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Wayward not bothered at all by scenes of adultery

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HowCouldSheDoIt posted 4/22/2021 14:28 PM

if you have a situation where you have a sole earner, then the person earning the money should have more of a say about how that money is spent.

Tread lightly here, that is an abusive mindset...

EllieKMAS posted 4/22/2021 14:40 PM

Tread lightly here, that is an abusive mindset...
I respectfully disagree. Obviously if someone is controlling every single cent or there is an abusive power component to it, that's different. But having a general view of being financially responsible as a sole earner (especially in cases where the other party wants to live beyond the available financial means, as was the case for me) is not abusive imho.

My xwh was a tattoo artist and one of his dreams was to co-own a shop. On its face, an understandable ambition. But the shop owner was an active alcoholic. The AP was an apprentice at the shop. My xwh had no experience or idea on business ownership, marketing, state regulations, tax implications (and was also unwilling to try to learn any of these things) and for him to live out his dream meant 'us' investing 20k into that. Could we (I) have come up with that money? Possibly. Would it have been a good financial risk to take? Absolutely not. I don't think it was abusive in the slightest for me to say a hard no to that - it was the fiscally responsible decision to make at a time when we were really not in a good spot financially. And yeah, xwh brought that up after dday about how I never supported his dreams.... but IMHO that was a case where his dream was so far beyond our reality at that time as to be essentially unattainable.

HowCouldSheDoIt posted 4/22/2021 15:01 PM

Ellie you are not wrong for your opinion of being a hard no. Very reasonable position to take. I'm not suggesting anything about you is abusive.

I only wanted to point out (mostly for context for anyone reading) that abuse starts with a mindset, and you aren't and never were thinking "I have a right to control my partner's spending."

However, "I am the earner so I should have more say" has the possibility to escalate there. It can escalate, especially if you don't get any pushback. It is subtle and it happens slowly and quietly. You will not feel like you're doing anything wrong. Next thing you know your adulterous wife is telling you how pissed she is that you've been so controlling with money...

thatbpguy posted 4/22/2021 15:26 PM

HowCouldSheDoIt, it seems to me that there are differing reasons to confess- guilt; about to be outed; defiance; a slip of the tongue.

I see her attitude as very concerning, but not surprising. For her, she had her taboo wild time, felt some guilt and now that temporary emotion is behind her she's all about moving forward without a care. For her, it's just a wry smile memory- or so it seems to me.

EllieKMAS posted 4/22/2021 15:35 PM

I only wanted to point out (mostly for context for anyone reading) that abuse starts with a mindset, and you aren't and never were thinking "I have a right to control my partner's spending."

However, "I am the earner so I should have more say" has the possibility to escalate there. It can escalate, especially if you don't get any pushback. It is subtle and it happens slowly and quietly. You will not feel like you're doing anything wrong. Next thing you know your adulterous wife is telling you how pissed she is that you've been so controlling with money...

Ahhh okay that makes sense.

But let me ask you... do YOU think you were controlling about it in an unhealthy or abusive way? If so, then absolutely should be something that you should work on when you are ready to do so.

But if your situation was more like my situation, then her bringing it up after cheating is finding a reason to shift the blame for her behavior. My xwh did that too early on, and for a while I was such a mess that I let him get away with it and I shouldn't have.

Just food for thought.

HowCouldSheDoIt posted 4/22/2021 15:57 PM

Ellie I've never met you but I like you a lot.

do YOU think you were controlling about it in an unhealthy or abusive way?

Well technically it is less important what I think, since the partner has the final word on what is abusive.

To answer you, no, I did not feel like I was controlling the money. I did not feel I was being controlling at all, and I was unaware of the power dynamics and never even thought of it that way.

I totally understand now, and I totally see her point. I have been working on this type of thing for the past four months.

EllieKMAS posted 4/22/2021 16:13 PM

If you feel in your own self that that's an area that needs improvement, then it is awesome that you are working on it for sure.

But please don't let her blame-shift on that kind of stuff ("You were controlling and that's why I cheated."). I know it's hard when you're dealing with dday and just fresh into the infidelity swamp to know which way is up. I struggled mightily with that - I have always been a person that firmly believes in and practices personal accountability. Took me a few months to get my infidelity sea-legs after dday, but eventually I was able to see how my xwh throwing up these kind of things was just him dodging his own accountability. The whole wizard-of-oz-pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain thing. If "we" were focusing on all the ways I was not perfect, then "we" didn't have to focus on his infidelity. And the infidelity is the gaping wound that needs attention right now. Whether or not you were controlling about money once (or five or 100 times) is a splinter in the little toe.

I know for me it was almost.... easier? in a way to look at my own self in the aftermath of dday. At least I could control that, ya know? And after dday my whole life felt so out of control - him continuing to engage with his ap, I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't focus or concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes - there was almost this perverse comfort in saying "Oh I was a bad wife that did [fill in the blank] and that's why he cheated". But just no. Nothing I ever did in my M caused his cheating. Nothing I did or didn't do justifies it. Him choosing to do that was all on him. It took me time to get there and a lot of SIers hammering that point into my head repeatedly.

Thumos posted 4/22/2021 16:28 PM

HowCouldSheDoIt, if you find it helpful, I recommend reading in a thread I posted here in General on logical fallacies that wayward spouses often use. It may be helpful for you in your situation.

BraveSirRobin posted 4/22/2021 16:55 PM

In the future, MC's will be seen as evil witchdoctors or worse.
Hasty generalization fallacy.

nekonamida posted 4/22/2021 17:13 PM

Something you might find interesting... the bar for abuse by women is much, much higher than it is for men. Literally the same behaviors in a woman are not considered abuse because they don't carry the potential physical threat. Men generally aren't frightened by women and so the abuse threshold is quite high.

Says who? Not Dr. Dina McMillan who is one of THE leading researchers on abuse and who works in clinical therapy with abusive people. She says that while there are differences between how men and women abuse, abuse from women is no less damaging. You can listen to her podcast "Unmasking the Abuser" and particularly episode #12 about abusive women.

Edit: Would like to add that Dr. Millan is part of a movement in the field of psychology to add "Abusive Personality Disorder" to the DSM. Her podcast has some great checklists for identifying toxic relationships regardless of whether the person is abusive or not. I highly recommend you look into her work more and learn about abuse from someone who is an expert. Not sure where you are getting your info from but they don't have a clue what they're talking about.

According to Lundy Bancroft author of "Why Does He Do That?", abuse is not about fear. It's about power and control. So why does the fear a man may or may not feel when being abused by a woman have anything to do with control? She can control him in other ways. Anxiety, access to the kids, access to finances, access to friends and family. She can use his desire to have a good marriage against him with shows of anger, guilting him, and shaming him when he does not live up to her standards or doesn't do what she wants. She can control his sleep schedule by keeping him awake all night with arguments and long conversations which can have an impact on his job and other relationships. She can gaslight him and belittle him until he doubts his every choice and struggles to make decisions for himself without her input. What's fear got to do with it?

Food for thought - we have a poster recently who said their friend was murdered by her husband and yet she always said that she was safe with him and that he would never hurt her despite him being emotionally abusive. So was she not abused because she wasn't afraid of him up until she was killed?

[This message edited by nekonamida at 5:17 PM, April 22nd (Thursday)]

This0is0Fine posted 4/22/2021 17:22 PM

Stop accepting the blameshifting. Stop fixing yourself in an attempt to get her to fix herself.

She is on page fucking 5 to help you recover.

I just want to shake your through the internet and tell you to wake up.

EDIT: You've been stabbed in the back, and you keep asking what you did to deserve it. You didn't!

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 5:40 PM, April 22nd (Thursday)]

src9043 posted 4/22/2021 17:24 PM

A monstrous mistake I made after my wife's first affair was to not delve deeply into the feelings and motivations of my ex-WW. After a lot of hurt and screaming at her for a number of days, I relied on what was said in counseling. While I spent months investigating whether she was cheating on me, I didn't put in close to that amount of time to get to the bottom of her choice to stray. Now, she was, and I assume still is an expert liar, but I think I could have broken through and saved us both a bunch of time in not continuing the marriage if she leveled with me.

I can only go by the picture you have painted regarding your WW. From that rather sketchy portrait, I don't see someone who has an undying love for you. There is no desperation to repair what she has done. I have no idea as to her level of commitment to save the marriage. The fact that she couldn't even read one book on infidelity speaks volumes. You say she doesn't express empathy. That's not good. Maybe she doesn't feel empathy for you or the effect of her betrayal on you. In a non-confrontational manner you must discuss with her whether she wants the marriage to continue, and if so, WHY. Listen, but don't speak. Keep the focus on her true feelings. She was honest on how much she liked the illicit sex, tell her that you want similar honesty concerning her thoughts on the marriage and you. Is it the security she likes? Is she fearful of starting over? Does she fear a lower standard of living if the two of you split? Make her fill the time with her comments. Just gingerly sprinkle questions with this heart-to-heart discussion. The more she is required to talk, the more she will reveal. Does she still love you? If so, how much? Just let her talk and you listen. Simply tell her that you need to know exactly where she stands. Do not let her evade. If she can't give you or refuses to give you affirmative responses regarding her dedication to work on the marriage, you can go from there. Do not let your desperation to save the marriage interfere with this process.

Maybe this has already been done in one form or another. If so, please enlighten us. So far, it doesn't seem like she is all in on saving the marriage for the RIGHT reasons. Is that true?

Thumos posted 4/22/2021 17:35 PM

Hasty generalization fallacy.

Well, since it's a prediction about the future, I think the jury's still out on that.

[This message edited by Thumos at 5:35 PM, April 22nd (Thursday)]

HowCouldSheDoIt posted 4/22/2021 17:42 PM


You're so right, oh my gosh, I starting seeing an IC for my issues based on the advice from that MC that I didn't like. Holy shit I feel like that other MC was absolving my wife of any wrongdoing with those comments. What you're saying makes a ton of sense and I agree with you. Thank you so much for this post. Very helpful and I'm damn glad I'm not with that MC anymore.

survrus posted 4/22/2021 19:23 PM

Despite that you think you have the whole story, I suggest you have your WW write out a timeline and then take her for a polygraph.

Your WWs lack of remorse or even it seems regret, except faked, leads me to believe that there is more to this story.

If the more is that you were always her plan B guy, or meeting OM was planned or your daughter saw her being shady I don't know.

I also suspect you would be shocked to find how emotionally open and empathic your WW was with OM.

Track down the OM too. You've caved too quickly.

nekonamida posted 4/22/2021 20:30 PM

Holy shit I feel like that other MC was absolving my wife of any wrongdoing with those comments.

MCs are human too and sometimes you get a terrible one like yours was. She absolutely was attempting to absolve your WW of blame. She re-traumatized you by making your WW's poor behavior your responsibility when general theories of thought on the matter agree that we can only control ourselves. Not our spouses. Hence abuse is not our faults. Not even if we don't behave perfectly either. Not even if we says mean things back sometimes when our spouse yells, belittles, or attempts to control us.

At this point, you can only change yourself and get to a spot where either your WW will follow your lead and meet your requirements or you will have the strength to move on without her.

Marz posted 4/24/2021 16:50 PM

You're so right, oh my gosh, I starting seeing an IC for my issues based on the advice from that MC that I didn't like. Holy shit I feel like that other MC was absolving my wife of any wrongdoing with those comments. What you're saying makes a ton of sense and I agree with you. Thank you so much for this post. Very helpful and I'm damn glad I'm not with that MC anymore.

Maybe you should apply the same logic to your current IC. As youíve seen these people arenít gods.

From what Iíve seen a lot of betrayed want it to be their fault maybe because if they caused it they can fix it. Nope. Cheating is a choice or decision on their part.

Iím sure your wife isnít perfect either. Did her imperfections cause you to cheat on her?

OwningItNow posted 4/24/2021 20:25 PM

Yeah, I'm going to go in a different direction with this response, HCSDI. I've seen the marital dynamic you are speaking of, but it is not as common as other types of marriages (says me; take it with a grain of salt). In your marital dynamic, the stay at home WW feels powerless and lost and cheats, but she has no desire to leave the M or her BH and wants reconciliation. The BH, often a controlling workaholic and Type A personality, is NOT used to "losing" in life and does not cope well with the powerless feeling of betrayal. I'm sorry I am generalizing a dynamic, but I thought it might help you actually (if you read on). Can you relate to this description at all? If not, ignore me.

So what happens in this type of M? The BH frequently has an RA. (So your impulses are right in line here.) They still often D because they simply cannot accept that anyone has gotten one over on them (for lack of a better term, but that is their feeling about it--and they cannot shake it). These BH really struggle honestly, even when they love their WW.

But what makes you better or different? IC!!!!!! And you are making amazing progress with these inner demons. I congratulate you on that hard work. In this generalized marital dynamic that I speak of, the ego often does not allow for IC and these BH suffer. Congrats to you on your wisdom in getting help.

In my view, all of these BH could have saved their Ms if they had wanted to. (I found it all sad because I believe they did want to but could not make peace internally. That's my opinion.) They had remorseful WWs, but it was an internal battle. Everyone here is going nuts on your WW and giving you a huge Get Out of Jail Free card. Not sure I agree. Your WW seems to have some things going for her like 1. It was once and she had regret 2. She told you and 3. She is working with you on this M. Many posters here did not have those things.

The downside? She is feeling too much in the driver's seat. I do think you got comfortable, controlling, and dismissive in your M. I do think it was a little abusive. I also agree that your WW was seeking a little subconscious revenge. BUT, she crossed a marriage destroying line. She blew it up. You have every right to leave her. Does she realize that? Have you ever threatened to leave her?

It's possible that her cheating showed a disconnect and willingness to maybe leave the M, which sometimes happens. But she is not sure. You seem to be operating from this assumed truth and working your ass off to keep her. Awesome!!! But where is her fear of losing you? Her need to prove your value? Her desperate love? I do think you need to see that to really recover.

Can I ask a question: which of you currently fear losing this M more? That is the person without power. But a healthy M means both people feel powerful, but you don't. You seem to have absorbed too much responsibility for your marital dysfunction. That needs to change. If you pull away, will she work harder to keep you? And do you fear losing your assets or losing your WW? Not sure, and keeping the M for the marital assets usually doesn't work in terms of happiness. You both need to feel wanted. Especially you.

The posters are right that her lack of empathy is a problem. I think you need to start seeing your value and not just your responsibility. She cheated and broke your heart. If she does not step up with an abudance of love and EMPATHY, I'm not sure this M can be saved.

Fingers crossed for you guys.
But your happiness is more important than your marriage's continuation.
Good luck.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 8:32 PM, April 24th (Saturday)]

The1stWife posted 4/25/2021 07:12 AM

Focusing on having power ó my H knew I wouldnít stand up to him very often b/c I was a doormat.

Start to finish - the situation goes like this. He did something wrong (drinking and driving). He was plastered and heís never done anything like that in 30 years. Next morning I told him (very calmly) heís lucky to be alive and lucky heís not in jail. And in the future if heís going to drink he should not plan to drive.

Heís pissed at me!!!!

So he starts sneaking behind my back and drinking snd driving (itís only 1-2 beers but itís the freaking principle). I call him in it. Heís being a jerk about it.

So one night heís out in the city (train home) and meets the OW. Boom!! Heís now having an affair. A few months later heís planning to D me.

Fast forward to dday2. False reconciliation for months. When I found out he was still cheating I had enough. I got my power back when I told him I was D him. He thought he could sweet talk his way back. Hmmm..... it no longer worked.

I no longer cared what happened to him. I no longer cared if he was upset. I no longer did anything for him. It was the hard 180 and he was being forced out of his home. He had to leave.

His affair was never my fault and his choice to cheat was solely on him. And he either got his act together or he didnít. Because I was not helping him.

And I have more power the last 7 years because I stand my ground.

HowCouldSheDoIt posted 4/25/2021 10:26 AM


Very good analysis, and it is pretty accurate. I can't say who wants the marriage more, she has not threatened D, and I believe she wants to rebuild. I know that had she taken the kids and left me, or threatened divorce I would have woken and got to work just as ambitiously.

As it is now, my emotions and feelings are very complicated, a mix / negotiation of many factors:

-Staying married is the right thing to do, generally. My promise was for better or worse.
-I genuinely regret my prior behavior and want to make it up to her. This failure is a huge shame for me.
-I'm so hurt by her decision to bring another man into the mix. I haven't forgiven her for that yet.
-I'm very frustrated by her unwillingness (inability?) to emotionally identify with me here, and frankly quite hurt.
-I'm scared of starting over financially, it would be a big hit. This doesn't control my decisions, but it is a factor.

Reading other people's stories makes me feel very fortunate. My situation is much simpler than most. It sure hurts, but it is simpler.

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