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Movie night

MyAndI posted 1/28/2021 22:18 PM

We are in a movie-night-group on our block and we get together the 3rd Saturday of every month to watch movies and socialize -- and each time a different couple hosts.

After surviving recent triggers together over the holidays, low and behold this past Saturday our host gave us all the choice between Bridges of Madison County and a A Walk on the Moon. Well, it was A Walk on The Moon where the husband, played by Liev Schreiber, has to go back to his sweltering summer job in NYC and leave his wife and kids at their vacation home in the Catskills, I think most of you know the rest.

I actually liked the movie but WW/BS was triggering, getting up often to do little chores that didn't need to be done and fidgeting with her phone, I could tell she was not doing well. We made it through the movie but she didn't want to talk for the rest of the night. In the morning she was upset that I didn't have any issues with the movie.

Then I was irritated and said in the case of both movies I'd be the chump off working while the happily married wifey enjoys strange d*ck for a weekend.

"So WTF are you worried about," I said. She said she was upset because I wasn't triggering about the movie also.

Life does have to go on I said. We shouldn't be bogged down with the past, the past shouldn't own us, we should own our future.

AND I"M SICK OF TALKING ABOUT IT, I'm so over her PA, I hardly think about it anymore. I don't know how often she thinks about my A anymore but I think it's a lot. I told her I wanted us to focus on other things besides the A-s, I want TO LIVE AND BE HAPPY TOGETHER. I wish she could to the same place I am....acceptance.

I accept that her A happened,I love her and I want to just stop TALKING about my A all the fucking time.

Sorry to vent, better here than at home.


[This message edited by MyAndI at 10:21 PM, January 28th (Thursday)]

LifeDestroyer posted 1/29/2021 06:19 AM

While I don't remember your entire story, I can see in your signature that she had a 6 month affair and then you had a revenge affair for 3 years. You may be "over" her 6 month affair, but she is clearly not "over" your 3 year long affair.

Did you expect her to not be hurt or destroyed at all by your affair just because she had one first? What she did doesn't cancel out what you did. You both hurt each other in the worst possible way. She has every right in the world to be triggered by that movie and want to still discuss what you did.

Also, why the hell would you even pick that movie??? You could have easily suggested two different movies, and if the neighbors asked, you could have just said "it's our turn to pick."

Did you really think that she wouldn't be triggered by the movie? The wife had an affair on her husband. Your wife had an affair on her husband. You had an affair on your wife. 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️ What did you think would happen?

leavingorbit posted 1/29/2021 07:26 AM

My husband and I both went through phases like what you describe. For us, it was because it hurt badly to examine things any further. So, we avoided. Now, we talk about things as often as they come up but they come up much less and triggers happen a lot more infrequently.

My husband rugswept my cheating with cheating and avoidance of his own. It took a long time of me doing my work and him watching before he shifted from the “oh I never think about it” and “let’s just move forward” place. Then it came out that he struggled every day. I had nuked his life, our life, our kids’ lives. We had to face all of it.

That’s just my experience with what you’re talking about. So, I get you’re just venting. For us it was a crappy place to be and it was because of deep shame, so if you don’t want to answer the following, I get it. I guess I would ask, why are you sick of talking about it? She isn’t healed yet. What feelings do you experience from those triggers she has? Why do you want to stop talking about it? For us, triggers and those conversations are opportunities, to grow closer, to heal.

foreverlabeled posted 1/29/2021 07:59 AM

I think its unreasonable and unfair for you to put your BW on a healing timeline. Or to compare your healing and being able to get over it and her inability to do the same.

You had a long term affair with her best friend. The layers there are unimaginable to me. Like, I'm sitting here putting myself in her shoes, thinking about year after year of her being in the dark while celebrating birthdays and holidays, surrounded by you both none the wiser. How stupid I would feel after the fact. What a gut punch. Humiliating. Stabbed in the back by both of you over and over and over again.

Yeah.. thats not something I think I could just get over. And you are asking her to basically rug sweep the rest of it. Bury her feelings and just deal with it alone. Which it seems she already is. You said you don't know how often she thinks about it, and that's telling. It tells me she is probably alone in most of it. Does she really talk about it all the time?

You know, this was a legit trigger. I'm not even with my BH and cheating topics still trigger me. I don't think a BS goes around looking for reasons to triggered and bring shit up. They didn't ask for this shit sandwich. I'm sure she would much rather not have been betrayed in such a manner. To be happy and living life. Unfortunately her brain just won't let her forget.

And, I don't think you are prepared for this to at least surface from time to time the rest of your lives together.

I'm not trying to discount your vent here. Talking about your affair isn't a party. I get that. But she's clearly still struggling and I don't think you are being very helpful.
Imagine if you would have had more compassion for her in that moment and it reassured her and quieted her pain and intrusive thoughts. More moments like that is far more beneficial in helping her heal. Rather than the way you handled it which consciously or subconsciously (or both) only reinforced that for a long time you were incredibly unsafe. Perhaps it will only keep that feeling alive.

Of course we ALL, BS and WS alike would absolutely love to get on with our lives. To not be bogged down. I'm sure BSs most of all would love that more than anything.

I think its alarming that talking about your affair is such a problem for you. It makes me think you've just been putting up with it, acting in ways that makes her believe you are in the trenches with her until she heals and is over it. But she not yet and thats irritating for you.

oldtruck posted 1/29/2021 10:00 AM

did not notice the stop sign

[This message edited by oldtruck at 10:03 AM, January 29th (Friday)]

MyAndI posted 2/11/2021 23:43 PM

LD, My A was not a revenge A, I've made this clear. I was not looking for it. And you should check out what I've written before you assume. Going forward, please don't post in my threads anymore. Thank you.

[This message edited by MyAndI at 12:12 AM, February 12th (Friday)]

MyAndI posted 2/12/2021 00:08 AM

foreverlabeled,

I see what you are saying and I understand it, I was very much venting. Sometimes I just need a break from the A's. We've been talking a lot, I really want to help her heal and it seems she sees past all the efforts I have made and is obsessed with OW, who I'm long over.

She even wanted to know the other day if OW was "tighter" then she was. I didn't think women had mind movies in such detail. I always thought that was a guy thing. And I never really asked my wife indepth questions about sex with OM, didn't need to, I know what my wife likes to do in bed.

And yes, I'm here to vent because I don't want to have fit and hurt her feelings. So I come here to my safe place. Doesn't seem so safe sometimes. I'm here because I want to save my marriage and share my struggles.

Our MC said we need to carve out A-free times zone where we focus on the now and our future. This is not rug sweeping, it's therapy she said.

MyAndI posted 2/12/2021 00:20 AM

"I think its alarming that talking about your affair is such a problem for you. It makes me think you've just been putting up with it, acting in ways that makes her believe you are in the trenches with her until she heals and is over it. But she not yet and thats irritating for you."

Forever, I'm not faking my sincerity and merely putting up with her issues. I'm just exhausted right now. Our MC has asked my wife to go to IC, but my wife refuses. I try to ease her pain all the time and reassure her. But she needs to do some things for herself and not look to me for every answer. Our MC said as much.

[This message edited by MyAndI at 9:11 AM, February 12th (Friday)]

hikingout posted 2/12/2021 09:43 AM

MyandI,

I am going to tread very carefully here because there is a stop sign and I need to post this from WS perspective rather than BS perspective. That's difficult mad-hatter to mad-hatter.

I do agree with you , we should be able to vent on here because this shit is hard on both sides, so I am not here to condemn you for that. We have to get out the poison sometimes. I get it.

My reaction though comes from the similarities in our situation. I had a 2 month A, and my husband went on to have an 18 month A. There were 3 encounters in my affair, and that many or more a week in his affair.

Also, keep in mind that I feel like healing from my own affair was probably the hardest and longest thing I ever had to do in my life. I had so much shame I was carrying around from before the affair that the affair to me was the living proof that I was garbage and a very unworthy person. Getting to a place where I had rebuilt myself and finally felt deserving of love and then turning around and learning that most of the time I was working my ass off on our marriage he was having his own affair.

I also do not believe his was a revenge affair either. It was an affair. Period.

The problem with that is that it drops you back to your knees. Some of the work you thought you did on yourself isn't worth a hill of beans. I have spent a lot of time oscillating between blaming myself and then feeling furious with him.

The other aspect of this is I truly believe that people who have affairs do not believe they are wrong to their core. They believe they are wrong until they feel there is a reason it's okay for them to do it. I can say that about myself, and now I say it about him. So, it's difficult for me when I see you say this:

I'm so over her PA, I hardly think about it anymore.

Because it reinforces to me that the reason my husband feels this way is because now he has bent his integrity to suit him, so of course he is probably better now about mine. He doesn't have that thing anymore where it's something you NEVER do to someone.

So, that adds to the insecurity of it all.

The thing I find a bit disturbing is how defensive and mad you got with others here trying to help you. I can't imagine what she is getting from you when you are feeling defensive with her.

This:

Then I was irritated and said in the case of both movies I'd be the chump off working while the happily married wifey enjoys strange d*ck for a weekend.

Would send me over the edge. I can not describe the anger and hurt this would cause me if when I am trying to work my way through a trigger and that's what the person who is supposed to have my back says to me. It certainly does not build trust that's for sure.

So, where I am going with this is your reaction to her concerns and issues, while I understand them, is adding significantly to her trauma.

And, what you have to realize is that trauma is not one size fits all. People react differently to it, people can be traumatized worse by the same thing because we all have different coping mechanisms.

Why that tends to be is that we carry trauma forward in our lives until we do something with it. If she was carrying around a lot of unhealed things, it creates such a bigger hole to climb out of.

I do agree with you that your wife needs to go to IC. But, I likely think it's for different reasons than you do.

The fact your wife is just now asking about if the AP was tighter and all that other stuff tells me that something has hindered her from being able to get past the detail phase. These sorts of detailed questions were things I asked over and over and still revisit. (maybe not that exact one, but things like it)

I am going to guess it's probably one of three things causing that:

1. She was still so much in her own shame from her own affair that she didn't feel she had the right to ask those things. She may have tried to swallow your affair because I guarantee from where I sit she feels semi-responsible for your affair. I can logically tell you that my husband made his own decisions, but it's difficult sometimes not to feel like a hypocrite in my moments of anger and sheer depression of it all. It's very stifling and I think this can cause the timeline of 2-5 years of healing to be even more skewed.

2. You get so defensive that she can only get so far in each session? This is a theory not an accusation.

3. She never healed from her own affair so now she carries twice the feelings of shame and unworthiness.

Certainly, I can tell you why I believe she is so concerned the movie didn't bother you. I would feel 100 percent the same way, and actually do:

I was absolutely god-smacked by what I did. The overwhelming feelings that I was a piece of shit and life needed to change took me down and I almost didn't come back up. I see remorse with in my husband and recognize he is just in a different stage of healing. But that lack of god-smacked, being brought to his knees? It's not there (yet? It did take me almost a year after DDAY to get there so I get it doesn't all come at once) I am definitely looking hard at him, his work, his blind spots, etc. Because I think the kind of change someone who cheats has to do has to come from that rock-bottom place of "this is not who I want to be".

And, maybe those are MY issues and that's not real. But, the lack of triggering is just more evidence of that to her.

So, what I want to advise is this:

1. Become more patient. If she sees you are patient and care about her feelings it will begin to build trust. That defensiveness, and things that you say in anger is just things she is storing as proof of lack of love.

2. Bring up the affair to her. Yes, I know, I know. You are sick of hearing it. But, it goes a long way to see someone is interested in making sure you heal. I believe by her questions she has been holding them for a long time and if she feels like you are being loving and patient with her that will allow her to let it all out, and therefore let it go.

3. Decide if you really want to be married to her. If you do, then you need to find a way to have the energy to really try to understand her heart and mind.

Truly, and I can't emphasize this enough. Reconciliation is best done with communication. I do hope she will think about counseling. I wonder if she had counseling after her affair? how long between hers and yours?

The aspect that you need to understand is:

She probably hasn't healed from her affair, and then to heap your LTA on top of that, it makes it so much bigger and harder to navigate. If I had found out about my husbands affair any earlier, well, I don't know what would have happened. I am pretty sure that our chances to make it through would have gone down significantly. But, I had done so much work and still some days it's hard for me to get my head above water.

Maybe change your perspective to be less about you and more about what she needs. Just because you are over hers doesn't give her any solace. In fact, when my husband tells me that I don't even believe him.

This is going to be hard work, and you may also need IC because there is definite work you need to do on your side to be a successful rebuilder. Maybe read (or reread) "how to help your spouse heal after infidelity".

[This message edited by hikingout at 9:46 AM, February 12th (Friday)]

MyAndI posted 2/12/2021 14:24 PM

Thanks HO,

I understand all, I've also come to realize that my impatience is manifested in the anger towards myself, for making things even worse by falling into the trap of an A when I was weak and trying make sense of it all. For other SI folks who've opined that I sought a revenge A it;s simply not true. I did not seek out my A, I don't just fuck someone. I was pursued aggressively and I was weak.

I've told, and continue to tell wifey how much I love her and I make an effort every minute to put those words into action, and SHE KNOWS I love her. We talked this morning and she said that maybe my healing was way ahead of hers. I've told her I want a normal life again and only with her. But her insecurities always return. It seems no amount of reassurance is working right now and I brought this up in MC. I want her to get to a better place for HER, way more than I want it for me.

I'm not going anywhere, and I'm by her side. I'm so mad this shit has invaded our lives. What I wouldn't do to turn back the clock and tell the OW to buzz off.

Oh, and OW broke NC and texted me, so I will immediately tell wifey when she gets home, that will be a three-hour conversation.

sundance posted 2/12/2021 14:57 PM

Don't you just love the 3 hour conversations? *sarcasm*

As to movie night... I have a theory that 95% of movies have either a puking scene or an infidelity scene (and up to 85% have BOTH!), so if you're trying to see a move that does not have infidelity stick to Bambi.

As to venting, I understand the need to vent. I support you.

Sometimes a vent is just a vent.

hikingout posted 2/12/2021 15:14 PM

How long has your affair been over, MyandI?

MyAndI posted 2/12/2021 20:36 PM

HO, My had been ever for several years. The new triggers arose when an ex-high school sweetheart moved up the street last fall. Even though I hadn't seen her in 40 years, it triggered my wife about my A.

[This message edited by MyAndI at 9:33 AM, February 15th (Monday)]

MyAndI posted 2/16/2021 13:13 PM

We went a whole day with out talking about the A's. Went to a famous east coast market, ate well, laughed and talked about what we want to do together when we retire in about eight years. Then we went home and %$*#% into the wee hours of the morning. She needed to be reminded who's in charge.

[This message edited by MyAndI at 1:13 PM, February 16th (Tuesday)]

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