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Momentary lapse of reason or deeply ingrained defect?

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joeboo posted 8/18/2013 21:27 PM

My fWW seems to be trying to be a better wife, or at least most of the time while I am looking. But the other day she did something that has been bothering me ever since. She made a promise to someone that she would help them. When the time came, there was something else she would rather do and she told me that she was going to turn down her previous commitment so she could go do what she wanted to do. Then she started scheming on what kind of story she could tell them to get out of it and asked me what I would do.

I was flabbergasted because it takes a lot for someone to ask for help and when you promise someone youíll be there for them, you should have a damn good reason if you donít make good on your promise. So I told her just that. She shouldn't back out unless the person she made a promise to agree to let her off the hook without being coerced or otherwise persuaded. It was almost as if the concept was foreign to her. She claims to have had a discussion and it was mutually agreed that she didnít bring a hardship by backing out.

It got me to wondering if she really is making the necessary changes or if she is just getting better at hiding behind a faÁade. Little things like this make me wonder if she is still the same person she always was or if this was just part of the learning process for her.

Am I over-reacting?

[This message edited by joeboo at 9:28 PM, August 18th (Sunday)]

LosferWords posted 8/19/2013 00:13 AM

I don't think this is overreacting at all, joeboo. Part of the whole reconciliation process is eventually getting back to a sense of normalcy in life, and normalcy bleeds into all different areas of our lives. Friendships, family, work, etc.

I can't help but feel that you are questioning your wife's actions on backing out on a friend because you feel like she could do the same thing to you. That's a perfectly valid feeling.

I think you handled it perfectly well, in the fact that you communicated your concerns to your wife. Were you able to talk through this more with her? If so, how did it go?

Beautifulmind posted 8/19/2013 12:30 PM

What LosferWords said: You are in no way "over-reacting"

I share those very same concerns with my WW. I seem to look for her actions that are "outside" of A specific situations (transparency, honesty, etc) and try to look at things on a "bigger picture" scale in hopes that she "gets it". Make sense?

As an example, if I were to catch her lying to me.... I'd be gone in a flash and she knows this. Obviously, in her A, there were a great many lies told and I would not tolerate any more dishonesty. So she is working her ass off and will be super-conscious to not allow this to occur with me.

But what about with others that she comes into contact with? Will she lie to them? If so, I see this as not "getting it". All she would have done is treat the "symptom" and not cure the "disease". It's about an ethical (or whatever you might call it) choice of RIGHT vs WRONG. That is the work that I am looking for.... wholesale changes.

Obviously with this, there are "grey area's" to this. People "lie" everyday... we all do. Some large, some small but they are always going to be there. "I can't make it to work today boss... not feeling well" when in reality you are catching a day baseball game and having lunch with friends. Where's the line? I don't know and I guess that's where communication comes in.

You obviously have an issue with what she did. She said she was going to do something and didn't follow through. Integrity is doing what you say you'll do / being where you say you'll be. You did the right thing and brought it up to her and let her know how this affected you. Hopefully, next time, she'll think about it more from your perspective and see what it does to you. That's communication.

Again, we spend so much time in R dealing with A specific situations and there is a tendency to let other things "slide" a bit. As LosferWords so eliquently put it:

"getting back to a sense of normalcy in life, and normalcy bleeds into all different areas of our lives. Friendships, family, work, etc."

I'm starting to understand why R is so difficult and why it takes as long as it does to attain. It's tentacles reach to every aspect of our lives and it takes time and effort to visit each of them.

Best of luck

[This message edited by Beautifulmind at 1:36 PM, August 19th (Monday)]

sisoon posted 8/19/2013 16:34 PM

Is it possible that this is just something she never learned? Maybe if you mention it to her, she'll pick it right up.

Otherwise, I agree - this is another thing she has to add to her list.

No over-reaction - she's backing out of a commitment, and she plans on lying to do it. 2 red flags in one transaction.

MegM posted 8/19/2013 16:49 PM

Dear JoeBoo

Agree - in the context of post infidelity this is a red flag - and I would react just like you.

I would like to add some female perspective to the conversation.

In our social development women are not 'skilled up' in saying no. Particularly when someone is in need. I know many women who over committ and then struggle to maintain their committments as 'helpers'. As adults a lot of women need to skill themselves in sayin no, and communicating changes in plans assertively without excuse or fabrication. (sometimes there will be a genuine competiting committment).

Even some women I know who are not helpers - dont' give up their time etc. Feel VERY uncomfortable saying no and need to justify it with either excuse or by flashing their over stressed matry status.

I tended to fall into the overworking to maintain multiple committments category. Just wouldn't let people down and would want to help help help.

I have had to get more assertive at saying NO upfront explaining we need family time or I need time for other priorities (including myself or marriage).

I still from time to time feel worried how this could be perceived.

I think lack of skills in this area is a way that many women maintain poor boundaries.

In my case it was definitely a part of my MO in my infidelity and lack of nuruturing my primary relationship - my marriage.

It is also a way I initially contributed to lenghtening my healing after my husbands infidelity. (focussing outside of myself).

There is a connection to boundaries and it is also often a stand alone issue for women. It is so ingrained in the social training many of us receive. So it takes quite a bit of 'de-programing'

The lying and fabrication has to stop if she wishes to continue to rebuild your trust. It is completely reasonable that witnessing her capacity to so out of the marriage undermines your confidence in what is happening to / within your marriage.

Blessings to you.


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