Before the A, I did have times when I felt satisfied with my life, proud of myself, and like I had my shit together
Can you tell me if you've reached this point with yourself? Are you R'd with your BH? Sorry if this is stalkerish, it just gives me some hope!
I am both satisfied with my life, and proud of what I have accomplished in the big picture. Infidelity is part of my past, and while I am keenly aware of it and my ability to fail, I do not consider myself a failure.
I'm hesitant to say I have my shit together, because I thought I had my shit together when I was in the A. I think I'm more aware than ever that I need to make a choice each and every morning to keep my shit together.
Yes, still married. Still healing.
I honestly don't understand why it is so taboo on this site to acknowledge that there were unmet needs in a M that allowed a WS to give themselves permission to cheat (if that is the truth).
I acknowledge that there was pre A issues in our marriage. Neither FWH's or my needs were being met. He cheated, I didn't. When doing the quizzes in "Not Just Friends" my FWH was shocked to learn I was actually the one who was more likely to have an affair as I was the one who was most unhappy and who's needs were not being met even moreso than FWH's. Why didn't I cheat? Because in another quiz we found out I had much stronger boundaries.
Unmet needs can make someone vulnerable to have an affair. There are many things that make a WS vulnerable. It can be a combination. MLC, unmet needs, a death of a parent, a birth or pregnancy, the list goes on and on. But, that isn't "why" you had an affair. Those were feelings, an affair is an action. Why would one react with an affair as opposed to much healthier choices? As you pointed out sunnyrain, it wasn't because you had unmet needs, it was because
I chose an incredibly stupid, thoughtless, selfish way to deal with my feelings towards my H and my M.
[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 1:30 PM, May 1st (Thursday)]
"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak." ~ Homer Simpson
Most BS's don't and can't deal with pre A issues in the marriage until the infidelity issue is fully dealt with (don't mean healed) than we can start working on those pre A issues. WS's trying to make the pre A issues the forefront in dealing with the affair are being unfair to the BS.
I agree with what you've written above.
Most definitely, helping the BS deal with the shock and feelings of having their world stripped from beneath their feet should be the priority upon discovery of the A.
Underlying issues in the M can and should be dealt with once the initial shock has subsided. I did not mean to imply that a WS should start with their own needs so soon after D-day (they've likely been thinking only of themselves for a long while now).
Good point. Thank you for reminding me.
My H and I both had unmet needs -- nothing ship sinking, but enough to compound over time. And, neither of us had the skills to address them, as well as not thinking they were "bad enough" for counseling.
H had opportunity, poor boundaries in one very particular area (where it turns out he was particularly vulnerable) and he was ignorant about how affairs start and perpetuate. By contrast, I am much more self protective, so I'd find myself in risky situations, and all my alarms would go off like a 3 alarm fire. It doesn't make me a better person -- it just is what it is.
It is still a touchy area when I see where the AP worked her way in in a place that was not my strong point. He should never have allowed her in, but it is very hard as a BS to see my shortcoming in this area pre-A. But, my H couldn't articulate what he needed in this area, and I didn't know -- so it was just a perfect storm. The AP was a friend who preyed off of this issue, and came in and was all-understanding, etc. It is awful. But, back to your point -- yes, we had issues pre-A that we are working on now that made both of us vulnerable, although H does not use it as an excuse.
Getting back to what most BS's feel is taboo is to blame the unmet needs for having the affair. Most BS's don't and can't deal with pre A issues in the marriage until the infidelity issue is fully dealt with (don't mean healed) than we can start working on those pre A issues. WS's trying to make the pre A issues the forefront in dealing with the affair are being unfair to the BS. eta: and that is what is taboo.
SisterM, you are SPOT ON.
^^^^THIS should be a quote to share with all WS that are struggling with why.
That was me a month ago. Not knowing the difference. I knew it was wrong, but didn't know how to separate the unmet needs and the why. Thanks to IC, I began to dive into how I responded to the unmet needs. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you face your choices and see the way you respond to those situations. It helped me dive into (all the way back to my childhood) what happened to create these negative personal responses which eventually domino-ed into poor boundaries.
I also think it's also equally important to know "what" caused your "why" too. Does that make sense?
[This message edited by wheredoigo at 6:19 PM, May 1st (Thursday)]
what most BS's feel is taboo is to blame the unmet needs for having the affair. Most BS's don't and can't deal with pre A issues in the marriage until the infidelity issue is fully dealt with (don't mean healed) than we can start working on those pre A issues. WS's trying to make the pre A issues the forefront in dealing with the affair are being unfair to the BS. eta: and that is what is taboo.
Sister nailed it!
When BS ask why this happened, why WS made this choice, the absolute LAST thing they want to hear is :you didn't do ________ or you did ________. So many times I think Waywards start out this way & it is instantly upsetting & sounds like blame-shifting to BS.
You wanna see me go over the deep end, go ahead and tell me I am to blame for your affair.
As a BS, chances are I am already blaming myself anyway (especially initially) and that is hard enough to overcome.