In the interest of trying to heal I'm doing things like this. I thought maybe face to face conversations with people who have BTDT might help me. But I think I'm having an unexpected reaction to attending these sessions. I come home feeling unsettled, and feeling like my W's affair really was a dealbreaker. I think the reason may be that as part of the group I'm compelled to share the story of my wife's LTA with these complete strangers - and I think I'm feeling shame and humiliation about it, and that makes me feel like walking away from the marriage as a way to 'take back' some self-respect and push the feeling of public humiliation back down.
I could be completely wrong about this. The feeling goes away after a day or two of bonding with her again.
Can anybody relate? Could I just be misinterpreting my reaction?
Commiserating with other BSs in that setting didn't do anything to help me. It just reiterated to me that there are a lot of wounded and betrayed people walking around out there and there are a lot of people living dishonestly and foolishly. I chalked it up to a lousy group leader - she did not know squat about facilitating. I think the potential is there to provide people with a kind of group therapy. But without a trained facilitator, it just falls flat.
I guess the same kind of thing plays out on SI, but I can pick and choose posts/threads and look for wisdom and insight from folks who are motivated to R, just like I am. I'm bolstered by the encouragement folks offer each other and I find a lot of hope in people's success stories.
So, IMO, no I don't think you're misinterpreting your reaction. Early on, my MC even cautioned me about participating because of the same issues you raised. I told her I wanted to at least try and she said, just be careful - you run the risk of it feeding your fears and despair.
Boy, was she right!
In fact, I used to get discouraged here as well, until I found the Reconciliation forum. The JFO forum can be particularly heartbreaking.
I think you are absolutely right about the wisdom and insight (and I'll add compassion) here. For example, I saved 1985's recent post about forgiveness; it just seemed so right on. I often share posts that mean something to me with my W to help keep her spirits up.
[This message edited by Crushed15Feb13 at 4:28 PM, January 24th (Friday)]
It's may not be for everyone, but just thought I'd throw that out there.
I wish I could find a regular group in which the members are openly BSes and remorseful fWSes, but g2gs are the closest I've found.
If there are a couple of BAN groups in your area, you might be able to get a g2g going with SIers in your area. Just start a thread in F&G seeing if there's interest in a g2g in your area. Heck, you could even start the thread, generate some interest, and then ask innocently, 'Who's gonna get this organized?', and hope that someone picks up the task.
[This message edited by sisoon at 4:42 PM, January 25th (Saturday)]
Counseling was valuable to me too, but this is perfect now that counseling is over with.
And cheaper :)
"These are days when no one should rely unduly on his competence. Strength lies in improvisation. All the decisive blows are struck left-handed."