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Getting to the “Whys” (WS input welcomed)

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mchercheur posted 9/25/2013 06:11 AM

It is almost 2 yrs since WH moved back home, & he is finally starting to be able to talk about this.
We had a very important conversation last night, following a MC session where the MC told WH that he had a very emotionally abusive childhood, growing up in a broken home with a bullying, narcissistic mother who cheated on WH’s father with a married man ,broke up 2 families, & has always maintained that she “didn’t do anything wrong.”

WH said that now he looks back and wonders how he let his A happen.

I pointed out that infidelity is a series of choices. If we define infidelity as “doing something that you wouldn’t want your spouse to know you are doing”, then WH’s A did not last “Just 8 days”,it lasted for months--- it started the first time WH was inappropriately friendly with his single female coworker, the first time he complained about me to her,the first time she texted him & he texted back, etc., each of those steps down the slippery slope were a choice.
WH said that he knew it was wrong while he was doing it (he was referring to the physical act of sex ).

I asked him “What did you tell yourself to give yourself permission to go ahead.”

WH said that I had been acting very angry towards him for awhile (true, I was angry & communication was terrible between us)
& here was someone who thought he was the best thing since sliced bread.

I think that WH was able to give himself permission because of hearing his mother say, all his life, that she didn’t do anything wrong , & that she was entitled to be happy. As a child, we think that what our parents say is the truth.

What if I was a severe diabetic , & was tempted to eat a cookie. I would have an internal dialogue in my head that it is wrong--that it will terribly impact my health, but the other voice would argue that I deserve it, that I am entitled to it.

The difference is the selfishness aspect------eating the cookie only affects myself, whereas a decision to cheat on your spouse affects the marriage/family. WH chose his own desire over our marriage.

But I imagine the internal dialogue may be similar.

All input welcome.

[This message edited by mchercheur at 6:14 AM, September 25th (Wednesday)]

PrincessPeach06 posted 9/25/2013 06:36 AM

WS and I have discussed something similar. When I abused prescription pills I told him I would hold those pills in my hand and know it was wrong to take too many but in my mind it felt good and that was all that mattered.

I believe my H's ONS (especially) was the same. It felt good - he knew it was wrong but it didn't matter because it felt good in the moment.

I have asked him numerous times how he "gave himself permission" and he claims he knew it was wrong but it wasn't until afterward that the impact of his choice brought him to his knees.

LA44 posted 9/25/2013 06:47 AM

I asked my H this question too mchercheur and yes, there was a sense of entitlement there. The, "I deserve this" bc I worked so hard, bc I do so much for my boys, wife, mother, hockey team, bc, bc, bc. The ironic thing is that the A was taking away from the work, from the family, from all things mentioned above.

I do believe that what we hear as kids is imbedded in our brains and we do carry that around with us. Maybe its only a small part, maybe its more. I still hear some of his older family members say: I deserve to buy this $500 item for my house. Well....okay are also broke and then we are going to hear about how broke you are. Again.

My H knew it was wrong but did not delve into it. Why go there when the pleasure is lighting up your brain? It took time for him to get there. Two+ years. I honestly believe that had she lived in our backyard it would have ended sooner bc it would have caught up with him sooner. This is my internal dialogue anyway.

Good to ask those questions though. What I have learned is that you don't have to like an answer to accept it. I want to accept for what other choice do I have? If acceptance leads to forgiveness then I want to accept.

mchercheur posted 9/25/2013 06:56 AM

you don't have to like an answer to accept it. I want to accept for what other choice do I have? If acceptance leads to forgiveness then I want to accept.

I just want WH to look at it, so it wont happen again next time

StillStanding1 posted 9/25/2013 09:33 AM

This is just SO applicable to my situation.

I've been giving our FOO issues a ton of thought lately. I do think it's so relevant to how the brain is wired from early on. Neither my WH or I want to blame our parents for our issues, yet I'm discovering that even if we don't assign blame, we need to recognize how we were affected.

My WH's mom is a truly lovely wonderful woman. Kind, giving, loving. I adore her. She cheated on my WH's father while he was in 'Nam. They D'd. My H learned that D sucks and he never wanted to do that to his family. His mom also had an A with a MM who left his BS to marry her. Eventually he abandoned them due to alcoholism. WH's adored grandfather died at the same time. Later his mom had a LTA with another MM. My WH was definitely given the message that A's are an acceptable way for a person to deal with marital unhappiness. I never even considered that until recently.

This weekend, we talked briefly about first GF/BFs, because someone's "first" was killed suddenly and we wondered how we would react. He was pretty unfeeling. I later suddenly remembered that he "loved" his first GF (at 15)and I'm pretty sure he once told me that she cheated on him. Don't tell me these things don't affect us!!!!

I have also wanted him to dig deep for the WHYs. However, he got pretty pissed when I talked about selfishness. While he freely admits that the A was selfish, he also feels he was selfless for years in a M where his needs were not being met and he "fought his urges" to keep the family together. I can see where he has a point.

The problem then, is in the coping mechanisms and how we deal with our problems. Communication and healthy relationship skills. That's where I feel we have a LONG way to go. It's part of our WHYs. I've fully taken responsibility for my portion of our M problems and am working to correct. He's doing his part (mostly). It's getting to the WHYs of the decision process that we need to address. Not that the answer will change anything or make it ok. But hopefully we learn from it, so that we have greater trust that it won't happen again in the future. I can't go through this hell again. KWIM?

[This message edited by StillStanding1 at 9:34 AM, September 25th (Wednesday)]

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