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for this SI veteran, the wayward forum is tough lately

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authenticnow posted 1/12/2014 06:24 AM

*this isn't directed at anybody specifically and I am posting as a member*

This wayward forum is a very unique place, IMO. We were given a place to heal, in a forum with those who have been cheated on. We are WSs and some of us OPs, or both.

Going NC and maintaining it, telling the BS or not, having anger hurled at us from the BS, being permitted our own anger and resentment, our 'why's...these are all common themes in this forum.

Some talk about 'drinking the kool aid', that there are certain views that come up consistently. We have been called a cult because we have our 'mantras', our 'way of doing things'. The reason why that's so is because that shit works!

When I came here my way of thinking as a WS, as a person, was very, very different from how it is now. I am different, I got this, none of these people really know me, etc.

The reason I'm still here, still in my marriage, why I'm healthy, is because at some point something just clicked. I realized that the ones before me knew what the hell they were talking about! The support group formula works so beautifully because you're sharing with others who have BEEN IN THE SAME SITUATION THAT YOU ARE IN RIGHT NOW! They knew because they had all BTDT.

I'm writing this post *as a member* to ask us all, especially the newbies, to remember to keep an open mind. To realize that those giving you advice are doing so from experience. And if it's something that is difficult to hear, consider that if it's hard for you to hear it's probably something you need to look at more closely.

If you're new, keep posting and keep listening with an open mind. If you truly want to heal and grow, this is the place to do it.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 6:27 AM, January 12th (Sunday)]

Trying33 posted 1/12/2014 06:33 AM

I totally get what you're saying AN and I agree with you. This site has helped me remain NC and I owe a lot to the people on SI. Every single time I felt like breaking NC I came and posted here instead. The 2x4's have been helpful, however hard to hear. The people on this site encouraged and facilitated my finally deleting my email account which I never could have done on my own.

BUT, here's the thing, the reason I first came to a forum, having never done anything like this before, is because I wanted just a tiny little bit of reassurance that I am not a total fuck up in life and that I've made a mistake that can now be rectified (in whatever vain). I just needed some gentle people being there to listen, telling me they know what I'm going through. I already knew I had wronged my H and that's why I came to a surviving infidelity website because I wanted to survive it and understand what the hell went wrong in my life.

When I first came here, I said I wanted to sit around in my pj's eating icecream mourning my EMA. I realise now how absurd that sounds (and how selfish) and quite rightly, someone told me at that time I cannot mourn such an illicit relationship. I do not have that right. That was helpful as it made me think. But had someone written something aggressive maybe I wouldn't have come back.

All in all, this site has been a God send to me. thank-you everyone.

Trying33 posted 1/12/2014 06:38 AM

OK.. I've just read some threads and see the place your post is coming from..

authenticnow posted 1/12/2014 06:39 AM

I hear you. And that's why we have the stop sign (and I used it today because I want this to be a safe thread for the WSs).

Sometimes the veterans have to check themselves and remember where they were early in the process, too.
It's easy for me to say, 'Maintain NC!' and then I have to remember that when my EA ended I mourned for 8 months and what a struggle it was for me. My BH didn't know. It was only when he discovered my PAs afterwards did I confess about the EA.

But I also remember that when I thought I could just call OM(PA) to say hi after I told him it was over, he asked me to meet him again even though now we were 'just friends', and how it got me right back to that complicated, ugly place. So, these are the types of things that we share to help each other---our experiences, what works, what doesn't.

Everyone's journey is very, very messy, for sure.

Alyssamd24 posted 1/12/2014 07:38 AM

I agree with this, and also agree that there have been a few posts on this forum recently that have turned ugly. I have seen the accusations about this forum being a cult and think that's ridiculous.

Like Trying said, when I first came and posted there were a few comments I received that almost made me tuck my tail between my legs and go running in the opposite direction. I also got defensive in a few and initially tried to "fight back" until I realized that what was said to me was absolutely correct...and like authentic said, the reason I took offense to it is because it was something I needed to look at more closely.

The veterans in this forum are brutally honest....but for the most part stress that the reason they are that way is cuz they have BTDT. And although some comments have made me feel like a shitty person I have never felt that anyone was directly attacking me....meaning no one has ever called me names or anything like that.

To the newbies.....keep posting, and like authentic said, keep an open mind. None of the WS are going to judge you, cuz we have all done the same things as you, if not worse. If you feel like you are being attacked then bring it up either in a post or PM. And remember the WS on this forum are here to help!!

Mrs Panda posted 1/12/2014 07:41 AM

I can be pretty rigid in general about my views about right or wrong. When I came here, I knew I was in the wrong, but was still trying to convince myself I was right.

I also believe there is a right and wrong way of fixing things.

So I listened. And the people here who had recovered and reconciled (what I wanted) had done things a certain way. Of course, there are variations. But the success stories on here that I saw, the people that posted to me, had gone all in.

For example, taking 100% responsibility for the As? That was a foreign concept to me. After all, Womens' magazines would tell you it's probably because your husband isn't paying you enough attention.

It was very uncomfortable to sit and read things that told me I was doing bad shit. I have almost never been reprimanded, even as a kid, as I was viewed as a goody goody or golden child who always follows the rules. Except when I had this secret life in which I broke all the rules.

So being told I was in deep trouble by people here hurt. The posts that really stung for me were the most true (ahem, thanks wincings sparkle ). So I had a choice...fight or flight. This was the only place I had seen where this stuff was actually talked about. I sensed there was a lot of knowledge here, more than my actual IC had ever offered.

Thanks, Grand Poobah. Oops, I mean AN.

[This message edited by Mrs Panda at 7:44 AM, January 12th (Sunday)]

Alyssamd24 posted 1/12/2014 07:56 AM

The funny thing for me, is that the people who were harshest on me were also the people I had the most respect for....I'm not sure why??!! And even though their words would make me cringe the most, they are also the ones I consider the most.

Special shout out to authentic now, just desserts, aubrie, unagie, and Mrs panda....and I know I'm forgetting others.

[This message edited by Alyssamd24 at 7:57 AM, January 12th (Sunday)]

smez posted 1/12/2014 08:15 AM

I am new and very thankful for the forum. I feel like I can post and get replies from people who understand where I am coming from. I also like the tough stance and honest, brutal advice that I can read here. Here is the second half of my post...

What I don't particularly find useful is lumping all of us into a singular bucket. Our affairs are all different. We are all different. Our situations are different.

There is some great universal advice and then some iffy advice that does come across like a cult.

This idea (and this is a very over the top representation) that we should all go confess and throw ourselves at the mercy of our spouses so that they can either D us or remind us on a daily/hourly basis how utterly terrible people we are and how saintly they are for even being in the same room as us, is not particularly helpful.

As I said, an over the top representation, but it sometimes feels like that here.

We are not solely our affairs. They are mistakes we have made and that we are trying to move forward from. How we deal with the going forward is going to be different depending on the person. Not everybody is going to be on the same timetable or healing schedule. I think that is important to remember.

Clarrissa posted 1/12/2014 08:53 AM

smez, when we tell a WS to confess, we do so because we've seen so many BS say that they wish their WS had just told them, instead of having to go through all the uncertainty and second guessing themselves.

As for the FWSs telling it like it is, that's what makes this forum so great. The saying "You can't bullshit a bullshitter" certainly holds true here. The FWS aren't afraid to call one another out on stuff even if the member is years out. This happened to me just a couple years ago. I was thisclose to sliding down the slope again, posted here and was hit with 2x4s. As I should have been.

And smez, you're right. We are not solely our affairs. And this is a place we can come to see that. A place where we can learn to heal ourselves and help our BS heal. Another member once said (a WS, can't remember who. Sorry...) that this is tough love at it's finest.

HUFI-PUFI posted 1/12/2014 09:38 AM

This idea (and this is a very over the top representation) that we should all go confess and throw ourselves at the mercy of our spouses so that they can either D us or remind us on a daily/hourly basis how utterly terrible people we are and how saintly they are for even being in the same room as us, is not particularly helpful.

We're not being told to confess to our spouses ONLY so they have all of the information to make informed choices about their marriage. We're not being encouraged to confess to our spouses ONLY to give R a chance. Before we fix our spouses and our marriages, first and foremost, we have to heal ourselves and the first step on that journey is self-honesty.

The reason to confess is to let yourself get to a point of authenticity. Itís to let you reset your moral compass. Itís the first step in moving to self-healing. Self-healing is a multi-layered process but you can't heal what you don't acknowledge. And IMHO, it starts with being honest with yourself and you can't say that you are an honest, moral upright person when you hide a secret of this magnitude to yourself. That's like making a promise with your fingers crossed.

We get that we're all individual and we get that our life journeys are all unique but even with that said, there are some constants in this whole process. Itís not a matter of whether you had a LTA versus a bunch of ONS. It doesn't matter if the AP was an ex-lover or your SIL. Those are just details.

The crux of the matter is that we all made a promise to be in a monogamous relationship and then broke that promise. We all lied about our actions. We all found some need within us that we tried to fill with very questionable actions. I can't always relate to your specific details but for sure, I can relate to the common thread of betrayal, lying, validation etc. That's what most of us try to do in our posts. We're trying to illustrate that betrayal is betrayal at one level or the other. We're using our own life experiences and life stores to show you the right way, the better way based on our mistakes in our own journeys. Remember, BTDT?

Weíre not trained professional (although, I think we have a few of them here too )and so our suggestions, advice and replies to posts come from the heart first and foremost. Itís been said that members have to take what works and leave the rest but that statement doesn't stand on its own. It works in conjunction with the saying of "if it hurts, it should be looked at".

Many of us have found that itís our actions post affair that created the biggest mess in our marriages and in the spirit of BTDT, we offer our advice in hindsight to the newbies. Yes, sometimes it doesn't seem to fit but I honestly believe that if you dig deep enough, you will eventually come to a point where you'll say ďif only I knew that, if only someone had told me that before."

Well, those of us who are trying to pay it forward are trying to be that someone to you. We're trying to give you some help from our own hard won battles in this forum. Many, if not most of us, were in denial when we came here. Most of us had issues with NC. Just look at the post titles. Time after time, itís the same question that comes up. Should I confess? How do I get the AP out of my head? Why did I have an affair? The reason that they are standard questions is because they are root issues that apply to most every wayward here. Weíre not just mouthing trite words for the hell of it all. We're trying to pay it forward as other members did the same for us.

And we hope one day, after a long journey of introspective soul gazing, that you will join us here too, ready to give of your experience to someone new.


Wisdom from Gamine - Make a decision and discipline yourself not to waver. Don't be someone who stands for nothing. Stand for what you decide and back it with the full force of your character and conviction. DECIDE. CHOOSE. COMMIT. PERIOD.

smez posted 1/12/2014 10:05 AM

Thanks for the responses. I take from this forum what is helpful and leave some of the mantra behind.

NO ONE should listen to anyone on this site that tells them to ignore an IC/MC advice. There is no one size fits all solution.

Everyone here is going to have to do some hard work to fix themselves. Because at the end of the day, it comes down to the individual. I am broken and I will focus on fixing me. Why each of us is broken is a personal and complicated issue and the fixing is going to vary for each person.

I would say that threads regularly get derailed by this confession issue, especially when there is no stop sign.

kmom2662 posted 1/12/2014 10:41 AM

As terrible as I feel about the affair, some of what you said definitely resonates with me. I made some really terrible choices, and will regret them forever, but I still have quite a bit of anger and resentment about the state of the M for the 8 or 10 years preceding the A. I took, and broke, the vow of fidelity I took, but we also took vows to love and cherish and commit to each other, and there wasn't a lot of that going on, in either direction. I just wish I would have found a better way to deal with it.

But, it's an ongoing process and I'm fairly new too. I already think I'm looking at some things differently than I was at the beginning. All I know is that SI (and especially AN) was my only support during one of the worst days of my existence, and that I am thankful for.

smez posted 1/12/2014 10:53 AM


In one way, SI has helped me appreciate my husband more. There has been no verbal over the line abuse in either direction. This is one of the things that bothers me on here. There are some BS that are clearly abusing the WS using the A as an excuse. That doesn't mean we don't/didn't yell at each other over the A. He was very, very angry. However, to his credit, he didn't sit in MC and say "I have no idea how this happened". We both recognize that our marriage wasn't working and frankly both dealing with it in terrible ways.

JustDesserts posted 1/12/2014 10:53 AM

NO ONE should listen to anyone on this site that tells them to ignore an IC/MC advice. There is no one size fits all solution.

Even when the IC/MC is full Amazingly, lots of them have little or no infidelity experience, just like many of them have no alcoholism/addiction experience, and can actually, amazingly, dispense really poor advice on these topics. We see it here...ALOT. Poor clinical environment professional advice. That said, I have a great IC. And had my first IC a long time ago.

It's not the source that matters. It's the support, experience, and advice that matters. And the person receiving it...well, it's a free country. Take what you need, skip the rest.

And if you feel a sting here, then someone is on the right track.

[This message edited by JustDesserts at 10:57 AM, January 12th (Sunday)]

Clarrissa posted 1/12/2014 10:55 AM

smez, if anyone is told to ignore what an MC/IC says it's because that MC/IC has essentially said that it was the BS responsibility to keep the WS faithful. I've seen a number of threads where the BS posted that their MC was so focused on *their* faults that the WS behavior was rugswept. In those cases, yes, I would tell the WS to ignore what the MC/IC said. A WS in the fog has zero problems justifying their actions; they don't need anyone, especially a professional, helping them do that.

Yes, all our journeys are individul but they share so much in common that it seems they're scripted. The collected wisdom here has shown what works, what doesn't and what might. That's why we say take what you need and leave the rest. But there have been those WS who refused to listen to the hard-won truths of those who have BTDT and insist on doing things their way.

As for the confession issue, there have been many a WS who have said they wish they had. As HUFI said, you can't start living an authenic life if you're carrying such a dark secret. It hurts you, your BS, your kids, everyone.

NoGoodUsername posted 1/12/2014 10:57 AM

Regarding us not solely being our affairs: that is one of the great things about the Wayward forum. It gives us the chance to feel like we are not the only people to have been unfaithful and we are still treated like a human being. I have received some really great support here when I have been in pain or just needed help figuring some things out. SI gets a lot of credit in my mind for getting on the path to being a decent person again.

Things do get rough around here when we waver in trying to be honest. People here don't respond well to indulging in refusal to own your problems. Yes, I've been on the receiving end of this a couple of times.

I'm going to take some guesses on why this is. This is not expert analysis, just speculation from a lay-person. Consider it an invitation to converse.

The veterans have seen variations on this over and over. Even in my own short time here, about six months, it is easy to see patterns in the stories. One of the sad, pathetic parts of this is that almost all of the stories fall into a handful of themes with minor variations. The behaviors of the people in this forum could be easily categorized if we chose to. The new people are full of pain and canít see much of anything at all and the veterans can so easily see through a lot of the mistakes that get made here that they want to cut to the chase and tell the new people "No! Don't do it this way, you are messing it up!" When the new person is resistant, that can easily turn to frustration and more heated commentary.

Also, we have a group identity here of people who are trying to own our infidelity and the things that led to it. When someone comes into this space, tries to share that identity and then goes against the group norms, people will respond strongly. That is because when they share part of our identity and then behave poorly, that represents us. People here have a lot invested in trying to become former Waywards and when something happens to lumps us into a category that we are trying to leave, we lash out.

There are times when we could stand to do a little more work integrating a new, foggy Wayward into the SI culture so they know what to do before we jump all over them. I don't see the 'training' period as ever being permitted to be very long, though. Mostly, because this is a very painful thing for everyone involved and our ability to be patient is very finite because of all of our own damage. Infidelity is a very repugnant thing and the members of this forum are very sensitized to it.

smez posted 1/12/2014 11:02 AM

I have to respond to the IC/MC advice topic. Please remember that you are getting one side of the story. Just like when I post, I'm sure I have biases. You will never know the entire story from anonymous posters on the internet.

You don't know if a person confessing is going home to an abuse spouse and will be beaten. You certainly shouldn't be encouraging verbal abuse regardless of what the WW spouse did and children should NEVER be used as a fighting tool.

All other advice spot on. But the above are no go's in my book and get in the way of some really good, meaningful advice.

Edited...And I should add that the A was 100% on me. It was my choice, my decision. The reasons that lead up to the affair were 99% mine.

[This message edited by smez at 11:05 AM, January 12th (Sunday)]

Clarrissa posted 1/12/2014 11:30 AM

There have been a few times where the WS has posted that their BS is using the A as a reason to punish them, all while refusing MC/IC. In those cases, I have yet to see them told to "suck it up. You deserve it." No, they're told that a BS anger is justified but *any* abuse is not. They're told that if their BS is abusing them (verbally, emotionally or physically) then they have the right to pull the plug.

Yes, the posting WS may be a troll but they're usually spotted pretty quickly. The BS meters are pretty much foolproof, both on the betrayed side and the wayward side.

Joanh posted 1/12/2014 12:40 PM

This site has been a god send to me, The2x4 I've received have made me look deeper and realize my own BS rationality.

I for one did not confess, I wish I had found this site before I was caught.

The first affair I did not confess, which required me to bury it deep, very deep, problem with that I never did get honest and never did I learn because I didn't have to face the truth. I stayed false. I lied!!! My life was a lie.

Now not saying that won't happen to those that don't confess they may make it. For me I didn't I took myself and drove myself head first into a brick wall. And it was inevitable I think I am not sure. I wasn't looking wasn't even thinking about it. But you do put off vibes I believe and our family friend saw the opening and I didn't stop.

So yes , I do think sometimes on the form we come on strong, I know I have when I see something familiar. And yet the truth hurts and really if it freaks you or pisses you off, my guess you better pay attention. Cause there is something in you that hears and feels the truth.

I can't imagine all you FWS, having to watch us newbies and hear us. I know I am new and want to cross through the cyber world and grab the person and say STOP, you have no idea what you have done!!! to you and your family.

Thank you again for this place to converse. Thanks for the support and the 2x4 .

DanteJace posted 1/12/2014 13:35 PM

Smez mentions:

What I don't particularly find useful is lumping all of us into a singular bucket. Our affairs are all different. We are all different. Our situations are different.

Excellent. I agree.
This idea ... that we should all go confess and throw ourselves at the mercy of our spouses so that they can either D us or remind us on a daily/hourly basis how utterly terrible people we are and how saintly they are for even being in the same room as us, is not particularly helpful.


I'd like to suggest that those offering advice -- if they really want to be helpful -- consider phrasing like "have you considered" or "I, personally, found that...". I think there needs to be a little bit more of a tone of humility... even from betrayed spouses who'd really like to get all scoldy on any wayward spouse they can.

Of course, I can't stop those who just want to state everything as black and white, and all waywards are ipso facto evil. However, I won't find much useful in what they are saying.

We are not solely our affairs. They are mistakes we have made and that we are trying to move forward from. How we deal with the going forward is going to be different depending on the person. Not everybody is going to be on the same timetable or healing schedule. I think that is important to remember.

I love this: We are not solely our affairs. I'll probably have more to say on this at a later time.

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