So working through everything with my spouse, as I continue along my WS journey, I'm truly seeing and hearing the depth of pain I've caused for the first time. I'm confused as to how we can put such effective psychological blinders on to the pain we're causing when in the affair. For me, I developed nearly a sociopathic ability to justify and look past any possible hurt, thinking it was all somehow okay. I dont know how I managed this, its so not a part of how I usually am. I am very empathetic by nature, so the fact I was able to do that shocks me to my core. 

Any thoughts? Any articles or psychology behind this? I'm genuinely curious how we can so effectively block out the most important things in blind pursuit of ourselves.
Quote 1 0
My WS said that he put sexual sins in one compartment and left me out of that compartment.  If you read the book, "Men are like waffles, women are like spaghetti," you would understand that logic.  He also said that every time he had an encounter with a prostitute, or his affair partner, he would feel guilty and would confess to God, but NEVER to me.  He thought his confession to God was all that mattered.  DDay was on September 5, 2013.  It wasn't until August, 2014, that he realized that what he did for over 34 years was against me and would hurt me.  The fog is real.  It is kind of like blinders, his mind was only in one compartment at a time, and God and I were left out of most of those compartments.  
Quote 0 0
I don't know of any good resources. I do think there are a lot of analogous things out there. Like, people can have a pathological relationship with alcohol or food or gambling, and reason that even though they really shouldn't be consuming it, it doesn't matter this one time and they will give it up tomorrow. With a lot of these things the damage is distant and long-term while the problem behaviour is immediate and short-term. Affairs are more complicated (sometimes at least) but they still have this self-soothing aspect. 

I would be really interested in your honest analysis of what you were thinking at the time if you find that writing it all out helps you think it through. 
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
Quote 1 0
My fog was really messed up. I was so focused on his appauling betrayal of his wife (and her foolish ignorance) that I totally failed to see that I was doing the exact same thing to My husband. It almost became an obsession. no, that is a lie It was an obsession.

It does very much fall into the "as long as they dont know this wont hurt they" category and I was determined to keep that deceipt up (of course at the time I didnt view It as deceipt).

I thing I actually detatched from really and was living in a bit of a game like fantasy. It didnt feel really but It was hugely addictive.
At the back of My mind the logical part of My brain was screaming for me to stop My destructive behavior but I really was like an addict, I would flip flop and indulge in the drama It created 
always emotionally blackmailing My AP for validation. I even could acknowledge and see that that was what I was doing at the time, but I really could not stop myself.

In My case the feelings of feelings wanted and chosen over his wife were huge. I know It is sick, but I actually had to get help. Telling My husband was the only way I knew of to break the addictive same cycle and break free from were I was.

I felt like I had ruined My marriage and My affair was all I had left to like for. Plan B was to kill myself because I had totally messed up everything. It is a really dark place. At least as a BS you knew you are not the guilty party. I repentant WS knows they are living a nightmare of their own creation. (and yes as you keep reminding us, nobody forced us).

I am so blessed that telling my husband put a stop to the going back. I never everything want to be that out of control of my like again.

The fog is disorientating and addictive. 

Once you are out of It, you despise the person you became. 

You may chose to judge me because you think you would never consider doing such a thing. Five years ago I would have thought the same thing. "I would never do that", some like to think that they have a stronger set of ethics or something like that...I thought so too so...

Judge away. 
Quote 5 0
That's interesting; my wife also says she needed to tell me in order to stop. 

I don't feel any particar moral superiority. I am 100% certain however that I'd never cheat. That is not because I am an incredibly moral guy; I am just normal. It is because I have seen too much and experienced too much to be taken over by the feelings that would lead to an affair. Quite simply, if I met a woman and felt an overwhelming attraction and sense that we were made for each other and all that, my very hard-earned skepticism would prevent me from misperceiving those feelings as real feelings. In a sense I am too beaten down, old, streetwise, experienced and/or repressed to have an affair. 

It is a bit like how it is much easier for a random young person to be duped into some criminal act, like being a drug mule or whatever, or some scam, than an older person. After you have been through more stuff your sense of danger and your distrust of temptation itself become sharper.

This is one of the reasons (there are others) that I have less capacity to forgive my wife's AP. He was no less streetwise than I am and had much less of a claim to naivety than my wife. 
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
Quote 2 0
Like Anthro, I am 100% certain I will never have an affair.  Above, and more powerful than morals, I would never do something that would enable anyone to accurately tell my kids I was a dirtbag.  If I came across a woman who I felt was my soulmate (I don’t believe in those), I would leave my wife, before I made any movement towards the new woman. 

I’m not a fan of using the word “fog” to describe the mindset of someone having an affair. I don’t have any suggestions for a better one though. Lol. The “fog” has a hint of “not my fault” in it. I would really like to have some further insight into it though. It’s rather hard for me to wrap my head around.

 It is still have a very hard time with how my wife was able to do what she did, and look me in the eye everyday, lie while staring directly in my eyes, lie to our kids.  Looking back, it truly was like she was a different person. I knew “something” was going on. She was crazy. She had started a new job after being a stay at home mom for 15 years. She made new friends at work. There were 3 young women (girls) that she latched on to. They literally texted non-stop.  It was like she was a college aged girl, like her new work friends. She invited them to our house and played college drinking games. She was almost 40 at the time. It was surreal.  Started to curse in front of the kids. It was like she was having a mid-life crisis, at least that what I thought.   Little did I know she also made a new friend in her AP.  
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
Quote 0 0
I am not judging anyone here, but thanking you for your honesty. I don't always like to use "fog" or "mid life crisis" either because I believe they are excuses to not be accountable, but it does really describe things. Sociopathic behavior is exactly how I would describe my WS.  He is still in that place and I wonder if he will ever figure it out. 

Djeremiah - your description of how you were during the A is so similar to my WS, almost sociopathic. What was the turning point for you into realizing this and how did you start to come down from it? 

Sorry - I give you credit for basically doing your own intervention. It takes a lot of courage.  I am interested in when you started to realize this and what may have changed or affected your fog. 



Female BS, two kids age 10 & 13
Married 16 years, together for 23 years total
D Days - Feb 2013, June 2015 and Sept 2017
All with the same OW
Quote 0 0
Sorry wrote:

Once you are out of It, you despise the person you became. . 

This definitely sums up what I’ve seen in my husband this past year. He hates who he was, and what he did. 

I just wish that that helped me heal faster. It’s comforting to see his hatred for his behaviors, but...the hurt remains. Even though, we’re doing so well. There’s so much I still don’t trust, especially his mind. I have such a fear that he compares me, physically, to his ONS partner. I just hope he loathes his behavior so much that it’s impossible for him to do that to me. It’s cruel. 
Betrayed female
2/11/18, d day #1. 
1/2019, d day #2.
Over a decade of unfaithfulness. 
Quote 0 0
I hope this topic continues to be revisited.  I continue to struggle with understanding how my husband could be writing to her on messenger while I sat on the couch just a few feet away.  And how he could look at me the Friday before our anniversary and be EXCITED about leaving, knowing he was going to be screwing her on our anniversary that Sunday.  I just can't comprehend how he was able to be okay and excited about that.  I think, other than the fact that he actually did all this to begin with, that is the part that hurts me the most.

I truly hope more WS will share their insight on this. 
Tired of working on us, so now I'm working on me. 
Quote 3 0
There are psychological maneuvers in play that all people use to justify *something* they know is wrong but have chosen to do anyway. It doesn't have to be an affair. It could be theft, backstabbing, etc. It's simply ego protection. "I'm a good person, and this action is usually wrong, but in my case, xyz makes it OK." 

When it comes to affairs specifically, a future WS walks around with certain vulnerabilities around emptiness, lack of emotional intimacy, boredom, aging, invisibility, whatever. Something they don't know how to address. Suddenly a person appears who piques interest and temporarily obscures what is missing. It's addictive.

The WS and the AP convince themselves it's meant to be, no one will know, no one will get hurt, and they need these stolen moments to make it through the drag of life. They have to believe these things. 

It does seem like another lifetime in hindsight. I believe that once a WS has truly woken up to the reality of the situation, it's almost impossible to go back under that veil and live a fake, destructive life again.
Quote 3 0
It does seem like another lifetime in hindsight. I believe that once a WS has truly woken up to the reality of the situation, it's almost impossible to go back under that veil and live a fake, destructive life again.

I hope with everything I have that this statement is true. It makes logical sense to me. The sad part is that I will never “know” it’s true. I know what my wife did, and exactly what she is capable of. I also know that anyone other person I could be with is capable of the same. I will never feel the same level of safety or certainty that I once knew. It was all bullshìt, my new reality. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
Quote 0 0
I have often wondered if it was true - but that means that I sacrificed 2 decades of my life, the heartbreak of my children and myself, so that the AP would get a great guy who would never cheat?
Because my X had an affair with a serial cheater so I don't think she learned any lessons about hurting people.
Quote 0 0