Help for the Betrayed: Comparison to the Affair Partner

Samuel shares insight on how Samantha healed from feeling constantly compared to the Affair Partner.

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But what if he's ambivalent?

I so appreciate you addressing one of my most difficult issues. Comparison thoughts are my greatest barrier to healing. In your story, when confronted with the question by Rick "Is that what you want?" You were able to tell Samantha "No, I love her, I want to be here." My husband can give me no such assurance. He is willing to do the Affair Recovery work, to be "safe" for me, but 10 months post D-day he remains unsure if he loves me, and unsure if he wants to stay in our marriage. This leaves me with the insurmountable task of trying to prove myself to him, to "win him back," to woo him during a time when I'm crushed and broken. This is why the comparison thoughts kill me. It makes sense that a vibrant, intriguing, adoring affair partner is much more attractive than a clinically depressed wife. How is it then possible for me to help him feel love for me, not his AP, when I'm just a shell of my normal self? I'm in so much pain, I don't know how much more of this process I can endure before having to leave him to save myself.

Not sure this blog was helpful

Hi Samuel,
Most of your blogs have been really helpful....but his one? Not so much. What I heard and what my husband heard were two very different things. 1. I heard your affair partner was extremely voluptous.....so not the affair down on the physical side. Unfortunately, I have to deal with the same physical comparison as well, and it doesn't help to have heard you describe your affair partner with these looks. Even though you stayed in your marriage as has my husband, we still grapple with the knowledge that you got to have these fireworks with someone who looked like that. That comparison in itself is enough to tear a spouse apart for life.
2. I heard you say the affair filled 20% while the marriage filled 80%.....That you were giving up 80% to experience that 20% of eroticism and fantasy. What that implies is that marriage is the boring, routine stuff, while eroticism is addictive and fun and the other 20, happily supplied by someone else. I'm hearing you say that partners find eroticism with the affair partner instead of the spouse. How is that not incredibly crushing to the spouse to hear? How is that not a comparison a spouse can never get over?? How is that in any way helpful to rebuild self esteem and stop the comparison to the other woman? Spouses would die to be treated with that eroticism that affair partners were treated with! Instead, they're busy trying to take care of kids and keep everything going while you have a great time with that 20% that is apparently so addictive and hard to give up because although it's only 20%, it literally outweighs the 80% by its allure and satisfaction. That comparison did not help our marriage tonight. My husband is sleeping in another room after us arguing over your blog. I sit here incredibly upset, and reminded once again, that I didn't measure up to that 20%, and that 20% was worth risking everything for. And this is 3 years after disclosure. I thought I was doing better with the comparisons, but hearing what you said tonight made it inevitable to feel that pain all over again.
It would be very helpful perhaps for you to address this again. I'm sure I'm not the only one who felt this way hearing this blog.

understand....

stillhurting, thank you for posting. i'm incredibly sorry that your night was blown to bits by the vlog. the reality is, it's a 10:03 vlog and i can't cover everything in that mere 10 minutes. I just can't say everything that i could say or else they get too long and i lose people and lose myself.... it's the concept of what we, as spouses, stupidly give up out of self deception. i've committed to never BS people or give them information that isn't true or righteous in intent or directed to help: never to belittle, humiliate frustrate or divide. i'm truly sorry that's happened. my affair partner, to be direct, was voluptuous. not MORE voluptuous than my spouse. but I didn't say that in the vlog. it was a mere comment that describes the mindset of the unfaithful as i try to stay in real time with those who are following my vlogs and going through crisis. i should have clarified that but will now. we get enamored out of self deception, and delusion that our affair partner will solve our problems and issues in life, when in reality, the problem is in fact, US. it's our deception, our dissatisfaction with life and ourselves that we project on to our spouses. when i was able to get healthy, i realized i didn't truly want my affair partner. i was in a cloud of deception and lust and it was due to the dysfunction, NOT WHAT I REALLY WANTED, but what I wanted when i was not healthy and what I thought i wanted. i thnk you have to give credence to how unhealthy the unfaithful can be and how they can think. looking back, i can see, and most unfaithful can see when they get healthy enough, how deceived they were and how they were chasing a fantasy that, (in that little 20%) tempted us to believe all our problems were going to be solved by that woman and 20% (or porn for others or other outlets). But, again, it's the fantasy and deception not reality. it's the cloud of deception we live in. 11 years later, i'm more enamored with my wife Samantha than ever before. i find her to be more erotic than i've ever imagined and absolutely love the healthiness of our sex life which is passionate, erotic and real. not false, like sex with our affair partners that is based upon chemical release in the brain due to us partaking in what we know we shouldn't take part in. we engage in behaviors that are wrong, out of bounds and chemically charged for all the wrong reasons which make it addictive in nature. we experience chemical release with our spouse as well, yet void of shame, condemnation and that horrible feeling after. yet, one must give accurate attention to the deception we give ourselves too. you can't compete with a fantasy. you're not supposed to. knowing what goes on in the mind of the unfaithful is key to understanding the unhealthiness and pain they create for themselves. you can live, falsely, under the dark shadow that you're not enough and you'll never be enough, but that's not accurate or real as we don't see you that way. we don't. so it's hard to get the betrayed to see that we really do want to be with them and they are enough for us. but the damage has been done and it's about repairing the damage. slowly but surely. i hope this explanation can help you understand that i'm trying to explain the mind of the unfaithful...though it's not the totality of the situation. he wouldn't be home if he didn't want to be with you. i'm again, very sorry for the pain and the night you had due to my vlog. i hope this explanation helps you both.

That Samuel, was probably the

That Samuel, was probably the most brilliant explanation of what I percieved to be going on in my husbands brain. It doesn't lessen the pain, or the struggle to forgive or fix the anxiety and low self esteem as a result of his actions from a previously self confident attractive woman. I now feel my age, I see my physical faults with magnifying glasses and I feel unattractive. He did this damage to my personality and self perception. It is very difficult to love someone after they've done that to you. He verbally told her that her chose he over me. It's hard to reconcile the fact that he really doesn't want that, he was living a fantasy and was not thinking clearly. The pain is unbareable most days, still two years on.

I can relate

The damage to my perception of myself is something I am trying to overcome, especially because not only did he tell the AP that he loved her, he also told her he wished I would die. He affaired down in many ways, which has destroyed my self esteem, my sense of who I am. We are now almost 4 years out from Dday 1. He says he loves me and wants the marriage but shows no real empathy and still gets angry and abusive if I ask an affair related question. He says if I could see into his heart I would see that he feels bad about what he did. Wish I COULD see into his heart! I'm not seeing much in the way of actions.
I understand that the mindset of the unfaithful is so unhealthy that they say things they mean at the time but then come to realize how wrong they were. But it doesn't help much to the betrayed to know at one time he wished you were dead so he could be with her. I find it hard to reconcile his words that he loves me now with his lack of empathy or actions to really show it and knowing that he wished me dead at one time makes it hard to want to reconnect with him. I am just trying to put it all in Gods hands and work on me and keep my distance for now.

love2??

Samuel, expain HOW the unfaithful loves 2 persons at the same time ie steak and chopped liver..? This has been a heated topic during our discovery and recovery. Unfortunately with no clear understanding on the HOW to love 2 persons at the same time. And your Vlog added confusion with starting arguments !!
By the way...What is love for the unfaithful...??? Please define/explain.
Please do NOT use the concept or idea of compartmentalizing since God did NOT intended man to use this concept (compartmentize) for reasons like infidelity.

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