Here is the story:
I'm married for 11 years now, and I cannot say that my marriage is happy more often than not. My wife can be a kind and thoughtful person, but often she is emotionally and verbally abusive to me. She would (and still does) withhold affection and sex when I do or say ANYTHING she finds fault with. Disagreements with her almost always turn her into a literal raving lunatic; someone who is incapable of controlling her seething, bitter rage or even forming coherent sentences.
To make a long story short, I got frustrated with her conditional love, and 18 months ago, I sought comfort in the arms of another woman. We would talk on the phone 3-4 times a week, and via email every day, and we would see each other for sex 3-4 times a month. The sex was INCREDIBLE, I have never been that sexually connected with ANYONE in my life.
The affair lasted a year, and then I called it off because I wanted to REALLY try and make things work with my wife. So, it has been 6 months since I had any contact with my AP, I have not told my wife.
I've given all I have to my marriage in the last 6 months. I feel like my efforts, while being recognized, are not being reciprocated. I have been having thoughts of resuming my affair. VERY STRONG thoughts, and I'm struggling mightily with them. My AP made me feel like I was special, and she made me feel like I was desirable and appreciated sexually. I miss feeling like that like nobody can know! I want that SO BADLY from a woman! I've talked about that with my wife, but either she isn't capable of giving that to me, or she doesn't want to give that to me.
I have almost contacted my AP a number of times over the past month or so. I can't help but think that I could have that connection with a woman back again if only I were to contact her. I know she would want me back, and I'm becoming weak, and my thoughts of potentially resuming things are betraying me.
I need advice. I want to hear from people that have been where I'm at right now.
[This message edited by SI Staff at 10:44 AM, June 4th (Wednesday)]
If I missed it, I apologize but does your W know of your affair?
My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.
Whatever you do, do not have another A. Now is the time to be honest with yourself and your BS. Either commit to fixing what's wrong or get out.
Speaking from personal experience, having it both ways is a recipe for disaster. You will never get the M right until you fully commit to it, and all the lies you have to tell to maintain the betrayal will eventually crush you. It's not worth it.
Your wife does not deserve to be betrayed. An A is never justified.
Gently suggest MC for the two of you as a way to save the marriage. If she refuses and won't offer any constructive alternatives, then you know she's satisfied with the way things are. Since that is untenable to you, you'll need to exit the M. Don't start up another A nor return to the old AP. That's a bad move for a thousand reasons.
Please, please, please.
I'm not sure it would have made a difference for me, but I really wish I would have had a true glimpse of the outcome of my horrible decisions before I went through with them. I wish I could show everyone thinking about having an A all the pain and convince them to not go through with it.
Gently, you are justifying your A with your wife's behavior. It's not her fault that you sought comfort in the arms of another woman. Nothing she has done is a reason to go outside the marriage.
My advice is, don't reach out to your AP, reach out to your wife. If she's not providing you with the marriage you want or need, or willing to take actions to work toward what you want/need, then see a lawyer and start the process of separating.
Is your AP married?
[This message edited by Jovie at 11:22 AM, June 4th (Wednesday)]
Let me tell you what you are going to landblasted with. If your W knew about the A, and you had to deal with the fall out and realize all you have to lose, you would instantly lose this romantic connection you have for AP. Since you are not accountable for the A, you still only see the unicorns and rainbows. Many, many will tell you to confess in order to be real with your W. But since I am where you are, I won't say that.
I'll tell you what keeps me from contacting AP. Despite all our *incredible-ness* I got tired of being a liar. No matter how good it felt in the moment, it was not true to my morals and I lived in constant fear of making a mistake that would reveal this kind of behavior to my family. So the only viable options were to leave my M or stop my A. Having both is not sustainable long term, you know that too. So you made this same decision that I did, stop the A, but your heart and soul has not re-engaged yet. You're still engaging in the A, just not physically. Someone here once wrote "I practice mental NC (no contact) like it's a religion". That really struck me. It's hard, but it's necessary.
So after all that the only real advice I can give you is to get into therapy. Commonly that's to get to your "Why". You think you know your why, but you stayed with your W instead of AP, so at some level you know it was not going to be 100% perfect with AP and you want to be with your W. The first thing I explored in therapy was coming to terms with the loss of AP. Understanding why it was so powerful for me. Making a list of what my true 'needs' are. And getting some strategies on how to feed the needs for thrills and challenges in acceptable ways.
My next move is to work on my M, but I have to be done physically and emotionally with AP before I can do that. It's hard. I struggle with mental NC every day. But I'm getting better, the fog is lifting and I'm seeing the darker (true) side of the A more every day. You can get there if you really want to.
[This message edited by familyfirst at 11:27 AM, June 4th (Wednesday)]
an A will not help you. Believe me, I am the witness to the destruction that my selfishness and self-centeredness caused.
I would not wish what I did to my wife upon my worst enemy.
Like the advice above, get yourself and your wife into MC. If she doesn't want to fix it then you have a choice to exit the marriage and then start a new relationship, or learn to be happy in the relationship you have now.
Evidenced by your post of
I've given all I have to my marriage in the last 6 months. I feel like my efforts, while being recognized, are not being reciprocated.
I am sorry to tell you (as I know this from experience) You are not giving her the one thing she needs. Intimacy. As you are hiding your previous actions from her.
TELL YOUR BS the truth. The whole truth. Take time to sit down, gather the evidence, create a timeline. So that you will be able to fill her needs.
I think for so many of us WS, we find out home much our BS mean to us on DDay. For some it is the whole world. For others it is not much. But once that realization sets in of the life without them. It will put you to a choice.
Another thing that I found encouraging after DDay was I felt free. I felt as though I broke out of the chains. The chains of my own deceit. I could finally be truly open and intimate with my BS. The problem is due to my actions, what gave me freedom shackled her. My freedom for intimacy has cost hers.
"If you don't eat the elephant in one bite, it might trample you while chewing"
ME: WH HER: BS (holesinmybucket)
I do not PM with Women
I'm 6 weeks out from my second D-day. I had an EA/PA a year ago, and just a PA this time (which made it easier because there wasn't any "fog" like last time). So yeah, my second confrontation. My second infidelity. The shit needed to hit the fan. I realize now that it all wasn't real, and it all wasn't worth it. Do you want to fess up? Of course not. Do you want to continue getting away with it and having amazing sex? After all, your wife doesn't care and has all these conditions, right? But it's selfish behavior. The world revolves around you, right? You get to do whatever you want? Marriage is constant hard work. I'm definitely not one to be giving advice since I strayed twice; I didn't really do much about the first time it happened except get forgiven and move right back into my selfish behavior. Now we're digging into our issues, both together and separately. But the total honesty is amazing. So what kind of man are you? A lying selfish asshole and it's all your wife's fault? Or are you willing to fight for her and your marriage. Take responsibility for what you did and are doing and make it right, no matter the outcome. In the long run, you'll be glad you did.
In the short run, we'll all be here for you when the shit hits the fan. The best club nobody wants to be a member of.
I'm going to haul out a little wisdom from an unlikely place on this one.
Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid
Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe.
Walk middle, sooner or later get squish just like grape.
Here, karate, same thing.
Either you karate do "yes" or karate do "no."
You karate do "guess so," squish just like grape. Understand?
Substitute "marriage" for karate. Infidelity is 'marriage do "guess so"'. Sooner or later, squish, just like grape.
We know. Every person here, Betrayed and Wayward alike, has been squished. Problem is, infidelity has a bigger blast radius than karate. If you are only part way in this marriage your wife, your children, your friends, your family, even your pets will all pay the price along with you. The same thing will happen on your affair partner's side too.
You have already cheated and there will be organic consequences for that. Don't make it bigger. In or out; yes or no. 'Guess so' is a guaranteed bad outcome.
Get in or get out. I have not told my BH re: my A either; this is still a decision I wrestle with.
That said, I did make the decision to leave the A, and that was the best decision I've made for myself in years.
My A wasn't an exit A, at least not in terms of trying to get out of a "bad marriage," & I don't have the negative characterizations of BH that you do of your BW.
You're six months out. Stay out of the A. Get into IC/MC if you want to save your M. Get into IC either way.
Really, it's OK to D. It's OK to not want to save your M, and if that's where you are, embrace it. But even if you do D, stay far away from AP. Your "happiness" doesn't get to come at the expense of AP's M. And you know what? Once you fix your shit in IC, you likely won't want AP either. She's behaving in the same selfish, lying way you are when you engage in an A. Would the healthier version of you actually choose to be with someone like that? Is that what you think you deserve?
My best thinking brought me to SI.
[This message edited by splitintwo at 9:54 PM, June 4th (Wednesday)]
If I knew then what I do now, I would demand MC. I wouldn't worry that it hurt BW's feelings. I'd do anything up to and including threatening to leave if we didn't get things fixed. I an completely certain that my BW would do the same to get me into IC.
Lying, thinking about the AP, and going over and over the ways that your BW does not meet your needs doesn't help anything. All it does is increase the gap between you.
It takes time. It's hard to not run to familiar unhealthy behaviours because they felt so good and we believe that in order to feel good again (even for just that moment) it's worth messing up all the work we've done. This is an ADDICT frame of mind. You are looking for a hit as you are withdrawing from the drug that was the A.
I can hear how tempted you are to resume the A. I know how good it would feel, but just keep looking at the bigger picture. It will get you nowhere in the long run. You'll be exactly where you were 6 months ago.
You've come to the right place for support. I, along with everyone else, know exactly how you feel. Keep posting.
If I am reading you right, it seems like you are very dissatisfied with the current state of your marriage and that you feel the affair filled some needs and desires that were not being fulfilled in the marriage.
I get that. I have felt that too.
But I was wrong - and so are you.
The affair is like a drug and it is a terrible prescription for what is ailing you. It is like taking pain medication for a serious infection - yeah it will make you feel better (or even feel cured) but the infection - the rot at the center - continues untreated and will eventually engulf you, your family, your AP, and her family too.
It seems like you are in a bad marriage right now. That's OK - many couples are in "bad marriages" for some time. The question you have to ask yourself is how do YOU make that marriage better. The affair will not do that.
My suggestions include MC, IC, and all the reading you can. If your marriage can not be saved, then you should end it.
But don't try to Band-Aid your pain with betrayal.
I'm not going to lie and say that I plan to do everything that was suggested to me. I can truthfully say that after reading all the responses, I do feel a bit more hopeful that I CAN make it through this. At the end of the day, it is just comforting to know that I am not the only one going through this, or to have gone through this.
It seems to me, perhaps right now the attention and focus should be on maintaining NC.. allow your energies to go there..