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User Topic: Starting the Process
TemptedOne
New Member
Member # 42072
Default  Posted: 1:39 PM, January 17th (Friday)

The whole EA really snuck up on me over a period of 3 years of friendly chat with an old friend. I really didn't see it coming, and then for the last few months I've been in denial about what it is.

This week it hit me. I'm having an EA. If it continues, it will lead to destructive behavior and hurt families. So it cannot continue.

I'm still wrapping my head around the process of how this will all go.

I have not had the ability yet to talk with the AP about this, as our communication is irregular and infrequent. I know she agrees that we can't go farther than we have, and cannot meet (again) as she has a family she is committed to keeping. I don't know how she will react to NC, though. Probably not well. We were friends long before the EA. Lot's of history.

I am looking into my "why" of all this. My motivations, what "feeds" me. And looking into how things got where they did, i.e., where/when was the line crossed and why didn't I recognize it at that time.

The why and how are critical for me as I move forward. This is not my first EA. There have been several over a 20+ year span. But I would like to say this is the last.

I may have to borrow some courage from you all at some point. Thanks in advance for your encouragement, insight, and wisdom.


Posts: 28 | Registered: Jan 2014
lieshurt
Member
Member # 14003
Default  Posted: 1:46 PM, January 17th (Friday)

I have not had the ability yet to talk with the AP about this

You don't need to. You already know what you are doing and that you are having an EA, so go NC. A long, lengthy discussion about something you already know to be happening is only going to fuel the flames of desire to keep in contact with your OW.


I'm sorry if you don't like my Honesty, but to be fair I don't like your lies.

Sometimes it's better to push someone away...not because you stopped loving them but because you can't take the pain anymore.


Posts: 13723 | Registered: Mar 2007 | From: Houston
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 1:55 PM, January 17th (Friday)

Hi TO,

I'm not familiar with your story, so I apologize for any redundant questions.

Have you told your wife about any of your EAs?

I know she agrees that we can't go farther than we have, and cannot meet (again) as she has a family she is committed to keeping.

What about your family?

The why and how are critical for me as I move forward. This is not my first EA. There have been several over a 20+ year span. But I would like to say this is the last.

Can you begin writing a timeline for both yourself and your wife? It might help you to examine your whys, and she needs to know the whole picture.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.

Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.


Posts: 3902 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
TemptedOne
New Member
Member # 42072
Default  Posted: 2:22 PM, January 17th (Friday)

You already know what you are doing and that you are having an EA, so go NC. A long, lengthy discussion about something you already know to be happening is only going to fuel the flames of desire to keep in contact with your OW.

For someone I have 30 year span of history with, I believe it would be discourteous to do this. I need to deal with it in an adult and professional manner. If she knows why she isn't hearing from me, she won't be contacting me asking why.

Have you told your wife about any of your EAs?

No. I see no benefit to her/me/the marriage in doing this.

What about your family?

No kids, marriage is a good friendship, but not physically/sexually intimate for 20+ years. Regardless of the problems we may have, I chose to stay in the marriage long ago when it would have been easy to leave.

Can you begin writing a timeline for both yourself and your wife? It might help you to examine your whys, and she needs to know the whole picture.

I'm working on timeline mentally right now, trying to put the pieces together. I don't see W being a part of this process. She is unaware of things, and I don't want to hurt her. I just want to correct my behavior.


Posts: 28 | Registered: Jan 2014
Deeply Scared
Administrator
Member # 2
Red  Posted: 2:26 PM, January 17th (Friday)

Please note that this thread is now moved into the WS Forum.


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

My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.


Posts: 197296 | Registered: May 2002
redrock
Member
Member # 21538
Default  Posted: 2:45 PM, January 17th (Friday)

No. I see no benefit to her/me/the marriage in doing this.

The benefit is being an authentic human being -for you. And for her- To be able to make decisions about her life based in truth. Whatever you tell yourself, allowing your marriage continue and trying to rebuild it on lies is a faulty process.

You can try to tell yourself it is saving pain as you embed yourself in lies. Outright or omission - its the different sides of the same coin.

Hiding risks nothing, you lose nothing and you protect yourself more than you do her feelings. The benefit of concealing the truth is all yours. There is no one but yourself to hold you accountable. And that is a much easier path. For you.

If you stay with your wife and you address the marriage problems, her choices are based in the reality you construct for her. Not the one she lives in. No partner deserves that. It may be all you can give, but it isn't protection or saving her pain. Do not let yourself off that easily. If you are going to hide the truth then own for whom it is for. You.

[This message edited by redrock at 2:46 PM, January 17th (Friday)]


I don't respect anyone that can't spell a word more than one way:)

Posts: 3152 | Registered: Nov 2008 | From: Michigan
lieshurt
Member
Member # 14003
Default  Posted: 2:46 PM, January 17th (Friday)

For someone I have 30 year span of history with, I believe it would be discourteous to do this

A short, to the point NC text, email or letter is all that is needed. She engaged in an affair with you. She doesn't deserve courtesy.

I just want to correct my behavior.

Something to think about....you've chosen to lie to and betray your wife for quite some time. How is continuing to do so correcting your behavior? Plus, you want to show more courtesy to your OW than your own Wife. That isn't a positive step in correcting your behavior either.


I'm sorry if you don't like my Honesty, but to be fair I don't like your lies.

Sometimes it's better to push someone away...not because you stopped loving them but because you can't take the pain anymore.


Posts: 13723 | Registered: Mar 2007 | From: Houston
TemptedOne
New Member
Member # 42072
Default  Posted: 4:35 PM, January 17th (Friday)

A short, to the point NC text, email or letter is all that is needed. She engaged in an affair with you. She doesn't deserve courtesy.

Agreed that it does not have to be a long, drawn out conversation. It can be concise and to the point. Disagree about the courtesy, as I believe everyone deserves that. She got caught up in this gradually just like I did, she didn't seduce or set out to do this any more than I did.

Something to think about....you've chosen to lie to and betray your wife for quite some time. How is continuing to do so correcting your behavior? Plus, you want to show more courtesy to your OW than your own Wife. That isn't a positive step in correcting your behavior either.

Not sure it's fair to say I want to show more courtesy to AP than to W. I could continue the A. The courteous/correct thing is to stop it. I don't believe that confession would benefit my marriage in any way. But changing my behaviors permanently would. She's happy with our marriage. Why would I want to take that from her?

Yes, redrock, I understand there is a benefit for me not to come forward with this, but I think to say the benefit is "all mine" or to say the only pain I'm saving is mine isn't accurate.

I see the A as being my fault, so it's my duty to correct/stop it. None of this is something she needs to correct. It was my choice to start the A, and it's on me to end it.

I have a feeling I just opened a can of worms here.


Posts: 28 | Registered: Jan 2014
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 4:47 PM, January 17th (Friday)

She's happy with our marriage.

She is happy with a lie. She believes you've been faithful. You haven't been. She isn't married to who she thinks she is, and she deserves to know the truth about her own life. Your affairs are her business because she is married to you.

No kids, marriage is a good friendship, but not physically/sexually intimate for 20+ years. Regardless of the problems we may have, I chose to stay in the marriage long ago when it would have been easy to leave.

Why no physical/sexual intimacy? No intimacy at all in 20+ years, or minimal intimacy? Why did you not file for divorce - why did you choose infidelity?


Find peace. Or sleep on it.

Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.


Posts: 3902 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
TemptedOne
New Member
Member # 42072
Default  Posted: 5:10 PM, January 17th (Friday)

Why no physical/sexual intimacy? No intimacy at all in 20+ years, or minimal intimacy? Why did you not file for divorce - why did you choose infidelity?

Problems became evident immediately in the marriage (I was her first, and we didn't do much sexually prior to marriage). Sex was/is uncomfortable for her. The honeymoon was disastrous and by the second year of marriage, sex was pretty much off the table. There is no medical reason for this. It's a size difference. I don't blame her for not wanting to do something that hurts. For quite a while I did, but not anymore. And filing for divorce over what was a seemingly selfish reason... well, ultimately I decided against it, as the rest of the marriage was pretty good. We get along well, but as good friends rather than lovers.

I suppose I could have divorced her, but I really didn't want to cause that pain on her or others. In all honesty, it would have been the easier path than I have taken by staying in and then struggling for years with the lack of sexual intimacy and the guilt of loaning my heart out to OW (never had a PA. EAs only. Not justifying, just clarifying).

She is happy with a lie. She believes you've been faithful. You haven't been. She isn't married to who she thinks she is, and she deserves to know the truth about her own life. Your affairs are her business because she is married to you.

I don't want to ignore this... but I'm still wrapping my head around any positive outcome of outing myself. You may be much further along in this process than I, so I may need time to see things the same way as you.

[This message edited by TemptedOne at 5:13 PM, January 17th (Friday)]


Posts: 28 | Registered: Jan 2014
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 5:30 PM, January 17th (Friday)

I don't want to ignore this... but I'm still wrapping my head around any positive outcome of outing myself. You may be much further along in this process than I, so I may need time to see things the same way as you.

That's probably true. I'm a mad-hatter. I can tell you a little about why it was so important from my experience.

When I cheated on my H, he had already been unfaithful to me. Confessing was so important because he needed to know who he was in a relationship with. I'd already been on the betrayed side by that time, and it was so painful having ideas of what he was doing and having him say it was none of my business, refusing to answer my questions, comparing me unfavorably to other women. He disrespected me. I did not want to disrespect him because I knew how awful it felt. I did not want to treat him the way he had treated me. The confession doesn't cause the pain; the act itself does. He needed to know who I was and how unhealthy I was, so he had the option of being somewhere healthier (he chose to stay and rugsweep both our infidelities, but that's another story).

If my H isn't happy with me, knowing my choices, then he has the option to leave. Would that be painful? Yes. It would be more painful knowing I was holding him captive because he didn't know the truth about who he was with.

And on the flip side, he claims he's not doing certain things, and then I catch him in lies. He won't give the whole story. He's never given the whole story. By now I'm good at feigning indifference. But it's something that will always stand in between us, because he prefers to be right rather than honest or vulnerable. At this point, it's my responsibility to stay or leave, but I'm focusing on getting healthy regardless.

Suppose your wife has an idea something is wrong, and she doesn't say anything because she doesn't want to believe it? Or suppose she would want to work with you on the sex issue, if she knew how you felt about it? Or in general, suppose your indiscretions were to get back to her someday, and she would feel humiliated that others knew more about her marriage than she did? The reality is that she hasn't had exclusivity with you. She deserves to know that.

As for why it would help you to confess… You have had many affairs over the course of 20 years, correct? How do you know that this one will be the last one? Have you told yourself before "never again", only to do it again? This is a pattern now. A habit. You need to break the habit and get healthy. Part of being a healthy person is being honest and authentic. That's what being a good husband is. And being honest with others goes in hand with being honest with yourself - telling your wife what you did is owning it. When you feel the impact of what you told her, you might begin to truly understand the reality of what you did. How can you possibly be close to your wife with so many secrets standing in between you two?

Things to think about. I hope this makes sense. Keep posting, we're here to help.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.

Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.


Posts: 3902 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
TemptedOne
New Member
Member # 42072
Default  Posted: 6:09 PM, January 17th (Friday)

That is a lot to mentally digest, but thank you for sharing your perspective. It is more helpful for me when I read someone's reasons for their point of view vs. "do this, don't do that".

I'll be re-reading your post a few times over the next couple of days as I let things sink in.


Posts: 28 | Registered: Jan 2014
bionicgal
Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 7:41 PM, January 17th (Friday)

TemptedOne,

Gently, I hope you eventually get to MC and work on a marriage that is mutually beneficial. Re: the sex - a "size difference" can be worked around. . . should be worked around. There is more going on here than you two are likely admitting to yourself. You are both settling. . .(except secretly, you are not, and acting out.) My guess is your wife is similarly unhappy.

If I were you, I'd open the door to authenticity and see what happens.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 7:50 PM, January 17th (Friday)]


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is more like a mental break than a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 1879 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
TemptedOne
New Member
Member # 42072
Default  Posted: 8:04 PM, January 17th (Friday)

Gently, I hope you eventually get to MC and work on a marriage that is mutually beneficial. Re: the sex - a "size difference" can be worked around. . . should be worked around. There is more going on here than you two are likely admitting to yourself. You are both settling. . .except (secretly_, you are not, and acting out. My guess is your wife is similarly unhappy.

I had another thread a couple days ago that delved into some of this. But since this is a new thread, let me clarify-- W does not want to go to MC. "Everything is just fine" with us, according to her. I tried for the first several years we were married. She wasn't having it. Still not open to it.

On the sex... there are other "things" that can be done, and I've talked with her about those, but any deviation from straight missionary is "dirty" according to her. Not much I can do about that.

On my wife's happiness, I think she feels some guilt about her part of the lack of sex. We finally were in a place this past year where we could actually talk about it some... for the first time in 20+ years. It was good. It was healthy. But ultimately nothing changed. She wants to spend all her spare time with me, so that doesn't tell me she's unhappy with me. Otherwise, why would she do that? She tells me I'm a great guy. She tells me she's lucky to have me. We really are good friends. Sometimes friends will argue or disagree, but ultimately the relationship is more important than the disagreement.

If I were you, I'd open the door to authenticity and see what happens.

Right now, from where I'm standing, nothing good happens. Maybe I'll change my mind. Can't say. Too fresh right now.

[This message edited by TemptedOne at 8:07 PM, January 17th (Friday)]


Posts: 28 | Registered: Jan 2014
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 8:15 PM, January 17th (Friday)

She wants to spend all her spare time with me, so that doesn't tell me she's unhappy with me.

What kinds of things does she like to do with you? How and when were you spending time with the OWs?

That is a lot to mentally digest, but thank you for sharing your perspective. It is more helpful for me when I read someone's reasons for their point of view vs. "do this, don't do that".

That makes sense. The work takes a long time, so if you get discouraged at times, don't give up.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.

Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.


Posts: 3902 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
Softcentre
Member
Member # 39166
Default  Posted: 1:08 AM, January 18th (Saturday)

BS here.I'd like to share a little of my story, if that's ok?

Not too long after getting married, I had an accident that left me with severe back pain for many years. This affected our sex life. I felt awful about it. To start off with I kept asking WH if he was ok about it. He kept reassuring me. He was lying, but he lied to 'protect' my feelings.

As time went on he got emotionally distant. I feel that partly this how he is, but mostly because he resented the situation and me, but wasn't willing to talk about it. The more emotionally distant he became, the less I wanted to have sex, because it hurt and why do that for someone who is cold? (except that I couldn't recognise what I was doing at the time)

Eventually he started having EAs. He only admits to one EA. But I now realise that this pattern of confiding relationship stuff with a female friend of co-worker has been going on for many years.

My back got better. But it was like I was living with a friend. A friend I loved deeply, but who was absent emotionally. Now, when we had sex, I did it for him. But I was rarely turned on because the emotional intimacy wasn't there. I felt like a blow up doll. It wasn't enjoyable for me.

I should have talked to him. I didn't. There was such a gap in intimacy etc...but really, I was afraid. I was afraid I was a poor wife to him, a sexual failure, that something was deeply wrong with me to feel this way about my husband. Yes, I completely blamed myself. I was scared of what might happen if we talked about it...if he'd be honest. I did try a few times,but he always said it was fine. It wasn't.

Unknown to me he ended up in an EA with a friend of mine. She ended it. He didn't tell me. He felt she deserved a face to face conversation. Guess what? These conversations happened a few times a year over coffee.

Eventually he met another person and had an EA/PA with her.(there was a lot more acting out in other ways that I'm not going to go into) We had a DDay. He too thought she deserved a conversation. He then broke NC with a secret email and meeting up. He had an emotional connection with her that he had withheld from me. Months later he walked out. I feel like he'd not been in the M for years...but he just wouldn't talk about it.


I had no idea how important sex was to our relationship. I trusted that he was telling me the truth. If he had made it clear that he was looking elsewhere, I'd have got us to MC. But I thought we were 'ok'. He hid his feelings and took away the truth from me. I didn't know what was going on in his head and behind my back. I wish he'd been honest and we'd both hightailed it to MC and IC.

As it is, I thought I was married for a long time. Turns out he'd been gone for years. Now I'm approaching middle age and have many wasted years. Years that could have been spent building a better marriage together, or him ending the marriage so that I could find someone who wasn't absent.

Not telling doesn't protect her. Having an EA means you've taken emotional intimacy away from your marriage. Not telling protects you from having to face your problems and your choices. It takes years from her, it takes love from her, it takes,takes,takes. It is not a gift to her.


Me: BW
Him: STBXWH 'The Arse' likes strong but broken OW
OW - EA - 'Holy Chick'
COW - Suspected EA/PA 'The Ambassador'
COW - Susp EA 'The Baker'
COW - EA/PA 'Fat Bottomed Girl'
COW - Susp EA 'MiniMe'

Posts: 881 | Registered: May 2013 | From: UK
TemptedOne
New Member
Member # 42072
Default  Posted: 10:14 AM, January 18th (Saturday)

What kinds of things does she like to do with you? How and when were you spending time with the OWs?

We both work a lot with demanding career (her) and business (me), so coming home at night to relax is important. Sometimes I make dinner (she doesn't cook) if we are both home by dinner time. We sit on the couch, watch a movie, and have a glass of wine together. Beyond that, other activities we do include snowsports, travel, and spending time with family.

For a few of the OWs, I would meet them online. W goes to bed early, and I would be awake and I suppose a bit lonely for 3 or 4 hours of discretionary time. They never started with the intention of looking for an OW. It started with looking to fill my idle time and, I think, lonliness.

I'm older now and I can sleep earlier, so that pattern has changed. The current and soon to be ex OW and I are both busy, so communication is random and infrequent. Sometimes she IMs me once a week, sometimes I'm available to IM back, sometimes not. So real-time conversations aren't super frequent. When they happen, they last 5-15 minutes. At one point I was sending IMs probably 3-5 days a week, but I have stopped this.


Posts: 28 | Registered: Jan 2014
TemptedOne
New Member
Member # 42072
Default  Posted: 10:18 AM, January 18th (Saturday)

Softecentre, thank you for your input and sharing from your experience. It is valuable to me as I chart this course.

Posts: 28 | Registered: Jan 2014
Softcentre
Member
Member # 39166
Default  Posted: 2:55 PM, January 18th (Saturday)

It's great that you're here and wanting to work through this.


Me: BW
Him: STBXWH 'The Arse' likes strong but broken OW
OW - EA - 'Holy Chick'
COW - Suspected EA/PA 'The Ambassador'
COW - Susp EA 'The Baker'
COW - EA/PA 'Fat Bottomed Girl'
COW - Susp EA 'MiniMe'

Posts: 881 | Registered: May 2013 | From: UK
TemptedOne
New Member
Member # 42072
Default  Posted: 10:31 AM, January 19th (Sunday)

I'll be honest... yesterday it all felt too big for me to deal with at all and I wanted to give up on the process.

Hoping to find more strength this week. Thank you for your encouragement.


Posts: 28 | Registered: Jan 2014
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 11:33 AM, January 20th (Monday)

I'll be honest... yesterday it all felt too big for me to deal with at all and I wanted to give up on the process.
Hoping to find more strength this week. Thank you for your encouragement.

It's normal to feel that way sometimes. Good on you for hanging on and NOT giving up! Keep posting here, we're here to help. What is your next step?


Find peace. Or sleep on it.

Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.


Posts: 3902 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
forgiven223
New Member
Member # 43446
Default  Posted: 8:02 PM, May 18th (Sunday)

I'll be honest... yesterday it all felt too big for me to deal with at all and I wanted to give up on the process.
Hoping to find more strength this week. Thank you for your encouragement.

Tempted, how are you doing? I relate to so much of your story. I'm new here and am wondering how you waded through this process.


Posts: 1 | Registered: May 2014
Tickingtock
Member
Member # 41411
Default  Posted: 5:32 PM, May 19th (Monday)

I'm confused. What does a lack of sexual intercourse have to do with having an online affair?


Me: 31, exBGF, now married

Posts: 160 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: West Coast, USA
Topic Posts: 23