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BS Questions for WS's - Part 13

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hikingout posted 9/30/2019 14:01 PM

landclark - H and I were not together much during the time I was conducting my affair. We talked less but had been doing so for a long time, it felt like the last year before the affair we'd gotten to where we lived pretty separately. I am going to say that made it easier on me to conduct the affair. It's probably in large why I never felt like I needed to villainize my husband. I rewrote marital history some, but I didn't treat him differently or even think there was something wrong with him. I just felt more like the marriage was over and it was easier to pretend that because we spent so little time together. At the pinnacle we went on a trip together with some of our kids and extended family, I remember him saying he felt like he was trying to engage me but that I was so distant. But, at that point it was easy to say that we'd spent more time together on that week long trip than we had in the six months previous. It was also not helpful in the way that the A was ending as the trip began and I was really at my worst point of being very lost in all of it.

Lostheart8 posted 10/3/2019 13:43 PM

So question for WS .....

Iíve gone into NC with my boyfriend. Heís texted me several times about getting together .... which Iíve said no to....canít pretend that an affair hasnít happened. Until the air is cleared Iím not ďhangingĒ out.

Heís dripping feeding bits of information, but still is mostly denying. He needs time to ďfigure out the situation and himselfĒ but would be ready to talk on Monday.

On Monday, he calls and pretends everything is back to normal. I donít fall for it.

I told him how much Iíve been hurt and that Iím leaving saving our relationship to him.

Responded something like Iíve blown his relationship with the OW out of proportion. Now heís disappeared.

What the heck is he thinking? I donít get this weird train of thought. Can a WS help me get some understanding?

BraveSirRobin posted 10/3/2019 22:20 PM

He's doing the standard wayward trick of convincing himself that two directly opposite lines of thought can be true simultaneously. He has a completely platonic relationship with this woman that would destroy her marriage if her husband found out. It's all very straightforward and above board, but also so complicated that he needs time to figure it out. The ultimate translation: "Your questions make it too difficult for me to lie to myself about what I'm doing, so I need you to ignore it and can't understand why you won't play ball."

I'm so sorry. I not only don't see remorse here, I'm having a hard time finding even the potential for it. The hard 180 is a smart choice for you.

Lostheart8 posted 10/4/2019 08:42 AM

Thank you Brave. I just needed to hear some understanding. Thank you, thank you.

Finally it makes sense. Iím guessing Iím taking it too personally. Because Iíve never had someone think I would fall for ďgot a bridge in nyc to sell yaĒ. I wasnít born yesterday. It helps to know it has nothing to do with me.

Yes, heís not remorseful. Iím staying in NC and moving on with my life.

Westway posted 10/4/2019 14:47 PM

I need to ask you wayward spouses something: did any of you pick a spouse who was the opposite body type, ethnic makeup or personality type that you normally find sexually and romantically attractive? If so why did you go ahead and marry them? I am fresh from learning of my wife's multiple affairs with men who were of a different race than me. Why would any sane person marry someone who they are not attracted to and know they will not be happy with in the long term? It just makes no sense.

Arfaj posted 10/5/2019 12:27 PM

Hi, I was wondering if there are any sex addicts in here that would feel comfortable answering questions about the recovery process and the boundaries that are put in place by therapists/inpatient to help them through recovery, the ways it helped or didnít. My husband is in inpatient and Iím trying to get a better understanding of things. Here or in PM, either way.

JBWD posted 10/5/2019 12:42 PM

Westway-
What youíre describing is a very early point in recovering from a pain I canít personally fathom though I try daily. What your wife describes is, quite honestly, the kind of distraction that feeds a cheating mind. The generally accepted wisdom on the subject here is that cheaters are dealing with internal shortcomings by using others (specifically APs) to selfishly manage/mask feelings of inadequacy, shortcoming, etc.

If the answer from your wife is that you all of a sudden hear that she has ďa typeĒ distinct from you, itís likely a form of revision that a guilty mind manufactures. In my case, in the thick of delusion I began to convince myself that my wifeís depression had made my marriage a miserable place that I couldnít possibly live through. This was selective and a lie to make things easier for me. Your wife, If saying this, has a long way to understanding what truly fueled these decisions.

You have a great community here to help you manage such a terrible trauma. Weíre here for you, wishing you fulfillment beyond this betrayal.

Darkness Falls posted 10/5/2019 13:59 PM

Westway,

It seemed as though you answered your own question in another threadóyour Wís ďtypeĒ would never have been accepted by her racist family. While completely hurtful and disingenuous to do to YOU, I suppose it seems logical in some ways, if we look at it from the perspective of someone whose mind was warped by that sort of (disgusting) upbringing?

I suppose it would be akin to the closeted gay or bisexual person who enters into a straight marriage because being themselves wouldnít be tolerated by their bigoted family. Again, doesnít make it ok to do to their unsuspecting spouse, , but in their minds I suppose they donít see an alternative?

BraveSirRobin posted 10/5/2019 14:23 PM

Why would any sane person marry someone who they are not attracted to and know they will not be happy with in the long term?
I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through, Westway. I think there's a lot of sense in how you've reasoned this out on your other threads. If your WW is attracted to black men, and she's from a family that would practically lynch any black man who slept with their daughter/sister, than that's a pretty powerful incentive for her not to marry a man of that ethnicity. It's a really unfortunate set of circumstances, but I can see why she would make that call.

I think you're making a logical miscalculation, though. "If A, then B" does not necessarily prove "If B, then A." The fact that she's attracted to black men does not prove she isn't attracted to you or that she didn't think she would be happy in your marriage. Plenty of people find that they are attracted to an individual who is outside their "type." My BH is the only blond guy I ever dated, with a solid build; I usually went for skinny, dark haired guys. But just last night, I was staring at him like a real life version of a heart-eyed emoji with my tongue hanging out. I have a friend who never knew she could be attracted to a woman until she was in her 40s. Up until then, she had only been involved with men. She and her female partner have now been together for decades. And AFAIK, her wife is the only woman she's ever been attracted to, because she fell for the person more than the body they were wrapped in, although it is a happily sexual relationship.

So while I'm betting that your race was a plus in her decision-making column for choosing a spouse, that does not mean it was the only plus. She could easily have thought, "Not only does this guy seriously light my fire, but my family will like him too, so he's clearly The One I was afraid I'd never find."

Westway posted 10/7/2019 12:55 PM

Thank you all for your kind replies.

mskitty posted 10/8/2019 10:46 AM

Waywards......thank you so much for taking the time to listen and answer the questions of BS's. It truly is helpful. I have a lot of questions. I'll ask a couple here....

1. Did any of you have difficulty leaving the AP after being found out? If so how long did it take for you to completely be done with all of it....NC 100%. Did you keep in touch for awhile, thinking it benign, all the while lying to your BS about it? Do you still long for your AP and think of them as your long lost lover who just could never be?

2. Did you tell your BS everything or only the things they asked for? Did you minimize the details? If so why?

3. Did you really just want "both" never intending to leave your BS, or do you just tell them that now?

4. Do you think that you are somewhat in denial about what it all meant to you? Do you minimize it all in order to protect yourself somehow?

The reason I ask is my WH had an affair with a girl 29 years his junior. I found out after about 3 months. Then over the next 4 months he said it was over, but we struggled and he lived at home and in a rental home on/off over this time. During all of this he told me he was "sick and sad" and working on being introspective and trying to figure it all out so he could come home and be "the best husband and father he could". Well, after that 4 months I ran into the AP, had a LONG discussion and found out it had not been over that entire time. So, it was like another DDay for me. We are still together, 2 years and 4 months after the first DDay. From the start he propositioned her to be his "mistress". Then it developed into more. She claims he told her that he and I did live together but we were working on a D, but due to our finances, etc. it was a complicated situation taking awhile. She was cheating too, on her boyfriend of 5 years that she lived with.

For me it is difficult because I just don't feel like I know when it was REALLY over. How long did they have contact? I wonder how long it takes to truly break free from the fog and limerence. I know it's hard for WS's to admit, but I imagine it IS hard to break free and maybe even a year or more later you might still miss your AP in some way. I'm not sure?

He worked with this young girl (he a doctor/she a nurse) so he claimed that he wanted it to just all dissipate slowly without anything dramatic, etc. going on between them because he knows she knows he has deep pockets and he was worried she could come back with some kind of legal action towards him. Makes sense, but also seems like an excuse to me. He told me that he did love her at one point and it was VERY clear from the things I found and read that they both thought they were in love, and also that he was very much considering a life with her. Now, he denies all of that. He states he never loved her, it was all just bullshit fantasy and he had no intentions of leaving me for her no matter what it looked like. He says the things I read were the ravings of a mad man. I wonder if he's just saying these things now to minimize the pain for me and uses it as denial to protect himself. Part of me wishes he would just admit it.....say something like, "Yes, I thought I loved her. I lost my mind and was off the path so far that I lost my way. I did consider life with her. I did look into divorce, reversing my vasectomy, and moving away with her. Yes, I did. But I'm so, so glad that I didn't because now I know.....blah, blah, blah". Does this make sense? For me it seems that his denial of what it meant to him, whether he loved her or not, whether or not he talked with her about marriage, etc. is just more lies. He says now that he told so many lies and lies on top of lies he doesn't even remember what he told over that long amount of time. He says what he does know is that he loves me and his family and he knows that THIS is real and not fantasy like what he had with AP. He continues to claim all along that it was very simple....he just wanted both. To me that excuse feels like a cop-out, a way to minimize and move forward. It seems to me that when he makes broad stroke denials such as, "It was all WRONG! WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, that that is an easy way to brush it all away as bad and wrong without taking the time to dig deep, understand, and explain.

Sorry for the book. Lots of questions! Even after this long, despite his aweome efforts at home (he's doing all the "right" things), I can't seem to stop the questions and ruminations in my head. I can't seem to believe what being presented to me NOW considering that he lied and lied and lied to my face for so long. Why is it I should believe him NOW?

JBWD posted 10/8/2019 23:26 PM

1. Did any of you have difficulty leaving the AP after being found out? If so how long did it take for you to completely be done with all of it....NC 100%. Did you keep in touch for awhile, thinking it benign, all the while lying to your BS about it? Do you still long for your AP and think of them as your long lost lover who just could never be?

I did have trouble. It was truly what is described here and what you mention below which is some heavy mental gymnastics that warped feelings that FELT SIMILAR to love. But in an entirely different context. I violated NC on 5 occasions. Because I missed the sense of validation especially when compared with the reality of the pain I inflicted on my wife. It took a good 6 months to bust. Had I been a more active member of the R team couldíve been much sooner. This is the important part of this site that needs to be emphasized: Everyone, betrayed or cheater, is different. There are no fixed values because humans are TERRIBLE machines.

2. Did you tell your BS everything or only the things they asked for? Did you minimize the details? If so why?

Self preservation meant disclosing as little as possible. This why is very hard to grasp for BSs: The cheater fears loss. No understanding of the need to give wholly and selflessly in love, and as such feels that ďsaving the MĒ is justification. I honestly believe this cowardice is central to how we behave following discovery, and once again takes a LONG TIME to undo.

3. Did you really just want "both" never intending to leave your BS, or do you just tell them that now?

Another difficult one to grasp- In my case I really did want both. There are some who, consciously or not, had exit affairs and recanted or came crawling back. Harder to grasp mine, I believe, but thatís once again how skewed cheaters are in their thinking. And I think thatís a progression from initial shock of having committed this betrayal to becoming immersed in the unfathomable.

4. Do you think that you are somewhat in denial about what it all meant to you? Do you minimize it all in order to protect yourself somehow?

Iím fairly certain that I know exactly how I lied to myself to allow this to happen. I know that in the thick of it I believed I was truly in love with two women and my life was the worst because what a hard time. I donít believe I minimized it to protect myself- But I did desperately want to salvage my M. But my misunderstanding of how to give love meant it was impossible when my wife and I pursued it.

What he tells you now sounds like he has perspective but might not know how to articulate that perspective? This discussion is active a lot right now, and I think thereís a fair majority who articulate that-
***At the time, the sense of ďspecialĒ and validation that the cheater experiences is easily confused with the sensations they experienced with BS, thus leading the cheater to believe themselves in love. With perspective and time, itís possible to separate those sensations and understand that at least in the case of the A, the expectation of the cheater reinforced the false emotion. As such I can tell you I know now I DIDNíT love the AP. I did what I needed to get her to ďloveĒ me.***
My BW still believes that I was in love (and I think probably still to this day believes it) and disproving that is impossible in my situation. In yours I think the only way to do that is, you guessed it, give it time.

20yrsagoBS posted 10/9/2019 08:59 AM

Hi WSs!


When trying to convince your Betrayed Spouse to reconcile with you, what were YOU thinking was a good reason? It can't be love. My WH thinks he loved me during all of his cheating, could not picture his future without me, thought he was a great husband. He felt his affairs were simply side distractions and that I simply wanted to control him by forbidding him from cheating.

BraveSirRobin posted 10/9/2019 11:38 AM

1. Did any of you have difficulty leaving the AP after being found out? If so how long did it take for you to completely be done with all of it....NC 100%. Did you keep in touch for awhile, thinking it benign, all the while lying to your BS about it? Do you still long for your AP and think of them as your long lost lover who just could never be?
It took about 8 months after D-Day to go NC. I was honest with my BH that I was still in touch with OM, and I told myself it was benign. Since OM and I were no longer in physical contact, and I wouldn't allow any romantic declarations from him, I insisted to BH that we could be "just friends." Meanwhile, OM made all kinds of indirect attempts at finding chinks in my armor. All three of us -- me, OM, BH -- knew that all I had to do was say the word, and things would start back up again. This was pure torture for my BH, but I was so selfish, so blinded by the rush of OM pining for me, that I didn't see it. I was basically an emotional vampire.

I don't long for the OM, but until D-Day 2, I am ashamed to admit that I would periodically think fondly of our time together. The memories that stuck with me were the feelings of being desired and pursued. I definitely would have liked to know that I was his "one that got away." Even now, if I found out that I was totally irrelevant to him, I'd feel a combination of healthy relief and a selfish, pathetic sense of insult. Those emotions are embarrassing and disgusting and unworthy of R. I'm working on eradicating that last vestige of toxic self-validation. However, he was never my "one that got away." I always thought that BH was the better man, and I never once considered leaving him for the OM. If BH and I had broken up, that would have been his decision, though I took as much of that agency away as I could (see #2).

2. Did you tell your BS everything or only the things they asked for? Did you minimize the details? If so why?
I minimized, and as JBWD said, it was almost entirely self-preservation. I told myself that it was to protect BH, since his reaction to finding out that I had cheated was far, far beyond what I had ever expected. I confessed voluntarily, and I thought he'd be hurt and angry; I had no idea he'd be traumatized. I immediately began backpedaling to make what I had done sound less terrible. I admitted the sex and the I love yous, but not the extensive details about the number of encounters, positions, romantic dates, etc. That only came out last year, 29 years after the A. As soon as I saw that I had a chance of saving my relationship, I denied my H the full picture that he needed in order to decide whether to stay with me. I'll carry that crime with me always.

3. Did you really just want "both" never intending to leave your BS, or do you just tell them that now?
I really did think I could have both. My A was timebound. It started in February, and I knew the OM was moving away in June. It was supposed to be a compartmentalized "vacation" from my real life, not a replacement for it.

4. Do you think that you are somewhat in denial about what it all meant to you? Do you minimize it all in order to protect yourself somehow?
I worry about that. Wayward reprogramming is a tricky thing, because there are so many lies we told ourselves to make the A a possibility. Sorting the lies that we told then out from the lies that we could be telling now is careful, painful work. For instance, there's a thread in wayward now about whether "love" is possible in an A. Were the feelings real at the time? If so, does it matter that we see them differently now, in retrospect, out of the fog?

The OM in my case was an actor, more of a character actor than a leading man. He specialized in the Hugh Grant persona, and his characters and his real life presnetation blended togther. How much of OM was real, and how much was a a facade? I have no idea, even now. I saw glimpses that tell me that there were very dark tendencies underneath the self-deprecating charm. But still, I was very attracted to the facade. Was that love? If I deny that it was, am I minimizing? If I claim that it was, am I still foggy, not yet remorseful?

Even here on SI, we don't always agree about the answers to these questions, but we all agree on honesty, and so I strive for that.

BraveSirRobin posted 10/9/2019 11:49 AM

When trying to convince your Betrayed Spouse to reconcile with you, what were YOU thinking was a good reason?
Post D-Day 1, I thought I could "fix it." I believed that I could be a good, faithful wife (and also that I could "fix" things with OM by staying friends with him -- that's how little I understood what I had really done). I was indeed faithful post-A, but not remorseful. I continued to lie and minimize in order to control the outcome I wanted. And honestly, BH and I came close to breaking up after the A, because I expected recovery to happen way too fast. Six months feels a lot longer when you're 20 than it does when you're 50, and I didn't have SI to give me a proper sense of perspective on how long R takes. We ended up rugsweeping.

Post D-Day 2, at the end of the TT... I didn't have a good reason to give him. I knew I loved him and wanted to stay married to him. As with D-Day 1, I felt that I could be a good wife, but I understood far better what being a good wife would really mean, the work it would take, and how huge an ask it was for him to let me try. I understood the investment he would have to make to heal himself. And so I didn't think of it as much in terms of "a good reason." I was more focused on letting go of the outcome, and understanding that what was best for him was by definition what was best for us. I tried to accept that only he could decide what "best" would be.

mskitty posted 10/9/2019 12:25 PM

JBWD and BraveSirRobin, thank you VERY much for your honest, insightful responses and simply for your time. I am working so hard to stop living as a prisoner to the past (A's) and to live for and look at the NOW, but it is so difficult. It's difficult to look at WH and believe him NOW. I was manipulated, deceived and lied to SO very much, that it feels impossible to trust in his words now. I live in a constant state of knowing it will happen again. I'm sure that is a self-protective mechanism so IF it does, then I can tell myself that I knew it, I was stupid, but I was guarded enough now to have it hurt less. I realize that my trepidation to move forward is not helpful. It's just a daily struggle. I had a great session with my IC yesterday and we discussed the idea that maybe (and most likely) I will never know everything and trying to figure out if I can accept that. How does one accept it and move forward is the question? How does a BS trust or work on trust now when they don't trust the past and the story of their life with their WS? Crazy hard shit! I think I want to pin my husband down and make him tell me everything, not because I want the info, but as a power move. I really do feel that I DON'T want to know all the sordid details, but in a way I want him to feel forced to tell them to me. Again....twisted thinking. Unfortunately there are people in our city that know of what happened (not many) and know the AP and a few things have trickled back to me that I didn't know. I imagined that they happened, but I just didn't really know it. Now, when I hear the info (something as simple as, "Did you know she went to Dallas with him that time on his trip") sets me spinning. In the end, do I care that she went on a trip with him over 2.5 years ago.....not really, but something in it hurts. He only admitted it when presented with the info and now when I ask where else he took her he says nowhere. Not sure I believe him. Do I really want to know? Sometimes I think full disclosure just opens up wounds and provides info that in no way helps with R, and in the end, at least for me, makes it more difficult because I will ruminate and ruminate like CRAZY on something and then use it later as ammo. I'm just struggling with accepting that what I know is what I know, and digging up the details at this point is not helpful at all.

I wonder if any of the WS's could share how they felt during R when they were trying their asses off to do the "right" thing, support their BS, walk the path forward with honesty, etc. only to feel that their BS is still unsettled, untrusting, etc. How do you continue moving forward and trying. Do you want to give up? I do not want to continue to stand behind this wall I'm building up to protect myself from hurt again as I know it is not helping with R, and in fact, it is an indicator of me not giving my all to move forward. I'm just having a hard time tearing it down and being vulnerable again.
What work did you see your BS doing that gave you hope?

20yrsagoBS posted 10/9/2019 13:17 PM

Thank you BraveSirRobin!


I have tried explaining that to my WH, but he still believes not fucking other people is enough

JBWD posted 10/13/2019 23:44 PM

How do you continue moving forward and trying. Do you want to give up? I do not want to continue to stand behind this wall I'm building up to protect myself from hurt again as I know it is not helping with R, and in fact, it is an indicator of me not giving my all to move forward.

How do I continue moving forward? I just do. Every minute I wait is ABSOLUTELY worth it. As you say, itís hurt that motivates you putting up walls, and only time with consistent support from a cheater can convince you that itís worth removing those barriers. Our actions as cheaters defied logic and reason, and so thereís absolutely no way your defenses should be viewed as unreasonable.

You have given your all every day you extend this gift to someone who so thoroughly betrayed you- Donít worry about what your work looks like, once it comes to R and past your own healing, every second you take is your own.

hikingout posted 10/14/2019 10:40 AM

I wonder if any of the WS's could share how they felt during R when they were trying their asses off to do the "right" thing, support their BS, walk the path forward with honesty, etc. only to feel that their BS is still unsettled, untrusting, etc. How do you continue moving forward and trying. Do you want to give up?


Well, I look at this a little differently than you do of course.


For me - I accepted that I could not become a victim of the circumstances I created. I have never tried to make H feel like his feelings were invalid. At one point in time he thought he wanted to divorce me. I didn't want that, but I understood that he has to do what is right for him in the end. He has to have room to decide for himself when he might want to trust me again, or whether he wants to stay in the marriage.


For my part, I know I want the marriage, so I have accepted whatever it looks like. He has a right to heal on his own timeline and terms. The marriage can not be all about me and what I want, nor can it always be all about him and what he wants. I find that we walk the same level of compromise on most other topics now the same as we operated before the affair. On the topics and issues and fall out from the Affair, then there is just no compromise - I did it to him, he has to process it, so any problem I have with that can not be more important than his problems as he is processing.


So, I guess that was a lot of words to say - I look at it logically. When there are times he is struggling, I put him there so I can't take offense to it, I have to just understand that's where he is and assure him about where I am.


But, I don't know your story, and I would say in the first year, some of this was trial and error and things were very intense sometimes. Sure, as I was gathering my bearings there were times I wasn't sure if we would make it. I can't say I wanted to give up though.

20yrsagoBS posted 10/19/2019 13:18 PM

Hi!


WSs?


During your time with your AP, at what point did you think it was an affair? Prior to thinking it was an affair, what did you think you were doing?

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