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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 3:26 AM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Sorry my bad, Ellie!

It wasn’t too much of a stretch some of the things I read here when I got here were foreign to me.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839486
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HellIsNotHalfFull ( member #83534) posted at 3:48 AM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Ellie,

Once again you don’t understand at all what I’m saying. No, it’s not because you aren’t over AP that I believe you will have another affair. First, your affair hasn’t ended, and I was wrong when I said "another". Not being sarcastic, I mean this. I do mean very sincerely that you will go back to AP unless you change how you are handling this. It doesn’t matter how much you want to never hurt BH again. Addictions will always win unless you have safeguards. You have none.

First, you need to rethink how you view willpower. Yes we all have free will and choice, but willpower is a finite resource. Do recovering alcoholics keep booze in their house? No. Do recovering food addicts keep junk food in their house? No. Because willpower will only take you so far. Affairs are the same. It is an addicting experience. When my WW went full NC, she actually went through withdrawal, with shakes and everything. Feelings aren’t facts.

I’m guessing you don’t have a lot of experience with addiction hence why I said you were very naïve. I’m also betting you haven’t really ever been held accountable. Your BH isn’t holding your feet to the fire, doesn’t sound like any of your friends will either, so you are surrounded by enablers.

I do want you to answer my question, does your BH know that a, you are to scared to hurt AP to block him, and b, does he know AP has sex clips of you?

I already know that the answer is no, but it would be helpful for you to confirm.

Getting over the AP is unfortunately part of R and many BSs have to experience it. I didn’t leave my WW when she was detoxing/getting over her AP because she had blocked him and committed to NC, and she told me.
She would call me and say she wanted to call AP and make sure he’s ok, but she really
didn’t and for me to please help her because she wanted our marriage. That is brutal honesty, but she wasn’t lying to me and she was turning to me for help. She was showing me that she wanted our marriage. Yes she could have lied and called him through a variety of ways, instead she called me, told me the truth and turned to me for help.

You aren’t even close to that point. By not blocking AP you are keeping your addiction alive and your willpower will run out. Look at how much damage was done just by his contacting you yesterday.

Just how I said your story isn’t special, neither is the aftermath.
Every cheater who keeps contact open with AP goes back. Everyone. Without fail. You will do the same, because you will be just like the food addict who has a party size bag of Doritos on top of your fridge. It’s not if, but when.

Why do you think everyone is saying this? To gang up on you? Everyone is trying to help
You, and like I said, vast majority of us want healing for both WS and BS. I personally have been through it, I have read 1000s of articles, blogs, have talked to people who have both failed and been successful. I’m new to SI in those terms compared to a lot of us.

We call each other out when we are wrong. I have been called out lots of times here on SI.
Never, have I ever been told blocking AP was a vital part of getting out of infidelity was wrong.

Me mid 40s BH
Her 40s STBX WW
3 year EA 1 year PA.
DDAY 1 Feb 2022. DDAY 2 Jun 2022. DDAY 3/4/5/6/7 July 2024
Nothing but abuse and lies and abuse false R for three years. Divorcing and never looking back.

posts: 503   ·   registered: Jun. 26th, 2023   ·   location: U.S.
id 8839487
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straightup ( member #78778) posted at 4:04 AM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Unless I'm misunderstanding...If reconciliation failed and you divorced how can you enforce this rule? Do you mean you'd never speak to her again or...? This is not something that is realistic. Once someone is divorced they are free to see whomever they want. Of course it is in horrible taste to date an ap, which is why I said I couldn't do it, but maybe I'm misunderstanding anyway.

I expected her to say it, promise it, mean it, and act in accordance with it.

I can’t make her do it.

If she doesn’t, she loses me and loses my respect, permanently.

She burns 26 years of shared memories.

She also lives with being that person.

I probably wouldn’t speak to her again.

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 8839488
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TrayDee ( new member #82906) posted at 6:43 AM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Hi Ellie.

BS here and I have followed your thread religiously.
I commend you for staying in there and trying to gain some understanding. You seem to really want to do better.
You have eons of experience here to draw from so I hope you will continue to listen and not fall into defensiveness.
These are some of the greatest minds on the internet with regards to infidelity.


However I think that you are missing some things that you need to take a serious look at. You have said a lot of things that indicate a massive amount of cognitive dissonance. Here are a couple:

I've thought about going to therapy for years but my husband's issues seemed more emergent so he started first. I'm engaging with him more and kissing him in the morning, sleeping in our bed, and trying to be more engaging instead of off by myself somewhere. I never thought he was abusive but then my therapist said he was and like I said earlier, he does rock some abusive trait boxes. I guess not enough for me to be clear about leaving.

It doesn't seem like your husband is some abusive monster. Don't get me wrong, because I know abusers come with all types of MOs. However for this man to be a teacher, and a married man for two decades and you "never thought he was abusive" seems not plausible.
Couple that with him seeing you through a window kissing AP and still having the wherewithal to not let the kids see this before confronting you says alot.

What I meant was I was so desperate for my kids to have a decent father that I fell for this guy bc he was doing all the things I wish their dad did.

You looked at you AP as the "decent father" while downing your husbands performance as a father since your first post.
You don't strike me as the type of woman who would stay two decades with a man who was abusing your children.

These quotes lead me to believe that you checked out on your husband long before your affair. it seems You allowed resentment to build up and in doing so, you needed to have a reason to despise him, which you began to magnify his faults and minimize his positives.

When AP came along you happily seemed to gave him extra credit for the things he did that you deemed in your head that your husband didn't do, without expecting him or needing him to do the things that your husband WAS doing consistently.

Any man can be super dad when it's just happy time and play dates which is what AP was with your kids.

It takes a lot more to deal with disciplinary issues, sick children, maintaining a roof over a families' head, trying to maintain a sexless marriage relationship with a wife whose checked out, and still keep going.

Yet you talk about how great AP is as a father without him having to do ANY of the heavy day to day mundane things.

You are a prime example of the 80/20 rule....you had 80% of what you wanted and needed but took it for granted and became hyper-fixated on the 20% that you didn't have.

AP got the happy version of you...the sexy version of you....the vibrant version of you.
BH got the sexless, resentful, distant, disengaged version of you.

You may find out that the man you resent and despise became a reflection of the wife that he had.

posts: 48   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2023   ·   location: MS
id 8839491
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 12:10 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

To include during her Affair, and the 6 months of false R when she was still cheating on me, calling me horrible names, being just down right cruel because she wanted to justify her affair and see only the bad side of me. She called me abusive and controlling because I had the audacity to ask for No contact after I exposed the very real EA, and request that she keep her location on and not lie to me. I can only take so much. After she got her head out of her ass and confessed her that it was a full on A and that she had been sleeping with him during the last 6 months after promising he was just a friend. Well, I snapped and I had to draw my line in the sand.

I am not sure why you think I am beyond reconciling when I have not even done the things your wife did after it was discovered. I'm complying with my husband's "demands". If one of them was blocking him or texting him "we're done" and blocking him I would've done it. I did ask for NC on my own. I think you're forgetting I'm not getting any feedback. I'm doing what I think should be done on my own. To me, I am already on a better path than your wife was at the time. Maybe we won't be able to reconcile like you but I'm doing what I can to make it happen as best as I can with someone who just doesn't want to talk about it rn.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839495
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 12:28 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

She would call me and say she wanted to call AP and make sure he’s ok, but she really
didn’t and for me to please help her because she wanted our marriage. That is brutal honesty, but she wasn’t lying to me and she was turning to me for help. She was showing me that she wanted our marriage. Yes she could have lied and called him through a variety of ways, instead she called me, told me the truth and turned to me for help.

So, within the first week or so I did feel this way. That I could turn to my husband and say I am having a hard time worrying about ap and hoping he's OK. It might come up again, maybe in marriage therapy...Most of my regret is the children so it's not even that I miss or want to be with ap.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839496
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 12:50 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

And you are not disgusted by it? These should not be Bffs. You are accepting that infidelity is the norm. Infidelity is abuse. My friends would cease to be friends if I knew they were cheating, I would also notify their spouse.

No. It's complex and they are my friends and I love them. My husband knows all about it, too, so I'm not hiding anything (we actually talk a lot about day to day stuff) and he's friends with them as well.

Eta I've heard infidelity being described as abuse but when you have one husband who is a narcissist and another who is actively cheating I don't think the wife of either needs to get in the head space she's abusing anyone. As for me, dealing with mental/verbal barbs for decades and one of our kids being physically reprimanded excuse me if I don't share that sentiment at this time. We can be absolutely in the wrong in our actions without attaching the word abuse to it.

[This message edited by Elliebellie at 1:45 PM, Thursday, June 13th]

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839497
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Notarunnerup ( member #79501) posted at 12:54 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Hello Ellie,
I am a BH, I have read your posts and what I see is someone who really isnt invested in Reconciling at all. I believe you want to reconcile because you feel it is what you "should" want to do. Im not trying to bash you. I think that your reluctance to block your AP is part of it. Why should your husband have to ask or tell you to block your AP? If you were truly interested in R this is a no brainer. Does your husband have to walk your through R? Does he need to tell you everything you need to do in order for you to do it? Did you lose autonomy? Can you not make decisions that your think will make R work?
You talk about your regrets mostly being about how you hurt your children. If the the children are your motivation, then block your AP for your children. Do you think they want to see their mom interact with the man who blew up their world? You mention that if you divorced, you would have to date your AP in secret because you dont want to hurt your husband, what about your kids?

I think you are playing with fire here. I think it is best that you divorce your husband. You can say that he wants to work on R so you want to try but you clearly are not interested. I feel like you just dont want to be the bad person who files. You can at least say you went to therapy to "try" to save your marriage but without any real effort.
Sometimes people who make bad choices that ruin relationships have to make bad choices to fix them. You should file for divorce from your husband and just tell him and the kids that your are sorry, you cant repair the damage you did. You feel that since you cant get feelings back for your husband, which I dont see more than a token effort, and that you cant allow yourself to hurt AP by blocking him is a sign that you dont deserve to be married. To your kids, you need to tell them that you are a broken person who now has to make grown up decisions and face grown up consequences because you never learned it growing up. Your kids can get the benefit of knowing that actions have consequences.

If you truly want to R, You need to put in effort. Forget AP. Imagine what your kids will feel knowing that your still tied to the man who helped break their home. Imagine how they might feel that your are betraying their Dad still when he is still interested in R'ing.

If you cant bring yourself to start doing the work, not just listening to people, then your husband deserves better than you.

Offering to let your husband look for sex elsewhere is really a copout and an excuse to say we are even since we both slept with other people. Start looking at lawyers and make this an amicable divorce or start doing the work to make yourself a healthy partner. You dont have to be 100% into R'ing to start doing the basics, you do have to be 100% in to make R'ing work.

My ex was willing to do anything to R. I couldnt do it. I couldnt imagine being given the opportunity you have at your fingers and you are just taking it for granted. Again, if youre not interested then let your husband go. Why waste money on therapy that can be used on a divorce. You both can heal in whatever ways you want. you can start sleeping with AP again, in secret mind you, because you know we care about how your husband might feel about it, and lets not forget about those kids, they might feel some way about it too. Husband can get help however he needs on the days he doesnt have the kids and you can get whatever you want on the days you dont have the kids.

I truly hope you come to your senses about this. Its perfectly okay to say that you dont see a path to success and to cut both of you free from a marriage that your not invested in.

posts: 80   ·   registered: Oct. 20th, 2021
id 8839498
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 1:06 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

You looked at you AP as the "decent father" while downing your husbands performance as a father since your first post.

You don't strike me as the type of woman who would stay two decades with a man who was abusing your children.

These quotes lead me to believe that you checked out on your husband long before your affair. it seems You allowed resentment to build up and in doing so, you needed to have a reason to despise him, which you began to magnify his faults and minimize his positives.

When AP came along you happily seemed to gave him extra credit for the things he did that you deemed in your head that your husband didn't do, without expecting him or needing him to do the things that your husband WAS doing consistently.

Any man can be super dad when it's just happy time and play dates which is what AP was with your kids.

It takes a lot more to deal with disciplinary issues, sick children, maintaining a roof over a families' head, trying to maintain a sexless marriage relationship with a wife whose checked out, and still keep going.

Yet you talk about how great AP is as a father without him having to do ANY of the heavy day to day mundane things.

You are a prime example of the 80/20 rule....you had 80% of what you wanted and needed but took it for granted and became hyper-fixated on the 20% that you didn't have.

AP got the happy version of you...the sexy version of you....the vibrant version of you.

BH got the sexless, resentful, distant, disengaged version of you.

You may find out that the man you resent and despise became a reflection of the wife that he had.

Absolute agree to all of this. I believe I said that earlier, that the way I was acting towards my husband was not giving him the tools to be the person I wanted him to be. I'm definitely at fault for a lot of the dynamic and the attitude and the behavior and the moodiness and the yelling and all that is something that he's always done even when I was a perfect doting spouse, and I did mention that as well. All of what you are saying is why I did not leave my husband for AP because I know that's not reality.

[This message edited by Elliebellie at 1:07 PM, Thursday, June 13th]

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839499
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HellIsNotHalfFull ( member #83534) posted at 1:17 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Your flat out stubbornness and refusal to block AP is why you are never going to R and why you are continuing the A.

It’s incredible the lengths you are going to not do one, "symbolic" thing. Blocking him is literally the first step to actually attempting R, and it’s like you would rather cut off your foot before you did that.

Me mid 40s BH
Her 40s STBX WW
3 year EA 1 year PA.
DDAY 1 Feb 2022. DDAY 2 Jun 2022. DDAY 3/4/5/6/7 July 2024
Nothing but abuse and lies and abuse false R for three years. Divorcing and never looking back.

posts: 503   ·   registered: Jun. 26th, 2023   ·   location: U.S.
id 8839500
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 1:19 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Offering to let your husband look for sex elsewhere is really a copout and an excuse to say we are even since we both slept with other people.

I read everything you said and I totally understand and I do agree in some ways that I probably should just walk away. But I do want to point this out that I disagree with this and I never said it to make us both on the same level because we never will be. Even if he had an affair I had one first and it would have just been a rebound situation for him. I just wanted to make clear what my intentions are when I asked him that.

The marriage counseling is for us to be better parents, have better communication, and try to see if we are in the same headspace to make it work and we agreed on that together. We did not agree it was to keep us together or force something that wasn't there so I think it's still something that is beneficial because even if we end up separating we still need to parent these children and we still need to get along in some way.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839501
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 1:28 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Imagine this story:

A man is an alcoholic but has kept the addiction hidden from his wife. One day he gets sloppy drunk and drives with her as a passenger. He loses control of the car, goes off the road and crashes. He comes out with a broken arm, but his wife is hurt much worse. When she wakes up in the hospital she learns that both her legs are shattered and she has 2-5 years of rehab to learn to walk again. And on top of that she learns the horrible truth of her husband’s addiction, his lies to hide it, and his callous recklessness to put her well-being in clear and present danger.

Would it be the wife’s responsibility to instruct her husband what to do? Should she have to tell this addict to go to AA? To throw away all his booze, including the hidden bottles? Should she have to tell him to give up his enabling drinking buddies?

Her responsibility would be to heal and begin the arduous task of learning to walk again, and that is it. If that drunk gets even a sniff at forgiveness and grace then that woman is a saint, and that man had better be doing everything he can to improve himself and give signs that he is worth a second chance.

If a man like that showed back up at the bar, while his wife was still in her hospital bed, giving the excuse that she didn’t tell him not too, what should that woman do with that man, Ellie?

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2190   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8839502
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 1:30 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Your flat out stubbornness and refusal to block AP is why you are never going to R and why you are continuing the A.

It’s incredible the lengths you are going to not do one, "symbolic" thing. Blocking him is literally the first step to actually attempting R, and it’s like you would rather cut off your foot before you did that.

Blocking him actually never even occurred to me until I read it on here. I just said we can't contact each other anymore and I was done, it didn't even occur to me to have to block him because I just assumed we wouldn't be contacting each other and that he'd delete the app anyway so nothing to block. I know I am totally digging my heels in on this one and I'm clearly not ready to make that move yet and I'm actually just going to have to be at peace with it right now and not beat myself up about it. When I get to that point that I have that indifference people are talking about, or maybe I'll even be angry, then maybe I'll think to do it but by that point I hope to not even be thinking about that piece.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839504
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 1:36 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

So, I just wanted to report after replying to what I wanted to first, that my husband and I had sex last night. I allowed him touch me in bed without doing the usual pushing his hand away. I did get aroused but it felt so weird, like he was a stranger. He was putting my body in all these different positions and I just lay there silently crying trying to figure out the emotions. I'm not sure if sex now is going to be a trigger and that sucks.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839505
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SadieMae ( member #42986) posted at 2:04 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Was your husband aware that you were uncomfortable and crying?

Me: BW D-day 3/9/2014
TT until 6/2016
TT again Fall 2020
Yay! A new D-Day on 11/8/2023 WTAF

posts: 1421   ·   registered: Apr. 3rd, 2014   ·   location: Sweet Tea in the Shade
id 8839506
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Tanner ( Guide #72235) posted at 2:05 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

I've heard infidelity being described as abuse but when you have one husband who is a narcissist and another who is actively cheating I don't think the wife of either needs to get in the head space she's abusing anyone. As for me, dealing with mental/verbal barbs for decades and one of our kids being physically reprimanded excuse me if I don't share that sentiment at this time. We can be absolutely in the wrong in our actions without attaching the word abuse to it.

This is blame shifting, you get away from an abuser and take your kids. You don’t run to someone else for an affair.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R BH M 32 years

posts: 3474   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8839507
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 2:08 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Was your husband aware that you were uncomfortable and crying?


I don't think so. Afterwards he asked if I was ok and I said yeah but I wasn't.

[This message edited by Elliebellie at 2:08 PM, Thursday, June 13th]

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839508
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 2:12 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

This is blame shifting, you get away from an abuser and take your kids. You don’t run to someone else for an affair.

I'm not blaming anyone I'm just saying I have a hard time thinking about it as abuse.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839509
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SadieMae ( member #42986) posted at 2:12 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

I don't think so. Afterwards he asked if I was ok and I said yeah but I wasn't.

I'm sorry, that sounds very lonely for both of you.

It sounds like he did know something was up, but you chose to close down and not open up to him.

Me: BW D-day 3/9/2014
TT until 6/2016
TT again Fall 2020
Yay! A new D-Day on 11/8/2023 WTAF

posts: 1421   ·   registered: Apr. 3rd, 2014   ·   location: Sweet Tea in the Shade
id 8839510
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 2:29 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

I'm sorry, that sounds very lonely for both of you.

It sounds like he did know something was up, but you chose to close down and not open up to him.

I don't think it was lonely for him at all I think he was very pleased with what happened. And maybe a little surprised.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839512
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