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BS Questions for WS's - Part 13

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MrsWalloped posted 11/7/2019 08:24 AM


I was a big compartmentalizer and Iíve never really been good with dates, but I remember a lot. Compartmentalizing doesnít mean I donít remember. It just means that I kept things very separate in my head.

I donít remember dates for everything though. Not because Iím lying about it or anything but because it wasnít important to me at the time to remember the date we went to this coffee shop or the date when I had that conversation.

Your DDay was 7 or 8 years after his cheating. It could be that he really doesnít remember. But I think you look at other behaviors and see how that matches with this. If heís still lying about other things, then maybe heís lying about not remembering too.

20yrsagoBS posted 11/7/2019 12:02 PM

Thank you MrsWalloped!

You really helped

BraveSirRobin posted 11/7/2019 19:45 PM

His affair wasnt exposed until 2015. Do you think its possible to compartmentalize to the point where he doesn't remember dates? Or that its possible to compartmentalize to the point where she was "only family"? To be in such denial, that you have buried the incest?
Compartmentalization allowed me not to think about the eventual consequences of my A, but it didn't make me forget who the AP was. I'm skeptical about your H's level of forgetfulness. Granted, incest is an unusual challenge even here on SI, and it suggests a level of emotional dysfunction that goes beyond the wayward norm. I can't say it's absolutely impossible, but I can say that the simplest explanation is more likely to be the correct one. He forgets because it's convenient for him not to remember.

JBWD posted 11/10/2019 12:54 PM

Please pardon if I bring this too far into gender stereotypes but, I can honestly say that one of the ďtypical maleĒ behaviors/tendencies that I can actually acknowledge as possible is the difference in sentimentality. I can certainly say that dates in general have never been of super huge importance to me, and I find myself far more ďsensitiveĒ than an average guy.

Now granted the A makes that different- I recall dates both during A and post D-Day with gutting clarity. BUT give it a couple years and I really donít know that some of the ďtrivialĒ dates/locations might get lost in the shuffle, and perhaps more easily yet for a man.

earlydetour posted 11/18/2019 21:57 PM

For WS's that have done work on their conflict avoidance, what was it like for you when you first started standing up for yourself with people who were overstepping your boundaries, where you needed to act to protect your boundaries? Did it feel awkward? Was it scary? Were you unsure of yourself and actions? Did role-playing with your IC help?

I'm aware my fwh is working on this issue between us, but implementing this with others in mostly spontaneous situations is a struggle for him. I've always suspected he was bullied/abused as a kid and I've grown to see this is triggering him into that victim mode, making him uncomfortable, and he's both let others do as they please and also thrown me under the bus as a diversion (even when I'm there & asserting my boundaries, he's uncomfortable with me doing it - pushing back at others - and he's undermining me). As a spouse/father, by not standing up for himself, me or us, he isn't safe or dependable when he lets others push boundaries.

EvolvingSoul posted 11/19/2019 02:45 AM

Hi there earlydetour,

You asked

For WS's that have done work on their conflict avoidance, what was it like for you when you first started standing up for yourself with people who were overstepping your boundaries, where you needed to act to protect your boundaries? Did it feel awkward? Was it scary? Were you unsure of yourself and actions?
It did feel awkward, so many things felt awkward when I started taking concrete steps to rewire my brain. It all turned on integrity: doing what is right instead of what is fast, fun or easy. Telling the truth when I had the impulse to self-protect by lying or spinning and setting new boundaries about the manner in which men could interact with me (handshake yes, hugging no, after being a "hugger" with everyone for my whole life) are examples. Early on I used the phrase "In the spirit of doing something different..." a lot. It helped to remind me that that was the way real change was going to happen: weakening the old destructive wiring and strengthening the new was happening one choice, one neuron at a time.

The work of Brene Brown on shame and vulnerability was invaluable for finding my way through the process. A mindfulness practice with meditation as its foundation also helped because it allowed me to expand my comfort zone with feelings that were uncomfortable, if that makes sense.

I'm sorry you're dealing with all of this. Strength and healing to you from an EvolvingSoul.

BraveSirRobin posted 11/19/2019 07:15 AM

It took a little while. I am very conflict avoidant by nature and have always done my best to stay clear of drama. What I didn't realize was how much drama I could avoid, not create, by being honest and dealing with a situation the first time it arose. Getting through the uncomfortable moment pays dividends of avoiding a series of subsequent uncomfortable moments.

It also wasn't always fear of being bullied. Standing up to aggressive people is one kind of boundary enforcement, but the more common one for me is fear of making the other person feel awkward or ashamed. I used to feel guilty when I created the potential for embarrassing someone. Now, I've learned how seldom that happens and how little it really matters to them. I got better at it as I realized I was projecting my own sense of discomfort on other people, when at worst, the usual reaction was "Huh? Oh, okay, sorry."

Pippin posted 11/19/2019 12:12 PM

Hi earlydetour,

I notice when I'm having an intense reaction to something and emotions are high, not necessarily conflict avoidant situations but other types of interactions, and I will defer to my husband because I recognize how miscalibrated I am. For example, there's a behavior that one of our older kids does that sets me off and when she's doing it I want to react in a terribly unproductive way. So I hand her off to my husband and go silently pray or clean my closet or whatever I need to do to settle. Or, if he's not there, I go hide in my room and call him to complain about her. Maybe at some point I'll be able to engage more productively with her at those times, and I'm working on recognizing the reaction, figuring out where it came from, seeing what's happening from a different perspective and interacting in different ways. But at the moment my husband and I are a team and I'm happy to pass off to him.

He does the same. He's a bit miscalibrated in some ways and when he is having a big emotional reaction I can see it and attend to his stress, and attenuate what I'm doing to what's happening for him. It's such a good feeling to be a partner of his and not just the broken one.

It's hardest when we are both having big emotional reactions at the same time. We're doing better with that. Thank God it doesn't happen often.

So I wonder if your husband could recognize what's happening in himself and for now, while he's working on it, excuse himself from the situation and let you deal with it? Then you can talk about it after.

20yrsagoBS posted 11/19/2019 15:27 PM


Hi WSs,

May I ask what reparations you provided to your BS for your part in the A?

Instead of reparations, what kind of atonement did you offer?

Did your BS accept it?


BraveSirRobin posted 11/19/2019 18:52 PM

May I ask what reparations you provided to your BS for your part in the A? Instead of reparations, what kind of atonement did you offer?
I'm honestly not sure that it's possible to make reparations for cheating. The topic of RAs has been all over the forums recently, and I suppose that forgiving my H for his ONS is the best example I have, but my motivations for that weren't pure. I felt like I couldn't legitimately refuse him without being hypocritical, and I hoped that his cheating would balance the scales so we could rugsweep. I guess you could argue that the physical pleasure and validation he received had value to him and therefore qualify as reparations, though by definition, I'm not the one who gave those things to him. OW did. I don't think you can call my tacit permission atonement, which I think requires a genuinely selfless act rather than a guilty strategy to obtain forgiveness.

Maybe the best example I can give of atonement is letting go of the outcome and giving him the absolute truth. That's not reparations, because he deserved the truth all along, and you can't pay reparations with the recipient's own coin. But the place I reached emotionally was one of atonement. I understood and accepted that what my BH needed was more important than what I needed, even if giving it to him meant that I lost everything as a consequence.

It's an interesting question. Thanks for asking it.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 6:53 PM, November 19th (Tuesday)]

MrsWalloped posted 11/19/2019 20:39 PM

May I ask what reparations you provided to your BS for your part in the A?

Instead of reparations, what kind of atonement did you offer?

Iím sorry, but I donít understand the question. Can you please give an example of what you mean by each thing? What would a reparation be? How do you offer atonement?

Iím not sure what youíre trying to get at? Are you looking for punishment? Or something else?

Darkness Falls posted 11/20/2019 17:15 PM


I too would like examples.

Justsomelady posted 11/20/2019 17:37 PM

Regarding atonement - I offered remorse and transparency but i donít think there was any specific action needed. However my H is remarkably blasť relatively speaking about my EA. I am not. He was pissed when I told him. But not for long. Then we talked it out and his first impulse was to understand where I was coming from. he even tried to take blame on himself for not wanting sex and being depressed, which I stopped him from doing and reminded that is on me. After that, when I brought it up a few more times he actually thought i was making too big a deal out of it all and thinks I am beating myself up for it more than I should. He is the one that talked me through things that he feels mitigated my responsibility and I am the one talking about my guilt. So it is a bit lopsided. Perhaps that was all the atonement he needed, I did not excuse myself and my remorse and attempts to discuss it. It was a totally different situation though.

ETA I guess my specific actions could be stepping up with encouraging him, intimacy, reassuring and loving on him, etc. acts of service and affirmative words, touch.

[This message edited by Justsomelady at 5:40 PM, November 20th (Wednesday)]

LilacLiquid posted 11/21/2019 10:56 AM

I have questions for WS's who had LTAs.

Did you BS have gut feelings that something was going on? Were you able to continue the affair after your BS found out?

My WH had a 3 year long EA/PA. I found out some details 1 1/2 years in. It continued even though I thought it was ended. I'm just struggling trying to wrap my mind around why he didn't end it with me after I found out if he wasn't able to give up the AP.

JBWD posted 11/22/2019 20:22 PM

LL- Mine was not particularly long term, but BW knew for sure before finding out. I didnít want to continue once found out but was addicted to the ego stroking of having BW and AP both indicating they wanted me.

As to why not just go with AP, itís because cheaters are adept liars when thoroughly immersed in A. As such discerning actual goals, etc is impossible for them. Itís very hard to imagine not being able to just STOP doing this, but thatís the degree of emotional paralysis cheaters display.

Itís hard to hear/process and it may come out as ďI wanted you all alongĒ or ďI loved you all alongĒ... Iím a year out and still no closer to being able to decipher this piece- I know my love for my wife was real (and is now) but with the mask firmly in place, I CANíT say I loved her if I treated her the way I did.

So the conclusion is that I was able to double my taking by robbing such feelings from both AP AND BW. Thatís how I understand it though itís hard to admit I ďstopped lovingĒ my wife. I donít know if I truly believe that or not...

20yrsagoBS posted 11/22/2019 20:32 PM

I was referring to something like a postnuptial agreement. Something BIG, an act/sacrifice to prove how invested in the faithful marriage you are. I suggested he have MY name tattooed on his penis. He vehemently opposed that. If there was no one to see it, why would it matter?

Darkness Falls posted 11/23/2019 11:17 AM


No, I never did a ďgrand gesture.Ē Reason #1: we were separated within 2 weeks of D-day and divorced within 2 months. He gave every indication that he was moving on and I assumed our relationship was permanently over. Reason #2 was that, even though we got back together two years later, grand sweeping gestures donít mean anything to him; he cares about consistent behavior over time.

As for your tattoo suggestion for your WS, you asked ďwhy wouldnít he if no one else will be seeing it?Ē I would never get a romantic partnerís name tattooed anywhere on me, and especially not, for the sake of equivalence, on my vulva. For one, people are not cattle to be branded. For another, I have heard way too many stories of people doing such an absurd thing and having regrets and/or the relationship ending for me to ever think thatíd be an intelligent idea. Just my two cents.

MrsWalloped posted 11/24/2019 10:07 AM


I did offer a postnuptial agreement. Actually, I donít remember who brought it up but I agreed to it for sure. Just not full custody.

I guess you could call that reparations, because thereís a money side to it, but it seems a little shallow to me. Would the money make the A okay? If I paid for it in dollars, are we now moving on? Iím asking because I donít think all the money in the world would have helped my BH progress through his emotional turmoil and pain during the past years. I just want to say again that I was on board with the idea. I just donít think it helps anything in a real way.

I still donít get what you mean by atonement? Could you explain?

20yrsagoBS posted 11/24/2019 10:44 AM

I wanted a gesture/offering that was given to me in an effort to make up for the harm he caused.

On tattoos, if the couple breaks up, the tattoo can be lasered off

[This message edited by 20yrsagoBS at 10:44 AM, November 24th (Sunday)]

Darkness Falls posted 11/24/2019 11:03 AM

I am sure most guys wouldnít be crazy about a tattoo needle and then a laser near their penis, but Iím not a guy, so what do I know? 🤷🏻‍♀️

Some BSs want grand gestures in general. There isnít anything wrong with that per se but I would tend to see MrsWallopedís point in that nothing can make the A go away or make everything all even and square again. I guess Iím not qualified to answer since my H wasnít one who wanted atonement beyond the divorce and, as sisoon always says, changing from cheater to good partner.

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