I thought maybe this story would help someone out there.

There is a person that I work with often on certain projects. I have worked with him for over 7 years. About a month ago he made mention of how his wife found a condom in his briefcase many years ago. He talked briefly about how he used to “have fun on the road”. He travels like I do.  He kind of giggled about it. I didn’t say a word, just excused myself.  It was pretty triggering for me, because I wanted to knock that smile off his face. I lost a ton of respect for him in that instant.  

Weeks go by and it still bothered me, but the anger had dissipated.  We were working on another project together and a few more men were working with us.  He was talking about his wife again. But it was different this time. This time he told more of the story, and in a much different tone.  I don’t know if he could sense my feelings on what he had said or not, but I know I’m not good at hiding my feelings. If I don’t like someone, they know it. I don’t have to say a word. 

He said “I was really stupid from age 28-32. I had a high paying, traveling job. I had no problem getting the ladies, and that is exactly what I did.  I was out of control, thought I had the world by the balls. The problem was that I was married. I was married to a beautiful, wonderful woman, and we had two kids.  Eventually she found out, and she kicked me out of the house, and divorced me.  I eventually remarried, and I’ve been married for 28 years. I learned my lesson, and never cheated on my second wife, the one I’m still married to, but she doesn’t trust me as far as she could throw me.” I asked why not? He said “She was the last woman that I cheated on my first wife with. My kids from this marriage, and my kids from my previous marriage love each other dearly, and my wife is a great lady. BUT, if I could go back in time and change things, I would have never done all those terrible things to my first wife, she was the prize. She still is. She threw me out, and rightfully so. I had no idea what I was losing. I had no idea how it would effect my kids. I had no idea the damage I was doing. That is, until it all ended and I found myself with no home to go to. Kids that hated me, and a wife that couldn’t divorce me fast enough.  All I had left was AP, so that is where I went.  Oh, if I could only go back, but things like that can not be undone.”  

His entire demeaner was different. I could see his remorse, his regret. Admittedly, it took him a long time to get there, but clearly he is still paying for his actions today, and is still effected by the consequences as well. I saw a broken man, with a heavy heart. A heavy heart that he will carry to his grave no doubt. Like so many others, he thought he was special. He was blind to the fact that the best one for him, he already had. But he threw her away, and will spend the rest of his days missing what he threw away. 

He gained a little repsect back from me, but even after that story all I wanted to say was “You talked a lot about all how all of this effected you, and how hard it has been on YOU. What about your ex-wife?? Did you man up and apologize? What did you do to help her?”  Although I didn’t ask those questions, because I would be revealing my dark secret of my wife’s affair, I had to let it go.   He still, after all those years, doesn’t truly get it. He doesn’t truly get what he did to his family. He only gets what it did to “him”, and what he lost.  

Hopefully someone can glean something from this story....
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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This is something that all WS need to read. Too bad he still doesn’t truly GET it in the end. It’s still all about him.

That beautiful wonderful woman who was ‘the prize’? He single handedly destroyed her, after she gave him everything. He anhiliated her world and her ability to trust... by living the life of a selfish lying monster... 
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I don’t know if he could sense my feelings on what he had said or not, but I know I’m not good at hiding my feelings. 

Many men seek validation and acceptance  from other men sadly by discussing there conquests, whether they are true, false or embellished. He probably recalled your disapproving response weeks prior, concluded you were integrity driven and decided to be REAL 
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Yes, one reaps what is sown.  Whether he truly “gets” it or not, he is certainly suffering under the weight of his very poor choices.  As is too, no doubt, the “great lady” who agreed to be his consolation prize for the rest of her life.  Why would someone choose that??  I have no idea.  Truly.
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This is a useful story.  It reminds of the movie 'Unfaithful', starring Diane Lane & Richard Gere.  In one scene an older woman warns two younger married women who are ogling the guy one of them is screwing & says something like the fact that she had an affair is the chief burden of her life, that she will carry until she dies.  My fWW & I have been through a lot & have made a lot of progress in recovering from her adultery.  I still struggle with triggers & intrusive thoughts.  Yet I know that she carries a deep regret & a good deal of shame over her behavior & that it's a continuing burden for her.  I remember that when I'm tempted to berate her over it again.  It's her burden, not mine.     
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They should carry it for life in my opinion. If my wife at some point told she was completely passed it and had let go of it, I would pack my bags. This is certainly a wound I will take to my grave. I fully believe this trauma has taken years off my life. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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