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When A WS Leaves For Their OP

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incredulous posted 12/22/2007 08:14 AM


I agreee completely wiht your post about waiting for a real apology, some sign that our WS has real remorse. I think for me, if I could just see some real remorse, it would at least be a glimmer of the man I thought I married, and maybe I could start to believe he's a decent man who made a horribly bad decision and couldn't figure out a good way out. (Does that make sense?)

I've tried to get some answers. Earlier this week, WH agreed to come to my counseling session to answer some questions for me. (Our first real discussion about things since D-day). The counselor, in my mind, practically spoon-fed WH to get him even remotely close to the point of anything remotely resembling an apology. She asked him (several times) if he had any regrets or apology to make to me. His answers:

"I regret that I didn't have the words to talk about it."

"I regret that I didn't do this the way everybody thinks I should have, but it would have still caused pain."

"I'm sorry I hurt you." (in my mind, the only real apology, weak as it is!)


"I'm sorry I deceived you. I didn't mean to." (Apparently, he meant to say "yes" instead of "no" when the counselor asked him if there was someone else; he meant to say "I'm sleeping with my girlfriend" instead of "I'm going to a meeting".)

I feel so much better knowing he didn't mean to deceive me -- it was all a mistake! He meant to tell me the truth all along!

The really sad part -- when I asked him if he thought saying " I'm sorry I didn't do this the way everybody thinks I should have done it, but it would have hurt anyway" was a real admission of wrongdoing and apology, he thought about it and said yes!

ETA: This from a man who is not stupid -- he's an elementary school principal with a masters' degree. You'd think by now he'd have some concept of an apology, wouldn't you?

Who is this man, and what have you done with my husband???!!!

[This message edited by incredulous at 10:00 PM, December 24th (Monday)]

roadlesstraveled posted 12/22/2007 08:24 AM

Thinking about it just confirms every time that the A was NOT about me. It is definetely about my WS need for self-destruction.

This is so true in my case. In fact, it is my xh who admits that he has always had a tendency to "self-destruct.". He traded down in the A as was with a very young married co-worker who was in a "bad marriage" and had a young baby to raise. He "rescued" her in a sense which gave him the validation he had been seeking.

Even knowing all of that, it still hurts incredibly to be completely and suddenly abandoned by the person I thought I knew best in this world. My best friend, my partner, my husband. I struggled (and still struggle) with feelings of being replaced. None of it made any sense...

Earlier in this thread someone mentioned an article about falling in love with a personality and then having the true character revealed through the course of the marriage. I think I have that article saved and will post it on here if I can find it. It was the one thing that made sense to me last year as I was just beginning to go through this mess!!

Great thoughts on here- thanks everyone for sharing!!

roadlesstraveled posted 12/22/2007 08:26 AM

Found it!!

The difficultly with marriage is that we fall in love with a
personality, but we must live with a character."
- Peter Devries

We can only appreciate the profundity of this statement if we
understand what is meant by CHARACTER.
"Personality" is easy to understand. Your "personality" is how people
experience you. It's your public persona.
But what is "character?" And why is "character" so crucial in your

Character is who you are when no one is watching.
Let me say that again so you can read it slowly and really digest it
this time.
Character is who you are when no one is watching.

You see, when you and your spouse met, you met each other's
PERSONALITIES. You showed your spouse and you were shown by your
your public personas. I'm not saying you tricked each other. It's just
your personality; how you display yourself to others.
But marriage lasts too long in too close quarters for anyone to
a public persona.

Personalities eventually give way to an INNER SELF
that gets revealed for the first time. And there you each stand, naked
as if no one is watching. But someone is watching. And that's when you
meet for the first time...again!
You and your spouse don't meet the person who charmed each other's
friends, bought gifts for each other's parents, and always smiled from
ear to ear. No, this time it's a meeting of your CHARACTERS.

In many cases, it's not only that you're meeting each other for the
first time, but it's that you're meeting YOURSELVES for the first

Most people wouldn't be caught dead treating anyone the way they treat
their spouse. Most people don't recognize their own behavior. "I'm
not myself with him/her." Well then who is that person? That's's your character. (And your spouse meets their character.)

The reason so many people fail at marriage and an attempt at marriage
renewal is NOT that they don't like their spouse. It's that they don't
like THEMSELVES. And while everyone else in their life is like a
reflecting their personality; their spouse is a mirror reflecting
character. And most people don't like what they see.
Many people would rather choose to be with someone else than remain
with their spouse and have to continue to be with themselves. (Did you
get that?)

Balthasar Gracian wrote in his 17th century manual on success, The Art
of Worldly Wisdom, as follows: "You are as much a real person as you
deep. As with the depths of a diamond, the interior is twice as
important as the surface. There are people who are all facade, like a
house left unfinished when the funds run out. They have the entrance
a palace but the inner rooms of a cottage."
Marriage renewal and individual character development go hand-in-hand.

burnt_toast posted 12/23/2007 23:37 PM

"I regret that I didn't have the words to talk about it."

"I regret that I didn't do this the way everybody thinks I should have, but it would have still caused pain."

"I'm sorry I hurt you." (in my mind, the only real apology, weak as it is!)

Exactly, Incredulous ! OMG , exactly. I can totally relate. Good lord, it's like they have no soul. These ridiculous, shallow apologies, just as ridiculous as the smoke screens they used to pull on us when we were in the dark. But now we know better, don't we ? But It's so insulting it hurts.

roadlesstraveled, the article is great. So very true.

StungAgain posted 12/25/2007 21:15 PM

You can add me to this thread.

burnt_toast posted 12/26/2007 10:00 AM

Welcome, Stung Again.

And to all of you, thumbs up for getting through Christmas. The next will be better.

amireallyhere posted 12/26/2007 17:23 PM

I was just refered to this thread.......unfortunately. My WH moved out 3 months ago and in with her. It was a realtionship he denied for tow years and still does..kind of. I'm starting to believe that it is so easy for him to leave our home to their "new home/life" is because he left our marriage the minute he started chasing after her. He just forgot to mention it to me.

It still stings, and I am in great pain because of it. He is quite happy with his decision and has no remorse. As our 17 year old daughter says, he doesnt think hes done anything wrong, therefore he will never say hes sorry' Shes so much more mature than he is.

As I said in my earlier post, its time for me to get out of denial and move on. It just kills me that he is living with her, acting like husband and wife while I am still married to him.

I'm really finding it hard to have any good thoughts about him or think of any good memories we have together.

burnt_toast posted 12/26/2007 19:53 PM

Welcome amireallyhere. Please take the time to read chunks of this thread. You'll find a lot of useful info there.

I agree, and many of us mentionned it on this thread, that the WS's callousness or silence is the most hurtful of things.

My IC thinks that although they look callous, they still feel pain and greif from the separation.

But I think that the main differnces between them and us are : 1. They started greiving the M in secret long before us, so they are ahead in the detaching process - the D is often the final step for them and one of the first for us ! ; 2. They numb their pain in the arms of the AP while we only have cats, dogs, relatives and pillows.

Let's hope the Karma Bus in on the express schedule for all of us!

[This message edited by burnt_toast at 7:55 PM, December 26th (Wednesday)]

queequeg posted 12/26/2007 20:11 PM

I've got to disagree with your IC and all that, "Oh they grieved the M in secret long before you, and the D is the last step for them blah, blah, blah."

I am a male BS.

I lost 15 pounds and couldn't eat for 2 months after I found out about my wife's A and her asking for a D.

During the last years I was with my wife, I never saw her lose any real weight or eat any less.

I couldn't work the last six months we were married.

I watched my wife's business grow in secret the last year we were married.

The D was the last step for me too, after I found my wife in bed with another guy!

Before that, all I wanted to do was work on our marriage, while she was distancing and meeting none of my "needs".

I never had any indication from her there was serious trouble or that she ever seriously wanted to work on anything.

I don't believe that she felt any where near the pain or grief I felt.

For her, our marriage was a disposable piece of furniture.

I'm sorry, but from my own experience I can not buy what the IC is saying at all.

I don't think she was ever really invested in our marriage or me, as I was in her.

That's why she didn't show any manifestations of pain, because she never really gave a shit or felt real pain.

If you really care, you work your butt off, come hell or high water-just like I did and most of the BSs here!

[This message edited by queequeg at 8:19 PM, December 26th (Wednesday)]

burnt_toast posted 12/27/2007 00:00 AM

I'm so sorry for your pain Queequeg - obviously everyone's story is different and I shouldn't have generalized.

My STBX H started to greive our M 6 months prior to d-day, but beleive me, he hid it so well - he could get away with it and even justify his weight loss. He was lying even to the therapist. And I suspect now that the main reason he's moving on so fast to his "fresh start" is to numb the pain and the shame.

Not that I'm defending him in any way. He acted like a selfish, shallow bastard and he doesn't deserve to feel washed from his sins simply by divorcing me He's still callous in many ways.

But then - that's just my story. His A was an exit affair. I still hope it can help other posters who experience this pain from witnessing an apparently callous WS. I don't think most stories are either all black or white. That doesn't take away our pain.

betterdaysahead posted 12/27/2007 00:17 AM

My stbxh only said one thing to me..."I never meant to intentionally hurt you". I was amazed because they had carried on an affair for 8 months and carefully planned a move in to her marital home at the end of the school could that not be intentional. His response..."well nothing before February was intentional".

And that was an apology! After over 25 years that was supposed to make me feel better! The irony...I was having surgery the next day for a condition that was...well use your imagination...not my fault!!!!!!!

Eumenides posted 12/27/2007 16:34 PM

Roadlesstraveled: Thanks for posting that article excerpt. It is so very, very true!

It has taken me this long to truly internalize the fact that STBX hates himself above everyone else. In all honesty, as angry as I am and for all my own personal flaws, I don't hate him. I don't hate myself. But he's capable of loathing beyond all of my own abilities. It's taken me this long to see that he never met any of my needs, while I met every one of his without ever getting anything in return.

When I think back no, I see that he always was a liar and a cheat. He always was soul-less and rotten inside. But I looked at him and thought I saw a reasonable man. I never realized that I was so used to getting poor treatment that his minimal effort seemed passing at the time.

STBX leaving for the OP has done me one good (aside from granting me uninhibited freedom): I now see how I deserve to be treated. It is now clear that I deserve to be loved. I deserve to be listened to. I see that I am worthwhile, and not really that bad deep down.

I'm a fine, smart, helpful person, and STBX couldn't handle it. He wants someone as lost as himself.

Hooray for freedom!

Ron7127 posted 12/27/2007 16:53 PM

I think my wife falls into Queeg queeg's wife's category. Never a shred of remorse or feeling badly. I found out from her family that this is her M.O. and has been for a long time.
She quit college in her senior year, sent home fake transcripts to fool her folks and was having an affair with a married man. When her dad tried to question her on this when he found out, she simply told him that it was in the past andshe would not talk about it. She hurt my kids from a prior marriage, got us in financial trouble, did nothing around the house and raged at anyone that called her on her shit(or she painted them black and out of existence). These remorseless types are severely disordered, most likely NPD or sociopaths.

burnt_toast posted 12/27/2007 17:28 PM

What a wonderful post, Eumenides !

Ron and queequeg, I feel for both of you. How can people like that exist ?

devastated07 posted 12/28/2007 19:43 PM

Hugs to everyone here.

I wish my XH left for a co-worker or some worthless traded down ho. But he didn't. He left me for a friend of his he knew in high school. Someone he had a history with. Someone he knew before me. Someoene he had fond memories of and good times. They've been together now for 9 months and he seems very happy with her. He posts regularly on his blog. They live in two seperate states so they don't ever have to live together...perpetual state of bliss. My H and I just had a baby when he left for her...I wonder if he's truly happy. I don't think I will ever see regrets from him. He gets to see his baby faithfully every week with none of the responsibilities. Plus he gets to be loved by someone else.

They both had a wonderful Christmas and went to the opera, go traveling and make love often. I am elbow deep in baby poop and spend my nights trying to put her to sleep. My daughter is my world and the love of my life but I would have never brought her into this world knowing that her parents don't even acknowledge each other.

[This message edited by devastated07 at 7:49 PM, December 28th (Friday)]

burnt_toast posted 12/28/2007 21:08 PM


amireallyhere posted 12/28/2007 21:20 PM

thank you for the welcome,

I have been reading pass post here and they are fimilar and helpful.

I went to IC yesterday. One of the things I have trouble dealing with is just how quickly and final our seperation was. I started insisting in Aug. 2007 that WH either give up his "friendship" with OW and start working on our marriage or move out. Well in Sept. he chose to move out. Said it was temporay. He forgot to mention that his so called "were just friends relationship" was more and he moved in with her.

I was telling IC that I never had a chance to make it better or to work on things, she said "He did you a favor, he saved you time" At the time I thought it was funny but sad. But now I think shes right. Why would he carry on an A for three years, move in with her, and than decide to come back so soon? Does it ever work? I still have so much anger for him and resentment for all that he has done that I would still be the angry bitch I was while he was living with me. I fueled his decision in leaving. I could not control my anger. I knew I was being lied to and he kept denying it. I was so frustrated.

And now, I am left to wonder just how wonderful his life is with her. They left the area. Have no responsibilities, rarely talks with his kids and he doesnt have to wittness my anger anymore. I want to know if it was worth all the lies to finally end up with her. Does he think he made the right decision? Was it worth it? Is she really all that he thought she was? Did I really mean so little to him that he just up and left without looking back?

My answers are in his actions. Yes he's happy, yes he's in love, yes he thinks she's better than me, yes he thinks she's worth the effort and yes he is having fun.

My H is living with his girlfriend, I have no other choice but to file for divorce. Neither H or OW see anything wrong with what they did or their living arrangements. Am I the only sane on here? (Besides you all)

Just needed to talk. Having another sad day, fully realizing that after 25 years I AM GETTING DIVORCED. Sad, but true.

I dont have a desire to contact ow or speak with her. Strangely enough I dont have any feelings towards her, good or bad. Shes is a stupid slut without morals or character. How could she possibly feel good about herself to screw a married man with three kids for three years and than finally get the prize. I dont think so.

Eumenides posted 12/28/2007 22:54 PM


You will probably hear this a lot, and it may take a long time for it to really sink in, but please, please don't blame yourself for your WH's actions. You did not make him leave. You did not make him have an affair. Those were his decisions, they were his actions. You can't take responsibility for his poor, poor choices in life.

Of course you're angry! You have every right in this world and the next to be angry! You made vows to your husband, just as he made vows to you. You upheld your end faithfully, while he snuck around behind your back, breaking them. What he did to you and your family was cold, calculated betrayal. Your anger didn't drive him away, ami, he pulled out of the marriage on his own.

A remorseless and absent spouse is beyond the pits. I blamed myself for months over the dissolution of my own marriage. Sometimes, I am still tempted to do so. But I'm only human, and you're only human. We can't take the actions of other people on our own shoulders. He didn't ask you whether having an affair was okay with you or not. He did it all on his own.

I look back now on my entire relationship with STBX, and there were red flags standing out all over the place like damned battle standards. It was like I was wearing blinders, because at the time, I could not handle the truth. It wasn't until I joined this site and found out about gaslighting that things started to come together. Without the support of the strong and caring people on here, I never would have stood up for myself and said, "No more!"

You are strong, you will make it! You will be okay! Please, don't blame yourself, I say again. You have done all in your power, whether you feel like it right now or not. You have the ability to love, to trust, and to remain faithful. You are a beautiful, strong person, whether your WH realizes it or not.

One thing that has helped me tremendously has been to separate STBX's actions from my own. As in, I don't own his past, present, or future actions. He is no longer my concern unless it involved our daughter. Separating yourself from your WS, mind and body, will help you feel stronger. I can't tell you how many times I've had to go back and read the 180, repeating it till it's almost a mantra. It takes time, it takes going through pain, and it's very, very hard. But it is very, very worth it.

You are strong, you are faithful, and you are accountable for you and not him. We're here for you! Keep posting!

(Sorry if that was a bit long!)

queequeg posted 12/30/2007 15:38 PM


Just saw your post.

Really, really wonderful stuff.

It should be helpful to all BSs of either gender.

Thank you for the very thoughtful post.

amireallyhere posted 12/30/2007 18:39 PM


I have been feeling really strong since your post to me. Thank you I definately needed it at the time.

Unfortunately, I hit such a low place yesterday evening that contiunes into today. Crying none stop for hours. Asking myself: Why, what if, why did he do this, is she really better than me, am I that horible that I deserved this, will I always be lonely, why did he do this to our kids, when will the pain stop and so on. It's been hard for me to put that "Everything will be okay" face on for the kids. Further acknowledgment that I am a loser.

I know his actions has nothing to do with me.(do I really know that?) I know that I will some time soon find myself in a better space. I know that if he really does love her more than me and our family, than that's where he belongs. Put the pain in my heart and mind is just unbearable.

I keep wondering how is it possible that he has moved on so quickly.Already playing house with someone else. How long had he been checked out of our marriage and into his life with her. I feel so left out of his life. That I didnt have a say in any of this. That my whole life has been altered without my permission. So betrayed.

I spent the afternoon filling out divorce papers. I need to file on Wednesday. I know this will help in my recovery and moving on. Its been three months since he moved out. I dont know how long since he mentally checked out. Hes living with her. Blissfully. Hes given me no indication of remorse, coming back, missing me or an apology. So why is it so hard for me to file for divorce? Why do I have to do it? Why wont he do it?

My support of friends is telling me to move on. Focuss on myself and the new life I am going to build. Enough already with the sadnes and questions. He's gone. I use to have the same attitude........if they dont love you than forget them. But I am now finding myself in this situation after twenty five years with a lot of questions, remorse and self doubt.

The person I really want to talk to is unavaiable to me. In love with another. Even while I was filling out the divorce papers I wanted to reach out to him for advice. What a fool! That is no longer a option for me. I cant even contact him to discuss our children. We dont speak at all. When I do speak with him I act like a crazy bitch, which I dont really think I am.

Well, I am just whinning now. I need to pick myself up and fake my happiness until I am happy.

I hope it is okay to vent and feel sorry for myself here. I needed to purge. Thanks for listening everyone!

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