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BS Questions for WS - Part 14

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JBWD posted 2/7/2021 19:18 PM

During the affair they see the affair including the sex as very exciting and attractive. After the affair the remorseful WS looks back on the affair including the sex with disgust and revulsion.

My goal in my original answer to you was to explain that it WAS NOT exciting and attractive. I was chasing a different outcome with the same actions: Returning to a painful location of shame and regret, convincing myself that my self-imposed suffering was bound for a noble outcome.

This is why I generally avoid this topic, because itís not believed. I was bashing my head against a wall, trying to bash my way out of the hole I had dug myself into. It didnít work.

The question here all the time is ďThen why go back?Ē The answer to that is that there was nothing working. So there was no clearly discernible outcome. Same as an alcoholic or any other addict, the return to what is FAMILIAR has its own reinforcing value. The sensation may appear pleasant from the outside, but it is far from it.

Brew3x posted 2/9/2021 22:53 PM

At least a few times a week my WW will ask me if Iím ok, whatís wrong with me, my am I starting off into space. Sometimes Iíll say Iím fine sometimes Iíll make up some excuse like Iím just hungry or Iíll say Iím upset that you....
every time sheís asks me this type of question it feels like Groundhog Day and I feel like yelling you know whats wrong with me.
Does every WS realize the damage and pain they have caused the BS?

JBWD posted 2/10/2021 07:31 AM

Does every WS realize the damage and pain they have caused the BS?

Not right off the bat for me... But I will offer a similar experience to what you describe-

Sometimes Iíll say Iím fine sometimes Iíll make up some excuse like Iím just hungry

Why make an excuse? I donít think itís worth concealing your pain unless you are done trying to share with your WW. If it matters to you that she knows the extent of your pain, then share it with her. My BW avoided a lot of sharing with me that didnít help me learn this- I wasnít suitably perceptive to all that I was seeing, and as a result I missed the opportunities to check in. (But our M dynamic consisted of both of us suppressing a lot that we felt would be a burden to the other.)

It seems your question has some hint of frustration with her questions: Do you believe she has no idea of your pain, or is it the frequency of her check-ins? You could certainly address this with her.

foreverlabeled posted 2/10/2021 08:03 AM

No, I don't think every WS knows the pain they've caused. Hell, even the most remorseful ones can't actually truly know.

I can recall being in her shoes, seeing my BH as you described yourself. Its true she should know that obviously its what you are thinking about. I mean of course. Especially because your dday is still very fresh.

I remember being scared at first to ask if he was thinking about my A on the off chance he wasn't. I quickly learned that was dumb because even if he wasn't thinking about it in that moment it was highly likely he was thinking about it 10 minutes ago or will be thinking about it in 10 minutes or so.

But just from what you have said here, it seems she's trying to open the line for communication and thats a start. It may just be her way of trying to check in when you are visibly upset. Unless you don't want to talk about it anymore I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing.

Its wayward 101 to initiate communication and open the door to talking about our affair.

Brew3x posted 2/10/2021 08:10 AM

It seems your question has some hint of frustration with her questions: Do you believe she has no idea of your pain, or is it the frequency of her check-ins? You could certainly address this with her.

Yes Iím frustrated with her but I donít really know why, I think ultimately I could be frustrated with myself. I question if she realizes the pain Iím in but she would have to be a complete moron not to realize. Iíve told her, Iíve cried uncontrollably even had a few small meltdowns. I find it curious that you mentioned her check-ins. Do you think itís possible when she says whatís wrong with you that sheís checking in about the A. It doesnít feel like that, it feels empty, idk that could be me.
Part of the issue is I donít know how to tell her how I feel. Iíve been having a ton of crap days lately but I donít know how to tell her without dumping all my pain on her and then it becomes a whole thing.

foreverlabeled posted 2/10/2021 08:33 AM

It doesnít feel like that, it feels empty,
It might feel empty because she might be scared. We understand that we must put on a brave face and step into our BSs pain but the feelings underneath are far from courageous.

Iíve been having a ton of crap days lately but I donít know how to tell her without dumping all my pain on her and then it becomes a whole thing.
Her job is to bare your pain with you. If she's not capable then there are greater issues.

Tanner posted 2/10/2021 14:30 PM

Iíve been having a ton of crap days lately but I donít know how to tell her without dumping all my pain on her and then it becomes a whole thing.

I went through this because we might be having a good weekend and I donít want to ruin it, then I remember why Iím in the pain to begin with. When I offered R I told her ďget your work boots on because you are going to feel all the feelsĒ That is a strange sentence but itís exactly what I said. I found that when I held it in to save a weekend I would have ďa ton of crap daysĒ. Get that stuff out and on the table.

Tanner posted 2/10/2021 15:15 PM

During a recent discussion I asked my W if she ever thinks about the AP or is curious about him, for context he was a total stranger, ONS turned 2 month PA.

Her answer was NO!! It makes me sick to think about it because it was such a dark and lonely time.

Is this hindsight or was this how she felt during the A? Lonely is what has me puzzled, she was very cold to me during her A, but prior we had always been so close. Is it possible to be in a PA and feel lonely?

I will ask her but wanted to see your thoughts.

Username123 posted 2/11/2021 04:26 AM

Waywards,

What does remorse fell like ? Is it painful?

Does remorse make you want to stay in the marriage or make the marriage better ?

Does remorse make the wayward feel terrible and disgusted with the affair even if a few weeks or months earlier the affair was exhilarating?

hikingout posted 2/12/2021 14:47 PM

During a recent discussion I asked my W if she ever thinks about the AP or is curious about him, for context he was a total stranger, ONS turned 2 month PA.
Her answer was NO!! It makes me sick to think about it because it was such a dark and lonely time.

I think I understand what she means.

I do think about the AP. But, not about really him or having feelings for him. More geared towards the construct of the affair, how it unfolded, etc. I mean I am on this site a lot obviously and I have to refer to the AP in order sometimes to explain something. So, I think about him in a surface way and my involvement in a deeper way.

I hate who I was at that time. It was a dark time. A really, really dark time followed the end of the affair as I was picking up the pieces of my life. It was certainly the loneliest I have ever felt, but it was also there in the knowledge that I created that feeling. You can't feel connected hiding in the shadows, having secrets from the person you are married to. You can't feel connected with others when you hate yourself and feel the lowest you have ever been. It was torturous sometimes at work following my affair because it was hard to be with people when I was in my head so much. It was by far the most destructive thing I did to myself, my husband, our family, or our life.

So, yes, I get why looking back on that you aren't really thinking in any fond way of the AP.

Is this hindsight or was this how she felt during the A? Lonely is what has me puzzled, she was very cold to me during her A, but prior we had always been so close. Is it possible to be in a PA and feel lonely?

I think for me personally mostly hindsight. When you are in an affair (and I think most of the time leading up to the affair) you aren't really all that self-reflective. You can't be, it would eat you alive. You are avoidant of certain things in your thoughts, and you do a lot of writing things the way you want to see them. Most affairs are propping yourself up by using another person. The AP didn't know me. He couldn't tell you anything fundamental about me. He could only tell you what he wanted me to be like and thought I was. Vice Versa.

Somehow, you want to believe so badly that they see you and you really are just this special individual to them. Your self esteem gets wrapped up in that, because it's the whole reason you sought them out - for them to make you feel special or other specific things.

The affair is distracting enough to not have to feel your feelings or keeps you busy enough to not notice that you are lonely. But, the reality of it is you have alienated yourself from people closest to you, and you are spending time with someone who doesn't care about you - they only care about how you make them feel. Even though I think a small amount of narcissists actually exists, it's still narcissist supply stuff.

There were feelings of loneliness in carrying around a secret, not being able to talk to anyone. Unlike some folks, I told noone what was going on.

hikingout posted 2/12/2021 15:07 PM

Waywards,
What does remorse fell like ? Is it painful?

Hmmm. That's a good question. Yes and no.

Yes, it's painful to know all the ways that my husband was damaged by my actions.

In another way, when I finally started to understand and take accountability, it was a relief.

During my affair, I very much detached from my husband and other close people in my life. I spent two months in a complete bubble. I could not have an affair without detaching.

When the affair was over, it was difficult to reattach. I believed my own bullshit at this point. For a long time I could only really feel guilt, regret, and shame. These were very big emotions and it crowded everything else out. It kept my focus on myself instead of my husband. It was hard to look at him and sometimes hard to sit through the conversations we were having. I was really at rock bottom.

Remorse happens when you can really sit down and forget about yourself and feel empathy for what you put someone else through. Having that empathy took away my defensiveness and motivated me to work harder on myself. The more I worked on myself the more accountability I had, the more I was willing to look at the truth of my weaknesses and shortcomings.

It was a relief because I was actually concerned I was devoid of emotion. I had numbed myself so deeply in the affair that I knew I wasn't feeling the ways I should towards all the people I loved, including my husband.

Remorse is transformative because it means that you are no longer trying to place the blame on the other person. You are no longer trying to deny how hellishly terrible you were. You are going to work your ass off to never go back to that place again.

Does remorse make you want to stay in the marriage or make the marriage better ?

It does not make me want to stay in the marriage. My motivations for staying in the marriage did evolve. In the beginning, I felt like I owed it to him and myself to see if we could repair it. Then it evolved into realizing that I was the one who was making myself unhappy, that I was the one who made terrible decisions, and the more I worked to connect with my husband the more I could see what it had done to him. It's difficult not to retreat in those moments at first. Then eventually we had rebuilt our connection and I remembered all the wonderful reasons I fell in love with him. I also found a lot of new ones. I stay in my marriage not from remorse but because I love him.

His affair of course has shaken the marriage again. I have worked very hard to get to the point we were at. So, I would say I am back to thinking we owe it to ourselves to see where we go from here. But I wouldn't say remorse is a reason for staying in a marriage. That's kind of like saying you stayed because you felt too guilty to leave and I definitely do not think that was really ever the case.

Is it good for a marriage? I don't know, it's just something that is there. I think you get to a point where most things dissolve or get resolved. Remorse isn't like that. I will always be very remorseful towards all the things I did to him. All the terrible decisions I made. But, it gets to the point where you aren't feeling the weight of that every day because you do get to a point where you have days that you don't think about the affair much at all. Sometimes I was even having good weeks before I discovered his affair.

Does remorse make the wayward feel terrible and disgusted with the affair even if a few weeks or months earlier the affair was exhilarating?

I think it plays a part. I feel terrible and disgusted with the affair for many, many reasons. The word "remorse" to me means that I feel terrible for what I did to my husband. Relaying all the details of my affair, I feel like now when I think about the affair my husband knowing is like he watched it kind of. Hard to describe. But, a lot of other things play a part in those feelings of disgust:

- I was used by another person, and I used them as well.
-I could have chosen differently.
-It's taken years from my life.
-I can see what happened between us was both of us seeking validation rather than each other.
-It's against my morals and integrity.

But, yes, in part some of my disgust is geared towards destroying my husband and marriage. It was cheap and artificial and so not worth it. I don't know what ever would be worth that to be honest.

Darkness Falls posted 2/12/2021 19:06 PM

What does remorse fell like ? Is it painful?

Yes, it was painful and terrible seeing how much I had hurt my H. I expected anger...rage, even. I did not expect emotional devastation and sadness.

Does remorse make you want to stay in the marriage or make the marriage better ?

I did not have a choice whether to stay in the marriage; my H decided on divorce right away. But yes, at that time, I would have wanted to stay and work on myself in hopes of getting to a good marriage one day.

Does remorse make the wayward feel terrible and disgusted with the affair even if a few weeks or months earlier the affair was exhilarating?

Complicated answer. I felt ashamed of having committed adultery. I was ashamed of that even during the affairóit was an ďexit affairĒ and I was trying to figure out how to leave the marriage with as little fallout as possible. Upon discovery, however, my feelings for my ex had not changed. I just wished I had had the courage to walk away from the marriage the minute my ex told me he made a mistake and asked me to come back to him, rather than cheating with him instead of doing things the honorable way. More than anything, I wished he hadnít broken up with me in the first place, 3.5 years prior, so that I would never have dated and married my H at all.

JBWD posted 2/12/2021 20:12 PM

Do you think itís possible when she says whatís wrong with you that sheís checking in about the A. It doesnít feel like that, it feels empty, idk that could be me.

I don't think she's necessarily checking about the A, I think she's just checking in. If you want her to know that your pain is still consistently centered on the A, then you could talk about that. I don't know at what point MC becomes reasonable, but this seems like a good discussion to facilitate with some help if you can't quite ascertain why you're frustrated.

I donít know how to tell her without dumping all my pain on her and then it becomes a whole thing.

Does she make it a thing or do you believe it would be a thing? There's certainly stuff we can handle on our own- But if it's struggles you'd rather face with the team (or approach the idea of facing with the team) then I'd say go for it. I can certainly understand not wanting to open up, and it might be that you're not ready to be that vulnerable. But without approaching her about it (which is only my impression, I'm not certain you haven't) there's no way to know to what degree she wants to share your pain and experience.

Username123 posted 2/14/2021 01:32 AM

Waywards,

What did you do to help your BS process and heal from all the terrible sexual details of your affair ?

[This message edited by Username123 at 1:58 AM, February 14th (Sunday)]

Darkness Falls posted 2/14/2021 13:39 PM

Gave him as amicable and quick a divorce as legally possible.

hikingout posted 2/17/2021 14:25 PM

What did you do to help your BS process and heal from all the terrible sexual details of your affair ?

I feel like there is only so much a WS can do in this category. We can try and be reassuring, patient, initiate if that's what the BS wants (mine did), answer the questions they want to know, etc.

Unfortunately I think that while we may have created insecurity from an affair, it's important to know that we are not the judge and jury of your sexual prowess. Your sexual prowess belongs to you and has the same worth as it always has. Someone's inability to see it doesn't make it less. Unfortunately insecurity is internal and is made worse through self talk. This is one of those pieces I think a BS has to do some navigating in addition to the WS being there and doing their best.

We can't reconcile the relationship alone. We can't heal you either. We can provide you with an environment in which you can heal. Some people are not able to heal with the person by their side that hurt them so badly and in those cases the only remedy is divorce.

Username123 posted 2/18/2021 10:30 AM

Do all or most WS relive their sexual affairs via mind movies?

hikingout posted 2/19/2021 07:56 AM

I donít think all WS do anything collectively the same.

For me I was caught up in ďromanceĒ. When the affair is over at first it was disorienting. I couldnít turn my feelings off immediately. My reliving was more over conversations. It didnít take long at all to have deep humiliating feelings about the sex. And as that set in and me realizing that I didnít know him that well and had projected things on him that were things I just wanted to see.

The sex just never was paramount to me. I would compare it to a sixteen year old girl who had these romantic notions but went along with the sex because I wanted him to like me. It sounds really stupid. Itís not that I was coerced in any way or that I wasnít into it. More it was part of this relationship I thought we were having.

I did have obsessive compulsive thoughts about the ap after the affair. At some point those thoughts were involuntary and unwanted and I had to do things in therapy and at home to treat it. But that wasnít because he was so great but more because of the addictive and unhealthy state that I was in. I look back at that time as being batshit crazy. I take accountability for the decisions I made to get there. But once I was there it didnít feel fun it felt like a nightmare and was a very painful and dark time.

I do not think that everyone looks back on the sex as a fantasy or has positive emotions about it. Often when the affair is over and things come crashing down I do believe there are often feelings of regret and being used and lied to. I am not going to fantasize about that or hold any of it dear to my heart. It was the darkest and most depraved time of my life. I honestly feel I ruined my life with those decisions and have since tried to pick up the prices. If I had a time machine I would choose very differently. There are no feelings of fondness or longing. I donít think itís uncommon for their to be some pining at first - affairs end abruptly and you have yourself pretty talked into everything. But when you see the damage, the truth, and have some clarity itís really difficult to crawl out of self loathing over it.

JBWD posted 2/19/2021 11:04 AM

Is the question particularly about PAs?
I suffer temporary bouts of shame remembering the two sides of how I was living. So mind movies are a bit more concrete than my memories of living a lie. I live in a big enough city where itís easy to avoid places I went with AP, but as a result IF I find myself nearby itís still triggering nearly 2.5 years out.

whatisloveanyway posted 2/19/2021 12:18 PM

Comment deleted.

[This message edited by whatisloveanyway at 10:44 PM, February 20th, 2021 (Saturday)]

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