What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair? - Page 7 - Talk About Marriage
Coping with Infidelity Relationship recovery from the destructiveness of infidelity.

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post #91 of 212 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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Originally Posted by totalfive21 View Post
In response to the original question from the OP...

4.5 years post d-day for me, the long term effect of the affair has been deep resentment on my part. At first, when I was so devastated and desperate for my WH to stay with me, I was willing to "forgive" immediately as I did the "pick me" dance. He stayed. I was relieved. I kept the family together for our young son. I was honestly thinking of my son's well being more than my own, but I was also sooooo emotional myself about my marriage.

Fast forward till today. The affair was never fully dealt with. The rugsweeping allowed my WH to get away with the affair with no consequences. But I have detached, at least in part. There were also other problems with the marriage (verbally abusive outbursts on his part), but the infidelity was the lynchpin. I cannot justify ending it right now for the mere reason that I can't get over the past. For my son's sake, I can't do that. My son has NO clue that there were deep problems. I managed to hide that very well.

But my WH's proven problems with marital boundaries make me think that some form of impropriety will happen again. I am waiting for a smoking gun -- any contact with former AP, any form of violating marital boundaries. Even flirting. I have placed a VAR on average every third day for the past few months. Nothing has turned up, but I am waiting. This sounds completely warped, but in part I am hoping to find that smoking gun so I will have ZERO doubts about ending it and moving on. I don't want to make this kind of decision, citing a reason that is 4.5 years old at this point. I know it doesn't matter, but that's how I feel.
I'm so sorry you are going through this. It sounds like his affair and post-affair behavior has consumed too much of your life. Do you go to IC? This can not be healthy way to live.


“But not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood.” ― Robert E. Howard
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post #92 of 212 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 03:08 PM
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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I would love to see a study like that as well. I would guess the many Ws might be happier since they got away with it and on some level the Bs at their sh!tsandwich and stayed. You think over 90% are truly reconciled? Seems a bit high to me.
No, I think 10% maybe are truly reconciled. I say 90% are still just trying to keep it all buried under the rug.
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post #93 of 212 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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No, I think 10% maybe are truly reconciled. I say 90% are still just trying to keep it all buried under the rug.
Oh ok sorry for misunderstanding..yeah I agree big time...any "reconciled" spouse who still talks about their WS's affair is not reconciled but desperately trying to find reasons to stay.

“But not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood.” ― Robert E. Howard
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post #94 of 212 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 03:11 PM
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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Originally Posted by Truthseeker1 View Post
I'm so sorry you are going through this. It sounds like his affair and post-affair behavior has consumed too much of your life. Do you go to IC? This can not be healthy way to live.
You're right it's not healthy. I have nightmares frequently and spend way too much time obsessing about this.

I went to IC in the immediate aftermath of D-day. My husband refused MC. It felt good to speak to someone but my therapist basically told me I need to give an ultimatum -- MC or I leave. I couldn't deal with that and therefore didn't want to see that therapist anymore.

In recent months I have been considering finding a different therapist just to sort out my feelings. A friend recently asked me if I have given up hope of staying with my husband long term. If I'm honest with myself, the answer is no. I haven't completely given up that hope. But I see myself in the future as divorced. I'm in my mid-40's. I have a great job. In 20 years or so I'll probably be retired, and I envision enjoying a solo urban condo rather than a shared retirement home with my husband. It seems far more appealing. That said, I'm still conflicted.

Thanks for reading.
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post #95 of 212 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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You're right it's not healthy. I have nightmares frequently and spend way too much time obsessing about this.

I went to IC in the immediate aftermath of D-day. My husband refused MC. It felt good to speak to someone but my therapist basically told me I need to give an ultimatum -- MC or I leave. I couldn't deal with that and therefore didn't want to see that therapist anymore.

In recent months I have been considering finding a different therapist just to sort out my feelings. A friend recently asked me if I have given up hope of staying with my husband long term. If I'm honest with myself, the answer is no. I haven't completely given up that hope. But I see myself in the future as divorced. I'm in my mid-40's. I have a great job. In 20 years or so I'll probably be retired, and I envision enjoying a solo urban condo rather than a shared retirement home with my husband. It seems far more appealing. That said, I'm still conflicted.

Thanks for reading.
He refused MC, did he go to IC? It sounds like he is not at all remorseful and to be honest you can't reconcile wiht a souse who does not feel some sense of remorse. I dont think WSs ever truly get it but some try to. If he is not even trying and you have a great job, are still young - why stay long term? Get a good therapist, work on you and leave him behnd if he does not do the work.

“But not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood.” ― Robert E. Howard
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post #96 of 212 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 03:16 PM
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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In the beginning you are right, the BS and the children do pay a lot of consequences. However, with some WSs they also suffer, some not so much.

Of course I suffered some consequences. However, I have recovered enough in the last 20 years to be able to smile and can have happiness with my activities. I have not let my wife’s betrayal take away my smiles and happiness. Sokillme, you seem to be concerned with justice and punishment more than healing. Justice and punishment has its place but it does not dominate my dealing with infidelity.

I am more interested in my healing than still concentrating on justice and punishment.
There really is no justice or punishment in these cases. There never will be. I will say that it is tragically unfair, but there is a lot in life that is unfair. Anyway this is what people get wrong about me. I don't couch my opinion about what I think infidelity is but it's not because I want the WS to suffer, in most cases I don't even think about the WS. I am not very positive about R because I think the dynamic is such that think the odds for a healthy relationship are almost nil. I have to be honest I can't point to one story I have read that has made me feel differently. Even the good ones half of their marriage is about the affair. It consumes all aspects of the marriage, I am not going to say that is a healthy marriage. It's a diminishes marriage from what a marriage should be. There is a reason why it's called adultery, it adulterates the marriage.

Even your post, you are basically saying you are happy in spite of your wife. How sad for you that you never got to have a marriage where you were happy because of your wife. Most of you guys sound like this, you don't know what you are missing. It just makes me sad.

Don't worry I am sure Quality will show up soon to tell me how wrong I am and how screwed up I am.

Last edited by sokillme; 04-13-2017 at 03:24 PM.
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post #97 of 212 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 03:19 PM
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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Wow...it sounds like he had serious parental issues. I've written many times before that I know over a dozen children of cheating parents and about half went on to cheat themselves. Now I know my sample is not scientific but what was sad is it didnt matter how brutal the WS's infidelity was to the BS they still grew up to cheat anyway. I do think it has an impact on the kids no matter ow the parents handle it.
Personally I think some of this is genetic like alcoholism. I worry about myself with how my father is.
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post #98 of 212 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 03:20 PM
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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Do you feel your WW got away with it on some level? Just curious...
Tough question ... honest answer ... not sure.

Her A was not nearly as extreme as some of the stuff we read, and I was much tougher on her than most BH's. Post A, the whole power dynamic in our relationship did a 180. However, upon reflection, I don't think she valued the "specialness" of our relationship the same way I did, so she didn't lose as much, because she didn't value it as much. So, I wouldn't exactly describe it as she got away with it, as much as she had a much easier time dealing with the fallout from the A, than I have in dealing with the loss of what I treasured most.
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post #99 of 212 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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Tough question ... honest answer ... not sure.

Her A was not nearly as extreme as some of the stuff we read, and I was much tougher on her than most BH's. Post A, the whole power dynamic in our relationship did a 180. However, upon reflection, I don't think she valued the "specialness" of our relationship the same way I did, so she didn't lose as much, because she didn't value it as much. So, I wouldn't exactly describe it as she got away with it, as much as she had a much easier time dealing with the fallout from the A, than I have in dealing with the loss of what I treasured most.
That is really sad. Your wife doesnt sound like she reflected much on things if that is what you think. How could she not value the specialness? If she doesnt mourn what she has lost how can she value or appreciate what she has?

Do you think shed be as forgiving if you had an A or is she a hypocrite?

“But not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood.” ― Robert E. Howard
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post #100 of 212 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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Personally I think some of this is genetic like alcoholism. I worry about myself with how my father is.
Or it is learned behavior - my mom or dad cheated and I love them so it cant be that bad.


“But not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood.” ― Robert E. Howard
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post #101 of 212 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 03:28 PM
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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He refused MC, did he go to IC? It sounds like he is not at all remorseful and to be honest you can't reconcile wiht a souse who does not feel some sense of remorse. I dont think WSs ever truly get it but some try to. If he is not even trying and you have a great job, are still young - why stay long term? Get a good therapist, work on you and leave him behnd if he does not do the work.
No he did not go to IC either. You're right he does not seem remorseful. Once or twice, close to the end of the affair, he told me that it was the worst mistake of his life. When I told him he made a fool of me, he said, "no, I made a fool of myself." Since that time, on several occasions he has hinted at remorse by saying "I'm so lucky we're together." or "I'm so lucky we're all together." (meaning with our son too). But heavy lifting? Unbridled groveling and remorse? No. Rugsweeping, yes.

I guess I am staying now mostly for my son. He didn't ask for this. Of course, neither did I. But as a parent of a child who is still young, I cannot bring myself to end my marriage because I can't "get over" an incident in the past. BTW, he never admitted the affair became physical. I know they only cop to what was discovered though. It supposedly lasted only 2 months or so, but I found evidence in the following TWO years that the OW at a minimum had phoned him at work.
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post #102 of 212 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 03:28 PM
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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I will never, ever believe that it is possible for a marriage to be "better" because of an affair. The only exceptions I make are: if the BH actually enjoys the thought of his wife having sex with another man or that he truly doesn't care about the sexual part of her cheating. But, these rare exceptions aside, the very suggestion that a marriage can be better is ridicules.
I believe it but it would have to mean there was some form of physical abuse, or that there was no love in the marriage like a shotgun wedding. Not in your normal fall in love and get married kind.
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post #103 of 212 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 03:44 PM
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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I chose not to R after infidelity and, my marriage had other negative factors during its course, that said:

1. My view of human-beings has forever changed.

I now know that there are people in this world who can do great harm to others and think nothing of it; some even derive amusement from it. I am not talking about criminals, serial-killers or despots; I am taking about people who appear to be otherwise nice upstanding citizens and productive members of society. I hate that I learned this the hard way.

2. I feel gullible and stupid.

I am a highly intelligent woman however I feel fundamentally stupid because my exH was able to fool me for so many years and, I had no idea who he truly was. I am also what is termed a “highly empathetic” person. I used to think that was a good quality as long as you maintained strong personal boundaries. Now I think it is a curse because it makes me a target for disordered people (see #1).

Post-marriage/infidelity I have built a life that is productive, enjoyable and peaceful however I live with permanent internal walls up.
This is sad. I wish you could get a different lesson from this. You survived! You were able to get though it. Nothing will ever be as hard except maybe the loss of a child (haven't had that pain). I have been through some hard stuff after getting cheated on. The cheating is worse.

I'll be damn sure that I know I am one strong mother ... You even think about cheating on me and you are gone, bye. You are a friend who does something dishonest to me and your gone. I know I can deal with the pain of separation because nothing could be worse. I will just detox and move on. In that sense you had to be a person of really strong character to hang out with me. My wife's character seems pretty strong to me. It's why I picked her and actually why she survived my dating trial as I like to think of it. So for me I continued to let my guard down because I knew I was strong enough to take it, actually it doesn't seem that hard to take anymore. I have accepted human nature and the fact that in life some relationships end.

I guess what I am saying overcoming being cheated on can give you the tools to be in a very strong position when picking your next relationship. Or just having good relationships in life. Like heat treatment and quenching steel.
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post #104 of 212 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 03:48 PM
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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That is really sad. Your wife doesnt sound like she reflected much on things if that is what you think. How could she not value the specialness? If she doesnt mourn what she has lost how can she value or appreciate what she has?

Do you think shed be as forgiving if you had an A or is she a hypocrite?
It's more than sad ... it absolutely sucks ass. Up to that point, my W had led a pretty easy existence, with the exception of losing her Dad at a young age, and this was her very first real world major life screw up at 42, whereas I had made a few doozies up to that point and all too well knew that life was capable to kicking me in the nuts. The shock of my reaction, losing her two long term friends, and another close work colleague she confided in, caused her to shut down for a time as most conflict avoiders tend to do. However, I have seen her mature through this over the years, and she is more self aware now than she ever has been. Maybe its a delayed reaction, or more likely finally maturing enough to accept and own her ****, but I've seen some real growth in her in just the past 6 months, and being more proactive about "US" every day.

To answer your question, at the time, if I would have went out and had a revenge A, we would have likely blew up, but now that she has accepted how much pain she inflicted, I think she would probably be inclined to give it a shot, but that's just mental masturbation, since I have no intention of putting her in that position.
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post #105 of 212 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

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It's more than sad ... it absolutely sucks ass. Up to that point, my W had led a pretty easy existence, with the exception of losing her Dad at a young age, and this was her very first real world major life screw up at 42, whereas I had made a few doozies up to that point and all too well knew that life was capable to kicking me in the nuts. The shock of my reaction, losing her two long term friends, and another close work colleague she confided in, caused her to shut down for a time as most conflict avoiders tend to do. However, I have seen her mature through this over the years, and she is more self aware now than she ever has been. Maybe its a delayed reaction, or more likely finally maturing enough to accept and own her ****, but I've seen some real growth in her in just the past 6 months, and being more proactive about "US" every day.

To answer your question, at the time, if I would have went out and had a revenge A, we would have likely blew up, but now that she has accepted how much pain she inflicted, I think she would probably be inclined to give it a shot, but that's just mental masturbation, since I have no intention of putting her in that position.

Its interesting at that time she'd have divorced if you had an RA..there is such hypocrisy with WSs it is sickening...they have such a high degree of entitlement and selfishness....I wonder how many, even those who reconcile, come out of their selfishness entirely....

One point of disagreement - your WW will NEVER know how much pain she inflicted since she has had the luxury of having a faithful spouse...

“But not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood.” ― Robert E. Howard
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