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how is the healing process different for WS and BS?

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Alyssamd24 posted 11/29/2013 14:01 PM

This is something I have been wondering about for a while and I am very curious to see what WS and BS feel about this.

From what I have read, after going NC with an AP the WS needs to get to a place of indifference for their AP....obviously any contact or thoughts of AP stop the WS from moving on and focusing on their BS.

Now I have noticed from reading other forums that many BS continue to focus on their WS AP...they (understandably) have feelings of anger and hatred towards the AP and some seem to seek revenge....they may not actively do anything to get this revenge but to me it seems like they continue to focus on the AP.

I am not trying to offend anyone by posting this and apologize if I do so....but I feel like it's almost like a double is healthy for the WS to go NC (emotionally and physically) with AP to heal and fix themselves, but it doesn't appear that way with BS.

Why is that?

Alyssamd24 posted 11/29/2013 14:03 PM

I just feel like both WS and BS need to get past the anger and negative feelings about the AP in order to heal from the infidelity.

Alyssamd24 posted 11/29/2013 14:04 PM

Oops....I meant to remove the stop sign on this...

floridaredman posted 11/29/2013 14:28 PM


Obviously the WS going to indifference with the AP is essential as to not start up the affair again in any form or fashion.

The BS focusing on the AP is likened unto an intruder or trespasser in a very delicate territory of their marriage. They continue to be a threat whether you as the WS engage them or not. If someone did harm to your would be in protect and watch mode of that offender. You may express feelings of anger toward that person and you would keep tabs on that person so you can see if they plan to do harm again.

Most of all it is a question of morality, the BS is angry at you because you knew you were married and are even angrier at the AP for crossing that boundary, especially if they knew you were married. It shows what type of character the AP is and is someone to be on the lookout for.
All in all it is also the goal of the BS to become indifferent. But at their pace. They have to be able to have that anger, express that anger and then dismiss that anger. But all in due time. It could take years to reach indifference...but even though indifference is achieved..the BS will still be watchful.

The but verify.

[This message edited by floridaredman at 2:32 PM, November 29th (Friday)]

LA44 posted 11/29/2013 14:43 PM

Oops....I meant to remove the stop sign on this...

Glad you meant to remove the stop sign cause I was wonderin' how you would get BS feedback!

Thanks for asking Alyssa. I can say almost one year out that I don't fixate on her anymore. Of course I did in the beginning and it reached its peak this summer.

But I remember reading in After the Affair that this person was not the cause of our marital woes and would never be the solution - meaning - to focus my tirade on her was not going to help us in the long run. I had to keep my eyes on the horizon of R.
She has no place there.

This is very difficult. My mind is very strong but sometimes I just don't have it in me. It has gotten easier with time. Also, I did see her for the first time in Sept. and that lifted a certain amount of mystery for me.

I hope one day to get to indifference but right now I still feel incredibly angry when I think of her.

wifehad5 posted 11/29/2013 16:24 PM

PM for you LA44

seenow posted 11/29/2013 16:47 PM

My two cents: I agree with FRM. The APs are thieves. Thieves where the WS opened the door and said help yourselves. The WS needs to close and lock that door.

As a BS I need to take inventory of what was stolen and then be on the look out for that thief. A criminal still on the loose without punishment from me.

AML04 posted 11/29/2013 16:57 PM

For me my anger is so great, I need somewhere to focus it other than WH right now. In my mind I know he was the one who did this but OW knew me. WH also admits what he did was extremely selfish and destructive whereas OW feels she did nothing wrong. Couple that with the fact that he still works with her and I am struggling to reach any kind of indifference.

I try not to bring her up or rage about her to him but sometimes I can't help it. Hopefully I will get there sooner rather than later because I know it's not healthy for me or for R.

Alyssamd24 posted 11/29/2013 17:28 PM

Thank you for the responses....I am glad I asked the question and even more glad no one has taken I guess the path towards healing is the same for both but the time frame is a little bit different ?

Thank you especially to the BS who have replied...I am glad to get your insight!

Sal1995 posted 11/29/2013 17:31 PM

Couple that with the fact that he still works with her and I am struggling to reach any kind of indifference.

Sorry for the t/j Alyssa, but this comment jumped out at me. That must be horrible AML. I hope that he is trying his best to rectify that situation, asap.

Tred posted 11/29/2013 17:46 PM

FRM pretty much summed it up for me.

Alyssamd24 posted 11/29/2013 17:51 PM

No worries Sal.

I agree AML....I also hope that at some point your WH will no longer work with the OM.

OW feels she did nothing wrong.

This is one thing that I don't understand...the OW who feel no shame or remorse for what they have done. I am a WW and my A was with a MM but I would never have that attitude towards her....I feel nothing but anger and disgust towards myself for what I have done to her and her family, even though she doesn't believe that my A with her WH even happened.

I know I am no better than any of the other OW because I have caused as much hurt as them,but I just can't understand that added cruelty to the BS.

I guess I t/j my own post!

Sal1995 posted 11/29/2013 21:46 PM

I know I am no better than any of the other OW because I have caused as much hurt as them,but I just can't understand that added cruelty to the BS.

My wife's OM was an unsavory character who, from what I've heard, liked to brag about all the "mommies" he chased, so I'm pretty sure he doesn't give a rip about the hurt he's caused me. Alyssa, if you feel genuine remorse for the pain you caused OM's BW, you're on a better track than many. It's been great to witness your growth. I wish my WW had the courage to post on SI. Keep up the good work, there are thousands on this site pulling for you.

20WrongsVs1 posted 11/29/2013 23:11 PM

I feel nothing but anger and disgust towards myself for what I have done to her and her family, even though she doesn't believe that my A with her WH even happened.

How are you coming with ambivalence, sistah? I'm sensing that you're still a bit...resentful (?) toward OBS that your AP managed to snow her. The truth is, though, that you cannot know what she believes. Look at how much you've evolved in a couple of months. Isn't it possible that she has too? That it's dawned on her, that you were telling the truth and he's lying? I've seen it many times here on SI...the BW righteously, indignantly vilifying the OW, and her poor WH would never have strayed if not for that evil temptress! But a week, or six, later...Illumination as the blame finally shifts to the appropriate party.

Let go of what AP or OBS may or may not believe. You will never know.

I know I am no better than any of the other OW

Our actions were no better than the actions of any other OW. Hate the sin, love the sinner. We need to learn to love and accept ourselves, in order to heal from this and be good wives, mothers & humans.

Vulcanized posted 11/29/2013 23:54 PM

but I feel like it's almost like a double is healthy for the WS to go NC (emotionally and physically) with AP to heal and fix themselves, but it doesn't appear that way with BS.

As the BS, it's absolutely unhealthy to fixate on OP. Early in, I'd be in OW's part of town, and on the look out constantly. Always had a fake smile plastered on my face, just in case I ran into it. It was utter torture. (I never let that bitch see me sweat, ever)

It took a good year for me to accept that it was XH who failed to protect our M, and me, from OW. XH willingly invited this pig in, conspired w/it to torture me. Now that I have years worth of perspective, I can't help but feel nothing but pity for it.

Focusing on either one of them just isn't healthy for me. I don't give a damn how much either of them fixate on me; that's not my problem, so long as they both stay out of my orbit.

whereas OW feels she did nothing wrong.

I find it hard to hate somebody who is that damaged that they can't even grasp this very basic idea. Maybe XH's OW is evil, but I think it's more that she's just that stupid.

but I just can't understand that added cruelty to the BS.

Again, don't know if it's evil or just stupid. I never met this whore, yet, it made it it's mission to hurt me as much as possible. I can only speculate that the purpose of that was so that I'd D XH & it would get him thru default. Or maybe it just enjoyed torturing a total stranger.

Hate the sin, love the sinner.

At the end of the day, this. We all are imperfect & make mistakes. It's a matter of learning from them, and striving to move forward. I think there are very, very, very few people in the world who are completely w/o redemption.

GotMyLifeBck2013 posted 11/30/2013 07:39 AM

It gets easier for me every day. I just wake up, remind myself that these two people, the ex wayward wife and her 20 year old affair partner are bottom feeding scum who enjoy destroying innocent lives. Evil is easy to recognize if you are willing to look at it. And now I am able to through a good deal of my day without thinking of either of them.

AML04 posted 11/30/2013 09:02 AM

Alyssa-I agree with what 20wrongs said. Your actions during were no better but now is what counts. WH hears me bash OW on occasion and I worried that was how he thought I felt about him but it isn't. His actions after are what is keeping me going.

And thank you guys for your concern. WH is trying to find a new job; not only for my healing but for his.

[This message edited by AML04 at 7:46 PM, December 1st (Sunday)]

mindbody posted 11/30/2013 09:02 AM

I also agree with FRM.

I don't consider it fixating on the OW if I take precautions to avoid being anywhere near OW. Yes, that does require my time and thoughts that I believe are well worth it and not counterproductive.

It's not easy getting to indifference towards OW because she was more than an acquaintance. I respected and trusted her as well as came to her defense on other issues before D-Day. I would have liked an apology as well rather than having 2 certified NC letters returned, unopened, plus her denying receiving a 3rd one, and then all the broken NC.

What I am trying to say is that not all OPs are created equal. What OPs do after D-Day may have a large impact on the degree of "fixating."

Another consideration is whether the WS/WSO is sympathizing with the OP, even knowing that the OP has also hurt the BS/BSO of WS/WSO. It's up to the WS/WSO to reach this preferred indifference which helps the BS/BSO reach acceptance.

Honestly, I don't know that it is necessary for all BS/BSOs to reach indifference. I really don't wish any harm on OW, I hope OW heals and has a good life AND I never want to see her again, ever. Apathetic, immaterial, unconcerned, impartial (as the dictionary describes the word indifferent) does not describe where I am in regards to OW. Are my thoughts of OW interfering with my R? A resounding no. I am leaving my opinions and options open depending on OW's actions.

I am most thankful for the wonderful threads and posts by the Ws on SI. I've always believed that the 2 people having an affair are equally responsible for their participation. I don't differentiate the responsiblity between the OP/WS/WSO. I'm sure that my WSO and the OW did whatever they needed to do to make the A happen, neither was forced.

Alyssamd24, your post was not offensive at all. I'm not feeling revengeful - I am being vigilant and protective. There's no double standard here, I hope WSO and I are always on the same page regarding OW.

Blobette posted 11/30/2013 10:08 AM

When someone hurts you, vengence is a natural human response. Our WSs hurt us, and we want to hurt them. However, if we're in R, we can work through these feelings with the person there. With an AP, however, typically you can't. And it's also a quite normal thing for people to displace all of that hurt and hate away from the WS and onto the AP.

Moreover, all situations are NOT created equal. I actually obsess very little about my WH's AP. Why? 1) I never have to see her; she lives in another state 2) I never knew her well in the first place 3) my WH threw her under the bus pretty quickly and 4) the relationship they had was not one I'd want to have with my WH. In other words, it wasn't a crazy rainbows ILY madly situation. It was a FWB thing. All of these factors are going to affect how a BS feels about the AP.

All BSs know that they should ideally reach a state of indifference re the AP. This is very different, however, from the process that a WS is going through -- I would think, anyway. The WS is detaching him/herself from feelings of attraction, addiction, obsession, etc. The BS is weaning him/herself from feelings of hate, jealousy, and vengence. I really don't think the two should be equated.

Also, as BSs, we have to control ourselves so much. We have all of these horrible, awful feelings to work through and hard realities to face. I'm not alone in saying that this has been the most devastating emotional experience of my life. Indulging in a little bit of uncontrolled hatred of the AP is the one area where anything goes and there's not a lot of downside as long as you don't act on it. I'm not saying it's healthy to indulge in this long-term -- I'm just saying that it's just a way of letting out a bit of excess emotion. And being "fair" to the AP is pretty much at the bottom of my list of worries.

Sal1995 posted 11/30/2013 12:01 PM

Our WSs hurt us, and we want to hurt them.

Wow, that hit home Blobette. It's a painful thing to consider, but it's true. Truthfully, the biggest barrier to R right now is the feeling that anything less than divorce would be a huge injustice. Complicating things is the fact that there's no way to "punish" my WW without also punishing myself and our kids. It's one hell of a Catch-22.

As for punishing her AP...I'd love to if there was a way to do it without jeopardizing my freedom or professional license. But truthfully my hatred of him is connected to the choices my wife made. He's one of thousands just like him in this town alone - middle aged, divorced men with nothing better to do than to prowl nightclubs looking for easy scores. Dime a dozen. I loathe him for the kind of man he is, but that's about it. I'm furious at her for giving a guy like him a shot in the first place. If not him, it would have been someone else. Never met the guy, so there's not even a face to put with the name.

It might actually be helpful if I knew him or if he was close friend so that some of the pain and rage could be directed away from my wife. I try, but it always comes back to her.

The healing process is proving to be more difficult than I ever could have imagined.

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