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I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 15

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 5:16 PM on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

For what it’s worth, no I don’t think you are a fool. I think you are a person with a strong commitment. But I definitely think at this point that commitment is taking you down with it.

I don’t mind the idea you are waiting exactly, but she is not going to change in comfort. I would definitely go 180, and spend some time working on yourself. If she can see you aren’t going to save her perhaps she will save herself. It’s the only way this will ever work. And you are subjecting yourself to so much damage as long as you don’t take a step back.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7127   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8830823
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Copingmybest ( member #78962) posted at 5:42 PM on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

Thank you hikingout. I agree, but why is this decision so damn difficult?

posts: 231   ·   registered: Jun. 16th, 2021   ·   location: Midwest
id 8830828
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:09 PM on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

Because of many reasons.

It can mark the end of a dream for you. But there will be better dreams, even if it’s hard to see it now.

Because you know her potential. I have no doubt that it’s there, but until she hits rock bottom and decides to change, the. You are just riding a wild horse with her own agenda that doesn’t mind bucking you off.

Because you meant the things you said when you married her. That is both noble and a testament of your character.

And maybe it goes back to having some abandonment issues that you could look at as part of your self work.

It is a hard decision, and I am not really pushing you to make it. I am just saying, you need to detach and focus on you right now. No one has your back unless you do. You must protect yourself from further damage.

Three years is a long time to allow her to work on herself and it seems like she hasn’t moved an inch. She knows she can keep you in her corner, so she fears no consequence. And if you pull back it will be telling as to whether she sees losing you as a consequence big enough to finally stop and take some stock in her life.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7127   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8830834
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Groot1988 ( member #84337) posted at 10:35 PM on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

Is it true that affairs are addictive because how they make you feel (loved , wanted, attractive) I’ve read that usually is the case and my H claimed this is what drove his A. An escape to his life that he was failing at. When he came around to seeing it for what it was he said she could have been anyone that would have made him feel good. Looking at her I still don’t know how he slept with her 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: 235   ·   registered: Jan. 6th, 2024   ·   location: Darker side of gray
id 8830872
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:43 AM on Wednesday, March 27th, 2024

My understanding of the addiction is that it is your brain being flooded with dopamine.

Picture a person with a gambling addiction. They make the choices at first to gamble. And the highs and lows of the gambling creates an imbalance that creates this anxious attachment to go and keep going until you win or lose big and then you keep showing up because suddenly that high is the most important thing in your life.

It’s the same thing in an affair. The highs and lows create this need to go and keep recreating the highs.

I don’t think looking back I felt loved. I felt like his attention was important to me. Mostly because part of the escape for me was pretending to be someone I wasn’t and he was my audience/validator. It was all Anxious attachment. I am not a needy person, yet in the affair I was.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7127   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8830911
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Groot1988 ( member #84337) posted at 1:16 PM on Wednesday, March 27th, 2024

Thank you Hikingout, as always.

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: 235   ·   registered: Jan. 6th, 2024   ·   location: Darker side of gray
id 8830930
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ChampionRugsweeper ( new member #84237) posted at 6:43 PM on Wednesday, March 27th, 2024

Coping I am going to second HO’s suggestion that it won’t get better if she won’t go to counselling. I would have told you prior to this year that my childhood trauma wasn’t effecting me and I couldn’t have been more wrong. The behaviours I learned to protect me in childhood are catalysts for my affair (not reasons but contributing factors) and while I didn’t have any subsequent affairs because I learned how much damage it did, it did me a I was still very messed up and not dealing with things well. My BH and I really didn’t start to heal until I started to heal and we are 18 years out at this point.

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: 39   ·   registered: Dec. 6th, 2023   ·   location: Canada
id 8830971
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Lostwings ( member #79902) posted at 7:08 PM on Saturday, March 30th, 2024

Dday and NC was almost 3 years ago. Now WH thinks what he and she did were disgusting and the AP was not attractive at all. Now he thinks it would be embarrassing if he ever had to introduce her to his friends and family .

But during the A, he saw one of her pictures and thought she was cute . Their affair was 5 month long and not once did he think she was actually not attractive, during all that time.

Some SI members mentioned about how during the A, WH saw things with rose colored glasses .
But attractive vs not attractive, infatuation, lust , looking through the eye of the beholder were still a reality without the rose colored glasses when you were in your 20s, during your dating period .

What makes a WS developed a lower standard towards the AP and how could you be attracted , even developed sexual and emotional bonding towards someone that was not attractive in real life and was totally not your type, during the A?

What is the difference of youthful dating and A?

I thought it was love at the end of the rainbow , but a banshee came and almost destroyed my pot of gold . In R.

posts: 115   ·   registered: Feb. 7th, 2022   ·   location: United States
id 8831527
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 5:35 AM on Sunday, March 31st, 2024

So, I had an affair with a man that was 20 years older than me. And this wasn’t a situation where he was this silver fox, he actually looked a little older than his age.

It’s important to look at the framing of affairs and then I think it’s more understandable.

-limited pool of people that will agree or desire to have an affair with you.

-those who will do it have their own issues, likely not a person that you would pick out for a relationship when you consider most men and women when polled would list character traits such as honest and trustworthy in their short wish list for someone to fall in love with.

-the secrecy of the affair and the highs and lows that come from the push/pull aspects of the affair creates large amounts of dopamine in your brain. You associate it with them rather than the circumstances.

-for those with abandonment issues the push/pull of the affair is even more intense and can create an actual physical addiction.

-also all affairs are transitional, you want what you are seeking in it and willing to do what they are seeking in it. For many, they just want to escape their life and often pretend to be someone they are not as a result. People who know you well would not validate this false version of yourself and the ap is kind of the validating audience.

When a ws is exposed the escape ends and they start seeing the damage of what they have done and it’s hard to have fond feelings about a time when you were being a callous, selfish, entitled, lying, terrible version of yourself. When you see it about yourself you can’t unseen it with the AP. You can only think about regret, consequences, guilt, shame, remorse, and even humiliation over your behavior. So, the hindsight does end up looking different than the way you were thinking in the affair.

And in the end what you are left knowing is it was never about the AP, it was never about the spouse, it was only about you. I wasn’t loving the ap, I was using him and being used. I wasn’t loving anyone, not even myself. If had had loved myself I wouldn’t have blown up my whole life over childish and disgusting behavior.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7127   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8831579
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Lostwings ( member #79902) posted at 2:01 AM on Monday, April 1st, 2024

Hikingout ,

You said :

The secrecy of the affair and the highs and lows that come from the push/pull aspects of the affair creates large amounts of dopamine in your brain. You associate it with them rather than the circumstances.


My WH was not only engaging sexually with the AP but he chatted / FaceTime with her from morning till bed time DAILY for 5 months with L word greetings in the morning, night and in between.
My WH mentioned a lot about how he was physically and emotionally addicted to the AP during the A although he is disgusted now.

Other than sex , could you elaborate more , what is the push/pull situation that was so capable in producing that addictive dopamine in my WH?

Thank you .

I thought it was love at the end of the rainbow , but a banshee came and almost destroyed my pot of gold . In R.

posts: 115   ·   registered: Feb. 7th, 2022   ·   location: United States
id 8831619
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 11:28 AM on Monday, April 1st, 2024

It was the same for me. The texting started before I got out of bed and went until I went to bed each day. The emotional part of it was actually the part for me that was more powerful than the sex. It was literally what I was seeking in an affair, but it was a stupid place to look for it.

The push/pull comes from the instability in the "relationship". The moments of guilt and wanting to stop, the moments that you see the AP experiencing the same are even more terrifying . There is this knowledge you aren’t likely to end up together and thinking about the upheaval that would actually take can pull you out of the affair temporarily. Unfortunately, you have come to rely on this as your "source of happiness" as much as it is a "source of misery" so the pendulum swings back and forth.

There is push/pull in most relationships. Things that drive a wedge/things that pull you together. But when it happens over and over rapidly you fool yourself into thinking things like "we have overcome so much together" barf But the reality is you have overcome nothing together. It becomes both this crazy belief that there is something special there paired with these hollow feelings. And you keep trying to fill the hollow, but the more you do the less you actually have going on positive in your real life.

It’s the juxtaposition of feeling like you need this to be happy but it’s the thing that is destroying you all at once. So there is this constant of going back to get good feelings while the natural sources for good feelings dry up. They become like a mirage in the desert. You keep going to get another drink but it’s just making you thirstier because it’s not nutrient rich, it’s poison.

[This message edited by hikingout at 11:28 AM, Monday, April 1st]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7127   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8831630
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Lostwings ( member #79902) posted at 5:54 PM on Monday, April 1st, 2024

When we started dating , it took him at least 6 months to say the ILY word . But he said this magic word just one week after they started the A, as of he just burst out of love and declared his love to her !
Now of course he couldn’t believe what he did ..

I understand , they might have that infatuation feelings but seems like their feelings towards AP was so intense compared to IRL dating .

Did any WS experience this ?
Could you please explain why?
Thank you .

I thought it was love at the end of the rainbow , but a banshee came and almost destroyed my pot of gold . In R.

posts: 115   ·   registered: Feb. 7th, 2022   ·   location: United States
id 8831665
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:10 PM on Monday, April 1st, 2024

The AP and I exchanged ILY’s about a month in.

barf

It’s not that it was more intense. It was part of the fantasyland game. I didn’t believe it even at the time, but I wanted to believe it. I think often it’s just more escalations for the dopamine highs.

it also becomes part of the big justification. "We couldn’t help it, it must have been meant to be" it’s an excuse. It falls back to the “if you love someone it’s okay” refrain from our teen years.

barf

Truth is it’s not meant to be if it hurts others and destroys your family in the process.

And I also think it goes into the bigger discussion about love.

I would argue that a ws is not loving anyone while in an affair. Love is an action, and those actions are not there for the bs or the ap. You are destroying your spouse, and helping the ap destroy their spouse/life/family.

I think most ws look at love as someone they get their good feelings from.

Some of the work of the ws is to redefine the ways in which the view and give love. A we usually is someone who is trying to fill the void where their self love should exist. You can’t love someone else I took you learn to love yourself. You can’t receive love without loving yourself because you will never find yourself worthy of it. Same with respect, trust, compassion. All our relationships are a reflection of our relationship with ourselves.

Dr. Frank Pittman wrote some articles about romantic infidelity that I think describe limerance very well. You think the ap elicited a response that you didn’t elicit. That part is true- because your relationship wasn’t a chaotic toxic mess. You weren’t using each other to escape your life, you were looking earnestly at creating a life.

[This message edited by hikingout at 6:22 PM, Monday, April 1st]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7127   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8831667
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Lostwings ( member #79902) posted at 6:37 PM on Monday, April 1st, 2024

Thank you Hikingout . It is enlightening..

I thought it was love at the end of the rainbow , but a banshee came and almost destroyed my pot of gold . In R.

posts: 115   ·   registered: Feb. 7th, 2022   ·   location: United States
id 8831670
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Elara ( new member #84359) posted at 4:13 PM on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024

New question from a new-ish member. My first Dday was 1/4, and most recent was 3/15 - the morning that my WS passed his second attempt at a polygraph. No truthbombs since then, and I am in neutral gear, on leave from work, assessing my path forward.

My question for all WS - how did the revelation of the affair to the AP's spouse affect your life/process with your BS? I have yet to contact that person, and have lots of concerns that doing so at this point is my way to cause pain to the other woman, not to empathetically share the news.

posts: 29   ·   registered: Jan. 12th, 2024   ·   location: NY
id 8831796
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 11:00 PM on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024

I was hoping someone else would answer, because in my case my h and the obs never spoke. And the only experience I have on it is as the bs because I knew and did inform and talked with with the obs quite a bit in the beginning.

I don’t see why it should affect anything. Some ws might not like that you out their AP. They also may not like you have another Avenue to verify what they are saying. But that’s really their problem to deal with because they caused it.

I would keep it to a minimum after the discovery process is over. For one thing, what the ap may tell the obs might not be reliable, and you do want the door to close swiftly because I personally didn’t want the obs to have continued understanding of where my marriage was because it gave the ap a window too.

My philosophy is contact to inform as a courtesy. If you can get other details through them it might be helpful as far as making sure you have the full story, but after that it’s NC for all. No new contact, no new hurts.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7127   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8832006
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seizetheday ( new member #83712) posted at 12:35 PM on Friday, April 5th, 2024

My question for all WS - how did the revelation of the affair to the AP's spouse affect your life/process with your BS? I have yet to contact that person, and have lots of concerns that doing so at this point is my way to cause pain to the other woman, not to empathetically share the news.

My BS sent an image to the OBS of the AP and I that she thought was inappropriate. She got no response from the OBS but thats because the AP hijacked or gaslit her husband. At this point I also gaslit my wife about the friend at work that i was helping with family issues and university assignments. i promised to stop helping but my addiction to the validation was high so it just went underground with fake social media accounts.

After the discovery of the ongoing contact and long social media video sessions i confessed the details of the adultery. I hope my BS did contact the OBS so that the OBS could understand the truth of their marriage and make his own decisions about the way forward for him. because i was NC I have no idea what was shared or not.

In general over the last couple of years on this site I would think that BS's seem to hesitate because they dont want to push the AP into the arms of their US or vice versa. In my view if that did happen it would be better for the BS to know the true colours of their US. the other thing is that it can help confirm if the US and AP are truly NC. There are BS's that take the view that when an AP is under the spotlight by the OBS in their own marriage they will tend to drop the US like a hot potato and that can help move the US to NC and out of limerance faster. the other thing is that if US and/or AP's know that the contact is coming they will try to pre-warn and/or gaslight the OBS.

Me - FWS

posts: 24   ·   registered: Aug. 10th, 2023
id 8832202
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Fantastic ( member #84663) posted at 4:28 PM on Monday, April 8th, 2024

WS only.


Sorry if I messed up.

I have question for WS.

If a WS has not done much work on themselves but a LOT on the marriage, how likely will a BS push the WS in the ex AP’s arms if they rock the boat?

I have never considered D an option. However I have now contacted a lawyer and know I could have a comfortable life after D.

Would the possibility of D push the WS in doing work or into the ex AP’s arms? She is single and quite available and desperate…

What was the trigger to you WS to eventually do the work on you that was needed?

[This message edited by Fantastic at 3:41 PM, Thursday, April 11th]

posts: 108   ·   registered: Mar. 28th, 2024
id 8832650
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:13 PM on Thursday, April 11th, 2024

Fantastic,

I don’t know how to answer the question in your framing. Probably because it doesn’t totally fit me. And I don’t know you or your story other than snippets.

I think to a certain extent, even in a situation where the ws only worked in the marriage, if they did that consistently so doubt they as a person went completely unchanged by that. I would need examples to be able to point at this or that.

But this is where I connected:


What was the trigger to you WS to eventually do the work on you that was needed?

Quite simply having the affair and its aftermath was enough for me to never want to be there again. I now know that an affair is fools gold, there is nothing valuable that I would ever find there.

I venture to say that I could have not done anything else work-wise and I would have still no cheated again. I lost enough to make that unappetizing.

The work I did on myself however, allowed me to have true connection within my relationships. Yes, especially my husband, but all relationships I have were improved by the work I did to be more authentic, vulnerable, empathetic, compassionate, etc.

My husband almost divorced me. He even had an affair of his own. I never felt like that would draw me into another affair or back to the doorstep of the ap. I might have had more difficulty coping had I not done therapy or the work to become more self aware and more independent.

I have to guess after 4.5 years there is a reason you would be worried he would go back to her?

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7127   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8833130
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morted ( member #84619) posted at 9:15 PM on Thursday, April 11th, 2024

What was the trigger to you WS to eventually do the work on you that was needed?

I wanted to say at first that seeing the damage I caused on and after DDay made me want to do the work, but it's more than that. I had a one night stand and an EA before the most recent PA, and those didn't wake me up. There was a very mini wake up with the EA, but it wasn't deep and didn't last very long. First, I had to have the ability to see the damage that I did when DDay came. Then it took time for it to sink in that the affair was a me problem not a relationship problem. Now I'm at the point where I'm willing and able to do the work.It's not even about me to do the work to be a better partner, though that's a motivation. But the work is ultimately to heal me. That's what's going to bring about the changes that actually make me a safe person versus a person who can act like a safe person on the surface who will still crack under pressure.

Right now, I can't tell you what it was about DDay and the aftermath that cracked my heart open and allowed me to see reality (though not covering that up is still a work in progress). I think it honestly was years of the cumulative effects of the work and growth I had been doing before that, though it doesn't really feel like there's been much growth. I think it was also that the affair went on so far past the date when I realized it was actually just a selfish, hurtful thing that I was doing, so I had already started to "detox" in a sense. By the time DDay came around I didn't have much defense for what I was doing. For my particular situation, so much of the wake up call came from the fact that the affair was also an abusive "relationship" that I could not see at all. I honestly should have known better. I did so much damage to myself that I'm scared for myself to not do the work anymore regardless of the relationship.

Unfortunately, there's nothing a BS or anyone - even the best therapist in the world - can do to get someone to work on their issues if they're not ready. The issues that led to the affair existed long before the affair. They're issues my partner tried to raise with me over the years. They tried EVERYTHING to get me to see the pain they were in and the risks I was taking with our relationship - and just with my own personal safety and well-being. If someone else can get someone working on themselves, I'd not only have never had the EA or PA, I'd be a model mother, wife, and human being. But all my partner's hard work - while definitely beneficial and played a part in me being in this place - didn't make me ready to do the work.

I don't know if you should divorce or not. But whether the threat of divorce would spur your WS into doing the work? Probably not. In my experience, I often started making half ass attempts to do the work when the relationship seemed in jeopardy. I'd make all the grand promises and maybe do some stuff but it wouldn't come to much. In my mind, I was panicking to "save the relationship", not work on me. So I'd try to mimic a "good partner" but it often felt disingenuous, because I was pretending to have empathy and compassion without building them, and also using them as means to ends. When it doesn't magically solve everything with one empathetic reflection, it's easy to drop. Now I'm not trying to build empathy and compassion to "save the relationship". The relationship is dead and not coming back. When I make the choice to write the timeline, go to therapy, explore myself, slow down, choose understanding over defensiveness, etc. I'm not doing it for the relationship anymore. I'm doing it because that aligns with the me that I can live with. The me that I have been is not someone I can look in the mirror, even if I had more "friends" then.

There was a point post DDay where I felt if we split, I should go to the AP since we are both shitty people. That wouldn't have meant that my partner pushed me into the AP's arms. It would have been my choice, just as the affair was. Really, even then I could have gone to the AP and attempted to get him back if I wanted to. The relationship wasn't a barrier to me getting involved with AP; so the post DDay semi-reconciling mess then shouldn't have been a barrier. But it was because something was starting to shift for me, not because of anything my partner did.

My partner and I aren't in reconciliation anymore. He's told me there's no hope for us to have a romantic relationship in the future, though we're trying to have an amicable co parenting relationship. This didn't make me run to the AP, not because he's so amazing (he is) but because I don't want to be that person anymore. I wouldn't want to do that to the father of my child again, and I wouldnt want to do that to myself. IF I ever date again, I'm going to have far too high of standards for someone like AP to meet.

Your WS might stay stagnant. They might start doing the work. They might run back to AP.

And none of that is on you or in your control, which probably really sucks. You're already in this situation that you had no say in, and having some control over things now would probably be reassuring.

posts: 56   ·   registered: Mar. 19th, 2024
id 8833153
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