Plug for BS Questions
If any WS have availability, there are a few recent posts languishing unanswered on the BS Questions for WS thread. I've done what I can, but some are outside my wheelhouse.
2 comments posted: Thursday, April 22nd, 2021
Irritable about haircut
I know it's a first world problem, but I'm irritated by the haircut I got today. My salon closed permanently in the pandemic, so when my vaccination kicked in fully, I found a new one that was very highly reviewed online. It had been over a year since my hair was even trimmed, so it was very long. "Too long," sniffed the stylist, who is also the salon owner. I said that it definitely needed some layers put into it, and to have the ends cleaned up, but that I didn't want to lose a lot of length. A few times, while he was cutting, he said,"And you don't want the layers shorter than this, right?" No. Long layers, said I. "I don't want short hair," said I.
I think you can see where this is going.
It's not necessarily a bad haircut, but it is NOT what I asked for. It's a good 3" shorter than the pictures I showed him, which were of me just after my last haircut. My hair was halfway down my back this morning, and now the very bottom layer just barely touches my shoulders. It's not like I gave him unrealistic inspiration photos of something my hair won't do. He just thought it should be short, so he cut it short. In the words of Shelby in "Steel Magnolias," it looks like a brown football helmet.
It'll grow back, though it will probably be the end of the summer before it's the length I wanted it to be today. I'm just really annoyed by stylists who think their vision is more important than mine. And it's stupid of him, too, because I need a new salon, and I stuck with the last one for over a decade. My mom needs one, too. Two regular customers out the window to suit his personal tastes.
13 comments posted: Wednesday, April 7th, 2021
1 comment posted: Friday, March 19th, 2021
The tipping point
We often advise new arrivals that in the aftermath of the affair, marital problems are secondary. A WS who had issues within their marriage had many alternatives to cheating, including a demand for marital counseling, an ultimatum, or a divorce. By choosing to go outside the marriage, the WS loses any high ground they may have held, and the focus shifts to repairing wayward brokenness and rebuilding trust. Pre-A marital issues are tabled until after the BS and WS have time to heal.
This is solid advice, and it carries the caveat that either party may opt for divorce if they don't want to work to reconcile. But how does a wayward identify "after?" At what point is it once again reasonable for a WS to express unhappiness with the marital dynamic and/or the actions of the BS?
As I said on another thread, waywards are great at rewriting narratives to shift blame away from ourselves. We arrive here full of grievances, some of which may be greatly exaggerated or even products of our own imagination. If our judgment could be trusted, we wouldn't have cheated. The work illuminates the flaws in our thinking, and done properly, it kicks our feet out from under us. But how do we know when we've hauled ourselves upright, possibly for the first time in our lives? How do we trust ourselves when we definitively proved we're untrustworthy?
I'm not suggesting that there's a universal answer. No checklist or time frame can apply to everyone, and I imagine that in many cases, there's a gradual overlap where issues are negotiated while trust is still being rebuilt. But it's a question I once struggled to answer for myself as a WS, because the destination of healthy self-advocacy is not marked with a signpost.
Have you worked your way back to where you feel you have a right to advocate for yourself in your marriage? If so, how did you know you'd gotten there? Did you and your BS agree that the time had come? If you aren't there yet, what do you imagine that moment will look like?
69 comments posted: Tuesday, March 16th, 2021
It's just occurred to me to wonder if the projected postal service chaos will have an impact on the SI Christmas Card Exchange. Not to mention the potential coronavirus implications for elves gathering at the North Pole. 😳
Are we doing it this year? If so, will the deadlines be earlier?
7 comments posted: Tuesday, August 18th, 2020
A plug for I Can Relate
Just wanted to put in a reminder for anyone who is able to participate in the "BS Questions for WS" thread in I Can Relate. This is the only place on the site that betrayed spouses can solicit input from us on what makes the wayward mind tick. Despite the commonalities of the "cheater's handbook," we have really varied experiences here, so the more perspectives we can give them, the better. No pressure if that's not your personal jam, but I wanted to make sure we collectively keep it on our radar.
[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 5:40 PM, April 30th (Thursday)]
3 comments posted: Thursday, April 30th, 2020
Two steps back
Ugh, I fucked up this morning.
In the era of coronavirus, I'm fortunate to have been reconnecting with a bunch of old friends from various times in my life. I've had Zooms with people from college and grad school that I haven't spoken with in years. I've had folks turning up on social media to say hey, how have you been, and it's been awesome.
You probably can guess where this is headed.
This morning, I opened Facebook and saw I had a friend request. I clicked it, and it was someone I haven't spoken to in 20 years, but we used to be good friends. I thought "Oh, so-and-so, that's great!" and clicked Accept. And then my brain caught up with me.
This is a friend who knew OM quite well. The requester never contributed to or enabled the A in any way, so he's not someone I needed to cut out of my life for any offense of his own. However, there was a definite risk of OM being on this person's friend list, and of overlapping circles if I started reading and commenting on his posts. I simply could not believe I had even a few seconds of lag time in which this didn't occur to me.
So now I was going to have to unfriend this person and tell BH about the interaction. Of course, this had to happen on a day when I know that BH has a very busy and stressful workload that requires him to be completely focused. He was up late working last night and taking a brief recharging nap before his next meeting. I wondered if I should wake him up to disclose immediately. Then I thought, no, I should let him sleep, and maybe wait until after the meeting so he wouldn't get thrown off. Just that idea, the concept of hiding anything to "protect" BH even for a few hours, brought on a powerful, physical wave of nausea.
My old friend Denial came back to help me out. Maybe this friend was as out of touch with OM as he had been with me. It would calm me down considerably if OM wasn't on his friend list. Scroll through a thousand names, wincing every time I see someone we knew in common. Of course, there he is.
I click "Unfriend" and nope the hell out of there. I make a silent mental apology to the requester that it's not personal. I wonder if I should send an actual message to that effect, then tell myself to get over myself. He's gotten along fine for decades without talking to me; he's not going to sweat the snub, if he even notices it at all. This is just a distraction to avoid thinking about having to bring up the topic of OM with BH.
So now I'm feeling even sicker. I'm wondering if I compounded my error just by looking for OM's name. After all, I was going to have to unfriend this person on general principle whether OM was on the list or not. The requester is clearly out there reviving old connections, so even if OM wasn't on his list today, he could be there tomorrow. Searching for OM's name suddenly feels like I was caught stalking him. I'm not just nauseous at this point, I'm practically doubled over.
So I go upstairs and lie in bed next to BH and wait for him to wake up. As soon as he does, I unload the whole story in a single breath. BH is obviously not thrilled that the topic of OM is invading an already stressful day, but he is absolutely amazing in his response to me. He doesn't get angry that I clicked accept without thinking, he's glad I unfriended my way back out of the situation, he's really glad that the idea of hiding anything from him was unendurable. My blood pressure and heart rate start to normalize.
So now I'm relieved but also really surprised and angry at myself. I would have said that if anyone from that era of my life turned up, my first thought would be caution, to protect BH. I failed. If I hadn't accepted the friend request, I could have left it ignored until talking with BH about it tonight. Instead, I created a situation that had to be dealt with immediately and threw a real wrench in his day.
Ironically, the only thing I'm actually pleased about is my bout with nausea. It's good to know that my internal compass reacted violently to anything that felt like deception. If only my brain was as quick to react as my stomach.
33 comments posted: Tuesday, April 21st, 2020
Regional foodies, what do you miss?
I grew up in New England but moved away almost 30 years ago. Recently I went home, and now man oh man, I'm missing the foods that only they know how to cook properly. Your average roadside clam shack in Massachusetts does seafood as well as (often better than) the best seafood restaurants in my current city. Going back was just a reminder of how wide the gap is!
Tonight, I want clam chowder and properly fried scallops. If you're a transplant from your home territory, what foods do you miss?
45 comments posted: Wednesday, September 11th, 2019