Yes, it is very possible that he simply "slipped" and in the twighlight answered with her name yet not be thinking of her at all.
I'm sure that doesn't make it suck any less on any level. I don't think you're over thinking it and can imagine it being a "pebble in your shoe" for quite a while.
Something some waywards lack, even if they're very truly remorseful, is the ability to feel what kind of visceral pain so many daily things are.
It sounds like he knew right away that you were hurt by that. You sound very controlled and matter of fact. Don't hide your pain and don't bubble wrap him from experiencing your hurt.
While you have a balanced view of his past actions it's really ok to react in a very "unbalanced" way to them. I'm not saying lose your shit on him with abandoned but don't shove down or repress your feelings. You'll end up with holes in your walls when you step on your kid's toy (I still think they don't build em like they used to. )
'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth
I have made many mistakes in my life and even though I may have justified a bad behavior in my mind, I still knew it was wrong and I would not have wasted my time, energy or money "fixing" something when I knew my heart was not there.
Is the attempt at reconciliation genuine or is it just to pacify the betrayed? Are you afraid to lose the life you have created, but unwilling to unveil your true self?
I just cannot imagine putting in all that time and money and be faking it which is why I want to know. Do you realize when you're doing all this that it is not for real or do you believe you are in reconciliation?
You know your WH best. You will have to decide for yourself if he has what it takes to do the work on himself. If he does, then it might be worth sticking around. If he doesn't, then you should take care of yourself and your kids starting now.
Last night we were watching television and with dawning horror, I realised the presenter was an OW17 look/soundalike, getting close to a spitting image, but I pushed through the trigger as the programme was extremely interesting. Thinking though that H must surely have triggered also, but yet unsure whether to acknowledge it as that would be me inviting OW into the room, where she doesn't belong. H, however, said not long after that he didn't want to watch anymore (presumably also not wanting to invite OW17 in), to which I asked 'if because of OW 17 similarity?'. He concurred, and I said 'ok, shame as the programme is really interesting, but yes, let's turn it off'. He said he didn't want to think about it, and to continue watching would force him to do.
We are usually very good about dealing with triggers, making space for discussion if useful, or sometimes just simply acknowledging the trigger and the moment and moving on.
On this occasion, it was late, we were tired, had other things we needed to sort out for the morning, so we moved on.
It may be that it was unpleasant having OW 17 speak to me directly from my television, in MY house, but the moment viscerally remains. I do believe that H has reached complete indifference (and wishes I could), but sometimes fear, like last night, it's by a process of stuffing it away (it being the bad feelings about himself as a result of A behaviour). Because it has remained with me, I'll bring it up tonight.
I'm not sure what my question is - perhaps one about process and strategy? If indifference cannot really be, because the brain is using compartmentalisation to achieve it?
And whether also such a trigger can be a body memory 'pang' , even if momentary, or otherwise, of previous feelgood good or intense feelings about the A or the OP?
I'm prefacing this with "this is me" and I am not trying to speak for others. This is just what is going through my head as I read your post and questions...
I still like the idea of indifference. In my mind, I am realizing that the word "indifference" is a passive word. The idea of having to work toward indifference seems odd. So it seems like a mix of time and processing. Time is passive, processing is work. If you put too much work into indifference, then it seems like maybe you are thinking too much about the AP and so indifference seems farther off. If there is no work (processing), then it could easily become an issue of compartmentalizing, and that isn't solving the problem.
Then, even if there is indifference, that doesn't erase the memory of the A or the AP. So there is going to be some tie to the feelings/emotions of the A, which again seems to not be the way to feel indifference. So we are back to having to process. It just seems like a circular thing. At some point, the thoughts won't be there and it won't be the result of compartmentalizing.
As far as the movie/show trigger...I had a similar experience a few months ago. Started watching a movie on Netflix that I remember being super cool and totally 1987-88. Then the female lead came on and I triggered badly. BW was watching too, and I couldn't finish the movie. Sort of told me that I had more work to do.
It sounds like you and your WH have an understanding, or a way of communicating that works for you. It sounds like the situation was handled as well as it could be given the unexpected intrusion of OW17.
At some point, the thoughts won't be there and it won't be the result of compartmentalizing.
We spoke about it last night, and he feels he reached that stage about two years ago - simply did not have to work towards indifference, it arrived, so yes was very passive, it hadn't required work (as opposed to the work and processing he has done about his philandering). (but we are talking about someone who realised fairly early on in the affair that he had got himself into something he didn't really want to be in, and so eventually finished it prior to D-day, which was a confession, raher than being caught).
Her apparition on the television nauseated him not because there was any biochemical re-membering, but rather a mildly visceral reaction to the unexpected intrusion into an otherwise pleasant evening for us, and he didn't want that spoiled.
Interestingly, the same presenter was cited this morning on the radio, as her a departure from a particular nature programme had been announced and therefore 'the programme would lose its large audience of middle-aged men, for whom she was the main reason for watching'. Which we found quite funny, and it led to a discussion about her attractiveness, and it turned out that I was more attracted to her by far than he was, and my attraction was primarily about her (the presenter) scientific intellectual curiosity and keen sense of adventure (neither of which is applicable to OW17 )
You're right about the active/ passive dichotomy about indifference, in my case. Perhaps, as indifference is a desire and a goal for me, that keeps it as a present object, and maybe I am better letting go of the goal, and accepting indifference may never arrive - through a lack of presence and focus, it may then arrive... or it may not.
I'd like to hear the motivation behind the BS having either a revenge affair, or an affair years later. I'm interested in understanding as much about why A's happen.
1. If you have been a BS and become a WS with another married person I was wondering if you thought about being a part of the devastation that the A will cause the AP family, kids?
2. Knowing what you felt like as a BS after learning your WS had an A, why did you have the A?
We talked a few evenings ago about how I suspected their emotional attachment was greater than he was willing to admit. H, who has appeared very remorseful since discovery and has had NC, said "I feel no attachment. Don't you see how easily I have been able to put her out of my mind?"
I feel that he has been able to do that in just the same way that he was able to put ME out of his mind while he was involved in his relationship with her. They had been together at work for 8 hours a day for 28years, and had a PA for the last 15. They had become close friends and once a week lovers. They called each other when not at work, often minutes before he arrived home to me and our family. He would even call her when he was out of town just to "check in".
I believe that just as he would not let his thought processes lead him toward guilt and the possible consequences of their A, he is not allowing himself to consider any uncomfortable feelings toward his AP.
Not that I want him to think about her, but after such a long attachment, wouldn't it be normal to wonder how she is dealing with the end of the A and the fallout in her own M? Or is it that he misses her and puts those feelings away in a box?
Sometimes, due to the longevity of the A (we have been married for 25 years, so it covered over half of it) I feel almost like I am the OW. Upon discovery I destroyed the A, they didn't end it themselves. I'll always wonder how long it would have continued if I hadn't finally figured it out.
he asked me last night if i loved him. i said i do. he thought about that for a few minutes and said..."if you told me that you didnt love me, then i would just try harder to fight for my marriage."
how is a bs suppose to believe this? do you mean it? can you?
the other question i had was how can you love someone as much as my husband says he loves me and hurt me in this way?
Not sure if you are looking for answers from those who are specifically madhatters, or if you mean a WS who was a BS in a previous relationship. If it is the latter, I can answer.
1. If you have been a BS and become a WS with another married person I was wondering if you thought about being a part of the devastation that the A will cause the AP family, kids?No. I really didn't think about it too much. My kids are younger than MOW's kids. Since I had already talked myself into believing that my kids would be fine, I figured hers would be fine too. It isn't something that was discussed at all during the EA. I certainly didn't care about her BH.
2. Knowing what you felt like as a BS after learning your WS had an A, why did you have the A? There was at least a 16-year gap from the time I was a BBF to the time I became a WH. The memories of having been a BS weren't a thought at all when I became a WS. There were too many things going on in my head when I was a WS. Also, I felt I had reconciled the previous relationship prior to marrying my BW.
If anything, I can see now that I wasn't a very good BF or H in the past. I was a nice guy, but I didn't know how to be a good partner in a relationship. I didn't know how to process things, to work through them, to get through to the other side. So I just thought that what I was doing was normal. It seems that there has been a habit of avoidance and rugsweeping in my past which was part of what led me down the path to the EA.
Jumping in is a matter of hitting the Submit Message button. You hardly even have to move a finger.
wouldn't it be normal to wonder how she is dealing with the end of the A and the fallout in her own M? Or is it that he misses her and puts those feelings away in a box?If anything, I think it would be the second option, that he misses her and puts those feelings away in a box. The next thing to happen is that it's not dealt with, then he starts thinking and obsessing more to the point where he has to contact her and will use the guise of being concerned and wanting to check on her and make sure she is okay in order to have a "reason" to break NC. That's my opinion. May not actually happen...
LTA's are their own special monster. If you haven't found it yet, there is an LTA support thread in the I Can Relate forum. Just jump in there too, if you haven't already.
As far as your WH now, it is pretty recent past d-day, and for him to say he doesn't think about her at all is a load of crap. He may be really great at compartmentalizing, but not that good. This is where a good IC might be able to help him. But at the same time, he is probably thinking that he did pretty well for 15 years with no troubles, so why would he need IC? Not a healthy thought process, but relatively normal for a WS.
can a wayward really feel pain after discovery of the affair? Yes. i mean reall? Yes, really. are you just scared you got caught? Yes. Although many of us here didn't get caught. Some didn't even work to hide it.
The pain of infidelity is worse than most other things. From the WS side, the pain begins when we begin healing ourselves. Is it the same? No. Does it hurt like hell? Yes.
No your WH won't ever truly be able to feel the same level of pain as what he put you through. It doesn't mean that he is totally incapable of understanding that your pain is a result of his choices and his actions. Right now, it sounds like he is staying in the fight, that he is doing things to let you know he is present and accounted for and that he has signed on to see this through.
So, what is he doing? How has he changed? What has he done to validate your pain? Can you see a change in his actions?
There are many WS here on SI who "mean it" and who are capable of feeling that pain or rather empathizing with their BS in a way to be able to understand it. Then there are some who come here saying they want to do that, but aren't able to do the work to get there. There are even those here who want to, but aren't given the chance. Each of us in unique, on the WS side and on the BS side. Each has our limits. Dealbreakers are dealbreakers, and it is up to you to decide that for yourself.
The love issue...honestly, it seems like that often boils down to a communication issue. That was what happened in my situation. I thought I was saying, my BW thought she was saying it, but neither of us were listening. THEN, my past coping mechanisms kicked in and I came to some wrong conclusions about the love in our M before the A. Once I thought I had the full picture, I started distancing myself from the M, telling myself I didn't love my wife. It was a few months later that the EA started.
Each situation is unique and each WS is capable of many different thing when it comes to R.
Have you ever printed off anything from SI for your wH to read? There are a number of posts in the Healing Library or in the Wayward forum which might speak to your WH about how much pain and suffering you've gone through. It often helps to hear it from an outside source.
can a wayward really feel pain after discovery of the affair
A wayward can really feel pain before during and after the affair. Many are in excrutiating pain and their poor choices just magnified it exponentially.
No one's pain is the same. Many WS are very familiar with the pain of betrayal and have felt it from their spouses actions as well. The first time my ex struck me made is subsequent affair feel like a bee sting.
It was my choices that sent me to this site and the pain of digging and healing.
Sri, I think many have asked that question. Sadly, the people we love can be the people we hurt the most. Especially if we don't love and respect ourselves
First I am being curious here so that is why I ask.
How do you feel about those Harlequin romance books??? If you are an x cheater do you read those now? Did you read them before??
Just wondering I don't read them did when I was younger and my spouse didn't give me the attention I needed. I used it as my fantasy but I didn't take it to the next level like cheating or such.
So I was just wondering how you feel about that?
Is it appropriate for a wayward or x wayward to read romance books I guess is the question? I mean can't that be another way of not living in the today since a wayward has that problem is it healthy for a relationship I don't think so... Just my opinion.
This is just IMHO, it depends on how often the books are being read. There is a difference between reading for pleasure and escapism.
I was/am a reading escapist. If I don't watch myself, I will disengage with everyone around me and disappear into fantasy land re: books. Romance novels were an unhealthy choice pre-A and post D-Day for me. I stopped reading them during therapy. I just couldn't read them anymore during the early days.
I had a hard time relearning to enjoy a book without falling into that trap. Now there are maybe 5 authors that I follow if I have time.
If you have an issue with the WS reading material, you should discuss it with them. Express your feelings without attacking them. Remember, they are probably self-soothing by escaping into the book.
Is it appropriate for a wayward or x wayward to read romance books I guess is the question?
Infidelity material now is everywhere in literature, movies, etc. What I find now is that I am critiquing and calling out the Wayward behavior. I get annoyed when I see the lying and minimizing in books.
I read a Nicholas Sparks book the other month that basically glorified cheating. I felt a little nauseated. Even the Notebook bothers me now. After all, she did leave her FiancÚ (who was a dick, but still) for Noah.
Even Titantic bugs me. the whole star crossed lovers thing is too much now.
I have read almost the entire series by J.R. ward. it is a romance series involving sexy vampires. I love this series. The male vampires are all true and fidelity is a huge theme.
The issue at hand is an affair that just came to the surface in his department at work. He recognized it for what it was a while back and has been doing his best to just stay away from the situation and those involved. We have had several talks about it and for the most part, as much as I hate the environment, it has been a real eye opener for him. A reality check of sorts that showed him just how fake and fantasy A's really are (including his).
That affair has now come to light in the office and the inevitable fall-out is the buzz. Of course the parties involved are all foggy and spewing about their luuuurrrrv and specialness. The gossip is everywhere and since my H and his AP still both work in that department he is getting dragged in to it. That department has become the company joke for dating remarks and the worse.
My H is doing his best to keep his head high and reiterate that what happened was a long time ago and the worst mistake of his life when people say something to him. He is wearing down though. The truth is the truth is what he has said to me. He behaved that way, and did the things being talked about. He hangs his head again in shame. I wish he saw leaving this environment as an option, but financially and his position (and if I had to say so a dose of self-consequence) he chose to face the fall-out.
My questions are how would this affect you emotionally as a remorseful FWS? and when the self-loathing sets in, would it be more comforting to you as a FWS for your spouse to just listen and let you get it out or continually reassure you? I've told him I know the work he has done and that while those were his choices back then, I know he would not go there again.
It goes without saying I struggle with my own triggers as he has told me it has been like looking at his affair in a mirror watching this all unfold. He assures me the only feelings it has brought back for him is shame and disappointment in himself. I want to help if I can.
There have been a number of times over the past couple years where I have thought to myself, "yup, you're dealing with an A" whether it is a BS situation or a WS situation. I feel like I can spot a WS a mile away sometimes...
Having to deal with it in close quarters must be tough on your WH, but I think it is pretty impressive that he is choosing this path of "dealing" with it rather than giving the illusion of running from it. It sounds like you understand that he wouldn't be running from it if he would have left, but still, he is staying and facing the consequences. It take a lot of strength.
As far as what you can do...it depends on what he needs. I can only relay my experience. My BW walks a fine line of being an active listener and being a protector. I really don't like when she comes to my rescue. Don't know what it is, can't really even explain it right now, but there is a difference between her coming to my rescue and being able to appreciate/support me where I am at in my frustrations.
Ask your H what he needs from you. Let him know what you think of his handling of this situation.
ETA - Brain fart...
[This message edited by BaxtersBFF at 4:19 PM, March 14th (Wednesday)]
I have complimented him on the way he has been handling it. I know it is hard on him. He has told me sometimes my being supportive helps and sometimes my understanding makes him feel worse. Thats why I posted.
It really helps to hear from someone who can relate more to his pain.