Yes Sisoon, that’s what I meant. I mean we all need a break from reality periodically. And, some of us need a break from ourselves and preexisting pain, mental anguish. A spouse should be your primary source of help with that too, should be a source of refuge, and salve.
There’s healthy pursuits to take a break from reality (I define reality has the day-in-day-out grind of life). None of these pursuits should be at a detriment to your marriage or harmful to your spouse. Many pursuits can be WITH your spouse (vacations, watching a movie together, sex-and all it’s manifestations, romance, date nights, enrichment activities, travel, exploration and adventure, etc.)
When someone cheats they aren’t just taking a break from reality, they are escaping reality altogether, crossing bridges and burning them down in their wake, leaving their BS, and all they have to offer, far behind.
I think many WS’s are escaping themselves and their pain
Are they in escape from, or in pursuit of, something. Or, are they escaping one thing by pursuing another? Are they escaping from pain by pursuing the highs of an affair or, are they escaping boredom, restlessness, or lack of fulfillment? Or, are they just chronically unfulfilled? Why are they chronically unfulfilled? Or, do they just lack healthful coping skills?
I think many of us suffer, by degrees, all the above but most deal with it by running TO our spouses, or away WITH our spouses, not from our spouses. We all need some healthy alone time periodically, but I think if you find yourself needing progressively more, and more time away from your spouse, that’s a red flag. I think if you escape into the arms of a bartender, a dealer, or an affair partner, you’re not going to get the help you need.
When Escapism becomes unhealthy, to me, is when you’re escape takes you from your spouse, your primary source of refuge and salve, or when your escape is hurting others.