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HellIsNotHalfFull ( member #83534) posted at 5:55 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

MCs almost never push divorce, that is bad for business. Divorced couples don’t usually have MC. Not to be a pessimist, but MC is a business like anything else. MCs are tricky with infidelity because again a lot of them want to keep getting paid. A good MC won’t take sides, will objectively call out bad behavior on both sides and will not assign blame. Hard to find, and a lot of them will blame BS using "unmet needs" or something a long that. Be mindful, a good MC will hold you accountable for your affair and will address the consequences of it, but will not pick sides. If your MC assigns any responsibility to your BH for the affair, drop them immediately and find someone else.

You rejected your BH for three years for sex, and then had in your own words "mind blowing sex" with your AP. That is going to be a tremendous obstacle to overcome. It wasn’t that you didn’t want sex, you didn’t want your BH. That’s an entire new layer that is going to kill him from the inside.
Does he know this?

Yes your resentment is absolutely your problem and it’s good that you are admitting and addressing it.

What do you think a marriage is? It’s a commitment. You losing attraction to him is absolutely your problem as well. What happens if he gets a serious illness, or disfigured from a car accident. In a marriage it is up to us to keep the flame alive. It’s by focusing on good, about loving someone and doing things without any expectations of something in return. I put my kids to bed, make their lunches, clean up after I cook dinner because I love my family. I don’t expect my WW to do something for me because of it, it’s fun to make it into a game or something but I would do it the same. Up until her affair, I thought she felt the same. Turns out she is selfish and has a warped view of marriage. I would tell daily how beautiful she was, and she would say "you only say that because we are married you don’t mean it." I used to think that was my fault, but it’s not. It’s her problem. Dig deep, I’m betting your BH did something similar but you didn’t accept it.

It seems like with affairs a low opinion of yourself is really a key factor. How people love you is how you equate worth to yourself. Truth is, you can’t ever love someone if you depend on them to love yourself. That will only lead to resentment because they will never ever be able to fill that. Only you can. Consider that going forward.

Also, I would recommend you make a decision on R or D sooner than later. It’s cruel to cheat and then hold your BH in limbo. Again, that is selfish. He is offering you a gift to have another chance that you honestly don’t deserve. Don’t string him along. Leave or R, don’t keep him on the sidelines. You wait to long and he will make a choice and D because no one can live like.

You chose to R then you go both feet forward. NC forever with AP. Stop defending him and seeing the positive only. No more guy friends. No more one on one interactions with guys who aren’t family. This includes texting and Social Media. Show your BH he is the only man for you because you chose to marry him.
Put his hurt above your resentment. Humble yourself above pride and ego. He will lash out he will say awful things. Don’t get defensive. Remember he is deeply hurt because of you.

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 8838942
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 5:58 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

The mc knows I cheated so that is going to be on the table 100%.

MC’s are notorious for trying make things fair and balanced, and many of them will try to pin blame for your affair on your traumatized husband. Unless the MC is an experienced betrayal trauma specialist, you are taking a big risk in causing further harm by going.

You need to be the driver here to say that the affair is all that will be talked about in MC, and absolutely no blame for it will be tolerated at your BH. If the MC even slightly objects to that, stand up, walk out, and find a new therapist.

If you stay here, and I hope you do, you are going to hear a lot about the false intimacy in an affair, that it is a fantasy devoid of all normal life responsibility, like the pregnancy and breastfeeding, the bills and struggles. Relationships that started as affairs have an abysmal success rate.

You are asking some good and humble questions, and that is a good sign. You can learn so much by writing here, really listening, reading the library and other threads. Your story is your own, but it isn’t unique. You will find it’s just a variation on the theme of infidelity told over and over here. So learn here, it will benefit you no matter what you choose to do going forward.

I really do wish you and your husband well.

Edit to add: I currently don’t know what to make of the abuse piece. There are distinctions between abuse and “abusive traits”. I hope you evaluate that properly in this as you make your choices. My advice above is primarily focused on the infidelity as we know that for certain and that is my experience base. Don’t put yourself in danger, I hope that goes without saying.

[This message edited by InkHulk at 6:05 PM, Saturday, June 8th]

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2190   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8838944
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 6:02 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

You rejected your BH for three years for sex, and then had in your own words "mind blowing sex" with your AP. That is going to be a tremendous obstacle to overcome. It wasn’t that you didn’t want sex, you didn’t want your BH. That’s an entire new layer that is going to kill him from the inside.
Does he know this?

Yes in a way. He doesn't know the sex was amazing he just knows I did it (I could've lied and said I didn't). I thought my low libido was from being burnt out but it wasn't obviously.

I agree about being in limbo. He's trying really hard and I'm just here unable to move in any direction. My therapist said mc would be good so...🤷‍♀️

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8838945
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 6:07 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

Thank you, inkhulk. Idk how to c&p or reply to someone specifically. I really hate the format here, sorry.

Anyway, the fact that a mc would ever blame the bs is incredible to me. I chose a fmlt as this is their specialty but if he starts blaming my husband I will say something.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8838946
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 6:17 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

You can just talk, no right or wrong way to do that. But if you want to use the box format, you can copy and paste the text into your reply, highlight the text, and then press the "quotation mark" box up above.

There are entire schools of thought in therapy out there that effectively victim blame the betrayed. The key words are "unmet needs". If you hear that, shut it down. If your husband had a dead bedroom for years, then he is going to have one hell of a retort to having "unmet needs", but it seems he did not cheat. Fidelity is not conditional, there were no clauses in your wedding vows.

I had a long string of MC’s that each did damage. If you aren’t prepared to humbly address the affair and nothing else, if you aren’t willing to be 100% honest and answer every question he has with the full truth and nothing but the truth, then don’t go. Keep working on healing yourself until you get to that place. Any lies or half truths or defensiveness or anger directed at the betrayed at this point will become anchors on any remaining chance to salvage the marriage. Tread carefully, truth and humility are your northern star right now.

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2190   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8838948
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 6:23 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

I do feel I'm ready and, honestly, it's bc of the amazing way my spouse has reacted to it. He is making me feel secure that whatever I say he will still love me and wants what's best for all of us, which may be divorce idk rn. I just know I don't deserve his kindness and I am so grateful.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8838949
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HellIsNotHalfFull ( member #83534) posted at 6:24 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

No more lies. Ever.

It is very likely your BH will ask you about the sex. He will ask you if it was better. Tell him the truth. I asked, and the answer was horrible but not knowing was worse.

Tell him the truth about any details he asks, no matter how painful. He will want to know sex stuff. Everyone is different with the level of detail needed. I needed everything. Took me a year to recover from hearing it all, but I don’t regret it. Not knowing was so much worse.

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 8838950
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 6:37 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

I get it but may I ask why you would want to hear that it was better? So far my husband hasn't asked any of these things and I don't know if it's because he doesn't want to know ever or he doesn't want to know right now. There are a lot of things that we don't tell people we love because we want to spare their feelings. This situation needs to be different? I can tell him what we did and how I felt but I don't think I would say it was mind-blowing I mean why would I need to go there? Who does that even benefit?

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8838951
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 6:49 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

I do feel I'm ready and, honestly, it's bc of the amazing way my spouse has reacted to it. He is making me feel secure that whatever I say he will still love me and wants what's best for all of us, which may be divorce idk rn. I just know I don't deserve his kindness and I am so grateful.

We talk about recovering from infidelity as walking thru the stages of grief. Your husband is probably currently in shock still. Inevitably this will wear off, and there is a deep anger phase that is inevitable. If you are getting your resolve from his kindness, you should know that isn’t going to last. His fully justified anger will show up in this process. Can you still be truthful in the face of that? Again, he needs to be controlled and not abusive in his anger. But he will have it, and he will be right to have it.

I get it but may I ask why you would want to hear that it was better? So far my husband hasn't asked any of these things and I don't know if it's because he doesn't want to know ever or he doesn't want to know right now. There are a lot of things that we don't tell people we love because we want to spare their feelings. This situation needs to be different? I can tell him what we did and how I felt but I don't think I would say it was mind-blowing I mean why would I need to go there? Who does that even benefit?

One of the worst part of an affair is how the deception from your intimate partner makes you doubt everything in your life. It universally causes the betrayed to question EVERYTHING. Part of healing is recreating a picture of your past with this terrible new reality of betrayal. His mind is on fire. We advocate strongly here that it is the betrayed’s right to have the say in how much they want to know. We caution the betrayed that you need to be sure, because you can’t unring that bell, but if he wants to know, he deserves that. And from reading here, most men ask that. And this also intersects with his completely broken trust in you. One of the best ways for you to begin to re-establish trust is to tell him the full, horrible, unfiltered truth. By telling him horrible things, that is almost the only way for him to believe you in this time, that the answers you give are too horrible for you to have made up.

[This message edited by InkHulk at 8:00 PM, Saturday, June 8th]

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2190   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8838952
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HellIsNotHalfFull ( member #83534) posted at 6:55 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

Don’t hold back details he asks. You’re not protecting him, you are protecting yourself. You don’t want to say it because you don’t want to face the consequences. This is the first step. Stop making decisions for him about your marriage. The whole we tell lies to not hurt mentally is completely wrong. The lies are worse

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 8838953
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:35 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

Hi Ellie,

You probably can’t see that you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. I am a ws too, I have been in your shoes.

When I see that, I know this person has been in a deep state of cognitive dissonance for a long time. That is when you hold two opposing beliefs at the same time. What ends up happening is justifications and believing them. In the healing library there is a good article about how we brainwash themselves.

Affairs are usually not about love. If you are a married person, having an outside relationship with a man, you are using him. Here is why: you are not available to him. You can’t really offer a real relationship. You are using him to feel good, to escape the life you chose not to deal with. He is using you as well. Because he chose someone emotionally unavailable (a married woman with kids) because he is emotionally unavailable from the baggage with his wife. He is using you to feel good too and to ease his loneliness. I don’t think that makes him evil but it doesn’t make him a good man either.

Forbidden sex is a high. When it’s no longer forbidden it will likely not really add up to much. Only 3 percent of relationships that start as an affair make it, because it’s a fantasy LaLa land and once the bubble is broken by the realities of life they lose their luster quick.

Why? Because affairs are had by two broken people, who have a lot of healing to do and have masked that by making this all feel romantic.

Affairs are addictive. There is a lot of information out there, research it yourself.

I went into fixing my marriage with one foot in and one foot out too. I "missed the ap" thought he was "perfect for me". I didn’t really know him, I projected a lot of goodness on him because I needed to believe that to get the validation from him that I didn’t know how to give myself.

The most true thing that I read in what you wrote is this: you don’t feel worthy. You don’t love yourself. People who don’t love themselves do not live by their values. They accept less, and don’t even see their part in that.

If you had all these resentments from your pre-a marriage those belong to you. They were things you didn’t take responsibility over. You are responsible for your happiness and wel being, no one else. If you stayed too long, ask yourself why. Because there was payoff for you there whether you want to look at that or not.

You did not have an affair because of your marriage, you had one because you couldn’t cope with your marriage effectively.

This may come out as harsh but ask me how I know so much? Minus the abuse claims, I was you at one point in time.

You do not want a man who would have an affair with a married woman. If you think that’s a good man, you are wrong about that. That is a broken man. Someone who is your friend and cares about your well being will not allow you to harm yourself. You haven’t yet reach the stage where you can see that’s what has happened, you have brought forth more harm and damage.

I doubt you are ready to really receive any of that but I laid some tracks that I think you need to think about.

And if my husband got physical with my kid out of anger, I would definitely call that abuse. Your situation might be understandable but it doesn’t mean you are anywhere near on the right path yet.

[This message edited by hikingout at 7:36 PM, Saturday, June 8th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8838955
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 7:44 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

I agree with all that you've said I have thought these things myself and I have addressed them in therapy. My husband will come to me and say he's angry. He's all over the place and I understand why. Sometimes I wish I was strong enough to have left him years ago when I was already feeling like this was not where I wanted to be and instead I ended up ruining our lives. We both acknowledge we don't even want the marriage we had we want a totally different marriage and honestly I don't know if that's possible because we are who we are and we can only work hard and change so much.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8838956
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 8:06 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

We both acknowledge we don't even want the marriage we had we want a totally different marriage and honestly I don't know if that's possible because we are who we are and we can only work hard and change so much.

This is healthy. It is possible, people here can attest to it. You are fortunate to have hikingout replying to you, she is a wellspring of wisdom and she has such a story of redemption. You will do well to read everything she says ten times over. But it’s hard, really hard, and there are no guarantees. For your part, if you want that, complete honesty and humility, even in the face of having to tell your husband the full truth about the mind blowing sex with AP, that is what gives you the best shot at this thing. I wish you well.

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2190   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8838957
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 9:18 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

I went into fixing my marriage with one foot in and one foot out too. I "missed the ap" thought he was "perfect for me". I didn’t really know him, I projected a lot of goodness on him because I needed to believe that to get the validation from him that I didn’t know how to give myself.

The most true thing that I read in what you wrote is this: you don’t feel worthy. You don’t love yourself. People who don’t love themselves do not live by their values. They accept less, and don’t even see their part in that.

I just want to clarify, the reason I have one foot in/out predates the affair. This is why it is so much harder bc I'm not sure this marriage is worth fighting for. At least not in its current state. I'm not attaching any importance to ap. Yes he has qualities I would like in a partner but I cannot pursue a relationship with him given how it transpired and it would also further devastate my husband. I'm sure it would be completely different if we were a couple out in the open - I'll never know. I do think he's a good person, just confused and got caught up in hoping I would leave my husband. I don't need to villianize him to make sense of what happened. I also have self worth. I meant bc of what I did am I worthy of my husband's forgiveness and second chance.

I just don't want to come across as something I'm not. I want to be completely transparent. Many things said here have rung true, just those few observations have not.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8838960
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HellIsNotHalfFull ( member #83534) posted at 9:29 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

HikingOut, as always has said what I was trying to say so much better. OP, I cannot say enough how much you should listen to her.

I hit on the image of AP a lot because often that fantasy is a huge deterrent to making R actually work. Any sort of defending him is a further betrayal to your BH and your kids. Remember he was someone they trusted and he played a huge roll in attacking your family. Happened to me and my kids. My WWs AP was also a long time friend who was involved in our kids lives. My oldest knows the truth, and my younger ones have put enough together to know something bad happened. It has hurt them deeply. They are all in IC and all have said how hurt and betrayed they feel by AP. Your AP was willing to hurt 4 innocent people (your BH never did anything to him and he is innocent in this) in order to be with you. If sex wasn’t his goal, then why did it happen? Like Hiking said, people who are true friends and care about us don’t allow us to make decisions that will harm. It’s hard to face the ugly truth, because it also requires you to face the truth about yourself.

You must be prepared to face that.

The sooner you see the truth, and detox from the lies of AP, the more clear you will see your marriage.

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 8838962
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 10:02 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

Yes, we both feel the worst part is what we did to the kids. It truly surpasses even what I've done to my husband. Ap was not friends with my husband at all. Did not hang out did not engage. Again, I am not wanting to be with ap. I really don't want to argue on these technicalities and I fear it's making me sound obstinate. I could just as easily say some of my friend's husbands have qualities I'd like. My loyalties do not lay with ap. We were wrong and I'm disappointed in myself. Every day of no contact makes it easier to focus on my marriage. The emotional part of the affair was most of it and I truly did not think it would ever become physical. It didn't need to but when it did (I initiated it) that's when we realized the sexual compatibility.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8838968
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HellIsNotHalfFull ( member #83534) posted at 11:34 PM on Saturday, June 8th, 2024

Maybe a misunderstanding then. In your original post you stated you still loved him and showed you all the parts of a relationship you missed. Still having feelings for AP is death for a BS. My goal isn’t to vilify AP, simply to shatter the image of him. It’s probably very difficult to fully see what I am talking about. It took my WW way too long to drop the "he’s a good guy who made a mistake" argument to me.

The goal is not hating AP, but to be completely apathetic towards him. If you want your marriage then he might as well be dead and you have to be in a place where that is completely fine with you. A lot of WS post A can’t do that and don’t get how much more destructive it is. Even if you don’t vocalize it, your actions will show.

It is good that you don’t want the marriage you had before because it is dead and will never come back. You don’t feel worthy, well your BH is giving you the chance so he must think you are. Shame and pity for yourself will keep you trapped, and it’s all about you. That mentality needs a shift. It’s now about your BH and you.

The longer you detox from the A, the more clear your vision will become. Have you considered what you are willing to change going forward?

Things like full transparency of all devices, no more guy friends, no more hidden messages or locations. None of this is control, it’s something that you should be willing to do to show you are committed and hiding nothing from BH anymore. It’s to build trust and heal. If you haven’t, start taking the initiative and do
These bare minimum steps. You may be surprised at how liberating living an honest life is.

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 8838974
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 1:53 AM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

I still feel in love at times, but ik it's not real. I was trying to find a way to end it so I was already moving on in my head and heart. We did chat in the beginning right after we were discovered but both of us decided we needed to be done as we caused so much pain and it felt even more disgusting than before. So, yes, it is a huge relief to be able to leave my phone wherever I want and not worry about trying to find times to chat. It's a lot less stressful in some ways even though it's really stressful in others.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8838978
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HellIsNotHalfFull ( member #83534) posted at 4:02 AM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

What about no more guy friends? AP was your friend alone, your BH gave you an amazing amount of trust and respect, and you shattered it. I know I am harping on it, but this is an important issue for you to R. Yes, I take this personally because my WW did the same. She fought me tooth and nail about how she can have guy friends and I’m an asshole for doubting her during the A. Even if your BH hasn’t expressed it, and I’m betting he hasn’t because he seems to believe he is at fault, this is a critical step you must take for him. Take the initiative and change that aspect of your life. If the idea of that causes you to get upset then i recommend you address in IC. Having an affair proves that you can’t have opposite gender relationships and be in a committed relationship at the same time.

I do appreciate your honesty and open answers, it is difficult to face everything even if it’s through the internet.

I don’t know if it was said before but you can post in Wayward forums with a stop sign and no BS can reply to you. I may be blunt or harsh, but I do respect a WS who is willing to hear perspective from other betrayed. I will be honest though, posting with a stop sign you won’t get many responses. Not to many active WS on this sight anymore.

I hope you keep posting and know that while you may get very difficult responses no one will talk down or trash you, and believe it or not most of us want healing for everyone. Those brave enough to face the horrid actions they have done are already on the right path.

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 8838981
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 4:11 AM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

Thank you for the clarification about the stop sign. I'm open to whomever wants to talk. I want to hear it. I don't have any other male friends I hang out with. I had one when my oldest was a baby but he was actually an ex and there was no chemistry there at all.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8838982
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