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BS Questions for WS's - Part 13

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AloneAndDrowning posted 8/15/2019 09:48 AM

BSR... we are working on the why/how. But it's a long process. The surface issues were that we were apart for 1.5 years, and we fought a lot. As he was enjoying life away, I was at home struggling keeping the fort down. He enjoyed coming and going. Got tired of me getting upset over it. Pushed me away. Had a carefree relationship, with no rules, no real life. When he came home he struggled with getting back into the family life.... but again he was still talking to her at that point.
Once communication stopped, he was honestly like he was before he left for that 1.5 years (work). I know we have to find out how/why he let it get to that point instead of coming home. I think he is scared of figuring it out, honestly. But we are getting there. We have come pretty far in the process. I just still struggling with some things. Sometimes I fear asking him certain things, for fear of answers that will crush me more.

hikingout posted 8/15/2019 12:34 PM

For those who want R but took the affair underground after getting caught - why? Why did you do it and why did you deem it worth it?

Chaos, okay I did not do this. BUT -

There was a two month period between the AP's DDAY and me confessing to my H. And, I pined for about 5-6 months AFTER h found out. I am not proud to say for a period of that time, if the AP had reached out I am pretty sure I would have responded and in the early days wished I would hear from him. I am in fact very ashamed and not happy to admit that, but I think it does qualify me enough to answer your question. It doesn't mean that my answer would be your husbands answer, but mine isn't pretty at all.

First and probably easiest to explain, I obsessively talked to the AP and thought about the AP during the affair. I am probably a minority, but I was alone a lot during that time due to conflicting work schedules and had a lot of time for this. That trajectory of constant thinking and thinking I loved him was hard for me to see that it was stories I was telling myself about why it was okay and why we should be together. It was an addiction, I know that gets over used and I know you have heard that a million times and have probably said it, but it was abruptly stopped. Retraining of the brain from obsessiveness has its own merit. Somewhere in the middle of that time - I didn't want to think about him any more. I hated all of it. I still couldn't put some of it away, it became involuntary and I had to be treated for OCD.

Second, after DDAY I felt like a really shitty person, I was at my lowest. Sad and depressed. Facing all of it was something I would have liked to avoid. I already had a whole lot of bad behaviors that I had gotten really comfortable with - and oh the affair made me feel oh so good and oh so high. Wanting to feel better, what seems like the logical choice? I basically ruminated about what could have been, what we had , and basically doubled down on romanticizing it and justifying it.

Another big aspect is I had devalued my marriage and dehumanized my husband. It's part of the cognitive dissonance. Still not recognizing the value while telling yourself these stories so you do not have to face any of it. Then what are you really risking if you have nullified it's value? You nullified it's value the minute you started having an affair, and during the time of the affair it's reinforced with justifications. It's how BS get villainized, or rewriting of the marriage occurs.

Now, I will say I am not sure it's completely this way with a cake eater. Mine was an exit affair, for sure. But, I had an affair with a cake eater, and he would tell me from time to time that he loved his wife. He was more protective of his time with her than I was with my H. And, he walked away NC and never looked back. Yet, on the onset of the affair you could tell he had a specific story he told himself about why it was okay and it still dehumanized her. The devaluing might not have been as stark as mine, I am not sure. He was a serial too so maybe there is more complexity there than I am familiar with. I think that some adulterers are simply better compartmentalizers. I was not a good compartmentalizer. I don't know if it's a gender difference, an affair type difference, or maybe it's just everyone who has an affair is different and they take different pages of the handbook?

My guess is sometimes the cheater doesn't want to be seen to the AP as a bad person. They will try and be soft and gentle like a break up. The AP in my situation sent me some things in preparation for his confession. I saw them at the time professions of love. I see them now as pleas/insurance not to cause him any trouble because he was going to drop me.

These are all really shitty and sick things to say and admit to. I hate who I was during that period of time. When I look at who I was I can't believe my husband stuck around at all. I didn't deserve a second chance by any stretch of the imagination. I look at what I almost lost now, and it's unfathomable the level of stupidity and callousness I had back in those times. The hardest thing for any BS to see is how that self brainwashing occurs and how it's not just a shallow brainwashing. There is heart numbing, there is avoidance, there is no thinking about anything past that day, and it becomes a state of being. I don't think I could every make you fully understand it. I would not have understood it prior to experiencing it. I would have thought many of the things you are thinking as you read this post.

[This message edited by hikingout at 12:37 PM, August 15th (Thursday)]

Hurtexpat posted 8/15/2019 17:11 PM

JBWD- thank you for your reply to my post.

Im struggling to understand why my WH finds it so difficult to have sex with me, when he does, I know it will be at least a month before he so much as sexually touches me again.
Yet, with his AP he had his hands everywhere (thatís a quote from him) every time him and his AP were together, often leading to intercourse sometimes just foreplay and oral.

Iím hurt that we are in R but he still seems uninterested in a physical relationship with me. How can this be normal? Anyone else gone through this? As, most threads I read, say how the sex life improved drastically.

Anniek posted 8/15/2019 19:25 PM

Hi,this is my first post on this thread. My husband cheated on me with prostitutes for our entire 20 year marriage. I feel that throughout, he was more attracted to hookers then me. However, he denies this and claims that he always found me attractive. He claims it was all fantasy and addiction.
My question is, were you still attracted to your spouse while you were cheating, or was the other women more of a pull? For some reason this really bothers me, and I feel that the answer will help determine if I stay or go. I'm no one's plan B! Thank you for any help and advice.

Walloped posted 8/16/2019 08:24 AM

Hi. Looking for the WS perspective.

How do you handle A-related calendar dates or time periods? Both with regards to yourself and how you relate to your BS? Are there things you do or donít do for/with/to your BS during specific times? How do you conduct yourself? Are you proactive about things or do you take your cue from your BS?

For example, my wifeís EA was going on during our DD1ís engagement and wedding. Her PA started shortly after. So that time period is always a trigger for me. My 4 year DDay anniversary just passed and for some reason it hit me like a ton of bricks this year. Donít know why. But I was out of sorts for a few solid days.

So, do you do anything specifically at those times? Are you conscious of how those dates may affect your BS? Iím not saying my wife is doing or not doing anything positive or negative, but Iím curious how you all handle it.

I could have put this as a new post in the R Forum, but Iím really looking for your (WS) specific take on this. I know I asked a lot of questions, but any thoughts or experiences you can share would be appreciated. Thanks.

Pippin posted 8/16/2019 10:22 AM


]For those who want R but took the affair underground after getting caught - why? Why did you do it and why did you deem it worth it?

Must have been the sky. It was so blue.

[This message edited by Pippin at 7:48 PM, August 29th (Thursday)]

ibonnie posted 8/16/2019 22:19 PM

What the heck is going on with the recent trend of ye olde timey posters returning after a decade, after they thought their WS had done the work and they were reconciled, to say that they're either cheating again, or it never ended!?!?!

I'm honestly freaking out and on the verge of a panic attack after just reading another BS returning to SI after many, many, many years of false R.

How can you tell if a WH is truly remorseful? Truly doing the work? JFC I'm really freaked out right now.

Barregirl posted 8/17/2019 10:25 AM

Ibonnie I wish there was an answer for you. I'm not sure if there is any way to provide a guarantee. I would think that this is more of a never-ending journey than people realize. Staying mentally healthy is like staying physically healthy. It requires proper nourishment and exercise. Mental health has the same requirements. It is up to every person to decide to properly nourish and care for their own mental health. If your WH is truly being mindful of his mental health, and putting forth the efforts of IC, lifelong learning, correctly identifying and productively expressing emotions, and understanding and overcoming his flaws, then he is doing the work. Complacency is the killer.

BetrayedInUT posted 8/19/2019 13:42 PM

Waywards- for those of you that had sex with the AP and your BS on the same day, was that a significant detail for your bs? My WW claims she canít remember that this ever happened, which Iím really having trouble believing. Itís especially hard to believe as she has used this response in other questions when she didnít want to tell me the truth.

Would you believe a wayward who claimed they couldnít remember whether they had sex with ap and bs on same day?

godheals posted 8/19/2019 18:03 PM

BetrayedInUT-I never had sex with my H and Ap on the same day. If fact I made it a rule for myself not too. My H and I were not having sex much at the time. My AP and I not so much either so it was not hard to stick by that rule.

godheals posted 8/19/2019 20:22 PM

Sorry I read your question wrong. Would I believe them? I honestly canít relate to the ďI donít rememberĒ thing because my H didnít ask me a lot of questions and details of my A so I never run into this problem. I think when a WS says that they donít remember I feel like itís a lie. I would say most of the time this line is too cover up the truth. There might be a small precent where itís true but I think most of the time itís a lie. Maybe she donít remember because it was not important enough for her to remember.

maise posted 8/22/2019 07:56 AM

Trying to find a way to ask this question right.

If someone has lied all their life, and itís what theyíve always known to do...can they actually learn to live an honest life? I wonder what would even be incentive enough for them to stop lying? After all, lying is what gives them ďwhat they wantĒ essentially.

I know lies never truly get you what you want but for someone thatís selfish and believes they do, and believes in getting what they want no matter what the cost, I donít see why theyíd let that go...

My wife has lied all her life. My son is following her lead. It freaks me out.

My father has always been a liar. Iíve not experienced a liar reform into anything other than that.

BraveSirRobin posted 8/22/2019 15:42 PM

*raises hand*

A liar can reform after they learn to let go of the outcome. I had no idea of the cumulative weight of my lies, both on my BS and myself. I was like Ebenezer Scrooge in the scene where Marley's ghost tells him that he's wearing an invisible chain that's been forged by his cruel and miserly deeds. Once that weight came off me, I found out how much a quick lie to avoid immediate consequences would get heavier and heavier around my neck. I hated the moment of revelation, but I was amazed by the relief of being free.

The problem is that the liar has to force themselves through to the full truth before they can feel it. The difference between five more hidden lies and ten is indistinguishable. The difference between one more lie and none is a revelation. At least it was that way for me.

maise posted 8/22/2019 16:16 PM

Thank you for your response, BraveSirRobin. I hope that one day they see how important honesty is - not only for others but for themselves and their own happiness and fulfillment in life.

I try to explain it to both my wife and my son, but theyíll be the ones to decide whether they take heed or not. Itís nice to see that it is possible though :) thank you again.

EvolvingSoul posted 8/22/2019 19:40 PM

Hi there maise,

If someone has lied all their life, and itís what theyíve always known to do...can they actually learn to live an honest life?
Yes I think they can. I wasn't a pathological liar but I did lie a lot. It took a concerted, consistent effort to change.

After D-day I adopted a radical truth policy. That meant not only stopping lying from that point on but also going back and correcting any old lies I could remember telling. It was an embarrassing but necessary part of the process. Nine years later I really like not having to remember who I told what to and having there be consistency between my thoughts, words and deeds.

That said...I don't think the wiring that gives rise to the impulse to self-protect through lying ever completely goes away. It hasn't for me, anyway. I still sometimes use the "gut check" technique I learned from Maia. If I'm saying something and I get a twisty feeling in my stomach, that's my signal for self-correction. In the early days the lie would already be out of my mouth and I would have to retract and correct. It was like hitting a speed bump and having the wheel of the car fly off, making everything come to a halt. Later, it was more like hitting the speed bump but seeing it approach and self correcting as I was speaking. And now I rarely encounter the speed bump. Truth telling feels natural most of the time. When I'm feeling defensive is when that impulse tends to come up. Being able to recognize it means I can choose not to give in and give up my integrity.

I think the reason I've been able to make that transition is the work I have done on vulnerability and becoming a whole lot less defensive in general.

[This message edited by EvolvingSoul at 7:41 PM, August 22nd (Thursday)]

maise posted 8/23/2019 16:14 PM

Hi Evolving Soul,

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to me. Both responses to my question have been very insightful. I shared them both with my WS also. Maybe she can take something away from this.

adriverswife posted 8/24/2019 16:16 PM

Question for WS... my husband has sworn since Dday that he was ready to be found out, and that he didnt care for any of the women, even the 4 yr EA. A year and half later when I asked if he thinks about them he says no. He says he didnt care about them so it's easy for him to not think about or miss them.

Is this possible?? I want to believe him but I cant imagine not missing someone I talked to almost daily for 4 years...

ff4152 posted 8/24/2019 17:33 PM


When I was in my A, I thought my AP was the bees knees. I couldnít imagine going a day without talking to her. I missed not talking to her over the weekend or when her family was around.

I am three years out from ending my LTA and I can honestly say I do not miss her at all. Missing her would mean having some kind of positive memories of my A. To say that I am disgusted by the whole thing would be an understatement.

So to answer your question, your H could be telling the truth.

adriverswife posted 8/28/2019 17:11 PM

ff4152, thank you for taking the time to share some insight. I want to believe that he doesn't have an emotional connection, it's just hard to believe anything that comes out of his mouth.

hikingout posted 8/29/2019 10:17 AM

Walloped -

It's a timely question. We have gone now through 2 affair seasons and our 2nd dday anniversary is in a few days. We have done a few things:

The first year after, I asked H what he wanted, I was freaked out by what I had read here and was prepared for triggers. We were only a few months out from him asking for a divorce. So he basically said, let's try and make it about us. He said he really wanted to look at it as the day I decided to get honest with him about what happening and by doing so showed I wanted to recommit to the marriage. He wanted to go on a trip to "celebrate that" but we were only somewhat successful. But, it wasn't a horrible day or trip, and that might have been a good start towards not anticipating negatively this year. Considering where we were at that time it was a win.

This year we've talked about it on and off (mostly at my prompting). We again took a trip that I planned (it was last weekend due to his work schedule) to celebrate our progress. He basically told me that day was devastating and brought a lot of pain, but that it had changed our lives for the better in many ways too that will enable us to have a deeper, stronger, happier marriage. He said he refuses to let the affair be commemorated by holding a "funeral" for it or our marriage every year. (He doesn't subscribe to the idea it was the end of our marriage and the beginning of a new one - he actually bucks up against a few of the SI common statements) He feels that the "bastard relationship' that I had behind his back is not going to get his energy on a specific time of the year every year until he dies. (If you knew my husband this is very typical of his approach to a lot of things)

I didn't have anything to do with that attitude, I was willing to do whatever was needed - send him on guy trips, plan another trip for us, stay home, give him space, shower him with attention, talk, whatever he wanted and he does know that. And, maybe if I weren't going to do that he would have a different reaction? The fact that I care deeply about it and fall all over myself to comfort him makes him not feel like he has to fight me to care deeply about it?

We had a great trip last weekend. We exchanged letters this time reaffirming our path as a couple and I took a lot of time and care making sure he knows how much I appreciate the second chance and why. I shared with him my hopes for the future. His letter was something I would have a hard time telling you about, but suffice it to say it blew me away...the utter grace that man has given. Honestly, it felt more like a honeymoon of sorts (I know that may be hard to imagine but it just was)

I am cognizant of the fact we haven't crossed the finish line until we actually have *the* day on Sunday. So, while I will anticipate triggers and be sensitive that day, I don't think I am going to probe him on it based on conversations that we have already had, as he hopes we have already put it to bed this year. I will just will be on alert now.

Because you are a rare WS that we actually have heard from your wife on here I don't think it's a matter of Mrs. Walloped not caring deeply about it and you needing to fight her for that? I realize I don't know her in real life, so you can tell me- Am I wrong? Minus having a time machine, is there something she could do that she isn't doing?

I am also not saying that the way you are viewing the time frame is wrong by giving you my husband's contrasting opinion. There is no wrong or right answer with how someone decides to deal with it. We as WS can anticipate the triggers, try to give you room to decide how you want to navigate that particular year, we can be a safer and better spouse every single day.

But, and I say this gently, and knowing you know better than I do that we can't do all that healing for you. It's a joint effort with a lot of communication to get to a different place, and it's another one of those injustices that come with infidelity. It's not hard to understand why a remorseful WS would do it willingly over and over for as long as it takes, but it's always hard for me to understand why a BS would keep putting themselves through it. It takes a strength and commitment that I am in awe of - to work through a massive traumatic experience that you were the innocent victim of and to do so with your perpetrator.

I guess I would ask you -and you don't have to answer me, just questions for you to think about- are you happy with the progress that has been made so far? How are you the majority of the time - as a couple and individually? If it's coming to a good place, you may want to find a way to break the dday pattern and ease your suffering?

I am by no means saying "get over it" or that the WS should not open discussions on how you are feeling about the affair season or dday anniversaries. To empathize with you and do whatever we can think of or be directed to do. But, to some extent we don't know what will make you feel better any more than you do. I think there should be a lot of trial and error and effort on the WS side, but it's difficult when the target can't be found through that. Sometimes the target doesn't seem to exist.

I often think that's the part where the extending grace occurs. (Which by definition is not deserved by the WS). But by doing so, it may take a burden off of you that you don't have to carry any more? I really don't know - it' s a question you might also pose to the BS folks.

If she isn't doing her part, you need to figure out why that is, she hasn't been on as much lately but she has always struck me as very accountable for her actions. If that's lapsed for some reason that should be communicated.

If she is still giving it her all, maybe you will need to be introspective on if there are things you can do to make that time frame easier for yourself. Not for her sake, or my sake, but for yours? I am coming at this at the angle of it's you that is bearing the brunt of a punishment for actions she took and you were innocent of - I hope that is coming across because it's a very delicate matter for a WS to be asking a BS if there are things they may also not be doing to help themselves? I cringe saying that because it sounds wrong, but I do think it takes two people and hope you take it in the spirit I am saying it.

Anyway, I am sorry if this is unhelpful, and I certainly wasn't trying to be insulting either. If your post had been specific of "Mrs. Walloped doesn't seem to care about this the way I do" my answer would have been different. But it came across more that you suffer through something and you are looking for anything that might ease that in the future. And being that open ended I think both people have to look at what contributions are made to it so it can be removed for you for the future? I am so very sorry you had an awful time this time.

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