Frustrated by WH justifying the severity of an EA
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Frustrated by WH justifying the severity of an EA

I need your assistance as my H and I are in R and trying very hard to work past this one constant issue. We openly discuss everything and for some reason more often or not, we keep getting back to this one point and I am very frustrated. I need help, because apparently I am not doing a very good job in getting my point across to H.

Here is a very brief recap of my story. WH was cybersexting online to chat sites and having very explicit sex chats with numerous women. (maybe 50-60 women who were 20 years YOUNGER) over a 30 day period. With a few it became more "intimate" where they were privately & secretly e-mailing with "sweet" miss you messages and photos of one another. Upon my initial discovery of the computer history, followed 3 more opportunities of TT'ing and me finding out about secret e-mailing, photos, etc.. Needless to say after 20+ years of marriage, I was devastated. He explains it as an ego boost, feeling inadequate, bored, curious, mid life crisis.

Over the past several weeks we have communicated like crazy, we are in MC and he is completely open, transparent, very remorseful and riddled with shame & guilt. As I mentioned, we discuss our situation often and this site always comes up. He resents the time I spend here (that's another story) and we openly discuss other people's posts and situations on CWI.

The main bone of contention is this: After reading other people's posts, he always "justifies" his actions as he was NOT in a full blown physical A or having an EA with one person specifically (like the stories he reads on here.) He says his A was just stupid random chatting (he now says it was VERY WRONG) and a few e-mails to validate his ego again. His biggest defense is that he was NOT physically or emotionally ATTACHED to anyone and not vested in them. Since his A was not more involved, (like the stories we read on here) somehow his A is "less" damaging. Basically, he says he is WRONG, but he was not as bad as the stories on here.

This makes me feel less validated. Yes, his A was not a PA or a one person EA that went on for weeks/months/years, but his misuse of my trust is still shattered. Please help me in making him understand that you cannot justify his actions on the severity of the A. Or am I wrong? Do you feel that cybersexting and secretly e-mailing random women less offensive? How can I do a better job conveying my sentiments? Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Frustrated by WH justifying the severity of an EA

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This makes me feel less validated. Yes, his A was not a PA or a one person EA that went on for weeks/months/years, but his misuse of my trust is still shattered. Please help me in making him understand that you cannot justify his actions on the severity of the A. Or am I wrong? Do you feel that cybersexting and secretly e-mailing random women less offensive? How can I do a better job conveying my sentiments? Thanks in advance.
I can see your point. I can also see his point. And the both of you are attempting to R. So with that in mind I suppose his "defense" is a valid point, in that (a) he didn't have a PA and (b) he did not get emotional involved, which would suggest that you, as his wife, he feels he remained both physically and emotionally faithful to you.

However, the "fine line" (on your side) is the sexual betrayal, is that correct? He was sexually (not physically and/or emotionally) involved with OW. However, as he sees it, since he seduced these women with words (on a computer) alone, he does not feel that act is as bad as getting involved in the real world.

Yes, it's semantics. I know you are hurting. I know you feel betrayed. But the issues in this particular betrayal involved random and meaningless women on the internet. No phone calls? No promises to meet for real? Any of those invasions of your "real life"? Just asking here as I'm not familiar with your particular story.

I don't know that I have conveyed what I'm trying to say here, but perhaps the discussions between you and your H should involved how you feel about those anonymous OW in the internet, or the seduction with words and how, upon reading what was going on when you discovered this, how this affected your real life emotions and feelings for your H?
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Frustrated by WH justifying the severity of an EA

I'm sorry friend. When he minimizes all this ordeal in order to not feel like crap he minimizes you feelings, invalidate them.
It's the "it could be worse" defense. It doesn't work. It makes it harder on you.
Marriages end due this cheat.
Hope he start to get it soon. He clearly doesn't. He must stop defending himself, his self image. tell him to make his own research with online stuff/EAs, divorce...
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Frustrated by WH justifying the severity of an EA

So...by his reasoning, he is saying you are unworthy of feeling this extreme pain and guilt he choose to put you through because comparatively, he didn't hurt you as bad as he could have?

And you are wanting to reconcile with this man why?
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Frustrated by WH justifying the severity of an EA

"Over the past several weeks we have communicated like crazy, we are in MC and he is completely open, transparent, very remorseful and riddled with shame & guilt. "

You are giving him way to much credit, and credit he has not earned. If he is minimalizing his secret, sexually explicit activity, he is not completely open, and he is not remoreseful. His actions are an attempt to stroke his ego and erase any guilt he might feel.
Guess what? He was unfaithful. That is why you were so crushed when you discovered it. Know why he was hiding it? Because he knew it was wrong and would hurt you. Having that much activity going on smacks of an addiction, but I'm not an expert.
You are feeling less than validated because he is not respecting you, or your emotions, still. If you MC is fine with this, then get another counselor. This is not a true R. In a true R, the WS would acknowledge your pain, not trivialize it. In a true R, the WS would lift heaven and earth to make you feel secure, not suggest it wasn't that bad to begin with.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Frustrated by WH justifying the severity of an EA

Thank you all so much for your replies. Not sure if anyone has ever done this before, but as I stated, H and I are reading this site together and discussed my post above to make sure it is accurate for both of us. After reading the replies, my H feels misread and his reply below is what he is saying/feeling. Please reply back with your thoughts and suggestions of his interpretations of this.

Husband's thoughts: In no way am I minimizing what I did or minimizing her feelings at all. I was unfaithful, I betrayed her trust and severely hurt her. I realize an EA is an EA weather it's involving a woman you know or an anonymous OW. With that said, the point I was trying to make is that our situation/my wrong doing didn't seem as severe as the stories I read here i.e. my husband has been having an EA with a co-worker, I found 200 texts and emails and they have lunch together 3x a week, and are intertwined in one another's lives, the A has been going on for 3 months,etc.....I must say, every time my loving wife comes on here and reads me a new thread like the example I gave, I SMH, get a sick feeling and say to myself how can people do that. My point to her is that I was not emotionally invested in any other one person on a daily basis.

There is not a day that goes by, that I do not feel remorse and shame for what I did to her. There was/is no excuse....I F'd up and made a poor decision to engage in such stupid, phony sex talk to stroke my ego. At this point in our R process, I am trying 200%. We communicate about everything, I feel more connected to her emotionally and intimately than ever before. At the end of the day, I will do anything to regain her trust and live happily together forever. Does that make sense?
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Frustrated by WH justifying the severity of an EA

"I could have shot you in the leg, but I only gave you 2 black eyes. Don't you see how I could have done so much worse???"

Eh sorry but he sounds a bit clueless. If I were in his shoes I like to think I'd have enough common sense to not even try that line of logic.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Frustrated by WH justifying the severity of an EA

So...you had this EA online, for an ego boost. Because your ego needing boosting for whatever reason, or you had a mid-life crisis.

And you say you still feel bad about what you did. Good.
But you also point out, it could have been a helluva lot worse.
So what good does that do? Are you expecting that your BS will magically heal faster than other BS that had a WS that had a long term EA, or a PA?

So...is that another ego booster for him?
Like, "Yea, I may have had an online EA. But at least it didn't go physical!"
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Frustrated by WH justifying the severity of an EA

I had the same thing happen to me it started with the cyber affair and he wrote me a letter stating i was the one blah blah blah and I basically swept it under the rug so to speak and yes he went to MC also to make a long story short my hubby claimed Mid Life crisis also he was 47 I discovered on March 10 that he has been having a PA for about a year just 6 months after he professed i was the one. i have been married 27 years and I am still trying to decide what to do. It starts out innocent enough but until your H realizes that what he did is as real as a PA I think you are in for a world of hurt and I dont want anyone to be where I am now. Good luck and I will pray for you both. Not sure if it matters but the H is 50 and the women he has messed with were also 20 years younger than him
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Frustrated by WH justifying the severity of an EA

He's wrong and disrespectful to argue the "severity" with you. He's in no position to do such a thing. An affair is an affair, and you were hurt and betrayed by his actions. Period.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Frustrated by WH justifying the severity of an EA

Thank you all so much for your replies so far. Any TAM "veterans" care to chime in? For some reason the opinions of others in affair situations is assuring. I just want to make sure our R is as real as it gets!
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Frustrated by WH justifying the severity of an EA

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Thank you all so much for your replies so far. Any TAM "veterans" care to chime in? For some reason the opinions of others in affair situations is assuring. I just want to make sure our R is as real as it gets!
Last summer WS had an EA with a coworker that was about to turn physical but exposure/dday happened first. That said, that doesn't take away the severity of what I found out. The fact it hadn't gone physical was only a matter of timing and the EA was more than hurtful on its own.

Back then WS tried to say things downplaying the severity of what he did but IMO, that was just his fog talking for him, shreds of guilt, whatever. Over time and with IC, and since snapping out of the fog, he understands what he did and the impact it's had on me, him, and our marriage.

I don't know about others but that's the way it's worked for him/us. IMO, the WS has NO right whatsoever to determine how severe of an impact the affair should have on the BS. To me that's just beyond reproach.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Frustrated by WH justifying the severity of an EA

To your H:

What really is the point of arguing what you are arguing? Betrayal is betrayal. Pain is pain. This isn't a misery contest. If you want to help heal your W's wounds, wounds that you inflicted, why not just back off from arguing 'principles' like this? You broke her heart with what you did. That should be enough of an analysis. You broke your W's heart.
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:12 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Frustrated by WH justifying the severity of an EA

The simple line I used.....How would you feel if I had done the same thing?

Give him time to let that sink in. Sometimes they just don't realize it. How long ago did you discover this information?

I am not siding with him...but it does get easier. He is trying...let him know how much that means to you. Also, you said you were in MC with him. Maybe you should bring this up.
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Frustrated by WH justifying the severity of an EA

My FWH's EA lasted about a year. There were no ILY or we should leave the marriage. It was with one married woman. I have often been conflicted about the no ILYs. How could he do it if it meant nothing....but yet he was not in the place to leave. Hang in there. And realize that each person is allowed to feel the way the feel. Recognize both the errors in the marriage. That includes his wrong of the affairs and what lead there. Realize that she was not getting her needs met either.
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