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What was I to him during affair?

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Doubts posted 5/17/2014 00:26 AM

Can anyone explain how someone can have an affair and fall deeply in love, (like something he had never felt before) and not feel like the marriage is over? It doesn't make any sense that he could have felt that in love and not make plans to divorce or leave. He says he was not even thinking about us, just pushed it out of his mind. What???Tell me more lies.

ItsaClimb posted 5/17/2014 00:50 AM

I believe that I was absolutely nothing to my husband during the affair. It's like the only thing filling his mind was his obsession with OW. His burning desire to be with her was everything. Me, the kids, the house, the pets, the marriage, the family... we were all nothing to him. For my husband, OW was an obsession that pushed everything else out of his mind. He was functioning like a robot at home during that time.

It's very hard to understand, but they are in such a fantasy-land that real practical matters... like divorce and the logistics of it all... don't seem to really enter their heads. It's all about the thrill, the high. Actually sitting down and figuring things out would be too "real", it would destroy the illusion. Well that's how it seemed to be for my husband.

[This message edited by ItsaClimb at 12:51 AM, May 17th (Saturday)]

Allornothing posted 5/17/2014 01:00 AM

^^^^ This. 1000% this.

stunnedmullet posted 5/17/2014 04:52 AM

I struggle with this everyday as well. I truly don't understand how someone who claims they love a person and have shared a life together can do this.

I think that what I find so hard, how could I have mean so little?

NeverAgain2013 posted 5/17/2014 05:12 AM

A lot of men will probably not like this, but I think that most men involved in affairs don't leave their wives because they need a mommy to come home to, to do everything for them but wipe their butts. I also think that's why more divorces are initiated by women - women already KNOW they have what it takes to run a household and keep things in order with or without a man, but most men fear being alone and having to actually take care of themselves and be responsible for running their own household.

While you're home raising the kids, cooking the food, doing the laundry, cleaning the house, keeping the hearth and home in order, working a full time job and contributing to the household and everything else a woman has to do on a daily basis, he's out acting like an asshat in fantasyland for an hour or two. But he still needs that security of home base to come back to - and you provide that. They may be off in their temporary little oasis with their OW, but YOU provide the core and center of their lives, not the OW. She's more of an escape for them than anything else.

Sure, it's real easy to be 'in love' within the bubble of the perfect little affair because it's pretty easy to both be on your best behavior when it's only for an hour or two a couple times a week. I've read plenty of OW support boards in the past and a lot of them have HOURS to prepare for their MM's visit and they make the most of it. And a lot of them claim that they want to provide the 'escape' the poor deprived guy so desperately needs, so they jump around like trained seals trying to be the very best they can be. Real easy when you don't share kids, bills, everyday stresses, and on and on and on. Yeah, that's cakewalk for most people.

Of course your husband 'never felt that way before.' Maybe if you only saw him once or twice a week for a whopping 2 hours and had all week to prepare for his visit, he'd think you were some kind of goddess too.


AML04 posted 5/17/2014 06:25 AM

Itsaclimb said exactly what I would've. WH didn't let himself think about us at all.

devasted30 posted 5/17/2014 06:37 AM

I agree with everything Neveragain2013 said. She is right on. Why leave the marriage when you can have your cake and eat it too???

lovehonorcherish posted 5/17/2014 08:19 AM

Your said it neveragain2013...and you said it very, very well!

tryin2havefaith posted 5/17/2014 08:32 AM

I believe, at least for some, it is part of the brokeness inside them. Of course we as BS can't fathom it. It can only make sense if something has gone completely askew in the brain. I mean how could you say you love your H or W and CHOOSE to do things to hurt them in worst possible way. To bring this OP and all the baggage that goes into an A with it into a M. We BS cannot understand that. Its part of the frustration we have to work through in R. We will never be able to really and completely understand how they did this. Only that sonething was very wrong in them, that this sonehow made perfect sense to them to do. I spent many many hours doing meditation to finally come to the realization that it was something that would be forever outside my comprehension.

You were his W, his partner, and faithful. You and family were put in a box as was most of what was going on. Only one box open at a time. That is the compartmentalization we read about here.

realitybites posted 5/17/2014 09:03 AM

I agree with NeverAgain except I will say that now in todays day a man can be the caregiver just as much as a woman can, and a man who does everything can get just as screwed as woman can. I think how it applies and is generally used around here is that the one who does the most in the marriage and the household is "generally", not always, but generally NOT the one to cheat.

So yes in my case it was the man, my WS, who was the cake eater. And I agree he liked his home and his bills being taken care of and the kids, he liked to look good that way. But he likes to get attention, he craves validation from others. Thats the slippery slope.

But it can happen to either a man or a woman. We see it here all the time. But I get what you are saying.

Lowlow posted 5/17/2014 09:58 AM

Reality bites, you are correct. Everything I see attributed to male WSs can absolutely be true for Female WSs. Females can be just as selfish, broken, compartmentalized etc as males. My WS's AP can be described in those terms exactly.

Branca posted 5/17/2014 10:09 AM

I hope this isn't too much of a t/j but I feel it is related.

I send hugs to all those who are in the situation of trying to make sense of how their WS could be deeply 'in love' with AP and not feel like the marriage is over. I think it is a worse situation than mine, and so I'm grateful not to be in that boat; and yet I'm also struggling to understand my WH's situation and I find myself asking that same exact question.

He had flirting relationships that he claims were not based on sex (although one did get physical to the point of hugs/kisses) and also not about emotional intimacy. They were just shallow, flirty, 'fun' which he successfully minimised and excused in his head as 'not cheating' while he continued to be a loving, committed husband and father at home.

I struggle to reconcile how a man who believes in God (and in morality) and believes in respect towards women can simultaneously treat both OW and BS (me) with so little respect. What was I to him during the affair? If he felt loyal to me during this time, how could he behave that way? Is that what compartmentalisation achieves? How could he be sending messages to OW saying "I love you" while not meaning it, and then saying "I love you" to me and meaning it? How can he ever be believed again?

He dropped OW immediately once caught, but what I can't get is, if she meant so little to him and it really was just shallow nonsense, why did he continue the relationship for so many months? That required him making choices to conceal and continue the relationship. How was it that shallow flirting was so important to him and managed to trump his inner conscience? Is that ego kibbles? It sickens me that he could treat her that way (making her feel special when she wasn't special to him), and treat me that way.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm in denial, or if I'm being sucked in by minimising lies, and yet his behaviour and reactions seem to confirm that these OW meant nothing to him. He just used them to flirt with.

I guess infidelity is just so hard for us BS to make sense of no matter the exact cause or situation.

[This message edited by Branca at 10:10 AM, May 17th (Saturday)]

Mom-of-4 posted 5/17/2014 10:29 AM

I totally agree with what Neveragain and Realitybites have said.

I, like many of you, don't see how I will ever be able to wrap my head around how my WH could speak so lowly of those who cheat, who caught his mother in an A, was a church-attending father of 3 with a baby on the way, YET chose to cheat with none other than his Boss' WIFE, who was a whore, a swinger, and an absentee mother to her 2 very young children.

It just dumbfounds me. FOOs aside, it begs the question, "how could you be THAT asshole prince charming?"

tl502 posted 5/17/2014 11:51 AM

The part of this that confuses me is, I meant nothing to him during the a. I see that and have accepted it. How is it now that I am again the center of his world, the love of his life. I'll never understand love with an on-off switch.

Doubts posted 5/21/2014 06:16 AM

Thank you for your insight, I would agree with the theory of not thinking about us except for the little detail of how many lies the W S comes up with to be with OW. They don't want to admit the truth that the M was an inconvenience to be put aside while they test a new relationship to see if it was going to work before leaving the M, a safety net.

bionicgal posted 5/21/2014 07:38 AM

A lot of men will probably not like this, but I think that most men involved in affairs don't leave their wives because they need a mommy to come home to, to do everything for them but wipe their butts. I also think that's why more divorces are initiated by women - women already KNOW they have what it takes to run a household and keep things in order with or without a man, but most men fear being alone and having to actually take care of themselves and be responsible for running their own household.

I just don't buy this -- not at all. Sorry. I mean, it isn't the 1950's and many men cheat on women who don't "do everything but wipe their butts." I mean, really? Sorry, but it just doesn't ring true for me, and is very victimy. It also assumes that men and women cheat differently. I just don't buy it. If you have a man that thinks that way, then you have more problems than just adultery.

But yes, it is an escape -- and "deeply in love" is BS. It is infatuation, and while it feels like champagne, is actually MD 20/20.

jendo posted 5/21/2014 09:57 AM

I've talked to my husband a bit about this and it seems he was very compartmentalized. He really had no intentions of ever leaving his family and he made that very clear to her. He also had no intentions of ever getting physical with her- it was some weird boundary he placed that I think made it feel like he wasn't really cheating. He could talk in a very sexually charged way to her, but didn't act on it so "it didn't count". They also were "in love". I asked if he told her that he didn't love me and he said no, because he did love me. I asked how he could be in one room interacting with his family, his children, and then walk to another and interact with her. It doesn't make sense to me either. What I can say, however, is that now that his bubble is burst and he is out of the fog it doesn't make sense to him either. He told me yesterday that he was "temporarily retarded" (please pardon my use of that word) for about 6 months and he doesn't understand why he made the idiotic choices that he did. We are in counseling hoping to get some insight. So I guess the answer to the question in my case is that according to him I was his wife- I was in my only little box and had nothing to do with the Affair- I sat on a shelf.

slicerboy posted 5/21/2014 14:19 PM

A lot of men will probably not like this, but I think that most men involved in affairs don't leave their wives because they need a mommy to come home to, to do everything for them but wipe their butts.

begin rant - I disagree and am a man and my wife betrayed me - end of rant

during her PA, absolutely did she compartamentalize our relationship and her fantasy life. Once I discovered and confronted her, she took some things underground and trickle truthed me to death. I stood by her not knowing that she was still fence sitting and cake-eating. After several years of R and setbacks, it now seems that I was the only one doing R and she has sinse lost focus on our marriage. I asked for a divorce as the marriage died years ago but I held on. in fact I still have hope that she'll snap out of it. but I'm not sure if I want to spend the rest of this life waiting for her to realize my worth. The thought of her not wanting to grow with me is a bitter pill to swallow.

Ok maybe this is the end of the rant

seenow posted 5/21/2014 18:58 PM

Thank you Doubts and all for posting on this. I go around and around and around on this. WH says you were important and I loved you. I say not so much as to not say that to someone else. I say your actions were toward her and not me. He says................It makes me crazy. And I am beginning to think it will never be logical to me. Never. Ever.

Then I start looking at living with someone who doesn't think "right". Who is capable of hurting the people closest to him. And he is changing. Doesn't want to be that person anymore. But he was..............OY!

Lostinthismess posted 5/21/2014 19:04 PM

See, I struggle so much because I was still everything to him while he was in the affair. He didn't want the ow. He was looking to cover his drunken one night stand and willing to do whatever it took for me to not find out. There were no feelings, no fantasy love. He was willing to have sex with a woman he didn't want to make sure she stayed happy and didn't run her mouth

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