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Newest Member: MissMe

I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 14

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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 9:08 PM on Friday, December 10th, 2021

Please be honest in your responses so that I might understand my wife's true experience.

The only time I ever answered sexually explicit questions on SI was for the benefit of a member who sounded very similar to my BH but turned out to be a troll. After that, I decided never to answer those kinds of questions again. It's too private and vulnerable for me. It also wouldn't tell you the absolute truth of your WW's experience, because I'm not her and wasn't there.

I will at least tell you that it was neither the best nor the worst sex of my life. I wanted to do it, and so did the OM, and we each hoped the other would enjoy it, and we both understood the basics of how to make that happen. So it was good sex. But I get irritable on other threads when I read that affair sex is by definition the most mind blowing experience a WW ever had. It wasn't for me. I can't promise it wasn't for your WW, but I can at least confirm that it's not true for all WS.

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2355   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8703537
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 12:49 AM on Saturday, December 11th, 2021

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

Nope. I am aware that hiding anything from him is the death knell of R, so everything I know, he knows.

Between D-Days 1 and 2, he didn't know everything, but I never had gleeful thoughts of what I was getting away with. It scared me to think of him finding out, and I wanted that shit swept firmly under the rug.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 5:13 AM, Saturday, December 11th]

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2355   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8703575
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1girlsmom ( member #63541) posted at 2:45 PM on Saturday, December 11th, 2021

BSR, you said -

"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"

My Wh said the exact same thing & I still have heartache over it because he would take calls from me while he was with his AP. He ordered her food for her like he did for me. He sent her flowers on Valentines day & that is/was our anniversary (I no longer acknowledge or celebrate this day). He even called her while he was at a concert with me when he managed to break away for a few minutes. He called her several times while I was in the hospital with Spinal meningitis. He lied to me more than once saying he had to work the weekend so he could stay with her & not come home.

He had to have thoughts of me & the colossal wrong he was doing to me while he was doing them. There's no way he didn't. How is that compartmentalizing....
Maybe it's different in your situation & others here but I still have a hard time believing it.
Almost 4 years later, it's still devastating.

posts: 205   ·   registered: Apr. 24th, 2018
id 8703653
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Stupiddiva ( new member #72885) posted at 8:56 PM on Sunday, December 12th, 2021

question please... any ww's whos affair partner never knew they were married? my husbands ap never knew until 6 months later after eventually finding him on fb. were you ever afraid theyd find out and contact your wife/husband and just kept playing the game? BH says he was afraid shed find out if he broke things off probably another shit excuse to me but im just curious if theres any truth to that..

posts: 12   ·   registered: Feb. 23rd, 2020
id 8703788
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 1:59 PM on Monday, December 13th, 2021

He had to have thoughts of me & the colossal wrong he was doing to me while he was doing them. There's no way he didn't. How is that compartmentalizing....

I've been mulling over how to explain this, and the best I can come up with is that compartmentalizing doesn't prevent the WS from thinking about their double life. It prevents them from thinking about the implications of it and/or from believing that the bill will ever come due.

A gambler who cleans out his kid's college fund may have to type in his child's name and social security number in order to access the money. It's not that he doesn't have physical evidence in front of him of what the fund is for. It may be that he simply doesn't give a shit about his kid and never will, or he may love his kid but be able to switch off the part of his brain that would scream at him about responsibility and guilt and consequences. He can't bear to think of that pain, either the kid's or his own, and so he just doesn't. He tells himself that he'll get the money back in there before his child finds out so there will never be a price to pay.

Of course, his kid's future is fucked regardless of his intentions or excuses, and the kid is perfectly within their rights to end the relationship with such a parent. Someone who indulges and protects themselves at your expense is not a safe person to trust. I believe they can be rehabilitated -- I'm working to be proof of that -- but first, you have to get them to look at what they did and how they did it. And ironically, they will use compartmentalization to fight that process every step of the way.

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2355   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8703868
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lmanuel ( new member #79599) posted at 1:42 AM on Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

Question for WW
How should a betrayed husband deal with a WW who is purposely being cold and cruel to BS. I think she’s hoping to push him out of the family home by making him uncomfortable. I feel so bad for my SIL. I love my daughter but her behaviour is out of this world. She’s not the person I know. I’ve been reading about limerence and wondering if this is what she is going through.

posts: 24   ·   registered: Nov. 16th, 2021
id 8703965
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 11:28 AM on Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

Lmanuel, I don't know if you've read the book "Not Just Friends," but it describes two kinds of waywards, the compartmentalizer and the monogamous infidel. The compartmentalizer is able to participate in both a marriage and an affair by keeping them mentally separate. This version of a WS remains warm and affectionate towards their spouse because the existence of that spouse doesn't interfere with them doing what they want. The monogamous infidel can only maintain attachment to one person at a time, and so they vilify their spouse in order to justify detaching from them and reattaching to the AP. This self-justification and anger can extend to anyone who gets in the way of the WS pursuing their "destiny."

The only way for a BS to deal with a stubborn WS is detachment. Unfortunately, it's hard to do the 180 with a spouse who won't end the affair and also refuses to leave the marital home. I'm not sure I can think of a WW here who did that, at least not openly. Maybe that's because a WW who believes she is fully justified would never come to SI in the first place, and if she did, she wouldn't like what she heard enough to stick around. The best advice is likely to come from the betrayed side.

I just want to add that I've read your posts and felt for you deeply. You sound like a terrific mother and MIL, and nothing that you did or didn't do could have caused your daughter's behavior. Your effort to balance accountability with a mother's love, and your support for your SIL as the victim in this mess, prove that you have both ethics and compassion. I'm sorry you're having to witness your child going off the rails.

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2355   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8704021
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Owl6118 ( member #42806) posted at 4:21 PM on Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

1girlsmom, about compartmentalization, you ask


He had to have thoughts of me & the colossal wrong he was doing to me while he was doing them. There's no way he didn't. How is that compartmentalizing.... Maybe it's different in your situation & others here but I still have a hard time believing it.

I wanted to try to answer you because this clearly is such a source of pain. But like BSR I struggle to explain it. Not justify or excuse, there is no justification or excuse, but to explain.

I guess one thing is, while compartmentalization is common to almost every wayward, part of the toolkit if you will, the exact way it works can be specific to the wayward and to the circumstances and course of the affair.

BSR, to take one example, was long distance from the partner she owed loyalty to at the time of her affair. So of course, her compartmentalization latched onto their being two literal different spaces -- one her and one world where she was pretending to be someone else while she was away, and then another "real" life on visits home. Another WS lived in the suburbs, but conducted the affair on weekly trips to the city. Two spaces, two compartments: one real, one fantasy.

My affair was a long-distance emotional affair. So a key excuse for me was no intent or possibility of a physical meeting. The affair took place in a -- how to put it -- non-space, a letter and text space that I compartmented into a separate compartment from my real life. So I could be physically at home with my spouse, but, for the duration of a text, mentally enter into the non-space of the texting affair, which had, in my rationalization "nothing to do" with the real world where I physically was with my spouse.

But this is all mechanics. I think maybe what you are really asking is how we can do these things without the compartmentalization breaking down.


And the only answer I have for that is, long before the affair starts, we waywards got ourselves to a point where we had no empathy for our spouse. When people love one another with a healthy love, we have so much empathy for the people we love that the prospect of them being hurt, even if only in imagination, causes us hurt. Before an affair can start, this kind of empathy has to be damaged, neglected by the 'wayward to be' -- starved by anger, or resentment, or victimization, or insecurity, or some other selfish and inward-looking motive and feeling. So that by the time the big lines are crossed, the wayward feels -- nothing. Oh, guilty for sure, maybe (often?) even worse about him or herself deep inside (because remember, we are FOCUSSED ON OURSELVES and our own feelings, not yours) but doesn't really feel, with that 'cut you, I bleed' empathy, what their spouse would feel if they only knew what was going on.

I guess what is really holding you up is, you are a normal person with a normal functioning range of empathy. You can't understand how someone could be so unempathetic as to do these things -- the calls with you right there, the ordering of the same flowers or gifts at the same time -- and not feel anything. But for us who become wayward, empathy is exactly the thing we have abused, devalued, neglected, let die. Its a terrible thing to do to the person you are supposed to protect most of all. But that is what becoming a wayward means -- it means becoming a person who, for a time, has no REAL empathy for the people they should feel the most for, and promised the most to.

posts: 340   ·   registered: Mar. 17th, 2014
id 8704072
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Bulcy ( member #74034) posted at 9:02 PM on Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

Owl6118/1girlsmom,

I have for years spoken about having different lives. Which you describe as different worlds. I wanted both of these worlds and liked living in them both, under a false illusion that neither would impact on the other. There were times when I would be texting AP with in the same room as BS. A disassociation was built between both of these lives I was living. It was fake and built to protect myself and to avoid/hide from the guilty feelings. Separating these out made it easier for me to bury the guilt. I see the lack of empathy that you mention. I was/am classic wayward and say that I still loved BS when all this was going on.

Empathy is something I have only recently rediscovered (if I had it in the first place). It has taken time and practice to get out of the utterly selfish focused on myself mentality. Even when working on timelines I would be more focused on my shame than feeling anything for BS. I did feel guilty at the time and I am ashamed of every I have done to destroy BS and our marriage. I did feel for BS while working on myself initially, but this sent me into shame and self loathing rather than me making changes to my thought process and working on empathy. It is still a struggle. I've had nearly 50 years of living a life where "it's all about me". I'm looking back before my affairs to see if I've always been this way and I think it is the case.

Being able to hide away guilt and switch off any empathy towards BS, while still telling myself I love her was how I lived my life, at times I still do.

[This message edited by Bulcy at 9:37 PM, Tuesday, December 14th]

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, and Jan 21

posts: 114   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8704133
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axj131 ( new member #70614) posted at 1:48 AM on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

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

Like some of the responses that were already posted, there is nothing my BS does not know. Everything, in one way or another, was revealed to her.

I'm not going to say that I told her everything. I certainly did not. I lied, I trickle-truthed. I did everything wrong.

But my wife is resourceful and strong-willed. When she wants to know something, she will know it.

In order for her to get all the details, she contacted the AP's spouse and talked to him, got text messages from the AP's phone, from my phone, emails from my email account, google timeline from my account (to find out where I was on each day of the adultery), etc. She also had me take a polygraph test, asked me a bunch of questions, and then asked additional questions to see if I lied about the answers to the first questions.

So, yes, my BS knows everything.

posts: 17   ·   registered: May. 23rd, 2019
id 8704183
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alucard ( member #78796) posted at 2:04 AM on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

To the gracious WWs that are answering these questions, here mine:

We are about 1 year after D-day. R is going much better.
My WW and I have always been extremely close. Madly in love, always extremely attracted to each other, connection, deep friendship.
I've understood (I think) as much as one can how we got to our situation and our affair. Even during the affair, and after, my WW was "close" to me. She fought for us, even if it took her a while to awaken to the truth, the blameshifting, the minimizing. She fought hard for us, we took long trips, we spend 100% of our time together, she initiate a lot of (great) sex, and much more.
When we talk about the affair and the AP, she says she feels disgusted by it and him, she feels violated, and she wishes she could erase the memories from her mind. She also told me that the "feelings" she thought she had were just dopamine rish and that she was so broken during and prior to the affair that she lost completely the sense of what was right.

My question is: She had some many feelings for the AP during the affair. Could what she is saying now be true or she is jsutn trying to making me feel better while secretly pining? I (want to) believe her

posts: 118   ·   registered: May. 14th, 2021
id 8704188
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 2:41 AM on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

Could what she is saying now be true or she is jsutn trying to making me feel better while secretly pining? I (want to) believe her

It could be true. If you go back and read hikingout's response to you in your thread from last May, she describes emotions very similar to those of your WW.

However, just because it could be true doesn't mean that it is true. You were on here pretty recently telling us that your WW wasn't doing much to show accountability. If I recall correctly, she gave you multiple D-Days in the last nine months, refused to let you see her phone, and kept in close contact with a friend of the affair, through whom she broke NC. A long fantasyland vacation isn't a solution for these problems, and a history of drama, toxicity and substance abuse is unlikely to turn on a dime.

I don't know your reality, but based on what I do know, I would be cautious for quite a while. Give her some time to prove it to you. If she really has changed, she won't expect instant forgiveness.

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2355   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8704193
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alucard ( member #78796) posted at 2:55 AM on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

Yes, you remember my tory correctly
Since May, a lot has happened.
She granted full access to her devices on her initiative, she dropped that horrible friend, she revealed more details, she told me about an attempt from the AP to try to contact her, she dropped any blameshifting, she stopped minimizing the affair, she is as extremely caring, apologetic, honest and she seems extremely remorseful. she seems to have reawakened to the woman that I married. She has done a lot of work on herself. And she is still 10% sober.

At the same time, I've recognized my shortcomings, how my childhood wounds, and how I brought my unresolved issues into our marriage. How I've hurt her and how I created a toxic dynamic that ended up creating a wedge between us. Not justifying, just doing my inner work and trying to become a healthier and more whole person.

I am being extremely cautious, but I've seen a radical change and self-awareness in her.

Thank you for your answer

posts: 118   ·   registered: May. 14th, 2021
id 8704194
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alucard ( member #78796) posted at 3:15 AM on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

I read my thread again.
So much support and great advice. The community on this site is just amazing.
Thank you all for everything you do.

posts: 118   ·   registered: May. 14th, 2021
id 8704196
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1girlsmom ( member #63541) posted at 7:04 PM on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

Thank you BSR, Owl & Bulcy for trying to break down compartmentalization.

I understand what you are saying *but* will still never *understand.
The part about not believing that his bill would ever come due makes sense, of course because WH was working in a northern state while our home was in a southern state.
Yes, WH is a damaged person, his empathy is/was broken. He did have two lives going on at once.
But still, HOW?
I'm never going to be able to understand fully.
I'm in the group that loved my H, got hit on all the time at work, out with friends, had just as much opportunity as WH did because he was out of town & never once considered cheating, so why didn't he love me like that....

posts: 205   ·   registered: Apr. 24th, 2018
id 8704313
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 9:45 PM on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

I get that. I'm often baffled by the way that others think. There was once a study on cognitive dissonance that showed how some people, when presented with concrete and incontrovertible evidence that negates a deeply held belief, will respond by doubling down on the belief. Intellectually, I can grasp that that's true; I see it happening all around me. I have to accept it as a phenomenon. But as a devotee of scientific method, I will never understand it -- even though I've had to confront other ways that my own logic was equally flawed.

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2355   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8704347
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Squish ( new member #79546) posted at 3:52 PM on Friday, December 17th, 2021

Hi. I’m new here but have been reading to try and understand what’s recently happened to my life. I’m devastated. Completely lost and numb. I’ve been working on healing sooo let’s see.

Just some background. I found out my H had an on and off 3yr A with a coworker. She is younger. It’s been 6 months since D Day. We have 3 young children. He says it was because we were in a bad place, he didn’t feel appreciated, wanted. Didn’t feel like I respected him etc.

He keeps telling me he got into it, that he didn’t truly realize what he was doing and once he realized he felt trapped. He tried to tell me but it just got longer. He would do things she wanted cos he didn’t want to hurt her and he would do the same for me. I feel like all I was getting was pull back though from him.

1. My question for WS is this true that you can get so sucked in that you just don’t think straight? And don’t truly understand what you are doing?

2. I’ve asked him he needs to figure out the why but he says he has told me everything he knows. I know he isn’t in touch with his feeling, I know he is trying to make things better for us. How do I get him to understand he needs to figure out the why?

I’m having such a hard time understanding why if he loved us so much and wanted me why do this?

2. Secondly for the men WW. My H had sex with her a lot, he won’t tell me unless I really want to know. I’m not sure I do. But he didn’t wear any protection. I feel it look our intimacy away. He was supposed to be just for me. Why if you love your spouse would you not protect yourself? Do you think about intimacy with your partner and how that is gone because that piece of rubber is at least a barrier? I’m sorry maybe that’s a stupid question.

Any insight from anyone is appreciated. I’m just having such a hard time with this. This guy who was my everything destroyed my everything.

😞

posts: 18   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021
id 8704758
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 8:30 PM on Friday, December 17th, 2021

Squish

My question for WS is this true that you can get so sucked in that you just don’t think straight? And don’t truly understand what you are doing?

I suppose at some level that is true but it comes with a bunch of *******. It's true that I wasn't thinking straight but only because of all the lies I kept telling myself. If you tell yourself something enough, you'll start to believe it. My wife didn't appreciate me, my wife doesn't love me, my wife wouldn't care, an A is no big deal, etc etc. I honestly believed every single one of those statements at the time.

BUT any WS who says they didn't know what they were doing is full of it. The first text hid from your spouse, the first phone call, the first kiss, the first sexual encounter, each and every step was deliberate. I wasn't in some drug induced haze and I wasn't being mind controlled. I knew EXACTLY what I was doing but I JUST DIDN'T CARE. This notion that your husband was somehow trapped is a load of crap. The AP didn't have a gun to his head. She didn't have him locked in a basement somewhere. He kept going back of his own free will. If I understand what you wrote, the A stopped and started multiple times over its duration. He continued the A because of his own selfish desires, nothing more.

How do I get him to understand he needs to figure out the why?

I know some will disagree with this but I think the quest to find some deep, mystical "why" is like chasing a shadow. IMO, a WS why boils down to this; we were selfish and entitled who didn't care who got hurt by our actions. All of the supposed reasons always sounded like excuses to me. I had a shitty childhood, was physically abused by my step dad, suffered though homelessness and drug addiction. But I still knew right from wrong. Others have had it worse than me and have have never cheated. IMO, time can be better spent working on recognizing and changing bad behaviors.

I’m having such a hard time understanding why if he loved us so much and wanted me why do this?

If you take nothing else from this, please understand that his cheating really had nothing to do with you. Despite his bullshit excuses, the decision to cheat is entirely his own. There is nothing you could have done which would have stopped his from stepping outside the marriage. The fact is, he didn't love and respect himself enough to come to you if he was unhappy. I could have talked to my wife about how I was feeling. Heck, I could have divorced her if I was that dissatisfied with the marriage. But I didn't. I chose the easier path and cheated.

Why if you love your spouse would you not protect yourself? Do you think about intimacy with your partner and how that is gone because that piece of rubber is at least a barrier? I’m sorry maybe that’s a stupid question.

As much as it pains me to say this, I didn't use protection because I didn't care and because it would lessen my enjoyment. I trusted my AP to be clean and it never once entered into my head that she could be lying. Its awful having to admit that but that was my mindset Luckily it turned out she was telling the truth but that doesn't negate what I did.

[This message edited by ff4152 at 9:57 PM, Friday, December 17th]

Me -FWS

posts: 1894   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8704807
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Squish ( new member #79546) posted at 9:38 PM on Friday, December 17th, 2021

Thank you ff4152 for your reply and being honest I needed to see it written down. What you are saying makes sense. It’s so hard to believe it all.

He is so defensive when I ask him to do the work to heal. He says he has, but he’s the one who did this not me. I’m now paying for it.

posts: 18   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021
id 8704820
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Mickie500 ( member #74292) posted at 1:45 PM on Sunday, December 19th, 2021

Thank you ff142. I think I might move past asking him the whys. The answer is you did it because you were a piece of shit and didn’t care about anyone.

He did so many things that it’s hard for me to even feel like I ever knew him.

posts: 360   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2020
id 8705024
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