The thing that had to get through my head was that on the day I committed to NC and agreed to work on R, I gave up the right to know anything more about xMOW. She also lost the right to know anything about me.
Granted, in my case it wasn't a co-worker which makes the NC situation far tougher. But I think the same principle applies. Your WH has to develop the mindset that the only thing his OW has a right to know is something required for work purposes.
Is the carelessness of leaving the journal somewhere not secure an issue? Maybe. But there will always be things and events that will open the door for OW to start a conversation. What your WH has to do is to develop the ability to steer things back on course.
OW: "So I saw the journal. Those are such beautiful words."
WH: "I'm sorry, but anything involving my life outside these walls is not up for discussion with a work colleague. Is there a business matter I can help you with?"
Does it sound cold? Good - it should. That's the only way to get the point across. Consistency in responses.
Remember that STRESSED spelled backwards is DESSERTS.
I asked my WS why he thinks the multiple A's happened and why he is still talking to other women and hiding it. He says he likes to have someone to talk to and likes the attention. I don't understand. Why can't he come to me and talk and get the attention he wants? Why won't he let me be the friend, lover, wife I want to be to him? I try but it's never enough or I must be missing something....
I'm sorry if this is the wrong place to post this question but I just wish I could understand.
I can't speak for your WS specifically. I can only reflect my own experience.
Why can't he come to me and talk and get the attention he wants?
In my case, I completely dread conflict. And often times when talking with your spouse, conflict arises. We all have things we do and don't do that irritate each other. After years of living with each other, we almost know too much about our spouse. It's nearly impossible to have constant conversations with your spouse without the subject of the trash they didn't take out or the dishes they should have washed being raised. So to avoid being challenged on my own weaknesses, I buried them. I withdrew from my BW instead of drawing closer to her.
Why won't he let me be the friend, lover, wife I want to be to him?
For me, the answer was in the response he gave you:
He says he likes to have someone to talk to and likes the attention.
These words could have been mine last year. I had not developed the ability to see value in myself. I needed other people to stroke my ego to feel like I was a good person. I compounded it by wanting to be a KISA (knight in shining armor), because it put me in the position of "saving" someone from a tough situation. My BW has always been a strong woman, and would do well with or without me. She didn't need saving. My social immaturity led me to be attracted to people who I felt needed me to help them - thus I looked to others instead of my BW.
To some extent, I had always been this way. In high school my grandmother had a neighbor with a daughter who was three years younger than me. She had issues with drugs and was at one point placed in a rehab program. I became infatuated with her, wanting to help her with her partying issues - to be a stable influence on her. The adults running the program liked me because they saw me as a good influence, feeding my KISA tendencies.
In the end, after having promised for three years to be my prom date, she backed out one month before my prom to go with a guy from her school to their prom. I was crushed, but still bent over backwards to try to woo someone who would never want to date me for some time afterward. That's how powerful the addiction is.
For me, it remained dormant for a long time, but it surfaced again last year when both my BW and I were at highly stressful times in our lives and had put our M on the shelf to deal with kids, work, etc. When you have day to day challenges, it's impossible to stroke someone's ego 24 hours a day. When you are an OP, you only have to deal with the good - the notes, the cards, the displays of affection - without the reality of life - the bills, the taxi service for your kids, the stress of earning a living. Thus I took the easy path. I was weak, I was cowardly, and I was foolish.
Had I been exposed to resources like SI and many of the books discussed here, I might have avoided the problem. Yet we never face these issues until they hit crisis mode for some reason. I'm just thankful my BW and I have been able to turn it around and form something more stable and happier for both of us.
For me, the steps to work on these issues were pretty specific.
1. IC. I had to work with my counselor to first identify the low self esteem and conflict avoidance issues I had. Then I had to work with him to figure out ways to attack those issues.
2. Establish a non confrontational communication method with my BW. In our case, it's primarily SI with some IM. By using writing, I feel more confident I can get my full thoughts or message out before she responds. Before, it felt like I would get 25% of what I was thinking/feeling out and she would already be attacking my point of view. It doesn't help that she is a logical thinker (based on fact) and I am an emotional thinker (based on feelings). The result verbally was I felt we were always in a debate, and I would always lose because facts can't be disputed. Feelings shouldn't be either, but it's far tougher to defend them without supporting facts.
3. Consciously turn toward my BW when feeling strained instead of withdrawing. This still isn't perfected yet. I have to work hard at it, but it's important enough that I am giving it my fullest effort.
4. Work on the R process together. We have read books together and discussed chapters to find varying opinions (this worked really well with "After the Affair"). We have discussed posts here, both our own and others, together. We have become the team we need to be to have a successful M. Our goals are the same - to make each other delighted in the other's company. That makes the whole thing work far more effectively.
Like your wife, I am disgusted by my behavior and am very remorseful for what I did. I don't waste my time hating OP because he is a non-issue in our lives today.
So... short answer- do I have good memories of him? No. Every single memory of the OP is corrupted by what we did.
"There would be no grand absolution, only forgiveness meted out in these precious sips. It would well up from his heart in spoonfuls, and he would feed it to me. And it would be enough."
Were you embarrassed by your affair? If so, how did you express this?
Yes, during and after. I will occasionally have a flashback of something and cringe at the stupidity of the choice I made. As a single person, I didn't have anyone to express the embarrassment to, as I told no one of the A. I live(d) with it as a constant reminder to NEVER do something like that again.
FSOW - mid 30's now
Early on Jan & February (dday Jan 8)he said he loved me and wanted to go to MC. After I filed for D in March he said he did not love me anymore and that he hadn't loved me for a long time. He said he knew his MOW loved her husband but he still had feelings for her.
Can any of you WSs comment. I go back and forth with any R would have been false to not loving me a nasty response to filing for D. My money was on the former as it didn't seem to me that a LTA of 10 plus years was easily ended and an affair to begin with couldn't have allowed for much love or respect for me. Any thoughts?
remember what we've said, and done, and felt about each other...
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
I've just started getting caught up in this thread- there was an amazing amount of helpful information shared in the previous one. Anyways....
I don't think we have a lot of LTA W's but I'll put it out there in case there is some insight....
How is it that the fantasy doesn't crumble with a LTA and reality become more apparent? (In my situation, OW lived in our home for a year so there was no big fantasy ego boost anymore)
Other one is: before the OW moved in, WS did a great job in allowing her to become my best friend. We'd go out as a family (with my son) for lunches, she'd come over to play poker, help us all with projects, etc. I just can't understand HOW he could see that she was not my friend since their A was happening all along. After D-day his thoughts were that the A life was "separate" and she was my friend and your friend too. She is/was NOT my friend- she was supporting you in destroying our marriage and also playing an active role there. I don't understand how any spouse can support someone else in being so hurtful to their spouse.
Hope that makes sense.
D-day 3/4/08 Whole "truth" from OW 3/12/08
Ow#1, 6 months PA
Ow#2, 2 years PA & EA
"It takes 3 seconds to say "I love you", 3 hours to explain it, & a lifetime to prove it".
The WS's are not here to share their personal/sexual encounters. Please leave those types of questions for your own WS.
"I'm happily indifferent to the ones who have consistently been wrong" ~kd lang~