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Wayward Side :
Shame and empathy

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Luckycline ( new member #74682) posted at 6:20 PM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

My WS left before DDAY giving me the old "I don't know if I love you anymore" speech. I found everything a month later by digging around in her search history on her Google account.

Before DDAY she showed some empathy still. A tornado hit nearby and she asked if I was safe and seemed very concerned.

After Dday it turned into full on contempt and hatred, then to me being abusive in her eyes when I heard from her for the last time over a year later.

I think to trick yourself into thinking it's ok to cheat on your partner you really have to brainwash yourself somehow to avoid the shame. I really don't envy waywards and their disconnection from reality just to protect their egos and emotions.

I can see how without doing the work that that can become a common defense mechanism, which is honestly not a great tactic if you want long stable relationships in your life.

Me: BS Late 20s
Her: WS Late 20s. EA/PA

Married - 7 years
DDay - 6/21/2019
Separated - 05/19/2019
Filed for D - 6/24/2019
11/19 - DIVORCED

posts: 41   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2020
id 8729401
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 5:52 PM on Wednesday, April 13th, 2022

Buck,

I want to settle down to become a decent husband and be in my marriage to the mutual benefit of both of us. I want to associate only with safe friends and family and live the rest on my life with my wife. I understand BS does not believe what I say and that this will take years to come anywhere close to fixing, if ever. I/we have a lot of work to do before we can consider ourselves to be in a normal relationship. For many years I believed I was in the marriage. I believed that while I was having affairs and using porn I was still looking after my duties as a husband and my behaviour outside of the marriage was not impacting my BS at all. Don't get me wrong, I knew that what I was doing was wrong and I knew if discovered it would have a major impact on my wife. What I refused to do was to actually see the abuse I was subjecting my wife to while neglecting her and staying firmly focused on me.

Post 2017 I have deflected and denied I have Lied on and omitted important information from my timeline and my feelings. I did not want to do "the work" because this was hard and painful. I wanted everything to "go away" and would defend my lies with anger and more lies.

I hope that everything I'm doing now will help me become a more focussed individual and prioritise BS over myself and to do the right thing every day. I am very broken. My infidelity has not only hurt my wife and destroyed our marriage but has impacted on other innocent people too. I want to put an end to my abusive cycle. I hope that my BS can see the work I am doing and the changes I'm making and has the strength to allow me back into her heart and to love me again somewhere close to how she once did.

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs, Two physical affairs (2000). D-Day's 2003, August '17, multiple discoveries through 2018,19 and 20, and Jan 21

posts: 175   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8729573
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 6:20 PM on Wednesday, April 13th, 2022

I think to trick yourself into thinking it's ok to cheat on your partner you really have to brainwash yourself somehow to avoid the shame.

Yes, justifications seemed to come easily. I was convinced that I was unhappy in my relationship when conducting my physical affairs. I would focus on things that BS did wrong or if she had not done something I wanted. I split my life into, what I thought was, two distinct areas. My life with BS and my life outside of this relationship. This was of course wrong. Both from a cheating point of view and my assumption of them not impaction on one another. A complex web of lies and utterly removing sections of my life from reality. These sections, disconnections as you call them, soon became my whole life. Everything being impacted by my infidelity, and yet I still refused to see it.

I really don't know how far in this disconnected world I'm still in. I've been dragged out of it kicking and screaming and only recently did I see any light at the end of the tunnel. I have a long walk ahead of me. I'm lucky that I still have BS by my side to be my motivation to improve myself. Without her I will still be deep in the mire.

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs, Two physical affairs (2000). D-Day's 2003, August '17, multiple discoveries through 2018,19 and 20, and Jan 21

posts: 175   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8729584
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3yrsout ( member #50552) posted at 4:16 AM on Thursday, April 14th, 2022

Now 10 years out.

The only time I would think a truly empathetic WS exists is when they decide to leave their betrayed partner.

Think of it as putting down a dog with a horrible tumor in its mouth that would preclude it from eating, and will only get bigger and more painful. Instead, you treat the cancer and keep the dog miserable. Hey, you might be adding years to the BS marriage, but we are dead inside at different levels. Because there was a part of my life where no one cared for me, and I was totally stupid about it. I. Was. Dumb. I am like a 95 year old with dementia and hip fractures keeping me bedridden being coded. Because he went full code on the marriage after killing it. And now I’m with the man who shot our marriage. And it survived but is oh so fucked up. And I watched it die. And felt that moment of peace when it did. But then shit, beep beep beep, it has a rhythm again. And now it’s a bit brain deader.

This is oh so painful. It’s been a cancer in my heart, and I will never recover from the scar. I’m alive, doing what a good wife and mother does. But the love part of me died. If he had truly been empathetic, understanding and doing the right thing for me, he should have left, not tried to reconcile. He cut off my hands so he could keep his. I’m crippled. He probably thinks trying to reconcile as a half empathetic person is better than leaving me, but it wasn’t. And each painful idiotic fuck up from a man who needed to know humanity masters level shit, but was happy he made a C in Humanity 101, each mild fuck up is a reminder that I keep trying because it’s not dead yet.

Sometimes the end is more peaceful than trying to save it. Sometimes you save it and you brought back A half dead zombie, like Pet Cemetery style.

I wish my WH had left without telling me why. It would have been easier for me. I would have less questions. That would be empathy.

But now it’s alive and not dead. So I keep feeding it.

I think every BS has some level of this, even the few that use religion to make peace with it and seem truly at peace. All of the rest of us are zombies and know it. They just don’t know they’re zombies.

posts: 623   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2015
id 8729689
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3yrsout ( member #50552) posted at 4:31 AM on Thursday, April 14th, 2022

Another example of this would be a meth addicted battering mom holding onto the abused kids because she thinks she will change.

Is that empathy for the kids? A truly empathetic mom would know the risks are too high, and would leave. Or fix herself with multiple stop gaps for the safety of the kids (have CPS do weekly checks on them to hold herself accountable, etc).

True empathy would be understanding she is likely to fail and hurt them further. And leaving them with a great new home. Like adoption. Sometimes it’s very kind. Granting the BS a kind and overly fair Divorce is like giving up a kid for adoption when you are unfit.

[This message edited by 3yrsout at 4:33 AM, Thursday, April 14th]

posts: 623   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2015
id 8729692
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