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My Wife Had an Intense, Highly Deceptive Affair, Part II

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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 3:23 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

I am sorry you feel this way. I wish that could change for you.

I believe that the betrayed spouse never gets the full truth in most cases. I don’t feel my H told me the 100% truth about his first affair. But I know enough that I had to accept what I know - and move on.

He swears he was not in love with OW1 but yet he loved the attention. It may or may not be true - but it doesn’t matter b/c I believe my version of events anyway.

Point is — it doesn’t matter WHAT he says. It only matters what I BELIEVE.

It’s not semantics. It’s not a game.

I don’t know what answers you need from your wife. From all the pages of this thread you seem to have the details of your wife’s affair. I wish I could help you get out of this "investigation" mentality because that part was the most damaging to me.

It had me stuck in a warp that made me miserable yet I was unable to stop it. It’s like being caught in a riptide - you know not to swim against it but yet your instinct is "to do something". So you swim against it.

The day I decided I had enough of the mental torture I was putting myself through (and stopped digging for information) was the day I made a very positive change and started on a better path to healing myself and choosing R.

I knew more about my H than he knew about himself. And accepting I had enough information and details was the day I chose to do something better for me.

I didn’t R without knowing everything I needed to know - and what I didn’t "know" didn’t really matter.

**

Here’s an example to follow up with my last post.

My H traveled extensively on business. Every week. Sometimes weeks at a time. All over the world.

During this time I always knew he could cheat and I would never know. But I never thought he would.

After the second Affair - I am sure he did cheat on me during those business trips. He had opportunity.

Did I ask him? No. If I did I am sure he would lie.

And it doesn’t matter what he would say b/c I believe he did.

And that’s enough for me. I don’t need proof. And I don’t need him to admit anything.

I understand the point you're making: that I just need to stop digging and choose to move forward. I just don't know how to do that. I can't bear the thought of starting a new relationship with my wife while there are all these lies rotting beneath us.

I'll give you an example.

Last night, in an effort to show transparency, my wife volunteered that back in 2009 (we were living together; not married), her exbf from high school was in town and asked to meet her for drinks after work. She agreed, but on the evening she was supposed to meet him, she instead got on a train and came home. She felt guilty about it and realized drinking with him could lead her down a dangerous path. She was halfway back home before he texted her asking where she was and she told him she had a headache and had to cancel.

She then asked if sharing things like that helped me.

My initial response was "yes and no"--"yes" in that I want her to share everything, but "no" in that it was an example of her doing the right thing, so it's not harmful to her to share. Then we moved on to a different topic.

This morning I was out on a run and the story hit me in the face. What had she told me she was going to do that night when she initially planned to meet him? So I asked her, and she blurted out: "Oh, I probably just told you I was planning to meet co-workers." (Note: I think I actually remember the night--her coming home saying she had a headache and couldn't meet her co-workers.)

I was in shock and how effortless her response was--like no big deal, I just lied to you and said I was planning to meet co-workers when in reality I may have gone to fuck an exbf.

She then backtracked, saying it was in 2009 and doesn't even remember the lie she told me (whether it was co-workers or not). But it's all so central to the problem now--the truth is she was lying to me all the time about everything; it was all harmless to her. I can't think of a time I've ever lied to her, so the idea of lying to her about seeing an ex would have been a big deal to me--to her it was just a Tuesday morning.

I am just not capable of moving forward with her as long as a seemingly infinite amount of lies exist in our previous relationship. None of them are acceptable. So I've asked her to make a new testimony, going back to when we met in 2004. covering all the times she was too cowardly to tell me something, and she agreed. Objectively, it seems like a lot to ask, but I don't see another way out from under this (aside from just walking away from the relationship). And truthfully, I don't think it's a task she can do to my satisfaction because my expectation is thousands of revelations and I know that's not coming.

I'm simply not capable of doing what you did with your husband: just accepting that he's lying and cheating on you and you don't want to know about it. That's just not good enough for me for the person I'd be living with the rest of my life.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737913
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 3:39 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

I think its time you make her post here as a requirement of reconciliation.

What would be the goal(s) of this requirement?

I told my W that I wouldn't provide support in some area but that I thought fellow WSes would, and I recommended she join. But I had a goal.

Other WSes join because they have certain goals that they think will be achieved by posting.

I've never seen a successful use of SI by a WS who has been required to post by their BS. (I mean that literally. There may have been some cases, but I haven't seen any.)

And if you want your W to post to achieve a goal for yourself, that's sort of backward. It's up to the person who has the goal to act to achieve it. Working indirectly, through someone else, is usually not as effective as doing the work yourself.

*****

I want to add support for the proposition that betrayal via sex is probably not the issue. We see lots of people struggle with betrayal when sex is not involved. Further, we see lots of people talk about the lies more than the sex years after the fact. Sex acts are ephemeral; lies and violations of trust seem to stay stuck on one's head.

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: 27290   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8737915
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 3:48 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

I can't think of a time I've ever lied to her, so the idea of lying to her about seeing an ex would have been a big deal to me--to her it was just a Tuesday morning.

She's avoidant. That is who she is. Whether from FOO or genetics. She can fight against that, but it's part of who she is just like you are direct. Her first reaction is always going to be to do what avoids conflict. Part of R is dealing with reality.

[This message edited by grubs at 3:49 PM, Tuesday, May 31st]

posts: 1204   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8737918
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 4:31 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

What would be the goal(s) of this requirement?

I told my W that I wouldn't provide support in some area but that I thought fellow WSes would, and I recommended she join. But I had a goal.

Other WSes join because they have certain goals that they think will be achieved by posting.

I've never seen a successful use of SI by a WS who has been required to post by their BS. (I mean that literally. There may have been some cases, but I haven't seen any.)

And if you want your W to post to achieve a goal for yourself, that's sort of backward. It's up to the person who has the goal to act to achieve it. Working indirectly, through someone else, is usually not as effective as doing the work yourself.

Hellfire has had that position for awhile, as did a couple of others in the original thread. On one hand, I think her getting feedback from someone other than me is needed (and its limited with IC and MC two hours a week); but on the other hand, I just don't think she's ready for the harsh judgement she'll get here. She is anxious and ashamed right now and it will probably just lead her to spiral.

I want to add support for the proposition that betrayal via sex is probably not the issue. We see lots of people struggle with betrayal when sex is not involved. Further, we see lots of people talk about the lies more than the sex years after the fact. Sex acts are ephemeral; lies and violations of trust seem to stay stuck on one's head.

It's a hard one for me to wrap my head around right now. If she wasn't having sex, but planning to leave the marriage and badmouthing me to her family and friends, I think it would still be really bad. If she was only having sex, but praising me to family and friends and showing authentic guilt for her actions during the affair, I'd think we'd have a better shot at R than now for sure.

The sex is major part of my thoughts for sure, but I just can't help but think I could move passed it if the other stuff was managed.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737924
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 5:48 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

What would be the goal(s) of this requirement?

I thought I was clear,but let me try again.

He's about at the end of his rope with her defensiveness. She also doesn't seem to be doing much digging into her issues. She also seems to be trying,to an extent.

Maybe you disagree, but we have some really great FWS who will tell her what she needs to be doing. They will help her dig into her issues. They will help her help him(and yes, I'm aware that you think a WS should only heal themselves. I disagree. Vehemently.)

He has talked separation. He wants her so badly to get it. And she is floundering.

She is already here. She is reading his thread,and complaining when she doesn't like the comments. IMO, she is squandering this incredible resource. If she signs up, and posts, as long as she is open to it, SI can really help her.

What would be the goal? To better herself, and hopefully,her marriage. Which is why ANY WS should sign up and post.

posts: 4386   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8737931
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 5:49 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

She's avoidant. That is who she is. Whether from FOO or genetics. She can fight against that, but it's part of who she is just like you are direct. Her first reaction is always going to be to do what avoids conflict. Part of R is dealing with reality.

I don't want to turn her into a new person, but I will expect honesty between the two of us. In this context, "avoiding conflict" can just be a euphemism for lying and being deceitful. How she manages her other relationships is on her, but I won't be a part of a continued charade of a relationship without truth.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737932
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 5:50 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

I've never seen a successful use of SI by a WS who has been required to post by their BS

Thats quite a leap. I don't recall a single post in which a ws said.."I'm only posting because my BS says I have to."

So,I'm not sure how you've come to that conclusion.

[This message edited by HellFire at 5:53 PM, Tuesday, May 31st]

posts: 4386   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8737934
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 5:56 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

just don't think she's ready for the harsh judgement she'll get here

The FWS don't do that. They will call her on her bullshit, when she makes excuses,but they don't judge each other for the affair,or their behaviour during the affair. That would make them hypocrites. She would be very,very protected on the WS forum,with the stop sign. It is the safest forum on this site.

posts: 4386   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8737937
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PowerWithin ( new member #80349) posted at 6:24 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

I’m not sure if you’ve mentioned this already… I’m wondering if you’re attracted to the tension between rejection and acceptance. It could stem from FOO patterns with your parents’ style of raising you (just a guess based on your description?) and how that pattern could have been set in your brain from a young age. As in, the pain of rejection must precede the pleasure of being accepted —> acceptance feels good for a limited time but as the good feelings fade, your brain craves that emotional rush again, so —> your brain sets up either a reality- or fantasy-based situation where you can be rejected again —> repeat. Maybe not the words you’d use to describe it, but it seems like an underlying cycle might exist, with the accompanying ups and downs of pain and pleasure hormones?

Currently in R.
"The next time there’s no ground to stand on, don’t consider it an obstacle. Consider it a stroke of good luck." - Pema Chödrön

posts: 32   ·   registered: May. 25th, 2022   ·   location: Midwest
id 8737945
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 6:26 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

The FWS don't do that. They will call her on her bullshit, when she makes excuses,but they don't judge each other for the affair,or their behaviour during the affair. That would make them hypocrites. She would be very,very protected on the WS forum,with the stop sign. It is the safest forum on this site.

That's fair and I'll keep it in mind for the next conversation on the topic. FWIW, she claims she tried signing up twice and was never approved to post. It's obviously bull shit--and also a clear indication that she's not ready to do so.

If I told her I wanted her to do it, she would, but I really just don't think it would help her at this moment--she looks at this site (and any site) as just a bunch of random people on the internet that can provide her no value. I've explained why she's wrong, but it's not an intellectual discussion--like all discussions with her, she leads with her emotions: she feels like she's correct, so all logic, reasoning and evidence is meaningless to her.

I actually dug into that point with her last night and she recognizes it. She feels things about a topic without any desire to be informed on the topic.

And even if she wins a result she wants, she won't acknowledge it, she'll just "whataboutism" to something else so she can maintain the negative outlook on the topic; i.e. We never go on vacations without your family...so I take her on three solo vacations the next year and point that out...she'll say something like, "Well, I still see your family every week!"

I'm not sure exactly what psychological issue is at play, but it feels like she doesn't want to admit that a problem is solved because she's still unhappy. Meaning, to her, the vacations perhaps weren't the big deal--the big deal was spending anytime with my family, but she can't say that, so she uses vacations as her argument. Then she gets what she "wants," but it's not really what she wants because she's never clear about the real issue.

You can extrapolate that out to everything. If I asked her to just tell me what she wants in our relationship, I don't think she could do that. I think she could speak generally or give specific examples of things she doesn't want, but she couldn't actively say: "I want X."

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737946
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 6:39 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

I’m not sure if you’ve mentioned this already… I’m wondering if you’re attracted to the tension between rejection and acceptance. It could stem from FOO patterns with your parents’ style of raising you (just a guess based on your description?) and how that pattern could have been set in your brain from a young age. As in, the pain of rejection must precede the pleasure of being accepted —> acceptance feels good for a limited time but as the good feelings fade, your brain craves that emotional rush again, so —> your brain sets up either a reality- or fantasy-based situation where you can be rejected again —> repeat. Maybe not the words you’d use to describe it, but it seems like an underlying cycle might exist, with the accompanying ups and downs of pain and pleasure hormones?

I had to read that post a few times, but I think I got it. I have no idea if that's what's happening--as far as I can tell, the submissive aspect of my personality only appears sexually. It's also worth noting that it was not there until I was 21~; the previous few years were just normal sex for the sake of sex.

I wrote about it in the other thread, but I had an event happen where I gave a girl oral sex in college and came in my pants during it. I was embarrassed and covered it up so she wouldn't know--truthfully, in the moment I suspect it was just that it had been a few days since I last orgasmed and I was turned on it got away from me--I'm sure plenty of guys have been in a similar spot at a young age.

However, it planted a seed in me that took hold. The situation turned me on--a girl came over to hook up and I gave her oral sex, she came, then she left. I just serviced her and my sexual pleasure was irrelevant (she didn't know I came). I thought that was really kinky to be so submissive and it was unlike any sexual situation I had before then. That led me down a rabbit hole of exploring submissive sex and humiliation. I protected the kink a bit for the next year and only shared it with that one girl, but within a year I embraced it and was fine sharing it.

Bottom-line, being sexually inadequate turns me on--but it's also accompanied by still pleasing the woman orally. It put me against some roadblocks because the girls I'd discuss it with early on thought I was awesome in bed and had a great dick, etc.--all things most guys would love to hear. But it did nothing for me--I wanted them to humiliate me. I think I always knew it was just fantasy--I never genuinely questioned my sexual prowess, I just liked pretending.

Now, as to why that seed planted and if it was part of FOO issues, I have no idea. Again, looking forward to exploring all of this with my IC.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737948
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 7:05 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

That's fair and I'll keep it in mind for the next conversation on the topic. FWIW, she claims she tried signing up twice and was never approved to post. It's obviously bull shit--and also a clear indication that she's not ready to do so.

So you are, begging her to come clean about all lies, while here she is still lying effortlessly. About stupid stuff too!

posts: 271   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8737949
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 7:13 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

So you are, begging her to come clean about all lies, while here she is still lying effortlessly. About stupid stuff too!

Correct. She lies like she breathes.

But again, there's so much bigger shit going on that calling out ALL her lies is really hard. They're constant and they're stupid.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737950
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PowerWithin ( new member #80349) posted at 7:26 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

as far as I can tell, the submissive aspect of my personality only appears sexually.

Like you said, sounds like a good topic for IC. Often the way we act sexually is not just us being sexual, but can be traced back to our brains replaying old patterns from childhood, like from birth to 3. Experiences from that time period could have created patterns in your brain that affected you in high school, like the experience you shared about being rejected by the girl you liked, so you pursued her friends instead and they accepted you. I’m not trying to say any of this is accurate - just giving an example of how our behaviors can repeat in patterns that can be traced back to early development. If you’re interested, check out psychobiology and attachment theory.

Edited for clarity.

[This message edited by PowerWithin at 7:31 PM, Tuesday, May 31st]

Currently in R.
"The next time there’s no ground to stand on, don’t consider it an obstacle. Consider it a stroke of good luck." - Pema Chödrön

posts: 32   ·   registered: May. 25th, 2022   ·   location: Midwest
id 8737953
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 7:37 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

Like you said, sounds like a good topic for IC. Often the way we act sexually is not just us being sexual, but can be traced back to our brains replaying old patterns from childhood. It could be related to the experience you shared about being rejected by the girl you liked in high school, so you pursued her friends instead and they accepted you. I’m not trying to say any of this is accurate - just giving an example of how our behaviors can repeat in patterns that can be traced back to early development. If you’re interested, check out psychobiology and attachment theory.

The logical connection to childhood I assume would be the lack of my mother's attention--she was never *present*, always elsewhere (on her phone). So perhaps my desire to be submissive to women and please them comes from me wanting my mother's attention. Though FWIW, I was very much different years before that sexual event--I was not submissive at all and my sexual partners were largely objects to me in those early years.

Regarding the high school crush, her treatment of me was very cuck-like in that she'd always have bfs, but when she wasn't out with one, she'd be cuddled on the couch with me watching a movie--I was there as her asexual male attention, but she was fucking other guys. I was also essentially rejected by my next love interest in college--her hooking up with countless guys behind my back while I stayed in a weird friendship with her. Both relationships are deeply strange to reflect back on.

Perhaps the better question is what to do about it? I have no doubt something made me the way I am--but now what? I'd prefer the kink not run my life anymore, especially now in the aftermath of the affair. I'm not sure if I should try to embrace it with my wife and explore it together or just try to keep it buried inside me. A part of me wonders if I can explore it in a healthy way with her I can prevent it from flaring up in unhealthy ways; but maybe that's naïve--maybe it'll just get worse if I do that.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737955
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:51 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

I did not have time to read all the responses you received on your thread, only your initial post.

Mrs Walloped and I have a lot in common in how we view our affair, and also in knowing how long it takes to change.

For me, I have been working on myself for 5 years now. Though not as intensely as that first couple of years. The conditions someone needs to cheat is more than lacking integrity.

For me, I had been a people pleaser for so many years and quietly built a wall of resentment due to my own martyrdom. My affair was an exit affair - I wanted to blow up my life.

Though none of that really had anything to do with my husband. He was not a mind reader and he certainly wasn’t hearing from me. In fact I was so lost in my motions of making everything work in my life that I wasn’t aware at all of my resentment ir why I wanted to blow up my life.

Going through therapy, changing my self talk, my limiting beliefs, my coping mechanisms has been an uphill battle because Forst you have to figure out they are even there. WS often are more concerned with the external rather than the internal and we are always looking for that next thing to make us happy. In reality we have to change our relationship with ourselves and learn to make ourselves happy.

The first year was the worst. We almost divorced at 10 months. We plugged on, I worked harder and thought we were doing better. We were doing better because h was having an affair and had checked out. He didn’t have to focus on me and could hide the same way I did. But that was even more destruction that the marriage almost didn’t survive.

It does take 2-5 years (or more) to get past an affair. But it’s not the same level of pain the whole time if both people are committed to evil ring and unearthing whatever is in the way.

You are still in a shock phase.I think it’s great to plan a divorce. You don’t have to go through with it but take the fear out of the unknown.

Then dedicate yourself to making yourself happy. Focus on you and what you need. A ws isn’t going to change in two months, you have no reason to trust her or offer anything. If you think you might want to reconcile in the future, then find a way to preserve that option but make it clear to her what you want to see before you will even consider it. She should be in IC, she should be reading and working on herself actively and completely transparent.

I can tell you that it is possible to have something different in the future but I can also tel you that’s not going to happen for some time. Personally, I am happy we decided to stay together and work on ourselves. The reality is most people get out and repeat patterns in the next relationship.

Take a breath, nothing has to be decided now, and there is no shame in divorcing if that is your better option. But I think you are under a lot of duress and maybe not to the point of making any rash moves. That doesn’t mean you have to be pretending to reconcile right now either. Space needs to be given in healing and it’s hard to have or give space while everything is still on fire.

[This message edited by hikingout at 7:54 PM, Tuesday, May 31st]

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

posts: 6083   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8737956
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numb&dumb ( member #28542) posted at 8:02 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

Well it is nice to read that someone other than you are reading my posts smile

My comments got the response it did because it hit a nerve. Generally anything that gets an angry reaction like that is to protect herself from the pain undernearth it. Anger is a secondary emotion. Something is almost underneath it. ICs are trained to help hee work through that. Change if the current one is not challenging her at all. Therapy works onlt if you are present and honest.

So instead I cry at all I’ve lost. But I’ve lost it for no logical reason at all.

You are mourning the life you thought you had. It is normal and healthy to mourn things we have lost. It hurts further knowing the life we knew, as we perceived it, is never coming back. Not to say you can create a more authentic and happy life in it's place.

Look, please apologize to your wife for me. It was stated as a means to help you, and by extentsion your wife, to take something to therapy. I too have painful issues in my past and the last thing I intended was to hurt anyone further. So I am sorry to both of you.

FWIW. I was married to a very damaged person once. She busted her ass to dig into herself and fix things on her own (As much as I wanted to I could not help her in that. I had my own mountain of pain).

Today? I just call her my wife, best friend, lover and confidant. People that put in the work can and do change for the better.

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

Bring it, life. I am ready for you.

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id 8737958
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PowerWithin ( new member #80349) posted at 8:48 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

I was very much different years before that sexual event--I was not submissive at all and my sexual partners were largely objects to me in those early years.

Curiosity has become a big part of my healing journey. Mostly examining thoughts and actions, and asking, Why? For example, if you viewed your early partners as objects, why? Avoiding an emotional connection? Purely physical? Why was that? What emotions and fears are present, like fear of failure, shame, inadequacy? etc etc…. I’m not looking for actual answers here - just saying this could be an opportunity to use your mature perspective to assess the reasoning of your younger self.

Perhaps the better question is what to do about it? I have no doubt something made me the way I am--but now what? I'd prefer the kink not run my life anymore, especially now in the aftermath of the affair. I'm not sure if I should try to embrace it with my wife and explore it together or just try to keep it buried inside me. A part of me wonders if I can explore it in a healthy way with her I can prevent it from flaring up in unhealthy ways; but maybe that's naïve--maybe it'll just get worse if I do that.

Here too… I’m guessing this was off the top of your head, which is a great start re what to do about it, and it will be interesting to explore additional options too, when you have the energy for it. And please don’t bury it - it could be in your life for a reason. Perhaps now, your goal is to have your sexuality feel "healthy" to you, however you define it. Whatever your goal is, how do you want to get there? Again, no need to answer here.

As I was healing, I regained a sense of clarity and purpose by being curious and compassionate about my thoughts, then setting and achieving goals for my life… concrete steps during a time that felt so abstract and chaotic. I promise I won’t keep going on about it, but learning more about my inner workings saved my sanity at a time when I wasn’t sure how to get back on my feet. I understand and respect that you’ll develop your own plan and process as you clarify your path. Hang in there, man…. you really are doing great.

[This message edited by PowerWithin at 8:55 PM, Tuesday, May 31st]

Currently in R.
"The next time there’s no ground to stand on, don’t consider it an obstacle. Consider it a stroke of good luck." - Pema Chödrön

posts: 32   ·   registered: May. 25th, 2022   ·   location: Midwest
id 8737962
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 9:49 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

I did not have time to read all the responses you received on your thread, only your initial post.

Mrs Walloped and I have a lot in common in how we view our affair, and also in knowing how long it takes to change.

For me, I have been working on myself for 5 years now. Though not as intensely as that first couple of years. The conditions someone needs to cheat is more than lacking integrity.

For me, I had been a people pleaser for so many years and quietly built a wall of resentment due to my own martyrdom. My affair was an exit affair - I wanted to blow up my life.

Though none of that really had anything to do with my husband. He was not a mind reader and he certainly wasn’t hearing from me. In fact I was so lost in my motions of making everything work in my life that I wasn’t aware at all of my resentment ir why I wanted to blow up my life.

Going through therapy, changing my self talk, my limiting beliefs, my coping mechanisms has been an uphill battle because Forst you have to figure out they are even there. WS often are more concerned with the external rather than the internal and we are always looking for that next thing to make us happy. In reality we have to change our relationship with ourselves and learn to make ourselves happy.

The first year was the worst. We almost divorced at 10 months. We plugged on, I worked harder and thought we were doing better. We were doing better because h was having an affair and had checked out. He didn’t have to focus on me and could hide the same way I did. But that was even more destruction that the marriage almost didn’t survive.

It does take 2-5 years (or more) to get past an affair. But it’s not the same level of pain the whole time if both people are committed to evil ring and unearthing whatever is in the way.

You are still in a shock phase.I think it’s great to plan a divorce. You don’t have to go through with it but take the fear out of the unknown.

Then dedicate yourself to making yourself happy. Focus on you and what you need. A ws isn’t going to change in two months, you have no reason to trust her or offer anything. If you think you might want to reconcile in the future, then find a way to preserve that option but make it clear to her what you want to see before you will even consider it. She should be in IC, she should be reading and working on herself actively and completely transparent.

I can tell you that it is possible to have something different in the future but I can also tel you that’s not going to happen for some time. Personally, I am happy we decided to stay together and work on ourselves. The reality is most people get out and repeat patterns in the next relationship.

Take a breath, nothing has to be decided now, and there is no shame in divorcing if that is your better option. But I think you are under a lot of duress and maybe not to the point of making any rash moves. That doesn’t mean you have to be pretending to reconcile right now either. Space needs to be given in healing and it’s hard to have or give space while everything is still on fire.

Thanks for this post--it's very fair. I actually shared it with my wife (who swears she stopped reading the thread...).

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737972
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 9:50 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

Well it is nice to read that someone other than you are reading my posts smile

My comments got the response it did because it hit a nerve. Generally anything that gets an angry reaction like that is to protect herself from the pain undernearth it. Anger is a secondary emotion. Something is almost underneath it. ICs are trained to help hee work through that. Change if the current one is not challenging her at all. Therapy works onlt if you are present and honest.

You are mourning the life you thought you had. It is normal and healthy to mourn things we have lost. It hurts further knowing the life we knew, as we perceived it, is never coming back. Not to say you can create a more authentic and happy life in it's place.

Look, please apologize to your wife for me. It was stated as a means to help you, and by extentsion your wife, to take something to therapy. I too have painful issues in my past and the last thing I intended was to hurt anyone further. So I am sorry to both of you.

FWIW. I was married to a very damaged person once. She busted her ass to dig into herself and fix things on her own (As much as I wanted to I could not help her in that. I had my own mountain of pain).

Today? I just call her my wife, best friend, lover and confidant. People that put in the work can and do change for the better.

I passed along your apology to my wife--and yes, she's definitely sorting through it all in IC (and in MC). Truthfully, I do think my wife can change for the better--I'm just trying to see a world where I'm no longer sad looking at her.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 607   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737974
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