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Honesty and Promises

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Regretitall posted 11/7/2019 10:15 AM

I'll start with a recap of who I am and why I'm here and then get to the current issues that I am having.

I'm the WW. I had an A from May until I was caught in July of 2018. At that point, my BH saw messages and found out that I was, at the very least, talking to someone else. I lied and lied and lied some more for more than a year that it was just an EA. At the end of August of 2019, he asked if I'd be able to pass certain questions on a polygraph, mainly questions about sexual interactions with the OM. I was not willing to waste our money by driving more than 3 hours away to have a polygraph, knowing I would fail. I wasn't willing to hurt him more by dragging the lies out and doing it in a parking lot. So over the course of a couple days, I told him everything. Over the initial 13 months from Dday 1, he had been told about every conversation that I could remember. Since Dday 2, it's been mostly questions about the PA, but with some of the initial EA added in as well.

My BH has been so incredible in wanting to reconcile with me, through both Ddays and all of my lies. When I decided to stop the lying at the end of August and admit to what I had done, I told him everything. I committed to not lying about anything. Because I lied for more than a year and always said "I swear", that is something he no longer wants to hear. So our new words are "I promise", and we're not allowed to say those words unless it's the 100% truth.

He has a hard time wrapping his head around the fact that the sex I had with the OM was not good. He knows exactly how many times I saw him, and what took place on each of those times. He says if the sex was so bad, that I wouldn't have went back for more. When he caught me, I was going away within a couple of weeks to my brother's. At that point, I was planning on baring my soul to my sister-in-law to get her to help me. To get me to get my head on straight and realize what I was going to lose. To help me to fix my marriage. I had no one else I could talk to who was in the same situation as me, with a marriage and children. When my BH caught me, the OM and I were discussing trying to get together the following week. My BH keeps saying that if I was going to end things, and if the sex was so bad, then why was I going to see him again? He is stuck on the sex part of it and believes nothing I say.

This morning, he asked me again about the sex and told me to be honest. It went something like "You did enjoy the sex and greatly downplayed your interest in it, didn't you? I want total honesty." So I again told him that the sex was not great. I've not strayed from that answer. I've used words like shitty, mediocre, decent at the best. This is not a lie. I was very much in my head about what are you doing? You're going to ruin your life! I'd not been with another man for more than 10 years, so everything he did was like "huh, that's not what H does". So it felt weird. I am very self-conscious, so I worried about him seeing how heavy I am. It was just overall, not a good sexual experience. There were 2 PIV days. After the first time, the OM said "Sorry that was so short, I was worried about being caught and too excited. Next time will be better." It wasn't.

My BH keeps insisting that I am lying about my enjoyment of the sex. He says if it was that bad, I wouldn't have kept having more sex. While I do see his point, it is the truth. Had this just been some random that I met for sex, then I'm sure I could have picked a different random for another turn at sex. But this was the person who I spent months talking to. I was lonely and craved the attention that I got from him. So in my head, if I wanted to keep him talking to me and giving me the attention that I craved, then I needed to give him the sex that he said he was lacking.

How do I get my husband to understand that when I say the sex wasn't great, it's the truth? That it wasn't about the sex for me? He says if the sex was bad, I'd try to put the OM off, but instead, I initiated it. Well, I did offer it. Because in my head, if I didn't give him the sex that most men are looking for, then he'd go and find someone else to talk to and I'd lose the attention and compliments. Did anyone else have the same situation as me? Sex was decent, at best, but you continued with that to get the compliments?

I'm not wanting to give up on my BH. In fact, I won't. He says he doesn't want to give up on me or on us either, but then he has days like today. Where he tells me that he's done with me. He can't take the lies. If I can't be honest then he'll find someone who can. But I AM being honest. Today he went so far as to say that he'd go and find someone else like I did. I don't believe that he will. He's against cheating. He ended the conversation with "Now leave me alone. I don't want anymore to do with you." I know he's hurting. I know he's hurting on account of what I did. But how can I make him see that what he thinks I am lying about is truth?

I just want this to work out. I know I don't deserve him.

[This message edited by Regretitall at 11:27 AM, November 7th (Thursday)]

MrCleanSlate posted 11/7/2019 12:10 PM

The problem your BS has is grasping that the A was not entirely about sex.

In my case I went looking for an affair, but I did it for the ego boost, and a lot of misguided ideas about companionship, not the sex. Mind you, I knew sex was part of the package. So my AP had her own agenda and was willing to pretty much do anything sexual to keep me interested. Powerful stuff for the ego. I had performance issues with my AP. Darn subconscious! Yes, the sex was 'different' than with my BW. It was illicit, exciting, etc. at first, so I did enjoy it, not at first though, and not at the end.

I broke off with my AP, she then went nuclear on my BW before I came clean. Truth is I was on the fence about coming clean, but once the AP below that up it was a no-brainer.

In those first weeks after D-Day my BW and I did a lot of Q&A sessions. I think the thing that came through was the whys of my affair. My BW didn't want the dirty details of sex. She spent more wanting details about my relationship with the AP. The hows and whys.

Maybe you can find a way to express to your BS the 'why's' of your affair.

Buck posted 11/7/2019 12:21 PM

Have you considered taking the polygraph just to ease your H's mind?

Passing the poly about the quality of the sex and what the affair meant to you might help him get unstuck on those topics.

Darkness Falls posted 11/7/2019 12:25 PM

^ My understanding is polygraphs can only be used for factual yes or no questions, not “did you feel___”s.

Buck posted 11/7/2019 12:43 PM

Darkness, I went through the poly thing myself. The examiner will help you formulate the questions to be yes\no.

For instance: "was the sex great?" and "was sex the primary motivator for cheating?" are both yes\no.

The sex quality question could also be phrased as "did OM have premature ejaculation on both instances of PIV sex?"

The examiners have means to ask a few questions in one shot.

Regretitall posted 11/7/2019 12:50 PM

When my BH thought it was just an EA, he'd say that he wished I had just went and fucked some random. That it hurt more to know that I had a relationship with someone else. Then when he found out about the sex it's been a huge focus for him. From reading here, I understand as much as a female can, how emasculating it would be for a man. We've totally reconnected in the bedroom. We've made sex a priority again, instead of a once in awhile thing. And it's been better than it ever has been. My husband truly is the most attentive, best sex I have ever had. I've told him that since we got together 11.5 years ago. He no longer believes it.

He came home to argue with me. He's so hurt today. Says he wants to be done. Says he can't keep living like this. In pain. He can't endure years more pain. He says I need to go and cheat again to "set him free". He won't do counselling, IC or MC. He refuses. I truly don't know if he's just having a bad day or if he really wants to be over. He goes in circles. Says that he loves me more than anything. But then says he can't fight anymore.

I'm so unsure of what to do.

hikingout posted 11/7/2019 12:57 PM

I think at least talk to a polygraph expert and see if that's possible, it's worth exploring.

For me, I was all in my head too. It wasn't guilt though, it was more just the newness of being with someone else after a couple of decades of marriage. I didn't know what he liked, I was trying to see if he had techniques that I liked or when I should maybe redirect. Sex with new people for me is very awkward, and my H knows that very well so he really didn't question that part of it that much. He experienced the same with me, and knows from prior knowledge how I was with others as well. I wouldn't say I didn't enjoy the sex, or that I wasn't anticipating the sex, I was. But overall it was pretty middle of road. I too thought "eh, it will get better".

I am glad to say it was the only time we were ever alone so it never happened again. Now of course, I really feel humiliated at the thought of it, and I wish it never happened. If I try and think about it with any depth I cringe and have even gotten sick to my stomach. But, my whys were not about sex either. I was miserable, depressed and was using the affair as escape. I was writing some romance that was on about the level of a highschooler. It's really hard for me to go back and look at what I was thinking. Scary in fact, because you wonder how you could ever have gotten so misguided. But, I was a desperate and lonely person who was just playing out a role of who I wish I could be and he was a willing audience. I can easily feel hatred towards myself when I think about any of it.

But, I just wanted to say, while I don't know how you convince your husband of your honesty, I do know the affair sex is not always what we are after and it's not really the hot time that some BS fear and are haunted by. It doesn't actually matter in the end, there shouldn't have been any sex obviously, but I can understand why it's a point of fear for some.

Regretitall posted 11/7/2019 14:03 PM

At the time of the affair, I was almost 40. Married for 10 years. We had really grown apart. Life had gotten in the way. I too was lonely. When the OM complimented me, I threw all of my beliefs out the window and ran with it. I'd give anything now to go back in time and tell myself to smarten up. I didn't need him to validate me.

But I read a lot of romance books over my life. And it seemed like I was a character in this one. I should have known better. What's horrible is that I did know better.

It just sucks cuz it seems that my husband is not going to be able to get past it. So not only did I cause him so much pain, but I'm going to be the cause of our young children's pain too. He believes nothing I say. If I say I didn't enjoy the sex he calls me a liar. If I say that I want to be with him, he tells me that I'd rather be with my "boyfriend". I've had zero contact with him in 16 months. I want nothing to do with him. I will never have anything to do with him again. I just want to save my marriage, but it appears I am failing at that.

MrCleanSlate posted 11/7/2019 14:03 PM


Look up hysterical bonding - that is what all the sex is about between you and your BH.

Talk to your BH. Be honest and open. He's hurting and still processing. The trickle truth probably didn't help. Find a way to really be open in explaining why you did what you did.

I remember one talk with my BW where I said to her how before the A I was too afraid to talk to her about our problems at home, and how many times i actually spoke of those problems with my AP (dumb, and you can guess my AP was full of good helpful advice...) when i should have been talking to my wife. It hurt her, but i think she also understood having known me for so long. My BW knew I was being honest and remorseful. She also started to understand my whys, a lot sooner than i fully understood them.

Regretitall posted 11/7/2019 14:18 PM

Hysterical bonding or not, it's been fabulous!

I've been totally honest with why I cheated. He says that he was in the same marriage as me and he was equally lonely and miserable but he'd never stray on me. I was lonely and miserable and turning 40 and wondering if this was all that I had to look forward to in life. I couldn't tell my BH that I was unhappy or lacking in things. I thought he'd tell me to quit. I thought he'd tell me that he didn't want me anymore and we should split up. So instead of talking to him about our problems, I talked to another man about our problems....and he told me about his problems. I was so stupid.

I think I'm going to end up losing my marriage. He's now told me that we won't be having sex for a LONG time. After reconnecting in the bedroom, that's a huge loss. I fear that will make him feel even further away from me and want to leave me even more. I feel as though the connection of the intimacy, the cuddling, and the sex, has been really connecting us. I fear without it that the distance will be too hard to come back from. He says he knows I'll go to find sex sooner than later. He's dead set on me cheating again.

I'm such a fucking fool for ruining this marriage. He truly is the best man that I have ever known. Right beside my dad. He's amazing and I ruined it all.

Darkness Falls posted 11/7/2019 14:23 PM

Buck, I am only going by what I have read here according to others’ experience. I have no direct experience with polygraphs. I don’t know enough about them in general to know how an emotional or subjective question could be asked and deception or truthfulness ascertained. Yes, “was the sex great?” is technically a yes or no question, but it is certainly not a question based on an objective, “provable” occurrence. But since I have no real live experience with them, I will defer to those of y’all who do.

hikingout posted 11/7/2019 15:05 PM

I hear you, Regretitall. I understand exactly how you feel. When my H wanted in house separation at 9 months out and we were drawing up divorce papers I felt the level of desperation of wishing you could put the toothpaste back in the tube.

The best thing you can probably do is be consistent, put him first. If he won't do therapy, I wonder if at some point you all could do some podcasts or read something together? I would take some initiative towards asking a polygraph company what would be possible to determine and share with him what you find out. I think he will see the seriousness and sincerity in that, be willing to follow through on it as well if it's at all a possibility.

Stay calm, keep working on yourself. You can only control you and your actions. These are very early days right now. If he needs space, provide it. When H and I did the inhouse separation I was terrified, but in the end it brought a lot of clarity over the situation and really helped me understand how I really had no control over any outcome and how much I needed to let go of the illusion that I did. I am sorry, I know how hard this is. Just keep moving forward, take each day at a time. Post when you need to.

MrCleanSlate posted 11/7/2019 15:33 PM

I've been totally honest with why I cheated. He says that he was in the same marriage as me and he was equally lonely and miserable but he'd never stray on me....

My BW said almost the same thing after D-Day. That in a nutshell summarized the hurt I caused. The depth of the betrayal.

hikingout gives some good advice.

Dig deep and work on things.

Did you try writing out a timeline? Not just dates and what you did, but the whys also?

Regretitall posted 11/7/2019 16:00 PM

I felt the level of desperation of wishing you could put the toothpaste back in the tube.

That is exactly how I am feeling. Put the toothpaste back it the tube. Unbreak the egg. Reverse everything that happened.

He's pretty much shut down from me. Came home from work and has gone to the basement. The kids always know something is wrong when daddy goes to hang out in the basement. I hate that they know that we're having problems again. It's so hard to know what to do. If I give him space, then sometimes he bitches that I was the one who caused this and I left him alone. If I go and try to talk to him, he bitches that he needs space and I won't give it. If I don't raise my voice when we are arguing, then I don't care. If I do, then I'm being defensive again, so I'm obviously lying. I feel like no matter what I do, it's wrong. He's lashing out at me. I get I've hurt him, but all I'm trying to do is help and I'm get conflicting answers on what he needs from me depending on the day.

I've wrote a few emails to him with the progression of things. I've dug and found some of my whys. I tell him every time I discover a new reason for my stupidity. He knows everything. He just won't believe that it's the truth or that I'm not still hiding something. If finances allow, once Christmas and the kids birthdays in January, perhaps we should go for the polygraph.

hikingout posted 11/7/2019 17:21 PM

My advice is it fine to wait on the poly but call and inquire if certain question could be used, cost and other info. Present it to your h now. Your willingness and initiative may at least lead him to suspect your honesty and it might help him. Then make a financial plan on when you can do it. He may not feel entirely better until the test, but it may at least show you being earnest.

When he is being some of the ways you describe, remind yourself he doesn’t want to feel the way he is feeling either. Keep trying, it’s better for him to see you try to be there even if he chooses to send you away.

Regretitall posted 11/7/2019 17:43 PM

He's said he's done. That he's made his choice and there is no changing his mind. So I guess this is it then.

hikingout posted 11/7/2019 18:05 PM

Time will tell. Respect him and what he is saying but my h was done several times as well. He is just in so much pain he wants to get away from it. He doesn’t know how to.

BraveSirRobin posted 11/7/2019 18:13 PM

Hang in there. There are successfully R'd couples on SI where the BS previously announced it was over, many times and with the same level of finality. I've also seen the "just cheat and set me free" plea from a BS who now appears to be turning a positive corner. Don't give up, and above all, don't lie because you think it's what your BH needs to hear. He needs the truth, even if he isn't yet prepared to accept it.

Lowkeyy posted 11/7/2019 18:31 PM

BS Only

[This message edited by SI Staff at 6:37 PM, November 7th (Thursday)]

Regretitall posted 11/8/2019 07:58 AM

hikingout and BraveSirRobin, I'm not giving up. I've told him that there are many people on this site (that he told me to come and read) that have successfully R. He's said that maybe he's just not strong enough. That maybe for all of the wrong that he did in his life, this is his karma. And he's certainly not done bad things! Just marital issues with both his first wife and me.

I get frustrated with not knowing what to do. And we've talked a lot about what he needs from me. He gives me credit many a time for things that I do right. But when he's pissed like yesterday, he says I do nothing right. That I'm not here for him. So then I go back at him saying "but you told me that I'm doing good! You just told me last night that you appreciated 'blank'". When I feel like I am losing him, I feel the need to fight. To show him that I want him. Apparently he just needs me to take it. It sounds like I need to just let him vent at me and not try to argue my point. That's hard for me. But if I want to save our marriage, I have to try. I've always been told to fight for what you want, so it's hard to sit there and do and say nothing when I feel as though I'm losing him.

He sent me a picture this morning that said "If you truly love someone, being faithful is easy." He followed it up by saying "That says it all. And your actions speak loud and clear." When I apologized again for my hurting him and said that my future actions will speak louder and clearer, he said that my future actions can be with someone else. I don't know how to proceed. What to do. He says that as soon as some new guy comes around and says nice things to me, that I'll jump right into another affair. I don't know that he'll give me the chance to prove that I will never do that again. I see the pain that I caused him and I would never do that to him again. I wish I hadn't at all. I'm just not sure how to proceed.

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