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BS Questions for WS's - Part 12

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MinnisotaManInWi posted 8/17/2018 14:59 PM

1) Why don't WSs on this website more frequently discuss how they can help heal their BSs ? ( this topic is so important there is a book titled "How to help your spouse heal from your affair" which is one of the most important books written concerning affairs. ) As a BS I think this is the most important topic in the post-affair period.

2) I read that one WS wrote a detailed letter to her BS explaining how he was better than the AP. This is a brilliant idea. Why don't all WSs do this ? Why isn't this standard practice for WSs?

MrsWalloped posted 8/17/2018 16:02 PM

1) Why don't WSs on this website more frequently discuss how they can help heal their BSs ? ( this topic is so important there is a book titled "How to help your spouse heal from your affair" which is one of the most important books written concerning affairs. ) As a BS I think this is the most important topic in the post-affair period.

People do that all the time here. But itís not framed as a guidebook but more of what they actually do in our lives given our personal situation, and what works or help for our respective BS. Some things might be universal (NC, authenticity) but others might be very different between one BS and another.

We also seek advice from others about what we can do and WS and BS respond with advice and suggestions.

In addition, thereís a post in Wayward that gets bumped a lot called ďWhat Every WS Needs to KnowĒ that covers a lot of this. And thereís the Healing Library. And the book you mentioned, plus the other many books so many WS recommend to each other.

2) I read that one WS wrote a detailed letter to her BS explaining how he was better than the AP. This is a brilliant idea. Why don't all WSs do this ? Why isn't this standard practice for WSs?

Some people might like this. My BH might not and might think it would be impersonal and cold to write it down. He might prefer it to be said face to face where he can gauge my emotions and and expressions when I say it. I think itís wonderful that the specific WS did that for her BH. But what Iíve learned is that there isnít a one size fits all answer to any of this.

Darkness Falls posted 8/17/2018 16:18 PM

My husband would freak if I presented him with a black & white, side-by-side comparison with the AP, even though there are ways where my husband would ďcome out ahead.Ē Not every BS is the same or wants the same things as another BS.

MinnisotaManInWi posted 8/17/2018 21:27 PM

MrsWalloped

It is my opinion that the WS would do far more good for the BS, the marriage and themselves if they prioritized identifying all the ways they harmed their BS, empathizing with the BS about their injuries and attempting to heal them with words and loving actions rather than "working on themselves".

I don't buy the concept that "WS heal WS and BS heals BS" . The BS needs the WS for some healing and the WS owes the BS everything under the sun.

[This message edited by MinnisotaManInWi at 9:32 PM, August 17th (Friday)]

earlydetour posted 8/17/2018 22:56 PM

EvolvingSoul,

what has improved a lot is how we deal with them.

This.

I believe my H continues to process his feelings about what happened and how he felt about OW and has, over time, changed how he reacts to stories of infidelity and how he responds to it as a possible trigger for me.

Over 10 years ago, there was a reboot of a series and a primary female character was cast with an actress that strongly resembled the OW. H didn't miss an episode. In the series, she was part of a star-crossed lover scenario, which also included marriages to others (not the 2 lovers together) and subsequent pining and infidelity. H wanted to believe OW reciprocated like in the show. It sent him down another pining rabbit hole. I watched the first season, but when it came to adding the relationship and then infidelity, I skipped out and recorded it to watch on my own. It became too much for me to watch it with H right next to me with the subject matter going on with a dead ringer for the OW (they got the personality, voice, face, eyes, etc. too right - it was very weird how that all played out).

Fast forward to last year. H was a fan of a show that was in it's last season (8?) and suggested trying to have me see it too because we could talk about the social issues it brought up and make it a bonding ritual. We started watching it from the beginning. The first season was heavy on the issue of infidelity. Great. We talked, but he still didn't seem to get it.

Recently I suggested watching another series. We got to the end of the 3rd season and then got involved in summer plans. The other week he suggested watching an episode. One of the main characters, a good stand-up guy, started down the slippery slope, returning the flirting of a young woman and continuing with the flirting via texting. His wife died. He was dealing with the death and the shame of betraying her. This time around, my H felt very awkward having suggested watching the show - neither of us knew it would include infidelity. He didn't want to trigger me more because he had caught me crying on and off recently, without anger then being directed at him. And I think he identified with this middle aged character as a good guy that never thought he would do anything like this. H saw how it didn't need to be about sex to be betrayal. Later that evening, he initiated sex. When all was said and done, he focused only on me and didn't want me to do anything for him. That was a first in almost 31 years. It had always been about getting his need met. I also need to mention that this same series has frequently stated how common it is for people to be cheating. It didn't glorify it. It stated it as a cold, obvious fact in working through unsolved crimes. Like people should consider that infidelity is going on more often than they do now, to explain odd behaviors or motives for crimes. I do like the way this show handled the slippery slope because it put no blame on the BW and showed how the WH hesitated time and time again at every decision point to develop this other relationship - he did it to himself and had ample opportunity to think thru each step before proceeding.

Thank you for your response.

islesguy posted 8/18/2018 08:20 AM

MinnisotaManInWi,

It is my opinion that the WS would do far more good for the BS, the marriage and themselves if they prioritized identifying all the ways they harmed their BS, empathizing with the BS about their injuries and attempting to heal them with words and loving actions rather than "working on themselves".

I agree with this 100% and although I am not trying to portray myself as being successful in this. My mindset has changed. "working on themselves" alone is actually something that I now see as selfish and continued wayward behavior as it is ignoring the BS.

Marcy70 posted 8/18/2018 16:29 PM

10 years after the fact, 6 plus years after Dday......today I had to speak to my husband about a few things and sure enough I got triggered in sad pain. Do you ever think about what you did and get bummed out?

Our Dday was 6-4-09, so itís been over 9 years. I think about what I did to betray my husband every day. I feel very ashamed of my thoughts and actions. I use it as a motivator to act and think differently.

Barregirl posted 8/18/2018 19:02 PM

1) Why don't WSs on this website more frequently discuss how they can help heal their BSs ? ( this topic is so important there is a book titled "How to help your spouse heal from your affair" which is one of the most important books written concerning affairs. ) As a BS I think this is the most important topic in the post-affair period.
2) I read that one WS wrote a detailed letter to her BS explaining how he was better than the AP. This is a brilliant idea. Why don't all WSs do this ? Why isn't this standard practice for WSs?

I have seen plenty of WS discuss things to help their BSs heal. And I would venture a guess that all WSs don't write letters because their BSs don't want letters. My H would never want to read words on a page, he would want to see the emotion behind the words. There is nothing standard practice. Healing is unique to each couple and based on the needs and wants of the BS. If you would like your WS to write a letter detailing the ways in which you best the AP, then ask for that to happen. There is no one size fits all answer to your pain, and your WS can't inherently know what specific things you need. I do think there are things all WS need to do for their BS, including making the BS a priority for them. But something as specific as a letter detailing how you are better than the AP is something that you likely need to explicitly ask for.

MrsWalloped posted 8/18/2018 21:04 PM

It is my opinion that the WS would do far more good for the BS, the marriage and themselves if they prioritized identifying all the ways they harmed their BS, empathizing with the BS about their injuries and attempting to heal them with words and loving actions rather than "working on themselves".
You addressed this to me, so Iíll respond.

Iím not sure why you think that they are mutually exclusive. Why canít the WS do both?

Regardless, thatís not what you asked about. You asked about WSís discussing ways to help a BS heal and about writing a letter. I answered those questions.

Separately, of course youíre entitled to your opinions, but I hope it doesnít surprise you that people may have different ones than you. My BH did not want me to ďhelp him heal.Ē He wanted me to figure myself out and understand who I was and what underlying issues I had and work towards addressing them. Otherwise, how could he ever expect me not to do this again? Focusing only on him would not have helped me be the person he wanted me to be and I wanted to be. And by working on myself, it helped him because he saw those actions I was taking as done out of love and a desire to be a healthier and better person, and a safe partner. Those hours I spent at IC, reading, working through workbooks and exercises on my own showed him who I was trying to be at a time when he no longer was confident in who I really was. If I had not done that and followed your advice to the exclusion of working on myself, we would probably not be in R and be divorced today.

[This message edited by MrsWalloped at 11:24 PM, August 18th (Saturday)]

Lorisa posted 8/18/2018 21:04 PM

My husband had a long term affair.my greatest concern is trying to figure out who we were as a married couple during the affair. To the wayward spouse, what does it feel like to have a lover and a wife? Is your lover the priority and your wife is just the mother of your children? What does it feel like to have a long term affair. Can you love them both?

Lucky77 posted 8/19/2018 05:20 AM

Hi Lorisa,

Looking back on my LTA I wonder about what love really is or was. I thought about my AP all the time. We texted non-stop about stupid silly things. We exchanged daily heartfelt letters. Or so we thought they were heartfelt. We were just fanning each otherís egos. We were two damaged people that wrapped each other up into our little bubble wrapped world of the A. Is it love if you think about someone all the time? My AP was always on my mind. I looked at my phone for evidence of a message a thousand times a day. As to my W. Sheís a saint. Always strong, humble, smart, pretty and a great mother. I guess the compartmentalization idea held for me. My AP and I had no interest in changing our home stories. Just being each otherís side piece. We were each otherís number 2 and were happy with that just feeling like that spice on the side added to our lives. At the time it didnít feel like a betrayal to my W. After all what she doesnít know doesnít hurt, right. I rationalized it by convincing myself that I didnít know what she thought about 100% of the time so why would she know what I thought about all the time. I think about people who describe their relationship with their spouse as they ďbecome oneĒ. Is that really true? To me in the M youíre two people that are connected but your lives donít fully overlap. Or so I thought. That was my wayward thinking. Iím still healing. Iím still a Wayward but on my way digging out of my creepy hole. I look back on pictures of my family at that time and see what a sham double life I was leading.

[This message edited by Lucky77 at 5:20 AM, August 19th (Sunday)]

Lorisa posted 8/19/2018 08:23 AM

Lucky 77, thankyou for your reply. Do you still think about your AP? If so, is it only negative thoughts? Do you have regrets? Did you think you loved your AP at that time? Did you love your wife? My H says he loved me the entire time. 6 years P.a. 8 years texting and emailing after P.A. Is this possible? If he loved me how could he carry on for 13 years with this woman? Itís been so difficult believing him.

Lucky77 posted 8/20/2018 03:47 AM

Hi Lorisa,

Over my year of NC I steadily think about AP less and less. I donít think of her with negative thoughts per se. While she attacked my marriage (and mine, hers), sheís a funny person and when I look back on her I remember her fun crazy and her humor. Why would I go out of my way to have an A with a person I didnít enjoy? What I do think back on negatively was my huge betrayal. For the longest time I carried it around like a heavy load, a dark cloud. I had a 3 yr LTA and ended it. She understood that I was not going to tell her that I had L for her. She was my side piece and me, hers.

I relate to your H. Yes, I can understand his point that he had L for you while he was in his A. If he says he did, I believe him if I directly connect my experience to his. Itís just a fucked up kind of L. Itís an L that you have while carrying a secret cancer with you. It festers and boils, yet you feel a pulse in your veins that you smugly have two instead of one which somehow must be a good thing. Yes, 13 years is a long time but for me thereís really not an LTAÖÖitís just a series of daily Aís that you just keep living while feeling trapped in quick sand and you canít escape. Just in his case it went a really big number of daily Aís.

Yes, I thought I loved my wife. Sheís an angel. While I L her now Iím carrying this load with meÖ..my awful secret. Maybe someday Iíll confess. As to regretsÖ..thatís a hard one. I know I was in a fog during the A. But it was me that made all the choices by myself. I have no one else to blame. Iím not sure I can regret being weak or selfish. I just was.

Itdoesntmatter posted 8/20/2018 06:01 AM

Do you have trouble with acceptance of what you did? Or how do you/ did you get to a place of acceptance? what I mean by that is, is there a point where you look at your actions and intellectually know that you did this and it really happened, but emotionally you can't accept that you are/were that person and the A did happen?

Hope my question makes sense.

hikingout posted 8/20/2018 09:48 AM

Do you have trouble with acceptance of what you did? Or how do you/ did you get to a place of acceptance? what I mean by that is, is there a point where you look at your actions and intellectually know that you did this and it really happened, but emotionally you can't accept that you are/were that person and the A did happen?
Hope my question makes sense.


Yes, I felt this way for a long time after the A ended. I had been a married, faithful, good wife, for decades. I always took pride in that and felt I was a good person. I had never lied to my husband in all of our marriage. So, I walked around saying "This wasn't me" or "I am a good person who did a wrong thing" for months after DDAY.


BUT, what I learned was, the person who did this is always part of who I was and who I am now. There are places within myself that have always been there, but they didn't always manifest in an affair, they manifested in other behaviors that were not healthy either.


So, part of the work over the last year is to identify these pieces, expand my vision of myself - not as a good person or a bad person - but as a person who is as complex as anyone else. I have strengths and weaknesses. Being aware and working on both is part of the recovery of an affair.


If your dday is close to your registration on this site, then you are still in early days. I am assuming that your question stems from not knowing who your spouse is any more. This is normal.

[This message edited by hikingout at 9:49 AM, August 20th (Monday)]

Morecomplete posted 8/20/2018 16:20 PM

If your AP was married, how did you feel during the affair about what your were doing to the OS? How do you feel now? What about their children if they have them? How did you feel about what the A could do to their children while in the A and what are your feelings now?

Lorisa posted 8/21/2018 05:23 AM

It has been over a year since discovering my husbands 6 year physical affair and 7 years of continuing the texting, emailing, sometimes drinks, emotional affair, (13 years total) I find myself still attacking him when I have intrusive thoughts. Is this normal or should I start seeking therapy? He is getting fatigued. I think part of the reason is, i donít believe his entire story. I have two sons at home and it is difficult to talk in the home.

[This message edited by Lorisa at 5:30 AM, August 21st (Tuesday)]

hikingout posted 8/21/2018 12:51 PM

If your AP was married, how did you feel during the affair about what your were doing to the OS? How do you feel now? What about their children if they have them? How did you feel about what the A could do to their children while in the A and what are your feelings now
?


Honestly, it's very common for us waywards to push those thoughts out of our head during that time and concentrate on our justifications, and being more in the moment of what we are doing rather than looking at the bigger picture. Compartmentalizing our lives would be a big theme among us folks who cheated.


Most of us aren't even thinking of our own spouse and children, so when it's about the AP's spouse and family that's an even more distant thought.


I am answering in general terms, but those generalities are true in my situation.


In my personal situation, I felt humiliated at the point she found out that she would know the details. I had never met her, she was still a little abstract to me. That eventually moved into all sorts of feelings, like I used to wish I could apologize.

I look back and wonder if I would have been 100% genuine though. I know things about her H that she likely has not found out, and I don't think I would have taken the opportunity to tell her. So, knowing that - I think I would have protected him early on and I am not proud to say that.

If she contacted me now, I would not have those sorts of issues and I would do the right things for the right reasons. I just have no desire to initiate that and wouldn't relish it if she reached out to me. But, I would be 100% honest and I would genuinely express my remorse to her.

Honestly, now, she falls under the classification I have the AP under - I don't think about him, her, or anything to do with their life. Not because I am heartless, but because I can't do anything for her. My focus has to be on my husbands healing, and my growth. I learned that as long as there was any mental energy tied to anything about his household then I wasn't truly mentally in No Contact with him. So, I don't focus there anymore, it's energy that is not well spent and is not conducive to moving forward.

hikingout posted 8/21/2018 14:16 PM

It has been over a year since discovering my husbands 6 year physical affair and 7 years of continuing the texting, emailing, sometimes drinks, emotional affair, (13 years total) I find myself still attacking him when I have intrusive thoughts. Is this normal or should I start seeking therapy? He is getting fatigued. I think part of the reason is, i donít believe his entire story. I have two sons at home and it is difficult to talk in the home.


Your husband had a 13 year affair, and is fatigued one year out? Too bad for him.


I am sorry to say that in those terms, but I am also one year out from a TWO MONTH A, and we still discuss the A, we still revisit facts, and we still ride the roller coaster.


I will say that in my case, I think things are getting better, and he is not verbally attacking me or anything like that - some of those outburst type things kind of started to subside about 6 months out, but he didn't have to bottle it up all the time because we don't have any kids at home any more. So, maybe it's a situation where you need to try and find times to talk more frequently.


H didn't have me take a poly and those are controversial, but after a 13 year affair, I think it might help for you to maybe think about trying that. Are you in IC? MC? What other outlets have you gotten to help you process? You have been traumatized so it could be that you will need to be able to start talking more constructively at some point for your own sanity and so that your marriage can move forward if you want for it to.

Lorisa posted 8/21/2018 21:46 PM

Hikingout thankyou for your reply. We are not in MC or IC. I do have a couple of friends that I talk to. It is just difficult to talk about something so depressing/awful. I think they do not want to talk too much about it because it is so depressing. Iím thinking about going to IC and my husband has agreed to go to MC if it will help. I just donít get how he can say he did not love her during the entire affair. How does your brain allow you to cheat, lie for 13 years and you donít love that person. Am I living in a bubble believing any of this? He says it was an escape And he enjoyed having his ego fed by her. My H is a very loving family man. Iím not just saying this but he was that man that everyone had the up most respect for. How does this happen?

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