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BS Questions for WS's - Part 12

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hikingout posted 8/9/2018 13:13 PM

Looking back on it, how do you feel about that "emotional connection" you had with the AP now? Was it real? Was it real at the time, or felt real but was just telling each other whatever you wanted to hear?

Good question but this is way more complicated than all of that. I am really going to try and do a good job of explaining because we've talked back and forth enough for me to understand you really do want to know. Might get long.

First, understand that I didn't understand the lack of emotional connection was a issue for me. Had I been this intelligent about my own emotions, I would have definitely acted or coped differently. And it wasn't just I didn't have it with my husband, I didn't have it with anyone. I have friends, but we don't talk deeply like that. We go out and have fun, but it's surface. Maybe less on their end, they talk more about their feelings - but I am the supporter in the group, not the sharer. I am not close to my mom or my sister. I love them, I talk to them, but again, very surface and they are both needy for support, I definitely do not look to them for any of it. I hadn't felt seen by anyone in my life in a long time, feeling that was powerful. The fact I hadn't felt that way was my fault - I hadn't cultivated it into any of my relationships. Even with my daughters, we do talk deeply, but it's about them, their feelings, their fears, their issues. I never would burden them with mine. That doesn't even seem like that would be appropriate. Building emotional connection with other females has been part of my work (in addition to my husband first of course).

What it actually looked like in the beginning was "oh, he is paying attention to me, he is interested in what I have to say" and that led to more conversations - some deep, some bantering, and it felt good. It felt really good. It had been a long time that I felt interesting or funny or dare I say attractive to someone. Wanted, not needed. I didn't want to stop feeling that way so of course it progressed. And it became a bigger and bigger need to fill.

That sounds pathetic, but to paint the picture further this was also happening at a time when I was very weighed down with my life and my responsibilities, and I was very much in a mode of "do this again and again until you die" type of feeling. I was ripe for wanting escape because I had been pushing down and pushing down my feelings and just trudging through my days. This had nothing btw to do with my husband, it was my disposition and outlook in life.

None of these are conscious thoughts because there is little to no self-examination, there is no self awareness happening here. Just getting up and doing my duties and getting through it. (I was working 16-18 hour days for nearly 18 months at this point - I just didn't take any time to think or examine)

Literally, I had the rudimentary perception - I went from feeling like a tired middle-aged lady who was dutiful and devoted, to a 25 year old, carefree, vibrant, woman.

Was it real? The feelings? Yes and no. Certainly at the time they were happening and building, I did believe they were. But, in hindsight, I only liked how he made me feel about myself. It had little to do with how I actually felt about him.

I have said many times there is a projection occurring - you are feeling happy and good so the other person must be good, and the qualities that you think of in a good person you assume they have or project onto them. Pretty soon they are doing the same to you as well, so this is where the whole sloppy disgusting part starts happening where you are projecting onto them and then saying things reflecting that, and they do it to you too, and each time the other person is making the other person feel good and it's escalating. It's the whole mirroring effect.

Meanwhile, all you are really doing is being disgustingly juvenile and assisting the other person in hurting themselves and their spouses and their families. You aren't focused on that, you are focused on feeling like that 25 year old that I was telling you about.


So, that's why I say yes and no. Yes, I thought it was real, but it wasn't. It could never have been. When you date someone as a single person, you little by little learn about who they truly are and you have life experiences with them that far surpass sex or flirting, there are opportunities for you to bond and grow. There is no room for that in an affair - it's all artificially created and derived. It's what they tell you, what you tell them and no real evidence to the truth or the contrary. What you are buying into is the illusion of a relationship because it feels like the highs you would have had in a new relationship as a younger, more immature period of your life.

Do you long for that (someone to tell you anything, even if it's not necessarily true/reasonable/achievable)?

No, I do not. I never considered the ways he was likely lying to me or manipulating me. And, I don't really worry about that now either, because it's irrelevant. I just took it at face value and ate it up, believed it hook, line, and sinker. Also, you don't know me in real life, but I know for a fact you wouldn't believe this coming from who I am. I am very intuitive about people, I read them very well, I know a lot about human nature. I am successful, and I didn't get that way by being some clueless twit. But, I saw what I wanted to see because at the point I was in my life I was so desperate to see it. Desperate to escape my reality.


So, part of my work is to find outlets, interests, that I can find my own self interesting, funny, and attractive. I lack not having the self love and the feeling of being satisfied as a woman with outlets other than caretaking for a family. I gave myself fully over until one day the kids were gone and I didn't know who I was any more. I am getting there. I feel good about who I am becoming.

Do you feel like the trade, your sex for his (usually, but reverse the sexes if answering as a WH who was there for emotions) emotions was a good one? Did you at the time?

We talk about this like it was conscious. But, I do think what you are saying about the trading is factual. Both people have needs and wants in the situation so it's definitely transactional. But, at the time it's happening, I did want to have sex with him. I wanted him to think I was the greatest lay he ever had. I wanted to feel the chemistry. I knew myself well enough to have a good guess that I wouldn't have orgasms, I have never easily done that with a new partner. It has always taken a while before that comfort level sets in where I am not just all up in my head with things. So, it wasn't really about that. It was part of the sick, sloppy part that they are wooing you, they are wooing them, and the stakes just keep going up. It's transactional because in all likelihood his need or want was the sex. I was getting what I wanted from it, and he wanted to get what he wanted from it. That's another reason I know in hindsight it wasn't real - it's just two sick people using each other.

The sex was a natural progression of escalating the feelings and the fantasy. And, sure probably somewhat manipulative on my part in hindsight because I do understand what that means to a man. Was I intentionally manipulating? No. At the time, it was all as if it was the natural progression of a normal relationship. Looking back and being able to recognize that what I wanted from it was for him to see me as even better - that's clearly manipulation and transactional.

It's very hard for me to understand this part of an A; if your there for the sex, this wouldn't apply to you either, but WS's who are there for the other reasons (commonly cited as WW's, but sometimes I see a WH say it), how do you feel about it now?


Gosh, I feel...sorry, and dumb, and shortsighted. I have been floored as I learned so many painful truths about myself when I used to think I was a well adjusted adult. There are no words for how badly I feel that in all my fucked-upness that I hurt my husband who never deserved one drop of what I hit him with. How I could destroy him emotionally and act so selfishly when all he has ever done is tried to be a good husband, father, and man? I feel like I wish I could go back and slap myself silly for not seeing the picture that I have now. As for how do I feel about the affair? AP? I obviously wish it never happened. I wish there could have been some other way to slap me awake, and more aware of myself and my own life. There is no fond memory, no emotion, no feeling towards the AP or the A. He could have been anyone.

The affair didn't start because of my marriage, because of my husband, it was not about the AP. It was completely about the state I had let my mind go to and not living authentically, over giving because I didn't feel good about myself and felt to get love I had to give everything in return, and overcompensating with selfishness, being willing to compromise my integrity and dignity at such a low cost - cheap feelings. But, my husband has been the one to pay the greatest cost for that, and I can't believe he's sitting next to me every day paying it. That's why when you all start talking about how a WW should be giving more to the H than the AP - I know that is way beyond true. This is the hugest gift, the greatest act of love that my husband is giving me. What did the AP give me? Nothing. He did the same thing that most do when found out - ditched and ran. And, you know what? That's okay. I am glad he did me that favor. I feel no resentment, only indifference. But, when you really weigh what that looks like, some days I feel like I should bow down and kiss my H's feet. I don't feel like anything he asks of me would make me a slave, because I want him to know without a shadow of a doubt that I know what I did to him and I want him to know I love him and I am sorry. So, that's how I feel about all that now.


Okay, that was a lot. I am sorry. But, as I said there are lots of little details about each human that cheats that feed into how it all happens. What you as a BH who wishes to reconcile need to figure out is what all those little details are for your human. I know you want to understand, that is palpable. But, maybe you won't understand until she does. That grows for me all the time, and I hope it does for your wife as well.

[This message edited by hikingout at 1:15 PM, August 9th (Thursday)]

Darkness Falls posted 8/9/2018 13:14 PM

Looking back on it, how do you feel about that "emotional connection" you had with the AP now?

It's not something I think about anymore, because I made a different choice (to remarry my H and have a family).

Was it real? Was it real at the time, or felt real but was just telling each other whatever you wanted to hear?

The AP was my ex. As far as I can reasonably be sure about anything, it was real. I knew him very well prior to the A, both emotionally and sexually. It wasn't like I met the guy and two minutes later it was like "zomg, we're soulmates!" to justify getting some. I think it was real, but I was a chicken.

Do you long for that (someone to tell you anything, even if it's not necessarily true/reasonable/achievable)?

No.

Do you feel like the trade, your sex for his (usually, but reverse the sexes if answering as a WH who was there for emotions) emotions was a good one? Did you at the time?

I didn't and don't now think that's what the trade was, at least not anymoreso than any other relationship between romantic partners. But in general, no, I don't think the A was a good idea. I even told him at the time, why the fuck couldn't you have told me this (regretting the end of our relationship) before I got married to someone else?? But the fault was mine for succumbing to it.

gmc94 posted 8/9/2018 14:25 PM

A WW posted these questions on another thread, and I'm curious what responses other WS have to them:

How is it that you were able to give up your integrity?

How is it that you were able to lie as long as you did?

How is it that you were able to distort another personís reality for the sake of getting your own needs met, no matter the cost to the people around you?

What is the thinking that made all of that okay at the moment you were making those choices?

MinnisotaManInWi posted 8/9/2018 15:37 PM

Hiking-

You had a relatively short EA and a very short PA.

What made you cut off the PA so fast ?

Do you think if the EA and/or PA would have lasted another few months it would have become harder to quit the affair because it would have become more intense ?

hikingout posted 8/9/2018 16:07 PM

Yes, it was very short.

I didn't cut it off - he did after getting caught. My H didn't find out and wouldn't have (I am 99.9 percent sure), but I confessed because he had a right to know.


Hard to speculate as to what would have happened. The EA was very intense despite the short time, and it was actually very hard to quit. I thought I was in love with the AP, and I pined for him for months. I know that is disgusting but I am committed to being truthful.

Despite my betrayal I am not sure I could have kept up the hiding, or the level of time and effort I was putting into it without either being caught myself or just telling on myself. I didn't have to outwardly say lies, my lies were of omission, but the first time I would have had to say a lie out loud my husband would have known. I am the worlds worst liar. My face tells everything.

MinnisotaManInWi posted 8/9/2018 17:50 PM

Hiking-

How long did you wait after the affair to tell your husband about the affair ?

What kind of questions did your husband ask after the affair ? Was he more concerned about the emotional or physical aspect of the affair. ( I believe you wrote that you thought you loved the AP. Did you tell your husband that you loved AP ? Did you tell husband you told AP you loved him ? )

My wife supposedly had a PA only but I seriously doubt she would tell me if she had strong feelings for him. I seriously doubt she would tell me she loved him. The emotional part of the affair is easier to hide. I doubt I have the whole story on my wife's affair.

If your AP would not have been caught would your affair have continued long term ?

My wife told me she ended her A because she got bored after 3-4 months. I am not sure I believe that either.

The lies make anything hard to believe.

hikingout posted 8/10/2018 07:50 AM

Hiking-
How long did you wait after the affair to tell your husband about the affair ?


Close to two months. I knew early on I was going to tell, but I wanted to get into IC beforehand, and reflect because I knew I was really screwed up by this point. I came here and read, I read things people were recommending here, etc.


What kind of questions did your husband ask after the affair ? Was he more concerned about the emotional or physical aspect of the affair. ( I believe you wrote that you thought you loved the AP. Did you tell your husband that you loved AP ? Did you tell husband you told AP you loved him ? )

He asked about most everything. There were sexual questions too, but I had read about being careful there. So, I would answer and say I will tell him anything he wants to know but make sure he wants to know. Some things he would say he wanted to know then and some things he would defer. For the physical, e asked a lot of things like:


Did you kiss him, when did you first kiss him, how did it happen, what happened next. How many times did you kiss him. How many times did you have sex, where did you have sex, Was there oral, etc. We mostly kept it to yes and no, or number based answers. Very rarely did he want me to elaborate. He hasn't asked for a play by play, but he if did I would tell him. I did a timeline for him that was just a general A outline, and one that had more details so that nothing would be forgotten if he ever wanted to come back and know. I think we're past that though.


Was he more concerned about the physical or the emotional? I would say that ebbed and flowed for a while. But, as time went along and I had more clarity, and therefore able to provide him more clarity, what bothers him most is the betrayal itself and I would say emotional bothers him second and the sex third. That is today and how I would characterize him for the last 4 or 5 months.

I did tell my husband that I told AP I loved him. He knows that I did believe what I was saying at the time. During the confession he asked me if I still had those feelings for Ap and I said "Yes, but I don't want to have them" And that was true, I had been praying not to have them, I was talking through it with IC, etc. This part was very damaging to my H, very.

If your AP would not have been caught would your affair have continued long term ?


I don't really know, it's hard to speculate. I know it wouldn't have ended right then, but I am glad that it ended when it did. I wasn't back then, of course, but as I gained clarity it was definitely a blessing.

As I said before though, it couldn't have continued to stay under wraps with the amount of time, effort, and intensity I was putting into it. He lived far away though, and I think that was a veil that kept it off the radar for as long as it was.


I don't know how far out you are or anything like that. Is your wife in IC? What is she reading to help her understand affair dynamics? Those two things are important because she will maybe see the higher benefits of coming clean rather than minimizing everything and trying to hide details where she can. I also can't tell from your posts if you are really catching her in lies, or if you assume everything she says is a lie due to the betrayal and lies told during the A? I am sorry, I can tell you are in a lot of pain. I am assuming you caught her?

Marcy70 posted 8/10/2018 09:18 AM

This answer sparked another question for me. I get (well, I don't understand it, but I accept that it's the truth) that people do have A's for the "emotional connection" and then wind up having a lot of sex (or really just having sex). Looking back on it, how do you feel about that "emotional connection" you had with the AP now? Was it real? Was it real at the time, or felt real but was just telling each other whatever you wanted to hear? Do you long for that (someone to tell you anything, even if it's not necessarily true/reasonable/achievable)? Do you feel like the trade, your sex for his (usually, but reverse the sexes if answering as a WH who was there for emotions) emotions was a good one? Did you at the time?

Rideitout,
I didnít have IRL sex, but I sex chatted on FB with my AP. The entire relationship was via FB chat. We never met up in person but I did feel like we had an emotional connection. At the time it felt very real. But looking back with hindsight and after the benefit of some IC, some serious introspection, and lots of conversations with my insightful husband...it is pretty clear that it was not real. We were both so selfish. AP didnít really care about me. He was looking to sex chat and get off. And i didnít really care about him as a person. I was using him to feel pretty, sexy, funny, smart, ďgood enoughĒ. My pattern since I was a teenager had been to seek out men/boys to make me feel good enough because I never learned to do it for myself. After I was married, the fact that my husband thought I was beautiful, smart, sexy and all that was not enough because I was a bottomless pit. Of course now I do not think the trade was a good one. It was horribly destructive, hurtful and unhealthy. At the time, itís just who I was and what I had always done.

MrsWalloped posted 8/10/2018 10:29 AM

hikingout,

Hi. I just wanted to say that your description at the top of the page about your affair and the feelings and mindset before, during, and after, was so authentic and true.

Thank you so much for expressing it so well.

hikingout posted 8/10/2018 13:17 PM

Thanks, Mrs. Walloped. It was cathartic to write it out as well, as my understanding evolves it's really helpful for me to write it out. It almost lets me move on from those thoughts and build on them. Hope you are doing well and enjoying your summer.

WilliamM posted 8/10/2018 14:48 PM

Do you ever have nightmares or intrusive thoughts about the affair or the AP? My wife did for some time after the affair. We, at the never talked about it. I was pissed and did not want to hear how she was dealing with post d-day. Last night she had a dream with the POS in it. Nothing sexual but it upset her. We talked about the dream and the affair, which she did not want to do, but she did. How did/do you handle dreams and intrusive thoughts.

[This message edited by WilliamM at 2:51 PM, August 10th (Friday)]

Darkness Falls posted 8/10/2018 14:52 PM

No, but if I did, Iíd never bring it up.

MrsWalloped posted 8/10/2018 17:00 PM

I have. Not often, but it occurs. None of them pleasant in any way. Iíve always told my husband. DarknessFalls, Iím not faulting you or saying that not telling is wrong, but I know my BH. If I didnít tell him that I had a dream about my AP, heíd feel it would be another betrayal. Because Iím hiding something from him about my AP. Also, after DDay I had to be overly authentic if that makes sense. If I wasnít honest with myself and my BH during my A, then I needed to be super honest afterwards to sort of retrain me. I donít know if Iím being clear, but I didnít want to hide anything from my BH.

When they do happen, theyíre very triggery. Sometimes itís a bad dream and other times itís an intrusive thought if Iím doing something as normal as eating pizza. Theyíre very unpleasant. But I donít look for support from my BH about it. Thatís not his responsibility, itís mine. I just let him know that it happened and thatís it. My therapist is the one who bears the brunt of my talking about it.

Darkness Falls posted 8/10/2018 17:39 PM

MrsW,

I know most everyone else tells those kinds of things. I was definitely only speaking for myself. Yíall gotta do whatís right for you.

Brennan87 posted 8/11/2018 08:18 AM

Hiking out,

Thank you so much for your authentic post regarding your feelings and the emotional connection during your affair. I can hear the pain you experience as a result. Hang in there!

For WS's I'm curious about the generalization that I see on here.

A lot of WS say "he/she could have been anyone, there was not special about the AP". I say this is a generalization to a degree because it truly couldn't have just been anyone.

Do I agree WS affair down? Definitely, my WW is a solid 8 yet she had an affair with Droopy dog. She too says it could have been anyone. As it was how she felt about herself and what he was giving, versus an attraction to him. So to any WS who say it could have been anyone, is this really accurate? If your AP, was completely toothless or had missing teeth, black teeth, or covered in acne or smelled bad, would you really have given up sex? Isn't the truth that there has to be some type of mild physical attraction and "standard's in place? Thus there needs to be an asterisk with your "it could have been anyone" comment? Just curious

Chaos posted 8/11/2018 08:49 AM

How do you feel reading posts from us BS really suffering? Some from the newly discovered that are as broken as can be and those of who are further down the healing process that are having bad days?

Darkness Falls posted 8/11/2018 09:55 AM

Brennan,

I donít think in my case the AP could have been anyone. However, I think I could have been MARRIED to ďanyoneĒ and I still would have cheated with himóIOW that it wasnít anything ďwrong withĒ my H or my marriage.

Darkness Falls posted 8/11/2018 10:00 AM

Chaos,

It depends on the situation. I feel sorry for anyone going through it. For those that are suffering years down the road I usually tend to wonder if theyíre really at peace with staying for kids, $, etc. I tend to think BHs who have a lot of difficulty with the sex aspect should proceed to divorce.

hikingout posted 8/12/2018 06:17 AM

Brennan- Itís funny you say that because I did almost qualify that statement. Of course it couldnít have been anyone in the world. What is more intended in that statement is that there wasnít anything special or compelling about the Ap that made them a better choice or bent us towards cheating. They werenít irresistible. They were available and willing to cheat too. For me some of it was timing because there were other opportunities over the years and I never remotely entertained them. It was about my mindset at the time not the person that pursued me.

Sayuwontletgo posted 8/12/2018 06:42 AM

Chaos- when I first got here reading some of the things that the BS say pissed me off. So much of the lives of the people involved doesnít get played out in posts, itís such a small look into the situations. When I read things about losing custody of kids and giving up basic human rights (in some cases) it made me angry. The longer Iíve been here though the more I try to understand their anger first. These are people who are hurting in the depths of their souls. As a WW Iím never expecting to login and see just tons of posts that are happy or kind. This place is for healing and thatís ugly and messy. Reading the really tough BS posts is an invaluable resource though. It helps me understand what my BS is probably thinking but too kind to say. I leave the stop sign off most of my posts as well so a BS can vent there sometimes. Iím not their wayward so saying it to me might be easier?

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