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User Topic: Stream of Consciousness Rambling
Tesseract
♂ Member
Member # 39624
Default  Posted: 1:22 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I've lurked on this forum for a while now. My wife -- my betrayed wife, I should say, posts here regularly. It has been cathartic for her, and its our hope that we can use this place as something of an interim counseling session, as our own marriage counselor has been somewhat inadequate to our needs.

I have a fantasy addiction, or I did. I think of it more as escapism, panic, and a very hard time dealing with accountability. In choosing to retreat from the 'challenges' of my life (truly, it was just normal life itself, things most everyone goes through)I involved myself in fantasies that didn't include any part of my 'real' life. I engaged in some heavy duty compartmentalization to do so, and involved myself in a string of emotional affairs.

I lied to those women, myself, and my wife. About who I was, what I was doing with my time, where my attention and energies were. I convinced myself that none of it mattered because it wasn't 'real.'

When my deceptions were inevitably discovered, I blamed my wife. I ducked and covered and shifted blame and refused to take responsibility for my actions. I often wonder where we'd be today if instead of utilizing all of those resources to run away from Reality I'd instead used them to begin to heal the pain I'd caused my wife and our children.

Many things regarding this 18 month journey to the Cliffs of Insanity haunt me daily -- I flinch at my phone and laptop. I shy away from activities that would isolate me from my family. I wonder where my marriage would be, where my family would be if I'd been as engaged with them as I am now. If I hadn't always been so willing to let problems go by rather than tackling them head on.

Throughout everything my wife has been superhuman. In the midst of her own pain she does everything she can to help everyone else, myself included, with theirs. The imbalance of it kills me. I see more and more how much effort she puts into us, into our family. She holds nothing back at all. It's something I am emulating. Much of my self exploration has been in part so that I have more to give to my family and marriage.

Everything is relative. The more I learn about myself and choices over the past year and change the more I see them for what they truly were. The more I understand how everything is connected the more foolish it seems to try to compartmentalize or hide anything. I can't be committed to my wife and not give her all of who I am, wherever I am and whoever I am with. The same goes for our beautiful children.

I used to scoff at all those movies where the inevitably male protagonist had to suffer an improbably devastating life event to actually look at himself and evaluate what the choices he made meant for himself and those around him. The confusion they all experience at the pain of others, when things don't go the way they expected is now painfully familiar to me.

Little things like that jump out at me constantly. Every thought and experience in my life is now evaluated through the lens of the horrific choice I made to emotionally abandon my wife and children. How I view it now, how I viewed it before. I ask myself I lot more questions than I used to. I think it makes me a better human. I wish that the cost hadn't been so high for my loved ones.

The feel of progression, of momentum that I've actually had a large part in creating has been... momentous (you like it). There have been ups and downs as we go through Reconciliation, a real one this time. I feel like the highs are getting higher and the lows, perhaps less frequent. Or maybe its just that familiarity breeds confidence. I'm learning more by the day, moving closer to my wife by the moment (though more work needs to be done on sharing that with her). I have hope. And I have drive. And for once I know where I'm going. It's bittersweet. She's more than worth it. And I hope to be worthy of her.


Posts: 55 | Registered: Jun 2013
Deeply Scared
♀ Administrator
Member # 2
Default  Posted: 2:38 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Tesseract...

You sound very grounded and on the right path towards healing yourself and your marriage.

I'm really glad you shared your story


"Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest." My Mom:)

My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.


Posts: 197248 | Registered: May 2002
KBeguile
♂ Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 8:56 PM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Depending on what you did, Tesseract, you and I might have started on very similar footing. What was your particular "fantasy addiction"? I know mine involved a LOT of erotic role-playing online with goodness-knows-who on the other end of the Internet connection. Ugh.

I completely understand your "escapism, panic, and ... hard time dealing with accountability." That's why I did it. I couldn't face being an adult, and being a child came so easily and naturally. I wanted to be cared for, rather than do the caring. I used porn and ERP as self-soothing mechanisms when I was challenged by something in life.

My BW actually pointed me to your post. If you would like to talk, I'm here. I promise to go easy on the 2x4s until you start to sound like you need them.


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 791 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
UnexpectedSong
♀ Member
Member # 21761
Default  Posted: 5:31 PM, August 2nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Did you shy away from normal interaction everywhere? Including at work?


WW(SA)
"Feedback is the breakfast of champions." - Boris Becker

Posts: 6090 | Registered: Nov 2008 | From: California
Tesseract
♂ Member
Member # 39624
Default  Posted: 8:23 PM, August 2nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Deeply Scared: If I'm grounded then the terrain is uncharted. Sometimes I feel like I know exactly what to do and where I'm headed. Others, the wind blows, the path is covered by shifting sand and all that exists is scourging wind and blistering sun.

KB: Mine varied quite a bit, and weren't entirely restricted to making things up. I'd throw myself into books (and the online communities surrounding them) and sports. Online video games were the primary medium, and my 'fantasies' involved misrepresenting who and what I was -- a married man with children, a full time student. I'd hide those facts an concoct stories for what I did with my time. Mostly for the purpose of facilitating inappropriate interactions with women also involved in those media.

In a way the entire persona was a 'role play.' There was never any eroticism involved, but I did actively flirt and spend rather heinous amounts of time and attention (and in one case money) talking to and interacting with them. Moreso than I did with my wife and children. When I was in the middle of it I never put much stock in how much time I wasted that way, but looking back I find it appalling.

I appreciate both the offer of your perspective and the geometric corrective justice, should I need it. Oddly enough, that tesseract gif was my forum avatar a long, long time ago on one of the aforementioned escapist communities.

Unexpected: Yes and no, I guess. I suppose it depends on how you're defining 'normal' interaction. One of the emotional affair partners was a coworker. But it was never day to day interactions I was afraid of. Instead anything that required a genuine emotional reaction or investment from me sent me running. That unavoidably sent me running from my wife and family. In some ways I think the EAs were a way to interact with 'emotion' that wasn't real, and thus didn't have any opportunity to hurt me or for me to be accountable for it. I hope that answers your question.

[This message edited by Tesseract at 8:34 PM, August 2nd (Friday)]


Posts: 55 | Registered: Jun 2013
KBeguile
♂ Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 11:26 PM, August 2nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The tesseract, even before my awareness of it in the Marvel Universe setting, is my all-time favorite multidimensional figure.

Mine varied quite a bit, and weren't entirely restricted to making things up. I'd throw myself into books (and the online communities surrounding them) and sports. Online video games were the primary medium, and my 'fantasies' involved misrepresenting who and what I was -- a married man with children, a full time student. I'd hide those facts an concoct stories for what I did with my time. Mostly for the purpose of facilitating inappropriate interactions with women also involved in those media.

In a way the entire persona was a 'role play.' There was never any eroticism involved, but I did actively flirt and spend rather heinous amounts of time and attention (and in one case money) talking to and interacting with them. Moreso than I did with my wife and children. When I was in the middle of it I never put much stock in how much time I wasted that way, but looking back I find it appalling.

I completely concur with you on the wasted time and wasted money aspects.

Hell, I wasn't even above pretending I was female in some (obviously anonymous) cases, just so when I made mention of spouse and children, it was a bit more easily written off than if I were a man. In the cases where I was putting myself on dating sites, I would often simply omit my marriage status unless directly confronted.

What are you doing now to both replace those pursuits and to demonstrate positive changes to both yourself and your loved ones? How are you working to change yourself?


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 791 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
Tesseract
♂ Member
Member # 39624
Default  Posted: 4:47 PM, August 5th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't view it as replacing those pursuits. I used them to avoid actively confronting issues in my life. If I've replaced them with anything it has been with being an active participant in my daily life rather than merely reacting. Every day I realize that there were opportunities that I had been missing to make situations better for myself and family. Many of them I find terrifying or potentially painful, until I do them. I know I'm missing numerous other situations where I could involve myself or help my wife more. The thought that there is more I could have done in a given situation haunts me rather relentlessly. I hope it enables me to improve the next time.

Mostly I've been attempting to not shy away from emotion and to limit responses that I've used in the past to shield myself at the expense of my wife. From little things like being more careful with my driving rather than denying that I was ever lacking in caution to not arguing with my wife over whether it is okay for her to feel something.

I've also been reading books and these forums. I've been lurking for a couple of months. I devoured the Healing Library over a couple of days. I talk about what I think and feel and don't flee from emotion.

My wife and I talked about how emotion is pure, rather than scary. I've been trying to take her advice to heart, applying Frank Hebert's Litany Against Fear to all emotions.

I've been reading several books. Some have been more helpful than others. The Nakken books are superb. I'm currently reading Not Just Friends.

I don't think this summary can really encapsulate what this recovery process has been like and the extreme ups and downs. Regardless, I feel like progress is being made towards being a whole human being who can show his loved ones that he cares about them without making them pay for it.


Posts: 55 | Registered: Jun 2013
Topic Posts: 7

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