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Just Found Out :
My Wife had an Intense, Highly Deceptive Affair

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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 9:02 PM on Thursday, May 5th, 2022

Why is she angry quickly? Is she angry that you are calling her out? Is she angry that she can't figure anything out on her own? How did she communicate that she was angry? Has she acknowledged how much patience will be required of her if you are to actually attempt to reconcile? Is she directly acknowledging that she is still lying, because she obviously is still lying or trying to.

I am having a hard time imagining what she could legitimately be getting angry about here since she is not demonstrating empathy, even with you basically spoonfeeding her.

In this example, we came home from dinner and went up to bed early--my wife cuddled near me wearing a sexy thong and a short black lacy night gown (not uncommon as we've been having sex at least once a day). She was happily telling me about her day, largely complaining about her boss.

I had a big trigger, recalling how she told me most of her car meetups would go--she'd arrive to his car, breathlessly complain about work and me to AP, with him nodding along in agreement and providing a listening ear. She'd finish up in 10-15 minutes, then they'd start making out and she'd blow him, with him usually fingering her. It was routine for all four meetups in his car.

It struck me that the exact same thing was happening right now--her providing me inane details about her day, me nodding along, then us eventually having sex. I became really sad, fighting back tears. To top things off, it was also the four month anniversary of their first hotel stay on Jan. 4--so I knew exactly four months earlier he was fucking her at that very moment.

She recognized my sadness and held me close, apologizing for hurting me so badly. I eventually drifted off to sleep (it was early, around 9:30 p.m.), her as well--I never spoke a word.

I woke up about 90 minutes later, her lying next to me asleep. I felt entirely confused with a million thoughts in my head. I considered initiating sex, but didn't. I just sat there thinking. She stirred and woke up a bit after 20-30 minutes, cuddling into me.

We began talking, her being apologetic for not recognizing the various triggers, especially the anniversary date. We talked about sex a bit, with her noting how special our sex has been since the affair reveal--she said she just wants to have sex with someone who loves and respects her and that's why our recent sex has been so meaningful.

That bothered me a bit because she was having admittedly great sex with AP when it was very clear to her he neither loved nor respected her. I asked her what she would have done if after I found out, I allowed her to continue the sexual relationship with him. The question was targeted at understanding her mindset of enjoying a prolonged sexual relationship with someone who didn't care about her.

She became a little angry at the question and said she couldn't have done that. I asked her why she was ok having fun sex with another man only if she was also betraying the man who does love her. That trapped her in a corner and she became upset further, not knowing how to tackle it.

I backed off, seeing it wasn't productive and realizing she was over-tired, but I realized there was a lot more to explore with her on the topic as her feelings on sex and love are very confused.

Then today we're both working and she's at her office. She reached out, telling me how important I am to her and how much she loves me. She apologized for briefly getting angry with me last night--she said she was just taken off-gaurd by the question. She recognizes she needs more patience and I suggested if she's faced with a hard question, she should tell me she needs to think about it further and we can put it off another day.

I don't think that qualifies as her lying though--I think I'm asking her questions she hasn't considered before and doesn't know how to react to in real-time. I really want to be in a relationship with all the cards face-up on the table and that requires dealing with uncomfortable conversations.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8733731
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 9:08 PM on Thursday, May 5th, 2022

From reading your thread, it is clear you have no intention of removing yourself from this M. Your WW has shown you exactly who she is with what would be multiple character flawed deal-breakers for most, and you continue to try to mold her into something she simply IS NOT.

Given the above, it appears to me your efforts would better used towards ACCEPTANCE of what IS, rather that what you wish it would be. The former sucks, but the latter is soul crushing and never ending.

I have no intention of removing myself from the marriage as long as I feel me and my children are in a safe and loving environment and my wife is making active progress on her issues. Short of those two things, I'll be gone in 30 seconds.

Dr S, I think you are working too hard on this. I also think that will never change. Do you really want to do this forever?

I don't know what that means--I'm working too hard on the most important thing in my life? Of course I won't do this forever, but right now there are still plenty of things to do.

I would be curious to see how things would be progressing if you stopped cold all hysterical bonding for at least one month. This is a tool that she is using, and you're eating it up. I think it's clogging the pipes. Let's see how she reacts when you're not intimately embroiled.

You're probably right--it would certainly change the dynamic. But I will note this--during sex is a time where we can rebond with each other and connect. I've *felt* like that is important, but I could be misreading my feelings. In addition, it's also the only source of joy in my life right now...giving it up wouldn't be easy.

As an aside, I haven't watched porn since D-Day and that's been incredible. I feel like it's the best thing to come out of all of this. I feel better, I'm clear headed, and I'm significantly more attracted to my wife--which I'm sure she can recognize and feel good about.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8733732
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 9:14 PM on Thursday, May 5th, 2022

I also agree that you should stop having sex,of any kind, with her, for at least a month. As has been mentioned she's using sex to get what she wants from you. And it is working. What will she do when she doesn't have sex to lull you? What work will she do on the marriage?

posts: 4332   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8733733
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 9:25 PM on Thursday, May 5th, 2022

I also agree that you should stop having sex, of any kind, with her, for at least a month. As has been mentioned she's using sex to get what she wants from you. And it is working. What will she do when she doesn't have sex to lull you? What work will she do on the marriage?

I feel like she is doing a lot of work on the marriage: She's seeing two therapists each week, reading books on her deep-seated psychological issues, and offering me constant reassurances that she loves me and is dedicated to me. She's also willing to sit with me for hours every day and talk.

On the topic of sex, she's become sexually available and she's separating our emotional conflicts from her physical availability. And I don't feel like she's using me at all--the sex feels very genuine and loving.

That said, I still can recognize there would be a big change in dynamic if I were to cut off sex, so I'll give it some further thought.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8733736
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RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 7:19 AM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

On the topic of sex, she's become sexually available and she's separating our emotional conflicts from her physical availability.


Maybe I am reading this wrong, but didn't this exact thing get you guys into trouble in the first place? The separation of emotion from sex?

She has shown that she has the ability to have sex with little to no emotion, and uses it has her 'go to' for controlling others. Are you sure she is not lulling you into a false sense of security with sex?

You cannot cure stupid

posts: 968   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2016   ·   location: South East Asia
id 8733808
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:09 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

Maybe I am reading this wrong, but didn't this exact thing get you guys into trouble in the first place? The separation of emotion from sex?

She has shown that she has the ability to have sex with little to no emotion, and uses it has her 'go to' for controlling others. Are you sure she is not lulling you into a false sense of security with sex?

I meant that previously she’s be emotionally upset about something in our relationship and she’s take it out on me in our sex life—the result was she was never really present in our sexlife, she was just going through the motions.

Now she’s addressing that. We can have really hard, emotionally draining conversations, but she’s been able to reset and be emotionally connected during sex. Essentially, we can have hard days—and we often do—but our sex life hasn’t suffered from it.

Last night we did take a break from sex though. I was emotionally exhausted from the last few days—I can tell she was as well.

We did have good discussions last night though. Many of the things I was driving at fell into place for her. She realized that the spark between her and AP actually began in early Nov upon further reflection.

She also recalled how even then he was always talking about how they’d have this friendship for years (noting future together on town PTA). She knows now how stupid it was, but for her it gave her this false sense of longterm commitment—and that remained after things got physical and throughout the affair.

She really fell for this guy emotionally, which helped justify her sexual relationship with him. She admitted that ultimately she kept doing it because she really enjoyed the sex and she felt happy when she was with him. She knew she was fooling herself with him and us—it was all a manipulated fantasy in her mind and she kept playing with fire as to not give up the fun.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8733854
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:38 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

The next thing I know works is you 2 should write out the last time (whole day) you think both of you were happy together in the marriage. Then the other person says whether they really were happy during that whole day or if there were parts they didn't like. Be specific about exact thoughts and times that made people unhappy! Then you 2 talk about why each person really wasn't happy during those times in those days that should by all outward appearances be happy.

We did this yesterday—and we both picked the same date: Oct. 21, 2021; our last day on the Italy trip where we wandered around Rome (my favorite city) for the entire day.

Us both picking the same day really crushed her and she was an emotional mess all night, wallowing in her pain and anger at herself for being so stupid and destroying our marriage. She looks at it now and realizes how impulsive she was, recognizing that the marriage wasn’t bad and she was just in this brief down feeling and she blew it all up so quickly. It’s also the primary thing her IC is working on with her: trying to make her less impulsive.

For her, she thought I nailed the day. She thinks it was the last day she was genuinely happy and she recalled all the great moments of the day as we relived it.

She had a work trip a couple of weeks later and she recalled her trip home from the airport late at night texting him extensively—all PTA related, but it hit her that’s really where the strong connection for him began. And the texting from him was heavy from then on out, constantly chatting about PTA stuff. That’s where the emotional bond started.

I also asked her what her happiest day of the affair time period was and she had to think about it for a bit. She choose Jan. 4 as the high—her going to the sports arena feeling both terrified that someone would spot her and incredibly free from all her family obligations. Then the night in the hotel feeling so sexually liberated and her heart so light.

From there, things just got worse in all regards of her life. It was just a spiral downward in all her relationships (including with AP) and her personal health.

For me, I wasn’t sure the Oct. 24 date was accurate. I certainly was happy, but I recall being equally happy in more recent days—including our trip to Miami in Feb. and on Feb. 26 when I got to take my three-year old daughter for the entire day (she had a bday party and we went on a dinner date lol).

It was a useful exercise as my wife opened up a lot and it was one of the harder nights she’s had emotionally recently.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8733859
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numb&dumb ( member #28542) posted at 1:48 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

Her anger is a shield to protect herself. Any time she gets angry she should write it down and take that to therapy. You are challenging her idealistic view of the A and deep in her messed up thought patterns she knows you are right. Her ability to keep the two things compartmentalized is not working anymore.

I take a different view on the HB.

I think right now it is maintaining some form of vulnerability with her. You both need someplace to bond and connect.

That being said. . .

She likely is complying with the requests, but also likely resents them. WW are nothing if not selfish. She isn't doing these things out of any other place than self interest right now. To her the sex serves many purposes and not all of them are good.

At some point her, "compliance," will stop working for her. Once she gets to a point she will begin being nastier, angry or will just be depressed all the time.

Even actions can be faked (for a limited time) although they are harder to fake than words.

Once the HB subsides and it will you need to dive headfirst into working on you and disentangle the co-depedent M you had before.

I know this sounds crazy, but one of the reasons my W had an A was because she had issues she could not fix on her own. Being very co-dependent, she assumed it was because of the M, but could not address anything without admitting her own role in creating that M. She had an A as it seemed a secret third option to feel better about her own faults.

Have you informed the AP spouse? I am not saying you should or shouldn't. I will say that the best antidote to the bullshit fantasyland crap is to let it see the light of day. As thrive on secrecy and inauthenticity.

Again, your call.I will that it might be a way to burst that fantasy bubble. I would not inform your wife prior either. If you do inform the other betrayed spouse count on your WW getting some form of contact.

Have she given you 100% transparency with all forms of communication? Also what is the plan that the two of you have if AP attempts contact. I think this is an important discussion for the two of you to have. If she really is on your team than either of the above won't be an issue.

If she tries to prevent any of the above I would stop communicating with her on an emotional level. Just kids and finances nothing else. The 180 as it is called.

Dday 8/31/11. EA/PA. Lied to for 3 years.

Bring it, life. I am ready for you.

posts: 5001   ·   registered: May. 17th, 2010
id 8733860
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Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 2:29 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

I also asked her what her happiest day of the affair time period was and she had to think about it for a bit. She choose Jan. 4 as the high—her going to the sports arena feeling both terrified that someone would spot her and incredibly free from all her family obligations. Then the night in the hotel feeling so sexually liberated and her heart so light.

Did you ask her how she views this day today? This is the days that she gave away more to another man, an asshole, than she had given the man she was supposed to love her whole life. This was the day that she broke every vow she made to her husband and father of her child.

This is the day that she shot an emotional bullet thru her life partners chest, one that may some day be forgiven, but never forgotten.

She shared with someone else things that you had never shared with her. She left you out of her life. She made another man her husband on this day, not you. The sexual liberation her husband craved was giving to a relative stranger.

While she remembers that she on this day had good feelings for another man and for herself, she now has a history with a man who is not her husband.

This is the worst day for her partner. This day will continue to hurt and haunt him.

How does she view this day where she stands today.

[This message edited by Stevesn at 2:33 PM, Friday, May 6th]

fBBF. Just before proposing, broke it off after her 2nd confirmed PA in 2 yrs. 9 mo later I met the wonderful woman I have spent the next 30 years with.

posts: 3387   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2017
id 8733882
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 2:56 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

Her anger is a shield to protect herself. Any time she gets angry she should write it down and take that to therapy. You are challenging her idealistic view of the A and deep in her messed up thought patterns she knows you are right. Her ability to keep the two things compartmentalized is not working anymore.

I take a different view on the HB.

I think right now it is maintaining some form of vulnerability with her. You both need someplace to bond and connect.

That being said. . .

She likely is complying with the requests, but also likely resents them. WW are nothing if not selfish. She isn't doing these things out of any other place than self interest right now. To her the sex serves many purposes and not all of them are good.

At some point her, "compliance," will stop working for her. Once she gets to a point she will begin being nastier, angry or will just be depressed all the time.

Even actions can be faked (for a limited time) although they are harder to fake than words.

Once the HB subsides and it will you need to dive headfirst into working on you and disentangle the co-depedent M you had before.

I know this sounds crazy, but one of the reasons my W had an A was because she had issues she could not fix on her own. Being very co-dependent, she assumed it was because of the M, but could not address anything without admitting her own role in creating that M. She had an A as it seemed a secret third option to feel better about her own faults.

I think you're right regarding her anger and I provided her that suggestion and she's going to prioritize it at IC.

Regarding our current sex-life, my gut is you're wrong, but as I've said, I like to verify everything. I'm going to dig into it further with her tonight.

My sense is the sex is really unique right now--even more so for her than me. I can see how connected she feels and how she feels so loved in the moment rather than being used for male gratification. That's how she's subconsciously viewed sex forever, even with me, so there is a wild difference in what's going on right now with her.

That said, is it possible she's having more sex with me that she wants because she feels obligated? I don't honestly know. But I feel like if I probe on this, she'll come clean, so we'll see.

Have you informed the AP spouse? I am not saying you should or shouldn't. I will say that the best antidote to the bullshit fantasyland crap is to let it see the light of day. As thrive on secrecy and inauthenticity.

Again, your call.I will that it might be a way to burst that fantasy bubble. I would not inform your wife prior either. If you do inform the other betrayed spouse count on your WW getting some form of contact.

Have she given you 100% transparency with all forms of communication? Also what is the plan that the two of you have if AP attempts contact. I think this is an important discussion for the two of you to have. If she really is on your team than either of the above won't be an issue.

If she tries to prevent any of the above I would stop communicating with her on an emotional level. Just kids and finances nothing else. The 180 as it is called.

This thread is very long, so many things have been lost many pages before.

The OBS was informed a little more than a month ago--I've met with her in person on two occasions and we still text. It doesn't appear she'll be reconciling with AP. Ultimately it was useful as the AP's story corroborated my wife's.

I do have transparency on comms--we're now tracking each other's phones and she knows I can take her phone anytime I want--though I don't. What I don't think she's aware of is that her texts are now going back to her iPad (on a delay), and I have glanced at those a couple of times over the last month. There's nothing suspicious going on--she's fully committed to reconnecting with me right now.

Both my wife and the AP have each other blocked on all forms of contact, including social media. They're both solely focused on reconciliation, but as I noted, OBS won't really even speak with him.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8733895
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 3:25 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

Did you ask her how she views this day today? This is the days that she gave away more to another man, an asshole, than she had given the man she was supposed to love her whole life. This was the day that she broke every vow she made to her husband and father of her child.

This is the day that she shot an emotional bullet thru her life partners chest, one that may some day be forgiven, but never forgotten.

She shared with someone else things that you had never shared with her. She left you out of her life. She made another man her husband on this day, not you. The sexual liberation her husband craved was giving to a relative stranger.

While she remembers that she on this day had good feelings for another man and for herself, she now has a history with a man who is not her husband.

This is the worst day for her partner. This day will continue to hurt and haunt him.

How does she view this day where she stands today.

So a little clarification--that was not the day she had anal sex and was hand-cuffed (that was on Feb. 24)--Jan. 4 was the first hotel stay and first time they had sex. Also, FWIW, my wife and I have had anal sex a few times, but not in the last 15 years or so--I'd go into more detail on the physical explanations for that, but it's awkward and not relevant...

And we talked about it for a bit--it's not at all a happy day for her upon reflection, she just noted that at the time, it was the happiest day while she was within the affair. Her time developing the emotional connection in Nov., developing it further while adding in a physical connection (kissing) in Dec., came to a culmination on Jan. 4 when they went all the way. That was the point of highest/best feelings for AP when a world of possibility still was open for her future outside our marriage.

She recognizes now those feelings weren't based in reality, but in the moment, that night was like a numbing agent to all the pain and unhappiness in her life. Every day after that, her life got worse. She saw cracks in AP's personality and any romantic future she could have had with him ended fairly rapidly--she saw him as very flawed (in some ways, he was wrong in many of the same ways she found me flawed at the time). She also began drinking a lot and spending a lot--she felt like she was trying to be loving with me and the kids, but realizes now how she wasn't present with us at all--she was just drifting through the days.

Obviously it's hard for me to hear that in the moment she was happy on Jan. 4, but I asked the question--and honestly, another answer would have been bull shit. Of course that was her happiest day of the affair--it lines up exactly with everything else she's said and I expect the harsh truth from her.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8733909
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Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 3:58 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

Thanks for the response. I understand what you are saying.

By the way, I wasn’t sure or even focusing on if that was the day of her giving him anal sex. It may or may not have been.

What struck me was on that day, she gave him of herself the combination of both the emotional and physical. On that day she had the highest thrill and expectation and it all came together.

She gave of herself to him that specific moment and day something which perhaps you and she had not shared in a long time or had not ever shared. But in that moment of freedom at that very time, she simultaneously was completely emotionally killing the man she vowed to love and the relationship you held together.

So yes, my question was, does she now look at that day, not for what she was feeling at the time, but for what it did to those closest to her, and her life and future in general.

I’m glad she answered honestly too. But I was looking for the other half. It sounds like as you say, it is not longer a happy memory, but I was wondering if she truly can admit the truth of how destructive that moment or day actually was.

fBBF. Just before proposing, broke it off after her 2nd confirmed PA in 2 yrs. 9 mo later I met the wonderful woman I have spent the next 30 years with.

posts: 3387   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2017
id 8733932
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 4:09 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

Doc. I wonder if your WW’s new sexual openness with you, and your impression that unlike before she now sexual desires you, is due to the fact that she now feels there is balance and equity in the relationship? If so, that would be totally wrong and misplaced wayward thinking, but nonetheless something perhaps to explore.

What I mean is that prior to her A she felt you were domineering and resented you, which negativity affected her sexual feelings for you. She felt in essence an imbalance in the relationship in your favor.

Now, since her A, she has evened the playing field in her mind. She has exacted her revenge. Thus, she now feels that she can open up sexually to you.

If this is the case, it would speak to a lot of advice you’re receiving that your WW is not being honest, and that her new found love and desire for you, as well as the love bombing, is all all superficial, and is simply a way to manipulate you.

This idea would totally fit with what you’ve described as your WW’s personality. Sure, she’s showing emotion and anger at herself for her A, and is expressing regret for hurting you, but deep down, perhaps even subconsciously, she feels better about you snd your M because she has evened the score.

Just something to perhaps ponder.

posts: 401   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8733944
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:47 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

I don't currently see an end in sight to my pain and triggers. So while the prospect of happiness with her gives me resolve, I do worry I could be signing up for a lifetime of intermittent unhappiness.

Right now your W's A is a gigantic event. That's because it was so recent. You really can't see an end to pain and triggering, because that's the way our brains work.

As time goes by, the A recedes and gets put into long term perspective. It becomes one trauma of several, since I assume everyone's life includes some trauma. In time - give yourself 5 years - if you let yourself process your feelings out of your body, you'll forget things about the A. Triggers will occur, but they'll become less intense and less frequent.

At one point, the day of the first sex between my W and ow was branded into my brain. Now I'd have to look at the timeline to be sure what the date actually was. I remember d-day, but now we just make sure we connect well and with joy on that date.

I doubt that I'm all that unusual. You really can survive and thrive.

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: 27082   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8733975
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 5:31 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

Doc. I wonder if your WW’s new sexual openness with you, and your impression that unlike before she now sexual desires you, is due to the fact that she now feels there is balance and equity in the relationship? If so, that would be totally wrong and misplaced wayward thinking, but nonetheless something perhaps to explore.

What I mean is that prior to her A she felt you were domineering and resented you, which negativity affected her sexual feelings for you. She felt in essence an imbalance in the relationship in your favor.

Now, since her A, she has evened the playing field in her mind. She has exacted her revenge. Thus, she now feels that she can open up sexually to you.

If this is the case, it would speak to a lot of advice you’re receiving that your WW is not being honest, and that her new found love and desire for you, as well as the love bombing, is all all superficial, and is simply a way to manipulate you.

This idea would totally fit with what you’ve described as your WW’s personality. Sure, she’s showing emotion and anger at herself for her A, and is expressing regret for hurting you, but deep down, perhaps even subconsciously, she feels better about you snd your M because she has evened the score.

Just something to perhaps ponder.

We discussed this actually as I had similar concerns, though you laid them out much better than they were in my head. She doesn't feel that way about the affair--like she got back at me for the resentment. Instead she sees the things she was resentful for as manifestations of bottling everything up. They kept getting more and more overwhelming in her head and the anger for me kept growing. She looks at the affair as this entirely insane act that didn't help anything--all it did was numb her pain at times, but it also made so much of her life worse.

With regard to her feelings for me now, they're because of me, not her affair. She was confident I'd leave her if I found out about it, so at first there was the shock of seeing that I'm still standing here, and then that built each day as I sat with her. She sees how much pain I'm in and can't fathom how I'm still willing to endure this all. The result has been deep feelings of love for me as she now fully recognizes how much I love her--something she had convinced herself that I no longer did.

So now when we're having sex, she feels like she's having sex with someone who genuinely loves her. The flip side is it's just making her feel worse and worse about herself for hurting the man so deeply who loves her so much.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8733984
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 5:37 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

Right now your W's A is a gigantic event. That's because it was so recent. You really can't see an end to pain and triggering, because that's the way our brains work.

As time goes by, the A recedes and gets put into long term perspective. It becomes one trauma of several, since I assume everyone's life includes some trauma. In time - give yourself 5 years - if you let yourself process your feelings out of your body, you'll forget things about the A. Triggers will occur, but they'll become less intense and less frequent.

At one point, the day of the first sex between my W and ow was branded into my brain. Now I'd have to look at the timeline to be sure what the date actually was. I remember d-day, but now we just make sure we connect well and with joy on that date.

I doubt that I'm all that unusual. You really can survive and thrive.

Thank you for that. And that all makes sense to me--I suspect it will be how I process it as well, assuming reconciliation works. It's also why I'm so dedicated to uncovering every rock--I want to avoid setbacks as best as I can and leave nothing unexplored emotionally.

FWIW, it's hard for me to imagine forgetting the key affair days because they revolve around Christmas/NYE. The first kiss on Dec. 17 and the first fuck on Jan. 4 are going to be part of my brain forever I think. The other dates are likely to fade (Feb. 24 is a big one too...).

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8733985
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 6:29 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

See, I think you aren't seeing empathy from her. You should ask her to write how you feel. How she thinks you should be feeling and how you feel now. If she is parroting, is that perhaps because you haven't explained how you feel? Why doesn't she pickup on things deeper inside you? It is most likely a 50/50 kind of problem. Just because you focus a lot on her improvement and less on how she is giving you improvement.

She did the writing exercise again--where she puts herself in my shoes and explains how I feel--and I think she did better this time. My first reaction is this is fairly spot on, but I thought I'd post it here to see if there's any feedback:

May 6 - How I think he feels

It has been 7 weeks since the reveal. I continue to feel completely hollow inside. I feel completely lost and without control. How could you do this to me? You were the person who was my constant – the one who I knew would always be there for me. The one that I could trust. You destroyed all of that with your carelessness. You have left me feeling insecure, rejected, humiliated, unloved.

I am doing everything to keep my life together. I am going through the days longing for answers, trying to logically make sense of the acts that you did. Sometimes I feel you aren’t being truthful to me. I’m trying so hard to open up with you.

You betrayed our marriage, [WW]. You chose to walk away from it. The pain I feel is endless knowing that you wanted to potentially leave me, destroy my reputation to your family and friends. What kind of person does that?

I feel resentful – resentful that you freely gave yourself to another man. Resentful that you ruined a marriage for sex.

I look at you and I see the person that has stood beside me for 17 years. However, it is a shell of her. It really isn’t her. I don’t know this person who could do this. The person who could create this unsafe environment.

I am doing everything in my power to suppress my anger and truly just understand your reasoning and sometimes I feel like you can’t do that for me and I can’t understand why. I can’t understand why you get defensive. You don’t have the right to get defensive.

I continue to focus on the affair because I want to understand all of it and I’m anxious to stop talking about it because where do we go after this. I am not at the point of forgiveness, I still don’t know how I feel about us, so once we stop talking about the affair I don’t know what we have and how we re-build.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 7:30 PM, Friday, May 6th]

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8733991
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 7:43 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

With regard to her feelings for me now, they're because of me, not her affair.

She sees how much pain I'm in and can't fathom how I'm still willing to endure this all. The result has been deep feelings of love for me as she now fully recognizes how much I love her--

These two statements seem to contradict each other. You're saying she is so in love with you, NOW, because of how much you love her. And that is entirely different than loving someone for who they are. She loves you,because you love her.

posts: 4332   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8734000
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Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 8:16 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

I do like what she wrote. Although not directly, It does help answer some of my questions I’ve been asking about how she feels about the AP and her history with him now vs at the height of the affair.

I am glad she can verbalize or document how you must be feeling. This intellectually tells me that she understands these things.

Have you also done an exercise about how what she wrote there makes her feel? Empathy for some Waywards can be difficult as they have so recently been so inward focused.

Asking them how they feel about what you were going thru during the affair, during discovery and during recovery is also important for them to express and for you to hear.

[This message edited by Stevesn at 8:17 PM, Friday, May 6th]

fBBF. Just before proposing, broke it off after her 2nd confirmed PA in 2 yrs. 9 mo later I met the wonderful woman I have spent the next 30 years with.

posts: 3387   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2017
id 8734006
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 8:40 PM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

These two statements seem to contradict each other. You're saying she is so in love with you, NOW, because of how much you love her. And that is entirely different than loving someone for who they are. She loves you,because you love her.

I think what she’s saying is she always loved me, but felt I stopped showing her love and respect, leading up to the affair. I don’t think her resentments for me led her to stop loving me, she just used them to justify how our marriage was doomed—I also suspect she may have felt I would leave her, and she explained that by feeling I didn’t love her.

Now, she realizes she exaggerated those feelings and acted impulsively, largely because she was also very drawn to the AP and all the attention he was providing her. She sees now how wrong she was and how much I do love her—it’s quantifiable to her—so it’s devastating that she was willing to throw it away.

Lastly, I’ve come full circle on this, but I think sex is central to the affair. She was cutting herself off sexually from me and then craving sexual intimacy on a physical level. She wanted to have fun sex and her resentment and anger with me was preventing her from doing it with me. She felt an emotional connection with him, and that was needed for her, but ultimately the affair devolved into only sex—she kept it going because she enjoyed that. So even though all the other stuff in the affair played a role, by the time she’s into March, it’s primarily a sexual outlet for her it seems.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8734010
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