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Newest Member: Goku06

Wayward Side :
BS feels such a fool, and she has every right to

stop

 sad2behere (original poster new member #80514) posted at 12:36 AM on Monday, September 12th, 2022

The last 16 months has been amazing, watching so much growth between wife and me, and the re-building of so much. But when I disclosed an 8 month online affair, I minimized much around it (see other posts). Last week, much came out, including the fact I've been battling with and hiding a porn addiction - I would go months before sliding, but still slid, still did not include my wife in my struggle.

There have been other things we have talked about in last few days. Details I had not put much attention to, but were important to her, that she didn't know about, and I had internally minimized that required prompting questions to bring to mind (not intentionally hiding, just to me was details). But, last week, there was enough disclosed to bring a struggle and questions. And further prompting from BW to come clean. I convinced myself there was nothing else to share.

Last night, I remembered a detail - it was an important detail, because I had broken a promise. I struggled with how to share. I will be honest - I was weighing up if to tell or not, and convincing myself to not disclose, because I feared it was a deal breaker.

Today, BW was reading something from this forum, where others told her I'm not all in with reconciliation - I've been holding secrets, I'm not reconciling properly - and here is another secret to be disclosed. We talked, BW tried to be comforting to listen to my new confession. It broke her.

I'm not sure the details are important. I was very much in the wrong. My behavior was very narcissistic. Our marriage counsellor called me out on other narcissistic behavior. This what I did very much fitted the bill. I thought I could bury what I did, but I knew I could not.

BW told me she feels like a fool - I don't blame her. BW may not believe another word out of my mouth. I don't blame her. BW may decide this is the last straw and decide to go scorch-earth with me. I don't blame her if that's what she chooses to do, and I will deal with it if she does.

I do love my wife. I do regret everything I have done. I wish I had an answer to how I can claim I love her when I have done all this. I cannot, but I do know I love her.

posts: 7   ·   registered: Aug. 11th, 2022
id 8754871
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DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 7:20 PM on Monday, September 12th, 2022

Hi sad2behere,

The last 16 months has been amazing, watching so much growth between wife and me, and the re-building of so much. But when I disclosed an 8 month online affair, I minimized much around it (see other posts). Last week, much came out, including the fact I've been battling with and hiding a porn addiction - I would go months before sliding, but still slid, still did not include my wife in my struggle.

One thing I find amazing about WS's in general (myself included) is our ability to to have multiple conflicting realities exist, as well as double standards, but to also be completely unaware of those conflicting points of view. I think this is a great example. You start out by telling us (and yourself) how much amazing growth and re-building exists between you, but then immediately follow that up with the fact that you are still hiding and lying about things to her. If you were truly experiencing growth and re-building, then that would be predicated on the fact that total honesty was being practiced. If you weren't being honest (and in this case, you weren't) then the growth and connection you mentioned... is really just one more lie being told, to both her and yourself. It is one more manipulation of the relationship, with the outcomes being skewed directly to your own needs and desired outcomes. There is nothing about making your wife think she has all the truth, while actually hiding it, that says, "We're doing great" and "I love you and your welfare matters to me". You are in fact, lying and gas-lighting her, which is exactly what happened during the affair as well. Or in short - nothing has changed. Whether or not you are actually having an affair, you are still actively betraying her, and thinking only of your own needs. If you were truly concerned about her, you'd have fessed up months ago. You cannot lie and hide things from another person, and still claim to be reconciling.

I apologize if that last paragraph stings a little. It's not my intention to berate you or make you feel bad about yourself, quite the opposite in fact. The thing about being a WS is that we lie to ourselves before we lie to anyone else, and so in order to heal, we first have to dig through those lies and see them for what they are. You can't fix a problem you aren't aware of in the first place. So the first and hardest step every WS needs to take is to learn to take a self-inventory of themselves. This is an incredibly difficult thing for most people to do at first, which is why it helps A LOT to have support, such as an IC, or a support group such as this one. If you opened up SI one day and read a post from someone that read, "I slept with my AP last night, but got home before my wife woke up, kissed her good morning, she made me breakfast and I left for work, so things between us are going great!" how would that make you feel? Would you feel things are truly going great for them?

I'll share with you a trap that I fell into constantly after D-day, and that is that I misunderstood the lack of anger/tension, and saw it as "things are better". My wife and I would go to MC every week, and the MC would ask me how things are going, and I'd say, "I think they are going pretty well. We haven't fought all week." And then she'd turn to my wife and ask the same question, and my wife would say, "They suck. Yeah, we didn't fight because I'm exhausted from fighting. But he didn't even once ask me how I was feeling, or what I needed, or do anything other than what HE wanted. He didn't make me feel seen or special, and doesn't seem to care. He's happy because I'm not screaming at him, but inside, I'm screaming, and dying, and utterly alone in this because he has zero empathy for me. He thinks I'm great because he's great." How's that sound? Does it sound as if things were actually great? Does it sound as if I had any actual grip on the reality of the relationship? I thought things were great because I desperately needed them to be. Because I felt better about myself when she wasn't actively aggressive towards me. But the truth was, not only were things not good, they were quite the opposite. BUT I HAD NO CLUE BECAUSE I COULDN'T GET PAST MY OWN HEAD. My point being, I'm not attacking you, rather, I'm observing you, and acting as a mirror, albeit a mirror that lacks the rose-colored glasses I had on.

I do love my wife. I do regret everything I have done. I wish I had an answer to how I can claim I love her when I have done all this. I cannot, but I do know I love her.


Which brings us to this. How can someone lie to someone, deceive them, betray them, kick them to the curb and think only of themselves and their own needs... and at the same time, actually love that person that they are treating like dog shit? I want you to really think about that answer for a bit.

Thought about it? Now, another question. Can a person give someone else a thing that they themselves do not possess or control? In other words, if I asked you for a dollar, and your wallet was empty, could you give me a dollar? Of course not. You can't give another person something that you yourself do not possess, control or understand.

The cardinal rule of life is that you cannot possibly love someone else if you do not first love yourself. A person who truly loves themselves would NEVER, EVER have an affair in the first place, not even because of what it would do to the other person (which is also important) but because they would never lower THEMSELVES to do such a thing.

If you saw a kid with a lollipop, would you push them down and steal it from them? If not... why? For most people, while we'd not want to hurt someone else or take something from them for their own sake, the much, much larger driving factor would simply be that we ourselves do not want to be the kind of people that hurt others and take things that aren't ours to begin with. If I hurt a kid and stole from them, I'd not be able to sleep at night, or live with myself. How about you, how would you feel? Would you be proud of yourself for getting that candy? Or would you be disgusted with yourself for being a bully and a thief?

People who love themselves don't have affairs because they would never disrespect and devalue themselves in such a way. They don't do mean, hurtful, controlling, gross and destructive things because they'd rather die a thousand deaths than be a person like that. They have integrity and authenticity. They have the ability to empathize with others. Their self-respect is core to their being.

So here's the big question I have for you for today. If you lied to your wife... cheated on her... hid it... kept doing it for months on end.. finally ended it (I hope), but still kept lying about things in order to protect yourself (at her expense) only to leak it out later when she's already hurt, allowing this now to hurt her again, and hurt her even more... what about that says, "But I really love her"? I think you need to really get with yourself and understand that none of that is love, and that if that is true, then did you actually ever love her? Or did you love the idea of loving her? Did you love how it made YOU feel to be "in love" with her?

I think one of the hardest things I had to do in my journey to recovery was admitting to myself that any love I think I had for my wife at that time... was impossible, and therefore, just one more lie I told myself. And learning and accepting that fact HURT LIKE HELL and fucked with my head for a long time, but I had to accept it as truth. Once I was able to do that, it made it easier to see how other things in my story weren't really true either. Once I could sort out truth from bullshit, my recovery really began, because I knew what was broken, and that gave me a path to start fixing things and doing better.

I'm not sure the details are important.


To us... not such much. To her... massively. It's not really the details although that's part of it of course. It's more about honesty, and about showing that you not only know what you did, but to display actual understanding and remorse for how it has impacted her. Whether you and the AP ate at Burger King or Mcdonald's doesn't matter much, but if you lied about it, then that shows an attitude of CYA, not of helping your spouse to put all the details together. Since all BS's were viciously lied to, details matter a LOT for them, because that's their "lie detector", similar to how the cops deal with it. If your story changes over time, or doesn't make sense, or even just doesn't "feel right", then your BS is going to HAVE to assume you are lying. Offering up details, especially ones that hurt you or leave you feeling like you just threw yourself under the bus, are more helpful to the BS (and ultimately, to you, even if it doesn't feel like it now) because it shows them that you are willing to bear the pain and pay the price for what you did wrong, in order to help them. And THAT, is genuine. Fair warning, a lot of lies were told, and so when you DO tell the truth now, your spouse may still not believe it. Oh well. It's the price we pay because we created this shitstorm in the first place. It's not fair but what we did to them was much more unfair, so we need to learn to suck it up and keep doing our best.

Best of luck to you. Please keep coming back. And please keep trying to understand yourself better. All the answers you need are inside of you. You just need a little guidance to get to them.

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1309   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017
id 8754958
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 sad2behere (original poster new member #80514) posted at 2:07 PM on Tuesday, September 13th, 2022

The realization how much I have been lying to myself.

When I wrote this post, I had also started writing a full disclosure going back to previous marriage. The things I did and buried. BW read what I have so far, looked at me and said "have you ever been faithful in our marriage?" I realized I had redefined faithfulness to myself, and reflected on what I wrote. I had to say "no". I don't know when I first flirted with someone else, had cyberspace, brushed it off as not being unfaithful.

DaddyDom's comments above hurt to read this morning, but as I get ready to start attending SAA (starting tomorrow), and IC (appointment made, end of month), I realizing the mess I have to face

posts: 7   ·   registered: Aug. 11th, 2022
id 8755025
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 4:54 AM on Wednesday, September 14th, 2022

I've been there, sad2b. I know what it's like to say, "That's it, that's everything," and to be faintly aware that what I really meant was, "That's more than I ever thought I'd be able to tell you. I'm shocked that I said it, and I'm even more shocked that you're still here in the room now that I've said it. We survived that moment against all odds and expectations, and I'm not blowing it all up now by exposing the full depths of how awful I am. I will never, ever go there. No way."

I know, as well, the dawning realization that my remaining lies were not saving me or my BH. I finally saw that I was squandering my opportunity for him to ever think about trusting me again. I remember grasping that this was my chance to do something right -- far later than I should have, but still, to show faint signs of being the person I always told myself I was. To actually be decent and brave enough to let go of my power and put it in my BH's hands.

And finally, I remember the horrifying discovery that I had given so much of that power to the darker side of me that now I had to fight it to confess -- or even to remember the events that required confession. I had lied to myself as consistently and effectively as I lied to everyone else, and when I tried to open those doors in my mind, a poisonous caretaker ran ahead of me slamming them shut. I had to chase myself down until I was face to face with my worst impulses, glaring at me in fury, sneering that I was going to throw everything away in a self-destructive burst of altruism that could never be taken back. Words that couldn't be unsaid. Confessions that would take on a life of their own.

I did it, though. You can do it, too. You can face yourself down until your self-protecting demon flings the keys at you and says, "Fine, fuck it, do what you want. I don't give a shit anymore." And you can start fitting those rusty keys into rusty locks and letting the sunlight in. You can take the first steps into a healthier, more compassionate future.

WW/BW

posts: 2904   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8755184
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 sad2behere (original poster new member #80514) posted at 3:46 AM on Thursday, September 15th, 2022

[Quote]
I did it, though. You can do it, too. You can face yourself down until your self-protecting demon flings the keys at you ...
[/Quote]

Thank you, very encouraging.

posts: 7   ·   registered: Aug. 11th, 2022
id 8755333
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