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Newest Member: May28

Reconciliation :
relapsing

Topic is Sleeping.
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 shouldofleft (original poster member #82234) posted at 12:52 PM on Thursday, December 22nd, 2022

Does anyone else in R feel like " How could I have been so Stupid to believe that this couldn't happen to me" I mean I totally get that I didn't have a crystal ball or special powers of clarvoyance but just the fact that I was 1000% sure that it was an impossibility only to find out the opposite is true really rocks your belief system. I feel like Neo in the matrix, I question everything now and trust nothing.

posts: 75   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2022   ·   location: East coast
id 8770402
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ChamomileTea ( Moderator #53574) posted at 9:22 PM on Thursday, December 22nd, 2022

This is actually what led me to more contemplation of the ego in relation to the Buddhist practice. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Buddhist and my understanding of the concepts are rudimentary at best, but... there's a lot of wisdom to be had there. There's a lot written on the subject of suffering and the more I delved into it, the more I realized that so much of my pain was about ego. My self, my "me" was written large, in gigantic letters and a big, fancy font... "How could he do that to ME???" That's the nature of trauma really, to turn pain inward, to become absorbed by it and in so doing to become self-focused.

When I changed my perspective a bit though, I realized that cheating happens everywhere. It happens in good marriages and in bad ones. It happens to rich people, to beautiful people, to the poor and the plain. It's ubiquitous. I'm not special, not in the grand scheme of things. I'm just an average person, and in contrast with the universe, a speck of sand. In contrast with other people, just one more. My feelings of hurt were so big, impossibly big, but in some ways, a reflection of how self-absorbed in my own pain I had become. Casting out with empathy, so many people have it so much worse in terms of suffering. And that sounds trite and cliche, but it's true nonetheless.

There's a difference between self-compassion and self-pity. Self-compassion is the voice of your inner cheer leader who builds you up and lifts you when you're down. Self-pity though is the inner critic, the one who pushes you down and will keep you there if you let it. In contemplation of Buddhist suffering, I had to consider the self and who I was to me, and what I found was an inner critic who was running roughshod over my entire outlook. Switching to self-compassion provides internal growth. We're not just "specks" of sand to that one VIP who means so much, and that's... ourselves, believe it or not.

These days my inner "me" is normal size. I'm no longer enmeshed, no longer emotionally dependent, and no longer interested in returning to that particular state of being either. Weirdly, the solution ended up being that I needed less ego and also more. It comes down to feeding it healthier fare really.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 40 years; in R with fWH for 8

posts: 7049   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8770467
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 shouldofleft (original poster member #82234) posted at 9:47 PM on Thursday, December 22nd, 2022

Thank you for responding CT
I have read many and am currently reading all sorts of books mainly on psychology and what you just wrote is backed up by what I've read. My ego was crushed for sure but as I read some of the situations here I should really stop being such a whiner. Half the people here would probably trade places to have my situation rather than theirs. Basically I am ok but my belief system is now a bit warped. I am however learning quite a lot about past trauma and how it carries over to adulthood and my wife has certainly had her share of pain and abandonment which explains a lot. Right now I am happy, my problem is I might not be tomorrow which is all me and nothing to do with her. I'll figure it out.....Thanks again.

posts: 75   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2022   ·   location: East coast
id 8770469
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CuriousObserver ( member #78743) posted at 11:02 PM on Thursday, December 22nd, 2022

shouldofleft,

How could I have been so Stupid to believe that this couldn't happen to me


I think everyone has to come to the place where they see and accept the truth. Not what we hope it to be, but the ugly facts of our depravity. To face the fact that someone we loved can be so blatantly selfish, a common cheater, boggles the mind.

One psychologist talks about those they have treated who struggled the most with PTSD, had in common an unrealistic understanding of people's capability for evil, including their own. When they see it for what it is, it really rocks their world. To have to face the reality of his wife's hedonistic sexuality can shock the cultural norms of what a man expects his spouse to be. You are having to face who she really is. Men often are critical of women's tendency to want two kinds of men, the one that really pushes her buttons and turns her on, and the one who will protect, provide and be kind to her and be safe for her children. But men do this too. We desire the woman who is really 'in' to us, desires us, is sexually aggressive with us, and the woman that we are not afraid to introduce to our mother.

Infidelity is one of those things that destroys the innocence. There is no going back, only forward. But it is forward without naivety, without blind trust. And you can build a life together on that. But to do that, you need the truth. The truth of the differences between female and male psychology is part of that. The truth of what you are expected to forgive AND the truth of who she is, including who you are as well. All the best to you.

Listen to their words but believe their actions.
The power of a lie is that it is believed to be truth.

posts: 207   ·   registered: May. 3rd, 2021   ·   location: USA
id 8770478
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gr8ful ( member #58180) posted at 2:01 AM on Friday, December 23rd, 2022

Shouldof: I feel so bad for you. You married under false pretenses and an ocean of lies, and when you come here, you get shamed for a bruised ego. You have every right to be massively pissed you were so deceived. Instead, here you are told "broken up is broken up" like you’re the one in the wrong here. Massive sigh.

You have every right to divorce for the lies prior to marriage. That said, if you want this M, I don’t see any way around intensive IC, EMDR, the works. I can only hope your W is beyond repentant and someone you now look at as worth the painful work ahead of you if you are to stay.

ETA: There’s no way I could stay with my wife had I learned what you learned combined with kissing another man in M. No. Just no. Hope she’s worth this abuse.

[This message edited by gr8ful at 2:03 AM, Friday, December 23rd]

posts: 366   ·   registered: Apr. 6th, 2017
id 8770500
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ChamomileTea ( Moderator #53574) posted at 4:58 PM on Friday, December 23rd, 2022

Basically I am ok but my belief system is now a bit warped.

Maybe.. and maybe not. The older I get the more I question and the less certain I am in my own established dogma. smile

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 40 years; in R with fWH for 8

posts: 7049   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8770676
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 shouldofleft (original poster member #82234) posted at 8:02 PM on Monday, January 2nd, 2023

Odd thing, there are times when I can think and scrutinize every aspect of my wife's shocking revelations and lies and it just can't hurt me no matter what I'm thinking about. At times I simply don't give a shit, she was in her early twenties usually good and buzzed after some kind of turmoil in our relationship and it was 35 years ago, then a week or a month goes by and the mere thought of her screwing some random guy and getting back together with me a day or two later enrages me to the point of becoming nauseas. I can't seem to get to permanancy.

posts: 75   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2022   ·   location: East coast
id 8771790
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 9:51 AM on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023

It’s hard to reconcile the person you married with the person you actually married (or who they became).

You are lucky that your wife has been a faithful living spouse during your marriage. She’s no longer the person she was when you were dating.

I, on the other hand, had the opposite situation. I married my H b/c he wasn’t a player. He was a really great HONEST guy. No bullshit. No games.

Once he hit his 30s and started doing well job wise, women took notice. And they were flirty and obviously interested. And he thrived on the flirting and then had two affairs (I believe there were more EAs I did not know about too).

It comes down to acceptance.

Your wife is not the person she was years ago when she made those decisions to cheat.

Your wife respected your marriage vows and was a great spouse etc.

My H cheated on me despite the fact that I supported him, loved him, put him first, made his life freakin’ easy and accepted him for who he was.

I had to accept his cheating and not live in the past (certainly not easy). My thought process was if I dwell on his affairs, I given the OW a place in our marriage and replaced my happiness with their presence.

I chose to put my happiness first.

I have read so many stories here of bad childhoods and evil parents, spouses, in laws, stalking bunny boiler APs etc. IMO no one is unscathed. We all have faced trauma and sadness in our lives.

The trick is go find the joy and focus on that.

I hope this helps you.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13929   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8771847
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 shouldofleft (original poster member #82234) posted at 2:25 PM on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023

Yes it was very helpful, I keep forgetting that at this point being that I chose to stay many years ago without a gun to my head puts me in a position of owning how I feel without blaming who she is today. Unfortunately I lost a huge chunk of my former innocent history that cant be reminisced with warm fuzzy feelings which I believe is one of everybody's symptom of infidelity. Whenever we are out with old friends and they say things like remember the time when we blah blah blah and it happens to be around the times of my then girlfriends ONS she just takes one look at me and knows what I'm thinking and that we need to leave. I avoid those situations and my old friends often ask me why I don't come around much so I make up some lame excuse, I basically miss my once nice past and the girl I married. I wish moving to Tibet would help but even my wife occasionally blurts out a fond memory of that time and I just ignore whatever she said and walk away.

posts: 75   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2022   ·   location: East coast
id 8771861
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 3:00 PM on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023

A couple of thoughts:

You say in one post:

Totally blew my mind hearing this from a woman that I thought was true blue kind and moral.

I'm struggling with the moral part. Are you suggesting that having a series of ONS with near-strangers is immoral? For many women, this is a logical and somewhat sound strategy for having sex during the 20's. Men at that age are immature. Many are clingy, controlling, creepy. Engage in stalker-type behaviors. Etc. Emotionless sex with a rando is a way to try to sidestep a lot of that drama. Keep in mind that, for a woman in her 20's who is at least reasonably attractive, sexual opportunities are as plentiful as air. All she has to do is literally go outside, and opportunities will present themselves.

Or do you mean immoral in terms of her being dishonest with you? I do agree there, but again, you describe your early relationship as "rocky". I'm interpreting that to mean tumultuous, on-again/off-again. Fighting. Angry words. Storming out. that sort of pattern, coupled with the mental/emotional immaturity of being in one's early 20's, and coupled also with her hard-scrabble background, that's going to lead to a lot of what I call "turtle-in-its-shell" emotional patterns by her. Having rando ONS sex is consistent with that. Then realizing that you are "the one", and thus lying to you about the rando ONS sex, it's all consistent. In other words, if you extrapolated what you knew about your wife when you got married, none of this should have been a surprise to you.

I actually don't believe you when you say you were "1000% sure that it was an impossibility". In fact, most people with open eyes would have been pretty dang sure this was squarely within the realm of possibility. Is it perhaps the case that your issues now spring from your realization that you put blinders on yourself in that time, just pushed yourself through it ignoring what was an obvious truth?

By the way, it sounds like that wasn't a stupid long game to play. Sounds like things worked out well for you in the long run. Way better than marrying the pretty, vapid, shallow woman who craps out on you after 10 or 20 years, leaving you in the lurch alone with the kids.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 4:35 PM, Tuesday, January 3rd]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

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 shouldofleft (original poster member #82234) posted at 5:19 PM on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023

I know I didnt put blinders on knowingly or so I think, I mean I always told her to please be truthful if you ever sleep with a guy during a break so I can just move on. I know she was capable of the act but not the swearing on a stack of bibles that it never happened. Now looking back and having read books like "The body keeps the score" and articles on SI I can clearly see that she more than fits the bill of a troubled girl capable of acting out during turmoil, it was her go to therapy and yes she is pretty and all she had to do is snap her fingers. Reading some of the situations here does wake me up to how truly horrible things could be, just wish I could stay in the peaceful accepting mindset permanently. Thx all.

posts: 75   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2022   ·   location: East coast
id 8771892
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Adolfo ( member #79193) posted at 8:37 AM on Wednesday, January 4th, 2023

I'm not going to make a judgement about what's moral or not, but I will say that when I was that age (early-mid 20s) my value system was based on sex being something you reserved for someone you cared about, someone you trusted, and someone you wanted to make a life with. Maybe it's part religion, maybe it's just practical. We've seen time and time on these forums what happens when one partner has a history of a series of one night stands. It almost always leads to trouble. It sure did in my life, not what I did, but what my fiancée (now wife) did. Unlike shouldofleft's wife, my wife made little effort to hide it. This, of course, was before we were married. Just like shouldo', it left me a lifetime of pain.

Having casual sex--one night stands, what I call recreational sex, is not for everyone. It can lead to unwanted pregnancies, STDs (back in my day AIDS was fatal), hurt feelings, ruined relationships, ruined engagements, lack of self esteem, abuse, and a host of other things. Each to his own, but I just don't see that kind of casual sex as a good thing. Having a handful of sexual partners before one settles down into a marriage is probably not a bad thing, but I believe it should happen within the structure of a caring relationship. Maybe my values are old. Whether it's immoral... I'll leave that to someone else.

posts: 79   ·   registered: Jul. 28th, 2021   ·   location: NC
id 8771986
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Hippo16 ( member #52440) posted at 11:59 AM on Wednesday, January 4th, 2023

shouldofleft

Just a few random thoughts - I am happily married (for the most part - not always Roses & Chocolate) to a nice looking woman who had Bucks in their 20s drooling over her when she was almost 40. (She a bit older now)
I am a month older than a very well known person currently estimated to have a $3.2 billion fortune. Also married to a very statuesque wife.

So I was sitting home enjoying my head-cold (or whatever I have) and thinking of my fate. I'm ok $$$ wise. More than enough to live comfortably. I don't have a multimillion dollar yacht but I do have a couple paddle boats and a '79 Stingray mini-cabin-cruiser. I have a guaranteed income sufficient to maintain my lifestyle without working.

Except for an EA by FWW (ya know the story - "We only kissed") all has been a normal average life. No kids as we married older.
Yes, kids from our "first" go -rounds.

I was a tom-cat before we got together. She? not so much. Other than her early extra-curricular excursion very early in our marriage (decades ago) we have been adhering to our Vows spoken to each other around the time of Easter 42 years ago.

Summary - life has not been perfect. Life could have happened with more $$ and Travel and etc.
Life could have happened in that I could have, unknown at the time, married a harlot.


So what is in this post for you?

Think of what you have. Yes life often bruises ones soul. so? Do you hold a grudge forever? What good does that do anyone?
WHO is really suffering? Or who is suffering the most?

My readers-digest story in not unique - what is different is I looked at all the pieces of life and marriage and realize I am much better off than the majority of folks on this planet. So life is good. The old wounds sometimes 'act up' when the weather changes - but only temporary and the mood dispels quickly when real life smacks me in the face. Like the cat box needs cleaning. Or it's time to change oil in a vehicle.

Count your blessings and read The Body Keeps the Score again. Seems you are well off but still holding on to a memory that is making you miserable.

There's no troubled marriage that can't be made worse with adultery.If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, why not bungee jumping off a bridge span? For an extra thrill, don’t anchor the cord.

posts: 901   ·   registered: Mar. 26th, 2016   ·   location: OBX
id 8771993
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 shouldofleft (original poster member #82234) posted at 2:03 PM on Wednesday, January 4th, 2023

Hippo, I agree and I do count my blessings but it's not a conscience decision to hold a grudge, it's more like a pervasive unwanted thought that creeps into my mind and it's tough to shake. The nicer she is to me only makes me shake my head in disbelief. Reading helps, I think something else is going on and I just cant figure it out, I had this thing well in hand but yet here I am leaning on you guys and it helps tremendously....Thank you all.

posts: 75   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2022   ·   location: East coast
id 8772002
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, January 4th, 2023

Adolfo:

We've seen time and time on these forums what happens when one partner has a history of a series of one night stands. It almost always leads to trouble.

Nope. I won't let this pass. We in fact have not seen this on these forums.

Shouldofleft:

but it's not a conscience decision to hold a grudge, it's more like a pervasive unwanted thought that creeps into my mind and it's tough to shake. The nicer she is to me only makes me shake my head in disbelief.

The details of your thread are rather unusual because the betrayal occurred so long ago and, by your description, your WW has been a great wife to you for the past decade or more. Further, in your case, it's arguable that you weren't even cheated on.

I was thinking back to a time when I was single and in my "ho" phase. There was a woman I was sleeping with. It was an expressly non-exclusive relationship. We were little more than FWB. But she was pretty and affectionate and she had this way, when I was with her, of making me feel in that moment that I was the only man in her heart. And maybe I was, in that moment. She was good at compartmentalizing and I think her "special sauce" was focusing 100% on a single man, while she was with him.

Anyways, once I dropped by her place unannounced, unplanned, unexpectedly. By the way, this is a no-no. You don't stop by unannounced and uninvited in a non-exclusive relationship.

Her apartment was in a congested neighborhood where parking was difficult. Sometimes one had to park a block or two away. This was the case that day. So I was walking down the sidewalk toward her building. It was a sunny pleasant weekend day, maybe about 10:00 a.m. I rounded a hedge to see her kissing another man goodbye. The two of them were leaning against the side of his car, parked a ways up the street from her building. He was leaning with his back against the car. She was leaning forward, into him, gazing up to his face, into his eyes.

I knew that this was one of the men she was seeing -- and I myself was seeing other women -- but what struck me was the look in her eyes, a look of desire, and the warm afterglow alight in her smile. And the way she put her whole body into kissing him. It was so intimate and, oh, I dunno, such a display of sexual desire. Back in the 1980's we might have used the phrase "WFW" (well-fucked woman).

The feeling brought to mind that lyric from that Billy Bragg song, the spoken word poem over a guitar playing "Just Walk Away Renee":

I went home and thought about the two of them together
Until the bathwater went cold around me
I thought about her eyes and the curve of her breasts
And about the point where their bodies met

I was surprised (and a little ashamed) at the degree to which the shit hurt me. I had no basis for being hurt. We had not agreed to exclusivity. In fact, we were expressly non-exclusive, and I knew this guy was one of the guys she was seeing. I was seeing and sleeping with other women.

I revisit that moment from time to time. Why, despite the express understanding, did it hurt? Maybe it's because intimacy impacts us more that we may care to admit. Sex is powerful stuff. When we make ourselves vulnerable in that way, our tender bits are exposed. There is something innate in us, I think, that doesn't want to share that degree of intimacy with a third person.

I turned and slunk away. I never told her about that moment, but something in my heart hardened just a skosh that day and a month or two later, when she broached the possibility of becoming exclusive, I demurred.

I brought my thoughts back to that day when pondering your thread. For all of the reasons discussed, you have no logical reason to feel betrayed or hurt at this point, today, given the history you describe. Your feelings are petulant and immature and childish, never mind illogical. All true. Yet they are real. The heart feels what it feels. I can empathize. I can still recall the sting I felt that warm sunny Saturday morning seeing my FWB intimately kiss and gaze into the eyes of another man. The shit hurts. Plain as that.

My suggestion is to acknowledge the hurt, let it out, tell your WW about it, but treat it as the freeloading stepbrother it is. Grudgingly serve it breakfast if you must, but then put it on the shelf and remind it that it is an unwelcome house guest, an interloper consuming space in your brain and your heart while offering nothing in return. Taking but not giving.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 7:53 PM, Wednesday, January 4th]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 4179   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8772015
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 shouldofleft (original poster member #82234) posted at 9:18 PM on Wednesday, January 4th, 2023

BTW, one of the ONS we were definitely not in a fight or broken up ( str8 up cheat) and one we were in a fight but working on getting back together, She was going to an engagement party and her car was really crappy and didnt want to go out of embarrassment so I lent her my car. She drove a guy to a hotel in it after the party and had sex. At the very least out of the 6 ONS she owed me not to have done those two. The other 4 don't bother me as much but all the lies that surround it are sickening. I have no idea where I would be today had I known, maybe way worse off than now who knows but I was cheated on and engaged six months later. What would people on here advise me if I was still that 24 year old on here looking for advice, I imagine it would be RUN but I guess it's a moot point.

posts: 75   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2022   ·   location: East coast
id 8772089
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 9:34 PM on Wednesday, January 4th, 2023

What would people on here advise me if I was still that 24 year old on here looking for advice, I imagine it would be RUN but I guess it's a moot point.

You play the hand you're dealt. Without question, if your 24 year old self were here and knew of the cheating, the overwhelming advice would be to run screaming.

But here you are. By your account, marriage has been good for the past 10-20 years. That's a lot more than many can say, even in marriages without infidelity.

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 4179   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8772093
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Hippo16 ( member #52440) posted at 10:18 PM on Wednesday, January 4th, 2023

shouldhaveleft

Bears repeating:

But here you are. By your account, marriage has been good for the past 10-20 years. That's a lot more than many can say, even in marriages without infidelity.

Re-reading your posts and others reply to your posts - I just got the feeling of "buyers remorse."


Not having test-driven a car - you bought it new custom ordered. Turns out you forgot to read Motor Trend on what a lousy handling car it is. Just bought new so you owe more that it is worth now that it is a used car. And you sorely dislike the way it drives.

Unlike a car, you can't buy add-ons to modify your wife for better "performance" - so what to do?

Well you kept the car (even though you have issues with it) and it has been reliable. But yet you still regret the purchase.

I can not think of any thing for you to do except, perhaps, try some counseling.

FWIW, when much younger, had a FWB young woman. Perfectly compatible - but I could see in her psych the ingrained promiscuous behavior. I didn't want to take the gamble of making our relationship permanent. She went on in life going through several husbands. Still friends but seldom contact each other and she is still nice and good looking - and hasn't changed her inner self that made up her tendency to be promiscuous.

I was wondering if your wife was the promiscuous type? If so, has she changed? Maybe that is part of your sub-conscious thinking?

There's no troubled marriage that can't be made worse with adultery.If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, why not bungee jumping off a bridge span? For an extra thrill, don’t anchor the cord.

posts: 901   ·   registered: Mar. 26th, 2016   ·   location: OBX
id 8772099
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 shouldofleft (original poster member #82234) posted at 1:17 AM on Thursday, January 5th, 2023

Yes Hippo, I fell in love with a promiscuous girl , we discussed this at length how if she wanted to be with me this could never happen and that her prior life had to end and she agreed. I told her if she ever felt the need to stray just say the word and we're done and she said it's never gonna happen. She built me up to be the knight in shining armor only to shatter the living shit out of me. She sacrificed nothing for me, just lied her ass off. No idea why someone who was not bound by marriage vows that had that capacity to fuck strangers in a heart beat would even consider marriage. She knows now the incredible hit she took in the respect department, there is no such thing as Valentines day for us.

posts: 75   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2022   ·   location: East coast
id 8772123
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survrus ( member #67698) posted at 3:22 AM on Thursday, January 5th, 2023

Shouldofleft,

I fell in love with a promiscuous girl.

Do you still believe at heart she would like to be a promiscuous girl and that she is not really monogamous, but has remained so for other reasons, while accepting less variety and excitement as a tradeoff?

She sacrificed nothing for me, just lied her ass off.

How long has it been since all trickle truth has come out.

posts: 1477   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
id 8772136
Topic is Sleeping.
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