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Rewriting History

Bulcy posted 7/28/2020 09:10 AM

There was a post earlier, which was moved to I can relate. This asked the question about WS changing history of the relationship to justify their affair. I was guilty of this in that I said I was not happy in my relationship, my BS would annoy me I even used I don't think I loved you. All horse sh*t.

What have you guys done in rewriting your history that you later regretted and subsequently reworked you timeline to correct these lies? Also, do you know why you did it?

hikingout posted 7/29/2020 14:46 PM

The rewriting of history for me was something I was unaware of at the time I was doing it. I think for me a lot of it was putting emphasis on negative things while minimizing positive things. We become increasingly calloused to keep from examining our behavior. We lob excuses/justifications of it.

So, I would remember things back when we were dating or first married and say to myself "I didn't see it then, I was such a fool" kind of thing. Looking for problems rather than remembering all the good times. I don't think this is a concerted effort, or anything that I intentionally did, it was just my confirmation bias of why we should be over. I had categorized my marriage as "something good for the season of having and raising children" and that the season had changed and now it was time to find myself in a new chapter. ALL BULLSHIT.

Some of it was I was playing a new role in the affair, someone younger, vibrant, more adventurous. So, that narrative didn't match reality. We dehumanize and minimize our spouses because they interfere with that role, they interfere with the escapism.

Some of the rewriting actually occurred before my affair ever was incepted. I think that's where it's most dangerous because that is where a lot of it is born. I was shut down inside and therefore not communicating, I was checked out. I felt alone, unappreciated, like I was an employee, a middle aged frump who was convenient to keep his life going. This was my own narrative of what was happening through the lens of probably more how I felt about myself.

I put expectations on myself in order to hustle to be worthy of love. And, the more I hustled the less I saw myself. So the narrative in my head was not appreciated, taken for granted, being unseen. By the time the affair actually happened I was actually quite resentful of him and I didn't even recognize that much! But my resentment should have been towards myself and not managing myself better.

I was a big coward, and I didn't try to improve my life, and I escaped it. It wasn't all that hard to continue to feed into that narrative as the affair progressed. And then at the other end see only his culpability rather than take full accountability for mine. So many things I wish I could go back and change, that I could go back and say wake up!

[This message edited by hikingout at 2:49 PM, July 29th (Wednesday)]

BSPheonix posted 7/31/2020 05:42 AM

WS Only

[This message edited by SI Staff at 5:20 PM, July 31st (Friday)]

Blindsided2425 posted 8/3/2020 12:02 PM

What a great post. My WS spouse is doing the same thing, thanks for the perspective..

Bulcy posted 8/3/2020 14:07 PM

FAO A Mod.

Can we remove the no entry please. Was left on in error. Always welcome BS input.

wifehad5 posted 8/3/2020 18:23 PM

All, the Stop Sign has been removed. Betrayed Spouses are now allowed to post.

landclark posted 8/4/2020 09:22 AM

Thanks for removing the stop sign! I really wanted to comment and it was driving me nuts. lol

I don't think my WH completely rewrote the history of our marriage as much as he over exaggerated the issues in his head, and failed to see his responsibility in the issues. An example, he mentioned my trust issues to the AP which yes, I had a problem trusting him but it was because he was giving me reason to not trust him. In his head, being trusted was super important and he was focusing on the idea that I didn't trust him, while doing the very things that would cause me not to trust him.

Another example, after dday he claimed we were disconnected. That is true, we were, but what he wasn't seeing is that was because he was pulling away from me and our reality/family and getting deeping into his fantasy world.

So looking back, you can say sure, there were trust issues and a marital disconnect, but much of that was on him.

So not a complete rewrite, but more of a taking pieces and leaving out the rest to fit his narrative of the marriage.

I do think he rewrote his supposed longing love affair with the first AP who was also his high school crush. She did the same. She acted like she always wanted him and was so shy and blah blah blah, when the truth is that wasn't true at all. She barely paid attention to him back then, and had regular boyfriends and wasn't really shy at all. When she moved away from college (they went to HS and then college together for a year), she never looked back at him until they reconnected on Facebook. So in their heads, they were soulmates, lost connections, meant to be, life had just gotten in the way, which was all BS because back then, she didn't really care about him at all beyond somebody she went to high school with. When she left college, she didn't look back. So yeah, some serious rewriting going on there!

LifeDestroyer posted 8/4/2020 09:37 AM

His love language towards me was acts of service, except I didn't see it that way then. I just saw him doing what a husband would normally do for his wife. I didn't see that it was actually him showing support and love. I was so focused on the no "I love yous" and the physical touch diminish unless it led to sex.

We both rewrote or at least wore different glasses when it came to discussing our past life together. He mainly saw the negative moments while I tried to point out all the positives to combat the negative.

Blindsided2425 posted 8/4/2020 12:44 PM

Thanks for the post, very insightful

Thanksgiving2016 posted 8/4/2020 18:57 PM

My WH did a lot of rewriting history. Problem is the affair went on so long he knows he rewrote but I think he still sees a lot of it as truth. My question is how does a wayward rewrite history but then see the truth? I don’t think they can. How can the BS be villanized for so long then the wayward says they see the light and love the BS? How is that possible?

hikingout posted 8/4/2020 22:17 PM

Thanksgiving - not all will.

For me, it happened through counseling. When you say things out loud (or write them out in a journal) and you really examine them, you will begin to be able to sort them out as true or not true. Sometimes it would also happen when I would talk to my husband.

What I learned mostly is that I didn’t take care of myself, my own happiness. Rather than taking responsibility for that, I blamed my husband. When I could see a lot of it was my expectations it helped me understand. The counselor also had me stop doing everything that I would normally do to hustle for love and slowly add them back after examining my
Motivations. This was probably my biggest epiphany because it made me realize that I am not loved for what I do, I am loved for who I am. This let me release the need to keep overdoing to feel worthy.

Those are specific examples that may not apply, but we as humans tend to believe everything we think without any examination. How we think leads us to how we feel. So them our emotions can even be based on distorted or unexamined thoughts. The book the power of now helped me to learn to be a conscious observer of my thoughts and through mindfulness and meditation I can now slow down and listen to myself
more closely.

It really didn’t take that long to see my husband was the real prize to win. Had I ended up with AP, I would have recognized pretty quickly that I picked a far lesser person. So when you reverse the thought of we thought the AP was good it shows another side to the utter lack in our judgment during that time frame.

Maudlin posted 8/5/2020 06:09 AM

I mean it sucks and is ridiculous, but I ( the BS) have also done it. My kids are adults, and that actually is what called me out to what I was doing.my oldest daughter.

No, it wasn’t bad. No, I wasn’t hamstrung by his job it was my choice. Now in retrospect I see everything different because he was cheating but...it wasn’t that way. It really wasn’t. It was a good marraige and a happy family, I just didnt know what was real. And it isn’t right I have examined everything and read I to it, that is not actually real.

His lame ass “you didn’t help me lose weight” bullshit (yeah...I’m 50 kgs amd haven’t got any idea how to lose weight and never would...) Is just deflection. He will cling to it forever though, to be justified. I mean...go on with your bad self you fucking moron. Rewrite to your hearts content. But I wont, because if I am anything it is blisteringly honest. You never could handle that...

fooled13years posted 8/5/2020 07:56 AM

Rewriting History

It has oft been said that the history is written by the victor but in the situation of an affair I am afraid that no one wins.

LostOpportunities20 posted 8/13/2020 09:22 AM

BS here. This is something that has come up quite a bit in MC for me in the last couple of months.

FWW and I had two very different views of "what happened". Of course, when we discussed it previously, we always descended into arguments.

With the MC serving as a bit of a referee, a lot of inconsistencies have been showing up that have caused FWW to do some double takes... A lot of "you can't have it both ways - you can't say 'he's wrong if he does this but also wrong if he doesn't' - you just want him to be the bad guy to excuse yourself"

To be fair - MC has also shown me that I have done some rewriting myself - not an excuse for FWWs behavior...but rather how I could have taken a more active role in events around me.

One thing that MC brought up that gives me a dark view of the future - that a WS often will not remember the true "good" history after so much effort was put into making BS a bad guy. WS will become convinced that BS was good, but will mostly take it on faith from the MC (or however R is in process) as opposed to actually remembering good things. That makes me feel like I'm on a precarious perch and that FWW can make me a bad guy easily again.

Is my MC blowing things out of proportion? I hope so.

[This message edited by LostOpportunities20 at 9:39 AM, August 13th (Thursday)]

hikingout posted 8/13/2020 10:37 AM

One thing that MC brought up that gives me a dark view of the future - that a WS often will not remember the true "good" history after so much effort was put into making BS a bad guy. WS will become convinced that BS was good, but will mostly take it on faith from the MC (or however R is in process) as opposed to actually remembering good things. That makes me feel like I'm on a precarious perch and that FWW can make me a bad guy easily again.

Is my MC blowing things out of proportion? I hope so.

Hmmm. That's a hard one because I would say it depends on your WW and the work she does on herself to be more self-aware of herself in a relationship. What her attitudes are - more pessimistic versus optimistic - and whether or not she learns being appreciative and grateful are huge contributors to joy.

And what things have looked historically for you guys.

For me, I don't think I will anytime soon start believing everything I think without examination. The truth is for most of my marriage I have been nothing but a 100 percent ride or die kind of wife. I never complained about him to my friends, which they have pointed out to me numerous times and asked me how that is possible.

I remember telling them that I didn't feel like the little things or little frustrations were things I felt I needed to focus on in the big picture of what the marriage looks like and that I had learned talking badly about people could be addictive and a negative form of bonding. So, I would assure them I had a normal marriage like everyone else, but I surely want him to talk about me positively and I wanted the same so I just wasn't going to throw him under the bus.

So, the only instance I have for the rewriting actually started before the affair began. Knowing full well now that my perceptions that led to that were based on my own contributions and actions to the relationship, I think it would be very difficult now for me to allow myself to slip into that lazy mentality again. I have learned if I am unhappy it is my responsibility to fix that. It's not his job to make me happy, read my mind, or work my boundaries for me. So, through the work I did on myself I learned just how wrong I can be, and how important it is to communicate everything.

So, it really feeds into what I am saying - some of it relies on natural disposition, some of it relies on how much work the WW does to become self aware, and some of it relies on how vigilant she is moving forward.

I actually think any long term relationship is going to have an ebb and flow, so when you are in a valley you have to recognize it and work together to get to a better place again. Anyone can start catastrophizing a relationship or a situation, and start blaming the other person. You just need to figure out if your person is going to learn to be better about that or not. It takes a lot of time.

I think your MC does need to say that in front of your WW because she really needs to realize to beat the odds it's a lot of work. I can see how it would scare you to hear that.

I think after infidelity individuals tend to do one of two things - think the specialness of the relationship is gone forever and really never get over that feeling (it's natural in the beginning), or they work together to build something new and they can see that while they never would have wanted to go through the shit they did and wished they had gotten there another way, they can see the value in the rebuilt WW and the new relationship they have built together. I won't lie to you that the second one is harder to achieve, but it is achievable.

Darkness Falls posted 8/13/2020 11:02 AM

My H is the guilty party in my M of rewriting history. I did a lot of shitty shit in the timeframe of the affair but I always represent(ed) my M accurately.

Justsomeguy posted 8/13/2020 11:17 AM

BH here. Sorry for the wall of text, but I really have no life.

My WW, soon to be EXWW, certainly rewrote our history to a degree in order to justify her A. At one point, and only after I had filed for D, she said that the M was doomed anyway. Funny thing, before being forced to confess or be outed, she had begged everyone not to say anything as it would destroy her M. You know, the doomed one. She even agreed to go to therapy if everyone would keep quiet.

I want perfect, but a damn good husband. Whe we married, I was in university. She barely made it through high school and passed some courses on the promise never to take that class again. She was what we called a squeaker in the trade. She worked as a fitness trainer, typically a low paying job. I encouraged and supported her to go back to night school and upgrade. She then went to college (I am in Canada and colleges are vocational or certificate institutions) and get a career. She graduated and earns as much and potentially more than me.

While we were married, kids supported her sports, hobbies,and interests. She worked part time and was able to fritter the time away. Yet I was, as she claimed, keeping her under my thumb. When I asked exactly how, she responded that I just did and stormed off. The funny thing is that I was considered the best SIL in the family. One of her sisters told her after the A came to light, that she was an idiot and the sister would have left her own husband for me.

I've distilled all of this and more, and come to the dime conclusion that my STBXWW needs to vilify me in order to live with herself. To face who she really is, would presuppose that she would take one of two next steps, fix herself or destroy herself. She does not have the strength for the former and is too proud for the latter. So what remains is living in an Orwellian world of doublethink, where things are constantly rewritten and contrary ideas sent down the memory hole. I wish she had the strength to grow, but I have never seen her do it in all the years I've known her. Yes, she has done things, but only if other people got her moving. She has a laziness of spirit which has kept her stagnant all her life.

As I hinted before, there is one area that she has focused on. She feels that I kept her under my thumb. It took a lot if IC and MC to see this. When we married, she married up in her mind. She told herself that she could not believe she had gotten a guy like me. After a while, she looked down at me because I did not meet her physical ideal. She liked fitness guys. I was an artist and working on a Lit/Hist degree. She wore spandex, I dressed like i stepped off the set of Paperchase. So she increasingly saw me with contempt. This coupled with my growth and people telling her how amazing I was and how lucky she was to have me, just incensed her. She hated us spending time with my sister as she said that she could not understand what we were talking about and always felt stupid. And so on and so on.

Her solution was elegant in its simplicity, find someone who would make her feel like the alpha in the room. The next step was to secretly humiliate me in a form of primate dominance ritual by paradise g me in front of her AP, some times with my kids. She was even going to go so far as have him attend my birthday party in my house. Friends that knew of the A put a stop to this. I guess some things are simply too much for even her friends.

So in the end, she is faced with resolving al of this and more, or adopting a much simpler position which positions her as the real victim of this tragedy. I was an abusive husband who kept her under my thumb and as such, pushed her into the arms of a drifter cowboy to find the love and acceptance she never got with me. He fawned over her as being way out of his league, actually most bipeds are, and she was suddenly the alpha. You can only imagine how she felt when she discovered that she was only one of several of his side pieces. He was, as it turned out, a petri dish in a cowboy hat.

I think the revision functions as a default survival mechanism for the WS who wants the path of least resistance, a sort of psychological crash diet, rather than doing the hard work to engender real, authentic changes.

Poppy704 posted 8/13/2020 11:26 AM

Rewriting history can go both ways for both parties.

For a large portion of my relationship I did not see abuse for what it was. What appeared romantic to 15 year old me, makes me sick now that I’m an adult with a child that age. XH still romanticizes things that were wildly unhealthy and wrong to the point of being illegal. He considers years that I spent isolated, without being allowed to speak to my family as the best times of the marriage (preA, not infidelity related at all). He also uses the A to justify all of his bad behavior for the entire duration of the relationship, as if I preemptively deserved to be treated badly for years. Looking back and seeing how bad things were in my twenties is not “rewriting” just because I was not healthy enough to recognize my situation for what it was at the time. It does not negate good days we had or bright moments either.

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