I guess I want to hear that he doesn't have any need to have an A.
I think this is a situation where he is saying one thing and you are hearing something else. He doesn't understand the difference between saying "it is not worth it" and saying "I want you". I had an EA, not a PA, and I have a difficult saying anything negative about OW, but that doesn't mean I am thinking it would be great if I could keep that going.
I don't know if a PA has the same "like a drug" effect as an EA, but nothing good can come from addictions of this sort.
As for the on-going battle idea...I am like EmptyCup in that I can describe my EA as a perfect storm. My BW have talked about this a lot and I really believe that it would not have happened with anyone else or at any other time. In order to prevent it from happening again, I have to work on fixing myself and putting up boundaries.Do you see this work being done by your WH?
My FWH had two short term As both with "friends" of ours. The first was with a woman who was like a sister to me. She is a divorced mom of 2 who has been under medicated psychiatric care for several years for depression.
According to my H they began talking secretly in the summer of 2008. He says initially she was mostly complaining about how lonely she was, how bad her life was, how nobody wanted her. Those convos eventually turned to them commiserating on how hard their lives were and then my "friend" began to start demeaning me and flattering my H. She told my H secrets she supposedly knew about me, mainly that I had a secret life before I met my H that I had never told him about. (Untrue.) My H says he complained that I didn't love him. My "friend" fiercely fanned the flames of his doubt.
During this time my H often mentioned to me how weird and unstable my friend was but he never told me they were talking pretty regularly.
Anyhow during the Christmas 08 holidays she called me and asked if my H could come over and help her with toys for her kids. That was the night she offered herself to him and he accepted. By his account he went back to her house for sex two more times in January. And this is where I need your input.
FWH says he was totally disgusted by my friend. He says he was not physically attracted to her. Says each time he went to her he was more repulsed than the time before. He said she made a few more booty calls after their last time but he told her that he couldn't get away and she finally quit asking.
Please help me make sense of this. Why would my H have sex three times with a pitiful woman who repulsed him?
He said he never complimented her, never told her he had any kind of feelings for her, never asked her for sex. But yet he didn't say no when she asked him. Three times. He even says that each sexual experience lasted no more than 7 or 8 minutes.
I am dumbfounded! There's more...
Five months later FWH starts talking to another friend whose H is currently incarcerated. From first convo to doin the deed was only about 2 weeks. I think there was emotional attachment there but my H says there was not. I'm still really stuck on this point. He was in active A with her when he was found out and he packed his things and left home. He stayed with his sister and BIL for the next 6 weeks, still talking to the MW for the first 4 weeks of our separation but no physical contact.
He says the same for her, that the sex was awkward, no foreplay, not enjoyable, minimal kissing, no lingering after the deed and that they NEVER talked about their physical relationship, NEVER. Never commented on or complimented one another on the sex. How does that happen? Does that really happen?
Has my H rewritten the A, as he rewrote our marital history while the As were ongoing? Is he whitewashing the As?
I really want to believe my H. I believe he believes what he is telling me but I also believe he believed he was in a horrible marriage when he was cheating. Does my H have a grasp on reality?
I'm just so confused about all of this... Please somebody help me understand.
(edited for typos)
[This message edited by Flatlined at 8:40 PM, February 23rd (Tuesday)]
I was already cracked but then they BROKE me.
In my h's case (6 yrs out now) I would have to guess that it is a little bit of each. I guess if one lies enough they actually can make themselves believe that it wasn't all that bad.
Although I will never get the truth and will always wonder to some degree, I am slowing starting to give a crap about the truth as time goes by. Not sure if that is good or bad.
[This message edited by worthitall? at 9:35 PM, February 23rd (Tuesday)]
Why would my H have sex three times with a pitiful woman who repulsed him?
I can relate to your husband. Let me try my hand at an analogy. Some people eat food if they just see it laying around in their kitchen. They don't even have to be hungry. What's more, it may not be particularly appetizing food, but it's there, and so down the hatch it goes. I once treated relationships that way.
Of the five ONS that I was part of, two were with women that I neither liked nor wanted to be with. One woman was much older than me, couldn't hold a fixed relationship, and needy. The other was younger, socially inept, self-absorbed, and if people in my social circle knew what I did, I would have died of embarrassment. Both were smokers, a habit I find repulsive (no offense to any smokers reading), and both I found physically unappealing.
The older woman pursued me agressively, offering to perform sexual acts that my wife had clear boundaries against. I spent one evening with the younger woman because I was lonely, and it felt like a conquest.
And yet I didn't like either of them. In fact, I felt self-disgust. But my boundaries were non-existent, I had no self-discipline, and all that mattered to me at the time was that these women wanted to be close to me--all despite the fact that at any earlier time I would have found the thought of being intimate with those two women utterly revolting.
How much faith can I put in reconciliation if a WH lies about even one thing? This was not a minor matter.
Yeah, that's a good question. I never thought of it as risking anything. I just never imagined my husband would find out, and I didn't even see how I was already affecting him and the kids, even before I was caught. I was so focused on myself and my needs and never saw beyond that -- complete denial. Basically, it felt good since it was meeting my neurotic needs, so I kept doing it. My marriage wasn't good even before the A, so it was easy to compartmentalize it away. I had pulled away from here years before that.
You could ask a similar question about any alcoholic, any drug addict. There may be a physical addiction component there, but I think the basic premise holds. It feels good, and we're being selfish, so we keep doing it.
Nothing much but love to give you, even less have I to hide - Tim O'Brien
TICKED OFF - WS's.....on the subject of TT, do you do it out of pure selfishness so that your spouse doesn't leave you, or do you do it because you are a coward and can't or don't want to believe the damage you have caused? Or do you trickle truth because you really don't give a rats behind in the first place if the truth is known or not????
Why do we lie?
I did write a post at http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=329076 with some thoughts on this and perhaps it might help but if you really want a plain and simple approach, this quote is as good as any.
The mind of a WS is a very sordid, confused place during the preamble, main body, and post mortem of an A. Don't give us too much credit for rational thought - unknown poster.
I know itís tempting to just say that the words lying and cheating fit together like peanut butter and jam but thatís a simplistic view. IMHO, the dynamics within our heads that lead us to lie are very complex and intertwined with our hearts and minds to the ninth degree.
I lied for various reasons at various times. No habit, no pattern, just emotional stupidly coupled to a mind that doesnít want to think and face reality yet.
I lied to protect my W at times because I knew that the truth was hurtful to her and I didnít want her to spend the rest of the day or night crying again.
I lied to protect myself because admitting the truth would expose my own failures to myself because I did not want to see how far I had sunk into the monster pit.
I lied by omission becasue I rationalized that not admitting something that was not asked was the same as telling the truth.
I lied by minimizing. I lied because I was fearful of the consequences if I admitted to even worse things than she suspected or accused me of.
Sadly enough, the following quote applies to most of us.
For every lie I told her, I told two to myself.
In my own case, I was guilty of lying to myself for years before the A regarding my feelings for the OW. In essence, it came down to 33 years of lying to myself.
In closing, I would like to close off with something that I wrote about the affair.
The journey between being an honest man and a two timing cheating bastard was not marked by a single solitary act of dishonour or a single lie. No, it was unfortunately marked by a whole lot of small "white" lies, a sprinkle of half truths and a pinch of trickle truthing. Hmmm, perhaps that now explains why I don't see an honest, truthful man in the mirror anymore in the mornings. Pity, what a shame. I kind of miss him and I know my BS does. Honest people learn to lie and liars learn to sound honest.
The good news is that lying is a self inflicted behaviour and as such, we can stop when we make the decision to stop. It can be done. All it takes is some motivation and desire.
Sow a thought, reap an action.
Sow an action, reap a habit.
Sow a habit, reap a character.
Sow a character, reap a destiny.
I just want to know how I can help FWH to not go right to the "maybe we aren't meant to be together" when we have an arguement and can't see eye to eye on details of the A? Last night we fought about him not really having regret for his actions (he is one of those people that does not want to regret anything in life and says that every choice he makes, makes him into who he is today), but I think that if he really cared about our family, he would definitely regret hurting us. I can agree to disagree, but this, like any fight we have, makes him go right to the "I'm frustrated and sick of going back and forth about the A" and "I don't think I can do this anymore".
How can I get him to see that I am still here fighting and I just want to know that I can discuss how I am feeling about the A and have "bad days" without him completely checking out on our marriage because he is sick of being beat up about it??
Thanks in advance!
On a scale of one to ten, with one being of the most important to you.
Protecting your self from unknown consequences.
Fear of the details hurting your BS more.
Fear of your BS divorcing you.
Your desire to 'protect' your affair partner from possible repercussions of your BS's rage.
Fear of your BS 'outing' you to other people.
Fear of what your affair partners' spouse might do to you.
The first on my list isn't mentioned on you list. That would be:
Unwillingness to admit that I was wrong/fear of recognizing the problems that I had within myself. - 10
As for the rest:
Protecting your self from unknown consequences. 6
Fear of the details hurting your BS more. 8
Fear of your BS divorcing you. 6
Your desire to 'protect' your affair partner from possible repercussions of your BS's rage. 4
Fear of your BS 'outing' you to other people. 1
Fear of what your affair partners' spouse might do to you. 1
The one problem with this list is that most of the TT events would have occurred while in the fog at some level, so we may not have been thinking very clearly and these are all just excuses.
With all these factors in place about the compulsion (for lack of a better word) to lie, what made you stop? What brought you to come completely clean, strip it bare, put the cards all on the table and just see what happens? How did it feel to do that? Do you think that your willingness to do so has affected your R- and in which way? (sorry, this is a few questions...)
It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.
-- Agnes Repplier
Similar to BaxtersBFF, I think that my primary reason was also not on the list. And I think the answer lies in the quote that says, for every lie I told you, I told myself two.
Most Common Reason - Unwillingness or the inability to admit certain truths to myself because I had not yet faced them properly within myself.
2 -Fear of the details hurting your BS more. For instance, if she was crying like a banshee when I told her I called the OW, it would only be more harder if she heard that we shared intimate talk that night.
3 - At times, a real forgetfulness of the details. For example, there is almost not a man out there who really paid attention to what colour blouse the AP was wearing on any particular day.
4 - Fear of your BS divorcing you.
5 - Protecting myself from unknown consequences.
One's that were not applicable from your list.
Fear of your BS 'outing' you to other people.
Fear of what your affair partners' spouse might do to you.
Your desire to 'protect' your affair partner from possible repercussions of your BS's rage.
I hope this helps.
He sat in front of me, swore on the sun, moon and stars "Thats everything, all true, all answers" I just knew it wasn't. I lived, I survived.
On 01-23-10 the full truth came. It wasn't just naked pic's....... It was a PA.
Omg I died... Details are irrelevant now.
My question. He swore on everything for 9 months, he was telling the truth, nothing else to wonder or worry about. NOW this is the full truth. So when you decide your going to lay it out, all of it, painful, sordid details that your BS is begging for, how much do you leave out? If it's to save face, feelings, torture (to either person). The FULL fledged truth? Do I need to look forward to another DD, is it possible he gave me Everything? Does a WS ever really tell all, even when they claim they are? The full truth (so he says) just has me more confused & lost.
I now have a broken puzzle again. Does it ever fit back together?
I think that more often than not, discussions about the affair are seen as picking scab and opening up the hurt and pain again. Its argued that the WS wants to just get past it and that they merely want their BS to do the same. Discussing the affair has a direct correlation to reliving the pain of A as it can bring forth memories of the shame and guilt and therefore its seen as something to be avoided.
Strangely enough, to a certain degree, itís a polar opposite for my WS and I as compared to a lot of the others marriages out there. In my particular circumstances, the need for information over rides the issue of not wanting to relive the A. Mind you, it some respects, relieving the past by bringing it up in conversation may be easier for me because it was a EA only and so I donít have the visual mind movies to handle. Thank God for small mercies.
But given the dynamics of my A (see my profile for the sad story), talking to my BS and answering her questions tends to bring up the question of Ďwhyí and that self examination is forcing me to embark on a journey of self discovery that otherwise, I would never undertake on my own.
You see, I hid my own issues from 33 years ago so deeply that even I wasnít truly aware of the full impact and the full entanglement that my past had on me. Itís my wifeís insistence and questioning that drives this self discovery. On my own, I fear that I would just follow back on my old habits and that would mean compartmentalizing and minimizing and lying to myself.
So, my BS is like my IC in this respect. Iím not saying that itís easy. After all, I know that I said and expressed some horrible things during the A that were personally devastating to my wife and her POV of our marriage and relationship. So, it hurts to be reminded of my failure. It hurts to face the brutal facts that I lied to her and that I lied to myself for so many years. How can I ever be comfortable looking at my wife and admitting to her that I told the OW that I wanted to marry her? How can it ever be easy to admit that your life was built on a web of lies and stupidity and bad coping skills?
Itís not easy facing the demons but it is necessary. When I think it hurts, I try to remind myself of the pain that my wife must have felt when she found out I betrayed her. When the self-betrayal of my morals and ethics hits hard and all I see is the monster, I try to focus on the fact that these failures are what lead to the affair and to the tears. Itís a reminder, a token that brings forth new commitment and strengthens my resolve to do whatever it takes to make this right.
So for each time that I want my BS to just be casual and get over it because I donít want to bring up the hurt again, I also have days when I know that if we donít do this, it will never get better and then I lose not just myself but her too. On those days, I force myself open up.
As I see it, each discussion is not only helping my BS, itís also helping me come to the why of the affair and that can only be good for us. Hurts some days but it can be a good hurt too.
On a practical note, maybe doing a written Q&A thing might be easier than a face to face process. The lack of visual reminders (tears in a spouses eyes) might make it easier to open up and discuss.
One last thought, I was reading in Not Just Friends again this afternoon and I ran across a interesting thing on page 345/346 which raises the issue of not being able let go and move beyond. I donít want to presume that this might be the case, but it has some interesting ideas that might apply.
HUFI - DECIDE. CHOOSE.
The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise. - Alden Nowlan Ė
How much faith can I put in reconciliation if a WH lies about even one thing?
IMO truth in R and in the new M covers all topics.
I guess what jumped out at me is that there shouldn't be a back and forth about the A. The only way to do it is to go through it, meaning he needs to give you the answers, the freedom, the time to process whatever you need in order to work through things so you can decide whether or not you are going to R.
If he is still saying these things, then he is not owning his own shit. That being said, how is your communication style? Something that helped us with better communication was to sit facing each other, knees touching letting one person speak until they were finished. The other person would repeat back what they heard and ask "did I get that right?" If the answer was yes, the person who asked would validate the first persons comments by saying "I imagine you are feeling this way because _____. Did I get that right?" If the answer was yes, then it was the other persons turn. It is sort of awkward to do at first, but it really worked. Now narratives, no defending, NO INTERUPTING, no accusing from either side, and set a time limit. We did this daily for a couple weeks, then every couple of days. Now we are at about once a month or so, if we feel a need to reconnect like this.
Not sure if this helps your situation any, but that is what came out.
I cheated a year after we were M, 21 years ago. Very short A but I have not cheated since. I have flirted but never crossed to cheating again.
WS told me I needed to come clean for us to move forward. I told him I have not cheated since the first one but he doesn't believe me. I've even offered to take a lie detector test to which he said I could "fake" it and pass.
We have not spoke to each other now for 2 days, he says it's over because I can't admit that I cheated. I really haven't, I've thought about saying I did just to move forward but that's wrong too. Really confused and don't know how to convince him otherwise.