones for a smartphone).
Then read (or watch videos) of Pema Chodron.

IMO, healing from an LTA is the same as any other A. You have to heal you. No one else can do it for you. It sucks the bigtime, but it is what it is - the sh*t sandwich must be digested to move on.
The biggest difference is that one must process years of betrayal. For instance, with an LTA, there is no "affair season". For some it may be a blessing - for others, a curse (in that EVERY day is an "affair day" with an LTA). But what's worked best for me is working to find joy in whatever I can - the more time I spend being happy about seeing a snake in my yard (I think nature is pretty cool), the less time I'm miserable thinking about how many bites of that f*cking sh*t sandwich I've yet to eat.
Working (and this is REALLY REALLY HARD) to stay out of total blame and anger. Blaming and shaming my WH may make me feel good for a bit - but ultimately do nothing for ME other than fan flames that keep hurt alive. Yes there are times where it's all you can see - and we all know that venting is Ok (I try to do it in my journal or here on SI, but I'm far from perfect and my WH can attest to times I've been far less than my best self), but overall, does it really help heal? They are far easier than working on figuring out who I want to be, and how I want to live MY life in the wake of the sh*t sandwich I've been served.
Again - these are things any BS must address.... how will I move forward to be the best person I can be? How do I work on MY life - and what it looks like WITHOUT my WH? If it turns out that my WH is "R material" and I am ultimately able to find forgiveness and peace with him - great! But the really hard and scary part is fully facing the opposite - my needs and wants completely separate and apart from WH (there is SO much truth to letting go of the outcome. Took me MONTHS to come to terms with it, but for me, it's been a big milestone). I still struggle every day. It's hard to allow the painful feelings to come through and be processed without getting stuck in my own little pity party.

Of course, none of this may resonate with your friend. We are all different - even those of us in the LTA "camp" of this sh*t sandwich.
Godspeed.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 4:23 PM, December 10th, 2018 (Monday)]

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