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WS staying for the kids?

Topic is Sleeping.
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TheEnd ( Member #72213) posted at 5:10 PM on Thursday, July 8th, 2021

I haven't read the full story but I'm not agreeing with what is being said here.

First off, your WW is trying to communicate her feelings to you. That's what spouses are supposed to do. That doesn't mean you own her feelings but you listen and try to support her.

Everyone jumping in here like she's doing something awful... I don't even understand that.

Secondly, it is super common for SAHM or even working moms to feel this way. The way she put it might be uncommon "I want to be something amazing" but the underlying feeling happens very, very often.

Being a wife and mother are very rewarding things, but she is also a woman. A person. An individual. Wife and mother roles are about giving to others, putting them first, almost always.

The woman in her needs to be fed as well. And yes, it is on her to figure out what that means and pursue it but telling her husband she has unmet needs is hardly a red flag. Isn't that what we say waywards should have done in the first place?

And it's not just with moms. Men often say they feel like a paycheck or some other phrase implying that their role as husband and father is valued but their need to feel like a man, a lover or what have you is often ignored or at least it feels that way.

My advice would be to listen with interest and support. Help her discover what she might like to do. She owns it, but partners support it.

[This message edited by TheEnd at 11:11 AM, July 8th (Thursday)]

posts: 53   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8673530
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 This0is0Fine (original poster Member #72277) posted at 5:45 PM on Thursday, July 8th, 2021

I appreciate all these posts. The collective wisdom of this page never ceases to amaze.

Some good insights and a lot to think on.

I don't think I have a measured response to make right now, but I'll probably come back and do the big quote box thing later.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 1326   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8673537
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godheals ( Member #56786) posted at 5:54 PM on Thursday, July 8th, 2021

TheEnd- Yes!!!! It’s exactly how I feel sometimes. I don’t always want to feel like I am “just” a mom 24/7. I want to feel like I am a person and I have things I want to do and or need to do for myself.

I don’t want to upset people here but people saying this a red flag makes me very mad. What is wrong with a WS feeling like they need to be their own person or find their path in life? It’s like we can’t be our own person and be M at the sometime. If that was the case no one would be M.

H: BS
ME: WW
Dday December 2015 (PA for 15 months)
Confessed to H about the A
4 kids together-M 14 Years now.
Happily R.

posts: 1068   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2017   ·   location: Nebraska
id 8673539
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Thumos ( Member #69668) posted at 6:14 PM on Thursday, July 8th, 2021

Secondly, it is super common for SAHM or even working moms to feel this way.

Well she is not a SAHM and she has a successful career. We've seen her do this kind of thing before: the worst was when she tried to defend screwing around because feminism. She's demonstrated a high level of entitlement in the past. I agree with BSR: she wants the accolades of “amazing” without the work required. And she is a very unhappy person on the inside who needs attention and accolades to feel better about her internal state of emptiness.

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH (me): 50, WW: 49
Married: Feb. 1996
DDAY: Dec. 20

posts: 4217   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8673544
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JanaGreen ( Member #29341) posted at 6:29 PM on Thursday, July 8th, 2021

I completely relate to the burned out feeling of taking care of everyone else. I spent most of the last year taking care of my preschooler and supporting virtual learning 5th grader while also working FT from home. There were many times where I just didn't feel like an actual person, I felt like a thing that slouched around the house in the same grey yoga pants and messy bun for days on end. That doesn't entitle me to diminish my boyfriend's accomplishments. That's a sign that I need to do the things I need to be healthy. To leave the house alone and run. See a friend. Read a book. Etc.

If she doesn't have the time available to do the things she needs to do to be a healthy human, that's a problem and maybe they need to work together to figure that out. But healthy partners don't make their SO's wins about themselves and their own jealousy.

posts: 9411   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2010   ·   location: Southeast US
id 8673550
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Bigger ( Guide #8354) posted at 6:30 PM on Thursday, July 8th, 2021

TIOSF

This could actually be positive.

IMHO nearly (if not all) affairs are about validation. We all need validation, only most of us are capable of feeling validated in “normal” ways, such as social acceptance and recognition, praise at work, healthy bank-account, signs of love and success… whatever. Some need more, or different.

Your wife’s comments might be digging at what made her cheat. She needed validation. Now – I tell my wife I love her and that she looks hot every day, but I know she thinks it’s tired. I truly mean it, but I’m guessing a comment about her looks from another man would feed her ego more than when I in all honesty tell her she’s the most beautiful woman in the world. Fortunately neither me nor my wife need THAT form of validation. Not any more than most people.

However… Although one of a spouses roles is to make the other feel appreciated, then it’s not our role to feed unrealistic validation or create and support low self-worth…

When dealing with confrontation I have consistently suggest you let the WS out of the marriage until and unless they specifically tell you they want to reconcile. I even go further. I suggest you remove each and every reason to remain married until you are only left with one: Because you WANT to be married.

In other words: Your wife tells you that you cant divorce because it’s expensive. No it isn’t, we can do it on the cheap as long as we are reasonable and fair. Your wife tells you it’s bad for the kids. Yes, but being in a broken home with no mutual respect and a cold demeanor between mom and dad will do them more harm that amicable coparenting. Get it? Remove each and every reason to remain married until you are left with one:

You want to be married to your wife and she wants to be married to you.

Once that’s established then you two can work on how to maintain the spark. That might be as direct as seeking guidance from a relationship consultant. It can be as indirect as establishing joint financial goals, going to the gym at the same time, sharing housework or taking walks.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

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id 8673551
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TheEnd ( Member #72213) posted at 6:36 PM on Thursday, July 8th, 2021

Well she is not a SAHM and she has a successful career. We've seen her do this kind of thing before: the worst was when she tried to defend screwing around because feminism. She's demonstrated a high level of entitlement in the past. I agree with BSR: she wants the accolades of “amazing” without the work required. And she is a very unhappy person on the inside who needs attention and accolades to feel better about her internal state of emptiness.

I said SAHM AND working moms.

It's a common feeling is all I am saying. And she is expressing it to her spouse which is a step in the right direction.

If this need for validation led to the affair and she's feeling it now, how is it not a good thing that she is talking? Why on earth would the response be "get over it cheater and thank your lucky stars you even have a roof over your head."

That's not reconciling. That's staying with someone so you can punish them the rest of their lives.

The answer might be she needs IC. I don't know. But she's being honest about how she feels and so what if others don't think she should feel that way. She does.

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landclark ( Member #70659) posted at 7:58 PM on Thursday, July 8th, 2021

I will add along the lines of TheEnd, even with a successful career, that doesn't eliminate the desire to be more or to do more with our lives. Yes, being a mom and wife IS amazing, however, I would never want to be defined solely based on those things. I would say I'm successful, and that desire is still there. To me, if this was any other non-wayward mom/wife who hadn't tried to minimize and justify affairs using things like feminism, this would not be a red flag to me at all. It's normal.

So I think you know best if this is just normal, or if it's really related to being a wayward. Trust your gut.

I haven't figured it out. I'm a little drunk. Probably a useless post.

Off topic, but I love that you admit to drunk posting. lol

Me: BW Him: WH (GuiltAndShame) Dday 05/19/19 with TT through August
One child together, 3 stepchildren
Together 13.5 years, married 12.5 First EA was 4 months into marriage. Last ended 05/19/19.

posts: 1911   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2019
id 8673587
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NotMyFirstRodeo ( Member #75220) posted at 8:01 PM on Thursday, July 8th, 2021

What is wrong with being a wife and mother? A good wife and good mother is not all that common and it's a beautiful thing to be defined by. Give her genuine compliments for what she accomplishes as a wife and mother. Support the concept that her genuine effort pleases you and is wildly valuable to your children.

Shoot, if when on my deathbed people important to me were to say I was a good father and a good husband I could go to sleep in peace. That'd be enough for me.

Illusions of grandeur are quite deceptive. It's a type of propaganda that's perpetuated with social media and "reality" TV BIG TIME. It's enough to be a good person and surround yourself with other who are doing their best to be good people.

[This message edited by NotMyFirstRodeo at 2:03 PM, July 8th (Thursday)]

If, to date it's been accurate, trust your gut and not your ears.

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id 8673589
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DIFM ( Member #1703) posted at 8:01 PM on Thursday, July 8th, 2021

I don't think it has much (anything?) to do with cheating but I guess that's the thing. I'm not totally sure.

I think it has a lot to do with the cheating mindset. Wayward thinking is significantly founded on the need for validation....I'm not happy....I feel unappreciated..... your success makes me feel undervalued..........this is not a safe former wayward mindset.

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id 8673590
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Thumos ( Member #69668) posted at 8:29 PM on Thursday, July 8th, 2021

To me, if this was any other non-wayward mom/wife who hadn't tried to minimize and justify affairs using things like feminism, this would not be a red flag to me at all. It's normal.

Yep, agreed.

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH (me): 50, WW: 49
Married: Feb. 1996
DDAY: Dec. 20

posts: 4217   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8673604
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Darkness Falls ( Member #27879) posted at 8:51 PM on Thursday, July 8th, 2021

I agree with TheEnd. It is not necessarily a “red flag” or “wayward thinking.” MIGHT it be? Sure. But I think these feelings are extremely common, whether FWS or not. I also think there’s such a stigma to admitting it that any woman who does so is actually fairly brave to openly communicate it to her partner.

Edited to add: I am a WS who is staying solely for the kids, but it’s not for wayward-thinking reasons. Just more practical that way and better for my kids, particularly my disabled child.

[This message edited by Darkness Falls at 2:56 PM, July 8th (Thursday)]

WS - remarried to BH but not in R

D-day 2010

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id 8673612
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BraveSirRobin ( Member #69242) posted at 9:20 PM on Thursday, July 8th, 2021

What is wrong with being a wife and mother?

Nothing. But if you're out in the workforce doing a beneficial job, does that mean you aren't allowed to feel unfulfilled and want something more or different? Are you required to be happy because you know you are useful?

Some SAHMs were born to be parents, and that's great news for them and their kids. However, I know other SAHMs who would have done their children a great service by seeking fulfillment for themselves outside of parenting. My college roommate was absolutely destroyed by parents who needed her to validate them.

WW/BW 51 (Me)
BH/WH 51 (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2038   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8673619
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EllieKMAS ( Member #68900) posted at 11:03 PM on Thursday, July 8th, 2021

What is wrong with a WS feeling like they need to be their own person or find their path in life?

There is nothing wrong with a WS (or anyone) wanting to be their own person - I think that's a mark of healthy self-worth to know that you need that.

The problem in this specific instance imho is that tif's ww is once again looking for external validation. It's very different if she had said "I need to be something amazing, so I am going to...[fill in the blank]" Take up skydiving, set a Guinness world record for a paperclip chain, learn dog grooming... whatever. But she didn't say that. Instead Tif is having a period of success, which she resents imo and instead of trying to find her own way complains to him about how she feels not amazing. My xwh did this too, so I know it's a bias of mine, but he wanted to do alllllll these 'amazing' things, but would not take ANY actions to help him achieve those goals. And once he cheated on me, I got an earful about his resentments regarding my own career and financial successes and that I was 'so critical' of him for suggesting things for him to do to get to the goals he said he wanted.

Wayward thinking is significantly founded on the need for validation....I'm not happy....I feel unappreciated..... your success makes me feel undervalued..........this is not a safe former wayward mindset.

Bingo. To me, it isn't so much that mrs. tif is feeling these things (which I do think is normal for anyone), it's that her feeling these things and not trying to find a way to deal with them that is concerning from a wayward that has had similar attitudes in the past that led to disastrous results. What's that saying? The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior?

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"Being weird is just a side effect of being awesome."– Unknown

posts: 3138   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8673652
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HalfTime2017 ( Member #64366) posted at 12:14 AM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Looks like you got a lot of responses to your fWW's thoughts about being felt and seen, so I'll address the other part of your post.

You're on vacation and that should be an exciting time. Time filled with joy, play, and hopefully great memories with the kids and family, but instead you're here typing about what your WW said, and you're not all that happy. Your body just feels ughhh. Maybe something to consider TIF. I think you were on the road to saying that cheating was going to be a deal breaker, and you landed back at R. Maybe revisit these thoughts, and realize that your body may be telling you something your current logical mind is not, and that is its still a deal breaker, but you wanting to keep things together for the kids and finances may ultimately be the wrong route for you.

posts: 1142   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2018   ·   location: Cali
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LadyG ( Member #74337) posted at 3:58 AM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

It’s not a useless post.

As the BS I stayed for the sake of the children.

I was the invisible wife, mother, partner in the shadows and background holding everything together.

So, everything fell apart when I left my WS.

WH still expects me to return and rebuild and put Everything back together again. Not this time…

September 26 1987 I married a monster. Chronic Complex PTSD. I Need Peace. Fiat Lux. Buddha’s Love Saves Me 🙏🏼

posts: 938   ·   registered: Apr. 29th, 2020   ·   location: Australia
id 8673749
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BluerThanBlue ( Member #74855) posted at 6:01 AM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

This0is0Fine, I will admit that I won't be starting a fan Instagram for your wife any time soon and I still don't think you should trust her as far as you can throw her...

... however, the feelings she's experiencing are very normal and aren't indicative (in and of themselves) of a wayward mindset or behavior. Plenty of women her age (and hell, even younger) suffer with bouts of feeling mediocre and unattractive.

Also, what I think you need to pay attention to here is how she manages these emotions. Does she act on those feelings in a constructive way? Or is she seeking external validation in unhealthy ways?

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 12:01 AM, July 9th (Friday)]

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, tone, and rewording. I'm not being sneaky; I'm just critical of my own writing.

posts: 471   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8673767
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OwningItNow ( Member #52288) posted at 11:43 AM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Feelings are never wrong; it's what we do about them that matters. Do we use these feelings to justify bad behavior? Problem. Do we acknowledge them and work to change them? Healthy behavior.

me: BS/WS
h: WS/BS

Reject the rejector.
Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5263   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8673830
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Thumos ( Member #69668) posted at 12:01 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

She recently said she doesn't feel seen as a woman.

Hmm. If this were a faithful wife saying it, that would be one thing. If there were no good objective reasons for it, it would be troubling and maybe even a light pink flag. Maybe a reason for a husband to be extra tuned in and drilling down and getting more specifics verbalized from her.

But since it is your wife, who was basically surrounded by cheating women, including her sister, and who exhibited a high degree of entitlement and casual attitude toward cheating with her co-worker, and who has/had a very warped view of feminism in service of extra marital orgasms, terms like “seen as a woman” are VERY LOADED. In fact this phrase seems fraught with perilous meaning.

Like others my spidey sense is tingling. This seems way off. What does she mean by this?

EDIT TO ADD: I suppose I am additionally troubled by this because, like many of the things your WW has said, it seems manufactured and artificial. It's a somewhat histrionic thing to say, like something lifted from a TV show line of dialogue, or one of those navel gazing “eat pray love” exercises in book length narcissism, or perhaps a phrase one of her adulterous friends dropped in a conversation. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I find it troubling. In other words, it sounds like the sort of thing a WW, who isn't living authentically and doesn't even really know her own mind and lacks introspection and emotional intelligence, would say.

At the time we were kinda fighting and anything I could have said would be turned against me.

Again, hmm (in real life I say “hmm” not in a sarcastic way but more in a world weary way). The implication of this sentence, TIF, is that “kinda fighting” during which she DARVO’s you is relatively commonplace now, to the point that you turn into a silent brick. Anything you say is turned against you? Sounds like you aren't dealing with an honest broker, and hasn't that really been the issue all along? How long was that going on in your marriage before you found out she'd opened the marriage unilaterally?

Incidentally someone observed above that women at midlife struggle with feelings of attractiveness and mediocrity. I'm willing to bet that, as a betrayed man whose wife was prepared to throw him overboard, you have similar struggles. And yet here you are, day after day after day, eating that shit sandwich.

Do you feel seen as a man, TIF?

Am I right?

[This message edited by Thumos at 6:55 AM, July 9th (Friday)]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH (me): 50, WW: 49
Married: Feb. 1996
DDAY: Dec. 20

posts: 4217   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8673835
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guvensiz ( Member #75858) posted at 12:44 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Another possibility that comes to my mind is, could these be exit steps from marriage?

It couldn't happen in last crisis, because then the reason would be her infidelity. Now you will have problems in marriage, problems arising from you, of course.

It may not even be something that was done consciously but developing instinctively.

posts: 477   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2020
id 8673842
Topic is Sleeping.
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