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Small instances that remind you of the betrayer you are

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survrus posted 1/18/2020 21:29 PM

Stumblingon wrote, then it hit me that in that time scale she could easily betray me again and then we would have no future.

Oh my God, I just realized I never trusted in a future with my W for 30 years, in the back of my mind I was ready to come home on any given day and find her emotionally enslaved to some person from out of nowhere who I would never have suspected in a million years.

I thought of my marriage as a contract renewed by my W year by year.

[This message edited by survrus at 9:31 PM, January 18th (Saturday)]

JBWD posted 1/20/2020 11:26 AM

to have someone say I refuse to label myself diminishes the pain and suffering that we all experience.

I don’t agree with this, but the distinction is subtle. I think we need to separate actions towards self and towards others. If I take the effort to refute a label, that’s ultimately an effort towards myself, not the person labeling me. It has profound impact if the labeler is the woman I betrayed, but it doesn’t change the fact that I am referencing myself. There are plenty of impacts to empathy and reconciliation, but if this were an impasse in this, it’d likely bely some deeper conflicts.

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.

The practical counter to this and the label discussion is the person who wears it as a badge of shame: “What’s the use, I’m just a filthy cheater!” We’re always refining that balance, and reassessing if it serves me and my life, or if it bogs me down. The failures of my past shape who I am, those thumbprints remain on the clay- But the shape is its own. I doubt I’ll ever stop considering myself an adulterer. But I know that at some point, acknowledging has, in my mind, a distinct flavor to being dominated by, my past.

ETA: I was reflecting on the heavy words like refuse that tend to permeate these conversations. And like noted in Trdd’s subsequent post, those absolutes tend to crowd out humility. We have to allow for the possibility that our “answers” are temporary. There are some that are certain to endure, but the more we consider ourselves and the absolutes we view in ourselves, the more likely we are to become rigid and more prone to break/rupture when we once again prove that our knowledge is not absolute.

[This message edited by JBWD at 12:19 PM, January 20th (Monday)]

Trdd posted 1/20/2020 11:56 AM

As far as I can tell, from much reading and discussion, the spiritual athletes we call saints all take a different view of themselves as they progress. They might have been the best person in their community regarding virtuous behavior, lack of sin etc but as they progressed they saw how far away from their goal they truly were. So in many of their interactions with others they placed those other people ahead of them in virtue. It wasn't the reality, but they saw the other person "through the log in their own eye" so to speak. This is humility. And I think we all need more if it, WS BS alike.

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