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

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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 8:28 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

I know you've made up your mind about the vacation. But,truly, the best thing you could do is take the kids,and leave her at home. You could tell the kids mom has work to do. It's the absolute truth. She can stay home,and work on herself, without you telling her she needs to do the work. And,she can see what it's like to have the kids gone for a few days,with their dad, doing fun things. Something that will be a cold reality if she doesn't pull her head out of her ass. We have had many waywards,on these forums,who required a kick in the gut, before they were capable of finding true remorse.

posts: 4386   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8738915
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PowerWithin ( new member #80349) posted at 8:36 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

The message that it was the BS's fault, and that if the BS can improve and affair-proof the marriage, everything will improve.

I didn’t use those words, nor would I. I am not recommending my view as a universal fix, nor is any of it related to magical thinking. I had compassion for my husband who was traumatized as a child, yet he is certainly still accountable for his actions as an adult. It wasn’t working for us to view each other as the enemy. We were both in pain. He needed help - from therapists -before he could really help me. I didn’t take any of his issues on as my fault - he was a victim long before we met. We both received help from other people, and now we are continuing to help each through our pain. I don’t promote that as an approach for others. My husband was motivated to make his own changes, and I realize some people aren’t. I’m sharing my story, and sometimes I stray into having compassion for humans who have made terrible destructive choices.

Edited for clarity

[This message edited by PowerWithin at 8:49 PM, Monday, June 6th]

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 8738917
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 8:49 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

sometimes I stray into having compassion for humans who have made terrible destructive choices.

I imagine many,many of us have compassion for our WS, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to reconcile. I don't think this POV is unique.

posts: 4386   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8738922
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fareast ( Guide #61555) posted at 8:54 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

Slight t/j

PowerWithin:

I understood your point, and I did not see it as excusing the WW’s actions or blaming the BS here. We all use our personal experience here to try and help others. You offered a possible explanation based on your experience. It could be extremely helpful to DrS.

[This message edited by fareast at 3:04 PM, June 6th (Monday)]

Never bother with things in your rearview mirror. Your best days are on the road in front of you.

posts: 3168   ·   registered: Nov. 24th, 2017
id 8738924
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Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 8:55 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

Hi Doc. Been a few moments since I last posted here. And I see you’ve been getting great perspectives to use in how you and your wife move forward.

I wouldn’t change that discussion and won’t add to it except to say that I agree if you are not communicating productively, it’s best to me that you stop communicating at all until you each go work on yourselves.

I think you are starting to realize what many have said on your old thread. Your wife is probably years of therapy away from being a safe and caring partner for anyone, including you. She needs to work for a long time with professionals to become someone who can focus outwardly with empathy for others instead of the inward view of the world she’s built over her lifetime.

That doesn’t mean she cannot do it. But it won’t be fixed by Friday. Or even Friday of next month or next year.

As I think I wrote to you in the past, she shot you In the heart and is constantly wanting to defend why she shot you instead of helping you recover from the wound. You’ve kept yourself on life support only the last 3 months without helping yourself heal.

I really wish you would tell her you are going to focus only on yourself for now. She can do things to help you heal if she wants, but you can’t count on her one bit to do so. You need to be the one to get yourself off emotional critical care.

To me, i recommend you tell her That you want her in your life but not with who she is now. Your new calm approach to encourage her to create a new her is great, but you need to keep saying that you can’t guide her or do it for her. You can be a cheerleader if you want, but it’s her path to climb.

So please, take some time to really think about what it means to heal without her, even if she’s still living with you and the kids the next months or even year as she works through her own issues.

You owe her nothing at this point. I know you think you do still. But you don’t. And if it’s going to take years for her to become someone who is worthy of you as a partner, you are not obligated to stay around while she does that work. You CAN move on. I know you won’t for a while, but that is always a valid option.

I’m glad you’re getting great ideas here in general. It may not feel like it all the time, but you are doing well.

[This message edited by Stevesn at 9:12 PM, Monday, June 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: 3410   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2017
id 8738925
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TheWorldYouWant ( member #78447) posted at 8:55 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

PowerWithin: I think the important difference between your situation and the good Dr's is that your husband decided to do the work and then did the work. He had to go from believing himself to be a victim, to realizing that he was choosing to see himself that way (because it benefitted him to see himself that way), to changing that belief and stopping his actions that came from it. That was incredibly hard work, and he had to do it in order to come together with you to work on the marriage. The Dr's wife is nowhere near that yet, she's not even in the neighborhood of realizing that her belief in her victimhood is toxic, dangerous to DrS and her other loved ones, and is preventing her from fully engaging in her own life. So discussion of how to compassionately work with someone who needs to change their victim belief is premature at best. There's nothing to work with yet there. She hasn't had any breakthrough on her basic character and beliefs at this point.

DrS: If your wife never does the work you can still heal yourself and have a life that you want. You can let go and see whether she will do it; at some point you will know whether she's doing it or not, and your decision will be easy(er). My STBXWH is as remorseful as possible but hasn't done the work, so I'm divorcing him--not because I want a divorce, not because I don't love him, but because I DESERVE A PARTNER WHO IS ALL-IN. I deserve to not be continually saddled with the issues of a "partner" who won't fix himself and fix our relationship, and who won't help me heal. I wasn't put on this earth to endlessly wait for a man to fix himself and become willing to engage in the kind of relationship I want and need. And I won't wait anymore; he can fix himself, or not fix himself. That's not on me, it's on him. I gave him plenty of time and did my job. I'm compassionate toward his problems, but my compassion hasn't helped, it's never moved anything forward for him. Only he can move himself forward.

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: 97   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2021   ·   location: CA
id 8738926
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PowerWithin ( new member #80349) posted at 9:17 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

He had to go from believing himself to be a victim, to realizing that he was choosing to see himself that way (because it benefitted him to see himself that way), to changing that belief and stopping his actions that came from it.

^^^^ Thank you for expressing that much more succinctly than I was able to. Also, I apologize, Dr S, for taking up so much real estate on your thread.

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 8738931
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 9:28 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

Defining what you want in negative terms is self-defeating. Besides, how would you feel if you were told, 'Don't do it this way! Don't do it that way!'

It's much better and more likely to succeed in building a good life to define what you do want. What do you want your W to do instead of being defensive?

Let's go back to basics:

I recommend thinking of R as 3 healings:

1) You heal you. Most BSes are inundated with immense amounts of one or more of grief, anger, fear, shame on d-day. The largest part of your work is to process those feelings out of your body. A good IC can help you do this.

2) Your WS heals themmself. They need to change from cheater to good partner. I think that requires IC for the WS, but others disagree.

3) Together you build a new M.

This means you can recover from being betrayed without your WS; that is, you can survive this crisis and thrive without your WS, but you need your WS to R. You can heal yourself because you control yourself. You don't control your WS. I recommend making survive and thrive your primary goal and R your stretch goal.

Have you read the Healing Library here? If not, there's a lot of good stuff there. Click the link in the yellow box in the upper left of the SI pages.

I think there are a number of keys ingredients to R.

First, what do you want? Do you really want R? If not, don't lie to yourself - D is a moral response to being betrayed. R is hard work, and wanting it makes it less difficult, but R is also a moral response to being betrayed.

I recommend figuring out your requirements for R and seeing if your W will sign on. If they won't, perhaps they can come up with something else that will meet your requirements, but if you can't negotiate something truly acceptable to both of you, great - you can go directly to D. Otherwise, you can monitor them for 3-6 months and commit to R for yourself if they are (is?) consistent in meeting your requirements.

The requirements need to be observable and measurable. That way it's easy to monitor progress and make adjustments as you go along.

Common requirements include:

NC - no contact with ap; if ap initiates contact, report to BS and together decide how to respond

Transparency - BS has passwords to e-mail, voice-mail, phones, etc.; WS keeps BS informed of whereabouts, activities, and companions at virtually all times

Honesty - WS answers BS's questions when they're asked, although sometimes a break is necessary, sometimes an answer is best deferred to MC session, etc., no more lies.

IC for WS - to change the thoughts and feelings that supported the A, with signed release that enables C to talk with BS about WS's goals and progress (so the BS can make sure WS's IC isn't being lied to).

IC for BS - for support - and for resolving any internal issue that comes up

MC - to help communications between the partners

Some (Most?) people have individual requirements - my W had to arrange dates for us on a weekly basis and must initiate sex sometimes. What do you want from your W?

And R is a joint endeavor - if one of you hides objections to the other's requirements, you sabotage R. And you have to see your WS as a human being of worth equal to your own to make R work. You don't have to see your WS as a human being whose worth is equal to your own, but you sure can't R, except with an equal.

*****

Two companies. In one, when a problem occurred the managers looked closely at what went wrong and created circumventions in the hope that they'd prevent bad outcomes in the future. The company was not all that successful.

The 2nd company trained its managers and staff to evaluate processes with qquestions in mind like, 'Is this the best step to take at this point?' 'Is this still the best way to do this?'

I came to hate working at the first company. I loved working at the 2nd. I found it immensely more rewarding emotionally to keep going for gold instead of working to avoid shit. More fiscally rewarding, too.

*****

This site doesn't give WSes any passes, but 'calling 'em one as one sees 'em' is very highly valued for very good reasons. Opining that someone chooses an unconscious response (to be a Victim) that can only be addressed through awareness doesn't seem at all an excuse to me.

It's important to evaluate what is happening around you. Knowing that one's WS habitually/unconsciously goes into Victim is good insight.

The next step is to decide on one's response to the Victim.

Drs seems to go to Rescuer or Persecutor.

As I think it was sharkman says, one way to help someone get into reality is to ask questions that engage logic and perception of the real world. Another way to circumvent the Drama Triangle is to respond authentically with what one feels or wants.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 10:03 PM, Monday, June 6th]

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 8738933
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 10:09 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

The first step in doing what you've decided to do would be for her to NOT go on your vacation. She can stay home and do some of what she hasn't been doing, with no prompting from you. If she were to throw a fit about it, you'll know how little she actually meant what she said.

posts: 271   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8738937
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 12:56 AM on Tuesday, June 7th, 2022

How do we know that WW really wants to go on the vacation? Doc, have you asked her if she still wants to go on the vacation ?

posts: 442   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8738966
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GoldenR ( member #54778) posted at 7:10 AM on Tuesday, June 7th, 2022

Well if she wants to stay home, that would be a big red flag for me. I'd be wondering who she would be inviting over.

[This message edited by GoldenR at 7:11 AM, Tuesday, June 7th]

posts: 2711   ·   registered: Aug. 22nd, 2016   ·   location: South Texas
id 8738988
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RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 8:46 AM on Tuesday, June 7th, 2022

After reading the last few posts you made about your WW's behavior and mindset, Jiminy Cricket in Disney's The Adventures of Pinocchio came to mind.

IIRC, Jiminy first started off singing 'The World owes me a Living', but by the end of the movie/song, it morphed into 'Oh I owe the World a Living'. The point here is that your WW has led a charmed life, gotten what she wants through little effort (throw in a bit of kinky/wild sex), always being 'perfect', etcetera, because she is very good looking.

Good looking people can swan through life because others usually (no always) 'give way' to them. I had read an article years ago that compared the salaries of (subjectively) good looking people, and others, and the 'good looking' people's wages were generally higher even though they were not better performers than the others (please don't ask me for the article, as this was some time in the early 2000's IIRC).

You had posted that your WW is very good looking, her flirting with younger guys is probably to prove to herself that 'she still has it', she is still 'hot', and the MILF that she sees herself to be.

She is now realizing that her looks is not getting what she wants with you, and does not know how to deal with things. Her entitled mindset has been blown out of the water, and she cannot get around to the mindset that she 'owes the World a Living'.

People who have the entitled mindset view themselves as 'victims', and it is everyone else's fault, not theirs.

Until she can break away from the entitled mindset, any chance of R will not work.

She does not really see that she has to EARN a CHANCE at R. She seems to view that she is entitled to show you she wants to R. Both do not guarantee R, but one mindset needs effort to be put in, in order for it to come to fruition. My guess is that in your WW's mind, she does not have to earn the chance, as it should be an automatic 'given'.

You cannot cure stupid

posts: 987   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2016   ·   location: South East Asia
id 8738989
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 1:00 PM on Tuesday, June 7th, 2022

I'm leaving for the trip in a couple of hours, but I'll do my best to check-in throughout the trip. We had a good talk last night before bed and I feel like I'm in a good place to do this vacation.

Also to clarify, my wife was willing to stay behind--she'd be sad if she did, but would understand. And no, I have no worries she'd cheat if she stayed behind. Ultimately, I think this could be a good opportunity to spend a few days solely focused on the kids without even an opportunity to discuss all the real world stuff.

I recommend figuring out your requirements for R and seeing if your W will sign on. If they won't, perhaps they can come up with something else that will meet your requirements, but if you can't negotiate something truly acceptable to both of you, great - you can go directly to D. Otherwise, you can monitor them for 3-6 months and commit to R for yourself if they are (is?) consistent in meeting your requirements.

The requirements need to be observable and measurable. That way it's easy to monitor progress and make adjustments as you go along.

Back so soon? I thought you were ditching me? :P

FWIW, I'm glad you're back as your post was insightful. I had given my wife requirements back in March, but she was just blindly accepting anything I said then. After reading your post, I circled back on the topic and had a firmer discussion--it seemed like she actually processed it this time.

The requirements, more thoughtful this time, revolved around her being more open-minded in conversations (the positive spin on defensiveness), focusing in on her spending and thinking of her money as *our* money (including the kids), being open to new sexual ideas and initiating sex more often and of course, still complete transparency and no more lying to gain control.

She wasn't prepared to give any back to me yet, but I'm open to hearing what she expects from me in our new relationship. She also has proposed indefinitely suspending alcohol under the recommendation of our MC, so let's see how that goes.

You had posted that your WW is very good looking, her flirting with younger guys is probably to prove to herself that 'she still has it', she is still 'hot', and the MILF that she sees herself to be.

She is now realizing that her looks is not getting what she wants with you, and does not know how to deal with things. Her entitled mindset has been blown out of the water, and she cannot get around to the mindset that she 'owes the World a Living'.

People who have the entitled mindset view themselves as 'victims', and it is everyone else's fault, not theirs.

Until she can break away from the entitled mindset, any chance of R will not work.

She does not really see that she has to EARN a CHANCE at R. She seems to view that she is entitled to show you she wants to R. Both do not guarantee R, but one mindset needs effort to be put in, in order for it to come to fruition. My guess is that in your WW's mind, she does not have to earn the chance, as it should be an automatic 'given'.

There's no doubt that her need for external validation combined with her getting older made her feel pressure to still feel attractive to men. Through her lens, she sees younger women and thinks guys are no longer interested in her--and she has that directly linked into her self-esteem. She was dressing sexy and flirting with other (married) men because she wanted to be the "hot mom" (her words in text conversations to her mom during the affair). Hopefully her IC can untangle that mess in her head.

I don't sense that she feels entitled to R, but that doesn't give me much comfort. The alternative, her wanting to fight for R, but being incapable of doing it, is far more likely and saddening.

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 8738999
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MickeyBill2016 ( member #56459) posted at 5:21 PM on Tuesday, June 7th, 2022

I hope that your wife gives the Wayward forum a chance, I have a feeling that she may be expecting some gentle support from the other WWs but will be surprised that they've "been there / done that" and see thru all of her excuses and victim playing.
If she is willing to accept that she is broken like them and accepts their advice and help there is hope for you and her. But if she feels that they too are against her like you, her Sister, her parents, the IC, the MC etc, she may just shut down.

I hope the vaycay is a good break.

9 years married.
13 years divorced.

posts: 1236   ·   registered: Dec. 17th, 2016   ·   location: West of the 405 North of the Mexican border
id 8739039
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Sometimesiamlost ( new member #80208) posted at 12:16 AM on Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

All,

I have been sitting on the sidelines just following Doc's updates. Trying to deal with my own issues etc. so it has been nice to just sit back and observe. Doc and the rest of you all, I feel for all that you have went through. Man, I ask myself what did we do to deserve this, but as much as I try I have no answer.

Anyway, Doc, I appreciate all the commitment you have given to your marriage. I will say, I do not have the guts to do what you have done and our doing so strength to you.

I did go to the Waywards thread, just for pain shopping I guess and I saw Mrs. Doc's commentary. I don't know what to think to be honest. On one hand I can see she feels terrible and is trying to make amends, but then there are some comments that make me thinks that she is tired of going through the exercise for Doc and does not understand why she has to do it.

I know not my issue so to speak but just trying to understand the mind of a Wayward. Did anyone else on this thread read her comments and feel the same way I do or am I just as messed up as I think I am?

Once again, appreciate all you people out here hurting like me.

posts: 3   ·   registered: Apr. 6th, 2022
id 8739110
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 2:04 AM on Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

I hope that your wife gives the Wayward forum a chance, I have a feeling that she may be expecting some gentle support from the other WWs but will be surprised that they've "been there / done that" and see thru all of her excuses and victim playing.
If she is willing to accept that she is broken like them and accepts their advice and help there is hope for you and her. But if she feels that they too are against her like you, her Sister, her parents, the IC, the MC etc, she may just shut down.

I hope the vaycay is a good break.

Thus far, she has said she has only gotten positive feedback, so she’s not scared off. Just wait until she drops the stop sign and HellFire gets a crack at her. :)

I doubt she’ll post more while on this vacation though.

The vacation is fine affair-wise. A seven and three year old in 100 degree temperatures is enough to wish one dead, so there’s less time to think anyway.

My wife has been reading "Not Just Friends" and highlighting passages in her free time, so she appears dedicated.

For me, day one was hard. I had this thought swirling through my head all day: looking back, when I started this thread, I think the fear of D/unknown was paralyzing me. Now with more perspective, the fear of R is really sinking in. My WW was a Trojan Horse to the safety of me and my kids—she opened the gates from the inside to let some POS into our family.

Lying in bed now with her, I partially feel like I’m in a foxhole with a traitor. I know I can’t live my life like this, so it means I need to be convinced she’s healed whatever broke inside her that allowed her to do this. I’ll need to be convinced that she won’t impulsively let someone else take another shot at the safety of me and my children.

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 8739125
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 2:06 AM on Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

I did go to the Waywards thread, just for pain shopping I guess and I saw Mrs. Doc's commentary. I don't know what to think to be honest. On one hand I can see she feels terrible and is trying to make amends, but then there are some comments that make me thinks that she is tired of going through the exercise for Doc and does not understand why she has to do it.

I can tell you that I’ve felt that way at times in interacting with her, but I didn’t feel that way reading her post. I certainly would be interested to hear why you felt that way though.

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 8739127
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 2:28 AM on Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

Actually, I thought it was very brave of her to Actually sign up,and post.

Regardless, you might want to have a discussion with her about positive feedback. Our FWS will help her. If she truly wants the help. But they can be tough. They have no problem calling her on her bullshit.

posts: 4386   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8739129
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wifehad5 ( Administrator #15162) posted at 11:42 AM on Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

Just a reminder, the Wayward forum is protected. Pulling information from there to other forums is not allowed. Give her space to work on her issues.

FBH - 50 FWW - 51 (BrokenRoad)2 kids 15 & 20
The people you do your life with shape the life you live

posts: 55373   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2007   ·   location: Michigan
id 8739155
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WalkinOnEggshelz ( Administrator #29447) posted at 11:43 AM on Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

This is just a reminder of the guidelines:

ON TOPIC: Respect the original posters' intent and avoid threadjacking. Feel free to start new topics to discuss general subject matter in other threads, but do not refer to specific topics or threads outside of their original location.

Please allow each member to get the support from their own perspectives.

ETA: well 2 of us were posting at the same time! Carry on.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 11:45 AM, Wednesday, June 8th]

Me: WS late 40’s
Him: BH (HoldingTogether)
D Day: 7/24/2010
If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

posts: 15222   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2010   ·   location: Texas
id 8739156
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