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BS Questions for WS's - Part 13

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thewalruswaspaul posted 1/13/2020 12:51 PM

BraveSirRobin: My WS says that he's been compartmentalizing things away since he was a kid, any part of himself or his life that doesn't fit the way he wants to see himself. So much so that unless someone literally puts the proof of it in his face he can't really conceive of what's real on his own. He didn't want to be the kind of person who would hurt his partner badly or objectify women to a nearly pathological extent, so in his mind he wasn't. His father was very emotionally neglectful towards him and verbally abusive toward his mother, and my WS got used to presenting one carefully curated image of himself and putting the rest of it into secret boxes that only ever came out in private. I suspect there's some additional childhood trauma present, which he doesn't discuss with me and is very reluctant to explore in therapy.

I will add that it sounds like you have yet to get any TT that wasn't forced by physical proof, which makes me suspect that your WH is a garden variety liar.

I am still very afraid of that being what's actually happening. One saving grace is that there are several details about his infidelity that I never would have been able to discover on my own. And I've been checking everything fairly routinely since Dday 2, and there's nothing. But still, always the questions about whether he's only getting better at covering his tracks. It's not easy for me to imagine that he's capable of that kind of cruelty.

BraveSirRobin posted 1/13/2020 17:41 PM

I can absolutely believe things like "he had no idea his porn collection had gotten so out of control." That's classic minimization of the scope of our depravity, and we lie to ourselves before our spouses because we don't want to admit to being that person. But forgetting an entire year-long EA is much harder for me to credit. Now, he's not the first WS here to make that kind of claim, and there are certainly mental disorders that would make that possible, but it's outside the range of "normal" WS behavior, IMO.

thewalruswaspaul posted 1/14/2020 08:16 AM

BraveSirRobin: It may be more accurate to call it a year-long curiosity or infatuation, rather than a full-blown EA. Most of the conversations I read were fairly benign with some flirting here and there. They contacted each other every 3-6 weeks or so. He never mentioned me and she seemed to think he was single. The last time they exchanged any messages was around Sept. 2017. If it were just that I might be able to overlook it, but combined with the porn addiction and Tinder and seeing all the screenshots he took of other women's profiles it's just a lot to deal with.

There is one condition under which I'm willing to believe that he was able to lock it all away into some mental space and essentially forget it while he was in real life with me. He needs to start digging deep in therapy and figure out what gives him the ability to be so fragmented. Some people have told me that it's too early for me to want him to work through his FOO and early life issues. But I can't sit around and wait for him to decide whether or not he's going to become an emotionally intelligent adult. He said he would do anything in the world to fix this, I feel like I'm within my rights to expect him to do some uncomfortable work.

Chaos posted 1/16/2020 13:50 PM

What do you [particularly those in R but would welcome all perspectives] when someone reminds you of your affiar.

This happened to WH a few days ago and he's been out of sorts. I gave space and he eventually mentioned it.

This is someone he'd blocked [he's cut and blocked not only AP but all her friends they hung out with] but you know social media and new accounts [note - he blocked again after this]. But he got a message that it would be a shame if others found out.

ETA - this was someone WH and AP used to hang with - not AP herself.

He showed me the exchange. He replied [before blocking] that he's cut ties with all those from that time period and not to contact him again. (I'd have just advised crickets but...)

I told him that time will lessen all that. To hold his head high and go about being the person I'm R-ing with. He's in IC and suggested bringing it up next session. He's trying not to shame spiral.

Which spirals me back to how do you (f)WS handle it when someone tries to rub your nose in the shit just to stir it?

[This message edited by Chaos at 2:28 PM, January 16th (Thursday)]

hikingout posted 1/16/2020 14:10 PM

I hope that someone comes by and answers this for you soon, Chaos. I haven't had that happen, and while I would like to say that I have gained enough self-compassion for it not to matter as much, it's easy to say that when it's not reality.

The only reason I am responding at all is to say, when I read this from you I thought about how far you have been able to come. This post in particular shows a lot of empathy for your H, I have a lot of respect for you and I am always glad to see these little hallmarks of healing, it gives me a lot of hope. Take care.

IWMWWCT1920 posted 1/18/2020 17:44 PM

For WS... If your AP had gotten pregnant and decided to keep the baby what would your real feelings be? When I look back my hubby became someone I didnít even know. I remember moodiness and attitude and it seemed he nicpicked me along with subtle criticism. Many times he would return home and his whereabouts stories wouldnít add up. He seemed to risk our entire family to be with AP.

Now that she is pregnant he all of a sudden never planned to leave, she didnít have the qualities he would want for a long term spouse blah blah. How is it Now he sees so much negative traits in her, but couldnít see them before the pregnancy. Why all of a sudden he can easily distant himself when before he continued with her in spite of having all the guilt he supposedly felt once he came home. The guilt was not enough to stop the affair but all of a sudden the pregnancy is. Heís angry that I donít believe anything he says, cheaters are liars. He can do so much soul searching now but wasnít trying to before.

[This message edited by IWMWWCT1920 at 6:35 PM, January 18th (Saturday)]

ScarredSurviver posted 1/21/2020 13:59 PM

I'd like to ask a question for any WS/fWS that has encountered the OBS down the road after the A had come to a conclusion.

What were your feelings towards the OBS at that time and how did you handle it? Did you apologize, were you afraid, did you gloat in your head, did you just avoid the OBS, did you have any remorse, did you pity the OBS? Just trying to understand what my WW's AP may be thinking if we meet at an upcoming event. I know what thoughts will be in my head.

MrCleanSlate posted 1/23/2020 13:20 PM

IMW...

For WS... If your AP had gotten pregnant and decided to keep the baby what would your real feelings be?

I had a vasectomy about 10 years before my A so pregnancy was not an issue for me. BUT, I can tell you that my AP didn't really matter to me. It was about me. Looking back I did not care about her one bit. I cared about what she did for me. Harsh sounding, but that is the truth. So her getting pregnant is so far down the list of priority for your WH. I remember a GF back in college that claimed after we broke up that she was pregnant and had an abortion. It really hurt, because she never gave me the vote in the matter. Karma bites back big time.

Yes it sucks that he got his AP pregnant, and I feel for you, and the poor kid to be.

MrsWalloped posted 1/27/2020 08:35 AM

What were your feelings towards the OBS at that time and how did you handle it? Did you apologize, were you afraid, did you gloat in your head, did you just avoid the OBS, did you have any remorse, did you pity the OBS?

Hi ScarredSurviver.

I think the main feeling originally was shock and shame. But thatís because I thought my AP was divorced and I had just found out he was really married. After that encounter I stayed NC until the OBS reached out to me because she was divorcing her WH and wanted me to testify as part of her divorce, so I went to the deposition. That was a small way to apologize even though it was not nearly enough. I felt bad for her. Her husband cheated on her a bunch of times and I was the last straw.

Gloat? That would just be so cruel.

Chili posted 1/27/2020 20:48 PM

A hugely generalized question for the WS's:

because we don't want to admit to being that person

Do you think this is what prevents some WS's from even attempting reconciliation? That the shame, pain (or insert whatever bit here) is too much to face? I sometimes wonder if it's "easier" for some to just go away and rewrite the narrative than to be "that person."

MrsWalloped posted 1/28/2020 05:57 AM

Do you think this is what prevents some WS's from even attempting reconciliation? That the shame, pain (or insert whatever bit here) is too much to face? I sometimes wonder if it's "easier" for some to just go away and rewrite the narrative than to be "that person."

Yes. I think so.

During my A, my mind twisted a bunch of things to make me not be that person. He was divorced, it was ďlooove,Ē I was upset at my BH. They donít make any sense when you look at them clearly but it was a way for me not to be disgusted with myself. After DDay when the compartmentalizations fell apart, I was left having to face myself and what I did to my BH. In order to reconcile you have to own that and that means facing the fact the you are that person. I believe that itís only through owning it and acknowledging who you are that you can actually work to change who you are going to be and reconcile. You need to know what you are reconciling from. Just saying I had an A isnít enough. It has to be deeper than that.

Personally, that entire journey was probably the hardest personal work Iíve ever done. You need to accept that about yourself but not become a basket case over it and still focus on your own healing and your BS and your R process.

For those that try to hide from that and donít R because they canít or donít want to face themselves that way, I honestly believe they still know the truth deep down. They may mask those feelings through another relationship or turn to other things to cover it up, but when theyíre alone, it pops up. If they allow those feelings to bubble up a little, they know.

MrCleanSlate posted 1/28/2020 11:22 AM

Chili,

MrsWalloped really give a great explanation. You can tell she looked in the mirror and faced that person.

For many WS we have disconnected from our M well before our A. We lied about everything before, during and most likely after the A. We hurt the people that mattered most.

Yeah, it is hard to admit you were a bad person. Some don't want to do that introspection. It hurts so why bother when you can just move on, ignore, and pretend...

earlydetour posted 2/3/2020 13:07 PM

In doing "the work", what's been your experience changing how you think/feel/behave with others besides your spouse, vs working on your relationship with your spouse? What issues did you have to change to healthier relationships with others? What are the differences you've seen between these two - being a spouse to your spouse when it's the two of you and being a spouse to your spouse when interacting with anyone else, whether or not your spouse is physically with you. Was it easier to change how you dealt with interactions with others, maybe because they didn't know the reason behind the changes? Which did you struggle with more or for longer?

Gottagetthrough posted 2/5/2020 21:25 PM

For WS in an EA-

Did you know what you were doing was wrong? Especially at the beginning? Or did you think you were just close friends? What woke you up?

MrCleanSlate posted 2/6/2020 11:08 AM

Earlydetour and gottagetthrough,

Although initially seeming much different both your posts seems to be one and the same.

We're talking about boundaries and ethics.

My A was PA, but it started off as an EA for about 8 weeks.

I knew it was wrong, but at the time it felt good to get validation that I was worthy, and valued and hot, etc. I was drinking the compliments koolaid big time. I was encouraging it. I was gaining control.

So post D-day, I totally see that boundaries are needed. And I also understand how I put myself first instead of being a true partner with my wife.

I have applied boundaries - I don't coach anymore, I usually pass on requests for help from friends. I was doing al those things not to help others but to feed my ego.

Mamacesto posted 2/8/2020 09:50 AM

WSís - hereís my question....apologies in advance for being graphic.
My WH performed oral on his AP and she gave him BJís. When asked if if she tasted better than me, his response was ďitís not about the tasteĒ - which tells me she did. I also know that she swallowed when giving him BJís. They exchanged nude pics and had sex during daylight so he saw everything very well and close up.
When I discovered all of this info I told WH that I hoped it was great because as long as heís with me there will never again be oral sex and he will never see me naked. Obviously, he destroyed my self image and confidence. Dday #1 was Oct Ď17 & Dday #2 was Oct Ď18.
If this were you, would it drive you to have another A down the road? My WH says he can live without it. I find it hard to believe.
I also donít understand how you arenít driven to cheat when the WS has to feel so low after the Aís. I would think youíd be at a lower level than before the Aís knowing all the pain you inflicted and the lives you destroyed. My WH says heís not and that his focus is to be with me and for me to be happy. I know he was flying high in ecstasy during his Aís. Iím no longer any fun and am rarely happy. How can he rather be with me?
Sorry so long...just canít understand this.

Brew3x posted 2/8/2020 10:42 AM

I was reading another post in the reconciliation page that contained a lot of responses from WS talking about their experiences after dday regarding shame, guilt, remorse and how long it took to experience all these things. I find these responses fascinating and helpful. I was wondering if any WS would describe their struggles and feelings after dday in an effort to gain insight into what my WS is feeling and going through. I guess I often feel like Iím the only one struggling and my ww is fine, so when I here other WS describe their struggles itís so helpful.

ff4152 posted 2/8/2020 12:23 PM

Mamacesto

Prior to meeting my wife, I had been with many women who gave me BJís. For the most part, they were enjoyable and something I always wanted.

I have been with my wife for over 30 years and have yet to receive a blowjob to completion. Oh she has performed oral on me maybe a half dozen times during our marriage but never with any kind of enthusiasm or enjoyment. She just doesnít like oral, giving or receiving.

Then along comes my AP. Our entire A consisted of kissing and her performing oral on me. I will confess that it was probably the best head Iíve ever received. I would be lying if I said I didnít miss the physical act.

But thatís all it was. Would I again betray my wife, my family and myself for a blowjob? Nope. How do I know? The best way to put it is I felt a shift in my thinking.

Pre A if the offer of a no strings BJ came about, I would be sorely tempted to go for it. There would be a positive mental and physical reaction to the idea.

Now thereís a definite element of revulsion to even the idea of it. It would be pretty simple to find someone to give me a BJ for a few bucks or even hop on Tinder and hook up with someone.

But I would happily go through the rest of my life without one if it means staying true to my wife/myself.

So I donít think itís out of the realm of possibility that your H is telling the truth. What do his ACTIONS say to you?

Mamacesto posted 2/8/2020 13:08 PM

Thank you for your response, ff4152.

My WH actions? Well, heís been the model husband for 16 months now. I guess this just all stems from me now feeling inadequate and wondering how he can possibly feel happier now than when he was in his Aís getting his ego boosted and having fun , exciting relationships with 2 other women, one of which was 18 yrs younger. I just feel like I will never ďmeasure upĒ to everything she was and how he felt about her.

I know, I need to work on me and feeling good about myself.

Thank you again for responding to me.

WilliamM posted 2/9/2020 15:30 PM

Here is another question for you guys. When the affair was ongoing, many WSs see the AP in such a positive light. What helped change this positive, "I love you" view if the AP?

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