HangingOn
“Maybe I have more courage that I knew that telling my husband the complete truth was the only possible way to emerge from the mess I had made of my life.  Perhaps I am lucky to be smart enough to see that this was the only possible way out.”
(This is a WS quote, I couldn’t figure out how to use the quote feature to start a new thread, so I copied it.  Now I can’t find who to reference, but want to say THANK YOU.  You are to be admired and your insight is so welcome in my heart).

Has anyone else reached a point where you realize your WS either can’t or won’t come to this understanding and had to acknowledge they are not the person you thought all along? 
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Sadie
i don’t think my wh had that kind of insight.    He did finally realize that his denial and then trickle truth was causing more damage to me and to our marriage.     He couldn’t see the big picture, that his coming clean would in the long run help.    I think he finally just gave up and said fine!  You think you want to hear it?   Here it is!     
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BeginAgain
I think perhaps that insight sometimes comes easier to women than to men. We're (hopefully) used to examining our feelings, picking them apart and trying to understand our own motives. When are men ever really expected to dig deep and examine who they are, until something like this happens? I think very few of the men who end up as WS were ever given to any degree of introspection and they certainly lack emotional maturity, because so often the whole affair is all about feeding their ego. I commend those who grow up and start the arduous process of figuring out who the hell they are and what drives them in the wake of the destruction that an affair leaves, but a lot of them need an additional wake up call or they're so committed to being emotionally obtuse, they will never get it.
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Vanessa
I have NO professional training so this is not even to the level of "armchair dr phil"  BUT

I think that the cheaters who actually care how much they hurt the people who love them would be hard pressed to face full on the devastation they caused, so they choose to bury their head in the sand - "it wasn't THAT bad . . . ."
The cheaters who are narcs don't care how much they hurt others, only what they can get out of the situation,so they don't see the NEED to know how much hurt they have caused.

I know I would 100 times rather take the awful pain that is BS land than to live with the knowledge that I as a WS CAUSED so much pain to the people who love me.
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Keepabuzz
Vanessa wrote:
I have NO professional training so this is not even to the level of "armchair dr phil"  BUT

I think that the cheaters who actually care how much they hurt the people who love them would be hard pressed to face full on the devastation they caused, so they choose to bury their head in the sand - "it wasn't THAT bad . . . ."
The cheaters who are narcs don't care how much they hurt others, only what they can get out of the situation,so they don't see the NEED to know how much hurt they have caused.

I know I would 100 times rather take the awful pain that is BS land than to live with the knowledge that I as a WS CAUSED so much pain to the people who love me.



I think you’re exactly right here. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Kiki
I know I would 100 times rather take the awful pain that is BS land than to live with the knowledge that I as a WS CAUSED so much pain to the people who love me.


You are right Vanessa.  As much as it hurts,  we as BSs know that we lived our lives with honesty and integrity. We did not cause harm to anybody.  I see the pain, hurt, hate and disappointment everyday that my adult children have for their father and it is heartbreaking to ME.  I can’t imagine being him.
D-Day#1 Dec 19, 2017
D-Day#2 Jan 13, 2018
5 year “on/off affair”
Separated

Married 25 years, together 35
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ThrivenotSurvive
Vanessa wrote:
 
I think that the cheaters who actually care how much they hurt the people who love them would be hard pressed to face full on the devastation they caused, so they choose to bury their head in the sand - "it wasn't THAT bad . . . ."

I know I would 100 times rather take the awful pain that is BS land than to live with the knowledge that I as a WS CAUSED so much pain to the people who love me.


Vanessa - I agree completely.  In the same way that when a friend has a child die and you try for a moment to touch that level of pain to truly empathize, and quickly pull back because the horror and pain is too much.  

I know there have been times when I could clearly see that my husband “touched” the depth of the pain he caused and inevitably he would sob (which he rarely does).  But he had to pull back from staying in that place - because otherwise I think he would have drank himself to death.  Guilt and regret are heavy burdens.  

I think the only way he has found to alleviate the pain of the guilt is to dedicate himself to showing me and our daughter that he loves and values us and will do anything to he can to make sure he never hurts us again (not just in that way, but in every way - he’s become a far gentler, kinder man)

And I thoroughly agree. While the pain of being the BS is hard and you often get angry that your kindness and honesty seem to have been taken advantage of, I’d take it 100,000 times over being the one who inflicted that pain.  

I know how how hard I beat myself up for small failures, I have no idea how I would be able to get past something like that.  
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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anthro
Vanessa wrote:

I think that the cheaters who actually care how much they hurt the people who love them would be hard pressed to face full on the devastation they caused, so they choose to bury their head in the sand - "it wasn't THAT bad . . . ."


I think the fact that you couldn't live with having cheated is a big part of what keeps you from cheating. So if you cheat, you are more likely to be the kind of person who is not particularly tortured by the guilt of cheating.

Then there would be people who cheat and learn a big life lesson from it, changing forever as a result. The problem I have with this is that it is kind of legitimate to have this kind of lesson at, say, 14 to 15 years of age. Maybe even at 25. But to get to to 28, 38, or 48 and still need to experience this to learn the life lesson is not a good sign of overall insight, emotional intelligence, empathy, self-awareness, or bullshít detection ability. 
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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ThrivenotSurvive
True, but it’s not called a midlife crisis for nothing. It may be cliche - but that’s because it’s so common.  
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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anthro
True, but it’s not called a midlife crisis for nothing. It may be cliche - but that’s because it’s so common.  


True, but equally we all know that someone who succumbs to midlife crisis is a sad loser. Literally nobody looks at someone doing the midlife crisis thing and thinks, "coooooool."
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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ThrivenotSurvive
No argument there. 
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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Dirazz
Your never to old to learn life lessons. I am a totally different person than I was 4 years ago. In a much better way. I didn’t have the affair, but I have so much more insight to things that have been in front of my face all along. It just took this to make me look harder. 
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Vanessa
Dirazz wrote:
Your never to old to learn life lessons. I am a totally different person than I was 4 years ago. In a much better way. I didn’t have the affair, but I have so much more insight to things that have been in front of my face all along. It just took this to make me look harder. 


You are right - we have ALL learned lessons from this experience.  I am so glad that you have learned positive lessons.
I, unfortunately learned that I will never be an "all in" fully committed and completely trusting partner ever again.  I learned that I will forever be "waiting for the other shoe to drop" - no more am I able to love with my whole heart.  My innocence is gone forever. I used to be a very trusting person. I no longer fully trust anyone.
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Keepabuzz
Vanessa wrote:


You are right - we have ALL learned lessons from this experience.  I am so glad that you have learned positive lessons.
I, unfortunately learned that I will never be an "all in" fully committed and completely trusting partner ever again.  I learned that I will forever be "waiting for the other shoe to drop" - no more am I able to love with my whole heart.  My innocence is gone forever. I used to be a very trusting person. I no longer fully trust anyone.


I’m right there with you.  Some things that are broken can not be fixed. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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ThrivenotSurvive
Vanessa/Keep - I am so sorry that you both feel that way.  Nothing and no one should have the right to change you so profoundly.  

For a long time I was worried that this would make me feel broken or change my view of the world permanently.  And for a while a battle did seem to rage in me, but somewhere in the last year or so, I refound me.  The part that is still untouched, that no one, not even my husband or daughter have the power to change.  And when I did so, I felt “rebooted” if you will.  

So while I think there are many things in my outlook that will be forever changed, my core - my faith in life, people, the world - really hasn’t.  I just see people’s frailty, their unhealed spots, their skewed perspectives and their lack of self-awareness so much more clearly now that sometimes I feel like I have an uncomfortable level of x-ray vision. 

I hope some time you find that place in yourself or in life that allows you to reboot.

You deserve to have that weight you never deserved lifted off your shoulders.
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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