It's back on the merry go round. If you're bored of my running round in circles please feel free to ignore this post. I really don't want to get annoying.
The thing is H keeps going back to his original story and no one on here believes that so I am stumped on how to move forward. He is writing me a timeline and a letter detailing everything. I should have it within the week.
Thing is we were talking last night and he is right back to the original story but with a bit more explanation.
Back to he didn't fancy her, it was the EA he wanted and not the physical stuff but when it happened he couldn't think if a way out without the shit hitting the fan.
Surely if his story only changes when I threaten to leave him then his original story must be the truth? When I say I don't believe it he agrees with almost anything I say so I don't leave. He has admitted to wanting someone new, not being able to resist etc but when I question him further it falls apart and he admits he didn't want PA.
he is saying that yes he wanted the EA, badly. He turned his life into a bubble with just the two of them in it. He really wanted that and has held his hands up with brutal honesty on that part - again it's never changed.
The kisses, he did want to kiss her. But not from a sexual point of view. It was all to get more attention, that was all that mattered to him, her wanting him so when she looked like she wanted to be kissed he didn't hesitate - by kissing her he could get the affirmation that yes she did want him and that was his goal. To find out of he was sexually attractive to other women his self esteem has always been so low he never believe anyone else could want him so when she clearly did he got carried away with it.
When she didn't kiss him back and he didn't like it either he thought they had gone back to an EA and the physical stuff had stopped. He went into panic mode scared he would lose his EA and his constant attention so he text her more than ever to make sure she knew he wanted to continue the EA.
When she picked him up the next night he told her not to bother but when she insisted he was flattered so he agreed. HE thought at that point he was just getting a lift home as she insisted she was only 5 mins away and why waste money on a taxi. He agreed. He wanted to talk, he wanted the attention and flattery. He had felt lonely all night at the pub and resentful I wasn't with him due to my problems and she text him all night and he let her kind of take my place. He did text me a few times but as she never stopped texting him he ended up texting her all night.
Then when she drove around and said she was looking for somewhere to park he pointed out a few parking spaces but she kept saying no not there. That's when he wondered what she was up to. Yeah if he wasn't interested he should have got out when she pulled up in the car park but he wanted to talk, he loved the fact she had gone out of her way to come and see him, he hoped she would make a pass after rejecting his kisses. He wanted his attention and ego boost. But he did plan on refusing her, he just wanted her to show she found him attractive then he would stop it. He never thought how he would stop it though cos he never really believed she would try anything, it was just a background suspicion/hope he had.
He thought he was in control and playing games with her but she was playing games of her own. all was normal for half an hour he started to relax and let his guard down. When she lifted her skirt he panicked. He didn't expect such an extreme move, after all she hadn't even kissed him back the day before. Because it was such a huge thing she did his mind was racing, how could he say no now (more to come on this later before you all roll your eyes lol) he just didn't have the balls to stand up to her. he didn't want to offend his EA, risk losing his EA, risk her telling me, he realised his game playing had brought this on. Told himself to just do what she wanted and get out of there. He took the easy route and told himself I would never know and he had already ruined our marriage so he did it.
I do believe he stopped quickly, I want to believe he didn't like it and his words and actions with me the next day back this up.
He told me it was the worst night of his life and he would never go out without me again. He didn't want freedom he wanted to come back to being family man and sorry he had been such a grumpy idiot for the past few weeks. He would not have done that if he wanted more. He never touched her again after.
Now for the important bit. I know you all think he is lying and at times I have too. But after talking to him and thinking things through this is the scenario I can see him falling into for quite a few reasons,
Namely he cannot say no to anybody. He gets walked all over at work, he will not say no or tackle the boss for overworking him, or even being rude or aggressive to him. He hates to even ask for his annual leave in case the boss grumbles. He HATES anyone being cross with him, cold with him - any form of rejection at all. if a neighbour needs help in the middle of his meal, he will leave it and go help - not say wait 20 mins he will just flat out leave his meal. He has always been this way. He won't stand up to his nightmare of a mother, what she says goes.
He has a universal need to be liked, wanted, appreciated. a desperate need. Never known anyone like him. He didn't get it as a kid or an adult from his family. HIs parents are cold practical people. He NEVER gets a hug or any affection from them. I have never known a family to be so cold and hard. They argue all the time but not in a healthy way. They storm out, go silent, ignore each other and explode saying the most hurtful and nasty things.
He also has very low self esteem. He was always the geeky one til he met me. He had girlfriends but they were rarely the ones he wanted, just the ones who wanted him. If they wanted him he would sleep with them whether he wanted them or not. All that mattered to him was they wanted him.
He has always been very flirty in the attempt to get flirting back to make him feel good. It rarely happens. So when his ex popped up on face book he went straight into extreme flirting mode - worse than ever cos it was on line and didn't feel real. He said his mind went back to being 17 with her again and he really wanted her to still like him. She politely rejected his advances.
Then when this one started in his workplace he couldn't believe how she was falling all over him. He was low from various problems at that point and she really is a master manipulator and he was so easy to manipulate. He started an EA with her immediately. It met all his need for attention and approval. He really forgot me in the thrill of it all.
He did try and stop it all a few times even the EA, the text records confirm this, but as usual was crap at standing up for himself and took the easy route of no confrontation. Plus until it turned physical he didn't really want to end it, only part of him did.
So, yes I have decided to believe his story, it fits with his personality. He is so desperate to be wanted and can never say no to anyone, he admits he is a wimp in that way. Someone asked if he would drink battery acid if he was asked to. He wouldn't drink it but he would stick his tongue in to get attention!
I know I will probably get 2x4 for believing him but I just want to move forward now. If it was a lie his story would change but it only changes when I threaten to leave and then he said he was willing to tell me anything to keep me even if he had to lie and say he wanted her physically. She was never his type (she was just like his mum!) but she was just attractive enough for her attentions to mean something to him.
He realises he had ZERO boundaries and how badly he has screwed up. He said he has spent his whole life wanting to be wanted. Not just by women but by men too. He spent months doing marshalling on car rallies with a friend just to keep this friends - he hated doing it but kept it up cos this male friend was giving him the outside attention he craved.
He has realised he needs IC and the bike is up for sale to pay for that. He realises he has all he needs in me and DS and that no amount of external validation can make him feel whole, that he risked his family for it. He is disgusted with himself and is really making changes in that dept. Now he craves our attention not outside attention.
He has put his own boundaries in place and has shown me already he is working on saying no to people and not putting himself in dangerous situations.
Sorry this is so long but I felt the need to explain as no one believes his story. I really think I do now though.
ETA - although he didn't want the physical stuff I have to add that he does take full responsibility for the affair and is well aware he was weak and chose to take what was offered. He knows he did it and nobody made him do it.
[This message edited by olwen at 5:04 AM, November 18th (Monday)]
just be right now. You have very well thought out reasons for believing him. I did too. For me- there were just some things that didn't click- but I didn't realize that they didn't click until I had thought about them for awhile. This whole process is crazy making- you get answers and exhaust yourself digging for details and then you just stop.... You believe him and you relax. Because you need it.
But... For me at least... Once I get the new info, it starts brewing in my head and what was okay two days ago suddenly has more blank spots and things that don't quite click, I tryto keep calm and rational and talk myself down, just so I can function- but eventually it gets to be too much and I go down the rabbit hole again. You just cannot know what direction your mind will take.
So be okay for now. For yourself. Relax and try to focus on your regular day to day. There will be more questions for you and all sorts of new and creative triggers you never knew were there (all part of the fun, right?). But it's okay to be content for a little bit.
I am not trying to be pessimistic- but for me, at this stage, enjoying the good but fully expecting more bad is simply the way I have to protect myself. I cannot be shattered again like I was over the past few days- so I have to protect myself.
I am sending you so many hugs. When you are ready, if you are ready, and only if you think you are ready- I can PM you some of the questions that I asked that opened the flood gates for him.
Because, gently :), I do not think yours is being TOTALLY honest. I'm sorry- I know that's not what you wanted to hear. But I still hear some "poor me" in there and ... EAs are different animals. The least of my worries was what they did physically. I wanted to know about the EA. and that gets very painful.
sending you hugs and support- relax for now. It's okay to take a break from it to heal and process. We have to or we'd all be insane.
He cheated, I know he did. He knows he did. We have been going over and over this for 6 months now.
I had my lies at the beginning when he denied anything physical had ever taken place. When he confessed he told me everything in great detail and his answers don't change unless I force him to.
Why does what he says have to be a lie?
Is it not possible my weak husband was just that weak and not in a mad passion?
Why does he have to have loved every second of what he did. Like he said to me last night sticking your dick somewhere cos you feel you have to cos you don't have the balls to say no and you created the mess you're in does not feel nice.
I just don't get how his story is so unbelievable knowing what his personality is. Our families and few friends that know all believed it instantly. They know what he is like and the only way he would cheat is if he got in over his head and couldn't think of a way out without her telling me.
Also I met her and know how bad she is and she told me herself she manipulates men for fun.
I just can't see that. He has never been that man and I just can't see it. He is quite shy about sex even with me let alone someone new.
1)The EA was enough, the guilt was killing him and he did try and stop it.
2)He never went back for more.
3)If he had wanted her and planned it he would have booked a room and gone all out.
4)He is not confident and is very easily led.
5) he is not a man's man. He is quite feminine in his views on things.
They say as a generalisation that women tend to cheat for the emotional side of things and men for the sexual but I believe for him the EA was what he wanted.
That's bad enough, that he wanted to share his days with another woman behind my back, that kills me so why do I also have to believe he wanted her sexually. HE wanted HER to want him but he didn't really want her.
Anyway he has asked me to leave it for now and wait til I get my timeline and letter.
I don't know maybe the letter will say everything I said in the first sentence, I doubt it though.
I do have my doubts but it's what he keeps telling me.
I just don't know what to think and what to do. His story pretty much rings true to me and he is not saying different no matter how much I question him.
I will wait til I get my letter and take it from there.
I guess I am being gullible and everyone can see the truth but me. I just want this over.
[This message edited by olwen at 5:56 AM, November 18th (Monday)]
People give advice based on their experience. You have to take the advice that works in your situatIon and leave the rest. Only you can decide what your truth is.
The truth is, only HE knows the details and thought processes that he was experiencing...and maybe those memories are clouded. If he changes his story just upon the threat of you leaving, because he doesn't know what else to do, then all that you are going to get right now is a more muddled version than you had weeks ago.
Listen to Wondertwin---just be you for right now.
Sometimes, you have to take a step back, and recollect your thoughts. As badly as you want to move forward, you need to give yourself time...to let your mind process everything.
The one thing that you can do is watch his actions. Is he in therapy? Did he actively set this up, or at your insistence? WHAT IS HE DOING?
The one thing that does stand out is the two of your memberships on this site.
As of this moment, you have 219 posts.
He has 10.
Again, what is he DOING on his own to repair this marriage?
All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day: 9/18/09 D-Day#2: 2/19/10 The Marriage Killer: 6/6/11
Heading for D
I am just going to wait for the letter and take it from there.
He has been making changes but the main thing has been working on the letter/timeline for me.
He doesn't post much cos he is working full time and isn't really one for forums. He does read though and has pointed out a few threads to me and we have talked about them,
He has put his bike up for sale to pay for ic, he wants to do it to make sure he never cheats again.
He replaced everything in the house she touched. He has done little things like texting me more often, always letting me know where he is, little gifts and jobs around the house, working hard with our son to be a better father. Coming to bed at the same time as me. Took me away for a weekend. Read how to help your spouse heal from your affair.
I am going to wait and see what happens with this letter. I don't know which story is true. THe one where he didn't want anything physical or the one where he took his chance to be with someone new.
MY head is up my backside and all I am doing right now is wasting everyones time and going round in circles. I thought I was giving an update saying I believe him and it's the first story but I just don't know.
[This message edited by olwen at 6:16 AM, November 18th (Monday)]
I hope he is being honest.
SI is full of wise, articulate, compassionate people and I literally don't see how H and I could be in R without it.
But, people give advice out of their own experience. When it comes to SI, that experience is so emotional and powerful it's hard to ignore it and open your mind to something different.
My H did not enjoy his A. He hated it. He was miserable, anxious, horrified, and disgusted by sex with OW. Yes, I believe that men can have awful sex.
Feel free to look at my history because I've posted on all the "WS says the sex was bad" threads and started my own in the beginning. I don't resent the two-by-fours. Those posters are coming out of the type of WS and the type of affair that is far more common. They are trying to warn and protect me, and I appreciate that.
But some WS's are messed up in a way that makes them very vulnerable to manipulation. It makes them feel helpless to stop something they don't want (although they are not helpless or stuck at all). This doesn't excuse them. It does mean that they need a ton of work to figure out why they are self-destructive and why they "check out" rather than assert themselves.
I would suggest the book "Who's Pulling Your Strings?". Also, is your H the child of an alcoholic? Or was he ever abused (including emotional abuse)?
I think it is a huge positive sign that your H is going to IC. I know it's near impossible, but my advice would be to be patient. Your H is messed up in complicated ways that will take a long time to unravel.
I'd also watch actions. Not texting more or helping around the house, which are *nice,* but ... window dressing. Rather, what is he doing to become safe--not just for you, but for his own wellbeing? If you are both right, he's identified some serious issues that require attention. He needs professional help, and he needs to work HARD in IC.
Otherwise, his whys remain blame shifting.
Selling his beloved motorbike was his choice, he contacted relate and made an appointment for us but we developed money problems so I said we should cancel. He decided he needed ic and he wanted rid of the bike as she had sat on it. it's up for sale now and he has dropped the price dramatically he is so keen to start getting help. This was all his doing. I am already in IC cos of my bipolar.
He has done quite a few things that have shown a huge change in his attitude. Here area just a few.
1)after that night he has not been out to the pub since and says he won't until I am ready to join him.
2)Same with his works xmas party. SHE will be there so he won't go.
3)Also he has had her moved to another office
4)He told his bosses of the affair
5)He has applied for jobs all over the country to get away from her.
6) He has been NC apart from very curt exchanges that are necessary at work. He tries to email rather than have to see her. This is very rare.
7)He was relieved when it ended, never missed her or tried to contact her.
8)The one time she texted him he showed me and ignored it
9)He passed a female neighbour at a bus stop in the rain but didn't stop and offer her a lift as it was a boundary he set himself. No women in the car without me.
10) he lets me know where he is at ALL times. Even this morning work sent him out to buy something and he let me know where he was - just nipping out to buy batteries from Argos.
11)Sometimes they finish work early on a Friday but he won't go to the pub with them. He emails me from the office so I know he is still there.
12)I have access to his phone, phone records, email accounts, even his work one.
13)he told his family about the affair, sadly they told him not to tell me but that's a WHOLE different story!
14)he has tried posting here but never really gets time cos he is working on the letter for me.
15)he told me when my female best friend hugged him.
16)he told me he was concerned when she did that, a red flag popped up instantly. I knew she was just being supportive of both of us but was sooo pleased it concerned him
17)Told me when a teenage girl flashed him when he was at some traffic lights on the bike. He saw her start to lift her top and looked away. Another reason he is selling the bike, he doesn't want to attract attention now. Says he doesn't need it.
18) he has been on two business trips since the A - the first he drove through the night so as not to be in a hotel and the second when he couldn't he took our 8 year old son with him, I loved that
19)this is a biggie, my dad died in the middle of me finding out about the affair, that added to the tt I think. anyway H did EVERYTHING, from finding dad's body to arranging the funeral to clearing the house. He was amazing.
I see all that as quite positive.
Also he has just sat me down to explain that yes he didn't want her physically but he still CHOSE to go ahead in the car, no one made him do it. He doesn't really know why just yet he wants to work through it tonight and see if he can find his reasons so he can be totally truthful.
He didn't want her sexually but for some reason he did want to take what she was offering him. A reason he is not yet sure of and wants to work through. Yes he felt trapped by his previous actions and was scared she would tell me. Yes he thought he had ruined out relationship so why not but he insists it wasn't sexual desire, he just didn't feel that way about her.
he says it's there he just can't quite unravel it and to give him time and I will get my honest answers. It may well be the usual answer that he took it cos it was offered, he was curious, he was flattered etc but he knows it was not wow I want her and it was also not his chance to be with someone new. As he said he would have gone all out to please her if it was. Not just going through the motions to give her what she wanted.
He wants to give me this reason truthfully. He keeps getting stuck there and wants to take the time to work it out.
I offered to try and help him and he refused saying that way he could just take an out I give him, he wants to do it himself.
[This message edited by olwen at 8:21 AM, November 18th (Monday)]
The bit he enjoyed was the EA although that was also tempered with guilt and disgust but he ignored it.
HE couldn't ignore it when it turned physical.
I also believe men can have awful sex. Even with me! Back when I was on meds that affected my sex drive I tried one night but he could tell I wasn't really into it and he hated it and stopped. Men may take sex where it is offered for many reasons, doesn't mean they will always enjoy it - or finish.
Also H has a history of 'checking out' when things get stressful. He just shuts down and withdraws. He did it when our son was born. After 5 years of infertility he was scared to love him when I was pg in case we lost him. Then we both nearly died when I had him and when we got home H just kind of milled around in shock for two weeks, being selfish and leaving me to do everything. all of a sudden two weeks later he 'woke up' and was the best dad ever. Even did ALL the night feeds!
[This message edited by olwen at 8:09 AM, November 18th (Monday)]
I have really struggled with the EA too. It was the first thing I found out about in April. I was devastated.
The thing for me is I can understand how easily a friendship can turn into more, I don't know why, I just can.
It was the lies and betrayal that hurt most there, the fact he turned away from me.
I have always struggled more with the sexual side, maybe I am more like a man there. I have severe body issues, possible body dysmorphia and just the thought of him kissing her, touching her, pushes me to breaking point.
If he did fancy her so be it, I will find a way to cope but I don't see why he would keep insisting he didn't when the worst bit for me is known - he kissed her, touched her and had sex. Nothing is worse than that for me.
H is answering and explaining the best he can. He just needs to work out the bit that led him to decide to take her up on her offer.
I've mainly skimmed your posts - sorry, have a toddler and can't read everything - BUT I like that you are very detailed! I like long posts as they really explain stuff, especially if they are well written.
Your WS made bad choices. Isn't that why we are all here?
Hopefully the letter will help you more.
Sometimes (I believe most - but mods hate generalities - sorry mods) men just do stuff sexually even when they don't particularly want to. But that doesn't mean your WS didn't really want to. He put himself there. So why? Obvious boundary issues - as all WS's have. But also, I think, that WS who put themselves in situation with work personnel become so much more attached to work people or friends because they are around them so much. You start caring for people and getting involved in their lives and then before you want to admit it - you get in these awful situations. It used to happen to me all the time. I've always worked with a lot of men. They'd tell me all their problems and I'd listen and try to help them and enjoy our friendship and then all of a sudden they felt they could start being closer with me. Then I'm like - how did they get the wrong idea????
How? Because I made them feel too comfortable - I know that, then I'd blame myself. But the truth is much more than that. I wanted to help = they needed attention/help/friendship/counseling..I'm a good listener and friend. But when you allow yourself to be all that - lonely people or other people with poor boundaries or self esteem issues start feeling sexual or attraction or need to touch or whatever...It really puts the person just trying to be nice is an awful situation - just terrible. You realize you didn't understand where things were going and now you have to either let them down gently or let them down not so gently or do something with that person... And it's worse if you are attractive or sexy...then so many people want some part of you..... So it's good your WS is getting rid of the bike. He should also keep all work situations and all females at extreme distance...it's the only way. Ok? I am/was attractive (older now) and it took me years to see that I CANNOT be friends with men. I am/was too attractive. They get the wrong idea. If I'm nice - they want me in a certain way. If I listen, they start thinking I'm interested...it goes on and on. Men and women, especially if they are attractive...you know, it's very difficult if not impossible to be friends. I fought this knowledge for years and then I finally submitted. I cannot be friends with men because they find it too tempting to be friends with me. Also, I was NEVER in an emotional affair. I was just there - listening. Little did I know - that with the opposite sex - it's rarely just listening to the person needing to be listened to. It's sounds obvious now that I'm writing it and I've been so horribly cheated on, but when you are a nice person and a people person - you just want to be there for people and get to know your co-workers/customers better. It's part of being human - it is...but then everyone is different and they think different things and have different agendas or they are lonely or whatever...
Now, with me, it's not that way. I can be friends with the most gorgeous or not so gorgeous man and just be friends. Why? Because it is wrong to cheat because I am in a committed relationship. And I would never do anything to jeopardize my relationship. AND I would NEVER want to devastate my husband. It was a no brainer for me. Temptation wasn't in the equation - I was happy with my relationship, even with ups or downs, I was glad to be in a committed relationship and respected my partner and never thought of cheating.
Unfortunately, my fucktard cheater husband took advantage of that and did whatever sexually he wanted for over 25 years.....
Awful, I know. But this really isn't about my husband. What I wanted to try and show you is that it could be that your WS is telling most of the truth. Maybe even all of it. I hope you get some closure on what you need to know.
Now what is really important is that he does and understands what I do and know. If you are attractive to a co-worker or friend or stranger - they may or will - come on to you or do something inappropriate whether or not you are attached. So unfortunately for your spouse - he must detach from most women in general from now on. He can be courteous and help them if they are in need but he really cannot open himself up or be intimate because there are so many needy people out there that are lonely or have no boundaries and he really doesn't know that until they try something.
So your husband, for the rest of your marriage, has to treat women as if they are not really friends of the marriage. He has to be nice and respectful and help them in need or if they are in danger or work with them - BUT NO INTIMACY. NO DISCUSSIONS OF PERSONAL PROBLEMS - EVER. Work related only. He has to think of ways to keep women from trying to entice him into personal discussions in a very nice and respectful way. Soon it will be second nature. He will be the very best worker and will come running home - to his mate - his best friend - his woman - his only woman/wife and to HIS family who he never wants to put into jeopardy again because he wanted to get to know or help or be friends another person. He can - he just has to make sure the person is a MAN.
[This message edited by mychild at 9:10 AM, November 18th (Monday)]
Was he in a mad passionate haze, not necessarily, but chances are he did want sex for one reason or another.
That's exactly how the EA started. He felt he couldn't talk to me about our problems but this nice young girl was a good listener...... sadly she told him he could do better and then went on to show him how great and happy her life was and how he should have the same blah blah.
He has NEVER worked with a woman before, let alone a maneater like her who has about 7 men on the go at a time!
I also worked 13 years in a large office and found men getting too close to me, sharing their troubles, paying compliments etc. I have probably come close to an EA myself not knowing what they were! Thinking I was just being nice Neither of us had ever heard the term EA til I tried to show him how far over the line he had gone and looked up text affairs on line and discovered the term EA.
Of course his was different. It involved lying to me that she wasn't working directly with him, they were texting round the clock etc.. It went Waaaaay too far. The text records show gaps of days at a time when it slowed right down or stopped. These were the times he tried to stop ot but she kept insisting they were 'just friends' so he felt stupid asking her to stop. No boundaries and being useless at saying no got him into this whole mess.
He now has a wall firmly in place between him and other women. I have seen evidence of it in not giving our female neighbour a life and telling me when my friend hugged him. All a good start.
[This message edited by olwen at 9:08 AM, November 18th (Monday)]
I think affairs can be VERY complex. Getting caught up in something then realising it's spiralling out of control.
I am sure it can be simple, see someone, fancy them, want to get in their pants and doing so with a smile on your face and no thought for your bs but I really don't think that fits my H.
He struggled, he lost weight, wasn't sleeping, became ill. He tried stopping it but she convinced him they were doing nothing wrong, that he needed someone to talk to and she was there all day every day and texting him round the clock.
It's not as simple as he saw it, he wanted it, he took it. otherwise I am sure he would have done it again and again not hated the sight of both her and himself afterwards.
yes he did choose to take what she offered, maybe he couldn't resist the temptation when it was laid out like that. maybe he wanted to know what it would be like with someone new. I won't know til he knows. My theory is it had a lot more to do with her wanting him and making him feel wanted than it did about him wanting her sexually.
We sit here and make judgments and suggestions based on words on a screen. We are not there to his facial expressions or body language. We are not there to hear the tone and inflection in his voice. You alone are the judge and jury. We are more like the prosecuting attorney, asking questions and creating doubt.
Watch the work. If he is minimizing the story it would be to make the A not seem so bad in your eyes and his own. If he truly accepts how destructive his thoughts and behaviors were and actively works to change them, then it doesn't seem like minimizing to me. You have shown quite a few examples of how he is owning the situation.
His story mimics my fWS. The attention is what she craved. There were 2 LTA that didn't physical because they didn't need to. Both sides were ok with that. There were 2 shorter PAs because that was the progression of the attention. During the last PA there were months of large amounts of text messages. That attention is what she wanted. On the time line and phone bills I can see that as the frequency of the texts went down the physical stuff started. She was selling herself physically to continue to get the cheap emotional validation. Sure there was excitement in the physical but it wasn't the goal it was the cost. During the PAs her self hatred and anxiety skyrocketed. During both she started starving herself to the point of skin and bones and she also started cutting herself. Truth or not, this is my understanding, and I can live with it.
Her goal is to find why she needed the validation to begin with. Why she was willing to abandon herself for it. How she can seek healthy validation from herself. And how to build boundaries against unhealthy validation.
"Knowing is half the battle"
Expecting progress not perfection