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Danntonio posted 8/4/2013 13:48 PM

The Healing Library
Compartmentalizing the Affair by the Wayward Spouse

Hi everyone....I read this article that sounds true...true to me. Does anyone know how to find help with this?

Thanks,

c128hart posted 8/4/2013 17:32 PM

I too have found this topic rings true and would like help as well.

authenticnow posted 8/4/2013 18:38 PM

Danntonion,

Exactly what kind of help are you looking for? If you post specifics, I'm sure you will get some helpful feedback.

c128hart posted 8/4/2013 19:19 PM

What I need help with is fixing the ME part that compartmentalizes things and the part wherein I think the A is ok and more desirable than keeping my morals intact.

Danntonio posted 8/4/2013 23:57 PM

Hi authenticnow and everyone !!!

Okay I need help too... Where did my mind skew my moral values that lead me to to this site? 15 years ago I would have been sickened by my behavior....and I know I want to be that person again.!!...

I need help to recover myself.....I dont know if that sounds flaky or stupid...I am trying

authenticnow posted 8/5/2013 05:21 AM

For me, I found that it was a gradual process that led to wayward thinking. Things that bothered me that I didn't talk to my H about, venting to 'friends' instead of going to my H, indulging my feelings of entitlement (if this makes me feel good and he doesn't know about it, it doesn't matter, I deserve to be happy), sharing intimate parts of my life with another man as a 'friend' that turned into an EA, hiding things from my H.

If it's not physical yet, or you're not in the A yet, it's easy to justify. Lack of boundaries like flirting, keeping secrets, is not okay in a marriage, and once you start doing each of these little things, they build up to toxic feelings and the A.

Think about each of these things you did, the negative feelings you were having, and examine them and figure out what should have been done differently. I read here a long time ago, 'When you feel like going away from your spouse, go toward'. I used to run away, talk to others, build up walls. Now, if there is something, anything I need to discuss, I do. And it always ends well, even if we don't agree, because it builds intimacy between us.

Danntonio posted 8/5/2013 18:30 PM

authenticnow

Thank you..... I see...yes, it did start like that of course....small steps down a slippery slope. You are so right.....those kinds of things are not part of a healthy marriage. I really dont know who my values or morals became so skewed? I guess it was through small steps....which made it seem like an easy path to follow... I am going to share those thoughts with my counselor when I see her next..
Thanks for sharing...

badchoice posted 8/5/2013 19:26 PM

Thank you AN -

Lack of boundaries like flirting, keeping secrets, is not okay in a marriage, and once you start doing each of these little things, they build up to toxic feelings and the A.

This is how I started my slide. Something else for me to examine, and replace with healthier coping mechanisms.

Danntonio posted 8/5/2013 23:47 PM

hi badchoice...

Me too.... agree with authenticnow.. small steps...with no well-defined boundaries for some reason....talking...flirting... more flirting step by step leads down a dark path. I need to examine WHERE my boundaries went..... I had them before...I knew that. It would have made me feel ill at the thought of even some of those small steps. I am going to repair/replace/re-establish me. I want my decent person back. And I am addressing that now...
Thanks to all...

Tesseract posted 8/6/2013 01:06 AM

My family has a saying from an excellent television show that we've found holds a great deal of truth: "Separation is an illusion."

This mantra is (in part) how I have been dealing with my extremely well evolved compartmentalization mechanism. During the affairs it was easy to justify my behavior because it wasn't 'real' and didn't affect anyone else. That's ONLY ever true if you happen to be an atheist hermit. No man is an island. Everything I do affects those around me. If it touches me then it will touch those I interact with through me and will ripple onward from there. Separation is an illusion.

The excellent addiction books by Craig Nakken reference the 12 step program that groups like Alcoholics Anonymous use. That program has a mantra, "One day at a time." I've modified it to "one choice at a time." How does this option stand to effect me? Today, tomorrow, a year from now? Where will it go from there? Who else will it touch? What is the gain for us? Compartmentalization works to mask these pertubations. By consciously considering them, compartmentalization becomes difficult (not impossible, because we're very good at sectioning off unwanted information). But it does remove much of the gloss on the situation and allows us to see that separation is an illusion.

Nothing you do affects only you. That gives you great power to do things awesome and terrible in the truest sense of the words. I hope I don't need to say what comes with great power.

authenticnow posted 8/6/2013 05:09 AM

Everything I do affects those around me. If it touches me then it will touch those I interact with through me and will ripple onward from there. Separation is an illusion.

one choice at a time." How does this option stand to effect me? Today, tomorrow, a year from now? Where will it go from there? Who else will it touch? What is the gain for us?

Awesome, thank you!

hardlessons posted 8/6/2013 23:01 PM

So, what drives the compartmentalization? That is an action, a response to....

Danntonio posted 8/7/2013 18:15 PM

Tesseract Thank you so much for sharing that....I am going to try and remember that.....absolutely true..our actions have ripple effects..

Compartmentalization....I have been reading a bit about it.....People like soldiers use it to put away the NOW (as in the trauma of war and killing) to deal with it later. You cant function in a trauma-rich environment and do your job as a professional such as a soldier/paramedic/police....without locking some of those emotions away.... It would be unprofessional for a paramedic to just sit and just cry at an accident scene where a small child was killed...but totally natural to do it. I think when faced with something difficult and emotional issues people learn to lock it away so they don't have to deal with it....Like GUILT.....or other emotions that are causing us a dilemma inside our heads... After a while you just keep locking it away.

Does that make sense? I am not even sure I got it right...I was trying to make sense of it myself.

Thanks,

LA44 posted 8/7/2013 18:32 PM


When you feel like going away from your spouse, go toward'. I used to run away, talk to others, build up walls. Now, if there is something, anything I need to discuss, I do. And it always ends well, even if we don't agree, because it builds intimacy between us.

Thanks AN for that. I think there are many people - BS's like me included - who can see themselves in this quote. More often then not now, I go TOWARDS my fWH yet sometimes I fight myself to go towards him. I did that for so long.

Changing long-term behavior on both sides takes time.

LA

[This message edited by LA44 at 6:34 PM, August 7th (Wednesday)]

authenticnow posted 8/7/2013 18:36 PM

LA,

I remember reading that and it was like the lightbulb went on. Sometimes it's the most basic thing that makes all the difference!

longroadahead22 posted 8/8/2013 02:49 AM

From what I understand of compartmentalization is that it is a coping mechanism for dealing with some for of hurt, trauma, unwanted pain or thoughts.

Take for example myself... I was abused by my dad as a child I compartmentalized most of that trauma into a portion of my brain that I'm just now starting to process and see how much damage it really has caused. For me compartmentalization was an escape from reality. It allowed me to still keep the fantasy of having a decent father that loved me rather than one that beat me.

Now take me as a ER nurse I have to compartmentalize some things in order to function in the NOW and do my job but the difference is I come home and share those experiences with my wife... Healthier

Now take the As and compartmentalization... For me it was a way to divide what I was knowingly doing was against my personal moral code yet still allow me to continue. It provided me with a aced to seperate reality and fantasy, for me it was like two seperate worlds at times. Yes there was over laps but some how they never truly made the full connection on my moral compass on right and wrong...ie my compartmentalization.

I hope this helps

LA44 posted 8/8/2013 11:25 AM

Thanks longroadahead22. While I am so sorry for your ability to understand this as an abused ((child)), your insight is sure to help a lot of readers.

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