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I have created so much devastation...

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svereen posted 5/13/2020 23:38 PM

This is my first post. Itís so ridiculously long I donít know if anyone will even read it. It so painful to write this because itís hard to face that I did something so many absolutely horrific things. Get ready, because this is a real doozy. I imagine people will read it and think ďWow, Iíve seen some pretty shi**y stuff on here, but this one takes the cake.Ē

Iím a 44 year old woman. Iíve been with my husband around twenty years and married for 7 years. Just a little about me - there are some things about myself that I can see in hindsight made me someone who could be vulnerable to having an affair. Not excuses, just some things that make me think I have never been a ďsafeĒ person. Iíve always had very low self esteem, never thought I was pretty, and was always completely surprised that any man would want me. And on top of that, what self-esteem I did have was always heavily influenced by getting attention from men. Having a man want me made me feel worthwhile. This is sickening for me to even type that, but sadly itís the truth. I also have Type II Bipolar Disorder and Major Depression. The depression has typically been front and center in my history, and I never really focused on the Bipolar issues, because I never thought I had a problem, it was just the depression that really affected my life. In hindsight I can see that I have always had issues with impulse control and addictive behaviors, but I never paid them any mind because they honestly hadnít severely impacted my life.

So how this whole nightmare started...Like a lot of women, in my late thirties I started realizing that I was getting old. I was going gray, I had gained about twenty pounds since college, I had some wrinkles, and my body was was changing - no more effortless toned perkiness. You combine that with my already poor self esteem, and I was shaping up for a textbook midlife crisis. While I never thought I was pretty, I did think that I was at least average. And I never thought so at the time, but looking back I really did have a good figure through my 20s and into my mid-30s. Now I was almost 40 and starting to feel like my youth was gone. And since I had always relied on the attention of men to feel good about myself, it was starting to hit me hard that I was getting older Ė and surely no men were ever going to pay attention to me then. I started to get obsessed with my appearance and the need to look young. I stared coloring my hair and even started getting Botox. Yes, I was transforming into a real POS.

Things were okay at home with my husband, but not great. We had drifted apart somewhat - both of our faults. We were going through some work stresses and health stresses, and I think we were both on autopilot as far as our relationship goes. Neither of us was putting in the effort that a relationship needs. My husband agrees with me on this. We werenít communicating. We were only having sex a few times a year. I still very much loved my husband, and if you had asked me at the time I would have said I was happily married. Looking back, that obviously wasnít exactly true Ė I just didnít even realize it at the time. Iím not saying this to try and give any justification for what happened, just trying to give you an idea of what was going on at the time.

Anyway, I had this weekend routine where I would go out for breakfast on Saturday mornings. My husband and I used to go together, but this had slowly changed to me going by myselfÖthe drifting apart. I usually ate at the same place, and one weekend I got this really nice waiter Ė he was just good at his job and pretty friendly. I thought he was a little chatty with me, but I just figured he was the sociable type. I did notice that he was attractive, but just as a passing thought, I wouldnít say I had a crush on him or anything like that. So I kept up with my breakfast routine, and every week it seemed like I was always seated in his section. When I left I would always get a drink to go, and he started to write little messages on my to-go cups. Nothing inappropriate or sexual Ė things like ďThanks for coming in and talking to me, you always make me smileĒ. I would start to think he was flirting with me, but then would convince myself that I must be crazy Ė he was obviously much younger than I was, and how could he possibly be interested in a middle aged frump like myself? I decided that he was probably just nice because I always tip servers well. So this continued for about a year. I was actually finally starting to think he might be flirting with me, but I still just couldnít fathom that he would be interested in me. Then one day the waiter wrote ďBe my ValentineĒ on my cup. Iím pretty dense, but even I knew that he was interested in me then. I was floored, flabbergasted, amazedÖyou name it. The attention he had been giving me over the past year had of course given me a little boost, and now this just took me over the edge. There was still hope for poor middle aged me. He was obviously somewhere in his 20s, so this was a massive ego boost. I kept going for breakfast every weekend, we started talking more and more, and I did think he was cute. During this time it still never crossed my mind that I would ever have an affair. Part of me still couldnít accept that he could actually find me attractive. I was either too blind to see that I was playing with fire, or maybe I just didnít want to see it. Then one day after I had finished eating and got ready to leave, he asked me if I wanted to hang out when he got off work. I said yes. Looking back at it now, it just seems incomprehensible that I did that. But I was on such a high, it was all I could see. I rationalized that I was just going to see him this one time. I was just going to have this one last experience before I was too old and ugly to have a man be interested in me. I had no interest in leaving my husband, and I wasnít interested in any kind of emotional affair Ė I just wanted this one last hurrah. And my husband Ė it would be fine. After all, it was only going to happen once. And he would never find out, of course. Like that made it okay? What kind of monster had I become. So later when he got off work I went to his house. He told me that he wasnít interested in a relationship or anything like that, he just thought that I was so gorgeous he couldnít stop thinking about me. I ate this all up like the vapid, selfish waste of space that I had become. He told me he was 26, and said he thought I was 28, maybe 30. What with me being almost 40 at the time, my high just kept getting higher. Iím sure you can guess what happened next. But it was just that one timeÖ

So here we are four years later. Yes, I have been sleeping with him off and on for the last four years. Not consistently at first Ėthere was almost a year between the first and the second time. But by the end, it was starting to happen more often, and in the last 4-5 months it was happening almost every month. There was never any kind of emotional connection, it was really just sex for both of us. But I was so addicted to the high. I usually instigated most of our meetings, because I needed that high so bad. I would say that I was euphoric when it happened. Not because of the sex per se, but knowing that he wanted me. For some reason, for the first time in my life, I actually felt like an attractive and desirable woman. He was surrounded by beautiful girls in their twentiesÖand he still wanted me. I craved seeing him like Iím sure a heroin addict craves their next fix. I did horrible things. I snuck out of my house in the middle of the night to have sex with him. I slept with him in his car within sight of my house. I brought him into our home on two occasions when my husband was out of town. I think I was able to keep doing this because I was able to completely compartmentalize things. I had convinced myself that the marriage and my affair were completely separate and never the two shall meet. I had convinced myself that the affair wasnít affecting my marriage at all. I disgust myself.

And it gets worse. So much worse. We always used condoms, but we all know thatís no guarantee. I donít really know how to tell this without it being TMI, but whatever. Apparently if someone has a cold sore, which is technically herpes, it can actually spread to other areas of the body if they come in contact. He had recently been with someone who was just about to get a cold sore (itís contagious before you even know you have one), and her lips made contact with another part of his body. I saw him a few days after that, and about a week later we both had our first herpes outbreak. And I had actually slept with my husband for the first time in months that same week. So my husband found out I had been having a four year affair when I gave him herpes.

I just had to take a long break from writing this, because sometimes the absolute hellish nightmare I created completely overwhelms me. Writing it all down is just so hard. But I deserve any pain I get.

My husband found out in early January. Like the usual lowlife cheater, I still couldnít be truthful and told him I had just had a one night stand when I had been drinking with some friends. Then he ended up asking for my phone, and the real truth came out. He immediately told me to leave, and I spent the next week at my parentís house. I donít think it really set in that it had actually happened for a few weeks, so when I got back from my parents that week I was still trying to make excuses. I actually told him that he really shouldnít be all that upset, it was just sex. His initial thoughts were that when I got back from my parents he would be ready with divorce papers and we were done. But apparently he had found this forum and saw some things that convinced him he shouldnít make an immediate decision to end things when emotions were so strong. I am so, so thankful that he found this place.

So here we are about four months out. On the day the affair came out I sent a text to the AP in front of my husband telling him it was over and to never contact me again. I have had no contact with him since. I feel like I have had some type of epiphany. I was so far gone I didnít even realize that this had been going on for four years. That was the degree of not thinking that I was doing. I know virtually all cheaters say this, but I feel like a completely different person now. I find it hard to imagine that this really all happened.

My husband is truly the finest human being I have ever known, he has allowed me to continue living in our home while he decides whether he wants a divorce or to attempt reconciliation. Obviously, itís been a hell of a roller coaster here. He still loves me very much (and no, I have no idea why), but there are just so many aspects that make this so much harder to accept. I never disclosed the affair, it lasted 4 years, for gods sake I gave him an incurable STD. He is still no closer to making a decision on reconciliation. He is still constantly swinging between there is absolutely no possible way that he can stay, or maybe we could try and rebuild something from this pile of s**t that I have created. He is broken, so completely broken. I could never imagine the level of devastation that this would cause. He essentially has PTSD. He is consumed by horrible images of me and the AP having sex. He still canít really believe that this is now his life. That I have destroyed every aspect of his existence and sentenced him to this hell on earth. I canít believe it either. I would kill anyone who hurt him like this...but it was me. How could it be me?

We are both in therapy and I am starting to work on the whys. I am truly committed to becoming a better person. Abandoning my selfish tendencies. Opening myself up to sharing my feelings with my husband instead of shutting down and ignoring problems. Accepting the fact that I am aging and abandon this pathetic fascination with looking young and desirable. Both my husband and my therapist say that at some point I am going to have to accept what I have done and forgive myself, or at least come to some kind of peace with it. I donít know what the hell they are thinking, but I just canít see how that could ever happen. The other day I realized that I couldnít see how it would be possible because I donít want to forgive myself. After what I have done to the person that I love most (although most say if I actually loved him I couldnít have done what I did), I honestly donít feel like I ever deserve another moment of happiness in my life. I would say that I deserve to die, but that would be an escape and I deserve to be tormented for what I have done every day for the rest of my life. I know that I have no control over what my husband eventually decides about our future. He feels like this site has helped him so much, and he has been wanting me to post here for months. This is so long and drawn out, I donít even know if anyone will read it. And if they do, I canít imagine they will have anything good to say. How could they? One reason I have been hesitant to post here is because I still have this pathetic fantasy the my husband and I will be able to build a new future, a better future. I am pretty sure that everyone is going to tell me there are some things you shouldnít forgive or accept, and there is no possibility of reconciliation and I am a fool to think otherwise. I donít even know exactly what Iím looking for here, but Iíve at least got my story out.

Edit 5/16 - corrected 5 months to 4 months

Edit 5/19 - corrected my age



[This message edited by svereen at 5:55 PM, May 19th (Tuesday)]

Doom posted 5/14/2020 00:27 AM

WS only

[This message edited by SI Staff at 2:48 PM, May 14th (Thursday)]

BraveSirRobin posted 5/14/2020 00:59 AM

Hi Svereen. Welcome to SI.

I won't lie, your story sucks, but it's not the worst one I've ever heard. Some of us just dodged a bullet that you didn't. I had unprotected sex with the OM in an era when AIDS was completely untreatable. I wasn't smart, I just got lucky that OM didn't have HIV (especially since, of course, he lied to me about his risk factors). There will always be some ways that your A is "better" or "worse" than others, though you'll grow to realize that those distinctions are pretty meaningless, given that most affairs are the most devastating thing that ever happened to the BS.

There's a lot that sounds like you're off to a promising start here. Going to IC and figuring out your whys tops the list. I am interested, though, in why you fought coming here for months. Facing us wouldn't make R any less likely. And there are some aspects of your story that ping my radar a little. You always used condoms, and it just happened that an asymptomatic herpes carrier infected you both with genital herpes? It feels like there could be some minimizing there.

The absolute #1 piece of advice we give new waywards is also the most ignored. Tell. Him. Everything. Every last detail, especially the ones that you think would be the end of the marriage for him to find out. I'm saying this as someone who is 18 months post D-Day 2 for an affair that happened 30 years ago. There's no statute of limitations on lying. It will set your BH back to zero no matter when it happens. And even if it's something you think he can't possibly find out on his own, you will know. You'll get to a point where you're really healing, really feeling that authenticity, and it will start to fester.

If it hasn't fully sunk in yet, please consider that the most hurtful, disrespectful thing you can do now that the affair is over is to continue to try to control your BH. He has a right to know the person he's married to, and to decide if that's a person he can rebuild with. Give him all the facts, not just the ones you think he needs. Then you can turn to your own work.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 5/14/2020 05:32 AM

Doom you have a pm.

Lucky77 posted 5/14/2020 05:36 AM

Welcome Svereen,

I don't find it that helpful to rank levels of egregiousness of wayward behavior. It's all egregious. You are not a snowflake. You are in good company here.

I had an LTA (Long Term Affair) too. With a woman who sounds rather like you. Squarely in midlife. Feeling a bit past her peak years. Somehow drifting from a good spouse. Not fully planning an A but seeing that A's can come from crossing hundreds of little boundaries. And some big boundaries.

None of us are beyond redemption.

Sit with us. Grab a glass of wine. Let's talk it through. Let's think about why you were weak to your fuckboy's advances. Indeed you are an adulterer now. You can never shake that. You will carry that with you always. But that doesn't mean you can't get your head out of your ass and save your M.

Zugzwang posted 5/14/2020 10:04 AM

Of course you can have a future together. If you work for it and he chooses to give you that grace.

You have to be safe enough for it though. Needing validation from other men when you were already married and had a man...been there done that. It really sucks to be a black hole on the inside constantly eating like a goldfish. I would hope by now you have realized that no one can fill that up.

Did you continue to go to breakfast after the physical part of the affair started? I ask this because you seem to really be focused on this being a sexual thing...it clearly to me is not. It started out as an emotional affair and turned physical as the emotions and relationship progressed. For a year you went to breakfast looking for that emotional boost. Looking to be important to this man. Ask yourself if you are selling the affair short to spare your husband's feelings.

svereen posted 5/14/2020 20:16 PM

I just want to thank everyone for your kindness. I never expected it, but you all have given me some much needed positive thoughts.

However, in saying that - tonight has been the worst emotionally for me since the affair came out. I have been so consumed with trying to help my husband (which isnít possible) and doing everything I can to make him feel loved and wanted (which of course he doesnít), that I have really only been able to think about the possibility of us not being able to reconcile in a sort of abstract way. Sure, I would get really sad, but tonight my husband said some things that left me just utterly bereft of any hope. He didnít say anything mean or even that he hasnít already said before, but I just lost it. Not in front of him, I try and avoid him having to deal with my emotions in this mess. I donít always do that well, though. I couldnít get this horrible image out of my head of me sitting alone in some apartment and wanting to call my husband, and then realizing that Iím never going to be able to talk to him again. I have just sat here and sobbed off and on for the last two hours. My husband was not doing well at all when he came home and went straight to bed. I can hear him making little barely there snoring noises, and I just want to go in there and hold him so badly. Iím not allowed to do that, though.

Anyway, I was all ready to respond to everyoneís questions and thoughts tonight, but I just donít have it in me right now. Iím sorry, I will be back tomorrow with a coherent, reasoned post. I just need to take the night to kick miss ďwoe is meĒ to the curb.

pinkpggy posted 5/14/2020 21:43 PM

Give or take some details and your story could be my story as well as many other WW stories. A combination of lack of self esteem, low self worth, aging (I'm 41 now but was 38 at the time of my affair), and the need to feel desired and wanted. It's a very dangerous mix. I was a dying plant desperate to be watered. I went about it all the wrong way through. Instead of facing my marital and person issues, I looked to someone else to fill the void and make me feel better. The high was certainly very high. But the lows were also depressingly low.

Reading your story your remorse comes through, it truly doesn't not sound just like regret that you got caught.

Keep reading here, stay engaged, take the advice. It a very, very painful journey but it is possible to reconcile and recover.

BraveSirRobin posted 5/14/2020 21:53 PM

Hang in there, svereen.

For me, the vision wasn't sitting alone in an apartment. It was handing off the kids at the door of an unfamiliar house, with XBH being coldly polite, and seeing his new girlfriend hovering tactfully in the background, ready to comfort him after I left. I saw every detail of this in my mind's eye, walking back down the cold, dark steps, knowing he was enfolding her in his arms and reassuring her that seeing me was no more than a painful obligation. And then getting in the car and driving away, knowing that it was all my fault.

Like I said, it's been a year and a half now, and I know with reasonable certainty that that isn't going to happen. I remember it so clearly, though, the fear and the grief and the anger at my own stupidity.

Try to get some sleep. Tomorrow, we'll talk about what comes next.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 9:57 PM, May 14th (Thursday)]

Lostallalone posted 5/15/2020 10:48 AM

Ok sorry if I am blunt. I really am not trying to be mean here but I would like to point out A few things.

First let me say I am a madhatter. If you are wondering why I have been here.

My first point I want to say is I believe it was emotional in addition to just sex. You kept going back for the ego kibbles and once he asked you to go to his place you took him up on it right away. To tell your husband it was just sex is cruel. Sex is the most intimate act a husband and wife share and nobody else has access to. So you say its just sex makes him feel that sex with him is so terrible you would give it to the first person that came along. (At least thats how I would feel)

I argue you didn't love your husband and now you are in self preservation mode. You are trying to fix things you broke. Your affair went on for more then half your marriage. How many times did you rundown your or make fun of your husband. And if you didn't give him herpes it would be continuing today. Advancing more and more till it was at least once a week.

The bad news is your husband feels thrown away plan B. (I would). He thinks if he does divorce you he is a middle aged man with herpes. Who would want him. So he doesn't leave and is torn apart in his head. He will wonder how long before you find greener grass you can leave him for.
He is thinking he can't satisfy you emotionally or physically.

Are these subjects you have discussed with your counselor? Whats your plan to turn things around. I know the ball is in his court but you both could be in limbo a long time.

Maybe write a letter expressing his good qualities. Figure out what to do today and everyday to make him feel special. I saw you are trying to stop trying to feel young and beautiful. Why don't you do those things for him. Get his attention. Maybe you are but it appears you have thrown up your hands and whatever happens happens.

I'm sorry if this all sound harsh. Lifesdestroyer has been thru similar situation and I hope she chimes in here .
I have a lot of respect for her.

I really am pulling for you.

svereen posted 5/16/2020 00:35 AM

Okay, finally feeling like tackling this. I just want to thank those of you who responded to last nightís post Ė special thanks to pinkpiggy and BraveSirRobin. I am feeling much better today, and hopefully I wonít have another night like last for a while. I think Iím just going to start with some of the responses to my initial post. And I am not very smart, because I can't get that quote thing to work for the life of me. I hope it's still easy enough to follow with just the quotes.

BraveSirRobin

I won't lie, your story sucks, but it's not the worst one I've ever heard. Some of us just dodged a bullet that you didn't. I had unprotected sex with the OM in an era when AIDS was completely untreatable.

It really is hard to believe there is worse out there, so thatís something! And while sad, there is some comfort in knowing that Iím not the only one out there to have just made some of the most colossal f**k ups out there 


I am interested, though, in why you fought coming here for months. Facing us wouldn't make R any less likely.

Itís really a combination of things. First, Iím not a natural ďsharerĒ, and very much keep my feelings to myself - which I think may have ended up playing a big part in how I got myself in this mess. Discussing and thinking about emotional issues is actually physically exhausting for me. I know this is not healthy, and it is one of the ďwhysĒ Iím really committed to working on.

Also, I didnít really get the best first impression of the site. My husband has been posting since the beginning, and he always welcomed me to read his post and the responses. I could not handle the responses. Of course I expected to hear terrible things about myself and what I had done - but what I didnít expect were the responses like ďthereís no way this is her first affairĒ, ďdonít sleep with her, sheís just going to try and get pregnant and trap youĒ, ďmake sure you record all your conversations, her next step will be the false domestic violence reports she filesĒ. These are not exact quotes, just sort of the gist of what I remember. I was, and honestly still am, afraid that he will start to believe that these things are all true. And also, when practically 100s of people tell him that there is no way Iím a candidate for reconciliation, Iím not marriage material, no choice here but divorce, etcÖI sort of feel like it might make R less likely.

The other reason kind of piggybacks on what you said about telling him everything. I have been committed to being upfront and honest since he found out about the true nature of the affair. That being said, there are some details that I just didnít remember when I initially told him, and then when they come out it just sets us back so far. For example, in my post when I was describing the general timeline of the affair. I mentioned that AP had written ďbe my valentineĒ on my cup. During the course of the affair, I have no idea how many cups with messages on them he gave me, but it was a lot. I only remembered this one when I was trying to come up with the timeline for this post. Well it really upset my husband that I had never told him this. I had never even thought about it before, I wasnít trying to hold anything back. So I am constantly afraid that something I write could be construed as lying, or maybe I will just word something the wrong way or say something that will end up being the last straw for him.

And there are some aspects of your story that ping my radar a little. You always used condoms, and it just happened that an asymptomatic herpes carrier infected you both with genital herpes? It feels like there could be some minimizing there.

As unlikely as this seems, this appears to be what happened. As far as minimizing goes, it is something Iím really struggling with. BH called me out on it the other day Ė so often I donít even realize Iím doing it.

Lucky77

None of us are beyond redemptionÖ you are an adulterer now. You can never shake that. You will carry that with you always. But that doesn't mean you can't get your head out of your ass and save your M.

Thank you for that. Most of the time I do feel like Iím beyond redemption and there is no chance to save my marriage, and there are so many people on the forums telling my husband just that, so itís nice to get a little bit of positivity sometimes.

Zugzwang

Of course you can have a future together. If you work for it and he chooses to give you that grace

I just canít imagine that he will choose to give me that grace. As even he has said at times, why would he?


Needing validation from other men when you were already married and had a man...been there done that. It really sucks to be a black hole on the inside constantly eating like a goldfish. I would hope by now you have realized that no one can fill that up.

I have. I was doing exactly what I had led myself to believe would fill it up for four yearsÖand it never did.

Did you continue to go to breakfast after the physical part of the affair started? I ask this because you seem to really be focused on this being a sexual thing...it clearly to me is not. It started out as an emotional affair and turned physical as the emotions and relationship progressed. For a year you went to breakfast looking for that emotional boost. Looking to be important to this man. Ask yourself if you are selling the affair short to spare your husband's feelings.

Okay, Iím a little confused here. I think I might be thinking an emotional affair is something itís not, or maybe I didnít really describe it well. During the time prior to when the physical affair started, there wasnít really a relationship per se. Yes, we would talk while I was there, but just surface things Ė no real conversations of any depth. It was more like heavy flirtingÖand it wasnít really him the person I craved, it was the attention that he gave me. I did keep going to the restaurant after the physical part of the affair started. I needed to keep going back to get my fix. Like I said, there was quite a long time between the first time we had sex and the second time, and I was so pathetic I was afraid that he might ďforgetĒ me if I didnít keep showing up. The whole time we were together we never talked on the phone once, and never saw each other for anything but to hook up. We never shared anything much of substance. For example, I did know that he had two kids that lived out of state with their mother. I know they came and stayed with him in the summer, but I never knew their names or even how old they were.

Pinkpiggy

Give or take some details and your story could be my story as well as many other WW stories. A combination of lack of self-esteem, low self-worth, aging (I'm 41 now but was 38 at the time of my affair), and the need to feel desired and wanted. It's a very dangerous mix. I was a dying plant desperate to be watered. I went about it all the wrong way through. Instead of facing my marital and person issues, I looked to someone else to fill the void and make me feel better. The high was certainly very high. But the lows were also depressingly low.

PREACH. I really think this is 100% what led to my affair. Itís like youíre writing my story word for word. And yes, I do feel like I am truly remorseful.

BraveSirRobin

For me, the vision wasn't sitting alone in an apartment. It was handing off the kids at the door of an unfamiliar house, with XBH being coldly polite, and seeing his new girlfriend hovering tactfully in the background, ready to comfort him after I left. I saw every detail of this in my mind's eye, walking back down the cold, dark steps, knowing he was enfolding her in his arms and reassuring her that seeing me was no more than a painful obligation. And then getting in the car and driving away, knowing that it was all my fault.

Iím so sorry you had to feel that pain, I canít imagine how much harder it must have been with kids involved. This is one situation where I am very grateful that we donít have kids. Iím so glad this didnít end up being your reality.

I remember it so clearly, though, the fear and the grief and the anger at my own stupidity.

YES. If we canít reconcile, I honestly canít imagine having to live the rest of my life without him and our essentially perfect life, knowing that I destroyed him, and itís 100% solely my fault. TBH, with my depression I am a little afraid. There is a good bit of mental illness in my family, and my uncle committed suicide late last year. Last night is the first time since this happened when for a few minutes that started to seem like a viable option if we canít reconcile.

Lostallalone

To tell your husband it was just sex is cruel. Sex is the most intimate act a husband and wife share and nobody else has access to. So you say its just sex makes him feel that sex with him is so terrible you would give it to the first person that came along. (At least thats how I would feel)

Yes, you are absolutely correct. And thatís exactly how my husband feels. I didnít see it that way because I am supremely fu**ed up. There is something seriously wrong with me. Itís definitely being worked on in therapy. I have always had a much more shall we say ĒcavalierĒ attitude towards sex. To me sex has always beenÖwell, just sex. You say that sex is the most intimate act a husband and wife shareÖI imagine the majority of the population agrees with you. But for me, the most intimate act has always been opening myself up to someone emotionally. And I donít even mean just enormously private things; I have always had problems with sharing virtually anything about myself. My BH actually sent me a link to an article recently that completely blew my mind. It was about Attachment Types, one of which was called Avoidant Attachment Type. It pretty much pegged me to a tee. Itís not pretty. I always just though I was introverted, but its way more than that. You can google it, but some of the characteristics of Avoidants are: poor self-esteem, uncomfortable with deep feelings, prefer casual sex, uncomfortable with intimate situations, very independent. I canít believe I have been this way my entire life and only just became aware of it.

I argue you didn't love your husband and now you are in self preservation mode. You are trying to fix things you broke. Your affair went on for more then half your marriage. How many times did you rundown your or make fun of your husband. And if you didn't give him herpes it would be continuing today.

This is of course very difficult to read and makes me hate myself more than I ever thought possible, and Iíve never been that fond of myself. One thing Ė I have NEVER and would never, make fun of or disparage my husband in any way. Like I said, my AP and I never discussed much of a personal nature, but the only thing I ever told him about my husband was that he was an amazing man. Despite what I did, and as unbelievable as it may seem, even during the affair I would have gone to the ends of the earth for him. I still would. I would have and still would step in front of a bullet for him. I understand that may sound like just empty words after what I did to him. However, it is the absolute and incontrovertible truth.

And yes, this is exactly how he feels. I never saw him as a Plan B, he was always my only plan. Ludicrous, but thatís how I felt.

Are these subjects you have discussed with your counselor? Whats your plan to turn things around. I know the ball is in his court but you both could be in limbo a long time.

My husband actually really wants me to focus on the whys of the affair now, and doesnít want me really thinking about the future until he decides if it is even a possibility.

Maybe write a letter expressing his good qualities. Figure out what to do today and everyday to make him feel special. I saw you are trying to stop trying to feel young and beautiful. Why don't you do those things for him.

I have been trying to do things like that. Things that let him know how special he is. As far as appearance goes, he would actually prefer I didnít do those things. He never understood why I wanted to dye my hair and thinks my need to feel young and beautiful is unhealthy. He doesnít even like me in dresses, heís a 100% natural girl all the way.


I cannot believe how long this has turned out to be. I actually had some new things I wanted to post about what else was going and some things Iím feeling. But itís 1:00 am and Iím pretty sure anyone still reading is probably way beyond wanting to read any more right now. Thanks again everybody. Until next time.

Edit 5/16 - fixed quote issues

[This message edited by svereen at 10:54 AM, May 16th (Saturday)]

Lostallalone posted 5/16/2020 03:57 AM

I really appreciate you coming back here and stick it out. Its brave. Many post 1st time then disappear. Hang in there.

BraveSirRobin posted 5/16/2020 10:47 AM

And also, when practically 100s of people tell him that there is no way Iím a candidate for reconciliation, Iím not marriage material, no choice here but divorce, etcÖI sort of feel like it might make R less likely.

It certainly makes false R less likely. They say that all the time, and they are often, even usually, right. The odds aren't quite as overwhelming as they're painted on JFO, but still, WS who actually do the work are a rare breed. Reconciliation requires an inherently defensive, manipulative person to become honest and vulnerable. It's on you to prove to your BH that you're one of the exceptions. In the end, he has the only vote that matters.

There's absolutely a "burn the witch" contingent who are invested in divorce in all cases. They can get scary with the methods they use to bludgeon a BS into hopelessness about the marriage. They really do think they're doing the right thing, saving a critically wounded BS from false hope and further betrayal. When their absolutism gets under my skin, I think about how much my BH would have benefited from some alarmist fury back in the day. He felt so alone, and he needed someone to validate the atrocity of my behavior, which I was trying to convince him was rational and understandable.

I'll never get behind some of the techniques, though. He was feeling plenty emasculated already; he wouldn't have needed someone trying to shame him into feeling worse.

I only remembered this one when I was trying to come up with the timeline for this post. Well it really upset my husband that I had never told him this. I had never even thought about it before, I wasnít trying to hold anything back. So I am constantly afraid that something I write could be construed as lying, or maybe I will just word something the wrong way or say something that will end up being the last straw for him.

I hear this. Once I finished trickle truthing, my mindset gradually shifted from protective/deceptive mode to relief that he knew everything. I felt like I had let him inside my head and he had seen it all. But of course, he hadn't. He still only saw what I had actually told him.

We had a few instances of what you're talking about, and unfortunately, one was dramatic. I truly thought my BH knew that OM and I had additional physical encounters after the night we slept together. I don't know if I lied about the sequence a long time ago and never corrected the lie or if he misunderstood me (probably the former), but in any case, I genuinely believed he now had the full picture. So I mentioned one of those later encounters when we were talking, matter-of-factly on my way to making another point, and got a huge WTF in response. It totally rewrote his understanding of the last stages of the A.

That's why written timelines are so useful. They force you to think of details, and they prevent misunderstandings and disputes about what has been disclosed.

As unlikely as this seems, this appears to be what happened.

Unlikely things do happen, and it's especially unfortunate when they do, because it's a major obstacle in rebuilding trust. Everything a new WS says has to be treated with some skepticism, even by us, because we are all proven liars. That's why uncompromising honesty is so important. It builds credibility for those rare instances where the truth sounds incredible.
I have always had a much more shall we say ĒcavalierĒ attitude towards sex. To me sex has always beenÖwell, just sex. You say that sex is the most intimate act a husband and wife shareÖI imagine the majority of the population agrees with you. But for me, the most intimate act has always been opening myself up to someone emotionally.

There have been some interesting discussions about this here over time. I learned the term "demisexual" within the last year; it means you can't be attracted to someone sexually until you form an emotional attachment towards them. It never occurred to me that there was a term for that, because it was so intrinsic to who I am. I could never have gotten involved in a PA unless it started with an EA. However, plenty of people here -- and a lot of them are BS -- have said that they had tons of casual sex in their single days, with fond memories and no regrets. I don't think you should jump to the conclusion that casual sexuality itself is fucked up. Destroying a marriage for it is fucked up, but as you've already realized, affairs are more often about self-validation than about the sex itself.
One thing Ė I have NEVER and would never, make fun of or disparage my husband in any way. Like I said, my AP and I never discussed much of a personal nature, but the only thing I ever told him about my husband was that he was an amazing man.

Same here. I never once intended to leave my BH for the OM. I was crystal clear that he was a side piece and that the A was temporary. Of course, there's a breathtaking arrogance in believing that I had the right to do that. The lack of compassion for my BH, the decision to deceive and control him, the assumption that I had a right to betray him for that side action, and that he wouldn't walk when he learned how cheap I was... all of those thoughts and deeds are reprehensible beyond description. But that's just how fucked up a wayward's mind can be. Some BS will never understand it. But I do.

I don't know if you've read "Not Just Friends" yet, but Glass talks about the compartmentalizers vs the monogamous infidels. The latter group can only be involved with one person at a time, so they have to vilify their spouse in order to detach from the BS and attach to the AP. Compartmentalizers just segregate their lives mentally to where the attachments don't overlap. There's no need to denigrate anyone, because we think we're amazing enough to deserve multiple connections. I was in that former category, and it sounds like you were, too.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 2:05 PM, May 16th (Saturday)]

pinkpggy posted 5/16/2020 11:21 AM

Some days I am thankful my husband stayed off this site because it probably would have lead to divorce. I'm happy to share our journey- we are in year 4 of recovery/reconciliation and it has been a very bumpy ride. My affair had so many points that yours did. Right down to the STD scare/issue. I will say it has been an extremely difficult journey. Time definitely helps. Every day is a gift, don't waste it.

I have two little kids and a full time job so I don't have lots of time to write lengthy posts but I'll shoot you a PM as well.

Zugzwang posted 5/16/2020 11:24 AM

During the time prior to when the physical affair started, there wasnít really a relationship per se. Yes, we would talk while I was there, but just surface things Ė no real conversations of any depth. It was more like heavy flirtingÖand it wasnít really him the person I craved, it was the attention that he gave me.
That is emotional. You craved his attention. It is feeding you emotionally. It doesn't have to always be just sharing your deepest secrets and talking about deep stuff. I never did. I talked about surface stuff and FLIRTED. Flirting is all about getting attention from other people. One shouldn't need it. Especially married. You went there to flirt and form a deep enough connection to be taken to the next level. Sex.

And also, when practically 100s of people tell him that there is no way Iím a candidate for reconciliation, Iím not marriage material, no choice here but divorce, etcÖI sort of feel like it might make R less likely.
The biggest thing that is going to make R the marriage less likely is you needing confirmation from him and you trying to control what other people are telling him.
As even he has said at times, why would he?
you are waiting for him to tell you that. He isn't the one that should be fighting for you or telling you why he would want to stay. You are the one that should be fighting. You are the one that should be showing and changing why he would even consider staying. That statement is passive aggressive. You are like a child (no offense yet we all are as cheaters) waiting for someone to argue against you how fucked up you have been.


For example, in my post when I was describing the general timeline of the affair. I mentioned that AP had written ďbe my valentineĒ on my cup. During the course of the affair, I have no idea how many cups with messages on them he gave me, but it was a lot. I only remembered this one when I was trying to come up with the timeline for this post. Well it really upset my husband that I had never told him this. I had never even thought about it before,
That proves the affair was emotional for you before it turned physical. You went back and back and back again. For messages and flirting. It makes a difference to him.

I wasnít trying to hold anything back.
This contradicts yourself. You do hold back. You just said why.
So I am constantly afraid that something I write could be construed as lying, or maybe I will just word something the wrong way or say something that will end up being the last straw for him.
You are afraid something you say will be the last straw. You are more worried about yourself right now. Damage control and regret. You are worried about losing him. You aren't worried about what is best for him. What he deserves. Respect. Honesty. Vulnerability.

But for me, the most intimate act has always been opening myself up to someone emotionally.

Why did you choose sex for then? You need to figure that out for your husband. Did you use to release stress. Did you use it to feel wanted and desired making it extremely emotional IMO.


Like I said, my AP and I never discussed much of a personal nature, but the only thing I ever told him about my husband was that he was an amazing man.
Do you think the AP believed that? not likely. If he was amazing, you wouldn't have been having sex with him and showing up to get attention. That is what an OM thinks when their AP comes to them. He didn't think oh...she is just getting ego kibbles. He thinks he is fulfilling something her husband is incapable of doing for her. Just saying.


D

espite what I did, and as unbelievable as it may seem, even during the affair I would have gone to the ends of the earth for him. I still would. I would have and still would step in front of a bullet for him. I understand that may sound like just empty words after what I did to him. However, it is the absolute and incontrovertible truth.
Just NO. NO NO NO You need to let go of that narrative and face the truth. You wouldn't and what more you proved you didn't. Having an affair is the furtherest thing from going to the ends of the Earth for your spouse or stepping in front of a bullet for him. If anything you shot him. You gave him a bullet and let a OM do the same so you can feel good about yourself from someone else. That is the truth here. The words aren't empty, they are a lie. You proved you would hurt him on purpose to make yourself feel good. You put yourself before him. That isn't going to the ends of the Earth or stepping in front of a bullet. That is shooting him and throwing him in front of you.

My husband actually really wants me to focus on the whys of the affair now, and doesnít want me really thinking about the future until he decides if it is even a possibility.
He is right.

And yes, this is exactly how he feels. I never saw him as a Plan B, he was always my only plan. Ludicrous, but thatís how I felt.
That is because he knows you are a cake eater. Which isn't very comforting. It just means you know the AP means nothing. That means the AP can easily be replaced by the next person that flirts with you or might commiserate with you on how things are so unfair right now. It just means you can easily do this again if you don't fix your whys and get rid of the reason you were capable of doing this to begin with and the drive to even want to do it.

You want to avoid fucking this up worse? Tell him everything. Stop thinking about what might be relevant or not. That is for him to decide. Stop worrying about what might be the last straw. That is his right and decision to make. Give him that control. He deserves it. He deserves that respect. Let go of the outcome. The last thing you really want in your life is a caged bird.

JBWD posted 5/16/2020 13:19 PM

My best piece of advice is to avoid a very common tendency to overemphasize what is patently obvious to you, and us- That is the fact that what you have done is truly devastating and will create impacts for the rest of your life.

From what Iíve experienced personally, this was a convenient method to deflect from the real impact. By simply accepting that weíre flawed, we START to learn, but I think too often we rest on our laurels and donít accept that understanding HOW weíre flawed is the way to progress.

The guilt you feel canít be allowed to morph into your own self-sustaining pain- Focus on your partnerís pain if you start to let yours overwhelm. Save yourself the effort of beating yourself up and redirect it into a more thorough understanding of the feelings you accept as ďfactĒ and what they really are.

thatwilldo posted 5/16/2020 13:37 PM

Svereen, you wrote:

Itís really a combination of things. First, Iím not a natural ďsharerĒ, and very much keep my feelings to myself - which I think may have ended up playing a big part in how I got myself in this mess. Discussing and thinking about emotional issues is actually physically exhausting for me. I know this is not healthy, and it is one of the ďwhysĒ Iím really committed to working on.

I call it sneaky, secretive. I think it's based in conflict avoidance. I was so much like you and I still have to be aware and work at being open about my feelings and contacts with men other than my BS. For me, it took years to get the truth out and, therefore, my BS doubts very much that he has the whole truth. He suspects that I've had other affairs that I'm keeping from him. And why wouldn't he. I'm a proven liar, like all wayward spouses. What I've had to fight is the voice inside my head that would say, "That's not important, he doesn't need to know that." Yes, he does! He needs a complete picture of what happened and how I thought. It will take you many months to get the truth out, but it's so much better for both of you if you are open and don't fixate on what impact will result from what you say. After all, the deed is done.

BSR wrote:

Once I finished trickle truthing, my mindset gradually shifted from protective/deceptive mode to relief that he knew everything. I felt like I had let him inside my head and he had seen it all. But of course, he hadn't. He still only saw what I had actually told him.

This is so true. For me it was such a relief to tell something that was weighing on my conscience that I thought he would feel the same, somehow. What BSR says is true, though, he only knows what you've told him and you're a liar...me, too.

I wish you and your BS the best. You're doing some critical thinking. Don't give up hope. Redemption lies in the truth.

ff4152 posted 5/17/2020 12:42 PM

Hi Svreen

I was hoping you could answer a question for me. A by their definition show a great amount of disrespect for spouse being betrayed. IMO you took that a step further by inviting the AP into your home and. having sex with him. Iím more than a little skeptical of trying to explain it away as mere compartmentalization. IMO that simply serves as a giant f@&k you to your spouse. Youíre not only desecrating yourself, youíre also violating his space. The one place in the world heís supposed to be safe.

IMO, I think you need to dig deep to find out why your held your husband in such contempt.

svereen posted 5/18/2020 12:06 PM

Lostallalone

I really appreciate you coming back here and stick it out. Its brave. Many post 1st time then disappear. Hang in there.

Thanks. I canít say itís easy, but I do intend on sticking it out.

BraveSirRobin

That's why written timelines are so useful. They force you to think of details, and they prevent misunderstandings and disputes about what has been disclosed.

Iíve thought about sitting down and doing a timeline, and I probably will. Iím just still pretty sure that a lot of things will still end up surfacing. Unfortunately, since the affair was so disgustingly long, itís hard to remember every exact detail that occurred over the four years. I know that the overall timeline I have given him is correct, but things like what was written on every cup and what specific dates I saw the OM on, Iím just not going to remember. For example, when BH was looking at my phone, he saw that I had either seen or texted the OM on Valentineís Day last year. Of course that is horribly hurtful, but I didnít remember that I had contacted him or saw him that date. My BS and I have never really recognized or made a point of doing anything special on Valentineís Day, so it didnít stick out in my head in any way.

I don't think you should jump to the conclusion that casual sexuality itself is fucked up. Destroying a marriage for it is fucked up, but as you've already realized, affairs are more often about self-validation than about the sex itself.

This is so true Ė sex with the OM wasnít even that great. The actual quality of the sex with my BS is better than it ever was with the OM. Yes, so much of it was about the self-validation.
Same here. I never once intended to leave my BH for the OM. I was crystal clear that he was a side piece and that the A was temporary. Of course, there's a breathtaking arrogance in believing that I had the right to do that. The lack of compassion for my BH, the decision to deceive and control him, the assumption that I had a right to betray him for that side action, and that he wouldn't walk when he learned how cheap I was... all of those thoughts and deeds are reprehensible beyond description. But that's just how fucked up a wayward's mind can be. Some BS will never understand it. But I do.
Yep, so fucked up. For example, when Lostallalone posted something the other day implying that I might have made fun of or insulted my husband with the OM, I was livid. Offended, even. How could anyone even imply that I would do something like that. But there it was, good old affair logic Ė sure, it was okay to sleep with another man Ė but insult my husband Ė NEVER! I really donít understand what the hell was, and still is to an extent, going on in my head.

Compartmentalizers just segregate their lives mentally to where the attachments don't overlap. There's no need to denigrate anyone, because we think we're amazing enough to deserve multiple connections. I was in that former category, and it sounds like you were, too.

Completely. I had convinced myself that the OM and my BS were separate and not connected in any way Ė that what I was doing would have no effect on my marriage if no one knew about it.

Pinkpggy

I will say it has been an extremely difficult journey. Time definitely helps. Every day is a gift, don't waste it.

Iím glad youíre doing okay 4 years out. Right now, it sometimes seems impossible that things will get better. And yes, every day is a gift. Just yesterday I was thinking how happy I was to just have the opportunity to be here with my husband, and I have to soak in every second because he can kick me to the curb anytime he wants.

Zugzwang

That is emotional. You craved his attention. It is feeding you emotionally.

I see that now. In my head an emotional affair was when you developed an emotional attachment to the AP, but I totally see what you mean now Ė I was getting an emotional hit from the affair.
The biggest thing that is going to make R the marriage less likely is you needing confirmation from him and you trying to control what other people are telling him.

I'm not trying to control what other people are telling him, it just scares me to see it. I donít look at his posts or the responses now, itís just for him to take from it what he wants or needs.
you are waiting for him to tell you that. He isn't the one that should be fighting for you or telling you why he would want to stay. You are the one that should be fighting. You are the one that should be showing and changing why he would even consider staying. That statement is passive aggressive. You are like a child (no offense yet we all are as cheaters) waiting for someone to argue against you how fucked up you have been.

Yes, I am waiting for him to tell me that Ė and Iíve never thought that he should be fighting for me. I feel like I HAVE been fighting Ė I know that Iím the one that needs work here, not him. Am I doing a great job Ė probably not, but Iím damn well trying. And Iím not expecting anyone to argue against me on how fucked up Iíve been Ė Iím well aware of that. My therapist has made some attempts to try and do that a few times, and I shot her ass down. I stopped seeing my first therapist after this happened because I felt like she was trying too hard to defend some of my behavior.
This contradicts yourself. You do hold back. You just said why.

Iím not actually holding back. Do I get afraid, absolutely. But Iím still putting it out there. I had a feeling when I mentioned the Valentineís Day cup in my first post that it was going to be an issue for my husband, and for a second I considered taking it out. But I didnít. And Iím glad I didnít.
You are more worried about yourself right now. Damage control and regret. You are worried about losing him. You aren't worried about what is best for him. What he deserves. Respect. Honesty. Vulnerability.

I definitely have my moments. What strange is the first couple of months, I didnít really think of myself much in other than an abstract sort of way. But recently itís started hitting me hard what life will be like without him. Iíve definitely got to do better about not letting myself focus on that. And in the end, I do want whatís best for my husband Ė even if thatís a life without me in it.
Why did you choose sex for then? You need to figure that out for your husband. Did you use to release stress. Did you use it to feel wanted and desired making it extremely emotional IMO.

Yes, I think I did use it to feel wanted and desired. For some reason my self-worth has always seemed to come from the attention and desire of men. I never even realized it until fairly recently. Yes, that is disgusting. Itís definitely being worked on in therapy.
Do you think the AP believed that? not likely. If he was amazing, you wouldn't have been having sex with him and showing up to get attention. That is what an OM thinks when their AP comes to them. He didn't think oh...she is just getting ego kibbles. He thinks he is fulfilling something her husband is incapable of doing for her. Just saying.

My husband read this and said Ė ďHe getís it Ė this is it!Ē He said that I have no idea how men think and the OM probably thinks that I slept with him because my husband couldnít ďdo his jobĒ. And my AP wasnít the most well read or nuanced of individuals, so Iím pretty sure he wasnít up on the more complicated reasons most affairs happen Ė so I guess he may very well have been thinking that.
Just NO. NO NO NO You need to let go of that narrative and face the truth. You wouldn't and what more you proved you didn't. Having an affair is the furtherest thing from going to the ends of the Earth for your spouse or stepping in front of a bullet for him. If anything you shot him. You gave him a bullet and let a OM do the same so you can feel good about yourself from someone else. That is the truth here. The words aren't empty, they are a lie. You proved you would hurt him on purpose to make yourself feel good. You put yourself before him. That isn't going to the ends of the Earth or stepping in front of a bullet. That is shooting him and throwing him in front of you.

I agree with everything you are saying here. But I still would have stepped in front of a bullet for him. I still would have gone to the ends of the earth for him. The problem was I was operating using affair logic Ė I had completely blinded myself to the fact that I had already shot him. That I had already had the chance to go to the ends of the earth for him and failed. Iíve said that I would have killed anyone that hurt him like this, and I would. The hypocrisy of that after what Iíve done is not lost on me.
That is because he knows you are a cake eaterÖIt just means you can easily do this again if you don't fix your whys and get rid of the reason you were capable of doing this to begin with and the drive to even want to do it.

Yep Ė thatís it in a nutshell.
You want to avoid fucking this up worse? Tell him everything. Stop thinking about what might be relevant or not. That is for him to decide. Stop worrying about what might be the last straw. That is his right and decision to make. Give him that control. He deserves it. He deserves that respect.

I am committed to telling him everything. Itís just hard to immediately remember every little detail of what occurred over such a long time, and little things will come up that I never even thought of initially.
Let go of the outcome.

Iím trying, but Iím not doing a good job so far. This is a real tough one for me.

JBWD

The guilt you feel canít be allowed to morph into your own self-sustaining pain- Focus on your partnerís pain if you start to let yours overwhelm. Save yourself the effort of beating yourself up and redirect it into a more thorough understanding of the feelings you accept as ďfactĒ and what they really are.

Yes, I totally agree with this Ė Iíve got to focus on his pain and forget about mine. Itís just easier said than done sometimes. One question Ė what exactly do you mean you say ďa more thorough understanding of the feelings you accept as ďfactĒ and what they really are.Ē Can you go into this a little more?

Thatwilldo

I call it sneaky, secretive. I think it's based in conflict avoidance

I do have a big problem with conflict avoidance. I never want to hurt peopleís feelings, so I donít tell them things. And then instead of telling them and discussing things like a rational adult, I end up doing things that hurt them even more. Itís a great strategy. Not.
What BSR says is true, though, he only knows what you've told him and you're a liar...me, too.

Yep Ė and thatís a tough one to accept.

Ff4152

IMO you took that a step further by inviting the AP into your home and. having sex with himÖYouíre not only desecrating yourself, youíre also violating his space. The one place in the world heís supposed to be safeÖ IMO, I think you need to dig deep to find out why your held your husband in such contempt.

Yes, that is all true. And itís disgusting. But I never held my husband in contempt Ė when I look up contempt, it says worthless and deserving scorn. With some of the synonyms being loathing, hatred, disdain. I never felt any of those things toward my husband. Were my actions reflective of those things Ė yes. But when you have completely compartmentalized your two lives and have convinced yourself that as long as they stay separate no harm, no foul Ė you develop the ability to do some heinous and fucked up shit.
.

pinkpggy posted 5/18/2020 12:31 PM

Just reading through your replies and your rationalizations and I don't think you have hit the acceptance portion of who you are and that you did this. Its clear you have remorse, but I see that you are still trying to defend and rationalize some of your actions. It takes a long time to accept the person you are that did this. Its not a compartmentalization, its you. There is something in you that allowed you to behave like this. That's the part of you that you need to own. Its not talking down to yourself, or calling yourself names, but its the true rock bottom of owning what you did, then figuring out why.

I used to say, oh Im a good mom, oh I loved my husband, oh,I never want to hurt anyone. I serve on the PTA, I volunteer, I bake cookies for neighbors. But I wasn't a good person, I wasn't a good wife or a good mom,or even a good friend, because I was lying to everyone, including myself. I had to realize who I truly am and then work to change that. Good people don't do these things.

[This message edited by pinkpggy at 12:37 PM, May 18th (Monday)]

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