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Betrayed Menz Thread - Part 34

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sisoon posted 4/14/2020 15:15 PM

The 180 is a tool to help a BS detach from an unremorseful WS. It's really a tool to enable D. Sometimes, the WS feels a loss and therefore decides to change before D is final, but that doesn't always happen.

One of the earliest times it appeared in print was in one of the A recovery books, but I forget which one. The author reported on a client who developed the 180 to help herself decide to D. The client and the author were both surprised by the WS's reaction, which led to R.

You can't nice a WS back into your M. You can't nasty one back, either.

*****

OK, Loukas. If you want a discussion....

My guess is that a BS who is desperate to R won't require changes from the WS. Not many WSes will do the work necessary to change unless change is required.

I don't cook much, because my W does the vast majority of our cooking. If I did most of the empathizing between us, how could she develop empathy herself.

Strangely, my W always has been pretty empathic. She was a therapist, after all. The payoffs she got from her A just zeroed out her care for me.

I've never seen the importance of empathy in infidelity. So what if she empathizes with my post-d-day pain?

I'd be interested in reading how empathy is important to others.

What I want is a way of preventing As, so I don't need anyone to empathize with my post-d-day pain, and a time machine to go back in time and use the preventive measures....

Just musing....

[This message edited by sisoon at 3:17 PM, April 14th (Tuesday)]

rambler posted 4/15/2020 22:13 PM

It is my understanding that the 180 was developed by Michelle Weiner-Davis as a last chance divorce busting tool to save a marriage although a co dependent BS can use it to detach.

The number one indicator for true R is the WS develops empathy. How can someone know your feelings if you are minimizing to stay married.

Remorse is part of empathy. If you are quick to forgive, how much did it really hurt? How important is she and your marriage?

Unless your WW has mental health issues she has justified her behavior and what many BH do here, it reinforces these justifications and behaviors.
This is why nicing then back does not work.

Mr. Kite posted 4/16/2020 08:03 AM

I've never seen the importance of empathy in infidelity.

If "the ability to understand and share the feelings of another" is the correct definition of empathy, then how can a WS who has never been cheated on, as is true with my WW, ever be able to understand what the BS is going through?

It seems that empathy sometimes gets mixed up with sympathy.

TheLostOne2020 posted 4/16/2020 11:52 AM

I think it's possible for a WW to empathize with a BS. My STBXW could possibly empathize with me - she's been cheated on in the past.

She just doesn't.

It's all about her and her feelz.

Which is reason #10293 that I'm divorcing her. Ain't nobody got time for a selfish narcissist.

sisoon posted 4/16/2020 13:10 PM

Thanks for the reminder - one of Michele Weiner-Davis's books is where I read the 180. I think that's the first published mention.

*****

I reached a milestone today - in the last 20 years I've lost 50 lbs. It started with a steady loss of 40 lbs in less than a year, then some up and down. I gained all but 10 lbs back after d-day. Since 2014, it's been a pretty steady pattern - lose weight in the Summer (biking), gain some back during the holidays, lose it, gain some at the end of March, lose more weight in the Summer.

This year, my total winter gain hit 5 lbs, but I started losing again in February and avoided my March gain.

A couple of days ago I realized I kept myself from losing more than 48 lbs. It was as if I feared the 50 lb milestone. A couple of days ago, I decided to stop fearing it.

Alas, I'm still obese. 25 lbs to go, and I'll still be overweight according to the charts. I hope it doesn't take me 10 years! I don't think it will....

Machiavellia84 posted 4/17/2020 09:27 AM

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

So the only way to win, is to not play the game? I don't mean to be patronising here, genuinely wondering... HOW?

Through endless nights of pure torturous "talks", my WW has conceded that sex with the AP was good. She insists it was good because of the illicit nature of it, the thrill, and the ego-boost she desired and sought out. She insists that, with all that put aside, the actual sex itself was nothing special. And she insists, swears (insert my eye roll here), that right now, thinking back, she holds no fond recollection of the experience. I call bullshit. But her stance is the entire affair is now associated with her horrible choices and tinged with the pain and destruction she's caused. She claims the reality of knowing and witnessing the hell she is putting me through completely overshadows everything that happened during the affair. She claims she can't even look back without feeling some disdain/disgust for the AP. She claims even if she tried, the memories of the sex (was in end Aug 2019) they had is hazy now.

She says she never, ever wants to think about or remember. That if it was up to her, she would gladly block out everything and try to forget what happened. But she knows she shouldn't treat it like it didn't happen, because the reality is it did and it has caused irreparable damage to us.

She promises to never actively think about it (reason being the affair is completely over and she doesn't have any need nor want to think about him at all. And adds that even if there were triggers or intrusive thoughts on her end, they are unpleasant and not fond memories to cling onto.


However.... like I have painfully mentioned in my earlier postings a couple of pages back, I know how the AP partner looks like. Just overall better: height, looks, physique, and yes... equipment size.

My wife and I were one-and-onlies throughout our lives together - we got together when we were 16, married at 23, had our kid at 28.

Point is... I really, really, really don't wish to compare. But I literally can't. It kills me day and night, just knowing that she had sex that was better, with a man that was better.

I know it's futile and wrong (I've read plenty of articles on this) but I find myself wanting to have revenge affair(s) or even just mindless sex going forward with other women. It's not who I am. Yet this is how I feel I might find some form of temporary respite from this nightmarish pain of comparison.

Apologies for the rant. Just needed a space to update and share my pain.

Butforthegrace posted 4/17/2020 11:36 AM

Point is... I really, really, really don't wish to compare. But I literally can't. It kills me day and night, just knowing that she had sex that was better, with a man that was better.

First, please know that your feelings are perfectly normal. Many betrayed men feel these same feelings.

I believe the advice to stop comparing yourself is well-meaning advice. And I do think that one element of successful R is reaching a place where, in the context of your marriage, you can hold your head high and believe in your WW's love, desire, and lust for you without comparing. But not every man reaches that place in the context of his marriage, and therefore not every marriage with infidelity results in successful R.

As I see it, your WW has layered multiple levels of humiliation on you:
A. The A itself, where she fucked another man and then came home to you, lying by omission and acting as if nothing was happening;
B. As you note, the seeming sexual brio that she directed toward the sex with the AP, amplified by his visible sexual attractiveness; and
C. Carrying on with him while denying it after Dday 1, as if you are the brunt of a private joke.

There is an ephemeral element to R. It involves the BH reaching a place where he believes his WW's love, desire, and lust for him are true. Not every BH can get there. Sometimes, the injury is just too deep and too profound. There is simply no getting over it in the context of the marriage.

I know it's futile and wrong (I've read plenty of articles on this) but I find myself wanting to have revenge affair(s) or even just mindless sex going forward with other women. It's not who I am. Yet this is how I feel I might find some form of temporary respite from this nightmarish pain of comparison.

I never had the opportunity for a revenge affair because my wayward told me about her affair and dumped me for her AP all in one sitting. However, I did have a lot of sex with a lot of women in the years after my Dday, and I will say that it had a salutary effect on my sense of myself as a man. I do agree that a "revenge affair" will never heal your marriage. In fact, it's likely to harm your marriage more than it is already harmed (if that is possible). But I can also tell you that sex with a new person feels good. Really good. And in a context where you were both once first-and-onlies, but now you're not because your wife decided that she would arrogate the right to a secret one-sided open marriage, your desires for outside sex are 100% normal.

I did get a bit of "revenge" out of my sex life. I was seeing somebody who was drop dead beautiful. I was at a social event with her when my ex wayward walked in (I didn't know she'd be there). She saw that I was with somebody way hotter and sweeter than she was. By then, her thing with the AP had fizzled out. I could tells she felt like she had made the wrong decisions.

Machiavellia84 posted 4/17/2020 12:27 PM

First, please know that your feelings are perfectly normal. Many betrayed men feel these same feelings
.

F*ck I needed to hear this. Not that I don't already know. But my mind is a complete maze nowadays and it's difficult to not keep sinking into the abyss.

I told a friend recently (in a different context) that positivity, staying positive? It's freaking hard. It takes effort. It is draining. It is difficult. I know this, because for months now I have repeatedly had to keep doing it. Just to stay sane.

Giving up? Being negative? That's easy. It takes no effort. It only requires inaction. It only needs one to "not fight" against it.

As I see it, your WW has layered multiple levels of humiliation on you:
A. The A itself, where she fucked another man and then came home to you, lying by omission and acting as if nothing was happening;
B. As you note, the seeming sexual brio that she directed toward the sex with the AP, amplified by his visible sexual attractiveness; and
C. Carrying on with him while denying it after Dday 1, as if you are the brunt of a private joke.

THANK YOU, BFTG.

Thank you for freaking getting it. For knowing my predicament. For understanding my perspective. Means a lot.


And in a context where you were both once first-and-onlies, but now you're not because your wife decided that she would arrogate the right to a secret one-sided open marriage, your desires for outside sex are 100% normal.

Exactly this. To explain myself further, what I feel is this complete injustice and joke that I have been. I am a man. I have had to live through temptations and avoid putting myself in situations where temptations would be possible. Because I valued my marriage, I treasured what "trust" and "loyalty" and "till death do us part" actually mean.

I made a decision to forsake the chance or possibility of sexual relations/experiences with any other woman other than my wife because of that promise. A commitment.

And now to realise it was all for nought? To realise that my sacrifice and dedication to be a good husband and a good father was made a mockery of in the worst possible manner?

And to realise that, IF I choose to try R with her, remaining faithful to her and my marriage, and thus her being my 'one-and-only' for the rest of my life? It just seems like a joke now.

Like what is the point? Why am I furthering the injustice being meted out onto me? It isn't even about hurting her or humiliating her or getting even anymore.

Think I might get quite a bit of flak for thinking this way. But I truly do. Sighs.

Butforthegrace posted 4/17/2020 13:48 PM

And to realise that, IF I choose to try R with her, remaining faithful to her and my marriage, and thus her being my 'one-and-only' for the rest of my life? It just seems like a joke now.

Like what is the point? Why am I furthering the injustice being meted out onto me? It isn't even about hurting her or humiliating her or getting even anymore.

These are also normal feelings. Many betrayed men feel them.

Many men feel that, when we get married, one thing we sacrifice -- we essentially give this to our wives -- is the opportunity to have sex with other women. There are lots of TED talks and scientist talks about the biological differences between men and women and how this plays into the sense, by men, that this is one of the sacrifices we make when we choose to marry and remain faithful. Lots of men feel that way. I feel that way.

So when the wife is the one who is unfaithful, it is common and normal for a man to feel that sense of injustice.

As mentioned, for some of us, the injustice is too much. I think it would have been for me, and I do think that's why my wayward dumped me right away: because she knew I'd dump her otherwise.

Butforthegrace posted 4/17/2020 13:50 PM

And to realise that, IF I choose to try R with her, remaining faithful to her and my marriage, and thus her being my 'one-and-only' for the rest of my life? It just seems like a joke now.

Like what is the point? Why am I furthering the injustice being meted out onto me? It isn't even about hurting her or humiliating her or getting even anymore.

These are also normal feelings. Many betrayed men feel them.

Many men feel that, when we get married, one thing we sacrifice -- we essentially give this to our wives -- is the opportunity to have sex with other women. There are lots of TED talks and scientist talks about the biological differences between men and women and how this plays into the sense, by men, that this is one of the sacrifices we make when we choose to marry and remain faithful. Lots of men feel that way. I feel that way.

So when the wife is the one who is unfaithful, it is common and normal for a man to feel that sense of injustice.

As mentioned, for some of us, the injustice is too much. I think it would have been for me, and I do think that's why my wayward dumped me right away: because she knew I'd dump her otherwise.

R only works if you can get past this. No matter how remorseful and "Stepford Wife" your WW becomes, it may be too much. I would urge you to consider what you'll be telling yourself in a year, five years, ten years, if you stay.

HeartFullOfHoles posted 4/17/2020 14:09 PM

And now to realise it was all for nought?
This is an incorrect conclusion. Your actions define you. Her actions while hurtful to you do not define you. You are still so new to this and healing takes time, but please try not to mix her messed up actions into your own self worth.

And as far as the other guy. I'm sure if the women could post in here they would say it's more about the connection than the attributes. From your writing it seems like your WW is trying and as some of us can attest that is a rare thing. Of course you need to see her actions over time to make sure she is not lying/gas lighting you and after a betrayal like this it will take some time to figure that out.

Mr. Kite posted 4/17/2020 17:00 PM

with a man that was better

Maybe it's time for you to reevaluate what a "better man" is. If your definition is that a "better man" is handsome and well endowed, then that would explain your anguish.

I tied myself into pretzels for years dealing with this. My low self-esteem caused me to believe that my WW had screwed other men during our marriage because of some lack on my part. It turns out that the men she was with were amoral scumbags who didn't give a crap about her, me, or our infant son.

You're the prize not him. How does one get to that understanding? Read books, watch videos, go to IC regularly, stay here and read how men who have walked in your shoes have dealt with this kick in the nuts.

It will take time and much effort on your part but you will get to a place eventually where you will begin to realize that you're actually the "better man."

sisoon posted 4/17/2020 17:11 PM

Comparing oneself to the ap is always a losing game. Always.
So the only way to win, is to not play the game?
Exactly. And you're right - it's not easy.

It IS normal to feel like worse than ...whatever... when digging out from d-day.

But you're you, with your own combination of strengths and weaknesses that is at least slightly different from everyone else. There may be a lot about people that is quantifiable, but there's a lot that isn't, and if isn't quantifiable, it can't be compared.

And that doesn't even begin to take into account differences in personal preferences. Consider this:

You say you got together when you were 16. Why her? What made you decide you didn't have to look any further? You didn't know anyone who was smarter, prettier, better built, more personable, richer, nicer car-house-parents-clothes, etc., etc., etc.?

Why her? And why should she have believed you at the start?

I'm bald, fat, short, not a great success financially, not a great communicator.... My W says she loves me. She's shown me she loves me. After 40-odd years before her A and 9+ years since, it's very, very likely she's telling me the truth.

The main barrier to accepting the love that is offered is self-talk. Most of us take in a lot of attack-self messaging as we grow up, and it keeps one from thinking that one is good enough and it keeps one from seeing reality. For a long time, negative self-talk kept me from seeing that the girl I wanted also wanted me.

R is much easier if one can put the attack-self messaging aside. In fact, R may be possible only if one puts the attack-self messaging aside. Comparing yourself to the ap Adonis is part of the attack-self messaging.

Maybe your W is telling the truth. Maybe she's trying to snow you so she doesn't get left out in the cold. You'll have a much better chance of knowing what your W really means if you stop the comparisons.

I think negative self-talk gets stopped by acts of will. My own process is to listen for the self-attacking messages. When I hear them I start by stopping them, then by replacing them with self-nurturing messages. I learned to do that in therapy.

Easy? Not for me. A good therapist/IC can help.

No matter what, though, the only comparisons one can make with an ap are false ones. Comparing one person to another is like comparing apples to spaghetti.

*****

Sorry, Mach. I know what you're going through, even though you may think I don't. I expect we all go through it. Part of healing is to stop comparing oneself to anyone else.

You really can do it, and it's eminently worth doing.

*****
And, Mach, You can hold your head high whether you D, R, or wait for more data.

If you decide to conduct a love affair with anyone but yourself or your W, though, D first.

[This message edited by sisoon at 5:15 PM, April 17th (Friday)]

Machiavellia84 posted 4/17/2020 23:07 PM

R only works if you can get past this. No matter how remorseful and "Stepford Wife" your WW becomes, it may be too much. I would urge you to consider what you'll be telling yourself in a year, five years, ten years, if you stay.

I guess if I were to be blatantly honest, right NOW it doesn't seem like I can (get past the injustice). But I also know time is a tricky thing. Perspectives and mindsets can shift significantly. If I were to make a snap decision now on whether or not I would be at a place of peace in 5-10 years? I think not.

But in the back of my head (I'm rational to a fault that way), I don't think it is fair to her or myself to presume how I feel now is how I will feel going forward. I suspect the pain of it all, being trapped in this humiliation vortex isn't doing much for me in terms of having clarity.

I guess one huge difference I witness now in myself compared to 6 months ago, hell, even 2 weeks ago, is that now I genuinely feel like I'm no longer clinging on to the marriage. I'm no longer desperate to "save" and "fix" her/us/the family. I am not ashamed to admit I was that and more - it was the sole purpose post DDAY 1, probably stemming from my codependency issues, and having the barrage of whirlwind emotions being thrown into the mix.

I have some degree of peace and acceptance with the reality that life must go on, with or without her. I find myself pondering and planning on how to move on eventually if/when she falls short between now and R process (if we even get that far).

I still have plenty of hurt and anger and shame and humiliation plaguing me... but somehow I do feel like I've made some kind of breakthrough recently? Maybe a milestone in the proverbial "grieving" process? Not done, by a mile, but I FEEL different.

Also not sure if it's coincidental or not, but it seems like the timing of it all is ironic. The more acceptance I have towards the outcome (no matter what it may be), the more willing I am to plan a life without her, the more she seems to start "getting it".

I hate the irony of it all. The true remorse, the coming back to the table, the willingness to look in the mirror... everything I wanted her to do, she is only starting to do now. 7 freaking months on. So too damn late.

And I hate this feeling. I sense a pull back towards her, seeing her being remorseful and wanting to work on herself and vowing to work towards being a better person, safe spouse, responsible mom. It's like just as you are pulling out of the driveway about to step on the gas, then you see what you wished for in the back view mirror. It's frustrating.


Maybe it's time for you to reevaluate what a "better man" is. If your definition is that a "better man" is handsome and well endowed, then that would explain your anguish.

I tied myself into pretzels for years dealing with this. My low self-esteem caused me to believe that my WW had screwed other men during our marriage because of some lack on my part. It turns out that the men she was with were amoral scumbags who didn't give a crap about her, me, or our infant son.

You're the prize not him. How does one get to that understanding? Read books, watch videos, go to IC regularly, stay here and read how men who have walked in your shoes have dealt with this kick in the nuts.

This is a sentiment/advice I've read and received many times and I do wish I knew how to get there.

I do not feel like the better man. I feel fking inferior in all ways. Only thing I have over him is my integrity, my character, my moral compass. I am a dedicated husband and father and a filial son. He is a scumbag cheater who used my wife and humiliated me.

I don't know how to undo/reverse this feeling. I ask myself, what would happen if I bumped into him on the streets, in a restaurant, at a party?

I would feel an overwhelming surge of anger. So incensed I would probably do something to him that lands me in jail or worse.

And I realise, why would I feel that rage? That urge to maim him and disfigured him? Because of the humiliation. The shame and humiliation would be too much to bear, too great to admit. And the response would be an inevitable translation to anger.

If I didn't feel inferior, if I didn't feel humiliated, if I can truly hold my head high after being cheated on, if I feel like the better man... I would probably have the ability to not waste any time on him. To not let him bother me.

But reality is right now I'm freaking scared of him. I'm scared of seeing him. Because I know deep down I would lose it. I would go all out to end him.

And if this doesn't speak of my insecurity and inferiority, I don't know what does.


If you decide to conduct a love affair with anyone but yourself or your W, though, D first.

I know that has to be the case.

I think during one of the many talks we've had, I mentioned to my wife about this "aspect". That I find it beyond fked up what I've sacrificed and how I've chosen to live my life, for her to unilaterally render it pointless.

She seemed genuinely torn and hurt, but she said she understands. She claims after all that she has ruined, she would understand if I wouldn't want to remain faithful to her. She says that she gets why I would want to now, have sexual experiences with other women besides her. She says I have a hall pass for life. Not as a form of penance or restitution, not as in indication of her remorse or manipulation to get me to stay - but because she's made our bed this way and she knows she cannot possibly stop me from feeling what I'm feeling.

I told her while I appreciated her "permission", approval wasn't what I was fishing for. I am not the kind of guy who would use a hall pass. I was just being vulnerable and honest and sharing with her all the shit feelings that she's made me feel now with all that she's done.

Damn. Life is a bloody mess.

sisoon posted 4/18/2020 12:58 PM

Only thing I have over him is my integrity, my character, my moral compass.
Um ... uh ... you're probably missing some stuff, but OK. Suppose we buy that's all you've got over him. How important is that, really? It is, perhaps, everything.

As you describe the evolution of your thinking - from needing your M to seeing a life on your own; knowing that you're likely to feel different 6 months from now - I read you to be a man in the process of healing.

It IS ironic that your W is getting it as you detach. That's not uncommon. Maybe she'll get it fast enough, maybe not. Maybe it's too late already.

You owe it to yourself to make mindful, intentional decisions on your own schedule. You owe it to yourself to act in your best interests. You seem to be doing that.

Sure, it's slower than you want - it always is. Sure, the lack of a decision now is uncomfortable - it always is. But being betrayed is traumatic, and it takes time to heal.

[This message edited by sisoon at 1:01 PM, April 18th (Saturday)]

Incarnate posted 4/18/2020 16:27 PM

And now to realise it was all for nought?

This is an incorrect conclusion. Your actions define you. Her actions while hurtful to you do not define you. You are still so new to this and healing takes time, but please try not to mix her messed up actions into your own self worth.

I was reading along until I came to this point, then I jumped ahead to respond.

This stuck out to me because it was that realization that helped me sort of flick the switch of feeling like I'd been traded in for a better model. I saw pictures that they had taken of the three of them (WW, OM, and OW) in the act. I saw his equipment, and what my STBXW was doing with it, saw the things she wore for him that she refused to wear for me, what she did to him and his W, the OW, that she refused to do for me, so on and so on.

And at a certain point, it clicked. OM's junk was no bigger than mine, significantly less muscular, and while he was thinner, he is not stronger. He's led a desk-job life, so lacks the survival experience or instinct that I have. After reading his messages, he is not as intelligent as i am by a long shot, and by the simple fact that he's an internet fuckboy who trolled for a married woman to be a sex unicorn for him and his walrus whore of a wife, well, obviously he does not have the moral high ground or strength of character.

So now, instead of imagining my ex wife going off to have a passionate, loving, exciting week of orgies with two other people that she chose over me, I now see it as my ex going to the dump, squatting over a piece of slimy garbage, and fucking it in front of a host of degenerates.

I am above them. I am above her. I am greater than, better than. The only good things that ever came out of her were my children, and now it is time to lead by example. They saw me broken, and they saw their mother break me. And now, they will see me rise and overcome while their mother clings to some fictional spectre of her 20s as she creeps ever closer to 40.

I found a lot of strength in that.

Butforthegrace posted 4/18/2020 20:59 PM

M84:


It seems to me that you have two intertwined issues going on internally. It might help your healing process to separate them:

1. The feeling of trauma and such from the fact and the nature of her betrayal.
2. The feeling of injustice, of wanting what she got (the thrill of illicit sex with somebody new), or maybe wanting what the AP got from her (a woman throwing the pussy at him for some NSA fuckin’), or probably some admixture of the two.

As to issue 1, the facts and circumstances of her betrayal are harsh. I disagree with posters on here who say “a betrayal is a betrayal”. I think most BS’s think in terms of degrees of harm. Analogize to physical harm: would you be more hurt from a single open-hand slap to the face, or from having your kneecaps and shinbones shattered from multiple beatings with a crowbar? The way she carried on with the AP, clearly an active EA at least (and possibly some physical stuff, or at least kissing and hugging) after Dday 1, etc. It is normal for a BH to feel a rollercoaster of emotions in the weeks/months following Dday, but gradually that begins to flatten out to clarity over one point: for the rest of your life, these facts will be part of you. “She really did this to me.” The question is whether you will be able to handle them better in a marriage with her, or out of the marriage. You’ll probably think about these facts often, for life. I can tell you that today, something like 25+ years later, I can still see my wayward’s face in my mind’s eye, looking at me that morning in the kitchen and telling me that she had been sleeping with another man and she was going to leave me. But since we separated and I’m married to somebody new, I don’t have to look at my actual wayward and think: “You did that to me.” If you stay married, that is part of your future reality.

From your comments, it sounds like you are coming to some clarity on this:

I have some degree of peace and acceptance with the reality that life must go on, with or without her. I find myself pondering and planning on how to move on eventually if/when she falls short between now and R process (if we even get that far).

I still have plenty of hurt and anger and shame and humiliation plaguing me... but somehow I do feel like I've made some kind of breakthrough recently? Maybe a milestone in the proverbial "grieving" process? Not done, by a mile, but I FEEL different.

...

I hate the irony of it all. The true remorse, the coming back to the table, the willingness to look in the mirror... everything I wanted her to do, she is only starting to do now. 7 freaking months on. So too damn late.

As to issue 2, I am an outlier here on SI in that I believe that sex with a person other than your WW is a legitimate choice a BH ought to consider. I get a lot of opposition to that position and, in fairness to my critics, my own personal experience in terms of sex with others helping me heal occurred in the context of finding myself suddenly single after being dumped by my wayward for her AP.

To be honest, though, I think that much of what you interpret now as feeling "inferior" to the AP, is, in reality, feeling "jealous" of the AP (and, to some extent, your WW). You want what they got. It's natural to want what they got. It's fun. It feels good. It's a thrilling good memory you'll carry for life. I think if you see the coin from that side, you'll realize your question isn't whether you are inferior to the AP, it is whether you want to devote yourself to continuing in marriage with your WW, knowing that this means you will never have a chance for this yourself.

I do agree that an RA is a bad idea if you are doing for a sense of revenge. You will never achieve revenge via an RA. Also, your WW offering you a hall pass, that is the oldest wayward trick in the book. They do it to make themselves feel less wayward about the choices they made. Anyway, sex outside the marriage under a hall pass lacks the thrill of illicitness that your WW enjoyed.

Here is what I can tell you. Sex with somebody new feels good. Really good. And if you can add some illicit circumstances, it’s even better. It’s like you become co-conspirators with the sex partner involving something naughty. It becomes a shared inside joke on the rest of the world.

Your WW had that. She decided, at least for a time, that this thrill was worth more to her than her marriage. She may profess to not feel that way now, and to regret having made those choices, but I promise you that, at least in the moment, she had that adrenaline rush and she loved it.

Sex with somebody new while you are married will, at the very least, really complicate things, and may fuck things up entirely. If you decide to stay married but to pursue sex with somebody new, you have no way of knowing what will happen, but I almost guarantee drama of some sort. If that is the path you choose, go into it with your eyes open. It will make you feel temporarily better about yourself, but it will really mess things up in terms of your relationship with your WW. I’m not saying it “brings you down to her level”. I think that’s bullshit. And your marriage may survive and become stronger. Or it may disintegrate. You never know. The outcome is out of your control, but then the outcome of any marriage is always out of your control. My advice is to be authentic to yourself.

To that end, I will also tell you that if you decide now to separate from your WW, or divorce, no decision you make now is final. Because you have a child, your WW will be a big part of your life for many years, no matter what. You may separate, divorce, date others, sleep with others, and then date each other again, find a new connection. Nothing is cast in stone. Spouses in the midst of divorce proceedings stop them and re-engage, all the time. Spouses who are separated and date others re-engage. Divorced spouses re-marry.

Your thread, quite frankly, is the reason I have counselled both of my kids to not marry their first-and-only. Play the field. Have some experience. Then you won’t find yourself in the middle of a marriage wondering what it is like to experience the numinent thrill of first sex with somebody new.

I honestly thing you should play the field a bit. That is my sense about you. You may meet somebody way more compatible to you than your WW is. Or, you may find that other women don’t compare to your WW, in which case you would then be ready to try things out with your WW again, this time without feeling as if you are a prisoner of her betrayal.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 8:54 AM, April 19th (Sunday)]

ramius posted 4/19/2020 02:28 AM

And to realise that, IF I choose to try R with her, remaining faithful to her and my marriage, and thus her being my 'one-and-only' for the rest of my life? It just seems like a joke now.

Like what is the point? Why am I furthering the injustice being meted out onto me? It isn't even about hurting her or humiliating her or getting even anymore.

Think I might get quite a bit of flak for thinking this way. But I truly do. Sighs.

No flak from me . And most of us, excepting those evolved souls who are emotionally above most mortals, totally get it.

I told her while I appreciated her "permission", approval wasn't what I was fishing for. I am not the kind of guy who would use a hall pass.

Many cheaters offer some form of the hall pass. Good for you for not stooping to her level. If it comes to that, have the guts to do what she couldn’t and separate first.

And let me tell you, there are many good options out there. Younger, better looking, loyal, and loving options. The market is good for honest, successful men these days. Less so for middle aged cheating WW’s.

Machiavellia84 posted 4/19/2020 07:29 AM

Refer to my signature.

On the day I decided to surprise her by ordering in her favourite food (we are all in lockdown due to covid), just as a nice gesture because I still care, and also perhaps as an indication to her (and to myself) that I will give us a chance. Not to R. Not to D. Just a wait-and-see. A chance for me to assess if she can ever change. If she can ever be remorseful. If she can ever be safe. If she can ever be deserving of love and trust.

And if she does prove me wrong (I rate her odds really really low), then perhaps we can embark on R. But for now, I'm willing to commit to not committing either way. Figured it might be good enough for her.

Food due to arrive at 7pm.

At 5pm, I wanted her to take a nap (she wasnt feeling very well) and wake up to the nice surprise I have in store for her. I have NO IDEA WHY, instead of shoo-ing her to bed, I started a conversation. And brought up stuffs about her lack of honesty this far. Brought up how my gut needs SOME closure, and she's never for once given it to me.

All the things I know, are due to me cornering her and wringing it out of her. What she's admitted to. She's never confessed to anything on her own accord, except to admit to things and "come clean" when I push and push and push.

Well, now I know why. My gut is never wrong. Perhaps on the verge of giving her the gift of my ambivalence (as opposed to calling it quits), my gut needed answers. It's probably like the in-built alarm system warning me, telling me to HOLD UP, WAIT A MINUTE.

Out of nowhere, during that conversation, when I stressed on the fact that there has to be things she's not come clean yet, I know it, I just don't know what - I saw that look. A look I know all too well. And my heart sank.

The deflection. The gaslighting. The indignance. All on display. But this time round, there was something different.

There was fear. There was dread. There was shakiness. There was visible uncertainty in her voice. In her eyes. There was palpable panic. There was a certain... resignation. A resignation that was not in line with what was coming out of her mouth.

So I stopped her short. And just demanded, enough. Just tell me. Just tell me. I pleaded.

So booms. D-Day 3. It wasn't just 2 times of sex during the work trip back in Aug 2019. She booked a hotel room, played hooky at work, and met him there in Oct for sex.

She is distraught. She says she knew if this truth came out, it would be the final twist in the knife and it would be all over. She says she has been struggling with this "dilemma" for the past weeks. She knew she had to come clean, but at the same time she couldn't. Wouldn't.

She says she saw hope in us. She says after 7 painful, shameful months of being caught up in the affair fog, to finally snap out of it, to finally face her own shame and remorse, to "survive" D-Day 2 and see that there was still hope... that there was a glimmer of chance we could make it, that there was tiny tiny tiny progress... she couldn't bring herself to end this flicker of hope.

She says she could have continued lying today when I confronted her. But she "confessed". But I call bullshit. I cornered and pressed her again, just that this time round she didn't "pass on the chance" to come clean.

(As an aside: does she deserve ANY credit on this? I am literally in dday mode - shock, disorientation, disappointment, anger, humiliation etc etc etc. So I know that I'm not going to be rational enough to gauge. Does she?)

Anyway, I told her this is the last straw. For real. Kicking her out of the house tonight. We'll have a conversation to wrap things up/discuss arrangements/conclude what to tell her family. (We've not told anyone till date).

She's currently having her "last meal" with our darling, innocent, precious son. Choking back tears, braving a smile to respond to his incessant chatter. Trying to enjoy what I think would be the most bittersweet meal I "surprised" her with.

And here I am updating my profile, posting this. Typing things out calms me down. Writing/typing is therapeutic to me. I should be flying off the handle, and I am. Just internally.

My heart is pounding a million beats a minute. My head is dizzy. My palms are numbed. I feel nauseated, angry, confused, disgusted, sad. So damn fucking sad.

But I'm keeping it all in this time. I'm not going to risk traumatizing our kid (who has been shielded this whole time). I'm not going to get into a tearful screaming fit and lose it with her and lash out in pain.

I will be okay. I have to be okay.

I have about an hour to decide what to do. (I told her to finish up dinner with our son and accompany him for bedtime).

He sleeps in an hour's time. And I want closure. I want to hear from her. I want to know everything. I also want her to get the hell out of my life. I also want to give her a chance to explain. I'm a freaking, bloody mess.

Help.

steadychevy posted 4/19/2020 08:46 AM

I first need to say, Mach, that I was never in R. I spent far too long and stepped over many deadlines trying to see if there was any prospect that R could be attempted.

I had to pry and interrogate to get any information from my XWW. I got answers to questions that were first denied when approached from a different angle. I got lots and lots of IDK and ICR. I acknowledged that she might not remember but asked if she would think about it and see if she could figure it out. After not getting any feedback from her over some period of time I would ask if she could answer. She couldn't. I would ask if she had given it some thought and tried to remember. She hadn't. Not even once.

TT is deadly. TT only revealed through interrogation is deadlier (my opinion). The lack of effort was a killer. The lack of coming clean voluntarily was a killer. I asked for a time line. Never got one. I asked many times. She said she didn't know how to do one and I gave her an outline with indisputable facts I get from telephone records, charge card statements, expense accounts and work reports along with a list of what I needed. Never got it.

The lack of forthcoming. The lack of honesty. The lack of effort. All these things over an extended period of time even I finally figured out my needs were never going to have merit and weren't worthy of effort. Again, I wasn't in R. I was trying to figure out if R was a possibility. It might be now. It's too late. The ship has sailed.

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