Its been a year since he sent her the NC letter and I really believe there has been no contact. It took until August for him to finally let go.
Now he says, " I know the affair was a fantasy. But, the feelings were real."
Somehow that really hurts me. Am I being unreasonable to think that he could figure out that the feelings were also based on a fantasy. While our lives stunk, he was having a great time being told what a hunk he was, how wonderful he was, and having someone tell him how much they adored him. He felt "loved and accepted" because all she had to do was type on her keyboard. She wasn't living with him and going through the trauma we were.
What affair partners have for each other is real lust, but that never lasts. It is a temporary affliction.
Feelings serve a valuable purpose. Feelings are indicators.....flags to alert us to things.
Feelings are not inherently good or bad. Assigning of value to them occurs after actions are chosen. A spouse FEELING isolated from their spouse is an indication something is not right. Choosing an affair (action) creates a FACT based on FEELINGS.
Feelings are NOT dictators. Treat them as such to your own detriment. When one acts on feelings alone, destructive choices often are made. Actions DO have good and bad associated with them. Seeking MC (or at least being honest with your spouse) is a healthy choice when feeling isolated. Drinking, porn, work, adultery.....are all unhealthy choices in how to respond to those feelings.
Adultery, like all sin, is singularly selfish at the core. The AP is a non-issue. My wife lied to herself when she said otherwise. She needed to lie to herself to generate false-facts so that her affair could continue and she could have sex with another man. Since lies are NOT fact based, she could have created the same relationship with the mail man, our pastor, neighbor, my brother, guy at a pub.......my wife's A, your husbands A, is not about the AP. Fact is, it is about them.....there brokenness....their response to their feelings....how they coped with the world.
Affairs are relationships largely devoid of facts. The first lie that is told in an A is the one the person engaged in the affair tells themselves.
Will your husband ever own that shit for the truth that it is? I don't know.
I know it took my wife over a year to really start to own that. It did NOT because her AP was "all that", it did because this is trauma to the WS. The complete realization just what they did for what they got. That shocking reality.....that they risked it all (M, family, health, soul, financial) for.........nothing. And THAT is not at all what they FELT they were doing at the time.
My wife is choosing differently now. Her AP found another woman to be into within 2 months of dumping her (how her A ended).
I know the pain you are in. I remember very clearly how my wife chose to act.....I watched her go through withdrawals over the loss of her AP. Even after he found another woman my wife was slow to accept she had built up quite a fantasy around what he was and what her affair was.
Keep posting. You are in a dark pit. Look up and reach out. This is too much for one person to handle. Right now I suspect your husband is NOT a partner in your healing. You don't need him to be right now. I had to move away from my wife........it hurts. It's scary. But it can be done. I am proof.
Saying a specific prayer for you both now.
God is with us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:13 AM, May 28th (Wednesday)]
People in affairs are in a mind-altered state. Similar to being "in love," but different, in that the secrecy and illictness bumps up the intensity and feeling of inevitability (all that soulmate stuff).
So, it is kind of like being an addict -- looking for that "high." So, think about being drunk -- and maybe you were out with friends, and having a great time, and felt positively joyous -- like one with the universe. Of course maybe you did a few embarrassing things, like throw up in the yard, but you felt so happy and unencumbered.
Now, most of us know that while those feelings are "true", in the sense that you had them at the time, that they aren't, really, real. In fact, the people that I know that seek out those kinds of feelings (while drinking) are very unhappy people, indeed. Same with affairs.
So, one can have feelings that aren't "real." My H thought he "loved" the AP. . . Turns out, he didn't - not even close. He would not have been able to see that on dday -- it took time. How many of us have gotten incredibly angry about something, to realize that we were mistaken somehow and there is no reason to be mad? Is the feeling real? Yes. Is it actually true, though? No.
And your husband's feelings were based on a fantasy. It is like being "in love" with a fictional person; I get the allure of it. No negativity -- only a mirror. Our MC called the AP a mirror of what my husband wanted to see at the time, she reflected it perfectly and he was in love with this image of himself. It had nothing to do with her.
[This message edited by bionicgal at 8:57 AM, May 28th (Wednesday)]
I edit, therefore I am.
It sounds like he's saying that the A ended up as an unfulfilled dream, but that what he felt for her was real. Just remember that the feelings were not about her - they were about how he wanted to feel about himself. He was his own fantasy, you know? But he was not that man he was pretending to be. In reality, he was a deceptive husband betraying the trust of his wife for the sake of his own ego. I hope he gets that.
You described what I believe about the affair perfectly. He actually wrote a poem to her when they decided to break up and "work"on their marriages so that they could reveal their relationship later as innocent and not based on lying and cheating. In the poem he talked about the whole "unfulfilled dream thing" they talked constantly about their "pain" in not being able to be together because of being stuck with their spouses. I know I'm a fool to even be here at this point.
I think my H still thinks of the affair as the true love of his life. That he is being a good man and sacrificing now to stay with me (the boobie prize). He doesn't get for a minute that the whole affair was just a selfish ego stroking situation for him. He has never once admitted that his AP was a lier and a cheater either
If you feel like you are the "booby prize" are you planning on a divorce?
I want so much for H to really get how much he hurt me and own it. I want so much for me to be more important to him than his mindless routines and the life he has built without me in it. He just can't seem to do that. He says he is trying in our relationship but I can tell that it is too much trouble for him. He has lived a life emotionally withdrawn from me, I think he doesn't know how to do otherwise.
So, yes I know I should be filing for divorce. I am just so scared.