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Why (Or Why Not) a PA is a dealbreaker?

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ShatteredSakura posted 12/13/2019 19:57 PM

but for me I never hit my WH until I found out he kissed another woman. For some reason that stepped up my anger quite a bit.

That makes sense to me LC. IMHO, kissing is waaaaay more intimate than sex.

That's actually really odd to me. I regard sex/lovemaking the next step after kissing...because you still kiss passionately while being intertwined with the other least we did.

I thought a lot of things would have been a dealbreaker, but I was unable to get up and leave. It would have upended my entire life, all my routines, everything. I didn't want to lose her (someone mentioned PIV being the Rubicon, for a long time that was mine...and even then she still crossed that red line). If it was someone who didn't live with me, who I wasn't talking to throughout the day over IM every day - like if we had separate lives, then maybe I could've been stronger. But then lol that doesn't sound like the relationship I wanted to be in anyways.

I'm a man, the EA and the PA all hurt the same IMO. Just more stones for me to be crushed under the weight of.

I envy the people who are able to detach and do an about face, and transform their life quickly - and make it look easy while doing so (even though I know it isn't for them).

[This message edited by ShatteredSakura at 7:59 PM, December 13th (Friday)]

BearlyBreathing posted 12/13/2019 20:32 PM

For me the length of the LTA and his not committing to R (false R for a year) were the final straws. I think I would have accepted a ONS or NSA. But like was said by an earlier poster, there was NOTHING left in our marriage that he didn't do with her. Including vacations. He had her in our home one weekend, so she saw my home, my stuff, the teddy bear from when I was a kid and the goofy thing my brother gave me for Christmas that I kept cuz it made me laugh.

Nothing was sacred. Our intimacy, our home, nothing.

And knowing that he could lie to my face for 18 monthsó yeah. That WAS the real dealbreaker.

[This message edited by BearlyBreathing at 12:52 AM, December 14th, 2019 (Saturday)]

Thissucks5678 posted 12/13/2019 21:35 PM

I guess I am not like a lot of women. When I thought it was an EA, I cried a lot, but I never thought it was a dealbreaker. I found out on Friday night and first thing Monday morning, I scheduled an appt with a MC for that Wed - it was the quickest I could get in. I was hurt and upset, but I thought itís fine, I can do this, I can fix this. On Sunday night we even went out for drinks and I thought it was the start of our new marriage. Everything was fine.

Monday afternoon, I got an email from the COW where she alluded to the fact there might have been a PA. When he got home from work, I confronted and he confirmed. I wanted to die. The next few months I was a zombie. The PA broke my heart. I lost my damn mind. It was so much worse than the ďI love yousĒ to me. I didnít care about any of that. I didnít understand and will never understand how he could have sex with someone else.

Iím not hung up on it now. Itís part of having an affair. But that rocked my damn world at the time. If I would have found out right away, Iím pretty sure we would be divorced. Because I was eased in to it, I think it led me down a path of reconciliation. Itís all a dealbreaker, but for me personally, the PA was a million times worse than the EA.

CoastalCalm posted 12/13/2019 21:48 PM

Iíve told my husband often...I would rather he had several ONS or a PA with a stranger than the EA he had with a close friend of mine. Technically they did have a PA. Kissing had started. Long hugs, holding her while she cried about her poor sad little self and her miserable marriage, kissing goodbye, lying, sneaking around. Kissing and holding, pressing their bodies together for long hugs are all pretty damn intimate in my mind. Might as well have just screwed her! Iím sure it was on its way. As others said, EAs and kissing are the prelude to the inevitable sex that almost always follows. As it was, because it was a double betrayal, that added a level of disrespect that I have a hard time putting in to words. He let her take memories from me. Ruined special moments that she had no right to invade. Let her into my home. Stood there and watched me hug her and her husband goodbye after having them over for dinner. He watched her rub my pregnant belly and she was one his first calls after the birth so she could come to the hospital and hold my newborn. That hurts sooo much more than a 30 second orgasm with a slutty bar pickup. Before this I was very vocal about the fact that cheating of any kind was a dealbreaker, yet here I am. When you have children and years together building a life itís not so easy. I do believe, deep in my heart that Iím gone. Iíve fallen out of love with him and donít know how Iíll get that back. Thatís a sad way to live. For both of us.

earlydetour posted 12/13/2019 22:26 PM

My fwh's a was mostly EA and some PA. The emotional attachment was from his side - ow just enjoyed the attention, drama, power, but wasn't attached to fwh specifically.

For me as a BW, I have to live with the knowledge that my husband gave an emotional and informational window into his private thoughts and emotions, into our M and into MY life. Because he was my h, he had access to see into me like no one else. And he divulged what he knew. What he shared with her can't be unshared. And ow (DB socially & work for me too) didn't keep that information to herself . And bc others knew fwh & ow talked, ow could & did make up crap about us to tell others.

To me, what I saw and knew about their relationship at that time was a dealbreaker for me. I didn't care if it was full-blown sex. Her influence over fwh and his attitude towards ow and me was enough to call it back then. It wasn't a M to me anymore when my husband was allowing another woman to have this window and influence.

Now, the lies and his mindset made apparent by recent significant TT feel like an even greater dealbreaker for me this time around.

In regards to the PA portion, ow was the only person outside of family members HE ALLOWED to hug and cheek kiss him hello & goodbye. Namely me, his mom, and one of his sisters. His allowing someone into his personal space and allowing them to touch him in anyway is a very big deal to him. At some point, fwh started returning the cheek kiss as she was kissing him. A PA wasn't his goal. An EA with the ow showing some form of reciprocation or playing along was his goal. A limerant with a LO that knew what was going on and was manipulative.

fwh's comfort zone in m/f relationships is emotional bonding. So, for me, finding out he's spent time and effort since this first a to emotionally bond with other women at work shows me what he values. It hurts immensely that he knowingly withheld this effort with the first a. He continued to try to establish a similar emotional bond at work with other women. Instead of keeping that effort for me and our relationship.

Phoenix1 posted 12/13/2019 22:55 PM

PAs are, and always have been, a dealbreaker for me. I told xhole that fact many times before and during our marriage (before I found out about the cheating). I've never waivered in that conviction. It is betrayal to me. Pure and simple. And betrayal by my spouse is a dealbreaker.

Now, I stuck it out for a while trying to get our youngest graduated before I pulled the pin. But divorce was always going to happen because of the infidelity no matter what.

My feelings about it have not changed in the slightest.

Nanatwo posted 12/13/2019 23:57 PM

What was so hard for me about the PA is the first time they had sex was the night he told me he had found his soulmate (until then it was an EA with kissing and hugging) and left me to go be with her. Knowing the devastation he had caused - I was an hysterical mess - he could still just calmly pack his things and walk out the door and go and have sex with her like nothing had even happened. The callousness of his actions was what was so hard to comprehend and overcome when we decided to try and R (he was with her only a couple of days when he texted me he had made a huge mistake and could he come over so we could talk).

Honestly, at first I stayed because I was so shocked and confused I couldn't make a decision to save my life. I was advised by my attorney to take it slow - if I wanted to divorce I needed a calm mind and not let my emotions rule any decisions.

I really can't say what made me decide to stay - guess seeing him put his heart and soul in to R - working on himself to understand what ever bought him to the point of cheating - seeing how truly remorseful he was and how badly he wanted to try to make amends -
realizing I did still love him - he is a good man who made some horrible choices - but those choices didn't have to define who is truly is.

There are so many different reasons that go in to deciding to stay in the marriage - bottom line - after 30 years of marriage I still felt it was a marriage worth fighting for.

SpaceGhost0007 posted 12/14/2019 00:17 AM

It sure was a deal breaker for me. I can see how you could develop feelings for another. But going to a physical affair takes it to another level.

Why stay married if she gets to screw other guys? I see no point being married period. What is so important about marriage anyway? I feel it is better to let them go and sleep with whoever they want.

Then I can go and do the same. I can see wanting to fix things but you can do that after divorcing them. By the time the OM whipped it out she knew it was over if I found out.

I feel without consequences why shouldnít they cheat? I just donít get why marriage is so important. Divorce them and still have a relationship with them. If you find someone better then go be with them. Because you can bet if she finds better she will do the same.

redbaron007 posted 12/14/2019 03:27 AM

For me, marriage was a contract where monogamy was a given. Neither of us brought up the topic of an open marriage, so I treated her PA as one partner unilaterally opening the marriage, thereby rendering the marriage meaningless.

I'm sure there are open marriages where one or both sides have physical relationships with external parties, and that works for them.

My WW has thanked me repeatedly for the "act of maturity and courage"

Staying with a cheater requires zero courage. Do you feel courageous? What brave deed have you done, what fearful odds have you faced? I bet you did not even have to move your toothbrush. As far maturity goes, does a mature person stay in limbo, or take conclusive action to get out of it? From what I read here, you are neither mature nor courageous mate.

romiane posted 12/14/2019 03:38 AM

Everybody says that it is a dealbreaker because it feels good saying it, and deep down we can't help but feel some kind of awe and admiration for people that are unwavering and uncompromising on their values and we try to imitate them. But when push comes to shove the majority of people cave to other more "reasonnable" considerations, and go a more subdued way.
It's like the cliche that the vast majority of people will tell you :"I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees". No, 99% of people would rather grovel on their belly than die even in the most glorious way, and that is perfectly normal. A few lunatics will truly rather die on their feet, but they are the minority.

Buzzy posted 12/14/2019 04:39 AM

I always though an affair PA or EA would have ended my M and if I had not had an RA it would have ended in a D.

The other things that stopped me dumping my wife were the fact that the affair had been ended by her some weeks prior to me finding out, the PA had lasted three weeks with three "sessions". She gave me every detail including the AP name and address. I also did not want to put my kids through a shitshow.

It was catharic to confront her AP at his home in front of his wife and my RA overwrote my mind movies, that said it took many months to even begin to R

whatIknowNow posted 12/14/2019 06:24 AM

Who knows what I would actually do if my wife had a PA? The trauma would be so strong it is hard to be sure.

But my policy is simple. I *might* be able to reconcile over a ONS that was not planned and was revealed promptly. Anything more than that and I'm gone.

Hallmack posted 12/14/2019 06:52 AM

My wife told me about her AP last February, I told her it was a EA, she gaslit me into believing it wasnít even that but I knew. Little did I know it was already a PA. Anyway when I thought it was a EA I was crushed and heartbroken and her reaction that I was overreacting to nothing was even worse. When I found out that it was a PA 6 months later it finished the job of destroying me. Just couldnít believe that the woman who always said cheating was so despicable could actually do it. The combination of EA and PA is what really did me in. If she had told me that she just fucked him and that it was just sex I could have handled it. If she had told me that she caught feelings for him and didnít act on it I could have handled it. The combination of love and sex destroyed me. Not only is my old marriage dead but the person I used to be is dead too.

Itís all too much. The ďvacationsĒ, the endless lying, the gaslighting, the blaming, taking my children to go spend time with AP, the bashing me as a father and husband, the rewriting of our marital history, the fights, the going to a marriage counselor and lying through her teeth while the affair was active, the justifications, the sex, the sex that was refused me but was freely given to him, the sexting, the love that she felt for him, the boundaries that she so easily crossed, the hate she had for me. She couldnít have done a better job of hurting me and showing her distain and hate for me if she tried.

There are a lot of times now where I donít feel like she ever thought I was a real person. I feel totally invisible, my feelings didnít matter. I donít know why she married me in the first place.

Now she says everything has changed. She says the old problems donít matter anymore. That she sees that she loves me. How can anyone do what she did to someone they love? Itís just so sick and twisted.

Butforthegrace posted 12/14/2019 07:06 AM

My circumstance was a bit different because I was dumped for the AP on Dday, I moved out with a broken heart and tried to rebuild. No, not broken heart. My heart was crushed and mangled beyond recognition as a heart. Put my heart in a Cuisinart with a quart of shit and run it for 10 hours on high. That was my heart.

Moving out, plus sex with somebody new (who I didn't care about emotionally but was smoking hot) gave me room to find perspective. "Fuck me once, shame on you; fuck me twice, shame on me." When my WxGF's "relationship" with her AP proved to be volatile and short-lived (gee, what a surprise), and she made intimations about us getting back together, the one intact piece of my heart that survived the merde food processor actually yearned for it. She and her son were my family. We had committed to a lifetime together. Prior to the A, going home every day to them after work brought me comfort and joy and peace.

But logic prevailed. "I'm not going to give anybody a chance to do that to me twice," was my answer. In hindsight, instinctively I knew she was not safe, plus I knew that, without consequences, I'd permanently resent her.

My observation here on SI is that the "deal breaker" line in the sand is personal and subjective to each BS. I agree with BeyondRage, though, on the idea that some affairs are "worse" than others. We've seen some truly heinous behaviors here on SI. A WW having unprotected sex to completion with her AP, then allowing her BH to perform oral on her just an hour or two later. A WH doing the same to his BW. A WW getting pregnant by the AP and having his child, but tricking the BH into raising the child as his own. Etc.

It is often said here on SI that what a WW does after Dday is as important to R, or even moreso, than what she does during the A. I agree with that for the most part. Of all of the threads I've read here on SI, yours stands out as an extreme in terms of what your WW did around and after Dday. Not only was it cruel to you in a high degree, it was also incredibly selfish. Clearly what she wanted as a Mulligan, and she bullied and cajoled and insulted you when you weren't giving her one. That part of her character is deeply flawed. Honestly, I don't know how she even calls herself a "married woman" if she will expect that from her BH.

In the end, it boils down, I think, to whether you can look at her with love, with a beginner's heart. 10 years from now, are you going to drive past the AP's house, see him out mowing his lawn, and be triggered at the giant shit sandwich your WW made you swallow, knowing that she didn't help you, not even a little bit, in fact she stuffed the rest of that sandwich in your mouth and told you to swallow it and STFU and never talk about it again.

The1stWife posted 12/14/2019 07:46 AM

My H had an EA (his second one during our marriage).

He wanted a Divorce.

Typical mid life crisis affair. He admitted to kissing her. It may have been a bit more than that but the OW told me there was no sex between them and I have some basis to believe it based on emails. So letís stick with they kissed and nothing more.

False reconciliation, affair underground, planning to D me, all are terrible to live through.

Also knowing my H travelled for his job all over the world leaves me wondering. I always knew he could cheat but I never thought he would. Now I think differently. It is possible he did but I will never know. But itís not important to me. Iíve moved on.

But it does not matter b/c I told him he is now a suspect that he actually did cheat - and nothing can change my mind. He is a liar and cheater.

Why I stayed b/c I saw immediate changes after his last affair ended. Heís not the same guy he was six years ago. He regrets all of it and now sees the huge mistakes he made in our marriage. It doesnít erase the past however.

BrokenheartedUK posted 12/14/2019 07:59 AM

First Thumos I can see how hard you're struggling with all of this. And I totally get it. Big hug dude.

On Dday and the months that immediately followed I wasn't prepared to D. I was completely blindsided and traumatized. I was terrified and heartbroken. I was all the things. But somewhere deep down, I thought to myself "aha! NOW I that my WS has hit rock bottom he will surely work on himself and I will FINALLY get the M that I need/deserve." I was operating on hopium.

For many of us the A isn't an aberration. The actual infidelity part might be but the conflict avoidant, inauthentic, cowardly and arrogant behavior and general lack of empathy for the BS are all present before the A itself. And a lot of us BSs are already complicit in that. Or codependent or whatever you want to call it. I was the proverbial frog in the pot and it wasn't until DDay that I realized that the water was boiling.

My WS didn't want to end the M. He never did. He wanted me to be a "better wife" and to STFU. And I was hardwired to stick out my marriage. It seemed inconceivable that I would get a divorce and my three children would have their home broken. Literally unimaginable.

So *we* tried to R. And slowly it began to occur to me, deep down, that this M was never going to get better for me. The lightening bolt moment where this was finally brought to my conscious level was when I ran a Dr Fone scan on his iPhone and saw irrefutable evidence that my H had continued contact, had lied to my face about it for 13 months and that was that. After 19 years of M I was finished. It was the aftermath of the A that killed the M. Textbook. I thought that my H had hit rock bottom. He hadn't. It wasn't until I did that changes were finally made.

As a postscript I'll say this, I'm almost exactly six years out from Dday, five years out from ending the marriage, three and a half years out from moving countries to my homeland with my three children and we're all thriving. It was a metric ton of upheaval but once I had clarity, it all fell into place. It seems Thumos that it's the clarity that you are struggling with still.

demolishedinside posted 12/14/2019 08:12 AM

The Physical was the deal breaker for me. Sexting, stupid words they wrote? Nah. But I could never seem to get past the physical aspect of it. Add in the planning and scheming and his ability to accept a bj In A car 3 years into R? Yeah. Nope. Iíd rather be safe and alone. Iím scared to death about money, but Iím heading to D.

crazyblindsided posted 12/14/2019 08:28 AM

NOW I that my WS has hit rock bottom he will surely work on himself and I will FINALLY get the M that I need/deserve." I was operating on hopium.

My WS didn't want to end the M. He never did. He wanted me to be a "better wife" and to STFU. And I was hardwired to stick out my marriage. It seemed inconceivable that I would get a divorce

So *we* tried to R. And slowly it began to occur to me, deep down, that this M was never going to get better for me.

It was the aftermath of the A that killed the M. Textbook. I thought that my H had hit rock bottom. He hadn't. It wasn't until I did that changes were finally made.

Word for word. It was everything that happened after D-Day that killed the M. I would have given my right arm to save the M, sacrificing my emotional health. It was ME who had to hit rock bottom to get out.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 8:28 AM, December 14th (Saturday)]

Marie2792 posted 12/14/2019 08:35 AM

For me it almost was, especially since it wasnít the first time. But there was never an emotional attachment and to me would have been far worse. Iím not minimizing the pain and trauma a PA inflicts upon us, because I went through hell over it. If I had discovered my husband had been dining out, taking trips, spending the night it sharing intimate facts about our lives with an OW, it would have been over. If loving words were exchanged, I couldnít continue. If they had talked about a future together, or him buying her gifts, it would have been over.

Iíve thought about this a lot since dday five years ago. Sex to me, is how we come together. Itís an important part of our connection but it isnít the whole picture. My husband didnít take the time to ensure OW had a loving, fulfilling experience with him. He was there for his own selfish needs period. Compared to our sex life, it wasnít the same by a long shot. That also helped me decide it wasnít a dealbreaker. Affair sex in a hot sheets motel isnít the same as lovemaking in your own bed with your partner, who you know and love intimately.

Maudlin posted 12/14/2019 08:38 AM

For many of us the A isn't an aberration. The actual infidelity part might be but the conflict avoidant, inauthentic, cowardly and arrogant behavior and general lack of empathy for the BS are all present before the A itself. And a lot of us BSs are already complicit in that. Or codependent or whatever you want to call it. I was the proverbial frog in the pot and it wasn't until DDay that I realized that the water was boiling.

My WS didn't want to end the M. He never did. He wanted me to be a "better wife" and to STFU. And I was hardwired to stick out my marriage. It seemed inconceivable that I would get a divorce and my three children would have their home broken. Literally unimaginable

(Can we all just celebrate I actually figured out how to QUOTE!)

THIS. This was me. LLCAH (low life cheating asshat) cheated when the kids were young. I do t know what hoping I was smoking because he never did a damn thing to make any amends for it, but I thought surely- he would never do that again. And when our marriage really improved these last 7 years or so, I thought I was right. We made it! The kids are grown! Financially stable! He is not really the spoiled man child anymore!

Well, no. He did, and he is. And I stayed, and stayed, and stayed, because I am Miss Do The Right Thing. Which he knows.

None of was a deal breaker, until it just WAS. It wasnít even him- he was who he always was, a low life cheating Asshat with no character and a narcissist who canít bear to be wrong or have people not love him. I just had to finally get to where I could see him for he really is, and that point the sex, the lies, the emotional abuse- it didnít matter. The whole deal was broke when I finally saw who he IS.

Also Broken-heartedUK, your quote is in my tinder profile 😂

Itís a lovely sentiment, and so true.

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