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I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 15

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flang ( new member #82908) posted at 1:49 PM on Monday, February 27th, 2023

There are a lot of posts on this topic, this may have already been asked, I apologize if it's repetitive.

When you end an affair how is it not disappointing to give up the excitement a new sexual relationship provides? Do you feel a loss? Is sex with your spouse a let down? Were certain sex acts off limits to your spouse but OK with your AP. If so why?

[This message edited by flang at 2:24 PM, Monday, February 27th]

posts: 27   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2023
id 8779574
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SkipThumelue ( member #82934) posted at 2:10 PM on Monday, February 27th, 2023

Hello
My first time posting.
Married 30 years with grown children.
WH and I are reconciling after he had a 1 year physical affair with a business colleague. It’s been six months since the affair ended. He appears to be remorseful. I can see it in his face when he apologizes. He may still miss her but I don’t believe there has been any contact.
The hurdle we keep encountering is his shame. I don’t bring up the affair often because I don’t need to know the details. I know enough. But when I do, he shuts down. He says it’s because he’s ashamed and embarrassed. He doesn’t want to talk about the past and "move on". He’s not open to therapy nor is he reading books on infidelity recovery. He seems to just want to forget it ever happened. Did any of you go through something similar as a wayward spouse? If so, how did you get over it? Is there anything I can do?

cedarwoods,

I was trapped in the same spiral for a while after DDay. When my BW confronted me with the letter that a former EAP had written to her, I confessed everything, including the other A's I had had. For a period of several months, I continued to answer all of her questions and was probably more open than I had ever been in our marriage up to that point.

Eventually though, I slipped back into my wayward behavior and started using my guilt and shame as a shield to hide my feelings and thoughts behind. I was tired of answering the same questions over and over because they were a painful reminder of what I had done. I come from a rugsweeping family, and those old learned behaviors were tough to overcome at that point in our R.

Fast forward to now and we are in a much better place. IC (which I started before DDay and I'm still with the same therapist) has helped tremendously. I encourage him to try it. It took an awful lot for me to make that first appointment. Something else I grew up hearing was that therapy was for "crazy people" and a waste of money. That is far from the truth. It took a good 3 years for me to break out of the shame spiral and I couldn't have done it without therapy.

I wish you both well and will pray for the success of your R.

WH

DD: 5/2019

Reconciling and extremely grateful.

I do not accept PMs.

"The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself." - St. Augustine

posts: 129   ·   registered: Feb. 24th, 2023
id 8779575
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Notagain6526 ( new member #82911) posted at 9:36 PM on Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

Apologies if this has been asked.

If you've had multiple d days. How after d day 1 could you have another A after the massive amount of work and promises to R. After you seen the devastation it caused?

Did it not scare you when you entered into another A, knowing what the consequences would be to you partner?

posts: 41   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2023
id 8779868
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Darkness Falls ( member #27879) posted at 11:03 PM on Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

When you end an affair how is it not disappointing to give up the excitement a new sexual relationship provides?

It wasn’t a new sexual relationship. In my case, the OM and I had been partners before I ever met my H. I went into the affair already knowing exactly what sex with him was like.

As to your question of whether there was anything "off the table" with H that I then did with OM: not from my side, no, but vice versa—there were things my H was always (pre-A) hesitant to do because he has/had no confidence. We haven’t had sex in 4 years though so I suppose it doesn’t matter anymore.

[This message edited by Darkness Falls at 11:04 PM, Tuesday, February 28th]

Married -> I cheated -> We divorced -> We remarried -> Had two kids -> Now we’re miserable again

Staying together for the kids

D-day 2010

posts: 6490   ·   registered: Mar. 8th, 2010   ·   location: USA
id 8779885
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Olderandhappier ( member #75702) posted at 11:43 PM on Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

Question to WS. When caught why do some of you, even if you claim to wish to stay in the M, attempt to deny, minimise or justify what happened to your BS? What is going through your mind at that point? Do you ever subsequently regret doing this and eventually understand how much worse this makes everything?

posts: 221   ·   registered: Oct. 22nd, 2020
id 8779894
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 6:33 AM on Wednesday, March 1st, 2023

Question to WS. When caught why do some of you, even if you claim to wish to stay in the M, attempt to deny, minimise or justify what happened to your BS? What is going through your mind at that point?

Whether it's blind panic or cold calculation, a WS's first instinct when caught in a lie is damage control. Just like no one ever starts smoking expecting to get cancer and no one ever tries drugs expecting to get addicted, few WS start an affair expecting to get caught. When it happens, we're brought face to face with the bill that we convinced ourselves we'd never have to pay. The specific mix of denial, minimization and self-justification is unique to the circumstances and the personality of the WS, but all of us are hoping to limit the consequences of our actions.

Do you ever subsequently regret doing this and eventually understand how much worse this makes everything?

Eventually I did, but definitely not in the early stages after D-Day. Unless a WS voluntarily confesses, which is pretty rare, we are completely unprepared for the blow to fall. I don't say this as an advocate for sympathy, but as an explanation of our mindset. We usually didn't see D-Day coming, and we did our best to not even imagine what it would look like. We aren't as blindsided as the BS because at least we knew about the affair, but we thought we'd insulated ourselves from discovery. The sight of a furious, devastated BS throws many of us into complete chaos. I had to stop thinking of myself before I could understand how much deeper I was digging the hole.

WW/BW

posts: 3629   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8779951
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Olderandhappier ( member #75702) posted at 6:55 AM on Wednesday, March 1st, 2023

BraveSirRobin thank you. Might I ask one more follow up Q? What made you come around and stop minimising and start to feel remorse and actually engage with and show empathy your BH’s pain? Was a single factor, a process? Something must have changed in you to make you do this. What was it?

posts: 221   ·   registered: Oct. 22nd, 2020
id 8779952
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SkipThumelue ( member #82934) posted at 12:30 PM on Wednesday, March 1st, 2023

Olderandhappier,

"I thought you were leaving us too." This is what my wife said to me on DDay. Meaning her and the kids. It was like getting hit full blast with a firehose of icy water and completely shocked me out of any remaining "fog".

For quick background: I was already in IC and very much an out of control mess. About 2 weeks before DDay, I had finally broken things off abruptly with a long term EAP. My therapist and I were working on getting me to a place where I could self-disclose when the EAP sent an anonymous letter to my wife outing me.

Those words are seared forever into my brain, along with the look on her face when she said it. They were spoken from a place of such deep pain that it obliterated any residual affair feelings for me. So I told her everything about multiple EAPs, two PAs, Tinder and AM accounts, etc. and so on. It was probably the only thing I did right that day.

WH

DD: 5/2019

Reconciling and extremely grateful.

I do not accept PMs.

"The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself." - St. Augustine

posts: 129   ·   registered: Feb. 24th, 2023
id 8779972
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 10:31 PM on Wednesday, March 1st, 2023

What made you come around and stop minimising and start to feel remorse and actually engage with and show empathy your BH’s pain? Was a single factor, a process? Something must have changed in you to make you do this. What was it?

I hit rock bottom. I swore on my children that I was telling the truth. My BH stepped back and gave me a look of such coldness and disgust that I knew I had finally, irretrievably gone too far. I had seen that contempt in his eyes before, but only a few times in the three decades I've known him, and never directed at me. He only turns that expression on people who have richly earned it over a long period of time. I looked at myself and agreed with that assessment.

That was the moment when I let go of the outcome. I accepted that by lying, I was ruining everything that mattered - my integrity, my BH's innate decency and willingness to try to forgive, and any kind of marriage that was worth having. I was taking these incredible gifts, everything in my life that I was most grateful for, and smashing it on the ground in a bloodied, defiled heap. All because I was a fucking coward. I couldn't undo the past, but I could stop lying about it in the present, and I wasn't even doing that. So I decided that even if he left me, I owed him the truth, because it was the only gift I had left to give him after I had taken so much away.

WW/BW

posts: 3629   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8780114
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TrayDee ( new member #82906) posted at 11:04 PM on Wednesday, March 1st, 2023

Hello and thanks to all the WS who have answered questions here.

I have devoured these answers for weeks.

My question is this:

For those who did a written timeline of your affairs, what all did you include, or were asked to include?

posts: 44   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2023   ·   location: MS
id 8780126
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 5:01 AM on Thursday, March 2nd, 2023

My timeline situation is unusual because I composed it many years after the A. There were important details that I truly did not remember, so I went on a mission to find every scrap of evidence that remained to jog my memory of what/when/where. My BH was the scribe because he was journaling obsessively at the time. I've actually never seen the finished version. In an odd way, this helped rebuild trust in the early days because I didn't have a reference copy. The only way to keep my story straight was to tell the absolute truth at all times.

The part I wrote myself described my emotional progression in the A, including the sex and what I thought/said/felt in my interactions with OM up until I finally went NC. I couldn't get all of that out honestly until I saw it in black and white. It reads more like a confession than a novel.

WW/BW

posts: 3629   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8780189
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:34 AM on Friday, March 3rd, 2023

There are a lot of posts on this topic, this may have already been asked, I apologize if it's repetitive.

When you end an affair how is it not disappointing to give up the excitement a new sexual relationship provides? Do you feel a loss? Is sex with your spouse a let down? Were certain sex acts off limits to your spouse but OK with your AP. If so why?

So it sounds like this all might be new. In the beginning after discovery there are all sorts of confusing parts about the ws’s behavior and there is a tendency to read into their behaviors as meaning they were being inspired more by their ap than their spouse.

In the later parts of recovery, if your ws does the work they will be able to enlighten you why this was this their behavior. It is almost never because the AP was a good choice and it is NEVER about the spouse.

In my own affair, the AP would have been a steep downgrade from my husband.

When most people have an affair, it’s a pain pill. A distraction to numb them from pain. Often it’s perpetuated by dopamine being flooded to the brain. It’s like a gambling addiction. So it’s darkness, not love and light. It’s two people being the lowest forms of their despicable selves.

For many of us it’s being able to pretend to be a better version of ourselves where we don’t have problems and things are all rainbows and unicorns. Propping the whole thing up on lies.

Very rarely is it really about the sex. I say that even though I know that statement for you is an empty consolation when you are still raw with overwhelming emotions.

With all that said I don’t want to miss directly answering your question. It’s an individual answer because I can’t speak for your spouse or any other ws on this part.

For me, I didn’t care about the sex. The irony is often ws don’t. For my husband it was the worst part and for me to say I didn’t even care about it was something he couldn’t reconcile in his mind for a long time.

When it came to the sex, the importance to me was that the AP saw me in a certain way. It was part of keeping the good feelings escalating.

The work of the ws is to build a life they are excited about and make their own happiness their responsibility so they can gain a stronger commitment to having higher character. This comes from needing and wanting healthy things so they can keep that happiness.

I look back at my affair as one of the unhealthiest actions I have ever made in my life and associate nothing good at all with the affair or the AP. I regret it to my core and would take it back if I could. Nothing that my husband did or was caused me to have the affair. I do not remember the sex fondly or even think about the sex at all.

Is this where your wife’s head is at? Probably not yet. Is she thinking about the sex? I doubt it’s her focus, but you should ask her. It’s most common for females to cheat more for emotional reasons.

I can tell from reading your post the issue is likely sex would be what you would be more interested in if you were a weak person who had an affair (which I know you are not) Because it sounds like that is what you are projecting onto the situation.

Often when people picture affairs it’s about hot sex, but the people who think that are usually not having affairs.

The people who have affairs do it out of numerous things being broken inside themselves. Sex on its own is typically not a big enough motivator to break their integrity.

If your wife did things with him she doesn’t do with you it’s likely because of dark unhealthy desperation rather than something they actually enjoy doing. She was being transactional, likely if she now does it with you she is still being transactional. What is she wanting to her in return for doing something she probably doesn’t enjoy? Because believe me, if she enjoyed it she would have been doing it with you all along.

[This message edited by hikingout at 6:38 AM, Friday, March 3rd]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7259   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8780438
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:59 AM on Friday, March 3rd, 2023

Q

uestion to WS. When caught why do some of you, even if you claim to wish to stay in the M, attempt to deny, minimise or justify what happened to your BS? What is going through your mind at that point? Do you ever subsequently regret doing this and eventually understand how much worse this makes everything?

So, the truth is if I knew I didn’t want my marriage going into the affair, I would have just divorced him.

My affair was about problems within myself, most of which was unrelated to my husband. Did I prop myself up on lies and excuses? Yes.

Our own happiness is our responsibility. Choosing healthy things to be happy about is our responsibility. Ws often blame their lack of happiness on their spouse.

It boils down to deep down we want our cake and to eat it too. We tell ourselves you will never find out and we rationalize we deserve to do this thing for ourselves.

We lack character, but it doesn’t mean we don’t want the marriage. My affair like most was a form of escapism but the only person I was trying to escape was myself.

I didn’t do the lying part. I confessed on my own and told the truth. The only reason I didn’t lie is because I read here for two months before I told him. Had I not read all the reasons why it was important, I would have tried to lie and minimize to try and control the way h would see me.I had to fight the impulse, even knowing as much as I did by reading things the bs’s wrote.

We rationalize so much we miss that the spouse already knows we’ve been out there being a piece of shit. But we are reluctant to share just how true that is. We often are people who carry deep shame for the better part of our life and admitting things out loud is admitting all those feelings of worthlessness were dead on.

Also, we want to control the outcome. We want to keep as much bad stuff out of your sight so that we have a chance you will stay. Or at least to try and preserve what you think about is in some way.

In the light of day, the picture looks so different and it’s a wake up call that you didn’t want to lose this person at all. You just did the stupidest thing you could have chosen to do in your life.

Many ws have done what you have described and many have admitted to regretting it. But until the ws is willing to let go of their own agenda and prioritizes the bs and the marriage no changes can happen.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7259   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8780441
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cedarwoods ( member #82760) posted at 4:12 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

To WS:
What do you do with the special memories you made with your AP?
Such as:
The "I love you’s"
Romantic getaways
Intimate sexual moments
Celebrating Valentine’s Day/Anniversary, etc

Are they still in your mind as fond memories?

posts: 211   ·   registered: Jan. 20th, 2023   ·   location: USA
id 8780963
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 2:45 PM on Tuesday, March 7th, 2023

Hi Cedarwoods

To WS:
What do you do with the special memories you made with your AP?
Such as:
The "I love you’s"
Romantic getaways
Intimate sexual moments
Celebrating Valentine’s Day/Anniversary, etc

Are they still in your mind as fond memories?

To put it bluntly, I look at the A and everything about it as one of the darkest periods of my life. While my A may have been "tame" in comparison to other betrayals, it still doesn’t lessen what I did.

I betrayed everything important in my life for some blowjobs and having smoke blown up my ass. That’s the honest summation of my A. When I look back on that time, all I feel is dread. I wish I could take it all back but of course I cannot.

So no , lI have zero fond memories of my A.

Me -FWS

posts: 2102   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8781131
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Booney ( new member #80566) posted at 4:09 PM on Tuesday, March 7th, 2023

Hi ff4152 I think is your name,
Your response made me laugh out loud!!...chucked your marriage for 'blow jobs and smoke blown up your bottom' When I asked my FWS if he missed it, he said it'd be like missing Cholera. Please know you've kind of made my day. I was a bit miserable earlier, and you made me laugh. Yes if only you could change the past, and have been cognisant of the consequences of your actions, and the total waste of your time and effort in pursuit of selfish, pointless, and at the end of the day meaningless desires. What you describe and the way you describe it, I understand. People fuck up, and people can be better. You sound like someone who gets it, understands, is enlightened...has learned a life lesson. Good luck to you.

Me: BW58yrs. WH56yrs.DDay:6th April 2020. He ended the A & told me after.He&I 2gether since 1988. Married 1994. Fuckup A started Dec 2015. The day he betrayed me is the day our marriage ended in my eyes. In R. He’s the worst and the best thing in my life

posts: 17   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022   ·   location: Scotland
id 8781146
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CFme923 ( member #82955) posted at 3:55 PM on Thursday, March 9th, 2023

Did any WH end up not being able to have a PA with the AP? My WH basically received a handful of photos and sent a couple nudes but then said no more. Three months later he was approached and AP gave him a long talk about just "trying it" and it would "be their secret". She gained access to his pants and attempted to have him enter her but he lost what little erection he had immediately in both encounters. After the second attempt he ended it. He says he didn't want it but acknowledges he did not say no because he felt slightly excited someone wanted him so badly. AP refuses to discuss the scenario with her BH so I don't have confirmation. Why attempt again if it didn't work the first time?

posts: 99   ·   registered: Feb. 27th, 2023
id 8781393
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hollowhurt ( new member #75149) posted at 12:56 AM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

CFme923

I am a BH and I would really like for someone to answer your inquiry.

But for whatever its worth, to help you possibly, my WW described the same situation just reverse roles. Two meets, not matter what she did, no erection, no intercourse. AP set up meeting, planned them, etc. no erection.


Go figure. As I am sure you may be already.


(by the way, The wind blows or not, if the sun sets, if the sun cast shadows, I have an erection, its a burden.)

posts: 40   ·   registered: Aug. 11th, 2020
id 8781767
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 3:27 PM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

Cf & Hollowhurt

While I did have a PA I’d still like to offer my opinion.

I think the likelihood of going through all the sneaking around, lying etc only to not have done the deed is extremely unlikely. The brain is a big sex organ. The little head will not function if the big one isn’t on board. During my A, my AP could get me so aroused, I could have cut diamonds without using my hands. Is it possible that ED occurred, certainly. But I would be very hard pressed to believe it.

But let’s say for the sake of argument that it did happen and the men couldn’t get it up. IMO that’s kind of beside the point. Both your WH and WW had the INTENT to go through with it. That’s really all that matters IMO. Whether they did the deed or not really doesn’t matter at that point.

Me -FWS

posts: 2102   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8781825
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 5:31 AM on Tuesday, March 14th, 2023

This isn't the typical BS to WS question(s) but it's stuff that I have wondered from time to time.
- Do you generally feel comfortable here (at SI)?
- Do you feel welcome/comfortable posting outside of the Wayward forum?
- Are there things that would make this place more welcoming of other Waywards?
- Is it ever hard not to take the vent posts or comments made by BS's personally, even if they are not directed at you?

I think the comfort level of being here is dependent on your level of healing. For years it was not comfortable, but nothing was. Reflecting on the worst thing you have done with a whole lot of people who just had it done to them can create triggers on both sides.

In some ways the discomfort I experienced here was directly to my benefit. If I couldn’t learn not to be defensive with strangers then how could I stop at home?

This place holds a mirror up. I used to think that we chased people off, and maybe we do. But now I just think it isn’t the right place for them and maybe not the right time.

I am convinced this site was a place of healing for me. I have made an ass out of myself more times than I could count but those were the times I learned the most. After while I gained humility, and I think that has been key to reconciling my marriage.

The vent posts were always the worst for me for the first few years. But over time I understood their purpose, and eventually when I was the one being cheated on I could see them with more clarity.

It’s not easy sometimes but a ws who can embrace that and try to learn things from the bs here has a lot of possibility for success in growing. I think the ones most likely to stay are the ones who have hit rock bottom and are teachable because they have nowhere else to turn.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7259   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8782125
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