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What if?

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islesguy posted 5/14/2014 08:59 AM

Every time my BS and I speak about my past failures as a husband. It always goes to the what if, rather than what actually happened. For example because I completely ignored what my poor BS had told me about not wanting to marry someone who needed strippers in his life, I went to strip clubs when out with the guys. At that time, I didn't see a strip club or a lap dance as a big deal so it was something that was within my boundaries. I guess I was either trying to rationalize or just in denial but I didn't see the lap dance as cheating or even as a sexual act. I know this is ridiculous, but it was how I perceived it. But, because my boundaries were horrible and I chose to do this, my BS makes the statement that if the stripper decided she wanted to give me oral sex that I would have no problem with it and would go along with it. I admin that my boundaries were screwed up, but this was not within my boundaries to do. So, we wind up in a big fight about something that never happened. When I say that to her, then it turns into "only because I didn't have the chance to do this". I am trying hard not to get frustrated. Any advice?

Aubrie posted 5/14/2014 09:12 AM

I don't mean this in a snarky way, but she knew strip joints were a part of your life. She married you anyway. So... What if she had laid down her own boundaries and not married you?

There are so many what ifs in life. What if I hadn't dated ex? What if I had never met QS? What if I never lost my baby. What if, what if.

However, those are not reality. And to get into fights about the possibilities? Not productive.

QS asked me several times, "What if you had met AP4. What would have happened?" Well I don't know! If I could see past, present, and future, I'd make money off it.

Would I have f*cked AP? Well....50/50 chance. I know the physical act was crossing a line. I was terrified of that. So maybe I would have backed out. But I also know I was wicked emotionally damaged. So really, there is no telling. Bottom line, I didn't. Doesn't matter. My wayward behaviors and thought processes were on full display. That's bad enough.

He hasn't asked me that question in a while. And when he does, its more of a "tell me what was going thru your mind. Tell me what you've learned" type of way.

I dunno how to answer your question. I can relate, but don't really know the answer. I think I told QS what I did above. I have no way of knowing, but it was a possibility, and I'm sorry he has these unanswerable questions and doubts.

Wayflost posted 5/14/2014 09:20 AM

Does your BS feel as though you are taking responsibility for your choices and actions?

This is something I'm working on now. But when my BH goes down that path all he can hear is me denying responsibility for what did happen. KWIM? So instead of saying, but that didn't happen (denial) I'm working on saying, you are right that my boundaries have been terrible and I have done things I knew you wouldn't like.

I'm not good at this. I often forget to do that. But my C and I spent a lot of time talking about what is important to communicate in these situations. Ownership, acknowledgment of the lacking boundaries, and apology.

5454real posted 5/14/2014 09:34 AM

IG,
*What if* was never a part of my M prior to D-Day. I knew my wife. Had no questions about her fidelity or morals. After the A, everything came into question. It wasn't just about what really happened, but what could. Who was this person I married.

TBH, a lot of her *what if* questions are probably rhetorical. Right now, she's asking herself those questions internally a hell of a lot more than she is asking you. She is struggling to redefine you as a person. I know you've heard this before, but actions speak more loudly than mere words.

How long will this go on? 2-5 years of consistently *proving* yourself to her. Hopefully, due to your actions, she is building a profile of you that shows you to be a safe person to her.

We are just past 2 years out. I haven't asked her *what if* in probably 6-8 months. Doesn't mean I haven't asked myself.

Keep it up! R is not for the faint of heart.

badchoice posted 5/14/2014 09:50 AM

I agree with way lost;

Ownership, acknowledgment of the lacking boundaries, and apology.

I think what you need to do is let her feel and process this,and then take about it. Don't make it a 'big fight'. Make it a catch for her to get out all of her emotions and feelings and your job is to listen, re-assure, and not try to prove her what if questions are wrong.

tired girl posted 5/14/2014 10:00 AM

I think what 5454 said is dead on. She is trying to redefine you as a person.

You know that this was a boundary that you wouldn't cross, but she doesn't know that. How could she? She thought that you were one type of person and you have shown that you are not at all who she thought you were, so now everything is up for debate, now she has to question every boundary that you might cross.

Be patient with her, allow her the what if's. And re assure her that these things won't happen and apologize for the fact that you have brought this fear into her life. After all, you are the source of this. Try not to get frustrated. At some point she will begin to trust again the person that is beginning to take shape in front of her.

islesguy posted 5/14/2014 10:19 AM

Aubrie,

Thanks for your reply. I must have given the wrong impression about strip clubs, see below.

I don't mean this in a snarky way, but she knew strip joints were a part of your life. She married you anyway.
I had never been to a strip club before we were married but she did tell me how she felt about strip clubs before we got married. I ignored what she had said to me and went after we were married for 8 years.

islesguy posted 5/14/2014 10:23 AM

Wayflost,

Does your BS feel as though you are taking responsibility for your choices and actions?
No, I don't believe so. I went through a long period of trickle truth which has completely derailed any belief she has in me. She also will tell me that any change in me is temporary. She has no confidence in me long term. I adamantly disagree, I know I am a better person now because of this horrible life experience and I also know that I never ever want to go back to the way I was.

badchoice posted 5/14/2014 10:26 AM

I think the problem you are having is that you:

I adamantly disagree, I know I am a better person now because of this horrible life experience and I also know that I never ever want to go back to the way I was.

You know that but she does not. I think you need to be a little more empathetic in your communication, see it from her point of view, and let her know that you understand why she thinks this way, that you understand how your actions have made her think this.

islesguy posted 5/14/2014 10:27 AM

tired girl,

You know that this was a boundary that you wouldn't cross, but she doesn't know that. How could she? She thought that you were one type of person and you have shown that you are not at all who she thought you were, so now everything is up for debate, now she has to question every boundary that you might cross

I completely agree. I showed her someone who was completely different that who I really was for many years and hid all of the terrible things I did. So, you are right, why would she think that anything would have been out bounds for me. I would probably feel the same way if things were reversed. I need to do a better job of stopping and putting myself in her shoes even when we are in a discussion.

Thanks for your response.

islesguy posted 5/14/2014 10:29 AM

badchoice,

thank you. I was just thinking the exact same thing because of what tired girl had written.

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