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Can a WS please help me understand?

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Childoftheking posted 4/30/2014 20:08 PM

6 months from DD here, and my husband and I are doing really well...or it seems as though we are for this situation. My husband had a 2 month affair while deployed, came home and confessed everything and was seemingly disgusted with himself. There was no trickle truth at all, he answered all my questions over and over again with patience, and I chose almost immediately to try to reconcile. Our relationship is stronger and happier in a lot of ways, and I think we appreciate each other more.
Here is the thing I just can't let go of...I've asked my husband so many times and I'm not sure it's something I'll ever understand. I was hoping another WS could offer his/her opinion. I know every situation is different. Leading up to the affair, my husband and I had good major issues and were happy (or so I thought). I would say with 100% certainty that he would of never cheated or risked the life we have together before this. I'm here is my question....

Can you truly love your bs in the midst of an affair? Or is it a moment in your relationship where you forget how much you love them? I can't get past feeling like my husband chose her over he didn't love me enough to not cheat. He assures me that she was never before me in his eyes and that he never stopped loving me....I just can't wrap my head around it. On another level, I know he loves his kids more than anything, and I feel like he betrayed them too because his choices could of ripped their family maybe I shouldn't take it so personally?

I'd love a WS's opinion on this. Thanks!

karmahappens posted 4/30/2014 21:11 PM

Hey child

I am not the WS, but from my experience the affair has more to do with a WS not loving themselves.

Nothing to do with you.


RightTrack posted 5/1/2014 00:47 AM

This still isn't the WS answer you're looking for but my WS told me the same " I never stopped loving you" line and I feel the same way you do about it. I see/hear the "it's about the WS not the BS" line all the time but I don't believe it. My WS's affair was him choosing her over me and over his own kids. It was an act of total disrespect for me. It was complete uncaring about two little kids. It was exposing me, with my advanced stage cancer, to potential diseases.

Nobody can tell me that his leaving me to parent our kids by myself for two years while he wasted time playing Mafia Wars and having phone sex and pitiful motel week-ends wasn't about me. This was my marriage too and every stupid act he did directly or indirectly affected me negatively and he knew that and continued on anyway. If that's love then I don't want it.

byefornow posted 5/1/2014 05:15 AM

On one thread on SI, I read the following

He didn't choose her over you, He choose himself over you.

this made a lot of sense to me, but I still have a hard time believing it and living it. But, each time I start to think "he choose her", I now stop (picture a stop sign) and say to myself "He choose himself over me".

He did choose himself. He was incredibly selfish and stupid. So, I am choosing to try to believe that.

Flatlined123 posted 5/1/2014 05:26 AM

Bye, I can see that. H chose his selfish fantasy over our family...over me...over us. And that hurts so hard, cuts so deep.

It still makes you feel like a shit sandwich no matter how it's wrapped up. It feels like something was so much better than you that it was worth risking everything.

I struggle with this, but in the future I'll try to remember what you said.

confused615 posted 5/1/2014 05:32 AM

IMO, they may love us when they're cheating...but we just don't matter.

olwen posted 5/1/2014 07:22 AM

That's what my fwh said. He just stopped thinking about me. He chose to push me out of his mind so he could enjoy what he had with her. He knew he loved me but if he let himself think about me lovingly then the guilt would kick in and he would feel he had to stop. He didn't want to do that cos the ego kibbles were so addictive so he simply chose not to see me at that time.

Compartmentalising at it's best.

20WrongsVs1 posted 5/1/2014 08:42 AM

You can't wrap your head around it because you're trying to make sense of the irrational.

maybe I shouldn't take it so personally?

It seems like you're kinda beating yourself up, and I'm sorry to see that. How could you not take it personally? Did WH believe he loved you, and was always putting you first? Sure, probably. But, his past actions don't support that, so his words don't make sense. They never will.

Leading up to the affair, my husband and I had good marriage

Which proves that his bad choices were 100% on him.

It's common for BS to start feeling really angry, for the first time since DDay, around 6-7 months. If you have unresolved, or new, bad feelings about his A, don't keep them to yourself. It's normal and completely understandable.

sisoon posted 5/1/2014 08:56 AM

There's a forum in ICR where you can ask this Q and not get answers from BSes.

Many WSes say they never stop loving their BSes. It's something WSes and BSes probably will never agree on. For example, I understand my WS actually believes what she says, but I just don't get it.

BTW, Shirley Glass argues that As happen in good Ms when the WS has poor boundaries.

somethingremorse posted 5/1/2014 08:57 AM

I believed that I loved my AP#1 and my BW at the same time. As 20Wrongs said it doesn't make any sense, because its not rational.

I'd tell myself all sorts of stupid things to justify it. "I love my wife, but she doesn't give me everything I need.""I don't want to upset her, so I'll just cheat.""It's better to cheat with someone I love, because that means I'm not a bad person."

Those are all crap. I know that now. But I was so compartmentalized it was like I went into a room in my house, and forgot everything that was in the rest of the house.It doesn't make sense, and is not healthy, but that is what was going on in my warped mind.

Gman1 posted 5/1/2014 09:14 AM

I understand exactly what you are thinking as I thought or wondered the exact same thing myself. I too had a very good marriage without any real problems whatsoever and never thought an A was a possibility...until it happened.

I wondered how my WW could have possibly even considered jeopardizing everything for a short A. But, as others have mentioned, we as BS's try to use logical thinking to an illogical situation. My MC explained this very thing to me in that our brains are wired to reason and use logic but, in my WW's A, it was totally illogical and there is no way I could ever process many parts of it with normal every day reasoning. Basically, it was a selfish person entering into dreamworld or fantasyland where nothing was real and it was all selfishly driven and no consequences even entered her mind during that time. It seems that many WS's sort of enter into a vacuum where they can not see any of their surroundings and have very
poor or no normal judgment. I guess this explains why so many WS's do not even consider protection while having sex as well as many other things...

NoGoodUsername posted 5/1/2014 12:06 PM


It's a bit scary for WS to post responses to things like this in an unprotected forum. Even though Reconciliation has limitations, it can still get a little raw in here.

That being said, yes, I loved my wife during my affair. During the EA segment with a mutual friend I refused to look directly at the boundaries I was crossing. Also, I could be a poster child for lifelong bad boundaries so getting too close to people was normal for me. I had compartmentalized the feelings of sexual attraction and the inappropriate direction of the friendship away from the feelings that I had for my wife. After all, we were 'good friends'. (side note: reading Not 'Just Friends'made me see what a total stereotype I was.)
When my AP and I started talking about taking things physical, I BS'd myself into thinking I was doing the 'honorable' thing by saying that we would hold off until after my wife's Ph.D. defense and propose opening up the marriage to other sexual partners. I was so very full of shit, cake eating with both hands and feasting on the ego kibble I got from the AP. I was self-medicating with my AP for my unhappiness. I felt like I was in love with my wife and had no intentions of leaving her. I was, however, being a very bad partner by not putting her first in all ways, by not being honest and by putting energy into someone outside of our marriage. My 'love' and my 'good intentions' didn't mean a darn because what I was doing was cheating and betraying her.
I got my first real wake up call when my AP, her husband and I got drunk at their place and things turned physical between she and I with his encouragement. We didn't have intercourse, but we did enough that it makes no moral difference.

I have to run- my lunch hour is over. To wrap up this stupid, sordid story, yes, I loved my wife during my affair. I was doing a bad job of it, didn't love myself very well and was using my AP as a balm for my personal hurts instead of working on fixing my own damn self. I'd take every bit of it back if I could.

Aubrie posted 5/1/2014 12:15 PM

FWW here.

Can you truly love your bs in the midst of an affair?
Tricky. To be quite frank, I had a very distorted view of love. I loved QS in the best way I knew how at that point in my life. As an example, picture an abuser. They "love" their spouse/or child. Even as they swing their fists and leave bruises. Or an alcoholic. They "love" their families, even as they are intoxicated and the house goes into foreclosures because they lost their job and drivers license due to their addiction.

With the passage of time and healing, I know that the love I had then was highly dysfunctional. I love him differently now. In a more healthy and safe way.

Make sense?

MissesJai posted 5/1/2014 12:24 PM

FWW here.

Loved my BH during my A. Did not love myself at all. Nothing to do with him - everything to do with me.

Childoftheking posted 5/1/2014 14:32 PM

I love the "he chose himself not her" comment. That definitely makes sense. I think he was in a really dark place during his deployment, and she boosted his confidence.

Thank you to the WS's who responded... No judgement here, I promise. My first instinct when my husband told me about his affair was to try to understand his emotional state during the time as it was so out of character. I don't think all people who cheat are bad people...just hurting and lost for a time. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

wert posted 5/1/2014 14:38 PM

I think it critical to define love, especially post A. Love is a verb. A commitment. It is a series of actions over the years which build. It's not something you just have, it things that you do. That is how I define it.

Given that, my W did not love me during her A. Frankly I don't give a shit what she said about it. Nor did I love her in the months that followed. We both agree on what it is now. We are building it back up again.

My two cent is define it for yourself and then ask your H how he does...

take care...

plainpain posted 5/1/2014 21:44 PM

Love has to be defined. Did my WH love me when he was having the affair? No. Obviously not. Love doesn't DO that. He did not love me, his children, or his God. He chose himself over all of us. Adultery is so horrible. I rank it above my parents' divorce, my brother's death and my rape, on the pain spectrum. It is the ultimate act of betrayal - the ultimate UNloving action.

My H insists he loved me - and I believe he truly felt that he did. ASIDE FROM THE AFFAIR - ie. The lying, the humiliating, the deception, the BV, the unprotected sex leading to an OC, the money (my son had holes in all his pants and he was buying MLC clothes and flowers, etc.). He said, "I always made sure I bought you flowerd, too."

The point is, he didn't feel at the time like his A cost me anything. He didn't feel like he was taking anything from our marriage... he was just adding a little something to his own life on the side. He still considered himself a very good husband during the A. So did I, actually - I thought we had the most beautiful marriage ever.

His brother is an alcoholic, abusive, pimps out his daughter, taught her to look to men for validation... my H always says, "But he loves his kids". His parents were t.v. movie of the week abusive... you wouldn't even believe the stories... but he always says, "We knew they loved us." I have said to him, "That is NOT love".

None of us have a corner on what love is. Since my H's A I have really raised the bar for myself, and so has he. I have had to redefine it in the context of my marriage.

No, during his A my H did not love me. He was attached to me - to the idea of me. He wanted to keep me. He did not purpose in his heart to hurt me like this. He didn't want anyone else the way he wanted me. He loved me to the best and extent of his abilities, which were very damaged. Tbh, the choices he made are still so unbelievable to me, I'm not sure I was even actually a person to him during his A.

It hurts. It is something I have had to grieve. But I am not going to give myself false comfort by taking that word and making it small to suit his A-brain. Love is sacred. We rise to it, we do not sink to it.

I am one year past DDay, and I have great hope for my marriage. My H has done so much hard work. He has truly, truly repented for what he did to us.

I remind myself - and I think you will understand what I mean - he betrayed God long before he betrayed me. Should God take that personally? His A was not about love. It was actually about the complete absence of love, and what that looks like in a person.

It sounds like your H is doing all the right things, beginning with telling you the truth. Truth is the biggest part of love. It is a solid foundation on which to rebuild.


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