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Breaking the Law

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Wayflost posted 12/29/2013 12:19 PM

I'm actually going to brag here, because I did something good. BH and I were talking, and I stayed calm and tried very hard to hear his pain, anger, frustration, feelings. But then the conversation started down a path of discussing legal ramifications.

What I mean by that is: he asked, "what are the penalties for assault?" Where we live assault is no physical connection, but the threat of physical connection, can also be just words if the receiver is genuinely afraid of immediate harm. Battery is when the physical happens. Both are misdemeanors. So someone who does such a thing is looking at between 6 months (petty misdemeanor) to a year (full misdemeanor) of jurisdiction per charge. So he says, "Great. Not only will I be looking at up to 2 years of jail time (?) but I'll have to do that on top of a minimum of 2 years for recovery from what you've done to me."

I got up calmly, walked out of the room, and quietly closed the bedroom door. I don't know how long I spent there, but long enough to contemplate what he was actually saying. I think. I'm still working on that disconnect between the intellectual understanding of his reactions and feelings, and the emotional connection.

What I should have said when I came out is, "you are clearly very angry because of the choices I made. I know you are looking for ways to deal with your pain. I know you wish my APs would feel some pain as a result of their disregard for my relationship with you. I am so sad that my choice to have affairs has caused you this pain. I'm worried about you, and I want to help you. But you must recognize that doing something illegal will entirely be your choice. Yes, I caused your pain by lying and cheating, but I did not cause you to choose violence. I am so sad that the pain I have caused you has allowed you to feel so much pain and anger that you could contemplate hurting another person. I am so sorry I have done this to you. Please know that while I do not condone violence, I will support you no matter what." Or something along those lines.

Instead I drew the line in the sand that any jurisdiction a court might have over him will entirely be his fault. Period. I did say I would get him a lawyer, some comfort that is... I did apologize for causing him so much pain he has become a person capable of contemplating violence. I might have even thanked him for directing his anger at the OMs instead of me.

But in that discussion I did not, for once, rage. I did not become totally defensive (I know there was still some). One day at a time, one minor step forward. I know that my BH's complete lack of a record will mean he gets minimums... But still.

So what I'm wondering is: anyone else have a BS who contemplated violence/law breaking? Anyone have a BS who followed through? What did you do, and how did you cope?

authenticnow posted 12/29/2013 12:24 PM

My BH waited outside OM's apartment with a baseball bat. Thank God he didn't come out or come home or whatever.

I begged him not to go, there was no stopping him. He made verbal threats against OM and his family, but he said he would only follow through if OM contacted me again.

It made me realize the extent of BH's anger and pain. He is not a violent person. I dealt with it by discouraging it as best I could from breaking the law/getting hurt/hurting someone else, and letting him have his anger and rage.

AchillesHealed posted 12/29/2013 13:42 PM

It's great that you were able to defuse the situation and use it as an opportunity to reaffirm your remorse and commitment. Obviously being able to quash knee-jerk defensiveness is a good skill to have on the road to recovery.

To answer your question, my BH never expressed anger at the OM. His hurt/disgust/anger/blame was all directed at me, as it should be. I will never understand people who blame the AP. Hate, yes, but the blame and any repercussions should (in my opinion) fall solely on the person who knows you, who ostensibly loves you, who broke a commitment. No one but your spouse is responsible for his or her behavior in the marriage.

[This message edited by AchillesHealed at 1:43 PM, December 29th (Sunday)]

Prayingforhope posted 12/29/2013 13:55 PM

I think you're lucky your BS it TALKING about assault as opposed to doing it. The words, especially the hateful, spiteful, violent ones are part of the process BS go through, and guess what,
we need to listen to it all since we caused this much pain inside them.

There is probably a gender difference here, but my BS didn't talk about it, she just beat me with everything she could find...I had bruises and headaches for weeks from the beating.

That level of explosive anger is actually helpful to BS in the early days and if we're smart, we chose to take it...for my part, I NEEDED it as it just started my understanding of how bad I had hurt her....

NoGoodUsername posted 12/29/2013 15:30 PM


I have to disagree with you in very strong terms.

I suspect that you don't have any real comprehension of the level of existential threat that you have put your husband under.By having an affair, you have threatened the stability of everything in his life. By having sex with another man, you and your AP tapped into some very dangerous territory that rides below our veneer of civilization.

Let's be blunt. We're a violent species and our modern, Western Civilization overlay of leaving responsibility for violence to the 'proper authorities' doesn't last very long in the face of gigantic threats. Except for immediate danger, there isn't much that is more threatening than having your mate and genetic line impinged upon by another. Historically, people kill each other over this stuff and they still do. Expressing a desire to beat up the OM, is a pretty normal range of feeling and the fact that he is talking about consequences at all means that at least he is thinking instead of flying off in an unrestrained way.

I'm going to take special issue with your statement about "I did not cause to you choose violence". That is so much bullshit. At face value, it is true, you did not exercise mind control and make him want to commit violence. You, did, however create the conditions where he is justifiably furious over a very primal issue. Wayflost- animals fight and kill each other over intrusion into mated bonds. It was a big enough problem in Judeo-Christian history that the Ten Commandments has a special space set aside for adultery. This stuff is serious and you set the conditions for it. Isolating that down to "I didn't make you do it" is a special form of blame shifting propagated by bad therapy. You don't have much to brag about here.

All of this being said, your BH beating the crap out of your AP is probably a bad idea from the pragmatic point of view. It won't fix his problems and it will create many more of them that might linger the rest of his life. It isn't practical for him to beat up your AP, but it is completely reasonable that he wants to. If you deny the validity of that feeling, you really don't understand what it is that you have done here.

pointofnoreturn posted 12/29/2013 15:32 PM

Sorry for the tj but praying, physical abuse is never okay, regardless of gender. That kind of thinking leads to male abuse victims not being taken seriously at all. You're a WS, yes, but you don't deserve to be hit.

SlowUptake posted 12/29/2013 16:33 PM

I stayed calm and tried very hard to hear his pain, anger, frustration, feelings.

Well done Wayflost, a good step in the right direction.

Sorry for the t/j


I have to disagree with you.

Using your logic.

You, did, however create the conditions
(Very wayward thinking IMHO, YMMV)

A WS in a bad marriage could blame the BS for their cheating.

Or the old excuse from thieves "Well if you didn't want it stolen it shoudn't have been out on display", would be a valid justification.

I seem to remember there's a Commandment specifically on that subject too.

Wayflost- animals fight and kill each other over intrusion into mated bonds

In reality, in the animal world, death from fighting over the rite to mate with a female is pretty rare, since it is anti-survival for the species.

Most mating combat is a pissing contest between males with very little danger of serious injury or death.

"I did not cause to you choose violence". That is so much bullshit

I don't really think that's the source of the bullshit in this thread.

@ Prayingforhope.

There is probably a gender difference here, but my BS didn't talk about it, she just beat me with everything she could find...I had bruises and headaches for weeks from the beating.

And you're still married to this woman? Does she regret it, is she remorseful, has she figured out why her goto coping mechanism is violence? Has she beat your children?
If the genders were reversed, the police would have been involved & the perp would be doing jail time.
Let me guess, her justification was, "You made me do it". It's not only WS's who blameshift, other types of abusers do it as well.

Just something to ponder.YMMV.

[This message edited by SlowUptake at 12:20 AM, December 30th (Monday)]

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