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Conflicting thoughts

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ItsaClimb posted 3/13/2014 13:47 PM

Not sure how to word this without seeming to be ridiculous.

In the country I live in there is a murder trial going on, an internationally famous athlete is accused of shooting dead his girl-friend. I've been following the action on TV and one particular day this athlete was looking all torn up and broken and I thought "I don't care how sorry he is now, he killed her, he must pay for his actions" This got me thinking....

How can I reconcile in my own head the fact that I am a firm believer in justice and yet I am willing to "waive" those principles when it comes to my own husband and my particular set of circumstances... ?

My thinking has always been "you do the crime, you do the time". I've always felt that, as adults, we are sentient beings, we control our actions, we can make decisions, so we are fully responsible for our actions and the consequences of those actions.

When I see or hear of a person who commits a crime, no matter how remorseful they appear to be after the event, I feel that they deserve their rightful punishment.

So, to be honest, I feel that my husband deserves his rightful punishment. And, having spent no less than 40 nights in another woman's bed, his punishment should certainly not be to have a better marriage than he had before, with a wife who is more mindful of his needs than ever and more determine to create a happy home!!

How on earth do I get this right in my own head?

How can I apply one set of standards to the rest of the world (you take your punishment no matter how remorseful you are, no second chances) and a completely different set of standards to my husband (because you are remorseful and because it suits me, you get to have a better life post-DDay than you did before). Somehow I feel like I am betraying my moral code or something!

I have tried to settle this in my mind by thinking "well, he didn't exactly commit a crime" But, if I'm being perfectly honest, I think he DID. In some countries what he did is punishable by death through stoning! He betrayed his sacred vows. He lied, he cheated, he abandoned me and his children, he spent money that was rightfully ours on another woman. He caused me pain that, in my opinion, is worse than death. Frankly, I would rather he had taken a gun and shot me dead than put me through what I have been through in the last 18 months, that would have been kinder. So, yeah, I think he committed a crime!

How can I reconcile these conflicting opinions in my head? How do YOU reconcile this in your mind? Would be interested to hear other views!

karmahappens posted 3/13/2014 13:58 PM

So let's keep this crime orientated.

Say you get caught for a crime.

You know better, you made a horrible choice.

You do your time, heal your broken, get IC and become the person you are supposed to be.

The day comes for you to get out of prison.

You walk out the gates.

Would you be hopeful that your family would be there waiting to support you and applaud your efforts in recovery?

Or should you go through the gates back into the world alone...because you screwed up and don't deserve happiness ever again?

Just something to think about....

Breezy150 posted 3/13/2014 14:06 PM

I also believe that they continue to have consequences, lost trust, loss of innocence in their spouse. Nobody will come out of this without lifelong scars.

Attempting R is their sentence, because it is such a long hard road, and just like a prisoner with a lot of hard work they can build a happy life when their sentence is over. It's all up to them and the work they put into it.

Skan posted 3/13/2014 14:24 PM

I struggle with this “justice” thing too. Because I know how much this has torn me apart. And now it seems like we’ve gotten a more open and sharing marriage than we had in our killed one. I told him once, that it was totally unfair that he gets to go screw someone, goes to IC (which I begged him to do) to get his head straightened out, gets his depression treated (also begged him to do) so that he’s not in a black hole, gets to keep his wife, and gets a new marriage that is striving to be more intimate and fulfilling than the old one. All because he cheated. And I got the angst and hurt.

And then I realize. He has a wife that loves him, but no longer trusts him. That knows that she can walk away tomorrow and be perfectly fine without him. That is compelled to weigh his every word. That is compelled to tear apart his computer and phone upon occasion.

That when we watch certain shows, he might have to comfort me when something trigger comes on. That when we’re out enjoying ourselves, I may have to leave at some point.

That he once considered himself a godly man. And he cannot, anymore.

That he has a wife who wears no ring on her left finger.

That when we have company over, one of the last things that he has to do is to make sure that all of the infidelity-related literature is hidden.

That when he tells me that he loves me, 90% of the time I cannot say it back to him.

That when other people hold us up as an example of a great married couple, that when someone else tells me how lucky I am that I have a husband who loves me SO much, that I have nothing to say and change the subject as quickly as possible.

Our marriage is better in many ways. Very many ways, I certainly wouldn’t want to go back to that first marriage. But what we’ve lost along the way, due to his choices, is immensely scarring, Every.Single.Day. To both of us.

No matter how much regret and sorrow he has right now and every other day of our lives, there at his feet, lays a dead marriage. Founded with love and hope. Killed with infidelity.

[This message edited by Skan at 2:25 PM, March 13th, 2014 (Thursday)]

twisted posted 3/13/2014 14:30 PM

How on earth do I get this right in my own head?

When you figure that out, let me know.
I suppose one should forgive, but I find they only way I could come around to that is after a divorce.
I could walk away thinking I tried but she just couldn't make the effort. Forget and forgive just isn't in me.
I figure were barely roommates from here on out, at least until one of us decides they've had enough.

IWantDoOver posted 3/13/2014 14:32 PM

Maybe your answers can be found in the wisdom of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission?

sisoon posted 3/13/2014 14:38 PM

There's another aspect of this for the BS in R, at least for me.

I chose R because I want it. Being with my W gives me immense pleasure. I'd be much worse off emotionally without her than I am with her.

Punishing her hurts me. I'm just not up for that. I have to let her off to minimize my pain. I am at least barely OK with that.

tushnurse posted 3/13/2014 15:08 PM

Climb- This is something I struggled with too on the road to R. I mean come on, they did commit a crime. They hurt us.

I don't think by committing to R they are getting off free though. Really. I mean the first step in R for a WS is to pull their head from their nethers, and realize the extent of the pain they have caused. This can be pretty earth shattering, and painful. Then the real work of R starts, examining why they are so broken, and how and why they chose the weak way out, I do think an A is the act of a weak person. A strong person would have the balls to get out, or stop themselves. Then they have to do all the hard work to heal and become the person we thought they were, or believe they can be. That isn't easy. In addition they have to deal with the knowledge and the cold hard fact that their spouse will no longer, ever again, no matter what, blindly trust them or any other human again like they did prior to their A. (at least for me this was true). They have to know that their spouse is forever changed, and perhaps a little less kind, and forgiving than before, because of what they did. Their action caused it.

That is some heavy duty stuff. It is a bad decision just like driving drunk, and punishment for the WS that does R, does match the crime. The ones that get away with it are the ones that don't attempt R, or are never found out. But I am counting on Karma to get them.

IsthereEVERanend posted 3/13/2014 22:20 PM

When my fww confessed her sinful ways to me, the first words out of my mouth were "why didn't you take my .45 and simply shoot me between the eyes". I will never forget the look she had on her face. A mixture of fear, stupidity and incredulity. Totally another person lost in the fog of the remnants of her affair.
Yes, I can relate, OP. IMHO, she got off Scott free and I paid the price and continue to do so.
It has been twenty four years now. The big majority of our years together have been forever tainted.

blakesteele posted 3/13/2014 22:34 PM


I like the diverse responses to you this far.

Skan and Karma are favs of mine and I get what they are their wisdom.

Tushnurse response resonates the most w me right now. In many ways, while the pain is greater for the BS surrounding the A, the pain of the weight of this burden is actually heavier for the WS.

I don't have this exactly figured out in words....but hear me out.

My wife's fAP quickly and completely dumped my wife and found a replacement....he is "enjoying" the fruits of that labor NOW! (labor said in jest) Instant gratification, no work necessary....which to me, was the single biggest draw to A for my wife. "It was easy" "required no work" "we could just "be"" He didn't want anything from me, could take or leave me.

This low input, high output philosophy within an A is very appealing to is why they do it. No work and all play. Its easy to see how futile it is for some, but for a WS it is not easy. It seems.....right. Even though they all know adultery is a sin and is wrong.......they choose it and, many times, are slow to give it up.....and sometimes they just don't give it up.

I think there is a common deficiency in a WS that influences them to shut down, deny and avoid. This "natural tendency" makes accepting the gift of R very painful. This is the opposite of no work and all is mostly work and some play.

Note: I don't see R as a "sentence", I do see it as a gift. A gift that is not easily offered or accepted....but it is a gift.

While it is true we are all broken, I think there is a common link between BS that offer true R (not a codependent act to salvage an old cycle) to their fWS.....a certain fortitude for the work at hand. We are called to delay gratification. This first 22 months have required lots of perseverance and had little gratification thus far. A BS appears to put more value on work and perseverance than a WS least initially. I have no doubt my wife, and other WS did the best they could....and that is my point. Their best was to choose adultery....a quick, easy, no-work way out.

It is this dynamic that makes R a real possibility for M affected by adultery.

It is grossly unfair that a BS appears to have to take the lead on R because they have strength in an area a fWS is so deficient....or is it?

God created marriage in His image. It is two becoming one. Two heads on the same body. Is it really unfair that one of the heads has more of an ability to heal the pain the other head causes....or is that part of the strength of a M? To be sure a WS would or should have the ability to heal pain that a BS causes too....both people in a M are broken, sinful in nature. If a BS was ALWAYS the one to heal the pain of the WS....that is not a healthy M.

Sin is selfish, it hurts the person doing it....but in M when one spouse gets hurt the other is hurt too....remember, two heads on the same body.

It is also true that fWS have to live with the facts and consequences of their sin....but so do the BS. So that is not just a sentence for the fWS...the BS serves this sentence side by side with their fWS. And the sins of the BS are also shouldered by their fWS.

I am almost onto something here....just not quite there. Todays MC session helped me a bit further on this.

Kicker on this is that God uses adultery as the one and only sin that makes D an option. So it is a unique sin with regards to how it is to be handled. But from what I have gathered, D is not mandatory unless adultery is repeatedly chosen.

It is hard not to seek justice, to pass judgment and decide on the consequences. But we are just not called to do that.

My take on this is that M is more than a legal contract, more then two people learning to be good is a vow made before God and is unique between two people. Any reference made to marriage that is less than that will run the chance of putting mans definitions and judgements to it......this is NOT contract negotiations or deciding how to make things fair. This is us, two broken people, trying to figure out a way to heal the same body.

God knows I am struggling. I see us all struggling.

Hope some of this makes enough sense for others to build on...maybe help put another rivet in your marital hull and make it sea-worthy again soon.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 11:06 PM, March 13th (Thursday)]

ItsaClimb posted 3/14/2014 06:41 AM

Thank you so much for your responses.

I decided several days ago to take a bit of a break from SI. I thought it might help me to obsess less about the A. In fact the result was quite the opposite - I have had this particular issue (mentioned in my original post) going round and round my head for days... I was getting nowhere, it was eating me up... and then I posted last night and today, reading your responses, it's like my load is immediately lightened. There are so many clear thoughts in your responses, so many relevant issues that I had completely overlooked.

Having read it over and thought about it a bit, I'm feeling much better about it now. Not great. I'll probably revisit this issue from time to time, but at least now there are some other viewpoints I can examine.


Sad in AZ posted 3/14/2014 06:51 AM

I struggled with a different but similar thought process. The wedding vows state 'in sickness and in health'. Obviously, the X was not mentally well. In fact, I'm fairly certain a big part of his behavior was due to a serious head injury years ago as well as a long history of untreated depression. My conundrum was could I be justified in 'giving up' on him?

In the end, I decided that he had had many opportunities to get treated and get well, and he had refused them. The A was ongoing; if he had stopped, I would have stayed, but I couldn't continue to be disrespected in my M.

I hope you can work through this.

LostSamurai posted 3/14/2014 07:19 AM

Adultery by far is one the worst actions someone can take in marriage by far. The pain it causes can not be compared or fathom.

However, the gift of R and Forgiveness also can't be compared of fathom. I love the fact that BlackSteele brought up the bible.

Yes, in some places it is/was a punishable sentence by stoning to death. It would seem fair, but imagine if you love that person so much and with the law in effect, you have no choice but to let your spouse be put to death.

The only reason, divorce was allowed, because as Jesus had pointed out, the men had wickedness in their heart. Some were just hoping to divorce so they can go off and be with someone else or run rampant. Divorce, is ok if there is adultery, but it's a choice, not a must do.

What God brings together, let no man, angel pull apart. Your marriages if you believe were sanctified by God to be an ever lasting covenant.

The consequence will be offering the Reconciliation and Forgiveness that do not deserve. The Justice will come when they prove themselves during the Reconciliation, which will be an everlasting process on both sides if it is not taking for granted.

blakesteele posted 3/14/2014 09:28 AM

(((Sad in AZ)))

I am sorry to just now learn of your D. Not sad for the D itself, your husband choosing adultery over M is what it is.

I am sad that I lost track of your struggle and trial.

I don't go into D forum much, or JFO much or Wayward forum either. 21 months out and I still find my courage stopping at the General or R forums.

You are still on my prayer list.

God help us all.

lovehatelove posted 3/14/2014 09:58 AM


I struggle with this as well....

This is why I continue to treat my husband like shit... it's why I tell him I hate him, constantly..

it's bc I feel he deserves every bit of it!!!

not sure this feeling will ever subside......

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