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Patience vs doormat.

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blakesteele posted 5/10/2013 00:53 AM

When does one turn into the other?

I get the sense that I, a BS, am actually coming out of a fog.

Its almost as if the fog for me was...is that part of me that does not want to see my wifes actions (past and present) for what they truly are. Much like my wife did not want to see her actions within the A for what THEY were.

The part that I have been pondering is this....

A fog is a defense mechanism...right? WS use it to compartmentalize and justify what they know to be morally wrong so that they may continue to engage in it. It CAN also be used by a WS to soften the edge as they dissolve this unhealthy relationship and see what they thought they had in a soul mate is actually false intimacy...an intimacy that they thought was so strong and so very real at one point in their life that they literally bet everything in their world on it. By embracing the fog, the WS run the risk of taking too long to snap out of it and the BS losing patience and chose to disolve the M before the fog lifts. We all know divorced people that later thought differently about their decision...we have members here who divorced and are now in real R. (love to have them post to this thread...see if I am way off base here).

WS fog is absolutely self centered and destructive to the marriage...no exception.

BS fog, as I feel this out, is similar in that it is also a defense mechanism. We use it to soften the edge of the reality that a person we loved and were committed to could be so destructive to us and our family. But by embracing OUR fog we run the risk of allowing a WS, that already has poor coping mechanisms, to rug sweep and stop doing any internal growth because BS fog insulates them from the real pain that is involved.

So the pain of how they acted pre-A (unhealthy) is LESS than the pain post-A (healthy) because BS in a fog lessen the pain with their continued showing of love and support...thus no real change occurs and old patterns take back over...

All the while the BS THINKS R is occurring because this fog, unlike the WS fog, is making BOTH people feel better...the WS is comforted by the reduction of pain being expressed by the BS...afterall, there is no one screaming FOUL! In reality, it is a house of cards as fragile as the one our WS built during the hayday of their A.

continued below...

[This message edited by blakesteele at 1:15 AM, May 10th (Friday)]

blakesteele posted 5/10/2013 01:07 AM

Now...here is the kicker.

Gods direction is to live like Jesus did. He instructs us to allow his grace and mercy to flow through us and shine on those that do us harm.

Unlike the WS fog, which serves ONLY the WS....the BS fog can serve both WS and BS and, thus, be constructive to the M.

To be sure...the BS fog is self-serving too, but it also has some basis on the desire to save the M and committment surrounding that (the family).

The BS fog can buy the M some time...as it allows the BS to be much more patient for the WS to embrace the facts of their actions...patient in that it allows the BS the ability to roll with the TTing and NC breaks.

But at what point do we cross over that point from wanting to maintain integrity and honor our vows and God given directions into the position of a doormat?

This is a long post...and I may be off base here. But something different is happening within me with regards to my M...and how I am viewing what my reality is.

God be with me. God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 1:19 AM, May 10th (Friday)]

catlover50 posted 5/10/2013 01:13 AM

I think you have a point. I think we naturally have our own defense mechanisms. I've lived through it and have seen a lot of people here go through it. I'm not even sure it's a bad thing; maybe it's too much to handle all at once.

It seems a lot of us go through similar cycles, much like with grief.

Eventually when we are able to face our new reality, we are lucky if we have a truly remorseful WS. But we still need new rules for going forward, boundaries, etc.

I'm getting to acceptance. Now I'm determined that the old coping mechanisms and unhealthy communication styles are improved, so that not only is infidelity less likely to darken our door in the future, but that this hard fought "new, improved" marriage has a solid foundation.

blakesteele posted 5/10/2013 01:22 AM

(((catlover50)))

Thank you for stopping by and dropping off some more kind words.

God be with us all.

ItsaClimb posted 5/10/2013 05:44 AM

Such an interesting topic this. I am busy coming out of a 28 year fog right now too. Interesting that our D-Days are so close together and we are both dealing with this issue right now - maybe it's a 9month post D-day "thing"?

I have so many thoughts about BS fog going through my head at the moment and am slowly trying to make some sense of it all.

I think there is a very fine line between being a kind, loving spouse, making the compromises necessary to co-habit peacefully with another person, and becoming a door-mat who lives in a fog in order to allow oneself to maintain the (sometimes false) belief that one is in a happy relationship.

Personally, I am realising that for a long, long time (28 years!) I have "papered-over the cracks" and have made excuses for extremely poor behaviour on the part of my H, so that in my (severely deluded) head he can still be my Prince Charming. In a way the A has done me a favour as the brutality of it has FORCED me to acknowledge the hurt he has caused me, and once that ball got rolling there was no stopping it.

Having said that, the temptation now is to re-write marital history and see our marriage and him as ALL bad. Which is also not a fair picture at all - in many ways over the years he HAS been a good husband and we have had many happy times in-between the big, ugly dramas he has created.

Right now I am working hard on trying to establish the TRUE nature of my marriage. I am trying to see the TRUE man that I am married to i.e. the man that is neither Prince Charming, nor Hannibal Lecter, but the guy somewhere in-between. The real, flawed, arrogant, weak, stupid, most-times kind, helpful, loving, funny guy I married is in there somewhere, if I can only unravel the fantasies I have created around him and push to one side the grim, dark picture my pain is painting over him.

Now the challenge lies in deciding whether I can live with that guy, the REAL guy. I need to decide if I can accept him warts and all (provided of course that he is as willing as he now claims to be to work HARD on fixing the faults that are just completely NOT acceptable.) Because there is no way I am willing to go back to being the doormat I have so willingly been over the years. There is no way I am going to go on living with my Prince Charming in my head and the lying adulterer in my bed...

If I am going to continue in this marriage I have to find that fine line - the line that involves patience, forgiveness and compromise, but NOT toxic love, co-dependency and humiliation.

It's a tough one!

SimpleTruth posted 5/10/2013 06:08 AM

I am very interested in reading other responses since this is something that I'm struggling with right now.

I have "papered-over the cracks" and have made excuses for extremely poor behaviour on the part of my H, so that in my (severely deluded) head he can still be my Prince Charming. In a way the A has done me a favour as the brutality of it has FORCED me to acknowledge the hurt he has caused me, and once that ball got rolling there was no stopping it.

I did this too and i'm trying to see my WH through clear, un-fogged eyes.

blakesteele posted 5/10/2013 06:20 AM

Itsaclimb....it is by following YOUR posts, your journey that much of this post was conceived.

Thank you for your open, honest, courageous nature...it, along with several other members on this site, has encouraged me to operate the same way.

God be with us all.

GraceisGood posted 5/10/2013 11:14 AM

In my case, my fog was a direct result of my need to line up reality with my "idea" of what my life was/should be. It was used to keep the status quo, to foster the lies I believed about who I was and what my life was/should be.

In response to your thoughts about God/Jesus, etc. Down in F&G today in stupid pics there is a pic that says:

Do No Harm (but take no shit)

I realize the "do no harm" is Buddhist, but I find it very affirming of truth. I have years of "christian" study, Greek, Hebrew, etc.

IMO, Jesus did not "take" anything, he knew what he was doing and why. He had a plan, a purpose and it was all about him, not those around him, he was in control, he could have done a variety of things differently but he chose not to, he stuck to his goal. Herein lies the difference between patience and being a doormat I think.

What is your end goal and how do you want to achieve that? Start with your goal and then behave/think/react/respond accordingly.

The deal is that YOU get to choose, sometimes we do not realize we have some of the choices that we have and we live in a fog of lack of awareness of our choices and we are doormats unwittingly.

something different is happening within me with regards to my M...and how I am viewing what my reality is.

This is good, seriously good stuff here !!

grace

blakesteele posted 5/10/2013 13:12 PM

(((grace))) Thank you so much for chiming in Grace.

Your closing remark comforts me...because this new to me feeling is different then anything I have felt before....still dont have a full grasp of it.

Thank you also for your comments...I now have a new tag line! In a very concise nutshell it clearly defines the differnce between being patient and being a doormat.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 1:15 PM, May 10th (Friday)]

PhoenixRising88 posted 5/10/2013 13:43 PM

Right now I am working hard on trying to establish the TRUE nature of my marriage. I am trying to see the TRUE man that I am married to i.e. the man that is neither Prince Charming, nor Hannibal Lecter, but the guy somewhere in-between. The real, flawed, arrogant, weak, stupid, most-times kind, helpful, loving, funny guy I married is in there somewhere, if I can only unravel the fantasies I have created around him and push to one side the grim, dark picture my pain is painting over him.

Now the challenge lies in deciding whether I can live with that guy, the REAL guy. I need to decide if I can accept him warts and all (provided of course that he is as willing as he now claims to be to work HARD on fixing the faults that are just completely NOT acceptable.) Because there is no way I am willing to go back to being the doormat I have so willingly been over the years. There is no way I am going to go on living with my Prince Charming in my head and the lying adulterer in my bed...

Eloquent, haunting, and right on target... Thank you for sharing this...

Skan posted 5/10/2013 16:40 PM

In some ways, I think that the true work of R is happening for us right now. Papering over the cracks is a really good way to describe a lot of pre-A marital problems. Sorta like that duck image. On the surface, serene and mighty attractive. Under the surface, flailing feet and lots of churning to stay afloat. Our joint, martial fog, allowed us to sail on looking good, but detaching from each other, drifting apart, living the life of married single people with our own interests and goals. Until a crack that was ignored got so big, it became an earthquake. And shattered us.

The A fog started thinning out fast, for me. Change #1 in the marriage occurred about 40 minutes into DDay, when I gave him the ultimatum of immediate change or the door, and I absolutely meant it. His fog started thinning out about Ĺ hour later when we started getting to the nuts and bolts of what immediate change meant for him. And the A fog was on its slow way out.

Then we discovered the marital fog. And boy, was it far reaching and thick. Strangely enough, this is the one that weíve both had problems with. Both of us separately at times, have had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to a mirror to face each of our crap. What a long process, learning to talk to each other again, learning to listen to each other again and not just wait for a pause to talk. Learning to make it safe for each of us to try to be heard. And then, going away for a weekend and now doing follow-ups to learn how to describe and understand feelings that each of us has, which has led us to a whole new dimension that weíve been blessed with.

You said it right, blakesteel, there is something happening, a new wind blowing through our marriage. A very precious and exciting wind. And as scary as it can be to move out of old, familiar ruts, the awareness and knowledge is there that this is a change that HAS, absolutely has to be embraced and explored. Because we know where the old ruts lead. Itís time to take another path to the top of the mountain.

I donít believe that we were made in his image to be doormats. I donít think that being a doormat is kind or respectful to either oneself or others. In kindness, love, and compassion we can say, get help for your addiction, take your children from your abusive house and seek shelter, I refuse to not hold you accountable for shattering your vows and family. Being a doormat in any of these cases would only cause harm to you and to the other. In love, in Christ-like compassion, we can draw our line in the sand and if need be, let another go to learn the lessons that they need to, in their own time, and feel the consequences of their actions and, hopefully, to grow.

sisoon posted 5/10/2013 16:53 PM

I view the 'fog' as 'unwillingness or inability to accept reality'. In essence, a person in a fog is lying to himself/herself. Sometimes little or no harm comes from that, but IMO it is always better to see things as they are.

Any good that comes from lying to oneself is false, because it's based on falsehood. It isn't much different than the 'good' that sometimes comes after an A, probably because that 'good' is based on falsehood, too.

Lying to oneself simply doesn't maintain an M. Authenticity/honesty is the path to surviving infidelity.

[This message edited by sisoon at 4:53 PM, May 10th (Friday)]

laney57 posted 5/10/2013 20:51 PM

To BlakeSteele and all who have responded
Thank you... So much wisdom!

Tripletrouble posted 5/11/2013 14:00 PM

I am struggling with this too. Although WH's remorse is sincere, I am wondering if R will cause me to see a doormat in the mirror for the rest of my life. I wasn't treated well in the first 24 years of my life and swore no one would ever get away with mistreating me again. I don't do victim status. Fast forward 20 years and I simply know myself well enough to know forgiving and forgetting are a million miles apart. Best of luck finding your way forward blakesteele.

ShockedAndHurt posted 5/12/2013 03:21 AM

Thank you for this thread. I am also 9 months post DDay1 and also feel like I'm coming out of a fog, trying to work out the real man.

ItsaClimb, your post really spoke to me. From the outside (ie to friends and members of SI who have replied to my threads) my WH looks like a terrible man who I need to part ways with. Some days that is what I see too, but other days I see the good things, the friend and confident of 13.5 years, the loving and attentive father of my children, the man who has always supported me, even now. Is that the fog speaking? Is he really a "playa" as one SI member described him? The truth is that I will never ever know the truth. I can trust that he is a good man who has made mistakes, or I can believe he is rotten to the core. No one can ever know what is in his heart except him.

I find that really hard to live with and it makes it extremely difficult to make any kind of decision. I guess I am still in limbo. The part of me that wants S&D is influenced by my fear of being perceived by myself and others as a doormat. I keep saying to myself "I can't be with a man who has done this to me", staying with him would show a lack of self respect. It's an impossible situation.

[This message edited by ShockedAndHurt at 3:24 AM, May 12th (Sunday)]

crazyblindsided posted 5/12/2013 03:28 AM

Thank you for this thread. I am also 9 months post DDay1 and also feel like I'm coming out of a fog, trying to work out the real man.

ItsaClimb, your post really spoke to me. From the outside (ie to friends and members of SI who have replied to my threads) my WH looks like a terrible man who I need to part ways with. Some days that is what I see too, but other days I see the good things, the friend and confident of 13.5 years, the loving and attentive father of my children, the man who has always supported me, even now. Is that the fog speaking? Is he really a "playa" as one SI member described him? The truth is that I will never ever know the truth. I can trust that he is a good man who has made mistakes, or I can believe he is rotten to the core. No one can ever know what is in his heart except him.

I find that really hard to live with and it makes it extremely difficult to make any kind of decision. I guess I am still in limbo. The part of me that wants S&D is influenced by my fear of being perceived by myself and others as a doormat. I keep saying to myself "I can't be with a man who has done this to me", staying with him would show a lack of self respect. It's an impossible situation.

I feel this way^ word for word, especially the plaguing thought of 'I can't be with a man who has done this to me'

I really hope the answer becomes clear one day.

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