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I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 15

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 5:03 AM on Friday, March 15th, 2024

My husband said if he caught me in a lie it would be over and I believe him.

But, I think for me this question feels backwards. I am definitely not saying you asked something wrong or critiquing. It’s more I feel like I did a lot of it for me. I wanted my husband and my marriage and I feel I fought for that. But I think the reason that I am who I am today is more because I no longer wanted to behave or think a lot of the ways that I used to.

I was really unhappy when I started my affair, and when I got into therapy one of my main goals was to figure out why and how to change that. And at some point as I was practicing and searching it occurred to me that the more I tuned into my values and acted in accordance the better I felt.

And two months into that therapy I made the decision to confess. The reason was twofold: one I didn’t think building something in a rotten foundation made sense and not telling would never let me restore my integrity.

So, when you think of it like that, how can one reconcile without reconciling themself? Not only do I not lie, but I also worry and ruminate 95 percent less, I don’t avoid conflict and therefore now have the skills to deal with it, and I conduct my life with respect. Overall, this places my answer as it was pretty damned important. Being responsible and accountable for one’s life comes down to those fundamental aspects.

I also think that due to the trauma inflicted upon a bs that most become like a human lie detector. They feel things are still off, so I think when you know there is still dishonesty it’s going to hold you back from going full throttle into a reconciliation as well.

I will say there was a time that I didn’t know some answers to the questions or I wanted to hide form what I did, so don’t take it like I did this all out of the gate. I failed a lot, but overall the perseverance of that is something that I think the ws has to be self motivated to get through.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7284   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8828907
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 3:18 PM on Friday, March 15th, 2024

Molly65

How did you get back to loving the spouse you did not respect and maybe talked about negatively with your affair spouse? How did that very same person become important again in your life when you had disregarded their needs so badly and put you first? What do you genuinely think of your spouse now and why has your vision of them changed? Did you fall out of love and back in love with them?

I started turning away from the A a few months before I actually ended it. We actually hadn't been speaking for quite some time for I completely walked away. During that break, I started reading about infidelity. I came across an advice column where a woman had an affair while away on a girls trip and ended up pregnant. She could hide the paternity because she was white and her AP black. I remember feeling horrified for the husband which in turn started me examining what I was doing. I then happened upon SI. And I read and read and read some more.

Like so many who have never really experienced it, I thought infidelity was no big deal. I bought into the whole Hollywood portrayal about soulmates, star crossed lovers, must have been something the BS was doing/wasn't doing etc. The stories and responses to my posts were often very brutal; as time went on, I tried to really listen to what was being said. To look at myself honesty and realize I had been lying to myself about who I really was. I used to think I was above cheating and used to sneer at those who did. Until I realized that I was no better than them.

A real turning point occurred around 3 months after the A was over. I was feeling a little bit better and decided to look at my AP's FB page. Imagine my surprise when I saw her on a beach with her latest guy and judging by what was written, she was involved with him while our A was going on. This really crystalized things for me. She wasn't a soulmate or an angel sent down from heaven. She was a cheater, just like me. This broken person who I risked losing my family over.

It made me realize that my wife hadn't turned away from the marriage, I did. I attributed my wife's distance because she felt out of love with me. The truth was, she was exhausted. For quite a number of years, I struggled with depression and drug abuse.My wife had to hold things together while I fell apart.My IC said one thing to me which really stuck; he said "Start looking at situations through over peoples eyes" meaning, look at how your actions affect others. That was something I never really embraced and really turned things around for me.

Me -FWS

posts: 2103   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8829004
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 3:35 PM on Friday, March 15th, 2024

If you're a WS who has successfully reconciled - how much of that success do you attribute to becoming honest and transparent? Do you think you could have had any meaningful marriage moving forward while still keeping things from your BS. Even small things?

I regard honesty and remorse as completely inextricable. Until I got everything out on the table, my BH was still living with a liar. It's not safe or logical to trust a liar, because that person is still putting their own priorities ahead of the healing of the BS. A WS who does not acknowledge the BS's right to agency is still wayward in their thought patterns, no matter how guilty they may feel, how sure they are that they won't cheat again, or how much they sell themselves on the fiction that their lies serve the BS.

If you believe R could not have been successful without honesty, what made you realise that and at what point?

I spent decades believing that because I was never going to cheat again (and I never have, not in 35 years), the lies I was hiding were not relevant to our future. I saw my cruelty and betrayal as in the past, and I even persuaded myself that I had told enough of the truth to qualify as honest. I completely disregarded -- and to a large extent was unaware -- that our rug sweeping stalled my BH's healing. He knew on some level that my story didn't add up, and that kept him subconsciously ruminating.

When he finally accepted that the pain wasn't going away, and he started asking pointed questions, I panicked. I had to face that far from being "minor details," the things I was hiding would fundamentally change his understanding of the nature of my affair. And even when I got down to small things that weren't intrinsically significant, the fact that they were lies made them significant. They stood between me and authenticity, and therefore between my BH and his healing.

I didn't accept the inevitable necessity of coming clean until I saw my H giving up on me. I'd seen pain in his eyes before, I'd seen anger, but I'd never seen weariness mixed with disgust and contempt. Until he hit that tipping point, I still believed that I knew best. When I realized that the power wasn't in my hands anyway, that's when I was able to take a deep breath and let go of the outcome.

WW/BW

posts: 3632   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8829024
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Molly65 ( member #84499) posted at 10:27 PM on Friday, March 15th, 2024

ff4152 thank you so much for your reply.

Molly NEW LIFE

posts: 130   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2024   ·   location: USA
id 8829163
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denwickdroylsden ( member #51744) posted at 2:17 PM on Saturday, March 16th, 2024

If you're a WS who has successfully reconciled - how much of that success do you attribute to becoming honest and transparent? Do you think you could have had any meaningful marriage moving forward while still keeping things from your BS. Even small things?


With us it has been a bit more complicated. BW discovered the A and confronted me. I owned up. Over weeks and months BW asked questions but would cut me off mid-answer as the answers were apparently too painful to hear. I would have conveyed everything had she let me but it was too traumatic. We are still together but that has been, as I've said elsewhere, more about spackle and rugsweep than anything else.

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

posts: 66   ·   registered: Feb. 9th, 2016
id 8829236
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Groot1988 ( member #84337) posted at 7:18 PM on Saturday, March 16th, 2024

Can the OW/OM really be that dumb or can BS really be so damn cold.

My H swore he never said a bad word about our marriage or me. The OW and I were in the same space once and according to my H all he told her was "don’t worry about it." He loved on me held my hand all the while ignoring her. I told him it didn’t make sense and he said that he could tell she was bothered by it but didn’t say much until the end when she became possessive.
He claimed he just pretended I didn’t exist…. When he finally told her he loved me she cried but still saw him a few weeks later.
I can’t comprehend the lack of self respect/ thought process of not being promised something , why would they keep coming back?! H didn’t have much to offer. We have four kids and he didn’t make much. I supported the family, and don’t get me started on her , she is ugly as hell. barf

Married 5 years (together 11) Four children Me Bs 36Him WH 35- 4 month PA Dday Oct 6- lots of TT final disclosure Jan 16.

"If we walk through hell we might as well hold hands, we should make this a home"- citizen soldier

posts: 320   ·   registered: Jan. 6th, 2024   ·   location: Darker side of gray
id 8829269
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 2:25 AM on Sunday, March 17th, 2024

she is ugly as hell. barf

This is probably why.

Some women who aren’t attractive are quite needy. They never learned to base their self worth on tomorrow than just their external appearance.

I think to be honest though, for a lot of us (myself included) I simply put how I felt to be more important than how his wife felt. I am not proud of that, but when you are the other woman, you are in it to win it and often you want to tell yourself that you have more to offer. I feel sick when I think of how I minimized the AP’s wife.

However your story is one I don’t relate to. Had I known her, or had seen them together being loving, I know for me that would have made it impossible to minimize her. I had never met the AP’s wife or even seen a picture of her. We honestly didn’t discuss her much at all.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7284   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8829297
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Groot1988 ( member #84337) posted at 3:08 AM on Sunday, March 17th, 2024

Thank you hiking out.
Not to mention our daughter was in the same space …it was his first and now last concert she’s ever seen of his in his band. He also went and saw his AP that night when we went home and went to bed. It’s just so sad that one of her favorite memories of her dad is my least favorite. She saw us there as a family , I don’t think you can get much lower than them at that point.

Married 5 years (together 11) Four children Me Bs 36Him WH 35- 4 month PA Dday Oct 6- lots of TT final disclosure Jan 16.

"If we walk through hell we might as well hold hands, we should make this a home"- citizen soldier

posts: 320   ·   registered: Jan. 6th, 2024   ·   location: Darker side of gray
id 8829299
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Howcthappen ( member #80775) posted at 1:53 PM on Monday, March 18th, 2024

Is it normal for the WS to speak horribly of the affair? Like, the way my fWS refers to the AP/affair itself makes it seem like it was hell.

He refers to it as a dark whole, says he felt he was drowning in shit.

He once said seeing her was like sneaking to find an alley to pee in to relieve yourself—only the most gross alley that nobody uses so you won’t get caught will do -
you are happy to pee but you’re standing in maggots. When you’re done you feel like scum.

But then you go again. 🤷🏽‍♀️

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

posts: 225   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2022   ·   location: DC
id 8829387
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:22 PM on Monday, March 18th, 2024

I think that hindsight can change a lot of how you view the affair and who you were in it. I also think it depends on what you were seeking in the affair.

I was looking for emotional connection barf but that isn’t at all what actually happened.

My husband was seeking a life raft from his pain, but the affair was primarily sexual. The way he kind of extracted himself was we went on Covid lockdown and I was home with him 24/7. He had grown tired of it, didn’t want to keep it up but he chose someone so close to us that he didn’t know how to get out without me knowing. He wanted to stop working with her but he knew I would want to know why we were terminating her. He also felt that would rock the boat with her and she would tell. So I do think it’s possible to continue something that is a growing nightmare.

I would also add that for me, there were all these emotional outbursts over what I was doing but I didn’t stop it. I would dove back in the next day like it never happened, to get my hit of validation. That was more cognitive dissonance though, I didn’t find the AP disgusting until later after the affair was over, and it was at a time that I also found myself disgusting.

So is it possible he is viewing it that way? Absolutely, but I do think he is bringing hindsight into it. That being said there was always an awareness I wasn’t that attracted to ap. I explained it away by thinking the outer didn’t matter in a soul connection barf barf

Now I look back and see how foolish and reckless the whole thing was and it definitely makes me wish I could go back and change the whole thing. So the regret he is expressing, I wouldn’t discount it if it comes with changed behaviors and a higher appreciation of what he cast aside.

[This message edited by hikingout at 6:25 PM, Monday, March 18th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7284   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8829422
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TrayDee ( new member #82906) posted at 6:49 PM on Tuesday, March 19th, 2024

How do you deal when BS "can't put it in the past".

20 months out and W thinks I should be past it...AP is irrelevant and that part of our lives is over.

I've realized that she has coped by sanitizing it in her mind....

"It was only two months of my life"...

"It's not like I was seeking sex"...

"I never cared about him"...

"I never left you"...

"That's not who I am"...

She acknowledged that all her actions and thinking was F'd up...but has seemed to purposely forgot the details in order to cope...and wonders why I won't do the same.

[This message edited by TrayDee at 6:54 PM, Tuesday, March 19th]

posts: 45   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2023   ·   location: MS
id 8829588
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 5:27 AM on Wednesday, March 20th, 2024

Tray Dee, what repairs have you all had in this? Does she go to IC?

I feel like at 20 months I was certainly fatigued from the after effects of the affair. But not because my husband wasn’t "over it". I felt that the time, potential happiness, and all the other things I robbed is from in having the affair was worth me doing a deep dove on myself to dig out the thoughts and behaviors that all could be traced into the affair and systematically work on them.

I was in the trenches with him. I understood the trauma had to be processed. I am in no way patting myself on the back for this, after all it was my mess to clean up. But I described it because it does not sound like she has a true understanding of what she heads done to you, and she is not taking the accountability seriously enough.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7284   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8829676
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TrayDee ( new member #82906) posted at 6:54 PM on Wednesday, March 20th, 2024

Hikingout...

I am beginning to feel the same.

She did IC for maybe 3-4 months after DDay...and we did marriage counseling for maybe another 5 after that.

It seems her biggest takeaway from IC is that she gained the tools to be open in communication and vulnerability when she is struggling emotionally. I do think this is good work and a good start, because she places one of the primary factors for her affair is that we weren't talking much the time.

I think this is somewhat true as I had emotionally shut down from her neglect, but I am now thinking this is just a way to blameshift.

When I get triggered and want to talk about certain aspects of the affair, she can handle a little but soon wants minimize and deflect. That angers me more and...well you know.

posts: 45   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2023   ·   location: MS
id 8829772
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Heartbrokenwife23 ( member #84019) posted at 9:46 PM on Wednesday, March 20th, 2024

To those of you WS’s who didn’t have any sort of "connection" to your AP and you never wanted to leave your marriage, why engage in an affair? My WS had absolutely no desire/attraction/feelings for the OW and didn’t want any part of her (she was a married COW who apparently has a shitty M and wanted to make someone else’s M just as shitty I guess). He describes her as something to get out his sexual frustrations.

My WS says when I found out, it was the "easiest" thing he could of done to break it off with her. He said, in those first few weeks after Dday, he thought for sure our M was over and he said it didn’t matter about the OW because he wanted nothing to do with her period - he said it was a huge relief to cut those ties.

He tells me that he wasn’t thinking straight before or during the time period that it was occurring. He knew it was wrong, he didn’t want to do it, he wanted it to stop - but said he didn’t know how without turning everything upside down and that he was scared and a coward.

I walked through many scenarios with him on how he could of "better" handled this little predicament of his. He tells me that you don’t think of those things, you’re too scared and that he engaged with the OW every so often to bide time to figure out how he could sever the destruction.

How true might this be? I’m trying to put myself in his shoes and wondering if it was me instead of him, would I have done/ the same thing/felt the same way. All the while, I’m trying to get it through to him - “like, how is continuing to betray, lie and deceive going to help you or make this better?”

Looking forward to any WS responses.

[This message edited by Heartbrokenwife23 at 9:49 PM, Wednesday, March 20th]

At the time of the A:
Me: BW (34 turned 35) Him: WH (37)
Together 13 years; M for 7 ("celebrated" our 8th) DDay: Oct. 12, 2023
3 Month PA with Married COW

posts: 68   ·   registered: Oct. 19th, 2023   ·   location: Canada
id 8829813
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 5:00 PM on Thursday, March 21st, 2024

I was hoping someone would come along and answer this one, I am not a ws who fits this profile. I am however married to one who closely does.

My h admits he cares about her, but when I pressed him about what that means to him, it sounded like a combo of she worked for us for a long time, and some denial over using her to get what he needed.

When I say that, I don’t think it was sex exactly. I interpret what he was saying as his mojo for lack of a better word.

However in a more universal sense I think all AP’s use each other. And the levels of that awareness I do believe can vary from ws to ws. I am certain the ap in my situation had no intentions of leaving his wife, and knew he was cake eating. I was willing so why not?

So I don’t think I would dismiss his claims. There certainly have been ws here who I believe when they say there wasn’t anything emotional However, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a big hill to climb to be a safer partner for you. As you are aware healthy people don’t cheat and lie and use other people to get their needs met.

I will say this though: he was in it with her still for a reason, but it’s not any reason any other ws is in it. He liked how an affair felt, he was getting something he wanted. Even if that feeling had an expiration date. My husband claimed to wantbout the last six months of his affair. Covid lockdown was a miracle to him in some ways. I had that confirmed by the obs, there was a lot of evidence that what he was telling me jived with what her story was. And I know she wasn’t protecting him because she was mad as hell he dropped her like a hot potato.

I think a good litmus test is does he gain anything by having you believe this if it is a lie? It doesn’t sound like he is trying to make himself sound better, using people for sexual gratification and stringing them along is not noble behavior. However, I can see how not admitting to having feelings might be trying to preserve your feelings I suppose. But plenty of people admit they were never physically attracted to their AP, many BS can confirm the AP was far less attractive and had less going for them than the spouse. And I know regardless of having an EA/PA I wasn’t really attracted physically to the AP, and was far more interested in the EA aspects.

No way to ever know I guess but it sounds entirely plausible to me. That being said, I think it might help you to dig in your perspective to see if it even really matters to you which way it was. I think bs sometimes try to hang on to anything that makes what their spouse does a lesser offense. In reality, all ws have the same basic offense. Sure it matters if there is something diagnosable in all that, but even if he eas attracted to her it doesn’t mean he isn’t attracted to you.

And in my case I thought I loved the AP. Well, clearly I didn’t have a good definition on love. Love isn’t helping someone destroy their life and spouse, nor is it cheating on the person you made vows to. So my advice is not to look for the worse/less worse scenario, and focus on the crime and how he rehabilitates not to repeat the crime. Just my two cents, knowing what you are thinking and feeling is absolutely normal and also it is important for you to find the truth and I am not dismissing that for the other things I have said.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7284   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8829976
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Molly65 ( member #84499) posted at 9:18 PM on Monday, March 25th, 2024

QUESTION FOR THE WAYWARD SPOUSE WHO MAINTAINED CONTACT WITH THE EX AFFAIR PARTNER:

When did you stop lying to your spouse about contacts with the ex? What triggered you to stop? Why did you continue and for how long? Did you have to find yourself on the edge of being dumped?

[This message edited by Molly65 at 9:19 PM, Monday, March 25th]

Molly NEW LIFE

posts: 130   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2024   ·   location: USA
id 8830713
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Heartbrokenwife23 ( member #84019) posted at 5:29 AM on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

Thank You hikingout for your response, it is greatly appreciated. I get what you’re saying! There are times I definitely am looking for the "best/worst case scenario" in this fun reality of mine and at the end of the day that’s not really helpful. I admire reading your comments, it gives me hope that there are true WS’s out there that can put in the work and change it around.

At the time of the A:
Me: BW (34 turned 35) Him: WH (37)
Together 13 years; M for 7 ("celebrated" our 8th) DDay: Oct. 12, 2023
3 Month PA with Married COW

posts: 68   ·   registered: Oct. 19th, 2023   ·   location: Canada
id 8830769
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Copingmybest ( member #78962) posted at 2:51 PM on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

So this may seem an odd question for WS’s, or not. My WW still isn’t getting it. My IC and I both agree she’s dealing with childhood trauma that makes her go into a childish argumentative reaction when I really start to ask serious questions about her behaviors. To clarify, she said she has no demons like I do so she doesn’t need IC, she said she knows why she had the affair "the marriage was bad for a LONG time" she said it’s my responsibility to let her know I’m having a bad day or am feeling triggered (she has mentioned numerous times that she knew something was bothering me but would let it go for a week or longer and not engage me) How can I start asking questions, or what kinds of questions can I ask her to draw out conversation that is productive. When things get difficult she’ll start telling me that she’s just evil, she’s a cruel person, she’s just a cheater, and that I don’t love her. How do you communicate with a WS who is in that frame of mind. Thank you all in advance.

[This message edited by Copingmybest at 2:53 PM, Tuesday, March 26th]

posts: 268   ·   registered: Jun. 16th, 2021   ·   location: Midwest
id 8830801
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 3:46 PM on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

Coping,

Personally, I don’t think I would. I would probably give an ultimatum- IC or divorce. You can’t make progress with someone who isn’t working towards that same progress.

I am not sure even that idea works well, but it doesn’t sound like you are ready for divorce. She probably knows that. Maybe 180?

I don’t know but trying to relate to a childlike person who blames the marriage for the affair, can’t have a constructive conversation, won’t get help, and has no earthly idea of tha amount of trauma she has fished out and is still dishing out….sounds like the most frustrating and painful thing someone could possibly go through.

How far are you guys out? What is it about this relationship that makes you want to save it?

I don’t doubt your wife is full of shame, and that primary theme keeps her from being proactive, but she needs to feel called to make these changes. The only control you have is detaching from the situation until she does. It’s doesn’t sound like that time is anywhere near.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7284   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8830809
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Copingmybest ( member #78962) posted at 4:22 PM on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

Hiking out, d day will be 3 years come April 1st, yes I’m the April Fool, right? I love the girl, we have a great time together when things are good. We just became distant in the latter years of our marriage and I think she became bored. We really are very compatible overall and I’d love the spend the rest of my years with her. In the past she’s never really opened up about her personal feeling much, and I never really pushed for it, but now, after dealing with the trauma and loss of security, Sharing of what she feels is something I need from her. I don’t think we have a future unless she can begin to open up to me. There have been glimpses of that happening, but it’s been slow coming. I’ll continue to fight for the relationship so long as I see some sort of progress in that arena. It’s just glacial in its progress.

[This message edited by Copingmybest at 4:23 PM, Tuesday, March 26th]

posts: 268   ·   registered: Jun. 16th, 2021   ·   location: Midwest
id 8830819
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