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The Turing Test

Topic is Sleeping.
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 InkHulk (original poster member #80400) posted at 8:27 PM on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

Gladly - who doesn't want to relive, if even for a moment, one of those magical-unreal-fantasy-type moments 100% innocent NOT involving infidelity, where life felt like a freshly dipped warm-caramel apple, ready to be bit into and made just for you?


I’m imagining the opening scenes of the movie Mr and Mrs Smith. Alas, I can only relate second hand.

[This message edited by InkHulk at 8:28 PM, Tuesday, September 12th]

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2177   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8807525
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straightup ( member #78778) posted at 8:40 PM on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

I was listening to a panel discussion recently at a conference and it turned briefly to professional ethics education In university syllabus’s. The question was whether you address it at the start, when you don’t really have enough context to understand what it means, or later in the course, when you have half a clue. The answer was both of course; getting the lay of the land early, then revisiting that map once you had walked over some of the terrain.

I have found a lot of things like that.

I have found marriage like that.

Our marriage was populated with lived experience and adjustments. It was long past false fronts and future faking, at least on my end. In many ways there was no ready substitute for me. For example, if she were to speak of her grandmother, I knew her, I liked her, but she has passed. To any future partner she will only be a photo or a story. That’s just one example. Our relationship was ‘real’ in that sense, connected to real life, but I don’t think my wife had done the work to let the meaning and significance of that permeate. She was too distracted by other things, like feelings of inadequacy and resentments. She had not taken those first lessons and gone, this is what that means to me now, now that I have a clue what living is all about.

InkHulk, I think my wife ‘missed the forest for the trees’ during the period she was engaging with AP. I don’t much care if she thought AP was better for a brief time. She wasn’t, and even if she was, it should never have come to that. My wife was scamming herself.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
Mother Teresa

posts: 364   ·   registered: May. 11th, 2021   ·   location: Australia
id 8807529
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 8:59 PM on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

I think it elegantly proves the problem lies with the WS, not with the AP.

100%. I think "love" (the feeling vs. the action) is, in a lot of cases, based entirely on a person's subjective one-sided view of how the other person makes them feel. An A relationship, even if it were with a computer, isn't much different.

The reason that it is not the end of it however, is that if you do try to R, it probably DOES matter how the WS looks back at their AP. One of the things that often happens after D-day when the WS is discovered, and the fog eventually lifts, is that the WS evnetually to "snaps out of it" and realizes that the A was based on lies or make-believe bullshit or whatever. It is easier to look back at what you've done and realize it wasn't what you thought it was, when you have undeniable proof that it wasn't. Obviously, if the AP was a catfish or a computer or whatever, that's pretty good proof.

Following D-day, I desperately wanted my husband to hate his A the way that I did. It felt like she had intentionally (or at least knowingly) hurt me worse than anyone ever had, and I was furious that my husband would hold onto any kind feelings for her whatsoever. The friend of my enemy cannot be my friend, after all. I wanted him ON MY TEAM, and anyone with kind feelings for AP was clearly not on Team Emergent.

I therefore imagine that a WS (in reconciliation) who continues to harbour fuzzy feelings for their AP (and cannot see the A for what it was), could be a real roadblock for R.

Does your wife STILL believe she loves or at least loved the AP InkHulk?

Me: BS. Him: WS.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Happily reconciled.

posts: 2162   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8807532
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 InkHulk (original poster member #80400) posted at 10:41 PM on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

Our marriage was populated with lived experience and adjustments.

This made me think of a favorite poem my wife and I have regarding our marriage. I found it during our Summer of Love, and we still reference it to this day.

I am in your clay by Kuan Tao-Sheng

You and I
Have so much love
That it
Burns like a fire,
In which we bake a lump of clay
Molded into a figure of you
And a figure of me.
Then we take both of them,
And break them into pieces,
And mix the pieces with water,
And mold again a figure of you,
And a figure of me.
I am in your clay.
You are in my clay.
In life we share a single quilt.
In death we will share one bed.


InkHulk, I think my wife ‘missed the forest for the trees’ during the period she was engaging with AP. I don’t much care if she thought AP was better for a brief time. She wasn’t, and even if she was, it should never have come to that. My wife was scamming herself.

I hear you. Saying "better" may be imprecise language. But whether it be replacing or augmenting or just fucking around, you are correct, it never should have come to that.

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2177   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8807545
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 InkHulk (original poster member #80400) posted at 10:55 PM on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

Following D-day, I desperately wanted my husband to hate his A the way that I did.

Very much relate to this. I wish she hated him, that she would at least go thru a phase of hating him and then come back to indifference. She has admitted to me that early after D-Day that she was tempted to reach out to him and see how he was doing. She said she didn’t do it, but it still reveals where her heart was. No where near hate.

Does your wife STILL believe she loves or at least loved the AP InkHulk?

She still says she loved him when she was in it. She does not still love him, I firmly believe her. As mentioned before, she got a significant tattoo about getting free of the affair, turns out I add permenantly marking something on your body as a decent trust building exercise. I believe she feels he misled her, and as far as I can tell that seems like an appropriate feeling that doesn’t veer into excusing herself.

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2177   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8807550
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straightup ( member #78778) posted at 11:11 PM on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

It has been speculated that a fish doesn’t know what water is, until it is on the hook, dragged onto a boat, and is gasping to breathe. The water is so much a part of its environment that it doesn’t have a point of comparison. Water is its whole universe so is invisible, until it’s not.

One function of poetry is to make language strange to us, so we can see it with fresh eyes.

I like your poem.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
Mother Teresa

posts: 364   ·   registered: May. 11th, 2021   ·   location: Australia
id 8807556
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WalkinOnEggshelz ( Administrator #29447) posted at 12:33 AM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

She still says she loved him when she was in it. She does not still love him, I firmly believe her.

How does your wife define love? As others have mentioned, there are different types of love.

I have come to the realization that prior to my A, I defined love by what I was receiving. How full was my bucket? I knew how to reciprocate, but only if I felt safe enough to do so. I didn’t want to risk putting myself out there for rejection.

Life got messy. Kids, work, financial difficulties. My husband was going through some of his own issues. I felt those issues were a reflection of how he felt about me. He was struggling and I made it about me. He couldn’t fill his own bucket, let alone mine, but damn he tried. I couldn’t see it because at that point I told myself that he had to say and do nice things because he was obligated. All of a sudden the AP was there and providing me affirmation in abundance. He wasn’t obligated and somehow, sadly it meant more at the time because he was married too. He was risking everything for me. I must be special to him.

Interestingly, after DDay, he was able to throw me under the bus and walk away. Not long after, the affair was an embarrassment. When my actions were broken down and brought to light, there was no way I could even consider that love. I thought I loved him because I needed to to do what I was doing. If I didn’t love him, I had to admit I was a bad person.

I said I loved him. I thought at the time I did. I can assure you, there was nothing loving about my affair. I acted like a child. Once I stopped getting currency from the affair, it no longer held the same value. I feel certain that had I pursued that relationship after DDay, I would be alone and unhappy. I am grateful everyday that my husband allowed me the chance to show him I was worth it.

I define love differently these days. It’s not just what I am getting from it, but also what I am providing. You hear often that it is give and take, but I didn’t have a mature understanding of that. My husband and I have a saying now…warts and all. Love isn’t just about rainbows and sunshine.

So when she says she loved him, but doesn’t now, I wonder what has changed or is changing for her.

If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

posts: 16686   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2010   ·   location: Anywhere and everywhere
id 8807564
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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 1:39 AM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

Eggshelz: were you angry at him for throwing you under the bus? Was he saying he loved you too? Were you worried that you might be throwing all this away and might be being played or used or something? Did you consider lying and not admitting you had said or felt you were in love?

posts: 391   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8807571
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JasonCh ( member #80102) posted at 2:19 PM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

The WS feelings are real -- that is for sure. What feelings they are is up for debate. If we use the actions not words idea. For the BS who the WS said they would honor, obey and cherish -- they are not acting accordingly. For the AP the relationship is founded in lies -- the WS in not acting accordingly.

It would be like someone beating a dog the entire time saying 'I love this dog'. Just because they say it does not make it so.

As a BS i used to think i was special. Part of my acceptance was that for my WW her definition of love was not one I could agree with. Just because I wanted it to be more 'special' than it was to her does not make it so. On occasion I struggle with this as it seems like a re-write of the marriage. But if all it takes is for the right person to come along at the right time it never was what i thought we agreed to at the beginning.

Also -- I am not sure what others think what 'special' means in a marriage. To me there were and will always continue to be many other people a relationship could have worked with. The 'special' comes in with the commitment -- you are vowing to each other (and in some cases) in front of others knowing there are others but the commitment is to the spouse.

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 InkHulk (original poster member #80400) posted at 2:21 PM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

So when she says she loved him, but doesn’t now, I wonder what has changed or is changing for her.

WOES, I wish I could arrange a conversation between you and my wife, I think your kindness combined with your insight would be invaluable (but still no, Hellfire, I’m not going to force her to post wink ). I believe when my wife is telling me she loved him, she is saying that she had the feelings of attraction and affection associated with love. We say with 100% confidence that we love our new born babies, and that certainly isn’t based on long complex relational history. Yes love is actions, and yes love is feelings. She had the feelings for him that sustain a romantic relationship. From an action perspective, she was actively injecting poison into his life, so that can hardly be considered love. So it wasn’t full love, but it was too real to be ignored. Certainly too real to be compatible with pre-existing marriage vows.

Thanks for sharing your subtle insights, WOES. The idea that you must have been special to him BECAUSE he was cheating, I can see why one would think that and it’s also so damn wrong.
Edit to add: re-reading this, there is a necessary corollary to this. If WOES statement unveils the flaw in this thinking, it also points to a misplaced jealousy in me. I have this feeling of “you risked everything for him???”. But it’s just not a real value to value comparison. It’s really not. It’s fucked up thinking and feeling. And maybe this is what Sisoon is trying to say (I still giggle about his 6th grader thing), that this attacks our self worth so strongly but in truth it never should. It’s not about me.

[This message edited by InkHulk at 2:31 PM, Wednesday, September 13th]

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

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 InkHulk (original poster member #80400) posted at 3:02 PM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

And another thought on my drive to work. If she had married someone else 18 years ago, it’s likely she would have cheated on him. Again, might seem obvious, but that helps separate this thing from me. Is this what it means to process the trauma out of our bodies? Big thanks to WOES this morning, you’ve really helped me put some things in focus.

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

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WalkinOnEggshelz ( Administrator #29447) posted at 3:22 PM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

Eggshelz: were you angry at him for throwing you under the bus? Was he saying he loved you too? Were you worried that you might be throwing all this away and might be being played or used or something? Did you consider lying and not admitting you had said or felt you were in love?

There is a lot to unpack here. Of course I was angry, but also hurt, scared, and confused. He had told me he loved me as well. My husband asked me point blank if I loved him (the MOM). I told him yes and he kicked me out of the house. I had nowhere to go my world completely fell apart. We were both having something of a meltdown. It was actually the kindness of his mother that helped us get back on a path to R.

The me now would never make the same decisions I did back then. I had very little respect for myself in that time period. I’ve had to work hard to learn to allow myself it these days.

InkHulk, you remind me so much of my husband in your writing and figuring things out. I wish I could sit down with your wife as well. We would have a lot to talk about! I am certainly rooting for you both. I’m happy to help in any way I can.

If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

posts: 16686   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2010   ·   location: Anywhere and everywhere
id 8807616
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ImaChump ( member #83126) posted at 3:52 PM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

If she had married someone else 18 years ago, it’s likely she would have cheated on him. Again, might seem obvious, but that helps separate this thing from me.

THIS!!

I beat myself up for the first few months trying to relive the past and not only understand how I could have missed the signs (some of it was willful ignorance), but how was the marriage, how was I treating my wife, what could I have done to prevent this.

My epiphany really came out when I was sorting through my wife’s BS excuses (aka her "reasons" for cheating). It wasn’t being drunk, falling in with the wrong crowd, being unhappy or because I didn’t love her. Her affairs covered 20 years, 11 APs, 7 jobs (she met 90% of her APs at work) and 3 states. Our marriage was total shit to really good. There is but one common denominator here…..HER.

In a couple of brief moments of "clarity" my WW told me she cheated because she "wanted to and felt she deserved it". She also said there was nothing I did to cause it and nothing I could have done to stop it. She told me she would have cheated no matter who she was married to. These things I believe and gave me great relief around my culpability in the affairs. My only fault here is marrying the wrong person, ignoring the signs when I saw them and letting her come home after she left me when I caught her waiting on her AP 37 years ago….,

Me: BH (61)

Her: UW (60)

D-Days: 6/27/22, 7/24-26/22

posts: 148   ·   registered: Mar. 25th, 2023   ·   location: Eastern USA
id 8807622
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1345Marine ( member #71646) posted at 4:01 PM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

Emergent wrote:

Following D-day, I desperately wanted my husband to hate his A the way that I did. It felt like she had intentionally (or at least knowingly) hurt me worse than anyone ever had, and I was furious that my husband would hold onto any kind feelings for her whatsoever. The friend of my enemy cannot be my friend, after all. I wanted him ON MY TEAM, and anyone with kind feelings for AP was clearly not on Team Emergent.

This paragraph so elegantly expresses what I've felt and tried to express to WW on multiple occasions. A few months back, I directly asked her if she still loved him in any way. She responded "I care about him". Then, when she could tell that had hit me hard, she backtracked saying she only meant she cared about him in the sense of "care if he lives or dies type thing". Even that's too much for me. I suspect that's a problem with me and how dark my thoughts toward AP are where I've actually lost even basic human empathy for him.

posts: 104   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2019   ·   location: Eastern US
id 8807623
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 4:12 PM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

but still no, Hellfire, I’m not going to force her to post

For the record, I have never stated you should force her to post. There are many WS who show up and post a few times and disappear..often it's easy to tell, by their words, that their BS forced them to post.

What I've said is..she is here. She is reading. She has this invaluable resource at her fingertips. She claims she wants R,yet she chooses not to post.

And before anyone swoops in to tell me forums aren't for everyone,blah blah..True enough. It's just insightful TO ME that she won't post. In the Ws forum. With a stop sign. Which protects her the mean BS here.

But she won't. So that's that.

Our field of dreams,engulfed in fire..and I'll still see it,till the day I die..

posts: 6762   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8807624
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 4:32 PM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

Speaking as a fWW, I can say there's a lot of shame and fear around being a WS here. That she may be hesitating because so many of us have been supportive of IH and his healing and growth. That we're all team IH and that she won't have anyone on her side to champion her on. How many times have we had dueling spouses on here that have cross posted in each other's threads, people taking sides and things getting ugly? I think there was a couple a few years ago that was so incredibly dysfunctional that the whole board got toxic over their situation for a YEAR.

I've been lurking on IH's threads here- I'm really impressed with your growth, maturity and ability to be compassionate for the very person who's stabbed you in the heart. Repeatedly.

That said, I can understand why Mrs.IH doesn't post. My own H doesn't post, but reads mine from time to time. He doesn't feel comfortable being vulnerable to me, let alone a pack of people he doesn't know of a forum who's only heard my side of the story. It's daunting. Especially for a person who doesn't have skills in processing their own shame and is just learning to take accountability and make change.

I'd like to give Mrs.IH the benefit of the doubt here. If IH is satisfied with her work off the boards in their lived life together, then we should take him at his word. From his posts, it looks like he has a good amount of emotional maturity and insight. I would hope at this point he would have a strong enough radar to know when Mrs.IH is blowing smoke up his ass and placating him with half assed attempts to make herself a safe spouse and do the work on her why's.

In all, I wonder if focusing so much on Mrs.IH here is detracting from helping IH himself?

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

posts: 1183   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8807630
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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 4:40 PM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

Marine,
You shouldn’t feel bad about your feelings on that one i dont think. Given our conscious worlds are made up of a combination of more primitive urges directing us from our midbrain and lower down and those feelings are interweaving with our more civilized thoughts from our higher brain functions. We can’t really help that we are going to have primitively driven thoughts. Its what we do with them and the fact that we dont act on them. The MOW that my husband cheated with sought out working with him at a huge pay cut, I saw her emails, it was deliberate. She knew he had 3 young children. Part of me (yeah probably the more primitive part) feels she put my kids lives and wellbeing at risk just for her own selfish needs. On a bad day there are no words for the amount of revenge I would like to exact. There is no doubt that if someone comes after my kids I am going to be very very angry for a long long time. It is a primitive instinct. We all have them. They allowed men to hunt and mama bear to protect and people to procreate. Etc etc. There is no magical potion we can administer to make all those urges go away. Anyway, I literally got so mad I lost my train of thought…LOL.

posts: 391   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8807632
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:48 PM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

I am the fws. And before I leave my two cents here, I just want to say it feels a little weird to me to debate. I was unfaithful, I did so many things. Explaining it can feel like minimizing it, so I wrote this just stating this is not my intention.

Feelings are unreliable. The things we think are unreliable. It’s up to us to choose to be reliable regardless of what we think or feel. Most affairs are born of really bad faulty thinking. Many feelings arise based on what thoughts your mind is telling you.

So in my situation, I was unhappy. I blamed it on him. We were having a difficult year as he was opening his business and our youngest daughter was in the last part of her senior year and empty nest was imminent. I was working (my job, our home, helping with my husbands business, keeping up with the million senior activities) 18 hour days most days of any given week.

My affair was born on a business trip that felt a little like a vacation because I had my evenings free. Nothing happened but the seed was planted. It was an escape, and once I started breaking boundaries there was a lot of happiness there. But it was based on not being grounded in reality, just making up shit in my head. It became addictive like a gambling situation where I just couldn’t leave it alone.

As far as was the love real? No I don’t think that at all. I didn’t know this man well at all and most of the time he was selfish and treated me poorly. I couldn’t understand my brain chemistry had been altered and I was associating that with him.

I agree as a bs to a bs the feelings are important. In the end what really became important is understanding the hows and whys and really figuring out how it came to be in the first place. And then fixing it.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7284   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8807634
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 InkHulk (original poster member #80400) posted at 5:02 PM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

What I've said is..she is here. She is reading. She has this invaluable resource at her fingertips. She claims she wants R,yet she chooses not to post.

Fair, I mischaracterized your position, my apologies. You have been consistent in this, I respect that. I don’t believe she is here much at all. She is aware of it, absolutely, but I don’t think she is actively lurking. I think she peaked in at D-Day 2, but I’d be surprised if she has been back since. I think this place causes her a lot of anxiety, understandably. I think MiGander has a good point. You guys are steeped in my side of the story, coming up on 1,000 posts in a little over a year. And having this go all cross talk fighting sounds miserable. She is growing using other resources. She might not use exactly our nomenclature and I need to do some translation in my head to go find the key elements. And she isn’t done yet, nor am I. But my ass is quite sensitive to smoke and the blowing up of it. I have some fear of learning to tolerate the intolerable, but I can say I’m on the lookout for it, at least.

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 5:27 PM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

Hiking out: I really liked your explanation and I believe it to be the truth. At a minimum your truth. It was a horrible experience to be thinking these really mean things about APs (at least mine and marines) and then see a kind human being who is in the same category and to realize how cruel it is for you to have to read stuff that is cruel toward APs. Very messy indeed. I know without question that if I were just hearing about my husband or his APs actions as a bystander empathy would come pretty easily. I have had patients who were murderers and pedophiles, obviously orders of magnitude worse than what we are discussing, and I was able to find genuine empathy/sympathy etc. It makes me think I should just let my husband go because somehow I can’t quite give him the same level of understanding. Or i can for a day and then the anger creeps back in. I wish I had InkHulks ability to forgive or let the anger go. But maybe we just aren’t hearing his angry moments.

Hiking out, what you described is so very human. And understandable. And forgivable. Thank you for letting others in the BS camp read it because hopefully someday empathy for your situation can help ignite some empathy for our spouses. If they do the work.

posts: 391   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8807640
Topic is Sleeping.
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