1) When did that change?
I know it used to be BS's had only been betrayed, and WS's had only been Wayward...
... But those of us who had done both roles... We were Madhatters.
I know there was an argument in '10 that is should be about the marriage, not the person (and it was decided it was about the person)... But I didn't catch the argument coming back around again and the definition going the other way.
<grin> I was on the other side of the argument then (fresh pain, I didn't want to look at myself I wanted to focus on his betrayal not my role), but Ive grown to really LIKE owning my own stuff (so many awessssome Hatters to learn stuff from) so now Im totally bummed!
2) Does that mean all Divorde madhatters are no longer MH, since there is no current marriage?
I'm working on the brevity thing, though failing miserably at it.
1) When did that change?
It never has changed, please don't read more into anything that isn't really there. All that does is confuse our members.
What Staff posted on the previous page is what has always been implmented.
My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.
My brain hurts. Half of me sees the hurt BS i am now and half sees the messed up WS I WAS so I "get" more of where my WH is and why he does things. Basically I want to hit him with a 2x4 and comfort him at the same time. Not sure how it took me six months to get here. Guess the meds were clouding WAYYYYYY more than I could have imagined.
This term applies to members that come to Survivinginfidelity.com® as both a BS and a WS in their current relationship.
You are not a madhatter
You are more then welcome to work through your past WS issues on General if you feel you need extra support.
[This message edited by Deeply Scared at 3:52 PM, March 11th (Monday)]
I dont want to compare the cheating like it was an addiction, but it sometimes feels that way.
DH and I are still far apart emotionally from each other, and that has me quiet lonely. I noticed that I have become resentful, and frustrated and angry. And i know that this is not good at all.
Whenever I want to talk about what I am feeling, and why I think that i am feeling that way - DH turns it into an "of course its my (DH) fault, i cant do anything right" conversation, when really, i just need to know that I am floundering over here.
We promised when we got married that we would sit and work things out...that we would do this right.
We are so far from right right now.
I noticed...I noticed how i was slipping and it made me sick. I started looking at cute guys differently. I would walk by them differently wondering if they were checking me out (I am by far not the most attractive girl anymore, so this also frightens me).
The worst was when we started to have sex the other night. I actually physically had a hard time getting ready for it. It was the exact same way i felt with my XH....
I know where I am, I know where i am never going back to again. But if I wouldnt have done all the work I have - damn how easy it would be to slip back into those selfish ways.
No real reason to post, other then I cant seem to talk to DH about this stuff without it turning into an Right/Wrong arguement.
I don't really know how I missed this thread, but I'm going to take a minute to sob over here with the newfound knowledge that even though I might be crazy, I'm not alone.
I have nothing significant to add right now other than a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has been sharing their stories. Reading your posts gives me hope.
And I badly needed hope today.
I will never stop trying... because when you find 'the one' you never give up. (Cal Weaver)
But I'm really struggling with the comparison thing. I'll be honest - I was almost "relieved" (as SICK as that sounds) when I found out about his affair with OW1. It was heartbreaking (we had a child and had been trying for baby #2, so I was completely blindsided), but I felt like it was my moment to prove to him that I meant it when I said I would one day find a way to make it up to him. I feel like my patience with the trickle truth, the refusal for transparency, his unwillingness for NC because he didn't want to make things "uncomfortable" at work... all of it was my penitence. I *deserved* it. I broke us, and it was my time to put in the extra work to put us back together.
DDay #2 with OW1 was SO different - this time he seemed scared. The fog evaporated immediately. I was pregnant with our second kid and all of a sudden he seemed to realize what he was about to lose. He was incredibly remorseful and willing to put in the work. He initiated NC, gave me all his passwords, never made me feel awful when I asked questions, read all the books with me, read some of his own, and became very transparent. Totally different guy. It took some time, but I felt like at least we were finally moving forward. A few months later, he gave me a new ring and said he'd never stopped loving me.
My point is, in my warped mind of comparisons, I felt like we were "even." I mean, his was far more serious in the scheme of things, but mine was first - that's a pretty tough hit. I deserved what I got.
But now, here I am again. I'm stunned, and I'm angry and want to scream, but feel like I can't because I *STARTED* it. Isn't there some saying about the universe giving things back in triplicate?? Happy dday#3 to me.
OW2 is a married coworker. WH claims he's pretty much relieved that I know because it was winding down and she was becoming difficult to handle. Honestly - that doesn't help - I thought an affair should be easy, MARRIAGE is supposed to take work - not an affair!!
I believe him when he says he's sorry. I can tell by his very demeanor that he's full of self-loathing. He answers all my questions, he cries, he's pretty willing to do whatever I want.
I just want him to be the kind of man who respects boundaries. I get that temptation happens, and mistakes can be made. I know you never say never. -My best friend's husband planted one on me in a drunken moment at a festive summer party about two years ago. HE was immediately shocked at himself (I was too) and apologized to me and asked me not to tell my husband because they're friends and he didn't want it to be weird because that wouldn't happen again. The first thing I did that night after we got home was tell my husband. It was awkward and weird, and he was really cool with it (back-tracking now, I realize he was already having his affair with OW2, so no wonder he was so relaxed about it). My point is, I get that mistakes can happen - but how can a 2+ year PA with a married coworker during the happiest years of our lives be a "mistake?"
How can he do this repeatedly when he knows both the pain of being the BS and the guilt that goes with being a WS??
I realize there's no answer to my question. But if anyone feels like chiming in to tell me I'm not alone in my confusion, it would be very welcome. I just want a hug from someone who gets it and doesn't judge me (and my hats) for deserving it.
4 kiddos in lower 20's
“He has no idea how beautiful the ordinary becomes once it disappears."
[This message edited by rachelc at 7:14 AM, March 21st (Thursday)]
I'll be honest - we're not in IC or MC (yet... this one might put me over the edge). I am terrified of finding a therapist who will make things worse or spending money on something that won't ultimately be helpful. I think I'm afraid of facing it. I feel like we got through it the first two times (my affair and his first one) without professional help... but maybe that's part of the problem. Maybe something was left unresolved?
I told WH this morning that I was really struggling and alluded to the idea that I might need some MC to help us with this one. I'm not fully on board yet with the idea, so I don't really know his thoughts on it. But maybe I should ask for his thoughts. Frankly, I'm at the point where questions are hard: either I don't believe the answer, or the answer hurts!
I don't mind the term MadHatter. It's a crazy place to be though - I can't post on "just found out" (although I'm still reeling because I was so blindsided), and I feel weird whining about my "needs" in "reconciliation" because so many people there are struggling to overcome WS behavior and probably just think I deserve it. (obviously, I have my own issues with feeling like I deserve it anyway).
THank you so much for your response...
Cheating is a choice - I just find that the fact that once you cheat its ALWAYS there, you are always going to have the stigma of cheating on you, and you will have to answer that question honestly whenever someone asks, it mirrors what addicts have to go through in recovery.
My point is, I get that mistakes can happen - but how can a 2+ year PA with a married coworker during the happiest years of our lives be a "mistake?"
Its never a mistake, its always a choice.
And you were never 'even' you were both in the wrong. Nothing was truly solved or fixed, so nothing changed - hence OW2 and 3.
And you didnt 'start' anything...you made a horrible choice and your DH Madhatter choose to stay with you after. Just because he choose to stay doesnt mean you have to.
If I found out DH really did have a PA affair, he'd be on the curb in a heartbeat - even though I had a PA 'first'. I know better, and it almost makes it worse knowing that after all the work I have done on myself and for our marriage, he would cheat on me....all the more reason to kick him to the curb.
Its all about choice. You made yours, he's made his, now you need to make yours again.
Both had DDays and TT
Do not let others be your reference for who you see in the mirror.
Stop allowing people to hurt you, because you don't love you enough to walk away.
Did your H do any work to figure out why this happened the first time or the second?
And you were never 'even' you were both in the wrong. Nothing was truly solved or fixed, so nothing changed - hence OW2 and 3
I especially like this- so true. I realize now that we basically rugswept OW1 - I was so focused on "getting" how the choice can be justified/rationalized, or that I simply deserved it, that I never stopped to consider the WHY of HIS choice. And it's the "WHY" that has him stumped now- he says he doesn't know why, but now I wonder if we had worked more on discussing boundaries (& less on rugsweeping) whether we'd be in this place right now. I don't think one makes this choice when one solidifies their own boundaries to prevent it.
TiredGirl- H appears ready and willing to do whatever work us necessary this time to figure out why he made this choice. I know he just joined SI (although, I don't think he's posted yet- just reading library stuff for the moment before he chimes in). I think it's a good place to start. He's also willing to do IC/MC... We looked a little bit at therapists in our area but feel overwhelmed.
Does anyone have any thoughts about IC/MC, positive or negative, advice in general?
What about you? Have you figured out why you did what you did?
Rugsweeping is never a good idea.
And it's the "WHY" that has him stumped now
I think what gets really confusing is that there is a really big difference between.
"Why did I do this"
"Why did I do this to you"
BS's want to know why they were cheated on specifically, and in most cases, that can never be answered. And that's actually a good thing.
Cheating is never about what the BS did or didnt do....was or was not...what they looked like, how much money they made, ect. In truth, the betrayal had nothing to do with the type of person BS was.
The question that needs to be answered is the first one. If you answer the first one then it can be applied to any current/future relationship forever.
Why did I cheat on my first husband. Short answer was because I choose to.
The long answer is because I allowed myself to feel trapped rather then putting on my big girl panties and leaving.
My FOO issues are that I was most heavily influanced by the Males in my life, and therefore have always needed a male approval above all else.
I had horrible personal bounderies that I honestly didnt know where a problem. I flirted with everyone because I felt better when I was being objectified and wanted, which inturn subconciously screwed up my self-esteem and mental picture of myself and that continued the cycle with needing more attention.
I was the queen of passive-agreesiveness and used it so much that pulling out of it has been almost painful. I cant stand to be in confrontations, so I would just backhandley deal with things. Making myself stand in the moment and deal with the situation right then has been the scariest thing i have done....but its been worth it.
I am willing to bet that most WS's here have all and then some of these issues, but until you SEE them within yourself and reconize the triggers that make you feel these....then you can't ever stop the slide.
I didnt go to much IC or MC, a few times, but not much.
I pretty much bought every single book that I could and I learned from them.
What about you? Have you figured out why you did what you did?
I'm learning that the short answer to this is that I "chose" to cheat. Given the choice to "walk away" or "feel adored by someone," I chose the latter.
The longer answer is that I cheated because I was lonely and selfish. My H was working crazy hours at a new job that we both knew would give us the life we wanted. We had no kids, and we'd moved to an area of the country where we had no friends. So I was lonely (and while this might've once been my "excuse," it is not... I recognize now that my husband is NOT responsible for ensuring I'm not lonely or bored). I was selfish because instead of turning to my H and telling him that I was desperately lonely and wanted to feel important to someone, I allowed myself to get caught up in the flattery of OM. OM doled out compliments like candy. OM left work early to come to the town where I lived and take me out for a drink as a "thanks for solving this problem for me." I felt needed, appreciated, and desired. And I justified the growing friendship with OM because "what harm is there in a drink?" and the idea that we were "just friends." (yes, I have since read and learned a lot from NJF).
A weird sidenote: I can actually remember sitting in a bar across from OM one evening (before anything physical even happened), and I was listening to him talk about his bad day at work. It actually occurred to me at that moment that I was putting effort into listening to this man because I didn't want to be rude, and I could sense he needed to vent. -And then it hit me: I couldn't remember the last time I'd put effort into actually listening to my H talk about work. I knew he was busting his ass at this new job - rookie with something prove to everyone, but at the end of the day, all I felt was lonely and abandoned. I had no idea what HE needed... I only saw what I wasn't getting. (me, me, me, me)
So that's why I cheated: loneliness and selfishness. An opportunity to feel adored and desired presented itself, and like a housewife-cliche, I rationalized and justified my way from "just friends" into "Affair." The sad part is that I think my H was (is?) the kind of guy who, if I had just told him how desperately lonely I was and that I really needed him to see me and put me first just for a little bit, he would've given me some attention. But I never spoke up. Never gave him the chance.
Edited to add:
Undefinabl3 - your comment about "Why did I do this" and "Why did I do this to you" makes so much sense. Just wanted to thank you for highlighting the difference - SO true!!
Wanted to ALSO ask what book, if any, you found most helpful. I've looked through the healing library and book recommendations, but there are so many suggestions, it's hard to know where to start. I loved Not Just Friends - would love another one that hits with the same force of common sense. I've seen a lot of people talk about Love Languages or something... did you read that one?
[This message edited by ms521 at 9:51 PM, March 26th (Tuesday)]