A quick question for those out there who have completed their whys.
How long did it take you or your WS to get to their whys, ONCE you finally got your head out of your ass?
I appreciate getting to a place where you're head is removed from your ass can take a long time. Also there are threads on discovering your whys (which I'm reading again). I hope, I'm getting to a place where my head spends less time anally inserted and I'm beginning to think clearer than before.
I'm working on whys but have no idea how long this should or could take.
5 comments posted: Saturday, February 24th, 2024
My BS doesn’t believe me when I tell her about the emotional affair I had with a COW. She thinks it must have been physical as it lasted 2 years and I was emotionally invested even though I can’t tell her why.
She thinks I must have been making plans with the OW especially after I opened up to the OW, something I have never done with anyone else before. And after telling my wife that I prewarned the OW about our final phone call and told her it was all for my wife’s benefit and not real. After I had basically told her that I would leave my wife for her if she told me to that same day.
How do I explain that even though I had access to this woman 8 hours plus a day 5 days a week, went to a number of work functions at hotels and chose her day after day for two years over my wife that as a red blooded man I didn’t have any physical contact with her?
I understand that all my lies in the past have put me in an impossible position. I’m sat here stuck in a cycle of self hate and frustration at trying to understand what I was feeling. We feel I might be projecting my thoughts and feelings now, on what I thought and felt then. I’m really struggling. I did have a strong emotional link to her and every feeling that I feel I felt then when I try to understand comes across, even to me, as childish and pathetic. I was a grown man in my 40s a5 the time
3 comments posted: Sunday, January 21st, 2024
A quick question to BS and WS.
Part of a discussion with BS yesterday on the time line. We discussed my justifications, thoughts and feelings and my defence of APs. We realised I had never thrown them under the bus. If anything, I have defended them and their integrity!!!!!
My question is is this normal or do other WS blame AP or at least not defend them.
Just curious really.
19 comments posted: Wednesday, January 10th, 2024
I'm working on a few things at the moment. Justifications being a big one, but I am getting a better understanding of those. The one really troubling me is RESENTMENT.
I have gone through may phases of resentment over the last six years.
- I resented BS for MAKING me leave my AP in 2017
- I resented BS for MAKING me leave my job where I met AP (despite previously looking for a new job with the support of AP)
- I resented BS for MAKING me be open and honest with her
- I resented having to give up social media, lose the "friends" who were supportive of my infidelity, making me feel terrible when digging into my past, for wanting to talk, for digging into my "Private" life, for wanting me to open up all my e-mail accounts. Everything that a BS needs to do and know to save a marriage, I resented.
I have spoken at length with BS recently on this. More recently, the resentment has lessened and been replaced by avoidance. So, another thing we're working on.
My question to BS and WS. I feel a whole lot less resentment towards BS as I take ownership of my past. However, there are times this flashed up and I react. I get angry or shut down. I "internally" hate everything she is doing (I do realise this is not at all internal and my body language changes). I stop answering questions or answer them with venom rather than compassion.
I believe this behaviour occurs less often than previously, in the past pretty much every conversation ended up with me shouting at BS my answers to her questions (honest replies or otherwise). Have any of you encountered this, at times when you believe progress is being made, when you have been communication compassionately and with empathy, there is a sudden regression backwards?
I feel awful when I do this. A lot of good work and conversation ruined by a wayward reaction.
14 comments posted: Saturday, December 30th, 2023
Difficult conversation with father
This weekend coming I am heading to see my parents and need to have a conversation with my father about a lot of difficult subjects:
- His abusive behaviour towards BS over the last 20+ years
- His justification for that behaviour being a lie told by my grandmother about something my BS said
- Him holding resentment over this for 20+ years and not coming to me and discussing it
- His lack of support when I reached out to him for help a couple of years ago
- My pat behaviour and need to work on being a better man. As such needing to have people who are not friends of the marriage playing no or lesser part in my life (the lesser part being him)
- My need for support or at least acknowledgement of my past and my need to move forwards as a new man
- The new boundaries being put in place
- The fact I have chosen to work on marriage and his lack of support on this decision and in fact lack of support through the whole marriage.
The list is longer, but I suspect you get the idea.
I'm nervous about having the conversation and worried about his reaction. It's needed as part of my recovery and my journey to being a better person. I've no idea what his reaction will be. I'm having lots of negative self talk and fear that he will be a dick about this.
I'm planning what to say and how to say it, as well as thinking about my reactions should he react in certain ways.
Have you guys any experience of talking to family about your infidelity and how their actions both in the past and present are impacting you?
Thoughts and guidance will be appreciated.
I have the full support of BS on this and while she will not be present during the talk, she will be staying with me in the hotel while I'm there.
11 comments posted: Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023
I had a talk with BS this evening. Part of this we talked about accountability and how I and other WS keep starting to do the work and then when things get tough we stay wayward and avoid. BS asked how I seek accountability. I have an IC and have recently discussed them on SI and am working with them to hold me more accountable. I am in contact with a WS who is well into recovery and we share our story and I receive lots of great advise, advise which I have taken bits of (usually the easy stuff) and ignored the rest. That, I will change and be more accountable to them.
The thoughts then moved to this forum. Is it possible for me and others to talk about their work or their thoughts and commit to doing the work and by when. For example "I will write a timeline with details of my affair, I will not minimise or omit information and I will attempt to describe my thoughts and feelings at the time. I will write about my justifications and then commit to working on why I allowed this to happen - This will be done by 1st August" This could be discussed as a commitment, is it realistic, is it still showing signs of wayward thinking, what experience have others had doing something similar etc etc etc. The idea being WSs are often very misguided in their own head when trying to do R. Reaching out to you guys and people telling them that what their doing is x y or Z then it maybe that the WS is more receptive to being told by someone on here that they're doing it wrong rather than BS. I know I am.
Is this acceptable to the Mods doing this and also, would others be interested?
Hopefully the above makes sense
21 comments posted: Saturday, July 29th, 2023
Something I'm working on is dealing with feelings of resentment. This is resentment towards BS for my infidelity.
This has manifested in many ways
- I resent examples of my infidelity being brought up to make a point. A point that was essential to helping me, but still bringing up my failings.
I changed this prior to posting as I originally used past tense. Resented rather than resent. While I am getting an understanding of this and I am trying to keep ownership of the hurt that I allow to manifest as resentment, I am still feeling this.
- I hate BS mentioning OW and what I did for them and what I don't to for BS.
- I feel that every time infidelity is brought up in conversation, this was done to hurt me. To make me feel bad and to punish me. Even knowing this is not true, I've resented BS for trying to help me
- I've resent BS for putting boundaries in place. Boundaries that are completely fair and necessary. Yet these feelings pop up.
- I've resent "having" to post here on SI. Reaching out to people who have tried to help me. People who do not know me and still take time out of their lies to help. Yet I hate writing about my past and my obvious issues. Even when getting support and possibly even improving as a person I still resent BS at times.
There are others. I am trying to see this resentment now and intercept it. Use the feelings of hurt and pain caused by living with my past and use this to understand me better. To place the blame for my hurt at my own feet. Yet, I'm concerned that I am still feeling these resentments building towards BS. I'm ashamed that I even have to block them and hold myself accountable for them.
I assume I'm not alone in having these resentments. How did these manifest in you or your WS and what the hell did you do to deal with it? I am trying, but sometimes they are strong and I'm having to make an effort to control them. I do need to try and understand them when they come, right now I feel lie there is a lot of suppression and not a lot of understanding of where the pain is coming from specifically.
19 comments posted: Thursday, July 6th, 2023
Some of my posts on here are to seek advice, some to offer support, some to seek support.
This post is me opening up to you guys about me. Who I have been since our 2017 d-day and who I am right now in 2023.
I do try to post on here to support other posters, I give them examples of my wayward behaviour and advice to avoid the complete lack of decent behaviour I have subjected my BS to. I try to caveat that this advice is coming from someone who is still wayward and struggling along the road to the beginnings of R. I feel a hypocrite giving advice to people when I have subjected my BS to worse behaviour and continue in hurting her with my struggle to be the open and honest man she needs me to be.
I've written a fair bit on my infidelity. In the three years I've been active on this site my time line has changed multiple times. There have been multiple d-days and I've ignored advice given to me by people on this site. For those of you who have helped me in the past, this is not news. However I have still omitted behaviours from you, that I feel really should be out there.
In 2021 I attended a domestic abuse course. I posted yesterday about resentment towards BS. 18 months ago, this resentment caused by my reluctance to acknowledge never mind own my past. I hated every time BS brought up the affairs and I was not able to lie my way out of my feelings of hurt and pain. I was being forced to face them and I did not want to. I used my physical size advantage to grab my BS and p her t the bed while screaming into her face. I punched a cupboard door to get her to stop challenging me and to avoid any responsibility for my past. While I recognised and regretted what I did, I did not properly accept my abusive behaviour until I enrolled on this course. I contacted a local charity and enrolled. I had an interview with the charity to assess my needs. In this interview I described my physical assault. I said I pinned her to the bed while screaming in her face, I said "I was not in control of myself, but at least I did not hit her"...Yes, those words passed my lips. The course corrected this thought and also helped me recognise and try t change other abusive behaviours (physical intimidation, male privilege, financial abuse to name but three). Even now the abusive behaviour continues with TT and extremely slow progress in owning my behaviours and dealing with my own thoughts and feelings. My post yesterday on resentment is driven by this abusive behaviour. I cannot be who I was and when resentment builds I'm triggered into remembering how I let this become a physical assault. I'm not in the same place any more, but if I'm triggering the BS is too. Even taking resentment at the time it is happening, this is holding back the flow of the conversation. yes, I'm trying to own the feelings behind this, but it gets i the way of us going "us". Another trigger to past behaviour when I would argue just to stop the conversation.
I've lied, a lot. To BS, to myself, to you guys, to several counsellors (both MC and IC). In recent months I've been telling myself that there are no more lies. However, things don't make sense in my time line. Historically, if it did not make sense, I was lying. Now, I've been adamant that I'm not lying. I have said that I can't remember things. While this is true in most instances, I'm still admitted to something a few weeks ago. Something which compared to other things I've told my BS is minor. Also, when we do talk rationally and I'm not being resentful or defensive, we unpick things. See where I've hidden memories or lied so much I believe my own narrative. Once again BS and I are going through the time line. We will focus on where things don't make sense and try to make sense of it. I need to lose the resentment and work with BS on what the fuck happened.
My BS hurting, she is physically and mentally broken and I'm the one who is causing this.
I said to BS an hour ago that I was going to read and will be 10 minutes. This is the third attempt at writing this post and I'm struggling.
I will continue
3 comments posted: Wednesday, July 5th, 2023
I am currently on my third IC. This one is much better at dealing with me than the others. We're dealing with my emotional issues as well as my communication issues. I have previously lied to IC as well as using them to blow smoke up my ass. I have used them as an expensive was of making Bulcy feel better about myself. We've spoken about my infidelity and especially the infidelity committed alongside my BIL. I am feeling like I am getting some personal benefit from her. However.....
I have minimised and avoided subjects that are particularly painful or upsetting. It's odd given we've discussed hiring a prostitute with BIL and other things that are horrific. I don't understand why I don't discuss some subjects which, given my past behaviour, could be considered less horrific. I've told myself that this is either time related (45 minute session) or that my mind has other things that come to the front of my mind when we're discussing recent events. Omitting relevant information to my counsellor is obviously a big problem, especially given I recently told BS and her about past infidelity that I had minimised. She took my admission of lies and told me that there is little point in having support if I am not going to be honest. She cannot help me if she does not know I am being honest with her.
An example of the above would be my sister moving closer to us. Like 20 miles away. A huge things given my behaviour with my BIL. When I found this out, I did not mention it to counsellor. Only when BS asked if we had covered it, did I then bring it up the following week.
Also, I want support on my whys, a common thing on here is the requirement of a counsellor to hold a waywards feet to the fire. Mine is not doing this, primarily because I'm not asking her to, but I struggle with knowing what I'm asking her to do. Can anyone who has had a counsellor really hold you accountable give examples of what their counsellor did/does. I can then speak with my IC and change the current dynamic. I do like this counsellor and I expect she will be open to a change in direction. She is certainly trying to get e to be more open and honest about my feelings and thoughts. I'm still struggling with this but am starting to see improvements (I hope, previously I have clung onto small improvements and considered these to be leaps and bounds down the road to R) I guess it's difficult to hold someone accountable if you're not being told what to hold them accountable for?!?
I welcome feedback and questions from WS and BS
7 comments posted: Wednesday, July 5th, 2023
Infidelity, my B.I.L, my sister and a house move
Some of you may be aware that while on holiday in Germany with my BIL we hired a prostitute. This was hidden from my BS until 2022. The infidelity happening in 2006.
I told my sister about elements of my infidelity in 2018 and until 2021 she was supportive and gave me her time to speak and release some of my frustrations during my false R. My sister did not and does not know about the incident in Germany. Since I told BS about this incident, I have barely spoken to my sister. One reason being an argument with BIL and also (more recently) embarrassment and shame for my actions and the huge impact this could have on my whole family.
My BIL is abusive, I've witnessed intimidation and psychological abusive behaviour. This being directed at my sister, my wife, my nephews, my mother, me and so many others. He is, in my mind, unstable. He took a baseball bat to a car parked outside his house. He pinned another guys against a wall and had to be pulled off of him because of a minor RTA.
Something I am working on is what to do with this. Do I or don't I tell my sister? What will be the repercussions of this? How will BIL react to this? How will family react? The questions go on and on. This is something that needs addressing and this will happen with the support of IC and BS.
This post is basically a recent update. A few weeks back I got a text message from my sister on my birthday. A brief exchange of How are you? etc and she then told me that they had sold their house and were moving. Moving about 20 miles away. I am absolutely blown away. BS and I have no idea what the fuck we're gong to do. I've put us in a position that is causing a great amount of anxiety, stress and upset. We talk on here about ripples following the infidelity. this is a tidal wave. I have been compartmentalising this and hiding it away. I am working on my ownership of my infidelity. This is a struggle and I have not reached out for the support I can get. I feel such guilt for the hurt I have put on my BS. The damage I've done to her emotionally and physically. Neither of us are well at the moment and we're just about functioning. I try to face this every day but I'm not doing it well. I have been selfish with this particular act. I have been too scared to even contemplate the fall out. Now it is right on top of us. More shit to deal with because I've acted in so many despicable ways. I don't know how to process this.
1 comment posted: Tuesday, July 4th, 2023
Things that annoy you....That really shouldn't
For many years now I have been in an ongoing battle with a friend of mine to spot errors in messages we send one another. The started about 20 years ago when I used your instead of you're.
Since that time I notice it all the time. This and the other classic there, their and they're.
This is done in good fun, but I do twinge when I see an error like this in printed media or professional websites who, should be proof reading.
A very small annoyance in the grans scheme of things. Although it's awesome when my friend gets it wrong. I know the feeling of dread I have when I make a mistake on a text...hoping he'll not notice...he does
39 comments posted: Thursday, June 1st, 2023
A discussion on family compassion
I struggled with a title for this one. Hopefully it will make sense. A question for everyone on showing compassion/care/unity/worry for family members.
A few weeks ago I was speaking with BS about feelings and empathy. We discussed my FOO and the complete lack of real empathy or expression of empathy that my side of the family have shown. I raised a point about family members rarely checking in on one another. This is the complete opposite of my wife and her side of the family. This triggered a memory.
Going back many years we (BS and I) had a call late one evening saying that Uncle X was in hospital and it was suspected that he would not last the night. (Uncle X survived) Now for a little perspective, I had met the chap once and only for a few minutes. He was married to MILs sister. I know BS was not close to Uncle X. However, following the call there was an exodus to the hospital (I think about 15 people were there). I stayed home to look after the dogs, but really had no inclination to go at all. I remember thinking at the time it was odd that everyone went to the hospital. I imagined that if this were my family, I doubt I would have had the call in the first place, but even if I did, I would not have gone to the hospital (if it were an uncle. Sister or parents would be a different story). This is not to say I would not care, but I would not immediately think I need to go. I would imagine that this is the case with everyone on my side of the family. Had this been My Uncle X then his wife and kids would have been there, maybe a sibling, but no-one else.
Both BS and I thought the other way of acting was odd.
I brought this up on another group I belong to on a Skype call with both BS and WS. While there were only seven people on the call, we had a 100% consensus that WS thought this concept of everyone going to the hospital weird and BS thought it was normal. Even digging into the WS of the betrayed, they thought their WS would act in the same way. One sharing that when is WS was ill, his sister came over to look after her while he was working. The WS appreciated it, but felt that she owed the sister something and found it especially difficult to comprehend that the sister did this without expectation of anything in return.
When I pulled my back a couple of years ago, I could barely move. My BS had to go to work, so MIL and FIL came to stay at ours for three days to look after me. Even helping me get to the tolilet. I spoke with my family and barely got any recognition.
Is this something that you guys have noticed?
I now feel sad that my family would not rally round.
This alos reminds me about when BS and I bought our first flat. BS family were in there most days doing something with us (MIL, FIL,BIL, uncles, aunties and even some cousins). Other than my father we had no offers of help. A completely different mindset.
7 comments posted: Monday, May 22nd, 2023
"I'll deal with it if I get caught"
I've discussed in a previous thread, quite a while ago, my justifications. I've decided that I need to revisit these, so will post another time what I discover.
I wanted to start a thread with the most insane/stupid/ridiculous justifications you told yourself or were told by your BS as a justification for the affair. One of mine, hence the title, was "I'll deal with it if I get caught". To this day I've no idea what this means. I've been caught and dealing with it is something I've been terrible at. I cannot fathom where this came from and such avoidance of responsibility and potential consequences is staggering to think back on.
I'm hoping sharing will give some opportunity to discuss and understand further.
20 comments posted: Monday, April 17th, 2023
I've had a whole shit ton of emotional issues to deal with of late and regret not being online as often as I should to share with you all.
I've been utterly overwhelmed by feelings of guilt and empathy (Feeling true empathy is new to me and actually feeling it has triggered so many emotions I struggle knowing what the hell is going on some days). It turns out I've been an emotional vacuum for 40+ years of my 50 on the planet. It also turns out that trying to let out 40+ years of emotions out really fucks you up.
So, working with a local health service wellbeing and mental health advisor (well, applied for support last week, have to wait 14 days to hear back...but it's NHS so free) Hopefully this will help me get myself in order.
My question to you guys is how did you/do you cope with the intense feelings that flow over you when you finally realise and begin accepting the extent of the damage you've caused? I've tried just "coping with it" but that was a major rug sweep. I've been trying to let them happen and when they do, speak to and reach out to BS. This is working, but frustratingly slow and cam get in the way of other work I'm attempting to do with BS.
There are times I struggle with basics. Cleaning the house, focussing on my job, cooking healthy meals rather than take away. It's impacting my sleep. I realise this has been the case for BS for years now, this realisation hurts and makes me feel worse. I feel like a complete hypocrite when speaking to BS about how I'm feeling as she is feeling the same, yet worse. Also, knowing that it was me who inflicted this on us both, makes my feelings seem less valid as they're self inflicted. While this (the self inflicted part) is true, BS and I have agreed that I need to talk about it, as it does benefit us both. We have agreed that the timing of these conversations is important. They can be very triggering.
3 comments posted: Saturday, April 15th, 2023
Not being believed
There have been some great posts on here recently on defensiveness, empathy, getting past our own heads and coping with selfish thoughts. All of which are areas I’m working on. Something that pops into my head periodically is the idea of not being trusted or believed.
Again, as with lots of my current thoughts, I get that I’ve caused a huge amount of pain and damage to BS. In having the affairs in the first place and years of lies (TT, minimising, omissions and big bold lies included). I get that I may never be trusted again. However my question is this -
For those of you in R how did you cope with the thought of not being trusted? How do you get past the hurt of you BS not believing the "I love you" or indeed anything you say. I mean this from an emotional level. What do you say to yourself to stop the upset from hitting home? Do you try and stop it or do you use it as a constant reminder of your betrayal? For BSs out there what did you WR do when it was obvious you did not believe them? I think I’m dealing with it better than previously. I’m no longer saying to my self "I’m not going to bother saying I love you then" but it still hurts to know I’m not believed. Hey even if my understanding of "love" is skewed, I mean it when I say it.
This does not only apply to "I love you" but everything. Everything we discuss, everything I do and everything I say I’m going to do. I can see it in my BSs eyes she is not convinced, especially considering how much I’ve let her down and continue to do so.
I get that my actions speak louder than words and am working on making myself more "in the moment" I just need to know how to stop the hurt.
22 comments posted: Friday, March 24th, 2023
Is it fairer to end the marriage
Something that has been in my thoughts recently is the concept of "is it fairer to end the marriage"?
When we’re in difficult places or BS is utterly devastated by my actions. Times when my actions are not consistent with my words, where I feel I cannot do anything right. I’ve felt the lowest that I have ever felt in recent months and during these times I am doing a lot of self reflection. I do feel I’m moving forwards, but see that the marriage is not. Primarily because I chose to still be very selfish in may ways. It has been very dark for me and obviously this is having a major effect on BS. She is falling deeper into despair and, there are times I cannot see a way forwards.
I realise that this is often me feelin g depressed and allowing negative self talk to be the driver of my feelings. I realise that positive actions will help with growing a positive mentality. I try this, but it’s a fight I feel I’m losing sometimes.
Do you ever feel it would be fairer on your BS if you were to end the marriage?
I get that the damage to the marriage is all my fault and that I am the one with the responsibility to fix myself and in doing so give the relationship any chance of survival. I am struggling with some of the most basic asks and my BS is beyond breaking point. I don’t want to leave, but am currently suffering from some extremely negative thinking that I cannot shake off. I understand the concept of negative self talk and realise this is what’s happening. I also know that I feel awful thinking about the concept of leaving. I was wondering if you feel like this sometimes and what you do to return to a better place. As things stand right now I’m not feeling like I want to leave, I certainly have done recently. I think I’m feeling hopeless and am struggling with turning this around.
How do you get your head out of your ass when in this place? I want to be the man BS deserves and know that "just do it" is how. Even writing this I’m feeling more hope. I wrote on another post about feeling constantly criticised over the weekend. I need help in breaking this cycle
8 comments posted: Wednesday, March 1st, 2023
One time post
There have been rather a lot of one time posts recently, or even people who post a few times and leave. This is not a debate on why, but more on do others get benefit from it? I read the replies and often there are some pearls of wisdom to be found. So would like to say that even if OP does not get benefit or get what they were after, I and hopefully others get something from them. I even get a chance to reflect on the OP and see myself in what they’re saying
24 comments posted: Thursday, February 23rd, 2023
Can you remove the stop sign from my latest two posts please?
One time post and
My emotional affair
2 comments posted: Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023
My Emotional Affair
From Late 2015 to summer of 2017 I was involved in an emotional affair with a work colleague. I have mentioned this before and indeed it is included in my profile (which I should update). I'm attempting to do a deeper dive into this affair and use this to help understand my whys (for full disclosure, I've a new IC having used past counsellors to either blow smoke up my ass or to tell me how well I'm doing in the work I have done, while not giving them the full story. I told my last counsellor what was happening, but omitted details or let her believe I was doing better than I was in my recovery. Hey, I'm as guilty of that on here too).
I has difficulty initially in accepting the sexual nature of my affair. There was not "sex" and by this I mean - No PIV, no oral, no kissing, no hand jobs nothing that would be considered sex in the usual context. I did however have sexual fantasies about this woman, I planned a sexual encounter (in my head), there was physical contact (brushing up against her while working together, grabbing her hand while walking to the local store, nudging one another, that sort of thing. I certainly used the "no sex" as a massive minimiser to help with my justifications and lies about the level of my involvement with her.
She joined the company on a similar paygrade to me, although at the lower end of the scale due to her lack of experience. I was initially attracted to her and given this was not my first affair, I set about my plan to establish her interest in me. I spoke to her and tried to befriend her, I offered advice on the first couple of days on the general working of the office and where was a good place to get lunch. She seemed to respond to this and I thought I noticed her talking to me before anyone else in the office in the morning. I made the decision to target her further and an opportunity cam up to give two new members of staff training on the budget process. I offered to help her (here is one of the justifications I used later - The other more senior staff members did not like her, they saw her as opinionated and probably manipulative. I saw this reluctance to work with her as an opportunity for me to be closer with her). Over a period of a few weeks we worked very closely, to the point I was doing both my job and helping her with hers. She was chatty and very open with her body language. (another justification I used was that she was this friendly because she was foreign and therefore was probably this flirty with everyone). We would take coffee breaks together and chat about personal things as well as work. I did brush my knee against hers when we were working together at the same desk and she did not seem to reciprocate, but was still flirtatious. Additionally she was very vocal in her thanks for me supporting her and made not so subtle references to others in the team who were less supportive.
I was enjoying the attention and the flirtatious behaviour. This was ticking a few of my emotional needs that I did not or chose not to recognise. I have a need to be liked, I have a need to be validated and thanked, I want recognition for work done and for being a team player (even if this is just part of everyday working life). She supplied all of this. At the same time I was once again starting to distance myself from my BS. My BS of course also offered me this validation, but I did not recognise this. I've always said about every affair that I was keeping my two lives separate, something which with the benefit of hindsight is utter bullshit. I did, after a few months, back away from the pursuit of a sexual affair (or so I told myself. I was still looking for signs of her interest and was having sexual fantasies about her which led to masturbation). I did go full on in the emotional element of the affair in the early part of 2016. We had some important work to do and again, I was working with her to get this done. The deadlines were tight and we did, just, manage to get the work completed. Other members of the team did not hit the deadline and as a group we were called into a meeting and given a collective dressing down (again with the benefit of hindsight, this was not too harsh or unusual). She was upset by this and wanted to speak to me in private. She told me she was really upset by what had been said and that she was regretting her decision to take the job. She said she was considering her options and was thinking of leaving. She then cried. I tried to comfort her by saying that the dressing down was not aimed at us and that she has only been with the company a few months. I told her that I was there to help her with any work that needed to be done (yes, I was effectively doing her job for her). She was very thankful and smiled at me. (KISA?)
After this our dynamic in the office and outside the office changed again. We started exchanging e-mails about other team members and began exchanging text messages. Conversations became a lot ore personal and she would as questions about my BS and tell me things about her BS. We would go to lunch together and continued working on our budgets and monthly reporting as if we were a team. She was becoming more efficient at her job, so I found ways to get to spend time with her. I would check in on how her monthly reporting was going and show her elements of my role which she was not party to. I would tell her about target I had to hit and how I had achieved them. We also continued to have negative conversations about the management and other team members. I would express frustrations about elements of the role and that I wanted things to change (It's worth noting that my BS was unaware of my frustrations at work other than "I've had a shitty day, my boss is asking for lots of stuff). AP was supportive and offered ideas on what I could do to help hit deadlines of make the job easier. I appreciated this and told her that I found her so eay to talk to.
Moving forward into 2016 I got a new car, one which could be linked to my phone. One afternoon, after a team meeting, she called me while I was driving home. She wanted to discuss something that had been said to get clarification. However this discussion was short lived and we continued the conversation for a few minutes talking about our plans for the evening. The calls continued, initially once or twice a week, but by 2017 were almost daily. Especially when I was working in a different office. The calls were rarely about work and began to get very personal. She told me about a previous job which se was claiming unfair dismissal from, she spoke about her mother and how she did not like her husband, she compared what I did around the home to things her husband did not. She even told me she was bored at home and wanted to go out more to have fun.
IN 2017 I was feeling disillusioned with my job and started to look for another. Again AP was more involved in this process that my BS. I told myself that AP knew more about the field that BS so she was a better person to talk to NAD that she was easier to talk to anyway. I arranged interviews and wold discuss the job spec with AP and call her after the interview to tell her how the interview went. BS knew I had an interview and I sent her a text message afterwards, no more than this. Telling myself that this was enough for her to know given she is not an accountant and additionally she was going through some tough times in her job, so I did not want to burden her!
In addition to the calls, the text messages and e-mails had continued to increase in volume and inappropriate content. I had always hidden behind the fact that no direct sexual advances, so therefore everything was "harmless flirting" or "banter". As is often the case, it's only with hindsight you realise the levels of bs you tell yourself. I was now deleting calls and ending them at a "safe" distance from home as well as deleting the volume of text messages and e-mails. I, of course, knew that the relationship was inappropriate and as such started to hide it. Of course I denied this and minimised it after d-day.
In 2017 we were all invited to a conference, in the UK and about 10 miles from where I live, but we were offered the chance to stay over as this was over three days and others on joining the conference would be from Europe and the US. I saw this as a chance to move the affair into a physical one. AP was mentioning that she was bored and wanted fun. I suggested we could have a few drinks while at the conference and let our hair down (I made this suggestion on a group e-mail so as to hide my intentions). The conference was due to happen at the end of August 2017. d-day happened in mid august. It followed a phone call from AP where she hung up when my BS answered, this and BS piecing together changes in my behaviour and other indicators. I was challenged after a work party and, of course, went into denial mode and deleted even more mails and texts. The next work day I spoke with AP and told her that BS knew of the affair. AP went into denial mode, but agreed to no longer send text messages, mails, phone calls and contact with me other than work related (this NC was broken at times and I delayed me changing jobs while I sought out a new better role. It took six months before I got a new job and I saw AP most days during this time.
I agreed with BS that I should not stay over at the conference and I mailed the group that I was cancelling my room. AP immediately mailed me back to try and talk me out of this as well as saying so in the office. After a couple of days, she too cancelled her room.
On leaving the job, I spoke with AP on my last day and told her that I believed there was an affair and that "if things were different" I would have/we could have had a more formal relationship. She agreed. Additionally on my last day I went to a leaving lunch with my colleagues (AP included) despite telling BS that I would not do this. I do not know how much my colleagues knew of the affair, but have high suspicions they knew something was "odd2 between us. I did ask a colleague after I had left (one who left a week after I did) and he denied any knowledge or that he heard any office gossip.
I've been thinking recently about the affair and how this was in my head. That despite planning to make a move sexually I did not. I had told myself that she was not interested and indeed was unaware of my intentions, but this is clearly untrue. There were too many "subtle" discussions and give her asking me to stay at the hotel despite knowing about being caught, shows she knew more than she was willing to discuss. Also give she cancelled her room once she knew I was not going to stay, tells it's own story.
I'm currently struggling with owning the true intentions of our conversations and that we never spoke directly about a sexual relationship. I feel I am in denial to myself that these "subtle" conversations were not at all subtle and that we both knew exactly what we were saying and what we were after.
I think I'm after thoughts from other WS who have been involved in an emotional affair and how they filtered the bullshit out and recognised the real intent.
4 comments posted: Tuesday, February 21st, 2023
I wanted to share my last few days. I have taken steps backwards and acted defensively and with anger. On Monday I contacted the agency who I worked with to get my new job. My contact was female. She had previously spoken to me about working from home while looking after children. I have been expecting some paperwork from the new company which has yet to come through. I thought I would send an e-mail to chase up on it and find out the cause for the delay. My e-mail was:
Hope you had a great weekend. Planning anything for Halloween tonight?
Still nothing from XYX Ltd?
My BS has access to my e-mail and she saw this and was very upset. When she messaged me and told me that this was a no no, I immediately got defensive. "This was an entirely innocent e-mail" "I was asking because she had spoken about her kids before" "She is friendly to me, why can't I ask her about Halloween?" I defended the mail when I got home. I had accepted it looked bad, but not that it was in any way wayward behaviour. We argued about this and I called BS insane and stormed out (having packed clothes) I gave up, I thought that if I'm going to be picked up on something that small then we've got no chance of moving forwards in any capacity. I was so angry. I did return home but was still not getting it. BS questioned if I would have asked the same question to a male. I said maybe... The BIG difference is that I've never spoken to any of the male employees of the agency about anything else other than jobs. I've been talking with this woman on a friendly basis. She talks nicely to me and I do the same to her... WOW what a red flag I chose to ignore. This is how my online affairs and my emotional affair started.
I've worked on keeping my work e-mails professional, but totally ignored my personal mails. I seem to have this deep rooted need to be liked. Why do I need to know anything about this persons personal life? I don't!
I've been in a bit of a daze these last few days. How could I choose to do this? How could I not link this to my previous activity? How could I justify this in the way I did? Why get angry and give up? It seems I'm still in a wayward mindset, a lot deeper than I had appreciated.
10 comments posted: Friday, November 4th, 2022
One of my problems at the moment is remembering exactly what happened in some of my wayward activity. I've previously told myself that some of this happened over 20 years ago, so how would I remember? Well, I need to. For those of you who have worked on remembering how did you do it?
My issues -
- Some of this did happen 20= years ago. Is it acceptable to have forgotten some details?
- I've told myself and BS so many lies, I struggle with what is the truth
- I have pushed so many memories to the back of my mind, I do struggle digging them out
- When I do think, it really hurts. I cannot believe I did what I did and I shut down. I hide from the feelings.
- I still have to take a moment every time I'm asked a question, to not try and minimise
- I don't "get it". Not properly. I now see what I have done, I try not to minimise what I have done, I see the pain I've inflicted on BS...What I don't get is the full impact of my actions. The long term impact on BS, myself, our family etc. Intellectually I get it, but emotionally I don't (hope that makes sense)
I am just starting to read books on EQ to see what help this can give me. Also I need to use the skills of IC better than I have.
Any help on this will be appreciated.
3 comments posted: Monday, October 17th, 2022
How to speak to my sister
A huge recent revelation in my past infidelity is going to have a massive impact on my family as well as my BS. The trauma I've caused her is currently pushing us to breaking point and added to this is the impact it is likely to have on my sister and other family members. I will be brief in my description but will answer questions. This to avoid blame shifting and TMI
Sixteen years ago I went to Germany with my BIL. On the first evening we hired a prostitute and both had sex with her, one at a time, while in the same room. She came to the hotel we were staying in. We continued the vacation and agreed at some point that we would never discuss this again and no matter what happens we should deny the event ever took place.
Just over a week ago I confessed to BS about this event. As you can imagine it was a huge shock and majorly devastating to her. We argued and once aging I let myself get angry. Especially so after BS said she was going to tell my sister. I stopped her from reaching for her phone and then punched a cupboard.
We've spoken at length about this incident and the potential repercussions. We've even discussed if it would be better to say nothing. (More back story, my BIL is abusive. It's only when I've been on my own journey that I can see this. Previously I was in denial. My two nephews and scared of their father and my sister has given up work and driving a car, I think, because of him). So, my thoughts are two fold. I need to speak to her to try and verify my fears about the domestic abuse. This in itself is going to be a challenge, he is restricting the communication between my siter and I following a incident last year between us. I need to know if she is in danger. Secondly, she has a right to know about the incident in Germany. This conversation will have wide implications. I struggle with how and what to say. I've reached out for support for counsellor and a mentor I have spoken with previously. They have said I need to think carefully about this. Make sure I'm telling her for the right reasons and that I consider all of the implications. I cannot see any way of doing this that will not throw up a huge shit storm. If I say nothing then I'm going against what I see to be the moral thing to do and it will add additional hurt to BS (both because of the need to be honest and that I'm putting my families feeling ahead of hers given that I told her and not my sister). Additionally if I say nothing then I will not be looking into her safety with an abusive partner. If I speak then this will completely blow up her world, my nephews will be impacted as will my parents and extended family. There are no other options.
I know I need to speak with her, I think I'll address the potential domestic abuse first before hitting her with the infidelity.
I need to be aware of emotions and feelings as well as a potential violent response from BIL (He once took a baseball bat to a car blocking his driveway). Not only BS and sister, but nephews, parents and potentially parents in law.
I've been very distant this last week as I struggle dealing with my own feelings for this and every act I've done in the past. I cannot cope with the level of emotion, shame and guilt flowing through me. I've become stressed and constantly tired. BS is distraught and we're trying to deal with this on top of everything else going on. I'm numb I don't know what to do or say.
10 comments posted: Friday, September 23rd, 2022
I have admitted to using webcams and that I once masturbated to a couple having sex. I of course see using webcams as infidelity and masturbation too. A discussion this morning with BS about the number of sexual partners I have had, I excluded the web cam couple as although I masturbated, I do not see this as a physical act of sex. Therefore I excluded this from my count.
Again, I've not excluded this from my infidelity but do not see it as an act of physical sex. For me this is hand jobs, oral and penetrative. I understand there is a sexual nature to this, but struggle to accept it as physical sex. My thoughts would be if I were a virgin and I went online and masturbated to a web cam couple, would I have lost my virginity?
It is possibly semantics and hey maybe I should accept and not worry. It is something I have fixated on though.
Am I wrong in thinking it's not an act of physical sex?
5 comments posted: Monday, September 19th, 2022
Can a mod please PM me?
1 comment posted: Thursday, September 15th, 2022
Questions to discover the "whys"
I'm working through a series of questions to help understand my past infidelity. I have been sharing my answers with IC and will share with BS once I'm happy they're real (no more self lies, minimising, deflecting etc). Firstly I will share the questions I have for other WS who are struggling and secondly, those of you who have done work on why, what questions did you ask yourself?
I'm not sure if it will be a good idea to share answers necessarily as I feel this could lead to "borrowing" of responses and treating them as our own. Maybe I'm being a little cynical, although I have to admit (and have before today) that I initially cam onto SI for answers. I wanted there to be a "magical" person who could tell me if five sentences why I did what I did and all will be fixed...What an idiot! I was in denial about having to do the work. I wanted a quick fix and to move on. I even wanted people to tell me I was "Not an asshole" or "You're a great guy, you just made a mistake" that sort of thing to validate my illusion I was not a serial adulterer and a lot of my activity was "harmless" or "not that bad".
I don't know, maybe some might get benefit with sharing with us. Up to you I guess.
– What did the affair mean to you?
– Did the affair provide something that you felt you needed?
– What did you get out of it that you weren’t getting in the relationship?
– Where you getting some need met from this other person that you were afraid to ask BS to provide?
– Did you feel guilty?
– Did you find anything new out about yourself?
– Why do you think it happened when it did? Was there anything else going on in your life that influenced your decision?
– Do you you blame the other person for the affair, is it difficult for you to take full responsibility?
– What does it mean to you if you were to take full responsibility for the affair?
– What made it difficult to stop?
– Did the affair have anything to do with something you felt was missing from your sex life?
– Did you ever want BS to find out?
– Why did you tell BS about the affair? -OR- Why didn’t you tell BS about the affair?
– What drew you to this person?
– Were you ever worried about losing BS?
– How did you feel when BS found out about the affair?
– What was it like to keep the affair a secret?
– What was it like for you to have the two relationships?
– What was it like to come home to BS?
– Did you see a future with this other person?
– Did you ever think of leaving BS?
– Did you ever want to leave BS?
– Are you staying for BS or are you staying for the children and your life together?
– Do you think it will happen again?
– Were you trying to get BS attention?
What other questions should be asked of ourselves?
1 comment posted: Sunday, August 14th, 2022
Triggers on TV - Is there anything on Netflix that does not involve infidelity?
It's something we've spoken about on a few threads. EVERY TV series seems to have infidelity...Even Young Sheldon FFS!
Can anyone recommend anything to watch out there which is trigger safe?
25 comments posted: Friday, August 12th, 2022
Shutting down/self protection
I watched an interesting video on YouTube earlier on shutting down. How we waywards shut down as a method of self protection when discussing our affair(s). I realise this is something I do a lot, and need support in dealing with. Have any of you out there suffered from this and have you read anything or used and tools to help you overcome this?
3 comments posted: Monday, August 8th, 2022
Not doing so well
BS and I had agreed that we would close the book on the time line, if there were more questions that came to mind, I would do my best to answer them, but we decided to try and live more in the now and no be bogged down in detail. We agreed to be open with one another and work on the "whys" together and with my IC. Also I would continue in my support group and generally be more in the relationship than I was before. Living in the now is difficult (hence my thread).
Since this agreement I have had a few triggers. One of these in particular was at work with a female work colleague. I find her very annoying and condescending (she is my boss). BS noticed this when I was working from home and had the call on speaker. (I don't think she means it, she just is) Anyway, in recent days I've found dealing with her more and more difficult. The problem I had in my head was that I described a former AP as "annoying" as a way of deflecting the affair ALSO she shares a name with another AP. A double whammy. So, I chose to hide my frustrations with this work colleague so as to not trigger BS. I was triggering like crazy...Now here I sit. BS wanted to talk about my feelings, especially concerning work. I know this was a big trigger and know she hates ever day I spend in the office. I chose to hide from this conversation and sit on my feelings. Obviously BS felt this. Obviously BS triggered even more as I was hiding work frustrations from her. I know this was stupid and I know I should have done better. I've once again hurt BS with something so avoidable.
I'm struggling with not spiralling into shame and self pity. I had a chance to help BS move forwards and I let her down again.
Not sure what I want from typing this, I needed to sound off.
8 comments posted: Wednesday, July 20th, 2022
Staying in the "now"
I am still working on myself and my whys. Also working with BS to help understand who we are and what changes need to be made while in the early stages of "true" R. One major stumbling block we both have, but BS especially, is spiralling backwards into the past. I know we have to go there, but every counsellor we have has promoted living in the "now". "What's done is done" is often said, in a "you can't not do what you have done" kind of way. This is true, understanding why I was/am that self absorbed ass hole is important, to protect us from me.
What we both want, is help is staying in the now when were there. We're doing better at dealing with triggers and have plans for if a BIG one happens when we're on date night. However, when things are "normal" and we're having an evening in front of Netflix, BS often spirals backwards. She wants help with this and we're trying to discuss ways to keep us in the now. What have you guys done to help with this process?
8 comments posted: Tuesday, July 12th, 2022
It is very quiet
I see activity from FWS/WS on other forums, but it is very quiet on here. Is this usual? I see new WS come and go, but there seems to be someone posting on here wanting help on a regular basis. Is it common for there to be periods of no activity?
47 comments posted: Wednesday, June 29th, 2022
Stupid things you've said
While discussing with BS about triggers and the constant bad thoughts that she is suffering from, she mentioned a time, when I still had my head firmly up my ass, when I said my AP was easy to talk to and I found it difficult to speak to BS. So many wrongs in one sentence...Fast forward to now (skipping past other idiotic things I have said) and every time I do not talk about my feelings or try to supress an emotion, BS is immediately triggered back to this statement and the thought of "if you could open up to her, why not me?" A statement that I no longer agree with and even at the I really knew it was not true, it's what I chose to believe as one of my justifications.
I'm curious to her what other things a WS has said which was incredibly selfish, stupid, damaging that was both not true and has emotional consequences years down the line.
10 comments posted: Saturday, June 18th, 2022
I lost my job back in March, but was lucky enough to be in a relatively stable financial position to take some time off. Both to support family and to work on myself. Alas, all good things come to an end. I return to work tomorrow on a fulltime basis.
Now, working and going into an office is a huge trigger for BS given my infidelity often happened at work. Tomorrow is going to be tough on BS as she will be home on her own (all week) for the first time this year. We've spoken about her worries and have some boundaries in place to try and make the situation safer. Of course as a WS working on being a FWS there are lots of worries and concerns (I expect there will be concerns in a new role even when I can call myself a FWS). Actually this leads me to a question! When do/did you consider yourself or your partner a FORMER WS? I am no longer cheating, but still have work to do to understand whys and to be consistently safe.
Currently we've agreed:
- To allow BS access to e-mails
- For me to keep in contact through the day and to respond to text messages when appropriate
- Talk about the day at work and who I work with
- Keep communication professional
- Use STOPP when making decisions and think what would BS make of this message/e-mail if she were to be reading it over my shoulder?
I am trying to be empathetic and understand the worries and concerns BS is having. I do, I think, understand them and I don't think I have got defensive or dismissive when discussing the new job. Unfortunately the lottery win has not come in yet! I therefore, have to work. There is nobody in the office that knows or new any AP. (that I know of at least). I'm contracting (approx 9 months) so no "need" to make friends. Just go into the office, do my job, come home. I would be impolite, but not overly friendly either. I've removed "unsafe" people from my life, I'll not let others in.
Any suggestions on making the transition back to work easier for myself or BS?
7 comments posted: Monday, June 6th, 2022
Another chunk of CBT I've been working on in counselling is STOPP. Some on here might be familiar with this. I have used it a few times in recent weeks in both my marriage and in every day life.
HOW TO USE IT
Firstly the easy part...Imagine a STOP sign. That's exactly what is involved in the first step.
- Stop. Pause for a moment.
- Take a breath Take a breath, notice how you're breathing. Is it slightly laboured? are the breaths short or controlled? Take a moment to breath slowly, in through the nose and out through the mouth. (A technique I use is breath in for 4 second, hold it for 5 seconds and release over 6 seconds. There are a lot of variants of this out there. Pick what suits you best). Now, this stop does not have to be used if you're feeling tense, frustrated or angry. Use it every day when you're making a choice. While driving, shopping or at work. It can be over a split second. "Do I really need this new sweater?" STOP. You know. A pause to reflect on a course of action you're about to chose.
- Observe What thoughts are going through your mind right now? What situation are you reacting to, where is your focus of attention?* What/How are you feeling?
= Pull back. Don't believe everything you think, what is the bigger picture? Is there another way of looking at the situation? What advice would you give a friend in the same situation? Is your thought FACT or OPINION?* How important is this? How important will it be in 6 months?
- Practice what works. Some of the above may not fit the situation, you may only have a second to make a decision. Ask yourself one or all of the following. What is the best things to do right now? What is the most helpful thing for me, for others, for the situation? Where can I focus my attention?
* Focus of attention:
We spend so much time inside our heads, thinking about what we've done, or have yet to do, worrying about things we don't need to worry about. We need to get outside of our heads! We can use our senses, just say to ourselves:
5 things I can see
4 things I can hear
3 things I can feel or touch
2 things I can smell or like the smell of
1 slow deep breath
brings our focus of attention into right now.
* Fact or Opinion
"Ask yourself, is this thought a fact or opinion? We can work with facts, but opinions drive emotion. At stressful times, we tend to be driven by our emotions and opinions, which create a vicious cycle by fuelling each other. Our emotions strengthen our opinions, which in turn, intensify our emotions. This leads to impulsive acts and unhelpful longer term consequences, which helps to maintain the overall problem. Facts are what we need to focus on in order to make helpful changes. Reacting to our opinions is pointless and upsetting. Asking "is this Fact or Opinion?" helps us to pull back from our distress and defuse from the unhelpful thinking. It is often meanings or opinions that we attach to facts that cause us the distress, rather than the fact itself. Imagine reading a newspaper that is different to your usual one. You might look at the headlines and wonder whether they might be biased in some way. It may be he journalist or editor's opinion rather than just the facts. So we might ask ourselves whether this headline is "fact or opinion". We can do the same with our thoughts." Getseflfhelp a uk website.
When speaking to my counsellor he suggested also thinking that you're viewing the situation from a helicopter. Take in the bigger picture and not the smaller isolated view you have from the ground.
I have, as I said above used this a few times recently. One in particular was on a call with a recruitment agency who wanted me to start a new job earlier as the person transferring knowledge would be on vacation for my proposed start date. This was very helpful for me, to start early. In the past I would have said "yes, no problem" without hesitation. On this occasion, I paused and thought about implications of just saying yes. (I'd not spoken to BS about this, work is a known trigger, me making choices without discussing is a known trigger, have I got other commitments I had forgotten about? and a few others). I told the agent I would call him back. I spoke with BS and we agreed that I could go into the office for a couple of days and we agreed those days. I then agreed this with new employer and all was well.
What experience of this or other techniques for being a rounded person have you tried as WS? Any BS who have experince of this either in their own life or seeing their WS adopting this or other techniques?
5 comments posted: Monday, June 6th, 2022
I have discussed lots of things with IC and with my domestic abuse group. One of the things/techniques that has come up often is the "time out". A technique used to stop any hurt feelings or frustrations escalating into anger and potential physical abuse. We discuss on here the emotional abuse we inflict on out BS, but rarely do we cover the abuse suffered through anger. While the time out is designed to attempt to stop the physical abuse, it can also help reduce physical intimidation, arguments, other forms of abuse and even the times of stunned silence we shift into.
Before reading and learning, I would "take five" which would mean me walking into another room, muttering to myself, take a couple of breaths and then back into the discussion/argument we were having. This, of course, never worked.
A time out needs to be discussed in advance (discuss the concept, safe words, plan of where to go, length of time) so that the other party is aware of what is happening and what is going to happen while the time out is in effect.
A quick google will show a number of different methods to work out when a time out is needed. The ones I have encountered suggest using a scale 0 - 100 and normally a temperature gauge. The idea being to STOP the temperature getting to 100.
Everyone has different physical and emotional indicators of when they're getting annoyed. It's worth reading up on this to work out your own. The recommendation would then be to take a time out when you it 60 or 70 rather than allowing yourself to get to 100 when it's too late.
There are a number of steps which need to be taken for the time out to be effective:
- Take your temperature. Check your feelings and think where you are on your scale. If you've reached your exit point, then you need to proceed with the time out
- Tell your partner that you need to take a time out. Tell them you're concerned that if you stay in the home any longer then you're worried about controlling your behaviour. As you have discussed this in advance then this should not be a surprise.
- Tell you partner how long you will be (most recommend 40 minutes to an hour) and promise you will return after this agreed time period. If after an hour you still feel like your temperature has not reduced sufficiently, contact your partner and tell then you need another 30 minutes.
- Leave the home. Going to another room is not sufficient. Do not drive, go to a bar or visit family or friends during this time. Go for a walk, use any breathing techniques or mindfulness. Bring yourself back down and then continue with the time out until you've been in this calmer place for a while.
- Contact your partner and tell then you're returning home. When home continue with the discussion. Return home at the agreed time, unless you've agreed to more time.
Other advise includes, do not abuse the time out, do not take one just to avoid a difficult conversation. Learn from the time out what triggers the anger and work on this with a view to it not being an anger trigger in the future.
A detailed version of this can be found in "Stop Hurting The Woman You Love"
Is this something that you have used with your partners? How was/is it? Have you encountered any problems?
4 comments posted: Sunday, May 15th, 2022
Shame and empathy
I was talking recently with a friend who is a fWH. He mentioned empathy for his wife and that in the early days he had empathy as long as the subject was not infidelity. In that if she were sick, he would go and get medication at 4am or would help her with sick relatives. This I see in my behaviour. He told me that he was capable of empathy for her, just not when buried in shame. This is an ongoing discussion.
Have any of you noticed this and if so how did you manage to get past it (open to BSs too, did you notice this behaviour in you WS?)
24 comments posted: Sunday, April 10th, 2022
Abuse and anger management
I have recently signed up to and started a group therapy course with a domestic abuse charity. I never thought I would "be that man" and indeed my BS never thought she would be "that woman". I have seen evidence of abusive behaviour in the past and had nothing but contempt for the man dealing out this obvious abuse. Yet here I am.
I did notice an increase in anger from me directed at BS. Always when discussing affairs and when she was calling me out on lies or my defensive behaviour. I would shout and become physically intimidating. I would regret this when I calmed down, but did not look into the reasons behind the anger and indeed would get angry with BS when she pointed out the reasons she thought caused it. Then one evening we were arguing and I got angry, I was more physical, but minimised this with I did not strike her or punch her, therefore it’s not something that needs addressing, all I did was get angry. Fast forward until recently when this happened again. This time I realised what I had done, but still minimised my behaviour.
I signed up to group therapy with a local domestic abuse charity. Thinking all I needed was "a few tips" on controlling my anger. I even said to my mentor that I have not hit my wife I just need to learn to control myself. That I was worried I might lose control and do something more damaging. He just repeated what I had said and continued with questions. All of these questions were data gathering to see just how abusive and dangerous I was. They asked if they could contact BS, which I agreed to after consulting her. She is now on a course for domestically abused women. They even considered putting her on an at risk register…. I did not understand this at first and I was shocked that they would even consider this. Hey, I’ve not hit her, what’s the problem? Although it did trigger a conversation and a reaction from me. BS found some books that talk about types of abuse, both physical and emotional and the subdividing these into different types of abuse. Reading this book floored me. I read reports of guys who slammed their wife against walls or slapped them and defended this by saying I’ve not punched her. While true, it does not take away from the physical abuse. "Even just" being physically intimidating and shouting is abuse. It covered financial abuse…again, my minimising mind told me I’ve never stopped my wife spending money…..and yet I had. I have always been very free spending. In the past mostly on me and going out with "friends" and/or APs. In doing this BS had to control her spending to cover any emergency spending…then even covering every day spending while I spiralled into debt.
Now in starting the course I see so much more abuse I’ve inflicted on her and I see abuse everywhere. My father was emotionally abusive to my mother, sister and foster sister that he agreed to take into care. I have no memory of physical or sexual abuse. I see abuse with my BIL against my sister. He is certainly emotionally abusing her, he is very physically intimidating, he’s constantly belittling her and often their children. I see it everywhere. I now need to have a conversation with my sister as often as possible….this is made difficult because he no longer wants her to talk to me following a previous incident. So I now have to speak with my sister when he’s at work. I try to bring this into the conversation that I’m concerned about this behaviour. She puts it down to, "that’s just the way he is". Minimising on her side. He has recently lost his mother to cancer, but this behaviour predates this my many years.
I now need to focus on my behaviour and abusive behaviour. Looking back at this being my way of controlling conversations, using anger and then escalating this as soon as shouting did not have the desired effect. In addition to the weekly meetings for me and BS the charity also check in with us both to see how we’re feeling. BS has even apologised to me for having to be honest with the counsellor.
I will not be that man any more. I know there are a lot more home truths that will hit home over the next six months I am on the course and I need to be grown up enough to accept this and talk it through with BS every week. More evidence, not that it’s needed, to conform my wayward mentality is still firmly in place and I need help in controlling this behaviour. It really hit home that if I can recover myself and my marriage I will always be a recovering abuser and adulterer. Always needing to take every day and commit to not being that person. This is needed if the personal recovery is enough to save my marriage or not. I cannot and will not go backwards, assuming I can go forwards.
The councillors on this course and my IC keep telling me that self referral is a good step and I should feel good that I’ve done this. I don’t feel it. Maybe relief that the referral did not come through authorities following my arrest or something similar. I feel contempt to myself for being in this position. That I now have to sit in a room with other abusers that I previously would have looked down on. That I am that man. Even stronger feelings come from knowing my BS has to do a similar course. That she has to go through further trauma talking about my abusive behaviour to her. Something she did not ask for or deserve. She has to work through years of abusive behaviour. This is so unfair on her. Having lived through everything I’ve inflicted on her, she now has to live through it again. How does anyone help their wife thought this? I take some relief that this is now addressed and she and I are both getting help. That she now has a point of contact should my behaviour make her feel unsafe.
This is a big reason for my recent withdrawal from my relationship, my work, my activity on SI and being there for BS.
A lot of hard work needed
11 comments posted: Saturday, April 9th, 2022
Can you remove stop signs from my two most recent posts please?
3 comments posted: Friday, April 8th, 2022
The list below is my agreement to BS. I agreed to this several months ago and have failed on may of them ever since. Today I remake that promise both to BS and to the SI community. (I have removed a few of them as they contain information I do not want to share).
I know this is a symbolic gesture and me doing these things is only important to BS and I. Maybe it will promote discussion or offer others and idea. Happy to discuss and even consider (discussion with BS before) additional items that have worked for you guys, if you have a similar agreement.
1.You will COMMUNICATE with me, thoughts, feelings, activities all to induce intimacy and formation of a
2.TOTAL HONESTY (24 hour rule)
3.You will provide a FULL account of ALL wayward behaviour (triggered memory rule)
4.You will offer an honest apology each and every time this is needed
5.Access to all accounts, email, bank, phone etc (provision of passwords whenever they change)
6.No creation of new email or social media accounts without discussion and prior permission
7.No lone masturbation or porn use
8.No unsafe people (old or new)
9.You will disclose contact from any AP or previous unsafe people ASAP having ignored the attempt at contact. We
will review the contact method together and decide on how to prevent further attempts
10.You will tell me about ANY and ALL wayward thoughts ASAP, we will discuss possible triggers and coping methods
11.You will disclose any approach in a flirtatious or more than professional manner from anyone you have contact
12.You will answer ANY and all questions ASAP (24 hour rule)
13.You will no longer go to football
14.No new apps on phone or iPad without prior discussion and agreement
15.You will answer paired every day and induce discussion of the topic
16.You will continue with IC
17.You will call your sister to talk to when you don’t have IC
18.You will continue to read SI and any book recommendations on affairs
19.You will ‘lead’ the recovery process with discussions and actions : These actions will include - ‘dating me’,
compliments and words of affirmation to help return my lost self esteem, hand holding (no dropping hands if you
are annoyed etc), initiating physical intimacy in a caring and appropriate manner, romance, you will make me
feel special, cherished, desired and pursued
20.You will attempt to replace all of the lost memories and specials from our time together
21.You will do your best to help with my triggers
22.You will GIVE thought to each and every answer you provide me with, be that through speech or written language
23.You will GIVE me 110%
24.You will give back everything you gave to ‘them’
25.You will do EVERYTHING and ANYTHING you say you will, when you say you will
26.You will control your anger
27.You will do anything I need to make me feel safe
28.You will curtail to me with regards to impromptu social scenarios
29.We will discuss attendance of social occasions fully before agreeing either individually or as a couple
30.You will inform me of any work related social situations and will only attend if things are in place to ensure I
am comfortable and safe
31.You will work with me and the IC to discover the ‘whys’ and ‘how’s’ this will only be completed when I am
satisfied that we fully understand and feel safe we have done everything we can to prevent re-occurrence
32.You will prove OUR RELATIONSHIP comes before anything else
33.You won’t make large financial purchases without prior discussion (over £100)
36.You won’t get another credit card or bank account without prior discussion with me
38.You will be willing to accept changes to this list of needs dependent on my emotional state (prior discussion
39.answer all communications within a timely manner (discussion of timely for work place situations needs to occur,
ie texts can wait a little while but phone calls need a reply ASAP)
8 comments posted: Sunday, March 20th, 2022
Can you release the stop sign on my "build up" and "my father" threads please?
0 comment posted: Tuesday, March 8th, 2022
Just over a year ago I reached out to my sister and father to tell them about my infidelity. My sister, was and is very supportive. My Father however, was less than supportive. He minimised everything I told him, said that some of the infidelity was"before we were married" and then that he did not like BS because of something that my grandmother told him BS said to her. Firstly, it was not true and secondly it was about 20+ years ago and he has held onto this grudge since then
Everything is up and down emotionally for both BS and myself. I went away this weekend to visit my parents. I have not seen them since October. I wanted to speak with my father and put him straight on a few things. 1) the story his mother told him was not true. 2) I love BS and want to spend my life with her 3) The mess we're in is my fault, not BS. 4) She has not thrown me out, when I leave it's my choice, she is in fact the one who initiates the conversation which brings me back home and into reality. 5) that I was upset with his lack of support for me and my marriage when I told him about my infidelity. I'm the one who needs to fight for the marriage as BS is constantly trying to support me.
This weekend was horrible and I struggled with a lot being anxious and missing BS terribly. I did speak with him, he understood my position and respects my choice to work on the marriage. I think he's still a selfish man and really wanted to not be talking about me and my past/current behaviours. He accepted what I said and supported me in my choice to work on the marriage. I still think there is work to do for him to fully accept what I have done. He still minimises what I did
I'm glad I did speak with him though. At least he did not suggest divorce or try and make me reconsider my decision to work on me and the marriage.
Not sure what I want from this post. Just a rant really.
5 comments posted: Tuesday, March 1st, 2022
20 years ago
A question from both myself and BS. We have been discussing that although the majority of my infidelity/wayward behaviour was many years ago (Particularly some of the physical aspect 20 years) it feels to BS that this all happened yesterday. I understand this and am trying to be supportive and not defensive. BS ask how this can be reframed and bring her back to the "now" when these thoughts occur. In the past I would have shouted "It was twenty fucking years ago!!" This is quite rightly the wrong thing to say or do. What can be said or done to support in this situation and not sound or feel like rug sweeping or minimising?
We’re both at a loss on this one. Supportive not defensive, proactive not minimising, understanding not dismissive….you know what I mean.
4 comments posted: Saturday, February 19th, 2022
A question for waywards. I have been working through my timeline and detailing all infidelity. When I first met my BS I was quiet and not hugely confident. I had one sexual partner before meeting BS. We were together for a few months before I took a job in another city (about an hour and a half away). I was living on my own initially and then moved into a shared house. During this time I did check out other women, but did not approach. I would watch porn and imagine myself with different women. I would have sexual fantasies about a female at work any would masturbate over her. I was thinking that I had not had that much experience with women and these fantasies were a way of me gaining more experience, even if it were in my head.
I was offered a management position in another branch and accepted. I had a brief handover with this woman. We would hold meetings and discuss the existing staff members, these would sometimes be unprofessional as we were making jokes about a couple of them. We were overheard one day by another staff member (she agreed with our comment, but we were still concerned about other conversations being heard). We held the next couple of staffing related meetings in a bar across the street. Later in the handover I spoke to the supervisor who had overheard our conversation and discussed the fact that I was planning to move into the area. I would be moving into the house where the current manager lived and take her room on. The supervisor told me that she thought the two of them were sleeping together and that the manager was know for sleeping around.
This news made me think that I could make a move on her and as she was moving away there would be no risk of getting caught. She was only going to be in the town for another week. We arranged for me to meet her landlord one evening after work, in the bar opposite. We had a few things to do in the office that day and I wanted to check if she were interested in me. I brushed my hand against hers and she smiled and responded by doing the same. This continued until we had completed the paperwork and we headed to the bar. Once there we bought drinks and the touching continued. I touched her leg under the table and had my hand on her knee until the landlord arrived. We all had a drink together and headed back to his so I could see the room. We spoke about rent and when I could move in and then had a couple of drinks in the house to get to know one another. I was sat next to AP during this time and continued the touching. The landlord left the room and I moved my hand brushed it over her breast. The landlord came back in and I backed off again. Soon after she said she was tired. I agreed and suggested that I should stay over as it was getting a bit late and the trains home were less frequent. The landlord said I could crash on the couch. AP said she would get me a pillow. I looked at her and she said she was tired and going to bed. I did not stay over and headed home.
I knew this woman for barely a week and I was propositioning her for sex. Something I had not done before. BS and I are struggling with the lack of buildup. There was no kissing at any point. I heard she was "easy" and decided to make a move. Is his lack of build up, given I had not done this before normal? BS is convinced I’m telling more lies. I’m not, but I do see her point. I’ve minimised so much and told BS nothing happened with other APs when something actually did. This was my first physical act of infidelity and I’m trying to understand what we’re the steps in the chain, the choices I made so I was ok with doing this? When challenged by BS I try and explain but end up getting defensive (which has historically meant I was lying). This then pushes me further from her and I shut down.
I need help getting to the bottom of this. How I went from faithful to unfaithful in a short space of time with little obvious build up. Can you question me as I’m struggling digging deep by myself and get upset when BS tries.
EDIT - A quick edit to add this was my first "physical" act of infidelity. I had done nothing like this before while with my BS. I highlight "physical" as watching porn, checking out other women, having fantasies about other women is an act of infidelity if it is not known by your partner or if it gets in the way of that relationship.
I was not watching a huge amount of porn at this time. I had a couple of video tapes (This was pretty much pre internet) and access to a cable tv porn channel.
11 comments posted: Friday, February 18th, 2022
Not sure what to do or think
BS has had multiple d-days. I've lied and cheated on multiple occasions. My time line has been written so many times while TT'd and protected myself, the affairs and my APs.
BS talked today about the timelines. Lack of empathy came up in conversation. I struggle with empathy in a big way. I have shown little or no remorse for OBS's, APs or anyone associated with my A's. Some might say that I do not owe others any empathy, especially the AP's. My biggest worry is my not doing the work for myself or BS. I've read lots of books and kind of know a fair bit about affairs, I know what I should do. I'm trying to work on myself and fixing my multiple failings, but sometimes I struggle caring...I just feel numb. I see my BS everyday feeling upset, crying and being desperate for me to heal and fix things. Yet there are days I just want to curl up. I've had lots of opportunities to "do the work" and fail. I want to and I need to. I'm breaking relationships with family too. I know I should contact them, but often don't. I don't want to deal with questions or triggers. When they get hurt by this, I care little and focus on me and my own feelings. Same things happen at work.
I've considered that I am (and been called) a sociopath. I've just read an article on 9 traits and I think I have most if not all of them on some level. I have times when I recognise this and feel remorse and empathy for BS. I start doing the work and then things get hard or I start feeling sorry for myself and I crawl back. I assume this needs a clinical diagnosis.
I know I am a danger to people, especially BS. I'm worried that this is something which cannot be fixed, or needs years of therapy..Years I do not have with BS, with whom I'm very much in last chance saloon.
Have any of you experienced this? How did you fight it?
I have another call with counsellor on Tuesday and this is going to be a topic. I'm concerned about the new IC though as she seems to want to focus on moving forwards and even suggested that we look into the relationship to find a reason for my affairs. I was shocked to hear this and did e-mail her after the session with my concern. She said she can and will help me with the whys and hows. She also said she thinks she came at my counselling from the wrong angle. I will give her another try this week, but will certainly share my concern that she is not right when suggesting a problem in the relationship caused the affair.
I'm worried about my lack of empathy to BS and to other people out there. I've not contacted my parents in weeks to avoid questions and to avoid having to think about who I am and what I have done.
7 comments posted: Monday, February 7th, 2022
Help with not being there
I'm struggling at the moment with everything. We have the MIL and FIL living with us as they have both recently had operations. This caused a lot of pre and post op anxiety. I've taken on a new IC and also a new support group for anger management (formal sessions start in February). BS and I have been working well together through this. Although we have had little time for being "us"
I'm personal;y in a bad place at the moment. I struggle with focus on my recovery and getting through the day. I struggle at work and more importantly with doing everything in need to for BS. We have agreed a list of things that need doing on a daily basis and despite wanting to improve myself and save my marriage, I find my self in a vacant state of mind. I miss this simplest of things,both in my attempts at recovery and in everyday life. I forget conversations I had only a few minutes ago. I am paying attention, well I think I am as I'm actively involved.
Does this ring true for anyone else? If so, did you manage to get past it?
I don't think this is a shame spiral. It feels different.
9 comments posted: Sunday, January 23rd, 2022
Justification and excuses
Something I'm struggling with is separating out the justifications and excuses I was telling myself at the time of my affairs. Part of affair ownership is not trying to justify what I did, I get that. How do you push past these justifications? They were real at the time. I know I need to get past these to have any hope with getting to the whys and hows.
I know I chose to do what It did, when I write my timeline or think about what I was thinking at the time, this comes over as an excuse. There were lots of instances I told myself that what I was doing was ok, it was either "just flirting" or "harmless fun" piss poor excuses, not a justification because there are none.
I've just read a post about lack of empathy (pointed out to me by BS) which I need to read properly and consider.
I hope this post makes sense.
7 comments posted: Wednesday, December 15th, 2021
Hi, can you remove stop sign from my comments needed thread please?
2 comments posted: Sunday, December 12th, 2021
Hi, I'm stuck right now. As you know I've had multiple affairs over the period of my marriage and before. It has taken me years to fully confess everything I've done and even now I doubt I have told my BS everything as there was a lot of wayward behaviour and I suspect that there are things I don't remember.
I have a timeline of everything I remember doing from sexual/physical affairs, porn use, masturbation over women I worked with in my sexual fantasies, sexual fantasies over fantasy women, flirtation with women online and while out with "friends", financial infidelity and an emotional affair.
I have struggled with being honest to BS and being honest to myself. In January of this year I came clean on two physical affairs while at University. I have had a number of "rock bottoms" which recently involved thoughts of taking my own life. I am under counselling and we're going through MC. I am also taking medication for depression. I am in regular contact with one of the posters on here and we're working together on my issues. This includes angry outbursts, my whys, my selfish thoughts when I think I'm doing the right thing and I'm not, my listening skills, my empathy. He has told me things my BS has said on many occasions and frustratingly for her, they seem to stick. Don't get me wrong, I'm far from fixed, our marriage is far from fixed. There is a lot of work to do for myself, my marriage and my BS.
A sticking point has come with details of two of my affairs. I'll cover them separately as this will be a monster of a thread.
In the affair with a COW we spent 18 months in an emotional affair. I initially wanted more and pursued her as such. I got the impression that she was not interested in me sexually, although she was interested in me for flirting. She would constantly boost my ego and send suggestive messages, she and I occasionally made physical contact with, what I thought were subtle actions. Brushing arms or legs when sat next to one another. I was into her more than she was me. In hindsight she was clearly using me to help her progress through the company as I was more experienced than she was. I did not make a move on her and switched my attention to flirting and using my interactions with her to fuel a fantasy in my mind. I was rarely physical with BS for a number of years. During this time I was using pornography and scenarios in my mind as a method of getting my sexual needs. I was also looking at photos of another woman at work who posted pictures on FB and other social media of her in skimpy clothing.
I spent a lot of time working closely with COW and we grew close. She was struggling with her role and also with other members of the team. I was pretty much the only person who wanted to work with her (initially because I wanted to sleep with her) The relationship did grow into an emotional affair and a physical one (the physical nature being one way and in my head) We did not kiss, perform oral sex or have penetrative sex together. While I wanted this and worked on this initially, I pulled away from this until sometime close to d-day. At this time I planned again to try and have sex with her. An opportunity came up at a conference, we had a global finance meeting in the UK and we could if we wanted stay in the hotel we were having the conference at (this was only 10 miles from home). I suggested to her and other colleagues that we stay in the hotel and we could get to know some of the guys from the US and Europe. This would have been nice, but my intention was to try and get a few drinks in her and see if that would lower her inhibitions.
Fortunately BS found evidence of the emotional affair a few weeks before and I pulled out of the hotel stay.
The emotional affair consisted of:
Multiple flirtatious/suggestive emails
Test messages exchanged most days while at work and at home
Phone calls driving home
Discussions on work frustrations and applications for new jobs
Me reaching out to her rather than BW
Me opening up on feelings and frustrations in a way I did not with BW
She cried and came to me for support when she was having a hard time
She would call me gorgeous and be overly friendly with me
We would go for walks at lunch time and talk
I assisted her with her job at the detriment of mine
I would go into the office early to get my work done so I could spend time with her
The physical elements of he affair:
Brushing against one another
She would lean over me if she wanted to discuss something on screen
Me masturbating over her in my own fantasies
BS, understandably, thinks more happened. I'm struggling getting her to believe me.
I know that everything I have told her previously was lies, TT and gas lighting. I know I have nothing to back up this timeline. She is scared that in 10 years time I will either relapse or something will come to light that will shatter her world.
She continually tells me things don't make sense. Historically, if it did not made sense, then I'm was telling lies. This backed up with anger and defensiveness. Now were in a position where I've come clean on the level of my feeling for COW and how I would pleasure myself over her. I have acknowledged the full extent of my exit from the marriage and into this affair. People here on SI say if it does not make sense then it's a lie....and of course they're right, everything I have done in the past has been based on lies or half truths. I have come clean on everything that happened in this affair. I've shared the feelings I had for her and the total lack of respect I had for BS or our marriage.
I'm trying to show more emotional maturity and in recent events in my personal life I have shown BS I can show her emotion other than anger. I'm trying to be the man I want to be. I have led my whole life with a selfish mentality and have only recently come to realise the extent of this. Our MC has called me out on this on multiple occasions as has my contact on here.
I need help guys
12 comments posted: Thursday, December 9th, 2021
A sex question from BS (oral v penetrative)
Not related to affairs, but inside the marriage.
A graphic question (maybe)......
I prefer to climax during penetrative sex over oral sex. Often during oral sex I will want to move to penetration to climax, both from a physical stimulation point of view and from a closeness/connection point of view. BS asked if this was "different" from other guys out there. It seems through movies and media that climax through oral sex is the "holy grail" of male expectations. I really don't feel this. Don't get me wrong, it's nice, but without a doubt I prefer us to be close and connected when I climax.
Am I alone?
Sorry for the personal level of this question.
12 comments posted: Friday, February 5th, 2021
Just over a week ago, I contacted my father and my sister to tell them all about my affairs and confess to them how I have acted through my entire marriage and before. This was done for a few reasons.
1) It has been recommened on here and in other literature that we read that doing this can be beneficial to the healing process and in letting family know it can take some of the stress away from both of us.
2) While I am in IC, I have no one I can talk to other than BS. While I can open up to her, we are both suffering from the same pain caused by me. I feel stupid going to her to sound off when her pain is so much greater than mind AND I'm the cause.
3) I just felt, deep down that I needed to. I needed to let them know who I am.
Well, I told my father first and he minimised everything. Some of my wayward behaviour happened before we got married, so that was dismissed without further thought. The online activity was kind of ignored and the EA....Well, I had given up listening at this point. He the proceeded to tell me that he did not particularly like my wife and that before my grandmother died she told him that she hopes we never marry. I was devastated. My BS was listening to the call to. We both burst into tears and held one another after I had hung up. I feel sick even now thinking that he would say such a thing.
Later in the evening I contacted my sister. I broke down before I could even begin talking. I scared the life out of her as she had no idea what was going on. When I composed myself and managed to get some form of confession out she was stunned. She called be a bloody idiot and then next thing was to offer her full support to my BS saying that if there was anything they could do to help her then she only has to ask. She told me that she loves us both and that she will do everything she can to help in any reconciliation (she did admit that she thought there was not much she could do other that say good luck and stick with it). I contacted her again a few days later and told her the full story slightly more calmly. Again she offered her support to us both, passed on a message from her husband (that I was a twat and if BS needed anything then please contact him).
I can't believe the contrast in family members.
The difficulty now is what we do when Covid is over and people want to get together. My BS is embarrassed by everything and feels she cannot face my sister at the moment. She, quite rightly, wants nothing to do with my father again, but loves my mother and will miss her terribly.
I am talking to my sister at least once a week and we are now closer than we have been for years. I hope that in time we will all be able to meet again.
3 comments posted: Tuesday, January 12th, 2021
My BS and I made the decision to contact two of my AP's. We want to get their story of how the our relationships started, built and ultimately ended. With a view to this being compared to my timeline. I messaged them through Facebook and Linked in.
The messages were discussed and reviewed by BS for leading content and that they were of sufficient tone to not be overly friendly, aggressive,nasty, etc. Just the right tone and content that these women MIGHT just feel some empathy towards BS and I and help. I made it clear that I hold no animosity to them and do not blame them for anything that happened and that I take full responsibility for my actions.
Well, this was done on Sunday and as yet we've heard nothing. We even added a line in the message saying along the lines of "If you do not feel you can help with this request, please respond saying so and I will accept that at least I tried"
So, have any of you done this and how long did you wait for a reply before giving up hope? Even if you have not, I would value your opinions.
13 comments posted: Tuesday, January 12th, 2021
Guys. Not sure if this is OK but can anyone recommend a decent IC. I'm in the UK, so will obviously have to be done over Skype/Teams/a conference suite of some description. I'm checking out some more local to me obviously, but there are a lot of them.
If not OK mods then please delete and accept my apologies.
1 comment posted: Tuesday, November 24th, 2020
Most pointless lie
My BS and I have been discussing recovery and my behavior during my affairs. We brushed on the utterly pointless lies I told which only damaged recovery or raised questions about me during the time before d-day. We have agreed as part of our recovery that there are no lies...about ANYTHING...Even Christmas or Birthdays. I do not tell her what I have bought, but if she asks I will tell her. (She has not, but the principle is there).
It made me think of something that happened only yesterday. I was leaving the bathroom and needed to get into our spare bedroom to retrieve something. The Vacuum cleaner was in the way. I picked it up, and swung it out of the way. CRASH! It hit the door and damaged it. I repaired the damage and told BS when she got home....A nothing story you're thinking...Well, not really. For a split second I thought about lying about the damage and not telling her. WTAF!?! In the past I would have done this and if she had discovered the damage I would have lied about it!
Now I get lies about having affairs. But what stupid, insignificant lies did you tell you BS? How do you feel about it now?
It took me a long time to get out of the mindset of silly little lies. I've lied in the past about spending £20 ($26) on something saying I had spent £10 on it!! Madness.
12 comments posted: Wednesday, November 18th, 2020
I'm looking into the justifications I told myself when having my affairs. I've tried to list them and remember what I did to tell me my actions were both acceptable and warranted. I'm also trying to link these into the timeline. The logic being try to understand at what point I was with my justifications during what stage(s) of an affairs. (hopefully that makes sense).
My questions to other WS's is not what justifications you told yourself. I need to remember mine without knowing yours. I'm asking for input into:
1) how did you come to these justifications. For me, I did not sit down and think I want to sleep with this woman, so lets think of some excuses. Well, that's not entirely true. I did think I wanted to sleep with her and my head did the rest. Every time something happened then the justifications just seemed to be there. I really don't remember this being an entirely conscious thing! Is this just me kidding myself? I know I knew what I was doing was wrong. BUT I also remember switching this guilt off because of the justifications. I genuinely believed them at the time too.
2) When did you stop believing them? Some of mine continued from my first affair and stayed with me for years. Only on doing some self reflection and reading did I see what the hell was happening to me and the lies I was believing.
3) Have you managed to sit with BS and explain them? This is a real struggle for me. Firstly because they were just not true so there is no justification for the justifications. Secondly because I'm only just starting to work on them properly, my initial thoughts are (as with a lot of our work) either not thought about enough or still shrouded in the lies i'm still believing. Thirdly, I am getting angry during the discussions we are having and this is causing us to regress back to previous stages of recovery. I struggle putting into words what I thought I was feeling and telling myself. This is, quite rightly, being challenged and I get angry. (I know this is unacceptable. Previous episodes of anger were when I was lying about elements of the affair, so clearly I need to do more work on my justifications).
4) I know some of my actions have permanently scarred my BS. As most of these are based on fantasy and lies. Do I have any hope of helping her? She has endured years of my affairs and abuse and clearly has no idea who I am of who she is. I need to be able to really ascertain how terrible a person I was AND how I could allow me to be that person, before there is any hope of me helping her.
5) What did you do to keep the justifications going? Were they always there or did you justify once and never look back? Did you change the justifications to suit the situation?
6) Have you managed to "deal" with the feelings of guilt and shame surrounding the bullshit you were feeding yourself? I know understanding this is only the tip of an enormous iceberg. I'm struggling with this too. I hate being like this as I've got no right to feel like this given that pain and damage I have inflicted on BS and our marriage.
7) Is there anything out there to help me unravel all this crap?! help me understand what ad how I was doing this? (Books, threads on here, other sites etc)
Some of my justifications:
1) We were not happy. (Firstly not true and secondly a bit of a cliche).
2) She will make me happier.
3) It's is OK to sleep with someone else as long as you don't get caught. If you do then just deal with it when it happens.
4) It feels good and I'm entitled to feel good.
5) I focused on the negative things about my BS. Crazy things that normal people would not even notice, let alone get upset or annoyed about. As I was annoyed by this, I used it to fuel the other justifications.
6) There were "friends" of both myself and AP who promoted the affair and validated my actions. I did not see this for what it was but again used this to justify continuing with the affair.
7) I could shut down emotionally from my BS and cared very little about the possible impact the affairs would have on her. I need to work on this immediately as it is impacting recovery in a big way.
10 comments posted: Sunday, November 15th, 2020
Getting back the innocence.
I read with interest the "lost innocence" thread on the General forum. My BS and I are going through exactly this. We're trying to come to terms with the loss of all of the "firsts" and have been discussing what can be done to get new firsts and start our happy memories again.
Have any of you worked through this and what did you do? We are planning new adventures together and are looking at what has been damaged and what can be done to replace the broken areas of our marriage while not forgetting what I have done to so badly hurt my wife and our past life together..
2 comments posted: Monday, October 19th, 2020