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TheTooGoodWife posted 8/24/2013 11:29 AM

Back story: Before I met WH I had a brief, very intense fling with a longtime friend who was seperated and in the process of getting divorced. He R'd with his W about a year after he and I broke up...but nobody knew we had been an item (we were from different religions and cultures so not approved of by our families). When WH and I met we did the usual of "how many were you with?" and "please have STD tests" when we took our R further but we did not go into the details of our previous R's.

As time went by I realised WH was very jealous of the fact I had a R before I met him . I never told WH who I had the fling with as he was still in our friendship circle. As time went by WH confessed to being insecure and threatened by this friend as he showed every indication of being interested in me but WH never outright asked me if he was fling guy and I never volunteerd the info. I told WH he was being silly and jealous as I did not see the interest.

Anyway come d-day and knowing how WH felt about this friend I told WH every gruesome detail of the fling and who it was with because I knew it would hurt him. Last night I spoke to WH and I asked him how he felt when I told him who fling guy was and he told me it felt as if I had betrayed him. I had underestimated just how hurt he was at my revelation. I was so wrapped up in my own hurt and anger that I never thought for a moment that WH was /is so badly affected. WH had all the same reactions and symptoms that I as a BW had and I put it down to the realisation he had of just how badly he had hurt me. In fact WH had a nervous breakdown and was put on AD's soon after d-day.

This new knowledge has taken the wind out of my sails. My need for justice and balance i.e revenge is gone. My d-day was a d-day for him as well. Fling guy has not been part of our friendship circle for over 8 years. I ask WH why he was so insecure about fling guy and he said "Fling guy had everything that you wanted and found attractive in a man and I am the opposite. I felt inferior to him. When you told me it was him you had the R with I felt betrayed." My reaction to this was WH is seeing a psychotherapist next week

[This message edited by TheTooGoodWife at 12:06 PM, August 24th (Saturday)]

k94ever posted 8/24/2013 12:20 PM

Wait a minute....your WS feels like you betrayed him because you had a relationship with someone else BEFORE you two met????

Wife...he's manipulating you into over-looking his cheating WHILE he is married to you.

You having a relationship with someone, no matter who, has no bearing on this mess your WS created. DO NOT buy into this guilt-crap you are feeling and he is boxing you into.

He's working hard to deflect away from his affair.

What an ass.


AStar posted 8/24/2013 12:32 PM

You had a relationship before you met WH. It is not the same as his having an A during your M.
This might seem harsh, but it is no comparison and your WH is being an ass for even comparing the two. He is deflecting attention away from what is his infidelity and getting a free ride by making you feel guilty. I am sorry, but this is just unbelievably insensitive of him. If he had a nervous breakdown, I am sure he can use your previous relationship as an excuse.
I am sorry to appear so unsympathetic, but your WH needs to take responsibility for his own actions and stop comparing your previous relationship before you met to what he has done.
The fact that you told him out of supposed revenge to hurt him, is understandable, but the situations are not comparable.
Your WH needs to get real and man up- stop hurting you with his nonsense.
(I still am going Wow...)

TheTooGoodWife posted 8/24/2013 12:37 PM

K9, AStar WH is not deflecting. He is doing the work needed so no minimizing. WH is very jealous and we almost broke up because I could not handle the jealousy. We spoke and over time he learnt to suppress it. He is jealous of any man that approaches me in anyway. WH's FOO issues are huge. Yes he was and still is jealous of the fact that I had been with someone before him and when he found out who I had been with he felt betrayed because of how he felt about fling guy. I did lie to WH early in our relationship about who it was as WH was already very jealous of the perceived "attention" I was receiving from this friend and who knows what would have happened if I had told WH. WH is emotionally very needy and "unstable" due to his FOO. He will address this with his psychotherapist. I don't feel guilty, just shocked that WH perceived it as a betrayal on the scale of an A. WH intelectually understands that my fling before I met him and his A while we are M is not comparable but he feels what he feels and he knows it is screwed up and abnormal.

[This message edited by TheTooGoodWife at 12:40 PM, August 24th (Saturday)]

doesitgetbetter posted 8/24/2013 12:40 PM

I completely disagree. You DID betray him because you kept the information from him. He let you know about his insecurities about this guy, and you never once copped to the fact that you HAD been physical with this guy (while he was married no less). That IS a betrayal, it is a lie by omission. We BS's always talk about how the WS has lied by omission and how wrong it is, you have to be held to the same standard.

In WH's mind, he is going over all the times you two met, knowing that he was concerned about this guy, and yet you met him anyway, and never fessed up to sleeping with him (and having a very intense fling as you describe it). Clearly you had feelings for this guy at one point, clearly you were sexually attracted to him, so to have that chemistry is an issue for many.

H and I have a rule about NC with anyone either of us has had sexual relations with because the barrier of never having been naked in front of each other is already broken and makes it easier to fall back into bed with someone later on. It's a boundary we have. I have had similar reactions to your WH when I found out that my H was talking to someone he had dated before but "didn't have sex with so it's ok". It was a betrayal, they had a physical connection so it was off limits.

So, your WH is right, IMO, to be hurt by the fact that you intentionally held this information from him, especially when you knew he was concerned about it for so long. Sorry.

TheTooGoodWife posted 8/24/2013 12:50 PM

doesitgetbetter when fling guy and I broke up that was it. I had no residual feelings for him. It was brief and very intense but it burnt out and there was literally nothing left. I knew how WH felt about him so would ensure that I was NEVER alone with fling guy. We only ever saw each other in a group setting and when I would visit with fling guy's wife I always made sure he would not be around. I eventually went NC with them. Yes I did lie and it was a betrayal and WH has every right to be upset about that, I just did not realise HOW upset he would be. That WH would equate it to an A level betrayal.

ETA: When fling guy and I got involved their lawyers were waiting for a court date for the finalisation of their divorce. We broke up and the W then suspended the D because of immigration issues and they ended up reconciling a year later.

[This message edited by TheTooGoodWife at 1:08 PM, August 24th (Saturday)]

doesitgetbetter posted 8/24/2013 15:03 PM

That would be why a person doesn't "fool around" with someone until the ink dries on the D papers. I'm also kinda sad for you that you don't feel guilty for lying to him all those years when you knew it bothered him then, and you know how much it's affecting him now.

I don't think he's deflecting at all. I think he has a genuine right to be hurt that you kept this from him and continued to have a friendship with this man. Whether you two were ever alone again or not is not the point... .would it be OK if WS was hanging out with a former AP from a M before yours, so long as they weren't alone? That was before you even met, right? Probably not ok, I know I wouldn't allow it to happen at my house.

I think you get my drift. What you did WAS wrong, and you SHOULD feel guilty for lying to your H. Lying to our spouses is why ALL of us are here after all, right? Either we are the one that lied, or we are the one that was lied to.

myperfectlife posted 8/24/2013 15:25 PM

What a mess.
I do understand wanting my WS to feel the same way I feel.(I don't call it revenge, just understanding.)
It seems as though this has been accomplished in your situation.

The irony is that you kept this information from him so he would not feel that way-you loved him enough to protect him even though what you did was before you were even together and was not done against him at all.

What he did was after you were together, against your commitment, and he didn't think how much it would hurt you.

Some people just have no real empathy until they go through the exact same thing.
I don't feel sorry for him at all.

TheTooGoodWife posted 8/24/2013 16:24 PM

doesitgetbetter it's 15 months from d-day and the reason I don't feel guilty is that I have worked through all these feelings already with some pretty intense no bullsh*t IC and psychotherapy (twice a week with 1 counsellor and 1 therapist). I have carried guilt and shame for mine and my abusers issues from the age of 5 when I was 1st sexually abused. I have learnt the hard way that guilt and shame are 2 useless emotions as they don't stop us from doing the wrong thing and they have a tendency to keep us stuck and powerless. I decided to move on from these useless emotions and prefer to engage in healthy empathy and compassion hence the chat with WH last night. Now that I know the extent of his hurt I can put a plan into action to help him and myself.

ETA: WH was in fact in contact with and socialising with 3 of his ex sexual partners and I was ok with it but when d-day happened he went NC with 2 of them. The 3rd one is a family member that he has limited contact with and is never alone with her.

[This message edited by TheTooGoodWife at 4:58 PM, August 24th (Saturday)]

TheTooGoodWife posted 8/24/2013 16:45 PM

myperfectlife WH is emotionally retarded (his IC said so). His family are seriously effed up and he has some serious issues that he is working through. WH had no empathy or compassion for ANYONE (he shut off his emotions as a very young child to protect himself and survive). He acted out what was deemed acceptable when in public but in private he was incredibly disconnected and selfish so even though I was blindsided the A was, in hindsight, not really a surprise. WH was very jealous and paranoid, aggressively so, and that is why I never told him who it was that I had a R with. I was wrong to not have told the truth but at the time I felt it was safer. So when d-day hit I already knew how he felt about fling guy so I told WH that final truth as a way to hurt him even though I felt it would not hurt him as much as he hurt me. Obviously I was wrong. Yes his emotions are exaggerated but, now in hindsight, comes as no surprise due to his history. D-day he finally "woke" up and every feeling he has is in excess hence the breakdown. Ugh all this A stuff is really crazy making

[This message edited by TheTooGoodWife at 5:05 PM, August 24th (Saturday)]

mysticpenguin posted 8/24/2013 17:41 PM

Myperfectlife and original poster - my WH (and many other waywards) hid his PAs to protect me.

Thing is, in a marriage, it's not okay to make decisions like hanging out with an ex on your spouse's behalf. Your WH had the right to that info and you denied him that right.

TheTooGoodWife posted 8/24/2013 18:15 PM

Thing is, in a marriage, it's not okay to make decisions like hanging out with an ex on your spouse's behalf. Your WH had the right to that info and you denied him that right.

Yes, you are right. 15 months ago I found out about his A and he found out about my lie. We are both devastated by what was done to each other and by each other. Now we dig and fix. WH felt he could not express how hurt he was by my lie because of how hurt I was by his A. Last night when we spoke it was a relief for him and eye opening for me when he expressed himself without me throwing the A back in his face. It was a huge moment for both of us and a huge leap in our healing.

[This message edited by TheTooGoodWife at 6:17 PM, August 24th (Saturday)]

circe posted 8/24/2013 18:19 PM

IMO, you two betrayed each other in two different ways. It shouldn't be (again, IMO) about the A being worse or less forgivable - though that might be the case - but *in part* about two people in the marriage hiding information from each other.

I would consider it an extreme betrayal if my H kept information like that from me. In any social situation, my H should not have sexual secrets with another person - especially one I'm interacting with and talking to - that I'm clueless about. It's a betrayal. My guess is your WH is going back through his memories of every time he stood acted the clueless chump at a party with this guy, casually interacting with a man who (though he did not know it) fucked his wife before he ever met her, and whose identity you cherished as a sexual secret. Even after you heard of your husband's gut screaming at him that something was up between you and "fling guy", you wouldn't even put your husband out of his misery by admitting that what he felt was real and true, that there WAS something there, that this man had indeed been that "intense fling" you had talked about. Around here we call that gaslighting, and it can even happen in the absence of a technical affair (the fact that "fling guy" was married when you had the fling with him is a different issue, IMO) -- your husband was on to something real, and you made him feel like a "silly and jealous" idiot for guessing the truth. So yes, I believe you betrayed him seriously.

I told WH he was being silly and jealous as I did not see the interest.

Oh gosh. I mean... do you regret this? Or is this ok to you?

As far as your WH, I don't believe at all that his A cancels out any other marital betrayal on either of your parts. Each are separate cases. I am a mad hatter myself, and you'd better believe that each of our betrayals have been addressed in our marriage and our healing - there is no "your A was worse because it was PA and lasted longer..." or anything of the sort. We each own up to the damage we did to our marriage.

If your WH "gets it" now, how it feels to have important information withheld, made to look and feel and BE the stupid clueless one because a spouse withheld intimate information, who knows what it feels like to admit to painful insecurity, only to be dismissed - and to later find he was actually RIGHT and the dismissal was a lie - well... then this is one tool you can use toward healing, if healing your marriage is the direction you want to head.

I'm sorry both of you are feeling such pain, but if your goal is to rebuild a healthier marriage, then why not try to find the understanding this has generated in both of you? He is starting to "get it", and maybe you are understanding some of his disordered reasoning and withholding of information as well.

TheTooGoodWife posted 8/24/2013 18:46 PM

If your WH "gets it" now, how it feels to have important information withheld, made to look and feel and BE the stupid clueless one because a spouse withheld intimate information, who knows what it feels like to admit to painful insecurity, only to be dismissed - and to later find he was actually RIGHT and the dismissal was a lie - well... then this is one tool you can use toward healing, if healing your marriage is the direction you want to head.

Yes, exactly this. This is what I realised when we spoke last night. It took me 15 months after d-day to understand this. I was so caught up in my pain I did not recognise his. I am further down the road to healing as WH has A LOT of issues to deal with on top of the A and I am healed enough to help him. Yes it hurts to know that I have hurt him so deeply but at the same time it is healing to know that he truly "gets it". Today he went to work with a spring in his step and a burden lighter.

ETA: We are not minimising any of what has happened but we now have a clean foundation and complete understanding to work from and on.

[This message edited by TheTooGoodWife at 6:59 PM, August 24th (Saturday)]

myperfectlife posted 8/24/2013 19:44 PM

I get what you're saying, that the truth was kept from him.
My WS told me a few years ago that in high school he'd messed around with the sister of his best friend. We'd hung out with her since and it shocked me and it did upset me.
That was years before I ever knew him though. Although it bothered me that he hadn't told me, I reminded myself that I hadn't told him every single thing I'd ever done with every guy either.
Sometimes things are just ancient history.
I can understand that this is a little different because he was closer in your friends circle and your WS was particularly sensitive to this guy.
I am just glad that this has been an issue that's allowed both of you to get to the bottom of things and hopefully move on.
It has amazed and perplexed me that the things we thought we had dealt with had not ever really been dealt with before the A.
I don't know where things will go in my situation, but it just seems the more we dig the deeper the sh!tpile gets.
How does anyone ever have a healthy relationship-affair or not?
We are all such imperfect creatures.

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