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Wayward Side
User Topic: Why did yo do it?
ScarletA
Member
Member # 18095
Default  Posted: 9:55 AM, April 6th (Sunday)

I have done so much soul-searching since D-Day to try and figure out how I ever allowed myself to become an adulterer.

I have been in IC right from the beginning. I have read a bunch of books. I've lurked on the boards quite a bit trying to gain some insight into my own broken self. At first I toyed with the idea that maybe I'm a sexual addict. It was proposed that maybe I was bi-polar. I even went to a psychiatrist and his official diagnosis was Anxiety and Impulse Control issues, for which I am on medication. After much pondering, I have concluded that, although lots of the symptoms of sex addiction and impulse control disorder definitely fit my patterns, I'm not entirely sure that's what drove me to do what I did.

I was a deeply unhappy person. Not because of anything BS did. Just because of me. And even as a young girl, I basked in male attention. So, if I ever needed a pick-me-up for my ego, I'd find someone to compliment me and make me feel pretty, interesting, special, etc.

So, years later, after I've evolved into this horribly unhappy person, rather than have to too closely examine the root of my discontent, I sought ways to distract myself from experiencing that pain.

And that was to revert to the patterns of my youth and look for validation from inappropriate sources. In the beginning, it seemed harmless enough. But it soon progressed to such a degree that I could no longer keep track of all the lies I was telling. And truth be told, I was more deeply miserable than ever.

The strange part is, it was never really about the sex for me. It was more that the sex was an eventuality of the flirting and the attention I was seeking.

Through this contemplation, it has caused me to wonder what other insights Waywards have had about themselves and to give them an opportunity to share. I started this thread because there really is no support group for people with the type of addiction I believe I have. And it occurred to me that there may be more of us out there (ie. on this website) than is commonly known.

So, please, Waywards, speak up. Post here. And tell the rest of us your story. Thanks in advance to all who participate. I think this will be a very beneficial and eye-opening thread.

~ScarletA

[This message edited by ScarletA at 11:03 AM, April 6th (Sunday)]


Me: WS 40
Him: BS 41**rippedtoshreds**
Married for 12 years, together for 13
D-day #1: 1/8/08
D-day #2: 2/8/08
D-day #3: 1/30/11
Kids: D ~ 22/S ~ 20/S ~ 10

"If the grass is greener, it's time to water your lawn"


Posts: 65 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: Colorado
64fleet
Member
Member # 18710
Default  Posted: 10:02 AM, April 6th (Sunday)

I am a BS, but my WS told me "she was lonely"


time wounds all heels

Posts: 5386 | Registered: Mar 2008 | From: deliverance land
tessad
Member
Member # 17943
Default  Posted: 10:14 AM, April 6th (Sunday)

ScaretA, WOW!!! What a great post. I think quite a few WS's have posted about needing external validation as a big problem prior to the A. One thing I would say from reading your post is to start taking charge. You stated your trying to figure our how you "allowed" yourself to become and adulterer. Having an A is an active choice. It is a powerful action you took with great risk involved. You have to harness that power you have and direct it inward. There are needs you're seeking that YOU yourself can meet. You have created a false self "The Seductress" to pull in the attention and validation you crave. You can remove that mask and be who you are...own your strenghts, own your weaknesses (even those have meaning) and integrate them all into a whole, loving, healthy person. The first step in this is HONESTY...and it looks like you're getting a great start there. It's like the light that shines in all the dark corners and allows us to see. That was the turning point for me...honesty with myself, my H, my family, my friends...it creates hope, lack of fear, and eventually pride and self worth...I thank you again for your post...it showed courage and a true searching for healing.


Love may be blind but marriage is a real eye-opener!

Posts: 290 | Registered: Jan 2008 | From: California
Sorrowfulfriend
Member
Member # 17103
Default  Posted: 10:24 AM, April 6th (Sunday)

Wow, what Tessad said!

I think a lot of us were looking for that internal happiness that we felt we were lacking. We felt for various reasons that we needed something more for us to feel "special". I would have to wager that many of us WS's were unhappy with ourselves, and that deeply felt anguish and guilt lead us down the slope that we all traveled...If you can't find your own happiness, you seek it out, and that is the problem with all of us. Maybe the problem is always an internal one that leads us to our actions. Great post, and thanks...Keep viewing yourself and learn to be happy just the way you are...I am trying to learn that too...


(me)WS 40
BS 38 (pmlsea)
M 18 yrs
3 kids, 17,12,11

PERSISTANCE IS THE ABILITY TO MAINTAIN ACTION REGARDLESS OF YOUR FEELINGS. YOU PRESS ON EVEN WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE QUITTING


Posts: 980 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Florida
esmdqt
Member
Member # 19001
Default  Posted: 10:29 AM, April 6th (Sunday)

I think this is a great topic. I often think about it too.

In many ways, what you describe is very similar to how I felt. Although, I wouldn't describe myself as unhappy before the affair began. I would just say I was bored. But, worse than being bored, I was immature and ignorant. I had the notion that "in love" was a real feeling that we should all have all the time -- that the excitement of romance should always be there. I didn't understand that it takes work to make marriage work, and it takes a lot of work to stay "in love" with someone rather than merely staying infatuated with them.

I've explored many of the things you've explored and several others. The IC seems to throw out a new one every time I go in there -- sexual addiction, SLA, ADD, OCD, etc.

At the end of the day, it was just me being immature. All of a sudden, I had a younger, very attractive female telling me that I was hot, brilliant, and funny. My wife, if she said anything, would say that I "looked nice" or that I was successful. It was almost like the difference between admiration (from the other woman) and respect (from my wife). But, the admiration just made me feel a heck of a lot better. During the affair, I honestly thought I could get any woman in the world, because she had built me up so much in her own eyes, which caused me to be built up in my own.

Its like the author said in NOT "Just Friends", "the lure of an affair is how the unfaithful partner is mirrored back through the adoring eyes of the new love." That was so true for me.

The irony is that I didn't have low self-esteem before the affair. I didn't have high self-esteem either, but probably pretty normal. But, after getting close to the other woman, I craved her acceptance, approval, and validation for everything. So, I relied on her for my self-esteem. Now, trying to break the addiction from her, I definitely feel like I have very low self-esteem, and its not because of the shame or guilt that I feel from the affair. Its simply because I no longer have the admiration that I got from the other woman in the affair.

That's the best I can come up with as to why I did it and why I stayed in it.

Other than that, it was great sex, great fun, and great excitement that I no longer had within my marriage. But, I think those are the "typical" reasons that people seem to have affairs. They were all in play in my head as well, but the lengthy description I gave above is the best that I can come up with as to why I chose an affair rather than choosing to work on my marriage.


Posts: 59 | Registered: Apr 2008
AppAE127
Member
Member # 17990
Default  Posted: 10:37 AM, April 6th (Sunday)

And even as a young girl, I basked in male attention.

I think that statement you made, Scarlet, reflects the core reason for why I chose to have an affair. I can even remember being 8 or 9 and going camping with my father and brothers and a few of my father's co-workers (and their children) and wanting very badly for the other daddies to like me. I find that memory pretty disturbing, to be honest.

Someone here at SI wondered if maybe I had some unresolved issues regarding sex due to molestation that occurred when I was younger...it really made me wonder. xOM and I had a very serious conversation about that and about my high school experiences as well. I remember thinking at the time that he was so amazing because he understood, and was so sad for me, and didn't want me to be that person blah blah blah. Looking back, I see that he didn't want me to be that person for other people, but certainly for him.

Thank you for your post, ScarletA. I haven't really allowed myself to explore why, I've been so very busy trying to block any thoughts about it at all.


Dday~January 15, 2008
R'ed. Now I just gotta fix me.

"And I won't cry
If you can't love me
Like the way it used to feel.
We had our summer on Long Island
Now there's wounds that never heal."


Posts: 347 | Registered: Jan 2008 | From: United States
LoveProfusion
New Member
Member # 16981
Default  Posted: 10:56 AM, April 6th (Sunday)

I can really relate to you ScarletA! I had two internet affairs, not because I wasn't happy with my husband, it was because of the attention and ego. I wasn't happy with myself.

(This is NOT an excuse...) I had a very difficult childhood. Because of the circumstances of my childhood, I grew up believing I am a bad person. Nobody could love me. I'm stupid and ugly. I CRAVED attention.

As long as other people were telling me I'm smart, pretty or funny, I was OK. So, I sought it out. It was like a drug.

You know? It's like if other people think I'm pretty and smart and funny, it must be true. Right?

I completely relied on other people's opinions of me to determine how I felt about myself. I always have.

Sadly, it took this for me to realize I have to learn how to accept myself.


I'm 32.
My husband is 43.
Married 11 years.
I had internet affairs over a nine month period.

Posts: 37 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Home. Where I belong.
Juney87
New Member
Member # 19009
Default  Posted: 11:15 AM, April 6th (Sunday)

I think this is a great topic. At the time, I had all sorts of 'reasons'. My marriage was having difficulities, I had some things happen to me during and before our marriage that gave me alot of anger toward my husband. I was completely wallowing in self pity and pain. I developed a friendship with a man who lavished me with all of the attention I wasn't getting, and would listen to all of my problems and that developed into an EA and PA.

Looking back, I realize that I was so terribly selfish and immoral. Because even with serious, even marriage ending problems, a decent, moral person would never had gone down the road of adultery. There was an honorable way to handle the problems, and I didn't do it. Oddly enough, at the time, I couldn't seem to see clearly, and didn't see my options, for honesty, divorce, for counseling, etc.

Someone else said that they had always needed attention and basked in attention from men. I was the same way, looking back, and wonder why. I didn't want their direct attention, but I wanted to look 'hot' all the time. I'm not sure why I was that way, but realize that I was that way for as long as I can remember until the A was over.


ME: FWW - 42
HIM: BH - 43
Married: 13 years
Kids: 2
D-day 09-06-06
Now in R

Posts: 33 | Registered: Apr 2008
Bulldozer
Member
Member # 16752
Default  Posted: 12:46 PM, April 6th (Sunday)

External validation--like so many others have said--sounds like your core "problem." I have that too.

I spend waaaaaaaaaay too much money on clothes, and I spend a lot of time primping myself before I go out. When I leave home, I always know that I look nice, but I crave the compliments that I get from others. The "you look very nice today" or something like that is still a bump I crave from day to day.

To this day I can't understand why I need this validation. Even when I'm primping, I'm telling myself, "You're just doing this so someone will compliment you" and yet I can't stop myself. I've identified the problem, but I'm still working on fixing it.


Posts: 1614 | Registered: Oct 2007
LoveProfusion
New Member
Member # 16981
Default  Posted: 6:25 PM, April 6th (Sunday)

Another thing I realized (and this was big for me) was with the OM, there was no history.

My husband and I have been together for 14 years (married for 11). We've had our share of fights. I've made a lot of mistakes during the past 14 years. My husband has seen me at my absolute worst.

With the OM, I had a "clean slate". They didn't know anything about my past mistakes. Plus the fact that it was on the internet and we never actually met in person, I was able to portray what I wanted. I only showed the good side of me. They saw me as this perfect person. And that's how I wanted to see myself.

Does that make any sense?

[This message edited by LoveProfusion at 6:26 PM, April 6th (Sunday)]


I'm 32.
My husband is 43.
Married 11 years.
I had internet affairs over a nine month period.

Posts: 37 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Home. Where I belong.
hopefulone23
Member
Member # 18769
Default  Posted: 7:28 PM, April 6th (Sunday)

BS here. I just wanted to say a big thank you to Scarlet for starting this thread. It's been really helpful and insightful for me to read everyone's response and I can see much of my FWH's situation in many of yours.

Thanks again, Scarlet and thanks to all the WSs for your great replies!


BS (me)-52
WS (him)-51
Married: 20 yearsótogether 28
D-Day: February, 2007
4+ Yr LTA w MOW, EA/PA
Update: Broke NC with same MOW 10/11!
Filed for D and Served WH 11/8/11

Posts: 755 | Registered: Mar 2008
ScarletA
Member
Member # 18095
Default  Posted: 7:32 PM, April 6th (Sunday)

Thank you to everyone who posted. I think we will continue to help a lot of people if we can keep this thread going.

ScarletA


Me: WS 40
Him: BS 41**rippedtoshreds**
Married for 12 years, together for 13
D-day #1: 1/8/08
D-day #2: 2/8/08
D-day #3: 1/30/11
Kids: D ~ 22/S ~ 20/S ~ 10

"If the grass is greener, it's time to water your lawn"


Posts: 65 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: Colorado
beach
Member
Member # 7533
Default  Posted: 7:45 PM, April 6th (Sunday)

Mine is unique and very long, so please read it in my profile.

Seeking for external validation - low-self esteem/abandonment issue/co-dependency.

Having a safty net (FOPs) is like I feel safe and not get abandoned.

Oh yes. SELFISH. Started off as a part of H's fantasy and became a part of our M life. I then took pre-approved EMR for granted and then I became very selfish person on the planet!!

[This message edited by beach at 7:49 PM, April 6th (Sunday)]


If you don't find peace with yourself, you cannot find anywhere else.
Appreciate and cherish what I have.

Posts: 8680 | Registered: Jul 2005 | From: midwest
iswt2
Member
Member # 13407
Default  Posted: 8:21 PM, April 6th (Sunday)

Great topic.

I flat out had no "excuse" whatsoever:

1. never been abused...idyllic childhood...wonderful family
2. no "sex addiction history" never been with anyone other than my loving, faithful Husband.
3. never in my life done without one thing - no financial difficulties
4. NEVER touched drugs, abused alcohol, smoked or been depressed....
5. great self image...

SO...WHY did I have a 2-year A?

First time working full-time in many years....got a lot of attention..started flirting...
I was having a whopping good time....midlife issues....and as much as I hate to say it, I LOVE being the center of attention. I was always the popular, beauty queen prima donna in high school and college and I just hadn't gotten over it....heck I love a mirror...(I'm being shamefully transparent to you guys) and OM played me like a fiddle.

I think questions like this make us all see how there is NO excuse for having an A...ever AND regardless of how wonderful our lives can be, we are all susceptible...

I can never innocently flirt again...I know I can fall. I will forever be on guard...I just wish i had been before the A


Harboring "resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die." O magazine.


Posts: 102 | Registered: Jan 2007
BrokenRoad
Member
Member # 15334
Frustrated  Posted: 8:42 PM, April 6th (Sunday)

Seems like when it all comes down to it, the core of the problem was that I was in pain, but didn't react the way I should have.

You can blame it on my immature parents, I had them. You can blame it on predatory OM, I had them. You can blame it on lack of communication skills coupled with weak will. I had them too. You could even say that there is evil in this world that whispers that "you deserve this" and I would say yes, there is that too.

But when it comes down to it, I made the bad choices. I did it. Me. Imperfect me. Hurting me. Angry passive agressive me. Immature me.

I hate it. I will always look back and be happy that I have grown so much from this mess, but what a terrible thing to put my H through. I hate that I didn't work on me. I hate that I didn't learn what I know now. I hate it that I didn't suggest C right when I started to feel like we were getting distant.

My perspectives were so skewed that I am amazed sometimes that I was able to function. Even today I have to try very hard to see and or find out what's really going on instead of what horrible things I make up.

Anyway, I would say in a nutshell, it was just me, taking the wrong path. I own it.


{Him}FBH - 43 (WifeHad5)
{Me} FWW - 43
2 kids 7 & 12
Reconciled :)
Beauty and folly are old companions.--Benjamin Franklin

Posts: 10577 | Registered: Jul 2007 | From: Midwest
emptyone
Member
Member # 16765
Default  Posted: 9:34 PM, April 6th (Sunday)

LoveProfusion,

I completely relied on other people's opinions of me to determine how I felt about myself. I always have.

Bingo!

It's a life with no real foundation on which to base decisions of what's right or wrong, what's good or bad, what has consequence. A life of complete selfishness with no ability to really care about the consequences your actions have on others because you don't want to think about how they might feel. A life dedicated to hedonism sprinkled with sycophantic behaviours to curry favor and get more in return. A life of sucking life-force from others because that is what is believed to be needed to stay alive (which is ironic because it is exactly the opposite of what really gives life). A life of taking rather than giving. A life focused on ME rather than on YOU. The unwillingness to expose your inner self, your tender soul to another because the fear of having it hurt is too great so instead you try to take it from someone else. A life lived in immaturity where it seems easier to hide from your decisions and choices rather than stand up and proclaim who you are, what you want and what you stand for then exert the honest effort to strive to achieve those things, even at the risk of failure (rather than skulk around and make excuses for not trying).

There's lots more.

The keys to sorting out this mess are 1) admit to it; 2) be honest with yourself and others; 3) decide what you want and declare it publicly (don't live a life of secrecy); 4) work honestly towards that proclamation.

EO


"We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started... and know the place for the first time.Ē- T. S. Eliot

Posts: 106 | Registered: Oct 2007 | From: Emerging from a tangled mass of wires
BrokenRoad
Member
Member # 15334
Default  Posted: 9:38 PM, April 6th (Sunday)

Well put, EO.


{Him}FBH - 43 (WifeHad5)
{Me} FWW - 43
2 kids 7 & 12
Reconciled :)
Beauty and folly are old companions.--Benjamin Franklin

Posts: 10577 | Registered: Jul 2007 | From: Midwest
cissie
Member
Member # 17637
Default  Posted: 10:48 PM, April 6th (Sunday)

My reasons were similar. An uhealthy preocupation for attention from men. I too have been serching for the part that is broken. I want a reason, not an excuse or cop out. Low self esteem, an unhealthy need for male attention, all seem to have played a part. Sex was not the point the sense of power was. There was no fog, no difficulty in getting over it.

Posts: 514 | Registered: Jan 2008
SCORNED
Member
Member # 6301
Default  Posted: 11:09 PM, April 6th (Sunday)

So, if I ever needed a pick-me-up for my ego, I'd find someone to compliment me and make me feel pretty, interesting, special, etc.

You described my H ..... his A was one giant ego stroke. Why he felt this way I don't know .....he got plenty of attention at home , praise ,etc- ....
my H has always enjoyed "female attention" .....I KNEW that when I married him .....I thought that part of him would change with marriage ....boy was I wrong !

A lot of his behaviour can be traced back to his upbringing ....his constant belittling (sp) from his parents and his strong need for thier approval....
In my H's case , it is very deep rooted. we talk about it and he "see's" *why* he looks for this external validation.


"The cruelest lies are often told in silence."

Robert Louis Stevenson


Posts: 12171 | Registered: Jan 2005 | From: southwest
Jekyll
Member
Member # 10886
Default  Posted: 11:39 PM, April 6th (Sunday)

Count me in as one more who wrestled (often unsuccessfully) with low self esteem and the like. But to go into a little more detail... nothing I ever did was good enough. Not for other people, but for me. And as many successes or positive things I had going for me, I could only ever focus on the one or two negatives that I experienced. They ballooned in my mind. They festered. They occupied all my thoughts, all my attention. To the outside world... heck, to my BW... I seemed a confident, charming, capable fellow. Inside... I felt anything but.

And so the A, for me, was like - as it is often compared here - a drug. After all, in my twisted way of thinking at the time, my BW had to tell me she thought I was handsome or smart or anything like that... because she was married to me, and that's what you say, right? (It didn't matter that I told her she was beautiful and sexy and intelligent because she really was... those kind of things weren't true about me, right?) But the OW... she had no reason to think those things. So maybe... if she thought them... they were true?

Not really... once the A started, it was like a steep downhill slope, and I had a choice. I could run downhill at breakneck speed, abasing myself more and more, acting more and more reprehensibly... or I could start the long, hard climb back up to my M and my BW. Needless to say, I chose the latter. Almost for too long. Now I'm on the long, hard climb back up. It's worth it - I don't think it's not even for a second. And in the process, I'm taking a much healthier view of myself, my M, my life, all of it. A much more balanced view. One in which the negatives no longer outweigh the positives.

But it's still hard sometimes. Because as much as I look back and see and know that I am not the same person I was during my A... it's still me, you know? A better me, a healthier me, a more positive and honest and open me... but I am still Jekyll, still the man who became a WS, who had an A. I know I will never do it again. But I still haven't forgiven myself for doing it at all.


Me: FWH
My beloved wife: hurtbs
DDay - April 2006
July 2006 onward - R'ing

"Every hill that's worth the climb will always be too steep."
- Wild Colonials


Posts: 1017 | Registered: Jun 2006 | From: TX
ScarletA
Member
Member # 18095
Default  Posted: 6:08 PM, April 8th (Tuesday)

bump


Me: WS 40
Him: BS 41**rippedtoshreds**
Married for 12 years, together for 13
D-day #1: 1/8/08
D-day #2: 2/8/08
D-day #3: 1/30/11
Kids: D ~ 22/S ~ 20/S ~ 10

"If the grass is greener, it's time to water your lawn"


Posts: 65 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: Colorado
donnaquixote
Member
Member # 18760
Default  Posted: 7:21 PM, April 8th (Tuesday)

I am really lonely with my BH, he never really talks to me. I don't know why, if it's cause of his upbringing (he had a bazillion peeps at his house growing up, kids and visitors--I grew up in a split household after age 14 through I moved out at age 18). This is changing because after the EA, I told him I need him to be more there for me socially.

I have been lonely most of my life and have a hard time connecting deeply with others. I'm pretty intense. If I like doing something I do it A LOT. Exercise. Drinking (not a binger, just a 3 beer a day girl). World of Warcraft. Makeup. Shopping.

I am somewhat like beach, I seem to have a backup in case whatever I'm doing doesn't work out. I'm not very confident over my life's decisions (others find that startling since I'm very goal oriented and I guess some may consider me educated also).

As a result of living in a split home, I had very little parental guidance and interaction. I may have become very independent, secretive, and self-controlled to get by such a situation. Also I rejected my parents' religious teachings and to some extent, we feel I threw the baby out with the bathwater (because my parents were very serious about their beliefs, they sounded a bit stodgy and unbending as I was a kid, which didn't fit my existential type of philosophy).

I totally feel broken. I wish I wouldn't have challenged everything my parents said.

I guess I should also state as a very young child (6-8 or so) my dad had an affair and as a teen my mom had an EA with a teenage boy who was a gifted but mentally unstable friend of my brothers. When he moved into our home for a winter, my dad moved out in early spring and that's how my parents became separated. So it seems as if abandonment, EA's, emotional unavailability and conflict avoidance are in my genes UNFORTUNATELY.


Me: WS, 37 Internet A with OM met on World of Warcraft in Spring 07, EA lasted from November to March 1 2008 cybering started in December
Him: BS, 38 (posts as Firewall)
Dday: March 3, 2008
two kids, one in elem. school

Posts: 100 | Registered: Mar 2008 | From: USA Pacific Standard Time
Meeko
Member
Member # 19006
Default  Posted: 9:48 AM, April 9th (Wednesday)

Count me in as one more who wrestled (often unsuccessfully) with low self esteem and the like. But to go into a little more detail... nothing I ever did was good enough. Not for other people, but for me. And as many successes or positive things I had going for me, I could only ever focus on the one or two negatives that I experienced. They ballooned in my mind. They festered. They occupied all my thoughts, all my attention. To the outside world... heck, to my BW... I seemed a confident, charming, capable fellow. Inside... I felt anything but.
And so the A, for me, was like - as it is often compared here - a drug. After all, in my twisted way of thinking at the time, my BW had to tell me she thought I was handsome or smart or anything like that... because she was married to me, and that's what you say, right? (It didn't matter that I told her she was beautiful and sexy and intelligent because she really was... those kind of things weren't true about me, right?) But the OW... she had no reason to think those things. So maybe... if she thought them... they were true?

That rings so true to me....as I was reading it I realized that I too felt that way. I would often think I didn't deserve my H...he is so much smarter then me...better looking then me. He seemed so confident with being with himself...it never seemed that he needed the extra attention that I craved.

I was immature and ignorant. I had the notion that "in love" was a real feeling that we should all have all the time -- that the excitement of romance should always be there. I didn't understand that it takes work to make marriage work, and it takes a lot of work to stay "in love" with someone rather than merely staying infatuated with them.

I also believe I felt this way. I do know now that marriage is work...you don't sign up for a maintenance free marriage...you have to work at it. That is what I am doing now...unfortunately I am having to work at some really shitty and difficult stuff...but I am going to and I hope and pray that we come out better and stronger in the end.


FWW (me)- 38
BS - 41
M - 14yrs
Kids - (2) DD - 5 DS - 11

D-Day 11-18-07
D-Day (2) 4-2-08 (finally told the full story)

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. ~Paul Boese


Posts: 112 | Registered: Apr 2008 | From: Land of the Mouse
Kwills
Member
Member # 13172
Default  Posted: 10:59 AM, April 9th (Wednesday)

I think because I was lonely and emotionally isolated from my FBH, due to both of our issues. I was spending mroe quality time at work and emotionally interacting more with FOM than I was my own husband, and didn't even realize how deep I got in before it was too late. I was also angry.

Additionally, I'm a serial cheater--I've cheated in every relationship I ever had. Ever. I know I have that propensity. The only difference between the past and htis time, I guess, is that I didn't intend for this A to happen and this was the first time I ever had feelings for the other person. I fell in love with FOM before I knew it, and I think that is waht stopped the A from escalating to full intercourse. Complicated stuff.

Kwills


Posts: 1052 | Registered: Jan 2007
guiltee
Member
Member # 15425
Default  Posted: 12:07 PM, April 9th (Wednesday)

My A stemmed from at least 3 points.

Not in any specific order.

1. If you read my profile - you can get a better idea of what i am about to say. BBF was having at least an EA with an ex of his (i still think there may be more but he is sticking to his story) and he wanted me to be jealous, he wanted me to think that he was leaving me after being together at that time for 11 1/2 years and leaving me with all of our bills, he paid little attention to me (we spent all of our free time together but it was more of a friendship ...)and our sex lives had depleted so much over the last few years (we used to have a very active sex life) (too comfortable, me becoming 'his mom'..., he resented me because i refused to move out of state (again) with him with no new jobs and with little money...) - he wanted me to think some really horrible things so that i would "come after him and tell him that he f**ked up" and then he was going to propose (so he told me after i confessed to my A).

2. low self-esteem, co-dependent...

3. several years ago, i worked in the medical field for someone who committed insurance fraud (I did not know this while i was working for him). Well, everyone that worked for this person either would be arrested for same or had to 'turn themselves in' (I choose the latter) because it was seen that his employees helped him to commit his crime. I had legal bills, i was terrified that i may go to jail, I had court appearances for three years and i was horrified that all of my hard work in grad school was now gone (I graduated with a 4.0 and i was so proud of myself - i worked so hard to achieve that). I didn't know what my future held because i worked for someone who took away everything i worked for! I felt like the biggest failure. I was never in trouble in my life, never got into fights, never cheated on tests, always did stuff by the books, and now i am a loser. I really had trouble dealing with that and at times i still do - i am fortunate and have a good job - but it is not in the field that i wanted - i am trying to start my own business in addition to my job.

Sorry to ramble. Basically, i was in a bad place (self-esteem, life, etc.) - i wanted so much more in my life and even in my relationship - after all of these years - we don't own a home, we are not engaged/married, no kids, etc. and these are all things that we discussed that we wanted...and then bbf plays 'a game' with me!!!

_____________________________
Him - bbf (bs) - 39 y.o.
Me - wgf (ws) - 36 y.o.
Years together - almost 13
D-Day - 12/31/06 (still enduring his mind f**k games but surviving and focusing more on me)


Posts: 587 | Registered: Jul 2007 | From: New York
JMD16
Member
Member # 12448
Default  Posted: 1:14 PM, April 9th (Wednesday)

I am not the short and sweet kinda gal so I apologize if this gets L O N G!!

I have read all the posts and what everyone said is right on for me.

I have ALWAYS needed external validation...especially from men. Low self esteem is a major factor for me as well...it's something my IC and I are working on.

I was bored with my BH and never gave him the opportunity to be anything but vanilla...if only I had used my big mouth! I assumed he was happy with things and didn't want to rock the boat so I jumped ship without BH knowing. I thought that someone else could make me feel things my BH couldn't...my BH was my second sex partner in my life and it was always "nice" but never amazing. I always wondered if that was how it was supposed to be -my Mom always said it was a "wifely" duty and sex was never discussed in my household. My mind always wandered back to my first boyfriend (OM) b/c we never got to have sex (although we tried to plan it, it never happened) b/c I dumped him for another guy.


I have never felt like I was my own person, always need someone to tell me how good I am, or how special I was...and I never believed them anyway. I was always the one in the family that kept us all together even though I didn't know it. My IC says I was the "glue" that held it all together...and that carried into my M. The responsibility became too much and I had to figure out how to get away from it all without actually leaving- make sense?


Immaturity is HUGE for me as well. I was coddled as a child...kinda kept in the bubble even though I saw my Dad abuse my Mom on a daily basis until I was 7 or so...then my Dad SA me for a year or two. All that is kinda foggy but I am working on that. I never had to make my own decisions. I was told what I was gonna do. My childhood was very messed up and I have a hard time recalling a lot of things.


I guess to sum it all up, I would say:

1)Low self-esteem
2)Co-dependency
3)Unsatisfactory sex life
4)Felt like I was being smothered
5)This one is kinda strange, but I wanted a guy that was opposite of my BH. OM was the exact opposite.

I could go on and on about this all day...and I think of anything else helpful- I will post again.

Thanks for a great thread. It is helpful to see what others post and know that you are not alone


me- WW 34
him- BH 33
M 11 years
2 DD's, 11 and 3

It's never too late to be what you might have been

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end



Posts: 1333 | Registered: Oct 2006 | From: New England
Crossbow
Member
Member # 15224
Default  Posted: 1:32 PM, April 9th (Wednesday)

BH here, hope that's all right.

ScarletA, what an insightful and courageous post!

Many of the things you said in your post sound so much like things my FWW has told me, after months of soul-searching. She has struggled with terrible self-esteem throughout her life, and a desire to feel pretty & sexy, but no belief at all that she really is those things.

She has a history of poor boundaries, and seeking external validation. She had never before cheated in/on a relationship before. This time she slipped right off the slope, which started with flirtatious and inappropriate comments and a very predatory OM.

At first it was easy for her to try to lay the blame on OM's constant advances and the onset of (bipolar) mental illness, but the more she delved into her feelings and motivations, the more she began to see patterns in herself she no longer wanted to experience.

When I can tear myself away from my own devastation as a BH, I feel a lot of compassion for her. Her attempts to find something to make her "feel better" only made her feel worse about herself than she ever has, left her feeling shame and grief, for the damage to her M and family, for the hurt she caused me, and for the way she betrayed herself and her core beliefs.

Thank you again for such a thoughtful and open post.

ETA: FWW also said it was never about sex or sexual excitement. It was all about feeling "sexy and pretty" and "special," and she went along with the sexual stuff because that got OM to tell her how "hot" and "beautiful" she was.

[This message edited by Crossbow at 1:35 PM, April 9th (Wednesday)]


DDay 7/4/07 found out about online/sexting EA with OM
DDay 7/25/07 found out about OW
In R

2 DSs, ages 8 and 6
DD, 1


Posts: 9376 | Registered: Jul 2007 | From: Utah
totalscrewup
Member
Member # 18246
Default  Posted: 2:11 PM, April 9th (Wednesday)

I have done so much soul-searching since D-Day to try and figure out how I ever allowed myself to become an adulterer.

ScarletA, I also have been doing the same thing. Soul searching and trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I was certain (I would never do that to my wife). I had no doubt that I would not turn out like my father.

But, from your profile, you do not tell us about your upbringing. That might be something you only talk about in IC, or MC, at the sea or any C you may see.

I have been in IC right from the beginning. I have read a bunch of books. I've lurked on the boards quite a bit trying to gain some insight into my own broken self. At first I toyed with the idea that maybe I'm a sexual addict. It was proposed that maybe I was bi-polar. I even went to a psychiatrist and his official diagnosis was Anxiety and Impulse Control issues, for which I am on medication. After much pondering, I have concluded that, although lots of the symptoms of sex addiction and impulse control disorder definitely fit my patterns, I'm not entirely sure that's what drove me to do what I did.

I am about the same way in that respect. I spent some time trying to find a "category" or "label" for my problem. It seemed like a sexual addict or other labels did not entirely fit. But, then I came to realize that no one will ever fit perfectly into a category or diagnosis.

I was a deeply unhappy person. Not because of anything BS did. Just because of me. And even as a young girl, I basked in male attention. So, if I ever needed a pick-me-up for my ego, I'd find someone to compliment me and make me feel pretty, interesting, special, etc.

I did many of the same things. But, mine were a bit worse. Any time anything was getting me down, I would just go hook up with someone. They would always make me feel acceptable or wanted or ____ fill in your own blank.

What I came to realize was I was an attention addict. I craved the attention that I got from OW. The problem was that I LET MYSELF have permission to do this. That was the key. Sure, I had done it for years. Cheated on every gf I ever had. I did all this, but kept telling myself that I would never do that after I got married. I was single, there was no ring on my finger, so, it was all OK.

To make matters worse, I even had a gf tell me that I could sleep with whomever I wanted, just to not break up with her! That sense of entitlement was just that! It was a failure of me to do what I knew was right.

But, I was also thinking that it was ok since I was not married. However, that shows a total lack of integrity in a person. So, of course, what ended up happening is the metal band on my finger did not change me.

So, years later, after I've evolved into this horribly unhappy person, rather than have to too closely examine the root of my discontent, I sought ways to distract myself from experiencing that pain.

Exactly! You were doing what I was also doing. You were hiding from yourself. I found that I did not really even know ME.

Only by learning about me, truly about me, and why I had this sense of entitlement was quite difficult. But, we, BS and I are working on it. MC is a huge help.

It seems to stem from my childhood. I probably should profile my story, but BS and kids and I are going away to south padre island for a couple of days, so I cannot right now. Anyway, my mother chose me to go with her when I was 7 and we found my father hiding behind a tree at his gf's house (parents were still married). Then, my mother's coping strategy was to D him and go screw anyone she could find. While, dear ole dad kept up all his shit. So, I never ever learned how to be in a relationship of any kind. It was survival of the fittest. Evolution at it's worst.

To make a long story that much longer, I grew up knowing that all I had to do was protect myself from getting hurt. There is much more to the childhood, with abandonment issues, etc, but I will not bore people any longer with it

And that was to revert to the patterns of my youth and look for validation from inappropriate sources. In the beginning, it seemed harmless enough. But it soon progressed to such a degree that I could no longer keep track of all the lies I was telling. And truth be told, I was more deeply miserable than ever.

All this paragraph is exaclty what I figured out. It seems to me that you have it figured out as well, and to not be miserable, you have to keep telling yourself that you are good enough. You deserve better than you are behaving. You are meriting your actions.

The strange part is, it was never really about the sex for me. It was more that the sex was an eventuality of the flirting and the attention I was seeking.

THAT is exactly right. Attention addict! If you are one, raise your hand (had highly raised here!)

Through this contemplation, it has caused me to wonder what other insights Waywards have had about themselves and to give them an opportunity to share. I started this thread because there really is no support group for people with the type of addiction I believe I have. And it occurred to me that there may be more of us out there (ie. on this website) than is commonly known.

There is mine! Hope that works for ya! Hang in. Just keep analyzing yourself. The payoffs are huge.


WH - 38
D-Day 12-1-2007
BS - 38 beautiful TrueToMe
10 years together 7 married
13 yo son, 7 yo daughter

Posts: 58 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: At home with my wife in complete love with her
ScarletA
Member
Member # 18095
Default  Posted: 12:04 PM, April 10th (Thursday)

bump


Me: WS 40
Him: BS 41**rippedtoshreds**
Married for 12 years, together for 13
D-day #1: 1/8/08
D-day #2: 2/8/08
D-day #3: 1/30/11
Kids: D ~ 22/S ~ 20/S ~ 10

"If the grass is greener, it's time to water your lawn"


Posts: 65 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: Colorado
wheat
Member
Member # 18918
Default  Posted: 1:52 PM, April 10th (Thursday)

I also was one that had zero issues growing up, no SA in my history, etc etc.

This stupidity was totally due to a massive emotional blow from a previous relationship and OMM had all the right words/actions to patch up those holes. Or so I had it in my head that way.....ugh

I had to realize I was the only other person in my head, and so therefore no one else was going to make me feel better but me. Period. I could flatter myself on my own with things that didn't include intruding into someone else's life. I could take walks on my own without needing someone to go with me to make me feel wanted. I could go shopping on my own without someone going with me to feel pretty.

Good post topic, Scarlet!


"Every new day is another chance to change your life."

FSOW - late 30's, married now.


Posts: 217 | Registered: Mar 2008 | From: midwest
ScarletA
Member
Member # 18095
Default  Posted: 3:48 PM, April 14th (Monday)

bump


Me: WS 40
Him: BS 41**rippedtoshreds**
Married for 12 years, together for 13
D-day #1: 1/8/08
D-day #2: 2/8/08
D-day #3: 1/30/11
Kids: D ~ 22/S ~ 20/S ~ 10

"If the grass is greener, it's time to water your lawn"


Posts: 65 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: Colorado
Kaitlyn
Member
Member # 19126
Default  Posted: 4:19 PM, April 14th (Monday)

OMG.... I feel like you pasted that as me. I can't explain how much you just described me as a person. I told my BS that when I look back at any relationship I had ever been in, or any male that I was even just "seeing", I would do anythign to keep their attention. I would tease and flirt and just like you.... it was never about the sex. I would go through with the sex in order to keep receiveing the attention. Sick, I know. I have not strated IC as of yet. I will be soon. I was just blown away by this psot and had to reply.....


FWW(me)-39
BH-41
S-13
D-Day 9/16/07
---------------------
♥ Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain. ♥

Posts: 450 | Registered: Apr 2008 | From: MN
the betrayer
Member
Member # 13132
Default  Posted: 5:33 PM, April 14th (Monday)

I can really relate to the things you wrote scarlet. I have done a lot of soul searching of late trying to understand why I did what I did and then carried on letting my W believe we were in R.
I think that I was very angry over my situation and acting out was a way of dealing with it and then got hooked. I heard something on the radio tonight about addiction and how people who do things on impulse are more susceptable and continue out of some kind of habit.
I certainly believe that I have developed an addiction.
I think of myself as a pretty worthless individual but I am working hard to understand why I did the things I did and I think that at last we have got a councellor now who has the skills to help.
I certainly need one.

Posts: 348 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: Kent UK
ScarletA
Member
Member # 18095
Default  Posted: 9:19 AM, April 22nd (Tuesday)

bump


Me: WS 40
Him: BS 41**rippedtoshreds**
Married for 12 years, together for 13
D-day #1: 1/8/08
D-day #2: 2/8/08
D-day #3: 1/30/11
Kids: D ~ 22/S ~ 20/S ~ 10

"If the grass is greener, it's time to water your lawn"


Posts: 65 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: Colorado
noonespecial
Member
Member # 19186
Default  Posted: 9:44 AM, April 22nd (Tuesday)

I lived through and abusive childhood which led me to live a promiscuous life in my early adult years during which I struggled with an eating disorder for 7 years.
I got pregnant, by b/f, now hubby, stbxh left me while I was pregnant....
Not sure why we married, I still hold onto anger with him for leaving me during that time.
I did it b/c I did not know how to effectively tell him what I needed/wanted from him.
He treated me like I was a child, like he was my father, a better father than my abusive step father.
He tried to take care of me, do everything for me, though I would ask him not to.
He would pat my ass the same way my step father did for years even though I begged him not to b/c every time he did it, it was a trigger back to my childhood.
I did it b/c I was weak, wrong, searching for something not there.


Me, 37, WS (03/05 - 12/06) BS too
Him, BS, 39,ALSO WS,with my former best friend (DD:10/07 - ?, NOT sure it has ended)
D ~ 15 1/2

Posts: 70 | Registered: Apr 2008
JustDone
Member
Member # 9742
Default  Posted: 9:55 AM, April 22nd (Tuesday)

Unfinished business and unhappiness within myself that I handled the wrong way.

-JD


Forgiveness is giving up the possibility of a better past.

Nobody forgets what happens, the secret is learning to live with it.


Posts: 2778 | Registered: Feb 2006
ScarletA
Member
Member # 18095
Default  Posted: 1:34 PM, May 3rd (Saturday)

bump


Me: WS 40
Him: BS 41**rippedtoshreds**
Married for 12 years, together for 13
D-day #1: 1/8/08
D-day #2: 2/8/08
D-day #3: 1/30/11
Kids: D ~ 22/S ~ 20/S ~ 10

"If the grass is greener, it's time to water your lawn"


Posts: 65 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: Colorado
HurtAtty
Member
Member # 11836
Default  Posted: 2:04 PM, May 3rd (Saturday)

ScarletA, thanks for posting this and keeping it alive. It's such a great topic.

I'm the BS, and yet so much of what you described fits me also. The need for attention from men (at a very early age, as I recall!) sometimes has felt so desperate. In high school and college, I slept with way too many guys because I loved the high I felt knowing I was turning them on. Sadly, I never got much out of the sex, and that carried over into my marriage - it took me more than a decade to share with FWH that I had never had an orgasm through sex with him (I had mastered the fine art of faking it by then!).

So even though I'm a BW, I do have a lot of understanding about why a WS strays. In my own marriage, the hardest part to recover from is not my FWH's affair, it is that he continued the deception and affair after I found out, and let it drag on so long. But I understand the need for external validation, especially during a period of feeling crappy about yourself and your marriage.

Now that it's on the table, I'm not quite sure how to go about eliminating this kind of need. How do you REALLY start the process of not needing it, to looking inward to finding that confidence? Or is it just a matter of always having to fight it, and constantly being aware of and avoiding situations where the need for that kind of validation arises? How do we fix this in ourselves? I don't have a clue where to start after realizing what the core issue is.

Thank you for this post. This forum always helps me to the most as I struggle to recover from the pain of my FWH's affair. The WSs who post here are truly heroes in my eyes - this self-reflection isn't easy stuff!


"Still I look to find a reason to believe." Rod Stewart 'Reason to Believe'

Posts: 246 | Registered: Aug 2006 | From: Oregon
whoami?
Member
Member # 19171
Default  Posted: 8:09 PM, May 3rd (Saturday)

You know, I was just reading the chapter in NOT Just Friends that spoke about justifications for the A. I read the whole thing. I still can't justify what I did.

I am still searching for the magic answer, and almost feeling like even when I uncover motives- for lack of a better word- that it feels like I'm trying to find an excuse. And what I did was unexcusable. There is no justification for breaking my commitment, for hurting my BH, for acting so incredibly selfishly.

That being said, this is what I've found. (I wish there was just one answer, but I'm kind of finding a mishmosh of crap that I've been covering up for a while)

1- I've always been an attention getter. I was never the pretty one, the popular girl...so I did what I could to get attention. I remember lying to my entire girl scout troup and telling them I had strep throat on a camping trip...Why? I don't know- but I got lots of attention!

High School introduced me to theatre...is there not a better place than in a lead role to command that attention and praise??

Even at work- I was a teacher before a SAHM- I had to be THE BEST at everything.

I love being the mom with it all together- I love it when people compliment my cooking, my kids...I know now that I CRAVE that attention.

2- Complacency. BH and I have been together since high school...we know everything about each other. Our history is forever long. I honestly think we got too comfortable. We stopped fortifying our relationship. We stopped giving each other gifts for our anniversaries...we didn't need all that...that crap is silly when we love each other as much as we do. Right? Oh, if only I had read all these self-help books before I got involved with OM!

I think much of the complacen

3- Child Centered Marriage. I love my kids. Adore them. I know I want one more, even. But BH and I slipped into the child-centered marriage pattern...which compounded the compacency issue, I think. We have a 3 year old and a 1 year old- the baby has special needs. I know that I am all consumed with my boys as a stay at home mom. I absolutely put everybody else's needs in front of mine...and it caught up with me. Because as soon as OM offered his 'friendship' and 'understood' how hard I worked and 'wished his wife were as amazing as I was'--- I fell for that hook, line, and sinker.

4- Depression. My family has a history of it. I think that, even though I've been denying it, I may have been teetering on the edge of depression ever since soft markers for Trisomy 21 appeared on my 20 week sono with my son...he just turned a year last month. So, it's been a long time and a long road of grieving, coping, accepting, and putting my own fears and dreams aside while trying to meet the needs of my son, and at the same time feeling grossly inadequate because I wanted to give my first son a sibling to grow up with a depend on in life...and instead, I gave him a burden (I know this is totally un-PC and terrible, but I'm trying to be REAL here, people). I know we'll be fine. I know that his brother will teach him things and help him grow in ways that he would have never experienced with a typical brother...but still. I can't help feel like a failure of some sort.

God, this is going on and on, isn't it? It feels good to get it out, though, so you all can stop reading and I won't take offense...

**There are probably more things that I'll attribute my lack of morals or blinding selfishness to...but this is a good start. Again, I'm NOT making excuses. I effed up. Totally. There ISN'T a justification. I'm just trying to analyze myself, and how I ever even let myself step on that slippery slope.

I still look at myself, and think about my choices, and go "WTF was I thinking?!" And I still don't know. I hate that I am here. I hate that I put my BH in this position. And my kids. I just totally suck right now.


WS (Me) 28
BS (Him) 30
S-3, S-1
**The best musicians learn to trust that the music they will ultimately make is more important than today's wrong notes."
-Forgiving Ourselves

Posts: 128 | Registered: Apr 2008 | From: Under a Rock
SRVfan38
Member
Member # 19338
Default  Posted: 4:21 PM, May 4th (Sunday)

When I read this, I just had to respond.
Yes, I too have the same feelings. I got some attention and validation from men, and that was it. Been like that since I was very young. I love my husband and have attempted to try and be as faithful as I can. But I didn't.
I am so miserable because of what I have done and my past. I have this addiction but can't pin-point it. Is it a sex addiction? Is it a love addiction? Is it an impulse disorder? I don't know. Nobody ever taught me how to appreciate myself and consider my body a temple.
A lot of things have happened over the last few years and I have become a person who hurts so bad inside and nobody has any clue as to how bad I hurt. I keep it there hoping one day, if I keep thinking positive thoughts, I will start believeing other things and the pain will subside.
I am so glad I found SI, I know I've been told I should tell my husband, and I may. I don't know if it's best for my situation. I feel right now like I have failed as a wife and a mother, friend, daughter, sister, everything.
NC is going pretty well right now. I'm not going to see him. OM has caused me a lot of heartache and I don't need anymore of that in my life. I'm trying to be a little selfish right now and work on having more positive thoughts and try and get a better outlook on my life.
My H and I have been married for 9 years and he has had no clue that I have a low self-esteem. I told him not too long ago and he just said who has a low self-esteem? I said ME!! There was no comment after.
Reading posts from other people and some from the Healing Library, I've already begun to have a more positive outlook. I will continue to read and work on myself for a while.
It is a relief to know that I am not the only one who is like this as I have felt so lonely, thinking something is very wrong with me. I have tried counseling as a teenager and that did not work. At the time, I pretty much laughed my way through it. Have never had any luck with councelors. I could go on longer, but laundry awaits and a dirty bathroom needs cleaning.


I want to become the person my dogs think I am.

Posts: 265 | Registered: Apr 2008 | From: Wannabe in Tahiti
Sorrowfulfriend
Member
Member # 17103
Default  Posted: 11:02 PM, May 4th (Sunday)

Well, as I sit here after learning that another person I know did this to someone they cared about, and review my own story, all I can come up with is that all of us, for whatever reason we give it, did this for our gain. Our motives while varried and endless, were for selfish reasons. We forgot that love is giving. We gave ourselves permission because we needed this or that. Isn't that the pure basis of this.

Look at Barbra Walters, she says it was exciting and intense, well of course it was, it was what you wanted it to be.

As I sit here with the realization that humanity is screwed up because of all of this and because of the statistics that state over 50% of men and 45% of women will be involved in an EA/PA before the age of 40, I realize that we have become a world of me and I rather than a world of we and us.

Our focus is on the here and now, not on what our actions will produce tomorrow, next week, or years down the road.

We are selfish, and sinful! It all comes down to that!

Sorry for the rant, just needed to vent a bit.


(me)WS 40
BS 38 (pmlsea)
M 18 yrs
3 kids, 17,12,11

PERSISTANCE IS THE ABILITY TO MAINTAIN ACTION REGARDLESS OF YOUR FEELINGS. YOU PRESS ON EVEN WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE QUITTING


Posts: 980 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Florida
Sicofitall
Member
Member # 18508
Default  Posted: 11:17 PM, May 4th (Sunday)

BS here, hope you don't mind.

This thread has been so enlightening.

I wonder, is it possible to be a person of high self esteem and still need constant attention and validation from others?
The reason I ask is that my WH is someone who is always fishing for compliments, about everything he does and everything about him, but yet is always talking about how great he is. Does that make sense?
For example, he will stand in front of a mirror and talk about how fantastic he looks.
He is constantly talking about how much smarter he is than anyone he works with.
He spends and inordinate amount of time primping, and pumping up, and loves to wear tight fitting shirts, etc.
He's only gotten worse since he's gotten older. He colors his hair and his eyebrows, buys expensive face creams and is talking about getting collagen injections.

He's always been the star of his family, the center of attention.
The only self esteem problem I've ever thought he had was that he was too full of himself.

Now I wonder, could it possibly be low self esteem and he's just over compensating?
Do any of you other WS's who feel they have low self esteem constantly talk yourselves up? Would you admit it if you did? LOL!


BW (me)52
WH 53
Maried 31yrs
Together 36yrs
DS's 24 & 29

DD 6/28/07
SD 8/29/07
2nd DD 1/13/08
DD #3 9/21/08


Posts: 497 | Registered: Mar 2008 | From: Smack dab in the middle
letting_go
Member
Member # 13774
Default  Posted: 11:38 PM, May 4th (Sunday)

I wonder, is it possible to be a person of high self esteem and still need constant attention and validation from others?

A person can have high confidence and low self-esteem.

My H is great at his job. If we were to D today and someone asked me about his competence for any job I would tell him that he is the person for all positions. He comes across very confident and sure of himself. He has low self-esteem.


"To change and to improve are two different things."
Anonymous. German proverb.

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." Frederick Douglass (1818-1895)


Posts: 3704 | Registered: Feb 2007
SRVfan38
Member
Member # 19338
Default  Posted: 10:27 AM, May 5th (Monday)

Sicofitall-

He probably does have low self esteem and that is his way of compensating for that.
I want a boob job so bad, at times, I feel without one, I am inadiquet (sp). I also like to always look as good as I can and look hot. Why? 1st I want my husband to be proud of the woman he has. 2nd, I need to do that because on the inside, I feel so ugly that I can compensate on the outside. If I look good externally, then nobody will see the bad inside and if I look good, it makes me feel like I have more confidence.
I would suspect that the high self exteem does not exist. May seem like it, but he is compensating for something.


I want to become the person my dogs think I am.

Posts: 265 | Registered: Apr 2008 | From: Wannabe in Tahiti
Cherry Tomato
Member
Member # 19255
Default  Posted: 11:54 AM, May 5th (Monday)

Yes, I too suffered from low self-esteem my whole life. Verbal abuse from daddy sure didn't help any. But what caused it mostly was the fact that I was overweight even in elementary school. I was teased all the time even through middle school. I trimmed up some in high school, but by attending a small private school everyone still remembered the "old me" and it was tough to find boys who would pay attention to me other than just being friends.

In college, I got LOTS MORE attention and honestly I didn't know how to handle it. Got asked out on lots of dates by stangers, but never went on any of them. Then I met my husband. I fell in love with him so completely and he loved me for who I was. We were/are perfect for one another.

After we dated for several years, I put the weight back on, but he still loved me. He loved me even though I was possessive and controling. I was terrified he would leave me for a skinnier more attractive woman.

We got married, and all was wonderful. I lost and gained weight a couple of times, but around our 9th year of marriage, I lost if for good. I looked great (look even better now), and I craved the attention from other men. I needed that validation. I guess I felt like some others that when my husband complimented me he did it out a sense of obligation not because he truly meant it. Now I see how stupid and riduclous I was being. He ALWAYS thought I was beautiful and sexy even when I never did.

And now look at what I have done. Destroyed the one person in the world who loved me more than any other and only wanted to make me happy. It's almost too much for me to bear sometime. I still can't believe I did this, but I do see what led up to it. I just simply ignored the signs and made terrible choices. No excuses ever...just sorrow, shame and pain.

Thank you for this thread. I hate it that we are all in such agony over this, but it helps to know that others share it with us. We can now only grow from our suffering and the suffering we have caused others. We can't grow unless we learn.


FWW/FBW(me)-41; FBH/FWH(him)-42; DDay 12/25/07; M 15 yrs, 1 DD - 11
Separated 8/6/08; H moved back home 1/6/09; In R 4/24/09
"You and Iíll ride tonight till the past is out of sight. We don't have to look back now." ----Puddle of Mudd

Posts: 1128 | Registered: Apr 2008 | From: Wonderful New Happy Place
FallenSaynte
Member
Member # 14284
Default  Posted: 12:50 PM, May 5th (Monday)

Why did I do it?........

Well because I allowed myself to become a stupid, self - obsessed, selfish prick is why. I put what I believed where my needs ahead of my wifes heart, my childrens future and sought out the attention I wanted from someone other than my wife. In the end to me its that simple. I have spent the better part of the last 14 months going over my life and all the paths that led me here. They all hold a place in the journey to being an ass but we live in a world and a time where we all know of the available outlets and services to help us deal with issues....... I certainly have been aware of them anyways, but rather than have some personal responsibility and seek out the answers in a constructive and healthy way I let myself fall from grace and honour into a mire of destructive behaviour. And I am four times the idiot because I should have seen where I was going. I have been an addict, a cheater and an ass before. But rather than acknowledge that I was letting myself follow old paths I just jumped on the bus and road them.

In summary I did it cause I chose to not pay attention to the blindingly glaring reality that was right in front of me. I did that. Not my parents, not my family, not the people that have abused me, not anyone but ME


The FWS of the amazing 17yearsrocked

Posts: 1738 | Registered: Apr 2007 | From: Canada
Sicofitall
Member
Member # 18508
Default  Posted: 1:11 PM, May 5th (Monday)

He probably does have low self esteem and that is his way of compensating for that.
I want a boob job so bad, at times, I feel without one, I am inadiquet (sp). I also like to always look as good as I can and look hot. Why? 1st I want my husband to be proud of the woman he has. 2nd, I need to do that because on the inside, I feel so ugly that I can compensate on the outside. If I look good externally, then nobody will see the bad inside and if I look good, it makes me feel like I have more confidence.
I would suspect that the high self exteem does not exist. May seem like it, but he is compensating for something.

Thanks SRVF.
I never even considered this until I read this thread.
It does make sense. Even though he is very confident of his abilities and proud of his looks, he does tell me what a rotten human being he is (it's been hard to argue about that lately) and he has become very depressed about having missed out on so much of our sons lives, now that they are grown. It's almost like he's jealous of my relationship with them for some reason.
I'm constantly reassuring him that he was a great father and that his sons love him, but that doesn't seem to be enough.

I guess that's all part of this mid-life crisis, but it could also be a deep down self esteem problem.
The funny thing is we are always talking about self esteem in regards to me, which I know is a problem of mine. Maybe it's about time we talked about his self esteem.

Thanks again to everyone who contributed to this thread. I feel like I've really learned something from this.

[This message edited by Sicofitall at 1:13 PM, May 5th (Monday)]


BW (me)52
WH 53
Maried 31yrs
Together 36yrs
DS's 24 & 29

DD 6/28/07
SD 8/29/07
2nd DD 1/13/08
DD #3 9/21/08


Posts: 497 | Registered: Mar 2008 | From: Smack dab in the middle
whoami?
Member
Member # 19171
Default  Posted: 3:54 PM, May 5th (Monday)

FallenSaynte- Put a female spin on these words, and you have spoken for me, too.

Well because I allowed myself to become a stupid, self - obsessed, selfish prick is why. I put what I believed where my needs ahead of my wifes heart, my childrens future and sought out the attention I wanted from someone other than my wife.

I'm having a hard time with this soul-searching, finding the cracks in myself journey. I want to analyze it, I want to find my weakness. But honestly, even though I can find causal factors buried in my past, you are totally right-- it was my stupid, selfish, egotistical decision to have the A, to reveal a side of myself to another man that should have remained sacred to my wonderful, wonderful husband...to direspect my vows, my commitment, and my husband...to put my kids' futures in jeopardy. That was my stupid dumbass fault.

Thanks for the 2x4.


WS (Me) 28
BS (Him) 30
S-3, S-1
**The best musicians learn to trust that the music they will ultimately make is more important than today's wrong notes."
-Forgiving Ourselves

Posts: 128 | Registered: Apr 2008 | From: Under a Rock
FallenSaynte
Member
Member # 14284
Default  Posted: 4:46 PM, May 5th (Monday)

Well yeah, I can go back in my past and find tons of things. Hell I could probably write a book, could probably use zillions of hours of therapy etc. My dad cheated on my mom, there was abuse, a history of mental illness in my family, there is this that and the other thing. And while all that needs to be addressed and looked at at the end of the day it was ME that did this to us. Everyone here knew that what they were doing was wrong in one way or another. I have my doubts that when asked what we were doing any of us came out and said "Well I just got back from fucking so and so" or "I just sent so and so the nastiest text ever. Wanna read?" or whatever. Cause no matter how much fog or anything we still knew it was wrong. And thats what we all have to face and deal with. That we did something that somewhere within us we knew was not right and that we made the decision to go ahead and do it.


The FWS of the amazing 17yearsrocked

Posts: 1738 | Registered: Apr 2007 | From: Canada
eyes opened
Member
Member # 7372
Default  Posted: 5:00 AM, May 7th (Wednesday)

Why the attention of the OP is more "validating"
a post by DL in the general forum
It's helped me greatly.

I've been thinking along the lines of the other thread - about self acceptance. Infidelity really does revolve around an inability to achieve self acceptance IMO. This is what lies behind the need for external validation - it is even what is behind the inability to accept the validation of one's spouse. It's the key.
When we lack the ability to accept ourselves (our whole selves, flaws and all) - it's because we hide from our flaws. We try to deny them, overcompensate for them, ignore them, and run from them. In a real relationship, one that lasts years - we share living space with someone day in and day out - our own imperfections come out. If we haven't accepted the fact that we aren't perfect, if we strive for perfection (continually failing - because no one is perfect), when we refuse to accept our imperfections, it is very hard to believe that the person who sees us in the morning at our worst, morning breath and all - really loves us for who we are. If we can't love ourselves for who we really are, we will never really be able to believe anyone else will either.

The reasons affairs become addictive, the reasons the "validation" of the OP feels real - is not only because the relationship is new, it's not only because they don't smell our "morning breath" or see us at our worst - it's also because the very moment we are aware of the nature of the affair (the horribly monstrously selfish action of cheating) we also receive "acceptance" for doing this terrible thing - from the person doing the terrible thing with us.

Not only did the WS not believe in the acceptance of other loved ones in their life BEFORE they cheated - they also are about to commit an action so heinous that they virtually guarantee to destroy the acceptance of the loved ones in their life for doing so - but the OP in front of them accepts them anyway. They have a "secret bond" that only exposure can break - because they are co-conspirators in self destruction.

It's all about the ability to like one's "mental self image". Until an affair is exposed, the WS's "mental self image" as a result of the affair is an "falsely self enhanced" image. They like the way they "look" to themselves by having an affair. But on DDay, when the horror becomes known to others - the "mental self image" of having an affair becomes horrific. In an attempt to "minimize the horror" of the self image a WS has on DDay - the OP is thrown under the bus. Whatever false acceptance they found in an affair is exposed for what it really was - desperation for a better "self image".

The lying after DDay is a desperate attempt to avoid facing the horror of what really happened reflected in the BS's eyes. It's a futile attempt to "preserve" some semblance of an "image" the WS can live with.

When a WS can't enforce NC because they're afraid of "hurting the OP's feelings" - what they are really afraid of is seeing disapproval of the OP - a "nonapproving self image" reflected back at them.

It's all about the WS's attempts to achieve some kind of acceptable mental self image in all the wrong places. Instead of looking within, and being able to accept their own imperfect selves - they disown their imperfections and go about trying to find acceptance outside of themselves (which is impossible without self acceptance).

Embrace yourself along with your flaws. It is impossible to change ourselves for the better without first accepting who we really are - flaws and all. One can't change what one refuses to face.

In order to believe in the validation our spouses offer - we have to believe we are worthy of it. That's impossible for a WS when they know the horror of what they are hiding. There is nothing wrong with the "praise" the BS is offering, the "praise" of the OP isn't better - the difference lies in the horrific knowledge the WS has of their own actions.


OP&WS now BS

Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and responsibility for all your actions.


Posts: 672 | Registered: Jun 2005 | From: Pennsylvania
ScarletA
Member
Member # 18095
Default  Posted: 12:39 PM, May 20th (Tuesday)

I appreciate so much everyone's contributions to this thread. It does seem that we need to open a chapter of Attention Addicts Anonymous. hehe

I have been spending the last couple of months focusing on my Relapse Recovery Plan and getting into the habit of putting my family first. It is sad to think that NOT being selfish is a habit you would actually have to overcome, but in my case, it is. I spent so much time treating myself, and doing what I wanted to do, and telling myself I deserved it, I put very little energy into my family and home. And now that I am, I have to admit, it feels wonderful! But it is still a stuggle.

Please continue to post, Everyone! Let's not let this thread die!

With much gratitude,
ScarletA

[This message edited by ScarletA at 1:23 PM, May 20th (Tuesday)]


Me: WS 40
Him: BS 41**rippedtoshreds**
Married for 12 years, together for 13
D-day #1: 1/8/08
D-day #2: 2/8/08
D-day #3: 1/30/11
Kids: D ~ 22/S ~ 20/S ~ 10

"If the grass is greener, it's time to water your lawn"


Posts: 65 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: Colorado
strongbrooklyn
New Member
Member # 19496
Default  Posted: 4:31 PM, May 20th (Tuesday)

I guess I would fall into the low self-esteem category. The high and validation and ego-stroking I got from the OM was amazing..ours was mostly an EA. At one point, as we began to email, text and call one another more and more, he texted me and asked, "Are we cheating?" That question should have horrified me!!! But it did not. Yes, it felt as if we were in on a big secret together, and it felt wonderful..at the time. Now I see it for what it was. Horrific. Another question he asked at one point was, "How can we do this if we are the people we say (or think) we are?" Another question that should have shaken me. But somehow we managed to get past those questions and continue on. I agree with the "DL" post. ..."They have a "secret bond" that only exposure can break - because they are co-conspirators in self destruction."....
I was a co-conspirator in self-destruction.

Posts: 35 | Registered: May 2008
ScarletA
Member
Member # 18095
Default  Posted: 1:29 PM, May 26th (Monday)

bump


Me: WS 40
Him: BS 41**rippedtoshreds**
Married for 12 years, together for 13
D-day #1: 1/8/08
D-day #2: 2/8/08
D-day #3: 1/30/11
Kids: D ~ 22/S ~ 20/S ~ 10

"If the grass is greener, it's time to water your lawn"


Posts: 65 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: Colorado
JMD16
Member
Member # 12448
Default  Posted: 8:12 PM, May 26th (Monday)

Just wanted to thank ScarletA for starting this thread! It is an eye-opener for me and has helped me look more closely at my issues of low self-esteem and external validation...still working on these in IC.


me- WW 34
him- BH 33
M 11 years
2 DD's, 11 and 3

It's never too late to be what you might have been

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end



Posts: 1333 | Registered: Oct 2006 | From: New England
ScarletA
Member
Member # 18095
Default  Posted: 9:03 AM, June 9th (Monday)

bump


Me: WS 40
Him: BS 41**rippedtoshreds**
Married for 12 years, together for 13
D-day #1: 1/8/08
D-day #2: 2/8/08
D-day #3: 1/30/11
Kids: D ~ 22/S ~ 20/S ~ 10

"If the grass is greener, it's time to water your lawn"


Posts: 65 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: Colorado
lovinggrace
Member
Member # 12267
Default  Posted: 1:22 AM, December 15th (Monday)

Very interesting...bump.


BS~45 FWH~44(oneluv)
Dday~12/03 R~10/04 False R...D-day 8/23/2011
I'm putting on the full armor of God! (Eph 6:11)

Posts: 938 | Registered: Oct 2006 | From: Native Texan in Tenneessee
itspjw
Member
Member # 21268
Default  Posted: 2:52 PM, December 15th (Monday)

my apologies. post removed.

[This message edited by itspjw at 11:19 AM, December 16th (Tuesday)]


no, I can't take one more step towards you...cuz all that's waiting is regret...

there's just too much that time cannot erase

dday 9/11/08

And the more I know, the less I understand

Because of you...I am afraid...


Posts: 14786 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: Texas
lemony.2008
Member
Member # 20125
Default  Posted: 4:38 AM, March 1st (Sunday)

It is sad to think that NOT being selfish is a habit you would actually have to overcome, but in my case, it is. I spent so much time treating myself, and doing what I wanted to do, and telling myself I deserved it, I put very little energy into my family and home. And now that I am, I have to admit, it feels wonderful! But it is still a stuggle.


Good for you, ScarletA, and thanks so much for your honesty !

[This message edited by lemony.2008 at 6:18 AM, August 25th (Tuesday)]


Feel the feelings and drop the story. - Pema Chodron


Posts: 2243 | Registered: Jul 2008 | From: Canada
timewilltellUK
Member
Member # 21760
Default  Posted: 6:39 AM, March 1st (Sunday)

I have just read this post, not having seen it before as it is a bit of an oldie...but someone bumped it so I got to read it.

I wanted to quote someones two posts in this thread and although it looks like he hasn't been around for a long while..I just wanted to say well done for standing up and saying what you did and making no excuse about why you did it other than you were selfish and thought just of yourself.

I am not posting this to say that people don't have reasons for the way they deal with things, I just read his posts and although he admits to having had problems in the past,they weren't to be used as an excuse for why he did what he did. It struck a chord when I read it and I wanted to commend the bloke for posting it and making no excuses for why he did it other than it was what HEwanted to do. No other reason other than pure selfishness.

FallenSaynte
6:50 PM, May 5th (Monday), 2008
Why did I do it?........

Well because I allowed myself to become a stupid, self - obsessed, selfish prick is why. I put what I believed where my needs ahead of my wifes heart, my childrens future and sought out the attention I wanted from someone other than my wife. In the end to me its that simple. I have spent the better part of the last 14 months going over my life and all the paths that led me here. They all hold a place in the journey to being an ass but we live in a world and a time where we all know of the available outlets and services to help us deal with issues....... I certainly have been aware of them anyways, but rather than have some personal responsibility and seek out the answers in a constructive and healthy way I let myself fall from grace and honour into a mire of destructive behaviour. And I am four times the idiot because I should have seen where I was going. I have been an addict, a cheater and an ass before. But rather than acknowledge that I was letting myself follow old paths I just jumped on the bus and road them.

In summary I did it cause I chose to not pay attention to the blindingly glaring reality that was right in front of me. I did that. Not my parents, not my family, not the people that have abused me, not anyone but ME

10:46 PM, May 5th (Monday), 2008
Well yeah, I can go back in my past and find tons of things. Hell I could probably write a book, could probably use zillions of hours of therapy etc. My dad cheated on my mom, there was abuse, a history of mental illness in my family, there is this that and the other thing. And while all that needs to be addressed and looked at at the end of the day it was ME that did this to us. Everyone here knew that what they were doing was wrong in one way or another. I have my doubts that when asked what we were doing any of us came out and said "Well I just got back from fucking so and so" or "I just sent so and so the nastiest text ever. Wanna read?" or whatever. Cause no matter how much fog or anything we still knew it was wrong. And thats what we all have to face and deal with. That we did something that somewhere within us we knew was not right and that we made the decision to go ahead and do it.

[This message edited by timewilltellUK at 6:41 AM, March 1st (Sunday)]


Me - BS 36
Him - WS 35
D-Day 23rd October 2008
Together 7 years
DD 1 - 12
DD 2 - 5

The Truth Hurts and Lies Worse
I try to hold on, but it hurts too much. I try to forgive, but it's not enough to make it all okay. - James Morrison


Posts: 228 | Registered: Nov 2008 | From: timewilltellUK
Mr. Frogger
New Member
Member # 22983
Default  Posted: 8:38 AM, March 1st (Sunday)

wow scarletA. I am a WH and you summed it up so perfectly! Thanks for putting it out there.

Posts: 20 | Registered: Feb 2009
EmptyCup
Member
Member # 22909
Default  Posted: 10:37 AM, March 1st (Sunday)

H and I had serious problems in our marriage and I failed to set proper boundaries, to say "this is unacceptable" and find the right way to deal with them (counseling, divorce, whatever). I tried to tell him what I needed, but was ineffectual and gave up. Instead I withdrew and we became more and more emotionally distant and I became closer with other people than my husband, eventually "clicking" with the xOM. I lived my own emotional life, separate from my H. My EA was the final expression of that.

Now we are working on starting over and building back our life together. I built a very strong wall between us and it's taking some work to tear it back down after so many years.

Or at least that's how I understand things today, 2 months after d-day. I expect my understanding will deepen and change as reconciliation proceeds.


FWW, reconciled with my best friend <3

Nothing much but love to give you, even less have I to hide - Tim O'Brien


Posts: 1140 | Registered: Feb 2009
1DLW
Member
Member # 21971
Default  Posted: 5:43 PM, March 1st (Sunday)

I think searching and finding the answers to why we did this are key to recovery. Answers do NOT mean justifications. Nothing justifies what I have done, but there are core reasons, or character defects that allowed me to do what I did.
What I have found is similar to others.
Need for validation, insecurity,selfishness. I realized I have abandonment issues, and I was horrible at communicating.
So, basically, I was afraid my BS would leave me, I started feeling bad about myself, I was too afraid to talk with BS about my feelings, I cared only about myself and making myself feel better.

The selfishness is really the key for me. I expected everything from him, and didn't give anything in return.
I've learned that giving in a relationship is so much more rewarding.
I've learned that communication is vital.







WS 42

Posts: 483 | Registered: Dec 2008
SRVfan38
Member
Member # 19338
Default  Posted: 10:57 PM, March 1st (Sunday)

Wow, I remember this thread. Saw my old post from back in May.....whew, I've come a long way. I could hear the hurt and pain in my post. I don't hurt like that anymore and it feels good. Still have work to do, but back then, I was pretty fresh out of the A and was in a tremendous amount of pain. Good to know I'm making strides.


I want to become the person my dogs think I am.

Posts: 265 | Registered: Apr 2008 | From: Wannabe in Tahiti
beach
Member
Member # 7533
Default  Posted: 1:12 AM, August 15th (Saturday)

bump.


If you don't find peace with yourself, you cannot find anywhere else.
Appreciate and cherish what I have.

Posts: 8680 | Registered: Jul 2005 | From: midwest
figureitout
Member
Member # 23997
Default  Posted: 12:24 PM, August 15th (Saturday)

Please keep this post 'bumped'....
Thanks Scarlet for starting this thread!

This has been such good insight and is really about getting downto the real issues. The day to day 'stuff' needs to be gooten out also BUT getting down to the true issues is where healing comes.


M-34+ yr
Dday 8/09

Posts: 309 | Registered: May 2009
all4love
Member
Member # 25127
Default  Posted: 1:27 PM, August 15th (Saturday)

Ditto for me to wanting male attention to validate myself (has the seriously narcissistic career of being a model), my M was challenged, I felt worthless without a big career (quit it to raise an austistic child and another child) and I was selfish. Also it was an ESCAPE from someone who was associated with my H who was bullying me. I wanted to believe EA would be just as wonderful with the daily grind, HISTORY, etc. as he was when we had no mutual problems to work out. It was a LIE! Such a lie that I could escape my problems through another person. It almost destroyed me and my M and my husband. And worst of all, I see how I STILL am open to, wanting male attention but I am far smarter about it. Why? Because I lied to myself that I could live in fantasy; that I could 'handle' an EA, that I would be happier without my M. My happiness does not depend on anyone outside of me. It's my responsibility ALONE. Hurting my H and lying to myself will surely not lead to happiness. It only SEEMS like the harder path to heal the M, and most importantly, my wayward desire for attention. It's by far the path of most grace and true joy rather than a temporary high. Once you finally look within and validate yourself, or truly I believe go within to God (love, Spirit, higher power) you will be fulfilled each time. Enough of those choice build momentum and lead to true love.


Had EA for 6 months
NC 16 mos though randomly ran into him 5/10
D-DAY Nov 2008
In R-M 12 1/2 years
2 beautiful boys (9 and 11 yrs old.

Posts: 63 | Registered: Aug 2009 | From: Los Angeles
Half-full
Member
Member # 24350
Default  Posted: 2:05 PM, August 20th (Thursday)


I have been asking myself this very question a lot of times. I know what I liked about the affair and I feel dumb and ignorant about it afterwards. How could I ever have thought that anything was worth risking my marriage for an affair with another woman.

So yes, it made me feel great since she thought I was funny, smart, etc. etc. etc. I loved how she made me feel about myself. I loved how she just listened to me when I told her about work or other things and how she remembered it. I loved how she surprised me. I loved the sex we had but in the end: IT WAS ALL ABOUT ME!
I realise that I was just selfish and thinking about myself only risked the most important thing I had in my life. Not our kids, not our family but the trust I had from my wife. How she was completely ignorant when I did what I did behind her back for a year with her best friend. How she felt things were going on but was too insecure to say anything to me about it.

And yes, it was much more exciting in some aspects than my marriage was but the affair was also incomplete and not even close to real life. It could not have gone on and I should have been stronger myself for wanting to get out.

Now I realise how much I had and risked and we are now very busily in R and have just passed our first antiversary. We are on the right track but I realise that I need a lot of hard work, transparency and patience to regain her trust.


WH=me, 42; BS=her, 40;
OW=BS FBFF & neighbor
Married 16 years
D-Day Aug.4.08

Posts: 53 | Registered: Jun 2009
MissesJai
Member
Member # 24849
Default  Posted: 4:44 PM, August 20th (Thursday)

i'll also echo the need for male attention and validation. i've also accepted the fact, through IC, that i am someone is motivated by ego. that, if allowed, my ego will dictate just about every decision i make, especially when thereís boundaries involved. additionally, although i am confident on the surface, i struggle with serious self-esteem issues that are deeply rooted. i have a hard time accepting praise from my colleagues and peers (xOM excluded b/c it wasn't praise, it was just ego stroking). i have a tendency to brush it off or follow the comment with some kind of humorous, yet sarcastic remark because in all actuality, it makes me feel uncomfortable.

in IC the other day, i actually had a discovery and i stumbled onto it myself. BH is very nonchalant and aloof about alot of things, hell, mostly everything. he's fairly laid back and most things can't, won't, and don't get a rise out of him. i used to joke that if we won the lottery i'd have no way of knowing because his facial expression wouldn't change. he agreed. my discovery was this - maybe i had the A to get some kind of reaction out of him. like i said, he's pretty aloof - doesn't say much, only gets upset if the Lakers lose or only win by a few points or if our finances aren't lookin' so hot. now, d-days 1 & 2 arrive and i actually see some kind of reaction out of him - he shows me anger, pain, despair, frustration, sadness, etc. - reactions i have either never seen before or haven't seen in years. i'm still uncovering my whys - but i'm trying to uncover them, and i do believe that's critical, whether we R or not.


FWW - 40
I'm big on personal responsibility. Own your shit. ALL OF IT.

Posts: 5760 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: So Cal.....
CookiesAZ
Member
Member # 20897
Default  Posted: 5:48 PM, August 20th (Thursday)

Mine was also seeking attention, which I never got from my BS. I mean nil. I wanted to be noticed, shown love, not just saying it. I missed having the emotional and physical part with my BS.

There was no love making, no caressing, cuddling, not even holding hands. I craved that again. I think everyone needs to feel loved and needs physical contact. I was not getting that, and this was almost 3 yrs. prior to my A.

I learned through IC that its not abnormal nor is it asking much to be shown love. I think over time we take eachother for granted, and forget all the little things that made us fall in love.

I didn't and don't want a roomate, I want a lover/friend. I never got that from my H, as much as I voiced it. All I kept being told was, I was bitching and complaining about things that weren't important.?? Not important??? Thier very important in a relationship.

Yes, I regret how I handled things and how I went about seeking what I desired. But at that time I didn't care. I was selfish, not thinking about anyone's feeling but my own.

Even after months of R'ing, things didn't change. I tried and did everything I could with no luck. What I want/need my BS didn't want to give me. Again, he didn't think it was important. He even called me to "emotionally high maintance".

I think it was then I realized that this M was not going anywhere. It was hard, but I chose to leave. I couldn't live they was it was anymore. I needed to save my sanity.

Don't get me wrong, I miss my BS terribly, but I cannot go back to the way things were. I do hope one day that fate will bring us back together. I will never stop loving him.


me FWW-40's
him BS-41
M-8 yrs.(together 10 yrs.)
1 dog (my baby) no children
DDay-7-25-08
Came home after 7 weeks, and in R since-7-28-08.

Posts: 1004 | Registered: Sep 2008 | From: Arizona
MissesJai
Member
Member # 24849
Default  Posted: 6:03 PM, August 20th (Thursday)

wow cookies.....just....wow.....

(((hugs)))


FWW - 40
I'm big on personal responsibility. Own your shit. ALL OF IT.

Posts: 5760 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: So Cal.....
beach
Member
Member # 7533
Default  Posted: 7:19 PM, October 3rd (Saturday)

bump for roller


If you don't find peace with yourself, you cannot find anywhere else.
Appreciate and cherish what I have.

Posts: 8680 | Registered: Jul 2005 | From: midwest
Clarrissa
Member
Member # 21886
Default  Posted: 8:12 PM, October 3rd (Saturday)

Thanks for bumping, beach.
I had much the same "problem" that ScarletA had. I craved attention and for some reason what I was getting from my H wasn't enough.
While growing up I got *no* attention really, I felt like part of the scenery and people seemed to treat me like I had no feelings, that it never occured to them that I *had* feelings to be hurt. I mean, do you honestly think about how a light bulb *feels* if you break it???
Yes, my H gave me attention but after so many years of being treated like I had none, I couldn't accept that he actually felt anything for me. Kinda strange, after 20+ years.
Another thing was, how he was treating me (like a human being with feelings) scared the crap out of me. I just couldn't accept that *anyone* could like me much less love me. So why did I have my A? I was looking for the familiar because I could deal with being treated as a *thing* even though I didn't like it. What I couldn't deal with was being treated like someone who mattered. In the back of my mind I knew that OM didn't care about *me*, he saw I was vulnerable and went in for the kill. I started realizing this on Dday. One of the first things he said when my H confronted him on the phone was "I didn't do anything wrong."
Yes, I'd still like other men to find me attractive, what woman wouldn't? But I won't go looking for it. No, I'm not a beauty queen, far from it but as my H says, I'm not a burn victim either. In fact, he calls me a MILF.
I'm learning to accept myself as I am and be content with the attention I get from my H. From someone who loves me for ME.


BH Cee64D - 48
WW (me) - 49


All affairs are variations on a theme. No one has 'Beethoven's 5th' to everyone else's 'Chopsticks'.


Posts: 5858 | Registered: Dec 2008 | From: A better place
stepbuild
Member
Member # 11951
Default  Posted: 4:00 PM, October 4th (Sunday)

Good Thread. In my case, the why was being Self-Absorbed.


Me: FWH (45)
3 Kids: g9, b6, g6
Final D-Day - 11/06/2006

Posts: 464 | Registered: Sep 2006 | From: Southeast USA
Andrew
Member
Member # 10807
Default  Posted: 7:38 AM, October 6th (Tuesday)

A truly lovely honest heart warming thread.
My thanks to all who had the courage to post.
In my opinion anyone who can own up to low self esteem etc should be rightly proud of recognising and accepting that!
Perhaps one day my own FWW (friend and wonderful wife) will find the courage to post here.
Keep the thread bumped - it's great!
Sincere best wishes to all on WS
Mark aka Andrew


Me BS 48, WW 47 Three sons

Posts: 1494 | Registered: May 2006 | From: UK
Weightless
Member
Member # 20799
Default  Posted: 8:27 AM, October 6th (Tuesday)

A sense of entitlement mixed with some sexual abuse (from a female) from my childhood.



Posts: 170 | Registered: Aug 2008
JustDone
Member
Member # 9742
Default  Posted: 12:40 PM, October 6th (Tuesday)

Why did yo do it?

Bottom line, I was selfish...

-JD


Forgiveness is giving up the possibility of a better past.

Nobody forgets what happens, the secret is learning to live with it.


Posts: 2778 | Registered: Feb 2006
repeatBS326
Member
Member # 22068
Default  Posted: 2:14 PM, October 6th (Tuesday)

Wow! Thanks.

fWH seems to have same opinion of himself. A#3 started as EA & OW making him feel special. He said recently, it could have been anyone (being with OW again was easy/familiar because of previous 2 As). After my accident, I didn't feel like a man in a wheelchair. I needed someone to touch me & make me feel special. When I first came home, you made me feel that way, but over time, it had changed & I honestly thought you didn't leave me because everyone would be angry for you leaving a paraplegic.

The touch thing was a big reason for all fWH's affairs. He feels love through sexual intimacy. I think it's because he started having sex @13 with classmates his own age. I think he confused sex with LOVE. He has dysfunctional family as child (extremely physically/verbally abusive father toward his mom & he/brother both).

For me, I got addicted to CyberSex while in college (I guess you'd call me a fWF @the time). We were engaged & I was only home on weekends & breaks (lived there full-time during the summers). We couldn't afford to talk much on phone, so I guess I really loved the attention of the online A. But, for me also, I liked the excitement & "dirty" part of online element. I didn't have to actually touch anyone and I never loved OM @all (love for him never even popped into my head). I've always been miss Goody-Goody. Felt like I had to behave in certain ways, or my family wouldn't approve of or love me. I was always the ugly fat friend that hung out w/the pretty girl (or that was my opinion of myself) and I was prone to having major crushes on boys in school. So bad, that I would get really depressed once I was rejected by them. Almost obsessed with my crushes. I never had a father (even though my uncle was a male figure I respected in my life). I think, being without a father, made me have low self esteem. That I thought no MAN could love me, since my father chose to never meet me. And, my mother leaving me & my brother with our Nana for a few years to straighten her life up (NC w/us whatsoever)...well, that really secured my poor self opinion.

A few times on vacation at my cousin's as a teen, I displayed very careless behavior & I think it was because I wanted to "pretend" to be someone else. Cybersex let me be Someone Else.

As a preteen/early teen, I actually starved myself, to fit into what I thought was acceptable. Yea, I was skinny....seeing the photos, I was warmed-over death.

I think too, that my relationship w/fWH is more like an obsession. He was the most handsome man I'd ever met in my life (still don't know what he ever saw in me) and receiving his attention put me on cloud nine. Having him around, made me feel like I finally had a home & family. Like I WAS something special, attractive, & even SEXY. I guess, I secretly couldn't live up to what my outward appearance was...the CyberSex changed his opinion of me....but, I think it was my way of saying "I'm not perfect & it's exhausting trying to be - when nobody ever accomplishes that."

P.S. I think fWH craves being KISA. Almost all his long-term girlfriends (including me & OW) had an absentee father (one was deceased). I think he likes to be the father-figure or a controlling presence. He's not abusive or anything toward me, but I never actually stood up to him until we had children & I had very strong opinions about how I wanted them raised. I was more of a laid-back, wishy-washy type. He said he liked me because I was shy & quiet (unlike his noisy past girlfriends).

[This message edited by repeatBS326 at 2:46 PM, October 6th (Tuesday)]


Me/BS:39(former cybersex addict 1992); fWH:41; DS:15; DS:11; OW:34; OC:10
Together: 22yrs; Married: 18yrs
D-day#1: Jan99, then FALSE R (subsequent conception of DS#2)
D-day#2: Told about OW/WH pregnancy July2000
D-day#3 (same mOW): 19sep2008

Posts: 1721 | Registered: Dec 2008 | From: Attemping R #3
UKgirl
Member
Member # 17062
Default  Posted: 3:04 PM, October 7th (Wednesday)

HUFI-PUFI wrote one that really laid out how he felt when he reconnected with his HS-gf. It helped me see things as my H must have done. He had a stop sign on the thread, but I'd like to thank him for his honesty anyway. This is the link and the post that I'm referring to is third one down.

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=315647

Any other BS who's WS got involved with an old flame might benefit from reading. Thanks for the thread and all of you for your insights.


D-Day: 30 July 2006 LTA: 5yrs
Me, BS, 56 y/o Him, WS, 57 y/o
MOW, pathetic ex-fiancee.
3 grown boys and one 18 y/o
I don't consider myself married anymore.
There are some words once spoken split the world in two. Before you say them and after.

Posts: 3440 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: UK
filledwithregret
Member
Member # 24910
Default  Posted: 3:13 PM, October 7th (Wednesday)

I did it because I needed the ego boost. My self-esteem isn't horrible and I believe that I am a strong, independent, and smart woman BUT.... I have always felt like I wasnt good enough for my fiance'. He has always been a high achiever, has always been liked by everyone and he has great self-esteem. There is nothing in this world that he thinks he cant do and it's something that I have always loved and admired about him. I always felt that I was not good enough for him, that somehow he deserved better. But in reality, I am successful, I am a great mom, I am (or was) a great partner... It's just my self image of myself that I have to improve on.

Like others have said I need the external validation. I have discovered that this also traslates into my expensive shopping sprees. I always want others to notice me and compliment me. I wont go anywhere without make up, even when I go to casual affairs I am over dressed. The OM was always complimenting me. Telling me how great I looked, how he liked certain parts of my body, etc. When I mentioned to him I wanted to lose weight he would say I was perfect the way I was. On the other hand my fiance would say I needed to start losing weight. It's not that he wanted to put me down, but because he knew I always wanted to get back to my pre pregnancy weight. So many issues... too many to think about.

If anything positive has come out of this, it is that it has allowed me to examine myself and many of the things I do.


Posts: 62 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: Cali
kluelesskat
Member
Member # 23552
Default  Posted: 3:36 AM, October 8th (Thursday)


Me - BS
Him - WS
MOW - Ole fatty w 2 others on the side besides mine and her husband

Posts: 215 | Registered: Apr 2009 | From: Canada Eh
Sereneaspiration
Member
Member # 25296
Default  Posted: 4:49 AM, October 8th (Thursday)

BS here...OMG, this sounds exactly like my husband. He loves attention from other women and he told me it makes him feel "validated" and "desired". Me telling him he's hot, has a terrific bod, etc. (he does have all of those qualities), is like a mother telling her "uncool" kid that he/she is cool.


Me (BW)-42 yo,EWH - 42yo,DD - 14
DS - 18yo
Married 3/15/92
Ddays: 12/26/1995, October 2008 (EA and sexually explicit emails),4/10/2009 (ONS A), 8/31/2009 (5 year A w/coworker), 10/5/2009 WH broke NC
C Separation
Reconciliation

Posts: 263 | Registered: Aug 2009
Untochabldrkness
New Member
Member # 25580
Default  Posted: 1:35 AM, October 10th (Saturday)

There seems to be a common theme here, and it is surprisingly similar to what my WW has told me. thank you all for sharing, it has given me a bit more perspective.

Posts: 30 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Ohio
beach
Member
Member # 7533
Default  Posted: 9:42 PM, October 29th (Thursday)

bumped up for rndivn


If you don't find peace with yourself, you cannot find anywhere else.
Appreciate and cherish what I have.

Posts: 8680 | Registered: Jul 2005 | From: midwest
rndivn
Member
Member # 25939
Default  Posted: 11:52 PM, October 29th (Thursday)

Beach

Thank you so much for the Bump. To ScarletA, you are incredible for starting this thread. All my life I have been looking for external validation. Everything I do I look to someone, anyone for approval. My BS constantly says how great I look and what a great father I am. Itake the compliment and look for more. She now says that all of her compliments were not enough.

She is scared that this will happen again. I need to convince her that I now have a better understanding of the problem and can work to fix it. Now looking back I can see YEARS of this. right now at work I am called "the golden boy". I did not see how that all just feeds and feeds into my ego. Sometimes I don't know how I fit my head in the car.

Thank you all for your insight. Low self esteem or high I definitely have a problem. But the question still remains. We have all come clean with our problem of needing so much validation. Has anyone found an effective way to deal with it. I imagine just being more insightful of my needs would be the first step. But I need to never let the validation get the best of me again.

I'm sure a good IC will be more helpful once I find one. It just good to possibly see a starting point. I myself have asked about sex addiction, narsacist, just an ahole. I need to figure out the answer and fix it. At least start. My BS means the world to me and I need to be a better man for my son. I don't want him using me as the reason he is an F up. I need to set an example from here on out that your actions affect many, many more people than just you. I want to be a better husband for my BS and my son.


DE, HS and NR you are the loves of my life. I don't want to lose you!
Dday 10/21/09 Broke NC October 12 Dday 11/2/12
WH 39
BS 41
C 4yr
C 10 M

If you decide to leave I will not fight you, but I will fight for you!
Love doesn't fail...


Posts: 87 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: LA
socks60
New Member
Member # 26017
Default  Posted: 9:42 PM, October 30th (Friday)

Why did I do it? My husband and I have issues with communiction. We talk well about trivial things but never talk about anything serious. Our sex life sucks. I had an offer from a guy I have known for ages. We agreed to meet. I felt alive like I havent felt in a really long time. It made me realise that I wasnt the problem in our sex life. I felt invigorated after having gret sex with this other guy. HAs it helped - nope. I feel like crap now because I betrayed my family unit.


Not sure what I want or where I want to be right now :-(

Posts: 26 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Sydney Australia
EmptyCup
Member
Member # 22909
Default  Posted: 11:23 AM, November 2nd (Monday)

I think I finally figured this out this past weekend, around a year after the start of my A.

The bad relationship with my husband, selfishness, external validation, poor self-esteem, feeling attractive/desired, etc were all contributing factors. The question I needed to answer was given where I was, why did I choose to have an affair instead of making a healthier choice. The answer for me is fear of change.

It was fear of change that let me accept the degradation of my marriage over the years. Whenever I thought about my marriage and whether or not I wanted to stay in it, I would immediately think that I didn't want to start over, to be a single mom, to deal with everything related to divorce. The fear of change (which has always been a big part of me) kept me in my marriage, even when I probably should have said enough, I can't live like this, we need to change things or I have to leave. It's ironic that fear of risking my marriage caused me to risk my marriage, but since I was so good at compartmentalization, I never saw the affair as risking my marriage. The AP knew me well enough to know that my fear of change meant I would never consider ending my marriage for him, so it didn't feel like that was where I was heading.

I'm not sure I'm explaining this well, but it makes sense to me.


FWW, reconciled with my best friend <3

Nothing much but love to give you, even less have I to hide - Tim O'Brien


Posts: 1140 | Registered: Feb 2009
HUFI-PUFI
Member
Member # 25460
Default  Posted: 12:06 PM, November 2nd (Monday)

The question of ďwhyĒ I had the affair is something that still gnaws at me. I struggle daily with how I could betray not only my wife but myself, with this affair. Now donít get me wrong. I am not saying that I donít know the ďhow and whyĒ on the superficial level, itís the down and dirty, inside your heart and mind reason that I am working towards.

A major part of my story can be found at http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=315647 but in a nut shell, I ended up with an EA with my high school girlfriend after a 30 year period.

Yesterday, my BS and I were talking about our thoughts on ďwhat is love?Ē within the marriage framework. There is no doubt in my mind that we create in our own heads the mental image of what true love really is starting with our FOO and the life experiences that we have as children. I think as adults, we all recognize that this picture changes as time moves on. After all, in some respect, every divorced person or anyone who broke up with someone, walks into the next relationship with a different mental image than they had the first time around. Itís a shifting paradigm in one sense but permanent in another, insofar that the mental image can be rooted so deeply into our psyche that we have a very difficult time seeing the tree for the forest.

In that process of trying to find that deep buried ďwhyĒ, I've been examining the ďhow and whenĒ of when I formulated my ideas on what love were.

I grew up as a reader and as a child, a lot of the books that I read were books where knights would forsake their true love to go off and fight for king and country. Men would do the right thing and forsake their lovers. Women would pine for their husbands away in the far lands. It was romantic, it was heroic, it was doomed and it was tragic. It was also unrealistic but I did not know it as a child. I think that I grew up to view love as a form of limerence which is defined as an involuntary cognitive and emotional state of intense romantic desire for another person. The term was coined by psychologist Dorothy Tennov to describe the ultimate, near-obsessional form of romantic love.

I think that my feelings and thoughts on this ďromantic loveĒ served to set the ground work for my eventual affair. The old fashioned knight in shining armor, unrequited love and doomed love scenarios which I grew up reading about and dreaming about created this "trap" which I have been stuck in since I was a child. Of course, I romanticized my breakup with the OW. After all, I was conditioned to think that "true love could find its own time" in the future if only you held true and dear onto the vision of your love. My heart felt that if I held her in my heart forever, then true love would conquer all. Of course, thatís what my inner voice or my sub-conscious was telling me. So, perhaps, I was living out my doomed and tragic POV when I had my affair. After all, it was so romantic. Star crossed lovers, destiny, doomed forever to be in love but never consummate. And I fell, hook, line and sinker for the whole ďunrealistic, romantic crapĒ and started up this affair.

But now, I am seeing that my behavior in that regard was a huge mistake. I allowed myself to fall into a trap that had no basis in reality but since it did in my fantasy world of "doomed / unrequited" love, thatís what happened. Iím not arguing that this explains all of the mess in my head regarding the feelings to the OS but I think it sets up the ground floor on the ďhowĒ I fell into love with her and then subsequently, it sets up the ďhowĒ I dealt with the breakup 30 years ago. It helps to explain "why" I carried a torch for her ever since then. It helps to explain what happened when we did connect 30 years later.

Of course, we all know how that worked out. Badly! The reality was that I was married and this was not some romantic star crossed lovers rekindling their love scenario, it was in fact, just another ugly, dirty, tawdry affair.

So, while carrying a torch for 30 years might have been this grand romantic gesture in my sub-conscious heart and mind, of course in the real world, it was a disaster in my real world marriage.

Ah well ... I still think this is only the tip of the iceberg. My BS has worries about a future reoccurrence of this and therefore, I am committed to digging deeper and learning more and finding new ways to think and cope with the past. With the grace of God and a kick in the pants from my wife, I am still working at learning why and what I need to do so she and I will be able to one day feel secure that I have the right knowledge and skills to move on.

Thought of the Day - For every lie I told her, I told two to myself.

[This message edited by HUFI-PUFI at 12:22 PM, November 2nd (Monday)]


Donít listen to your head, itís easily confused. Donít listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3226 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
ag333
New Member
Member # 19677
Default  Posted: 12:59 PM, November 2nd (Monday)

Wow, I identify with so many of these posts. I do believe I was unhappy with myself, afraid of change and the unknown. What would happen if I finally put my foot down and ended my marriage? I knew I didn't want to be a single mom but I really should have stood up for myself at some point rather than move forward with the A. I took the wrong path and went on a detour that has takend me almost 7 years to recover from. My H and I are in R and have been for almost 7 years but I don't believe I will ever undo the damage and hurt I caused our marriage.

Posts: 16 | Registered: May 2008
socks60
New Member
Member # 26017
Default  Posted: 3:09 PM, November 2nd (Monday)

Emptycup this sounds a lot like me. Thanks for putting it into words. I Too have fear. I have to find the courage to confront my fear.


Not sure what I want or where I want to be right now :-(

Posts: 26 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Sydney Australia
jahunsmythe
New Member
Member # 25813
Default  Posted: 4:25 PM, November 2nd (Monday)

I did it because I was tired of trying to express my sexuality with my wife who always shot me down. It wasn't just the sex, it was showing love, affection, and a deeper connection with her that I was needing. I'm not blaming her, because I should have done something years before to try to get my needs met. Rather than facing the tough problems, I chose to not bother her with my needs and just take care of it on my own. I actually think it helped remove the stress in our marriage. But it was wrong to do. Wrong to her and to our children.

I don't have a self esteem problem. I have lots of friends, I'm involved in the community, and have a very active lifestyle with exercise, motorcycles, and the outdoors.

It simply comes down to incompatibility in the relationship, which should have been addressed years and years ago.


Posts: 19 | Registered: Oct 2009
petitecrivain
New Member
Member # 26091
Default  Posted: 6:20 PM, November 11th (Wednesday)

[This message edited by petitecrivain at 1:20 AM, May 3rd (Thursday)]


Posts: 28 | Registered: Nov 2009
CookiesAZ
Member
Member # 20897
Default  Posted: 7:10 PM, November 11th (Wednesday)

Because I was a self centered, selfish, heartless. Moron...


me FWW-40's
him BS-41
M-8 yrs.(together 10 yrs.)
1 dog (my baby) no children
DDay-7-25-08
Came home after 7 weeks, and in R since-7-28-08.

Posts: 1004 | Registered: Sep 2008 | From: Arizona
beyondbroken
New Member
Member # 26206
Default  Posted: 7:02 PM, November 15th (Sunday)

I was a deeply unhappy person. Not because of anything BS did. Just because of me. And even as a young girl, I basked in male attention. So, if I ever needed a pick-me-up for my ego, I'd find someone to compliment me and make me feel pretty, interesting, special, etc.

So, years later, after I've evolved into this horribly unhappy person, rather than have to too closely examine the root of my discontent, I sought ways to distract myself from experiencing that pain.

And that was to revert to the patterns of my youth and look for validation from inappropriate sources. In the beginning, it seemed harmless enough. But it soon progressed to such a degree that I could no longer keep track of all the lies I was telling. And truth be told, I was more deeply miserable than ever.

The strange part is, it was never really about the sex for me. It was more that the sex was an eventuality of the flirting and the attention I was seeking.

Through this contemplation, it has caused me to wonder what other insights Waywards have had about themselves and to give them an opportunity to share. I started this thread because there really is no support group for people with the type of addiction I believe I have. And it occurred to me that there may be more of us out there (ie. on this website) than is commonly known.

I've never posted on here but when I read this it almost jumped from the page for me. I couldnt even be patient enough to read the replies because this is me exactly. I have said all of these things to myself--have wondered what the heck is wrong with me that the male attention is that important. Prior to my H's affair, I had always been faithful and had frankly though this side of me had gone away. Whoa, now that I have been thoroughly devastated and felt so worthless, unlovable, undesired...it is like he created a monster. I thrive on the male attention as if to show him, "See, I could get other guys!" I know he knows this now but the thing is, I now crave this male attention/flirting etc more than I want the marriage.


Posts: 1 | Registered: Nov 2009
roller
Member
Member # 22961
Default  Posted: 6:28 PM, November 16th (Monday)

This is a question that I have struggled with for so long and one that I am still descovering about.

I have learned that I had intamacy problems,traits of sexual addition,narsisstic qualities,selfishness,a cruel streak that caused me to emotionally abuse my wife. I also have had to admit that I always think of myself first.

The hardest things for me to understand and admit to were problems with size(mine),being abused while growing up,realizing that I never matured past the age of fifteen or sixteen,how firmly I believed the lies that I told myself.

Understanding somewhat all of this I realized how much I sought out the ever powerful ego stroke and the lengths I went to to get it.

I think I have been this type of person my entire life,a problem that started with my mother,a need to please and hurt at the same time,a role my wife had no idea she was assuming when we got married.

Like everyone else it is a question that still knaws at me.

[This message edited by roller at 6:30 PM, November 16th (Monday)]


Doing nothing is easy work; Doing what's right is hard but rewarding work.

Posts: 355 | Registered: Feb 2009
BitterBetty
Member
Member # 25566
Default  Posted: 1:14 PM, November 18th (Wednesday)

I would love to someday know the answer to this question.


WH: 41
ME: 28
Four kids (his and mine)
Married 2006
D-Day 7/10/09
D-Day 11/10/09

Posts: 113 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: MidWest
MoonLite1
Member
Member # 25547
Default  Posted: 12:10 PM, November 29th (Sunday)

I just read ScarletA's post for the 3rd time. I identified with it almost completely the first and second time too, but I just noticed it was written on our DDay. And since I am also having a very bad day, I thought I would add. I have spent a lot of time contemplating why and applying my BH bullshit veto to all my thoughts. In the end it is all BS because there is never a "good" reason.

ScarletA's post was me except that I had just one A( I know that is not better, I don't want my BH to read this and think I haven't told him everything) This was me as a teen for sure. AND I knew this about myself. I see this in teenage girls all the time and identified with it. I know where it came from and why. AND I still lied to myself at the time the A began. (Talking to one of the "validators" was harmless.)

So why did I do it. I talked to the OM just to catch up after 20 years. I told him how great my life was and how wonderful my marriage was. I think I was looking for him to be envious(validation). But then we started talking about the past and I was drawn back to that time and all the emotion and selfishness that went with it. OM would flatter(validate) me and compliment(validate) me. I would struggle in my head, knowing that my BH didn't deserve what was happening, but then I would crave just one more validation...this happened over and over again...we were texting and calling at that point. One more validation lead to one more and a meeting and it was now all beyond bad. There was no turning back, no validation of anything good, I wanted out, but I needed one more validation. OM was really a piece of crap and it was becoming clear to me even in my fog, but I still wanted one more validation...validation of what? That I am a piece of crap too? What else was there at that point.

My BH discovered the A and plucked me out of what felt like a hurricane in my head. At that moment the fog started to lift, but the destruction was forever. My BH saved me. Even if we don't make it, I will always be grateful that he saved me from myself that time.

But that doesn't leave us with much now. Am I fixable? I want to be fixable. I/we have been going to IC/MC since the week of DDay. But I still don't know how to fix me. The unhappiness with myself since my early teens along with the new contempt for myself over the A makes up poison that might very well kill what is left of the my perfect BH and the marriage that everyone envied, and probably still envies, because they don't know the ugly truth of it(me)now. We put on an impressive fake face for everyone.

I know we love each other very much, but can love conquer all? I am not feeling it today.

( I really want to post on a good day sometime soon.)


(me)FWW-42 , BH - 43
3 kids(21,15,12)
M- 11 years
EA/PA 4 months
DDay 4/5/09
DDay#2 7/09(the stuff i was too scared to tell, i was so wrong!)

I so desperately want my husband to know that I treasure him and every minute with him.


Posts: 74 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: US
Relief
Member
Member # 21989
Default  Posted: 12:05 AM, December 10th (Thursday)

Wow. I as a BS am trying to understand what happened, what went wrong, how could this have happened. What role did I play. 15 months out I still cannot accept that this happened to US. At this point in time I just read here to see her side of the story. My thinking is that it will help me help us and help myself.......

Posts: 122 | Registered: Dec 2008 | From: Chicago
cissie
Member
Member # 17637
Default  Posted: 7:29 AM, December 11th (Friday)

"The strange part is, it was never really about the sex for me. It was more that the sex was an eventuality of the flirting and the attention I was seeking." Me too.

I think my BH understands that part about me now. I too had a need for validation from men even at a young age. It may have been triggered by
inappropriate attention from an older man when I was around 13. Or maybe that fed into something that was already there. So we go back to a futher deeper why, and I have not been able to find anything except a basic flaw.

We all know that people are different in their physical addictions. Some have drink, some have tobacco. Some are killed by drugs, some overcome, and some never get hooked.
I am not trying to excuse it, but this need for validation runs very deep in some of us. We therefore need to recogniste this trait and develop the coping skills of an addict


Posts: 514 | Registered: Jan 2008
HUFI-PUFI
Member
Member # 25460
Default  Posted: 12:24 AM, December 17th (Thursday)

Bump


Donít listen to your head, itís easily confused. Donít listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3226 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
hiswifefor20
New Member
Member # 26652
Default  Posted: 9:12 AM, December 17th (Thursday)

This is an exercise in honesty.. I posted on Just Found Out a few days ago, My H was visiting escorts regularly - or not if I believe him (which I am trying to do) I am a compelation of everyone on all of these posts. I am a WW and a BW - I am ashamed and humiliated.

It's ok if no one reads this.. I just need to say it.

In 2000 I lost my oldest brother to cancer, he was 50 years old, an alcoholic and the saddest person I ever knew. I helped my parents care for him, as he was divorced and his children were not quite old enough to do what had to be done. The same month my exH's father died from cancer. I liked him, and am sorry I didn't have to strength to visit with him while he was ill. Then in October of 2000 my mother died after a 2 month battle with cancer - she didn't know she was ill until I came by the house one day and noticed she was yellow - her liver was failing and she was full of cancer. I was the only child able to stay with her regularly and help Dad care for her. She was angry, and scared and I dealt with her each day. I cried constantly - and suffered with major depression for months. My H was supportive, in his way - but I was so sad, and so lonely, to the point of being suicidal. During this time, I befriended a man online. Chatting and unloading all my problems to a stranger who passively listened and expressed empathy .. and I "fell in love" with the idea of him. I began meeting with him and having coffee and talking.. all the while I was caring for mom I'd call him for support and I know that I was shutting my H out, and using this OM when I should have turned to my H. I also became "friendly" with a more agressively sexual man, and finally - just before I was hospitalized for suicidal thoughts, I became involved with another man who promised me love, happiness and an escape from my state of mind. My H confronted me, and honestly I don't know if it was before or after I was hospitalized now - (I was in a psychiatric hospital for several weeks) - medicated to the hilt and diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, major depressive disorder and God-knows what else. Looking back on my A 0r As as they were I was desperate for the pain of my situation to go away, just for a while.. and the attention from outside my real life did that temporarily. My H said it took years to get over for him. For me, it was done once I was on the proper meds, and back in my right mind. (during all this - I had blackouts, slept for days, lost 40 pounds, and had hallucinations from my meds)

My father passed Dec of 2007 - sad and hard but I kept my focus on what was good, and didn't have the major despression like with mom. My youngest daughter had a son, and gave it up for adoption - she moved to CO, then CA and married a boy last monday - she told me 3 days b4..

Three days or so before Thanksgiving - I discovered my H was seeing escorts. So now the shoe is on the other foot -- and me -- being the squishy, easily injured thing that I am -- I am devastated. and a hypocrite .. I hate what he did, I am disgusted and I feel I can't blame him. I deserve this, what comes around goes around.

UGHHHH.. I am lost - and afraid of losing my mind yet again.

I am making an appointment to see a IC for now. But I have to admit I am afraid that I can't deal with it all..

Sorry for the long mess.. I just needed to let it out, and better here than somewhere else. Thank you all for listening..


Posts: 3 | Registered: Dec 2009
Devestatedx5
Member
Member # 16557
Default  Posted: 9:21 AM, December 17th (Thursday)

(((hiswifefor20)))
From your post, sounds as if you need a hug. Here it is. Best wishes on your journey.


FBS-me (49)
FWH(57) ONS 8.19.07
Dday: 9.19.07
Married +26 years
RE-MARRIED 4.28.11
----------
Proverbs 31:10-31
Sometimes people are SO open-minded that that their brains fall out.

Posts: 2598 | Registered: Oct 2007
mommy0508
Member
Member # 24720
Default  Posted: 12:37 PM, December 17th (Thursday)

I can relate to so many of these things in here that you all have written in myself and I am the BS. I see none of these in WH.

Just opens a whole new can of worms.

Thank you Scarlet


Wipe your mouth there is still a little bit of bullshit around your lips!
D-Day #1: 5/29/09
D-Day # 2: 7/1/08
D-Day #3: 6/17/10 possible oc on way and
my own little miracle on the way-miscarried!

Posts: 733 | Registered: Jul 2009
dizzney
Member
Member # 21689
Default  Posted: 1:06 PM, December 17th (Thursday)

My H cheated on me for 5 years. It made me feel worthless.

[This message edited by dizzney at 5:11 PM, January 2nd (Sunday)]


Married currently 22 yrs (dday 20)
8 kids (6 to 21) (dday 3 to 18)
Dday-7/10/08
HIM-9 yrs secret email, 5 yr EA, 3 yr PA
w/college gf, MOW/3kids
Separated since NOV. 09

Posts: 1124 | Registered: Nov 2008
allgone
New Member
Member # 23445
Default  Posted: 5:34 PM, December 17th (Thursday)

[This message edited by allgone at 12:05 PM, April 4th (Wednesday)]


Posts: 33 | Registered: Mar 2009
Iamsooscared
Member
Member # 24319
Default  Posted: 5:25 PM, January 3rd (Sunday)

I don't really have anything to add at this time, but I find this to be good reading, so I'm bumping for reading/food for thought for the newbies.


Me: Forgiven WW (40's)
He: BH (40's)
DDay 05/01/09 - see profile for details.
Kids - DD & DS
Working on R
Character: Its what you do when no one is looking.

Posts: 495 | Registered: Jun 2009
astudentoflife
Member
Member # 25821
Default  Posted: 5:57 PM, January 3rd (Sunday)

I finally realized today why I did it and continued to cause hurt and pain to my wife, even during supposed R. Why I kept truth from her and trickled truth.

Because I am a selfish person with low self-esteem. Because I think only of myself first. Have done in all of my relationships from the time I was a teenager.

I went through two other marriages, before I met my current partner. I hurt my second wife and left her with two young kids for an affair and then onto this relationship.

I never once looked at myself and became comfortable with myself. I was a man without any boundaries for myself, although I demanded them of my partner.

Today, I finally took a step in getting rid of the self. I told my wife of a deceitful thing I did during the time she went on holiday to Tennessee. I had planned out this deceit with secret emails and a Walmart card. It wasn't an affair, with a live woman. It was internet porn instead.I finally understood that me protecting myself, was the root cause of this entire mess. It was so freeing.

My relationship with my BW has probably been the best thing to happen to me ever. She has talked and talked of boundaries. She has given me support all along. Forgiveness after forgiveness.

It finally hit me that this was what a decent, faithful,loving person looked like. There in front of my eyes. There I was a liar, a cheater, a manipulator. The truth hit me square in the eye.

I have made decision to affair "proof" myself. I have always been lazy and never did the hard work to change myself. Another reason of why I did it. I have never had the courage to look myself in the eye and see what it was that was wrong with me. I always laid blame on everyone else.

In short I did it because I was a coward. I felt entitled. I took and took and never gave. I was/am a selfish son of a bitch.

How I got here, I don't know yet. My brother and sister are as dysfunctional as I am. I think the answer lies in my childhood. I am comitted to changing from this POS that sits here today.


WS:52 Male
BS:47 Female
Working towards R and forgiveness.
Also working on domestic abuse issues (9 months abuse free, working hard for more)
My wife is my greatest teacher and best friend.


Posts: 320 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Florida
HUFI-PUFI
Member
Member # 25460
Default  Posted: 12:55 AM, February 2nd (Tuesday)

TIME FOR A BUMP


Donít listen to your head, itís easily confused. Donít listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3226 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
HUFI-PUFI
Member
Member # 25460
Default  Posted: 8:50 AM, March 24th (Wednesday)

Because ((turtle72)) needs to think about this a bit more ... and it never hurts to think about "why' for all the rest of us too!


Donít listen to your head, itís easily confused. Donít listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3226 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
GroundZero
Member
Member # 27853
Default  Posted: 10:57 AM, March 24th (Wednesday)

Wow, so much of the discussion above applies to me. The driving need for external validation. The fears of abandonment. The FOO and abuse issues. The cowardice and selfishness.

Yes, my marriage was completely and irredeemably in tatters. But nothing, NOTHING excuses what I did. The betrayal. The lying. That's on ME. I should have had the cajones (metaphorically) to address my marriage before I gave myself sexually or emotionally to another man. There is no way around that truth.

One thing no one ever seems to say is a factor, however...one thing that that I am taking a tremendous *gulp* before saying it was for me: after finally divorcing my xBH, after months of NC with OM - I still believe to the core of my soul that I really truly love(d) OM. I know, I know .

I am sure so many of you are thinking "the fog, the fog, she's in the fog!" Hell, maybe I am. I know that I am not a master of self-understanding yet. Maybe I'll realize one day years from now that it wasn't anything more than a false construct in my mind. But I am not with OM and I wasn't even as I divorced my BH. I never will be with OM again. I am not with xBH either. And I never will be with him again either (thank goodness!).

I am embracing the time alone to work on myself and the issues that made me feel like it was okay to have an A. It wasn't. I own that. My hurtful and selfish choices were not justified in any way.

But I can't say that I didn't love OM. I did. I do. I think I will always. And that did play a role in why I did it.


Out of clutter, find simplicity; out of discord, find harmony; in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. Einstein

Posts: 1777 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: Land of the Sweet Lovely Kiddos
Kwills
Member
Member # 13172
Default  Posted: 9:59 PM, March 24th (Wednesday)

One thing no one ever seems to say is a factor, however...one thing that that I am taking a tremendous *gulp* before saying it was for me: after finally divorcing my xBH, after months of NC with OM - I still believe to the core of my soul that I really truly love(d) OM. I know, I know

You are not alone.

Kwills


Posts: 1052 | Registered: Jan 2007
Lost68
Member
Member # 27515
Default  Posted: 10:27 PM, March 24th (Wednesday)

I wanted to. I'm addicted to porn and the A was the next level, simple.
Why I'm a (SA) addict? Still digging but I have some ideas. Fears of rejection, anesthetizing, self-medicating...
I'm a alcoholic in recovery too.

Posts: 1476 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: Sevilla
broken1967
Member
Member # 25795
Shutup  Posted: 4:48 AM, March 25th (Thursday)

Great post. i to have been pondering this thought for some time like many here i did not have any reason to cheat, i had it all, a wonderful wife. i was and have issues, though those were not a reason for the an A; i still cant pin down what it was that drove me to go for 5yrs, wasn't the sex, maybe the attention, the hole time during i had no thought as to what i was doing, except the secrecy, and the deception i had going, trying to live out to lives, both were complete opposite, i had it really good in my marriage. and the other i had nothing more then a sex buddy, though that came with a kind of relationship pattern that grew over the yrs.

i keep asking my self why, why for so long, why her in particular, why not others, i had the open door to shag who i liked, so why pick one and stay. its been hard trying to explain this to my bs,for i dont know the why. it really makes no sense.

for me it was like i could have any cake in the shop, as long as i never had the same one, and i told my wife what cake i had. and then i decide i not want to do that and go across the road and have a doughnut, for 5 yrs, ??? it really bothers me too..

i certainly had my feel of the cake and eat it thing, and never a again will i look at another cake in that way again....


Me W.S
Her B.S (user worthmore31)
d-day 16 jan 09
5yr LTA
TRICKLE TRUTHED TILL SEPT

Posts: 105 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: United Kingdom
Workin It Out
Member
Member # 27473
Default  Posted: 1:17 PM, March 25th (Thursday)

BS here. No stop sign so I'll ask.

My WW had a 7 month affair with a coworker who was located 2000 miles away. Made many trips, for work, to his location in 2009. She had worked with him a few times before in the previous 5 years, but strictly professional and never one on one. Barely knew anything personal except that he was married and had lived in our home state as a kid.

From everything I have read, affairs usually begin as a friendship and then get physical. She started with the PA and then developing the EA. My WW ended up going out to dinner alone with him one night in June because another coworker wasn't able to make it. Within 3 hours she ended up going to bed with him and the affair began. The freindship developed after the affair was going on.

She doesn't understand why she did it. She said she was happily married. Said she wasn't looking for it. We are beginning MC next week to try and understand.

Just curious to see if any WS have a similar story and if they were able to come to any conclusions as to why.

[This message edited by Workin It Out at 2:40 PM, March 25th (Thursday)]


I believe there's a ghost of a chance we can find someone to love....And make it last - Rush

Posts: 130 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: Between here and somewhere else
HelpBLV
Member
Member # 27914
Default  Posted: 1:36 PM, March 25th (Thursday)

She doesn't understand why she did it. She said she was happily married. Said she wasn't looking for it. We are beginning MC next week to try and understand.

I think in my circumstance, xOW could have been anybody giving me a certain type of attention. It started the same way, EA, then became a PA.

I'm owning my s***, but I think I've come to the realization that I had a poor understanding of what a relationship is, and I'm obviously living and forced to accept the consequences.

I was very similar, very happy with my relationship, and then out of nowhere, I started the EA.

I've come to realize that through my upbringing, experiences (or lack of), and lack of a sense of consequences led me to choose the way I did. I know that's being general, but there are specific things in my personal development from childhood to adulthood that really molded me.

I'm not ready yet to be more specific on my situation, but I'm getting there.


Me: FWBF
Striving to work towards R as xBGF indicates she doesn't want to
D-Day: 2/7/10

Posts: 118 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: Concord, CA
Workin It Out
Member
Member # 27473
Default  Posted: 2:38 PM, March 25th (Thursday)

Thanks for your input BLV

But my wife was the opposite. The PA started first with a coworker that at the time equated to be almost a complete stranger. The EA and remaining months of the PA developed after that first night.


I believe there's a ghost of a chance we can find someone to love....And make it last - Rush

Posts: 130 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: Between here and somewhere else
Lost68
Member
Member # 27515
Default  Posted: 3:02 PM, March 25th (Thursday)

Deleted. I was out of line. Sorry.

[This message edited by Lost68 at 12:29 PM, March 26th (Friday)]


Posts: 1476 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: Sevilla
metamorphisis
Administrator
Member # 12041
Red  Posted: 8:25 PM, March 25th (Thursday)

Workin It Out.

BS's can not pose questions for the WS's in this forum regardless of stop signs.

You can ask questions in the "BS questions for WS" thread in the I Can Relate forum.

You can find it here.
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=342072



ďWe don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.Ē... Anais Nin

Posts: 43895 | Registered: Sep 2006
Workin It Out
Member
Member # 27473
Default  Posted: 9:32 PM, March 25th (Thursday)

My sincerest apologies for posting a question. I misunderstood the stop sign symbol.


I believe there's a ghost of a chance we can find someone to love....And make it last - Rush

Posts: 130 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: Between here and somewhere else
changed forever
Member
Member # 6995
Default  Posted: 8:45 AM, March 26th (Friday)

I don't know how to explain without falling into justification and rationalization. There is no excuse for my emotional affair. I knew even while I was doing it that it was wrong. Just couldn't turn off that need to be wanted, to be desired.

The last six years have been hellish. Not always, but for long stretches. I never recovered from WH/BH's affair. He was unrepentant, trickle truthed me to the very limits of my sanity, he sexually rejected me for three and a half years, mooned over his OW's email more than once, and I suspect but cannot prove he's had several ONSs since. And there's a lot more. Way too much to post.

It did a number on my mental state.

My biggest justification was that if he felt it was OK to continue to lie, then fine, I was just going to play by his rules. In other words, I developed a huge case of the fuck-its. Selfish, stupid, immature, I know. But that's where my head was at.


Mad hatters.
Him: 51
Me: 50
Married 23 years.

My DDay No. 1: April 2, '04
DDay No. 2: June 23, '04
DDay No. 3: July '04

We don't live together, but we haven't actually divorced yet.


Posts: 539 | Registered: Apr 2005 | From: Far from home
OpethAZ
New Member
Member # 27940
Default  Posted: 11:31 AM, March 26th (Friday)

I had what I'd call an AHA moment yesterday (and no, I wasn't listening to 80's pop music). It hit me that the affairs were a way for me to celebrate.

All through my life I'd accomplish things and there was never any external validation (worthless mom in my picture, divorce, abuse... the list goes on). I had no mechanism to tell myself that I did well and I went and found it elsewhere. For me, it felt my BS was too close to me to be an external validator. I know she was proud of me and things I had done, but I wanted more. I wanted someone who didn't know me to tell me how amazing I was and how great I did. That was asinine at best and destructive to an nth degree.

The pattern is so obvious now. Got a girlfriend (my W now) go have an affair. Got a huge promotion, affair time, had a baby, celebrate with someone else. I feel a sense of relief to know the why, but the act will always haunt me.


Posts: 10 | Registered: Mar 2010
Sammee
New Member
Member # 28017
Default  Posted: 10:49 AM, March 28th (Sunday)

Like many other posts here, I too suffer low self esteem, was abused in many ways as a young child, and loved the attention that men would give me. I became addicted to the attention of other men. The sexual part for me was very shameful, and sad, but seemed like the price to pay for the attention.

Posts: 2 | Registered: Mar 2010
HUFI-PUFI
Member
Member # 25460
Default  Posted: 12:14 PM, June 3rd (Thursday)

Perhaps itís time to bump this one up again for everyone. It never hurts to keep asking this question and digging deeper each time that you do ask. Somewhere the truth is out there and when we find it, then the real healing begins.

To paraphrase the X-Files, the truth is out there!

HUFI


Donít listen to your head, itís easily confused. Donít listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3226 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
Lost68
Member
Member # 27515
Default  Posted: 10:38 AM, June 28th (Monday)

Bump

Posts: 1476 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: Sevilla
Lost68
Member
Member # 27515
Default  Posted: 9:20 PM, July 3rd (Saturday)

One more bump

Posts: 1476 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: Sevilla
HUFI-PUFI
Member
Member # 25460
Default  Posted: 7:15 AM, September 30th (Thursday)

I have my first IC session scheduled for tomorrow and so, perhaps the answer(s) to this question will more clearly revealed in the upcoming weeks. And yes, I am nervous about the session and the process.

I think that I have some of the root causes identified in the past year of reflection and digging although LF feels that I'm still not really facing the truth face on. But I am hoping that IC will be able to help me focus on this issue.

As itís been said before, the statement of "selfish bastard" doesn't really count as the answer to the question and neither does ďshe was my xgf and I had unresolved issuesĒ.

Considering our D-day was over a year ago, the late IC might seem strange but considering my overseas work, it was the best that we could do at this time. With that in mind, I strongly encourage all the WSís to continue on their IC paths so they can get to the root of their issues and work on that along with the other things such as boundaries, transparency, intimacy etc.

Yes, itís a long and hard road ahead for many of us but with professional IC and the help of friends on SI, we have it within ourselves to become the spouses that we want to be for our partners.

HUFI

Wisdom from Gamine - Make a decision and discipline yourself not to waver. Don't be someone who stands for nothing. Stand for what you decide and back it with the full force of your character and conviction. DECIDE. CHOOSE. COMMIT. PERIOD.


Donít listen to your head, itís easily confused. Donít listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3226 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
HUFI-PUFI
Member
Member # 25460
Default  Posted: 12:25 PM, November 16th (Tuesday)

bumped so self_inflicted can see that she is not alone in her journey.


Donít listen to your head, itís easily confused. Donít listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3226 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
WhatHaveIDone??
Member
Member # 30054
Default  Posted: 10:18 PM, November 16th (Tuesday)

Wow...what an incredible post and clearly one that strikes a cord with so many of us WSs seeing as it has been ongoing for over 2 years! Thank you HUFI-PUFI for bumping again...it may have been intended for self_inflicted, but I am right there with them. This is exactly the discussion I was having and realization I came to in IC last night. I was discussing it with my BH and he mentioned this post. There are too many pieces of this string that apply to me to begin to quote. It is somewhat reassuring to see so many other WSs who struggle with the same self-confidence and need for external validations issues I do.

Thanks to ScarletA for starting and for all the WSs and BSs for sharing over the years. This is one that should be on a permanent BUMP.


Posts: 342 | Registered: Nov 2010
not so happy
Member
Member # 26418
Shutup  Posted: 12:53 AM, November 18th (Thursday)

I've known I have low self esteem. Never really thought of the need for external validation, but yes unfortunately that has been a leading factor in my life looking back. As my bs has said many times I care too much what others think.

I was a big flirt and show off (the loud jokster In the group) to cover my inadequacies. Make fun of myself before someone else could (at least in my mind, probably had a lot to do with being born harelip and cleft palate with a speech impedemint,that my wife has never noticed until after dday) in all honesty most people don't notice. But to me my speech has always been a big deal

I think these things and probably the way I was raised (very young parent). Has made me an emotionaly and sexually immature person.

Anytime any woman seemed to show me what I thought more than normal attention. I thought she likes me and this was exciting. I was smart enough (or lucky enough) to not spend much time with these women knowing this might be a problem for me.

The ow my BSs BBF was also my boss at the time was a recent widow when I came in to help her with their company that they ran out of there home. The other woman was a known adultress. I'm not sure who started the flirting probably me. When she responded instead of me running away I stayed and didn't confide in my BS. Instead I was there day in day out playing with fire until the point the PA started. Once that started the sexual imaturity really kicked in and I acted like a teenager. Not caring about anyone are anything but this selfish POS in my skin. It didn't matter if the ow wanted to do anything are not she had once and that was enough for me to keep trying like that imature teenager.

Its been a year and a half since dday and eleven years since the A. This is the first time I've really come to grasps with a lot of this In this post.

Thanks for this eyeopening thread.

Stongandwomanly don't give up on me please.even though you've married such a horrible person


Very seldom


Ds 17
3DDs 15. 12. 10

Posts: 66 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: not so happy
mumma
Member
Member # 29657
Default  Posted: 11:38 AM, November 18th (Thursday)

I am working hard on my why. From a very high level, I am broken. Have been for a long time. I have numerous FOO issues which have led to not being honest about my feelings, having low self-esteem, and wanting lots of external validation. Those FOO issues led to a lot of really bad choices for me--horrible choices in relationships that led me to be betrayed over and over again--a constant downward spiral. It started in earnest when I was a freshman in highschool, and continued up to getting married. Also had a couple of sexual traumas that I never dealt with. These are not excuses, just explanations as to why I am broken. And I am ashamed to say, these are the same issues that reappeared with the A. Had I only fixed my broken self, this never would have happened. The sad thing is, the reason i didn't work on myself if because I subjugated my own needs and feelings. I was afraid that spending time in counseling would cause too many scheduling headaches for my H and my kids, and I was also just a bit afraid of doing the work. I was not introspective enough to realize how important it was for me to deal with these issues until it was too late.

I strongly relate to this:

I completely relied on other people's opinions of me to determine how I felt about myself. I always have.

I have had various boundry issues because I am more worried about other people's opinion of me that I am about asserting myself and doing what I know is the right thing to do. I have also been taught not to rock the boat because you might hurt other people's feelings, or they might not like you. I have been a doormat because I want external validation, I have been subject to way too much peer pressure for the same reason. I had an A because of this reason. I wanted the external validation from OM so badly that I crossed boundries to get it, knowing it was immoral and inconsistent with my core beliefs.

I also greatly identify with this:

nothing I ever did was good enough. Not for other people, but for me. And as many successes or positive things I had going for me, I could only ever focus on the one or two negatives that I experienced. They ballooned in my mind. They festered. They occupied all my thoughts, all my attention. To the outside world... heck, to my BW... I seemed a confident, charming, capable fellow. Inside... I felt anything but.

I think this negativity and striving for some type of f'd up perfectionism is what has caused me to be so unhappy with who I am. I think it comes from FOO issues. At the time of the A, I wanted to be another person. I hated not that I was a mom, but that I wasn't the good type of mom that I wanted to be. I hated that I was getting older, and no longer felt desirable. I hated that I had this great title at work, but because of family obligations and my own lack of interest in my job, felt I was always letting down my managers and wasn't doing a very good job. I liked being married and a wife, but I had this view that my marriage wasn't very good, and that H and I didn't love each other anymore the way we should as H and W (again, this perfectionism thing made me have this warped sense of what our love should be like, and when it wasn't I made some assumptions that took me to worst case scenario). Basically, I felt I was failing at every single aspect of my life.


I am still working on this stuff a lot and I'm not fully there yet, but if I had to sum it up, knowing what I know now, I would say this:

I had horrible self-esteem and a driven need for external validation--i didn't love myself, and my need for these things led me to want OM's attention so badly that I crossed boundries to get it.

I didn't raise my brokenness and my unhappiness with my H because of FOO and past betrayls, that led me to silence myself, and be so afraid of not being loved or being left alone, that I buried the issues--I guess maybe I thought it was easier to get the immediate need to external validation met, than to tackle all of this pain.

The question i am still struggling with, as is my BH, is why the need for external validation--my own ego--became more important than my morals, my committment to my H and kids.

A very warped imbalance, indeed. I'll keep working to figure that out.

I used a lot of compartmentalization and self talk to maintain that balance and continue the A. In the end, the balance shifted back. But it was too late, the A had already happened.

For that, I am ashamed and so very sorry.


Me: FWW (37)
BH: 37
2 little boys (4 & 6)
Married 11 years
6-wk. A over text & IM with two physical encounters (kissing) in last 3 wks.
I have caused unimaginable pain. I will work everyday to repair it.

Posts: 110 | Registered: Sep 2010
mumma
Member
Member # 29657
Default  Posted: 11:48 AM, November 18th (Thursday)

One more thought:

someone said this:

Me telling him he's hot, has a terrific bod, etc. (he does have all of those qualities), is like a mother telling her "uncool" kid that he/she is cool.

I have explained this same feeling to my BS. The question is, why, when my parents told me these things, did I not love myself or trust them enough to believe them, and why, in more recent history, did I feel the same way when my BH said them to me. I have the feeling some of this has to do with words being inconsistent with actions. (that is not said to blame)

The natural follow up question then, is why, for at least a time, did we waywards believe these compliments or affirmatios more coming from the OP?

I'm going to be thinking about that one, but I know this for sure: It didn't take me very long to realize I didn't believe them from the OP either. In fact, my short term belief of these validations from OP just made me feel even more pathetic in the end... and on top of that, I betrayed the ones I love the most to get those bullshit affirmations.


Me: FWW (37)
BH: 37
2 little boys (4 & 6)
Married 11 years
6-wk. A over text & IM with two physical encounters (kissing) in last 3 wks.
I have caused unimaginable pain. I will work everyday to repair it.

Posts: 110 | Registered: Sep 2010
sosorry75
New Member
Member # 30131
Default  Posted: 3:50 AM, November 19th (Friday)

I haven't gotten through this entire thread yet but what I have seen so far is eye-opening! I, like many, didn't know I was looking for external validation until it landed in my lap. The attention felt good and soon became addictive. The attention from from FAP became addictive and turned into curiousity. I have been with my husband since the age of 15 and I am now 35. We have been best friends. He has always told me how beautiful I am. I was never the pretty girl, or the thin girl growing up. My friends always got the attention from boys/men. Never me. I was shy as a child and teen. Never thought I would become one of those couples who is in counseling and having trouble. We were the couple that everyone envied. I wasn't abused as a child. My parents are still together after 41 years of marriage. My BH was the one with the crappy childhood. He should have been the one to be unfaithful. I have been doing alot of soul searching, talking and listening to my BH. And the MC is a great help too. I am not one for excuses. There is no excuse for what I have done. But I will find the reason so it never happens again. A predatory FAP, low self-esteem, a child-centered marriage. I now realize I don't need that external validation. I never did. Now that the A is over, NC since D day, I have felt so clear-headed. I hated how distracted I was by my A. I hated that I spent so much time thinking about him, wondering about him. It was a huge weight off my shoulders when my BH found out what I had been doing. I think I wanted to get caught, needed to get caught. I couldn't stop this obsession/addiction to this other person on my own. I feel more in love with, connected to, and happy with my BH than I have in a long time and it feels a gazillion times better than the external validation. Just wish I knew it sooner:-(


working hard every day towards forgiveness:-)

Posts: 14 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: East Coast
HUFI-PUFI
Member
Member # 25460
Default  Posted: 4:12 PM, December 5th (Sunday)

Bumped so LovingASoldiercan read and learn about the "why" of our affairs.


Donít listen to your head, itís easily confused. Donít listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3226 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
nikki327
New Member
Member # 30436
Default  Posted: 2:13 AM, January 7th (Friday)

I'm a BS but my whs excuse was the chance to do it occurred. Then its the old,"it just happened and got out of hand." I personally think it was a number of reasons:
#1. I'm the dominant one in our marriage, his ow was very submissive.
#2. We Were about yo have our third child, I had quit my job to be a SAHM, we had matured LOL.
#3. He was promoted at work where he worked with ow...power trip?
#4. He has always liked porn but it never bothered me before. Maybe some connection?
#5. He began hanging out with the single guys at his job. I think he wanted the freedom and he never really lived the single life since we had began dating in high school.
#6. I focused on our girls 24/7...He felt neglected.


BS-28
WH-28
Married 8 Yrs
3 kids 7,4 and 1 all girls
DD 1/18/2010
In R since late August
Anger is my enemy *
*turn your wounds into wisdom*



Posts: 15 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: alabama
mactruck
Member
Member # 29791
Default  Posted: 9:35 AM, January 7th (Friday)

I remember this post from when I was a lurker. This post was fundamental in my discovering the why for me. I've come a long way since then.

My why story. Simply it was external validation mixed with an exit A.

I feel if I tell the depth of my story it might give too many details to indenfiy me and I'm not comfortable with that.

It does stem from my childhood (not mom and dad) but in HS. It also stemmed from having poor boundaries and being an ENOURMOUS flirt.

I've come a long way. This thread saved me.


There is no spell check. My typing is horrible... Therefore I apologize for errors.

I pray everyday for forgiveness.


Posts: 149 | Registered: Oct 2010
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 12:15 PM, January 7th (Friday)

I've been mulling over my why for several days now. I feel I relate with very few on this site. I see many waywards who come on board and say things like they never thought they could be capable of such a thing as cheating, never thought they could be the kind of person capable of lying to and hurting their loved ones.

If I'm being truly honest with myself, I knew I would have problems with infidelity, serious problems. I knew my skills at deceit were not only trained but well honed. I knew I was not mentally ready to get married, I knew my brokenness, but I let my husband, innocent and wanting to save me, I let him believe that he could, when deep down, I knew who I was, what I was. Who gets married and has kids when they know they will cheat? But I knew I would cheat, I really did, there wasn't a question of if, it was when.

I've seen my share of posts that downplay effects of sexual abuse, that it's not a good enough reason, it's a get-out-of-jail free card that people use to manipulate others and whine and boo hoo. All I know is that for me, my why has everything to do with my abuse. My entire childhood memories is nothing but the abuse, about hiding it, lying about it, living in terror of being discovered and destroying my family, or living in terror of it never ever stopping.

I remember by high school I had the words to describe and rationalize the incest. I seriously considered myself as the other woman, that's what I was, that's what I actually told myself. I was my father's other woman. It was a lot easier to rationalize why still, at 17, 18, 19, a practical adult, was having a sexual relationship with her father. It was much more difficult to see the helpless victim of abuse.

The long years of abuse left me empty, dead inside, I felt murdered, but my body, this living carcass, the shell of me, kept on walking and talking. I was determined to fix that. I didn't stumble into infidelity by accident, I opened the door and walked through it with open eyes and open arms. It chills me to know I was actively seeking my own destruction and I didn't care who got caught in the crossfire. I wasn't seeking escape from a problematic marriage or looking for some excitement on the side. I wasn't addicted to male attention and ego boosts, I just wanted to die. I sent out an open invitation to death. I didn't care if this guy or the next guy was going to be the one to finally put me out of my misery. But after each time, I was left emptier still, disappointed I survived again, to live another day to tell the tale, having to go back and face my disgust and self hatred and self loathing. It was all very cowardly, and not only self-destructive, but the damage meted out to those intertwined in my life, utterly selfish with complete disregard to the innocents around me. Only a person truly broken beyond repair does this.

It sounds like a justification, an excuse. I cheated because I had an abusive childhood. Of course I had low self-esteem, non-existent boundaries, entitlement, selfishness, FOO issues and on and on and effing on. But I remember things a 3 year old should never remember, no daughter should know exactly what it's like to be screwed by her father on the living room floor, in her bed, in her parent's bed, no child should be exposed to and forced to endure such depravity, no child's trust should be shattered in such a way, and no child, a mother herself now, should envy her own children's abuse-free lives.

I have been chewing things over and over since reading a post by wincing sparkles about accepting personal responsibility. I argued with WS over a few points...in my head only, but necessary for me to fully digest such a powerful post.

My parents did make me what I am today, it is the luck of the draw. These thoughts , and a couple others, caused me to stop and take serious reflection and inventory of my internal rhetoric and personal truths, and a bigger and more powerful truth emerged. I need to stop punishing that helpless child, even now. No one but me wishes her dead, and no one but me can now save her and give her the care she deserves. I'm a sexual abuse survivor. It may define me, but it does not doom me for a lifetime of inappropriate choices. I'm broken, but not beyond repair. I have the tools, the insight and knowledge that I didn't have before, but I do now. I am not dead. I am alive and deserve to live in every sense of the word. I have purpose, I am useful, I am not helpless. I have choices. I make my own choices, as I always have.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 726 | Registered: Jun 2010
mactruck
Member
Member # 29791
Default  Posted: 1:46 PM, February 1st (Tuesday)

Bump. THis really helped me.


There is no spell check. My typing is horrible... Therefore I apologize for errors.

I pray everyday for forgiveness.


Posts: 149 | Registered: Oct 2010
btnora
Member
Member # 30929
Default  Posted: 5:10 PM, February 1st (Tuesday)

And even as a young girl, I basked in male attention

This quote perfectly describes me. I have always sought out male attention and approval. I was a daddy's girl until my dad passed away when I was 12. I was very promiscuous as a a teen. I was often told how pretty I was and I learned at an early age that my looks could get me just about anything I wanted. I know how horrible that sounds, but it's how it was for me. I suppose the one thing that my looks couldn't do for me was make me happy and they couldn't bring back my dad...who I so terribly missed.

I was a terrible flirt and still am to a certain extent. I am aware of it now and make a constant effort to keep it toned down, but it is something I have to make myself do.

I hadn't really thought about it until just recently, but I cheated on every serious boyfriend I had prior to getting married. In fact, the man I've been married to for 23 was someone I had cheated with. Now that I have recognized the pattern, I am somewhat shocked that I managed to be faithful to my husband for 23 years.

So I guess the answer to your question would be that I cheated because I look for approval and worthiness from external sources. The thing that scares me the most is that if I don't figure out what I need to really and truly need to be happy with myself, that I will fall back into the same old pattern and do it again. I don't EVER want to do this again and I am 100% certain that my husband wouldn't stick around for a second dose of this pain and misery.

Hopefully with continued IC and MC I can get this all figured out.


WW-Me 46
BH-Him 48
4 kids
Married 25 years

Posts: 76 | Registered: Jan 2011
hurt314
Member
Member # 31042
Default  Posted: 5:17 PM, February 1st (Tuesday)

BS here. This is helpful. My is/was/has been severely depressed. Once, this is how it manifested. There have been other damaging things he has done while depressed. I see that he is not alone (and there for not full of it).
I also have to say this: I think that the real betrayal was that he never sought help for what I knew was damaging to our marriage.
Acknowledging and seeking help for depression/self image/self-loathing issues goes a long way.


Me-W-34
Him 36.
3 little girls.
He ruined our lives. Currently married and trying to make the best life for my children. There is no hope for us but I have hope for them.

Posts: 713 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Not Portland, Oregon... But close
redfroggy
Member
Member # 4512
Default  Posted: 5:51 PM, February 1st (Tuesday)

If you don't mind me asking, for I am asking this out of personal experience...

What was your relationship with your parents like?
Did you suffer any molestation, abuse, or rape as a child or teen?

What can happen to a girl is if she is abused in some way, she starts to seek validation for her worth by promiscuious behavior. Problem is that you get used more, you feel worse, you search for more. You start looking for any validation.

you are not alone, your not the first person to go through this. Unfortunately I have known so many women who sought the wrong kind of attention, because they were so empty inside.

You may have to do a little thinking and soul searching, to figure out the source of that emptiness.

And learn to forgive yourself and not be ashamed anymore.

Best of luck to you.


I give a lot of tough love, nothing personal, because sometimes toughness is what you need to move forward.
Betrayal and reconciliation 2004
Now seperated for much more complicated reasons.
The love of my life DS 2005

Posts: 599 | Registered: May 2004 | From: Maryland
HUFI-PUFI
Member
Member # 25460
Default  Posted: 9:43 AM, March 10th (Thursday)

It was time to bump this back to the front where it might be read again and the wisdom in it shared once more. BUMP!


Donít listen to your head, itís easily confused. Donít listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3226 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
striker9
New Member
Member # 32107
Default  Posted: 9:56 AM, May 23rd (Monday)

I have never been diagnosed with any sort of emotional or mental problems however the more I read the more I think I am suffering from depression. I always thought depression was one particular thing and there were no variables, now that I am older I realize I was wrong. I went through chemo 2.5 years ago and realize I don't think I have been truly happy since then. I have a great wife but I feel gray and drab inside. There are times when I am happy but then it seems to revert back to the same drab feeling. Over the past 2 plus years my behavior has changed in that I get angry and lash out, risky behavior (affair) and inappropriate anger. I was absolutely wrong to have an affair and lie about it. I have continued to lie to my wife about things since. SAhe was digging in my past and would find different things and I would lie about them. Why did I lie about them? I guess I was scared and lieing was what I learned. My father had at least one affair, probably multiplle. He lied about everything and still does. He is not in his 70's and has nothing. I did not have a good role model growing up and I am turning into a train wreck. I need to stop this cycle so my son has a good role model to look up to. My wife keeps asking me what else is she going to find, I told her everything is out but I said that many times. I am positive everything is out and hopefully she will believe me but I do not blame her for not believing me. I very much want my marriage to work out but sometimes I think she would be better off without me because she would not have to wonder all the time what am I doing. I want to be a better person, someone my son can look up to and one my wife can look at without disappointment and disgust. I am going to explore depression because if I don't fix me then I can't fix us.

Posts: 19 | Registered: May 2011 | From: Az
dispicableme
New Member
Member # 31812
Default  Posted: 7:25 PM, May 24th (Tuesday)

I also had the need for external validation, maybe some of you can relate.
My W and I have been M for 14 yrs, and are in the process of R. Our M was not at all as bad is I had installed it in my mind leading up to the A with a co-worker.
All the signes said my W sould have been the one to have the A, a less than desirable childhood, drugs and alchohol in the household, a split family at age 14, and forced to grow up way too early in ordeer to support drug and alchohol addicted father.
Myself, I grew up in a loving family with no conflict. Never tried drugs, involved in school and sports and was always confident. since I can remember, I always strived to be the best at everything I did or i would move on to something I could be better at. I have followed this pattern with success at work, moving my way into a management position with a large corporation. Like I said, I was always confident I was the best.
My W is also very BEAUTIFUL, smart and successful, but has some self esteem issues of her own. Always needing to be perfect for everyone, needing to be attractive, never leaving the house without the proper time spent primpingand of corse, the surgeries for a better body. (I did not feel she needed)
Why did she need to be so great for everyone else? Why was I not enough? My confidence in myselfstarted to fall rapidly.
I have always been a flirt, wich i know now was more than just being nice. (like i always told myself). When my self esteem eventually hit rock bottom, I took the flirting to a whole other level. When a co-worker in the same job title as my W started making flirtatious comments to me, I took the bait, hook, line and sinker. I made myself believe that "surely my W didn't love me anymore (not true). I became infactuated with the feeling of being great again, praised for the great job, told how handsome I was, wich eventually led to lunches, holding hands and kissing. I was addicted to that feeling of greatness wich I felt I had lost in my M. My selfish need to look outside my greatest accomplishment, my M and family, has torn my self esteem to a new low (rock bottom is just the beginning).
I am in IC, and working very hard to find more answers concerning what led me to believe it was OK to go against my values, to take my vows and stomp them into the mud, to take my W's self esteem (already low) and rip it to shreds and turn her whole world inside out and upside down.
I love my wife!

I love you babe.
I want nothing more than to show you, I am the man you married. I am no longer clouded. I desire R with you, no matter how long it takes.
I am trying.


WS (me) 39
BS (her) 37
1 daughter 12 (Daddy's little girl)

Posts: 3 | Registered: Apr 2011
LuvingMe
Member
Member # 28829
Default  Posted: 2:00 AM, May 25th (Wednesday)

My reasons are very shallow.
1. OM is handsome and was nice to me. My husband is mean to me
2. I have not had fun in a long time
3. Why can't I?


I can't even walk without you (Jesus) holding my hand.


Posts: 749 | Registered: Jun 2010
Hope24
Member
Member # 9344
Default  Posted: 5:32 AM, August 16th (Tuesday)

Bumping in hopes that every WS in this forum will read Frank2010's incredibly brave and insightful thread in General.

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=420961


She packed up her potential and all she had learned and headed out to change a few things.

Posts: 7605 | Registered: Jan 2006 | From: Poolside
ScarletA
Member
Member # 18095
Default  Posted: 6:10 PM, October 12th (Wednesday)

I am so pleased to see how long this thread has survived on SI! I haven't been on in a while. But I feel it's time for an update.

3 years ago, when I started this thread, I pondered why I did this to my husband and to myself. I threw out some theories. I knew I was broken. I knew I had issues, but I didn't really know why will power and self-control weren't enough to make me stop. I toyed with the idea that maybe I was a sex addict, but I quickly dismissed it because I didn't take the time to investigate what being a sex addict actually means. I measured myself against what I believed a sex addict is and decided that wasn't me. Maybe I didn't want the label.

Well, fast forward 3 years, and I have a whole new belief system that I'm going to share in the hopes that I may help someone else who is struggling.

When I was found out by my husband in January of 2008, we worked hard to stay together. We went to counseling, both couples and individual. I took a polygraph. And I managed to stay faithful for 2 whole years.

But in May of 2010, I slipped and when I slipped, I slipped hard. Within days of the first encounter, I was exactly back to where I had been, if not further. And I behaved just as I had before for 7 months, until I was found out again.

This time around, since my husband had already been through the trenches with me, arrived at a decision very quickly. And it was my friend who suggested that maybe I was, in fact, a sex addict.

An addict is someone whose life has become unmanageable, who is powerless over their addiction, who has repeatedly tried to quit on their own and failed every time. That was me, to a T. Attention, and flirting, and the chase was my "drug." Whenever I felt lonely, depressed, out of control, trapped, I turned to my drug for comfort. It didn't matter that would it hurt my family if they knew. It didn't matter that I was putting myself in severely dangerous situations. All that mattered was getting my "fix." And eventually, the normal amount of flirting and attention wasn't enough anymore. I was constantly on the lookout for the bigger, better high. And until I was discovered, I was going through that hell totally alone. Not a soul knew. I figured if no one knew, not even my closest girlfriends, there was less chance I'd ever get caught.

But of course, keeping that secret festering without any way to bring it out into the light was like a fungus growing in my soul. I am thoroughly convinced that if my husband hadn't discovered my activities, I would be dead now.

Since our most recent D-Day in January, I am proud to say I have been sober almost 9 months. My husband and I completed a faith-based 3-day intensive sex addict and spouse therapy that I highly recommend (for more information about this program, feel free to private message me. This invitation is open to both BS's and WS's.) I took another polygraph which I passed. I am seeing an individual counselor who specializes in sex addiction. AND I go to 3 to 4 12-step meetings a week, without which I would be lost.

I am by no means cured. I never will be. I will always be a sex addict and I will have to go to meetings for the rest of my life. But this is an eventuality I happily accept. Going to meetings, hearing other people's struggles, reading from the inspirational literature, talking things over with my sponsor, all these things help keep my head straight, which keeps me sober.

My husband and I are about to celebrate our 12th anniversary later this month. We are still struggling to stay together, some days are wonderful, others not so much. Some days are still so hard for him, what with triggers and memories. But we definitely have a clearer idea of what we both want out of our marriage and how to make that happen. And I have faith that we will see this through to the end. Thanks for reading!

[This message edited by ScarletA at 2:46 PM, October 13th (Thursday)]


Me: WS 40
Him: BS 41**rippedtoshreds**
Married for 12 years, together for 13
D-day #1: 1/8/08
D-day #2: 2/8/08
D-day #3: 1/30/11
Kids: D ~ 22/S ~ 20/S ~ 10

"If the grass is greener, it's time to water your lawn"


Posts: 65 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: Colorado
Damaged2010
Member
Member # 30085
Default  Posted: 12:23 PM, October 13th (Thursday)

*No BS's answering by proxy please. This thread is intended for WS answers*

[This message edited by metamorphisis at 2:03 PM, October 17th (Monday)]


Me (BS) - 36 Him (WS) - 35
Together 15 years, with four kids-14, 12 and 4 yr old twins.
D-Day-Oct.4th, 2010 FR discovered Oct.7th, 2011 A went on til Jan 2011
"The grass is NOT greener on the other side,its greener where you water it"

Posts: 158 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: Illinois
its_me
New Member
Member # 33600
Default  Posted: 1:34 PM, October 13th (Thursday)

I'm still trying to figure out why I did it. My BS was no longer interested in me romantically. And I was desperate to feel needed by someone.

I've come to realize the biggest issue was my expecting our marriage to go smoothly without much effort on my behalf. I'm striving to improve and win back her trust.

I'm very lucky to still have her.


Posts: 1 | Registered: Oct 2011
ScarletA
Member
Member # 18095
Default  Posted: 10:38 AM, October 17th (Monday)

bump


Me: WS 40
Him: BS 41**rippedtoshreds**
Married for 12 years, together for 13
D-day #1: 1/8/08
D-day #2: 2/8/08
D-day #3: 1/30/11
Kids: D ~ 22/S ~ 20/S ~ 10

"If the grass is greener, it's time to water your lawn"


Posts: 65 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: Colorado
helpemegetoverit
Member
Member # 30242
Default  Posted: 11:03 AM, October 17th (Monday)

Thanks for this post....I know my why (or 90% of it I would guess) but am not willing to share it 'publicly'.

Damaged2010

I am a BS and although I have not read all pages yet, I am appreciating this thread and would like to add. Yes my H craved the attention, sure was great being told how hot, cute, funny he is all day every day. But he has also expressed the whole fantasy vs. reality concept. When she called him during the work day it was laughter, flirting, ego boosting as they had nothing else. When I called during the work day there was kids screaming in the background, there was talk of financial struggles, requests to stop at the store on your way home and when you get here I need you to mow the lawn....etc. You lose sight that if the AP was your H or W they would be the same because that is the reality of married life....real life....responsibilities. With her he had no stress, no responsibilities, not a care in the world. So yea I suppose those calls were much more welcomed than mine. Not sure if this point has been raised, just throwing it out there!

I know you and I have chatted privately, but I just want to say that what you describe is how I was with my husband for the year before I started my affair when I was staying home and he was traveling for work.....yet my BH didn't cheat, I did. I would still suggest your WH dig deeper.

its_me:

I'm still trying to figure out why I did it. My BS was no longer interested in me romantically. And I was desperate to feel needed by someone.

Gently, kind of the same comment to you. You not being wanted romantically is not a reason.

I've come to realize the biggest issue was my expecting our marriage to go smoothly without much effort on my behalf. I'm striving to improve and win back her trust.

While this probably has nothing to do with your reasoning for an affair, I think that is something every married person realizes after about.....oh, I'd guess 6-7 years of marriage depending on the timeline. It seems so easy when you are dating, living together, newly married. My husband put me through grad school, we bought a house, I switched careers...and it was all SOOO easy. Fun. Creating that life together was SO much fun.

And then it was like we hit our maximum capacity once we added kids, a bigger mortgage, more stressful career. And we couldn't just sit back and have fun anymore without actively working on the marriage. I used to wonder, for the first 6 years of marriage why everyone said that marriage was 'hard' and then I found out.....

So I understand what you are saying.

(oh, and welcome!)

[This message edited by helpemegetoverit at 11:04 AM, October 17th (Monday)]


Me: WW
Him: BH

"You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you."
John Green


Posts: 882 | Registered: Nov 2010
ScarletA
Member
Member # 18095
Default  Posted: 6:02 PM, October 20th (Thursday)

Bump


Me: WS 40
Him: BS 41**rippedtoshreds**
Married for 12 years, together for 13
D-day #1: 1/8/08
D-day #2: 2/8/08
D-day #3: 1/30/11
Kids: D ~ 22/S ~ 20/S ~ 10

"If the grass is greener, it's time to water your lawn"


Posts: 65 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: Colorado
ScarletA
Member
Member # 18095
Default  Posted: 6:02 PM, October 20th (Thursday)

Bump


Me: WS 40
Him: BS 41**rippedtoshreds**
Married for 12 years, together for 13
D-day #1: 1/8/08
D-day #2: 2/8/08
D-day #3: 1/30/11
Kids: D ~ 22/S ~ 20/S ~ 10

"If the grass is greener, it's time to water your lawn"


Posts: 65 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: Colorado
whatlysbeneath
Member
Member # 32665
Default  Posted: 8:23 PM, October 20th (Thursday)

*No BS's answering by proxy please. This thread is intended for WS answers*

[This message edited by trying2deal at 9:29 PM, October 20th (Thursday)]


Me: BH
Her: WW
Together 18 years
M 17
D day 2010
4 young children
Every secret in a marriage is a lie...I'm tired of being lied too.

Posts: 129 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: Mayberry to Hell to Limboville
Derailedblazer
New Member
Member # 33702
Default  Posted: 5:21 PM, October 22nd (Saturday)

This thread is really the first one I've felt the need to reply to since my affair ended in Jan 2010.

The reason(s) why someone embarks on an affair are some of the most important aspects to understand. In my own experience, when asked by my counsellor during our very first session what I wanted to initially focus on, I felt it important to try to understand why I was able to choose to inflict such terrible pain and torment on my wife in such a way, for many reasons. Being able to answer the big 'why' becomes a preventative measure - to stop something like this happening again. It also highlights issues you have probably always had, helps you explore your life story and to find patterns of behaviour, helps you determine precisely how you feel about your partner and unearths the other questions that require answers.

In my case, I feel comfortable with the feeling that I've broadly answered the 'why did I do this' question. I don't feel I've yet answered all the questions that stemmed away from it, such as why I was so scared to just tell my distraught wife the entire truth in one hit, rather than trickle-feed it to her. These questions I intend to answer in time. However, in direct response to this thread I wanted to add my own experience.

I needed strokes. I was at a particularly low point in my life (which had nothing to do with my wife - she was just then as she has always been... a loving, devoted, concerned, wonderful wife who suffered every bit as much as I did at that time but focused solely on my welfare) and didn't realise just how bad it was. My xAP was staying at our house along with a number of other guests. She was barely more than an acquaintance the day she arrived but there was a degree of attraction to her on my part. By the end of a 5-day period it became apparent to me that this attraction was mutual and after she left, I went to shameful lengths to find out if her and I had a future together. I played to my wife's faith in me (she already suspected something was going on by this point and didn't like the xAP at all) and managed to convince her to let my xAP stay at our house. I'll save all the details for another thread but suffice it to say my behaviour, my choices and my decisions (in some cases, lack thereof) were shameful, destructive and my poor BS bore the brunt of all of it.

My xAP and I continued a mostly online affair after this point, with only two real life meetups. However, I found I was literally petrified at even the thought of meeting up with her. I felt pressured to make the affair truly physical when I didn't really want that. I got all the strokes I needed from the chats online. A small part of me wanted to see her, of course, but the greatest part of me didn't want it to the point where I procrastinated about agreeing to a face-to-face meet-up for a few months. I made excuses, avoided the issue, changed the subject etc and was more than happy to do so. Eventually, we met up although I had said no to this. She surprised me by simply being there waiting for me one morning. Still, I struggled to find things to talk to her about in person, whereas online it was much easier. I made excuses about 'not being ready' to have sex with her, and this meetup consisted of us just walking, talking and kissing. This was enough for me.

We met up one final time just a couple of weeks before she ended the affair. We finally crossed the sexual line after I felt too much pressure to oblige. I just wanted to get it over with - there was no major excitement about it for me. The sex wasn't what I needed or wanted. The sex was lousy - all my previous experiences with my wife had been better than this. My wife, then and now, turned me on more than she did. The relationship with my xAP was already dwindling and this meet-up was the final nail in the coffin I think as she called it off with me very shortly afterwards, to which I felt relief and next to no remorse. I quickly moved on and started to forget so much of it.

All this is important because, to me, it confirms my firm belief that I just wanted the strokes, the way she made me feel, rather than her herself. My wife was always great at giving me positive words of encouragement but sometimes that isn't enough, especially when you have so very few people around you. My xAP came along at the wrong time, somehow made it to a place where I received strokes, encouragement and validation from her, and I found myself in a place where I just couldn't live without that.

I did it because it filled an emptiness I didn't realise I had and was a welcome change of pace to the stress and fear for the future I had in the immediate weeks before the affair. I am now in a place where I crave that sort of attention from my wife and my wife alone. I miss her so very much despite us living under the same roof. I now understand that the strokes you receive from your spouse during the natural course of marriage CAN be all you ever need so long as you don't take it for granted, and realise that they need to hear those things just as much as you. I so very much regret not giving my wife the strokes she too needed and deserved. I was a terrible husband - selfish at times but I loved her with all my heart yet just didn't know how to show it.

I never knew I needed those strokes so much until I started receiving them from my xAP. I wholeheartedly believe I'm now in a place where I no longer 'need' those strokes. I am so confident that this will not happen again and have experienced the terrible irony that having an affair can bring - that your partner means more to you than you ever thought. I always loved my wife before the affair, it just took having an affair and dealing with it after it ended to realise just how goddamned much I love her. It has made me relive old memories of my wife and I together and discover just how much I cherish those memories and wish to create a thousand more.

As this thread directly concerns the reasons why a person has an affair, I've omitted a lot of details about the affair itself and some of the truly shameful things I did. I've taken my wife to the farthest extremes of pain and depression and I am so truly sorry to her for this. I'd take every ounce of that pain from her if I could. But trying to understand why I embarked on an affair has helped me enormously and I am sure there is still more to learn about it. I wanted to try to encourage those other xWSs to really make sure they tackle the why as much as possible. It's quite possibly the most important question you need to understand.


Me: FWS, 32, English
Wife: BS, 34, American

Posts: 10 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: Birmingham, England
HardenMyHeart
Member
Member # 15902
Default  Posted: 1:29 AM, December 17th (Saturday)

bump.


Me: BH, Her: FWW - Long Term EA/PA
d-day: June 25, 2007
Married 29 years, Happily Reconciled

Posts: 5622 | Registered: Aug 2007
Clarrissa
Member
Member # 21886
Default  Posted: 11:19 AM, December 18th (Sunday)

I didn't read all the replies but one that struck me was the original poster's statement of basking in male attention. Part of my brokenness was FOO issues (and who doesn't have those???) and the environment I was raised in. I'm the youngest of 7 so I'm 99.9% sure my place in the birth order played a part. (And no, being the youngest of a large family is *not* the cushy place most seem to think it is). The environment I grew up in was not familial. I was a ward of the state from the age of 6 to graduation from high school. Eleven years. From the time I started to get interested in boys, I was given the impression that I wasn't pretty enough to be interesting. It was decided that I was the "good girl" and was never given the opportunity to go against the rules (if that makes any sense). The perception became the reality. And I rebelled.

What I discovered through this mess I landed my H and I in was I was too weak to claim my right to define myself. I'd handed that over to people without a second thought. I'd handed it over and then tried my damnedest to prove people wrong. As a result, I put my H through the hell of infidelity.

I've learned a lot through this but one of the most important things is NO ONE knows me well enough to say who I am except me.


BH Cee64D - 48
WW (me) - 49


All affairs are variations on a theme. No one has 'Beethoven's 5th' to everyone else's 'Chopsticks'.


Posts: 5858 | Registered: Dec 2008 | From: A better place
BaxtersBFF
Member
Member # 26859
Default  Posted: 8:25 AM, February 5th (Sunday)

bump


WH - 44
BW - gerrygirl

Posts: 6092 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Boise
IrishLass518
Member
Member # 34373
Default  Posted: 8:43 AM, February 5th (Sunday)

As a BS I want to say thank you to all of you who posted, this helps me to understand.


Me: 45 BS Divorced
Him: 45 Married OW
DDay: 07/04/2008
Divorced: 06/15/2011
5 kids: IrishLass 27,IrishLad 25, IrishLass 22, IrishLad 21 and IrishLad 12
"You can't run from trouble..there ain't no place that far"

Posts: 1673 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: WA
BrokentoPieces10
New Member
Member # 34662
Default  Posted: 1:31 PM, February 5th (Sunday)

Can't say exactly why, and I don't think I will ever be able to fully explain it. There is no real excuse. But, I guess I felt like something was missing. So when the OM gave me the few things I *thought* I was missing, I continued to run to him for it instead of communicating my needs to my BH. I became addicted to the OM's personality and soon enough I was living in a double life/fantasy world that I kept all to myself. Nobody knew until DDay-- not my family, not my friends, and certainly not my husband. It was my secret "guilty pleasure" and I didn't want to hear the judgement from anyone. If nobody knew then nobody would find out, right? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

I thought I was missing something, but now I'm missing everything. I wish I wasn't too blind to see that before I made such horrible choices...


WW: (Me) 20
BH: 20
Married: 10/11/2010
D-Day: 1/19/2012 :(
It was a dealbreaker--divorcing..

"After all this has passed, I still will remain. After I've cried my last, there'll be beauty from pain" -The Superchick


Posts: 49 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: California
Hatingit
Member
Member # 34523
Default  Posted: 11:40 AM, February 6th (Monday)

ScarletA, wonderful post!! I definitely can relate to you on some of your points.

I definitely have looked for external validation from men. I don't wear makeup, and don't care what I look like - I figure if someone likes me in jeans and a tshirt without make up, then they're ok. Problem is, I'd want to catch a lot of guys' eyes at the same time. Even when I was married, I needed someone to tell me I was beautiful. XBH would tell me daily, but I thought it was because he had to, not because he really believed it. I didn't feel it till years later, when I internalized it. I am not the best looking woman, but I'm not ugly either. I also need to be the center of attention, have to hold someone's attention regardless.

While there have been problems in the marriage, I can't blame the As on that. It was me being selfish, wanting my own thing, and that was that.


Divorce final 1/27/12. In the search for me and my why. No excuses, just work and improvements for me.

Posts: 96 | Registered: Jan 2012
IrishLass518
Member
Member # 34373
Default  Posted: 10:50 PM, February 6th (Monday)

Bump

[This message edited by IrishLass518 at 8:40 AM, February 7th (Tuesday)]


Me: 45 BS Divorced
Him: 45 Married OW
DDay: 07/04/2008
Divorced: 06/15/2011
5 kids: IrishLass 27,IrishLad 25, IrishLass 22, IrishLad 21 and IrishLad 12
"You can't run from trouble..there ain't no place that far"

Posts: 1673 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: WA
Deeply Scared
Administrator
Member # 2
Red  Posted: 8:08 AM, February 7th (Tuesday)

Irishlass...

You have a PM


"Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest." My Mom:)

My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.


Posts: 196281 | Registered: May 2002
texasgirl77
Member
Member # 32843
Default  Posted: 1:03 PM, February 7th (Tuesday)

Well I am still asking that question a yr and a half out. I know that I was @ a place in my life where I felt kind of "lost". I was a mommy and a wife and was feeling like I had kind of lost myself...3 kids and one who has adhd which hadn't been diagnosed yet so we were really struggling with him. I was so stressed out and on top of that while I knew my husband loved me deeply I felt he didn't find me as sexy and our love life was a little slow...we were having friends over A LOT and after the kids were in bed we woujld hang out by the pool and drink. OM was BH's cousin and good friend and someone I felt comfortable with and didn't feel like he was a threat so I let my guard down. Started flirting glances and then texting. Just to say hey it was fun having you over last night,etc. He was married too but they were having a lot of problems and he started confiding in me. He was very nice looking(so is my BH) and 2 or 3 yrs younger than me. We had known eachother as kids. Everytime I txted or flirted one more layer was torn off and the further I slipped down that slope. When he initiated it going further I was ready and my inhibitions were gone. Horrifys me to retell that sordid story. My bh and I had a great marriage and he was and is my best friend. I still can't believe I did what I did. I don't know that I will ever fully understand or be able to forgive myself. I never in a million yrs thot I would do that to my BH.....we are trying to work things out and I thank God every day that I have another chance although I'm seeing that things will never be the same between us. Which I totally understand but it makes me very sad.


WW(me)34
BH 33
3 beautiful kids
Married since August 14,1999
DDay 8/10
Reconciling

Posts: 61 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: Texas
IrishLass518
Member
Member # 34373
Default  Posted: 7:15 AM, February 10th (Friday)

I want to say THANK YOU to all of the WS's who have posted here. Your courage is admirable. The sharing of your insights and experiences is so valuable to everyone who has been on any side of this situation. Thank you so much for being brave enough to share with everyone.


Me: 45 BS Divorced
Him: 45 Married OW
DDay: 07/04/2008
Divorced: 06/15/2011
5 kids: IrishLass 27,IrishLad 25, IrishLass 22, IrishLad 21 and IrishLad 12
"You can't run from trouble..there ain't no place that far"

Posts: 1673 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: WA
BaxtersBFF
Member
Member # 26859
Default  Posted: 9:13 PM, March 12th (Monday)

bump


WH - 44
BW - gerrygirl

Posts: 6092 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Boise
JandAandE
Member
Member # 34988
Default  Posted: 12:43 PM, March 14th (Wednesday)

My A took place in 2007, but I kept it hidden until 2010 after I learned of FWH's infidelity. I've had 4+ years to think about it, and while I make no attempt to excuse my actions at that time, I've spent a long time trying to understand just WHO the heck I was during that year. I certainly didn't act like the person I had previously considered myself to be.

While our M had been rocky from the get-go, I have always loved my H. Maybe even too much at times. I won't blame our troubled M for my choices. I think a slew of life changes hit me at once and in the confusion, I lost myself and let my priorities spin totally out of control.

In June 2006 I gave birth to our second child. A month later, I was fired from the job I had held for 5 years. In losing the job, I lost my female social network. By the time the baby was 5 weeks old, I was working a different shift, at a different place, in a totally different professional field. By the time the baby was 8 weeks old, I was enrolled in college to pursue a degree in this new field. After another month, I found another new job making more money and left the first job. Two months later I transferred within that organization to yet another new building and title.

And during all of this, I had a major falling out with my mother and we didn't speak for months.

After that tumultuous 6-month period, which was also filled with a good dose of PPD, life finally settled down a bit. I met new friends and started to have an active social life. More active, in fact, than it had been in years. I was happier, and I thought things were going to be fine.

However, during all of those life transitions, I pretty much left my H in the dust. I didn't ask for his help or his input--I just did what I needed to do to get by. I never knew how much he resented being left out of all the decisions I was making. The disconnect started there, and it became a million times worse when I started working full-time second shift. We never saw each other, and if we did, we had enough time to talk about the kids or the bills.

But still, I thought we were fine. I emailed an old male college buddy and invited H and myself to his & his GF's house for a bonfire one night. I thought it would be great for the four of us to be friends, so we could get out and do things with other couples.

There was chemistry in college with the old friend, but it was never acted upon. All it took was a well-timed compliment, and the slippery slope turned into a freaking slip & slide.

So the short answer as to why I did it? Having gone through a ton of personal upheaval in my life, I convinced myself that I deserved the attention and recognition. I had earned it after all the sacrifices I had made for my family.

Totally messed up thought process, but I'm grateful that I've been able to deal with it to ensure that it won't EVER happen again.

[This message edited by JandAandE at 12:44 PM, March 14th (Wednesday)]


Me: Madhatter
Him: Madhatter
My affair: 2007 for 3 months; confessed in 2010
His affairs: 2009 (ONS) and 2010 (3 months); I caught him.
Us: Married since '05; 3 kids ages 9, 6, and 18 months & another on the way.


Posts: 635 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: Midwest
threw it away
Member
Member # 34727
Default  Posted: 4:56 PM, March 14th (Wednesday)

For me, there are two sides to the question. I am still trying to figure out how I could have done this to my husband, been so selfish, blocked out the knowledge that what I was doing would wound my dearest and destroy my marriage. I may never know this.

It is however clear to me what motivated me in my infidelities. I liked seducing those men, just being able to take what I wanted whenever I wanted it. My first sexual experience involved seducing a much older man, and although I was not experienced enough to know that what I was doing would very likely end in sex, it is now clear to me that I very much enjoyed being able to disquiet him, to make him react. I knew that what I was doing was bad, shocking perhaps, but I really didn't know enough at that time to see it as any worse than pinching cookies. Several years and several more men later, I started to have misgivings about my compulsions and what they might mean, but I was able to compartmentalize these away and continue.

My husband's love for me was deep and enduring, and our desire for each other never flagged, but he was secure with me, everything he did was because he wanted to, or we wanted to, but not because I made him lose control or feel uncertain. And I think now that I truly wanted that strength and confidence to respect and rely on in a husband, but that I still missed that thrill that seducing brought me. Our marriage was always a thing shared, and I wanted something of my own.

I now often wonder if I was drawn to my husband because I thought that he could save me, repair me. If so, it was obviously the worst kind of foolishness.


me: ww/34
him: 33, has initiated divorce
married 8 years, together for ten
kids 7 and 4

dday 1 - 12/17/2011
dday 2 - 1/26/2012 (my past multiple affairs revealed)


Posts: 112 | Registered: Feb 2012
Hugemistake
New Member
Member # 35073
Default  Posted: 7:46 AM, March 26th (Monday)

Thanks to all who posted. And that was to revert to the patterns of my youth and look for validation from inappropriate sources. In the beginning, it seemed harmless enough. I can truly relate to this.

My only excuse is that essentially I am insecure. I too basked in female attention when I was younger and still do. It is not an excuse for what I did. Despite seeking and getting female attention for most of my life, I have always been insecure in relation to any attractiveness I may have. For some reason, it is very important to me to be considered physically attractive. Too important. I have also suffered from bouts of depression at times in my life - my father's affair, my break ups.

Not once in my life did I ever pursue a woman. I was too afraid of rejection. I was lucky enough that I was approached. Not once in my life did I ever end a relationship I was in. Even the AP ended the relationship.

I knew the A. was wrong. It is not an excuse but I became addicted to it.I had a choice initially and failed. The AP made me feel wanted and alive. My wife has always complimented me but that wasn't enough for me. AP's advances tempted me and I was too weak.

I firmly believe in the dopamine surge. That is not an excuse but it does make doing the right thing more difficult once the A. has started. It became an addiction to me. I needed it just to stay in the now.

I am getting IC for my problems.


Posts: 33 | Registered: Mar 2012
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 10:39 AM, March 26th (Monday)

I was unhealthy. There were many lies I told myself to convince myself I could do it. Some included that he'd already cheated on me, that he had just broken up with me... A couple of weeks earlier I had cut myself all over my arms - spent the night in the psych ward. Knowing this deepens my awareness of how unhealthy I was.

At the time, I was trying to punish myself. The OM I chose was an abusive ex. I knew that I was going to be abused by him again. I blamed myself for not being enough for H. I wanted to be hurt. I was planning to hurt OM for things he had done in the past, that the police never did anything about. I was trying to be a bad person, and I don't know if I even deserve forgiveness for that. That's why it astonishes me that H forgave me.

The betrayal lasted four days. I sent fishing/sexual emails to OM to set him up. When the day came, I finally looked in the mirror and realized that I was missing H so much, my heart was breaking, and by doing this I would be spitting on everything he and I had been doing together. I would be insulting every time he believed in me to walk away and be stronger than that abusive OM.

So when OM showed up, I didn't get in the car. I didn't cross the final line. And the whole time, I was thinking of H. Then I went inside, lay down on the floor, and told myself I would mourn H and what we had forever if I could just not taint it anymore. That night H called me, fully within his episode, cursing at me, saying he had cheated on me again, saying he hated my guts. The next day, he got the proper meds and couldn't even remember breaking up with me. A couple of days after that was Valentine's Day. Two days after Valentine's Day I told him what I had done. I waited because I wanted to know he was stable before I told him. Schizophrenic episodes are NOTHING to joke about, and I don't mean for people on the outside. It is heartbreaking to see how lost and hurt and miserable H is whenever he goes through one.

I didn't expect him to forgive me. In fact, I think I even told him I didn't deserve it. But his first question was, did OM hurt me anymore? Was I safe? I think that made me cry.

I have better options than either cheating or self-harm (I chose these options in reverse order earlier, when I was still with OM. First a trip to the mental ward for wanting to jump off a particular bridge, then a ONS following an eventful morning when OM wanted to use my car to keep cheating on me - both the wrong options to choose). I've been in therapy since the month I met H. Thank goodness, I have a better therapist now, and we're working on my mental illness issues. I come here to work on my choices. Glad to be here.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
"Not my monkeys. Not my circus." ~Polish proverb (<~~~ as a codependent person, this comes in handy sometimes!)

Posts: 3880 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 4:41 PM, March 30th (Friday)

Bump for a couple of new folks.


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6045 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 1:36 AM, July 7th (Saturday)

Bump


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6045 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
wifehad5
Moderator
Member # 15162
Default  Posted: 3:23 PM, March 13th (Wednesday)

Bump for new members


FBH - 42
FWW - 43 (BrokenRoad)
2 kids 7&12

The people you do your life with shape the life you live


Posts: 36421 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Michigan
SandAway
Member
Member # 37775
Default  Posted: 7:00 AM, December 7th (Saturday)

Spoken from the heart by so many WS...

Bumping


fWW
BH Tred
M 16yrs
DDay Nov. 2011

Guns don't kill people; Affairs kill people


Posts: 431 | Registered: Dec 2012
astudentoflife
Member
Member # 25821
Default  Posted: 5:26 PM, December 7th (Saturday)

I did it because I was abusive and I wanted to hurt my BW and boy did I ever do that.

Lots of FOO issues, but it boils down to wanting to destroy my wife to make myself feel like more of a man. "I'll show that bitch" It is a wonder and miracle that my wife is still here working hard. It makes me feel so ashamed at times, but that serves no purpose. I am no longer THAT man.

Selfish, childish, cowardly. I have no other words for my behavior.


WS:52 Male
BS:47 Female
Working towards R and forgiveness.
Also working on domestic abuse issues (9 months abuse free, working hard for more)
My wife is my greatest teacher and best friend.


Posts: 320 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Florida
Brokengirl01
New Member
Member # 41445
Default  Posted: 6:59 PM, December 7th (Saturday)

Gosh, it sounds like we all had similar issues! I can relate so much to each and everyone of you. I will however say that one of the biggest factors in my infidelity was/is conflict avoidance. Whenever my husband and I would argue, he would yell and become aggressive. I just wanted to stop the arguing and yelling, so I always shut down, I hate confrontation and I hate conflict! My thoughts were that I should just quit this marriage. I felt I never could really say what I wanted to say because he would just yell and argue. This led to a deep resentment in my marriage. This resentment coupled with my need for external validation, and feelings of loneliness was so deep, I started inching my feet out the door. It's easier to just leave and quit than do the hard work. When OM contacted me, I thought I'd found my escape. But that was not the case.

I have a lot of work to do. I'd like to explore why I am such a conflict avoider! I didn't want to deal with the issues in marriage so bad that I compromised my morals! I just don't understand! Okay, I'm done!


Posts: 7 | Registered: Nov 2013
MairISaoirse
Member
Member # 41497
Default  Posted: 9:41 PM, December 7th (Saturday)

Thank you for bumping this post! I feel like j could have written some of these


Mad Hatter

Me: 21
Him: 21
Together 2 years
my ONS->1 mo EA abroad

after D-Day BF admitted he had broken NC with EXGF (EA)
D-DAY 11/21/13

In Limbo


Posts: 114 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: Kentucky
Remone
New Member
Member # 40260
Default  Posted: 8:19 AM, December 9th (Monday)

I have a lot of similar reasons to people here, but in speaking with my IC and my wife I have recently come to what feels like a big realization for me. In IC last week my IC told me I mattered and I broke down and started crying, he asked me why and I said because it felt good and it felt like validation. In bed that night talking with my wife she helped me to realize that rather than needing that validation externally, that it is my lack of respecting my own opinion and saying it that is a problem for me. I grew up watching my mom internalize a lot of feelings raising her right children and learned this. But internalizing things makes them so much bigger and worse. I am working on being honest and letting my feelings and opinions out in a loving and constructive fashion. God it's hard. 39 years of behavior is hard to change, but damnit I'm going to get there!

Posts: 31 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Canada
Daisy1967
Member
Member # 41627
Default  Posted: 6:58 PM, December 11th (Wednesday)

It matters not.

I am a worthless whore and skank and deserve all of the bad in my life.


[This message edited by Daisy1967 at 9:36 AM, January 6th (Monday)]


Posts: 70 | Registered: Dec 2013
kmom2662
Member
Member # 41494
Default  Posted: 8:08 AM, December 12th (Thursday)

Daisy--
I had a similar situation. As far as the affair, that was totally my fault. I was messed up and chose a messed up way of dealing with unhappiness amd loneliness. I should have left the marriage. But, I don't think I would have made such a destructive choice if I would have been in a marriage with even a little affection, attention or communication. My H spent at least the last 6 or 7 years avoiding interacting with me and our kids, choosing his computer instead. He regrets it now, and takes responsibility for his part in pulling away. It's a mess-- we both feel angry, and we both feel guilty.


Me-- WW, 49
Him-- BH, 53 (bobf)
Married 22 years
OEA, chat/email with multiple people over an 8 week period, 8/2013-10/4/2013
D-day 10/4/13
Working on reconciliation

Posts: 69 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: United states
suspended
New Member
Member # 41576
Default  Posted: 6:19 PM, December 12th (Thursday)

Loss of a moral compass allowed fleshly wants to take precedence over marital vows, trust, and commitment.

The process took years from to get from watching porn here and there to a actual affair.

My medium of choice was the sugar daddy/baby lifestyle.

I am currently 2 days no contact! Nobody knows except SI.com and the women I've been involved with.

[This message edited by suspended at 6:20 PM, December 12th (Thursday)]


Posts: 26 | Registered: Dec 2013
sunnyrain
Member
Member # 30164
Default  Posted: 7:04 PM, December 12th (Thursday)

I was angry at life.

Posts: 333 | Registered: Nov 2010
authenticnow
Moderator
Member # 16024
Red  Posted: 4:48 AM, December 13th (Friday)

suspended,

You have a PM.


Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."


Posts: 36515 | Registered: Sep 2007
etaoin
Member
Member # 33270
Default  Posted: 5:43 PM, December 13th (Friday)

There were many reasons but I will tell you one. I totally bought into the notion that I deserved to have the great love Hollywood is always selling. You know, the Dr zhivago. Star crossed destiny kind. That the earth is supposed to move kind. The gone with the wind kind.

See, I thought I was different, special even. Well it turns out I was just another statistic.

I'm still bridging the chasms I created two years ago but one of the things that rankles is that I willfully blinded myself to reality. I simply could not see that my AP was not Lara or Scarlet O'Hara but just another lying user with a bag full of issues. the healing started when I realized I was too.

For the record, I cringe when I see a movie that extols infidelity and try to avoid them. The problem is that they are hard to avoid. Who knew for example, that the girl with the dragon tattoo series had one of the main characters engaging in a casual A?

I wonder how many As a kid sees on tv as a child. I bet the number is so high it's frightening. Parents used to worry about violence, but bad behavior seems much higher.


Posts: 229 | Registered: Sep 2011
Regrette
New Member
Member # 41722
Default  Posted: 4:31 AM, January 6th (Monday)

I can remember very specifically the moment I made the decision... The clear cut decision..."dammit, I'm going to return this mans attentions and see where this goes, maybe have an affair. That'll show him."

Mine was a type of revenge affair. It was revenge for my husbands fierce determination to behave as if he weren't my husband (lack of intimacy, companionship, respect, cooperation, etc.) I would respond to the extreme periods of neglect with complaints and get stonewalled. Every. Time.

Had I not gotten pregnant on my honeymoon, I would've left. I guess. I hope I would've been wise enough.

But why did I do it, really? What's wrong with ME? Well, first off, due to maternal abuse, physical/emotional, I developed a strong urge to remain forever and always a victim. This is what drove me to all my relationships. I was H's victim, and, surprise-surprise, became OM's victim as well.

There was a strong sexual component for me. I'm not sure if validation is all I crave, though OM's compliments were a nice countermeasure against H's low libido (sex w/H was good but very infrequent--like it took him the whole month to decide if he liked me enough to wanna be intimate with me.) I felt repulsive and OM, who was sexy, made me feel beautiful.

I was not just into flirting/teasing---the actual sex part was important to me though OM withheld that (out of guilt, he said.)
It was crazy...all through my 20's and 30's sex was never a problem, I still look good, am fit, and yet no one was f*cking me! I became obsessed with breaking through MM's guilt and proving that turning 40 and having kids hadn't rendered me sexually irrelevant. I didn't want to be put out to pasture...other men wanted me...the validation didn't matter, I wanted to "plug in" to the sexual Matrix.

Oddly enough when we had sex, I wasn't into it. I was awash in guilt and the hotel room grew dark and ominous like the final scene in Sid and Nancy when they wake up in a hotel bed in pools of blood. It felt THAT dirty and dark and gross. MM had little to say to me after, and I left feeling suicidal for weeks.

He still pursued and pursued. I guess lame as$ is better than no as$. For me it was over. My quest to prove I was not sexually irrelevant had failed, and I slowly began to extricate myself from the A with much resistance from MM and no change in the M. So I confessed.

I'm facing imminent D with some MC currently, for good measure. I still dream if sex with xMM. This is such a powerfully perverse road that I am SO sorry I went down. I wouldn't wish th A experience on my worst enemy.


Posts: 35 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: blue state
WantHerOnly
New Member
Member # 41678
Default  Posted: 10:40 AM, January 9th (Thursday)

This is my first post here after. We are in R and that's hard work so i don't have lot of time here but hope to contribute more.

For myself the actual "WHY" is hard to answer. But fast backward.. Married 30+ years ago, had our first child after 3 years of marriage, things were good, we were very active and with a child were busy parents. second child 5 years later. Ahh yes the child rearing years.. As the kids got older and became more independent it gave us more together/alone time. That is when our problems with Intimacy/Sex/Affection started. For me any way. I always had a much stronger desire and need for both physical intimacy affection and sex than BW. For many years it was the same argument that would emerge time and again. We'd talk but in the end thats all it was. In all our years of marriage i can think of maybe 2 occasions where the W initiated sex. And both were after the argument came up. In her words "Sex was not a big deal to her and she could live without it." I was treated like i was some sexual deviant because i hoped we could be intimate a couple of times a week. For many years i filled the emptiiness with my activities (hiking, cycling, kayaking). Not a perfect solution but it helped. Keeping a long story shorter.. i just got to the point where the hurt, rejection, and feeling undesired and un loved had me frustrated and angry. Months would go by between any intimacy, then many months, and i felt like i had to chase her and bother her based on her reactions and comments. So i gave up.. I cant say thats the total WHY, but living in a sexless marriage was a biggie.. I think wondering if there was something wrong with me was an issue as well. I am not and never was abusive or anything like that. If you asked people we would appear on the outside as a perfect couple. BUt we know what we see in relationships is really an illusion to the reality :-).Even as i write it there is so much more to the story but time does not permit.


Me: WS Dday Oct3 2013.
8 month PA

Posts: 2 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Massachusetts
RegretfulHusband
Member
Member # 41873
Default  Posted: 11:34 AM, January 9th (Thursday)

Like many others, I think my Cheating was a result of several factors.

I TOTALLY agree with the "I was used to the attention" concept. I was one of the popular guys in school. Never had trouble getting girls. Was a player in college, etc.

Iswt2...I am glad someone else besides me is able to admit the whole "heck, I even love a mirror" concept. I don't like that reflection right now, but man, when this stuff was going on...absolutely agree with this.

Another factor was entitlement. We were married, 2 very young kids, I was doing ALL housework, 40 hour week, etc., but still wasn't getting any attention from my wife, so even though I didn't go out with the conscious intention of cheating, I think maybe subconsciously I knew what would happen and did it anyway.

This may sound like bullshit, but the first affair 7+ years ago while still dating...I think (because it was so long ago and I buried a lot of it) I was feeling stuck. I "loved" my then gf, but wasn't sure I was ready to move onto the next step. I had never had that serious a relationship - pretty much all the others prior w ere just about sex. This led to me feeling like I needed a "kick". It worked, but at a terrible cost.

I do think, like others, I suffered from elements of OCD and Sex Addiction, but I am not willing to place any blame on that. The blame falls squarely on my shoulders. I made the choices to do what I did. I had opportunities to stop and I didn't. I chose to continue, knowing full well what I was doing was wrong.

I was a complete asshole, and a completely selfish narcissist. I feel differently about myself today, but the guilt and shame I feel over what happened is still very much present, and frequently overwhelming. The worst part for me is putting any focus on that guilt, because what right do I have to consolation for what I did. I am trying to focus entirely on others (it's about time) but guilt takes up a lot of space and medication only helps so much).

One of those times a time machine would be really handy...


Me: FWH, 34
Her: BS, 33
Married: 6 years
Together: 10+ years
Kids: 2 Boys under 5

DDay1: 7+ years ago
DDay2: 1.5 years ago

"The truth shall set you free, but first it will make you miserable."


Posts: 129 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: United States
RegretfulHusband
Member
Member # 41873
Helpless  Posted: 11:38 AM, January 9th (Thursday)

Eatoin -

Right on with the movies. Shows and music too for me.


Me: FWH, 34
Her: BS, 33
Married: 6 years
Together: 10+ years
Kids: 2 Boys under 5

DDay1: 7+ years ago
DDay2: 1.5 years ago

"The truth shall set you free, but first it will make you miserable."


Posts: 129 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: United States
Kap12
Member
Member # 41759
Default  Posted: 7:50 PM, January 9th (Thursday)

I wanted the attention. Felt like BS wouldn't care we were just 2 people raising our children. I told myself a lot of things and convinced myself that they were true and in hindsight they couldn't have been further from the truth.

Posts: 61 | Registered: Dec 2013
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 9:34 AM, January 13th (Monday)

Bump for newbies


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6045 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 5:25 PM, January 23rd (Thursday)

Bump for EMO


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6045 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 2:21 PM, April 24th (Thursday)

Rescuing from the last page before it drops off.


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6045 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
beyondbelief13
New Member
Member # 41080
Default  Posted: 2:09 PM, April 28th (Monday)

bump


BS: 60 WS: 55
DS: 19 DD: 11
M:25 years
Polygraph 4/27/13 revealed A #1 (ons)only 7 weeks after wedding and A #2 7 month love of his life A
Reconciling? Divorcing? I guess only time will tell?

Posts: 28 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: California
instantkarma
New Member
Member # 42564
Default  Posted: 12:25 AM, May 15th (Thursday)

sorrofulfriend,

your comment:

Our focus is on the here and now, not on what our actions will produce tomorrow, next week, or years down the road.

We are selfish, and sinful!


This sums it up in a lot of cases. I don't want to oversimplify or undercut postings or much less devalue legitimate psychological issues, but my logic and experience (from both sides of the infidelity issue) tell me affairs are, in a lot of cases, just a night, or month, or year, of selfish "I want to screw now, and this guy/girl is the one to do it with becase he/she is here right now".

Selfishness, horniness, alcohol, peer pressure, discomfort with the relationship, blah blah. Some people are just inconsiderate, horny, over-introspective fuckers, both male and female.

[This message edited by instantkarma at 12:38 AM, May 15th (Thursday)]


Posts: 23 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: United States
Topic Posts: 192