Newest Member: zurichtime


BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

Rant on WS "Guilt and Shame" and "Self Esteem/Self Love"


I've noticed a pattern of generally 2 things that piss me off when I'm reading posts on SI. Sometimes, I'll actually start hammering out a response and delete it without posting because I realize that it's not going to be a constructive and I would rather not get kicked off.

First and foremost, are the posts about the cheaters' "guilt and shame." The posts on this topic in the Wayward Forum rarely bother me because most the cheaters who broach this topic seem to genuinely experience these emotions and are asking for advice on how to cope with them in healthy ways.

No, the "guilt and shame" posts that make my brain explode are the ones that come from a BS providing an explanation for their WS's highly selective amnesia or refusal to discuss the affair. Nine times out of 10, the excuse is bullshit, the BS knows it's bullshit, and the worst part... the WS knows that the BS knows it's bullshit, but they'll let the BS continue to delude themselves and anyone who is listening into thinking that the WS is experiencing comparable trauma and isn't just a cold, selfish person with 0 capacity for empathy.

And need I forget, too, the cheaters who crumple into a sobbing, sniffling ball of tears at the mention of their affairs. On several occasions when I've pointed out that the WS is cleverly employing a manipulation tactic to paint themselves as a victim and distract the BS from their own pain and righteous anger, I've been accused of being unsupportive and "you don't know my WS!" Well OK then, I'll just move on.

The second thing that drives me nuts is the idea that all bad behavior-- especially affairs-- can be attributed to low self esteem or lack of self love. I suppose that could be true of my XWH, who was like a black hole in constant need of compliments, adoration, and validation from others.

But would he have been a better person if he felt better about himself? I don't think that's a given. I think there are plenty of cheaters who are perfectly comfortable in their own skin and feel that, as extraordinary human specimens, they are always entitled to what they want and to get it on only their terms. They will lie because ethics requires truth, and truth leads to conflict, inconvenience, and sacrifice.

I disagree with the premise in popular psychology that self esteem is a requisite to being a good person. There are people who think of themselves as garbage who are kind, full-hearted, and fair in all their dealings with with others. And there are people who adore themselves but only value others to the extent that they find them useful. The reverse is also true.

I think, in a perfect world, a person's self esteem would be commensurate with their abilities, contributions, and positive impact on the world around them.


[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 2:38 PM, June 21st (Monday)]

23 comments posted: Monday, June 21st, 2021

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