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anxietydepressio posted 10/10/2019 14:23 PM

Biggest regret? That I hurt the one person who has always been there for me. That is what stops me from reaching any true forgiveness of myself. I just can't do it. And I have accepted that I most likely won't do it.

But I don't have to live it for the rest of my life. I made a major mistake, that I won't ever make again. I am a better person, husband, father than I was before. And I will continue to improve. That is the only path forward.

JBWD posted 10/10/2019 14:28 PM

I canít think of a single person on here who has had protected sex with an AP. Interesting, and if Iím being selective let me know.

What I take from that looking back on it is self-validating that this ďwasnít just something physicalĒ (which I wouldíve said it was ďsupposedĒ to be at the beginning of physical meetups...)
It became yet another proof that I was in a ďlegitimate relationship,Ē I think.

Itís a hard one to process because enough of us are intelligent, articulate people in other spheres of life. It always kind of helps reinforce for me the fact that this is in many ways a pathology. Not to exculpate but to help align the absolute impossibility of this making sense.

hikingout posted 10/10/2019 14:40 PM

But I don't have to live it for the rest of my life. I made a major mistake, that I won't ever make again. I am a better person, husband, father than I was before. And I will continue to improve. That is the only path forward.


This is where I am, other than I don't say mistake, I say I made some bad decisions. Realizing I don't have to live it for the rest of my life, that's kind of what I am looking at now.


It became yet another proof that I was in a ďlegitimate relationship,Ē I think.

So, when you first met up with her you thought it was to be physical only, but as it moved forward it changed and the non-condom use was kind of a "step" to that slippage into an EA to go with the PA? I could see how that would be.

I did use condoms. But, like I said, I could see that falling by the wayside and me acting in these ways you and Pink and BSR are saying because I think the risks esculate. My lack of not doing certain things really had to do with opportunity rather than being above any of it.

ChanceAtLife35 posted 10/10/2019 14:50 PM

Perfect timing.

I regret cheating, every second of it. It caused me to hurt and traumatize an amazing partner and two beautiful children. Now we live our lives in chaos while trying to heal.
I regret having sex(unprotected) to feel better about myself and to get my power back from people who abused me.
I regret being a liar, manipulative, deceiving, a fake, and fraud.
I regret not standing up for myself or my sexuality.
I regret HURTING everyone that has been nothing but kind and loving to me.
I regret running away from my reality and truth
I regret blaming things on myself from childhood that I know werenít my fault
I regret TTn and not going to my BW when she caught me cheating
I regret not trusting myself
I regret thinking that all the horrible things I was doing were going to save me.
I regret thinking I was a loving caring person when I was really a selfish abusive asshole
I thought if I had an education, good job, pay bills, and do everything to ďmake it,Ē I were a good person
I regret using and controlling my BW for my own selfish gain
I regret not loving and protecting myself
I needed this...

[This message edited by ChanceAtLife35 at 3:01 PM, October 10th (Thursday)]

DaddyDom posted 10/10/2019 14:50 PM

I think the biggest regret for me, if we are to take out the damage done by the affair, is the realization of all the things I was holding on to in my life even prior to the affair, which also hurt my BS/family/myself/everyone.

I had always considered myself to be a great guy. Fair, honest, loyal, supportive. I thought I was happy. I thought others were happy with me.

I never realized that even before the affair, I was doing things that made my wife feel alone and unsupported or uncared for. I never really considered how my actions could hurt others. I was such a "nice guy" that others usually forgave me for my sins and never even mentioned them.

I never realized that I spent my entire life feeling like a victim and feeling like a child. So many wasted years just hustling for my own worth. I never learned to love myself and never knew that until now.

I wish I had been a better husband, father, co-worker, friend. Not that I was so bad at those things, but I think I was good at them for the wrong reasons. I was a great guy because I needed others to believe that about me, since I couldn't believe it for myself. Which put a lot of burden on others to prop up my ego and make me whole on a daily, almost constant basis.

I wish I had kept a more solid work history, been a little tougher on my daughter in her areas where she needs growth, learned to spend more wisely, been more aware of my penchant for addictive behavior, and learned to be happy with myself.

hikingout posted 10/10/2019 15:06 PM

I wish I had been a better husband, father, co-worker, friend. Not that I was so bad at those things, but I think I was good at them for the wrong reasons


This resonated a lot for me. I think this was me too. I was very good at those things, but I think it was more to prove myself worthy. It's not that I didn't do things from my heart or love my husband or kids, but that I overdid those things to the point of exhaustion and it made no one at all any happier. I can definitely relate to this.


So, to clarify, do you feel you were putting on a show to seem a certain way, or do you feel you were more like me in that you felt you weren't worth those things so you had to earn them?

Krystlebefore posted 10/10/2019 15:16 PM

Pink nice to Ďseeí you - youíve been quiet lately.
I have a huge list of regrets that would be boring for me to recount all similar to what is listed - although just to reinforce the no protection thing - what is with that? With all the partners Iíve ever had (not just AP) there was only ever one that insisted on condoms. As for affair sex, honestly we just check our common sense at the door - i always hope in JFO that new folk take heed of the sti checks - thatís how i eventually got Ďfound outí i got an sti .

The biggest thing that sits with me now is that loss of integrity - from the outside i think people see me as having it in spades - but i know the truth - and i donít like the truth. How could i have been so compartmentalised? How could i have compromised myself so badly in all elements of my life and with one AP in particular who nearly destroyed me.

Ugh - Iím a few years out now but i get horrible flashbacks all the time especially when i get under stress at work (which used to be a precursor to affairs) - now when Iím under stress my brain does this thing where it says to me, ďIím now going to go through the top ten worst things you did......in minute detail btw to make you feel really good about yourselfĒ

Onward and hopefully upward.....
Thanks for starting the thread HIO (Iím one of those you described) plus i donít have anything to say that hasnít already been said......

Krystlebefore posted 10/10/2019 15:17 PM

Oh sorry HO not HIO - i think HIO is a BS?

leavingorbit posted 10/10/2019 15:23 PM

The list of things I regret is very similar to what everyone else posted: telling myself that I had integrity when I had never developed it, telling my husband that I loved him when I had no idea what that meant and never bothered to give him better than my selfishness, telling myself that I was a good person while feeding myself and loved ones a diet of trash, playing a victim instead of processing my very real trauma, holding onto resentment like it was my damn job, on and on...

I think the biggest regret is that I chose to make those addict choices as a mother. I wasted that much time being inauthentic and giving my kids so much less than the infinite possibilities that they deserve from me. Iím very grateful that I woke the hell up and am working daily to give them the healthiest, happiest mom... but itís still pretty hard to have self compassion for being that selfish. Itís a process.

MrsWalloped posted 10/10/2019 15:29 PM

Unprotected sex.

Same with me for many of the same reasons. I was trusting and carefree and he was ďsafeĒ and I honestly hadnít put much thought into it since I hadnít used anything other than the pill in more than 25 years. I put myself and my husband at risk and never really thought about it. And then when it all blew up my husband made me go for STD testing and in my head I was stupidly asking why.

hikingout posted 10/10/2019 15:37 PM

The biggest thing that sits with me now is that loss of integrity - from the outside i think people see me as having it in spades - but i know the truth - and i donít like the truth. How could i have been so compartmentalised? How could i have compromised myself so badly in all elements of my life and with one AP in particular who nearly destroyed me.


Me too. I am kind of hoping that as I enforce that integrity that years from now I will feel like it's been restored? I know I have changed alot, but I also know that I haven't really been tested with life a lot since I have gotten some of my bearings back. I feel pretty confident I won't cheat, and I am committed to my own integrity, but I am kind of waiting to see how some of my coping has been improved. Kind of like what you are saying- you get stress at work and then it causes a lot of anxious thinking and your self talk goes down hill quickly. I am kind of waiting for that. I have been managing stress well, but I haven't had a lot of really big things that have been knocking at my door either.

I had a hard struggle going from maybe mid july to mid September. But, it wasn't outside stressors, it was more processing of the affair.

How about your marriage, is there anything there that you struggle with now or see your H struggling with? I remember you posting once something to the effect of you see him now fully, and to know you almost walked away from someone so good that really you felt like a fool. Those are probably not the words you used exactly but I remembered them because I thought "Yes, me too. Complete idiot right here".

Hutch posted 10/10/2019 15:43 PM

Not waiting until I was D. I had been separated 15 months before my A, as I made a decision about my M. I knew I needed to D and should have from the beginning, but because I had children, I didnít do it. Now Iíve filed and will be D by May/June, but most likely much sooner. I regret that I didnít wait. I hate that Iím technically a cheater. Iím not that person and I hate who I became.

FoenixRising posted 10/10/2019 15:57 PM

Daddydom- What stands out to me about your regret is how you wished you pushed your daughter further in her areas of weakness. I can and do relate with that struggle and how it all interludes with who I am as a person. Your hindsight I can use for my foresight. Thank you for sharing.

HIO- thanks for the explanation. I understand and I will sit with your thoughts. Again, challenging me to be better is bever a bad thing. I thank you so kindly.

JBWD- hope youíre feeling stronger today.

Hutch- I agree with that I wish I waited to D before being intimate with someone else, let alone someone so close to our family. But, then Iím not sure Iíd still be with H now then. Cheating on him certainly kicked me of high horse of superiority and entitlement. What a foggy, snotty bitch I was. Ugh. I disgust myself with who I was and my capabilities.

DaddyDom posted 10/10/2019 16:10 PM


So, to clarify, do you feel you were putting on a show to seem a certain way, or do you feel you were more like me in that you felt you weren't worth those things so you had to earn them?

That's a really good question. In hindsight, I think it was just so very important for people to see me as a "great guy". Like you said, I had/have a TON of love, peace and joy in my heart, especially for others, but none for myself. In fact, I was talking about this the other day.

When I love someone, and tell them I love them, I really feel the love I'm putting out into the universe and into them. However, when someone else tells me they love me, or even shows me they love me... I don't get it. I can't feel it. Because I was always just so dead inside, and considered myself unlovable, just as a fact of life.

SO I think it's a mix of both. It wasn't so much that it was a show... the love was there, but I needed for it to be seen at all times because I thought I was not worthy of being loved in return.

hikingout posted 10/10/2019 16:20 PM

Daddy dom - I felt that way too. Couldnít accept compliments were sincere to the point my husband stopped trying to give them. Never felt like I was enough and when I look at the stuff I pointed at, I had a very distorted view of myself. I now see I have a lot to offer others just by being me. Though I cringed as I typed that so I have to say that feeling is not coming as naturally as it probably should yet. The believing it in my heart is not fully there but logically I know its true. But itís much better. Learning to talk to myself as I would a friend has helped me tremendously. Self talk has been a huge battle for me. I think I just continued my moms voice in my head and never realized it.

hikingout posted 10/10/2019 16:22 PM

Hutch! Getting divorced is a huge step for you! How are you feeling? Is your husband acting out or has he been civil?

Krystlebefore posted 10/10/2019 16:24 PM

Hiking out

Go well with the stress thing - its always a slippery slope for me but I practice much better self care than I ever used to. There was also the realisation that, related to something that happened to me when i was first sexually actively, I have always used sex to make me feel better about myself ie if this guy wants to have sex with me he likes me therefore Iím likeable - very flawed thinking I know and of course the opposite is true plus youíre wreaking havoc in multiple lives.

I also manage stress by daydreaming (not sure what other word you can use) and normally of a sexual nature ie its a distraction. I think I must be the only person on the planet that does that - hence my comment re slippery slope.

My BS doesnít think about it at all (his words) and I work hard to do the things, the acts of love, to show him how I feel towards him. I commented the other day in a thread that he said a while ago he loved me more each day which helped my battered inner self somewhat. He doesnít see the flashbacks and how bad I feel about myself very much because I think why should he feel bad that Iím feeling bad?

Your memory is good. Yes I nearly lost a man who (brace yourself TMI) has a much better body, certain very exemplary body parts, kind, generous and real integrity for what? I just cringe......

He knows I come here and I tell him about some people - this place is a good reminder of who I am, I donít actually believe in being a former WS, I treat it like being an alcoholic - Iím one Ďdrinkí away......

Sorry this has turned into a novel. Always appreciate your comments and honesty.....

ff4152 posted 10/10/2019 16:49 PM

One of the things I continue to struggle with is this love/hate relationship with the A and itís aftermath.

Over the past 3 years, Iíve done a ton of self introspection and really took a long look at myself and who I was. I always thought of myself as a good moral person. I had no problem standing in judgement over others who were not worthy and beneath my contempt. My way was the only way and if you didnít agree, well then there was something wrong with you. There was no room for equivocation; my way or the highway.

Well as it turns out, I was a selfish, unyielding twit. I gave a lot of lip service to things but only followed them if it was convenient. I forced myself to look at how I treated people. I put myself n the other guys shoes for probably the first time in my life. Itís as if I was seeing the world and that there were other people in it.

Itís so hard to wrap my head around the idea that I would still be this awful person had I not had the A. If I hadnít had the A, I wouldnít have found SI and probably would still be treating everyone the same as before.

At the same time I hate that I had the A despite whatever personal growth Iíve had. Iím a better person now but the cost was too great. You often hear the expression, the lesser of two evils. Well I cannot figure out which one is which. I almost feel as if Iíve sold my soul to the devil.

jaberwocky posted 10/10/2019 16:53 PM

I deeply regret that I have lost the 100% trust BW and I had.

Previously she would never question anything - if I SMS her and said Iím heading out for a couple of beers with my buddies after work she would be OK, even if Iím staying out late. Now there is no chance of that and she is always on alert.

Itís not that I donít like be questioned itís that she no longer views me as trustworthy and even though I deserve it, it hurts deep down.

I have no issues with her doing this, I just wonder if we will ever get back to 100% trust or if I have shattered that possibility for ever...

JBWD posted 10/10/2019 16:59 PM

So, when you first met up with her you thought it was to be physical only, but as it moved forward it changed and the non-condom use was kind of a "step" to that slippage into an EA to go with the PA? I could see how that would be.

Correct. Now what I donít discuss a lot because itís somewhat irrelevant until we get to the absolute danger is the fact that AP was an escort. The ďred lineĒ I had built for myself (which had been semi agreed but was long in the past and ultimately as my BW understood it was somewhat coerced/under duress) was that there wouldnít be physical contact- So essentially ***TMI*** mutual masturbation. AP was very aggressive and I was very off kilter so that did not last. But all the physical contact aside I likely would have fallen into the same distortions and imagined love.

I never realized that even before the affair, I was doing things that made my wife feel alone and unsupported or uncared for

This was the same realization as what I described. We discovered in the little MC we DID do that a good chunk of the anxiety that we both thought was a somewhat latent/genetic factor of my wifeís actually came from the constant messaging that my porn use and physical demands gave- Which was that she stood to lose me if she didnít provide exactly what I thought was the physical response I needed, or perhaps better stated believed I was owed. To know that there were such deep scars from concessions she made that we hadnít realized was a very dark place. And thatís not to say itís her fault for making them: Itís one of those that I could have seen had I chosen to look.

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