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I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 14

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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 8:53 PM on Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Also, for something shorter than a book that will validate you and counter his manipulation, go to the Wayward Forum and print out the pinned post "Things that every WS needs to know." If you want to eliminate references to SI (which is a good idea if you're keeping us as your private safe space), copy only the parts between the bolded title Understanding Your Betrayed Spouse - A quick reference manual for unfaithful partners and the concluding Rejoice in your renewed commitment to spend your lives together in happiness. Celebrate it together regularly! As you can see, it ends on an upbeat note, but it pulls no punches in outlining the depth of a BS's suffering.

For my BH and I, that post was the single most helpful piece of advice in achieving R. I read it aloud to him (in sections; we couldn't process it all at once), and he nodded and exhaled and teared up at almost every line. It gave me a roadmap for how to be proceed, and it confirmed for both of us that everything he was feeling was natural and normal. I think it's exactly what your WH needs to read.

WW/BW

posts: 2904   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8711764
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Squish ( member #79546) posted at 9:12 PM on Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Thank you BSR, I will at it again.

What was the next step after you went through it?

Thank you for sharing.

posts: 78   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021
id 8711770
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 11:44 PM on Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Hi Squish,

This is so hard- the hardest thing you're likely (HOPEFULLY) going to have to go through.

having to get him to understand what I am going through... Why am I having to go through so much still to get him to understand

You're working on HIM when you need to work on YOU. You know, the "lead a horse to water" thing. Right now, it sounds like you're in your 1st year and things are still raw. It's good you are telling him what you need from him, but you can't push him up his mountain. It's his mountain- not yours.

If you're the one trying

to make him understand

, you're doing his job for him and not working on yourself.

If he WANTS to understand, he will WORK to understand. He will COME TO YOU with questions about how YOU are doing and how HE can help YOU with YOUR healing. NOT the other way around- you coming to him and telling him what to do and how to do it.

He needs IC and he needs to do the reading and work on his own work.

You have enough work to do to heal, don't burden yourself with his.

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: 841   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8711807
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Squish ( member #79546) posted at 6:40 PM on Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

Hi Migander,

You're working on HIM when you need to work on YOU. You know, the "lead a horse to water" thing. Right now, it sounds like you're in your 1st year and things are still raw. It's good you are telling him what you need from him, but you can't push him up his mountain. It's his mountain- not yours.

If you're the one trying

Thank you for your input. You are right. I wrote an email to him the other day which I am yet to send. I can not do it for him. As he is not researcher I wanted to give him something he can start to look at. I will give him the book and some resources to start his journey. I did tell him in the email I won't be giving him any more info. That it is his work to do and only he can do it. I understand that now he has to want to do it. I cant make him want to do it, with what I give him it should give him a good background of what he needs to do. And if he wants to do it, if he wants to save us and heal and show both him and I that he is worthy then he will do it.

This last post I have written I have got some amazing information which I have actually been able to take in and hear. I am ready to start healing and taking care of myself. I feel a shift in my body to take care of me. I am excited to see what the future holds for me. I do see positives in my/our future. I am also grateful that I have received such helpful and thoughtful information to help me do that.

posts: 78   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021
id 8711947
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 7:18 PM on Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

That's good to hear Squish. I wish you well and that your healing progresses more steadily from here on out!

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: 841   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8711962
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 5:25 AM on Sunday, January 30th, 2022

What was the next step after you went through it?

For me, it was about honesty and transparency. I didn't have to change my behavior towards the OM because my affair was decades ago. Unfortunately, SI and the resources we recommend weren't available back then. If I had had experienced voices to tell me that I had to stop protecting the OM and end all contact immediately, my BH would have been far less traumatized. Instead, I insisted that we could be "just friends" for months, which increased the long term damage exponentially.

WW/BW

posts: 2904   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8712708
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Timeforhelp ( member #74605) posted at 11:34 AM on Monday, January 31st, 2022

One of the upsetting things emotionally for me post my WH’s affair is the disparity in the amount of effort put into the affair versus rebuilding the marriage.

We are at a stage where I have told my WH he has to leave if I don’t see any change in the effort he is putting into the ‘work’, he as a very short period of time left and appears to have no sense of urgency, concern or fear that our marriage will finally be over. What is wrong with WS’s that they don’t consider the challenge of keeping their spouse at least the same level of importance as having, hiding and keeping the affair relationship?

posts: 86   ·   registered: Jun. 16th, 2020
id 8712854
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 2:57 PM on Monday, January 31st, 2022

What is wrong with WS’s that they don’t consider the challenge of keeping their spouse at least the same level of importance as having, hiding and keeping the affair relationship?

The generic answer is that an unremorseful WS believes they're doing the work just by sticking around. In their mind, they sacrificed a connection that gave them pleasure and validation to save a marriage to someone who is angry and disgusted by them. The affair ended, so you "won." They thought you'd appreciate that they picked you despite the flaws that they believe drove them to cheat. Instead, they're being constantly accused, grilled and tracked. They may or may not have been publicly humiliated or scorned by the AP. Alternately, the AP is pleading for them to come back, and they want credit for nobly holding the line. barf

An affair is an inherently selfish act, and unfortunately, many post-D-Day waywards behave in a self-centered way. They are either in sulking victim mode or they're so deep in shame, grief and panic that all their energy is required to hold themselves together. Pursuing an affair offers instant gratification, while trying to save a marriage takes years with no guarantee of success. That kind of effort, humility, self-analysis, and communication is not a wayward's strong suit. They look for the quick fix.

That's the general analysis, but I read your profile, and it sounded like your husband had finally started to pull his head out of his ass, offer transparency, go to IC, and generally take a serious run at R. Has that changed? Was he just white knuckling it, and his effort has gradually fallen off?

WW/BW

posts: 2904   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8712887
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Timeforhelp ( member #74605) posted at 3:12 PM on Monday, January 31st, 2022

BSR,

Thanks for the response.

In answer to your question, I have had more ddays since I last updated my profile. WS remains very much in the wayward mentality and so in my opinion still hasn’t provided a full and honest account of all of his behaviour.

He has become angry when questioned and will do everything he can to ignore the problem as a go to response.

I provided him with a list of my boundaries and needs before telling him to shape up or ship out and he hasn’t actively undertaken more than one of them on a regular basis. His time is running short and I am running on empty.

He sees me in pain on a daily basis, but it doesn’t seem to make a dent in his demeanour.

I will no longer drive for R so my assumption is that it probably will not happen.

posts: 86   ·   registered: Jun. 16th, 2020
id 8712888
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 4:31 PM on Monday, January 31st, 2022

I agree, unfortunately. Since his serial cheating and poor effort haven't cost him his marriage yet, he now believes they never will.

I'm really sorry I don't have a more optimistic picture for you.

WW/BW

posts: 2904   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8712903
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ClimateChange ( new member #75032) posted at 6:04 PM on Tuesday, February 1st, 2022

Are there any WS here who have remained friends with their AP and also managed to R their marriage?

If you thought you could stay friends with your AP after DD what caused you to change your mind about it?

posts: 9   ·   registered: Jul. 30th, 2020
id 8713128
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 6:38 PM on Tuesday, February 1st, 2022

Are there any WS here who have remained friends with their AP and also managed to R their marriage?

I thought I could, and it was the worst idea imaginable. The OM, my BH and I all knew that OM desperately wanted to restart the A. I thought that as long as I held my boundaries, then I had a right to maintain the friendship. I never did anything sexual again, but every "platonic" interaction was charged with history and potential. My BH lived in the constant fear that he could be told at any moment that we were seeing each other again. It gave him PTSD.

If you thought you could stay friends with your AP after DD what caused you to change your mind about it?

I wish I could say it was empathy or integrity, but I think it was exhaustion. As long as OM was in the picture, my relationship with BH would always be filled with drama and recrimination. I also gradually realized that OM wasn't the person I believed he was. With time and distance, I was able to see how I had ignored his lies and manipulation, and I realized that keeping the connection wasn't worth what it was costing my relationship with BH.

Unfortunately, I made it pretty clear to BH that having cut OM out, I felt I had paid my dues and deserved to put it all behind us. That rugsweeping was very damaging for him, and it all roiled back to the surface years later.

In fairness, I will add that we're madhatters, and my H's AP resurfaces on very rare occasions because she grew up as a close friend of his family. My H is more than willing to go through the awkwardness and embarrassment of declining events where she is present. However, I feel like that creates more stress for me than it alleviates, because his mother asks all kinds of questions and applies unwelcome pressure for us to attend. I actually love my MIL and don't want to make this my hill to die on. It was a stupid ONS, it was decades ago, and AP has been happily married to a woman for ages. I wouldn't want them to communicate independently as friends, but I can be cool in her presence. Though my H knows to give me a LOT of extra attention when and if that occurs. blush

WW/BW

posts: 2904   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8713135
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 1:24 PM on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022

Hi CC:

Are there any WS here who have remained friends with their AP and also managed to R their marriage?

If you thought you could stay friends with your AP after DD what caused you to change your mind about it?

Mine was not a friend to begin with. I knew he was unreliable and not a safe person. I was using him to get through my own "married for the kids" plan.

In general though, staying friends with someone you've slept with doesn't work. It can be an amicable break up, but I believe from my own life experience that once you break up, that door is closed. Doesn't mean you can't be at the same party with mutual friends, just means you can't seek their company or exchange more than polite words.

With an exAP, the rules are different for a reason. NC is NC- for both the WS and BS's sake. An exSO before a marriage to another is different- there wasn't the unhealthy baggage of betrayal associated with that breakup.

If your WS is believing they can remain "just friends" with their exAP, they're deluding themselves.

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: 841   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8713267
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IceGold ( new member #79515) posted at 3:47 PM on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022

Thank you to the WS who post here. I really appreciate the insight and vulnerability you’re sharing.
My question is this: what does "I thought I could control it" mean? My STBX has said this to me several times on DDay and beyond. "I thought I could control it."

My interpretation of that is that he has a mindset that just a little cheating is ok and that he never ever intended to come clean or be honest.

Have any of you WS said that? What did you really mean by it? Thank you

Me= BW married 18 years
Too many DD to want to list
Two wonderful kids that deserve better

posts: 14   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2021   ·   location: Carbon Based Planet
id 8713298
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 7:10 PM on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022

My question is this: what does "I thought I could control it" mean?


It could mean a number of things:

- I thought I could control you, so you would never know and be hurt by the affair.

- I thought I could control myself, so the A would stay within predetermined limits (no catching feelings, or no sex, or whatever line I drew in my own mind).

- I thought I could control the AP, so they would stay in the compartment I built outside my "real" life.

WW/BW

posts: 2904   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8713344
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IceGold ( new member #79515) posted at 4:11 PM on Thursday, February 3rd, 2022

Thank you BSR. I appreciate the response. It’s food for thought.

Me= BW married 18 years
Too many DD to want to list
Two wonderful kids that deserve better

posts: 14   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2021   ·   location: Carbon Based Planet
id 8713531
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ThisPainIsReal ( new member #79814) posted at 2:10 PM on Friday, February 4th, 2022

I have a question for the WS out there. The A happened 2 years ago and WH has stopped contacting OW since then. I have just found out about a month ago. So all the information has been trickling in and it's still very raw. He said that he has been trying hard to forget the entire A, as all he sees now is pain, regret and misery that he caused me and the kids. I have been asking a lot of questions and sometimes he will give answers like "I really don't remember, I'd tell you if I did" and how he is unsure of the timeline. All he knows is that it didn't take more than 3 months to end the A, although they were still talking up to 2 months after that, as it was an EA and he really needed the emotional outlet. It gradually died down to no contact after. I did find a xmas and new year greeting/message that he sent to a chat group which she was also in. It was sent towards the end of that year and he mentioned in the message, addressing everyone but indirectly addressed to her, that he had a good year and fun and laughter but "unfortunately, lost something very very dear to me". He said he didn't even remember sending that message. Until now, he is unsure if he did send it but I'll assume he did. Which to me means that he was still pining for her or the A throughout the entire year (A started in January that year). So this trickling of new info really retraumatized me all over again.

My question is, what really goes on in the mind of the WS? Is it even believable that when my WH said he really doesn't remember the details or he'd rather forget about the entire A, that he truly means it? Or is he just trying to protect himself/me from knowing more details? I live in fear everyday, thinking that I'd find something new which would traumatize me even more. Any insight appreciated.

Me: BW, Him: WH (1yr EA in 2019), Married 17 yrs, DDay: 1/1/22

posts: 21   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2022
id 8713758
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 3:58 PM on Friday, February 4th, 2022

Hi TPIR,

I'm sorry you're here. For your questions, I can't say exactly what's going on in your BH's mind (as I'm not living in it), but I can give you my take on it as a WW.

My question is, what really goes on in the mind of the WS? Is it even believable that when my WH said he really doesn't remember the details or he'd rather forget about the entire A, that he truly means it? Or is he just trying to protect himself/me from knowing more details?


It may be believable to a certain extent that he doesn't remember. If he's tried hard to forget, it's likely details can be foggy. HOWEVER, the general overarching timeline of the affair should be provided. Has he given you a timeline? If not, things to ask for:
-First contact
-First inappropriate dialogue (ie: sharing about unhappiness in marriage, affectionate terms, sexy jokes, etc)
-First meet up
-First sexting
-First physical contact
-Extent of physical contact
-Multiple times having sex? Approx numbers and dates
-Last physical contact
-NC letter sent?
-Last contact

Dates may not be 3-15-21 format, but at least the month and year it happened. Once you have that, you can go from there.

As his was an EA, he may not have the physical stuff. I would watch him closely though when he answers those questions... What was the situation with OW? Was she a mutual friend? Work acquaintance? If he had access to private time with her, there may have been a physical aspect to the A too.

WS's frequently try to control the message (I know I did crying ). We justify it to ourselves saying it's for the BS's good- protecting them from the depth of betrayal we committed. Really thought, it's to CYA and minimize the consequences.

Your gut knows when he's lying. If you're tormented over not having all the main facts, you likely don't. Asking him for a timeline down to the week is not asking too much. EA's are tricky too- the OP is all in our head, a fantasy and thus difficult to break ties with as they're "perfect."

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: 841   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8713815
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MrsWalloped ( member #62313) posted at 7:40 PM on Friday, February 4th, 2022

Hi ThisPainIsReal.

In general I am very skeptical of the "I don’t remember" line. I would say that it should be taken in context of everything else he is or isn’t doing. If he’s doing everything else right in terms of helping you heal, being open and honest, went No Contact, gave you access to all of his accounts, emails, phones and everything then maybe it is possible that some things he actually doesn’t remember. But if he’s not, and he’s been kinda just ignoring it or trying to rug sweep it, then I wouldn’t put much faith into his not remembering. Either way, he needs to put as much as he can remember in writing for you.

Also, there’s a difference between details that might be important to you (because many times every little detail is important to a BS), but it wasn’t important to him at the time. It’s been almost 7 years since my affair and while if asked I can remember many things (that I’d rather forget), there are some details that I just didn’t pay attention to at the time that I have a hard time remembering. Like I went to different cafes with the AP. Which day I went to which place or what I ordered escapes me. But that I went to these places (names of different cafes and restaurants) and that I would see the AP on these days (Mondays and Wednesdays) that I still remember. But, while I can no longer give a detailed itinerary of each time I met the AP, I was able to pretty much do that right after DDay.

One other thing, there’s a fear among WS’s who want to R that by telling over too much information to the BS or talking about it in detail will make R less likely. I know I was terrified my BH would hate me. But my BH told me that there was no chance at R at all if I wasn’t open and honest. I was terrified but I did it. Your WH may be pushing you off, because of this. Totally not okay and it’s all about self-preservation. If you need details, then that’s what he should provide. I’m just trying to give you a possible why to this.

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: 769   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
id 8713883
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 10:58 PM on Friday, February 4th, 2022

Never once did I have a "giggle" about sneaking around right under my husband’s nose.

I'm curious about this aspect from any WS who can address it.

Perhaps I never thought my WW and AP were snickering at me outright, but it sure seems I was a part of some private joke. And now reading this thread, I find myself rethinking it -- and I feel that, yes, I must have been. And it seems likely that most BH's were, at some point or other, the butt of a joke by their WW and her AP (I'm thinking of really egregious cases like the WW who cajoled her BH to fix the heater in the cabin that was the planned site of a tryst).

Like some others, my WW flirted with, kissed and was fondled by AP within close proximity of me. But the game was rigged in a way I wouldn't have known. If I had, I dare not think about what would have happened. I'd be writing this from prison, most likely. Even now, the silverback Cro Magnon rage is so strong in me I can barely type this.

On Halloween 2016 we were taking the kids trick or treating as a group in the neighborhood. AP fondled my WW's ass in the dark, while I and his wife each walked separately with the kids several paces ahead. ETA: This act didn't seem designed to "meet needs" or get emotional kibbles or whatever -- it was really just a gratuitous sexual act by both of them. And the idea that there was NOT some snickering is more than a little difficult to believe: Clearly they each took some sort of sneaky secret pleasure from the act in getting one over on their unsuspecting spouses.

Later, we then sat on AP's parents' porch and my WW came over and sat on my lap, all lovey dovey. I was oblivious.

In our own home, he was invited over for "playdates" when I was out of town, which were really just a masquerade for them to play family. And one evening in my own home, while I was fixing dinner, the two of them stood together at our front window and fondly watched the boys playing in the front yard. I already knew at this juncture, and I actually thought for a moment about grabbing my pistol and blowing him away right then and there.

ETA: When they had sex in our home, I was away on a business trip. The morning was specifically arranged in such a way that sex was guaranteed to happen. All the cute denials of nonplanning add up to bupkis. Anyway that same morning, I was cordially texting both of them with separate items about the meeting I was at. My "friend" with information about the speaker I was listening to, and my WW with jokes. Neither of them responded, which is what set off my alarm bells. I then puzzled it together sitting in that hotel conference center, started having a panic attack and asked another friend of mine to drive by the house. He refused saying he didn't want to get involved or feed into my paranoia (of course, he did end up driving by anyway and then weeks later told me and confirmed AP's car was there).

This was the same day that my WW conned me into thanking her AP for the gift of a wine fridge as a combined birthday gift for both of us.

I can only imagine what was going on that morning as I separately texted both of them, they looked at their phones, and then looked at each other in my home as they prepared to have sex. The idea of a private joke in that moment isn't much of a stretch.

The idea of another private joke -- or at the very least smirking about what a schmuck I was -- in having me call the AP to thank him for a birthday gift isn't much of a stretch either, now is it?

As you can imagine, this feels an awful lot like giggling, or the close approximation. Let us more accurately say a prank or practical joke of some kind, with the faithful partners as the butt of the cosmic humor.

I also listened to a VAR recording of the two of them chortling and making sly comments about the sex they'd had. My wife laughed in a deep and knowing way when her AP talked about having her hair in his face (it is in point of fact quite beautiful hair) and then laughing when they both finished each other's sentences about "what assholes we're married to."

Anyway, it's difficult for me as a rational, thinking sentient human with intact executive function in my frontal cortex to not think I was the butt of a joke between them. Plainly, on some level, empirically, I was.

If I found out my WW had fondled her AP within a few feet of my presence, I don't think I'd be surprised, and I for sure would view it as a deep form of disrespect that amounted to a kind of act making me a laughingstock.

ETA PS: Maybe I just know too much and so illusions or minimizations about who my WW is or what she did or did not do are difficult if not impossible for me to accept.

[This message edited by Thumos at 7:01 AM, Saturday, February 5th]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4598   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8713931
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