Newest Member: Timewilltell44

gainingclosure

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

on day three of being stonewalled

Well, it felt like things were going well for awhile but on friday night things took a turn for the worse.

This all was precipitated by my desire to talk about certain emails my wife had sent her AP. Their A ended a long time ago but I found a bunch of emails between them in January that were frankly just horrible and Im unsure if I will ever be able to get over them.

She most likely (sadly I will never say Im certain) is genuinely a different person now 18 years later, but some things are just not that easy to get over even if that is true and given I discovered these emails within the past year I beleive that is a full reset on R. Ive been doing better about not feeling the need to talk about her A and things are good when we dont, but I feel pressured not to talk about it because every so often she’ll say she is so happy that I seem to be doing better and I dont want to dissapoint her or risk pushing her away. Its also just a really difficult topic and can lead to exactly whats going on now. I feel like Im walking in a minefield whenever we talk about it.l so its easier just to avoid it but then it can eat at you.

On Friday we dropped our teen daughter and her friends off at a concert and had dinner across the street. I got to telling her how a few of these emails are really bothering me. All of this for her is ancient history that she says she looks back on with disbelief and remorse but it was things like the fun times and tender moments with him were deeper and more meaningful than theyde ever been with me, and how he made her feel smart, sexy, funny, and more lighthearted about herself than I have ever been able to on my best day. I realize they say these things while in a fog but still thats just horribly hurtful on a very deep level. One of the very last emails she sent to AP was expressing disappointment that AP had not set the proper conditions for her to leave me for him because he grew impatient with her indecision to leave me and started dating someone else. Basically I was plan B and because that was literally one of the last emails she sent to him, I still feel today like plan B no matter what she says otherwise. Had he simply not dated anyone else, she’d have left me. Thats how it was left between them. Ive brought this up before hoping for some magically empathetic response from her but typically what Ill get is some combination of "You have to realize that I was literally out of my mind insane", and "I dont even remember writing him that". This really frustrates me when she does this because its basically not taking ownership. The person who wrote those things was in fact her, fully cogent, fully aware and understanding of her actions, and there is literally no difference between the way she seems like she genuinely loves me now vs how she also acted like a genuinely loving wife before betraying and belittling me in the worst way. Im pretty sure there is a well known formula to go by when expressing remorse and literally one of the main things is taking ownership. To me there is no way to show remorse without first owning it and she has a real hard time with that. I then showed her the actual email that was saved as a screenshot on my phone (I made her read them all once before but disapointingly she didnt really have a whole lot to say). She just started saying if I didnt stop it she would leave which made me even more upset and really angry because now she was threatening to leave in response to me trying to get her to check off point 1 of an effective repair. If you ask her, she is the victim of my lack of forgiveness. DARVO much? Around this time we both left together but I had just had enough, was so frustrated, and walked off without her. Not the best move to resolve a conflict I know. Since we were meeting our daughter and friends a few blocks away I knew where she would be and did end up giving her, my daughter and her friends a ride home. But this kicked off a full blown stonewalling and we are now on day three of no talking and her sleeping in another room. At this point Im not even sure whos stonewalling who but she has made no attempt at communication and has sought to avoid me everywhere.

I do really want to resolve this and go back to our normally nice state of being with one another, but not by groveling and coming to her to apologize and then for her to probably say something like "Im sick of this and if you do that again Im done". Um no. This time I AM DONE. Im just not doing it anymore. Im sick of being the one to grovel for her to come around. I feel like its always me that apologizes in order to restore peace. Admit it was all my fault. Beg for her to give me another chance. Its insulting when the issue is caused by her affair, the humiliating, emasculating words she wrote, and her pathetic lack of ownership. Im sick of giving away my power in this relationship. Honestly, I think I feel like I just might have the courage now to move out into our rental condo after I get back from a camping trip Ive had planned with my friends this week. Do a trial separation with no contact except for anything kid related. I really feel like the only way this actually might work out is if I take an action to restore some sense of self respect, and if I feel wanted and appreciated by her to such a degree that it offsets the complete humiliation she has caused. Maybe for that to happen I need to prove my willingness to walk away from her and for once to be the one who cares less about us staying together than her. Maybe this is the way things end though. To her on a good day, Im an attractive, great partner and Dad, but should anything like this ocur, Ive just been "sucking the joy out of her life for awhile now". I just feel so sick to my stomach and depressed.

13 comments posted: Wednesday, September 6th, 2023

BS having a victim mindset, or WWs issue with shame blocking full R?

I just got back from a trip (without my WW) to the town where my WWs affair took place 18 years ago, which sucks because thats also where my Mom and friends still live so its not like I can avoid it. Its always tough when Im there because Ill pass places that were significant to the affair, like the restaurant I know she took him to on his bday, or the dance hall they went to all the time which is right next door to the jewelry place I bought her wedding ring at. I often wonder what other things they did and what places they went to in this small town.

When I got home I slipped up and made a slightly snide remark. She had mentioned doing something with me in this small town that I have no recollection of doing with her. So I said something to the effect of "I dont remember going there with you, that must have been with your other boyfriend" which was met with a comment from her to the effect of "so we’re still doing that huh?". And then later in the evening after the kids were put to bed we got into it big time. The issue we often run into is that she typically gets very defensive when the topic of her affair is brought up and is not able to respond in a way that makes me feel validated and heard. The old "it was only four months" was hurled (a classic minimization she likes to use). She carries alot of shame so that is also part of it. Its like she gets intensely focused on herself and how Im making her feel about herself, rather than trying to be an empathetic listener. She asked me if I was really still struggling and I said I dont want to lie and I still think about your affair for at least an hour every day and its been that way for years now. Her response was that I probably just should have divorced her back then. I then started to walk away due to feeling totally invalidated and unheard. To her credit she does have the ability to offer chances at repair and she just extended her arms for a hug, and we ended up just holding eachother and things simmered down, but for her this was and is far from over.

Today, I see that she was on some web page that was titled "My Husband is Stuck in Victim Mindset and is Draining Me". I have literally not talked about her affair for a good four months prior to this one passive aggresive remark. As you will notice the title of the article is all centered on her and how my behavior is affecting her. She cant see that this is the very behavior that is making me feel like she doesnt get it. She cant hold a space for my trauma when she is so caught up in her own victim mindset and her own shame. This has been the same pattern for the past few years and has been why I have given up on talking about it, minus a few slip ups here and there.

Im frustrated because I really dont feel like thinking about her affair for hours each day. Its not fun. If there was some pill I could take to stop the thoughts, Id take it without hesitation. But its not something I feel I have any control over. My brain keeps reminding me for some reason, who knows why, but its as if she sees it as this intentional choice to be negative, to bring her down, and I feel very misunderstood and even attacked and villainized for it. In a way she also cant see the irony of the issue is herself having a victim mindset. Yes, I have told her this. She still doesnt see it any differently. Shes the victim of me being the victim of her affair and choosing negativity even though again, the affair hasnt been spoken of in months, and I wouldnt say Ive been in a negative mood during that time. Yes, I still ruminate alot, but I keep it in because it just never gets me anywhere and her responses are often so frustrsting that it can often lead me to the brink of shouting that I was a divorce. When I share that Im silently struggling, Im aparently choosing to be negative and to bring her down. Yes I probably shouldnt have made a passive aggresive remark, but it feels like a severe over reaction on her part to it.

What can be done here? Is she right? Am I really just choosing to be negative? I and be a victim? Or does it sound to you like she has an issue with shame that is causing her to react defensively and feel that she herself is the victim of an over-affected, negative mindset by choice BS?

21 comments posted: Wednesday, July 19th, 2023

how can you telll if youve forgiven?

They say forgiveness is a choice. To me its a very nebulous word and concept. Saying you forgive someone is easy. Telling yourself you forgive someone is easy. Thinking youve forgiven someone is easy. But how do you know if youve really forgiven someone? What evidence can be pointed to that forgiveness has been given? Can someone want with all their heart to forgive someone, tell others and themselves that they forgive the person, truly feel at times they have forgiven the debt of betrayal, and yet still not forgive? If I say Ive forgiven someone to myself and to them, and I do not rub their nose it in anymore, but do on occassion say Im feeling hurt by it and I still constantly think of what they did every single day for years, what does that mean?

29 comments posted: Friday, December 30th, 2022

Received an apology letter from my WW’s AP

I received an apology letter from my WW’s AP, who’s workplace affair with my wife ended 17 years ago. The letter wasn’t out of the blue. It came as a result of actions I took. Specifically, I built and ranked a website to the #1 spot in Google for his name. On the site, it outlined all of the sleazy things he had done and generally just what I thought of him and his actions. This was therapeutic and allowed me to feel heard, but also it was done because he never had any meaningful consequences happen to him, or so it would seem from the outside. I wanted to expose him to his wife, kids, family, potential future employers or lovers. If you're thinking my focus is on the wrong person, it’s not. Me and my wife have processed this ad nauseum and I do place the majority of blame on her, however, this guy was extremely proactive in what he was doing and groomed my wife with clear forethought of action and a very deep understanding of how to exploit female psychology. The anger I’ve had for him has been very toxic and it was my goal with this entire thing to help me with that one aspect of my recovery.

A few months later I was eventually contacted by his wife, who had found out about the site from him, who had heard about it from one of his family members who came across it. Every member of his family saw the website. I agreed to a phone call with the wife and she told me that they were in the midst of a divorce after 15 years of marriage and 2 kids (by coincidence and unrelated to the website). What had seemed from the outside to be the picture perfect life for him (something which has continually bothered me) was actually not. He hadn’t held down a job since 2010 and his wife, who was the breadwinner of the family, grew so tired of his leeching and laziness that she filed for divorce this Summer and is now seeing a boyfriend with him having moved out of their 2 million dollar home into an apartment. She also said she had tried to leave him in 2014 only to be talked out of it, so his marriage had been in a bad place for a long time. I feel absolutely no shame in being very pleased by all of this and it has helped me to know that karma got this guy. She eventually got to the reason she was calling, which was to ask that I remove the site as favor to her because she didn’t want her kids finding it and having to see their Dad in such a shameful way. She said had it not been for her kids, she would have had no issues with it.

I found myself liking her and wanting to help her, but I told her it didn’t feel right to me that someone else fix this for him. So I told her that if he wrote me an apology letter that felt genuine that I would consider it. I had also been going back and forth with myself on removing the site anyway, since to some degree it was a weight on me. If an apology might do something more for me, why not go for it.

Two days later I received his apology via email. While some of it is precisely the stuff I was hoping to hear, other parts I found angering. It seems as if he is still romanticizing the affair in his mind, as expressed by his comments that he "could not control" his attraction to my wife, which I assert is BS. He never should have allowed himself to become attracted to my wife in the first place, but he went ahead and said what he should have done is basically let my wife know he was attracted to her and then let her decide what to do about our marriage without it going further. So essentially what he feels he should have done is still attempt to steal my wife, but only go about it in a slightly more respectful way. He apparently doesn’t understand the concept of not flirting with, gossiping with, or sharing personal information with taken women, which has been a pattern of his based on things both my wife and his wife told me.

I really want to respond with my thoughts and end with telling him that I’d like it to be our last correspondence. I know that a back and forth communication would do more harm than good, but I think a final response would be the culmination of my efforts to feel heard and enable me to release a lot of the toxicity I’ve held towards him and in essence get in the last word.

I'd like to make sure I’ve thought about all aspects completely and wanted to get the collective wisdom of SI prior to taking any action, so please give me your take on his letter of apology. If you would like to know more about this guy or what happened, the full story is in my bio.

"My Apology to You"

[Redacted],

Even before your website, I had wanted to reach out to you for years, but I didn't because ironically, I feared it would be triggering for you and perhaps best to let sleeping dogs lie. But this is something you not only seem open to, but requested so now I can unburden myself and hopefully ease some pain for both of us (coincidentally, it would seem we both are going through very difficult times marriage wise if that makes you feel any better).

I will start with the simple, I am sorry for what happened between you, me, and your spouse 17 years ago in [redacted]. I cannot control that I was attracted to [redacted] at the time, but what I have come to understand is that I should not have pursued or allowed a romantic relationship to form until she made a final decision about the direction of her marriage; people are free to enter and leave relationships as they see fit but if I could go back in time, I would have waited until she either did or did not divorce, and give you a chance to address your marriage, and regret that I did not give you that courtesy. Marriage means a lot to me now, and you now know that I am no stranger to marital difficulties as well, and we both know that it hurts far more than clueless single guys in their 20s could ever imagine. For the entire romantic relationship I had with [redacted] while she was still with you, I deeply apologize.

I do not feel the same way about you today that I did back then, I am trying to be a more compassionate person and it would seem that like myself at the moment, you too are in pain and perhaps have occasionally been for many years over this ordeal. I can't tell you how to process any emotions, but hopefully a couple things to keep in mind might help:

(1) [redacted], when truly pushed, chose you; despite what you may think, I was very sad when she chose you over me (I remember it was the night of hurricane Katrina, and crying nonstop as the levies broke) despite now knowing I should have waited until you had a chance to weigh in on sustaining the marriage. I'm sure she's glad she did, and I am too since it opened me up to [his wife] later. But again, you were her unequivocal choice for a long term partner not me.

(2) The person who intervened in your marriage (me), is not happy he did. I do not consider it a win at all, and your pain over the matter does not bring me any satisfaction, quite the contrary I am writing this in detail because the world would be a tiny bit better if two guys with unfortunate connections to each other managed to put that unfortunate history together to rest.

Finally, know that my only lingering emotion in all this was towards you: one of regret. After December 2005, I never contacted [redacted], nor had any hope of one day pursuing her. I married the next girl after [redacted], built a family with her, and until 2022 remained married and focused only on her. As time has gone on, and I've hopefully become a better person, my only thoughts about [redacted] revolved around hoping that you two were happy, healthy and successful. You appear very successful career wise, but I am hoping with this note of apology you can also be successful with happiness in your marriage, general outlook, or whatever new direction you want to take.

You are welcome to call me if you think it wouldn't be more harm than it's worth, I will say the same things to you on the phone that I am saying now, but again only you know if that will help or not. You will always know the name [redacted], and I will always know the name [redacted], but I am hoping that after this note and/or phone call, we can one day hear these respective names without feeling a sense of dread or pain, but rather one of resolution and healing.

I truly wish there had been a scenario where I could have still met my wife, had my kids and had none of what happened between us happen.

[redacted]

EDIT AND CLARIFICATION REGARDING THE WEBSITE: The site was taken down as soon as I received his apology.

55 comments posted: Thursday, November 3rd, 2022

Conflict over WW writing APs Mom a letter

During the ramp down phase of my WW's affair where she wanted to try R but was still detaching emotionally, there was a period where she felt sorry for not "choosing" the AP, who was an expert at playing the victim. Also at some point during her affair while I still had no idea it was going on, the AP had introduced her to his Mom as the "the married one who's getting a divorce". Later on and after she had told me she wanted to try R, I found a receipt in her email for an online flower delivery service. The recipient was the APs Mom and the note said something to the effect of that she was sorry for not choosing her son. This was obviously extremely hurtful to me to discover.

Fast forward 17 years later. I did not "process" the A in a good enough way to have it be put to rest for good, and we've been trying to work on the sore spots that have resurfaced. One of the things I suggested to my WW last night as something that would make me feel better was that she write a letter to APs Mom expressing remorse for her actions and "taking back" the token gesture of sending the flowers. At this point I was undecided on whether or not I'd actually send it. I just wanted to see what her response would be.

Her response was that she didn't want anything to do with AP or his family, its been 17 years, she doesn't need to prove anything else to me, and if she did send it, it could potentially instigate AP and bring him and his family back into our lives. Also, I would look like a fool to their family and they would get a kick out of it affecting me all these years later. She views the request as unreasonable, irrational, and potentially damaging more so than healing. I will also point out that we now live halfway across the country from AP and his family, so theres not really any risk of them showing up on our doorstep.

At a core level, I want to feel like she would do anything to make the A up to me and this request seems like something simple that could even out one of the many hurtful acts that she did. I also feel that there is still an element of her not wanting to appear foolish to APs Mom, and this really triggers me because thats exactly what her mindset was when she first sent the flowers. She wanted to save face. She denies this and says its purely because she wants to protect me. I can see her point as far as not wanting to potentially invite AP and his family back into our lives at all, but the fact that she is so resistant makes me feel like she's not willing to do whatever it takes, and not willing to "go there" for me. I wished that she had instead reacted enthusiastically about writing it.

We have now both dug our heels in very deeply on this issue and would like to know what the collective wisdom of SI thinks. Am I being stubborn, unreasonable, and irrational?

36 comments posted: Saturday, September 3rd, 2022

Triggers be damned

Just as I thought I was finally starting to get to a good place in my head again, I got hit with a trigger last night that sent me into a tailspin.

We just finished building a new pool, which has a hot tub as well that we turned on for the first time. My wife kids and I all got in, it was really nice, and thats when it hit me. She had sex with her AP in his hot tub on multiple occassions. The mind movies started, and I started envisioning her and him making out, and it progressing from there. I can usually tolerate the thought of her AP being the "aggressor" and of her being a naive pushover with no awareness of boundaries or assertiveness, but the thought of her being a willing and even eager participant causes the pit of my stomach to just fall away. I just felt so frustrated that this event, which should have just been a happy moment, was tainted, just like so many other things. Right now, I dont even feel like ever getting in that hot tub again. I feel like filling it in with sand. I tried my best to pretend everything was ok and when she went in for a hug today before she left for work, I just told her that I didnt feel like being close to her right now and why. She said she was sorry and didnt know what to say to make me feel better. I said I didnt know what would make me feel better either.

My Dad also drowned in a hot tub when I was 12 (he had trhe temp way up, and just fell asleep after a long day and slipped under). For some reason, Im not nearly as triggered by his death in one than I am of her being intimate with someone else in one. I tried to hide my feelings from her because shes been on edge and I recently told her I was finally starting to feel better about things again and didnt want to disapoint or worry her. But man, Im just feeling really heartbroken, frustrated and just like it will never be the same with her again.

12 comments posted: Sunday, August 21st, 2022

What things have helped you the most in your reconciliation journey

Just as the title says, I thought it would be useful to ask the forum what things have helped you the most in your R journey. Anything at all, like any rituals, things your wayward partner said to you or did for you, meditation, etc. My current struggles are with obsessive, recurring thoughts that lead me to negative emotions: sadness, anger, humiliation, rejection, disgust and shame to name a few. My WW is as close to a model for R as you might get, but some of the things she did during her A are just so beyond the pale, it's still incredibly difficult. Currently seeing two ICs, had been going to CC but stopped after we had nothing left to talk about (this also didn't help with my recurring thoughts). Looking for more concrete actions to take.

10 comments posted: Saturday, July 23rd, 2022

Is anyone here a web/app designer or developer or know of one who's been touched by infidelity?

Im a website developer who's launched a successful internet company and I have an idea for a new business. Im looking for someone who's been affected by infidelity (wayward or betrayed) and with skills in website/app design, front end UX, and/or cross platform mobile app development. If you know of anyone who fits that description I would love to have a quick discussion. Thx!!

1 comment posted: Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022

Did your APs spouse ask you for details

Are there any wayward spouses on here who received letters or emails from the betrayed spouse that you would be willing to share here in any level of detail or via private message? If so, did you choose to respond and what was your response to the injured spouse?

The reason Im asking is that Id like to ask my wifes AP some questions for closure and Im looking to see what works and what doesnt when approaching an AP. Please
dont bother trying to convince me that contacting them is a bad idea. Ive already made up my mind to
do this.

1 comment posted: Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

Question for Wayward Wives.

Trigger warning some of this is sexually explicit.

Since my WW will never be completely honest about what it was like for her when she first had sex with her AP out of a desire to not to hurt my feelings, Im coming here to get answers from other wayward women.

Id like to know how it was for you when you first had sex with your AP. What went through your mind, was it the best, most exciting and most passionate sex you've ever had? Were you wracked with guilt, and was it better because of that? Was it not as good as sex with your H. Did your AP "help" you to take it there by being forceful in any way or allow you the dignity to "fake resist"?

My wife's AP held her hands down when he first penetrated her, I believe as a way to make her more comfortable with what she was doing morally. You see, by doing so, he helped her tell herself a story that she wasn't fully at fault. By the end, Im convinced that it was the most intensely passionate and pleasurable sex she has ever and will ever have. She told me she came without a vibrator (she's not been able to ever do that with me), and he came three separate times (Im always one and one). They say that pleasure is mainly in the mind, and Im sure that the whole "forbidden fruit" aspect combined with the novelty and excitement was just the biggest rush ever for both of them.

So was affair sex just insanely fantastic? Please be honest in your responses so that I might understand my wife's true experience.

1 comment posted: Friday, December 10th, 2021

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