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Is SI hurting more than helping?

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Jovie posted 5/6/2014 11:12 AM

This thought came to me last night so it might not be well thought out yet...

Something BS and I have been discussing is how prior to the A, I used to discuss our relationship problems with other people (other men even), in a very unhealthy way. I would share my frustrations with friends and so-called friends in order to get input, support, and sympathy. (As a side note, this bothers him immensely and I'm not sure what to do or how far to go to try to "fix it" for him.)

I started to realize even before the A that my actions were inappropriate and had started to make some improvements I believe. And by now, I feel much more confident that I've learned where the line is and am determined not to cross it as far as conversations about our relationship with anyone other than our MC and IC.

In a way though, I feel like being on SI is perpetuating this coping mechanism of mine, by sharing all our issues, and it got me thinking that this may not be a healthy way to approach this. Even with anonymity, is spilling my guts on here keeping this part of me thriving when I should be trying to divert away from it? Or should this be seen as a healthy way to handle my urges to share and get input?

I also worry sometimes that even being anonymous, BH may not approve of my activity on here. He's very into internet privacy and while I've told him I use this site for resources, I never explicitly stated that I post about us on here.

I think I may need to take a break.

splitintwo posted 5/6/2014 12:02 PM

IMO, I need SI as a personal check. I'm prone to justifications & such that allow me to "get away" with my behaviors. When something isn't sitting right with me, I can post about it here & get a different POV. Sometimes, that results in a 2x4 or a few getting tossed my way, sometimes it's more about hearing others' take on the situation so I can shift my thinking.

And FWIW, I wouldn't view sharing here as a "crutch." I know the types of unhealthy venting/sharing you're talking about, and I don't see that behavior from you in this forum.

I do think it's important for people to have a "safe" place to vent & work through things, and at times, that needs to be someone other than the SO. Leaving everything trapped in your own head is not a safe place for anyone to be. I liken it to depression...toxic things feed themselves with a speed & intensity unrivaled by little else in this world.

islesguy posted 5/6/2014 12:04 PM

I think that since this is a form of therapy, openness is ok. I also had terrible boundaries in discussing personal things with others including a female coworker who I cheated on my wife with. But, she has no issues with me being open on SI.

BrokenButTrying posted 5/6/2014 12:08 PM

I agree with SiT.

The people on this forum are different from a guy at the office or a close girlfriend. The feedback you get is different, you don't get validation or enabling for wayward behaviour.

You get advice and support but also 2x4's and people to steer you in the right direction.

splitintwo posted 5/6/2014 12:19 PM

Also, this just came to mind--

I cannot think of a single friend or "friend" who would listen to me vent about a situation & actually say, "Take your head out of your ass & look at what *you're doing that's causing/contributing to this issue. It wouldn't actual be an issue at all if you'd just own XYZ & change ABC." I know I censor feedback when people vent to me.

Y'all would. And for that, I love SI.

somethingremorse posted 5/6/2014 12:58 PM

is spilling my guts on here keeping this part of me thriving when I should be trying to divert away from it?

This is a really good question.

I bet that sharing problems or questions about your M was more of a symptom rather than the problem. That is, you over shared to get people to pay attention to/like/pity/whatever towards you.

I am pretty sure that isn't what you are doing here. You are sharing as self examination. You're not trying to make yourself feel better. This is therapy. We are a lot closer to a (massively under qualified?)therapist than a office mate.

But when this makes more questions than it helps with answers, stepping away is probably right.

Jrazz posted 5/6/2014 13:41 PM

I think that when we begin to question any part of our process, a really smart idea is to take a step outside of it for a moment. It doesn't sound to me like you are running or hiding.. you are trying to find the healthiest mindspace.

Not unlike our relationships - sometimes it takes a break to be able to see the meaning in things.

We're always here so you do what you need to do, and if you feel compelled to post again then you have the resource, and if you feel better with space and your BS agrees, well, then you made the right move.

20WrongsVs1 posted 5/6/2014 14:03 PM

Go on hiatus for a week. Or three. I've done it a couple times.

SI will still be here when/if you want to come back.

EvolvingSoul posted 5/6/2014 14:24 PM

Another option is to take a break from posting but not from reading. Anyone can see from my post count and join date that I'm not a really active poster (although it's ramped up a bit of late) but I do come here and read every day and I get tons out of it.

I think the one thing in your post that kinda made my Waydar (wayward radar) go off was the statement at the very end about having told him that you use SI for resources but not explicitly stating that you share information about your relationship here. I'm not saying it's wrong for you to be sharing here, quite the opposite, but something about the way it was worded...felt like that kind of careful crafting of plausible deniability I used to do and still have to guard against. I dunno. Might be nothing. It just seems hidey.

Just some not quite random thoughts from a fellow EvolvingSoul.

ETA: Hey this was post number 200! A milestone!

[This message edited by EvolvingSoul at 2:25 PM, May 6th (Tuesday)]

Blasphemist posted 5/7/2014 10:24 AM

I guess I would ask myself two questions.
1, Am I sharing here instead of sharing with my spouse?

2, Can I take the collective wisdom of SI and either use it or discuss it with my spouse in order to better our relationship.

Since your spouse appears not to be a member of SI, the third question need not be asked.

3, Am I posting on SI for my spouse to see, so that I don't have to discuss *issue* f2f?

bionicgal posted 5/7/2014 13:20 PM

I am a BS, and my H is welcome to read anything I post here, and often I send him my posts and replies. I find it a helpful community of people who understand (from both sides) the struggles we are having.

I agree with other posters -- be transparent, and don't use it instead of talking to your partner or a trusted person. Unfortunately, for many of us, we don't have many people in real life we can confide in about this.

plainsong posted 5/7/2014 18:00 PM

I was also uneasy hearing that you had not told your BS that you were posting about your relationship here. I see nothing inappropriate about your posts, but it sounds like keeping a secret is making you uncomfortable.

For myself, I have been very sparing about my own posting, because processing stuff just in my head or with the wrong person has been such a pattern with me. When I joined SI I made a commitment to myself and my therapist that I would not post anything here that should be discussed with my therapist or my husband first. I have also needed to take breaks from SI when I started feeling the relationship with people here, who I don't know, was replacing needed contact with my husband, who I do know, or with myself. Like a lot of things, I think it is a balance, and it's ok to experiment with that balance.

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