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Can someone explain what the fog is?

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nekorb posted 8/16/2013 13:44 PM

I mean, I know technically what it is, but can someone tell me how it disrupts my husbands thought patterns and his ability to be opening to reconciliation?

He is so hot and cold with me, I never know what to expect.

I also can't tell if he is pushing me away because he feels he doesn't deserve me because he cheated.

If thre are any FWS lurking, can you tell me if you were able to go from not feeling an emotional and sexual attachment to your betrayed spouse to feeling in love again?

The latest thing I heard is, "I love you as a friend and as the mother of my children. I don't love you in an emotional or sexual way.".

I just want to know if its ever possible for him to get back from that place.

Ashland13 posted 8/16/2013 19:05 PM

I'm sorry, nekorb. I heard those words, too and it seemed basically to say that he had detached himself from a relationship with me, but without telling me before he did it. I'm sorry to say that it's often not a good sign.

I'm a BS so I hope it's okay to answer your post.

The "fog", in my version, is a lot like denial or a phase that a person may go through after having an affair and prior to displaying signs of remorse. There is not a timeline for a fog that I know of and some SI'ers may come on and agree or not.

The affair that my Nearly Exh had was an "exit affair", where he had absolutely no fog-no remorse, no nothing, almost sociopathic in nature. He's facing consequences now but acting like a victim to any karma that flows by him or hits him on the head-it's all the world against him and all about him.

The fog seems like a period of time where a person cannot be reached by a spouse regarding their actions, until, sometimes, some harsh consequences happen to them. Sometimes they are propelled back and the period in between is, "the fog".

It seems to be controversial in nature, where there are people who don't believe it exists.

Additions or corrections are welcome and I hope I got some of it right!

Abbondad posted 8/16/2013 20:26 PM

When I first found SI, distraught and desperate for reconciliation, I seized onto this idea/excuse of "The Fog." By the very nature of the word it implies that it can and will dissipate.

I have since come to believe firmly that it is indeed an excuse for selfishness and a sense of entitlement. I waited desperately, futilely, for my WW to "shake off" her "Fog," sober up essentially and have an epiphany.

Maybe it's different for spouses who did not have LTA's like my WW did.

In any case, the only fog I believe in was my own fog, consisting of denial combined with shock that a person was capable of such stunning betrayal and ongoing deceit.

Just my opinion. If my WW is still in her "Fog," well, after two years, to me, it ain't no fog. It's just who she is--person who went for what she wanted, and damn the casualties.

shawnh21112 posted 8/16/2013 20:56 PM

I can attest to the fact that, as a BS, the fog definitely goes both ways. I sometimes feel that while the WS being in 'the fog' is never good, the BS being in the fog is sometimes a blessing. It kept me in the game more than once when, had I realilzed my sitch i woulda been gone....

just my two cents worth.

womaninflux posted 8/16/2013 21:07 PM

Fog means they are in shock that you discovered, they idolize the AP and feel protective of AP and the affair (and themselves), they say a lot of strange things and may mention details that seem bizarre. You might be pissed off ( a lot).

shiloe posted 8/16/2013 21:23 PM

Something I read at another site:
“I don’t believe in a great mythical fog that turns ordinary humans into assholes. I just believe in assholes. You know how you can tell if people are assholes? They behave like assholes.”

I, too, believed that my ex was ‘in a fog’…that he changed overnight into a monster…but a “fog” didn’t make him that way. That is who he is.”
Read that line again. Like 100 times. It is true.
I came to believe and accept that my ex was not in a fog. He was just a narcissistic asshole. He still is. They feel ENTITLED. That will not change.

sleepless34 posted 8/17/2013 01:07 AM

I am on the fence.

Sure seems like something like a drug induced state. Alien Abduction. Brain Lesion. It is the person acting like a crazy fucked up version of former self.

Then again, maybe it was who they really were all along and they were just hiding it all that time.

Surely it feels good when because of the fog they crash their car into a tree. And they do. They realize how bad they messed up, realtionships, their lives, kids, family, etc. But is usually too late by then.

crazynot posted 8/17/2013 01:40 AM

I am sorry you are in this situation and feel your pain. I spent most of a year reading and obsessing about 'the fog' and hoping my STBXWH would come out of it. But the truth was that he had fallen for someone else. And he's still there. That is an INCREDIBLE thing to happen in a marriage and a family, and it seemed utterly unbelievable that he wouldn't 'snap out of it'. The damage was huge, to me and my kids (now adults). But we all survived and in fact grew from the experience. I honestly believe that of the two of us, I have the happier life. But it's taken time and a lot of tears. I do regret not telling him to leave, as I always thought I would, when he told me about the affair. I only started healing when he left. Sometimes an affair starts because it is the person's cowardly way of getting out of a marriage. It was in our case. But honestly speaking, before it started we were NOT in a good place. There was nothing between us sexually, hadn't been for years, and when we talked about anything for very long, we argued. I think that may be a key to whether it's 'the fog' or the end - what your relationship was like immediately before.

Bobbi_sue posted 8/17/2013 02:11 AM

I don't believe in the "fog" in the usual context it is described on this forum.

I do believe that all people, including BS, will at times in their lives, twist facts and reality a bit and look at situations with rose-colored glasses to justify something they are involved in, and then one day, they may decide they didn't like what they were doing at that time so they were "in a fog." No, it is just what they chose to do/be involved in, at that time. And feelings are feelings IMO. If they say they love the AP, then I believe it. Love is defined by the person feeling it, not by how the outside world decides for them that it "can't be real love" (since it is based on lies and deceit). Sounds good but I believe love is defined by each individual for themselves, not from outside definitions on what love is or isn't.

Sometimes the WS will "fall out of love" with the AP and seem to see the light and want to work on fixing the M, but this is just a progression in their journey of life, with many factors coming in to play, not the least of which may include the newness of the relationship with the AP wearing off in the same way it might with any other relationship even if it were not an Affair. And many (sometimes the WS included) will want to term the time period of the A and soon after "fog." But if it makes the WS and the BS feel better to look at that period as "the fog" then I can't fault them for it.

My only caution would be to a new BS. I just don't think anybody should wait around hoping their spouse will come out of some fog. They may or may not change their mind about the the AP and there is no timeline for any of that. I, personally, would not knowingly wait even one day while my H was pining away or obviously missing the Whore. He probably knew that instinctively and knew his only chance with me was to throw her under the bus and never look back, immediately after D-day and that is what he did.

I also believe what some other BSs have said here: that if there is such a thing as fog, BS are just as likely to be in one themselves, believing and excusing their WS's behavior, blaming it on "the fog."

PhoenixStorm posted 8/17/2013 06:27 AM

I think the "fog" is what you make of it. I can be real or it can be an excuse. The difference is when the "fog" lifts, is the underlying personality still tending to deny or lie and cheat. I truly believe that my WH has lied so much to himself that he either justifies the lies or creates such an illusion that he himself believes the lie. At first, I believed in the fog. It was a convenient excuse. My biggest thing after D Day was..."I can't believe it, I can't believe you would do this after one year of marriage..." The betrayal itself was unimaginable to me. He would say, " I can't believe I did it either, I don't know what I was thinking." So you would think that if that were really the case, he would come out with some details. And yet even tho I do believe that the NC was kept, he lied and TT'd and would get pissed when I asked for the details. This shows me that he had something to hide, something to protect. And maybe it wasn't her in particular he was protecting ,it was the deceitfulness and sneaky, manipulating, selfishness that he didn't want me to realize was his true personality. Then it comes how how it's all my fault, He didn't think I still loved him, I was so distant, I was never there for him, he was so lonely. Bullshit! He never thinks he gets enough sex, but yet he never wants to give any affection or emotion to the act, he just wants to hump and grope and satisfy himself. I also believe that if I had not found out about this affair, he would still be doing it with her or someone else. His personality is that of a liar and a selfish, insecure person who has no morals and no conscience. I truly believe that he would have taken this to the grave. And I have no doubt that if this were to happen again, he would be smarter the next time and not get caught. I think the only reason I'm still around is because he can't be without a woman and the OW is a Loser with no money or hope to ever be anything but a slut and a liar herself. I have some money saved, and a nice house, toys and things like that..... I got him the job that he since has humiliated me by having an affair at work behind my back that everyone else knew about. He not only was NOT in a Fog, but knew exactly what he was doing, but didn't realize the consequences of his actions. When he did realize that his BS who took such good care of him was throwing him out on his ass, THATS when he came out of the fog! Bullshit , I say to the fog. The only one in a fog was me, who did not see this coming or paid attention to the signs.

aesir posted 8/17/2013 06:49 AM

First off,

If thre are any FWS lurking, can you tell me if you were able to go from not feeling an emotional and sexual attachment to your betrayed spouse to feeling in love again?

No, they can't tell you that, because they are not allowed to post in JFO, but I can tell you that I have seen cases of it happen here, and I assume they have happened elsewhere as well.

Now on to the fog, it is kind of a shorthand here that must be interpreted contextually. Based on what you are describing, I think the theory of cognitive dissonance applies. In essence, this means that "the fog" is a method of trying to reconcile the conflict between the basic values that a person holds and their actions that conflict with those values. There are all kinds of coping methods that come into play here, denial, minimization, rationalization, projection, justification, hair splitting... all very frustrating to deal with, especially when the answer seems so clear from the other side.

If your goal is reconciliation, I see "the fog" initially as a good sign, it indicates that the WS actually does believe that what they were doing is wrong, and if they actually admit it and arrive at remorse, then you have something to work with. The people who do not have "the fog" are usually either personality disordered in some form or were already at the point where they didn't care and were quite deliberate in their choices. The trouble is that this "fog" begins with the first recognized inappropriate acts in the A, and progresses from there, and the longer it persists, the more it sets in, and the less likely it is to be resolved. I believe that this is the primary problem with LTA's. After a while, "the fog" can lead to sufficient detachment that it becomes self fulfilling, the marriage really does seem bad, and for so long that there appears to be nothing to salvage, and you can not convince them that the AP was the cause of this.

Thefly559 posted 8/17/2013 14:00 PM

Abbonad hit the nail on head I feel the same way. My stbxw is an educated , intelligent somewhat normal person on the outside. If you met her she would wow you and you would think she is amazing but she is a sociopath to me and her family she is fully aware of her actions and consequences. The fog is bullcrap in my opinion.

nekorb posted 8/19/2013 09:26 AM

Thanks everyone. It was interesting to hear everyone's thoughts.

So far, my experience of the fog is that my husband seems completely numb and lost.

For us, I think part of the problem is that we both had abuse issues from our childhood that were unresolved. I've been making good progress in therapy, but I think his is not moving as quickly and there are still a lot of trust issues he has to resolve. (I have them too, obviously!)

The reality is we both needed IC quite awhile ago and both just chose to live with the fear and dysfunction instead.

Idk. When I read the posts here on SI, I have a hard time embracing the anger and hatred a lot of people here feel for the person that cheated on them.

I'm trying to treat my husband the way I would want be treated - with compassion and empathy and kindness. Maybe that makes me a fool or a doormat, but in the end I will be able to look back at how I handled the situation and feel ok about it.

wonderpets posted 8/19/2013 12:58 PM

The fog is what happens before unrealistic expectations meet reality and consequences.

StillGoing posted 8/19/2013 13:08 PM

Fog is a clouded reality. People in the fog only see what they want to see, and the bigger picture is nice and shrouded so they don't have to base their choices on those things they don't see. It isn't some kind of involuntary state of mind but more of a way to compartmentalize things in such a manner as to keep the world working the way they want it to work. Meanwhile, everyone around looking at them walk into shit, fall in holes and get hit by polar bears says "What the fuck is wrong with you?" and is completely baffled as to the response of "NOTHING"

"You just got hit by a polar bear!"


"It's still there! There is a polar bear right there!"


"Maybe if you came over here.."


"but you're in fire, and there is a polar bear eating your dick"


The more you try to reason with someone standing in a fog, the more ridiculous that shit gets. Sometimes they come out of that but usually it's only to see why you stopped talking, after you've walked away to let them bump around in that shit.

byod02 posted 8/19/2013 16:02 PM

I'm trying to treat my husband the way I would want be treated - with compassion and empathy and kindness. Maybe that makes me a fool or a doormat, but in the end I will be able to look back at how I handled the situation and feel ok about it.

That's been my thinking all along...but all it's getting me is a divorce because he still feels like I'm here waiting if he changes his mind.

I really think I need to toughen up, 180, enforce some boundaries.

It is so, so hard for me.

sailorgirl posted 8/19/2013 16:54 PM

Dear nekorb,

As someone whose fWH was abused as a child, I may have some helpful insight.

He was definitely in a state during and after the affair that I would call a fog. Some of the characteristics were:
Illogical thinking

Yet, he covered all that up and appeared to me as cold, arrogant, irritable, angry and mean.

What helped the fog dissipate was:
1. I stayed, so he eventually stopped having intense fear that I would leave because of what he did.
2. Therapy. fWH has been to 51 hours of counseling since d-day. He has confronted his childhood at last, and those awful events don't have power over him anymore.
3. Detaching from his FOO. Part of what triggered the panic and foggy thinking was FOO issues in the present triggering the past. fWH needed to stop taking responsibility for parents/siblings.

Please feel free to read my story and see if there are any parallels. My fWH is a gentle, loving man and very intelligent. Yet, when the fear and worthlessness of his childhood were triggered, he became cruel and stupid. His affair was a recreation of FOO dysfunction, with OW acting like a victim in need of saving, but turning into an abuser.

jtom posted 8/19/2013 18:29 PM

I also believe the "fog" is just so much bullcrap. Initially I believed it or wanted to that my STBEXWW, was just overcome with all the feel good hormones she got from her LTA an that her behavior really wasn't all her fault. I was stupid to even attempt reconciliation with her after I discovered the affair an showed her what a coward her little boyfriend was.My ex was just showing me who she really was. An ASSHOLE!

nekorb posted 8/19/2013 19:36 PM

Wow - sailorgirl....

Something you said just brought this thought into my mind....

My husband's FOO was not the source of his abuse. However, the day (one of) he was traumatized, there was another child with him, a little girl, who was also traumatized. When he finally revealed this to me, the one thing he said was that he felt responsible for her and felt horrible that he couldn't help her/protect her.

OW is in an abusive relationship with her husband and I'm sure my husband feels like he is rescuing her....

Huh....going to mention that to my T on Thursday....she talks to his T and they make sure important things are being addressed....

This is so fucking hard.

On a good note, I finally confided in my friend who also happens to be my neighbor (my other BFF moved two hours at the week after he told me he was leaving me, before I know about the A).

She was SO supportive. Already they have had a pow wow (I'm us that's how it went down!) and far away BFF is driving up here Wednesday and we are getting together at other friend's house for a few hours.

I'm sure it's an intervention of sorts as I confided to other friend that there were days I wasn't even getting out of bed.

Either way, it's nice to know my friends are here for me.

TICKED OFF posted 8/19/2013 19:55 PM

Count me in......the fog is just a big bunch of shit that the WS thinks they are in. If you ask me it's just another in a long line of excuses.

The true fog is what the BS is propelled into when we find out about the a. (the confusion, the anger, the feeling of worthlessness about ourselves and our marriages, the crazed state of mind, so on and so forth)........ Not the other way around.

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