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.
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.
My best thinking brought me to SI.
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.
Chin up. Unwavering. Fight. I can do this.
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.
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.
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.
SI will still be here when/if you want to come back.
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)]
Glimmers of healing.
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?
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.
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.