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Ironsides1
Kalmarjan wrote:
He's mad and slamming things because this is something he can't control.


Kal, you just blew my mind with this statement. I didn't have to deal with TOO much of the WS being mad, but in the midst of our F'ed up situation, when I was trying to be OK with her having a FWB that I knew about, my requests for her to "go slow" so I can get used to it were very much met with the "You're trying to control me" attitude, and a definite amount of hostility. Truth is, she was ignoring all those requests from me while promising to agree to them, and then being mad at me for making them. In Affair-think, was this her blaming me for feeling guilty about her breaking her promises right under my nose?

I also see it this way - In their cheating, they had ALL the control. They were making every decision about everything in the marriage. They controlled their behavior, manipulated their BS behavior, they completely controlled the flow of information, everything. Now that the cheating is exposed, they have lost all of that control, and while everything was about them, it isn't anymore. I can understand that mindset resulting in a lot of anger. It's sad that that will become one more thing they will end up regretting in the aftermath if they want reconciliation.
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Lotus_Flower
DefensiveNess in the aftermath of exposure.  The first and last bit of defensive my husband verbalized was, it's not like you never cheated on me... referring to something he thought happened when I was 15. Mind you that was 30 years ago and didn't happen.  However he did screw around with my best friend at the time.  Fast forward, I told him if he was harborin something that he thought happened 30 years ago after 23 years of marriage and 3 children to justify his affair he was nuts!!! I also told him if he didn't own what he did and if I so much as smelled an ounce of defensiveNess he could get out. I would not even consider having a discussion with him. Manipulation over!!! Now I get to make choices!
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Keepabuzz
My wife owned her affair from the moment she confessed, but she still had some defensiveness in the early days after d-day. After the first week or so, I could speak to her with anger, but without rage, but the instant I picked up on even a hint of defensiveness and/or dismissiviness, out came the rage train, every time.  Within the first month, I was letting her have it, she was trying to shut me down and talk about it later.  It felt like she was trying to control me.  I came very close to hitting her.  I walked away, but it scared me. The thought of hitting any woman, much less my wife had never even crossed my mind in any of my 40 years. 

She once said if you hadn't made me feel this way, I wouldn't have done what I did. Those are the statements that sent me over the edge.  She only said that once. We discussed the issue in MC, and our MC told her she had to not be defensive, even though it is a natural reaction when being attacked. My wife told her how bad I got, how angry, how much rage.  

The MC looked at my wife and said "You need to take it. Where he is right now is in an emotional hurricane of pain and anger.  If he has an emotional reaction to something you say or do, and lashes out at you, take it. This won't last forever. Do not be defensive. 

I sat there all like "YEAH! TAKE IT!  TAKE IT ALL!"  But then the MC turned to me......

She said "You know your wife's history of childhood sexual abuse, and controlling, unloving father. You need to understand that no matter how justified you are in unleashing your rage upon her, when you do she is mentally shutting down. She is literally frozen in fear, she just wants to escape. When you are unleashing all of your justified rage on her, do you think she hears you, really hears you? She needs to be able to say stop, and you stop and come back together later."

Keep in mind this was very soon after d-day.  I looked at the MC straight in the eye and said "She may not listen, but you can bet your a** she hears me!!  She is the source and cause of my rage and pain, and she is THE one that is going to hear every singe bit of it, whenever I choose to let it loose.  She tried the stop thing with me when I was in full rage mode, I wasnt hearing that.  I stopped when I chose to. It felt like she was controlling me again, she wasn't going to have that power ever again. 

20 months out from d-day I can look back and see I had all that rage, and had it for so long because I couldn't show her my pain. I could only show the rage that masked the pain. I thought me saying she hurt me was showing my pain. It wasn't. I had to get to the point where I could take the true "leap of faith" to be truly vulnerable with her and really, really show her my pain, not my anger and rage (I had showed her plenty of that). Show her my tears, describe to her in great detail how I hurt. Tell her I had suicidal thoughts, tell all the ways that my world had been destroyed by her and what she did. How truly devestated I was. What my triggers are/were, and why those were triggers. In my mind it all made sense and how stupid or blind was she to not see it.  But she has never walked my road, like I haven't walked hers.  It took me opening up and not stuffing all my pain down to get past the rage.  

Thats not to say I can't bring back the rage if I think back to those times when I'm triggered, but I don't let it out anymore. I don't need to.  I still have to force myself to talk to her when I'm triggered. She can see it in my face, she can even hear it in my voice if we are on the phone. She is very in tune to my emotional state. She still has to prod me a bit, my initial response to her normal question of "You ok?, is "I'm fine".  She will then always say, "no you're not, please tell me". Then I do.  It's a weird little dance we seem to do, but it works for us. I hope one day I can just  tell her without being pulled along. We will see. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Mark
Hello All,
This is my first post on this board and appreciate all of your insights and experiences.
Last night I had a conversation with my WW and I feel made a cardinal sin choice when she asked me how I was. I have had to move out of the marital home due to her playing out her affair in front of me and our 2 children.
I replied that I was missing her which was greeted with a roll of her eyes. I found out about her affair in January this year (2017) but the affair has been going on since November 2016, I moved out of the family home in February.
As the time went by the conversation turned to choices and me mentioning that we always have a choice, she had previously said to me "I'm sorry I'm in too deep" and I feel this has led me to drop my guard and progress reconciliation sooner than I should have.
I have been trying to continue to be her best friend and a safe place for her but now she said to me that she thinks she should no longer come around when I have the children as this is creating false hope on my behalf! She could be right. Its a bit fuzzy but she also mentioned the children and this is the reason we are still "involved" basically talking to each other face to face.
This person (the AP) has taken over every aspect of my life, he has moved into my house is having sex with my wife and trying to play happy families with my children and it hurts. Just the other day they celebrated my wife's sisters birthday at a restaurant where we found many years ago its unbelievable that this has happened in such a short space of time. I feel I am now seen as an inconvenience to her and something she has to put up with due to us "unfortunately" having children together which at the time was the best thing she had ever experienced!

It never ceases to amaze me that the people who have done nothing wrong get hurt the most and how quickly this person who has shared every aspect of their lives for the last 12 years can change to totally disregard the person who loves them the most and for what..?
 
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Ironsides1
Mark, do you think there is any ways at all that she would read a very short book that should only take an hour? It is called "Who will you become?" by Linda MacDonald, the same therapist. Its a pretty hard reality check for her, and if she can get herself to read it, it may help to get her to look at things with a wider view.

It sounds like she is full blown into the fog. Do a lot of reading, but most of all try to take care of yourself. Maybe moving back home would help un-smooth their clear calm ocean and fantasy relationship they are in right now. You don't have to tolerate any of it, and you don't have to leave your home either. She is making the choices to do this, not you. You have every right to be home with your children and to not allow a non family member into your home.

My WW is taking the Hope for Healing course online at affairrecovery.com - it has helped her a lot. She's turned around quite drastically since her dopamine addicted days of her affair. I credit the class with a lot of it. Of course, it took her willingness to do the class in the first place, but still, its been great. I would recommend you check out some of the free resources here and at affarrecovery.com too. Tim's first aid course really helped us. I'd say it kept our marriage from going off a cliff.

Here's a link to the free resources at AR: https://www.affairrecovery.com/free-resources-home

You can find a lot of great articles and advice here on AH as well. The podcasts in particular are very helpful. I've also found the podcasts from healingbrokentrust.com to also be quite good. You and your wife (if you can get her to) would probably benefit from their podcast on limerence.

Regardless of anything else, you are safe here. You are welcome here. You are supported here. If your wife ever wants to stop what she's doing and wants to recover from this as well, she will be welcome here too. This is a safe place for people who want to heal from the destruction that is caused by infidelity. 

We are always here to listen.
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Mark
Ironsides1

Thank you for your support it truly is welcomed in times like these, always good to know someone has your back and I have thousands [smile].

I'm afraid she's not receptive to any form of "healing" as she sees what she's doing as the best thing that's ever happened to her. Why would she place walls in the way...

I would love to move back into the family home as I miss my children immensely when I'm not with them and FaceTime as good as it is is just not the same. To be honest with you the time I was at home was horrible we couldn't understand who this person was we were living with it was literally a stranger moved in who didn't care less about hurting those that have supported her for the previous 12-years. She might as well have brought the AP to our house and copulated with him on the dinning room table (as I type this I get emotional) it was that bad.

It is really very difficult to understand how a person who shared everything with you and I mean everything turn into a person who would rather help out or better communicate with a complete stranger. I am seen as I mention as an inconvenience, something in the way of her perfect life and this is very hard to get my head around.

I have in another post outlined the methods in which I am coping and my boys (aged 7 and 10) are helping a great deal. Ironsides1 I'm sorry I don't know your situation but have you seen or experienced a common cycle in which these affairs play out? Limerence follows 3 phases I know but does this actually happen or is this hope building for all of us out there..?

I would love for the community to respond to the last paragraph as I'm sure actual real life successes are a great means of support and solidifies the determination to carry on the fight for the good of all those hurt by these affairs.

Thanks again

MP
  
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Ironsides1
My wife experienced a limerence of sorts. She had a 'friendship' connection with her AP. Has been adamant throughout that she was never in love with him, and never wanted to leave. She wanted to have her cookies, cake, and pie, and eat them all as well. Even in the midst of it, she admitted to me that it felt like a drug, and slowly began to realize that she was in fact, acting like an addict. It took about 2 months of cold turkey no contact of any kind for it to wear off. She broke things off with him in Sep '17. Continued secret contact and acted out in Oct and again in Dec. Beginning of December, due to other things that were really bothering me, she got rid of snapchat. I also had things slow down at work, so I wasn't traveling anymore. So she couldnt snap with him, couldnt see him in person, and couldn't use any other form of communication because I was all over it. By the end of January, she confessed everything about this affair except one detail. That finally came out in March, along with details about an earlier affair, another infidelity before we were married, and that a common friend of ours has known since the beginning. Those last parts were the things she was convinced I would leave her over, and she had planned to take to her grave. 

In February, at my request, she enrolled in the Hope for Healing class at http://www.affairrecovery.com. As I said in March, she let the rest of everything from our entire history out. I know for a fact (because she told me) that in January, she was still wishing she could fool around with him, and was trying to argue for ways for it to work out. Personal information here - I'm not hung up on sex, and have no problem with ethical nonmonogamy such as swinging, threesomes, etc. What shattered me is the lies and deceit and manipulation. So she was trying to make a case for how that could work. But I'm absolutely NOT about to do any of that with the guy she cheated on me with, no way. My story is lengthy and pretty f***ed up. Take a look at my past posts and you'll see. Its fairly insane. 

Anyways, long story short. She had limerence. He was a sex object, she was addicted to the way having sex with that object made her feel, and the rush she got from the 'wrongness' of it, and getting away with lying. Took from Dec 4 until Mar 18 to get it out of her system enough to tell me down to the last terrible thing that she had done wrong. To my mind, she is now 100% in on our marriage and working very hard to help us heal, to heal her own brokenness, and to help me heal from the wounds she gave  me.
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Mark
Ironsides1

It shows amazing character on your behalf to stay in the situation and to your credit you have saved her from a massive mistake. Can I ask are there any children involved and did this have any influence in your decision in wanting to make it work?

Am I right in thinking she stopped her affair in September 2016? When did it start? I ask because it gives me an indication as to how long her limerence lasted, I know you may have posted this but in your case what did you do to help her find her way?

I have an issue with NC as my wife is having an A with a co-worker (90% of WS do) who she sees every weekday (actually he's moved in to the family home) but am told this can be a good thing to escalate the limerance in them, they begin to see each other in the real world and faults and cracks can start to appear. Here's hoping.

Do you know if there is any difference between the sexes and limerence? Does a male AP tend to hold his values better or more to heart that a female AP? How do male AP's see their relationships with their AP when coming from a marriage where they have 2 small children? I read that for women its more emotional and for men more physical.

I understand there must have been something wrong regarding my relationship with my wife, possibly taking her for granted and some issues with our youngest son and his vulnerabilities but surely his relationship with his wife must have been strained also. I hold hope these things resurface and she sees that what she's gone to is much worse than that what she left OR the same with the AP and HIS marriage.

I guess I'm here for reassurances as at the moment a feel I'm seen as the enemy that is getting in the way of her perfect life and the only NC is the limited tough love I'm giving when she visits the boys around my "home", unbelievable...

Good luck in gaining your marriage back and with hard work am sure it will be even better than it was before.

MP
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Ironsides1
Mark wrote:
Ironsides1

It shows amazing character on your behalf to stay in the situation and to your credit you have saved her from a massive mistake. Can I ask are there any children involved and did this have any influence in your decision in wanting to make it work?

Am I right in thinking she stopped her affair in September 2016? When did it start? I ask because it gives me an indication as to how long her limerence lasted, I know you may have posted this but in your case what did you do to help her find her way?

MP


Thank you for your kind words. This has been the single most painful, life draining, soul destroying thing I have ever experienced. The kids have definitely influenced me to at a minimum, be biased toward staying. My parents divorced, and I was pretty traumatized by it. If I can suck it up and survive long enough for us to get right again, and avoid that ending, then I'll do it. The kids may also learn a very valuable lesson in grace, forgiveness, humility, and conflict resolution. They do not know what has happened. They are 14, 12, and 7.

This guy had been flirting with her pretty hard for about a year, and she liked the attention. She told me that around may 2016, she started to fantasize about him, and spent a lot of time wondering if he actually wanted her or was just being a flirt. Her affair started in July 2016, "ended" september 2016. The insanity is that in my complete denial phase, I told her that if thats what she needs to do then she needs to keep me informed, and try to include me in the sex somehow. Send me pictures, have me join in sometimes. I tried to turn her cheating into an open relationship. Newsflash - THAT DOESN'T WORK. In fact, a book I read on polyamory, written my experts in that area flat our stated "we're not saying transitioning from cheating to open can't work. But we've never seen or even heard of it working out before"

I asked her to go slow while I adjusted to it and hold off on full sex until I was ready. She agreed to it, but never kept her agreement. She even figured out how to cheat when you have an open relationship! Yeah, that's actually possible. So many "should've dones". Also, he is our next door neighbor, and our kids are friends, so I totally understand how difficult continued contact is.

I think them living together will definitely pop the bubble eventually. Is he married as well? 

The best advice I can give is to take care of yourself, especially physically. I didn't sleep (literally) for 4 days after D-Day. I lost 40 pounds in 2 months. I still am a physical mess, have high blood pressure now (was perfectly normal May 2016) and I feel like I'm falling apart.
Work to be the best version of yourself as you can. You don't have to tolerate her behavior. Right now she is feeding her ego and taking everything that she wants without regard for anyone but herself, and suffering no consequences from it. I know it would be awful, but moving home would be helpful I think. You standing your ground and refusing to concede to her absolutely absurd demands. If she wants to shack up with him, you can't stop it. But you don't have to pay their rent, you know? And this is HER choice. Why do you have to leave your children. And on top of that why is she doing this to her children, moving a stranger into the house? But above all, do everything you can to keep your temper. Become a Zen master. Meditate every day. Get on antidepressants. Exercise. Do not under any circumstances threaten her with anything, especially violence. DO not threaten him. In fact don't even acknowledge his existence. He is nothing. He holds no power over you other than what you allow him to.

I can't tell you what to do, but I don't see any problem with moving home and insisting on your rights and a person who deserves to be respected and loved. She is not acting toward you with love.
Maybe move home, and tell her "It is not OK for you to have a lover other than me. You are violating the vows you made, and are hurting me. I will not tolerate this. If you choose to continue, you need to leave the house. "
Theres no universe in which it is OK for her to move her AP into your home where your children live when you are not legally separated or divorced. Maybe something like "It is not OK for him to be in our house. It is hurting me, and causing instability and confusion for our children. If you insist on inviting him into our home, then you need to leave the house."

I know I'm way too full of advice today, and I should just be listening. Your story is just breaking my heart. 
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Anna26
Ironsides1 wrote:




I can't tell you what to do, but I don't see any problem with moving home and insisting on your rights and a person who deserves to be respected and loved. She is not acting toward you with love.
Maybe move home, and tell her "It is not OK for you to have a lover other than me. You are violating the vows you made, and are hurting me. I will not tolerate this. If you choose to continue, you need to leave the house. "
Theres no universe in which it is OK for her to move her AP into your home where your children live when you are not legally separated or divorced. Maybe something like "It is not OK for him to be in our house. It is hurting me, and causing instability and confusion for our children. If you insist on inviting him into our home, then you need to leave the house."

I know I'm way too full of advice today, and I should just be listening. Your story is just breaking my heart. 



I'd agree with this point Mark.  I'm a BS too and know the pain of being in the same house as someone who insists on continuing the affair right under your nose.  My H did that too, so I asked him to move out.  He's still moved out, the affair is ongoing albeit intermittently and randomly, but I'm still in my home. The AP believe it or not is still with her husband and doesn't seem to want to leave ( I wonder why?). 
I know your circumstances may have been different to mine, but I don't see why the BS SHOULD move out of the family home.  Move back, take your home and power back and tell her if she wants it to continue, she finds somewhere else to do it.  Why should you and your children have to put up with that?  Sorry if I sound a bit bossy here, it just makes me a bit cross when BS's end up being the one's to move out and the situation isn't even of their making.

My H seems to be in a position where he has very little.  Not me fully, (or her completely) and I think it's a bit of a lose-lose situation at the moment for him,but we do communicate and believe it or not it is possible to keep some line of communication open.  And I do this because I want him to understand that the door is still open, but it HAS to be his choice to choose me over her.  I'm not prepared to have her tagging along as part of our life, and he knows I won't give in on that point.  So right now, what he has in his life is of his own making and only he can be the one to alter things to the advantage of both of us.  In the meantime, I get on with my life the best way I know how, in the knowledge that I can do it without him, and I will!
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BorealJ
This seemed like a good place to ask this question.  I discovered my wife's affair about a month or so after it had ended. It ended because her AP called it off because he didn't want to be an affair and he had the impression they would have a future together which she shut down because she still loves our family (we have 2 kids). She has acknowledged that the affair was just a fantasy that made her feel good when other parts of our life did not. Acknowledging the fantasy aspect doesn't change the fact that she still feels in love with him. When exploring how she was feeling for both of us, she read an article on open marriages that said something along the lines of it like being a second child.  Just because you have a second child doesn't mean you love the first one any less.  She said this is how she felt.  Still connected to me through the whole thing.  However, now she says that after I discovered the affair, she has felt our connection slipping away and no longer feels connected to me.  Immediately after discovery she was steadfast that she was going to do whatever it took to fix our relationship, but that resolve has slipped away and she is less willing to engage with me at all, saying the spark has left ever since I found out. I'm a changed person.  I don't love the new me.  I'd like to be the secure, confident, in control of my emotions and behaviors person I was before this, but I'm now insecure, clingy, and scared. Is it the new me she can't connect to, or is it something else about me knowing that is blocking her?  It seems like she doesn't even want to try to reconnect.  A far cry from a month ago. 
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anthropoidape
BorealJ.. Sorry you've ended up here. 

Although my wife didn't express things the same way as yours, I felt affected by the same problem - just when you are at your absolute lowest and most in need of support, you are somehow supposed to be this groovy happy cool dude who is fun and exciting to be around. It is impossible of course. 

I actually can't answer your question - I do not really know how my wife sees me now. It does seem like she is here to stay though. 

The problem of being "attractive" in this horrible situation, or even having to try to be, is I think why people do "the 180". In other words, becoming self-focused and taking care of yourself and your wellbeing rather than focusing on the WS and hers. I did not exactly do the 180, at least not on purpose, but basically reached a point where I said you have my support while you get yourself ready to move on properly. 

In your case it sounds like you have some good reasons to think her overall outlook might change quite a bit as she comes out of fantasy land and re-engages with how the real world works. 

So you can afford to give it time and in the meantime get yourself well and strong. Spend time with kids, including without her, be active, get fit, do stuff.

Meanwhile your wife will be sorting through stuff and either she will get back to reality or she won't. Her eventual attitude might be one you can love with or one you can't live with. She has not yet seen through her own bullsh!t. She most likely will do so though. 

You can see that she is more likely to make her way back to you if you are (a) being good to yourself and the kids and (b) there to support her. 

In time you may not care what she thinks about you at all. But for now, while it still feels like it matters to you, bear in mind that seeing you being an awesome dad is the single most attractive thing for a mother. It also happens to be your best medicine and good for the kids.

Sorry, I have rambled a bit.

Short version: look after yourself for now, be the man you want to be, assume her views are nowhere near final, and give things a bit of time for now. Revisit in three weeks. 
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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BorealJ
Thanks anthropoidape,

I'm trying. We're recreating a lot as a family and I'm certainly being the dad I want to be. We are working on being partners in addressing some of the mechanics of life that have led to much of her feelings of being stuck and unhappy.  I feel like those are tangible but there are other things at the heart of her personality/psyche that have caused much of this.  It's one thing to acknowledge what is best for you in terms of moving forward with patience, but some things just trigger emotional responses that are hard to overcome.  She has wondered if her anti-depressants have interfered with her feelings of connection, but she did feel connected to me while on them, the switch came after I discovered the affair.  My behavior is the biggest difference since the moment I found out.  The other thing I wondered is whether my knowing has changed how she views herself through my eyes.  Again she didn't feel guilty about the affair until I knew about it and she still felt lovingly connected to me during and after the affair until I knew about it.
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anthropoidape
I would suggest her feelings are probably still in a state of flux, whether you call it "the fog" (I don't) or something else. As I posted elsewhere I think antidepressants could definitely be a factor. But in the long run she is going to have to come to the realisation that unlike with children, you can't fill two marriage buckets at the same time. It doesn't work and clearly didn't work. Even more importantly, she needs to understand why she deceived you. That is a whole separate question to the one about why she "loved" two men at the same time. 

I am with you on the triggering of emotional responses. I found it important to separate my pure emotional responses from my rational mind. They are simply two separate tracks that need different things. All the rational explanations in the world won't help the reptile brain heal. All the hugs in the world won't let the rational mind heal. The pace is different and the needs are different. That's how it is for me at least.

You are in the land of maybes right now. It is really possible that you won't be able to rebuild. Either you or she could just end up saying, "this is not enough for me." If you can embrace that then it might help with this: "I'd like to be the secure, confident, in control of my emotions and behaviors person I was before this, but I'm now insecure, clingy, and scared." I got my groove back when I decided we were probably going to split and worked on that as the probable plan. Since then things have improved enormously (but I still admit we might not make it.)

I am not telling you what to do; you have to follow your gut. But if you don't like the way you are being (and I totally understand why you are being that way, and I was the same way for months) it is a good idea to step back and consider ways to find your centre again. 

Good luck.


Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Iwinsome
Congratulations!  Your story gives many of us hope that being a strong, caring, confident woman is what successful marriages need...not a feeling that we shouldn't be that way if we want to be happy. Thank you!
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