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User Topic: Compartmentalization
Camalus
♂ Member
Member # 40199
Default  Posted: 2:47 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Can somebody please explain compartmentalization to me? I just spent 50 minutes in IC with my therapist trying to explain the concept to me.

I still canít comprehend how WW separated her married life from her fantasy A life.
Therapist explained it like a person keeping work and home lives separate.

I can sort of understand that because I worked in a field where I could never discuss work outside of work. But that didnít mean I turned my brain off during the drive home.


MeĖBS age 61
Her -- WS age 59
Married for 34 years
One child, 30yrs

Her 'A' 1994(?) through 1998
D-Day 7/4/2013 Yes, I didn't find out for almost 15 years... but the pain is just as bad as if she were with him last week.


Posts: 114 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Near Houston Texas
SerJR
♂ Member
Member # 14993
Default  Posted: 2:58 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It's a psychological form of coping.

A good example would be to look a jobs with super-high stress. The police officer that saw a nasty crime scene, or a nurse that had a child patient pass away. To cope with this, a person will have separate sides of themselves to leave those terrible things (as best they can) at work and separate from their family/home life. They even pull out different aspects of their personality for work or for home (assertive at work, loving at home). It doesn't mean that they aren't distrubed by those things when they go home, or that they have split personalities - it's that they choose that cognitive shift to be able to function better and independently at either.

That is an example of using compartmentalisation in a healthy way. What your WW is doing with the affair is similar, but as an unhealthy reaction. Like your therapist said - she has a reality and a fantasy and doesn't like how they interact with each other and is persuading herself to separate the two so that she doesn't have to deal with the reality.


Me: BH - Happily remarried.
Hope is never lost. It exists within you - it is real. It is not a force in and of itself - it is something that you create with every thought, action, and choice you make. It is a gift that you create for yourself.

Posts: 17093 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Further North than South
Dreamland
♀ Member
Member # 40488
Default  Posted: 3:04 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yes I'm not sure I believe all this shit.. I told my H
Dude you just didn't want to think about what you were doing or how guilty you should feel..because you were having to much fun fucking that whore..
I guess I shouldn't think about it too much before clobbering you in the head. Asshole.

[This message edited by Dreamland at 3:04 PM, October 7th (Monday)]


Me-BS 50 Him-WH 47, DD17
Together since 1993, Married 19 yrs
DDay 3/12,4/12,7/12 EA-PA OW - 25 single husband chasing bastard whore

Posts: 515 | Registered: Aug 2013
hopefullromantic
♀ Member
Member # 16652
Default  Posted: 3:57 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I was going to say something like what SerJR just said, but he can always say it better. Yep.


It's not really a fairy tale 'till the witch is deposed and a few dragons are slain

Posts: 1755 | Registered: Oct 2007
Camalus
♂ Member
Member # 40199
Default  Posted: 7:13 AM, October 8th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

O.K. I think I understand, I just don't buy into it.

IMO it's just a cheep way of avoiding guilt. Like saying it wasn't me, it was my evil twin Skippy.

It does somewhat explain why when WW talks about the A, it's almost a 'third person' viewpoint.


MeĖBS age 61
Her -- WS age 59
Married for 34 years
One child, 30yrs

Her 'A' 1994(?) through 1998
D-Day 7/4/2013 Yes, I didn't find out for almost 15 years... but the pain is just as bad as if she were with him last week.


Posts: 114 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Near Houston Texas
TrustGone
♀ Member
Member # 36654
Default  Posted: 8:56 AM, October 8th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have never really bought the concept of compartmentalization or the "fog". IMO there is no way that the WS did not think about the BS when with the AP, or the AP when with the BS. If that were the case then where did all the lying to cover it up come from? Where did the planning and meeting times come from? The WS had to think about the BS and what they were doing at that time in order to avoid being caught. They had to sneak around to text, to call, to meet. I guess in IMO they just use that as an excuse to help justify what they did in their own minds.

I am a nurse and have saw many deaths. I have cried with patients and with their families. I did not put it in a box in my mind to deal with it only at the hospital. Somedays I was a basketcase at home too after watching a painful death of a child or a patient I had grown fond of. The way I dealt with it was to tell myself that I did all I could do to help that patient and the family and that's all I could do. Then I could let the pain go. That didn't mean I just didn't ever think of it again. I still have patient's that died that I think about from time to time and still have a place in my heart they will always be. No, I did not burden my husband or children with the details of the death or how it affected me, but they certainly knew I had a bad day and that I would deal with it and would be OK. That was one of the problems with XWH#1. He thought I should be able to just compartmentalize my pain and thoughts after a death and not bring it home. He would tell me to just leave it at work. That's one of the many reason's I D him. I didn't need someone that did not let me express my feelings and thoughts. I did not need someone that thought I could just put everything in a neat little box and not think about it when I got home. That is an impossible and unhealthy thing to do because it will catch up with you in time. I saw many nurses trying to do just that and they quickly burned out. Yes, you do try to hold back your feelings to get through the day and take care of your other patients, but you still think about it. For a WS to say they never thought about their BS when with their AP is a bunch of bull as far as I am concerned.


BW-50
WH#2-51
M-9 yrs T-11 yrs
4 children-none together
DD#1-9/5/11 LTA 2yrs
DD#2-7/3/12 False R
DD#3-4/29/13 (OW broke NC)
Status: Your guess is as good as mine.

Posts: 2420 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: Texas
Ostrich80
Member
Member # 34827
Default  Posted: 10:14 AM, October 8th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I've seen it with my ws. It's like myself and his family life are in one box, when he leaves for work, he puts us on the shelf and takes down his porn and ow box. He doesn't mix them and if I didn't know better I would have no idea about his secret life.


BS..me
WS..him
Been with him over half my life
4kid
DD1 10-01-09 DD2 02-12-12 discovered it never ended
OW..nothing special. Just your average skank
Status..#$%@????

Posts: 4932 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: midwest
cantaccept
♀ Member
Member # 37451
Default  Posted: 10:25 AM, October 8th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The only way that I can understand it or explain it is in reference to my own life.

When I was a child, someone very close to me hurt me, I couldn't make sense of it, I justified it in my own head-

he was drunk so he didn't know it was me, so it doesn't count

Put in box, close lid and don't look.

Every time the box popped open, it doesn't hurt me because it didn't count.

Didn't work then, doesn't work now, will never work.

It's really just choosing to not think about it. In my case it wasn't a conscious choice, it was survival.

I think for my h, he was able to "box up" the guilt and then offer himself rationalizations every time the lid popped off.

Just my was of understanding it.

H is still compartmentalizing his emotions. He feels something, it makes him uncomfortable and in the box it goes. Now from time to time the box spills out on the floor. Hoping he will soon lose the lid.


Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.

I would now like to be known as Can!

dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013
wh boots5050
attempted R, it was all a lie

Divorced 8/5/14


Posts: 1316 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Connecticut
jackfish
♂ Member
Member # 40257
Default  Posted: 11:58 AM, October 8th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Dear TrustGone

I am so sorry your x didn't listen to you when a work-related tragedy caused you to feel a certain way at home. God, I could've never done that to my spouse. I do understand that some occupations require confidentiality, but he could've still been there for you anyway. I hope you are/were able to receive some sort of counseling though.


Posts: 88 | Registered: Aug 2013
velvethammer
♀ Member
Member # 40437
Default  Posted: 12:17 PM, October 8th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree with TrustGone on this one because of all the lying they do. They're scheming and planning with the OW BECAUSE they know it's wrong and devastating and then look their BS's in the eyes and tell the lies they came up with with the OW. The lying and cover up are constant issues so how can they really compartmentalize?

Posts: 110 | Registered: Aug 2013
Josephine01
♀ Member
Member # 38511
Default  Posted: 12:18 PM, October 8th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My W, seemed to have his life with her, he worked for/with her, had work conversions, also they talked about how messed up their lives are/were and more or less played house.

Then when he got home he was husband, dad and family man (though he wasn't nice). I see now how he separated the two lives and they only intertwined when he mentioned her name to me. It is almost funny they way he would tell me she made a honey do list for him and things like that, oblivious to how that may sound. He wasn't putting it together so he didn't expect me too.

Personally, I call bull shit. He was being selfish, she was being selfish and neither of them gave a damn about the consequences. Why should they?


Me, 42 BS
H, 61 WH
2 boys 19 and 15 years old
Married 24 years

Posts: 314 | Registered: Feb 2013
NeverAgain2013
♀ Member
Member # 38121
Default  Posted: 12:25 PM, October 8th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't see compartmentalizing as avoiding guilt at all.

I see it as a very effective tool in keeping one's secret life from bleeding into their real life and possibly giving them away.

I just see it as more of the same sleazy mindset they employ to be IN the affair in the first place.

Compartmentalization = cover your ass.


Be careful - that 'knight in shining armor' may very well be nothing more than an assclown wrapped in tin foil.
ME: 50+ years old and cute as a button :-)
Ex-WBF: Just a lying, cheating, gravy-sucking pig - and I left him in 2012.

Posts: 1717 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: USA
Spelljean
♀ Member
Member # 35624
Default  Posted: 12:58 PM, October 8th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think my WH was an expert at compartmentalization even before the affair. Reflecting now back on our life together, he always had the "relationship George" the "friendship George" thing happening.

Anyway, in his case, it wasn't as though he was doing literally anything subconsciously or unconsciously, he still felt like a jerk in his own mind but it was a way for him to keep everyone else involved content and trusting. Until he figured out what exactly he wanted. He never did figure it out!

He knew exactly what he was doing. He even was aware he was compartmentalizing even though he didn't know the term. He knew he had to turn it off and on, to behave in different ways with different people, to keep all the balls in the air.


WH: 41
me: BS, 45
Together 18 1/2 years, married 17
DDAY 8/2/12
OW: EA- friend of 4 months
Status: separated

Posts: 903 | Registered: May 2012 | From: California
Arais
♀ Member
Member # 33628
Default  Posted: 1:31 PM, October 8th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yes I find this hard to stomach. I didn't like what I was doing so I compartmentalized? My problem with this is if he could do it about an A then what else can he do it with? Does that apply to any kind of immorality? Can he steal if he really really wants something and then "compartmentalize" it? It seems to me that this is a convenience. It makes me sick when I have to hear how this is a legitimate coping strategy. I don't accept it!


EA 18 years ago - found out and ?NC
LTA - 2005-2011 with same woman
DD 2011

Posts: 342 | Registered: Oct 2011
Truly
♀ Member
Member # 40715
Default  Posted: 2:15 PM, October 8th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


I thought compartmentalizing was more a way of dealing with trauma, the idea of taking something horrific and locking it away in your mind so that you can continue with daily life.

I don't understand how that works for cheaters. They don't lock the affair away. They spend the time when they should be focussed on their family and spouse devising ever more ridiculous excuses to leave the house, go away, text on phone etc etc.

The affair is real and present all day, every day, in their lives.

It is an aspect of their lives. It is happening concurrently, it's not over and locked away.
Cheaters continue to cheat by hiding the fact that they cheat.

Hiding facts is not compartmentalizing...is it?


There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.
Charles Dickens


Posts: 257 | Registered: Sep 2013
leapyearbaby
♀ Member
Member # 24902
Default  Posted: 11:07 PM, October 8th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I can't explain it any better than SerJr, but I know it does exist. My H was stellar at it.

We are both in the medical field and it some extent compartmentalization is necessary to be able to function. Like TrustGone, we saw some horrific things and needed a way to deal with them. In my experience, people who felt things too strongly didn't last in the field. We had empathy for people injured or ill, but one couldn't IDENTIFY with them or it would drag you down emotionally. I still have calls I will remember to the day I die, but they don't affect me emotionally anymore.

But H's compartmentalization was astounding. After Dday, I would not be able to sleep ad he would fall asleep immediately. I used to look at him and wonder how the hell can he do that? Does it not bother him what he did? It did, but he had the capacity to bury it to deep in a box and securely lock the door. Great coping mechanism for denying his bad behavior.


me BS the Big 6-0!!
him WS 56
married 28 years
together 31
DD 6/10/08
ow #1,2 lta on and off since 1995
ow 3 ons summer 2005
2 D, mine from prior marriage, but he raised them
R'ing...probably not....but then again, maybe....


Posts: 1375 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: Colorado
sad34
♀ Member
Member # 40358
Default  Posted: 2:14 AM, October 9th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My husband tried that and I called BS. I'm like u can't have a LTA and say its compartmentalization because u have to lie and manipulate too much. If u can tell me u r working late or r doing this and that but u know u r saying that because u want to screw ap u know what u r doing.
Or u r texting AP in the home.
It's like they can blurr the two but then say they kept it seperate? WTF!!


Bs: me 32 WH: 36
Dday: July 2012
LTA: 4years (ea, pa)
Dd-4. Ds-2
My life is shattered unsure about R

Posts: 139 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: canada
Ostrich80
Member
Member # 34827
Default  Posted: 4:07 AM, October 9th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Compartmentalization = cover your ass.

I agree with this. ^^^^^


BS..me
WS..him
Been with him over half my life
4kid
DD1 10-01-09 DD2 02-12-12 discovered it never ended
OW..nothing special. Just your average skank
Status..#$%@????

Posts: 4932 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: midwest
TrustGone
♀ Member
Member # 36654
Default  Posted: 6:48 AM, October 9th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you, Jackfish. That is why he is now my XWH#1. Now with WH#2, he was always there for me. That is why his A hurt so much and still does. I figured XWH#1 out along time ago, but WH#2 is a whole new ballgame to be able to carry on a LTA without me finding out. He was such a good liar that I never had a clue.


BW-50
WH#2-51
M-9 yrs T-11 yrs
4 children-none together
DD#1-9/5/11 LTA 2yrs
DD#2-7/3/12 False R
DD#3-4/29/13 (OW broke NC)
Status: Your guess is as good as mine.

Posts: 2420 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: Texas
Topic Posts: 19

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