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Old Conversations about OW Circling Back

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HFSSC posted 4/7/2021 11:35 AM

Derp,
I'm not trying to T/J here. Maybe go back and read the history of MyAndI's posts. As someone who has been on this site for a long time and who is very familiar with his posting history, I can tell you that you are the first person I've seen reply who has interpreted the situation that way. But I can almost guarantee you're the one he'll latch onto as support for his position.

MyAndI,
I've never responded to any of your posts before. And it's really interesting, the timing of this. I've been dealing with what I would call a Wayward trigger for lack of a better term. I have actually been pondering a post here in this forum to explore the feelings that were triggered a few days ago. I can understand, to a certain extent, that you don't see your A as a "revenge A". When I embarked on an EA that would have absolutely been a PA if my AP had not had more integrity than I did, he had already cheated twice. I wasn't trying to hurt him, because I convinced myself he didn't care about me at all. So I do get what you're saying.

I don't get why it matters SO much to you. I don't get that at all. And this:

In BS' anger this morning she said I went looking for it just as a "fuck you" to her. I WAS NOT. In my anger I replied that she did in fact suck the OM's d*ck often during her brief A without a single thought to how I might feel about it

is about as clear of a "fuck you" as if you'd just said, "Fuck You." to her.

Finally, this:

I don't just fuck someone to hurt someone else. People who do that have more serious problems.

just leaves me almost speechless. But not quite, lol. You don't fuck someone to hurt someone else. But it's okay to fuck someone other than your spouse for some lofty reason like getting involved in a serious relationship. (Again... with someone other than your wife.) Do you really believe the bullshit you're spouting? Do you hear how ridiculous that sounds?

Being a madhatter SUCKS. Whether your A was a revenge affair or an exit affair or a garden variety bog standard affair or a super unique unicorn affair... IT WAS AN AFFAIR. It caused damage. Hers was AN AFFAIR. It caused damage. Just because you had some Wolverine-like ability to heal yourself (also known as rugsweeping) doesn't mean that you get to direct your WW/BW's healing path, or decide that she's got "a lot of fucking nerve" to still be having a hard time with one thing or another. If you have such contempt for her, get a D. I can't imagine a more poisonous existence than what you are describing.

sisoon posted 4/7/2021 11:42 AM

I see someone that's more messed up by his wife's affair than he can deal with....
In general, I would recommend dealing with the obstacles that keep MyAndl from dealing with the A.

Counting just on D - or R - as a way of healing is really just avoiding the real problem - which leaves it lying around ready to bite him on the ass at a very bad moment.

I don't know whether D or R is MyAndl's better option. I don't think he'll know, either, until he finds a way to get rid of the clutter in his head.

That's not a criticism, MA. You've got a lot to deal with.

hikingout posted 4/8/2021 08:37 AM

No Stop sign. In this case I would have a hard time not using the BH hat some.

We are MH same as you. I had a 2 month affair, he had an 18 month affair after that.

One thing that we do not do is throw things back to the other when the other needs to talk about how we feel about what was done to them. If my husband threw back some sort of way of humiliating me sexually so he didn't have to answer for his affair I would be out the door so fast he might not even see me go. I am not here for that deflection bullshit.

It's called accountability. Both of you need to get some accountability. This can not be a fight over who did worse. You both suck. Focus instead on how each of you can be better moving forward. If you each control your side of the street on working on yourselves, and can be there empathetically for each other, you have a chance.

At this point, I would say that chance is dwindling by the day with defensiveness and pettiness.

Both did the wrong things. Neither affair was justified or better. Forget that bullshit.

I can understand how the second affair in a madhatter situation is interrelated sometimes to the first. Only in the way that is the crisis that the second cheating party did not have the coping skills to manage.

So, stop blaming her affair. The state of the marriage she is to blame for. Your choice to cheat on her for 3 years with her friend who you "fell in love with" is on YOU. Her affair is on HER. Fix you. She fixes her. You may have a chance to fix the marriage.

MyAndI posted 4/8/2021 11:10 AM

Forever, I'm here because I obviously want to reconcile with my wife. And I do take everything I see here into account. I thought telling my wife immediately of OW's contact, and what I did to discourage it, was not only obligatory but a way of offering her reassurance and trust. It did the opposite and I couldn't deal with my wife's venom that followed, it wasn't concern, it felt more like venom. And I don't abandon my threads, I read the responses and take them in.

HO, You are right, I shouldn't use my wife's A as a shield when she wants to talk about my A. It's dirty pool and it only escalates the situation. But I'm human and can lose my cool.

There's nothing lingering for the OW, no fog. That fog cleared when I realized how selfish OW really was.

I'm trying to work this out, and yes I've been very self righteous lately and I need to stop it.

Our Black Lab was skunked two weeks ago and we did all that we were told by the VET to get rid of the stench. But there's still a faint lingering aroma from his encounter and it will take a while to fully go away. I guess it's akin to the stench of infidelity, it takes awhile to go away. It takes patience, which in my weakness and frustration ran out of in this situation.

Things are calm since I did the 180, I needed to do something to give us pause and reevaluate. My wife set up an MC appointment--a step in the right direction.

I value what you all say, but I understand if I've frustrated anyone and you want me to stop posting.

[This message edited by MyAndI at 11:12 AM, April 8th (Thursday)]

EvolvingSoul posted 4/8/2021 12:42 PM

Hi there MyandI,

In the face of a BS trigger, how the WS responds heavily influences what comes next: rupture or repair.

This

In BS' anger this morning she said I went looking for it just as a "fuck you" to her. I WAS NOT. In my anger I replied that she did in fact suck the OM's d*ck often during her brief A without a single thought to how I might feel about it
is what it looks like to opt for rupture.

This statement

I don't just fuck someone to hurt someone else. People who do that have more serious problems.
is I think pointing to something important for you to dig down on. "Someone who fucks someone to hurt someone else" is an unwanted identity for you. You very much do not want that to be true about you, to the point that when your BS said she thought that might be the case you went right to anger and the dick-sucking comment which pretty much shut down any kind of useful reflection.

Can you imagine a different response to her that would have taken you more in the direction of repair? What would that have looked like?

MyAndI posted 4/8/2021 13:15 PM

EvolvingSoul,

Do I wish I could rewind and refrain from retaliating with her A? Of Course! It was a blame shift to take the heat off of me, bad choice, and I've apologized sincerely to her for the that.

I guess no one here ever got angry and said something out of anger they regretted. No one likes being attacked.

I've resolved in the future to address her concerns without flipping the conversation to her A, I see that it is so wrong.

EvolvingSoul posted 4/8/2021 14:54 PM

Hello again MyandI,

Do I wish I could rewind and refrain from retaliating with her A? Of Course! It was a blame shift to take the heat off of me, bad choice, and I've apologized sincerely to her for the that.

I've resolved in the future to address her concerns without flipping the conversation to her A, I see that it is so wrong.

So that's good. You recognize that you chose rupture. You resolve not to do it again. In the moment of the next trigger, what is that going to look like? Can you stretch yourself mentally a bit further and imagine what you would say and do in order to support repair in the situation you were just in?

For me it was very helpful think about what "repair mode" would look like and actually try to figure out what I wish I had been able to say and do in the moment to facilitate repair. Sometimes I would actually go back to BS and acknowledge the trigger again and then say "What I wish I had said and done is (insert your new repair oriented words and actions here).

I guess no one here ever got angry and said something out of anger they regretted. No one likes being attacked.
Well of course we have, all humans have. The above statement is a deflection and an example of defensiveness. Defensiveness is also what led to the dick-sucking comment to your BS. It will be a big help if you can learn to recognize your defensiveness and lower your shields. If you want to reconcile, defensiveness is your enemy. Curiosity is your friend. As much as possible-- shields down, empathy and compassion up.

What kind of tools do you have at your disposal to help you deal with difficult feelings in ways that are wholesome instead of destructive? Do you have any kind of a practice to help you cultivate empathy and compassion?

MyAndI posted 4/10/2021 10:40 AM

Derp,

You just captured it for me, I just couldn't bundle it as concisely as you did.

My Wife doesn't see her A quite as as bad as mine.

And I've been jumped on in here by those who feel a lack of empathy on my part; mostly through the lens of madhatter and WW here on SI, who have little empathy for what I've endured and the efforts I've made at R.

I wouldn't say though my wife opened the door to my A, that was in fact my doing, it was wrong of me and I've been remorseful for my actions. My wife's fall from grace was not excuse for me to her so badly and I will forever regret those horrible hurtful choices.

The MC took my side the other day and told her that she was going to have to get to a point of acceptance that the our marriage has been through the trauma of infidelity, and that she was going to stop making me carrying all the weight of infidelity. I did stick up for my wife because I didn't want my wife to feel that I was minimizing her pain. The MC is getting frustrated with her. She told my wife to start coming back to IC.

gmc94 posted 4/10/2021 12:37 PM

But I can almost guarantee you're the one he'll latch onto as support for his position.
nailed it HFSSC.

EvolvingSoul posted 4/10/2021 12:39 PM

MyandI

I see a lot of defensiveness and very little curiosity in your responses here. Those are pretty much stances that will harm rather than help the reconciliation process, but you seem to think you have it all figured out. Got the MC on your side, I'm sure that must be very validating. Carry on!

Best of luck to you from this still EvolvingSoul.

JBWD posted 4/10/2021 13:47 PM

Apples to apples-

This:

I explained AGAIN over breakfast that I was in a weak position for awhile after her A, holding an abundance of insecurity, and OW did take advantage of that. OW was a friend of my wife's and people always said that OW kind of had a thing for me.


Sounds remarkably close to this to me:

She believes that her A wasn't as bad as mine because she didn't love her OM, she just "indulged him for awhile," she said. She never planned on leaving me and that it didn't mean anything to her -- as if this is supposed to make me feel better.

If your WW's A didn't contribute to your A, then why bring it up? Why attribute certain acts from her A to intentions she assigns to your A? Are you still walking away?

You're focusing on two separate things here-
1) The hurt that you feel from her betrayal.
2) Trying to make her understand why you betrayed her subsequently.

If you DO walk away, #2 matters not. The more you express anger at her for not understanding how fucked up you were, the less likely you are to heal from living with the knowledge that you cheated.

JBWD posted 4/10/2021 13:49 PM

And I've been jumped on in here by those who feel a lack of empathy on my part; mostly through the lens of madhatter and WW here on SI, who have little empathy for what I've endured and the efforts I've made at R.

Why would you post this publicly as opposed to discussing this with Derp privately?

MyAndI posted 4/10/2021 15:47 PM

I've owned my sh*t for my A, as well as my poor choices in communicating with my wife about her pain, but I can't force her to fully own what she did to us.

She said in MC that her A was like catching her watching porn--because that's how little the PA meant to her--all the while I'm being dragged through the mud about mine, which I have made a full allocution to.

I can not do the honest work of R alone and the MC told her that during our recent visit. I'm getting close to looking for the exit. Something needs to happen soon.

I can and I will love again if my wife can't be all and acknowledge her part in the breakdown of this marriage.

[This message edited by MyAndI at 3:48 PM, April 10th (Saturday)]

JBWD posted 4/10/2021 16:01 PM

I've owned my sh*t for my A, as well as my poor choices in communicating with my wife about her pain, but I can't force her to fully own what she did to us.

How does “what she’s done to us” relate at all to your A if she’s so wrong about your decision to cheat? That is, if your A is NOT an RA, how do the two relate at all?

Is she entitled to any pain for your A? If not, why?

[This message edited by JBWD at 4:04 PM, April 10th (Saturday)]

BluerThanBlue posted 4/11/2021 08:41 AM

MyAndI, you didn’t initiate your affair with the intent of revenge, but if you could just admit you used your wife’s affair as justification to have your own, at least your wife would know you’re being honest. That’s how you stop the cycle of oneupmanship.

Were there other reasons you chose this person and for the length of time it carried on? Of course. But that’s not the issue and you know it.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 8:41 AM, April 11th (Sunday)]

BraveSirRobin posted 4/11/2021 10:42 AM

And I've been jumped on in here by those who feel a lack of empathy on my part; mostly through the lens of madhatter and WW here on SI, who have little empathy for what I've endured and the efforts I've made at R.
What better lens is there than a madhatter's, given that you and your wife are also MH?

My Wife doesn't see her A quite as as bad as mine.
Do you disagree? Do you feel there has to be equity?

I don't believe that my A and my H's As balance each other out. I am convinced that what I did was worse. He had one drunken fling before my A and one self-validating naked gropefest after it. I had multiple naked gropefests that went much farther than either of his, followed by actual sex and deep emotional involvement. I'm not trying to dismiss the pain of members who are recovering from "just" an EA or "just" a naked makeout session, but I can't imagine those folks are wishing that their spouse had done more or felt more for AP. The only time I've seen anyone say something like that, it's followed by "...because that would have been an absolute deal breaker, and I could divorce with confidence instead of struggling in limbo." Doing more and feeling more is worse, IMO, or at the very best, irrelevant ("I know they had lots of sex, it doesn't matter to me whether it was 20 times or 50").

The question then becomes: so what? What do we do with equity or inequity that is useful to healing? In our case, my H initially used my A to completely excuse his own. That made me angry and resentful. It also encouraged my to amplify that resentment in an attempt to make him feel guilty. It made me feel better about my own bad acts. "He cheated first! He had two OWs! Where does he get off, acting like a martyr and refusing to acknowledge how much he hurt me?"

What I finally realized was that I didn't need to make him suffer in order to be entitled to my own feelings. I thought the guilt card was the only card I had to play in a win-lose game. It's not. My cheating just hit him in a different way and did deeper, more lasting damage. Maybe that's because what I did was worse, or maybe it's how he's wired emotionally, or maybe it's his FOO. Regardless, it's okay for him to react differently than I would, or did, to his affair. I need to meet him where he is, and he needs to meet me where I am, in order to help each other heal. We are not adversaries in this. It's a team effort.

I think it's possible that you've actually gotten to where you're as ok as you're ever going to get with the affairs. You're ready to box them up and put them on a shelf. Your wife isn't; she's triggered and needs to process. You're frustrated that she feels that way, and so you express disappointment that you're still stuck on the merry-go-round. Your wife believes she needs to justify her pain to you, so she says "You've only recovered better because my A wasn't as bad." Well, now she's lit a spark to gunpowder, because the fact that you're doing better now doesn't mean you weren't deeply hurt by her affair. It traumatized you, and you had to work hard on your recovery. You're proud of that and pissed that it's being minimized. Meanwhile, she may feel that you're downplaying aspects of your A that still cut deeply. Your A blew up friendships, and it was a double betrayal. You haven't been able to excise AP from your life, despite your best efforts. This makes you both frustrated and hostile, and resentment breeds entitlement. You feel that if you still have to do all this work to help her recover, then she should be shouldering her half of the load. And so it's possible that your subconscious adds weight to your load, even if maybe, in times when your wife was feeling better, that load wasn't actually so heavy anymore. That was true in my case, at any rate.

I think you both should stop focusing on equity and start focusing on needs. What do you need from her? What does she need from you? What are the obstacles to providing it to each other? How can those obstacles be overcome? Those are questions that can help get you through this. "Whose affair was worse" solves nothing at all.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 10:48 AM, April 11th (Sunday)]

hikingout posted 4/12/2021 16:00 PM

I have plenty of empathy. I truly do not think that is at all a problem for me.

I jumped on you because you needed someone to shake you awake here. Whatever you have done to repair the marriage is only a bandaid if you have not fixed yourself.

You have NOTfixed yourself. The effort you are pouring into this marriage is useless because when your back is against the wall in having to answer for your failures, you can't do it. You have the same internal wiring. And, I am going to guess your wife may have that same issue.

I notice a theme with the madhatters who had an affair second. They can not gain remorse. Guilt, regret are often there, but the deep empathy with their spouse that gets them to remorse is out of reach. I am saying this because I think I understand it. The resentment over the first ones affair blocks them from being able to be sorry for what they did to their cheating spouse and all the damage they caused.

I see it also when we get a WW here that has been abused for years before their affair. It's hard to feel sorry for someone who damaged you so badly first.

The reason you get the feedback you get is because I do not see remorse here. I see a man who knows what he did was wrong, but silently feels justified in what it is he did. The resentment towards your wife due to her cheating was never was resolved before you had the affair.

Guilt, remorse, shame are all ways we feel towards what we did. Remorse is deep sorrow for all the damage we caused the other person. I am saying this because you need to know where you are blocked.

Instead of really having accountability (thanking me, but then complaining that you are just getting jumped on), you give lip service but still hold all the feelings of justification for where you have been and where you are. I am glad you guys are getting counseling, you definitely need a guide to help you through the rut you find yourselves in.

When your wiring is truly changed, you will be able to hold both things inside at once. Your own accountability/remorse, and self compassion.

Whether you want to hear it or not, I am trying to help you. My husband's affair, like yours, was much longer than mine with a lot more betrayal. I still feel every ounce of remorse over my actions towards him. I am waiting to see if he can do the same, or if we are going to be at an impasse because he doesn't know what to do with his own resentment. We are not as far out as you yet, but I am NOT getting throwback ANY time I need to talk about how I am feeling, or expressing my anger, or whatever. When he needs to talk, my remorse guides my behaviors and I am willing to do anything he is needing that will help him to move forward. I am not reminding him of sexual acts he performed on his AP to derail the entire conversation.

That's why I think the problem is empathy/ remorse being blocked by held (and maybe even unconscious?) resentment. I hope you do keep posting, but there is no reason to feel so defensive towards us. Learn to talk to us, it will help you talk to her. Then real progress might be made. You are right now doing nothing but prolonging divorce by trying to fix the relationship. If both of you focus on fixing yourselves, you will be surprised how much easier the relationship will be to repair.

[This message edited by hikingout at 4:03 PM, April 12th (Monday)]

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