tobefree
Hi everyone, 

   I'm currently stuck in processing how my WS treated his AP compared to me over our 10 yrs together. He has never once did all the things he did for his AP compared to me and he has consistently broken the rules he has set with me with her. I'm wondering if that's normal or it's just my WS? Our couples counsellor said, "oh he probably treated you the same the beginning of our relationship." But the truth is, he never did and he even admitted it to our counsellor that he treated his AP better than he did with me. He's reasoning was that because he was so young, 21, when we first started, he said he didn't know better but he's learned over the year now or matured. But yet he still never treated me the way he did with his AP even the last few yrs where he said "he matured." Is that normal for a WS? What does it even mean? Is it just the fog or does it actually mean they love and care for their AP much more than they do with us? Am I thinking too much? 

   As for him, he has come out of the fog for about 2 weeks now. He has been watching videos from Affair Recovery and is being there for me during my triggers and such. It's helpful with my own recovery and healing but it doesn't help alleviate the pain that he has caused at all. I'm still undecided, just trying to understand things more. Thank you.
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JORGE
It's a convenient excuse that can't be proven or disproved. Not buying the age or maturity reasoning. It's human nature for one to put forth extraordinary efforts to earn the affection and approval from the person you don't have, but desire to, and put forth ordinary efforts  for those you already have, loves you the most and is most committed to you. It's the dichotomy which bears the hurtful and evil ways infidelity operates.  
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hurting
It is as Jorge has said. He would’ve done whatever he could for this infatuation. 

But remember this: it isn’t so much that she’s ‘better’ or he wanted her ‘more’... it’s just what he needed to give in order to earn her affection in return. Affairs make people do all kinds of out of (normally) our of character things. 

Its very easy to get stuck in the rut of ‘he did all these things for her and never even came close for me’. I know I found this VERY difficult to overcome. Two key things helped me here. One was that he didn’t do them for HER, so much as to make HIMSELF feel good through. The second is that (as we are still together), I required things from him during reconciliation that FAR exceeded what he did for the AP. This takes time of course, but was absolutely necessary for me to be in a relationship with him. If I had continued to feel that my WS had valued the AP more than me, I would have left. Of course, these things can only be shown through consistent actions over time, rather than words and empty promises.

What is your WS’s response to acknowledging this? Does he think he treated you ‘well’ before this? 

I have had many many days where I have struggled with this concept and would ask him about it many times. It took about 6 months for him to even START ‘getting it’ (though he was out of the fog before this). His answer since he started to get it has remained the same: ‘I did whatever I felt I needed to/told her what she wanted to hear in order to keep the AP around and keep the affair going, because it made me feel good’. 

I scoffed a little at your WS’s claim that he has ‘matured’. He seems about as ‘mature’ as my WS was... which was not at all. Some of the responses he has given you scream ‘giant man-child’! He has a long way left to go. His behaviours weren’t mature in the least. Till he can see that, he won’t start to ACTUALLY mature.
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Keepabuzz
I think the overwhelming majority of WS’s are a long way from “mature”.  That is how they get into to these situations immaturity. But that is NOT an excuse. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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anthro
I have had this discussion, and it's left some things a bit unresolved.

My WS (and forgive me, she probably expressed it a little better than this) basically said, "you can't compare how I was with him to how I am with you, because that was a honeymoon period and we are in a mature relationship." My thought was that this made some kind of logical sense, and even if a WS doesn't say this, it is pretty much a given and just another way of describing "the fog". However, it didn't really sit well with me. Where I am at now is... sure, that is logical enough. Honeymoon periods are different. However, I think that the person I spend my life with... her last honeymoon period needs to have been with me, not with someone else. I am pretty sure that is non-negotiable. A normal marriage may well go like... honeymoon period... life's stresses... kids... getting busy... a comfortable but less intense relationship.... etc. But in that context you have a shared journey from the honeymoon period to the present, and you have a clear line-of-sight back to the honeymoon period. With a honeymoon period with someone else intervening, you don't have that shared journey and you don't have a clear line of sight back to it.

For me, at the moment, this is pretty much not something I think I can work with. Circumstances require me to sit tight for the moment as we simply have higher life priorities than dealing with relationship issues for the next month or so. 
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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ABurris105
So this may or may not be the best way to look at it, but in my situation this is the conclusion I have come to.  He absolutely did all kinds of things with her that I had been begging him to do before the affair with me-opening car doors, showing public affection, going to all kinds of social engagements.  When I first found out, it about killed me.  I have a PI DVD of them and almost—almost as bad as the thought of them having sex — was watching her wait as he opened the car door, helped her in, then leaned in and kissed her... OH MY GOSH! Are you KIDDING ME? Anyway, after much prayer and therapy, we are reconciling.  When we first began, I insisted that he do the same things for me, open the door, take me places he took her, etc.   Then, that began to make me mad bc it felt like he was just going through the motions to “check the box,” not seemingly wanting to do it, like he did for her. The conclusion I have now come to (2 yrs later) is that THAT is not WHO he is.. he didn’t even do all that stuff for me much when we dated in high school (we met and began dating 35 years ago next month). Anyway, I have now realized that had they stayed together, she would have been opening her own door sooner or later.  And I decided that I wanted my real husband, with his real personality (and habits and faults), rather than some fantasy version which is what he was with her.  
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Skelling
for me it wasn't so much the open car doors (he still does that for me, or holds my handbag, when I need to use the restroom in church). For me it was more that I felt like he was a lot more comfortable with her, and he only knew her for a day, before they ended up in bed. He seems to be selfconscious with me but with her, he didn't have any issue whatsoever. He was able to open up and talk about his feeling with her, just having met her and knowing me for close to 20 years, he wasn't comfortable talking to. So for me this is what hurts a lot, that he seemed so comfortable and sooooooo close to her, valued her opinion, trusted her advice, not the romantic stuff, yes that hurts too (sending texts with compliments and crap) but the emotional intimacy. 

So opening car doors, being sweet and compliments can all be learned and practised but how will he ever be able to give me back, what came sooo easy with her?
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Experiencethedevine29
Skelling wrote:
for me it wasn't so much the open car doors (he still does that for me, or holds my handbag, when I need to use the restroom in church). For me it was more that I felt like he was a lot more comfortable with her, and he only knew her for a day, before they ended up in bed. He seems to be selfconscious with me but with her, he didn't have any issue whatsoever. He was able to open up and talk about his feeling with her, just having met her and knowing me for close to 20 years, he wasn't comfortable talking to. So for me this is what hurts a lot, that he seemed so comfortable and sooooooo close to her, valued her opinion, trusted her advice, not the romantic stuff, yes that hurts too (sending texts with compliments and crap) but the emotional intimacy. 

So opening car doors, being sweet and compliments can all be learned and practised but how will he ever be able to give me back, what came sooo easy with her?


You know what I think? I honestly think they open up to these bints and spill their guts because there’s no risk of upset or hurt feelings, therefore no responsibility or commitment to resolution of a difficult  discussion.  It’s all horse s*it, and I really don’t believe it has anything to do with being or feeling ‘close’ to someone you really know little about, in fact it seems exactly the opposite! They don’t really know their concubines well enough so they’re free to say whatever they want without facing any difficult comeback per se. 

In in other words, they can air their sh*tty grievances without recourse...their bit on the side is impartial to some degree so it’s easy. Doesn’t mean the whole thing isn’t a load of bollocks because ALL of it IS a load of bollocks, but that’s my ten pence worth.

Skelling, I don’t think is emotional intimacy at all, it’s f*cking cowardice frankly.  

ETD 🌻
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anthro
Sure, but also... they aren't telling the whole honest truth. They are telling a version of their emotional life that makes them so DEEP and INTERESTING and all that. 
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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ABurris105
Absolutely Anthro-this “version” of themselves isn’t real, it’s the opposite of emotional intimacy.  There is little risk involved and they can say anything they want to.  The truth does catch up though, because people don’t change that quickly.  The opening doors was just one small example for me as it represents the bigger picture.  To me it is more than a gesture-he was paying attention to her, being involved with her. Prior to their meeting each other, for a few years actually,  I had begged for us to start doing more things together before we were “empty nesters” such as going to lunch together during the workweek, riding along with him while he plays golf, going to more social engagements together with friends, etc. He never would do these things with me though bc he was doing them with friends or wanted alone time.  Truth was he had started pulling away even then.  But then it was like he took everything I had suggested and used it like a manual of how to treat her.  They had only met one week when they had a “business” lunch; they went to all kinds of outings and the rest.  It lasted for about 4 months before Dday, 1 month after and then began dwindling rapidly from there.  He is working and trying now, because doing all that “naturally” isn’t who he is, but he is also committed to connecting with me, and I see that our emotional connection is way deeper than anything they ever had.  It is hard to convey how much-I realize it sounds like he just switched from paying attention to her to me, but it is so much more.
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Keepabuzz
It’s more than “that’s not who he is”. I won’t say his preferences don’t matter, but he acts as if yours don’t.  

I’m the betrayed spouse. My wife never liked public displays of affection. So we just didn’t do that. (She didn’t do it with her AP either) After D-day, in MC I brought that up. She had her normal excuses “that’s not who I am”, “my family wasn’t ever like that” blah blah blah. I sat quietly and listened to her bull$hit, then simply said “I do not give a $hit about that’s not who you are, and I don’t give a $hit what your family did or didn’t do. I’m way past bowing down to whatever it is YOU want. I don’t personally see the point in opening the car door for you, but you like it so I do it. I don’t give you some excuse.”  From that point forward she made a point to hold my hand in public. For a while I didn’t allow it. But at some point I did. We don’t do it all the time now, but she always does if I’m having a hard time. 

Another example is that she refused to ever fix my plate of food. Her father “expected” her mother to. They could literally be sitting on the couch together and he would say “how about you go get me a drink”. 😳. I am not that way. But even at a family function or if I was working on something she WOULD NOT fix me a plate of food. She would cook, but would not put it on a plate. I did this all the time for her. Even made her breakfast in bed quite often. So I brought this up in the months after d-day. And she said I never want to be my Mom, subservient. I said “I’m clearly NOT your dad. Why do you have such an issue with such a small thing, but have no issues with me doing it for you?”  It was like a light bulb when off in her head. I said “it is showing care for one another, it’s not subservient, it’s not controlling, it’s not some weird power play. It’s just simply doing something nice. It is that d*mn simple.”  Now she does it quite often, and I do as well. As I always did....

Its not all about what “he” wants. You get a say too!!!!!  It doesn’t matter if wants to open the door or not, after what he has done, that would be the very least he could for you. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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hurting
100% agree with Keepabuzz. It’s not really relevant any more that ‘that’s not who he is’. If there are certain things that I need as the BS from him in order to feel better, then I expect him to address them. Honestly? It’s fine that that’s not ‘who he was’. I have no interest in staying with the person that he WAS. The cheater. The liar. The one who didn’t treat me right. I AM interested in staying in a marriage with someone who WANTS to treat me in any way that makes me feel safe and loved. If he’s willing to change the things that he wouldn’t normally do in order to make me happy, then that shows me he wants to change. It’s one small part in the big scheme of changes that NEED to take place.

Yes he now opens car doors for me, will sometimes bring me breakfast in bed (I’ve done it for him too!), holds my hand in public etc. 
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Experiencethedevine29
Keepabuzz wrote:
It’s more than “that’s not who he is”. I won’t say his preferences don’t matter, but he acts as if yours don’t.  

Its not all about what “he” wants. You get a say too!!!!!  It doesn’t matter if wants to open the door or not, after what he has done, that would be the very least he could for you. 



YES!   Well said Keep!


ETD 🌻
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EasyAsABC


You know what I think? I honestly think they open up to these bints and spill their guts because there’s no risk of upset or hurt feelings, therefore no responsibility or commitment to resolution of a difficult  discussion.  It’s all horse s*it, and I really don’t believe it has anything to do with being or feeling ‘close’ to someone you really know little about, in fact it seems exactly the opposite! They don’t really know their concubines well enough so they’re free to say whatever they want without facing any difficult comeback per se. 

In in other words, they can air their sh*tty grievances without recourse...their bit on the side is impartial to some degree so it’s easy. Doesn’t mean the whole thing isn’t a load of bollocks because ALL of it IS a load of bollocks, but that’s my ten pence worth.

Skelling, I don’t think is emotional intimacy at all, it’s f*cking cowardice frankly.  

ETD 🌻



As the concubine, I can say there is a lot of truth to this. The sad part for us is that it’s not easy to see until after things have ended. 

The other person is often a dumping ground for many emotions and feelings, especially those emotions and feelings you don’t want floating around your own home. This isn’t intimacy so much as it’s just another way to be taken advantage of. I shouldered years of his emotions all at once, and told myself I was making him feel better, whole even. After all, I was the only person he had ever opened up to, so I must be special, this must be more than just a fling. 

In the end, he dumped all his crap on me, and went running right back to her feeling free of it all, and continued his life of deception and being closed off emotionally. Now, this may be different than some of your spouses, but the beginning is going to be similar. I believe he is definitely going to be a partner that cheats again, and again, and again, because as far as I know, to date he’s never really changed. Maybe he will someday, but I doubt it. 

This was also why it was so easy to put the fact that his girlfriend existed out of my mind, he’d tell me things about himself and later say “I’ve never told anyone that before”, “I’ve never felt like this about anyone before”. Accessibility aside, feeling like I was the only person he’d been with so candidly made me rationalize everything we were doing, and let me live in this fantasy world where we were “meant to be together”. Which makes reality sting even more when you realize you were just a garbage dump for emotions and actions, that now that he had it out of his system, he was going to resume his life as it was. 
BS to an abusive H 2009-2018
OW 2018-2019
I wear many hats.
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Skelling
ABurris, please know that I wasn't trying to discount your feelings about the romantic side. I do get that part too. My husband had no issue being thoughtful with her and when I asked him for the same stuff before the affair, he would reply that this is just not him..., which I know is not true as he used to be thoughtful an sweet and romantic, when we started dating at 17.
However, the apparent closeness and what I took as intimacy was a lot more painful for me to accept. So thank you to all of you offering me a different perspective, it really is helpful.

I do have to say that my husband has not just come back to resume his life as it was but to actively seek change to make damn sure, he will never get himself  in a situation like that before, whether our marriage worked out or not. He has done a lot of work and coninues looking inside to figure himself out, which I find very helpful. He also is looking for ways to "repay" me for what he has taken away from me and gave to her. Of course its a learning curve and there are plenty of days that I wish worked out differently but he is trying and I suppose I can not expect a 180 change in a short few months but as long as I continue to see he is moving in that direction and isn't giving up on working on himself, I am hopeful. We spent a lot more time as a couple. He is a lot more considerate in his everyday decisions, which shows me that he really regrets his his choices an wants to be with me. He had more than one opportunity to throw in the towel, as we all know living with a BS can be bloody hard too. And I have to remind myself not to compare myself or our marriage to the short term fantasy world, in which he felt safe as she told him, what he wanted to hear and they both manipulated each other. However, it still bloody hurts.
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