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I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 14

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Naamah ( member #79634) posted at 6:45 AM on Thursday, May 12th, 2022

I have a question for WS.

My WH answered a lot of my questions, some of them related to the physical closeness between him and OW, but he "cannot" answer all of them. I understand that he is not able to precisely define the time frame - he often does not know what day is today, but when I ask him to tell me about their meetings, he throws out the whole litany:
"I do not remember when the first meeting took place, how I was dressed, what the time of a day it was, how did she look like, what day was it, did I go to her from home or after work, I don't remember what we talked about! I don't remember any of our meetings! As soon as I think about these events my hands are shaking and I can't believe I did what I did and I can't forgive myself, I feel disgusted with myself! My brain displaces it all. I think that it defends itself by blurring the memories. I don't think back to her or to these events until you ask a question. I don't remember anything!"
Well, this hits me! I don't know how to react to it? Why cannot he tell about their meetings, especially since, as he claims, there were "just" a few of them? Why is he hiding this? What could have happened worse than the blowjob in the bushes or the sex on our car, to which he confessed? Could it really be that he superseded these memories? He was always distracted, but I find it hard to believe that he doesn't remember the events of two years ago if he tells me in detail about what happened thirty years ago! How do I get to him?

Naamah

posts: 79   ·   registered: Nov. 29th, 2021   ·   location: UK
id 8734815
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denwickdroylsden ( new member #51744) posted at 12:34 PM on Thursday, May 12th, 2022

I did the same thing. Of course I remembered everything. I still remember everything. But was all to be secret and even after discovery, I meant for it to stay secret. Especially from BW. To answer one question would provoke more questions. Therefore safest to answer not even the first. To divert and fog with the I don't know and the I can't remember and the OMG it's all so traumatic (it wasn't) I've blanked it out (I hadn't). Dishonesty is fundamental to being a BS, and with me it continued (and continues) even after discovery. Also the notion that the A is my personal private possession, and no one, especially BW, has any right to any part of it. Shut up and move on, was my message to BW. Obviously not covering myself with glory here but these are the facts of the matter.

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 8734830
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Naamah ( member #79634) posted at 12:52 PM on Thursday, May 12th, 2022

I was afraid of that answer... but thank you for being honest.
Does it have a chance to change or will it always remain a secret? I'm not sure if I can and if I want to live like that. If he is not able trust me and share his story how can I trust him?

Naamah

posts: 79   ·   registered: Nov. 29th, 2021   ·   location: UK
id 8734831
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 3:32 PM on Thursday, May 12th, 2022

Hi Naamah,

It won't always have to remain a secret- if the WS is truly remorseful, they'll be able to give you at minimum the bare boned facts of the A. Things like, how did it start? What kinds of sex? What kinds of emotional intimacy? About how often was sex? Where did you meet for sex? Where did you go together? Were gifts exchanged? What apps did you communicate on?

I wasn't able to provide precise details (exact number of times we had sex or what we were wearing), but I could provide (and have) much of the high level info to my BH.

Your WH saying that he's disgusted with himself and feeling "trauma" over his actions are a shame response. He's protecting himself from the shame and self disgust that he knows he will feel if he confronts his choices head on. He's doing that at your expense of course, but really, the first person he's hurting is himself. Until he can look fully at how he behaved and the kind of person he was before, during and after his A, he won't be able to grow and truly heal. It sounds like he's trying to shove it back into whatever mental box he used during the A to compartmentalize his actions from their consequences and the true horror of their effect on you.

So yeah, I'm with denwick in calling bullshit on his amnesia. He remembers the big stuff. Maybe not about the clothes or what she looked like, but how he got there, where they met, about how often and the particular acts and approximate frequency (1-3x, 5-10x, more?). He knows this and is trying to CYA from first, his own shame, and second, the added shame of seeing the pain in your eyes when telling you these ugly truths.

Depending on his commitment to doing the work and having a chance at R with you, well, that's the only way you'll know. Once he gets past the defensiveness, you'll be able to get the answers. Until then, you'll be waiting. Maybe forever.

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 8734857
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MrCleanSlate ( member #71893) posted at 5:52 PM on Thursday, May 12th, 2022

Naamah,

Your WS is minimizing and gaslighting you. He is basically covering his ass and telling you only what he thinks you know and what he thinks you can accept without more damage to himself.

Fact is he is still lying to you.

OK, so I wasn't great with exact dates either, but I knew all the details, even though some were mixed up or not chronological. That was where writing out a timeline matters. Amazing what you can start to remember and piece together when you go over points time and again.

Does it have a chance to change or will it always remain a secret? I'm not sure if I can and if I want to live like that.


It does have a chance to change. Most all the long time WS's that post here are doing just that. For some of us we decided to throw ourselves on our sword at the beginning, and for others it took the threats of the BS to leave to get us moving in that direction.

If he is not able trust me and share his story how can I trust him?


You can't trust him. He is not being honest with you or himself. I had a one year affair and lied about everything during that time. Admitting to myself what a shitty thing I did was hard. Being honest to my BW was even harder.

This is the part where you can play a role. You can choose to walk, but you haven't yet so maybe you want to take the hard path and work this out. So you need to call bullshit, or you can keep rugsweeping. I personally advise you to call bullshit. Confront him. My BW and I spent pretty everynight for weeks talking about my affair. My BW tucked away everything and then would circle back and probe and keep probing on what I had said to get a clear picture. I minimized at first, but as time went on I became a lot more open. The proverbial flood gates.

How do I get to him?


Threats won't work. Actions will either get him to act or not. Pull back. Look up doing a 180 (reading library on this site) Look after yourself first.

WH 53,my BW is 52
1 year PA, D-Day Oct 2015
Admitted all, but there is no 'clean slate'. In R and working it everyday
"To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day

posts: 673   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2019   ·   location: Canada
id 8734874
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Naamah ( member #79634) posted at 11:56 PM on Thursday, May 12th, 2022

Thank you all for your answers and advice. In one day you managed to achieve more with my R than I did in the last two years. I read to him selected fragments of your statements. Version about amnesia has not changed, but the first breakthrough to some extent happened - he decided to treat depression and to start sessions with IC and MC. On Saturday, we will be looking for a suitable therapist together. Thank you 😊

Naamah

posts: 79   ·   registered: Nov. 29th, 2021   ·   location: UK
id 8734932
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Seeking2Forgive ( member #78819) posted at 2:12 AM on Friday, May 13th, 2022

Thank you to WSs who are helping BSs by answering questions here.

My question is, when you first came here and started talking about your A, were you truthful about your affair? If not, what were you untruthful about and why? Obviously, some things might change to protect anonymity, I mean aside from that. Did you eventually tell the truth?

Me: 60, BS -- Her: 59, FWS -- Dday: 11/15/03 -- Married 37 yrs -- Reconciled

posts: 439   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2021
id 8734959
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 3:04 AM on Friday, May 13th, 2022

Seeking

I got some things wrong (ie blaming my wife for the A, thinking my AP was my soulmate etc) but I’ve been very truthful with what I’ve posted. I never understood why folks would come here and lie. IMO if you’re sincere in your efforts to change, lying does nothing to further that.

The advice I received was often brutal but it certainly helped open my eyes to many things. I’m glad I never "played to the crowd". I’m a much better person because of it.

Me -FWS

posts: 1967   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8734965
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WalkinOnEggshelz ( Administrator #29447) posted at 12:08 PM on Friday, May 13th, 2022

Seeking,

Despite the many warnings I received to be honest I came here remorseful but still very much trying to be "a good person". I was full of minimizations and rather than laying all of the cards on the table, I lied by omission frequently. My husband became quite the detective and often had to dig the truth out of me. It wasn’t even about big things. It was just the more that came out, the more I felt I risked losing him as the "pro" list shrunk and the "con" list grew. It wasn’t until he had had enough and divorce was a true reality before I realized I would lose either way. It prompted me to write a timeline and get it all out there. I took a polygraph. From there I was finally able to take the deep dive to figure my shit out.

I think affairs start with lies we tell ourselves. They grow like a plague and spread to those around us. We become so invested in them that it is difficult to come to terms that we have the antidote from the 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: 15456   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2010   ·   location: Texas
id 8735020
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Bulcy ( member #74034) posted at 6:43 PM on Sunday, May 15th, 2022

Seeking,

No, when I first came onto this site I was not honest. I was still telling lies to my BS, to my then IC and in what I posted on here. I was also telling lies by omission. I think some of the posters on here saw through this (BS certainly did) and I was called out. I read the advise that you need to be 100% honest, I ignored this and stuck with my interpretation of honest. I was doing some of the things I needed to and focussed on these. I would post that I was doing X and Y while not pointing out that I was not doing Z. I also wanted people to answer my "Whys". I wanted and easy way through R and "all this to be forgotten" as soon as possible. I came on here with utterly the wrong intentions. Slowly over the last year or so, I have actually started listening to the advise. An honest timeline, being open with BS, doing the things I need to do rather than want to do, working on the whys etc...These are still work in progress. I wrote a timeline recently finally giving some details of my activity that I was holding onto. We are going to be working on this. I'm working on getting my head out of my ass, it's been up there so long though. I'm working on changing myself with the support of various groups, forums and talking to BS.

I don't know how close to being "fixed" or "safe" I am. I know I have a long way to go.

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

posts: 223   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8735443
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Darkness Falls ( member #27879) posted at 7:49 PM on Sunday, May 15th, 2022

Seeking,

I’ve been honest here. My BS is not here and never has been and never would be, so I’d have no incentive to sugarcoat or lie.

WS - remarried to BH but not in R

D-day 2010

posts: 6390   ·   registered: Mar. 8th, 2010   ·   location: USA
id 8735453
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denwickdroylsden ( new member #51744) posted at 1:12 PM on Monday, May 16th, 2022

I was never asked to write a time line after my (more than one) d-days by my (more than one) wives.

After the last episode nearly a decade ago, when I realized I really had to change my ways if I could, I decided to write down my entire sexual history starting from childhood. To the extent that I could remember, I documented details of every romantic / sexual encounter with a female. It took months because things kept coming back and I kept putting them down. The result was, frankly, astonishing and sickening at the same time. Til then I had regarded each episode as a separate and distinct event. I guess that made it easier to rationalize each one away or dismiss it out of hand, and to console myself that each was a fluke and not part of a lifelong pattern of behavior. Seeing it all down in one place showed me the reality of who and what I really am.

I realized:
1) In my entire life I have never been faithful to anyone who had the expectation that I would. Not one single one.
2) At times I even cheated, or tried to cheat, on people I was cheating with.

True, on occasion I had the opportunity to cheat but did not. The old me would point to these as evidence that I am "not that bad." But that wouldn't be true. I backed off because I sensed that it would go bad in some way or I'd get caught.

This exercise sickened me and continues to. But since doing it I have not stepped out.

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 8735519
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 1:24 PM on Monday, May 16th, 2022

My question is, when you first came here and started talking about your A, were you truthful about your affair? If not, what were you untruthful about and why? Obviously, some things might change to protect anonymity, I mean aside from that. Did you eventually tell the truth?

I'd say I was at 95% when I showed up, which was shortly after several weeks of brutal TT. I was genuinely trying to be honest and believed I was at 100%. My lying habit was deeply engrained because I had convinced myself that my deception was protecting both of us. Once I finally blew that false narrative up, it was necessary to periodically re-sift the wreckage for dark places that still needed exposure to the light.

My last lies were minimizations of my agency and culpability in the affair -- what I was thinking, what I was hoping for. I baited the hook for ego kibble much more than I was admitting to myself, let alone my BH. However, I never posted here with the intent to deceive or manipulate.

WW/BW

posts: 2904   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8735521
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 2:29 PM on Monday, May 16th, 2022

Lies...

When I came on here I was lying to myself about my M and how much responsibility I had in its dysfunction. It was easier to blame all our problems and my reactions on BH. He had his faults and poor choices and is working on owning them, but it was not my place to "make" him see it.

I didn't lie about the basics of my affair. Actually, being on this site gave me a chance to really look at the A and see AP for the creep he is. It wasn't that I was lying about him, but that my head was up my ass and I didn't see him as he actually was.

Yeah, the lies were mainly to myself. The false narrative I built up about BH being malicious and purposely hurting me. Turned out, BH didn't know any better and his upbringing basically trained him to be a walking trigger to me. And me to him. Fun.

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 8735530
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EnPedasos ( new member #79857) posted at 4:48 AM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

Good evening

When, how or what helped you realized you had rewritten your marital history?

Not only did my WH rewrite our marital history but also my character. duh

On Dday he was crying his eyes out because he was worried that I would take the kids with me and he would never see them again.🤯

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 8736092
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Seeking2Forgive ( member #78819) posted at 7:18 AM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

Thank you again to all the WSs who answered my question about your truthfulness here. I asked because I finally read all my FWW's posts here as part of my process trying to finally get the full truth about her A 20 years later. Originally, it gave me some comfort because what she said here conformed to what she had told me. But it turns out that she simply repeated the same lies and minimization here that she used on me. At least with respect to the extent of her A.

Thanks. Please be sure to check EnPedasos' excellent question above.

Me: 60, BS -- Her: 59, FWS -- Dday: 11/15/03 -- Married 37 yrs -- Reconciled

posts: 439   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2021
id 8736103
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WalkinOnEggshelz ( Administrator #29447) posted at 12:05 PM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

When, how or what helped you realized you had rewritten your marital history?

There is nothing like examining your history than packing your life up in boxes. We decided to move for a fresh start and as I packed I found several mementos from over the years.

During the affair I had convinced myself that my husband had just settled for me and didn’t really love me. I had convinced myself that he never expressed that he loved me. When I found all of the cards with the sweetest messages and thoughtful trinkets, books, jewelry, etc. it became really hard to deny the truth.

The holidays had also become eye opening. With each tote of decorations, they told a part of our history together. I had to take a close look at how my perspective changed over the years. The process wasn’t instantaneous, but something that developed throughout the first 2 years.

When giving new WS advice, I will frequently discuss rewritten history and perspective. I understand it’s not the case for all marriages and some should not be saved because they were so toxic, but I do think no matter the situation, examining what type of lens you viewed your marriage through is a good exercise for any WS interested in becoming a better version of themselves.

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: 15456   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2010   ·   location: Texas
id 8736137
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EvolvingSoul ( member #29972) posted at 1:11 AM on Thursday, May 26th, 2022

Hi EnPedasos,

You asked

When, how or what helped you realized you had rewritten your marital history?

It took a long time and it didn't happen all at once. I don't think there's anything you can say or do to make your WS see it, but I will say that my BS continued to hold my feet to the fire by saying NO when it came to things specifically about him. Your WS has to willingly undertake the work of identifying their distorted thinking and, the thing is, they can't rely on their distorted thinking brains to tell them the truth. Without IC (and this place too) I don't think I would have gotten there.

So much of the marriage rewriting is in response to cognitive dissonance: that uncomfortable psychological tension we feel when trying to run two incompatible truths as valid in our brains at the same time. The truths "I'm a good person" and "I'm betraying my BS" just don't square. What ensues is the pretzel logic required to make "I'm betraying my BS" turn into "My BS and the marriage were not worthy of my fidelity because (fill in rewrite here)". Learning about cognitive dissonance opened me up to the idea that it was possible that what felt true (the rewrite) might not actually be true. Similarly I learned that the intensity of a feeling is not necessarily an indicator of its basis in reality.

Here's a repost of something I wrote back in 2018 that describes one of these realization moments that deals with the topic of generosity.

I had a little epiphany a few days ago and I thought I would share it here. It relates to the distorted thinking I had in earlier years of reconciliation and how long it can take sometimes to really understand how something can feel true even while knowing intellectually that it isn't.

One of the things that hurt my BS was that I saw AP as being more generous than him. AP was as indulgent a person as I was, if not more so, and he encouraged that indulgence in me by buying me luxury items. If we got icecream, it was the most expensive kind and one flavor was not enough, we had to have four. As he lived with his parents he was frequently not even spending his own money on these "gifts", instead using an ATM card attached to his parents' bank account instead of his own. His own finances were a mess. He was frequently late paying his phone bill, car insurance and other "have to" obligations. When he did have extra money he spent it on himself or on one of those little luxuries for me.

BS, on the other hand, worked for over 20 years in a high stress job for modest pay because the nature of the work helped emotionally troubled kids and their families. My health, dental and vision insurance was provided by and/or purchased through his work. His work ensured that our bills were paid and that we had food on the table. He has never been someone who focuses on gifts, either receiving or giving them. He doesn't celebrate his birthday. His love language is acts of service and in that he has spoken loudly and clearly throughout our relationship, even during the time I was betraying him so horribly.

After D-day he really needed to hear me say that he was more generous than AP. That money he had earned and contributed to our relationship all those years far outweighed any pittance that AP contributed to my "well being". We worked on it in MC, I worked on it in IC. Because of my radical honesty program I refused to say anything that didn't feel true and God help me it didn't feel true.

Eventually I was able to get it on an intellectual level. The turning point came one day when we were in the process of moving (this was probably a couple years after d-day) and I was going through papers and ran across an invoice for a pair of eyeglasses I had purchased near the tail end of the affair. Well when I say I purchased them I should say that I picked them out and BS and AP purchased them. I remember going to the glasses place with AP and trying on different frames. There were some that had the price covered entirely by insurance but the ones I wanted would be about $200 out of pocket. AP "generously" offered to cover half of that out of pocket cost so he contributed $100 to the glasses and the other $100 came from mine and BS's account which was mostly being funded by BS. I had actually cited that incident as evidence of AP's generosity because he paid for half of the glasses. Except now, looking at this invoice, I could see that the entire billing for the glasses was about $800. BS's insurance that he had worked for me to have covered the exam, the lenses and part of the frame cost. By that reckoning AP contributed 1/8 of the cost of the glasses and BS covered 7/8, even though it felt to me at the time that it was 50/50.

Over the years I continued to work through those distorted perceptions but the one thing I could never figure out was why, even given hard evidence on paper like the glasses invoice, it was so hard for me to feel on a gut level that BS actually had been more generous. And then a couple of days ago I was laying in bed in that fuzzy time of just coming to consciousness when thoughts run through some strange filters. I was thinking about isleguy's post about whole hearted living and in a response to that when talking about what was hard and what was easy on that list I had said that cultivating gratitude and joy was easy for me and it hit me. Gratitude. WHAT WAS MISSING WAS MY GRATITUDE.

I have said a lot that a big part of my problem was that I saw people as sources of feelings rather than as people and even until a few days ago I still had a blind spot as to how I had been doing that when it came to this issue of generosity. I measured people's generosity by how much gratitude I felt at receiving what they offered. All of the vast resources that BS was throwing my way, I felt entitled to. I did not see them as gifts, rather I saw them as granted and therefore was not feeling any gratitude at all for them and so I could not connect them as arising from his generosity. Likewise I assigned the quality of generosity to what AP was doing because, even though what he contributed was actually very little in terms of the financial the kinds of things he was giving me signaled that I was entitled and special and deserving of having four flavors of organic ice cream at $7 a pint. In short, his gifts reinforced the kind of thinking that made the affair possible in the first place.

Wowzers.

I wrote the above post about 7 years post-Dday. Without IC, SI and finding my teachers (Brene Brown, Pema Chodron, Eckhardt Tolle are the three biggies) I don't think I would have ever been able to think those thoughts, let alone publish them.

Is your WS in IC?

I'm sorry you're going through this. Strength and healing to you from an ever EvolvingSoul.

Me: WS (60) Him: Shards (55)
D-day: June 6, 2010
Last voluntary AP contact: June 23, 2010
NC Letter sent: 3/9/11

We’re going to make it.

posts: 2542   ·   registered: Oct. 29th, 2010   ·   location: The far shore.
id 8737116
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jujuchrist ( member #78594) posted at 8:46 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

BC question for WS (I did not see such section so I post here):

Did you give your BC some kind of disclosure? Or some kind of "I'm sorry" and explanations?
For those who have adult children, did they express the need of a disclosure?
If they did not express it, did you consider they may not know how to approach such subject with their parents? How did you deal the subject with your adult BC?

Julien

posts: 68   ·   registered: Apr. 1st, 2021   ·   location: Marseille, France
id 8737530
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EnPedasos ( new member #79857) posted at 1:19 AM on Friday, June 3rd, 2022

Thank you
WalkinOnEggshelz and EvolvingSoul

ES
My love language is acts of service. I was very upset when my WH told me that she was nicer and took better care of him.

He convinced himself that I didn’t love him because he wants words of affirmation. (Unfortunately this doesn’t come naturally to me)

He started IC 2-3 weeks ago.

Great question jujuchrist.
Our adult daughter refuses to have a sit down with WH.

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 8738312
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