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Newest Member: Herself (45715)

User Topic: Does blameshifting = enabling?
20WrongsVs1
♀ 39000
Member # 39000
Suspicious  Posted: 4:04 PM, June 27th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

A post in General got me all fired up about blameshifting and rugsweeping. Do you believe those attitudes are enabling toward wayward behavior?

I totally do. I believe if you shift blame off of a WS and onto any number of things: unresolved trauma from childhood abuse, FOO issues, predatory OPs, substance abuse, mental illness...you're essentially saying "the WS sorta couldn't help it." Which means we could just as easily cheat again, couldn't we? I mean, we can't help it! That, to me, is the definition of enabling.

I'm such a rookie, only about 2 months from DDay, so I could be wrong, and often have been lately. Seeing a BS blame him/herself for pre-A M problems, or beat him/herself up for not "getting over it" more quickly, though, just makes me sad and a little angry.

This has been on my mind lately, because we changed our plans to see my family this summer, due to their response to my As. And I'm really struggling with how to deal with them, because my parents are very involved in our kids' lives, and right now my parents are not IMO friends of our M. Would appreciate any of your thoughts on the matter.

As I've mentioned often here, I'm a CSA survivor and the As revealed that I'm quite a bit more "broken" from it than I ever thought. Well, I told my parents about the CSA (happened around age 7, under their noses) and shortly after told them about my As. Their response was astonishing. My mom is the most devout Christian, and her response was: "These things happen. Every M has problems." I'm like: what?!? Who are you, and what have you done with my mother? The M had zero to do with it, Mom, I am a lying, cheating slut who probably just bought an express ticket to hell. And Dad is encouraging BH to put it behind him. They both are "so proud" of BH for "keeping the family together." WTH. So I guess I shouldn't have told them, but I wanted them to be disappointed in me, to berate me. Not excuse me. IMO my parents' response is enabling, and I don't know how to respond to it or deal with it.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1252 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
Ashamed14
♀ 38240
Member # 38240
Default  Posted: 4:24 PM, June 27th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow! I think you are being so hard on yourself and I don't think that necessarily blameshifting = enabling.

Even though we are definitely responsible for making the choices that lead to our affairs, they didn't happen in a vacuum. I think both people in a M are responsible for the state of the marriage. That in itself has to be addressed in addition to us figuring out the why's that made it possible for us to make that choice to have an A.

Regarding how your parents have responded to this --

So I guess I shouldn't have told them, but I wanted them to be disappointed in me, to berate me. Not excuse me. IMO my parents' response is enabling, and I don't know how to respond to it or deal with it.

I think you may just be dealing with the shame part that a WS goes through. I found it debilitating and felt as though I deserved the worst treatment/punishment for my actions. You come from a Christian family, so do I. We sinned with our A's. But if we ask God for forgiveness, we will be forgiven. Sometimes forgiving ourselves is more difficult that earning our BS's forgiveness. I think your parents are actually being pretty cool about this. Maybe you wanted them to punish you, I get that. But, once you do deal with the why's and have begun to forgive yourself, don't you want parents who still support you, your M and aren't continuing to judge or punish you?

Maybe its difficult right now, but show yourself a little love if you can.


MHW-42
STBX-MHH-41
Married 15 yrs.
2 children

Mine DD - 6/2012
His DD - 5/2013


Posts: 18 | Registered: Jan 2013
wincings_sparkle
♀ 27129
Member # 27129
Default  Posted: 4:26 PM, June 27th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You could look at it like that, or you could look at it as someone who is owning their shit.

Enabling only happens when you allow yourself to be enabled. KWIM?

Your parents response is because they see their child confessing. To Trauma and to sin. They are trying to support both you and your BH.

They should be proud of him for being willing to stay with you. That is a huge shit sandwich your BH is eating and it sounds as if your parents were praising him for not tossing it on the table and walking away. Not everyone can. That makes your BH extraordinary.

I'm a CSA survivor and nothing excuses my A's. As you grow, as you heal, you will be more able to see that support is a two edged sword. It cuts just as sharply between the guilt and the relief.

You were looking for a whipping and found an understanding hug. At one point, that made me run screaming in the opposite direction as well. Don't run from your family. Tell them what you expected. Ask them why they responded the way that they did... I bet their answers will surprise you.


"When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free."
- Catherine Ponder
Me-FWW. BH-wincing_at_light

Posts: 1594 | Registered: Jan 2010
uncertainone
♀ 28108
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 4:40 PM, June 27th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Labels are limiting and incomplete.

Blameshifting is one of those words thrown around whenever anything that is seen as an excuse discussed.

Of course childhood issues and the lack of dealing with them in a healthy manner contribute to horrible decision making processes and tools.

Acknowledging that "you" have work to do in that area is not blameshifting. If a partner has compassion for the trauma their WS has endured that's not enabling.

Letting someone off the hook or using that as THE reason, is one thing. Empathy, while still insisting on accountabity coupled with identifying, while still owning and addressing is a quite healthy combination, to me.


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
Unagie
♀ 37091
Member # 37091
Default  Posted: 5:01 PM, June 27th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree with the above posters. You are looking for a whipping from someone, hoping it will help alleviate the shame and guilt but there is no easy solution. I wanted to confess on FB to all our friends and let everyone know, SO stopped me. I remember a post similar to this that I made a few months ago and my fellow waywards tore me to shreds as well as tossing a few 2x4's upside my head. Living with the shame and guilt and allowing it to help push you to learn and change is good, wallowing in it and pushing away support because you think you should be berated not so much.

Also this:

Seeing a BS blame him/herself for pre-A M problems

Umm if theyr were to blame for pre-A problems then how is them taking responsibility for them bad? The A does not wipe away pre-A issues or who had responsibility in them. You are responsible for your A but if other issues exist or existed your A does not make you to blame for them all. Now if the BS is blaming those issues as reason for the A then assuring them that they hold no responsibility is important.


Heartbroken madhatter trying to rebuild

No longer together

"To be loyal to myself is to allow myself to grow and change, and challenge who I am and what I think."


Posts: 2798 | Registered: Oct 2012
badchoice
♂ 35566
Member # 35566
Default  Posted: 5:28 PM, June 27th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

two things;

I believe if you shift blame off of a WS and onto any number of things: unresolved trauma from childhood abuse, FOO issues, predatory OPs, substance abuse, mental illness...you're essentially saying "the WS sorta couldn't help it."

i think there is a difference between using issues as an excuse for your behavior, and looking at yourself and owning what you did, but still understanding the things that formed you and your decision processes. By looking at those things; FOO, mental illness, etc, you can then 'fix' the flaws within and not repeat the same shit choices.

I also agree with the others that pre-A problems in the M belong to both spouses to deal with, but usually, the WS as a lot to deal with on their own, before a really healthy working on Pre-A issues can happen.


Me: fWH/BH 46

Separated transitioning to D


Posts: 730 | Registered: May 2012 | From: L.A.
20WrongsVs1
♀ 39000
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 5:29 PM, June 27th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This is a lot to ponder. Thank you. I am such a confused mess right now!


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1252 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
knightsbff
♀ 36853
Member # 36853
Default  Posted: 6:41 PM, June 27th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

unresolved trauma from childhood abuse, FOO issues, predatory OPs, substance abuse, mental illness...
along with their choice to cheat WSes need to identify, own, and work on these things. Unless contributing problems like these are faced squarely and dealt with WSes are not going to get healthy or be safe for themselves or a partner. We have to pick apart the things that helped us give ourselves permission to cheat while still owning 100% that we chose to do it, nothing excuses it.


FWW 40's
D-day August 27, 2012
3 kids and 2 dogs

I edit often because I make a lot of typos. ☺️


Posts: 1509 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Deep South, USA
Card
♂ 23667
Member # 23667
Default  Posted: 10:25 PM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

20WrongsVs1,

Sounds to me like you have a great deal of clarity.

You should be outraged that your parents don't kick you in the ass for what you chose to do.

I was outraged with my own family for having the audacity to actually blame my wife for "my" affair. They asked her, "what did you do to cause this" and "you do realize it takes two to make a marriage fall apart".

She gently explained to them that she never got to vote as to whether or not I screwed another woman.

They stopped in their tracks after that.


There is nothing wrong with asking myself healthy questions about my past as long as I don't linger there or use my past as an excuse for hurtful behavior toward others. I am not 7 years old anymore. I'm not 13 years old anymore. I'm not 17 years old anymore. I'm an adult and I knew my adultery was wrong. I tried to hide it all because IT WAS WRONG and I knew it!

I don't think you're being hard on yourself at all. I appreciate when someone takes the blinders off and see's clearly.....
It's liberating and refreshing.

Taking responsibility is what helped set me free. It sounds like you're on the way to that peaceful freedom as well.... don't get tripped up along the way by digging up unnecessary bones.

Be well!


WH (me)
BS (her)

D-Days April - Oct. 2007 Recovery started Nov. 2007

"Found Myself", I was right there in my shoes all along!
Search for self called off!

Why Repentance Is Necessary? Because Undeserved Mercy Empowers Entitlement/Sin


Posts: 570 | Registered: Apr 2009
Heavy Sigh
♀ 34243
Member # 34243
Default  Posted: 10:46 PM, June 28th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Do you have children?

If so, then your parents' primary concern has shifted from you - an adult capable of taking care of herself - to their grandchildren.


It would be nice to think we're still their little girls. But once a daughter is grown up and has kids, she and her husband are the primary caretakers of the more vulnerable members of the family - the grandkids. We lose our spot as No. 1 in their hearts.

Also, when adult children make choices they disapprove of, some parents self-blame and feel like failures in how they raised son or daughter. Yours were seemingly neglectful in not seeing what they should have seen, which is I assume is an adult abusing you when you were a child. They failed at protecting you. Now they wish to protect grandchildren, and this is why they are relieved your husband did not leave. Your confession to them may have put them in shock for a bit, as they play over and over again what they can remember of the past, what they did wrong and how it can't be fixed now.

Or, they are finding ways to shove the information out of their minds and lock it in a closet.

[This message edited by Heavy Sigh at 10:49 PM, June 28th (Friday)]


Posts: 1917 | Registered: Dec 2011
20WrongsVs1
♀ 39000
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 7:58 AM, June 29th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yours were seemingly neglectful in not seeing what they should have seen, which is I assume is an adult abusing you when you were a child. They failed at protecting you.

My parents weren't so much neglectful as naive and trusting: two characteristics I stringently prohibit in myself! Along with almost every other emotion. Working on reconnecting those wires, and it's scary.

Yes, two kids, both now the age I was, when I was molested. BH and my C (and I) believe my daughter contributed to triggering me, and brought up all that old resentment, which because of my shitty coping mechanisms I projected onto BH. Convinced myself he didn't love or want me, and sought comfort elsewhere. BH was blindsided on DDay, b/c I'd compartmentalized so effectively. Common skill in CSA survivors.

It's still hard to say things like that, without feeling like I'm making excuses. That's what's got me so mixed up right now.

My parents definitely blame themselves. I get that their feelings of guilt and responsibility colored their reaction. And yeah, I rank a distant third in my parents' lives, compared to my children! I'm good with that. And although I say I don't technically blame them for letting a POS pedophile have access to me...of course on some level I must.

Rugsweeping and closet-stuffing is how we deal with stuff in my FOO. It hasn't helped my M, but I'm working every day to overcome my past and look toward the future. So far, BH is by my side and I'm grateful.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1252 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
Heavy Sigh
♀ 34243
Member # 34243
Default  Posted: 8:46 AM, July 3rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It reads as if you are healing more than you feel it right now, and have a good understanding of several dynamics.

Posts: 1917 | Registered: Dec 2011
20WrongsVs1
♀ 39000
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 9:44 AM, July 3rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

HS, thank you for that. My C says it's like cleaning out and reorganizing your closet: it gets a lot messier before it gets cleaned up. And yeah, my crap is currently strewn all over the place, the whole family is tripping over it. But I guess it beats shoving it in there and forgetting about it.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1252 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
Topic Posts: 13

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