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Small instances that remind you of the betrayer you are

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Zugzwang posted 12/18/2019 06:46 AM

Hellfire and Hikingout I agree.

Personally. I am made anew when I decide to change and stop my thoughts and behaviors. Though I don't believe in a God so it is different for me. I wear cheater as a bumper sticker on the ass end of my car along with a ton of other bumper stickers and I have moved forward. Feel good about myself. Find joy in life. Love and respect myself and others. All without a God to absolve me of those "sins". Why? Because I personally worked for it.

[This message edited by Zugzwang at 6:49 AM, December 18th (Wednesday)]

Maia posted 12/18/2019 07:36 AM

Oh wow. This got interesting.

Psalm51 you might only be a few days out from D Day. But believing and hoping in deliverance will guard your sanity. Cling to it.I believe none of us truly changes without help.

I'm praying for you.

Yes. There are those who take the "get out of jail free" card and try to run with it. Sons of Sceva. All the benefits and none of the costs.

Many will say to Me, Lord Lord...

Doesnt mean the hope isnt real.

It isnt up to us to judge. It's up to us to offer truth and hope as we can. Let's focus on that.

What's going on in your head Psalm51? What's going on at home?

[This message edited by Maia at 7:39 AM, December 18th (Wednesday)]

leavingorbit posted 12/18/2019 07:57 AM

It isnt up to us to judge. It's up to us to offer truth and hope as we can. Let's focus on that.

Thank you, Maia. Iím trying to remember this everyday.

hikingout posted 12/18/2019 08:32 AM

Maia - I am confused...I really didn't see judgment in the posts. I saw some different perspectives for Psalm to consider.

I agree - the goal is self love. The goal is self compassion. Those are really good goals and there should be hope that things can get better for any of us. Those are things I can agree with. But the path to get there is not immediate, and it often requires a lot of internal struggle, and introspection to understand. Suffering is usually the biggest motivator of that. I am not saying I want people to suffer, I am saying sit with the pain and see what it is telling you. I always liked the quote about not ever knowing anyone who ever changed until they got sick of their own bullshit. I think it was part of the whole Pray, Eat, Love story for that author. Sorry for the language, but I think that's so very true.

I think where people were jumping on, is redemption is still a lot of work and we can't gloss over that. I think Psalm understood that, and confirmed it a few times in the thread. Yes, it's a comfort to many people that they are loved unconditionally by a higher power, but my own belief in religion is that we are here to evolve in order to become the best versions of ourselves.

That means that some of that pain can't be avoided just with flowery thoughts and actions, it's where the magic actually happens. Without the pain that I went through, that you went through, we would not have gained a deeper wisdom and understanding of ourselves. I think the concern being expressed is not to shortcut that part of it. I would say have hope, absolutely, but listen to the pain and what it is telling you. That time that I spent wrestling with my shame was key to leading me realizing it's origins . I think you kind of have to do both, and in phases.

I prayed a lot during all that pain, I don't think anyone is saying don't look at religion as a way to strengthen you. You just can't go from that time after DDAY to immediate self compassion without being delusional to what you need to change. Honestly, that wasn't your path either - I know you probably are one of the ones who struggled more than most (I read a lot of your posts like they were my life line when I was in those states), and you got to that sense of earned redemption because you faced your demons and figured out the person you wanted to be.

Don't get me wrong, I think that compassion and love is a big part of what we should offer others, especially while they are struggling, but self correction and change requires that struggle. It's not a bad thing, it's an opportunity. It's not until we get to those depths do we really find the motivation to really look at ourselves clearly and do something about it. So, gently, I don't think you are seeing judgment, I think you are seeing an encouragement of looking at her behavior and working on changes and making amends where she can.

[This message edited by hikingout at 8:37 AM, December 18th (Wednesday)]

thatbpguy posted 12/18/2019 09:19 AM

A few thoughts from a BS perspective...

Although I am a Christian, some people do betray and some people never betray. Why? According to an interesting article in Psychology Today (from about 8 or 10 years ago), they liken betrayers to alcoholics. It's more of an addictive nature within. Sort of like it's in our DNA to or not to be a betrayer. They conclude that betrayers are like alcoholics as they may not betray again, but they always carry the propensity to betray. And therefore, are more susceptible to betraying again.

From a believer's POV, God may forgive a truly repentant heart, but we still live with the consequences of sin- however that may play out. When David betrayed with Bathsheba and then had her husband murdered, God may have forgiven him, but his life was a total train wreck moving forward. He ceased to be "a man after God's own heart".

And the consequences from betrayal are very hard. I mean, there's a reason it was a capitol offense in OT times. It 'kills' the betrayed and 'kills' their marriage and 'kills' the family unit (so to speak). The consequences for "murder" are very high. So I can see why one would never feel forgiven by God.

Over time, those feeling within lessen.

Maia posted 12/18/2019 09:22 AM

I'm saying redemption isnt a lot of work.
It's been done. Accepting it is.
My phone is dying.

It's the kindness of God that leads us to repentance.

It's the difference between

I messed up. My dad is gonna kill me.


I messed up. I need to talk to my dad.

More later.

hikingout posted 12/18/2019 09:36 AM

I am talking about redemption in yourself, with your BS, in our earthly bodies, I thought I would clarify that.

Yes, I understand that we are given that freely in our higher power with repentence. And in seeing God loves us we already have worth for who we are. But, he doesn't spare us pain. Sometimes he sends it to us to strengthen us. Pain is not an enemy. Growth doesn't happen in comfort. Your growth didn't - but it obviously brought you to have a better relationship with God because of what you went through. And maybe that was part of the purposes of some of the pain you have been dealt in your life.

I think you are a loving person, Maia and I have great respect for you. But, protection from pain is not a gift in my eyes. Pain is often an indicator of a lesson, and we all have them. Until we get symptoms we can't live with often we don't go back and heal our traumas, remove the barriers within us that let us be more loving human beings to other people. Your pain is how you became a more loving expansive human being for us here. It brings us humility, compassion for others, it brings us wisdom and understanding.

To me, the acceptance is looking at ourselves very honestly. Accepting we have flaws that we need to strengthen, accepting we have pain that needs healed, accepting we have made some terrible decisions and how that came to be. I think we both agree on the goal, but might have differing opinions on how to get there. It's wonderful that Psalm has all this to consider.

[This message edited by hikingout at 9:38 AM, December 18th (Wednesday)]

Razorbyrd posted 12/18/2019 10:10 AM

comment removed by author

[This message edited by Razorbyrd at 8:01 PM, December 18th (Wednesday)]

Maia posted 12/18/2019 14:28 PM


Just remember who you are. it's separate from what you did. It's okay to hate what you did. You should. But never ever hate yourself. YOU are beloved. And forgiven.

Coming to terms with the lies you believed and what led you to do what you did is the work. And I'll pray your H forgives you. that you can forgive yourself. Thats the hard part.

hiking, the judgment I saw was in the posts about seeing a Ws post on Facebook etc all the Jesus stuff. I'm certain I could be rightfully seen that way as well.
it's a common reaction. In many ways, a justified reaction, under the sun.

thank God thats not all there is.

hikingout posted 12/18/2019 14:57 PM

Thanks for clarifying Maia! Take care.

Zugzwang posted 12/18/2019 16:23 PM

My point is that you need to do more for yourself. To love yourself. If it works for others to have Gods love to be enough to work and change. I am happy for them. Certainly it wasn't enough to have the love of their children or BS. If indeed they were Christian, than God's love was always there and wasn't enough to keep them from straying. Personally I had to do it for myself. And again, I am not Christian so the path was different for me. I just believe in human psychology. Making it easier to travel the path knowing God is by your side..I can see why that helps. Just expecting to it to all magically go away because he loves you without work from yourself inspired by yourself...I just don't buy it. It is more than just that, because I am proof of that and I don't believe in God. It is also about love for yourself in a healthy way. You get better not just because your "God" loves you, but you love and respect yourself.

At this point though we are probably stepping on guideline rules, so I am going to stop. I don't want to offend people.

Just saying, if someone that doesn't believe in God can find healthy and joy...through nothing but hard work, then so can the OP with hard work and her "God".

[This message edited by Zugzwang at 4:26 PM, December 18th (Wednesday)]

Justsomeguy posted 12/18/2019 21:09 PM

Okay. No stop sign so I will do something I almost never do, that is post on the wayward thread. I am a BS.
This is an interesting topic. As a teacher, my class has discussed this very topic, namely, are we defined by the worst thing we have done? Conversely, are we then defined by the best thing we have done? This presupposes that all things are equal. If I commit an act of child molestation and then donate a kidney, do these acts cancel each other out? You can see the problem. Some acts are so soul defining that they forever stain us. But what is the tipping point? And therein lies the rub.
I am a hypocrite who measures myself with a different yardstick than that with which I am prepared to condemn those around me. But I am also aware of that, so I adjust myself. It results in a cpstang state of te sion. I firmly believe that certain acts define you. You see, i worked as a janitor while I was in university. It was a temporary job, and i never considered myself a janitor. I harmed no one doing it. It was an innocuous act. Had I murdered someone and been convicted, it Would be ludicrous for me to say that I am no longer a murderer. I may no longer be actively engaged in murder, but I'm certain you would not want me sitting your children. Nor would I ever forget that I had taken from someone a thing to which I had no right.
I think that infidelity falls into that category. It is soul destroying and to have someone say I refuse to label myself diminishes the pain and suffering that we all experience. You see, even Paul was haunted by the crimes he committed long after he had been given absolution on the road to Damascus. I think the real tragedy would have been forgetting what he had the capability of doing. That is not to say we cannot rise above our worst actions, just that these should be kept in a place that reminds us that what we have done once, we are certain capable of doing again.

Striver posted 12/18/2019 22:43 PM

I agree with JustSomeGuy.

We are all defined by ALL our experiences.

I am a BS, but there are other things I wish I hadn't done. I did them and have to take responsibility.

As for those who have been forgiven much forgiving much, not always so. There's a parable about the slave who was forgiven a debt who would not forgive another. Many waywards are forgiven and do not accept the gift with grace.

I prefer the AA approach rather than saying things are magically wiped away. As JustSomeGuy mentioned, Apostle Paul is another good example. Continue to live, to strive, but don't forget.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 12/19/2019 05:31 AM

Just a reminder:
Please show respect for others - people of all types, beliefs, and cultures populate these forums. There will be no political statements or discussions, and no religious debates.

Zugzwang posted 12/19/2019 08:01 AM

Justsomeguy I agree. I am defined by my actions. My actions are are a result of my choices based off my character at that time. While I was doing cruel things, I was a cruel person. I can face that and accept it. I know it doesn't define who I want to be now and in the future. It did define who I was. Though those two groups have existed since most likely the beginning of time. For me, yes...your actions define you. You do bad things, then at that time you are a bad person. At the end of the day it is what matters to my victims that is of the upmost importance and I will not deny the wrongs I did to them. I treated my wife with horrible and cruel disrespect. Shattered her trust. I refuse to accept I was a good person that just did some bad things during that time. No. I was a bad cruel person by choice that did some really cruel things to someone I took for granted and advantage of. I am guilty of it, so my actions defined who I was at that time.

hikingout posted 12/19/2019 08:26 AM

I think the real tragedy would have been forgetting what he had the capability of doing.

I agree with this. We must work to strengthen ourselves, our character and we must be vigilant on that.

As for whether it defines me, I don't hold that exact belief. It's not so much that I mind to say I am an adulterer, or to admit the truth of my betrayal. But, I can't say I feel it defines me forever. I am a complex human being, there are many things that define me - both good and bad. There are many ways that I effected people's live irrevocably that were in a positive way.

It kind of comes down to this:

Many waywards are forgiven and do not accept the gift with grace.

One of the biggest lessons I learned over the summer is that my struggle with myself was punishing my husband and holding us separate- the feeling of loathing and being undeserving of my husband's grace (I say it that way because we don't talk in terms of forgiveness. I don't know if I will forgive myself, I don't know if he will forgive me - but we are both willing to accept it happened and move on -with compassion towards ourselves and each other)

We have someone who is very close to our family who does a lot of work in our business. We met him probaby 5 years ago. He is one of those people who come into your life that is an obviously a missing piece of your puzzle. He is a good man, a reasonable man, a good family man and has a work ethic that just will never be matched.

As a young man, he was very angry and involved with a lot of people that were not good people. As a result, he committed murder during a fight that I *think* happened in a bar and served 13 years in prison. He has shared his journey with us, and in our hearts we know he is reformed. He missed a big piece of his life in saving for retirement, opportunities that help with health insurance, etc. We try very hard to keep elevating how he is compensated as he puts in the type of effort into our business that we do. And, I don't know how much of that you all have been involved with but it's extremely rare to find that in people.

He has access to our house. He comes and goes - mostly because there are things in the garage he needs. But he could access at any time. He has mentored one of our kids. I have gone to help him with things on my own. He handles large amounts of money at times. I have no fear of the man, and both my husband and I trust him completely. I would actually say he is one of my husband's closest friends as well.

Yes, he did what he did. And, we know how he feels about what he did. We know his path away from that life and his philosophies. He will never be able to remove it, and he will always have consequences of that action. But, does it define him? Not to us, it doesn't. It's who he was, not who he is. And, he deserves to start again and move on. So, I don't know it did define him for a long time, as he was an inmate and trying to figure out how he could truly use the system to rehabilitate. He is a very peaceful man, not an angry bone in his body. He is full of joy - he is grateful for his life and he has gone on to help a lot of young people who needed help. One even came to live with him and his wife, and later joined the military. When our friend's mother died, the young man took leave to be by his side. He thinks of our friend and his wife as his only family.

Anyway, I do believe that we can redeem ourselves and at some point while we do have to be mindful of what we are capable of, there is hope for us all to become better, more improved, more loving, to have a more meaningful life. It's all in what we keep choosing.

HellFire posted 12/19/2019 08:38 AM

Hiking, your friend paid for his crime. In the years since, he has done the work to become a better person. He didn't kill someone, then the next day say he's not a murderer,and skipped merrily away.

I do believe waywards can become former waywards. If they do the work. And that work takes time.

But to tell a wayward wife, who is less than 2 weeks out from her "most recent" dday(meaning there have been other ddays), that she is not a wayward,or a betrayer, is ludicrous. And, IMO, an insult to all the former waywards who have done the work to no longer be *that* person.

As I mentioned in my first post, it is who she is..it is not who she has to continue to be.

[This message edited by HellFire at 8:39 AM, December 19th (Thursday)]

hikingout posted 12/19/2019 08:42 AM

And I agree with that Hellfire. Completely. I think this post took a turn because of her religious name and some of the posts have kind of turned towards philosophy rather than what she was posting about, so it's a good reminder that we probably shouldn't keep derailing here.

[This message edited by hikingout at 8:44 AM, December 19th (Thursday)]

thatbpguy posted 12/19/2019 09:16 AM

Frankly I think it was a good turn it took. We all have belief systems and core values and they are a true part of us. This was a thread where it became a positive one with respect to religion. I'm grateful the mods didn't squash it. It was useful.

Stumblingon posted 1/18/2020 16:08 PM

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.

This happened the other day with my WW. One minute I was discussing my hope to pay off our mortgage in the next few years and having money to save for a holiday, then it hit me that in that time scale she could easily betray me again and then we would have no future. I went from quietly hopeful to pit of despair in the space of thirty seconds with my wife wondering what the fuck happened.

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