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I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 14

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DailyGratitude ( member #79494) posted at 3:48 PM on Friday, December 3rd, 2021

First of all, thank you to all WS who have been so honest and transparent. You have been incredible helpful to me.
My question:
What caused the switch go off in your head to realized the depth of the devastation you’ve caused your spouse? How did you come to fully understand the pain of the betrayal? Were you aware of pain your spouse is going through if she/he remained strong (at least on the surface) and did not have emotional breakdowns with tears and all?

Me: BW mid 50’sHim: WH late 50’sMarrried 25 yearsDday: EA 2002 PA 9/2021Divorce 10/2021 (per wh’s request) WH left to be with AP

posts: 314   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8702379
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 8:48 PM on Friday, December 3rd, 2021

What caused the switch go off in your head to realized the depth of the devastation you’ve caused your spouse? How did you come to fully understand the pain of the betrayal? Were you aware of pain your spouse is going through if she/he remained strong (at least on the surface) and did not have emotional breakdowns with tears and all?

Of all questions, I wish I could answer this one, but I can't. It just clicked. I had just sworn on my dead sons that I wasn't still lying (I was, though I also wasn't admitting it to myself). That's a terrible, craven, blasphemous thing to do. Of course, so is infidelity, so I'm not sure that really explains how the straw broke. I'd already demonstrated that I had zero boundaries when it came to saving my own ass. In any case, I saw the disgust in his eyes, and he took my hands off his shoulders and stepped back, and I saw that he was finally detaching because I just wasn't worth the effort anymore. It hit me like a freight train that I was on my last chance. I started my honest timeline that night.

But it's different for every WS. Many waywards, confronted with that same scenario, will turn tail and run, or go on the offense, or make more excuses. I did all those things before the click... and then I didn't. His pain, anger, and frustration weren't news to me. Apparently, his resolve was.

WW/BW

posts: 2953   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8702466
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axj131 ( new member #70614) posted at 10:15 PM on Friday, December 3rd, 2021

I’m not sure if there a switch that went off for me. It was more of a gradual understanding through reading and the conversations we had. I say conversations, but many of them were flooding episodes. I had to really sit down and reflect on my own what I did.
One thing that helped me understand the depth of the devastation was to imagine how I would feel if it happened to me. Also, there were times when my BS would go out for the night and I would start wondering what she was up to. Although I was pretty sure she wouldn’t have a revenge affair, the questions started brewing in my head and it would drive me nuts . Then, I would think, " Wow, if I feel this way about her going out alone and not doing anything wrong, how traumatic it must be for her to know that I ACTUALLY did the most horrific thing I could to my wife/marriage/life!!!!"
That’s kind of when it hit home.

Finally, I don’t think there is a way that a WS could fully understand the devastation they caused their BS. Even if they did have a revenge affair, it would be as traumatic, because the marriage is already shattered.

posts: 21   ·   registered: May. 23rd, 2019
id 8702485
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oldmewasmurdered ( member #79473) posted at 12:39 AM on Saturday, December 4th, 2021

Hi sorry for the unorthodox question. Below is my story from JFO. To save you from reading all the replies in the end I did not believe she could R and we broke up. Just wondered since you guys have such amazing insights what is your take on the situation from a WS perspective? Do you think my ex-WF was a lost cause? Was she just in the fog from everything being so fresh? Thank you for your opinions.

https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/topics/654876/found-out-fiancee-of-6-years-was-cheating-one-week-before-the-wedding/

[This message edited by oldmewasmurdered at 7:10 PM, Saturday, December 4th]

posts: 98   ·   registered: Oct. 12th, 2021   ·   location: Canada
id 8702509
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oldmewasmurdered ( member #79473) posted at 12:42 AM on Saturday, December 4th, 2021

To clarify a bit if you're wondering why I'm asking even though our fate was already decided. Due to needing to decide very quickly (wedding in 1 week), we rushed the "to R or not to R" process. So I'm trying to process this post-mortem. Also I didn't get much closure from her so I'm wondering all the whys and hows. Thank you again for your time.

[This message edited by oldmewasmurdered at 7:11 PM, Saturday, December 4th]

posts: 98   ·   registered: Oct. 12th, 2021   ·   location: Canada
id 8702510
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 2:14 PM on Saturday, December 4th, 2021

Hi OldMe,

I read your thread. It sounds like she's got a long way to go before she's going to be remorseful. I'm glad you were able to cut ties before making your situation permanent. Still I'm sorry you're here. Cancelling a wedding last minute is a mess no one deserves. I had a friend whose fiance was a total jacknob and refused to even help her move in to their apartment one week before the wedding. She had enough and called it off. No infidelity, just general assholery that she thankfully snapped out of and decided not to live with. Still was difficult returning the gifts and explaining everything to family.

In your case, I think it's best you let her go. You weren't married yet, sure, but she felt ok about pursuing someone when you had your "pre-commitment" of engagement. Engagement's the trial run/gauntlet you do prior to marriage and a good time to seriously discern whether you have a good partnership or not. Unfortunately, she failed the test.

She's not remorseful- likely embarrassed she was caught and had to cancel the wedding. There's going to be a a lot of shame present in her coping mechanisms and she likely operates on that. Either way, she decided to NOT come FULLY clean. No one drives a long distance to just "make out." :/ It's not likely she stopped the PA progression once she started.

I'm sorry you're here, but it's best you move on. Closure is not likely to happen for you in a satisfactory manner- not while her decisions are dominated by fear shame.

Best of luck to you. I hope it doesn't leave you bitter. Really, you've been done a huge favor.
*edited to ADD stuff. Haven't had my coffee yet!

[This message edited by MIgander at 3:05 PM, Saturday, December 4th]

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her. Financial infidelity again- who says you only cheat with lovers?

posts: 897   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8702575
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 2:43 PM on Saturday, December 4th, 2021

Do you think my ex-WF was a list cause? Was she just in the fog from everything being so fresh?

There's just no way to know. Even when I correspond with WS directly on SI, it's hard to make those predictions. Most of the remorseful WS here had a deeply foggy stage after D-Day. As the BH of one such WW said recently on another thread, people come here because they need help to get better. If they were able to snap out of it overnight, they'd probably not be the type to cheat in the first place. Potential is hard to judge at the early stages.

I hope that doesn't sound dismissive. I get why it would be cathartic to have a crystal ball which would tell you for certain that you made the right choice. If it helps, I think you did. Even if she was going to get there, she wasn't going to do it quickly, and that was going to take a toll on you. I suspect that you were going to get gut punched by many ugly revelations along the way (in a year long PA during an LDR, I would be floored if they never had penetrative sex). If you have PTSD symptoms now, you were likely to be severely fucked up after a series of TT D-Days. Ask my BH, who took a chance on a WW who didn't do the work following a premarital affair.

We've had a good marriage and finally arrived in an authentic, healing place. Relationships like that don't grow on trees, which is why I try to help with R when I can. The price, however, was a very high one, and we're still making payments. You sound like you're already starting to heal, and I doubt that would be the case if you stayed together. She'd still be peeling away the layers, and you'd be getting gut punched, assuming she was doing authentic work at all.

WW/BW

posts: 2953   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8702577
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 6:55 PM on Saturday, December 4th, 2021

What caused the switch go off in your head to realized the depth of the devastation you’ve caused your spouse? How did you come to fully understand the pain of the betrayal? Were you aware of pain your spouse is going through if she/he remained strong (at least on the surface) and did not have emotional breakdowns with tears and all?

I'm realizing that I answered a different question than you asked. The "switch going off" made me think about snapping out of denial, but that's different from understanding the depth of the pain. My light bulb moment was still inherently self-interested - not entirely, because I had to let go of the outcome in order to be honest, but I was still incentivized by my BH's image of me. I couldn't bear to see that contempt in his eyes again.

Once again, I'm going to paste a response from a few years ago, because I don't think I can write it a second time.

BH admitted to me that he had been having suicidal thoughts during the holidays. That was terrifying enough, but he told me that he had thought through a specific plan for how he might do it. The plan was unusual but very typical of BH in that it was methodical and scientific. I had a moment that I think is as close as I will ever get to the horror of mind movies. I didn't just see the picture of it in my head, I was there. I lost it. Completely. I was hyperventilating, I was howling incoherently, screaming into his shoulder. I really tried to stop, because one of my kids was home, but I had zero control of my reactions. I had had to face the idea of losing him to D, but the idea of him not being in this world... it broke me down to a primal level. That's the one time I think I may have understood what the pain of my betrayal was like for him. The magnitude of it untethered me from reality.

WW/BW

posts: 2953   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8702612
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ZetaCephei ( member #79378) posted at 8:26 PM on Saturday, December 4th, 2021

I posted this in General section (https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/topics/655206/is-it-really-to-much-to-ask/), but would really like an input from former waywards as well.

My WH's LTAP still approaches him from time to time, even though he told her not to, except when absolutely neccessary for work (they work together). I want him to send her a final NC letter to tell her once and for all, that she was always the second choice and he never considered leaving me for her, that being with her is the worst choice he made in his life and he regrets every second of it, that he wants to do anything he can to repair the damage and a part of this is staying no contact with her. All true according to him, so I don't expect him to lie to her, just give her the brutal truth. My H thinks it is not fair to ask him to deliberately cause her pain and would rather just tell her once again, that he wants no contact with her any more. I admit my motive is primarily to hurt her, because I hate that she is still reaching out and I struggle with the fact, that she just got away with everything and doesn't feel one bit guilty about interfering in our relationship and in our family. But I believe it would also stop her from contacting him, I think she is too proud to be chasing after him after the harsh truth.

So my question is, is it too much to ask from a wayward to do something which would make his betrayed spouse feel better, but it would hurt the AP? Even when the feeling better part was on a smaller scale than the pain caused to the AP?

[This message edited by ZetaCephei at 10:58 PM, Saturday, December 4th]

Me: BW, 46 -- Him: WH, 46 -- 2 LTAs (2012-2021 and 2016-2021) + 4 ONS -- Dday1: July 2021 -- Dday2: September 2021 -- Just living from day to day, not capable for any major decision at the moment

posts: 68   ·   registered: Sep. 8th, 2021   ·   location: Europe
id 8702627
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JBWD ( member #70276) posted at 9:20 PM on Saturday, December 4th, 2021

Zeta-

The question "Is it too much to ask?" is a fairly personal one.

From what you describe, your WH believes it is too much to ask. I think the next step is for you to decide if that’s a response that you accept.

The additional factor in this is the question of- How have you expressed this request and how has he responded? If this has been stated as something that is important to you, has he strongly replied about not wanting to harm, or is he just trying to put it off?

I think the question of asking someone to cause harm can be perilous- But I have also been on the wrong side of the damage that BSs have to survive daily. The impression I get from what you describe, though, is that your WH is simply trying to avoid making waves… After having unleashed a tsunami on your M.

Bottom line is I wouldn’t invite the vengeance cycle of additional harm, but I would expect some more insight and consideration from the person who betrayed you- If this continues to simmer I believe conversations regarding his level of conviction are warranted: Based less in this specific ask and more in the vagueness that seems to permeate the discussion.

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-Day13 y/o son, 10 y/o daughter6 months HB, broken NC, TT Divorced

posts: 917   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2019   ·   location: SoCal
id 8702633
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Bulcy ( member #74034) posted at 1:47 PM on Sunday, December 5th, 2021

ZetaCephei,

I want to reply before reading the post on General.

Is it too much to ask? Absolutely not in my opinion. The sooner NC occurs the better. To the point where NC is made almost impossible. Working in the same company makes NC impossible. Even if it is entirely professional, it is still a massive trigger to both the BS and WS. However if either party is not out of the affair then temptation for non professional contact will almost certainly win. I left it too long to leave my job after my affair, I focused on getting the best job possible rather than getting the hell out. This meant my BS had to endure six months of me still working with my AP.

The NC came in the form of a phone call rather than a letter. The call was made with BS present and was limited to telling her to NEVER contact me again under any circumstances, I confirmed that what we had was an affair (she was in denial) and that what I did was a mistake and I regret it and my participation in it. I said I was focusing on my marriage and if she made any attempt to contact me, I would tell her husband the full story.

She did subsequently try and contact me in through LinkedIn, but that's another story. In short BS and I discussed it and made contact with OBS. We got nothing back from him, but know he read the mail we sent him.

Without any doubt there is anger behind your reasoning, that is both understandable and reasonable from your viewpoint. I would suggest being as civil as possible and try and put her and keep her out of your lives.

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs, Two physical affairs (2000). D-Day's 2003, August '17, multiple discoveries through 2018,19 and 20, Jan 21 and 2022

posts: 245   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8702694
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Darkness Falls ( member #27879) posted at 11:09 PM on Sunday, December 5th, 2021

Zeta,

My personal opinion is twofold:

One, I agree with JBWD that your H clearly thinks it’s "too much to ask" and that it’s therefore up to you to decide if that’s acceptable to you. BSs and WSs both have the right to request whatever they want/need; BSs and WSs both have the right to say they can’t/won’t do that and then the other partner has the right to decide if they can/can’t live with that. You can’t force it.

Which brings me to my opinion number two: even if your H complies with your request, would him saying those words to OW really mean anything substantial to you if you know he’s just doing it because you told him to? Does it mean anything if it’s not authentic?

WS - remarried to BH but not in R

D-day 2010

posts: 6412   ·   registered: Mar. 8th, 2010   ·   location: USA
id 8702742
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ZetaCephei ( member #79378) posted at 12:11 AM on Monday, December 6th, 2021

Which brings me to my opinion number two: even if your H complies with your request, would him saying those words to OW really mean anything substantial to you if you know he’s just doing it because you told him to? Does it mean anything if it’s not authentic?

I don' want to force him to do it. I can live without him telling her the whole truth, I just wanted the opinions of both betrayed spouses and former waywards, if it is unreasonable or maybe too spiteful to expect such action from my WH. With all the hate I feel for her it is sometimes hard to trust my own motives.

But I do need him to some way or another stop these contacts between them and I believe this would be the best approach. Them working together is hard enough without worrying each day if this is the day she approaches him again and how will he handle it.

If he did tell her everything I want, it would show me, that he is finally choosing me over her, that he is thinking more about my wellbeing than hers. After 9 years of being them against me, I really need him in my corner. And it is hard to hear, that he doesn't want to hurt her, when he had no problem hurting me for 9 years.

[This message edited by ZetaCephei at 12:26 AM, Monday, December 6th]

Me: BW, 46 -- Him: WH, 46 -- 2 LTAs (2012-2021 and 2016-2021) + 4 ONS -- Dday1: July 2021 -- Dday2: September 2021 -- Just living from day to day, not capable for any major decision at the moment

posts: 68   ·   registered: Sep. 8th, 2021   ·   location: Europe
id 8702748
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 6:15 PM on Monday, December 6th, 2021

This weekend WH and I discussed the LTA. The conversation came about naturally and was a calm yet productive conversation.

We discussed the fantasy land affairs are often based on. And the alleged mundane that many try to escape.

He said ultimately that LTAP’s fantasy was my life. My day to day. My responsibilities. My struggles. Anything where she could live my life with my WH. He even told me that at various times during the LTA she'd send him photos of us she'd alter with her head over my body. [From what I know of her from OBS this is credible].

I find this...disturbing. And explains events of life copying that lead to her cyberstalking and ultimately us having a Cease and Desist order sent. While it rings true - the "boring" life I lead [which WH admittedly complained to her about - cause you know...responsibility is a bitch] was LTAP fantasy.

So my question for WS here - was this any of your fantasy? Was the BS entire life what you wanted, just the spouse [if applicable] or was it about the escapism?

What is your take on wanting the BS life as their own?

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home) Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS 2018 Cease & Desist sent spring 2021"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3575   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8702803
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 7:34 PM on Monday, December 6th, 2021

Was the BS entire life what you wanted, just the spouse [if applicable] or was it about the escapism?

This wasn't a thing for me. The OM offered me permanence, and I turned it down. Still, I can see why it was her fantasy. Stealing your husband and your life would be the ultimate validation for her. She probably assumed that she wouldn't have any mundane conflicts with him because he'd love her enough to defer to her wishes. When fantasizing about "real life," she imagined the two of them against the world, not him telling her to back off with his kids or prioritizing his time elsewhere or arguing that there's no money to remodel the house.

She wanted to occupy a space where she always came first with him, and she believed she could get that. I doubt she gave much thought to any obstacle but you.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 7:39 PM, Monday, December 6th]

WW/BW

posts: 2953   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8702811
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 1:36 PM on Tuesday, December 7th, 2021

But I do need him to some way or another stop these contacts between them and I believe this would be the best approach. Them working together is hard enough without worrying each day if this is the day she approaches him again and how will he handle it.

I admit that I'm a little perplexed. It's not that I don't understand why you want to hurt the AP. She did everything in her power to come between you and your husband. But you have three massive cannons in your arsenal, and you haven't fired any of them. First, you haven't put a deadline on him quitting his job. Second, the OBS still doesn't know about the affair. If I were AP, this inaction would tell me your WH is still in the driver's seat and that the affair may just be on temporary hold. But the third, which she doesn't even know about, is that he cheated on her, too. She can rationalize his intimacy with you as something he had to do to keep you from getting suspicious and keep the family together for the kids. But five years cheating on her with a single woman? That's going to shatter everything that she thought was true about their love. It will destroy her opinion of him far more deeply than any nasty words he parrots for your benefit.

In my opinion, your WH should be doing everything humanly possible to achieve 100% NC, as in "you could die and I wouldn't be aware it happened" NC. I don't see how you can heal if he's working with her in the office they had sex in. I would tell the OBS, including the warning that he needs to get STD testing because your WH had multiple partners during the affair. These disclosures will give her plenty to occupy her attention other than strategizing to get him back. And if he fights you on them, or tries to warn her or discredit you with OBS, that's a very disheartening indicator of the true depth of his remorse. The biggest lesson he needs to absorb is that he is not in charge of how this plays out.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 3:19 AM, Wednesday, December 8th]

WW/BW

posts: 2953   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8702896
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Zorak ( new member #74500) posted at 2:10 AM on Thursday, December 9th, 2021

BraveSirRobin wrote:

If you're asking "Did you enjoy spending time with your BS, were they attractive to you, did you have great sex, did you miss them when they weren't around, did you like doing things to make them happy, did you still have dreams and plans for the future with them, was staying with them your Plan A," then the answer is yes.

If the question is "Did you have their back, did you keep your promises to them, did you respect their agency, did you put the needs of your relationship ahead of your own selfish desires, did your actions reflect genuine care for their well-being," then the answer is no.

You need all of these things for real love.


Hi BSR,

I have hesitated to ask this question because it seems so basic, but I'm wondering...Why not?

Did you THINK that you were doing all those things, but really weren't and didn't understand that until later?

Or...?

Thanks. Responses from anyone are welcome.

posts: 13   ·   registered: Jun. 1st, 2020   ·   location: Virginia
id 8703138
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 3:51 AM on Thursday, December 9th, 2021

Did you THINK that you were doing all those things, but really weren't and didn't understand that until later?

I was a champion compartmentalizer. I focused on all the things I did to protect my relationship with my BH (gifts, visits, calls, sex) and put the things I did with OM into a separate mental category that had nothing to do with BH. If any thoughts about guilt or hypocrisy started to nudge at me, I locked them right up as Tomorrow Girl's problem.

WW/BW

posts: 2953   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8703148
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Dazedandconfused1978 ( member #79527) posted at 11:11 AM on Thursday, December 9th, 2021

after the A was over, because no BS can know everything about the A, do thoughts of "if you only knew" still occur?

Any WS want to respond? I would love to know.

posts: 70   ·   registered: Oct. 26th, 2021
id 8703160
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gainingclosure ( member #79667) posted at 7:10 PM on Friday, December 10th, 2021

Trigger warning some of this is sexually explicit.

Since my WW will never be completely honest about what it was like for her when she first had sex with her AP out of a desire to not to hurt my feelings, Im coming here to get answers from other wayward women.

Id like to know how it was for you when you first had sex with your AP. What went through your mind, was it the best, most exciting and most passionate sex you've ever had? Were you wracked with guilt, and was it better because of that? Was it not as good as sex with your H. Did your AP "help" you to take it there by being forceful in any way or allow you the dignity to "fake resist"?

My wife's AP held her hands down when he first penetrated her, I believe as a way to make her more comfortable with what she was doing morally. You see, by doing so, he helped her tell herself a story that she wasn't fully at fault. By the end, Im convinced that it was the most intensely passionate and pleasurable sex she has ever and will ever have. She told me she came without a vibrator (she's not been able to ever do that with me), and he came three separate times (Im always one and one). They say that pleasure is mainly in the mind, and Im sure that the whole "forbidden fruit" aspect combined with the novelty and excitement was just the biggest rush ever for both of them.

So was affair sex just insanely fantastic? Please be honest in your responses so that I might understand my wife's true experience.

Reconciling BH. Full story is in my bio."The soul is dyed with the color of its thoughts" - Marcus Aurelius

posts: 93   ·   registered: Dec. 9th, 2021
id 8703508
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