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New Beginnings :
Dating a former betrayed spouse

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 Solarchick (original poster member #80222) posted at 1:50 PM on Saturday, August 20th, 2022

Do you feel safer dating a FBS?

One thing I've found in dating non-FBSs is that they don't necessarily see cheating as any big thing. And those that do, see it as a morality issue without an understanding of how devastating it is to both people in the relationship when one betrays their partner with infidelity. They don't get how it changes the FBS in a permanent and significant manner. They don't see how it can also drive a FWS into a dark place where they either do significant work to identify their issues and go through some pretty significant changes or skip over it all and go into a pattern of deep long-term denial.

I've seen that FBSs come in 2 varieties.

Those that were hurt, to be sure, but ended it swiftly, explained it away as one bad person they were unlucky to have fallen in love with, and rebuilt their circumstances and moved on. I worry about those now, because my experience has been that they still have significant trust issues that have ended up landing on me. Combined with my own trust issues that I still struggle with, it seems to doom things as soon as real feelings begin to develop.

The second variety is those that have been though betrayal, and did work on themselves to get through it as in-tact as possible. These are the ones that seem to "get it" to me, and I find that these are the ones I feel I can eventually trust and build something real with. It seems we're both aware of the unwillingness for either to just trust blindly, and both work to build trust in the relationship.

Am I just making this all up in my head, or are these universal truths?

I ask because I've found a similar thing in recovery where it's easier to date a former alcoholic/addict because, as we say in AA, "we're both the same brand of crazy." Of course, I dont think that survivors of infidelity have an identified mental health issue (although we have every right to! 馃槃), but does my recovery experience skew my thinking about succeeding in a new relationship and infidelity history?

Me: BW, 56, two awesome grown sons. Remarried in 2010. That lasted 11 years.WXH: Not even a blip on my radar anymore. I'm glad he's messing up the OW's life now and leaving me alone. D (with cause) in 2004.

posts: 91   路   registered: Apr. 11th, 2022   路   location: Hilton Head, SC
id 8751269
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Darkness Falls ( member #27879) posted at 1:59 AM on Sunday, August 21st, 2022

Those that were hurt, to be sure, but ended it swiftly, explained it away as one bad person they were unlucky to have fallen in love with, and rebuilt their circumstances and moved on. I worry about those now, because my experience has been that they still have significant trust issues that have ended up landing on me.

This was my experience after my H divorced me (I was the WS). I ended up dating a FBS whose wife had left him 5 years prior for her OM. This guy had significant trust issues (amongst other issues, those other issues being what eventually led to me breaking up with him). He saw As everywhere, with everyone, even when they didn鈥檛 exist. I work with mostly men (highly male-dominated job) and I remember one time he made me go through my call log and explain every male coworker鈥檚 number on the list. I felt at the time I had to put up with it because I had been the WS in my marriage, even though I had never cheated on THAT guy or had been any way inappropriate with anyone. Now I know better. This all was over 10 years ago and I鈥檓 still glad to be away from him. duh

WS - remarried to BH but not in R

D-day 2010

posts: 6395   路   registered: Mar. 8th, 2010   路   location: USA
id 8751319
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nothisfriend ( member #53171) posted at 2:38 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

My BF is also a BS. When we met I was just barely divorced and still triggering and struggling at times. His D-day had been several years prior and he was divorced a few years. For him, as for me, cheating was a deal-breaker and filing for D was almost immediate. Both of our WS married their AP.

He understands my pain. He walked me through some of the bouts of anger and misery that I suffered. He had a grown step-daughter; my DS was going off to college. One of the things he had to deal with was that his XW was still in their circle of friends and when we socialized with that group she and AP were frequently there. I thought it was extremely weird but he had time to deal with it and frankly I don't even think he noticed them - they were pretty much invisible to him. My XH totally bailed on our life and absorbed hers so even though we live in a small town I rarely see him and never have to interact. Now BF lives in my town and we have our own social set.

BF fully expected to be single the rest of his life. He never dated after his D and had no desire to meet anyone. I knew that I wanted to be a part of a couple eventually, but did not expect to meet anyone so soon. We knew all the same people, but didn't know each other. He knew my sister, even recognized my son, but we had never been in the same place at the same time for the 10 years that our worlds were actually overlapping. When we finally met and talked it was done. This is my person. My first feeling was safety. He will never lie to me; I will never lie to him. He notices, he recognizes what I need. I (usually unknowingly) help ease his anxiety; I give him a safe place to be himself. We laugh, we touch, we just want to be with each other.

Our shared experiences with being betrayed is not all of us, but it's a part. And it's a relief to know and understand how it has shaped us.

Me: BS 50 (at the time)
Him: WH 53 (at the time)
D-Day: 10/25/15
Married: 5/14/1988
One son, age 18 (at the time)
D final 9/13/16

posts: 1273   路   registered: May. 11th, 2016   路   location: Illinois
id 8751457
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Throwaway999 ( member #72413) posted at 11:06 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

So my WH was a former betrayed spouse (or so he told me) but he went on to cheat on me with his ex-spouse who wandered in their marriage.

My current BF is also a betrayed spouse, but curiously enough he doesn鈥檛 classify his wife鈥檚 betrayal at the same depth as mine. And frankly it really wasn鈥檛鈥ut cheating is cheating in my book.

And oddly enough, in my current relationship鈥either of us have any trust issues. Maybe it鈥檚 from healing on my part or the fact that we both set boundaries early on鈥nd stick to them. Honesty comes first no matter what for both of us. I do admit in the first few months鈥 did question and have some issues, but now鈥one. He has shown what a real and healthy relationship should be鈥nd I recognize that marriage was not healthy even way before my WH cheated on me. He lied from the time we were dating鈥o not much of a great start or basis for a marriage.

I learned hard, hard lessons from my marriage, as all of us have. And any red flags will not be ignored on my part this time. And above all else, I will listen to my gut 100% of the time going forward. My trust is a gift. My BF knows this鈥nd likewise his trust is a gift to me too.

Me - BS Him -WS DDay1 - 2011 EA with AP1DDay2/3 - found out in 2019 about EA/PA same AP1 -4 yr LTA affair ended 2017DDay4 - found out about LTA with ex-wife

posts: 534   路   registered: Dec. 29th, 2019   路   location: Canada
id 8751531
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Healershaman ( new member #71482) posted at 12:33 AM on Tuesday, August 30th, 2022

@solarchick
I fall squarely in second category. I want to know and take ownership of every bad/wrong/evil/mistaken thing I've done and not repeat them. Unfortunately, it seems I was attached to a person with Border Line Personality disorder. I have five (5) professional opinions that support that diagnosis of WW. Makes trusting self and anyone new very challenging because I can't really rely on anything WW says about me or relationship.

It's over seven years now, and I just ended two new relationships because they have no idea of the pain and violation of trust that I feel. That may leave me alone long term. But that's better than pretend, or worse, tolerated in a new relationship. There may be a Ms. Right out there for me - I just need to know her first name is not "Always."

So, yes, I feel better dating a FBS. Certainly over a widow or someone who says, "...we just were not a good fit." I need someone to KNOW the anger, fear, rage, betrayal, uncertainty, I've lived, and to fully understand the risk that any new relationship brings to both of us.

Hope that helps.

Wish you peace.

HS

posts: 31   路   registered: Sep. 5th, 2019   路   location: New England
id 8752891
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