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unicorns & rainbows--exception or rule?

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splitintwo posted 5/29/2014 06:51 AM

Another common thread that I'm picking up on in General is the AP was all "unicorns & rainbows." There's an undertone (and directly stated tone) that indicates quite a few people think Waywards are living in some "skipping through the rose petals" fantasyland with AP. That we idealize AP because we don't have to live in the real world with them...they're a fun place free of bills, kids, life. That if we'd live with them, we'd see them for what they are, warts & all.

I'd like to know if this is the exception or the rule. What say you?

In my case, it'd be the exception. Gah...how do I categorize this?--My "relationship"? "friendship"? "interaction"? with AP had conflict from the start. He was a "safe friend," in part, because he's a selfish ass & an alcoholic. I knew the former from 15+ years prior (he didn't change) & figured out the latter within a week or two of reconnecting. I wasn't attracted to him. We'd get into a "fight" every two or three times we chatted because he'd drunkenly start stupid arguments, and since I'm argumentative to a fault, I wouldn't let it go till I got him to clarify his point. He's a shitty dad (absentee, doesn't bother to call, behind on child support), completely irresponsible with money, and the list goes on.

This isn't just a "throw AP under the bus" characterization. These are the facts I had the entire time. There were aspects of the interaction that I valued tremendously, especially where banter was concerned, and I know he trusted me more than he's ever trusted anyone.

Hmm. slight t/j I wonder if that's where the ego kibbles played in. I often play the role of confidant/advice giver in my family/friend circles. It'd been ages since I'd developed that role with anyone, and there was payoff in being needed in that way. Noting this one for IC, too, so I can explore it once I'm able to get that in motion. end t/j

Anyway, for all the blinders I had on, I never viewed time with AP as a rose-petals fantasy land. I had zero desire to be with him long term. I knew any short term whatever would likely have its share of drama.

hmm. slight t/j Drama was very much so my mom, absentee alcoholic was my dad. If my A was some twisted way of me trying to work through FOO issues, I can tell you, with certainty, that there was no fixing my FOO. end t/j

What was it like for you?

Jovie posted 5/29/2014 07:45 AM

I get upset seeing posts like that. In a weird way it even sort of offends me to be grouped in with all other waywards (well, the unremorseful ones you hear being complained about so much) because obviously there are all different kinds of affairs and many situations I just can't relate to at all. So I definitely don't think its an all-encompassing rule.

I did not really even like my AP. I wasn't attracted to him physically or emotionally. I knew that in real life, I would never ever date someone like him. That time period was the darkest time in my life so there were absolutely no unicorns and rainbows.

splitintwo posted 5/29/2014 07:50 AM

t/j (((Jovie))) glad to see you back on SI. I know you thought about taking a break. I like seeing you weigh in again. end t/j

Jovie posted 5/29/2014 08:02 AM

I just couldn't stay away!!

Deeply Scared posted 5/29/2014 08:06 AM

You guys...

We ask that BS's don't pull threads out of this forum and pick them apart. Please show the same respect to them. None of the BS's here are talking about you.

Feel free to talk about your own situation, but leave posts from BS's on this site out of your conversation.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 8:07 AM, May 29th (Thursday)]

SisterMilkshake posted 5/29/2014 08:11 AM

I knew that in real life, I would never ever date someone like him.
Jovie, you just proved the point. Your affair was fantasyland, as opposed to "your real life".

I do feel my FWH's affair was unicorns and rainbows. His was a FWB's deal. He didn't have to deal with reality with OW, though. OW was ready at a moments notice to meet FWH at a hotel with legs spread.

He didn't have to do much to keep this situation going. He would talk on the phone to OW. Thats about it. No gifts, no love letters or cards, no dates, no special days noted (ie, birthdays, holidays). But, he has got this OW on standby. Anytime he needed his fragile ego stroked and any time he needed kibbles, any time he wanted, all he had to do was make the call: Meet me at the hotel tomorrow at 12:30 pm.

At about the 1/2 way point of his LTA, FWH spent one 3 day weekend with OW. These were the only overnights they ever had and was the longest amount of time they ever spent together. After that weekend he realized he didn't ever want to spend that much time with OW ever again. He just didn't "like" OW that much. However, OW was still good to fuck and put up with for a couple of hours.

That, my friends, is fantasyland. (complete with rainbows and unicorns)

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 8:13 AM, May 29th (Thursday)]

splitintwo posted 5/29/2014 08:11 AM

Apologies, DeeplyScared. That wasn't my intent, and I wasn't thinking of any one post in particular. I'd just noticed a general characterization of APs, and since that POV is foreign to me, I was intending this thread to hear about other Wayward experiences, find out if it was their reality or not. I viewed it as a conversation starter, not a pick-apart.

If you need to lock it or delete it, you're free to do so.

Deeply Scared posted 5/29/2014 08:13 AM

Oh no...no need to lock. I just wanted to make sure your thread stays on track.

Thank you for understanding...carry on!

Ascendant posted 5/29/2014 08:14 AM

BS here;

I mostly agree with what you're saying, split.

The fantasy and rainbow thing applies more in situations where the BS was demonized or spoken poorly of to the AP by the WS, while the AP was "just someone who really got me" or "really listened" or someone who "I've never had this kind of connection with before!!!"

It applies in situations where the AP's good qualities are all emphasized (with bad qualities either overlooked or not given very much weight) while the BS undesirable qualities are all emphasized, and the unicorn/rainbow stuff mostly withers away pretty quickly when the WS is really remorseful.

Also, I think you really hit it on the head here:

Hmm. slight t/j I wonder if that's where the ego kibbles played in. I often play the role of confidant/advice giver in my family/friend circles. It'd been ages since I'd developed that role with anyone, and there was payoff in being needed in that way. Noting this one for IC, too, so I can explore it once I'm able to get that in motion. end t/j
Not every ego kibble comes in the form of high praise, flirting, and compliments. Some people get their ego kibbles from rescuing or being rescued (feeling important/needed), or drama (excitement), or sex (feeling desired).

Everybody has their little personality quirks that differ on what feeds their ego.

Jovie posted 5/29/2014 08:18 AM

Jovie, you just proved the point. Your affair was fantasyland, as opposed to "your real life".

No, I have to disagree. I don't like to argue and I don't think I'm a good communicator sometimes here, but my experience was definitely NOT a fantasy. Fantasy would indicate to me that it was better than real life.

splitintwo posted 5/29/2014 08:24 AM

Jovie, for me, it wasn't a "skipping through the rose petals" fantasy, but it was a fantasy land for me. It was the one place in this world where I didn't have to pretend I wasn't broken. In my most broken place, I longed for days spent in an alcohol-fueled oblivion, where I only had to function long enough to buy beer. Where absolutely nothing mattered. It wasn't a happy place by any stretch--there was no rose-petal romanticizing of it-- but it really was my fantasy land at the time.

Edited because I can't type today.

[This message edited by splitintwo at 8:24 AM, May 29th (Thursday)]

SisterMilkshake posted 5/29/2014 08:29 AM

I don't want to debate, either, Jovie, but fantasy means "not real life". In your own statement you said that your affair wasn't your "real life". I can liken affairs to LARPing. (Live Action Role Playing) That is pure fantasy. You put on your costume, you assume your character and you go off to your adventure.

I feel you express yourself well, Jovie, from the posts I have read by you.

Blobette posted 5/29/2014 08:31 AM

Well, I think the term (used intelligently) is just shorthand for some aspect of the Wayward's personality that they need to indulge/play out -- in your case, perhaps it was some kind of some Dorothy Parker fantasy and obviously, as you say, re-playing some of the dynamics of childhood -- which is the whole Harville Hendrix thing (the premise behind "Getting the Love You Want"). In my WH's case, he was living out a bit of a fantasy -- his AP was very artsy/fashiony, loved high-end meals etc. BUT she also resembled his mother physically and emotionally -- except, of course, that she fucked him and in that sense, provided him with the approval he lacked from his mother.

All of this played out in a world where "real life" didn't intrude. So, whatever the content of that relationship -- and scratch the surface of any affair and it's similarly complicated -- the lack of real-life stuff applies. You don't have to think about re-financing the mortgage and who's going to get the paperwork to the broker on time. A person in an A is making a space for this drama to play out that's independent of practical realities.

But I get your overall point -- it's not all fun and games, necessarily. In some cases, it seems that WSs are actually punishing themselves by seeking out the most sordid and skeevy situations possible -- to match their self-perception, I guess. But it's also fair to say that a lot of the time, affairs are just plain fun -- in a thrilling, scary roller-coaster kind of way.

DixieD posted 5/29/2014 08:32 AM

Splitintwo, I haven't read many of your posts in detail, so I may be off the mark, but I did see the one about the fog and this one. Both are about things you read in General from BS which bother you. Personally I think they bother you because of what you just posted here:

I often play the role of confidant/advice giver in my family/friend circles. It'd been ages since I'd developed that role with anyone, and there was payoff in being needed in that way.

You appear to have a need to set people straight and it nags away at you if you can't. Yeah, I get that. I've experienced the same need. Hence, I'm posting on your thread.

And I'd guess a fair number start with the same slippery slope that mine did--just a friend you can talk to without all the bullshit drama that has taken over your life.

You wrote this in your fog thread, but it doesn't jive with this:

We'd get into a "fight" every two or three times we chatted because he'd drunkenly start stupid arguments, and since I'm argumentative to a fault, I wouldn't let it go till I got him to clarify his point.

That sure sounds like drama filled bullshit, and you needed it. You got off on it.

Anyway, for all the blinders I had on, I never viewed time with AP as a rose-petals fantasy land.

Not all fantasies are sunshine and lollypops. For the record, I'd bet I wouldn't have an affair that involved a lot of flattery and unicorns. That would turn my stomach. Flattery gets you nowhere with me, fast. That wouldn't be a motivator. Getting someone to see the error of their ways or if you'd just listen to me you'd see the light -- now we are getting somewhere. Like Ascendent said, everyone's motivations are different and you are uncovering yours.

and I know he trusted me more than he's ever trusted anyone

IMO, this is where the fantasy comes in. Anything that is unhealthy and removes you from reality in fantasy. One thing I've learned throughout all this is that it's impossible to really KNOW anyone as well as we think we do. I'm guessing your husband currently is under the notion that you wouldn't have an affair. He'd be wrong. You think you KNOW that an alcoholic trusted you. Alcoholics and trust don't really go hand in hand.

Explore your FOO and the similarities between it and your affair. It sounds like they mirror each other a lot. We can never change our FOO. We can't change or fix our parents. Futile to try. You can only work on yourself and developing some boundaries, which is really hard when you've previously had none. Keep going down this path of questioning and digging into things and the fog (delusions about yourself) will start to lift.

Jovie posted 5/29/2014 08:32 AM

I think mine might be classified as an exit affair to some extent. I had given up on BH as being able to be the partner I wanted, and I was angry at him. Obviously I had terrible boundaries and other issues, but I just took up on the first opportunity I found. I guess that doesn't make anything any different, but I still have a very hard time seeing it as fantasy land. Ok, I guess it was fantasy to me because for the first time in a while I felt appreciated?

Sorry I'm rambling a bit...

SisterMilkshake posted 5/29/2014 08:34 AM

(((Jovie)))

Unagie posted 5/29/2014 08:34 AM

I knew AP was shit. I knew that he was a drunk, s womanizing piece of shit. To be perfectly honest I couldn't stand him when I first met him. I purposely imagined a life with him like I had with xSO and it made me nauseous. I had already stopped with him, I knew I wasn't going to do anything with him again the thought of what I had done tore me apart. So no I didn't have unicorns and rainbows.

ETA: I did however have ego kibbles which is what allowed me to continue going from friendship to flirting to PA. So I guess if I think of it that way the ego k ibbles were the unicorns and rainbows even though I hated myself the whole time...

[This message edited by Unagie at 8:39 AM, May 29th (Thursday)]

Darkness Falls posted 5/29/2014 08:36 AM

Speaking for my own situation: the OM and I had dated prior to having the affair. Having experienced a "real relationship" with him, I do feel as though I knew the real him (and he the real me).

Of course, at the time of the A, I was a liar and a cheat and he was someone who thought having an A with a married woman was totally acceptable, so...

SisterMilkshake posted 5/29/2014 08:40 AM

From what I am reading from the wayward's posting here, you all wanted to escape your real life. Ta-duh, an affair and fantasyland. Think of LOTR, complete fantasy, and totally dark. And some fantastical creatures, too. Whether you see the unicorns, rainbows or Orcs, they are all there in Fantasyland.

Ascendant posted 5/29/2014 08:41 AM

I don't think fantasy necessarily has to be objectively better, Jovie; it only needs to be unrealistic.

Affairs are (most of the time) inherently unrealistic because there are none of the everyday stresses that put pressure upon the participants in a LTR or marriage. Even in the longest of LTA or in situations wherein the AP have known each other 'practically forever', the normal day-to-day pressures that come along with a real relationship do not exist, such as intertwined finances, child-related decisions, job decisions that impact your family, etc.

The fantasy aspect isn't necessarily about idolizing the AP; the fantasy aspect is about exploring a new relationship unencumbered by the baggage of interdependence and petty grievances that are naturally borne out of sharing your life another person. The AP can be the worst person in the world, or the best (though I seriously doubt that they're either), but the fact remains that the WS is allowing themselves to test the waters of a baggage-free relationship while not letting their spouse knowingly do the same thing.

Even (and especially) in situations where the WS says "I would never be with that person IRL..." this element comes into play, because it begs the question: If you (the impersonal you) would never have sex with this person 'in real life', and yet you ARE having sex with them...then where IS the sex taking place, if not in a fantasy-land of thinking?

It's my guess that this is why most WS/AP relationships fail eventually to the tune of 97% or something, because the baggage is still there, it's just being kicked down the road...many times it comes crashing down once the new couple has to explain how they met, or one partner gets bored and antsy and those behaviors kick back in.

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