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The whys, a whole different reason

Zugzwang posted 5/6/2020 12:41 PM

So, for me...my whys really are rooted in a lack of self love for my affairs. Low self confidence and low self esteem. Attention seeking to fill that black hole. For most it always seemed the same.

Recently I have seen another why. Boredom. I really don't think this stems from a lack of what I was a lacking. I don't know because I didn't suffer from this. I had seen it before but nothing to really say...heh...that makes sense. I know it is touched upon in the books about using the marriage and partner a scapegoat by blaming them. When the real truth is...a person gets to that point that they don't know themselves because they never fostered their own identity. That to me isn't really the same of what many others suffer from. I guess in some form it might... maybe more a lack of self care by being a selfless person. Focusing on others, family, and such and not filling their own bucket. Not the same as selfish driven selflessness, yet true selflessness that leaves them void. In turn they are suddenly bored without the other diversions in life and don't realize that the real issue is they don't know themselves and are lacking their own identity. I guess it is not really just boredom pushing it but confusion as well. Just suddenly maybe being lost? Blameshifting to the nearest thing for being unhappy when it is more about being unhappy with oneself. Anyone identify with this? Hiking out? When I think of this avenue I think more about you and what you have described.

GuiltAndShame posted 5/8/2020 06:31 AM

Thanks. Good post.
One aspect that resonated with me was “diversions”.

In the past, my “bad self” would use diversions to avoid dealing with difficult issues and problems. Perhaps I even used diversions to avoid boredom.

Diversions came in all sorts of shapes and sizes.....buying a car, buying a house, starting a big house project, starting a new hobby, planning a big vacation.

All those things are fine BUT not when they are used to avoid dealing with relationship issues. I have heard of others who used diversions in this same bad way, which makes me wonder how widespread this issue is.

Catwoman posted 5/8/2020 07:36 AM

Can a lot of this be under the "escapism/avoidance" umbrella? Escaping different things (most often, I think, oneself), but still trying to mask and avoid. Perhaps it's not an issue of not knowing oneself, but not actually liking oneself and using avoidance to not confront or expose the person that they don't like. I know much of this can also be tied up in self-esteem issues--it's all a part of the same tangle, unfortunately.

Some of this also circles back to having healthy outlets that lead to self-fulfillment. No one person can (or should) be responsible for all of someone else's self-fulfillment. Yet, that can be the expectation, and that expectation is unrealistic. Unmet expectations breed resentment and resentment kills relationships. Recalibrating expectations is the key here, but it's not that easy.

Just some of my rambling thoughts on this.


hikingout posted 5/8/2020 08:55 AM

Cat woman nailed my thoughts on my whys on the head.
What she wrote is generally speaking the umbrella of a lot of my whys.

I would only add for a new ws that you then have to sit and write examples and specifics so you can start to dissect yourself further in order to work in specific behaviors and thought patterns. It becomes a to do list of sorts.

And I would echo zug in saying that lack of self love is a big precipitator. People who do not love themselves will do things like:

1. Act extremely selfish to try and fill themselves up.(I deserve...)
2. Act very selfless to their own detriment. (I don’t deserve...)
3. Look for people, things, or vices to fill that void.

Someone who loves themselves has a deep respect for themselves and others. They uphold their integrity. They have boundaries that protect their energy.

I was an overgiver who got burned out and then became entitled to have an affair. (I deserve something for me...) stupid stupid stupid. Then after doing it, finding love and compassion for yourself is further away than it’s ever been. The hole is deeper, the shame is greater.

HalfTime2017 posted 5/8/2020 15:11 PM

ZZ, I would liken Boredom to a lack of self identity and self love. It can all be rooted in low self esteem or confidence, but segmented into a lack of "Self".

Healthy, Happy People have interest and hobbies. They DO, rather than expect others to DO FOR THEM. Up until my WW's AP, her only hobby was reading and that was very light. Once she started to find herself more, and working with the IC she had to identify things that made her happy. She said she was lost. But if we take a deeper dive into this, its b/c she lacked identity and self love. If there were things she wanted to do, she could have done them in our marriage, and I never complained. She just didn't, for fear of who knows what. This probably contributed to her boredom, and when swept up by an affair, it was just too tantilizing not to head down that rabbit hole.

I'll never truly know, as I don't speak with her any longer save for scheduling for the kids. But I suspect from speaking with her soon after DDay and looking back at our entire relationship from our college days, she really lacked an identity and her own hobbies. This leads people down the boredom path. Again, not an excuse, but one that loves oneself often has hobbies they love, friends and a myriad of things in their life that keep them from being bored.

HalfTime2017 posted 5/8/2020 15:15 PM

Oh, by the way, some of the things that she eventually told me were her interest were so unimpressive that I don't think the women ever figured herself out. They included mani/pedi and shopping..... LOL. I don't think she got very deep, and her superficial work with her IC will probably keep her in a poor self confidence state.

Looking from the outside in, an affair is probably the worst thing you can do/undertake if you're trying to boost your ego and self esteem in the long run b/c of the fallout with friends and community, not to mention your own kids.

kairos posted 5/8/2020 15:52 PM

Similar experience, but boredom was more of an unfortunate uncovering of other issues. When boredom did arrive after about 10 years of marriage, lo and behold, a big gap in my own self was exposed. I thought that gap was dissatisfaction with my marriage. I was so wrong. It was a lack of self-love, surreptitiously adopted over years of personal emotional neglect and early childhood trauma, etc. Even now I see this as a growing point and have posted on it, but i've had extreme growth in this area. It's the epicenter of all selfish behavior.

Boredom => reveals a gap => gap misdiagnosed (reality: no self-love) => seek out affair (wrong solution: find self-love instead) => regrettable mistake.

Healthy people have tackled this at some point in their lives and monitor and maintain a healthy self-love, properly buffeted by acting with integrity.

[This message edited by kairos at 3:56 PM, May 8th (Friday)]

JBWD posted 5/8/2020 16:04 PM

These most recent posts are right where I am in self-assessment now. For me, what I’m learning (and took me to my first SLAA Zoom meeting last night) is that when confronted with “silence” (which includes empty moments, not just physical silence) I looked to distract myself and self-medicate with physical affection. And I blamed BW when she wouldn’t meet me on that- That was an unreasonable ask.

It comes back to something I’ll paraphrase from Pema Chodron- Look at where you are when you feel fidgety or nervous. Recognize how you normally redirect that, and stop doing that. Those moments are where you’re trying to prevent discovering unpleasant truths. Until one confronts those unpleasant truths you’re trying to ignore them or address them with ill-fitting mechanisms- Such as using another human to help distract you.

Zugzwang posted 5/8/2020 22:59 PM

Interesting. I can see where that boredom would still stem back to the lack of self love. Bored because you don't know who you are. Still means you didn't invest in you. People who love themselves are healthy enough to invest in themselves kind of thing.

landclark posted 5/9/2020 07:24 AM

I think some people confuse boredom and thrill seeking. Life with my WH was never boring. He has always had things he liked to do away from me. Hiking, reading, etc. Yes, i was uncomfortable with female friendships because he has never been able to be just friends, but otherwise i never stopped friendships either. I was actually the one who really lacked hobbies and friends.

It certainly wasn’t marriage boredom from being together so long because he started cheating 4 months in. For him I think it was the thrill that was an issue, or more appropriately the lack of the thrill. I was a thrill at first. He gave chase. We got married. Then he was presented another thrill in the form of an old crush and he latched onto that. Then after that he actively sought out new thrills. I do think a lot of it is rooted in lack of self love though. Attention from women was a thrill because he lacks self love, confidence, etc.

Zugzwang posted 5/10/2020 11:36 AM

Maybe thrill was the addiction to filling his hole of lacking self love and being enough for himself. So, it all boils down to maybe lack of self love there too.

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