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I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 15

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Howcthappen ( member #80775) posted at 4:21 AM on Wednesday, December 21st, 2022

After DDay did you go further underground with your spouse for a while if so why?

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

posts: 225   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2022   ·   location: DC
id 8770261
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 5:31 AM on Wednesday, December 21st, 2022

My situation was a little different. In my case, the AP was caught. I did go to therapy but didn’t confess until a couple of months later.

However, I probably would have had it been an option. Is it because the AP was special or even appropriate for me? No.

It’s addiction. Google it a bit, but just like a gambler the drugs are the overflowing rush of dopamine to the brain. Coming out of that addiction, the person has cravings to get their fix. They have likely sort of brainwashed themselves into a specific narrative of who the ap is, with no real proof of much of that narrative at all.

It’s escapism. But I never was escaping my husband. I was escaping myself

Often ws’s have a lot of poor coping mechanisms that support the decision to cheat The addiction that forms is a result of those decisions. Those poor coping mechanisms are often overwhelmed after dday, and it can create even a stronger need to escape which can cause a reoccurrence of communication.

While I can explain it from the other side, the requirement of going NC with the AP is bare minimum. Just because you may further your understanding of it here, I would be very stern about following any stated boundaries about what you will need to do to protect yourself moving forward.

I would not allow the ws to wobble back and forth at all here. Feeling an urge is one thing, lack of control and commitment in not acting on that urge is another.


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7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7251   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
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Howcthappen ( member #80775) posted at 12:21 AM on Thursday, December 22nd, 2022

Hello hikingout-
Thanks for answering. I’m 3 years out. This happened a few weeks after DDay and not since. It still haunts me.

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

posts: 225   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2022   ·   location: DC
id 8770367
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 8:48 AM on Thursday, December 22nd, 2022

This happened a few weeks after DDay and not since. It still haunts me.

I can understand that. Before D-Day, WS often convince ourselves that no one will be hurt by our cheating. After D-Day, we can't pretend that anymore. The devastating consequences are right in front of us. So how can we even want to continue the affair, much less actually do it?

For some WS, the answer is as simple as it looks: they are entitled, unapologetic assholes who don't care about anything but themselves. Other people don't fully exist to a narcissist; they're just sources of feelings or obstacles to work around. However, some WS are trying to do the right thing but have a completely broken compass. They're shocked and guilty and confused, because no matter which way they go, they're hurting someone. Understandably, the BS could not give less of a shit about the hurt feelings of someone who attacked them and their marriage. That's fair. It also doesn't offer any insight to what's going on in the wayward's head.

The painful, gutting reality is that the WS and AP shared something together that only belonged to them. In many cases, they were well aware that it would have to end at some point, and they made completely unrealistic promises to each other about remaining close friends and always being there for each other. The BS needs to see that burned to the ground. They want to take their power back and prove to the AP that everything the WS said was a lie. But in many cases, it wasn't a lie. It was misguided, deluded, driven by weakness in the WS, but honestly meant at the time that it was spoken. The NC is the lie, the message that "I don't give the tiniest fuck about you and never did." It's a necessary message, but as much as the BS would like it to be true, it often is not. And so the WS and AP try to get closure, to end it on a "cruel fate" note. The drama reaches a crescendo, and they jump right back in.

The WS may be able to get to the point of genuinely seeing the tawdry, broken nature of the A. Sometimes the AP will help them along by showing their true colors as an opportunist or bunny boiler. But sometimes, both affair partners are broken individuals who lied to themselves by slow degrees and did something awful that they never would have believed they could do. They are so thoroughly fucked up that they think the BS "won" and the AP "lost," and so they point their guilt in the wrong direction.

That's the head space I was in after my affair, and I didn't even go underground. I openly said I intended to stay "just friends" with the OM. I hung my hat on my physical self-restraint and refused to see that I was continuing an emotional affair. It would have been much healthier for my BH if he had left me. I truly did not see that I was in the wrong.

WW/BW

posts: 3628   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8770391
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Howcthappen ( member #80775) posted at 12:49 PM on Thursday, December 22nd, 2022

Wow. Brave yours is one I suspected WS feel but never say. I guess it’s different for everyone. I just wonder why the pain of the AP trumps your BS’s pain? Can you explain that? Is it because the AP would be a place of happy with your presence and you just want to feel that someone is happy with you and being home seeing the devastation feels worse?

Honestly, the going back after seeing my pain is what I will never ever forgive. If you felt like she needed more comfort than me why didn’t you choose her? I just feel like if you knew you weren’t gonna leave and you knew you loved me more why leave me crying? His says the pain was too much to see how much he screwed I.
This is confusing.

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

posts: 225   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2022   ·   location: DC
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Naamah ( member #79634) posted at 9:52 PM on Thursday, December 22nd, 2022

in many cases, it wasn't a lie. It was misguided, deluded, driven by weakness in the WS, but honestly meant at the time that it was spoken.

Painful... 🥺

Naamah

posts: 98   ·   registered: Nov. 29th, 2021   ·   location: UK
id 8770470
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 3:54 AM on Friday, December 23rd, 2022

I just wonder why the pain of the AP trumps your BS’s pain? Can you explain that?

Ego. The main draw of the OM was the unqualified adoration he had for me. In retrospect, it's obvious that he didn't know the real me at all, any more than I knew him. We were short term infatuated but would have been a long term train wreck. But anyway, if you accept (as I did at the time) that I was the most important thing in his world, then cutting him off was the cruelest thing I could do.

It wasn't that I cared more about him than my BH. If I really cared about him, I should have never crossed the line into an affair that made NC inevitable. And since I did cross that line, and NC was inevitable, I should have had the decency to cut him off cleanly and let him get on with the business of forgetting me and/or hating me for ghosting him. That would have been healthier for everyone involved. But no, it was all about me - me taking unacknowledged dopamine hits off the premise that he couldn't survive without me because I was just that irreplaceable.

Brave yours is one I suspected WS feel but never say.

I have learned that when a BS asks a question, they want the truth, even if it's searingly painful.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 9:11 PM, Tuesday, December 27th]

WW/BW

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:08 PM on Friday, December 23rd, 2022

I always love BSR’s posts, she is proobqbly the most insightful ws on the site.

For me, confessing shortly after, I was still pretty callous. Yes, I would say I was displaying narcissistic tendencies but I do not have NPD.

There is a lot of numbing and self brainwashing that happen before and during the affair. In order to justify things we have to comparmentalize, and hide some of our feelings from ourselves. We often will vilify our spouse so we don’t feel as bad about what we are doing.

When I said I would have continued it, it’s because that’s the space I was in at that time. I had myself convinced happiness was with the ap and not my spouse.

In the end that never would have been true. My spouse is 100 times better than the ap. The ap had become my drug of choice to escape my own unhappiness. Happiness that I was responsible for, happiness that could have been reached if I had communicated better, had I had a better insight over myself and why I was unhappy.

After I confessed, I slowly came out of that but in the beginning? No, everything is upset at home and we can very easily use that to add to our proof of all the villainous things we told ourselves about the ba to start with.

Also I think many ws have knight in shining armor syndrome. They break nc because of their guilt over their ap’s pain. Completely stupid when you think about it, but it’s still much easier in the beginning to think the ap was a good person who you hurt so badly. barf

The bs is the familiar, the ap is the made up. To let go of that fantasy means that we are just shitty people and it’s hard to come to terms with that at first.

Most ws who stay on our site climb out of that within the first six months after the A or less. If the nc was broken in the early days that was part of the compulsion, the escapism. It doesn’t mean you have to forgive it, or him, but it’s pretty typical in the realm of ws behavior.

[This message edited by hikingout at 6:16 PM, Friday, December 23rd]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7251   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
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JasonCh ( member #80102) posted at 6:26 PM on Thursday, December 29th, 2022

Did the fact that you were not completely outed (immediate family, family, friends, work, community, ....) help the affair and the 'waywardness'?

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:13 AM on Friday, December 30th, 2022

I am not sure if I understand what your question means exactly, Jason. Do you mean if we confided in someone who didn’t tell on us?

Or do you mean after dday the bs is holding the ws’s secret from others in your lives?

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7251   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
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JasonCh ( member #80102) posted at 1:24 PM on Friday, December 30th, 2022

hikingout -- please accept my apologies for being unclear. I will try to re-phrase it. If after the affair was discovered and that world was not exposed immediately and thoroughly -- did that assist/enable/embolden further 'affair' activity whether that be more out in the open or further underground?

I am regretting not burning it all to the ground earlier and while i don't think i could eliminate the pain/struggle my wife is in, I do think i could have eliminated a lot of pain on my, my kids, our families, friends, professional lives and people who were impacted who had and still have no clue.

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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 6:29 AM on Sunday, January 1st, 2023

Hi Jason,

I will answer for my situation but my first thought here is what would be your intent here?

If it’s support you are missing then you do what you need to do to get that need met. Choose carefully those who will have little to no judgment over you no matter what you chose as an outcome.

If it’s hoping that this will change her for the better, like an intervention of some sort- I would say doubtful. There are a number of responses I could think of that would be more likely and none of them are maybe what you would hope.

Ws in general are often self loathing. That is actually the root of how we think and behave. For me shame over the affair was wound in with a lot of accumulated shame that grew since childhood. A lot of unresolved trauma. So that shame was like a big iceberg. I was having trouble seeing all of it and having to try and navigate that with an audience would have been excruciating.

I am mixed on this question because I wish my husband had more pathways for support in the aftermath of my affair. He bottled up a lot and it was bad for him and our reconciliation.

We are surround by others who have their own spectrum of experiences with infidelity. This includes those who would either be triggered by this information because they have been through it, people who have not experienced it have their own untested theories, and either of those could be actually downright clueless about what recovery looks like.

While all the people might have approached me with well meaning, I needed to figure out how to be my own North Star. To find my own beliefs about what I did and why. And what so should do moving forward to support a different way of being.

That being said, his need for outside support trumped my need- hands down. I am the one who made these decisions and there are always going to be consequences that one didn’t count on when they have done something so destructive.

So I believe where this leads me is this. If your intentions are for you to build your own support system, then do that. Do not hold her secrets at your own expense. Sometimes that is the absolute right answer even if the voice that states that need is just quietly nudging you rather than being obvious or overwhelming.

If it’s to get others on your side so that she can see a larger need to be compliant with things she isn’t doing, the odds of that working are pretty low.

I have not read any of your posts so I am operating a little in the dark. I will go and read some of it.

At the end of the day if she is not there trying with you, and she is not doing the work, the best thing might be to let her experience other consequences.

My husband did an in house separation for example. If you need time or space, take it. She will either feel your absence and decide to do something productive, or she won’t. Either way you will have your answer. It takes two very dedicated people to reconcile, and the only person you have any control of is yourself.

So act on your own behalf and do not try and guess the combo of what you can do that is going to make her snap out of it. That’s just manipulation. Not all manipulation has bad intentions behind it. Learning to watch your own side of the street and practice good boundaries will always be more effective in the long run. The best part is it protects you from further abuse.

[This message edited by hikingout at 6:35 AM, Sunday, January 1st]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7251   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
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Howcthappen ( member #80775) posted at 4:43 AM on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023

What keeps you faithful now?

I just realize that he will never look the same to me. Why would he ruin that? For someone so impacted by ego kibbles why make the decision to permanently ruin the great man image your spouse had for you…….and then choose to say and work on reconciling knowing you can never be looked at the same way? Why would a stranger’s opinion hold more value?

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

posts: 225   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2022   ·   location: DC
id 8771836
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 5:06 AM on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023

Hi- for me it isn’t so much that it’s hard to be faithful. It wasn’t before the affair and it isn’t after the affair. I know that in itself says nothing.

But to understand, the first thing is for a lot of us, and this is me- the affair was a result of poorly managing my own happiness until it reached a critical state and then not having the coping skills to deal with it. I also had many character flaws that made that way of coping feasible. I wanted to feel like a different person. I had held resentments towards my husband for not making me happy, yet I did nothing to communicate what I needed.

In the aftermath of the affair, I saw it had nothing to do with him at all as far as my reasons went.it had everything to do with me.

So, afterwards I was devastated that I had done what I had done and I needed to find my way out of it and figure out how not to make the same decisions moving forward. Not just in regards to cheating but in how I managed my life.

Lots of therapy and work. Cheating would never appeal to me again. I would never bring that devastation to myself or anyone else.as for why would I stay with someone who might not see me in the same way again, I guess the same reason many stay on both the bs and ws side. HOPE- That in time this can be healed.

I personally do not worry if he sees me the same again. I operate differently as does my marriage. I think it’s possible that we see each other with a different appreciation, and that does not have to be a negative thing. We are doing a new thing together. The old thing has been burned to the ground and something different sits in its place. Had we moved in we would have had to do that with a different person, except I learned how much I want this one.

[This message edited by hikingout at 5:08 AM, Tuesday, January 3rd]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7251   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
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luvedmypbear ( member #25690) posted at 8:45 PM on Wednesday, January 4th, 2023

WS and I had been together for 23 years, 17 married. He suffers from anxiety, depression, combat ptsd and alcoholism (that I know of) and has had a particularly tough 4 years (a little mid-life crisis mixed in). I accidentally found out he was having an affair in 2009, and we thought we both put the work in we needed to.
September 2022, he lets me know he doesn't love me and wants a divorce (all I love yous up until the bomb drop). He didn't move out and is clearly seeing someone (our oldest overheard him on the phone with this person and he often will get dressed up and pack a bag and leave for a few days/nights).
Ironically, he began therapy for the first time in his life in August and I was hopeful he would be on the path to coming to terms with the pain he has been in. Maybe he is and that is how he was able to articulate how he feels about me?

He let me know he hates me and can't stand to look at me. One of these times, I asked him why he hates me and he said it's because he cheated on me and it causes him pain to look at me.
I asked him to move out and he did, but he came back. He cries and yells often and none of our 4 kids want to be around him so we spend as much time away from our home as possible when we see his vehicle parked out front.

I guess my question is why?
We didn't have to get married or stay married or anything. I let him know he is free. He was worried about access to the kids and I told him there would be no obstacles. I offered to pay for him to have a place to stay. HE can go. Why stay and cheat again and why the train wreck in front of our kids?

luvedmypbear didn’t care what you thought. She knew she was a badass.

posts: 1130   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2009
id 8772084
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 11:24 PM on Saturday, January 7th, 2023

I guess my question is why?
We didn't have to get married or stay married or anything. I let him know he is free. He was worried about access to the kids and I told him there would be no obstacles. I offered to pay for him to have a place to stay. HE can go. Why stay and cheat again and why the train wreck in front of our kids?

WS usually come in one of two flavors: the type who can compartmentalize to a level where we pretend we aren't betraying our spouse, and the type who vilify our spouse to justify the betrayal. I was in the former category, and it sounds like your WH was in the latter. He needed to believe that you were a selfish bitch and that that's why he cheated. It also sounds like life with AP isn't all he built it up to be in his own mind, and in his disillusionment and rage, he's looking for someone to blame.

The problem for him is that you aren't playing the role he cast you in. You're being downright generous. He's looking for something to latch on to justify his feelings and behavior, and he's not finding it. This makes him angrier at everyone, including himself.

WW/BW

posts: 3628   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8772487
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luvedmypbear ( member #25690) posted at 5:45 AM on Monday, January 9th, 2023

Thank you BSR

You are exactly right and these insights really helped me as I am processing this experience.

luvedmypbear didn’t care what you thought. She knew she was a badass.

posts: 1130   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2009
id 8772590
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Howcthappen ( member #80775) posted at 3:43 AM on Friday, January 13th, 2023

Things I don’t quite understand-

Is it really that you don’t think about the AP 3 years out UNTIL I bring her up?


You really don’t know what you saw in her to make you start? She was nice?


He gave her gifts…our 12 year old’s hand me down iPad, an old phone of mine instead of trading mine in for a newer one he bought me a brand new one and gave her my old one.

He says he gave her gifts to keep getting what he wanted from her and she seemed so grateful!?!?!

She knew they were hand me down tech from us yet she gladly took them!

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

posts: 225   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2022   ·   location: DC
id 8773154
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Gracey ( member #79334) posted at 8:39 PM on Sunday, January 15th, 2023

Trying to reconcile my marriage and not sure if lack of willingness from WH to discuss things is fake reconciliation or not wanting to take responsibility on his part. Question I want answered or to understand is how someone who has always been a real salt of the earth type person, can have an affair, do they block everything out of their real lives or lie to themselves about what they are doing?

Together 34 years Married. 17 years

posts: 96   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2021   ·   location: United Kingdom
id 8773478
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denwickdroylsden ( member #51744) posted at 12:10 PM on Monday, January 16th, 2023

Gracey, for me it was both. It was as if my M and W were in one "zone," and the A and AP were in a wholly separate "zone." I did not lie to myself about what I was doing. I understood crystal clear what I was doing. I understood completely that it was wrong. I did it because I wanted to, and I could, and I was certain I would never be discovered.

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

posts: 66   ·   registered: Feb. 9th, 2016
id 8773521
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