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BS Questions for WS - Part 14

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WilliamM posted 9/23/2020 15:36 PM

This is a question I never asked my wife because it came to me today. I am actually surprised I did not ask her at the time. I am debating to ask her this question today.

When you were in the midst of the affair, and you were being intimate with your BH, what type of thoughts did you have about the BH at that time. What thoughts did you have of the AP while being intimate with the BH?

MIgander posted 9/24/2020 07:32 AM

Good question.

For many years before the affair, I felt little emotional intimacy with my BH during sex. He had a vasectomy when I was post partum depressed and did not encourage me in healing or seem interested in helping me through it. Instead he was very critical of me, my crap parenting skills and crap mood. I was depressed, overwhelmed and angry angry angry all the time, so no wonder he had little compassion or sympathy for me.

So, the lack of emotional intimacy coupled with the rejection and pain I felt from his criticism added to the devastation of the lost fertility of our marriage and the spiritual betrayal... (I am Catholic and wanted to be faithful to the Church's teachings)... It just left me feeling worthless, rejected and unloved.

My father had affairs on my mother- a blatant one when I was in elementary school with a family friend. It was imprinted subconsciously in my mind that unless you can hold your husband's attention and keep him provided with SOMETHING, he would find someone more interesting and leave you.

So, despite me having little to no desire for intimacy with my husband, I gave him sex so he wouldn't leave me. Since he apparently didn't love me for my mothering, couldn't get emotionally close to the shrewish bitch I had become, all I could really be for him was a provider of the physical comfort of decent sex and (eventually after I returned to work) the material comforts my paycheck could provide.

I despised myself for having sex with a man I thought didn't love or respect me. I hated him for turning our marriage into the hollow sham I felt it was. I refused to own my own part in it (from my depression and anxiety and constant irritability, my erratic emotions and unreliability due to my ADHD). My mental health and emotional stability was a wreck and I didn't have the strength and authenticity to pursue its healing over his material comforts (he asked shortly after I "recovered" from post partum with a short course of counseling and sertraline, if the expense of my counselor was really "necessary" since I was feeling a bit better now..).

So... maybe this isn't the case with you and your WW, but I enjoyed sex with my BH purely as a physical release, and afterward hoped to soak in the momentary praise/ gratitude/ liking/ affection my husband had toward me in the afterglow of his orgasm.

During my affair, I didn't think about my AP while having sex with my husband. He wasn't physically attractive- I only used him for the self esteem boost I got from his compliments, positive attention and general ego kibbles he gave me freely . I gave my AP sex because (from prior FOO programming and experience in marriage), men really only appreciate you when you're easy, uncomplicated and give them sex/money freely .

In the end, each affair is it's own animal. Like all animals, it follows the general characteristics of it's species (a cat is a cat even if it's orange and not gray). Best way to find out from your wife is to ask her. Unless she's a SA and got deeply embedded issues with objectification of her partners' physicality, she was likely having sex with you and feeling insecurity over your love for her and self loathing for the lie the act had become. Then having sex with her AP and having thoughts of insecurity in her relationship to him and further self loathing for herself and the sham illusion the affair really is.

MrCleanSlate posted 9/24/2020 07:35 AM

William,


I'm sure a few of the WW's may pipe in with their views, but I thought I would just toss this out:

After so much time has passed is this something that you are still working on resolving (did you rugsweep after D-Day? and is there more unresolved issues you have), or are you pain shopping now?

Lucky77 posted 9/24/2020 12:28 PM

Wow, MIGander

Just needed to throw a flag on the field for this sweeping generalization.

men really only appreciate you when you're easy, uncomplicated and give them sex/money freely .

Are we really this bad?

MIgander posted 9/24/2020 12:44 PM

I was hoping not in my early days of dating...

Growing up in a house where your dad pretty much continually flirted and carried on with a close family friend's wife and left his lucrative job at an OEM because he fathered a child on his secretary...

Growing up in such an environment would make one's opinion/confidence in a man that you need to rely and trust most closely pretty low.

I had hoped that when I joined the church and married my husband I would be protected from all that. His vasectomy and then followed by heavy attachment to one of MY close friends (EA w/ her) triggered all my old pain and hurt in watching my mom struggle unhappily in her M to my dad. Watching her strive for his respect, attention and admiration and having none of the coping skills in which to be best able to attain them. Watching my husband compare me physically, spiritually and as a mother to my close friend and then hearing their conversations and watching their eyes follow each other across the room at prayer group. Seeing them sitting next to each other, leaning in close. Watching him gaze longingly at her and choosing her company over others any chance he got at parties... Yeah, pretty much a dead on copy of my childhood shit show.

Also, my dad was ambivalent towards his daughters- he didn't want kids, but ended up with 3 girls. My own husband was VERY ambivalent toward our daughter (child #2), wasn't much interested in either of my pregnancies nor at all interested in my daughter after she was born until she was walking and talking. Triggered a lot of the feelings of rejection I felt from my dad's own ambivalence towards us as kids. I dreamed that the man I married would affectionately pat the belly and get excited when baby was kicking and be joyful with me through the pregnancy. Nope. None of that. His ambivalence was from his anxiety of the responsibilities of parenthood- if he didn't do things perfectly, our kids would suffer and the weight of the failure would be on him as a dad. Instead of sharing that with me, he just avoided the subject and my growing belly.

Dad wasn't abusive- just neglected to think about our well being first. Husband is a dutiful father and does get joy out of his relationship with our kids, especially as they grow older. Just didn't show much interest in them either in eutero or as infants. Maybe that's typical for males??

I don't know- I dreamed of better with him and ended up with a man modeled in many ways off my own father.

WilliamM posted 9/24/2020 13:56 PM

MrCleanSlate

After so much time has passed is this something that you are still working on resolving (did you rugsweep after D-Day? and is there more unresolved issues you have), or are you pain shopping now?

It was a little bit of both in a way. After D-day, we were heading for divorce. My wife took me to a restaurant and she laid it all out. Over the about a three day period she told me everything. Answered every question. We started healing about working on your relationship. We did Christian marriage counseling but no IC for either of us. I wish I had SI back then. I would have handled things differently. We also did some rug sweeping. This has brought out new questions and new discussions between us today. No pain shopping. They give me a moment of clarity and understanding. I have done that though, particularly listening to reddit stories of infidelity on YouTube. Had to stop that. But learning her mental state, what she was thinking has helped me heal and move forward.

MrCleanSlate posted 9/24/2020 16:21 PM

WilliamM,

Why not go and do some IC for yourself. It may do you well to have someone to speak with. Nothing against faith based help, but a well trained IC can do a world of good.

If your WW has done the work over the years and you both are on the same page then a good conversation about those niggling questions would be good to have. I suppose you may want to frame it beforehand or give her some time to respond.

My BW and I are 5 years out, and even a few weeks ago we had a pretty open talk about a few lingering issues related to my vehicle (which AP was never in but it dates back to that time). I never knew before that it creeped out and and trigger my BW to be in it.

WilliamM posted 9/24/2020 21:42 PM

The wife and I are in a good place. I truly believe she is safe. Our communication is way better than post A. I have thought about going to IC but never did. My wife had IC for grief when her mom died,, but not the A. I will rethink it.

BlackRaven posted 9/25/2020 18:45 PM

This is for any Sex Addicts out there. What were your triggers?
I thought the sex was a self-soothing act for the dopamine, which made me think that the trigger would be stress or anger etc. But I heard someone theorize that the trigger could be a particular look. Help me understand?

Vomitousmass posted 9/27/2020 16:13 PM

My question concerns feelings of contempt by the WS for the BS. Did any of you realize that you harbored strong feelings of contempt for your BS? I've realized that this is a bedrock emotion that my WW expresses to me routinely.

She told me not long ago that she married me because I was safe. She later qualified it with , "and I loved you." I understand that the added "I loved you" hopelet was a lie she told both of us to save face. So, for any of you who realized that this was characteristic of your relationship, were you able to R or did you ultimately D?

I should add that my WW has some strong disordered tendencies, and we've been together over 3 decades. She has looked outside our marriage multiple times over the years.

skeetermooch posted 9/28/2020 20:33 PM

Can any WSs explain why a WS would plead, beg, sob etc for another chance when they haven't stopped cheating and have no real intention of stopping?
My STBX is a SA, so that may not be everyone's experience but maybe there's some crossover. He will literally do anything to get me back except stop cheating. It's so perplexing to me. He knows he can't keep a double life anymore after all the ddays or he should know that. I'm not a lot of fun what with the trauma, triggers, depression and anxiety he gifted me with, not to mention the lack of sex and happy companionship. So why? Why is tripping over himself to get me back. Every attempt to reconcile is met with more cheating, more triggering, more lies. I kick him out - he stays quietly gone briefly and within a week or two commences begging again.

Why would you want to live that way? Are WSs just so delusional that they believe they can get their BS to trust them again when they aren't doing the work? Why would you want your BS back anyway - you obviously didn't think that highly of them during the marriage and now they're just puddles of snot and pain. Why wouldn't you start over alone or with some sparkly new toy?

BraveSirRobin posted 9/28/2020 22:40 PM

I didn't keep cheating, but I did keep lying, so I'll take a stab at this.

It's hard to overstate a wayward brain's ability to compartmentalize. We can easily run two opposing thought patterns simultaneously. When I was TTing, I literally told myself that "BH knows I slept with OM, he knows about the ILYs, so the rest is just inconsequential details," and yet, at the same time, "I can never tell him the exact words we exchanged, I can never admit to things like multiple positions, because if he knew all that, he would never forgive me." I mean, the information can't be both meaningless and dealbreaking, but I saw it that way -- and as hard as it is to credit, I never saw the disconnect. It was like the two parts of my brain had independent agendas. The protective side told me that it was all going to be okay, and the frightened side told me to keep my goddamn mouth shut. They never communicated with each other; they just spoke to my fear.

Your WS is addicted to cheating, and he wants to stay married. There are different sides of him that are responsible for achieving each goal, and I suspect they operate completely independently. I know that's fucked up. I'm not arguing that it isn't. I'm genuinely baffled by how long I was able to keep my left hand from looking at what my right hand was doing. All I can say it's that it's a thing. Logic simply does not apply.

Mickie500 posted 9/29/2020 07:25 AM

Brave SirRobin and All other WS

What were your final words to your AP? Did you mean them?

I believe my husband is afraid to do a timeline because he doesnít know what bit of information is going to tilt me over the top. So he works hard and diligently on being safe and loving me...... I just donít know what to do.

BraveSirRobin posted 9/29/2020 08:45 AM

I told him I was going NC, but I don't remember the exact words. I'm sure they were far kinder and more apologetic than they should have been. He accepted it, other than sending me an unsigned card two weeks before I got married. I showed it to my fiance and then threw it away. We haven't spoken for thirty years.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 8:49 AM, September 29th (Tuesday)]

hikingout posted 9/29/2020 09:03 AM

When you were in the midst of the affair, and you were being intimate with your BH, what type of thoughts did you have about the BH at that time. What thoughts did you have of the AP while being intimate with the BH?

I am not a great compartmentalizer, but this is an area I actually did compartmentalize quite well. For one thing, there wasn't a lot of 'Back and forth" in my affair. The physical happened on one business trip. I shut my husband out of my mind during that time. I was able to shut the AP out as well for a long time. The only time I wasn't able to was after the A ended, as I realized what it really was there were lots of feelings of humiliation. This would sometimes creep in when I was intimate with my husband. I would have involuntary mind movies and feel humiliated that I did any of that stuff with another man. We had periods of HB that were intense and during those times I could compartmentalize, but during other times it would ruin it for me and I just tried to hide that from my husband. Eventually we did talk about it and that actually helped a lot in resolving it.

MrCleanSlate posted 9/29/2020 09:57 AM

Mickie,

What were your final words to your AP? Did you mean them?

I believe my husband is afraid to do a timeline because he doesnít know what bit of information is going to tilt me over the top. So he works hard and diligently on being safe and loving me...... I just donít know what to do

My final words to my AP were along the line of 'I was never going to leave my wife for you'. Oh and I meant that fully. I ended my A before D-Day.

As for timelines, well my BW never wanted a written timeline. She pulled the info out of me over many discussions. She would circle back around to topics and approach things from different ways, the lawyer came through there. We had a lot of 'aha' moments where my BW pointed out a lot of things I never considered. In a way this interview process worked for us as it got so I could talk about most anything with my BW. I am still amazed at how composed my BW kept herself through some real hurtful admissions.

Maybe you need to take a similar approach - try doing nightly talks with a bottle of wine, or in the tub. Try to keep the convo flowing and avoid letting your emotions take over too much.

skeetermooch posted 9/29/2020 10:27 AM

Your WS is addicted to cheating, and he wants to stay married. There are different sides of him that are responsible for achieving each goal, and I suspect they operate completely independently. I know that's fucked up. I'm not arguing that it isn't. I'm genuinely baffled by how long I was able to keep my left hand from looking at what my right hand was doing. All I can say it's that it's a thing. Logic simply does not apply.

Thanks, BSR, this helps a lot.

After dday(s), some of that compartmentalization would breakdown or at least you'd then have some awareness that it's happening, I'd think? I guess what gets me - well, it all gets me - is that he's effectively choosing cheating over marriage. He must see that and be okay with that, right?

BraveSirRobin posted 9/29/2020 11:28 AM

It definitely went on past D-Day, and past D-Day 2, twenty-nine years later. I didn't cheat again, but I kept lying to him. I knew that every time I TTd, every time I said "That's it, that's everything," that I was committing a new and separate crime. I mean, I say that I knew, but I refused to look at it. I was scared shitless of him finding out, and in a way, scared shitless of myself, of what it would be like to come clean and give that power up. Thinking of telling him the full truth was like standing on the very edge of the Golden Gate Bridge and wondering what it would be like to sway forward. It just takes a second for your feet to leave the girder, and then your fate is out of your hands. Gravity is in charge.

Your WS is accustomed to the risks and penance involved in cheating. He knows the pain and thinks he can handle it. Giving up the security blanket of his addiction, examining who he is, and accepting the consequences for it, is uncharted territory. I imagine he's sticking with the devil he knows.

skeetermooch posted 9/29/2020 12:27 PM

Your WS is accustomed to the risks and penance involved in cheating. He knows the pain and thinks he can handle it. Giving up the security blanket of his addiction, examining who he is, and accepting the consequences for it, is uncharted territory. I imagine he's sticking with the devil he knows.

This makes so much sense. Thank you.

JBWD posted 9/29/2020 13:15 PM

Skeeter-
I missed this before but can maybe address the addict side: Though Iím not in SA but rather SLAA-
I was in a similar place, eager to R in every way but the only one that mattered. And it was only when I learned what emotions I was actually medicating with sex that I saw where the connections lay- Even yesterday, a year (+) after complete NC, I found myself intriguing and thinking about ďMaybe when I move away, the kids are off to college, I can circle back to APĒ... Because of guilt I was feeling about some upcoming family decisions, fairly unrelated to ANYTHING.

So any subtle triggers/threats towards validation drive his acting out, I would suspect. Those threats are frequently misperceptions but some of your inability to trust, which is entirely reasonable, could drive that. Thatís on him to unpack.

My step work has focused some of this, though I arrived at most portions of this understanding prior to...

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