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My story and questions for WS..

alwaysblue posted 6/22/2020 16:53 PM

I canít believe Iím here and what Iím about to write.

Iíve been married for 15 years when my affair happened and we are 5 months post A. We have a home in another country and it happened with a neighbor who is very well known to the extended family. My family was right there when it happened which now, thinking back is the biggest shame I carry around.

When I met the AP, I felt like we had a few things in common and we started chatting. I have to say that my husband never cared if I talked to other men and heís always known that Iím a bit of a tomboy, into sports, etc. Even before this happened I was always more comfortable with guys and he trusted me completely. However, our conversations turned flirty fairly quick and next thing I knew, I was looking forward to the messages. We spent the entire day texting back and forth and because of where I was, started planning how we could accidentally run into each other. It felt so high school-ish and stupid now when I think about it. Throughout the entire duration of the affair (6 days) we always met with other people around. Because I couldnít move solo, I always had to have someone take me wherever I was going. We saw each other 8 times in total, never alone.

Because he knew the family, he was able to just pop in and say hi and I also had invited him for a bbq with couple of other neighbors. We went to a game (with my nephews, again they are all friends). AP was 6 years younger than me. Fast forward couple of days, On day 4, I had a conversation with AP where we acknowledged the inappropriate messages and that I was married and it needed to stop. He said he respected that but then we continued to message again. On day 4, I got really mad at my BS because of something hurtful that he did (it was an important day for me and he chose to spend the entire day with his hobby). He left early in the morning and didnít return until 10 at night. I was really upset at him as this is something that he constantly used to do to me. I just snapped. This also happened to be the same day that the bbq was on. When he returned home, he found us having a bbq and I think he could feel something was off. So he proceeded to take the neighbors that came for the bbq including AP to a pub down the street. They didnít come home til very late. AP continued to text me throughout and updating me on what they were doing and when they were coming back. Long story short, on day 5, BS and I go through our usual non talking when we are mad at each other. Day 6 - I approach him in the morning to talk about what happened and he just told me to F off. He was going to town for his hobby. I asked for a ride to town as I needed to get some cash and had some errands to run (keep in mind, we are in a third world country and Iím always accompanied). He just told me to F off and find my own way to town. He left me there fuming.

Me being a very stubborn person, I was going to get myself to town no matter what. I left my son with relatives and took a motorbike to town. Then I made the stupidest decisions of all. I called AP to come and meet me for lunch. He did. We spent about 4 hours together, walking around town and when we were at the restaurant, he kissed me. I didnít stop him. He returned back with me but we split our rides when we got closer to home. This was the day that I also deleted all of the messages between us. He asked me to do that and I did it.

That night when BS came home, he was with some guys and they were drinking. So I just stayed out of his way. The following morning, I woke him up and told him that I wanted to leave him. I felt so ashamed having kissed AP that I couldnít even look at my BS. From here on, anything that could go wrong, went wrong. Initially my BS thought I was leaving him because of things he was doing. Then that night he heard from neighbors that I was seen with this guy. He put the two and two together. He confronted me. I lied. Continued to lie. Then told him it was nothing. We were chatting. He called the AP and he came over. 3 of us met and the two of us denied everything. AP also deleted his messages, there was no record of anything. AP left and BS deteriorated quickly. Shocked, humiliated, he tried to commit suicide couple of times. He was shattered. I was so ashamed and mortified over what I had done but I found myself being really resentful. About 5 years prior, I had found text messages from some woman (they share same hobby) and he denied any involvement or that anything had happened. He refused to tell me what happened, said they were friends but I had never heard of her. Last message I saw from her was her asking to meet him to say bye. This also happened in this same country. He deleted the messages and we never dealt with it. He continued to share the same hobby, had her on Facebook and just refused to consider my feelings. I rugswept and it all came back rushing back when my sh!t hit the fan. I couldnít even be there for him and I was so blinded with my own feelings. He asked me to tell him what happened and all I could think about where was he when I was asking the same 5 years prior. So for the next 8 weeks there was a lot of TT from me. I gave bits and pieces. A week after my A happened, we returned back home. His PSTD was so intense, I was constantly on suicide watch (he was suicidal) and checking in with him. I am so appalled at my behavior, especially after hurting him, and that I wasnít there for him.

Then there was a day where I just had enough and decided to just tell him everything. I came clean, he was told about the meetings, how they happened, what I felt for AP, why I did it.

I really wanted us to fix our marriage and do whatever I needed to do to become a good person. Heís helped me along the way and itís been a struggle. AP had a GF, we called her together and told her what happened. She left him.

These are the things I have done since: I have not contacted AP, changed my number, got off all social media, dropped all of my guy friends, promised to stop watching male sports (I am a diehard of a certain team, havenít missed a game in decades), Gave him all of my passwords, threw away all of my clothes that I took for the trip. This has been incredibly difficult as there are so many triggers for him. I also struggle with emotions and showing them and talking about my feelings. My BS was quite clear what he needs from me to R, and sometimes I fail to deliver. I struggle with panic attacks and anxiety and they get triggered by emotions and pain. Weíve done MC and I was doing IC. So now I work on what caused me to stray, all of my shitty characteristics and changing them. I have not told a single lie since the moment I came clean. I hope this is enough to propel us towards R. Iím completely devastated that I look at my BS and all I see is pain. I canít sleep at night and sometimes just lie there and watch him.

We try and go for a walk every night and talk about whatever was on our minds. I find those walks helpful but find sometimes itís hard for me to open up. Iíve been writing in a journal which he reads every few days.

My question for other WS - what do you think about your affair now? Iím so devastated with what Iíve done. Iíve been justifying my actions until I started feeling so stupid and childish. I needed to grow up and deal with this stupidity of choosing to wreck my relationship. There were better ways to fix what was wrong with us than to step out. Those 6 days of rush are NOT worth it for anything.

Sorry this is so long, but feels better to let it out. His family knows because of his reaction and challenges immediately after. Iíve told my best friend and my immediate family here. One of our family friends also knows. A few of his family members have reached out to me (after I had apologized to them) to tell me that they know what I did was terrible but they will support me and they want us to work it out. This made me feel terrible owing they are showing support even to me. I donít know how I will face them and look at them next time I see them.

Thanks for listening and any comments are appreciated.

Added: Iíve been tested for STDs and there were no issues. I was terrified that I had risked my BS, but the doc said that you canít get anything from kissing. I chose to do the full test just to be transparent.

[This message edited by alwaysblue at 5:03 PM, June 22nd (Monday)]

MIgander posted 6/23/2020 09:01 AM

Hi AlwaysBlue,

Sorry you're here. I've read and thought about your post quite a bit. I'm still only about a year out of my affair, and so am pretty fresh with this. There are way more people on here who have done more work than I and can do a better job offering deeper insight than I can right now.

Could your affair be a way of you seeking out emotional intimacy and attention which you were lacking from your husband?

Saying that though, have you both done any work on reading up on affairs? Have you read "Not just friends"? After reading that, my eyes were opened to many of my "platonic" male relationships and explained why I was so incredibly hurt by my husband's relationship with my close friend. Any time you have more emotional/spiritual/physical intimacy with a person out side your marriage than you do inside your marriage, you are stealing from your spouse what is rightfully theirs.

From the sounds of things, your husband has been avoiding you and abandoning you for his guy friends (going off and drinking instead of taking you aside and talking about what felt "off" at the bbq). Also sounds like he had an inappropriate level of intimacy with another woman in his hobby. For example, I run as a hobby and have a few acquaintances, one male- assistant coach to my son's cc team- related to that. However, I don't text them to meet me to say "bye" or even text or communicate with him at all outside of running events we are both at .

Was your husband entirely honest about his level of involvement with hobby "friend"? His shit treatment of you (leaving you behind when you made a normal and simple request?!) could have been because he was going to see his OW. His whole actions seem fishy to me. Why would he throw a snit fit and abandon you in a foreign 3rd world country and jet off without you when you legit wanted to shop and take care of business. And he left you all day for his "hobby"- it reeks of selfcenteredness and disregard for your well being. Also makes me suspicious that he was leaving you behind for OW- otherwise, why wouldn't he have wanted to drop you off for your errands and then gone to his hobby?

His shame and desperation on discovery (the multiple suicide attempts in one night? My husband yelled and raged and cried and vomited, but was NOT suicidal) speak of a guilty conscience. I was suicidal after my affair ended and the horrible abuse I gave my husband came to light. I felt too ashamed to live. Perhaps his suicidal actions came from his own internal shame over his own behavior, "I treated my wife so horribly and now brought this shame on myself with my neglect/cheating/abuse of her- she's gone and done to me what I have done to her and so now I deserve to die."

You've already done some good work by coming clean so quickly- I wish I had done that right away- took me 2-3 months before I told my husband the extent of my affair and I deeply regret that- I really prolonged his pain and it was a selfish shit thing to do.

Before you guys can move forward, you both need to be honest with each other about your marriage and the way you were avoiding each other and seeking comfort and intimacy outside of it instead of with each other.

Also, if you can, get phone records of the time when you were out of country and see if it matches the phone numbers of the time when your husband was texting his hobby "friend"- chances are, they were in contact during your visit.

Sorry if my suspicions are off base, but my spidey sense is tingling as your husband behaved in a manner that I did when I was gaslighting my husband about being "just friends" with my AP- minimizing and denying that there was anything inappropriate in my texting other men more than I was communicating to him.

MIgander posted 6/23/2020 09:26 AM

Boy, the more I reread your post, the more I'm convinced you're a madhatter.

His affair with hobby friend got minimized and denied and he disregarded your very real concerns and kept in contact with this OW on Facebook?! I mean, that is classic A behavior. Even if it wasn't physical, it still sounded more intimate than a husband should have been with a woman not his wife. The fact that he put down your very real concerns and gaslighted you about how much the OW's attention meant to him, reeks of affair behavior.

He probably sensed what was going on with you and your AP. As a WW, my awareness of inappropriate male/female dynamics has been very heightened. How did he handle it though? He drove off with a big f-you to go see her instead of bring his concerns to you.

After my affair broke, I went directly to my husband and asked that he break off texting my friend. She had in many ways been a good friend and good help to our family (recommended the IC I now see and was supportive of my husband not blowing up the marriage right away). His inappropriate level of attachment to her was in no way a result of intention on her part to hurt me. They were both naive and oblivious to their inappropriate level of intimacy.

What set me off about my BH's behavior toward her was the year prior to my affair he was comparing me to her negatively (physically, spiritually, emotionally, as a mother and homemaker- I work outside the home and she is a SAHM and more devout in her faith than I). He would seek out her company and have long conversations with her aside from the group at our prayer group meetings. He even stayed behind one night (about 3 months before I pursued my A) and refused to leave with me so he could continue talking to her (it was near midnight and our sitter needed to go home).

He was pursuing an emotional/spiritual A with my good friend and was in denial about it.

He denied he was having an A with her and thought I was crazy for thinking it was anything more than friends. He minimized it and gaslighted me on it. Made me feel like I was the jealous one and not living in reality about it.

In reality, our marriage lacked so much intimacy at that point that ANY intimacy with another woman was an A.

Yours lacked intimacy too. THAT'S what made his involvement with hobby "friend" and A.

On a number scale, he was sharing 5x more of his inner life with her than he was sharing with me, and that made it an EA.

Your husband reminds me so much of mine before my A that it really triggers me.

Doesn't excuse what you or I decided to do with our pain and hurt- but maybe explains more where it came from.

Sorry for the rant, this is your thread, but I felt impelled to share my experience with you so you can pursue the full truth on your side too.

alwaysblue posted 6/23/2020 10:22 AM

Thank you so much for responding.

Could your affair be a way of you seeking out emotional intimacy and attention which you were lacking from your husband?

I know that the lack of attention was one of the reasons for what happened on my part. During our relationship, we never struggled with money or physical intimacy but as the time went on, I felt like I was less important to him than anything else. The best way I could describe that was that I became numb to him.

Saying that though, have you both done any work on reading up on affairs? Have you read "Not just friends"?

After couple of months, I ended up opening one of those free trial online book accounts and read up on every book I could find related to infidelity. We both watched Ted talks, YouTube videos and read online articles and then discussed it. For one straight month I read every day, all day. I come here daily and continue to look for online material to read.

Was your husband entirely honest about his level of involvement with hobby "friend"?

I have to clarify that the event with his 'friend' happened 5 years ago, on one of our trips. This is his home country so we do spend a lot of time there. It wasn't until my A happened that I was able to ask him more questions about what happened 5 years ago. I sat in the dark for 5 years without knowing. Now, when I bring it up and compare the scenarios, he doesn't think that he did anything wrong because on his end, he KNOWS he didn't do anything, but for mine, there are facts. I try to explain to him that even if he didn't do anything, he maintained a secret female friend I had no idea existed that he shared inappropriate messages with. (inappropriate to me from the few messages I saw). When I discovered these messages and had the phone in my hand, he came into the room and grabbed the phone out of my hand and that was the last I saw of the messages. Now, during this time is when he told me he deleted the messages and cut her out of his life. Now when they run into each other at the clubhouse, they ignore each other and don't talk. But for the entire 5 years, they stayed Facebook friends and are part of the same social group chat on WhatsApp. I try to explain to him that for the last 5 years, every time he did his hobby (whether here, or back home), it was a trigger for me and I had to live with that. I'm not trying to excuse my behaviour at all, but just trying to gain some insight as to why I responded to his devastation the way I did. All of my resentment came out, full force. Throughout the years, I also did have male friends that I was talking to that he wasn't aware of, so we are both in the wrong here. Probably the reason why our marriage was just getting to a point where we just did our own thing. I don't think during our entire marriage that he had any PAs. He really is obsessed with his hobby to the point that on Christmas morning, he would get up at 5 am, be here for the presents and leave us immediately to go do his hobby. He also chose to do that activity instead of attending our son's games, which used to drive me insane. Regardless, our marriage had some issues and very little communication prior to this happening.

The 2 suicide attempts happened on the same night. There were couple of more attempts when we returned home. His mental state was so bad, I begged him to go to his doctor or to the ER, but he refused. I have never seen anyone change like that, I see comments here about hand shaking, crying, etc. He was doing that and much much more. It was a really scary time for us, but now it has gotten better, the more we talk and deal with this.

You've already done some good work by coming clean so quickly

I wish I told him the truth quickly. It took me about 8 weeks to get everything out. But he knows about every meeting and as much as I can recall from text messages. When I deleted the messages, they were in thousands and I honestly cannot recall every single thing we talked about. Now I know, it would've been much more helpful for his healing for me to just get out and say what happened and own up to my actions. My resentment of his actions was so strong and I was unable to push through that. I'm really ashamed of my actions then because he was really hurting and I wasn't there for him.

He probably sensed what was going on with you and your AP.

He told me during one of our talks that he could sense something weird, but he trusted that I wouldn't do anything. I told him that I wished he had come to me and said something, but I understood his position. My selfishness was what got us into this situation, not his inability to monitor my behaviour.

He denied he was having an A with her and thought I was crazy for thinking it was anything more than friends. He minimized it and gaslighted me on it. Made me feel like I was the jealous one and not living in reality about it.

This is exactly how I felt after I found out about his texting with this woman. I doubted myself, and felt like I was crazy.

Your husband reminds me so much of mine before my A that it really triggers me.

I'm sorry about that, this isn't easy. :( Thank you for sharing your experience, we are all in this together and trying to fight for our relationships.

MrCleanSlate posted 6/23/2020 16:04 PM

Going out for walks together and having some good open discussions can be really good for not only getting the truth out, but also to start understanding our 'whys'. It can be hard learning to open up, but it does get easier as time goes on.

The discussions my BW and I had, and continue to have, helped us through the post D-Day and into R and now help us in all aspects of our relationship.

I wonder though how much rugsweeping is going on - on both your sides. We don't know you and can only offer help on what you share, but it just seems to me that there is much more to the story than a simple EA. You mention a lot of gaslighting by your H, seems that you were really hurt.

I have a lot more regret now almost 5 years later. I can see the A for what it was and it hurts. I really do wish I had addressed my problems years earlier. You too need to dig deep to figure out your 'whys'.

How about sharing a little more the state of your M prior to the EA? What was life like for you?

alwaysblue posted 6/23/2020 17:43 PM

Thanks for your response MrCleanSlate.

Well, Iíll try to sum up our marriage as quickly as possible. We got married very fast and within months of knowing each other. No one expected us to last especially as we come from different cultures and backgrounds. Both of our parents (his now deceased) are/were together for a long time and we both had normal childhoods. However, my parents are very close, do everything together, whereas in his culture, itís a male dominated society and women are seen not heard. So our beginning struggles were me wanting the relationship my parents have and him wanting to preserve some of that freedom and individuality. Iíve always struggled with jealousy and I felt he didnít help the situation. I was always too scared to speak up when I wasnít happy with something that he was doing in fear of losing him. So I would voice my concerns, he would tell me it is how it is and continue to do it.

Couple of examples with members of opposite sex. At the beginning of our relationship he had an exGF that was still in love with him. He told me she wanted to meet with him (this was now during our short dating phase) and he went ahead and met with her. I wasnít happy. She continued to pop up and I had asked him to tell her to back off. Stop calling, etc. he refused. Then one day, I happened to answer the phone and told her to get lost, right in front of him. She then disappeared from our lives. 5 years into our marriage, I then discover this email of another exGF contacting him to say hi and him responding to her with no mention about me. They corresponded couple of times and when confronted he blew up, and called me jealous, etc. that was one and only time cops were called because he punched the wall.

Also, since weíve been married, heís always had this love for his hobby. He used to go 3-4 times a week, no matter what was going on in our lives. I used to cry when our sonís bday party would roll around and I would have to insist that he shows up when his little buddies were there. When our son started playing sports and games were on Saturday mornings, yup, he went to his hobby and I was on the sidelines every single time.

A few years of that, I had to start finding ways to cope. I started coping by immersing myself with my addiction which was my sports team. I watch the games religiously on TV and that made me happy.

7 years into our marriage I decided I wanted to get fit and asked one of my guy friends to help me. I started running with him and hanging out with him and his gf once in a while I didnít tell my husband about this because oh well, he had his life and I had mine. Stupid way to think back then, and another way of just avoiding the gap growing in our marriage. I thought if he can do that, then so can I. Maybe I thought he would pay attention to me then. Well, couple of months later, he found out that I was spending time with this friend of mine and blew up. He treated it as if I betrayed him and cheated on him and at the time, I was just feeling I was doing the same thing he was. Living life and doing what I wanted. We went though a period of him drinking heavily to get over me not telling him that I was exercising with my friend. He asked me to stop talking to him and even met with the guy one on one. I never crossed any boundary with my friend, he fully respected my husband. At the time we shared small toddlers and would sometimes just talk about family life. But knowing what I know now, this was taking time away from my husband. While I stopped talking to my friend for some time, we did start checking in with each other once or twice a year, ask about each otherís families and that was it. Post A, I disclosed to him that I had continued talking to this friend and that now I will stop completely. My husband is more important than my male friend.

Fast forward a few years again and we are at the event of him texting with this woman in his country 5 years ago. I found out the morning we were leaving to fly back home. He had left his phone on the bed and I was packing up bedsheets to put away and I pick up his phone to a message from this woman. Itís asking him to pass by the clubhouse so that she can give him a hug goodbye. Further up, thereís a sexual reference to which he told me was a joke. I also saw that they had talked on the phone the night before. All news to me. I had no clue who she was. He walks back i to the bedroom, sees me with the phone and grabs it out of my hand. I wrote the rest up there. Then silence from him. I ended up finding her on his FB where she remained up to Feb of this year. I asked him 5 years ago to delete her, he refused. Basically gave me the attitude of he did nothing, he will co to us to talk to her if he wants to and for me to deal with it. I rugswept.

During this silence time in the last 5 years, another exGF appeared on his FB friends list that I brought up and told him I wasnít happy with. He blew up in that case too and threatened to leave because of my insecurity.

I felt the other areas of our marriage was ok. Normal ups and downs. We maintain separate finances but joint household bills. No issues in the bedroom, quite the opposite. I never felt like I was deprived in that area. But the day to day attention was really lacking. I had 3 very serious health scares where I almost died, he was nowhere to be found to comfort me. I wanted more children, he was happy with what we had but wasnít opposed to having more. I asked him to come to the specialist with me to find out why I wasnít getting pregnant. He refused. I went to the appointment by myself, so embarrassed to be sitting in an office with couples. All tests showed fine with me and he refused. We never ended up having another child and I still struggle to let that go. Just the fact that he refused to be there with me through that time of trying.

Now for the past year and a half, I had a very stressful period at work and in the middle of that, 2 young coworkers just dropped dead within a month of each other. My first panic attack happened then although I didnít know what that was. In the span of the year, I was in the emergency room 4 times where I thought I was dying. I was terrified of dying with what happened with my coworkers. So any pain I feel, even up to today, send me into a full blown panic. No help there, no how are you feeling, can I help??

So with this last trip, when AP came along, he just literally said all the things that just gave me that attention. The more we typed back and forth, the more I was looking forward to his messages. But then they crossed boundaries when we realized we liked each other. What made matters worse, when Iím in his country, they speak a different language. Iíve asked my husband and his relatives repeatedly every trip to include me in their conversations and they refused. All of them speak fluent and perfect English. So again, all AP had to do was just engage and I was there. Hours and hours of talking about stupid shit with an occasional flattering comment. I would be sitting right next to my husband and be typing away with this guy. We sent updates what we were doing, where we were going etc. there was never any sexual talk in our messages or pics of each other. We took couple of pictures together when we were in a group setting. I have since deleted those pictures. The only physical part that happened was the day I called AP to town for lunch and we kissed. It lasted about half an hour. My BS was in the middle of his hobby during that time.

After all of this, now it feels like we are back to square one. The old relationship is trashed. Iíve realized some things about myself that I am working to change. I was selfish, insecure, revengeful, evil, heartless, liar and so many other things. I realized that even before my A, I wasnít completely open with my BS but now these painful emotions send me straight to anxiety and panic attack hell. Heís told me the same and he was open to R pretty much from get go. Whatís delaying our process now is my inability to open up completely. So we talk about that a lot. But I hope I donít run out of time, I know I donít deserve his consideration but for my sake, Iím making these changes for me.

I too get hit with waves of remorse and just feel rotten. I brought AP into my family home and the embarrassment that causes. Our family is well known in the area. On the outside, people are always passing by our place there because we help anyone that asks. Weíve put neighborsí kids through school, paid school fees, helped with food, given them rides, bought school supplies, employed men/women when they come and ask for work, etc. So our reputation has just gone down the drain because of me. I believe thatís one of the reasons why BS was suicidal.

MIgander posted 6/23/2020 18:37 PM

Hi AlwaysBlue,

Your story has painted a much clearer picture, thank you for sharing. I have some questions about how you framed your husband's behavior during your M.

Piece by piece, let's walk through it:

he had an exGF that was still in love with him... he went ahead and met with her. I wasnít happy ... that was one and only time cops were called because he punched the wall

This is the first go-round on the pattern. Husband (then BF) wants to do something, is told it will hurt you if he does, he does it anyway. By the way, punching the wall is destruction of property and constitutes an implied threat to your physical safety. It's good you called the cops and is probably how he learned not to take it physical. You made real and embarrassing consequences for him taking his rage physical. Probably stopped him progressing into physical abuse of you later in the marriage.


5 years into our marriage, I then discover this email of another exGF contacting him to say hi and him responding to her... he blew up, and called me jealous

Again, you tell him of the hurt it gave you for him to speak like you don't exist to an XGF!
. He pushes it back on you that you're jealous. I'm not a genius in the world of healthy relationships, but talking to an xGF like your wife doesn't exist is a good reason to be upset.

I would have to insist that he shows up

First he steps out of the marriage to chat with his ex-lovers and rages at you when you tell him stop. Next he abandons his son at important milestones. Is it for some vital form of work? Is he an ER doctor on call? NO. He's going to spend time on himself in his "hobby". His time and money go into himself and his hobby, not to his wife and son who, if he was an unselfish man, would be the first to have both those.

Maybe I thought he would pay attention to me then

Here comes the dysfunctional pattern you develop as a coping mechanism to his selfishness- acting out and hoping that he would step in and pay you attention. I did this as a kid- acted out in negative ways so I could get attention from my sisters. I got attention, figuring negative attention is better than no attention. No. It's not. You don't deserve to be in a relationship where you have to act out in negative ways to be paid attention to.

him drinking heavily to get over me not telling him that I was exercising with my friend

So you had a relationship with a male friend that sounds platonic in the normal world where intimacy is greatly shared between spouses. In your husband's world of domination and control, intimacy is not shared, therefore this normal (sounding) friendship was seen as a threat. Such a threat to his precious image of himself as this tiger of a husband (who collects ex-gf's and strings them along for years), that he goes into a deep shame spiral and drinks himself drunk to avoid it. Why are you concerned about the time you're taking away from your marriage with a platonic friend that your husband has met when you can't get your husband to come to your son's game for his HOBBY?

Further up, thereís a sexual reference to which he told me was a joke

MINIMIZING AND GAS LIGHTING!!!
I had no clue who she was.

BH knew about your fitness friend and had met him once. Who the heck is this woman? Why is he hiding her from you? Is there a guilty conscience? During my affair, I hid my correspondence with AP because I knew he would be upset by it. The other texts to my "platonic" guy friends he would read (because I wouldn't delete them. ). So, yeah, been there done that, know what wayward behavior looks like on the inside.
sees me with the phone and grabs it out of my hand
Aggression? Then he deletes the messages? What is he hiding if they were JUST FRIENDS??

I almost died, he was nowhere to be found to comfort me

So, my spouse is a good man, not perfect, but a very good man on the whole. I had a burst ovarian cyst back in March where I nearly bled out. Fainted to the floor, was borderline going to need a blood transfusion. Hospitalized overnight, when I got out, lost so much blood I couldn't hardly get up stairs. For perspective, I'm one of those crazy people who runs half marathons and lifts weights for fun! Mind you, this was post d-day by about 7 months, I had TT'd and been un-remorseful the first 2.5. Things were ok, but not progressing well in our M- more of a stalemate in March. He still took care of me, made sure after I came to that I had fluids, rest and electrolytes. When it became clear later that evening that I was still losing blood, he made sure that I got a ride to the hospital (arranged it with my sister so he could stay with the kids) and made sure I didn't have to deal w/ the kids or household chores while I recovered for TWO WEEKS.

This is how a decent and good man handles things when his wife who stabbed him in the back has a near death experience.

So our reputation has just gone down the drain because of me.

So, your husband's image of himself as this community pillar and great husband and great with the ladies comes crashing down when his wife even has a friendship with a running buddy. He turns to alcohol to numb his shame and the perceived slight to his reputation. Doesn't do anything to change his behavior of disrespect and abandonment of his family in pursuit of his own selfishness (hobbies, ex girlfriends). But heaven help us if word gets out that this guy's wife had an affair- which consisted of texting and a KISS over a 1 week period. For contrast- I slept with my AP on my lunch break and we texted and chatted for over 2 months in an inappropriate manner. Mine was a whole other blow of betrayal to a man who, on the whole is driven by his family.

I'm saying these things not to excuse your behavior or mine. I'm asking you to look at the situation honestly. Address your issues, for sure! Look into why you think it's ok to go outside the marriage and act out negatively to have your need for attention met. Ask yourself why you were attracted to this selfish, immature man to the point where you married him and made a life with him. Ask yourself, after you've put in the work you need to do to win back your self respect, is this a husband you want to spend the rest of your life with.

This is a long post, if you read my stuff, I tend to write novels (I like to be thorough). I wish you and your family nothing but the best and hope that your BH and you as WW can address your underlying issues and become the family God wants you to be, for your sakes and the sake of your son.

HellFire posted 6/23/2020 19:24 PM

Did your husband cheat? Maybe. Sounds like it's a good possibility.

Sounds like he has a crap load of flaws.

However, it is not his fault that you cheated. Anymore than its your fault if he cheated.

Sounds like you had reason to divorce. But you chose to cheat. And cheating,taking a shit on your integrity, should never be an option.

There's an awful lot of focus in this thread on your husband,and what he may,or may not, have done wrong. And there's a whole lot of projection going on.

What about you? What in you made cheating Ok?

Nothing he did,or didn't do, made you cheat. And nothing you did,or didn't do,made him cheat.

You can not fix him. It's obvious you have a ton of resentment towards your husband. Deserved, or not, that should not be your immediate focus. You can only fix you. So what are you doing to fix yourself?

[This message edited by HellFire at 7:29 PM, June 23rd (Tuesday)]

gmc94 posted 6/23/2020 19:33 PM

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ this!

Nothing he did,or didn't do, made you cheat. And nothing you did,or didn't do,made him cheat.....It's obvious you have a ton of resentment towards your husband. Deserved, or not, that should not be your immediate focus. You can only fix you. So what are you doing to fix yourself?
100% this.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 7:35 PM, June 23rd, 2020 (Tuesday)]

alwaysblue posted 6/23/2020 20:18 PM

I know it seems like Iím pointing a lot of blame on his imperfections but Iím far from perfect. I do not blame him at all for cheating on him. That is 100 % on me. Instead of dealing with our issues like an adult, I chose to go the most hurtful route and just destroy him. None of it is on him. Even if he was the worst husband (far from truth), he didnít deserve it.

Over the years, I used to think and ask myself to go through pros and cons and whether I should stay in the relationship. The pros always won. He really is a good person although he didnít demonstrate it all the time. I gave a lot of slack due to his cultural upbringing and that was one of the reasons I stayed in the marriage. But, I killed our relationship with my actions.

Things that Iím doing right now to fix myself:

Reading, going over my decisions during the affair and understanding my whys, accepting my behavior flaws, identifying them and fixing them. Being transparent and open with him, letting him know my inner thoughts (this is work in progress).

MIgander posted 6/23/2020 21:09 PM

Hi HF,

Sounds like you had reason to divorce. But you chose to cheat. And cheating,taking a shit on your integrity, should never be an option.

There's an awful lot of focus in this thread on your husband,and what he may,or may not, have done wrong. And there's a whole lot of projection going on.

The points I was bringing up to AB was about her being honest with herself about the relationship she was in. There's no excuse for cheating, staying and fixing or divorce are the two options for maintaining integrity and changing the marriage. If AB is really going to dig and figure out her whys, she's going to first have to take an honest look at what she allowed to take place in her marriage, whether that's still acceptable to her and what kind of person she wants to be going forward and how that person deserves to be treated. If she continues to gaslight herself on the state of her marriage, she will continue to lie to herself and continue to deny her husband actual emotional intimacy. The source of her resentment- her unmet, unstated needs, will keep generating resentment after resentment in her and continue to impede her progress.

The things I was pointing out in my post were to highlight to AB was why she

rugswept ... it all
about her earlier concerns over his exGF's and his obsessive hobby and finally the hobby buddy he kept messaging on the side. Rugsweeping by a WS of previous marital problems shows a pattern of stuffing and avoiding the conflict. Especially when the husband
refused to consider my feelings
repeatedly in matters of marital fidelity. This rugsweeping/repression/denial allows us WS to resent the BS and justify an affair. Until that background of the marriage is dealt with, brought to light and understood by both parties, the WS will just be continuing to lie to her BS about her interior emotional state.

She will then go into the state of not being in an affair, but not giving her spouse any intimacy either. Nature abhors a vacuum, so that absence of intimacy will then be vulnerable to being filled with something else that's unhealthy. Another AP? Drugs/alcohol/compulsive shopping/overeating.... the list goes on.

I am projecting here, it has been my own personal experience that being dishonest with myself about about how the marriage was conducted fed directly into my own entitlement to pursue my own affair. The breaks with my own integrity in allowing certain things to go unchallenged (like AB did with the pattern of BS reeling in xGF's and "hobby buddies") only crumbled the walls of my own principles and made it easier for me to lie and cheat. Read some of my other posts- I didn't just randomly start lying to my H about my AP- it came on more slowly, frog in a boiling pot style.

AB, I hope you don't take it as coming from a place of anger at your BH that I am bringing these things to light.

gave a lot of slack due to his cultural upbringing
- this is a justification you allowed yourself to make and allowed yourself to continue in a relationship where your principles of exclusivity, attentiveness and care and concern were being violated in large ways on a regular basis. WHY?

Why did you allow yourself to excuse his behavior toward you? Why was it easier for you to accept it on the basis of the culture he was from when in your own personhood it was unacceptable? Was it to excuse your own entitlement for an affair? Why didn't you go to him earlier and say, "X is unacceptable to me, if I am to give my best in this relationship, I expect the best from you?"

After a while, I can understand the numbness that comes from regularly violating your own boundaries in a marriage and how that can allow other boundary violations to occur. I can understand how, when XYZ is brought to BH's attention and they minimize it or denigrate it or punch walls to intimidate you (ABUSE), you can give up, roll over, and check out.

HF, if AB is going to be able to heal her marriage, she has to first figure out her whys, restore her integrity (and internal boundaries) and understand the person she destroyed FIRST in her affair was not her husband, but herself.

Love to you all. Again, with the novel...

HellFire posted 6/23/2020 21:45 PM

MIgander, while most of that sounds good,you did attack her husband, repeatedly. Your response was riddled with snark and belittling this man. A man we KNOW is a BH, who just recently found out he had been betrayed. He may be a madhatter. Are madhatters not allowed to feel pain when they've been betrayed? There are several here who would tell you otherwise. You also completely minimized her affair. So are the BS who are dealing with an emotional affair not as hurt as those dealing with a full on PA? I bet they would tell you they are.

Yes,she needs to examine her marriage. Right now is not the time. She needs to examine herself. Running around,focusing on what was wrong with her marriage,rather than what is wrong with her, is like yelling about the color of the drapes,while your house is on fire. Yes, the marriage will need to be examined. Not now.

You are only a few months out. You seem to think you have all of this amazing insight. Maybe you do. But maybe you still have a lot to learn.

[This message edited by HellFire at 9:47 PM, June 23rd (Tuesday)]

alwaysblue posted 6/23/2020 22:47 PM

Also, while I did write all this up, this is not how the conversations with my BS go. We rarely discuss anything prior to my A, and exactly for that reason! Now is not the time to discuss that. I have to get to the root of what made me break my core values. The only instance I brought up was his texting with the hobby lady ONLY because that resentment was what didnít allow me to help him heal. I was so resentful of how he treated me when that happened, that I was projecting that to him. Making him feel how I felt 5 years ago. Would I do that again? Hell no.. it wasnít right when he did it, and it wasnít right when I did it.

What Iíve learned from that was that no matter how uncomfortable the topic gets, I have to tell him. Couple of things happened in the last couple of weeks. A male coworker emailed me asking me how I was doing and wanting to catch up. This was someone that I used to go for coffee with during breaks but this time around, I called my BS, told him about it and we drafted a very formal response. That coworker hasnít emailed me since. Probably because he could feel the change in my tone. While socializing with coworkers was never an issue, I felt like I should tell BS about it and let his comfort guide my response.

Also, the other day I get a message from my relative that she added me on one of my social media accounts. I thought I had cancelled and deleted all of my accounts but apparently I didnít. My BS was away. I texted him and told him what had happened and said that I would wait for him to come home and we will log into that account together. Shortly after, he came home, he watched me log in, went through the account and I deleted it again. He saw the message on the screen that it was permanently deleted.

One thing I promised myself was that I will never lie. NO MATTER WHAT.. itís not worth it. And from the time I made that decision, my life has been so much simpler. Everything comes naturally, I can just answer the question with no guilt. BS goes back and asks me some of the same questions he asked when I was withholding info , and I answer as honestly as I can. This has helped us.

One thing I will say, since this happened, BS completely changed. Heís more attentive, talks, shows emotions. I now have to do my part, fix my flaws and join him in this new relationship we are building. Canít let him go through this alone.

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