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How long can the "fog" last?

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Crushed15Feb13 posted 12/25/2013 16:32 PM

I'm 9 months out from DDay but recently got TT'd with some details that hurt so bad it sent me back to feeling like I did when I just found out. (I still don't have a compelete timeline). But I've learned there was skinny dipping and sex on blankets in parks - these were MY fantasies, but I knew my wife would never go for it - but it turned out it needed to be someone else, not me. You'd think she was 16 yrs old, not 52!!

Anyway, my wife's affair lasted more than 4 years. Is it possible for someone to deceive themselves and compartmentalize feelings to behave so despicably toward a spouse for such a long time? I mean, wouldn't you think at SOME point in those years, she would've come to her senses and questioned her own behavior??

My first Christmas knowing about it. Opening gifts as a family around the tree last night felt so false.

So sorry to vent, but I just wanted to knwo what others think. I'm not very good at figuring this stuff out, and I've lurked here long enough to know there are those who've seen a LOT and could maybe explain it to me.

Thank you, and Merry Christmas.

JerseyCowgirl posted 12/25/2013 18:00 PM

Tough question indeed because as you know everyone is different. I kinda equate it to an addict finally going for help...they first have to hit that bottom for them. But usually that first start on that path is when the veil is lifted and others see their behaviour and it comes to light and how swiftly others stop enabling this behavior. Are you doing 180 to start the consequences and also start working on you. This helps you so much in your decision on whether you want to continue in your M. Take baby steps on everything right now and take care of you!

MakingLemonade posted 12/25/2013 22:09 PM

I've not been here long so I can only speak of my own experience. The answer to how long the fog lasts in my situation is it has yet to end other than I divorced him. That's after discovering six years of false reconciliation. Truthfully with all that has come out in the past year, I believe it's my XWS's state of mind.

But you know what? You can't do a thing about WS. You can only work on yourself. Nine months post your Dday with what sounds like your WS has lack of remorse, is that what you want to live with? Only you can decide. If she hasn't woken up by now, felt enough guilt to take actions to discover why she betrayed her marriage, what will make her question it at this point?

Crushed15Feb13 posted 12/25/2013 22:33 PM

I'm sorry, I should clarify. My WW is very remorseful now, but I just wonder how or why the fog didn't lift at any time in the 4 yr affair? How can someone live a lie and deceive a trusting spouse for SO long?

[This message edited by Crushed15Feb13 at 10:33 PM, December 25th (Wednesday)]

wonderpets posted 12/26/2013 00:31 AM

No fog, there is just people getting away with what they can until they meet real consequences.

Bobbi_sue posted 12/26/2013 00:40 AM

I mean, wouldn't you think at SOME point in those years, she would've come to her senses and questioned her own behavior??

Yes. That is one more reason I don't believe in the "fog." And their choice to put you last on their list can last forever.

bufffalo posted 12/26/2013 02:21 AM

How can someone live a lie and deceive a trusting spouse for SO long?

Very good question....

Did she pull that "we're in love"? "soulmates", etc.....

Has contact been broken? and are you sure?

What does your wife say...the "whys" of her affair?

Is she in IC to work on that...her pre-affair issues?

There are several types of affairs...exit, rekindled, ego stroking, revenge affairs....what kind is important....was she getting attention she craved? Etc...what kind is important...

If she is truly remorseful and transparent...doing all the right things....this is good...R can happen. Ill admit - 4 years is a long one.....the whys are important...what does she say?


Crushed15Feb13 posted 12/26/2013 10:28 AM

It hurts so much to talk about this, but I will try to answer these questions with what I *think* I know (I don't feel like I can ever be sure about anything anymore).

It was just recently the anniversary of the last time they were together, in a shitty little motel after work. The last time they saw each other was last April, when he camped at her car to catch her coming out after work was done. (They don't work together, but are minutes away from each other in this large metro area). She told him then it was over and she never wanted to see him again, and he should stay away from her. He's left a VM on her birthday and an email at Thanksgiving, each of which she told me about. She sent an NC certified mail 2 weeks ago, but she hasn't received receipt of pickup yet (plenty of time has gone by, but this is not his first affair and he knows well what an NC letter is; I assume he's being childish and refusing to go receive the letter so he can claim he was never NC'd.)

A very difficult aspect of this for me, is that sometimes she said she never loved him or had plans to leave me for him. How could she throw me and our 25 year marriage away for someone she's not even in love with or serious about? Then sometimes she tells me she thinks she WAS in love with him, but still loved me too. And other times she says she had fallen out of love with me, and had lost sight of me and us.

We have been to some MC, and she has done quite a bit work with a great IC to identify the causes. One thing seems to make sense- her affair partner is a Narcissistic Personality Disorder case, and she was codependent. She says he was praising her constantly and giving her emotional support.

I think she is very fragile and was having suicidal thoughts after all this horror came out, so I have been comforting and reassuring her - but inside I'm as lost and confused and as hurt as ever.

I don't know if I can ever trust again. I think she is sincere about R but I don't know if I can do it. I haven't had a good night's sleep since last February.

Thanks for responses. I've been to some ICs and some groups too, but its hard to talk about and I don't feel like anything is helping me adjust to this terrible, horrible reality.

painfulpast posted 12/26/2013 10:46 AM

I asked how he could do just that - be so cruel behind my back and let me think everything was just fine.

The answer, always, is this:

It didn't matter what I said to her about you or us. I didn't mean any of it, and you weren't supposed to find out, so there was supposed to be no harm done.

It's a very shitty answer, and he knows how depraved that line of thinking was, but at the time, that was it. It's just a WS lying to themselves so that they can continue doing what they want.

7yrsflushed posted 12/26/2013 10:47 AM

If you haven't check, out the LTA post in the I can relate forum. It's for those that have been affected by long term affairs.

I think she is very fragile and was having suicidal thoughts after all this horror came out, so I have been comforting and reassuring her - but inside I'm as lost and confused and as hurt as ever.
When it comes to LTA's which your WW had, I don't consider them fragile people at all. It takes a certain kind of individual to lie, sneak, set up, coordinate and maintain a long term A for years. They aren't weak and fragile at all. They are determined to keep it going and they work very hard at it in most cases. They had years to stop it and didn't because they wanted it to continue. Think about it, they are decieving their BS, kids, and friends by living this double life for years. Fragile people can't easily maintain a double life for years. She wasn't weak and fragile for 4 years while she was in the middle of her A was she.

I am not saying you have to be an ass to her at all. I am not saying it doesn't take it's toll on them but for a WS to suddenly becoming weak, fragile, and unhinged after Dday is IMO, an additional slap in the face for the BS when they were strong enough to maintain the lie for years.

ETA: If she actually stated she is having suicidal thoughts get her some help. My point was don't assign weakness or fragility to your WS. I am also not saying this is your WW but for some they use it to get out of discussing or facing consequences for their actions.

[This message edited by 7yrsflushed at 10:58 AM, December 26th (Thursday)]

hurtsobadinside posted 12/26/2013 11:02 AM


Sending you strength....which you will need for this journey.

How can someone live a lie and deceive a trusting spouse for SO long?

When Waywards live in their unicorn world, they never think about what to do after getting found out......until they are actually "found out"

Its then when the TT ing...the rug sweeping, the gas-lighting comes into play. My WW had a 7 yr LTA and i think of it every day of my life. How could she do this to me and our daughter?

i truly dont think Ill ever forget what she did...but will as i have ...just learn to live with it. At this point for me, 21 months since D-day, i still may file for "D"..i just dont know?

Hang in there brother, you have a long road ahead of you and are just at the beginning...remember we here @ SI know what you are going throught and are here to help you along this journey.

me: 58
her WW- 57
7 yr LTA (PA & EA) with her former boss
one D-24 yrs old- former eating disorder now OCB
married 25 yrs
in "R" and its been roller-coaster
D-day 3-13-12
confronted 6 wks later (dropped 35# in those 6 wks and spent 2 days in the hospital with severe chest pains--thought I was having a heart attack)
I contacted AP's faithful wife outed their "A" (she knew nothing)and we both kept tabs on our waywards
True NO Contact- July 2012
Fog, denials, blame shifting, rub sweeping, TT selfish, stubborn...lots of mal-adapted coping skills, no name it and she did it but things are finally getting better very slowly
its a long road....and painful and she finally understands the true value and extent of the gift I gave her in both "R" and not telling anyone about her "A"

Crushed15Feb13 posted 12/26/2013 12:40 PM

Thank you all for your your kind posts. It also hard not to have anybody to talk to. I have to keep this horrible situation to myself to protect everyone - her, our boys (I don't want them to know what their mom did- it's hard enough growing up in this world already), friends, extended family, etc.

Hurt, I know what you mean about chest pains. I had them every day for months. I guess it is what a real broken heart feels like. I feel like my heart has been physically damaged and I no longer have the life expectancy I once did.

workindad posted 12/26/2013 20:12 PM

My XWW came out of her fog when the divorce settlement money ran out and she had to get a job.

I'm sure it's different for everyone though.

ZedLeppelin posted 12/26/2013 22:17 PM

I'm sorry for your pain.

4 years is a long time. If I were in your shoes she would be packing some clothes and staying with relatives until after New Year.

Get some breathing space and find out what you want. For me, the 4 year aspect would be a dealbreaker, and would have given her divorce papers as a christmas present.

Good Luck - and whatever you choose you will survive this.

FightingBack posted 12/27/2013 11:22 AM

Is it possible for someone to deceive themselves and compartmentalize feelings to behave so despicably toward a spouse for such a long time? I mean, wouldn't you think at SOME point in those years, she would've come to her senses and questioned her own behavior??

Crushed, believe me, I really do understand how these questions torment you.

To answer the first part of your question, I believe that the WS deceives themselves only in that they believe that they will never get caught. My WH has said many times that his AP assured him that they were "safe" and "no one would ever find out or be hurt". The fact that he remembers this feeling of (false) security tells me that at least at some point he must have thought about it, however briefly, but was very ready to accept her assurances.

I could never understand how he could have risked his family as well as the futures and well-being of his children on the promises of someone who was a liar and a cheat, but I now know it is because he wanted to.

The compartmentalization comes in for self preservation. For some of us, leading a double life would be so filled with guilt and worry and shame that we would be eaten up from the inside out. Others are able to push away or repress such feelings because they don't want to acknowledge or feel them for the same reasons.

I know it is hard to understand or even believe that. It is just so far away from our own set of coping skills. But let me tell you something. Five years before I found out about the affair, I found a small card in my H's laundry. It was a "coupon" or voucher promising a "BJ for your Birthday". The signature was not clear. At first my heart dropped down to my knees. Then, quite quickly, I searched for an explanation. Of course this did not belong to my H. Not possible. It had to belong to a friend of my son's who was living with us at the time. His birthday was two days before my husband's. How did it end up in my H's laundry? Well, my H must have scooped it up with some socks lying on the floor somewhere. That was it!

I threw out. Then I did something very out of character for me. I NEVER GAVE IT ANOTHER THOUGHT! I never mentioned it to anyone - not my H, not the boy who was staying with us, not even my best girlfriend. No one. And I didn't remember it until I discovered the A. I totally repressed that information because at the time it filled me with such fear that I couldn't handle thinking about it.

So I am able of doing the very same thing that I thought I could not be capable of - compartmentalization. I never forgot completely, just refused to acknowledge it.

As far as behaving despicably toward a spouse for such a long time? I don't think waywards think of their actions as impacting anyone else. My H truly believed that what I didn't know wouldn't hurt me, that his affair had nothing to do with our relationship. It was totally separate. What he didn't see was that he was so distant, unemotional and disconnected from me that neither of us were happy. But not ever considering an affair, I couldn't pinpoint the reason for this distance or coldness, so I just accepted it as "normal".

He wasn't leading a double life to be cruel to me, but in his detachment, he never considered that what he was doing was cruel. He didn't even consider that he was lying to me. He just never told me the truth about his life or mine.

I have also wondered about whether he ever questioned his behaviour. He has told me that he never allowed himself to "go there" in his thoughts, but for 15 years? I agree, that is hard to wrap your head around. They must have thought about it at some point.

I think I will forward this thread to my H and ask. I had asked him recently in an email if he had ever thought twice about what he was doing, but I haven't received an answer yet. Kind of a similar question.

I'll get back to you on that one.

I have learned over the last two years that none of us think alike so when we try to understand someone else's motives or behaviours, we have to give up the notion that the same set of beliefs and values that we may have, also applies to someone else. Even if that someone is someone that we thought we knew. We never really "know" another. And we can't really understand their thought processes unless they tell us.

And to be able to tell us, they are the only ones that can dig deep and figure that out.

Until that happens, we as the BS experience what us known here as "crazy-making"!

OK now posted 12/27/2013 11:47 AM

Ask yourself why your wife wishes to reconcile and why all the fake remorse, [yes, its fake]. She in her 50's and old age is around the corner. She most certainly does not want to be alone for the rest of her life and the number of suitable candidates to replace you, if you divorce, is rather small. i have many divorced or widowed female friends in their 50's and 60's and few ever meet someone good enough to spend their lives with.

You are reliable loyal and familiar. She is not going to meet a guy of your caliber at her age, so she'll tell you whatever you want to hear just to keep you around.

Believe you me, she does not regret her wonderful affair; however she needs to pile on the remorse to stop you leaving. She is fully aware of what she will lose if you divorce; social companion, financial security, friend, company etc. and the loss is not acceptable. Not very romantic, but eminently sensible.

FightingBack posted 12/27/2013 11:56 AM

Ouch, OKnow.

Your statement could apply to a few of us here. What makes you think Crushed's wife's remorse is not authentic.

Personally, I would rather be alone than with someone I didn't want to be with.

Edith posted 12/27/2013 13:22 PM

Hi Crushed,
So sorry you are going through this. It sounds like you are the caretaker, even for your WW, who has hurt you in such a terrible, enormous way.

What have you done for yourself? Sounds like you have a lot of plates spinning, trying to protect your wife from others finding out about her terrible actions. Perhaps it is best to let some of those plates drop, in the interest of your own healing.

The issue you are trying to figure out about the fog is really pretty irrelevant, in my opinion. Who can really figure out insanity? Maybe she thought she loved him, maybe not, and she may not even know the true answer herself. Only time will tell if she is truly committed to you and the M.

She is broken, and she needs to figure out the reason she felt it acceptable to betray you for 4 long years. It sounds like she was mesmerized by his ego stroking, a very strong allure, which is all too common.

So in the meantime, you need to focus on yourself. Time to get selfish. Time to start focusing on your own healing. Whether it means some time to yourself or a new hobby or activity, or a trip you have always wanted to take, or whatever. Try to embrace yourself, and let go of your wife for a time. She needs to put on her big-girl panties and help YOU with healing, rather than the other way around.

Praying for you to find peace. Take care.


OK now posted 12/27/2013 14:25 PM

The affair was over 4 years in length and WW didn't develop any remorse over that time period. Presumably the affair ran its course and she was relieved it ended; possibly menopause or just advancing years played a part.

Thats an awful long time not to be troubled by a conscience and I suspect she was comfortable with the illicit excitement and her secure marriage. She did not confess; it was outed by the BW and from that one can surmise that she wasn't too troubled by her adultery. Until after she was found out of course.

To me its logical for your wife to value her marriage and respectability as a married woman above all other things; including genuine remorse for the hurt she has caused you. She has to fear for her future; if you divorce her it will possibly be the largest disaster of her life. Its hard to start over at 52.

May be I'm being a trifle cynical but I think most so-called remorse is propelled by fear of loss. Makes sense really; losing your marriage [assuming the AP isn't available] is a calamity, particularly as old age nears.

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