Affairs and validation

After all this time in scholars, I’m just now getting to the place where I want to work on a deep underlying issue that I’ve been avoiding – an intense need for external validation. The big way this is showing up for me, and the reason I’ve been hiding from this work because I have a lot of shame surrounding it, is vía affairs. I’ve been married for 12 years and most of them have been rocky. Before I found this work, I would have said that my husband hurt me, didn’t treat me like he should, etc. Now I see that all of it has to do with my manual for him. I know I could cultivate being in love with him and having a good relationship but i really just don’t want to. I don’t actually want to be married to him in and of himself, but I don’t want to leave because I want my kids to have him in their lives. So I guess I’ve basically buffered with a couple of affairs over the years. I told myself that this was justified because my husband “doesn’t meet my needs.” Once I found SCS I realized that’s not a thing and my justification for the affairs became I’m choosing to stay in my marriage and I’m choosing to have an affair and I like my reasons. But as I progress in scholars, I’m starting to see that maybe I don’t like my reason to have an affair. I’ve been seeing my current “boyfriend” for a year and he’s married too. So we aren’t always able to spend time together when I want to. I’ve realized that I make that mean that he doesn’t want me enough to prioritize me and therefore I’m not good enough. I’m on the brink of an epiphany I think that I am looking for external validation in my relationships with other people, and that’s why I am so needy and desperate about those relationships.
Unintentional model:
C – relationships
T – if these men don’t prioritize spending time with me, it means they don’t want me that much and therefore I’m not good enough
F – desperate, clingy, panicked
A – act creepy, passive aggressive; indulge in self-loathing and confusion; buffer with food and shopping
R – I think I’m not good enough; I get stuck in a cycle of self-hatred; I push them away with my bitchy behavior; I’m definitely not who I want to be

I don’t want to necessarily stop my extra-martial relationships. I don’t actually feel guilty about them or anything, though I do feel like “society” says it’s wrong so I try to hide that I do this. But if I’m going to have this type of relationship, I want to like my reasons. Thank you for your guidance!!