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Precursors to the Affair

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annb posted 1/13/2020 08:50 AM

I'm a BW, and I said the same thing after I found out about the A.

My WH traveled a great deal, usually every other week for his career job, and he owned his own dojo where he taught two nights a week, plus there were competitions, special workouts, a couple of weekends away per year, all of that added to a great deal of resentment on my part. After the A, I looked back at his expense accounts and calendars, he was generally gone from home about 170 nights per year.

The job was one thing, those extra hours putting his time and energy into his love of the martial arts was always a thorn in my side. I understood he needed an activity he enjoyed away from the family, but he spent HOURS between the dojo, running that part-time business, setting up these special events, etc. and participating in them.

It made me realize how selfish he was. It was all about his happiness. Period. Then came the A, it was an extension of his selfish nature.

I did articulate how I felt several times, but it was always ignored, would blow over until the next time, lather, rinse, repeat.

The marriage and the family were #3 and #4 on his priority list.

I was a stay-at-home mom with a little part-time job, three children who were involved in sports, scouts, etc, one who was ADHD....family lived out-of-state, I needed WH to be there for me, but he was always there for everyone else.

After the A, he sold his dojo and quit martial arts. Thirty-seven years of his hard work down the drain because of his own selfishness and stupidity and inability to figure out a work/life balance.

MrCleanSlate posted 1/13/2020 09:18 AM

I needed WH to be there for me, but he was always there for everyone else

Too many of us fall into the same pattern. In and of itself volunteering too much is not an affair inducing activity.

What my BW did by pointing that out to me was to make me realize that my priorities were screwed up. Today we have a much healthier relationship with each other and our activities. There is a balance that was missing.

I think JBWD that your perspective is slightly different from mine and that is cool and I totally respect your position, as with all things we all make choices and for me I saw that I was being unfair to my BW, if she was unreasonable I think my outlook would be much different. We are on different paths as a result and both striving to live the way we feel most comfortable in.

gmc94 posted 1/13/2020 12:29 PM

Something didn't feel right or feel good but hey he was so nice and giving it wasn't something worth addressing. Oh how wrong I was!
Yup, and that "nice and giving" is a real mindf*ck. Throughout our M, my WH always cooked dinner, and did household stuff in addition to all the other extracurriculars. I once wrote here on SI: How did I not see the wolf behind all those clean dishes?

Unfortunately, it's not until dday that we realize that all those "selfless good deeds" were actually a way to selfishly get a fix. And like any junkie, the fix must come in ever increasing doses.

So maybe that's the ultimate response to the OP: the precursors are the ways in which selfishness permeates into / form the basis for the WS's actions, even when the world (and tragically, their BS) would perceive such actions as "good" deeds.

ISurvivedSoFar posted 1/13/2020 20:32 PM

GMC - I hear you and we're often so much on the same page.

I think that it does start that way

"selfless good deeds" were actually a way to selfishly get a fix
and it is somewhat legitimate until it isn't. My WS too did most of the cooking and food shopping and kid errands. I thought I was the luckiest gal in the world. That's why I can say the M I had was just fine for where I/he were at the time. I mean if I am being honest, after all of this introspection and healing, I unfortunately found value in "fixing" him. Of course, I didn't fix anything.

This is back to my thoughts about our own human journey. We do things that help us feel valued some of which are unhealthy mechanisms. I think that's normal. The difference is the depth of fear and insecurity in my WS is way different than I. In his case his activities covered up his self loathing, his feeling that he isn't a good person so he kept trying to show how good he was to others. In my case, I wanted to be so helpful and yes I found value in it. But I never doubted that I am a good person. I knew my behavior wasn't always stellar but I could work on that. My intentions were good and when they weren't, my sense of goodness didn't waiver. I just adjusted to make my behavior match who I knew I was. In his case, he didn't know who he was and certainly didn't feel he was a good person. So when he fell into a confluence of issues AND relied on external validation as his barometer of "good" it all fell apart.

I hope this makes sense.

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