KANL

My story is very complicated to say the least.  You see, I was the OW 14 years ago and now I am the BS.  Living with the stigma of an AP for all those years, I was never truly happy in my marriage even though he chose me.  I was insecure and had trust issues despite the two beautiful children we made and all the good times we had.  My insecurities turned me into a violent and disrespectful wife.  Along with his life stresses (failed business, losing a relationship with a daughter from previous marriage, & work issues), my demeaning words emasculated him. According to him, this was the reason he could not love me anymore.  While we promised each other that the cheating cycle would end with us, he became a “WS” again and we have come full circle.  It has been 2.5 months since DDay and the OW was a co-worker.

What makes my story complicated is that he does not believe it was an “affair,” even though we are still married.  His reason being that I had already kicked him out.  To him, he saw it that I was done with the marriage and so was he.  In my defense, I thought that by making him leave, he would take it as a mental break to deal with his own issues, not a green light.  To me, it was definitely an affair and flirtation most likely occurred while he was still living with me.  What does everyone think?  Is it an affair if you have already checked out of the marriage?

At this point, I do not know any details about his personal life.  I do not know if he is still with the OW or not.  He has no desire to talk to me about anything except if it’s regarding our kids.  When I confront him with questions, he has no answers.  In fact, he is not remorseful and only magnifies my wrongdoings.  He is a completely different person and I finally understand what it means to have a broken heart.

I truly believe it is karma and have accepted it.  However, I am having a hard time trying to forgive myself about the past and now... healing from the current situation.  All the signs point to my marriage being truly over, but I still cannot let go and don’t have the courage to file divorce papers. I love this guy and not just because he is the father of my kids.  I know that most will say, “what goes around comes around” and I get it.  So can I really blame him and the OW? They can simply repeat my thoughts 14 years from now.

I am currently in therapy and trying to take it day by day.  I have good days but many bad days.  The good days consist of owning my independence and mostly focusing on my kids.  The bad days are composed of bad thoughts of him and the OW.  I guess my whole point in joining this forum is for support.  I played all roles and can see different points of views. I would appreciate all feedback. 

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Fionarob
Sorry to hear you are having such a hard time at the moment and suffering with all the awful feelings that come with being a BS.  One thing strikes me about your story and that is that you seem to have taken on all of the guilt for being an AP and having an affair 14 years ago.  Two people were involved in that affair, two people made choices that caused the affair to happen and therefore two people were guilty of letting it happen.  I don't think you should still feel the guilt of it after so long.  Your relationship went on to be a marriage where two children were created - good things have come from it.  Presumably you have also been a faithful wife during your marriage.

As for whether your husband has had an affair or not is a tricky one.  Maybe he really did feel the marriage was over and was moving on with his life.  You, on the other hand, have made assumptions that space apart might have eventually brought you back together.  It seems there was maybe a lack of communication about where you both were in your marriage, and  assumptions have been made on both sides that might not be correct.  At the end of the day, the technicalities don't really matter. You are experiencing the pain of betrayal and you need help and time to heal.  You will find lots of support on this forum - it has helped me enormously too.

Finally - know that it will get better.  The pain can seem unbearable at times, some good days  followed by several bad.  But it does get easier. For now, putting your time and energy into your children will help you, it also gave me something to focus on during the difficult times.  Look after yourself.
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blythespirit
Saying that someone has "checked out" of their marriage does NOT justify starting a relationship with a third party. Yes, in my opinion as a BS, what he did was begin another affair. And probably not surprising given your history with him. I'm so tired of hearing the whole "checked out" thing. If that's the case, then DO the right thing, which means be honest with your spouse, communicate that you want out, and then get out. Don't hedge your bets by starting another relationship while you still have your marriage, no matter how bad you think it is. It's a coward's game.
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Kalmarjan
Key Kanl, welcome to these boards. I'm sorry to see you here, under the circumstances.

To answer your question, I have to ask you one. Do you feel like it's a violation of your relationship, his dealings with this other person? If so, then chances are high that it's an affair.

There's no hard and fast rule about what constitutes a boundary violation, only you can answer that. If you feel as if their relationship isn't appropriate, then speak up, and move forward from there.
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KANL
Fionarob wrote:
Sorry to hear you are having such a hard time at the moment and suffering with all the awful feelings that come with being a BS.  One thing strikes me about your story and that is that you seem to have taken on all of the guilt for being an AP and having an affair 14 years ago.  Two people were involved in that affair, two people made choices that caused the affair to happen and therefore two people were guilty of letting it happen.  I don't think you should still feel the guilt of it after so long.  Your relationship went on to be a marriage where two children were created - good things have come from it.  Presumably you have also been a faithful wife during your marriage.

As for whether your husband has had an affair or not is a tricky one.  Maybe he really did feel the marriage was over and was moving on with his life.  You, on the other hand, have made assumptions that space apart might have eventually brought you back together.  It seems there was maybe a lack of communication about where you both were in your marriage, and  assumptions have been made on both sides that might not be correct.  At the end of the day, the technicalities don't really matter. You are experiencing the pain of betrayal and you need help and time to heal.  You will find lots of support on this forum - it has helped me enormously too.

Finally - know that it will get better.  The pain can seem unbearable at times, some good days  followed by several bad.  But it does get easier. For now, putting your time and energy into your children will help you, it also gave me something to focus on during the difficult times.  Look after yourself.


Thank you Fionarob for your response. You hit the nail on the head about my feelings of taking on ALL guilt of my affair.  I have always been judgmental about affairs and now I feel like a complete hypocrite.... even after all these years.  Therefore, I feel like I deserve my current situation and just have to deal with it.  

Communication was definitely lacking in our marriage.  He tends to be the passive aggressive one which makes me look like I talk too much.  He hears all the things I say but is not listening.  It's frustrating to try and work things out with someone when they have no desire to respond.
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KANL
blythespirit wrote:
Saying that someone has "checked out" of their marriage does NOT justify starting a relationship with a third party. Yes, in my opinion as a BS, what he did was begin another affair. And probably not surprising given your history with him. I'm so tired of hearing the whole "checked out" thing. If that's the case, then DO the right thing, which means be honest with your spouse, communicate that you want out, and then get out. Don't hedge your bets by starting another relationship while you still have your marriage, no matter how bad you think it is. It's a coward's game.


Hello blythespirit-

Thank you for your feedback.  I completely agree.  We have talked about doing the right thing plenty of times because I did not want, what we did, to be repeated.  I have said time and time again, the truth will hurt but so be it.  Unfortunately, he forgot those conversations.

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KANL
Kalmarjan wrote:
Key Kanl, welcome to these boards. I'm sorry to see you here, under the circumstances. To answer your question, I have to ask you one. Do you feel like it's a violation of your relationship, his dealings with this other person? If so, then chances are high that it's an affair. There's no hard and fast rule about what constitutes a boundary violation, only you can answer that. If you feel as if their relationship isn't appropriate, then speak up, and move forward from there.


Hi Kalmarjan-

Thanks for reaching out.  Yes, I do feel that his dealings with the OW is a violation of my relationship.  In the beginning, she was a new co-worker and he had referenced her in simple conversation.  I did not think anything of it because he had not given me a reason to distrust him.  However, I started to notice that she was a regular on his social media and something about it bothered me.  I confronted him about it but he told me I had too much time on my hands and needed to stop with the high school drama.  I then found out that she was best friends with an ex-co-worker of MINE, who I had issues with a few years back.  This seemed way too coincidental.  To prevent further problems, I logged onto his social media and blocked her.  I told him what I did and why I did and you know what he had the nerve to do? He unblocked her and added her back on.  Yes, I know this is getting really juvenile.  But the fact that he did all that despite my feelings of the whole situation, just shows his character.  And why do I still love this guy?  I ask myself the same question everyday. 

I am trying my best to move forward.  I just wasn't prepared for it.
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UrbanExplorer
I don't believe you deserve betrayal just because you were an OW 14 years ago. As a WS, I feel I have to own the choices I made and not believe my husband deserved my affair or brought it on. There were and are problems in the marriage, but I pursued the affair relationship. I feel the same way about your WS. If anything, the drama of your relationship's beginning years ago might have brought him to value having better communication and boundaries this time around. And I agree with Kalmarjan that if you feel your husband's recent actions were violating, then they were.
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