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anthro
Anthro - 

First - I agree. It IS repugnant and is an element that I think I'd have a particularly difficult time reconciling in my head.  It would have been weird enough to want to hang out with your SO and AP - but to include your children??? creepy.

I am curious about your comment that he seemed more obsessed with you than with her.  I felt this about the AP as well.  Weirdly, she had not paid my husband a lot of attention before meeting me.  Nor had he particularly noticed her.  But after meeting me and spending the better part of a day befriending me  - she started paying him a ton of attention.  It was really, really creepy in retrospect.  She began dressing more like me and full-on stalked my social media (I didn't become aware of it until well after DD - but it was likely happening for the entire time.)  I found this seeming focus on ME rather than my husband, very, very uncomfortable.  A friend (who is also a therapist) once said she had "single white femaled" me (the movie from the 1990s.) She felt that she saw something in me, or my life that she wanted to emulate/assimilate/have - and rather than use it as inspiration (as someone more healthy might) she became focused on the trappings of that life - the clothes, husband, daughter (she stalked her too), etc. 


Yeah she actually put him down as an emergency contact school/kindergarten. It made sense as we were helping each other out with collection from school etc, but of course once you put it in the affair context it becomes creepy. 

The AP was unemployed. He had stopped working so his wife was sole breadwinner and he was primary child-carer. But once the kids were in kindergarten/school, he just spent hours every day at gym (he did have a sensational physique for a relatively weedy guy, I admit), and actively refused to look for work even when encouraged and so on. He was a very lazy person, or rather I think thought he was too good for any of the jobs he could realistically get. 

I have a job that some people regard as a bit prestigious, although it is not glamorous or anything. In fact I had to dig deep to change careers at around age 40 and what I did was a very hard move that most people would not find easy and that very few people with my socioeconomic etc background make it into. It was a big deal that I achieved it. I never had silver spoons or anything, far from it. 

But after d-day, during one rant, he was saying, "but you're a racecar driver, you're a racecar driver, you're a racecar driver", over and over. (I am not a race car driver, just using that to convey the dialogue!!). It was extremely weird, like some kind of fixation. I rarely even tell people what I do and when I do, I usually don't get specific (equivalent to, "I work in transport" if I were a racecar driver, if that makes sense.) I am very much not egotistical, genuinely, because I have had some life experiences that knocked my 20-something egotism right out of me. I never, ever once gave him any reason to think I felt superior and in fact we had conversations (before d-day) when I made a point of supporting a non-sexist view of his choice to be a primary parent. 

There were several things like that fixation. He seemed to have developed a fantasy that was basically just taking over my life from me. He was very unskilled at a lot of things that I think grown men should generally be okay at, like using power tools and fixing household stuff, and I guided him or did a lot of it for him. 

It is all absolutely ridiculous in retrospect. One thing though, the affair started before the fake friendship started, so it clearly wasn't all about me. But I think it had a very great deal to do with his feeling like he was perceived as a loser because he was jobless. That manifested in the affair - making himself feel consequential and central to things - and also in his insistence that he "couldn't" work because he needed to care for the kids (when it was really that any job he got would be one he saw as too low status to brag about.) His wife was very well paid and had a lot of employment responsibility. 

There was one bizarre Saturday night, well after d-day, when he came down to our house to talk with me. It was quite surreal. It was meant to help with moving on and I agreed to try it. But all he talked about was himself and how he would be perceived. He kept saying how he didn't want to be seen as an a$$hole. And his specific wording was "seen as". I was pretty cold at that particular time and simply let him go on so I could make my assessment;I didn't get into it except for trying to tell him that he should make an effort to save his family before it was too late (he was dragged away by the police at his wife's request not that much later, and really should have listened to me.) I think one of the reasons he made a really concerted effort to get my wife to leave me for him (once she had confessed the affair to me so it was in the open) was that successfully running off together was the only possible way to still be seen as a "good guy", as in, sure it was wrong to cheat but hey, look at us now, it was true love. He wouldn't believe that I just about pushed her out the door, offered cash to assist, the whole lot, to get her to leave me for him. I didn't want her around except as a completely free choice by her. Actually I didn't particularly want her around at all. 

It's funny I have not thought about this for a while but holy heck it was a surreal, weird time. That period from d-day to about three months later. Insanity.

I should add... this makes it sound like we remained in contact after d-day. We had three separate interactions only. Once a few days after d-day, when he broke down in tears and I held him (again... surreal), once a few weeks later when we nearly had a physical altercation at the children's school, and that Saturday night. Then, after his wife kicked him out, he emailed me for some help and support saying he now realised I'd been trying to help him. I believe he wanted me to intervene on his behalf with his wife. By that time I had moved on from my initial, "okay, I am going to try to do whatever is right here", which might have included my wife leaving with him (which was overall my preference anyway), to being able to see what a truly amoral rat he was. He'd been extremely abusive to his wife and children in the meantime.
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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ThrivenotSurvive
Wow - he sounds like quite a piece of work.  Clearly very insecure.  

Once you gain some distance from the whole mess you start to realize how bizarre it is that you ever felt that it was some lack in you that caused it.  That in no way was the AP better, smarter, more xxx (fill in the blank.)

You start to realize how CLEAR it is that very few of these relationships are based in real love or deep attraction for another’s unique characteristics - and how much is based on unhappiness and a desire to feel special, needed, desired, etc.  

It is really sad - because in their search for meaning, for validation, for importance, they hurt so many. 
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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