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Ladies: do you compare yourself to the AP


 cedarwoods (original poster new member #82760) posted at 1:23 AM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

My WH are doing fairly well on R.
However, I have a problem with comparing myself to AP.
She is much more flirtatious, "fun," better dresser, articulate, and more sexually adventurous. She talks about sex openly and in language I am not comfortable with (I deduced these things from the data I gathered while I did "detective" work to uncover the affair)
I can see why my WH was drawn to her.
I feel insecure in many ways. I never had strong self esteem to begin with.
I wonder if WH compares me to AP in and out of the bedroom.
I don’t want to ask WH because
#1. He probably won’t tell me the truth
#2. If he does tell the truth, it may not do any good

Any advice on how I can get over this?

posts: 17   ·   registered: Jan. 20th, 2023   ·   location: USA
id 8781771

Dorothy123 ( member #53116) posted at 1:56 AM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

My ex had a same sex A with another man, his coworker.

So no, I never compared myself with the OM.

"I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog too!" Wicked Witch of the West.

posts: 5478   ·   registered: May. 7th, 2016   ·   location: a happy place
id 8781776

3yrsout ( member #50552) posted at 3:37 AM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

I was a new mom, age 36 at the time. They were all way younger. One was 21.

So yes, I do understand. Half my age, no kids.

posts: 691   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2015
id 8781777

OnTheOtherSideOfHell ( new member #82983) posted at 3:55 AM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

😂😂😂 no, not at all. She was cheap and extra attention. She weighed at least 400 pounds pre weight loss surgery . (Not kidding). She was McDonald’s while I am a 5 star restaurant. There was never a competition in my mind. I always knew I was the classier, prettier, more put together one. My husband went dumpster diving. Hell, he belonged in the dumpster then as well. Why would you ever compare yourself to a cheating liar with no morals? Hold your head high. If your husband doesn’t see the superiority in class and beauty than that’s in him, not you.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Feb. 28th, 2023   ·   location: SW USA
id 8781779

leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 4:06 AM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

My self-esteem took a brutal hit. I've been overweight most of my life. Pre-A, my XWH gave me grief about my weight. I lost over 100lbs.

AP1 outweighed me before I lost weight, and was less than a year younger. AP2 and I were about the same weight, but she was 31-32. Both no kids.

What do you get when you paint a turd gold? A gold turd. The AP may be all good and sparkly, but still a piece of poop.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 1974   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8781780

BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 5:03 AM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

The only comparison I made was she has big blue eyes and ms America hair. I have smallish brown eyes and thin hair. But I was thinner, younger, smarter and hella funnier. She was a better flirt— affairs 8 or 9 on husband three, she had that routine down pat.

The only thing she offered was escape. the only thing.

It’s not about what they look like. It’s about the escape fantasy and love bombing they do.

Are you in IC? I found that helpful to refine my mojo and remind myself that I really am the prize. And a damn good one at that.

Me: BS 55 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 5306   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8781783

Blackbird25 ( member #82766) posted at 5:44 AM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

Nope. I never compared myself to OW. I was shocked at what she looked like. She was/is a much bigger woman - the day her identity was revealed to me, I was shocked. Legit shocked at this gutter trash he hooked up with. I even said something to that effect - he said "well, beauty isn’t everything". Which was VERY telling to me. We separated and we were headed towards D. He could have started to openly date her, taking her out in public, tell his family and friends about her - he didn’t and I know why. He was embarrassed to be seen with her. It was ok to have sex with her - but he kept her hidden. They had an EA for 3 months before it turned physical. She was his dirty little disgusting secret and a total downgrade. After he NC’d her when we decided to reconcile- I heard she started to grow her hair long like mine, bought clothes like mine. Try as hard as you want - you’ll never be me. Today she’s a sad lonely divorcee- lives alone, her husband divorced her and remarried. So no I never compared. I know what I brought to the table.

Me: BS him: WH, DDay#1: 5/2012 (EA 3mos, PA 1 month), DDay#2: 12/26/22 (EA, 1 wk), Reconciling and back in IC

posts: 51   ·   registered: Jan. 23rd, 2023   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8781788

Want2BHappyAgain ( member #45088) posted at 6:44 AM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

Oh yes ma'am I sure DID compare myself to the adultery co-conspirator. I had TRUTH on my side...and I used it to let my H "see" who she really was!!

She was a mother of 3 was a teenage daughter. I asked if she let my H spend the night when the daughter was there. She sure did. I asked if she had an issue with a male stranger being in the same house with her teenage children. She didn't. He then thought about it...from the view of a parent...and said that was pretty messed up of her to allow strangers to her house overnight when her children were home. AHA!!

He told me he could kiss her for HOURS. As we discussed turned out that he NEVER kissed her for hours. In fact...he ONLY kissed her when they were in bed. Kissing got her wet...which got him hard enough to fuck her.

But...IF we are going to compare...let's see about those so called "qualities" of the adultery co-conspirator in your case.

She is much more flirtatious, "fun," better dresser, articulate, and more sexually adventurous. She talks about sex openly and in language I am not comfortable with.

These seem to be the qualities of a person who has become used to being USED for sex. YUCK!!

Dr. Phil says we teach people how to treat us...and from these "qualities"...she has taught people that she is willing to spread her legs for attention. Of course she talks openly about is all she knows how to do in order to get attention.

She's a better dresser? That just means she learned how to wrap the present to make it enticing on the outside. Like leafields said...the wrapping might look pretty...but is still a turd.

I asked my H all kinds if things...including how she was at sex. I wanted to know EVERYTHING!

My H had a 9 1/2 week A with a stranger while he was working overseas. I had a finite time to the beginning and end of their A. I also had tons of information to glean from...including the google timeline.

As I would ask the questions...the truth started to be revealed. It wasn't at all what my mind movies were. Much more bland...way more vanilla than WE were in the sex department!! But that didn't matter...because in the H fucked another woman. That was enough to destroy our precious M.

WE built a new M though...I call it Mv2.0! I have stopped comparing myself to the adultery co-conspirator for a long while now. She is in the PAST. I have a beautiful FUTURE to look forward to...with a H that I can honestly say I am proud to be with!!

A "perfect marriage" is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.

With God ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:26)

I AM happy again...It CAN happen!!!

From respect comes great love...sassylee

posts: 6447   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: Southeastern United States
id 8781797

Hannah47 ( member #80116) posted at 8:58 AM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

Ladies: do you compare yourself to the AP

Of course. I am and was much better in every aspect.

However, I have a problem with comparing myself to AP.

Comparing is not a problem, you're just doing it wrong. Focus on her negative characteristics. Also, be realistic. For example, stuff that you wrote about her tell me she's probably vulgar, not mysterious (=boring - remember - still waters run deep), and perhaps has plenty of mental issues that she tries to hide behind her behavior.

I can see why my WH was drawn to her.

No, you don't. She was just there, that's all.

I feel insecure in many ways. I never had strong self esteem to begin with.

You're probably overly self-critical. Also, I bet there are plenty of beautiful things about you, you just don't see them. Open your eyes, start loving yourself, and just accept you are awesome!

I wonder if WH compares me to AP in and out of the bedroom.

Unfortunately, it's likely he did negatively compare you. However, that comparison was not based in reality. He was doing it to justify his shitty behavior to himself. He probably overblew and made up a lot of things. If he exited the fog, I highly doubt he's still doing it.

Any advice on how I can get over this?

Realize the betrayal was not about you. You could've been Mrs. Perfect, 10/10 would do again, and he'd still cheat.

Fate whispers to her, "You cannot withstand the storm."
She whispers back, "I am the storm."

posts: 318   ·   registered: Mar. 21st, 2022
id 8781803

CFme923 ( new member #82955) posted at 10:33 AM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

I did BEFORE the affair. Oddly enough, I stopped after I found out. I realized how ugly of a person she is based on her erratic disgusting behavior. She was married barely a month before she started putting pressure on my WH. It took 7 months before he responded in any way through text (despite being in the same work place), he told her to stop a few months after that ( unfortunately never told me though) and then it turned to a PA 3 months after that and even then things did not work in her favor. It took her a long time to get any of his attention, but I had his attention the moment he saw me.

I am intelligent, funny, mature, physically fit, down to earth, and a resilient to the core. She is arrogant without the intelligence for backup, dull, spiteful, and mentally weak.

Just remember, you are the better person here.

posts: 37   ·   registered: Feb. 27th, 2023
id 8781806

The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 12:18 PM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

Never in a million years would I want to be anything like the OW.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 13067   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8781808

Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 1:53 PM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

Yes, I struggled with this a lot, though at 2.5+ years past Dday it’s a lot better than it was.

My husband’s AP has things about her that most people would see as better than me. She’s more successful, makes a lot more money, has some shiny credentials and achievements, etc. she’s not younger than me, but she has physical characteristics that I don’t that made/make me feel insecure. She’s also a more expressive, less reserved person than me. I can definitely see why my husband would be attracted to her, and there are several things about her that hit right to the core of my deepest insecurities (and gave me some new ones—yay!!).

But I’m mostly past all that. First of all, I have my integrity intact. I didn’t make the choice to cheat on my husband and risk the destruction of two families, both with kids. I didn’t pathologically lie and deceive the person I was supposed to love the most. Second, it’s become clear over time that I am way lower drama and much more even keeled than her, even in the worst days of emotional meltdown over my husband’s affair. For all his AP’s accomplishments, she is not a stable person, and she’s incredibly self-focused and self-centered.

But the thing that got me mostly out of the comparison trap was embracing the notion that I am who I am. I am happy with my own self and my own life, and when I’m not, I work to change it and be happier. I am not perfect at all, but I work hard to be a good wife and mother. I am reliable and hard working and kind. I’m frugal and creative and help make a nice home for us. Im there for my kids when they need me, and I’ve helped give them the financial and emotional and practical stability that I never had as a kid. I’m an average middle aged mom, not a model, but I take care of myself and my health and appearance. I’m physically active and have hobbies I enjoy. My job may not be high status, but it’s very meaningful: I’m a teacher in a title one school where most of my students live in poverty with high levels of trauma and dysfunction. And I work hella hard at it and I love them and most of them love me. There are lots of ways I can improve, but I recognize those shortcomings and work to change them.

See what I did there? I said lots of nice things about myself, and I rest in those truths. I could easily come up with a paragraph about all my failures and problems and insecurities, but that doesn’t help me or anyone else. Focusing on yourself and your own life and your values and your loved ones is SO much better than swirling in a negative comparison trap.

At the end of the day, my husband knows who I am. We’ve been together 25 years. There are better people out there than me—if he wants to go after them or go back to his affair partner, he is free to do that. And if he does, I’ll be devastated, but I’ll pick myself up, keep my dignity and values and integrity intact, and keep working to live the best life and be the best me I can.

Hang in there. You CAN get out of the comparison trap, even when the AP seems objectively "better" in some ways. It just takes time and effort and reframing. And Want2Be’s pep talks don’t hurt either. ❤️

Husband of 20 years had six month affair with co-worker. Found out 7/2020. Two teenaged kids. Reconciling.

posts: 395   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2021
id 8781816

ibonnie ( member #62673) posted at 2:21 PM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

AP was 10 years older than me, 3x my size, a different race, and just... not a conventionally pretty face. Bug eyes and in all of her pictures she has this stupid smirk on her face.

And personality-wise? I don't look at life in black-and-white, but on the spectrum of evil/goodness, she was a serial OW, and when WH ended the A, she actually physically attacked him, so I think she's a little more towards the evil side of the spectrum than I am.

But... I think it's normal to compare, especially in the beginning. Eventually I got to a place where the AP doesn't even matter to me anymore. I know I'm a decent person, partner, mom, friend, daughter and sister. And I know my value. I'm also 5+ years out, so if you feel that way, just keep working on healing yourself and give yourself time.

"I will survive, hey, hey!"

posts: 2078   ·   registered: Feb. 11th, 2018
id 8781821

hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:38 PM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

No, I don’t.

Probably because I was a ws first. There are concepts that I understand about affairs that kept me from that rabbit hole.

Affairs don’t happen with people that are better than your spouse. They happen with other broken people who have shitty morals.

And most affairs don’t happen because someone is irresistible to them. They happen because they are not happy with themselves and the other person is willing to pretend they are great. It’s not you he was escaping from, it was from himself.

So what if she is more sexually adventurous and talks dirty? In a true sexually fulfilling relationship there is intimacy. You know each other and love each other. In an affair you don’t.

He could get the same enjoyment out of reading erotica.

Truth is we ws always affair down. She may have presented herself in a certain way but likely that’s not who she was either. It was who she was wanting to pretend to be to get whatever validation it was she was seeking.

The ap is a figment of imagination, in that way no one would compare to them, even who the ap is in their real life. It’s all escapism and projection, it’s not real. The things you think she is isn’t real either. If she was so wonderful she wouldn’t have had an affair with your husband.

5 years of hard work

posts: 6349   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8781830

sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:55 PM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

** Posting as a member **

I'd bet everything I own and everything I can can borrow that men also compare themselves to their WSes' aps and feel the ap was somehow better. This is something that many (most?) BSes have to resolve irrespective of gender of the BS, WS, or ap. BTDT.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 28411   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8781833

emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 9:51 PM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

Of course I compared myself to the AP. I cannot imagine there is a single BS out there (male or female) who hasn’t.

But I also know my worth and it is not dependent on any comparison to other women. Seriously, has there ever been a time when comparing yourself to others left you feeling good about yourself? I am smart, funny, attractive, resilient, self-assured, and an excellent problem solver. Full stop. I am all of those regardless of whether the AP has bigger boobs or is taller than me. What the AP looks like or whether or not she was the gold medalist in the dirty texting Olympics doesn’t have one iota of bearing on who I am.

You are doing this because you are trying to make sense of your spouse’s A. You are, in effect, thinking that maybe if you had been more X, or Y, or Z, perhaps this wouldn’t have happened. It’s not about you though, it really isn’t. The more I understood that my husband’s A wasn’t about me, the more it became clear it wasn’t about her either. I know this is easier to say than to believe but I promise you, it’s true for you too cedarwoods.

Affairs don’t happen with people that are better than your spouse. They happen with other broken people who have shitty morals.
And most affairs don’t happen because someone is irresistible to them. They happen because they are not happy with themselves and the other person is willing to pretend they are great. It’s not you he was escaping from, it was from himself.

This is true.

All of this is why it makes sense to focus your healing on you. Trauma magnifies or even brings to light our prior insecurities and FOO issues. If you did not have strong self esteem before this, it makes sense that you are struggling with it now.

Me: BS. Him: WS. Together 16 years.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two kids) into R. Happy.

posts: 1320   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8781862

Babette2008 ( member #69126) posted at 6:07 PM on Monday, March 13th, 2023

I second what emergent8 said so eloquently!

Especially this-

You are doing this because you are trying to make sense of your spouse’s A. You are, in effect, thinking that maybe if you had been more X, or Y, or Z, perhaps this wouldn’t have happened. It’s not about you though, it really isn’t. The more I understood that my husband’s A wasn’t about me, the more it became clear it wasn’t about her either.

posts: 245   ·   registered: Dec. 14th, 2018
id 8781992

BallofAnxiety ( member #82853) posted at 6:39 PM on Monday, March 13th, 2023

I absolutely did and still do, but I'm still new in this process.

The AP was younger (born the year WH graduated HS), thinner, and prettier than me. I've always struggled with self-esteem about my physical appearance so this was a blow. I've always felt confident about my intelligence, knowledge, education, decency, that kind of thing, but never felt pretty.

I'm in the D process, so I can't speak how this works in R.

posts: 79   ·   registered: Feb. 8th, 2023
id 8781999

PSTI ( member #53103) posted at 7:28 PM on Monday, March 13th, 2023

cedarwoods, remember that you are the very best at being you. There is no one else in this world exactly like you. You are an irreplaceable treasure.

Comparing yourself to other people is like comparing an airplane to an apple. There's simply no comparison because people are so much more than a combination of traits and appearances. We are not merely a sum of our parts and actions.

Don't compare your real life to someone else's highlight reel. Hugs.

Me: BW, my xH left me & DS after a 14 year marriage for the AP in 2014.

Happily remarried and in an open/polyamorous relationship. DH (married 5 years) & DBF (dating 4 years). Cohabitating happily all together!! <3

posts: 900   ·   registered: May. 6th, 2016
id 8782011

MalibuBayBreeze ( member #52124) posted at 9:01 PM on Monday, March 13th, 2023

I did at first. She's 7 years younger than me, no kids which meant she never dealt with pregnancy weight or the struggle to lose it and was obviously very comfortable with herself to take explicit photos and videos, something I personally find degrading. I felt she just had to be better than me in every way in my WH's eyes for him to have had a LTA with her. Supposedly they had dated before he met me but I never heard a mention of her and anyone I'd asked has no clue who she is.

Emotions were high and my self esteem took a big hit. Then time passed and I started thinking straight. I looked good, was exercising, bought a whole new wardrobe and began putting myself way higher on my priority list.

I then saw her for what she is, a gutless, selfish, soulless, skank who has no moral compass and no respect for her marriage, mine or anyone else's. Pure gutter trash and someone who could never be the woman I am, not even half. To compare myself to her now is akin to comparing myself to garbage which she is. She could try to level up but she'll never be on mine and if that's what he wanted or still may want he can go. He used to pick up trash and she is trash so they're actually perfect for each other.

A man or woman telling the truth doesn't mind being questioned.

A liar does.

posts: 3581   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2016   ·   location: Somewhere in the NorthEast
id 8782038
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