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BS Questions for WS's - Part 13

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puffstuff posted 7/16/2019 05:13 AM

God only knows what she is getting herself into. She's got the kids as well :(

LongSigh posted 7/16/2019 05:21 AM

Do any of you WS worry that you may cross the line again? Do you have plans to recognize or stop slippage in recovery?

It makes me soooooo nervous to hear my W profess with absolute conviction that hell never cheat again. Hes a (was?) serial cheater who forged himself and suddenly realized he was twisted upside down. He voluntarily confessed just enough to give me an opening to rip it all (maybe) out of him. Since then, hes been pretty damn solid. Not perfect, but seems to be seriously putting in effort. Still, can anyone whos cheated once honestly claim they will never ever do so again with absolute certainty?

ff4152 posted 7/16/2019 06:41 AM

Longsigh

I dont like speaking in absolutes. Life has a way of turning those things on their heads

That being said, I can say with as much certainty that I can muster that I would rather die than cheat again. This has been the worst three years of my life. The magnitude of what Ive done continues to haunt me and I dont think it will ever leave.

BUT, it does take a lot of internal work and honesty with ones self. A WS cannot rationalize their behavior. This was not a mistake but a conscious decision. For me, that realization. was huge. I do see how my thinking has changed about cheating. I no longer buy into the bullshit that Hollywood tries to sell. If Im that unhappy that I start viewing cheating as an option, its time to talk with my wife or leave the marriage.

puffstuff posted 7/16/2019 06:45 AM

this thread is triggering me because there are so many remorseful WS, you can see it shine through. I believe you. I would trust you.

And my wife is currently the complete opposite and every post I see from you guys that is kind and remorseful makes me re-stack the hopium pipe (believing she will one day be like you guys) with that fine grade shit and that is the last thing I need to be doing right now

puffstuff posted 7/16/2019 07:48 AM

another question - my previous one is on the page back.

did you ever consider the consequences when you were in A? divorce, family split up, finances split, public shame, etc?

it certainly seems my WW didn't, but i think she is realising it now. still not fucking him though!

hikingout posted 7/16/2019 08:32 AM

Do any of you WS worry that you may cross the line again? Do you have plans to recognize or stop slippage in recovery?
It makes me soooooo nervous to hear my W profess with absolute conviction that hell never cheat again. Hes a (was?) serial cheater who forged himself and suddenly realized he was twisted upside down. He voluntarily confessed just enough to give me an opening to rip it all (maybe) out of him. Since then, hes been pretty damn solid. Not perfect, but seems to be seriously putting in effort. Still, can anyone whos cheated once honestly claim they will never ever do so again with absolute certainty?


I am not a serial. I had one two month affair. I am not saying that to make my situation sound better, I don't believe any cheating is better than other cheating. But, I do believe that the circumstances and reasons people cheat are different and some are more complicated than others. I think a big indicator is if he knows why - and then has worked to change those things about himself.


For me, I can say with absolute certainty that I won't cheat again. I was married for 20+ years and was never tempted to cheat, and have never had boundary issues with the opposite sex. So, slippage to me would be different than what that might mean to someone else. It would have to mean that I become disconnected from myself because I haven't managed my life or emotions properly for a long period of time and I have allowed myself to get so burned out that I am done with my life in it's current state. Even if I did manage to sleep walk into that situation again, I don't believe at all that my drug of choice would be to have an affair. There are just certain lessons you can't unlearn, and for me the affair brought about many.

Top of the list is I will strive to never betray my own integrity and moral code again. The affair destroyed me, my husband, and my marriage -and I will not ever go through that or put him through that again. I have no desire to repeat this, and now am too enlightened about myself and have worked too hard on the issues to go back to that place again. And ff said it well - the weight of what I have done follows me and I suspect it always will.


So, no. I don't believe I will do it again. But, that's my situation. Make sure your husband is self-motivated and does the work that is required to fix whatever is broken.

[This message edited by hikingout at 8:33 AM, July 16th (Tuesday)]

hikingout posted 7/16/2019 08:45 AM

Puffstuff -

This guy sounds like a loser and a creep. The thing about affairs is it's rarely anything to do with the AP and who they are. Occasionally, it might be but not in my case or yours either.

The mind bending part of the affair is about seeing your own self a certain way. Meaning you play act who you want to be by trying to make the AP see you that way. There is a ton of manipulative, inauthentic behavior, but you are too wound up in the highs of it that you can't see it. For me, I got to be a younger, cooler, more vibrant, sexier version of myself. It was all about me and how I felt. All I cared about was the AP showing up to make me happy. I think what they say about people in affairs being at least temporarily narcissistic is true. I don't think I am a narcissist, or that I have any personality disorder...but in the affair I know that's what I was acting like.

A lot of this is addictive in nature, so I would describe it as constantly worrying about your next fix or how you are going to get it.

I don't know what your wife will end up doing, but I would say she will for sure regret the decision of the AP at some point. Whether or not she hangs on to him long enough to make the full exit or not remains to be seen.

did you ever consider the consequences when you were in A? divorce, family split up, finances split, public shame, etc?

Not too much. I avoided most contemplation that would have squashed the high or the fantasy of what I was doing. Logic, a plan, anything like that...no...that was reality and that would have taken from my fantasy world. I wanted to stay in the fantasy world far away from my pain as much as possible. I think that's how we come off as narcissistic - to do it you have to block out a lot of stuff so it keeps our focus on self involvement.

BraveSirRobin posted 7/16/2019 14:52 PM

PeanutButterfly, I did not use condoms with the OM, even though this was in 1989, and panic over HIV/AIDS was still in full force. The answer to your question had several layers. One, yes, I believed OM that he was "safe." He claimed to have never had sex before. We were in college at the time, and he was well known in our circle for avoiding romantic relationships, both physical and emotional. He was an actor who typically had two or three women fall for him in every play. The consensus was that he wasn't too keen on dating people who were often infatuated with the character rather than the reality, so he enjoyed the casual kibble and steered clear of entanglements. At first, everyone who noticed us hanging out assumed that I was just the latest in a line of unrequited hopefuls. When he said he'd fallen for me, and his friends started telling me they hadn't ever seen him behave like this, I bought the virgin story hook, line and sinker. It was, of course, a lie.

I doubled up on birth control methods. I was already on the pill, but I added a contraceptive sponge on top of that to be really, really sure I would not get pregnant. This begs the question of why I wouldn't just use condoms for the extra insurance against a deadly STD that at the time was untreatable. The unfortunate answer is that I only intended to sleep with OM once, and it was supposedly his first time, and I wanted to make an impression. Condoms would have dulled the effect. This is tough to admit, not the least because my BH reads here. Ironically, I barely remember the sex now (it's been 30 years, and I made a pretty concerted effort to forget as much about OM as I could), but I'm sure that was my intention.

You asked how someone who is reasonably smart could be dumb enough to trust their AP about their sexual history and STD status. The answer is that cheaters believe what they need to believe in order to get what they want. The allure of the A was that I felt like I was irresistible. Here was this guy that everyone wanted, and he picked me. That exclusivity made me think I was powerful and special. "I'm just a target for cheap conquest" didn't have the same ring to it, so I chose to believe the narrative that said I wasn't being manipulated. And then, having embraced that role, I needed to live up to the hype that OM and I were projecting on each other. If you are relying on someone else's judgment to prove you have value, you put on the best show you can. I suspect he got attached to me for a similarly dysfunctional reason: I was clear that I would never leave BH for OM, and the awareness that I was a limited time offer made me ten times as desirable to him as the girls who were openly available and trying to "land" him.

I think it's also useful to recognize that by the time most cheaters get to the point where they would need to buy a condom, and certainly by the time they would roll it on, they are experts at lying to themselves along with everyone else. PuffStuff, this applies to your question about thinking of the consequences. Think of it in terms of drinking and driving. You have your best chance of success if you think your plan through when you're still sober. If you say, "I'm absolutely not drinking tonight because I know I'm driving home," then you have a strong likelihood of adhering to that boundary. Waywards are the type who say, "It's a party, so I'll have just one drink." Half an hour later, it's "Okay, no more than two. I'll be fine, the end of the party is hours away." Next, "Ah, fuck it, I'm sure it'll be fine. I can handle it. In fact, I feel great!" When they eventually stagger out to the parking lot with their keys in hand, they aren't thinking rationally at all. It's still 100% their fault when they get behind the wheel. They had no business taking that first drink, and they had plenty of opportunities to stop and sober up along the way. But the fact that they are already deep in wayward thinking means that logic has ceased to apply.

In my case, I found out about OM's FWB after we slept together. I had stone cold evidence but allowed him to gaslight me anyway because I couldn't bear to believe I'd thrown everything I cared about away in exchange for cheap lies. But of course, I had, and then (equally predictably) I turned around and tried to save my hide with cheap lies of my own. Because BH and were in an LDR, I had time to come out of the fog and admit to myself that I had no choice but to tell him about the sex. He therefore knew the risks before exposure, but I minimized a lot of specific details. I excused myself for that because I had "told him the worst." In short, I had reached the regret stage, but remorse came much, much later for me.

BraveSirRobin posted 7/16/2019 15:01 PM

LongSigh, I am prepared to say never. The first time around, I could lie to myself about the devastation that my actions would cause, but now I have seen it, and I could never, ever be the source of that kind of pain again.

puffstuff posted 7/17/2019 04:03 AM

fascinating hikingout, thanks so much for your interesting response.

another question - what made you "see through" the fog, so to speak? What made the facade, the masks, slip and reality seep through?

I feel i have done everything in my power to get my wife to "wake up" - full 180/NC, bounderies, withdrawel of finances, filing for divorce, and I do see SOME change when I drop off/collect the kids, but, alas, she is still seeing him. For one, when she first announced the affair, she done it with such skin crawling smugness that I thought it was a different person telling me. But, as I have enforced the above, she seems miserable, conflicted, anxious. Of course she is putting on a smiley face, but my wife is quite easy to see through. Now she knows that I will divorce her, that she losing so much stability, I can clearly see that she is chewing over consequences. So what woke you up? how did hte affair end for you?

my theory with my wife is that it started off as "an exit affair" but once i have enforced reality with consequences, she has now turned into an ambivalent fence sitter. i will divorce her though because i think she is too prideful to put the breaks on. i lose a little bit of love for her each day. NC is like medicine in that regard.

hikingout posted 7/17/2019 08:31 AM

I think you are likely reading the situation 100% correctly.

Have you ever read the article called "Romantic Infidelity" by Dr. Frank Pittman? The reason I ask is because he nails what a limerant affair is and what the results are almost always.

When I read this article, I was well past "the fog", but I reference it a lot to pining WS's or BS's who have pining WS's. Because it really shows that it's just a common psychological reaction that MOST people have when they have an affair. I don't know if you can see the power of that, but it really means there is nothing special there, and it explains some of what I said above in a different way.


For me, there were a lot of things that made me work at things harder and get out of that thinking. One, I knew down deep what I was doing wasn't right. Two, I knew my H and I had a good marriage and I didn't understand why I would wreck it and I had this underlying feeling that I was crazy or something because I knew on some levels that I had lost touch with reality. The NC helped immensely because you can't recover from an addiction while still taking hits. I was miserable and in a lot of pain and I didn't want it to continue. So, they were all selfish things to begin with. And, as I got better and better with understanding all the distorted thinking the rest that pulled my out is what I had done to my H. Who he was as a person he never deserved any of it. The wrongness and remorse around that did the rest of it.

For what its worth, you are doing the right thing. You can't stand by and just say "oh that's okay'. You need to show (and you are) that you aren't willing to share your wife with another man. She needs to sit in the reality of what she is doing. You need to heal either way.

JBWD posted 7/18/2019 13:46 PM

I believe you. I would trust you.

PuffStuff, I bet if you knew us, and if our betrayals had affected you intimately, you might feel differently. Just to say dont forget about the people every WS on here has profoundly impacted. I know you know it but think through the individuals who suffered at each of our hands.

every post I see from you guys that is kind and remorseful makes me re-stack the hopium pipe

Funny that you say that, because I am on the R forum all the time and I recognize it fuels a potentially unreasonable hope that my BW will recognize that despite the demonstration to the contrary for years, I truly love her and want to keep my life with her intact.

I feel i have done everything in my power to get my wife to "wake up"
Continuing on, I think you will soon realize, regrettably, that waking up is solely something she can do. I feel much the same as I described above, that I could spend the rest of my life screaming to try and make my BW understand how much change has occurred and how safe I now know myself to be. But it will either happen or it wont, and regardless which side of the equation were on, all we can do is ensure we heal and grow as individuals. The hopium is as addictive as anything else out there... Getting free of outcome fixation, finding our own individual joy and validation, self-care. All we can do while waiting for another, and such personal growth is NEVER wasted.

Do any of you WS worry that you may cross the line again? Do you have plans to recognize or stop slippage in recovery?

Longsigh, the population here is likely all worried about that to some degree- Once again its why the WSs you see are here. The answer I state is that it becomes my lifes work to remain principled and integral, and that will be my hedge against future As. Either with or without my BW, sadly. The support in understanding the WSs thought processes is where I see real value in follow-on MC. Where legit factual analysis can help partners put behaviors in context of flawed, or accurate, emotional understanding.

fooled13years posted 7/19/2019 14:18 PM

From another thread

I am working my ass off to become worthy, above average, exceptional to myself, to to earn back my bh trust and respect, as well. I want to reconcile because I will never be that spree cheater again/unfaithful woman again. He deserves a faithful woman

Once she cheated, can she ever be that
faithful woman

she says her bh deserves?

JBWD posted 7/19/2019 16:07 PM

Fooled13years,
Id answer that with a qualified yes. That is to say- Each situation is unique. There are common contributors and personality traits in WSs, but each human being is unique. I think being here indicates a potential higher degree of truth, but once again not guaranteed.

ETA: That cant be an absolute, granted. But most of the mindfulness and healing work people work on on BOTH sides of the aisle here highlights the true self, one that ensures despite flaws and distractions from feelings and sensations that interfere in the course of daily life. Comes down, as always, to understanding that how the individual knows himself becomes how he acts. Uncovering such a true self leads to a life of integrity and meaning, and can be a recovery from an unfaithful existence.

[This message edited by JBWD at 4:11 PM, July 19th (Friday)]

hikingout posted 7/22/2019 11:19 AM

It's possible, yes. But, one, is this your WS? Or it's someone that sounds like your WS?

I vaguely remember this post, and I don't remember who it belonged to. But, I feel uncomfortable if you are asking if this specific person can do that. I doubt that's what you are asking, but can you restate the question so we aren't discussing a specific member of SI?

I am going to answer you non-specific to the poster. Words are just that, words. If we are talking about your WS then you wait and watch for actions. Changes. Things that are consistent and grow over time. I tell any new BS to watch and wait. Be detached from the outcome, and focus on what you need for your healing and what you need to protect yourself from further abuse or fall out in the case of a separation. You can be slow as needed, and just watch and wait.

Is it possible for someone to recognize they need to change the way they manage and conduct their life? Yes. It's a lot of dedication - watching thoughts patterns, and being brutally honest with themselves. It took me a lot of therapy and journaling my thoughts and feelings both here and privately. Reading books, and actively looking for answers. It's slow, gradual, and intentional. And, every single situation is different. To get the best answers though, it's best you post from your standpoint and what your exact concerns or issues are.

fooled13years posted 7/23/2019 09:33 AM

hikingout,
I have many acquaintances who are self-described alcoholics. All are recovering but state that they will always be alcoholics.

He deserves a faithful woman

To better define my question;
Can a spouse who had been unfaithful in their marriage ever be considered a faithful spouse in that same marriage should they never be unfaithful again?

hikingout posted 7/23/2019 09:57 AM

It's an interesting question. It does not bother me that some people may say "Hikingout, you cheated, and therefore you will always be considered a cheater". I know people in my life that I didn't know well who cheated, and that's what I will remember about them. It's human nature to remember that stain.

Can I ever say again that I have been a faithful wife? No, you are correct, I have not been a faithful wife.

But, in the context of our marriage - I was a faithful and quite wonderful wife for 20+ years before I shit on that. And, so now, with the grace of my husband under the premise of the work I have done on myself and what we had before, we start over. I will never be able to remove the stain I put on our marriage. It's part of the fabric now. But there is a lot of other fabric there as well.

As for the alcohol analogy, I don't disagree with it's premise either. I know now I am capable of sleepwalking, not being responsible for my own happiness, cheating, lying, and I know all the parts of me that led to that. So, I have to manage my life differently, now and forever. It's true. Where it can be a problem for some is when people white-knuckle it. They still feel the temptation because they haven't done the work, they just abstain. That's a dangerous situation to be in. Instead, you want to make incremental and lasting changes and not feel that lure towards self medicating in an unhealthy way.

And, for me, I don't believe that it will ever manifest into infidelity again, but I have to stay vigilant because I am certain without that it could manifest into other self medicating behaviors. I must hold myself accountable to what I have learned through this process, like an alcoholic would.

iamanidiot posted 7/29/2019 02:44 AM

Can a spouse who had been unfaithful in their marriage ever be considered a faithful spouse in that same marriage should they never be unfaithful again?
My WS had 4xA's over a 6 year period.
She has been a faithful spouse for the last 33 years!!
I would trust her in any situation today.

20yrsagoBS posted 7/29/2019 22:02 PM

WSs? Did you know that it was wrong to cheat on your spouse before you cheated?

How could you do something so wrong, despite knowing?

earlydetour posted 7/29/2019 23:25 PM

Question for WS's regarding their BS's Plain of Lethal Flatness:

Is/has your BS going/gone through the POLF? If so, what is your perspective on it? On them as an individual dealing with that phase & what your relationship was like during it. How would you describe the phase you (as a WS) happened to be in while they were experiencing the POLF and the phase of the relationship (recovering/reconciling)?

Thank you

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