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toasted22 posted 9/21/2013 02:23 AM

Been a while since I posted.

So my BS wants to see that I am working on the reasons why I was unfaithful. I also want to understand them as well, as best I can. Whether I will ever fully understand or not I don't know.

So in digging through the memories and motivations one of the conclusions I made that led to the slippery slope of infidelity was that I was too compassionate towards the affair partners. I should have kept my distance.

BS claims I am justifying and minimising and that really it was all about lust.

I don't believe I am justifying or minimising. I take full responsibility for what I did and fully recognise the trauma inflicted upon her and others. I am just looking for early warning signs so that I am fully aware of potential danger in the future. If I am feeling compassion for a female then red warning lights need to go up.

What do you think?

authenticnow posted 9/21/2013 05:32 AM

I definitely think that if you start feeling what you call 'compassion' for a female, the warning lights go on. But I look at it more of a boundary thing. It's good to have compassion for people, male and female, but it's a matter of where that feeling takes you.

What are you learning about these women that makes you feel compassion? Are you talking about your personal lives with them? You shouldn't be.

An emotional connection can lead to those lustful feelings/the A. I think your focus needs to be what happens before that. Where your boundaries are, are they rock solid and if not (and apparently they aren't), what are you doing to create appropriate boundaries? What signals are you putting out to lead to this 'compassionate feeling' or emotional connection to other women?

This is what you need to examine, IMO.

authenticnow posted 9/21/2013 07:09 AM

Just realized from reading your BW's post that you are a minister. Obviously, compassion is necessary in this field. ALL THE MORE REASON for you to work on healthy boundaries.

Come on, part of your job description isn't 'having compassion and sleeping with the congregants'.

You might have to give up this line of work until you know how to enforce healthy boundaries and differentiate between compassion and crossing the line.

salty_lt2 posted 9/21/2013 07:12 AM

What is it, exactly, about "compassion" that requires infidelity?

You are absolutely allowed to feel compassion for others- I imagine most humans would likely consider compassion for others (male and female alike) a positive trait, so it's hard to imagine that only that could be considered a "red flag." Perhaps a greenish-yellow one?

Are you sure you're not confusing "compassion" for "if I'm *really* nice to this woman, maybe she'll do sexy things for me?" That's what I did.

That's not compassion.

KBeguile posted 9/21/2013 07:56 AM

Okay. This is definitely a boundary question, and I have to say that my advice falls somewhere in the middle.

When you are still pre-2-years-or-so, you probably shouldn't be investing time and effort into anyone outside the M. That would be like trying to build a deck off of a house supported on toothpicks. The M is the most important thing, and your investment of energy should reflect that priority.

Even after the 2-years-or-so, your primary focus should still be on your S and your M, but (depending on how the temperature of the water is) you could theoretically start building on new friendships with others, with your S's blessing (no pun intended).

To salty_lt2's point, when you do get to this step, the "compassion" should be very appropriately framed. You need strong boundaries, and you're the only one who can police them.

Another analogy: Think of your boundaries as a neighborhood, and you are the neighborhood watch. If you do a really crummy job of keeping the neighborhood safe, no one is going to trust the neighborhood or the neighborhood watch and no one will want to live there with you. On the other hand, if you do a very good job of keeping the boundaries, your S will notice, and your S will decide that it is safe to move back in.

toasted22 posted 9/26/2013 00:16 AM

thanks for the comments.

It certainly is about boundaries.

I am certainly not putting energy and time into anyone in particular other than my S.

Also talking about boundaries with Counsellor.

thanks team

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