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I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 14

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Username123 ( member #77150) posted at 7:10 PM on Friday, February 19th, 2021

JBWD,

When you are triggered do you have exciting sexual thoughts and fantasies about your AP?

posts: 223   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2021
id 8634590
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JBWD ( member #70276) posted at 10:00 PM on Friday, February 19th, 2021

Nope. Humiliated and despair.

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: 907   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2019   ·   location: SoCal
id 8634632
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sundance ( member #72129) posted at 10:05 PM on Friday, February 19th, 2021

Short version: my WW had a 3 mo affair in 2016 with a friend of mine. Sex in our home, gaslighting, blameshifting and trickle truth were all on the menu — as was rationalizing, minimizing, destroying evidence and not letting me see texts.

It took 3 years and hard ultimatums to get a timeline, STD test and polygraph. She failed the polygraph in December almost exactly three years after DDAY 1 in December of 2016.

AShort version: my WW had a 3 mo affair in 2016 with a friend of mine. Sex in our home, gaslighting, blameshifting and trickle truth were all on the menu — as was rationalizing, minimizing, destroying evidence and not letting me see texts.

It took 3 years and hard ultimatums to get a timeline, STD test and polygraph. She failed the polygraph in December almost exactly three years after DDAY 1 in December of 2016.

At the same time, I have to be fair and say my WW has done a lot to show the kind of wife she wants to be going forward and she has been consistent about it.

My question is does my WW seem like a safe partner to you, her fellow WS’s?

My question is does my WW seem like a safe partner to you, her fellow WS’s?

Hi Thumos,

She seems safe to me. It's been 3 years. And she had a 3 month affair (not the most "horrible" on the horrible scale).

to quote you, "At the same time, I have to be fair and say my WW has done a lot to show the kind of wife she wants to be going forward and she has been consistent about it."

My A was way worse (in comparison) ... and I consider myself SAFE.

Rusty: You scared?
Linus: You suicidal?
Rusty: Only in the morning.

posts: 78   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2019   ·   location: USA
id 8634636
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earlydetour ( member #63207) posted at 2:05 AM on Saturday, February 20th, 2021

I'd like to ask the WSs questions regarding trait/character projection, both onto the AP and onto your BS. Did you project any of your AP's negative traits (anything that caused you to pause or irritated you) onto your BS? Did you project any of your BS's positive traits onto your AP(s) when you knew and/or experienced instances where your AP demonstrated the exact opposite of this positive trait? How did you work through that with your BS?

Aim for the best case & plan for the worst case.When you encounter a detour on life's journey, pick yourself up and MAKE the road YOU want to be on. Finding my own path.

posts: 249   ·   registered: Mar. 28th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8634689
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 8:21 PM on Monday, February 22nd, 2021

I'd like to ask the WSs questions regarding trait/character projection, both onto the AP and onto your BS. Did you project any of your AP's negative traits (anything that caused you to pause or irritated you) onto your BS? Did you project any of your BS's positive traits onto your AP(s) when you knew and/or experienced instances where your AP demonstrated the exact opposite of this positive trait? How did you work through that with your BS?

Not exactly. I don't think that I knew enough about the AP to know what he did or did not possess.

The AP - I projected things I wanted to see there. Over time, there were things that I told myself about my husband (the predominate one that he wasn't romantic or emotionally vulnerable. That he didn't "see me"). I projected on the AP things I felt I was missing in my marriage, with no proof whatsoever that he actually had these traits.

The BS - I think often thoughts about the BS during the affair has a lot more to do with justifying your own bad behavior. But, there were flashes of truth or reality mixed in. For example, I remember thinking that this person was okay but he wasn't as good as my husband. (This was early on)

Moving forward, what helped is I realized the complaints I had against my husband were really not true. The thing that helped the most is taking accountability for the unhappiness I had in the marriage and being able to see that I did nothing productive about changing it. Some of it was his response to my actions. For example - the "not being seen" had more to do with me not being vulnerable and showing myself in the relationship, rather than him not caring.

I was able to see the AP was a projection of all my unstated needs. But, I was telling the AP exactly what I wanted so it was much easier for him to demonstrate that behavior even if it was false.

I have learned to communicate, communicate, communicate and that made a big difference. It popped all those imaginary things, helped me understand my role in our flailing marriage, and helps eradicate a lot of my illogical, irrational, and often catastrophic thoughts.

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: 5921   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8635323
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MrsWalloped ( member #62313) posted at 10:55 PM on Monday, February 22nd, 2021

Hi earlydetour.

I didn't project anything about the AP onto my BH. For me there really was only one type of projection and it was really me projecting what I perceived as a contrast. Mainly, I kept the two separate, but when I did think about what I was doing I started thinking about how I felt my BH was abandoning me emotionally and in contrast the AP was supporting me emotionally. (I am fully aware that my feelings about my BH were built up and more so, I made it much much worse in my head than as that "justified" what I was doing, or at least gave me permission in my own mind.) But that's as far as it went from a projection point of view.

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

posts: 685   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
id 8635364
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2015sucked ( member #61258) posted at 6:42 AM on Saturday, February 27th, 2021

First I want to apologize ahead of time for this being a long post; I will try to make it as short as possible.

We had been married 3 1/2 years when his affair with a cow began. It had felt like the greatest marriage ever (2nd for both of us). We never argued, we had a great sex life, we laughed a lot, went on vacations, etc. In March/April of 2015 I started feeling a "disconnect"; I knew something was wrong but he insisted it was work pressures. He was thinking of retiring in the next year or so and was nervous about it. Months passed and the feeling I had grew. In November, I discovered the reason...he was having an affair. Of course he swore it was over, but in April 2016 I discovered he was still emailing her that he loved her. By this time, he was set to retire at the end of May. Then, the day after he retired, I found that she had given him a secret cell phone so they could call each other; he threw it away.

I worked about 2 miles from home and would "pop in" from time to time. I also had a spy program on our computer and his cell phone, so I know he wasn't contacting her anymore. I retired exactly one year after he did.

So here we are, 5 years after they last had contact, we have moved 3 hours away, and I still can't get past it! I think of it every single day.

He never did any of the work to get our marriage back on track; he just wanted to forget it. "It's over, I sorry; can't we just get past it?"

He has never answered any of my questions about it; everything I know, I found out on my own. Anytime I try to talk about it, his answer is that he's sorry and he hates himself for it.

Everything that was so great in our marriage before the affair is back to normal....except our sex life. That has never recovered. He just doesn't seem to have any interest in it any more.

He is 66 and I'm 63; I know that things change as we get older, and it's possible that this slow down just happened to coincide with his affair but, for me, it just feels like he isn't interested in ME!

Even given the lack of a sex life, I still love him, but I can't let myself just give into it. I find myself holding back. I feel like he doesn't love me or he wouldn't have had an affair. So when I start feeling myself letting go, I remind myself that he doesn't love me, he had an affair, and I don't want to get hurt again.

Any advise on letting go of this pain? I've tried therapy several times and I can't seem to find a therapist who doesn't just say that I should leave him.

Me; 57 on D-Day
FWH-61 on D-Day
D-Day 1; 11/29/15
D-Day 2; 3/31/16
D-Day 3; 5/31/16
Affair with COW

"If it's not alright in the end; it's not the end"

posts: 71   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2017
id 8636837
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forgettableDad ( member #72192) posted at 11:28 AM on Saturday, February 27th, 2021

He never did any of the work to get our marriage back on track; he just wanted to forget it. "It's over, I sorry; can't we just get past it?"

Then he's not a safe partner.

You say you love him. But you can't change him. He's the only person that is able to do that. And he needs to do that for himself or it won't "stick".

I know you said it's been 5 years etc but time doesn't actually heal anything. Hard work over time heals. And you need to ask yourself whether you really want to be in a relationship with a person that doesn't put in that work on themselves and on your marriage. And you need to either stay or leave for yourself not because you want to change him or push him into action.

posts: 261   ·   registered: Dec. 1st, 2019
id 8636853
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Ariopolis ( member #75786) posted at 12:04 AM on Thursday, March 4th, 2021

Why do some/so many WS dislike their BS calling the AP their girlfriend?

I can't call any of them whores, because he would defend them, but girlfriend seems to be a different matter.

It seems to cause my WH excruciating pain to hear it and I sometimes read the same thing here.

Why?

posts: 140   ·   registered: Nov. 2nd, 2020
id 8638871
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MrsWalloped ( member #62313) posted at 4:01 PM on Friday, March 5th, 2021

Hi Ariopolis.

Why do some/so many WS dislike their BS calling the AP their girlfriend?

I guess it depends on the type of A we're talking about. I didn't like hearing it when my BH used the term boyfriend for the AP, but it was pretty accurate. Mine was an EA/PA. And it was a teenagerish type of thing. So boyfriend. Hearing it though made me feel ashamed (which I was) but that was something I was grappling with and it was helpful. I didn't blame my BH for using the term at all, but I also cringed when it was used. But I never expressed that to my BH.

I guess if someone's A was not an EA, like it was a ONS, then boyfriend implies relationship and I can see why someone wouldn't like hearing that.

But honestly, a WS shouldn't be all super sensitive about what their BS calls the AP. Not at all. I can't even imagine how that conversation would go. We cheated on our spouses but we're going to get hung up boyfriend or girlfriend? Seems silly and worse, very insensitive to the pain the BS is going through to harp on that.

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

posts: 685   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
id 8639361
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 4:37 PM on Friday, March 5th, 2021

Given the lengths my wife went to in order to make sure her AP had a good time sexually, I have jokingly told her that, "you were a great girlfriend." It was a little bit cruel but it was also proof that we could joke and be playful, even about her affair.

The first time I made that joke, we were in the car on a getaway weekend to the mountains. She looked me dead in the eye and joked back, "I hope you're ready for some girlfriend level sex."

Gotta hand it to her, she's a resilient one and she knows how to make amends.

[This message edited by Wiseoldfool at 10:40 AM, March 5th (Friday)]

posts: 92   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8639385
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 4:33 AM on Saturday, March 6th, 2021

Why do some/so many WS dislike their BS calling the AP their girlfriend?

I wouldn't have blamed my BH (who was, at the time, my BF) for calling OM my boyfriend, but it would have been a gut punch. I was very unhappy the one time I caught OM referring to me as his girlfriend, because it was a claim of entitlement and official status that I never intended. It violated the walls of my compartmentalization and denial. BF was my boyfriend, and whatever I was doing with OM was supposed to be unofficial and temporary -- in other words, "not real." I didn't want to admit that it met the objective criteria of a relationship. BH calling OM an asshole would have been anger directed at OM, but calling him my boyfriend would have shone the spotlight on my own hypocrisy and disrespect.

To this day, I don't like to use the acronym AP. He's the OM, "other man." Even though I've faced up to the fact that we acted like boyfriend and girlfriend during the A, calling him a "partner" feels like conferring legitimacy on what we did. I suppose if someone called us partners in crime, that would feel more accurate.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 6:42 AM, March 6th (Saturday)]

WW/BW 51 (Me)
BH/WH 51 (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2038   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8639587
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SadieMae ( member #42986) posted at 1:20 PM on Tuesday, March 9th, 2021

For WS who have been in R for more than a year, and especially to those who have been in R for many years How do you view the anniversary of D-Day? How does that day make you feel? How do you treat your BS on the anniversary?

Me: BW 40 on DDAY
Him: WH 40 on DDAY (FlawedBroken)
Together over half our lives.
D-day 3/9/2014
TT until 6/2016
TT again Fall 2020

posts: 1197   ·   registered: Apr. 3rd, 2014   ·   location: Sweet Tea in the Shade
id 8640424
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MrCleanSlate ( member #71893) posted at 3:15 PM on Tuesday, March 9th, 2021

SadieMae,

How do you view the anniversary of D-Day? How does that day make you feel? How do you treat your BS on the anniversary?

A little over 5 years out from D-Day and my BW and I are rocking R and working on our M constantly.

I pretty much ignore D-Day now. My BW said about 2 years in that there is nothing but ashes left there and she prefers not to dwell on the negative or let AP take up her headspace after all this time.

I personally feel worse as each year passes and I reflect on what a shitty person I was for years before my A and during, but I also am thankful to my wife for being willing to work with me to recover, then reconcile and finally for us to work together to fix our M.

The other day my BW reminded me that we have a 30th anniversary coming up and she expects to celebrate with me regardless of Covid - after these many years I finally learnt how to take a cue and am now trying to organize a weekend away.

WH 52,my BW is 51
1 year PA, D-Day Oct 2015
Admitted all, but there is no 'clean slate'. In R and working it everyday
“To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day

posts: 667   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2019   ·   location: Canada
id 8640457
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MrsWalloped ( member #62313) posted at 4:02 PM on Tuesday, March 9th, 2021

For WS who have been in R for more than a year, and especially to those who have been in R for many years How do you view the anniversary of D-Day? How does that day make you feel? How do you treat your BS on the anniversary?

We are also over 5 years out. DDay is a rough day usually but it's not in a vacuum. We are now in EA season and soon to be in PA season. The whole time frame is tough in some ways, particularly because there were events that were part of that (like my daughter's wedding - so her anniversary is coming up and that's a trigger).

I check in my with my BH regularly to see how he's doing. I acknowledge the time of year, I thank him for sticking with me and tell him I love him and ask him if there's anything he needs or wants whether it's space or to spend time together. Some times he wants to be with me either physically or just spending time together. Others he need to be on his own. He is very aware of when DDay is and it's on his head so I'll do the same thing for DDay. I try to communicate how much I love and appreciate him and then we go from there based on his preferences. I offer to spend time with him if that's what he wants. Sometimes he asks to be left alone or he'll get together with with friends or his brother depending on if it's a weekend or a workday. I am proactive, but I don't push. My presence helps and hurts at the same time and I try to be aware of that.

I don't think there's a wrong way to handle DDay except for ignoring it. Maybe one day he'll tell me it's not on his radar screen anymore but until then I do want I can to make the day and time period easier for him to get through.

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

posts: 685   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
id 8640468
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Zorak ( new member #74500) posted at 8:12 PM on Tuesday, March 9th, 2021

Hi, I would like to know how WSs justified their behavior to themselves. What did you tell yourself that made it ok? Particularly for those who were also cruel and abusive to your spouse and family.

Thank you for considering a response, it would really help me.

posts: 9   ·   registered: Jun. 1st, 2020   ·   location: Virginia
id 8640550
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 8:38 PM on Tuesday, March 9th, 2021

Hi, I would like to know how WSs justified their behavior to themselves. What did you tell yourself that made it ok? Particularly for those who were also cruel and abusive to your spouse and family.

Thank you for considering a response, it would really help me.

Have you read much about "Cognitive Dissonance"?

When people are doing things they know are wrong they will often justify it in a way that they don't have to feel like the bad guy.

In affairs, typically people will villify their Spouse. You will see it's the same old stories - men particularly like to point at a "dead bedroom" when in fact it may not be dead at all but they have talked themselves into that defintion for some reason.

For me, I felt unseen, I felt like an employee but instead of talking about my issues, I let them build up into resentments I didn't realize that I had. Then, I turned those resentments into feelings of entitlement. "I feel like I deserve to be happy" "I deserve something for me" kind of stuff. It was complete bullshit.

What really was the problem is that I wasn't taking accountability for my own happiness. I was just looking to others to make me happy. I didn't communicate my really small issues to my husband that kept piling up.

I didn't act overtly abusive, but having an affair is abusive. Not being present is abusive, continuous lying is abusive.

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: 5921   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8640564
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HologramHusband ( new member #75980) posted at 11:56 PM on Wednesday, March 10th, 2021

Zorak, I ended up withholding sex (completely unable to see the root issue behind it at the time) while being one of those men who complained about a "dead bedroom" and not having my poor little needs met. Thus justifying my A's in my own twisted mind. Abusive asshat was a well-earned title.

posts: 12   ·   registered: Dec. 8th, 2020
id 8640922
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 3:38 PM on Thursday, March 11th, 2021

Why do they keep coming back?

After 2 years since DDay3 - she tried to come back and we had to send a Cease and Desist letter through an attorney.

LTAP still with her husband - been silent for 2 years - and tried to come back. I blew that shit up with OBS. Sent him the fake FB profile with fake name that was trying to friend request my WH on FB.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decadesChildren (1 still at home)Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBSBrandishing a sword, channeling my inner Inigo Montoya and saying "Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3268   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8641064
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 3:55 PM on Thursday, March 11th, 2021

Hi Chaos,

Again, I am so sorry about what you are going through. You have had sufficiently enough of this shit.

I am going to give you the best hypotheticals I can here:

1. Abandonment issues. While I am not asking you to have any empathy for this person, take it to a general perspective of what you know about WS on this site. We have often have a shit ton of personal issues that we have never adequately dealt with nor do we have coping mechanisms to deal with them. It's likely touching on past unhealed trauma to feel rejected and cast aside by your husband. Also think back in your history - did you or many people you know have harder times with breakups where you were not the person doing the breaking up? She doesn't accept the rejection.

2. She thought she had an upperhand over you. She thought she was going to win. Likely she has some distorted impression over you that you are not right for your husband. Unfortunately, this impression was likely given to her by your husband. The AP in my situation made it sound like a marriage of convenience. It's so stupid that I ever believed that but when you are in such a desperate place you tend to want to believe when you should not. She has told herself a story that you are the only reason he's not talking to her, rather than understanding that he has had growth. She does not recognize that because she hasn't grown at all since it has ended.

3. No introspection or work has been done. Whatever happened after their affair hasn't made her uncomfortable enough to change or to look at herself and her problems. Rock bottom is deeper for some than others.

4. Limerance is a powerful addiction. There are few ways it ends. One theory is that it has to be starved from contact (from either direction) for an average of 3 years and 3 months. The other is that they "win" the other person, then they no longer want them. For people like myself, there was some low level OCD which makes the obsessive compulsive thoughts harder to turn off. I am going to guess there is something like that there more powerfully for bunny boilers like this AP you are dealing with. The easier way to put that is she has mental health issues. I had basically a nervous breakdown sort of thing going on, and for some time after the affair my mind was a prison of torture.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. In a nutshell, she is a batshit crazy person who is obsessed with your husband - which you already know. It's some sort of trauma bonding response or something.

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: 5921   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8641069
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