Newest Member: Imthecheater

Apparition

Me: BH
Her: WW (expert serial cheater)
Status: Divorcing

Betrayed: We deserved it.

A mod gave good and concise advice on how to manage topics across threads. Basically, ideas are are open, direct reference not so much. Thank you. I was a tad triggered here on SI and been unpacking the ways my WW indirectly blamed me. Reading others talk about this was helping me and understand. Anyone else not recognize the blame shifting as it occurred and did you get direct or indirect blame-shifting?

Side note, but along the same lines of deferred recognition, someone mentioned the physical abuse from my WW and they pointed me toward a truth: I didn’t at the time really think of her physical assaults as abuse. I made excuses for her. I now have understanding for people recognizing abuse later. I use to think "how did you not know you were assaulted?". Seemed impossible, but now I know that some of us defend our assailants and compartmentalize abuse. I’m trying to figure out why.

20 comments posted: Saturday, August 28th, 2021

Is this okay here? You deserved it. BS vent.

No wonder your ex-WH cheated on you,
having had to deal with an attitude like yours.

barf

Not naming any names. Moderator has already addressed this comment with the wayward and asked betrayed not to comment further in the thread to the wayward. I originally passed this comment over, as I had

no way

to address it without bringing a 2x4. So, maybe it's okay here since this is labeled a BS Vent? It's okay with me if moderators delete it, not that they need my permission.

I have not been able to get this comment out of my head. It's too real and unvarnished. Someone said simply, "mask has slipped". laugh

My WW on one hand said it was never my fault. Then in other comments made it clear I had given her cause. When confronted, she would say, no, she was simply trying to figure out her own wrong justifications. Maybe she meant the correction or maybe each time she meant I deserved it. I believe now that her mask never slipped, but if it did, I'd have heard something direct like is quoted. It seems unrepentant wawyards have a thousand ways for letting us know we deserved what happened to us. I know others have encountered the same. Has anyone else encountered it as directly as the quote from their own wayward?

Big hugs to the recipient of the insult.

9 comments posted: Friday, August 27th, 2021

Change My Mind: Counselors are Mostly Inept and Toxic Enablers

Some know I'm in S/D mode now and there is little my WW can do to disturb my peace, more often than not I find her words enlightening in showing my WW as completely uncompromising. Her comments seem to show case everything ever said to me on SI.

So, change my mind. Most of the counselors in her IC and our MC have enabled my WW in her lying, gaslighting, minimizing, and equivocation. She called me this morning with a "new" plan to R. Her IC has informed her that she has showed empathy and its time for me to accept that empathy as given. Her IC has informed her that I'm destroying the marriage by reminding us both through my questions of the harm done to our marriage by the affair (notice the affair is something done to the marriage by some mysterious outside influence). In other words, I should not have questions or discuss her poor choices and then we can have a happy marriage and R.

I believe my wife. I believe this is what her IC said. I've witnessed this approach in MC, others have discussed their toxic MC. So why should I believe in the counseling profession at all if it so avoids applying anything known about affair trauma or affair recovery?

I get there are different approaches, but really, is there any evidence that rugsweeping, gaslighting, lying, minimizing, and blame shifting are paths to recovery for most?

So, can a case be made for going to a counselor for IC/MC after an affair?

120 comments posted: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

The Worst Pain is Felt by

I've read disturbing debates on who feels the worst pain. Personally, I think there is plenty enough pain to go around and I have sympathy for all betrayed, and even all the waywards who are doing the work and facing their poor choices with integrity and honesty. Sorry, not much sympathy left for the waywards that are currently gaslighting and continuing the abuse of their partner.

But WW and I had a rare talk last night and there were many revelations, one will finally settle the debate as to who felt the worst pain:

WW: "It's the worst of all emotional pain to know that you hurt someone you love."

So now the debate is settled, the worst pain is felt by the spouse who betrays their faithful spouse.

Now that we have a WW ruling on the topic of pain, we can all return to our healing.

29 comments posted: Friday, July 30th, 2021

It Will Always Be About Them

One thing I distilled from all my conversations with WW: it is always about them. It’s the common thread that winds through every conversation. Unrepentant waywards just haven’t taken responsibility so that they can be of any use in a healing and therapeutic conversation.

The techniques are all well known, minimizing, attacking, changing the topic, lies, gas lighting, whatever. Its all the same thing: waywards are interested in their own self image and their own outcomes. I know it’s difficult to put aside self, but if one can’t have empathy and listen to a betrayed and respond in a manner meant to honestly inform the betrayed on whatever the topic, then its all a waste of time.

24 comments posted: Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

Wayward's Disparaging APs Prior to Affair

I keep seeing this common thread among many stories: prior to D-Day wayward's will disparage the AP, making them seem like a non-threat to the relationship. Prior to D-Day I recall my WW saying her primary AP was a player, a cheat, and was arrogant. Now that I know she selected him as an AP, I realize this was a manipulative technique employed to throw me off suspicion. Sort of, "look what a dirtbag he is, don't worry about him".

Anyone else experience this technique of wayward's saying negative things about the AP (prior to disclosure)? Does this technique have a name?

I'm not sure I could make a complete list of all the small manipulations my WW employed to cover her tracks. Lies for waywards truly become an autonomic action like breathing.

22 comments posted: Monday, July 26th, 2021

Separation Limbo

Separated now for a week, WW rented a place. Divorce attorney is selected and on retainer, but I haven’t pressed the start button. WW still wants to reconcile, but anyone familiar with my story is aware of the deflection, minimizing, gas lighting, and physical abuse (her

on me). While I can honestly say some progress was made in her empathy, her individual work, and in our communication, the post DD behaviors by her may be more than I want to forgive. Some say its not the affairs, but the post wayward actions (new lies, new gaslighting, etc.) that end the M. I think I may fall into this camp, with an ability to forgive multiple affairs, but to never be able to trust due to post DD cover up. So update for now is simply separated.

14 comments posted: Saturday, July 17th, 2021

Is Divorce a Necessary Ingredient?

Question: Is a true commitment by a BS to divorce a necessary ingredient to reconciliation?

So I hire an attorney, have them file for divorce, and I tell everyone in our circle that I am asking for a divorce. WW initially accepts divorce as her wishes also, then a few days later does a hard reversal, suddenly wanting to do recommended R work, taking all my suggestions, admitting to her short comings in R, in communication, and in doing her part. I suddenly am in a position that the woman coming to me now is one I’d reconcile with, but I’m on the fence. I’ve seen so many stories about how a wayward is stuck, then the divorce process is started by the BS, family/everyone told, and only then does WS behave like a truly repentant person that cares. I’m on the fence, paperwork is done, attorney paid; and attorney waiting on my go ahead. Then it begins, but now waffling.

40 comments posted: Thursday, June 24th, 2021

Moved to Reconciliation 1st Update- Erratic & Painful

Quick Background:

- My original thread, laughably, was "The Best of Marriages in Ruins".

- WW spent two years having an EA, Ashley Madison, hotel hookups, stranger sexting, sending nude photos, dinner dates, etc. The full range of cheating. Some signs of earlier past misbehavior, but nothing that could ever be proved and not something I want to explore.

- Typical Multiple D Days, all the tropes: "I've told everything important", half truths, trickle truth, outright lies, inconsistencies, and even purposeful withholding (mental torture) to "get me back" for the yelling and questioning.

- Bad MC selected. Insert the typical toxic MC story.

- I initiate a half 180, and stay healthy enough to be abused with typical wayward tactics.

- I do a better 180, WW finds a better MC, WW shows empathy, and exerts weeks of a really solid effort. I'm convinced this is a turning point.

We enter R with some hope. I end my posts on Just Found Out.

- In MC for a few months. Somewhat productive, up and down. We ended the new MC a few weeks ago as it reached a dead end for me and for her.

Primary sticking point in MC. WW is really angry at me and this is not resolved as MC tells her my behavior was normal so she doesn't want to address her anger anymore. For me, WW doesn't appear to have legit empathy. Signs of failed empathy:

- Extreme anger towards me.

- Frustration at any mention of A, turning to anger towards me.

- Short "good conversations" that devolve to her citing a wrong she felt (some justified) and asserting some equivalency, "you weren't perfect, I wasn't perfect, so enough and lets move-on" On this note, I'm always open to talking about my failings. And I believe I do so in the way I'd like to be spoken to - calmly and with my ownership of my actions. Also, I give credit to her feelings and likewise, want credit to my feelings even if they can't 100% be explained. Not apology, not a solution, just acknowledgement. I don't want to talk about her issues with me as a counter that shuts down working through my concerns and feelings. This seems tactical and not authentic.

- During MC I find out she gave us a VD. I did not share with MC to keep WW from being embarrassed. She cried, apologized, and then predictably grew angry when I had questions. My main source of questioning was she rejected the idea that her supposed last partner (the EA sex partner) could not be responsible. Given her time frames for testing she said she did after other unprotected encounters, it pointed to him. So either, her timeline was significantly flawed or she had feelings and making a knee jerk protection of EA partner. Her point is that I just want to keep her down, "beat her up", and will never forgive her.

Now we're post MC and just working on our own. She is seeing an IC, which is good by me as I don't even think I have a say in that and if I did would endorse it. However she knew I didn't know and kept it secret, which just raises all the issues in me of a continued life of living lies - even if the secret is something I don't actually care about. Her claim is she told me months ago, but all the coming and going, and not a single mention and I'd made comments about how I thought IC would be good - with no comment back. It only came out when she was angry and blurted out she is now strong thanks to IC and can fight back. Side note, also said she has an attorney, but then recanted.

It's like okay, I never thought she didn't fight back and I haven't raised my voice in anger since the first few months. Meanwhile, I never physically touched her nor used my presence in a threatening manner. Just last week she hit me with a glass picture frame, embedding glass in my arm that I raised to protect my face. Before this she grabbed my head, pulled my hair, yelled and spit in my face. In the past arguments she's yelled, shoved, slapped me, and personally attacked me in every way a spouse could attack a partner. When I raise this, she says, "I called her a slut once, so let's move-on" or the one that is a really poor equivalency, she says that my abuse was worse. The abuse she is referring to is the yelling and questioning in the weeks after D Day. I do consider that abuse, but abuse on a spectrum. Yelling is abusive, nobody should do it. We're not perfect. I own it and gave her an apology and true remorse. Meaning, I corrected my own attitude and behavior so I don't yell and don't grill her. I am disappointed in myself and wish I could go back with my current raised awareness. And, I'm willing to speak of it calmly anytime she wants. However, I consider striking someone as hard as they can with a glass frame and cutting them is much worse, not to mention grabbing, shoving, slapping, and another 6 months of yelling anger. But....my behavior was worse?

I haven't even tried to play a game of worse. We are all imperfect. We are each responsible for ourselves, I can't make you yell, you can't make me yell. We choose our actions. It's her actions and not repeating them that I care about. Understanding motives and decision processes, having empathy for my pain - not empathy for the state of the marriage, but the pain she caused me with her deceptions. I'd feel safer if she were self aware enough to be responsible for her anger, for her infidelity, for her deceptions. I don't need her to tell me she is an awful person.

Current phase is we had a break through where her last violence caused her to exhibit remorsefulness and question her own anger. She still implies my actions (weeks of grilling and yelling around D Day) are worse than both her infidelity and her violence. She is also loving, talks about putting me 1st, has a reasonable understanding and new found ability to discuss her whys without anger. She is acting shocked that I feel hurt, saying she thought all my reactions were based on pride. On one hand, her recognizing I'm hurt is a break through, on the other hand all these many months later and she apparently never thought I was hurt makes me question many things about her.

I have forgiven her and don't expect any payment from the affair, she doesn't need to abuse herself, nor report everything she does at every moment, nor do I want an unequal marriage. She should have just as much say in our future as if there was no A. I consider this forgiveness, to not harbor resentment over the affair. But I don't trust her and that to me is the next issue. If we D, I'm in good shape, I've forgiven and can move on, then the trust issue goes away. If we R, she has to work with me and be willing to address trust and my safety in meaningful ways. She says this is me not forgiving, but I don't think truth or the literature supports her conflation of forgiveness and trust.

I know this isn't an uplifting report and many will say run. I can say that I am actually mentally strong enough to ask for D if I want it. Not just ask for it, but initiate it. I'm not at that point. I'm interested in seeing where this latest break through takes us. I'm prepared for it taking us into more violence from her, but also hopeful she'll continue embracing her better self. Also ready if she initiates D, so please don't worry about me for that.

.

51 comments posted: Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

The Best of Marriages in Ruins

I've known for certain for six weeks with highly credible suspicions going back a year. I finally got the beginnings of an admission 3 days ago. I'm M(52)and my wife(52), we’ve been married for 12 years, together 15, and raised children in a combined household. I didn't just think it was a good marriage, I thought we had the best marriage. I was extremely happy and believed her the best person I knew. I believed her to be happy. We have sex several times a week or more. I’ve lost about 30% of my hair, but I have kept muscular. I never felt insecure, but for the first time in my life I’m questioning myself. I’m wondering where I’ve fallen short as a man. I own my own business and provide extremely well. We have gone through a couple of tough years, her mother was dying and needed an extreme amount of care. It was taxing on my wife and I did all I could to support her. I never believed I was perfect, but I was attentive, listened, and I had her back always. I never allowed her to run over me, I demanded equality in the marriage, and stood up for myself when needed. Nobody respects a pushover and I thought I was the type of husband a wife could respect. I was dead wrong. I prioritized our marriage over business and anything else.

I believed we could triumph over anything the world could throw at us and there was no reason for an affair. My view on affairs was that it was possible for anyone to have one, so I wouldn’t allow myself to get into bad situations, and that the cost of an affair was too great. I didn’t feel like a saint, it was just rational and right. I had opportunities, but why risk a great marriage or hurting someone you love with lies? I’ve read many forums, but this has been far more devastating than I ever imagined, I haven’t eaten for three days (I fast occasionally, but I’m not fasting, everything just looks like turd), and have slept just a few hours each night. My suspicions were far less than the truth. The admissions included a one-night stand, as well as a two year “text affair” that culminated in another one night sex meet-up in Dallas Texas with a former co-worker she knew for over a decade. There have been several days of the typical lies, half-truths, obfuscations, and gaslighting.

I knew a few facts, but when I disclosed a fact, her limited admission would match the fact, but never one bit more. Anyone relate? It’s infuriating. I’d read about a confrontation approach to make telling lies worse than telling the truth. I had a few facts at my command, I knew one weekend that she’d certainly slept with the AP (though I thought this was a one night stand and was blindsided by the admission of a prolonged affair), and I knew of a long-ago flirtation that ended with him in her hotel room, and then I had a few “maybe” items that had circumstantial evidence of other possible old flings/sexting, these were mostly from text I’d seen that were later deleted. Not enough to prove an affair, but proof of deleting inappropriate texts. Other odds and ends. I was truthful in letting her know that I had a few facts of her infidelity. She said she wanted to save the marriage. So I told her that I’d make every attempt to save the marriage, but that I expected her to tell me everything, everything from our entire marriage, and most especially every detail about the AP. I told her that if something didn’t match what I knew, then it was divorce.

She ended up detailing a two-year run up of sexting and flirtations, admitting that she initiated advancing the friendship into an affair, initiated the sexting, shared nude photos, planned a night, and followed through. She opened up her phone records for me, although I could see the date/time of texts and calls, on-line TMobile does not keep content, but I read you could do a restore that would restore all deleted texts. Obviously she’d been deleting incriminating texts from her phone. I’ve not asked to do this yet, but there are moments I want to see the deleted texts.

The records show all manner of disrespect. Me trying to call, but her not taking the calls as she’s involved in the sexting. Her waking up and texting him when I’m in the other room. Long text exchanges when I’ve gone to do something, like taking my dad to a doctors appointment and she engaged in several hours of texting. She texted him as much as she texted me. I suppose it’s all routine betrayal, but it was intimate and premeditated. In the beginning she refused to call it an affair. I told her fine, I’d do everything she did except not sleep with the person, and she can put whatever name on it she pleased. We agreed to the word affair.

Where I am now is I have what appears to be a thorough admission of the 2 year affair. The new disclosure of the man she picked up in a hotel bar for a one-night stand. I did not get any admission on old suspicions and partial facts I had. Where there is smoke, there is fire, and I refuse to be gullible. She has given up the AP, sending a text and blocking. She says she wants to save our marriage. She says he does not matter, she is not in love with him, she was “thrill seeking”. She is now answering questions with some ease and it feels genuine. The problem of course is that I’ve learned a terrible truth: her lying face looks exactly like her truthful face. Regardless, the facts and timeline match what I feel to be true. I made a promise to commit to working on our marriage, but I’m not sure she has satisfied my suspicions and I’m having a difficult time reconciling that she never admitted to what I know to be inappropriate behaviours early in our marriage. How important is resolving older suspicions? I just don’t know.

I’m going hour by hour right now. My state of mind is that I look around at the life we built and I’m not sure that it’s meant the same to her as me. I don’t know what is true or false about the past. It’s like the entire earth shifted beneath my feet and there is nothing but smoking rubble around me. She wants to talk about the future and I’m looking around and trying to figure out what survived the blast. I’m exhausted and I don’t want to make decisions.

393 comments posted: Wednesday, October 28th, 2020

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