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BH Self-Esteem

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Lostgirl410 posted 9/18/2020 17:08 PM

I felt disconnected (emotionally and in other ways) from my BH. I felt we were living 2 separate lives and that I was taken advantage of and for granted. I have always been a pretty selfless person and felt I was entitled to some selfishness.

Define what being selfless means to you. Is there a reason you have always been selfless?

Are you afraid of not being selfless? What do you think would happen if you were not always selfless (I'm not referring to your A, but to everyday life)? How would your family/friendship/relationship circle look?

Is selflessness a chore, or daunting for you? What about your selflessness made you suddenly feel entitled to selfishness?

MC64 posted 9/18/2020 18:06 PM

Lots to digest here. I will have to think about and read and re-read through all of these replies and do some reflection. I will probably take a few days to get back since itís the weekend and my BH is off for the weekend and I want to spend time with him and our kids.
I did start reading daddydomís why post and started reflecting on what he says there.
Thank you everyone I really appreciate all the time everyone has put into my post. Itís helped already.

ChamomileTea posted 9/18/2020 19:10 PM

So if these whys are blaming my BH and essentially not good enough whys and I need to dig deeper. What exactly is an acceptable why that's not blaming? Does it have to lead back to FOO issues or some other deeper trauma or possibly a resentment?
I really would like to understand this. And if this is why we are stuck where we are then I need to change, learn or like you said, dig deeper for something else.

The "something else" is character. I expect that's hard to hear because we all like to think we're people of good character. But when our stated values fail to align with our actual deeds, there's a gap in our character which allows us to say "yes" to perfidy. In marriage, we claim certain values as our own, things like Fidelity, Honesty, Respect. But in practice, sometimes people aren't a strong in their beliefs as they think they are. There's a "but..." in their core values. ie. "I believe in fidelity, but... not if I feel disconnected". The value of fidelity is weak and permeable, subject to change, and not immutable as it should have been. People who truly honor their core values protect them by building strong boundaries around their behavior.

Character >>> Values/Beliefs >>> Boundaries

Once you know what you truly believe in, you value it. You honor it. It's a part of who you are, so you protect it with boundaries. I believe in fidelity. My value of it is strong. It's never subject to threat because I never allow potential interlopers to get that close to me. Boundary. I don't even think about it. It's ingrained, attached to my core value.

It's a difficult thing to have to reevaluate yourself and maybe realize that you aren't the person you thought you were. But, when you start with your core values, the things you truly believe in, you can build from there. WHY was your value of fidelity weak and permeable? Why was there a "but..." in your stated belief, your vow? Once you roll up your sleeves and start thinking about it, you can start figuring out who you really are rather than who you thought you were. It's not like you can't change, but you can't fool yourself either. You have to REALLY honor the things you purport to believe in. Otherwise, the belief isn't strong enough to hold your boundaries.

As far as your original question, what it takes for your BH to stop internalizing YOUR behavior... he has to ACCEPT that he has no control over your character and your choices. Nothing he did, or didn't do, could cause you to cheat if your core values were solid. If your core values were solid, those boundaries would have been there. BS's feel sometimes like they need to be paying attention to the "but...", like if he were making sure you weren't "disconnected", it wouldn't have happened. That's just a subconscious control mechanism. There's NOTHING he can do which will cause YOU to honor your beliefs and maintain boundaries. Only you can do that.

It's sometimes VERY difficult for a BS to stop internalizing the injury. It's attached to the ego, you see. We wonder how our WS could have forgotten us, even hated us. It's difficult to accept that someone we loved and married is capable of the mental gymnastics and compartmentalization it takes to bypass their own values and not SEE us. Also, not helpful is that the first excuses we typically hear from the WS are blame-shifting ones that are seared into our memory. We hear it said that the first person a WS lies to is themselves, and I think that's true. It's how the sausage is made in terms of mental gymnastics and compartmentalization. What's missed is that the REASON for those lies is to paper over the injury they do to their core values system. The WS doesn't want to believe that there's a flaw in character, that their values are chock full of "buts...", weak and permeable. Instead, they focus on those "buts..." as their truth. The BS will sometimes drive themselves mad, trying to make sure all those "buts..." are addressed, remediated. All along though, it wasn't the "but..." which was at fault. It's the fact that there was one at all. Eliminate the "buts...". Work the core values. Take true responsibility for your infidelity. Call your WH out when he internalizes. Remind him that this is about YOU and that you've got a plan to remediate your flaws.

ChamomileTea posted 9/18/2020 19:25 PM

duplicate post

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 7:41 PM, September 18th (Friday)]

GiggleLoopMayor posted 9/19/2020 20:25 PM

Hi I hope its ok if I respond here. I was reading some of the replies and I figured id give my two cents because I feel I had a different response than most BS to this situation.

I think im a pretty confident person. I take a lot of value in myself from my job and my friendships and generally who I am. I have a high self esteem which bounced back pretty quickly after Dday despite the almost comical depravity I experienced. I agree that that is up to your BS to resolve himself, he needs to find his own self worth and realize that he is not to blame for your choice to stray.

However what he is wanting is affirmation that you want him, and that he meets your needs. This is kind of a different case and I can understand, my WS avoided and avoided talking to me about it. I know even if she would of brought it up and assuaged my fears I still wouldnt of believed her. The Best advice i can give is two fold.

1. Be consistent in your affirmation, even if he doesnt believe you. I would do this without expressing the affair or anything about your brokenish, just consistently explain to him that he is who you want, that he is enough for you and that you are willing to tell him and show him until he understands this. Maybe express that you know he cannot trust you but youll keep showing him so he knows your not going anywhere. It sounds like your already doing this and I would encourage to keep doing this. Be kind and spontaneous with it. Be specific. Explain specific things or acts or traits that he possess that you love. In every arena of your relationship.

2. As you work on your whys, explain them to your BS in a way that front loads how the failing was on you and show him how you would change this now. This ones kind of hard to explain whats in my mind. You say you felt disconnected so Ill use that as an example. My wife coming to me and saying "Seeing how strong and steadfast youve been handling yourself makes me realize if I had come to you with my problems we would of worked them out together. Im sorry I was to fearful and weak to really communicate with you when you were everything I needed." Would of went over a hell of a lot better than "I felt disconnected from you in our marriage and i seeked out attention". Given time i think hed be able to see that you are not blaming him at all but you are explaining your whys.

I hope this helps. Im stilll kind of new to this site and realized that I dont really know how to give advice. Have a great weekend and be gentle and present with your BS and gentle and attentive to yourself.

FamilyMan75 posted 9/19/2020 20:41 PM

Be consistent. I know in my case my wife is a serial cheater. In May 2018 was my absolute lowest point, and I couldn't even imagine my self-confidence being any lower. But in time, my wife making positive choices, and our marriage improving, slowly my confidence improved because I had a wife who was into me, and I had a wife I could be proud of.

Proton posted 9/21/2020 02:09 AM

Letís be honest here, MC84.

You got off, he got left holding the bag.

Now youíre asking for forgiveness?

TwoDozen posted 9/21/2020 04:10 AM

MC64 - your BS sounds like myself and your whyís sound like my WGFs

When we got together 24 years ago, 2 years after me pursuing her I never lost that feeling, as we say in the U.K. that ďI was punching above my weightĒ I was certainly not ugly, but even the suns light is invisible when itís next to a supernova.

Over the years, after our respective lights faded a little, and validation that she was still a supernova came in the form of a PA with a much much younger CoW and I donít know if thereís any way for me to get over that. Iíve felt like a fraud my entire life and then it was confirmed.

My WGFs whyís are the same as yours and Iím not convinced my WGF will ever dig any deeper, but you sound like you want to so Iíll tell you what I would want to see from my WGF

Firstly stop blaming him, your whyís sound like you are blaming him. Did you tell him how you was feeling, I suspect not. Find out what stopped you from having those difficult conversations that should have happened pre A

Next find out how on earth did you decided it was acceptable to share those feelings with another, ignore your moral compass and lie, time after time, and choose time after time to do something that you knew would destroy him.

Lastly, what has he done to suddenly become the perfect man for you. Why now after your A is he the man you want when it sounds like your A has actually made him become a shadow of his former self. If heís anything like me, he will be sitting there thinking, wtf, why does she want me now, Iím a mess, is it just the guilt, am I plan B, is it because of the kids etc etc. Find out what it is about him you love and respect and tell him.

ILYs are almost meaningless without context and apologies are completely meaningless without including what you are apologising for.

I guess this sounds like Iím writing to my WGF, and I suppose it is. Something my IC told me to do, to get my thoughts out on paper. So hopefully I have helped the 2 of us with this post, therapy for me and another perspective for you.

I wish you the best of luck.

MyAndI posted 9/24/2020 10:17 AM

Your BH has to work on himself for his self esteem, and he has to understand that your A was not what was wrong with him, but what was wrong with you. As BH I worked out, lost weight, became more well groomed. I found activities for myself and ways to put my mind to other things. I was basically preparing for life on my own. This actually brought us closer together. The more independent I became in my head and in my heart, the more she wanted me. Your BH should not have to use you as a crutch to right himself. He has to have his own life, even within the marriage. I know this sounds odd, but we are no good to each other in R if we are not good to ourselves.

After my dday, BW felt very threatened by OW looks and the perception the OW was better in bed. It took a long time for BW to get to a place where she felt safe and secure.

[This message edited by MyAndI at 11:01 AM, September 30th (Wednesday)]

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