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Avoiding Relapse

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Zugzwang posted 8/13/2019 10:10 AM

The OM doesn't want to really be with you...not the REAL you. Just the fun, new, footloose and fancy free you. The you on your best behavior. The nice looking you, the nice smelling you. The you that doesn't nag, or judge or is critical or making demands. He wants the you that can be pulled off the shelf and put back when he grows tired or bored.

Yep. That is how I felt to a tee. A you that doesn't hold him accountable. A you that allows him to sit in his shit. A you, he most likely doesn't know shit about. I can't even tell you what the color of my APs eyes were. What type of human being they were. Just some of their likes and dislikes and only the ones that mirrored my own. APs are just partners in crime. Nothing more. A AP is a convenient burger at a fast food joint. A bubble gum machine to dispense what it is the cheater is looking for. Personally I think for most it is just ego kibbles and attention. I am biased though because I don't personally know one man that does it purely for sex. Just think about it. They want attention and ego kibbles, they know how to give what they want to get it in return. It is empty and doesn't mean anything. It is very very easy to do. Once an unhealthy warped parasitic connection is formed it becomes more emotional and sex is just the next step for most. Some to just go what they know would be the next natural step in a relationship and some just to keep the ego kibbles coming. It is still empty and hollow and shallow. We have nothing to lose by showing all sides of ourselves to an AP. The whole disgusting lot that we are capable of. Because the APs are disposable. We really couldn't care less what they think or how they judge us. The true ones that matter are the ones we are really afraid of losing (as ironic and messed up as that is) which are for most that aren't having an exit affair- our BS or a single person we could build a future with. It matters to us how they see us and view us, even though we are ironically fucking that up worse in the long run.

Zugzwang posted 8/13/2019 10:11 AM

Anger is about how they feel. Disappointment is about who you are. It is more personal for you.

Zugzwang posted 8/13/2019 10:13 AM

I hate myself for going to him.
Hate doesn't get you anywhere. Disappointment does. Shame does that doesn't morph into self hate.

Pippin posted 8/13/2019 10:14 AM

Why do you think your husband is responding to you like this?

If you said to him - other husbands become furious and immediately divorce - what would he say?

I would find studied neutrality/parental disappointment or actual indifference hard to deal with.

VioletElle posted 8/13/2019 16:23 PM

He's not indifferent, it's more a sarcastic form of passive agressive. He knows it pushes my buttons and makes me feel worse about things. I don't blame him.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 8/13/2019 16:58 PM

Iím glad you told him. It was the right thing to do. Sometimes the right thing is also the scariest or hardest.

Of course he is disappointed.

So what are you doing now? What actions do you plan to take? Youíve been given a lot of great advice, I hope you are taking it in.

There is so much work to do to heal from infidelity. You have to be willing to look internally and face the parts of you that you would rather pack away in a dark corner. You have to learn a whole lot of humility (which is different from shame). You have to learn to be vulnerable. You have to be patient and compassionate and empathetic. You will need to be able to listen to your husband and hear what he is telling you without defensiveness.

Itís exhausting and certainly not for everyone, but it can be done if you are dedicated to changing. Itís a commitment you make to yourself. You have to be ready for it. Itís one of the hardest things you will have to face.

The only other option is going limp. Expect your husband to get over it. White knuckle it until the AP contacts you again. Wash, rinse, repeat.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 8/13/2019 17:05 PM

He's not indifferent, it's more a sarcastic form of passive agressive. He knows it pushes my buttons and makes me feel worse about things. I don't blame him.

What is your reaction to this?

This is a perfect time to learn empathy and compassion for his reactions. Instead of accusing him of pushing your buttons, have empathy towards him and understand where that is coming from. You say you donít blame him, but every word prior to that indicates you do.

I know you were frustrated before, but this is one of those times that your choice of words really do matter, not necessarily with us, but with him.

Pippin posted 8/13/2019 17:07 PM

Ouch. I know he's responding from hurt and self protection but passive aggressive sarcasm aimed at the thing you are most ashamed of is hard to respond to with anything other than running away or lashing back. It's hard to summon tenderness or understanding in the face of sarcasm.

When you are feeling like that no wonder interactions with the OM look like a place where you can ignore the pain, shut out the outside world, and feel wanted. Your rational mind knows that's not what's going on there. In the very short term it might seem to feel better than where you are now but you know it will make everything worse. For your own sake, if not your husband's, shut down the OM for good. Did you read the Survival Guide before and did it help? What helps when you are tempted to resume interacting with him?

Is your husband often sarcastic or passive aggressive with you? Is it constant? Or does it flare up from time to time? Was he like that before the affair and it's gotten worse, or is that new since the affair? Do you feel like you have ways to respond positively to him when it happens? Do you hear what he's saying behind the sarcasm? Or do you just shut down?

Sorry for so many questions. I feel like there are a lot of gaps in figuring out how to help and I'd like to be helpful. I don't have any sense of your whys and don't get your husband.

anoldlion posted 8/13/2019 17:15 PM

I don't think you love your husband and if you do it's now anywhere near as much as you love your AP. If this wasn't true you would not still be in touch with him. I can assure you, without any doubt, if you continue as you have been, lying, cheating, disappointing your husband, and putting your AP above your husband and marriage, very soon you are going to wake up one morning......ALONE. You can't keep doing an action and expect the same results. Eventually, the results of the action will change. I do wish you well.

Zugzwang posted 8/18/2019 10:24 AM

He knows it pushes my buttons and makes me feel worse about things.

You can't control him and how he fights. Right or wrong. You can control you. So, address and take apart your buttons so they aren't buttons to you anymore. If it makes you feel bad. Fix it so if it does get pushed, you can say...hmm, doesn't bother me anymore because I own that and worked through it.

HoldingTogether posted 8/18/2019 13:21 PM

It's hard to summon tenderness or understanding in the face of sarcasm.

Sometimes the hard thing and the right thing are the same thing.

I think the average BS wouldnít have a whole lot of sympathy for the idea of dealing with sarcasm being hard. It may be, but on a scale of hard things to deal with in the aftermath of infidelity? Dealing with sarcasm is gonna come out pretty close to the bottom of that scale.

VioletElle posted 8/19/2019 15:41 PM

I don't really see them as related. I mean anything he does from now on he can just say, "yeah, well you had an affair"?

I don't see this as that sort of carte blanche. Not even saying he's treating it that way, but the notion wouldn't be acceptable to me. He's still good to me really, and I don't blame him for being upset or lashing out sometimes, as long as he apologizes without being asked to apologize. We're having issues, but still love each other which may be hard for some to understand here. If he didn't love me or vice versa, we'd have much bigger problems.

strugglebus posted 8/19/2019 15:55 PM

I mean anything he does from now on he can just say, "yeah, well you had an affair"?

It's a little early for _from now on_. But yes, in the first year - especially in the immediate aftermath of you being in contact with your AP? I think it's fair to say that you dealing with sarcasm is a pretty light lift comparatively.

Imagine it like this: You stabbed him. Maybe you didn't mean to, maybe you slipped with a butcher knife in hand. He has a nasty gash and stitches and it hurts every time he takes a step or coughs. But when you stabbed him he bled on the floor and didn't clean up after himself and that makes it hard to summon tenderness or understanding.

Empathy is a skill. Being empathetic only when it's easy isn't empathy at all. Use this time to practice.

I believe you feel love for him, but the fact that you didn't completely cut your AP out of your life immediately was just another unloving action in a long list of them. Actions matter a lot more than feelings when you've been betrayed.

Keep up the honesty and work on that empathy and you will do well

Zugzwang posted 8/19/2019 18:16 PM

,

"yeah, well you had an affair"?

Well, yeah. Having an affair really explains alot about the type of person you are and how you feel about others...so of course they are going to say that for some time. A remorseful wayward (meant) spouse wouldn't be bothered by that. Especially someone that owned who they truly were. Not saying they can beat the shit out of you and then dismiss it by saying...well you had an affair or cheat too and say it. Just saying. Come to think about it, did you apologize after every text and hook up you had right away after screwing your husband over? Probably not, so a little give is to be expected short of physical abuse in some situations. If he is such a great guy, he will feel remorse right away and probably apologize after getting angry. Though being entitled to that, I just don't know. He was entitled to a faithful wife. Pot call Kettle black. I though am not one to jump on the band wagon of what a person deserves holding up the shield of righteousness of two wrongs don't make a right after I chose to be cruel or put my hand in the cookie jar. I am more of the what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Don't dish out if you can't take it. Or don't play with fire if you can't handle getting a little burned. Just saying you come across as how dare he yell, but ummm...how dare you fuck him over. Personally I am bothered by that sense of entitlement. You treat people how you want to be treated. You treated him like shit. So, there is going to be some name calling and angry words. Which IMO pale in comparison to sleeping with another man. IDK, I can't figure out if you really are in an abusive relationship to begin with and are a classic abused that says "he loves me and we are good together" after being abused because when it is good it is good or if you are just whatever...because you explain all this stuff and then write your last post.

[This message edited by Zugzwang at 8:20 AM, August 20th (Tuesday)]

VioletElle posted 8/19/2019 21:01 PM

Where did you get the idea that I don't expect him to have harsh words for me and to say things he knows will hurt me? I said that he's entitled to that. I also said that he has to apologize to me. I'm still his wife and that does mean that he needs to care about me and my feelings. He didn't know about the affair when it was ongoing and I haven't been screwed by the other guy since. I apologized when I told him and many times since. I've been very depressed over what I did. I told him about the contact recently too and we didn't hook up

prissy4lyfe posted 8/19/2019 21:35 PM

Entitlement looks like:

I'm still in contact with my AP KNOWING how hurtful it is to my husband BUT I'm his wife and he should care about my feelings & apologize to me if he says something hurtful about my hurtful abusive behavior towards him

You are very very very far from remorse....much less doing the work needed to become worthy of the gift of Reconciliation

Amarula posted 8/19/2019 23:54 PM

VioletElle,

Have you changed your phone number(s) and email address(es)? Have you done everything and anything to make sure there is NC on both sides?

Wool94 posted 8/20/2019 06:03 AM

Where did you get the idea that I don't expect him to have harsh words for me and to say things he knows will hurt me? I said that he's entitled to that. I also said that he has to apologize to me. I'm still his wife and that does mean that he needs to care about me and my feelings.†

There were times in our recovery that I lashed out verbally at my wife. Sometimes I felt remorse and apologized, but not always. Most of the time when I lashed out, I was just reminding her of the person she was during the affair.

To this day, I will not apologize for that. Where is your entitlement coming from?


I'm still his wife and that does mean that he needs to care about me and my feelings
.

Um, no... when you crossed the infidelity line, you gave up those rights. Where was your concern for him during that time? Yes, you've apologized, but only after you burned his whole life to the ground.

You should be doing everything in your power to make up for what you did.

Why have you not blocked every access point for your POS AP?

Please don't take my post out of context. You've come here asking for help.

We've repeatedly told you that the best thing you can do is to stop playing with fire.

For some reason, you are still holding a lit match!!??!!!??

[This message edited by Wool94 at 6:05 AM, August 20th (Tuesday)]

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 8/20/2019 07:09 AM

I also said that he has to apologize to me. I'm still his wife and that does mean that he needs to care about me and my feelings.

It appears that the title of wife is something you are taking for granted. It was just weeks ago that you were in contact with the AP and hesitating to tell him no when he propositioned you. Those are not the actions of a wife.

I believe that having the expectation to apologize to you when he is sarcastic and angry is only setting him (and your marriage) up for failure. What does that apology look like? ďIím sorry VioletElle for being angry about you sleeping with another man?Ē Or ďIím sorry VioletElle that Iím angry that you went back to him and were considering sleeping with him again?Ē Because that is what he is angry about. Each instance he lashes out isnít about the specific trigger or what you made for dinner or what bill needs to get paid. Itís about you making him feel like he is your plan B. Itís about the emasculation he feels knowing his wife slept with another man. Itís about running through those details in his head multiple times everyday. So please explain why he should be the one to apologize for his pain.

When you told him about the contact with your AP you reset the clock. This takes years to heal from. It requires a great deal of empathy and humility. Instead of expecting an apology, what would happen if you reached out to him and told him that you are sorry for causing him so much pain. You understand that this is difficult for him. You are there for him and want to help him through this to the best of your ability?

Do you think you two could have more productive conversations and his anger might dissipate if he knew you were down in the trenches with him and on his team?

Zugzwang posted 8/20/2019 08:40 AM

Where did you get the idea that I don't expect him to have harsh words for me and to say things he knows will hurt me? I said that he's entitled to that. I also said that he has to apologize to me.

Right here again. Your entitlement. Your expectation. Why does he have to apologize? Again. This really explains the type of person I am too. I wouldn't expect an apology since I didn't apologize right after I screwed my wife over each time I was doing it. Did I eventually? Yep. It took a while. Again what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

I'm still his wife and that does mean that he needs to care about me and my feelings.
Your point? I just don't see it. So what? He was your husband and it didn't stop you from not caring about him?

He didn't know about the affair when it was ongoing
So? That goes back to what a person doesn't know doesn't hurt them thing. What matters is doing the right thing even when no one knows and isn't looking. By your standards that you want treated by, you should have apologized to him each time you gave your AP attention when you were doing it.

and I haven't been screwed by the other guy since.
so? Since you stopped you get special treatment? It just doesn't work that way for someone who is hurt. It is going to take time. Think about your own resentments for your BH. Did they go away?

Instead of being angry and yelling about what you are entitled to and how you should be treated despite the fact of what you did, why don't you focus on how you feel and understand that he feels the same way as you and worse.

I apologized when I told him and many times since.
You can apologize till you are blue in the face. It still doesn't make everything okay and better. It takes time and a ton of other things. You changing. You being authentic. You being vulnerable. You stop being defensive. You being held accountable. You owning it. You being transparent. Not to mention that Dday gets set back to when ever you last have contact with the AP and even that guarantees nothing. Some BS don't think Dday happens till you stop pining for the AP. Some Ddays don't happen till the last TT happens. It is by their schedule. Not yours.

IMO, you really aren't his wife. There isn't a marriage anymore. You put that nail in the coffin when you cheated. You really are just an enemy right now. Strangers on the street that he doesn't know treated him better than you. You have to work on becoming a friend. That depends on you. It also depends upon how truthful you are about the state of your marriage before you cheated too, because you don't really paint a clear picture of the relationship.

Read Prissy4lyfe and WOE, over and over again they explain it very well.

You said you are depressed. What are you depressed about? Really give that some thought. Keep asking why to each respond. See if you are depressed because of how he is hurting or depressed because of how that makes you feel.

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