TwilightMirage
I had a long term affair with a coworker for over 7 months. Before the affair I had withdrawn from my partner and refused to put in effort to rekindle intimacy. I had a lot of perceived problems in the relationship as well as personal issue that I projected onto it, but did not healthily bring them up with my partner. After months of neglecting and not inviting my BS out with friends the AP kissed me while we were out. My partner is understanding and would have been able to deal with this if I had been honest, however I took every opportunity to not only lie but fabricate a story and life. I told her I wasn't sure if I wanted to be with her anymore, and that I wanted to move out "for space" but really I was pursuing another relationship while dragging her along. I deluded myself into this lie at the same time but was actively deceptive and scheming. I gave a trickle truth where I lied about it being one time while continuing to cheat. When my BS was angry about this I would lash out in anger defensively. Eventually I did reveal the full extent of the affair and she demanded that I quit my job. I did so fully intending to stop and devote myself to my marriage but maintained text connection with the AP and slept with her again, lying about this to the extent that I would delete messages so they would be gone when my BS checked my phone.  I hesitate to call it "relapse" since this requires such intention.This second part is what hurts her the most as it shows that even after I had seen what it had done to her I decided to do it again.

Now I am at a point where I have been completely honest about my actions and have not had any contact with the AP outside of texts that the wife and I have crafted together. She is very angry and resentful and in our arguments I respond with extreme anger. I know this is nonsensical and misplaced but its is my natural reaction. I look back on my actions and cannot understand how I could have been so cruel. While I have completed the "why?" module, I feel like that it doesn't adequately explain my indiscretion. I have procrastinated the part where I talk to my partner because I worry that it wont be enough for her. A lot of my anger comes from abusive entitlement and the book "Stop hurting the woman you love" by Charlie Donaldson and Randy Flood has been very helpful so far (https://www.overdrive.com/media/354005/stop-hurting-the-woman-you-love). 

I would like to hear from other WS and what has worked for them as well as what has worked well from BS.
 
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Just_Me
That looks like a really good book from the "freebie" pages I was able to read. It does sound like you are still in process of taking responsibility for your actions (Emerson Eggerich in his book Love and Respect often quotes that "My response is my responsibility.") and that is a great first step in addition to absolutely NO CONTACT with the AP. She needs to be dead to you forever and always.

Of course your betrayed wife is angry, resentful, hurt. You really DO need to learn to not respond to her with anger. This will only continue to break you both down and nothing productive will come of it. Really, she does need a chance to openly express herself fully, knowing you will see her, hear her and let her empty herself out (not too unlike the protests we are currently going through) without your anger revealing itself to her. She's been gutted and life will never be the same. It takes time (sometimes a LONG time) to be able to carry on and find joy in this new journey.

All she can see is her pain and your anger at it (or perhaps, it's really with facing yourself?). I encourage you to leave the ego at the door and have that discussion, tell her everything, then just sit there and let her process, let her ask questions, just let her set the direction. Hearing the truth hurts so much. But the whole truth is always better than wondering what else is lurking out there under the surface of truth and deceit.

I wish you well in your journey and that you both find healing and restoration together.
BW
Married early '90s
DD 2Q2016
WH EA with a trusted friend also became a couple month PA
Every day I...
...Choose Forgiveness
...Choose Love
...Choose Joy
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Greyes128

I agree you can’t respond with anger. I was a betrayed spouse as well, my husband made me feel crazy when I suspected an affair with his coworker. He invited her and another couple to our home numerous times for me to cook for and entertain. I could tell from the looks and just the way he talked about her all the damn time, things weren’t right but our marriage didn’t suffer because we were together all the time and our sex life was amazing so I thought I was just jealous when he would say nothing was happening. When her husband kicked her out of their home, mine wanted to move her in with us! When I said no I was the selfish and the terrible person. Needless to say when I found out everything I was disgusted with him. We fought like we never had before in our entire 29 years together at the time. They were ugly fights too, which he would say at the end “you know every time you get mad at me like this you just make it easier for me to want to do this again.” I told him if he wanted our marriage to work, honestly work, that he needed to stop saying that and stop getting angry with me. He had to grow up and take my anger as the damn man he said was. My anger was ugly and I told him to buck up and deal with it. I’m not going to lie it took 3 years for my anger to subside and there are times that I can get myself worked up about it now but I can stop myself. In the beginning I couldn’t control it just like your wife can’t. You broke her and her life with you has been a lie. It hurts knowing your husband doesn’t love you. It destroys you. She needs time to heal and get her confidence back all you can do is be supportive of her and build her back up. She may not want it. I certainly didn’t want anything from my husband. I had to claw myself out of the hole he put me in and it took a lot longer than I thought it would. However we are 3 and a half years from d day and I’m finally at peace with what happened. I have rebuilt myself and because of what happened my husband and I have the most wonderful marriage now. It was hard, long, and tedious but we came out better together. It’s weird I work from home and he’s the manager of a store, when he goes to work I miss him terribly. It used to be I couldn’t wait to have the house to myself. Now I’m saving every penny possible so we can retire early and enjoy life. 


So for now all I can say is take her anger as calm as you can and answer her questions honestly. Cut off all contact with the AP, I caught mine talking to his once at the store and I lost it in front of several customers. (He never spoke to her again after that!) she’s since left. Be supportive of her and use this time to become the man and husband she deserves. 

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Just_Me
Greyes128 wrote:
They were ugly fights too, which he would say at the end “you know every time you get mad at me like this you just make it easier for me to want to do this again.”


OMG, my WS said insane things like that, too. Once that fog/head up butt lifted he was disgusted he ever behaved in such depraved ways.
BW
Married early '90s
DD 2Q2016
WH EA with a trusted friend also became a couple month PA
Every day I...
...Choose Forgiveness
...Choose Love
...Choose Joy
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Greyes128
Just_Me wrote:


OMG, my WS said insane things like that, too. Once that fog/head up butt lifted he was disgusted he ever behaved in such depraved ways.


My husband said looking back it’s like a total out of body experience and the worst at that. He has said that he can’t believe he did the things he despised in so many people he knew. He was absolutely disgusted with himself when he got his head out his butt too. He had recently retired from the military and wasn’t valued in his new place of employment so the AP took advantage, knew he had money and wanted that. I guess he told her repeatedly he was never leaving me for her and that she could never compare. Basically he told her she was something to make work fun and she was dumb enough to think she could change his mind. Needless to say they were both idiots and he’s lucky that I loved him enough to work all of it out with him.
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FanofMike2020

Sounds like therapy is warranted to figure out why you do the things you do.  Why can’t you be faithful and truthful?  Why don’t you have boundaries?  Why don’t you value your wife and guard your marriage from those trying to tear it down?

Judge Judy says that when people know something they are going to do is wrong and they do it anyway, they are being self-indulgent.  No matter the cost.  Later is when they ask themselves, “ How could I have done that?  Why am I capable of making such bad choices?  Will I keep making these bad choices?  What can I do to hopefully fix myself so I won’t hurt others?”  All good questions to ask your therapist.

Some people, as much as they won’t admit it, are not marriage material.  They like the idea of marriage, but not the work that is required in being in a loving and committed relationship.  These people need to remain single and forever be the happy bachelor constantly dating others who are of the same mindset.  That way you won’t hurt anyone.

If all it takes is for a girl to tell you that you are cute and before you know it, you are counting ceiling tiles, you have a lot to figure out.  It shows you have no boundaries.  Your marriage is not precious to you.  

Think of your marriage like a newly planted flower that you need to water every day.  It needs to be cared for and fertilized ( love and attention.). You apparently planted the flower and decided it was a good idea to stomp all over it.  Is it any wonder why your wife is pissed off at you for your careless behavior?  You have no right to be angry at her because she is upset because you chose to stomp on that flower.  


You had choices, and you obviously chose very poorly.  Your wife had no say in you making those choices.  When you get defensive, it just shows her you aren’t safe, and that she can’t depend or trust you with her heart that you chose to stomp on.  It’s up to you to make things right.  When she rages, you’re just going to have to man up and take it for however long that lasts.  This is your new reality.  You may not like this new reality, but you chose to make it this way.  

Being married to your wife is a privilege.  You chose her above all others for a reason.  Why would you want to be with an affair partner that so willingly conspired with you to lie and deceive your wife?  She doesn’t sound like a Godly woman.  That doesn’t sound like a woman I would want to take home and meet my mother much less spend the rest of my life with.

I believe that an indicator of future behavior is past behavior.  People don’t change unless they fundamentally want to change.  I would be very leery about people who have been deceitful in the past because more than likely, they will deceive in the future.

If I was you, I’d be on my knees every day asking your wife for forgiveness and proving to her with words and deeds that you can be trusted in the future.  There is nothing worse than someone you can not trust.  If you don’t have trust, you don’t have anything.

In summation, don’t get defensive.  Man up to all your mistakes.  If you do get divorced, don’t ever marry again.  You’ve proven you’re not good at it.  Prove to your wife that you are worthy of her love and trust.  Don’t ever cheat again.  You and your wife need to get tested for STDs.  You certainly don’t want to pass on anything to your wife.  Get on your knees and ask for forgiveness (from your wife and God-  He’s not happy with you right now.  God hates adultery.  This is why he mentioned it twice in the Ten Commandments.  1.  Thou shall not commit adultery.  2.  Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife.)
Get into therapy.  Vow never to be that horrible husband who would thoughtlessly stomp on your wife’s heart without giving her feelings a second thought.

Good luck to you and your wife.  Hope everything works out for you both.

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hurting
I agree you probably need some individual therapy to help understand and manage your reactions. It is unforgivable and crazy that you continue to respond in anger. My WS would get frustrated and angry, but I made it clear from the start that he NO right to be angry at me in a situation that HE forced upon us and I had no role in choosing. 

I suspect the anger stems from you being uncomfortable with being confronted with what you are and what you’ve done. In short, you have behaved like an absolute as*hole and scumbag. I don’t believe anyone would like to see themselves in such a light... and your BS being triggered likely reminds you of that fact strongly. Because you don’t like it, you respond angrily. It’s more of an emotional denial than a logical one.

There’s also the ‘well I’m not doing it any more and I’m trying now so why are you so angry at me? Can’t you see I’m trying?’ Component. Logically that doesn’t make sense... but emotionally I think WS may feel that way. Like their BS should appreciate that they are now trying to fix things. THAT doesn’t work because you are the reason your marriage is broken. It’s like running over a person in your car (willingly) then being angry that they’re lying there bleeding and blaming you for hitting them.  You are angry that she isn’t grateful you decided to stop and come back after running her over. This doesn’t make sense, does it?

I did ask my WS many times what he was angry/frustrated at. He would say things like ‘our situation’ at first (the situation created by him!) 
Later, this evolved to ‘myself’ for having done this. 

Not the best best way to do it at all but I met my WS’s frustration with pure RAGE. I would literally see red and want to strangle him any time there was ANY perceived anger or frustration, and every time he displayed any hints of that I would be one step closer to walking out. I think you are on the right track in asking for help and identifying it, but you need to rein this in and fast or any attempts at reconciliation will fail. Quite bluntly, you have no right to be angry at her. You can be angry at yourself, but do not misdirect this at her.

I understand you too, need time to process what you’ve done. Unfortunately, you are not going to have the luxury of sorting yourself out before learning to respond to your wife properly. This is something you will have to learn quickly. I wonder if there’s an element of ‘fake it till you make it’ here. Perhaps you start with keeping your mouth shut even if you are angry, so you do not respond to her in anger. In the meantime, you try to just accept that she is well justified in being angry and resentful... and you are not. Ask yourself why it is you are really angry in such moments, and remind yourself of that when you start feeling angry. As you learn to rein that in, start LISTENING to the pain your wife is telling you about. 

One method that may work for you, may be explaining to your wife that you need some time to cool down because you are feeling angry and you know you shouldn’t be. Remove yourself from the room, and go and take a walk. Or go to another room, till you have collected your thoughts enough to come back and talk to her. It is important that you do return to address the issue at hand and not just run away and hope it goes away. It isn’t going to go away. 

My WS would sometimes do this. I struggled with this as a BS, but I do believe in retrospect that it would help him calm down, remind him that he had no right to be angry at me, and to identify and remind himself that his anger was because he had made lots of stupid choices. It stopped him from snapping back at me which he learnt was unacceptable.

Him learning to deal with and control his anger took longer. I believe it eventually came from full acceptance and accountability that he had done something truly horrific and selfish, and that the fault was his alone. His job was to accept and see my pain, then learn to try to help me through it as best as he could. It all takes time.

I remember Keepabuzz previously said his MC explained it to his wife as ‘he is showing you his pain when he is angry’. Be grateful that your BS is there showing you anything at all. The anger and rage? It’s because of how badly she’s hurting. Look past it and see the terrible wounds you’ve dealt. She has nothing but pain right now... it just manifests in different ways. Sometimes it is a soul harrowing sorrow. Sometimes it’s a black hole of terrible loss. Most often in the early days, it’s pure rage.
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TwilightMirage
Thanks for your replies everyone. 

I have completely cut of contact with the AP. My wife has requested that I leave her unblocked because it reassures her that when the AP reaches out, I am being truthful.

@FanofMike2020 Thank your for your input. Sometimes I think that maybe I am "not cut out for marriage" but I try and stay away from essentialist  thinking like that because its kind of a cop out. I definitely am not marriage worthy now, but I can try to be.

@hurting I think in the meantime I will try what your WS has done. The "I'm angry and I know I shouldn't be" I think this can help a lot. I'm really good at understanding things rationally but not following through emotionally. This is all an emotional intelligence muscle.

To all the BS that have replied. Are your spouses on the forums? Do they have any personal insight?
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Skelling
Thanks for your replies everyone. 

I definitely am not marriage worthy now, but I can try to be.

@hurting I think in the meantime I will try what your WS has done. The "I'm angry and I know I shouldn't be" I think this can help a lot. I'm really good at understanding things rationally but not following through emotionally. This is all an emotional intelligence muscle.

To all the BS that have replied. Are your spouses on the forums? Do they have any personal insight?


I think the willingness to try and learn, to take yourself back, is very important. No going to lie its a looooong road ahead. The anger and rage are hard to to deal with but man I can tell you so is the excruciating pain of being betrayed. Personally, I very much struggled with it very much because this person wasn't me. So on top of feeling angry, hurt....I also felt guilty and ashamed for feeling like that and when my husband then got upset with me about being angry, well lets jut say it was a recipe for disaster. So he had to sit with the feeling and actually had to learn to go against his urge to run away, escape the situation but "run" towards it embrace it. What really helped me in those situations, was when he gave me a hug (I know extremely difficult to do, if you are seemingly "attacked" with anger), and told me he knows that I am angry, that he is sorry for causing me that pain, it is ok to feel that and that he will be here with me through it. All this showed me he wasn't bailing, when it became difficult and that way, I was able to start to heal, regain some trust that he won't chose himself first, run away, when it gets hard....This is a process. It took us a while and when you look back at some older post, my husband actually asked the same anger question here. He hasn't posted a lot but read many posts and often the neutral input helped us both to get a different perspective. We are nearing 2years past dday and 3 years post affair and we are doiing much better. 

The emotional intelligence muscle as you call it (I really like that btw) is something I feel a lot of men struggle with, mine included. Our therapist would have a hard time trying to help my husband understand that my emotions are real to me, even though they made no sense to him. His job wasn't to agree with them or worse take them personal but to validate them. Its the empathy thing that Brene Brown so brilliantly describes. Keep reading, keep researching and keep working on yourself. All the best for your journey.
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surprise
Mistakes of unfaithful spouse 

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