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I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 15

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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 9:06 PM on Monday, October 30th, 2023

FF..thank you. I can get on board with the compartmentalization so many ws speak of. From what I understand, it's when you basically have separate boxes. The BS in one, the AP in another. I can understand if those boxes are kept completely separate. But, when you introduce the AP and Bs, during the affair, worlds are colliding. Also, when a WS uses their time in the bathroom to communicate with their AP, while actually in the marital home,and they're surrounded by their spouse's things, I find it hard to believe they aren't thinking about their BS.

When you make up an excuse to explain why you're late, or why you need to go out, or why you're spending so much time in the bathroom, all so you can communicate with the AP, I feel,like you can't say the AP was a box, when you are lying about your whereabouts. Again..worlds are colliding. (Channeling George Costanza here..)

Maybe I just don't understand compartmentalization.

I can also see that my WS has made himself a victim in this marriage. Anything I'm dealing with..and I mean anything..he's always dealing with worse.

However, then I think about how I felt during my digging. I was/am certainly the victim, yet I felt terrible for not telling him what I was doing.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I've watched your progress here,over the years, and I'm really proud of you. You've come a very long way.(Don't keel over from the shock. laugh

[This message edited by HellFire at 9:11 PM, Monday, October 30th]

Our field of dreams,engulfed in fire..and I'll still see it,till the day I die..

posts: 6762   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8813460
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 9:15 PM on Monday, October 30th, 2023

Hellfire

I can’t understand introducing the AP to the BS either. That truly boggles my mind.

As far as compartmentalization goes, it doesn’t have to be separated by physical location. The best way I can describe it is a way of thinking. My actions/AP go in one box, my other life goes in another. That’s how I was able to text my AP while my wife was in the other room. That’s how I was essentially able to carry on with the A. Everything was separate in a sense even though in reality, it was not.

Me -FWS

posts: 2103   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8813462
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lrpprl ( member #80538) posted at 4:55 AM on Tuesday, October 31st, 2023

This compartmentalization thing is way above my pay grade.

I remember watching a detective series on Netflix a couple of years ago. It was called "Bordertown". It is set in Finland. The chief detective is some sort of genius who acted like he might have been on the higher end of the spectrum. Netflix no longer offers it on their streaming services.

This detective would go to a crime scene and while he was reviewing and scrutinizing it he would place two fingers beside his head and sometimes close his eyes. A fellow detective once asked him what he was doing. He explained he was placing different facts and parts of the crime scenes into different rooms. He said he used his brain much like a house or apartment. He would then put different people and evidence in different rooms. He would leave them there until he needed to review them. In the meantime he would not think about them as they cluttered his present thinking. He would then visit a particular room when it was necessary. This way the evidence stayed fresh in his thought processes.

I can't imagine anyone being able to do that. I know my own brain is scrambled for the most part and different thoughts from both the past and present are always invading it whether I want them to or not. The only way I can stay on point in the present moment when I feel the need to do so... like driving or fishing... is to start breathing deeply and force myself to focus on the very present moment. I might say something to myself such as "drive defensively" or "be careful tying this hook". I could never compartmentalize.

I recall two waywards here who told of how they lived in two different worlds... both mentally and physically... during their affairs. One was Mrs. Walloped. The other was Svereen. While reading their posts it seemed like both had split personalities.

I have read where some waywards act like totally different people with their affair partners compared to how they act with their significant others. Sometimes they do things with their affair partners that seem totally out of the character they acted as for most of their life... especially with their significant others. One was the wife of a recent BS named Aspect North. His story is a very interesting read on how some people (his wife) could separate their lives and their thought processes, which caused them to act very differently, depending with whom they were interacting at that moment.

My question to ff4152. Is being able to compartmentalize mentally something that you do in other areas of your life, such as work? If so, is this something you trained yourself to do before you strayed and it carried over into the time you were cheating on your wife? Or, was this compartmentalization only used during your affair?

Thanks.

[This message edited by lrpprl at 5:02 AM, Tuesday, October 31st]

posts: 286   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2022   ·   location: USA
id 8813507
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 1:52 PM on Tuesday, October 31st, 2023

Irpprl

Is being able to compartmentalize mentally something that you do in other areas of your life, such as work? If so, is this something you trained yourself to do before you strayed and it carried over into the time you were cheating on your wife? Or, was this compartmentalization only used during your affair?

I believe the ability to compartmentalize stems from what I experienced during childhood. I tended to trust the wrong people and inevitably got hurt over it. From an abusive step father, to friends and gfs who betrayed, I learned the hard way what opening yourself up to people looked like.

Over time I learned how to walk myself off from people emotionally when I needed to. Unfortunately I took this to the extreme. Any perceived slight who be taken as a "threat" and up came the walls. This is at least a good portion of why I was able to separate my A from my married life. I did feel some guilt over what I was doing but not enough to stop for a very long time.

Me -FWS

posts: 2103   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8813527
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lrpprl ( member #80538) posted at 2:23 PM on Tuesday, October 31st, 2023

ff4152,

Thank you for your reply.

I see that this is not something you consciously taught yourself to do... like a memory trick. Instead it was something learned as a method of self-preservation.

Again, thanks.

posts: 286   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2022   ·   location: USA
id 8813531
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Howcthappen ( member #80775) posted at 5:53 PM on Tuesday, November 7th, 2023

Were you afraid that your BS would one day give up and say I can’t try anymore?

Not on same topic-

Did you have discussions with your AP of what would happen on DDAY?

When I called her from my husband’s phone she lied so much that I was sure they rehearsed it.

Three years since DdayNever gonna be the sameReconcilingThe sting is still present

posts: 225   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2022   ·   location: DC
id 8814299
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denwickdroylsden ( member #51744) posted at 12:20 PM on Wednesday, November 8th, 2023

Were you afraid that your BS would one day give up and say I can’t try anymore?


I still think that's in the cards, 10 years out. It gives BS great leverage.

Did you have discussions with your AP of what would happen on DDAY?


No. AP and I were too immersed in our own self created false reality. When Dday came I treated AP cruelly by in effect dismissing her without discussion and going NC. There were some followup contacts later (one initiated by her, the other by me), where I made clumsy attempts to make amends. This of course infuriated BS further. There are it seems no right moves in these situations, no actions that do not bring with them adverse consequences. This is the toxic nature of A's, during and, it seems, forever after.

Me: WH frequent flyerNow on straight and narrow.
Paragraphing: Try it. You'll like it.

posts: 66   ·   registered: Feb. 9th, 2016
id 8814379
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Howcthappen ( member #80775) posted at 11:16 PM on Wednesday, November 8th, 2023

Denrick, why did you feel like you owed her an explanation or a discussion?

That’s the part that gets me. Did you not intend on ending it? Did you not know it would end and did the AP not know she would get dumped cruelly?

Three years since DdayNever gonna be the sameReconcilingThe sting is still present

posts: 225   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2022   ·   location: DC
id 8814480
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Howcthappen ( member #80775) posted at 11:21 PM on Wednesday, November 8th, 2023

This is another question to the WS after reading denrick’s reply to my other question.

For those who felt like going NC was cruel and you decided to circle back and end it with dignity how do you explain wanting yo show the AP empathy but not your BS during it? Did your empathy bone only work toward the BS?

Three years since DdayNever gonna be the sameReconcilingThe sting is still present

posts: 225   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2022   ·   location: DC
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Tinytim1980 ( member #80504) posted at 9:41 AM on Thursday, November 9th, 2023

Hellfire, I too believe I can offer you some perspective from a compartmentalisation point of view and how the two worlds can be kept separate. As FF has already said there is always going to be an element of selfishness when it comes to those who decide to have an A, as it progresses that selfishness and poor behaviour just runs away with us and as mentioned we begin to actually believe the lies we tell ourselves and justify every action.

From my personal experience….

I grew up in a household where feelings and emotions were never talked about, I have and always will be a rather emotional bloke however "boys don’t cry Tinytim" so I had to just bury and compartmentalise from an early stage. My career path then took me off on a journey where I had to develop a skin suit. It toughened me up and left me conflicted, I would do lovely things and have a heart but then at the same time I was being sneaky and deceptive to the one person who actually showed me true love all because I needed the validation and my ego to be stroked.

The job I was in (law enforcement) saw lots of trauma and things that are just simply unimaginable at times, I didn’t process this in a healthy way and combine that with my own self doubts and imposter syndrome it made me really into someone who I lost sight of and lost sight of what actually matters to me. So this is where my selfishness comes into play, I only focussed on myself and what made me feel good at the time and that was the attention and validation from people, I didn’t need new clothes , I didn’t need shiny new toys or cars what mattered to me was being liked/loved and admired….something I felt I never had and never would have!

So to compartmentalise, I had too… I developed a way in which I was able to put all this trauma into a box and just shove it deep down and never even talk about. Mrs TT and I often joked how dead I was inside and its not because I didn’t care its just because she would ask how I was (after horrific incidents) and I would simply say "yeah I’m all good". We would laugh and joke but that is all…. no conversations about it, no reflection on how I truly felt not even a tear!! The last 14 years of this job really has given me some training on how to compartmentalise and deal (ineffectively) with trauma. The body keeps the score is a great book on trauma, little wordy but that provided some insight. To this day I can recall every suicide I have attended, the smells sights and sounds and sounds creepy but at times even relive those moments so when my BS mentions her CPTSD and how she feels I get it….I really do! Compartmentalisation is at times a really useful tool HOWEVER its also an extremely toxic and damaging tool that some of us can use to cope with trauma etc.

When it came to the A, I was able to disassociate the two worlds. Even when in the same room/house/bathroom as my family I was able to disassociate my feelings HOWEVER it didn’t take long before the fog came and that all changed and I was unable to keep the worlds separate. I too started like FF highlighted being a XXXX and essentially having the mindset of I deserve this albeit I framed it in the sense of "We aren’t working, you don’t trust me (ironic), you don’t get me" blah blah blah. I would turn it all against her when she tried to say I was becoming a social butterfly, I used every tool in my arsenal to destroy her world all because I wanted this and wasn’t going to let her stop me as I deserved this right!

How did I process all that, I started to fill up my boxes in my head. Simply not thinking about it and simply not wanting to actually look at her and dealing with the daily grind! What I didn’t realise immediately however was that my boxes were becoming too full and I was struggling. I got angry, really angry in fact and started to lash out (verbally), I became depressed and felt trapped and alone. Turns out that my BS was the only person who I have ever really connected too and felt whole with and could actually decompress with, I am fortunate REALLY fortunate that despite all the T/T that I have given her that she still talks to me and still wants to support me as god knows I don’t deserve it. I don’t hide behind a curtain anymore and my true flawed self is on display for her but this has also allowed me to open up to others both professionally and otherwise about what I have done. The perception I give to all around me has always mattered to me, I am a people pleaser at heart but I recognise this as being my big red flag therefore I combat this by being honest with how I treated my BS both before and after the A and use this horrid experience to hopefully show people around me that I am flawed and have made many mistakes so that I don’t make the same again!!

posts: 97   ·   registered: Aug. 10th, 2022   ·   location: UK
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Copingmybest ( member #78962) posted at 8:12 PM on Thursday, November 9th, 2023

How torturous was it to try and reveal the full truth knowing your BS may leave you? My wife refused to give me a timeline or a reason for not giving it. I want to confront her about this but I was curious just how severe of a feeling it was thinking being truly honest would kill the marriage. She’s been a rug sweeper for 2-1/2 years and I’ve been investigating options for ending the marriage anyway. I’m just trying to figure out if she if holding back through fear of it ending the relationship

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Tinytim1980 ( member #80504) posted at 9:32 PM on Thursday, November 9th, 2023

Hi,

For me it's been terrible, I was actually in the throes of writing a post just about this very issue.

I have Trickle truthed my BS till the cows come home, as my BS says we are now in a phase where the actual affair isnt the problem it's the lies.

I am a people pleasure by nature and I dont think that has helped but I just was too cowardly. So I would go to the nearest truth so for example....

She would ask if I we ever fooled around after work....I may say yes but then upon seeing her reaction or me being just a mug would panic and say how it was only the once....that may appease her initially but in a week or two the doubts would creep in and I would disclose more and more...this cycle was repeated for 18 months and I have practically destroyed her, there is no trust she really struggles with me and it is a living hell for her.

I would suggest she really needs to read about TT and the lying, whilst it is soooooo difficult I just wish that I had the courage to actually have been honest maybe my BS would be able to deal with this pain better and maybe able to process all this pain easier.

Good luck on this vry shitty journey

posts: 97   ·   registered: Aug. 10th, 2022   ·   location: UK
id 8814612
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FromPartsUnknown ( new member #84128) posted at 1:08 AM on Saturday, November 11th, 2023

I apologize in advance for duplicating any prior questions. I’m looking for information about WSes that experienced or exhibited symptoms of psychological disorders such as anxiety/panic attack, IBS, chronic migraine d/o, Temporimandibular joint disorder, OCD or other somatization symptoms during their attempts to deny, conceal, hide, downplay, blame-shift and or TT their infidelity. Did WS or BS make a connection or was it suggested by IC/MC professionals. Was there a recommendation to "come clean" as it were as a cure for said disorders?

posts: 1   ·   registered: Nov. 11th, 2023   ·   location: Parts Unknown
id 8814852
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:07 AM on Monday, November 13th, 2023

Were you afraid that your BS would one day give up and say I can’t try anymore?

Not on same topic-

Did you have discussions with your AP of what would happen on DDAY?

When I called her from my husband’s phone she lied so much that I was sure they rehearsed it.

Yes I was afraid of that for many years. When he had an affair my first response was I knew he was done long ago. I came up with reasons he must have kept me around.

However, what I have learned about healing is knowing you will be okay even so. He could walk away tomorrow and it would be devastating, but I know that I can heal and I have a deep will to make my life as happy as it can be. I am capable and resilient and I would find a way to make the best of my journey forward.

There is some comfort in knowing that even though either of us could be on our own every day we are choosing each other. There is a lack of complacency, and in its place is intentional effort. Fear is the repellant of love, so I let it go.

And no there was no discussion about if there was a dday. Affairs are more based on magical thinking and fantasy. I think most tend to minimize the ideas of consequences and ignore as much reality as possible.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7284   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8815004
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:18 AM on Monday, November 13th, 2023

I apologize in advance for duplicating any prior questions. I’m looking for information about WSes that experienced or exhibited symptoms of psychological disorders such as anxiety/panic attack, IBS, chronic migraine d/o, Temporimandibular joint disorder, OCD or other somatization symptoms during their attempts to deny, conceal, hide, downplay, blame-shift and or TT their infidelity. Did WS or BS make a connection or was it suggested by IC/MC professionals. Was there a recommendation to "come clean" as it were as a cure for said disorders?

I was in the midst of depression/emotional exhaustion for months before the affair began. I also was treated for OCD when I was having a lot of intrusive thinking post affair. My mental health was in an all time low for the entire first year after the affair.

I do not blame my affair on these things. I think it did contribute to certain mindsets but I made decisions consciously about having and conducting the affair. I had zero empathy or capacity for self compassion. This was not normal for me.

I never had a sense confessing would cure the issue. I just understood that I could not restore having integrity or really heal the relationship without taking that step. So not really a cure, but more the understanding that it was the only way forward in leading a more authentic life.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7284   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8815005
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Tinytim1980 ( member #80504) posted at 9:32 AM on Monday, November 13th, 2023

I agree with the above, prior to the affair I got promoted and was in post for two years. Neither my bs or I wanted the promotion as it came with a change of role and lifestyle so bought us both down. The two year mark was set but it passed and I couldn't leave and as a result my BS begun to really struggle and rather than console I turned against her!! I also had a few colleagues pass away and this had an impact on my mental health plus with all the other death I was around which put me into a downer. However whilst I initially used and saw this as my reasons for an A it clearly isnt as I should have come to her for support rather than seek it elsewhere etc.

Anyhow to your point though, I have IBS or something...i say something as I have no clue nor does the doc as to what it is but essentially I eat or drink something and within an hour I'm like a leaky faucet. This got substantially worse around the start of the A and I recall my BS being a the perfect wife and coming with me to my appts however I dont know if it was as a result of the A or not. I do know when anxious or what not I get tummy aches and this results in similar symptoms but certainly it's not a guarentee.

In terms of all the struggles though I had coming clean, my A has left me broken mentally and physically.

I struggle regulating my emotions, I have days where I am content and happy and others where I feel suicidal (passive ideation) and others were I am angry and mad at myself.

I struggle with sleep

I have developed a weird tick and involuntary twitch

I sometimes have the onset of panic attacks

I have gained weight and have trouble regulating that

I actually cry and have emotions at last...not a bad thing mind!

I also have a really poor memory, I am hyper vigilant but all the lies has really fucked my memory up now along with my poor BS.

These are just a few, I can probably attest that if I had come clean and hadn't TTd so much that a few of those wouldnt be a factor as maybe my BS and I would be further along the road to R but I cant say for sure.

I assume your ws is throwing all sorts of symptoms up is he/she

posts: 97   ·   registered: Aug. 10th, 2022   ·   location: UK
id 8815007
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:08 AM on Tuesday, November 14th, 2023

For those who felt like going NC was cruel and you decided to circle back and end it with dignity how do you explain wanting yo show the AP empathy but not your BS during it? Did your empathy bone only work toward the BS?

This didn’t happen exactly like that in my case. However, in the aftermath of an affair it’s not unusual for there to still be a lot of illusions about the affair. There is an addictive quality in which one’s ego is wrapped around another person who is almost fully made up in their own head.

A lot of an affair is surrounded more around self than anyone else involved. The sickness of finding validation in another happens because we believe we can hide who we are and present ourselves differently. The AP is really the only one who has been an audience to this role that we are playing. Without them that super figure you have made yourself to be doesnt exist. (Spoiler it never existed but the fragility of ego doesn’t let you see that all at once)

The spouse knows is and who we are. The lack of empathy is not just with the spouse, it’s with everyone. Had I broken NC the way I felt tempted at first to do, it would have been about my own need to be seen this certain way in this fantasy life I had conceived. Not really because I felt empathy for the ap. An affair is usually not about the spouse or the AP, it’s about whatever that black hole of need that exists inside of us. Finding it all and trying to heal it is a large part of the work of recovery.

There are some excellent articles about this by Dr. Frank Pittman. Or even if you Wikipedia the word limerence. Because affairs are fueled by lies, justifications, fantasy, and brain chemistry such has high amounts of adrenaline and dopamine, the ws is on a hamster wheel that doesn’t just stop the minute the affair does.

[This message edited by hikingout at 7:09 AM, Tuesday, November 14th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7284   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8815080
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Littlepuppet ( member #83426) posted at 7:04 PM on Tuesday, November 14th, 2023

During A, have you spontaneously gone to CI to decide what to do?

If you have received therapy, how have you reacted to cognitive dissonance? Have you felt like the therapist was directing you to AP or BS? Have you run away or tried another one?

posts: 62   ·   registered: Jun. 6th, 2023   ·   location: Madrid
id 8815125
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 5:26 AM on Wednesday, November 15th, 2023

During A, have you spontaneously gone to CI to decide what to do?

If you have received therapy, how have you reacted to cognitive dissonance? Have you felt like the therapist was directing you to AP or BS? Have you run away or tried another one?

This sort of applies to me.

When the AP had a dday, it was a huge wake up call. I went to IC to sort myself out (this was about two months before I confessed)

I did not feel the counselor was pursuading me to choose one man over the other but to start choosing myself more. Not in the selfish and destructive methods I used in having an affair but figuring out how I could be more dedicated to my own happiness and mental health.

However she did not think I should tell my husband. So I did switch IC when I decided that guidance went against the ways I felt I should move forward.

A lot of therapists suck, but if what you are saying is she was looking for an IC who would validate her decision to have an affair it would not be surprising that would be hard to find.

I didn’t understand cognitive dissonance when I initially had or ended the affair. But that aspect of it was hardest for me to unwind because it took a lot to align myself with the reality of my fallibility. Admitting I destroyed so much over something so not worth while and that I had been so very foolish was a difficult thing to take in on top of the emotional state that had brought me there to begin with.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7284   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8815195
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Littlepuppet ( member #83426) posted at 3:05 PM on Wednesday, November 15th, 2023

Thank you very much Hikingout, your post was very revealing to me. I suppose it was something similar in my wife's case. There was already a dissonance between actions/values, something was wrong, it wasn't just choosing between AP or me *. Go to IC on your own It already implies looking for the exit.

Good luck with the R.

*Although in my wife's first sessions at IC, they did discuss that topic (I guess). I discovered it by snooping through her diaries. I saw a table of advantages/disadvantages of AP vs me. I remember that one of the comparison parameters was money .

[This message edited by Littlepuppet at 5:03 PM, Wednesday, November 15th]

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id 8815208
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