HeHadADoubleLife, somehow I didn't see your post on the previous page (went right for the page index and just scrolled up, I think is how I missed it.) Lots of food for thought there, about the workings of our inner attractions...
I wonder if what happens is, when we do the work on ourselves and are in a good place with our self-esteem, more of the wounded birds (as somebody once called them) are drawn to us since they feel we have our life together? I don't know. But that thought you had back then, about maybe he was the kind of man you were meant to be with? Sounded to me a like a reflection of someone who still didn't expect to have or to ever find "normalcy," whatever that is. Could he have represented your own past struggles? You knew that you had conquered them, so maybe he was like the archtypal "kid brother" in his path out of it? Were you being pulled back to some "factory setting" as the caring, older and wiser one? Very interesting stuff.
Caring about shared problems expands our capacity for empathy, which is a wonderful thing. This board, for example, proves every day that it is a noble instinct to want to offer help to others going through the same bad stuff we have. Yet after years of trying and failing to "help" my SAWH "heal his shit," with no deep-level changes in his thinking, I now believe wanting to "help" our PARTNER by "showing him the way" does NOT bode well for us to have a happy marriage. At least, it hasn't for me. Maybe he thinks it helps him!
True, in the hormone rush of bonding, it feels "right" that a man's thinking seems familiar. Hand in glove, right? I don't know, but I think the problem is when our initial feelings of similarity came from a FOO role as Mom's Little Helper. (I was the oldest of 4 kids in a family with an alcoholic father, stay-at-home Mother, and my siblings were stair-step babies who came along as soon as 14 months after I was born. I was also big for my age, so I got drafted straight into that role very early by my overwhelmed Mother.) In school 10 years ago, I found out child psychologists now consider what happened to me "parentification," which they call another form of emotional child abuse. Who knew, back then? I think they concluded this from case studies of people like me, married to losers like my XH or this one.
After all that, I know not to follow my instincts to play Life Coach, Special Ed. Teacher, or Mom for any grown-ass man who wants in my life! Yes, I want to help other people, but I don't want that role in a Partnership. I'd really love to have a mentally equal-balanced relationship, if that is possible.
Really appreciate your insights about how it got started with you and him. And thanks for sharing that you also maybe had ADHD/ADD, but it still didn't cause you to cheat. I have a "low frustration tolerance," but I believe it comes more from my upbringing and years of disappointment at always having to be the bigger person, always needing to rise above other people's treatment of me.
Yeah, a lot of deep stuff, here!
LifeExploded, you are right about there being multiple abuse types identified in cases of child abuse. It is rare to find only one kind of abuse. Our professor was big on stressing the damaging effects of neglect as well. Often they suffer a sad combination of abuse AND neglect. But even just the neglect does a lot to hurt emotional development!
Dee: I did the same sympathy bit. Sounds like a normal, healthy reaction, the first time....
[This message edited by Superesse at 2:42 PM, February 18th (Tuesday)]