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Would you take their place?

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JBWD posted 9/23/2019 11:49 AM

Early on, maybe three or four months out, she asked me if "this negates who I am?"

Unhinged, where was this question relative to your wifeís remorse? I ask because I had the same distinct sensation and thoughts at about 1 month post DDay. And it was when I was WELL wrapped in my own bullshit.

But it reinforced for me (especially with a little better perspective once I was out of the fog) just how jarring this experience is for everyone involved. I distinctly remember the detached perspective of accidentally seeing myself in the mirror as I was getting dressed and having the overwhelming sensation that I was already actually dead. Terrifying and like nothing Iíve felt before or since- All to say thank you for the acknowledgment that this is hard on WSs as well.

hikingout posted 9/24/2019 09:00 AM

I'm not ready. I'm just too guilty, too pissed off. And sometimes that feels right, and other times I can't tell if that self-judgment is just another way to distance myself from my actions. It's occurred to me that instead of accepting responsibility for what I did by refusing forgiveness, I'm actually dodging it by "otherizing" the wayward version of myself. Like I've assigned myself the role of judge and jury as a way of no longer being the person on trial. I so desperately don't want to be that person anymore.
Or maybe it's just that I finally understand, in a way that I didn't for all those years that I passively waited to be forgiven, that no benediction from my BH will absolve me. I have to take my own hand and lead/drag myself out of the darkness. Even if, on some days, I just want to kick myself down the well and run away.

I think this articulates the struggle in a way I deeply relate to but could not reach in and pull out. I want to think about this a lot more, because it's true - some of being pissed off and guilty may be a way of distancing myself from my own actions. In some ways the way I even participate in this site may also be indicative of that. I will roll that around for a while.

And, Devastated Dee - I think you touched on some important things here. I am glad someone understood the equally yoked thing. I do see many BS that articulate this without an air of moral superiority, but it's difficult to know often if that's just a permanent side effect, where someone is in their journey, or because their WS really never tried enough to make things right and go back into balance again. I think in many ways, I use that to look and diagnose my husband for things he's not really experiencing. And, is an extension of that self punishment I am doing.

I have been letting this all sink in and I feel closer to grasping what I was looking for. I am so appreciative of all the different feedback without it I couldn't form the picture.

fooled13years posted 9/24/2019 15:36 PM

hikingout, you stated

My answer is in a heartbeat. Yes I would. I would take his place if he were sick, or in physical pain, or in our situation of infidelity. And of my children for that matter. I would put down my life for any of them. And I do mean it

Have you come to this conclusion only after seeing the damaged done and doing the work to this point?

Many have stated that their selfishness allowed them, in part, to have their affair so I don't believe any WS could state this while in their affair or in the fog.

hikingout posted 9/24/2019 15:45 PM

Fooled -

No, you are correct, I don't think an affair is being conducted *with* remorse. I am definitely not trying to detract from who I was during that time.

But, the topic was based on a BS not understanding if remorse ever truly exists. The premise of that post if you didn't see it is that he would not feel any remorse after having an affair due to logical reasons. I know remorse does. Unquestioningly. And, I know affairs are never conducted on any good logic whatsoever.

Zugzwang posted 9/26/2019 17:35 PM

I would think true remorse that is more important is a WS changing. Doing the work. Learning new coping skills. Learning how to communicate. Learning moral values and living them. Learning their whys and healing from it. Learning how to become vulnerable and intimate with their spouse. BECAUSE at the end of the day trading places with our BS is worthless living in the past. It is the should have could haves that will never exit. It is a waste of time to fixate on something we can't do unless the situation becomes a madhatter. Remorse isn't about trading places. It is about making amends and repenting because it is the right thing to do with the right intentions.

DashboardMadonna posted 9/27/2019 02:25 AM

Interesting topic. I am most drawn by the mention of morals.

As a BW, I can attest those thoughts, in regards to morals, to a fault...evidently. My husband is a (*COUGH) SA, therefore lacking any moral fiber..let alone, empathy, but I digress.

In this dynamic, the SA usually tend to hold us. Moral "madonnas" in such high regards, to the point of resentment...this circles into the entitlement behind trolling whores. It's a double edged sword. These men punish their wives for said morals...to the point of being disgusted by their vulnerability, right down to physical appearance and insecurities. They exploit their wives, just as they do their prostitutes. Mysogyny at its finest.

With all this said, I am extremely moral. Every decision I make, I sift through an internalized moral code and personal ethics systems...it is the very foundation of my personality type.

My husband found a way to humiliate me with it....he exploited it. In his eyes, I could never be a sexual being...I never was.

To society, a moral wife=boring lay. There is a lot of societal conditioning, in breach of a moral compass. It's been a difficult cross (nuk nuk) to bare... a lot of saints are martyrs...

Do I hold my head high? Yes, I do... ironically my morals have been the only thing I have to cling to, as this person tried to rob me of my soul.

Someone mentioned feeling morally superior would involve validation... morals come from introspection...a persoanl belief system. Ethics can influence those morals. To seek validation, then they would no longer be your morals, in that they are the societal collective/point of view.

I cant say I ever asked someone if my morals seemed...well, "moral" or cared if they agreed. In saying that, I do see everything as black and white. You are either moral or you are not...that doesnt mean that I sit around judging others decisions,I have my own problems.

I believe morals tie in with empathy. If they lack that, then they are lies with ulterior motives.

[This message edited by DashboardMadonna at 3:12 AM, September 27th (Friday)]

Onlyjan posted 9/27/2019 15:56 PM

I would rather have been the cheating spouse, absolutely. What Iíve discovered over the past few years is that I donít seem to capable of straying, although Iíve wanted to have a revenge affair as payback. I just canít go there. Every time someone hits on me, I end up turning them away, even if I find them attractive. A neighbour hit on me when I was walking my dog this morning, and I promptly took out a family photo to show him right away. When he kept saying ďwith your body, I canít believe you have three kidsĒ, I responded, ďwell, my husband trains even more than I do ó he does Ironman.Ē Itís a knee-jerk reaction. I wonder why I just canít do it ó whatís wrong with me that I canít seek my revenge, when it was easy enough for him to stray. The thoughts of the affair are 24-7 and the devastation all-consuming. I have PTSD. I never want to experience trauma like this again. And if I could put my monster of a UH through this experience and not do damage to myself ó I would. And yes, Iím feeling very vengeful and vindictive today. I have hate in my heart, something I am not comfortable or happy with, but it isnít something that I put there myself.

hikingout posted 9/27/2019 18:44 PM

Onlyjan- I am sorry that you are hurting. You didnít deserve this, and you donít have to put up with it. I just wanted to respond to say you have been heard.

BraveSirRobin posted 9/27/2019 19:41 PM

I'm sorry, onlyjan. When I say I'd trade places with my BH, it's not because I think that he has the easier ride. I know that isn't true. I know what I did to him.

It's wretchedly unfair that the person who stayed faithful is almost always the one who suffers more deeply in the aftermath.

hikingout posted 9/28/2019 09:56 AM

Oh and I should clarify that was the sentiment of my post o oh Jan. Especially if he didnít have to take my role and my all and I could hold all his pain. I know itís been worse for him than me. I am
Glad BSR pointed that out. I just took in what you had to say and could understand it, but I should have clarified.

36yearsgone posted 10/1/2019 16:45 PM

If I were the bs I would probably feel morally superior. I would be the one who did nothing wrong and took the high road. I would have lived out my life guilty of nothing, with no need to convince him of anything. My head would be held high, so I think some of it is not liking the status that I gave myself. Not being happy that is the position I put myself in.


I've read through the threads in your post, and am still not quite sure I understand what you are expecting for an answer, but I'll try.

Infidelity: Immoral
WS: committed infidelity; therefore immoral
BS: did not commit infidelity; therefore not immoral in relationship to infidelity.

Lying: Immoral
WS: Pathological liar; immoral
BS: Not a liar; not immoral as it relates to lying.

I don't consider myself to be morally superior to my WS; but I do consider her to be morally reprehensible and thus, morally inferior.

I would argue that few among us are at the top of the leader board when it comes to morality. But a BS is usually shocked at the lack of morals and ethics our Waywards have.

I have no desire to be in my WS's shoes. While she was out screwing her POSOM, she seemed to think she was morally superior. I don't think it is possible for her to stand in my shoes and see her for who she really is/was.

hikingout posted 10/2/2019 08:09 AM

I don't consider myself to be morally superior to my WS; but I do consider her to be morally reprehensible and thus, morally inferior.

I don't think someone can be inferior without the other person being superior? But, as I said I think that was a really poor wording. It sounded a way I didn't mean for it to sound. I was really just trying to articulate the pain of knowing that I lost my integrity and didn't follow a moral compass that I thought I truly believed in for so very long.

I doubt any BS wants to be the WS, and as I mentioned in the thread, this would be best with my BS not having to be a WS. More I would assume all the pain of my actions. I wouldn't want him to have to live in my shoes. This was a bit of a misguided exploration on it's basis, but I think a lot of really good thought came out of it and I learned a lot from my self and the others on this thread.

VioletElle posted 10/2/2019 17:07 PM

I wouldn't want to switch places with him and I could never imagine taking any form of solice from it. To me, I would likely see it in the context of our relationship failing rather than any sense of feeling superior. I wouldn't take anything positive from looking down on my partner. I would just feel very hurt.

Zugzwang posted 10/3/2019 21:09 PM

I don't think someone can be inferior without the other person being superior?

I would have to agree. IMO the whole thing of saying someone is morally superior or superior is based on the one who calls/labels it POV. The person that is labeled superior probably feels or notices nothing. Probably couldn't care less or is indifferent. Focused on their own life and is too busy to go around feeling superior to others. The one that labels them is the one feeling, grading, and putting a rubrics in place. IMO people that resort to labeling others as superior want what the superior has or represents. They see themselves as inferior. Often times have resentment that the so-called labeled superior one has it even though the labeled superior worked hard to have it and get it. The inferior one that labeled it just feels angry in a passive aggressive way blameshifting and using the superior they labeled as a scapegoat due to their own lethargy to doing the hard work to get, be, or have what the superior has. Seems to be often times the case. Of course there are those that just feel superior. Probably more narcissistic in nature and we don't get many of those here IMO. True narcissists don't see themselves having any fault. When superior is being thrown around here it is done by a self labeled inferior putting a rubrics in place. Which just begs to have the one using the label to take a hard look at themselves as to why they need to label or why they have issues at all with it. Why do they care so much.

But, as I said I think that was a really poor wording. It sounded a way I didn't mean for it to sound. I was really just trying to articulate the pain of knowing that I lost my integrity and didn't follow a moral compass that I thought I truly believed in for so very long.
Which hurts. Though some BS think we have no real repercussions but we do. To feel that way about ourselves. Even though we did it to ourselves, Hell even the fact that we chose to do that to ourselves. It does shit to you to lose your integrity or to not even really have honest true integrity to begin with. You can't hold your head high in the mirror. You did this to you. I know it is hard when someone else does it to you. My mother did enough shit to me to lose confidence and shit. To do it to yourself. It hurts. We do hurt. We hurt ourselves and we hurt because we hurt others.

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