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Reconciliation :
Did your WS have "a weird look in their eyes" during their A?


 DaddyDom (original poster member #56960) posted at 5:09 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

I know this is sort of a weird question, but one of the things my wife told me was that when I was in the thick of things with the A, I had a weird look in my eyes, sort of squinty, empty, cold. I was experiencing some other things at the time (C-PTSD and Disassociation) and I figured that it might be related to that, however I was reading another post and someone else mentioned a weird look in their spouse's eyes as well, so I'm just curious if this is "a thing". I'm not sure it's helpful in any way but figured I'd ask.

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1269   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017
id 8724862

sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 6:50 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

Sometimes my W had a look on her that made her seem like a black hole - nothing coming out, everything going in and getting stuck. She looked almost catatonic. I couldn't figure out how to deal with her then. Now I if it was due to manipulation.

W says she dissociated, too.

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: 27110   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8724885

alucard ( member #78796) posted at 6:52 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

My WW had this dark, empty, void, and "animal" look into her eyes.
I even have a photograph of it. It still makes my skin crawl

"Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases

posts: 149   ·   registered: May. 14th, 2021
id 8724886

TheWorldYouWant ( member #78447) posted at 7:08 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

When my WH spent months (at least) having sex with prostitutes, he just seemed empty and blank. That was his whole demeanor. I had no idea what was wrong, but I just couldn't get his full attention on anything. He was absent. That probably extended to his eyes but since it was more of an overall vibe, I can't say specifically. When he's in a good place and he looks at me (when we used to spend time together), he would often have a twinkle in his eye of happiness/joy. There were no twinkles when he was acting out.

Me, BW: 50s. WH: 50s. Kids: 3 great young adults.

1998-2021: DDays without end. Porn, cam girls, online EA, dating and cheating websites, actual dating, online sex games, prostitutes, more cam girls. And that's only the stuff I know.

posts: 83   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2021   ·   location: CA
id 8724891

Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 7:24 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

My wife’s eyes were cold and distant — and her emotions toward me reflected what I saw in her eyes during the A.

I’ll certainly recognize that look if I see it again.

When I am in her thoughts, in the years before and since dday — there is a literal light in her eyes when she sees me or whenever we talk.

A sort of night and day, dark and light.

That concept regarding the eyes as windows to the soul, I think it has some truth to it.

Married 34+ years, together 40+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived
Restoration takes time.
"Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself." ― Epictetus

posts: 4318   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8724895

ibonnie ( member #62673) posted at 8:08 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

Yes. He looked perpetually annoyed, like when you're on hold with customer service forever. Minor, reasonable questions or requests would set him off, and the reaction would be akin to how he would reaction now if someone cut him off in traffic. I was extremely sleep deprived with a newborn/infant, but I was constantly confused and felt like I was walking on eggshells with every day interactions with him.

Edited to add: I just realized when something reasonable like this happens now, like if he's calling some customer service and keeps getting the run around and transferred, and gets annoyed, it makes me feel super on edge, more so than it should, because he's reaction to something like that is reminiscent and triggery.

[This message edited by ibonnie at 8:11 PM, Tuesday, March 22nd]

"I will survive, hey, hey!"

posts: 2018   ·   registered: Feb. 11th, 2018
id 8724905

JanaGreen ( member #29341) posted at 8:14 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

This isn't my board, but I saw the subject line and had to answer. Yes yes yes. Absolutely a different look, like a different person.

posts: 9497   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2010   ·   location: Southeast US
id 8724908

LIYA13 ( member #62026) posted at 8:16 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022


I am surprised no one mentioned this earlier. I thought maybe i was the only one that noticed this.

I told my H at the time of the affair that he had scary eyes and i had never seen these eyes before. Its like his eyes were no longer smiling. Not sure if that makes any sense.

I guess his eyes were like a sign for me to realise that something was not right.

I would definitely recognise those eyes again if I ever came across it again.

Eyes are really the windows to the soul.

posts: 110   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2017   ·   location: United Kingdom
id 8724910

This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 8:55 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022


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

posts: 1909   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8724921

Gracey ( new member #79334) posted at 9:49 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

Wow, so glad someone posted this as I thought I had imagined it, this look in the eyes was sort of glazed and like they WH was on drugs or on another planet. It was a cold and hard look with no warmth at all. Scary when you have previously trusted a person with your life.

Together 33 years Married. 17 years

posts: 30   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2021   ·   location: United Kingdom
id 8724941

Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 10:13 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

Yes, I call it the "space alien effect" - a distant body-snatcher vacant look, like there's no one there and they've been taken over by something. Unreachable.

"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: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4594   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8724949

 DaddyDom (original poster member #56960) posted at 11:24 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

I had a feeling I wasn't the only one. Creepy though. I was curious if this was a characteristic of a typical WS.

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1269   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017
id 8724955

The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 11:32 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

He was just annoyed at me all the time. Short tempered. Snippy. Critical.

He would not look at me directly - so avoidance was the norm for me.

But he sure had a sharp tongue.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11864   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8724956

Repossessed ( member #79544) posted at 11:55 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

Its like his eyes were no longer smiling. Not sure if that makes any sense.

It certainly does make sense to me. Others have mentioned "absent and empty" which also resonate. I especially noticed it when I was trying to talk with her. There was something unresponsive and 'glazed' about her look whenever I said anything.

I'm so glad this was brought up because it is something seemingly minor and yet, I now believe, cogent to recognizing what a BS is dealing with. I've said on this board before, there is no 'talking/reasoning' with these people. Action is the only thing that they understand.

Those eyes are a tell tale that you are not getting through

Here to keep myself mindful that I don't always see what actually is. I certainly didn't when I married her.

posts: 217   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021   ·   location: Chicagoland
id 8724965

DailyGratitude ( member #79494) posted at 1:50 AM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

My xWH’s eyes after his first affair were empty and hollow. As if i could look right through them.
I have a family photo from that time and it’s haunting. Gives me chills.
I think I tried not to look at his eyes after his second affair so I can’t say what they looked like…

Me: BW mid 50’s
Him: WH late 50’s
Marrried 25 years
Dday: EA 2002
PA 9/2021
Divorce 10/2021 (per wh’s request)
WH left to be with AP

posts: 217   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8724988

outofsorts ( member #70701) posted at 2:44 AM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

No. Not at all. I had no idea.

Me(BW): 40WH: 40 Married 7 years, together 20.
Dday 2/22/19 Reconciling

posts: 398   ·   registered: Jun. 4th, 2019
id 8724995

landclark ( member #70659) posted at 3:15 AM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

I admittedly just went back through a bunch of pictures from the first A and no difference in his face. Looked perfectly content (which is annoying). As somebody else said though, he was constantly annoyed with me, treated me like I was dumb and not worthy of his intellect, etc.

Me: BW Him: WH (GuiltAndShame) Dday 05/19/19 TT through August
One child together, 3 stepchildrenTogether 13.5 years, married 12.5

First EA 4 months into marriage. Last ended 05/19/19. *ETA, contd an ea after dday for 2 yrs.

posts: 2017   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2019
id 8724998

CaptainRogers ( member #57127) posted at 3:33 AM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

I've posted this before, and it really speaks to your question, DaddyDom. While my wife was in her A (and for a time both pre and post), she had what Quint referred to in Jaws as soulless eyes, like a doll's eyes. There was absolutely no glimmer of life in them, empty and cold, just as ISSF described yours.

I think that when any of us has turned off our conscience in order to do whatever thing it is that we want & don't care about the consequences to ourselves or others at the time, we are truly separating from that part of us that "knows better" and we lose the life from our eyes.

The eyes are the window to the soul. I could always tell by a pitcher's eyes when he had confidence and when he didn't. Sometimes I could even tell what he was about to throw. The eyes give away so much in terms of emotion and our mental chatter. And those cold, dark eyes tell a terrible story.

BS: 42 on D-day
WW: 43 on D-day
Together since '89; still working on what tomorrow will bring.
D-Day v1.0: Jan '17; EA
D-day v2.0: Mar '18; no, it was physical

posts: 3233   ·   registered: Jan. 27th, 2017   ·   location: The Rockies
id 8725002

straightup ( member #78778) posted at 4:16 AM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

My mother used to get drunk and sing lines from that Art Garfunkel song ‘Bright Eyes’, thinking of my father, for years after his affair and their divorce.

You know, the one that goes:

"Bright eyes, burning like fire
Bright eyes, how can you close and fail?
How can the light that burned so brightly
Suddenly burn so pale?"

I discovered that the song was a theme from the Watership down movie and was about the death of an anthropomophized Rabbit. When I fold her that, she found it funny enough that she stopped getting mopey and drunk, whilst thinking of my father and singing that song to herself.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
Mother Teresa

posts: 132   ·   registered: May. 11th, 2021   ·   location: Australia
id 8725008

Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 5:20 AM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

Her eyes were gone, blank nothing there. The day I knew we were ready for R is the day her eyes came back.

I’ve known her most of her life and know those eyes.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R
BH 55 WW 48 M 31 years, 4 kids 2 grown 2 grandkids

posts: 1380   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8725015
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