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Please explain "Pain Shopping"

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OakStreet posted 7/30/2014 04:58 AM

I guess I somewhat understand this term, but could someone elaborate on this?

With a lot of TRIGGER DATES coming up, I guess I need to know the meaning of pain shopping and the pros/cons about it. I have so much anger and we are resuming MC next week (after A went underground and he's been going to IC).

I have been completely on the fence since Dday 2, but agreed to see if MC will help. Am I just prolonging my pain?

hopeful325 posted 7/30/2014 05:37 AM

I believe pain shopping in a term used for when you purposely search out painful things. For example when I got overwhelmed by holding it all in I would run a hot bubble bath and get a glass of wine and listen to songs that made me think of the A, read messages and just think of all of it, then I would cry my eyes out. Before I learned the term 'pain shopping' I referred to it as my purging.

TrustedHer posted 7/30/2014 06:31 AM

Another example of pain shopping is when you already know everything you need to know, and continue obsessively accumulating evidence anyway.

In my case, I continued surveillance of my then-STBXWW after I decided to file for D. I planted a recording device in my house AFTER d-day#2, and caused myself pain while I listened to her pack for a weekend away with OM#3. I continued to monitor the cell phone bill and track her calls.

Why? It no longer mattered.

Pain shopping.

krsplat posted 7/30/2014 06:47 AM

Pain shopping = seeking out needless pain. Some pain is useful to us, in that it helps us get to the truth we need to hear, or clarifies our thinking, or helps us make hard decisions. Other pain just hurts us for no reason. It's masochistic, and takes us backward rather than forward.

Pain shopping is asking for details that will hurt you rather than help you heal, like what their favorite sex position was or which bra she wore when they were together. It doesn't help you understand the A or your WS any better. It only adds to the mess in your head rather than helping to clear it out.

It might mean re-reading email and texts that you know will wreck you again. Or continuing to gather info even after you know for sure your WS is being unfaithful. Or continuing contact with an AP who is only out to hurt you. Or demanding apologies from an unremorseful WS. Pain shopping is banging your head on the wall, and none of us should do it.


[This message edited by krsplat at 6:51 AM, July 30th (Wednesday)]

hopeful325 posted 7/30/2014 07:29 AM

I'd like to say the there are some times when it's useful on occasion, not constantly of course. After finding out my H broke NC and seeing what was being said I became sort of numb. My IC referred to it as me looking emotionally flat. I know it's a defense thing but I decided that I was tired of it and that I needed to feel it. When I asked her what I should do to get over it and if I should do a little pain shopping she actually said yes, if her other suggestions didn't work.

OakStreet posted 7/30/2014 10:45 AM

Thanks, everyone!

I guess my pain shopping is bringing everything back up to what-was-then an unremorseful spouse. I want him to feel my pain and anger.

I know this is not helping. He could look at her and see love and the admiration-he-so-needs. He looks at me and sees hurt and anger.

I look at him and see a cruel SOB. Hopefully the MC will help us sort this all out.

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