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I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 15

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Vocalion ( member #82921) posted at 12:26 AM on Wednesday, May 10th, 2023

This is a very interesting question regarding the depth to which neurological pathways become blueprints for future behaviors in those who enter into limerence/ love with someone of the same young age before the brain has become fully formed and mature. As a BH who married my WW when we were 22 years old and complete ingenues totally without any sexual expereince or history, i can unequivocally state that when your partner/spouse is the first person you have sex with and enjoy an orgasm with, they become the very center of your emotional security, and when, for whatever reason your spouse betrays you, there is an added, more excruciatingly painful dimension. Literally everything you learned about sex and relationships has been blown up in the most devastating, cruel way possible. If there is anything that approaches the realm of unpardonable, this is it IMHO

posts: 214   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2023   ·   location: San Diego
id 8790267
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 3:51 AM on Friday, May 12th, 2023

Was your BS your first love or does your BS remind you of your first love? If so, did that factor into your motivation to want to try R?

Yes, he was -- or at least, he was the first serious relationship I had where we really loved each other. Also the first person I ever slept with, and to this day, the only one other than the OM.

I stayed after the affair because I loved BH and wanted to be with him, but I also think I was stubborn. When I arrived in college and told people I was still with my high school boyfriend, the upperclassmen patted me on the head and said that everyone thought they could make a LDR work, but no one ever did. My roommate and her "meant to be" HS boyfriend broke up by spring break. I felt patronized and underestimated, and I doubled down. Honestly, there were far too many misguided motivations in my commitment to making R work, including a refusal to let the naysayers win and a desperate fear of being alone. My BH and I agree that reconcilation was ultimately the right decision for all the wrong reasons.

Were you reminded of your first love in the AP(s) you chose?


Not really, as they were different physical and personality types, but they did have many interests in common (interests which I, ironically, did not share). To my enduring shame, I made the stupid wayward comment that they would have been friends in different circumstances.

Did this show an addiction to old relationship dynamics that were replaying themselves, that you had to work through in IC to understand yourself better, to be a better person and partner? Did your IC work delve deeper into your first love experiences' impact on you?

I was very much influenced by having been cheated on and discarded by my boyfriends prior to BH. I had it bad for one of them who ultimately chose to date one of my friends. When she said the word, I became dead to him. When I met OM, he was pining for the girl who chose his best friend. That was one of the main reasons I refused to go NC. Having been ghosted and devalued by someone who told me that he cared, I swore that I would never do the same thing to another human being. There were other reasons I refused to admit, like an addiction to ego kibble, but I sincerely had myself convinced that throwing OM under the bus to save my relationship with BH would be craven and hypocritical. It took far too long to understand that I had killed all chances of friendship with OM the day I decided to cross the line, not the day I finally broke all contact.

I would say that I was very young and stupid, and I was; I was 19 when the A started and 21 the last time I spoke to OM. But I've also noticed that most of my experience is as applicable to grown men and women as it was to me then, and I was still panicking and TTing like a teenager when my BH started asking midlife crisis-fueled questions in our late 40s.

WW/BW

posts: 3625   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8790542
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neverwithoutmychildren ( new member #83268) posted at 8:44 PM on Saturday, May 13th, 2023

Hello, I am new to this forum and hope I am doing this right.

I have 2 questions and I have to say reading this part of the forum (Questions to Waywards) may be the main thing that has gotten me through the last few weeks since D Day.

1-When there was more than one D Day and there were (seemingly) active actions for reconciliation on your part after the original D Day (transparency on your devices and location for example...) was there any way your spouse could have guessed you were not 100% in R? I suppose I am looking for ways to check for false R so I don't have to go through the heart break of a second DDay. Also I am thinking that "relapses" may exist (for example to start blaming again after a few weeks of much beter behavior) or should they not be expected at all if the wayword is truthfully remorseful. I am lost at figuring out where we are really at and if we have a chance at R should i decide to go that route.

2-My WH is now open to answer all my questions about the A without the horrible blaming and anger etc he had at first, he also now finally volunteers some information on his own and seems very remorseful (shown in his words and also actions). A problem we have both noticed is that he does "enjoy" in some way (even though he cries and feels ashamed at himself too) the atention he gets from me when we talk about the EA and OW. I usually work a LOT (have my own business) and in the last few weeks I have been more available (as I am unable to focus or work much!) and we have spent a TON of time talking, about his EA and also other issues of his that are now coming out or that he is now more open to talk about.

Did you get gratification from the attention from your BS after D Day (more time together, extra sex, interest in you and how you are thinking) in between feeling horrible for what you did? If so did this impact R negatively as in encourage you in your wayward ways?

Hope I am being clear!!

[This message edited by neverwithoutmychildren at 8:46 PM, Saturday, May 13th]

Newbie / married 9 years / BW 46 / WH 43 / 6 month EA / DDay 19Mar23

posts: 16   ·   registered: Apr. 28th, 2023
id 8790811
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Howcthappen ( member #80775) posted at 10:29 PM on Saturday, May 13th, 2023

Did relapse after your first DDAY?

Three years since DdayNever gonna be the sameReconcilingThe sting is still present

posts: 199   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2022   ·   location: DC
id 8790816
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 1:12 PM on Sunday, May 14th, 2023

Did relapse after your first DDAY?

Depends. How are we defining a relapse?

WW/BW

posts: 3625   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8790849
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 2:31 PM on Sunday, May 14th, 2023

Did you get gratification from the attention from your BS after D Day (more time together, extra sex, interest in you and how you are thinking) in between feeling horrible for what you did? If so did this impact R negatively as in encourage you in your wayward ways?

My BH and I started to get concerned about something similar to what you're asking about a year or so into our reconciliation after D-Day 2. (For context, I didn't have a second affair; these were new revelations about the extent of my A decades ago.)

I wouldn't say I was getting wayward validation from the attention. On the contrary, watching my BH in that kind of pain gradually erased my ego. I let go of the outcome and committed to total, radical honesty, and he responded in kind, largely because his defenses were fundamentally destroyed. For the first time in our long relationship, we laid ourselves 100% bare to each other. It was a period of intense vulnerability that I don't think either of us knew was possible with another human being. In that time, we opened up about things in our pasts that contributed to the way we saw the world, how we had loved and hated other people, and basically all our dark and guilty secrets. The only reason we were connecting on that raw and primal level was that grief over the A had torn us down to our foundations. We were barely functional in the real world, phoning it in at work and in parenting, and every molecule of our beings was focused on each other.

Recognizing that we had responsibilities, and that this wasn't sustainable, we started to limit the times where we discussed the affair. The result was that affair talk became inextricably linked with both the best and the worst parts of our new relationship. It was almost like cutting, where the pain released endorphins that helped escalate our connection. We both became legitimately concerned that we were becoming affair processing junkies, not because we craved the pain, but because we craved the resulting mutual vulnerability. We couldn't figure out how to open up at the same level in a healthy way.

I wouldn't say we entirely resolved this dilemma. We definitely communicate better and know that we can trust each other with the dark stuff. We are aware now that we both felt the drifting between us at certain stages in our marriage, and we are invested in pulling back together when they happens again. We connect in positive ways. But have we figured out how to open that door to total vulnerability without using pain as the key? I'm not sure we have. Healing has meant that we rub our hands over each other's scars instead of staunching each other's bleeding, and that's inherently a less intense experience.

I'm not trying to dismiss your fears. I have a good friend who is a former BW. She did the pick-me dance after her WH's affair, and unfortunately, he made the connection between getting caught cheating and grabbing more of her attention. When their life started to regain the normal divided focus of a family with young children, he had another affair, genuinely expecting that it would bring her back in line again with his expectations. He was shocked when she filed for divorce.

I don't think that giving extra attention to a marriage in crisis is the same scenario as pick-me, but it's worth discussing that this level of intensity is not going to be a viable long term solution.

WW/BW

posts: 3625   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8790856
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 6:13 PM on Sunday, May 14th, 2023

This is a question primarily for WSes who seem to have R'ed and who cheated again 5-10-15 years out from the 1st d-day, if any are around. I also seeking responses from WSes who cheated again after one d-day,

What motivated your post-first-d-day A(s)?

*****

I think it's obvious I'm not posting as staff. Also, I'm posting out of curiosity; I'm not consciously aware of any problems with plainsong. Still ... I know the general signs of cheating, but I wonder if there are specific signs of a 'post-R' A....

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

posts: 29787   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8790868
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Howcthappen ( member #80775) posted at 5:25 AM on Monday, May 15th, 2023

Relapse means breaking NC

Three years since DdayNever gonna be the sameReconcilingThe sting is still present

posts: 199   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2022   ·   location: DC
id 8790907
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Ozzy1788 ( member #83108) posted at 10:38 AM on Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

To waywards, does the PA feel like it makes the EA not even worthy of consideration?

I feel like my WW just doesn't even consider the fact that she got to the point of wanting to go physical with AP matters, as I stupidly "agreed" to her going physical as it felt like our relationship would be over either way. As such she feels going completely NC doesn't seem fair.

Until the EA is acknowledged and apologised for, I feel like I can't totally move on but I can't push for this either. And the longer I give it the more I am struggling to even want to R....

posts: 168   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8791017
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 11:35 AM on Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

Ozzy

The only person whose feelings matter in this situation are yours. Some BS don’t care about an EA but others think it’s a bridge too far.

You get too decide what is/is not acceptable. Until you are firm with your boundaries, the disrespect will continue. Your wife isnt worthy of R at this point. Heck she is still talking to the AP!

As her husband it is certainly within your right to tell her to stop talking to this guy. As a person with free will, it is her right to tell you to go pound sand (which she is doing in so many words). Are you willing to live with that kind of disrespect? IMO with her mindset the way it is, it’s only a matter of time until this happens again.

You will see the phrase "Getting out of infidelity" mentioned here a lot. You have to do what you can to end this situation. If your wife is willing to do the work, this could end in R. If she doesn’t, D is a very reasonable option. Either way, you’ve shown that you will not tolerate the disrespect and are removing yourself for your own piece of mind.

All the best.

Me -FWS

posts: 2102   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8791021
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MrCleanSlate ( member #71893) posted at 2:46 PM on Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

Neverwithoutmychildren


1-...I am looking for ways to check for false R so I don't have to go through the heart break of a second DDay. Also I am thinking that "relapses" may exist (for example to start blaming again after a few weeks of much beter behavior) or should they not be expected at all if the wayword is truthfully remorseful. I am lost at figuring out where we are really at and if we have a chance at R should i decide to go that route.

2-... A problem we have both noticed is that he does "enjoy" in some way (even though he cries and feels ashamed at himself too) the atention he gets from me when we talk about the EA and OW. I usually work a LOT (have my own business) and in the last few weeks I have been more available (as I am unable to focus or work much!) and we have spent a TON of time talking, about his EA and also other issues of his that are now coming out or that he is now more open to talk about.

Did you get gratification from the attention from your BS after D Day (more time together, extra sex, interest in you and how you are thinking) in between feeling horrible for what you did? If so did this impact R negatively as in encourage you in your wayward ways?

In some way both of these questions are tied together. There is no guarantees that your WH is being 100% truthful and committed now, BUT he is taking steps to become that. R is a process that I think you can start to see occurs as you move through the stages of post D-Day life. For me the extra time my BW spent with me gave me the motivation to want to work on myself for the sake of becoming a better H. IF my BW were pushing me away, I don't think I would have taken as much effort to fix myself.

Hysterical Bonding (sex) is a thing, and so is wanting to spend all your time together and have intense talking sessions. But that doesn't solve the core issues, but it can help both parties start on a path of communication and understanding of what the problems are. Your WH probably has not gotten to the point of figuring out all of his Why's, and that can take a long time.

I noticed one thing you wrote about the amount of time you work, and how your WH is now enjoying the attention from you. In my case both my BW and I realized that we forgot to tend to our relationship and to actually take time for each other. For me that was a missing part of my M that led me to an A for the ego kibbles. Today my W and I will take time to talk, we sit every Friday and go through flyers for shopping list, we go for a walk, we enjoy a coffee together. I run my own business and I fired a lot of clients and pulled back to spend more time with my W. It was a choice I HAD TO MAKE.

Take it as an opportunity to reset your M, in the process you may help yourself, and your WH become a much better person and H.

WH 53,my BW is 52. 1 year PA, D-Day Oct 2015. Admitted all, but there is no 'clean slate'. In R and working it everyday"
To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day

posts: 690   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2019   ·   location: Canada
id 8791058
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WhiteCarrera ( member #29126) posted at 4:11 AM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

To wayward spouses, upon disclosure I realize that there's often trickle truth, but did you ever find yourself being completely open and honest about one situation or known relationship, but still decide to hold back other things? Maybe like a selective take-it-to-the-grave carveout, even while being 100% honest about other (maybe even more damaging) things? How or why did you find yourselves there?


(edited for clarity)

[This message edited by WhiteCarrera at 7:04 PM, Wednesday, May 17th]

Is it possible that I actually do have all the truth now? (haha - how naive was I when I wrote that?)

me - husband; her - wife, Married 13 years @ D-Day in 2009. Now married 27 years and hanging in there (maybe by a thread sometimes)

posts: 383   ·   registered: Jul. 23rd, 2010   ·   location: Midwest
id 8791173
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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 8:06 PM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

To piggyback on WhiteCarrera… what were the take it to the grave carve outs? Why were those the things you held back? If you’re not comfortable being specific then what were the general areas? Why? I mean…I assume it was shame and/or fear of betrayed spouse’s reaction, but why were you afraid of that with those specific carve outs?

posts: 353   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8791294
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 1:09 PM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

WC & SC, this is what I wrote to a fellow wayward a few years ago on the same topic as your questions.


Because I'm an excellent compartmentalizer, I was able to keep two completely opposite thought processes in play simultaneously. I told myself that I had given him everything that mattered, every fact that he needed to understand the A. Anything else was just an unnecessarily hurtful detail. At the same time, I avoided looking at those so-called details like the plague, because I feared they could be toxic deal breakers, and I was terrified of coming clean and losing BH. I was scared of hurting him, too, absolutely, but that couldn't have been the primary driver of my lies, because he was obviously being deeply hurt by the TT. I was unwilling to accept that everything I had done was real, it existed, I couldn't undo it, and it could now sink us.

So I was crafty. I proactively disclosed the A. I went right to the endgame; unlike many WS, I confessed to intercourse in my opening statement. When asked, I admitted orgasms. I admitted ILYs. I admitted BJs and oral. I saw myself as honest, and clung to that version of D-Day: "at least I told the truth."

But there was so much more truth, and I see hints that that could be possible in your case, too. In me, the panic mode and "uncomfortable feeling that just won't go away" was avoidance of the remaining secrets. I had confessed the sex, but not that it was planned, a getaway, a full night of multiple positions that I initiated. I admitted ILYs, but not that there were many of them, or that OM had actually gotten as far as proposing to me in a desperate ploy to keep me from ending the A (BH and I weren't married at the time). I knew these facts completely changed the nature of what I was asking BH to forgive. I hid so much under the craven umbrella of "he knows about the sex and the ILY." And 30 years later, when it all started coming out under more pointed questions, I put BH through the TT-laden shitshow of D-Day 2.

This might not be your situation at all, but just in case: really search yourself for what your subconscious is trying to convince you is "no big deal." I did not realize that there was a self-preservative part of my own brain patrolling the "weaker" part that might be dumb enough to confess. So my caution to you is to admit that everything is a big deal, and come clean with every detail (unless she has told you she doesn't want to know it). I've come to see my BH's desire to hear everything as a gift to us, because it relieved me of making judgments I am obviously incapable of making about what did and didn't "matter."

WW/BW

posts: 3625   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8791375
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MrCleanSlate ( member #71893) posted at 3:56 PM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

WhiteCarrera / StillConfused,

I didn't do TT; however, my BW and I spent many nights talking, lots of texts and emails - all with Q&A of the A. A lot of details were drawn out through that process - more than I could have just 'admitted' in the moment.

For my BW she was not interested in the physical details, as much as she was picking into the mental/emotional side of my A. So in some respects, yes I didn't expand much into specifics or graphic details on that side of it. Is that a carve-out, or is that being considerate?

Here is the thing that in the moments of D-Day I decided to throw caution to the wind and just lay it out there. It was hard to do after lying for so long. Yes there were moments I really wanted to not say something in response to a question.

On this site I've seen lots of waywards do the TT for a lot of reasons. Some just have a hard time admitting to their failings. When you shine the light of day on most affairs they are really shitty things all around. During my A I lied like there was no tomorrow - to everyone about everything. I didn't give a hoot about my AP - she had a pulse and gave me attention. It was all about me. That is a hard thing to admit to. Some can't. Some fear the outcome.

BTW - my BW never asked for a written timeline. She pulled all that info out of me verbally and in writing over several months. I guess her legal mind did the cross examination and then circling back to things until she understood, but more critically she helped point out things to me to help me understand.

WH 53,my BW is 52. 1 year PA, D-Day Oct 2015. Admitted all, but there is no 'clean slate'. In R and working it everyday"
To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day

posts: 690   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2019   ·   location: Canada
id 8791399
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 12:05 AM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

Hey there Waywards!

So...my question is a bit disjointed. Stay with me here please...

What was it like for you when you finally gained your conscience? Think old school Buffy the Vampire Slayer - when Spike finally got a soul.

I've noticed WH has gotten his. Actively talking about the harm he caused. The reality of it all.

He recently mentioned to me in conversation [sadly phone so I couldn't see his face] LTA related things. A few examples:

MOTHERS DAY - he knows it is a trigger day for me and one I choose not to celebrate any longer. He knows not to force it - not to give a gift or card. But this year after a day of pretending it didn't exist as I was getting ready for bed he hugged me and said "he wants me to know how sorry he is that he's taken this day from me" Or recently when discussing our youngest [who turns 21 this year] he knows how bad he'd fucked her up [she is the one who discovered the LTA at 14] and that is one of his biggest regrets in life.

I don't mean to imply that he'd not done his work [although there were false starts and it was slow going].

But I'm curious when any of you have gotten to that part - where you owned it 100% - what was that feeling like.

When you have to look at someone and fully admit to yourself the damage you've done.

This summer we will be 6 years from DDay 1, 5 years from DDays 2/3 [where I found the LTA went underground and exposed], 2.5 years from having the C&D sent [where I discovered a series of fake profiles LTA created to cyberstalk WH]

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home) Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS 2018 Cease & Desist sent spring 2021"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3770   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8791504
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 2:14 PM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

Chaos,

The first wisps of gaining any kind of conscience came a few months before I officially ended the A. Prior to reconnecting for the final time as we hadn't been talking for a few months, I was reading everything I could about infidelity.Then I happened on SI. Reading story after story really started to open my eyes. My AP and I reconnected a final time and has plans to meet up. I tossed and turned the night before and the morning of, I ended it. But I still felt like I was making the biggest mistake of my life.But I knew I had to stop.

I maintained NC for 2-3 months and then trolled her FB page. Imagine my surprise when I saw her post about her new soulmate having fun in Puerto Rico. From what she had written, she was seeing him when she agreed to meet up with me. It was a very surreal moment. It really sunk in as to the enormity of what I had done. I risked everything for someone as defective as I was. I always felt that I was a decent guy; if my wife had done this or that, I wouldn't have cheated. But my self perception was all a lie. Just as were the excuses who gave me license to cheat were.

Me -FWS

posts: 2102   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8791614
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:59 PM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

Did you give the AP the impression when you ended things that the reason had more to do with your kids and family and not wanting to harm them versus choosing your wife again and that you were still willing to make your marriage work?

The Ap sort of indicated this to me.

As the OW it had little bearing on anything. There is a saying if they wanted to they would.

If the AP really felt that way, he would have broken NC. He did not. I did not. After the addiction had run its course it’s easy for me to see he was placating me, likely so I didn’t get him into trouble at work.

If your husbands ap is somewhere believing this bull crap, let her. It’s not a happy feeling it’s one where their actions don’t match their words and continuing to believe it is harmful for her recovery. If she believes it she is still living mental hell in her mind.

Likely she does not think any of these things this much time later. She probably only wonders why she was a self abandoning idiot.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 6936   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8791707
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:07 PM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

From what I've read, the effects of experiencing love for the first time, especially in the teens or early 20s, leaves strong hormonal and memory imprints. It's mentioned that these imprints become blueprints for how you approach future relationships, because brains are still developing during this period, and these experiences become the foundation (brain wiring) due to firsts being the most impactful. You learn how you want to be treated by another person. It's mentioned that this represents the first time you allowed someone else to significantly influence you and your life.

Was your BS your first love or does your BS remind you of your first love

I love this question. My answer is a bit different, but I think relevant.

First, my husband was not my first love, so I don’t meet that qualification.

However, my first "love" (which I think was only an attachment) was unrequited. And it happened late junior high. I remained addicted to this person for years. He liked the attention but wasn’t into me.

Years later I repeated this, which I now see had elements of limerence. I did this one other time, as an adult and right before I started dating my husband.

I have had an obsessive attachment towards guys a total of three times. The pushing away triggers some sort of abandonment wound for me I think. If something ever happened to my husband I am hopeful I have done enough internal work to not put myself through that again. I lost weight, became obsessed with my appearance and clothing, thinking if I could only be good enough.

And know that moving forward that I have a lot to offer, that I love myself and am devinely loved.
So yes, the unhealthy anxious attachment did repeat itself but I am not sure this was the direction of your question.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 6936   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8791709
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 8:18 PM on Sunday, May 21st, 2023

Repeating the question from my General thread here:
Can anyone help me understand why she would confess and then do this to me? To the age old question of which is better, for the wayward to keep their dirty conscience and spare the betrayed, or to give the betrayed back their agency: I apparently got both the agony and the lies. What the fuck?

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 1769   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8791948
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