Finally ready to post on this thread. It took 3 1/2 years to achieve indifference about his AP. No hatred. Just meh. She's a poor excuse for a human being, but pfft. This feels great, BTW. I spent a lot of mental energy on her, which in hindsight was necessary to process the spectacle of H's A. Visit https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums/?tid=654679&AP=1&HL=78439#mid8689322 for a therapeutic sample. Feels like I'm finally healing. There's light at the end of the infidelity tunnel! Have hope folks. If I can get here you can too. Give it time.
I've thought a lot about the affairing down conundrum. It takes two to affair down. I’m not demonizing or blaming her exclusively. Husband is no innocent lamb. He has agency. At each fork in the road he chose the route that led straight to her bed. He used her as a human ego kibble dispenser, which doesn't speak well to HIS character. Oh, and he lied and cheated. Yup, he's got some major character weaknesses. Which he's addressing. No rug sweeping in our house! But her....now there's a shitty person. Who methodically set out to destroy my decades long marriage. Even putting aside character, she doesn't measure up to me in so many ways:
She's a scrawny, dowdy grandma type. I'm no spring chicken, but grandma type I ain't.
She graduated high school. I have a BA and an MA.
She works several crummy low paying jobs to make ends meet. I worked in a well paid "helping" career where I've positively influenced hundreds of lives.
She's been married and divorced a few times, her online judicial records document all kinds of financial shenanigans. I'm no saint, but my relationship track record - and credit score- are both impeccable.
She recruited her young adult daughter as affair accomplice. Further proof of her self-serving philosophy. World's Greatest Mom she's not. I've been a good parent who raised a wonderful, compassionate D. We have a rock solid relationship, but I've never treated D as my intimate confidante. And I did my best to set an example D respects.
So why her? Superficially, the A didn't make sense; she's nothing like me. But when I thought about it, I understood it would make less sense for him to betray with another version of me...he's got the original me. And a gal like me wouldn't screw a married man. Wouldn't try to poach another woman's husband. Why her? Bottom line, she made him feel good while stroking his ego. She fed his entitlement. It didn’t matter what she looked like or how poor her character was. It was all about the ego kibble, not the person dispensing it. Her ego kibble flavor was especially potent because she was a high school GF who knew H when he was young. What better false mirror of his former self could an unhappy geezer gaze into than an old HS girl friend?
He wasn't looking for sex - at first. That came later. After stepping over multiple boundaries during the texting EA to reach the PA threshold, what was one more step? He'd spent months in EA la la land convincing himself he was entitled to it - while she fawned over him dangling no-strings sex. Made him feel like the boss. In the real world he was merely a selfish person with poor boundaries and poor coping skills in it for the ego boosting dopamine. It wasn't love, or regard, or even sexual attraction that motivated the A. For either of them. For him, the goal was filling up his self esteem tank with her attention. For her - I believe she saw something she wanted. A mostly good (cough cough) man, mostly good husband/father/provider - with a healthy nest egg ($$$). She tenaciously pursued him using the best weapons in her limited arsenal…time, attention, fake familiarity, flattery. And easy (mediocre) sex in her no reservations (no $$$) required home. She was a cheap date . BTW, the hidden agenda behind no-strings sex (entrapment) would've been revealed when she pulled the inevitable bait-and-switch. HER: "I couldn't help it. I fell in love with you - feels like it's 1975 junior prom all over again!" (dim lights, cue Elvin Bishop "Fooled Around and Fell in Love" slow dance, spin disco mirror ball)
He didn't seek an AP who was younger, smarter, prettier, more successful, or better in the sack than I. Just the opposite. He found someone broken. And convenient. Someone who shoe-horned herself into his life after fishing him on FaceBook 43 years later. There's nothing special about her. Pfft! I'll end with a remark excerpted from Want2BHappyAgain's lovely pep talk several posts back. Her statement rings so true. It took TIME and forgiveness of myself to internalize the message. Any newbies out there please take this to heart:
You are still reeling from having your world as you know it be destroyed. It is hard to see just how MUCH he affaired DOWN right now. But you WILL. NO cheater can compare with an unselfish and giving person...and when you see this...you will KNOW you are healing .
[This message edited by BoundaryBuilder at 11:09 PM, Monday, March 21st]