Newest Member: Momof2greatadults

Bulcy

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs, Two physical affairs (2000). D-Day's 2003, August '17, multiple discoveries through 2018,19 and 20, Jan 21 and 2022

Triggers on TV - Is there anything on Netfix 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?

10 comments posted: Thursday, August 11th, 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?

22 comments posted: Sunday, June 26th, 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

New job

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

S.T.O.P.P

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

Time Out

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

Fao mod

Can you remove stop signs from my two most recent posts please?

3 comments posted: Friday, April 8th, 2022

My promise

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
relationship
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
with
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)
34.
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
will occur)
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

Mod please

Can you release the stop sign on my "build up" and "my father" threads please?

0 comment posted: Tuesday, March 8th, 2022

My Father

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

Build up

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

HI,

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

Mod please

Hi, can you remove stop sign from my comments needed thread please?

2 comments posted: Sunday, December 12th, 2021

Comments needed

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

Telling family

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

Contact OW

Hi,

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

Recommended IC

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

Self justifications

Hi,

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

Meditation

Part of the IC call I had yesterday related to meditation. It was recommended as a method to help focus the mind, both from a self healing and self reflection. Ultimately helping me with the whys and how’s.

I do not have any idea on how to do this, but was recommended yo look at YouTube for guided meditation as a start. There are loads of videos on YouTube.

Can anyone recommend a video or series they have used (are using)?

11 comments posted: Saturday, August 8th, 2020

First I/C call tonight

Have booked a series of I/C and mentoring sessions. The first one is tonight. I'm hoping this goes better than MC. The guy doing it specialises in infidelity, so I really hope to get maximum benefit.

2 comments posted: Friday, August 7th, 2020

Bonding again

Hi,

BS and I were discussing last night about us bonding again. Part of this discussion turned to do we know one another. Following my infidelity we began the process of writing timelines, bonding sexually, working on the whys and hows, getting me out of the fog etc. One of the things we did was to look online at questions to ask one another with a view to getting to know each other again. The questions we found were pretty lame so we dropped this idea..... Last night we thought about it again. Which leads me to this question(s)...

What did you do to reestablish a bond with BS?

Are there any decent online resources to help?

Did you uncover anything interesting about BS?

I'm not after anything that would be covered by the usual books on healing, just some fun stuff really. BS and I are working through a few books, but would like to have something to do together during a bit of downtime.

WS and BS opinions welcome.

Thanks

5 comments posted: Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

Rewriting History

There was a post earlier, which was moved to I can relate. This asked the question about WS changing history of the relationship to justify their affair. I was guilty of this in that I said I was not happy in my relationship, my BS would annoy me I even used I don't think I loved you. All horse sh*t.

What have you guys done in rewriting your history that you later regretted and subsequently reworked you timeline to correct these lies? Also, do you know why you did it?

17 comments posted: Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

My Story

I used terms like “harmless flirting” and “nothing happened” in this timeline. I used them and others to reflect my opinion at the time. They do not represent my opinion now. I have also condensed areas as this is going to be a long post. I will answer questions and add to it where necessary.

Together since 1995 Married 2014.

D-Day 1 2003 – Affair with female friend

D-Day 2 2017 – Affair with female COW – LTA 22 months

D-Day 3 2019 – Multiple online affairs and porn use

I met my wife (BS) in 1995 while working in a local social club. There was an 18th Birthday party at which she was a guest. We spoke on that evening and even had a dance together. I gave her and her friend a lift home. The next day I gave my phone number to her friend and asked that she ask my wife to call me. We went on a date and hit is off. We dated through the summer until I was offered a job in another city. We decided we should try and have a long-distance relationship. I really wanted this relationship to continue as I knew that I was falling in love with her and did not want to be without her. This long-distance relationship worked well, and I would often return home (sometimes for surprise) visits. She soon started University near to where I was living and working. In this time during the long-distance relationship we both declared we loved one another.

In 1999 I returned to my hometown to start a University course (a mature student).

D-Day 1

I had a friend at Uni who was living with his girlfriend and another woman. I would visit and soon noticed that the other woman (AP1) was interested in me. She would smile and make an effort to come and speak with me. I liked this attention and reciprocated. I did find her attractive and enjoyed talking with her. I did not see this as a red flag at the time as nothing was happening. She would ask how I was and what I had been up to since we last spoke. Her demeanour was open and overtly friendly. We started flirting with one another and then inappropriate physical contact. She would try and push me around or wrestle with me. I would easily overpower her. I enjoyed this and wanted more of it. She would enjoy the contact and the flirting. I withdrew from my relationship with BS, I convinced myself that we were not happy (not true) and that this behaviour was acceptable because I was only having a bit of fun. This went on for a month or so. It was building up in frequency. During this time, I was thinking more and more about taking things further. I was trying to make it clear that I wanted to take things further and I guess she was too. I say that because the night we first kissed one of our “friends” got annoyed at us flirting and said “Oh for gods sake just kiss”. I was around 30 at the time but showed the emotional maturity of a 16-year-old. We kissed and I did try to have sex with her, but she stopped me. While I was frustrated and annoyed at not getting any further that night, I did stop, and I went home. She did say, when she stopped me, that the only reason she did was because I was in a relationship. I think it could have been her trying to force my hand into leaving my BS as I can think of no other reason for the sunned attack of morals. I felt guilty at this point as I was clearly in an affair. The self-justifications were flying, and I just carried on doing what I wanted. I was a self-centred selfish arsehole. I thought about the damage I was causing to my BS but chose not to worry about it as I would never be caught. I remember telling myself that I would deal with it if I ever was caught. I have no idea what this meant, but it was another excuse to continue and ignore any pain caused. The affair continued after this kissing session, I think she felt a little uncomfortable about turning me down and there was a slightly nervous moment when we met again. It took a couple of times before things were back to flirting and touching. I thought I was at this time falling in love with her (not real of course). We all (BS and AP1 included) went out for a meal one evening, I was touching the AP under that table. My BS challenged me on this, and I denied everything. To cut a long story short I left my BS and went to AP1. I moved in with the three of them. That night we had sex. My BS called me late that night and begged me to come home. We agreed that I would come home the next day and talk. We discussed what we wanted and that she (BS) did not want to lose me. I agreed to take a couple of days away to think about things and decide on what I wanted to do.

I took a couple of days away to think. I thought about what had happened to me and what the hell was I thinking. I knew I had made a mistake and wanted to stay with my BS. When I got home, I spoke with BS and said that this was my decision. We discussed letting AP1 know and I suggested I tell her in person as I thought I owed her that. A huge mistake as I was not out of the affair and I owed her nothing. I went to her place and she knew straightaway that I had made the decision to stay with BS and she was upset. She was alone in the house. She asked me to reconsider and tried to kiss me. While I pulled back the first time, I did not the second. We kissed and we had sex again. I knew straight away what a catastrophic mistake I had made. I was numb. I apologised and left. I sat in my car for 15 minutes in a state of panic. I was so pathetically weak. I knew doing what I did would shatter any hope I had of repairing my relationship with BS. I decided that the best option would be to lie about it. Pretend it never happened. I take full responsibility for my actions that day. I hate myself and what happened. Reflecting on this pushed me into a cycle of self loathing and even more anger. I wrote a few pages previously (for BS to read, not posted on here) about how I felt and how much I hated myself. Subsequently, I realised this is not necessarily a secure way into R. I need to shake these feeling off and focus my attention on my wife and recovery. I’m not ignoring these feelings, but I’m no longer letting them delay recovery or understanding why.

I never saw or spoke to AP1 again after that, although I was in contact with my “friend” for a couple of weeks after, but I realised quickly this was not healthy, so contact was broken with these people too. I did not do any subsequent self-reflection or any attempt to fix myself properly. The affair was swept under the carpet and rarely spoken about again until D-day 2.

Porn

Between 2004 and 2017 I was watching a lot of porn. This was a substitute to physical contact with my BS. I thought we had reached a natural decline in our sex life and thought that watching porn and using this to satisfy any urge I had was OK. The porn use was often. It did start with short viewings and limited usage, as this was enough to get me excited and I would get what I needed. After years of watching it, I had become quite immune to it. The standard porn was not enough to get me excited as I had seen it all before. I would search out different typed of pornography and it would be some quite hard-core stuff. This was happening a few times a week. I would be browsing 30+ videos before I found something that would be what I wanted. Close intimacy with by BS was very limited. This was my choice. BS tried to initiate sex, but I rarely agreed. Since D day our sex life has improved greatly (A period of HB followed by more emotionally linked love making).

D-Day 2

I had a long-term emotional affair with COW (AP2). This started in October 2015 and continued through to August 2017. We worked in the same department as accountants for a manufacturing company. She was new to the business and was struggling with understanding what was needed of her. This applied to a male colleague too. I liked her and when our boss asked another colleague and I to take these two under our wings to help them I took this opportunity to work closer with AP2. We worked together and I helped her get a sound knowledge of the systems used in the business. A few days after doing this work, I received an e-mail from her which was slightly flirtatious. I flirted back. She would be very jokey with me and want to grab a coffee whenever I was making one. In these early days I would be making coffee with a male colleague. She would be there with us and the three of us would chat. Despite the work we had done together and us hitting the deadlines, the team, as a whole did not. In the January of 2017 we all received an undeserved dressing down from management. She was upset by this and we spoke together in private, where she cried. She told me she wanted to move to another job, but it was too soon. I agreed to help her with the additional workload we were given. Classic Knight in shining armour. Once again, we worked well together. E-mail exchanges between us increased in the early part of 2016 they would be less professional discussing work frustrations, the fact that management were being unsupportive, and wanting further help. She would no longer ask anyone else for help and focussed her attention on me. I did think at the time this was odd behaviour but welcomed the attention. She continued to try and make me feel good about myself and I was happy to help her where possible, enjoying the attention I was getting. Looking back, I was clearly in an affair with her but did not realise or want to realise it at the time. The e-mails were soon becoming more flirtatious as well as ego massaging. I was living the lie that this was acceptable as we were both having a hard time at work and this flirtation was harmless. I was not considering that this had become something much more serious and we were in an affair. I refused to accept this until way after D-day.

Text messaging started in the March and phone calls in the April. These were frequent, several text messages a day and four or five calls a week. I hid these from BS and ended calls before I got home. I knew she would not like me calling another woman so hid it. While still in denial of the affair I was protecting myself and the affair. Clearly lying to myself and my BS. I was talking to OW about not being happy in my job and how I was applying for a new role elsewhere. We would talk about anything that came up, but I was making time to have these conversations. I would let OW know what time I planned to leave so we could have a call. This continued for another year. There was no physical contact, but the calls, texts and e-mails continued. The summer of 2017 was an opportunity for the entire team to join a European conference which would involve a hotel stay. I have only recently accepted that I was falling in love with her. Fake love of course, but I was in the affair deeply (Limerence?). I am genuinely happy that D-day happened before this conference. I denied for such a long time that anything would have happened. With a few drinks inside us who knows? It seems stupid to deny that there was a high probability that something could have happened. A few weeks before this conference I was challenged by BS. I, as before, denied any affair and told her this was all in her head. BS found evidence on my mobile phone and confronted me with this. I only partially accepted anything was going on even with this evidence. On discovery of the affair I deleted text messages and call evidence as well as e-mails. We did manage to retrieve all the e-mail from the work server, but not text messages (this was on a work phone, so no chance of getting them once I had left). Although I did only delete a fraction of them. There was enough still on the phone to prove there was an affair. While still in denial and firmly in the fog, I agreed to end the affair. The following Monday I went to work and tried to explain to AP2 that we were in an affair and we needed to end contact. She denied an affair and even laughed at the thought. She did agree to NC. Ture NC was made impossible as we still worked together, and she was still e-mailing me. We agreed that mails could still happen if they were strictly business related and professional. I did once or twice respond to e-mails, but in the main maintained NC. I did break that in a big way on my last day in the company (~6 months after D-day) by attending a leaving lunch with everyone in the office (having said I would not do so). OW was there. Another selfish act and betrayal. I called AP2 after I got home on the night, I left the business with my BS present. I ended that affair again at this time and told her that there was to be NC. She was still in denial but did keep to NC until recently where she read my LinkedIn profile. (see recent thread).

Post DD2 I was in denial about the affair. I had accepted the existence of emotional affairs but refused to accept that I was involved in one. It took me several months after I had left my job before I acknowledged that I was fully in this affair. I was resentful of any attempt by BS to understand the affair and would get defensive whenever challenged. This was of course because I was both lying and TT her (once again protecting myself). She would get upset at my lack of attention to her or me trying to understand why. We would argue and I would get angry at her. I engaged in rug sweeping, denials and lies. On multiple occasions I have left the home and the relationship rather than deal with my shortcomings. I had given up, thinking that the situation cannot be fixed, again rather than face my failure as a husband and a wayward in recovery. I wanted things to be forgotten about and we should just “move on”. I was firmly in the fog for at least 12-month post DD2 and in denial and protecting myself for a further 12 months. I attempted to self-reflect, but in the most half arsed way imaginable. I have recently look at my first timeline (maybe 500 words) compared to my most recent which is well over 16,000.

I constantly screwed up. I did things I said I would not and did not do things I said I would. I’m ashamed to say that it took me so long to even attempt to “get it”. Reading the forum and the great books that are out there really hit home how much time I’ve wasted and how I’ve damaged further any chance at R. I sometimes shout at the screen when reading the Wayward forum or the Just Found Out. It is so sad to read that people are making some of the same mistakes I have. During the period after D-day we were making some progress. This was shattered once again when BS found online affairs via Twitter (D-day 3). Initially I opened the Twitter account because I wanted to know what it was all about and why so many people were on it. (I did not, and still don’t quite get it.) I did set up a short profile and friended a few others. I friended a woman who was posting on another sports forum I was a member of. I used Twitter to flirt with her and a few of her friends. We would be highly sexual, and they would post photos at my request. I would get some sexual satisfaction from this but did sign off and use porn after. This was relatively short lived as I was worried about any fallout from flirting with these women as they were in relationships too. I initially felt relaxed about pushing the boundaries as it was all online and therefore “not real”. It did become real though, they all lived locally, and I was considering trying to meet up with them. Things had got serious and I stopped. I did not delete the account or the messages, but rarely did I go on Twitter again after this. By the time of d-day2 I had completely pushed this from my mind and dare I say it...I had forgotten that this even happened. It was only when confronted again did I remember. I did also communicate with women on Facebook, these were also inappropriate as they were both hidden from my BS and on reflection inappropriate in content (some mentioned they used to fancy me at school other I would try to invite out for drinks with other schools friends. These other friends we “unsafe” and have since been defriended). During the time after DD2 I have thought about other women I have acted badly around. I flirted with a woman I worked with while at university, I made it clear I liked her. She fortunately told me to “Go away” in no uncertain terms. I acted as a guarantor on a loan for a friend (£5,000), at no point did I mention this to my BS. I put us at a level of financial risk. This loan came before period of transition in my career. I could not afford the repayments should my friend have missed a payment. I put both my BS and me in financial risk. This friend has also been removed from my life.

I have since deleted most social media accounts. I have Facebook and LinkedIn. I work in a professional environment and use LinkedIn to keep in contact with job agencies and fellow accountants. I have recently had a break of NC from AP2 (as detailed on another thread). Subsequently BS and I tightened up security and made sure she cannot contact me. BS had full access to this account, and we review together who my contacts are and who I can and can’t link to. Facebook is for family and “safe friends” only.

Post DD3 we discussed and deleted over 100 people from FB. As with LinkedIn BS has access to this account too. I have given over access to my e-mail, mobile phone and bank account. At any time, my BS can see whatever she likes. This can happen either on her own or when we’re sat together. We have been through HB immediately after DD2 and this lasted for quite some time. Since then our sex life had not reduced much but is now art of our normal life. We are now physically and emotionally bonding on an amazing level.

I have removed any “unsafe” friends from my life, these being people who knew about the affairs (and were complicit) or friends who have engaged in similar activities. I have no contact with people I previously worked with. The only exceptions to this being a close colleague who retired and a “safe” friend who no longer works for the business. This to remove any chance of breaking NC through a third party and to avoid triggers. I have removed most female friends from Facebook and contact list on my phone. The only ones I have are either professional (vetted by BS) or close “safe” friends. I’m attempting to give my BS everything I failed to give her in the past. I’m always trying to give 110% and focus my attention on her.

We are both regularly reading and contributing to SI as well as other forums. We are working together through various books (previously discussed) and talk about what happened in the affairs and why. As stated above, I have written a detailed timeline and we are working through this together generating several why questions. We went to MC but found this to be of little use. The councillor seemed to blame my BS for the affair. Before we got a chance to address this issue, it was cut short due to Covid. We will not return but are considering options for another councillor. We have not tried IC as there are very few specialist people in our area. Maybe this is a UK thing?!? It seems the US is more geared up for this.

I have been making mental notes of the triggers my BS suffers and try to either avoid them or be there as support when they happen. I no longer get angry when BS is triggered and understand that they are my fault. We have put in boundaries to ensure safety and to retrain my mindset. I am not having 1:1 meeting with female work colleagues unless this is in an open plan office. I invite at least one other to the meeting should we be discussion confidential matters. Any contact via personal e-mail or text message is shown to BS, all passwords have been handed over, my old mobile phone has been handed over too.

I have such deep regret for all my actions and the extreme damage I have caused my BS. She is an amazing person who is sticking by me despite the huge mount of damage I have done to her and our marriage. I am extremely lucky to still be in a position to work on recovery.

I am open to opinions from both BS's and WS's so no stop sign. I have missed out a lot of information on feelings as these are, currently, be shared with BS only. I may add these to this post in time.

8 comments posted: Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

Contact from AP?

I had an email from Linked in earlier today with a list of people who have viewed my profile. The former AP is on that list. I have received no contact from her, but I view this a a breach on NC. I’ve told my wife, as soon as she got home. She was however aware of the email as I have agreed to her having access to my account.

We’re both upset and angered by this. I’m not sure what to do. I’m reluctant to contact her to tell her to f**k off again as this could been seen by her as me reaching out. I don’t think you can block people from viewing your profile either.

I’m really angry at this, especially at the upset caused to both my wife and myself.

Help!!

29 comments posted: Monday, June 8th, 2020

Helping my BS

Hi, My BS and I have spent a huge amount of time trying to unpick and understand my affairs. We've been through so may steps in looking into me and trying to fix me that we have neglected her.

We are now nearly three years post D-Day 1 and I have wasted so much of this time not helping the recovery and resenting her attempts to help. My wife has read extensively into understanding what the hell I was doing and why. I, eventually, got my head out of my arse and myself out of the fog and have been working on me too. (I will write my story in another post).

The thing which has been neglected is her recovery. We're hoping that some of this will come from fixing me, but everything we read suggests we need to work on her too. That is where we need help. Our councilor was, until lock down, focusing on me and us. NOT her. We're thinking of switching to someone new when we can. Unfortunately we cannot do this at the moment. We have been looking for books that focus on healing the betrayed but have not found anything which is working. Can anyone recommend something that helped your betrayed? We're working together on re-building trust but really need help on her.

This forum has been fantastic for both of us. While most of our reading has been on fixing me and us we spoke today about the need to help her.

Any help will be appreciated.

FYI The books we've read/reading fro me/us are:

Infidelity why men and women cheat - K Rosenberg

Infidelity Exploring the myths - J Moore

Out of the Doghouse - R Weiss

I love you but I don't trust you - M Kirshenbaum

Healing from a affair - Doug and Linda

Recovering from Affairs - P and J Vaughan

There are others, but they're on a similar theme. I think what were after is help in rebuilding a shattered self worth, I've done so much damage to her that we do not think these books offer quite enough to help us begin to rebuild her.

Hopefully that makes sense to you guys?

15 comments posted: Sunday, June 7th, 2020

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