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hikingout posted 10/10/2019 17:17 PM

JWBD - so if I am understanding this correctly you got your wife to agree to let you see escorts for supplemental handjobs. But given you are saying it was under diress she felt she had to make that concession as a way of keeping you happy enough to stay in the marriage?

And then my other observation is - I am not experienced with escorts but from some of what gets depicted in movies or what not - has it occurred to you that they can be very manipulative in order to gain higher earnings? Did she start seeing you non-paid? The reason I am asking is it seems like those of us with limerant proclivities- we all ignore obvious things like this with the AP. Almost to set up a situation in which we long to be with someone who doesnít really long to be with us. Itís something I have been thinking a lot about lately. Because I have had a few relationships that I used to think of as unrequited love, but in analyzing them further after the affair, they were obsessive, one-sided and projected an image in them they didnít quite earn. So I am wondering somehow if limerance is a repeated thing that we do to ourselves to essentially prove we are not worthy versus if we got the other persons attention would we really want it? Itís deeper psychologically than I currently understand but I think itís related somehow.

Barregirl posted 10/10/2019 17:40 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.

I used protection with the AP. In my case the AP had no clue he was an AP. He thought he was "hanging out" with a single girl he met on a dating site.

As for my biggest regret, it has to be all of the lying. While I can't say that I never lied before (I did, mostly to my parents to avoid getting in trouble and when calling in sick to work when I wanted a day off) I have mostly been honest with myself and others. My A made clear to me that I had trust issues and a callousness I had kept hidden for a long time. I knew that my H was the more sentimental of us before we got married, but I didn't realize that it would become a burden on me. I felt responsible for his feelings and I resented it.

As for an update, BH and I are at about a year and a half. We have continued to build our relationship to be what we want. We have had a somewhat tumultuous year, with my H's company closing in Feb and his subsequent job switching to find the "right" job, which finally happened about a month ago. I too had a job switch in March and love my new job. We have continued Sat night date night and have tried new things and restaurants. Our sex life has slowed from HB, but is so much better than I had hoped it could be. We enjoy each other's company again and BH feels good about his decision to stay and work on us (his words as I just asked him).

FoenixRising posted 10/10/2019 20:33 PM

I have a question...

When I think back to the A now Iím like how did I ever even think for 5 seconds weíd have worked together. I was in fantasy land!!!

For other Waywards, Iím wondering if you were always a fantasizer and/or if anyone knows how fantasizing throughout life relates to being a wayward.

Iím not even sure if that makes sense. I suppose Iím wondering how my wild imagination throughout life has panned out. Or if fantasizing is something I need to be really careful of. It isnít always sexual. Usually itís not. I just fantasize Iím in a situation where I can say whatever i want. I watch it all play out. Sometimes itís work situations, replaying events... I dint know if there is a correlation but in digging deeper i thought Iíd bring it up.

Is fantasizing, even in healthy ways, harmful for a wayward?

[This message edited by FoenixRising at 8:35 PM, October 10th (Thursday)]

pinkpggy posted 10/10/2019 21:09 PM

^^this is exactly me.

Barregirl posted 10/10/2019 21:22 PM

I think of fantasizing in several ways. First, it is super common among us all, WS or not. I think it can be healthy in certain ways. Fantasizing about say asking for a raise, planning how you will respond is beneficial. It is used in spiritual practice such as meditation as visualization. I think playing "what I should have said" theater can also be beneficial and give us coping strategies. Where I think it can be unhealthy is to project those fantasies in interpersonal relationships. People will not live up to your fantasies and will inevitably disappoint you. If we as waywards potentially build resentment that things are not going according to fantasy, we can find ourselves pining for a different life or different reality.

Krystlebefore posted 10/10/2019 21:30 PM

Foenix rising - see my post - i said i was the only one on the planet doing it.....obviously not....

FoenixRising posted 10/10/2019 21:38 PM

Interesting barregirl! Such an eloquent way to make sense of it all.

How about in the unhealthy ways... pre A, fantasizing during sex or masturbation never seemed taboo to me. Is that wayward thinking? Is that unhealthy for me? I know my BS doesnít mind me fantasizing and I am WAY harder on myself than he is but in going forward and being authentic to myself, I feel like I have an obligation to stay away from all things wayward...

Iím also becoming much more aware of how Iíve used my body/femininity in my favor. Not outwardly flirting or dressing sexy... just by having a pleasing nature. Like if someone made a joke, Iíd grab their arm to laugh. Now I worry Iím sending mixed messages. I also think this should be a clear straight forward thing but that it seems so gray to me, makes me feel like Iím failing in recovery and some ways false reconciling. And then I worry that Iím ruminating and obsessing over little things or maybe theyíre big and I am some how naÔvetť to that.

FoenixRising posted 10/10/2019 21:48 PM

Krystle! Yes! Day dreaming!!! Spacing out. Barregirl called it theater time. Itís always been in my life. Iím not sure Iíd know how to stop it.

And I do think some fantasy is healthy if youíre not a wayward. is healthy fantasizing to a wayward comparative to the first drink of an alcoholic?

Barregirl posted 10/10/2019 22:06 PM

I know that in my M, sexual fantasizing is still ok. There are things I enjoy that my H does not, and I will masturbate while either watching porn or thinking about them.
Before I met my H, my intimate relationships with men consisted of mostly FWBs. I flirted a bunch, and was able to separate sex and love. Once I met H, things changed. I stopped flirting and looking for sex. During my A, I flirted with AP without thought, like it was second nature. But since DDay, I just don't flirt anymore. I still have male friends, still go out with coworkers, still dress the same and occasionally discuss "inappropriate" topics. The difference is within me.
I don't necessarily see those things as wayward. Waywardness is a mindset that allows you to subjugate thoughts of your spouse's best interests to your own. If the best interests of your M and your spouse are in the forefront, your behavior will reflect that.
I think in the aftermath we all obsess a bit about how our actions are construed. And checking in with our BSs about our actions can help. But we do know right from wrong and as time goes on we should level out and just be who we have become.

JBWD posted 10/10/2019 22:53 PM

To explain and build more gruesome context, HO-

When I met my wife I was fresh out of college and initial training for my military career (still ongoing, Iíve been quiet about this because of the potential impacts.) Found myself in a city where there were a few clubs where live sex shows were an option- Absolutely no contact, so literally paying a woman to masturbate in a room while client did the same. I had gone once or twice while dating wife. Additionally immersed in the toxic masculinity of young servicemen meant that tolerating this felt like a must happen for us to stay together. She recalls explicit ultimatums where I said if she couldnít deal with this, thereís the door. I donít recall them but wouldnít be surprised by anything in hindsight. Like I said these all contributed to an increasing sense/fear for her that one day she wouldnít prove enough. Hard to work past the belief that that fear was validated last year.

AP was certainly a skilled manipulator in bringing me back at the outset- And quite honestly in the 3 months of PA we very much tapered off from sex and she derived much more, I believe, from the EA. That said, sex was always paid. But I believe that her own emotional damage and need for validation made her believe that she too loved me. But there were definitely ways she manipulated to bring me back, even just emotionally. It was an extremely transactional relationship, clearly.


To touch on fantasy and if itís healthy, I can actually see a linkage between the cowardice of a cheater and fantasy. In my military career Iíve had quite a few setbacks, all of which led my wife to wonder why I stayed in. An interesting question, that led her to the conclusion that my MO is to settle. I see it slightly differently, but the reasons I had to remain were mostly job security related, which ultimately led to some wasted time that couldíve gone towards a more personally fulfilling career path. Which I couldíve overcome had I acted boldly and brought her along on things that were within reach but slightly risky. Another way fantasy kept me in was the constant belief that the next move was gonna be ďthe good one.Ē

But each one brought new frustrations and a search for greener grass. Know why? Because I was chasing validation.

Iamtrash posted 10/11/2019 05:26 AM

Not working on myself before it got to this point. All of this was preventable. All of this could have been stopped in its tracks. My ďwhysĒ run deep. Maybe if I had addressed them long ago, even before marriage or kids, I could have always been the person my family deserves.

I was a straight and narrow person my entire life. I never broke a rule. Never did a single thing wrong. Was kind and respectful to everyone. Hell, I got along with everyone. If someone had told me Iíd would have an affair one day, I would have told them they were insane. If someone would have told me Iíd get married and suddenly turn into this monster that was only focused on my wants and needs, I wouldnít have believed that either.

It took a very long time for my inner issues to surface. Maybe in my marriage, I either lost the ability to keep burying them or I felt safe enough to let them come pouring out. Either way, my marriage deserved better. My BH deserves better. I should have resolved myself before trying to love another person.

Justsomelady posted 10/11/2019 06:30 AM

On the question raised - I think it would be the rewriting of the relationship to try to justify taking EA to PA - but I found myself here before that happened thank goodness.


Jumping in on the subject of fantasy - I definitely do this and have forever - not just sexual. I would say it is something everyone does to a certain extent and is a good exercise for creativity planning envisioning goals and alternatives. But like anything else, the wayward reasons - escapism, validation, avoidance take fantasy into territory we shouldnít tread on. For me, I have tried to avoid it during sex but havenít always. I think fantasy while with our partners is a road to nowhere good. I imagine myself or my husband punching the person in the face and it helps the intrusive scene kind of float offscreen so I can focus on my hubby and what we are up to.

I am of the opinion that porn is morally wrong and also a slippery slope for Waywards. Husband left it behind years ago and I too picked it up briefly (when I was amped up about EA) and felt remorse about it and dropped it as well. If just doesnít seem right to look that way for inspiration from real people and to me it is inherently exploitative, even with the most well meaning feminist producers etc.

[This message edited by Justsomelady at 6:31 AM, October 11th (Friday)]

FoenixRising posted 10/11/2019 07:05 AM

Justsomelady- I love the idea of imagining hubs popping somebody in the face! Great idea... and I feel like I could get down with that fantasy.

I have been fantasizing a lot about my H lately. Iím so happy about this. At one point in my life and for many years, I wasnít even capable of imagining myself with another man, EVER. Itís hard for me to pinpoint when that changed. Honestly, everything changed when I found out I was pregnant with the 3rd. I wasnít ready for that. The idea of 3 kitties under 5 overwhelmed me and with H never home and no family nearby, I was treading water and didnít even know it. I have such guilt admitting that. Almost as though Iím saying I didnít want my 3rd baby. I did, I do. Just, everything became SO much harder...

perhaps another regret I have is not realizing my ship was sinking and not finding better ways to self love and healthy coping mechanisms.

Iím happy to report though that life, still hard, still messy, still complicated, is steady. Praise be. Thinking about such a terrible time internally and comparing my internal feelings now, Iím a different person. I just donít sweat the small stuff and I took a lot of pressure off myself... especially when I realized the only person pressuring me be a certain way, was MYSELF. I thought it was BH, somehow. Like his non commenting on my wifely/motherly duties meant they werenít good enough. I was busting my arse for him validate me I. What a great job I was doing. once I released that and gave away some of that power (tge power I never wanted but still had such a hard time giving over!), I started to breathe again.

Now, I will tell you. I live in an affluent area and the school is very involved in the community and everyone knows everyone. When we first moved here, I tried to keep up bc that was what societal expectations told me to do. Once i adjusted it to only meeting my own expectations, I felt so much pressure relieved. Not gonna lie, there are times the school rides my butt When my kids are sick and Iím not there in 10 minutes to get the kid (I guess Iím the only working mom in my community🤷🏻‍♀️. Oh my gosh... the one day the preschool teacher gave me heck bc I didnít send a thermos of ice water in with my kid. She was astounded and sad to report to be she had to give my kid (perfectly fine) tap water... in a paper cup. Meanwhile over at my school, there was 100% no drinking water available for an entire day and on the same day, a murder around the block that we were never put on lockdown for... not that it would matter bc we donít have keys for our classroom anyway.)

I guess my point was after spending time in one of the worst schools in my state and then sending my kid one of the best schools in the state, my mom performance is a solid ĎAPPROPRIATEí. At least in my opinion. I donít go 100% all the time. I do when Iím present and that is the best I can do. I am ok with relying on my sons teacher to provide for him, whatever I donít (within reason). Just as I do with the kids in my classroom.

I do feel like I really went off track and tangented there a bit but Iím loving this free style forum where I can process them as they come. Fellow waywards... get out there today and let your light shine. I believe in you!!!!!!

[This message edited by FoenixRising at 7:11 AM, October 11th (Friday)]

hikingout posted 10/11/2019 07:53 AM

On the fantasizing -

Sexually fantasizing for me is never fantasizing myself in the acts which I donít know if that is normal or not. Itís always picturing a couple I donít know. It might be Early exposure to porn by my abused that caused this. But I always think about erotic stories that I read as an early adult or create scenarios, but oddly I have rarely ever fantasize about someone I know and if I did they were featured with someone else. I have never heard of anyone else doing that. I also never see an attractive person and think I want to bone them. Not even when I am single. Anyone I became sexually attracted to it was after gettting to know them. In cases of ONS it was more about acting out than really wanting to
Jump then.

I think I used to day dream a lot more when I was younger and it can be healthy to get to know yourself in that way.. But I think where people in general and definitely wayward need to watch is trying to be mindful and stay in the moment. My issue is typically ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. We can only feel joy in the moment.right now is all that exists. And living too much in your brain in either direction is showed to increase anxiety and feelings of depression. I think we as wayward have a goal to be fully in our life and to feel good about it as much as we can. Taking responsibility for our own happiness and our mind is a tool for that. Thatís why we often see people in this forum recommend yoga or meditation.

[This message edited by hikingout at 7:54 AM, October 11th (Friday)]

anxietydepressio posted 10/11/2019 08:02 AM

Constantly feeling like you needed to "prove" yourself because your self esteem was so low. Now matter how many times someone told you how great you were you never believed them. You always felt like you needed to do more.

I can see the point of needing others to "prop" up your ego. Because you felt terrible about yourself you needed others to get you through the day.

I carried so much with me for so many years. So many of us have similar stories.

hikingout posted 10/11/2019 08:02 AM

I am trash - yes I can definitely see what you are saying. I think the discovery phase of the work is the most painful because itís a lot at once. I still discover things that I have to look at and frame as unhealthy but they donít come in that pace that they do early out. It was overwhelming for me. Try and harness your energy into the day you are in. How you will practice different behaviors or thoughts that align with your new revelations about what isnít healthy about you. Try to also think of the behavior or thoughts as either unhealthy or unhelpful and focus in what you would like to replace them with.

You are not always going to see yourself as a monster. If you put one foot in front of the other and do this work in yourself you should get to a place of self compassion. You will see that when you know better you do better. I am not talking about the affair obviously we all knew better - but the frame of who we were that supported it. These are early days and so many things are overwhelming especially as we try to take in our spouses pain, and help them through while at the same time having so many feelings about things ourselves. But it will get better. Just keep focusing on the digging and as far as modifying just worry about the day you are on. That is al the energy you have - tomorrow will take care of tomorrow. It helps with the feeling overwhelmed.

hikingout posted 10/11/2019 08:06 AM

Anxiety depression- yes what you just said was me for sure. Realizing I was the one driving that and not the other people I was blaming - especially my husband was a forehead slapping moment for sure. I created a reality in which I smushed my own happiness. Now I curate my own happiness, and itís empowering to drive the bus in that way. I had somehow given away my own power under constructs I created myself. How I didnít realize that I donít know but I wasted a lot of life on it.

FearfulAvoidance posted 10/11/2019 20:28 PM

On the note of fantasy...

When I was going to SLAA I was part a of step group, where we worked the 12 steps together under the guidance of a CSAT. In one of those meetings she looked at the 5 of us and said, "At the root of this, you are all addicted to fantasy".

It struck me, because by this point I had been looking at it like I was addicted to escape and avoidance. But isn't that just what fantasy is? An escape from reality to avoid the moment we are in. In that sense, I think fantasy in a wayward mind has the potential to be the start of a slippery slope.

It doesn't have to be sexual fantasy either. An alternate/past/future reality that takes your focus away from the moment is a fantasy. Even if it is as boring as ruminating about a conversation you had at work where you play out what you wished you had said. It isn't the present. And I think staying in the present is one of the most important things us waywards need to practice all day everyday.

Just my 2 cents.

GuiltAndShame posted 10/11/2019 21:02 PM

My first post to this website. Thank you for creating this topic.

It is difficult to look past the ďobviousĒ damage that I have caused because the damage to my wife is so severe and persistent and regrettable, and I am haunted by the knowledge of what I have done to her.

But, one consequence that I never imagined or anticipated was the damage to my own honor and integrity. I had been extremely selfish, seeking to satisfy my own desires and cravings without any thought of potential consequences to others that I cared about. But those selfish ways were ultimately self-destructive, tearing down my own honor and integrity.

AntiHero posted 10/12/2019 02:11 AM

Pretty much everything thatís been said, but in finding my own words to the question, I regret not having the courage to leave my marriage, especially when I first realized an EA with AP was going down. The marriage was already toast at that point. And no matter what could have transpired after that, at least it would have been done with whatever integrity remained. Even if I pursued a relationship with AP, it wouldíve been more respectable to do so being separated from H. Or if H and I tried to reconcile, the healing process would not have been so tainted by my horrible decisions.

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