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Trying to sort it all out..

SeekingABetterMe posted 10/13/2019 08:22 AM

As I examine my ways of thinking and the choices I make start to revel a pattern. I see in so many ways that I take the easy road, the path of least resistance. Not just when dealing with important things but in everything. Even in something as trivial as a video game, I pick the character that takes the least effort to play, dies the least and is pretty much the same in any game so there is no need to learn anything new. In my career, I worked in the same field forever and hated it, never bothered to even try and switch and even now I am working in another field that I actually like but I am only there because it fell in my lap essentially. I didn't follow through in my degree of study because it would have taken more work and effort.

In discussing this with my BH, he pointed out that this is all true except for in my affair. I took a road that was actually harder. In some ways it was the easy road, it was easier to get ego kibbles to make me feel good about myself from an AP that throws them out non-stop to get what they want. It was easier than fixing my relationship and becoming the partner my BH wanted which would have resulted in me feeling good about myself in a more honest and healthy way.

Yet as he points out, the affair was also the hard road in getting those ego kibbles. The lying and deceiving made me sick and twisted me up inside. Yet I kept going back. So what was I getting in my affair that was finally worth taking the hard road?

It wasn't the sex. I had a good sex life with my BH and as it really was better with my BH. There was excitement and newness that added to the affair sex making it seem good at first. But any of that I could have had with my BH without much added effort.

So why did I finally take the harder road, what was I getting from the AP that was worth it?

Ego kibbles - Telling me whatever I wanted to hear. Good looking, good in bed, smart. He wanted to be with me, which I know is bullshit, but felt good to hear. And no complaints - obviously because there wasn't really a relationship anyway, so nothing to complain about. I was also validated that I was right, that there was nothing wrong with me, my BH was wrong to find anything to complain about. Was this validation that important to me?

Was my self-image so directly tied to my self-worth that my BH pointing out that I wasn't as amazing as I told myself I was, made me feel like I was worth nothing? So I couldn't accept that and that was enough that I finally actually did something difficult? I dealt with the sick feeling and shame by shoving them down, but at least I was worth something after all.
But why not do the difficult thing and make myself amazing to my BH? I guess if I took that route then I would be admitting that he was right and I wasn't what I thought I was, wasn't who I thought I was. I think there was some deep fears in becoming what my older sister had threatened I would become, so if I wasn't amazing then I was the trash she predicted I would be. Yet again - having an affair kind of makes me trash so…that logic fails.

The affair itself took no investment for the ego kibbles I got out of it, but it also wasn't no work at all. My BH would have been thrilled with just a little effort on my part. I look back now and think about how easy it would have been to invested just a little into our relationship and it would have made him so happy. Maybe he wouldn't have been as forthcoming as the AP with the flattery? I also think that I had finished school, had a decent job that made me feel important and I was in better shape than I had been for a long time, so I believe I also thought I was entitled to the flattery.

Zugzwang posted 10/13/2019 13:36 PM

IMO it still isn't the harder road. Maybe to a BS they see it as that. It is easy to deceive and lie. It is easy to sit in your shit and find others that want to sit in their shit as well and let each other at it without pushing them to get out. Complicated maybe, yet still easy. The APs don't hold us accountable. They don't push us to better ourselves or question us. It is just lie through your teeth. Say what you want to hear and sit back and collect the kibbles. You don't have to do much to get kibbles. It isn't like you need to take out the garbage to get a thanks or put the kids the bed. It all comes free and no responsibilities have to be put into it. Shallow praise is enough if you get a ton of it.

BH pointing out that I wasn't as amazing as I told myself I was, made me feel like I was worth nothing?

Did your BH used to do that? My wife really doesn't do that sort of stuff. She is of the opinion that grown adults shouldn't need to be built up like children. By now we should know who we are and love ourselves and feel confident. In the beginning of dating and being friends my wife did do it a bit. I should have realized I was amazing and it be enough since I was married to her. Thing is we take what we have caught for granted.

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