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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 19

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HeHadADoubleLife posted 7/3/2019 16:09 PM

Also, I think if we were to ever have a group motto, it might be this.

Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt takes on a whole new meaning.

DevastatedDee posted 7/4/2019 11:17 AM

I just want you to know that really touched me. That's the reality of it all. You are worth so much more and you obviously know it. You are a beautiful person. You deserved all of that love and compassion in return and I hope that you will receive it from a man one day.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 11:17 AM, July 4th (Thursday)]

doesitgetbetter posted 7/4/2019 13:19 PM

I think my entire point, and the main thing that has been missed in all of this, is that there are BSís here who are full of compassion and they should not feel ashamed to be such.

[This message edited by doesitgetbetter at 1:47 PM, July 4th (Thursday)]

HeHadADoubleLife posted 7/4/2019 14:15 PM

I was just about to quote your post doesitgetbetter, but found that most if it has been deleted.

But of what is left here:

I think my entire point, and the main thing that has been missed in all of this, is that there are BSís here who are full of compassion and they should not feel ashamed to be such.

You are absolutely right! I'm truly sorry if anything I have ever said has been perceived as shaming those who show compassion for their WSs, SA or otherwise.

This is why I stay away from the CoDA meetings, because after them, I felt ashamed for caring. My view on relationships was that each partner should be willing to do whatever they can for their spouse, even if that means sacrificing sometimes. I'm told over and over again that that view is incredibly codependent and unhealthy, and yet I still believe it. I was taught that we should care about people. I doubt that instinct will ever go away for me.

Maybe it's that I have so many addicts in my family (substance, not sex) that I know would not still be with us if I and other family members had not stepped in to help. And I do feel badly for the spouses of SAs, because their addiction is often thrown around as an insult, and then the person with the addiction is dismissed as a pervert or someone not worth talking to, let alone having a relationship with. Hell, my JFO post only had one or two people actually commenting with advice, most came in to drop one line such as "He sounds totally perverted, a total SA, RUN!" or "Why in the hell are you with this person, get out of there!"

In no way am I trying to convince anyone to leave their SAWS, that is their choice. I mean it when I say that I literally would never have left if he hadn't forced my hand, I loved him that much. And I know that all of these women (and men) who stay, are just as compassionate and loving.

It takes a lot of understanding to stay and try to convince someone to be open and vulnerable with you, admitting to these acts that they themselves find shameful, when they have hurt you so much. It's the reason I bought the lace - to show him that there is nothing to be ashamed of, and we could talk about it openly. Same reason I washed them for him - to show him that despite being shocked by it, I was not going to shame him for it, instead I would rather him be open with me. I tried and tried and tried to get him to talk about his childhood traumas, of which there are many, but that was next to impossible.

Now, had I done more in depth research on SA, I would have known that encouraging these behaviors using other outlets (i.e. not my underwear, but something else) was not going to help. I would have insisted on counseling, on SA meetings, on true sobriety. But I did what I could with the knowledge I had at the time, and I felt I was being as understanding as possible given the circumstances I was in. Each of our circumstances are different, therefore we will each respond differently.

It's easy for me to sound bitter now, considering that he left for the OW. I know that comes across in my posts. But I will never, ever judge someone for being caring enough to take this journey with an SA spouse. I did it for years. And I still find myself going back and trying to think of how I could have handled it better, so that maybe we could have had a different outcome. I know that's where my bitterness comes from - that I felt I didn't handle it well enough, that I wasn't good enough, even after all of the effort I put in. And that's why it comes out in contempt for the SA spouse - I'm being told by IC that I need to redirect my anger at him and stop pointing it at myself.

You are all kind, loving, compassionate people, and there is nothing wrong with that. Just please make sure to direct that same kindness, love and compassion towards yourselves too. You deserve that.

HeHadADoubleLife posted 7/4/2019 15:51 PM

Maybe there are some on here that have never done anything wrong and have never needed compassion or help. But I absolutely have, from a very very early age I have. It does not mean that my compassion allows others to do whatever they want to me without recourse. Not at all. It means that I know what it's like to be so far down a dark and ugly hole that has no bottom that I think the only way out is to just stop existing. And then someone has compassion for me, and it helped breath new life into me. I never thought less of that person for being compassionate, not at all. And I don't think less of myself for being compassionate now either, and neither should anyone else who has compassion for their addict, or anyone else in their life that needs some compassion.

So many of these posts are angry, and I get it, I truly do. I've had 3 DDays (not just new info about old stuff, 3 actual new DDays). I'm very angry and hurt. However I don't feel like we should be making it sound like pitch forks and torches is the only way to go. Others are on a similar path as we are, but with a different direction. Some have to be hard, some have to be soft, some want to be in the middle, and all of that is ok. We are here to support each other where we are, and we are all just doing the best we can.

Just emphasizing your post here doesitgetbetter. I could have quoted the entire thing, but these paragraphs stuck out. You are absolutely right. All was incredibly well said. No one should be considered lesser than because they showed/are showing compassion. And I absolutely hear you and agree with you, none of us are perfect, and if others weren't willing to extend us compassion when we needed it, where would we be? We all just need to make sure that we show ourselves just as much as we are willing to extend it to others.

I know that can be hard to do, but also harder to hear. I know when people told me to make sure I was taking care of myself, I often felt righteous indignation at the thought that someone would insinuate that my taking care of others was somehow wrong. I still feel a twinge of anger whenever someone tells me to "take care of yourself first." I'll be the first to admit, I'm probably the dumb ass on the plane who would put the oxygen masks on their kids, their husband, then the other people around me, then finally get to myself just before I'm about to pass out.

And I agree with you, it can often become a "pitchforks and torches" fest here. I think that maybe this is a byproduct of needing to vent our anger somewhere else. It makes me think of those Disney movies where the pitchforks and torches come out - the ones I'm thinking of are Beauty and the Beast and Shrek. We are made to see this angry mob as cold, unfeeling, not compassionate etc. and part of the reason we feel that way is because we are privy to all of the ways that the "monster" is deserving of our compassion. The "they're just like us" moments. Their sadness and pain.

But we are also not given the back story of the mob - it is likely they have their own sadness and pain. Not that it is ever justified to take that pain out on anyone else - we all know what it's like to be someone's emotional punching bag, as SAs are really acting out due to their unresolved emotional issues that they don't know how to handle in healthy ways. But we can also all understand the impulse to take it out on someone - to make this person feel the pain you're feeling, because it feels like they just don't understand.

So there are two different sub groups here within the Spouses of SA group - those of us who stayed and those of us who left. For those of us who left (I know there are others, but most notably lately it seems to be Dee and I), I think it is easier for us to access our anger. We are no longer in the place where we need to extend such compassion, to make the relationship work. I can only speak for myself, but I know that despite venting to my friends, I still had a lot of pent up rage that I didn't even realize I had until about the 4 month mark post separation. I have had to force myself to tap into that anger in order to heal.

For the subgroup who are currently choosing to stay, I can only imagine you are in a position where the anger doesn't feel like it serves you. I know when I was in the throes of dealing with everything, I would call or text my friends just to vent. Because I knew I did not want to lash out in anger like that towards my XH. Even if he "deserved" my anger, I did not like having that feeling toward him. Not to mention, getting angry did not encourage him to be open and vulnerable with me, if anything it caused him to shut down and lie more. I learned early on in the process that calm and steady was the only way to go if we were going to get through it with our sanity. And yet whether they serve you or not, the feelings of anger are there. And it's not good to suppress them either. So what are we supposed to do with them? I think that this thread is one of many places where we put that anger.

If you are staying and this needs to be the safe place where you feel comfortable being angry, then so be it. If you've left, and you've tapped into your rage, that can go here too. But just because some of us are venting all of our anger doesn't mean you shouldn't feel you can express all of your love and compassion here as well. Though I know all too well the feeling that you shouldn't express that compassion, for fear of being judged. I know I often felt like everyone was judging me for staying. I still think that many did/do. And yet I say to myself "I should've left earlier," because it's what I think I should be feeling, but I know that I don't really believe that.

So for those of you that chose the path of compassion, I hear you, and I can respect your choice. For those of you that chose another path, I hear you as well and can respect your choice as well. We will accept whatever behavior from our addict that we are willing to accept unless and until we decide it is time to do something different. My hope is that we will have the clarity and knowledge to figure out what works best for us and take that direction.

^^^ This. All day, everyday.

DevastatedDee posted 7/4/2019 18:32 PM

I think my entire point, and the main thing that has been missed in all of this, is that there are BSís here who are full of compassion and they should not feel ashamed to be such.

Every BS who is still with their SA partner is a beautifully compassionate and empathetic person who exudes far more good into the world than the average person. I will venture to say that most of you are probably better people than I will ever be. This is why I feel the need sometimes to remind people that they are deserving of the best of their love and compassion. You won't hear that from a lot of the therapists in SA circles. You won't hear it from a lot of marriage counselors. To go through this horror show and your pain be considered secondary is an extra wound and it's awful.

I'm saying be compassionate, be loving, be empathetic, but be absolutely certain that you are keeping yourself safe and showing yourself the love that you show everyone else. It is easy to get caught up in an addict's drama and put yourself on the back burner.

DevastatedDee posted 7/4/2019 18:35 PM

Plus, unfortunately, you are throwing your empathy and compassion at a person who is likely always going to be incapable of returning it to you in kind. If that is all right with you, that's your choice. That needs to be a real choice, though, not something you feel obligated to do.

doesitgetbetter posted 7/5/2019 00:40 AM

Plus, unfortunately, you are throwing your empathy and compassion at a person who is likely always going to be incapable of returning it to you in kind. If that is all right with you, that's your choice. That needs to be a real choice, though, not something you feel obligated to do.

Gosh, it was great right up until that. That is a blanket generalization, stating that no SA is a worthwhile human being, and I am throwing away my compassion on a human who doesn't deserve it. Imagine what my life would have been had my child told me that I'm not a worthwhile human being and would never be a good mother. Imagine if any number of people who were addicts of any kind were told this by other people. It's simply not true in every case. I would venture to say it's not even true is many cases. But carry on.

For those of you who are compassionate, and feel as though you don't have a safe place to post your thoughts or feelings about your SA, please feel free to.... I don't know, look for another message board to post on, because this isn't the spot for you. Maybe we need an I Can Relate thread for spouses of SA's who are in R, and spouses of SA's who aren't. This thread is too much like throwing the divorced and divorcing people into the reconciliation forum and hoping they can be supportive. It doesn't really work that well.

DevastatedDee posted 7/5/2019 07:31 AM

Gosh, it was great right up until that. That is a blanket generalization, stating that no SA is a worthwhile human being, and I am throwing away my compassion on a human who doesn't deserve it. Imagine what my life would have been had my child told me that I'm not a worthwhile human being and would never be a good mother. Imagine if any number of people who were addicts of any kind were told this by other people. It's simply not true in every case. I would venture to say it's not even true is many cases. But carry on.

To be an SA there is something seriously wrong with one's empathy. Obviously this means that you will not get the empathy that you are giving back to you. You can stay and give that person time to find and develop empathy, but right from the beginning you will not receive it back. You won't. They can't give it because that part is broken and it is what they need help with. If they had healthy empathy and compassion, you wouldn't be dealing with an SA in the first place.

I never said that compassion is only for those who "deserve" it. I'm just cautioning against believing that your love can save someone or that you will be rewarded for throwing yourself completely into fixing a person or that you are hanging around in the hopes that you will receive as much compassion back as you are giving out. It's not realistic. Stay, but have clarity about it and realistic expectations.

DevastatedDee posted 7/5/2019 07:39 AM

For those of you who are compassionate, and feel as though you don't have a safe place to post your thoughts or feelings about your SA, please feel free to.... I don't know, look for another message board to post on, because this isn't the spot for you. Maybe we need an I Can Relate thread for spouses of SA's who are in R, and spouses of SA's who aren't. This thread is too much like throwing the divorced and divorcing people into the reconciliation forum and hoping they can be supportive. It doesn't really work that well.

I do not intend to make you feel unsafe and I have nothing but respect and love towards those in R with an SA. I've dealt with addicts plenty and it doesn't matter what sweet person is hiding under that addiction, they will hurt you just as much as someone with a mean core. You can stay and be compassionate but you must love and protect yourself. The person you're loving is a work in progress and isn't able to protect you until they have done a LOT of work on themselves. While they do that, you are often on the sidelines with your pain and trauma without half the support system. Trust that I know how hard it is to be in love with someone who is the most likely person on earth to wreck your life. I get how it is to see the hurt little boy and hold that person while he weeps only to have him annihilate your life afterwards and damage you in return. I know how hard it is. I know what it takes to be with a person whom you know isn't evil or doesn't want to be cruel, and yet they take actions that grievously harm you. It is a complete mindfuck.

So the SA has his/her support system with you, therapy, meetings and whether you are in R with them or not, you also need support and love and some of that support and love is someone telling you that your compassionate self is beautiful and strong and that it's okay to take care of you first because you are the only one who will.

ashestophoenix posted 7/5/2019 07:49 AM

I send you all my virtual embrace. I don't want any partner to leave this forum and not feel supported. I don't want addicts here; but all partners are welcome.

What I have learned is that what works for me, may not work for others. I value hearing everyone's experiences and learning. It's healing and helpful. I try to relate how I feel and my experience, rather than tell another what to do.

I lost my two best friends after I told them "My husband is addicted to porn and I'm shattered." That's all I said. They have no idea what really happened. They spent Christmas and Thanksgiving at my home for 25 years. And they wanted me to divorce immediately. They thought my staying was weakness. And, now they're gone. That hurt. That felt harsh. I left an early online support group that believed divorce was the only option. There was one exception: a woman with an autistic child was "allowed" to stay. My first interview with a divorce attorney, a woman, resulted in her saying "you're like a battered woman and it will take you a long time to divorce." That felt harsh; it hurt; and it wasn't helpful to me.

I think all of these people thought they were helping me. I don't know if they thought they were being kind. They weren't. All those messages could have been delivered to me in a much kinder, more compassionate way. It felt to me like another form of silencing and denial of my thoughts and feelings. I was already feeling confused and in pain. None of this helped.

I respect and value all of the partners who have divorced or are divorcing. I respect and value all the partners who stay in the myriad ways of staying. In my case, I'm at the point where I have done everything to divorce my husband except move out of my house.

I have volcanic rage at my husband. I have howling fury at him. I can express some of that here and in my IC. I also have tremendous grief about my losses. I have worked hard to develop deep compassion for me and my life. I have compassion for my current struggles.

I also have compassion for my husband's early trauma. I do not have compassion for his years of addiction nor his destructive life. I do not forgive him for his abuse or absolve him of his responsibility. This compassion, in my life right now, is not a trap nor a weakness. I feel strong and decent about it. I do not feel it when I am enraged or deeply grieving.

My husband has changed enough through his hard personal work that I can now see the difference between abusive behavior designed to selfishly get what he thinks he needs (which is usually wrong and doesn't work) and the reality that he doesn't know how to relate in a healthy manner. That lack of skill I think was caused by his early trauma and then amplified by his addiction and manipulative, abusive behavior. I see the difference.

Understanding that difference gives me compassion. It doesn't mean I'm a doormat nor does it mean I have to stay with him.

Do you believe in redemption? I do. I think it's hard won and infrequent, but I do believe people can redeem themselves. I work with a recovered alcoholic and a recovered narcotics addict who are two very decent men who are very open about their addiction and recovery. They spent years on personal growth. In my women's psychotherapy group there is a woman who is a recovered alcoholic and drug user. She lost her children because of her past behavior. She is sober and working hard on learning to relate in healthy ways. I have deep respect for her, compassion for her struggle, and an affection for who she is now.

I lost members of my immediate family to addiction. They had no bottom and were never going to get better. They could not be redeemed. But I have seen first hand people who have redeemed themselves and I feel the same way about myself.

With deep compassion for us all,
ashestophoenix

DevastatedDee posted 7/5/2019 09:42 AM

I believe that redemption is possible and I have also met recovering addicts who seem to be caring and empathetic people. I have met many many more who either never recovered or sort of recovered and relapsed and rinse and repeat (my WH being one of those). What I believe will happen with my WH is that he will die of his addictions. It is a hard thing to come to terms with. I have interrupted a legitimate suicide attempt and been manipulated with other not-so genuine ones. I have been through the wringer with this stuff. I get it, seeing someone in pain and feeling pain for them while knowing that they are unable to care about the pain they're causing you. Unable to care enough not to do it, anyway. When he's working recovery, he is on a high that he can be proud of and he takes everyone up with him. When the recovery high wears off, he's miserable. He starts searching for something else outside of himself to cure his misery. He spends too much money on one hobby or another. Of course, prostitutes were a great example of that. Once those thrills aren't enough, he upgrades to drugs and cue the life falling apart and losing everything and back to rehab and starting over...again. I extricated myself from that funhouse life because I love me more than he was ever capable of doing. He had a strong attachment to me, but love doesn't sleep with prostitutes behind my back. Love doesn't try to hook up with a friend's young adult daugther (luckily that freaked her out and she told her dad). Love also doesn't stop working and spend all of his money on crack. I have kept in minimal contact with him to sort out some post-marriage things and apparently he relapsed last night. So there he goes again. Is it because I didn't have sufficient compassion for him? Because I didn't feel enough pity for his traumas? Hell no. It would not have mattered. Our life together was utterly fantastic when he decided to fuck whores and descend into drug addiction. NOTHING I or anyone else says or does can keep him sober or make him "get it" or raise his empathy levels sufficiently to keep him from hurting people over and over. The only thing I could control was me, and I have a low tolerance for chaos in my home and am mostly bereft of codependent tendencies.

Yes, some SAs may be able to become healthy partners. Some addicts of any stripe will do so. I caution against putting yourself on hold waiting for it if they aren't taking their recovery by the reins and driving it hard themselves. Compassion is a beautiful human emotion and it can also be a trap. You can stay with them during this journey. Ashestophoenix, you're a great example of how to do so while loving yourself and approaching it with clarity. You see changes and you know what to look for.

I may be a bit scarred from the therapy sessions where I was expected to fill the role of being his support system when I was nearly incapable of sleeping and eating, much less giving a damn about his childhood traumas that made him hurt me so deeply. I can promise you that my traumas and feelings were barely a blip on his radar while he was destroying me with his actions. Reciprocity isn't something you get with an addict who hasn't been in serious hardcore recovery.

ashestophoenix posted 7/5/2019 10:16 AM

Oh, Dee, I can so relate to the scarring from my former therapy. I as well got assigned the role of "taking care" of my husband and all of his crap. This was before disclosure. And as staggered disclosure occurred, I still kept being assigned to caretake him and put him first. This is therapy induced trauma. Another trauma!

These MC's and IC's (all women) thought they were helping me. I think they didn't know what they were doing, had ideas and fantasies themselves that weren't the truth, believed my husband's lies and disbelieved my truth, had unconscious gendered/sexist assumptions. They really harmed me. I had to find the right therapist and be brave enough to work with her to get over the trauma of this past therapeutic abuse.

Looking at my life and what I know now, I would advise my younger self to not spend one second with my husband. I would have advised myself that once I was married and it started to get "confusing" and I knew there were things wrong and he wouldn't tell me, that I should have divorced him then and there.

I agree that these are high risk people. I think my husband will always be risky and I think the learning, growth, and healing he needs to do will be slow and take so long that it really is NOT worth staying around for it. It's lifelong and he's old.

Additional scars I have are the difficulty I have trusting men. I wish I could divorce my husband, start dating, and find a decent man to live the remainder of my life with. I can't conceive of it at this point in my life. I'm still working on my self esteem that was so damaged and my distrust of men is so strong. Porn is everywhere and nearly all of them use it. They don't all get addicted, but clearly, using it makes them think less of their intimate partners and affects them negatively.

All of this makes me immensely sad. It also makes me immensely enraged.

What I do know is that I don't need a marriage to have joy and peace and meaning. Wouldn't it be great to have an enriching marriage? Hell yes. But I don't think I'll get that. Maybe if I devoted a lot of time and energy to finding it and be able to put up with the inevitable hurt and frustration along the way.... But my goal now is to continue to live the best life I can without worrying about a man in it.

ashestophoenix

secondtime posted 7/5/2019 10:56 AM

RE: Empathy, Compassion, and worthiness.

My husband is knocking now, on 6 years of combined sobriety.

OMG. His empathy just sucks rocks.

I do think he is trying, though. We've moved from him saying "Well, I have no idea how I'd feel." to "Yes, I could imagine that I might be hurt"

When we talk about facts, like he's lied to me for 17 out of 23 years of our relationship.

I mean. Come on, I'm really supposed to reasonably believe that DH might say as a response.."Oh, Second time has proven to be untrustworthy for nearly our whole relationship. Well, that's OK. Time to go out for ice cream kids."

In one of our last blow outs, I hit a piece of furniture hard enough to break it. My husband had more concern for the piece of furniture, than for my hand..that eventually did show some bruising and soreness. I mean, literally, he went on and on about the furniture, and never once asked about my body. That was about 4 months ago...


Compassion comes in when I chose not to make a big deal about how my husband explains that didn't get a job that was assured to him.

My husband was supposed to get additional work. All he had to do was confirm by a certain date. Which, he forgot to do. The folks who offered the job then assumed he wasn't interested and moved on.

Now, when I ask him about the job, so that I could figure out daycare, schedules...he was not bluntly honest. His response was not "I messed up and forgot to accept the offer on their timeline, and now they are rescinding their offer."

His response was "I don't know what's going on. This whole thing is a mess. The folks who offered me the job have been dicking around with me, I don't think I should do it."

We really needed that extra money. My compassion is in not throttling him for 1) explaining the situation like a dry drunk and 2) losing income that we need. I don't want to work three jobs again. But, I may have to.

My husband is worthy as a person. We all have value as people. It doesn't mean I have to tolerate his behavior or his choices.

DevastatedDee posted 7/5/2019 11:11 AM

Additional scars I have are the difficulty I have trusting men. I wish I could divorce my husband, start dating, and find a decent man to live the remainder of my life with. I can't conceive of it at this point in my life. I'm still working on my self esteem that was so damaged and my distrust of men is so strong. Porn is everywhere and nearly all of them use it. They don't all get addicted, but clearly, using it makes them think less of their intimate partners and affects them negatively.

All of this makes me immensely sad. It also makes me immensely enraged.

What I do know is that I don't need a marriage to have joy and peace and meaning. Wouldn't it be great to have an enriching marriage? Hell yes. But I don't think I'll get that. Maybe if I devoted a lot of time and energy to finding it and be able to put up with the inevitable hurt and frustration along the way.... But my goal now is to continue to live the best life I can without worrying about a man in it.

Totally totally get all of that. I'm 45 and it has occurred to me that I might remain single by choice. I'm okay with that. Maybe one day I won't be, but I expect I will be for quite some time. I wouldn't subject a man to my trust issues for quite a while regardless. Joy and peace and meaning can be found regarless of whether we're married or not. You're right on.

doesitgetbetter posted 7/5/2019 16:20 PM

Is it because I didn't have sufficient compassion for him? Because I didn't feel enough pity for his traumas?

There seems to be some confusion. I never once said that BS's need to have compassion for their WS, nor that they need to have more compassion for their WS. There is no situation where a person can "care" another human being out of their situation. The WS has a void that needs to be filled and it can only be filled by themselves. If you were under the impression that I was saying you were at fault for anything because you didn't have enough compassion, I am sorry that you had that impression. That is absolutely not what I was talking about at all.

I'm talking about compassion for the BS's here. This doesn't come from just the last weeks of discussions, or the last months worth of headlines on the news, or the last decades worth of posts on SI in general. This comes from a very long line of people telling the BS what they should be doing, what they should be feeling, how they should be burning down the proverbial house and scorching the earth behind them. We should not be taking digs at one another because of how they are handling their recovery or their relationship. It feels a bit like an attack when someone says "don't treat someone with kindness because you're just wasting your breath" (summed up) as in this statement:

To be an SA there is something seriously wrong with one's empathy. Obviously this means that you will not get the empathy that you are giving back to you. You can stay and give that person time to find and develop empathy, but right from the beginning you will not receive it back. You won't.

Again, those are blanket statements, not true for every SA at all. But the mere fact that you said this after a really nice heartfelt post felt like you were coming back for what I call a "but apology", makes it feel like an attack on how I choose to recover. A "but apology" is where someone apologizes, and adds a but which negates everything they said before it. Such as "I'm sorry I was mad at you last night, but you know I hate it when you leave the toilet seat up." This translates to "I was right to be mad at you because you left the toilet seat up and you know that makes me mad".

We can support each other without attacking. I have seen it countless times over the decade where someone comes in and is meek, kind, timid, doesn't know what to say or do, and people jump on this poor scared BS and pound them into the sand telling them what they should be doing.... just like the mob at our door telling us to leave the WS and burn his stuff on the lawn. We, of all people, know how unhelpful that is and how painful that is to the BS. Let's not be like that here. Recovery looks different for everyone, and that's ok.

DevastatedDee posted 7/5/2019 18:47 PM

I'm not clear on how I'm not being compassionate towards the BSs here.

I 100% agree that I lack compassion for those who have abused the BSs here and that I think that serial cheaters/SAs are disordered/unhealthy and lack sufficient empathy to be good partners. I stand by that all day long. If that weren't true, none of us would have been victimized by them. Good people acting in good conscience do not do these things to their partners. I hope that every last one of them figures out how to be good people acting in good conscience from here on out, but they aren't my priority when we speak of compassion.

I personally stand with the victims of the addicts, whether they R or D or something in between. They deserve my compassion. The spouses do not.

doesitgetbetter posted 7/5/2019 22:40 PM

We should not be taking digs at one another because of how they are handling their recovery or their relationship. It feels a bit like an attack when someone says "don't treat someone with kindness because you're just wasting your breath" (summed up) as in this statement:

To be an SA there is something seriously wrong with one's empathy. Obviously this means that you will not get the empathy that you are giving back to you. You can stay and give that person time to find and develop empathy, but right from the beginning you will not receive it back. You won't.

That's how. As an example.

[This message edited by doesitgetbetter at 10:40 PM, July 5th (Friday)]

DevastatedDee posted 7/6/2019 07:45 AM

That's about the SA, not the BS. In no way is that an insult to a BS.

Somber posted 7/6/2019 09:40 AM

I just watched a video on SA by Paula Hall and she discussed compassion. It was an interesting change of thought to hear how compassion is necessary for all of us, both SA and BS.
Compassion has allowed me to be calmer and more understanding of both my SA and myself. I naturally feel compassion towards others but with including compassion towards myself it has allowed me to put myself first more, set boundaries, say no when I realize I canít do something right now. I have never been more hurt, scared, sad, angry and confused! This compassion helps me get help and likely also helps my SA get help he needs regardless of whether we stay together or not.

This compassion in her speech was encouraging her audience to be compassionate to others as we would never know who is suffering amongst us with SA and itís detrimental effects on spouses.. With compassion, both SA and/or spouses may get the help and support they need.

What we are all going through is difficult and traumatizing. I have never felt more alone and lost. I donít go to SA as it is at an inconvenient time. I have you all on here when I want to address a specific SA concern or vent about my feelings and frustrations. I am so grateful and if it werenít for each and every one of you, your compassion and willingness to share advice and experience I would not be gaining strength!!
Thank you all

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