During a very long, brutal and emotional talk a couple nights ago my BW told me she wishes I would have just f'd somebody instead of what I did. She said it would be easier to forgive me because everyone makes mistakes and she thinks she could get past that since it would have been a one time thing. But because I hid my pornography from her from the start of our relationship and lied repeatedly about it she doesn't know if she can ever be intimate with me again mentally or physically.
I'm not sure what to make of that. When she first said it a few months ago I thought it was just her anger talking but she is dead serious and says that it's because she doesn't even know who I am now. I have to admit that even though I'm trying very hard to own my mistakes and not minimize, there is a part of me that thinks that she would think otherwise if it had actually happened that way. Please don't misunderstand, I'm just being honest and trying to understand where she is coming from. Like I said, I am treating this as an unfaithful act in my marriage and I take full responsibility for my actions. Just trying to come to a better understanding so hopefully I can help my BW.
Your BS probably feels all those things too even without an actual person to point out. Maybe it is scarier because there is no actual OP to watch for and blame. You replaced something that should be hers with a screen not a real person. Ouch.
My IC told me that if a BS is capable of cutting off emotional and physical bonds with the person closest to them overnight with no empathy, then it is likely that the BS had some issues of their own pre-betrayal. Maybe your W has fear of abandonment, a victim mentality or difficulty with intimacy.
Her issues are her responsibility, and you can not fix her. I would keep up the work on yourself and keep showing patience and remorse. Her pace is her pace and at least she talked to you about it.
The hypothetical ONS is a red herring. A ONS is not a "mistake". They result from the same damage and patterns all WS's have. No betrayal is "easier" to forgive.
Forgiveness itself may not be a helpful concept at this point. I am almost a year post d-day and haven't thought about forgiveness yet. I worked on healing myself and being healthy, and on understanding my H. I didn't need to forgive him to do those things.
I do think SI is completely appropriate for your situation.
she wishes I would have just f'd somebody instead of what I did
Shot in the dark, here, but had you f'd someone, there'd be on OW onto which BW could displace some of her hurt and anger. All she has is you. At least with a PA, she could've gone through the stage...which is normal and many BS's do it...where it'd maybe be a little easier to blame someone else at first. Or (another common reaction) blame herself by comparing herself unfavorably to the OW. Those are both common steps I see on the journey to realizing it *was* all about the Wayward and his brokenness all along. She had to jump straight to that step, which is probably very hard because (I bet) she wants to love and trust you.
Just realized I'm echoing what seenow wrote, in part.
But yes, maybe it would be easier to displace anger, or have something to point to, rather than have to choose something big and impersonal like the porn industry or your spouse.
Maybe your BS should be on here - there are lots of people dealing with porn use. I am not minimizing your wife's hurt -- there was a day when I would have thought that was the worst betrayal my H could/would commit. So, it is good you are here, because your behavior could have totally escalated, and much of the lying and betraying comes from the same source, and hurts the same.
She had to jump straight to that step, which is probably very hard because (I bet) she wants to love and trust you.
Until you walk in the shoes, you never really know what it "feels" like. I don't really think your BW wished there had been an actual OW, she just wants some relief from her pain and is grasping at straws.
The lying, the secrets, the misplaced trust, the distortion of our reality is really the crux of the betrayal. I imagine it is the same feelings whether it was an actual PA, EA, porn addiction, or any kind of addiction.
Keep up the good work, 1big. Focus on your healing, be supportive of your BW. Listen to her and don't minimize her feelings. I am glad she is in IC because I do feel that there is probably some FOO issues that your betrayal has triggered in your BW.
"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak." ~ Homer Simpson
*sigh* I would be "happy" if it had been pornography instead of an actual OW for 4 years. Or, at least, I think it would be easier. So, I understand how you would feel that way, 1bigidiot79. But, does it really matter?
The lying, the secrets, the misplaced trust, the distortion of our reality is really the crux of the betrayal.
Like I said, I am treating this as an unfaithful act in my marriage and I take full responsibility for my actions.
I left my WS because of his porn habit and the constant lies. I left him because I couldn't trust him. He never came clean with me. I couldn't be with someone I couldn't trust. I had no evidence of his cheating at the time I left him (I did find out later though about all the actual cheating the porn led into). The physical part didn't matter one bit. It was all about the trust and intimacy that I needed from him, which he wasn't able to give to me.
Hope this helps you understand a bit.
[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 8:07 AM, December 21st (Saturday)]