Newest Member: AcesEights

Reconciliation :
Lack of Couples as Members in R

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sickofsurviving ( member #52308) posted at 1:50 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

Someone asked me on another thread for an example of protecting the cheaters, while repremanding BS. WELL... The post above sums it up nicely.

First a paragraph dedicated to how much "value" a cheater had. Should be able to post everywhere and be cheered on for being such a "good" cheater.

Then a book dedicated to protecting a cheater more!!! Cheaters LIVE to be the victim. Poor cheater. Don't hurt the cheater. They destroy lives. BS are suffering and being attacked for not healing right. But God forbid you call a cheater out on their crap.

They are not victims to be treated with kid gloves. If a BS slaps the cheater 1 time, it's insane the abuse they get from here. But cheaters have committed the biggest abuse there is. If my cheater had been beating the shit out of me instead of fucking his cousin, would you baby him?

Maybe they can grow into basic human beings, with the most basic of morals. But I think babying them is ridiculous. Stop helping them be victims. They. Most certainly, are not.


Edited to add
I never touched my cheater. I threw a kleenex. Once. Mostly I layer in my own vomit.

[This message edited by sickofsurviving at 1:54 PM, Sunday, November 14th]

BS-me 54
WH 56
Married 2004

4 DDs 35,30,26,25
Sexting affair with his 1st cousin 2007-2008 maybe
D-Day 8-8-15
Married

posts: 861   ·   registered: Mar. 17th, 2016
id 8698383
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 WalkinOnEggshelz (original poster administrator #29447) posted at 2:09 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

sickofsurviving, you have completely missed the point of this thread. I will remind you of the guidelines in the Reconciliation Forum:

A wonderful place to share your struggles, success stories, and triggers while trying to reconcile. There is to be no name calling in this forum. Venting is to be limited to you and/or your partner. Please post respectfully and constructively keeping in mind the goal for this forum is to reconcile.

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 8698384
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 2:10 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

My H and I found SI independently at close to the same time. (I actually had to ask him this, because I couldn't remember who got here first.) I lurked for about two months until I felt compelled to post on a thread that closely aligned with what we were going through. I can tell you 100% that I would not have found remorse without reading here. I didn't manage it after D-Day 1 twelve years before the site existed, and when I finally arrived after D-Day 2, I was already several weeks into TT. I could have saved both of us a lot of agony if I had earlier access to a chorus of experienced voices telling me truths I didn't want to accept.

I can also tell you that if the "welcome" commentary had been then what it is now, I doubt I would have stuck around. When I got here, there was one hard line WS, Zugzwang, who delivered the 2x4s. It was a necessary role, and very popular with the equally hard line BS, but it was also balanced by more supportive voices. Unfortunately, compassion is now conflated with enabling. I see advice to new BS that if they send their WS over to the Wayward Forum, the old timers here will hit them hard and set them straight. To hear most descriptions, we're not a community, we're a bleak, gray reform school.

However, membership on SI is not an involuntary sentence. No one has to join. People arrive on Wayward as they do elsewhere in the site: looking for empathy. They're usually broken, terrified, in denial, and not knowing what will happen next. Their carefully crafted deception has collapsed without warning, and a person who played a big role in their lives is instantaneously dead to them. The fact that they brought it on themselves does not reduce their confusion and fear. If you hack off your own arm, your arteries don't recognize who held the blade; they just start bleeding. The question is what we're here to do about that. Sometimes it feels like there's more thirst to see the blood than desire to apply a tourniquet. We're always going to lose the stubborn, recalcitrant WS, but I think we're losing many who have potential, too.

It's hard to manage the delicate balance between support and accountability towards people who are in a raw and volatile state. We have members jumbled together in varying degrees of trauma, and what they are ready to hear on Day 1 may not be the same as what they are ready to hear on Day 28 or Day 365 or Day 1000. We have many posters who want to slash a shortcut through the hellscape and lead suffering people swiftly to the other side. Unfortunately, it's rare that new arrivals are in a state where they can take that shortcut. When someone tries to forcefully grab them and shove them into it, it's more likely that they will turn and run away. This is true of newly arrived waywards as well as the newly betrayed.

As a madhatter, my H couldn't post in JFO. Early on, I thought that was unfortunate, because he's legitimately more of a BH than a WH, and I believed that he could have used that support from other BS. After a while, I became grateful that he was spared running the gauntlet of BHs hitting further and further below the belt in the name of "helping" him. There's a vocal group who make it crystal clear that a commitment to D is the only ticket to sit at the Real Man table. My BH decided early on that he wanted to try for R, and he had no interest in anyone painting him graphic pictures of me in bed with someone else. He knew it already and had nightly mind movies in gutting Technicolor. He certainly didn't need to be reminded of it. He also didn't want to sift through wildly inaccurate accusations that were manufactured out of thin air. It made him feel like he'd have to defend me, which he was in no mood to do.

Unfortunately, his desire for R and absence from JFO meant that there wasn't much of a community for him here. Because he wasn't following the fire and brimstone model, his posts didn't make for dramatic reading. He wrote some lovely, compassionate responses to other BS outside of JFO that were pretty much ignored. Some of the more vulnerable ones were made in response to a poster who turned out to be a troll, and that also left a bad taste in his mouth. (Like ISSF, I have nothing but disgust and contempt for people who come here as a pathetic form of entertainment.) Soon, he stopped writing and stuck to reading.

Unlike posting, my H found reading here anonymously to be very helpful, and he especially found it cathartic to read my posts. Over time, they allowed him to build trust that I was no longer protecting myself at his expense. If I was willing to lay out the worst of myself in a public forum, that was proof that I was letting go of the outcome and giving him his power back. I imagine it's also pretty hard to keep a story consistent and convincing across 2,000 posts unless you're telling the truth. We never resorted to using SI as judge and jury for our disputes. If he had an issue with anything I said or did, we dealt with that offline.

Sometime around the 2 year mark, my H's feelings about my posts started to evolve. Instead of being reassured, he was tired of being triggered by whatever story I was recounting to help another member. He might be processing info about a gift OM sent me three months after D-Day, and then he'd be ripped away from that by a post I made answering questions about affair sex. He asked me to take a break from writing on the site. I didn't post for three months, and it was good for both of us. However, when I became concerned about the dwindling number of experienced WS here, he agreed that I should come back. He decided to stay away for his own mental health. He needed to be able to put it down to focus on other kinds of healing.

The problem is that the trend toward attacks on new WS leaves experienced WS less to work with. Most of the ones who stay here for it are either full of self-justification and spoiling for a fight or looking for public flagellation as a form of empty penance. Truly doing the work requires vulnerability, and if you want to encourage vulnerability, you need to offer a safe space for it. You can't make a sport out of shaming raw newbies and the people who try to help them. Even long term WS who say "I know you miss the AP, I know it's hard" are subject to the accusation, "I thought you were remorseful, but you clearly haven't learned anything. You're supposed to be setting them straight." And so those WS get tired of feeling like they can't make a difference. If they venture out of Wayward to try and help BS, they get tired of the hammering message that all WS are abusers and forever tainted and bad prospects for R. So eventually, they decide they don't have much reason to be here. And then the compassionate BS have to carry the load of supporting new waywards because they want to give them a fighting chance. If a new WS implements a stop sign, they lose those voices, including the experienced voices of BS staff.

I'm not arguing that we should validate cheating on SI. I never have and I never will. But it's disturbing to me when we vilify compassion as coddling. I can get triggered by foggy waywards, too; it brings back sickening memories of who I used to be. I get impatient with entitled, blameshifting comments. But if there had been no compassionate voice here, no role model, no person who had been in my shoes and could speak to me from a place of empathy and understanding, I might still be that awful person. When you're in a highly volatile emotional state, any criticism feels like a 2x4, even a calm observation from someone who wants the best for you. If I had been met principally with shrieks of "how dare you show your face here," I might have made only one post instead of over two thousand posts. I would be less than I am now, and my BH would most certainly suffer for it.

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

posts: 2136   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8698385
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 2:22 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

I wrote above:

the most helpful stuff I’ve read here often is posted by someone else’s WW.

And then Brave Sir Robin wrote:

…..BHs hitting further and further below the belt in the name of "helping" him. There's a vocal group who make it crystal clear that a commitment to D is the only ticket to sit at the Real Man table. BH decided early on that he wanted to try for R, and he had no interest in anyone painting him graphic pictures of me in bed with someone else. He knew it already and had nightly mind movies in gutting Technicolor. He certainly didn't need to be reminded of it. He also didn't want to sift through wildly inaccurate accusations that were manufactured out of thin air. It made him feel like he'd have to defend me, which he was in no mood to do.

^^THAT x 1000. It happens EVERY SINGLE DAY here. This repetitious affair porn masked as advice makes it hard for the betrayed husbands to post to seek help here and impossible for WW to even read here, never mind post.

Brave Sir Robin once again nails it.

[This message edited by Wiseoldfool at 2:56 PM, Sunday, November 14th]

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

posts: 145   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8698388
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 3:16 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

he had no interest in anyone painting him graphic pictures of me in bed with someone else.

BSR covered it well. But this point hits hard. I’ve not missed a day here in over 2 years and the graphic descriptions are still very painful to read. A new BS or WS needs guidance out of the mess they are in not a recap of it, as some stranger sees it.

Dday Sept 7 2019 working toward R
BH 54 WW 48
M 30 years, 4 kids 2 grown 2 grandkids

posts: 873   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8698393
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 3:47 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

SOS, respectfully, your post is exactly the kind of unhelpful post I was discussing.

It sounds like you still have much hurt and anger to work through that gets projected here on to the other WS's. I wish you well on your journey.

posts: 205   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8698395
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 3:54 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

One of the problems I see is WSes not using the STOP sign in WS. That opens them up to within-guidelines attacks from WSes. A WS can prevent the attacks, though. The facility is available. I just wish it would be used more.

*****

Also, it's important not to read anything here to imply that SI is about R. Someone above wrote that that the purpose of the Reconciliation forum is to help couples reconcile - that's the 'purpose of the R forum', not the 'purpose of SI'.

The purpose of the D/S forum is, I would bet (I don't know because I don't go there more than once a year), to help people D or S.

IOW, specific forums have specific goals. SI itself is about thriving after surviving infidelity, whether you R, D, or whatever.

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 8698396
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ISurvivedSoFar ( member #56915) posted at 4:08 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

Let's not confuse the meaning of "take what you need and leave the rest". It isn't a commentary on the tone of responses. That is a completely separate issue. It means that something that worked for somebody may work for you. But not everything that worked for somebody else will necessarily work for you.

__________________________________________________

What I find special about this site is taking the information in the aggregate and sussing out the common threads that seem to work. I also found it really helpful when people would come in and gently tell me that I needed to look at things differently.

And it became especially helpful to me when I could marry the WS and BS perspective. If they are of two folks here as a couple great but frankly I'm not sure that is necessary to get the most out of the perspectives of each party.

Confession: I have more than once told my WS to go post one of his ideas (early on after d-day) on SI in the Wayward forum. He of course got a reaction that was unintended. I chose to leave it go and let the items play out without comment. He needed to get advice separate from me. I didn't think it was right to play out our issues publicly in terms of responding directly to his post. However, it absolutely helped him to realize that my assertions were not far fetched and were indeed supported by former WS's who had done the work. That got him to dig deeper.

In that way we were able to leverage the good folks on SI to help out.

__________________________________________________

If I may, I think part of the issue is when a person gets called out for saying something that is too harsh without countering it with a calling out of an equally asserted harsh comment. Right here on this thread that is happening and it feels like there is preferential treatment.

[This message edited by ISurvivedSoFar at 11:26 AM, November 14th (Sunday)]

[This message edited by ISurvivedSoFar at 5:26 PM, Sunday, November 14th]

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 8698397
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 WalkinOnEggshelz (original poster administrator #29447) posted at 4:19 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

sickofsurviving will not be returning to this thread.

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 8698399
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prissy4lyfe ( member #46938) posted at 4:30 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

Thank you ISSF for your last post. I have been debating whether or not to post because honestly.

If your R doesn't look like getting back together. Then it's not welcome.

You think your BW was a whore ..your not welcome.

You think your BH is a POS ..not welcome

You think R is staying for your chidren..not welcome.

Staying, and it's not what others believe is "right" and you come here to vent...you will get your ass ate up. And you will be called codependent, your sanity will be questioned, you will be asked why you continue to sign up for abuse, your parenthood will be questioned, etc.

Be a man and admit your struggling with self esteem connected with your wife's choice to cheat...oh boy!

Be a woman and be choosing to stay for the kids....you better no your codependent.

Believe your WS choice was about you...well obviously you have no self esteem.

How can the partner show up when it's been made clear that the BS is not safe here?

If, as ISSF, shared the most vulnerable of the two doesn't feel able to share here why would they invite The other here? have given this site to friends...and it wasn't the words of the WSs here that the wayward partner used to beat the BS? It was those of other BSs...using the examples ABOVE! It was heart breaking. And continues to be.

[This message edited by prissy4lyfe at 4:39 PM, Sunday, November 14th]

posts: 2017   ·   registered: Feb. 24th, 2015   ·   location: Virginia
id 8698404
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 WalkinOnEggshelz (original poster administrator #29447) posted at 4:37 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

How can the partner show up when it's been made clear that the BS is not safe here?

I will pose the question then; how do we as a community change this?

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 8698406
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zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 4:43 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

WOES you are a gem!!!!

From my early days here and on, reading posts from the WWs who were doing the work really helped me with my healing and to move on from my anger. I do think the BS is entitled to anger in the beginning but is not helpful to get stuck there.

I also experienced members saying awful things and calling me names when I was asking for kindness and support. My crime was being the parent of a possible WW. I know it was just strangers typing words but I am embarrassed to say I was in such a bad way that it brought me to tears.

I think people do a lot of projecting and don't think about the person on the other side of the keyboard. Words really can hurt. Even from strangers.

I did share this site with my H but this is not his thing. I shared some of the content with him and discussed it so I think we did both gain insight from SI and for that I am very grateful.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 2516   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8698407
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 5:15 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

I will pose the question then; how do we as a community change this?

That’s a tough question we definitely don’t want to fill the boards with members reprimanding each other. I have on a couple of occasions called a member out for an egregious comment, but for the most part I believe in staying in my lane.

Dday Sept 7 2019 working toward R
BH 54 WW 48
M 30 years, 4 kids 2 grown 2 grandkids

posts: 873   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8698410
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 5:35 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

I will pose the question then; how do we as a community change this?

On a site such as this, I imagine it would be quite a difficult task. In most cases, pain and misery are the default emotions. I don’t think that the majority of posters are mean spirited, hateful people.

Unfortunately it’s often very difficult to separate your emotions from your logical side when something triggers you. Infidelity is a pain like no other.

I gets a little easier the further out you get but many choose to step away from SI because they’ve gotten what they’ve needed and have moved on.

The best that most of us can do is be kind. Make folks feel welcome and try not to be overly critical in tone, at least at first.

Me -FWS

posts: 1878   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8698414
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ISurvivedSoFar ( member #56915) posted at 5:37 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

We all have to take responsibility for our own actions and to remind ourselves to restructure a comment that may be interpreted badly. That's not easy when delivering a tough message.

I will pose the question then; how do we as a community change this?

In additional there are Mods on this site for a reason. Sometimes we have to get tough in order to make this a safe place for the majority. My experience and observation indicate that it isn't easy to be a Mod on this site when dealing with such highly charged emotions in the participants here. And I want to take a moment to laud the efforts of each Mod who volunteers their time to manage a very large group of people.

That said I see behaviors that go unchecked everywhere. I mentioned some and we certain have identified other instances where name calling is allowed. It shouldn't be - ever. It makes one feel bullied and unsafe. It also makes one interpret their feelings as wrong rather than perhaps misguided or mixed up as part of cognitive dissonance.

Stricter adherence to the rules AND more reporting/eliminating violators. Examples of a better way to position something right in the stream of a thread may help as well.

I hope the Mods have thick skin - we are a tough crowd.

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 8698415
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 5:38 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

I will pose the question then; how do we as a community change this?

Perhaps by using the private message function more. If we take our concerns directly to the offending poster, it keeps it off the threads. Also, could be helpful in alerting a member to where they're stuck in their process.

If the behavior in the thread is truly egregious, yes, let's call it out in the thread. If it's merely the harsh 2x4 kind, perhaps taking the concern directly to the offending poster is best.

posts: 205   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8698416
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 6:54 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

I will pose the question then; how do we as a community change this?

Honestly, as a BH, from my perspective, it is the betrayed spouses here that most commonly make posts that are destructive. Sure, there have been plenty of waywards with unhelpful nonsense, but they get torched and either reform or disappear. The persistent regular offenders are betrayeds who go about telling everyone else that how they feel, what they did, and what they believe, is the only true and right way. It is so predictable it would be funny if we weren’t dealing with real people with real problems. It is almost as if there is a race to be the first betrayed to say, "DNA test your kids" or "put a VAR in his/her car" or "they are lying, there’s more, there’s always more" or, my personal favorite, "your wife spread her legs so another man could penetrate her, and she came home with his DNA in her." These refrains are offered regardless of the facts given, the legality of the advice given, or the usefulness of the advice to the thread.

I think the moderators are going to have to police the repetitive, mean spirited, unhelpful, and strong-arming posts with warnings and ultimately ban hammers. Posts that are rigidly "do this, not that," posts that demean a member or a member’s spouse as a human, posts that conjure up imaginary wrongs strictly to convince the audience of the "righteousness" of the commentator or his/her argument, all of those should be prohibited, per se.

That is not to say that a member should be discouraged from posting their own personal story and what they learned from it and what they perhaps would have been better off knowing sooner. Those things are helpful. Part of what we can do here is help people not learn everything the hard way. That kind of post reads like this, generally, "It was my experience, with my WW/WH, that they were very ashamed of what they had done and they did not want to cause me more pain, so they justified more lying and lied about what they had already lied about, so consider that there could be more…." Or "my WW/WH was never able to understand the gravity of what they had done to me, and I chose to end my marriage…." One could even imagine, “When I found out my WW/WH had done xxx, I felt humiliated/angry/hopeless…that kind of feeling isn’t unusual around here…..”

That is also not to say that a vent post shouldn’t be a safe place to vent. I never used this place to vent, but I went for a lot of long walks and must have looked like a madman raging at the clouds, but that’s me.

It is a small group of the same members, over and over, doing the same things, over and over, that create 80% of the vitriol that I see. Change that small group of members’ behavior or ban them, you’ll change the culture of the entire forum.

There is so much accumulated wisdom, so much goodwill, so much support here that it is a shame that a small group of dedicated hijackers are even requiring the attention of this thread.

[This message edited by Wiseoldfool at 7:57 PM, Sunday, November 14th]

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

posts: 145   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8698425
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 7:19 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

Ban the word “Cuck” nothing makes my blood boil more than a BH being called a cuck. To suggest that any of us get off on our W being with another man is disgusting. There is no use for that word ever to be used in the context of infidelity.

Dday Sept 7 2019 working toward R
BH 54 WW 48
M 30 years, 4 kids 2 grown 2 grandkids

posts: 873   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8698430
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DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 8:01 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

This is a great thread, and I find the responses so far both surprising (in some cases), and fascinating.

Let me start by saying that I honestly believe that had I not discovered SI, and if the good people on SI had not shared their honest viewpoints and opinions with me, I don't think I would have accomplished nearly the amount of recovery that I was able to. For me, it took a village. I needed IC and MC. I needed SI. I needed the support my wife offered. I needed all the books and videos and Retrouvaille and the access to other WS's... I needed all of it. For me however, despite unbelievable growth and change in IC, I still see SI as the guidebook that brought everything together for me. There were "old timers" here who had the experience and success that I wanted so desperately, and I wanted to model my own recovery after them. There were also many, many WS's who simply did not "get it" and I also got to see how things ended for them. I did not want to be in that group.

Here's my opinion on new WS's and how we approach them. It is my opinion that the success or failure of any given WS on this site begins and ends with themselves. Like any other "new thing" someone encounters in life, you have to WANT this in order for it to work. In the same way that you can't just pick up a bow and start playing the violin the first time you see one, you also can't just jump on this site and decide to stay or go based on how difficult or friendly it is. Learning violin is hard... there are no frets, no indicators to make things easier. Using the bow is unintuitive, subtle, and requires that you build new skills in order to manage the precision needed. And while you're trying to play with no frets and no tactile contact with the strings, you also need to manage to balance that thing under your chin, maintain proper angles, and oh... that's right, read and play music beautifully at the same time. If you pick up that bow for the first time, drag it across the strings and make a sound like a dying cat, you can either give up, or dig in and work harder. It is my belief that most people will give up in short order. Those that stick with it, will succeed. But don't blame the violin for who goes and who stays. The violin isn't easier for some and harder for others... it stays the same. You are either a quitter or a survivor. Survivors stay and are willing to fail again and again, take the 2x4's, learn the lessons, and through that hard work, succeed. Those that quit... never really wanted it enough to begin with. If you believe that there is something we could say or do that would drive new WS's away, then ask yourself this... does that mean there is a thing to say that would make them stay instead? I feel that every person has to make that choice, and that decision. to stay and work, or toss their hands up in defeat. Ultimately, we are only responsible for ourselves. BS's cannot force their WS's to change. WS's cannot force their BS's to stay. In that same way, we cannot make others (new members) go or stay. We can only offer a resource to them. What they do or do not do with that opportunity, is up to them.

Personally, I found that having the ability to read my wife's posts and the responses given to her, and vice versa, to be one of the most helpful things. It was also commonly the most painful and discouraging thing, but that's not her fault or SI's fault. Things hurt me because I put myself in a position to be hurt, that's what happens when you betray someone else. WS's get all pissy and hurt when people point out what they did and try to discuss it, but if we're not here to do that very thing, then what are we here for? In my opinion and experience, a WS cannot even begin to heal until they can accept, address and own their feelings and choices. Honestly, and you may disagree, but I feel the answers that need to be found (in order to heal) have very little to do with infidelity anyway. In many cases, infidelity wasn't the core problem to begin with, it was a symptom, an outcome, of a much bigger problem. That bigger problem is that the WS lacks the integrity, the healthy boundaries, the self respect and the empathy that a healthy person needs to survive and live a life where they respect themselves and others, and this is usually the sign of deep seated emotional issues and trauma. We aren't fixing cheaters here, that just happens to be the way their brokenness manifested itself. We are helping people who are fundamentally broken. And that's a damn, damn hard thing to do, even more so when they don't realize how broken they are to begin with, or when they don't really want to be different. Again, we can't provide the motivation or the dedication required, we can only provide advice and support.

Facing honest, raw and sometimes brutal emotional emotions from a BS is hard, sure. But in my experience, it is also necessary. How can a WS possibly begin to understand the depth and breadth of their actions unless they face the consequences of their actions directly? The BS was never offered any kind of grace when they had to face the brutality of what was done to them. No one was there for them when they found that note, read that email, caught them in the act... why are they not allowed to express their anger, their hurt, their utter devastation, to the people that hurt them, or others like them? Honestly, as much as it may have hurt at the time, I thank every person here, WS or BS, who took the time, and had the courage and fortitude, to tell the truth to my face about who I was, what I did, and how I was deluding myself. Because my brain wasn't having it at the time, wasn't buying it, wasn't believing it, and so I needed to hear that pain over and over and over again. Until it sank in. Until it made a dent in that armor of mine.

If not for the caring people here, the ones who offered a hug, and the ones who offered a 2x4, I am positive that my wife and I would not be together today. I really am. I thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for being here, and for playing whatever part you played, because it ALL mattered. The good and the bad. Thank you too however, for offering me this simple concept - "You are not a bad person, you did a bad thing. Do things differently, and you'll be a different person." It's true. And it's not a hard concept. But it is hard to accept when you've never seen yourself as worthy. We all live up to our own expectations. I can only speak for myself, but when you've been told you don't matter your entire life... how are you supposed to rise above that without some kind of new paradigm being presented in a way that forces you to take notice? My wife always says, "People don't change until they have to." I believe that to be true. Many WS come here not realizing that they need to fundamentally change. They just think they need to do or say the right thing(s), and that will "fix" the thing they did wrong and that it will all be okay. It doesn't work that way. And allowing that point of view to remain intact does a disservice to both the WS and BS.

Some folks have noted that there seems to be an "SI formula" for healing, that we expect that formula to work for everyone. For me, I don't see a better way to recover from infidelity than promoting honesty, accountability, empathy, integrity, openness, vulnerability, and willingness to listen, grow and change. If anyone here can tell me what's so awful about those things, I welcome your feedback. I believe that if these things had existed in the first place, we would not be here now. And I believe that if they exist in the future, they will form a positive result. And let's be clear, these things won't necessarily save the marriage. SO what? That ship sailed the moment the WS cheated anyway. Regardless of whether you R or D, this work is still needed. The WS will continue to be a danger to themselves and others until they fix these things.

The only element of SI that I struggle with is the occasional acceptance of posts and opinions which I personally feel are harmful to both WS and BS. For example, the concept that one can heal and grow without addressing their sins and faults. Those that don't confess and yet claim to be reconciled is a good example. Those that think D is the only respectable solution. Ideas like these rob the agency from the WS's and BS's that they are addressed towards. They promote lying, demolish accountability, stifle personal love and growth, and mislead others into thinking that "broken is okay" and that "we're saving others from pain". Unaddressed pain is called PTSD, and not confessing is called actively still lying. We cannot fix pain by ignoring it. We cannot grow by hiding. I'm not sure what the answer is when these topics come up, but just like working through infidelity in the marriage, it starts with a commitment to do the hard things it takes to succeed.

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 8698433
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 8:35 PM on Sunday, November 14th, 2021

DaddyDom,

Thanks for your insight. I can’t speak to arriving here as a wayward, so I accept most of your comments at face value.

The one thing I quibble with is the violin analogy. A violin is an inanimate object. The members here are not.

A violin does not project its own situation onto another violin, or race about making sure every violin is just as miserable as it is, or assume that every new violin player is just as malevolent, naive, or stupid as the one violin player it has ever partnered with. A violin doesn’t assume that one lazy and petulant violin owner means all other violin owners are the same. A violin doesn’t proselytize its ideology onto other violins.

That said, I do agree that a person has to want change to sustain the effort to achieve change. Being held accountable by the people who have done the hard work can be an integral part of improving oneself.

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

posts: 145   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8698436
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