On cleaning - I actually really like cleaning. Not because I'm a neat freak, but I love the way a clean house LOOKS. My favorite is a bathroom because you walk out, look back and it's all shiny and pretty. But I have two kids, a cat, hair that falls out like a mofo, and dark wood floors and furniture. I was not a good housekeeper when the kids were little bc I focused on them. My WH likes to say it didn't matter, but he grew up in a museum and I know that it did bother him. (Even though he's never cleaned a toilet or scrubbed a shower in his life!)He can suck it. I do it for me, not ever him. He is extremely appreciative when I do clean now though.
((Somber)) - It's always a hard thing to take a step back and see what's happening when we are in a situation. And even harder to make changes. We are here for you. SOS is right, little steps.
On CoD. I think EVERYONE has some CoD characteristics. But some have more than others. I also think that the CoD model was used for betrayed partners for so long (partners of sex addicts really but also works with infidelity) that our therapists tend to lean that way. My IC gave me the HW to read CoDependent No More on my first visit. And I am NOT CoD.
On the sex tapes, HHADL, he actually probably would have sold it, so good move not making it!
Ellie - I'm sorry your fishbowl experience was shitty. But man, I am glad that you are such a bad ass who is pushing through all of that pain and making a new life for yourself.
Coco - Lucky you that yours are perky enough to not need that duct tape! I am with you on the dress up thing. I actually love dressing up and the way I look, I just find it incredibly uncomfortable. Plus I feel fake. Give me jeans, a t-shirt and a pair of converse and I am a happy girl.
On WW cheaters on the boards - I don't know. Some of the Waywards frustrate me because the selfishness that allowed their affairs still shine through in posts. Not all though. I find some of their posts extremely insightful and a little window to the brain of a cheater - since I will never understand it. Especially the women. I also appreciate the ones that are far enough out that you can really see the growth. But those are extremely low in number - and none of them are prolific posters and ones that would be the subject of this conversation. The thing that bugs me the most is when BSes go into the Wayward forum and post such adoration for a WW who they see as "getting it". I mean, we don't need to give ANYONE an ego boost. You can say you appreciate their perspective without giving them kibbles. Bottom line is that they are still a person who fucked someone else spouse. It's great that they are working on themselves, but I'd be pissed if someone fell all over my WH saying that shit. Am I glad he's trying to be a better man? Yes. But a "model" wayward is an oxymoron. For all the things my WH does and ways he's changed, he will ALWAYS be the person who put his dick in someone else while he was married. Your spouse should be the last first fuck you had. End of sentence.
(As an aside, I don't every compare them to my WH's cOWhore bc she would never be on a message board talking about her growth - she likes public forums. Which is why she posts on social media (and common friend's social media) about how much she values her growth and authenticity and finding her true self. She needs public adoration. Even private adoration would not work for her.)
As for me, we did the fishbowl on Friday. I had been gathering questions for quite a while, and there was some questions I asked multiple times - really could see which ones were always on my mind! I made us dinner, we ate, then sat down with a glass of wine. I kind of disconnected as much as I could emotionally, and he went through and answered each one with brutal honesty. And I mean brutal. He cried a lot. I teared up and said a few hurtful things. Then we played Scrabble.
I am glad we did it. I didn't ask for sexual specifics bc I know I will never get that out of my head. I have a general playbook, but I really wanted to know what he was thinking, doing, saying, how everything led up to each event, etc. I got all of that, so I can finally stop making up those stories. It was an exercise that taught us both a few things. One, he never loved me the way I thought he did. In fact, I think he never knew what love was. It was limerence when he met me, and then object love. Never unselfish. And because I was his only sexual partner, some part of him always wanted to have more experiences. He just wasn't ever aggressive or confident with women. This woman sat on his lap, walked into his room to masturbate, showed up at his hotel room. He felt like a real stud because this person thought he was amazing. And since I was only good for kids, house, social wife and sex, having sex with her was something he deserved and he wasn't thinking about me. The only reason we are here today, is because he lied to me on DDay 1. And he lied to cover his ass, save his reputation, not because he loved me. He just knew he fucked up. I do think after that DDay, we fell into another limerant phase. We were like teenagers. And it still wasn't love. I do think that after the work on himself, and when he decided to come clean, he really did start to love me. Just then. Not before even in the limerant stage post DDay 1. I think I became more important than him. I was more important than his reputation or even the kids. And most of all his values and following what he wants to be moving forward was more important than keeping up the facade. He knew that by telling me the truth that he was owning up to his choice to ruin a really good life. Owning up to the fact that while he had good, he was also capable of being a monster. That was hard to swallow. (Even he will admit that we had a really good life pre-A - our relationship was never anything but pleasant, we loved to play games, watch sports and have fun with friends together, we never fought about money or child-rearing, etc, we had a long history with common friends going back to elementary school. His only complaint was that he thought I didn't "want" him sexually. His inexperience in that arena made his self-esteem low and that's why he loved that sexual attention from someone else. He was going bald, getting a belly and a plain looking blond who wore tight dresses and liked to party opened her legs. He was weak and pathetic and fucked me over on the way to looking for his self-worth.)
Sigh. It was a roller coaster of a weekend. We actually had sex and cOWhore wasn't in my head. He even cried instead of me. Then the next day, we tried again and she was there so I stopped it. We spent time doing fun things like brunch, massages, playing cards with friends, church, and ended with a concert last night (it was a Christian concert so it was pretty phenomenal worshipping with 13,000 people). We cried A LOT this weekend. A LOT. And laughed a lot too. I'm not sure I'm closer to being out of limbo. But it was good to realize and acknowledge that the love story I was grieving never really existed. I just have to decide if I want to be present in the one he wants to start today. But I'm not pushing myself to do that. We'll just see how it goes. He knows and understands that.
Also, I really think the biofeedback is helping. My anger and reactions are SO much tamer these days. I'm in my PMS week RIGHT NOW and I'm not wanting to crawl into a hole or yell at WH. We just switched to my mid-brain last week, so I'm crossing my fingers that it will help the ruminating as much as it has the emotional outbursts.
I hope you are having a GFD Womenz!