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Reconciliation :
Reconciled and married... but still very triggered after almost 3 years

Topic is Sleeping.
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 iamjack (original poster member #80408) posted at 7:08 PM on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

My point of the packing up is that you need to make a statement either verbally or with action when you are being treated like this. Think about how you deal with a two year old. If they try to touch a hot stove, or pull a dogs tail, you react immediately. You don’t wait a couple of hours to have a discussion. You certainly don’t sweep it under the table. This is what she wants.

This paragraph struck me.
How can I not see this, she even told me just a few hours ago that was the only way to deal with things you don't like if you don't want to be "trampled on in life" ? (she was talking about her reaction to one of her coworkers).

This makes so much sense now, as I also apply it to my kids... I do believe I need to act immediatly when she rejects me. What bothers me is I sometime can overreact so I don't know where that could lead me... (then again, she says "I sometime can overreact", when I think about it...)

[This message edited by iamjack at 7:13 PM, Tuesday, May 23rd]

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 iamjack (original poster member #80408) posted at 7:13 PM on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

Dear Oldwounds,


You just need to tell her about the relationship you want (an equal partner who respects your boundaries) and she can either help you make the M stronger and better or you can find someone who will.

The thing is, when I explain that, she answers that she doesn't understand what I want from her. She implies I'm just torturing her, that she's giving me all she can already. It's hard to see yourself as an executioner, when all you want is be close to her. But apart from her saying she doesn't get what I want, she just explains she wants to feel free, and that my constant requests for intimacy or proximity make her nervous. So...

posts: 77   ·   registered: Jul. 6th, 2022
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 7:26 PM on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

Iamjack --

Here is a quote from your opening post in the thread:

I am willing to accept, as my therapist tells me, that she was another person at the time of the adultery.

I'm no psychologist, but I have three of them in my family tree.

So, I am going to disagree with that take from your therapist.

Your wife isn't different people. She's both the person you fell in love with AND she's the person who required validation outside of your marriage.

She used a different MINDSET during the A. It was escapist fantasy. She got to PRETEND to be a different person.

Again, that's a lot of energy for the AP. A lot.

You're not asking for her to feel UNSAFE with you, you are asking to her to WANT you as much or more than anyone else.

We feel loved when we're wanted. I think that's not just us men, I think women feel the same way.

You're not asking her to be intimate when she's not feeling it. Free will is critical for BOTH partners, you may want to remind her of that.

You ARE asking her to put in at least the same effort into making you feel wanted as she did for a stranger.

Married 35+ years, together 41+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived. M Restored.
"It is better to conquer our grief than to deceive it." — Seneca

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waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 7:36 PM on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

Who is telling you you over react? Her? Of course she is going to feel that way. She is used to you not standing up for yourself. The fact that she slept with her AP at least the 20 times you know about, while at the same time starving you for sex and you still married her is proof positive that you if anything under react.

She has gotten her way every step of the way. While you were engaged she has an affair. What was the result? She got married, had kids, and used it to "make you a better man". No consequences, in fact positive reinforcement for her actions. Her life after what she did is better. How is yours? She likes the grown up jack who is passive while she walks all over you.

I hate to say this, but these are the types of situations where we get the inevitable " it happened again update". The fact you are not letting her feel free is a huge warning sign.

I wish I could concur with Oldwounds in that having a rational discussion would help. It does when dealing with a remorseful WS, but that’s not what we have here. The fact that she thinks you are torturing her is proof she doesn’t have any remorse.

I’m not saying things are hopeless, but what you are doing isn’t working. You need to put yourself first. She certainly isn’t

I am the cliched husband whose wife had an affair with the electrician

Divorced

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id 8792209
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 iamjack (original poster member #80408) posted at 7:36 PM on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

Oldwounds,

Thank you. You're right, she DID put up a lot of energy to please and meet with that stupid, ugly AP of hers. When I think of it, he's exactly what Eddie describes in her post "honey, they always affair down". Below me in every aspect (IQ, wealth, looks, generosity, even manhood from what she said...). Yet he had what I never had.

It's not like I feel entitled to what he had, it's more like I can't bear the thought that me, her 'soul mate' as she calls me, her lover for 20 years now, the father of her child, can have less than a miserable village idiot she banged for six months in the woods. (oh, but she will keep telling me and herself that it's ME who's having much more!)

This just crossed my mind : even in the A, she chose a man she can have a control over. The guy, just as her last BF was, was just here to please her, and was litteraly running behind her like a dog. One day he even wrote "I'll take what you can give me".

posts: 77   ·   registered: Jul. 6th, 2022
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 iamjack (original poster member #80408) posted at 7:44 PM on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

waitedwaytoolong

Who is telling you you over react? Her? Of course she is going to feel that way. She is used to you not standing up for yourself. The fact that she slept with her AP at least the 20 times you know about, while at the same time starving you for sex and you still married her is proof positive that you if anything under react.

Not only that, but recently she has begun using the fact that I proposed everytime we argue or I tell her I'm not satisfied : "then why did you propose ? You shouldn't have proposed if you weren't happy !" etc

She has gotten her way every step of the way. While you were engaged she has an affair. What was the result? She got married, had kids, and used it to "make you a better man". No consequences, in fact positive reinforcement for her actions. Her life after what she did is better. How is yours? She likes the grown up jack who is passive while she walks all over you.

We weren't engaged during the A. The rest may very well be true, unfortunately... As I said, she's WAAAAAY better off than before the A. That being said, we both went into a shitstorm, and she almost lost me twice. She went into IC to fix herself, also. And stopped smoking and -heavy- drinking.

I hate to say this, but these are the types of situations where we get the inevitable " it happened again update". The fact you are not letting her feel free is a huge warning sign.

Yet I'm positive this won't happen again. She knows I'm out, if this happens again. And I can monitor everything, so...

I wish I could concur with Oldwounds in that having a rational discussion would help. It does when dealing with a remorseful WS, but that’s not what we have here. The fact that she thinks you are torturing her is proof she doesn’t have any remorse.

I’m not saying things are hopeless, but what you are doing isn’t working. You need to put yourself first. She certainly isn’t

I wouldn't say she isn't remorseful. She is and she proved it. But yes, I'm feeling she's (unconsciously I hope) slipping back to what she was used to before with me, and that I have to be constantly on guard, to make sure she doesn't. This is exhausting.

[This message edited by iamjack at 7:53 PM, Tuesday, May 23rd]

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waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 7:54 PM on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

Yet I'm positive this won't happen again. She knows I'm out, if this happens again. And I can monitor everything, so...

You probably had the same feeling two weeks before she started her affair that she would never cheat. Again, I hate to say this but experience shapes us. Hers is she can do just about anything and she will still control the situation.

As to her remorse that is a long term feeling. One that it feels she doesn’t have. Regret sure.

When do you come first. Like oldwounds said. She needs to put in the same effort with you that she did with her AP. If not, things will just get worse.

I am the cliched husband whose wife had an affair with the electrician

Divorced

posts: 2161   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2016
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 iamjack (original poster member #80408) posted at 8:12 PM on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

You probably had the same feeling two weeks before she started her affair that she would never cheat

I understand, but this is different in that before the A, I never thought she COULD do this. Now I know she can, I know she has, I know the full extend of the horrible things she did. I know very well what she is capable of.

And I know where I stand, it’s not that it can’t happen again, I just think it won’t, because it’s highly unlikely. And if I’m wrong, not only will I be out and finally free from all this exhausting crap I’m dealing with right now, but she can’t even fathom how miserable she will be.

[This message edited by iamjack at 8:14 PM, Tuesday, May 23rd]

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gainingclosure ( member #79667) posted at 8:18 PM on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

Hey iamjack, you are absolutely not the only one who feels the way you do. A lot of your words and story sound very close to what Im going through as a result of my WWs betrayal.

One difference between your story and mine is that for me, I was somehow able to suppress the thoughts related to my WWs affair to a very low level (but not ever completely) for about 15 years (Her A was in 2005 and was for a similar length of time as your WWs was). We were married at the time of her A, had been together for 5 years prior to the A happening with her coworker. You can read some of my older posts on here but back in late 2021 something triggered me and resulted in a re-opening of the case so to speak.

It all culminated in my WW asking me to move out this past New Years because she could no longer stand me bringing it up for what felt to her like was constantly and according to her I was berating her and told her family and friends that I was emotionally abusive. I went into a sort of submissive rescue-the-marriage-at-all-costs mode, and stated I would no longer bring it up for at least three months.

I now still ruminate on her A daily for what feels like much of my day, only I just keep it all inside so as not to cause discord, feel like Im letting her down or making her feel bad, or giving her any further ammo to use with her support network who all view my treatment of her as unfair. They are all of the mindset of forgive or divorce, but don't drag it out. On the outside, I try to be a good husband and in a good mood. Sometimes I do feel genuinely positive, but sometimes its an act, and its torturous. Like you, my wife and I get along great for the most part and are generally compatible (but not nearly as compatible as she was with AP, according to what she felt at the time of her A). She also never rejects me for sex when Im in the mood, and lately as a result of our recent crisis the sex has been pretty good, so theres that.

Today we are reconciled and happily married, and overall we have a great time together. But not a day goes by when I don't think about what she did. I know I need to move on, but I can't help but notice the kind of woman she was when she was with him (through everything I've read) and who she is with me. Even if she tells me the opposite, I absolutely do not find the same intensity as in what I read, not the same thrill, not the same desire.

This hit the nail on the head for me. I feel like our marriage, both sexually and emotionally, will never approach the intensity that she had with her AP. At the beginning of this year (17 years after the A ended) I got ahold of a batch of emails between her and AP that I hadn't ever seen, and many of these emails have since been burned into my memory. The sex (as she herself described to me) and her professions of love, which was unlike anything she's ever told me are the sort things that just don't happen in mature marriages and certainly I didn't think was in her to do (she actually has always come across as prude and feels uncomfortable talking about sex at all, which makes it all the more worse to me, as its an indication of the lengths she was willing to go to in order to satisfy AP and just how much she was willing to go "out of character" for him). Its the level of intimacy that only exists in a fledgling relationship where both people are in their sexual prime and passions are sky high.

She was the only girl I have ever loved or had been with sexually (and vice versa for her), and this fact as well makes it even worse to me, since there was the additional loss of pure exclusivity and romantic love. You could also say that the affair meant more to her because she had not been with anyone else nor loved anyone else. AP is not like one of a dozen men she's been with -- he's literally the only other man she's been with, which disgustingly makes him significant.

So for me, I will somehow have to find a way to live with the painful fact that my wife and life partner, the sole love of my life, will have had the most passionate, most intense emotions and sex of her life with another man, all behind my back while disparaging me to him and mentally justifying the A to herself to avoid feelings of guilt and shame.

Of course she'll dispute some of this, but her entire philosophy in this has been to spare my feelings as much as possible. To be perfectly honest, Im not sure I can stomach or accept this, even today 18 years later. It doesn't matter to me that she's "an entirely different person" now, or what sort of mind tricks Im told by therapists such as "she was in love with a fantasy and not him", adn her own excuses such as it was self medication for depression, low self esteem, people pleasing, etc. Im still grappling with serious thoughts of separating just simply based on what has already happened and what cant ever be undone. I don't think any amount of time, justification, or mental reframing will be able to change that.

I also feel like I sold myself out and that I'm a coward for staying. I did the pick me dance with her initially, and let her tell me her A was the result of my neglect, not meeting her needs for validation, etc. She now says she's taken responsibility both then and now, but theres always been overtones of it being my fault. And even in our most recent near breakup, SHE was the one telling ME to move out, and it was ME who came groveling back, begging for her to give me another chance. Im honestly disgusted with myself, but another part of me, which is also very strong, tells me Id be making a huge mistake in leaving, and would regret it, as most everything else about our relationship has been good. We also have three kids who would be devastated if we broke up, and I do love her and feel she loves me deeply. It just grieves me so much about what happened and Im so saddened by it. The baggage there is very heavy and Im currently working through a lot of it in therapy. Anyway, that is a snapshot into my life at the moment that shares some unfortunate similarities to your own story and feelings. You're not alone and Im sorry to say but this feeling may never go way for you and that is something you will need to weigh.

[This message edited by gainingclosure at 8:25 PM, Tuesday, May 23rd]

Reconciling BH. Full story is in my bio."The soul is dyed with the color of its thoughts" - Marcus Aurelius

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waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 8:20 PM on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

It’s never good when the fear of getting caught is the reason not to have an affair.

Even worse is it almost sounds like you would be relieved if she did. BTW I felt the same. Like if she cheated again I could have done what I should have the first time.

I am the cliched husband whose wife had an affair with the electrician

Divorced

posts: 2161   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2016
id 8792223
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 iamjack (original poster member #80408) posted at 7:04 AM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Hi gainingclosure, thank you for your message.

I was somehow able to suppress the thoughts related to my WWs affair to a very low level (but not ever completely) for about 15 years (Her A was in 2005 and was for a similar length of time as your WWs was). We were married at the time of her A, had been together for 5 years prior to the A happening with her coworker. You can read some of my older posts on here but back in late 2021 something triggered me and resulted in a re-opening of the case so to speak.

I've read your story. The emails you found reopened the wounds and you got triggered, I can clearly understand that. I experienced it in a way the first months, while I was digging, and found some other exchanges.

It all culminated in my WW asking me to move out this past New Years because she could no longer stand me bringing it up for what felt to her like was constantly and according to her I was berating her and told her family and friends that I was emotionally abusive. I went into a sort of submissive rescue-the-marriage-at-all-costs mode, and stated I would no longer bring it up for at least three months.

This I don't get. SHE was the one putting you out ? I mean, she sometimes tells me she can't take it anymore when I come back to what she did in arguments, but if she told me she wanted to divorce, I'd happily oblige. Not because I'm afraid to, but because this would mean she just can't put in the efforts needed to save the M.

They are all of the mindset of forgive or divorce, but don't drag it out.

Well hey, F*** them. They're not going through what we BS go through.

On the outside, I try to be a good husband and in a good mood. Sometimes I do feel genuinely positive, but sometimes its an act, and its torturous. Like you, my wife and I get along great for the most part and are generally compatible (but not nearly as compatible as she was with AP, according to what she felt at the time of her A). She also never rejects me for sex when Im in the mood, and lately as a result of our recent crisis the sex has been pretty good, so theres that.

She never told me she felt compatible with the AP. I mean she seemed to be when she texted him, but clearly, from their exchanges, he was inferior in every way. Not funny, not clever, kinda boring, when he was not just describing her body, what he did or what he would do to her the next time they'll see each other. He was hooked to her, but she had the upper hand.

This hit the nail on the head for me. I feel like our marriage, both sexually and emotionally, will never approach the intensity that she had with her AP. At the beginning of this year (17 years after the A ended) I got ahold of a batch of emails between her and AP that I hadn't ever seen, and many of these emails have since been burned into my memory. The sex (as she herself described to me) and her professions of love, which was unlike anything she's ever told me are the sort things that just don't happen in mature marriages and certainly I didn't think was in her to do (she actually has always come across as prude and feels uncomfortable talking about sex at all, which makes it all the more worse to me, as its an indication of the lengths she was willing to go to in order to satisfy AP and just how much she was willing to go "out of character" for him). Its the level of intimacy that only exists in a fledgling relationship where both people are in their sexual prime and passions are sky high.

Yup, I feel you bro. Mine never professed love, but I saw that passion too. But as you say, she went "out of character", by doing things she wouldn't normally do, just to please him. Question is : is this kind of relationship sustainable ? Of course not. Is it the kind you want ? Probably not, you'd rather her being true to herself. So yes this hurts, but I also know she can never be exactly what she was with him, because she was playing the part of the stupid teenager in love she will never be (she's 47...)

And I don't want her to be this stupid teenager again. What I want is the passion, the desire, and the intensity they had, because I know she can be like that when she's in love. In a way she changed : she was prude and she was uncomfortable talking about sex. Now she isn't, not just because of the AP, but because we talked a lot on these issues.

She was the only girl I have ever loved or had been with sexually (and vice versa for her), and this fact as well makes it even worse to me, since there was the additional loss of pure exclusivity and romantic love. You could also say that the affair meant more to her because she had not been with anyone else nor loved anyone else. AP is not like one of a dozen men she's been with -- he's literally the only other man she's been with, which disgustingly makes him significant.

She wasn't my first, and I wasn't hers, but that doesn't make the AP less significant to me, you can be sure about that. You never forget the first time you kiss or you have sex with a partner, and I know she never will...

So for me, I will somehow have to find a way to live with the painful fact that my wife and life partner, the sole love of my life, will have had the most passionate, most intense emotions and sex of her life with another man, all behind my back while disparaging me to him and mentally justifying the A to herself to avoid feelings of guilt and shame.

My wife never did that. Not once in the disgusting 187k words from their exchanges I had to read (as I said elsewhere, that's the equivalent of the whole "Fellowship of the Ring" book by Tolkien, to give you an idea). She never compared me to him or tried to diminish me. And she also made it clear she would not leave me. I guess she knew pretty darn well what she was after... and this lowlife AP accepted to pick up the crumbs.

I also feel like I sold myself out and that I'm a coward for staying. I did the pick me dance with her initially, and let her tell me her A was the result of my neglect, not meeting her needs for validation, etc. She now says she's taken responsibility both then and now, but theres always been overtones of it being my fault.

I also did the pick me dance at first, we almost all do that. But then I kicked her out. Today she says I have zero responsibility in her cheating and that's true.

And even in our most recent near breakup, SHE was the one telling ME to move out, and it was ME who came groveling back, begging for her to give me another chance. Im honestly disgusted with myself, but another part of me, which is also very strong, tells me Id be making a huge mistake in leaving, and would regret it, as most everything else about our relationship has been good. We also have three kids who would be devastated if we broke up, and I do love her and feel she loves me deeply. It just grieves me so much about what happened and Im so saddened by it. The baggage there is very heavy and Im currently working through a lot of it in therapy. Anyway, that is a snapshot into my life at the moment that shares some unfortunate similarities to your own story and feelings. You're not alone and Im sorry to say but this feeling may never go way for you and that is something you will need to weigh.

This is hard. I understand that... How old are you both, btw ?

[This message edited by iamjack at 7:08 AM, Wednesday, May 24th]

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gainingclosure ( member #79667) posted at 7:10 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

iamjack, we are in our mid forties.

I think its good that at least your WW didn't develop an emotional attachment to the AP and also didn't talk negatively about you. Honestly I wish that was the case for my WW.

My WW didn't really insult me outright, but there was alot of stuff she said to bolster APs ego, like "I don't know how you can make me feel so sexy and this other guy (other guy being me, her husband) cant even when he's trying his hardest 24 hours a day". Meanwhile I have no idea Im in a competition for her with someone new and Im also sleeping for 8 of those 24 hours when Im apparently "trying my hardest". She'd tell him stuff about how I was a bad husband, for example that I wouldn't compromise, wasn't affectionate enough, etc. "I feel like my mind is made up" she said at one point, meaning to leave me for AP. When the A came to light I told her if you had these issues then you should have made it clear that it wasn't acceptable, not get into another relationship while still married to me behind my back. She said she thought she had, and I do recall a few issues we had about money and me not naturally being very affectionate, but it was never anything like "if you don't improve in these areas we will need to go to therapy or get divorced". She had never once brought up the thought of getting a D prior to meeting AP and it was only after getting into the A that I became the villain enough to warrant being cheated on and leaving me even crossed her mind. She acted like the poor damsel in distress for her white knight AP to come save her from the mean bad husband.

Funny thing is, her AP ended up marrying the next girl he dated after my wife, and this last year they divorced and it sounded like as a result of his wife having a A on him and leaving for the AP, so LOL!!!! karma got him in the end. They both thought they had better natural chemistry than her and I did, yet my marriage has now outlasted his marriage to his wife on both ends.

This I don't get. SHE was the one putting you out ? I mean, she sometimes tells me she can't take it anymore when I come back to what she did in arguments, but if she told me she wanted to divorce, I'd happily oblige. Not because I'm afraid to, but because this would mean she just can't put in the efforts needed to save the M.

I think thats a big part of the reason why this hasn't felt closed to me and part of me thinks separating at least for awhile would allow me to deal better with the shame of staying and maybe also wake her up so that she isn't so focused on her own feelings. Since she has a history of being very self critical, the levels of guilt and shame I think she feels when Im having a problem reaches unbearable levels for her, but the problem is she then pulls away and directs anger at me for making her feel that way. Its her difficulty with managing her emotions that has often got in the way of the healing process because when Im in pain, the last thing I want to feel is anger directed at me and threats to leave. It makes it all worse and the cycle intensifies. Right now, Ive short circuited the cycle by choosing not to bring it up in conversation. I just hope that over time I can feel like I don't need to talk about it anymore and its not on my mind all the time. I certainly don't get what I need from her when she is angry, and at least when Im not talking about it, she is well natured and affectionate.

Reconciling BH. Full story is in my bio."The soul is dyed with the color of its thoughts" - Marcus Aurelius

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RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 8:21 AM on Thursday, May 25th, 2023

She implies I'm just torturing her, that she's giving me all she can already.


Your WW is still in wayward thinking mode. Still looking at herself as a victim (damsel in distress) rather than recognizing that she is an abuser. She does not want to accept that she abused you. The second part of the quote above indicates that she is not 110% committed and is just in the M to 'pay her penance', not because she wants to be with you. A remorseful spouse would be taking proactive steps to sort themselves out and to assist in the recovery of the M.

It's hard to see yourself as an executioner, when all you want is be close to her.


And therein lies the problem. YOU are chasing her, not the other way around. YOU are desperate to save the M, and want to 'save' it. You seem to be desperate to see her want the M as much as you do. By wanting to be close to her, you are doing a subtle form of the Pick-Me dance to get her to 'want' you. Why do you need this validation from your WS? Why can't you seem to find validation from within yourself?

But apart from her saying she doesn't get what I want, she just explains she wants to feel free, and that my constant requests for intimacy or proximity make her nervous. So...


So... let her go and be 'free'. She has indicated what she wants, but you are not recognizing it, or refuse the recognize it.

You cannot cure stupid

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 iamjack (original poster member #80408) posted at 8:41 AM on Thursday, May 25th, 2023

Dear RocketRaccoon,

Thank you for your words. Some are spot on, some other are off, but hey you're not in our marriage...

Your WW is still in wayward thinking mode. Still looking at herself as a victim (damsel in distress) rather than recognizing that she is an abuser. She does not want to accept that she abused you. The second part of the quote above indicates that she is not 110% committed and is just in the M to 'pay her penance', not because she wants to be with you. A remorseful spouse would be taking proactive steps to sort themselves out and to assist in the recovery of the M.

She did repent, like a lot, during the last 2 years 1/2. I wouldn't say she sees herself as a victim since she's taking full responsibility for what she did. I like to think she just doesn't understand what I need, she just can't. Because she's not in my head and never will be in my shoes. I like to think that because if she understood but DIDN'T WANT to give me what I need, that's a whole other problem and this marriage is doomed. Yet everytime I tell her what I need she replies she's sorry, that she will try harder, etc. It goes well for a few weeks or months and then back to what it was before. So either she doesn't get me, or she can't be the girl I need.

And therein lies the problem. YOU are chasing her, not the other way around. YOU are desperate to save the M, and want to 'save' it. You seem to be desperate to see her want the M as much as you do. By wanting to be close to her, you are doing a subtle form of the Pick-Me dance to get her to 'want' you. Why do you need this validation from your WS? Why can't you seem to find validation from within yourself?

You may be right here. I know I have this problem of validation, and some others here pointed that out also. I'm working in IC on that specific topic. I also have a problem with any form of lack of respect, since I accepted way to many horseshit from her for many years, the A being the climax of her lack of respect for me. (at least, she agrees with that !) So now anything that I perceive as a lack of respect for me sends me into berserk mode. I need to work on that.

[This message edited by iamjack at 8:42 AM, Thursday, May 25th]

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survrus ( member #67698) posted at 4:03 PM on Thursday, May 25th, 2023

Iamjack,

You wrote,

Below me in every aspect (IQ, wealth, looks, generosity, even manhood from what she said...). Yet he had what I never had.

It's not like I feel entitled to what he had, it's more like I can't bear the thought that me, her 'soul mate' as she calls me, her lover for 20 years now, the father of her child, can have less than a miserable village idiot she banged for six months in the woods. (oh, but she will keep telling me and herself that it's ME who's having much more!)

Perhaps your WW felt inferior to you, she could feel that she was helping OM improve his life and feel better about himself and also feel superior to OM. There is a rescue fantasy to helping a hopeless person. I think this is hard to understand when for all appearances you and WW have a nice life you have provided.

You mentioned your WW had no respect for you or not enough, that's also a way of leveling your status down to hers.

Note I'm not saying you feel this way about WW, but possible how she feels even if it's never exactly been expressed.

My W once said to me that every time I brought home a paycheck it pained her because of how much I made.

My Ws' OM3 was 85 or something old, WWII vet, OM1 was someone she could never introduce to her parents, all throw aways BTW.

There's also the feeling your WW might have had that OM was a throw away person with no long term prospects, no history good or bad, yet with whom she could be sexually free.

posts: 1474   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
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 iamjack (original poster member #80408) posted at 4:43 PM on Thursday, May 25th, 2023

Survus :

Perhaps your WW felt inferior to you, she could feel that she was helping OM improve his life and feel better about himself and also feel superior to OM. There is a rescue fantasy to helping a hopeless person. I think this is hard to understand when for all appearances you and WW have a nice life you have provided.

You mentioned your WW had no respect for you or not enough, that's also a way of leveling your status down to hers.

Note I'm not saying you feel this way about WW, but possible how she feels even if it's never exactly been expressed.

My W once said to me that every time I brought home a paycheck it pained her because of how much I made.

My Ws' OM3 was 85 or something old, WWII vet, OM1 was someone she could never introduce to her parents, all throw aways BTW.

There's also the feeling your WW might have had that OM was a throw away person with no long term prospects, no history good or bad, yet with whom she could be sexually free.

Well, that's a very interesting point you're making here. She DOES have a huge lack of self-confidence, especially work-wise and IQ-wise. She has always felt inferior to me, and I spent years trying to push her, trying to help her, trying to make her feel otherwise. I think this should have been dealt with in IC, but she didn't. After 6-7 years, I just gave up, as nothing I could say or do could make her feel validated or confident. And also, She was becoming very distant and aggressive due to a treatment she was having, so it didn't help.

I never thought having no respect for me could be a way of leveling the playing field for her, I think it makes sense...
To use your own example she also felt diminished I had big paychecks, while she was at home most of the time, sometimes unemployed, sometimes with a minimum wage job...

As far as the OM is concerned, yes she never had any desire to go and just live with him or settle in his house (on the contrary, he would have loved that and was even making plans to have her - and my kids, that poor soab - move into his home. Not only did she not want that, but she told me this is when she began moving away from him. I guess the A was fun, the sex with him was pleasant, she felt what she needed to feel, but hey, the guy was just disposable and she has the honesty to admit that today. HE was used as a toy, not the other way around.

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survrus ( member #67698) posted at 12:57 AM on Friday, May 26th, 2023

Iamjack,

I would also add that what I wrote was not an excuse, but a possible explanation.

There's also a sense in which affairs take a person back to their teenage years when we dated or made out with other teenagers and had not a care in the world.

Except instead of parents at home who pay for everything and we feel we are getting over on the cheater has a spouse they enjoy duping.

Personally it is indeed most troubling that the OM got all the time what I've only seen glimpses of in my life with my W, I suspect because she suppress her sexuality with me.

posts: 1474   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
id 8792544
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RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 2:54 AM on Friday, May 26th, 2023

but hey you're not in our marriage...

Absolutely right on this, but the story of Infidelity is always the same, but the actors are different.

Yet everytime I tell her what I need she replies she's sorry, that she will try harder, etc. It goes well for a few weeks or months and then back to what it was before.

If you take a look at some of the posts, you will find that one of the things that will help a BS heal, is consistent behavior from the WS. From this snippet you posted, it looks like she is not doing that.

Could it be that she loses the will to fight for the M possibly because she is lamenting what she lost, how tough a life she has now, what she has/had to give up to make you happy/content? If it is, then she is still in wayward mode of thinking.

Remorseful WS would be showing/doing consistent actions to the BS, to regain trust and respect from the BS. They are trying to earn a place back in the lives of the BS. Kind of like in a job, if you screw up, you don't sit back and go 'woe is me', and make an effort for a short while and possibly hope everyone forgets about it. You would probably work harder to regain any possible loss of the credibility, and even work much harder to raise your level credibility.

Yes, 2 1/2 yrs is relatively long, but good things take time to build. If she is already feeling defeated at this stage, then either give her a break to recuperate, or she has to double down even more to show you how much she wants you.

[This message edited by RocketRaccoon at 5:48 AM, Friday, May 26th]

You cannot cure stupid

posts: 1146   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2016   ·   location: South East Asia
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 1:03 PM on Friday, May 26th, 2023

You can over-analyze this to 50 pages here at SI.

It comes down to WHY are you still triggered so badly after 3 years. The answer is that your cheating spouse has not done what YOU needed to heal from the trauma of the affair.

Secondly I hope you realize that your cheating spouse can only help you heal to a point. The rest is on you.

I too was struggling 3 years after Dday 2 of affair 2 wherein my H was going to Divorce me. I then saw a video Fault vs Responsibility by Will Smith. In essence you will be wronged by people. But it is up to you to heal yourself from those situations.

The analogy I use is this. You are in a car accident and you break your leg. The accident was not your fault. But the doctor can only heal your leg yo a point. If you don’t go to physical therapy for your leg it will never be 100% healed.

Same with infidelity. YOU have to heal yourself.

By year 4 of Reconciliation I was a very different person. My H was doing everything he could to make amends. If your wife is not giving you what you need, it’s time to reevaluate your marriage and whether it works for you.

I hope this helps you.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 1:04 PM, Friday, May 26th]

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13923   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
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Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 3:43 PM on Friday, May 26th, 2023

I am sort of the Jill version of you in my marriage and currently struggling with similar issues and questions.

Ideally the marriage post affair should be better and different than the marriage pre affair , specially for the reconciling BS . If it hasn’t then most likely the WS isn’t putting in the effort required.

I am not asking you to leave but ask yourself this question I often ask myself:

There is infidelity.
There is lack of intimacy.
The sex does not meet my expectations specially when the partner is capable of more ( with others nonetheless!)
All of the above indicates a lack of respect for me.

The main pillars of a healthy marriage loyalty, intimacy, respect are all missing.

So why on earth am I still in the marriage ?

Denying a spouse of intimacy is plain cruel. Sharing that intimacy with someone else is brutal. It is as cruel and as brutal as starving someone of food , water and oxygen. You don’t do that to people you love and respect.

Please let your wife know that you respect yourself too much to be treated shabbily. I am sorry but she seems like a selfish person. Sex/ intimacy in a marriage should be a mutually rewarding experience. It’s all about her pleasures , be it with AP or be it with you.
Please remind her that none of this is you overreacting, you are asking for the basic minimum of what is expected in a marriage.

I truly wish the best for you and hope that your wife realizes how fortunate she is to have a partner that wants healthy intimacy with her.

posts: 282   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2023
id 8792685
Topic is Sleeping.
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