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Newest Member: Daughterofthemosthigh

Reconciliation :
Can't Stop Thinking About AP

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 AdLarue17 (original poster new member #84917) posted at 1:55 PM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

My WS and I are in the process of reconciling and building our marriage into a better one. He is doing everything he can to show remorse and support me. He's going to counseling. He's listening to podcasts. I really have no complaints about how he is handling things for us. However, I can tell that when I bring up the A or ask a question about it, he feels shame and sadness. Now, he doesn't ask me to stop, he says I can talk as much as I need to but I also don't want to ruin our time together with sad talk since right now we are doing so well together. I guess my question is, how can I stop thinking about the AP? I just can't seem to get this woman out of my head and it probably doesn't help that I know her.

posts: 17   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: Virginia
id 8839092
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Painful23 ( new member #84708) posted at 4:36 PM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

I hear you. I think about it constantly. I am only 6 months out. I hope I won’t think about her for the rest of my life.

I am strong, I am smart, I am brave, I am worthy

posts: 19   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New York
id 8839103
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 4:41 PM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

Ask him your questions. Saying you don't want to ruin the good time you're currently having,by asking questions, is a form of rugsweeping.

You don't say when dday was. But,it sounds fairly recently. Part of true reconciliation is asking those questions. Your imagination is way worse than the truth. You need answers. And he needs to give them,as part of his work.

Is he NC with her? He doesn't work with her?

He needs to work on his shame. You should be able to speak with him about this, without worrying he will feel shame. It's ok that he feels bad. He needs to. But shame is selfish,and takes away from true healing.

Listening to podcasts and going to IC is great. What else is he doing to become a safe partner?

He should be fully transparent, honest at all times, tested for stds, NC with ow, and anything else you need to begin to feel safe.

It's normal to think about ap. If she was a friend of yours, you've experienced a double betrayal. Have you told her husband?

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

posts: 6775   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8839105
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 4:56 PM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

In my experience, time was needed, as well as truly internalizing the truth that AP is no one special. The very fact that they are a person who would knowingly have a relationship with a man married to someone who they act like a friend to is proof enough that you never need to compare yourself to her. She is trash, you are gold. The AP was a person that decided to engage in a selfish fantasy with your WH to gain empty self validation. She is a fart in the wind. Hate her for a while for as long as you feel it and over time, her irrelevant self will disappear from your mind.

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2186   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8839111
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 5:47 PM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

Agree totally with hellfire, to forget about ap or heal in any other way you have to process it.

By walking on eggshells and going through this alone, things will only get worse for you. Ask things as many times as you need too. Don’t be afraid to upset him, not doing those things is your fear that you will lose him or create too many issues to bond. Around here we all that "the pick me dance"

It’s his job to do the pick me dance, not yours.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7301   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839122
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 AdLarue17 (original poster new member #84917) posted at 6:19 PM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

Thanks for the feedback. He is NC with her, doesn't work with her. No danger of seeing her accidentally. He is doing everything I ask him to and he will answer my questions. I guess I just don't like the idea of her taking up space in my brain. I tend to be an overthinker on a good day so now it's like my mind is just on overdrive. ALL THE TIME.

posts: 17   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: Virginia
id 8839127
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woundedbear ( member #52257) posted at 6:48 PM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

For your own mental health, internalize this: The A was not about the AP. Nothing about them was better, sexier, more beautiful, smarter.... It was not about you either. Comparing yourself to the AP is not even productive. Mostly because who he made her out to be in his head was a fantasy that the AP could not have lived up to in real life. When the limerance wears off, he will know this too. It was about your WS, and their shortcomings. Focus your effort on being the best you that you can be, and making him figure out what was wrong with him that he invited an outsider into your marriage. Focus on you and him. The AP was just a bit player that was available, and easy.

Me BS (57)FWW (57)DDay 3/10/2015 Married 34 years, together 38 2 kids, both grown

posts: 274   ·   registered: Mar. 14th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8839138
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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 7:09 PM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

When you think about the AP, most likely you are really thinking about yourself. It helps to be aware of that fact.

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

posts: 3252   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8839147
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 7:26 PM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

On one hand,it's nice that he's doing everything that you ask. But, that is compliance. HE needs to be proactive in healing the damage he has caused you, himself, and the marriage. HE needs to be doing the work. You can..and should..tell him what you need. But he needs to be doing the work..seeking out resources..leading the recovery.

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

posts: 6775   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8839155
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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 7:31 PM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

leading the recovery

I waffle on that one. They are the one who ran the marital car into the ditch, so to speak. Should they be trusted to drive?

I think the key thing is the BS is in full control, whoever is doing the work. Either directly driving or holding supervisory and veto power.

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

posts: 3252   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8839156
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 7:31 PM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

Hi there! Welcome to SI.

I don't know how long past D-day this is for you, but assuming you're a year or so out, it's really normal for you to be obsessing over this. I know that's not the answer you want to hear, but we've all been there. It is constant for a while and the stuff that will remind us of the A is ubiquitous. In fact, I remember celebrating about 8-9 months out when I realized I had made it through an entire 50 minute yoga class without thinking of the A at all. Trauma does weird things to our brain and we need to go over things multiple (MULTIPLE!) times in order to properly process and move beyond things. There's no magic trick for simply getting past this. If there was some sort of pill I could give you that would put it out of your brain, I'd be rich. It doesn't exist and i'll be honest, NOT dealing with this and trying to ignore your uncomfortable thoughts (ie. rugsweeping) in order to keep it sweet or not ruin the mood - doesn't really work, and from what I can tell from reading here, is actually a surefire recipe for disaster. Rugsweeping tends to actually prolong the issues you are experiencing because things tend to fester when they are not addressed and dealt with.

I'm not saying you need to address every feeling you have immediately every single time. It is totally fine to set aside dedicated times to come back to things and address questions, triggers, etc so you can enjoy something in the moment without derailing absolutely everything (easier said than done at first), but if you have a tendency to gpeople please/go-along to get along I think it's really important to make sure you really do come back to it. It's easy to push unpleasant things off and most waywards are happy to do so (my husband, for example, assumed things were going well when we weren't talking about it so was extremely hesitant to bring it up).


If you're many years out and still unable to go an hour or a day without obsessing/ruminating then I think my response/advice would be different, but I don't get the impression that is where you are at.

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

posts: 2167   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8839157
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 AdLarue17 (original poster new member #84917) posted at 2:15 PM on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

No, I am not years out. I kind of wish I was... so I could not think about her all the time. I just hate feeling like she might be feeling smug or satisfied for trying to ruin my life. I know that sounds silly.

posts: 17   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: Virginia
id 8839230
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Shaza ( new member #84872) posted at 2:45 PM on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

Don’t feel bad about anything you are thinking or feeling. It’s been 18 mos since dday and I’m still healing from it and asking questions. Like your husband my mate is doing everything and anything possible, what I finally realized is I have to work on myself and let him deal with his demons that caused him to stay because it had nothing to do with me, his words not mine. Stay strong and know you will wonder from time to time it’s normal. Lots of good vibes sent to you and you family.

LWilson

posts: 1   ·   registered: May. 23rd, 2024   ·   location: New Mexico
id 8839234
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 3:38 PM on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

I just hate feeling like she might be feeling smug or satisfied for trying to ruin my life. I know that sounds silly.

Is she single? The reason I ask is she is on the same ground as your husband. Meaning, he did that to her spouse too. You can maybe think that she had some really messed up reasons (because there are no good ones) for cheating, same as he did.

There are AP’s who might feel smug but my guess is she isn’t thinking of you at all. She is likely either missing your husband or wishing she never got involved with him.

But like emergent said this is so normal. Just don’t hold any of it in for his sake, to process we have to feel and we have to vent and we need to reframe things .

One thing I found on my journey, whatever you resist persists. I would say let the thoughts come and let them go and try not judge yourself for having them. It’s easier to be mad at her than your husband but it’s fair you would be mad at both.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7301   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839242
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 3:51 PM on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

I waffle on that one. They are the one who ran the marital car into the ditch, so to speak. Should they be trusted to drive?

I think the key thing is the BS is in full control, whoever is doing the work. Either directly driving or holding supervisory and veto power.

I have real trouble with this.

IMO, the BS controls the BS; the WS controls the WS.

R works when both parties do their own work. The BS needs to process their pain out of their body. That usually entails processing long-buried pain from other (hopefully low-level) traumas, to, so it's not an easy process by any means.

The WS needs to change from betrayer to good partner, also not an easy task.

It's important to understand and accept that the partners can support each other, but they can't do each other's work. They simply can't.

So it's not a matter of 'leading' the partnership. Each partner has to lead themself. Part of that is responding to the other partner. If I didn't like what my W was doing, it was up to me to get the issue addressed and resolved. If I didn't like the resolution, it was up to me to end R. My W had the same responsibility. I think that's a requirement for R; 'requirement' means R ends without it.

R works when the partners decide they fit together well enough after the BS processes their pain and the WS changes.

BS heals BS.
WS heals WS.
Together they build/rebuild a new M that serves them both, if that's what they want to do.

JMO, of course ... but my opinion is based on 13+ years of being very active on SI and 13+ years of R.

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

posts: 30044   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8839243
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Fantastic ( member #84663) posted at 4:35 PM on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

For a long time I thought the ex AP felt sort of victorious because every so often, like three times a year or so, she managed to have some conversation with my husband who had decided to remain in our marriage but was still hiding things from me. However I see her misery: after my husband she had a relationship with a woman and that failed, too; she had cancer two years ago, went through more than a year chemo therapy; she posts daily her workouts and successes in the sports she enjoys, she posts selfies and finds great enjoyiment in comments from strangers, but deep inside, she feels lonely and sadly she knows that all she has to count on is career and sort of success through social media (she has sone hundreds of followers, not a great success there either!). She fakes lots of happiness but she is lonely and sad. So do I really envy her for wasting time in a relationship with a married man who told her clearly he was not going to divorce his wife? Do I envy her for obtaining some messages from my husband after they broke up (they were crumbs falling off our table)? Not really, she clung on hope that was not there whilst years were going by. Was she investing her energy in the wrong person, just to feel victorious? Who did she wake up next to all these years? Who did she spend her holidays with? I think she is a miserable bit** and honestly she deserves all the loneliness she is feeling.

So my concept is do not waste time in that home wrecker. It is not worth it!!

[This message edited by Fantastic at 4:40 PM, Tuesday, June 11th]

posts: 147   ·   registered: Mar. 28th, 2024
id 8839249
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 4:52 PM on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

BS heals BS.
WS heals WS.

On the surface, I agree with this.

However..I think too many ws read that, and run with it. I've seen it here, very recently. A ws continues to inflict damage on their BS, then get irritated that their bs isn't healing as fast as they think they should. A ws can do A LOT to HELP a BS heal. They can answer questions, be honest, stay NC, be transparent, work on themselves,etc. There are too many ws who read that the bs has to heal themselves,and they just shrug their shoulders, and refuse to acknowledge there are concrete things that they can do to help..or hinder..that healing.

So saying a ws only has to help themselves heal, is misleading. I mean, look around on these forums. Those who have a ws who stopped lying, stayed NC, etc,etc, heal much quicker than those who have a ws that keeps lying,or is rugsweeping.

Bs ultimately heals bs. Ws ultimately heals WS..but there are many things a ws can do to help their BS.

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

posts: 6775   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8839253
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 6:37 PM on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

I just hate feeling like she might be feeling smug or satisfied for trying to ruin my life. I know that sounds silly.

I get this. I really do. I felt it DEEPLY for a long time. But like, I don't know about you, but what victory did she win? She got to be someone's shameful secret regret for short period of time. She got to give backseat blowjobs for a guy that dropped her and never looked back the second his wife found out. I'm not sure that even the most generous spin makes that an achievement to be proud of. The more I could reframe the OW as pathetic and worthy of disdain) in my brain, the easier it was to stop obsessing about her. I am not jealous of that woman. I don't want what she had and I certainly don't want to be anything like her.

His A was not about her, and says nothing about her (other than the fact that she was pathetic enough to lower her morals and sacrifice our character for someone who did not love her of course....). Just like it wasn't about you and it says nothing about you. I know that it is one thing to say this and it is another thing to believe it, but trust me AdLarue17, it is true. Our character and our actions is what define us, not whether some dude wants to hook up with us in secret in order to prop up his fragile ego. He doesn't get that much power.

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

posts: 2167   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8839267
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 AdLarue17 (original poster new member #84917) posted at 7:10 PM on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

You are so right emergent8.... she is not better than me. She accepted her position as side piece, something I would never do. I suppose I just feel like I want her to know that she didn't break me...that I am stronger than this and I can make it through. And that he and I are doing so much better. Petty, I know.
She probably hasn't given me a second thought. LOL

posts: 17   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: Virginia
id 8839270
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 7:22 PM on Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

She doesn't care about you. If she did,she wouldn't have been with him. Heck, truth be told,she doesn't even care about him. If she did, she never would have allowed the affair to happen.

Breaking NC to tell her anything,or to ask her anything, only gives her a window into your marriage. That window needs to be nailed shut.

And, never ask the AP about your spouse. It makes the bs look weak,in the AP'S eyes, and gives them power they shouldn't have.

Ask your husband. His answers are the only ones that matter.

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

posts: 6775   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8839273
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