WonderingGhost ( member #81060) posted at 7:59 PM on Thursday, February 23rd, 2023
Good on you, RF!
In my case, WH didn't affair down. She's younger, prettier, thinner, and is actually pretty smart and funny. Guess I'm the exception that proves the rule.
You may say that @BallofAnxiety, but any woman willing to engage herself with a taken man is a big downgrade in my eyes.
[This message edited by WonderingGhost at 7:59 PM, Thursday, February 23rd]
Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 8:45 PM on Thursday, February 23rd, 2023
WonderingGhost is exactly correct!! Let's break this down a bit:
younger...that may be true. But she sure isn't mature. Once she is...she will look back on this time and REGRET her choices. For the rest of her life. Being young only means she holds these regrets a whole lot longer.
prettier...beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. Read almost ANY post from a BH...and they talk about how beautiful their WW was...UNTIL they saw them through the eyes of a BH. Now...some of them can barely touch them. YOU...a LOYAL person...makes you BEAUTIFUL when your WH takes a long look at a person willing to cheat with him. Their age difference may also mean that she will cheat ON him too.
thinner...THAT will change once the stress from what she has done kicks in. Grab the popcorn!!
smart...really? A CHEATER...smart? Those two words can NEVER fit in the same sentence Dear Lady!
funny...like Robin Williams funny? Sometimes humor masks underlying issues. What a CATCH...NOT!!!
The REALITY is...an A is nothing more than two SELFISH people who USE each other to get their selfish wants met. How PATHETIC.
BallofAnxiety...I've read your posts in this Forum. You may not feel like it now...but you are one AMAZING BadAss!!! That is what I am going to think when I use the initials from your username BA!!!
A "perfect marriage" is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.
With God ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:26)
I AM happy again...It CAN happen!!!
From respect comes great love...sassylee
emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 8:52 PM on Thursday, February 23rd, 2023
She's younger, prettier, thinner, and is actually pretty smart and funny. Guess I'm the exception that proves the rule.
Even if this is true, none of this means that she is an upgrade. You may not feel good about what you look like right now, which is totally normal in the wake of betrayal, but I assure you what you look like does not determine your value. You mention in another post you made that you are an attorney. I know that means you are intelligent, analytical and disciplined. You have taken decisive steps to set yourself up for the future mere weeks after D-Day that most other people struggle to ever get to. I can tell from a few short posts that you are a good writer and that you have a lot of empathy. I'm certain you are not the exception - he affaired down.
I get it. The AP in my situation was/is objectively attractive. She has a job that involves training that you cannot get without a certain level of intelligence. You know who else she is though? She is shallow and vapid and conflict avoidant and cowardly. She is a cheater who relies on others to build her sense of self. She has compromised her morals and vows and family for another unrepetent, unreformed cheater. Relationships that start the way theirs did don't have good odds for success. They are broken and have told themselves and others and each other a bunch of romantic stories about their relationship which is not based in reality. If they actually stay together, it's only down from here. It sounds like there is a big age gap - do you think their respective friend groups are just going to accept their betrayals with open arms? Do you think they will ever truly trust one another?
Me: BS. Him: WS. Together 16 years.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two kids) into R. Happy.
BallofAnxiety ( member #82853) posted at 9:20 PM on Thursday, February 23rd, 2023
Thank you all for your kind responses, stuff I needed to hear!
I've always had issues with my physical appearance, which I think might come a bit from how I was raised. My dad was the kind of person who, if I got an A on a test would ask why it wasn't an A+. Anything but the best was not good enough. He's changed in years since, but that was the message I got as a kid. Add that to the messages our society gives women...your value is entirely in your physical appearance...and I guess I was screwed from the start. I don't think I'm particularly hideous, just not as pretty as many women. So, there's always been this fear with any man I've been with that he will leave me for someone more attractive. It's weird, I don't think about my intelligence in this way, I don't worry he will leave me for someone smarter despite realizing I'm not even close to the smartest person on the planet.
Lots of stuff to unpack with the new IC tonight!
Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 11:12 AM on Friday, February 24th, 2023
BallofAnxiety, I feel you. Some time ago I wrote on this thread something similar—that my husband affaired up. His AP wasn’t younger than me, but she’s definitely smarter, more successful, more striking looking, etc. etc.
Want2Be wrote an encouraging past back that made me cry and is something I read again from time to time, because it helped me reframe how I saw the AP. And I’ve seen concrete evidence over the last couple of years of how deeply broken and unhappy a person she is.
I agree with others’ comments. You are clearly a quality person. You are smart, empathetic, insightful. You are a successful person who has goals and a work ethic. Your WH and his AP are broken people, and being young and pretty doesn’t make someone a good partner.
Hang in there and be good to yourself. It’s possible to esteem yourself and find confidence in your own worth even when it feels initially like your partner affaired up.
Husband of 20 years had six month affair with co-worker. Found out 7/2020. Two teenaged kids. Reconciling.
RecklessForgiver ( new member #82891) posted at 8:54 AM on Saturday, February 25th, 2023
If it helps, BallofAnxiety, I had the exact same impressions of the AP that you had. She is younger, more athletic, and prettier (in a generic sense only). She is also way more sexual than I am. All of that made me feel like you felt.
The thing is that we rarely get to see the inner workings of the relationship within the A; we see the surface and we read that surface through our insecurities. Like you, self-esteem about my body (especially after I gained weight) was not a strength. But I am more than a body, and so is the AP. Measured in all of those dimensions, when I could see her anxiety, her neediness, her phobias about commitment, I saw why she would be drawn to an affair with a married man. They were both a fantasy to each other; they used each other to create an image of themselves they could feel better about.
There are fundamental aspects of who I am that mean I would never have an affair. I would never be open to the idea of being with a married man, and that has everything to do with my ideas of love, fidelity, and loyalty. That has everything to do with the ways I am too empathetic to be that selfish and hurtful. These are beautiful things about me, and he traded down to a woman who has none of those traits.
Those of us who understand that love is sometimes hard, that it is work, and that we are responsible for our own happiness and cannot use others as band-aids for our insecurities, we are all the prize because we are capable of that level of commitment to another person. That makes us beautiful human beings and our WS fools for chasing shadows and illusions.
BreakingBad ( member #75779) posted at 2:29 PM on Saturday, February 25th, 2023
Your last post is spot on.
I could see her anxiety, her neediness, her phobias about commitment, I saw why she would be drawn to an affair with a married man.
My fWH's longterm AP was younger and skinner than me. But her life outside of work was a mess!
Her kids were always having drama (including arrests for drugs and assault). Her life moved from one crisis to the next, and she was married to husband number 3 or even 4 (they have since divorced). Near the end of her A with my husband, he suspected she had been and currently was sexting with other married men in their office.
So...she was no prize.
My H was the one to break off their affair (messages between them about this was actually how I discovered his A with her). During one of our counseling sessions he explain that the reason he broke it off was that her life was such a mess, and she spent too much time unloading her stress onto him that it became draining and he wasn't getting the emotional uplift he had been getting from being in the affair. (His solution was to find a new AP, BTW ) But, he selfishly quit supporting her emotionally when it became "too much" for him (his words).
At this point in counseling, he hadn't quite figured out that ALL of his actions relating to the affairs were selfish, and he even broke it off with AP1 for selfish reasons. It was real epiphany moment for me about where he was...but I digress.
My point is that any AP who knows their partner is married is never the prize.
My H's first AP was hugely insecure and dysfuntional. I do believe that she had been in other affairs with other married men in the office. I believe this was her "demographic" so she could "fish" close to home and keep some control over the affairs. I also think she did have more than one brewing at a time.
Was my H equally broken at the time and equally undesirable? YES. He truly was. I have to honest about that. He was no prize either then.
[This message edited by BreakingBad at 3:00 PM, Saturday, February 25th]
"...lately it's not hurtin' like it did before. Maybe I am learning how to love me more."[Credit to Sam Smith]
Me=BW; fWH=online affairs with 3 APs over 3+ yrs.Both in IC & MC.Married 32 yrs now 2 kids-both in HS.Attempting R
smitty82 ( new member #80920) posted at 8:29 AM on Wednesday, March 1st, 2023
Every time I read this I feel a little less broken.
Thanks so much Edie
Edie (original poster member #26133) posted at 5:16 PM on Monday, March 13th, 2023
Bumpety bump, and have edited the original to attribute ‘target’ icon status, as Brokenkk advised, so it can be found more easily by searching on the ‘target’ icon posts
Maybe a long walk in the Hindu Kush would do it?
BW (me) 52
Together 29 years; 2 kids 15 & 12
Dday Dec 08 (confessed) R'd.