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fournlau posted 4/15/2021 11:07 AM

I visit the Wayward forum a lot so I can see how WW think about things from their perspective. It helps a lot. I've noticed that many who have become FWW say it took a long time to "get it" and get their heads out of their ass. Sometimes a year or more to become proper R material.

This seems in conflict with what BS are told almost immediately upon arrival. I have been on the receiving end of this as well. Most BS, when describing their WS behavior after Dday are told that their WS doesn't "get it" that they are not "R material" and that they should 180 and get out of infidelity.

I don't often go into the Just Found Out forum because it's so raw and emotionally triggering. But even now there are threads that tell the BS exactly this. That their WS is not remorseful and not R material.

So, my question is, how much time is to be allowed the WS to "get their heads out of their ass"? If I come on here a year out and vent about my WS not being proactive am I going to be told he is not doing what he needs to do and I have to 180 or think about D until he does it? I mean, I can tell you that yes, that's been my experience at times. When all I want to do is vent.

I think that if they are moving in that direction, and the backsliding is minimal, and they are still willing to talk about it, then it's ok to give more time.

Thing is, when is it enough time? How can anyone even know when a WS is R material? Seems to me, from reading in the WW side, that some people get it sooner than others. Some take years. Some never get it. And even when they do, they backslide and have to start again.

I suppose it's up to the BS to decide if they are willing to ride that long-term rollercoaster. Thoughts on this?

dogcopter posted 4/15/2021 11:14 AM

The thing is the BS has no control over the WS getting their head out of their ass. It could take months, years, or never happen. The only thing a BS can do is make decisions based on the information they have now. If he/she is being uncooperative, then there isn't any guaruntee things will get better... ever.

Apparition posted 4/15/2021 11:28 AM

Thing is, when is it enough time? How can anyone even know when a WS is R material? Seems to me, from reading in the WW side, that some people get it sooner than others. Some take years. Some never get it. And even when they do, they backslide and have to start again.

I think the advice of 180 (getting one's own self in order) is the gold standard. This also gives time and structure to a wayward. If done well and true, then the wayward isn't getting any signals that its okay to rugsweep and the BS doesn't allow cruelty - which waywards are very cruel creatures indeed. hey abuse as much as you allow them to abuse, especially in the aftermath of discovery.

Waywards all work from a textbook, that's for certain. The behavior patterns are visible enough for any pre-schooler to spot. But despite these patterns, any time based advice isn't universally helpful. Ultimately, if a BS has some desire to salvage their marriage, there is just no way to completely avoid the pain waywards inflict - even with a well intentioned and honest 180. I do think that being in 180, really turning one's attention toward self and away from wayward/marriage can let one see more clearly how much time is appropriate for them.

It was 180 that gave me a chance at R, and it's keeping some of the principles in place that gives me some peace that I'm not wasting time - no matter the outcome of R. I know that this time is also for me and not just for her or for M. Not sure if that makes sense without more specifics, but I think its impossible to set a standard time that is min/max one should apply.

Hell, even the the best R spouse, can easily revert to type. I've just read yet another "Just Found Out" with this happening. Waywards should have a cigarette like warning label tattooed on them, "High Risk of Abuse and Betrayal".

kickedintheknads posted 4/15/2021 15:08 PM

You'll never know if the WS is worthy of regaining your trust. Only you, as the BS can determine if the juice is worth the squeeze on attempting R.

One thing is for sure. If you do attempt R, your relationship will never be the same.

I see the Bullshit saying you might come out stronger because of the infidelity, but IMHO, it just isn't so. Trust will always be an issue going forward.

And as posted above, the warning on their forehead may not actually be visible, but it will be to you. The question is one of, are you, as a BS, willing to continue with the person knowing they have the potential to relapse and hurt you all over again?

It's a gamble. Do you want to roll those dice, or accept your loses and step away from the table now?

fournlau posted 4/15/2021 16:33 PM

I think all of this is valid. Most importantly:

It's a gamble. Do you want to roll those dice, or accept your loses and step away from the table now?

^^^This^^^

Honestly, IMO, no WS "deserves" R. They left the M when they decided to cheat. It's up to the BS to figure out if they want to extend that offer. And up to the BS to rescind at any time no matter the reason. Though I'm sure a WS can also make the decision not to R as well.

A gamble indeed.

This0is0Fine posted 4/15/2021 16:41 PM

I think even in JFO there is conflicting advice along the lines of:

"WS needs to do XYZ now of their own volition"

WS is doing XYZ:

"No one turns on dime like that, you are still being lied to."

Shock and awe vs wait 90 days before making a decision about the rest of your life, you can stop divorce whenever you want.

I don't know that it's bad to get conflicting advice, but when everyone agrees on something, that's the stuff I really try to absorb.

WaryOptimist posted 4/15/2021 17:28 PM

I don't post much, but read regularly, and have been here a looong time. So take this as you will.

My Dday was 2006. 15 years ago. The youngest of our 4 was 11 when it happened, only one away at school nearby. Finances and property entanglements I could not see my way out of.

I have hung in there, through MC and all the way through going to mediators for D prep. JUST IN THE LAST 6 MONTHS, has my H been doing and saying what I've been waiting for all these years.

Not to say we haven't been able to work together for the family, or enjoy time just the two of us, and he's really applied himself to repairing our ruinous finances -- caused by the same behavior, and at the same time as his A. It's been good alot of the time. It's also been really shitty at times.

I'm here to pass on my cautionary tale that if you and your WS are as ridiculously stubborn as we obviously are, you could be waiting many, many years for the clouds to part, if at all.

grubs posted 4/15/2021 18:30 PM

I visit the Wayward forum a lot so I can see how WW think about things from their perspective. It helps a lot. I've noticed that many who have become FWW say it took a long time to "get it" and get their heads out of their ass. Sometimes a year or more to become proper R material.
This seems in conflict with what BS are told almost immediately upon arrival. I have been on the receiving end of this as well. Most BS, when describing their WS behavior after Dday are told that their WS doesn't "get it" that they are not "R material" and that they should 180 and get out of infidelity.

I don't think this is in conflict. Very few if any WS are R material at DDay. Even those that are R material on DDay, sometimes don't stay that way either from lack of continued effort or progress. They certainly aren't healthy enough to be a safe partners.

Until the WS is R material it is in the BS best interest to do the 180 and plan for the worst case. The 180 serves two purposes. Most importantly it allows the BS to detach and start limiting the damage. It starts to move the the BS out of infidelity regardless of their WS actions.

The secondary benefit is it also starts to remove the BS from the WS's life. Affairs are fun and exciting to the WS/AP because it only has to fill around the edges of the life the WS has with the BS. It doesn't have to be a complete and capable of standing on it's own. The things the WS has been taking for granted that come from their relationship with the BS start to go missing. This especially with delivered with a D message is the slap in the face that wakes some WS from the fog. SInce most WS affair down, what the AP brings tends to pale in comparison to that they are losing from the BS.

While there are some for which D is the only answer to a WS, most recommendations for D on JFO come with the disclaimer that pursuing D doesn't mean you have to follow through. That pursuit however does tend to make it real to both the BS and WS where inaction on R will lead. Often times D is the answer as the damage was just too great.

Wiseoldfool posted 4/15/2021 18:53 PM

There is projecting and ego invested advice on this forum. Many posters appear, to me, to be essentially vindicating their own choices vicariously, as if any other path somehow invalidates their own.

There is also sincere, empathetic, and very good advice to be found here.

The “gold standard” as it were is to get out of infidelity. There are many paths. Some paths require more time, more commitment, more grace, more tenacity, than others. Some paths don’t take much but a retainer check for a lawyer and a new place to live. The difference between what works is often dependent in large part upon the wayward in the equation.

So how much time should we “allow” a betrayed to conclude reconciliation is or is not going to work? It depends, of course. I do eschew the “one size fits all” packages that are sometimes handed out to the new members. Every reconciliation is alike in the same way; every affair is miserable in its own way.

The1stWife posted 4/16/2021 06:23 AM

It’s an individual’s choice to decide how long to give the cheater to “get it”.

Some very quickly realize there is no chance for R and immediately move to D. The betrayed hoped for R but soon saw there was nothing to work with.

I was lucky b/c my H committed to R immediately after dday2. I however did not. It was months before I stopped thinking I was D him.

For me personally there was no chance for a mistake during R. I still hold into that today. It just takes one incident and I am out the door. And he knows it.

I feel bad for those trying to R with a spouse or partner but end up in limbo. As I always say living in limbo is like living in hell. The continued disrespect and behavior of the cheater is maddening and gut wrenching for the betrayed.

You put up with it for so many reasons. Some do it forever. It’s just sad all around.

No right or wrong answers. Some choose to cut their losses immediately while others stay together holding out hope.

We just shouid never judge.

sisoon posted 4/16/2021 12:59 PM

On one hand, my W took months to see herself as getting it. She has said that it took her 5 months to see her A as 'just another sordid A'; it took her 5 months, in her word, just to start feeling remorse.

But on d-day: 1) she went NC; 2) she told the truth; 3) she started building boundaries; 4) she accepted responsibility; 5) came clean to her IC; 6) etc., etc., etc. She DID turn on a dime.

So she didn't feel remorseful for 5 months, but her behavior was aimed at healing beginning on 12/22/10.

I observed her for 90 days and saw total consistency. I decided she was a good bet for R; I wanted R; I committed to R.

But that's me, just one data point. IMO, there are so many variables involved in the D/R choice that one can't formulate an actionable rule that works for everyone.

So add me the school of thought that says each BS is on their own in deciding how much time to give their WS.

Remember: you can hold your head high after d-day whether you D or R. Making a success of your choice is a matter of taking responsibility for yourself and your choices and making the best of them.

*****

There are perhaps 2 sides to the 180. One side has to do with building the BS's recognition of the BS's power and self-love. That's important - it's really something every one of us should be doing, BS or not.

The other part has to do with minimizing communication and communicating lies (i.e. that the BS doesn't care about the WS or what the WS does).

R requires a lot of communication. There's no doubt in my mind that virtually every BS should increase communication with WS as a way of testing the WS's candidacy for R. If the WS accepts the invitations, it's positive for R; if the WS doesn't accept the invitations, the WS is a good candidate for D.

Some people see the 180 as a way of manipulating an unremorseful WS into R. I have no doubt that this sort of manipulation is a losing game. Who wants a partner who has to be manipulated into being a partner?

Build yourself up, by all means, but don't call it 'the 180.' The 180 was developed by a woman who could not detach from an unremorseful WS. It got into print because the woman's WS saw what he was about to lose, and he tried to win her back. But that just happened; it was not her goal.

The goal of the 180 is for a BS to detach from an unremorseful WS so the BS can proceed to D.

*****

I think we see 2 types of advice on SI.

One type aims at getting the thread opener to go for a particular solution. I really hate to see that type of advice, because no one here knows enough about another person's sitch to be able to tell them what is best for them except in very general ways, especially when the other person is an anonymous poster in the well-known-for-untruth-Internet.

The other type aims at helping the thread opener get what the thread opener wants.

I was almost 2 months out when I found SI, and I don't like to be told what to do, so I quickly rejected the posts that told me I needed to D. I was grateful for the advice that aimed to help me find my way, since IMO we all have to do that.

Bigger started a thread called 'Fantasy vs. R\reality' on this topic, and I recommend looking at it.

[This message edited by sisoon at 1:02 PM, April 16th (Friday)]

romiane posted 4/19/2021 04:51 AM

[This message edited by romiane at 4:52 AM, April 19th (Monday)]

romiane posted 4/19/2021 04:51 AM

Some paths require more time, more commitment, more grace, more tenacity, than others. Some paths don’t take much but a retainer check for a lawyer and a new place to live. The difference between what works is often dependent in large part upon the wayward in the equation.

Kind of ironic from someone who just complained about people about projecting. Some might say that it's easier to stay and not even move your toothbrush than have the strength to make a decision that will turn your life upside down.

As someone who stayed, I did it because I love the person I'm with even with the affair, and that's about it. Maybe if it was an in-my-face affair or if I went through multiple D-Days it would have eroded my feelings to the point where I'd be confortable with a divorce, but it hasn't happened. As for the "getting it vs not getting it", and aside from the fact that it's a vague undefined notion that doesn't mean anything, there is a french saying that "there is no love, only proofs of love". Linking your progress to your spouse "getting it" or "dealing with his shit" whatever that means is an exercise in futility since you will never know their inner workings.

[This message edited by romiane at 4:52 AM, April 19th (Monday)]

StillLivin posted 4/20/2021 01:18 AM

It truly depends on how much abuse from a WS cheating that a BS is willing to put up with. It also depends on whether the WS was a good spouse up until he or she started cheating.
For some, they had a loving partner u til the affair. It's reasonable to understand how a BS would be willing to give the WS a little more time to get their head out of their ass. And a lot also depends on the level of disrespect that occurred in the affair before and after the initial DDAY.
And for others, the WS was pretty much a POS sans affair. In this case, it's completely understandable if the BS says FTN and files immediately. My xhole fucked his mistress in my bed (because I was the one that paid for it before we were even married) in our home. He also told her he loved her right in front of me (he didn't know I'd found out about the affair yet). That's some major disrespect. I gave him ONE chance to go NC and fix his shit. He blew it by responding to her texts and emails and I was D O N E. Finite.
The 180 isn't filing for divorce. It is detaching so that you can gain strength and perspective on whether your cheating spouse is worthy of your gift of reconciliation.

DevastatedDee posted 4/20/2021 10:04 AM

It depends as much on the BS as on the WS. I think I can say with a fair amount of certainty that no matter what my WS did after DDay, the marriage was over. I was done upon the moment of discovery. The very concept that I'd married someone who needed to learn to have empathy for me and not cheat on me was far and above anything I was able to come to terms with. Everything in me recoiled at the very idea of giving him time to "get it" because I didn't want to have been married for 15 seconds to someone who needed to be taught basic decency and to respect me as a person. It horrified me down to my soul. That I loved him didn't even really matter in the face of reality.

hikingout posted 4/20/2021 13:43 PM

fournlau -

I love this question. I too have noticed what you are speaking about and have thought a lot about this. I have been very appreciative of the people who have advised me since my H's affair. But, there does seem to be unrealistic expectations for me and for him at times with the advice. I think most people are well intended, they want other BS or WS to have more information than they did.

I do agree with grubs- I have yet to meet a WS who was safe right out of the gate. I think often we get BS here who are so disoriented that they can't conceptualize detaching, protecting themselves, boundaries, etc. They may not even see the ways their relationship has been codependent over time.

What I have decided as a WS is that the tough love I experienced from my H was really to my benefit. Someone demonstrating boundaries, the ability to be complete on their own, and not standing for any waffling is really the best belief to instill into your WS. I knew I needed to get my things straight as quickly as possible or I was going to lose my marriage. I think the WS needs to feel insecure in the situation and not that they have the upper hand.

Over time, that should evolve as well. That insecurity should be replaced with security in oneself, and not having the upper hand turns into compassion and humility.

It's certainly better than advising a pick me dance. We do not know if their WS is ever going to do any work on themselves.

As for how long? I think right from the gate the WS should be scrambling and motivated. We may not yet have empathy or remorse, but if we are working on ourselves and how we are showing up then it will come. In my own situation as BS, I had the advantage of a lot of knowledge. I set my requirements and boundaries immediately. I detached. He jumped through those hoops and some he came up with on his own.

We are a little over six months out. He still has a long way to go. But, I see he is starting to connect a lot of dots.

So the answer to me is - yes the BS should probably have the position of I need to do what I need, this person is not to be trusted right now. If they think they might want to entertain R then I would say watch and wait. Nothing wrong with that. If they see continual progress, even if it's slow and incremental then okay hang in there.

I think overall the goals for the BS and the WS are the same:

1. Be responsible for your own happiness.
2. Discover what you need and create boundaries around that.
3. Make a plan for if the marriage fails so you feel more prepared. (Take out the fear and you won't try and control the outcome as much)
4. Stay honest and authentic, communicate clearly.
5. Heal. Often our past traumas are reactivated with the bomb of infidelity. I believe that happens on both sides of the fence. Do what you need to do to find your peace.

Of course there is more to it than all of that. But, I do think that the BS needs to get "harder" than they are used to. They need to understand that they are in control of their own destiny and put themselves in the drivers seat.

That being said some of the stuff that gets said to new BS and WS is unhelpful, hurtful, etc. But, at the same time there are a lot of unhealed people here that are hurting. Many feel out of control of their own situation and they know what they wish they did thinking that it would have kept them from the longevity of that pain. It can be misguided because they haven't discovered the path that would lead to more lasting feelings of peace and healing. In other words, nothing you can do to prevent it. Just be you and offer your best support. Often I think the newbies will gravitate towards that anyway.

[This message edited by hikingout at 1:47 PM, April 20th (Tuesday)]

fournlau posted 4/20/2021 17:02 PM

Great post @hikingout. I agree with pretty much all of it so I won't quote! laugh

Unfortunately, in the beginning right after Dday I don't think many BSs are in that place or can even think straight to get in that place of becoming "hard". I know I did SO many things wrong in the beginning that let him feel that he was still in control. It took over a year for me to get my feet under me at all and begin to push back on his assumptions and the boundaries he put around me. As in he was still dictating what he thought I "could handle".

It's still difficult but I am becoming more and more confident in my power and my own worth. The other thing is that we BSs know our WS the best. Even though we obviously didn't know them completely. IDK it just seems like if a BS wants R, they do have to be patient and often treat their WS like a child. Which I know can be irritating to so many! Like, why do I have to watch what I say just because it might cause him to go into a shame spiral? However, if I WANT to R, that comes with the territory. Some BS would rather not do that and D is their path. Which is also very very valid! It's just that sometimes, it feels like I'm being judged because I've yet again "put up" with unacceptable behavior from my WS and should "shut it down" and "get out of infidelity" and told that he is NOT "remorseful" or "R worthy". Sometimes, I just need to vent!

hikingout posted 4/21/2021 08:22 AM

Hi Fornlau,

First, this:

It's still difficult but I am becoming more and more confident in my power and my own worth. The other thing is that we BSs know our WS the best. Even though we obviously didn't know them completely. IDK it just seems like if a BS wants R, they do have to be patient and often treat their WS like a child. Which I know can be irritating to so many! Like, why do I have to watch what I say just because it might cause him to go into a shame spiral? However, if I WANT to R, that comes with the territory. Some BS would rather not do that and D is their path. Which is also very very valid! It's just that sometimes, it feels like I'm being judged because I've yet again "put up" with unacceptable behavior from my WS and should "shut it down" and "get out of infidelity" and told that he is NOT "remorseful" or "R worthy". Sometimes, I just need to vent!

I really didn't understand this was a vent or even about your personal situation. I apologize, I haven't been on not even a fraction as much and I have missed reading a lot of things.

I can understand the frustration. I actually feel it more when I ask for advice as the BS than what I have experienced as the WS. I have had some judgments placed at my feet that really are just projections. That's the part that helps, just remembering people are mirroring some of their experiences and giving that perspective to help. Not all of it is true or feels right. It helps to look at the intentions behind it - and that is most are putting effort in to help others avoid what they see as their own missteps along the way.

I do agree with you - our spouses are mostly two dimensional in this forum and we do know them better. At the same time, some of those things that I see as judgments often create a defensiveness the most when there is a morsel of truth.

I do think that if you are a BS and want to R there is some patience involved. But, there is a fine line between patience and inaction, or lack of self protection. Only we can decide what that is.

I thought the post was more pointed than that. I do see some rushing the BS who is often still in shock and will be for some time. Progress during that time is going to be minimal just because there needs to be some time to recover. I especially lean with sissoon as to advising for a specific outcome. I have of course suggested divorce but usually to someone who has been trying for years and is getting nowhere.

Unfortunately, in the beginning right after Dday I don't think many BSs are in that place or can even think straight to get in that place of becoming "hard". I know I did SO many things wrong in the beginning that let him feel that he was still in control. It took over a year for me to get my feet under me at all and begin to push back on his assumptions and the boundaries he put around me. As in he was still dictating what he thought I "could handle".

I think that's the philosophy of the people who try and tell the "hard truth" to a new BS. It's almost like wanting to splash some water on them and tell them to wake up! I don't read JFO for a lot of reasons, it's a super triggery area because the people in there are so raw. I can't post in there as a WS so I can't help anyone so I avoid it altogether. But, I can understand how a newly informed BS would also create a lot of big feelings for even a seasoned/mostly healed BS, much less someone still in earlier stages of healing.

But, I do think it's like you are saying, reorientation for both the WS and BS commonly goes for most of that first year. We can not expect that they are ready to do x,y, z because they have so much processing ahead of them. Infidelity is a very specific journey and you can't skip ahead. You can go in more informed of course, but for me my logic and emotions do not match up many days and it's always helpful to keep that in mind when responding to new posters.

I think this is a very thoughtful discussion. It never hurts to explore our own empathy to others and expand our thinking past our own path.

Anyway, I apologize if I trampled on your vent. I just didn't see that it was! I hope these feelings pass quickly for you, fornlau.

fournlau posted 4/21/2021 09:53 AM

Anyway, I apologize if I trampled on your vent. I just didn't see that it was! I hope these feelings pass quickly for you, fornlau.

Oh no, this particular post was for discussion on what I saw happening that seemed to me to be conflicting advice. When I said sometimes I just want to vent I meant that there were times I relayed a situation between me and WH that I just wanted to vent about but was then told those things. Hopefully that clears that up.

I really appreciate your insight, and everyone else's as well, especially WS perspective. I do often have to tell myself that I should not compare my WSs path to that of someone else's. Or his timeline of progress. He might be slower to "getting" certain things than others or faster at "getting" certain things than others. And I agree that this discussion is helpful, at least it is for me.

DevastatedDee posted 4/21/2021 11:09 AM

The other thing is that we BSs know our WS the best. Even though we obviously didn't know them completely.

I think this is true and not true at the same time, fournlau. I heard a lot of things about my XWH that I knew weren't true because he was really deep down a better person than that. I knew him, they didn't. Turns out his actions proved that he was a lot more like these strangers thought he was than like I thought he was. It was my own perception that was off because my perceptions were influenced by love, trust and his own ability to pretend to my face. In many ways, our lives are stories that we tell ourselves. We can't ever truly know another person and sometimes we decide things about other people that are far too colored by what we want them to be. A few strangers online who had never so much as seen my face were a lot more correct about him than I was early on. Pains me to say it, but it's true.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 11:09 AM, April 21st (Wednesday)]

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