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My husband internalizes the blame for what I did.

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VioletElle posted 5/11/2019 16:45 PM

I did a terrible thing and accept full responsibility for what I did. My husband and me are both 39, we have two children, and will be married 16 years this year. Around this time last year I started having an affair with a man I used to work with. When he got a new job we started meeting socially, just for drinks or coffee but we started texting as well. Eventually he asked me on a date and I did refuse the first time. I'm not sure why I kept texting but eventually I said that it might be fun to go out, I don't remember if I defined it as a date but it doesn't really matter, what happened, happened.

I kept trying to end it, but it kept happening until it just got too much and it had to stop. The guilt was too much for me and worse than that I didn't want our marriage to be based on a lie. So I came clean about the affair to my husband. He was understandably devastated; to say the least. He was very upset with me, but he didn't want a divorce either.

What is upsetting about it now is that he mostly internalizes the blame and sees it more as his fault than mine. He did nothing wrong and it wasn't about a failing on his part. I was having a lot of trouble with getting older and feeling a lack of identity. In short I was feeling apathy and self-pity in a juvenile vicious cycle. I'm not even really unhappy with our life. I don't know how it got so out of control. My own vanity and need to fill it with, what I thought, was some harmless flirting turned out disastrous.

I don't know how to get past this. We still love each other. But some of the stuff he wants to go over can't be healthy or good for him. He wants details of the affair I'm just not comfortable talking about and I have no idea why he would be either. His self confidence has been shaken beyond anything I would have imagined. I had no idea his self worth was tied so much to me. If he did, I couldn't imagine internalizing the blame like that. I don't know why he can't accept this as my failing. It's all very confusing and hard to deal with.

I understand that I was the one who caused all this and I need to be patient. I don't know how to tell him to leave it in the past. Just to note, he is not angry with me, he comes to me to comfort him for all the his perceived failings. Sometimes I think anger would have been easier to get past. He is too embarrassed to talk to anyone else and has made me swear to never let anyone know about it.

Can anyone relate to this? Can he be expected to come around? Is it awful for me to expect him to? We do go to therapy, but I'm not sure it helps.

[This message edited by VioletElle at 5:07 PM, May 11th (Saturday)]

WilliamM posted 5/11/2019 17:48 PM

BH here. I am so sorry you are here. What helped me was my wife answering every question. Yes, it will hurt but what is going on in his mind could be far worse. You want to regain his trust, please tell him everything. Answer every question. If he says he don't not want to know, then remain silent. I suggest writing g a complete time line of the affair. From beginning to end. When you met, how it started, why it started, what you did together, how many times you had sex, what positions, did you do stuff with AP you never did with BH. All of it. Warn him it will hurt, but be completely truthful. You don't want him to find out later, believe me. There will be so WW who will respond. Please listen to them.

[This message edited by WilliamM at 5:52 PM, May 11th (Saturday)]

gmc94 posted 5/11/2019 18:42 PM

BW here. And FYI, if you do not want BS (betrayed spouses) to post on this thread, post an ask for a mod (just title it mod, please) and they can ADD a stop sign to prohibit BS from posting.

I don't know when your dday (Discovery date) is, but I'm gonna assume it's relatively recently.

First, welcome to the best "club" that no one wants to join. If you haven't already done so, buy and read (and reread) How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair by Linda MacDonald. It's pretty much a pro forma first step here on SI.

There will be other WW (Wayward Wives) and WH (Wayward Husbands) posting, but the weekends can be pretty slow on SI, so don't take a delay to your post personally.

There are several comments on your OP that would say to me you don't really understand the "devastation" of an A. Some can argue that it's different for men (ie more about the sex) than women, but I personally don't buy it and honestly don't think it matters much.

But some of the stuff he wants to go over can't be healthy or good for him
Unfortunately, you no longer get to decide what is or is not "healthy or good" for your BH. You gave that up when you chose to have an A. If he asks for details, you must answer fully and honestly. (rule #1 is NO MORE LIES OF ANY KIND AT ANY TIME EVER). Many suggest doing two complete timelines - one with and one without the sex details. Your BH is a grown man and he gets to decide what he wants to know - you need to completely get over yourself and desire to control here.

I had no idea his self worth was tied so much to me.
That's a pretty arrogant thing to say about a man you have devastated by your choices. His self worth isn't "tied" to you... it was tied to your being HONEST with him and tied to you not f*cking someone else.

I don't know how to tell him to leave it in the past.
Hopefully, you will very quickly learn that this is one of the WORST things you can think about or say to your BH. He did NOT ask for this. No one wants to discover the horror that their "love" is capable of such harmful choices. It is in your best interest to realize - sooner vs later - that he may never be able to "leave it in the past".

Many BS experience PTSD from the discovery of their WS' affair. It is not uncommon (google it and PISD for post infidelity stress disorder). Even without PTSD, most (if not all) BS experience "mind movies" that relive the sex in their minds (similar to a PTSD flashback, but with the traumatic experience the imagined sex, flirting, the lies, the deletion of texts etc). It's like a reel of the play-by-play that you cannot turn off, no matter how hard you try.

Many BS also experience "triggers" that can come out of the clear blue and send them into a spiral - could be anger, sadness, etc. I once found myself crying in fetal position in the middle of a golf course during a banquet. I am not a "crier" by nature, but a highly educated professional with a nickname of "badass".

Click on the "healing library" in the upper left corner and start reading - you will soon discover what the "devastation" really means to the BS. One analogy that I think describes it pretty aptly is from a BW who told her WH it felt like "he held her down while he and his AP raped her". I still feel like that - a LOT. Having an affair takes away the agency (ability to make informed decisions) from the BS - just like rape.

Finally, many BS initially feel that the A was their "fault" or due to their failings. One theory is that they cannot imagine someone they love to be capable of harming them so completely, and they will blame themself or the AP (affair partner) before they can see the reality of the destruction caused by the one they love more than anything not only failing to "have their back" but actively harming them.

Of course, take all of this with the proverbial "grain of salt". I don't say this to be spiteful, but you have a lot to learn. The good news is you came to a great place to do it, if you are willing to do some hard work.

The general guideline is 2-5 YEARS to recover from an affair - whether or not the parties divorce. Everyone always thinks that's crazy and they will heal, recover and reconcile faster than that. I think it's accurate and many on SI still experience the fallout of the trauma for years and decades later. It is a permanently damaging action - a hurt that never really goes away.

The healing process itself is a very hard road - but it can lead to greater self awareness and joy, etc. It may - or may not - lead to a continued marriage with the BS.
So
Buckle up - you are in for a long and rough ride.

Godspeed.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 6:47 PM, May 11th, 2019 (Saturday)]

hadji posted 5/11/2019 18:59 PM

No stop sign. BS here.

I did not reconcile with my x-fiancťe after her emotional affair, but that messed me up because I never got the closure I needed.

I wanted so many answers - the "whys?" mainly. Because she was so pristine in my eyes, all I could think was maybe, I pushed her to this. Even though I hated what she did, deep inside me, I wanted to believe she was the same honest, caring, upright girl I knew. I walked away but I had to be friends with her for other reasons. And that made me look for the "whys" that will not place the blame on her. So I took a part of the blame (which after a decade now, I know is totally not so).

Now, in your husband's case, it is even worse. He has to live with you, accepting you as his wife and the mother of his children. If he thinks something is fundamentally wrong with you, he cannot accept to see you in those respectable roles. So, he is taking the blame upon himself.

But the truth is, the affair was (as you've already rightly mentioned) 100% your fault. And there is a character flaw in you that you must address. You must talk to your husband about this. Tell him that the wife and mother that he believed in is a lie and he should come to terms with it. But you can now turn your life around and become that wife and mother, by identifying your "whys". You should voluntarily talk to him about the affair and accept your brokenness, voluntarily tell him how debased you were so that he can let go of that image he has of you in his mind. You should get off the pedestal yourself and knock it down. There shall be no more pedestals upon which he puts you in.

Truth is, even if you don't do all of the above, he will come to that understanding sometime later. But he would have tortured himself so badly before that and end up depressed and unhealthy.

firenze posted 5/11/2019 20:06 PM

We still love each other. But some of the stuff he wants to go over can't be healthy or good for him.

What's good for him isn't for you to decide, and besides, you already proved that your judgment is not something to be trusted. If it were, you'd not have had an affair. I can tell you, however, that secrets and lies aren't good for anyone. You keeping any piece of information he wants to yourself is you continuing to keep secrets and lie.

He wants details of the affair I'm just not comfortable talking about

Your comfort is of no importance. His needs are of utmost importance. No more secrets, no more lies. You must strip it all away and show him the full, ugly truth of what you did and who you were. Only then can he ever make an informed decision about what to do next.

I don't know how to tell him to leave it in the past.

"Leave it in the past" is another way of saying "sweep it under the rug" and it's one of the worst decisions either of you could make. Unaddressed trauma doesn't heal, it festers. It grows and grows until it explodes somewhere down the line.

If you want any hope of having a healthy relationship with your BH in the future, you have to stop thinking like this. You're not trying to protect him, you're trying to protect yourself. You don't want to have to see the look on his face when you reveal the whole truth to him because you're afraid of how it will make you feel. You don't want to deal with the fallout. You don't want the shame of him knowing everything about what you did. That's cowardice, and no coward ever successfully reconciled.

I had no idea his self worth was tied so much to me.

His self worth was tied to his marriage. The partnership, the trust, the life you had built together. Then you destroyed it. Burned it to the ground like it meant nothing. How could he not be devastated? How could it not absolutely crush him?

[This message edited by firenze at 8:11 PM, May 11th (Saturday)]

BraveSirRobin posted 5/11/2019 20:34 PM

WW here, echoing every word that has been written so far and begging you to please, please not lie or minimize the details of the A. If your BH asks something you feel he may regret knowing, you can ask him one time if he is sure he really wants the answer. After that, you tell the truth. All of it. You answer direct questions about romantic words, if you came, how loud, how hard, how often, what acts, in what position, OM's size, shape, grooming, technique, stamina... You get the idea. Nothing should be off limits, because if it is, that is a secret between you and OM, and for some BS (including mine), that is something they cannot recover from. I reiterate what others have said here: you do not get to decide what to disclose. Your A and every detail of it are property of the marriage, if you want your BH to have a chance to heal.

Re "putting it in the past": my BH and I tried that thirty years ago. I am here posting because I lied and minimized to "protect" him, and he rugswept because he was afraid of losing me. After 29 years, he revealed that he was still having mind movies and nightmares. That's how I "spared" his pain. It's only in the last six months that he has had the full truth of my A, or more accurately the fullest truth he will ever get, since there are things I've forgotten that neither of us will ever know. The stuff I remembered and was hiding was brutal, but getting it out has finally put him on the long-delayed path to healing.

Please tell him the truth and insist that he get into IC to deal with it. Learn from my mistakes.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 8:37 PM, May 11th (Saturday)]

survrus posted 5/11/2019 21:00 PM

VE,

By with-holding the truth you are also preventing your BH from forgiving you and he will remain in a state of limbo for the rest of his life.

For men the sexual details are very important, and he needs them to make a real choice.

An affair makes a man feel that his entire sex life with his wife has been invalidated.

VioletElle posted 5/11/2019 21:54 PM

I suppose the feeling is pretty consistent about telling him anything he asks. I don't feel good about what I did and I am not trying to minimize it in any way. I'm just really scared about it all. I know I have to get over the fact that I wasn't the one who was wronged.

The affair wasn't regular, but it was off an on for almost 5 months. I haven't been totally evasive and shut down. I've told him basically how it happened, why it happened (he may not completely believe me but it is 100% the truth what I told him) and I even told him who it was with. It's the stuff that happened in bed that I'm not completely (at all) comfortable with. I may come off as callous here, but I'm not a cold person and I do feel very, very bad about what I did to him. I don't want to make it worse. I love him, he's the father of my children and that should at least tell him what I think about his worth.

As mentioned, I probably do have a long way to go and a lot to learn. We're not fighting all the time or anything like that. I've read all the responses closely and the one that mentioned triggers is likely the most accurate of how things escalate. He really is wonderful and understanding, sometimes I wonder if I could have ever been the same and I thank the stars that he's my husband. I do appreciate him.

BraveSirRobin posted 5/11/2019 22:48 PM

One thing I will recommend, based on what has happened recently in this forum, is to think carefully about whether you can withstand some pretty aggressive criticism about your A and how you are handling the fallout. If you are in any doubt, you may want to ask the moderators to lock this thread and start a new one under a stop sign, where only WS can post. Everyone here so far has been blunt but reasonably supportive. There is almost certainly more aggressive commentary ahead. Technically, BS are supposed to step away from this forum if they are triggered by what they read, but that can be hard advice to follow for people who are in deep pain. The moderators try to shield new WS from the worst of it, but they are volunteers, and they also reason that you had the opportunity to use the stop sign and deliberately declined it. They will only step in if things start to really get out of hand.

I understand and appreciate that you may want the BS point of view, and there are many BS who will work hard to give you input that is constructive and well-meant. However, if you get so demoralized by the less supportive posts that you decide to step away from SI altogether, you will be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Just because you use a stop sign does not mean it will be easy to read here. Plenty of waywards, including myself, will call you out if we see you engaging in avoidance, blame shifting and other common pitfalls. Some of us are known for pulling no punches, while others favor a gentler "baby steps" approach. You will learn what works best for you to keep things moving forward.

Honestly, Violet, you do have a very long way to go. Identifying the AP to your BH is not proof of commitment to the process; it's the most basic step imaginable. You also are unlikely to have told your BH why you cheated because you almost certainly don't yet know why yourself. There's a world of difference between knowing your motivation for cheating and understanding the brokenness in yourself that allowed you to do it. There's a great deal of help available here for figuring that out, too.

Please stay with us. You are exactly where you need to be.

firenze posted 5/11/2019 23:41 PM

It's the stuff that happened in bed that I'm not completely (at all) comfortable with.

What do you mean by this? Were there things you did with your AP in bed that you never did with your husband? That you refused your husband? Did you bring him into your home? Your bed? Were you denying your husband sex during the affair, or were you having sex with your husband hours after having sex with your AP? Was it unprotected sex? If so, did you ever allow your husband to perform oral on you after you'd been with your AP?

You don't have to answer all of these questions here, but they're the sorts of things your husband will want to know and you're going to need to be honest with him. It's going to be horribly painful, but if he wants the details then you give them to him, no excuses. As others have said, these secrets and details aren't yours to keep. You simply don't have the right to and every day that passes with you denying your husband answers to the questions he asks is another day you will have spent betraying him.

You're still in the mindset that it's your right to have a say in the process and a part in deciding the outcome. You're mistaken on both counts. Your job is to do whatever your husband says he needs you to do and to accept the fact that whether or not you'll continue to have a marriage in the future is entirely his decision. If he leaves you, it's what you deserve. If he stays, it's a precious gift that you need to cherish for the rest of your days.

It's time to surrender. Stop keeping secrets, stop lying, stop protecting yourself. Be completely honest about everything that happened and accept that the outcome is solely in his hands.

DaddyDom posted 5/12/2019 00:13 AM

Any time that our BS's ask us for details and we refuse to provide them, even when we think we have the very best of intentions, it harms them. While the affairs we had were/are so very painful for them, it is the lies and the betrayal from the person that they thought "had their backs" that many BS's say is the most painful to them.

When we cheat, our spouses get the clear message that we do not love them, do not care about them in the least, and will hurt them, deeply, without a second thought, and that we care about ourselves to the point of being unable to care about anyone else. This alone damages our spouses in deep and often lifelong ways.

The point I am trying to make here is that, when you refuse to share requested details, that now sends these kinds of messages:

1) You are still lying and have something to hide
2) You are just trying to protect yourself rather than protect them
3) You don't care about what they need
4) You have more allegiance to the AP than you do to them
5) You are still making decisions for them, to their detriment

I'm sure that list can be expanded on but you get the idea.

GMC's advice to you was spot on. Read it and re-read it.

You cannot stab someone in the heart and then turn around and say that you are interested in protecting them. It doesn't work that way. It also means, as already mentioned, that you are making decisions for them yet again, and that is also something you cannot do. Well, you can, but only if you want the relationship to fail spectacularly. :(

If it hurts too much to look him in the eye and tell him the details (which, by the way, shows again that you are not willing to sacrifice your own comfort for his needs) then write it down. What he imagines happened is probably way worse than what did. And yeah, it's gonna hurt like a bitch, and be very scary, and he may get angry and hurt.

All BS's must decide for themselves what they need to know. Remember, he wasn't there. For him, he is just putting the pieces together from all the lies he's been told. And part of him needs to know what happened with this other man. He just does, so that he has a complete picture (or at least, as best he can). Most likely, deep down, he will need to know WHY these things happened, and why you wanted them, and why you allowed it to happen. But for now, he needs to know what happened first.

Be gentle. If he allows it, hug him and be there for him. Be thourough but not cruel. Ask him ahead of time how much detail he wants and try to meet but not exceed that level.

My only advice... don't be afraid. Remember, he already knows you cheated on him. The worst has already happened. It's not as if you are going to tell him that you had sex and he's going to be shocked. He already knows you cheated. The jig is up, so just tell him what he wants to know. You might be surprised. Often, after BS's have had a chance to digest the information, they feel so much BETTER. The truth may hurt, but it also helps. They no longer have to try and imagine what happened.

I wish you the best.

gmc94 posted 5/12/2019 00:23 AM

Gonna again suggest that you download and read how to help your spouse heal ...
Do it NOW. Iíve read folks on SI say you can find a pdf of it online for free

Itís a short book - but it should help in understanding the damage of an A.

Again, not trying to pull any punches, but you really need to reframe here.

Recognizing easier said than done, do the best you can to approach it with humility. Donít tell yourself ďthatís not meĒ, bc chances are you will soon realize it is.

Many also recommend the works of Brene Brown and Pema Chodron. I loved Brown, but had trouble with Chodron (but now realize itís been a long time since I last tried to read her and should try again). These authors can help with shame and vulnerability, which many/most/all WS struggle with (eg maybe you donít want to share sexual details bc of your own shame? Itís VERY common and is about you/covering your own a** and not ďprotectingĒ your WH)

A second book that many SI folks recommend is not just friends by Shirley glass. Itís longer but worthwhile IMO. Some are ok with Esther Perel, others revile her as a wayward apologist. Iím in the latter camp and recommend you refrain from her book - at least for the time being.

Here on SI, find the post on things every ws needs to know (or something like it) by hufi-pufi on the WS thread (Iím not sure if Iím allowed to bump it as a bs). Also Maiaís survival guide and admitting it vs getting it vs owning it... as a BS, I think all are important first reads. Again, I cannot stress enough how important humility and openness is. My WH read all that stuff early on, but his head was so far up his a** he could just tell himself he was doing all that stuff, or it didnít apply to him, or whatever cover his emotional ass emotional rationalizations he could muster to avoid the harsh realities and fallout from an affair.
Godspeed

[This message edited by gmc94 at 12:35 AM, May 12th, 2019 (Sunday)]

gmc94 posted 5/12/2019 00:30 AM

My last post crossed with DaddyDomís, and his Post reminded me of any times article called great betrayals (or something like it). I think it could be helpful to understand our human need for story or personal narrative after betrayal. Itís a BFD for me and many BS. Some excerpts:

[the WS] sense of their own narrative, problematic though it may be, is intact. They knew all along what they were doing and made their own decisions. They may have made bad choices, but at least those were their own and under their control....

But for the people who have been lied to, something more pervasive and disturbing occurs. They castigate themselves about why they didnít suspect what was going on. The emotions they feel, while seemingly more benign than those of the perpetrator, may in the long run be more corrosive: humiliation, embarrassment, a sense of having been naÔve or blind, alienation from those who knew the truth all along and, worst of all, bitterness.

Insidiously, the new information disrupts their sense of their own past, undermining the veracity of their personal history. Like a computer file corrupted by a virus, their life narrative has been invaded. Memories are now suspect: what was really going on that day? Why did the spouse suddenly buy a second phone ďfor workĒ several years ago? Did a friend know the truth even as they vacationed together? Compulsively going over past events in light of their recently acquired (and unwelcome) knowledge, such patients struggle to integrate the new version of reality. For many people, this discrediting of their experience is hard to accept. Itís as if they are constantly reviewing their past lives on a dual screen: the life they experienced on one side and the new ďtrueĒ version on the other. But putting a story together about this kind of disjunctive past can be arduous.....
There is a disturbing bifurcation: memory no longer corresponds to objective fact.....

itís often a painstaking process to reconstruct a coherent personal history piece by piece ó one that acknowledges the deception while reaffirming the actual life experience. Yet itís work that needs to be done. Moving forward in life is hard or even, at times, impossible, without owning a narrative of oneís past.

.
You may also benefit from reading ďJosephís LetterĒ also online.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 12:45 AM, May 12th, 2019 (Sunday)]

thatcantbetrue posted 5/12/2019 04:22 AM

I love him, he's the father of my children and that should at least tell him what I think about his worth.

Yeah, no.

For starters, he has now no rational reason to think he is the father of your kids. Maybe he is, maybe he isn't. Only a paternity test would tell.

Second, any man can get any woman pregnant, and abortion is not a walk in the park. There is nothing here that makes him special. He assumed he was special because you were a family, enforced by your faithfulness. But your faithfulness didn't exist, and so therefore neither did his specialness.

Your assumption above is just completely flawed. What you proved is that he is your favorite meal ticket, but that is not something a typical man will feel flattered to be.

You will have to find and do better.

BraveSirRobin posted 5/12/2019 07:23 AM

I'm just really scared about it all.
My only advice... don't be afraid.
I see what DaddyDom is getting at, but personally, I see it more as a need to accept the fear. It is utterly terrifying, I know. That's why I trickle truthed my BH. It was the second scariest experience of my life, eclipsed only by the deaths of my sons. I was finally able to get the truth out, after weeks of the "death by a thousand cuts" approach, by writing it. Maybe that makes me a coward, but I'll accept that label in exchange for a technique that enabled/forced me to come clean.

I do understand the magnitude of what I'm recommending here. I have three kids with my BH, we've been together since we were 16, married 27 years, and I was genuinely afraid that what I was telling him -- information that only I had, of which there was no other proof -- could make him leave me. It is so, so frightening. But if he's clear that he needs to know these things, you have no other path.

(((VioletElle)))

VioletElle posted 5/12/2019 07:24 AM

What do you mean by this? Were there things you did with your AP in bed that you never did with your husband? That you refused your husband? Did you bring him into your home? Your bed? Were you denying your husband sex during the affair, or were you having sex with your husband hours after having sex with your AP? Was it unprotected sex? If so, did you ever allow your husband to perform oral on you after you'd been with your AP?

I just mean that I don't feel comfortable talking to him about it. It's not as if I completely changed or I became some sort of gymnast in bed with him. Or did anything with him that I would have denied my husband. He knows that we weren't doing it much during this time, so that's not new information. I did become addicted to a strange sort of adrenaline rush, sort of like if you ever did anything bad growing up, that feeling you get from it, but that has nothing to do with the mechanics of sex. It certainly isn't a slight against my husband either. I'm an imperfect person and as such I can be swayed by less than noble emotions but that doesn't mean I can't be sorry that I hurt him.

clear message that we do not love them, do not care about them in the least

While it doesn't seem to be worth much here, more than 16 years of my life with him would say otherwise. He knows that I love him. There's nothing ambiguous about that.

your favorite meal ticket

If this is any reference to money it's really out of place. I've never thought about money and it's the last thing I'd need him for. Sorry, not last as it wouldn't even be on the list.

VioletElle posted 5/12/2019 07:34 AM

information that only I had, of which there was no other proof

This is sort of the other thing, if I didn't say anything he would have never known about this at all. And that was scary enough and not because of self preservation. I was/am genuinely concerned about him and have no desire to be cruel. The fact that this is eating me up inside is secondary right now and I get that.

I know that they have a big day planned for me today and I'm sitting here feeling like I'm under a mountain of guilt. And I don't even feel like I have the right to that emotion because it makes this about me again.

thatcantbetrue posted 5/12/2019 07:43 AM

The point is not money. The point is that you point out facts and expect that they show you respect him, love him, or value him. They don't. At all. Maybe you convinced yourself of it, but that's just completely invalid. These points you're trying to make czn be trown out, and nothing of value will be lost.

If you want to say that the money means nothing to you, well first why would anyone believe that? That's just a claim you make to yourself. Second, forget about money and just call it everything the man is doing for the kids, including keeping their family. That is convenient to you, and not at all a show of how you value him.in a way that could be appreciated. You really need to drop that at once and forever.

Same goes for your marriage. You cheated on him rather than leave that marriage, so it's not like being married to him didn't allow you to have your cake and eat it too. What did you have to gain not being married to him? Certainly not freedom. You were free all along as you demonstrated to him. What exactly is flattering in being the chosen man you will cheat on? Because that's all your 16 years of marriage are showing, so far.

You think you've been demonstrating that you love him, with these thing. You couldn't be wronger. These things you're talking about are commonplace among people who have no respect for each other. These examples you're citing do not work. At. All. They are nothing, and actually make a better demonstration of the opposite.

BraveSirRobin posted 5/12/2019 08:30 AM

If you didn't do anything especially freaky with the OM, that makes it easier. Maybe I can explain how withholding the specifics damaged my BH. We were "first and onlies." I couldn't bring myself to admit that I had sex with OM in multiple positions. I rationalized that I had told BH about the sex (voluntarily, as did you), so it was ok to minimize and claim that it was one instance of missionary. The acts were all in the same night, so it was still essentially true that we had sex "once," right?

Wrong. So, so wrong. BH latched on to that and fixated on other positions that were "safe" to him. He rebuilt himself on the foundation of "at least having my WW on top is still special and exclusive to me." In his heart, though, he suspected otherwise. It ate at him, not knowing or understanding the details of how the night unfolded. If I had told him everything up front, he'd have had to cope with it all as a single recovery -- face the brutality of it and start to rebuild. Instead, he was haunted by subtle cues that indicated there was more to the story. As I said, we rugswept, so it's not like he spent the intervening years asking me over and over if I was telling the truth. But the lie was there, he sensed it, and he didn't heal. Then, when he finally did ask again, I panicked, and he had to drag it out of me. Each revelation was like a whole new D-Day, where he had to start from ground zero, wasting all the prior work.

I don't think you're really grasping what he's going through if you can argue that being "uncomfortable" is a valid reason for withholding the facts he needs. It's like he's lying in the ground bleeding out from a gunshot wound to the belly, and you're telling him you'd help if you could, but you have a bruise on your shoulder and it really hurts. The final insult is that you got the bruise from the recoil when you shot him at point blank range.

TimSC posted 5/12/2019 08:37 AM

Despite what you say, I can tell you that deep down he has questions bout your love for him.

He may feel the same as I did. If you were truly in love with him, you could never have had sex with another man. You would never have went out on a date with another man. You would never have kept going back to another man while lying to your husband.

His self worthy and masculinity is at an all time low.

You have to be totally honest and answer any questions he has. By saying that you do not feel comfortable answering specific questions you are telling him he is not worthy of having the truth. Another big hit to his image of himself as a husband.

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