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An affair isn't.....

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blakesteele posted 8/14/2013 09:31 AM

An affair isn't about what the WS wasn't getting; it is about what they weren't giving.

This line was within another members post within a very lengthy thread...almost as a very small side path from the main thread it was buried in.

Seems like it is worth its own thread.

As we go through counseling we are really seeing our relationship in a new way...maybe a more realistic way.

My wife was,is very much the "static" one in our relationship...I am the "gatherer"...hope that analogy makes worked okay for us. I liked bringing emotion and energy to our wife liked to remain comfortably within herself. The whole extrovert, introvert thing. This was healthy for a while, but became unhealthy and interaction with my wife did two things. First, it allowed her to participate less...because of my desire to be a very active participant. Second, my desire to be an active participant bled into me becoming an OVERLY active participant, which turned my wife off....thus she started "giving" less and less.

This makes sense and is clear in a different light now...after my wifes decision to have an affair.

NOTE: Not taking any credit for my wife to take her "giving" to another mans bed...she had other choices, and chose what she chose.

Unfortunately, in some ways, this new found clarity has me thinking about our future together. I am really desiring to have a woman in my life that actively seeks ways to engage, support, and love me...and stay within the confines of our marriage when her mode is to do otherwise. Can we get back to a healthy balance? Million dollar question.

I had that with my wife somewhat pre-A...but since the affiar and specifically BECAUSE of the affair I feel so much less engaged by her...not sure how to get over that mindset.

Her activity level with her AP, her enthusiasm and energy (although unhealthy) towards that relationship, the intentionality of her actions during her affair has been missing from her towards me for years. It was there once...though she is not ready to admit that, but it was there to some level....she did leave notes for me, excited to see me, planning our many activities for us, jealous when I started dating another girl after she said she didn't want to date me, then was excited when I decided to date her instead of the otehr girl, etc..

At some point my wife chose to NOT give our relationship what she wanted from our relationship. Instead, she gave that to her AP...gave it quickly, freely, and without much hesitations.

Now...I see some regret in her...I think she is realizing all that she gave to her affair and all that she did NOT get from her affair (and what she did get was actually less then nothing)...and is starting to grasp what the real costs are. But I don't think she will fully get what she is risking or the real costs because she is not of the frame of mind that we ever had that which she "needs".

FOO issues are surprisingly strong within each of us. It is ironic on how FOO stand in our way of getting what we "need" is very much by our own accord that we don't achieve that which we desire. I am not just talking about my wife...I am looking right at myself too.

Currently, I am not able to occasionally walk my girls to and from school because my wifes AP parks between our house and the school. This desire is not getting met because of me, and me only. I simply can not control the pain of what he and my wife did...and it is my own limitations that prohibit me from achieving what I desire with regards to this one specific joy in life. The simplicity of this delima adds to my anger towards it, and towards myself.

I am NOT giving myself patience and understanding, so I am not getting patience and understanding.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:55 AM, August 14th (Wednesday)]

jjct posted 8/14/2013 09:33 AM

1Faith said it. It's in the quote thread.

OldCow18 posted 8/14/2013 09:37 AM

I've seen that quote in a book or maybe an article somewhere? It may have been in How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair? Not sure, but that has come up in conversation with WH and I a few times now. Really makes sense in our situation.

StillStanding1 posted 8/14/2013 09:46 AM

Hi Blake,

Thanks for starting this thread. It's also something that I've been thinking about a lot.

It is so frustrating to think "if only" they had been as invested in their marriage for all those years, instead of their AP. Every relationship takes work. Obviously the one you spend your time and energy on is the one that will flourish.

I think my H decided to give our M another chance when he finally started to truly comprehend what he was giving up. Somehow, I still don't feel that he has digested the full impact of his choices. Why? I think it is still the defense mechanisms. I think it is probably too overwhelming emotionally to accept the devastation that his selfishness caused.

Sometimes I just want to shake him and scream "Look at what you've done!", but at the same time I realize the psyche is fragile and that beating him up even worse is not the answer. He needs to deal with his regret, remorse, and shame in smaller increments perhaps. I know it is sinking in. Slower than I would have expected, though.

I realize that my FOO issues prevented me from asking for what I needed in our M. I'm working on that. I also see how his FOO issues led him to his choices. We've never been people to blame our FOOs for our issues, but as I've done some deep introspection and analysis these last 6 months, I definitely see how the groundwork was laid by our FOOs. But we still have accountability for our own choices. I just can't wrap my head around the fact that, regardless of our FOOs, the man I loved and trusted could make that choice and justify it in his mind.

blakesteele posted 8/14/2013 10:12 AM

Can we meet for lunch Stillstanding1?

I wanted to quote your entire post because it so resonates with me.

This part

"Somehow, I still don't feel that he has digested the full impact of his choices. Why? I think it is still the defense mechanisms. I think it is probably too overwhelming emotionally to accept the devastation that his selfishness caused."

is the one passage I will speak to.

I note defensiveness within my wife as well as some push back when I talk about selfishness....not hard, rabid push back...but not full acceptance either.

We also arent ones to quickly blame others for us...but FOO issues are so ingrained in us, continue to affect how we interact with each other...that not to recognize them as the force they have been and are is to run the risk (and maybe the guarantee) of NOT addressing them and dealing with them in healthy manners.

My fear of abandonment has affected my interactions all my life...I was ignorant of them to this point. I have seen myself NOT stand up for myself for the fear of driving away people...and me being left alone. I also have a desire to overachieve. Both of these are have reached unhealthy levels within me...I don't want to continue to be that person and can only change if I recognize the affect my FOO has had on me...and ponder how I can change.

And this change is uncomfortable...because my comfort level was programed into me during my formative years..thus FOO term.

Patience is key here. You are correct, we can't force others to change by "shaking them". We cant change ourself if we beat ourselves up when we fall back into FOO patterns...we need to be patient with ourselves.

Peace to us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 10:15 AM, August 14th (Wednesday)]

StillStanding1 posted 8/14/2013 11:39 AM

It's validating when you find someone whose train of thought you can completely relate to, isn't it???

It wasn't until my life imploded that I looked at my FOO issues (I didn't think I had any ). My parents just celebrated their 50th. 20 years into my M, I finally see that I adopted my mom's strategy for dealing with conflict -- very old school -- you "digest" it, say nothing, wait for it to pass... Yeah, well, needless to say, that didn't work out too well for me.

My new theme song is "Brave". I've taken to writing down a lot of what I need to say to him and ask from him. I've got old stubborn German blood in my veins and I've never learned to ask for what I need. Just accept what is given. It is a real effort for me to change that. Causes real anxiety. Crazy, isn't it?

I won't go into his FOO issues. Like we all know, I can't change him. That's for him to figure out. I'm just going to keep working on me.

I don't know your story, Blakesteele... Was your wife's A a LTA? I've seen you write twice now about the AP parking on your route to school. That's just so ridiculous. "Just go away already!" Isn't there a way to get him to stop? It's just obnoxious. I wish you comfort as the new school year begins...

blakesteele posted 8/14/2013 11:48 AM

No formal timeline generated but my wife's affair spawned in June, discovered in early September and ended by her AP not responding to her email to him in early 4-5 months total.

Yeah...him parking where he does speaks to how little ownership of his actions he is willing to take. And this is the type of man my wife jeopardized our marriage and family over?

But, nothing I can do to stop him.

Really....this part of the journey is squarely on my shoulders. If I were stronger he could park directly in front of my house and it would not affect me.

Truthfully....I watched a local baseball game without my family present and did's just really harder when my family us next to me.

Thanks for the support.

God be with us all.

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