My ExWW owed her affair to deep insecurities that involved a lot of negative self-speak that revolved around body image and intellect.
I tried to compensate with ample compliments and loving sentiments, but after 20 plus years of marriage, becomes a less impactful, yada-yada, obligatory white noise.
Along comes a spider, a much younger chap, working his seductive charms, with novel compliments and flirtations that are much more impactful than my same-o, yada-yada. Now, he was no Cyrano de Bergerac or Marquis de Sade. His charms were actually rather dull, BUT…add in the exotic novelty of the source, and the illicit, forbidden fruit nature of it all, playing on her underlying lifelong insecurities that have been compounded by new aging, fleeting youth late-midlife insecurities and, BAM, a potent cascade of endorphins ensues that, they say, lights up a PET/CAT scan like a Christmas Tree, similarly to a subject on meth.
Can you imagine what it’s like to go through life chronically feeling like shit, not really liking yourself much, avoiding mirrors, scales and cameras then, someone blows your mind and your negative self image with an unsolicited risqué compliment.
Then, on D-day, after her AP dumps her like yesterday’s trash to save himself, her spouse marriage, family and reputation destroyed, embarrassed, humiliated, disgusted with herself, the affair fog has completely burned off in the light of reality and, she’s right back to hating herself except, much more so now, than she ever has before.
Now, this WS who has absolutely self destructed, now debilitated, now self loathing, now toxically insecure, humiliated, is expected to do the heavy lifting of reconciliation. My ExWW’s mind was constantly trying to prop itself back up through manic-like compensatory positive self speak, rationalizing, minimizing, compensatory defiance followed by toxic shame, self loathing, self victimization, self pity, self flagellation. She was a mess, labile, volatile, just emotionally all over the damned place.
Edited to finish cuz I lost internet:
And I have to take care of her. I’m soothing her and putting my needs on the back burner. “She’s one foot off the ledge” and I have to be careful not to push her over with my questions, depression and other natural betrayed spouse trauma symptomology.
[This message edited by RealityBlows at 7:25 AM, Friday, March 10th]