My next question to you is, does the OW compare herself to the wife?
No, I didn't. I already knew her, so I was aware of the fact that we were very different, but during the A, I did not compare myself. I never wanted her life, never wanted him to leave her, etc. The A was a diversion for me.
How do you feel YOU, the WS, were hurt/damaged by the affair? In what ways do you see the affair was detrimental to YOUR wellbeing?
My affair was absolutely devastating to my self-respect and my already low self-esteem. I was at the brink of suicide.
I still haven't fully recovered.
During your A, did you try to reach out to your AP's children in any way?
No, I didn't reach out to the OM's son, although I did know him. They were/are neighbors, so I would see him rather frequently.
Who are you accountable to?
I am accountable to myself, upholding my own values and integrity.
I am wondering if ex-h wants to come home. I can't explain why I'm getting this vibe, but i am. He has been very different lately. Not making any grand gestures, but very candid when i ask about ow, and his total lack of interest in starting another family with her or anyone else. He's always offering to come over and help with xyz (which i don't take him up on). I stay NC between visitations, but he almost always finds some little excuse to contact me.
My question is, what is a post divorce, post-A WS mindset like? He said he knows everything is his fault, that he's tired if hurting me, and isn't sure he could stop (diagnosed bipolar/ptsd, but not in IC or on meds). Any discussion of R would have to include both of those right away to even be a consideration.
So where is his head? Has he just thrown in the towel? Is he looking for some signal from me? Or am i completely off base? Thanks.
He's still with OW but hanging out at your house to fix stuff?
That is *not* the mindset of a remorseful WS wanting to R. That is simple cake-eating.
He wants OW but with you on the side. This way, he doesn't have to face any consequences. He can be the good guy and be wanted by two women.
The question is, are you going to let him continue to eat cake?
Question for WS's, but interested in BS experience with this too.
BS's aren't allowed to respond to questions here, so you may want to pose it in General.
Edited for sloppy tags.
[This message edited by Hope24 at 6:20 AM, June 20th (Monday)]
To my knowledge, he is not seeing anyone, OW or otherwise.
I thought I remembered something about him wanting to play house with OW and OC, but I must be thinking of someone else.
It's possible that he's remorseful. Wanting to come home, however, is not enough. Watch his actions closely.
Did you ever give him conditions for R? If so, a remorseful WS who wants to reconcile will demonstrate that they've changed by embracing those conditions.
Proceed with caution.
D-Day 9-1-10---she spent the whole summer talking to him
Stuggling through R
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
R'ing ?? yes, no, maybe, I dont know
This is not the end, this is not the beginning
Will he ever admit what he has done? Why does he continue the lie, 15 months after DD2 and 10 months after DD3 when I learned he had been living with OW during our separation?
I don't think we ever got as far as formal conditions for R. We went to MC 3 times, and he said he wasn't ready to come home. His actions weren't even close to being that of a remorseful WS.
That's been changing lately. He appears to be completely transparent. He doesn't really offer any information, but when I ask, he tells all (sometimes too much, lol). I never used to see his cell phone. He guarded it like the Federal Treasury. But now if it rings, he answers it. If he gets a text, he looks at it. He even showed me a picture on it the other day; I didn't even know what the front of his phone looked like, that's how rarely I ever saw it, lol.
I don't know. Like you said, I'm proceeding with caution. I'm basically just going to keep the status quo until I hear otherwise. One thing I definitely asked for during false R was the GRAND GESTURE. Anything less than that is still unacceptable. So, I guess I just answered my own question.
Did any WS's say things and didn't mean it?
For those of you that told the ow/OM that you loved them: how long after the affair ended did your feelings change? Also when did you realize it wasn't really love?
Unfortunately in my case it took a few months. I spent the first 2-3 months after d-day detoxing and grieving the loss of FOM.
About that time, IC started kicking in and I began to see how I just used FOM and the A to fill the void in my life from my FOO "Daddy" Issues.
Last week a friend of mine asked if I think of FOM at all, and I was able to answer her honestly, "no, not really. I still think of her (FOMBW), but not him."
Sort of. I thought I meant it at the time, but looking back I was severely delusional. I said and did things that were not who I am and certainly not something I would have said if I were in my right mind.
It was all a fantasy, and in those delusions I said things that I thought were true at the time, but in reality were complete bullshit.
I didn't say those things because that wasn't the nature of the affair but I did say a lot of things I didn't mean. I told the AP bold face lies... and the reason was to keep him on the line. I think a lot of WS's say what they think the AP wants to hear just to keep the source of "the high" around. I remember saying things to him while in my head thinking "that is such a load of crap"
Watching Governor Sanford stand up over these past weeks and speak about how he found his soul mate in his Argentinean lover reminded me of something Pema Chodron, a Buddhist nun and author, wrote about Sweat Lodges. She wrote that the only way to be in a Sweat Lodge ó to experience all that it brings ó is to sit far from the exit. Because if you sit too close, you will find a reason to use it.
The same is true of any long-term relationship. If you decide to look for an exit, you will always be able to find it: whether it comes in the form of another lover, or another life. But the couples I spoke with who decided to commit to their marriages and relationships ó to be present for them, to help them grow more sacred ó told me that they were immeasurably rewarded for that decision. The more committed they grew to their marriages ó the further they sat from the exit ó the more joy and peace they found there.
2. There is No Weakness in Forgiveness
Iím not happy anymore; or Iím disappointed; or I have doubts. Three familiar catchphrases that free us up to not work to bring a relationship back to a positive place. In fact, we are conditioned these days to believe that the brave thing is to move on when the honeymoon is over. But that very standard makes it hard for any long-term relationship to survive inevitable disappointments.
While some would argue that it is brave to pick up and start a new life when a relationship begins to ebb, the truly brave thing ó the hard and valuable thing ó is to figure out how to find a new flow together. As one couple, who is happily married after 40 years together, informed me, ďThe most invaluable gifts come on the other side of the bad periods. If we hadnít forgiven each other for the hard times, we never would have experienced such good ones.Ē
3. Someone New Wonít Be New For Long
One factor is consistent in all studies of marriages and long-term relationships: a main cause of divorce and separation is infidelity. Those that stray (statistically, women as much as men these days) sight many factors as reasons: a breakdown in passion, a breakdown in communication, a breakdown . . .
But statistics also tell us that the chance of a relationship born from infidelity being successful is less than 1 and 100. Less than 1%. More often than not, the best thing someone new has going for him or her is being . . . new. And, once they arenít anymore, you are left in an even more precarious position.
Whoever you choose ó it always comes down to one thing. How hard are you willing to fight to make the relationship work? How easily are you willing to give your relationship away?
4. Often the Person You Are Running From Is You
Surprisingly, of all the reasons couples gave me for why they chose to end their marriage or relationship, the loss of love or mutual friendship was often notably absent. It often came down to something else: the desire to start a new life. To not grow old. Or, at least, to not feel like they were.
It is difficult to stay with the person who knows you best when you donít like what we see in the mirror. It may be easier to blame your partner than to take a hard look at yourself. But, at the end of the day, it isnít your partnerís responsibility to change your self-image, or to fix your self-doubt. Itís yours. And, if we want to like ourselves better, running out on a person who likes us the way we are isnít a wise starting point.
5. You Donít Need A Reason
Like anything worth having in this life, marriage and long-term commitment are hard work. Sometimes knowing that can be enough to help us not pick at the scabs while they are healing, to not make things worse as opposed to letting them feel better. As a lovely couple in Seattle Washington reminded me, things will feel better. ďBe good to each other, be patient. If you allow it, love always lives through that.Ē
All three of your questions had to do with love of the AP in some way. Can a WS have an A for 3 years and not love the AP? Can a WS tell an AP she loves him and not mean it? How long til the feelings go away/til you realize it was not real?
I have been on SI long enough to know that, danni, plenty of As drag on for long periods of time without the APs saying that they love each other, or very often without feeling it either. I think that is a plausible statement. But it sounds like he is refusing you the other details you are asking for - going beyond what you just don't believe. Can you R without them? It sounds like he is making it a requirement of your R that you remain in the dark for the rest of your marriage. Are you willing to do that? I think details as a condition of R is very reasonable and warranted, but of course if you draw a line you have to be ready to respect your own boundary. That means walking away if he refuses, so you can only make a condition you are willing to enforce.
As to the love statements - maybe you could get answers on that with a poly? You do have reason to be concerned. In my situation, I and the xOM took the A underground after D-Day, so I did have a window into what was going on at home and what he was telling his BW. He very much minimized the extent of the A (and of course it's duration) as is so prevalent here - told her sex one time and that he did not love me and never said he did. None of that was true and the TT began with revelations of more and more intimacy over many months. Because you know that this does happen, you will likely never feel comfortable with his assertion that he did not say/feel love, even though as I said I think it is not outside the realm of realism. So maybe a poly is the way to feel like there is some outside measurement of his truthfulness on this issue.
Etexas - I think a lot of WSs do say what they do not mean to keep the fantasy going. Sometimes they even believe what they are saying in the moment, but later realize that they were in such an altered state (the "fog" as people like to call it, though I hate that term) that it was not a true emotion despite their meaning it at the time.
Mostlymine - I preface this by saying that I think I am a bit different than many of the WSs on SI, so take what I say with a grain of salt. Also take it against the background of the fact that I did not want R, I did not attempt R and am now D. I did end the A as well, however, and am doing the work on myself despite the fact that my M is over. I told the OM I loved him and I meant it. I ended the A in December of 2009 - nearly 18 months ago. For me - and I truly believe it is different for those who want to R, so please a big grain of salt here - the feelings have changed and are less intense now by a lot just as it would be with any love that ended abruptly and with NC established. It took several months before I no longer felt compelled to call or email him several times a day. It was months longer before he was no longer the "voice inside my head" or who I thought of first when something big happened in my life. It was 10 months before I stopped wanting to check the email account where he wrote me and over a year before certain songs stopped reducing me to an emotional mess. I think of him daily still and some thoughts and memories still rattle me and I think they always will, though I think the impact will continue to lessen over time. But just because I felt those things and do believe that I truly loved him, I choose to walk away from him and have no desire to alter that decision. And I really do think that I am in a very small minority of WSs in the fact that I don't renounce what I felt. There was massive brokenness, yes. Incredible compartmentalization, absolutely. But I meant what I said. I do think though that if it does not happen immediately on DDay, many WSs feel repelled by the AP after several months to a year and feel the "love" was not genuine. I think that is more the norm.