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General :
No Empathy

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 fournlau (original poster Member #71803) posted at 8:47 PM on Thursday, September 2nd, 2021

Mine, not WS's

It'll be 3 years since Dday in October, and about 2 1/2 years since the last big lie. And only about a year and a half since WH has done serious work, ie went from "I'm not going to counseling because I don't need to deal with the A, you need to deal with it." to "I think we need more therapy because we still have issues to resolve."

I still struggle with feeling empathy for what he is going through.

For example, we are on a trip and on the way we stopped for gas. The gas station was huge and brand new. I made a comment about how big it was and his response was "That's what she said.". It immediately brought up the A and his OW for me. I said, "I think that is an inappropriate comment." and then I said "Did she?" It just came out because I was annoyed and upset. Normally I keep those snarky, passive aggressive, comments to myself. If he could look inside my head he would never be able to utter another word at me!

Anyhow, I waited and waited for an apology for the inconsiderate comment but none came. In fact, he didn't say anything (which is normal) and just acted like nothing was wrong. Of course I was very upset and began to cry. Finally he asked what was wrong, as if he didn't know. Things didn't go well of course and his explanation as to why he didn't apologize was because of the snarky comment I made that made him feel annoyed and that I just wanted to pick a fight!

I honestly couldn't care less how it made him feel. Maybe he should have kept it in his pants if he didn't want to made to feel like he did something wrong! I don't feel that this was adequately dealt with, he did finally apologize, but only after I apologized for the snarky comment! At that point, so fucking what! I'm supposed to make it a priority to make him feel better when he can't do the same for me? I'm not the one that fucked up. And if he can't take some snark once in a while, then it's still all about him! In fact I think that's what pisses me off the most. It's always all about HIM! How HE feels. How HE sees things. How HE processes!

Should I be further along in having empathy for him? Because I have ZERO! If it can't be about ME after being betrayed, then when the hell will it ever be about me?

posts: 283   ·   registered: Oct. 10th, 2019
id 8686873
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crazyblindsided ( Member #35215) posted at 9:34 PM on Thursday, September 2nd, 2021

I had no empathy towards the xWS too. My X did not put in the work and was not remorseful. I'm not remembering if your WS is remorseful, but it sure doesn't look that way. I mean what a bonehead thing to say what is he 13? rolleyes

fBS/fWS (me):48 Mad-hattered after DD1
XWS:50 Serial Cheater, NPD tendencies
Together 24 years, Married 19
DD(18) DS(15)
DD1 (2008) COW, DD2 (2012) MOW, False R (2014) Same MOW. DD3 (2019) Webcam girl

posts: 8034   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8686881
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13YearsR ( Member #58259) posted at 9:58 PM on Thursday, September 2nd, 2021

I think we'd be hard pressed to find a BS that didn't experience something similar. I don't think it necessarily means that your H isn't empathetic. He said something not realizing that it would trigger you, you called him on it, and then you stewed in silence until you cried, waiting for him to notice. Girl, that's codependent. Next time, how about telling him something like "Hey, can you not with the 'that's what she said' jokes? They trigger me."

XOXO

[This message edited by 13YearsR at 10:00 PM, Thursday, September 2nd]

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. ~ Gloria Steinem

DDay 2004 Successful R and going on 33 years married

posts: 439   ·   registered: Apr. 13th, 2017   ·   location: TX
id 8686888
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 fournlau (original poster Member #71803) posted at 10:21 PM on Thursday, September 2nd, 2021

I had no empathy towards the xWS too. My X did not put in the work and was not remorseful. I'm not remembering if your WS is remorseful, but it sure doesn't look that way. I mean what a bonehead thing to say what is he 13? rolleyes

He's doing work and yes, remorseful, guilty, shameful, yada yada yada. Like I said, sometimes it's all about HIM and His feelings instead of mine. The maturity level at times is yes, about 13! Even my teenaged boys are more mature than that!

I don't think it necessarily means that your H isn't empathetic. He said something not realizing that it would trigger you, you called him on it, and then you stewed in silence until you cried, waiting for him to notice. Girl, that's codependent. Next time, how about telling him something like "Hey, can you not with the 'that's what she said' jokes? They trigger me."

Isn't the calling him out on it enough? Isn't that when he comes back with "You're right, the comment was thoughtless, etc..." Or am I supposed to keep telling him what to do and what the "right thing" to do is? What I was waiting for was the apology, that I knew was never going to come, unless I brought it up again, and even then not so sure. The crying was because I was upset. We were in a vehicle so I couldn't just hide what was happening. No, I wasn't waiting for him to "notice" I was upset. Obviously he knew I was not happy with what he'd said. That doesn't just go away, he was just hoping it would and used my snarky comment as an excuse to not apologize because God forbid he did anything wrong that made him feel bad. Apparently what I said was just as bad and had him feeling just as bad as I was! His feelings are justified, mine sometimes aren't, or, our feelings are equal, when no, they aren't!

IDK, I find it difficult to deal with this kind of thing because for almost 30 years I got used to DARVO and that things are usually "my fault", "I just take things too personally", "that's not what he said", "or meant", "I perceived it wrong". You get the picture. So, is that codependent? Ugh! I don't know what it is but I feel like anger is bubbling up again!

posts: 283   ·   registered: Oct. 10th, 2019
id 8686895
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13YearsR ( Member #58259) posted at 11:11 PM on Thursday, September 2nd, 2021

It all sounds very sideways to me. Sideways meaning that neither of you were being direct. He probably felt like you were looking for a reason to be mad and he can't do anything right, and you felt like he was an insensitive asshole.

Be direct. When the apology doesn't come, say "I'm angry and hurt that you haven't apologized."

If he's doing it right, he might say "I'm angry that you were snarky" or whatever he's thinking and feeling.

And off you go with a dialogue. Healthy shit.

I've been in your shoes. I get it. I so get it. We were at a club one night to see a band with friends. I don't even remember what H said, but it was a similar situation where he thought he was being funny and lighthearted. It hit me wrong, and I went off. I was furious, and angry with him for not getting on the angry train with me and riding it out. In retrospect, he really didn't do anything wrong; I was sensitive and the trigger lit a dynamite fuse. That's the way I'm reading your story. "That's what she said" is funny to the rest of the non-BS world. He didn't consider that it might be a trigger before he said it, and then he got mad that you made it a big deal and sniped at him, and off we go to the races.

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. ~ Gloria Steinem

DDay 2004 Successful R and going on 33 years married

posts: 439   ·   registered: Apr. 13th, 2017   ·   location: TX
id 8686907
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 fournlau (original poster Member #71803) posted at 11:45 PM on Thursday, September 2nd, 2021

If he's doing it right, he might say "I'm angry that you were snarky" or whatever he's thinking and feeling.

Except that this is the problem right now for me. I have 0 empathy for how he feels in these moments. Also, I did apologize for the snarky comment, then and only then did he apologize for the comment he made.

I guess I'm doing it wrong. Or maybe yeah, he can't do anything right. I just don't understand why it's so difficult to say sorry for an inconsiderate comment. I even told him I knew he hadn't done it on purpose, or meant it that way. Still, I feel like I have to cajole an apology out of him. Walk on eggshells so as not to hurt HIS feelings. It seems ass backwards.

So, I have to be MORE direct because telling him it was an inappropriate comment isn't direct enough huh? Yep, there I go again, I "heard it wrong", or made a "big deal out of nothing".

I'm sorry I'm sounding angry and frustrated. I just don't understand why I have to be the grown up all the time! Poor HIM! My snark made him feel bad! I'd love to trade that feeling with the one I have to live with the rest of my life!

posts: 283   ·   registered: Oct. 10th, 2019
id 8686913
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WTAF ( New Member #79274) posted at 11:46 PM on Thursday, September 2nd, 2021

I understand. This happens with me too. I used to just let that stuff go because it was easier than having a confrontation during which I am labeled too sensitive, or am told that I am hanging onto stuff too long, or hurting his feelings by reminding him about things he is ashamed of. But lately I just have to push back. Usually I just tell him that we can't joke like that anymore and while he may think I shouldn't be triggered by his comment, he has zero say in what I should or shouldn't find hurtful. And he has to take ownership for bringing that dynamic into our relationship. My empathy for him stops at the point that I am expected to accept hurts like that, on top of my broken heart, so that he can avoid feeling uncomfortable.

posts: 15   ·   registered: Aug. 13th, 2021   ·   location: West Coast
id 8686914
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 fournlau (original poster Member #71803) posted at 11:57 PM on Thursday, September 2nd, 2021

WTAF

YES AND THANK YOU!! You said it so well!

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id 8686917
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EllaC ( New Member #79253) posted at 9:07 PM on Sunday, September 5th, 2021

We have separated but before we did he would and still does tell "my hostility is not helpful" and whines about me being angry with him. He thinks we should just cooperate and be friendly. I loathe him for what he’s done to me and to our family and I’m not in that kind of headspace, sorry.

When we were still trying to decide if we could work it out (when he said there was NC) I finally stared him down and told him he had to tell me the truth about her still being in his life or not. He admitted he was still "talking to her". When I told him then I now definitively done he whined that it was because of the way I was treating him.

My god. These man-babies. I have no empathy whatsoever.

posts: 14   ·   registered: Aug. 8th, 2021   ·   location: Toronto
id 8687242
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thatbpguy ( Member #58540) posted at 4:37 AM on Monday, September 6th, 2021

While the betrayer doesn't need to walk on egg shells, they need to ever remain cognitive of the betrayed's feelings. Those remarks were hurtful and insensitive. It tells me he's fully moved on and considers R fully accomplished. I wouldn't have any empathy either.

ME: BHHer: WWDDay 1, R; DDay 2, R; DDay 3, I leftDivorcedRemarried to a wonderful woman

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." C.S. Lewis

As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly...

posts: 4452   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2017   ·   location: Vancouver, WA
id 8687261
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OwningItNow ( Member #52288) posted at 8:59 AM on Monday, September 6th, 2021

It's always all about HIM! How HE feels. How HE sees things. How HE processes!

Then he's not genuinely remorseful. It's not a part-time thing.

IDK, I find it difficult to deal with this kind of thing because for almost 30 years I got used to DARVO and that things are usually "my fault", "I just take things too personally", "that's not what he said", "or meant", "I perceived it wrong". You get the picture. So, is that codependent?

Yes. Because you stayed with him even though he treated you this way. But the label codependent is neither here nor there--why did you stay with such a selfish, condescending person?

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 3:01 AM, September 6th (Monday)]

me: BS/WS
h: WS/BS

Reject the rejector.
Do not reject yourself.

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id 8687270
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steadychevy ( Member #42608) posted at 1:57 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021

I do not understand the responses you got saying you didn't handle it well. You didn't stew in silence or sit sulking. It wasn't sideways.

I don't know if you are co-dependent. It doesn't matter to me. You immediately brought the comment to his attention as being inappropriate. It wasn't an off-hand remark that sort of construed anything. He specifically brought "she" into the comment.

And if you were snarky - so what. He's insensitive. If he had empathy for you and the harm he has caused you and your marriage he would understand those things that might trigger you. He, instead, decided to punish you for your insensitive, snaky comment.

In this little thread I don't see how he is remorseful or in reconciliation.

[This message edited by steadychevy at 7:29 AM, September 7th (Tuesday)]

BH(me)70; XWW 64; M 42 yrs
DDay1-01/09/13;DDay2-26/10/13;DDay3-19/12/13;DDay4-21/01/14
LTA-09/02-06/06? OM - COW
"dates" w/3 lovers post engagement;ONS w/stranger post commitment, lies, lies, lies
Separated 23/09/2017; D 16/03/2020

posts: 4660   ·   registered: Feb. 27th, 2014   ·   location: Canada
id 8687277
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Tanner ( Member #72235) posted at 5:13 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021

My take on it is you saw your H let his guard down and be authentic, he made a joke. I’m not diminishing your trigger they are awful. We had something similar and we took it as a positive.

A few months ago we were cleaning out our master closet and there was a shirt neither of us recognized, without thinking I made a joke and said “some dude probably left it here”. She got pissed and said “that’s an awful thing to say”. I wasn’t even thinking when I said it. But I told her, “do you realize for the first time I let my guard down and made a joke like I did years before Dday?” We laughed about it because it wasn’t meant to hurt her, it was a slip of healing and authenticity.

I think you should talk to him and tell him that jokes like that trigger you, but at the same time realize this might be a sign of growth.

ETA: I’m not talking about the aftermath, only the moment he made the joke.

[This message edited by Tanner at 1:40 PM, September 6th (Monday)]

Dday Sept 7 2019 working toward R
BH 54
WW 47
M 30 years, 4 kids 2 grown, twin boys 12 yo 2 grandkids

One day you will tell your story how you overcame what you are going through now, and it will become part of someone else’s survival guide.

posts: 715   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8687296
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landclark ( Member #70659) posted at 5:47 PM on Monday, September 6th, 2021

I’m pretty sure if you had told him you expected an apology, somebody would still come along and say you’re codependent and that he should be figuring that stuff out on his own. Not you guiding him.

My sister sent me a quote today "manipulation is when they blame you for your reaction to their disrespect". That really hits home for me even outside of my relationship. The making you apologize before he would is a form of manipulation, in my opinion. Somebody who was truly remorseful would have just apologized for being insensitive.

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: 1912   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2019
id 8687298
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 2:23 AM on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

I think you understand where your H is coming from, so that's plenty of empathy. I think you're writing about no tolerance - but how much tolerance should you have for crap from your H?

One way of reducing crap is to make your low tolerance apparent, so I, too, think you did well.

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.

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 fournlau (original poster Member #71803) posted at 6:48 PM on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

Thanks all for the responses. Some I agree with, some I don't, but I guess we all see things from our own perspective.

My god. These man-babies. I have no empathy whatsoever.

Exactly! Why am I the one that has to take his feelings into consideration when he destroyed everything just to make his dick happy?

While the betrayer doesn't need to walk on egg shells, they need to ever remain cognitive of the betrayed's feelings. Those remarks were hurtful and insensitive. It tells me he's fully moved on and considers R fully accomplished. I wouldn't have any empathy either.

Indeed in a lot of ways he is extremely eager to move on and put this in the past. He continues to tell me that he understands that for me that is not the case. However, he forgets that there are still things he needs to work on and things are NEVER going to go back to normal, how can they? I seem to have to push back on this narrative quite a bit.

IDK, I find it difficult to deal with this kind of thing because for almost 30 years I got used to DARVO and that things are usually "my fault", "I just take things too personally", "that's not what he said", "or meant", "I perceived it wrong". You get the picture. So, is that codependent?

Yes. Because you stayed with him even though he treated you this way. But the label codependent is neither here nor there--why did you stay with such a selfish, condescending person?

Here's the thing though. I didn't realize this was an abusive pattern. It didn't start off this bad, it was done by degrees until it felt normal. I stayed because I didn't realize I was being treated badly in those instances. Sure, I felt like I had real and valid concerns, but the gaslighting made me internalize them. Look at myself to see if maybe I was wrong. I second guessed myself and gave him the benefit of the doubt. I didn't even know what DARVO was until over a year after Dday. And when I realized that that was what had been going on in my M it floored me! He still didn't see it as abusive himself and IDK, maybe he DARVO'd without realizing what he was doing. Merely protecting himself. But who knows. He has acknowledged that what he did was wrong and that it created the exact situation he was most upset about (dead bedroom).

I also made excuses for his selfishness because for the most part, he took care of me and our kids. He wasn't one of those men who went out and got drunk or hung out with his friends above his family. We came first most of the time. But, looking back on it now, I realize that even that was selfishness on his part. We did what he wanted most of the time. He was the leader and we followed. The excuse I made was that he had little to nothing growing up. His father was an alcoholic, and aggressive one and hurt his mother on occasion. So, when he bought himself "toys" he wanted, even if they were too expensive for us to afford, I chalked it up to him treating himself the way he wished he had been treated as a child. He would also buy things for our kids, again, even if we couldn't really afford it. I took care of the finances and had to get creative!

These are now issues that are front and center and I no longer allow them to just happen. I will no longer live in the kind of M that we had before. Yes, he keeps trying to get back there because it's comfortable for him there. It is no longer comfortable for him. I suppose that is one reason I still have some hope. The old him would have quit. He would have been incapable of looking inward at all to see, understand, and admit that he was at fault for anything.

I do not understand the responses you got saying you didn't handle it well. You didn't stew in silence or sit sulking. It wasn't sideways.

I don't know if you are co-dependent. It doesn't matter to me. You immediately brought the comment to his attention as being inappropriate. It wasn't an off-hand remark that sort of construed anything. He specifically brought "she" into the comment.

And if you were snarky - so what. He's insensitive. If he had empathy for you and the harm he has caused you and your marriage he would understand those things that might trigger you. He, instead, decided to punish you for your insensitive, snaky comment.

In this little thread I don't see how he is remorseful or in reconciliation.

Thank you for saying I handled it well. I certainly handled it better than I would have in the past. I might have just let it go and yes, stewed in silence. Not sure about the co-dependency either, but maybe I should look into it. Either way, at least I'm moving forward instead of backwards.

Is he remorseful? I think so. but I also think that he is still selfish and often thinks of himself first. This is what he's fighting against, and I can at least give him credit for seeing it and trying to get better. Will it be enough? I can't say for sure yet.

I think you should talk to him and tell him that jokes like that trigger you, but at the same time realize this might be a sign of growth.

I'm glad you were able to see your joke as a positive, and so was your wife. However, I saw this as insensitive. We are not, and he is certainly not, far enough along in healing to be able to make jokes like these. Growth? No, he just didn't think when he said what he said. Again, I know he didn't mean anything by it, we've all heard this "that's what she said" joke a million times. I don't expect him to be perfect, but when I call it out, the least I expect is an apology for the trigger (meant or not).

My sister sent me a quote today "manipulation is when they blame you for your reaction to their disrespect". That really hits home for me even outside of my relationship. The making you apologize before he would is a form of manipulation, in my opinion. Somebody who was truly remorseful would have just apologized for being insensitive.

I agree. Like I said, he still thinks about himself first when things like this happen. It takes a bit before he can see things from my perspective. And sometimes I have to spell it out line by line. So again, is that me leading him? Does that mean he isn't doing the work unless I force him to? Is that enough? IDK. I suppose there might come a time when I've had enough of it all. There was another incident that happened but I'm too tired to write it out. Maybe I'm the stupid one for still trying. I feel shattered and I know I can't take much more.

posts: 283   ·   registered: Oct. 10th, 2019
id 8687428
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 fournlau (original poster Member #71803) posted at 6:51 PM on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

I think you understand where your H is coming from, so that's plenty of empathy. I think you're writing about no tolerance - but how much tolerance should you have for crap from your H?

One way of reducing crap is to make your low tolerance apparent, so I, too, think you did well.


I never considered it in this way. I think tolerance is a good way to describe it. There are just some things that are not OK anymore, even if they were before. Before I had no problem with him looking at other women because looking is not touching. However, he has proven that he can go from looking to touching, so now I don't accept it is OK.

Thank you for saying I did well. Hopefully I can get better at letting him know what my "low tolerance" situations, comments, etc. are!

posts: 283   ·   registered: Oct. 10th, 2019
id 8687429
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Tanner ( Member #72235) posted at 4:56 AM on Thursday, September 9th, 2021

I don't expect him to be perfect, but when I call it out, the least I expect is an apology for the trigger (meant or not).

Totally agree, my W walked on eggshells for a long time. I told her I didn’t feel she was being authentic because she never pushed back on anything (like where to eat dinner). I told her please don’t get lost in R. Be yourself and feel free to call me out if I’m wrong. I guess I gave her a pass to equal up. She has never directly made a trigger for me so I don’t have experience there. I just felt your H let his guard down and was being authentic, but very insensitive to you. How he handled the aftermath was not correct. I was only saying he had a comfortable moment.

Dday Sept 7 2019 working toward R
BH 54
WW 47
M 30 years, 4 kids 2 grown, twin boys 12 yo 2 grandkids

One day you will tell your story how you overcame what you are going through now, and it will become part of someone else’s survival guide.

posts: 715   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8687653
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HowCouldSheDoIt ( Member #78431) posted at 5:03 PM on Friday, September 10th, 2021

This is a little late to the party, but there is a wonderful quote from Jimmy Evans the CEO of Marriage Today (which I haven't read a lot, I just saw a few videos on YouTube and he seems like he has a solid approach to A)

Your situation reminds of this quote of his, which I like very much about repentance.

"Repentance means this: I'll do anything to make it right, and I take all the responsibility for what I did. Sorry means sorry I got caught, and sorry this hurts you. Sorry doesn't cut it, repentance cuts it. And repentance means I'll do anything, I'll tell you anything you want to know, I'll go to counseling, I'll do whatever it takes to repair the marriage. Here's a saying that I like: Repentance makes everything easy.... You can heal a marriage with a repentant person. ... If you're dealing with an unrepentant spouse, it's really hard to deal with."

Me: BH Early 50's
Her: WW Early 50's
D-Day Nov 2020
Married 21 years before D-Day
3 children
Working toward reconciling. The most difficult thing I've had to do in my life.

posts: 241   ·   registered: Mar. 3rd, 2021
id 8687961
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The1stWife ( Member #58832) posted at 5:59 PM on Friday, September 10th, 2021

Sign me up for the no empathy club. I’m nominating myself as the president.

I call this meeting to order!

Raise your hand if you don’t give a crap about the cheating spouse’s "feelings" at times. ✋

Raise your hand your motto is "you make your bed now lie in it" at times. ✋

Raise your hand if you still don’t do favors or errands for the cheating spouse ✋

I feel I gave him 30 really good years. I made him a priority. I bent over backwards to make his life easy. So when he told me I never loved him and married him for other reasons - well I have a hard time accepting that as a reason to cheat and it was never true!! But he obviously thought this and decided to share it.

Sorry my empathy chip is reserved for people who deserve it. I treat him well but there are certain things I just have a hard time getting past.

In the original post by fornlau — I might have abandoned the trip if my H was that stupid to say something like that. Honestly it wasn’t funny. And how dare he think he can get away with trying to be funny like that. Goodness he’s an immature idiot!!!

[This message edited by The1stWife at 6:00 PM, Friday, September 10th]

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10532   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8687966
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