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BS Questions for WS's - Part 13

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MoreThanBroken posted 2/14/2019 08:58 AM

Happy Valentine's Day. After a rough conversation last night with my wife that left me feeling rejected and alone, how do you WS feel about today, a day of love? Is today a show your love and put in a ton of effort for your BS or is today a day of avoidance since many BS will be in a rather grumpy mood?

Barregirl posted 2/14/2019 12:13 PM

Hi MTB. For my BH and I, we are trying to make today about how far we have come in R. We are both at work now, but I am planning on making a nice dinner for us and showing him how much I do love him. We have never been super sappy about VDay to begin with, but we planned a weekend getaway for this weekend (although it's not a romantic one, we are going to an NHL game). If I think he is being grumpy, I will probably ask him whether he wants to talk or have space. Then listen and reassure or leave him alone. Communication is key in every situation and figuring out how we each navigate challenges strengthens our relationships. I think one of the things that has helped me through all of this is practicing putting my BH first. What he needs, I try to give. And sometimes I need to ask what those needs are, and they change. And when that happens, I can't allow myself to get frustrated or annoyed, rather I take a deep breath and try again. If your are feeling rejected and alone, then you should address that in a way that will open dialogue. Why do you feel that way? What message was your WW trying to convey vs what you perceived? It may seem ridiculous, but sometimes explaining what was said, why it was said and what the underlying meaning was to the person saying it is necessary so that the message is received properly by the person hearing it. In infidelity, we can't take underlying meaning for granted. It needs to be spelled out.

hikingout posted 2/14/2019 12:24 PM

I am sorry you are feeling that way. I hope it gets better soon. I notice that a lot of times it seems like you all misunderstand each other a lot but then both rally to come to a new understanding. That's just from watching both of your posts. I am always impressed with how far you get once that happens. I will pray for you both.

Okay, to answer your question...

Some background....we have never celebrated valentines day. It was always our mantra that you should celebrate each other 365 days a year. And, for a good number of years (probably 20 or so) that worked. Then, we forgot to do that, and we became disconnected, and we both went through a lot of stuff without really talking about it with the other. So, in other words, to me this year that mantra didn't ring true for me as much as it did in other years.

I still don't feel like making it a generic love fest of all the stuff people are trying to sell. But, I feel like it's a good reminder to reconnect and to appreciate and to celebrate and I am kind of thinking of it as lighting the flame near the beginning of each year to remind us to do it the year through. It's very close to my birthday and our anniversary as well, so these are really good romantic times to start a year off the right way with thinking of each other and appreciating.


We have been getting in a better and better place, and recently he gave me a new wedding ring. But, that doesn't mean he doesn't have hard days or that everything is roses and rainbows and all is forgiven. So, I said "Do you want to do something for VDAY?" He really didn't seem to want to. He seemed like to me he was thinking "Oh, so now we are doing all this renewal stuff and she's going to pull this on me too". He didn't say it that way, but that was what I got out of it. I wasn't disappointed, there was no tradition behind it for me. Affair season is not during this time of year so we don't have that as triggers, and so I decided to leave it be as far as expecting him to do anything towards it. I am perfectly fine with that. He has done plenty enough any way.

However, in keeping with some of my thoughts surrounding "fires burning", I have planned a very sexy night for him. We do not have kids at home any more and so it's very easy to slip that into a random Thursday. I am not making it Valentine themed or anything like that. I bought a flirty card and have written in it something like:

"I know we are not celebrating Valentines day, and you don't need to do a thing. But I feel like this is a good reminder to keep the fire going for the year through so I am going to..." and then I said a bunch of stuff that I am not going to repeat on here.

So, we will enjoy each other, we will not be messing with busy restaurants or that other stuff. I know this is something he 100% will like and I don't really have to question triggers and does this sound right or what will he think about this.

While I did get him a serious card and wrote nice things in it, I felt by keeping it a little more flirty it doesn't have to be a big ole trigger day for him (at least I hope I have this right).


Incidentally, he did give me a card this morning. I told him he didn't need to, but we were on the same wavelength because his was naughty too. So, fingers crossed I have made the right decisions.

[This message edited by hikingout at 12:27 PM, February 14th (Thursday)]

Followtheriver posted 2/14/2019 15:27 PM

MoreThanBroken,

My BH and I have never really been big on celebrating Valentine's day. He has always called it a hallmark holiday and I have agreed.

As a WW, I have never wanted to avoid today or pretend like it didn't exist. I just prefer to put show my BH my love and effort for him, every single day.

What are you hoping for or needed from your WW on this specific day? Would it be different if she showed you the same thing tomorrow or the next day?

earlydetour posted 2/15/2019 23:59 PM

WS's - At the beginning of your M, now, and anywhere in between, how would you define or describe your views of what marriage meant/means to you, including your own role in it and your spouse's role and how did your definitions impact you entering into your A?

Lionne posted 2/16/2019 03:40 AM

I apologize if this question has already been asked. I've been around a long time but can't keep up with everything. And thanks fws for doing we BS this service...

My question...Why the cruelty? My husband was mad at me a lot. He said tons of vicious things to me, mostly when I was questioning him about absence, lack of sex, missing money, etc. I was SO stupid and blind! He could have lied without attacking me but didn't.

It wasn't just when I asked questions. He demonized me frequently, there was little I did right.

Why? He says I'm the best person he knows he loves me and always has, he was a jerk and an asshole and doesn't deserve me.
So why was he so nasty?!

Hurtexpat posted 2/16/2019 14:54 PM

Iím struggling to accept the deception of my BH, yet we remain together in R. Iíve asked him for an open relationship, itís clear he felt a third party was acceptable in marriage.... yet he says he doesnít want that! Why?! Is it one rule for him and another for me? His allowed to have his fun but Iím not. Howís that fair

Yana posted 2/21/2019 14:30 PM

When i asked my WH if he ever thinks about the affair after this amount of time (7 plus years) he says never. That he's moved on....that he can't spend his time living there. I then asked if he ever looks at the lessons he learned....again it was met with he compartmentalized it and has moved on with his life. If this is the case then I don't really think he's being contrite about it....I remember it everyday as the WS and I struggle still with what happened. Could it be possible that he really has completely moved on?

sickofsurviving posted 2/21/2019 16:56 PM

Most of you say that the feelings for AP werent real. It was fantasy or whatever. So since you threw your BS in the trash to lie and sneak around with your co-cheater, how "real" can your feelings for your BS be? And more importantly, for those of you who were "in love" with your co-cheater how can you tell the difference?

BraveSirRobin posted 2/22/2019 20:49 PM

Most of you say that the feelings for AP werent real. It was fantasy or whatever. So since you threw your BS in the trash to lie and sneak around with your co-cheater, how "real" can your feelings for your BS be? And more importantly, for those of you who were "in love" with your co-cheater how can you tell the difference?

Even at the time of the A, I knew that my BF (now H) was the superior person. I was broken because of things that had nothing to do with either my BF or the OM. I'm not denying that I found the OM attractive. When WS say "it could have been anyone," they don't literally mean anyone, but they do mean that the AP is just basic building material on whom to project the things that they want to see. In my case, I was deeply insecure about my BF's commitment to me. I was fucked up by a long history of rejection and inadequacy. This isn't an excuse, and it doesn't absolve me of any responsibility whatsoever for my choices. I should have gone to BF and talked about it, but I was afraid that that would make me seem even more needy and risk driving him away. A logical person would obviously think, "Well, if you loved him that much, I'd think you'd be even less likely to do something stupid like sleep with another man." I wasn't planning to sleep with the OM. At first, I was numbing myself to the ongoing uncertainty in our relationship with some mild ego boosting. If you've read "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass, this is often how it starts. However, OM fed the fantasy and reflected it back at me. His approach went from "I think you're cute" to "I think you're everything." And though I didn't think OM was everything -- I thought BF was everything -- I loved hearing it, from anyone. OM was a source of feelings for me. If that makes me sound narcissistic, it's because I was. Anne Lamott once described herself as "the piece of shit around which the world revolves," and that's absolutely what was going on in my case.

As far as how I can tell the difference: I barely knew OM. We spent a lot of time together, but I can't tell you anything about his childhood or his family or his dreams or his embarrassing moments or his deepest fears. He didn't know any of that about me, either. We knew a few charming anecdotes about each other that cast us in a positive light. Anything real or vulnerable was replaced with faux vulnerability, a manipulative bullshit that said, "I'm so fragile, coddle me." We were in that phase where you don't show your real self at all. How can that be love? But when someone tells you what you desperately want to hear, it's a strong person who looks at it with a cold and analytical perspective. I was not a strong person.

My BH and I know almost everything about each other, including some really dark and traumatizing shit that I can't speak about without crying. We've been through all of life's roughest moments together. We've been through all of life's happiest moments together. We have learned to be absolutely honest, though that was a learned behavior for both of us. The feelings aren't even on the same planet. And it's not because it's "comfortable or predictable," as I've sometimes heard marriage described. Nothing about R is comfortable or predictable. It's wild and raw and painful and tender on a level I've never experienced.

Starzen posted 2/23/2019 10:18 AM

Here's something I still can't get reconciled in my head. I don't know that I'll ever figure it out, or why I continue to wonder. I guess it's because I"m super analytical, and I have to know everything .

This question would be for wayward guys on here, who have verbalized to their betrayed "I know I'm nothing. I know I'm a piece of shit"...., but then continued to jeopardize the primary relationship by making contact again, sneaking around again, lying, etc. If you really felt you were nothing, and a piece of shit, why didn't you have the strength to do something about it and fix it? Why keep up the lies and cheating, forcing your betrayed to finally give up on you, and destroy your own life, by going with someone lesser in every imaginable way? Self sabotage at it's prime in my wayward's situation. It's incomprehensible to me.

Do they really feel this way about themselves? Or is it just word salad looking for pity hoping the betrayed continues to feel sorry for them and you hope they hang on so you can just keep having the best of both worlds, when really you are just an evil person? Did you think your betrayed was never going to find the strength to move on, so you just continued doing whatever you felt like? I see so many threads about low self esteem... if that's the root factor, why not do something productive about it? Why not allow the person who was doing everything to boost you back to your previous self get through to you? How does attention from others simply wipe out the BASIC needs of food, shelter, security, safety, employment, from Maslow's hierarchy of needs? Makes no sense to me to invert that hierarchy (minus the self-actualization, which will never come to him).

I eventually forced my wayward out, he moved right in with her because he has nowhere else to go, and I'm soooo much better off, but I still, all these months later, cannot understand how one can feel "so low" about themselves, but continue stupid ass behavior that destroys oneself, when one had a life others were envious of, and instead chooses to literally live in the gutter. I'm so perplexed by this psyche. It doesn't consume my life anymore, but I still SMH so much over his ridiculous behavior. Maybe he just finally met his equal (she's as troubled as he is), and maybe he's actually living authentically now? Oh but wait, now that I typed that I said pffffttttt.....it can't be that, because I found out more since he has been gone, and it wasn't just her.. seems he was cheating on me with her, and was messing with others in free time he had from both of us... So maybe he's authentically really truly nothing and a pos. How very sad one cannot pull themselves away from the cliff they danced upon and ultimately fell. I don't get it.

I finally reached the point that I can laugh about his "decisions", but still after 17 years together, wonder what happened to him... Stupid I know, to look for the "one" answer, because it can never be found.......... And boy I just re-read this and it was way longer than I thought! I guess I just needed to get all of this out of my brain today!

Anyhow, off to lunch with friends and then a good time at the casino! I hope anyone reading who is still in acute pain finds some time to love yourself today.

foreverlabeled posted 2/23/2019 12:59 PM

Why keep up the lies and cheating, forcing your betrayed to finally give up on you, and destroy your own life
I just touched on this elsewhere here today. Its really as simple (but hard to achieve) as not willing to take a look at ourselves and take on the work to change. The work we face isn't for the weak and sadly more times than not a WS will buckle under the reality of what we have before us. To your exWH it was taking the path of least resistance, because it's easy and the AP is just as fucked up as he is and she's not going to have the pressure on him to change... yet. It will come and he's likely to keep avoiding it and move on from her too, as long as he keeps avoiding himself.

HalfTime2017 posted 2/27/2019 14:30 PM

This question is for the WWs'.

I'm 2 yrs out and Divorced with my exWW. We coparent just fine and stay out of each others lives. She is still in a relationship with the AP as far as I know, and R was never on the table.

Also, my exWW is by no means an idiot. She has an MS degree and is smart by all standards. Her AP is a serial cheater, she had to be a character witness for him on his side of the custody battle with his exwife and one of his other affair partners was also a witness for him.

Just trying to understand the logic on the waywards. I mean my ex has to see that she is one of many. They go to counseling together (I heard this from the OBS), and have been going since they first got caught. I mean, going to counseling at the very beginning of your relationship? Like 4-5 months in on a new relationship should be red flags? Thats usually the honeymoon phase.

I know at the end of the day it shouldn't matter. I've moved on, and have a great new girlfriend and my kids and I are doing great. I can't help but wonder what the fuck she was thinking. On paper and according to our friends, family and I, we had a great marriage. Its mind boggling.

EvolvingSoul posted 2/27/2019 17:53 PM

Hi there EarlyDetour,

You asked

At the beginning of your M, now, and anywhere in between, how would you define or describe your views of what marriage meant/means to you, including your own role in it and your spouse's role and how did your definitions impact you entering into your A?
In discovering my "whys" I came to realize that my whole view of marriage and relationships in general was pretty messed up. I viewed them as mostly transactional and when I stopped feeling like I was getting what I needed I would either distance myself in the relationship or end it all together.

Basically I saw other people not as people, but as sources of feelings for me. I edited who I was and how I acted to satisfy what I thought each person's expectation was of me or what I thought would garner the most praise and validation. It. Was. Exhausting. And, I could not conceive of relating to people any other way. It was like being a fish and not knowing about the air or if someone tried to tell me about the air I would just dismiss it as being impossible. It took me a pretty long time after d-day (3 years?) to really begin to see it and when I first saw it I so did not want it to be true about me. But when I finally claimed that part of myself was when I think I really started to heal. I had to stop orphaning off what I saw as the worst parts of me.

My view of marriage is completely different now. For the first time in any relationship, I'm "all in". I am committed to being with BS until one of us leaves the planet. I don't waste any time wondering if I could "do better" or thinking about what it would be like to be with this or that other person. I relate to BS as an actual person, with his own hopes, fears, dreams, strengths, weaknesses, beauty and flaws. I have much more of an ability to show empathy. I am more generous in assigning motive to what he says or does. I used to assume immediately that he was attacking me if something he said or did gave me a bad feeling. I realize now that it is not so much what he says or does but how I relate to it that determines how I feel. I credit MC with a fantastic therapist and daily meditation practice for that improvement.

I still have work to do. I don't think it ever really ends. The last couple of weeks I have been waking up from nightmares in which I suddenly realize that I have betrayed him anew. It feels horrible. This morning as I was leaving for work I felt like I needed to tell him that and let him know that I won't betray him again and I thanked him for giving me the chance to show him that.

I don't think infidelity will ever cease to be part of our marriage in the sense that it will never be the same as if I had never betrayed him. The best that can be said about it is that it became a catalyst for me to dig deep, discover who I was and who I was not and to do an extensive brain rewiring project. I have come a long way and he acknowledges that and is even proud of the work that I've done and who I've become. But what a price he paid.

I hope that answers your question.

Best to you from this EvolvingSoul.

EvolvingSoul posted 2/27/2019 18:46 PM

Hi there Lionne,

You asked

Why? He says I'm the best person he knows he loves me and always has, he was a jerk and an asshole and doesn't deserve me.
So why was he so nasty?!
During my affair I definitely viewed my BS in a negative light. During the big dig for my "whys" there were two things I discovered that I think have relevance.

1) Cognitive dissonance. That's the psychological tension that results from trying to simultaneously hold two conflicting beliefs. People will actually change what they believe to be true to alleviate the tension. For me, I would start with the premise of "I am good person" and pretzel everything else to fit that. "I am a liar and I'm cheating on BS" was not consistent with that. "I am lying to BS" became "If he asks me directly, I will tell him the truth". Then I would further pretzel anything he asked me so that it wasn't "direct". Once during the affair he said to me "My coworkers say it sounds like you're cheating on me." Statement. Not a direct question. So I deflected and kept my silence. BS remembers times that he did ask me directly and I straight up lied. I don't remember these specifically but I believe him that I did. "I am a cheater" was reframed so that my view of myself was as someone who was just different and special and could not have all my needs met by a single relationship. AP reinforced and encouraged that thinking. He knew I was married (he was single) and didn't care if he "shared".

2) As a social species, human brains get wired up in a way that makes us feel crummy when we hurt other humans. If we find ourselves in a position of wanting to do something that we know will hurt someone else, we have to subvert that wiring. A way to do that is to demonize the person that will be hurt. We convince ourselves that they do not deserve our respect, or that they have done crummy things to us so it's okay to do crummy things to them, or in the very worst cases that they are not even human. This kind of thinking underpins all kinds of mistreatment up to and including slavery and genocide.

I hope that helps answer your question.

Best to you from an EvolvingSoul.

EvolvingSoul posted 2/27/2019 18:55 PM

Hello Hurtexpat,

You asked

Iíve asked him for an open relationship, itís clear he felt a third party was acceptable in marriage.... yet he says he doesnít want that! Why?! Is it one rule for him and another for me? His allowed to have his fun but Iím not. Howís that fair
It is very imbalanced, I agree. Nevertheless I don't think I would be okay with an open marriage. My goal has been to learn how to be a healthy and whole person of integrity and bring that to the marriage. Agreeing to be in an open marriage now would run counter to that. We are about 9 years from when I sent the NC letter. I don't know how I would have responded to that request had BS made it soon after D-day. I had some pretty messed up thinking then.

I don't know if this answers your question, but I hope it helps some.

I'm sorry you're going through this. Peace and healing to you from this ever EvolvingSoul.

EvolvingSoul posted 2/27/2019 19:03 PM

Hi Yana,

You asked

When i asked my WH if he ever thinks about the affair after this amount of time (7 plus years) he says never. That he's moved on....that he can't spend his time living there. I then asked if he ever looks at the lessons he learned....again it was met with he compartmentalized it and has moved on with his life. If this is the case then I don't really think he's being contrite about it....I remember it everyday as the WS and I struggle still with what happened. Could it be possible that he really has completely moved on?
It sounds like he has never really done the work to figure out his "why". It is actually pretty easy to deep six crummy thoughts and feelings and refuse to feel them. It's part of the wayward skill set.

I know my BS and I still talk about the betrayal even as far out as we are. I still bring it up. I think Waywards can't offer any kind of safety in the relationship until they identify how and why they were able to choose hurting and harming someone they purport to care about so that they can have what they want in the moment. And even then, it's not enough to identify them. Changing the thinking that underpins that how/why is also a necessary step.

Do you think you guys rug swept the affair?

Lionne posted 2/27/2019 21:34 PM

Thanks,EV! It does make sense. I appreciate your input.

Northerngal posted 2/28/2019 18:57 PM

Something in another thread brought an old feeling up. Wh always says that he never planned on leaving me, she wasnít a long term partner, he wasnít in love, he told her this wasnít going anywhere, etc. It was an 8 month ea/pa with a subordinate. Every cliche, nothing original, he was a hot mess, she had the allure of a dirty pillowcase.

Is this because he didnít fall in love? Had he fallen in love, would I have been more discarded or permanently? Are we still married because his ap was a lame choice? How at risk was my family and marriage during the height of the affair? Is he only here because he didnít fall harder?

I really appreciate the waywards who answer all these questions - thank you!

ff4152 posted 2/28/2019 19:47 PM

Northerngal

At the time, I thought I was in love with my AP and had fallen pretty hard. That being said, deep down I always knew I wasnít going to leave my wife. My AP had said to me on more than one occasion that she knew I wouldnít leave. I was pretty non-committal but I knew she was right. There was one time in the relationship that the AP pushed me to make a decision. I almost did it but I couldnít. I donít think I ever really fully bought into the lies I was telling myself about my wife.

Obviously I can only speak authoritively for myself, but I suspect many cake eaters are similar. We want our piece of strange but donít want to lose what we have at home.

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