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Wayward Side :
How to deal with BS throwing the affair in your face

Topic is Sleeping.
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 t999 (original poster New Member #72528) posted at 8:38 PM on Thursday, January 14th, 2021

Im just curious as to how everyone else deals with the emotional pain, and frustration caused by the BS throwing the affair card for everything im not happy about, or do wrong.

Also what are the little stop signs in front of my post mean?

posts: 16   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2020   ·   location: PA
id 8625293
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DaddyDom ( Member #56960) posted at 9:32 PM on Thursday, January 14th, 2021

The little stop sign means that only WS's can reply to your question, BS's cannot. That is a good thing with this particular question I think. If you'd like to hear from BS's however, you can uncheck the box when creating the topic, or ask a mod to remove it for you.

You may get a lot of flak for this question just FYI. Let me start by asking you this... when do you think Nicole Brown Simpson's family will stop reminding OJ that he (allegedly) murdered their daughter when things come up? Do you think it is unfair of them to do so? Do you think there is anything OJ could do to help mitigate their anger?

I have two answers for you. The first is simply to note that some more empathy and ownership would be helpful here. Your actions destroyed this person's life. How long do you think is a reasonable amount of time to get over that? I just want to make you aware that the question itself comes off as "poor me" and the thing is, you are not the victim here. What if she never stops doing that? How would that make you feel? What part do you think you play in that?

The other response I'll give you is this one. Anger and hurt will subside over time, but the much larger factor in how your spouse reacts to you lies in how you react to her. If you can honestly "own" what you did, show her empathy, demonstrate that you not only have remorse for your actions, but that you honestly understand the damage you caused, and can demonstrate that you have changed, and can be a person of authenticity, of honesty, a supportive and understanding person... when those things happen, that might (MIGHT) open a door for her to begin to accept and trust you again.

For most couples, this takes years, lots of hard work, lots of pain, and lots of growth. I can also tell you that, if you go through all that, regardless of the outcomes to the marriage, it is worth it, it is always worth it. But you need to be prepared and willing to see yourself for who you really are, and accept some ugly things about yourself. One of those ugly things is the simple fact that we can never hit the "undo switch" on our infidelity. It is part of your story now, and part of her story as well. So you can either wallow in the shame of it (I did that for about 3 years straight, that did tons of additional damage to my spouse) or you can do something about it. You can be a better person. Your spouse will react to you on the level that you are on.

For now... when she gets upset and throws it in your face, instead of getting upset with her... get upset with yourself for putting her in this position. This is not the marriage she signed up for. This is not how she wanted to feel or think right now. She had no part in your decision to cheat or in the aftermath it bore. All she can do is bear the pain that was dumped in her lap. If you like, you can walk out the door and go with someone else, and you will never have to deal with her blaming you again. But she cannot. She will wake up, every day until she dies, as someone that was betrayed by the person they trusted most. That's her reality.

You put effort into having an affair, for your own benefit. Now put 10x as much effort into being a better person. Being the same person you were then you cheated, is going to net the same response. If you change, maybe she will have a reason to as well.

[This message edited by DaddyDom at 11:23 AM, January 18th (Monday)]

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1156   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017   ·   location: Marblehead, MA
id 8625304
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hikingout ( Member #59504) posted at 9:43 PM on Thursday, January 14th, 2021

It would be helpful if you would share a bit of background information.

How long ago was your DDAY? How long was your affair? Was this your first and only affair? When she discovered it how long until she had the full truth?

These may seem like nosey questions but my suggestions might be different based on some of that information.

Generally though, I am with Daddydom on some of it, because someone who takes accountability for the gravity of the situation they caused typically would have probably led with that. Kind of "Here are all the things I have done to work on myself and make her feel more secure in our relationship."

I will just say for me, it helped to really sit down and listen to my H and understand all the things he was struggling with because of my actions. It helped me understand him a great deal and cater my actions/responses towards rebuilding trust, respect, and connection.

Have you been to IC? What books have you read? I would definitely say a good one to start with is "How to help my spouse heal from Infidelity". It's a pretty quick read, and will provide you a good foundation for starting to road map where you are right now.

Infidelity inflicts trauma on the BS. They lose all sense of security, and not just trust in you but trust in themselves and their own instincts. She is looking at everything you do because she needs reassurance. I think that you will see if you learn to provide that more effectively and consistently it will often improve the situation significantly.

Many people who are effected by infidelity think time needs to pass and all will eventually heal, but healing is a very active activity. Tell us some more so that we can help you with more specific things.

Lastly, keep in mind it generally takes 2-5 years to heal from infidelity. That seemed like an eternity to me when I heard it. But it doesn't mean there won't be progress or improvement that time. I think the hard thing for some who have done the cheating to understand is that you have a critical role on progress.

WW/BW BH/WH
Turnthepage
My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PA
His Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

posts: 5914   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8625308
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forgettableDad ( Member #72192) posted at 10:55 PM on Thursday, January 14th, 2021

What's "the affair card"?

Like the previous posters said; lots of information and context are missing.

posts: 255   ·   registered: Dec. 1st, 2019
id 8625315
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MrsWalloped ( Member #62313) posted at 11:51 PM on Thursday, January 14th, 2021

I'm going to kind of echo what everyone else already said. More information would be super helpful because the answers might change a bit depending on circumstances and time.

You should probably know that in the weeks and even months after DDay, everything is affair related. You not walking the dog or throwing out the garbage is affair related. It's all about the affair and nothing else. Now your question really is circular because how you deal with your BW throwing the "affair card" at you is how you deal with her bringing up the affair and that in turn will impact how she brings it up again.

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: 682   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
id 8625323
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 t999 (original poster New Member #72528) posted at 1:42 AM on Friday, January 15th, 2021

sorry I'm still very new at this, so its going to take some time for me to get comfortable and better at giving details.

I don't want this to come off as "poor me" I have a very good understanding about what my actions have done. I Also understand the fact that this may never go away, but simply become less frequent over time.

D day was a little over a year and half ago, and I really did make it brutal for the both of us on how I proceeded after being caught.

As I work through things what I am really trying to ask is how do I deal with how it makes me feel when she hits me with it. I know her reaction is justified, and I always just curl up and feel like shit like a dog who just got scolded. This reaction is I'm sure a common one, but I know its not doing me any good to have my self esteem crushed as its not going to make me aspire to be a better person and fix the outstanding flaws and dig into new ones as i go along. I never think its not something she should do, or get mad and wonder where it came from, but I do need to get a handle on how to deal with the flood of emotion so that I can still be supportive and empathetic even though I have to nurse my self-esteem.

Thanks for the responses I have to read them a few more time to make sure I am getting the most out of them, but wanted to maybe give more detail so maybe answers or information can be adjusted.

posts: 16   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2020   ·   location: PA
id 8625348
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Darkness Falls ( Member #27879) posted at 2:34 AM on Friday, January 15th, 2021

I think a good start would be not basing your SELF-esteem on HER being justifiably angry about something you did. Sure, HER esteem of you took a hit (again, justifiably) but only YOUR actions, current and future, can positively affect your esteem of yourself.

WS - remarried to BH but not in R

D-day 2010

posts: 6310   ·   registered: Mar. 8th, 2010   ·   location: USA
id 8625353
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JBWD ( Member #70276) posted at 4:36 AM on Friday, January 15th, 2021

I know its not doing me any good to have my self esteem crushed as its not going to make me aspire to be a better person and fix the outstanding flaws and dig into new ones as i go along.

Your self esteem doesn’t control your aspirations. You do.

Further-aspirations are nice, actions are better. There’s layers you’re inserting between you and positive action here. Why?

Me: WH
(Multiple OEA/PA, culminating in 4 month
EA/PA. D-Day 20 Oct 2018 41 y/o)
Married 14 years
Her: BS 37 y/o at D-Day
13 y/o son, 10 y/o daughter
6 months HB, broken NC, TT
SUCKED at growth and rebuilding

posts: 907   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2019   ·   location: SoCal
id 8625371
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MIgander ( Member #71285) posted at 1:15 PM on Friday, January 15th, 2021

I struggled with this too- we get into these messes because our self esteem isn't coming from the correct source.

I'm Catholic, so if you're not religious, just follow the metaphor as it goes. One of the prophets (Jeremiah?) had a discussion of the tribes drawing from dry/poisoned wells the water they needed for their existence. The wells would go bad and yet they would still go to them for water. This is futile action, harmful and leaves you high and dry each time. Looking for your self esteem in others is like going to a dry/poisoned well. You may get a trickle of water, but it's eventually going to run out or make you sick.

Stop basing your self worth on your wife's opinion of you. Right now she is a dry well. (And you emptied it...)

Your AP was a poisoned well. Stop looking to other women for your self worth.

Look into yourself for your worth. Your own well may be poisoned by various things (shame, FOO, past abuse), but unless you clean it up, you'll never have enough for yourself and will eventually go back to the dry/poisoned wells expecting a drink.

Work on yourself for yourself. Your BW will reap the benefits in your relationship as you learn new ways of relating. If you're not in IC, get in IC now. If you can't afford it, I know our Archdioscese offers free counseling. We have a "Stephen Ministry" at our parish of lay parishioners who are trained (not licensed therapists, but better than nothing...) and can help encourage you through your work.

Either way, the resources are there if you really look.

I recommend starting on listening or reading. It's free (library and youtube) and you can get a long way just with that. There's a lot of good stuff on youtube on complex trauma and codependency. I recommend a series from Finding Freedom Media. They're a group that deals more with addiction, but the roots of a lot of affairs are addiction to romantic love and validation. It's to do with the dopamine/oxytocin circuits in our brain- it hits you like a drug high much like hard drugs do. Hikingout talks a lot about limerance- it's that high you get from AP.

I'm wishing you the best on your journey. We're here and I've been there (feeling destroyed by the anger of your spouse). Best I can say is for now, hang on to the fact that your BW has a right to her anger and you are working to be a different person. You don't have to accept abusive expressions of her anger, but you do have to validate her right to have her emotion.

Saying during one of these incidents, "I understand your anger, you have every right to it. I hurt you so much with my affair and I am so sorry I did that to you. I'm working to be someone different now so that I'm not a person who is capable of hurting you like that again." It's been helpful for me and my spouse.

Back up the words with actions, lather rinse repeat, and you'll see progress.

posts: 173   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8625451
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foreverlabeled ( Member #52070) posted at 1:22 PM on Friday, January 15th, 2021

Healing starts for our BSs when we begin to get our shit together. Until then, we are no more safe than we were during our affair. And to add to that, what we do in the aftermath also hinders that healing (or helps). You say a year and a half, but when did your TT stop? When did NC begin? What actions did you take in the aftermath that only added to her pain?

These things will understandably compound her pain and healing. Its a lot for one to work through and its hard to let go of the person you proved to be.

I think it would be helpful, for reference, for us to understand in what ways she brings it up. We can help and give you some tools to work through a particular occurrence.

And,

Why does it bother you so much to be reminded of your actions through her pain? So much so you retreat so greatly? What if instead you tried stepping into her pain and anger with her? It must be a very lonely place for her to deal with it alone.

You say you understand her pain, but do you really?

It seems you are still operating in self protection mode. Allowing your stress response to control your situation. You come off as if your are powerless to your emotions and thoughts. You're not though. I think what helped me most in that situation was forcing a reality check upon myself. Assessing the actual situation and what is REALLY going on.

There's no denying that it is a stressful situation for all involved, you included. You can act with courage even if you don't feel so brave. Doing so is what gives you the confidence to continue. Because once you prove to yourself you are capable when you didn't think you were, you'll feel you overcame adversity and you'll harness the strength you showed.

Cowering in a ball serves neither one of you.

Also, I understand how uncomfortable it is to share your story here. But you have nothing to lose by it and everything to gain. Use this place as a tool to help yourself. You will get more information and education here than anywhere else. We want to help you, but you'll need to be vulnerable with us and give us a better understanding of your situation and where your head is at.

33 divorced Madhatter
Time is no ones friend, nor their enemy. It moves forward at its own fixed pace, careless of our wants to speed it or slow it.

posts: 2513   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2016   ·   location: southeast
id 8625452
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hikingout ( Member #59504) posted at 2:01 PM on Friday, January 15th, 2021

Here are my suggestions:

1. As someone said, work on your self worth. You need to be in IC and figure out the ways you undermine yourself. Shame that we carry around keeps us self protective and that's the opposite of vulnerable. Your wife needs you to show up emotionally, this takes vulnerability.

2. Figure out your whys and hows. Why you did it, how you were comfortable doing it. Look at that as a list of things to work on in IC, here, with her, it's a full time job, man.

3. Bring up the affair and make time to talk about it. I know this seems like the opposite of what you want to do. But, she is flaring up/lashing out probably because she feels like she is carrying her burdens alone and it overflows. BS also tend to flare up after having a nice time with their WS or a few good days of getting along. It feels like they are forgiving and they aren't ready yet. Read about vulnerability hangover.

4. As I said before really listen to her. If you do, you will be able to anticipate her triggers, and understand her internal world better. Apologize very specifically for individual cuts that you can recognize in what she is saying.

5. Read "how to help your spouse heal after infidelity" and go on to read things like "more than just friends", "rising strong" by Brene Brown. If you are not a reader most all these come in audiobook versions.

About all WS's get blocked in their own shame. You need to heal that, so that your emotional world isn't so taken up with all your feelings about it and you are able to let more room in for her feelings about it. She needs to feel you are reliable and there for her (and it be 100 percent sincere). She needs to feel you are strong enough to lean on and strong enough to be accountable. It's a hard long process, there are no shortcuts.

WW/BW BH/WH
Turnthepage
My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PA
His Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

posts: 5914   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8625463
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Jorge ( Member #61424) posted at 9:12 PM on Friday, January 15th, 2021

You might want to look at how you characterize your wife ranting and releasing her frustration of your affair. Seeing it as "throwing it in your face" may offer you a clue of some sort. Perhaps it's a sign you haven't reached remorse, as "throwing it in your face" postures you as a victim to some extent and reveals an expression of your thoughts and feelings and less of hers. She's mad as hell and will be for quite some time.

As she works through the anger stage, you might have to match her anger with equal degrees of patience, understanding and empathy. Assuming you're reconciling, it's possible she's evaluating you in this area. I've read many betrayed spouses give respect and credit to their wayward spouses' ability to accept and handle their rage. In retrospect, it played a part in establishing the foundation for reconciliation. Just taking a stab with very little information, but wanted to throw it out there for you to think about.

posts: 692   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2017   ·   location: Pennsylvania
id 8625639
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 t999 (original poster New Member #72528) posted at 12:48 AM on Saturday, January 16th, 2021

again thank you all for the comments it gives me a lot to continue to think about.

this did stand out...

"There’s layers you’re inserting between you and positive action here. Why?"

idk I have had nothing but negative feelings for so long now I dont know if I can still be happy?

posts: 16   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2020   ·   location: PA
id 8625684
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Bulcy ( Member #74034) posted at 2:40 PM on Monday, January 18th, 2021

I have sat on this one for a few days. Reading the replies others have made and considering my own response. Please listen to the guys above.

The only thing I will add is this. I hear what you are saying, I get it, I really do. For years I have defaulted to a thought process of me v BS whenever conversations start. I thought that her bringing the affairs up or asking questions was her trying to catch me out or to make me feel bad. This despite being told it was not the case. I would get defensive and angry. I would deflect the conversation and try to rug sweep. (both because of self preservation and protecting lies)

PLEASE do not be that idiot I was. If my BS wanted to get information to start divorce proceedings, she had more than enough evidence. if she wanted to hurt me she could have in so many other ways.

Answer questions and be prepared to be on the receiving end of a lot of anger, frustration and even more questions. This is part of the process and NOT her out to get you.

"If You're Going Through Hell, Keep Going"

You will feel pain and hurt that you may have never felt before. Do not stop. Keep working on you and your marriage. Remember that this pain is nothing to the pain you have inflicted.

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs. Two ONS (2000) D-Day's 2003 August '17 and Jan 21

posts: 93   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8626078
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 t999 (original poster New Member #72528) posted at 4:43 PM on Sunday, January 24th, 2021

I currently have a very hard time mostly because I'm still trying to fix and heal a lot of awful traits about myself not reacting. I think one of the bigger hurtles is that most of the time it comes out of left field and I am 100% not ready and instantly become stunned then defensive. I know I'm going to be on the receiving end of a lot of anger and pain, but that my own doing I caused that so I whole heartedly take it and most of the time fully understand why its happening and thus I can instantly have empathy for her feelings at the time. Its funny how some of these answers reinforce the facts I already know. I am not sure why hearing it from others makes it stick more, but maybe its just the fact that when Im here and its not because of needing emergency help I just think about it more abstractly. Either way lots of good things to learn and hear on here. Thanks!

posts: 16   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2020   ·   location: PA
id 8627702
Topic is Sleeping.
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