“How can you be mad at your OW’s lies when you were in a relationship based on lies?”

Hi, I noticed your comments on http://rescuingmymarriage.wordpress.com/, which is a blog I have been reading for over a year.

So I have a question:

Why are you mad at your ex-affair partner’s lies? I’m having some interest in this dimension of your recovery because you did commit lies to maintain and have your affair survive for several years. So it’s looking odd (and maybe sometimes hypocritical) to me that in a part of your recovery you’re focusing on lies that this woman had told you. Yet you were lying too. Or lying to have an extra marital relationship with her.

But I’m only asking this with sincere curiosity to know why you have this contrast of being angry at lies from the OW while you too had to lie to keep that affair surviving.

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Actually it’s pretty simple. It’s not hypocritical at all. Have you never told a lie to anyone?  Of course you have.   So if you have, does that mean you should never resent it or feel hurt when someone tells YOU lies?  Are you saying I forfeited all rights to be upset when someone lies to me and manipulates me merely because I lied to my wife?  I can’t accept that theory.   If this were the case, only perfect people would deserve to be treated properly.   And there is a distinct shortage of ‘perfect people.’

What I did to my wife was horrible and that is something I have to carry and make up for.  A horrible mistake.   Epic.   It’s not been easing rebuilding things.

For right or wrong, I was in an relationship with someone else.  It was a relationship that I thought was built on mutual trust and total honesty, even if I had to tell mass lies in order to have the relationship at all.   But not to “her”.    I told her all my inner thoughts.   I trusted her.  And I thought she was telling me the truth as well.  I actually for a long time considered leaving my wife for her, so to say that honest and integrity in the relationship, even if it was an affair, were important to me is an understatement.  It wasn’t just important.  It was EVERYTHING.  Because I didn’t have an affair just to have sex on the side — I could’ve got that from more women, easier and more local, with no strings attached.  With less problems than I had getting sex from my ex-OW.

No, I had an affair to make up for the deficits in my life.  Because my marriage slid downhill and was so poor, and we were so emotionally distant from one another, I got into an affair to BE very emotionally close to someone.  THIS is what I wanted.  I was already living a lie in my marriage before my affair. I wasn’t emotionally close to my wife and I rarely said what I really thought.  I felt isolated, frustrated and lonely.  So of course I was vulnerable to someone whom I thought was a perfect match for me, who accepted all of me, all my thoughts, and who was being totally open and honest with me. Oops, turns out she wasn’t  So of course, to find out that to some extent i was played.  That she lied to me about key things in order to make herself look more attractive to me.  Well, it was a huge betrayal.  Even if it was an affair, I gave it all my energy, all my openness.  All my soul.  All my honesty.  And I come to find out that I didn’t get it back.  Lies were told.  Dirty tricks were played on me.   Secrets were shared in order to hurt me.

You might say, well, isn’t that fair?  You betrayed your wife, so she betrayed you. And maybe in some cosmic justice sort of way it is.  I got what I deserved.

but that doesn’t mean that my ex-OW’s betrayal of me was any less than it was.  What I did I did to MY WIFE, not to my affair partner. I deserved my wife’s anger, hurt. But did I really deserve what my affair partner did to me? Hardly the same thing, is it?

so you can judge me all you wish. Snicker even at my predicament.

But unless you yourself are perfect, and totally honest with everyone in your life, and have never been on the bad end of someone who completely betrayed you…you really don’t have much to say on the subject.

But I was glad to answer the question anyway.

So I am sorry for asking in a way that made you defensive or think I was being critical. I actually had just found your blog by reading http://www.rescuingmymarriage.wordpress.com. From that point, I started reading your blog, and I thought of asking more of an explanation on your anger towards your ex-affair partner :-) .

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No, you are right. I wrote my answer feeling a little irritated.

NOBODY deserves to be lied to and misled, especially when you are being totally honest and forthright back to that person. No matter the circumstances.

I apologize for the “attitude” in my answer. It’s not easy writing this sort of blog, and few Wayward Males do it. As much as my wife and I have recovered, and as much as I’m here writing about the topic, INVITING comments, questions and criticism (open or implied), it’s still a hard topic for me to deal with it times. My natural defensiveness comes out.

I apologize for the tone, but I’m going to leave my response in. It helps me to see exactly how I react on the spot. I have no interest in going back and editing things just to make myself look better.

Again, sorry! It’s not personal.

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  • I think you would say you were “wronged” by the OW and this hurt deeply because you trusted her absolutely. You do seem to get defensive when called on your continued “anger” or reactions to her. You want to get past it but she is still able to trigger you by sending emails etc. My OW didn’t wrong me so I have different feelings like respect and continued affection to deal with. Sometimes I wish I was angry at her and then I’d find it easier to not care but actually it would probably be more difficult because anger is different. You said it “a secondary emotion”

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    Well it IS a two-edged sword. if she had been loving and understanding when I terminated the affair…if she had not told me major lies during the affair and been the person I thought she was…well, I think it would’ve been harder for me to have recovered in my marriage. Many waywards sort of stay on the fence, going back and forth mentally (and sometimes physically) between spouse and lover. But her actions, and the lies I found out about, certainly made it pretty easy to be sure that I made the right decision.
  • Of course I’m still angry. She’s still sending these little messages to rattle us. I’m really more exasperated than angry, I think. I just want her to go away.It’s also this – on TOP of the fact that I feel an incredible amount of shame, guilt and self-loathing for what I did, I have this overlay of feeling like an idiot for allowing someone to get so close to me that wasn’t who she said she was. That betrayed me in a way I’ve never been betrayed in my life. I feel like a moron. I almost blew up my life, and those of my wife and kids, for this psycho. I came pretty close to doing it. Thank God I didn’t. But I can’t believe I almost did.

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  • So your anger is a little directed at yourself for being a fool. I get it. Also a defense mechanism of sorts. I’d be very careful of the OW around the one year anniversary date. Switch off your email for a day or two before and after. Don’t look. Don’t get triggered by something ridiculous she could say or threaten to do. And make sure only you and your wife know where you are going to be.

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    She can’t really “trigger” me. I don’t have good thoughts about her. I really don’t. She can only make me mad. Unfortunately, because of the things she’s already done to me, I can’t afford to just ignore my phone or email on the anniversary. I’m worried she’ll do something stupid. Something to really hurt me. And she still could.

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2 thoughts on ““How can you be mad at your OW’s lies when you were in a relationship based on lies?”

  1. Hmmm. Wonder if you ever considered or admitted that throughout the affair there were signs that she wasn’t who you thought or wanted her to be, but ignored these signs because this would reveal how lacking in judgement you were to have an affair? Admittedly, you weren’t rational or thinking clearly. People in the midst of an affair seldom do. But realizing that may be a blow to those who pride themselves on their rationality, esp since affairs have little or nothing to do with thinking, more about feeling…same for recovery.

    • I don’t think I purposely ignored the red flags about her. I saw them. But I was also completely caught up in the affair too and it tended to cloud my judgment. In a big way. She was meeting all the needs that hadn’t been met in my life and spectacularly so. She was warm, loving, attentive. She was interested in me as an entire being, not just as a provider (the way I felt at home). It was fun, daring, erotic, overwhelming. When i was with her, I felt great. And frankly she was a really REALLY good liar. Even when i called her on the carpet about something, she had a way of diffusing it or escaping responsibility. Of course, looking back, I see things clearer. it’s hard to see anything clearly when you are “head over heels” — and not just in an affair.

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