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Reconciliation :
The 7 words my wife said to her AP that destroyed me

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DailyGratitude ( member #79494) posted at 4:07 AM on Saturday, May 14th, 2022

Some say infidelity kills something in the BS. To me, saying "infidelity kills something within the BS" is too broad. It's more akin to an assassination contracted to be performed in the most painful way possible. Almost as if to make a statement of the contempt someone has for the target. It's not enough to just kill them quickly (like how a D would devastate an unwitting partner).

Maybe that's why it's so awful. It doesn't have the chaotic randomness of being assaulted by a person you don't know. It's not an example or wrong place at the wrong time. It's a targeted assault of precisely who a BS really is at their core.

This struck a chord with me. I’ve been thinking about why my husband’s affair and abandonment hurt so much. The above statement makes sense to me. It wasn’t some random bad luck. It wasn’t some accident. It was intentional. Pre-mediated and prolonged deception and lies, and acts of violence directed at me, the innocent spouse.

Thanks for helping me see things a bit more clearly.

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 8735267
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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 9:08 AM on Saturday, May 14th, 2022

Is there a difference between being hungry?

And just thinking you are hungry?

Some of us don't think so, so we overeat and develop huge problems because of it. But others of us know there is a difference, and we know our fake hunger is caused by boredom, dehydration, fatigue, or some other issue.

But that fake hunger is exactly the mindset of a cheater, thinking they are feeling something and lacking the insight to understand otherwise.

Some here will say that the fake feelings and real feelings are the same thing--they feel it. While others will ask, "Is having a false feeling the same as having the real feeling?"

Well, I certainly do not believe thinking I am hungry and actually being hungry are the same at all--now that I am wiser on the subject. None of us would ever want anyone to have false feelings about us vs real feelings, so I think we have to objectively admit that they are not the same. They just are not. Real hunger, real love and commitment, don't disappear with a glass of water or a 10-minute wait. Real love like real hunger is intense and lasts, although it may lessen or strengthen over time.

In therapy they teach you the necessary psychological tool of reframing. We all live a life of interpretation through our filters. We can't help it. Everything we experience gets put through our belief system before we can interpret what we think and feel. However, we can and should look at our filters. Are they healthy? Are they causing us unnecessary pain? Are they amplifying faults and minimizing strengths?

I have a friend at work who takes every last thing that people do personally. He had a lot of trauma growing up and has never processed any of it, so he wears a very toxic filter of shame. The other morning I had not slept well and was not ready to face the day. He walked by me as I momentarily talked to someone that I felt forced to talk to, so a minute later I leaned into his office and said, "Sorry, I am just not in a good mood today." His face dropped. The info went into his filter, and he somehow took my bad mood as him not being good enough to talk to (while the other random coworker was). He asked, "Why?" And I got even a little more testy and said, "I'm just not" which actually caused me to distance myself a bit. I was being honest and asking for a morning to get my head together, but his filter was making this about him for some reason.

His filter angered me like it has many times in the 25 years I've been friends with him because it causes problems when there are none. His interpretations leave him in an almost constant ball of shame and self-pity. So reframing is a good thing! It's healthy! It's a kindness we do for ourselves as we navigate this life because our filters are not always showing us the truth--they are simply our interpretation of truth, and they need to be fixed!

All of this long and winding explanation leads to my opinion on your ww's "No natter what happens I love you" is that:

It was false hunger.

She feels real hunger for you, and they are not the same thing.

You need to fix your filter in IC for your own benefit and sanity.

Just my thoughts on your situation. Best wishes to you. This is tough emotional stuff.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 9:21 AM, Saturday, May 14th]

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5467   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8735279
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 2:38 PM on Saturday, May 14th, 2022

Quite honestly, I don’t know how it’s possible to get over those words. As you perfectly articulated, based on the substance and the timing, those words were heart-felt and sincere. Coupled with the fact that she has never been so passionate and effusive with you… How do you get over that and stay married?!

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

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 737   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8735302
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Trdd ( member #65989) posted at 3:02 PM on Saturday, May 14th, 2022

That's a great post Owning it Now. It reminds me of a book I read called the Three Marriage Enigmas. In a nutshell the author argues that there is a cycle that occurs fairly commonly in marriages:

1) after marriage, sometimes pretty quickly, the woman's sex drive toward her husband naturally lowers. The man's sex drive toward his wife usually does not lower and, if it does, it comes much later than the wife's change.

2) the man eventually begins to feel, to some degree, that he is unloved because his wife is not wanting sex as much. This feeling of not being loved or desired as much can mean that the husband starts giving fewer compliments, less affection etc because he consciously or unconsciously resents having sex less frequently than he needs.

This is the downward spiral; how to avoid it is the focus of the book. He believes it puts both husband and wife at risk for an affair because both people are now potentially feeling unloved although sometimes it is below the conscious level. It means the man may go out looking for sex or be seduced by it and the woman is at risk of being enticed/seduced by a man who starts paying attention to her.

3) the third enigma is that if the woman engages in an affair, her sex drive may overwhelm her; it is reborn with a vengeance. So the AP may be ordinary, below average etc compared to her husband but the sex drive comes back all at once and the erotic feelings can be addictive to the point where she feels like she is swept of her feet in love. There may be no logic to it and sometimes no real emotional connection either but the feeling (false hunger) is interpreted as special, romantic love. We call it the fog and he describes it well.

posts: 576   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8735306
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