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BS Questions for WS's - Part 12

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hikingout posted 7/18/2018 09:40 AM

Many BSs compare themselves to the AP and have the belief that they are second choice. If this is the case, where does your BS compare tgemselves tge most? How did/do you address these issues to help your BS heal?


This is a good question. We have recently turned a corner on this, but I will get to that in a minute.


The root of it was I didn't believe that he was. And, when you believe something you align your thoughts, feelings, and actions towards that belief. Eventually I think the BS either heals enough to be able to see those patterns and new evidence because what is honest and true, or stays stuck and steadfast in the belief. It's up to them and what they want, what they see, and how they can grow their perspective of the shitstorm that was brought to them.


I have said from day one that the A wasn't about him at all - it was about me. My escape, my bad boundaries, communication, coping mechanisms, lack of morals and commitment. He did nothing wrong. I stomped all over him, and showed him he wasn't important by all the actions that I did in the A.


As we round out year one, I think he's starting to shift his perspective. He is starting to let me own the Affair - meaning he's beginning to see that it was nothing about who he was, wasn't, things he did, didn't do, etc...I am not saying he's healed but I do believe he's starting to see that there is no comparison being held between him and the AP. That I was the one who was messed up, and that I am the one who is working to fix me.

I think a lot of times if the BS feels they have to work to do the fixing of the WS that doesn't free them up to work on themselves, what they want, how they want their life to be. They can't detach. When my husband detached from me and was ready for divorce, I think that's where the shift started to happen. It was a relief for him that allowed him to start seeing the situation through new eyes. He knew he could leave, I wouldn't fight him on it. He knew it wasn't what I wanted, but what was important was it allowed him to have the freedom to say to himself that wasn't what he wanted either. So, when he kind of came back he was able to start observing me more objectively. We had our hardest conversations after that, the questions he had changed.


In many ways, he is still in watch and wait mode. But, he tells me he can see the progress, how much I want to be a better person. He says that he knows after all we've gone through in the past year that I wouldn't be doing that for any other reason than I want for things to work between us. The authenticity comes from me really knowing how badly I screwed up and how he should have never been lower on my priority list than my number one...and only. He also sees I didn't take the out when he asked for the divorce.


Still very much a work in progress, but to sum up I think for the WS to show that the BS is #1 they need to believe it. They need to be able to demonstrate it on a daily basis and that can only come from a very deep seeded belief. But, after that the ball can only be in our court so much, there has to be a willingness to soften and lean in a little on the part of the BS. The time table for that can vary, but I do believe the WS has the most impact by working on themselves and being committed 100% to helping their BS heal.

Root posted 7/18/2018 10:10 AM

Many BSs compare themselves to the AP and have the belief that they are second choice. If this is the case, where does your BS compare tgemselves tge most? How did/do you address these issues to help your BS heal?

This is tough. I had 2 A's. BH thought I settled for him with the first one (happened while dating). I worked with him to logic his way though this one and his counselor helped.

The OEA wasn't romantic so what got my BH is that the OM is smarter than him (academically) and had more money (supposedly). BH got to see the OM in action when he stole my identity online. He has seen the crappy friends I chose and how I allowed them to treat me. BH is the ONLY good person I've ever had in my life and he knows it.....NOW. Again logic and counseling. Lots and lots of counseling.

Estirpe posted 7/18/2018 14:33 PM

Thank you again for the replies.

Why minimize?
He never got fully erected but yet he ejaculated twice.
Was never about the sex but kept going for more.
I didn't act like most people say, I was quiet during sex.
I went to him a few times to stop the affair but I couldn't.
During sex I didn't feel like I was having sex.
I never touched his penis or performed oral sex.
We did it only x amount of times then TT some other times.

I mean when people have sex they do it for pleasure and as regularly as opportunities present themselves, maybe now you see it wrong but in the moment of the affair most likely you enjoyed hence went back for more.

Does minimizing make you feel less bad for what you did or maybe you think your spouse will look at you differently?

[This message edited by Estirpe at 2:40 PM, July 18th (Wednesday)]

hikingout posted 7/18/2018 15:28 PM

I don't feel like I minimized when I told my husband any of it, but I know the urge was there to minimize. I resisted at the time only because I had read enough on here to know it would only make things worse. But, a wayward more than likely acts/feels like a child that the parent just found out did something bad. It's part of the mentality of someone who was capable of cheating. I confessed and still felt like that. Like I wanted to crawl back into myself and erase details. At the time of each single betrayal you don't think of the 1000 cuts that each detail of that time will cause. Knowing that all the sudden, seeing it clearly, it's an overwhelming feeling that is difficult to stay with and minimizing can make it seem like it will go away. It makes it worse of course, but we want it to go away - it's unpleasant. Waywards don't like unpleasant, that's what we are escaping.

Some back story: I didn't have a LTA. There were few encounters and it was all in the same week. I told my husband that the sex was enjoyable, but I would classify it as just okay. There is no confidence in what the other person wants, and they don't know your buttons either. So, I was in my head a lot on most of it and never really got much physically from it. You can lose yourself more fully with someone you know well, who knows you, and who you feel very comfortable with. I think this is why many people would say their longer term relationships had the most noteworthy sexual experiences.

Anyway, none of that was acceptable in the beginning and he did not believe me on any thing I said about it.

I don't think honest depictions of what I thought about all of it was minimizing, but nothing a wayward says at the point of confessing is: a)believed anyway b) acceptable. I don't mean that in a rude way towards a BS - I mean that's the reality. We just broke your trust in a million pieces, so why would you believe it? And, what could we possibly say that would ease the pain that we caused? And normally around DDAY there has been no time for personal growth or reflection, we are still standing there in every single issue we have that led to cheating in the first place. I look back on the whole thing with a different lens than I did when confessing. Hindsight causes me to talk and think about it differently which sometimes makes my husband take pause (Why didn't you tell me that before?) But, it's not a detail - no new encounters or anything, so I can see why this sort of trickle truth is frustrating to you.


Obviously the continued lying has made this worse in your situation. You should have been given the dignity of honesty. But, I can tell you that the sex is not always what you would think it would be in an affair, and I can understand why it's hard for the BS to believe that. We ruined everyone's lives because of it, so it must have been worth it? No. But the going back for more happens for a multitude of reasons - and it's just not always mind-altering sex.

Wenda posted 7/19/2018 09:01 AM

Thanks @hikingout for that very thoughtful response. I did see the mirroring, and him getting a big ego boost. But the fact that you are on the other side of it, and can recognise that...well that means a lot. Good luck to you. I hope you have healed your own relationship too :)

Wenda posted 7/19/2018 09:20 AM

@hikingout: You say you felt like you had been caught as a naughty child by parents. Why do you think this? what were your particular experiences? Also, you say there was more than one affair partner. Why? what were you looking for....do you even know this yourself? I'm thinking you probably didn't know what you wanted, and didn't think through the consequences at the time. I hope I do not sound judgemental. I just want to understand. My husband could be you.

hikingout posted 7/19/2018 10:17 AM

@hikingout: You say you felt like you had been caught as a naughty child by parents. Why do you think this? what were your particular experiences? Also, you say there was more than one affair partner. Why? what were you looking for....do you even know this yourself? I'm thinking you probably didn't know what you wanted, and didn't think through the consequences at the time. I hope I do not sound judgemental. I just want to understand. My husband could be you.


I think you might have misunderstood something I wrote, I only had one AP, very short term. I have written the story on here a few times and people are probably eyerolling by now, but generally speaking the Affair happened in a perfect storm in my life that I didn't cope with well. There was a mental/physical exhaustion, a deep disconnect within my marriage, a recent empty nest, and I had given to the point of running on empty. I was looking for an escape from myself and my life and responsibilities. Never in all our marriage did I ever consider cheating, and since then I learned to take better care and control over my life and that I had many other issues to fix. That's a very nutshell version of events.


As for the naughty child thing. I think when you are coming off of an affair that had been in it's own private bubble, the feeling of confessing all that happened was very much like when you were a kid and being in trouble with your parents. It's not that it's like that exactly obviously, but some of those feelings and responses creep up. Like when you were caught, you want your parents not to be disappointed and you have that tendency to try and minimize that. It's the closest thing I could think of of that feeling. But, personally, I do see where I made my husband an authority figure in my life to some degree, even though that's never been his desire.


I was selfish, out of touch with myself, very much not self-aware. I had gone to throwing myself into all my roles and not re-evaluating that. I was getting my validation prior to the affair with a lot of people pleasing and trying to be seen a certain way. I have learned to be more authentic and to evaluate my motivations and desires and remove some of the blind spots I had about myself. Prior to the affair, I defined myself as super-mom, super-wife, and successes in my career. Those things are important but having things that light you up personally and learning ways to be happy outside of those roles were crucial to me. I don't know if that answers your question?

Marcy70 posted 7/19/2018 10:21 AM

Do you think your bs will ever truly cherish you like before? Of course, that may not be the aim.

No I don’t think he will. This was very upsetting for a while. I was sad because “Our relationship will never be like a love song”, “I ruined any chance of that” etc. But really that is just fantasy and perfectionism crap rearing it’s ugly head again.
Recently, it has helped to remember that there really wasnt any cherishing thru most of our relationship. Maybe when we first were dating. But I was selfish and difficult to live with so my husband spent a lot of time at the office avoiding me and trying to avoid fights. I was alone a lot.
I work a lot harder now to be kind and considerate. He doesn’t avoid me anymore. We spend quite a bit of time together and most of it is pleasant. I wish it had not taken me having EA’s and jacking things up so badly to get to this point.

hikingout posted 7/19/2018 10:22 AM

Wenda,

I went back and read, and I think this is where I might have given an impression of multiple AP's:

At the time of each single betrayal you don't think of the 1000 cuts that each detail of that time will cause. Knowing that all the sudden, seeing it clearly, it's an overwhelming feeling that is difficult to stay with and minimizing can make it seem like it will go away. It makes it worse of course, but we want it to go away - it's unpleasant. Waywards don't like unpleasant, that's what we are escaping.

To clarify, in my two month A, I see 100's of betrayals, and each individual. Meaning, every day that it was kept up - in texts or calls or whatever, each time it was adding to the list of betrayals. So, when you look at any given day, action, each one carries it's own pain for the BS. That's what I meant.

Marcy70 posted 7/19/2018 10:48 AM

My WS has always claimed that he felt no emotional connection to his MOW, nor did he have any internal conflict during the A years, nor did he have any worries or even considerations as to possible fallout/consequences.
I still have a very hard time understanding and believing this.
He admits now, that this behaviour was “beyond terrible” but his ability to compartmentalize a double life to that extent seems even beyond typical wayward capabilities. Any thoughts?

I did have emotional connections, that’s what it was all about for me, so I can’t speak to that part, but as far as compartmentalizations go, your WH does not seem out of line with typical wayward thinking at all. Compartmentalization is Wayward Behavior 101. We are/were selfish and want what we want. And we are never going to get caught, right? So no harm, no foul. Nobody gets hurt. Your work wife/husband or Facebook “friend” has nothing to do with your spouse. Just an extra source of ego kibbles, validation. Sexual excitement or whatever you are looking for. This kind of thinking is second nature to waywards. For me personally, Learning to be open has been very hard. It goes against every instinct. But it can be done. People can learn, adapt and change. I have no doubt that your WH does look back now and see his behavior as terrible. It’s a sign of growth and change. What used to seem normal to me (constant romantic fantasies, seeking emotional connection outside my M) now makes me want to be physically sick.

Ilovemykids posted 7/19/2018 12:43 PM

Was it easy to lie to your spouses face when they were suspicious? Is it easier to continue lying in order to not cause any more hurt?

wheretoturn posted 7/19/2018 13:52 PM

also posted in general, but thought i would ask here.
If you were never caught, do you believe you would have confessed to you spouse at some point?
If you were caught and your spouse asked you if you would have ever told them, would you tell them the truth if you were never going to confess?
thank you

Marcy70 posted 7/19/2018 14:11 PM

If I had never been caught, I would never have confessed in a million years. No way. My husband has actually asked me this question and I told him the same thing.

In a way, I am glad now that I was caught. I would not want to go back to being that selfish, difficult person whose husband avoided me like the plague, and who was so blind to my own faults and dysfunction. But Again, I wish it hadn’t taken all of this for me to change and grow. Some people only learn from epic failure I guess.

Marcy70 posted 7/19/2018 14:18 PM


Was it easy to lie to your spouses face when they were suspicious? Is it easier to continue lying in order to not cause any more hurt?

Yes it was. Lie, gaslight, deflect, attack. Anything to avoid admitting failure, weakness or fault. Everything was someone else’s fault.
Now, I want to learn to be open and vulnerable so that my husband and I can be in a happy marriage. I can’t do that if I never admit fault and if I’m not honest. It has taken me a long time to figure out that lying never helps. You may be trying to avoid more hurt but it will just be worse in the long run.

wheretoturn posted 7/19/2018 14:23 PM

Marcy, thank you for your response, i appreciate it. Do you think you had less respect for your BH during the time of the affairs? i ask because i struggle with the fact if he loved me and respected me, he would have felt bad enough to stop and tell me.
I know that doesnt even make sense to me.
thank you again

Darkness Falls posted 7/19/2018 15:18 PM

Wheretoturn,

I would likely never have told.

My husband did ask me that, and I told him the same.

Marcy70 posted 7/19/2018 15:23 PM

I never had much respect for my husband at any time. Not because of anything wrong with him. I was so selfish and obtuse that all my unhappiness and discontent was his fault (in my mind). I blamed him.
Just as an example of this dynamic: He was self employed for most of our marriage. He would call me at 4 or 4:30 and tell me about his day. Often he would tell me how he went golfing or played video games or went on a long lunch with guy friends, and then in the next breath tell me how buried with work he was and he was going to have to stay late at the office and work again. In my mind, I thought “what an immature little shit; why can’t he manage his time like a grown up and come home to his family at a normal time?”
What I never considered was that in many cases he was avoiding me because I was a shrew. I was very difficult to live with. He felt like he never could please me and he just stayed away.
Sorry I hit submit too soon. ETA: he was shoving down all
kinds of stuff that bugged him (House was a mess, No clean laundry, not enough sex, etc) to avoid getting into a fight.
He should have been more direct about his issues instead of avoiding. But I should have been able to consider that I was not perfect and that maybe there was a reason for him to stay away (or lots of reasons). Nothing was EVER my fault. I would have made it very very hard to talk to me about anything that was wrong.

[This message edited by Marcy70 at 3:32 PM, July 19th (Thursday)]

Emotionalhell posted 7/20/2018 07:47 AM

For the WS that read the book How to help your spouse heal, was it helpful? Did it help you realize what pain your actions have caused?

FightingBack posted 7/20/2018 08:21 AM

Marcy, thank you.

General posted 7/20/2018 19:27 PM

I'm sorry if I missed this, but there are so many pages in this thread: if a WW is guilt ridden during the A, what are some of the reasons she keeps going back?

[This message edited by General at 7:28 PM, July 20th (Friday)]

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