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Wayward Side :
The lies we told about our BS during the affair.

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 JustPlainLost (original poster new member #80184) posted at 8:25 PM on Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

Today I’m having a tough time dealing with some of the things I said to other people about my husband before and during my affair. In my mind I needed to justify my actions so I built him up to be and unloving control freak. Sure we had arguments about money but he was never controlling and he only acted cold to me after I started pushing him away in the weeks leading up to my affair.

I had told one of my best friends things about him that were embellished to make him look bad in order to make her more understanding of why I was stepping outside my marriage. And she encouraged me to do it. I’m not saying any of my actions were her fault but she did encourage me and made it out to be some great exciting adventure.

The worst are the things I told my AP about him. I disparaged my husband to man who doesn’t measure up to him in any conceivable way. All in order so I could have a little fun on the side and not feel guilty about it. I even made remarks about his PTSD to my AP in a mocking way. That’s the worst. For some reason today I keep dwelling on that. My AP was always afraid of my husband finding out because he knew he was a Marine and could probably best him senseless if he wanted to. So one time I said something about how my husband is afraid of fireworks these days so there’s nothing to worry about there. And we both last him about it. And I feel so god damn awful for that. I also flat out lied about our fights and money issues and even insinuated that he was abusive toward me mentally. None of that was true and I can barely look at myself in the mirror some days without wanting to throw up.

Does anyone else struggle with this? How do you deal knowing that you not only betrayed them but also smeared them to other people?

posts: 22   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2022   ·   location: Northeast Ohio
id 8745425
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 9:26 PM on Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

I've struggled with this too. Started a thread on it a while ago, actually. The responses I got there were really good.

Basically, we can't go back and unsay what was said. The bell is rung. The only thing to do is move forward with nothing but positivity about our BS's to others. Think of it as dropping bread crumbs around town. You can drop a piece of chocolate, or a piece of rotten fish. Eventually, as our spouses make their way around life and our communities, they're going to find these breadcrumbs. The more positive we put out about them, the more likely they will find it as they go.

To your BS, the advice I was given was to be honest about the things you said. To list them and make a plan to change how you speak about him in the future.

We definitely screwed the pooch in our A's in multiple areas. Now we gotta fix it. Which takes time and repetition until our character is rebuilt.

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

posts: 773   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8745433
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midnightschild99 ( new member #33465) posted at 10:48 PM on Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

Does your husband know you smeared his name to the AP? If not, do you intend to tell him?

posts: 33   ·   registered: Sep. 27th, 2011
id 8745448
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 JustPlainLost (original poster new member #80184) posted at 4:36 AM on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

My husband is fully aware. I provided him with all my texts and a written timeline.

posts: 22   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2022   ·   location: Northeast Ohio
id 8745504
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 5:00 AM on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

Think of it as dropping bread crumbs around town. You can drop a piece of chocolate, or a piece of rotten fish. Eventually, as our spouses make their way around life and our communities, they're going to find these breadcrumbs. The more positive we put out about them, the more likely they will find it as they go.

Good analogy. Unfortunately the smelly fish is most more noticeable and remembered than the chocolate so make sure the praise is much more numerous than the disparagement.

posts: 1264   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8745507
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WontBeFooledAgai ( member #72671) posted at 8:03 PM on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

WARNING: Some Tough Love. I am not trying to whack anyone with a 2×4, and it is admirable that you are sticking around and seem genuine in your efforts to make things right. That you owned up and confessed all this to your husband is quite significant. I AM trying to give some additional context to you about your husband's actions post DD.

Well, when you give your vows, you do so publicly in front of other people. By disparaging and disrespecting your husband in front of your friends **and in particular your OM**, you literally did THE OPPOSITE of taking your vows.

*It's why your husband sleeping with another woman really doesn't count--no matter what others may or may not say on here.* There was no marriage to betray by the time your husband got with another woman, by that time your marriage was ALREADY over.

The good news is that your husband appears to be giving you a chance to make yourself safe and at least be a part of his healing. I do hope you honor that.

[This message edited by WontBeFooledAgai at 11:29 PM, Wednesday, July 20th]

posts: 401   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2020
id 8745582
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Bulcy ( member #74034) posted at 2:23 PM on Saturday, July 30th, 2022

I lost track of the lies. Most of them were self lies, either around my own justifications or my right to act the way I did. I told my self that I was entitled to act the way I did and that I could have these two different lives. I told myself that as thugs were not always physical, then that was ok. "Harmless flirting" was used many a time in my mind. I never defended my BS when either former APs or former friends were rude and dismissive about her. I allowed them to believe she was dull or boring and even chose to believe it myself. I made her out to be the bad person who was getting between in the way of my friends. I was truly horrible

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs, Two physical affairs (2000). D-Day's 2003, August '17, multiple discoveries through 2018,19 and 20, Jan 21 and 2022

posts: 209   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8747764
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 3:16 PM on Saturday, July 30th, 2022

*It's why your husband sleeping with another woman really doesn't count--no matter what others may or may not say on here.* There was no marriage to betray by the time your husband got with another woman, by that time your marriage was ALREADY over.

If the marriage was already over, then was JPL also free to sleep with the AP again, and anyone else she chose, and not have it count as cheating anymore?

Double standards are wayward, and revenge affairs are affairs, no matter what others may or may not say on here.

WW/BW

posts: 2835   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8747768
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 5:32 PM on Saturday, July 30th, 2022

*It's why your husband sleeping with another woman really doesn't count--no matter what others may or may not say on here.* There was no marriage to betray by the time your husband got with another woman, by that time your marriage was ALREADY over.

shocked shocked shocked Wow. Isn't that pretty much the EXACT line of thought a WS uses to cheat... that the marriage is already over???

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5750   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8747775
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 JustPlainLost (original poster new member #80184) posted at 7:49 PM on Saturday, July 30th, 2022

All I can say is that it seems my husband doesn’t feel like what he did was ok. He feels guilt over his actions and I could tell his emotions when he confessed to me were genuine. But I have heard from a few people that feel that what he did was justified. Hell, my own mother and sister said as much and that I don’t have the right to feel betrayed and I should just suck it up.

I know I promised a more detailed post about my affair on here and I will when I get the chance. I am starting a new job next week and my father is having some health issues right now so I’m feeling a little overwhelmed which everything that’s going on.

posts: 22   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2022   ·   location: Northeast Ohio
id 8747779
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foreverlabeled ( member #52070) posted at 9:40 PM on Saturday, July 30th, 2022

To get this back on OPs topic. Yeah, those are difficult feelings to process. It really helped me to fully accept that there was no changing my past actions, I did what I did and I said what I said, no taking it back now. That sounds bleak I know but its just about acceptance. It freed up some mental space to make amends.

I apologized to BH profusely, so much so there came a time when he flat out said to stop apologizing. I couldn't help it, I wanted him to FEEL how sorry I was for saying mean and untruthful things about him behind his back (and everything else). You know, thats every bit part of the betrayal, as the sexual aspects. Anyway I channeled my shame and guilt into trying to make it right with him, proving that I was just dead wrong. Are you doing everything you can to provide your BH a safe place to process his own grief? have you completely pulled the knife out of his back? If so, then that's all you can continue doing for him. Just keep being honest and compassionate.


As far as the feeling of shame goes, its a tough one to crack. Seemed like every other thought was shame inducing. I don't know your time frame but assuming dday was less than a year ago I wouldn't expect you to have a grip on shame spiraling. It happens when you're sorry, its part of the remorse process. It gets better with a little hard work. Breathe through those moments and talk to yourself, sit with yourself, pay attention to what you are thinking. Stop any unnecessary/unproductive thoughts and replace it with ones that are actually going to help you gain courage to face this shit head on. You have to be stronger than your thoughts.

Its ok if you need a down day just don't stay. Hang in there.

posts: 2589   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2016   ·   location: southeast
id 8747784
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DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 2:36 AM on Sunday, July 31st, 2022

Regarding personal accountability...

Every person in this world has a personal responsibility to themselves, to live a life a life that they can respect, to have dignity and integrity, to be proud of the person that they are and what they put out into the world, and take responsibility for things in life that we regret. This personal accountability has nothing to do with anyone else, and exists regardless of conditions in life. That is the reason that we tell every WS (and most BS's as well) that the affair is not, was not, and will never be, about the marriage or about the betrayed spouse. We've seen people stuck in horrible marriages who never cheat, and we've also seen people in what seemed like the perfect marriage, cheat over and over again. The only constant in all of this is ourselves. We are responsible for what we do. Full stop. Others are responsible for themselves.

There is no justification for treating YOURSELF like shit, and there is no excuse for hurting another intentionally. Some people suggest that a revenge affair is somehow justified or absolved because one spouse already cheated, are in my opinion, making the exact same excuses and justifications that the cheating spouse already made. For some, they see this as "fair" somehow, almost in the same sense as "self-defense" or "fair play" or even "You started this" type of tit-for-tat revenge. Whatever. It is exactly what it sounds like and feels like... an excuse to debase themselves and then try and justify it by blaming another. There is nothing about that train of thought that leads to self-respect and personal accountability in any way.

Suppose you saw another person walk up to an elderly woman, push her down, and steal her purse. They take off running and get away with it. Since someone else did it, got away with it, and benefitted from it, does that mean that you too should feel free, proud even, to go do the same thing? Or are you not the kind of person who could live with themselves for attacking and robbing another person? What if you were the person that got robbed? Is it okay now? Can you respect yourself and go brag about your great muggings to your friends with pride?

I have nothing but remorse for what I did to my wife, and nothing but sympathy for other BS's who were cheated on. I completely understand that urge to get revenge, to even the score, to hurt them just as much if not much, much more than they hurt you. It's not something that is difficult to understand. However, the reason most people don't do so, is because they respect themselves too damn much to disrespect themselves that way. They also respect themselves too much to hurt others, regardless of how they may have been hurt themselves. Two wrongs never make a right, ever, ever ever. It just makes us lower and debases ourselves, as if us behaving in disgusting and horrible ways somehow punishes someone else. It doesn't. We punish only ourselves.

Yes, it is true, that once the affair takes place, it is reasonable, and helpful even, to see the marriage as over. And that's fine. But how does that in any way, shape or form give us the reason and purpose of behaving in ways that are disgusting to us? Was it disgusting when the WS did it to the BS? Was it wrong on every level? Then it's still wrong when we do it as well.

Regarding the shitty things we said about our spouses...

I regret the things I said about my spouse to the AP. Although to be real, the dishonesty was mostly with myself, and to myself. I told myself she didn't love me anymore. I told myself she wanted to purposefully be distant from me. I convinced myself that she was probably already done and moving on from me. I made her the enemy in my life story. I hurt and dishonered her, our marriage, our family, and myself, in so very many ways that I could never count them all. We all do, in our own way, it is simply one of the factors that an affair is made up of. That doesn't excuse anything, my only point is to let you know that we've all been there and done that and we will all go to our graves hating that part of ourselves and what we did, and who we allowed ourselves to be.

I will share with you, however, that shame, remorse, and regret, while good things to feel so that you learn from them, and motivating things to feel, are ultimately self-focused and unhelpful to the marriage. Your spouse doesn't need you to feel shame. Your shame is about you, about your feelings, and let's face it, all WS's have one thing in common, we all acted selfishly and with complete disregard for our spouses. When we got lost in shame and regret, we do the same thing to our spouses. We make it about US again. We make it about OUR needs, OUR hurt... which is to say, it is once again, not about them. They aren't in the equation, only you and your shame are. That's why so many WS's come back here saying, "I tell my spouse how much I love them and miss them and want them and how sorry I am and...", but read that back. That's all about the WS, and what THEY want. It's not about our BS or their needs and desires.

When we can turn off the shame and instead see our spouses, empathize with them and take ownership of what we did and why... that's when change can occur. Yes, our spouses need to hear our regret and remorse and pain, BUT, they also need to hear it in a way that means something to them. In other words, "So what are you going to do about it?"

Instead of, "I'm sorry for cheating", they need to hear, "I fucked you over, on purpose, and I hurt you. That was inexcusable of me, and it was so very unfair to you."
Instead of, "I love you so much and I just want us to get back together again", they need to hear, "You did nothing wrong. And there is no reason for you to stay with me one more moment because I broke our vows and betrayed your trust. But I'm willing to go to the ends of the earth to make things as right as I can, and to become someone who will never, ever, hurt you or anyone else in such a way again".
They need to hear that something is going to change. They need to hear that we actually understand and CARE about what we did to them, and that we care so much that we're willing to do whatever it takes to change, EVEN IF THEY LEAVE.

I'm so sorry that you are struggling right now. It hurts, I know, and it probably seems like this pain will never end, and that your life is for shit. I hear ya. And it's okay to feel that way, honestly. Take the time to hurt, to feel it, so that you understand why it is you cannot continue to live this way. But when you are done crying it out, dust yourself off, get out your shit-kickers and get to work .

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

posts: 1300   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017
id 8747800
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jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 10:16 AM on Sunday, July 31st, 2022

All I can say is that it seems my husband doesn’t feel like what he did was ok. He feels guilt over his actions and I could tell his emotions when he confessed to me were genuine.

Exactly. It goes against what he believed he stood for, and, like you, it will be difficult to reconcile his beliefs vs. his actions. That is his CHARACTER challenging him, and that is a good thing.

Instead of, "I'm sorry for cheating", they need to hear, "I fucked you over, on purpose, and I hurt you. That was inexcusable of me, and it was so very unfair to you."
Instead of, "I love you so much and I just want us to get back together again", they need to hear, "You did nothing wrong. And there is no reason for you to stay with me one more moment because I broke our vows and betrayed your trust. But I'm willing to go to the ends of the earth to make things as right as I can, and to become someone who will never, ever, hurt you or anyone else in such a way again".
They need to hear that something is going to change. They need to hear that we actually understand and CARE about what we did to them, and that we care so much that we're willing to do whatever it takes to change, EVEN IF THEY LEAVE.

THIS IS VIRTUALLY WHAT EVERY BS WHO IS ATTEMPTING RECONCILIATION WANTS TO HEAR. When their world has been turned upside down, and they are questioning every decision that they make, it helps to be reassured that they could not have been responsible for their partners poor choices....no matter how much they want to believe they were at some level.

BH-50s
WW-50s
2 boys
Married almost 30yrs.

All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day(s): Enough
Accepting that I can/may end this marriage 7/2/14

posts: 4051   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8747811
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 5:28 PM on Sunday, July 31st, 2022

All I can say is that it seems my husband doesn’t feel like what he did was ok. He feels guilt over his actions and I could tell his emotions when he confessed to me were genuine. But I have heard from a few people that feel that what he did was justified. Hell, my own mother and sister said as much and that I don’t have the right to feel betrayed and I should just suck it up.

Integrity is what you do when no one else is looking. So, it's a good sign that your H hasn't abdicated responsibility for his own actions. When you think about it, your relationship with your own core values can't be dependent upon another person's behavior and still make a meaningful statement about who you are as a person. If you're not out there pistol-whipping other human beings while you're mugging them, it's because you BELIEVE that it's immoral and wrong. It's the same thing with your core value of Fidelity. If you really, truly believe it's wrong, your behavior isn't dictated by your partner's behavior, it's dictated by your values system. And THAT's where you both need to be... firm in your core values of honesty and fidelity. Once that happens, you will organically build impenetrable boundaries around those core beliefs because we innately protect what we value. smile

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5750   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8747828
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Sanibelredfish ( member #56748) posted at 10:47 PM on Sunday, July 31st, 2022

I’ve been reading her for more than 5 years, and in that time I’ve come to believe that an A has nothing to do with the BS in the vast majority of cases. However, there are a handful of instances where the BS is denigrated in some way, shape, or form that suggests the A is intended to hurt the BS. Your use of your BS’s PTSD to ridicule him to the AP is an incredibly low blow that seems designed to hurt him.

I point this out not to be mean, but to encourage you to look at all the potential roots of your behavior. If your BS hurt you somehow that would cause you to consider retaliating in this way perhaps it is best for you both to go your own ways. Seeking to R now because you were caught and feel obligated to try is doing neither of you any favors.

posts: 788   ·   registered: Jan. 8th, 2017   ·   location: Midwest
id 8747842
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