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I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 15

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 3:42 PM on Friday, September 15th, 2023

What was the worst part for you?

The pain I caused to my husband is top.

But if we are only talking about me, it depends on where in the timeline you want to point at. I would say the entire first year was the worst for me. I was in so much pain that I couldn’t focus on anything. I felt so lost on how to move forward, it felt like the end of the world to be honest. I couldn’t help my h, I could barely help myself. I worked against myself a whole lot. He asked me for a divorce when I couldn’t get my shit together. It was a total and complete shit show. All of it sucked.

I think I could point out more or be more specific but I have the benefit of hindsight now, and honestly despite it all I like my life much more today than I did back then. That is only possible because H also feels the same.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 6976   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8807995
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fhtshop ( new member #83337) posted at 7:01 PM on Friday, September 15th, 2023

I know there are a lot of resins given for an A, bad marriage/attention from someone else etc. I have read so many but there is one I don't think I have seen. Are there any WS out there that manly had a PA because they wanted to see what having sex with a new partner was like compered to their wife/husband even if you didn't really like them that much it was more because your partner was your first or you may have had only limited partners so long ago you can't really remember much detail.

The resin I ask is that my WW and I were each other's firsts, and I will admit that I do think and wonder what it might be like have sex with a different woman (would it feel much different would she do things some sex acts better or different than my wife etc.) I do love my wife so much even though I really shouldn't. I would never act on these thoughts it's just something I will take to the grave never knowing.

[This message edited by fhtshop at 7:31 PM, Friday, September 15th]

posts: 33   ·   registered: May. 12th, 2023   ·   location: New Zealand
id 8808051
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 9:51 PM on Friday, September 15th, 2023

Fhtstop,

I do not have that as an experience but I still wanted to respond with my perspective in case it helps.

So, you say that you have the same curiousity and wouldn’t act on it. I wholeheartedly believe you. Because I don’t think for many people that would be enough to motivate someone to cheat if they had a belief system against cheating.

I have been around here long enough I have seen many scenarios, and very rarely do we come across someone who cheat solely for sex. It’s counterintuitive, but most affairs are not about sex at all. They tend to be a bit deeper than that- seeking outside validation, emotional fulfillment, an escape from life, an audience they can pretend to be someone else in front of. And it’s all being done with a very faulty source.

It can be true she wanted to experience sex with someone else out of curiosity but without poor character, it won’t occur. A lot of my recovery was figuring out those deeper whys, because by knowing them you have a chance to work to fix them.

My best advice is to focus on you and what you need as you navigate this. You need honest answers from her, that is a universal need around here. And you need her to fill in these blanks. I am not sure how far out you are but if it’s early she may not be able to meet those needs because she doesn’t have the answers yet themselves. That’s why the only thing you can do is focus on you, and protect yourself.

[This message edited by hikingout at 9:54 PM, Friday, September 15th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 6976   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8808123
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Nancy45 ( new member #83497) posted at 4:50 AM on Saturday, September 16th, 2023

I was hoping some people could shed some light on the thinking of wayward partners. Ofcourse it varies. But I'm struggling with integrating my wp's behaviors. How was my wayward partner able to act so loving towards me while cheating on me? And how was he able to be so adamant that he could be trusted while knowing what he was doing? Why would he talk to me about being in a committed, loving relationship with him while sleeping with and falling for someone else? How could he see both of us in the same day? No one can answer these questions for him specifically but I've read how when people get answers, it makes the wp seem more humanized even though it doesn't excuse the behavior. This has helped me when I read others' experiences and from the little bit I was able to get out of him. I feel like real life testimonies would be helpful for me and other people.

posts: 12   ·   registered: Jun. 18th, 2023
id 8808160
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denwickdroylsden ( member #51744) posted at 2:02 PM on Saturday, September 16th, 2023

Nancy45: Those are good questions and I warn you in advance that my answers may be hard for you (and other BS) to hear.

How was I (wayward partner) able to act so loving towards BS while cheating on her?


A) Because I do love her (never stopped and still haven't); B) Selfishly wanted more / varied sex any way I could get it; C) Expressing love for BS was necessary, I thought, to deter suspicion.

And how was I able to be so adamant that I could be trusted while knowing what I was doing?


Because I was a stone cold liar interested only in my own gratification. Wanted to keep both W and AP.

Why would I talk to BS about being in a committed, loving relationship with me while sleeping with and falling for someone else?


Expert compartmentalization. While with BS, fully with her and AP was somewhere else entirely. Same in reverse when with AP.

How could I see both AP and BS in the same day?


Timing things with AP was difficult and sometimes it was inevitable that I'd "see" AP and W in the same day. I saw no problem with it and in fact it made me feel gloating sometimes, that I was clever enough to pull off such a thing.

I am fully aware that all of my behaviors were repugnant and inexcusable.

Me: WH frequent flyerNow on straight and narrow.
Paragraphing: Try it. You'll like it.

posts: 65   ·   registered: Feb. 9th, 2016
id 8808173
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Nancy45 ( new member #83497) posted at 10:42 PM on Saturday, September 16th, 2023

I appreciate your responses. I wish my ex wp would be able to give me sincere and honest responses but unfortunately he can't. I suppose it takes work and time.

posts: 12   ·   registered: Jun. 18th, 2023
id 8808229
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sadincolorado ( member #83567) posted at 5:12 PM on Monday, September 18th, 2023

I have a question..my WS was/in a 1 year affair. He knows I know. He broke it off with AP, I started to rug sweep. He wants to stay married, as he claims we have a great marriage. But 2 months later they are still talking, although less so. She keeps finding reasons to reach out via text and he responds, but they are going back to communicating daily. Does this mean they are not afraid to get caught and lose their marriages? Or maybe because I rug-swept they feel empowered? They were scared at first and my WH did break up with her but seems like they are getting brazen again and the AP is relentless. They seem to feel like they are the ones under attack as I figure things out, and they portray me as the bad guy for making their lives so complicated. I am days away from filing for D at this point.

posts: 56   ·   registered: Jul. 8th, 2023
id 8808362
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:09 PM on Monday, September 18th, 2023

No contact with ap is a requirement for any successful reconciliation.

I think anytime you wish to divorce after an affair is an appropriate choice.

Let me push on something here though for your own self exploration and something you will likely need to work on in yourself moving forward. What made you not put that requirement in place? What makes you rugsweep? This to me says that maybe you should look at your boundaries. Often we are doing the pick me dance, or walking on eggshells to keep the relationship.

It’s a good time for you to work towards realizing your self worth and value. You should feel free to ask for whatever you want and out in place any consequences you want.

As for why does he do it? Because likely they are addicted to each other. This is not a romantic statement. Think of it as a gambling addiction or something along those lines. It’s not the gambling people want it’s the hit of dopamine from their brain that they want. They don’t know it usually either. That’s what creates food addictions, gambling addictions, sex addiction, Andy thing where it’s not substance abuse. Because the substance is their own brain chemistry.

Often when faced with losing everything it may or may not be enough. Protect yourself. Love yourself. Require more. Stop rug-sweeping, and if you lose him he was never worth keeping.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 6976   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8808373
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sadincolorado ( member #83567) posted at 12:12 PM on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023

Thank you for the response. You are right, and I need to leave him. We have never had an actual D day, I am going to confront through. It is still unspoken now, so I have never laid down any boundaries. He knows I know ‘something’ so he is nervous and broke it off with her, only for her to return. The AP is nervous as well, yet they still try to text and communicate. They obviously are not that scared of me and are getting emboldened again.

posts: 56   ·   registered: Jul. 8th, 2023
id 8808434
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 3:30 PM on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023

Just to be clear, I didn’t say you should leave him. That might be what is needed, and it probably is if that’s where you went in your head.

My message to you is shore up your boundaries, find your self worth. Focus on what you need to learn from this situation. That way you do not fall into another relationship where your value isn’t seen, you aren’t respected, and you feel you have to go along to get along.

Our longest relationship is with ourselves. And our relationship with ourselves influences relationships we choose to be in or what we will tolerate. Focus on you.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 6976   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8808451
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NeverWillAgain ( member #25007) posted at 1:05 PM on Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

They were scared at first and my WH did break up with her but seems like they are getting brazen again and the AP is relentless. They seem to feel like they are the ones under attack as I figure things out, and they portray me as the bad guy for making their lives so complicated. I am days away from filing for D at this point.

Sad, I believe they are communicating because they are addicted to the validation each gives the other. I suspect they are rationalizing it as "we are just talking" but in reality are likely feeding their validation hole. It's also how so many affairs start right back up, they never stopped. No, this is not acceptable.

I would use Bigger's approach to this and tell your husband "If you want to communicate and keep in touch with this woman, you can. But, not as my husband. I need to be free from infidelity and without NC I am constantly being brought back in." Let him know at some point, the train is leaving the station with or without him aboard. He probably will try to keep both, but be clear on it's impact on you and your determination to leave infidelity. Then, let his actions determine what you do. If you feel you need to file, do. You can always stop it if both of you want to. If either one decides to divorce, then it's probably the best path. I wish you well.

"So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains. And we never even know we have the key."

posts: 531   ·   registered: Aug. 1st, 2009
id 8808560
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MintChocChip ( member #83762) posted at 3:13 PM on Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

Question to waywards:

What was it that you did to stop the guilt and shame? Assuming you felt this along with a dollop of self hatred, was there action or things which healed that for you and got you to a point you felt proud of who you were and loved yourself?

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8808574
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:37 PM on Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

What was it that you did to stop the guilt and shame? Assuming you felt this along with a dollop of self hatred, was there action or things which healed that for you and got you to a point you felt proud of who you were and loved yourself?

First I needed to realize that it was there and guiding all my actions. Secondly I needed to see it wasn’t serving me or my husband. Sometimes you can confuse remorse with shame. But navel gazing doesn’t move anything further.

A book that helped me begin awareness of it was "Rising strong" by Brene Brown.

Unfortunately I can’t give you steps because it was a long time of unwinding it. For me it started with sexual abuse in childhood and then I went through life adding to all the ways I was unworthy or inept. I hid behind over doing, my career success, material things, and numerous other external sources of validation. The AP came a long at a time when I was searching for another validation source to consume. It takes a lot of being present and conscious and learning to tell yourself new stories about yourself.

In other words, there are lots of things to extract, examine, let go of, and practice. Shame/guilt can be positive in small doses as it’s part of our conscience. But remorse can only come when you have the bandwidth to take in another persons pain instead of being so intensely aware of our own. It’s a long process of striving and learning.

For some people, myself included, spirituality can help. Knowing that we are all connected, all have light and dark, and are all inherently worthy and divinely loved. That can all help. And you don’t have to be Christian to feel those ways. It’s more about knowing there is divine source and it lives in each of us.

For others, especially ones with other addictive tendencies, a twelve step can be helpful. I didn’t use that but I know a few others who did.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 6976   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
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MintChocChip ( member #83762) posted at 6:50 PM on Thursday, September 21st, 2023

HikingOut, you always give such great answers. So thought provoking as I know a lot of my questions have got philospphical elements to it as I continue to make sense of my past.

I have another question.

Someone raised on the Turing post this statement:

The biggest betrayal is the first step. When they first consider someone else over their spouse and don't nope the hell out.

I believe, for me, that felt very true.

To WS's: do you also feel that to be true, and can you recall / elucidate the very moment that was for you?

I believed for a long time that in my situation that, that moment was when my WS went back to OW's house after a party for a drink. Because, well, to me that is a pretty obvious sign sex is going to happen. Although he says he had been back to hers for drinks many times and they were "just friends" and he only wanted to be just friends.

However, over time, I have come to believe that moment was the minute he started talking to and hanging out with this woman and decided not to tell me. I know how his mind works: she's older, she's not attractive, we get on well, I am lonely and enjoy female company so let's not tell MCC and let her get all het up over nothing.

But ultimately during that time he spent, he bonded with the woman and enjoyed the endless flattery and that was ultimately how he ended up drunk and having sex with her.

What do you think was true for you?

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 12:22 AM on Friday, September 22nd, 2023

Mint,

Very thought provoking question. Honestly it’s been six years, and I haven’t relived much of that in a long time.

I think for me the most lucid I was was hands down around those first boundary breakages. I knew it was wrong but I felt like I was in control of it. Meaning, I liked the attention and started justifying and minimizing it to myself even then, but early in there was more guilt about it.

I took a walk with him after dinner on our last night. Some of the conversation was inappropriate because he complained about his marriage, it was obvious to me that he was angling to go back to my room. But for me, I didn’t have any desire to entertain that. I wanted the attention he gave and that’s all. We parted ways never touching each other. And for my part, I knew I encouraged him by taking the walk. I flew home though pretty clear conscious, enough so that I mentioned it to my husband without much detail, and he had zero concern. I traveled a lot and there was always mixed company. I just never envisioned myself cheating. My view of what proper boundaries were back then are greatly different than what I think today. But my h really didn’t care that much about flirting.

The texting started immediately after. I think ap felt sheepish that maybe he’d pressed too hard and might have been concerned with my viewpoint in that and if it would have any impact on him and had contacted me to smooth it over citing he had had too much wine. I was more brazen with him behind the safety of my screen (we didn’t live in the same areas of the country)

I deleted the texts, and I think under my old boundary system this was where I consciously crossed the line. Justifying that it was harmless fun that my husband wouldn’t understand but certainly not a threat to the relationship. At least in my mind that’s what I thought.

It just seemed like the boundaries kept being pushed forward. And not by just him, I was an active and willing participant. When things turned sexual and we FaceTimed I cried after. But the next day I was back to wanting the attention and banter. I kept avoiding what was happening in my life and focused on it more and more.

So yes, I do think we know what is happening (like when your h went to her house) but we keep kidding ourselves because the escape is so alluring. But I didn’t think through anything past the moment I was in. I didn’t have a plan, I thought I wouldn’t be caught and no one would get hurt. I was playing a dangerous game where the stakes kept getting higher. There was a lot of distance in my marriage at that time so it was easy to put him out of my mind a lot. We weren’t present together that often other than at night when we went to bed.

The longer I was in it the more out of touch reality was.

So I did know on that first boundary slip but told myself it was harmless fun and from there you craft a wall of denial. You live in a made up world in order to cope with what it is you are doing.

On the same hand I hid it, so it’s not I didn’t know it was wrong. But you block out the consequences and minimize your behaviors until you are in deeper and it’s on full throttle.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 6976   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8808804
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MintChocChip ( member #83762) posted at 2:08 AM on Friday, September 22nd, 2023

Thanks HO.

This sounds a lot like the story I got. WS compared it to "a rising balloon". He said he hadn't told me about it at the outset because he thought he was in control and it definitely wasn't a threat to the relationship and by the time it had escalated from a cup of coffee at work to dinner after work the balloon had already risen so high that he would be mortally wounded by letting go of the rope.

So probably accurate to say those initial boundaries being broken is where the slippery slope to it all begins.

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8808821
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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 5:31 AM on Friday, September 22nd, 2023

HO
After everything that has happened how does your husband handle ceding all responsibility to you to manage your own boundaries? And…if you have already worked through all this maybe you could focus on how guys dealt with it in the beginning when you were fresh off making some really sub-par boundary choices. Did you ever get mad at him (at least inside your own head) for not yet fully trusting that boundary setting was a renewed strength for you?

My husband intentionally gave me his phone to peruse because when we were at a restaurant I had left mine back at the house. So I had a solid half hour with it. I mention that because he is pretty trustworthy with this sort of stuff, he’s not hiding much.

In the phone were two texts from young female healthcare professionals. He gave them bland responses and they replied with emojis with hearts. Are young people just overly friendly?. I wanted him to « get curious » about why that might have happened. Was his text a little too friendly. I thought with time i might completely forego perusing his texts if I felt he were even more vigilant than me. But he felt a little judged. Why don’t I trust him (he is thinking its been 8 years and i barely speak to other women). I said well i had no reason to trust you as you TTed for 8 years so I do still worry if you’re setting good boundaries. It kinda went south from there.

So do you set the boundaries or does your spouse opine?
Do you ever get annoyed if he questions you?
Is this a reasonable interpretation of Brene Brown’s get curious idea - is it supposed to be an anecdote for defensiveness? Is it for you?

====many many thanks in advance

posts: 354   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8808831
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 5:55 AM on Friday, September 22nd, 2023

Still confused…

Well, to be honest I think another ws might be a better specimen for these questions.

I can give general background but we have somethings that are unique beyond I had an affair and needed to rebuild trust. And we are getting pretty far away in time for both our affairs (the fact he had one after me makes some of the uniqueness I refer to) In the early days there was an intentional transparency.

Second unique thing- I confessed on my own. It wasn’t immediately when the affair ended. I went to therapy for a few months because I was so rocked to the core I didn’t know how to proceed. I fired the first counselor because she tried to convince me to keep it to myself. It took some reckoning on my part to decide that but I did that on my own. Those things did mean something in terms of rebuilding trust.

I agreed to stop traveling for work. After I discovered his affair, our marriage felt burned to the ground basically.

And maybe not unique to everyone on this site we went into lockdown for Covid around that time too. So we were together all the time. And we just spent a couple of years traveling (we run businesses and worked remotely) and were rarely out of each others sight.

Transparency still is open but it’s far more organic. We are settling back down from traveling now and I may return to an office and I will resume my social life. I don’t have any friends that even knew what I was doing back then and none were involved. I don’t think either of us would be blindsided again, meaning we don’t wear the rose colored glasses like we once did. But it’s better than that to me because I also think we both understand ourselves and each other on such a deeper level that I feel pretty safe, as does he. And by safe that includes knowing I have my own back and he has his, if something recurs we will surely divorce and we both know that no matter what we will be okay eventually. We both learned so much about how individual our journeys truly are in this life and while I want to do it with him, the world will not end because I love myself now too. That sounds weird, but I have learned to be happy despite circumstances.

But I doubt what I have said has much depth for someone trying to understand all that, because it’s a rare event for a couple to be practically inseparable for three of the last six years.

As far as do I get defensive- no. We rarely talk about the affairs in the same way we used to. It will come up in conversation but we go in and out of it like a natural conversation now. We have talked it to death and if one of us has a question that will pop up we will ask it. It just doesn’t really happen all that much anymore. The defensiveness waned probably somewhere in the middle of the second year, it took along time for me to embrace not wanting to be seen without my perfectionist mask. It took time to accept because I had a fragile ego. I honestly think the fact that is no longer true adds to his faith in me.

[This message edited by hikingout at 6:05 AM, Friday, September 22nd]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 6976   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8808832
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MintChocChip ( member #83762) posted at 5:49 PM on Monday, September 25th, 2023

Question for WSs

Did you hold back from telling the full truth for fear your BS would not love you anymore?

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8809322
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earlydetour ( member #63207) posted at 9:26 PM on Friday, September 29th, 2023

BS here.

I'd like to find out if any WS might be able to help me understand the mindset of "wanting to be in a relationship so that I'm not alone & I'll go through the motions to appear like I'm connected to my partner" vs "I'm very invested and connected to my partner emotionally and want to be in their life" mindset.

Did any of you find yourself realizing after your A(s) that you were in a M just so that you weren't alone? Where did you go from there in your M dynamics? Were you able to work on yourself to have a healthier dynamic where you were connected emotionally with your BS? If so, what types of things should I be seeing in actions from my WS? Believing in fundamental mindset changes is really hard to do after an A.

Or did you have healthier values towards your M in the beginning of your R that you needed to find your way back to after your A?

posts: 295   ·   registered: Mar. 28th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8809967
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