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BS Questions for WS's - Part 12

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MidnightRun posted 5/30/2018 11:10 AM

Mrs. Wallop & Hiking,

Both of you were people pleasers pre-A. Has this issue been addressed in ic? Though I'm slightly familiar with Mr.s Wallop's foo issue, did counseling unearth the root cause of the behavior?

[This message edited by MidnightRun at 11:15 AM, May 30th (Wednesday)]

hikingout posted 5/30/2018 12:57 PM

Midnightrun,

I didn't have to dig too deep to find the root of the people pleasing. It was multi-faceted:

I grew up in chaos, a family with little boundaries and lots of yelling and emotional abuse all around. I hated it because I am a calm person at heart. I just avoided everyone's wrath/problems and found many ways to adjust including a lot of people pleasing.

The FOO issues led to a lot of self-esteem and adjustment issues as a young adult. Some dealt with, some not. But, when I married H, I had the calm, easy environment I needed/wanted. But, I kept the people pleasing stuff, giving too much.

What was harder is unraveling decades upon decades of that behavior. Seeing how it was detrimental to myself and my relationships. I would exhaust myself and not have room for myself. I would also keep everyone at arms length by staying so busy. It kept me from having as intimate of a relationship with anyone in my now immediate family.

So, IC suggested that I stop doing EVERYTHING. Yep, I had huge anxiety over this. Not only did I feel like everything would fall apart, but I thought it's how I earned my family. On top of that, I am thinking "Okay, I just blew up my marriage and now I have to go home and tell my H that I am not doing any of the stuff unless it was a necessity. Then I slowly added back what I wanted to do in full authenticity.

I learned that everything didn't fall apart. I still was loved, and that I could do far less and spend way more quality time. It was a lot of choices each day and analyzing when I agreed to do something or when I started to do something why was I doing it? Now, I have returned to doing a lot of things, but they are different and more authentically given. It sounds very strange, I know, but it was a big piece of my work. When I had time for companionship and time to do things I wanted I feel so much more fulfilled. The people pleasing was so empty and it was a cancer for me and my relationships. I would never have imagined how the landscape would change by changing my perception and habits. H loves it, if he wants to go for a walk together, or wants me to run mundane errands with him, or whatever he's not getting "I don't have time". It's taken a lot of efficiency out of our household but we are empty nesters, so it's fine if I wait to do some laundry or if my house hasn't been vaccummed for 10 days. If he doesn't have something he wants clean, he throws it in. The balance is so freeing. I did everything for H, my kids, and the house for so long. Now, I do things that are more creative to show my love, and I don't feel the resentment when I am going a mile a minute and H is watching a program on the TV or something.

I think the way this part of my life was linked to the A was getting validation for nothing - not for things I did. Also, because I had crowded me out I felt justified that I was doing something just for me. Also, the low self esteem wasn't the lowest ever, but certainly that hadn't been healed and having that being seen and validation was a very bad way of trying to fill up this hole I had.

So, the people pleasing was a huge hurdle, but now that I understand it more fully, and it's toxicity, and how life can be better, I am in a much better place.

ETA - I didn't mean I didn't have to do anything to get validation in the A - I just meant I wasn't cleaning up after AP or taking care of him. But, that's probably not exactly accurate because I traded a lot for that validation. It was a role difference is what I meant to say.

[This message edited by hikingout at 1:00 PM, May 30th (Wednesday)]

12and20years posted 5/31/2018 12:08 PM

For those of you who got upset for being outed by your BS to friends and Family- why did you think it would be ok to keep what you did under wraps? MyWH is not speaking to me and is acting like the injured party because I told his friends and Family what he did.

MrsWalloped posted 5/31/2018 15:59 PM

Hi MidnightRun.

I have some similarities with hikingout. I basically grew up being told I had no intrinsic value. And I believed it inside me, if not intellectually. Like if you talked me through it Iíd agree that I had value but I didnít believe it in my heart. Itís like my starting position was I wasnít worth anything and then I had to prove that I was. But my baseline was that I wasnít. So it became a story of ďwhat have you done for me lately.Ē At least thatís how I thought others perceived me. That I was worthwhile and good and deserving of love because I did things for people. And anything fell into that category. From cooking and cleaning, to charity work, to driving someone somewhere and even to being the best mother I could be. Itís only because I did all those things that people loved me or thought well of me, but if I didnít, then they wouldnít.

Like hikingout, my AP said he valued me and loved me for me. I didnít do anything for him. Ha. Of course until we had sex. Then I did for him. And that was my people pleaser mentality coming in to play because I wanted him to keep loving me, or at least saying it, and the more I did for him the more he gave that to me. The sad irony is that really I gave sex to him in exchange for him validating me, which is totally not why I was in the A to begin with.

Weíve worked on a lot in IC. Iíve mentioned before about rewiring my brain and accepting compliments about me as truth and that criticisms donít mean Iím a horrible person. Iíve learned that doing things for people doesnít mean they only love me or think Iím a good person because of it. And that they will even if I donít. Iíve learned to say no a lot. I stopped many activities that I otherwise did and miraculously my friendships and relationships didnít disappear.

I donít know if that answers your question. Please let me know if it doesnít.

MidnightRun posted 5/31/2018 19:25 PM

Thank you, Hiking & Ms.Wallop.

Though there's never an excuse for an affair, I'm interested in those with a credible backstory to their behavior. My X had a similar need for validation, stemming from reasons unrelated to the marriage.

I hope my ex eventually received the help she needed. If not, she's destined to repeat the self destruction that has long colored her life.

islesguy posted 6/1/2018 13:15 PM

Evertrying,

If you think you are in love with them and you are unhappy in your marriage, why did you stay?

I would never in a million years have left my BS for AP, I didn't even like AP, I just liked the attention and sexual attention that I got from her. She was an escape from my problems at home (which were actually problems created in my own head).

islesguy posted 6/1/2018 13:18 PM

12and20years,

For those of you who got upset for being outed by your BS to friends and Family- why did you think it would be ok to keep what you did under wraps? MyWH is not speaking to me and is acting like the injured party because I told his friends and Family what he did.

He is embarrassed and ashamed and putting the blame on you rather than himself. He hasn't yet accepted that he is a cheater, others knowing will force him to accept this. In my situation, I don't have anyone close to me that knows other than my immediate family, but I think it would actually be beneficial if I did as it would make it harder to hide.

journey posted 6/1/2018 16:21 PM

If immediately following Dday your BS had sex with someone else, would you have felt on some level that you deserved it?

Yes, I would not just on some levels but on all levels. Is that healthy? Probably not, but then again my issue has always been my self worth. I didn't think I was worth my BH love years before the A and it doesn't get better after one, at least not right away.

MrsWalloped posted 6/1/2018 17:39 PM

If immediately following Dday your BS had sex with someone else, would you have felt on some level that you deserved it?
You know, this got me thinking and I was surprised at my answer. Yes. Yes, I would have deserved it. I know Iíve said my opinion about RAís and threesomes and all that here. But if he had done that right away as sort of an F-you! to me, like if he got an escort or even had a ONS with a co-worker or something, then yes, I would have hated it, but I would have felt like I deserved it and so much more on top of that too. Now that doesnít mean I think it would be right or okay. Also I would never condone it or agree to it. But if he did it, Iíd understand why he did and feel like I deserved it too. The truth is I felt like whatever he did to me I deserved.

Anyway, it was interesting to me that my answer is yes to your question when itís an emphatic no to the others. Hmmm.

mskitty posted 6/1/2018 18:59 PM

My question is a general one for WS's. What advice would you give to those of us BS's? I imagine as a WS, unless you are a total sociopathic monster, that you feel terrible for what you have done, have spent a lot of time in introspection and are trying to do the "right things" to save your marriage (if in R). What could your BS have done to help YOU help them? Does that make sense? What things did your BS do that made you build up walls even more and maybe not give 100% to R'ing?

MidnightRun posted 6/2/2018 15:59 PM

Did you ever consider ic before infidelity entered the picture?

Carolina52 posted 6/2/2018 16:41 PM

Why did you feel it necessary to have a LTA? And not leave?

Lucky77 posted 6/2/2018 18:51 PM

Hi Carolina,

Why did you feel it necessary to have a LTA? And not leave?

I was having too much fun having both a W and a side chick to rock the boat. I wouldn't call it an LTA so much as hundreds and hundreds of one day A's. AP and I would ask each other where the relationship was heading and we both knew it was heading no where so we had to maximize the fun while we could. A true cake eating experience.

That was all fun and games until my man parts stopped working for W and only for AP as she had the magic anatomy (the one where unicorns and fireworks shoot out of). That was the end of the line for me. Couldn't put W through any more of that. The end of the A.

Itdoesntmatter posted 6/3/2018 06:28 AM

How do you get support IRL for what you did...do you talk to friends, are there support groups or is it pretty much dealing with this all by yourself ( maybe with the help of IC)? I wonder once the A is over and the AP is gone, who is your sounding board? Hope my question makes sense.

Barregirl posted 6/3/2018 07:15 AM

Itdoesntmatter, IRL I do see an IC, and both my H and I are blessed with amazing friends who are always there to listen and offer advice. My older sister is a wonderful resource to both of us as well, as she is a BS. As for dealing with what I've done, I talk about that in IC and with my H. We are in R, so we are working on strengthening our M through honest communication and rebuilding lost connection. My A was never about having a sounding board though, in fact he had no clue I was married. My A was about running from a fear that I had to learn to face head on. And I have had help to do that.

Brennan87 posted 6/3/2018 07:50 AM

The information WS have provided to me has been invaluable and I think each of you who graciously opens up to help us BS understand and try to heal. With that said, I'd like to think I've dealt with her whys of the affair, the lying, the cheating, etc.
What I am still stuck on are two pieces and I'm hoping the WS out there can shed some light on this.

I struggle with my wife removing the specialness that we had. It was us against the world, we were best friends before it turned romantic. It quickly became her and the AP against me and his BW. While she does see that she has removed some specialness, she doesn't feel it's all gone. We have beautiful kids together, we have our memories and special times, etc. I just don't see it that way. What is left? She gave her body to another man, she gave him most if not all of our secrets, she gave him secrecy and deception. She did things we've never done (nor did I ever or will want too). As a WS do you view having any specialness left or do you view as a BS, that it's gone.
Finally, and this touches on the specialness. If during your affair you shared your marital secrets, why did you share them? My wife, shared our upcoming vacations (but left out positives IMO, such as going to Hawaii to celebrate our anniversary, instead it was messaged that we're going to Hawaii on vacation), she shared aspects of my health (that only I shared with her and no one else), she shared our sex life, positions, etc. Nothing seemed to be sacred for her. When asked, why she would think this was okay, the response was "because he asked". I just can't wrap my head around that even if in a bad place in our marriage or her head emotionally, that anyone would feel it's okay to divulge intimiate details of a marriage with a complete stranger. HELP!

MrsWalloped posted 6/3/2018 09:05 AM

Hi mskitty,

What could your BS have done to help YOU help them? Does that make sense? What things did your BS do that made you build up walls even more and maybe not give 100% to R'ing?
There are two different questions there. Both of them are hard to answer. I didnít look to my husband to help me and really I didnít want him to tell me much because then it would seem like I was doing things just to please him and not really work on myself. But if there was something that was specifically bothering him that he needed to talk to me about or if there was a particular behavior it would have been helpful to know so that I could work on it. The other thing is hope. Hope is very powerful. I wasnít looking for promises or guarantees. I could have used more communication from him to let me know that he was paying attention to what I was doing to work on myself. Again, itís very hard because youíre supposed to let go of the outcome so you donít want to be directed with an outcome in mind (if I do this then R will be successful). But I think more communication would have been more helpful.

Your second question is also hard, because while my BH did certain things that caused me to crawl into a shell, it was my fault that he did them. So in my mind, I did them because I caused him to do them. For me it was mostly the shouting and name calling and yelling. I would literally find myself in a fetal position and I couldnít cope. And for me with my FOO issues my mental tape of no self-worth and being horrible would play and here was proof cause look what I did and look what I turned him into. So it would cause me put up a protective wall where Iíd just close off for a bit. More like a self defense mechanism.

Poppy704 posted 6/3/2018 18:13 PM

MsKitty: Iím in the process right now of deciding whether H and I are good candidates for R. Not because Iím not remorseful or because Iím engaging in wayward behavior, but because of the way we have interacted in the past 20 years and how we relate to each other now. So the thoughts Iím sharing are that of a WS at a crossroads, and may be helpful to you.

Do not expect your spouse to guess what you want, if they are missing the mark, TELL THEM AND DONíT BE VAGUE! if you need or want something, speak up. If you need 15 min check ins, say so, do not be vague and then get angry if your spouse doesnít guess right. The idea that a WS(or a BS!) should just magically know is bull shit. Your spouse is not you, you are not your spouse, neither of you are your parents or your siblings or your children or your friends. Every single person on this planet is their own person and has to communicate their own feelings and thoughts and needs. Your WS should be remorseful and caring and should be showing effort, but you both need to communicate.
Which brings me to my next point.... I read the single most brilliant sentence I have ever encountered about relationships while researching how to relate to my obstinate teenager. It read : ďYou are entitled to your feelings, but you are also responsible for your behaviorĒ. MIND BLOWN. Itís perfect and it relates to EVERYTHING. Parent/child, husband/wife, grade school friendships. It is the sentence that I needed to understand before I used my resentment towards my husband to justify an affair, and itís the sentence he needs now when he wants to call me names and say awful hurtful things until tears stream down my face as I sit silently and take it. A remorseful WS will sit and take what their BS dishes out, and logically theyíll understand that their behavior has consequences, but the BSís behavior also has consequences in the form of a larger divide. Punitive actions, screaming, silent treatments, name calling, etc, donít make the BS feel safer, or loved, or comforted, and they donít bring the WS any closer to being safe and loving. It may feel good, momentarily, to treat a WS like a subhuman piece of shit, or a child that must be monitored, or a prisoner, but it wonít bring you closer to the marriage you want. But communication can. Verbalizing ďIím so angry...,Ē or ďwhen you do XYZ it triggers me and I worryĒ, or ďI need you to XYZ do I can feel safeĒ, gets you to the end goal,but raw emotion turned into raw behavior from either party cannot produce a reconciliation.

[This message edited by Poppy704 at 6:15 PM, June 3rd (Sunday)]

Pyrite posted 6/3/2018 23:31 PM

Did you ever consider ic before infidelity entered the picture?

I wanted to try marriage counseling and possibly IC, as well. I have 'reasons' why I didn't find someone, such as; I was in my BS hometown and didn't know who to ask, my BS didn't really 'take advice' unless you had ironclad proof of what you were saying, and he regularly talked about how untrustworthy other peoples opinions were (he did have some valid reasons for feeling this way), and I was somewhat convinced that not only would he not 'take' counsel but there really wasn't anyone in the area that was qualified to give us counsel. Also, I wanted him to take the lead on getting us help, since he was so picky about who he listened to. Now those are "reasons" and at the time they felt insurmountable, but they don't excuse me not trying to get help for myself, ecen if I had to do it without him. So, even though I 'wanted' to, I didn't and chose to be unfaithful instead.

hikingout posted 6/5/2018 10:19 AM

I struggle with my wife removing the specialness that we had. It was us against the world, we were best friends before it turned romantic. It quickly became her and the AP against me and his BW. While she does see that she has removed some specialness, she doesn't feel it's all gone. We have beautiful kids together, we have our memories and special times, etc. I just don't see it that way. What is left? She gave her body to another man, she gave him most if not all of our secrets, she gave him secrecy and deception. She did things we've never done (nor did I ever or will want too). As a WS do you view having any specialness left or do you view as a BS, that it's gone.

I think this is one of the hardest things in R. It's natural that the BS feels this way, and the WS didn't experience it in the same way so yes we still feel the specialness.

I think that what happens on our end is that we know what was authentic and true about our marriage. When we betray, the BS doesn't know what to believe about any of it, even pre-A. You don't know what side is up.

For me, I still cherish the memories that I have with my H pre-A. And, I know I created this issue for him, so I feel the only thing I can do is continue working on creating a new history. This is why it takes so long to heal after the A - the BS has to have lots of time to get their bearings and then more time of seeing some authentic memories being made. A lot of time deciding if the WS can ever be safe again and at what point that can happen.

So, the only thing a wayward can do is keep doing their best day to day, and keep working on the new history and demonstrating their safety as a partner. Those of us who are remorseful, know that the BS has so much pain and is still giving us the gift of reconciliation. We can see what a strong act of love that is. So, in turn, our gratefulness and love amplifies. It's a very strong imbalance because we know we are more in love with you at this point than you are with us. We can only hope that we can restore, renew, and refurbish.

But, yes, I feel that my relationship with my H is the most special relationship that I have ever experienced and I am thankful for each new day that I have with him.


Finally, and this touches on the specialness. If during your affair you shared your marital secrets, why did you share them? My wife, shared our upcoming vacations (but left out positives IMO, such as going to Hawaii to celebrate our anniversary, instead it was messaged that we're going to Hawaii on vacation), she shared aspects of my health (that only I shared with her and no one else), she shared our sex life, positions, etc. Nothing seemed to be sacred for her. When asked, why she would think this was okay, the response was "because he asked". I just can't wrap my head around that even if in a bad place in our marriage or her head emotionally, that anyone would feel it's okay to divulge intimiate details of a marriage with a complete stranger. HELP!

The AP in my situation and myself didn't spend a lot of time discussing spouses. But, we did talk about them some. First, and gently, they are a complete stranger to you - but not to us. There is an intimate bond being cultivated in an A, so it's not that strange to us at the time. It's another betrayal, but the ultimate betrayal is occurring and it's larger, so there isn't a lot of thought about that at the time it's happening. I don't know what kind of health issues she's divulging, that one is weird because I am not sure how that comes up in context.

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