Oh man Coco, I hear you and agree with how difficult it is to watch the BH/WW dynamic. Just a note, my whole post will be hetero-normative, because that is the dynamic I'm speaking to. Obviously there are other posters here who are not in the same boat, but the BH/WW dynamic I and others have noticed seem to be exclusively between hetero members.
I've never seen a single poster praised so magnanimously as HikingOut.
I too have found great insight in many of her posts. There are many BWs and a few BHs whose opinions I value equally as much. I try to make my gratitude for each of these posters known, regardless of their B or W status.
But it seems there are more than a few BHs here who see her as their guiding light, and don't really value input from very many others. Or at the very least don't express their gratitude in such obvious ways as they do with the WWs.
I do believe that this comes from wanting answers from their own WWs, and seeking them from other women who were in similar positions does seem reasonable to an extent. I myself have found that I seek out posts from the WWs (the ones who have been here a while, not the ones who are still foggy and unaccountable) because there aren't too many WHs here, so I don't get to hear the wayward perspective very often unless it's coming from a woman.
My XH had an exit A and is still with his AP, currently calling her his girlfriend and trying to introduce her to all of our mutual friends, so I've never gotten any level of accountability from him. I truly wish I had that kind of closure. Though I'm sure it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying in real life as it sounds in my head - words are just words, no matter what he says, he can't unfuck her - but I can see how hearing that accountability articulated, even if it's not from your own spouse, could be intoxicating.
But it does seem one sided. Any time the BWs chime in on anything sex related we are Shut. Down. As if we couldn't possibly have enjoyed having sex with our husbands, or have been hurt by the sexual aspect of the betrayal. That we are not sexual beings, we are just sexual gate keepers. We are just using sex to lure in our husbands, and then are turning off the tap for no reason. God forbid you be able to enjoy sex with your spouse, but also see that sex is not the be all and end all of your relationship. Or that your sex life might be dwindling because sex is a reflection of the love you show each other in all other aspects of your relationship, it is NOT love itself. Talk about black and white thinking, damn.
Then when we try to explain how sex should not be the only thing you focus on because sex =/= love, most of them won't listen. WorstClubEver wrote one of the most eloquent posts I've ever seen here regarding the BWs and how hurt we are by the focus on sex as the only thing that many BHs seem to care about or focus on. I still have it bookmarked and read it every once in a while, just to feel understood. She had dozens of responses from BWs thanking her for writing something that so adequately expressed what so many of us were feeling, that sex =/= love, and that implying that it does makes it all the more hurtful.
Then Hiking Out gets RideItOut to admit that for him sex = love, then explained to him that it's not, and now all of a sudden it's like there is some epiphany happening. As if we BWs haven't been shouting from the roof tops all along "Hey, BHs, it's pretty plain to see that you are viewing sex as equal to love, but sex =/= love, trust us!" Then we are either ignored, or told how wrong we are. I often times feel that if I just wrote that I was a WW, my opinion would be perceived with more value. HO herself has even pointed this out to the BHs, how they are not listening to women who are clearly telling them these things, because they are too stubborn to hear it.
I think the thing that the BHs aren't seeing about how that dynamic is hurtful, is that given that most WHs don't post very often, the best surrogate we have for our husbands here are the BHs. In fact, the BHs often stand for who we THOUGHT our WHs were, before we discovered the A - honest and faithful. And then we are watching these supposedly honest and faithful men chat it up with and heap praise on our sworn enemies - the women who were complicit in our betrayal.
As always, Devastated Dee, you speak my own mind for me!
Just because someone didn't fuck your particular husband doesn't mean that they weren't of the same ilk as the one(s) who did.
I have also praised WWs for the insight they provide and the work they have done. Edie and I even exchanged a couple of posts because in my attempt to not dismiss WWs opinions outright (a cardinal sin to all BHs, one that will get you ignored forthwith!) I praised them too much myself. It is a very fine line to walk. If you say something that might be considered disparaging to a WW, you are shunt by some BHs. I do appreciate people who are doing the work to become better people. But damn if I wish we didn't act like you should get brownie points for being a decent human being.
Another thing DevastatedDee said rang true for me:
It reminds me of something my daughter asked me today. She has screwed up in school all year long and I figure she's not going to pass. She doesn't deserve to pass her grade. She asked me what she would get if she did manage to pull out all the stops and pass this year. I said "you get the reward of not spending an extra year in high school. You're not getting congrats from me because this shouldn't even be a thing to worry about.". Duh.
When I was in a more bitter place with my SA XH, he was going through this phase where he wanted all of this praise for having gone a few weeks without masturbating with my underwear. He started hitting on me and tried to insinuate that he had "earned" it. I went out to my craft cupboard, grabbed some stickers, and came back to the room and slapped a star sticker on his vanity mirror and said "Congratulations, you have the self control of a kindergartner! Here's a gold fucking star for your efforts."
Also, on another, but still related note - God forbid we bring up bodily autonomy!! We are labeled the "bodily autonomy crew" as if that is some kind of insult? If that means that I will defend someone's right to bodily autonomy no matter what her position, B or W, then I'll wear that badge with fucking honor my friend! I think it was BraveSirRobin who brought up that if we are willing to defend the WWs right to it, even though they are probably the closest to our sworn enemies that you could get, then that should show how much we fucking believe in it!
Sorry. I'm supposed to be using this long weekend to finally start unpacking, and instead am feeling all the feels. End rant.