I can agree with the 100/100 concept actually, that makes some sense. I don't know if you tried to explain it to me a couple of weeks after dday that would be something good for me to hear though.
When dealing with the A the M issues really shouldn't be part of that discussion
Ryebread, this is what I think is the best answer. I did the same thing, when our A conversation starts to go towards an issue with the M I just say we can have a separate conversation about that but I will not mix it in with the A. I think the fault of the A and the possible fault of the M should not even be in the same sentence.
Gonnabe - nails on the chalkboard is exactly how I feel when I read the statement often.
if you tried to explain it to me a couple of weeks after dday that would be something good for me to hear though.
There is a certain someone from the wayward forum who valiantly battles the cause of personal responsibility. About. Every. F*cking. Thing. I am 100% responsible for whatever I brought to the marriage or took away. Just like FWH is.
"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson
Pre-A, I had no issues or problems with our marriage. I was fulfilled and happy being married to my best friend and lover for over a decade. We had the normal challenges of life, and we met them together as a well-functioning team.
Pre-A, fWH's problems were from emotional damage in childhood. He had a fear that I was too good for him which he never voiced to me--he suppressed it. Deep down, he felt that I would only love him if he were successful and invulnerable, despite all evidence to the contrary. He had a gut feeling that if he opened up to me about his abusive childhood, I would realize how screwed up he was and leave him. But he buried all this insecurity and went into denial.
He didn't have any issues with his real wife or his actual marriage. But there was no way I could be supportive, loving and passionate enough to heal him from the issues within himself: low self-esteem and distrust caused by child abuse.
So, there were no big problems in the marriage for anyone to take responsibility for. There was big hidden brokenness in the STBWS though.
Once the A started, fWH went off the deep end. He was miserable, lashing out with emotional abuse. I didn't consider that a marital problem, although he desperately tried to get me to believe it was. I evaluated our parenting, our communication, our sexual relationship--the only thing wrong was that WH was suddenly acting like a lunatic.
At that point, I guess our marriage did have an issue, which was that WH was unhinged, so I 180'd to protect myself. Still not so much a relationship issue as temporary insanity on the part of a panicked, guilt-wracked WH. And detachment for self preservation on the part of a BW.
Sometimes the pre-A marriage is really good. Even when it's not, the marriage did not cause the affair. The WS did.
which was that WH was unhinged, so I 180'd to protect myself.
And detachment for self preservation on the part of a BW
However, just because I built a wall up to protect myself and FWH started feeling unloved and unwanted, doesn't make me responsible for his choices. Not at all. He had options. Fucking OW wasn't one of them.
A betrayed spouse can't morph into a pre-affair knowledge version of themselves any more than a wayward can. The experience has forever changed the narrative.
After the shit show any forensic analysis should be for personal growth and health. Relating it to an environement now toxic by the "a' dump is not helpful. Serious issues can get whitewashed with a, "yeah, but I didn't cheat" brush or become the sole owner of a shame infused wayward (and sadly some betrayed's as well) and small issues that are bellwethers of larger ones can be either dismissed or blown up. Neither given proper perspective.
'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth
Relating it to an environement now toxic by the "a' dump is not helpful.
But what struck me was that just the other day we were discussing if it (the M) was even salvagable, and I said "I really don't know...its so polluted". My EA was first, but her multiple EA/PA/PAs since havent made the water any clearer.
Your post struck a chord.
My marriage was a difficult one for 39 years. I did everything possible to love, support, cherish, encourage, my PD husband and try to make it work. It does not matter how much you jump up and down on your end of the teeter-totter, you cannot make it work if there is no one on the other end. After all that, he went and had two simultaneous As.
I have struggled with this concept, due to all the remarks about "It takes two". I wanted to acknowledge and learn from my mistakes - delved into this with IC. In the end, she said, "Treble, the only mistake you made was not packing his bags for him when he tried to break off your engagement".
I was not perfect, but I was a DARN GOOD WIFE - far better than he deserved. I don't dare SAY as much though, because then it seems as if I'm "not owning my part in this". ( WHAT part????!!!) and I get the knowing glances from people who believe the cliches. Makes me crazy. Why is it that we just ASSUME both people contribute to the issues?? I'm sure that happens often, but it is not a rule!
Life happens. Situations arise.
Jobs are lost.
New careers are embarked on.
Family members have disagreements.
Kids come along.
After pregnancy, PPD can happen. PPD is a REAL thing.
So there will be times that one spouse is giving more than their fair share and the other is taking more. But over the long run, it should all balance out. Isn't that kind of the whole *idea* behind what a marriage is about? Being there *in good times and bad, in sickness and in health*?
So say that a spouse loses his/her job. Is maybe upset because the job loss is considered unfair. Looks for another job and can't find anything. Becomes dejected and depressed. Or has surgery or cancer....and becomes a 'bit' self-centered for a time. Go figure. If you have just received a *bad* health-check....is your priority going to be to make sure that your spouse is well-attended to? No. THAT is the time that your spouse should be there for YOU. That is where *grace* comes into play.
But I cannot recount the number of times that I've seen posts where the poster feels guilty for not *being there* for their cheating spouse as the BS is going through some really horrific life-altering situations--surgeries, cancer, PPD, parents dying, SN kids, etc..... These are situations where it is the spouse's turn to *be there*.
I am just really sensitive to this topic because of my own circumstance.
If you are dealing with an emotionally abusive person and you have to *protect* yourself by either doing a 180 or *accept* the treatment....how is that a marriage issue? That seems to be an individual issue. And keep in mind that people that are being emotionally abused have a hard time realizing that they are being emotionally abused.
I remember in one of my earlier MC sessions...the MC asked if stbx was a *jealous* guy and if that was an issue. I said No. (????) But the only reason that *his* jealousy wasn't an issue at that time was because I had *learned* how to conduct myself in a manner that made it not an issue, so it didn't *seem* to be, kwim? But it really WAS an issue. I remember a time when we were driving on an interstate, stbx had fallen asleep, happened to wake up just as some guy pulled in front of us and waved his hand under his rear-view mirror as if he were swatting a fly....and stbx asked me "why is that guy waving at you?"
At the times when my spidey-senses detected a *problem* in our marriage, *I* was the one that bought the relationship books and implemented the suggested strategies, *I* was the one that went to IC, *I* was the one that booked MC appointments. I even took AD's for a while because *I* was depressed. What was stbx doing during all of this time? Going to strip clubs and cheating on me constantly while reveling in the fact that I was *bettering* myself in order to meet *his* needs.
What a joke.
I could have been *the best wife ever* (and I was) and it would have made no difference. Stbx's internal tapes, thought processes, and skewed perceptions were just so off-the-charts that *I* never stood a chance.
TC won't say it...but I will. I own 0% of my marriage's demise. It rests squarely on HIS shoulders......
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
So here is how I see it, for every personal relationship we are involved in, we are responsible for half of it. Well, the betrayed is not involved in the affair, and the AP can go fuck themselves for all I care, so that leaves the relevant responsibility for that with the WS. As it relates to the marriage, the entire affair is a problem.
As for the marriage itself, being responsible for half of that relationship says nothing at all about where the problems lie. Could be any mix at all.
I am relying on memory for an old episode of Have Gun - Will Travel where Paladin is discussing his dissatisfaction with the bullets from his ammunition maker. The bullet maker makes some sort of comment about why does it matter, and Paladin replies that shooting a man is a very intimate relationship. Now clearly there is a relationship between the man being shot and the one shooting him, and most people would see this as a troubled relationship filled with problems. I have seldom heard anyone claim that both participants are equally responsible for the problems.
Do not back up. Severe tire damage.
50/50 is bullshit. If my husband was a histrorian, I would call him a revisionist.
His emotional abuse was episodic (after every time he was with OW). I did not call it that at the time--I was in shock. I kept talking to him, having sex, giving back rubs, planning nice vacations, trying to lower his stress level. I read about mid-life crisis, irritable male syndrome etc. IC advised me to "seduce him back into the marriage" and I tried that too (initiating sex, new lingerie, etc.).
I didn't just detach right away. I only 180'd when it was clear that nothing I did was helping. It was not a real 180 because I kept being his wife in the basic ways. But I also started all sorts of healthy things for me, and refused to take his shit personally.
Sure, WH and I have worked on general things like communication and conflict management in R. That's part of recovery - creating a new context in which to thrive after this crisis. In improving things like communication, we obviously discuss pre-A behaviors. But none of those things made him vulnerable to an A. His lack of respect, lack of morals, alcoholism, selfishness - those things caused the A. I don't believe my temper, for example, as part of my 50% (using that proportion) made a damn bit of difference in his choice.
I just think the whole 50/50 statement takes the heat off the WS. Because it suggests that somehow, the marital problems were the cause of the A.
eta: Meaning my wall was there for many, many years. Unlike you.
[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 7:38 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)]
However after the initial trauma is over, for me at least, it became more about personal responsibility and taking inventory of what things each of us did or did not do in the M. At this point for me it becomes, WS work through your shit and BS work through your shit.
I do think the meaning of the statement in unique to each couples situation as well. For instance do things get murkier when MadHatters's are involved, the BS was physically or emotionally abusive to the WS for much of the M prior to the A, or it as an LTA that ocurred over the majority or all of the M?
Everyone situation is unique to them but how BS's and WS's view their situation changes over time which is why the statment had multiple meanings for me.
If my husband was a histrorian, I would call him a revisionist.
I agree with RockyMtn - my husband tried to talk to me about marital issues before my affair. And then I proceeded to have one. How could he be 50% responsible for the marriage when he was willing to fix it but I was not?
me (WW/BS): 48
4 kiddos in mid 20's
The conditions we face do not define us. They remind us of who we are and who we want to be.
Thanks, SG, I was going to come back and say the same thing as you, but you said it in your inimitable way.
I thought that was inimicable and I was all set to apologize, but then I saw it said inimitable and I thought hey, she spelled it wrong but wait, that's a word too and why is inimicable trying to tell me it isn't a word so I checked and it is so FUCK YOU WORDS.
IMO the real problem with the 50/50 thing isn't that it can't be a useful tool but the bulk of its application is a post dday distribution of woes. Like it was said back there it shouldn't even be part of the discussion beyond the self-exploration of the WS in looking at why s/he gave him/herself permission to cheat.
IMO it's like saying "His alcoholism is 100% his responsibility but we share 50/50 of the relationship issues" on the way home from detox.
However were we broken as a couple? Yes we were for years...
Did this justify his behavior?
No it didn't.
He could have talked to me, divorced me first or something other than fucking another person. EA and PA with another. That is a cowardly and weak move and it shatters everyone along the way.