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islesguy posted 8/4/2014 10:40 AM

The other night I got into a big argument because I questioned whether or not a lap dance was a naked lap dance if the stripper was wearing a thong. She has been referring to them as naked lap dances or naked strippers forever in emails and I never questioned this before other then when she questioned if one of the clubs I had been to was all nude. But yet when she said naked strippers grinding on me, I got so upset and started playing semantics. Why the hell do I fall back into this pattern? Does it really matter if they had any clothing on? No, it changes nothing but yet I still said it. I feel so stressed about losing her and am so fearful of being seen for worse than I already am that I grasp onto anything. The outcome is that now not only is my BS angry because I was defensive but even angrier because I had never said anything when it was brought up in the past and even argued with her about whether it was how she referred to them. Then she showed me tons of emails with that term where I hadn't called it out. But, at that time, hearing her say it out loud struck me differently and I could only think about trying to not appear worse to her.

I really feel like I am going insane...

painfulpast posted 8/4/2014 11:00 AM

Hi islesguy. BS here.

As a female, I agree with your BW - a woman wearing a thong is naked. I think you may believe that too, and possibly you used the 'they have thongs on' when you were going to this club to justify it in your head, so you're reverting to what allowed you to cross the line in the first place.

Why do I say a thong is the same as naked? It's my opinion, but a 2" x 3" piece of material held on by a piece of ribbon is the same as naked. Would you feel she was out letting naked men dance in her lap if she went to a club where they wore a small loincloth?

As a female, I can say that for a lot of us, a woman bouncing and grinding on your lap, wearing only a thong, is very insulting and degrading. Being in the clubs like this is bad enough. It makes us feel inadequate, no matter how we look. After all, why this need to go see other women? But a lap dance isn't just you watching from a distance. It's touching. It's way too close. It's just you and her. It hurts.

I think it's human nature, when confronted, to want to appear in the best light possible. It's hard to agree to things we have done or sad that we aren't particularly proud of when confronted with it. As a BS, that's what I needed from my WS. I needed him to admit to how bad his actions were, and why. I needed him to understand why his actions hurt me and how deeply they affected me. When he would defend his actions, it was hurtful because I felt that he still thought what he did was ok, and that he was minimizing my pain by acting as if his actions weren't bad, and he was saying (without saying) that I was over-reacting.

I've been told that anger is a secondary mask emotion. It's used to cover another emotion we don't want to show. In this case, I would bet that your BS feels insecure, not enough for you, not woman enough to keep you from wanting other women, and that in turn produces shame and embarrassment. No one likes to admit to 'not being enough' - even though I'm sure your wife is enough - and that's probably how she feels if you were visiting this club and getting lap dances. So anger comes in to protect her. She doesn't feel safe sharing her true feelings, so her subconscious is pushing anger to the surface to hide it.

That's my take on it. I could be very wrong. You know your wife better than I do. If there's a possibility that this is how she's feeling, I think trying to understand the pain she is in, and why, will go a long way. Once you're there, you can talk to her about how you feel about making her feel this way.

That's where I'd start. Whatever it is, I hope you're able to work through why you felt a need to minimize what happened, and then to help her understand it.

islesguy posted 8/4/2014 11:26 AM


Thank you for your response. I agree that the thong makes no difference and that naked or not is just semantics at that point. My frustration is getting involved in an argument over semantics in the first place.

In reading what you have written it is clear that I have not taken full ownership. I can totally admit how wrong I was to insult her and to have gone to strip clubs. But, I wind up arguing with her about this also because I always tell her that I never went to strip clubs because of anything to do with her which probably also comes across as downplaying because she absolutely feels like they are connected.

Your assessment is dead on for my BS. Not only did I go to strip clubs but I also insulted her body (after she had my daughter!). I know how absolutely disgusting and despicable I was and that this has permanently and unfairly scarred her forever. She is angry, she is hurt, she is completely self conscious around me, and she is disgusted with me for this and many other reasons.

DrJekyll posted 8/4/2014 12:13 PM


one thing i keep in mind that helps me. There is no, at least I wasn't that bad. I did X but at least I didn't do Y. The bottom line. If I only had a EA, would that hurt less for my BS? possibly, but it would still hurt like a bitch. did the strippers have any clothes on? maybe so, but does that really matter? If your BS was at a party and a guy "felt her up" and she didn't walk/run away but stayed and enjoyed it. would it really matter to you if she had clothes on? the intention is obviously there. Now what if she paid him to do that? so the clothes don't really matter. they only matter generally as to whether the club can sell alcohol or not. at least that is how it was in my younger years.

islesguy posted 8/4/2014 13:35 PM

Yes, I agree that the g-string didn't matter and that is what frustrates me so much. I know this, yet I still argue about it and this is just one example of this kind of behavior from me. This is why I say I feel like I am going crazy.

init4life posted 8/4/2014 13:49 PM

islesguy -

I get caught up in the same ridiculous semantics at times too. Try to slow down and ask yourself why am I getting so defensive. I get defensive because I feel like shit for what I did and get scared I'm going to lose her. But when I behave that way I just make my BW feel even more distant and alone. Remember you can own how you feel and still help your BS feel safe. If she doesn't feel safe sharing these feelings it could get worse.

somethingremorse posted 8/4/2014 14:12 PM

Why the hell do I fall back into this pattern? Does it really matter if they had any clothing on? No, it changes nothing but yet I still said it.

Gonna be glass half full for a second.

Recognizing that you minimize/play with semantics/have a need to win the argument/whatever is a good step. Sure, it would have been better if you recognized this before the words escaped your mouth. But I am going to assume that realizing this the next day is an improvement.

I am the same way. It's hard to tell our BS "aren't you glad I was only a jackass for 12 hours instead of a whole week?" But that doesn't change the fact that realizing our mistakes quickly is movement in the right direction. Keep working and hang in there.

islesguy posted 8/4/2014 14:32 PM

Thanks somethingremorse,

I am glad that I can understand what I did for what it is, but it has been years and I shouldn't have to realize it after the fact.

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