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Small instances that remind you of the betrayer you are

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Psalm51 posted 12/16/2019 07:57 AM

Yesterday some dirtbag went into my husbands van and stole one of our sons hockey bag. Everything gone. A lot of $$ to restore. Kicker..we lect the door unlocked accidentally - but nonetheless, someone took what wasnt theirs.

What that said to me...

It doesn't matter if our marraiges were good or rough. Magical or near death. Doesn't matter if the 'door was left unlocked'. We WS's, took/stole/destroyed what wasn't ours to destroy. Our 'excuses', like an unlocked van door...didnt grant permission. And now, it could take a lot of $$$ (time, healing, etc..whatever your $$ is) to restore.

Psalm51 posted 12/16/2019 08:01 AM

Stop sign can be removed. Still new...didnt know it was automatic

wifehad5 posted 12/16/2019 19:18 PM

I've removed the stop sign for you. BS's can now respond

EvolvingSoul posted 12/16/2019 19:22 PM

Hi there Psalm51,

For a pretty long time, things will relate back to the affair. Sometimes it's an obvious connection and sometimes it can be rather oblique and you get hit sideways without seeing it coming. TV shows, songs, bill boards, news articles, locations, photographs, certain foods, depending on the details of the affair and how the recovery is going, it all is potential trigger material.

Also especially challenging is when it happens to your BS because even things that are not related to the affair specifically will feel to him like they're your fault.

Even if "difficult thing X" isn't your fault, the affair generally has BSes dealing with overwhelm a lot of the time so it does not take a lot to capsize their emotional boat. They're frequently already close to being tipped over. Thing X is just the thing that pushes them the rest of the way. So when it happens, don't get defensive. Try to be patient. Apologize and have the courage to stay engaged (unless they specifically ask you to give them space). You don't have to fix their feelings or talk them out of their feelings. It's a lot more helpful to learn how to just sit with them while they go through it (it will pass, usually in 20 minutes to an hour) and help them bear it without making it about you by going into "I'm the worst person in the world you'd be better off with out me" mode. Your BS should not have to be comforting you during one of these episodes, rather the other way around. "Defenses low, curiosity high" is the way to go.

Welcome to SI from a fellow EvolvingSoul.

[This message edited by EvolvingSoul at 7:23 PM, December 16th (Monday)]

Maia posted 12/16/2019 21:25 PM

something I had to do was to stop thinking of myself in those terms.

I'm not a betrayer.

Yes I did those things but that isn't who I am. In fact, someone died for me so that I wouldn't be known as a betrayer, but as beloved.

I am beloved. And from that place I can love my husband. Really love him.

Forgiveness does not excuse. It doesn't say "it's ok"

It looks at all that you are, every twisted horrible disgusting thing you've ever done, and declares you free. it declares you what you are not. but from that place you become.

[This message edited by Maia at 9:28 PM, December 16th (Monday)]

Psalm51 posted 12/17/2019 01:10 AM

Maia

Beautiful 💕💕

...but giving more thought, we are betrayers. I know you're coming from a faith POV...I also am a Christian - yet I believe that although our sins are forgiven and covered, this doesnt mean we can't take responsibility for them and call them as they are. I betrayed my spouse (and like my nickname eludes, I betrayed my God) Yes, I am beloved...but very much someone who betrayed.

[This message edited by Psalm51 at 8:20 AM, December 17th (Tuesday)]

MrsWalloped posted 12/17/2019 05:46 AM

Hi Maia.

Yes I did those things but that isn't who I am.

Is this a form of rug sweeping the truth about ourselves. I donít know if it is or not. But once I got my head on a little straighter and was in a place where I could accept this about myself, Iíve looked at it that this is exactly who I am. I am the same person. I made a conscious choice to hurt my husband, my family and myself for a long period of time. I donít think itís contradictory btw. Weíre human after all. I am beautiful inside yet I have an ugliness in there too. I am kind and giving and caring. I am also selfish and shallow. I am empathetic. I am also unfeeling and uncaring. I am a strong and confident woman. I am also scared and needy and ashamed of myself. I am a good person. I also have the proven ability to do evil.

I have the song This Is Me from The Greatest Showman playing in my head now. Not like a badge of pride like the song in the movie but like a statement that I am a lot of things and some of those arenít very pretty and are actually ugly and thatís all of me. And thatís okay. Understanding that helps me and keeps me vigilant about staying on the right path. I wonít ever let my guard down or say, ďNot me. Iíd never do that.Ē Because I have and I know I am the type of person who could. Maybe I wouldnít anymore, but that is still part of me. I do believe Iíve changed but my history is me. This Is Me. All of it. For better or for worse, right?

What do you think?

Zugzwang posted 12/17/2019 05:59 AM

^^^Agree. I had to own it and do the same to move forward. Though I know I don't have to worry about the guard because my needs and how I view myself changed to not want those things. My character changed.

[This message edited by Zugzwang at 6:00 AM, December 17th (Tuesday)]

MrsWalloped posted 12/17/2019 06:08 AM

Though I know I don't have to worry about the guard because my needs and how I view myself changed to not want those things. My character changed.

If I was very clinical about it and looked at myself objectively Iíd probably say the same thing. But Iím too scared to do that. I donít trust myself that Iíd be right or truly objective. I want to believe it so badly, maybe Iíll convince myself itís true when itís really not. Maybe I donít really need the guard, but I feel like I still do.

Maia posted 12/17/2019 09:04 AM

I was a betrayer.

I am beloved.

Talking to my husband about it last night, he said that as long as I accepted that label and kept it, it formed a wall between us. He said I was right, I had to let it go.

The cross means letting it go. It means forgiven. not just for all the things I had done wrong before I was saved but for all the things I have or ever will do wrong. That's scary because it sounds like a get out of jail free card. But it makes me more responsible because the one who died for me so I could live, meant for me to live in freedom to choose right.

He who has been forgiven much. loves much.

I am beloved.

Owl6118 posted 12/17/2019 09:17 AM

I think this is a crucially important discussion. However, I also think that for those who betray, finding how to integrate that truth into our self-image and self-understanding is a very personal journey.

Often this journey involves returning to and revisiting our earliest moral foundations, including the things we were taught in childhood and the teachings of our family and community faiths if those form part of our lives.

However, one consequence of that is that people raised in different faith traditions may follow different roads in thinking and feeling their way to this acceptance and re-integration.

There are faith traditions which speak very specifically or almost prescriptively to how this part of the journey should be understood and undertaken as part of their very core message, and that point of view has been beautifully expressed here. However, there are other traditions that handle these matters through different teachings and precepts. For those raised in other traditions, their journey may have different wayposts and significant moments and may be expressed differently, but be no less valid.

I think personally, though I was raised in the faith of Psalm51 and Maia, my own understanding of how to integrate my worst actions and betrayals into my understanding of myself if closer to Mrs. W's.

But my point is, the work of integrating and accepting is the important thing. I think I feel it when I do the work sincerely and with conviction, and I think I have sometimes have a "gut sense" from empathy of when others get to the point where they are in the same point in their own work. But I try to also remain mindful that there may be some differences in the way different betrayers approach this work and that are shaped by being tru to the teachings of their own faith and community.

[This message edited by Owl6118 at 9:26 AM, December 17th (Tuesday)]

Psalm51 posted 12/17/2019 09:23 AM

Owl6118

Very well said.

Maia posted 12/17/2019 09:38 AM

Owl. I understand what you are saying. And I appreciate it. It's why I only relate how I deal with my own stuff. I can't speak for anyone else. I share my journey and how I got here and if it helps others, yay.

But Psalm51 is quite obviously likely of the same faith as me.

so on that ground. 1 John 1:9

read it. ask for help to believe it.

my only other thought is that a huge part of my why was lies I believed about God. Uncovering those and uncovering where those beliefs led was huge for me. looking for truth and lies. correcting the lies I believed. Read my reframing post. it will make it more clear.

but remember too, I've had 15 years to heal and grow. it takes time. But if I had stayed in the place where that's how I thought of myself, I would not be able to function.

[This message edited by Maia at 10:00 AM, December 17th (Tuesday)]

Razorbyrd posted 12/17/2019 12:03 PM

comment removed by author

[This message edited by Razorbyrd at 8:00 PM, December 18th (Wednesday)]

HellFire posted 12/17/2019 13:08 PM

Her most recent dday was December 6. 11 days ago.

It's one thing for those who are years out,who have done the work, to say that's no longer who they are.

It's another to tell a new WS that's not who they are. Right now? 11 days out from dday? While her husband is still pulling the knife out of his back? Before she has done the work? It is who she is.

It is not so she has to continue to be.

Edited to correct a typo

[This message edited by HellFire at 2:03 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)]

hikingout posted 12/17/2019 13:39 PM

Hellfire beat me to it. I wasn't going to say exactly that, but it's the gist of it.

I think this is an interesting discussion and probably the most religious one I have ever seen in this forum. It may be true that you can seek and gain forgiveness from God if you repent, but with yourself and your BS this is certainly a process.

I see how the discussion took a shift because there is always an ongoing one about not disassociating yourself from who you were in the affair. For Maia, who is years and years out, that feeling of peace and self forgiveness is there. She changed and lived a different course to have a different immediate history to look back on.

And, I agree the goal as Razorbyrd said is that you want to change yourself to the extent that the things you want are different - healthy and wholesome.

And, Zug, Owl and Mrs. Walloped probably explained it very closely to what I would describe for myself. I know my cheating is a culmination of my character as a whole and some of those characteristics are very ingrained in me clear back to FOO. I have to diligently work on things that reflect a good self worth so that I can reinforce it. I have to question my motives on things. I have to watch out for thought distortion and not trusting everything I think (which is what Mrs. Walloped was talking about)

But, 11 days out from a DDAY? Personal peace of mind is a long ways away. You have days ahead of wallowing in shame, and trying to figure out how you became this person. The triggers that you mention - there will be many of them. I had to get rid of all the clothes I wore during my affair, even though most of them were ones worn outside of his presence. The reminders will become worse as the realization of how much you altered the course of your life and your BS's life. It's very much the way Evolving Soul describes it. It's going to be a bumpy ride.

But, I think it's a little nice the thread went in this direction. You have gotten some really good insight of what it can look like if you could fast forward a few years. Some of the members I respect most have commented on your thread. This community can offer all sorts of support - some of it will be hard to hear, but I encourage you to try and take it all in. Some of my biggest struggles to understand myself and the depths that I had reached happened right here in these forums.

[This message edited by hikingout at 1:42 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)]

Pippin posted 12/17/2019 14:02 PM

I started to heal, and to help my husband heal, on the day I heard and started to believe Maia's message. Before that I put my husband and myself through dday after dday, endless trickle truth, ferocious self-protection, and attempts to replace the affair with various unsuccessful alternatives for self-soothing (which were not hurtful to other people in the way the affair was but which were leading nowhere but depression and living death). Any hint of judgment or condemnation made me turn tail and run and still does; I judge and condemn myself more than enough on my own. It is not healing.

My husband's compassion and love gave me the courage to be vulnerable with him. The intimacy I have with him now is a gift I never want to give up. I am devoted to him not because I owe it to him but because devotion to him fills me up with love.

The promise of redemption and forgiveness are scary close to a get out of jail card/free pass to keep doing whatever you want. I am not a betrayer. I am beloved. But I also must die to sin daily, guard my heart, and tend to my wounds and vulnerabilities. Every day of my life. Then I can help the others close to me, especially the people who were hurt by my actions, every day of their lives. And I must be clear what my sin is. My sin was and is listening to and agreeing with the stories I hear that tell me I am evil, and hopeless, and worthless, and not enough. The actions that hurt myself and others are not the sin. (tbh I'm a little fuzzy on that second point and still working on it but I am totally clear that the sin is the belief that I am separate from God. The actions come from that. I'm not explaining it well but it's Matthew 5 21-30 which I am working on).

Psalm51, if your faith was not a protection before the affair, you might need to give it another and completely different look. You have to CHOOSE to love God and hate sin. Not because other people tell you to, or it's the expected thing.

These are words a friend gave me that I have been using lately. She says it gets easier! I hope they help you:

Lift the shield of faith. You are beloved, holy, beautiful and blessed. But unless you believe it will still be a fight. Command the enemy to be silent. They have no authority over you.

Skoochnski posted 12/17/2019 15:29 PM

Iím not a theist so I really donít understand my WHís AP seems to believe that since sheís a Christian sheís automatically forgiven.

Sheís certainly never asked my forgiveness. Isnít that a prerequisite?

I mean, even in AA they tell people to apologize to the ones theyíve hurt.

Why, then, does she get to present herself as a pious, Christian woman on her social media?

She wrote:

ďOther people do not define me. I am valuable and a child of the most high God. I am precious, forgiven and blessed.Ē 🤮

How does she get to call herself ďforgivenĒ when she hasnít made any effort to right her wrongs or even apologize for them!?

IntoTheFray posted 12/17/2019 21:59 PM

Skooch, I have to agree with you. The OW has very little social media presence, just a FB and LinkedIn profile. I looked through her profile just after DDay to see what she was all about. Barring a gazillion selfies and pics of her kids, her profile was all Christian all the time. And I don't mean memes or shared pics, I mean laboriously typed out paragraphs, confessing her faith and meant to inspire her family and friends.

I blocked her two days after DDay and haven't been back to her profile. It was necessary for my mental health. But I often wonder if anyone in her life really knows the evil that lurks underneath the pious fluff. Do they know that she deliberately pursues married men? Do they know just how low she will go to get what she wants? Do they know that she's capable of blackmail, sexual assault and extortion? Do they know the evil that lurks in her soul?

Like you, I never got an apology for her interference in my life. Neither did my husband, for that matter. She never apologised for the pure evil she unleashed on him when she realised whatever she had in mind when she pursued him first was slipping through her fingers. She never apologised for blackmaiing him into submitting to sexual assault. She never apologised for faking a pregnancy. She never apologised for the endless barrage of texts, cajoling and threatening him. She did reach out to him three months after DDay, fishing, wanting to know if he was 'okay'. How do you reach out to someone you raped, whose body you used without their consent, to ask if they're 'okay'. Someone whom you told, 'You better start kissing me back, or there will be consequences', someone whom you told, 'You're testing me', when they didn't respond to your texts in a timely manner while with their WIFE. The cognitive dissonance is unreal.

The thought of her doing those things and then proclaiming that she has been cleansed of all sin by the blood of the Lamb is inconceivable. Forgiveness is a topic often discussed on these forums; the concept of forgiveness being something we as BS need to do for our own peace of mind, both for the WS and the OP. But what is the Biblical perspective on forgiveness? The Bible teaches us that a confession of those sins and repentance from them are necessary for forgiveness. God doesn't just randomly go around forgiving sins. There are necessary steps involved in the process, including admitting to those sins and asking for forgiveness. So if this person hasn't approached those that she deliberately wronged and harmed, if she doesn't admit she was wrong and asks for our forgiveness, then under what obligation are we to forgive her? As it is, I have peace with the idea of hating her forever. She doesn't deserve our absolution.

I would be very careful with this line of thinking. I have read on this type of forum the story of a BW whose WH to all appearances found religion after his affair. He then proclaimed himself forgiven by God and would take no more responsibility for the affair. He wouldn't answer her questions, wouldn't talk to her at all about the affair. She was stuck in absolute gut wrenching agony, while he merrily went on his way, washed clean of his sins.

[This message edited by IntoTheFray at 6:16 AM, December 18th (Wednesday)]

Skoochnski posted 12/18/2019 05:26 AM

@IntoTheFray

It reminds me of the idiot on the movie ďO Brother Where Art ThouĒ after he crashed a river baptism:

Delmar O'Donnell: ďThe preacher says all my sins is warshed away, including that Piggly Wiggly I knocked over in Yazoo. ... And the preacher says that that sin's been warshed away too. Neither God nor man's got nothin' on me now. C'mon in boys, the water is fine!Ē

🙄🙄🙄

Iíve noticed that whatever God ďsaysĒ to these types of people usually lines up nicely with their own self-serving ideas anyway.

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