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I Might Have Discovered My "Why"..

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pointofnoreturn posted 1/5/2014 22:52 PM

But, I'm not too sure. I'm always afraid of minimizing or blameshifting the issue. So I suppose I wanted a second opinion.

Basically, it boils down to feeling validated? I don't think this is the case with OM #1. OM #1 was a ONS that occurred because I was 19 and stupid. Basically, I had no concept of what a boundary was, and didn't think how my BBF would feel if I just went over to some guy's house. In my mind, it was pure innocent fun. We'd play some Magic or video games, and that'd be it.

OM #2 was different, and I feel we both fed into our egos. OM #2 was significantly older, I'd have to say he was around 38 at the time when I was just 21. So yeah, gross, I know.

He was the sad lonely loser guy who had no one to ever love him, neglectful parents, and just couldn't get in with his art. I was the young girl who didn't have any clue of the world, and looked to this guy as a mentor of sorts.

Pretty soon, I began to develop a crush of sorts towards him. I highly suspect this was due to past sexual abuse towards me from older men, so it was what I was "attracted" to, in other words. But he was so "intelligent"! He knew so much about art and the world, why, how could little dumb me ever compare?

And that's where I started pulling the lever for those precious ego kibbles. Sometimes they wouldn't come out, but if I kept inside my little Skinner box and kept pressing, eventually I'd get one. Thus the major mistake #1, ever pining for his attention. Looking back at it now, he was lonely for a reason: HE'S AN ASSHOLE.

My value as a person was so low, that in turn, I risked my relationship for this person. I felt I had this gut feeling that I owe it to myself to please men. Whether it's a stranger asking me what the weather is like, or it's this asshole groping me, that it what my sole purpose is.

I guess how it was was we were two broken people trying to fill voids where we didn't have them. I felt validated and wanted when he would compliment my art or anything about me, and he felt young and alive again with sex. I wasn't into the sex, it was just more like "Okay, this is the part where we have to do that thing now." The only thing is, I never needed that void filled: I had a loving boyfriend that was there all along telling me those things...I ask myself how I could not even see this.

Another possible reason would have to deal with distance. During the A, I was many states away from BBF. Perhaps I wanted someone physically there to fill that void as well?

After my confession, I felt a bit of a transformation, for the better. Don't get me wrong, I'm still very much broken. But, there's just something there that wasn't there before. And I've viewed the world a lot more cautiously than I had before.

I don't let people run me over - at least not as much. It's a slow battle that I'm working with my IC. Essentially 20 years of a learned behavior having to be unraveled and reprogrammed properly.

So TL;DR: I believe the cause of my A is an unhealthy need to have validation, specifically from men as well as a complete lack of self-value in myself that I am essentially a doormat.

Before I get it into my mind of "Yeah, that's it!" I just wanted to run it over with you guys.

stilllovinghim posted 1/5/2014 23:17 PM

Why wasn't the validation from your partner enough? Why did you look elsewhere? Why did you allow the "kibbles"? Do you think if you'd gone to your partner prior to the A with your needs, do you think anything would or would not be different? Why?

pointofnoreturn posted 1/5/2014 23:41 PM

I don't think my BBF would have affected the outcome much because the problem was with myself and not him. He knew I was depressed, was unassertive, etc. already. I never took his love as seriously as I should have. When he said things like, "You're beautiful.", in my mind it was like, "Of course you would say that, you're my boyfriend." It's funny how hearing something positive from someone else who wasn't obligated to say those things just made me run in my hamster wheel for more.

I allowed the kibbles because they made me feel good, as straightforward as that is. I didn't get much validation when I was younger, so hearing it from someone stroked my ego.

It makes me suspect that distance was a contributing factor, and there wasn't much of anything he could do about it, honestly. That makes it less of an issue about anything he did or didn't do, the problem was me. Impatience, I suppose?

stilllovinghim posted 1/6/2014 00:56 AM

Regardless of the distance, you could have called or texted or emailed your BF. Let him know what was bothering you, etc but instead you turned to another person. That is an excuse.

Do you think it was because it was easier to turn to a *stranger* than to face problems in the relationship with your BF? Or maybe you'd allowed yourself to give up before trying and told yourself it wouldn't matter, he (your BF) wouldn't listen, or care, etc because this snowball was already rolling down the hill and was starting a crescendo?

Seeking validation & realizing you needed/wanted it is a very huge step towards figuring out *You*. I feel there's more layers to uncover. How about you?

pointofnoreturn posted 1/6/2014 10:17 AM

But would that not be blame shifting then? Implying my BBF could have changed the outcome. You are correct that I could have contacted him, and those two weeks I didn't were all on me. He suggested that he should have said something about me hanging out with this guy, but he didn't. And it's not his fault because he trusted me...

I say there's nothing he could or couldn't have done because the A was my choice. Even if I contacted him, I'm so weak-willed that it wouldn't have changed it. Therein lies my problem.

stilllovinghim posted 1/6/2014 11:24 AM

No, no, no not at all what I meant. I wasn't saying your BBF would have changed the outcome. I was referring instead to you going to him with the problems instead of someone else. If you would have gone to your BBF and said "we need to talk. XYZ is upsetting me, I'm tired of XYZ, I feel like we never XYZ" etc. Do you feel that if you had communicated with your BFF instead of turning to another, if that would have prevented or help prevent an A? Or do you feel the die was already cast?

I really don't buy being weak-willed as a reason. Plenty of people are weak-willed & everyone alive is capable of an A or developing some sort of addiction. I feel that saying you were weak-willed is a cop-out. Everyone at some point is faced with temptation during difficult times in their lives. Even as WS's, we may have have an A & there are places in our lives where we didn't waver, say, like with drugs or gambling. Same for BS's and on and on. You decided not to discuss private relationship issus with your BBF from jump street because someone else was already giving you attention you wanted and it was so much easier to forget about the real relationship you had with your BBF and stare down the issues. I beleive you quickly and very early on knew what you were getting yourself into. Your BFF even warned you but placed so much trust in you. You should have stopped right there.

So now the question is, how are you going to handle situations now? Are you going to turn to your BFF and talk to him or a counselor or just fall back on being weak?

MairISaoirse posted 1/6/2014 12:57 PM

pointofnoreturn, your story is very similar to mine, i was almost taken aback a little. being 21 with low self esteem and poor boundaries who enjoyed male attention (intentional or not), with a much older man who was very intelligent and "cultured", who made me feel intelligent and interesting, while being in a LDR (only I was in a different country for two months).

the first thing I uncovered was my need for validation and affirmation. i had an "ah-hah" moment and I thought i had all of my problems solved! but then i realized that there was much more there that was left to be uncovered. I think its good youre recognizing that you can't blame your BBF for not giving you the "validation" you seeked

Glad you found out one of your whys though!! i think you need to dig some more, like why do you feel like you need to look for validation from men specifically? do you have any FOO issues you haven't completely worked out? *have you discussed your "need" for validation from your BBF?*

** I'm not saying its BBF fault for not giving you your validation. I'm just bringing this up because it was a problem of mine. My "love language" is "words of affirmation", and i wasn't getting that from my BF. Now, that wasn't his fault, because that wasn't his love language, his love language is "acts of service". so he was trying to show me his love, rather than telling me like i needed. Just a thought

painfulpast posted 1/6/2014 13:27 PM

Hi PONR - just curious - why do you say OM is an asshole? Do you feel he tricked you? Or took advantage?

I'm not saying he's a wonderful person. I'm just curious is all.

Great job in digging to get to some 'whys'. We all have to dig at some point, and it's not much fun.


pointofnoreturn posted 1/7/2014 13:42 PM

I was a bit busy yesterday, so I didn't get back in time.

Yes, "weak-willed" can be a cop out, but I feel this is one of my main issues, mainly assertiveness. There's always someone else who could have had my identical situation, yet choose not to cheat. You mention drugs, though...

And it's really a problem. During the A, I was living with my uncle, and this was a problem as well. I had drugs and alcohol pushed on me during my stay there from my uncle. Even to my uncle, I couldn't say no to these advances, and it just feels even dirtier.

StillLoving, I stated that after the fact (post D-Day), he suggested that he should have said something. He didn't. This of course isn't his fault, because he was only doing what a trusting boyfriend should do.

Right now, I'm handling my issues differently. I'm going to weekly IC to deal with the plethora of issues I have, from infidelity to FOO. The two of us are talking more about our issues now, and I think it's been a lot easier to deal with this now that we're together.

Mair, we have briefly discussed love languages before. We have determined that mine is gift giving/words and his is physical touch. So we've been trying to connect with each other in this way. I've talked about my unhealthy need for validation, and it's a bit confusing because I'm not sure if this is feeding into the addiction or if this is what I need?

Painfulpast, I say he's an asshole because he's simply that. I don't think he "tricked" me, but he was well aware of my relationship status, yet chose to pursue. I know it was still my choice, but stepping back and looking at it, it's like, "Wow, I chose to be with someone who would just tear a relationship apart?!" I know I'm no better in all this, though I want to change and become a safe person. The OMs in my case were single and had nothing to lose, so I'm certain it doesn't even affect them.

Tickingtock posted 1/7/2014 16:26 PM

I highly suspect this was due to past sexual abuse towards me from older men, so it was what I was "attracted" to, in other words.

I'm no psychiatrist, so forgive me, but I don't think you are attracted to people who resemble your abuser. I think you are choosing to punish yourself by exposing yourself to men who remind you of your abuse.

pointofnoreturn posted 1/7/2014 16:34 PM

...That might not be far from the truth. I do have a tendency of punishing myself, justified or not. I used to be a cutter in my teens, so it could very well be.

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