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I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 14

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MrsWalloped ( member #62313) posted at 7:32 PM on Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

Hi Butforthegrace.

anybody being honest with him/herself realizes that a line has been crossed, that this is no longer "harmless".

My question is whether any WS can recall the point in time when he/she was conscious of being across the line, engaged in infidelity, and how the WS dealt with interactions with his/her BS that first time.

What about a WS who isn't so hard-hearted? How did you convince yourself to carry on a charade with your spouse that first time?

I'll try to answer from my own experience. First, my A was an EA before it became a PA. And before that I knew the AP for a long time. So a relationship developed. But once the lines started being crossed, there's a lot of rationalization that goes on. You say it's harmless, even though you know it's not. And depending on why you're heading down that path you rationalize those thoughts away. I'm not rehashing what was going on in my life, but I wanted to rationalize each step away as no big deal because I wanted to keep feeling how those illicit interactions made me feel. And that's before it was a PA. When you are starving to feel good emotionally, to feel loved and valued and worthwhile, those are very powerful feelings. And I rationalized any thoughts or warning bells as nothing because I wanted to rationalize them away because I didn't want to give up those feelings I was getting.

As far as how I interacted with my BH, I just did. That's where the compartmentalization comes in too. What happened "out there" had no bearing on what was going on "in here" and "in here" I was the same wife and mother I always was. "Out there" I could be someone else and I was looked at as someone else and treated differently which I craved. I honestly didn't think about carrying on a charade. I just did. And actually, thinking was what I didn't want to do. I didn't want to think about what I was doing because thoughts were bad and might make me focus on what I was doing. I didn't want that because I didn't want the fantasy and those feelings to stop. So I interacted with my BH like I always did. During the EA and when it became physical. No difference. No real conscious charade or hiding. I just lived like always. And when I wasn't at home, I was in this other realm. And I acted like I did with the AP without charade either. No sneaking around or hiding or anything. We were out and about in Manhattan and I didn't think about it at all, which is how I was caught in the end. Stupid, naive, sociopath, I don't know. What I do know is not much thinking went on at all.

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

posts: 703   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
id 8680918
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foreverlabeled ( member #52070) posted at 7:52 PM on Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

How did you convince yourself to carry on a charade with your spouse that first time?

There were lots of justifications. Before I cheated, I first had to make exBH the villain. That was a long process, over the course of a few months. I didn't do that with intention to cheat, but it certainly allowed myself to be more willing to cross lines. And when I did cross the line into cheating, putting it in a box to face exBH was easier.

I do remember coming home the first time it became a PA. That was the hardest to ignore like nothing just happened. I felt a great deal of guilt on my drive home. But, back to those justifications. So much changed after that. Making him the villain put distance between us, and this felt like an ocean just separated us. I think I told myself something along the lines of "whats done is done" and somehow that cemented the compartmentalizing. He wasn't around when I got home and I think that helped walking through the door. I was in my territory able to desensitize alone.

All of a sudden I didn't care what grievances/resentments I had, I didn't much love him at that point, no fault of his. The things I told myself were powerful thoughts that shaped my conceived reality. I checked out. You know.. perhaps we all venture into a sociopath domain to carry out cheating.

33 divorced Madhatter
Time is no ones friend, nor their enemy. It moves forward at its own fixed pace, careless of our wants to speed it or slow it.

posts: 2523   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2016   ·   location: southeast
id 8680925
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 9:00 PM on Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

Making him the villain put distance between us, and this felt like an ocean just separated us. I think I told myself something along the lines of "whats done is done" and somehow that cemented the compartmentalizing. He wasn't around when I got home and I think that helped walking through the door. I was in my territory able to desensitize alone.

All of a sudden I didn't care what grievances/resentments I had, I didn't much love him at that point, no fault of his. The things I told myself were powerful thoughts that shaped my conceived reality. I checked out.

"Checked out". That's what I see in hindsight in my case. At first there was a nagging sense of growing distance, which I chalked up to some stress due to starting a new job (me starting one, which meant more money but also more working hours). It gradually grew. Eventually she seemed angry a lot. Not angry, really, just distant and annoyed, like she didn't like me as a person. It was then that I started redoubling my efforts to be an attractive, lovable partner. Acts of service, acts of love, etc., all of which seemed to be met with dismissiveness and/or scorn.

She was checked out. By the time my Dday came along, I was feeling almost like I was hallucinating, losing my grip on reality. I could not comprehend the vacuum at home where the love had been previously. It was frankly almost a relief on Dday because the answer to the months of gnawing self-doubt came along like a hot kiss at the end of a cold fist. I also think that was part of why I was so broken-hearted - I had thrown myself completely into being the best mate and partner I could be, and I was told in stark terms that this wasn't enough. I guess the reason it hangs with me is that ramp-up period between when the "checking out" process started, and Dday. So much emotion poured into trying to keep "us" together, without knowing there was no "us" any more. How could one person watch her partner/mate go through that and not at least be honest about what was happening?

Mrs. Walloped, I think your circumstance was somewhat unusual because your normal life pattern intersected with the circumstances of your A such that it didn't materially alter your daily patterns with respect to your family. No staying out later and later where you didn't previously, etc. You didn't have to weave an ever-growing web of lies, which is something that you see in a lot of other threads. You really did have parallel lives. I think of some of those stories you read, for example, about physicians with practices in more than one city, and the wife finds out he had another wife and family in the other town.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 3:12 PM, August 3rd (Tuesday)]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3771   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8680952
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MrsWalloped ( member #62313) posted at 1:40 PM on Wednesday, August 4th, 2021

I think your circumstance was somewhat unusual because your normal life pattern intersected with the circumstances of your A such that it didn't materially alter your daily patterns with respect to your family. No staying out later and later where you didn't previously, etc. You didn't have to weave an ever-growing web of lies, which is something that you see in a lot of other threads. You really did have parallel lives. I think of some of those stories you read, for example, about physicians with practices in more than one city, and the wife finds out he had another wife and family in the other town.

Absolutely. You're 100% right. I didn't have to really lie or hide things during the A. It was mostly lies by omission plus there were so many life distractions during that time that discussing my day wasn't a big thing. And it's one of the reasons why I was able to really compartmentalize it. Neither "life" intruded on the other so I was able to keep them separate.

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

posts: 703   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
id 8681151
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 3:04 PM on Wednesday, August 4th, 2021

Did your BS and AP ever meet and if so what was running through your mind?

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decadesChildren (1 still at home)Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBSBrandishing a sword, channeling my inner Inigo Montoya and saying "Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3300   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8681180
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 4:29 PM on Wednesday, August 4th, 2021

Chaos, I'm not a WS. I'm a BS. But I did meet the AP several times, both prior to Dday and after.

My WxGF's AP was part of her dance troupe, or rather he was part of the larger circle of people around the core of the troupe. I met him socially from time to time when I was at parties, rehearsals, performances, etc. I generally knew who he was.

After Dday, my WxGF was planning to move in with him. There was a period of a month or two while I was waiting for her to move. They were seeing each other a lot. There were a couple of times I came home in the evening to find them canoodling in our shared living room.

It was a tumultuous time. My life was ripped apart but I was trying to hold it together because of my new job, which was a significant professional opportunity for me. There was her son, my de facto step son. I wanted to maintain as much happiness and normalcy for him as possible. This occurred around Christmas time and I was determined that he would have as "normal" a Christmas as possible. Then there was the fact that I fell almost immediately into a dysfunctional and unhealthy rebound relationship with a beautiful and highly sexual younger woman.

Finally, there was the sort of sense of relief of Dday, which ended my months of anguished wondering and worrying about what was wrong with my relationship and, by extension, what was wrong with me. My desperate attempts to try to fix it.

That said, there were moments when I felt white hot rage toward him and had to check myself from flying into physical violence. There were moments when I wanted to shake his hand and thank him for taking that lunatic off my hands. Mostly, though, I was indifferent to him. He didn't owe me any duty. He didn't break any promises to me. It helped that he was consistently cordial and polite toward me. Almost deferential.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 1:44 PM, August 4th (Wednesday)]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3771   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8681207
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Midlyfewife ( new member #74551) posted at 6:31 PM on Wednesday, August 4th, 2021

Chaos-

I introduced my BH to my AP at a baby shower for the AP’s wife. This was just prior to the affair becoming physical. I had already been texting and exchanging photos with him. Looking back, I used this as a test. I wanted to see if there was a “tell” so to speak. Would my BH notice that there was something going on? I also thought, that if BH noticed, then he would shut it down immediately. Since he did not notice, it was just another justification to my A. Another reason to distance myself from BH. If he did not see it, then he did not care enough about me to see where I was headed. Not realizing at the time that because my BH loved me, he went to an event for a coworker in support of me.

WW 49
BH 58- Achilles1101
Married 21 years. 2 Kids
4.5 year LTA

posts: 27   ·   registered: Jun. 10th, 2020   ·   location: NorCal
id 8681238
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 6:56 PM on Wednesday, August 4th, 2021

I introduced my BH to my AP at a baby shower for the AP’s wife. This was just prior to the affair becoming physical. I had already been texting and exchanging photos with him. Looking back, I used this as a test. I wanted to see if there was a “tell” so to speak. Would my BH notice that there was something going on? I also thought, that if BH noticed, then he would shut it down immediately. Since he did not notice, it was just another justification to my A. Another reason to distance myself from BH. If he did not see it, then he did not care enough about me to see where I was headed. Not realizing at the time that because my BH loved me, he went to an event for a coworker in support of me.

Man, oh man. You just gave me a ton of insight into the wayward mindset of my wife, and not in a good way. I'm more convinced than ever that her gaslighting was not only intentional, but deliberately cruel and disrespectful. Do you view this anecdote in that light also?

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4341   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8681242
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Midlyfewife ( new member #74551) posted at 7:47 PM on Wednesday, August 4th, 2021

Hi Thumos-

Sometimes insight is in a good way and other times not. I would agree with you that the gaslighting is and was intentional on my part. For me, when my A started, there were discussions between the AP and I about what we were comfortable doing with each other, how to keep our betrayed spouses from finding out. It was basically a contract between him and I. It was deliberately planned and designed to be kept secret. It is extremely cruel and disrespectful. Unfortunately I did not take in to account how cruel and disrespectful I was being to my BH, because I allowed myself to believe that as long as it went according to plan and he never found out, then the affair would not hurt him.

WW 49
BH 58- Achilles1101
Married 21 years. 2 Kids
4.5 year LTA

posts: 27   ·   registered: Jun. 10th, 2020   ·   location: NorCal
id 8681256
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 11:13 PM on Wednesday, August 4th, 2021

Thumos

I ask this question respectfully as to your query to Midleywife. Deep down, are you really surprised at the level disrespect and cruelty shown by your wife? That’s the very definition of infidelity IMO. Granted your story is especially painful to read but in the end, any betrayal is horrible.

Me -FWS

posts: 1865   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8681327
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motod ( new member #37206) posted at 11:16 PM on Wednesday, August 4th, 2021

Mrs Walloped:

When your affair was revealed, your three older daughters were made aware of it almost immediately, while your two younger sons were not. Now it is six years later and your sons are in their teen years. At what point did you and your husband (I'm assuming you and he worked on this together) present the story of your affair to your sons and reassure them that your family would endure and survive this hardship? What was their reaction during this conversation?

Thank You.

posts: 23   ·   registered: Oct. 20th, 2012
id 8681330
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Gottagetthrough ( member #27325) posted at 12:35 AM on Tuesday, August 10th, 2021

Wh gave me some trickle truth last year (10 yrs after the affair)

He said he was obsessed/ enamored with OW 1 gor about 3 mos, then hated her. Then he started cheating in her with other women. Like, 5. And he said hed go to bars and try to score but was shot down a lot more often. Did this while she was at work (shes a nurse and worked night shifts)

Im trying to get thru the obsessed with her part. Why was he "obsessed". Is that limerance? Did it pass and thats why he hated her?

posts: 3618   ·   registered: Jan. 22nd, 2010
id 8682506
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Felix12306 ( member #78827) posted at 6:50 AM on Tuesday, August 10th, 2021

How long did it take you guys to wake up? Was it pretty sudden or did it take work? Did you realize the devastation you caused quickly or did that take a while? I'm really struggling because my husband doesn't understand the gravity of what he did. So I'm not seeing the true remorse and empathy.

BS Together for 15 years, married for 11. Dd 1/28/21 after a 44-day affair, only last week of affair was physical but didn't find that out until 6/18/21.

posts: 141   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2021
id 8682535
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TreesAreGreen ( new member #79155) posted at 3:46 PM on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

Any chance someone could answer the Q above - I'd be really interested in the answer.

TAG

posts: 39   ·   registered: Jul. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Iowa
id 8687398
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MrsWalloped ( member #62313) posted at 5:56 PM on Thursday, September 9th, 2021

I'll try answering.

How long did it take you guys to wake up? Was it pretty sudden or did it take work? Did you realize the devastation you caused quickly or did that take a while? I'm really struggling because my husband doesn't understand the gravity of what he did. So I'm not seeing the true remorse and empathy.


This is going to be different for different people. And there are different stages or levels I guess too. Recognition, regret, remorse and empathy are all different things and it does take time to really get there, because to be honest, if we were great at the empathy thing in particular when it comes to our spouse, I don't know that we would have cheated to begin with.

For me, it took a few weeks for the gravity of what I did to set in. I was in survival mode and really focused more on me and the possible consequences of my A then I was really thinking about my BH. Once that lightbulb went on, regret came quickly. But again, there's a selfishness I had where the regret was mainly focused inward and not outward toward my BH. It was about what I did to my life and regret for blowing that up. It took more time for me to really think about my BH and my children in such a way. I don't mean to say that I ignored the impact on him or them because I didn't. But it wasn't where my brain was going most of the time. Remorse came for me once I really owned what I did and knew that my marriage was over and instead of trying to fix it or hold onto it, I just resigned myself to it being over so my focus switched to the people I hurt. It no longer became about me and it became 100% about them. My BH and my children. And when that hits it hits hard and that's where my remorse really started I believe. And I don't mean I gave up on my marriage, I mean that in my mind my marriage was over and so trying to save it wasn't my driving force anymore. Instead it became trying to repair some of the damage I caused and to work on myself as a person. Empathy, or true empathy, took longer and I can't say exactly when it came. But if you're working on remorse and your focus is on the others in your life and you let go of self preservation, then it will come.

I think you cannot expect to see remorse or empathy if basic recognition of what he did isn't there. It's like Step 1. Owning up to what he did is the first thing he needs to do. And not just admitting it, but understanding the seriousness of it, the trauma it causes you, the impact on his and your life and what it means about him as a person. Once you can acknowledge all of that, then he can get to the next stages and also really start working on himself to be a safe and authentic partner.

I hope that helps and apologies for not responding sooner.

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

posts: 703   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
id 8687733
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Felix12306 ( member #78827) posted at 8:50 PM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

Thank you so much for your response.

My husband has a lot of resentment for me and he believes that has been what's been holding him back from full remorse and empathy. Anyone else have resentment towards their BS? If so how did you get past that to be able to be there for your BS the way they need and deserve?

BS Together for 15 years, married for 11. Dd 1/28/21 after a 44-day affair, only last week of affair was physical but didn't find that out until 6/18/21.

posts: 141   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2021
id 8688319
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Jaybee2020 ( member #75201) posted at 9:15 AM on Sunday, September 19th, 2021

For WS that confessed the A, whether it was a quarter of the truth or all of it... why did you confess?

Not sure if this was asked already

BH:29
WW:27
On Dday
D-DAY: APRIL 15, 2020

posts: 78   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2020
id 8689239
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 5:53 AM on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

Felix- for me it took months. I was too wrapped up in how I felt. I had a very limerant affair, which is addictive in nature. It took a long period of no contact with AP and a lot of therapy. I started therapy 2 months before confessing (the affair had just ended) and it was an additional 4 before I really could start to understand the damage.

Key to what you are saying - I did build up a lot of resentment towards my husband prior to the start of the affair. It was after therapy and a lot of introspection that I realized that the resentments were created because I never spoke up, I had bad issues with boundaries, and so I never expressed my feelings. After a period of time I learned to suppress my needs and feelings so well that even I had lost touch with what they even were. None of that was his fault - he wasn’t born a mind reader.

I always felt I married up and didn’t deserve him. My past trauma and other experiences provided plenty of fear of abandonment. When I realized I had created all my unhappiness by being so passive I was able to stop blaming him and Inlet go of those resentments.

WW/BW BH/WH Turnthepage My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PAHis Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

posts: 5922   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8689673
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:00 AM on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

Jaybee-

I confessed in my own because I wanted to see if we could save our marriage. I knew that my integrity could not be restored by holding this secret. I also knew it would be very difficult to rebuild emotional intimacy. The affair ended because AP was caught. I was a mess and immediately started therapy. The first therapist recommended not telling. I left them and found a nee one once I decided because I felt like a discrepancy between our beliefs made them wrong for me.

I probably would have hidden more details here and minimized a bunch but I was also reading here and I could see that would have a worse effect on my chances of reconciliation.

In the end it was absolutely the best option for me and has contributed a lot to my overall personal growth and the level of honesty in my daily communication in all my relationships.

WW/BW BH/WH Turnthepage My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PAHis Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

posts: 5922   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8689674
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 10:08 PM on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

HO - when discussing your A, past or present, does the fact that the A ended because your AP was outed get discussed?

If yes, did your BH take issue with the unknown that the A could have potentially gone on indefinitely?

posts: 155   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8689786
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