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BS Questions for WS - Part 14

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BraveSirRobin posted 11/2/2020 18:40 PM

Did you as a WS have insecurities before the affair that made you fear your spouse would eventually leave you?
Oh, hell yeah. He had already broken up with me once, and several months after we got back together, he floated the idea of seeing other people. Fear of losing him wasn't a stretch.

JBWD posted 11/2/2020 18:43 PM

Chili, Mickie-

My previous answer is somewhat informative to your questions, I believe.

I am in sex and love addicts anonymous (SLAA,) and this addiction, though not clinical, informed my decisions. I had (through FOO where emotional unavailability combined with an early discovery of Dad’s porn) a very visceral correlation between sexual availability and my being loved. So when work took me away for months at a time, and STBXBW was forced to manage a household and anxieties informed by my early attitudes entering the M- Crossing boundaries that were clear but not stated...

All that to say, I interpreted STBXBW’s lack of desire as some statement of my value, and as can be expected, I addressed it with resentment, anger, and paranoia as opposed to honesty. So yes I did have such fears, but they were flimsy and easily assailable.

The “fuck it” moment came when I rationalized the escalation of boundary-crossing as the realization of my own desirability, with readily available AP. A subsequent “fuck it” came when R proved difficult and I projected my inability to change to STBXBW’s prospects for change... I think that “fuck it” is really, more than anything, the addict’s mind taking advantage of an opportunity to not do the hard work- I think informed by the ego-driven belief that if it couldn’t be fixed by someone as capable as the addict himself.

BraveSirRobin posted 11/2/2020 21:40 PM

So did any of you have a version of a "Fuck It" moment too?
I imagine every WS has a "fuck it" moment, with the possible exception of those who are so self-involved that they never even tried to resist cheating. For myself, there were a series of "I'm not going to look this in the face" moments, culminating in a heedless throwing of caution to the winds.

But here's the weird thing: I also had a "fuck it" moment in ending the TT. I was at war with my own lizard brain survival instincts. There was the evolving part of me that said "This is it, I have to find the courage to come clean," and the baser side that said "Are you insane? We didn't go through all this to give up and lose everything now. Confessing the rest is suicidally stupid, and I'm not going to let you do it." Letting go of the outcome was a different kind of "fuck it" moment for me. I had to press on until that toxic part of myself threw in the towel and said "Fine, fuck it, do what you want, I don't even care anymore."

Mickie500 posted 11/3/2020 13:46 PM

Did you do this?
My husband is being as perfect as he can be. A better than he’s ever been kinda husband and he was ALWAYS attentive to my every need before and crazily enough during the affair.
I realize he is trying to make everything right by me but now he’s in the gift giving stage. Something new for me comes every day! To me it seems like he’s trying to buy me back. I’m not materialistic but I do like clothes and shoes. He’s bought me so many gifts and honestly I’ve told him it makes me feel like a tactic he used with the AP.

He says he didn’t spend money on her/—-
He just doesn’t know how to make me better and because I’m sad so often he just wants to make me smile vy any means necessary. What can be done? Is this healthy for him? He’s not going to buy my healing! What is he thinking?!?!

Betrayed19 posted 11/4/2020 11:19 AM

We are 18 months from Dday. My husband tells me he never wanted to leave me. I am still struggling to feel genuinely wanted by him. We are empty nesters and could survive financially if we divorced. He is very attentive and caring. He struggle to discuss the affair because he can’t take the shame. How can I believe him when he says he wants to be with me? I think about the things he told me during the affair. He told me sex was so boring with me. He said even the sounds I made were aggravating. How can a switch be flipped so fast just because you got caught? He said he and his AP (best friend’s wife) have always “liked each other”. That makes me feel like it was more than just physical like he says?

MrCleanSlate posted 11/4/2020 12:37 PM

Betrayed19 and Mickie500,

How can a switch be flipped so fast just because you got caught?

For myself, and many other waywards here, I always loved my wife but was not doing a good job of dealing with things and not communicating. To have an affair I needed to make my BW out to be satan incarnate, otherwise how do I look in the mirror. The thing is I always wanted to fix things with my BW. Yes I know that sounds dumb, but somewhere in my depression I convinced myself my BW didn't love me. So after D-Day to see her love for me, well that turned my thinking up on its side.

So to Mickie500's question which is tied to my above point - I felt so guilty afterward and wanted to show my BW how much I wanted to work on things. It took me some time to realize that my BW preferred to see actions I was taking to fix myself, rather than flowers and gifts, etc. It helped that she actually took me and told me directly what mattered.

So communicate, and realize it may take your WH some time to learn how to do the same, but help them along the path to improving if that is what you see they are wanting to do.

Betrayed19 posted 11/6/2020 13:55 PM

Mr. Clean Slate - Thanks so much for taking the time once again to answer my question. If I may ask another - Is it reasonable to believe their actions are genuine? He tells me that they have always "liked each other". Basically, he has for our entire marriage (27 years) secretly pined over another woman.... Now he says he never loved her but felt about her in a way he can't explain. He swears that even if I divorced him, he wouldn't be with her. She would be a reminder of what he lost. I get so confused because just when I think I understand, he says something the seems to be the opposite of what he said previously.. He says he hate to discuss this because he isn't capable of saying what he means in a way that I can understand. He accuses me of using what he says against him. I don't believe I am doing that. I just remind him that what he is current saying is contrary to what he said in the past and I just want to know which is true. I just hate feeling like he is just staying with me because he wants to be a good person and not lose the respect of his adult sons.

Mickie500 posted 11/8/2020 13:45 PM

It’s such a common answer to the whys but I’m not sure if it really genuine.

Do you really feel disconnected from your BS first before you cheat? Or is it tgat you’re deciding to cheat and you disconnect yourself?

JBWD posted 11/8/2020 14:13 PM

It’s a fairly superficial “why” answer, in that there are plenty of natural phases where perceived connection can be threatened by anything that falls in the category of normal adult life-
Growing family, financial hardship, career challenges/changes...

Disconnection does come up frequently though, and I definitely rationalized with it. The key distinction is that I let that belief of disconnection overwhelm the rational thought process of
“I love my wife, and should invest the time and effort to be present and understand where this perceived distance comes from”
Instead I went to
“We’re not connected, and are consequently doomed.”
That is rooted in a transactional understanding of love, where I attributed disconnection to my wife’s act, as opposed to recognizing what I could do about it. There may have been some contributor from either party, but in pointing the finger one “checks out” pretty quickly...

I’ve cited the Covey quote often:
Question: I don’t feel like I am in love with my wife anymore, what should I do?
Answer: Love her

Mickie500 posted 11/9/2020 11:40 AM

JBWD
Thanks for sharing. You are usually too harsh for me but I appreciated this reply.🤗

MrCleanSlate posted 11/9/2020 15:35 PM

Betrayed19,

If I may ask another - Is it reasonable to believe their actions are genuine? He tells me that they have always "liked each other". Basically, he has for our entire marriage (27 years) secretly pined over another woman.... Now he says he never loved her but felt about her in a way he can't explain

I'm reaching a bit on this, but I can say that realizing the fantasy usually breaks the fantasy too. We've all had that one neighbour, or person we saw at the coffee shop most mornings, or the butcher, etc. that just kind of worked for us as a visual thing, a fantasy.

That is the essence of an A. The fantasy that was acted upon and it is never what we thought.

Does that relate to what your WH is talking about, I don't think it is exactly that, but I think he saw his fantasy wasn't what he expected either.

He accuses me of using what he says against him. I don't believe I am doing that. I just remind him that what he is current saying is contrary to what he said in the past and I just want to know which is true. I just hate feeling like he is just staying with me because he wants to be a good person and not lose the respect of his adult sons.

That is the crux of it - is he telling you the truth? Is he finally admitting to himself his truth(s) and getting to his why's?

I told my wife the truth after D-Day. But it took me many more months to be able to understand, let alone relate the feelings, emotions, thinks that was behind the facts of what I did. In some ways 5 years on I still work on understanding myself better.

So is it facts you want, or do you want to understand why your WH did what he did? If the latter than you may need to grab a coffee and be prepared to wait while he sorts that out.

I think him trying to explain his 'feelings' is a positive step. They may not jive with what he said about the facts before though.

Westway posted 11/13/2020 11:09 AM

Have any of you not recovered your sexual desire or physical attraction to your BS?

hikingout posted 11/13/2020 11:22 AM

Hi Westway,

I communicate a lot with WS's here privately as well as in the forum. We do have some that did not recover that, but in all the cases I can think of it was because there was abuse from the BS for years prior to the WS's affair. Often this is happening with BS's who also have alcohol or other drug dependencies. Few of these people are still together.

Any of the WS's who reconciled or are trying to reconcile really tend to talk more about not having a connection with their BS, which is probably the case 100% of the time for a long period after DDAY and one that we caused.

I have a generalization for what I have seen but it's all antidotal. The generalization is that many exit affairs, which tend for some reason to be primarily women here, were situations in which they should have probably divorced the person in the first place. There are people like me, who had an exit affair, didn't exit, but realized that their unhappiness in their marriage was their own construct. And, attraction returned.

So, my theory, right or wrong is, if the BS killed the attraction prior to the affair by being abusive, controlling, or otherwise, it seems harder to restore but only because it seems like the BS has made no further move to get healthier. So the WS in essence is no more attracted to the BS prior to the A because they haven't changed. Does this make sense?

Westway posted 11/13/2020 16:21 PM

Yes that makes sense. Thank you.

Darkness Falls posted 11/13/2020 16:45 PM

Westway,

My situation is a bit different because we divorced after I cheated and then remarried, but the answer to your question is that my sexual desire for him is completely gone.

I thought for a long time that it was due to the notoriously libido-killing chronic illness that I developed while we were divorced—which is why I remarried him anyway—but now I know it’s not due to the illness. **Edited to clarify that thinking I wasn’t unattracted to him is why I remarried him anyway—not that the illness was why.

We haven’t had sex in 19 months and counting and I have no intention of ever doing so again—that would be deceitful on my part.

[This message edited by Darkness Falls at 11:43 AM, November 14th (Saturday)]

Timeforhelp posted 11/14/2020 10:39 AM

How long did it take you as a WS to realise you have to put in at least as much effort to your reconciliation and your BS as you did your affair and your OW?

My WS was supposed to have spent the last 3 weeks working in his timeline and some very specific questions I asked about the previous version and on reading it it feels like he spent all of 5 mins and changed approximately 50 words.

BraveSirRobin posted 11/14/2020 21:36 PM

How long did it take you as a WS to realise you have to put in at least as much effort to your reconciliation and your BS as you did your affair and your OW?
Unfortunately, in my case, that would be an apples and oranges comparison. The A didn't require much effort. It was a fantasy, and it isn't hard to live in fantasyland. Fighting my crappy impulses was the hard part, and here I am, so you see how good a job I did with that. Nor did I get the picture after I ended the A and confessed. I thought my BH had "won," that I was the prize. I was worried about poor, jilted OM, who had to find a way to go on without me.

My wakeup call wasn't a recognition that I had to make an equivalent effort to what I put into the A. It was an understanding that I had hurt my BH so badly that I had to invest everything I had in helping him heal the damage I inflicted. That was far, far more effort than I put into the A.

Timeforhelp posted 11/15/2020 12:32 PM

BSR, thank you for the reply - for me it feels like my WS did things for the OW that he hasn’t for me. For example whenever he upset them he would apologise within minutes via text or email. But with me although he has done so much to apologise for he gets angry instead and stubbornly refuses to apologise until things have escalated sometimes to extreme circumstances.

He tells me he sees how much he has hurt me, but definitely isn’t doing everything possible to help. I have recently realised he has taken the things I have informed him I need to heal and almost spitefully withholds them.

Any insight?

BraveSirRobin posted 11/15/2020 21:35 PM

I read your story in your profile, and I guess there are still some things I'm trying to figure out. It sounds like you did the pick-me dance for a lot of your marriage, so your WH assumed that you'd always give him another chance. What was different about this last A? What made him believe that the shoe was finally on the other foot, and that he needed to be the one trying to get you to stay?

The man in your profile sounds like he was finding remorse. The man you describe here sounds angry and resentful. I hate to have to point this out, but in the past when he got distant and dismissive, there was usually another woman involved. Or it might just be that he thought this was a temporary situation, and one year out from D-Day, he believes he's earned his way out of the penalty box.

Mickie500 posted 11/15/2020 22:10 PM

How can you just drop the AP cold Turkey? Is it really not cold Turkey and you’re just pretending? I find it hard to believe he doesn’t think of the AP anymore. He never has his phone n him. How can he really be done? Was there a time when you weren’t actually thinking of the AP but felt forced to because your BS experienced a trigger? I just find it hard to believe that he only thinks of her when I bring it up.

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