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Wanting to move forward

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inahole posted 4/30/2020 18:56 PM

I'm stuck at home in quarantine, and its not well.
I thought this would be a turning point towards understanding. I've been on and off of this sight for 4-yrs. I've never really posted much, but have really been focusing now. My story is a long one, so here it is. Our D-Day was October 2014, my BW had been unhappy for a long-time and finally looked in my phone and found e-mails from a customer that i was flirting with and chasing. I 1st replied "how did you find these, I thought I totally got rid of all evidence of her!" I then denied any relationship and said she was just a business associate and left it at that, TOTAL DENIAL! The OW was the sister of one of my large clients, he told me to train her in our industry and she would be in contact with me exclusively, that was in October 2009. She was younger and talked very flirtatious and I ate that up. We spoke multiple times a week and I thought we were friends. This close business relationship went on thru 2010,11, into 12 where she separated from her husband and became available.
I was thinking about her and she wanted to go out for drinks, I didn't, but I got mad when
one of my other customers did and was asking me about her status. I had an Epiphany one moment late that summer and realized I was thinking about her all the time, before I got to work, at work, after work, and why was I contemplating throwing away my marriage and how can I get her out of my mind. she changed positions at her job and then found a boyfriend, I was still thinking about her but not nearly as much. When I did talk to her I turned to putty, and didn't stand up against her. I went to their X-mas party that December to see here a last time. I never told my W about her, never even mentioned she worked there. She left working there in the Spring of 2013.
While all this was going on I totally ignored my W.I was in complete denial that I had a thing for OW. I never would own it, trickle truthed & gas-lighted W, and W doesn't believe any of it.
After 2-yrs W called OW and she hung up on her, my W messaged her on Facebook only to get a condescending nasty reply. I never changed any behaviors with my W. I went to IC and didn't feel I got anything out of it. Went back to same therapist but still didn't have the right attitude. I've always been defensive and argumentative with W. I took a lie detector test and I passed but said that I was such a pathological liar that I convinced the machine.
When I had been on SI before, I thought it didn't apply to me, since I didn't have a PA (which W cannot believe), and I didn't think I had had an emotional affair, because I never asked any questions of OW, I never made plans, professed my love, or went anywhere with her. I do realize that I did betray my wife because I didn't tell her about it. I kept secrets and It took me ages to own that.
Went back to IC 3RD time with new therapist, got much more out of it by having an open mind, found out I have a lot of FOO issues, I'm passive aggressive, have low self-esteem and I compartmentalize.
W is tired of waiting for me to change, has stopped having sex with me 1-1/2yrs ago, just criticizes and says she's given up caring about me. W is miserable and angry for blowing up our relationship. I've learned a lot in the last 6-months and I am really working on myself, but she says too little to late. I can't seem to do a time-line because I don't know whats relevant to enter, since we didn't rendezvous. I could use some guidance, I'm facing my fear and anxiety in writing this. I want to move forward with the Woman that I hurt so badly. I've done everything wrong from day-1 and feel awful for W and want to repair our relationship.

foreverlabeled posted 5/1/2020 05:43 AM

Hi, thank you for having the courage to share. I think it is completely normal for your BW to question a PA. Not only for your proven capability but proximity. The best thing you can do is to be understanding of her doubts and show compassion and consistency. Radical honesty helps too.

I can't seem to do a time-line because I don't know whats relevant to enter

Have you asked your BW what is relevant to her? That is where I would start. But, I get the feeling she might be over talking about it all with you?

The basics of a timeline is the who what when where in chronological order. When I wrote mine out I put myself in my ex's shoes and asked what would I want to know. You should include thoughts and feelings, perhaps if you can remember the contents of emails or texts, and include any and all dialogue. And, then I would also say that any contact in person would be important, include the circumstance and conversations had.

No detail is too small. The more you can give the better.

This might prove challenging to pin down dates exactly seeing it was a long time ago and I'm sure all evidence has long been destroyed. But, if I were you I would take it a step further and try to dig it all up. Old phones and lap tops would be going straight to a tech to see what can be restored.

Good luck with this, truly. Dedicate yourself to this endeavor and take your time to get it truthfully and throughly.

inahole posted 5/1/2020 10:19 AM

Thank you for the encouragement, unfortunately our old work server had glitched and kept duplicating old emails exponentially to the point that the memory and storage capacity was compromised, we kept having to erase and wipe clean. the only thing left are a dozen or so emails to & from OW.
I got my boss to give me my cell ph# records of company cell phone (I don't have a personal one). there were only half a dozen calls to OW's cell and for only a few minutes long all over 3-year period. We couldn't access texts with-out a court order. I got my boss to give me my expense reports from back then, and some where missing (at important times). All the evidence I provided just creates more doubt. All this information just points to something missing leaving W wanting more.
I am going to write every memory I have of OW, I won't have exact dates, but I will piece together what I can with what I have. How can I eliminate the doubt without the detailed evidence. I'm not trying to prove my innocence, I accept that I broke my vows by keeping OW a secret, and being in denial about my mixed feelings and not being all committed to my marriage. I just want to be honest & forth coming, to give her what she needs and wants. I need to build back the trust I've broken. I know I've procrastinated indefinitely, but I have to complete and conquer this fear.

Zugzwang posted 5/2/2020 10:52 AM

My first thought.

and didn't stand up against her.We spoke multiple times a week and I thought we were friends.
Why are you a victim to the AP? I just don't see any ownership. You come across as if you were naive and taken advantage of because you wanted to be friends and blah blah blah. The real basis is that you shouldn't have been friends to begin with. You shouldn't be entertaining women that are flirtatious. You have no boundaries and you come across as entitled to behave this way in a marriage. This is okay behavior if you are single. This isn't your APs fault for being irresistible. This is your fault for lacking any self esteem and self confidence. You lack zero empathy for your wife still? Are you diagnosed anything?
but still didn't have the right attitude.
What is the right attitude?
I took a lie detector test and I passed but said that I was such a pathological liar that I convinced the machine.
You admit you lied when you took that test? Is it possible you are pathological in other ways other than just lying?

I do realize that I did betray my wife because I didn't tell her about it. I kept secrets and It took me ages to own that.
You didn't betray your wife because you lied about it. You betrayed your wife because you wanted and thought about another woman all the time. You went out of your way to see her. Flirt with her. Things you should not have been doing with another woman. Do you get that? That, that type of behavior when married is wrong? It is cheating? You got emotional fixes from someone else.

Since you still mention that your wife was

BW had been unhappy for a long-time
you really sound like you still blame your wife for your choices to look elsewhere. So far, it is your wife's fault for looking, it is your wife's fault for being unhappy and not feeding your ego, it is the APs fault for being a vixen. Nothing is your fault. What about you wanted and feel your entitled to behaviors that married people should not being doing. You made it happen. You went to the Christmas party. You made yourself available. You chose to manipulate.
I accept that I broke my vows by keeping OW a secret, and being in denial about my mixed feelings and not being all committed to my marriage.
There you go again. The first thing you mention is that you broke your vows by keeping the AP secret. That isn't why you broke you vows. That is just part of being a cheater. You broke your vows by having an emotional relationship and seeking out the companionship of another woman. It wasn't that you kept another woman secret. It was that you had another woman.

has stopped having sex with me 1-1/2yrs ago, just criticizes and says she's given up caring about me. W is miserable and angry for blowing up our relationship.
You just gave her TT. That you continued to speak to your AP? What do you expect? You just admitted to lying and getting away with it with a lie detector. That you are a pathological liar.

I can't seem to do a time-line because I don't know whats relevant to enter, since we didn't rendezvous.
Really? Come on. How about your lies? When you saw the AP. You met up at the party and lied about that. What did you do there with the AP?

I get you probably didn't do much with AP. Honestly it sounds more like you were obsessed with her. In some one-way street. It really sounds more like it was all you. Just saying. A very compulsive thing. You didn't get to have her. You got your wife. So, now you have thrown her away like an object.

There is zero empathy, compassion, or remorse for her. It is very cold.

I want to move forward with the Woman that I hurt so badly. I've done everything wrong from day-1 and feel awful for W and want to repair our relationship.
really? Why? Because you want to or because you are supposed to? Every time you mention your wife it is about what you perceive as her faults. How she is making this difficult. How it inconveniences you. In a very regretful manner.

inahole posted 5/2/2020 20:39 PM

Zug, 1st of all I want to say that my W is completely amazing! None of this is here fault, its all mine.I blame myself for what has happened, and how much I took my wife for granted. I now can love & appreciate her for all she is. I truly admire her strength, intellect, beauty and charm, she is the best! I am so sorry for all the pain and suffering I have caused her. I know I have created such great mental anguish in her life. I see that now and I wish I could do it all over again differently. I know that's not possible, but what I can do is focus on the present, make the changes now and BE a better man. I've follow the stereotypical male patterns all my life.
1- don't show emotions
2- be stoic
3- be aloof
4- don't talk about anything deep or upsetting

What I've become in following those rules/tools
is a terrible communicator, who is shallow, self-absorbed and defensive, someone who will not let them-selves be vulnerable. I've read that once you shut off your vulnerability, you are no-longer listening. I want to fix this, not because I just F'd it up, but because I see how weak I acted to any adversity and just ran away from the greatest person in my life. I've read many posts here about owning your shit! This is why I'm here, no excuses, no blame shifting, or gas-lighting, taking responsibility for the choices I made and fixing the damage I caused. I talked about lying in previous post, I don't feel i'm pathological, but I have tried to put myself in the best possible light, by distorting the truth (lying!). or not bringing things up, or leaving things out(lies of omission!) being honest 1st with myself, and others is a big priority now for me, another point I've gotten here.
I said my W was unhappy, she was unhappy with me, because I was moody and aloof and not communicating with her any of my issues with myself. I've run away from every difficult emotion I've ever had, I know that's why I ran to someone else. I've been to IC and have worked on assertiveness. I keep forcing myself to start conversations instead of compartmentalizing and being quiet.
I appreciate your directness, its like a slap in the face to force you too look at yourself and change, thanks. Making these posts is work, but doing the work is what its all about. Looking at all the damage from these choices I made is sobering and hard, but I refuse to keep running away. I'm committed to show my W the love I have for her for all she has given to me, I am grateful.

Zugzwang posted 5/3/2020 12:38 PM

If you want to fix it, then own it. Not just that you lied about having an affair. Own that you choose to have an affair and that was wrong. Own your choice. Own you made it happen. Stop playing the victim and stop putting blame on the AP. You have dragged your wife along for years. TT her years out and I get it... you are finally realizing what you have when you are losing it. You can't bank on her always putting up with your shit, your selfishness anymore, or your entitlement. You chose to take advantage of her love and trust and you chose to take that for granted. You treated her like a parent while you played at being a teen for years. You want to fix this. You have to look at yourself and stop whining about how she is reacting to you treating her like shit for a long time.

I took a lie detector test and I passed but said that I was such a pathological liar that I convinced the machine.
How did you beat the machine? Did you look up ways to do it? You called yourself pathological. You either are or you aren't. Years out and a new TT. Every thing from what you described has been forced or found out by your wife. Own it.

Your wife was unhappy because you chose to destroy the intimacy by having an affair with a coworker. Which in turn you most likely were treating her like crap while you were chasing the AP from work. You chose to treat her like a parent. You took her for granted and you took advantage of that. You want to help her. Admit the ugly shit about yourself. Your past issues and your issues are contributing factors. Not excuses. Ultimately however fucked up you were...you chose it. You chose to incorporate these things into yourself and inflict them on others.

What are some reasons why you ran to this AP? She flirted with you. Boost your self esteem. Not just the running from emotional stuff you didn't want to share. You seemed really obsessed with her. How did she look? Behave? Was the affair really two way?

So, why now? Why do you love your wife now? Why do you see her now? What do you love about her? Is it because she is finally calling it quits? Like a dog with a bone...which is perfectly normal like I said. It takes most WS losing something before we actually see what we had. It isn't right or fair to the BS, yet it is the reality. How do you see your wife? As an object that you stand to lose? You will be alone. No one to take care of you when you get sick. Wash your clothes. Feed you. What is it?

HalfTime2017 posted 5/5/2020 18:24 PM


I, as a BS wouldn't necessarily categorize your relationship with the OW an affair.

I would have to disagree with the others. One person cannot have an affair without an AP that is aware that they have a relationship. That's just a fantasy, nothing else.

On the boards, we always say, you can't have an 3rd wheel in your marriage bc its between 2 people. But in this case, the 3rd party affair partner never knew she was having an affair with you. You were interested, and you had a crush, but you never really acted on it, and those actions that you did take below sound like you were short on good boundaries, but hardly can we call that an affair.

You do have some work to do to repair yourself, and if you choose to repair your marriage. Seeing that its been 6 yrs now, and you didn't have a full blown affair and your wife is still bent, I'd say there are other issues. You did a poly, the OW is no longer in the picture, I'd say get your wife some IC.

You are not completely innocent, but based on your story below, its one of the mildest betrayals I've read on this board. Its no excuse, but 6 yrs and no movement!! There's something else going on. Maybe your W just never got over it and is holding it over your head. Its not like she walked out on you. B/c if she was going to do that, she would have done it already.

Sometimes as a man, we are quick to want to fix things. I think you have to ask yourself if you really do want to fix this?Get into IC, work out your issues and have her work on herself as well.

inahole posted 5/5/2020 19:17 PM

I see my wife as a beautiful person inside & out, some one I love, respect and adore. She is a smart, caring, self sacrificing woman with unbeatable drive and determination. I look back and see her as my rock, the one constant in a unstable world. I was happy, I thought we were happy, at times we were, but I was distant, full of fear & anxiety. I think back to any moment that I didn't think I could move forward, she listened to me, calmed me, and nudged me forward to give me the confidence and ability to overcome my anxiety. She's made me the successful businessman I am today, i'm confident & successful at my job. In my personal life though I didn't have that same confidence. I think back how I couldn't stand-up to my Family.I see that I sacrificed my W's respect to appease them, and in doing so and not confronting them on there rudeness I blamed my wife and pushed her way. I did that over & over to her. My inability to be assertive created resentment in me against her, and I looked for comfort elsewhere. I've now learned to speak-up against my family and dis-engage with them, I realized they disrespected me by disrespecting my W. I know it's late in the game, but it's never too late to learn how to be a better person.
I didn't cheat the lie detector test, but I bragged about how I heard on the radio how people have beaten them. During the interview information came out in discussion before the test, and I said OW had called me which I lied about before and said she hadn't. That was the last contact. I used to blame OW for my situation, but I know it was my decisions, my choice to flirt, my choice to keep her a secret and never talk about her to my W that got me here. We all have choices, and I know the choices I made were mine, no one else is to blame. I'ts amazing once you take responsibility for your actions & own it, you truly see the damage you did.

Zugzwang posted 5/6/2020 13:11 PM

Sounds like you are jealous of your wife for being everything you aren't. Been there done that. I think we pick people either totally different than us that we want to learn from and help complete us in ways we lack. Thing is not all of us have the courage or motivation to actually use that. So, in time we become jealous and resent. (Or for some they pick partners like a parent that didn't treat them well because they is what they think they deserve- the bad pickers. People that might be their mirror image of themselves or a parent.) My wife is completely opposite of my mother and myself.

You need to establish some boundaries and put your family in their place. Not just for your wife's respect. For your own self respect. Stand up already.

Face what you just stepped upon. Not to be a shit, but you were a coward. So was I. Explore that. Share it with her. Choose to be vulnerable. Otherwise you just don't lose her and the marriage. You just stay lost and unhappy with yourself.

Did AP know you were married?

inahole posted 5/7/2020 13:55 PM

HT2017, yes you are correct in saying something else was missing in my marriage, and it was my commitment! My W did everything right, she was committed to me and our marriage. I definitely took that for granted, and put little effort into it. I've done IC and it's helped some, it showed me the way to find MY whys, but only I can do that work.
The OW knew what was going on, she participated in this relationship. She used her sexuality to get what she wanted, and it took me a while to see that. One time I heard her talk to someone else in the same sultry flirtatious way she did with me, and I was jealous and hurt, instead of realizing how fake and manipulative she was. I've since realized how phony it all was, back when I was in the fog, I refused to see the reality of it. She knew she was leading me on, and I knew I wanted it to continue, so I kept pushing my boundaries out to justify my bad behavior. I made the choices, I had the ability to stop it, but I chose not to.
I've come to realize , I don't want the same old relationship with my W, I want to create A new one, for all the right reasons, not because I should, or have to, but because I want to. I've learned in order to appreciate things you have to work hard on on them, and I know have a lot of work to do.

Zugzwang posted 5/7/2020 16:18 PM

Do you want to change for yourself? Do you want to be proud of yourself? You have to be at that point to really change. Not just to keep something.

inahole posted 5/7/2020 19:14 PM

ZUG, yes I found a strong confident Woman in my Wife. Someone opposite of me & my family. She was more different than anyone else I ever met, Smart, Intelligent, self-motivated, fearless, lovely & talented. She was totally self sufficient, driven to do it all on her own, while I was just struggling along, still living at home, still going to college trying to get started, barely getting by on my part-time job. She was established in her career, had her own place, was working 2-jobs to get ahead & she chose me. I was head-over heels in love with her, but I always thought I was playing catch-up though, due to my own insecurities. I've
been a bystander, never engaging, frozen and afraid of making my own choices, running away from responsibility. The EA is just scratching the surface of the problem, the hurt I caused was much deeper by not showing my W the love & admiration she needed, wanted, and deserved.

Yes I truly want to change, I'm so disgusted with myself. I look at my W and feel I wasted her time because I never would step up and be an adult or partner in our marriage. My W made my life easy, and instead of showing her gratitude, I just let her do all the work.
I truly see it all now, she was there for me but I wouldn't open up and be vulnerable, or honest about my fears & short-comings. I feel wanting forgiveness now is just a selfish desire.

BraveSirRobin posted 5/14/2020 10:46 AM

Hello again, IAH. I wrote to you back in October, and I want to encourage you to read that thread again. My concern about your comments here is that they look like a classic SI performance piece. I'm sure your BW is amazing, but writing it on SI isn't a valuable use of your time or ours. I suspect you're hoping she'll be appeased by reading it. I can tell you that my BH was not the slightest bit interested in hearing compliments from me on the heels of more TT. He wanted proof that I was all in, and words of praise were meaningless.

You've commented a few times that you've been here for years, paying lip service and not doing the work. Self-flagellation is pretty useless, too, and it's actively detrimental if it makes you feel like you've done something productive. We can't reach through the screen and force you to move from words to deeds. It's up to you to shit or get off the pot.

inahole posted 5/15/2020 09:59 AM

BSR & ZUG, I was angry at first when I read your comments, but that just shows that I'm still being defensive. I have to stop trying to make myself look better than I am. I normally would talk myself out of being upset, and then discard the comments and not respond, but not this time, I see them as help, not criticism. I'm pushing myself to exchange not run-away. Thanks

Zugzwang posted 5/15/2020 10:30 AM

What do you want right now? Forgiveness still? Focusing on what you want can help. I think a thing we have difficulty with it focusing on too many things at once. For people that already had bad coping skills, that seems impossible. So, break it down. Step by step. I would suggest the first step be finding a healthy thing to fill you up and build joy and pride in yourself. A hobby. A bucket list item. What could you do?

Snowyjune posted 5/17/2020 13:51 PM

IAH, your posts has the general theme of "I know", "I realize", which I don't disagree. You might know what you know.

But there's a difference in knowing that the ocean is big, vs how much water there actually is.

Just knowing won't help her or you.
Knowing the magnitude of her pain helps her, helps you.

Plus even when you think you know, you truly don't. Instead of accepting that and use it as an excuse, use that to drive your actions to always strive to be better.

The way to move forward is to stand still in this storm with your W, and feel what she feels, and to feel all of her devastation.

She needs to know you are with her, instead of managing/ placating her

[This message edited by Snowyjune at 1:53 PM, May 17th (Sunday)]

gmc94 posted 5/17/2020 14:02 PM


The way to move forward is to stand still in this storm with your W, and feel what she feels, and to feel all of her devastation.

She needs to know you are with her, instead of managing/ placating her

AintGonnaLose posted 5/17/2020 20:30 PM

SnowyJune nailed it.

Plus even when you think you know, you truly don't. Instead of accepting that and use it as an excuse, use that to drive your actions to always strive to be better.

You sound very much like my WS with all your “I know’s.” It makes me wonder how much you’re like him in his inaction and excuses.

[This message edited by AintGonnaLose at 8:31 PM, May 17th (Sunday)]

inahole posted 5/18/2020 10:41 AM

My W says this also, that I cannot comprehend the pain & suffering I caused. You can't until it happens to you, the real betrayal. I had an epiphany when I saw how much inheritance $ I had cheated my W out of by lying to her parents & siblings and creating such turmoil by gas-lighting
and denying my A, which made them think she was crazy. So much collateral damage from my actions.
I'm not looking for sympathy, just stating the truth of what I did.

AintGonnaLose posted 5/20/2020 11:46 AM

What to you mean “the real betrayal?” You say you can’t comprehend until it happens to you.... are you saying some kind of betrayal happened to you? Or is that another one of your “I know’s?” Because while you may be “just stating the truth” for some reason your tone strikes me as anything but honest, with yourself especially. You just don’t seem like you’re really trying to get it. When people who are truly remorseful for their actions and how they’ve hurt other people have an epiphany, the central theme is “I am such a piece of shit.” They struggle for a LOOONG time with regret, they live every day with their own pain for causing so much pain and so much damage and being totally oblivious to just how irrevocable their choices were and how permanent the fallout. Hopefully they learn to cope, to not give in to shame, but to use the failure to learn the healthy kind of humility that leads to gratitude, compassion, and growth. There are many examples of that here on this board. I’m a BS, never been a WS, but being in this position has made me look back on my own failures, things I did to my WS before the infidelity, things that he absolutely didn’t deserve, and fully realize the impact of my choices. As a result, I get it. I have empathy, respect, and a sense of kinship with with WS’s who are remorseful. The regret and self-condemnation must be the same, the crushing realization once it’s too late to do anything about it. The “I wish I would have known then what I know now. Now it’s too late.” That voice of self-condemnation is something that stays with a remorseful person for a long time. It’s something I have to fight every day. (I believe I will post my whole story soon on a more appropriate forum and share what I’ve learned if anyone is interested.) Its not a fun place to be, but it’s a necessary place to be if growth is going to be possible.

But I’ve gotten a vibe from your posts that your chief aim is to convince yourself and everyone else that you’re not such a bad guy. Even when you say things that seem self critical, it comes off like you’re still trying to paint yourself in the best possible light. Instead of “I’m such a piece of shit” and really feeling that way, it seems more like “I’m such a piece of shit.... see everybody? I’m not such a bad guy, I totally owned being a piece of shit... a lot of people won’t do that.” I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why I was getting that vibe, I was trying to keep an open mind, that maybe I was wrong. But then you said this:

I’m not looking for sympathy

immediately after telling such an awful story about what you’ve done to your wife, and I realized I was right. You don’t have a clue. Did you actually think that anyone was going to feel sympathy for YOU for sharing that? Why would they? It says to me that you care too much about what other people think of you, and on some level expect them to say “ah, he’s not such a bad guy.” That’s obviously what you keep telling yourself. But I can tell you that until you reach that gut wrenching understanding of “I’m such a piece of shit” your wife won’t believe anything you say, because you aren’t being honest. You’re trying to manage your image, and it’s more important than her pain, your growth, or keeping your marriage.

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