Escapism followed by a fantasy life.
Owing to @WontBeFooledAgai, and @cedarwoods posts, this is a spin-off to point out how brazen, emotionless and clueless a WS can be during D-Day and the fall-outs in the aftermath.
As a fBS, during our "talk" on D-Day, the outcome was that he left me to live with his AP. Maybe this was an example of an exit affair all along, but I did give him the "motivation" to leave on D-Day. Politely kicking him out of my house and life.
During our talk, fWH was in another reality. He was caught unprepared. The things he said were simply unreal. The one thing I remember clearly was his intention on remaining in our home, in another bedroom to continue carrying on with his AP. Really? What person (me) in their right mind would ever allow this? What reality was he living in? The one comment that pierced his reality was my telling him I would do everything in my power to make his life totally miserable should he decide to remain. It cemented my need to throw him out of my life on his ass.
His final comment as he left was he felt a sense of relief that he no longer has to hide, nor schedule travels in stealth mode, etc. Wow. Nothing about our 40 year marriage. Nothing. It was all about him.
What he experienced during our separation was the other fantasy. One in which the real living arrangements clashed with the fantasy of the cheater’s expectations. One where the cheater realizes what he threw away, what he misses, what living with the AP really was like. What was once "cute" was now frustrating. The loss of freedom to do as he pleased. The dilemmas surrounding visits with his family, his adult children, his grandchildren and me (to finalize our separation). The loss of privacy. Feeling like a guest with benefits. Yes, there were waning exciting moments. Sex, travels, activities, love. Unbelievably, he still footed the bills for the travels. There was some splitting of house expenses but I think this cheater realized he was taken advantage of his financial generosity during the actual affair. Strange, as his AP was very well off.
He settled for his AP, because:"that's where I want to be."
Over time, the cheater wanted to return to the familiar me. He did compare his life with AP with our life. I will generalize here, IMHO, many cheaters do compare. But there are absolutely no winners. Only survivors.
In ending, I will quote my fWH: " the grass is not greener on the other side". Ya buddy! You had to destroy lives in order to see that! My fWH was such a stupid, selfish acting man.
I'd like to add a caveat, his mum who passed away two weeks after my mum passed away, told me that she is grateful that I took him back. She also added he is a selfish person. Yikes. I can't wrap my head around her comment. But it almost gives me a vindication that what I saw was in fact real. Not my imagination.
I’d like to think that this story gives some insights to others.
6 comments posted: Thursday, December 7th, 2023
Wallowing in grief…
I am grieving as my mum passed away three months ago as well as my MIL two weeks later. I feel my mum’s passing intensily, my MIL’s not as much for various reasons and all of this infidelity consequences stuff from five years ago has returned to haunt me.
It is draining. I feel so alone. So sad. I look at my husband and I think of how his words and actions then threw me into chaos. For sure I have good times and yes he supports me and I support him. We both lost our mothers. However, my mindset is feeling the hurts from the past. I cannot separate the two events nor do I want to at this stage.
It’s almost like I want to be the victim one more time and just wallow. Ugh!
I don’t know, maybe therapy would help? What do you all think? Would it be a grief specialist or someone else?
7 comments posted: Thursday, November 23rd, 2023
Don’t want to reclaim what was ‘theirs’.
Are there other fBS’s that think like me? I don’t want to go to or have anything to do with places that my husband and his fOW went to or traveled to . Like restaurants, entertainment venues, cities etc. etc.
To be specific, places I had never been to with him.
Just the thought of going to those same spots make me feel sick to my stomach. It’s that viseceral. Even going on five years out.
My husband knows this and he’s stopped asking me to join him during his work projects that bring him to the same spots he’d brought fOW. When he’s there I feel relief that I did not go. I don’t miss going to those spots at all. There are many others in this world and in my home city to chose from.
The only places I have gone to are the ones where we had been to before his affair, knowing he had taken fOW there also. This is triggering me for me, but I deal with it.
I think that reclaiming is sort of like a comparison where I have to compete against my husband’s memories. Common sense tells me he has lots of those memories. They travelled and went out extensively.
Well, that way I see it, is let him deal with those memories, I do not want to be in the same places.
We are approaching a milestone birthday for my husband. It’s a trigger for me. Maybe that is why I’m writing about reclaiming.
7 comments posted: Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023
When boundaries and self-care become limiting.
This is a general observation, in no way specific to couples who are living through infidelity and reconciliation. It is a but a personal perspective as a former BS that I would like to share with the SI community.
We often are bombarded with articles on self-care for healing and establishing boundaries during reconciliation following infidelity.
It could be said that once infidelity is present in any relationship, most of the books, documents, articles focus on self-care and establishing clear boundaries during reconciliation. In other words, care and heal yourself first.
For the most part I agree with this approach. However, there is a wayward spouse in the reconciliation picture. As one focuses on self care and establishing clear boundaries, simultaneously the betrayed deals with relating with the wayward spouse.
I’d really like to see more written advice about relating quicker to your reconciliation partner as the work of reuniting and healing begins.
On a personal note, during the first two years of reconciliation I worked on self-care and establishing boundaries. Looking at my efforts, I see that had I included different ways to connect to our re-unification earlier, my path would have been smoother for me emotionally as a betrayed working on healing and reconciliation. . All the work I was doing focused on me as a priority, not our relationship during those first two years. All my work limited me to feeling good about our re-unification efforts during that time.
What makes us human is the ability to strike a balance in reconciliation between my personal ways of doing things, my spouse’s personal ways of doing things and most importantly keeping the relation, the connectivity between us alive and healthy. Sometimes that means adjusting my boundaries and caring more for the relationship and not necessarily caring more for my self-care development.
7 comments posted: Wednesday, July 19th, 2023
My reaction to my feelings are not cool!
Damn it! Why do I let myself feel like that again?
Here is my context…
My husband (former wayward) left me for his AP on D-Day. We were separated three months when, out of the blue, he asked to return to work on living a different marriage with me.
Today, three years later, in R, I see that our separation is hitting me more emotionally, than the actual affair did because I remember how totally discarded and abandoned I felt. I realize now, that this is the source of my hurt that has not healed. My husband just left me. For her. Ran away into her home.
Whether he had stayed with me, or left me for her (as was the case), I would be hurt. But somehow the fact that he so eagerly threw away our 40 year marriage for her and for his happiness, hit me in the gut over and over again. Prior to his affair, we were not in a good place at all. We did not "love" one another any more. He drank heavily.
I think I gave up on him first, before his affair, but kept up our sham of a marriage, hoping that it would get better over time. Hoping that we would re-connect. Hoping for I don’t know what. I remained loyal to our marriage during this time. Meanwhile, he pursued his AP. Our marriage deteriorated even more over the 15 months of his secret affair. Then on D-Day, he cast me away, left me adrift, and alone to be with her. Exited our life.
We kept up civil conversations during our separation. I did not belittle his AP, though I so wanted to. I did not rage at him, though I so wanted to. I raged with my therapist and my good friends who supported me. Our asset split was fair.
So today, my husband has accepted a work project in a city which was a place he brought his AP to, while separated from me and living with her. Fair, we were separated. They did what they wanted to and I did what I wanted to.
My husband asked if I wished to go with him. I could see he was uncomfortable about asking me. Part of me wants to join him, another part of me wants to let him go alone. For other reasons, I do not want him to cancel this work project at all. Wanting to travel again trumped and I agreed to go. But…
Of course, he remembers what they did, where they were etc.etc. It’s to be expected. And we were separated. I understand that. But this city of work brought up memories of the hurts I was trying to manage during our separation. Shit!
And damn it all, and damn it all again…and again and again.
Thank you for listening to my story. Knowing that others here in this community understand what I am going through is a blessing.
And damn infidelity and exit affairs and separations !!!!!
12 comments posted: Friday, July 22nd, 2022
Going on four years and this happens!
I ‘d like some words of wisdom from my SI community members.
I’m posting in R since this is where we are for the past three years, going on four.
We had a long talk this morning after a cool down period from yesterday evening.
I’ll summarize and please ask me questions if something is unclear, because at this point I am totally mixed up with my feelings and I feel like I’m floundering after our conversation.
He thinks I am using his past affair and his past heavy alcohol use as handy excuses to be moody, and to say no to sex. It was a complicated talk. Lots of finger pointing, blaming and "I’m right and you’re wrong" examples. Not our finest moment! For both of us.
My point of view is yes, I get "moody" as old memories/triggers hit. And yes sometimes I’m just not in the mood to have sex specifically at the end of the evening after going out on a "date" or at night. So I say no. And it may have nothing to do with any affair triggers… I do get tired at the end of the day, unlike him who seems to have the ability to stay up at night, get a few hours of sleep and start the day early again.
Which got us to discuss intimacy frequency, care, appreciation…yikes everything. So his take is in an ideal world he would have intimacy/sex every day. And that for him counts as care, appreciation etc. Especially after we would go out and truly enjoy the things we do. But like does it have to end in sex every time? It even got to the point where he said that we won’t go out on dates anymore! He admitted to bottling up his feelings and that yesterday’s event was the explosion of frustrations and built up resentments.
Do other wayward men think that way? I know that with his affair partner that this was his expectation. Did they do it every day when they were travelling for weeks together? He won’t answer me. He says I’ll use this knowledge against him. Sigh.
So much neediness on his part! So much defensiveness! Thank you’s for having had a great time are currently insufficient for him. Holding hands are no longer sufficient for him. Sex in the afternoons are great, but now he wants it nightly. His words are he wants me to be creative, interested, appreciative etc. etc. I seem to have no say in this.
Something is going on in his head and it looks like even he can’t figure this out. He does not believe my feelings. He is gaslighting me. And there he is telling me he want me to say he's the greatest lover. Insecurities! He told me his affair partner would say that. Of course she would! That was her job, to feed his ego!
How can I tell him he's the greatest lover for me, when I've had better sex in my prior relationships? Do I lie?
I can’t help him, I feel I’m giving as much as I can to build up the relationship. And he thinks he’s doing lots . We are both correct. But I thought everything was good between us…seems not. We are not in the best of places right now.
I just want to curl up and give up. I feel hurt all over again.
14 comments posted: Monday, July 11th, 2022
My husband’s life with the OW once we separated.
I posted here as this relates to the separation period between my husband and I following my D_Day.
I read articles on situationship relationships. It is a curious definition. It makes me question the superficiality of my husband, while he was living apart from me with his OW three years ago. We have since re-united.
I feel it may help explain what some WS’s go through when they have detached from their spouses and have attached themselves to their OW. It clarified and validated that this, was a far from a perfect union that my husband believed it to be at first.
And unless this kind of relationship changes and evolves with firm commitments, it is bound to fail eventually. It may fail within three months, as in my husband’s case or it may last years. I can’t speak for the OW. But I can speak for my husband’s answers to my questions and boundaries once we re-united.
The following are some descriptions from an article called What is a Situationship online: I picked the ones I can more or less relate to my husband during his living arrangements with the OW.
I recognize that each separation is different. But it sure lit light bulbs in my mind!
The relationship is undefined: You and your partner may not have had the "What are we?" conversation, to define the relationship, set expectations, and outline boundaries. It may feel too early to have the conversation, or you may not feel comfortable bringing it up.
There’s no mention of the future: People who are in a relationship may plan for the future in some capacity, whether it’s going to an event in the near future or longer term plans to settle down and have a family. In a situationship, there’s typically no discussion of the future.
The connection is superficial: Though you and your partner may spend time together, or may even be intimate with each other, you may not have developed a deep emotional connection. The conversation may be superficial and you may notice that your partner never asks you personal questions,
The relationship is based on convenience: You and your partner may not prioritize each other or go out of your way to see each other; instead, you may tend to make spur of the moment plans based on convenience, if you have a gap in your schedule or if something else doesn’t work out, for instance.
People who tend to gravitate towards situationships are those who want the emotional connection and intimacy with a partner in a compartmentalized way. They can have emotional presence and connection in person, but when apart, they can have their freedom.
Both parties may not be honest about what they want out of the arrangement. Typically, one person is content with the casual aspect of the relationship, while the other is hoping that it might turn into something more.
The mental health impact can be immense for the person wanting more as they may begin to conflate their sense of self-worth with gaining the approval of the other person.
Additionally, because situationships tend to be superficial, the partner wanting more usually does not know the other person well, which causes them to idealize their partner, and in turn devalue themselves.
The article helped me understand the dynamics that may have been present to some degree in their seemingly "perfect" arrangement once he abandoned me for her.
I believed at that time, that she was perfect for him. I had lost all respect I had for this man that I was with for 40 years and I believed at the time, that they deserved one another.
Bottom line, their relationship was far removed from the perfect image and story I had created in my mind. The way I see it, It actually sounds pretty awful to live like that.
So three years later, this definition validated some of our conversations about the time he was living with his OW( not the affair) and explained my husband’s mindset at the time he wanted me to take him back with remorse, shame, apologies, contritions and all.
6 comments posted: Sunday, May 29th, 2022
My story as a former BS.
June will mark three years of our journey together as a couple who decided to reconcile and reunite after his cheating.
It’s been a while since I visited this site and I gave myself a time out to regroup my thoughts and feelings as a former BS and I’d like to share my story. Thank you for reading.
SI offered so much information, advice and support for the three years 🙏. I was healing from my husband’s past functional alcoholism, his infidelity and the final injury of leaving me to live with his affair partner. My story is not unique. My healing is not unique. But I am unique. And what I think is also unique was the timing of COVID in our lives as we struggled to live together again.
In the most strange way, and I never thought I’d say this, but the COVID restrictions while creating social distancing and lockdowns, obliged my husband to face his internal insecurities, his boredom with life, his selfishness, and his fear of aging and more. He had to rely on himself and on the conversations we had together to prop himself up. It worked pretty well for him and for me. I lost my anxiety that he would cheat on me again or begin drinking heavily during our confinements. It would have been really obvious from his behaviours if that was going on in secret.. There were no behaviour changes related to secrecy and I relaxed as time moved on. During the confinements, I read lots of books on infidelity, self awareness, happiness, philosophy. I took online courses on managing emotions and the science of well being. Eye openers for me. As I gained knowledge, my self awareness increased as did my confidence in myself.
At first I was sceptical of my husband’s motives for returning to me. Was he sincere? After all, he fooled all the people in his family with his cheating ways during his 14 month affair, as he was painting me as a boring, uncaring wife and mother to his family and our adult kids. He truly believed that I was like that. He hid his functional alcoholism from all, except me. I lived with horrid alcohol and cheating induced arrogance and abuse. And I withdrew all care, love and respect for this broken man. Yet, I had my reasons for giving us the second chance.
My senior age and life experiences, health issues and general life outlook for the next ten years are the driving forces that hold me to this marriage at this moment. We both do not wish to live alone nor live with anyone else for that matter. So with that in mind, the biggest change from our truly messed up past is to maintain caring and appreciative daily actions for one another. Every day without fault. This commitment of ours holds us together and we both know that. We deserve what we put into our relationship, and ourselves.
His daily alcohol intake had annihilated all good will I had for him during those years of heavy drinking. I don’t know why I stayed in this marriage but stay I did. I did not believe him capable of infidelity and when I found out, I was in shock. All I had to do was give him a shove out of our home and he willingly left me, to live with his affair partner in her house. We separated.
But then things changed. I think the best way to sum it up is to say that the grass is never greener on the other side. Not for me and it obviously was not for my husband. We were both quite broken at the time of our separation. I remember feeling lost, relieved, lonely, sad, happy, scared. I missed companionship. I made new friends. I went to therapy. I kept quite busy. I was living my life, no longer fearing walking on eggs. I smashed those eggs. I kept no contact, except for legal matters. I was realigning my life. Moving on.
I proved to myself that I can live by myself and that I was not boring. And my husband saw that. And he wanted to return. He missed me he said. He loved me he said. He was lonely, he said. I said, no. You are living with your wonderful affair partner, the woman who is exciting, sexy, interesting and interested in you. Like what more do you want? She is perfect for you. Hell, she is a traveller, activity driven like you and the perfect drinking partner. I recall throwing the same words he used on me back to him....and I am boring and uncaring. Leave me alone I said. You are toxic to me.
He gently persisted. I laid down conditions. I know that these are also called boundaries. He accepted and met all the conditions without balking.
Our relationship today is based on a solid familiarity from our 43 plus years together. And I like that. I’m at peace and feel a quiet sort of joy in my life. He has eliminated his excessive drinking from the time we got back together after our separation. He has admitted to being a past functional alcoholic. He wrote letters of apology to me and to our family members, including his mother for the fallout of his cheating. His actions to date show the sincerity of his apology.
Gone today are the intrusive thoughts of betrayal, of his lies, of his double life and of his past attachment for the other woman. Gone is the intensity of trigger memories. They are now but fleeting thoughts that no longer occupy my life. I think the COVID pandemic helped me to appreciate and be grateful for what I have and not what I wished to have. Due to the restrictions in place, my husband and I learned to live together in harmony for most of the time.
I try to stop falling into my old habits…and that is hard to do…some habits are so ingrained, so automatic that many ‘oops’ moments occur. I have learnt to apologize. He has learnt to accept. He apologizes, I accept. This really works in holding us together.
We fight. We argue. We make up. We don’t listen, we listen. We laugh at our silliness, our weirdness. We try. We try hard. Not always with 100% effort, and that’s ok for the two of us. We do more small things together, compared to previous years. It’s the small things that are important. It’s those daily attachment actions that glue us together.
I feel good. I have a good life and I know I can have a good life without him. And as a couple, we have a good life together. No regrets. No wondering about the ‘what if’s’ either.
There is a promise I made to myself once we reunited after our separation. Should he ever hurt me again, we are done for good. No other second chances.
I’d like to think he remembers that.
Our journey as a couple continues.
I wish you all the very best from my heart! 🤗
11 comments posted: Wednesday, May 18th, 2022