My husbands 'big' affair ended in June 2019. Of course I had no idea, until October 2019 wjen he started lying about his relationship with another woman and was caught out. It took a long time to slowly pull the threads of the relationship out, but it all came to a head in November 2019 with him arranging counseling and me having a complete breakdown. After his 'confession' in November, (he only confessed to his relationship with AP 2) I couldn't stop thinking a his relationship with the first woman and told him that if he didn't tel me what happened I'd contact her myself. By now it was early December and he finally admitted to his first affair (not the full extent, he left me to find out about the declarations of love by snooping in his computer). I'm still beyond hurt and one of the biggest kickers is that until Dec he was still in regular contact with AP1. Even messaging her on our anniversary, this was while I was having a breakdown over AP 2. I lost a lot if weight, my periods became irratic and I was a total mess, he saw how much hurt he caused me but didn't stop contact untill me was caught out. It makes me feel like a booby prize and like I'm a second or third thought. He says he was trying to normalize their relationship again and they were 'just friends' at this point. 
Wife, mother and kick ass officer 
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After reading your post, what I am left with is not that YOU are the booby prize.  

It seems to me that the question is whether your husband is the booby prize.   That was some next level disrespect- talking to an ex-AP (even as a “friend”) while your wife is having a mental/physical breakdown over your most currrent affair? 

Is he in therapy?  Because he needs a lot of help learning and internalizing the qualities of empathy, compassion and loyalty.   

If he isn’t actively doing SOMETHING to learn about, and foster those qualities in himself (reading about it/listening to podcasts, therapy, support group -  something!) I’d have a hard time moving forward with him.  

Stopping bad behavior is not enough.  Figuring out the how/why, healing the broken parts of yourself and LEARNING emotional IQ -are all imperative for the WS to do for a successful reconciliation in my opinion. 

Keep in mind, his inability to show you love in its healthiest form has NOTHING to do with your lovability, your worth.  It only highlights his brokenness.  

If someone has a Picasso and doesn’t know it and stores it in the attic, it doesn’t become any less of a treasure.  You are a Picasso.  Do not let anyone, including your husband determine your worth.  

I want you to take out a piece of paper and write down all the reasons you are a good person/lovable.  Maybe you’d do anything for your kids, always show up for others, learn new things easily, laugh a lot, etc.  Write it all down.  Read and re-read this list.  We are our own biggest critics so whatever is on that list is likely only half the story.  

Every time you start feeling like a booby prize - look at that list.  By the time you are done reading it, you shouldn’t be questioning YOUR worth - you should be questioning whether HE is worthy of you.  And if he isn’t yet, ask yourself whether he’s on a path to become that person.  

You are loving, loyal and honest.  You are the prize - make sure HE is becoming worthy of that woman.  If he isn’t, or at least on his way, move on.  When people have to face themselves and their poor choices in the aftermath of DD they REALLY show you who they are.  Those who have found themselves becoming something they didn’t want to be will make massive changes for THEMSELVES.  Because they want to be someone they are proud of again.  If they don’t - one of two things are true:

1) They saw themselves clearly and weren’t particularly uncomfortable with the person they’d become.  They may realize that it is “wrong” in “other” people’s eyes and they don’t like that - but they personally aren’t that horrified or even uncomfortable with their behavior.  This person will only temporary changes to make other people “happy” (or at least stop making them feel guilty) and as soon as is possible return to old behaviors.  Because what they did wasn’t the problem in their eyes - just getting caught and how other people perceived it.  

2) They see their behavior as awful, they don’t like who they became - but they feel powerless to change and becuase of this won’t put any effort into growing or learning new ways.  It’s the “I am who I am” person.  Until this person gives up their “victimhood” - they will take the path of least resistance and keep hating themselves while continuing self-destructive behaviors to mask their pain, which will make them hate themselves more.  Until this person gets sick of their own excuses they will just stay stuck and take you down with them.  

So please- take a LONG hard look at your husband and make sure he’s taking real, tangible steps to becoming more transparent, vulnerable and honest with you. Learning to show you empathy, love, and compassion when you are hurting or need his support.  Whether he’s working hard to make sure he is not that same person who treated you so poorly.  

He doesn’t have to be at the finish line (it’s early yet and these are BIG changes we are talking about) but he’d better be CONSISTENTLY TRYING, even imperfectly.  If not, reconsider your commitment to rebuilding.  becuase I don’t want YOU holding the booby prize.  And the guy talking to an ex-AP while his wife melted down is definitely a booby prize.  Hopefully, that was his lowest moment and he’s quickly developing much more attractive and lovable qualities.  

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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Pringle15 wrote:
My husbands 'big' affair ended in June 2019...SNIP...he started lying about his relationship with another woman and was caught out. ....snip.... he saw how much hurt he caused me but didn't stop contact untill me was caught out. It makes me feel like a booby prize and like I'm a second or third thought. He says he was trying to normalize their relationship again and they were 'just friends' at this point. 

I cut out a lot in this to demonstrate the main points, from a guy's POV. (One who cheated, and works HARD to redeem oneself.) 

Okay, for my situation, the weird part of my affair was that my wife was still #1 in my relationship, but because I had sold myself the lie that my AP was somehow my "soulmate," it was easier to justify why I would betray my wife to have a relationship with said "soulmate." That sounds just stupid when I type it, but that was the situation as I saw it. 

So, I think this means that you are STILL the prize, and believe it or not, you are in the top list of priorities right now, just not at the top.

See, I lied to avoid being caught. I only confessed when there was literally no other choice.  

You are supposed to do the work, you make your BS feel "safe."

One night my wife was taking a shower in my apartment. (We hadn't fully reconciled yet, and it was a bit of a hideaway for the two of us.Long story involving family issues...) I was open and honest with her, and we're talking about blocking my AP. I was giving a line about how I wasn't into hurting her feelings, etc. 

My wife just pops her head out of the steaming shower, (and how she could do this without a murderous scream I'll never know, because in her place I wouldn't be so nice...) and innocently asks, "What about me? Don't you care how I feel right now?"

That's when it hit me. Her feelings on this matter, were what mattered here. I was just trying to avoid taking responsibility for my actions, and hurting my AP. Why? Because I didn't want to be the bad guy? I was already the freaking villain in this story. 

I don't think your husband is really there. So, it begs the question. Why is your husband so concerned about the AP's friendship? I'm guessing he wants to come out looking like the best guy, right? But he's the one that crossed the line. That ship sailed, but he's acting like it doesn't matter.  But, to you it does.

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Thank you both for your replys. 

Since December he's been the most amazing loving husband, considerate and caring. Basically the man I always wanted him to be. 

He kept telling me that he'd always told the other women that I was his soulmate and he'd never leave me. He thought this was a good thing, until I pointed out that it was just the cover that allowed him to think what he was doing wasn't as awful as it was. He seems to have honestly never considered that he might loose me, it's horrible to think of the love you give someone being the very thing that allows them to cheat on you.

I can't help but feel bad for him as at the same time. He was working in a very high pressured job full of gossipy, narcissistic 20 somethings that acted that they were on the set of love island. He spent 4 years trying to impress these people, neglecting his family and pretend to be somone he isn't. He thought they were his friends, but when his affair came out not one person contacted him to see if he was OK. He risked everything to impres people that he meant nothing to. He needed to see what and who they are but didn't deserve that either. 
Wife, mother and kick ass officer 
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