I was a fat kid in a thin family. I frequently heard expressions of disgust directed toward fat people and twice my parents made weight loss a requirement for something I wanted badly, like a pet or to pursue a certain activity. Shame and disgust got very tangled up for me, and they were very painful to feel. I learned to shut them down. I literally was able to behave shamelessly because I was able to numb my sense of self-disgust. This is something I was able to do long before the affair, and it's no surprise that I have a string of wayward behaviors stretching back to my first relationship. Understanding this was the key that made all of the why (and there's more to it) pieces make sense. For me, it is the answer to "How could you..."
Now I'm trying to forge a proper relationship with the emotion of disgust. It's an unpleasant but really necessary emotion that cues us when something is potentially unhealthy for us or another person. If understood properly it helps us form healthy boundaries and defines the kind of people we want don't want to be. At least that's what I've figured out so far.
Digging our way through.
I registered on this site as a BS, but I have been the WS in the past.
I ended up hating my AP. Not just because of what he represented (a way of life I no longer wanted), but because of who he was. Unattractive, unintelligent, deceitful, and... (sorry for TMI) had a hard time "keeping it up." He was nothing like my BS.
But the whole thing started because he said the right things and made me feel wanted and important. After that, it was all about the "drug" that was the affair. I dumped my AP 3 different times (last time for good) because, while I had chosen him as an AP, I would never have chosen him as a life partner.
These days, everyone who knows about my affair laughs about it with me. He is usually referred to as "the mistake." Well, aren't they all?
married 2y, together 2.5y
1 beautiful daughter, 23m
"Someday soon, I'm going to put my life together; Win or lose, I'm starting over again."
Krazy - Thank you as well. I too hate my AP and am extremely disgusted with what I have done not only my actions with the AP but what I have done to my BGF.
My BGF is having a real hard time getting past the fact that the AP is such a lesser person both physically and mentally than my BGF. My BGF is extremely fit, 2 masters degrees in forensics, accepted to Johns Hopkins for her 3rd Masters, former pro cheerleader, and all around great woman. She said she could understand if the OW was equal or better than her but to throw away my BGF for the lesser AP is really eating at her soul.
I've tried to explain my delusional state was ego driven. My depression and lack of self would not have been appealing to someone else as equal to my BGF. The lesser OW was easier, weaker and accepting of weaker state so therefore. This acceptance appealed to my ego and falsely increased my self-esteem.
Does this sound normal or could I be off base? How else could a WS be so dismissive of such a great spouse?
[This message edited by SheHatesMe at 9:17 PM, August 28th (Wednesday)]
Here's I question I have: Are/ were you jealous/ threatened by her success? Just wondering if resentment is one of your root problems...
As far as your question -
Are/ were you jealous/ threatened by her success? Just wondering if resentment is one of your root problems...
This realization came from one of my BGF and my discussions about why I could have done this. I was going through a rough depression (which I'm still fighting through but getting better) where I did not see much light at the end of the tunnel. My BGF was becoming more successful and I began to feel more unworthy of her. I pulled away from her and really sank deeper losing all the self-esteem I had left. Although she tried hard to help me out of my depression, I let my pride take over and felt I needed to do this myself without help. As she continued having more success, I pulled further away. I'd try to be intimate when I wanted it and she would push back. I took offense to it and felt she wasn't attracted to me anymore. I understand now that when I pulled away I stopped communicating with her. She needs communication to feel close to someone and will not be intimate with anyone if she doesn't feel close. I completely understand her side now. In the past, I recall her saying early on that she doesn't need a man in her life to be happy. I failed to remember the "to be happy" part. So, yeah, I began to believe she didn't need me anymore, she's becoming successful and she will soon leave me behind. Could I have been more self-loathing and pitiful?
Now I recognize that I was that way. I'm confident with continued self improvement, introspection, and IC and the memory of the A and affects of the A, I will become a much stronger and loving person for the person I should have always been that way toward - my BGF.
Maybe deep down you don't feel "worthy" of your bgf? Picked an ow that you felt you deserved?
I know I felt this way at time leading up to the A. Feeling unworthy of someone else is a personal flaw caused by low self-esteem and low self-worth. It's not her fault. I know I need to fix myself from the inside out as Dr. Phil would say. I am making a strong effort to do so. I recognize my BGF is a woman any man with any sense would die to be with. I have found my lost sense and would die for her now. I just hope it's not too late. I'm so sad for her.
My BGF is extremely fit, 2 masters degrees in forensics, accepted to Johns Hopkins for her 3rd Masters, former pro cheerleader, and all around great woman. She said she could understand if the OW was equal or better than her but to throw away my BGF for the lesser AP is really eating at her soul.
I do not understand the focus on here with this whole thing and I hail from both sides when I speak about this. Even before I ever considered my actions. Hell, my ex cheated on me before we got married (I'll take a clue for 500 Alex )
I actually know a couple people that list could apply to almost verbatim and one of them is a complete asshole, so there's that.
I get that no one wants to view affairs as relationships. They are, though. Relationships don't have to reflect Hallmark cards to earn that title. It's a simple description of a level of interaction between two people.
I'm sure most have dated or gone out with a few people we shake our heads about years later. I'm sure more than a few of us are those people for other's as well.
Cheating doesn't have anything to do with up or down and the OP. It has everything to do with ourselves, where we were mentally and what we need to change about THAT so we are never THERE again, whether our partner is a Nobel Peace Prize recipient or swinging from a bell tower.
'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth
My point was how can a WS assist in reassuring the BS like this that it's not intended as a personal attack and it was just simply a WS issue that was dealt with incorrectly through poor choices?
It's an "attraction" for lack of a better word that stems from the weak inner self of the WS attaching to someone that makes him/her feel better about themselves or to fill a void of whatever they feel may be missing in their life at that moment
No misunderstanding, Shehates. I get that. But you're also describing marriages as well. So are you stating you were completely healthy and together when the two of you met then momentarily lost your collective shit and are now back on track?
Hell, maybe she married down, then. There are things that bring two people together and dysfunction bonds as strongly, at times.
How do you explain it's not personal? You don't. It is personal. Affairs are very personal. If I slap someone in the face it shows lack of control at the very least, for me. It's a demonstration of my deficits as an individual. It's also a very personal attack. Make no mistake. To factor that out of all this makes no sense to me and never will.
While some claim the spouse was never a factor, wrapping my mind around that has proven impossible for me. Maybe that's my narrative overlay.
So now you've determined she's perfection and you're a flawed cretin. How can that dynamic work at all?
As an aside, being that driven carries its own challenges.
Individual work is the solution to both scenarios. Reassuring someone that such a betrayal isn't personal would seem to me to actually be furthering the injury. They have too choices now, in their minds. Either because of them or they didn't factor into the equation at all. Yeah, both those suck at an epic level.
Although I fully understand your view of the attack was taken personal its intent was not to be. The intent of the A was a selfish attempt to feel better about myself. Unfortunately, it was at the absolute worse expense of my BGF.
But you're also describing marriages as well. So are you stating you were completely healthy and together when the two of you met then momentarily lost your collective shit and are now back on track?
Hell no, I'm not stating I was completely healthy and toghether. HAHA. Again, unfortunatly, I never examined by internal issues that may leave me vulnerable to such an atrocity. I sank into a depression due to job issues, financial issues, self made isolation, and the inability to fully grieve for the loss of my mother. I believe my depression enhanced my low self-esteem and my reaction to that was to withdraw from my BGF into a deeper hole. This coupled with my lack of boundaries left me open to letting evil into my life.
While some claim the spouse was never a factor, wrapping my mind around that has proven impossible for me.
My BGF did play a part. But even she had the best of intentions. She tried to help and push me to get help and do things to get better. My stubborn pride resisted and made her out to be nagging pushing her futher away. So yes she played a part but intent is everything.
So now you've determined she's perfection and you're a flawed cretin. How can that dynamic work at all?
I am not stating that she's perfection, but she is definitely the most unique, special woman that I have ever met. That's what attracted me to her to begin with. My now exposed flaws were hidden so deep inside I wasn't aware of them in order to fix them. So yes, I am a flawed cretin. But knowing this truth and lifting from my depressive fog has broght determination upon me to be a better man and actually work on me. For only I can fix me and I cannot fully love someone else properly if I do not love myself.
My understanding of through various books and IC has revealed that our actions are determined in part by our FOO. How we were brought up and the numerous relationships we've been in (both romantic and friendly) shape our character. Our boundaries or lack there of also play a role. Many times without knowledge until a tragic event happens and they are brought to the surface and exposed. Our choices are made based on the ways that we were shaped in our past. Again, many people do not evaluate themselves throughout life, they simply live. With this being said, how we learn from those mistakes is key. If we continue to make the same mistakes after realizing they are mistakes, we are flawed individuals. But having the drive and determination to better themselves so as not to make that mistake again is ideal. People can change with the right motivation.
This is such powerful motivation.
Although I fully understand your view of the attack was taken personal its intent was not to be
I see intent on here a lot. "Intent is everything". I disagree with this and always have. If the consequence is very foreseeable (and I can't see how it isn't) that can't help but factor into "intention". To me, the hair splitting of "intent" is only relavent when discussing legal matters. Otherwise it's a whole lot of nothing.
I didn't intend to die when cliff diving but forgot my parachute sounds insane. So how can "I didn't intend to hurt my spouse while engaging in behavior I KNOW will hurt my spouse so I better keep it a real big secret" make any more sense.
Yeah, FOO, childhood, coping skills, thought processes shape how we narrate our choices and may play a very big role in how we make our choices. I will always have a hard time believing that rage for very real or imagined injuries don't play a role in this cluster fuck and the natural reaction to rage is hurt back at worst or fuck em at best.
Again, get this is my view only.
[This message edited by uncertainone at 1:14 PM, August 29th (Thursday)]
So yes she played a part but intent is everything
For her actions, yeah. Intent is everything. Here's the problem, though.
I'm moving a board. I don't see you and smack you with the board.
I pick up the board and whack you with it. Intention is everything there because the original action in and of itself is neutral. It's moving lumber and there are many reasons to engage in moving lumber, most very benign and positive.
Affairs aren't lumber. There is NO positive reason to engage and "you" know, regardless of FOO, childhood, character development that people are going to get hurt. We all know this. And not the having to amputate a limb to extract from a smashed car pancaked under a collapsed bridge kind of way. Just...hurt.
Intention becomes moot. Whether it's an aggressive assault or a passive agressive dismissal and detachment it's hostile. It just is, to me.
I can also see that a BS and WS view of intent can be different
I'm sure it can. I'm a wayward spouse, though, so guess views can be different even among "us W's"
The hidden parts of her horrible marriage didn't come out until I called the OS and let him know what's up. The first thing out of his mouth was it doesn't surprise me I was about to divorce that b**ch. nice eh????
I was very hurt that the person who had taken my husbands connection away from me was a lesser person then I. It has helped me to understand that she had a super good motivation in netting my spouse, she didn't want to be alone when she was cut loose from her marriage, and my husband was horrified to find out how ugly her life had been and her very secretive motives for searching out his company.
[This message edited by TxsT at 3:14 PM, August 29th (Thursday)]
Through thick and thin we will survive but he gets only one shot at it!
Unfortunately, a BS will initially compare the AP to themselves in an attempt to understand why the WS...
My point was how can a WS assist in reassuring the BS...
My point was how can a WS assist in reassuring the BS...
Speak for yourself. I don't mean that flippantly or sarcastically. But, speak about how you feel, how she says she feels. KWIM? Don't generalize and therefore remove yourself from the situation.
It's like when we go to the doctor and say, "I have this friend who has a weird rash." This is your life. Own it.
As for your AP being "equal or better than" your BGF...a person is not measured by her educational degrees or physical beauty. Both of my APs were intelligent, successful and--that highest of American accomplishments--were on tee-vee! So fucking what? You can put lipstick on a pig...but it's still a pig. They're still lying cheaters and therefore can't hold a candle to my honest, loyal BH. Who is brilliant, accomplished and dead sexy.
(ETA: I originally messed up the adage).
[This message edited by 20WrongsVs1 at 5:52 PM, August 29th (Thursday)]
Maybe part of the problem is we want to know our partner loves us and is with us because of what's on the inside. Not because of a degree, or fitness status, or the fact that we were a cheerleader in our past. We want them to want us for who we are on the inside. Because they love the silly way we laugh. Because no one makes them feel the way we do.
When we find out the OW doesn't have certain outward qualities, it scares us. Now we worry....what else was about her, that made you want to throw us away.
While I realize there was probably NOTHING special about the AP, it doesn't matter because in our head we see it so differently. It's what makes a ONS sometimes easier to deal with, than an emotional affair.
We want to know this person was just a body, and easy to forget. When it's not her body you were after, it means we now have to worry she's in your heart and mind and will we ever be the only one, again.