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I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 15

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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 11:04 PM on Monday, December 18th, 2023

Waywards - what is it like when you are in a Shame Spiral and what can your BS [if you are still together] do to help you?

Mr. Chaos is having a rough one.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home) Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS 2018 Cease & Desist sent spring 2021"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3802   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8818689
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Notarunnerup ( member #79501) posted at 5:58 PM on Tuesday, December 19th, 2023

To the WS that reconciled.
Did you start reconciliation feeling that you owed it to your BS due to the trauma you caused before the fog lifted or did you truly want to reconcile.
To those who did not truly feel like reconciling but tried anyway, was there a moment or instance that caused you to wholeheartedly want to reconcile?

posts: 80   ·   registered: Oct. 20th, 2021
id 8818751
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Howcthappen ( member #80775) posted at 4:25 AM on Sunday, December 24th, 2023

Can someone who lied and schemed ever become trustworthy? WS do you even trust yourself?

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

posts: 225   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2022   ·   location: DC
id 8819306
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 9:49 PM on Sunday, December 24th, 2023

HowCTHappen

Yes I can trust myself now. The very idea of having an A is alien to me. I could no more have an A now than I could throw a no hitter. During the rubber game of the World Series. While pitching for the Yankees. In other words, ain’t gonna happen.

Me -FWS

posts: 2103   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8819356
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ChampionRugsweeper ( new member #84237) posted at 12:04 AM on Monday, December 25th, 2023

Can someone who lied and schemed ever become trustworthy? WS do you even trust yourself?

Howcthappen

I feel like I have a unique perspective on this one. DDay1 17 years ago we did very little work and rug swept it until this last summer where we are now trying to actually work through it.
Prior to this summer I would have said I was trustworthy. But now that we are actually in the work, no I don’t even trust myself right now. I’ve realized through this process that my FOO and SA have severely broken my moral compass. I’m hoping that through working in IC and working on talking through everything with my BS I can one day trust myself again. And then start the process of rebuilding trust with my BS.

Me WS. Him BS. 5 month PA DD 1 : Aug 2006. Minimized, Deflected, Blame shifted, Gaslit. DD 2: Aug 2023 not new affair just actual disclosure

posts: 43   ·   registered: Dec. 6th, 2023   ·   location: Canada
id 8819360
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 4:36 PM on Monday, December 25th, 2023

Can someone who lied and schemed ever become trustworthy? WS do you even trust yourself?

Yes, I do trust myself. I've seen the consequences of cowardice and deception, and there's no way I'm going back to living like that. However, I understand there's a vast gap between knowing the truth and asking someone else to believe it.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 10:57 PM, Monday, December 25th]

WW/BW

posts: 3632   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8819379
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Emotionalhell ( member #39902) posted at 3:19 PM on Wednesday, December 27th, 2023

How long did it take you to get past the denial stage.? D you really think that your spouse believed your lies? Did you believe your lies?

Me BS x2. 50ish Divorced WH #1. IHS with wayward #2 Dday #1 Oct. 2014Dday # 2 August 2018. Dday #3 December 17th.

posts: 1779   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2013
id 8819496
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Disappointment ( new member #84252) posted at 4:09 PM on Wednesday, December 27th, 2023

EH, my wife pressed me for around 6-8 weeks before I admitted my A. I don't think she believed me at any point. Ironically, the evidence she found in my weekday flat was some shampoo and conditioner, which she had actually left there herself a couple of years earlier. The final straw was hair in the bath, after the OW blackmailed me into letting her use the flat for a night as it was near a major airport. I turned up the next day with my wife. The A had ended 18 months earlier, when I couldn't handle the guilt anymore.

People say you're never the bad guy in your own story, but I always knew I was, knew why I was having the affair and ended it when I'd got what I wanted and only the guilt remained. It didn't feel as cynical as it sounds.

[This message edited by Disappointment at 4:10 PM, Wednesday, December 27th]

Me: WH, 4 month A whilst working away from home during the week. Ended A early 2007- honestly, just couldn't deal with the guilt. D-day mid-2008. Her: strong BW, both 50 at the time of A. Still together, though I can't say I deserve it.

posts: 4   ·   registered: Dec. 10th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8819498
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Bulcy ( member #74034) posted at 6:05 PM on Friday, December 29th, 2023

How long did it take you to get past the denial stage?

In my case, YEARS. I've been in denial about facts, feelings, thoughts, my own place in R, my own mental wellbeing....Pretty much everything I've thought and done over the last six years have been denial of some sort. Over time, I have become more honest and open about my past. Even now though, I am still working through my beliefs and challenging them. As WSs we lie, we manipulate, we minimise and we justify. I did all this about my affairs, but also about the wellbeing of my BS. I blamed her for being upset and for wanting me to do the work in trying to save the marriage.

The initial denial in 2017 was full of denial. I denied the affair, then when confronted with evidence, I denied the existence of an emotional affair, I chose to believe in "harmless flirting". The denials continued and continued. This weekend we are revisiting all of my infidelity as I have really dug into these justifications and denials. Finally we are working together to fight my infidelity. I have to get over my wayward mindset which views affair recovery as WS v BS

D you really think that your spouse believed your lies?

Not in the slightest. Of course I resented this and fought against it.

Did you believe your lies?

Some of it. Until I actually started challenging myself, I believed some of the justifications. I believed in "harmless flirting", I believed "we were not happy", I believed "they understood me better", I believed that my BS was "difficult to talk to". All lies that a wayward uses. Other things, where I was absolutely lying about facts, no I did not believe them. I did however react angrily when challenged on something I knew to be a lie.

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 368   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8819764
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Howcthappen ( member #80775) posted at 10:26 AM on Sunday, January 7th, 2024

What were you getting at the affair partners house that you weren’t facilitating at home?

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

posts: 225   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2022   ·   location: DC
id 8820546
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 1:23 PM on Sunday, January 7th, 2024

HowCT

What were you getting at the affair partners house that you weren’t facilitating at home?

For clarity, I never went to AP’s home.

A fantasy and an escape from reality. For the hour and a half that we met each time, I didn’t have a care in the world. I had someone consistently tell me what a great guy I was. How sexy I was. No bills, no home repairs, none of the real world problems that true relationships have to deal with every day.

Me -FWS

posts: 2103   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8820552
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JasonCh ( member #80102) posted at 3:37 PM on Sunday, January 7th, 2024

ff4152

A fantasy and an escape from reality. For the hour and a half that we met each time, I didn’t have a care in the world. I had someone consistently tell me what a great guy I was. How sexy I was. No bills, no home repairs, none of the real world problems that true relationships have to deal with every day.

What exactly is/was the fantasy? There is a thread on this in the General forum (https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/topics/661984/how-infuriating-and-nonsensical-the-affair-was-not-real-sounds/). I struggle to understand this because it seems to be continued compartmentalization. What I mean by that is I can certainly understand the 'my affair was a fantasy' statement -- but then all that goes along with it must be a fantasy too. Lying to your spouse, not being where you were supposed to be, missing appointments, family time, family emergencies, .... How it is a compartmentalization is that it is view that the fantasy that the worlds were separate. Is what you are saying that not only was the affair a fantasy for you but the discard of everything else was also the fantasy. More of an 'and' not an 'or'.

Is this accurate?

posts: 480   ·   registered: Mar. 18th, 2022
id 8820560
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 12:26 PM on Monday, January 8th, 2024

JasonCH

What exactly is/was the fantasy? There is a thread on this in the General forum (https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/topics/661984/how-infuriating-and-nonsensical-the-affair-was-not-real-sounds/). I struggle to understand this because it seems to be continued compartmentalization. What I mean by that is I can certainly understand the 'my affair was a fantasy' statement -- but then all that goes along with it must be a fantasy too. Lying to your spouse, not being where you were supposed to be, missing appointments, family time, family emergencies, .... How it is a compartmentalization is that it is view that the fantasy that the worlds were separate. Is what you are saying that not only was the affair a fantasy for you but the discard of everything else was also the fantasy. More of an 'and' not an 'or'.

The fantasy portion was simply my time with the AP. Certainly the sneaky behavior was there to support the A in some fashion but I didn't consider it part of the fantasy. My life with my family and the time with my AP were two very separate things in my mind. Of course there was some overlap in that I would text my AP when we were not together. Perhaps this was because I never seriously considered leaving my family for my AP. My AP would push me about it from time to time and my go to answer was "You never know" but I knew it was never going to happen.

Did any of that help?

Me -FWS

posts: 2103   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8820612
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JasonCh ( member #80102) posted at 3:11 AM on Tuesday, January 9th, 2024

ff4152,

The fantasy portion was simply my time with the AP. Certainly the sneaky behavior was there to support the A in some fashion but I didn't consider it part of the fantasy. My life with my family and the time with my AP were two very separate things in my mind. Of course there was some overlap in that I would text my AP when we were not together. Perhaps this was because I never seriously considered leaving my family for my AP. My AP would push me about it from time to time and my go to answer was "You never know" but I knew it was never going to happen.

Did any of that help?

Yes it did. Thank you. One more question. Do you still view the affair as fantasy and the rest of it as real life --are they still separate in your mind?

posts: 480   ·   registered: Mar. 18th, 2022
id 8820696
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 5:57 PM on Tuesday, January 9th, 2024

To the WS that reconciled.
Did you start reconciliation feeling that you owed it to your BS due to the trauma you caused before the fog lifted or did you truly want to reconcile.
To those who did not truly feel like reconciling but tried anyway, was there a moment or instance that caused you to wholeheartedly want to reconcile?

I personally believe a lot of the time in the aftermath of the affair both the ws and bs are confused to a certain degree. What that degree is depends a lot on whether the ws is emotionally attached to the ap or not.

Not attached to the ap/ the ws was pretty clear on wanting just a physical relationship and may know from the gate they want to reconcile.

In my case, I believe I was having an exit affair. I was unconsciously blowing up a marriage that I had detached from. I didn’t have that clarity at the time but in hindsight I had devalued it far before the affair began.

When the affair was discovered, some of the veil lifted (by far not all) and I did feel I wanted to try to see what we could do with it. I was commuted in my mind but not my heart. That took a few months longer for both to be in alignment. I don’t think I could have cheated if I had felt connected with my husband. But my efforts were genuine and my commitment to work on it was 100 percent there. It took some time to sort out the confusing emotions.

I think a lot of times the determination to reconcile comes from fear on both sides. People do not easily want to disappoint their children, sacrifice financially, move, or be alone. So to me the initial reasoning is far less important than what grows from that. In my mind, none of the reasons I listed are good ones to stay together, but if it can get you back to the reason you should (because you love each other) then maybe it’s worth it.

For us it was more than worth it. I can honestly say I love him more than ever, our relationship is light years better than it was, and I personally am stronger and better than before I started all the work.

I don’t know if it helps or not, but I think I would watch for the growth of that reasoning and what they are doing to repair. Some ws never move past the fear stage but don’t really do anything to strengthen themselves or the relationship. Some bs do that as well, rendered unable to move past what’s happened. That’s not a flaw, I think often it’s intuition.

The aftermath of an affair is a marriage that has been shredded to bits. The ws has to show the fortitude and do the work needed for the bs to even consider such an endeavor. But if you are asking if it’s possible for the ws to love and be trustworthy, I think the answer is yes but there is a lot of work you need to see them doing for an extended time to begin to prove it.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7284   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8820741
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:15 PM on Tuesday, January 9th, 2024

Waywards - what is it like when you are in a Shame Spiral and what can your BS [if you are still together] do to help you?

Mr. Chaos is having a rough one.

Chaos,

I am not sure you will like this but honestly if your h has done the work needed on himself it’s hard for me to envision having the shame spiral this far out.

It’s not that I can not feel shame, I can and do. But the overwhelming aspects have been gone a long time. Given your timeline is close to ours I don’t think that it sounds like he has dealt with his healing. Did your husband do Therapy?

The reason I am asking is because in my experience the reason we shame spiral is that it’s cumulative. The shame we feel over our affair is amplified by the shame of our past that we never healed. To do that it must be looked at, understood, and let go. At our core, a ws must learn to have compassion and love for ourselves, and a lot of getting better is healing what is impeding that. Sure the affair is one aspect, but often everything is rolled up into it and that’s why it’s so intense and difficult.

I am not saying your husband hasn’t worked on himself or hasn’t improved. But the thing he still needs to do is make peace with himself and that’s a process I am not sure I could have navigated without therapy and reading about those processes here and in other places.

It’s a long and winding road, but if he is still spiraling, he needs to get at the core of all the cumulative shame, how his thoughts about himself can change, how can he become more aware of his self talk, and how he can show up for himself (allowing him to do so with others ).

This is why Foo is so important because that’s where we began the shame spiral he is currently in. Somewhere in his development, he learned he was bad. (Probably in multiple areas) He has to figure that out and change his narratives. Sounds simple but it takes concerted effort and time. Someone who loves themselves and have engaged in healing doesn’t believe they are bad at their core. They don’t feel shame over who they are. That’s a shame spiral.

Do I feel shame over my affair? Yes, yes, yes. But do I feel shame of who I am? No. What I have done in the past doesn’t define me and feeling that is why shame spirals do not occur for me anymore. And knowing I am worthy of love and compassion comes from being able to give it to myself.

I think your husband should engage in therapy and self discovery. Being more conscious over his beliefs about himself and others and understand that our thoughts are all not based in truth but on conditioning. I hope this helps.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7284   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8820743
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:29 PM on Tuesday, January 9th, 2024

Jason,

Yes it did. Thank you. One more question. Do you still view the affair as fantasy and the rest of it as real life --are they still separate in your mind?

I know you asked FF but I liked this question a lot and hope you don’t mind if I chime in.

I think they are not separate. I had an an affair in reality.

However my thinking was based on fantasy.
My husband was never going to know.
I deserved to do something for myself.
The AP was the most wonderful perfect person.

Reality is my husband had every right to know.
I deserved happiness but you won’t find it in an affair.
The AP was a projection of who I made him to be, not who he was.

The reality is I lied to myself and my magical thinking was based on fantasy. But my behavior and actions based on the lies swirling in my heard, that was and is reality.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7284   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8820744
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:40 PM on Tuesday, January 9th, 2024

Can someone who lied and schemed ever become trustworthy? WS do you even trust yourself?

Yes and yes. Not overnight. The ws must be willing to look at their thoughts and behaviors and begin to dissect the toxicity and where it comes from. Change takes effort and time. But absolutely, a remorseful ws who realizes they are not who they want to be and begin to visualize who they want to become can get there.

I don’t think it’s something that you can just do to save your marriage. The person has to have the determination and will to save themselves. That work will translate to better relationships, better coping, and better behavior. Yes my marriage was a motivation, but in the end I think for me it was more about conquering my demons and fixing myself.

I feel like I’m the seven years since my affair I have learned to truly love, have greater integrity, and learn to ask for what I want or need. There is no reason to scheme or lie to get those things any more.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7284   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8820745
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 6:59 PM on Tuesday, January 9th, 2024

JasonCh

One more question. Do you still view the affair as fantasy and the rest of it as real life --are they still separate in your mind?

No I don't. Quite the opposite in fact.

Choosing to have an A was one of the worst decisions I've ever made. Allowing myself to have the A was built on the lies I told myself. The unwillingness to look outside myself; to have empathy and what this would do to my family. The consequences of my choices were awful and not part of any fantasy I would have wanted to visit.

Me -FWS

posts: 2103   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8820747
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Howcthappen ( member #80775) posted at 10:43 PM on Tuesday, January 9th, 2024

3 things for hiking out

#1
I’m
So glad you came back and addressed some of the past posts I love your perspective.

#2 although I love your perspective, you’re a woman and they say a female WS has different motivations behind affairs so sometimes I don’t always know if your opinion fits.

#3 You said this:
"Some bs do that as well, rendered unable to move past what’s happened. That’s not a flaw, I think often it’s intuition."

So if I’m unable to forgive and move past you think it’s intuition?

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

posts: 225   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2022   ·   location: DC
id 8820768
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