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I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 14

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JBWD ( member #70276) posted at 1:18 AM on Monday, February 8th, 2021

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 it’s 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 didn’t work.

The question here all the time is “Then why go back?” 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.

Me: WH
(Multiple OEA/PA, culminating in 4 month
EA/PA. D-Day 20 Oct 2018 41 y/o)
Married 14 years
Her: BS 37 y/o at D-Day
13 y/o son, 10 y/o daughter
6 months HB, broken NC, TT
SUCKED at growth and rebuilding

posts: 908   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2019   ·   location: SoCal
id 8631415
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Brew3x ( member #72052) posted at 4:53 AM on Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

At least a few times a week my WW will ask me if I’m ok, what’s wrong with me, my am I starting off into space. Sometimes I’ll say I’m fine sometimes I’ll make up some excuse like I’m just hungry or I’ll say I’m upset that you....

every time she’s 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?

posts: 236   ·   registered: Nov. 10th, 2019   ·   location: MA
id 8632003
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JBWD ( member #70276) posted at 1:31 PM on Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

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 I’ll say I’m fine sometimes I’ll make up some excuse like I’m just hungry

Why make an excuse? I don’t think it’s 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 didn’t help me learn this- I wasn’t 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.

Me: WH
(Multiple OEA/PA, culminating in 4 month
EA/PA. D-Day 20 Oct 2018 41 y/o)
Married 14 years
Her: BS 37 y/o at D-Day
13 y/o son, 10 y/o daughter
6 months HB, broken NC, TT
SUCKED at growth and rebuilding

posts: 908   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2019   ·   location: SoCal
id 8632050
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foreverlabeled ( member #52070) posted at 2:03 PM on Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

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.

33 divorced Madhatter
Time is no ones friend, nor their enemy. It moves forward at its own fixed pace, careless of our wants to speed it or slow it.

posts: 2515   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2016   ·   location: southeast
id 8632054
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Brew3x ( member #72052) posted at 2:10 PM on Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

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 I’m frustrated with her but I don’t really know why, I think ultimately I could be frustrated with myself. I question if she realizes the pain I’m in but she would have to be a complete moron not to realize. I’ve told her, I’ve cried uncontrollably even had a few small meltdowns. I find it curious that you mentioned her check-ins. Do you think it’s possible when she says what’s wrong with you that she’s checking in about the A. It doesn’t feel like that, it feels empty, idk that could be me.

Part of the issue is I don’t know how to tell her how I feel. I’ve been having a ton of crap days lately but I don’t know how to tell her without dumping all my pain on her and then it becomes a whole thing.

posts: 236   ·   registered: Nov. 10th, 2019   ·   location: MA
id 8632057
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foreverlabeled ( member #52070) posted at 2:33 PM on Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

It doesn’t 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.

I’ve been having a ton of crap days lately but I don’t 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.

33 divorced Madhatter
Time is no ones friend, nor their enemy. It moves forward at its own fixed pace, careless of our wants to speed it or slow it.

posts: 2515   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2016   ·   location: southeast
id 8632065
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 8:30 PM on Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

I’ve been having a ton of crap days lately but I don’t 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 don’t want to ruin it, then I remember why I’m in the pain to begin with. When I offered R I told her “get your work boots on because you are going to feel all the feels” That is a strange sentence but it’s exactly what I said. I found that when I held it in to save a weekend I would have “a ton of crap days”. Get that stuff out and on the table.

Dday Sept 7 2019 working toward R
BH 54
WW 47
M 30 years, 4 kids 2 grown, twin boys 12 yo 2 grandkids

One day you will tell your story how you overcame what you are going through now, and it will become part of someone else’s survival guide.

posts: 726   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8632210
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 9:15 PM on Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

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.

Dday Sept 7 2019 working toward R
BH 54
WW 47
M 30 years, 4 kids 2 grown, twin boys 12 yo 2 grandkids

One day you will tell your story how you overcame what you are going through now, and it will become part of someone else’s survival guide.

posts: 726   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8632225
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Username123 ( member #77150) posted at 10:26 AM on Thursday, February 11th, 2021

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?

posts: 223   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2021
id 8632334
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 8:47 PM on Friday, February 12th, 2021

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.

WW/BW BH/WH Turnthepage My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PAHis Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

posts: 5922   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8632867
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 9:07 PM on Friday, February 12th, 2021

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.

WW/BW BH/WH Turnthepage My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PAHis Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

posts: 5922   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8632871
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Darkness Falls ( member #27879) posted at 1:06 AM on Saturday, February 13th, 2021

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 affair—it was an “exit affair” 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 hadn’t 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.

WS - remarried to BH but not in R

D-day 2010

posts: 6312   ·   registered: Mar. 8th, 2010   ·   location: USA
id 8632904
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JBWD ( member #70276) posted at 2:12 AM on Saturday, February 13th, 2021

Do you think it’s possible when she says what’s wrong with you that she’s checking in about the A. It doesn’t 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 don’t 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.

Me: WH
(Multiple OEA/PA, culminating in 4 month
EA/PA. D-Day 20 Oct 2018 41 y/o)
Married 14 years
Her: BS 37 y/o at D-Day
13 y/o son, 10 y/o daughter
6 months HB, broken NC, TT
SUCKED at growth and rebuilding

posts: 908   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2019   ·   location: SoCal
id 8632915
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Username123 ( member #77150) posted at 7:32 AM on Sunday, February 14th, 2021

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)]

posts: 223   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2021
id 8633146
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Darkness Falls ( member #27879) posted at 7:39 PM on Sunday, February 14th, 2021

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

WS - remarried to BH but not in R

D-day 2010

posts: 6312   ·   registered: Mar. 8th, 2010   ·   location: USA
id 8633251
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 8:25 PM on Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

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.

WW/BW BH/WH Turnthepage My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PAHis Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

posts: 5922   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8633923
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Username123 ( member #77150) posted at 4:30 PM on Thursday, February 18th, 2021

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

posts: 223   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2021
id 8634147
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 1:56 PM on Friday, February 19th, 2021

I don’t think all WS do anything collectively the same.

For me I was caught up in “romance”. When the affair is over at first it was disorienting. I couldn’t turn my feelings off immediately. My reliving was more over conversations. It didn’t take long at all to have deep humiliating feelings about the sex. And as that set in and me realizing that I didn’t 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. It’s not that I was coerced in any way or that I wasn’t 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 wasn’t 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 didn’t 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 don’t think it’s 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 it’s really difficult to crawl out of self loathing over it.

WW/BW BH/WH Turnthepage My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PAHis Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

posts: 5922   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8634454
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JBWD ( member #70276) posted at 5:04 PM on Friday, February 19th, 2021

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 it’s easy to avoid places I went with AP, but as a result IF I find myself nearby it’s still triggering nearly 2.5 years out.

Me: WH
(Multiple OEA/PA, culminating in 4 month
EA/PA. D-Day 20 Oct 2018 41 y/o)
Married 14 years
Her: BS 37 y/o at D-Day
13 y/o son, 10 y/o daughter
6 months HB, broken NC, TT
SUCKED at growth and rebuilding

posts: 908   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2019   ·   location: SoCal
id 8634537
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 6:18 PM on Friday, February 19th, 2021

Comment deleted.

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

BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year Affair with MOW, 7 month False Recovery, year + trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time.
Sorry for the sticky shift key and typos.

posts: 259   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8634564
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