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Wayward Side :
Helping my bs

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 Sylv3520 (original poster new member #78964) posted at 12:23 PM on Friday, June 18th, 2021

Hello. I was advised to come here after posting on reddit and I've been lurking since. TW: this involves suicidal ideation on the part of my BS. As well, I was hesitant about posting because we are not married and my issues might seem irrelevant compared to some other couples here.

I'm 24 and my BS is 23. On February 21st, 2020, I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I ruined this amazing relationship for no fucking reason by going to a party after a heated argument between my BS and I that morning. I felt that he was spending too much time working, and he said that he was working for us and that it was unfair for me to spring that on him before he left. He messaged me while I was with my friends before the party asking me to dinner and a night in. I should have said yes but I wanted to show him that 'i wasnt just gonna be available whenever'. I went to a house party near our university campus.

I was only slightly tipsy when this guy sat beside me and talked to me. He was familiar but I didn't know his name. We eventually ended up going upstairs to his room. The entire time I had a feeling in my stomach that made me anxious. I think it was the 'little voice' people always tell you not to ignore. We kissed and I had stripped down to my bra and was taking off my pants when I was reminded of BS by something. I remember thinking about what I was going to lose and crying. I directed my anger at OM, and yelled at him as I put my clothes on and went outside. I was so angry and terrified. I had a friend waiting with me for an Uber, and she said that I shouldn't tell BS anything because I didn't DO anything. But I did, I kissed him and had intent!

I thought he didn't know and I texted him a lot on the way back to his house. He was waiting for me inside and I just felt like I wanted to cling to him like he was going to dissapear. He didn't hug me back and let me hold onto him until I calmed down enough to form a sentence. (This is important for later because it proves he does care about me.) Once I told him everything, he thanked me for telling him and said we were done. He said he regretted ever dating me and that really hurt. I was such a brat, I begged and pleaded instead of listening to him that night and he had to yell at me to leave.

We exchanged different items, and I kept pursuing him and taking any chance I could to try and convince him to take me back. He ended up storming out of my apartment and telling me that he was going to cut me off if I didn't get therapy/help. He was so mad that he left a $80 sweatshirt behind. What angered him was that I offered to pay him back for all the dates we went on so that he would regret dating me less. This was such a dumb idea but that's the kind of thing that my stupif brain was coming up with att.I did end up talking with a counselor and only got in two sessions before we had to lock down cuz of covid. I told him I was still going to do phone or video sessions because i wanted to show him I respected his wishes.

Over the lockdown, I did a lot of introspection and had the time to really process what I was learning about myself through therapy. I knew that my ex was hooking up with a few women. That really hurt, but we were still in contact occasionally. I knew that living in his condo all alone must suck and feel really claustrophobic. I certainly felt that way. I told him that if he was ever sick of staying in his condo and wanted to go out to somewhere safe, he always could come over for a night. He agreed and took me up on it. The sex was very different. He was usually a giver and more intimate but this was just piv sex. It made me feel awful but it was what he needed to heal. At first he just came for the sex, and would barely acknowledge me afterwards. Eventually we slowly started growing closer and he would do something like rub my head or give me a quick hug after. Eventually he actually stayed overnight but left before I could make him any food. He didnt want it.

I would sometimes get the chance to massage his back and we could talk during that. It was really helpful because it wasn't focused on sex mostly. I learned that I wasn't the only girl he was sleeping with and that he is feeling just as confused as I am about what to do next.

Because summer 2020 was a pretty crazy time for everyone, I stepped back from social media aside from messaging and focused entirely on school and self improvement. No matter what I did I still felt pathetic because I could become the best person in the world tomorrow but I still wouldn't be able to have him. I still slept with his sweatshirt sometimes if I was having trouble sleeping, thats how pathetic I was. We only had a breakthrough one day when he saw the sweatshirt and thought he left it behind sometime over the summer. I couldn't be sexual with him last night because I felt like it would be the last piece of him gone forever if he took it. I wasn't able to stop myself from crying and instead of leaving he actually held and comforted me.We didn't have sex that night but we talked a lot and I felt like he was open to trying again so I did ask him via text and he said yes, if i tell him the whole truth.

He didnt believe I didnt have sex with AP.This is because:

1. Waywards lie about that a lot. I learned that from here.

2. AP was actively trying to put my BS down and boast to him. This is because my BS got an intern position at a good company that he wanted so he messaged my BS basically mocking him and "exposing" me as if I didn't tell bs myself. AP is also in the same cohort as BS. He had to see APs face on screen weekly.

This REALLY messed with R. There were times where we would physically separate and caused a lot of arguments because he didn't believe me. He ended up wanting a polygraph and I had to get a seasonal part time job last december. It was hard work but I did end up saving enough for a polygraph but he then said that it would be useless because he wouldn't believe me still afterwards so why bother. I got the polygraph and he made some questions for me which I passed.

However I did catch him in what could be called a suicide attempt a few weeks later. He had made all the preparations and everything. He had a gun in his hands when I found him and he swears that he never would have gone through with it and that he is thankful I showed up. I convinced him to let me.bring him to the hospital and they put him in inpatient for a while. I wasn't allowed to visit. He did say he thought i was out cheating while he was in the hospital though but really i was in shock for a lot of the time.

Once he was allowed out we went NC for around 2 months, before I ran into him on campus and initiated R again. It was less rough, and I think it is because people didnt need to have their cameras on for classes anymore. He didnt have to keep a straight face while staring at AP.

Recently he said that he wishes things won't open up because he fears being with me in public because it would be humiliating af for him. I don't want him to feel that way because I know how hard it is for men when it comes to feeling emasculated. How can i best address this?

P.S sorry for the messy post I just started typing and it ended up like a stream of consciousness lol

posts: 4   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Canada
id 8668144
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Catwoman ( member #1330) posted at 1:39 PM on Friday, June 18th, 2021

Wow, there's a lot to unpack here.

I think the most important thing right now is to make sure your BBF has all of the tools and help he needs to heal FROM PROFESSIONAL SOURCES. That should be first and foremost for him. I think there is more than just being a betrayed boyfriend going on here. Certainly working with your hookup doesn't help, but I can't help but think there is more and he is going to have to be the one that deals with it.

Secondly, and this is the part that you're not likely to like, I don't think the two of you should be together. Not necessarily because of your cheating, but because I don't think he would have the time and space to heal properly if you're still spinning in his wake. As far as for you, I think you have some healing and growing to do as well. Both of you are very young, relatively, and part of life is making some really boneheaded life choices and reaping the consequences. This is one such instance.

My advice? Keep working on yourself. Encourage your former boyfriend to get the help he needs. But right now, I think healing for both of you needs to be on an individual basis.

Hopefully you have learned from this and it will be something you carry forward into future relationships.

Cat

FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 27 and 24. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."

posts: 32939   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2003   ·   location: Massachusetts
id 8668148
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 Sylv3520 (original poster new member #78964) posted at 4:02 PM on Friday, June 18th, 2021

Hi cat,

Sorry if this isn't a reply. I'm still getting used to the UI. I 100000% agree that he needs professional help. He never liked the idea of airing his dirty laundry to others but as part of the program from his inpatient stay, he has been getting some help. I hope that he can see the results of it and that encourages him in the future.

I agree with your second point. It would be easiest for him, and probably for any BS, to leave their WS and separate. The thought of losing him makes me feel so afraid and sad, but the thought of him being unhappy and depressed or even doing something drastic again makes me feel even worse. If he told me to go, I would respect his request ASAP. What makes me not want to separate like that is because, ever since he came from the hospital, he has said that he wants to R. We both have put in a lot of effort, and I am worried about what he might assume or feel if I am the one to leave. Obviously, there are also selfish reasons that I have for not wanting us to separate as well, and I don't mean to minimize or deny those feelings.

I guess I'm having trouble making sure he has the space he needs while also keeping with his desire for us to be together.

posts: 4   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Canada
id 8668192
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Catwoman ( member #1330) posted at 4:20 PM on Friday, June 18th, 2021

Who says you have to make a decision now? Certainly from what you have said, he's not in a place to make a decision that comes from a healthy emotional place.

You would be giving him the gift of being able to get healthy by keeping your distance right now. It seems counter-intuitive, but from what you have said, I think it is the healthiest path to healing for him and probably for you as well.

I look at it this way when I make decisions like this: can it be undone and how difficult would that undoing be.

So let's say you stop seeing each other to allow him to heal and get healthy. And at the same time, you're healing and becoming more emotionally healthy and aware. Can you undo being apart? OF COURSE. How hard is it? Not hard at all.

The truth is that you might find that as you get healthier, your attraction to others changes. We have a saying around here: broken attracts broken. It's certainly true for the two of you. As both of you work on your mental health and work through some difficult emotions and fallout, you will become healthier emotionally. But that may mean that the person you're evolving into holds no attraction for the other person who is also (hopefully) evolving emotionally. Or maybe one of you gets emotionally healthy and the other doesn't. The emotionally healthy person probably has no attraction to someone who isn't. It happens.

When I was divorced, I dated a series of fellows. Looking back, I made much healthier choices as I healed from my divorce than I did in the immediate aftermath therein. You're young, so you're evolving emotionally even without what has happened. Therefore, what you find attractive is going to evolve and he may not be someone you want to be with romantically any longer. That's normal. That's why we date.

Leave him the space to heal. You can always decide to try the relationship again, but I would give him a wide berth and a good 6-10 months before I would consider a relationship again. He's got a lot to unpack. So do you.

Cat

FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 27 and 24. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."

posts: 32939   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2003   ·   location: Massachusetts
id 8668206
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Selithe ( new member #78724) posted at 7:27 PM on Friday, June 18th, 2021

Well, this is a tough one. Because you guys are in a "dating" phase and commitment is ever so loose with a lot of brakes and "giving spaces".

Well, your case isn't that gutting, but the idea of AP raosting your BS has already begun.

If you want to save this relationship, first you have got to understand how affairs work.

It is an entity that latches itself on a relationship and leeches off of it.

Right now, your relationship is tainted by the affair. And environmental factors seems to be important for your BS. This means you will be treated like you habe cheated fully, even though you have not. Because this isn't about the degree of your transgression, it is about the amount of damage it inflicted.That small moment destroyed a huge giant of a relationship and demolished it entirely.

First rules of R is Full transparency and Radical Honesty. I suggest you to read Radical Honesty well as it saves a lot of relationships. Transparency should be given rather than BS asking for one, as it will make him seem like controlling.

Transparency is not for making him your prison guard,it is for substituting for the trust that has been broken as a short term solution.

Now let's talk about R.

First you have gotta understand that your old relationship is dead. Trying to Reconcile in the terms of bringing back the old relationship is like Applying CPR to that relationship.

Reconciliation starts with establishing a new relationship with a Day 1. As you discover yourselves in this new one, couples should do different things and avoid routine habits of old relationship from sex to even ordering a pizza. Everything needs to be new. After the new foundation is set in, then the next phase of "going through the debris" stage starts. Couples who are reconciling this way analyse their old relationship and try to save many nostalgic and old moments that are not tainted by the affair.

Right now, it seems as if your reconciliation only consists of "retry it-become disappointed-mourn the old-resent the WS" cycle. This usually happens a lot in common as both WSs and BSs try to "save" the relationship.

Lasyly, you have to be careful about the affair PTSD and address it correctly. The disgust, the emasculation, the estrangement... All comes from the PTSD. This PTSD works like a phobia as his heart will antagonize you to him physically, emotionally and mentally.

The Disgust is there to "protect" BS from compromising himself to physical intimacy as WS will "take advantage if him" according to his heart.

The Estrangement is there, because... "If you give her attention and emotional response, you will once again at her mercy" His heart eill whisper to his ears.

The Emasculation is there, because he is disintegrating himself from masculine-feminine energy discipline as relationships between "man" and "woman" has compromising aspects due to this. Additionally, His heart will make him go pain shopping as to constantly remind him your transgression as to keep him away from you.

So basically PTSD of the affairs works like simple phobias. Some people develop fear of water because they experience almost drowning incident. To them, a pool is a pit of death. For normal people it is just a basin which is full of water. Therefore, you should understand his weird approaches to you when you want to "go out" or weird lashing outs and all.

I hope you and your BS will recover from this. You guys just need simple communication and a correct path to follow to reach perfect healing and moving on.

I just wrote some aspects and coping mechanisms of the sides (for BS) for you to use it to your advantage during R. Apart from these basic knowledges, you need re-bonding experiences and closeness of being face-to-face most of the time.

Good luck Sylv.

posts: 14   ·   registered: Apr. 28th, 2021
id 8668273
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 6:48 PM on Saturday, June 19th, 2021

IMO, your BF is in great pain, but not just because of your 'A'. I think he has a very fragile sense of himself, and I think he dislikes or even hates a lot of what he knows about himself. IMO, he's a bad bet for a long term relationship right now.

What do you see in this guy?

How is he good for you?

How are you good for him?

[This message edited by sisoon at 12:48 PM, June 19th (Saturday)]

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 26037   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8668409
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beb252 ( member #78948) posted at 3:15 AM on Sunday, June 20th, 2021

Hi Sylv,
You have to understand it based on your BS's perspective. He still love you and wants to work on it but he's also hurting. You are the last person he thought this hurt will come from. So you should help him heal.
Although it's a good thing that you pulled off the act before it's too late. Don't expect that he will believe it when you say that to him. You already cheated once, expect not to be trusted. You have to open up to him, be ready if he has questions, be there for him when needs you, give him space when he wants to be alone. You have to put more efforts for the R should come from you now if you really care about your relationship.
Good luck!

[This message edited by beb252 at 11:37 PM, Sunday, June 20th]

posts: 378   ·   registered: Jun. 14th, 2021
id 8668469
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Robert22205https ( member #65547) posted at 8:27 PM on Sunday, June 20th, 2021

IMO a big deterrent to his healing is his repeated contact with the AP. It likely triggers anger at the AP which he then transfers to you (along all the existing mix of emotions he has for you).

I think you have to step back and give him space.

I say this gently (for your understanding & use) he no longer gives you the benefit of the doubt. He has zero trust in anything you say or promise. And he sees your tears and self hate as manipulative (an effort to make him feel sorry for you).

Read the following book to further understand what he is feeling (and what you can do):

"How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful"

by Linda J. MacDonald

All human beings are hardwired to bond emotionally and physically with other people (especially when particularly vulnerable/angry/depressed ...).

Read this second book to understand how couples protect their relationship (a must read for any couple, including him):

"Not Just Friends" by Dr Shirley Glass

It's based on a study of couples (good people) that experienced infidelity. It identifies boundaries/behavior that both partners need to apply.

Finally, inform him about the above books you're reading (and what you learned about boundaries) for the purpose of making yourself a safe life partner for him (or the next man).

You may not be able to salvage this relationship - but you can use this shit show as an opportunity to make yourself a safer life partner.

Your promises mean nothing at the moment. He will only judge you 'safe' based on your actions.

Implement what you learned about boundaries

(including social media, parties, circle of friends), be an open book for him, be transparent with no secrets, never place yourself in social situations known for meeting men or hooking up.

Depending on the circumstances, you could also consider no male friends on social media, no parties without him, a tracker on your cell phone, no clubbing with the girls.

[This message edited by Robert22205https at 2:31 PM, June 20th (Sunday)]

posts: 2413   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: DC
id 8668569
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maxfocs ( new member #78596) posted at 10:02 PM on Sunday, June 20th, 2021

Do you have any sexual problems with your partner? Don't you find him attractive? I think you should first of all reassure him on this aspect (if you can ...) this is the basis, the rest will come ...

posts: 50   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2021   ·   location: toscana
id 8668588
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 Sylv3520 (original poster new member #78964) posted at 8:44 PM on Monday, June 28th, 2021

Thank you everyone for your replies, I will try and respond the best I can.

Cat,

I agree that if he needs distance, I should make establishing and keeping that distance my top priority. The problem is that as of now he is sometimes struggling with communicating his wants and desires with me. I am afraid that me leaving him rather than vice versa would hurt him even more, and I don't want that. I want to stay with him really badly, but if he isn't down then I won't hold him back. I let him know this and he says he thinks he wants to stay.

Selithe,

We never really did "breaks". He says we are going to either break up or stay together and I agree. The people I know who have taken breaks like this usually have not had their relationships last long, and I want to be with him for a long long time! I have tried to be as proactive as possible. Every time I am going somewhere or doing something without my BS. I check myself and wonder: What is he feeling rn? How can I help any negative feelings he may have? And by doing this I have been able to be transparent without him asking, aside from one or two things that were so routine for me that I never even considered them. When he made those requests I felt so awful because it really showed how much my stupid actions affected us. He said the same thing as you, that he isnt a parole officer and if he has to act like one he is gonna leave.

I guess that I have been just in this cycle you talk about because I just don't know how to approach it differently. It's why I'm here, to try and find a better way to help and possibly R. Do you have any advice on how to deal with the symptoms of affair PTSD, especially disgust and estrangement, as I am struggling with being turned down now by someone who I desire even more as time passes. I just am not experienced with healthy ways to handle rejection, but I try and not get angry or worked up over it, and remember that this isn't his fault, its mine.

I've actually realized through experiencing estrangement that I relied on him too much emotionally. I've read up on this, and while I still really enjoy, appreciate, and value the chances to vent and feel safe with him, I check myself to make sure that I am not using him as my emotional toilet.

Sisoon,

I can tell that he is much more insecure, but that is not a bad thing and it is understandable given the circumstances. From an outsider's view, he seems like a bad bet on the surface, but there is a lot about him that people don't know. He is a great communicator and that has really helped our relationship over time, even now. He is a quiet and reserved guy who really doesn't know how attractive he is. He has a career plan and he is determined in achieving it. I admire his work ethic and he motivates me to push myself and better myself. We are great study buddies and the closer I get with him the more I LOVE his sense of humor, we have soo many inside jokes because of his great memory. His smile is so pretty and his laugh makes me laugh. I don't think that I'm a really funny person, but when I can get that laugh from him I feel like its a lil victory for me.

His face is so kissable and he smells amazing. Sometimes when I am tipsy (obviously not since DDay) I can't take my eyes off of him. The main assumption that people have with infidelity is that WS must not be sexually satisfied, I can tell right now that this is not true. At first things were slow, but we always communicated and gave feedback and things have progressed to become so amazing over time. I feel like its a testament to how well we communicate.

As for how I'm good for him? I liked to think that I was supportive and always uplifted him the same way he lifts me up. But sometimes I think I'm just a pretty face. I feel awful sometimes about how I can barely deserve him and I messed up my shot. I want to improve myself and become the woman he deserves but there is a lot to work through.

Beb,

I think that not going through with the act is a blessing and a curse. On one hand, I remind myself of that to avoid wallowing in self pity, but on the other hand, liars like AP complicate things so much because my BS is questioning himself if I've been lying the whole time. I am expecting to put in 100% of the effort for R rn, I am confident that if I can become a woman who can be as amazing for him as he is for me, I can win him back.

Robert,

The thought of him seeing AP at all makes me sick. I know that we are not operating as two individuals cooperating, and rather as two adversarial people trying to make something work out of trash. I try and avoid crying or pouting near him. Sometimes it is really, really hard. We know each other well enough that he can tell when I'm upset, and I can tell with him too. Before, when I used to notice he was feeling down, I would ask him for a hug. I obviously can't just ask for that now, but I do ask him if he wants me to go on a walk or leave the room, or if I can stay beside him. Fortunately, we have one school year left, and then he will probably never see AP again.

I plan on reading through the healing library, but I feel that telling him I am reading these books is kind of manipulative. I would rather read, learn, and change myself as I go through these books. We have always been really good at communication, but it used to be him taking the lead. I have been trying to do that now. Its been hard, but it has also been eye opening for me. People called my BS controlling, insecure, and abusive. I learned to cut these people from my life because they aren't friends of the relationship.

After this quarantine, I don't find myself looking forward to going clubbing. I would rather do things with my BS, like travelling and eating out. I will still make sure that I reconnect with my friends and keep those bonds strong, but some parts of the nightlife I won't participate in. I can always get new friends who share my values, but I don't think I'll ever meet another man like my BS.

maxfocs,

I find my BS really attractive. He is the kind of man who I didn't even expect to find hot, but I've had my sex drive increase over time with him. Since Dday, I've started to be open about my feelings for him and how much he really is on my mind. He didn't believe me until I showed him examples of prior to DDay when I felt the same way. I've been more vocal about my feelings when we are intimate, and he has said it helped. Sometimes it doesn't and we stop midway through.

posts: 4   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Canada
id 8670686
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maxfocs ( new member #78596) posted at 9:54 AM on Friday, July 23rd, 2021

HI Sylv3520 How is the situation going?

posts: 50   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2021   ·   location: toscana
id 8677698
Topic is Sleeping.
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