Newest Member: AcesEights

Wayward Side :
Empathy

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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 12:04 AM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

If every time you took a bite of delicious cake you had to kick her in the stomach, would that be a fair trade-off in your mind?

The story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula Le Guin comes to mind.

"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: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4387   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8698606
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 2:44 AM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

Or Stephen King's "Quitters, Inc."

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

posts: 2136   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8698633
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Lalagirl ( member #14576) posted at 1:06 PM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

I have been limiting my Facebook

IMO, you should eliminate it entirely, as well as any other SM accounts/apps that have the potential to tempt you. It would be a great first step to show your BS that you're truly ready to do the work.

Me-56 FWH-58 Married 37 years 9/2/2021 grown daughters-37 & 34 11yo GS,8yo GD&6yo. GD (DD37) and 9yo GD & 4yo GD(DD34). D-day #1 - 1/06; D-day #2 - 3/07 Reconciled! Construction Complete. Astra inclinant, sed non obligant

posts: 8645   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2007
id 8698664
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Aubrie ( member #33886) posted at 8:02 PM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

I've got a couple questions. I've kinda skimmed all the other posts so forgive me if these have already been asked.

I have been limiting my Facebook and getting rid of anything I can see as Sexual or may make me think of the opposite sex.

If we were talking about alcohol, drugs, or gambling, the course of action would be to go cold-turkey and eliminate immediately. So why is Facebook any different? If FB is your addiction and where you find the most trouble, why is is something you're still holding onto? If you want real change, why hold onto it?

I am just unable to show empathy


Why? If one of your kids falls and hurts themselves, are you able to pick them up, brush them off, clean the wound and comfort them? If a co-worker is injured on the job, do you stop and try to aid in the situation? If yes, you are capable of empathy. You're simply refusing to extend the same courtesy to your spouse. Why is that?

I feel like a big bag of shit.


Do you really? Or is that something you're saying to make you seem more apologetic? I'm asking because you say you're unable to show empathy, so why would you feel like sh*t? Really think about the words you're saying. Words have power.

I just can't absorb that information into my thick skull.


Again, why? Is it that you can't, or that you don't want to? You've been doing the same old thing for a decade. It doesn't seem to be working out for you. At some point, enough is enough. When is your enough? And what are you going to do to change it? Have you sat down to make a list and start checking them off?

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

posts: 7926   ·   registered: Nov. 11th, 2011
id 8698737
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 BrokenHeart911 (original poster new member #37296) posted at 9:05 AM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

Well I do think that the only way I can actually prove to her that I am serious is to try and reach out for IC. Anything else I try I just get told is not working on us. I keep doing stupid things that upset her I know ahe hates when my sister in law contacts me to ask me stuff. I really have no interest in doing anything with her but my wife thinks of course you do..I know she doesn't believe me and has every right not too. I am dumb and deleted the message she sent me asking questions instead of showing my wife I deleted the message.i know she gets copies of my messages and that's fine I just can't believe I did that.

Me WH 30
BW 38 (DragnHeart)
DDay October 19th 2010 PA with coworker.

posts: 24   ·   registered: Oct. 28th, 2012
id 8699754
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WalkinOnEggshelz ( Administrator #29447) posted at 11:39 AM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

I keep thinking of the old joke, how many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? One, but the lightbulb has to want to change.

The question is are you serious about wanting to change?

Deleting text messages does not demonstrate that willingness. You keep saying things like you are doing stupid things and have a thick skull.

What about taking responsibility for your actions? Why did you really delete the message? Why won’t you give up social media entirely?

A lot of good questions have been asked throughout this thread. If you are not answering them here, I hope that you are at least answering them within yourself.

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: 14481   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2010   ·   location: Texas
id 8699763
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ISurvivedSoFar ( member #56915) posted at 11:53 AM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

Let me ask you a simple question. Why do you want empathy? What for?

DDay Nov '16
Me: BS, a.k.a. MommaDom, Him: WS
2 DD's: one adult, one teen,1 DS: adult
Surviving means we promise ourselves we will get to the point where we can receive love and give love again.

posts: 2642   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2017
id 8699766
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foreverlabeled ( member #52070) posted at 1:41 PM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

Well I do think that the only way I can actually prove to her that I am serious is to try and reach out for IC. Anything else I try I just get told is not working on us. I keep doing stupid things that upset her

 Try to? Or do?

What was your thought process when you decided to delete the messages?

Maybe nothing is working because you aren't making any progress. Because you continue to act in ways that do not serve you and do not honor her. That does not serve your relationship. And, IC only helps the willing. How do you see IC playing out in the short term, say 6 months to 1 year?

33 divorced Madhatter
Time is no ones friend, nor their enemy. It moves forward at its own fixed pace, careless of our wants to speed it or slow it.

posts: 2535   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2016   ·   location: southeast
id 8699772
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NotMyFirstRodeo ( member #75220) posted at 4:07 PM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

To be blunt about it, talk is cheap. Talking about wanting empathy but not having it is akin to a parent talking about wanting to love your child but not understanding how love works. Talking about wanting to have empathy for someone is 100% pomp and circumstance IMO. It's someone deceiving themselves and possibly an effort to deceive others.

Kindly, if you're incapable of displaying empathy, you don't have it. And like the love mentioned above, no argument for why you should have empathy will create it. Love is not logic driven and empathy is not logic driven. It's either a thing one has or they do not have.

If you don't have it (AKA: you don't display it), accept that you don't have it and dig into why you're currently incapable of empathy. Cut out the cheap talk. Stop talking about/"seeking" conversation about a logical way to have(i.e. display) empathy and begin to seek the cause of the mechanism keeping empathy impossible for you. And just like how a parent naturally has love for their child without the need of an external and logical argument, tearing down that mechanism keeping empathy away will allow you to naturally form empathy for people without the ruse of an argument being necessary to have it.

Debating doing this or doing that to display an appearance of empathy is circular in practice and will not result in a systemic change for you unless you can work on the core of the problem first. I guarantee that your W is dying for genuine empathy and not an act.

I say all of this with respect. The more research I've done on why many lack empathy the more I believe it's due to their own childhood trauma. It's a really long and challenging road to recovery but like anything else, if they want to improve, they can. If it's not important enough, they won't.

*edited for clarity*

[This message edited by NotMyFirstRodeo at 2:17 PM, Wednesday, November 24th]

Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later that debt is paid.

posts: 258   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2020
id 8699800
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Lionne ( member #25560) posted at 11:32 PM on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

I'm glad you posted and glad I found this. I am one of the many, many people here who love Dragn and wish we could reach out to give her a hand when she is overwhelmed.

That said, I think you will find a LOT of people who aren't going to condemn you for all time. Sure, we wish Dragn didn't experience some of the things that happened. But when we read from someone who is truly sorry and is truly working to change, most of us, especially the ones who take the time to respond to you, are willing to feel compassion for you, not just distain.

My H cheated on me for many years, and said horrible things to me in order to protect his addiction to porn, strip clubs and in appropriate "friendships" with women other than me. It has completely colored my perception of my life, negatively. We will never have a normal marriage. But, he isn't a bad person. Just a damaged and weak person who was broken by experiences in his childhood coupled with ADD and undiagnosed bipolar disorder.

You aren't evil, but you are in serious need of counseling and accountability. Maybe HFSSC's husband can direct you in that regard. I mean, look at that as one example. HFSSC's life is filled with stress and trouble, and yet she took the time to read your post and comment on it, offering tangible help. THAT'S the kind of people we have here.

Porn addiction is very hard to beat. Get a flip phone, give up your smartphone. Log out of facebook or create a FB profile WITH Dragn, one that both of you use to keep in touch with relatives or whatever HEALTHY purpose you might have.

Scrupulous honesty for years and years is the only way to build trust. Every single time she finds out about a lie, or an omission, she is retraumatized. They that hill you have to climb gets even higher. And learn what her triggers are. Rapidly putting down the phone or closing the computer when she appears in a room. Certain places, or songs that she associates with your cheating. ASK her if she is okay, allow her to vent her feelings. It's uncomfortable, yes, but I promise you, honesty will make your whole family healthier and happier.

Listen to the many wise people who have taken the time to post here. They have all been there in one form or another.

Me-BS-65 in May<BR />HIM-SAFWH-68<BR />I just wanted a normal life.<BR />Normal trauma would have been appreciated.

posts: 8431   ·   registered: Sep. 18th, 2009   ·   location: In my head
id 8699870
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 3:36 PM on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

Aubrie's and WOEz's questions are mine, too.

Here's food for thought: you're an adult human being. You have strengths and weaknesses like every other humn being has. One of your strengths is that you can learn.

No empathy? You can probably learn.

Can't control your impulses? You can.

Can't get something through your thick skull? Your skull is no thicker than everyone else's, and you probably can learn everything you need and want to learn.

There are no guarantees about building the M you want with Dragn, but the changes in yourself to become authentic will benefit you and your kids, whether your R or not.

You're a lot stronger and smarter than you give yourself credit for.

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.

posts: 26262   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8699966
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DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 3:54 PM on Thursday, November 25th, 2021

Let me ask you a serious question. Do you actually want to stop?

The question is are you serious about wanting to change?

Let me ask you a simple question. Why do you want empathy? What for?

If yes, you are capable of empathy. You're simply refusing to extend the same courtesy to your spouse. Why is that?

You've been doing the same old thing for a decade. It doesn't seem to be working out for you. At some point, enough is enough. When is your enough? And what are you going to do to change it? Have you sat down to make a list and start checking them off?

What are you afraid of?

There have been some really great questions in this thread. And they are all based around the same, basic premise. YOU are your biggest barrier right now. To me, it sounds as if there is something about yourself that you are NOT willing to face, most likely because of fear or doubt, or some kind of internal misinformation.

Look, your life is crazy and painful right now. You are hurt, you are scared, you are unsure of what to do, and it's got you like a deer in the headlights, frozen in time, standing still and waiting to see if the car is going to hit you, and unaware that it's completely within your own power to move out of the way on your own accord. Stop waiting for things to work, or for the right time, or whatever it is you are clinging to as an excuse for remaining a victim, and just do something about it. Accept the fact that your marriage is already over and has been for some time, regardless of whether or not you still live together or have not divorced, etc. Accept the truth that what you did, you did on purpose, to her, and that you devastated her. Hate what you did, not who you are.

Here are some thoughts for you. A simple exercise. Try saying these phrases to yourself, and see how many seem to "fit" with who you are today. Do you agree with them? Can you feel them, or do they seem uncomfortable to you? Maybe try talking to your IC about these thoughts?

1) I deserve happiness
2) I am proud of who I am, today (even if I'm not perfect)
3) I can decide how to respond to my own emotions
4) I can be okay with not being comfortable
5) I can hate what I did and still love and respect myself by owning it
6) I'd rather try, and maybe fail, at trying to change than live with who I am and how I feel today
7) Truth hurts for a little bit, and then relieves your burden and makes you stronger. Holding a secret just hurts forever.
8) I have the power to decide who I am, and can change at any time
9) I can't undo what I did, but I can choose my actions going forward to not repeat my poor choices
10) If someone else doesn't like me, that's okay. I just need to be proud of myself.

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1176   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017   ·   location: Marblehead, MA
id 8700150
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