My wife has a long list of ex boyfriends, dated a lot in high school into college until we met… So I was going to say that she knows she is desirable with all that attention.
Not necessarily. I mean, you would think so, but not necessarily.
Insecurity is like a bottomless pit of despair you can futilely try and fill with novel validation.
If it’s not a form of insecurity, but more of a form of chronic depression from FOO issues or past traumas, the same applies. Like an addict, they use unhealthy forms of temporary analgesia or escape (ie drinking, drugs, gambling, binge shopping, SEX, STRs OR LIMERENT ROMANCE)
The limerence phase of new encounters gives them a potent, but brief, temporary rush that later recedes and back into their hole they go. So, you’ll see a pattern or history of frequent short term relationships, sometimes with overlap or very little break between relationships (Monkey branching). Sometimes the relationships can be abusive which compounds preexisting trauma and insecurities.
Sometimes they know they are attractive, but feel they are not valued for anything else other than sex. Sex becomes transactional. I’ve seen this a lot in sexual assault trauma victims.
There are so many variations of contributing factors that go into infidelity, or addiction. That’s where a good therapist comes in.
There are some problems that are just too big to fix in the remains of a lifetime. Sometimes you have to settle for less than expected. Sometimes you have to cut your losses and divorce. These are agonizing decisions that don’t become clear-if they ever become clear, until you’ve been in the R trenches for a while.
I agree, your WW, many WSs, aren’t going to, or aren’t capable of, having some epiphany and just suddenly pick themselves up by their bootstraps, become The Model Wayward and just start kicking ass in the remorse, caregiver and reconciliation department especially, after such a disastrous and mutually and self-destructive failing.
The Model Ex-Waywards we have here on SI, paying it forward, came to their station after a long arduous journey, some did it alone, self motivated, and some with the help, support and patience of their BSs, a journey of healing taken together. But why-how? Did they give their BSs some sort of sign, a glimmer of hope? Did they show, early on, a glimmer of potential or, did they just get lucky to have a BS who had some form of codependence, or perhaps for some reason the BS decided to ride it out until the R gained traction until it took on a self-perpetuating momentum.
My R did not. It just went into a steady rate of decline.
My advice is to stay on your present course. Do exactly as you so eloquently described. Guide her gently, delicately. Don’t lead her by the nose, but give her the tools, the feedback she needs to succeed. Don’t just throw her in the deep end and watch her flail while ridiculing her. Continue to be a traumatized BS with all the triggers, bouts of depression, etc, etc, but make sure she understands that this is normal, to be expected, and not necessarily permanent especially, if she is lovingly patient and progressively remorseful. Your trauma should be a validating sign that you care, deeply care, always cared.
Work together as a team. If you’re seeing progress, stay the course. If not, don’t languish too long in a perpetual limbo state smoking that Hopium Pipe. Cut your losses and get the hell out of there.
[This message edited by RealityBlows at 4:51 PM, Friday, March 10th]