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Egomaniac

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wantstorepair posted 1/17/2020 17:21 PM

Hurtsmyheart,
Today was certainly a setback. I hurt her again with my actions; I was not humble, and did not accept her pain and anger with humility and patience - I was me, the same me, and got defensive and argued and justified and was the opposite of what you describe your husband at being. She certainly has PTSD because of me, and is hurt daily even if my every action is not hurtful. Trying to do as you suggest and pick back up and try again to be a better person and live and act with humility. LLXC, no. most certainly no she is not happy with my lack of progress. So far I am all words...They are the right way to be and act and I do truly believe that this is the path, and yes my children and BW are at stake, I do know this and they are my sincere motivation to be a better man. My BW does read this, but I am not writing to manipulate her and not tempering or adjusting my words because this is in the open. I am trying to make my words match my actions and visa versa so there is trust and confidence in my consistency. She suffers a lot because of my repeated failure to live and act better, to be humble and to listen and not be an asshole. Learning from all of you and trying to not be the same justifying argumentative person is the only way to change and protect my family from further hurt and damage.

wantstorepair posted 1/17/2020 17:21 PM

Hurtsmyheart,
Today was certainly a setback. I hurt her again with my actions; I was not humble, and did not accept her pain and anger with humility and patience - I was me, the same me, and got defensive and argued and justified and was the opposite of what you describe your husband at being. She certainly has PTSD because of me, and is hurt daily even if my every action is not hurtful. Trying to do as you suggest and pick back up and try again to be a better person and live and act with humility. LLXC, no. most certainly no she is not happy with my lack of progress. So far I am all words...They are the right way to be and act and I do truly believe that this is the path, and yes my children and BW are at stake, I do know this and they are my sincere motivation to be a better man. My BW does read this, but I am not writing to manipulate her and not tempering or adjusting my words because this is in the open. I am trying to make my words match my actions and visa versa so there is trust and confidence in my consistency. She suffers a lot because of my repeated failure to live and act better, to be humble and to listen and not be an asshole. Learning from all of you and trying to not be the same justifying argumentative person is the only way to change and protect my family from further hurt and damage.

wantstorepair posted 1/17/2020 19:44 PM

In a different thread I was referred to a 2018 post from DaddyDom at https://www.wmww.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=617173
about The process of discovering our true "Why's"

I have written "I" so many times here, and I am not sure I am going through the process as you described it DaddyDom, or if it makes sense. There is much deeper to go. In writing this out and answering "Why" I feel like I am offering excuses and justifications, but I think that is your point, understanding why I felt justified in doing what I did. None of this absolves me from any responsibility for the hurt my BW has.

Here it goes. I am still searching.

Why did I cheat on my wife?
- I seek female validation (why?)
o I am insecure (why?)
o I have little self worth (why?)
o I feel like nothing I do is good enough (why?)
o I was not valued as a person by my mom (why?)
o I was there to make her feel good about herself as a parent
o Everything was transactional
o The consequences of my bad actions as a child were always mitigated by something to which my mom would take credit for and then there would be a “debt owed” like she hooked me up by not making me face the consequences.
o If I showed what she wanted to see, the consequences were mitigated. “I’m Sorry and I love you” = no harm, no foul
o I was taught to get out of consequences by being what others wanted me to be
o I was taught that her approval was more important than honesty, and that also meant not getting caught
o I was taught by her that words that were contrary to my bad actions when caught were enough to avoid reaping the consequences
o I was taught to manipulate, even ahead of my actions in order to avoid consequences.
o Even now, my “image” has gotten me out of consequences my actions demanded because the groundwork was laid that I can’t be that bad person, or he didn’t mean it because he is really a great guy.
I have actively cultivated that image and even shifted blame to my BW on may occasions by laying the groundwork that "I am the good guy"
o So the consequences quickly did not matter to dissuade me from acting badly in the first place.
o So lying about cheating and lying about lying was the only way I knew to deal with real consequences when caught (why?)
o I never faced real consequences and like a scared child lies were the way out of facing myself and my lack of self worth.
o My father was absent and focused on work first and I was taught that that was the role and validation from him came through accomplishment – transactional, and that affection came from women
o A man tried to molest me when I was 12 in a very transactional manipulative way at the place I worked and with someone who was an authority figure, and I felt confused and inadequate (why?)
o That wasn’t what male ‘affection’ should be, it made me feel awful about myself like something was wrong with me (why?)
o It was contrary to all I thought I knew about what was important for male approval, being good at work wasn’t enough
o It made me want to feel validated as a person and I turned to sex with my girlfriend (why?)
o It righted the gender roles I knew and was what I thought mattered.


- Sex makes me feel valid (why?)
o Being wanted makes me feel good (why?)
o I feel deep down that I am unwanted and unloved (why?)
o I was taught love was conditional and transactional
o I was not loved for me but instead for how I made my mom feel.
o Feelings became a tool and weapon
o Physical “love” is different; someone willingly giving themselves to you sexually is validating
o So by 13 I was having sex to fill a validation void
o Since then everything from women flirting with me to actual APs makes me feel validated(why?)
o I don’t feel valid without that attention (why?)
o Growing up my female attention was transactional
o I felt wanted by them, me wanting them was not enough (why?)
o I had to get attention growing up in that transactional relationship to feel wanted
o Being wanted, hit on, flirted with, seduced was them coming to me vice the other way around.
o Sex boosts my ego (why?)
o Believing they want me is validating and gives me pleasure (why?)
o I felt like it wasn’t transactional
o Seeing, feeling, hearing the other person’s pleasure makes me feel good (why?)
o I am doing something right
o I feel good when they feel good (why?)
o I feel justified in feeling good if they are feeling good too (why?)
o It was always about how I made someone else feel
o Even in my adult career in a non sexual context how others felt about me and my work was more important than the work iteself or good for goodness sake (why?)
o Approval was the most important thing (why?)
o External validation from authority figures made me feel valued (why?)
o My self worth was measured by how my parents felt about me
o I never learned to value me for me, it always had to come from somewhere else.
o I now see that I am repeating the cycle with my own kids – feeling good about what I am doing as a parent vice going what is good for them regardless of how I feel. (why?)
o I want to feel good about something (why?)
o I want to feel valued (why?)
o Being needed and wanted gives me purpose (why?)
o I never defined what that meant for myself (why?)
o Purpose and value was defined for me

Why am I so insecure?
- I have lived a life of lies (why?)
- I know that I am a bad person
- I refuse to sit with myself and look in the mirror (why?)
- There has always been a way out, a way to avoid that painful experience
- I have never sat with myself and defined what is important to and for me
- Everything was transactional and trying to get external validation or attention and as I look back I struggle to find something genuine.
- I feel vapid (why?)
- I am not genuine (why?)
- Everything always had to have a purpose or objective (why?)
- I was raised by selfish manipulators and rules didn’t matter if the ends justified the means
- Words spoken about good actions and behaviors and character were not reinforced by actions
- What I saw was more defining than what I heard
- I see that am doing the same thing now

Hurtmyheart posted 1/18/2020 09:50 AM

Hi wantstorepair, I had written a response to your previous post yesterday and then somehow it got erased!

I just think you need to keep trying. You are on a good path and there are going to be lots of setbacks. My WH and you were very similar in your upbringing in that you both experienced major trama and mistreatment. My WH was also forced to be around the women while growing up while his dad and brothers did things together. WH also tried to conform to what others wanted him to be, always trying to please and be what others wanted him to be instead of being himself. And always had the need to please others just to get them to like him.

You endured an attempted sexual assault, wantstorepair. That is HUGE!! Especially for a child to have to deal with it.

Did you tell your parents about this incident? Did they believe you? Do you blame yourself for being assaulted? This is definetly an area for you to explore with your IC. I know because you have your kid's to take care of, your time is limited but there are also other resources out there to help you along. My WH really liked CR (Celebrate Recovery). It's through the church but is a good program. Or maybe step up your IC sessions to two times a week for a period of time.

Have you thought that you may be Codependent? It sounds like you had to please your mom at the expense of being yourself. And sounds like you felt the need to please others to get them to like you. My WH and I both were codependent. It's a terrible way to be but is curable. And it is so freeing not to have the need or desire to have to please or conform to others idea's.

I'm still going to say that you are on a good path dispite your setbacks but I also feel that you could benefit from other outside resources other than IC alone. Has there been alcohol or drug abuse issues in your family-you, your mother or father? Even a sibling can create the imbalance if they are abusing alcohol or drugs.

When my WH was severely beaten by his mother, he stopped believing in God. He felt that God was not there for him because if he was then this would never had happened. My WH left God behind that very moment his mother began to beat him. My WH father wouldn't even stick up for him, nor his brothers. They saw all the bruises and yet the three of them turned a blind eye towards my WH. This was my WH turning point of spiraling down into darkness. My WH was a good kid and yet if he did something wrong, his brothers would threaten him that he was going to cause his mother a heart attack and then he and his little sister would have to live in the car. What a sick thing to say to a little brother. He doesn't talk to them anymore. Thank goodness. Who needs that?

Today, my WH is a new man...he is not that horrible person anymore. As I stated earlier, he turned his life over to God. When I read your post to him, he told me that there is no way you will be able to change and endure this storm alone. He asked me to tell you to read I think it is James in the Bible on perseverance. My WH told me without God, there was no way he would have been able to handle the storm (me) and face what he did against his wife and kid's. I'm not usually one to bring up God but my WH asked me to tell you this.

wantstorepair posted 1/18/2020 11:06 AM

Hi Hurtsmyheart, No I never told them. Within a year of that I had gotten my GF pregnant and she had an abortion, my parents found out, told her parents and it was gas on the fire of the already toxic relationship I had with them, so no, I never talked about with anyone for a very long time and never told them. I do blame myself because I was seeking validation and had I not been I think I would have never been a target for that kind of attempted abuse. I have downplayed this incident my whole life and packed it away. It could have been so much worse and is nothing compared to what others have endured in terms of sexual abuse, so I never made a big deal of it or thought it a pivotal thing. I think now I am wrong and see how it was a part of the bigger picture that shaped my character. My mom and dad definitely abused alcohol. I have too through my whole life, (started drinking at 13) and am in a current effort now to cut way back on my consumption and feel like alcohol is not a factor at this point and something I can control. I have had relapses of course, but I think I am on a better path WRT alcohol. Codependent? Yes. I will take your husband's suggestion and read James. Thank you!

Hurtmyheart posted 1/18/2020 12:13 PM

You are welcome!

I also do feel that the sexual abuse was a huge factor in your spiral down. I feel that it caused identity issues, boundary issues, and also validation issues.

Nothing you could have done would have caused a grown man to want to touch you, unless you yourself was experimenting with your sexuality? If not, then you can not accept blame for this. A healthy man would not cross boundries to touch a child. That is sick and sick thinking.

My friends father had sex with her over a period of years, probably from 8 to 16 year's old until she put a stop to it. The father in his sick mind somehow must have thought that his behavior toward his daughter was acceptable and he had a right to her. This is really sick and demented thinking.

I figured alcohol was involved and I bet chaos and bad behavior from your parents and their heavy drinking also played a role in your childhood pain. Take a look at what your norm was when you were growing up in your home. Was it happy and safe environment? Or was it consumed by alcohol? Constant arguing and some kind of abuse? Were you able to think and was there calmness in your home? Did you and were you able to trust your parents?

I believe codependency is another factor in your upbringing, always trying to please and change to make others like you. Codependency really sucks but with work and understanding, you can overcome these issues.

3greatkids posted 1/18/2020 16:57 PM

No he’s not making progress, no he’s not being sincere, and no he’s not writing here in the hopes I’ll see it and fall for it. I know he’s a liar and I know how he acts everyday, and it isn’t with remorse or humility or even a whisper of concern for the children.

I’d imagine he’s writing all the flowery smarmy stuff here because he believes his lies and minimizing mental gymnastics and now he’s found a new source for validation with people trying to prop him up and reassure him he’s really not so bad after all. It’s been his MO for a lifetime to self flagellate then get people to reassure him. It’s manipulative crap.

Zugzwang posted 1/18/2020 17:28 PM

got defensive and argued and justified

WHY?!

Why do you get that way? Do you really feel the way you say you do? Or are you saying it because you know you are supposed to? Be honest finally. If you don't and you can't, then tell her.

Honestly, there are most likely people out there that can't progress or can't change because they lack the ability to do so. Not talking about the drive. Just that there is something to do with wiring that will always be an obstacle. Some type of spectrum thing.

Honestly, after this long- there should be a difference by now.

It’s been his MO for a lifetime to self flagellate then get people to reassure him. It’s manipulative crap.
Called that already because there has been zero progress since he has been here. The same questions, they same I want to change. No changes. Just the words to match what he knows he should do, feel, and show- yet really doesn't in his core. You can see it.

LLXC posted 1/19/2020 01:24 AM

Have you thought that you may be Codependent? It sounds like you had to please your mom at the expense of being yourself

Huh. I am not seeing co-dependency at all.

Have you, WTR, asked your therapist about narcissism, because that is what seems to be going on.

No he’s not making progress, no he’s not being sincere, and no he’s not writing here in the hopes I’ll see it and fall for it. I know he’s a liar and I know how he acts everyday, and it isn’t with remorse or humility or even a whisper of concern for the children

I had a really bad feeling that was what was happening.


WTR, again, this sounds very narcissistic. If you truly want to change things and don't actually have NPD, find a specialist in narcissism. They are most likely able to help you.

Zugzwang posted 1/19/2020 11:14 AM

Would a true narcissist self flagellate? I was thinking more along the lines of aspergers.

wantstorepair posted 1/19/2020 13:26 PM

Zugzwang, I honestly don't know why I get that way. I know it is wrong, what I write here I know is the correct way to be and act, yet when it comes right down to it I still get defensive, and incredulous and angry. I dont want to accept that it is what it is and I am just a fucked up person who can't be rewired. I do want to change. I don't want to be propped up; I am trying to figure out how to do literally everything different in my life because I do care about my BW and my children and do not want to go on hurting people. I am lost.

wantstorepair posted 1/19/2020 13:56 PM

I just took a test/quiz at psychcentral and scored a 36 saying that autism is likely. so n ow what? more doctors and try do honestly do treatment. is that just another excuse foe me being an asshole? I feel like I know nothing.

LLXC posted 1/19/2020 15:28 PM

R

Would a true narcissist self flagellate? I was thinking more along the lines of aspergers

Maybe not NPD, but covert narcissism, absolutely. To me, this just screams someone on the narcissism spectrum, covert narcissism. They are always the victim.

As for autism, that coukd be part of it. But 25 years of cheating is not a autistic trait. It is a narcissistic

I just took a test/quiz at psychcentral and scored a 36 saying that autism is likely. so n ow what? more doctors and try do honestly do treatment. is that just another excuse foe me being an asshole? I feel like I know nothing

Go to a psychiatrist and get a diagnosis. If you are on the autism spectrum, ot is only an excuse if you use it to justify shitty behaviors. If you are on the spectrum, different therapeutic techniques might be necessary to help you.

There might be a bunch of stuff going on so get a proper diagnosis and go from there

Zugzwang posted 1/19/2020 17:02 PM

For the record people with any spectrum are not

I dont want to accept that it is what it is and I am just a fucked up person who can't be rewired.

Just because you might have something doesn't mean it is hopeless or you are useless. At the very least you will know what you have to work with. You can get help and work in a different way to address that and learn how to manage it. Damn, there are many reasons why people act they way they do and it isn't always stemmed from some FOO issues. There are legitimate physical issues too. Arrested development, brain damage (just saw a study where many people that exhibit higher than normal sex drives and adultery behavior could suffer frontal lobe damage), spectrums, and other psych stuff. Wouldn't you at least want to know? Go and see your doctor. Ask him. Get a cat scan. IDK. I just know I would do it if I had talked the talk for so long and knew what needed to be done and didn't take action for this many years.

Sparkle0504 posted 1/20/2020 05:00 AM

/\/\/\/\/\/
THIS!!

BS here. I've been following your posts because it completely resonates with my experiences with STBXWH.

I left him in August. Not because he cheated hundreds of times (he's SA and *allegedly* hasn't acted out in two and a half years), but because he treated me abysmally and behaves the way you do. Refuses to get the advice/help he needs. Lots of promises and pretty words but won't walk the walk and get diagnosed and make a plan for proper recovery.

Therefore I am lost to him. Listen WTR!

[This message edited by Sparkle0504 at 5:01 AM, January 20th, 2020 (Monday)]

EvolvingSoul posted 1/20/2020 18:18 PM

Hi again wantstorepair,

I am trying to figure out how to do literally everything different in my life because I do care about my BW and my children and do not want to go on hurting people. I am lost.
I'm going to suggest what will seem like a radical course of study but at this point you really have nothing to lose. At the core you need to change your relationship with yourself. If you can do that, positive change in the relationships you have with everyone else will flow. It's going to involve you actually DOING something every day.

1) Download the app "Headspace". Start a daily meditation practice. The meditations/teachings on this particular app will work well because they are underpinned by the same philosophy as most of the other teachings I'm getting ready to suggest. Get started right away. Today. The first 10 sessions are free.

2) Get the book "How to Meditate" by Pema Chodron. Study and integrate the ideas/techniques into your now daily meditation practice.

3) Read and/or listen to "The Wisdom of No Escape" by Pema Chodron. Study and keep meditating daily. Notice when something you learn about in the book comes up in your meditation or during your day to day experience.

4) Get and listen to "The Great Courses: Self Compassion" Do the exercises and try to apply the techniques during your regular, still daily, meditation.

5) Read and/or listen to "Start Where You Are" by Pema Chodron. Study and keep meditating daily. These teachings will be very counter-intuitive. Keep an open mind. Remember that what you have been doing up to now isn't working. It's time to try something totally different.

6) Read and/or listen to "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brené Brown. Learn about vulnerability and shame resilience. Study the guideposts for "whole hearted living" and examine your own experience to see where you are missing the mark. Cultivate courage, compassion and connection by practicing vulnerability. Keep meditating daily.

7) Read and/or listen to "When Things Fall Apart" by Pema Chodron. Keep meditating daily.

8) Read and/or listen to "Rising Strong" by Brene Brown. Keep meditating daily.

Give yourself 6 months to a year to work through this material. KEEP MEDITATING DAILY. The benefits are cumulative. At first it won't seem like its doing anything but if you stay with it, you will by your own experience notice that you are changing how you relate to yourself, your thoughts, your feelings and the rest of the world.

This is a very proactive program. It is not enough to be aware of the teachings or how to meditate. You have to actually do it. Think of it as a prescription for medication. You can't get well by just carrying the prescription around in your pocket or framing it and putting it on your wall for all to see, or just showing it to people and talking about it. For any change to happen, you have to actually take the medicine.

Hopefully in January of 2021 you will be making a very different kind of post.

Good luck and if you have any questions or need support people here can help you with it.

Proceed with conviction and valor.

Best to you from a fellow EvolvingSoul.

DaddyDom posted 1/20/2020 18:50 PM

I saw your list of Why's, and wanted to just stop and offer some encouragement. I know a lot of information is coming your way right now, and it can be overwhelming. Buried within that list of Why's is the answer to what's broken in you, and why. The hard part is in fixing those things.

It is true, you've hurt people. And it sounds like that's been going on for a long while. When messages are coming at you telling you that you've always been this way and will never change, that you're a liar and yada yada.... it can feel almost impossible to change. Please, please, please do not listen to those voices. Yes, that's who you have always been up until this point. Who you choose to be tomorrow and for the rest of your life is up to you. Only you can define you, but that process begins with a lot of instrospection, self-honesty, and a making change a top priority.

Please understand that any work you do now, may not save your marriage. I think that's what had me stuck for so long. I kept trying to do or say "the right thing" so that my wife would stay and love me again. In truth, that was still me just trying to manipulate her. But what I kept telling myself was that I was just trying to undo what I had done and make her happy. Getting my fucked up mind to actually glom onto that and understand it... was a monumental task. Once I did however, pieces started to fall into place quickly. They can for you as well.

I am in year four, and honestly, it has taken me this long to realize some of even the most basic things. Along the way a lot more damage was done. In fact, I'd argue that some of the worst damage came from the aftermath of the affair. Anyway, what I'm trying to tell you is that this is not a quick nor easy process, and along the way, if you are doing it right, you will have to give up a lot of things that you may have held precious to you.

It is okay to feel pain. No one likes it of course. But we survive it. And pain is there for a reason, it teaches us, it helps us understand ourselves and world around us. This is your pain now. You can run from it, or you can sit in it, and learn from it. Look around you at the damage done. Look behind you at the damage that's been done all along. And decide who you want to be.

ChangeMe1 posted 1/20/2020 19:41 PM

Taking tests about autism and diagnosis is taking a short cut to answers. I know because I did it to.

My advice is to stop looking for easy answers, instead look at the choices in front of you and look for questions, you'll find tour answers along the way.

For example, you get asked a question and catch tour instinct to lie, now you have a choice and you know the right one is not to lie, but why do you want to, who are you trting to protect, why are you scared, what happens next if you lie, and what if you don't, and who gets truly hurt if you make the easy choice instead of the hard one.

Learn to question yourself, and learn to open those questions to trusted confidants (like a therapist)

Learn to understand your questions, where they come from and to trust in your ability to question yourself.

And if you truly do believe there may be a diagnosis that can help with those questions, ask yourself why you think that and if those questions have real unanswerable questions attached to them take those questions to a medical professional not an online quiz, and if you don't ask your self why.

Twinkies posted 1/21/2020 13:16 PM

You posted this almost two months ago and it feels like your still talking about what need to or should be doing. What have you done differently?
You keep posting how you failed (which feels like aw shucks shame on me attention seeking). How have you prepared? You know how you respond to her triggers what is your plan to react different.

You're still damaging your wife. You're still damaging your kids.

You don't want to be this person? Start being authentic. Go back to those you've lied to ( and omitted facts) and fix it. Tell the truth. Make amends.

In real time, tell the truth. If you think it may hurt them? Tell them they they may not like the answer but tell them.

You feel there is a chasm between who you are and who you project? Don't hide who you are but work towards who you want to be. People can understand that we are not always who we seem. They support those that are trying to be better. But not if its all lip service. Honest words supported by action.

You want to be better? Show "me" you are being better. Come up with a plan of action not just saying you want to be better. Then put your plan in action.


Start small, build upon that. It will take planning and practice.

wantstorepair posted 1/21/2020 18:35 PM

Thank you Evolving Soul, I downloaded Headspace this evening and will start there. There is a lot I must do, and I should have started a long time ago. Thank you for your help.

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