Sunflower_dj Show full post »
Keepabuzz
PaperWalls wrote:
I agree that true separation would have probably been the end for us too. I know myself and I would have shut her out completely and turned off all emotions if she wasn't around, and it was still a struggle not to even when she was.


Exactly
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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anthropoidape
PaperWalls wrote:
I know myself and I would have shut her out completely and turned off all emotions if she wasn't around, and it was still a struggle not to even when she was.


Exactly. That is me, as well. If I turned off the switch - and I would have - then it would have been very hard to get it turned back on. Quite honestly we were together by means of a very, very, very thin thread, a thread made up of our two children and the logistics of splitting. If we'd gotten the kids a little way along that road, and dealt with the logistics enough for temporary separation, I don't see how there would have still been any thread at all. 
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Keepabuzz
anthropoidape wrote:


Exactly. That is me, as well. If I turned off the switch - and I would have - then it would have been very hard to get it turned back on. Quite honestly we were together by means of a very, very, very thin thread, a thread made up of our two children and the logistics of splitting. If we'd gotten the kids a little way along that road, and dealt with the logistics enough for temporary separation, I don't see how there would have still been any thread at all. 



I was exactly the same way. My wife knows the sole reason I stayed for a long time was just the kids.
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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anthropoidape
Keepabuzz wrote:
I was exactly the same way. My wife knows the sole reason I stayed for a long time was just the kids.


Yes. My wife knows that I love her, and loved her throughout. But loving her would not have been enough reason to stay. Indeed it may still not be. 
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Joy
Sunflower,
Unfortunately I'm not going to tell you what you want to hear.  Personally I think you should have a fresh start with a good, honest and decent relationship.  However if you know that you have been unfair or not completely honest about your husband, take some time to grow as a person and give him a second shot after you've spent a lot of time with a therapist. 
Neither one of these options involve the AP.  He sounds like a loser and that's not where you want to go in life.  



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stormyshay
Sunflower_dj wrote:
You are likely right. I was searching through the forum last night to find other WSs to connect with and it appears to be common amongst the forum and I was told that a lot of WS have left the forum due to personal attacks from BSs. Maybe I came to the wrong place for help. 


I am a wayward spouse and I can sympathize with how you are feeling.  There have been times I have taken breaks from the forum because I felt I was being attacked.  The attitude of some BS is incredibly harsh toward wayward spouses in general, especially if you were the OW.  It was especially hard in the earlier days.  I am now able to look at things more objectively and with an open mind.  I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, keeping in mind tone is very hard to interpret in the written word.  

I am a direct message away if you need anything.  I felt absolutely like you did in the early days of recovery.  I struggled to let go of the AP and connect with my husband.  The AP on several occasions had tried to go NC, working on our marriages.  But like you and your AP, we had left the door open, we agreed to contact one another if things didn't work out.  We always ended up back in touch.  It was not until we closed that door completely, I was able to fully commit to saving my marriage and connect with my spouse.  
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anthropoidape
I think when a WS posts that they are missing their AP, it is pretty much a direct line to the worst fear and worst pain of most of the BSes on this forum. A lot of BSes have been told, "oh it was nothing, it was just sex, I had no feelings for him/her", and that is something of a life preserver. So then reading that there are mixed feelings, feelings of loss in relation to the affair, desire that's not dead yet... it can feel quite threatening. Some recent posts from WSes have given me a gut reaction like, "if my wife is actually thinking anything like that, I have to end our relationship right now." It takes some time to come down from and I do feel like I want to lash out. 

What I would therefore say is that (a) I am 100% sure people are trying to help but (b) the strong feeling that comes through (rage? loathing? disgust?) is pretty much coming straight at you from another relationship.

Early after d-day - in fact I think even on d-day - I told my wife I understood she was grieving a loss as well, and that I was there for her in that too - as much as I could be although it was obviously challenging to deal with. At the time I had more respect for her relationship with the AP than I ended up having, and this is because although I never did like him much, I certainly didn't know until a week or two after d-day just what a dismally bad person he was. The affair was bad but it was what he proved himself to be after the affair and after I knew about it that pretty much killed any sympathy I might have had for him or for her choice to trust him. I can understand a WS missing an AP, painful as it is to acknowledge that as a BS, but I would struggle to tolerate anyone missing that AP or thinking back on him with anything but revulsion. (It is possible my wife misses her AP; it's better if I don't know quite honestly. Accepting that would be too much to ask of me.)

Then of course, there's the other thing, and that is that as BSes we are pretty unequivocal about affair behaviour (deception, betrayal, etc) being very severe abuse, right up there with any case of reasonably serious domestic violence. This is because we have experienced the effects. So in a sense, we are going to read, "I miss the thrill of the affair" as being akin to, "I miss the thrill of beating and raping my wife."

Sorry for rambling. It's all horrible, all of this stuff, but perhaps there's some benefit to us in engaging with the really raw feelings even if it is hard. I figure everyone here is here with good intentions and is almost by definition digging deeper than most people do post-affair, since most people post-affair simply burn their lives down. So to a WS, I would say - you're getting honest reactions and valuable insights, so try to accept that the tone is just a sign of raw honesty. I think it is worth it. Similarly as a BS, I hate reading some of what WSes have to say (because there are feelings expressed that I wish my wife did not feel) but overall I have to be grateful for that raw honesty too.
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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TimT
anthropoidape wrote:
...BSes we are pretty unequivocal about affair behaviour (deception, betrayal, etc) being very severe abuse, right up there with any case of reasonably serious domestic violence. This is because we have experienced the effects. So in a sense, we are going to read, "I miss the thrill of the affair" as being akin to, "I miss the thrill of beating and raping my wife..."
As a former wayward spouse, I do see this now... but certainly didn't understand it when I was struggling through my own affair. I even cried in front of my wife because I missed the affair partner. Ahhhhhhh! (I've since apologized deeply for that.) Now I understand a lot more about how hard that must have been. My self-focus hurt her even more and I barely had any empathy.

But even if I had been more empathetic, more focused on what my wife needed, it wouldn't have changed the fact that I couldn't just turn my heart off from its attachment to the affair partner. I know the affair was wrong. I know no lines should have been crossed. I know it was a selfish choice that deeply wounded my wife. (It remains, to this day, my greatest regret.) I know my failure to empathize was part of my own problem. I know she didn't deserve any of it. But even knowing all those things doesn't necessarily eliminate all the emotional ties established in an affair. They were consequences of wrong choices, but I couldn't pretend they weren't there or "just say no" and expect everything to be fixed.

Sunflower: Your original question had to do with handling those feelings after you ended an affair and wanted to work on your marriage. First of all, separate your feelings from your choices. It's fair for you (and even for betrayed spouses here) to be quite honest about the choices you made and the consequences of them, but that doesn't negate the feelings. You cannot pretend you don't feel something when you do.

But it will be a problem if you focus on what you feel (or don't feel) about the AP and your husband. If genuine love was just about feelings, all of us should go from one affair to another, jumping into the next as soon as the excitement of one begins to wear down. Instead, recognize the feelings but don't give them too much attention right now. Use them as a trigger to turn your attention to questions like these:
  • How well do I understand what my spouse is feeling? What can I do to better learn about that?
  • I obviously felt a lot from this experience, but recognize it was a wrong choice. What does it mean if I felt good about something that was wrong?
  • What do I want my life story to be? What's the "next chapter" that helps tell that story? What kind of changes do I need to make that are consistent with being the woman who fits that story?
  • What do I need to learn about love (from before the affair, during the affair, and now) to help me be a better partner in an intimate and trustworthy relationship?
Genuine feelings will grow out of a healing heart. And deep love will be re-established in a healing marriage. I'm not talking about marriages that avoid divorce. I'm talking about marriages that HEAL. It takes both partners to make that happen. But if you determine that you are a woman who wants to bring healing to your husband and marriage... and if you act in ways that are consistent with that... and if your husband joins you in the same process of change, willing to do his part in the healing... you'll feel that connection to him again (and the "other" feeling will fade).
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PaperWalls
anthropoidape wrote:
I think when a WS posts that they are missing their AP, it is pretty much a direct line to the worst fear and worst pain of most of the BSes on this forum.


This is so true. A few days after this topic was started I was questioning whether she missed being with him or still desired to and I couldn't figure out why. I even asked her about again for reassurance because I couldn't get it out of my head. Looking back at it now I see it's linked to following this thread. 

Somewhat on topic I did have a moment today when she was talking to me about something her AP said at work. He was trying to have a conversation and joke around with her at work and she wouldn't engage him because it wasn't directly work related. He then told her that he was done trying to talk to her because she wasn't any fun anymore.

I could see the pain in her eyes when she told me this and she had the realization once again that he was just using her while she was developing real feelings for him. It pains me to see her hurt over him, but I would be lying if I said it didn't make me a little happy that she is finally seeing him how he really is.
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Keepabuzz
anthropoidape wrote:
Then of course, there's the other thing, and that is that as BSes we are pretty unequivocal about affair behaviour (deception, betrayal, etc) being very severe abuse, right up there with any case of reasonably serious domestic violence. This is because we have experienced the effects. So in a sense, we are going to read, "I miss the thrill of the affair" as being akin to, "I miss the thrill of beating and raping my wife."


Absolutely!  This to a tee!

I understand how a WS may miss an AP. For me, if my wife had told me that, or honestly even hinted at it, I would have moved towards divorce as fast as possible. The thread that I was hanging onto was so thin, it was microscopic. I honestly didn’t want to stay at all. I was just there for my kids. If my wife had told me she missed her AP, I would have and still would view it the same as if I had punched her in the face and then when we were trying to move past it, I said something like, I know I shouldn’t have hit you but man, it really felt good. I miss that feeling of unloading all my anger on you. Or I know I shouldn’t have raped you, but it really felt good.  It’s exactly the same thing. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Sunflower_dj


Touchy subject that is near and near dear to my heart. But maybe a different topic for a different forum [smile]
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TimT
Thank you all for the discussion in this thread. Since ongoing discussion seems to lead away from the original question, I'm going to lock it. I appreciate the input.
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