Is this common?
Do a lot of WS's forget?
Or is this universally a bullshit answer?
Do a lot of WS's forget?
In general, I think people will remember a "real" activity - going out, etc. For me, I know and can never forget that I did the texting thing, calling, and one chat session. But I forgot the details and there is one extremely important detail that you would not have believed that I would have forgotten, but I did. Until my husband told me what I said in the chat session, I completely forgot. It's kind of unbelievable, even to me.
For the specific instance you mentioned - the details that jive are that the OW came to your house while you were out of town. In this case, it's a he said/she said. Do you trust that she is telling the truth that she left at midnight? Is there a chance that she had the pizza at 3:30pm, then left in the last afternoon/early evening?
I have been holding off responding for various reasons, but you are persistant, so here goes.
Can you honestly say that you no longer have romantic feelings or love for the AP?
What has changed is the frequency and the intensity of those feelings. They are both waning. Also what has changed is that I am actively working on continuing these changes so that they become less frequent and less intense. What makes me sad, if I even have a right to feel this way, is that I have to work at this at all. I really, really wish I had never made the decisions I did make, to have the EA, to hurt my BW.
Did you opt to R with your spouse out of a sense of duty?
During the EA, I would have moments where I would wonder what the hell I was doing. It was those moments where the H that I should have been, the H that my BW married, came out. I knew something was wrong with what I was doing, but, at that time, I couldn't do anything about it. The pull of the EA was too strong. Now I want to make my BW happy, I want to tell her I love her. I really don't care what friends or family think I should be doing. I hate it when my folks tell me that it is the right thing to do. That is a sense of duty. I want to stay because it is what I want to do. My BW struggles with feeling like she is the fallback. I am working on that and the only way I can right now is trough my actions, my learning, my letting go and getting past the memories of the EA and OW. I can't forget those memories, but they are already so much less than they were a couple months ago that I am hopeful and encouraged that I will look upon my BW and know if my heart that she is the true love of my life.
Do you trust that she is telling the truth that she left at midnight? Is there a chance that she had the pizza at 3:30pm, then left in the last afternoon/early evening?
She also went on and on in her explaination to me about how uncomfortable she was, how she didn't want to come over, couldn't wait to leave, reluctantly had sex with him and felt disgusted with herself. All that in addition to her story of coming in the evening and staying all night. She said she left in the middle of the night because she couldn't stand the thought of sleeping in "my" house. So, in answer to your question, none of what she said really makes any sense. If she was that uncomfortable, then why stay for not one but two movies? Why have sex at all regardless of who initiated? Why stay so late?
He was horrified that she'd told me this and sad that by not disclosing sooner, he'd let me believe this for so long. That was when he said all the specifics about her being there in the afternoon, that it was never a question or intention of her staying over- he neither wanted her to or asked her(somehow THAT was crossing the line ), also, that the sex was not intended when inviting her and that she aggressively made the first moves. (He's admitted that he was the aggressor in the beginning, so I don't believe he is blameshifting this one) He said he invited her because the weather was bad (snowstorm), he had a big cast on his broken ankle, and felt like seeing her but didn't feel like going out in the snow. Selfish, essentially. So she drove over an hour to our house in a blizzard to feel "uncomfortable" in my house. Now that I see laid out, his story is more in touch with reality, and with who he was at the time.
Youre right though, it is totally a he said/she said and they are both liars. After going back and forth over these details, hearing the "truth" was not as satisfying as I thought it would be. So much doesn't make sense.
And the pictures become clearer, more details come to mind once I fill in the basics.
It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.
-- Agnes Repplier
My husband didn't do the 180. He tried elements of it, some worked for him, some didn't suit him. The complete 180 would have been hard on both of us, and I have no idea how and how much it would have affected my vision of reality.
Well, that doesn't answer the second part of your question.
Probably someone with more experience will come along and answer that.
Good luck, you're in such a tough spot...
I'm sorry for your hurts, and for your fears.
In honesty, the answer to your question actually isn't straightforward. It depends on a few different factors. But since your question is burning, I'll be brief (and slightly biased):
Once a cheater does not mean always a cheater.
All of this is my personal impression of remembered statistics, reading here and my own situation and education - so no real evidence...
Factors that contribute to healing:
- shock, shame, misplaced coping tactics during and/or after the affair
- absence of major psychiatric disorders
- a healthy spouse
These factors make it possible for the betrayer to see the affair as wrong, and ensure that they experience adverse effects from it. That is a big kick in the right direction.
Factors that inhibit healing:
- fear-avoidance, lack of focus and plain old laziness in the betrayer
- commitment-phobia, continued lack of integrity in the betrayer
- absence of healthy support
Risk-factors for repeat offense:
- absence of shame, remorse and empathy
- consistent levels of stress before, during and after the affair (no physical impact)
- repeat risk-behaviour, like seeking external validation, seeking out the affair partner, excessive/obsessive or addictive behaviours
It's strange to put this into lists. I feel like just saying "No", since a "Yes" would not only brand me a cheater, it would also make me lose hope.
So, I'll nick someone else's words and say that, for now, I'm a non practicing cheater.
[This message edited by leftoolate at 12:46 PM, February 20th (Saturday)]
A question for WS's please. Did your BS use the 180 and if so did it help clear the fog?
The story is that I finally stated that I needed to make a decision (yes, I was a complete ass), then went out of town for work with an impending MC session already scheduled upon my return. While I was out of town, I learned that my wife was planning on having a bag packed and was ready to go pending the outcome of the MC session. When I learned about the packed bag, yes it was what helped catapult me out of the deep fog, but afterward I realized I wasn't out of it completely, but I was out enough to start talking reasonably with BW. Now we are in R.
I don't think that statement can be applied to all WS in general. I look at it more like those who are recovering addicts or alcoholics, they will always be in recovery.
I guess you could say that a person cheated, so they are a cheater. That doesn't mean all WS are going to do it again.
At the risk of making any BS's angry, I think this phrase surfaces when there is anger about a situation, when a BS needs to lash out. I don't see anything wrong with using the statement, but it is an absolute statement and there are few things that are absolute.
We're 2.5 years out, and although we are experiencing a huge amount of abnormal stress due to outside "issues", for the last few months, I've noticed that our sex life has dropped off, he rarely "cuddles" (spoons) with me prior to sleeping, he no longer says "I love you" before falling asleep, etc. These things he did REGIOUSLY for the last 2 years, and now I notice them falling off.
I'm feeling very insecure and in DIRE need of some reassurances from him - but I feel "needy" in asking for them again.
Did you begin to "slide" after a few years vs. how you behaved during the first few years of "R"?
ETA: We're getting back on track, obviously. We can do this together.
[This message edited by leftoolate at 5:38 PM, February 20th (Saturday)]
I'll be 100% honest - I'm questioning WHY I'm staying married to him. I'm hurt, scared and I'm drinking at the moment (something I haven't done for many, many months, to numb my pain.
Is this MY problem to deal with (the feeling of being neglected again), or "ours"?
[This message edited by Devestatedx5 at 5:57 PM, February 20th (Saturday)]
heartache101 Ė Once a cheaters, always a cheater?
Well, it surely is a phrase that is flung around in anger quite often to the WS, a rather inflammatory accusatory statement that is sure to escalate any disagreement into a knock down fight.
IMHO, t touches on the issue of original guilt in some respects. Are we born good and learn evil or are we born evil and learn goodness? In particular, if you think that we are born with the inherent capacity to be evil at all times, then it seems to me that you would subscribe to the concept that once a cheater, always a cheater more readily as not as it would seem to illuminate the real person as the monster he is.
I however like to think that good people can make mistakes. For instance, when I was 4 years old and Joyce L. Stepped on and broke my toy truck, I smacked her. Would it have been fair to label me as an abuser, a violent man? Now I know itís reaching for illustration sake, but the truth is, a single act should not be used to describe a person forever in this context.
Any parent knows how harmful a label can be for a child. The stupid child. The one not as good as his siblings. Hurtful labels that lead to acting out and bad coping skills as adults. And even as adults, inside our hearts, we know that labels are just as harmful and just as bad.
It gives no credence to the reformative powers of remorse, guilt, regret and the healing power of love. It gives no credence to change within. It gives no power to someone making the effort to make conscious choices over emotional reactions. It says in effect that a bad decision defines a bad person.
No, the phrase once a cheater, always a cheater might be a fallacy at worst but unfortunately, itís a sad truth in reality. For even as I argue this with you, someone else is embarking on affair # 2 or 4 or more and is making a liar out of me.
So, instead of making generalities and trying to apply them to specific people who we are not even aware of and can never know, perhaps it only works when we apply it to the WS in our own lives.
So, like leftoolate says, look at your own WS. Look at him hard. Is he remorseful? Is he addressing his faults and his boundaries and himself? Was this a one off or a habit already? Only you really know these answers well enough to make the call.
In my own case, I know that I will never cheat on my wife again but I know that in heart, she still has fears and so, I work every day to prove her wrong. I hope your WS is doing that too.
Dr. Seuss - You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go.
[This message edited by HUFI-PUFI at 11:31 PM, February 20th (Saturday)]
My WS's A was the result of rekindling with his lost love from 30+ years ago. My question is for those WS's who had the same type of affair and are in R. Can you honestly say that you no longer have romantic feelings or love for the AP? Did you opt to R with your spouse out of a sense of duty? My research so far leaves me with mixed emotions and I'd like to hear from WS's in R as it may offer a different perspective.
In my case the OP was not someone from my past... but it wouldn't have mattered. It could just as easily have been an old high school classmate. The OP was the OP because he was willing to be... and I was the WS because I decided to be. Ultimately, it comes down to the choice the WS makes, right?
I thought I loved the OP- and now I understand it was something I told myself in order to somehow justify what I was doing. The A was about validation and my lack of self esteem. He gave me attention, and somehow that made me a more worthy person. Honestly, after dday, I was on the fence for weeks- probably 6 weeks or so... because I was hanging on to that notion of love for the OP. That time period was difficult because I actually wanted R, but was afraid to commit. I (immaturely) wanted a guarantee. My H told me he wanted to be with me but he wouldn't wait forever... and that was the beginning of my waking up process.
It wasn't a light switch, as much as I'd have liked it to be. Getting to indifference was a process. I would have dreams about the OP and wake up sweating and terrified. It wasn't a place I wanted to go back to at all... but my brain still needed to process all the emotions. There really are involuntary thought processes. BSes have triggers, but WSes do too. How we behave when we have a trigger is critical to our healing. Do we allow that trigger to take us back down the A path, or do we purposely shift our thinking back to our spouse and family?
I had to reestablish thought patterns that had become warped during the A. R didn't happen out of a sense of duty. It happened because I could not imagine my life with someone other than my husband. I lied to my husband, the OP and myself. But once I started really working on my issues in IC, I had to be honest if I was going to heal. And in the deepest part of my heart, I knew that I was meant to be with my H. Facing the shame of what I'd done seemed impossible- but it was worth it if it meant he was still my H.
It sucks, but it just takes time to work through this stuff, and to repattern our minds. If we've had dysfunctional thought processes, something has to be done to change that. Unfortunately, thoughts of the OP will come through occasionally. Even after 7 years, something will trigger a thought- but I certainly don't WANT it... and I try as quickly as possible to change the subject in my mind. The more mental real estate I give the OP, the more alive the A is. Ideally, the OP would drop off the face of the earth... but I don't even want to look and see if he has... because he's no more important to me now than last summer's gnats.
Not sure if any of my rambling makes sense.
"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."
DD1 09AUG01 OW1 WH's brother's wife's sister, OW2 09OCT20 random internet whore he moved in with first meeting.
Divorce final 11 JUN 03
I confronted my WH in front of OW and asked him right there and then: "So this is it?" He said yes.
He hasn't called me since. This happened 1wk ago and I have a feeling he's been staying over at the OW's house.
Do you think he will realize what he did and will eventually called to make amends? Or is he ready to just move on with his life?