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Question for WS re Aps

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Jono posted 5/29/2014 15:03 PM

In a number of posts WS or FWS have indicated that they now have a dislike of their former AP or, in some fewer cases, feel disappointed with their former AP. Other posts in Wayward refer to the rainbow and unicorn perception of APs i.e. suggesting that they were in a fantasy land during the period of the affair.

With the anonymity offered by this site, do FWS really see their former Aps in a negative light? Having given their all to their AP at the expense of their relationship/marriage/family and, in a number of cases, over a protracted period do most WS really dislike their former AP or do they just see them as people who made extremely poor decisions like themselves? It seems hard to surmise that a person can share their body and soul with another and then hate them. While hating their AP may seem like the most palatable answer required by their BS, the total turnaround is hard to accept.

If the intense dislike or hate is, in fact, a “politically correct” but unrealistic answer, HOW DO WS truly feel about their former APs when the dust has settled and the principal relationship recovered?

Your insights would be much appreciated.

sunvalley posted 5/29/2014 15:50 PM

My H has been pretty open with me about this so I hope you don't mind the reply of a BS who feels her WS has pretty accurately described his As. Hesays he cannot have a full disgust of the OP because he was 'just like them' or 'a lowlife as well' for associating with them at the time. He knew they were liars and cheats, he knew he was not attracted to them, yet he continued to see them for 3yrs in his own downward spiral of self destruct mode (and I do wish he had not taken me down with him!).

I do think that if you go from admiration or 'unicorns' to disgust, there is something unhealthy in that sudden flipflop. My H was never in the fog or had any admiration for these people though, he used them for ego boosting and validation - but he never thought they were good, nice or even people he would date (and yes, I believe him - they were much older and rough people, he wouldn't be seen out in public with them even 20hrs away from home...he used to dread going to see them because he loathed himself, yet he did it and essentially prostituted himself for 3yrs).

So just based on my own circumstances, I do believe the ones that voice more of a disgust or disappointment in their AP were generally maybe the ones who had no emotional or physical connection to the AP...I can see those who just used the AP being more able to have no emotions surrounding them, because there was never that false sense of admiration or love to begin with and therefore it's easier to 'throw them under the bus' almost in a sense. If there is intense hate or dislike though out of someone who used to think there was 'love' there, I do question if it's because of their how hate and disliking of themselves or if they somehow feel ripped off, hurt or let donw by the AP in how they handled things after the A ended.

Just my opinion though as a BS, I'm sure some WS could provide more insight based on their specific situations.

sunvalley posted 5/29/2014 15:57 PM

I guess I should say too though, that IMO when someone has a strong feeling one way or another about a person it's because there are unresolved issues there. If the WS feelings are not intense towards the OP, then I think that's the healthiest R anyone can expect - they just don't care one way or another about the AP anymore. If they have strong feelings (positive or negative) it's because there are unresolved emotions there. like intense anger towards the AP for putting the WS in this position for eg would be deflecting responsibility onto the AP or intense dislike of the AP is likely because the WS associates the AP with their own dislike of themselves...make sense?

My H has no sentiments towards the AP anymore, at the start when he was still trying to deflect some of HIS consequences I saw a bit of anger in him and we talked about it. He felt angry with one of the AP for getting to live without consequences for the actions of the A. She got to start a new life with a new guy and get married while he was picking up the pieces of his life...it didn't seem fair to him at first. I had to remind him that SHE didn't cause his life to fall apart, she was one of several people he was involved with and she was not the root cause of his suffering, he did this to himself. That seemed to allow him to let go of that anger, but you can see how someone can shift their own emotions onto the AP and develop a resent or hate for them instead of owning up to their own actions and admitting that they caused this themselves.

Hope that makes sense!

bionicgal posted 5/29/2014 16:08 PM

My H gets a little angry for me sometimes at the AP when she intrudes into our lives, and doesn't seem to like her very much now that he has a clearer picture of who she is. But, he is 95% indifferent, I'd say.

In the A he thought he loved her, and attributed all kinds of positive qualities to her that she did not have. He says he cannot relate at all to what he was thinking then. I do believe him, because when he was in the fog, he had no problem saying other stuff that it will take me a lifetime to forgive him for!

momentintime posted 5/29/2014 16:10 PM

Another BS here. My WS thought AP was a good person (albeit one who offered herself to him, so horomones talking). For him it was a co-worker and "friend with benefits" kind of thing. (He was working out of state during the week with her and she lived there not in our state). The A ended the week before I found out. After DDay he began to realize she had been playing him. (Tough hit to his ego, poor baby). She was trying to use him to further her career as she rebounded from her BF's betrayal. As A moved along and my WS wasn't professing any love and flat out said he wasn't leaving me, she started withdrawing as was he. It took a little time but I would say he has total indifference to her. He doesn't hate her, he just doesn't care anything for her.

absolut posted 5/29/2014 16:20 PM

Well I'm not wayward but you haven't gotten any replies from any either.

No I don't believe it.

Since my divorce I've had a few breakups. Of course I don't think of those guys the same way I did when I was laying in bed all pie-eyed with them. Because it's over, kwim? And it's gonna stay over. Relationships run their course. I'm not all ga-ga over someone once I decide he's not so special after all. But did I used to be? Sure.

Of course I'm not going to tell my next boyfriend that I'm disgusted by my last boyfriend, but then again, I don't have to. Although generally, even single people do tend to downplay the significance of their past relationships.

Really I think it's a case of a married person trying to see if there's something else out there and then deciding they should stick with what they already have, which is a smart move 90% of the time.

rachelc posted 5/29/2014 16:26 PM

I'm a wayward who would throw up in disgust if I saw my AP.

Lucky2HaveMe posted 5/29/2014 16:52 PM

My H is disgusted by his own behavior. He is indifferent to the AP. She takes up no headspace for him at all.

Ostrich80 posted 5/29/2014 18:00 PM

If the WS feelings are not intense towards the OP, then I think that's the healthiest R anyone can expect - they just don't care one way or another about the AP anymore. If they have strong feelings (positive or negative) it's because there are unresolved emotions there. like intense anger towards the AP for putting the WS in this position for eg would be deflecting responsibility onto the AP or intense dislike of the AP is likely because the WS associates the AP with their own dislike of themselves...make sense?

This really makes sense. Very well said Sunvalley. The favored emotion is no emotion towards ap or anger.

Darkness Falls posted 5/29/2014 21:53 PM

or do they just see them as people who made extremely poor decisions like themselves?

This.

He didn't do anything I didn't do. In fact, I did worse, as I was married.

He is a screwup. As was I. Difference is, I'm fixing it. Him? Who knows....who cares. I don't hate him...that would take too much emotional energy. Rather spend it on my XH.

plainpain posted 5/29/2014 22:03 PM

My WH would answer just like HeartBroken, I think. He is indifferent to his AP. He doesn't think about her ever and he wishes I wouldn't. He would run if he saw her. He is ashamed of what he did, but he accepts responsibility for it. It had so very little to do with the OW. He never defends her, but if I express any anger or contempt for her he does internalize it - because he did everything she did, and he was the one who was married.

ThatGuyNoMore posted 5/29/2014 22:20 PM

Wayward here.

My AP has repeatedly broken NC, and it has gotten me deeply upset to the point of getting my lawyer to send her a letter threatening legal action if she doesn't stop.

I cannot think of my AP without thinking of all the pain I caused my BS, so no, the memories are not good and the contact since D-Day has made things so much worse. She is a wayward like me and has her own issues to work through. As much as I am at fault for the mess I created, she was an enabling co-dependent.

Do I hate her? No, hate is too passionate of a word to describe my feelings. It's more like indifference.

My principle relationship is not yet recovered and may not ever. But even if my BS and I fail to R, I definitely do not want to go back to my AP.

badchoice posted 5/29/2014 22:51 PM

Do I hate her? No, hate is too passionate of a word to describe my feelings. It's more like indifference.

Put me firmly in this camp too. BW and I are not in R, but there is absolutely no thoughts of even contacting them again.

BrokenButTrying posted 5/30/2014 00:40 AM

I'm a WW.

I feel nothing for AP. I am indifferent to him, which is good. However, AP went bunny boiler on me and his behaviour at the time was very scary, caused me a lot of anxiety.

I'm only five months out from Dday and I'm working through my feelings about his behaviour. I used to be really angry, I do still get angry sometimes but it's lessening.

It's a process, I'm doing the best that I can.

sunnyrain posted 5/30/2014 11:53 AM

With the anonymity offered by this site, do FWS really see their former Aps in a negative light?

FWIW, I try to see the positive in everyone.

I can still see positives in my AP when I consider the man he was/is removed from the A (he's a successful business man, he's funny, he's generous with his time in the community, he's good with children and the elderly, etc.).

But I don't moon over him, and I have no desire to be with him.

NoDoormat posted 5/30/2014 12:06 PM

I cannot think of my AP without thinking of all the pain I caused my BS, so no, the memories are not good and the contact since D-Day has made things so much worse. She is a wayward like me and has her own issues to work through. As much as I am at fault for the mess I created, she was an enabling co-dependent.

Can you please explain to my H that he is in the same situation?!

getnbtr1 posted 5/30/2014 12:09 PM

Its also a matter of cognitive dissonance:

Cognitive dissonance is the excessive mental stress and discomfort that happens when we hold two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time. This stress and discomfort also arises when someone holds a belief (affairs are wrong) and performs a contradictory action or reaction (actually has one).

The theory focuses on how humans strive for internal consistency. When inconsistency is experienced, we largely become psychologically distressed. Having a affair is stressful, hence the creating of the fog and the vilifying of the BS to "justify" the affair.

So basically, hating the AP after the affair is one way that a WS makes sense of their decision to end the affair and reconcile with their spouse.

familyfirst posted 5/30/2014 12:16 PM

WS here

I knew my AP before the A, we were friends. In the beginning of the EA we were very close, but by the end of the PA what was left of the original friendship was completely erroded by all the messiness, lies and deception we fell into. Now, no, I don't dislike my AP. It would be nice to blame him, but I own my participation in the A. However he reminds me of all my poor decisions, so my thoughts and impressions of him are very dark and cloudy now vs the pleasant friendship we had before it all began.

karmahappens posted 5/30/2014 12:22 PM

I would be questioning any feelings for the AP. I am a firm believer indifference is where a WS should land.

Thoughts of the AP, good or bad IMO equal mind space.

Really no room for that in R.

I am sure many WS's have to take quite a bit of time to get there and digesting feelings is part of it.

I do know my husband feels as though the A was his fault wrt his marriage and our life. She owns her responsibility to what she did to her family.

Love and hate are very close feelings and I would be uncomfortable with my husband feeling either towards the OW.

Aubrie posted 5/30/2014 12:22 PM

FWW here.

Sure. AP has some positive qualities based on what little I know about him. No person is "all" bad or "all" good. But it doesn't matter. He means nothing to me. His good or bad qualities are none of my concern. I'm a messed up person with enough kinks of my own to work out without worrying about him.

He is someone I used to kinda know. In a photoshopped, air brushed way. I don't love him. I don't hate him. I just don't care anymore.

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