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Newest Member: W2MNL (46024)

User Topic: Need for Attention
pizzalover
♀ 38336
Member # 38336
Default  Posted: 9:38 AM, June 18th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Throughout IC, I have been learning about myself a lot more. One of the strong truths I have discovered is my desperate need for attention Ė from both men and women. I feel like I have always been needy. I want to be the center of attention. I love getting attention and I REALLY, REALLY dislike when I am not getting attention.

I think the affair was a messed up way of getting more attention. The AP, his wife, and his family paying attention to me was very powerful. The attention was like a drug Ė I became addicted to being in the spotlight. I kept getting ego kibbles that fed into my selfishness. Itís very sick and I know that it is a flaw within me that I really didnít recognize. I didnít realize that I could destroy so many people due to my neediness. Obviously the affair was based on other factors as well, but I need to recognize that this was an important component in my whys.

I have learned that my need for attention isnít going away, so I need to get attention in positive and healthy ways. I need to be able to express to my BH when I feel that I am not getting enough and not shove it down inside like I have been doing for so long. Case in point, this weekend we were visiting my brother and we were at a bar. The two of them were sitting next to each other and I was on the end. I didnít feel involved in the conversation and really couldnít hear, so I pulled out my phone to play on it. BH noticed that I was on the phone and asked if I wanted to sit in the middle of us. I said, ďNo itís okayĒ even though I really did want to sit in the middle. BH almost immediately got up and switched seats with me so I could be in the middle, because he knew I wasnít expressing my feelings. I think the reason that I originally said no is that I didnít want to inconvenience anyone but when I hoard my feelings, I become resentful. I think it is such a strong habit I had (hoarding my emotions) that itís hard to break. I am working on really expressing my needs. I have to start recognizing that my needs are important even though my focus needs to be on my BH. I know I didnít a horrendous thing by having an affair, but my needs are important too, right?

I am not sure where my desperate need for attention comes from. Perhaps it started when I was around 12/13 when my dad lost his job and had to getting another job that was lower paying. My mom then went back to work and my brother and I became latch key kids. My dad has admitted (he attended one of my IC sessions) that he didnít have as much time to spend with my brother and I This was also around the time where I started to be more interested in boys and male attention. Losing my virginity at age 15 (an obviously negative experience) began the equation in my mind that sex = male attention. This caused me to spiral in a promiscuous phase of my life. I really wish I could go back and change that moment in my life Ė that my 15 year old self wouldnít have felt pressured to have sex with an 19 year old who used me Ė but I canít.


Trying to rebuild each day

Me - WW 39
Him - BH 40 (mpb1974)
2 Furrbabies - sweet cats

Met - 8/13/99
Started dating - 9/11/99
Moved in together - 3/03
Engaged - 6/5/09
Married - 8/21/10
D-Day - 1/24/13
Affair started 5/09


Posts: 530 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Pennsylvania
HobbesTheTiger
♂ 41477
Member # 41477
Default  Posted: 9:46 AM, June 18th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi.

I'm not really sure what to say, and I hope others, more experienced and savvier members will be here shortly, but I just wanted to say that you've been heard, I'm sorry for what you've been through in life and that from where I'm sitting, it seems like you're doing a tremendous amount of progress in becoming a healthy, functional person, safe for both yourself and your BH.

Best wishes to both of you!


BxBf, 26
Lots of FOO&other issues, working it through therapy
Legal profession

Posts: 513 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: Continental Europe
DrJekyll
♂ 43618
Member # 43618
Default  Posted: 10:21 AM, June 18th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

One of the strong truths I have discovered is my desperate need for attention

I so get this, I was an invisible child completely neglected. But what I have come to find is that I was not enough for me. I did not accept me. Therefore I needed others to accept me, so that I could accept me. You may find the same for yourself. I found that it was unfair to expect my BS to fill my need for attention, because the void was so huge that it set her up for failure. So I have to be enough for me. This frees my BS of a duty that she could not possibly fulfill.

I said, ďNo itís okayĒ even though I really did want to

This is something that is imperative to stop doing. As I have been working through healing, I have moved from not expressing, to expressing but not clearly, and now am trying to articulate what I feel. For myself this was and sometimes still is uncomfortable. But it is a part of a healthy relationship. Both of your feelings and emotional needs are important. But to be fair, as a WS you have been filling emotional needs elsewhere and most likely not filling your BS's needs. At least that was true in my case. So IMO the BS gets the leniency do to the damage caused. Your BS asked you, because he noticed your discomfort. And in essence you lied. And then he took actions to comfort you. He showed you that your needs were important. Without you even asking.

but my needs are important too, right?

a valid question, but it sounds like the start of a pity party. so think that through.


I am no longer Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. I am me, and they are both part of me.

"If you don't eat the elephant in one bite, it might trample you while chewing"

ME: WH HER: BS (holesinmybucket)

I do not PM with Women


Posts: 887 | Registered: Jun 2014 | From: Midwest
dana47
♀ 43711
Member # 43711
Default  Posted: 11:33 AM, June 18th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I totally relate. I too hate this about myself. I do believe it stems from abuse/neglect in childhood. Chin up and keep reminding yourself you are enough.

Posts: 56 | Registered: Jun 2014
SoSorry17
♀ 43415
Member # 43415
Default  Posted: 12:03 PM, June 18th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Reading this all I could think, was she's describing me. While I honestly had a great childhood, both parents did work. I did what ever I could to get attention. I did well in school and sports, but I did "date" around. I partied a lot as a teen and twenty something. Which caused my dad and big brother fits. But it didn't matter because it got me attention. It didn't matter to me if it was negative or not. I needed the drama.


BH-SWAT70 Me-39
Three kids 11,6 and 3
Divorced

Posts: 265 | Registered: May 2014
Aubrie
♀ 33886
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 12:22 PM, June 18th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have learned that my need for attention isnít going away, so I need to get attention in positive and healthy ways. I need to be able to express to my BH when I feel that I am not getting enough and not shove it down inside like I have been doing for so long.
I may be in a minority here, but i don't feel it's our spouses responsibility to entertain us and make us feel special just because we "need" it and they are are healthy "outlet".

My husband works sick hours. I can whine and complain about not being the center of his world. Or I can find peace within myself in the stillness of my home. Sure. I want conversation and 101 time with him. Not always possible. And I've learned I'm ok with being alone. I'm ok with stillness and quiet. TBH, the reason I needed entertainment and attention is because I wasn't ok with just being. That's changed.

There is a difference between "Babe. I really need/want to talk some things out and get a hug from you." and "Look at meee. I'm prettyyyyy. Love meeee. Dote on meeee." Take care you don't replace your affair partner with your husband. It's not your husband's job to validate your need for attention. It's yours. Get to the real core of it.


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne


Posts: 6530 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
Gman1
♂ 40879
Member # 40879
Default  Posted: 12:33 PM, June 18th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

PizzaLover,
I think it is a big step to recognize this part of you and to start to address this as well. Your post sounds like my FWW could have written it herself. Her father did not know what to do or how to interact with his two daughters. Although he was present in their lives, he was withdrawn from both of them and there was no emotional father-daughter connection in their childhood and even today. He loved them but did not have a close relationship with either of them and their mother over-compensated by being too involved. His inaction left a void in both girls and caused both of them to seek male attention elsewhere. The fallout is that both of them have now had A's.

My suggestion is to continue to learn to let your H know what you are thinking. Sometimes it is hard but once you start it gets easier and easier. Our MC talked about our communication and really helped both of us. The results have been great and it is becoming better than ever for both of us as we have vastly improved our communication skills.


Posts: 280 | Registered: Oct 2013
Ascendant
♂ 38303
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 12:35 PM, June 18th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Take care you don't replace your affair partner with your husband. It's not your husband's job to validate your need for attention. It's yours. Get to the real core of it.
That is so important.


Other people are not medicine.

Posts: 2302 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
tired girl
♀ 28053
Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 12:46 PM, June 18th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I may be in a minority here, but i don't feel it's our spouses responsibility to entertain us and make us feel special just because we "need" it and they are are healthy "outlet

This.

It doesn't mean you stuff your feelings, it means you learn to deal with your own feelings yourself, not by expecting someone else to fill your bucket.


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 5229 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
SlowUptake
♂ 40484
Member # 40484
Default  Posted: 7:44 PM, June 18th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think the reason that I originally said no is that I didnít want to inconvenience anyone but when I hoard my feelings, I become resentful.
So if you express your 'need' to be the centre of attention and no one fulfills that 'need', despite them being told, you wouldn't be resentful or get your knickers in a twist?
I think the reason you originally said no was that you wanted your BS to do exactly what he did, make a fuss over you, thereby making it an even more satisfying 'feel good hit' to your 'need'.

My mom then went back to work and my brother and I became latch key kids. My dad has admitted (he attended one of my IC sessions) that he didnít have as much time to spend with my brother and I
So what happens when the usual ups and downs of life result in your BS not having as much time to fulfill your 'needs'?

Plenty of people who were latch key kids don't have affairs.

What are you going to do about changing this 'need' to be the centre of attention?


Me:WS,50+
Her:BS,50+ (WantToWakeUp)
Married 33yrs
Dday Dec 2009

"Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few." Pythagoras

There are two kinds of people in the world.
Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.


Posts: 390 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Limbo in Oz
Stillnotoverit
♂ 43708
Member # 43708
Default  Posted: 12:42 AM, June 19th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Understand I'm by saying this to get you to open your eyes. The Attention thing has been do e to death, a girl cute or not can get all the "attention" she wants when ever she wants just by some harmless flirtin. Sex never has to be envolved. The 15 yr old experience was bad but not an excuse. I was fed drinks at 13 and pot had sex ( if u could call it that) with a 18 yr girl at a friends house, needless to
Day I was pathetic lights came on everybody had a good laugh, not me! But u never wanted to destroy my wife later because of it by infidelity. You started an affair while still in commented relationship. Accepted a marriage proposal and still kept on having sex with other man. Attention out the window now,, this is about sex wanting other man. Even got married (said you really did want too ????!) still kept on having sex and wanting a relationship with other man. Were so desperate for other mam started friend ship with each other ad couples to see him more . Relationship wise and sexually your husband was 2nd still is, you didn't stop it by your on admission you would be happily still having sex with AP. if not found out, and yes your husband thinks this every second of everyday . And u want to talk about u. What about him!!!

Posts: 41 | Registered: Jun 2014 | From: Tennesse
OK now
♀ 14459
Member # 14459
Default  Posted: 7:37 AM, June 19th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wonder whether the need for attention is really about selfishness and obsession with your own needs. 'Need for attention' is a phrase which implies a almost cute personality disorder; like a pretty, precocious child acting out.

True selfishness is about an inability to love your BS fully because you are the center of the universe and the true focus of attention, not them. Its about greed and getting what you want every time. An inability to feel empathy, since your own selfishness prevents you from seeing other peoples POV. Its a lack of sensitivity and the inclination to be cruel since you don;t have the empathy to appreciate the wrong you are committing, and the devastation that will result from the affair being revealed.

I also believe a selfish person can become unselfish. It a shame that it takes a traumatic experience such as infidelity to bring that about.


Posts: 1862 | Registered: May 2007 | From: NC
pizzalover
♀ 38336
Member # 38336
Default  Posted: 2:29 PM, June 19th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm sorry for what you've been through in life and that from where I'm sitting, it seems like you're doing a tremendous amount of progress in becoming a healthy, functional person, safe for both yourself and your BH.

Thanks Hobbes! I appreciate it.

DrJeykll

Therefore I needed others to accept me, so that I could accept me. You may find the same for yourself. I found that it was unfair to expect my BS to fill my need for attention, because the void was so huge that it set her up for failure. So I have to be enough for me. This frees my BS of a duty that she could not possibly fulfill.

You are right. I need to accept me without needing others to accept me. I must have had a huge void during the affair (and before) that my BH could not have completely filled. My need for attention was just too large. After reading this post, my BH said, "Did I give you enough attention?" He did give me a lot of positive attention like calling me rare beauty and best teacher in the world - I had trouble accepting what he said because I don't feel that way about my self. I go towards the negative in me instead of the positive. I wish I could have viewed myself from his eyes - it's obviously skewed now due to the affair, but I know that he truly felt those things for me.

Both of your feelings and emotional needs are important. But to be fair, as a WS you have been filling emotional needs elsewhere and most likely not filling your BS's needs. At least that was true in my case. So IMO the BS gets the leniency do to the damage caused. Your BS asked you, because he noticed your discomfort. And in essence you lied. And then he took actions to comfort you. He showed you that your needs were important. Without you even asking.
but my needs are important too, right?
a valid question, but it sounds like the start of a pity party. so think that through.

I have probably been neglecting my BH's needs for a long time. I know that he was dissatisfied with our sex life (this was even before the A) due to my past sexual history which caused me to have issues with sex. I know that I did a lot of planning for us to do things without necessarily thinking if it would be something that he would want to do. I thought I was meeting his needs, but I probably wasn't. This is something that I need to work on and find out when I am not meeting his needs so I can give him what he needs. I was very appreciative of the fact that at the bar my BH could sense my discomfort and did something to make me feel better. Sorry about the pity party - it wasn't intended to be one, but I can understand why you may have thought that.


Chin up and keep reminding yourself you are enough.

Thanks Dana. I will try. I have a quote hanging on the mirror of my bedroom - it says "I will love myself today." I should write one that says I am enough for me. That may help me to refocus.

SoSorry17,

I needed the drama.

It's so funny that you said this. An example of my past just popped in my head. I remember taking a grad class and there was so much bullshit that I was dealing with. I was so stressed dealing with the class. When it was over, I should have been relieved (and I think I was), but I didn't know what to do with myself that the drama was over. Maybe I thrive on drama - maybe I can't deal with calm. I never really thought about this before. I am a hyper person and always feel like I need to be doing something or with someone. I need to start figuring out how to be with myself and be okay with it. A good start will be this summer since I am done with my school year tomorrow and I will have a lot of time for just me - I will get back into exercise and read a lot and be okay with being by myself.
ETA: I just shared this post with my IC and she stated that sometimes people who have bipolar have a need for drama and creating drama. I have been diagnosed bipolar. I thought that this was a interesting realization.
Aubrie,
There is a difference between "Babe. I really need/want to talk some things out and get a hug from you." and "Look at meee. I'm prettyyyyy. Love meeee. Dote on meeee." Take care you don't replace your affair partner with your husband. It's not your husband's job to validate your need for attention. It's yours. Get to the real core of it.

You are right - it is not my BH's responsibility to validate me. I need to be able to validate myself. I need to get to the core of why attention is so important to me and how I can get healthy attention (like your first example).

Gman1

My suggestion is to continue to learn to let your H know what you are thinking. Sometimes it is hard but once you start it gets easier and easier. Our MC talked about our communication and really helped both of us. The results have been great and it is becoming better than ever for both of us as we have vastly improved our communication skills.

Yes, I will continue to work on communication skills. I can't be afraid to tell my BH what I am thinking or feeling. I think communication has always been a problem, probably more for me because I would stuff a lot of things as to not get my BH upset. As my IC said, I can communicate my feelings and thoughts, and BH may get upset, but he'll probably get over it.

Tiredgirl,

It doesn't mean you stuff your feelings, it means you learn to deal with your own feelings yourself, not by expecting someone else to fill your bucket.

And that's what IC is for - to be able to better deal with my feelings and filling my own bucket. I think I need to figure out figuratively how to plug the hole in my bucket so I can effectively fill it.

Slowuptake,

So if you express your 'need' to be the centre of attention and no one fulfills that 'need', despite them being told, you wouldn't be resentful or get your knickers in a twist?
I think the reason you originally said no was that you wanted your BS to do exactly what he did, make a fuss over you, thereby making it an even more satisfying 'feel good hit' to your 'need'.

Wow, I didn't think about it this way, but you are probably right. On some level maybe I did want a fuss made over me. Or maybe I wanted my BH to anticipate all of my needs instead of me really expressing them.

[This message edited by pizzalover at 3:21 PM, June 19th (Thursday)]


Trying to rebuild each day

Me - WW 39
Him - BH 40 (mpb1974)
2 Furrbabies - sweet cats

Met - 8/13/99
Started dating - 9/11/99
Moved in together - 3/03
Engaged - 6/5/09
Married - 8/21/10
D-Day - 1/24/13
Affair started 5/09


Posts: 530 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Pennsylvania
Stillnotoverit
♂ 43708
Member # 43708
Default  Posted: 6:25 PM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Just a question. Why did U have, still have problems meeting BH's sexual needs or just being sexual with him? But you had no problem having sex withAP? Not trying to judge just understand?

Posts: 41 | Registered: Jun 2014 | From: Tennesse
Topic Posts: 14

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