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Is skinny more attractive than overweight?

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GuiltAndShame posted 8/5/2020 05:32 AM

Summary post #3

My initial response to the questions
- Lacked empathy and compassion and kindness and tact
- Important to tell the truth. “The more emotionally charged the question (is), the more critical honesty becomes”
- Needed to supplement the truth to demonstrate insight and growth and depth of thought
- Shows I am still broken, in selfish shallow mode (focus too much on value because I am selfish and shallow)
- Needed to show full responsibility: “I didn't appreciate you. I wasn't a safe husband. I compared your physical attractiveness with others and made our marriage a competition for you without your knowledge or consent."
- “This is painful to your BW, just be honest and try to recognize how that made her feel and address those feelings.”
- Understand and acknowledge the hurt, and apologize for the specific behavior that caused it.
- “...honesty alone is insufficient. It needs to be backed up with much deeper digging and focus on the BS. Being able to go beneath the obvious to see where these wounds reside and what the BS needs to hear in those moments.....looking at other people with that level of understanding or curiosity.”
- “Honesty without empathy can be as harmful as outright lying or deception.”
- Zugzwang’s recommended response: “I am so sorry. I can see how that must hurt you. I have left you feeling inadequate because of my fucked up values. You shouldn't be questioning if you are good enough. I should be questioning if I am good enough. You should not care about the opinions of a selfish entitled cheating man that places so much about a person on if it is of value to them."
- HumanTrampoline’s recommended response: “As a BW, I'm speaking for myself only. I would want a response that showed depth of understanding and growth. That would include the truth in full, an apology with empathy, and some change and emotional insight.”

[This message edited by GuiltAndShame at 5:32 AM, August 5th (Wednesday)]

hikingout posted 8/5/2020 10:04 AM

Humility and being teachable are traits we as WS benefit from. It's hard to not feel defensive when we are fighting for our marriage, and strangers are chiming in and seemingly making it even worse.

But, the benefits of really understanding ourselves, accepting our ugly truths forms a foundation in which we can put things on top of. By being the person we really want to be, we can begin to grow back our self respect, our self compassion, and our self love. In this healing we become a safer partner for our spouse, and we actually end up learning to love better and we can enjoy the results of that.

I am saying all this because sometimes it's hard to see the light at the end of this long dark tunnel, but this is the transportation - accountability, trying and failing, learning, humbling ourselves, etc. Keep going and keep striving.

GuiltAndShame posted 8/5/2020 10:15 AM

Thank you SO MUCH, hikingout!!!!
Your words are ALWAYS helpful and insightful and awesome

hikingout posted 8/5/2020 14:22 PM

Well I know I pissed you off earlier in the thread, but sometimes I have to.

For what it's worth, I have had a lot of times where I got pissed off at things people were pointing out to me. Taking full accountability is a process.

GuiltAndShame posted 8/5/2020 16:26 PM

Very true, hikingout.
Criticism is sometimes hard to hear and “swallow”, but is needed for self-improvement and redirection.

GuiltAndShame posted 8/5/2020 20:01 PM

Summary post #4

Why did she ask?
- One of my AP’s came up as a friend suggestion for my BS, naturally triggering her
- My BS said “The fact that you chased skinny women makes me feel poorly about myself”
- BS’s are ALWAYS thinking about the affairs and the impacts. She was triggered, reminding her of the deep hurt that I caused.
- She wanted reassurance and comfort
- Wanted apology for my actions making her think that way, feeling “less than” or “poorly”
- She wanted validation that she was the exception, that she is far more beautiful
- Wanted me to see (recognize) her pain, and show the commitment to work on building trust again
- To feel me out, to see progress on journey
- To see the perimeters of my value system
- To weigh the safety net of me
- She wanted to know if I truly love her and if I will wander again
- To see if her weight gain contributed to my decision to cheat on her
- “I could see myself having that argument because I wanted my WS to look at himself deeper and face some hard truths about who and what he was.”
- “We are tormented wondering what our spouses found so incredibly desirable about their APs that they were willing to risk their families and lives for them. I think because of that, we imbue the AP’s with near-mythical characteristics.”
- A test??? “It was already obvious what you found attractive, given your choice in APs. I wouldn’t have believed you had you said otherwise, were I your betrayed spouse.”

[This message edited by GuiltAndShame at 8:28 PM, August 5th (Wednesday)]

GuiltAndShame posted 8/5/2020 20:14 PM

Summary post #5

Why did I chase skinny women?
- I did not think my BW was unattractive or “not sexy”. I always thought she was and is very beautiful and sexy.
- Wanted to feel wanted by skinny women because I considered skinny to be sexy. Ego boost for “ugly duckling” (me) if sexy (skinny) women showed (or even pretended) they were attracted to me. Wanted ego-strokes.
- Pursued validation through women who were easy & willing.......high probability of ego-stroke success, low probability of rejection.
- Went after women who were different-looking than my BS. Wanted to maintain separation & disconnection from reality, didn’t want anything in affairs to remind me of reality and the ugliness and hurtful ness of what I was doing.
- My own withdrawal into my cheating ways caused distance and coldness in my marriage, with a lack of communication and intimacy.
- No matter who I was with (could be the hottest woman on the planet), I would still have cheated because I was trying to fill an internal hole the wrong way, seeking attention and ego-strokes. Fundamentally damaged internally.
- Even though I already “had” my wife, who has many amazing wonderful qualities, I still cheated. I was not filling my internal hole with self-praise and self-awareness and conscious appreciation of my wife
- “These flawed, damaged people are trying on lives, trying on identities, trying on mittens and underwear and socks and pants and jobs and projects and initiatives and life partners like they are all interchangeable, trying to find *something* that works... when the entire point is, until they understand themselves, and fix their own damage, *nothing* will suit.”

[This message edited by GuiltAndShame at 10:06 PM, August 5th (Wednesday)]

gmc94 posted 8/5/2020 21:44 PM

BS’s are ALWAYS thinking about the affairs and the impacts
gentle suggestion to try and take a pause on this one. I don't think many (any?) WS have any understanding of how much this is true and how much it impacts things.

I guess it's a weird dance of sorts - BS' have a trauma reaction that causes obsessive thinking & rumination about the A, about being a BS, etc.
Meanwhile, WS are mired in shame and doing all they can to NOT think about the A.

It's a real imbalance. I think most BS who are committed to their own healing have their ruminating lessen. But, that doesn't mean it goes away. Lots of BS on SI, even those with years of successful R, say they still think about it every day. I guess I could say it moves from the forefront of thought in the early days/weeks/months/year(s), to the background, but it's still always there.

It's like a mariachi band at your table (loud, annoying, can't do anything else while they are playing cielito lindo for what feels like the 100th time through loudspeakers directly into your ear). But as they move from table to table, the music is still there, but it's not as loud and in your ears consuming. You can carry on a conversation, etc. But every now & then, they hit a table who loves cielito lindo, or the new maraca player shows up and shakes those puppies with a vengeance. So the band & the table's guests are at the top of their lungs, so despite the distance, it is again overwhelming.

I post this in the hope that G&S or any WS can start to become mindful of it. Simple things that a WS may think are no big deal can be giant triggers for a BS, cuz that damn band is always in the background, at the ready with the guitar and maracas, just waiting to scream that ay, ay, ay, ay chorus as loud as it can. And I think that had something to do with the interaction that prompted this thread to begin with: A question was asked, and you answered, w/o remembering that the fucking band is always somewhere in your BS' head, warming up & ready to turn it up to 11. A band we don't like, didn't ask for and would LOVE to have move on.

ETA: And I apologize if I've offended any mariachi fans out there... it just ain't my jam :)

[This message edited by gmc94 at 9:47 PM, August 5th, 2020 (Wednesday)]

GuiltAndShame posted 8/5/2020 22:12 PM

Thank you, gmc94!
That provides some great insight and perspective

hikingout posted 8/6/2020 07:55 AM

I think what GMC is saying here is why earlier in the thread I think you always have to assume the question or issue is affair related.

You argued many times in this thread that she asked you what seemed to you an unrelated question. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, you have to always be aware that when she asks you anything that sounds remotely like insecurity, or regarding other women or what you find attractive, or whatever it is...you need to think "I caused this by having an affair" and answer accordingly. I want to reinforce here, you have to be honest because it's the only way to build trust, but you need to be gentle and empathetic at the same time. Sincere apologies. Ask her questions about how she feels. It's a hard thing to master.

The added benefit of it is you have to realize when we make them bring it up, then they have this feeling that they should be able to deal with it better somehow, that their feelings are a burden to us. Which then leads to anger because they soon process it through and realize - but I feel this way because of their actions! And then you have someone who resents having to drag you along. Things got durastically better when I learned to bring it up more and ask more questions and check in. They. are. never. not. thinking. about. it. I will say ironically, my doing that has somehow helped my husband to think about it less than he used to. Maybe because he didn't feel like he had to keep bottling it up and then letting it out? I don't know, but if you want your wife to heal what GMC said could never be overstated.

We are 3 years out. When we have any disagreement, I assume that when he is emotional there has to be something in the background that says "and plus she cheated". It's human nature, even if that's not what he wants to go to in his mind. Even if afterwards he knows that was maybe a pile on in the situation. This is what you are dealing with and I think GMC drove that point home better than I did.

JanaGreen posted 8/6/2020 08:37 AM

^^^^^all of this. Yes

gmc94 posted 8/6/2020 15:13 PM

you have to realize when we make them bring it up, then they have this feeling that they should be able to deal with it better somehow, that their feelings are a burden to us. Which then leads to anger because they soon process it through and realize - but I feel this way because of their actions! And then you have someone who resents having to drag you along.
Good grief this is soooo spot on. Thanks HO

Ay ay ay ayyyyyyyyyy

ETA: And HO also makes a good point about bringing up the A. It's a way to let your BS know that you hear that band playing too. It may not feel so loud & overwhelming to you, but you are acknowledging its existence and the ways in which it is distracting/difficult.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 6:29 PM, August 6th, 2020 (Thursday)]

GuiltAndShame posted 8/6/2020 20:13 PM

Thank you once again, hikingout!
BTW - Why “hikingout”? Short for hiking-workout?

GuiltAndShame posted 8/6/2020 20:14 PM

Summary post #6

Communication is vital
- Let’s have a discussion about it
- Talk with each other openly and honestly
- Telepathy doesn’t work. Subtle signals often go unnoticed.
- Lies are soul-destroying for the BS
- Don’t react emotionally
- Clarify without judgement before continuing
- When difficult questions are asked, should we side-step or half-answer or lie in order to avoid hurting the feelings of the person who asked?

Zugzwang posted 8/7/2020 00:08 AM

BTW - Why “hikingout”? Short for hiking-workout?

I always just thought it was a metaphor for hikingout of the crap in ones head. Getting out of the Grimm fairytale and finding reality.

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