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WS and loving themselves

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hopefulmother posted 11/17/2013 16:04 PM

I know many of you post on if your spouse "loved me" how can he do this to me?

I did...for a very long time.

Truth is...they did to a degree.

I believe that the love became the love for a parent.
The spouse loved themselves more. They were all that mattered. Just like a child breaking away from their parent will do all they can to get what they want or need. They take the love the family gives them for granted. Believing that no matter will always love them. Be there for them.

These spouses trick themselves into believing that we will always be there. Just like the love and support of their parents.

No matter what we is taken for granted. They don't care. All they care about is instant gratification of whatever personal need is being met by the AP. The outside validation of someone else.

Sure we love them. We feel the same way and may be doing the same things as AP, but it doesn't matter to them. We are too familiar...they already have caught us...gained our attraction...gained our support...won our love. They no longer trust that love or view as real or it is not enough for some personal problem they have (low self-esteem/ego/confidence). They need outside validation. Just like a teenager no longer cares about how much a parent thinks they are worth it...are beautiful...are perfect...are loved.

It took me 14 months to realize this. They loved us in a familiar way. They were attracted to whatever gave them attention/validation. They loved themselves more.

I get the never realize what you have till you lose it.

That is why so many split WS miss their BS...after separation.

SummerStorm21 posted 11/17/2013 16:19 PM

Hi hopeful,

Being taken for granted is what my life was all about. DDay was earthshaking because he realized in one very dramatic moment he was about to lose everything. He is very very lucky I stayed. Had one of my kids not been really ill I would have been gone. (He was away when I found out. Perfect opportunity to leave and I almost took it).

I see the familial thing too. I WAS the only adult here for years. Thanks for sharing.

deena posted 11/17/2013 16:19 PM

They loved themselves more.

So true.
I have heard so many excuses from my WH, but I am starting to see it as a "self deserving" attitude they have.

suckstobeme posted 11/17/2013 16:39 PM

I tend to disagree with the notion that they truly love themselves. Yes, they are selfish, self centered and are all about instant gratification, to name just a few problems the waywards seem to have in common. However, loving yourself means respecting yourself. Loving yourself means acting in an admirable way and acknowledging and cherishing the love that others have for you.

You can't really, deep down, love yourself if you act like a pig and willingly roll around in the mud with another pig, ruin or at the very least put your entire family at risk, lie, steal marital money to fuel the affair, wreck your reputation, lose friends, and worst of all, forever damage the respect of your spouse and, in many cases, your children.

They know these very real and serious risks, yet they do it anyway. That isn't loving yourself. There is so much going on inside the mind of a wayward, particularly an unremorseful one, that I believe many truly can't stand themselves and that's why the outside validation makes such a difference. Take a look in the wayward forum and you can see the transformation. If they do the work on themselves, you can see wheremthey came from during the A and wheremthey are now. Self love is a big issue. I believe this is what is meant when we say that they are broken. It might look like self love on the surface, but that's only on the surface.

brokendancer7 posted 11/17/2013 16:50 PM

Hopeful, I think you are really onto something here in H's and my case. Both of his elderly parents became ill and died in the past five years, requiring him to do a lot of decision making and supervision of their care. Somehow, I think this translated over to how he felt about me. He said he thought I was "taken care of" (WTF?) and he could go out and have fun.

If I were a clingy, dependent person, maybe I could sort of see it, I guess, but I had a full life, lots of hobbies, activities with friends, etc. Since he had chosen for the previous 10 or so years to never be home, I ran just about everything around the house. Maybe he did think of me as a parent, who knows. But your theory makes sense, since he constantly says that he never stopped loving me. I guess it was a different kind of love than the usual married kind.

hopefulmother posted 11/17/2013 16:59 PM true...that type of self-mutilation our WS are doing isn't loving themselves either.

Maybe I should say more...they just don't know what love is. It is just them being selfish and caring more about themselves.

Even loving us and marrying us was at best their own selfish reasons. What did we give them. Ask your self what selfless acts they have done for you prior to the A that didn't benefit themselves to some degree?

Yes, we all are selfish to a degree. They just are to a degree that is unacceptable. I realized that when I asked my WH what he liked about himself with her. He gave me the answer of being a hero in a way. Her needy and me independent. He then asked me what he did for me? What was his role. Why did I need him? Being in a relationship is all about what it gives it makes him feel needed or special. It isn't about what he can give....but receive by giving.

Do I make sense? So hard to explain that one. My wasn't about what he could give me or what I needed from him. It was about experiencing life together...about supporting and loving each other.

OldCow18 posted 11/17/2013 17:00 PM

No matter what we is taken for granted. They don't care. All they care about is instant gratification of whatever personal need is being met by the AP. The outside validation of someone else.

It's ironic that we love them more than anyone else on the planet, but that love doesn't mean sh/t compared to an OP's distorted view of them. Our love is deep and real, warts and all kind of love, the brief validation they get from the OP is based on nothing even resembling real. How do you give up the real deal so easily?

[This message edited by OldCow18 at 5:01 PM, November 17th (Sunday)]

catatonic posted 11/17/2013 17:07 PM

Interesting, and a lot if the same info I hear from my WH. And what I have read about recently.
I'm now realizing that this is a long process in recovery. And I guess I can only say.. Much support and encouragement for all of us going through this. Coming off the tails if discovery.

hopefulmother posted 11/17/2013 18:41 PM

Oldcow18-I know! Really f*(%%^ up!...Like I said...they see our love as never a parent's love. Taken for granted and not good enough to feed that ego issue.

But, you remember what that was like as a did (but didn't really matter what you mother/dad said) you needed your peer approval. Outside recognition.

solus sto posted 11/17/2013 19:48 PM

I don't know. My husband didn't love me. I don't think he ever really did. He doesn't love himself in a healthy way, but he's narcissistic enough to love himself to the exclusion of others.

At best, I was hated. At worst, I was not even a consideration.

I was not loved. Not during the affairs. Not after. The creature comforts I provided were welcome. It was nice to have someone to do his laundry and grocery shopping. It was nice not to have to plan for or cook dinner, or pick up the dry cleaning.

He did not want to lose his reputation, his facade of normalcy, his lifestyle.

And yes--he did take for granted that I would love him, be there, continue to stay there for him.

But he didn't mind losing me, even a little. He didn't really mind losing the kids.

Once he did, he very quickly became quite content living alone in drastically reduced circumstances, with no one to care about but himself.

They're not all cut from the same cloth.

[This message edited by solus sto at 7:49 PM, November 17th (Sunday)]

RidingHealingRd posted 11/18/2013 00:29 AM

These spouses trick themselves into believing that we will always be there. Just like the love and support of their parents.

Not my WH...In his delusion he believed he would never get caught. He certainly did not believe that I would always be there for him.

I 100% agree with suckstobeme ~ My WH did not love himself, he hated himself. MOW fed him so many lines of bullshit that, at the time, he believed...he desperately wanted to believe because it made him feel better about himself.

His quest to feel better about himself lead him to his disgusting A which ultimately destroyed him and caused him to hate himself even more. He hit rock bottom, which resulted in his commitment become a better husband, father, human being.

Today he is more compassionate, far more generous, considerate, honest, humble, respectful, kind, empathetic, loving. Today he has a reason to love himself.

Scientist posted 11/18/2013 03:23 AM

I am not sure there is only one possible scenario for WSs. However, there do seem to be some general trends in behaviour that describe a lot of instances. The one that I have latched onto is "They always affair down", partly because it is so obviously true in the case of my WW. But I realise that is not always true - people are too complicated to behave the same on every single occasion and in every single circumstance. On the other hand, it is a trend, and is often true.

Similarly, calling the irrationality that overcomes WSs "the fog" is helpful. It describes the state of unawareness that takes over in the majority of cases. But even this is not universal. Some WSs never get it, they leave and have a new life with the AP. They have not been in a fog at all, they just want out of the marriage.

So what about WSs loving themselves? I think the best comments are from suckstobeme: what they do, at a deep level, is generally not self-love. It is rolling in the mud with another pig. As such, it is a sign of self-loathing (as I think it was in the case of my WW). But again, I do not think that can always be true, even if it is in the majority of cases.

Marathonwaseasy posted 11/18/2013 03:31 AM

I think they do always affair down - even an exit affair
Ultimately anyone who has an affair with someone who they know is married is low. Seriously low

But that's about it in generalities. Although waywards do seem to be very teenager-like in their behaviours a lot of the time IMO.

My fwh did not love himself or even like himself. Rolling around with another pig in the shit (perfect image) ultimately did not make him feel any better at all. In fact it made him very (more) unwell.

Right now he's so remorseful and sad but has more self respect than he has had in years because he is being authentic and is looking after me (and our children) the way he always should have.

SBB posted 11/18/2013 04:05 AM

This is a very interesting concept of comparing them to teenagers.

But unlike teenagers their brains have developed the ability to predict outcomes (I saw some science about how the teenage brain is not wired to accurately predict consequences).

I do think a lot of them have a large case of arrested development in this regard. But not by design, by choice.

Thinking of them as teenagers lets them off the hook too much. They chose this. Whether or not they were choosing to destroy their M and family is irrelevant - that they risked even the slightest possibility of doing so is the big kicker. I'll never understand how easily and how....? unnecessarily he blew the whole thing up. And for what? Someone who he will walk down this path with again someday?

I remember the sad clown saying to me "I never stopped loving you. I thought you had stopped loving me".

It was a kick in the guts in the same way "I kept my ring on - it would have felt wrong to take it off" as. Yes, he seriously said that.

I don't think they love themselves at all. Only someone who hates themselves would do something like this. It is their need for instant gratification (selfishness - false external validation) is all that matters to them.

This shit doesn't happen by accident. No-one has a spell cast on them. They choose to do it. Whether or not they thought of the consequences has more to do with what they chose to focus on rather than their capacity to do predict the consequences.

He knew we were married. He knew I was still willing to try to fix our M. He chose to see it as a lost cause - most likely because he knew something I did not at that time, that he had done it lots of times. This is his MO. He had done this in all of his prior relationships too.

I think what happened was he thought he could balance both a wife/family and fulfilling his selfish need for validation. He had compartmented his life and his mind so much that this was absolutely possible for him. He had done it for years so why would he need to stop now?

Even before DD I had seen too much of what was under that mask so I was no longer a viable source of that false external validation. Like a parasite who seeks another host off he went. Didn't mean he didn't 'love' me - they were two completely separate things in his mind.

He told me he thought what I didn't know wouldn't hurt me. He didn't see that with every lie, every step on that slippery slope, every disrespectful thing he did to me, our M and our family the further and further away he got from me. He was detaching with every little secret. I lost him well before DD. I did stop loving him before DD. I was willing to wait for and work on bringing it back. He wasn't.

The self loathing that was always bubbling just below he surface burst out and imploded our M. The need for false external validation became greater and greater. It is at fever pitch as we speak. At 40 he has his 24 y/o whore, he has his career and his money. He has the children he used me for. He also has 50% of his life to do with as he pleases.

He should be happy as a pig in shit according to his views on life/love/happiness.

Yet he still goads me every chance he gets. He still seeks validation from me. What he has still isn't enough - he is willing to humiliate himself to try to get it from me. Negative attention is better than no attention.

Sure, they loved us. The only way they know how.

For proof of that just have a look at the remorseful way wards here - those who have learned to love themselves again. Many have also learned real love for their spouses too. For the first time.

This didn't arise out of infidelity. This arose out of working their shit out. Not loving their spouse 'more' - more of that toxic shit isn't going to fix anything - but loving themselves and their spouse in a healthy way.

realitybites posted 11/18/2013 07:53 AM

I do believe all sitations are different but in my case I do think it was the parent/child dynamic adding in some P/A issues and then the A.

Which comes first? The chicken or the egg? Who knows? I feel his P/A issues led to the parent/child dynamic, which I then fell right into as a CoDep BS. (love all our terms!) But I do believe I became the parent who took care of everything, he would step in at weird moments and cause a fight, I would get mad and then he would say "see your a bit** and that is why I had to cheat on you."

Then mine got ANGRY when caught....I mean really truly an evil person. He spewed things to this day that I can't believe I have forgiven. He became an adult child with an adult tantrum that could say and do mean adult things, yet like a child did not realize the real adult consequences of his actions would be. Then after all that he would come crying back after he emploded his world wanting me to fix the problem.

So yes he did love me but he hated me too. And his selfish childish side believed he could do what he wanted and it would somehow be OK.

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