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Random thoughts from a wayward

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MrCleanSlate posted 5/12/2020 15:29 PM

One thing that really does stand out on SI is the limited number of WS that post here.

Infidelity is initiated by the WS. The BS is the victim. So one would think there would be more WS on here trying to get help.

So often we see a WS post and everyone piles on them and they disappear. Did we really help?
So you can say that they were not truly remorseful, etc.? But I say that they came here. Maybe they were looking for validation, or were not really there yet. But they came.
It is easy to sit there to say Ė well you cheated now you need to show me you can fix this. It is much harder to become a part of the fix.

I donít blame my wife for what led to my affair. But you know for years I was slipping down a dark hole and I ignored it and my wife ignored it and so on and then boom I went off the rails.

After D-Day my wife was a saint. She gave me a chance. She held my feet to the fire to fix who I was. She also changed who she was. We became a team again. She sacrificed a lot. I was selfish for a lot of years and I had to learn how to sacrifice as well.

So my wife is amazing. She calls me out on everything and holds me accountable. I was slipping back down my depression hole with the Covid lockdown and she tore a strip off me about it and has been there for me. Years ago she would have let it go and I would have ruminated and let my depression build. We need to work together. I love her.

So at times I side with the WS and try to encourage rather than beat down, or over analyze.

And I am sure at times I ruffle a few feathers or write the wrong things. For that I am sorry as it is not intended. We all approach things from our own perspective.

ff4152 posted 5/12/2020 16:33 PM

MCS

Youíve touched on a subject thatís been a sore spot for me. There do seem to be quite a lower number of active WS on this site, at least from when I started. As you mentioned, some will post a couple of times and then disappear.

My concern isnít so much for the WS who come here for a pat on the back or to placate their BS. I am more focused on those who truly want to try and ďfix what they brokeĒ. Unfortunately some folks here insist that the spare the rod and spoil the child approach is the only approach to give.

Iíve always maintained that those of us whoíve been here for a spell should try and make the newcomers feel welcome and free to share their story. To draw them out of their self protective shell to a position where they feel it possible to open up. Where they are able to look at things more objectively. Iím certainly not suggesting we coddle them but we can be firm without being abusive. Most of us have been right where the newbie has been and we should all strive to try and remember that.

It saddens me when I see folks vanish; it doesnít help the WS and IMO certainly does a disservice to the BS.

Lucky77 posted 5/12/2020 16:35 PM

Why risk getting beat up?

JBWD posted 5/12/2020 17:02 PM

I can tell you that when I came here just over a year ago I was desperate to ďsave my marriage.Ē And I had all kinds of people beating me up.

They werenít beating me up.

I was still convinced that I was somehow the victim of my A. And the WSs who were reading my posts recognized their own flawed assumptions in what I was saying. And they called me on it. All of it.

When cheaters come here, most donít understand how much theyíve done to themselves. And the wayward tendencies (hubris, selfishness) that they incorporate in betrayal work against a simple ďsnap out of itĒ environment. Those who come and get their feelings hurt and slink away simply arenít ready to learn. The success rate for what weíre doing in Waywards is as high as itís going to get. Itís simply too small a population ready to accept seeing what it looks like without the mask.

Iím happy to pitch in whenever I can- But the memory of furiously lashing out against everyone on this forum is all too fresh for me to consider taking a softer approach on folks more recent than me.

ff4152 posted 5/12/2020 18:07 PM

JBWD

Youíre right. Many people who first come here arenít ready to hear the truth. But is beating someone over the head with a 2x4 going to get them there?

We all know this is a marathon and not a sprint. We see that phrase repeated over and over here. If we really embrace that philosophy, why then is it ok to try and force a WS to get there when they arenít in any kind of mindset to so?

TellTailHeart posted 5/12/2020 20:09 PM

There are many good points on this thread. Yes, as a WW in some ways it felt like I was under attack but I had learned nothing about myself. Coming here was a great first step to admit I had a problem. I went away from here to focus on recovery. I could have posted all day long and learned some but I need so much help. My BH and I signed up for marriage counselling and it helped me some but she seemed to side with me and was no help for my BH. We continued to search and we found AffairRecovery and there are free resources that have been helpful. We also signed up and are currently in paid courses and I am making progress. I have a long way to go and when time allows, I will try to come back and share what I'm learning and progress made. Surviving Infidelity is a great site. Help each other.

sundance posted 5/12/2020 20:35 PM

Thank you, MrCleanSlate!

JBWD posted 5/12/2020 20:39 PM

why then is it ok to try and force a WS to get there when they arenít in any kind of mindset to so?

Itís not. Youíre supposing that anyone whoís visited this website (BP OR WP) has been changed by it. They havenít.

This website has helped them change themselves.

When cheaters come here, most of them are accomplished at lying to themselves. They actively work to discredit other points of view if it will help them preserve their own goals. If approached with suggestions of injury or injustice, itís likely to be warped or refuted. Direct communication is the only way to get past these imposed barriers to honesty.

My point remains- Weíre not fixing people here. Weíre helping them fix themselves.

If cheaters are given any room to manipulate or rationalize, theyíll take it. But they arrive here at whatever level of ďreadyĒ they happen to be at. I know from my experience and what Iíve witnessed that unless I provide a direct answer, cheaters like me will worm out of an inconvenient truth.

I donít think weíre reaching anyone who isnít ready to be reached. But I know that if Iím going to reach someone whoís CLOSE to ready, the message wonít make it if itís watered down.

ff4152 posted 5/12/2020 20:54 PM

JBWD

I get that. Iím not suggesting one should water down whatís being said. And youíre absolutely right, you cannot reach someone until their ready.

What Iím trying to say is itís all in the delivery. At least in the beginning. Instead of ďshoutingĒ at the person, we should try and talk to them. As a parent Iím sure you realize the futility of yelling at your kids. More times than not, theyíll either shut down, scream back at you or completely ignore what you say.

Instead, if you remain calm and explain to them that what they did wrong, theyíre more inclined to listen. I think the same thing applies here.

JBWD posted 5/12/2020 21:23 PM

Sure absolutely. I canít think of a time that anyone here has STARTED with a 2x4. You have me curious now so Iím gonna dig and see what I can find.

sundance posted 5/12/2020 21:38 PM

From ff4142: What Iím trying to say is itís all in the delivery. At least in the beginning.

Instead of ďshoutingĒ at the person, we should try and talk to them. As a parent Iím sure you realize the futility of yelling at your kids. More times than not, theyíll either shut down, scream back at you or completely ignore what you say.

Agreed. How many were chased away, that could have been helped?

A few years ago, when I first encountered this website, I read a bit, and thought, "F this sh!t, I'm going back to my A."

It wasn't giving up the A that scared me. It was the feeling of not being safe to tell my story. It was the fear of not being welcomed/accepted in a forum meant specifically for waywards to figure themselves out.

I felt hopeless-- like I had no one to help; no one that could possibly understand. It seemed easier to allow myself to be "soothed" by AP.

As much as people want WSs to grasp things quickly, we are all individuals. Some of us take longer to figure shit out.

But we should all feel welcomed.

It took me years and years to break free of my wayward ways. But I eventually triumphed.

Alienating me, early on when I first encountered SI, helped no one... except maybe the person that patted themselves on the back for getting rid of such a shithead, slow, ass-backwards WS as myself.

JBWD posted 5/12/2020 23:28 PM

Can someone point me to an example where a reasonable intro somehow drew an unwarranted 2x4?

Sundance-
What youíre describing sounds to me like a shift in your perception of the forum. You specifically say it made you feel like going back to your A and AP.

This sounds to me like the kind backward cause/effect pairs that waywards frequently draw. The website alienated you, but Iím willing to bet at the same time you were actively saying that you were also saying you cheated because your BP was distant, alienating.

Us welcoming needs to be distinct from going easy, because we go easy on ourselves up until the time we own our shit. The belonging comes in holding each other accountable, which in its very nature HAS to be unpleasant. Weíre not going to grow if we try to make it not hurt.

Zugzwang posted 5/12/2020 23:49 PM

Sundance So, own that it was your fear that kept you from stopping your affair. Your need to be wanted and accepted. Should this site take the place of our affair partners? I would hope you aren't placing blame on this site or the posters that you wouldn't face your fear.

I obviously agree with JBWD.

As has been said. Many have left. They weren't ready to work for themselves. It takes all types and I have been here for some time and we have all types. For some the blunt approach doesn't work and there are those that have softer approaches and it works for them. For some the blunt approach has worked and have confessed they needed to have the truths shouted at them.

This topic has been discussed many times. If we all did the same thing, then what would be the point in having a forum. Might as well just read the books and be done with it.

Some have been chased away by the truths. They have come back. Others have confessed to lurking.

The board does a good job at moderating. If there were issues they would intervene. If there were many WS that had issues with a poster, they would have told the ones that throw 2x4 that it was time to leave.

As a parent Iím sure you realize the futility of yelling at your kids. More times than not, theyíll either shut down, scream back at you or completely ignore what you say.
This is very interesting though. Not all posters see shouting. I wonder why that is. If the OP feels that is happening. They are welcome to say so. Usually it is specific posters that see shouting and piling on. Where then do the issues lie? With the posters that are labeled swinging 2x4s or the posters that perceive "shouting and 2x4s"? Children? Well, we aren't children. We are adults. Wayward that have been behaving like children. Expecting to be treated like children. Feeling entitled to be treated like children. For some apparently, comparing ourselves to children. Probably for most treating our BS like our parent. For far too long. Time to be adults and be treated like adults.

The great thing about the wayward forum. It is for reconciling ourselves. For stopping our cheating in many areas of our lives. For finally stepping up and becoming more mature human beings that can hopefully feel pride and joy in ourselves. It is a large community that takes all types. Otherwise it becomes a dictatorship and controlled (oh how we waywards love to control everything)by how....who? who? decides how all new waywards should be treated? Only those that feel all new waywards should be coddled?

Yes, it takes all types. I don't ever wonder about those that leave. They come back when they are ready. I wonder more about those that feel the need to tell others how to post. I wonder more about why those waywards want that control.

[This message edited by Zugzwang at 11:49 PM, May 12th (Tuesday)]

ff4152 posted 5/13/2020 05:45 AM

JB

Can someone point me to an example where a reasonable intro somehow drew an unwarranted 2x4?

I don't have to look any further than my own experience. I've been attacked, consistently had my threads derailed and even told that I had no business here. I'm still here but I know that I'm the exception rather than the rule. I've personally PM'd with at least half a dozen folks over the years who've said they don't feel safe to post because of the attacks.


Zug

I wonder more about those that feel the need to tell others how to post. I wonder more about why those waywards want that control.

I find it interesting that you think this is somehow about control. No one is telling anyone that they have to post in any certain way. It's called having a difference of opinion about approach.

This is very interesting though. Not all posters see shouting. I wonder why that is. If the OP feels that is happening. They are welcome to say so.

And you thing thats going to accomplish what exactly? The people doing the shouting are going to say "Gee sorry. I'll tone it down?" You and I both know that isn't going to happen.

Wayward that have been behaving like children. Expecting to be treated like children. Feeling entitled to be treated like children. For some apparently, comparing ourselves to children.

Cheating is, by definition, a childish act. Children are often selfish and only concerned about their own needs and wants. Exactly the same thing applied to us WS. Although I used the example of a parent talking to a child, it certain can be applied to adults as well.

As a worker, I'm sure you've been in meetings. In those meetings, I'll bet you've encountered the follow 2 types of folks. The person who gets very passionate, starts yelling or raising their voice. Perhaps phrases things in an abrasive way and talks over others.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, you have the person who remains calm, listens to whats being said and makes their case in a rational respectful manner.

Who are people likely to listen to? 2x4's can be useful but IMO shouldn't be the defacto delivery method.

sundance posted 5/13/2020 07:14 AM

To be clear, I'm not blaming the forum for my own choice to continue my A.

I'm simply stating that it's possible I would have been more accepting of the information if the message had been a little more welcoming. I might have stayed around longer to learn.

My therapist, on the other hand, was a godsend. I'm in a much better place now.

MrCleanSlate posted 5/13/2020 07:55 AM

I'm one of those that lurked here after D-Day 4-1/2 years ago. After reading how some WS were ripped apart I was too afraid to post. And I did come back eventually, so I guess there is that to be said.

You also get a number of BS that weigh in when there's no stop sign. And some are really helpful and others are venting and with them you can really understand where they are coming from and you need to filter. But they can provide us WS with a lot of good insight.

Back then I didn't understand the whole canon of SI. And there is a strict canon where many WS seem to lay themselves prostrate or throw themselves onto their swords. But do they really mean what they are claiming or saying? We lie during our affair, and often before and well after as well. So lying to an anonymous forum to sound good is easy I suppose.

Hearing the truth when it is being 'yelled' at you is often lost on the intended. But also pushing those and not coddling is useful as well.

Too many times we see a new wayward put up a post or two and get 2 or 3 pages of everyone weighing in and the new wayward drifts away. Is it helpful? I don't know.

It does take a lot of time,and effort to try to change.

forgettableDad posted 5/13/2020 09:35 AM

So often we see a WS post and everyone piles on them and they disappear. Did we really help?
Would coddling someone help?

Anyone coming to SI (or any other forum for that matter) should read first to understand what the forum is like. Doubly so on a forum like SI which is about dealing with pain.

A person needs to help themselves. To want to help themselves. Dealing with the personality issues that led to an affair is hard work. Healing from them is harder still. I'm not advocating for yelling at strangers on an internet forum but any debate about a subject as pain-ridden as an affair and a broken marriage is bound in harsh criticism of the person inflicting that pain. Facing that reality is part of the journey of moving forward. Understanding that not everyone is going to agree with your journey (be it yours as a WS or a BS) is part of the process.

The truth, is you can't help people here. People need to help themselves. Which means to take on what they can. The real work to heal from an affair is done in the real world, with a good IC and your partner.
^ That said, a place like SI offers a good chance to see both sides (I've always been much more interested in the stories and point-of-view of betrayed partners here).

BraveSirRobin posted 5/13/2020 10:41 AM

I've said this before, but I wish that new WS would not take the stop sign off their first few posts. I don't mean disrespect to BS in saying this. We have some really amazing betrayed spouses who give constructive advice to new waywards. That can't be easy, and I'm grateful for it. But despite this being a protected forum, we sometimes see angry BS going hard on an entitled, foggy WS. I feel like that presence not only scares off the new WS, it can affect the dynamic of how other waywards choose to post. I'm not saying this is true of all members. I'm sure there are some who aren't the slightest bit affected by the knowledge of who else is commenting. But for myself, I find it much harder to speak compassionately to a wayward in the fog if there's a triggered BS already posting on the thread. Saying "I know you're hurting, let's talk about that" to a grieving WS feels dismissive of BS pain when they're right there in the conversation.

There are definitely waywards who can throw a 2x4 with the best of them. My throwing arm has been pretty limber from time to time. But still, there's always going to be a difference between "You're out of your damn mind, and I understand why because I was out of mine, too" and "How can you even think like that, you entitled fucking asshole."

I've seen more than a few waywards come here advertising that they want the 2x4s in order to "wake them up." Of all new arrivals, I'm most skeptical of these posts. They're looking to be metaphorically beaten as a sign of public penance, and that's a distraction from the real work of digging for why they made those shameful choices.

The most effective technique, IMO, is just proving that I understand what a new WS is thinking. I know that my first reaction when I arrived here was to otherize myself from the WS community. They didn't get it! I was an exception! The OM wasn't a lying player, he actually fell for me! I confessed, I wasn't caught! It was a long time ago, I'm different now!

The most effective approach in getting through to me was one that fit the evidence of my own specific circumstances. I could easily dismiss things like "Your AP just wanted a booty call, and that's why he dropped you like a hot potato." That was factually inaccurate. He pursued me aggressively from 3,000 miles away for a year after the A. By focusing on proving that, I successfully avoided what I needed to face, which was that his attachment to me was a fabrication of his own broken mind. Those were the posts that hit home: "I understand that it felt real to both of you, but here's why it wasn't." He didn't know me at all. He wanted the ego kibbles we mirrored at each other. I wasn't special, even though he convinced himself that I was.

That was the assessment that pierced my armor, because it fit the facts. Until then, I felt like I was just getting generic criticism that was only intended to hurt me. The problem wasn't that it felt mean, it was that it felt irrelevant. Throwing a 2x4 of "AP just played you" was never going to get through -- though once I accepted that I was just a fantasy, I indeed saw many ways in which I had been played. That, in turn, opened the door for me to look at how I had played and manipulated both OM and BH to keep my own self-deluded narrative afloat.

Zugzwang posted 5/13/2020 11:58 AM


Agree Forgetabledad.

It's called having a difference of opinion about approach.

That is my point. There is already a difference of opinion posting here. What is being suggested is not to me. What is being suggested is that we all post the same way with new WS. That is control. Not a difference of opinion. That the new WS be coddled.

And you thing thats going to accomplish what exactly? The people doing the shouting are going to say "Gee sorry. I'll tone it down?" You and I both know that isn't going to happen.
Actual I was talking about those that think there is shouting. Not the ones perceived as shouting. I don't see shouting. I don't think those perceived as shouting should change anything.
Who are people likely to listen to? 2x4's can be useful but IMO shouldn't be the defacto delivery method.
Who are they indeed. Both. Because it is proven that we need both. The passionate ones have changed things in this world just as much as the quiet. It again takes all types. The passionate ones and quiet ones have changed both here. I stay now for very different reasons than several years ago. When I first got it and owned it, my intentions were to get WS out of the fog so they stop hurting their BS like I had been doing. Now I post to help those that want to help themselves because I know that a WS can be happy and live a life with pride. I reach out to those and if they want help...they stay. If not, that isn't my problem and it becomes someone elses to step in and meet them where they need it. At this point in my posting I have no use for coddling or letting a WS sit in their shit for comforts sake. That isn't help IMO. Not the type of help I want to give. I hold them accountable because I know they can achieve more than being comfortable. Do some leave? Of course. There will always be some leaving. It is just the way it always will be. You can't save them all. It would be an Utopia and we all know that isn't reality. Those that come here and stay are ready to really work. Those that leave either don't want to or this just isn't the right place for them and it is okay for that to be okay. If a poster really wants to commiserate more and just vent...there are always other places to do so. They obviously do PM, lurk, or go to OM/OW sites to just sit and get their egos boosted.

RedeemedSinner posted 5/13/2020 13:14 PM

Iíve been around here just over 5 months, so fairly new to posting. I always start off by saying that I know I am 100% at fault and thatís the truth. I have not shared many details of my story only out of respect and hope as my BW and I are right in the midst of this. I have noticed that some people do have a bit of a chip on their shoulder (which sometimes may be valid due to the situation) but in my opinion just showing that you have been there and understand can have a huge impact on the truly repentant. Those answers havenít pushed me away because I know my wrong, but I could see some WS being turned off by it.
For me this is one of the few places you can talk to people who have been there. The rest of the world does enough judging and casting stones, so it is nice to find people who can relate to us.
Now especially when you take the stop sign down, you have to be ready for any response given. And I do respect and admire the BS who are willing to help us with true honest advice. Some of which have been amazingly kind to me. This is an amazing site for a terrible horrible devastating subject, but it may be the only source of hope and help solve someone may have. As always thanks for taking the time to do what yíall do.

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