Return to Forum List

Return to I Can Relate

SurvivingInfidelity.com® > I Can Relate

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

BS Questions for WS's - Part 12

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24 · 25 · 26 · 27 · 28 · 29 · 30 · 31 · 32 · 33 · 34 · 35 · 36 · 37 · 38 · 39 · 40 · 41 · 42 · 43 · 44 · 45 · 46 · 47 · 48 · 49 · 50

hikingout posted 9/3/2018 23:08 PM

GoldenR,

I had no endgame. I vaguely knew it needed to end at some point but I wasnít doing any planning. Everything was in the moment. Little self reflection happened while I was in the A.

Brennan,
This extends into your question as well. Evaluation of reality counters the escape of an A. I didnít spend time with guilt either, as cold as that sounds. However, there were times that I would experience it and deny it to myself.

I cried after the first FaceTime. I cried all the way home from the business trip in which the encounters occurred. But I wasnít clear at the time why. I know that sounds crazy and having an affair is not an out of body experience or something. But you keep telling yourself these stories to keep it going. Looking back I can clearly see the guilt was getting to me without my permission and thatís what the tears were about. The first time I confessed to anyone out loud it was to my IC the week the A ended. I cried the way through it. When she asked why I was crying I said I didnít know that I guess I ws embarrassed. She said she was looking at relief that I had pinned up guilt. I just looked at her blankly.

I can tell you the guilt and shame has been strong for the last 14 months. I try to change my focus towards my husbands feelings because I understand the selfishness And the unhelpful nature of those emotions. But I am no sociopath or narcissistic personality. I was just able to hide a lot from myself and intentionally not evaluate those things in favor of having an affair because it would have meant I would have had to stop.

hikingout posted 9/3/2018 23:54 PM

Morethanbroken,

Very interesting question(s).

Itís hard not to answer in hindsight. If I answer that way I would say itís been an evolution. I think right after dday you are so low with guilt and shame that groveling is what you know to do. As you do more work and as you can cover more ground with your spouse itís like you earn a little more as you go along.

Our relationship has not restored the balance that it had but I have made progress in redeeming myself and the more that happens the closer the balance gets. I am able to assert myself more now- there are just times I still choose not to in order to take opportunities to show him he is my priority. I miss them once in a while too.

I dont know if I would have been capable iof seeing this the same way 4,6,8 months in. However, I also donít think I am doing it solely for him or to meet his requirements. Obviously thatís important. But my motivation is I want him. I want to grow old with him. I hurt him so badly and I want to try and heal that as much as I can because I love him. So, itís really not about requirements and groveling. Itís more about being the woman who is worthy of him and our marriage. Acts of contrition, and keeping the personal growth game strong.

So I do not think in the terms that I perceive your question, BUT I know there have been many days in this journey that I had frustrations - will we able to get passed this, is anything I do going to be enough, times when he used the A card when I felt like it was unrelated, etc. we just keep going and it gets better if we work towards better and I keep the desired outcome in mind.

hikingout posted 9/4/2018 07:52 AM

Oh and Brennan,

I meant to add - this might seem counterintuitive, but the fact she is being honest about not having that is a good sign. I see so many posts about how ridden with guilt someone was during their affair. And, while I believe that some people are, I sometimes wonder if that's genuine or a form of minimizing. "I was doing it, but I felt so guilty so that makes it better".

I don't know, I like the fact she admitted this to you because 1)it doesn't paint her in the best light 2) she knows it's hard for you to understand. Someone who was telling you what you wanted to hear would come up with a better story. Just my two cents.

hikingout posted 9/4/2018 07:54 AM

My husband and I have been reconciled for 2 years now and it is going very well. But I'm curious about something that I just don't get. My husband loved the other woman in a head over heels way. Within 2 months they were discussing marriage, so the relationship was very intense. To him at the time, they had a very adventurous, whirlwind affair. Reality was, they never left the sofa! It was all talk, with both representing themselves as something that they would like to be. For those of you who had a similar situation, how do you view the OW or OM now?

Very similar situation. 14 months later, I view it as: "they never left the sofa! It was all talk, with both representing themselves as something that they would like to be." Meaning - I see it for what it was. I do not believe I was in love with him or he with me. I believe we were playing out some fantasy in our heads where we were able to be whoever we wanted to be, but it wasn't real.

[This message edited by hikingout at 8:21 AM, September 4th (Tuesday)]

Brennan87 posted 9/4/2018 08:38 AM

Darkness...

My wife said the same thing early on "What you didn't know wouldn't hurt you". I can see how one would compartmentalize to avoid the guilt but just the most basis human element of guilt itself I would think is there. It's crazy making for sure, thank you for providing your honesty!

Hikingout,

thank you for that perspective. I do agree the honesty is refreshing, as otherwise, if there was strong guilt, then a WS wouldn't embark on an affair right?
I think my struggle is around the malicious acts and statements that were directed at me. The fact she had zero guilt in revealing my secrets, or allowing me to talk to him, etc. I just can't understand how someone would not have the capacity to experience guilt around those. UGH.
Most importantly the honest response is much more appreciated than just telling me what I want to hear. :)

MrsWalloped posted 9/4/2018 09:02 AM

GoldenR,

No, it wasnít going to go on forever. It would have stopped soonish anyway. I did have thoughts like you said but to my discredit, not out of any sense of morality or loyalty or anything good. It was simply because the ego kibbles I was getting out of it was getting kind of stale. The scary part for me is that I honestly donít know whether I would have gone searching for someone else to fill that void when this A would have ended. I didnít search for this A, so maybe I wouldnít have, but when it was presented to me, I latched onto it. Like Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, ďWho Am I?Ē is a very scary question to ask. But when youíre someone like me who did what I did, itís even scarier.

CatLou,

Are there really major parts of the A that a WS can't remember? Or is that just a defense mechanism?

I can only speak for myself, but I remember all of the major details and lots of minor ones. A bunch of it has faded because itís been 3 years, but I remember the big things. I couldnít tell you what I ordered at the cafe we went to on a particular day, but for the most part I remember.

I think each WS is different. Personally, Iím skepticalof the sudden case of ďPost-A Amnesia.Ē However, there are legitimate reasons why a WS couldnít remember something. I think whatís important is that you are comfortable that itís real and not just an unwillingness to face up to what they did because of fear, shame or anything else.

GoldenR posted 9/4/2018 09:42 AM

Thanks, Mrs W.

My XWW had a talk with our 25 yr old daughter this past weekend. She was talking to her about how she wound up still living with her AP who she supposedly despises now. She told her that being totally honest with herself, that she absolutely had no endgame in mind. She wasn't thinking about ending it. But she wasn't planning to leave me for him. She said she thought it would fizzle out, and then she'd come back to me and give me another chance (she had stopped all emotional connection to me, and stopped having sex when she got in the A).

My daughter ripped her ass over the "another chance" statement. Told her that who was a cheater to give the loyal partner "a chance".

Anyway, I just didn't really believe the no endgame comment. But I do now.

Thanks to everyone that responded.

Shocked123 posted 9/4/2018 17:04 PM

Any WS out there who frequented massage parlours? How much detail of these visits did your spouse ask for? Did you receive more services than a happy ending and never told your wife?

12and20years posted 9/4/2018 19:34 PM

are there any WS's out there that messed up the try at reconciliation because they were more worried about what was happening to them. How long, if at all, did it take you to realize what a mistake you made- that you were being selfish and not thinking about the impact on your BS? Just wondering if even with your bravado of thinking about yourself first- did deep down you feel bad about what you'd done to your spouse - but it was too late???

MrsWalloped posted 9/5/2018 08:59 AM

Hi 12and20years,

are there any WS's out there that messed up the try at reconciliation because they were more worried about what was happening to them.

Just wondering if even with your bravado of thinking about yourself first

I hope Iím not misunderstanding your question, but I think thereís an implication in it that suggests that the selfish thinking is intentional. Thatís okay, because itís true for a lot of people. Itís also not true for a lot of people. But they both have that selfish thinking.

I didnít mess up R, but I had selfish thinking in the early weeks after DDay. Fear, guilt, shame are all very powerful emotions and while it wasnít an intentional thing, it was all about me. I think all WSís go through that and it takes time for us to truly start thinking about our BS in a real way. Sympathy comes first and then empathy. Maybe. That doesnít mean itís intentional or done with bravado. Not if weíre really trying to R.

But some of us do what you said. Itís self-preservation and theyíre in R (but not a true R. Not an authentic R), but canít or wonít stop with that way of thinking because theyíre scared or protecting themselves or just canít admit to themselves and their BS what they did.

Sorry I didnít answer your question, but I just wanted to point out thatís it not necessarily out of bravado. But we can still mess up R because of selfish thinking even if thatís not our intention.

EvolvingSoul posted 9/5/2018 18:16 PM

Hi there mindfullness,

We are communicating, enjoying each other and I can't imagine not being with him, but I still don't feel safe because he doesn't understand the underlying reasons for his unhealthy behaviors. He will not go to IC so it has to be dealt with in couples counseling. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to bring this topic up in a way he won't feel so defensive and threaten? He is in a healthier frame of mind going into counseling this time around so I am hopeful.
I'm not understanding why he refuses IC. We tried couples counselling soon after D-day and she let me know straight up that I needed IC and would not even see us as a couple until I had done some IC first. So what is the hold up?

You are right in not feeling safe because he hasn't figured himself out. What happens the next time he feels neglected, unloved, etc? His perspective on his "why" puts the burden on you to manage his feelings. You're already trying to do that in looking for ways to bring it up so that he won't feel defensive. Do you see it?

If you ever want to feel safe he's going to be accountable for his choices. Not "you made me feel blah blah so I did blah blah". He's identified the reasons he felt tempted. Not the reasons he was able to engage with those thoughts of temptation to the point of turning them into actions. That will be his true why. How was hurting and harming you an acceptable price for getting what he wanted in the moment? I hope you don't accept less.

Strength and healing to you from an EvolvingSoul.

EvolvingSoul posted 9/5/2018 18:39 PM

Hi there MoreThanBroken

1) Do you consider the "change" you undergo during R a form of groveling? Or did you feel like that's what your SO was asking of you
Probably a bigger issue was that I didn't want to say or do anything that felt inauthentic. BS never much insisted on things like passwords and tracking my whereabouts. His needs centered more on my demonstrating that my thinking about AP, the affair and what had actually happened was changing. And that took a very long time, unfortunately.
2) Do you feel like there's a certain amount of time before you can return to pre-A mannerisms, i.e. be defensive during fights, not apologize, focus on prioritizing your wants over you SO & family?
I don't think someone can "do the work" and develop the critical awareness it takes to recognize and change those pre-A mannerisms and then feel like they get to go back to them after some certain amount of time. For me recovery and healing has required a pretty major overhaul of how I deal with shame, conflict and crummy feelings generally. I've got a new tool kit and when defensiveness arises instead of digging in and using it as a shield against vulnerability I can at the very least say "I'm feeling defensive". If things go well I can shift into choosing vulnerability which can feel awful at the time but generally has a much better outcome and also helps to shore up the new brain wiring I've worked to develop over these last several years.

EvolvingSoul posted 9/5/2018 18:43 PM

Hi again GoldenR,

For those of you that were in an A (not ONS), what was your endgame? I know the standard answer is you didn't have one. But you had to think about it from time to time.
I was very much in Scarlet O'hara mode: "I'll think about that tomorrow." When I did think about it, I wondered if BS would ever be okay sharing me with AP. I had, based on some things he told me about his relationships before he met me, convinced myself that he might be willing to. That turned out to be an utterly delusional notion. I believed that I was special and that the normal rules of relationships didn't apply to me and that I just needed to have two different men to make me completely happy. I cringe now writing it, but that is how I was thinking during the affair.

Darkness Falls posted 9/6/2018 08:19 AM

GoldenR,

My understanding is that you are happily remarried.

Why, then, are you even entertaining discussion with your daughter about your XW and her thought process from an affair from when you were married to her many years ago and subsequently divorced her?

I guess I can understand your daughter wanting to have the discussion with heróalthough I confess I canít understand your ex being willing to have itóbecause possibly your daughter still has unanswered questions pertaining to the narrative of her childhoodóbut for you, do you see redeeming value in listening to the fruits of it?

WindowShopping posted 9/7/2018 11:49 AM

Brennan87

During a discussion last night on guilt/shame, my WW indicated she didn't have guilt or shame about what she was doing to me, our children and the APs family.

She was a selfish headspace and her guilt/shame was all internal about her previous traumas and how she was betraying her own morals and integrity, but none for us.

I just can't wrap my head around this, WS, did any of you feel this way as well? Is this normal for a WS to not have a shred of guilt about AP what was being done to those you loved and those that loved the AP?
Or am I just married to a complete sociopath NPD?

I've wondered if I'm a complete sociopath. But since there are two of us, I think this might be normal?

No, I didn't have guilt or shame during my affair.
D-day may have ramped that up a smidge, but not a lot.

Is your wife generally in touch with her feelings? I'm not and so this area is difficult for me to get at, maybe your wife has the same issues. Did she view her affair as something for her, or the one thing she could call her own? I know, I know, that's selfish, it isn't all about her. But in a warped way it was a bit of self-care for me. And since it was me taking care of me (and NOT my husband. And NOT my children) it gets slotted as "not unacceptable" in the organizational files of my life.

WindowShopping posted 9/7/2018 11:57 AM

CatLou

Question: Are there really major parts of the A that a WS can't remember? Or is that just a defense mechanism?

I think it's BS.

My affair was 4 years ago, and I remember lots. Not everything. What did I eat when we went out for lunch? I don't remember. Where we went out to lunch? I do remember. How many times we had sex? I have no idea. The fact that we did have sex, and other specific sexual acts/positions, yes, I remember.

If the forgetting is in line with your experiences with your spouse normally (good memory? bad?) should fit with what they are saying. But for them to "not remember" if they had oral or not is a blatant lie.

Brennan87 posted 9/8/2018 09:30 AM

Windowshopping,

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I think you make a good point about being in touch with her feelings.

Historically, she was only in touch with her Positive feelings. Anything negative, was stuffed, in fact that was one of the driving factors (IMO) that led her on this destructive path. For 14 years, I had to DRAG and PULL her emotions out of her in times of sadness/conflict. As her usual MO would be to either scream at me and walk away or ignore me with the silent treatment for days, until I "apologized" and in most instances, I had no idea what I was sorry for. So to answer your question, no she was not in touch with her feelings.
I think this was partly for her, she felt I no longer loved her (she claimed for years, I had an affair, ,which was false) and because of her "craziness", I just got too exhausted trying to get her to open up, etc. I shut down and stopped dragging it out. So to her I stopped "caring" and stopped giving her attention. So part of this was getting attention, feeling wanted, blah, blah, blah and the other was it's what she deserved (based on previous trauma's), so it was all about her. So I get not having guilt from the me, me, me sense. But as a basic human element, no guilt for the man you married and what your doing to him, the children you gave birth too. I can see no guilt for the AP wife and child, as they are strangers, but her family?

GoldenR posted 9/9/2018 00:55 AM

GoldenR,
My understanding is that you are happily remarried.

Why, then, are you even entertaining discussion with your daughter about your XW and her thought process from an affair from when you were married to her many years ago and subsequently divorced her?

I guess I can understand your daughter wanting to have the discussion with heróalthough I confess I canít understand your ex being willing to have itóbecause possibly your daughter still has unanswered questions pertaining to the narrative of her childhoodóbut for you, do you see redeeming value in listening to the fruits of it?

I raised both of my oldest daughters by myself, even before the cheating. She was and still is a horrible mom. I got custody. She didn't even try, and I never got a dime from her. We struggled, and I mean STRUGGLED for the first 6 months without XWW's income. It was really ugly, like skipping meals and no Christmas presents or birthday presents ugly, but we made it. I think that bc of that struggle, both of my girls to this day, think of me as their best friend.

The younger one tries to have a relationship with her mom, but I think she just uses her for money as XWW thinks that makes up for being a shitty, absentee mom. She said that her mom, every since she got engaged to OM a few months ago, has been reflecting back on her time with me a lot.

So this time when she went to visit her for Labor Day weekend, my daughter decided to ask her all kinds of questions about her A. True to form, XWW sugar coated a lot of it, and downright lied about a lot of it. The fallout from the lies is still happening, as my daughter got her sister after she got back and came and had a conversation with me about it. They told me not to hold back. I was hesitant at first, until I heard XWW's lies. So yeah, I told them EVERYTHING.

This wasn't a talk I wanted to have, but I'll be damned if I let her tell crazy lies about me and why she had her affair.

Darkness Falls posted 9/9/2018 12:31 PM

This wasn't a talk I wanted to have, but I'll be damned if I let her tell crazy lies about me and why she had her affair.

Completely understandable. Thanks for your answer.

footprints posted 9/9/2018 16:54 PM

I can relate to several things here. My A started out being "just colleagues" (that live in different states and first met at a conference). And yes, I am reading the book "Not Just Friends."

Dolly111, I was confiding in too many things with my AP that I should have been sharing with my BH. After the EA line got crossed and headed into PA territory, (he sent me a dick pic), my A became a total fantasy. I was pretending to be someone else, and now I realize, my AP was also pretending and hiding who he really was. Like Hikingout, I wanted my AP's validation and attention too - I wanted him to think I was special.

I never stopped loving or having great sex with my BH, but I was also caught up in the fantasy of compartmentalizing and thinking that I could have them both. Double lives never work out, and that was completely selfish and made me feel ugly inside. Like MrsWalloped, I never thought about the end game either. Where exactly was this affair headed? We had our PA ONS at a conference, and I wish it had stopped there. But the EA continued after that - like a game, a drug, a fix. We lived in different states - I don't think either of us had intended on being with each other in the end. But the secret we had - it was intoxicating.

And that's why I was so relieved when my BH saw a text from the AP on my phone. That was D-Day 11 months ago, and I felt released from the fantasy trap I had created for myself. I was not able to break contact with my AP until then. Then I cut contact with the AP and never heard from him again.

Now I am left with how to explain myself and my actions to my BH. We both have had IC and are starting MC soon. I am reflecting on my motivations that led to the A, and I am focusing on what type of person and wife I now want to be to my BH.

And CatLou - I would not say that I ever "forgot" aspects of my A, but it wasn't clear-cut either. Beginning as colleagues, morphing into online EA, then PA ONS, then online EA again - I had a hard time explaining exactly how/when things happened. This weekend was the first time that I could accept that I had continued the affair past the physical part. My BH wanted an exact timeline, but I was hazy on that. At some point in my interactions with my AP, I did know it was wrong. I wasn't trying to be vague with my BH - I just truly wasn't sure at what point what we talked became inappropriate.

Thanks for listening.

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24 · 25 · 26 · 27 · 28 · 29 · 30 · 31 · 32 · 33 · 34 · 35 · 36 · 37 · 38 · 39 · 40 · 41 · 42 · 43 · 44 · 45 · 46 · 47 · 48 · 49 · 50

Return to Forum List

Return to I Can Relate

© 2002-2019 SurvivingInfidelity.com ®. All Rights Reserved.     Privacy Policy