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I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 14

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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 3:33 PM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

Was it important to have that empathy from your BS? Or did you understand why they didn't have it? I'm very annoyed that his initial reaction is self preservation.

I knew better than to bemoan my own pain to my BH or to act like he ought to be comforting me. However, it would have been harder to do the work if he criticized or attacked me for feeling awful, because those feelings were genuine, too. I think you'd have to be superhuman to completely set your own emotions aside. A drunk driver may be genuinely sorry for having run someone over and still be scared of what life will be like in jail.

How long before shame was not the initial reaction for you and what work did you have to do to make it so?

Honestly (and I never thought about this before), I think I used the same compartmentalization skills that got me into trouble in the first place. During the affair, I was able to live as both the BSR who loved her BH and the BSR who had a secret life with OM. I didn't allow those identities to overlap. So when I was helping BH after D-Day 2, I became both the BSR who betrayed him and had to work on her brokenness, and a separate BSR whose entire focus was on his pain. It's not that I was unaware that I had caused his suffering, but that distance was enough to prevent a shame spiral that would have redirected my focus on myself.

WW/BW

posts: 2953   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8709826
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 5:18 PM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

Right after the A was discovered and everything blew up, and your BS was in pain and white-hot grief and anguish, how did you feel when BS would yell and scream at you?

I think there's an assumption that this always happens, but my BH didn't scream at me. He knew his own temper and he knew mine, and he was aware that it would shut down effective communication between us. He also was afraid of unleashing his rage and letting it go too far.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it wasn't easy to hold back, and he said some cold and cutting things. I could clearly see the effort he had to exert to rein himself in. That made me feel even more like a POS than if he had shouted and called me names.

WW/BW

posts: 2953   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8709875
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straightup ( member #78778) posted at 8:59 PM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

BSR. I’ve gotten a lot from your posts, as well as those from Daddy Dom.

You talk about being a compartmentaliser.

I assume your moniker is a ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ reference to Brave Sir Robin. In the early days if video that’s the only video we had so I have watched it maybe 50 times.

If you are willing can you share why you chose that name? You don’t seem cowardly to me, pretending to put on a brave front, but did you see that as a reason for living two lives when having an affair?

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
Mother Teresa

posts: 173   ·   registered: May. 11th, 2021   ·   location: Australia
id 8709917
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AndJustLikeThat ( new member #79715) posted at 9:01 PM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

BraveSirRobin-
thank you for your response. So do you feel that if BS takes a "high road" and hide his/her feelings, it is better in the long run? Does is hurt to see them upset or do you just dismiss them as 'going through crazy phase and don't take serious anything they say?'

posts: 37   ·   registered: Dec. 28th, 2021
id 8709918
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WalkinOnEggshelz ( Administrator #29447) posted at 9:40 PM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

LivinginGrief and Lefty,

I have to address this statement first because as a WS that was part of a double betrayal the following statement really makes me angry.

I imagine that your WH and his AP had a bit of a giggle being able to sneak around right under your noses.

Never once did I have a "giggle" about sneaking around right under my husband’s nose. Never. After finding out, my husband did assume this was the case. He had this Machiavellian image of what the affair must have been like. With time and a lot of work, my BH is able to believe that isn’t the case.

I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if I had been diagnosed with an ulcer at the time. It was very stressful. Always on alert, always trying to act act normal. Always trying to read something into everything the other couple did. Acting a complete fool and doing things that degraded myself in the name of "stollen moments". barf

It is constant battle between feeling guilty and taking advantage of the friendship in order to spend more time together. But in the end, what was mattering most was getting my needs met, which meant not dwelling too much how messed up the situation really was. At one point I had convinced myself that we could all be friends after things came to light. I had convinced myself that my husband would be relieved to be able to move on and he would be able to hang out with us. Clearly I was delusional, but it goes to show you just what lengths we can go to lie to ourselves that everything isn’t as serious as it is.

The real life, actual consequences were so far from my mind that I never even considered them other than divorce as a general concept.

I’m not sure what could have been going through your WS’s head while you were all together, but I understand wholeheartedly how difficult it is work through a double betrayal, especially when it is a best friend. The two people that you trusted the most in the world have hurt and betrayed you.

With the AP being a neighbor, moving is most likely the best option to heal. Severing those friendships for good is necessary. If you have a good candidate for reconciliation, allow yourself to express your pain for both betrayals. You will most likely start learning of things or ways they would "connect" that need to be processed, be it songs, looks, secret words, etc (I had to clear out a lot of songs from our playlists).

All in all it is weird combination of guilt and compartmentalization. How much digging into the "why’s" has your WS done? A lot of figuring those out will have to do with what they were able to tell themselves to cross that boundary. How they justified their actions will be telling in how they were able to be around both you and your AP simultaneously.

Me: WS late 40’s
Him: BH (HoldingTogether)
D Day: 7/24/2010
If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

posts: 15563   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2010   ·   location: Texas
id 8709927
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 12:19 AM on Saturday, January 15th, 2022

If you are willing can you share why you chose that name? You don’t seem cowardly to me

Not anymore, but at the time I picked it three years ago, I was just coming off two months of trickle truth. I lurked on SI for the bulk of that timeframe, slowly realizing how craven I really was. The name was a reminder of where I had recently been and how easily I could fall back into that pattern if I didn't stick with the work.

WW/BW

posts: 2953   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8709952
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 1:36 AM on Saturday, January 15th, 2022

So do you feel that if BS takes a "high road" and hide his/her feelings, it is better in the long run?

No, I'm definitely not saying to hide their feelings. Infidelity is a devastating act, and in most cases, the WS needs to see the full impact of the damage in order to get their head out of their ass. It's just that shouting may not be the best way to express it -- assuming that the BS is able to control their lashing out.

To clarify, my BH regrets not being firmer after D-Day 1. He's still glad he didn't scream "you fucking whore" at me, but he wishes he hadn't played the pick-me dance. If he had a time machine, he'd tell me in no uncertain terms that he didn't feel he had "won" anything, that immediate NC with OM was completely non-negotiable, and that it was on me to earn another chance.

Does is hurt to see them upset or do you just dismiss them as 'going through crazy phase and don't take serious anything they say?'

I never thought he was crazy to be upset. After all, I slept with someone else, and we were first and onlies. During the A, I was in denial about how big a deal that was, but once I had gotten a few weeks of distance, I thought there was a pretty good chance he'd dump me as soon as I confessed. When he was devastated rather than angry, that devastated me, too. But I took the wrong lesson from it. I convinced myself that I was protecting him by minimizing the full extent of the A.

WW/BW

posts: 2953   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8709966
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Livingingrief ( member #79723) posted at 6:03 AM on Monday, January 17th, 2022

WalkinOnEggshelz,

When his A was discovered, I was on the verge of leaving our relationship because of his constant drug use. XANAX would make him mean and he was always passed out. He looked so gross all loaded up. I was SO unhappy with his Xanax use. I complained all the time. I begged him to stop. I told him how it made me feel. This was in 1 years time. Once I got to the point that I threatened to leave him and nothing changed, I became distant. On DDAY when I asked him why, he looked at me and said " I didn't think you loved me anymore" I almost couldn't believe what I was hearing.

posts: 62   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2021
id 8710274
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WalkinOnEggshelz ( Administrator #29447) posted at 11:46 AM on Monday, January 17th, 2022

LivinginGrief,

I hope your WH is clean. It will be the only way that he can unravel how he got here and hopefully see how he rewrote the history of your marriage.

If he isn’t working on his why’s, why he felt you didn’t love him is a good place to start.

Me: WS late 40’s
Him: BH (HoldingTogether)
D Day: 7/24/2010
If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

posts: 15563   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2010   ·   location: Texas
id 8710284
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jailedmind ( member #74958) posted at 9:47 AM on Tuesday, January 18th, 2022

I’m almost 8 years out. To this day I have doubts about my wife’s truth about the details. We talked about it once where she asked me if I believe she told me the truth. I said " I believe you have told me the truth to the extent that you can" It’s like she told me the dates, she told me what they did .But it was like . We kissed. We had sex. We talked. Never overly descriptive but never overly deceptive either. What always bothered me from that conversation was she never said anything after I told her that. It was like we made a silent pact. I know and you know I know but your ego won’t let you tell me the full truth. Any other waywards just robotically describe thier time with thier APs. I know she’s ashamed of it and with this much time from DDay and with all the work we have done I really could care less about all the gory stuff but I find it weird that she just wasn’t overly descriptive. She generally over shares everything but this she always seemed to clam up. She would answer the questions but it was always like there was a lawyer in the room giving the answers if that makes sense.Any others do this and can you tell me what’s going on inside to make you like that?

posts: 118   ·   registered: Jul. 21st, 2020
id 8710428
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Dazedandconfused1978 ( member #79527) posted at 10:23 AM on Tuesday, January 18th, 2022

For the WW’s,

Due to my wife’s AP coming in and out of her life due to work situation, her feelings would stop and return. Upon seeing him she would become flooded again and again. She has since left that job, but I still worry today that if he became present the feelings may return?

How did you detach from your AP, was there any affair fog afterwards?( my wife didn’t end the affair-he did), and I guess what I really want to know did you grieve the process and the loss of the AP? Call it limerance or what you will but she had feelings for him close to 10 years and I do believe she would have left me for him had the opportunity presented itself. She says she is over the A, but I constantly struggle with the what ifs? How do I begin to not feel like I am the backup/2nd choice?

posts: 70   ·   registered: Oct. 26th, 2021
id 8710430
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 3:53 PM on Tuesday, January 18th, 2022

Jailed Mind:

Any other waywards just robotically describe thier time with thier APs

I did. I was ashamed, and really, what would it help if I told him the graphic details beyond the basic acts? It wouldn't have changed the fact that I did them.

I think each BS has to ask themselves how much detail will be helpful in their own recovery. And then ask, and ask and ask until they get it. There's differing schools of thought here on "how much detail is enough." Some say it's worse knowing too little as their imagination becomes their own worst enemy. Others say that knowing too much is worse because they imagine things in graphic detail. Things that they could have put down to "my own imaginings" had they not known.

Either way, you're in the driver seat over how much info you want and getting it.

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 8710466
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 6:56 PM on Tuesday, January 18th, 2022

For those of you who thought you were in "love" with your AP and didn’t think you could live without him/her, how did your feelings evolve over time? For how long after the affair ended did you continue to think about your AP and reminisce about your time with the AP? How did your feelings toward the AP affect your reconciliation and your attitude and affection toward your BS?
One of my biggest struggles is that my WH’s AP will always have a place in his heart. That he would fantasize about her. Want to be with her. Wish to see her again. Long for her. Stuff like that.


This is similar to what dazed just asked, so I'll take a crack at a response for both of you.

I went long spans of time, sometimes years, without thinking about OM at all. However, the memory of the ego kibble remained as a mental crutch. If I was going through a phase of feeling overwhelmed, inadequate, or unappreciated, I would think back and romanticize the time I spent with him and how he felt about me. Not how I felt about him, mind you. Although I didn't realize it, he was just a prop. No, it all came back to me, me, me and how I felt irresistible during the A. No matter how many wrinkles or pounds I added over the years, I always had the back pocket knowledge that there was a time when I could have snapped my fingers and had this man at my feet. I wasn't much different from the former quarterback who bores people with how he won the Big Game back in high school. However, my internal audience never got tired of hearing it.

I suppose that if the A had been ripped out from under me by OM, instead of me ending it voluntarily, the withdrawal symptoms might have been harsher. I had already seen some red flags that he wasn't entirely the charming persona he projected, so I knew there wouldn't have been a "happily ever after" even if we were dating legitimately. He also told me a couple of major lies that I was in denial about. ("Surely, he wouldn't hurt or betray me!" Yes, I see the revolting irony.) So I was a bit better equipped to let go of OM, but I wasn't equipped to give up that sense of power and desirability. That's what I kept craving when I was feeling low.

SI helped me recognize this pattern. It made me face that however OM felt, he didn't feel it about the real BSR, because he didn't know the real BSR, any more than I knew him. We were a mix of insecurities and posturing and hormones projecting on each other. His admiration for me was meaningless and added nothing to my worth. My clinging to the memory of that admiration, however, significantly diminished me.

And yes, those memories did affect my relationship with my BH. Not because I wished I had left to be with OM or wondered if I would make a different choice. It's more that the occasional mental kibble made it too easy for me to ignore the gulf that was forming in our marriage. I thought the A was safely rugswept, and I believed we were contented, if somewhat run down by the demands of our middle aged life. SI woke me up to how I was chowing down on junk food memories instead of fixing myself and feeding my relationship. I also didn't face how devastatingly cruel and unfair it was to look back with any kind of affection on actions that had caused my BH so much pain. I was still thinking like a wayward, even if it never crossed my mind to want to restart the affair.

I have no idea what OM is up to now. I assume he's still married and not dead, but there's no one to tell me if that's accurate. In any case, BH has nothing to fear from him. If a WS does the work, they mend their brokenness, and there's no space left for the AP to occupy.

WW/BW

posts: 2953   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8710500
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, January 18th, 2022

I know she’s ashamed of it and with this much time from DDay and with all the work we have done I really could care less about all the gory stuff but I find it weird that she just wasn’t overly descriptive.

I'd rather be slow roasted over hot coals than talk about the affair sex with anyone, but especially with BH. I'll do it if he wants me to, because as MIgander says, he should be in the driver's seat in deciding what he wants to know. However, I'm profoundly grateful to have exhausted the topic and hope I'll never have to go there again.

WW/BW

posts: 2953   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8710502
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 9:33 PM on Saturday, January 22nd, 2022

For those in Reconciliation/Reconciled how do you feel when someone compliments your BS?

I realized the older and more social I get, the more people feel compelled to compliment me to WH (both men and women alike). Not just appearance but personality and kindness? A "whole package" type compliment. Telling him how lucky he is, etc.

While his self esteem is his issue - I am often curious if this cases some type of WTF moment or shame spiral moment or takes him back to feelings within himself that may have contributed to his LTA or make him realize how lucky he is or all the above?

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 8711347
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 10:40 PM on Sunday, January 23rd, 2022

For those in Reconciliation/Reconciled how do you feel when someone compliments your BS?


It's hard to answer this fully because COVID struck at a little past our one year mark, and for the next 18 months or so, it was rare to see anyone outside our close family bubble. I remember feeling ashamed in that first year when women would tell me how amazing he is (which happens fairly often). Once we were out of the bubble, I had done a lot of healing, and I felt more like I had worked hard to earn another chance. So while I fervently agree with anyone who says he's great, it doesn't set off a shame spiral.

Lately, I've been enjoying him receiving professional kudos. He is exceptionally good at what he does, but a combination of unavoidable market issues, D-Day 2, and a midlife crisis really squashed the confidence out of him. I definitely carried enormous guilt about my role in that. Now he has a new job where they clearly can't believe their luck at having found him. Honestly, it lights my soul to see him believe in himself again. I'm too busy reveling in that to be thinking about myself, whether positively or negatively.

WW/BW

posts: 2953   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8711479
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Squish ( member #79546) posted at 12:14 AM on Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Hi.

Back story, WH had a PA about 7 months ago. I found out and confronted him. He denied it at first but then told me what happened. we have 3 little ones. I dont have a full disclosure, He is doing NC and only contacted her one last time to tell her to leave him alone in the 7 months since.

HE wants to be with me, since I found out he has been making an effort to be there for me when I have been going through triggers, had so much anger and upset. HE listens but has found it very hard to answer questions. HE has got very defensive and he has shouted with alot of defensiveness. I know it is all guilt at this point. HE is trying though to be there for me, he checks up on me all the time and gives me more when I ask him for it.

Today I told him not to shout at me, that he needs to not be defensive because I need to ask my questions so I can heal. I do know that he needs to do the work but he doesn't get it yet. We also talked about being forgiven but I then told him I needed to know what I was forgiving so I can think about doing it. HE has said he will listen to the helping couples heal podcasts and he will listen to the addicted mind podcasts which I hope will tell him what im going through. is he on the right path to remorse? He doesn't understand when I tell him that he truly needs to do the work and understand what he has done to me. Although in some ways I see him and how he is trying. But maybe he is just pulling my strings again I dont know.

i feel good while we are talking like he gets it but then I loose that feeling after. HE hasn't listened to it yet which makes me question, he does however have alot of health stuff going on and we have other huge problems we are taking care of.

I dont feel like im the priority but I should be right now right. I want to be the priority and I want him to be remorseful. He said he is over it and he won't ever do it again. But thats not enough for me. I feel like he thinks he did this thing which he says was a mistake. Im sorry 3 years is not a mistake, he wanted it and he got it. Now he just wants to forget about it and me to move on and stop asking questions.

Im also having a really hard time with everything, he told me I need to try and not think about it that he is here with me now. When I told him I need to know answers so I can heal he said he thinks I know enough. But I dont and I told him thats just his opinion and im the one who is needing to heal from his A.

Please help with some advice. its all so confusing. I feel like he is trying to manipulate me to what he wants, always telling me what I need to think. But I also see him trying.

Thank... ugh this sucks!

posts: 80   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021
id 8711628
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Hi Squish,

It sounds like he is manipulating you. Which is maddening. He does want you to rugsweep and forget about his A. Anytime someone pushes you to do something you don't want to do, it's manipulation.

Gaslighting:

I need to try and not think about it that he is here with me now

He's telling you how to think.

More gaslighting:

When I told him I need to know answers so I can heal he said he thinks I know enough

He's telling you what you need.

I think it's important that you ask him for a timeline- 3yrs is a long affair. He may only be able to give you the rough months when certain events took place (first contact, start of emotionally inappropriate information, first physical encounter, etc), but he can and should provide that too you. If you put together a list of questions he can answer for you, then he can write a response. That will take the pressure off him to have a discussion and give him time and privacy to reflect and answer more openly.

It's not unreasonable to set these boundaries- that he provides a timeline, gets going on his work (IC and reading books commonly recommended on this site). He may resist and stop being as attentive. Being attentive is a way for him to snow you on the accountability and actual work he needs to do. He's probably thinking if he woos you back well enough, you'll drop the whole thing.

I understand you guys are going through a rough time. Hang in there, persist until you have the information YOU need to begin to heal.

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 8711696
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 2:04 PM on Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Squish

It sounds like he’s trying to do a bit of rug sweeping. I agree with you, having an A is not a mistake. Whether it’s a ONS or a LTA, both requires constant choices and deliberate actions on the WS part.

As far as asking questions, if he doesn’t like it, tough shit pal. There’s the door. He doesn’t get to make that call. You have every right to ask questions and get the answers you need.

You’re still early in all of this. My recommendation to you is focus on yourself and your healing. Allow yourself to get stronger and not so much on what your wh is doing. Either he fixes his shit or he doesn’t. If the former occurs, great; if the latter you’ll be in a better frame of mind when deciding on where to go from there.

Me -FWS

posts: 1984   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8711698
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Squish ( member #79546) posted at 7:48 PM on Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Hi MIgander ,

It sounds like he is manipulating you. Which is maddening. He does want you to rugsweep and forget about his A. Anytime someone pushes you to do something you don't want to do, it's manipulation.

Thank you for putting into words what is happening in our situation. Manipulation and gaslighting. I thought this is whats happening but I needed to hear it. Its heartbreaking that after everything he has done he is still just so able to keep telling me what to think. I am SO tired of it. I just want him to listen and take it in.

ITs so hard to be in this position. Also having to get him to understand what I am going through, I dont think he truly knows how to put himself in my shoes. I feel so badly that if I was in his place I would be doing anything and everything to give him what he needs to feel safe. My WH thinks he is doing everything he can. I dont know how to make him understand. I am getting him the "how to help your spouse heal from your affair" So lets see.

Why is this so so hard? Why am I having to go through so much still to get him to understand.. Like im not broken enough, he keeps telling me he needs me why can't he figure it out?.

Thank you again for explaining. It really has helped me.

Hi ff4152

Thank you also for your input

[

bold]It sounds like he’s trying to do a bit of rug sweeping. I agree with you, having an A is not a mistake. Whether it’s a ONS or a LTA, both requires constant choices and deliberate actions on the WS part.

Yes exactly, every choice ... it was a choice. Its only a mistake now because I found out? because not he has to face consequences? During that time it was what he wanted. HE did say he felt trapped.... can you feel that trapped that you cant get out of it? can this be real?

You’re still early in all of this. My recommendation to you is focus on yourself and your healing. Allow yourself to get stronger and not so much on what your wh is doing. Either he fixes his shit or he doesn’t. If the former occurs, great; if the latter you’ll be in a better frame of mind when deciding on where to go from there.


Thank you I am working on healing, taking care of myself, I hate all this so much. Everything is so hard right now. I dont want this and dont deserve to be dealing with this. Why didn't he think about the pain and anguish he would cause me? That he could and might still loose me and our family? our babies... they dont deserve this. im so heartbroken.

posts: 80   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021
id 8711759
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