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SadieMae ( member #42986) posted at 2:30 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

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.

Is this your assumption, or do you know this from talking 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 8839513
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 2:36 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Is this your assumption, or do you know this from talking to him?

I didn't talk to him this morning but I could tell he was in a really good mood whistling and definitely acting like someone who just had sex.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839514
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Tanner ( Guide #72235) posted at 2:51 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

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

Let me elaborate, my WW's infidelity is the worst thing to ever happen to me in my life. I have lost my beloved Dad to cancer, we have a disabled Son with a catastrophic diagnosis, that has spent 2 long terms (a year each) in the hospital. We have had some very tough times in our lives, but none of it was as hard as infidelity. I take the position that "life happens", I knew my Dad would die one day, never wanted it to happen but we know it is something that WILL happen. Our Son's diagnosis was very hard but got in and fought for him and got him through a mountain of issues, he is doing very well now.

No one goes into a M knowing that one day one of them will destroy it, its a total blindside. I have never experienced anxiety or depression until infidelity. My WW made a choice to do this to herself and her family, as good as our R is now, it will never be the same, there are things that are gone forever. She did this to us willingly, treated me horribly and continued to lie to me after Dday, I cannot think of any better way to describe it than to say "it was abusive", it was intentional.

Pointing to anything a BS does as a justification for infidelity is blame shifting,

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

posts: 3474   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8839515
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 3:03 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Pointing to anything a BS does as a justification for infidelity is blame shifting

I understand what you're saying I'm just not sure there's any point to it in certain circumstances. For example, the friend who is seeing someone and in the middle of a divorce was in a very narcissistic relationship with a horrible toxic person. If she wants to have fun with someone while she's not divorced yet more power to her in my opinion, for Christ's sake she doesn't have to take the moral high ground. My other friend's husband is actively in an affair with his coworker so even though my friend tried everything she could, marriage counseling all that stuff, he is totally unresponsive and wants to be with this other person. They are deciding to stay married and she is also seeing someone and if it takes her pain away then so be it. I'm certainly not going to tell these two women that they're abusers and I hope they never ever think of themselves that way. Your situation is different because you were innocent and had somebody cheat on you (much like my friend). I suppose I could say that my actions were abusive and I'm not putting blame on my husband by saying that he is also abusive. I'm not excusing what I did, either. I'm happy to hear your child is doing much better ❤️

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839516
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icytoes ( member #79512) posted at 3:47 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

True intimacy involves sharing your feelings, thoughts and needs, especially the difficult ones, and making it safe for your partner to be vulnerable with you as well. If you continue to wear a mask and hide your thoughts from your husband you will never have the truly deep connection that the best marriages have.

posts: 63   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2021
id 8839519
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 3:56 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

True intimacy involves sharing your feelings, thoughts and needs, especially the difficult ones, and making it safe for your partner to be vulnerable with you as well. If you continue to wear a mask and hide your thoughts from your husband you will never have the truly deep connection that the best marriages have.

Yes, thank you. This is something I need to work on in therapy. I have a list of things I want to address next week when I see her. I'm a very closed off person and I've always connected with ppl on a very superficial only the fun stuff level.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839520
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 4:03 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

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.

I just want to address this for a minute. Have you ever heard of someone being one way with one group of people (perhaps their coworkers/boss) and one way with another group of people (perhaps their family)? This is my husband. He only drops his guard when we are with friends, family, or alone with the kids. His father was very critical of him growing up and he takes this criticism and applies it to the people he loves, which is a real problem when you start having children. The kids didn't see because I saw my husband first. Not to say he would have allowed them to see, you're right I'm sure he would have wanted to spare them, I would have done the same thing no matter how angry I was. He did yell at me and call me names and I'm sure the children heard but again that is to be expected and I don't hold that against him (especially since he was trying to get away from me and i kept talking to him).Again, he is not abusive, he has abusive traits. And, also, it is absolutely possible to be in an abusive or toxic relationship and not know it or not have a name for it until much later on when someone tells you they see it and you start putting it together.

[This message edited by Elliebellie at 4:13 PM, Thursday, June 13th]

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839522
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:16 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

I'm a very closed off person and I've always connected with ppl on a very superficial only the fun stuff level.

This makes sense. I can relate to that. Other feelings made me feel uncomfortable and I stuffed a lot of it. I learned in therapy that this is a coping mechanism I learned growing up in a chaotic and abusive home. I learned to tune ll that out and be very pleasing to keep the brunt of it from myself. I has to learn to sooth that child that still exists in me, and gain courage to come into my vulnerability.

A book that gave me a lot of things to think about in shedding my shame and walking into my vulnerability is "rising strong" by brene brown.

And congrats you have identified the first of many things that led you to have n affair without putting the blame on your husband. I will give you the next one I see:

Lack of integrity. I too (and most ws) lack it. But here is what I have learned about integrity: it is about loving yourself and having strong boundaries of protection around your happiness. What I have learned about happiness is it comes easiest from living a wholesome life. This means doing the right thing even when no one is looking because it’s who you want to be. It’s flavored with self respect, because people who have strong self respect will not put themselves in positions where their happiness and integrity can be compromised.

Just because your girlfriends are being a abused doesn’t give them a license to abuse. Because you know what? They aren’t just abusing their marriage, they are abusing themselves. The only thing that is usually found in affairs is getting high md when it’s over it’s the lowest of the lows. They are artificial relationships that have no true deep connection, the connection is formed from an addiction to the adrenaline, dopamine. The highs and lows of the affairs create the addiction.

Read about limerence. And there is. good article online by Dr Frank Pittman called "romantic infidelity" and in it you will see he describes the psychological response people have in an affair and your jaw will drop because it will describe you to a T. Even Wikipedia has a good article on limerence. I had to be treated for OCD to get rid of the intrusive thoughts.

[This message edited by hikingout at 4:21 PM, Thursday, June 13th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839524
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OhItsYou ( member #84125) posted at 4:23 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

With after sex yesterday, you had a golden opportunity to talk to your husband about how you were feeling. It’s in those moments that real progress can be made. Sometimes you just have to take that personal fear and cast it aside and say what you’re feeling. But you must express yourself from a contrite position. You can start off with something like, "I really need to tell you about how I’m feeling right now, and I need your help."
If my W comes to me in that way about something, it puts me in a position to listen and not in a defensive mental posture.

Do you know why you were crying? Was it because you wished it was the OM or because of what you did to your family? Or maybe you are not really sure? You should sit with that and really figure that out.

posts: 134   ·   registered: Nov. 10th, 2023   ·   location: Texas
id 8839525
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 4:41 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Do you know why you were crying? Was it because you wished it was the OM or because of what you did to your family? Or maybe you are not really sure? You should sit with that and really figure that out.

Ik EXACTLY why I was crying. It felt weird. It didn't feel like the sex spouses should have, it was disconnected and I felt used in a way bc it felt like my husband thought having sex was the final goal after all these years regardless of how I was feeling about it. I felt conquered and that I had to go along with it bc good god I can't say no anymore to this man. I was also thinking my my ap and how sad he'd be but also that my husband and I are going to be ok whatever happens.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839527
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 4:47 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Just because your girlfriends are being a abused doesn’t give them a license to abuse. Because you know what? They aren’t just abusing their marriage, they are abusing themselves. The only thing that is usually found in affairs is getting high md when it’s over it’s the lowest of the lows. They are artificial relationships that have no true deep connection, the connection is formed from an addiction to the adrenaline, dopamine. The highs and lows of the affairs create the addiction.

Ik and they knew going in. No one is thinking they're living their best life, both are in therapy. I just bristle at calling it abuse. These are the nicest, sweetest, most caring women who were done wrong by their spouses. We support each other and it's good when the rest of the time we're beating ourselves up.

Thank you for the book rec and, yes, I've read all about limerance. During the whole time of the affair I read copious amounts about why ppl have them,the type of person, etc., to get to why I was one of those ppl.

Just one thing to add about limerance that I found interesting. When I look at love vs limerance descriptors, the only commonality with ap is the think about them all the time, which is common anyway in new relationships. Not sure of that means anything or should since it was an affair and not a monogamous relationship.

[This message edited by Elliebellie at 6:20 PM, Thursday, June 13th]

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839528
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:53 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Honey, if you knew me you would find I am also a wonderful person with a good heart. I am kind and warm and care a lot about my friends and family. But I abused my husband by having an affair. I traumatized him, and to a certain degree myself, in the process.

We are not all light or dark.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839530
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 5:11 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

And there is. good article online by Dr Frank Pittman called "romantic infidelity" and in it you will see he describes the psychological response people have in an affair and your jaw will drop because it will describe you to a T.

Just looked it up and here are some things that stand out to me...


"The better the
marriage, the saner and more sensible the spouse, the more alienated the romantic is likely to feel. Romantic affairs happen in good marriages even more
often than in bad ones."

That's eye opening.

"Both genders seem equally capable of falling into the temporary insanity of romantic affairs, though women are more likely to reframe anything they do as
having been done for love. Women in love are far more aware of what they are doing and what the dangers might be."

Yup!

"People are most likely to get into these romantic affairs at the turning points of life: when their parents die or their children grow up; when they suffer health
crises or are under pressure to give up an addiction; when they achieve an unexpected level of job success or job failure; or when their first child is born--any
situation in which they must face a lot of reality and grow up"

So, I hesitate to say this, bc it's such a tired excuse, but I think for me it's a middle age crisis type thing. Being a model in my 20s definitely made me dependent on my looks for work and I have tied that up into my self worth. Also, not having a male figure in my life kind of left me to the wolves when i started dating (although I am.proud of myself that I always had sexually healthy relationships and was not promiscuous at an early age or anything like that - but maybe it was just luck looking back). I'm still thankful for how I look but I can tell I'm getting concerned about getting old and looks fading. This is also something on my list with therapist. Anyway, fuck yeah if ap didn't make me feel like he was in the presence of beauty. And I felt like I deserved that praise bc I work damn hard to look this way. I'm also really disgusted that this means anything to me bc I also know I'm funny and smart and a good friend and mom. Can't say spouse, of course.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839532
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 6:07 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Honey, if you knew me you would find I am also a wonderful person with a good heart. I am kind and warm and care a lot about my friends and family. But I abused my husband by having an affair. I traumatized him, and to a certain degree myself, in the process.

We are not all light or dark.

I can tell! You've been so patient and kind with me and I really appreciate it ❤️ Having seen so much infidelity around me ik it's not all ppl are and i think it's dangerous (and disingenuous) to cut ppl off who do such things who are otherwise good ppl. If we did that for every transgression, we would have fewer good ppl in our lives and be living a life of false piety imo. Of course I'm referring to those who are remorseful and learn from their mistakes and do not repeat them; chances and all... Hell, even my mom's friend who is like an aunt to me cheated on her husband and we still love her and accept her.

ETA if infidelity (any type) is your htdo then that should be respected, I think most ppl would agree with that.

[This message edited by Elliebellie at 6:15 PM, Thursday, June 13th]

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839533
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:18 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

I was in a middle age type crisis too. There was a lot more than that, but it is a real thing. Mine was concurrent with empty nest and emotional exhaustion from overworking myself, but I do not deny affairs come from a place of pain and needing external validation. Boredom is also mixed in there- like is this all there is?

But that goes back from learning healthy ways to invent this next level of who you are. I felt my looks fading too and when you rely on that for a lot of your "self worth" that’s a house of cards.

None of this excuses my behavior but it explains a state of mind.

Midlife is kind of a time when your inner clock wakes you up and says "if you have things you want to do now is the time. But we invest a lot of our time sometimes to things that are fulfilling but also temporary for that space in tome (like raising kids). I didn’t know myself at all by the time that was over.

I think if you can find ways of restoring your self love based on traits like I mentioned- I am honest, I have integrity, I show up in relationships with courage and vulnerability, I don’t say yes to a lot of things I don’t want to do that are not really requirements, and I take time for myself to enjoy things that light me up. Those things help me redefine the way I see myself. I have a lot to offer and experience and enjoy and give and receive, and so do you. But try going about it the right way and it will help you remember who you are.

I didn’t feel a lot for my husband at first when the affair was over, I just knew I needed to try. So I really did find a lot of me in what you wrote. I couldn’t say I depended on him financially or that he repulsed me, I still felt he was a good lover and my best friend, so I had a little more to get the needle threaded, but I don’t think it’s all lost if you don’t want it to be.

BUT that means getting into a full commitment and really giving it your all. Not half heartedly going through the motions.

I cheated in a pretty good marriage, it was me who had convinced myself it wasn’t.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839534
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 6:49 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

I didn’t feel a lot for my husband at first when the affair was over, I just knew I needed to try. So I really did find a lot of me in what you wrote. I couldn’t say I depended on him financially or that he repulsed me, I still felt he was a good lover and my best friend, so I had a little more to get the needle threaded, but I don’t think it’s all lost if you don’t want it to be.

BUT that means getting into a full commitment and really giving it your all. Not half heartedly going through the motions.

Ik. I'm trying. I still have reservations bc maybe this isn't a good relationship to be in but I won't really know until ik and so i have to assume it is if I'm here still and trying.

I cheated in a pretty good marriage, it was me who had convinced myself it wasn’t

I do know the marriage isn't good so that's a difference. I'm starting way behind you. I can't imagine being in what I consider a good marriage and cheating but who really knows. It speaks more to who I am than the marriage I'm in. Maybe I'm just incapable of being fulfilled an any long term relationship bc of the superficial quality of my personality.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839537
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OhItsYou ( member #84125) posted at 7:17 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Christ, can’t you all just go buy a corvette when you have your midlife crisis? It would last longer AND be cheaper than all that counseling!

(I’m still waiting for that midlife crisis, but I bought the corvette anyway)

posts: 134   ·   registered: Nov. 10th, 2023   ·   location: Texas
id 8839540
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Tanner ( Guide #72235) posted at 7:42 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Elliebellie

I want to say I’m glad you are staying active in this thread. Hikingout is real treasure here on SI she has helped me and so many others in the healing journey.

I am thankful that SI has a place for the WS. Some of things that are said might not make sense right now. But, regardless of the outcome of your M, if you stay engaged here and do the work, you will come out of this better than ever.

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

posts: 3474   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8839543
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:44 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Christ, can’t you all just go buy a corvette when you have your midlife crisis? It would last longer AND be cheaper than all that counseling!

Oh how I wish I had.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839544
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 7:57 PM on Thursday, June 13th, 2024

I want to say I’m glad you are staying active in this thread. Hikingout is real treasure here on SI she has helped me and so many others in the healing journey.

I am thankful that SI has a place for the WS. Some of things that are said might not make sense right now. But, regardless of the outcome of your M, if you stay engaged here and do the work, you will come out of this better than ever.

Thank you. It has made me feel all sorts of things; defensive, grateful, awful, hopeful...It is making me wonder more seriously if the kindest thing to do is to let my husband go (especially when I hear feom BSs) bc I don't think he will ever do that for himself. I think having sex last night triggered me and I'm thinking things about ap I havent thought of in weeks...Ik it's still so early on and I don't want to make too much of it but I just am so passive about it all and I worry I'm going to continue on that path and regret it. If I'm not all in rn, is that a sign? I'm desperately looking for anything that can make my decision easier. I just want it to be so clear that I can't deny it and I have to "go for it" whatever it is. Not even ap, just be alone for a while while I figure things out. Why is he so loyal? Why can't he let me go?

[This message edited by Elliebellie at 7:59 PM, Thursday, June 13th]

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839546
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