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Reconciliation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Victim/Perpetrator Model of Infidelity
LA44
♀ Member
Member # 38384
Default  Posted: 10:20 AM, February 25th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow! I am just floored by the insight this thread is creating.

@Kyrie....this is kinda where my head is at right now/last couple months especially.

What's done is done. We cannot change the past and we cannot change each other. All we can do is make choices about how we respond. For me, I refuse to respond in a way that allows the identity of victim to be my primary identity. I'm still searching for what this new identity will be called - healed, transformed, awakened, I don't know. But I do know that what's happened to me will not get the final say about who I am.

Thanks bionic for starting this.



Me: 44
He: 47 WH
Married: 15 years
D Day: December 2012
Affair: Fall 2009 - Dec. 2011
R is not linear

Posts: 2220 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Canada, eh
Razor
♂ Member
Member # 16345
Default  Posted: 10:29 AM, February 25th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

IMO allot of the insistence of the WS being 100% responsible for the affair is due to our being blamed for it.

Theres allot of rewriting of M history that happens to justify what the WS wants to do. Also MCs love to throw the *reasons* into things they can actually work with their clients on. *communication issues* *lack of intimacy* *loneliness* *FOO issues* All those are things MCs and ICs are equipt and comfortable working on.

But I dont see how the BS is NOT the victim here.

If someone puts a bomb in a public space. They dont intend to hurt those people individually. The bomb goes off and they are collateral damage. But those hurt are still victims.

We were lied to. Remember that. As such our WS knew we would be hurt by their actions. And yet they did what they did anyway. And sometimes the lies and the cheating went on for years. Those lies and the treatment we receive in the M amount to emotional and physical abuse. In the case of LTAs we discover that for much of our life we have been manipulated. Controlled. And entire portions of our life have to be reexamined to be understood.

Again. How are we not victims?


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.


Posts: 3418 | Registered: Sep 2007
rachelc
♀ Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 10:37 AM, February 25th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think everyone is in agreement that BS are victims. But placing their identity there and remaining a victim is something that can't happen if there is reconciliation.

What Hosea said about it being a Herculean forgiving effort by the BS - that takes them out of victimhood. It also may take just as big an effort from the WS to fix their shit and be there for the BS as they heal. That brings them out of the perp identity...



his Ddays: 2/10, 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me: 48
him: 52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4696 | Registered: Dec 2010
Ascendant
♂ Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 10:42 AM, February 25th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

What Razor said.

I think we need to distinguish being actually being a victim (which all BS are), and having the victim mindset.

If your spouse cheated on you, then you have been victimized. Period.

The victim mindset is one wherein all the attention paid is to the crime that created the victim. I think it's actually SUPER helpful early on...there needs to be clear defining line between BS and WS in the wake of infidelity, and the '/' between victim and perpetrator will do nicely. It's a very clear issue, because one person's actions hurt the other....if we want to get into intent, etc., it's a much different conversation.

One of the things Razor alluded to up there is that for a while during the affair, but probably before, for many of us BS we were portrayed as the perpetrator BY OUR SPOUSE...which means that they've already shown that they buy into the V/P dynamic....just because the WS doesn't like that dynamic post-DDAY doesn't really mean jack. They already owned it.


"The thing that always seems to be shocking to wayward wives is the simple fact that the man you choose to reconcile with is not the same man you cheated on." - a friend.

Posts: 2006 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Illinois
ILINIA
♀ Member
Member # 39836
Default  Posted: 11:05 AM, February 25th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sorry, a little late to the party!

These are the areas that I continue to struggle with and try to wrap my head around. Both of the terms victim and abuse are sometimes tough to swallow and process.

Victim – I am on better terms with this word. I had no power at the time of the affair, however, I do now. I can choose my own path, but I have to take time to process it and process it in a healthy way. When sisoon first posted about the drama triangle, I read about it for a few days. My husband was a perpetrator during the affair and looking back possibly even before the A started. (Side note: During the affair, my WH played the victim role with me being the perpretrator and COW being the KISA just like model describes.) I think I have processed it and I have chosen not to stay a victim. I have grown, I have power, and I have choices. Every day is still hard and I will revert back here and there, but I bounce out faster. I think the original poster just needs time and not to be pushed to heal faster than she can.

Abuse – This is the one that I still rug sweep to a certain extent. When I first joined SI, a member had written about A being abuse and emotional rape. Well, I quickly tossed that aside because whoa, those are really ugly words. My husband did not do THAT. My husband was caring, compassionate, intelligent, and a family man. I choose him to marry and I gave him my heart, he couldn’t be THAT guy. We hear on SI quite a bit, that the posts that “ruffle our feathers” the most are the ones that hit closest to home. Those terms have rattled in my head for months, but I always set them back on the shelf.

Reading this thread, pulled them back off the shelf for me. If I look at the evidence and lay the A timeline against our family life, I cannot ignore it. If I look at the types of abuse and I am honest with myself, his actions and words during that time checks off several boxes. There are things I denied and just shut the door on, because it was too hard to think that he could be this ugly, vile guy.

For me to some how accept the A, I will use excuses. He was in a fantasy world. He never would have done it if he knew how much it was going to hurt me. He was so disconnected from me and everyone else. Our marriage wasn’t as strong as it could be and we lacked communication skills. He had a tough childhood, so did not have the tools or coping mechanisms necessary to have a healthy relationship. He worked hard and was stressed with work. He was struggling with his role in life and had a MLC. This is my rugsweeping. My justifications and living in my own fantasy world. None of those excuses really mean squat to me. Yes, they are things he needs to address to become a better human being and yes, we can make our marriage better. The truth is I tell myself those things to make the A more acceptable and more palatable. Also, I can pull any one of these pretty little excuses out when my mom asks how we are doing, we both can then justify it together!

We could find thousands of men that fit all the categories above and yet, they choose to remain faithful. He's an adult. He knew it was morally wrong. He knew the expectations of being married to me and being in a monogamous relationship. He had choices like everyone else in this world. He choose to rewrite the rules on our marriage, to lie to me, and to manipulate different situations with me and the kids. He choose to have affair because he wanted to. He knew it was a risk. It was either going to have a high payoff or go bust. He had considered the consequences of it going bust and still went forward. It may not have been our whole marriage, but during the A this is who he was. That is my truth and I am trying to accept it.

I am starting to ramble, but in short, I think I have to go there and remove all the excuses and just process these terms as part of my healing.


Entering R slowly and cautiously...

Posts: 441 | Registered: Jul 2013
Razor
♂ Member
Member # 16345
Default  Posted: 11:10 AM, February 25th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

IMO.
I think helping a BS to heal could be a good way for a WS to heal themself.

By telling the truth and owning it. The WS sees the effect their actions have on their BS. The real significance of what they did sinks in. This is a opportunity for the WS to look inside and see the broken parts of themself and work on that. It makes visible what might elsewise be still invisible.

Also there has to be a relearning of the M history by BOTH the WS and BS. The WS has to see that they lied to themself to justify their intended affair. And the BS has to realize how much of what they believed was a lie.

The WS should try and be there for their BS. They need to cry together. Which is healing.

The problem though is that nobody wants to be wrong. And many WS continue to hurt their BS by insisting they are not wrong. and many put the blame on their BS. Blaming the victim is never a good way to heal.

ETA
If *M problems* and *communication* and all the rest of it were real reasons to have a affair. Then everyone of us. EVERY BS HERE. Would have a affair.

But those arent reasons are they.

[This message edited by Razor at 11:14 AM, February 25th (Tuesday)]


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.


Posts: 3418 | Registered: Sep 2007
SisterMilkshake
♀ Member
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 11:27 AM, February 25th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Re t/j: Infidelity as abuse.

I dunno, being mind fucked by my spouse seems pretty abusive to me. I don't know if there are levels. (serial cheaters vs. a one off) It either is or isn't, imo.

I didn't come to SI with this thought at all. After being here for awhile and reading some similar threads as ILINIA did, I have come to the conclusion, for myself, that infidelity is, indeed, abuse.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9496 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
rachelc
♀ Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 11:28 AM, February 25th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

ILINIA - bless you on your journey. What a brave post.


his Ddays: 2/10, 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me: 48
him: 52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4696 | Registered: Dec 2010
bionicgal
♀ Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 12:00 PM, February 25th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

And while the waywards actions cause extreme pain to a BS, they are actually not directed at the BS

I believe the lies were absolutely directed at the BS. While the interactions with the AP may not be technically abusive, the interactions with the BS absolutely are.

Yes, that is true. Thanks for that.


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is more like a mental break than a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 1858 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
bionicgal
♀ Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 12:12 PM, February 25th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I appreciated what you had to say very much ILINIA, although I am not sure that your excuses are rugsweeping. And this:

We could find thousands of men that fit all the categories above and yet, they choose to remain faithful. He's an adult. He knew it was morally wrong. He knew the expectations of being married to me and being in a monogamous relationship. He had choices like everyone else in this world.

This is certainly true, but I believe also has to be balanced by the fact that infidelity is so prevalent. Somewhere between 30 and 80 percent of marriages are affected, depending on who you ask. So, what are we to make of that? It seems we humans have this enormous blind spot when it comes to self-deception, and simultaneously enormous expectations for what marriages (and monogamy) can sustain when they go untended, or when people hit personal crises, depending on how you look at it.

I am not an apologist for adultery, and I believe in monogamy, but we are not talking about people who have done something aberrant and unusual. They have done something terrible, and unfortunately quite common.


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is more like a mental break than a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 1858 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
Kyrie
♀ Member
Member # 41825
Default  Posted: 12:42 PM, February 25th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yes, bionicgal, this is exactly what the late Peggy Vaughn talked about. The truth is affairs are so unbelievably common. And when you consider other forms of infidelity, like porn use and even stonewalling (that's John Gottman's idea,) then we have unfaithful people all over the place!

And to echo Mrs. Vaughn, the fact that we as a society don't call it like it is, talk openly about its pervasiveness, we're almost enabling it to happen. You want to talk about perpetrators? I'd say we live in a society that perpetrates a culture of infidelity.

By the way, hi ILINIA - I agree with bionicgal, your excuses are not rugsweeping. Our Hs absolutely abused us and I think the "excuses" are what's needed for us to be able to pursue R. They aren't excuses so much as they are simply a means for understanding, which I think is critical for strengthening our ability to go forward with the WS.

The challenge for me as a BS is being able to hold both perspectives at once: what H did/who he was in one hand and what he's doing now/who he is becoming in the other. THAT is incredibly hard to do!


Me: BW, 47
WH, 48
Married 24 years, 2 teenagers
2 year/8 month PA with coworker
DDay#1 01.20.12 - found out when diagnosed with STD
Dday#2 04.04.14 - found out the PA lasted over twice as long as he originally disclosed.
Separated for 6 wks. T

Posts: 191 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: southeast USA
ILINIA
♀ Member
Member # 39836
Default  Posted: 1:21 PM, February 25th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Oh my, we are totally t/j now! Yikes! Should we toss in whether or not we are wired for monogamy or for romantic love too?

This is a really good conversation! I don't have time now, but will respond when I get home.


Entering R slowly and cautiously...

Posts: 441 | Registered: Jul 2013
painfulpast
♀ Member
Member # 41038
Default  Posted: 4:46 PM, February 25th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

First – there are a lot of very brave and honest posts in this thread. I thank all of you for sharing, and making me think about my own definitions of a terrible set of circumstances.

Victim – What I’m seeing here is a case being made between ‘intentional’ and ‘unintentional’. The WS didn’t intend to hurt the BS, it just happened. Collateral damage. I agree with this whole heartedly. I have to say, to me, the intended outcome is irrelevant. The WS knew they were playing with fire. That’s why they hid. That’s why they lied. That’s why they gaslit, and picked fights, and rewrote histories. We were the intended blindsided party – we were just not supposed to know about it. There most certainly was intention – but not of the full on nuclear explosion that happened.

And on that note – I don’t think it matters. If I’m out for a walk, and a drunk driver mows me down, am I not a victim of a drunk driver? Sure, he didn’t mean to run me down, but he was playing with fire. Same with a WS.

Now, what is a victim? Well, it’s any BS, among many other types. How we choose to handle that status shows who we are. We didn’t know we were victims until it was too late – we were victims. That won’t change – we will always have been a victim of infidelity.

The character comes in how we deal with this new ‘label’. Do we stay home, angry, bitter, scornful? Or do we pick ourselves up, dust off, and move on? We can’t not have been a victim. We can not stay in misery.

Just my thoughts on it. Again, thanks to all for sharing. Very insightful topic.


It's so easy to believe someone when they're telling you exactly what you want to hear.....

Posts: 1861 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: East Coast
Topic Posts: 53
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