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BS Questions for WS - Part 14

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skeetermooch posted 9/29/2020 20:34 PM

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. That’s on him to unpack.

Thank you for that.
He's clumsily sort of said as much - and you nailed it - my inability to trust him (extremely reasonable, as he's still acting out like it's his full time job) is one of the things that propels him to cheat. Now, the threat of abandonment, which he was always susceptible to for literally no reason, is real, so he's needing that much more medicating. It's vicious, vicious cycle.

Thanks again. Hearing WSs describe their process is as close as I'll ever get to my STBX explaining himself because he can't and won't. It gives me some peace.

Betrayed19 posted 9/30/2020 16:25 PM

This is my first post here. My WH and I are doing well. He like so many of you on this site struggles to talk about his affair. He shame spirals every time. He says that I misunderstand everything he says. One thing that I really struggle with is the feelings he felt for her and what is the real reason that he chose to stay with me. His affair was with his best friends wife. It lasted a year and only ended because her husband came accross their sexts that she didn't know were also on her Ipad. He told me that he felt so good when he was with her. He said they talked about stopping but agreed that if we could see how good it felt, we would understand. They agreed they couldn't stop unless they got caught. They both claim to never have wanted to leave us. Almost 18 months later, he says they never said this - WTF! When he told me about the affair, he referred to what was going on as "Friends with benefits". He didn't even see it as an affair. Sometimes when we talk, he says it was just physical. He says they always had chemistry . He said he didn't love her like he loves me but he can't explain what his feelings were and that he never stopped loving me. My question really is if the feelings are sooo strong, how can one just walk away just because you got caught! I hear often on this site that WS's grieve the loss of their AP. He always denies missing her. How can I ever know that he stays with me for true love. We are empty nesters and always had great plans for this period in our lives. How do I know that he is just wanting to be honorable to his commitments and promises he made to me? Or to not want to lose his relationship with our boys? I know that sounds like an contradiction. He has been so loving since DDay but I just can't help but wonder if it is real. He has admitted that he would still be tempted if he ran into her but that he would run away and call me immediately! How can I live with knowing there is someone else with this effect on him! I am sorry if I am rambling... Its frustration.

Betrayed19 posted 9/30/2020 17:02 PM

Mod please - remove my signature from my post. I didn't realize this was there.

Mickie500 posted 9/30/2020 17:16 PM

Why do WS think telling us that the AP weren’t really important and it meant nothing will make us feel better?

I am currently just in my quietly crying phase and he is going crazy. He hates when I withdraw and cry. If it meant nothing why did you hurt me?

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 10/1/2020 05:47 AM

My question really is if the feelings are sooo strong, how can one just walk away just because you got caught!

I was in a very similar situation. I had a year long EA/PA with my husband’s best friend. We knew each other from high school and did many things together. My husband also wondered how I could turn those feelings off like a light switch.

The simple answer is because those “feelings” weren’t real. It wasn’t him that I had feelings for. What I truly wanted from him was the attention, the ego boost, fantasy in which we lived in. We didn’t have real life issues to deal with. We lived within a bubble that could never be sustained. I wanted someone to love and adore me unconditionally. I had built up so many lies in my head that once the bubble burst, they all came crashing down.

I have never missed my AP so it’s possible that your husband doesn’t miss his either but the only way to understand it will be for him to dig deep and get to the bottom of his whys. He needs to understand why and how it was that he was able to cross boundaries on multiple levels. Hopefully each revelation will help you understand him better and in turn bring you closer to trusting. Unfortunately it’s a long process that takes years and vulnerability, transparency, and open communication.

****Sidenote:
Mod please - remove my signature from my post. I didn't realize this was there.

If you don’t want your signature, edit it from your profile.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 5:48 AM, October 1st (Thursday)]

Betrayed19 posted 10/1/2020 05:58 AM

Thank you for your response. What you said is what I believe he has tried to say but we are both so confused I just wanted to make sure he wasn’t just protecting me.

Betrayed19 posted 10/1/2020 10:46 AM

WalkinOnEggshelz

You said that you did many things together. I struggle with this as well. He invited them to our camp for weekends every chance he got. He was even trying to get them to come for Easter weekend but DDay happened. We already had our whole family going. He brought her on vacation with us. They told me her husband was coming but at the last minute couldn't. It was always a lie. Her husband later told me that he was never going. I can't understand how he could have her with us that way and not feel guilty? He said he just "felt so good when he was with her" when I asked how he could do that. Also, he sent her a picture of a resort and promised to take her there. He at first didn't remember but then said he would have never actually done it. It hurts so much because we have dreamed of going to such place ourselves.
He said it was "just part of it". He said the same about telling her he loved her. He can't explain what that means. Can you?

BraveSirRobin posted 10/1/2020 11:23 AM

One thing to remember is that the experience of unpacking our whys means that our view of the A is constantly evolving. There's what we felt during the affair, what we felt immediately after D-Day, and what we feel long term. The challenge is to re-evaluate those feelings in healthy ways ("I realize now that I built her up in my mind to feel better about myself") vs rewriting it in minimizing ways ("I never cared about any of it, it was a meaningless game"). As the BS, you're looking for the absolute truth of what the AP meant to your WS, but your WS is a churning mess of self-examination, self-recrimination, and self-justification. Even if they're remorseful and doing their best, it will take a while for all that to settle down to an accurate picture, and they may lack the communication skills to specify "this is how I felt then, and why, and this is how I feel now, and why." And unfortunately, some WS never do the work to learn the difference.

Mickie, I think your WH is trying to tell you that the AP meant nothing, that she could have been anyone who gave him the flattery and validation he sought. But the flattery and validation itself had great value to him, so much so that it enabled him to selfishly ignore the high price you would both have to pay for it. (And he damn well better learn to start paying instead of resenting you for your struggles.)

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 11:29 AM, October 1st (Thursday)]

DamagedSoul2020 posted 10/1/2020 12:14 PM

Hey I'd like a wayward spouses point of view on something.
Is it possible to have been seeing a hooker once or twice a month for 7 years and it only consist of bjs and light petting?

Trying to work out if my wh is trying to downplay what really happened.

Thanks.

MrCleanSlate posted 10/1/2020 12:32 PM

DamagedSoul,

The hooker thing is a bit different than a run of the mill affair. It is possible that all he was getting was BJ's as more than that I suspect may have cost a lot more, or maybe he had a certain fetish.

Was it the same hooker the whole time? It is possible he developed a one-sided relationship with her. Did he talk to her about stuff? Kind of the cheap version of counselling (I had one friend that did that, although he was divorced already).

Not sure how recent D-Day was, but many waywards have a hard time admitting to everything, or will try to minimize. How open and truthful do you think he is being about what he has told you so far? (remove the rose coloured glasses and go with what your gut is telling you).

What he really needs to do is figure out why he needed to go to a hooker. What was he getting from it?

ff4152 posted 10/1/2020 16:05 PM

DamagedSoul

Your description of your WH A perfectly described my own. I was with my AP on and off for about 5 years. Our sexual contact consisted of BJ’s, kissing, hugging and a little bit of petting. Suffice to say, your WH claims can certainly be true.

That being said, early on in the A, I would have probably had intercourse with my AP had she let me. She virtuously claimed “I don’t fuck married men” 🤪🤮 I suppose in hindsight I think she did me a favor but I digress.

To each what MCS said, I would listen to your gut. I wouldn’t necessarily dismiss his claims out of hand but I would watch and evaluate some more.

BlackRaven posted 10/1/2020 16:11 PM

DamagedSoul,
As someone who recently found out her WH is a sex addict, I would encourage you to visit a CSAT certified therapist or marriage counselor and try to get to the bottom of your WH's behavior.
He may not be a SA, but his behavior is sure a big red flag.

20yrsagoBS posted 10/2/2020 21:54 PM

Hello WSs


During your cheating, did you feel guilty about what you were doing?


How it was affecting your marriage?


Or not until DDay?


WH says he didn’t feel bad until after I found out

BraveSirRobin posted 10/3/2020 02:16 AM

During your cheating, did you feel guilty about what you were doing? How it was affecting your marriage? Or not until DDay?
I was very good at compartmentalizing and not thinking about the consequences of my actions. That was Tomorrow Girl's problem. There was also a kind of surreality to the entire experience; I didn't think of myself as the kind of person who would cheat, and so it was almost like I wasn't really me while I was doing it, but some kind of reckless imposter. The guilt didn't really rise up until I had broken it off and was facing the prospect of coming clean to my BH.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 10/3/2020 08:38 AM

He said it was "just part of it". He said the same about telling her he loved her. He can't explain what that means. Can you?

Based on his answers it sounds to me like he isn’t doing the deep digging into his whys that he needs to. Does he seem to understand exactly why these instances are hurtful to you?

I personally had very little thought about how my husband felt or how disrespectful my actions were to him, which just added to the pain that he already had. I had to to sign to figure out why his feelings were insignificant to me. Many people will say that selfishness is the only reason, but I had to figure out what made me selfish and why.

Doing things together helped make my affair more “convenient”. I was able to hide it under his nose. I told myself lies like “we are all friends”. I told myself that my husband would be happy to pass me off to him and even want to come over for drinks with us. I had to twist my brain in such a way to not allow myself to face how awful I was acting.

It’s a lot to unpack. Only your husband can work through that. It will most likely take years. A double betrayal adds another layer to an already difficult situation to heal from. If he hasn’t started reading, I recommend “How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair” and Not Just Friends”. He has to be able to see the affair for what it was and own it. He needs to be able to understand how those choices have affected you. Only then will you be able to move forward.

It is never a simple answer of “it just felt so good”.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 9:07 AM, October 3rd (Saturday)]

Cassandrae posted 10/3/2020 16:04 PM

My WS is currently in IC and came out of his most recent session churned up. He won't look at me/meet my eyes, won't approach or touch me and simply nods at me to acknowledge my presence. When I asked if he was alright the response was "Therapy is hard." I nodded and asked if there was anything he'd like to talk about and the response was that he was still processing.

Is this something any of you have gone through/dealt with? Am having difficulty soothing/backing down from my own triggers because during the A and at discovery he behaved the same way.

Thank you so much for being willing to respond.

BlackRaven posted 10/4/2020 16:53 PM

Cassandre

It sounds like his therapy is doing what it supposed to do. Making him face tough things. You can’t know whether that involves you or not, And you need to be respectful of his process.

My WH went into a tailspin after his first adult children of alcoholics meeting;, because somehow he hadn’t realized for the past five decades that his mother is an alcoholic and a narcissist. On the other hand, he also spent three weeks in inpatient rehab before he disclosed some things.

I know how hard this is. I urge you to focus on your own self-care and recovery through grounding work, 12 step meetings, a support network etc. Then no matter what happens, you are in a stronger, healthier place.

Good luck

[This message edited by BlackRaven at 4:55 PM, October 4th (Sunday)]

Cassandrae posted 10/5/2020 10:02 AM

BlackRaven - thank you so much for your response. I'm doing my own work, own IC so very much respect the process.

Mickie500 posted 10/7/2020 03:43 AM

WS-

When did it finally hit you that you destroyed the very thing you cherished about your BS’s connection with you?

My IC tells me I don’t have to continually remind my husband that he destroyed my feeling of safety and the reminders (please don’t bash the therapist I actually agree that the manner in which I do it isn’t healthy for any of us) because the WS won’t ever forget the magnitude of their screw up.

If I sigh or a tear begins to well up in my eyes because my favorite song comes on the radio that expresses undying love and I switch it off he feels so low. I just can’t listen anymore.

If your spouses pain never leaves how to you handle your pain from that?

TwoDozen posted 10/7/2020 04:12 AM

Question for WS who initially tried to hide from the aftermath of the A. I assume as you are here now that battle is over but my questions is

What would be the reasons for a WS to not want to do IC?

My WGF is a compartmentaliser of the very best and to this day 9 months past Dday believes this is a strength. She has in her words put the A to the back of her mind and doesn’t want to visit it again. She doesn’t want to be interrogated and “broken” by someone who is trained to do so.

Did any of you initially have this way of thinking? What were your reasons for this?

I would say I am pro R but losing faith and that my WGF is pro R too (if R = rugsweep) she is petrified of losing me and knows that starting IC would be something I see as positive yet she can’t bring herself to do it.

She encourages my seeing my IC and we have on occasion talked about IC for our anxious daughter so she doesn’t see it as fluffy nonsense, it’s just not for her.

She has offered in the past to go to IC if “it makes me better” or so she can “stop feeling so bad” she only does this when I have a meltdown (tears not anger) something which hasn’t happened in a while. When I am strong she thinks all is well and therefore doesn’t need to go down this route.

Life is harmonious, we get along great, but I don’t want to be one of those guys who comes back here in 5,10,15 years because we didn’t unpack all the issues.

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