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

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 2:02 AM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

HikingOut, I've found your posts to be among the most valuable things I've read in my time on SI, so my previous post was not in anyway a personal attack. If I'm going to participate in this forum, I'm going to do so honestly and openly. So we've hit a point of some disagreement here, and that's ok with me--hopefully it is for you as well.

I didn't feel attacked, moreso explaining what I was agreeing with. I do a lot of posting on my phone and that makes my communication worse. I was agreeing mostly with there is some cleaning up of some disfunctional behavior on both sides of the fence.

The reason I was so hard about nc with the obs is she tried to solicit an affair with him. Also he reports wanting to be there to "emotionally support" her. His words. Huge boundary issues here.

I would highly recommend full Nc unless new pertinent info has been obtained or b/c NC between their spouses are broken. Anything else like providing emotional support that’s an absolutely not. I think we have to be clear where the line is in these circumstances. The obs clearly has faulty boundaries and I think dr strange can firm up his for his own good. He is not responsible towards her emotional support nor should he think that is a healthy thing to do.

I'm just addressing the above to acknowledge I have nothing additional to add to the topic; I just didn't want you to think I was ignoring you.

That's fine, I just think the reccoomendation here has nothing to do with your wife's feelings, or thinking you are going to cheat with this woman (you would have already if you were going to), or anything like that. My feelings towards it are just a result of personal experience. I will allow you to have yours. My husband and I had two employees that were basically married in the eyes of the state anyway, and so I knew both of them very well. The woman knew our finances well, she was our bookkeeper and office assistant. They fucked in our house many times a week for 18 months. I think she had a calculated affair with my h in order to have an easier life. The man, I had quite good feelings towards, he is a good man but in the wake of this betrayal he was off the rails. I had to eventually say "Look, you and I are good. I think we both need some privacy now to deal with our own individual situations. I am asking that you only contact me now if you need to confirm something or have new information that I need to know" and it was the best thing I could have done for myself. He did still contact me when he felt he learned something I might not know, but it was mostly NC. That being said, I won't bring it up any more. You will figure it out on your own.

I'd like to understand more on that, but I understand if it's too personal or if she'd prefer to discuss through PM. Were you actively having sex with other people and not enjoying it? Were you enjoying the sex, but not enjoying how you felt about yourself afterward? Were you resentful/angry to your husband for asking you to do with it even though it's something you agreed to do?

And how did you go about ending it? Was it an ultimatum from you? Were you willing to separate if your husband didn't agree? And I assume the swinging happened before your affair, but do you connect that lifestyle to your affair at all?

I don't have anything to hide, I have said a lot about this situation in my time here. There are two types of people in this world in regards to sex - some need emotional intimacy, some can do it for the act of doing it. Generally, either gender can fall under either of these categories. I have known men who would never have sex until in a serious relationship, and I have known women who will just fuck someone and walk away with no thoughts about it. Like they had just been hungry and had eaten dinner. I also know people who are one of these in one stage of life and change in another change of life.

In my early days I was a fuck and forget. Like your wife, I used sex as a transaction - usually for some sort of validation - occasionally to try for some gratificaiton. After some time, I learned that as a female you are going to get the shit end of the stick a whole lot if gratification is what you are after. Most men in a no strings attached situation either don't know what to do or don't care to do it.

Women are programmed so strongly in terms of sex as well. I didn't want to believe the programming so some of my early days was about rebelling more than the experiences I was actually having while doing it.

When I met my husband, I was in my early twenties. I had a failed marriage already to someone I dated all through high school. He never wanted to have sex, he didn't participate in the household, he basically acted like my son. I gave ultimatums and talked until I was blue in the face, he didn't get it. So, it didn't last. I had been divorced a year when H came on the scene and I was in no way looking for anything serious. He too had been divorced less than a year, also in a sexless marriage and I think we were both anxious to get out and experiment. For the first part of our relationship, we weren't exclusive. But we were very honest with each other and had a really nice friendship with a side of benefits. So we would tell each other our crazy fantasies and eventually we decided together maybe it's the time to go try some of it out.

So, we did that. This was 25 years ago or more, but the internet was a thing and we used it. We met different people, attended parties and clubs and all that stuff. What I found was it definitely made me feel depressed after it, terrible for my self worth. I didn't have the perspective of sex being "special", but maybe my programming or morals were saying otherwise. The quality of the sex, not good. I need many times with the same partner to get comfortable. Honestly, the best part was after when we were home together (it creates hysterical bonding. I didn't learn about HB from having an affair, I learned about it when we were swinging. That is most of the pay off for a lot of couples who do it)

The last year of it, we were talking marriage, and were mostly seeing one couple exclusively. I decided I liked the voyeurism more than the participation. We were swingers for over 2 years and I think I climaxed one time out of all our experiences and it was with the couple we were exclusively seeing that last year. It's kind of a high pressure environment to be honest, and I am not uninhibited enough to overcome that.

When we decided to get married, I told him that I wanted to have a monogamous marriage. Being around other married swingers, we saw the pitfalls of it - people falling in love with other people, people breaking promised boundaries, all sorts of stuff that I knew if we were going to have a lasting marriage we needed to minimize the chaos we were going to bring to it.

I didn't give him any ultimatum, he respected the decision. Though for all those years of marriage I knew all I would have to do is say "let's do it again" and he would have been creating an account in two seconds.

I don't relate it to my affair because I know what led to my affair and it was all me. All my lack of communication, all my lack of opinions, voice, etc. Also my affair was over two decades later. Was there some resentment from that time? Maybe. I knew it wasn't logical though. I think part of me my whole marriage never believed I would be enough for anyone, this was reinforced by numerous times having to remove porn from our sex life. It would get to be he wouldn't touch me without it on. He also has a specific fetish that is hard for me to relate to, and that added to my insecurities (though it's integrated in our sessions now and not only doesn't bother me but is now something I enjoy)

We now will watch porn from time to time with no complaints from me. But, it's not a centerpiece of our relationship, more to mix things up now and then. I definitely feel like he has learned to be "just with me" and it's made our intimacy feel whole and something that I enjoy more than ever.

The only other thing I relate to it is that it did make me feel like he didn't find monogamy as important as other people did. It easily folded into my justifications at the time. Thinking, he'd watched me do way worse than the 3 times of vanilla I had with the AP. But, alas betrayal is betrayal and these were just lies I told myself.

When H cheated on me, I was challenged again with his feelings of the importance of monogamy. But, during our recovery since his affair, I think he has taken that on himself. It's left me feeling like it's a battle I no longer have to fight. That's way over simplification but I don't want your thread to get derailed by my admissions so I will just stop there.

If I were married to you, I would 100% consider this cheating.

No need to gaslight me--she can speak for herself and you can agree or disagree with her. My opinion on the topic is that the term "cheating" has a lot of grey area and I don't consider online sex or EA's the same level of deception as PA--but I recognize the opposing views and can appreciate them. None of those distinctions matter in this situation as I did not cheat on my wife at all, through any lens, including hers (most importantly).

Fair enough. I am not here to take up for owning it now, nor do I believe that she needs me to do so. I only brought up my perceptions of what she was saying to clarify what I was agreeing to. And, I do agree with the premise that these behaviors were overall unhealthy for both of you.

However, please do not accuse me of gaslighting, I am not gaslighting you just because I didn't read what someone said the same way. As a ws, that's a sensitive word and I don't want to be associated with anything of the like. I also probably didn't read as thoroughly as I should have, but I still walked away with the feeling people were questioning new information they didn't have before. I had read that stuff earlier and had forgotten it myself.

Again, we're living in the margins here--healthier for who? This is a big topic. If my wife and I could maintain a happy home with a dysfunctional sex life, I believe that would be "healthier" for our children than D. And as a parent, I'm acting on behalf of my children with virtually every decision I make. So for a poster on this forum to tell me negotiating an unhealthy sex life was worse than D is patently absurd by any real world standard--there are a tremendous amount of variables to consider, so her comment was not helpful or informed, it was arrogant and flippant.

Again, not going to argue for what she was trying to say. I think the healthiest thing that could have been done is to stop and realize you were not enjoying this lifestyle, to cease it, and to have you all get outside help. BUT, if it were that easy, I sure wouldn't be here either - it would have been far less problems for us to go to MC or something years ago rather than to deal with this shit. I know Owning used divorce as an option, and it was in fact one option, so I personally have no issue with what she said and still do not.

We say divorce for things here all the time - I say all the time I should have gotten divorced rather than cheating. Why? Because the damage to both of us was tremendous. I am happily married today. I am happy we didn't get divorced. But, would I choose it over cheating now? Yes. It would be less destructive 100 percent. But cheating is not the only thing that can be destructive and have better alternatives.

For 10 years you say you hated the online stuff, but used it to substitute for a healthy sex life so you could stay married. I don't think it's flippant to say divorce CAN be a better option. Whether it is for you or not, is something else entirely. The best option is to recognize our shit and fix it, but we're human and we don't always do that. Anyway, what you did for 10 years is less important than what you do now. Anyone's disapproval of that past history isn't out of alignment with what you think about it, in all truth, that outside of it not being cheating it still wasn't healthy especially if you hated it?

Again, I am not here to patch things up for the two of you, nor do either of you want that. I am simply stating I do think that when we are emotionally triggered by something someone else says here, there is something there to dig on. There were times that I got some feedback and it sent me spiralling, only to figure out that what was wrong with me wasn't what they said. It was how I felt about the topic entirely.

I don't want to rehash or have a fight with anyone about this because I am certainly not upset about it now - but I want to give you an example and I can only think of one good one. Once hellfire explained to me why I was not a good mother. I was fucking livid - how could she say that, I always put my kids first. I did everything for them. And, months later I realized it hurt because I was not being a good mother because when I cheated on my husband I also cheated on them. I threatened a big part of their security and future. So my reaction to her had nothing to do with what she said. Had I not cheated, and that hadn't resonated on some level to me I would have been like "whatever, lady". This is why I don't think I am being disingenuous to say you are having a deeper reaction and it's coming out in defensiveness.

I have some idea that if you reread this string 6 months from now you would see a lot of things differently, but it's your string and it's whatever you want. I personally do not believe owning is a bully, but I know she has a very black and white view after going through her own tremendous shit show. I also personally believe you don't get out of infidelity and fix your marriage without getting pretty black and white. (I used to be a grey person more than I am today , and you are also grey). Anyway, like Forrest says "That's all I have to say about that"

And she would have almost certainly had the same advice for you as a swinger--you clearly should have just divorced your husband then because OwningItNow knows what's best for you and those in your life. There's a huge line between advice and support and some of the egregiously arrogant and sanctimonious posts that I've seen from certain members of the community. And I recognize it appears as though I'm being overly defensive about it, but I see them as bullies and have no use for their advice.

There are some bullies here, maybe. It used to be way worse. I don't think that way - I think we all have our own experience and we are all triggered by different things. And, honestly, if I had said no to the swinging and he still wanted to persue then the relationship would have and should have been over - our vision would not have lined up, he would have needed to find someone else to fill that vision with. So, I don't take offense if that would have been the advice.

How many Bh’s have told you to divorce since you have been here! Lots of them! So this is not the problem.


I think you are being defensive more than you are aware here about that situation.

My defensiveness about OBS is because I'm ok with my wife being upset that I'm not no contact with her. Perhaps it's punitive of me. Essentially, I'd never normally let this topic cause a conflict in my M, but in this case, I believe the perimeters I've established are not only fair, but also the safest path for me forward.

I don't want to bend for my wife's irrational fear of me having sex with her behind my back. If I ever had sex with OBS (and I won't), I'd sit down and tell me wife exactly what I was about to do *before* I did it. I don't live in the shadows and have never had an issue being entirely transparent with everyone in my life, let alone my wife. And I get it, I'm writing on a forum populated by many people who have not lived their lives with similar guidance. But that's ok--I have my own weaknesses.

I addressed this already, my advice isn't about how your wife feels. I think BS's have to do things out of necessity and that is prioritized above the WS's comfort. For many, many reasons. I just think this is bad for you long term, but you will have to decide when that is. Keep in mind not all BS's are good people, it's hard to see that when you see someone in front of you in pain. The OBS in my situation is a good person, but he was starting to do say and do some things that were detrimental to my R out of his own pain. He had a different agenda and his was revenge. Beware. And again, that's all I have to say about that.

I think right now, you are four months out, and this online sex issue isn't the top thing to be solved now, especially since you did recognize it wasn't good and have ended that chapter of your sex life. But often we don't see wounds until they are pushed on and in some ways you may decide later some of these "bullies" did you a favor. You have your own personal cognitive dissonance surrounding that, and the long and short of it is your defensiveness stems from that. It's a clue for things you need to work on to get past this area of your life.

You may be angry with yourself for accepting that way of life, and have a lot of shame around it. Perhaps it even was emasculating to you to have to turn to online rather than your own wife. People then turning around and questioning if it was cheating is causing that shame to come up even though the shame doesn't stem from feeling like you cheated. Does that make better sense? It doesn't matter what happens in this forum really, but it does often point out to us what hurts deeply. I think that period of your life hurts deeply, and likely does for her on some level too. It's not in our programming about marriage so some things even when consensual won't sit right. I do not think that's what her affair is about and I wouldn't make it the focus right now. You both have bigger fish to fry in the big picture for some time to come.

[This message edited by hikingout at 2:35 AM, Tuesday, June 21st]

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 2:05 AM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

I would strongly strongly suggest you NOT go on that trip. Let your wife visit her family. You need space. You do not need to pretend you're reconciling. You're not. You're in limbo. Take time for yourself and do things for yourself. You have already found how helpful that is.

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Jameson1977 ( member #54177) posted at 2:48 AM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Well said clouds. I also feel separation would be good for both of you.

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RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 3:23 AM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

As for the trip, it looks like it's about three weeks away at this point (dates not final yet), so I have time to decide what to do. My gut tells me that the healing move is to go--to be the bigger person and demonstrate that to my wife as well. However, I also have real concerns that I'll find myself in a negative headspace from all the triggers and something bad could happen between my wife and I and I'll be trapped in a very bad spot. I'll need to be more comfortable than I am now to risk it.


Listen to what your gut is saying. Don't go because you 'want to be the bigger person'. It is too early for that sort of thinking. Go when you are ready (which could take years).

You do what you NEED to do, not what you think you should do. You need to make yourself healthy again, and if you proceed to go do something that upsets the razor thin balancing act you are doing now, then you will have more work to do down the line if you lose your balance.

Get yourself centered first. Put your own healing first. Worry about what others may feel later. Like on an airplane, put the oxygen mask on yourself first, because if you pass out, you cannot help anyone else.

If you decide not to go and the kids kick up a fuss, let your WW sort out the mess she made.

So, in summary, sort yourself out first and worry about others later.

You cannot cure stupid

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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 3:44 AM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

That's fine, I just think the recommendation here has nothing to do with your wife's feelings, or thinking you are going to cheat with this woman (you would have already if you were going to), or anything like that. My feelings towards it are just a result of personal experience. I will allow you to have yours. My husband and I had two employees that were basically married in the eyes of the state anyway, and so I knew both of them very well. The woman knew our finances well, she was our bookkeeper and office assistant. They fucked in our house many times a week for 18 months. I think she had a calculated affair with my h in order to have an easier life. The man, I had quite good feelings towards, he is a good man but in the wake of this betrayal he was off the rails. I had to eventually say "Look, you and I are good. I think we both need some privacy now to deal with our own individual situations. I am asking that you only contact me now if you need to confirm something or have new information that I need to know" and it was the best thing I could have done for myself. He did still contact me when he felt he learned something I might not know, but it was mostly NC. That being said, I won't bring it up any more. You will figure it out on your own.

**

I addressed this already, my advice isn't about how your wife feels. I think BS's have to do things out of necessity and that is prioritized above the WS's comfort. For many, many reasons. I just think this is bad for you long term, but you will have to decide when that is. Keep in mind not all BS's are good people, it's hard to see that when you see someone in front of you in pain. The OBS in my situation is a good person, but he was starting to do say and do some things that were detrimental to my R out of his own pain. He had a different agenda and his was revenge. Beware. And again, that's all I have to say about that.

I'm very clear on OBS's intentions. She (rightfully) loathes my wife and has to pretend she doesn't when we connect. Look--I'm a good looking guy, I lift, I cook, I'm generous in bed and I've got a full head of hair--and I have no doubt that had virtually nothing to do with OBS propositioning me; it was pure revenge for her. She wanted to fuck me six-ways from Sunday to hurt my wife (and AP). I get it.

Now what? Now I do exactly what is in my best interest in this relationship. And what is in my best interest is OBS believing I'm her best friend so she won't hesitate even for a moment if new information arises that I need to know. She is done with AP, so she doesn't care if he keeps fucking my WW...unless she cares about me. I'm not going to give OBS any reason to stop caring about me.

And again, being nice to her is easy--it costs me nothing and is the objectively right thing to do--unless you think I'm too weak-minded to know exactly who she is when/should she poison the well on my WW. My eyes are open and I'm betting on myself to manage the relationship properly.

I don't have anything to hide, I have said a lot about this situation in my time here. There are two types of people in this world in regards to sex - some need emotional intimacy, some can do it for the act of doing it. Generally, either gender can fall under either of these categories. I have known men who would never have sex until in a serious relationship, and I have known women who will just fuck someone and walk away with no thoughts about it. Like they had just been hungry and had eaten dinner. I also know people who are one of these in one stage of life and change in another change of life.

In my early days I was a fuck and forget. Like your wife, I used sex as a transaction - usually for some sort of validation - occasionally to try for some gratificaiton. After some time, I learned that as a female you are going to get the shit end of the stick a whole lot if gratification is what you are after. Most men in a no strings attached situation either don't know what to do or don't care to do it.

Women are programmed so strongly in terms of sex as well. I didn't want to believe the programming so some of my early days was about rebelling more than the experiences I was actually having while doing it.

When I met my husband, I was in my early twenties. I had a failed marriage already to someone I dated all through high school. He never wanted to have sex, he didn't participate in the household, he basically acted like my son. I gave ultimatums and talked until I was blue in the face, he didn't get it. So, it didn't last. I had been divorced a year when H came on the scene and I was in no way looking for anything serious. He too had been divorced less than a year, also in a sexless marriage and I think we were both anxious to get out and experiment. For the first part of our relationship, we weren't exclusive. But we were very honest with each other and had a really nice friendship with a side of benefits. So we would tell each other our crazy fantasies and eventually we decided together maybe it's the time to go try some of it out.

So, we did that. This was 25 years ago or more, but the internet was a thing and we used it. We met different people, attended parties and clubs and all that stuff. What I found was it definitely made me feel depressed after it, terrible for my self worth. I didn't have the perspective of sex being "special", but maybe my programming or morals were saying otherwise. The quality of the sex, not good. I need many times with the same partner to get comfortable. Honestly, the best part was after when we were home together (it creates hysterical bonding. I didn't learn about HB from having an affair, I learned about it when we were swinging. That is most of the pay off for a lot of couples who do it)

The last year of it, we were talking marriage, and were mostly seeing one couple exclusively. I decided I liked the voyeurism more than the participation. We were swingers for over 2 years and I think I climaxed one time out of all our experiences and it was with the couple we were exclusively seeing that last year. It's kind of a high pressure environment to be honest, and I am not uninhibited enough to overcome that.

When we decided to get married, I told him that I wanted to have a monogamous marriage. Being around other married swingers, we saw the pitfalls of it - people falling in love with other people, people breaking promised boundaries, all sorts of stuff that I knew if we were going to have a lasting marriage we needed to minimize the chaos we were going to bring to it.

I didn't give him any ultimatum, he respected the decision. Though for all those years of marriage I knew all I would have to do is say "let's do it again" and he would have been creating an account in two seconds.

I don't relate it to my affair because I know what led to my affair and it was all me. All my lack of communication, all my lack of opinions, voice, etc. Also my affair was over two decades later. Was there some resentment from that time? Maybe. I knew it wasn't logical though. I think part of me my whole marriage never believed I would be enough for anyone, this was reinforced by numerous times having to remove porn from our sex life. It would get to be he wouldn't touch me without it on. He also has a specific fetish that is hard for me to relate to, and that added to my insecurities (though it's integrated in our sessions now and not only doesn't bother me but is now something I enjoy)

We now will watch porn from time to time with no complaints from me. But, it's not a centerpiece of our relationship, more to mix things up now and then. I definitely feel like he has learned to be "just with me" and it's made our intimacy feel whole and something that I enjoy more than ever.

The only other thing I relate to it is that it did make me feel like he didn't find monogamy as important as other people did. It easily folded into my justifications at the time. Thinking, he'd watched me do way worse than the 3 times of vanilla I had with the AP. But, alas betrayal is betrayal and these were just lies I told myself.

When H cheated on me, I was challenged again with his feelings of the importance of monogamy. But, during our recovery since his affair, I think he has taken that on himself. It's left me feeling like it's a battle I no longer have to fight. That's way over simplification but I don't want your thread to get derailed by my admissions so I will just stop there.

Thank you for sharing that--I greatly appreciate the insight as there are some useful, indirect parallels. And please never apologize for derailing anything, especially when I'm the one asking the questions.

I relate entirely to your husband's perspective of the cheating being worse even though he saw you do more extreme things while swinging. I know my kink gets me in trouble here, but I may have been entirely fine with *everything* sexual my wife did with AP had I been involved in her decision to do it. Her deception is what makes the betrayal so hard to deal with. That's a big admission for me here considering how much anger I had over the physical acts following DDay--and I haven't written it here yet because I wanted to process it a bit before dealing with the fallout. But that's the truth--I'm largely over the sexual aspect of her affair; in fact, it unfortunately turns me on.

Interestingly, my mind has separated the purely sexual acts from the light/romantic stuff. Them lying around the hotel room naked, laughing, talking, kissing--that shit is brutal (not to mention all the lying, badmouthing, etc.). Bit her sucking him off in his car isn't an issue anymore.

And I recognize the problem this presents for my future. My kink isn't going away--it's going to be a part of my life in a healthy or unhealthy way--so now I have to figure out if my WW will be receptive to at least entertaining it (not suggesting a lifestyle shift, maybe just some occasional role play). That's a big weight on my shoulders right now as I don't know how to tackle that with my wife, especially anytime soon with all the current issues we have.

However, please do not accuse me of gaslighting, I am not gaslighting you just because I didn't read what someone said the same way. As a ws, that's a sensitive word and I don't want to be associated with anything of the like. I also probably didn't read as thoroughly as I should have, but I still walked away with the feeling people were questioning new information they didn't have before. I had read that stuff earlier and had forgotten it myself.

I really want to let this go, but it's not in my nature. She accused me of cheating. You agreed with her. I called you out. You backed off, but still agreed with her by rephrasing what she wrote, gaslighting me. And I don't use the term to label you, I use it to describe the specific events of our exchange.

You could just write what you want to write without agreeing with anyone else and in turn absorbing their positions. Most of our disagreements today have come from you trying to agree with posts you don't entirely agree with, putting you in a difficult position.

I know Owning used divorce as an option, and it was in fact one option, so I personally have no issue with what she said and still do not.

**

For 10 years you say you hated the online stuff, but used it to substitute for a healthy sex life so you could stay married. I don't think it's flippant to say divorce CAN be a better option.

You're gaslighting me again. This is what OwningItNow wrote:

It's called divorce. That is the proper response for someone who was in the Dr's situation.

She didn't tell me divorce was one option or divorce can be a better option (and of course it was an option), she told me it was the "proper response." She came down from on-high to proclaim that I should have divorced my wife years ago because I had an unhappy sex life. It's an arrogant, shameful position for anyone to have on an internet message board, especially with the amount of information she has. I'm embarrassed for her, but you're still agreeing with her (but only after reframing what she wrote).

There are some weird dynamics in this community. I have people privately messaging me horrified by what she wrote and then you publicly re-writing what she wrote to make it sound less absurd. I guess people really care about her opinion of them.

I am simply stating I do think that when we are emotionally triggered by something someone else says here, there is something there to dig on. There were times that I got some feedback and it sent me spiralling, only to figure out that what was wrong with me wasn't what they said. It was how I felt about the topic entirely.

I hear you. And I think there's a lot for me to explore with my wife in MC about my online activities. However, in this case I'm really just defending myself from anonymous people accusing me of cheating and telling me I should have divorced my wife a decade ago at the first sign of trouble in our bedroom.

I don't want to rehash or have a fight with anyone about this because I am certainly not upset about it now - but I want to give you an example and I can only think of one good one. Once hellfire explained to me why I was not a good mother. I was fucking livid - how could she say that, I always put my kids first. I did everything for them. And, months later I realized it hurt because I was not being a good mother because when I cheated on my husband I also cheated on them. I threatened a big part of their security and future. So my reaction to her had nothing to do with what she said. Had I not cheated, and that hadn't resonated on some level to me I would have been like "whatever, lady". This is why I don't think I am being disingenuous to say you are having a deeper reaction and it's coming out in defensiveness.

I can imagine that would horribly sting, but of course HellFire was right. I do not see the parallel to this specific situation, but I am prepared for that to happen with a variety of other instances throughout my thread--hell, it's already happened a few times and that's why I find this community largely helpful.

How many Bh’s have told you to divorce since you have been here! Lots of them! So this is not the problem.

BS's have told me to D because my wife had an affair--that's a *very* reasonable position. Hell, it's the statistically correct position. OwningItNow told me the "proper response" to my poor sex life was to divorce my wife a decade ago. That's a really poor equivalency.

You may be angry with yourself for accepting that way of life, and have a lot of shame around it. Perhaps it even was emasculating to you to have to turn to online rather than your own wife. People then turning around and questioning if it was cheating is causing that shame to come up even though the shame doesn't stem from feeling like you cheated. Does that make better sense? It doesn't matter what happens in this forum really, but it does often point out to us what hurts deeply. I think that period of your life hurts deeply, and likely does for her on some level too. It's not in our programming about marriage so some things even when consensual won't sit right. I do not think that's what her affair is about and I wouldn't make it the focus right now. You both have bigger fish to fry in the big picture for some time to come.

I think that's all fair. Though I do think my sex history is a priority for me to sort through and I need to do it separately from my wife. I'll likely dig in during my IC session this week. I don't take blame for the affair, but I definitely have frustrations over how my kink disrupted my clarity leading up to the affair.

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 8741158
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 3:46 AM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

And thank you all for the responses on the upcoming vacation. I'll keep the thread updated as the vacation nears. If it was tomorrow, I wouldn't go--I'm just trying to take things one day at a time though.

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 8741159
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:09 AM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

I

really want to let this go, but it's not in my nature. She accused me of cheating. You agreed with her. I called you out. You backed off, but still agreed with her by rephrasing what she wrote, gaslighting me. And I don't use the term to label you, I use it to describe the specific events of our exchange.

Nope. I specifically said I agree with owning it now that there are codependent aspects to the relationship and disfunction that will need to be resolved on both sides. Since I never read owning at that point to say that you were cheating, I didn’t think that was what I was agreeing with. In fact I have never accused you of this being cheating.

My only regret is being too lazy and not copying and pasting and quoting exactly what I was agreeing to in what she said. I wrote them out instead in a paraphrase of my understanding.

I think it is an okay reason to get a divorce if your only outlet sexually is online sexual activity with others. I would not have said it’s the proper response but I didn’t read that to mean only. It sounded like you had done a lot of the others by hellfires paraphrasing how you told her over and over and she wouldn’t change. That didn’t sound like a first sign of problems to me so proper didn’t stand out as completely unfounded.

She didn’t say you cheated, she told you her standard of cheating in marriage. She said this would be 100 percent cheating if I were married to you. I interpret that to say she doesn’t agree with your boundaries. That is a long way from “you cheated on your wife admit it” You don’t agree with your boundaries around that either or you wouldn’t be stopping the behavior in favor of a better way of dealing with it.

But once and for all, in my response about owning when you “called me out”was completely to defend myself, not her. I was trying to explain what aspects I agreed with and why because you said I was agreeing that you cheated. That was never mentioned at all in my previous response. Instead I said what aspects I agreed with and said I wasn’t going to malign you for something your wife agreed to. That there needed to be some introspection.

At that point I didn’t know the behavior stopped, so maybe I came off as strong. I just felt that continuing that would be detrimental towards what I believe your goals to be. So maybe there is where some wires got crossed?

If you can find where I said "yes I agree it’s cheating" or anything accusing you of cheating please show me where that was. Otherwise, stop it with the gaslighting accusation. I don’t see how I can be of further help if we are at the point that you feel my integrity is so low I am going to gaslight you for some woman I don’t know on the internet? It’s puzzling. I don’t care if you hate each other, I have no investment.

In the future I will use quotes for clarity as to not be misinterpreted for agreeing with everything in a post. I simply thought restating what I was agreeing to was enough clarity.

[This message edited by hikingout at 7:14 AM, Tuesday, June 21st]

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

posts: 6154   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8741162
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redrock ( member #21538) posted at 4:49 AM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

At four months out you are in triage mode. Prioritizing getting through the next day or next 10 minutes. Deciding how to order family life, heartache, events, pain, relationships, rage, and the new normal. Trying to pull your focus off your wayward partner and climb out of the grooves you have worn into your marriage over decades to focus on you. It can be a real dumpster fire one day and then affirming the next.

Listen, a lot of help has been thrown at you here and some of it is contradictory. Not on purpose, but it’s the nature of the beast. Lots of feedback, lots of opinions. You’ve really opened up your soft parts put it all out there. You write well and can certainly clarify your points of view. I think sometimes that can lead posters to forget logic argument guy is Swiss cheese guy too. It’s not a snappy phrase, it’s a description of how your feeling and you aren’t alone in that.

Kick the marriage issues down the road. They can be dealt with if/when and if you get to R.

Today you got an invite, and didn’t accept out of obligation to be the healer or to frame the relationship for her family. Your gonna think on it. That’s a positive step. Sometimes that’s enough for one day.

I don't respect anyone that can't spell a word more than one way:)

posts: 3486   ·   registered: Nov. 6th, 2008   ·   location: Michigan
id 8741166
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 11:49 AM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

WRT the online stuff, I believe that you simply developed a coping mechanism to keep your family intact and stay in a M that you were happy with overall except for sex, hence the coping mechanism.

To me, the key is that this was not your first choice. You continuously asked your WW to help fix the sexual issues in your relationship snd she was completely dismissive. You didn’t bring this problem up once, but all the time. I think that by now we all realize you’re not one to hold back your feelings or have reservations about expressing them.

I completely disagree with those who say that your response to the sexual issues should have been D. The proper response should have been to insist on MC. However, now knowing how your WW thinks, this mostly would have gone nowhere, as she needed IC well before MC. Thus, you developed a coping mechanism which you fully disclosed to your WW. Ideal? No, but not a capital crime given the only other choice being D.

WRT the upcoming trip, I would recommend staying home. You may want to go because it shows you’re being the better man. However, unfortunately, I think it will be perceived by both your WW and her family as you being over the A. They all no doubt would very much prefer to rugsweep the A, to protect their daughter from the threat of D or from further discomfort. However, that’s not really your job.

posts: 486   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8741186
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 4:08 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

I think it is an okay reason to get a divorce if your only outlet sexually is online sexual activity with others. I would not have said it’s the proper response but I didn’t read that to mean only. It sounded like you had done a lot of the others by hellfires paraphrasing how you told her over and over and she wouldn’t change. That didn’t sound like a first sign of problems to me so proper didn’t stand out as completely unfounded.

The proper response to the question: "What is 2 + 2" is "4." It's certainly not the only response, but the meaning of what she wrote is not up for interpretation.

And yes, I agree that I *could* have divorced my wife because of our sex life, but I've said all along that I don't feel a poor sex life justified me blowing up our family--that's my call. We agree that in retrospect, there's plenty that could have been done differently, but I absolutely take offense to someone casually telling me I was wrong for not divorcing at the first sign of trouble. Marriage means a hell of a lot more to me than that.

She didn’t say you cheated, she told you her standard of cheating in marriage. She said this would be 100 percent cheating if I were married to you. I interpret that to say she doesn’t agree with your boundaries. That is a long way from "you cheated on your wife admit it" You don’t agree with your boundaries around that either or you wouldn’t be stopping the behavior in favor of a better way of dealing with it.

We all have a right to our own opinions, but we do not have a right to our own definitions of words. OwningItNow doesn't get to redefine the word "cheating" to mean something entirely different. Without dishonesty, there can be no cheating. If we can't agree upon what words mean, we can't communicate. She doesn't get to say that what I did would be cheating to her and me still think of her as a serious person.

If I went to my wife years ago and told her I needed an online sexual outlet and she told me no, the ball would be back in my court. I then would have needed to decide if I was going to proceed dishonestly or not. She did not tell me no; she told me to keep it to myself, which I found hurtful.

I know you must think I'm insane for dragging this out--and I almost certainly am lol--but I'm not upset with you in at all. I'm just making what I think is an important clarification. I suspect we've beaten it to death, and that's ok too.

But once and for all, in my response about owning when you "called me out" was completely to defend myself, not her. I was trying to explain what aspects I agreed with and why because you said I was agreeing that you cheated. That was never mentioned at all in my previous response. Instead I said what aspects I agreed with and said I wasn’t going to malign you for something your wife agreed to. That there needed to be some introspection.

And we agree on that--and it's a useful point. I do think my online activities should be a major point of discussion for my wife and I going forward. As you point out, the reasons for me accepting that lifestyle fascinate me now and I'm interested to do more introspection on it.

I don’t see how I can be of further help if we are at the point that you feel my integrity is so low I am going to gaslight you for some woman I don’t know on the internet? It’s puzzling. I don’t care if you hate each other, I have no investment.

I didn't interpret it as you having low integrity--seemed more like your people pleasing. You seemed to want to find a compromise to achieve a larger point and not get stuck rolling around in the mud. One of my worst vices is not letting things like that go--instead I spent time arguing with you largely over the words other posters wrote.

Why do I feel compelled to do that all the time? I haven't gotten to the very bottom of that; I know the assumption you likely have is that I just need to be "right"--but I don't *think* that's it. I care less about being right and more about the establishment of clear terms. I have had lots of discussions and arguments and I hate when communication crumbles because there's a lack of agreement on basic terms of the discussion.

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 8741229
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:48 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

I am sorry but saying I am gaslighting you and people pleasing when clearly I have just spent Pages defending myself and explaining why I agree with someone that you don’t just doesn’t make good sense. Who Is it that I am pleasing? You? Clearly not! And you say all these people are pming you how awful owning was- clearly I don’t care what the consensus is? I doubt highly owning is even bothering to read your thread anymore so it can’t be her either. And I have now asked you twice to stop saying I am gaslighting you. Gaslighting is a malicious attempt to rob someone of their reality and is usually done by someone highly manipulative. I have no reason to manipulate you. I have done nothing but spend my time trying to help you. I disagree with you, and that’s all. At this point this is no longer healthy for me. And it’s distracting for your thread.

I have spent the last 5 years intensively working on myself. People pleasing and gaslighting are both about integrity. Mine is in tact. I interpret someone differently, and you have taken it in Every direction to malign my character - noneof this even would have been a thing had you not accused me of saying you cheated when I clearly did not say that. So I was forced to go back and clarify what I agree with. I am now just done with it. It’s the twilight zone. But I do wish you and your wife well.

[This message edited by hikingout at 4:56 PM, Tuesday, June 21st]

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

posts: 6154   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8741233
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 6:34 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Today you got an invite, and didn’t accept out of obligation to be the healer or to frame the relationship for her family. Your gonna think on it. That’s a positive step. Sometimes that’s enough for one day.

You're right--and I like that framing. One problem at a time; one day at a time.

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 8741249
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 6:46 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

I completely disagree with those who say that your response to the sexual issues should have been D. The proper response should have been to insist on MC. However, now knowing how your WW thinks, this mostly would have gone nowhere, as she needed IC well before MC. Thus, you developed a coping mechanism which you fully disclosed to your WW. Ideal? No, but not a capital crime given the only other choice being D.

I've thought about that a lot: if I insisted on MC earlier--even at the outset of the affair before they had sex--my wife would have been insufferable to work with in therapy. Her guard is down now because she is so clearly in the wrong. If not for that, she'd never have worked on anything.

But here we are now--she's trying and I'm still along for the ride. We'll see if she can find her feet and standup on her own.

FWIW, she just let me know that she was feeling very anxious while travelling yesterday and caved to read more of my thread (after promising me, her IC and our MC that she would not. She claims that when she's feeling down, she's looking for validation that she's a POS and she can sometimes find that in some posts in this thread. Instead she read HikingOut's post that mentioned Mrs. Walloped needing to be hospitalized and she spiraled further.

We've already established nothing she agrees to has meaning, so I can't say I'm too bothered by anything she does anymore. But on the bright side, she quickly admitted her mistake to me, so I'm taking that at least somewhat positively. I think.

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 8741257
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 7:13 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

I don't think it's positive that she felt rushed to further burden you with her spiraling. I suggest you stop responding to those kind of messages from her. She needs to deal with that stuff without you. Period.

She agreed not to read. She did it anyway. Now there are consequences and she decides you get to shoulder some of it too. You can refuse.

posts: 286   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8741265
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 7:22 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

I don't think it's positive that she felt rushed to further burden you with her spiraling. I suggest you stop responding to those kind of messages from her. She needs to deal with that stuff without you. Period.

She agreed not to read. She did it anyway. Now there are consequences and she decides you get to shoulder some of it too. You can refuse.

I responded by telling her to discuss her decision to read the the thread again in IC and further suggested the next time she desire to look at it to reach out to her IC first. I thought that was fair, no?

And she didn't contact me while spiraling--I wouldn't have engaged. She contacted me today, after spiraling yesterday and coming out of it.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 7:23 PM, Tuesday, June 21st]

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 8741267
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BeyondRage ( member #71328) posted at 7:27 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Dr,

I’m not going to join the analysis of every aspect of your and your wife’s history. You know by now you’re going to get opinions via forum and PM that are in some cases off the grid.

I think you are 100% correct in your decision to keep you communication available with OBS. If AP is now a loose dumped spouse there is no reason for him to not try to reconnect with your wife. Apparently he’s not getting to save his marriage and probably ain’t too thrilled with you.

By cutting off OBS totally all you accomplish is removing a tool in your toolbox that could provide you information. And at this point if your wife doesn’t like it, too bad. She brought it on herself

Me- 49M
WW- 48F
Kids- 23,21,20,18 all female
https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=640592

posts: 503   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2019   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8741268
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CuriousObserver ( member #78743) posted at 11:24 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Gently, after 80 pages of this I can understand why your wife chooses to shut down rather than continue to debate a topic with you. I would find it exhausting and simply easier to check out. If you are interested, perhaps in IC you can explore whether or not you have a "need to be right" aspect to your personality. Good luck.

Listen to their words but believe their actions.
The power of a lie is that it is believed to be truth.

posts: 170   ·   registered: May. 3rd, 2021   ·   location: USA
id 8741308
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 11:32 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

I can see why you see her delayed burdening of you as an improvement. The bar is very low.

But she should definitely be allowing you some space, especially given the work trip kind of forcing it. Why did she feel the need to tell you at all, especially during this week of space? It certainly doesn't benefit you.

[This message edited by clouds777 at 11:33 PM, Tuesday, June 21st]

posts: 286   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8741311
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SI Staff ( Moderator #10) posted at 1:17 AM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

Listen up!

Drstrangelove, I get that you do not agree with members that have stated you cheated and specifically that D was the only choice. We all hear you loud and clear. I am going to ask you however to stop calling out specific members. If you want to continue to debate, fine. Just do it without attacking and pointing out members you are having problems with.

Everyone else….let’s get back on track and try to help in a more productive way.

Consider this a warning to everyone. If this continues, you will be receiving pm’s next.

posts: 10009   ·   registered: May. 30th, 2002
id 8741323
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 2:45 AM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

She wanted to fuck me six-ways from Sunday to hurt my wife (and AP). I get it.

Now what? Now I do exactly what is in my best interest in this relationship. And what is in my best interest is OBS believing I'm her best friend so she won't hesitate even for a moment if new information arises that I need to know. She is done with AP, so she doesn't care if he keeps fucking my WW...unless she cares about me.

Just a point here, is I seldom recommend that a BS speak with an AP because the AP does not have the BS best interests at heart. That they aren't above lying either to inflict pain on the BS, to separate the WS from the BS, to get revenge on the WS, to protect the WS from consequences, or just plain malicious reasons. In your case the OBS is more an enemy of your enemies and not so much your friend. Unfortunately one of her enemies is your WW, rightfully so, which doesn't make her a friend to your M. Add to that since OBS and AP have separated, any real useful information she will be receiving is from AP which already has a history of untruthfulness and all of the above reasons to sabotage your marriage. Misery loves company. Since you are still undecided on R, I second the recommendation to maintain your distance as much as possible.

[This message edited by grubs at 2:46 AM, Wednesday, June 22nd]

posts: 1265   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8741333
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