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User Topic: Long Term Affairs?
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Question  Posted: 3:12 AM, June 23rd (Sunday)

I read a thread in general that has sparked a thought trail. Although I know it's ok for me to post in general I feel more comfortable here.

The thread was about what makes or breaks an A?

I started thinking about my own circumstances. How it started etc. Mine was a LTA (2.5 years) and it was long distance. 2 and a half years is a long time and I sat there in shock wondering how it went on for as long as it did. It was like a smack in the face and something that hadn't registered until now.

How did it go on for as long as it did? I guess for me it was mainly via Skype, IM's, emails etc. There was no sneaking away and unexplained periods of absences. It was an emotional crutch and I was his escape. I'm not sure. I'm still baffled as to how so much time passed in a surreal world that was based on lies and infatuation.

Do you think there is any correlation between length of an affair and damage done to a marriage?

To all waywards who had LTA's, what were the conditions that were present that allowed it to go on for so long?


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
UKgirl
Member
Member # 17062
Default  Posted: 7:15 AM, June 23rd (Sunday)

How did it go on for so long? Because he was a master at deception. Because he had a job that facilitated his affair. Because there was no need to tell me when they had agreed it would be an affair. Because his job changed explained his sometimes irrational behaviour. And finally, because he/they wanted it to. It was woven into the very fabric of their lives. Habitual and routine. Comfortable. If he was away and her BH was away and WH’s hotel was within striking distance that meant they both had company. They loved each other. It wasn’t so much infatuation as escaping into another world for a while.

Yes, I do think there is a correlation between the length of the affair and the resulting damage. There has to be a certain mind set to allow this to happen, an acceptance, a belief that it’s alright to behave that way. Then there are the years of tainted memories; every anniversary, birthday, Christmas, holiday, special event like a wedding, they are all seen in a different light after d-day by the BS. And yes, we wonder what the heck our WS were thinking of and certainly felt taken for granted.

The conditions present were the perfect storm. MOW was fWH’s ex-fiancee. They split due to the fact that they went to different universities. fWH went to Oxbridge and she went to one 130miles away. Back in the ‘70s that was probably a day’s hitch hiking for him to go and see her. In the second year, she started seeing the man who became her husband and she dangled him as an ultimatum – change uni’s or it’s over. FWH walked. He described it as “unfinished business.” It was a classic Old Flame Romantic Affair. And another reason why it went on for so long. They had history and shared memories. They had an intense and tempestuous relationship the first time around and that was part of the attraction the second time around.

An LTA is a different animal. And very hard to heal from.


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: 3443 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: UK
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 8:12 AM, June 23rd (Sunday)

UKlady, I just read your profile. You have gone through an awful lot and I only hope you find some inner peace someday.

The thing that strikes me most about your WH is his sense of consistent disillusionment and entitlement. A common theme for LTA's. His poetry indicates a kind of "hopeless romantic" mentality. One that hasn't fully reconciled with real life and putting past flames/ideas/fantasies to sleep.

Always searching for something "new" or "better" but never really appreciating what you already have. It's an internal broken-ness that shouts "you're too good to love ME".

There may not have been any infatuation on your WH's side but there certainly seems to be on his MOW side.


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
LA44
Member
Member # 38384
Default  Posted: 8:56 AM, June 23rd (Sunday)

Hi Trying...I hope some waywards give their thoughts on this interesting thread.

I can tell you that my H's affair went on the same amt of time - 2+years. He believed that bc the AP was not in "our world" but a plane ride away, there was no risk of running into her with me. There were no unexplained afternoon/evening disapperances that I would become suspicious of and question him about. That having someone he could escape too far from home made it somehow....better. Better then those other people having A's in their own backyard. In his mind, "the two worlds could not collide". It went on for so long bc the risk of getting caught was much lower. The anticipation in seeing someone every 2-4 months so thrilling. It allowed him to stay in the fog that much longer.

Soon though, the fairy tale ended. Not only did she want more, but colleagues were noticing "something" at conference. And I was on to him by now questioning him in 2011. I would like to say it was bc he felt tremendous guilt for betraying me that he ended it. That is what he feels now. But no. He ended it bc it got out of hand. She wanted the marriage to end. He never did. In his words it, "should have ended way before it did."

But it didn't.


Me: 44
He: 47 WH
Married: 15 years
D Day: December 2012
Affair: Fall 2009 - Dec. 2011
R is not linear

Posts: 2219 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Canada, eh
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 3:27 PM, June 23rd (Sunday)

To all waywards who had LTA's, what were the conditions that were present that allowed it to go on for so long?

The conditions present that allowed it to go on for so long? Me.

Mine was over two years. Months in between. My ex knew. I rarely thought about him when we weren't together and didn't have "special" songs, movies, jokes. He was actually more of a gps device. We hunted, climbed, skied, sky dive (once) and if something happened he'd at least be a reference to start the search.

Sad but true. Length didn't equate to depth (jesus, sounds like a porn movie). Hell, my marriage lasted 12 years and I can basically say the same thing about that...except for the additional ER visits.

Oh, and three beautiful boys. There's that, so quite worth it.

[This message edited by uncertainone at 3:27 PM, June 23rd (Sunday)]


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
Wonderingwhy11
Member
Member # 34782
Default  Posted: 4:13 PM, June 23rd (Sunday)

My WH thought process was similar to LA44 describes. I am curious about other WW responses to Trying33 question. I am interested in other perspectives on damage of LTAs.

Do you think there is any correlation between length of an affair and damage done to a marriage?

My WH had a 2 yr long distance A. He told me they contacted each other sporadically. The timeline I got was they only met about 10 times. He told me it was fantasyland and it was easy to hide because of his travel.

The reality is the damage to our marriage was done before the LTA ever began. For me the damage from the A was I learned he was willing to hurt me for his selfish ego needs. That damage has been hard to repair.

I don't understand how he kept the long distance LTA going. I think it must have took effort to continue the A. Effort I did not see he gave our marriage.

On the other hand, I am not sure ONS or a few short lived A's would make me feel any better. I realized it didn't matter how many OW's and how long it lasted to the extent of damage to our marriage.

On the positive side we are starting to make good R progress. The triggers are getting less. R is still a work in progress but is getting easier. It hurts that it took an A for us to both want to work on our marriage at the same time.


Me BW - 46
Him WH - 53
Together 23 yrs, Married 18
DDay August 2011
2 kids - 13 and 15

Gotta love the life that we livin'


Posts: 376 | Registered: Feb 2012
Blobette
Member
Member # 36519
Default  Posted: 4:20 PM, June 23rd (Sunday)

LTAs do seem to be different animals. My WH's went on for 7 years. SEVEN years. I still find that unfathomable. In any case, for a LTA to go on for that length of time, the A can't be an all-consuming flame. Rather, it's an alternate reality that they slip into and out of. So LTAers, almost by definition, are master compartmentalizers. My WH (as far as I know, and he swears this is true, for what that's worth) didn't communicate with her outside their meetings, which were not strictly sexual - they did stuff together.

Judging by the LTA thread, a lot of the Ms don't survive. It is difficult to get over the extent of the lying and the tarnishing of memories. In addition, a lot of the BSs seem to have co-dependency/ low expectations of relationships, which becomes unacceptable once they see how much they've been disrespected/how little they're valued. They realize that their WS just doesn't have what it takes to be a truly loving, intimate partner. They may well have developed these low expectations as a result of subtle gaslighting by the WS or simply long-term neglect. Whatever.. The ANGER when you realize the extent to which you've been taken for a ride is just devastating.

My WH is working very hard on R. Unlike many WSs, he was always affectionate, kind, and loving to me. I probably can't reasonably ask for much more of him. And yet I still am not sure I'll be able to get over it. I have no idea how long it will take me to heal, or if I can forgive him for inflicting such horrible pain on someone whom he claimed to love and who did nothing but love him as best she could. I remember early on someone said something about 2 years for every year of the A, which gives me another 13 years of misery to look forward to....

Oh, and what were the conditions that allowed it to go on? WH traveled a lot for work. I was used to him having female colleagues with whom he socialized (we'd been married 12 years when the A started, and there had never been a hint of anything before. In my more paranoid moments I wonder if there had been others.). I was a strong, independent person used to doing stuff on my own and I gave him a lot of freedom (given his job, I didn't have much choice). For 2 years of the A, WH was unemployed and was able to meet the AP during the day. ("Hon, I'm meeting X for lunch today.""OK, sweetie, have a great time!"). Then they both got a job in another city, where WH got an apt for one month a week. He swears this was accidental, which seems likely as they're in a small field. In any case, it was easy. There was opportunity. The second part was the AP. She was emotionally undemanding. Didn't want him to leave me. Was intensely private and didn't share her deepest feelings/emotions. Was basically happy with a fuckbuddy who could keep her company. (She was single but had a long distance BF. Apparently her first reaction when WH split upw her was , "Now we wont be able to do all that fun stuff we'd planned.") So in one sense WH could justify it bc he was still being loyal to me.

This is probably not all all helpful to you, I'm afraid. Even here on SI, it seems to be a weird case...

[This message edited by Blobette at 4:36 PM, June 23rd (Sunday)]


BS (me): 50
WS: 50
Married: 26 yrs
Kids: 2
OW: Co-worker, 7 yr LTA
DD 8/1/2012, Working on R

Posts: 1055 | Registered: Aug 2012
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 4:31 PM, June 23rd (Sunday)

t/j

I remember early on someone said something about 2 years for every year of the A, which gives me another 13 years of misery to look forward to....

Why? I know the whole time thing is so subjective but why would you want to go through that? Can you just "for now" it until you can determine if it's too much?

(((blobette)))


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
Blobette
Member
Member # 36519
Default  Posted: 4:41 PM, June 23rd (Sunday)

Thanks for the response, UO. Yes, that's what I'm doing. My dad died recently so I've been going through a lot of depression and "what's the point" kind of stuff lately, so it's hard to hang on no matter how much you know, intellectually, that this is all part of the roller coaster. One of the things I talk about w my IC is that I responded to my abusive dad by sealing off my heart to him and it's all too easy to go that route with WH. Sorry, don't mean to hijack a Wayward thread.

[This message edited by Blobette at 4:42 PM, June 23rd (Sunday)]


BS (me): 50
WS: 50
Married: 26 yrs
Kids: 2
OW: Co-worker, 7 yr LTA
DD 8/1/2012, Working on R

Posts: 1055 | Registered: Aug 2012
WalkinOnEggshelz
Member
Member # 29447
Default  Posted: 6:06 PM, June 23rd (Sunday)

Do you think there is any correlation between length of an affair and damage done to a marriage?

Any affair does damage to a marriage. I do feel that there can be factors that make it more difficult or challenging to R. My A was a year long. To add, it was with a MOM my BH considered to be his best friend. A double betrayal. It began as an EA and progressed to a PA. We spent weekends, holidays, and vacationed with them. We started MC shortly after DDay. When we moved out of state 6 months later, our MC confided to us that early on he felt our M was doomed. It is now almost 3 years later. We just bought a new house last month and we are doing well. My point is that as damaged as my M was, does not necessarily predict the outcome.

What it does mean is that there is a lot if work to do whether you R, S, or D. Being able to own your actions without being defensive about them. Finding out those why's and working on the behaviors that allowed you to justify your actions. My reasons could be very different from yours, however the similarity I am certain will be is that there was something I was getting out of it. And that something was so important to me that it didn't matter how I got it or under what circumstances. Because I deserved it after all. And if I wasn't happy it couldn't have been my fault, right? It had to be his. So I began to demonize him. That made it easier to justify. And the fact that MOM was someone we spent time with online and in person made my A convenient. I didn't feel as if I was being very sneaky. BH could ask who I was talking to and I could say MOM and tell myself I was being "honest".

I think what is considered deal breakers is not always the length. There are plenty of couples that have split up over ONS. There are some that have a difficult time with the PA. For us, I feel the EA is hardest part to work through. The lack of consideration regarding my husband and his feelings. Disregard and disrespect, and deception. Making him feel as if his reality was one thing while it was truly another. It can feel as if MOM and I were coherting against him, snickering behind his back. And that makes it quite difficult to begin to trust again.

I think there is a difference between length and emotional time invested. No matter what the situation, you can't predict an outcome based on those initial factors. The most broken of people can learn to live an authentic life.


Me: WS 42
Him: BH 43(HoldingTogether)
M: 18years, together 22
2 Daughters: 13 and 10
D Day: 7/24/2010; TT to 10/17/10
If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

Posts: 637 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Texas
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 3:15 AM, June 24th (Monday)

Some really good points made. Thank-you everyone for your thoughts.

LA44, You could have been writing about me and my xAP. It should never have gone on for as long as it did. But it did. Why? Because, essentially when you have two emotionally weak and cowardly people, and you put them together, they start relying on each other to keep standing. Phrases such as "You help me function in my real life" and "Looking forward to entering trying/xAP world tomorrow" were very common during the A. There was no hiding that it was a relationship of convenience on both sides, BUT as time went on the convenience went into dependency and fear of living REAL life without that person that makes things so bearable. That person who allows you to continue living your "crappy" life without really having to take any real risks or make any sacrifices. In other words ESCAPISM.

I believe, during some point in a LTA, the woman (mostly more than the man) will want to have more security and stability and will pressure the man for this. He will realise, actually, I already HAVE the wife, the kids, the home, the car. I don't want that with YOU. I want the FANTASY with YOU. I want the ego stroking and the unlimited sex. He knows full well, that if she becomes his WIFE (which is what she's asking for) he will be where he is now. Please do not see this as a flippant and fleeting comment. It's what I've gathered from my own experience and from my extensive research and reading. This does not mean this is the case in ALL LTA's but in very many. She's invested the time in him and now she needs something to seal this and validate all her energy.

The factors and themes that come up again and again seem to be the availability and accessibility. An A needs to be "fuelled". I fuelled mine during working hours. It was an 8 hour long day of mutual ego massaging. It was enough quality time to become intensely emotionally ravelled up in one anothers lives. So, the jobs that people have within the dynamics of an A are important in relation to this.

In my case, xAP had a job where he sat alone all day in an office and basically chatted to me. He was a director in a company and had zero motivation to do the work he was doing. He hated his job and was stuck in a war-torn country with bombs going off around him on a daily basis. My H was at work all day and I have full time domestic help which again created the availability. It was pathetic and we acknowledged how pathetic it was but still felt compelled to do it. Why? Because we could and we didn't see why we shouldn't.

Another theme seems to be the distance. It would appear a lot of LTA's are also long distance. Therefore reducing the probability of getting "caught". No chance meetings, no unexplained absences, no having to make regular excuses. The risk appears lower and therefore easier to justify (it was for me). "I'm not doing anything wrong" mentality.

The irony in this situation is this; the distance would cause frustration as the bond became stronger(time differences, lack of opportunity to "meet" etc). The frustration lead to many disagreements and aggression. Surely, this would be too much hassle and it would be easier all round to end the drama? For some reason, the "challenge" now becomes the centre and the focus of the relationship.

One other theme that is very true for me at least and for many in this thread, is the fact that the AP becomes part of your daily life. They are intertwined with your daily activities, what you had for dinner, what activities the kids have that day, what movie you watched last night.

For two lonely and desperate people, that type of attention can lead to distorted thinking. The importance of mundane activities is magnified and given relevance. This is important for someone who already "hates their life".

What makes an A go on so long? Essentially the fact that it can. Sounds simple enough I know, but that seems to be a universal answer. It goes on because it can.

Note, NONE of the themes have any direct connection to the BS. It has nothing to do with them. The conditions present that allow a LTA to go on for as long as it does is ALL about the AP's. The BS is just another "compartment" in this double, twisted, deceitful life that the wayward lives for so long.


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
LA44
Member
Member # 38384
Default  Posted: 6:08 AM, June 24th (Monday)

Thank you Trying33 for that last post. You made some really good points in there. Like you, I also think that the AP is also a colleague helps fuel this machine.

I have little understanding of his biz (and truth be known, I find it a bit "dry"). She was able to talk about his biz, answer questions, make comments and helpful suggestions, perhaps even inspire. Things I simply could not do. I remember finding one ego stroking email between them that referred to something he could put in his speech (the same speech he felt compelled to mention her name in) and I thought: what is that? I have no clue.

So, while I believe that the BS has nothing to do with the A. The fact that I had no comfort level in his line of work, worked to her adv. and likely thrilled him even more - or at least brought him comfort.

I get sad thinking about all this and since its Monday morning I will stop for now.

But I do appreciate very much these threads. In fact, you wrote something a month or two back...I think it was called, "Permission to Cheat". I asked my H to read that.

LA


Me: 44
He: 47 WH
Married: 15 years
D Day: December 2012
Affair: Fall 2009 - Dec. 2011
R is not linear

Posts: 2219 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Canada, eh
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 7:12 AM, June 24th (Monday)

LA44,
I feel quite ashamed and embarrassed having such a candid discussion with a BS (especially when the circumstances are similar). It makes me feel like a low life and a disgrace for a human being when I've not been raised that way or have never acted so immorally prior to this A. This by no means is a pity party and I'm not expecting sympathy. Just being honest.

It's almost like I feel like apologising to you on behalf of your H's AP and the rest of "my people" (that was supposed to bring a smile to your face, don't know if it did!)

Anyway, I will take this opportunity to say my xAP never verbally disrespected his BW to me. It was obvious he loved her and his family a lot. He always tried to do the "right thing" by ending it as did I, unfortunately, as I said before, 2 cowards and selfish people trying to do the "right" thing is not as common as it should be.

It ended when it couldn't go on any longer. When there was too much to lose. Realising what's really important. Bursting of the fantasy bubble.

Leading me nicely to the answer of why does a LTA go on for as long as it does; because it CAN. It ends when it CAN'T go on any more.


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
UKgirl
Member
Member # 17062
Default  Posted: 7:22 AM, June 24th (Monday)

Another theme seems to be the distance. It would appear a lot of LTA's are also long distance.
Not really “long distance”, but far enough. MOW lives 80miles away and not far from a main motorway, under 2hrs door to door. Where she lived was very convenient, as was her job – she would/could be away overnight on seminars and talks. The possibility of getting caught almost nil. I was at home with four children.

Other points to consider were that communication was through the mobile phone fWH used for work and all costs (hotels, dinners, etc) were paid for on the company credit card.

Another thing was MOW was nothing to do with the rest of our lives. No work connection and no common friends. It was completely separate. It was only because she wanted it to become permanent and not a “sordid little affair” that it ended. It had stopped being friendly and became threatening and so fWH felt compelled to confess in order for it to finish. If MOW had stuck to the “agreement”, the affair would probably still be going on today and I would be none the wiser as before d-day.

Thank you for your insight, Trying33. As you observed, the MOM generally has no intention of leaving his wife and I think this especially so in a LTA. Which brings me to yet another reason it went on for so long: he thought I would never know – what I didn’t know wouldn’t hurt me.

Your thead is thought provoking.

eta: Cross posting – you already made the point:
“It ended when it couldn't go on any longer. When there was too much to lose. Realising what's really important. Bursting of the fantasy bubble.” Very true.

[This message edited by UKgirl at 7:25 AM, June 24th (Monday)]


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: 3443 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: UK
LA44
Member
Member # 38384
Default  Posted: 7:26 AM, June 24th (Monday)

No, no, please do not feel an apology is in order. Honestly, Trying33 and I mean this with my whole heart, I am grateful for the insight.

I find this forum very helpful - insightful. The last thing I would want is for you to feel ashamed for expressing yourself.

Ok?


Me: 44
He: 47 WH
Married: 15 years
D Day: December 2012
Affair: Fall 2009 - Dec. 2011
R is not linear

Posts: 2219 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Canada, eh
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 7:27 AM, June 24th (Monday)

On the other hand, I am not sure ONS or a few short lived A's would make me feel any better. I realized it didn't matter how many OW's and how long it lasted to the extent of damage to our marriage.

I think where I was going with my correlation question was when the WS spouse says "it didn't mean anything". I've always imagined the impact on my M if my H ever cheated would be more if he "loved" her rather than if he effed someone in a bar somewhere. Obviously, I mean no disrespect to those who have been betrayed and ultimately it doesn't matter but I was wondering about the impact and the length of recovery when the A was longer and knowing that there must have been feelings involved not just sex.

My H has requested to not talk about my A. It's not spoken about and I find myself wondering often the impact it's had on him. He knows the length but no other details. He doesn't want to know. He hasn't asked if it's gone beyond an EA onto a PA. I sometimes wonder if he knew the details and if the length of it would negate the last part of our marriage.


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 7:33 AM, June 24th (Monday)

The second part was the AP. She was emotionally undemanding. Didn't want him to leave me. Was intensely private and didn't share her deepest feelings/emotions. Was basically happy with a fuckbuddy who could keep her company. (She was single but had a long distance BF. Apparently her first reaction when WH split upw her was , "Now we wont be able to do all that fun stuff we'd planned.")

Quite unusual, I must say.


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
LA44
Member
Member # 38384
Default  Posted: 7:38 AM, June 24th (Monday)

My H has requested to not talk about my A. It's not spoken about and I find myself wondering often the impact it's had on him.

I find it interesting that this approach to dealing with an A (not talking about it) seems to be taken moreso by the betrayed man, then the betrayed woman.

But that is a whole other thread!


Me: 44
He: 47 WH
Married: 15 years
D Day: December 2012
Affair: Fall 2009 - Dec. 2011
R is not linear

Posts: 2219 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Canada, eh
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 7:55 AM, June 24th (Monday)

Another thing was MOW was nothing to do with the rest of our lives. No work connection and no common friends. It was completely separate. It was only because she wanted it to become permanent and not a “sordid little affair” that it ended. It had stopped being friendly and became threatening and so fWH felt compelled to confess in order for it to finish. If MOW had stuck to the “agreement”, the affair would probably still be going on today and I would be none the wiser as before d-day.

I can totally relate to this. Sounds like it's quite a familiar stance in LTA's.

Someone said LTA's are a different animal. I completely agree. The intricate web of deceit and over-involved lives makes a perfect recipe for stress and basically the man often feeling he has "two wives" which is something he never bargained for. It's not what he signed up for. Alas, women latch on emotionally and the man finds himself trapped but conflicted as he doesn't want to let either go. Eventually, something has to give and thankfully the A ends.

Had I had not become so demanding and "emotional" my xAP often stated he wanted this arrangement to "last forever". Anyway. Whatever. Makes me sick writing this.

btw, LA44, my xAP's father also betrayed his mother but he went one step further. He married his other woman (who also happened to be AP's mother's best friend )and had two wives officially (they live in a country where this is legal). So xAP's father had 2 wives and two lives. Apparently it was a long-term affair w wife number 2 (before she came wife) and he made an honest woman out of her and married her. AP always said he would never hurt his family the way his father did. Instead he shagged his way around town


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
atsenaotie
Member
Member # 27650
Default  Posted: 8:07 AM, June 24th (Monday)

Good Morning Trying33, etAl.

It is interesting to see this questioned from the WS perspective.

Nearly all of my FWW’s OM were, or started out, as co-workers. All were in the same town or near by. Her work required various hours, outings, and meeting with people, and she used this to her advantage with her As. She worked for the last OM, so they would stay together when they travelled.

It has been my experience that discomfort or fear of emotional intimacy was a factor in FWW’s LTAs. FWW had a “5-year plan” to leave me for many years, but never got past the date other people stage in her plan. She was comfortable with the relationship at an emotional distance. Talking/texting everyday during the drive into and home from work, and during the day while she was out and about. FWW valued that her LTA partner was not looking for more than an A. Prior to her last OM, she broke off with a previous OM because he began to demand more time and commitment from her. With her last OM he was happy to text/chat, and meet him every few weeks for sex. Again, her job facilitated being out of the loop for a few hours in an afternoon while they went to his house or a hotel.

Many of FWW’s OM would talk of them being together someday, but she saw them as people to “date” once she eventually left me. She was not looking for security or a trade-up, just men who would prove to her that she was desirable, attractive, and not at fault for the problems in her life.

I learned after dday that FWW was very skilled at compartmentalizing. When she was talking to or blowing OM she was in that compartment, then she could put the lid on it and not think of it while doing family things or work. I believe that this also was a big factor in her ability to carry on a relationship with an OM for years.

…any correlation between length of an affair and damage done to a marriage

Stabbed in the back is stabbed in the back. There are two consistent themes I seem to pick up. First, is that there is no “safe” time of the year. All holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc are tainted by the multi-year betrayal. Second is that because of the long period of the A, and the amount of time passed from the beginning of the A to the end of TT the WS is simply unable to recall many details. By the time of FWW’s dday, her current A had become routine, and it was years since any of her previous A’s. There was not much ability for her to explain what she was thinking or how things started because by dday that was all ancient history.

Finally, I think that some (not all or even most) short term A's or ONS can be a case of WS getting caught on the slippery slope and ending up in an A unintentionally. OTOH, I believe that a longterm A indicates a problem within the WS. An attachment disorder, a personality disorder, an addiction, something that allows them to persist in betrayal for so long. As the scales fall from our eyes after dday, many BS see in our own relationships with our WS that defect that allowed them to be "comfortable" with a LTA. That defect, whatever it is, must be identified and addressed for there to be any hope of R and a healthier relationship.


LTA BS 53
M 1990, dday 10-5-09
Separated and Divorcing

Posts: 4107 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: FL
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 8:22 AM, June 24th (Monday)

I believe that a longterm A indicates a problem within the WS. An attachment disorder, a personality disorder, an addiction, something that allows them to persist in betrayal for so long. As the scales fall from our eyes after dday, many BS see in our own relationships with our WS that defect that allowed them to be "comfortable" with a LTA. That defect, whatever it is, must be identified and addressed for there to be any hope of R and a healthier relationship.

Absolutely agree and one of the reasons I started this thread. I truly believe the length of MY A is a massive indicator to my broken-ness. The fact that it was actually ok to live a double-life for so long. Yes I was full of guilt, anxiety, fear, shame etc BUT it didn't end for a long time (it did for a while in between but started up again).

After D-day I asked my H for a divorce or a separation at the very least. I thought I'd broken the marriage. That's it, it was doomed and I HAD broken it. For me to do what I did showed that we could never be authentic or genuine ever again. What ever we used to have pre-A we can never have again. I was convinced he could do better than me and was giving him a way out. That was what was in my mind at that time. I was consumed with feelings of "there's no going back now".

Thankfully, he didn't take it and we are on the right road. We are both trying very hard and I am learning to love him all over again. It's taking time and I'm inpatient but I am working on that.

Something is significantly wrong with people who can live two lives for as long as they do.

I'm starting to unravel my why's regarding this.


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
Alex CR
Member
Member # 27968
Default  Posted: 8:58 AM, June 24th (Monday)

H cheated with OW for five years. She lives overseas and H went back and forth for work a lot. Overall the physical time they were together added up to about a year during the five year period.

H told the OW he was widowed and they communicated via his cell, emails and whenever he was in her country. H decided it didn't affect us because there wasn't any chance she and I would ever run into each other. Nobody in the our circle knew of the A and OW believed H when he told her to pretend they didn't know each other in the bars when his colleagues or customers were around. He said his company would not think it was appropriate for him to date.

I never went overseas with him … we had three kids and I had a job and the trip was not in our budget, but looking back, he would always tell me the company didn’t like wives to travel with their husbands and he had so much work to do there even on the weekends…..his job and his ego made it all possible.

H admits he was completely selfish...felt entitled 'cause he worked hard and was so lonely in a foreign country. He made a conscious decision to cheat and was cruising bars looking for the right woman when he spotted OW and she was dumb enough to believe his lies for many years.

I believe, during some point in a LTA, the woman (mostly more than the man) will want to have more security and stability and will pressure the man for this. He will realise, actually, I already HAVE the wife, the kids, the home, the car. I don't want that with YOU

When I confronted H with the evidence, he said OW had been pushing for more and questioning whether he had someone else back home. H said the affair had grown tiring but he wasn't sure how to get out of it. Said he was glad I'd found out as living with it was becoming a nightmare and he'd realized he had everything he wanted at home with me and he didn't want to be with OW who was dumb.

For me, I think the LTA is harder to process than an ONS, but I think the pain and loss of trust are the same.

I feel like a huge chunk of my history was stolen and rewritten and nobody told me. I did a crash course over the year after Dday studying the prior 8-10 years to figure out how we lost our way and then studied the five years of the A using credit cards, family photos and my personal calendar to learn what my history really was during that time.....to know the truth about my life. That vacation we took in Cayman that I thought was so great...lots of laughter and sex....A LIE...He had just met the OW and wrote her the day we left on that trip that he couldn't wait to see her the next month. All the times over the next three years he treated me badly, criticizing everything I did making me believe I was a total bitch and a loser and cutting me and the kids out of his life completely when he was home……NOT MY FAULT……it was his way of rewriting our lives to justify his lying and cheating……a way of easing his own guilt.

If it wasn’t for his job I don’t think H could have pulled this off for so long and though I believe he cheated while traveling here in the states also, he only admits to a ONS. At this point it doesn’t matter what he says because I can’t believe him.

We are heading towards four years since Dday and I still have moments I want to smack him but those moments don’t last….. most of the time, I have that warm loving feeling inside when I see him and I’m glad we are surviving this together.


BS Me 61
WS Him 62
Married 33
Together 40
DD 11/16/09
The future looks good....

Posts: 1657 | Registered: Mar 2010
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 10:46 AM, June 24th (Monday)

Absolutely agree and one of the reasons I started this thread. I truly believe the length of MY A is a massive indicator to my broken-ness

I think a lot of our choices can be looked at that way, regardless of what alphabet soup we claim.

Disorders are for counselors to diagnose and sometimes even then they get it wrong. I think much of the "science" used in labeling "disorders" is complete bullshit. Some behaviors are common with a group so let's label it.

Yeah, something is significantly wrong with living two lives. It works. It works in many areas...until it doesn't. It either makes an intolerable situation tolerable, for some. Brings excitement needed (or believed to be) for some.

Digging to get to the bottom of why those choices were made and why they did work for you is the nexus of healing. There is only something significantly "wrong" with 'you' if your choice is not to fix it because you truly do enjoy the chaos and destruction. Then 'you' need a warning label. Cigarettes have them, ffs.


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
Wonderingwhy11
Member
Member # 34782
Default  Posted: 12:28 PM, June 24th (Monday)

Trying33 - I just want to thank you for your responses I found them helpful. How you described the reasons your LTA happened, how it continued so long and why it finally ended are similar to what WH told me. He couldn't tell me why it happened in a way that makes me understand.

Phrases such as "You help me function in my real life" and "Looking forward to entering trying/xAP world tomorrow" were very common during the A.

I found an email between WH and OW that was very similar - I am there for you and thank your for being so supportive during the time at work. This hurt because at the same time I was trying to encourage him and I got his anger but I see the AP got I love you forever and you make me happy comments. This I couldn't understand. I was taking care of the house, kids and working while he spent his time texting lovey crap to her. Thank you for trying to explain this thought process.

I believe, during some point in a LTA, the woman (mostly more than the man) will want to have more security and stability and will pressure the man for this. He will realise, actually, I already HAVE the wife, the kids, the home, the car. I don't want that with YOU. I want the FANTASY with YOU. I want the ego stroking and the unlimited sex. He knows full well, that if she becomes his WIFE (which is what she's asking for) he will be where he is now.

I think this is spot on what happened to WH. I think she started pushing for something more and he didn't know what to do. He told me he realized all woman want the some things. He realized life with her would be worse.

It ended when it couldn't go on any longer. When there was too much to lose. Realising what's really important. Bursting of the fantasy bubble.

This was the same in my case. I asked WH why did it finally end when you said you spent a year trying to end it. Why did he continue the sexual complimentary contact after DDay? Why did he finally end it 5 months after DDay? All he says it had to end. It was stupid and it had to end. I don't understand why she finally stopped contacting him.

I think the other factor that kept the LTA going was WH's friend who introduced them (see my profile for details). The friend decided to leave his wife for his AP but my WH said he didn't want to leave me. When I asked why he didn't tell his friend he wanted to end the A WH said he couldn't because guys don't have those talks. I call bull. I think WH did want to continue the A but the pressure of me asking what is going on and finally telling he needed to leave if he wasn't going to tell the truth and OW pressuring him for a future and then his friend was talking about a future with his AP which probably included WH and his AP (the OW were relatives). I think like you wrote WH realized he had a lot to lose and the fantasy bubble burst.

It makes me feel like a low life and a disgrace for a human being when I've not been raised that way or have never acted so immorally prior to this A
.

My WH has said the same. WH says he would never cheat again knowing the damage it did. This upsets me because why choose to cheat and not know the consequences?

My H has requested to not talk about my A. It's not spoken about and I find myself wondering often the impact it's had on him.

IMHO I find this odd. I talked non stop about the A. I wanted to know why and details. I wanted to talk about our marriage and what I needed. I talked so much that WH became exhausted and tired of answering the same questions over and over. Are you talking about your marriage? Is he acting like nothing is wrong? Is he acting different than before? Maybe he is processing it and has internalized the A. Have you talked about MC?

[This message edited by Wonderingwhy11 at 12:42 PM, June 24th (Monday)]


Me BW - 46
Him WH - 53
Together 23 yrs, Married 18
DDay August 2011
2 kids - 13 and 15

Gotta love the life that we livin'


Posts: 376 | Registered: Feb 2012
Rebuilder2
New Member
Member # 39510
Default  Posted: 12:43 PM, June 24th (Monday)

Hello All,

This is my first post. I am the WS to my beautiful wife LA44. I am so blessed to have the chance to be 'rebuilder2' with her - it brings a whole new meaning to being thankful for every day. I vow to be worthy of the journey she and I are taking. It takes a great deal of strength and resolve on her part as we both move forward while simultaneously examining the smoldering mess of a past I created.

I am posting here largely to acknowledge how helpful it is to read the viewpoints, experiences and perspectives of so many who have shared. My past with an LTA - as the fog lifts - is sometimes beyond belief. I liken it to seeing footage of yourself in a criminal act or drunk and belligerent and you childishly wish "Can't this tape be erased?". Sorry. No refunds.

I chose this post for my 1st response because I agree with many of this thread's lines; I had to be a master compartmentalizer, act with a sense of entitlement and ignore the simple ethical standards that I have always admired (and for years believed I would hold without fail). I did this too coming from a home which was broken by one of my parent's infidelities. I found that behavior by my father to be repugnant in the decades since my parents' D-day and yet I committed a similar act.

It is these paradoxes which make me shake my head (to say the least) and make me realize there are layers to peel back and examine in order to get to the root.

If I can speak on behalf of my wife, the posts help us to identify what important issues apply to us. The experience of others is invaluable. It gives us a leg-up and - in dark times - the precious hope which all who are committed to recovery will need.

Thank you. Each and every one of you. All the best to those struggling at times, but who, like my loved and loving wife, work toward an immeasurably better tomorrow.


Posts: 4 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Canada
libertyrocks
Member
Member # 38924
Default  Posted: 12:51 PM, June 24th (Monday)

Wow, blobette, you blew me away. Yes, that's me...

a lot of the Ms don't survive. It is difficult to get over the extent of the lying and the tarnishing of memories. In addition, a lot of the BSs seem to have co-dependency/ low expectations of relationships, which becomes unacceptable once they see how much they've been disrespected/how little they're valued. They realize that their WS just doesn't have what it takes to be a truly loving, intimate partner. They may well have developed these low expectations as a result of subtle gaslighting by the WS or simply long-term neglect. Whatever.. The ANGER when you realize the extent to which you've been taken for a ride is just devastating.

I think I will print this out for the "Dear John" letter I will eventually write to him as I make my escape.

My IC says I chose a spouse like my father. He was never around. He was out abusing himself with drugs and alcohol. He was very loving and never harmed me, he just wasn't involved all that much when I was younger...

[This message edited by libertyrocks at 1:01 PM, June 24th (Monday)]


Me-BW 36. STBXH-35,Recovering Alcoholic, M6yrs T13. Boys 2 & 4 1/2.
DDay #1 Nov,2012. 1 1/2 year false R & TT. 10 OW PA's 1LTA (W lied to) 3 years.
S Nov, 2013 again Jan,2014
Filed for D Feb,2014.

Posts: 954 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: So Cal, baby. :)
cdnmommy
Member
Member # 30182
Default  Posted: 2:29 PM, June 24th (Monday)

What ever we used to have pre-A we can never have again. I was convinced he could do better than me and was giving him a way out

I think many aspects of my FWH's LTA were symbols of his own feelings of inadequacy, and yes, I think he thought I could do better. He was baffled by the amount of compassion I had for him, and the worth I saw in him, despite how massively pissed off and disappointed I was.

I have seen many WSs in my time here who are doing great things (albeit imperfectly, as human beings tend to do) and yet completely fail to see their own value. IMO, one of the scariest things for a BS in R should be constant shame and self loathing on the part of the WS.

(This is a bit of a t/j since i don't think this applies only to LTAs, but it is what stands out to me.)


Me: BW
DDay: Oct 2010 + 6 weeks false R
2.5 (+?) year A with married coworker/my "friend"
1 great kid.
Reconciling and healing

Posts: 1732 | Registered: Nov 2010
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 2:35 PM, June 24th (Monday)

IMO, one of the scariest things for a BS in R should be constant shame and self loathing on the part of the WS

Truth!


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
LA44
Member
Member # 38384
Default  Posted: 4:06 PM, June 24th (Monday)

Sorry Trying33 but if I may use this thread to say to my H, Rebuilder2.

You did it! I am proud of you for posting.

LA
ps: and yes I really do have 500 posts. Maybe 501 now!


Me: 44
He: 47 WH
Married: 15 years
D Day: December 2012
Affair: Fall 2009 - Dec. 2011
R is not linear

Posts: 2219 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Canada, eh
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 2:41 AM, June 25th (Tuesday)

Are you talking about your marriage? Is he acting like nothing is wrong? Is he acting different than before? Maybe he is processing it and has internalized the A. Have you talked about MC?

Hi wondering. We are in active R. After much discussion on these boards and a lot of reading I have accepted that everyone deals with things in their own way. My husband is a classic rug sweeper and a conflict avoider. He admits to this and has been his whole life. We've discussed this and he believes for him it serves a purpose and he has always dealt with things this way.

Initially, I thought there was something wrong with HIM as he didn't react like all the other BS's. I couldn't understand why. He is processing it in his own way. The anger seeps out non-verbally and I am tuning into his moods more but on the whole he's calm, relaxed and seems happy. He states he loves me and would never let me self-destruct. He and I are doing the work to make changes. His most important motive for R are the kids. He loves them more than life. That's ok for now. We are learning about each other every day. He's making some drastic sacrifices for me right now (we are moving country) and we are working well as a team.

I always loved my H even throughout the A. This sounds weird to BS's as how could I do this if I loved him? Well, I didn't love myself or I had an artificial love for myself that wasn't authentic. It was all in my head.

As for MC, I think there's space for that, although I am working on myself for now and trying to improve my behaviours and thinking patterns. I would like to start IC before and sort my head out a bit and deal with some long standing insecurities I've had in my M. I am noticing that as I change, my H is mirroring me. He see's my effort and dedication. He see's my transparency without having to ask for it. We may not talk about it, but it's there and we both feel it.

I'm sure there's a huge element of denial on his side too as his pride and ego have been massively bruised. But I can only offer to be there to talk when he's ready. I can't force him. I suspect he's terrified of his emotions if he allows this to register.

I am convinced it will be talked about at some point in our marriage. He just doesn't feel safe enough to talk about it right now. I sense he's waiting for things to stabalise as so far I've been erratic and withdrawal was bad. We are having many more good days than bad and I feel that's a direct consequence of me changing my attitude towards him and my M.

I am prepared to put in all the work. Luckily he is open to suggestions such as reading self-help books etc which is shocking as he's not that type at all.

The one thing I've missed the most during and shortly after the A is PERSPECTIVE. I totally lost the plot to what was real and what wasn't. It's like I planted myself firmly in fantasy land and wasn't prepared to budge.

Welcome to SI rebuilder and well done for your first post. You've made your wife very happy!

I did this too coming from a home which was broken by one of my parent's infidelities. I found that behavior by my father to be repugnant in the decades since my parents' D-day and yet I committed a similar act

I remember during a fight with AP I once told him "the apple never falls far from the tree". It was probably the meanest thing I ever said to him. To him, his father was a hero and a villain all at the same time. The very idea that he may be turning into his father angered him. He was so hurt when I said that.


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
LA44
Member
Member # 38384
Happy  Posted: 8:43 AM, June 25th (Tuesday)

Trying33

Yes. That post from Rebuilder2 was all gooood.


Me: 44
He: 47 WH
Married: 15 years
D Day: December 2012
Affair: Fall 2009 - Dec. 2011
R is not linear

Posts: 2219 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Canada, eh
sickandtired630
New Member
Member # 39291
Default  Posted: 2:09 PM, June 25th (Tuesday)

My A, the pa part, lasted 4 years. It was able to last so long because MOM and I lived in different states and I would travel to his state once every few months for work, or family. My BBF never wanted to travel with me, so it was convenient to see MOM.

My AP was a former boyfriend, should have stayed that way, but there were a lot of unresolved feelings there for me.

I guess I felt entitled, or something. If BBF didn't want to be with me, at least someone did.

I think one of my problems is I keep everything in and "get even" instead of dealing with problems. I found information that led me to believe that my BBF had cheated on me and instead of confront him, took the first opportunity to get even with him.

I do think that for my BBF, the LTA was worse than if it had been a ONS. It ruined all the memories we shared together for him.


Posts: 7 | Registered: May 2013
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 2:04 AM, June 26th (Wednesday)

Thanks S&T, another long distance LTA. It certainly seems like a variable that fuels an A for a longer length of time.

Do you think as waywards, on some level, it's a strategic choice of choosing an AP that lives so far away and is not a daily reminder of how wrong it all is?

Certainly in my case, I often used the phrase, I would not "shit on my own doorstep". Meaning as long as I'm not rubbing H's face in it and taking the obvious piss out of him, it somehow made it better. It made ME better than those WS's who did it in front of their BS's faces.

I started wondering why I allowed for an opening with xAP to enter into my M. What conditions were present for the A to start (especially as I have always been so against such actions and behaviour, how the hell did it even start????)

Several things came to mind;

He was not connected to my real life in any way. No-one would know. It was completely private. He knew no-one in my real life and there was little risk that people would find out.

He'd been mentioned many times previously despite ever meeting him. We've both worked with the same client for several years and the clients used to talk about him fondly in the same relation to our work. We were both similar in our approach to the work we did. Even before we were formally introduced, I used to wonder what he'd be like. Due to this, when we were finally introduced, it felt easier to attach a romantic component to the whole A. "We were meant to meet, destiny, fate" blah blah blah.

I had had two babies in two years. Just finished nursing and had lost a lot of weight and got back to pre-preg weight after having gained 20kg. Was starting to feel good again and my confidence was coming back. I felt confident enough to accept compliments and did not ward them off like I usually would. Wanted some acknowledgment for all my hard work over the past 2 years. Couldn't give it to myself. I was annoying my H. I was irritating him and he expressed this to me. I internalised this and became furious. Similar to S&T, it was a feeling of "well if you don't want me, someone else does".

I was bored, unstimulated and extremely lonely. The A started as an opportunity to talk about intellectual stuff. Someone who is on the "same level" as me. It's harmless, we're only talking right? And this is how it started.

These are just some thoughts that need digging into. Overwhelmingly, what is obvious is that the A was an easy option. Talking to H and doing the work that H and I are doing now seemed too difficult at that point. Surely, its easier if I just find a friend to talk to and then I'm not on H's back all the time. Maybe he'll love me more if I find an outlet and not always whine and complain?

Just sharing some insight. Please feel free to share any thoughts too.


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
outtamymind
Member
Member # 33607
Default  Posted: 1:55 PM, June 26th (Wednesday)

I don't have time to give details, but wanted to mention that my LTA was a long distance affair.


Me: FWS 45

Divorced and still trying to figure out why I was so crazy for so long. I do know this however: lies and deception lead to unhappiness.


Posts: 289 | Registered: Oct 2011
CrappyLife
Member
Member # 37630
Default  Posted: 2:59 PM, June 26th (Wednesday)

Yes. I do believe long-distance makes LTAs easier. In my case, the WW's LTA with POS1 was possible because it was long distance. POS1 and WW never stayed in the same city! There were times where the three of us were together, but that was maybe 10 days put together in 6 years!

WGF/WW and I also had to live in different cities at various times in our relationship due to work. So, our relationship was also long-distance (on and off) for half of the time before M. And that also made it easier for them. I was thinking about this a few days back and invariably the A peaked at various times when WW and I were in different cities. When we were together in the same city, the A was very discreet and underground.

It would not have been possible if it was not long distance. I surely would have smelled something. In fact, that is what happened after M. I smelled something fishy just a month in the M. And when POS1 visited us a year after the M, there were red flags all over the place and I was very upset/angry. Just did not confront since I had no evidence.

On the other hand, with POS2, I smelled something right from the beginning and told WW to stay away from it. The whole thing was difficult to hide for them. But I trusted WW also and thought she got the message. Then I had to leave for another country again and her A with POS2 peaked.

The A is basically a fantasy and an escape from reality. The fantasy mutiplies when it is long-distance and the escapes become easier because you have to lie once in a while and not everyday. Also, it becomes easier if you do not have to see your BS immediately after your rendezvous with the AP.


BBF-turned-BH: 28 (Me)
WGF-turned-WW: 28 (EmotionalFool)
POS1: a 'friend'? WW believed it was my 'best friend'!
POS2: her senior at work!
Together - 6 years
Married - 1.5 years
D-Day- 15/10/12

Don't know where we are headed..


Posts: 276 | Registered: Nov 2012
ReunitePangea
Member
Member # 37529
Default  Posted: 3:52 PM, June 26th (Wednesday)

I am finding this thread very interesting hearing WS thoughts on LTA's. It is helping me understand my WWs 12+ year LTA.

My AP was a former boyfriend, should have stayed that way, but there were a lot of unresolved feelings there for me.

That is exactly what my WW mentioned. She felt she didn't have closure in the relationship. Today I still don't understand what that means.

My WW's LTA was not long distance though I can see how this sometimes factors in on these. Something that is a bit unusual in our situation is that we didnt really have any issues in our M at all - we both felt things were going well most of the time. My WW's LTA started when we first met and continued after we got married. To me lack of problems in the M really shows that the below statement is often an important part of LTAs.

I believe that a longterm A indicates a problem within the WS. An attachment disorder, a personality disorder, an addiction, something that allows them to persist in betrayal for so long. As the scales fall from our eyes after dday, many BS see in our own relationships with our WS that defect that allowed them to be "comfortable" with a LTA. That defect, whatever it is, must be identified and addressed for there to be any hope of R and a healthier relationship.

I am still trying to understand my WW issues. She has made mention that OM1 treated her badly. I have always treated my wife gently and kind. Why she could choose to stay in a bad relationship when she had a good one going is puzzling.

I understand that all A's are different and a ONS has its own issues that are much different than a LTA. Sickandtired I sadly have to agree with your BBF, I would trade the LTA I am dealing with for a ONS any day. I actually suspect that it is likely my WW had a few ONSs along the way but havent even pursued finding out if this is true or not because they seam so much less significant. OM2 is not a LTA situation really and I found dealing with that to be very easy actually. Tainted memories are much more difficult to come to terms with. Starting over when you have invested so much in already is always difficult.


BS - Me 38
WS - Wife 39
D-Day - Oct 12
Married 10 years
OM1 - 12-year LTA
OM2 - 9 month A turned into open relationship with couple for another 1 1/2 years

Posts: 471 | Registered: Nov 2012
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 1:39 AM, June 27th (Thursday)

crappylife, just got through reading your story. Don't know what to say really so won't say anything apart from SI has truly been an eye opener for me. I'm sorry for what you've been through.

Compartmentalisation and being good at switching on/off within seconds seems like it's a must in LTA as two lives are being lived simultaneously for so long. The sustainability factor is the ability to go from one to another with ease and without it being obvious. Indeed, it becomes a part of your life and your daily behaviours.

When I look back, the way I put things in boxes would probably seem psycho to an onlooker. I'd go from one world into another so easily and became a master at perfecting my skills to service each world. The mind boggles.

On a positive note. I've found a great therapist in the country I'm moving to. I'm strangely excited about starting this journey of self-exploration.


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
CrappyLife
Member
Member # 37630
Default  Posted: 1:52 PM, June 27th (Thursday)

Thanks trying. Getting through it one day at a time. I have read all about compartmentalisation and fog. Strangely, I seem to understand it when I look at all the other stories on SI. But, when it comes down to my personal situation, I just dont seem to get it.

I am still trying to understand my WW issues. She has made mention that OM1 treated her badly. I have always treated my wife gently and kind. Why she could choose to stay in a bad relationship when she had a good one going is puzzling.

Ditto. Exactly my thoughts.

[This message edited by CrappyLife at 1:52 PM, June 27th (Thursday)]


BBF-turned-BH: 28 (Me)
WGF-turned-WW: 28 (EmotionalFool)
POS1: a 'friend'? WW believed it was my 'best friend'!
POS2: her senior at work!
Together - 6 years
Married - 1.5 years
D-Day- 15/10/12

Don't know where we are headed..


Posts: 276 | Registered: Nov 2012
cdnmommy
Member
Member # 30182
Default  Posted: 2:05 PM, June 27th (Thursday)

Interestingly, my FWH was in an LTA and was a terrible compartmentalizer. Just awful. He felt guilty, so pushed me away and mistreated me. He was living a double life, but not very successfully. I have a hard time imagining it when other BS's say that their WS never changed during an A. Mine did, drastically, and I thought it was my fault. I tried like crazy to get us help (into MC, or anything) but you can't push a rope, and he wasn't budging, at least until it was obvious I was on the brink of divorcing him.

I don't doubt that it helps to be a good compartmentalizer, but it is not a requirement for an LTA.


Me: BW
DDay: Oct 2010 + 6 weeks false R
2.5 (+?) year A with married coworker/my "friend"
1 great kid.
Reconciling and healing

Posts: 1732 | Registered: Nov 2010
badchoice
Member
Member # 35566
Default  Posted: 2:17 PM, June 27th (Thursday)

I am joining this thread late, and have not read all of the post, but a one thing jumped out at me.

The addictive or obsessive quality of a long term affair.

I have addictive and obsessive traits and as long as I was getting a payoff- the contact continued. My primary contact was email, although there were a couple of dinners (and mind you this was with a former AP from 14 years ago), but during the height of this email contact, I was pushing form more dinners and meetings.

I am working on this with my IC and she is seeing a pattern in me of addictive traits. My AP, porn, shopping, and a definite compulsive leaning of my personality.

Add to that my ability to compartmentalize...an example of this. My BW knew something was off in our M. we went to MC about 2 or 3 years ago and she flat out asked me when the last time I had spoken, or seen AP #1. I told her it has been 14 years, and I believed my lie. I was so able to shut down that part of me, that I was able to lie to her and myself...I was emotionless, had no feelings that I was not telling the truth. I remember just thinking it was true.

So I agree, my LTA is a sign of how broken I was/still am.


Me: fWH/BH 46

Separated transitioning to D


Posts: 725 | Registered: May 2012 | From: L.A.
LA44
Member
Member # 38384
Default  Posted: 2:44 PM, June 27th (Thursday)

I think the only way my H was able to compartmentalize for as long as he did (knowing him as I do) is bc the AP was a plane ride away. I noticed his behavior was "off" many times over. But bc the person was never here - in our town -I never suspected it was an A until too many things started hurtling towards me in 2011 when we were in my home city visiting family which is also where she lives. Then there was no holding me back. I was watching. But things got quiet in 2012....(you can read my story if you want to know more).

RP: I know that the connection (real or imagined) of a lost love, esp a former HIGHSCHOOL bf or gf is VERY powerful. This is bc the feelings in that time in our lives are heightened. We are overwhelmed by loooove. That is why so many people seek out that particular person for an A or when divorced or widowed. The attachment they have to this person, based on how they felt during those magical years, is very powerful.

In fact, I read that an EA between a women and her high school boyfriend is all consuming and thus a VERY difficult A to work through.

If you look for HUFI-PUFI - a member here - and read his profile, you will see quite a story between a grown man in love with his wife who....sought out his teenage love and subsequently buggered up his life and love with his wife.

He and his wife are still together. In fact, he seems nuts about her. But that lost love story of his is compelling.

badchoice: My H definitely has addictive and compulsive traits and it is something I have asked him to look into.


Me: 44
He: 47 WH
Married: 15 years
D Day: December 2012
Affair: Fall 2009 - Dec. 2011
R is not linear

Posts: 2219 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Canada, eh
Topic Posts: 41