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Betrayed Womenz Thread - Part 3

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CallingSpades posted 4/3/2020 21:42 PM

TG, I'm so sad for you. You really offered him the ultimate gift in still being willing to R.

How do you feel about him coming back? Will you be OK? I wonder if you can get legal separation or something, if you're not ready to file. Just to protect yourself. Please just make sure that you don't let him use you. If he wants a D, at some point he's going to have to face the reality that that means you won't be taking care of him anymore. I hope he took his big boy pants with him when he moved out.

fournlau posted 4/4/2020 22:14 PM

I'm really feeling you all right now! Keep thinking I should have D'd 23 years ago when he showed me who he really was. All these years he's told me how he won't change, he's too old, blah blah blah. Now, he's making changes I wish he had made years ago. And it's pissing me off cause that means he was fully capable of it all along. He's just been too selfish and stubborn and my stupid ass let him get away with it!

Well, as well as he is doing and as much work as he has done on himself, I'm beginning to wonder if it's too little too late!

Hugs and good wishes to all of us still suffering!

CallingSpades posted 4/4/2020 23:03 PM

Fournlau, I hear you loud and clear.

I hope that at least today, his changes are making your life better. And I hope you can get some satisfaction, validation, or something helpful from it - whatever your future may hold. Yes, I know we need to find satisfaction and validation within ourselves. But some backup doesn't hurt either.

20yrsagoBS posted 4/4/2020 23:10 PM

Bingo Fournlau.


Our WSs must be related. Mine is attempting the same.


Iím, if I didnít want to date a cheater, why would I want to be married to one?


Iím here because my health insurance is through him

Tallgirl posted 4/5/2020 19:23 PM

Thanks ladies.

I honestly thought it would be a relief. It isnít.

He wants to be friends. I donít think I do. If he comes back into the house I think I will have trouble with it.

I havenít mentioned it yet to the kids. Why ruin their month.

I am 54 and feel like there is no love left in the world for me. Sadly I have felt like that for a long time.

I will smarten up soon. prob need a few more days to wallow in it.

Big hugs to you all. Stay safe and healthy.

gmc94 posted 4/5/2020 23:32 PM

feel like there is no love left in the world for me
Oh sweetie! Get your heart in sync with your head that KNOWS the best love in the world for you (and me and everyone) is loving yourself. All the other stuff will flow from that.

Find those sparkly panties and the good wine....

EllieKMAS posted 4/6/2020 09:08 AM

TG - Yeah, they all say they 'want to be friends' cus it makes them feel like less of a MONUMENTAL SHIT after what they did to ruin things. If you have kids with them, I think a baseline civility is necessary. Beyond that? Yeahno.

I mean... seriously. How the fuck does he believe he acted in any way friendlike? Color me crazy, but my friends don't make me feel like he did.

Rant over, but I think you get the point.

And plague or no plague, I would think it's his problem that he didn't plan ahead enough to figure his shit out. OK, rant over there too.

Just sending hugs and strength. All this shit sucks and it's so hard, but you will get to the other side.

20yrsagoBS posted 4/6/2020 11:08 AM

TG,


I have love for you, for all the Womenz here.

I know what it is like to marry a piece of shit, while under the impression they are actually human


I kinda doubt they are human now.

What exactly they really are? No clue

Shubininte posted 4/6/2020 11:55 AM

Hello,
I am new here. I'm hoping to find someone with a background similar to mine who might be able to relate a little more closely to the specific loss I'm grieving at the moment.
My WS and I have known each since our early teens. We were each others first and only for everything. We didn't have sex until marriage. Not only did I find him attractive, funny and charismatic, but he had a good head on his shoulders. He was a strong leader type, he was a good friend, he cared about the well-being of the people closest to him, he was a person on high integrity and moral standards. We shared the same values, religion and had similar life goals we wanted to achieve. He was the complete package. Last October he was arrested for solicitation of prostitution. He had been harboring a secret porn addiction his whole life and as life became more challenging he allowed himself to indulge more and more through massages, phone sex, oral and finally full on penetration sex. He had sex 50 times with prostitutes over the course of 14 months. I'm am completely heart broken. I'm such a romantic and I had the security and sacredness of of knowing that all our experiences we've ever had was only with each other. Now I've gone from 13 years of being his one and only to one of 50+. He is truly remorseful and wants to try to work things out. Ultimately I would like that too, but I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to work through this type of loss. It's so heart-wrenching to go from "it's always been just us" to "I'm not the only one." When he says "That's the best I ever had." It's so hard to have the reality that he's had experiences with so many others. I just want to know if there anyone else whose WS and themselves were both virgins when they got married (emphasis on the married because he had made vow to be faithful to me before having sex with me) and now have to deal with reality of multiple sex partners? Are you still together? Can you give me the an idea of what it looked like to work through that specific type of loss?

gmc94 posted 4/6/2020 13:18 PM

I can only remember one other couple on SI that were virgins at M, but I can't remember the handle and I'm pretty sure the BS was the man.

I can't speak from any personal experience, but I wonder how much focusing on that particular aspect matters. IOW, my suspicion is that most BS feel the same whether they were virgins or not at the time of M. Being the "only" one vs "one of 50" still brings the same hurt and pain and anger and all the feels. I was the "only" one during our M.... until I wasn't. So the principle applies either way.

It's another layer of humiliation and anger to have been the "only" one... but every couple's infidelity story has different layers of humiliation and anger. IOW, for you it's the "only" factor, for others it could be having sex in the marital bed. For others it could be the WS being "in love" with the AP. It's all a shit sandwich, yours just has a particular kind of (crummy tasting) mustard.

I'm not trying to minimize here. I think that every BS finds specifics of the A that becomes a strong focus/hurt. For me, it was that my WH and his AP participated in an activity that was very special and the basis of most of my partnership with WH. So, say WH and I were both bonkers about wine (that's not the "thing" that we partnered around, but it will do as well as anything else and if I was specific I'd lose anonymity). We joined clubs, we focused most of our waking moments on it. We both devoted countless hours to it, becoming elected leaders in our local wine groups, hosting events to promote it, etc. We would work with our local and state governments about wine shipping policies, tax policies, and what we can do to get government support of the winemaker in our area/state. Everyone that knew anything about wine (locally and in our state) knew WH and I and our commitment. We even went so far as for me to quit my job to work in the industry for a substantially lower salary. It was "our" thing as a couple, and had been since we were first married. When I asked WH on dday what he and his POSOW did or talked about during their countless calls and "lunches" over the 20 years of the A, and the first thing he says is "wine". In a weird way, that has been a more difficult aspect of the betrayal than the sex.... So then I'm stuck working with wine every flipping day, when the very thought of it makes me physically ill. I spent a lot of time focused on that aspect.

And it makes sense. I think our lizard brains find that "something" to get our goat bc the rest of it (the lies, the deceit, all the bullshite that goes into living a secret sexual life) is just too much for us to process... at least at first.

So, while none of this may be very helpful, I do think that this aspect of your M and your WH's A is another piece of the whole sandwich that needs to be processed. Is it something you can learn to accept ? Who knows - that is really up to you.

But - I would STRONGLY encourage you to seek out a CSAT (certified sex addiction therapist) who specializes in the relational betrayal trauma model. Your WH is a SA (sex addict) and both of you will benefit immensely from the specialized care that a CSAT can provide. here are some pretty specific steps. Aside from IC, I would start with listening to the Marnie Breecker interview on The Addicted Mind Podcast. There is a thread in the General forum called something like "finally! A therapist who gets it". I will bump for you (but you may have to scroll down to find it - posts in general can work down the page pretty quick). You can follow up with listening to their Helping Couples Heal podcast (there are also some links to that in the same thread). T My WH's CSAT recommended he do a workbook called "Help. Her. Heal." by Carol Sheets. It's about $20-25 on Amazon, and it's pretty straightforward and has specific exercises for the WS to try and find some empathy.

I'm so sorry you are here, but I'm glad you found this. It's the best club that no one ever wanted to join.

Hugs and take good care of yourself.

EllieKMAS posted 4/6/2020 13:31 PM

Hey Shub - welcome. Even though we all wish we didn't have to welcome new folks...

My advice for you right now is to focus on YOU. Don't worry so much about saving the M or 'moving past it'. I think that is a normal reaction for a new BS, but if there's one piece of early advice I wish I'd listened to it was that - focus on YOURSELF right now. Once your mind and heart start healing and aligning, you can make a way more logical and informed choice either way with your M.

Sending hugs and strength!

gmc94 posted 4/6/2020 19:29 PM

Shub - Ellie is SPOT ON!

And for me, it was much easier said than done. I got such wonderful advice on SI when I first joined. And yet, my brain somehow managed to regularly tell me that my situation was somehow different. That all these vets of infidelity didn't understand how special my M was.

Turns out they were absolutely right.

Yesterday i saw a youtube video of an interview of Barbara Steffens by Laurie Hall. It was soooooo illuminating and validating. The big takeaway is that most of us basically go through the same feelings (I believe she said 70% of BS have PTSD symptoms). I really wish I'd seen stuff like that early on, as recognizing that however awful what we are feeling is, it's actually "normal" for a BS.

And the remedy is the same for all of us.... detach as best as you can and focus on your own self care.

It ain't easy. My M was my whole effing identity! Who was I if not the wife of Mr. GMC?

It's so scary and frustrating and awful. And the good news in the midst of all of those feels is that the folks at SI "get it". They've been in the trenches, figured out what works for them, and are willing to share their experiences.

So, we all need to learn to detach from our WS..... but just what does that look like?

I began meditation, which has been a Godsend for me. But I also recognize that just bc that helped me, it doesn't mean it will help someone else (there is actually some interesting research on ways in which meditating can actually have the opposite effect for some who have experienced trauma). So, the good news is SI is a place to see what's helped others in their healing journey, and to figure out what works best for you.

Huge hugs to you. We betrayed womenz have felt all the hurt and are doing the best we can to navigate our own paths to healing and growth despite the astounding and selfish choices each of our WS have made.

We are here for you.

HeHadADoubleLife posted 4/7/2020 03:16 AM

Hey Shub! Sorry you had to join us :(

GMC and Ellie both made excellent points, as I would expect from both of them :)

You may also find that you end up finding a lot of camaraderie over in the Spouses of Sex Addicts thread. The 50+ number in a 14 month period most definitely qualifies as compulsive, and you say he's also admitted to a porn addiction. Unfortunately many wives of SAs end up finding out about their husband's double lives when the porn addiction escalates. There are some who never escalate past porn, but to be honest, I think I only know of one over in our SA thread, so I think it's pretty rare.

Edited to Add: Just saw that you posted the same thing over in the SA Thread. That's awesome, I think you'll find that you relate to a lot of what we discuss over there. But this thread is also full of amazing women, and it is GREAT for a laugh! Well, most days, we've been a little down in the dumps lately, understandably so considering all that is going on with the world.

Please know that ALL addicts escalate their addictions in some way, your addict just happens to abuse sex instead of drugs or alcohol. As anyone in a program would say, his life has become unmanageable. If he cannot fully own that, then he's still got a long way to go.

Like gmc said, while infidelity in general is a trauma, everybody has to eat their own particular flavor of infidelity sandwich, and some have more layers and nasty condiments than others. To you, the numbers matter because now he's your "one-and-only", but you're not his.

According to my XH before we got married, I was woman #5. I was actually the "slutty" one, having had approximately 30 total partners pre-marriage. When he said that we were the most compatible, and sex with me was the best he had ever had, I didn't doubt it. I agreed, it was the best for me too, I thought because we were so in love.

After DDay and finding out about the escorts, I literally have no idea how many there were on his end, because I figured out that his entire "I'm the good guy who doesn't sleep with people I'm not in love with" shtick was a total lie. I didn't have a lot of time to do that comparison game in my head because his was an exit A. TBH, my specific hurts lay elsewhere - more than anything else, it was the fact that he had so heavily involved our daughters in his sex addiction and his A. The rage I felt at finding out about the escorts was on a scale of 1-10, maybe about a 7. After all, I knew about his porn/masturbation addiction, so I guess I just wasn't all that surprised that it had escalated to sex workers. To me, the numbers weren't as important as the fact that he was paying for it - as a father of two daughters, I thought he had a higher moral standard than that. But after finding out how much he involved our kids (my step Ds, but still my kids), even if it was tangentially and in ways that they didn't even have direct knowledge of it? I could have ripped his testicles off with my bare hands and that still would not have even begun to satiate my rage.

Speaking of, did you know about his porn addiction, or was that brand new info that you found out after he was arrested?

I don't know how you get past feeling like he has so much to compare to now. To be honest, I had those comparison feelings when I first discovered his masturbation/porn addiction (years before I found out about the escorts and his actual exit A). A lot of the things he watched in porn were things I would never do, and women dressing and speaking in ways that I would never dream of. I'm a pretty hyper sexual person, so it wasn't that I didn't feel like I was experienced enough or anything. I guess the best way that I could describe it was that the stuff he watched was a far cry from anything that I would consider to be "me." Lots of bleach blonde hair dyed black underneath, gobs of makeup with wayyyyy too much mascara and a LOT of hot pink, screaming stereotypical things and making stereotypical noises that all sounded over the top and fake. I'm a redhead who only wears very light makeup on special occasions, and who hasn't worn pink since I was allowed to dress myself. I'm very sexual, but I'm never, ever going to go over the top in any way, at least not in the superficial way they were. So I did have feelings of "if this is what he's in to, then how in the hell is he even attracted to me?". Before my discovery of the porn, I had thought we were compatible in every way sexually, as he consistently extolled my talents and talked about how amazing it was. And I had never felt more free sexually, and completely comfortable to be vulnerable etc. But once discovered the porn I did suffer from feeling like I wasn't "right" for him for a bit.

I didn't know what Reconciliation was back then, or that that's what I was attempting, but I did a lot of things that BSs attempting R seem to do. Setting boundaries, focusing on me etc. One of the important things I did, that I think is relevant to your particular situation, is that I ended up taking back a lot of my sexuality. Focusing on him made me feel like I was competing, or trying to prove myself. At first after discovery I was "hustling for my worth" against the hot-pink-fishnet-wearing-tramp-stamp-brigade, trying to be the best at everything I did in bed, not because I enjoyed it, but because I needed to feel like the best.

But when I realized how crappy that made me feel, I quickly put an end to it. I set strict rules around sex, only having it when I felt 100% connected with him on every possible level. And honestly I made the actual act way more about me and whether or not I was enjoying it.

Where I had previously focused on mutual enjoyment, I kind of lost my original level of interest in that. I still did it, but if he was having a hard time, I stopped focusing on how that made me feel inadequate, or like it was my fault that he couldn't perform, and instead I just focused on me. I would actually spin it in my head and think well whatever he's got going on inside his brain that's making this hard for him, that has nothing to do with me. I'm an awesome person, and I'm great in bed, and if he can't get it up, well I hope he gets turned on by doing things for me, but if he doesn't well then, that's where this particular sexual encounter will end. I stopped taking responsibility for his pleasure. That's not to say that I didn't try hard to make it happen for him, but if it didn't, I refused to let my brain take the blame for it. Again, I didn't know that's what I was doing at the time. But in retrospect, when I look at it through the lens of the infidelity education that I got here at SI, that's exactly what I was doing.

I'm not even saying to be intimate with him right now anyway. If you're not feeling up to it, don't. But if/when you do get around to it, try making it about you. Your wants, your needs, whatever they may be. If you enjoy doing things for his pleasure, great, do them! But you have to look at that little devil on your shoulder that's whispering to you about how you don't stack up, and tell them to buzz off.

The main questions that jumped out to me when reading your post weren't actually about the numbers and your comparisons. I was actually thinking there might be some questions you can ask yourself, mainly, how do you feel about all of this? And I don't mean how you feel about how he feels - like how we tend to feel bad that they're feeling bad. I mean how do you actually feel about it?

The main feelings are mad, sad, scared and glad. I'm going to venture a bet that you're not glad about any of it, so let's focus on the others.

Are you mad? Mad that he would put you in such danger? Not only from the potential legal and financial ramifications of soliciting sex workers, but from the physical danger he was putting you in over the course of those 14 months by risking disease? Mad that he put the lives of your children at risk by jeopardizing his livelihood, putting himself in a position where he could be arrested? Or fathering a child with another woman, a potential half sibling they would have to deal with?

Are you sad? Sad that the man you thought you could trust more than anyone in the world ended up betraying you? Sad that the life you had planned for is not your reality anymore, and never will be - you will never live in a reality where your husband has NOT had sex with 50+ sex workers? Sad that whether you R or D, you never thought you would be in a position where you would have to make that choice?

Are you scared? Scared of another shoe dropping, and finding out about even more that you didn't know about?Scared of how your feelings for your H have changed since finding all of this out, and scared those old loving feelings may never come back? Scared that you won't make the "right" choice? Scared that if you decide to R, you put yourself at risk of him doing it again, and having another DDay down the line? Scared of making a decision at all, but also scared of staying in limbo?

I would say it's perfectly normal to be feeling all of those things. And even more that I'm sure I didn't think of because I'm not the one eating your particular sandwich. You might feel them all at once, or you might cycle through them. I do think the best thing you can do for yourself, aside from all of the self care stuff that others have mentioned like meditation, drinking water, eating well etc. is to focus on identifying those feelings.

You absolutely don't have to answer any of those questions above. I'm just posing them as an exercise that might help you. So maybe think about journaling. You can answer some of those questions if any of them jump out at you. And each time an unpleasant feeling or trigger comes up, write it down. Try to figure out the source of it. And try to boil it down to one of those three main feelings - mad, sad, scared. IMO, even mad and sad usually boil down to scared in some way, at least as an underlying factor.

Re: the ideas of working through it as a loss - it is a loss, so you need to mourn it. Mourn the death of the M you thought you had. It takes going through all of those stages that you see about grief and loss, you can't skip any of them before getting to acceptance. And healing is not linear. It's more like a spiral. Kind of like the images below.

Most importantly, don't hold yourself to any kind of timeline. You will heal when you are ready to. This is true of all healing - it will take longer than you want it to, but it will end up being shorter than the scary, indefinite timeline that it feels like you're in right now.

Also, as you continue to spiral out of it, it's important to celebrate the little victories. You will wake up one day and realize that you didn't have any nightmares the night before - that is a win! Are you eating consistently again, even if it's just comfort food? Also a win! Are you able to get through a day, hell, even an hour without crying? That's definitely a win! As Ellie would say (and I'm paraphrasing), sometimes you just have to pat yourself on the back for putting pants on today.

So, what have been some of your "putting pants on" moments? What are you proud of? What are your strengths? What makes you feel confident? What makes you tick? What makes you, you?

[This message edited by HeHadADoubleLife at 3:28 AM, April 7th (Tuesday)]

HardKnocks posted 4/9/2020 13:56 PM

I apologize that I cannot contribute to any existing thread, but I just wondered if there was a way to connect to older BSs who's WS had an affair with a *much* younger AP, and thus experienced the mind-games and body-image issues that go along with that.

Thanks for any advice/insight anyone can give!

20yrsagoBS posted 4/9/2020 18:37 PM

Sorry HardKnocks


My WH liked the uglies. Desperate woofers who were about his age.


Ick

northeasternarea posted 4/9/2020 21:01 PM

HardKnocks, I am a year younger than the AP's mother.

CallingSpades posted 4/9/2020 22:24 PM

HardKnocks, AP was same age as me, but she was a fit mom type, so yes... I am familiar with the body image issues.

I looked at AP's Pinterest and it's full of Brazilian Butt Workouts and Sexy Smoky Eye makeup tutorials. It made me laugh thinking of all the hours of her life she wasted just to bang my Narc WH.

Knowing that she was shallow (something I have no desire to compete with) made it easier to stop the comparisons.

I still have body image issues (who doesn't??) but not related to AP.

Tallgirl posted 4/10/2020 09:01 AM

Hard knocks,

The AP was 5 yrs younger than me. Fit. Petite. No kids. Great body that she sold for $200 bucks a fuck. Until stbxwh got it for free....About $4k later.

Her physical attractiveness bothered me at first, particularly because he picked her off of a website but here is a different comparison that maybe you can use.

I have stretch marks created by two amazing boys who love me.

I have a few extra pounds because I spent my life taking care of those loving boys.

I look like a mom. Best fucking look ever.

I have wrinkles, I earned them. Many of them are happy wrinkles. They are me. I wear them proudly. They with the hips are a badge of honour.

I have big blue eyes, the best laugh ever, and I am contagiously happy (when I forget about this shit). I own the room.

I am tall... people notice me. And look up. Lol

When I own who I am, I am unforgettable.

And on the inside, I am Tallgirl, I am good, kind, caring, and loving. I have a heart with my integrity intact. am I somewhat broken, yes, without a doubt. But I am also all these good things too.

Would you do me a favour? Describe yourself like this to you. Then look at the AP.... you will only see ugly.

My mom used to say ugly is to the bone. It is true.

Good is straight through to the soul.

Big hugs.

[This message edited by Tallgirl at 9:16 AM, April 10th (Friday)]

gmc94 posted 4/10/2020 11:35 AM

ugly is to the bone
.... let's call that "ugly bone" for the dictionary maybe?

Tallgirl posted 4/10/2020 11:41 AM

Love it

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