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Humiliation and emasculation of a BH

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Stinger posted 4/19/2020 20:40 PM

He has pretty concrete proof you preferred your affair partner to him. I can only speak for myself, obviously, but I cannot imagine anything my cheater wife could possibly do to erase that knowledge, other than have me lobotomized.
I think most folks want to feel like their spouses'first choice, someone who loves them exclusively, romantically. That is pretty much gone after an affair.
Maybe the best you can hope for is that your BH comes to accept that and that he realizes that your deficiencies do not reflect on him.
Perhaps ask him why he allows your poor choices and immoral actions to reflect on him.

Snowyjune posted 4/20/2020 03:18 AM

This post has been hard to read and respond to, because at the end, I am a fraud.

I have been lying to myself, to protect myself.. afraid to come clean and be 100% transparent as I truly believed that my actions post D-day was no longer applicable to my current reality.
I was willing to take all the necessary measures to ensure BH feels safe EXCEPT for the very/only thing he needed.

I minimized, hid and TT for 7 months, giving my BH 3 D-Days, despite the pleas to be honest. Hoping it will not matter as I am "different" now.

He is 3 weeks out. It doesn't matter when your first dday was. Everything has been reset based on dday 2.

I gave him full disclosure last night.. 7 months late. I have completely screwed up his reality. Everything I've told him from Sep to today and everything I've made him believed is now thrown out of the door. He doubts everything that he thought he knew.
All because i was too scared to press the reset button and convinced myself that working on other aspects will help to make up for the obvious need of transparency which I wouldn't give.

I couldn’t help my husband or possibly build a better marriage until I came from an authentic place, not damage control central.
I needed to let go of the illusion of control and it sounds like you do too.

I finally understand this. There is nothing I can expect of him, but plenty I need to do.

Thank you everyone for the messages. I will read through everyone's post carefully and work on my why's, as well as take all the mindful steps to speak with BH in a way that will help him. There is much I need to do.

MiserableMan posted 4/20/2020 05:01 AM

What new information did you give him ?

Zugzwang posted 4/20/2020 09:29 AM

If you had a dday 3 now. Then you really were no where near remorse and you really haven't been looking into your whys. Hence, why we were saying you were in damage control. Damage control is all about regret.

How did Dday 2 come about? Something he discovered or you admitted to?

thatwilldo posted 4/20/2020 11:30 AM


You said:

I have been lying to myself, to protect myself.. afraid to come clean and be 100% transparent as I truly believed that my actions post D-day was no longer applicable to my current reality.
I was willing to take all the necessary measures to ensure BH feels safe EXCEPT for the very/only thing he needed.

I minimized, hid and TT for 7 months, giving my BH 3 D-Days, despite the pleas to be honest. Hoping it will not matter as I am "different" now.

Boy, this really resonated with me! I thought the same way, only for years, not months. I used lies of omission and straight out lies of commission. I told myself that I was protecting him from hurting more... I was protecting myself. I told myself, as you did, that I was "different now" too. I thought I had changed and therefore I could move on from the "aberration" of the affair. I was so wrong. My BS has suffered so much at my hands and from my lies.

and you said:

I gave him full disclosure last night.. 7 months late.

Good for you! Reread How to Help... by Linda McDonald. You've made a good step.

WontBeFooledAgai posted 4/20/2020 11:35 AM

Wait, what. So there STILL was stuff you hadn't been telling your BH? After all this?

I minimized, hid and TT for 7 months, giving my BH 3 D-Days, despite the pleas to be honest. Hoping it will not matter as I am "different" now.

Well, but you lied to your BH again despite knowing how important it is that you are honest. HOW are you "different"?

I am sorry to have to say this @snowyjune, but I'm having a tough time believing you when you say there won't be a DD 4, didn't you tell us that you already told your BH everything after DD 2?

If I find your words hard to believe, can you even imagine what your poor BH is going through right now.

[This message edited by WontBeFooledAgai at 9:04 PM, April 20th (Monday)]

HellFire posted 4/20/2020 11:36 AM

Did you give him full disclosure because he found something else out,and you had no choice? Or did you sit him down and tell him without being forced?

What else did you have to tell him?

oldtruck posted 4/21/2020 06:26 AM

your BH will come slowly around once he realizes that you
had to overcome your fear of telling him everything.

i hope that you made your BH aware of this.

being trickle truthed for weeks or months is not as bad as doing
it for years

[This message edited by oldtruck at 6:28 AM, April 21st (Tuesday)]

gmc94 posted 4/21/2020 10:58 AM

Do you see that the subject of this thread is your BH's emasculation and humiliation... and the whole time it's been active, you have continued to emasculate and humiliate him with your deceit?

Three words: Written. Timeline. Now.

All the gory details. Many recommend (myself included) two versions: the X rated (with all sexual details) and the R version (bc the A, in and of itself, even w/o the sexual details, makes it "R-rated" IMO).

You must include EVERYTHING. Every last detail. As you remember things in the future, add them to the timeline - even if you S. Even if your BH files for D. No matter what - you will have a complete, written, account of your secret sexual life.

Why? It's not "just" for your BH. Its for you as well. It's for you to find the courage to actually and completely face the A. Face your choices. Face the harm. It can become a roadmap of sorts to help find the whys. It can certainly be a touchstone for you to remember when your executive brain falls flat.

Therapists who use the relational betrayal model recognize that the first things are the WS finding empathy and the WS finding the courage to be fully honest - or fully CANDID (ie not "just' answering questions). I think most folks who've spent some time in these trenches recognize that it's difficult for the WS to locate their honesty bone. At the same time, it's the ONLY thing that can begin to rebuild any semblance of trust, and every day the WS remains in a lie, is a day that the WS remains wayward. Complete timeline (whether "for" the BS or not) is the way to begin to change from a WS to a safe partner. Regardless of what happens with your BH, it's something a good, trained, IC can work with to support your path to honesty, decency, and integrity (assuming that is something to which you aspire). There cannot be a SINGLE lie, untruth, secret, or element of deceit that you take to your grave. Not a one.

If a WS had remained faithful, this kind of radical honesty wouldn't be necessary. There is a certain amount of secrecy (or privacy) in any relationship. The problem is that once a person becomes a WS, secrets and dishonesty are akin to an alcoholic with booze. You can't have "just one" anymore. Like in NEVER. Going NC / stopping the A but keeping the secrets is like an alcoholic quitting booze but taking up pot or cocaine or heroin. Just supplementing one fucked up way of thinking for another.

So. Written. Timeline. NOW.

And provide your BH with the contact info for your APs BW (aka the OBS) so he can do the right thing and give the OBS her agency to life a life of reality. If he doesn't do it, then you do it. Immediately.

ETA: I hesitate to add this, but we all have differing linguistic abilities (for both WS/BS). IF (and that may be a big if) you have the wherewithal, do a draft and then try and edit for using an active voice and a voice of ownership. If you'd had the luxury of a good IC or CSAT, you'd have spent the past 7 months doing this work.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 1:24 PM, April 21st, 2020 (Tuesday)]

Zugzwang posted 4/21/2020 11:56 AM

You should read sosorry17 posts. Learn a few things from her. How it all turned out because of her choices after the first DDay.

WalkingHome posted 4/21/2020 12:51 PM

sosorry17 should be a case study of what not to do, why you shouldn't do it, and how not to R with someone who seriously wants to R with you.

Her selfishness, short sightedness, and childish perspective on relationships, lead directly to her D. Sad.

He seriously wanted to R with her until he caught her with the OM the last time....after the OM got out of jail for threatening and stalking her family.


numb&dumb posted 4/22/2020 04:18 AM

The humiliation and emasculation I felt after Dday was twofold:

1. I felt inadequate as a man, husband and father. Add in a measure of negative self talk. . .well it wasn't going to get any better when I was my own worst critic.

2. I felt ashamed that I agreed to try and work things out with my wife. Too many societal pressures plus how I'd always dealt with the fear that this could happen. I assumed I would D with extreme prejudice.I think that last point is common amongst people who have not experienced this firsthand.

I am 8 + years out and happily reconciled with my wife.

The thing I must mentioned that was underneath these things was a heavy measure of co-dependence. My M prior was a single entity that reflected on both of us. No room for individuality or even room to be less than perfect. Any hint of imperfection reflected that both of us were less than perfect. In hindsight it seems so foolish.

So the thing I needed to learn in all this was that my W's choices are hers. Nothing I did or did not do caused her to make the choice to betray me. It is easy to say that, but much harder to actually do.

Looking back our M certainly had dysfunction. I made mistakes. My W made mistakes too. I think that point gets lost sometimes. Both parties made mistakes that contributed to a less than ideal message. This is outside of the choice to have an A. Several other options existed to fix our M. Of course not being secure enough in ourselves we could never admit this to each other let alone to ourselves. We wanted the fairy tale so bad that it blinded us to the very real issues in our M. My Ws mental health issues are relevant to mention here as well. Although her admitting it or me pointing it out was too big of a risk.

Getting back to humiliation and emasculation. Most BS blame themselves for their WS choices. It is common to the point that it is textbook.
Why would we blame ourselves for our WS choices anymore than we would blame another person that makes choices that hurt people ? The thing is that we don't. Which points to the absurdity of that statement. We, as individuals, cannot change free will. No one can stop someone from doing something they really want to do. Key point here. You wanted to have an A. Be honest on that point with yourself and your H. Own it without pointing to anything else. You both need to see this as truth.

His feelings are his own. He will have to detach from you to work out his own feelings about this and deeper issues. A good IC is what worked for me. He has to understand that he will be ok no matter the outcome. He needs security right now. He will be sensitive to any criticism, any request or any talk of your victimhood. You need to find an IC to work through your own issues too.

As I detached I was free to look at myself and remember who I was outside of my indentity as a husband and father. That guy was/is awesome. That was a long journey. Very long. I am proud of that, but I would not wish that on my own worst enemy. While you may think that you cheating on him is hard, and it is, but it is nothing to growing pains associated with what I did in my IC's office. I cried in a fetal position many times reliving old pain. We are all the sum of our experiences from birth. Most of these things influences our choices in way that are not always apparent. Identifying those is the first step to healing.

Key point. Explanation of why we choose what we do does not justify them. It can explain it without excusing it. In R that applies to both BS and WS. Any potential mental health issues need to be identified and treated (if there are any)

Don't get me wrong the journey to healing is highly individual, but we need help to get there. An IC can give us directions, but we have to make that journey using what directions we were given. Our spouses can support us by allowing us that time and act as a sounding board when we feel vulnerable enough to share. We might not and that is ok too.

Your BH is likely very raw right now and he needs safety more than anything. Actively providing transparency is key to that. He needs to know that the knock out blows are over. Full disclosure of everything (see timeline) will give him most of that. Answering questions related to that honestly (without being crass or hurtful) adds to belief that this is what really happened in his life.

Lastly I sense some impatience in your words. This is a process measured in months and years. Day to day and week to week are not accurate measures. Right now you need to lay the groundwork for building trust later. Be 100% transparent in an active way. Don't simply make your devices available. Unlock/log on and offer him time away from you to look at them. Not healthy longer term, but for right now, he needs some truth to hang onto. If you run errands give him receipts or pictures with GPS coordinates. Something like life 360 can help with this too.

Further your words aren't going to be taken at face value unless you back them up with actions. Words are easy. Actions are harder. Don't make promise of doing things you can't prove you did. No lies of omission. Nothing you share is going to make him think less of you than he already does. You need to be extremely vulnerable with him. That is hard, but very necessary. Books, IC can help with this. Share things you never have before. Painful or Joyful doesn't matter as long as they are genuine.

Listen carefully. In this process you will fail. It is inevitable. There is not another way to find the "right" combination of things without trial and error. The thing that is important is that you keep trying. Effort counts as much as effect does. When he doesn't want space use these opportunities to talk to him about your feelings. Give him a safe place to talk. Let the anger exhaust itself. Anger is secondary emotion. Something painful and too vulnerable usually lies underneath it.

Please note the things he has to say right now are not going to be pleasant, but again watch his actions. He can leave whenever he wants to do so. If he is still there you still have a chance. I can't count how many times I told my W that I was divorcing her. I meant them most often, but making decisions in anger is never a good idea. I will point out I never actually left long term.

Also NC is a must. Through transparency he can be assured that this continues. If you resume contact. . .I can almost guarantee it will end your M. If you can't commit to that then be merciful to him and end the M. I know you have no plans to do so now while it is all so fresh, but I'd bet you never thought you'd be in this spot earlier on in your M either. False faith in your self sidesteps vigilance. Be mindful of this. Contact can be mental or secondary too. This is an action that tells your H that you don't want to be M'd to him or that you don't have his best interest at heart.

At the end of the day a real, true, honest M that allows room for both of you to be individuals that "choose" to be M'd is the endgame. Another key point a M you "Want" to be a part of versus one you feel you have to be a part of.

As much as you want to believe the later your H is in the M today because he feels he "has" to be in. Your part in that is make the prospect of a renewed M a better future for him than a D. You don't force, guilt, beat him down to get there. You show him how good it could be and let him make his own decisions. You've made your decision in the past. You need to allow him to make his. Nothing you can do, now, can change that.

I've typed too much again :) I'll stop for now. R is possible and I am much happier today with myself, my life and my renewed M that I thought possible. It is possible, but again it has to be something you both want. Further it has to be something you are willing to make a priority to work towards. If neither of you want a renewed M then it likely means that the M will not be renewed and revitalized.

BraveSirRobin posted 4/22/2020 05:02 AM

At this stage, a complete written timeline is your only hope, and I do mean complete. Absolute. Every incident, every photo, every conversation, every declaration, every sex act, every past lie, every plan that didn't pan out, every last fucking "insignificant" detail.

I went through several stages of TT after D-Day 2. Each time, I said "That's it, that's everything," not because it really was everything, but because I had reached the limit of what I thought I could disclose and still have my marriage survive. Or my BH survive. Or myself survive. Those priorities shifted around from hour to hour, but the end result was the same: selling myself on the narrative that as the only person who knew the true facts of the A, I was the only one who could determine how damaging those facts would be, and therefore what to disclose. "That's all" really meant "That's all I will ever be able to confess, and frankly, it's already more than I imagined I would tell."

I actually persuaded myself that there was a certain nobility in taking the truth to the grave. Once I had finally found remorse, what was the point of throwing it all away on details? He knew I'd fucked OM, so he knew the worst of it. Couldn't we just leave it there, and let me prove that I was different now, that that was all in the past?

No. No. No. No.

This place is littered with the corpses of failed reconciliations because of WS who could not let go of that kind of thinking. Over and over, we see BS moving over to the Divorce/Separation forum, saying "I might have been able to forgive the affair, but I couldn't forgive them continuing to lie." As long as you are still hiding anything about the affair (or, God help us, affairs), you are still the exact same person who cheated and betrayed your BH. The affair is active. It is still going on, even if you are no longer in contact. You are loyal to yourself over your BH. You are manipulating and controlling him, telling yourself that it's what's best for both of you. It is ONLY what is best for you.

And he knows it. The cat is already out of the bag.

I get it, I do. I remember the fear, the regret, the disbelief that I had landed myself and BH in this mess. I remember the thoughts racing around in my head, the utter panic, the desperation, the gray blank terror of losing my future, the humiliation of everyone finding out who I really was, of my H finding out who I really was, even after multiple D-Days he didn't know how bad I was, I was so stupid, it was the worst mistake of my life but I could fix it, please please please just let me hit reset and fix it, stop everything from being pointlessly thrown away just when I was finally committed to really changing, really, for real this time.

And I remember the rewriting stage, too. The attempts to actually reprogram my memory to forget things I could not bear to tell. The recharacterization of facts, of what I was thinking, of what I agreed to, of why I did what I did. Minimization. Blameshifting. Denial. I did it all.

God, there's so much I could say to you about that. I could write an encyclopedia, but if you aren't listening by now, it's probably pointless.

Write the complete truth with a polygraph in mind. Imagine that you will be asked, "Did you deliberately omit or misrepresent any facts in your timeline?" Read, audit yourself, and correct any misrepresentation that would keep you from passing the poly. If you cannot do this, then prepare to be reading, auditing and signing off on your divorce agreement instead. Honestly, it's possible you can't avoid that, but letting go of the outcome and telling the truth may still have the power to save you. If you can't stop lying, divorce is the only option he'll have left.

This is your last chance, Snowyjune. The last one. Please don't waste it.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 9:44 AM, April 22nd (Wednesday)]

Serpico posted 4/22/2020 08:31 AM


Read and re-read BraveSirRobin's post above.

These are the wise words of someone who is obviously experienced in the unique pain of being a wayward spouse and has truly rehabilitated and reformed themselves.

Speaking as a BS, I feel that this is the response most of us BS's are looking for when struggling with the decision whether or not to reconcile.

Good luck to you.

gmc94 posted 4/22/2020 10:09 AM

As long as you are still hiding anything about the affair ... you are still the exact same person who cheated and betrayed your BH. The affair is active. It is still going on, even if you are no longer in contact. You are loyal to yourself over your BH. You are manipulating and controlling him, telling yourself that it's what's best for both of you. It is ONLY what is best for you.

And he knows it.

THIS. Remember THIS. As long as there is a lie within you, you are still wayward - whether or not you are NC with your AP.

SnowyJune - you've been back to SI, but not replied on this thread. How is it going?

emergent8 posted 4/22/2020 17:02 PM

Read what BraveSirRobin wrote. Read it again. Take it to heart.

After the initial normal TT that came out post-D-Day was assured I had the whole truth but it didn't make sense to me and I continued to push. By that point, we had started MC. I hadn't committed to R out loud yet but I was certainly headed in that direction. I had made myself clear, that I couldn't handle any more lies. I was assured there was none. I had started to let myself build back trust. Then I picked at something that started to pull apart when faced with scrutiny and I kept investigating. I found out there were details... small details... stuff that didn't even matter much in the grand scheme of what I had already heard... that didn't make sense. I kept picking until I learned what I had been told was a lie (this was legitimately a really small thing in the grand scheme of things).

When I confronted my husband the truth came out. Then out tumbled the rest. 3 more things that he had lied about and was holding back (one thing because it was obviously painful, the other stuff was minor and he'd only kept it secret because he had already assured me there was nothing else). He had a f*cking list. I was livid. I kicked him out and not just because of the one thing that was painful (part of me almost understood that lie), but particularly because of the small stupid shit that he was lying about for no good reason. For the first time since D-Day I was really and truly done. I was stronger then than I was at D-Day and he had just proven to me that he was not worth it and could not be trusted. In my life, I have never been more angry. I think it scared the shit out of him.

There has not been another D-day. My husband wrote a complete and detailed timeline shortly afterwards. He understood at that point that I had been pushed to my breaking point. We all have one. For me, I was ready to fucking leave his ass over something tiny. Something that wouldn't have barely registered had it come out earlier. I've seen the same thing happen to many around here.

Snowyjune posted 4/22/2020 19:05 PM

Spent 6 hours speaking with BH on the lies of my life, all the lies I've told myself and him.

Doing a written timeline now..

Yes BraveSirRobin's post has been very helpful. It resonated so much with me - the fear, disbelief. Everything. Please do pm me if you have more insights to share (I wanted to but couldn't). I have read and reread everyone's posts here as well.

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