My WH had a LTA. One that went underground after DDay1. One that had repeat DDays until I finally told OBS. One that years later we had to have a Cease & Desist sent because she kept cyberstalking and trying to communicate via fake profiles.
Keep in mind - my DDay1 was in 2017, DDays 2/3 in 2018 and the C&D sent in 2021. I've had a lot of time to process, learn and heal.
Squish, I can only give you answers that he's given me, combined w/my own [extensive] research and lots of IC.
Sooo I wonder, was it as wonderful as I’m
I'm sure the thrill of it all was super exciting but the reality of it was exhausting. Imagine you are a teenager and you sneak out of the house to go to joy riding with your friends at 11pm on a school night. All you did was ride around squeezed into your buddy's car with too many of his buddies and one has bad gas. You finally just arrived at 7-11 and bought a Coke which got spilled before you had your 3rd sip. Now, you tired, wet, sticky, and pile back in to the car w/the dude that has gas that could kill an army. Yet...you act like you are having the time of your life, smiling from ear to ear. Going to get a coke at 7-11 isn't fun. Squeezing into a vehicle with some dude w/death gas isn't fun. None of it is - and if someone invited you to do this "hey let's all 8 of pile in Joey's 3rd hand Camaro and drive to 7-11 to get a soda, and BTW Anthony has gas" you'd say not just no but Hell Fucking No and look at them like WTF. BUT...when you sneak around to do it, breaking all kinds of rules, knowing your freedom as you know it is on the line - somehow that makes it irisitable. My understanding is it kinda like that.
Was it just fun and love?
It was a cheap thrill. Nothing more, nothing less. It was probably romanticized in their heads to justify the actions [pause as I threw up a little in my mouth]. And in my WH case w/the LTA I'd be lying [and I'm crying a little here] if I didn't say some feelings got caught on some level. I don't think it was the love of a long term partnership. I will say it more like a trauma bond. 2 broken ass people holding onto the fantasy of escapism with some cheap thrills sprinkled in punctuated with the quick dopamine hit of each txt/call/thought/message/hook up/etc. But hey - LOVE sounds like a better justification.
With some guilt mixed in later.
Yes, some guilt. In my WH case he was a master compartmentalizer. And when the guilt crept in, that was when the re-writing of marital history came in to play. Just keep re-writing things in your mind until you didn't feel so bad. Lying to oneself is a great defense mechanism. Because if you believe your own lies - you can sell just about anything to anyone.
I am told that the first 6-8 months of the LTA were "good" and after that turned toxic. He claims to have pulled his head out of his ass but was then "addicted to the toxicity of it all". They allegedly spent a lot of time in-between hook ups just arguing. I've seen dozens of screenshots of their conversations, etc. I actually had them [along with other messages, photos, etc.] analyzed by someone who specialized in body language. I spoke every DDay at length with OBS [who calls his own spouse a "bitch and a bully"]. Many of those messages, screenshots, etc. I saw were him "breaking up" with her - what a mindfuck that was. I read many of them spanning years. Yet somehow she kept coming back and he kept willingly opening the door.
FWIW I believe my WH when he hold me he loved me during the LTA. It was himself that he didn't love. It took me a long time to realize this and a mega shit ton of hard work [that I try hard not to resent]. But I do believe him.
Sorry - I started rambling. All that to say it is a major colossal mind-fuck. After typing that I need a glass of wine, some dark chocolate and a good workout. I have time for all three in a while.
ETA - I didn't realize that I posted in the BS QUESTIONS FOR WS thread. For some reason I thought I was in the LTA thread. Mods - if my response as a BS is not welcome here, please delete and accept my apology.
[This message edited by Chaos at 11:17 PM, Tuesday, June 27th]