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hatefulnow posted 6/6/2013 18:02 PM

My FWW had a multi-year, on and off affair w/MOM aka 'prick'. It's over and I got the pleasure of helping to flush his life down the toilet. My wife has been great, trying REALLY hard to make things up to me. Kid, who know about the A, to my eternal regret and shame because of the way I dropped it on them, are healing too. (I had to read the older ones the riot act to get them to not disrepect their mother, which again was my doing.)

All in all, things are going well, but I still have an issue. Even though I've gotten revenge on OM, I still feel cheated. Even though I played vicious hardball against my wife to the point of reducing her to tears on multiple occasions (I'm a psychologist who works with maximum security prisoners every day so I know how to mind fuck people) I still feel cheated. I feel like FWW & OM got over for years. That OM got a free ride at my expense. Considering where he is now, logically, this was the most expensive romp he's ever had, but I still feel cheated.

I've got an appointment with a counsellor in a week to help me explore this feeling, but I'm wondering if anyone has felt the same and how you dealt with it. Relationship counseling is not my specialty. In the prison, the inmates feel cheated by life. I tell them to suck it up because life is unfair and craps on everybody from time to time. It's no excuse so just deal with it. I understand that logically to, but it doesn't seem to help me.

doesitgetbetter posted 6/6/2013 18:23 PM

Hateful, I can feel your pain. And it appears as though your screen name fits. I'm so sorry you are having such difficulty.

Love doesn't keep score. When you start keeping score in a relationship, someone ALWAYS loses. If you are keeping score in an argument, then there must be a loser. If you are keeping score as to who loves whom more, someone MUST lose. Love isn't about keeping score. It's about working through the muck of life and going at it as a team.

Much like there is no "I" in team, there is also no "me" in marriage. It must be a "we". You know psycho babble probably better than anyone around here does as it's your profession (I apologize if that phrase if offensive in any way, it's not meant to be), but do you know love?

Yes, our spouses had fun while we weren't looking. Yes, we remained faithful while they didn't. Sounds like they "win" huh? Not to me. I have my integrity. I have my honor. I have my morals still fully in tact. To me, it sounds like I'm the one in the lead on that one... if one were to keep scores.

Our WS's lost so much more than we possibly could during their A and after. They lost the respect of everyone that knows them. They lost their freedom to do whatever, whenever, with whomever. They lost the ability to be trusted with certain decision making. Some lose their jobs. Some lose their homes. They lost the peace that used to be in their life. They lost their soul for a piece of action a couple times a week/month/year that just ended up leaving them feeling worthless and empty in the long run anyway.

So, hateful, I challenge you to reconsider.... are you really the loser here? I know you were cheated ON, but were you really cheated?

unfound posted 6/6/2013 18:48 PM's like stubbing your toe on a table. hurts like hell, pisses you off.. so you take an axe to the table, breaking it into little pieces, then burn it.

does your toe feel any better?

seems like a good idea at the time and the reaction is fueled by emotion. but when the dust settles, you've still got a sore toe.

when you can make om a nothing, an indifference, and begin focusing and working on real self healing... you'll start to heal. won't be easy, won't happen quickly, but it will happen.

[This message edited by unfound at 6:50 PM, June 6th (Thursday)]

hatefulnow posted 6/7/2013 01:16 AM

Thanks for your replies.

DIGB - you are right. Keeping score doesn't help me at all, and in the aggregate she lost a lot, all the things you mentioned and more. I think the problem is with me - FOO issues. Not feeling good about myself for a long time, before I even met my wife. I really want to avoid hurting her and in the occasional flashes of rage brought on be triggers I fear I may do that. I have in the past and have it under control now, but the feelings still persist. OM is a different story. I wish I could reach indifference with him, but, because of my position I'll see his name on a report or hear something about him and it will throw me into a tail spin. Not healthy at all that he can stil affect me like that, but true.

Unfound - I like your example. It's kinda funny because I could se myself doing that . How long did it take for you reach indifference? We are about a year from d-day and nine months or so from when I wanted reconciliation.

kansas1968 posted 6/7/2013 01:44 AM

It is two and a half years for me, and I still have many revenge fantasies, even thought the OW lost everything. Not particularly because of the affair, but nevertheless, What we would feel would be enough. I think the pain is so severe from finding out about affair that we never truly believe that anyone else gets it. That we have to keep reminding them of the depth of the betrayal, the triggers, the hate, the rage, etc.
No answers here, just understanding. Who ever knew that an affair caused this kind of pain.

doesitgetbetter posted 6/7/2013 09:40 AM

I think you might benefit greatly from IMAGO therapy. You can either see a specialist who deals with it, or you can get the books and do it at home (would probably do really well with doing it at home since you have some training to back it up). H and I got the books and did it at home. It addresses FOO issues for both partners, and helps you figure out what they are, and how to work around them, and do it in a positive and loving way.

Check out the books by Harville Hendrix. Get the companion workbooks to go along with it. H and I would do one chapter each week, each time it would take about 2 hours to read and do the assignments, so pretty equivalent to an actual MC/IC session. We also did traditional IC/MC before doing the books.

Skan posted 6/7/2013 11:12 AM

hateful now, of course you were cheated. Your vows were broken, you were betrayed, and now, even though your WW is now repentant and trying to do what is necessary to get to the bottom of her brokenness and to help you to heal, you (and your children) are still hurting. The fact that someone is putting a dressing on an almost-mortal wound doesn't mean that the wound will not hurt like hell for some time. It doesn't mean that the healing is instant there's going to be a long term of slow healing, it flaring up in pain, itching, and scabbing over. But it seems like you're on the path towards healing now.

May I offer a thought to consider? Try to not look at this situation as a win/lose situation. You won because he's in jail. He won because he had an A with your WW. You won because your WW has been reduced to tears. You lost because you hurt your children. Skip the win/win stuff because that just doesn't happen with this kind of shit. How about trying for win/learn? He's in jail and you've learned from that, what you're capable of when you're in a rage. Sorta the same situation with your WW you're learning what she's willing to do to help you heal and to heal her own brokenness. You've learned how easy rage can hurt your other family members. And so on.

I would definitely talk to the councilor. But perhaps you can start re-framing your mental attitude a bit to stop looking for winners and losers, and start looking for learning, for teaching moments. Especially during arguments, I find that extremely helpful for me. It cuts down on the shame, rage, and competitiveness, and opens me up to looking for what the lesson is, what I can learn from the situation.

meplusfour posted 6/7/2013 12:03 PM

hatefulnow, my WH and I struggled with the same issue. WH is a practising attorney and I practised law before staying at home to raise our children. In the first few sessions of MC, WH would occasionally throw up his hands in the air and say "fine, you win" in a frustrated tone when discussions about his A became heated or uncomfortable. Before we could move forward, WH had to realize and understand that this was not a situation where the MC would decide who was right and who was wrong (win/lose), and this was an incredibly ineffective way to resolve situations. He had to recognize that there are no winners or losers if he wanted us to R, we had to be in this together. Our MC was also very clear that he was to be doing the bulk of the work if we wanted to be successfully Ring. As for my part, I was very clear that I did not feel like I was the "winner" and that unless he could move past this, and reach a more effective way of communicating our M was over. Something that I had to work on was to stop "cross-examining" WH endlessly. WH worked very hard in IC to keep this win/lose mentality solely at the office and out of our personal relationship. Since then, our relationship is improving.

hatefulnow, you need to let go of the win/lose mentality. You will be a better man, mentally and emotionally, if you stop keeping score of and what you have done to MOM. Given your profession and work environment, I can understanding have the me/them mentality and wanting to punish OM. After all, an element of the penal system is punishment as well as rehabilitation. You are an insightful person who is doing very laudable work in the prison system and your responses to the inmates may be completely appropriate. But please, recognize that the situation regarding your M and your FWW is different from your work and needs to be viewed differently and other coping skills and responses are needed.

I'm glad to recognize this as an issue and are going to see a counsellor. I hope my comments have helped and have not offended you.

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