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Wayward Side :
At A Loss

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Thumos ( Member #69668) posted at 11:46 PM on Monday, December 21st, 2020

Really this thread just throws in sharp relief for me how unreflective my own WW has been, how she's running away from this.

Why?

Because I read Mrs. Walloped's words and everything she's thinking about how to help her BH. How she tuned into him, how she observed him and reached out here for thoughts and advice. How she sat him down and got him to open up.

I can't ever see my WW getting to this level of introspection.

And not to be too hard-edged about it, but I can't see very many WW's getting to this place either. Rock star posters like BSR, Mrs. Walloped, and HO stand out for a reason. They are rock stars because they are rock stars. Because they are rare.

A clarifying moment.

He now is a little like Frodo after the return to the Shire, at the very end of the story. You have to be for him his phial, his Phial of Galadrial, to hold when the chill comes. If you don't remember that story or that part of it, ask him, he will.

Frodo had to leave Middle Earth because of what happened to him and how it changed him.

[This message edited by Thumos at 5:49 PM, December 21st (Monday)]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH (me): 50, WW: 49
Married: Feb. 1996
DDAY: Dec. 20

posts: 4217   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
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Owl6118 ( Member #42806) posted at 11:59 PM on Monday, December 21st, 2020

Frodo had to leave Middle Earth because of what happened to him and how it changed him.

True, and I had not forgotten. But I prefer to stay within the metaphor as I offered it for what hope it can provide. In real life there are no havens just to the west with ships to carry us to the undying lands. At least not ones we can corporeally board.

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hikingout ( Member #59504) posted at 2:54 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

Hi Mrs. Walloped,

I have been on another break, and probably will after today until we begin 2021. But, I came on because I wanted to look at your updates.

I agree with the others, you are doing everything you should and can. And, you are not the person you were back in your affair days. Who you are has grown and learned things by leaps and bounds. While I know you and I would not want to have learned those things the way we went about them, that part we can't do anything about anymore. We can only do what we can do each day moving forward. And, I believe you have embraced that a great deal.

But his predicament is about him, not you - and it would be about him, even if it were about your A.

I was glad to see that you acknowledged when Sisoon said this that this is about him. But, as a WS not terribly far behind you, I know that there is a piece of you that will never really fully embrace that because we will always think that if we hadn't done it in the first place the course would have been different. It would have possibly changed the trajectory of where we would be today.

It's the same reason I say that I know I am not responsible for my husband's affair and I hold him accountable but in the same breath could tell you I don't think that it would have happened without it.

We changed the course of things.

The likelihood of your husband going through most all of this regardless of your actions all those years ago? It's high. I know that is always hard to believe. But, struggle, when embraced takes us to the next level. While you see his suffering, and it's hard, maybe consider helping him embrace it the way you have learned to embrace yours. Something good comes from these times always. Struggle can be a gift. I do not mean to imply we gave them a gift by cheating. NOT AT ALL. But, I do think that life without struggle would not teach us or grow us, and I feel comfortable pointing it out here because it's still clear to me what's going on with Walloped is a big ball of things that would likely exist at this juncture anyway. The affair is part of the ball, but I am not sure it's caused the ball or is a big part of the ball. Does that make sense?

So, this spiral, I get it. I have been on one myself and have been surprised by it. But, you know what? I am sure it was here to teach me something.

It sounds like Walloped is having an existential crisis. And, that's a weird thing to contemplate because often those are quiet and they sneak up on you. But, when you go through them comes clarity and often positive changes if you recognize them and work through them. The fact you guys are acknowledging it as a couple is so positive and will increase the chances of having the most positive outcomes.

I know you are worried and weary, but I also know you are strong and wise. Give him the strong and wise as much as possible. Take care to all and I hope you all have a joyous holiday week.

WW/BW BH/WH
Turnthepage
My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PA
His Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

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 MrsWalloped (original poster Member #62313) posted at 3:17 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

Hi Owl.

He now is a little like Frodo after the return to the Shire, at the very end of the story. You have to be for him his phial, his Phial of Galadrial, to hold when the chill comes. If you don't remember that story or that part of it, ask him, he will.

I did. He liked the analogy although he never saw himself as Frodo. Can you guess his favorite character?

It may be that your and his children of your loving marriage will see the promised land, and live whole, and two generations in the Wilderness will end the Exodus.

This is a loving, thoughtful and at the same time sad thought. We hoped that we would see the promised land and he definitely did. The sad part is that he hoped we would get there together and he thought that in many ways he already had. Until he didn't because of me.

Hi hikingout.

Thank you so much. I really appreciate you coming out of your break to offer such supportive and kind words. And as always, a really good perspective that is hard for me to keep in mind.

I know you are worried and weary

I am. And so so tired. Not throwing a pity party at all, but I'm mentally exhausted and I feel hopeless. I can support him, encourage him and tell him I love him and be his ear and just let him know that I'm here for him, but this is him and his thing. And I worry because I can't do anything else or at least nothing concrete. Maybe for now not doing and just being there for him is enough?

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

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id 8619055
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hikingout ( Member #59504) posted at 3:28 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

Maybe for now not doing and just being there for him is enough?

Yes. There is nothing really you can do but that.

Think about what you learned about yourself in your struggle. The clarity you gained. Maybe recognizing that you fear what his clarity might be or what might be gained is a part of this. That is a natural human response, right? To have that sort of fear?

I think that if you guys can keep this conversation going, and he looks at his health with his doctor and maybe does some IC there is some excellent places here for him to learn to lean on you in more emotional ways. I tend to think him leaning on you through his COVID experience made way to some feelings of vulnerability, that can be built on.

You got this. Love him through it. Put away your fears, and show your shoulders are big enough now. Because they are! You are a beautiful strong soul, rely on that and I think he will feel comfortable following suit. I know you are shaken but recognize how solid you are - there is a lot of worth in that. You have been solid and sure for a long time now. He senses that and it's helped but now it's a good time for him to feel it.

WW/BW BH/WH
Turnthepage
My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PA
His Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

posts: 5914   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
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Owl6118 ( Member #42806) posted at 3:29 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

Can you guess his favorite character?

Of course -- Samwise

I'm mentally exhausted and I feel hopeless.

It's the cold, bleak midwinter of a horrible year. I have felt pretty hopeless too.

Lean if you can on the faith so many of us have in each of you until your own faith revives a bit.

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 MrsWalloped (original poster Member #62313) posted at 4:35 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

Of course -- Samwise

Ha! Naturally.

And that's also how he sees himself.

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

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Unhinged ( Member #47977) posted at 5:31 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

Samwise Gamgee is a great character. I think Tolkien put most of himself into Sam

Heading towards divorce
D-Day April, 2015

"The Universe is not short on wake-up calls. We're just quick to hit the snooze button."
-Brene Brown

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Thumos ( Member #69668) posted at 6:40 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

I’m a big LOTR fan but lately I’ve been reading the Game of Thrones series. Pre DDAY I tried reading them and found them too bleak. Post DDAY I’m not finding them bleak at all but rather just holding up a mirror to human history and reality. The way things are as opposed to how I wish them to be. I think being a betrayed spouse is a lot like that, the slow and fairly painful discarding of illusions and simply grappling with reality as it is. Interesting. Existential crises, especially those unbidden and sparked by infidelity, have a way of doing that. I think betrayed husbands are rather more like Tyrion convalescing alone in a back room after being betrayed in battle and grievously wounded by an erstwhile ally. This thread continues to spark insights for me.

[This message edited by Thumos at 12:42 PM, December 23rd (Wednesday)]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH (me): 50, WW: 49
Married: Feb. 1996
DDAY: Dec. 20

posts: 4217   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8619139
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BraveSirRobin ( Member #69242) posted at 6:53 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

I thought it would be Sam. IMO, Frodo got a lot of credit, but Sam was always the real heart and soul of the enterprise.

Over the last year, I've thought of this passage more than once -- sometimes related to the struggle of recovering from infidelity, and sometimes just because, well, 2020. It's Sam at his best.

Frodo: I can't do this, Sam.

Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end, because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?

But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it'll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why.

But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding on to, Sam?

Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it's worth fighting for.

WW/BW 51 (Me)
BH/WH 51 (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2038   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8619145
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DevastatedDee ( Member #59873) posted at 7:19 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

I’m a big LOTR fan but lately I’ve been reading the Game of Thrones series. Pre DDAY I tried reading them and found them too bleak. Post DDAY I’m not finding them bleak at all but rather just holding up a mirror to human history and reality. The way things are as opposed to how I wish them to be. I think being a betrayed spouse is a lot like that, the slow and fairly painful discarding of illusions and simply grappling with reality as it is. Interesting. Existential crises, especially those unbidden and sparked by infidelity, have a way of doing that. I think betrayed husbands are rather more like Tyrion convalescing alone in a back room after being betrayed in battle and grievously wounded by an erstwhile ally. This thread continues to spark insights for me.

I've read that series several times. Before DDay, I'd think this man has a twisted view of human nature. After, I admit that I don't find it unrealistic anymore. The entire series is full of mostly good people losing their illusions and facing the worst of humanity in others and sometimes in themselves. I see BWs in Sansa as her world crumbles and I think we should strive to become more Arya when faced with it, lol.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 1:19 PM, December 23rd (Wednesday)]

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

posts: 4437   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8619157
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DevastatedDee ( Member #59873) posted at 7:26 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

Ms Walloped, the fact that you care this much and really understand the impact of infidelity on him is probably more helpful than you can know. You are a rarity and that makes a huge difference in comparison to what happened with his parents. Keep caring and keep being there for him. You can't walk with him through this completely because it really is his journey, but it sounds like you are doing everything right on your end right now.

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

posts: 4437   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8619163
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GiggleLoopMayor ( New Member #74900) posted at 8:24 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

Deleted because it Seemed to personal

[This message edited by GiggleLoopMayor at 9:50 AM, December 30th (Wednesday)]

posts: 41   ·   registered: Jul. 16th, 2020
id 8619188
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 MrsWalloped (original poster Member #62313) posted at 2:02 PM on Thursday, December 24th, 2020

I thought it would be Sam. IMO, Frodo got a lot of credit, but Sam was always the real heart and soul of the enterprise.

And Sam is an eternal optimist too.

I remember the quote you posted from the movie. I never read the books (Gasp! The horror! ). But my husband took me to see all of the movies in the theaters, and then again on DVD, and then the extended editions, and then the extended editions on blu-ray. And now he's excited about them being in 4K. And all my kids had to watch them with him too. I actually liked them a lot. Much better than some of the other things he's forced me to watch (I'm looking at you Monty Python ). It's okay though. I get him back with A Walk to Remember and The Notebook (guys, you can now ).

This whole discussion is interesting because when I mentioned @Owl's analogy about Walloped being Frodo, he disagreed. He thought that he was Sam (he's always Sam) and I was Frodo. His point was that we started on a journey together as best friends and I got corrupted by the ring or darkness to the point where I fully embraced it (Frodo deciding to keep the ring). And my BH literally had to share my burden through no fault of his own. And while everyone thinks we were successful in destroying the ring, only the two of us know what really happened and how I succumbed to the temptation. And then we go home, but as @Owl said, both of us are changed. Frodo, not for the better. He knows what he did and will always have the taint of the darkness as part of him. Sam comes out stronger than he thought he was and has a happy life (with Rosie). It's not a perfect analogy, but he thought it was more accurate to us. I agree.

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

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id 8619306
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Owl6118 ( Member #42806) posted at 3:00 PM on Thursday, December 24th, 2020

That conversation makes me glad to read. The point is always to find and re-find our own stories within these archetypes. That is what you did together. That's a good thing.

[This message edited by Owl6118 at 9:26 AM, December 24th (Thursday)]

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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 5:24 PM on Thursday, December 24th, 2020

T/J - I read LOTR during its first wave of popularity in the US. I thought it was a fad, and I avoid fads, but W2b, our teacher, and our teacher's W all said it was good stuff.

Let me point out that Bilbo was the only character who gave up the ring willingly.

BTW, W2b said she thought I was Strider.

(signed) sisoon, who aspires to being Bilbo (Baggins, that is)

End T/J

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

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HouseOfPlane ( Member #45739) posted at 9:31 PM on Thursday, December 24th, 2020

Thumos

I think being a betrayed spouse is a lot like that, the slow and fairly painful discarding of illusions and simply grappling with reality as it is. Interesting.

The dark gift of the truth.

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

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id 8619378
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RunningLowNow ( Member #49198) posted at 5:12 AM on Saturday, December 26th, 2020

I am sorry if this is a TJ, and sometimes with the heavy wieghts in this thread I end up feeling like I really don't understand anything, but I must jump in here. I am thinking that the ring is the AP, the temptation to stray and that Gollum, Bilbo, and Frodo are the potential waywards.

There is another "ring bearer" who like Bilbo willingly gives up the ring and that is Sam. He takes the ring from what he thinks is Frodo's dead body and he goes on alone. He believes he will fail, that he does not have the strength, but he knows he took a vow to destroy the ring and he sets out to do it. He is the only one ringbearers who must face the power and temptation of the ring alone.

I will have to paraphrase here but, Sam, like all the others is tempted by the ring. Sam sees himself as an all powerful avenging force setting things right. He is giving in to the ring, but he stops. He remembers his little garden in the shire and Rosie, the girl he loves and realises that this is enough for him and all that is his due. It gives him the strength to reject the ring and go on.

How does this relate... Sam took a vow to stay with Frodo, to see the ring destroyed and to stay to the end. The ring tells Sam that all he need do is give in and it will give him everything he could want and everything he could need, to be more than he is. That is not Sam, not what he does, not who he is and he stays true to his vow.

Tolkien wrote that Sam's love for Rosie was central to understanding his charactor and his strength. Sam did not think of himself as heroic or even brave, or in any way admirable – except in his service and loyalty.

I can see why so many of us who have been betrayed but held on can identify with Sam.

Find a wall and bang your head till it stops hurting.

posts: 119   ·   registered: Aug. 23rd, 2015   ·   location: Toronto Canada
id 8619665
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siracha ( Member #75132) posted at 2:21 PM on Saturday, December 26th, 2020

Sorry you both are going through this . When people are sad they are often globally dysphoric and self reflective / critical

Noone can make anyone else less dysphoric, they really are on a path beyond your control , all you can do is make them feel less alone and less misunderstood . Its a much more passive Sam role .

Not sure if its relevant to what you are going through but for myself i find that acts of service are less exhausting and have more utility for a depressed loved one than exploring what they are feeling . Also when i am blue myself i personally prevent myself from being too self reflective I think switching gears and focusing on sporty endorphin releasing hobbies help me more then anything else.

Good people do bad things , nothing can be undone but good people are deserving of and then justify the forgiveness they are granted . To me that is not a glitch in the moral matrix .

[This message edited by siracha at 10:36 AM, December 26th (Saturday)]

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id 8619688
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Unhinged ( Member #47977) posted at 3:44 PM on Saturday, December 26th, 2020

I never read the books (Gasp! The horror! ). But my husband took me to see all of the movies in the theaters... I actually liked them a lot. Much better than some of the other things he's forced me to watch (I'm looking at you Monty Python ).

Ohhh.... that totally explains it all!

Heading towards divorce
D-Day April, 2015

"The Universe is not short on wake-up calls. We're just quick to hit the snooze button."
-Brene Brown

posts: 6361   ·   registered: May. 21st, 2015   ·   location: Colorado
id 8619697
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