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Newest Member: MissMe

I Can Relate :
BS Questions for WS - Part 14

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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 3:33 PM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

Was it important to have that empathy from your BS? Or did you understand why they didn't have it? I'm very annoyed that his initial reaction is self preservation.

I knew better than to bemoan my own pain to my BH or to act like he ought to be comforting me. However, it would have been harder to do the work if he criticized or attacked me for feeling awful, because those feelings were genuine, too. I think you'd have to be superhuman to completely set your own emotions aside. A drunk driver may be genuinely sorry for having run someone over and still be scared of what life will be like in jail.

How long before shame was not the initial reaction for you and what work did you have to do to make it so?

Honestly (and I never thought about this before), I think I used the same compartmentalization skills that got me into trouble in the first place. During the affair, I was able to live as both the BSR who loved her BH and the BSR who had a secret life with OM. I didn't allow those identities to overlap. So when I was helping BH after D-Day 2, I became both the BSR who betrayed him and had to work on her brokenness, and a separate BSR whose entire focus was on his pain. It's not that I was unaware that I had caused his suffering, but that distance was enough to prevent a shame spiral that would have redirected my focus on myself.

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2355   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8709826
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 5:18 PM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

Right after the A was discovered and everything blew up, and your BS was in pain and white-hot grief and anguish, how did you feel when BS would yell and scream at you?

I think there's an assumption that this always happens, but my BH didn't scream at me. He knew his own temper and he knew mine, and he was aware that it would shut down effective communication between us. He also was afraid of unleashing his rage and letting it go too far.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it wasn't easy to hold back, and he said some cold and cutting things. I could clearly see the effort he had to exert to rein himself in. That made me feel even more like a POS than if he had shouted and called me names.

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2355   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8709875
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straightup ( new member #78778) posted at 8:59 PM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

BSR. I’ve gotten a lot from your posts, as well as those from Daddy Dom.

You talk about being a compartmentaliser.

I assume your moniker is a ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ reference to Brave Sir Robin. In the early days if video that’s the only video we had so I have watched it maybe 50 times.

If you are willing can you share why you chose that name? You don’t seem cowardly to me, pretending to put on a brave front, but did you see that as a reason for living two lives when having an affair?

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
Mother Teresa

posts: 39   ·   registered: May. 11th, 2021   ·   location: Australia
id 8709917
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AndJustLikeThat ( new member #79715) posted at 9:01 PM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

BraveSirRobin-
thank you for your response. So do you feel that if BS takes a "high road" and hide his/her feelings, it is better in the long run? Does is hurt to see them upset or do you just dismiss them as 'going through crazy phase and don't take serious anything they say?'

posts: 30   ·   registered: Dec. 28th, 2021
id 8709918
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WalkinOnEggshelz ( Administrator #29447) posted at 9:40 PM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

LivinginGrief and Lefty,

I have to address this statement first because as a WS that was part of a double betrayal the following statement really makes me angry.

I imagine that your WH and his AP had a bit of a giggle being able to sneak around right under your noses.

Never once did I have a "giggle" about sneaking around right under my husband’s nose. Never. After finding out, my husband did assume this was the case. He had this Machiavellian image of what the affair must have been like. With time and a lot of work, my BH is able to believe that isn’t the case.

I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if I had been diagnosed with an ulcer at the time. It was very stressful. Always on alert, always trying to act act normal. Always trying to read something into everything the other couple did. Acting a complete fool and doing things that degraded myself in the name of "stollen moments". barf

It is constant battle between feeling guilty and taking advantage of the friendship in order to spend more time together. But in the end, what was mattering most was getting my needs met, which meant not dwelling too much how messed up the situation really was. At one point I had convinced myself that we could all be friends after things came to light. I had convinced myself that my husband would be relieved to be able to move on and he would be able to hang out with us. Clearly I was delusional, but it goes to show you just what lengths we can go to lie to ourselves that everything isn’t as serious as it is.

The real life, actual consequences were so far from my mind that I never even considered them other than divorce as a general concept.

I’m not sure what could have been going through your WS’s head while you were all together, but I understand wholeheartedly how difficult it is work through a double betrayal, especially when it is a best friend. The two people that you trusted the most in the world have hurt and betrayed you.

With the AP being a neighbor, moving is most likely the best option to heal. Severing those friendships for good is necessary. If you have a good candidate for reconciliation, allow yourself to express your pain for both betrayals. You will most likely start learning of things or ways they would "connect" that need to be processed, be it songs, looks, secret words, etc (I had to clear out a lot of songs from our playlists).

All in all it is weird combination of guilt and compartmentalization. How much digging into the "why’s" has your WS done? A lot of figuring those out will have to do with what they were able to tell themselves to cross that boundary. How they justified their actions will be telling in how they were able to be around both you and your AP simultaneously.

Me: WS late 40’s
Him: BH (HoldingTogether)
D Day: 7/24/2010
If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

posts: 14727   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2010   ·   location: Texas
id 8709927
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 12:19 AM on Saturday, January 15th, 2022

If you are willing can you share why you chose that name? You don’t seem cowardly to me

Not anymore, but at the time I picked it three years ago, I was just coming off two months of trickle truth. I lurked on SI for the bulk of that timeframe, slowly realizing how craven I really was. The name was a reminder of where I had recently been and how easily I could fall back into that pattern if I didn't stick with the work.

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2355   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8709952
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 1:36 AM on Saturday, January 15th, 2022

So do you feel that if BS takes a "high road" and hide his/her feelings, it is better in the long run?

No, I'm definitely not saying to hide their feelings. Infidelity is a devastating act, and in most cases, the WS needs to see the full impact of the damage in order to get their head out of their ass. It's just that shouting may not be the best way to express it -- assuming that the BS is able to control their lashing out.

To clarify, my BH regrets not being firmer after D-Day 1. He's still glad he didn't scream "you fucking whore" at me, but he wishes he hadn't played the pick-me dance. If he had a time machine, he'd tell me in no uncertain terms that he didn't feel he had "won" anything, that immediate NC with OM was completely non-negotiable, and that it was on me to earn another chance.

Does is hurt to see them upset or do you just dismiss them as 'going through crazy phase and don't take serious anything they say?'

I never thought he was crazy to be upset. After all, I slept with someone else, and we were first and onlies. During the A, I was in denial about how big a deal that was, but once I had gotten a few weeks of distance, I thought there was a pretty good chance he'd dump me as soon as I confessed. When he was devastated rather than angry, that devastated me, too. But I took the wrong lesson from it. I convinced myself that I was protecting him by minimizing the full extent of the A.

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2355   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8709966
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Livingingrief ( new member #79723) posted at 6:03 AM on Monday, January 17th, 2022

WalkinOnEggshelz,

When his A was discovered, I was on the verge of leaving our relationship because of his constant drug use. XANAX would make him mean and he was always passed out. He looked so gross all loaded up. I was SO unhappy with his Xanax use. I complained all the time. I begged him to stop. I told him how it made me feel. This was in 1 years time. Once I got to the point that I threatened to leave him and nothing changed, I became distant. On DDAY when I asked him why, he looked at me and said " I didn't think you loved me anymore" I almost couldn't believe what I was hearing.

posts: 21   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2021
id 8710274
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WalkinOnEggshelz ( Administrator #29447) posted at 11:46 AM on Monday, January 17th, 2022

LivinginGrief,

I hope your WH is clean. It will be the only way that he can unravel how he got here and hopefully see how he rewrote the history of your marriage.

If he isn’t working on his why’s, why he felt you didn’t love him is a good place to start.

Me: WS late 40’s
Him: BH (HoldingTogether)
D Day: 7/24/2010
If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

posts: 14727   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2010   ·   location: Texas
id 8710284
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