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Koinonia defined.

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blakesteele posted 4/23/2014 06:40 AM

I stumbled across the word "koinonia" while focusing my attention on what it means to fellowship.

Recently I have been drawn to posts that have fellow SI'ers talking about feeling isolated and alone. I thought I would use this thread to sharpen a concept that has been floating in my head for a bit.

The idea of what draws people to adultery.

At first, thanks to my codependent nature, I thought my wifes affair was about me...resulting in me falsely thinking I could fix it. Then I thought it was about the OM....resulting in me falsely thinking I could "beat him" and save my marriage. Then I realized it, like all other affairs, are about the person choosing to engage in was about my wife. I can not change my wife....and this is when my real journey through adultery started. Kind of a jagged, wierd start...but that is the truth.

But it still left me wondering what the attraction to such dreadfully, KNOWN destructive actions. I get the whole endorphins-chemical reaction physical stuff that takes place. But surely there must be a tie to bringing two people together to commit adultery even before the chemically induced, torrid sex thing starts...right?

I think the answer is yes.

Koinonia is that answer, that tie.

Koinonia is what brings SI members together.

Koinonia is "fellowship, sharing in common, communion".

My wife and her fAP were drawn to each other by their similar desires....a common thread. A desire to engage in false intimacy and, I submit, a fear of real intimacy.

FOO coping mechs are developed, in part, because of a serious LACK of koinonia within the family unit.

My family did not have a deep sense of fellowship, or a common core. I did not get a sense of unity or belonging in my family growing up. My wife's family operated in similar fashion. But we are hard wire to fellowship with one another. "It is not good for man to be alone". We still desire to be with others.

I am drawn to fellowship with SI members over the common hurt of adultery. LA44, Sisoon, KarmaHappens etc.....could be ANYONE who shares a strong common experience. While I am grateful for these, and other, specific people....I could have joined 6 years ago and found the same comfort but with different folks.

This is why I believe it is true that my wifes fAP was not a unique factor in her decision to commit adultery. He just happened to be the man with similar brokenness in close proximity to my wife. This was the first man that I did not know that she was alone with any amount of time at all. He was the first real opportunity to do what she desired to do. He reportedly had an affair before my wife, and found another within two months of dumping my wife. So he was already primed for what he was going to engage with with my wife.

However, while I conceed my wife did not intentionally seek him out for as a full blown adultery partner, her "innocent" stage lasted a very short time....and intentional actions were chosen by her to take her down that slope to adultery. She put out a vibe that told him she was open to fellowship with him.

This is why the search for a fWS "why" is so critical. Look how many people are broken in similar fashions...look at the conservative stats and it will tell you just how open these tempting yet destructive relationships are. I believe I could have chosen an affair, but had a few key boundaries in place to keep the opportunities away. Philisophically, I can see some draw to affairs in the easy, no strings attached, cake-eating aspect of them. This is why RA was such a temptation for me. Perhaps this is one aspect that drew my wife and I together originally....a common brokenness too?

I just read a post of a BS whose husband has had years and years of repeated affairs. His wife has had multiple DD's spanning those years. Not talking about 1 DD after a LTA....talking about repeatable, predictable patterns. My heart hurts for her. Sadly, some people choose to embrace this brokennes rather than find the courage to address and work on it.

Since our orignal respective families lacked koinonia, is there much hope for our family to break this cycle?


Will it take two? Yes.

Where does a persons motivation come from?

Million dollar question really.

I have been fooled by my wife before, and my trusting of her caused me a great deal of pain.

Koinonia is challenged now. While we both are in pain over her affair, it is NOT common-pain. It is decisive pain.

We have added hazards such as replacing previous unhealthy choices with new unhealthy choices.

You cannot grow past what you do not know.

Left to our own accord, I would give our M about a 3% chance of healthy R.

Koinonia is a key component.

It is foolish to think the same twisted minds that got our M to the point it was are the same twisted minds that will get us to a new spot. We need fellowship, we need koinonia.

Reaching out to healthy people is a large key....a key to not only surviving infidelity, but to growing to our fullest potential.

God is with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:48 AM, April 23rd (Wednesday)]

blakesteele posted 4/23/2014 06:59 AM

My own journey has pointed out rather elequently that, while my original boundaries helped me steer clear of my own affair.....I needed to search out my whys as to why I needed those boundaries in the first place.

For decades this was my why.

"Because I am a guy. Guys are attracted to women. I need boundaries."

While not invalid, there was more to my why then this. A couple therapist have led me to seek out why I was willing to stop at boundaries with other women and NOT move into engaging my wife to have more of my needs met. Some pretty unnerving answers have appeared as I journey this path....

A couple we know very well appear to have similar disfunction in their marriage.

She is very aware of her need for boundaries (like I was) but is failing to reach out to her husband and attempt to have those desires met by him (like I did). All the while thinking she is "just fine" (like I felt).

Add insult to injury, I would compare myself to our BBQ-friends and smugly think how much better I was at being a husband, dad and provider.

So much pride in me. Not boastful, arrogant type of blatant pride...but pride just the same.

Not sure if any of this is going to resonate with others....but needed to reach out and share.

Isolation is a terrible condition to be in. What I have found out is that I can choose to be isolated or I can choose to be connected.

Key is to be sure of where you reach for that connection.

SI is a safe, healthy spot for me to do so....with boundaries, of course.

God is with us all.

p.s. I am aware this is a "thought" post not a "feeling" post. I know the key to processing is in the "feeling" side of things....and that to avoid feeling pain I turn to thoughts.....just in some pain please endulge me this luxury.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 7:01 AM, April 23rd (Wednesday)]

bionicgal posted 4/23/2014 07:00 AM

Wow. Awesome post, Blake. Thanks.

p.s. I am aware this is a "thought" post not a "feeling" post. I know the key to processing is in the "feeling" side of things....and that to avoid feeling pain I turn to thoughts.....just in some pain please endulge me this luxury.

We are cut from the same cloth on this account!

[This message edited by bionicgal at 7:02 AM, April 23rd (Wednesday)]

blakesteele posted 4/23/2014 07:02 AM


Thank you. Wordy and winding....and yet you still support me. Thats cool of you.


bionicgal posted 4/23/2014 07:03 AM

I ETA a little . I am actually going to send it to Mr. Bionic as well.

blakesteele posted 4/23/2014 07:08 AM


LA44 posted 4/23/2014 08:22 AM

Thank you blakesteele,

I believe I could have chosen an affair, but had a few key boundaries in place to keep the opportunities away

^^^ I believe this to be true about me as well. I was tempted, it was there, I was feeling pretty lonely at the time and was hungry for the attn. I was getting but I let it go.

Recently I have been drawn to posts that have fellow SI'ers talking about feeling isolated and alone.

I too find myself feeling insolated. I live in a VERY small town and bc of that I pulled away from people, esp in my subdivision following D-Day.. I haven't been reaching out since then in some ways I have gotten comfortable there.

I find myself pulling away from my H too given the events of the last couple weeks. I don't like this and yet I am doing little about it... although we did have a very good discussion last night.

My family - we had a strong core - it was demonstrated to us by my mom's parents who hosted us every Sunday for dinner. My mom carried this on when my grandmother became too old. There were disruptions along the way but after Dad stopped drinking when I was 10, things got calmer, more predictable. I felt safer. He would always say: We are a family. We love one another and everything is going to be okay.

Like you, there was no core within my Dad's family. His parents divorced when he was 10 and his mom re-married 3 more times. And she drank. His dad was gentle but remarried a woman who did not want my Dad. They had 4 more kids together. Dad had no one saying kind words to him when he was a boy so where he found this within himself to give to us astounds me.

We joined a parenting/spirituality group a few weeks ago. I almost cried when most people said they were there to connect with others. It made me feel less alone just knowing that.

Sorry...rambling...just sharing a few sporadic thoughts.

Koinonia is "fellowship, sharing in common, communion".

I will keep this new word close today.

ItsaClimb posted 4/23/2014 08:34 AM

Brilliant post.

It's strange, I have been continually surprised since D-Day that my fWH chose a woman like his OW to have the A with. There was not a lot of love lost between my fWH and my late mother; and weirdly OW is SOOOO like my mother. Character-wise and personality-wise they could be twins. It's baffled me.

My wife and her fAP were drawn to each other by their similar desires....a common thread. A desire to engage in false intimacy and, I submit, a fear of real intimacy.

^^ I think this statement of yours pretty much cleared it up for me.

Although my fWH and the OW were blatantly unsuited, they were "drawn to each other by their similar desires". And in the typical fashion that those engaged in A's are able to comfortably inhabit fantasy-land... OW became his glitter-shitting unicorn, even though she was the type of person he would normally have despised.

Koinonia can be a wonderful thing and a rather dangerous thing too.

I find that because the people on SI "get" what I am going through, because we have this common bond, it is easy to open up and be authentic on SI. Since D-Day I am finding I have to make a conscious effort to maintain koinonia with people outside of this circle. Scarily, I sometimes heave a sigh of relief when I sit down with my lap-top and log onto SI... it's like, finally, I can relax and be myself. It's okay to be my true self on here, less so when I am out and about... Dangerous really...

bionicgal posted 4/23/2014 08:52 AM

Oops, sorry Blake. ETA = edited to add. I just meant I added a little to my post after you commented.

I have been thinking about this post this morning, because my H and I come from disconnected families, for the most part. His is a train wreck, and what is left of mine is not terribly close.

Because of this, when we moved to the town we are in now, we got very involved in the community and our church. We have/had a great network, lots of friends, and a very active social life. We both were proud of our place here, and my H stayed at a job that took him away far too much, so that we could stay in this place. We've been here since my son was 6 months old, and he is 10 - the longest we've been anywhere.

Before the affair, we had narrowed our circle a bit, and started spending a lot of time with another couple. We had a great time together, and although there was not a lot of depth to the friendship in retrospect, we all had real affection for each other. This, of course, is the couple the AP was half of. I see in retrospect that we spent too much social time with them, and even with our other friends, and really no time building our own relationship which had been stressed by my husband's job, his athletic endeavors, and us (mainly me) putting our child at the center of the marriage.

So, in a way we both sought this connection and communion, but because of my H's and the AP's weaknesses, they confused affection for something more. He thought of her as a little sister, until she broke out the flattery, praise and support at a time when he was at a personal low. She had a long-standing crush on him, that became poison. A friendship that felt like a refuge for all of us, became hell on earth.

So, as our MC says, we will always find a way to get our needs met, and if it isn't happening in a healthy way, then we will find an unhealthy way. I feel like we were both lonely, and instead of looking towards one another, we looked to the outside community to fill a need.

What is tricky now is finding ways to have that communion in the larger world that don't feel threatening to me. I don't think we can be everything to each other. I made such an error in judgement before, and of course, my H made the bigger one. I now don't know how to truly commune with people, as a couple, where I feel safe.

I hope this gets better in time.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 8:56 AM, April 23rd (Wednesday)]

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