SurvivingInfidelity.com Forum Archives

Return to Forum List

Why does the BS feel shame?

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

Sammy2013 posted 12/12/2013 12:06 PM

I have been thinking about this for a while. I haven't told many people about what is going on. Close friends, only some family. His family knows more than mine, but that is because I know my family would not be helpful. Supportive, but not helpful, if that makes sense.

Anyway, I am going to go on a girls weekend in the new year and will be in same town as MIL and SIL. They know the situation and I have been amazing and I am planning on having lunch with them while there. But I find I am nervous to see them. Ashamed, embarrassed even. Why is that? It wasn't me. It wasn't my fault. Is it the perception I feel they might have that I am trying to reconcile and didn't do the "I am woman hear me roar" and kick him out (which I know a lot of people are surprised at)? The first words out of MIL mouth when she found out was "What he has done is abhorrent and I wouldn't blame you in the least if you left. I will always love you and you will always be welcome around this family." So maybe they expected me to leave?

Just a curious feeling that I have never understood.

1owner posted 12/12/2013 13:38 PM

Right after dday, I felt shame thinking it was my fault for what WW did. I was in shock for quite a while. Couldn't think straight.

After much reading here, and some posting, talking to a counselor, and trying to heal, it has changed from personal shame on me to shame for the condition of my marriage. The two are different. At first I was ashamed thinking I was responsible for what she did. Now I realize that I'm ashamed of what my marriage deteriorated to. She and I (should) equally share the shame of that. If she is ashamed of her actions, great, she should be, but I will not let that be on me any longer.

Hope that helps!

hitbyatruck posted 12/12/2013 13:39 PM

I am still sometimes ashamed of staying with my H. He did some pretty rotten stuff to me. What does that say about me? If you haven't been through this it is so hard to understand how you can still love a spouse who has had an affair(s). They betrayed sacred vows and literally put your life at risk.

I barely understand how R can be considered successful.

myeverafter posted 12/12/2013 13:48 PM

I am still sometimes ashamed of staying with my H. He did some pretty rotten stuff to me. What does that say about me? If you haven't been through this it is so hard to understand how you can still love a spouse who has had an affair(s). They betrayed sacred vows and literally put your life at risk.

I don't know if I am feeling shame right now. I don't know what I am feeling, actually. But those are thoughts that keep going through my head.

I guess it maybe confusion almost. How can I stay with someone who disregarded the commitment that I thought we had together. He never physically or emotionally abused me, but it still feels like awful.

hitbyatruck posted 12/12/2013 13:59 PM

He never physically or emotionally abused me, but it still feels like awful.

I would disagree with you here...

He didn't emotionally abuse you? His affair I'm sure wasn't pleasant for you. Emotionally I was nearly destroyed.


Physical abuse? My H never laid a hand on me either. BUT he did put my physical health at risk by having affairs.

I think in general there is a thread about affairs being considered abuse.

iwillNOT posted 12/12/2013 14:18 PM

I feel shame and embarrassment also, haven't resolved it yet. Don't understand it, but wanted you to know you are not alone.
(((Sammy2013)))

SoVerySadNow posted 12/12/2013 14:33 PM

I've thought and wondered about this too.
In my case, I feel like not only WH devalued me, but that there are thoughts about how I've devalued myself by staying even one day after dd. Only my two BFF's know IRL.

WH put my life at risk with unprotected sex- that would indicate I was disposable to him. WH thought so little of me that he didn't think twice about choosing a different sexual partner.
Yes, I know he's the broken human- but he broke us and me too. This is humiliating. I feel shame because I mattered so little and was unloved as far as I can determine.
I must add here that WH disagrees that I was unloved. But we are talking about feelings that cause shame and humiliation. I don't want people to know that I was treated like this and accepted it one iota. (Does staying indicate that I've resigned myself to being worthless? I hide that too.)

Marathonwaseasy posted 12/12/2013 14:34 PM

Me too
Working through it
Shame at my stupidity for not knowing he was having an A
Shame at how very, very, very low he sank
Shame at not throwing him out
Shame at the dirty secret I now have.
I've started telling more people and I feel a lot less ashamed

lordhasaplan? posted 12/12/2013 14:37 PM

Shame came and still comes from many places for me. Shame informes me about myself. The obvious shame started from what kind of spouse could I be if she wandered? Shame for R and sacrificing my dreams of the type of marriage I wanted. Shame because to stay meant sacrificing so much of myself. Shame because I feel like I am sacrificing my dignity. Shame because those who know see me as weak and the fool. Shame because I always believed those who stayed were too weak to leave. A large dose of shameful loss of self-respect. Shame because all I ever wanted was a partner to unconditionally love and to be loved by someone special and I couldnít be enough. The shame is real, it needs to take you to your knees and get to the real reasons youíre staying and when you reconcile with yourself. With each of these areas of shame you learn about who you really are not who you think you are. And from there you can be authentic to yourself and your desire to move forward. Shame informed me about myself.

[This message edited by lordhasaplan? at 8:58 PM, December 12th (Thursday)]

devasted30 posted 12/12/2013 16:09 PM

WH put my life at risk with unprotected sex- that would indicate I was disposable to him. WH thought so little of me that he didn't think twice about choosing a different sexual partner.

I agree with this. I still can't believe that this has happened to me. That he cheated on me. He was always such an upstanding person - and then he wasn't. And I really had no clue. Not a hint of it.
Plus my WS had an Uncle that left his wife to take up with an old college girlfriend. It devastated her. After a year or so, her husband asked if he could move back home and try to rebuild their marriage. She said yes but I was always left with the impression, "Poor Gladys, she was 2nd choice - when it didn't work out for Bob, he came back to poor waiting for him Alice" Is that what people are thinking of me? Anyone who really knows the story knows that isn't true and really what does it matter what people think? But, it does, doesn't it?

foolishlycluless posted 12/12/2013 16:31 PM

So far I haven't told anyone, other than our MC. I don't think WH has told anyone either. I feel both shame and embarassment, and that's why I don't want others to know. If we end up reconciling, I don't want others ("our friends," but in reality they are mostly my friends) to know about what happened, and to judge either WH or me.

That doesn't mean that I won't change my mind. I am still in the discovery mode. He hasn't told me everything yet ... I know that there's more to come, and I'll be on pins and needles until I know everything. Once I have all of the facts, I'll decide who I want to share information with.

vivere posted 12/12/2013 16:41 PM

Logically I know WH actions are not a reflection on me however...I do struggle with shame. Doesn't this mean that, on some level at least, I don't believe this to be true?

This is ugly but I know prior to being cheated on myself I always thought that a happy and satisfied partner would not be looking to stray. Perhaps years of thinking that way are hard to change. It makes it very difficult to let go of the thinking that I just wasn't enough. That in itself is embarrassing.

As for staying post DDay, that's another source of shame. Do I really believe that I am choosing to stay and know that I will be fine either way or is that a story I am telling myself so I don't feel like a weak and worthless woman?

Today I am not sure.

StillStanding1 posted 12/12/2013 19:52 PM

I'm right in this same quagmire with all of you... I especially relate to lordhasaplan's post... He nailed it for me.

I feel shame that I "wasn't enough"... I feel shame for letting my M deteriorate (I know, it's only partially my fault -- he can feel shame for his half!)... Shame for being so completely clueless for 1.5 years and more shame for deluding myself for another 6 months... I feel shame because my kids found out before I did and it will forever scar them... Shame for how my DD thinks I'm pathetic for trying to R... Shame because it was impossible to keep a lid on this and "everyone" is talking about us... Like devastated30 said, ashamed that people may think I'm okay with being second choice. That people will view me as weak, because they don't understand how much strength it takes to try to R. I am ashamed that my kids now have the "trump" story to share on how dysfunctional their family is... Ashamed that my WH was ready to leave us all for someone else... Ashamed that I can still feel love and compassion for someone who showed me such utter disrespect and disloyalty.

It is utterly humiliating in so many ways. I am working hard to be proud of myself again. Someday I want my kids to be proud of the woman I will become. I hope they will respect me for the strength and grace I have shown. Boy, is this hard....

ETA: My MIL adores me and also told me that after all my efforts to forgive and R, she wouldn't blame me a bit for leaving his waffling sorry self, and that I needed to start looking out for myself (although it would break her heart).

[This message edited by StillStanding1 at 7:55 PM, December 12th (Thursday)]

Lonelygirl10 posted 12/12/2013 20:24 PM

This is the main thing I'm struggling with now. I told my close friend the details of what happened, and now I feel ashamed of myself for staying with him. It's hard for him to understand. He sees it as me being ashamed of him. But it's really more shame about myself than shame about him. I feel like other people can't understand the reasons why I chose to stay. They just see this horrible thing he did, and they see me as this weak, pathetic person that didn't stand up for myself. I've tried explaining my reasons to my friend, but she just can't see beyond his actions. And I feel ashamed of what she's probably thinking about me.

Does anyone have any advice on how to move past the shame? My IC worked with me on admitting that it's not just that I'm worried about what other people think. It's that I'm also a little ashamed of myself. I know my reasons for staying. But I do still question whether I'm enough. Whether he loved me. And what it says about me that I stayed with someone who treated me that way.

watersofavalon posted 12/13/2013 04:51 AM

Why?

Because as BS is gullible, stupid, complacent, not good enough, a failure, probably fat and ugly, let herself go...

An OW is desirable and interesting, she might be immoral but let's be honest everyone loves a bad girl, she's slim and beautiful...

etc.

True? probably not, any of it, but those are the things I felt after dday. And those are the images that seem to be perpetuated by the media. A mistress is bound to more exciting than a wife isn't she?

So shame for all the above. Add to that the fact that a reconciling BS isn't being strong and brave and 'respecting herself' and you have fairly potent mix. It all used to get to me until I realised that I am a damned good woman and H was a fool to risk me. Then all the stupid labels fell away.

lordhasaplan? posted 12/13/2013 08:00 AM

Does anyone have any advice on how to move past the shame? My IC worked with me on admitting that it's not just that I'm worried about what other people think. It's that I'm also a little ashamed of myself. I know my reasons for staying. But I do still question whether I'm enough. Whether he loved me. And what it says about me that I stayed with someone who treated me that way.


Shame is not bad, its simply an emotion one that is informing you about yourself. It is a signal to me, to explore what is at the root of the shame. What about me takes me to that feeling and then explore the reasons for it. So itís an opportunity to learn about myself. For me shame was my first natural response to the burdens and demands that were being visited on me by my family at an early age. Having a drug addicted alcoholic Bipolar brother has its way of foisting this on an adolescent and parents who canít cope with it without help. So my shame is rooted back there, rooted in the coping of the past and needs to be readdressed and the lens I viewed it changed. From my familial experience, the demands of a dysfunctional shame-bound family were irrational and inconsistent. We only felt it and knew we were unhappy and didnt know what would make things better. The environment of the home only succeeded in making us all feel bad about being ourself, because we did not possess what his behavior demanded and I certainly didnít have the power nor the maturity to see that the shame felt was a reflection of him and not our family, etcÖ
For me to learn to deal with my shame took many IC sessions where I changed my lens. It meant facing the shame head on experience it, incorporate it. Its not different than any other feeling, joy , anger, sadness, they all just serve as colors that inform us as to our current state. Then you explore why you are experiencing that and address it or enjoy it. We are all our memories, our history, our joys and our talents, I am also my experience of shame. There is no escaping any part of yourself, your shame experiences are part of who we are, not bad not good simply road signs. What you can learn is not to deny or finesse them, but to face them, own them, and incorporate them into yourself. After all, they are only painful memories, painful experiences, not demons to run from or vanquish. They cannot hurt you again as they did before--though you may believe they can--for you are not as vulnerable as you were when the event happened. And damn it I am strong and capable of feeling it and addressing it, the experience has provided me an opportunity to confront and not be done-in by the shaming experiences the world offers me.
There is nothing shameful about shame. You have every right to yours as I have the right to mine. That feeling is pointing to an area of work, exploration, new understanding of myself.

Dreamland posted 12/13/2013 17:27 PM

Yes I too feel the shame. I told very few people. He told no one. But I told his SIL and niece. Because his brother is a serial cheater. My SIL asked me how it was possible that one brother was so good and the other such a POS. I had to let her know they are like their father. Cheaters.
So yes ashamed that people who know look at me like the pitiful chubby ugly wife who has no recourse but to stay with handsome hubby. One of his workers last week congratulated me for getting lucky in catching him. I looked at her like WTF. She was like good job tell me your secret. I just laughed and walked away.
So yes ashamed

Return to Forum List

© 2002-2018 SurvivingInfidelity.com ®. All Rights Reserved.     Privacy Policy