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Why should anyone stay?

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Stinger posted 6/18/2020 12:56 PM

Yes, it is just what Langley, with zero credentials reported. But, I do believe the " stronger, better marriage" deal oft cited, is much rarer than reported.

One of the primary reasons infidelity was dealbreaker for me was I felt I would lose respect for myself allowing someone to do this to me. Of course, since in general, I am very forgiving, I may have tolerated it if my XW had done the work and been remorseful. Guess I will never know.

Zugzwang posted 6/18/2020 13:41 PM

^^^What Stinger said is point on too.

It really is like I said all about each individual. My wife felt that way for a while. About the respect. Then, she saw it differently and realized that staying builds a different type of respect as long as the WS is doing the shit he/she should be doing to change. For her, she gained Grace and Mercy and that is very important to her. It has become a very important moral character trait in our family. To cultivate that as long as you are not being abused. To cultivate forgiveness when earned and to work towards fixing bad choices.

thatbpguy posted 6/18/2020 14:07 PM

But, I do believe the " stronger, better marriage" deal oft cited, is much rarer than reported.

Agreed.

It's also a mater of perception. I find waywards who are offered R and have their marriages survive are just elated over the moon. But with few exceptions (but there are some), the BS's who offer R live a lifetime of loss to varying extents.

Luna10 posted 6/18/2020 18:30 PM

I find waywards who are offered R and have their marriages survive are just elated over the moon. But with few exceptions (but there are some), the BS's who offer R live a lifetime of loss to varying extents.

I think it is worth noting that the lifetime of loss to varying extents applies to the BS even if they choose to give up on the relationship and divorce.

No surprise that when dday occurs and in the months and sometimes years after, you hear BSes saying they feel trapped. Because the life they thought they had is gone and will never return. Their options are R or D and both come with loss. Some greater than other depending on circumstances but nevertheless a lifetime of loss.

[This message edited by Luna10 at 6:31 PM, June 18th (Thursday)]

Snowyjune posted 6/18/2020 21:08 PM

Onlyjan, I'm sorry to hear that you are in so much pain. I hope things do get better and you have some peace.

thatbpguy, thank you for sharing your perspective.

I find waywards who are offered R and have their marriages survive are just elated over the moon. But with few exceptions (but there are some), the BS's who offer R live a lifetime of loss to varying extents.
I do agree wholeheartedly with this. The injustice and the different journey that both WS and BS takes to get to a point where they can live with, makes it all the more difficult.

DevastatedDee posted 6/19/2020 08:33 AM

I think it is worth noting that the lifetime of loss to varying extents applies to the BS even if they choose to give up on the relationship and divorce.

No surprise that when dday occurs and in the months and sometimes years after, you hear BSes saying they feel trapped. Because the life they thought they had is gone and will never return. Their options are R or D and both come with loss. Some greater than other depending on circumstances but nevertheless a lifetime of loss.

Maybe my XWH was just extra, lol, but I feel the loss of my retirement money more than the loss of the marriage at this point. I like this living on my own thing a lot. For me, and this is just for me, once I accepted that the marriage had never been what I thought it was, it wasn't something I could want to have back. The loss is the loss of who I was before all of this. It's easier to divorce, IMO. You aren't living in a life that resembles what you lost anymore and I think that makes the grieving easier. I think it takes SO MUCH strength to stay and R that it leaves me in awe sometimes.

So why should anyone stay...well, everyone has their own reasons. If you cheated and your BS stayed, you should value that more than the rarest of gems. They chose the harder road and it is harder for them than you could ever imagine. Do not let them down again. They do not deserve it.

numb&dumb posted 6/19/2020 08:52 AM

One thing I think this worth noting about my situation is the very co-dependent marriage I was living in prior to Dday.

I used to live for my M and honestly made choices related to my M even if it was not the best for me. I Passed on job offers, I declined friendship opportunities because I "thought," that was what adults do. I don't do that anymore. My life is mine and it has been a very healthy change for me.

We both spent a lot of time in IC untangling baggage. Some of that was there before we met too. Years of therapy.

Today our M is good one more than it is bad. It is vastly superior to my M pre-A. My W and I both agree on that point. How do I trust she is being honest ? She has been transparent about everything for years. Emotionally and otherwise. Neither of us hold back, but we do it a non-confrontational way.

At some point acceptance, grace and forgiveness need to be explored by the BS. Again, highly personal and individual.

A key thing to me was seeing that my Ws A was something she did to herself. It is only right that she suffers consequences related to that. My W was a horrible wife up until about three years ago. She has changed so much that it is like she is a different person. She is so much happier today.

I had to get to the understanding that her choice to have an A was about her character deficit, brokeness and selfishness. It was not about anything I did or did not do. Granted a lot of WS say that and it is a key indicator that real remorse is not present. Also it is the hallmark of co-dependent person.

I know this is contrary to most things you will read about R, but I felt that amends was crucial in my M too. My grace was conditional on x,y and z. Not right for everyone, but it was right for me.

Stinger posted 6/19/2020 12:21 PM

I agree. Amends would be critical for me. Not because of anything I would gain in terms of a tangible asset, but the willingness of the WS to sacrifice and feel some consequences would be important.

That marriage builders site talks about " just compensation" but it has a screwball concept of what it entails, IMO. Essentially, it requires the cheater to now simply abide by his or her vows, nothing more. WTF, this is compensation, doing what you were already obligated to do?

I believe Judaism requires amends as a prerequisite to forgiveness.,How does one calculate the value of what was destroyed and the value of all the added excitement and pleasure the cheater obtained at the BS expense? Not sure it can ever,really, be made up. But, the effort could be made.

Snowyjune posted 6/19/2020 13:54 PM

N&D/ Stinger, I agree with you that amends must be made. I presume for a BS, it is not really about the actual amends, but rather the effort made to make BS a priority.

How does one calculate the value of what was destroyed and the value of all the added excitement and pleasure the cheater obtained at the BS expense? Not sure it can ever,really, be made up. But, the effort could be made.
I did struggled to accept this gap, hence the initial question.

Stinger posted 6/19/2020 14:38 PM

I gave this some thought, the value deal. Perhaps if th here is some activity or merchandise that could be given. The value? Well, this may come off as snide but:
Take the number of intimate encounters, multiply by the going rate for a high end escort. Throw in the cost of any babysitting the BS did to subsidize the affair. Throw in the $$spent on the affair( gifts,meals, hotels etc.). Next throw in costs for things like polygraphs, PI, STDtesting, any anti-anxiety or depression meds., counseling.
Maybe pay punitive damages for emotional pain, weight loss, loss of sleep.

Come up with a dollar figure. Then, the cheater takes a second job, so as not to impact family finances, and purchases the gift( for me it would be at least 100 rounds of golf in Scotland, plus a Harley.).

waitedwaytoolong posted 6/19/2020 15:07 PM

Come up with a dollar figure. Then, the cheater takes a second job, so as not to impact family finances, and purchases the gift( for me it would be at least 100 rounds of golf in Scotland, plus a Harley.).

I wish my pain could have been fixed with money. In reality, nothing could be done to really make amends or even the score.

She actually did try money. She offered to sign a post nup which would have given me more money in a divorce. It was substantial. The thing was she wanted 6 months of a hold on any proceedings and to go back to MC. I paused at the offer, but when you are done you are done

[This message edited by waitedwaytoolong at 4:22 PM, June 19th (Friday)]

Zugzwang posted 6/21/2020 10:12 AM

Amends for us was risking everything I built up with the affair. That reputation I was this great respectful guy. How did I amend that. I outed myself to all my friends and family on FB and at work. I showed my wife and myself that I didn't want anything to do with the false me I built and represented from her pain and betrayal. I apologized to people and I thanked them for being there when I wasn't to lift my wife up. I let people know that I indeed had an affair with the shift manager and in many ways a co-manager. (at this point they were running around saying nothing happened and my wife was a jealous controlling shrew)

gmc94 posted 6/21/2020 11:01 AM

Wow Zug. That’s scary AF. Vulnerable. And beautiful.

gmc94 posted 6/21/2020 11:01 AM

Dup

[This message edited by gmc94 at 1:11 PM, June 21st, 2020 (Sunday)]

blahblahblahe posted 6/21/2020 11:53 AM

It's also a mater of perception. I find waywards who are offered R and have their marriages survive are just elated over the moon. But with few exceptions (but there are some), the BS's who offer R live a lifetime of loss to varying extents.

This was/is my calculus as well, however, I believe a loss occurs no matter the choice to varying degrees, we pay a price, even if we "win".

The main advantage is removing a known threat/problem for the hope of something more, which can be found of course with a little luck and better decision making.

Onlyjan posted 6/21/2020 12:57 PM

I agree with parts of this statement, but not all:

“It's also a mater of perception. I find waywards who are offered R and have their marriages survive are just elated over the moon. But with few exceptions (but there are some), the BS's who offer R live a lifetime of loss to varying extents.“

My WH said to MC he just kept waiting for me to leave and knew I would never forgive him (which has been the case. 3 years and I feel no softening of my heart toward him. I can’t stop looking at him like he has two heads now. Who he is is so foreign and repugnant to me now). I don’t think every WS is overjoyed or elated. I know his AP bitterly complained about “dealing with the cards she had been dealt” and still seemed to bear much resentment to her BH when we spoke 9 months after Dday., and spoke aggressively and angrily about him. When I talked to him, however, he just sounded worried about her and heartbroken. My own husband is not grateful. Entitled? Maybe. Vicious? Certainly. I’m so tired of the abuse and the threats to do destroy me if I leave.

numb&dumb posted 6/22/2020 08:17 AM

Since MB was thrown out there. BTW I don't recommended their material for R. It has some good concepts, but their infidelity stuff requires more BS sacrifice and compromise on top of the shit sandwich. Yeah, no thanks.

John Gottman has some materials on the three As. Atone, Amend and attune. .. (going off memory I think I got those right). I would highly suggest you start there.

You are really asking about atonement versus amendments. Atonement is more about making the effort to right as many of the wrongs your BS experienced because of your A.

Read the Gottman stuff and see where that takes you. BTW no single source gets it 100% for everyone.

At the end of the day nothing material or immaterial you can do will fully compensate the BS for what they have endured. How does it happen ? Trying for R is a gift. Grace/Forgiveness are gifts too. If WS doesn't see it as such and/or takes it for granted then JMHO R is waste with someone who does not understand just how deep that pain cut their BS. Further if the WS is not ecstatic about being offered grace then it is wasted on someone who doesn't understand how valuable it is.

It is literally one of few things that can't be bought, forced, etc. It is a decision that the BS has to make. It doesn't automatically mean R either. My IC described it at one point as releasing me the burden from something I did not choose and allowing those who did choose to have an A live with the internal and external consequences.

hikingout posted 6/22/2020 08:53 AM

I find waywards who are offered R and have their marriages survive are just elated over the moon. But with few exceptions (but there are some), the BS's who offer R live a lifetime of loss to varying extents.

I thought a lot about this. I think that there is an initial relief for us. Around the end of the first year, there was a break in the clouds. I had been so terribly miserable that whole year (as had my husband) that when things took a turn for the better, I remember coming on and describing feelings of euphoria.

I think often we as waywards have spent a great deal of our life being very dependent on others to get our feelings. And, the more we try and take from that the more off balanced we become. We then seek out the greater high of getting them from someone new.

So, when our BS does start to warm up to us, I think we want to revert back to those feelings of being worthy because someone else is propping us up. We have to learn to get our primary happiness from ourselves. Sure, relationships can enhance joy - but we have to learn to love ourselves and to be responsible and accountable for our own feelings. I remember when I posted about the euphoric feelings there were several BS who were similar in our timeline and they were seeing similar from their WS. I just didn't have the insight at the time to know it was just more symptoms of our dysfunction.

In one way I can do nothing but agree with this statement. But in another, I have to say that I don't agree with it's context. Maybe for some WS it's true. But, I never felt elated as if I got away with something. That was never once an emotion that I felt. And, that's why what numb & dumb wrote is important to understand (at least for those of us who become remorseful)

A key thing to me was seeing that my Ws A was something she did to herself. It is only right that she suffers consequences related to that. My W was a horrible wife up until about three years ago. She has changed so much that it is like she is a different person. She is so much happier today.

I can't stress this enough - I did this to myself as much as I did this to my husband or anyone else. Many of us swim around in this deep ocean of shame - some of it from the affair, some of it just collected over the duration of our lives. In many ways, getting over this has been the biggest trial in my entire life. I feel that I have lost a lot in the midst of it as well. I can fully understand my losses are different than my BS's losses, but they are big and they are real, and I mourn them.

But, just as Numb & Dumb describes - I also made a lot of codependant choices for my full marriage, as has my husband. I finally get this sense we have learned to be married differently. It doesn't remove the losses, but there is a sense of sharing them. That is a different and new feeling that allows us to feel we can move on together. But the idea that I haven't lost or that I am elated because I got away with something, that is not even remotely true.

MrsWalloped posted 6/22/2020 09:52 AM

I find waywards who are offered R and have their marriages survive are just elated over the moon. But with few exceptions (but there are some), the BS's who offer R live a lifetime of loss to varying extents.

If WS doesn't see it as such and/or takes it for granted then JMHO R is waste with someone who does not understand just how deep that pain cut their BS. Further if the WS is not ecstatic about being offered grace then it is wasted on someone who doesn't understand how valuable it is.

As usual, I agree with a lot of what hikingout said. “Elated” and “ecstatic” aren’t terms I think of about how I felt or feel now about my BH offering me R because I associate those words with fun and sometimes trivial things. Almost like a WooHoo and there’s nothing WooHoo about my BH being gracious and offering R. It also feels like those terms mean like I got away with something. I am very aware that to a BS it definitely seems like that’s true, and in most respects I did I guess. By all rights I shouldn’t be married. I should have lost my husband, my family, my home. Or threw away is more accurate but I think you know what I mean. And I didn’t. But I lost other things even though lost probably isn’t the right word since I caused it. But let’s keep it for now. I lost my husband’s love, my self-respect, my children’s respect, the closeness we had, I lost years of us as a team and a family. We have been clawing our way back, but we are not one of those “life is better than ever because I had an affair” couples. There is significant loss and I know that my loss pales in comparison to my BH’s. But I didn’t lose in overt ways. There was no D. So I really understand why a BS would think that a WS who was offered R would feel a certain way, but at least in my case, there was never a cat that ate the canary kind of feeling. I never felt I got away with something. I did feel relief because I loved my husband and wanted to stay married to him. But if I had to think of words to describe my feelings of being offered R, it would be grateful, humbled, loving, appreciative, blessed, precious, priceless. Those are my words.

hikingout posted 6/22/2020 10:22 AM

Well said, Mrs. Walloped! I think you said what I wanted to say even better! Not to thread jack, but I thought of you during COVID knowing how your state had been impacted. Hope everything has been okay.

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