Cookies are required for login or registration. Please read and agree to our cookie policy to continue.

Newest Member: Papi

General :
My Wife Had an Intense, Highly Deceptive Affair, Part II

default

Tracymqc ( member #54966) posted at 10:35 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Hi Doc

I have spent the last 2 days reading through you story and your thought processes through the chaos. I just come here to tell you that I see myself in you. Marriage was a lifetime in my mind. I have not commented in this forum in years but your story resonates with me. My WH had a pretty intense A that was on and off for almost 6 years before I found out! (The OW told me). My DD story is in my Bio.

We are going on almost 6 years from DD. I do not have any idea how I survived the first 6 months. You are doing amazing keeping focused and keeping it together for the kids. This is a very long and very bumpy road. You should be in no rush to decide anything. I am SO glad you told the OBS. She deserved to know. I wish the OBS told me. He divorced the OW before I ever found out. My H was pulling away when they split so that is when she changed my life with a Facebook message.

We are now fully reconciled and I may think about the A once a week at most. It took me about 4 years to get to that point.
It took a month from DD for him to fully admit the sexual part of their relationship. I was relentless!! I could not figure out how to get the text messages back but, I tried very hard. I did get a few pictures she sent by a secret email restored. He could admit the truth or I was blowing up our world. Getting him to admit the truth was a huge relief for me.

One thing that I think really helped us was talking, texting, emailing & reading. Talking every day. Him answering the same questions dozens of times. Him going with the roller coaster of HB to hate in the same hour sometimes. Him showing me he was there for me whatever it took however long it took. I made him suffer but honestly, my sufferings was so much worse. Sometimes we fought, sometimes he got defensive, sometimes we both cried. He went to IC. We went to MC together. He felt neglected...rightfully so but that is no excuse to have an affair. He got it. He was sorry. He did everything I asked with many bumps along the road. After 6 months, we decided to only discuss the A on Fridays. It helped reduce the obsession and re-focus on our family and careers. To this day, I bring it up or ask a lingering question on random Fridays laugh

The game changer was it was my way or it was over. I was totally willing to end the marriage to save it. There was no in between. At this point, we have a new and different marriage. I could never be that naïve again. No-one could ever shock me like that again. I am a stronger woman, a better mother to our girls and a better wife. I wouldn't wish this hell on anyone but, there can be a light at the end IF you are both fully committed.

Hug your kids a little tighter today sad
I wish you well.
Tracy

The butterflies are dying.

posts: 83   ·   registered: Sep. 2nd, 2016   ·   location: MA
id 8737085
default

 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 10:43 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

So an update on today and I'll respond to some posts.

My wife and I had an email exchange; it began with a very raw email from me about how I felt about her behavior last night and this morning. She responded apologetically and we went back and forth a couple of times. I stopped responding as I found her emails to be a bit hollow--it's just the same words to give me comfort, but then they dissolve when we talk and her mask comes off.

It led her down an emotional rabbit hole this afternoon, with her sending me several unanswered emails, pleading with me that she is all in and will do anything to prove it and she is terrified I'm about to leave her. Essentially, she told me there would be no more bull shit. So we'll see how tonight goes as I'd like to talk with her.

I also had my first IC session. It was good. I liked the therapist. She challenged me a couple of times and I liked that; I'm going to see her again next week.

Interestingly, of the points she made, one she seemed fairly confident about. She doesn't think my wife would have ever left me. Instead, she thinks she falsely convinced herself of that once the affair began, but she never would have went through with it, especially with AP not being a longterm kind of guy and her unlikely to want to be alone. It's interesting because that's what my wife said initially and I didn't believe it--I feel like I may have forced the narrative that she wanted to leave me for AP. my IC--and my wife--both immediately had the feedback that the AP isn't the guy wives leave their husbands for; he's the guy wives see when they want a romantic spark in their lives.

My IC thought the most likely ending to the affair was AP dumping my wife once he got bored with her. I don't know if that's most likely or not, but it's very plausible.

Anyway, she gave me clarity on something my wife has been telling me all along--I'm doing too much to force narratives that may not be real all in the name of defining what happened. I need to be more open-minded--but in some ways it's harder to accept that this is all just fun sex for my wife and she was badmouthing me out of guilt for what she was doing. The "exit affair" idea may just be me forcing something that isn't there. I don't think it makes things much better, but it's something I need to be more self-aware about.

Well, I imagine she’s awake. And if she reads this thread too, I will add that SI is great because when one reads a ton of stories here, they are replete with frightening similarities. The reasons people choose to cheat are NEVER unique. It’s weak esteem, and/or FOO issues or unresolved resentment or a combination of all those things.

Infidelity is indefensible. It fixes nothing. It cures nothing. It helps no one.

Again, I mentioned no one wants to be the villain. Unless we’re sociopaths, we look to be accepted by other human beings.

Part of the defense for my wife was — she feared I would only see the lesser version of her, the one who made all the shitty choices.

My wife didn’t know all in would be enough. And she was right to be concerned. Sometimes all in is NOT enough.

That said, on my part, once I got there (2 years into recovery) was to let her know I absolutely saw the good in her and recognized the work she was doing to be a better, safer partner.

I was able to do that once she dropped the endless excuses for her bad choices.

Challenge your wife on the half-assed answers all WS seem to use at one point or another - "I didn’t think you loved/needed/wanted me." Or the dreaded "Love you but not IN love with you" line that’s near universal.

Easier to see a path once the defenses give way to reason. As in, there is no defense for cheating.

Thanks for that. I think my wife sees that nothing good came from it and I don't think it's something she'd do again. I do worry how authentic her love for me is, but I'll see how she shows it in the coming days.

I think you are falling into a trap that many of us do soon after dday. We feel an urgent sense to make a decision - D or R - and if it’s the latter, it has to be even better than it was before.

It’s not hard to understand why that would be a focus. It’s two-fold: We think we can mitigate the damage already done - either by getting out of it sooner or fast-forwarding into the reconciliation. AND the only way we can justify a reconciliation (and therefore internally accept something that was likely previously completely unacceptable) is if we come out with something even better. This is what puts an urgency on us and the need to somehow grab the reins and control the outcome - whatever it may be. As I’ve tried to point out in earlier posts, this is all a more internal battle than it seems.

Infidelity is a crack if the foundation of our entire worlds. It’s why you see so many of us STILL processing things years later - regardless of the outcomes of our marriages. You can’t bypass how this foundational crack subsequently affects all the other life ideals you had. You intuitively understand this when you say things like you did in a previous post (reconciliation vs a bunch of tinder hookups). It’s because you cannot really foresee how this plays out so your mind is trying to create scenarios to fill in that gap.

You can try to read the "tea leaves" - everything from how you WW behaves in any situation to the individual experiences we have each had. It’s not that you won’t still gleam some information. But it’s in the process of assimilation of LOTS of that info where you will find YOUR story - your answers, your path forward. It’s a process. The decision for D or R is really irrelevant at this point - it can even be a distraction that serves to only give you an illusion of control.

I may be reading your posts incorrectly…but I sense this real urgency in all of them. I understand that completely so there’s no judgment from me. I do think it’s one reason why you have generated so many responses (compared to other newbies). That’s not a bad thing when it comes to the information gathering…but it is also a snake that can eat its own tail (in that the urgency and the responses to that urgency creates more need for control - which you don’t have and that only creates more urgency. Make sense?)

Having been here a long time and having also eaten much of my own tail, the thing that I can tell you that seems to be a common regret (regardless of marital outcome) is that so much of our lives were lost in this process. We focus so much time and energy on decisions to not have future regrets that that actually becomes the regret. From my own experience this is the most absolute and resounding warning I can give you…to be aware of what you may be trading in each of these moments. You’re early in this…things do genuinely feel that urgent. But realize that ultimately the reins you are holding may actually lead to the bit that is in YOUR mouth.

Since I’ve now said all that then I should have advice. So here it is…and take it for what it’s worth (bearing in mind that it’s also free laugh ). Slow down. Be ok without having answers or direction yet. Allow this to unfold as it is and without trying to control it. Become an observer instead of a master. Open up your intentions to let this experience just teach you - and in ways or matters you might not expect. Focus more on what’s going on inside of you rather than just external to you…realize this may be the means and let go of the end. Pay attention to everything else that may be passing you by - those things really matter too. You have no choice but to go through this experience - this is the bit. Let go of the reins and the experience will be much kinder to you. ❤️

Of course you're right. As my mother often told me growing up, I have no patience. So this is that vice on steroids. It comes in waves for me--I spiral. I feel like R has no definitive answer, but D does--so there's this urge inside me to pull to D because that's the only way to resolve this issue. I appreciate your post. I need to breathe.

Rereading your summary is very painful for me.

My wife was on a similar timeline but I discovered a few days after the first kiss. It was certainly her intent to continue in this direction.

My fWW definitely avoided real accountability for a year. She gave me the things I asked for materially (tracking, electronic transparency, and my own poor decision to accept work only contact with report out). She didn't put in a big leadership level of effort though. Mostly because I put up with it instead of being well and truly ready to walk out most of the time.

It all changed when divorce looked like the only realistic option to me. And not overnight, but over a month or so she put in real work and started showing real remorse and understanding.

It's still relatively early for you and some things have gone in the right direction. She needs to lead the repair efforts or you will get worn to the bone.

I'm sorry my story was a trigger for you.

The point of discovery is indeed a mind-fuck. I thought about it yesterday, on her birthday--I bet she'd have been blowing AP in his car after work while I was home making her dinner. It's hard manage those thoughts because I can't blame her for things she didn't do, even though they were likely.

It seems today our email exchange struck her on a deeper level. I could be foolish, but I'm expecting her to make a big effort from her going forward.

Dr., while I agree with others about her reaction to the daddy issues post, this scenario is why I don’t believe it is beneficial for couples to be posting on SI, especially so soon after dday.

I suspect she is reading everything you and others post so she can get some insight into your thoughts, not for a good reason, but to try to obtain some kind of advantage….knowledge is power.

This is your place to use as a sounding board, journal, whatever you want to call it. Now, she will likely continue to read and try to use the information gained her to her advantage.

Another thing that I’ve noticed in your posts lately, she screws up (most WS’s do continually after dday), gets angry and deflects, then apologizes to you after. Same with my WW. Mine was trying to control everything and did more damage to our marriage than if she had simply been honest with me from the get go.

My WW posted on SI…..once lol. After dday 2 or maybe 3, I mentioned again that she might get good advice from the other WS’s here. And yes, she would probably read things that were hard to hear.

My WW’s one and only post was written very well, seemed to be from the heart, but I learned afterwards that she was still holding back information and truth from me. The replies to her post were genuine and kind.

I also asked my WW to read MrsWalloped post as I felt there were a lot of similarities. My WW couldn’t even make it past one page of posts before she said it was too much. I was really disappointed in her that she couldn’t even read more than one page.

I believe (and may be wrong) but MrsWalloped agreed to not read MrWalloped’s thread. She eventually did and had a breakdown after reading both his comments and others.

The first 6 months after dday were certainly the worst for both of us. My WW attempted suicide, she continued to try to manage the situation, and I was drunk half the time after work, which made things much worse. This is a really tough period after dday. Your WW has a lot of work to do on herself. Yes, there are a lot of marital issues, there are in any marriage, but right now, she needs to put in the effort (not just writing and talking with you) to address her issues, then maybe sometime down the road, you and her can address marital and family issues.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, it took an ultimatum from me to my WW to get her off her ass and into therapy to address her underlying issues. She is a healthier person now, but without that ultimatum, she wouldn’t have made the changes needed. Ultimately, the changes made her a better person, a better mom and better wife, all good things, but she didn’t recognize this until long after starting intensive IC.

I received conflicting advice about sharing this site with her and ultimately decided if she could get help here, it was worth it. She's spending a lot of time reading through posts and articles here--the cost is my privacy, but truthfully, there's nothing I'm writing that I won't say to her face and there's been nothing I've stopped myself from writing because she might see it.

I think that deep down she knows that she isn't doing as much as she could be and her focus is far too often on herself and not on you/healing. My XWBF would make references to what was really going on behind the scenes all the time as in acknowledging that he was treating me very poorly even though I was unaware of it. I think even she can see that her continued selfishness is really screwing up R and she isn't ready to change soon enough to stop it.

She can be so sweet and compassionate and then the ugly parts of her character shine through and it all resets.

The thing about selfish and manipulative people is that they are often sweet and compassionate between bouts of horrible behavior. Otherwise, who would want to put up with them? Would you have stayed if she was selfish and mean all the time? Doesn't seem like it. So she has to be sweet and compassionate at least some of the time but when the mask slips, the ugly parts come out. This isn't special or exemplary behavior that she can turn on the charm and even keep it going for days/weeks/months. It's exactly what to expect. Even the most dangerous, violent, and abusive people I've ever met are capable of that otherwise they would be hermits that no one likes or wants to be around. They would never have a partner if they couldn't keep it under wraps for months and some times years. Yet some how all of them have spouses, children, careers, and at least a couple of die hard supporters no matter what they do even if the exes, family members, and children have all left and stopped talking to them.

IME, the defensiveness and growing pains of possibly moving towards R aren't unusual or indicative of how things will end in your case. It's reading your posts after you requested her not to, starting an argument about it, and attempting to get you to stop posting here that is the biggest red flag. This is part of your support system now. This will become part of your healing journey to some extent. Telling you to stop is completely antithetical to your healing when you believe it helps you. It takes a special kind of selfishness to ask a partner that they have hurt and devastated to this level to stop reaching out for support just because it involves negative words said about them. IME couples who deal with this don't tend to make it through R because a BS can't heal when the WS keeps wanting to dictate their healing. Arguing about it and restricting it will only make D look like a better way towards healing to the BS.

It's interesting. She texted me today an article I shared with her about regaining trust during the week of DDay. She re-read it and recalled her reaction when she first read it two months ago--she thought going along with the advice meant she would be my doormat the rest of her life. She thought it was the opposite of what she wanted--her self-esteem was shit, so giving everything to me seemed horrible to her. She read it today and said she had the opposite reaction. She "gets it" now. She wants to be there for me and do anything I need to heal. I could be wrong, but it may be the first time she has authentically empathized with me.

Granted, it happened in the same day she became upset with me posting on this website--and that's whole-heartedly selfish (and absurd). So I have skepticism, but we'll see how she reacts in person tonight and I'll go from there.

Thank you all for the feedback!

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 10:45 PM, Wednesday, May 25th]

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 806   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737089
default

TheWorldYouWant ( member #78447) posted at 10:47 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

I have read all of your posts over in your JFO thread and want to let you know that I have deep sympathy for your situation.

Like you, I also hated the "limbo" that comes after D-Day. It's extremely painful to spend that time wondering whether your spouse will ever really come through for you and do what they need to do, and to not receive what you need for your own healing, while you're dealing with the worst experience of your life. So I totally get that.

But I think the thing about this limbo is that there's no way to get through it other than to give it time. Right now you do not know what your wife will or won't do, you don't know if she will do the work, you don't know if she will become worthy of your trust and a safe person for you. She hasn't been and she isn't yet...but maybe she will become that, if she puts in the work.

Limbo absolutely SUCKS, but at some point you'll know what you need to do. At some point you will have enough information and evidence, you will have seen her do the work or not. You'll either know that you're going to be staying, or you'll know that you need to divorce. You don't know yet and that's OK. You won't be stuck in limbo forever; you're an extremely decisive person and it's impossible for you to stay there. But you don't need to rush it, the knowledge of what your decision needs to be will arrive to you at some point. From one very analytical person to another: This is a process that takes both analysis AND intuition. My guess is that you don't rely on your intuition very much, but don't worry about that, it will tell you when the time is right.

About love: I don't think "did she love me then, does she love me now?" are questions that really matter. I believe that love is action, and it's action that counts. I know that my husband "loves" me and that he didn't stop "loving" me while he was searching for and meeting up with prostitutes. I know he didn't badmouth me to anyone, I know his feelings for me didn't change. He loved me the entire time and that didn't stop him for a moment. Then, he has loved me in the whole 2+ years since D-Day, that hasn't changed, and yet he hasn't mustered himself to do any of the work he needed to do for recovery and reconciliation. So loving me, the feeling, does not matter one iota.

It's because he has not taken action on repair, recovery, and reconciliation that I am divorcing him, not because of love or the lack of it. And I still love him and wish very deeply that I did not have to divorce him. But I do have to divorce him, because his "love" is not action; his "love" does not prioritize me or create safety for me.

On another topic, your discussion of your wife's sexual withholding in order to punish you is a classic example of the dynamics described in a book called "Passionate Marriage" by David Schnarch. Highly recommend that for understanding the sexual and relational dynamic in your marriage. (It's not about infidelity, it's about marriage and sexual-psychological dynamics but I think could be really useful to you.)

posts: 105   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2021
id 8737090
default

 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 10:57 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Hi Doc

I have spent the last 2 days reading through you story and your thought processes through the chaos. I just come here to tell you that I see myself in you. Marriage was a lifetime in my mind. I have not commented in this forum in years but your story resonates with me. My WH had a pretty intense A that was on and off for almost 6 years before I found out! (The OW told me). My DD story is in my Bio.

We are going on almost 6 years from DD. I do not have any idea how I survived the first 6 months. You are doing amazing keeping focused and keeping it together for the kids. This is a very long and very bumpy road. You should be in no rush to decide anything. I am SO glad you told the OBS. She deserved to know. I wish the OBS told me. He divorced the OW before I ever found out. My H was pulling away when they split so that is when she changed my life with a Facebook message.

We are now fully reconciled and I may think about the A once a week at most. It took me about 4 years to get to that point.
It took a month from DD for him to fully admit the sexual part of their relationship. I was relentless!! I could not figure out how to get the text messages back but, I tried very hard. I did get a few pictures she sent by a secret email restored. He could admit the truth or I was blowing up our world. Getting him to admit the truth was a huge relief for me.

One thing that I think really helped us was talking, texting, emailing & reading. Talking every day. Him answering the same questions dozens of times. Him going with the roller coaster of HB to hate in the same hour sometimes. Him showing me he was there for me whatever it took however long it took. I made him suffer but honestly, my sufferings was so much worse. Sometimes we fought, sometimes he got defensive, sometimes we both cried. He went to IC. We went to MC together. He felt neglected...rightfully so but that is no excuse to have an affair. He got it. He was sorry. He did everything I asked with many bumps along the road. After 6 months, we decided to only discuss the A on Fridays. It helped reduce the obsession and re-focus on our family and careers. To this day, I bring it up or ask a lingering question on random Fridays laugh

The game changer was it was my way or it was over. I was totally willing to end the marriage to save it. There was no in between. At this point, we have a new and different marriage. I could never be that naïve again. No-one could ever shock me like that again. I am a stronger woman, a better mother to our girls and a better wife. I wouldn't wish this hell on anyone but, there can be a light at the end IF you are both fully committed.

Hug your kids a little tighter today sad
I wish you well.
Tracy

Thank you, Tracy. I’m glad you were able to navigate through such a difficult time. I can’t fathom dealing with six years to sort through, so that’s a Herculean effort on your part.

I need to see more from my wife, but if I do, I think I can meet her to do this together. I know I’ll continue to be tested as I go and I know she will surely fuck up plenty more. As the other poster just said—I need to remember to breathe.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 806   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737093
default

HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 10:59 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

she needed to see the type of advice I was receiving.

This says a lot.

posts: 4513   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8737094
default

Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 11:30 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

I need to be more open-minded--but in some ways it's harder to accept that this is all just fun sex for my wife and she was badmouthing me out of guilt for what she was doing.

Since my wife wasn't fully able to explain her choices, especially early on, I assigned a LOT narratives to help me understand. While I will never understand a choice I haven't made myself, I also don't buy into the theory your IC may be using -- the unmet needs fallacy. If ALL it was to your wife was looking for a spark? Then there is no way to EVER feel safe or either partner feeling comfortable being open and vulnerable. Because if your relationship is simply a holding place until the next TIME she wants a spark, that's not healthy for anyone.

Our MC did a solid job pointing out my wife's responsibility for her choices.

That's the only starting point.

Own the poor choices, don't shift the blame, find out why that validation was needed to feel BETTER about oneself.

I thought my wife had to absolutely hate me for the things she did for as long as she did.

We may get told 1,000 times it is not about us, it's about their issues -- but still impossible not take it personal. It may be about their issues, but they turned their backs on us (which makes it FEEL completely personal).

Anyway, counseling of any kind is good, as long as someone isn't selling you a result.

Unmet needs is not a thing. If it was, no relationship would ever be worth being in. We ditch civilization, live outside and fool around with the nearest person as "needed".

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: 4371   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8737099
default

 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 11:57 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Since my wife wasn't fully able to explain her choices, especially early on, I assigned a LOT narratives to help me understand. While I will never understand a choice I haven't made myself, I also don't buy into the theory your IC may be using -- the unmet needs fallacy. If ALL it was to your wife was looking for a spark? Then there is no way to EVER feel safe or either partner feeling comfortable being open and vulnerable. Because if your relationship is simply a holding place until the next TIME she wants a spark, that's not healthy for anyone.

Our MC did a solid job pointing out my wife's responsibility for her choices.

That's the only starting point.

Own the poor choices, don't shift the blame, find out why that validation was needed to feel BETTER about oneself.

I thought my wife had to absolutely hate me for the things she did for as long as she did.

We may get told 1,000 times it is not about us, it's about their issues -- but still impossible not take it personal. It may be about their issues, but they turned their backs on us (which makes it FEEL completely personal).

Anyway, counseling of any kind is good, as long as someone isn't selling you a result.

Unmet needs is not a thing. If it was, no relationship would ever be worth being in. We ditch civilization, live outside and fool around with the nearest person as "needed".

The IC did not suggest it was justifiable, only that it was my wife’s twisted web of justification. She didn’t dig into beyond that, just noted that she didn’t believe she intended to exit the marriage for AP, she only said that as a justification for what she was doing (how can she justify having the affair for only a spark and fun sex?)

The real why’s are far deeper obviously—and that’s for my wife to find in IC, not for me to get from my IC after just meeting her. I just thought her initial observation was a fair challenge to my narrative.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 806   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737102
default

Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 12:29 AM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

The IC did not suggest it was justifiable, only that it was my wife’s twisted web of justification.

Fair enough. That sounds more hopeful then.

As to narratives — I thought the ONLY way infidelity happened, was exit affairs.

After a while, when I was able to gain some empathy again for the person who hurt me, I was able to understand SOME of my wife’s ‘narratives’ she created along the way. And looking in to my wife’s family history, a few of my assumed narratives turned out to be helpful for her IC (father an alcoholic, mother was unfeeling and distant, etc.).

I’ve learned a lot since then, and none of the explanations, either professional or otherwise make me feel any better about what happened.

You are early in the process, but I think you’re on the right track trying to figure out what you need in order to stay or not.

My wife wanted to be all in from the start, but it really took her (and me) a while to figure out exactly what that looks like. Clearly, a lot of work ahead, regardless of your path forward.

The taking a step back and catching your breath advice in the thread is important too — it will need to be a regular part of your recovery.

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: 4371   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8737108
default

This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 12:34 AM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

I tend to agree that in most affairs the WS provides a self-deception that their marriage is "already effectively over" or "I'm divorced in my mind anyway" or "I plan on leaving him" regardless of *actual* intent to have an exit affair. This is part of why it can be hard to tell the difference between a "run of the mill" cake eating affair and an exit affair. There is also often marital history re-writing, which at various times I've tried to figure out if your wife was engaged in when she claimed 15 years of resentment.

I think we are preconditioned by society to believe most affairs are "exit affairs". That people only cheat because they want to leave or are unhappy but are cowards. We say things like, "I would leave you instead of cheating on you if I felt like we were done". I think this just goes to show most people don't understand the motivations related to the much more common "cake eating" type of affair.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2041   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8737110
default

clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 12:40 AM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

That's the hard truth about it: she didn't read the posts to gain insight into how I was feeling or to seek tools for what she could do to help me; she did it out of the sheer curiosity of wanting to know if people were saying mean things about her (lol). And then after doing it, she was so upset about what she read, she thought it was more important to call it out to me in the hopes I'd stop posting here (to stop the mean people from saying the mean things) than it was to keep it secret to avoid revealing she betrayed me. And I think it's great she's transparent, but it's for all the wrong reasons--she told me purely with selfish intent.

Yes. I cannot believe she would have the balls to do this. It's like she has to test the boundaries to see if she will really get in trouble, like a little kid. No empathy. No introspection. Just self serving and I want what I want when I want it. Amazing.

posts: 286   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8737112
default

The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 12:43 AM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

How can you stay married to someone with an evil heart and mindset?

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12339   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8737113
default

Never2late ( member #79079) posted at 3:39 AM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

The plan may not always be exit, but clearly they are all willing to risk that possibility. Unless they really believe they known their spouses well enough to think that at the end of the day, they can cry some, ask for forgiveness and get to stay. In that case they are cake eating and if D doesn't not happen, they calculated correctly.

posts: 57   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8737142
default

RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 5:16 AM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

And she claims she knows she's the villain, but I don't think she believes it.


I think it is more a case of her not accepting it. She has not accepted the absolute destruction that she wrought upon you, your kids, and your M.

Her reading of your posts, even though you had asked her not to read them, indicates that she is still thinking about herself. Her response to the posts indicates that she incapable of looking beyond the surface level of issues, or she does not want to. What I mean by this, is that she did not look at the posts' 'message', to try and understand why it was posted, but instead, she reacted to her default of being defensive.

Perhaps it might be a good idea to address her reactions to comments; to understand them first, before rejecting/accepting them. To me, it is far more important to understand than to accept/reject.

Anyway, good to see that you are posting in General, and I do hope that some of the kickass ex-waywards will chime in to this thread. If they do, hopefully you will be able to gain further insight to your WWs behaviour.

You cannot cure stupid

posts: 1000   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2016   ·   location: South East Asia
id 8737149
default

PowerWithin ( new member #80349) posted at 6:21 AM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

I’ve been following your thread since you started posting on JFO. This is a painful, hopeful, convoluted journey, and you have covered a lot of ground since March. I wanted to share a few things that have been working for us.

My WH has been stunningly immature, self-absorbed, entitled, defensive, disgusting, and destructive, much like your WW. Because you said you’re interested, our story is that we’ve been together ten years, married for six (a second marriage for both of us). WH had multiple EAs in place before we even met, and it took me years to catch on. I was suspicious but distracted by how wonderful he seemed. When I finally had hard evidence, I confronted him, but he minimized and TT’d. We went through a couple false Rs, more Ddays, and I thought we were in R, but when covid hit, he went underground and used a hookup site to meet and pay women for sex in hotels during his workday. He got sloppy with his burner phone, and I busted him. I stayed with him at the time because, looking back on it, I was too traumatized to have any clarity about D. I finally did IC (brainspotting) which helped me shift enough trauma out of my brain so I could formulate my plan, and take back my power.

Key realizations for me:

1. Security: Love and happiness cannot exist in the absence of security. WH and I are building security and trust now, and hoping love and happiness can follow in due time. Hierarchy of needs.
2. Self-love: For my own health and sanity, I purposely step away from this betrayal quicksand every single day into activities where I experience joy to the degree that I do not think of WH for a good chunk of time. The betrayals cannot be allowed to consume your soul. Slow down and tune in to your own voice.
3. Power: I stand tall in my power and maintain firm boundaries. WH forfeited his power when he broke our marriage. My requirements are crystal clear so he has no loopholes. And, no manipulation or defensiveness is allowed. If he is about to say something defensive, he needs to stop himself. Full stop, because I will not tolerate being hurt anymore. I am not his helper: He must fix his own issues, and seek outside support to do so.

The third realization occurred after we listened to a podcast re: betrayal trauma with therapist and researcher Stan Tatkin, who says: "When you mess with trust, you’ve messed with everything. That has to be put back together piece by piece, not by saying, not by words — only showing. Only showing and demonstration can undo what was already demonstrated."

He says the betrayer’s role is to dig deep and learn why s/he has been operating as pro-self only, to determine what was lacking in his/her character and principles, and to replace immaturity and impulsiveness with being an interdependent, sensitive, fair, and secure partner. (A tall order, I know, but we BSes deserve no less.)

A fully empowered BS is the key. Everything hinges on the BS saying, "You do this or you’re gone."

Speaking of empowerment, you told your WW to not read your SI posts, and her response was to betray you. Yet again. This is an old destructive pattern for her: She justified her actions in order to break your clear boundary, then had the audacity to badger you with a close-minded complaint. Would you consider placing a much higher value on her betrayal of your request, and less value on her complaint? She seems ignorant of the impact of her betrayals on you. She is not trustworthy if she keeps breaking your trust…. As you already know, her only option is to consistently demonstrate changed behavior. If you haven’t already, please protect yourself by providing her with your absolutely clear boundaries. It sounds like you are the only mature adult in your household right now.

"The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment." - Pema Chödrön

posts: 40   ·   registered: May. 25th, 2022   ·   location: Midwest
id 8737159
default

Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 11:27 AM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

Many WS are not remorseful or don’t get it because they categorize themselves as a good person who did a very specific bad thing, for a limited and specific amount of time.

Why should my entire life be judged based on one bad decision, one mistake? I’ve been a great spouse for X number of years and I only had an affair for two months, so why does my BS view the entire marriage as tarnished?

My feeling is that most WS’ can’t move past this narrative they’ve created for themselves, resulting in D, false R, or a marriage in tact but the BS is not healed snd white knuckling it through the rest of the M, for a myriad of reasons, a major one being young kids of course.

Doc, have you asked your WW how she views herself in light of the above?

posts: 486   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8737171
default

 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:21 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

I tend to agree that in most affairs the WS provides a self-deception that their marriage is "already effectively over" or "I'm divorced in my mind anyway" or "I plan on leaving him" regardless of *actual* intent to have an exit affair. This is part of why it can be hard to tell the difference between a "run of the mill" cake eating affair and an exit affair. There is also often marital history re-writing, which at various times I've tried to figure out if your wife was engaged in when she claimed 15 years of resentment.

I think we are preconditioned by society to believe most affairs are "exit affairs". That people only cheat because they want to leave or are unhappy but are cowards. We say things like, "I would leave you instead of cheating on you if I felt like we were done". I think this just goes to show most people don't understand the motivations related to the much more common "cake eating" type of affair.

I think that’s all fair. I have a desire to solve things—everything can be rationalized once I have the facts. But in this situation most of the facts aren’t concrete—they’re always shifting, even slightly, because they revolve around the emotions of a person when she was entirely unstable.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 806   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737180
default

 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 2:33 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

Yes. I cannot believe she would have the balls to do this. It's like she has to test the boundaries to see if she will really get in trouble, like a little kid. No empathy. No introspection. Just self serving and I want what I want when I want it. Amazing.

My feelings exactly. I raised this topic with her last night and I was angry. Was she really so self-unaware that she couldn't hear how she sounded as she explained her thought-process? The answer is a resounding "yes"--to her, she had an emotional reaction and she wanted to share it with me. Zero introspection into why she felt that way and zero foresight into how the conversation might go because she can't figure out empathy, she's just stumbling in the dark hoping she says and does the right things.

She pointed out that she was also upset by the people who thought she might be a covert narcissist, so I asked why it upset her. Again, she said the people don't even know me, so how can they diagnose me? I found her position strange, so I probed:

Me: "Why are you upset at being labelled a covert narcissist and having daddy issues, but not upset at being labeled selfish, unempathetic and entitled?"

Her: "Because I recognize that those other things are all obviously true about me now."

Me: "Do you know what a covert narcissist is?"

Her: "Not at all."

Me: "Did you think to look it up before getting upset at being labelled one?"

Her: "No, I didn't think to do that."

Me: "Perhaps you should, as you'll see you share many of the attributes of a covert narcissist."

So she looked it up and read about it. I explained that whether or not she was a covert narcissist was entirely irrelevant to the discussion; all that mattered is the shared traits, and those are the things she needs to work on in IC.

She seemed to get it and was very apologetic for how she reacted. She acknowledged when things like that upset her, she needs to discuss it in IC rather than potentially creating a fight with me.

From my perspective, it's all a bit concerning. Her emotional and mental health is really poor right now. That conversation was insane--it's not a discussion I was prepared to have with a grown adult even on my best day.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 806   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737201
default

 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 2:44 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

The plan may not always be exit, but clearly they are all willing to risk that possibility. Unless they really believe they known their spouses well enough to think that at the end of the day, they can cry some, ask for forgiveness and get to stay. In that case they are cake eating and if D doesn't not happen, they calculated correctly.

My wife claims she thought if I found out, I'd leave her immediately. But she also felt I didn't love her. And she also thought it was an impossibility that I discovered the affair.

All together, my best guess is this was a way of forcing a conflict she couldn't bring herself to have with me verbally. If I didn't find out, she could enjoy her fantasy; and if I did, she could have it all out with me, thinking I'd leave her, proving her feelings that I never loved her true (in her eyes).

It all went wrong for her. Not only did I find out, but I didn't immediately leave, proving to her I really cared about her/loved her. So now she's desperate to R. She never imagined this outcome as an option when the affair began.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 806   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737203
default

 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 2:47 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

Anyway, good to see that you are posting in General, and I do hope that some of the kickass ex-waywards will chime in to this thread. If they do, hopefully you will be able to gain further insight to your WWs behaviour.

I'm very much hoping that happens. After my IC session yesterday, I felt like an idiot in some ways--my IC pointed out something fairly obvious and it was profound to me.

I have found it so hard to relate to anything my wife did and I keep trying to rationalize it. Gaining perspective on her thought process from people who can verbalize it better than her would be invaluable.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 806   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737204
default

sundance ( member #72129) posted at 2:55 PM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

original poster: Anyway, she gave me clarity on something my wife has been telling me all along--I'm doing too much to force narratives that may not be real all in the name of defining what happened. I need to be more open-minded--but in some ways it's harder to accept that this is all just fun sex for my wife and she was badmouthing me out of guilt for what she was doing. The "exit affair" idea may just be me forcing something that isn't there. I don't think it makes things much better, but it's something I need to be more self-aware about.

IMHO, forced (false?) narratives are running rampant in both this thread and your original thread. It's good that you are aware that this is happening.

Also, going against popular opinion here, I think it's good that your wayward wife read your posts. And, I also think that her objecting to what she feels is a false narrative re: daddy issues, is good! She should not have to accept and/or own issues that possibly do not pertain to her. Even if, down the road, she is able to ascertain with her therapist's help, that she may have some daddy issues, it was/is not this forum's responsibility to diagnose your wife.

Your wife is human-- which also means she is imperfect. Allow her to be human/imperfect. Perhaps give her some grace (and space) in allowing her to uncover and understand herself-- only then will she be able to share her truth with you.

Acceptance only asks that you embrace what is true.

Rooting for you, your wife, and your marriage! Sundance

"Acceptance asks only that you embrace what's true. Strange as it sounds, I don't think you've done that yet.... You're so outraged and surprised this shitty thing happened to you that there's a piece of you that isn't yet convinced it did. You're looking for the explanation, the loophole, the bright twist in the dark tale that reverses its course. Anyone would be. It's the reason I've had to narrate my own stories of injustice about seven thousand times, as if by raging about it once more the story will change and by the end of it I won't still be the woman hanging on the end of the line."― Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

Rusty: You scared?Linus: You suicidal?Rusty: Only in the morning.

posts: 142   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2019
id 8737207
Cookies on SurvivingInfidelity.com®

SurvivingInfidelity.com® uses cookies to enhance your visit to our website. This is a requirement for participants to login, post and use other features. Visitors may opt out, but the website will be less functional for you.

v.1.001.20220816 2002-2022 SurvivingInfidelity.com® All Rights Reserved. • Privacy Policy