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BS Questions for WS's - Part 13

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Walloped posted 8/30/2019 05:48 AM

hikingout -

Thanks for the response. By the way, nothing you said was insulting or offensive.

I donít know what the rules are in terms of responding in this thread, so I wonít do it here. But you gave me a lot to think about. Thank you.

20yrsagoBS posted 8/30/2019 20:15 PM

WSís?

When you were actively in your affairs:

1) Did you recognize you were cheating?

2) Did you wonder if you would come to regret your actions as you aged?

BraveSirRobin posted 8/30/2019 20:47 PM

Did you recognize you were cheating?
I was in denial. I didn't think of it in terms of what I was taking from BF; I focused on giving to OM, because giving is generous and cheating is villainous. I told myself that my body was mine to bestow, which it would have been, if I had been honest with BF first. I glossed right over the part where I had voluntarily agreed not to give my heart or body to anyone else as long as we were together.
Did you wonder if you would come to regret your actions as you aged?
No. That was the furthest thing from my mind. I wasn't thinking more than a few weeks ahead, let alone years. I had no compunction about making it Future BSR's problem.

20yrsagoBS posted 8/30/2019 21:31 PM

Thank you BraveSirRobin.


This really helps.

Ctina628 posted 9/2/2019 08:42 AM

This question is for those WS who told their BS "I love you, but I'm not in love with you". My WH and I are getting separated in a few weeks. My WH has said that I don't meet his needs sexually which is his excuse for cheating. He wants to move out to think about if he still wants to be in our marriage and to get a taste of freedom and see if that's something he wants long term. For those who separated and then did the work for R, did a separation make you more likely to R or was it just an excuse to enjoy yourself more. I am also using this time to think what I want

foreverlabeled posted 9/12/2019 16:29 PM

I didn't want to leave you hanging here Ctina628, I very rarely post here, many of our WS do a great job with this, I usually don't have anything to add. But, your WH states very clearly his reason to for this separation, and it has nothing to do with the work. It is still all about selfishly him. Taste of freedom? In the very little words that you've described him in, I'm confused, do you think he's actually going to take this time to do the work? He could take that same time while still at home to figure it out. This isn't going to be some magical cure for him, and yeah I think he's going to enjoy this time. I hate typing that out for you. It just seems so obvious exactly how he will utilize that time.

I can think of only a few reasons after getting the "ILYBINILWY" speech coupled with the rest you've given us here, followed by HIS want to separate. The reasons I am thinking are far from beneficial. Of course I could be wrong, have been, and will be. In the wake of cheating a WS going down this path isn't remorseful, ins't safe, just all around less than R material.

20yrsagoBS posted 9/16/2019 09:57 AM

Iím married to a serial cheater.

Is there a Serial Cheater who can answer this?


If you knew it was wrong the first time, why did you keep doing it?

fooled13years posted 9/16/2019 11:30 AM

This was stated in a thread on the Wayward thread and I would like to know what the WSs say:

I did not realize how traumatizing the affair would be

Unless an open marriage was discussed prior to an affair, how can any WS not know that an affair would be traumatizing to their BS?

I understand that the level of trauma would not be known as unless they experience a betrayal themselves they will never fully understand but to claim they didn't know it would be traumatizing does their BS a disservice.

Does any WS really think their BS feels that little about them or themselves? Or is it that they think their BS couldn't live without them so they will get a pass?

For some reason this really struck a nerve in me today.

Flawed posted 9/16/2019 12:43 PM

@fooled13years For context, I cheated on my BS about 13 years ago, before we were married, and I confessed the full truth of my A about 11 months ago.

how can any WS not know that an affair would be traumatizing to their BS?

A few months ago I told my BS, "I didn't understand the magnitude of the impact that my actions would have" and he had a very similar reaction to yours. He refused to accept that statement because I am an intelligent woman who lied for 12 years so I must have known how my actions would have affected him. We went back and forth for awhile and I said something like, "I wasn't even THINKING about how my actions could affect you and me and our family." And he exclaimed, "Exactly! You weren't thinking."

I knew that telling him the truth would cause him pain, but I was so self-centered I didn't stop to think about the depths of the pain I was capable of causing or how I was stealing his agency - his humanity - by lying to him. I was in self protection mode hiding this awful secret for 12 years because I was terrified of losing my BS.

I knew he would be angry and hurt, but I didn't know this would be the worst pain of his life. I didn't think about how every aspect of our lives would be touched by my betrayal. I didn't think about how he wouldn't be able to sleep or eat for months, that he would feel suicidal at times, that our small, innocent children would become triggers, that every aspect of our lives would be questioned, that the world would become a dangerous place filled with triggers, that I would become the biggest, most dangerous trigger of all, that it could take many years and more work than either one of us has even fully realized to heal from such massive trauma.

To sum it up:

1. I was selfishly more concerned about not losing my BS than I was about how the truth would affect him and

2. Even when I decided to do the right thing and confess, I didn't do any research or think about the full extent of trauma I was about to cause and how it would affect every aspect of our lives.

I'm not sure if this is helpful since I think you are more interested in understanding how a WS could be so delusional as to not think their actions would cause trauma. I wasn't that delusional, but I definitely didn't think about the extent of the trauma.

fooled13years posted 9/16/2019 13:06 PM

Flawed, thank you for your response. While I don't know exactly what I am looking for, your answer seems to touch some of it.

I didn't do any research or think about the full extent of trauma I was about to cause and how it would affect every aspect of our lives

Did you not know that your infidelity would cause your BH trauma?

If there had been research specific to your BH which informed you how much trauma your confession was about to cause your BH and how it would affect every aspect of your lives, would you have still confessed?

Flawed posted 9/16/2019 13:40 PM

fooled13years

If there had been research specific to your BH which informed you how much trauma your confession was about to cause your BH and how it would affect every aspect of your lives, would you have still confessed?

Honestly, I had not thought about my A for years. My H asked me point blank about it while we were out on a date celebrating our anniversary and I had this desire to tell him the truth but knew it wasn't the time or place. I spent about a week stewing over it, in which time I made a few calls to try and see an IC to figure out what to do. I wasn't able to get an appointment under such short notice, and the panic ate me up to the point of confessing before I had done any real research. I had this nagging desire to tell him, and maybe there was a part of me that was afraid of chickening out if I waited any longer or that an IC would tell me not to tell him. But I'm no hero. I told him because I felt secure enough that he wouldn't want to D. I'm ashamed of how shitty that is.

So to answer your question - 11 months ago, I might have chickened out and taken this secret to my grave if I knew the full extent of the trauma I would cause. There have even been times when my BS has wished I never told him because we were happy and we loved the life we built together. I would like to believe that if I had done enough research to understand his right to the truth and how incredibly damaging secrets are to a relationship, that I still would have confessed. I hate how much trauma I've caused. I wish I could take all of that back. But I also shudder to think of hiding from the person I love most in the world for the rest of our lives - for his sake and for mine.

BraveSirRobin posted 9/16/2019 14:00 PM

I'm echoing what Flawed said, with the added observation that my thought process during the A was evolutionary (or maybe more like devolutionary, if that's a word). I didn't have a single, consistent belief about what would happen after the A. I rationalized away the consequences of my actions by gradual degrees.

I cheated many years ago. At the time, I was in a LDR, and my BF had said a few times that he was open to casual dating. At first, I was just hurt by the idea, and thought it was a sign that BF was getting tired of us being so far apart. Then I met OM. I developed a crush on him, but at first he was hard to read, and I had no idea if he would be interested in anything more. After I decided that I was reading the signals right, I told BF that I wanted to exercise that option, but it was crystal clear to both of us that it didn't include me getting deeply involved. It sounds kind of 1950s implausible to say that it wasn't ever supposed to lead to sex, but that was in fact the agreement, and OM knew it, too. I honestly believed it could never happen.

I think it was Shirley Glass in "Not Just Friends" who wrote that it's harder to cross the line with the first kiss than it is to get from that kiss to full sex. Once you've opened the door with a feeble excuse, it's much easier to make up more of them. I didn't want to hurt BF, but I still wanted what was in front of me, the fun and the kibbles. I couldn't have that and still see myself as a decent person unless I rationalized my choices somehow.

Some WS vilify the BS at this point, making them the bad guy. I never did that, but I rewrote things in my head to believe that BF would be more angry than hurt. I felt he had the power in our relationship, and I really didn't imagine I could traumatize him. If thoughts popped up about BF dumping me over my cheating, I compartmentalized and tucked them away, thinking, "I had permission for x, so y isn't really all that much worse." I resisted PIV sex, because having that single uncrossed line was key to my rationalization that everything else I did wasn't that bad. When I finally caved on that last boundary, I was so practiced at not thinking about anything that I shoved it away. It was Tomorrow Girl's problem.

I went through a brief period of intending to hide the sexual encounters, but this was right in the middle of the AIDS epidemic, where HIV was still entirely untreatable and fatal. After a week or two passed, I got out of the fog enough to realize that I had to tell BF as soon as I saw him again, before we slept together, so that he went be unknowingly exposed. By that time, I was allowing myself to admit how deep a hole I had dug for myself, and I really thought the two options were going to be either hurt/angry forgiveness or him kicking me to the curb. Trauma really, truly wasn't on my radar.

hikingout posted 9/18/2019 09:17 AM

It was me who said that.

First, understand that unless you have been effected by infidelity more directly, there are a lot of minimizing images of it in our society. Do you know it will hurt the other person? Yes. But, I didn't know diddly squat about trauma, other than soldiers having PSTD. I didn't know people who are cheated on get PSTD. I didn't know symptoms of trauma, or causes of trauma. I doubt a lot of people do.

I knew it might end the marriage, but I was having an exit affair. I didn't care that it might end the marriage. Most of my thoughts during the affair were about protecting myself from the outcome of having it be known that I did this. My affair was shorter term than many around here - it lasted for two months. For several weeks of that I was in denial that I was even having an affair.


I think BSR said something astute that I never considered before - and that is:

I'm echoing what Flawed said, with the added observation that my thought process during the A was evolutionary (or maybe more like devolutionary, if that's a word). I didn't have a single, consistent belief about what would happen after the A. I rationalized away the consequences of my actions by gradual degrees.


There is a lot of self-brainwashing, justifications, telling yourself stories, minimizing. I was very callous during my affair and in some of the time afterwards. A lot went into that, and a lot went into unwinding it.


I am sorry that struck a nerve, but it's just the true facts of the illogical mind of a cheater. It's not a way of excusing what I did, or any of that. In some ways I would love to say "I knew it was trauma and did it anyway", because I think my answer is worse and harder to understand.

waryaries posted 9/18/2019 11:10 AM

I see many WS posting in this forum. My WW told me she was remorseful , A should never have happened etc but I chose not to believe in her since I know her nature very well .
Here is why .
Fist she told me that she hates the OM, from the talks it looks like now she doesn't feel any hatred for him. She still think he was concerned about her emotional well being though she knew that AP is cheating his wife , looking around for other girls, sleeping with them etc.
After reading all the internet , she confessed saying it was her mistake and no one is responsible for it . After 2years,now she thinks since I haven't taken care of her and so she had to go out !
We decided not to separate for kids and my parents (old and sick), go on as if nothing happened . Deep down she still hates me, though she says otherwise.
Just a question to WS here , have you ever been in a situation like this ?
Does it cross your mind the BS deserved to be cheated ?

[This message edited by waryaries at 12:25 PM, September 18th (Wednesday)]

Walkingthewire posted 9/18/2019 18:20 PM

If you told your AP you loved them....
Did you really mean it?
If not, why did you say it if you didnít mean it?

BraveSirRobin posted 9/19/2019 16:09 PM

I said it and meant it. I can go more extensively into the delusional thought patterns that made me think I loved someone I didn't know very well, which were really about me and not him. But to answer what I surmise is is the intent of your question, I wasn't lying. I believed it at the time.

Iamtrash posted 9/20/2019 05:46 AM

@fooled

I did not realize how traumatizing the affair would be

Unfortunately, I was selfish and the only thing that was on mind were my feelings and needs. Would he be hurt if he found out, sure. The magnitude of his trauma never even occurred to me. Betrayal is bad enough, but in my mind, it felt like that was on me. He couldnít take ownership for my shitty choices. What I didnít realize or anticipate was how much he would internalize my infidelity. It was my fault. We both know that. But he still finds himself questioning what he did to deserve this. Questioning his sexual ability. Questioning who he is as a person. Everything he believed to be true has been shattered. Itís not ďjust betrayal.Ē It also doesnít help that during my affair, I was living in day to day mode. What feels good today. Whatís making me happy today. I didnít have to think about how my BH would feel tomorrow if this came out because today was what mattered. I canít speak for all WSs, but I know for me the inability to look forward made it easier to justify what I was doing. No one is hurting today, so itís fine.

This happened because I am a thoughtless, selfish asshole. I never considered how deep the impact would be until I saw his feelings in action. Before all this, if you had asked me if I had abused my husband by having an affair, I would have adamantly said no. Today, yeah. I abused him in every possibly way. I may not have hit him, but mentally, emotionally, and physically (exposure to STDs, sleepless nights), I have abused him. (Thereís a wayward thread about being abusers that was super insightful for me. I needed to read it and accept all of it.)

I feel like many waywards are incapable of realizing the trauma they are putting/have put on their BS, at least while the affair is happening. All that matters is their needs and happiness. No one elseís. So it becomes pretty easy to forget that those around you will be impacted too.

couldnthappen posted 9/20/2019 07:21 AM

I wanted to ask the Waywards for insight on this. Things have come up that my WH adamantly denies. He is so sure he NEVER did something and yet I have evidence to the contrary. When shown the evidence he goes into a crazy frenzy trying to disprove the obvious. I believe that he truly believes he didnít do some things because he has blocked them from his memory and/or brainwashed himself that he would never do such. The first occasion was a photo which the AP posted on social media. It was a photo I took on my phone when we were on vacation so I knew he sent it to her. He spent hours trying to prove she could have gotten the same photo off the internet. Finally, he asked her and found out that yes, he did in fact send that to her. So even knowing this, when I recently found a number of calendar entries (deleted entries) from his phone about breakfasts, dinners and happy hour dates with her Ė he is again 100% sure he never planned such things on the dates in question. I believe they did not actually happen. There is evidence to support that. Something came up, plans changed, he deleted them from his calendar. BUT at some point HE WAS PLANNING THOSE DATES. This he refuses to acknowledge. Any insight?

couldnthappen posted 9/20/2019 07:21 AM

I wanted to ask the Waywards for insight on this. Things have come up that my WH adamantly denies. He is so sure he NEVER did something and yet I have evidence to the contrary. When shown the evidence he goes into a crazy frenzy trying to disprove the obvious. I believe that he truly believes he didnít do some things because he has blocked them from his memory and/or brainwashed himself that he would never do such. The first occasion was a photo which the AP posted on social media. It was a photo I took on my phone when we were on vacation so I knew he sent it to her. He spent hours trying to prove she could have gotten the same photo off the internet. Finally, he asked her and found out that yes, he did in fact send that to her. So even knowing this, when I recently found a number of calendar entries (deleted entries) from his phone about breakfasts, dinners and happy hour dates with her Ė he is again 100% sure he never planned such things on the dates in question. I believe they did not actually happen. There is evidence to support that. Something came up, plans changed, he deleted them from his calendar. BUT at some point HE WAS PLANNING THOSE DATES. This he refuses to acknowledge. Any insight?

BraveSirRobin posted 9/20/2019 15:49 PM

As someone who did the same thing, editing my own memories to protect myself from consequence, I've posted a few times that it's amazing what the wayward brain will try to "forget" to protect itself. That being said, I'm a bit skeptical in your WS's case, given what I've read in your other posts.

I'm not saying it's impossible. If he's finally turning to face what he did, his subconscious could be slamming doors, saying "code red, he's about to admit it all, we'll be screwed, shred everything and run." I did that. But I never doubled down in the face of evidence. I was disturbed, for sure. I had a moment of struggling with shock, followed by "Really? Fuck. Well, there goes my version of events, which I clearly constructed to make myself feel better. I'm going to have to explore why and how I created this revision, and deal with the truth." I wasn't angry about it, because facts are facts, and I'm trying to come clean, not gaslight my BS.

The other thing that makes me suspicious is that his A was pretty recent. I believe I read that your D-Day was in December, for an 8 month affair with someone who worked (works?) for him. I forgot/"forgot" important things, but they were almost 30 years ago. For some of them, my BH believes me about my Swiss cheese memory because he also forgot them. For instance, I visited BH out of town right in the middle of the A. Both of us had been following the narrative of "if only we'd seen each other in that time frame, things never would have gone so far with OM." But contemporary emails, calendar entries, and movie tickets prove that I visited him, just a few weeks before I slept with OM. You'd think we'd remember that -- D-Day 1 was only two months later, so BH must have asked me about the visit, how far OM and I had gone by then, what lies I told. But we don't remember. It's a total blank for both of us. And yet, neither of us is acting like someone broke into our attic and planted the evidence. We're trying (and failing) to find triggers that open the memories, but we acknowledge the facts.

I don't know if that's at all helpful, but since memory is a big stumbling block in my work, I wanted to at least try to respond.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 11:15 PM, September 22nd (Sunday)]

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