I understand the concept and it makes sense. What I wonder about is for those men (or women) who cheat and move on - what is their rock bottom?
I don't see that much suffering for those who are capable of dumping one family and starting another... maybe just the fact that they are able to do that to begin with they don't feel the same pain at having done it or suffering of consequences? They find a new wife/husband, maybe have more children... meanwhile, those left behind pick up the pieces. Are they getting too much credit when we assume that they even have a "rock bottom?"
I apologize if this a bit of a rambling email...kind of throwing a thought out there.
At the time we owned our own home and for months he was homeless and living in a hotel quickly maxing out his credit card on random junk and living off of fast food. Sounds close to bottom to me but apparently not to the stubborn mule I married. He now lives in a tiny, overpriced apartment totally alone. The temporary "friends" during the affair, like the OW, are long gone. You can count on your fingers how many HOURS he spends with his children a *month*, he has no money, he is up to his eyeballs in debt and his health is poor (according to him so that part could be truth or a ploy for pity).
His life is TRAGIC.
Is that rock bottom? Not his rock bottom apparently. He is likely a narcissist so he doesn't see things the way a normal person would. But whether he is a narcissist or not, he blames his sad situation on me and takes ZERO responsibility for his life. I don't know if there is a rock bottom for someone like that. If he ends up homeless and alone he will likely still see himself as the helpless victim who couldn't have changed a thing because it's never his fault.
Having a rock bottom means the person is self-aware and capable/desiring to grow & be a better person. Not everyone is capable of that. So they go on their merry way, never seeming to truly suffer in this life, leaving some of us shattered and bloody in their wake. The ultimate hit 'n run.
It is no way to live.
Please read "Romantic Infidelity": http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200910/beyond-betrayal-life-after-infidelity
This part especially:
Romantic affairs lead to a great many divorces, suicides, homicides, heart attacks, and strokes, but not to very many successful remarriages. No matter how many sacrifices you make to keep the love alive, no matter how many sacrifices your family and children make for this crazy relationship, it will gradually burn itself out when there is nothing more to sacrifice to it. Then you must face not only the wreckage of several lives, but the original depression from which the affair was an insane flight into escape.
He will never stop this cycle long enough to face himself and do the work necessary to be a functioning adult. That's why I say he lives in rock bottom.
I think my situation is what NG calls "the ultimate hit and run." My stbx didn't have any qualms living a lie (double-life) and then when he didn't want to any more he just left. To he@& with his wife and kids. I am not sure, but I think his affair partner dumped him when he left. Doesn't bother him from what I can tell. He makes a heft salary so there will be a steady flow of *admirer/friends* to make him feel whatever it is his empty hole of a soul needs.
Months ago--before I made my decision to file--my STBXWW drove up, hysterically crying and told me just these words: "I've hit rock bottom."
But she hadn't. She was, in retrospect, just feeling sorry for herself. I believe, as she moves into her "life" with the AP, she will have her rock bottom "moments," but they will pass. If there is anyone paying any attention to her--as the AP is, at least for the time being--she will not know the meaning of true rock bottom.
All must be lost, and I mean ALL--nobody to cater to the drama, to serve, to beg--before rock bottom is experiences. But for these narcissists, it won't last long, since someone else will always come along to rescue them.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
XH has lost many friends, his reputation, his wife, pretty much everything.
He has gained 50k in debt, and a reputation as a liar & a cheater. He prolly does more drugs than before. It still hasn't been the impetus for him to pull his shit together. I really don't know what could possibly happen that would be rock bottom for him.
It would be the realization of the mess he made not only of his life, but mine and the kids. He would lose his job. Have no money. No OW. No friends. The kids wouldn't want to spend any time with him. He would be humiliated and hurting. He would then have remorse and empathy and not just be thinking about himself.
Then, I might have some compassion for him as the father of my children and fellow human. But, not really until then....
I see this with the IL`S where problems are ignored until they`re traumas or legal trouble, they get bailed out and do it again. Some shake their head and wonder why they keep doing the destructive/addictive behavior.
Denial is a deep and long river. Its also lonesome.
A person is a person, no matter how small. -Dr. Suess
Perserverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.