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Betrayed Menz Thread - Part 34

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HeartFullOfHoles posted 3/31/2020 17:18 PM

I like your aspirations Incarnate.

Tanner posted 3/31/2020 22:42 PM

Holy Shit!!! I thought Iíd seen it all, now I have. Just watched Tiger King.

Machiavellia84 posted 3/31/2020 22:45 PM

I think that there is a very real question she needs to answer, which is: does she actually want to be married?

I texted her just this morning, after reading your reply to me. Posed her the question above. Obviously she just said yes she does want to be married to me.

I said this to her:
"You prefer the single life. Commitment and responsibility are dirty words to you. Things that weigh you down. You value "freedom" above everything else. Roles of being a spouse and a parent, and what they entail, have no appeal to you. When juxtaposed with the kind of non-accountability being single presents - it ties in perfectly with your wish to act and behave without need to consider consequences.
It's so scarily true, no?"

Her reply was yes. She admits that was the case.

I followed up with this:

"I don't think there is much sexual desire for me, maybe as a by-product of our early-formed monogamous relationship. Once again, the idea of being with someone else, someone different, possess such a strong pull, it indicates that the yearning to be wanted by anyone other than the one person whom you already _know_ wants and desires you for decades, is very real and very strong."

She didn't address this.

I brought up the "contempt" or little regard for me issue, a recurring theme during our talks for the past few weeks and months:

"It's that kind of disregard for me that allowed you to do whatever you deem fit. From starting the affair, continuing the affair, and then further insulting/humiliating me with the decisions and behaviour for the months after till now."

Her response:

Dear... I know I have had very little regard for anyone else.. It was all about how I feel, what I want
Scarring from youth I don't know
I want to be different for you
Caring for anyone else is not natural for me
This is a truly scary realization on how fked up I have become
Having empathy is not natural
I want to get to a point where it comes naturally
And I want you to be the receiving end of it


I take every single thing she professes and avows now with a large wistful of salt. I overthink and over-analyse her every word, her every action.

Might be because it's a couple of days out from D-Day 2. But I'm feeling incredibly lost and frustrated. Awashed with waves of intense anger and pain and just inundated with feelings of humiliation, despair.

Right. It's the rollercoaster I have been on. I'm sorry for just using this place as a crutch. I need to somehow be able to remain calm enough to have a clear mind to process things (again). I want her to engage me. I want her to want me. I want her to start doing everything she should have been doing. The very things she has been pretending to have been doing all this time.

But I am now mentally prepared that it won't be forthcoming. I can hope, but I won't expect nor do I need her to do it anymore.

If the 6 months that has transpired, 6 months that were essentially a false R, completely littered with lies and deception and humiliation, has taught me anything - it's that I am now fully aware and cognizant of how our relationship might end.

I don't want it to end. But if it does, be it stemming from her inability+unwillingness to step up, or be it a unilateral decision on my end, I have a sense of resignation and acceptance. Instead of panic and desperation.

Loukas posted 3/31/2020 23:35 PM

Resignation and acceptance of what, Mach?

Butforthegrace posted 4/1/2020 05:35 AM

It's the rollercoaster I have been on. I'm sorry for just using this place as a crutch.

"The Rollercoaster" is exactly the phrase used in JFO to describe the package of emotions that a recently minted (i.e. -- less than a year out from the last Dday) BH experiences. It is 100% normal. This place (SI) exists precisely because you need a crutch like this place. We are all strangers to you, but we each come here from a place of personal experience with infidelity. Together, we have hundreds of years of collective, crowd-sourced experience with infidelity, and a lot of collective wisdom.

I want her to want me. I want her to start doing everything she should have been doing. The very things she has been pretending to have been doing all this time.

This is the thing that every newly minted BH wants, more than anything. We want to return to the "before time", to the time where we simply accepted that our wives loved and cherished us, accepted that uncritically and without second thoughts or doubts.

Eventually the reality sinks in: the woman you though you were married to does not exist, and did not exist before the A. People change over 20 years. Marriages end all the time, and most often because people change. They grow apart. They rue the lost opportunities that accompany being married and wish to pursue them.

So what a BH must do is become honest with himself about the kind of woman his WW is now, and decided whether she is the kind of woman he wants to be married to. If you were single and I introduced you to the woman you are now married, and I told you that, if you married her, she would (a) flirt and emotionally connect with an attractive co-worker, (b) engage in a weekend-long sex romp with him, including returning for sex more than one night (* - more on this below), (c) after you discovered this, continue carrying on with him, joining him for coffees, drinks, kissed, flirting, giggling, enjoying, while telling you that she is completely NC with him. Would you choose to marry that woman? Because that is the reality of who you are married to, and I don't see anything about her changing that fundamental nature of herself.

Right now, she's white knuckling it, a dry drunk, because she wants you to be okay. I do believe she wants you to be okay, to heal. She does care about your well-being. People who are friends, who have affinity, care. But I honestly think that, in the end, the ideal outcome for her would that you would be okay with the idea of her dating others, sowing some wild oats, playing the field, enjoying the sunset of her youthful good looks before they go away forever.

Marriage is a lot of things. Among other things, it requires discipline. It can sometimes feel like a burden. Raising a special needs child also feels like a burden. Sometimes those burdens can be overwhelming. Your WW has been exclusive with you since a very young age. At some point it is natural for her to wish that she had been able to have a few commitment-free wild years of youth, like many people do. There is something inside of her that wants out. Honestly, if you love her, and if you love yourself and your son, you'll let her go so she can explore that.

* -- As to the sex, as others have pointed out, we know at the very least that she went back for seconds with this man. Clearly the sex on night 1 was good. Otherwise, she would have chosen to not return for night 2. I think it's reasonable to presume also that she planned this weekend romp, anticipated it, intended it. It did not "just happen". And if I were a betting man, I'd bet they had more sex than just that weekend. Experience here on SI tells us that, once a WW crosses that line and has sex multiple times with an AP (as opposed to a single ONS), what they admit to is just the tip of the iceberg. If they are together in a private place with the opportunity to fuck, they fuck, or at least they make out and feel each other up fervidly and exchange BJ's in a car or such. Your WW's A would be highly unusual, singularly so, if the only sex they had was limited to the sex romp while out of town.

Caring for anyone else is not natural for me
This is a truly scary realization on how fked up I have become
Having empathy is not natural
I want to get to a point where it comes naturally
And I want you to be the receiving end of it

This right here is the crux of the "to R or not to R" conundrum that faces every BH. Even if we take at face value the heartfelt sincerity of these statements by her, the real question is: "What M84 will be staring you down in the bathroom mirror 10 years from now?" All of the sincere desire in the world behind her statements is meaningless if she lacks the strength of conviction, the character, and the sisu to follow through with this program and remain on target over the long run.

Frankly, the profundity of her dishonesty with you over the past months, coupled with the flip, easy way she kept the AP in her life as a fun diversion from her quotidian married life, does not augur well for a successful result long-term. My gut tells me this is a woman who truly needs a break. She needs a break so badly that she is taking one even whilst lying to you and telling you otherwise.

Again, my counsel is to give her the break she clearly wants (and has already started taking). You two will remain entangled to a high degree for quite some time, co-parenting your child. In the meantime, you will have the peace of your solace to find yourself as well, your truth. That may or may not involve another love, or new friends, or a renewed hobby. Probably some combination of all of those things.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 10:47 AM, April 1st (Wednesday)]

Mr. Kite posted 4/1/2020 10:04 AM

I brought up the "contempt" or little regard for me issue, a recurring theme during our talks for the past few weeks and months:

"It's that kind of disregard for me that allowed you to do whatever you deem fit. From starting the affair, continuing the affair, and then further insulting/humiliating me with the decisions and behaviour for the months after till now."

Full disclosure: I've been in Christian ministry for over 20 years so my point of view is often biblically based. It is not meant to offend you nor anyone else.

The Bible says "husbands love your wives and wives respect and obey your husbands." In order for your wife to respect you she must first respect herself. It is obvious that she has no respect for herself or you because she allowed herself to be defiled by another man.

I know I have had very little regard for anyone else.. It was all about how I feel, what I want
Scarring from youth I don't know

How does she learn to respect herself and you? She needs to find out through therapy how she became so broken. What happened that allowed her to make that leap from a faithful wife to a selfish cheater? Was it always in her to do that and just waiting for an excuse to go off like a ticking time bomb, or were there a series of events that pushed her over the edge?

I've been married to my wife for over 34 years and during that time I've never once cheated on her. Not because I'm some great, virtuous man but because I have enough respect for myself not to allow that to happen. Even my wife's lying and cheating couldn't change that part of my character.

I take every single thing she professes and avows now with a large wistful of salt. I overthink and over-analyse her every word, her every action.

That's a good analysis of why you're stuck in limbo.

I want her to engage me. I want her to want me.

It may seem counter-intuitive but the way to get what you want is to let her go. You may lose her anyway or you may not, but the tighter you cling to her the less chance there is of reconciliation.

Honestly, if you love her, and if you love yourself and your son, you'll let her go so she can explore that.

^This^

During the first year or so after D-Day 1 and 2 I was totally out of control. One day I was screaming and yelling and punching holes in the wall, and then the next day I was whining and crying. Women don't respect that. This is why the 180 is so important. If you want respect from her then you will have to appear in control even if you don't feel that way.

One more thing; the worst thing I did over all these years was become passive and indecisive. Make a plan for how to get out of infidelity and stick to it.

(1) a polygraph
(2) a therapist for her that you interview and hire
(3) a time-line of every single interaction with her AP

Others can add on to that list. If she resists or says "I'm not doing that," file for divorce. If that doesn't wake her up then nothing will.

sisoon posted 4/1/2020 15:31 PM

I want her to engage me. I want her to want me.
I guess honesty and desire are 2 prerequisites for a good M, maybe not sufficient in themselves, but definitely prerequisites.

Here's my question: How will you know she wants you? What evidence are you looking for? Will you believe the evidence if it shows up?

Having said that, I told my W I wanted her to love me, to be in love with me, and to commit to monogamy. I think - I hope - i would have walked if she hadn't agreed to monogamy and shown love and desire. IOW, Mach, if your W isn't in love with you, I would encourage you to walk.

*****

During the first year or so after D-Day 1 and 2 I was totally out of control. One day I was screaming and yelling and punching holes in the wall, and then the next day I was whining and crying. Women don't respect that. This is why the 180 is so important. If you want respect from her then you will have to appear in control even if you don't feel that way.
I really disagree with this.

There were long periods during R in which I was a mess. (I expect some people think I'm usually a mess.) I do not give a sliver of a fuck about how I look to my W. If she does not want me as I am, I don't see what good she is to me. Sometimes I'm a mess. Life sometimes does that to me. She certainly did that to me by cheating.

There you have it, Mach (and everyone else) - 2 men, both of whom presumably think they're reasonable, sharing their honest and diametrically opposed opinions.

*****

As to the sex, as others have pointed out, we know at the very least that she went back for seconds with this man. Clearly the sex on night 1 was good. Otherwise, she would have chosen to not return for night 2.
This sort of comment puzzles me.

First, I don't think a WS's enjoyment of the sex is important - adultery is traumatic to the BS in itself. Once is traumatic. Hell, if my W did no more than kiss someone else with romantic/sexual feeling, I'd feel betrayed and at least somewhat traumatized. I don't think it would matter to me if she enjoyed it or not.

Second, I want a monogamous, sexual M. Sex feels good. It's said that even bad sex usually feels good. I assume sex with someone else would feel good. So I'm not sure I care about the pleasure my W received with ow - what I care about is the pleasure and connection we feel together and that my W really does forsake all others.

If I'm not the best sex W has had, I think the fault may be hers, because if she's missing something, she's not asking for it, and she's not giving me the chance to make sex better.

Third - and this really bothers me - WS after WS says the sex was nothing special. Still other WSes say it was different, not better. My W said it was wonderful at first but became a chore.

Why do people not believe the testimony of WSes about the quality of sex, especially here on SI, where's there's little apparent payoff for lying?

And I wonder: if you believe the testimony, did you D or R? If you don't believe the testimony, did you D or R?

I'll admit it took some time for me to believe my W. I can't imagine doing something sexual if it were a chore, for one thing. For another, I wouldn't cheat unless I thought the sex would be so good that I'd be transported to Nirvana.

[This message edited by sisoon at 3:34 PM, April 1st (Wednesday)]

Butforthegrace posted 4/1/2020 15:45 PM

First, I don't think a WS's enjoyment of the sex is important - adultery is traumatic to the BS in itself. Once is traumatic. Hell, if my W did no more than kiss someone else with romantic/sexual feeling, I'd feel betrayed and at least somewhat traumatized. I don't it would matter to me if she enjoyed it or not.

It is very common for a betrayed spouse to perceive "degrees" of cheating. Some things hurt worse than others. My observation is that most BS's do this. These degrees are personal and subjective to every BS, but they are real in the sense that they make the pain worse, the healing more prolonged and agonizing. It is very analogous to physical pain. A small nail through the sole of your foot, or a javelin all the way through your whole foot and into the ground?

Although these degrees are personal and subjective, there are certain betrayal details by a WW that many of the men here agree to be especially hurtful. Commonly included in those categories: sex acts desired by the BH before the A, and denied him by the WW, but then enthusiastically performed with the AP; sex with the AP in the marital bed; spending family money to buy gifts for the AP or pay AP's affair-related expenses; double betrayal (sex with an AP who was a friend of the BH).

In this particular thread, M84 has stated that the AP was better looking, taller, and notably better endowed than he is. M84's WW is now trying to say she didn't enjoy the sex that much, that she would way rather have sex with M84, all the usual WW bullshit. Yet the facts and circumstances show that she likely planned and anticipated the weekend sex romp, that the sex romp was in fact a weekend where she went back for at least seconds, and that she told M84 after Dday 1 that she was NC with the AP when in reality she was meeting him in secret for coffee, drinks, kissing, etc.

This is why I mentioned it. M84 has cited this specific issue as a source of particular pain. Many men would feel the same. I certainly would. Her actions belie her words on this point. If there is one lesson repeated over and over on SI, it is that actions tell truth where words tell lies.

sisoon posted 4/2/2020 13:08 PM

Yet the facts and circumstances show that she likely planned and anticipated the weekend sex romp, that the sex romp was in fact a weekend where she went back for at least seconds, and that she told M84 after Dday 1 that she was NC with the AP when in reality she was meeting him in secret for coffee, drinks, kissing, etc.
To me, the critical facts are: 1) she probably planned for a weekend of great sex; and 2) she continued the A; and 3) she continued the lies.

Does it matter whether or not she enjoyed the sex? My W said that after the first few times, she tried to make sex with ow as good as it was with me. She preferred me! Wow, how great did that make me feel?

I think I read something from a WS saying the first time wasn't great so s/he went back in the hope of better sex. Others have written, I think, about mercy fucks.

I guess my point is that the BS is traumatized no matter how much the WS enjoys the sex.

*****

Just musing here...

There are degrees of betrayal. An LTA typically means a lot more lying than an ONS. Cruelty during the A is harder on the BS than being treated as usual or better.

My gut says, however, that every betrayal maximizes the BS's ability to take in pain. I think I'd have felt as bad as I did with an ONS rather than the 4.5 month A that I was faced with. It probably takes longer to recover the longer the A goes on, though.

*****

Comparing oneself to the ap is always a losing game. Always.

*****

If R is on the table, both partners need to say what they mean, and mean what they say, and the both partners have to go in with the default of believing what the others say - except that the BS needs to keep checking for incongruities between words and actions and non verbal communications and to withhold trust until he sees words backed up by actions.

If the WS says she likes sex with her BS better than with her ap, R requires the BS to believe those words may be true, pending proof by actions that support the words.

If the BS doesn't believe those words may be true, I don't see how R can proceed (but there's nothing that says R has to proceed).

So the question all of us who are in or contemplating R face is this: Is our WS really committed to R?

And, if we don't believe she is, then the question is this: Am I sub-consciously reading lack of commitment in her non-verbal communications, or am I just afraid she's not committed?

If the WS is communicating lack of commitment non-verbally, it may be time to file some papers. If fear is clouding the BS's judgment, the BS's best approach is to do whatever it takes to stop letting that happen.

That's why I asked Mach how he would know his W really wants him. If he can't figure out a way to know that, R is less likely to work well, IMO.

Machiavellia84 posted 4/2/2020 20:29 PM

Resignation and acceptance of what, Mach?

Me deciding for D.


It is 100% normal. This place (SI) exists precisely because you need a crutch like this place. We are all strangers to you, but we each come here from a place of personal experience with infidelity.

So thankful I stumbled onto SI. Only wish was I did so earlier. The 4 months after Dday 1 was pure torture. Lost and confused and doing everything wrong. Keeping every ounce of pain within, suffering in silence, no support whatsoever. So grateful to be able to have strangers like yourself bother to take the time to understand my story and share your insights.

If you were single and I introduced you to the woman you are now married, and I told you that, if you married her, she would (a) flirt and emotionally connect with an attractive co-worker, (b) engage in a weekend-long sex romp with him, including returning for sex more than one night (* - more on this below), (c) after you discovered this, continue carrying on with him, joining him for coffees, drinks, kissed, flirting, giggling, enjoying, while telling you that she is completely NC with him. Would you choose to marry that woman?

No. I see your point. Sobering to see it from this perspective.

My question is this: this would be applicable for... majority if not all of affairs, right? That their partner/spouse has become a different person to the one we originally knew and got attached or married to.

Is R, generally, an ill-advised fool's errand then? Why would there be any reason to consider R in any relationship after an affair? Sighs.

Your WW has been exclusive with you since a very young age. At some point it is natural for her to wish that she had been able to have a few commitment-free wild years of youth, like many people do. There is something inside of her that wants out. Honestly, if you love her, and if you love yourself and your son, you'll let her go so she can explore that.

I have so much resentment when it comes to this. I fully agree about having the urge/wish to pursue any form of commitment-free sex. I felt it. Everyone in a long term relationship would feel it. Just in varying degrees.

Some shrug it off. Some consider it, some are tempted by it. Regardless, people in a marriage are bound by a monogamous "contract". They need to have the self-discipline tonredpect themselves and their spouses to not stray from that commitment. If it became untenable, it should be discussed. Addressed if possible. Not seek out an affair. I was in the same relationship as her - and I did not cheat. Ever. Sucks to think/know that loyalty and faithfulness mean so little to her.


Your WW's A would be highly unusual, singularly so, if the only sex they had was limited to the sex romp while out of town.

I agree. There is no room to extend her any benefit of doubt. I need her to come clean. 100% honesty on what transpired.

I'm not even saying that if the nature and details of the A was a lot worse, it would make my mind up about whether to R or D. But I definitely would have to choose D if she is unwilling to be vulnerable and be a completely open book about what happened. Because I require her to be an honest person going forward for me to even consider R.

All of the sincere desire in the world behind her statements is meaningless if she lacks the strength of conviction, the character, and the sisu to follow through with this program and remain on target over the long run.

Word. Nailed it on the head. In the moments of relative calm that I have, when the chaotic whirlwind of pain and humiliation isn't causing deep searing cuts in my heart and soul, when I have fleeting moments of clarity to think and consider... I find myself pondering on exactly what you said.

She could mean it. Her words could be true, now. She might truly desire an R, want to make amends, commit to working on herself and the marriage.

But WILL she? CAN she?

Machiavellia84 posted 4/2/2020 20:55 PM

It may seem counter-intuitive but the way to get what you want is to let her go. You may lose her anyway or you may not, but the tighter you cling to her the less chance there is of reconciliation.

I was 100% guilty of that - clinging on. I now truly see how pointless it is for one party to want a relationship, to try to make a relationship work. It was futile.

Thank you for this advice. My question is, what does "letting go" look like in practice? Doing the proverbial "180"? A separation? A divorce?

Others can add on to that list. If she resists or says "I'm not doing that," file for divorce. If that doesn't wake her up then nothing will.

So, establishing and communicating to her, as clearly as possible, my boundaries now, my wants, my needs... basically my terms? And see if she is willing/able to step up and meet all of them?

Here's my question: How will you know she wants you? What evidence are you looking for? Will you believe the evidence if it shows up?

Thank you so much. This is good. These are the kind of questions I need to be asked. That I need to find out the answers to, for my own sake. I will start asking myself this.

Why do people not believe the testimony of WSes about the quality of sex, especially here on SI, where's there's little apparent payoff for lying?

My take on this is, that it is inherent for someone who has had an affair or is having an affair to be a liar. We might not understand their true reason(s) for lying. Perhaps they feel too ashamed to admit the truth? Maybe they think that it would mitigate the "pain" inflicted? Shrugs.

But yeah, they lie. And for many BS, myself included, need to know the truth. Yes, it might be seen as pointless pain shopping. But for me, getting the whole truth, from her mouth, is an indicator that there is hope. That there is still a possibility for trust to exist in the distant future.

If she is unwilling to even be honest to herself and be honest to me about how the affair was, that is a clear message that she will still do whatver it takes to distort and conceal, that she still value protecting herself over being vulnerable with me, that there is no way I can trust her at all going forward.

This is why I mentioned it. M84 has cited this specific issue as a source of particular pain. Many men would feel the same. I certainly would. Her actions belie her words on this point. If there is one lesson repeated over and over on SI, it is that actions tell truth where words tell lies.

Do I give her a chance for her to start walking the talk? How would I know if her actions will prove her intent of commitment, if I don't stay around to find out?

But then staying to find out... that's just being open to hurt and betrayal and disappointment again.

Argh.

That's why I asked Mach how he would know his W really wants him. If he can't figure out a way to know that, R is less likely to work well, IMO.

Damn. Another question right on the money. If I can answer this for myself, then that is what would make everything fall into place. That would be critical to helping me be able to decide.


Would fellow BS here, both those in R or those who D, please share what was the journey like for yourselves to arrive at the decision?

What were the things that needed to happen, but didn't. What were the things that shouldn't have happened, but did. What were the factors of consideration you guys had for your own relationships post-A, that enabled you to come to any kind of R/D decision?

Loukas posted 4/3/2020 01:49 AM

Thank you for this advice. My question is, what does "letting go" look like in practice? Doing the proverbial "180"? A separation? A divorce?
Thanks for your reply, Mach. I was a little worried we might have scared you away. I truly donít mean to pile on, only share my lived experience with you.

For me, letting go wasnít really something I was capable of. It had nothing to do with my ex. I didnít make the decision. I didnít walk away.

Instead, I hung on to my marriage, the dream and desire I had built in my mind. The future I had planned. The life I loved. The family I built. For me, letting go, was letting go of all of that. It was the realization, the epiphany that everything I thought my life could and should be, was no longer under my control. That my ex had taken firm control of our future. Being wayward, meant she was actually steering the ship. All I could decide was if I wanted to be along for the ride, or get off at the next port.

Once I realized this, it was far too late. Turns out I held on for a few more ports than I should have. However, looking back at it all now, I would have saved myself some time. Because I really have no one to blame but myself. I held on to something she didnít fight for. I desired the life we had. I wanted more for us.

My hopes, my dreams, they kept me fighting. Fooolishly.

It wasnít until I took responsibility for myself. My role in our disfunction, until I began to accept.

Thatís when I knew what letting go actually looked like in practice.

It has nothing to do with her. Only what I was willing to accept. For me, Iíd never marry a cheating partner. Why did I accept being married to one?

[This message edited by Loukas at 1:52 AM, April 3rd (Friday)]

Butforthegrace posted 4/3/2020 05:45 AM

My question is this: this would be applicable for... majority if not all of affairs, right? That their partner/spouse has become a different person to the one we originally knew and got attached or married to.

Is R, generally, an ill-advised fool's errand then? Why would there be any reason to consider R in any relationship after an affair? Sighs.

I didnít R in my circumstance. My wayward left me for her AP. It happened quite suddenly and cathartically and I was crushed. So I donít have personal experience to draw on. But my observation here on SI is that R Ė true R, not a BS who rug-sweeps and white knuckles in Ė depends on several things:

(a) Complete, transparent honesty by the WW. The BH must be absolutely 100% certain that his WW is not just honest, but willing to sit down and answer questions about the details openly, honestly, over and over. One of the reasons for this is trust, but another is that, to heal, most betrayeds actually find a need to discuss the details a lot, to grasp them, look at them from all sides, completely grok them. It seems to be the case for many people that you canít heal unless you know what youíre healing from.

(b) Empathy by a WW who throws herself completely into the task of healing her BH without regard to whether the marriage is going to end. That is, both spouses must essentially start walking away from the marriage, but the WW must let the marriage go while making the healing of her BH her top priority. This certainly starts with the 180 by the BH, but frankly those marriages where Iíve seen R work the best are the ones where the BH was actually committed to and taking steps to D. He wants out of the marriage.

(c) That ephemeral matter of the heart. This is the most difficult part to describe. In some way, the heart of the BH must be able to believe, with a beginnerís mind, in the true desire of the WW for him. The sexual humiliation and emasculation aspects of each individual A come into play in this. Every man is different, every A is different. My observation is that the details matter when it comes to successful R. If the hole is too deep, there is no digging out of it no matter what. That is individual to you. Only you can know. Your WWís A involves a couple of details that are ďextraĒ in terms of sexual humiliation: the fact that you were both one-and-onlies, and now she is not; and the fact that her AP was so sexually attractive. There is no ďright answerĒ to this. If you find and read Wallopedís thread, youíll find that he and his WW were both one-and-onlies before her A. However, that thread did not involve an AP who was highly sexually attractive, and although Mrs. Wallopedís A was highly sexual, it did not seem to involve a degree of sexuality by her toward her AP that exceeded her sexuality with her BH. Further, Mrs. Walloped, more than any WW Iíve seen on SI, threw herself into the task of helping her BH heal, even though she was certain he was going to divorce her. She actually cared for him, as a man, unconditioned on whether they were married.

But WILL she? CAN she?

That is one of those ďephemeralĒ matters that you can judge. How strong is her character. Youíve known her a long time. She was incredibly dishonest to you, for quite a while, about this A. I think she is still withholding from you. R is a marathon, not a sprint. You will be looking yourself in the mirror in 5 years and that will be somewhere near the end of a successful R process, if she remains 100% laser-focused on R during that whole time. Does she have that in her? Itís like betting on a horse, except the bet is ďall inĒ once you make it.

As you noted elsewhere, one thing you do know about her is that, in this case, you have remained committed to the contract of marriage, while she did not. She was not a long-distance runner with and for you, in this case. Will she be able to be a long-distance runner from this point forward?

My question is, what does "letting go" look like in practice? Doing the proverbial "180"? A separation? A divorce?

Letting go means walking away from the marriage. It means reaching a place in your heart where you donít care if the marriage continues. All you want is to be out of infidelity. Right now, in your present state, R is not happening nor even possible with the high degree of dishonesty. Therefore, right now, your path out of infidelity is D. D is itself a long process, like a year or more, and you can change your mind at any time if you believe R is a reality. Even if you take D to completion, your two lives will remain entangled. It is possible, for example, that you might have another relationship, or several, and then re-engage with your WW.

So, establishing and communicating to her, as clearly as possible, my boundaries now, my wants, my needs... basically my terms? And see if she is willing/able to step up and meet all of them?

She should be asking you this question. She should be reading and learning and figuring out what your boundaries and wants/needs are, anticipating them, and meeting them. There is very little magic to this. The MacDonald book spells it out. Almost every BH wants and needs the same things. You should not have to spell this out. If you do feel a need to spell it out, then by definition she hasnít gotten it.

And then:

Why do people not believe the testimony of WSes about the quality of sex, especially here on SI, where's there's little apparent payoff for lying?

My take on this is, that it is inherent for someone who has had an affair or is having an affair to be a liar. We might not understand their true reason(s) for lying. Perhaps they feel too ashamed to admit the truth? Maybe they think that it would mitigate the "pain" inflicted? Shrugs.

I disagree with the premise of the question. The one thing we know from a thousand threads here is that waywards minimize the nature and extent and enjoyment of the sexual aspect of the A. They minimize because they do perceive an apparent payoff for lying. The payoff comes because of the reality that there are, in the hearts of most betrayeds, "degrees" of sexual humiliation and hurt from an A. When they are caught, the first thing a wayward worries about is the degree and harshness of the consequences they will received. They worry about themselves. In general, the worse the crime, the worse the punishment. This basic math is embedded in almost every criminal justice system of every human society in history.

As to infidelity, every WS knows that at some point, the sexual humiliation aspect will be simply too much to overcome, no matter what. There is a poster here, Waitedwaytoolong, whose threads speak exactly to that.

For most men, if it was "just" an EA, with no sex, then the injury is less severe. If it was just a ONS with missionary position sex, still a PA, but less severe than her going full porn star over and over with the AP while denying that to her BH. Most men could not overcome the latter. See the thread of Beyondrage, and contrast it to Waitedwaytoolong.

In addition to the sex part, there is the sneaking and lying part. The more energy she put into that part, over the longer time, the more the BH is going to feel she has taken from him. These feelings of "degree" of hurt from an A are extremely common and normal.

This is why Waywards minimize. They know instinctively that the consequences they will face are proportional to the degree of their "crimes". This knowledge is useful to a betrayed. So long as a wayward continues to minimize, the betrayed knows that the wayward is concerned primarily with herself and her own comfort. The wayward who is truly concerned with her BH's healing will look him in the eye and talk to him like a man, with blunt honesty, no matter how awful the details are. If your WW isn't doing that, then she is still worried about herself, not about you.


[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 6:35 AM, April 3rd (Friday)]

Brew3x posted 4/3/2020 10:02 AM

b) Empathy by a WW who throws herself completely into the task of healing her BH without regard to whether the marriage is going to end. That is, both spouses must essentially start walking away from the marriage, but the WW must let the marriage go while making the healing of her BH her top priority. This certainly starts with the 180 by the BH, but frankly those marriages where Iíve seen R work the best are the ones where the BH was actually committed to and taking steps to D. He wants out of the marriage.


Can someone help me out with this statement, Iím note sure how much I understand about R but Iím trying. If your actively pursuing D then how can you R? The 180 doesnít seem like R to me. From what I understand R should be the process of rebuilding the m. D and 180 seem like the opposite of R. Thoughts?

Loukas posted 4/3/2020 11:01 AM

The basic idea is that as long as a BH is actively trying to save his marriage, there's no reason for his WW to put in the effort. He's not going to leave anyway.

Personally, the idea is shady as fuck. If your goal is to manipulate your wife into reconciling by divorcing her, well what does that say about you? On the other hand, if that's what it would take to get your wife to commit to the marriage, what does that say about the marriage?

However, and I believe this to be the way BFTG means it as well. Walk away, not with the hopes of reconciling, not out of spite, just to move on with your life. If one day, things change, and the couple wants to get back together, that choice is always available. But if she never changes, at least you've saved yourself all the pain of still living in infidelity.

Trdd posted 4/3/2020 11:03 AM

M84, sorry you are experiencing dd2. It's cruelty.

How did you find out on dd2? Did she confess it? Do you know the extent of the contact they are still having?

Brew3x posted 4/3/2020 11:30 AM

The basic idea is that as long as a BH is actively trying to save his marriage, there's no reason for his WW to put in the effort. He's not going to leave anyway.
Personally, the idea is shady as fuck. If your goal is to manipulate your wife into reconciling by divorcing her, well


At some point when the BS and WS agree to working things out and commit to R Doesnít the BS have to work to making things better too? I havenít read every post about this topic Iím only thing about my own situation.

Butforthegrace posted 4/3/2020 11:52 AM

However, and I believe this to be the way BFTG means it as well. Walk away, not with the hopes of reconciling, not out of spite, just to move on with your life. If one day, things change, and the couple wants to get back together, that choice is always available. But if she never changes, at least you've saved yourself all the pain of still living in infidelity.

Yes, that is exactly what I mean. I don't think anybody should ever use D, the 180, or any other psychological pressure as a gambit to try to elicit some responsive action from the WW. The 180 and D are to help the BS get out of infidelity.

People stay married all the time after infidelity. Often they remain in fucked up highly dysfunctional marriages for decades. We see it all the time here on SI. Staying married is not the same as actually reconciling.

Loukas posted 4/3/2020 11:54 AM

At some point when the BS and WS agree to working things out and commit to R Doesnít the BS have to work to making things better too? I havenít read every post about this topic Iím only thing about my own situation.
That's the thing though, agreeing and committing to R is just lip service. It takes action to prove a wayward is actually committing. Which brings us back to what Sisoon was saying, what actions would you recognize from your wife that proves she is actually taking this seriously.

Far too often a BS and WS have agreed to reconcile, but really it's more that the BS isn't ready to give up their marriage and a WS is simply all talk, no action. Usually this dynamic just leads to more ddays, more resentment, more pain. Waywards have already shown themselves to be capable of lying, deceit and betrayal, for many, their fall back is just more of the same and doubling down rather than an epiphany of the destruction they've caused.

Which is why it's foolish in my opinion for a BS to agree and commit to R before a WS has actually shown through their actions that they are committed. At some point, yes, the BS needs to step up, but only after their WS has proved their commitment, however that looks to you.

Brew3x posted 4/3/2020 12:02 PM

People stay married all the time after infidelity. Often they remain in fucked up highly dysfunctional marriages for decades. We see it all the time here on SI. Staying married is not the same as actually reconciling.


Anyone want to give me their idea of R, Iíve asked several people lately what it looks like and Iím still not sure. Some say itís the WS putting in the work. I get the NC, open transparent honesty part but beyond that Iím not sure. My WW and I both agree we want to build a better M but idk it kinda feels like rug sweeping. Covid 19 has put all that on hold, long story.

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