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BS Questions for WS's - Part 13

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Barregirl posted 4/23/2019 21:20 PM

When you decided to R, did you immediately fully accept responsibility for what you did and do all the "right" things? After ending the A, was there any ambivalence or uncertainty about R on your part or did you immediately know/decide that it was going to work out?

I think I blameshifted for about a week or two, but snapped out of it quickly. I found SI the morning after dday and reading here really gave me a dose of reality. I didn't necessarily do all of the "right" things, but I figured out what the right things were for my BH. I was not at all uncertain about wanting to stay in my M. My BH decided to give R a try fairly fast, but he has always been very decisive.

Barregirl posted 4/23/2019 21:31 PM

My cheater as stated, on more than one occasion, that because we have stayed married, he has had no consequences. What consequences do you feel like you have had?

Truthfully, I am far harder on myself than my BH has ever been. We are just a year past dday and I asked him tonight about going to happy hour with a group from work and he told me I had no need to ask him, that he trusts me and I should make friends at my new job. I almost stsrted crying in the middle of dinner.
That being said, he told very few people and no one in my family, he has yet to check my phone or location or anything, even though he knows he can. We each did IC and MC and worked on ourselves and our relationship. Our sex life improved by leaps and bounds and we are far more present in our M than ever before.
My only consequences have been self-imposed. Knowing how much I hurt the best person I know, digging to repair the self-worth I threw away with my A, and fixing the broken thought processes I had.

Followtheriver posted 4/23/2019 21:43 PM

NeverHealed,

A lot gets written on these forums about the WSs rewriting the marriage, and the BS, making things much worse than they really were, to justify the A.
Do you WSs agree that happened? Do you now have the ďtrueĒ memories? Or has the rewriting become your reality? And, of course, you donít even recognize that you have rewritten
.

My situation was different in that our M pre-A was toxic. My BH has accused me of rewriting our marital history, making it sound worse than it really was but I know that I have not. For us it was all about perception and the definition of abuse. (Which, to this day we agree to disagree and is no longer a topic open for discussion.)

I explained it to my BH this way. He doesn't see our pre-A M as that bad because he was not on the receiving end of his anger, I was and it wasn't a place you wanted to be. But his behavior was in no way a justification for having an A.

I do also have wonderful memories of my BH and our M. He always has been a amazing Dad and the kind of man that will work until his last breath to take care of his family. I can still picture us standing over our first horn's crib, the first night home, looking at each other and wondering aloud what the hell do we supposed to do now. (We were young.) Camping with 3 kids in a tent during severe thunderstorms and I didn't forget about the killer raccoons on one trip and how my BH tried to scare them off. I also know that no matter how much my BH hates cats, he let me always keep one in the house because of my phobia with rodents. (Came from FOO) and to this day, I have a house cat. I have always seen how much he takes his responsibility of being the oldest son and the big brother seriously. I remember the day that his youngest brother at the age of 38, had a heart attack and needed a triple bypass. I listened while my BH ripped his ass for smoking and eating shit, telling him it was his own fault for being a dumb ass and in his next breath, telling him he loved him, how he would kick his ass if he didn't fight to live because my BH needed him.

What if you asked your WW to tell you about her favorite memory of when you were dating? (Mine involves clam chowder and steak'em sandwiches.) Then go through each year of your M. I am sure that she must have some. Can she remember going through a rough time that actually pulled you together? What if you asked her for her funniest memories? What if you compared stories, if you shared with her your favorite memories, your funniest? Would you be willing to share with her a time when you were struggling with something and how much her support meant to you? What you were feeling?

My BH and I found that we sometimes needed to remember what we were trying to R for and we did this by taking a walk down memory lane. We also talked about what we envisioned in our future M, things we wanted to do, to experience, to accomplish, from the silly to the serious. It brought us closer together by opening up and sharing. Just a FYI, we did not always envision the same thing. Like him hiking in the Yukon, with bears and moose, I cheered him on from the lodge. (My philosophy is why hike on foot when a perfectly good horse will take you there?) I on the other hand chose to go skydiving over the great Smokey Mountains. (My BH sees no need to jump from a perfectly good airplane.) He was more than happy to watch from the ground.

So I am living with a woman who doesn't think much of me, as a husband, father, or person. Given some of her memories, I donít think I'd like me very much, either

The reason I shared so much is that this kicked that damn empathy in to high gear. It actually made me cry and I'm not sure why. I think because I am hoping that it is really not how your WW thinks of you or I am having trouble believing that your WW could even consider thinking this way about you, I think it is both. If this is truly how your WW thinks of you, I do hope that you know that you deserve so much more. It does not matter if you were not the perfect husband pre-A, or like my BH with anger issues, there is no justification for your WW choosing to have an A. She had other choices, just like I did. Doesn't she at least see what kind of man you truly are in your decision to R and here, years out, still trying to understand and wanting your M? I am just some stranger on the internet and it tells me what kind of man you are.

One last question, does your WW know about SI or that you are here?

Greyson posted 4/23/2019 21:52 PM

Hiking Out,
Thank you for your clarifications. I had forgotten about the bonding during sex. I have read about that bonding process through sex. I think that is part of the reason for HB and part territorial.

I think crossing the Rubicon with the first affair and not really figuring out why she did it, lead her to the 2nd and 3rd affairs. We just had our 3rd child a few months before when she confessed to the first affair. She was dealing with postpartum depression. She was in IC, but I donít think she spent any time on the affair, mostly postpartum existential depression stuff. So, I was the super husband/father who was trying to get her better and take care of three kids and work 65 hours/week and go to doctors appointments. Along came two other men in time and she felt safe repeating the affairs. After all, she had no big consequences. She looked up to all three men as mentors though she really did know their reputations for womanizing. My wife caught the most feelings during her second affair which was the longest. I still canít comprehend that she knew their reputations and still fell for them.

Itís taken me a long time to see marriage as you have seen yours, ďnothing is unbreakable.Ē Being the BS, I always saw my commitment to my WW as unbreakable. I never wanted to look into my daughterís eyes and tell her that I was unfaithful to her mother. I am happy now, as happy as a BS whose WW cheated three times, can be. Sheís been addressing her demons.

Thank you Hiking. I have followed you since your first week here. Your journey and others have been very helpful to my understanding. I appreciate you all posting in ICR.

maise posted 4/24/2019 08:05 AM

What did it take for you to let go of the outcome?

[This message edited by maise at 8:06 AM, April 24th (Wednesday)]

hikingout posted 4/24/2019 09:17 AM

Greyson:

I still canít comprehend that she knew their reputations and still fell for them.


I just did a post over in wayward in the last week or two called "is indifference the goal" in which a conversation with my husband was surrounding this.

The short answer is - it really didn't matter who the AP was because I projected upon him a romanticized version of who I wanted him to be. It's all lala fantasyworld stuff.

EAPTSD posted 4/24/2019 11:58 AM

Maybe this is a stupid question and has been asked before, but for those of you who had no intention of leaving your spouse, what did you want to happen? Was the double life as good as you could imagine things being?

Did you think of yourself as poly?

hikingout posted 4/24/2019 12:34 PM

Maybe this is a stupid question and has been asked before, but for those of you who had no intention of leaving your spouse, what did you want to happen? Was the double life as good as you could imagine things being?
Did you think of yourself as poly?


I never had a plan. I think I am probably in the majority on that. I didn't have a label for it either. All I had was a handful of justifications and a whole lot of ignoring and lack of self evaluation. I think affairs are mostly conducted on a day-to-day basis, with no end game in mind.


EAPTSD posted 4/24/2019 13:53 PM

Thanks hikingout Thatís definitely my overall impression.

In a less practical planning sense, was there ever even a fantasy of things being better than the double life? Like, if you won the lottery or your spouse got a dream job with lots of travel? If a genie gave you three wishes, would you still be sneaking around and deceiving people?

godheals posted 4/24/2019 14:15 PM

What did it take for you to let go of the outcome?

I think there are many parts for me. From the start I was only all in if my H was also all in. The roller coaster of all it was getting exhausting. One day I was all in when it seem liked my H was also. The next day things were going bad and he wanted to give up I was also wanting to give up. The inconsistency In my actions were not helping my H and helping me of what I really needed to do. Him saying he wanted to leave me killed me inside but I didnít want he to know it was so I just acted ok with it. I knew I needed to be on one path with this and it was I wanted my M.

It also stop me for blaming my H for his faults in the M when we talked about my A or I didnít like what he had to say. I knew at one point I needed to take full responsibility for my actions without blaming him for anything he did. I wanted him to be able to make choices for himself without feeling guilt or pressure to stay or go. After coming to SI I learned that even if a WS did the all the heavy lifting and was remorseful that was not a guaranteed that a BS would stay. The A or cheating could simply be a deal breaker for the BS even if the WS was doing everything text book. I really wanted to show my H I was all in when he could not say it back or didnít know. I wanted him to makes clear choices in what was best for him. My actions and words needed to be consistent for him to know what he really wanted. I got to the point when I knew which path I wanted to take and at the end of the day I knew my h could make a choice for himself and if that meant leaving me, I knew he was making that choices for him.

hikingout posted 4/24/2019 15:45 PM

In a less practical planning sense, was there ever even a fantasy of things being better than the double life? Like, if you won the lottery or your spouse got a dream job with lots of travel? If a genie gave you three wishes, would you still be sneaking around and deceiving people?


I am not sure how to interpret your question. Are you asking did I have other fantasies I used to escape my reality?


I am going to answer in the way I think you are asking - did I ever think about how it could be better without cheating? Like what the genie could give me that would make me happier? I don't think so. I did not really plan anything at all. It was as simple as I had been miserable a long time, I went on a business trip, flirted with AP...the trip seemed like a vacation, and when I got on the plane to get back I didn't want the vacation to end. It was the first time in a long time I felt anything. It happened in this midst of personal crisis and depression. So, honestly, it was really not thought out, it was chasing a high. If I were taking drugs - it would have been similar - Take a pill it gives relief, take another one it gives more relief, and before you know it you are looking in your grandmas medicine cabinet to find more.


I don't think that the genie needed to grant me wishes. I think I needed to stop, evaluate myself and my life and make some needed changes. Our happiness and well being are our own responsibility and I didn't take on that responsibility.


I am not sure I am answering the question in the way it was intended, so if not just restate differently. Thank you.


cheatstroke posted 4/24/2019 20:31 PM

Thank you Hikingout and sorry, I know I said my last question for you was my last but this topic brings up a question I've been wondering about.

I'm guessing that there are literally hundreds of ways my WS could have "taken out" any resentments she might have had on me. Some that I can think of are:

- financial infidelity
- peeing in my gym bag
- spitting in my food
- etc. etc.

There was precisely one way that was sure to kill the marriage.

She chose that one way.

And literally never even thought of any of the other ways.

I know most WS will say resentment had nothing to do with it, it was personal brokenness, but we all know there was at least an element of resentment towards the BS involved.

Why would a WS decide choose that ONE WAY, among all the other options they had, that one way to take out their resentments, that they had to know would likely destroy their BS and marriage, unless they wanted to hurt the BS in the worst way possible?

I guess I just don't understand the claims of "I never ever meant to hurt you." It seems to me that's exactly what they meant to do.

Darkness Falls posted 4/24/2019 21:06 PM

we all know there was at least an element of resentment towards the BS involved.

Actually, we donít ďall knowĒ this. My affair had ZERO to do with my H, including no resentment. It was ALL about my ex and my cowardice.

end t/j

[This message edited by Darkness Falls at 9:07 PM, April 24th (Wednesday)]

Barregirl posted 4/24/2019 21:25 PM

I guess I just don't understand the claims of "I never ever meant to hurt you." It seems to me that's exactly what they meant to do.

It's not "I never meant to hurt you" it is "I never meant for you to find out". I think some people harbor resentment and some don't. My own A had nothing to do with resentment toward my H and everything to do with not knowing how to deal with the emotional turmoil in which I found myself after a doctor told me I was unlikely to survive a much-needed surgical procedure. Alas, I didn't set out thinking "how can I hurt my husband?" I was only thinking that I am not yet 40 and absolutely scared to death of dying. I never told my BH how scared I was, I just bottled it up until I couldn't process it at all, and decided to seek out an A.

maise posted 4/24/2019 23:16 PM

Thanks for your reply godheals, and hikingout - I know yours didnít show up here but thank you again also! I really appreciate the feedback.

BraveSirRobin posted 4/25/2019 09:04 AM

I know most WS will say resentment had nothing to do with it, it was personal brokenness, but we all know there was at least an element of resentment towards the BS involved.
In my case, it wasn't resentment, it was insecurity. I was in a relationship where the commitment level appeared to be fluctuating. My brokenness was the reason I didn't have the self-esteem to confront the issues head-on, which would have resolved them without the A. Instead, I used the A as escapism.

I think it's also important to remember that when WS have been doing the work, we can paint lines from point A to B, C and D that we couldn't paint at the time. It's not like I said to myself, "I have a history of chasing validation though sex, and I feel insecure about BF, so I'll pursue ego kibble with OM." It was a gradual process of realizing this attractive person was into me, and flirting in a so-called "safe" way (he knew I was in a LTR), to crossing lines to feed my neediness. I absolutely was not in it to hurt BF, though of course, if I had allowed myself to think about that, it would have been obvious that there was a price to pay down the line.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I suspect that where resentment breeds entitlement (which is a common phenomenon), some people see that connection very clearly, where for others, it's subconscious and more about what the cheater "deserves" in compensation than revenge on the spouse. Peeing in your gym bag hurts you, but that's all it accomplishes. Cheating gets the WS pleasure that they would not otherwise feel entitled to, pleasure that allows them to temporarily pretend you don't exist. I don't know if that's any better, but it isn't purposely vindictive.

hikingout posted 4/25/2019 09:26 AM

hank you Hikingout and sorry, I know I said my last question for you was my last but this topic brings up a question I've been wondering about.
I'm guessing that there are literally hundreds of ways my WS could have "taken out" any resentments she might have had on me. Some that I can think of are:
- financial infidelity
- peeing in my gym bag
- spitting in my food
- etc. etc.
There was precisely one way that was sure to kill the marriage.
She chose that one way.
And literally never even thought of any of the other ways.
I know most WS will say resentment had nothing to do with it, it was personal brokenness, but we all know there was at least an element of resentment towards the BS involved.
Why would a WS decide choose that ONE WAY, among all the other options they had, that one way to take out their resentments, that they had to know would likely destroy their BS and marriage, unless they wanted to hurt the BS in the worst way possible?
I guess I just don't understand the claims of "I never ever meant to hurt you." It seems to me that's exactly what they meant to do.


I can see how you would see the affair as an act of revenge. "I feel resentful and so I am going to get you for that".


That was not my experience at all. I am not saying people don't have an affair to get back at people, but to me it wasn't like that.


I do think I had some resentments that I unjustly held against my h. And, I used it to fuel some of my own entitled feelings. BUT, it wasn't an act of aggression towards him in the least.
I really didn't want to hurt him. I wanted to do what I wanted and not have him find out is probably much more what happened.

I had a lot of personal things happening - empty nest, burn out, questions of identity and purpose, depression. The reality of the affair was that I went on a business trip and actually had fun - I smiled a lot for the first time in months. (The affair hadn't really started at this point, it was the beginning of the slope) I just liked feeling good again. When I was leaving the trip and was having to return to my reality, I just didn't want to. I started texting and prolonging the fun.


The affair was an escape. Instead of dealing with the crisis, the unhappiness...I just created an alternate reality. It was not intentional that was what was happening, I didn't realize at the time that's what I was doing. Instead, I saw myself as vibrant and fun again and I liked that girl better.


So, when I say the reasons for my affair had nothing to do with my husband, I am 100% honest. Yes, as it progressed to deal with the guilt I told myself stories about how I was entitled to have fun and that H just didn't understand me...but my reasoning had nothing to do with him or our marriage. It was about me.

If I had left the trip and put a needle in my arm and stayed high for two months instead of having an affair for those two months...it would have been destructive in a different way, right? But, it would have been easier for my husband to understand that my decision to do that was because I wanted to feel the high. That there were deficits in my character and in the way I was managing my life that led me to make bad decisions in doing drugs. The affair was the same sort of thing - an escape - and it was done with little to no consideration of my husband (which is extremely hurtful, but that's the truth).


I don't know if that helps you understand the mindset. It wasn't like "hey I will show you, I will go out and fuck someone else". Not at all. It was more "oh this feels nice, let me keep going back for more". It was an act of avoidance, not an act of aggression.

BraveSirRobin posted 4/25/2019 11:11 AM

Maybe this is a stupid question and has been asked before, but for those of you who had no intention of leaving your spouse, what did you want to happen? Was the double life as good as you could imagine things being?
It was always intended to be temporary. I was in college, and OM was graduating and moving far away. This was in 1989, when texting and digital pictures didn't exist, and phone calls cost by the minute. It wasn't easy to maintain one LDR, let alone two, so I always made it clear that BF was primary and permanent, and the A had an expiration date.

Someone wrote here that their spouse cheated while away from home for an extended time (deployed, IIRC), and while he didn't see any future in the A, he figured he'd "ride the ride until the park closed." It makes me wince every time I think of that phrase, but only because it's so apt. I was having my fun while it was available and letting Tomorrow Girl deal with the consequences.

sickofsurviving posted 4/25/2019 11:26 AM

My question is this, how do you live with yourself and the pain you have inflicted on another human? What does if feel like to see the pain you inflicted? And if you stayed married, did you think you were entitled to stay married?

BraveSirRobin posted 4/25/2019 11:30 AM

What did it take for you to let go of the outcome?
it took a while to really understand that the TT was worse than anything else I could do to my BH. Worse than the truth, even if the truth was unforgivable. I realized I wasn't a loving spouse trying to protect him, I was a parasite, keeping him just alive enough to get what I wanted, which was to continue the M.

The day that finally hit me, I wrote out the complete timeline of the night I slept with OM, omitting nothing. For some reason, it was far harder for me to lie or minimize on paper. I knew that I couldn't say or do anything I'd have to retract later, because it would be there in black and white.

I'm afraid I didn't get there through any technique that I can recommend to get your wayward to wake up. It was just seeing what was in front of me, how completely I was breaking the person I loved most in the world. I had to either stop being toxic right that minute or accept that he was better off without me.

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