Together 15 years, married 7, 1 child, age 7.
WH: 37 y.o., EA/PA since March
OW: 26, 1 child (not WH's)
Me: 34, BS
Separated Nov. 16, 2013
Does a wedding anniversary still count if you are separated?
Update: attempting to reconcile
We accept that we did it and that it was our choice alone. We work to find out why we did it and make the changes necessary that we won't ever do it again. We apologize. We become transparent. We work to show our love for our spouses. We stop lying. We stop hiding things.
Each one of us here on SI takes on this challenge. We work to find remorse. We stand and hear the words our spouses say instead of getting defensive. We validate our spouses feelings.
To be honest, the A's are often just a symptom of other problems in our lives. It would be nice if we figured out our shit before we had an A, but we didn't. Now we are here.
I completely agree with Baxter. We accept the responsibility of our choices. The reasons for doing so are varied. For those persons that are here (WS) that have not obtained professional therapy are missing out.
The very science behind speaking our inner "secrets" to a trained psychotherapist / psychiatrist are in fact the beginning of true healing. Not only does it free the soul but offers an opportunity to explore the inner meaning of other causes for making these decisions.
The advice I offer here would be to keep open conversation with your spouse and understand that the WS is struggling with their inner self as well. This can be a bad road during a time when one is looking for the next shoe to fall and the other is tip toeing on egg shells not to trigger bad thoughts.
This can be an eye opening experience for the WS to seek professional help. Many times the underlying reasons are those that have been missing in the relationship and never were discussed as "issues".
How do WS really feel when their BS is clued into the affair?
Believe it or not, I can't remeber for certain that I confessed, but I think I did...although my BW knew I was full into crazy-making, she just didn't know why.
So, giving up the A secret was a time of "there, now you know" mixed with a small amount of relief that I didn't have to hide it but also a huge amount of resentment that my BW didn't want to D. I'm sure each persons situation is going to be somewhat unique on the feelings and the ratio of how much each feeling plays once the BS knows.
Eventually it worked into "what the hell did I do" and then "OMG" and then the actual undeniability of it all and subsequent depression that my life had gotten to this point, not to mention the hurt inflicted on others.
For some the transition and feelings happen relatively quickly. Others might take years to work through it.
The things that are still the most painful are things that he said to me while in the fog.
I had asked him if she was prettier than me, and he said that I would think that she was very, very beautiful. He said, 'don't ask questions if you can't handle the answer'. When I met her, I did not think she was 'very, very beautiful' at all. Neither did my best friend, who just shook her head and said, 'Why would he even say that?' He has since said that she isn't remotely as beautiful as me, blah blah blah.
My main example, and the most painful - I made him take me to see her at 1:00 in the morning - woke her out of bed, so I could ask her some questions. I sat side by side with her and asked her questions about the A and the baby she claimed to be carrying. I told her not to jerk him around with this, because he was a good man and he didn't deserve that. I was a little crazy. I was VERY polite to her. I thanked her for talking to me, acknowledged that it was generous of her, that she didn't have to talk to me. I told her that I hadn't been a good wife to him for the last year, and I thanked her for taking care of him when I couldn't. Crazy, I said. After I had asked her everything I needed to know.. 'did he say he loved you', etc., we left. That was the closest we came to ending it - he told me he was going to look for an apartment, but that we would talk about it the next morning.
The next day, he told me that all he was thinking while I was talking to her was that she was 'the better woman'.
He has since tried to back-peddle from that - he says that he felt that way and he said it as a 'confession' at the time, something he was sorry for thinking and wanted to confess to me. But I know he meant it at the time, and I feel like he meant it to hurt me, to humiliate me, to punish me for making him take me to see her.
So, my question is... how seriously do I take things that were said while coming out of the fog? Are those things to be believed? Are they the true secrets of the heart that he just finally had the courage to say?
She's pregnant with his child, she's half my age, she's your basic MLC nightmare. He is adamant that she never meant anything to him, that she could have been anybody, that he just loved the attention and the ego stroking, but that it had nothing at all to do with HER specifically. He is devastated by what he did, couldn't be more remorseful, or more changed. We are complete NC, but there is every reason to believe that we are going to have to have some kind of contact with her in the future.
I am terrified that seeing her is going to stir up feelings inside him... that he is going to look at her again, but this time as the mother of his child, see us side by side, and think once again that she is more beautiful AND that she is a better woman.
I appreciate any thoughts or advice.
I don't think you should put too much stock in his words at that time. He was likely still very confused, trying to hurt you so that you would leave him alone, and trying to figure out a way to pin the whole thing on someone else. It sounds like he has gotten past that stage a bit, so there is some hope. And it's likely you are going to be very vigilant with the OC scenario, so trust but verify, right? Look at his actions.
Slater...I can't answer your question because I was an EA only. Sorry.
"What was affair sex like"?
Mine absoluty sucked & is what actually ended the affair & woke me the fuck up.
We had sex 5 times & none were good.
It is so very helpful to get your insight. In some of the other forums, it seems as though the general sentiment is "if WS isn't fully remorseful right away, run!". Several of you fWS's have shown that it's possible to take a longer path, but can still arrive at that destination.
Thanks for your courage and honesty. It's helping a lot of us wade through this insane mess...
Did any WS here use "fake future" in their A? Did you actually believe what you were saying at the time or did you say things to your AP knowing you would not be following through? I'm curious about the level of detachment you had with regard to the future plans with your A.
As time went on and I witnessed the damage I caused and really considered how I had screwed up I felt more and more guilty and said more and more bad things about myself. Now that I am completely removed from the affair and those feelings a actually loathe myself a lot of the time. I told my BW today that I felt I deserved the death penalty for what I did.
I'm sure everyone's experience differs, but I definitely know that I gradually felt worse about what I had done over time and the level of regret reached unimaginable heights.
What is affair sex like?
I compare it to heroin. It was intoxicating and toxic. Ultimately, extremely destructive.
Future-faking is a very real phenomenon - both in affairs and just regular dating relationships. Have you googled it?
I did not future-fake in my A but I did tell the OM things he wanted to hear in order to keep the affair alive. I told him "I love you", for example, even though I logically knew I didn't.
My A was somewhat different in that the OM was the one wanting to run away together. I had no intentions of leaving my then BH and was quite clear about that.
Sometimes people that future-fake actually believe their promises. It's not always a conscious decision to lie. They believe their lie in that moment. But in the light of day, it falls apart.
WP expresses extreme remorse and is working on rebuilding trust, but struggles with being defensive and frustrated at times when I want to talk about the story of the A. When I say I think there is more, WP tells me that I will probably never think I know everything.
For the WSs, are there some cases out there where the BS has a nagging suspicion there is more, but there really isn't? What are your thoughts?
Unlike your H, I was caught rather than having confessed. I felt panicked, embarrassed, exposed, scared, sad, and regretful. Later on, I reached remorse and a realization of the gravity of my actions as far as how low I had sunk morally.
Because I had dated the AP before having an A with him, I already knew what sex with him was like. So, in my case, it was like it was in our legitimate relationship.
Do WS compare the BS with the OW? In ALL aspects.
I guess I did...but then, I compare everyone (non-affair partners as well). And not in a negative way---just more like a "noticing the differences" way. In my case, I didn't demonize my XH in order to justify my affair, so I wasn't looking for anything to purposefully compare him to.
As well, how ashamed of your actions are you really? Thanks
Quite a bit, although it's lessening as time goes on (I am almost 4 years from D-day). I will always recognize my actions as disgusting, immoral, and wrong, but I am no longer *mired* in shame as I was for a long time.
Did any WS here use "fake future" in their A?
I did, although I didn't think it was fake at the time.
Did you actually believe what you were saying at the time or did you say things to your AP knowing you would not be following through?
I believed it. Up until the final month of the A, I thought I would be following through. In the end, though, I didn't have the guts to go through with it. And then after D-day, I didn't want him anymore (the AP).
I'm curious about the level of detachment you had with regard to the future plans with your A.
I don't really understand this part of the question. Detachment from whom? My then-spouse? The AP? The marriage? The affair? Myself?
Married 2.5 years
Reconciled and remarried.