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Reconciliation :
How do you deal with knowing you were replaced?

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 Humbled123 (original poster member #62947) posted at 1:56 AM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

I am approaching our 4th dday anniversary.
Since Im coming to the realization that some of these things are never going to be forgotten about, im wondering how do you cope with the realization that you were replaced? Even if it were only during that time. My WW's early on responses no longer comfort me, "it wasnt real" etc. It was very real at the time and by her own admission if i would have caught her much earlier before the limerance started to wane and the shine started coming off she would have left. How do you ever feel safe again? A new shiny object could always show up again.
Do you always just have a wall built up for your protection?

posts: 190   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018
id 8688218
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thatbpguy ( member #58540) posted at 2:21 AM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

I am approaching our 4th dday anniversary.
Since Im coming to the realization that some of these things are never going to be forgotten about, im wondering how do you cope with the realization that you were replaced? Even if it were only during that time. My WW's early on responses no longer comfort me, "it wasnt real" etc. It was very real at the time and by her own admission if i would have caught her much earlier before the limerance started to wane and the shine started coming off she would have left. How do you ever feel safe again? A new shiny object could always show up again.
Do you always just have a wall built up for your protection?

I can sympathize as my ex left for money. I was fully replaced. I also agree that there are things that simply can't be forgotten. The "wasn't real" response is a cop out, pure and simple. What an easy line. No, it was fully real and she knows it.

The barrier that goes up is in part for the fact she refuses to be honest and share her true feelings with you. Until she does, the barrier is hard to chip away at. I feel this is something that needs to be addressed by an infidelity specialist therapist.

PM coming your way.

ME: BH Her: WW DDay 1, R; DDay 2, R; DDay 3, I left; Divorced Remarried to a wonderful woman

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." C.S. Lewis

As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly...

posts: 4455   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2017   ·   location: Vancouver, WA
id 8688221
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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 4:46 AM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

By understanding that events and situations don't automatically cause certain feelings, even though we frequently believe that they do. We learn that we actually can control the messages that we give ourselves about what happens in our lives, and we are responsible for adjusting those messages and properly reframing the things that happen if we want to enjoy our lives.

This was true for the WS when they decided they "needed" to cheat, and it's true for the BS as they heal. Feelings are not facts. The facts don't need to change for your feelings about them to change.

When I decided to become a WS, I hated my H. He was an irresponsible drinker who was pursuing sex outside the M as an entitled escape. My horrible situation was his fault, and he deserved whatever I wanted to dish out. My old friend/flame was "awesome, way better than him, more mature, had his life together."

But to be honest, none of that was fact. That was the way I felt because I was broken and looking to see those qualities in someone else. My H was indeed a lot of those awful things I accused him of, but I wasn't leaving him. So he wasn't really facing the truth of his flaws yet, wasn't suffering any consequences. He did not realize I was as unhappy as I was (thought I was accepting his apologies). I was exaggerating his deficits to justify my codependent position (can't leave) and fears (afraid to leave), and I was building up the AP to help me on my desired path of feeling better while confronting nothing. The AP was and is inferior to my H in many ways and had his own plethora of dysfunction, but I could not see it back then because the lie I was telling myself was necessary. It was giving me an escape, giving me power over my perceived powerlessness, and it was all "meant to be," so not my fault then! How freaking convenient! The whole story I told myself was just so damn convenient.

But I did not replace my H unless you believe a story, a mirage, a dream replaces real life. It is not possible for a healthy partner to replace another partner because a real bond with someone cannot be split in two. But an unhealthy partner can have a fake bond along with a real bond. A fake bond takes nothing from the real bond because it's fake, like living a real life but spending an hour a day writing a story you are making up as you go along.

It's your WW that should be telling you this. As awful as my H's behaviors were back then, none of it "made me" behave like an immoral, weak opportunist who took advantage and used people during a mental health crisis. He did not "turn me" immoral; I chose that shameful path for myself. My H was not competing with the AP. I projected awesome qualities onto my AP that weren't even true--that he was smart, handsome, strong. All of that is beyond false. But my H, in all his dysfunction, was existing with me in our very flawed world. We were real. The AP was a creation that helped my deeply depressed, suicidal self survive something. During my cheating crisis I actually reached for the help I should have gotten myself during my H's cheating crisis. And as soon as I started to get help, I had to grieve the fact that I didn't do it sooner.

When I look back now, I always, always, always say in my head, "Thank you, god, for letting me snap out of my insanity before I was in any way tied to AP. Thank you so much for bringing me back to reality." It was never a replacement. Ever. It was pure projection and invention. Your WW should be telling you all this as I assume she feels the same. All remorseful waywards feel this way. Whatever the crisis or critical need inside of a wayward, we are projecting our needs onto the low hanging fruit that is available, and that is why the AP can be anyone. Because they are no one. They never even existed.

Eta: But let me not minimize your pain. That is not what I mean to do. I know that the AP certainly appears to be a real someone, so this bullcrap that waywards sling must feel offensive. I understand. You are right. That is the reality in the physical world, in the painful world the BS lives in. But in the wayward's emotional and intellectual world, we know that this real person was nothing to us. And now that we are more mentally ourselves, we do not understand how we were so able to trick ourselves with stories and lies. To us, you were not replaced because we knew we were messed up. But to you, it certainly appears that way. I wish there was any way to undo it. Feelings are not facts. Just because you feel replaced today does not mean you cannot feel differently about it over time. I hope that you will try to reframe this for your own well being. And that your WW helps you.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 11:09 PM, September 12th (Sunday)]

me: BS/WS
h: WS/BS

Reject the rejector.
Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5263   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8688229
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Luna10 ( member #60888) posted at 9:12 AM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

I read your post and though of various responses. But none was accurate. Until the real feeling surfaced: ACCEPTANCE.

There is no way to justify it, soften it, make it less important. Yes I have been replaced at one moment in time in our marriage and I am replaceable. I could be replaced at any time again (he says that’s not the case as he worked hard and now understands what affairs are,but regardless, I learn from experience).

But get this: this applies in all relationships. Some people have higher morals than others and will break up with you before jumping to dating again. Others won’t (like our spouses at that point in time) and will first test “the market” to see what is out there. Regardless, you have no clue who you met in life. And that’s actually the issue, we attributed our own belief system to other people just because we married them. Which is wrong.

So for me, I don’t dwell on it. It took me a long time to accept it but only by reading your thread I realised I stopped obsessing over my replaceable status. I’ve reached acceptance. Acceptance that life is short, I may be replaceable but so it’s him and all of us in our roles through life, why dwell on it? Just know it and if it happens you’ll be better prepared. The only role where we can never be replaced is that of a parent.

Additionally I know my own value now. I would not stay in a relationship like we had before. I deserve more (which is funny to state as I am married to a cheater after all). My marriage now is good, our relationship is good, I am treated the way I always should have been treated, I have no desire to chase something that I may never find. If he does it again… his loss, my life will still be pretty great.

BW - 38 at the time of the A
WH - 45
Dday - 27/9/2017

posts: 1375   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2017   ·   location: UK
id 8688238
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 Humbled123 (original poster member #62947) posted at 3:48 PM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

Thank you so much for your responses so far!

posts: 190   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018
id 8688276
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 4:24 PM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

For me, there isn’t anything I can change about what happened. Being invisible to the person you love is the toughest part of the horror show for me.

The fact is, I was replaced during that time.

But if I chose to stay, building walls to protect myself is not a relationship I want to ever be in.

If I’m staying, we both have to be all in — despite the past. That’s R to me, rebuilding to a point where I can be vulnerable again.

It’s a risk. It’s a leap, as with ANY relationship. There are no guaranteed outcomes.

My wife’s changes, my wife’s responses to the pain she caused me, the effort she shows me everyday have allowed me comfort.

AP wasn’t shiny. He wasn’t better than me. He wasn’t bigger, stronger or had more money. He just was around during my wife’s lowest point in life.

Long story short, my wife was the one who built the walls after her A — that was going to keep secret forever. Her A ended in humiliation and she didn’t want that kind of validation from ANYONE anymore, including me. That’s the key to me, where and why people get to feel GOOD about themselves.

The healthiest self esteem comes from within.

I feel safe because my wife hated herself when she did what she did. I know what her low point LOOKS like. I KNOW what the signs look like.
I know what our relationship looks like when it’s going well.

I feel safe because I trust me. My eyes are open now, that’s new. Blind trust never worked for me or anyone else, so SOME caution is wise.

I made my choice to R and glad I did.

Of course course, aim for the best case, but have a plan for the worst case. If the worst case somehow ever happens again, I’m still glad I gave the relationship all I had, that I gave her one final chance.

Taking the walls down is the hardest step to me. It took me almost three years. However, I wanted the M to get stronger, which means I needed to be all in.

Married 34+ years, together 40+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived
Restoration takes time.
"Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself." ― Epictetus

posts: 4183   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8688281
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 4:42 PM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

Gently, Humbled, Why are you still with your W? What are you getting out of your M? What do you hope to get out of your M? Or is this what you want - to get out of your M?

Recovering from being betrayed goes much better if your actions move you toward what you want.

If your answer is something like, 'I want to feel good again,' that's something that you control.

If your W is supportive, you can take in and savor the support. If she isn't, you can get her and her attacks out of your life. If you want joy, you can choose to see it every day, even on the darkest, stormiest days, even if your W (assuming she's supportive) doesn't feel the same joy you do.

IMO, BSes need to feel the pain - anger, grief, fear, shame - that comes with being betrayed. Are you afraid your pain is too much to deal with? I assure you it's not. You have your feelings; they don't have you.

How do I deal with knowing I was replaced. First of all, I wasn't replaced; my W added a relationship, because she was evolved enough to maintain 2 love relationships. That may be easier than being replaced ... except I was never to know of my W's 2nd 'love' so she was dooming me to a lie, not a life.

But I put that on her. She failed. She made very bad choices for herself, for me, and for us. I pretty much have to accept that; the alternative is to go crazy by denying reality. You need to accept your W's cheating, too. She did it. It's real. To deny the truth is to be crazy, unattached to reality.

On d-day, my W embarked on a journey to emotional health. I thought we could be joyful together again, and she wanted to R. Since we both were willing to do the work, we R'ed.

But if I didn't want to R, I would have D'ed, irrespective of what my W wanted. If she hadn't been willing to do the work, I think I would have D'ed. I would have held my head high no matter what I chose to do in response to my W's A.

What's holding you back from committing one way or the other?

Or have I misread your post(s)? Have you committed to R? Have you committed to R but have 2nd thoughts?

[This message edited by sisoon at 4:45 PM, Monday, September 13th]

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 26050   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8688285
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HardKnocks ( member #70957) posted at 5:24 PM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

A new shiny object could always show up again.

That's why I strongly recommend that the WS do long term IC.

You're looking for fundamental, internal, lasting change. Not impossible to do on one's own, but I wouldn't chance it.

Feeling safe is a long process, usually includes various forms of self-empowerment and acceptance (also often aided by a competent IC).

You really can get there!

BW 30 year marriage.
DDay2 2/20 5 month PA
My Ducks are Aligned and I'm Good to Go! :)

posts: 308   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2019
id 8688293
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Marz ( member #60895) posted at 6:53 PM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

You always have the option to "trade up". I know 2 who came out way ahead of what they had.

posts: 6637   ·   registered: Oct. 3rd, 2017
id 8688303
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Ladybugmaam ( member #69881) posted at 6:54 PM on Monday, September 13th, 2021

Owningitnow......What you wrote is quite possibly the most helpful thing I've read here in a long time. Thank you!

EA DD 11/2018
PA DD 2/25/19
One teen son

posts: 180   ·   registered: Feb. 26th, 2019
id 8688304
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swatter555 ( member #60555) posted at 8:35 AM on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

The hardest part for me is not that I was replaced or that I would have been tossed in the garbage had the circumstances been aligned correctly, but knowing that blind trust is priceless and it's something I can't have with her again or that it's not something I am capable of again. I still mourn that sometimes.

[This message edited by swatter555 at 8:36 AM, Wednesday, September 15th]

BS 44
WS 39
DDay July 15,2017
DDay 2 August 9, 2017

posts: 286   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2017
id 8688576
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routerx ( new member #75569) posted at 1:50 PM on Friday, September 17th, 2021

For me, the relationship has forever changed. To be honest, if she cheated on me again it wouldn't bother me that much, I would just deal with it matter of factly. The reality is that we have transitioned into a relationship like brother / sister. Maybe over time that will change with trust, but I trusted her for 15 years and she betrayed me, so I imagine that trust level will never come back. I learned throughout this whole process is that my value doesn't come from her - at all. 0% of my value comes from her acceptance or love. But, I can care and try to love her and forgive her. I have done that, but the relationship will likely always be different. I'm not sad about that, I've just accepted it.

posts: 30   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2020
id 8688952
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 Humbled123 (original poster member #62947) posted at 2:18 PM on Friday, September 17th, 2021

[This message edited by Humbled123 at 3:32 PM, Friday, September 17th]

posts: 190   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018
id 8688960
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NotMyFirstRodeo ( member #75220) posted at 11:43 PM on Sunday, September 19th, 2021

I accept reality; she looks out for #1 and I am not "good enough" in her opinion. Simultaneously, I accept that her opinion is not my litmus test for what a good person is.

Don't fool yourself. The WS has an unbalanced thought process. If you rely on their standard you are damned to never be enough.

You'd might as well ponder over why a roach disliking you because you are less-than-perfect. Accept that your WS is not a good judge of character and move along.

[This message edited by NotMyFirstRodeo at 11:45 PM, Sunday, September 19th]

If, to date it's been accurate, trust your gut and not your ears.

posts: 205   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2020
id 8689288
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