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The empty chair

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ff4152 posted 6/1/2018 07:14 AM

I was watching a movie the other night with my family. The story was a typical guy meets girl, they both fall for one another, they have a falling out and eventually reconcile and live happily ever after. Nothing special about this movie as Iíve seen dozens of others with the same storyline for years. Never fazed me before in any meaningful way until now.

The part that really struck a chord involved an empty chair. After the falling out, the guy returns home and is having dinner across from an empty chair. A chair that was once occupied by his SO. A chair that may very well stay empty forever. The scene was so poignant for me that it almost brought me to tears. As simple a scene as it was, it shined a light on what I risked because of my actions. The very thought of my wifeís chair being vacant forever horrifies me.

For those WS who are struggling or missing the AP, imagine what an empty chair would feel like. Try and embrace how that would feel if your BS were to never occupy that place in your life any longer. For me, it was one of the most sobering experiences Iíve had through this whole shit show.

[This message edited by ff4152 at 8:41 PM, October 14th (Wednesday)]

seadoug105 posted 6/1/2018 08:08 AM


Barregirl posted 6/1/2018 08:45 AM

A very poignant reminder of what could be. Thank you for posting this.

FoenixRising posted 6/1/2018 09:50 AM

Great point. There is another movie, Ďitís complicatedí with Meryl Streep. Her exH had an A, married the AP, left Meryl. It had been years since they Díd and she was (for the most part) settled with it but it showed her every morning waking up, going into the bathroom only to find two sinks in her bathroom. It showed her looking at the unused sink with sadness in her eyes. Eventually, she rebuilds the master bedroom as an addition and the architect is discussing the vision for the attached bathrooms and mentions dual sinks. Immediately she interjects, Ďno! Only one sink please.í Very definitive moment that I think can be looked at as loneliness experienced after losing your spouse but also for the BS that does go on after the A and adapts to the new life and appreciates only having one sink. I dunno. Just thought it was interesting. I saw that movie long before I found myself here and that part always stuck out to me. Ironic.

ff4152 posted 6/1/2018 10:04 AM


I like to think that I am somewhat intelligent, reasonably capable of critical thinking, yet this pretty straightforward idea was completely lost on me. We cheaters take it for granted that bth seats will always be filled unless we are the ones that leave.

FoenixRising posted 6/1/2018 10:22 AM

This experience certainly makes me look at things differently than I did before. Like, while that bathroom sink part stuck with me years ago, I didnít know what that pain would feel like and now having gotten close to experiencing it, that scene is ever more profound.

I find myself relating more and more to situations like this and dissecting them for underlying meanings...I donít know how this affair will further change me but I have to be honest, I think I like who I am becoming and I havenít been able to say that in a very long time.

ff4152 posted 6/1/2018 10:58 AM


I agree. I have done a ton of self introspection this last year and a half. I certainly had this nice illusion about who I was in my head. Upon closer examination, I wasnít this great guy. I had a crummy attitude, shaky boundaries and everything was all about me. Self delusion is a bitch to overcome.

I definitely agree that I like the person Iím becoming. I just wish it didnít take something like infidelity to do it.

LoneRaven posted 6/1/2018 14:33 PM

I hope you tell your BS this. It might help it might not but it shows deep emotions for your actions. My WH doesnít open up a lot about that stuff. He says he doesnít have the right to be that way but I need to see it. Iím sure in the long run whatever happens the BS will be happy in knowing you care.

ohforanewme posted 6/1/2018 15:06 PM

Hi†ff4152 and†FoenixRising

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.†

ff4152, I can't explain precisely why, but while at first,† what you posted brought on a feeling of deep melancholy,† as I dwelt on it, the feeling† transformed slowly† into one of warmth and comfort.††

It might be partly due to that image having been a subconscious fear of mine† at the time that I was wrestling with my D decision,† and then that† my reality is now so different from the image.† (Friday night suppers have always been a family event. It would have been on Friday night's that I would have been faced with that empty chair if the fear had been realised.† †We have all just left the table and these days we usually have a full table and much more laughter around it, than we ever had before).†

But I think that it has more to do with the deep introspection that your post† evidences that you must have worked through for it to have had† that impact on you.†

I am never one to join any of† the WS fan clubs that seem to emerge from time to time.† I would imagine that you will appreciate that I am no fan† of waywards.† But for some reason, your struggles and honesty, speak to me of the† humanity, even in a WS. I used to carry an intense hatred for all waywards,† but a few WW's, then yourself,† and one other WH have changed that in me.† It is posts like this one, that has had that effect.††


What you shared has a similar significance to me. And the timing is almost uncanny.† It is this month a year ago that I came to my D decision,† after a torrid year of supposed R.†

In the master bedroom bathroom, I have a vanity unit with† double basins.† In my JFO thread I posted about how, on the Sunday after XWW had left the home permanently,† I was standing at my basin shaving and suddenly became aware that there was no one at the basin next to me, where there always had been.† In my case, it brought a strange sense of relief.††

You sharing your thoughts has taken me back to that time a year ago and allowed me to recognise just how much healing has taken place over that time.†

So thank you to both if you.

FoenixRising posted 6/1/2018 22:50 PM

That was a lovely reply to ff4152. It inspired me to semi-stalk (totes not in a creepy way) and read your back story. I just want to say, Iím proud of you. All that you endured, thatís a lot of turmoil in such a short amount of time. Iím also glad to hear that your children never had to read those letters that you wrote. I choked up at that part. Trauma does all types of things to our heads and thankfully you had someone looking out for you to get you the help you needed. And even after that you continued to try to save your marriage... percents or not, for kids or not, for love or not... you have it your all and it seems with grace and integrity. You too sound like you have have really worked things through not only with your own D and moving forward but also with how you addressed ff4152 and his humanity within being a wayward (and yes, it is absolutely understandable how you feel toward us) but it takes a very big person to say that and Iím sure that ff4152 will find it equally complimentary. Iím certain that you wonít always stand next to an empty sink. Youíre strength, values, love and dedication Are a lot to offer if/when youíre ready to open your heart again. You did not fail. Youíve overcome your wifeís betrayal in a way that was best for you. You passed infidelity 100%. Youíve succeeded. Youíre a survivor. Keep on. :)

Want2BHappyAgain posted 6/2/2018 00:21 AM

Very cool post ff4152...thanks for sharing . When you first started posting on here...I could not have imagined you becoming the person you are now. I am VERY impressed Dear Sir .

ohforanewme posted 6/2/2018 05:09 AM


Thank you.

You cannot know how much your words have meant to me.

ff4152 posted 6/2/2018 14:16 PM


Iíve also loosely followed your story for a time. It brings to the fore something that brings me such sadness. I am sad for your ex wife; because she now has to stare at that empty chair forever. Because of her actions alone, she has this new reality. This reality was completely avoidable; she could have talked to you. If she felt her marriage/life was boring, she could have chosen any number of healthy ways to fill that emptiness yet she didnít.

I also have sadness for you. You and your family had to endure this madness due to the actions of someone else. Thatís such a mind fuck for the BS. Itís like getting hit by a truck while youíre walking down the sidewalk, minding your own business. While the injuries from infidelity are physical, theyíre nonetheless excruciatingly painful. Your entire life is upended and you have to struggle to come to terms with it.

Then what to do about it? Do you stay? Do you go? Personally I think both options suck. If you stay, you have to figure out a way to come to terms with the fact that the one person who was supposed to have your back, did not. They betrayed you in one of the worst possible ways. Leaving, of course, is the other option. While this has a definite appeal over staying, it too has its own set of challenges. The family gets broken apart, divorce can be financially and emotionally ruinous and you are still left to pick up the broken pieces of your life and try and move forward.

Ohfor, I thank you for your kind words and the grace youíve shown me in your post.

ohforanewme posted 6/2/2018 16:49 PM

Hi ff4152

I imagine that this could reflect poorly on me, but it was only after I posted to your thread that it dawned on me that what you recognised, and what had been my fear, is in fact my XWW'S current reality.

While it is of her own making, it must still hurt. I do feel a deep sadness for her, but don't know if there would be anything that I could do to ease the pain, except give her the one thing that she wants, but that I can no longer give, my heart.

I suppose the one consolation for us all is that, just like me, I see that through the work that she is doing, she is becoming a better person through all of this.

At least she will have that

[This message edited by ohforanewme at 4:50 PM, June 2nd (Saturday)]

Greeneyesbluezy posted 6/3/2018 21:14 PM


Profound. For both betrayers and betrayeds.

A very deep thought. One weíd wish you had beforehand

But, enlightenment is always a step forward.

May you continue to step forward.

AnotherIdiot posted 6/4/2018 02:05 AM

The empty chair is a good metaphor. The empty bed, the empty kitchen. The empty shoe rack.

Looking outward is part of healing and seeing the world for what it is, and given the consequences of cheating, seeing a future world for what it could well be. Not being able to see ahead is a problem that I / some of us, have. When we don't consider the consequences we act in immoral, childish ways.

The empty chair is a good reminder of what may come to pass.

4everSorryMyLove posted 8/4/2018 21:15 PM

Every day I live with the pain and fear of not knowing if that chair will be empty. My BS and I are working it out by seeing a therapist. But, I can's shake the fear of not having her in my life ever again. It brings me to tears on a daily basis. This post hits home so hard.

pureheartkit posted 8/4/2018 21:53 PM

We are with you helping you to be the best you can be so that your precious chair always stays filled with love. This is our goal on here right?

In many ways I feel more at home here because there is less anger. People are working on being kinder, more loving, more understanding. It's a good place to be.

Let's never take our loved ones for granted. When they sit down in that chair looking across from us, we want them to know they are first in our hearts and minds.

Want2BHappyAgain posted 10/14/2020 19:23 PM


AintGonnaLose posted 10/14/2020 20:11 PM

This post made me think of the Don MacLean song. So beautiful, and very relevant to this topic. Anyone who hasnít heard it should listen to it.

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