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I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 15

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 3:28 AM on Wednesday, January 10th, 2024

Hi - howcanthappen

So, people’s motivations for having affairs do differ. I am not certain it’s gender based, but perhaps the stats would slant that men cheat for more physical/sexual reasons and women cheat for emotional, though I don’t think that’s a hardfast rule. Plenty of women have come here after a purely sexual affair, and many of the male bs admit to having had emotional ties to their ap.

But I think there are plenty of things that all cheaters have in common:

A sense of entitlement
Lack of integrity
Lack of boundaries, impulse controls
Unhealthy relationship with themselves and therefore others

I could go on and list many more. So I guess it depends, but what I say and my experiences are not going to match up perfectly with anyone else’s. Yet we all do have a lot of the same attributes. As for what resonates for you and your relationship, only you will know.

As for so I think it’s intuition if the bs calls it quits ? Yes. I think it’s their intuition on whether they can find themselves happy in their overall situation. If they feel the change they needed with their spouse is happening. If they feel they will never forgive. It’s not necessarily about whether the ws will do it again, though that can be present as well. Our intuition will nag at us for all sorts of things if they are not right for us.

That’s not to say it’s not worth taking the time to decide, it takes a lot to get to the decision to reconcile and the answer may not be clear for many years. But at any point, sometimes our intuition will say "this is not for you" loudly that we know we have to make that change.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

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Howcthappen ( member #80775) posted at 12:22 PM on Tuesday, January 16th, 2024

Was explicit sex a part of your affair? It’s so crazy because my FWH used to say I was intimidating in the bedroom not because I was more experienced but because I kept going. He’s had way more people than me. We had a great sex life before I left on the road. We would have great sex when he’d come to visit and when I finally got back home sex was great even during the affair.

But—-
When I asked him about his 90 minute visits and what type of sex he had with AP he said it was degrading and nothing he’d ever want me to do or to do with me.
I get the picture that she, the AP was increasingly raising the ante by doing unconventional things- "tossing the salad/rimjobs) etc. to try to keep him.

He was adamant about it being disgusting and not wanting me to do anything but where did his acquired taste go? Did it leave with the affair and suddenly become gross because you certainly were willing to blow up our world for it.

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

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:17 PM on Tuesday, January 16th, 2024

I think explicit sex is an objective word because what is explicit to me might not be to you and vice versa.

My affair was very sexual. Yes. I wouldn’t say that’s what caused my affair or even what I was trying to get out of it. I think some people do cheat to get the type of sex they have a hard time asking for at home, or more sex. But even that is a surface want, with deeper things backing it.

Let me put it this way, let’s say you had nothing to eat at home. There are lots of options to try and remedy that. You could visit a food pantry, you could ask your neighbor, you could do day labor, etc. or you could steal it.

There are those who will go straight to stealing, and those who would rather starve than steal. A ws isn’t interested in looking at the problems and logically solving them, when it suits them their ethics fly right out the window and they want a quick fix.

I don’t know your husband. For me, I was unconscious to this black hole of need that was inside of me. And the longer I ignored it the more it grew. I think most ws’s have a poor relationship with themselves (avoidant) and that’s where the black hole comes from.

For me, I longed to be seen, heard, cherished and loved. But I didn’t do anything to solve the problem. In fact my husband was there wanting to do whatever I needed, I was incapable of receiving it because I didn’t believe I was worthy of it. I just went out and tried to steal it from someone else. And it wasn’t what I was looking for, in fact it only made that relationship with myself worse.

The AP in my case was looking for sex. He was a serial cheater and had sex as a specific aim. I got to know him just well enough to see that was a form of validation to him. He was actually a very insecure person who got high on the reassurance of being able to get women into bed. I think he was gearing up for kinkier things, it was coming up in conversation. It ended before they came to fruition. But I think it was more his ego wanting to see what he could get, rather than those things being a true need.

The thing about fantasies, sexual or any other kind is it may not be what you made it in your head. It can turn out to be something you actually didn’t like at all.

So yes I think it’s possible your husband found out he didn’t like something, or that getting it brought him a lot of shame. For me, there was a lot of anticipation towards the sex but in the end it didn’t bring me what I really wanted. In fact it made me feel worse. If I had sat down and really looked at it and realized what was missing and looked at the options of how that could be accomplished we would be in a different scenario.

Instead, I went right out and tried to make myself feel better, like the thief I was. The issue that your husband needs to address now is what makes him the type that he fails to look at his needs and address them within the parameters of integrity and human decency?

What made him go steal the candy bar instead of recognizing what he really needed and finding the right way to nourish himself? (And please know I realize what he did was far worse than stealing a candy bar, I am just trying to keep the food analogy) This takes therapy. From there the person can learn to be more mindful, more conscious, and approach coping with their problems and needs in a much healthier way.

As the bs it’s natural for you to look at this at face value. It seems like he wanted elicit sex, and he went and had it. But it’s deeper than that. A lot of character flaws went into it that you can’t fathom because you don’t have them.

But I can absolutely attest to the idea that affair sex can be empty. I went to McDonald’s and stole a hamburger when I had prime rib at home with all the trimmings. The problem is I didn’t know how to cook it, prepare it and it was easier to get the need met by something that wasn’t nearly as satisfying. It’s laziness, complacency, lack of self awareness, sloppy boundaries, poor moral character- I could go on and on. I had to fix those things so I developed a different relationship with myself and created a world where I stop and evaluate my needs and find options on getting them met. Instead of letting it all pile up into as I am throwing things at to distract myself from the pain it is causing.

Affairs are a very personal attack on the bs. Whereas for the ws it’s a poor coping mechanism. Perhaps it would have been easier to see it had nothing to do with you or your marriage had he chose drugs, drinking, or gambling. The overall results would likely be the same- it would have been destructive to your lives. But the ways affairs are different from those types of escapes is it would not have taken from you what the affair did.

[This message edited by hikingout at 4:51 AM, Wednesday, January 17th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

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WhiskeyBlues ( member #82662) posted at 2:02 PM on Wednesday, January 17th, 2024

Deleted.

[This message edited by WhiskeyBlues at 12:19 PM, Friday, January 19th]

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Howcthappen ( member #80775) posted at 4:34 AM on Thursday, January 18th, 2024

Do you get triggered and think about your AP when you are watching television shows or movies and it’s a new potential couple meeting for the first time and in they are in the flirting innuendo stage?

I become so angry but I wonder if the WS thinks of all that led up to them crossing the line and think of it fondly.

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

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:47 AM on Thursday, January 18th, 2024

Ew, no.

I don’t know what your husband thinks, but no never thinking fondly. When things came on like that in the earlier days I would panic about what my h was thinking and feeling. At first, it was more is he going to get upset and pull away from me? Then it evolved into just feeling horrible that he might be feeling terrible. I would offer to turn it to something else and he would think it’s was just me being ashamed.

Eventually it’s grown to rarely being a problem for either of us.

Of your husband has any conscience at all it likely brings him shame. and maybe some fear on how you will react. Hard to really know, have you asked him?

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

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TrayDee ( new member #82906) posted at 9:36 AM on Thursday, January 18th, 2024

Hikingout...

I wanted to tell you, your previous post gave me a magical insight to the mind of my WW and most waywards in a way that has advanced me eons down the road in my personal healing journey.

I have read that post 12 or so times because it has enriched my understanding...I would like to ask you a plethora of questions for clarification but I will only pose this:

I went to McDonald’s and stole a hamburger when I had prime rib at home with all the trimmings. The problem is I didn’t know how to cook it, prepare it and it was easier to get the need met by something that wasn’t nearly as satisfying. It’s laziness, complacency, lack of self awareness, sloppy boundaries, poor moral character- I could go on and on. I had to fix those things so I developed a different relationship with myself and created a world where I stop and evaluate my needs and find options on getting them met. Instead of letting it all pile up into as I am throwing things at to distract myself from the pain it is causing.

When/how did you realize and accept that the actions you were taking was to try to fill that hole in you and it wasn't working and how did you begin to change it?

I mean I get that your affair was a flailing attempt to relieve pain, but what made you say that this is only making things worse?

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:07 PM on Thursday, January 18th, 2024

Good question, and I don’t mind answering questions. It bothers me none to talk about any of it now.

So before the affair I think I was in denial over my pain, it was a ball of crap that controlled my life in many ways but it wasn’t something I was entirely aware of. I am avoidant by nature, so it was just something piling up while I presented this face to the world and to myself.

Thing is my marriage was something that I had been proud of. And in the light of what I did the pain was no longer avoidable. I didn’t want to be this person. I hated myself. I went to therapy and started down a long path of unwinding all that I had been avoiding.

And I worked to put what I learned into practice. Awkwardly. Sometimes, well a lot of times with poor execution. But I kept treading up the mountain because I needed to find my way out of pain.

I had to learn to be mindful and present. To slow down and think even silly little things through. Learn to speak up, communicate, negotiate. I experimented with what activities made me happiest and I went towards pursuing them full throttle. I exercised, ate better, spent time in nature. The last one for me was a big one. I had to stop worrying about what things looked like and get very in touch with what they feel like.

Eventually when I could be kinder and more compassionate with myself it made a lot of room and space for my relationship with my husband and really all the people in my life. I learned that thoughts lie, to be vigilant of that and challenge them for a greater truth.

When you live in your head, a jumbled mess of anxiety, fear, and no one standing at the gate advocating for myself, it takes up all the space. When that can be worked through (it took years of working on it), there is suddenly space and air for others and for reaching for things in life that feel better than going around trying to control everything. I had to learn I didn’t need to convince people to see my worth or to love me. I see my worth and I love me. It took t down the scanning for proof they did. It took down the stories I made up about what they were thinking about me. Without all the belief in those things I could let the relationships be what they are.

The biggest thing that catapulted me at first was the pain. The thing that kept me going was feeling better and better.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

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OptionedOut ( member #69105) posted at 10:09 PM on Friday, January 26th, 2024

I can't thank the WS enough for their kindness and generosity for helping us BS.

It's been 5 years since D day. I'm beginning a new life, but still have questions that I hope will help me.


1. Lies? We've split, but remain 'friends.' WH still insists the A was never physical even though he was out of town, that AP met him at the hotel to go to dinner (insists she never came to his room). I say BS. A single woman with a married man out of town put together for 10 years will eventually A - talk about what the relationship is, or B - they do the deed.

2. He was horrible to me during the A. We fought before his business trips - usually, he started it. Then he came home with presents or doted on me. He swears to this day that he was simply under a lot of work stress.

3. Was he defending her? Why? After D day where he insisted he was going to go out with AP during a business trip and told me I had trust issues and that he could have friends... and I said I wanted a divorce, he finally said he'd call it all off. He got on the phone with me right there and told her he wouldn't be meeting her because "SHE" (me) didn't like it and that he hadn't been straight with me about all the times they had gotten together. When she fired back that she didn't deserve this, he told her she didn't. WTF? Also, when she emailed him and told him that I was a nut case and that she was Christian and that SHE deserved better than his treatment HE DEFENDED HER! He said I had to understand how she felt. He said the reason was that they were both both being accused of cheating.

4. She ripped a CD for him (there was song about being a back door man) and some other songs. He wouldn't get rid of it. Said it just didn't mean anything. When I blew up, he finally did and said he didn't know why I was so upset over a CD. Thoughts?

5. Before we split, he said he knew the day would come, but couldn't understand that while he tried to be everything I wanted (he eventually did do all the work), why I still chose to leave because he'd never cheat again and was very remorseful. Thoughts?

6. After D day, he said he'd taken his caring from me and placed it on fixing HER problems. Then recanted that story. Why?

Thank you so much for your generous time and responses.

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 5:31 AM on Saturday, January 27th, 2024

I am going to cut to the chase on most of these. I believe your gut was correct and he gaslighted you to try and manipulate the situation. He was stuck in his own selfishness and using everyone around him as pawns. He can’t own up to it because it would require a self awareness he is unwilling to have because it’s too painful to look at. He is avoidant, an escapist, and wants everyone to go along with it.

He defended her because if he didn’t and made her to be the bad person a) she might get mad and create more problems (such as potentially spilling the beans) b) if he treats her as she did deserve it then so does he. Making her accountable makes him accountable.

And recanting things after dday is maybe the most normal thing. If your thoughts about your whys and how’s don’t evolve then you aren’t going deeper. After dday we do scramble trying to answer things we ourselves do not know the answers to and we are going to find what we thought wasn’t right.

I think he doesn’t want to own up to the sex because to him that would be the worst thing to confess to. I think often the ws projects what they would find most objectionable. For a lot of men, sex is a high value thing to give away. That’s not to say there are clear gender lines on what people value most in a relationship. For me, admitting I said I love you was difficult to own up to. Yet the sex was clearly what my h was more fixated on. It was me projecting what I thought was the worst thing.

Honestly I feel if he had done all the work, a lot of this stuff wouldn’t still be in question. I think your gut was right, and he never wanted to fully face the music. I think divorce was the only answer so you could regain living in truth and reality.

[This message edited by hikingout at 5:32 AM, Saturday, January 27th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

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NeverWillAgain ( member #25007) posted at 4:04 PM on Saturday, January 27th, 2024

OptionedOut

Lies? We've split, but remain 'friends.' WH still insists the A was never physical even though he was out of town, that AP met him at the hotel to go to dinner (insists she never came to his room). I say BS. A single woman with a married man out of town put together for 10 years will eventually A - talk about what the relationship is, or B - they do the deed.

I have to say that I had a relationship with a very good looking women for over 30 yrs and never once kissed, fondled or had any type of sex. It was a platonic friendship that predated my wife and I meeting. She was originally married to a coworker/friend when I met her. They divorced after my wife and I married. I still visited her when my job took me to the town where she lived, which was several times a year. I'd go to her apartment or she'd come to my hotel. We'd go have dinner and catch up. All innocent and a platonic friendship. We valued the friendship and didn't want that to change. She was extremely good looking, but I always felt like she was more my sister.

That said, I dropped that friendship after I had my affair. My wife never asked me to, either. But, with how little trust that she had in me, I didn't want anything to potentially make it worse. My friend called me like always, but I stopped answering. I didn't know how to tell her. After several years, I felt comfortable to reach out. I also discussed reaching out with my wife first. When I did, though, it had changed. She really didn't want to talk. Oh well, it was what I know I needed to do. The loss of a very good friend was my fault and mine alone. It's been over 10 yrs now since I last talked with her. It was the right thing to do. My marriage had to be the most important and prioritized thing in my life and I needed to make it so.

I hope this helps.

NWA

[This message edited by NeverWillAgain at 4:14 PM, Saturday, January 27th]

"So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains, and we never even know we have the key."

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OptionedOut ( member #69105) posted at 7:41 PM on Saturday, January 27th, 2024

Hikingout: Thank you so much. Some of the things you wrote are uncannily spot on with the behavior and responses I got. Explanations changed, or the "I don't knows" especially.

Neverwillagain: It looks like you had a great friend, and I had no problem with opposite sex friends. I DID have a problem with him telling me he was with the guys from work for dinner and movie, and a ball game the next day when he was with her instead. Or that he paid for everything. I go dutch with my friends, or we alternate picking up the tab. He also said she KNEW what she was doing - chasing him and that he wanted the ego kibbles. He admitted to sexual banter after he failed the poly on the question of keeping the truth from me and on sexual contact. He claims he failed because of the banter.

He insisted that he started fights before he went out of town because he 'didn't want to go' and bought me gifts on his return because he felt bad about the fights. Yet, I found an email where he told her "Good news! I'm coming back out there. Wanna hook up?"

After the affair, he said he 'never was going to leave me for her.' Uh, why would you leave me for a friend?

Or tell me that FaceTime wouldn't work at his hotel... hmmm.

But yes. I was fine with opposite-sex friendships, including her - until I found out he lied about how many times they were out, him paying, the emails, etc.
Still, think it was possible that it was just a platonic friendship?

[This message edited by OptionedOut at 7:44 PM, Saturday, January 27th]

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NeverWillAgain ( member #25007) posted at 7:49 PM on Saturday, January 27th, 2024

OptionedOut - Sorry, I didn't mean to lead you to believe I think he was having a platonic relationship. My point was, I had a great friend as you say. I gave up that friendship because it was important to my marriage. He should have had no problem doing the same and you shouldn't have had to demand it in the first place. ETA: The inference would be the opposite. He didn't want to give up the relationship because it was more than friendship.

[This message edited by NeverWillAgain at 7:52 PM, Saturday, January 27th]

"So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains, and we never even know we have the key."

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OptionedOut ( member #69105) posted at 9:00 PM on Saturday, January 27th, 2024

Thanks, Never!

And I’m sorry - I didn’t mean to sound snappish. It truly wasn’t my intent. After rereading, it came across to me that I sounded that way.

I do believe men and women CAN be great friends and absolutely nothing more. I have such a friend from my childhood and would be furious if he ever cheated on his wife. I adore her to no end and I don’t have the slightest attraction to The Brother Who Should Have Been My Real Brother.

thanks to everyone who helped get me some of the closure I should have had the past few years. It will help to know I can trust my instincts again and move on.

I’m so grateful to have you guys here.

[This message edited by OptionedOut at 9:04 PM, Saturday, January 27th]

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DuchessVivian ( new member #84436) posted at 9:32 PM on Friday, February 2nd, 2024

1. Lies? We've split, but remain 'friends.' WH still insists the A was never physical even though he was out of town, that AP met him at the hotel to go to dinner (insists she never came to his room). I say BS. A single woman with a married man out of town put together for 10 years will eventually A - talk about what the relationship is, or B - they do the deed.

I wouldn’t believe that either. And not coming to the room doesn’t mean they didn’t have sex. Your suspicions are valid ones.

2. He was horrible to me during the A. We fought before his business trips - usually, he started it. Then he came home with presents or doted on me. He swears to this day that he was simply under a lot of work stress.

That could be work stress or affair stress, but either way, the reasons don’t matter as much as the red flag does. Healthy-minded partners don’t pick fights before heading out of town, affair or not.

3. Was he defending her? Why? After D day where he insisted he was going to go out with AP during a business trip and told me I had trust issues and that he could have friends... and I said I wanted a divorce, he finally said he'd call it all off. He got on the phone with me right there and told her he wouldn't be meeting her because "SHE" (me) didn't like it and that he hadn't been straight with me about all the times they had gotten together. When she fired back that she didn't deserve this, he told her she didn't. WTF? Also, when she emailed him and told him that I was a nut case and that she was Christian and that SHE deserved better than his treatment HE DEFENDED HER! He said I had to understand how she felt. He said the reason was that they were both both being accused of cheating.

Early on in our affair, my partner would do the same. Right down to making the call in front of his BS. The soothing language of what I doesn’t deserve and it was meant as (and interpreted as) something that made clear the status quo wouldn’t change, but he had to say it was because BS was there. I would say be aware of the coded language that they may be using in your presence because it sounds to me like that’s what they’re doing.

4. She ripped a CD for him (there was song about being a back door man) and some other songs. He wouldn't get rid of it. Said it just didn't mean anything. When I blew up, he finally did and said he didn't know why I was so upset over a CD. Thoughts?

That CD likely meant a lot. My partner sent me music and vice versa. Your instinct is a valid one to have in this scenario.

5. Before we split, he said he knew the day would come, but couldn't understand that while he tried to be everything I wanted (he eventually did do all the work), why I still chose to leave because he'd never cheat again and was very remorseful. Thoughts?

Because he still doesn’t get it. Going through the steps doesn’t guarantee reconciliation, just the bare minimum of what he needed to do in order to give reconciliation the best shot possible. It didn’t work, that’s your right. You don’t owe him something big like reconciling because he eventually got around to doing the bare minimum.

6. After D day, he said he'd taken his caring from me and placed it on fixing HER problems. Then recanted that story. Why?

Because he realized it was a foolish thing to say if he wanted to keep you both strung along as long as possible.

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TrayDee ( new member #82906) posted at 5:45 PM on Sunday, February 4th, 2024

What were your feelings immediately after your first instance of affair sex?
Was there a high? Was there any guilt/shame?

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 1:10 AM on Monday, February 5th, 2024

Tray Dee,

It’s hard to describe, but I think the word shut down might be the best description.

Keep in mind the physical side of my affair was a few times over two days. I am not minimizing by saying that, it’s just I think maybe that my answer would have evolved. But I was numb in many ways from before the affair until long after. I was shutting so much out. I spent far more time thinking of things he said to me over dinner or texts than reliving anything sexual. In fact the only way I did think about it was to analyze my performance. Sex was to keep the attention and in some ways (so embarrassed to admit) to impress him. I got very little out of that aspect of the affair. And yes, I know how devastating that is to my husband who would often ask then why do it? Nothing I could ever say would justify it. But it was as definitely loneliness/desperation driven.

I know after I went home, it ended pretty quickly after that and I would have these flashbacks with deep humiliation.

When I think back on that time it’s absolutely outrageous how little respect and consideration I showed my husband or myself for that matter. We both deserved me to make better choices.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

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TrayDee ( new member #82906) posted at 3:38 AM on Wednesday, February 7th, 2024

Hikingout,

Thanks for your repsonse.

Can you expound on this statement?

I spent far more time thinking of things he said to me over dinner or texts than reliving anything sexual. In fact the only way I did think about it was to analyze my performance. Sex was to keep the attention and in some ways (so embarrassed to admit) to impress him.

I'm imagining that you were excited over the things he said or texted, almost in a fawning school girlish way, and you were hoping the sexual performance elicited more of those words.

Give me your perspective from that time and now.

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:35 AM on Wednesday, February 7th, 2024

So, here is what I see in hindsight:

I wanted to be different- to be younger, sexier, more vibrant. He didn’t know me and I wanted to sell that to someone. The things he would say or text was affirmation to me that I was those things.

My excitement about the affair had little to do with him, but more of a narcissistic episode in which he was my audience and reviewer. So when I said I worried more about my performance than what was actually happening it was in everything.

The person I was then, it’s hard to be in that mindset now. This was a two month period of my life seven years ago. I was full of inconsistencies, delusions, compartmentalizing, justifying, escaping. To put together something coherent thought wise would almost sound like a script some 17 year old girl wrote.

I was giddy, and schoolgirl like. And toxic and dark, clingy, needy, and reckless. I once read an article by dr. Frank Pittman (he studied affairs and wrote a lot of things I agree with). The statement was "affairs are often for someone who is not ready for suicide". And that was me if I am completely honest.

The affair gave me a lot of false happiness, and my behavior was disgusting. I don’t deny the high feelings and excitement. But it was almost fully self created and very little to do with being inspired by the AP. I made him to be someone completely different in my mind, which isn’t hard to do when you barely know each other. I needed to make him great so his validation meant something to me.

[This message edited by hikingout at 4:39 AM, Wednesday, February 7th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

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TrayDee ( new member #82906) posted at 4:54 AM on Wednesday, February 7th, 2024

Wow!!!

As always you have given me alot of new insights to consider.

I wanted to be different- to be younger, sexier, more vibrant. He didn’t know me and I wanted to sell that to someone. The things he would say or text was affirmation to me that I was those things.

I heard a similar statement from my WW. She actually told her AP that she was 10 years younger than she was.

I was giddy, and schoolgirl like. And toxic and dark, clingy, needy, and reckless. I once read an article by dr. Frank Pittman (he studied affairs and wrote a lot of things I agree with). The statement was "affairs are often for someone who is not ready for suicide". And that was me if I am completely honest.

Again I heard a version of this. She said she was broken and numb and just wanted to feel "something" "anything" just to know she could feel again. She likened it to a person who cuts themselves. The cutter likes the feeling of exhilaration that comes with the pain, but those few moments of a high are better than the dark emptiness they feel inside.

I made him to be someone completely different in my mind, which isn’t hard to do when you barely know each other. I needed to make him great so his validation meant something to me.

When did he become NOT "great" in your mind?


This is where I have my current struggles. Looking back she says she knew all along that he was a loser, but she made him something more in her mind which is the only way she could carry it on.

To us normal functioning people that seems like too much work.

posts: 45   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2023   ·   location: MS
id 8823750
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