I was going to leave your examples of my "deflections" alone, but I genuinely don’t understand them, so I thought I should respond as it may help me sort it out in my own head.
I get this completely…and don’t want to cause a conundrum for you between responding (and potentially doing the same behavior as I’m trying to give as an example) vs sitting alone in your head with something you just don’t understand/get. My main and personal concern is to not JUST keep triggering you into old behavior.
I don't ask that to be argumentative; I genuinely don’t understand your perspective.
I also get this and believe it so I don’t want that aspect to be lost. Ultimately there’s a general shift I’m trying to encourage in your perspective…and that’s a process of coming to understand that you - through truly discovering your own authenticity - don’t need to self-protect the way you necessarily believe you need to do. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t affected by your wife’s behaviors…it means that you don’t have to be affected to the degree you are. And again, I believe you are making this shift. It, too, just takes time.
As another example…can you see the difference between asking this question - a very fair request for clarification, btw…
Why do you think my wife having an affair isn’t a measurable absolute for her love and respect for me?
And then following that with this?…
She was swallowing another man’s cum and then coming home and kissing me. She was having unprotected sex with another man—a serial cheater—and then gleefully sitting on my face. She sent me a nude photograph of herself for me to masterbate to just before having a four hour sex session with him.
I already know most of these things…they’ve been referenced numerous times so having this info is not necessary to clarify the situation. I’m also a BS that has experienced multiple betrayals. I get it…and perhaps the issue that needs clarification is whether or not you sense/believe that. But unless you really doubt that then I think this type of rebuttal/redirection is predominantly serving as a deflection. (And I hope this example also serves as to why I don’t want to push you. Doubling down on these aspects are the last thing I want to provoke you to do - unless those aspects are independently, and regardless of your wife’s current behavior, deal-breakers. If the latter is the case then we need to be having different discussions.)
Yes, the behaviors that your wife engaged while in her affair do demonstrate a lack of regard and respect for you. But they predominantly demonstrate a lack of respect and regard for herself. If she’s not genuinely operating out of her self-respect, self-regard, then she will never be able to authentically hold that same space for you. So while you are focused on primarily how this affects you, I am trying to emphasis how the relationship with herself is the driving factor for *her behavior*. I get that it all seems central and paramount *to you* but I’m trying to show you that in the bigger picture you are just the collateral damage.
This is why I challenged you earlier with the idea of what do you value more (if you had to choose, I get that you are hoping to see both)…her authenticity or that she changes her behavior - and particularly as to make you feel better. Can you see the pressure here that’s on your wife? Can you see how that pressure triggers her old childhood issues? And I won’t even speak to how changes that aren’t authentic create a bedrock of resentments that only fester and later end up eeking out in other ways.
None of this is to negate your feelings or your desires. And it certainly isn’t to give your wife a pass on her issues. She may authentically change, she may not. None of us have anyway of knowing - and certainly not by reading the tea leaves daily. This is the unknown territory you are in; you do have other choices. I truly have no dog in that fight so there’s no possible way or even reason to advise you in that aspect.
I’m just trying to offer some suggestions on how to get the most out of this experience since it has been thrust upon you. I’m also listening to the things you are saying - taken completely at face value - and trying to offer some advise - in both perspective and subsequently, reactions - so as not to further contribute to the things you don’t want. At the same time, it’s not beneficial for you to behave inauthentically either…so that’s why sincerely focusing on yourself and working on your own issues/growth is paramount. You have your own "lessons" in this "class" to master. You seem to think that fixing your wife will fix this for you, will get you out of this "classroom". It won’t. And so long as you both are focusing g on her, it’s quite likely that you aren’t working in tandem. IOW, it’s likely actually harmful/counter-productive.
Get out of her way, DrS. Let her be and then hopefully she will become. Deal internally with your own idea of what you need from her and, more importantly, WHY. (Go beyond just the logistics in that exploration.). Focus on shoring up those needs inside yourself - independent of her behavior. Understand that all your experiences outside are just reflections of your internal world. (Ever wondered why some things really bother you wheareas others don’t? It’s less about the things themselves and more about our internal assignments of their meaning. This is what I was trying to convey with the example of security pre dday vs post.)
You’re being called to do this inner work; it’s what’s being asked of all us BSs. But we won’t get there - and worse we will continue to get the test in one experience or another - until we do the work and actually pass on our own. This is YOUR lesson. View it through that lens and change your focus and then every aspect of this situation will have real value. ❤️
[This message edited by truthsetmefree at 7:19 PM, Sunday, July 17th]