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I don’t know where to put this.

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crazyblindsided posted 10/18/2020 16:36 PM

How does the AP put feelers out for your H if they are NC?

The MOW in our case used other apps as did my WS to find a way to communicate with each other. Eventually my WS gave her a burner phone and that's how they were able to continue for 2 more years putting me in False R. I really hope your WS is not entertaining the breaking of NC.

Jorge posted 10/18/2020 18:05 PM

I'm extremely sorry you are experiencing this. I don't know if it'll help or has any place in your ability to resolve things, but I believe your gut in your husband not wanting to be with her is accurate.

When I was cheated I immediately ended the relationship, but was equally indecisive and weak in killing the relationship. I no longer wanted my fiance' in any capacity, but hurting her feelings was something I had a hard time with.

I could care less about her feelings when I severed the relationship but was empathetic at seeing her so distraught in telling her she had no chance of us being together. I was just hoping she'd go away as all the things we used to do ceased from happening. I never called or called her but it didn't deter her desire to reconcile.

I let her stick around for a year and hurt my new girlfriend (now wife) as my x fiance' sought to intimidate her through phone calls etc. I couldn't emphatically say, never call me again and I need to.

Eventually I had to notify the cops and that stopped it cold, but my inability to end any communication by not accepting her calls, extended her hopes, which caused significant inconvenience and instability in the private lives of my wife (new girlfriend back then) and I. Not sure, perhaps your husband mishandled it in the same way. Just wanted to share in case a correlation can be made.

Carissima posted 10/18/2020 18:22 PM

I can see how your husband may have had difficulty in breaking things off for the past 6 months or so. It's one of the dangers of crossing the employer boss/ employee boundaries, especially if the employee turns out to have bunny boiler tendencies.
It's absolutely no excuse but he was probably scared of the possible consequences of a woman scorned.
On a business note you may want to consult with a lawyer to discuss tbe termination of her contract and if she has any possible come back at you. The last thing you need is a wrongful dismissal lawsuit.

Sayuwontletgo posted 10/18/2020 18:40 PM

Hiking, im so sorry. Reading this just made my heart sink. You are so strong and authentic sharing this with everyone who's read your story and knows that you have given it your all. It is awful that you are having to go through this experience. Praying for you both..

hikingout posted 10/19/2020 08:54 AM

Going from memory, but don't I recall your H posting here about how he wasn't as angry about your A because he sees the world in less black/white and more shades of grey? He seemed to have some moral flexibility where a lot of people would have hard boundaries on relationships. I think I recall you mentioning that your relationship with your H had, at times in the past, been somewhat openish? I am going from memory, please forgive me if I am wrong here...

Not saying any of that is a reason to cheat, but people who see the world through a morally flexible lens and who experiment with alternative dating/marriage styles tend to end up in a rough spot.

I saw this last evening and thought a lot about it. What I have basically decided is that all people who cheat have a morally flexible lens. I think that anyone who cheats a has decided that they are willing to trade whatever integrity they have for something they decide they want for whatever reason they want it.

I don't think I can say anything different about myself.

The part that is a departure for him (and for me at the time of my affair) is that I have never known him to be a liar. He had never known me to be a liar either. I wasn't - I never lied or hid things from him before my affair. At this point I still believe he wasn't either. People who have open marriages or alternative sexual lives doesn't mean they are liars, or there is a betrayal. And people who cheat know it's wrong, just like lying is wrong.

What you are talking about could be related issues for him, it's gonna take time to figure that out. I don't feel our sexual past was a strong cord for my own affair.

I think my husband just wanted to be okay. For us to be okay. And, I think he kidded himself that he was. From what I can tell so far, his justifications to himself were more he wanted to know what the experience was. He wanted to understand it. He derived a lot of entitlement from my affair more so than any of the swinging we tried for a while 30 years ago before we were ever married.

It's tiring to try and grasp or think about. It's very much like you burned down the house once, you worked hard to rebuild it and make it a home, only to have it burn down again. Part of you wants to rebuild a better house like you did the first time, and part of you wonders if there should be a house there at all. But, he gave me time, I will give him time. I will give myself some time.

I did call the other OBS last night. He seemed to be expecting the other shoe to drop, but she hadn't told him. He had suspicions about her, but not with my H. I told him what I know, which isn't a whole lot. He said he would let me know what he finds out. I told him I wasn't sure yet if I wanted him to do that. He wants us to verify their stories I guess. It's natural, I know. But, I don't feel the same way at the moment. For one thing, I think H will tell me, I just keep stopping him on some of it. And, for another I just keep feeling like what the hell does it really matter? I have been on this site long enough to know that those sort of details are haunting. I know he lied to her, I know he lied to me. I know he lied to himself. What difference does it make what fluffy teenage shit they said or exchanged? Or what the lies actually were? I could get that info but then I will have to spend the next five or more years wondering what percentage of truth did any of it have? I feel like at this point his confession is for him. I am so avoidant and removed. I just don't even want to do any of it. I know that's not realistic.

I catch myself projecting what I did after the affair to be naturally what he will do. I know that's not realistic either, but it's hard to separate. It's hard to think after all we have been through he won't do the same for me. But, I have to stop treating that like a given. It's a safer place to hide for me I guess.

[This message edited by hikingout at 9:04 AM, October 19th (Monday)]

prissy4lyfe posted 10/19/2020 09:29 AM


I just want to caution you...that you dont know this person. You don't know what he will confess. You don't know what shame he is hiding behind, wrestling with.

My heart hearts so much for you..I'm sending lots of love and positive energy.

Unhinged posted 10/19/2020 09:34 AM

I think my husband just wanted to be okay. For us to be okay. And, I think he kidded himself that he was. From what I can tell so far, his justifications to himself were more he wanted to know what the experience was. He wanted to understand it.
Curiosity? Really? A year and a half of... what? A research project?

This is just scratching the surface, I think.

[This message edited by Unhinged at 9:34 AM, October 19th (Monday)]

hikingout posted 10/19/2020 10:08 AM

This is just scratching the surface, I think

Oh I agree. It took me 6 months to track down my whys. And, no he doesn't claim it was all an experiment for all that time. I think it was part of what pushed him over fueled with that entitlement, and obviously it's all justifications right now. He is no different than any other WS in that he hasn't spent much time self evaluating, it's been 18 months of reacting and hiding.

Hell, he took a lot of my writing as comfort that I would understand him.

I just want to caution you...that you dont know this person. You don't know what he will confess. You don't know what shame he is hiding behind, wrestling with.

I know what you are saying. It's hard not to project what happened in the aftermath of my dday. In a weird way though, I do think I know him. I don't know if that's my own avoidance, or what, but we have been together for decades. It's complicated in so many ways. I practically have a phd in waywardism, it's working against me here. Having compassion for myself only works right now if I have compassion for him. I don't even know if that will make sense to anyone.

hikingout posted 10/19/2020 10:11 AM

The only advice I can give to you is to do your best to keep your issues separate. Your affair is a separate issue from his. When discussing his A do not let him sidetrack you into discussing yours. It is much too early to allow those two things travel down the same road. Healing becomes too entangled and it allows for too much blameshifting.

Yes. This is what I am struggling with. Though, I don't think it is him driving it, it's me. I don't know how else to be right now though.

beauchateaux posted 10/19/2020 10:23 AM

Hell, he took a lot of my writing as comfort that I would understand him.

This, right here, is what I was thinking when I initially read your post (along with 'aww, fuck').

I have been thinking about SI and how wonderful it can be for allowing both BS and WS to work through their issues. It's a supportive community and we really come to care about each other, as much as you can for anonymous, faceless people behind their screennames.

How do you navigate something like this, though? You've been on here, actively doing your own work and advising others, for a long time. He's seen it, and I feel like the grace you've learned to give yourself and others as flawed human beings (as we all are) were probably part of what eased his crossing of the line. Exactly what you said - he felt you understood the mindset, and that if he did it and you discovered it, you'd have to extend him the same grace. It's messed up, and not your fault, but it's there.

Now, though, you're the BS in this situation. You can't advise or help him as a friend, or an anon support person on a forum. You're his wife, and you're the one he betrayed.

I don't know what I'm saying, really. I just wanted to say basically don't allow yourself to be his confessional booth where he can cry and get absolution because you are 'all knowing' about wayward mentality. No. And if you need to make SI your safe space, he should respect that - I don't know if he planned on coming here for help, but if you don't want him to, then make it a boundary.

DIFM posted 10/19/2020 10:37 AM

HO, did he ever say to you, when reflecting on your betrayals, that because of it, he did not have a sense of accountability or responsibility for loyalty to you or the M? Did he ever intimate or suggest that because of the broken vows from your M, that he felt no obligation to those vows, as a result? Just curious if there were any verbal clues to potential future behaviors by him.

foreverlabeled posted 10/19/2020 10:40 AM

HO, I did the same thing in expecting my ex to handle the fallout just as I did. And well you know how that worked out. It was maddening for me because I just couldn't wrap my head around the fact that he couldn't give me what I gave him. I couldn't separate it, but let me say this, I didn't stand for less either. I wasn't expecting him to match it 100 percent but he needed to come close. Why? Because it is what every BS should receive.

I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with wanting what you delivered.

BraveSirRobin posted 10/19/2020 11:10 AM

Having compassion for myself only works right now if I have compassion for him. I don't even know if that will make sense to anyone.
It does, but you're right to be very cautious in applying false equivalencies. You spent years earning your R. TTP hasn't yet, and in fact, it doesn't look like he even planned to tell you he cheated. He spent six months looking for a way to end the A, when he had to know from reading here that the fastest way to end an affair is exposure. He told you (and us, for that matter) that he'd walk if you ever cheated or lied again, that he'd never stay through the aftermath of betrayal, that he was only in R because you'd learned the full toxicity of deceit. He wrote all that while actively cheating on you. As WS, we can understand the mechanics of this compartmentalization, but it's probably a mirage to use compassion as a shortcut to healthy R. My personal experience of that didn't go well for either me or my H.

I can hear the shock and exhaustion in your writing. I've restrained myself many times from the impulse to give advice and opinions, because I don't know that it's what you need right now. That weariness at the prospect of going through these years again, right when you thought you'd turned to corner into a happy retirement, must be completely overwhelming. Are you able to articulate what you need from us, maybe not so much in the long term, but today? You were a resource of incalculable value to me in the early days of my journey. What can I do to help pay some of that back?

Bigger posted 10/19/2020 11:12 AM


Sometimes I look at how businesses make their plans and strategize and think why we don’t apply at least some of it to our personal lives. Like why are you married? What do you want from your marriage? What can you do to get it?
These are all things a successful business looks into and works towards. I have sat dozens if not hundreds of meetings where we speculate about where we want to be and how to get there, what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong, SWOT analysis, budgeting and so on…

For the first nearly-15 years of my marriage we were just married… In that time, she got her nursing degree and her masters, I got my degree, changed careers twice. We got the first home, the first vehicle, the first baby. Then the second baby, second vehicle, bigger home. Things just went along. If we could pay our mortgage, utilities and bills and maybe have a holiday in-between we were happy. There was no plan. It just happened at the same pace as everything happens to everyone else.

It’s inevitable and HEALTHY that people grow. I am not the same person my wife married. Partially due to her influence. She too has changed. There is NOTHING that says we should be married just because we once married.

Fortunately, my wife and I realized this some time ago. Indirectly we had what companies tend to do: a meeting where we discussed what we want, our expectations, joint goals and individual goals… and most importantly if we were still compatible and wanted all this with each other.
This wasn’t one meeting. Fortunately, she saw what I was trying to do and agreed to a series of “sessions” where we addresses many things.
Somehow telling my wife that the only thing keeping us together was each individuals willingness to remain married brought it home to us.

There were things addressed: My wife made it clear I often took her for granted, so we committed to showing each other more respect. We unified in our front to the children. We addressed the sex and intimacy issue all couples deal with. We set a financial strategy and goal… Basically we changed from being two people that had gotten married into a married couple working together. It definitely wasn’t easy and we both made concessions, but we both had the same goal in mind.

What this “meeting of the board” did was it gave us a path. We started working together and in doing so our communications improved. My marriage is far from perfect and we have our disagreements, but we always know that the only thing keeping us married is really our willingness to remain married.

I mention this because maybe you and Mr. Hiking have forgotten why you remain married and therefore even if you should remain married.

I have never believed or thought that infidelity has anything to do with the spouse but is all and always due to the WS wrong handling of some issues. Be it insecurity, validation or what. I doubt either affair was due to the marriage, but MAYBE you two need to refocus and commit. Be it to the marriage or be it to living separate lives.

(P.s. I have a friend who did something similar. Where this work has pushed me and my wife closer together then in his case it led to both deciding to divorce…)

Buck posted 10/19/2020 11:17 AM

The only advice I can give to you is to do your best to keep your issues separate. Your affair is a separate issue from his. When discussing his A do not let him sidetrack you into discussing yours. It is much too early to allow those two things travel down the same road. Healing becomes too entangled and it allows for too much blameshifting.

Yes. This is what I am struggling with. Though, I don't think it is him driving it, it's me. I don't know how else to be right now though.

IMO, and in my experience, this is really bad advice and totally not realistic. There is no way to discuss his A without mentioning yours. It's fucking absurd to think that what you did and how you handled the aftermath had no bearing on his choices.

This is sorta triggery as hell for me and it's difficult to discuss. That said, as a BH turned MH, I can tell you the injustice of being betrayed is hard for some of us to handle. There is no mechanism to right the wrong except for divorce. I can't beat the hell out of the (or worse) to the OM without legal repercussions. Same with dealing with a cheating wife. Worst case is I divorce and she gets nearly half of everything that I am overwhelmingly responsible for achieving. So where's the fucking justice? I would sit in my rage and, really the only way I could describe it, feel impotent. She got to have an affair. She felt the excitement, limerance, "love", attention, sex with someone new, the feeling of doing something taboo, the feeling of having a secret and pulling one over on me, the wonderment of a "beginning" and the fantasizing about where this could go, and the feeling that someone is choosing her over his spouse. And let's not forget, I was the one making her life so fucking miserable in the first place.

My wife chose to have this experience with a faithful husband at home and an intact M. I did not have those circumstances in place when I chose to cheat. Neither did your H. I'm not trying to make you feel bad. I'm trying to save you from some misery. You're in for a rude awakening to think that you can discuss this without hearing about your transgression.

maise posted 10/19/2020 11:40 AM

^^ I don’t think that the advice given to keep the two separate is bad at all. We are all grown adults to be held accountable for our own choices. So our WS felt all those “feel good feelings” in their affairs, I get it - been there in feeling like this whole thing has been unfair. However, for me to get the “feel good feelings” in some sort of affair just to have some sense of “balancing the scales” is not only not realistic, it’s at my own detriment. I lose myself if I choose an affair. I lose my integrity and my sense of worth. In not having an affair I get to choose myself and my value. I get to say I won’t let myself down in that way and prove it.

I hold me accountable and responsible for myself despite what someone else has done to me. My responsibility for myself is not dependent on someone else.

To me, what she does and what he does are separate and each had to hold themselves accountable for their own. No one “makes us do” anything, he could have walked away. He could have chosen to instead heal himself as a BS. None of which meant he had to choose the path that meant losing his own integrity. Healing from an affair IMO is layered, the BS has a ton of individual work to do like the WS does. They each heal themselves and then the marriage. One healing themself and the other not doing so won’t yield good R.

ETA: not that R is the reason to heal ourselves, we are the reason we should heal ourselves. If there’s one thing that I can say I’m so glad happened was all the work Hikingout had done prior to this. R or not, in her continued choosing of healing herself (as a WS and now a BS) - she gets to have a relationship with herself that goes beyond anything.

Sorry for speaking of you in third person Hiking, I know this is your thread. I’m so sorry again you’re experiencing this, you are so strong, continue to show up for yourself like you have been. Sending so much love and continued strength.

[This message edited by maise at 11:49 AM, October 19th (Monday)]

MrCleanSlate posted 10/19/2020 11:56 AM


I tend to lean very much into the side of everything is intertwined. Whether it is a failing business, a crappy M, poor boundaries, depression, mid-life crises, affairs, whatever - It all has affects on everything else.

It is one thing to work on our why's, but we also need to work on our M's - and that means both WS and BS. I think if you look at most successful R's there is a recognition that both parties need to make changes to make the M work. You chose to do the work and your H chose a different path.

I guess that is where you were stuck. you H didn't deal with his post D-Day issues and only put on a front and got in over his head before he knew it. Maybe your H was done with the A and looking for an out and worried about the 'rabbit' (I was in the boat for a few months) but he sounds to be doing what I did for the months before D-Day and not accepting that there are issues with himself that need tending. I knew I needed help as things were not right, but I wasn't really accepting of my faults at the time.

As a lot of waywards here who have done the work I think you will understand how painful it can be getting to that realization. It may be your H is not admitting all yet, because he hasn't taken the time to look in the mirror. I know I didn't realize the depths of what I did for some time after D-Day.

Yes, he needs to work on his problems, and you will now need to work on yourself as a result of this trauma, but you both need to work on your M.....if that is the route you both want to follow. Trust your gut.

I'm saying things that you already know, sometimes it helps to have the obvious pointed out again.

Thissucks5678 posted 10/19/2020 12:09 PM

Hiking out, I really encourage you not to rugsweep this and at least get the facts of the situation. I don’t blame you if you don’t want to see the emails and the lovey dovey crap. I can’t unsee some of it and it sucks.

I do think you should know what you are dealing with. I think the fact that he never pursued healing himself is the reason he got in himself in this situation. Yes, he may not have done it had you not had your affair first, but that’s still not an excuse. It’s just another why that he needs to unravel. Why was this his answer to your affair? He could have gotten a divorce, he was on his way there, what made him change his mind? Where were his boundaries with this person? He knew exactly where this stuff leads and the pain it causes. It was a year and a half! Why did he not care about the common law husband after what he went through, it sounds like that was a friend of his.

I don’t know, you say you know your husband. I know my WH was a stranger to me after dday. I discovered I didn’t know him at all. It didn’t matter that I had been with him the majority of my adult life - he was a complete and total stranger. I have since learned so much, but everything I thought I knew was false. Just a thought. I wish you nothing but the absolute best in this process.

MrCleanSlate posted 10/19/2020 12:22 PM

One final thought....

You've gotten a lot of support here from waywards and some BS's, but maybe you should consider starting a new post over in General or Reconciliation - You are a BS (MH) now and maybe you will get some additional help and support from BS in those forums as well (I am sure there are some BS that don't visit Wayward Forum).

Everyone needs help, and no harm in accepting that from those who've 'been there done that'.

[This message edited by MrCleanSlate at 12:23 PM, October 19th (Monday)]

EllieKMAS posted 10/19/2020 12:25 PM


I don’t blame myself exactly. But I absolutely do not believe he would have done this without the other circumstances. It isn’t excusing it, it’s simply true. At the same time I know I just have to make my requirements and see what he does moving forward.
Please get out of this mindset. Removing all of your shit from the equation - nothing excuses having an affair. If he was unhappy, couldn't get over things, having issues... the adult and correct thing to do would be to communicate with you about it or file for divorce, not have an A. That is on HIM, not you. And what you did or didn't do doesn't change that.

I am so sorry you are going through this.

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