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A little bit of my story

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MrsWalloped posted 2/7/2018 12:23 PM

Hi. This is my first time posting a new topic. My husband has been on SI since DDay and he first shared SI with me a few months ago. So he knows Iím here. Iíve been lurking for a long time and registered recently. My affair was two and a half years ago and weíve been in R since then. This is a little scary for me but I think I feel comfortable leaving the stop sign off. I hope Iím not making a mistake.

I didnít want to sidetrack the other thread about FOO issues. I guess I just want to share a little bit about me and some of what Iíve learned in therapy.

I think itís how you look at the question of FOO issues. If, as a WS, we use FOO issues as an excuse or as something to blame our actions on, then we are being dishonest and arenít really digging very deep, IMO. For me, FOO issues were a contributing factor in why I had my affair. It wasnít because I didnít know right from wrong. But understanding how it affects us is why therapy is so important because we need to identify those causes so we can fight them and become healthier and a safe partner.

I was emotionally abused by my mother growing up. I was always horrible, nothing I did was good or of value. From small things to big things. ďYouíre a slob.Ē ďYouíre ugly.Ē ďLook at you, what a disappointment.Ē If I got an A on a paper, ďWhoíd you copy from?Ē I didnít make my bed one morning and my mother dumped the kitchen garbage on it since if I wasnít going to be clean and make my bed then I should sleep with the garbage. One time I left a few sweatshirts on the floor in my room. I came home from school to find my entire wardrobe on the front lawn. She threw all my clothes out the window because if wasnít going to treat my things with respect then I obviously donít value them and I donít deserve them. The first time I got my period was the summer I was 12. Itís like it was yesterday. It was during the day and I was at a family barbecue and I was wearing a cute yellow top with a white flare skirt with yellow flowers on it. I didnít know what was going on when it happened but you can imagine the state of my skirt. I was so mortified! Everyone knew what happened except me and I was crying and so embarrassed and scared at the same time and all she did was yell at me for ruining that skirt. She dragged me into the house where she made me get undressed in front of her so she could wash the blood off. I remember standing there naked and crying while she used a washcloth on me while she was yelling at me for making such a mess and ruining the family barbecue. Then she got me a pad and borrowed underwear and jeans from my cousin who was a boy and made me go back outside in his jeans with everyone knowing what happened. She flirted with my boyfriends (yes, with my husband too at the beginning), told me Iíd amount to nothing. ďWhy would anyone want to be with you?Ē Or, ďI give your marriage 2 weeks before he divorces you.Ē were common. This went on nearly every day from when I was a little girl until the day I got married. Then it shifted to how horrible I was at housekeeping or parenting. I canít type all of it but it was a constant drumbeat of messaging telling me I was worthless and that nobody in their right mind would love me.

My way of dealing with this was to be as good as I could be. If only I made my bed and cleaned my room. If only I got straight Aís in school, if only I dressed perfectly and always brushed my hair and applied my makeup just so and did everything perfectly, then maybe Iíd be someone of value.

And this influenced how I behaved with my husband and children. Iíd be the perfect wife and perfect mother and perfect neighbor, and the compliments and thank youís I got in return were my validation that I was a worthwhile human being. That I deserved to be loved. I donít know how to explain it but one example my therapist used was that I have a different operating system than other people. My default setting is that Iím worthless. Nothing I do is good. Anything that goes wrong is a confirmation of that fact. If the house wasnít immaculate or I burnt dinner then of course Iím horrible. And I needed to reprogram that setting. And the way to do that was with a barrage of positive messages from anyone and everyone. I volunteered at 3 different charities. Through my actions I basically was shouting that Iím somebody and Iím good and kind and please love me.

My husband loved me and praised me and told me I was beautiful and sexy and kind and he held me and made love to me and made me feel that I was a real person. A good person. Someone worthwhile and deserving of love. We had 5 children partly because I felt worthwhile having babies. Look what I did! Look at this beautiful baby! I canít be all that horrible if I could give birth to such beautiful babies. And nurture them and love them and kiss them and take care of them. And my children loved me back. And they turned out so great they were living proof that not everything I touch turns to shit.

And then my oldest daughter got engaged and I miscarried our twins which of course I blamed myself for and my husband was busy at work and wasnít involved in the wedding and my daughter was leaving me. Not beginning a beautiful new life with our son in law, but to me she was leaving me because who would want to be around me? She was leaving the first chance she got and I was positive my other babies would do the same. And along came my AP. He was a guy I volunteered with at a charity in Manhattan. We used to visit childrenís hospitals together. He wasnít more attractive or better looking. He was wealthy, but itís not like my husband didnít do very well either. Really he wasnít anything special. But he talked to me. I complained a lot about my husband and the wedding and my daughter getting married and he validated me. He subtly put my husband down and told me how wonderful I was and how special I was. Of course it was all bullshit in hindsight but at the time I soaked it up like it was gold. Coffee and lunches became long walks. And he told my how beautiful I was and how kind and giving and how much he appreciated me for me and so on. And in my mind my husband didnít think I was beautiful or sexy or special because I was an over 40 stay at home mom. How could I be?

But my AP could and I believed him because I wanted that so badly. To keep hearing it. So after some time I became a whore for him. I traded sex for compliments and validation. I gave him whatever he wanted because when I did heíd keep telling me how beautiful I was and how sexy I was and how special I was. Iím between a size 2 or 4 and in good shape, but in my mind I was fat, with a flabby butt and stretch marks. My husband always told me how much he loved my curves and my stretch marks because of what they represented but of course that didnít matter. Heís my husband. Heís supposed to say that. He doesnít mean it. How could he? But I believed my AP. I donít want to be graphic or crude but Iíd make him beg and asked him if he liked things I was doing or told him to tell me how much he loved me and my body. It sounds so pathetic and it was but I created a fantasy world where I loved him and he loved me. Someone loved me! I was valuable and cared for and paid attention to! I was like someone dying of thirst in the desert and he had the only water around.

This continued until I was caught by my brother in law. I guess thatís when my husband came here to SI for help. You can look him up for his story.

I guess besides sharing (we thought it would be healthy for me to do that) I wanted to explain why knowing and understanding your FOO issues are so important. Theyíre not to be used as an excuse or a cop out and theyíre not an absolution of blame or somehow a cloud that prevented us from knowing right from wrong. I knew what I was doing was wrong. I knew I was betraying my husband. I just didnít care enough. While I shouldíve talked to my husband about my feelings and what I was going through, I didnít. And I craved what my AP was giving me. Not the sex, but how he made me feel. The sex was my currency to get those feelings. I never dealt with my issues before so I didnít know how to deal with them in any kind of healthy way. I didnít know what to look out for. I didnít know how to cope when I wasnít getting my pellets of validation from the people in my life. Now I do. I have tools and mechanisms. Iím not healed or cured, but I know what Iím facing and Iíve learned ways to deal with it. And my husband has to. He knows what I deal with and what to look out for and how to help. Therapy brought that about. Exploring and understanding my FOO issues was so important for me to help me become the person I need to be for me, my husband and my children.

Iím sorry this was so long or if I shared too much. Thank you for listening.

Jorge posted 2/7/2018 12:49 PM

I've read your husband's thread 3 times and I feel as if I know both of you. Your path to remorse and reconciliation is a story of love (for your husband and family), conviction,compassion, humility,commitment, remorse and joy. One statement in particular really stands out to me and that's when you realized your husband was hating you because of pain he was going through and he attempted to rebuff your efforts to embrace him.

Despite his efforts you wouldn't let go and eventually he conceded to your desire to be physically close to him. You realized (I think) that he needed and wanted it as well, but allowed his pain to get in the way. You made the decision YOU would not allow his pain to get in your way of loving him. Sooooo beautiful. Mind movies are discussed all the time, but they don't always have to be bad ones. You created an awesome one for others seeking to restore there marriages. Thank you for sharing.

harrybrown posted 2/7/2018 13:53 PM

I hope these questions are okay.

If they are not okay, just ignore them and I am sorry.

I think about her affair every day and many, many times a day.

Do you still think positive thoughts about your OM? Or have your feelings changed after you were caught and had counseling? did you love the OM? I asked my wife this and did not get an answer.

How could she forget about me? Did you forget about Walloped also? Did you have any guilt or refuse to have sex with Walloped because your needs were met elsewhere?

If Walloped had an affair, would you file for D? how would you feel?

I hope Walloped does not think about the A everyday.

I still want to hurt the OM, but I do not want to go to jail. Have you stopped protecting the OM and helped Walloped to cause any pain in the life of the OM? It would not be near the pain caused to your H, but it would be nice that the OM did not get all the sex and no pain from you.

Walloped did have pain from you not wearing clothes around the OM. Have you found a way to top this for Walloped?


I do hope you and your husband get all out of the pain and into happiness.

I thought that my way of showing love was by working and providing for my family.

I tried to be a good father and husband. But I do know that I have many failings. She bought the house she wanted, while I was working.

we have been married for over 43 years. the house is finally paid off. kids and grandkids came back to live with us from time to time.

I do not feel well. In addition to the emotional hurt, my body hurts now.

she will have over a million in retirement funds. I feel to old to start over. I wish I could get past the pain, but it is killing what little love is left. She denies any affair, but I receive communications about the affair. Pictures, anon phone calls, etc.

I do read online about affair recovery from several places. The counseling we went to was not helpful.

Do not mean to bother you and Walloped. Best of luck to you both.

just trying to understand.

TimelessLoss posted 2/7/2018 15:04 PM

MrsW, from just this one post I see you as a valuable asset to SI. As is W.

hikingout posted 2/7/2018 15:21 PM

Mrs. Walloped,

Thank you so much for sharing this. I haven't come to the place yet of sharing my whole story, it takes some bravery to write for certain. Minus specific details I feel like you wrote part of mine. I am glad that you are here, I truly identify though you are further in your evolution and that's what I found most powerful/helpful. We are still only 7 months out, you give me hope.


Trying2copeinMD posted 2/7/2018 15:26 PM

This was painful to read. Makes you wonder why some people can be parents and treat their kids like this.

Must have been very difficult to write that.. to almost relive those memories. Thank you for sharing, as I'm sure it's not easy in this forum.

I hope that you have found a way to slay your demons.. sounds like you had a lot to face in your life.

Root posted 2/7/2018 15:34 PM

We had the same mother. Itís so weird reading your side of the story as Iím familiar with your husbands. The conclusion was same as mine. You have everything. Youíre smart. Youíre thin. Youíre beautiful. Your husband is a great guy. You have money. Youíre the president of the PTA....so why the hell would you do this??? Damn been there done that. Thing is perfection means at some point it destroys. I hit my 40ís and I donít know I just couldnít do it anymore. I was so tired. So unhappy. My facade was crashing around me and the OM was just the pick me up I needed. I knew the OM was an arrogant ass but I didnít care. Someone thought I was special and thatís all that mattered to me. I felt like a piece of furniture at home and I wanted to feel sexy and desired.

What I failed to consider was the part where my husband also felt like a piece of furniture or an ATM machine. He too wanted to feel sexy and desired. Sigh...I had no idea.

[This message edited by Root at 4:58 PM, February 7th (Wednesday)]

skerzoid posted 2/7/2018 16:33 PM

Mrs Walloped:

I found out from reading later posts how you had lost your twins. That is a pain that we all can understand. But, even more so, I think you showed how a WW can come to understand the pain that she inflicted. Many can't seem to comprehend it.

That realization, combined with the shame and guilt that you obviously felt, and the grief from the children you lost added up to burden that is hard to comprehend.

[This message edited by skerzoid at 6:10 PM, March 19th (Monday)]

hikingout posted 2/7/2018 16:48 PM

Root -I️ also identified with your post. Same mother, and hitting my forties and feeling so tired of carrying it all. Successful, successful husband, everything most people want...and a husband who needed what I was needing..instead of turning to him, I blew it all up. And for what? Someone who didnít value me the way he did. A person who didnít really see me, but a piece of ass. To know the things then I know now? Ugh.

MrsWalloped posted 2/7/2018 16:49 PM

harrybrown,

I donít mind the questions. Iíll do my best to answer them honestly.

Do you still think positive thoughts about your OM? Or have your feelings changed after you were caught and had counseling? did you love the OM?

No I donít. I havenít since basically shortly after DDay. I think for me the biggest wake up call was when my husband found out he was really married and not divorced like he told me. My time with my AP was the cause of so much pain and heartache for my husband and for my children. We deal with the aftermath every day. And my boys are getting bigger and I know I need to let them know about my actions (my girls know, they donít). Thereís nothing positive about that. Thereís nothing positive about him. I wasnít in it for the sex. Iím not doing a good job explaining myself. I didnít have an affair with him because I thought he was Mr. Wonderful. I had an affair with him in part because of what I took from him. But part of the fantasy world I created was that I loved him and he loved me. But it wasnít based on anything and wasnít real. Maybe thatís why after I was caught I was able to get over him so quickly. Because I was never really into him. I was into me.

How could she forget about me? Did you forget about Walloped also?

I didnít forget about my husband, but during my affair I put him away in a lockbox or a safe place in my head where I didnít have him intruding in my fantasy. The crazy and screwed up thing is that after Iíd meet my AP Iíd be on such a high because of all the good feelings I had about myself that I convinced myself that this was a positive thing. That Iíd be a better wife and mother as a result because my being positive was sure to rub of on everybody in my real life. I know. I know.

Did you have any guilt or refuse to have sex with Walloped because your needs were met elsewhere?

There were a few times when I had sex with my AP that I refused my husband that night. Not because my needs were met but because it felt wrong to me. Having sex with another man was apparently okay in my mixed up head but having sex with my husband the same day was a line I couldnít cross. So it wasnít about not wanting sex with him. Some small part of me had some shred of decency left and while refusing him was of course wrong and unfair, the alternative was having my fantasy life intrude on my real life. Of course I didnít refuse my AP because of what I wanted and needed from him.

If Walloped had an affair, would you file for D? how would you feel?

I would feel horrible and devastated. I donít think Iíd be able to handle it. I might file for D. Weíve talked about it. But maybe even more so now because he knows what it feels like. He knows the pain and for him to intentionally inflict that on me, I wouldnít blame him but I donít know that I can deal with that. Iíve always said heís a stronger person than I am. One saving grace is that heís a man of character so I know he wouldnít.

I hope Walloped does not think about the A everyday.

Itís a rare day when he doesnít.

I still want to hurt the OM, but I do not want to go to jail. Have you stopped protecting the OM and helped Walloped to cause any pain in the life of the OM? It would not be near the pain caused to your H, but it would be nice that the OM did not get all the sex and no pain from you.

I donít think Iíve ever protected my AP. If he got any ďpainĒ from me itís when I was deposed by his wifeís attorney in her divorce action.

Walloped did have pain from you not wearing clothes around the OM. Have you found a way to top this for Walloped?

He told people about that? Oh God. Iím not upset or blaming him. Surprised really. And ashamed. But shame is a big part of these past few years. He had a very hard time with what I did and that in particular. But I didnít do it for my AP, I did it for me and for how he responded. I felt sexy and beautiful and daring and desirable and he would tell me all these things and Iíd soak them up.

Topping it was never part of our discussions but Iíve been doing my best to make it up to my husband every day.

I do hope you and your husband get all out of the pain and into happiness.

Thank you. I hope my answers were helpful to you.

ISurvived7734 posted 2/7/2018 16:50 PM

Full disclosure - I'm a BH and still bitter about my wife's cheating decades ago. That said I acknowledge that people cheat all the time. Various credible sources put the number as high as 50% of married women will cheat on their husband at some point during the marriage. I believe that number so the question in my mind becomes - why would a woman who claims to love their husband have a secret, sexual relationship with another man?

As we all have come to understand, there are many reasons women cheat but the most common one is that they crave attention from men and they just aren't getting enough from their husbands. As a man, I know that the romantic love that brings two people together in the beginning always wanes - always. Then there are financial issues and then there are children and the couple become caught up in the difficult, often boring reality of family life. I'm sure most WW's have discussed their feelings about this with their BH long before actually cheating but he didn't change enough for her. Or at all. A legitimate reason that a man doesn't change is that there is no way he is going to understand the deep-seated craving that women have to be desired by men. He can maybe accept it as a fact, but never actually understand it. So, what's a girl to do? Then you meet some dude who is happy to tell you how hot you are, and charm the panties off of you. You love feeling so desired again and are willing to trade sex to keep him stroking your ego...among other things. For him the compliments and attention is just the price for no-strings sex with you - cheap at the twice the price for most guys. Now you have a fantasy relationship with him that is free from all the responsibilities of your real life. He charms you, you meet and have sex, then both of you go back to your real life after the sweat dries and you long for the next escape. Rinse, repeat.

Now, given that this scenario is common is it really any wonder why (at least) half of all married women cheat? Especially when you consider how many of us deal with FOO problems and/or issues with maturity, entitlement, and narcissism. The curious thing to me is; how in the hell does the other half stay faithful? Is it that the innate need to be desired by men is simply stronger in those women who find themselves willing to do anything to keep those compliments coming?

I guess I'm saying that I understand MrsWalloped and all women who cheat due to the "need to be desired" thing. As a BH it makes me sick to say this because it feels like I'm somehow giving tacit approval to it all when nothing could be further from the truth. I don't accept that cheating is the way to scratch that itch. I think it's a combination of counseling and frank honesty with your husband that change is required. If after giving this an honest effort you still aren't getting what you need than divorce is the answer.

Cheating in order to feel desired by other men is a thin excuse. It means you were not willing to take an honorable path to pursue happiness because it was too hard. Like most shortcuts in life, they look so good but in the end demand a big price for taking them.

I'm not just rambling on here - I'm looking for feedback about what I'm saying from MrsWalloped and other WW's. For those WW's who feel they are making progress reconciling, have you examined your need for external validation from other men? Have you learned how to mitigate this urge with boundaries or some other method? I guess I'm thinking that if a WW doesn't do something to specifically address this issue she is very ripe to cheat again when life gets back to "normal" and she begins to feel unappreciated again. Anyone agree/disagree?

Thissux posted 2/7/2018 16:54 PM

Thank you for this post mrswalloped. You and my wife had very similar upbringing and both had an affair. Something in your post really stood out. "He's my husband he's supposed to say that". I heard those words from my wife too not long after dday.

She just posted for the first time in her thread "finally my story" by hopeful4life in this forum. (A couple threads away from this one). I think you two would have a lot to talk about.

sewardak posted 2/7/2018 17:02 PM

Hi Mrs Wall. thank you for posting. I had a similar mom as well. I catch myself looking for external validation all the time.
Its good you recognize this. but, i wonder what you told yourself that gave you the green light to proceed with AP. Because we all have shit. but what made you say yes instead of no? i think right there would be the nitty gritty of the issue. jmo.
I'm really glad you're here.

Root posted 2/7/2018 17:19 PM

For those WW's who feel they are making progress reconciling, have you examined your need for external validation from other men? Have you learned how to mitigate this urge with boundaries or some other method? I guess I'm thinking that if a WW doesn't do something to specifically address this issue she is very ripe to cheat again when life gets back to "normal" and she begins to feel unappreciated again. Anyone agree/disagree?

I'm BPD which means impulsive behavior, hyper sexuality and I can't be alone. I first had to white knuckle the being alone part I mean its not like my BH can stroke my ego all day AND hold down a full time job at the same time. At the same time my BH needed to understand that I'm well....needy. Doesn't let me off the hook no it just means "normal" isn't acceptable to me. It will never be acceptable to me. I will always need/want MORE than that.

Thankfully my BH is game for whatever "urges" I have (I communicate when I'm feeling needy now). I'm medicated for the impulsiveness and I also have STRONG boundaries in regards to other men.

[This message edited by Root at 5:24 PM, February 7th (Wednesday)]

harrybrown posted 2/7/2018 17:20 PM

Thank you and Mr. Wallop for the answers.

I will read and re-read. It helps some.

Thank you and again best wishes to Mr. Wallop and you.

Maybe an idea to print off and let my wife see the answers.

MrsWalloped posted 2/7/2018 17:51 PM

I'm looking for feedback about what I'm saying from MrsWalloped and other WW's. For those WW's who feel they are making progress reconciling, have you examined your need for external validation from other men? Have you learned how to mitigate this urge with boundaries or some other method? I guess I'm thinking that if a WW doesn't do something to specifically address this issue she is very ripe to cheat again when life gets back to "normal" and she begins to feel unappreciated again. Anyone agree/disagree?

ISurvived - I agree that without specifically addressing their issues, anyone is ripe to cheat. In my case it wasnít a need for external validation from other men, it was a need for validation from anyone and everyone. My husband, my children, my friends, strangers. My AP was just there and the type to see me for what I was (easy prey to him) and I figured out quickly how to get more of it from him. Now if you had asked me before then if Iíd ever consider cheating my answer would be just a no way, but a hell no! I used to look down on cheaters. I couldnít understand them. To be one myself? Thatís a whole other part of my therapy.

But thatís why I said therapy is important. Because mine gave me tools to utilize and ways to be conscious of my needs and when I do things for attention and validation. Take this thread. Iím so grateful for the kind responses to my post especially because I was so scared to write it. But as I read each response and peopleís kind words about my husband I had to stop and think about why I wrote this. Why did it make me feel good? Did I write it to elicit that response? Am I just looking for attention or positive reinforcement? My whole lens is different now and I question everything so I donít fall into that trap. And I communicate everything to my husband. All my feelings, good and bad.

Another part of my therapy has been self-reinforcement. Positive messaging. Rewiring my brain so that I believe that Iím worthwhile and valuable. So that I lessen my need for external validation. Of course knowing what I did to my husband and family hasnít helped that part. My cheating just reinforced the horrible thoughts I had about myself and confirmed it. Making myself believe that I am a good person despite what I did was and is one of the hardest things Iíve ever done. Iím not all the way there yet.

So I guess my answer is that yes, absolutely. You canít ignore your issues. Iíd love to be able to say Iíd never cheat again but thereís no way Iíd guarantee that. Because I would have said that before I cheated so what good are my words? And thatís why as someone who did cheat I have to do the work. I must.

MrsWalloped posted 2/7/2018 19:38 PM

i wonder what you told yourself that gave you the green light to proceed with AP. Because we all have shit. but what made you say yes instead of no?

sewardak,

Nothing. There was no epiphany or devil on my shoulder whispering in my ear or anything that said it was okay. In fact I knew it wasnít.

The first time wasnít a drunken one night stand. We spent lots of time together for months where there was a slow buildup. Mine was what is classified as an emotional affair before it became physical. And as our relationship escalated so did displays of affection. Like anything else, it took more from me to get more from him. The sex was a natural progression. And when push came to shove I cared more about my perceived needs than I did my husband and my own integrity. Until once I did it came crashing down on me.

This is hard. The first time I had sex with my AP I came home and got into the shower and cried nonstop while I scrubbed and scrubbed and tried to wash him off me. I had the water scalding and I rubbed my skin raw and when I finally stopped I just sat on the floor heaving. Because I knew what I did and I hated myself for it. And that just confirmed for me how terrible of a person I was. But my AP, he valued me! He didnít think I was a monster or a horrible person. He desired me! He loved me! And I cried knowing I was going to have sex with him again. And because I couldnít deal with it, knowing what I was doing was wrong but not being strong enough and not valuing my husband enough and not valuing myself enough to stop, I pushed all thoughts that conflicted with what I was doing away. I would have had a breakdown otherwise. Of course I now wish I had. And so while somewhere I knew, I didnít think of him at all during my times with my AP.

I donít know if that answers your question. I hope it helps.

GoldenR posted 2/7/2018 20:01 PM

You guys have a very uplifting story, but your answer of you'd probably file for D if he did it is mind boggling to me.

sewardak posted 2/7/2018 20:02 PM

((Mrswalloped))

Crazymixedupkid posted 2/7/2018 20:22 PM

Mrs W
I have read and re-read your husband's and now your posts. You provide hope for many couples ravaged by infidelity. Our own journey is now 30 years and counting. And, no matter how devastating the hurt, time has a way at ebbing away, until it becomes a memory. We worked damn hard to get here, but we did.

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