[This message edited by SI Staff at 5:40 AM, August 5th (Tuesday)]
It wasn't until my worlds collapsed that I was able to understand the impact of my actions and truly feel remorse for my BS and my family.
* I am a RS (Recovering Scumbag)
* Do as I say, NOT as I did. :-(
* I acknowledge the grace I have received. I know do not deserve it.
[This message edited by pufferfish at 6:00 AM, August 5th (Tuesday)]
"If you don't eat the elephant in one bite, it might trample you while chewing"
ME: WH HER: BS (holesinmybucket)
I do not PM with Women
I had no idea that I was capable of this. I don't know where it came from. I didn't have a traumatic childhood. My parents are still married. I wasn't sexually abused. It just manifested itself inside me somehow. I'm still digging to find my "whys". I'm certain it's related to FOO issues.
Keep digging. The compartmentalization isn't a why. It's more like a symptom than a root cause.
1. Compartmentalized my feelings: "Of course I can love 2 people at one time."
2. Compartmentalized my excuses: "I'm not hurting anyone by having this affair."
3. Compartmentalized my life: "This affair is only happening physically once or twice a year. It really doesn't affect anything."
4. Compartmentalized my justification: "My wife won't care too much if she found out."
I was living 2 completely separate lives. The one life was reality; cutting grass, taking out garbage, going to work each day. The other life was fantasy; spending time with AP, no true day-to-day realities entering into it.
This entire concept has been difficult for BS to understand. How could I tell someone else that I loved them? How could I do this to her and not realize the implications? And it has been difficult to explain. In my head, it seemed so logical, but looking back now in hindsight, I was a fool. And trying to explain this coping mechanism to BS has been extremely difficult.
My BS is a very black and white person - if I told someone else that I loved them, I therefore did not love her. I don't believe this. I know who I love - I KNOW. I want to live in reality; and in reality, I love my wife and always have.
Shutting down the other part of my mind has been one of my minor victories. I work every day on having ONE reality, ONE life.
Currently living apart, unsure of reconciliation. In IC.
I used compartmentalization extensively during my affair. It came in several forms -
This is what I have concluded from the time I cheated during my marriage 10 years ago. I had other compartmentalization for my cheating on her before we were married when I was in college.
Compartmentalized my excuses: "I kissed her once but it was a mistake because we were both really drunk and it stopped there."
Compartmentalized my feelings: "I made a mistake with her but she is just a friend and what I did won't hurt my wife because she doesn't know."
Compartmentalized my justification: "My wife wouldn't understand me having a female friend so it is ok for me to talk inappropriately behind her back because I know there is nothing more to it than just having fun."
My BS can not understand any of this and thinks I am insane to have been able to think this way.
Looking back, I was so naive and stupid.
On the good side, on DD2 I realized how stupid this way of thinking was. It was like a hammer to my head, as I was trying to explain this to BS. Just listening to myself and how stupid it sounded made me wonder how on earth I could ever have gotten to that place. It has made NC very easy.
Of course I want the real world. Of course I want to be with my wife. How could I have been so stupid?
This coping mechanism carried on into my adult life. I still have to compartmentalize to function some days, but instead of stuffing all those compartments away, I can deal with what's in them, in a non-destructive way.
For years, I would use my physical and verbal abuse as a punch line. I would use it to bolster the image of the kid who "made it." Unfortunately, all the crap that I blocked out and compartmentalized eventually broke through and really fucked with me.
When I was working, I was one person. When I was with my wife, I was another. When I was with prostitutes, I was another. When I was trying to seduce other women, I was another. Trying to reconcile all of those facets of ME makes my head want to explode.
For me, having an affair or cheating was a forgone conclusion. I always felt that I was going to do it no matter what and that even though I hated the idea of being a womanizer on some level, I embraced it on another. I have severe trust and abandonment issues and because I never dealt with my issues and compartmentalized, it became extremely easy for me to say, "Fuck this. I am cheating on her before she cheats on me or leaves me."