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The betrayed partnerís life during the affair

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OneInTheSame posted 5/28/2019 00:51 AM

Many of us were blind-sided by our spouseís betrayal, totally oblivious to the weakness, unhappiness, or brokenness that led to the affair. I am wondering if any others have examined what part our lives, during the time our spouses were cheating on us, played in how difficult it is for us to learn, process, deal with, accept, and wrestle with the betrayal.

I have over the last three years done a piecemeal reconstruction of the six months of what was happening in my life during my wifeís affair. I did this in part to see what was happening to me and how I was handling it, and in part to see if I had been totally oblivious to any signs my wife was having difficulties a spouse should be aware of. I also was curious if I was even on my wifeís radar at all during those six months, especially because it felt like she was on auto-pilot with her ex-girlfriend. Between Facebook and my photos and calendar notes, etc., I now see a picture of a wife struggling with health, stress, family discord, a bank that kept losing documents during a refinancing, as well as all the issues my wife claims caused the stress that made her crack.

And now I am wondering if it is something a remorseful wayward spouse should be aware of, interested in, curious about, and sorry for missing. Or it it just water under the bridge? Does what was happening in my life during the affair even matter after d-day?

[This message edited by OneInTheSame at 3:14 AM, May 28th (Tuesday)]

bookworm19 posted 5/28/2019 01:05 AM

Dear OneInTheSame, of course it matters. It takes a lot of time to get through this. I admit even 12 years after dday I think about the time of his affair and how much I was trying to be the best provider and all. Slowly I got to the point, where I was no longer being disappointed in myself to be so stupid and not notice anything at that time, to have compassion with my past self, if that makes sense. It was important for me and it helped me a lot, especially if you are dealing with somebody who doesn't get it or see it that way (as you describe). I hope this makes sense

Justgetitoverwith posted 5/28/2019 02:15 AM

Yes, it matters, but if they cared enough to notice that kind of thing, they wouldn't do what they do.

On paper, I had a harder time for various reasons during my WS A than he did. With no support. Yet he acted out and I didn't. If I point this out, he just says (usually with a hint of sarcasm) that I'm a better person than him. Well, less bloody selfish and self serving, I guess. I really don't think many WS can empathize to that extent. Would be nice if they did. I think any WS who does consider this may finally have 'got it'

lostandbroken123 posted 5/28/2019 02:24 AM

You exist and you matter. We are all still trying to put the pieces of this fucked up puzzle together. The problem is that the puzzle is an illusion.

I look at pictures and posts and texts from that time period and I am blown away at the deception. I was living a pretend life and I didn't even know it.

Thissucks5678 posted 5/28/2019 07:29 AM

I was going through a family tragedy and thatís what I was focused on. I still was desperately trying to fix my marriage. I had no clue why my marriage was crumbling and that it was because my WH had started an affair. He was too immature and selfish to be there for me when I needed him. He sucked as a husband. Itís one of the things I canít forgive.

Iím going through a situation thatís similar although not as scary and heartbreaking right now and itís really messing with my head and my WH doesnít get how it reminds of that time. He canít connect the dots. Itís frustrating.

JSS1227 posted 5/28/2019 08:02 AM

On paper, I had a harder time for various reasons during my WS A than he did. With no support. Yet he acted out and I didn't. If I point this out, he just says (usually with a hint of sarcasm) that I'm a better person than him. Well, less bloody selfish and self serving, I guess. I really don't think many WS can empathize to that extent. Would be nice if they did. I think any WS who does consider this may finally have 'got it'

^^^THIS. I have had the same conversation with my WH. If you look at things that were going on for us personally right before and during his A, I was having a more difficult time (factors outside the marriage..we both feel the marriage was great at the time the A started, which makes it feel worse IMO), but yet heís the one that had an A. And he says the same thing (in pretty much an accusatory tone I might add), that Iím ďjust a better person than he isĒ. Well, Iím definitely less selfish and have better boundaries and morals, and I can obviously handle my shit better than he can. And when he says this, it makes me feel like he still doesnít ďget itĒ.

cocoplus5nuts posted 5/28/2019 08:45 AM

I'm a little confused by your post. You ask if you mattered during the A, but you list all the things your WW was dealing with. I'm not sure if you are wondering if she should have seen that you were struggling, or if she should have seen that she was struggling. I will answer with the assumption that it's the former.

Yes, it matters. I was struggling with depression in the time leading up to my fch's cheating. I also knew my fch was struggling with his own issues. I was already in IC, and invited him to come as often as he could. He came, but only to help me because I was the one with problems. He was just fine. The day he started his A a dearly loved one died suddenly.

My fch knew full well that we were both struggling. He didn't know how to handle those struggles even though I showed him the way. His solution was to get a girlfriend.

Noname2016 posted 5/28/2019 08:59 AM

Those 6 months when my WH had his second affair are still so painful for me to think about. A month (when the A started) I was in my home country. As soon as I returned I started sending something wasnít right. I still canít tell anyone what was it that made me feel that way but I knew something was wrong. Firstly it just seemed that WH wasnít himself, I even felt he was depressed and asked him to go to an IC. Started searching online how to help a depressed spouse, what vitamins etc might help. Started giving him more alone time at home after he came back from work to unwind 🙄🙄.
Then I also started having this acute sense of something not being right between WH and Ow (she was a friend and lived above us). I used to ask him point blank and he used to refuse straightaway with the most honest look in his eyes.
There are so many, so many incidents I remember struggling with all that was happening - with his ďdepressionĒ, with our marriage. I was in a true hell.
But when shit hit the fan, none of that mattered. It didnít matter that I was by his side through all his bullshit. Guess he really has been rotten from inside for a long long time 😔

CaptainRogers posted 5/28/2019 09:04 AM

It's an interesting perspective to have when looking back at pre-A activities in a post-A world. We see so much more clearly now than we did at that time. Sometimes, our partners do as well.

My wife once remarked to me that she should have been more aware of the signs in her own life, from the ego kibbles she ate up to the responses to the flirty texts with the contractor to the activities she was doing at her IC's recommendation (including "mourning" the death of our marriage [news to me] and "moving on").

I saw the changes in her life, in her words, in her actions prior to fully engaging in her A. I even confronted her about it. I asked her straight up if she was having an A because I was seeing signs A-H that point to that happening. She denied it and laughed it off as me being paranoid. Later, she would tell me that she should have heeded that question as some things that were obvious to everyone else, but that she was blinded to herself.

Honestly, I don't believe that most WSs have the capacity leading into their A to see anyone other than themselves. At (and shortly after) D-day, that perspective is still the same. For some, it may never change. For others, change can take months and even years.

I pray that you experience the perseverance needed to get to the point of being seen again. I pray that your partner will indeed see you for who you are, that she will recognize the support needs you have, and will address her issues that keep her from providing what she is able to provide.

I think about you often, friend, and I pray that you find peace.

gmc94 posted 5/28/2019 09:19 AM

I think about/examine it a lot, but with a long LTA, it means looking at the entire M, which I suspect everyone does, no matter how long the A.

At this juncture, im not sure how much it matters. Obviously you/we matter, but the As are bc of the WS brokenness, not ours, and not whatís happening in the M. Personally, it seems to have a hint of score keeping, which doesnít seem terribly productive (and letís be real, no matter what the ďscoreĒ during the M, having an A trumps everything on that front). I get extremely angry that I DID know he was acting poorly (distant, drinking, angry, etc) when the EA turned PA and begged him to go to an IC or MC and he refused. I did go to IC (1st appt about a week after their 1st sex) and tried to focus more on me, which meant I kind of detached too. I was totally blindsided by the A- with a dday 10 yrs later, that included many years/periods I felt our M was awesome... the whole time heís lying.

So, I guess for me it comes down to how does that reflection help me? How does it help me heal? I think I do it to try and make sense of WHs choices that will never make sense to me - someone incapable of the deceit (to oneself and their BS) required to cheat. It certainly helps fuel anger and frustration, but Iím not sure that helps me heal or learn to walk again - with or w/o my WH. And I donít see how me thinking about it helps WH become a safer partner - itís his job to do that reflecting, not mine.

ibonnie posted 5/28/2019 09:24 AM

I am wondering if any others have examined what part our lives, during the time our spouses were cheating on us, played in how difficult it is for us to learn, process, deal with, accept, and wrestle with the betrayal.

It plays a HUGE part, because I was going through the most difficult period of my life, and he was just... completely checked out. We had a very intense infant that cried all the time, wanted to be held 24/7, never took a bottle (and we tried many different kinds, different formulas, pumped milk... didn't matter, she acted like we were poisoning her and refused to suck).


I struggle immensely with one day/night in particular.

I woke up one morning in crazy pain -- my wisdom tooth had fully erupted and cut a hole on the inside of my cheek. WH had started a new job, so couldn't take off. I arranged a playdate for our oldest and my mother took our baby, and I had my tooth pulled. Almost fainted after the procedure twice.

Was told by the oral surgeon NOT to bend down and pickup my baby for 24 hours because lowering my head could make my mouth start to bleed again. I wasn't given any painkillers because I was still nursing every couple of hours.

The next afternoon, my WH had plans to go to a friend's house 1.5 hours away to watch the Mayweather/MacGregor fight on tv. He insisted he already paid to see it, they were expecting him, yada yada yada. I was in too much pain and shock to argue.

He ended up having too much to drink and needed to crash at his friend's house. Even though that meant I was alone with our infant, would be bending over her crib multiple times to pick her up and nurse her at night...

Of course I later found out that his AP was also at this "friend's" house and they spent the night together while I was home with two kids, a swollen face packed full of gauze, and exhausted and in pain.

So, affair aside, how do I forgive that night? How do I know that if/when shit hits the fan in the future, he'll step up to the plate and be there for me?

Brennan87 posted 5/28/2019 09:44 AM

A very poignant post.

I think had we been on their radar during that time, their thought process would have been very different and the affair probably wouldnít have happened.

I think itís important to reflect on ourselves during this time but I donít think at the end of the day it changes much IMO.

My WW has become so self absorbed in the years prior any suggestion that I was struggling was met with passsive/aggressiveness and/or ignored. I am culpable for seeing signs but had given up at that point.

sisoon posted 5/28/2019 11:32 AM

I did 2 bouts as a road warrior before the A. I had become a homebody, and I really got a lot from being home with my W, even if she was in another room.

Her client/ow became an obsession. I got less and less of W's time, and she was exhausted during most of the time she spent at home, since she wasn't eating or sleeping well. Very unpleasant.

But, thanks to therapy, I mattered to myself. I also seemed to matter to my W, but she just didn't have much energy for me. By d-day, I had given up on our relationship.

I suspect I haven't fully processed the first A season (the season of the actual A), and that's what keeps me so involved here. I've brought it up in therapy, but I can't get anywhere with it.

Oldwounds posted 5/28/2019 11:40 AM

Does what was happening in my life during the affair even matter after d-day?

At first, I looked at myself of some kind of idiot during that era of our lives. How could I not know? How could life 'feel' normal at all?

I looked at photos and understood the reality of that frozen moment was NOT what I thought it was.

It used to bother me.

Not anymore.

During the A, I was just a person who loved his family. I was being a good dad and the best husband possible with the information I had.

It mattered that I held to my vows, it mattered that I was learning and always trying to be a better person. My wife's behavior does not invalidate me in any way at any time.

It sure feels like a rejection on a molecular level, but none of it was any part of my choice or my voice contributing to her decision to turn AWAY from our marriage.

brokendancer7 posted 5/28/2019 13:02 PM

It was a strange period. FWH went from his full-time day job to an adjunct teaching job to various gigs as a musician. Before you think what a great hardworking guy he was, we didn't need the money. He was feeding his ego and meeting women.

I sat home by myself every night, taking care of the house and pets and fixing supper so he could have leftovers when he got home. When he actually got home, he ate, took Ambien, and crashed. There was never a time to talk about our marriage or how I felt about anything. I could have gone out anyplace, any night and done anything, and he would never have known. I was lonely sometimes, but I never did.

Miserable times.

cocoplus5nuts posted 5/28/2019 13:03 PM

I agree that the cheaters are too caught up in themselves to notice us. My fch knew I was struggling, but he focused on what that meant for him. He was a failure because he couldn't make me happy. It was all about him.

Fenderguy posted 5/28/2019 13:22 PM

WWs A lasted from Sept-Nov 2016. EA the first month, became PA the 2nd month. But let's back up a little bit.

Summer 2016. We were kind of going through a rough patch in our relationship. 2 young kids were extremely demanding, wife constantly stressed out. She was a SAHM, and I was working my butt off. Even still, we were having money problems that came to a head about halfway through the summer. Starting in July she started a part time job that quickly became a full time job. I also took on a 2nd job working part-time for a friend. He needed some temporary extra help, I needed some temporary extra money, so I went to work for him for a couple months. I hated every second of that 2nd job, yet I was grateful that because of it our money woes had pretty much disappeared. By September or October, we were back into a good spot financially, and I ceased with the 2nd job, though she kept her job.

I know for a fact I was a stressed out asshole during this time. That was the first time (and hopefully the last time) I experienced financial hardship since I was in my early 20s. I felt like a failure, like I had let my family down. My friends were all taking their families on summer vacations and what not, and we could barely even afford to go out to dinner. Our situation really was nobody's fault, just the general ebb and flow of the economy. I don't blame her for being unhappy with our marriage during this time. I remember our anniversary "date night" that summer... we fought the entire night. Makes me very sad to think back on that now.

WHILE the A was going on, I think I was mainly just working my butt off to get us out of the hole we were in. That was my primary goal. I may have been a little bit blind to what was going on right around me, in my marriage, in my own home. I don't really recall noticing anything unusual about her. She didn't really act any different. Sex was probably not happening very regularly, but that was the case beforehand. She got aquainted with some of the parents at our kid's elementary school, one of whom was the AP.

I understand what happened that caused her to be vulnerable to another man's charming words. Yes, the A is 100% her fault, but the decay in our M was 50% mine.

SaddestDad posted 5/28/2019 13:56 PM

As another BS who discovered that my WW's love for ke didn'tactually start to exist UNTIL she pulled away from her A which was happening right under my nose through dating, engagement & first half of marriage, it definitely BETTER make a difference to my WW to understand what and how she killed me, as well as what and how my mindset was throughout the time of her affair.

Want2BHappyAgain posted 5/28/2019 14:12 PM

Does what was happening in my life during the affair even matter after d-day?

In MY case it definitely mattered. I had a picture of my H that was taken during his A...and he was smiling so BIG. When I asked him about it...he said that he felt like ďKing of the WorldĒ because he had two women who loved him...and he was taking care of both of us at the same time .

My H had his A while alone the only way he could take care of ME was by phone or email. So I pulled up the emails. He saw in black and white how he was NOT caring for ME . He answered very few of my emails...and of those he answered...they were very vague. I KNEW something was ďoffĒ while he was gone... and I was practically BEGGING him to help me understand. I even asked in an email if there was someone else over there. He assured me that NO ONE was keeping him from coming home to me. Ignorant me accepted that answer .

When he saw the email exchanges he was so ashamed of himself. It is amazing how cheaters delude themselves .

DIFM posted 5/28/2019 14:25 PM

I think we BS's can over think things. Just as we correctly remind most new BS's and WS's that, much as they may think, their stories really aren't much different than everyone else.

I think we BS's, prior and during our WS's A really aren't much different. Oh, there may be some unique circumstance or scenario that is different, but, overall, we were fallible, imperfect partners making some reasonable assumptions about our spouses fidelity, regardless of the difficulties we may or may not have been going through in our M.

Most of us were blindsided. Most of us were shocked. Most of us were far from perfect. Most of us had marriages that had ups and downs. I don't think we need to spend too much time trying to evaluate or analyze who we were or even what our marriage was.

The split second that the anvil of truth was dropped on our heads, it really didn't matter what our M was like to that point, or what our shortcomings were, or even what our state of mind over our M or challenges were. No, at that point, it was all about the unbelievable becoming real. Whatever problems may have existed prior, became dust in the wind compared to the infidelity trauma we were thrust into. I wonder about pre A things very little, and rarely question who or what I was prior to that dreadful day of reckoning.

I was fallible. I was weak and I was strong. I was imperfect. I was comforting and challenging to live with. I was also the best provider my W and children could have hoped for and I was as committed to a dedicated family life as there was. I supported anything my fWW wanted to try.

I think we BS's were as much alike as most WS's are alike. People with good and less than good traits with commitments and willingness to figure things out. I never try to see any deeper than that. A WS is gonna do what they are gonna do and when they do it, a BS is left to figure out how to deal with that fall out. We all face the same dilemma and find our own ways to address it. Most of us, pre A, were likley pretty regular folks with family issues, and personal issues, and challenges at work, and children to distract us, and a host of any number of other life burdens. That is what most of us were and are.

The infidelity shitstorm was the one life challenge we expected to not have to face. Thank you, WS.

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