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Wtf, why didn't I think of this before?

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SoSorry17 posted 6/18/2014 12:56 PM

So after my talk with Swat, I got thinking. While I've only physically cheated one time, I've likely had four EA's. I would describe them as "mini affairs". A few months ago, I wouldn't have even thought this was wrong because I never meet them or had sex with them. I never even planned to meet with any of them.

I realized I've never had any boundaries when it comes to men. I've been a sahm, and often had way to much free time. So I chatted on facebook and myspace, when it was around. I've talked with several "friends" that where men. There would be mild flirting and I would often complain about my life. (Kids and marriage) It never progressed into what I "thought" was an affair. I swear there were no pictures or sex talk. But they would call me beautiful or sweetheart and I would call them things like handsome and stud. It has been three years since I had any contact with these men and none of them are even anywhere near me and I have not had any desire to communicate with them. At the time it was just attention for me.

So after having a mild meltdown, where my original post was help me and I'm going to be sick. I deleted it all and typed this instead. I wrote a time line of what I remember, but I can not go back and verify some of the things. Myspace was gone years ago and I am no longer friends on facebook with the other men. I only remember one guys first name but I do remember which states they all lived in. What is wrong with me, that this just hit me? I've been reading here for a while and this just registers with me. I even recall messages and emails with one guy before we were married and I was pregnant.

Again there was never any meetings or physical contact, but they are affairs none the less.

I'm not going to hide this but any advice on how to tell him would be appreciated. Right now I'm angry with myself. After everything I've put him through I seriously just remember this shit while making coffee.

Aubrie posted 6/18/2014 13:14 PM

I had a feeling you would have a "sudden realization" post. BTDT.

I came to SI because A4. But once I started reflecting, I realized it was A4 and not *just an isolated A. EA??? Oh so that's that it's called. OMG! I've done this at least 3 times before! Who am I!?

QS and I had a chat about it. He was more or less, "Well duh. I could have told you it was wrong. If my fact, I tried. Now we just have a name for something I saw wrong all along. And more importantly, now YOU see it. So what are you going to do with it now?"

I assume Swat isn't aware you were online chatting with people? I never hid my stuff from QS. Just trampled right over his feelings to do what I wanted. How sick is that? As far as how to tell Swat, not really sure. Honesty is the best policy. Put it out there. No holding back, no minimizing.

Good luck.

SoSorry17 posted 6/18/2014 13:23 PM

Aubrie, thanks for replying. He did know I was chatting with friends. I'm sure he didn't know they were men and some of it was flirting. I just can't comprehend how or why I could or would do this. If I even got a whiff he was doing that I would freak out, but for some unknown reason it was ok for me?

Aubrie posted 6/18/2014 13:34 PM

I bet you a dozen donuts he already knows more about you than you think. Like I said, *I* finally saw my issues. QS saw them all along. He saw the boundary leaping behaviors and red flags. He just got irrefutable confirmation from me. Finally. After 8 years.

Why do we do this but don't tolerate it from others? Selfishness is a powerful thing SS17.

Wayflost posted 6/18/2014 13:47 PM

I'm at a place in my journey to healing that has me working on the following:

I have never had appropriate boundaries. All of my relationships have had unhealthy dynamics of one sort or another. Many of my friendships with men included an EA component.

In pushing me to hit my personal rock bottom my IC has encouraged me to commit to the idea that every relationship I have ever had outside of my marriage is an affair.

That is an extremely bitter pill to swallow. It is extremely difficult to admit it out loud, but I have, and will continue to do so.

I struggle with the, "x happened but that wasn't my intent" type statement. All my BH hears when I do that is minimization and dodging responsibility for my actions. It's one of many things I am working on.

caspers1wish posted 6/18/2014 13:58 PM

I think it's good that you see this and realize a pattern. It's a light bulb moment. This is the benefit of looking internally, and it makes you re-evaluate all of your relationships. And it's not just for the WS that benefits from internal scrutiny. It's not called the slippery slope for nothing.

Actionsoverwords posted 6/18/2014 18:25 PM


Thank you for your post on this topic as it has stirred up some ugly realizations myself. I feel that those of us who have poor to no boundaries either don't realize what we are doing or know what we are doing and justify it (it's not like we're having sex, we never met, etc.)

I, like you, engaged members of the opposite sex and never had boundaries. Nothing was off limit and all of the times that I was in a committed relationship, flirting was not only normal, it was something I thought I had a RIGHT to. If I had an opening, I was going to bring up something sexual.
For me, attention from women would boost my ego and I could tell myself how much of a stud I was. Did it matter that some of these women were involved and in relationships? Not at all.

I'm not a great communicator so I don't have any advice on how to tell your BH other than just speak the truth (easier said than done for us WS, I understand).

Best of luck to you.

SlowUptake posted 6/18/2014 23:44 PM

Yep, the sudden gut wrenching realisation that you have had wayward thought processes and tendencies your entire adult life that you didn't act on, until you did.
Sucks big time!

SoSorry17 posted 6/19/2014 06:22 AM

Aubrie, are you psychic? I talked with BH last night and he said he already knew. He said that is why he kept questioning if I had cheated before. He knew all their names and where they lived. He even remembered our nicknames. He even told me when they were. I asked how he knew all of that. He said "because you treated me like garbage and...oh yeah, try deleting your emails and texts sometime." He just shook his head and went to work.So I've done it again.

[This message edited by SoSorry17 at 6:47 AM, June 19th (Thursday)]

JustWant2BHappy posted 6/19/2014 12:04 PM

Wow - so he knew. This is weird. After my A came out to my BH he started searching my phone and came across a conversation between me and a guy I went to college with. The guy had a crush on me in college, but were were just friends for about a year til he transfered (we hung out with his best friend and my best friend all year, pretty much everyday...just really awesome friends). He foudn me on facebook and has sent a couple memos a few times that say sweetheart that I responded to with baby and other quirky terms of endearment. My BH was very upset and still is over it. It never occurred to me that this was a problem or that I should not be communicating with him. PRobably b/c my marriage had become so distant and off track that we just didn't think about the others feelings.. sad..

somethingremorse posted 6/19/2014 13:01 PM

Look at the bright side:

Saying "I keep looking inward and realizing my problems started before one 'bad' night" Well, that's what you are supposed to be doing. Sincerely, that's a great job. Keep it up.

I think the general reaction here is that he'll be upset that every last thing didn't come out. But he'll be thankful that you are looking at everything. I am not at all saying how those things balance out, but looking at yourself critically is always the right thing to do.

floridaredman posted 6/19/2014 13:13 PM

I am going to give you a word of caution...

Do not use subtle tactics of manipulation to get SWAT back. You are far too smart to not know that flirting with OM and speaking negatively about your BH to them is wrong. You may not have known what it was called, but you knew it wasn't right.

Stay honest and transparent about everything. Everything....

SoSorry17 posted 6/19/2014 18:13 PM

Yeah it was very wrong, it is obvious now. It should have been back then, but I've never considered it as being right or wrong. I managed to justify it as I'm just talking to my friends. Friends talk and support one another. So when I was angry or upset with him, I vented to my friends. So what if they joined in the bashing? They said poor SS17, we understand. If I was your SO everything would be rainbows and unicorns.

I remember something Swat says he tells people at work. There are likely three sides to every story. If one side is white and the other is black, then these truth is a shade of gray. But right is right and wrong is wrong, my problem is I look for the gray areas.

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