ff4152 (original poster member #55404) posted at 9:59 PM on Saturday, August 6th, 2022
This question is really for WS but BS can chime in if they want.
After having had many hours to reflect, I started to think about the one person outside of my family who was impacted by my A. I had never met my AP’s husband and only saw a few photos of him on FB. Of course I had an impression of him thoughtfully provided by my AP. She painted him as a drunk, weak, spineless loser and I never really thought to question that.
Now all these years later, I question if that was even close to being accurate. Here was a guy who worked at a decent job and provided for his family. He was a volunteer firefighter which IMO says good things about him.
To say that I feel awful for having an A with his wife would be an understatement. When AP and I first reconnected, she was in the process of D him. So while I didn’t precipitate that, I could have been in the way of them reconnecting. Front what AP told me when the D was final, he lost his shirt in the D and had to move back in with his mom.
Have any of you ever stopped to think about the others (aside from spouse/children) impacted by your A?
HFSSC ( member #33338) posted at 10:49 PM on Saturday, August 6th, 2022
I harmed so many people during my active addiction and through so many selfish choices that I made.
When we first got internet access (back in the AOL days) I was an OW in several online sexting/cyber As. I never realized that’s what I was doing until after I joined here. It was several years in before I was able to admit it and work through that. I actually got a phone call from one BW who asked me how I could feel okay about sending nude and lingerie pics to her H and I just laughed her off.
I was also deep in an EA with a coworker who had so much more integrity than me. I lied to him about the state of my M (of course I did). He lost the respect of his supervisor who knew the truth and dropped me like a hot potato when he found out.
I can never go back and make amends to those people. Nor can I make amends to people whose pain meds I stole. I can’t go back and make my sons’ childhood okay.
What I can do is make living amends. I do my best to live each day being of maximum service to God and the people around me. If there is a need I can fill I step up and do so. Each moment is intentional, to the best of my ability, in choosing to seek justice, love kindness and walk humbly with my God. And in doing so I trust that God (my higher power) will make sure those “payments” are credited to the proper accounts.
I hope that makes sense.
Him, 45 (JMSSC)
Married 24 years. Reconciled.
This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 3:06 AM on Sunday, August 7th, 2022
My wife worried more about obs than she ever did about me.
Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.
Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 4:01 AM on Sunday, August 7th, 2022
Thank you for this thread...it will help to show the impact that an A has with more people than just those in the A triangle.
The adultery co-conspirator was divorced...so there was no OBS who was impacted by my H's A.
The adultery co-conspirator had three children...all teenagers...and the youngest was a special needs child. My H said that the two oldest children knew their mother was seeing a married man. He witnessed several arguments between the adultery co-conspirator and her daughter. They were speaking in their native language so my H didn't know what it was about...but I have no doubt some of the arguing was about her Mother seeing a married man.
Being a Mother myself...I am shocked that the adultery co-conspirator allowed a stranger to sleep in her house with her children there...especially a daughter! My H felt very uncomfortable around the kids...but not enough to not go .
A "perfect marriage" is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.
With God ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:26)
I AM happy again...It CAN happen!!!
From respect comes great love...sassylee
Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 7:22 PM on Sunday, August 7th, 2022
My sons, who were adolescents/teens during my wife’s LTA, were deeply impacted by their mother’s infidelity. My wife’s AP was my best friend, my sons’ godfather, “Uncle XXX” whom they had known all their lives. I was unaware of the affair until years after it ended, but needless to say our marriage was fraught and we argued a lot during her affair. They suffered by living in a home roiled by arguments between their parents they could not understand. Then, when the affair ended, Uncle XXX vanished, still without me knowing of the affair (he’d been having a series of life crises and was really acting out towards everyone in his life, my wife included, so his disappearance was not a surprise nor an altogether negative thing). Still, not a good thing to do to your sons/godsons.
[This message edited by Wiseoldfool at 12:15 AM, Monday, August 8th]
Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.
survrus ( member #67698) posted at 9:26 PM on Sunday, August 7th, 2022
Have any of you ever stopped to think about the others (aside from spouse/children) impacted by your A?
Yes it kept me from having affairs.
When I was 13 years old I unknowing started an EA with my sister in law 14 years older than me, when I was 18 she suggested we have an orgy, all I could think of was her very young daughter and I ignored the offer.
Same thing with a coworker when I was 17 or 18 who had a 5 year old son, all I could think of was this is little Davids Mom. Decades later I found out she married one of the bosses, her son' facebook page memorialized his father with no mention or photos of his Mom.
Later in life I've given marital counseling to interested women.
That being said there is some regret for the lost opportunities and I never forgot turning them down.
Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 5:01 PM on Monday, August 8th, 2022
I always feel guilty postin in this forum. But here goes
Looking back on my 27 year M, I have had many opportunities to stray. I was oblivious to them all save one, a case where a colleague was very interested in me. We were both going away to a conference and I was uncomfortable with the idea of spending time alone with her, so I spoke to my W about my concerns and asked her to join me so we could make a trip out of it. The thought of cheating sickened me to the core, and I even dreamt of doing it once, woke up in a sweat and told my W how awful it made me feel. Ironically, I think she was cheating at the time.
When I was contemplating D, I went through the list of people my decision would impact and thought seriously about the implications. It was not a decision I took lightly. I had the ability to unilaterally change the lives of everyone around me and it had to be the right decision. It was the first time I had placed my own needs and desires before my family's, and I still feel guilty about it, even though it was the right thing.
My EXWW had no difficulty in thinking only of herself since it was a life long habit. She was depressed, AP made her feel young and tingly. Nuf said.
I think that is the difference between a BS and a WS, the fact that the latter does not consider the impact on others, at least in any meaningful way. I mean, how many times do we need to read of WS who is shocked by the devastation after Dday?
On a darkly humorous side note, my WW'S AP got to know me after they had started their A, and as she told me later, he began to feel guilty about screwing my Ww, as he found me to be a really good man and liked me. I still chuckle over that.
Me:55 STBXWW:55 DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off and filed. Denied having an affair in court papers.
hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 5:40 PM on Monday, August 8th, 2022
I used to have nightmares about it and sometimes I still do.
However, I have gotten to the place that you can only self-flagellate for so long. There is nothing I can do to make amends directly for my part of her husband’s long history of cheating. I have chosen to try and help folks on here and live my life in a different way as retribution for my terrible choices and abhorrent behaviors.
At some point you have to let go of the past and live in the present. We can only control what we do moving forward and we must do that with honor and love. By letting go of my shame, and many of the things that made me who I was is the only thing that allows me to be better in my current relationships, including my relationship with myself. And maybe from that I will not be a broken hurt person who goes around breaking and hurting others.
It’s one of those things you can never make it up to that specific person, and at some point you have to realize that we have to focus on what we do have control over.
5 years of hard work
WS & BS
lonelypilgrim ( new member #79865) posted at 10:41 PM on Monday, August 8th, 2022
It's definitely something i've thought of. The H of the AP and their kids.
Shortly after he discovered his WW's A with me, he called me. After ignoring it for days, i eventually answered. We talked for a long time. My W and him also talked quite a bit in the first few weeks/months.
What i learned is that he is a stand-up guy. Devoted family man. And someone who took care of his W through all sorts of personal/mental/addiction issues (prior to the A), even when the M was on the rocks (things I had NO idea about b/c she hid them quite well). He was not the over-bearing jerk the AP made him out to be. Not at all. He didn't deserve what happened to him. Not in the least. I have tremendous respect for the man. He's proven to be a bigger man than me. I strayed. He didn't.
Their M was rocky long before i entered the picture. D was on the table during the A, long before it was discovered. They got D immediately after the A was discovered. They have 2 kids. It's now a broken home. I have some responsibility for that. I feel for those kids who now (at least initially) had to go to therapy, had to shuttle between houses, had to deal with devastation.
The short answer is "yes", i have thought about them and i feel terrible for being a part of a family being torn apart. Now, being completely candid here, i will also say that it is not something i actively think about. We are 16 months past d-day (and I went NC immediately). What i said to the AP as everything came crumbling down around each of us was "you need to focus on yourself and your family and i need to focus on myself and my family". That remains my focus. I am working very hard on R and to be a better husband and father. I cannot go back in time and undo what i did and the consequences it has caused. I feel bad for my role in what happened to all of them. I spend my time and energy focused on repairing my family.
Me: WS, Mid 50s, 25yrs M, 21 month PA, D-day 4/21, Working hard to earn R
So when you look at me
You better look hard and look twice
Is that me, baby
Or just a brilliant disguise?
survrus ( member #67698) posted at 11:29 PM on Monday, August 8th, 2022
I will also say that it is not just the BH and her kids there are other social circles effected.
In my SIL case there is also the extended family, had I accepted her offer imagine how awkward family gatherings would be.
The attraction was not the same for me as it was for her, when she was in her 60's and very sick with cancer she told me she loved me. Not something I ever imagined when I was 17/18. I just quietly walked away.
There is a long term influence of an affair as well and sometimes it remains strong despite no consummation. I think many look on an affair as short term fun.
ThisIsSoLonely ( member #64418) posted at 8:58 PM on Wednesday, August 10th, 2022
My WH's A was with a married co-worker and her H (the OBS) also worked with them. So all 3 worked together. My WH was in their wedding and had been good friends/co-workers with the OBS long before either of them knew the AP. My WH's industry is very specialized, and leaving to get a similar paying job is impossible unless you have other skills altogether - the skill set he has transfers to nothing of comparable wage (former co-worker went from earning $170,000 to working as an assistant manager of a pet store because his prior skills were really not worth much outside of his position). They all had the identical job, and they worked with the same people over and over again everyday, like high school - there are roughly 30-40 people in their division and they all work in close proximity to each other daily - there is NO escape from your co-workers there...and the job requires a LOT of concentration and focus. If I were to explain what this job is knowing what happened at the work place many of you would be frightened... To add to the difficulties, if the OBS (or anyone else there) knew what they were doing (masturbation, phones on in the work space, sex a few times in the facility, blow jobs on the premises, etc) they were required to report the behavior - the penalty for non-reporting was potential termination of the non-reporter.
The reasons for these restrictions are related to mental focus - you can't focus if you are trying to fuck your co-worker. Married couples are exempt but apparently that rule has been modified to no longer allow married people to work in the same division for the same reason - mental focus. (Yes this is a weird job and it sounds sci-fi crazy, but it exists).
So their Affair taking place on-site put not only their own livelihood in jeopardy, but anyone they worked with who caught wind of what they were doing. As my WH and his AP's A went on 99% at the workplace oftentimes WHILE her H/the OBS was also at work, sometimes in the same room with him (they got off on sexting the other in the presence of co-workers), the chances of no one finding out were slim...but it also protected them, as no one wanted to say a word that indicated they knew/were suspicious as if they did they had to report or lose their jobs. Worse still, when I finally decided to inform the OBS of what I knew, I knew by telling him I was putting his job in jeopardy as he was supposed to report them or potentially lose his own job. When I gave him details of what I knew happened and where he asked me to stop because he did not want to "know" anything else that would implicate him in their bullshit.
And then the OBS had to continue working with them both or give up his own career as neither of them would quit and transfers take about a year to process in good times. IT was a nightmare for the OBS and for other co-workers as clearly (as was confirmed later) some of them knew. My WH has since talked about how selfish all of it was and how much his behavior harmed not only him but a whole pile of people - and as it turns out - how it harmed his work environment as he has very few friends from work now and he used to be Mr. Popular there.
"Sometimes you're going to have to let one person go a thousand different times, a thousand different ways, and there’s nothing pathetic or abnormal about that. You are human." - Heidi Priebe