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BS Questions for WS's - Part 12

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Lorisa posted 11/1/2018 16:44 PM

My spouse cheated on me for 13 years, I have to believe there was no respect for our marriage to have cheated for so long. Ws, did you remember whether or not you respected your marriage during your affair?

EvolvingSoul posted 11/1/2018 20:20 PM

Hi Lorisa

Ws, did you remember whether or not you respected your marriage during your affair?
At the time I would have said I did. I was very invested in seeing myself as "a good person" so of course having respect for my relationship with BS had to be part of that equation.

As I started to dig down on how and why I had been able to betray my BS, I came to realize that not only had I not respected my marriage, I had not really understood marriage (or relationships in general) in the same way that my BS had. I looked at relationships as a means to getting my material and emotional needs met. Mostly I treated people not like people but as sources of feelings for me. I thought my job was to make sure I got my own needs met and that everyone else was responsible for getting theirs met. I thought the difference between me and BS was I was enough to meet all his emotional needs but he wasn't enough to meet mine. I felt justified having a second relationship to make up for what I perceived as a shortfall.

All that turned out to be pretty fucked up thinking, but I sure didn't see it right away after D-day. It took me quite a long time and a lot of work to rewire my brain to the point that I was able to see that had been thinking about things was not the only way to think and also how attached I had been to the self-image of being a good person and having that self-image rooted in my perception of what other people thought about me. That kind of thinking resulted in me caring more about how things looked than about how they actually were. I had no real integrity. There was a shortfall alright, but it was in me.

I cheated for 7 years so clearly it's possible to do a brain rewire even after such a long time but it did take a lot of time and work and willingness to question my basic beliefs about myself.

I hope this answers your question.

Best to you from an EvolvingSoul.

Lorisa posted 11/2/2018 06:56 AM

Evolving soul, thankyou for your response. It is so difficult to wrap my brain around a good man being able to make this choice over and over again for 13 years. Not sure I will ever beable to wrap my brain around this.

aslan18 posted 11/2/2018 07:36 AM

Lately I have been really trying to struggle to understand what my WW's affair says about her, about us, and especially about me.

For example, I imagine that I was kind of a joke to her and her AP. I imagine her AP felt like a real desirable man banging my pregnant wife. I imagine he regarded me as a wimp and a sucker. I imagine my wife fed this feeling.

So is that what it's like in an affair? Or is it something else?

So I guess the question is -- how much did you shit on your spouse to make your AP feel good? Did you get off on knowing you were better than your AP's spouse?

I want to hear from anybody who will respond but I especially would like to hear from male WWs.

Thanks.

DomesticTourist posted 11/2/2018 09:03 AM

For example, I imagine that I was kind of a joke to her and her AP. I imagine her AP felt like a real desirable man banging my pregnant wife. I imagine he regarded me as a wimp and a sucker. I imagine my wife fed this feeling.

My wife wasnít pregnant, but I imagine the same thing. I remember how contemptuous my wife was of me during the affair, about which I did not learn for five years.

[This message edited by DomesticTourist at 9:05 AM, November 2nd (Friday)]

destroyedwayward posted 11/2/2018 10:19 AM

@aslan - I am a female (WW). I did not talk negatively of my BH at all, it did not stop me from doing the worst thing possible to "sh*t on him" by the actual cheating.

Cheating will never and should never make sense, we did it because we chose it. Now, there are reasons for the choices, but no one of them will ever justify the infidelity. Those reasons might give you, as the BS, might play to your ability to accept or not accept (to eventually move toward R or D), but you would be and should be doing that for you, not your WW. But know that her A says nothing about you as a person.

And I say this gently and non-judgmentally as a WS myself, what it says about her is that she betrayed you. She does need to own this, for herself and you. It does not mean that she was always a terrible human being, nor does it means she will be a terrible human being until the end of time. It is up to her to determine that and it's up to you to decide if what she does is enough for you to want to stick around to find out...

I wish you and your WS luck and strength. I am truly sorry you are where you are. Be well.

Barregirl posted 11/2/2018 10:22 AM

Aslan, I never even mentioned my H to the AP. He never knew I was married, and he was single. While the A itself was the epitome of disrespect to my H, I never felt any desire to compound the disrespect by disparaging him to others. I never did say anything negative about him to outsiders and never will. To do so is extremely immature and unwarranted.

Barregirl posted 11/2/2018 10:22 AM

Duplicate

[This message edited by Barregirl at 10:22 AM, November 2nd (Friday)]

hikingout posted 11/2/2018 10:43 AM

Lorisa,

I don't think that respect is something anyone should be able to say about their marriage as they conduct an affair. The AP and I would say that we were "committed to home", etc, but the reality of it is when someone has an affair they completely have stepped out of the marriage so there is no way to even begin to claim love and respect. Though, I will note like Evolving soul a year ago I would have claimed differently.


Aslan,

I remember once the AP asking me why I was willing to have an affair. It's ironic, the first thing that came out of my mouth was "This has nothing to do with my husband, he is a good husband". I believed that then and I believe that now. I did not vilify him or talk badly about him. The only time he ever came up was saying we had plans to do such and such any given day. For the AP, I think he just didn't really consider my husband much at all. He was getting what he wanted, someone who was giving him no strings sex and attention but not demanding a commitment because I was married. He wanted his cake and eat it too. While I think it would be common to feel that the affair was a vicious attack on you - because that's what it ends up being - you are collateral damage of two selfish people and you did not really play a role in where their thoughts were in conducting the affair. It's a cold truth, but I think it would be a rare thing - probably sociopathic - that either one would be getting off on hurting you specifically. It's quite the opposite, you were left out in the cold and not thought of much at all. I don't know that it makes it better but I don't think the scenario you are proposing is often what the reality is.

dailysurrender posted 11/2/2018 13:46 PM

I am 4 years post D-day and have moved out of our bedroom (and lurking more and more in Divorce/Separation forum). My question for waywards is this - what causes you to continue to project your insecurity onto your BS? My fWH continually accuses me of infidelity (and I donít believe heís active in an affair currently) so I wonder if itís either 1) mental illness of some sorts (like PTSD from his own actions?) 2) He WANTS to cheat currently and/or 3) He hasnít really come to terms with what he chose to do? In our most recent MC session, he admitted to feeling insecure in part due to the fact that HE cheated. I reckon he thinks if he could do it, so could I?!

His most recent accusation, however, was the straw that broke the camelís back. Iím not sure why, but after our last argument, (the one which prompted my exit from our bedroom), itís as if a switch was flipped inside of me. I realize I cannot reconcile with someone who continues to accuse me of the very thing theyíve done - I refuse to. The empath in me still wants to figure out why heís like this. Iím about 80% certain Iím ready to walk - this all just sucks.

Barregirl posted 11/2/2018 16:29 PM

Dailysurrender, I can't say for certain why your WH is accusing you of infidelity. But I can offer a couple of possibilities. The first is that he is hoping you are cheating so that what he did isn't so bad. The other is that he is still cheating and feels guilty so he accuses you to relieve his own guilt. Usually while people are lying, they are more likely to feel like they are being lied to.

EvolvingSoul posted 11/2/2018 20:52 PM

Hi there dailysurrender

My fWH continually accuses me of infidelity (and I donít believe heís active in an affair currently) so I wonder
I used to live in a house that was tucked up into an oak grove that dropped what seemed like a million acorns every fall. There were two species of blue jays that used to rumble there for gathering rights and in the course of watching them I got curious and did a little research on blue jays. One thing I found was pretty interesting and it might have some relevance here, as an analogy if nothing else.

Individual blue jays gather acorns not just to eat them for the day but they store them in lots of little caches for the lean times ahead in winter. Some blue jays seemed to be paranoid when they were burying the acorns, looking around carefully to see if any other blue jays were watching because sometimes blue jays will steal each other's acorns. The study I read about concluded that the blue jays who are afraid of getting their own acorns stolen are the same blue jays who steal others' acorns.

Your WS might just be assuming that everyone thinks like him, has the same morals as him, and he's just assuming you would do what he would do were he in your circumstances.

Merida posted 11/4/2018 07:58 AM

the first thing that came out of my mouth was "This has nothing to do with my husband, he is a good husband".

thank you greatly for that honest insight

seriously I am baffled by the truly conflict avoidant behavior some days

why is it so hard to get the f-over the ego-self? Like is there a story running you will die if you are honest/vulnerable/wrong about an opinion, etc?

Why is it seeming to be stuck on the oh-woe-is-me mode without ability to connect to "what must my spouse be feeling like if I am feeling like X?"

Is it really just emotional immaturity and lack of self-awareness or is it more like typical little kid selfish/self-protect in the denial to not face the ugly truth and consequences?

Why stay on the shame gerbil wheel? What is the benefit when it'll cost the relationship to stay married to that ego??

thanks in advance for any insights into why empathy and compassion just seem so hard as concepts to grasp and exercise...

hikingout posted 11/4/2018 08:39 AM

I donít know the answer to your question. For me, there was a significant amount of emotionally numbing I was doing for the year leading up to the affair. H and I were trying to get our business off the ground while I still worked full time, was continuing all the domestic duties, and trying to keep up and deal with my daughters last year at home. I was disconnected from myself in a way I never had been before, exhausted by the hamster wheel and getting a lot of shit about why this or that wasnít done from about all angles. I hated my life and didnít know how to cope. The affair for me was me running away from all of that. I wouldnít say that most of my life I have been mentally immature but when I had myself backed into this corner rather than fix that I ran. There was a limit to the maturity and coping that just hadnít been encountered. I had bit more off than I could chew and my people pleasing nature didnít know how to reel it back with out potentially leaving. Subconsciously I didnít want to leave so mentally I left.

cheatstroke posted 11/5/2018 08:09 AM

I am a BH and have 2 children, a boy and girl in their late teens. I worry constantly about them being cheated on someday, and having all of this happen to them.

I find myself trying to figure out how to work infidelity into conversations with them to, I don't know, "warn" them somehow about what to look out for, or how they should never ever allow themselves to think this happening to them is somehow ok. I worry that they might be thinking "it's the 21st century, things have changed, I need to be cool with being cheated on because that's how my generation has evolved to think about it."

I just worry so much that they will think that this it is somehow ok or even "cool" to disrespect themselves by allowing themselves to be cheated on and abused because "my generation is supposed to be cool with this so I better just act like it's no big deal".

As a WS, do you ever think "what would it be like if my children had this happen to them, if their SO did to them what I did to my BS"? Do you try to have conversations with them in an attempt to try to "steer" their way of thinking to think about it as being abuse, and not something that's "cool"?

Or, if you as a WS maybe don't think infidelity is that big of a deal ("it's just sex", etc), do you find yourself trying to have conversations to steer their thinking that way? Something along the lines of "it's the 21st century, you need to chuck the antiquated views of marriage and fidelity and realize we are all sexual beings, and you need to be cool with open or don't-ask-don't-tell relationships because that's where we've evolved as a species"?

hikingout posted 11/5/2018 08:25 AM

I don't think you will find many WS's on this site that think cheating is no big deal. Most of us who are here really are trying to better ourselves and view what we did as wrong, desperate, and shameful.

With that said - sure I worry about my kids and who they choose as spouses, and what their experience of marriage will be. I don't know that we can prevent them from being cheated on. I choose to concentrate on coaching them to be prepared for life. I tell them ways to protect their relationships and have built them to understand their worth. I can tell you I have 3 adult daughters. Two are in their mid-twenties and have likely found the person they will marry. They live with these men. My comfort level with who they have chosen is very high. The oldest dated someone earlier in college that my confidence was not high in. I think that's where we can best steer and coach - by pointing things out here and there of ways they are not being treated properly but not shoving it down their throat so much that they rebel.

I have not really had to preach to them about infidelity - these girls are amazing women, they are a caliber of person I never was at their age. But, we can guide them as they make decisions and that's where they listen and take it in the best.

Unfortunately, we are unable to protect our children from every scenario and really, we don't want to do that. Their life is going to be a journey of learning. Is this a specific lesson we'd like to see them spared? Yes. As a parent, I think a teen needs a lot of guidance about drugs, drinking, sex, what a healthy relationship looks like, etc...but steering them like you are able to prep them to not be cheated on sounds like something that does more harm than good. Build them up. The more confident, healthy, prepared they are the more they will demand from a mate. The less likely they will choose someone self-serving. But focus on the building and not on the limiting.

[This message edited by hikingout at 8:26 AM, November 5th (Monday)]

Striver posted 11/5/2018 10:23 AM

Hikingout,

How about the other angle? What would you do to keep your daughters from following your example, from becoming waywards themselves?

I am not particularly confident that making your daughters stronger and more confident is going to prevent them from possibly stepping out. Having had experience with a narcissistic ex, lack of confidence was not her issue.

Striver posted 11/5/2018 10:23 AM

Hikingout,

How about the other angle? What would you do to keep your daughters from following your example, from becoming waywards themselves?

I am not particularly confident that making your daughters stronger and more confident is going to prevent them from possibly stepping out. Having had experience with a narcissistic ex, lack of confidence was not her issue.

hikingout posted 11/5/2018 10:42 AM

Narcissism is a personality disorder. My daughters show no signs of having a personality disorder. They are very giving.

My self esteem was a huge factor in my affair, maybe the biggest root cause. So, I am not sure that I can agree enough with your assessment to answer the question differently.

They were taught it was morally wrong to cheat and to lie. I do believe that they take that to heart. They were raised in a household where they saw a healthy and loving relationship. Things fell apart after they left and they are to this day unaware of that. We modeled for them good behavior, and they have better boundaries than me in they are not big people pleasers.


I see no concerns at this moment towards their ability to be faithful, loving wives. And, we are close enough that if I saw it steering off the road then I would continue to try and support and advise them to the best of my ability.

Sayuwontletgo posted 11/5/2018 11:40 AM

Cheat stroke, I think about my kids falling into unhealthy relationships and infidelity all the time. Especially my daughter. Sheís still young enough that we have decided not to tell her the whole story but what I am trying to do is talk to her about her emotions. Iíve seen a few patterns here that most waywards have boundary issues, low self esteem and are perfectionists on some level. I grew up in a family that was very emotionally unhealthy, I always thought that the past doesnít affect your future but thatís a very nieve idea. Trying to create an environment now for her where she understands self worth and gains healthy coping skills is my main objective. I canít change who she has been given as a mother but I will try my best to teach her what healthy respectful relationships should look like. I hope that infidelity or abuse never touches her adult life but I can only pray and prepare her for whatever heartache sheís going to encounter.

As for thinking itís cool or steering her that way I would never think of doing that. I grew up with a mother who cheated and then told me every horrible thing about my father that ďmadeĒ her cheat. Every couple in our family has been involved in infidelity. Through learning here I think I have a better understanding of how to steer her into healthier habits with emotions and self worth. Those I know are more important now than just saying cheating is wrong.

[This message edited by Rogue0719 at 11:47 AM, November 5th (Monday)]

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