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BS Questions for WS's - Part 13

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Slowly_Breaking posted 3/24/2020 14:44 PM

Hiking, it does.

I know most of the WS here are R advocates. I guess I had to just let my frustration out somewhere.

When I told my wife I wanted to D, she said we shouldn’t make a decision so soon based on emotions. She said early on that she didn’t want to divorce and wants ya to separate and fix ourselves. Just seems impossible to do when we no longer are together and aren’t even in contact (there’s no separation Plan in place, just time).

I know the decision isn’t up to her. Just confusing that she doesn’t want divorce but isn’t reaching out.

Part of me knows it’s because she is still in contact with her AP. I guess writing this out answers my question.

I wish my WS had remorse.

Harriednhopeless posted 3/25/2020 04:32 AM

NEED SOME INPUT FROM WOMEN WHO HAD AN EA or FULL PHYSICAL AFFAIRS.

10 years ago, my wife and I were newlyweds. We moved to a town far away from all family and settled in to what should have been a great first year of marriage.

Nope. W/N a couple of weeks, she launched into a (non-sexual) emotional infatuation/flirting with a guy at her office. This lasted the entire year that she was at the job.

Here's question. I am dealing with this on another thread, but I have always felt inferior to these "chick magnet" (as he was called by another co-worker) type of guys. I had the delusion that my then young newlywed wife would have eyes only for me. Instead, she went after the very kind of guy that I always felt inferior to, reinforcing that voice in my head that I am not good enough for quality women. (By the way, - please indulge me here- I have been called "strikingly handsome" by several women, am highly educated, funny, in shape and am good in groups, etc... so, no argument that the issue is in my head. I grew up in an abusive home).

MY QUESTION: Did any of you launch into at least an EA, even though on paper, your husband was a "whole package" of a man? ALSO, when you had your EA or A, where you wanting to better deal your current man? Was he not enough for you? MOST IMPORTANTLY, did you compare him to your AP and make distinctions about how your husband was not as good as the AP?

In other words, if he was a good man, etc., then why did it happen?

I can't stop comparing myself to him and feeling inferior as I can not wrap my mind around why my wife would do this... other than she came across a man much better than me.

I appreciate your help.

BraveSirRobin posted 3/30/2020 23:48 PM

Absolutely, my BH (BF at the time) was the whole package. He was cute, smart, kind, great in bed, had his own interests and respected mine, and clearly loved me. I knew all along that he was superior to the OM. So why did I risk the man I wanted to marry in order to cheat (EA and PA) with a man I knew I had no future with?

Because the A was not about my BF or the OM. It was about me, the unaddressed insecurities and flaws in me. True, if I hadn't been involved with BF, OM was someone I would have wanted to try out as a potential long term boyfriend; we had similar interests and physical attraction, and I liked his sense of humor. But it would have been a disastrous relationship, because we were both dishonest and immature and completely unwilling to be genuinely vulnerable. The real attraction of OM was how I saw myself through his eyes. Knowing that he had several girls who were pining after him, and that I was the one he picked, quenched my thirst for power and validation. Meanwhile, he found me attractive for reasons that were about him: I wasn't trying to reel him in, I had a long term BF, I was the laid back Cool Girl who had no expectations of him beyond a good time. Both of us fell into the trap of thinking we wanted each other instead of the ego kibbles. Once that got rolling, the hormones were gasoline on the fire.

I didn't see this at the time, of course. I wasn't thinking at all; I was high on the energy of being pursued. I suspect this was what was at work for your WW. For reasons she hasn't explored or shared with you, she liked the feeling of power and conquest that she got from the attention of a conventionally attractive man. You being handsome and successful just burnished her reputation; she was valuable enough to get a ring from one quality guy and still snap her fingers for a hottie. I'm not defending that attitude, not at all. It's broken, cheap behavior. But I recognize it.

It's very, very hard for a BS to believe that there's nothing wrong with them that made their spouse cheat. I'm a madhatter, so I've been betrayed too, and I know the difference between accepting something intellectually vs emotionally. But I'm here to tell you: I really, truly, never once intended to leave BF for OM. I knew who the better man was. I just didn't know I had it in me to be so selfish and dumb.

MiserableMan posted 4/19/2020 11:25 AM

Waywards:


Do you now look back at sex with your AP with a negative lens due to remorse even if the sex was great during the affair ? If so can you please explain this phenomenon of changing your perspective due to remorse?

[This message edited by MiserableMan at 12:42 PM, April 19th (Sunday)]

BraveSirRobin posted 4/20/2020 17:54 PM

Yes, but it took a while.

The appeal of my A was that I felt powerful, pined after, and pursued. Those were the Ps that mattered, not the penis. They were the part that was hard for me to let go of: seeing the reflection of what I wanted to be, mirrored by OM. I wanted the rush of adoration from someone who acted like he was willing to move mountains to be with me. I wanted this even though I knew I didn't want a future with OM. It was 100% about me, and while I enjoyed the sex, I would not have started an A just to get extra orgasms. It was more "flirting is fun, ok this is fun too but that's where it ends, I can't do this, ok maybe I can do this but not that" over a period of months, until I had edged so close to sex that it seemed like a small line to cross, instead of the Berlin Wall it had been back in the flirting stage. Sex wasn't my goal, but it escalated along with the EA.

I ended the affair out of guilt, not because I was tired of the validation, and I went into ego kibble withdrawal. The PA and EA memories were intertwined, so at that time, yes, I still thought fondly of the sex. Again, I wasn't moping that "I miss his dick and the way he used it," but I missed how he looked at me like I was a goddess and was so thrilled to be with me. I refused to go NC and went back for regular hits of wistful sighs and loaded silences. I was completely selfish and foggy and in "we'll always have Paris" mode.

But as the level of BH's pain sank in -- and especially after D-Day 2, when he pushed hard for more information and forced me to take off the rose colored glasses -- I saw the sex very differently. By then, most of the details had faded anyway, but what remained didn't feel sweet and romantic, it felt tainted and manipulative. The harsh lights came on, and I saw all the ugliness of the entire A that had been so much more appealing through a candlelit filter. The remaining memories of the sex itself were the same -- same acts, same orgasms -- but the way I viewed it was so different. I felt cheap and gullible, as if I'd woken up the morning after a party with a splitting headache, in a pool of vomit and minus my wallet and phone. And worst of all, I understood that that was how the affair made my BH feel about me.

There's no universal answer here. Some WS may instantly feel shame and disgust when D-Day hits and they realize they sacrificed a solid marriage for cheap, empty sex. Others are addicted to that excitement and react with resentment at having the supply cut off. There are compartmentalizers who have kept the marriage and the affair in two separate boxes, and they react with denial that this has to stop. "Monogamous infidels," to use a term from"Not Just Friends," rewrite history to vilify the spouse so they can justify abandoning them for the AP. Some WS seek out affairs with sex as their primary goal, while others progress into craving it as romantic feelings escalate, while still others use it as a means to achieve other goals -- money, revenge, an exit strategy.

In all cases, there's something wrong the WS that opens their mental door to forming sexual and/or emotional bonds with someone else. How they react to the end of the A, and how they look back on it later, depends a lot on what was malfunctioning inside their heads in the first place, and whether it still is.

Lucky77 posted 4/21/2020 09:56 AM

Hi MM,

I think banging my AP was not a particularly good idea. It broke my vows and put me at risk for STD. It was fun at the time, as, after all it was sex. I chose to dishonor my vows, I had the mindset that the more p**sy the better. I am sorry I had sex with a person that was not my wife. I would always have horrible reqret the following day.

Underserving posted 4/21/2020 10:15 AM

Is there a WS in here who ended their affair, or even the AP ended it, and it wasn’t found out by your BS until years later?

JBWD posted 4/21/2020 21:03 PM

Do you now look back at sex with your AP with a negative lens due to remorse even if the sex was great during the affair ? If so can you please explain this phenomenon of changing your perspective due to remorse?

MM, I think reframing this discussion may help. You suppose that remorse is how a cheater recognizes that affair sex was great. For my experience I came to learn that affair sex may have seemed great, but it was missing what I valued most in sex with my BW- True affection and intimacy. I learned on my own that what I thought I was getting from sex with AP was in fact my own projected need for value. This assumed value was not there, and the presumed/imposed value was my own.

So if I could re-describe your statement, I would state that
“I recognized after the fact that what I thought was special about sex in the A was imagined and value that I placed on it.”

I know it’s hard to accept/process but when reforming cheaters state the sex wasn’t that great or inferior, it’s based on current awareness. It will take time to believe it, but as a wayward becomes “healthy” the perspective gained reveals how skewed the mentality was before.

Stinger posted 4/22/2020 13:08 PM

Can anyone explain why a revenge affair makes R more difficult? Not just a conclusory answer but the explanation. I think in some ways it would be beneficial i.e evening the score, allowing the WS to empathize, restoring some self esteem and reassurance of attractiveness to the BS. Thanks

BraveSirRobin posted 4/22/2020 13:24 PM

Can anyone explain why a revenge affair makes R more difficult? Not just a conclusory answer but the explanation. I think in some ways it would be beneficial i.e evening the score, allowing the WS to empathize, restoring some self esteem and reassurance of attractiveness to the BS.
Evening the score doesn't necessarily help. Once the BS has cheated, the WS may feel that they are no longer as accountable for their own behavior. There's less reason to be patient, transparent, and remorseful for the benefit of someone who did the exact same thing to you. If a WS is truly remorseful, that won't prevent them from doing the work. They'll want to heal for themselves and understand how easy it is to make fast, bad decisions that have enormous consequences. But for a WS who isn't there yet, an RA can just lead to rug sweeping. The scales are balanced, nobody has a right to complain, factory reset -- these are not attitudes that lead to introspection or help prevent further trouble down the line.

leavingorbit posted 4/22/2020 15:22 PM

An “RA” is an affair. Revenge is justification. I understand the impulse, I do. It’s the same coping mechanisms for the same reasons: to feel better via external validation, which doesn’t work, because value is derived intrinsically. You’d still have to heal yourself and what’s more, you then have all the WS baggage. So... basically it illuminates that you tie your worth to someone else, and you’ll self soothe the same way.

Affairs are about escapism, a dislocation of something - the real problem, the deep hurt, the nonexistent self worth, misdirected in a completely unhelpful way. The key to self actualization doesn’t lie in someone else’s genitalia.

JMO.

Stinger posted 4/22/2020 17:26 PM

Thank you. I will think about this.
At first blush, not to be argumentative, it seems to me that an R A, while still an affair, is distinguishable. I bet the reasons have been gone over before. Short version is that the BS is hurting, the contract has already been voided, and an R A is not as damaging 8n that the original WS can attribute it to a response to her or his own A vs the original BS taking it to heart as reflecting on his or her attractiveness and overall self worth.
On another level, you are right , it is about escapism, like vacations are. The unfairness of one spouse banking such a pleasurable escape at the expense of the BS but being desirous of denying the BS a similar pleasurable experience is unjust.
It would be like one partner taking an expensive vacation, leaving the other home to take car ed of the kids and things but balking at subsidizing a similar experience for the deprived partner.
How is this just? Caveat: I never had an R A. I was to crippled by the discovery t have interest.

BraveSirRobin posted 4/22/2020 19:12 PM

I'll give you my personal experience to illustrate this, since I'm a madhatter.

I cheated on my BH (then BF) while we were in an LDR in college. I ended the A, which lasted 4 months, with the school year and then confessed to BF. I had thought that BF would be angry and upset. I didn't expect him to be devastated. He asked me to never speak to OM again, and I refused, thinking we could stay "just friends." BF, who was more attached to me than I thought, did the pick me dance. This was deeply traumatizing for him, and he hated himself for not having the self esteem to kick me to the curb.

As part of D-Day, it came out that BF had already cheated on me, almost two years earlier, around the time I left for college. It was a drunken grope session at a party with a friend of his sister's that he'd had a crush on when they were growing up. He hated himself the next day and tried to come clean afterwards, but he chickened out and told me he'd just been tempted. So now I'm pissed that he lied to me, but a four month A with sex is worse than a single makeout session, so he feels I have no right to complain. I'm so guilty and scared, and anxious for forgiveness, that I agree to let it go.

I stay friends with OM. BF hates it and feels emasculated, especially since we were first and onlies before the A, so now I had a sexual experience that he didn't. He decides he needs an RA to balance the scales and restore his sense of desirability. I agree, providing that they'll really be balanced afterwards; I'm not going to allow him to mess around two separate times during our relationship and still be the bad guy. Secretly, I am also using my resentment about his As to justify hiding past lies about my own affair, things like sexual positions and emotional attachment.

BF picks out a girl that he thinks is a good candidate because she also wants revenge on her cheating xBF. I'm told when it's going to happen, so I'm sitting home with mind movies the whole night, waiting for him to call and report back. They get right up to the point of sex, and BF realizes he doesn't want cheap revenge fucking with another broken person. He calls it off. I'm grateful he didn't sleep with her but still damaged by the rest of it. BH feels validated but also guilty, and ashamed of trying to use another person as a prop, leaving her feeling used and inadequate. We agree that we've made such a total hash of things that we need to put it all in the past. We get engaged, and I finally go NC.

Does any of this sound healthy, or like a good way to recover from infidelity? It wasn't. I never corrected the lies about my A. BH kept having ongoing mind movies, but he never confronted me for fear that I'd say he was breaking our "balance the scales" agreement and leave him. This stalemate festered under the surface of what generally appeared to be a happy marriage.

And that's how something that happened when we were 20 landed our marriage in serious trouble when we were 49. Neither of us ever cheated again, and yet our unexamined infidelity was a constant barrier to authenticity and healing. There are no shortcuts here.

Stinger posted 4/22/2020 22:33 PM

Your scenario is a little more complicated, Bravesir, than an innocent, non- priorcheating spouse getting cheated on.
I never cheated in return and divorced. My XW made overtures about reconciling years later. I had really loved her but this uneven deal and her lack of remorse made me say no.
Sometimes, I wish she would get a taste of her own medicine.

ff4152 posted 4/23/2020 04:07 AM

Stinger

As a guy, I get the primal urges behind wanting an A. But I ask you to seriously consider this. Suppose you did have an RA and it was the best sex of your life, what then? Would it really even the playing field? If someone burned your house to the ground and then you went and did the same to theirs, that doesn’t change the fact that yours is still a smoking pile of ashes.

BraveSirRobin posted 4/23/2020 10:05 AM

I think it's understandable to want the WS to suffer the way the BS suffered, and to see any objection by the WS as hypocrisy. You're correct that there have been many threads on SI exploring the points you outlined.

But your original question was why an RA makes R more difficult. A WS is almost certain to be hurt by their spouse sleeping with someone else, but it's not likely to make them more honest, patient, or introspective. Those are the qualities that WS need to develop to achieve true remorse. When you "balance the scales" by hurting them back, they have an excuse not to bother with the work. That's pretty much the death knell of true R.

Darkness Falls posted 4/23/2020 12:38 PM

I agree with BSR—it seems to me more likely that the original WS will just feel that “now we’re even” and won’t bother with any recovery work for either themselves or their spouse.

JBWD posted 4/23/2020 17:56 PM

Agree with BSR. Cheaters justify their betrayal through a process of making assumptions about how their partners view them/value them/“make them feel” (No one else MAKES you feel!)

As such if a cheater is cheated on, it is likely to
1) Make things appear “even”
2) Reinforce potentially flawed assumptions (Never really did love me; proof that there WERE “issues” in the M, etc)

If revenge motivates one, by all means. But it’s bound to slow down a cheater’s progress in seeing that the betrayal is on his/her head EXCLUSIVELY.

Stinger posted 4/23/2020 17:57 PM

I suppose the WS might think things are even, although IMO that analysis is flawed. After all the WS tainted a previously pristine(in terms of fidelity) marriage. Whereas, the BS is reacting to severe abuse and the marriage has already been denatured.
Instinctively however, I just had no desire to retaliate. Just divorced, honorably.

Darkness Falls posted 4/24/2020 08:16 AM

the marriage has already been denatured.

I can sort of see that POV. If the BS then cheats-(but-not-really), because, as the common argument goes, the vows are broken and the marriage contract is null and void, why then is that ok but the WS-now-BS is expected to keep NC? If the M is over, then just go ahead and keep fucking the AP, right?

Of course that sounds ridiculous, which is why that argument doesn’t really work in terms of the BS and WS both wanting to reconcile. I can be a vengeful person—believe me, I get wanting to give the WS a taste of their own medicine—and my H did it to me too. I just feel that now the marriage has two cheaters instead of one, and how is that “better”?

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