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Coming out of the darkness

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blahblahblahe posted 6/18/2020 21:21 PM

Why have you not scheduled and taken the polygraph that you told him you would do willingly?

Midlyfewife posted 6/18/2020 22:49 PM

So my husband has been in a bad mood for 2 days. I realize that can happen given what I have put him through.
Turns out the mood is the result of him feeling like he was hammered by people that are following both threads.
In April, we discussed a polygraph test, which was not only something I researched, but something I attempted to schedule. At the time I called, the shelter in place was very new. I was informed that as it was not court ordered, it was not considered essential and therefore could not be scheduled. She emailed me a contract and I told my husband I could put down the deposit but could not schedule. He asked that I wait until the shelter in place was lifted.

I know that he appreciates the feedback and advice he gets here, as do I, but should we not both be looking at points of view from people as guidance and not a dictation of what is the appropriate course of action to attempt to reconcile?

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 6/19/2020 07:05 AM

Turns out the mood is the result of him feeling like he was hammered by people that are following both threads.

Gently, the real reason he is in a bad mood is because he has a reason to be here at all. Every time my BH was upset, I would try to figure out why. Sure there was a reason that triggered it, but the answer was always the same, because I had an affair.

should we not both be looking at points of view from people as guidance and not a dictation of what is the appropriate course of action to attempt to reconcile?

Yes, however I strongly recommend that both of you take a pause at posts or advice that makes you particularly prickly. Sometimes those are the ones that will help you peel back another layer to understand the deepest parts of the betrayal and dysfunction. He will need to be able to process each layer too. Neither one of you understand just how many layers your betrayal has or how many little spots on your life it will touch. It is the reason it takes 2-5 years to heal. Words and actions matter so terribly much. Every little thing gets examined with a magnifying glass. It needs to and it changes over time. Donít be afraid of the uncomfortable. Itís how you get there.

Midlyfewife posted 6/19/2020 10:16 AM

WOE
I do appreciate that. I understand that the reason he is here at all is the primary source of his distress. I need to b aware of what triggers it and be more understanding. And also be aware that it is his choice to try to heal from my affair.


I will keep that in mind to take pause on posts that make me prickly. I imagine those are the ones that will cause me to look again at how I have hurt him. Which is something I need to be sure not to minimize.

Snowyjune posted 6/19/2020 13:32 PM

It is hard for WS to read on BS' responses to your BH, because we know deep down inside, to some extent, there is some truth to what they are saying.

There are lots and lots of advice given by well meaning folks, and lots more to process.

So take what is useful, understand the rising panic/ anxiety that comes with the reading. I am pretty sure your BH is not going to decide anything based on what people here tell him to. Everyone is really just trying to show our own POV as we all have/ are walking down similar paths.

At the very least, there is always support for both BS and WS.

Zugzwang posted 6/19/2020 13:52 PM

but should we not both be looking at points of view from people as guidance and not a dictation of what is the appropriate course of action to attempt to reconcile?

Why do you separate the two? What type of things go into the first and what type of things go into the second. Be honest with yourself. Personally, I don't see any difference in the two.

Midlyfewife posted 6/19/2020 23:26 PM

Snowy June
I agree that there are things that are useful and should be applied accordingly. There are many people that have already helped.
Zugzwang
To me the difference between guidance and dictation is this:
Guidance says you might benefit from or something that you may find useful to try.
Dictating says what you have to do.
As an aside to something I said on a previous post, I mentioned that I canít make my husband understand. What I am really trying to accomplish is expressing that my feelings of worthlessness were not the result of anything that he said or did.

MrsWalloped posted 6/21/2020 09:10 AM

Guidance says you might benefit from or something that you may find useful to try.
Dictating says what you have to do.

I only read a little of your husbandís threads, but really itís a distinction without a difference. This is an anonymous forum. He doesnít have to do anything. But people post a bit more forcefully when dealing with a BS in order to get the point across how important action and calling out issues is. Their perspective is to help him, not your marriage and not you. And if that means opening his eyes to things, they will call that out. I learned over time to really appreciate the BS meter that they use and I found it helpful when people called me out on my own issues.

Back to you, what have you been doing to work through your own issues? Have you been 100% honest with him. To be fair, I have a hard time believing a 4 and a half year affair only included oral sex. Affairs escalate and thatís a long time. Why didnít you go further? What held you both back? Did he pressure you? Why was that a bridge you wouldnít cross, but the oral sex was okay? Did he perform oral sex on you too? How did you feel about him? Did you love him? How do you feel about him now? How are your interactions with your BH?

Gosh, I have so many questions. Your posts seem very clinical and distanced. If you really want to be a different person, then itís much more about digging very deep and working on you than worrying about your marriage. You betrayed him in the worst way possible. I did the same thing. What we did was a horrible, evil thing. How do you repair that? I donít have answers, but I do know that you donít convince him, you donít get him to see your perspective and you donít try to make him understand because you donít understand yourself yet and really it doesnít even matter. You work on yourself and you empathize with his pain.

I know this post might seem like Iím challenging you. I am a little. But thereís so much hard work you need to do (not dictating ) if you really want to become a different person.

Zugzwang posted 6/21/2020 10:05 AM

I meant what do you consider are dictations to you that he is getting?

hikingout posted 6/22/2020 13:48 PM

Back to you, what have you been doing to work through your own issues? Have you been 100% honest with him. To be fair, I have a hard time believing a 4 and a half year affair only included oral sex. Affairs escalate and thatís a long time. Why didnít you go further? What held you both back? Did he pressure you? Why was that a bridge you wouldnít cross, but the oral sex was okay? Did he perform oral sex on you too? How did you feel about him? Did you love him? How do you feel about him now? How are your interactions with your BH?

Your posts seem very clinical and distanced.

I have looked at your post several times and for a reason I couldn't put a finger on, didn't reply to it. I think Mrs. Walloped put her finger on it for me.

One, I also have a hard time believing your story. I know truth can be stranger than fiction, but I had a two month affair with someone who lived over a thousand miles away from me and I still managed to have sex with the AP. The other thing that makes that seem strange is your AP blew through a DDAY and you all resumed the affair. I can only imagine that intensified and solidified the affair further. Again, anything is possible but it's extremely rare and unusual so it's not going to be easily accepted.

I also wondered about feelings. I had a hard time shutting my feelings off after two months, did you believe you were in love with this man?

The second thing that is a bit off-putting is the clinical sounding part, but that I at least understand. I don't think it's uncommon for new WS's to arrive here numb. I numbed myself to my feelings before the affair, and then numbed myself by having an affair, and then numbed myself more because I couldn't deal with the aftermath.

When we numb the bad, we numb all our feelings. And, I couldn't figure out how to get out of that after DDAY. It makes us less present, less empathetic.

Maybe I am projecting but do you feel that you are having trouble really being in your heart on things?

I will also say I am never a fan of both people being on here in the early days after DDAY. There is a tendency for a lot of people to choose sides and use things one said against the other. I have actually seen people carry over things that weren't even said. It's almost like the site becomes a third party to your relationship. I have seen some WW's get help by doing private messaging with other WW's. There are a few of us that our spouse joined after we did but it was after the roller-coaster period that is after dday.

It's up to you of course how to use the site, and so far I don't think it's gone so horribly, but I feel like I would be wrong for not stating that I have seen this get very ugly. This in my opinion is correct:

but should we not both be looking at points of view from people as guidance and not a dictation of what is the appropriate course of action to attempt to reconcile?

What is right for some is not right for all. And, just because people recommend it or strongly feel that its needed doesn't mean it's right for the two people involved.

BUT, I will say in order to reconcile, especially in light of an affair that lasted for so long, it's going to be very hard for your husband to feel like he knows everything he needs to know. This will be important for his healing. R is a long hard thing to go through, and I believe all the pain is in the details. Until they are all uncovered, and the WS can understand how each detail is a cut, the relationship will not heal.

The BS can heal on his own whether it's R or D, but if you want R some of the things people recommend have really good reasons behind it. Every time the WS is found to be lying, it's like dday all over again, and all the work done before it becomes washed out. Everything has to start again. So, if you go a whole year, and then he finds out that you lied about something major (like sex) then the timer starts all over again, trust is even harder to ever build back, and your chances for R have gone down significantly.

I point this out because a lot of times the lying is justified as "protecting the BS" but it actually ends up doing far more damage than the affair itself.

Midlyfewife posted 6/30/2020 13:48 PM

Quite the rollercoaster this week. We have battled sadness, anger and probably confusion. Not sure if I will answer all questions, but here goes:
Comments sound clinical- 2 possible causes- 1 is I am a nurse so feelings are not always included in documenting. The second is that I have really distanced myself from the affair. It ended last year when my husband found out. I was never in love with my AP and got a rude awakening from my trance, I knew if it did not end I would lose my husband.
once my husband did contact OBS, I gave him the whole story. The excitement of the affair for me was being able to attract the attention of a younger man.
He never performed oral sex on me, it was only me on him. This allowed me to control the encounters. I did engage in explicit sexual texting but was not willing to have PIV sex, it was a line I was not willing to cross.
It was an intimacy that I was only interested in sharing with my spouse.
Yhis last week I had my first IC visit and felt great about that. I know I have to focus on my healing.
How do I balance fixing myself and still be a strong supporter of my spouse?

numb&dumb posted 6/30/2020 14:22 PM

WS only

[This message edited by SI Staff at 5:45 AM, July 2nd (Thursday)]

hikingout posted 6/30/2020 14:49 PM

For me, it was a bad awkward dance for some time. But, in working on myself I became more and more the person my husband needed me to be.

I will just relay something that was relayed here in the forum some time ago by a BH named HoldingTogether. He pointed out that one of our WS (BraveSirRobin) nailed it when she said that "Your husband does not need you to pick him up off the floor. He needs you to get down in the floor with him" He went on to explain that resonated for him because he didn't want to be on his wife's to do list, he didn't want to be with someone who was going through different motions, hoping he would get better. She was actually the broken one first. She needed to recognize her brokeness in a way that allowed that connection of healing to happen together as a couple.

I wish I had read that in our first year. I am a person who likes to get an A on things. I am a relentless perfectionist who has had to learn that comes from a deep insecurity. That it inhibited my ability to be vulnerable. If we are never vulnerable we can't be seen.

I think that, and disassociating myself from my actions, led me to the tone we were trying to point out to you. We are strangers in a forum, but being ws we share tendencies and therefore can also sometimes spot them. I only reiterate that because I think it really is there, but am just not sure of the source. You are not in your heart somehow as you are answering.

I still do not understand the explanation on your boundaries with the intimacy in your affair, but I don't expect you to address that further here in the forum. That part is really moot to the forum in all reality and really none of our business. But, I think you need consider circling back to the poly. It's just your explanation is difficult to understand and therefore I think some of the healing your husband needs to do will require being convinced of this being all there is to know. He will not be able to forgive if he doesn't feel he has everything, and in his shoes I don't think I could accept what you are saying. I don't think it will be a moot point for him.

Sorry, I am really not trying to be so pessimistic here but we have had lots of WS who come here with one story that changes over time, so we do tend to be suspicious. You are quite adamant so I personally will give you the benefit of the doubt - but I just believe with the long term nature of this it's going to be hard for your husband to come back from and this would possibly be one of the first answers to your question of how you can be a strong supporter of your spouse - do the Poly asap.

[This message edited by hikingout at 2:50 PM, June 30th (Tuesday)]

Zugzwang posted 7/1/2020 14:47 PM

I am giving the benefit of doubt because for cake eaters that usually have affairs for the chase or ego feeding and not for sex...sex comes last and in point is a line that crosses for many into a true affair. Yes, that is a cheaters rationalization. It was for me. Most cheaters don't take EA into account and many seem to think it is no big deal if penetration isn't involved. Like some bullshit imaginary line. Once true sex is involved, then it becomes a real affair to them. Question...was it getting to that point and you decided to stop the affair? You knew that was a line your BS may never forgive and would definitely leave you for? I ask, because that is why I stopped mine. I knew I was at that point in a false relationship and I knew my wife was on to me. I didn't really manage to hide any of it. Cheaters love to rationalize and lie to themselves. Truth is anything that means hiding and walking on the back of your spouse to feel good with another person is cheating.

So, what is a specific dictation you don't like seeing from the people talking to your husband? Is it them insisting there was more to it?

etaoin posted 7/1/2020 22:10 PM

This may come across as harsh. It is really an attempt to get you to see what you are doing and rethink your approach to your H.

I'm not really clear on your story or that of your husband. But your last post had me dumbfounded. You seem to be under the impression that since there was no PIV that is some kind of a mitigating factor because that is a line you did not cross. You say you had needs. And so you "only" performed oral sex and hand jobs. BUT you love your husband and never would have left him. And despite sending nudes and explicit texts you deserve some credit for not fucking the guy. Is that what you are saying? It sure looks like it. You somehow in your mind were honoring your marriage? And respecting your husband?

I hope you see how ridiculous that is. You have to see how self demeaning, self destructive and dangerous that behavior was. You can't really think that the OM didn't tell anyone about the coworker who so debased herself such that she knelt in a dingy closet and blew him for four years whenever the mood struck her. You can't think he respected you or had affection for you.

I'm a guy and I know how guys think. I seriously doubt the OM would describe what you two were up to as an affair or a relationship. Abuse yes. Cheap and easy yes.

And if he sees it that way, and how could he not, what is your H supposed to think? He has to be thinking that is married to a person with zero self esteem, zero self respect and zero ability to think about consequences. And for what? Needs? And of course, he must view you as devoid of empathy for the marriage, devoid of what anyone would think of as love for him. And he has to be wondering what in the world you got out of the "affair" other than humiliating him and destroying his image of you. And what could you say to make it better? "I know it looks like I was behaving like a tramp, but I really wasn't. I had needs."

My point is that you need to reframe your thinking and your narrative. Some people have an inner need to self destruct. They feel that they don't deserve what they have and so they do things that seem inexplicable. Is that you? Sure looks like it. Were your needs for ego kibbles or the need to ruin your life?

If I have it wrong, then ignore this post. But if there is a kernel of truth I urge you to seek help. Engage in self analysis, intense peeling of the onion to get at the core of your issues.

No one should demean themselves they way you describe and then expect a pat on the back for the behavior because you didn't take it further. To me, if you stick with your current narrative, your husband should be worried more, not less, about who he pledged his life to.

[This message edited by etaoin at 10:13 PM, July 1st (Wednesday)]

Midlyfewife posted 7/1/2020 22:29 PM

N&D
Thank you for reminding me one hing at a time, as I was certainly feeling overwhelmed. I think maybe by focusing on myself first that will be the greatest show of support for my husband.

Hikingout
Point is well taken. I have just started working with my IC to discuss my level of brokenness. At this point when my husband goes in to a rage I either get angry because he spews hateful words or listen quietly as he calls me a cock sucking whore. My problem is fixing things; I see a problem, fix it and move on. I know this is not going to be easy to fix, and requires many changes. While I know what needs to be done, I cannot treat it like a checklist. I have agreed to and researched the polygraph. My husband has insisted he needs to be in charge of where and when it is done. I appreciate your suspicion and understand it comes as a way to help.
Addressing the lack of intimacy with the AP, I wanted the chase, the excitement of someone responding to me. My AP and I had limited time for encounters, these occurred during breaks or lunch hours. He invited me to a hotel 2 or 3 times and to his home once while his wife was out of town. I couldn't do it- I had no problem fantasizing about it but couldn't bring myself to it. I think I feared if we crossed that line the excitement would end.

Zugzwang
I guess I can officially call myself a cake eater. I needed him to feed my ego. I think I never thought of it as emotional because everything seemed so physical. The affair ended because my husband found out. I hid it for a very long time. The affair would last a few months then stop and start and stop and start. I always responded when he came around.
The dictation is divorce. At this point I have decided they can believe what they want. I have given the forum the same details I gave my husband. I could not lie to him anymore and I don't want to live a lie. BTW, my husband corresponds frequently with someone on his thread. That person read mine and told my husband he was glad to see you on my thread: he thought you would help me challenge myself to look deeper.

Overall I think I am starting to let go more and be open to change.

Midlyfewife posted 7/1/2020 23:44 PM

Etaoin
I am not pretending that this was not a sexual affair. I don't expect any credit for not fucking this guy. I am merely sharing my story. This did not show any respect of honor for my husband. As I come here and share my thoughts, I am beginning to realize that my responses may seem guarded and clinical. Perhaps I was worried I would hurt my husbands feelings if he read my posts. That defeats the purpose. I can't be vulnerable if I don't put it all out there.
I do love my husband and I hurt him. I made a terrible choice to engage in an LTA. We discussed love vs value a few weeks ago. Did I love him at that time? Probably not.
His value? My protector. From everything but myself.
I took off on my own journey of cheap and easy behavior, regardless of potential consequences.
To answer your question of expecting a pat on the back, I don't.
What I will say is I put my husband in the passenger seat of a car and drove recklessly until we crashed. Both of us damaged as a result. What I am saying is now that we are in a different car trying to get to reconciliation, if you don't pay attention to road signs and mile markers you won't make it to your desired destination.

Midlyfewife posted 7/2/2020 00:17 AM

So, huge blow up tonight. Got home from work and dinner was in the oven with H passed out upstairs. Asked him what time dinner needed to be taken out to which he replied to leave him alone. I asked him again and said that my IC was starting in a few minutes (video visit from home). He flew out of bed and shook his hands at me and said it is not always about you. I told him the counselor was important to our healing. He told me he didnít care and I could get the fuck out of his house and his life. To which I replied without thinking, serve me with papers. Gentle is evidently not a strong suit for me.
So how do you not hold everything against yourself when you know you are the cause?

AntiHero posted 7/2/2020 02:49 AM

Hey MidLyfe,

Sorry youíre here. Also a midlyfe NorCal WW who was in a multi-year LTA with a coworker that still works at the same company as me. We hella fucked though.

This is actually my first post in 7-8 months, but you sound like I did ó prescribed and courteous but clearly still too damaged to not show signs of defensiveness. First of all, yeah, this shit is hard, but I hope you find a way to keep coming back because no oneís gonna break it down for you like other people who have (and are) super fucked up.

Secondly, this last post of yours was the most honest one yet. And I hope itís a starting place for you to get honest with yourself. ďServe me the papersĒ sounds like that was a long-time coming and you were waiting for your golden ticket out. Iím totally projecting here.

Just curious: do you feel like you need to respond to everyone whoís posted on your thread? Cuz you do, and you address each one by name, and you apologized for not getting to everything. Iím wondering how much of that is driven by an approval rating, especially when you know that your BH and his cheerleaders are possibly reading this? And maybe thatís why, as others have mentioned, there lacks an authenticity to your words. I wonder if your last post seemed more genuine because emotions are actually running high for you.

My own experience includes recognizing I was addicted to approval, and you know how nothing makes a girl feel better than being told her blow jobs were off the hook, right? Btw, I totally get the control thing, especially for the reasons I now recognize. Sorry to be so totally crude, but this helps keep the sugar coat off of the story I tell myself. The real deal, though, is the battle youíll have with dishonesty. Not just about the affair. Youíll face soooooo many layers of it and itís ok if theyíre ugly. Itís the only way to heal. Take ownership of the choices you made and the consequences that follow. If youíre preoccupied with trying to fix the ďmistakes,Ē your BH will see that youíre just trying to erase the past.

hikingout posted 7/2/2020 07:45 AM

Your husband sounds pretty normal - we all had spouses who was a roller coaster of emotions. In many ways his post says to me he is in the shock phase. My husband went into an anger phase after that for several months and then he went to a detached place before he asked me for a divorce. This shit takes years and years to work though. My affair lasted two months And was mostly conducted long distance (other than 3 days) . Itís doesnít make it better or worse than your but there were far less details to dig and far less of a time frame that my husband had to match up what was happening in our lives during that time these things were happening. We still went over so many questions and for the first 14 months. It has still been a long three years climbing up hill.

Your marriage is going to be out of balance for a long time. When your husband rages, be patient. He is responding to trauma you inflicted. When it seems like he is more open bring up the affair and ask him what he is feeling. Apologize often and specifically. Read how to help your spouse hew from infidelity. Above all he needs to feel that you empathize with him, that you are learning the ways you hurt him and Not just protecting yourself. For this to work you have to really put him above your comfort. He is acting out because he is deep pain and misery. Read about grief and trauma.

[This message edited by hikingout at 8:45 AM, July 2nd (Thursday)]

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