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I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 14

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:12 PM on Monday, April 18th, 2022

Tacit-

All. The.Time. That first year is a doozy.

But let me reframe something for you. I don’t look at it as an honest mistake son my part.

People who cheat are in a highly selfish state of mind. They have done all sorts of mental gymnastics to live with themselves while they were doing things they know to be wrong.

It’s not further cheating, it’s more wayward behavior. And it has to be actively acknowledged and worked on by the ww. But yes I have yet to see a ws who went from
Cheating to immediately having their head straight.

So you are right to call out any insensitive behaviors. And the fact you are checking yourself in it tells me that you are not being unreasonable. Unreasonable people do not check themselves.

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

posts: 6202   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8730376
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Tacit ( member #78985) posted at 10:19 PM on Monday, April 18th, 2022

Thanks for the reply, hikingout. It gave me a lot of perspective on my wife's thinking. Your remark about unreasonable people checking themselves also gave me some peace regarding some anxiety that I have been feeling about some things.

Me: BH(48)

Her: WW(48)

Married for 23 years, 22 on DDay

Kids: Daughter(21) Son(19)

DDay: Eighth of June, 2021

posts: 68   ·   registered: Jun. 22nd, 2021   ·   location: São Paulo, Brazil
id 8730403
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 12:42 PM on Tuesday, April 19th, 2022

I ask this because my wedding anniversary was a few days ago and my wife asked me if I wanted to do anything.

Your WW is likely scrambling to figure out how non-selfish pricks act. I was a selfish prick, and I still am selfish and self involved more than I would like to be. However, it sounds to me like your WW is struggling to come to terms with her own selfishness and wants to show you care in some form or another.

Her thinking is probably somewhere along the line of, "I know our anniversary is going to be a difficult day for BH, but I want to do something to acknowledge his pain and show I care. It's probably best to ask though so I don't do something insensitive."

Thing is, she likely didn't know that the anniversary was such a painful subject that even mentioning it would trigger you. Would it have triggered you if she didn't mention it (out of a sense of sensitivity to your pain- wanting to avoid reminding you of the painful day)? The whole subject is a trigger- mentioned, or not mentioned. Which trigger would you have rather had? One where she was attempting to communicate concern, or one that triggered feelings of insignificance?

Sometimes it's damned if we do, damned if we don't as WS's. However, the WS would show their level of commitment and work by not being defensive either way. How she handled your hurt and anger will tell you how much progress she's made with her work.

And yeah, as HO said, the first year is a bitch.

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 8730511
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Tacit ( member #78985) posted at 1:44 PM on Tuesday, April 19th, 2022

Her thinking is probably somewhere along the line of, "I know our anniversary is going to be a difficult day for BH, but I want to do something to acknowledge his pain and show I care. It's probably best to ask though so I don't do something insensitive."

Thing is, she likely didn't know that the anniversary was such a painful subject that even mentioning it would trigger you. Would it have triggered you if she didn't mention it (out of a sense of sensitivity to your pain- wanting to avoid reminding you of the painful day)? The whole subject is a trigger- mentioned, or not mentioned. Which trigger would you have rather had? One where she was attempting to communicate concern, or one that triggered feelings of insignificance?

That is a very good point that you bring up. You are right that I likely would have been triggered as well if she didn't mention anything. "Oh, so our marriage means so little to you that you won't even acknowledge our anniversary?" I know that it is not logical, but I probably wouldn't have been able to help it.

Sometimes it's damned if we do, damned if we don't as WS's. However, the WS would show their level of commitment and work by not being defensive either way. How she handled your hurt and anger will tell you how much progress she's made with her work.

She said that it was stupid of her to even ask and she gave me the space that I need when I become triggered.

Me: BH(48)

Her: WW(48)

Married for 23 years, 22 on DDay

Kids: Daughter(21) Son(19)

DDay: Eighth of June, 2021

posts: 68   ·   registered: Jun. 22nd, 2021   ·   location: São Paulo, Brazil
id 8730516
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Squish ( member #79546) posted at 1:26 AM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

Hi. I had a question which I need to answered explained. I just don’t understand the answer my wh is giving me.

I told him that he left me when he had his a. He left every minute he thought, was with her. But he doesn’t believe this. He says he didn’t leave me. Am I missing something here? He broke our vows. He had an intimate relationship. How did he not leave me? Yes he needs a ton of work.

Can someone please explain to me what this means please? And why he doesn’t see it as it is.

Thank you.

posts: 78   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021
id 8731752
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denwickdroylsden ( new member #51744) posted at 12:50 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

I'd call it "minimizing." It's also a version of gaslighting, an attempt to persuade you that your reactions, your reality, are not valid, and (in his mind) you must adopt his viewpoints. As a WS I did the same exact things during DDay(s). I deeply regret it now but that's what I did then.

Me: WH frequent flyer
Now on straight and narrow
"What's the secret of a long term marriage?" Amnesia.

posts: 30   ·   registered: Feb. 9th, 2016
id 8731825
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Spaceman ( new member #80138) posted at 2:14 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

Agree with denwickdroylsden on lying to ourselves as WSs. Even though I was aware of my wrongdoing as a WS, I also tried to minimise the damage. Even by choice of words - I never outright denied my actions, actually I acknowledged them, but it was worded in way that was not fully sincere: "I am sorry what I did to you; i am sorry to see you hurt". Real apology - the one that I felt in my heart as well - came way later. But that's me of course.

I needed roughly three months to fully internalise what my actions did to my BS. And only then I was able to fully acknowledge the responsibility.

As hikingout says, it is close to impossible to get right away from a WS to the person with head screwed on straight. It was definitely not the case for me. Six months in from real work with myself and I am kind of there in being an honest to myself, but still not there yet. But it is good to check in with yourself, helps a lot.

[This message edited by Spaceman at 2:15 PM, Monday, April 25th]

posts: 40   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: Poland
id 8731840
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EnPedasos ( new member #79857) posted at 10:43 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

Hi.

My WH keeps telling me he doesn’t trust me. What does that even mean? I have asked him to elaborate but he just shuts down.

Why is it that we get along great over texts but as soon as he sees me in person he makes a stupid remark then it’s a fight.

He’ll apologize over text an hour later every time. duh

We’re separated not in R.

Thank you.

Dd was 12/15/21. Me BS 43Him WH 43
20 years 14M 18DD 8DS

You can ignore reality but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.

"Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides." –André Malraux

posts: 34   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2022
id 8731948
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 1:50 PM on Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

Hi EnPedasos,

Your WH likely doesn't trust you because he doesn't trust himself. I have a hard time trusting my BH on days where I'm triggered because I was abused as a kid. Not sure what your WH had growing up, but likely he was twisted in some way by his experiences.

He probably doesn't trust that he can be his unfiltered self around you. He says something assinine without thinking and then triggers you. It gets tiring in early days having to keep your head on a swivel and monitor every reaction and word that comes out of your mouth as a WS. We're either in denial of the work to be done or only just beginning to do it. He's likely hardly aware of how much his carelessness affects you. That's why texting is better for now. It gives him time to type his response, read it, correct it and adjust as necessary. It's a slower process and one that, if he's really honest about doing the work, will take time.

Thing is, us WS's need to work on the core "unfiltered" self that we are. Until (as HO said on WS just recently), we don't have to constantly monitor ourselves because there's little left to monitor. For me that means that I have to keep working until I no longer feel that I have to guard my reactions and words 90% of the time. We're all going to have bad days where we're selfish or too tired to be our best, but for me, I'd like to get that down to a number smaller than 10%.

Is your WH doing any formal work on himself? Books, talks, IC, journaling, etc?

[This message edited by MIgander at 1:51 PM, Tuesday, April 26th]

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 8732044
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20yrsagoBS ( member #55272) posted at 9:05 PM on Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

We’re you aware that your cheating was going to end the marriage as you knew it?

If you were, how did you keep doing it?


If you were lying to your AP, did you ever consider she was lying to you too?

BW, 54 WH 53 When you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas

posts: 2186   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2016   ·   location: Tampa Bay Area, Florida
id 8732140
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EnPedasos ( new member #79857) posted at 10:38 PM on Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

Thank you MIgander

That makes a lot of sense. Now I’ll be able to work on not getting triggered every time.

No he’s not doing any work he said he was going to get IC but that hasn’t happened yet.

He’s finding it very difficult to get over mow. barf

Dd was 12/15/21. Me BS 43Him WH 43
20 years 14M 18DD 8DS

You can ignore reality but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.

"Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides." –André Malraux

posts: 34   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2022
id 8732158
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 11:07 PM on Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

20yrsagoBS

We’re you aware that your cheating was going to end the marriage as you knew it?

Without question, had my A come to light, it would have meant the end of my marriage in its entirety.

If you were, how did you keep doing it?

I had convinced myself that I was in a dead marriage. That my wife was only with me because of the financial security I provided. Quite frankly, I had checked out of my marriage before my A even started. I knew what the consequences would be but I just didn't care.


If you were lying to your AP, did you ever consider she was lying to you too?

I don't recall actively lying to my AP about anything except whether I would leave my wife or not. I never said I wouldn't leave her; I was always very noncommittal in my responses. In fact, she was the one who always said I wouldn't leave my wife. Deep down, I knew she was right but I never vocalized it.

For most of my A, I never really considered that my AP would lie to me. She mostly talked shit about her STBEXH and it never occurred to me that he was anything other than what she said. I did find out that she told me a whopper as it relates to my health. I am highly allergic to something that she claimed was never in her van (where we always met). Come to find out she was full of it. While any allergic reaction wouldn't have been life threatening, it would have made me sick for 4-5 days.

Me -FWS

posts: 1967   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8732162
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denwickdroylsden ( new member #51744) posted at 2:52 PM on Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

20yearsago BS

Were you aware that your cheating was going to end the marriage as you knew it?

I'm a pretty good at compartmentalising. I had fleeting thoughts of this but waved them away. I was certain I would never get caught and would take it with me to the grave.


If you were, how did you keep doing it?

Pure selfishness. I wanted to, I could, so I did.


If you were lying to your AP, did you ever consider she was lying to you too?

Lying is inherent in A's, so sure, I wondered if she ever lied, but never discovered any. I lied to bS of course. To AP, no. She never asked for commitment and I never promised any. Hers was an exit A and I was handy as an ear and well a lot more frankly. If I ever lied to her it was by omission. She tended to be careful about questions to ask, and I was careful to not volunteer information I was not asked for. The whole thing, an ugly tangled regrettable situation and I am well rid of it.

Me: WH frequent flyer
Now on straight and narrow
"What's the secret of a long term marriage?" Amnesia.

posts: 30   ·   registered: Feb. 9th, 2016
id 8732259
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Lostwings ( member #79902) posted at 12:27 AM on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

In my other thread, I mentioned how my husband had a 5 months online affair with an old college friend they met at a (online) reunion during Covid .

He admitted to watch porn once or twice monthly for years before he met this person who was willing to engage in online sex with him . Since there was an EA as well, I consider it as a full blown affair .

I always think he was building himself up for an affair by watching porn …

Will any of the WS help me understand if there is a connection between watching porn ( not addiction) and the urge of having an affair ( online or real person) ?

Did you looked for the right person to start an affair? Or did the affair happened because you simply just fell in love ?

I thought it was love at the end of the rainbow , but a banshee came and almost destroyed my pot of gold . In R.

posts: 59   ·   registered: Feb. 7th, 2022   ·   location: United States
id 8733201
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 1:40 AM on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

For me personally, porn and cheating are completely unrelated. I watch it some, my H watches it some, and occasionally we watch a bit together (though not often, as we have different tastes in content). It's a feature of our individual sexuality that doesn't make us the slightest bit tempted to seek intimacy outside our marriage.

This isn't meant to invalidate anyone's belief that porn and cheating were interconnected for their wayward spouse. I've read cases where there's a clear pattern of escalation. It's just not true of me. I was a romance junkie, and it would make more sense to blame romantic comedies and bad novels.

WW/BW

posts: 2904   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8733210
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denwickdroylsden ( new member #51744) posted at 11:58 AM on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

No connection for me, either. I guess there might be for some, but not for me. I'm not even that into porn. I prefer the real thing.

Me: WH frequent flyer
Now on straight and narrow
"What's the secret of a long term marriage?" Amnesia.

posts: 30   ·   registered: Feb. 9th, 2016
id 8733256
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Lostwings ( member #79902) posted at 4:36 PM on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

Thank you all for helping me understand better regarding the relationship between watching pornography and the urge to have an affair .

I agree with you both . Watching pornography does not make me have the urge but maybe it happen to some people . Maybe the online sex sort of reminds him of watching porn ..

I thought it was love at the end of the rainbow , but a banshee came and almost destroyed my pot of gold . In R.

posts: 59   ·   registered: Feb. 7th, 2022   ·   location: United States
id 8733324
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 12:02 AM on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

I think porn can be a problem with people who have an addictive personality. The hit and the high from using it can be addictive to the wrong person. Not everyone is going to have that reaction, but its a risk.

Some here struggled with drug addictions and an affair on top of that. Others numbed themselves to their spouse with porn before their A.

Others use porn in their M and dont see these problems.

Why do some people get addicted to pot and others can take it or leave it?

Brain chemistry and nurture are different for everyone and everyones reactions to addictive stuff will differ.

Did the porn cause his affair? I dont know. But is heroin a gateway drug for fentanyl... yeah.

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 8733442
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Lostwings ( member #79902) posted at 8:42 PM on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

Thank you MIgander and thanks to all in this forum that give us, the lost and confused ones , advice and support .

I felt so alone before I found this SI and I am looking for your guidance anytime I feel lost , in pain or confused . SI is the best I have during this painful time.

I am hoping that one day, when I am ready , I can pay forward to the new members in this forum .

I thought it was love at the end of the rainbow , but a banshee came and almost destroyed my pot of gold . In R.

posts: 59   ·   registered: Feb. 7th, 2022   ·   location: United States
id 8733591
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 4:22 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

You're welcome LW!

I'm hoping you can heal too.

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 8733955
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