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BS Questions for WS's - Part 13

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Darkness Falls posted 10/19/2019 13:26 PM

I always knew it was an affair... but perhaps there is something about the question I’m missing, because I don’t really understand how anyone cheating on their spouse would at any point think it wasn’t an affair.

Edited to add: I don’t think porn use is having an affair. Same with strip clubs. I also don’t really think most cases of inappropriate texts or other electronic communication without a physical component are “having an affair.” So I suppose there are some cases where a WS could think that wasn’t what they’re doing.

[This message edited by Darkness Falls at 1:31 PM, October 19th (Saturday)]

20yrsagoBS posted 10/19/2019 13:29 PM

Thanks DF

No, WH tells me he thought these OWs were his friends, just friendships, until they turned sexual.

Granted, he didn’t tell me about these “friends”.

Darkness Falls posted 10/19/2019 13:35 PM

I think if he knew what he was doing, i.e. deliberately working towards the goal of a physical relationship, I would assume he knew that was an affair.

I can understand an innocent slippery slope to a point but once there’s a goal in mind, I think that changes things.

20yrsagoBS posted 10/19/2019 13:40 PM

Thanks DF,

I sincerely appreciate the insight

BraveSirRobin posted 10/20/2019 08:21 AM

Many waywards, including me, are skillful at lying to themselves as well as to their spouses. As my BH says, "No one wants to be the villain in their own story." I didn't want to be the kind of person who crossed a line, and yet I also wanted the ego kibbles and physical pleasure of crossing that line, so I invented justifications for minimizing my behavior. And it happened by degrees. At the outset, I would have told you that I would never end up in bed with OM, and I would have meant it. By the end of four months, when my conscience tried to wake me up, I put my metaphorical hands over my ears. I had already broken so many interim boundaries that I knew I was in deep trouble and didn't want to face it.

There are studies about cognitive dissonance that show how when some people are given incontrovertible evidence that refutes a deeply held belief, they actually double down on the belief instead of retreating from it. I always believed I was a very logical person. That all went out the window with my A, and I couldn't do the work without admitting how I lied to myself about my choices and their eventual consequences.

mskitty posted 10/20/2019 12:58 PM

I’m wondering WS’s if you can help me understand something. How is it, for those of you who thought you loved your AP, you can go back home for R and now convince yourself that your BS truly is what you want and who you love? I’m struggling with feeling as if I’m plan B. My WH “loved” his AP and I think there is plenty of proof that at least for awhile he was looking into leaving me and the kids for her and to start a new life with her. He denies this now and says he was never going to leave and it was all “fantasy bullshit”. It’s especially hard since after I found out and was blind sighted and devastated at DDay, he continued on with her and lied to me for well over 3 months. Again, this makes me feel as if he kept me hanging on false hopes while he was figuring out whether or not things would work out with her. Now he claims clarity and so much love for me, but I feel as if I’m simply the consolation prize. After nearly 20 years of marriage I understand I’m stability and comfort for him, so again, I feel like plan B.
Any insight from Ws’s on how you truly felt going back to your BS, especially if starting a life with AP was an option for awhile?

hikingout posted 10/21/2019 10:42 AM

Ms. Kitty,

I believe my affair was mostly an exit type of affair.

I think the thing that is very hard to grasp for newer BS's is that the affair really had nothing to do with who you are or who you aren't - nor does it have to do with who the AP is. It is often more the WS not coping with things properly, and not having the moral binding to not just do what they want at any cost to others.

In the postmortem of my affair, I was able to see that the things I was unhappy with about my marriage were things that really I had the power to change with just a little bit of effort and better self awareness. Instead of dealing with those things, I isolated myself towards my H and told myself stories that made me feel like the victim. I used those resentments in justifying the affair.

But, the person I had an affair with was no where near the man my husband was. I just projected a lot of things on him to see the picture I wanted to see. I had also not stated my needs in so long that I really didn't know who I was any more or who I wanted. I saw marriage as hindering me from doing what I would want to do without compromise. So, while I was having an affair, I played out a role of someone different. Someone that I thought I wanted to be, but couldn't. He didn't know me, he didn't know any different. I got to pretend to be a much more carefree, vibrant, sexier version of myself. I was more interesting with someone who didn't know me as my own audience.

But, after the A ended, I started to see all that. And, part of me knew it at the time but I was in denial. Seeing what my marriage could have been had I been a different person before was eye opening to me. There is nothing that I needed to change about my H, it was just a bucket load of things I needed to change about myself to allow me to be my most authentic self, to feel I deserved love just for being me and not for what I did for him, to feel free to explore things that are part of my own journey.

It's hard to understand that a lot of the affair is about propping yourself up through a lot of self-adulation, rather than having anything to do with your spouse. In fact, the painful truth is we didn't typically think about our BS at all. It was more like we were chasing drugs and what we wanted, but just like drugs the person/the affair was toxic and escapist.

Knowing all the things I did to traumatize my husband, and for what? Nothing of substance, nothing sustainable, nothing worthwhile. So, of course by the end of all that I didn't want to lose the one person who had been there for me all along. I don't really deserve a second chance, but if he's providing me with one I will do whatever it takes for however long it takes. I don't see him as second choice, I see him as the prize. During the affair, plan A was me, it was all about me. Love is when you want to make another person happy. I was more interested in having other people show up to make me happy, because I had not taken the responsibility to make myself happy. I am not sure if that helps or not. But, the AP didn't have anything on you. It's your H who had the problems and the inability to deal with them.

mskitty posted 10/22/2019 14:16 PM

WOW! Hiking Out....thanks so much for your detailed explanation. I read it and I think, "I hope that's how my WH felt about all of it". I like the idea of being the "prize" instead of the consulation. Again, I'm hoping that's how I am viewed by WH.

Everything at home and on the road to R seems stable. WH is really stepping up in our family and just in life in general. His mother even says she's seen a change in him.....a softening. I SHOULD be happy, but, alas I am haunted by the A EVERY SINGLE DAY! I know all of the strategies, but I cannot seem to get to the healing part, the acceptance part. I'm still so angry with him and full of resentment. I know this is not helpful in R, but I can't seem to get out of this F'ing hole. I simply question my entire life with him, wondering if there's been more A's that I don't know about, questioning why NOW I'm supposed to believe that he values me, loves me, and honors and cherishes our marriage. Why now? I love my WH, but I'm finding a very hard time "loving" him. By that I mean, showing him love. I want to look at him as I used to, but I simply don't. I used to admire him. I had googly eyes for him despite many years of marriage. I respected him and doted over him. Now, I respect him in his profession, I respect him as a great dad, but I do not respect him as a husband. That's not a good thing! The struggle for healing and acceptance continues.

hikingout posted 10/22/2019 14:38 PM

I understand, I don't think you have to force yourself to come to any kind of terms with it. Just focus on what YOU need and want, and what makes YOU feel better. You are under no obligation to heal under someone else's timeline or because they want you to. Do what you need to do for you, if he keeps being consistent, then he is providing you an environment where healing is possible, but just because he is doing that doesn't mean you owe him something under his timeline (not that he's being demanding but even under a situation where you are perceiving his timeline)

JBWD posted 10/22/2019 15:23 PM

Echoing what HikingOut said- Having the insight to perceive the differences in pre and post-A is not a bad thing.

I see a lot of self-imposed pressure on the part of my BW to “heal and be done with it.” A lot comes from FOO where no one was entitled to any strong/negative emotions except for a very controlling mother. And I also think/sense there’s some gender unique pressures to smooth things over and be “the glue.” So I’d say don’t worry, and that includes for your own timeline- I imagine you want to be through with the pain and exhaustion, but it’s like trying to fall asleep- On the nights when it doesn’t happen, willing it to happen has the opposite effect. It’s not wrong if it’s what’s happening for you.

In the meantime you’re continuing to love him. Him learning that that’s a verb and not a noun is, IMO, a valuable lesson for a cheater, and one that he will pick up if he’s learning. Cheaters are used to TAKING and need to learn that there is a time to take, but far more important are the times we give. When we learn to see that the value is IN the giving, I feel we’ve learned a bit more about how to more properly love.

*****Favorite quote from Covey’s “7 Habits” about a seminar attendee who asked:
“I don’t feel like I’m in love with my wife anymore, what should I do?”
Answer: “Love her.”*****

mskitty posted 10/22/2019 15:30 PM

Great advice. Thank you!!!
You are right JBWD, I just want it to be over. I don't WANT my days full of mind movies, etc. I just want to empower myself, enjoy the here and now, and live this beautiful life. But, what I WANT isn't coming to fruition and it's frustrating. I understand all I can do is keep living and keep loving the best I can. I still have a lot of anger that I need to work through with my IC. The anger makes me resent him. I just don't want this to be my life story, and it is. Can't change it, I know. I'm just really pissed off about it. Guess that is where the acceptance comes in.

JBWD posted 10/24/2019 11:26 AM

One of the things we all have in common here is the need for profound patience with OURSELVES(!)

I literally look to the horizon and bring my finger to my nose to help refocus when I spiral into anxiety and worry about an unwritten future. Wishing you strength and moments of peace and joy- They DO exist.

mskitty posted 10/25/2019 11:21 AM

Thanks JBWD! I like your technique for calming anxiety and the spiral. I'm going to try it!

I had a session with my IC this week and we discussed how it seems there are two of me. There is the woman who wants to "move forward", who doesn't want this to be something I think of every day, who wants to grow stronger from it, use my power, improve my life, etc., etc., etc. But there is the other part of me that is the angry one. It's the part that say, "No,no! Don't trust him. What about this? What about that?". It's like these two parts of me are CONSTANTLY battling. The angry, negative, scared one seems to win most of the time. What I can't come up with is HOW to quiet that side of me? How? How? How? I don't want to miss living in the present moment. I don't want to miss the NOW of everyday stewing about what happened and having anxiety about what might happen. I WANT to live my life with joy and love, but dammit, these two people inside myself won't stop fighting and they are making me nuts!!!
Anyone else feel this way?

I know the path I want to take. I know the path of R is what I have chosen (my WH too), but for the life of me I cannot seem to stop thinking about it.....all of it.....him, her, the lies, the deceit, how can he possibly love me, I'm plan B, I'm pissed off....the list goes on and on and on. It is relentless. Over 2 years from Dday and it still is pervasive for me daily. I've tried EMDR, IC, tapping, meditation, prayer, and read every book under the sun. Cognitively I know the path and how I want to deal with this story of my life. Cognitively I want to be DONE being the victim.....I want to be a survivor. But it seems the two people inside my head can't stop fighting.

JBWD posted 10/28/2019 14:15 PM

ETA: I know this might be more useful from a BP...

One moment of great insight came from a great friend who has suffered with depression and anxiety her whole life.

I confided in her that my moments of optimism- when I felt R might be possible- were punctuated by the absolute sense of stupidity at believing this could have a good outcome. And her answer was quite simple- We are all conditioning ourselves to examine feelings, but perhaps when it comes to positive feelings we give ourselves a pass and just let it happen. There are some good feelings that could be damaging, but especially on your side those may be few and far between.

Do you do anything mindfulness related? Yoga once a week and daily meditation have really helped me remain and refocus to be more present.

[This message edited by JBWD at 2:16 PM, October 28th (Monday)]

mskitty posted 10/29/2019 10:48 AM

Yes, I practice mindfulness. I study Buddhism and it surely has helped me on this path. I meditate, although I'm not very good at it. LOL! This week I started working on "manifestation meditation", trying to focus on and feel what I want my marriage to look like and the comfort and security that I am looking for.

JBWD posted 10/31/2019 11:57 AM

Don’t worry about “good at meditation.” I’m not either- But the process is how we grow...

3rdstrike posted 11/2/2019 10:36 AM

Mindfulness and meditation were the things that pulled me through the darkest times. It took a while for me to really be able to let go during meditation but once I did, wow. It's amazing what the mind is capable of doing when you need it the most.

20yrsagoBS posted 11/3/2019 09:00 AM

Hi all,

If you or your Affair Partner has children, what did you think your activity was doing to them?

I ask because my WH thinks he was behaving like a good father to our infant son while cheating on me with his second AP

MrsWalloped posted 11/7/2019 07:53 AM

If you or your Affair Partner has children, what did you think your activity was doing to them?

During my A I didn’t think of them at all being affected by what I was doing. I was still supermom, carpool and PTA, healthy dinners, extracurriculars, homework, DMC’s, housework, shopping and on and on. My A was confined to my volunteer days and while the kids were in school so I didn’t see it as impacting them.

You also have to know that in my case, doing all those things is what made me a wonderful mother in my mind. So as long as I was continuing to do those things I was still a wonderful mother, see?

Now, I think about it very differently. I still did all of the mom things, and those things are important. Actually, they’re very important for children. But I also took time away from them and attention and focus, even though they didn’t know I did. Also, I created an unstable environment for them through my A, which has had a lasting impact on our family life.

I think behaving like a good mother and being a good mother are not the same thing.

sickofsurviving posted 11/7/2019 08:04 AM

For those who compartmentalize

My cheater's affair was supposedly from 2007-2008. It's hard to be sure because 1)he lies 2) he still was Facebook friends only as family (gag).

His affair wasnt exposed until 2015. Do you think its possible to compartmentalize to the point where he doesn't remember dates? Or that its possible to compartmentalize to the point where she was "only family"? To be in such denial, that you have buried the incest?

I guess it must be harder to deal with blowing up my life, plus the incest. I don't know.

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