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My story part one

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silverhopes posted 11/5/2019 20:49 PM

Men, in particular, get emasculated by affairs. I'm not saying it isn't crushing to BWs as well. But we even have a word for men who are BS--cuckolds. I don't think a term exists with the same power for women.

Or maybe a word exists for men and not women because we still haven't learned to validate women's pain. There was a time when double standards were practically the norm - men could sleep around, and women couldn't, because women were property. Property doesn't get validated. Now we're changing. But our vocabulary is still playing catch-up.

The female equivalent, cuckquean, is often associated with a fetish. But I doubt any of the BWs here would say they have such a fetish.

We have the word "emasculate", yet "defeminize" is rarely used. Why? Because we aren't used to validating women's pain over infidelity or any other huge number of things. No vocabulary = pain made invisible = pain treated as non-existent or less important.

Don't buy into the stereotype that just because you have a word for yours, somehow means men have it worse.

silverhopes posted 11/5/2019 20:57 PM

Obviously both BW and BH think about RAs, especially early on. Speaking in (probably too wide) generalities, I wonder if men struggle more with the temptation of it both due to our sexual drive, and our need to feel like " a man again" whereas women probably don't need to feel like "a woman again" after being cheated on.

Or it could be that society acts like men are more entitled to sex than women.

Or it could be that if a woman wants to sleep with someone else to feel desirable again, she's more likely to be called a sloooot than a man, because there isn't a word for a sexually-active man with the same vitriol as one for a woman. Again, vocabulary can be telling about who we favor and who we don't. So, to avoid sex-shaming, a woman might be less likely to go sleep with someone else.

Or it could be that women are more expected to swallow their pain than men. Men are more allowed to do things for themselves without being penalized, but a woman who dares to do something for herself will be criticized or called selfish. A man is a single father and goes to play basketball at his league once a month? People will talk about what a sacrifice he makes by not getting to enjoy himself more often. A woman is a single mother and decides to go out for a makeover or to hang out with friends? People will side-eye her for not being with her kids and spending money on herself, or call her vain. Or they'll continuously ask her what time she's going home and who is watching her kids while she's out. A guy takes his kids to the playground, everyone comments on what a great dad he is (and he is a great dad!). A woman takes her kids to the playground, it's business as usual (but she should be getting the same compliments as dad!).

It'd say it's more about societal expectations of the genders rather than some inherent difference. Different pressures.

To get back on track: um, YES, we do need to feel like a woman again after we're cheated on! And many of us DON'T!

[This message edited by silverhopes at 9:00 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)]

Thanksgiving2016 posted 11/5/2019 21:37 PM

I agree with Silverhopes. I also know my WH may be screwed up but I would never wish this pain on him. And if I did I damn sure couldnít say I love him.

BraveSirRobin posted 11/5/2019 22:01 PM

As an aside, I'm seriously happy to see silverhopes here and posting again!

end t/j

HopefulTelephone posted 11/5/2019 22:08 PM

I think arguing which gender has it worse is a little absurd. Men and women have different experiences based on their gender in dealing with infidelity, but to claim one is somehow worse than the other is ridiculous if only for how difficult it would be to prove.

I think Buzzy's "why" is a whole lot more legitimate than a lot of people are making it out to be, especially those that compare an affair to...not taking out the trash? or other such nonsense? This isn't a stubbed toe. Some people are gonna respond by swinging when they get a knife shoved through their sternum.

Rather than try to disprove it, I think it should be dug into. I'm a pretty big believer every person has a unique "why" and, in Buzzy's case, his "why" is absolutely not unique.

So why did he feel an RA was necessary for R? For justice? Why is his idea of justice punishing her? I feel most people here would say true justice is impossible for a BS but the closest you'll get is a truly remorseful WS. Why was Buzzy's idea of justice not having his WW putting in the effort to better herself for the sake of him? Why the hell does he feel entitled to punishing her in the first place? Adults really have no business punishing other adults in equal partnerships. Does he see their marriage as inherently unequal?

Answer and then dig some more, answer and dig some more. Should at least be pretty enlightening. My $.02 at least.

totallydumb posted 11/5/2019 22:19 PM

Here is the thing, Buzzy. All people who cheat start out by saying "I wouldn't have cheated but

anything after the word "but" is bullshit.

DoormatSight posted 11/5/2019 23:30 PM

Don't buy into the stereotype that just because you have a word for yours, somehow means men have it worse.

Men general put more emphasis on sex than women do. That is why it is difficult for so many of them to get past the sexual aspect of an affair.

[This message edited by DoormatSight at 11:32 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)]

Lostgirl410 posted 11/5/2019 23:50 PM

Having been both betrayed, and then wayward (in different relationships, to clarify there was no RA)...your justification literally made me sick to my stomach. Now I'll tell you why:

In my betrayed experience, I was "punished" for my own (percieved) betrayal. It taught me that those who insist on "punishment" are often the same who lack empathy. The need to punish is something I see as a predispositioned trait for a potential wayward to begin with. Again, because it exhibits a lack of appropriate empathy.

To clarify for all BS's who have fantasized about an RA, or even those who have become swept up in one, I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT A KNEE JERK REACTION. A typical RA tends to be the product of a BS suddenly (reactively) trying to both prove their own worth, and (again REACTIVELY) trying to make the WS actively identify with the pain they have been putting the BS through. I know this doesn't cover each and every RA situation, but I feel it does apply to a decent sized majority.

The RA you are describing is NOT a knee jerk reaction. It is cold, calculated, and intended to inflict the highest possible amount of pain you can imagine. I have a hard time believing this was done to make her understand your own pain. Instead, it seems as though you chose your actions to position yourself in the ultimate power play against your WS. Your AP was collateral damage, however she was not unintentional collateral damage. She was hand-picked to be used by you to ensure your WW would never walk out of this as anything less than your own personal indentured servant. (Again, how it reads. Please tell me if I'm wrong, and I will be happily proved so.)

It looks from the outside as if you said to yourself: "If I can choose to nail this one, then WW will have no choice but to accept I have the power to strip her of everything, including, and especially her own friends." Honestly, I "almost" even feel bad for your AP in this situation.

You need to learn to let go of the idea that you need to be in control. You realized you didn't have control of your wife, so you manipulated your AP into being the very pawn who would let you use her to reassert your our power over your WW.

You didn't care that AP was vulnerable. You didn't care that your AP is still a human, capable of feeling extreme pain, and YOU made the choice to put AP in a position to lose people (you and your WW) who she obviously cared about. Essentially, you chose to USE a real person. You chose to use a real person capable of feeling the same amount of pain you feel, and you made the choice to cause her pain JUST so you could ALSO inflict pain on your wife.

Now, your AP is far from innocent. She is very obviously broken if she is willing to be an enemy of your marriage. She's even more broken if she's got such low feelings of self-worth that she allowed herself to sever actual friendships (WW, and you if you want to save your marriage) in order to feel wanted by someone. Do you see how this still leaves her as the co-conspirator instead of the predator though?

Back to punished for my (perceived) betrayal in the first occurrence. See, while in that case I had not committed any type of betrayal (it turned out that I got too close to finding out about his), I was "punished" at the expense of myself and others. I was expected to deal with less than humane treatment because it was the only way he thought he could "accept/be with/look at me again." I was manipulated into accepting abuse.

IMO...What your wife did to you was abuse. Hands down. What you did to her in return was also abuse. What you did to AP was abuse. So, your response to abuse was to abuse back, but not just your wife? Was it that she broke you, so you needed to break her more regardless of the collateral damage?

Please correct me with examples if I'm way off base. Do you understand now though, how your line of thinking creates such a disconnect in understanding for so many of us?

[This message edited by Lostgirl410 at 12:00 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)]

mondas posted 11/6/2019 00:20 AM

Hikingout and mrs.walloped how are you able to put ďif he had done dishes I wouldnít have cheated or something similarĒ in the same category as ď i had sex with someone else because she cheated. Do you actually understand the damage the infidelity does to a person? I know you havenít had the first hand experience thats why you are able to make that comparison so easily. Second he has no obligation to leave the club because he wouldn't have slept with AP if his wife hadnít DESTROYED/ BETRAYED her marriage.

No one is forcing the wife to stay in marriage if she isnít comfortable with him remain in contact with ow because marriages can end with whatever reason either spouse choose. To say that it is morally wrong for him to remain in contact with ap is wrong itself because he hasnt done anything that broke /destroyed the marriage

silverhopes posted 11/6/2019 02:33 AM

As an aside, I'm seriously happy to see silverhopes here and posting again!

Hi BraveSirRobin!

how are you able to put ďif he had done dishes I wouldnít have cheated or something similarĒ in the same category as ď i had sex with someone else because she cheated.

I have to agree, they don't seem quite proportionate (though, again, this points to the reality that folks are prone to finding excuses for unhealthy behaviors - that's how a person can keep an unhealthy behavior going and resist change).

But what about a different example? What about, say, "he's been ignoring me for years, even when I beg him to work on us and have tried everything to feel closer to him despite his distance, and I cheated to feel wanted/heard/acknowledged again"?

Or "he is emotionally/physically/financially abusive, and I cheated because I so desired a moment of kindness and comfort from someone else, solace in a storm, because I know he'll never let me leave him"?

Or "he's been flirting with other women for years and/or watching porn for years, even though he knows it makes me uncomfortable and upset, and even though he hasn't crossed the line into physical or emotional cheating, I felt like I was being cheated as his wife"?

These are excuses I have read here before, and many others. What do you say to situations where things are really, really unwell in a marriage? Then, does a WS have an excuse to cheat?

zooom posted 11/6/2019 02:34 AM

I have some questions. You say that was a year ago.

How is your relationship today?

Would you have been able to try reconciling without the RA?

How long did the RA last?

We really need the rest of the story.

How was your wife reacting during all this?

How is she acting today?

Do you want to continue this marriage?

How are your children?


Personally, I can understand the need for an RA. I still think it's less than optimal but I still put it lower than the initial cheating that the WS went through.

I don't agree with Hikingout or moreso her husband saying someone who had to go through an RA was unlikely to have a successful reconciliation. Has there been any studies on effectiveness of various methods. I honestly think making the relationship more balanced is a better approach than for the BS to wallow for a long time in a lot of circumstances. If only to bring relief. It's all too common for a BS to go through years of sadness, anger, hate etc. I've read quite a few stories about RAs and a lot got relief from it. If that's what it takes to heal, well the WS did start the mess.

Even still, you've had your revenge Buzzy. It's time to NC and try to reconcile or move on from the marriage. There is a time when enough is enough.

Although I'm still not clear if Claire is part of your running club or not. Is she just at the cafe or is she part of the club too?

Buzzy posted 11/6/2019 02:45 AM

Good morning.

My wife and I had a very constructive conversation last night however before I get on to that can I put one miscomprehension to bed.

I never "planned" to go to Seville with Claire at any point before I invited her, she was the only one who new about my wifes A. I was in the CS feeling down, and we were just talking and I mentioned that I was going away for a few days on my own to clear my head as it were, she asked me where I was going and I said Seville she then started to tell me about the city as she had been there, my invite to her was really off the cuff and I am certain she did not expect it.

Yes she knew I was married, yes she could have declined the invite, but i tell you my self worth and ego had taken a hammering and if this bright and attractive women was going to apply some TLC rightly or wrongly i was not going to say no.

Last night my wife and I both agreed that we wanted to repair the damage we have both inflicted upon our relationship, we both agreed that staying together cannot be just for the children important as they are. My wife had what i thought was a brilliant idea, we will both have a list of up to ten questions for the other person with the last being do you still love me and if so why.

We dont want to do this in the home as this will be a distraction. I am about to book a cottage for the weekend (the kids will be staying with the grandparents which will delight them as they will be spoilt rotten ).

As I said before this has been catharic and given me much to think about.

silverhopes posted 11/6/2019 02:51 AM

I am curious to know the answers to zooom's questions as well. On another note, I'm glad you're here talking about it and looking at it and letting folks offer you their thoughts, Buzzy.

Another question:

Now up to this point Claire was my wifes friend rather than mine they had been shopping together and a GNO but somehow my Wife decided that Claire had overstepped some line, this was never said but for she would always find some reason to to go to the CS and made excuses not to go to the gym with Claire.

You had mentioned that your wife got a sense that the OW was getting too close to you, which was why she cut off their friendship. Why did she think this, exactly? Was it a vibe she was getting from Claire, or something Claire might have said to her? Or even a reaction to Claire that she perceived on your part? Is this previous history - specifically, your wife feeling this way - why you chose that OW to cheat with specifically? And also, in that case, wouldn't it seem that you were choosing someone who might have already had her own agenda with regards to you? Your choice could have easily been a hell of a lot riskier than it already was, had the OW turned out to be a yandere, and you would have been ignoring or outright welcoming the signs.

Buzzy posted 11/6/2019 02:56 AM

Zooom. Claire is one of the two managers at the CS she is also a member of the running club, when we both realised we were avid runners I suggested she join.

We are partially reconciled if there is such a thing, since my return from Seville things have been calm or probably in limbo. The only real comment my wife has made about about my RA is the day after my return was "I hope you have got that out of your system now" I did not respond.

Could I have even attempted to R without the RA no I dont think so my outrage was eating away at me like a cancer.

The kids are fine we have kept this crap far away from them, luckily neither of us has indulged in shouting matches.

Yes we both want to continue the marriage.

Buzzy posted 11/6/2019 03:04 AM

Silverhopes; I believe my wifes reaction to Claire at the time was founded upon unjustified jealousy.

Claire was always more my wifes friend although I liked her well enough.

It was when I had gone to the CS straight from a 10K race, I was wearing the free T shirt of ten given out at the end of races and was showing my wife the race medal. Claire came over and started asking questions about the race and I then found out she loved running, we had a long conversation about what races she and I had done and our various race time, favourite running shoes etc etc I think this is what put my wifes nose out of joint and me inviting Claire to join my running club did not help.


BraveSirRobin posted 11/6/2019 05:20 AM

Second he has no obligation to leave the club because he wouldn't have slept with AP if his wife hadnít DESTROYED/ BETRAYED her marriage.
No one is forcing the wife to stay in marriage if she isnít comfortable with him remain in contact with ow because marriages can end with whatever reason either spouse choose. To say that it is morally wrong for him to remain in contact with ap is wrong itself because he hasnt done anything that broke /destroyed the marriage.
I'm really baffled by the double standard I keep hearing where it's fine for Buzzy to stay in contact with AP. Even if you believe that he had the right to even the score by having sex with someone else, that doesn't give him a permanent pass for ongoing interaction, any more than his W can stay in contact with OM. If Buzzy didn't want to leave the club, he could have chosen someone who wasn't involved in the club. The A isn't over until she's 100% gone. I learned this as a WW who stayed "platonically" in contact with OM for months after the A. Resisting NC is torture for the betrayed spouse and a cancer on the possibility of R.

I also don't get "if she doesn't like it, she can leave" as a blanket exoneration. Everyone here on SI can leave if they don't like their spouse's behavior. Are you arguing that if you don't divorce, then you're tacitly agreeing to any and every bad behavior your WS dumps on you?

You didn't care that AP was vulnerable. You didn't care that your AP is still a human, capable of feeling extreme pain, and YOU made the choice to put AP in a position to lose people (you and your WW) who she obviously cared about.
I don't see Claire as any kind of victim. It appears that she was flirting with Buzzy early on, and his wife sensed it and tried to distance both herself and her husband from the threat to the marriage. Her perception was vindicated when Claire was the one who told Buzzy to book one room because they were going to have sex. She has zero remorse about what she did and thinks fucking a married man, the husband of an ex-friend, was nothing more than a fun interlude. I surmise from Buzzy's reference to the A being over "for now" that she left the door open on future cheating. She sounds like an opportunist to me, and I'm not feeling any compulsion to rush to her defense.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 8:15 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)]

MrsWalloped posted 11/6/2019 05:36 AM

how are you able to put ďif he had done dishes I wouldnít have cheated or something similarĒ in the same category as ď i had sex with someone else because she cheated.

mondas and silverhopes,

Iím not really. Of course those things are not remotely the same. But I chose ridiculous examples to go with cheating to illustrate a point. All reasons at heart are just excuses. Once you legitimize one reason then any reason becomes okay because itís just a matter of degree and whatís important to that person.

What do you say to situations where things are really, really unwell in a marriage? Then, does a WS have an excuse to cheat?

silverhopes, see Iím a WW and to me, despite having my own A, the answer is no. Full stop. There is no excuse. The examples you gave are not any better than not doing the dishes. Of course you can sympathize and empathize with the difficult marriage someone is stuck in. But thatís different than saying itís a good reason to cheat.

Thatís my problem with Buzzyís post in general. It reads as a justification for cheating in a forum specifically for people who have cheated. And we come here with reasons and rationales and excuses and our Whyís. And WSís need to know (IMO) that while those might be real issues, itís never okay to cheat (myself included), no matter the excuse.

MrsWalloped posted 11/6/2019 05:52 AM

T/j

I honestly think making the relationship more balanced is a better approach than for the BS to wallow for a long time in a lot of circumstances. If only to bring relief. It's all too common for a BS to go through years of sadness, anger, hate etc. I've read quite a few stories about RAs and a lot got relief from it. If that's what it takes to heal, well the WS did start the mess.

zooom, Youíre a WH, right? Iím curious, did you encourage your BW to go have sex with someone else to make the ďrelationship more balancedĒ and to ďbring relief?Ē Iím sure being in R that you donít want her to go through years of sadness, anger, hate, etc. After all, you did start the mess.

End t/j

hikingout posted 11/6/2019 07:52 AM

Totally Dumb;

anything after the word "but" is bullshit.

Wow, what a thought provoking retort. Say what you wish, but this is the wayward forum, Buzzy was sent here to post because he has committed infidelity. I told him the same information I would tell any new wayward here. And that is our justifications for an affair are always misplaced on the shoulders of the BS at first until we realize our accountability for an affair is 100% on us. And, that NC with the AP is one of the most important things one can do in rebuilding their marriage. If you think that is bullshit, that's fine, more power to you.


Mondo,

I said nothing about dishes. You do realize that we have WW's here who are married to men who are alocholics, have abused them emotionally and sometimes even physically. We still tell them they should not have had an affair. Just like with Buzzy, we can understand how it came to be that they were unable to deal with their situation effectively, but infidelity is never the answer. We would tell them to go NC with their AP, we would tell them to go to IC, and we would say many of the same things we are telling buzzy. So, that's how I can say what I say. This forum is not supportive of infidelity, and that is for good damned reasons - because it doesn't fix anything. It's a band-aid, and it causes way more problems than whatever good feelings someone can get from it. What we are telling Buzzy is for his own good if he wants to keep his marriage.


I would never say that an RA is getting even anyway. Obviously, when his wife struck first it was a shock, and he was traumatized. I don't think that same effect happens for the WS, but it doesn't mean it doesn't hurt them, and that it doesn't damage the relationship further. We are not trying to condemn Buzzy, we are trying to help him.

leavingorbit posted 11/6/2019 09:15 AM

Hi, Buzzy. Iím a WW with a MH husband and weíve been discussing this thread. My husband cheated and justified his decisions as reactions to what I had done. I guess I can give you some observations from the other side as a WW and my husbandís viewpoint.

Betrayal is blindsiding, and Iím sure your wifeís actions caused you immense pain. How you choose to respond and cope with that pain is up to you. Itís incredibly difficult to develop empathy and compassion for anyone after theyíve hurt you, particularly someone youíve made an agreement with to explicitly NOT hurt each other. And yet, for reconciliation, thatís the model my husband and I are healing towards. Not acceptance of future abuse, but developing an understanding of what has occurred and creating something new going forward. Not everyone can do this and thatís ok. It takes time to do this and lots of work. Itís fundamentally about becoming healthier people individually and then bringing that to our marriage. I feel that your choices after your wifeís affair show unhealthy coping mechanisms and hey, Iím pointing no fingers here. My coping mechanisms were abusive and awful and hurtful. They were also MY choices, not my husbandís. Itís not my husbandís responsibility to act in a way that keeps me to a certain standard of behavior. Thatís up to me. Even when heís acted selfishly - maybe even especially when heís acted selfishly! Because thatís integrity, and additionally, sticking to my guns about my developed morals is actively modeling love for him. Thatís my take on it now, but it wasnít always like that, and I can understand if helping your wife isnít even close to the top of your list right now. However, I believe that saying your wifeís choices in the future determine your level of integrity is an exercise in keeping yourself powerless. You are choosing a permanent one-down position, and additionally hurting others in the process.

My husband and I betrayed each other. We hurt each other in lots of myriad and sordid ways. Our marriage was a toxic, dysfunctional shitshow. We both scorekept and fingerpointed and acted like angry children. I cheated first and I struggle with feeling as though Iím responsible for my husbandís choices. Thatís shame talking. Maybe he would have cheated, maybe not. He says that he already had poor coping mechanisms prior to my cheating. What I did to him exacerbated all of the bad things that he felt about himself. Heís referred to his response as one of the biggest crossroads decisions of his life. I hate that I put that choice in front of him.

However, I do know that us saying that the other was responsible for our choices is a serious problem. Itís the cornerstone of entitlement, which is the smokescreen of addiction, which masks pain and authenticity. I believe that infidelity is addict thinking. Itís a broken way of self soothing. Healing is about getting to a place of acceptance that your wife is broken. If you donít want to heal with her, thatís more than understandable. You screwing someone else doesnít make your wife less broken, however. It does illuminate the wayward aspects of yourself - not your wife. It shows you lack coping mechanisms. It means you need to heal as BS AND WS.

And this, from my husband: having sex with one person, ten, fifty... that doesnít restore your masculinity. Thatís a part of you. No one can take that shit away from you. My cheating had nothing to do with my husband and he could empathize with that eventually, because his cheating ultimately had nothing to do with me either. It meant I was a broken, abusive person, not that he was less of a man. You decide who you are and make it happen. Your wife could have created an environment to help you heal. Instead youíve lashed out in rage and added some more crap to the pile. That doesnít get you to a place of acceptance. It doesnít really do anything at all except complicate the picture by adding more pain and bullshit.

This is tough stuff to face. MH scenarios are aptly nicknamed because theyíre crazy making. Accepting that we are 100% responsible for our own happiness and that no one owes us anything are hard lessons. Some resources that were helpful for us were 12 step programs, reading about codependency, and reading about drama triangles. Iím sorry that youíre here and I wish healing to you and your wife.

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