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I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 15

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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 4:52 AM on Monday, May 22nd, 2023

Can anyone help me understand why she would confess and then do this to me?

My post from a few days ago talks about the headspace I was in while making a partial confession. I was lying to myself long before I started lying to my BH.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 2:43 PM, Monday, May 22nd]

WW/BW

posts: 3595   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8791979
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Iamenough666 ( member #83217) posted at 9:48 AM on Monday, May 22nd, 2023

I have a question for FWS's

My WW and myself are 5 weeks post Dday and are trying to work out where we are going next. There has clearly been no physical contact with AP for the last 2 to 3 weeks as there are no gaps in her timeline. One of my friends (female) that has been very supportive throughout, has a theory that my WW has ended the A to work on our M but just not told me.

Her reasoning (from a female perspective) is that my WW is concerned that my recent behaviour and improved closeness will lapse if I know the A has ended, AND by not telling me she is keeping her options open if things do not improve between us.

Has any FWS experienced this and does anyone else feel that there could be some merit in her logic.

Thanks in advance.

BH, M 20 years, Dday Apr 2023, Separated June 2023, Filed for D July 2023
Life is not about the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away.

posts: 76   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8791987
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 12:04 PM on Monday, May 22nd, 2023

Her reasoning (from a female perspective) is that my WW is concerned that my recent behaviour and improved closeness will lapse if I know the A has ended, AND by not telling me she is keeping her options open if things do not improve between us.

I've been here for several years and read extensively through archived threads, and I've never heard of a WS who claimed they were still cheating after the affair was over. As long as you're willing to compete for her attention, your WW has more options if she continues the A. Waywards who end affairs are usually quick to demand credit for it.

WW/BW

posts: 3595   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8791995
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 2:48 PM on Monday, May 22nd, 2023

Thanks, BSR, that was indeed helpful. This thread is busy!

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 1515   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8792008
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Howcthappen ( member #80775) posted at 3:24 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Only the brave and highly self reflective can answer this honestly.

My husband tells me he was never ever happy during the AP time together. Most things he says he did to keep her on a string. He says he really didn’t have joy being with her but with how she made him feel like he was the bomb.

I’m not sure if I believe all that as he took her on business trips.

My question to you- even though you know now that it wasn't true happiness as you reflect-

“When were you the happiest with your AP? Did you believe at the time you were happy?”

With so much lying I’m wondering what you believe was true.

[This message edited by Howcthappen at 12:27 AM, Thursday, May 25th]

Three years since DdayNever gonna be the sameReconcilingThe sting is still present

posts: 181   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2022   ·   location: DC
id 8792323
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foreverlabeled ( member #52070) posted at 8:33 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Taking AP on a business trip can equate to nothing more than free uninterrupted time. Or, it could be more. I understand your line of thinking, as it only makes logical sense but, there is nothing logical when it comes to affairs. Your rational thinking can only take you so far. Then its a brick wall you're constantly banging your head against.

Did I feel happy in APs presence? I believe so. I can't say I was happiest with him, but the feelings were there. It was exciting and new, there were all kinds of feel good chemicals coursing through my body as a result. But nothing stays new forever and I can definitely recall the moment when they leveled off.

I remember that because it was the first time I looked at AP and I asked myself "what are you doing?!" Of course that question was dismissed and I continued in my affair for all the justifications known in these situations. A time came that it wasn't so fun anymore but I was getting hit after hit, like a drug addict.

posts: 2597   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2016   ·   location: southeast
id 8792384
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MrCleanSlate ( member #71893) posted at 11:28 AM on Thursday, May 25th, 2023

Howcthappen,

My husband tells me he was never ever happy during the AP time together. Most things he says he did to keep her on a string. He says he really didn’t have joy being with her but with how she made him feel like he was the bomb.

That could be me saying that.

In the aftermath of my A and going through IC I realized I was depressed at the time of my A. Homelife had become a routine, family issues, brother passing, etc. So instead of dealing with things, I sought out a new drug - my AP. She stroked my ego like there was no tomorrow. I used her for that.

She was full of her own metal health issues and I ignored it all, afterall why should I get involved in her drama. I just never cared for her. I cared for the attention and being made to feel important and needed and wanted - especially wanted. There was a certain powertrip involved in it all. She was so willing to do whatever to please me. At first anyway. Then it takes more effort keep getting that 'buzz', and later it became stressful dealing with all the lies and trying to placate AP, etc.

In retrospect, for me it was never about the sex or the relationship with AP. It was about me needing to feel something. So I was happiest in those first months when those hormones came alive to quash the misery I was feeling.

Foreverlabeled nailed it by saying "Your rational thinking can only take you so far" None of it is rational.

Maybe change the way you are looking at this. Deep dive into your WH's WHYS and try to understand what he was thinking/feeling before the A, during and after.

WH 53,my BW is 52. 1 year PA, D-Day Oct 2015. Admitted all, but there is no 'clean slate'. In R and working it everyday"
To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day

posts: 690   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2019   ·   location: Canada
id 8792442
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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 5:50 PM on Thursday, May 25th, 2023

Did you contemplate ending the cheating in real time during the affair?

posts: 314   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8792483
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 6:09 PM on Thursday, May 25th, 2023

StillConfused.

Yes. I ended the A on my own.

[This message edited by ff4152 at 6:09 PM, Thursday, May 25th]

Me -FWS

posts: 2096   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8792487
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neverwithoutmychildren ( new member #83268) posted at 6:46 PM on Thursday, May 25th, 2023

Thanks again to the WS answering here, It's made a huge difference for me!

I am grateful in particular to

M. Clean Slate:

I noticed one thing you wrote about the amount of time you work, and how your WH is now enjoying the attention from you. In my case both my BW and I realized that we forgot to tend to our relationship and to actually take time for each other. For me that was a missing part of my M that led me to an A for the ego kibbles. Today my W and I will take time to talk, we sit every Friday and go through flyers for shopping list, we go for a walk, we enjoy a coffee together. I run my own business and I fired a lot of clients and pulled back to spend more time with my W. It was a choice I HAD TO MAKE.

This is absolutely true for us as well, we are both re-evaluating our work schedule and workload to create more time together and also taking time to do things we enjoy.

And Brave Sir Robbin

I wouldn't say I was getting wayward validation from the attention. On the contrary, watching my BH in that kind of pain gradually erased my ego. I let go of the outcome and committed to total, radical honesty, and he responded in kind, largely because his defenses were fundamentally destroyed. For the first time in our long relationship, we laid ourselves 100% bare to each other. It was a period of intense vulnerability that I don't think either of us knew was possible with another human being. In that time, we opened up about things in our pasts that contributed to the way we saw the world, how we had loved and hated other people, and basically all our dark and guilty secrets. The only reason we were connecting on that raw and primal level was that grief over the A had torn us down to our foundations. We were barely functional in the real world, phoning it in at work and in parenting, and every molecule of our beings was focused on each other.

This so perfectly sums it up for me right now, thanks!

Newbie / married 9 years / BW 46 / WH 43 / 6 month EA / DDay 19Mar23

posts: 16   ·   registered: Apr. 28th, 2023
id 8792494
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:11 AM on Friday, May 26th, 2023

"When were you the happiest with your AP? Did you believe at the time you were happy?"

I am going to answer this honestly. I always do my best to do that.

At the time my affair started I was at an extremely low point in my life. Burned out and dead inside. Not because of my marriage but because of the way I managed my life.

The affair started because it was the only time I felt anything. In hindsight, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it had nothing to do with the AP. It had to do with escapism, pretending to be someone I wasn’t. Doing something that I absolutely would never imagine I would do. Fueled by the entitlement of having a right to medicate my misery.

Every time a new boundary was crossed it would be thrilling in The moment but then I would cry immediately after.

Eventually it became hollow much in the way foreverlabeled has already described. And when it blew up I was more dead inside than when it started.

So yes, at the time it’s happening, I was a disgusting human being. I looked forward to any time we could steal to text. I abandoned reality. And the longer that went on the more things were falling apart around me, and that’s when I doubled down and ignored harder. Justified more deeply. The AP was the vessel for those things. That is the power he had over me. Reality? He was too old, too rigid in his ways, too picky, too unreliable, and a serial cheater. We had little in common and he was religious to boot, hardcore in church. (I am not, nor am I interested in becoming)

Now, H and I have five years of recovery under the bridge. I spent a great deal of time trying to climb out of that hole and become a solid person. Thousands of dollars in therapy. My husband had a revenge affair and is in recovery now himself.

Was anything there worthy it? NO. The work I did on myself was definitely worth doing but it would have been great if I went and did that in the first place.

Having experienced the guilt, shame, remorse, consequences, and even just not being the person I should have been keeps me from looking at any of that time fondly. So a ws can certainly color their memories about how the affair went due to hindsight.

I don’t know of a ws here who would say they didn’t enjoy what they were doing at the time of their affair. And I don’t know of any that think what they did was good, that the Ap was a good person or a good candidate for a life mate.

A remorseful ws does not look back at any of it with any joy or happy memory. When I imagine any aspect of my affair it’s humiliating, cringeworthy, I immediately want to change the channel in my head and I do.

[This message edited by hikingout at 7:16 AM, Friday, May 26th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 6698   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8792571
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Naamah ( member #79634) posted at 6:07 AM on Saturday, May 27th, 2023

A remorseful ws does not look back at any of it with any joy or happy memory. When I imagine any aspect of my affair it’s humiliating, cringeworthy, I immediately want to change the channel in my head and I do.

Thank you for that sentence. Your whole statement fits very well with what my WH tells me, but this particular sentence gave me a lot. I often feel that his affair must have been such a wonderful adventure that he has to think back to these events very often. His reactions to the memory of that time did not agree with the above vision. I was wondering what was causing it - more lies, sweeping under the rug, etc? Apparently, the only person who thinks about his affair is me.

Naamah

posts: 98   ·   registered: Nov. 29th, 2021   ·   location: UK
id 8792818
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 5:44 PM on Saturday, May 27th, 2023

I think about my affair but not with happy or good thoughts. I do try and focus on all the growth and change that has happened since then. So it might not be that he doesn’t think about it. It’s just he doesn’t think what you imagine about it. It’s normal for you to think and feel this way, it’s a natural reaction to trauma to keep thoughts going that protects you from the person who hurt you most in this world.

But any ws who fondly remembers their AP doesn’t get it. So if your husband gets it that is a good thing. Not believing it is a natural thing, and when you don’t need the thought anymore it will go away.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 6698   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8792842
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Squish ( member #79546) posted at 12:24 PM on Sunday, May 28th, 2023

Thank you firstly to all the ws who keep coming back to answer questions. You have helped me understand so much.

My ws recently told me that he thought I would stay and we would get through our marriage together if I found out about the A. He also said he felt trapped because he didn’t want to hurt either of us.

For those that felt this way what does that really mean? I mean I know what it means and I feel completely used and walked over. But really? He did it cos he knew I would stay?

posts: 123   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021
id 8792874
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 4:21 PM on Sunday, May 28th, 2023

For those that felt this way what does that really mean? I mean I know what it means and I feel completely used and walked over. But really? He did it cos he knew I would stay?

I'm betting that many waywards make this "worst case scenario" calculation. They start off with the attractive premise of zero consequences: no one will find out, so no one will get hurt. If the WS's voice of reason tries to reassert itself with "But what if they do find out," the WS needs to shut that voice up fast by pretending that the stakes aren't as high as they are.

"They'll stay" doesn't translate to "My BS is a doormat." It's "My BS is smart/generous/realistic enough to get over it. They may be pissed, but ultimately they'll understand that our relationship is bigger than this side trip. The AP is no threat because I never planned to leave. Even if I have to admit that I broke the rules and absolutely shouldn't have done it, they'll let me make it up to them."

This rationale may or may not be shored up by the unmet needs argument. If there were issues in the marriage (real or imagined), that will contribute to the WS's belief that the fallout of discovery will kick off a negotiation rather than signal the end of the line.

If you're wondering whether these arguments would survive a double standard test, and whether the WS would take such a philosophical view of cheating if the shoe was on the other foot, the answer is no. The WS is trying to sell themselves a rationalization. If they imagined what it would feel like to be cheated on, they might not make the sale. They push that thought out of their minds like a teenager sneaking out a window.

WW/BW

posts: 3595   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8792881
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lrpprl ( member #80538) posted at 5:54 PM on Monday, May 29th, 2023

Got a question for WS's. It has to do with "Punishment".

I know the general excuses and reasons most waywards give for cheating... "Newness", "Boredom", "Excitement", "Secretive Forbidden Fruit", etc.

However, have any of you included in your excuses "Punishing the BS" for some perceived "wrong" they might have done? I am not talking about revenge affairs, but punishment for something else.

The reason I ask is because of a movie I once saw on Netflix called "The Love Affair". It was a Filipino movie, but followed the usual Hollywood story lines with glorious reconciliation and no real consequences for the egregious wrong done by the affair. The cheating wife in this movie included some subconscious punishment for something she decided the BS had done in the death of their son.

By the way, this movie is the reason I ended up here on SI after doing a lot of Googling.

So, when you were telling yourself all the reasons you cheated was punishment one of those reasons?

Thank you for your response.

posts: 253   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2022   ·   location: USA
id 8792984
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Squish ( member #79546) posted at 6:39 PM on Monday, May 29th, 2023

BraveSirRobin

Thank you for your honest thoughts. It means a lot to understand it from a ws perspective and you explain things so thoughtfully.

I can’t say I feel any better about it. The lta was a long time, and I don’t want to be the reasonable, level headed, realistic and decent person here. I can’t let what he did destroy our family.

Again I don’t want to be this person. There is no easy road here.

posts: 123   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021
id 8792987
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 7:38 PM on Monday, May 29th, 2023

I understand, Squish. There's nothing admirable about the thought process I described. It's just a different kind of selfishness and immaturity -- "I can do what I want because this person loves me enough to clean up my mess for me." He was supposed to show his love by not making the mess in the first place.

I've read many posts by BS who are gagging on the choice between doing the cleanup or leaving the wreckage to rot. It's a totally unfair situation, and I'm sorry he put you in it.

WW/BW

posts: 3595   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8792994
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 7:49 PM on Monday, May 29th, 2023

So, when you were telling yourself all the reasons you cheated was punishment one of those reasons?

No. Clearly, I was willing to hurt my BH to get what I wanted, but that wasn't my direct goal.

I've seen spousal behavior cited many times as an excuse for an affair, but I'm not sure I've read a post where cheating was a deliberate punishment for an offense unrelated to infidelity.

WW/BW

posts: 3595   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8792997
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lrpprl ( member #80538) posted at 8:30 PM on Monday, May 29th, 2023

Thanks, BSR.

In the movie she denied that was the reason, but after some reflection she determined it was one of her reasons, even though it might have been subconscious. His perceived wrong decision played a large role in the movie.

From what I have read here on SI it seems there are a multitude of reasons to justify engaging in an affair. I just can't seem to recall that punishment of the BS was one of the reasons.

Anyway, just thought I would ask.

posts: 253   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2022   ·   location: USA
id 8792999
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