Forgiving, that's easy.
Trusting again, that's hard.
"When you take things for granted, the things you are granted get taken away."~ RevRun.
I took long hard look at myself after d-day. I now see I was part of the problem, not the cause of the A, but I sure wasn't perfect. I am currently working on myself and feel pretty good about it!
I'm sorry you find yourself here, but it's a GREAT place. ((andy)).
Oh, my friend, it's not what they take away from you that counts. It's what you do with what you have left. ~Hubert Humphrey
This is a great idea for a topic- thank you!
I have one question at the moment that is haunting me quite a lot.....
I read on here that the goal for the WS is to feel indifference towards the AP.
My H took a while after the affair to unfog. He has been honest I think about his feelings and soon after dday said he still felt something for her and that he missed her company. They still work together which doesn't help...
Recently I asked him and he said he has no romantic thoughts or lustful feelings towards her but when I asked him about the indifference thing he struggled a bit. He said he doesn't feel indifference for ANYONE he works with/ knows. Likes a few quite a lot, some irritate him, some he can't stand but indifference, no.
since he told her it was over 3 months ago, she has stuck to the NC other than work stuff according to H and has never gone back on it.
I think he still thinks 'warmly/fondly' of her as a person and as she does her job efficiently he has no complaints there. I am finding this a huge boulder to overcome though. I can see why he doesn't villify her ( he saves that for himself) but I can't see him reaching that indifferent phase.
I just wondered how other WS feel about the AP once the A is over- do you always get to the indifference stage?
First , were you mean to your BS during your A ? If so, why?
I probably was, and I definitely was withdrawn from her. I was moody quite often as well.
Because I craved my fix of external validation so much, I got upset when I saw something or someone as getting in the way of me being in contact with xMOW. So I would get snippy when I would be asked to do something or be somewhere that would prevent contact with xMOW. Whether it was read as rude, mean or just unkind, it was wrong. But my focus was on my addiction and little else. So I wasn't consciously thinking about how I might be hurting my BW or our kids.
I read some WS posts and see anger toward the OP? Why is that?
For me, it was because I feel we should be sharing equal blame and equal pain for the hurt we've caused together. Yet I am the only one who has done the hard work of healing myself and working to heal my M. My BW has told me she has checked a few times on the board I used to post and PM xMOW on, which tell me she is still unchanged. It gets me angry thinking she has paid no price for her part in the A.
if you were dissatisfied in your marriage, did you express this clearly to your BS with specifics, before having the A? If not, how did you think your BS could have done anything to fix things?
No, I didn't express anything because my fear of conflict would kick in. I felt like any time my BW and I would get into a debate over something, she would win and I would lose. I saw her as a fact driven individual and myself as a emotion driven individual. And in most debates, you can't "win" an argument against facts. SO I gave up, deciding to concede rather than face the inevitable loss I would take in the conversation.
I guess the only thing she could have done differently is found a different way to show she could understand my point of view. To that end, she has shown me amazing change in how we have discussions. Then again, she probably would have been just as tolerant of my viewpoints if I had given her the chance in the first place.
how other WS feel about the AP once the A is over- do you always get to the indifference stage?
I've had a wide range of emotions about xMOW post D-Day. Withdrawal and missing contact with her, wondering what she was up to, anger toward her for her part in the A and finally a forgiveness and letting go of her. Today she is a memory. Not a fond memory. Not a bad memory. Just a memory. I've tried to establish the view that any active thoughts toward her mean that I am sacrificing thought capacity that should be given to the people I love and care about. That's what I should be focused on.
My experience was not with a co-worker though. It's not someone I would see ever again. I hope another WS who had an A with a co-worker can chime in on how they cope with the ongoing business contact.
[This message edited by Listeningclosely at 9:43 AM, July 3rd (Thursday)]
[This message edited by cantheal at 9:46 AM, July 3rd (Thursday)]
I went through different stages after my A ended. First of all, I ended the A and told my BH everything on my own. Since I had ended it on my own I was in a sense already "over it". But I still went through a period of time where I missed talking to the xOM. Well, I guess I didn't miss him, I just missed the constant attention and validation I got from him. Once that passed, I went through the hateful stage. I wanted my BH to go after him, make his life miserable, etc. And now, nothing. I don't think fondly of him, I don't hate him, I don't think anything of him. He is irrelevant in my life now...and it feels awesome.
The weird thing is that I didn't feel a lot of guilt when I was with BH but I felt loads of guilt when I was with xOM. I didn't think about xOM when I was with BH but I could never stop thinking about BH when I was with the xOM. Does that make any sense at all?
The sex was far from mind blowing with xOM in so many ways so I always prefered my H over him. I never felt a loving feeling towards xOM when I was with him. It was just sex. Selfish, awful sex.
My A didn't last long. There was only about a period of a month where it was physical and we didn't have sex that often. The guilt wasn't there in the beginning but it was definitely there at the end. It killed me to be with H and know I had this horrible secret. But I didn't stop being intimate with H. I chose to end the A.
My brother-in-law (sister's husband) knows about my WH's A because I told my sister who I knew would need to/have to tell her husband. He and my WH were friends -- my brother-in-law really had respect for my WH and were kind of bonded over being married to the sisters. He is also a strong believer in marriage and fidelity. They have only seen each other once since Dday and it was a busy birthday party, so no time to talk.
We invited him to our poker gathering tonight and he declined - apparently he wants to have a talk with my WH prior to being friendly/social. My sister says he wants to hear it from my husband's mouth that he is sincere. My WH doesn't feel he owes him an explanation, but I don't think it is an unreasonable request. Any thoughts as to why my WH (who has been doing great with our R) is so resistant?
[This message edited by canIdothis? at 11:24 AM, July 3rd (Thursday)]
[This message edited by lonely&depressed at 12:21 PM, July 3rd (Thursday)]
Guilt? Yes, but foggy guilt, not the kind that makes you stop. My addiction was strong. Sex with BW remained routine and somewhat obligatory. I know that sounds cruel, but the truth. Not really significantly different from our normal pattern. I did think of xOW occasionaly while having sex with my BW. It sometimes energized me, other times distacted me. During the hieghth of my PA, I would say I preferred sex with xOW because it was so exciting. I know now how this addictive relationship twisted my mind, and how vulnerable I was to it.
Let me say this, My BW is physically beautiful. She still turns heads at 55. xOW just happens to be 23 years younger and physically beautiful as well. There are differnces. My ego was off the chart having xOW invest sexual energy in me.
I can't say that I felt more loving with xOW, but I sure was more passionate and energetic. I never really ever wanted to stop having a sexual relationship with my BW, but it was certainly not as thrilling. This is all part of my own lack of self confidence, and need for external validation, and being very shallow. My problems, not my BW's.
I hope this answers some of your questions. It does make me feel terrible, confused, and foolish.
The guilt and shame didn't really kick in until I got 'caught'. I was leading the classic double life.
My husband was finally willing to do a little introspection last night to try to dig at some of the reasons for the affair. Much like I know many have said on the W forum, he suffers from extreme low self-esteem and a tendency to avoid conflicts. Combine it with an excellent talent for compartmentalization, and he was a prime candidate. He was very upset last night when he said he just doesn't like himself. He says that he had previously been content with who he was, though never really happy (I think this is compartmentalization coming into it), but now that I force him to look at himself, he really hates who he sees. He doesn't want to go to IC as all this is too painful for him to want to deal with, but I REALLY need to know why and only he can answer that for me.
So, for those WS who have some of the same problems, what did you do to help you heal and recover from the basic underlying issues? In particular, are there any good books that you recommend or websites? What can I do, as the BS, to make him more comfortable with exploring his own issues and supporting him? (Yes, I realize that I can't "fix him" and that he has to do that himself, but I know that there must be things that I can do to assist or make the enviroment easier on him during this process.)
Edited for typos
[This message edited by alone_in_georgia at 1:07 PM, July 3rd (Thursday)]
If you sometimes treat your wife like a mistress, you'll have a happy marriage.
If you sometimes treat your mistress like a wife, soon you won't have a mistress.
Any thoughts as to why my WH (who has been doing great with our R) is so resistant?
I think I would be too. R is brutal work on both sides. It was hard enough doing everything I had to in order to be accountable to my BW. I can't imagine having to answer to siblings.
I did, after six months and beating myself up pretty badly, volunteer to have a conversation with her parents. I felt I owed them an apology, since they "gave away" their daughter to me. But if I were asked to go through a grilling from her brother or sisters, I'm not sure I could handle that.
Her oldest sister also knows, and we have had some peripheral conversations but never anything focused specifically on the A.