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BS Questions for WS's - Part 13

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Icewraithonyx posted 4/30/2019 08:22 AM

I was talking with WW on Discord and she said this:
"I Have done talk therapy. I have spent DECADES doing talk therapy. You know what happens? The first couple of times you talk about it, you feel better, you get it out. After that all you do is hurt. You aren't doing anything to get over things, to move on, t oget stronger, to learn. YOu are just talking. OVER AND OVER AND OVER on the pain"

My question is whether this is valid or rugsweeping?

hikingout posted 4/30/2019 10:37 AM

I don't know, Icewraithonyx.

I think the statement itself is pessimistic. It speaks to me as she feels there is all talking no resolving. I don't know your story or how things have been going. Would you say she is doing her part towards helping you and towards rebuilding your marriage?

I think that would color it. I do think the BS does need to work to heal, but you can't always do it in the environment and conditions given. Tell me a little more about those.

HalfTime2017 posted 4/30/2019 14:07 PM

WWs,

I know a lot of you have worked on yourself and are now in a better situation. Its taken therapy and many IC sessions.

My WW and I are divorced, and she told me that shes been going to an IC for a long time once we separated. The problem I have with her is that she is still the very same wayward/#(*(#, the same lady on DDay. Seems nothing has changed.

She's not remorseful, still blaming, and not at all someone who I'd believe is in IC.

I know not all ICs are made the same, but what do you think of this? Is she just going to IC and lying her ass off? She's still a horrible person. We're not going to R, but the selfishness of this lady has if anything increased since DDay. I experienced all of this thru the D.

hikingout posted 4/30/2019 14:16 PM

When you go to IC you tell them what your goals are initially and then you continue to evaluate them and set new one or revisit old ones depending on the progress and situation. And it really depends on you making commitments to the process and being honest as well. It’s hard to say what her goals were - and what she has accounted for in those goals.

When I went to IC I wanted to figure out why I would have an affair, I wanted to heal from the affair, and I wanted to build new skills for coping and recognizing my blind spots. We worked from there. She could have said she has anxiety, or she is trying to get through a divorce, or numerous other things. It may not be something that effects her behavior towards you in a positive way. It would not surprise me if there is talk about keeping boundaries with you and all sorts of things.

HalfTime2017 posted 4/30/2019 17:17 PM

Hikingout, that sounds about right to me. I could see her going to the IC and trying to cope with guilt, and shame, but really all about her.

And I can also see your point about setting boundaries for me. I go NC with her, and for the most part, she goes NC with me. When I first got on this site and learned about the 180, I swore she was snooping, in fact I know she was on some of my text messages. But what you said also make sense, that I might have been guided by the IC to put some boundaries in place for me, b/c she had to paint me as the bad guy, who forced her to have an affair.

The other thing I learned from the OBS is that my WW and her WH was going to couples counseling together right before the divorce filings we even sent to the court to start the process. Bewilders me what kind of Counselor would counsel a WW and WH into breaking up their marriages.

This stuff is crazy.

Icewraithonyx posted 4/30/2019 21:05 PM

HikingOut:
Short hand, we met in HS, I joined the Air Force, she dumped me a month after I left, then her new BF dumped her and she came back. I was hurt and emotionally abusive, and even slapped her. She had an online affair, and I just let it continue as an "open marriage" as a way of making amends. She had three online BFs who broke up with her and now she wants to reconnect with our marraige.

I don't have a lot of experience with affairs and affair recovery so I've been trying to use a lot of different resources as a guide not only in affair recovery but to help me stop being abusive. Like How to Help Your Spouse...she hasn't done much of the items in there. She didn't break up with them or go NC, they cut things off with her. She hasn't (to my knowledge) sought therapy to discover WHY she had the affairs. All she has said was that I don't really understand how emotionally destroyed she was by my abuse and that's why she cheated. Is that a valid reason for cheating? I know for sure emotional turmoil by itself is not enough of a reason for being abusive, there has to be something else that makes that choice possible.
I don't know if I'm having unreasonable expectations. But it *feels* to me like she just wants to pretend this was all "bump" and we just move on.

BraveSirRobin posted 4/30/2019 22:14 PM

Is that a valid reason for cheating?
Nothing is a valid reason for cheating. Cheating was a valid reason for you to leave her, but not to slap her. Your abuse was a valid reason for her to leave you, but not to cheat.

Your expectations are not at all unreasonable. Unfortunately, it sounds like she wants to blameshift and rugsweep instead of doing the work. Unless she changes her tune, she is not a candidate for R.

I also really recommend IC for you to help you look at self-esteem issues and techniques for coping with adversity. It will make you a happier, healthier person and partner, regardless of whether she turns her act around or you move on to someone else.

Followtheriver posted 5/1/2019 00:39 AM

Icewraithonyx,

"I Have done talk therapy. I have spent DECADES doing talk therapy. You know what happens? The first couple of times you talk about it, you feel better, you get it out. After that all you do is hurt. You aren't doing anything to get over things, to move on, t oget stronger, to learn. YOu are just talking. OVER AND OVER AND OVER on the pain"

I am going to disagree with your WW and her opinion on talk therapy. My experience with therapy was completely different, so my opinion is the exact opposite.

I do believe that you can only get out of therapy what you are willing to put into it and even then, it guess it may depend on how good your therapis actually is.

My IC was amazing. She was understanding and compassionate when needed but could be hard ass in challenging me when I needed that too. I grew to trust her completely and was able to open up to her about more than I ever expected to. I spoke with her about things that I had never spoke of before and told her things that I had done my hardest to forget. She believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. She was there for support but she also had a game plan to help me afterwards. She never stopped pushing me until both of us was satisfied with the results of the goals that I had set for myself and she then even pushed me beyond those sometimes.

Looking back, I think going into IC ready to finally fix all that was broken and wanting to really make the changes that I needed definitely helped me open my mind to what was possible in IC. If my therapist was not what I needed, I would have kept looking until I found one who understood and supported my goals. I did not want one who just sat there listening to me, I needed positive and negative feedback and help with how I could make it happen.

Your WW said that she spent decades doing talk therapy, was this with the same or different therapist? If she was not happy with talk therapy, did she look into any other types? What was her mindset when she went into IC? Did she have certain things that she wanted to work on or goals she wanted to set? What was she hoping for from her IC? Why does she think her IC never helped her process her pain, work through it, so she would learn, be stronger and have a different outcome?

Darkness Falls posted 5/1/2019 13:37 PM

Halftime,

Some people merely use IC as an excuse to hear themselves talk. In those cases, nothing is likely to change.

That being said, since y’all are divorced, I would suggest not worrying about what effect IC is having—or not having—on her. Live your life and she is free to live hers.

FloridaMan posted 5/3/2019 22:36 PM

My wife has been on her best behavior since Dday.

Part of her attempt to make amends to me for having sex with another man during our marriage is cooking me great dinners.

Tonight she cooked lasagna. She knows I dont like her lasagna. I asked her why she cooked lasagna if she knows I dont like lasagna and she told me she hadn't made it for dinner in a while and that it was easy to make.

As soon as she finished her speech I told the kids to get dressed to go to McDonalds. I told them mommy made lasagna even though she knows I dont like it so she can eat it all by herself.

So my kids and I went to McDonalds and mommy stayed at home with her lasagna.

Waywards, cheating on your spouse is the most disrespectful thing you could ever do to them.

What do you do on a daily basis to show them that you respect them ? How long did you keep up this behavior ?

[This message edited by FloridaMan at 10:38 PM, May 3rd (Friday)]

BraveSirRobin posted 5/3/2019 23:47 PM

Honesty, transparency, listening, reading and posting on SI. Lots of sex.

I realize you're in a lot of pain, but I feel I have to say this: please don't put your children in the middle of a battle between you and your WW. They sound like they're too young to understand the implications of an A, if indeed they know anything about it at all. Their takeaway will be that if you work to do something nice for someone and they don't like the end result, you deserve to be punished and shamed. Plus it's going to be really tough to keep them eating healthy if you teach them that "I don't like that" results in "Let's go to McDonald's."

Darkness Falls posted 5/4/2019 05:55 AM

I realize you’ve already been banned because you keep registering and posting under new usernames and won’t take the hint, but if *I* liked something for dinner, I would (and do) make it even if another person in my house might NOT like it. My tastes are not less important than anyone else’s, and neither are your wife’s. P.S.—lasagna is delicious; McDonald’s is gross; your wife probably enjoyed staying home with her lasagna and eating it herself—I know I would!

maise posted 5/8/2019 22:57 PM

Not sure if this one has been asked before...sometimes I’m sitting next to my WS and I feel love for her. It feels like it overpowers what she’s done at times until I remember and then quickly retreat. In one of those moments I found myself wondering how she could love me and do those things. I wouldn’t ever want to hurt her this way. I would consider her feelings and do everything I can not to.

I know that her affair wasn’t about me, it was about her relationship with herself. But how can she say she loves me and always has, and commit these awful acts against me the way she did? Where is this love at when she’s sleeping with someone behind my back and lying to my face? How does it not eat away at her during those moments knowing she’s hurting and deceiving the person she claims to love?

I’ve asked her this, she’s not at a point where she communicates with me as well as we’d both like.

mike7 posted 5/9/2019 10:06 AM

just read an update in the menz thread and have a question for any wayward who might be able to help me.

why do you think that someone who was wayward and worked really hard to reconcile and posted here for years giving advice, would, after 10 or more years, have another affair? Why wouldn't they just divorce if they were unhappy? I could understand that. Marriage is hard. If you want out, get out. Why betrayal?

Why would they instead choose the no-integrity route again? Betrayal is really, not a lot of fun. It's worse than being dumped.

I don't mean to offend. I'm just curious what a wayward working toward reconciliation thinks. I appreciate any insight you can provide.

[This message edited by mike7 at 10:07 AM, May 9th (Thursday)]

hikingout posted 5/9/2019 10:44 AM

I know that her affair wasn’t about me, it was about her relationship with herself. But how can she say she loves me and always has, and commit these awful acts against me the way she did? Where is this love at when she’s sleeping with someone behind my back and lying to my face? How does it not eat away at her during those moments knowing she’s hurting and deceiving the person she claims to love?
I’ve asked her this, she’s not at a point where she communicates with me as well as we’d both like.


she probably doesn't know how to answer that yet. It takes a really long time to get a grip on why you did these things, and I know it's been almost a year, but I feel like your wife is just now starting to dig in to these things, so she presents more like someone who is only a couple of months out.


There are lots of answers for this - compartmentalization is the most likely answer. We push down those thoughts. I didn't think about my husband at all during those times. And, I would be with my husband and not think about the AP. To cheat, you really have to suppress a lot of thoughts and push introspection aside.


The other thing I will point out, gently, is that I don't think we do really love someone when we cheat. It doesn't mean that we don't want the person or we don't think we love them, more we are incapable of truly loving someone. We are seeing people as a source for our feelings and self worth rather than for their own value and wanting to make them happy. Those are some things she will need to work through.


It's taken me a long time to understand and articulate these things. Your wife can get there if she works at it. But, she may not have her own truth on some of these things yet. As I said we spend a lot of time not be introspective, and we suppress so much that unpacking that all is a process that takes time.

hikingout posted 5/9/2019 10:56 AM

just read an update in the menz thread and have a question for any wayward who might be able to help me.
why do you think that someone who was wayward and worked really hard to reconcile and posted here for years giving advice, would, after 10 or more years, have another affair? Why wouldn't they just divorce if they were unhappy? I could understand that. Marriage is hard. If you want out, get out. Why betrayal?
Why would they instead choose the no-integrity route again? Betrayal is really, not a lot of fun. It's worse than being dumped.
I don't mean to offend. I'm just curious what a wayward working toward reconciliation thinks. I appreciate any insight you can provide.


It's a head scratcher for sure. I wish I knew the answer. Frankly, it's scary to me. I work hard and post here a lot. I don't want to think 12 years down the road it would all be for naught. In that specific circumstance, it could really be a lot of things. Mental illness or personality disorder COULD be part. Or, she didn't do the work but got good at understanding what the right answers were? It's hard for us to collectively tell when we are just hearing snippets that they choose to tell us, or their BS thinks to tell us.

I think the hardest thing for a BS to understand that in most cases there is a really low self worth involved in cheating. Someone who cheats is not living up to their own expectations, integrity or moral code. Self worth is VERY hard to change. Very. It takes a long time. This is something I continue to work on but I still find ways I am not supporting or valuing myself.

Negative self talk, inclinations towards depression, isolating ourselves, etc...all that can make one susceptible to coping with that in varying levels of avoidance. Some people pile themselves with busy, some people drink it or drug it away, some people will only believe they are important or special if someone is constantly validating them. The answers I could give you are endless.


Happiness has to come from within. Some people find it hard to manufacture for themselves. No matter who they are with or what they have, that feeling of shame and worthlessness plagues some people. It creates a world where they stay wrapped up in themselves. Cheating is a symptom of a bigger problem, and it's really difficult for us to know what someone's bigger problem is just by being in this forum with them and reading what they tell us. Especially when everyone has blindspots about themselves.


My advice is that you hold the positive reconciliation stories with as much seriousness. This is a big world, you will find success stories, failure stories and everything in between. They are not indicative or foretelling of the results of each of our individual situations.

BraveSirRobin posted 5/9/2019 18:23 PM

why do you think that someone who was wayward and worked really hard to reconcile and posted here for years giving advice, would, after 10 or more years, have another affair?
I have no experience with it, but I guess it's more of the same ability to compartmentalize and deny reality that enabled the first A. They're trained to know what the warning bells are, so there's no explanation other than a deliberate refusal to listen to the alarm. Unfortunately, I've seen that kind of cognitive dissonance in many other areas of people's lives. The person who keeps smoking despite an ominously worsening cough. The person whose response to bill collectors is a "retail therapy" shopping spree. The alcoholic who tells themselves that lite beer is basically water. They know about lung cancer, bankruptcy, and blackouts, and yet, they do it anyway.

This doesn't mean that no one ever quits smoking or stays sober or digs themselves out of debt. It does mean that there is a powerful compulsion behind certain behaviors, and anyone who wants to kick them needs to stay vigilant. Dopamine is like a drug, and the WS is a seeker. And ironically, the ones who have done the most work may be just as vulnerable as the ones who haven't, because they've bought their own PR. "I've learned so much about how to be a safe spouse that I'm confident in my ability to enforce proper boundaries. I'm a good person now who could never do that again. In fact, I'm so bulletproof, that there's really no reason I need to avoid this interaction, because I'd recognize it if it was questionable." The lies start in their own heads long before they reach their mouths.

This is all speculation, though. I'm 30 years out and never cheated again. Maybe the difference is a bit of humility? I regard OM as a permanent danger, not because of who he is, but because of who I am. I'd never take the risk of spending time with him or anyone else I'd ever felt attracted to.

godheals posted 5/10/2019 09:23 AM

mike7- I also wish I knew an answer to this as well. I started a thread a while ago about a WS who keeps cheating or choose to cheat again when they know first hand the damage it caused to the M and the hurt and pain a BS goes through. That is was not a huge wake up call for the WS. I wish I could understand this better and give an answer. The only thing I can come up with is maybe they thought they could cheat again and think “ well we got through it once and my BS didn’t leave me so I can do it again and we can get though this one also”. I didn’t know. Maybe there was no real consequences from the first time around. I am trying to think of an alcoholic who goes many years with being sober and one day they say “screw It I am drinking again” becase they are not strong enough anymore to say no or just simply don’t care. Or think one drink won’t hurt them because they gone many years without drinking what is one drink? Just a lack of boundaries and poor coping skills.

Darkness Falls posted 5/10/2019 11:00 AM

t/j

Hi, Mike. Hope you’re well.

End t/j

Lorisa posted 5/10/2019 20:28 PM

WW’s what does it feel like to have a long term affair and have a wife and family too. What does it feel like? Do you continue to love your wife and family and view this affair partner like something on the side. I’m so confused, how can you keep this up for years???

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