WonderingGhost ( member #81060) posted at 7:59 PM on Thursday, February 23rd, 2023
Good on you, RF!
In my case, WH didn't affair down. She's younger, prettier, thinner, and is actually pretty smart and funny. Guess I'm the exception that proves the rule.
You may say that @BallofAnxiety, but any woman willing to engage herself with a taken man is a big downgrade in my eyes.
[This message edited by WonderingGhost at 7:59 PM, Thursday, February 23rd]
Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 8:45 PM on Thursday, February 23rd, 2023
WonderingGhost is exactly correct!! Let's break this down a bit:
younger...that may be true. But she sure isn't mature. Once she is...she will look back on this time and REGRET her choices. For the rest of her life. Being young only means she holds these regrets a whole lot longer.
prettier...beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. Read almost ANY post from a BH...and they talk about how beautiful their WW was...UNTIL they saw them through the eyes of a BH. Now...some of them can barely touch them. YOU...a LOYAL person...makes you BEAUTIFUL when your WH takes a long look at a person willing to cheat with him. Their age difference may also mean that she will cheat ON him too.
thinner...THAT will change once the stress from what she has done kicks in. Grab the popcorn!!
smart...really? A CHEATER...smart? Those two words can NEVER fit in the same sentence Dear Lady!
funny...like Robin Williams funny? Sometimes humor masks underlying issues. What a CATCH...NOT!!!
The REALITY is...an A is nothing more than two SELFISH people who USE each other to get their selfish wants met. How PATHETIC.
BallofAnxiety...I've read your posts in this Forum. You may not feel like it now...but you are one AMAZING BadAss!!! That is what I am going to think when I use the initials from your username BA!!!
A "perfect marriage" is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.
With God ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:26)
I AM happy again...It CAN happen!!!
From respect comes great love...sassylee
emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 8:52 PM on Thursday, February 23rd, 2023
She's younger, prettier, thinner, and is actually pretty smart and funny. Guess I'm the exception that proves the rule.
Even if this is true, none of this means that she is an upgrade. You may not feel good about what you look like right now, which is totally normal in the wake of betrayal, but I assure you what you look like does not determine your value. You mention in another post you made that you are an attorney. I know that means you are intelligent, analytical and disciplined. You have taken decisive steps to set yourself up for the future mere weeks after D-Day that most other people struggle to ever get to. I can tell from a few short posts that you are a good writer and that you have a lot of empathy. I'm certain you are not the exception - he affaired down.
I get it. The AP in my situation was/is objectively attractive. She has a job that involves training that you cannot get without a certain level of intelligence. You know who else she is though? She is shallow and vapid and conflict avoidant and cowardly. She is a cheater who relies on others to build her sense of self. She has compromised her morals and vows and family for another unrepetent, unreformed cheater. Relationships that start the way theirs did don't have good odds for success. They are broken and have told themselves and others and each other a bunch of romantic stories about their relationship which is not based in reality. If they actually stay together, it's only down from here. It sounds like there is a big age gap - do you think their respective friend groups are just going to accept their betrayals with open arms? Do you think they will ever truly trust one another?
Me: BS. Him: WS. Together 16 years.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
6+ years (and two kids) into R. Happy.
BallofAnxiety ( member #82853) posted at 9:20 PM on Thursday, February 23rd, 2023
Thank you all for your kind responses, stuff I needed to hear!
I've always had issues with my physical appearance, which I think might come a bit from how I was raised. My dad was the kind of person who, if I got an A on a test would ask why it wasn't an A+. Anything but the best was not good enough. He's changed in years since, but that was the message I got as a kid. Add that to the messages our society gives women...your value is entirely in your physical appearance...and I guess I was screwed from the start. I don't think I'm particularly hideous, just not as pretty as many women. So, there's always been this fear with any man I've been with that he will leave me for someone more attractive. It's weird, I don't think about my intelligence in this way, I don't worry he will leave me for someone smarter despite realizing I'm not even close to the smartest person on the planet.
Lots of stuff to unpack with the new IC tonight!
Me: BW. STBXH: ONS 2006; DDay 12/2022 "it was only online," trickle truth until 1/2023 - "it was 1 year+ affair with MCOW." Separated and divorcing.
Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 11:12 AM on Friday, February 24th, 2023
BallofAnxiety, I feel you. Some time ago I wrote on this thread something similar—that my husband affaired up. His AP wasn’t younger than me, but she’s definitely smarter, more successful, more striking looking, etc. etc.
Want2Be wrote an encouraging past back that made me cry and is something I read again from time to time, because it helped me reframe how I saw the AP. And I’ve seen concrete evidence over the last couple of years of how deeply broken and unhappy a person she is.
I agree with others’ comments. You are clearly a quality person. You are smart, empathetic, insightful. You are a successful person who has goals and a work ethic. Your WH and his AP are broken people, and being young and pretty doesn’t make someone a good partner.
Hang in there and be good to yourself. It’s possible to esteem yourself and find confidence in your own worth even when it feels initially like your partner affaired up.
Husband of 20 years had six month affair with co-worker. Found out 7/2020. Two teenaged kids. Reconciling.
RecklessForgiver ( new member #82891) posted at 8:54 AM on Saturday, February 25th, 2023
If it helps, BallofAnxiety, I had the exact same impressions of the AP that you had. She is younger, more athletic, and prettier (in a generic sense only). She is also way more sexual than I am. All of that made me feel like you felt.
The thing is that we rarely get to see the inner workings of the relationship within the A; we see the surface and we read that surface through our insecurities. Like you, self-esteem about my body (especially after I gained weight) was not a strength. But I am more than a body, and so is the AP. Measured in all of those dimensions, when I could see her anxiety, her neediness, her phobias about commitment, I saw why she would be drawn to an affair with a married man. They were both a fantasy to each other; they used each other to create an image of themselves they could feel better about.
There are fundamental aspects of who I am that mean I would never have an affair. I would never be open to the idea of being with a married man, and that has everything to do with my ideas of love, fidelity, and loyalty. That has everything to do with the ways I am too empathetic to be that selfish and hurtful. These are beautiful things about me, and he traded down to a woman who has none of those traits.
Those of us who understand that love is sometimes hard, that it is work, and that we are responsible for our own happiness and cannot use others as band-aids for our insecurities, we are all the prize because we are capable of that level of commitment to another person. That makes us beautiful human beings and our WS fools for chasing shadows and illusions.
BreakingBad ( member #75779) posted at 2:29 PM on Saturday, February 25th, 2023
Your last post is spot on.
I could see her anxiety, her neediness, her phobias about commitment, I saw why she would be drawn to an affair with a married man.
My fWH's longterm AP was younger and skinner than me. But her life outside of work was a mess!
Her kids were always having drama (including arrests for drugs and assault). Her life moved from one crisis to the next, and she was married to husband number 3 or even 4 (they have since divorced). Near the end of her A with my husband, he suspected she had been and currently was sexting with other married men in their office.
So...she was no prize.
My H was the one to break off their affair (messages between them about this was actually how I discovered his A with her). During one of our counseling sessions he explain that the reason he broke it off was that her life was such a mess, and she spent too much time unloading her stress onto him that it became draining and he wasn't getting the emotional uplift he had been getting from being in the affair. (His solution was to find a new AP, BTW ) But, he selfishly quit supporting her emotionally when it became "too much" for him (his words).
At this point in counseling, he hadn't quite figured out that ALL of his actions relating to the affairs were selfish, and he even broke it off with AP1 for selfish reasons. It was real epiphany moment for me about where he was...but I digress.
My point is that any AP who knows their partner is married is never the prize.
My H's first AP was hugely insecure and dysfuntional. I do believe that she had been in other affairs with other married men in the office. I believe this was her "demographic" so she could "fish" close to home and keep some control over the affairs. I also think she did have more than one brewing at a time.
Was my H equally broken at the time and equally undesirable? YES. He truly was. I have to honest about that. He was no prize either then.
[This message edited by BreakingBad at 3:00 PM, Saturday, February 25th]
"...lately it's not hurtin' like it did before. Maybe I am learning how to love me more."[Credit to Sam Smith]
smitty82 ( new member #80920) posted at 8:29 AM on Wednesday, March 1st, 2023
Every time I read this I feel a little less broken.
Thanks so much Edie
Edie (original poster member #26133) posted at 5:16 PM on Monday, March 13th, 2023
Bumpety bump, and have edited the original to attribute ‘target’ icon status, as Brokenkk advised, so it can be found more easily by searching on the ‘target’ icon posts
Maybe a long walk in the Hindu Kush would do it?
BW (me) 52
Together 29 years; 2 kids 15 & 12
Dday Dec 08 (confessed) R'd.
leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 2:13 PM on Tuesday, April 11th, 2023
[This message edited by leafields at 2:13 PM, Tuesday, April 11th]
BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21
brainybird66 ( new member #83082) posted at 10:18 AM on Thursday, April 13th, 2023
But, what if the OW was truly another victim? In my case, my WP deliberately sought out someone else who thought she was getting a single man.. (ironically, we happen to both be nurses-this can’t be a coincidence).
She found out about me, reached out to warn me, and dumped him.
I'm well on my way to true healing
Edie (original poster member #26133) posted at 5:24 PM on Friday, April 14th, 2023
Then she wasn’t knowingly an OW. Different category.
Maybe a long walk in the Hindu Kush would do it?
BW (me) 52
Together 29 years; 2 kids 15 & 12
Dday Dec 08 (confessed) R'd.
Shehawk ( member #68741) posted at 6:04 PM on Friday, April 14th, 2023
Brainybird sorry you both went through being lied to. I think the type of person who is a consentual AP is way different from an unknowing one.
Wishing peace and healing for you both.
"It's a slow fade...when you give yourself away" so don't do it!
Copingmybest ( member #78962) posted at 12:14 PM on Sunday, April 16th, 2023
Just my 2 cents worth. As a BH, I now see the AP (former friend) as an absolute downgrade. He’s a selfish man (that’s a huge ask to call him a man) who thinks only of himself. He certainly went after only what he wanted. After multiple attempts by my wife to end the affair, he kept pursuing her for his own gain. He knew she was vulnerable and that he could pull her back in against her wishes to end it. He lacks integrity and any moral conviction. How can someone like that be even close to a fart in the wind to me. I told my wife that I’d take a bullet for her. I’d bet her AP would have held her in front of him to shield himself he’s so selfish. To top it off he is a funeral home owner/director who’s supposed to be compassionate towards others feelings. What an absolute fake. I sometimes feel sorry for my wife that she even engaged is such a pile of shit. Hell yea he was a downgrade. He could only dream of being an honest, loyal, selfless man like myself who always puts others needs in front of my own. I almost feel sorry for him but any time I start to think that I just refer back to the premise that the world would be a much better place without people like that.
Edit: Just thought of another tidbit of the type of person my wife’s AP was. While they were fooling around, he actually told my wife that he had some cash hidden from his wife in a safe deposit box at the bank and asked my wife if anything should ever happen to him, would she please retrieve the cash and give it to an old high school girlfriend that he is still in love with. How fucked up is that!
[This message edited by Copingmybest at 12:20 PM, Sunday, April 16th]
Me: BS 56
Her: WW 50
A 8-20?-4-1-21 (April Fools Day)
Attempting recovery me-90%~her 10%
Married 25 years
Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 3:06 PM on Sunday, April 16th, 2023
Did you tell your WW recently that you would take a bullet for her but that her AP never would have? If yes, I think this a form of the pick me dance.
I might have phrased it like this: prior to your A I would have taken a bullet for you. You know this. Now, because of your A, and your lack of remorse and lack of work for the last two years, I don’t feel that way at all. I hope to one day feel like this again. It makes me sad that I don’t, but that’s all your fault isn’t it? This feeling may never return. The jury is out. It all depends on your actions moving forward.
Babette2008 ( member #69126) posted at 3:38 PM on Sunday, April 16th, 2023
@wanderingghost. I just wanted to chime in about dealing with the knowledge that the APs were physically attractive and feeling insecure. Their attributes (other than stroking the ego of your WS) are not why they were chosen, and the aren't a reflection of your worth.
My husbands APs were mostly younger (except a ONS with a highschool girlfriend at his reunion). They were 5, 15 and 20 years younger than him. We are 1.5 years apart. The women who were 20 and 15 years younger were thinner and prettier than me during the affairs. The 15 year younger was a LTA and she lives near us. Now she is almost the same age I was during their affair and "surprise" she looks like me at 40 when I had a full time job, commuted for work and had 2 kids. Basically those two only had youth in their favor and were otherwise limited idiots whose main purpose was to make my husband feel good about himself. Neither has distinguished themselves professionally and other than youth, and the good looks that come with youth, were a step down.
The first affair was harder because she was close to my age, she is a coworker of my husband (a professor) so she's professionally accomplished, and she was objectively prettier than me. Fast forward 12 years and she is still thin and attractive but looks older than me even though she's 3 years younger (and looking old is her greatest fear) and my husband is repulsed by her because she truly is an angry selfish person. He feels lucky every day that I am still his wife and although he admitted (when pressed) that he found her objectively more physically attractive 12 years ago that is not the case now. I can live with that because she was more attractive than me. But otherwise she's a shitty person.
I am angry about the affairs, but except in the immediate aftermath when I (like most BS) wondered what was lacking with me that my spouse would look elsewhere - I have never felt like my husband traded up. The most attractive thing about most APs is that they make the cheater *feel* attractive and desirable.
Howcthappen ( member #80775) posted at 2:45 AM on Friday, May 12th, 2023
I can’t tell you how this always hits the spot.
Three years since DdayNever gonna be the sameReconcilingThe sting is still present
Devon99uk ( member #82658) posted at 8:25 PM on Friday, May 19th, 2023
I really don't know what's worse - the AP being better looking or worse looking. For me personally I have found it so so insulting knowing my husband chose to have sex with a woman who was overweight, had bad teeth & was a single parent because no one else was interested in her... When I am the opposite to that. My self esteem is still crushed because why would anyone choose that?! It's an absolute mind fuck either I think!
Lurkingsoul12 ( member #82382) posted at 8:46 PM on Friday, May 19th, 2023
I have a question.
Is affair down for both the cheaters or is it down for one and up for others??
Devon99uk ( member #82658) posted at 9:20 PM on Friday, May 19th, 2023
Lurkingsoul12... Surely both the people having an affair with eachother are the same e.g. Not amazingly wonderful people (that's me being polite lol!), so yes they both affair down if you don't base it purely on looks. That in itself really confirms that we all know our Waywards are no prize & we are settling if we stay with them (me included tbf, as I still allow my husband to stay in the house for now, until I've fully come to terms with everything and feel ready to ask him to leave) 😊
[This message edited by Devon99uk at 6:31 AM, Saturday, May 20th]