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Wayward Side :
My Story ... DDay #2

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 sad2behere (original poster new member #80514) posted at 8:15 AM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

Tonight is a rough night, and a huge reset of the clock, as I disclosed more to my wife

My story while trying to not be too long... (WH)

Prior years, I had been in chatrooms, finding someone to have "cybersex" with - essentially virtual one-night stands. I had convinced myself that what my wife doesn't know wont hurt her. I thought I had recalled a conversation where she had said "as long as you don't meet" but on reflection, it was a different context, but that's what I had convinced myself with. When I slipped, I decided it was better to not tell and keep it to myself.

In 2020, after an argument with my wonderful wife that I have betrayed, I joined "Second Life" (SL) to see what had changed, and as an escape. I had visited SL before, and at that time quickly quit realizing how the place could become a trap for me. But I ventured in. As I was onboarding (learning the UI) I met someone else new, and we did some things together, very innocent, but we would get together later. I explored a bit, and got to learn this virtual reality.

My first sexual experience was with the person I had met on the first day. She happened to come back on, and I made her laugh by putting a rose in my mouth. I like to do silly things, and doing something silly here instead of for my wife, as things had become strained (context, not excuse). We visited multiple worlds, had fun, and another day things turned sexual in a virtual world - and then didn't see each other again for a while - when I did, I learned she was also married, and I suspected I may have been talking to her husband in that final conversation.

Woman #2 - I met maybe a few days later - fuzzy on details - I met her in at a virtual beach, and we explored places - and flirted with each other through a number of hours - I don't know how long, but resulted in another sexual experience. I was hooked on the escapism and sexual experience. A couple of days later I told her I was married - she was annoyed, but then decided she still wanted to explore places and do things together in this virtual world. We had a few more sexual experiences, but then it all imploded - she wanted something more, I didn't, I just wanted the chase, the sex, the attention.

Meanwhile, other things were happening in the home front, and I found more escape in this virtual world. I had a couple of one night stands with people I interacted with - one woman (F) I had grown to enjoy (up to this point non-sexual) interactions with. One particular day a switch was flipped, and I was actively pursuing her, and had a sexual encounter. I realized the mess I was creating, and decided to quit - I so wish I had. Someone suggested I bring my wife on. I tried. It failed. I regained friendship with F, and it returned to being sexual even with "best of intentions" - I can't say I tried very hard - I enjoyed the attention. It progressed from sexual/friendship to letting her share a virtual world building in the sky "birds nest", to building a house that she can share - to believing I was falling in love (limerence) - to becoming virtual partners. I had boundaries... initially not to fall in love - broke that - not to talk to as a real person / sharing real pictures with - broke that - to not being married in the virtual world. We didn't have a wedding with promises - how do you make promises to an AP - I would talk about the fact that eventually this would all come crumbling down and wife would find out - and I would return to her. But eventually we exchanged virtual world partnership rings, and a bit later still, declared each other partners.

Someone in this virtual world suggested I left my wife to be with my AP - AP understood it was a no, I re-enforced that. But that in the end is meaningless for the damage I inflicted. AP was testing the waters about meeting in person (suggested by one of her real-life sexual partners, she had two, both were married). I again said no, it wasn't going to happen. A line I claimed I would not cross - I didn't - but does it really make a difference? The craziness of a virtual world is things progress so quickly. There is no need for planning, just click a button and you're dressed in the best suit. Another button and you're undressed to have sex. Add in multiple hours a day online, and what was 8 months of real time passing can result in an equivalent of years of relationship building in the virtual world. I was drunk on the toxic addiction of this affair. Tried to break it off multiple times, but couldn't.

Wife caught me slamming laptop, and was suspicious - it seems I got good at gaslighting. I didn't see it that way. It was self defense. I loved my wife (what a way to show it right?) I wanted to have my wife and my AP essentially living a double life - except I was pushing out my wife to spend more time with AP.

Details are fuzzy, but at some point, after a breakup-re-connect with AP, I also started having occasional hookups with others on SecondLife.

In March, CoVid struck Wife and I, it was hard. Wife declared she would leave me because of behavior. I immediately ended affair with F, and then said to Betrayed Wife, no, not having an affair. I deleted pictures, and deleted as much trace as I could think of.

I still continued on with random hookups (can't harm right?) while convincing myself I was trying to repair marriage. I even had some brief sexual flings with Woman #4 and #5 - attempting to guard myself to not get into a relationship as I did with F (#3). Also #6 - was a weird interaction, more faking sex play / sexual chat, but not engaging in sexual activity while simultaneously masturbating. With F, it got deeply emotional, and crossed the virtual-life/real-life boundary (in that we talked through other means, daily, shared pictures, audio, etc). I had compartmentalized all the others as nothing different than one-night stands ... just maybe 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6, that's how I down played it later.

End of May, Betrayed Wife asked again a question she had asked many times - if I had had an affair. I admitted. It was a roller-coaster, and I was in damage control, I had admitted to the affair with F, I had minimized everything else as "one night stands" - I saw them no different, just sexual release. We had marriage counselling. I had given a rough timeline with what happened with F, but without going into depth, as recommended by a mutual friend who was a BH and had reconciled. (Friend did not know any more than BW did).

Reconciliation was progressing. Until tonight.

Saturday, see other post, BW had come across a video showing F and I dancing, and me giving a dedication of love - I had forgotten about this. Apparently the person recording this decided that this dedication and dancing was a good focus of the video - which made it even harder. Wife had already been struggling with a belief there was more unshared, and this ripped open a wound.

Tonight we had more conversation - it was tough. I hit some rum - and we talked some more. And finally revealed about the others. I could have continued to downplay them, but what's the point? Until tonight I had buried these things - how could I reveal and not reset the clock? And revealed some more things from the past too.

So as I end this, my marriage that was recovering is back in limbo. I hope and pray it does recover. But whatever happens I want to leave with this thought - I had thought - in the last 2 years - that a virtual affair was less than a physical affair. But in reflection, even though there was no physical sex, I think it's worse. So much easier to cause quick devastation in such a short time.

For my wife, as I'm sure she'll read this - I'm sure there are details you want me to include I have left out - it's not intentional - I am so sorry I have hurt you yet again and that we are here again. I do love you and do want to repair our marriage, even if yet you do not believe me.

posts: 7   ·   registered: Aug. 11th, 2022
id 8754177
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 1:02 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

I like to do silly things, and doing something silly here instead of for my wife, as things had become strained (context, not excuse)

Ask yourself this: if it's context and not excuse, why are you telling us? What do you want us to understand is different about this act than if you had done it at a happier time in your marriage?

I thought I had recalled a conversation where she had said "as long as you don't meet" but on reflection, it was a different context, but that's what I had convinced myself with.

Unfortunately, the wayward brain is capable of incredible depths of self-delusion. If you really believed she'd said that and meant it, you could have double checked. You could have had these cyber affairs without lying or hiding them. But underneath the justifications, you knew all along that you were twisting the truth into an unrecognizable shape.

I did this, too. I convinced myself that the truths I was hiding were small, inconsequential details that didn't change anything between me and BH. Simultaneously, I guarded those "small details" as dangerous secrets, because I knew they could end my marriage. If you want to get out of infidelity and become a safe partner, you have to hunt for and analyze those inconsistencies like you are at war. Your own brain is your enemy, and it doesn't stop fighting when the actual cheating is over.

Meanwhile, other things were happening in the home front

Again: why does this matter? You had many options for responding to stress in your marriage: conversation, confrontation, therapy, separation, divorce. Without knowing your situation, any of those might have been justified or even advisable. The question is why you chose to respond with infidelity. There are repeated subtle indications that you see a cause/effect relationship between the two, so let's dig in to that. It's better to get it out in the open than to pretend it's not in there.

AP was testing the waters about meeting in person (suggested by one of her real-life sexual partners, she had two, both were married). I again said no, it wasn't going to happen. A line I claimed I would not cross - I didn't - but does it really make a difference?

Do you think it doesn't make a difference? Taking the affair physical would have exposed you and your BW to STDs and a potential OC.

I'm not saying you deserve brownie points for having "only" online affairs. If you cut off someone's arm, you don't get to stand there holding the dismembered body part protesting, "At least I didn't cut off the other one, too!" But still, it's better to be left with one arm than no arms. This makes me wonder if you really believe what you're saying, or if it's performative guilt. We can't help you if you're here saying what you think you're supposed to say. And that leads me to my last point...

For my wife, as I'm sure she'll read this

This is really going to limit the effectiveness of the Wayward Side for you. I get why she'd read here; I wouldn't be able to stop myself, either. But it explains why your post is sprinkled with a mixture of subtle self-justification and detached self-recrimination. If you're posting to prove something to your BW, then you're working from a script.

The real work is messy and potentially hurtful. You have to talk about thinking and doing shitty things, and even about wanting to do those shitty things again, and how to keep yourself from doing them. There's no chance of accomplishing that while simultaneously crafting a public relations appeal. Public penance has its uses, but they're limited, especially on an anonymous forum. You and your BW should talk about what you're really here to do.

WW/BW

posts: 2904   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8754188
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 sad2behere (original poster new member #80514) posted at 2:26 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

What do you want us to understand is different about this act than if you had done it at a happier time in your marriage?


I brought it up, because one of the realizations on reflection is that I "stole" things from my marriage and applied then to the interactions and to the affairs. This was one example. It was noted by BW as another form of betrayal.

I did this, too. I convinced myself that the truths I was hiding were small, inconsequential details that didn't change anything between me and BH. Simultaneously, I guarded those "small details" as dangerous secrets, because I knew they could end my marriage. If you want to get out of infidelity and become a safe partner, you have to hunt for and analyze those inconsistencies like you are at war. Your own brain is your enemy, and it doesn't stop fighting when the actual cheating is over.


This!

You had many options for responding to stress in your marriage


Yes, and this was not an excuse for the affair, just context I used and built as justification to myself. In MC, we identified a pattern of things I do in stress, and stress played a factor... but again, does not excuse what I did.

Do you think it doesn't make a difference? Taking the affair physical would have exposed you and your BW to STDs and a potential OC.


If it had become physical it would have been even worse. I pretended during the affair that there was some kind of brownie point, but in reflection and many discussions between BW and I since, yes, that progression would have been worse. Yet at the same time, I had downplayed to myself how bad things have become

But it explains why your post is sprinkled with a mixture of subtle self-justification and detached self-recrimination.


There is no justification, and sorry anything came off that way. Self recriminating - yes. Detached - it is mechanism to detach myself to express what I feel and needs to be expressed. To write out the story of what had happened 2020 through 2021 with the affairs - yes, I had to detach myself, and yes, recrimination because I have learned a lot about myself in last 16 months.

What I want right now is my marriage back. Sadly as I'm reflecting on things, I feel undeserved, worthless, with no hope. I've been told by a BS that my BW deserves better, and she does.

posts: 7   ·   registered: Aug. 11th, 2022
id 8754198
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 5:28 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

What I want right now is my marriage back

Gently - that is one thing you can never have. Much like your BS wants to never have been betrayed. You are both at an impasse and wishing for things you can't have.

Keep in mind, this new information - that is a new DDay. And [again gently] you didn't just reset the clock. You knocked things so backwards y'all have to climb up to see Ground Zero again.

Now - what you can do is focus your time, effort and energy into rebuilding yourself. Much like your BW has to rebuild herself. And it is hard. And quite frankly she will spend a lot of time resenting the fact that she even has to. It was a harsh reality to realize that my WH LTA was his fault but my healing was my responsibility. That still a bitter pill.

My question to you now, is what are you doing to become a better person?

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: 3533   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8754368
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BreakingBad ( member #75779) posted at 1:10 AM on Friday, September 9th, 2022

I have hurt you yet again and that we are here again.

Realize...really feel it in your bones...that it was not just your many initial choices and actions that have cut your wife off at the knees as she wondered after Dday1, "Who is this person? How idiotic was I to have trusted someone so untrustworthy??"

She already knew you were capable of betrayal after Dday1 (and likely even knew a bit before even your acknowledgment).

Then you decided to tickle truth her. You lied right to her face, when she was at her weakest and just needed to plant her feet back on some reality. You created another fake reality--beyond the fake reality from before that she could trust you to be a faithful husband--and you basically said, "Babe, I got you. I'm telling you the truth now. I know you're reeling from a new understanding that I'm capable of cheating on you. But, it's only what you've found and what I've acknowledged. That it. That's as bad as it gets...so can we rebuild?? I want us to heal."

But what you really wanted was to protect yourself--yet again. You already showed her that--when your not feeling great about yourself or your life--you'll serve your own needs over her need to be in a safe relationship that she can trust.

You showed her that, even when she desperately needs you to serve her needs by taking the risk of telling the WHOLE truth, you still chose you. You kept choosing you clear up until Dday2. Every day you kept making the choice to lie in the face of her pain to try to save yourself from pain.

She gets it now. This is the man you've been. This is the man you are right now.

Whether you two D or R. It's up to you to decide if this is the man you'll continue to be.

There are two parts you need to dig into:
1) The way you justified your choices to yourself (the way you made it okay). See what you present as "context" for some answers here. And also elements like "VR isn't really cheating," etc.
2)The deep needs the cheating was fulfilling for you.

Identifying these elements is the tip of the iceberg. Then, you need to establish different thinking patterns, accountability patterns, boundaries in your relationships (VR
& IRL), new strategies for coping with stress, shame, dips in ego, etc.

And it isn't your wife's job--at all--to manage or support or even pat your back for this work. This is your work.

Are you up to it?

"Don't you love it, don't you love it?
No, I ain't happy yet.
But I'm way less sad."[Credit to group AJR]

Me=BW; fWH=online affairs with 3 APs over 2.5-3 yrs
Both in IC & MC
Married 31 yrs now
2 kids-both in HS
Attempting R

posts: 215   ·   registered: Oct. 31st, 2020
id 8754450
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