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"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

Discuss: SI Lexicon

I've noticed that terms first developed here at SI or within the community of betrayed spouses (like hopium, cake eating, and gaslighting) have been adopted into the broader cultural lexicon. I find this an interesting development.

For instance, you're seeing terms like "gaslighting" and "hopium" now applied to the Russian-Ukraine situation.

I wouldn't say such terms were exclusive to the betrayed community, but they really saw their first full application and development on message boards like SI when discussing infidelity in the first two decades of the 21st century.

I wonder if others have noticed this.

7 comments posted: Tuesday, March 1st, 2022

Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey

Probably most betrayed spouses would benefit from reading or listening to the new book, "Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey" by Florence Williams, a science journalist, written after the author's husband left her after a 25-year marriage. Fresh Air on NPR featured the book earlier this month. Check it out.

0 comment posted: Tuesday, February 8th, 2022

Mod please

Thanks in advance!

2 comments posted: Friday, February 4th, 2022

How I Demolished My LIfe

The Atlantic has an essay out by an execrable woman named Honor (deeply ironic) Jones. I recommend reading it, though it may trigger some. It doesn't involve infidelity, but I think it is highly relevant here on SI because it does dissect -- from the standpoint of a [strikethrough]wayward[/strikethrough] walkaway woman -- her navel-gazing motivations for leaving her marriage.

Essentially, she was bored, dear reader. That's it. Oh, and how the horrible patriarchy has kept her down.

Now she lives in an apartment and her children are forced to shuttle between her apartment and her ex-husband's apartment.

Like I said, fascinating reading (if a bit up-chuck-inducing). Although infidelity is never referenced, we are subjected here to the unreliable narrator -- and I think most here on SI have a finely tuned bullshit meter. So I'm skeptical there wasn't infidelity involved.

I can't think of an analogous essay being written by a man bragging about how he willfully destroyed his marriage and family because he was just so fed up with the Cheerios in his back seat (even though she lived a fabulously privileged lifestyle that would have made the Pharoahs blink in astonishment) but maybe someone can think of a recent example.

I've referred to it before, but there seems to be a growing cottage industry of books and magazine cover stories celebrating the "empowering" journey of women ditching their families in favor of disorder.

The essay is called "How I Demolished My Life." The author seems quite impoverished, if not materially, then most certainly spiritually and otherwise.

238 comments posted: Tuesday, January 11th, 2022

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

It occurred to me today the story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" is a great allegory for the experience of a betrayed spouse and the journey of liminality that must happen as a result of betrayal trauma.

I won't spoil the story if you haven't read it.

The ending is the kicker: "The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas."

11 comments posted: Monday, November 15th, 2021

Trauma Bonding

For some reason I’ve never seen this topic (trauma bonding) addressed here on SI, but it appears there is a growing awareness that infidelity causes not only betrayal trauma, but an unhealthy betrayal trauma bond which the faithful partner is poorly positioned to break in a weakened state after the shock of DDAY:

1. A series of abusive adulterous actions (most affair constitute emotional and psychological abuse, including obviously gaslighting).

2. Causes significant and ongoing PTSD in the aftermath of discovery. Can trigger profound feelings of abandonment from childhood and worse.

3. Leads to a strong trauma bond with the unfaithful partner that is exceedingly hard for a faithful partner to sever.

Trauma bonding, it turns out, may not be the exclusive province of only relationships with narcissists and abusers, but rather is the norm in most marriages after affairs. It means most, if not all, wayward spouses are perpetrating some level of abuse — not just during the affair but after and perhaps for a long time after.

I believe this accounts for the various phenomena we observe here: the intense hysterical bonding; the cycle of grief, dissociation, anger, depression, and POLF; the inability of a faithful partner to end the marriage right away in most cases.

It also makes the blithe "you heal you" advice given to betrayed spouses look like cruel and unnecessary mockery, unless of course we are talking about a therapeutic separation immediately after DDAY (which seems to make an ever-increasing amount of sense as a standard operating procedure).

In other words perhaps the first piece of advice here on SI should be for a betrayed spouse to immediately get to a place of safety away from the abuse of infidelity.

This raises profound issues many here on SI not be comfortable with, because it suggests the authors of "Cheating in a Nutshell" are correct.

Perhaps we should more willing to immediately identify most post-DDAY reluctance to leave as a betrayal trauma bond that a faithful partner needs to free themselves from.

224 comments posted: Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

Moving over here

I've been in the Reconcilation forum for the last year and now I'm moving over here. More of my story is here:

I told my WW I want a divorce last night, so I'm trying to think about the best tangible steps I need to take now. The die is cast, as they say.

I know not everyone would lead with telling WW "I want a divorce" but it's how I've done it. I want an amicable mediated settlement, if possible, and right now that looks like a strong possibility. I want a 50/50 split on our youngest child (our older child is now an adult and is 18) so we can be good co-parents. I also want to walk away without having to pay alimony. Just a clean split of assets down the middle.

I realize I will probably not get everything I want. I also realize things could turn nasty if my WW develops a sense of injustice or decides to violate my trust again by preemptively filing or whatever. I have no intention of doing that to her and my greatest hope is simply to work on this together.

Where are good checklists, things I need to be thinking about aside from the usual "go see an atty" which yes, I will be doing.

296 comments posted: Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

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