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scream posted 8/10/2014 18:08 PM

I erased a picture a female coworker sent me of another woman that was nobody but she thought was something I thought would be funny. Has to do with where I work. It was a stupid pic and a stupid joke. I told her I need to erase this and I did. What I didn't know was I erased all the messages.

I never should have done it. I promised to never erase anything. And my conflict avoidance sprang into action. I didn't want it to be a trigger or an issue of conflict. I didn't want it to hurt my wife or hurt me.

I. Knew I shouldn't erase anything and I did it anyway. I know I can't fully control triggers, this one I thought I could. Why can't I just do what I promise and man up. I'm so afraid of every and anything ending my marriage.

I know I'm the one that put me on this tight rope. And I'm the only one who can keep me from falling off. But this was a huge mistake that I made. We are almost back at square one. I have made her lose trust in me again. I shot myself in the foot again.

Mistake happen in reconciliation. I realize. But these aren't true mistakes. I made a choice to do this. Even though I knew I shouldn't. How stupid can I get? Its truely mind blowing. Why am I so avoidant? I let that avoidance run my life. Avoid arguements,work,worries,pain. Anything to not feel worse than I do.

How do I change something that seems to be at the core of who I am? Is my wife right? Can it be changed? I know what conflict avoidance is...I should. But I don't know what to do to fix it. My wife says I do bring up the affair or our difficulties because I would rather avoid it and bury my head. She right. A lot of the time I just don't wanna rock the boat. Things seem good so why change that?

Its selfish to act that way. Its selfish to think she isn't thinking about it. Conflict avoidance and selfishness. In that I don't fully give of myself to the one woman I want to. How fucking stupid. Truely, how fucking stupid. Just over 2 years we have been going through this. And I still let my negative traits get in my way. Will I only learn when she is no longer here to love? I need to learn now. I need to learn now...please any responses welcome. I need to learn now. I don't want to be without her. HELP

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 8/10/2014 19:30 PM

Why am I so avoidant? I let that avoidance run my life. Avoid arguements,work,worries,pain. Anything to not feel worse than I do.

I am going to tell you what my IC told me. I was having trouble with being defensive. Know what she said? Stop. That's it. Stop. So I am telling you stop. Stop avoiding conflict. You already have recognized the behavior, so just stop. It really can be as simple as that.

As far as the pic goes? Don't delete anything. Four years out and I haven't deleted a single thing from my phone. The only person that deletes anything from it is my BH. End of story. No resentments, no conflicts. I just occasionally hand it over and he goes through it real quick.

It's not that hard. Simple transparency.

scream posted 8/11/2014 06:18 AM

Thank you for your candor. I hope its as easy as just stopping. I want it to be. I hate that I have betrayed her again. It honestly wasn't my intention to hurt her. I don't want her to hurt like this. Stopping seems so easy...why haven't I done it?

What in me wants to keep avoiding? Am I just that big a coward? I have never really thought that about myself. Maybe that's just denial. Didn't think it was possible to hate myself anymore than I did before this. But here it is. Another skyscraper of guilt and shame on my back.

My wife doesn't deserve this. No one deserves this.

DrJekyll posted 8/11/2014 07:41 AM

Why am I so avoidant? I let that avoidance run my life. Avoid arguements,work,worries,pain. Anything to not feel worse than I do.

Dig back to your experiences before you started avoiding conflict. That is where this started. that is what you have to heal. For me it was my NPD mom. Once I stood up to her. my "conflict avoidance" has started healing. So dig, dig, dig.

She right. A lot of the time I just don't wanna rock the boat. Things seem good so why change that?

Here are your options. avoid discussing it and do not rock the boat until she is done with you and files for D. Or get comfortable being uncomfortable. Your choice. But yes inaction is a choice too.

You are 2 years in, and still haven't found your voice? Try starting small. Share your feelings.

what do you do when your BS upsets you?

somethingremorse posted 8/11/2014 12:13 PM

get comfortable being uncomfortable

Absolutely true. It is hard. Believe me, I stumble on it all the time.

What's worse -- this feeling today, or telling your BW about the picture? Probably the today part. Try to remember that when you act.

Hang in there

scream posted 8/11/2014 12:29 PM

Your right. It is uncomfortable. And leads to more avaoiding and lying and just bullshit. And yes 2 years maybe shot to hell cause I was a coward who couldn't be honest, again.

DrJekyll posted 8/11/2014 12:41 PM

It is uncomfortable. And leads to more avoiding and lying and just bullshit.


Dig to your why.
Why is it uncomfortable?
Why does it lead to avoiding?
Why does it lead to lying?
why does it lead to bullshit?
why, why, why?????

WabiSabi posted 8/12/2014 01:26 AM

Scream... As a BS, the first thing that stood out to me was why this female coworker felt comfortable texting you something that was unprofessional. Maybe ask yourself if you're too friendly and accessible to women. This coworker obviously feels safe with you. I highly recommend that you read a book by Shirley Glass called, "Not Just Friends." You must have walls and windows that keep your wife inside and all others outside. That text was a perfect opportunity to champion your wife's safety and her value as your cherished spouse. You should have ignored that coworker. Then showed your wife. What she would have seen was not only radical honesty and that you stood against intrusion into your marital boundaries. Silence is communication. Better would be to tell the other person you don't feel comfortable texting women (non-professionally) who are not your wife. Walls and windows. They're easy to remember because you can visualize them. And radical honesty. Always.

Think positive. Soldier on each time you gain new knowledge. Keep learning. Keep trying to do better, be better. Face your wife with courage over your mistake, explain your well-intentioned motives, and start again tomorrow. Your BW wants to see you evolve. And she wants radical honesty.

SparrowSoul posted 8/12/2014 02:55 AM

^^^ Seconding both DrJekyll and WabiSabi.

A- Firstly, it's so important to figure out WHY you want to avoid conflict, what has happened in your history that has taught you, for whatever reason, that it's the better choice... Because it really isn't. Conflict for conflict's own sake is petty and cruel, but conflict for the sake of evolution is important and worthwhile. That's how growth happens.

B- As a BS, I can tell you with absolute certainty what I would have wanted in that situation. Had a coworker sent my WBF something even mildly inappropriate, I would have wanted to see it. I would have wanted to see him tell that coworker "Hey, do me a favor and don't send me things like this in the future. It's not appropriate and I don't want it." I would have wanted to see her response, if there was one, to form my own opinion on her as a person. I would have wanted to talk about why she apparently thought something like that was okay, and how to avoid scenarios like that in the future(Perhaps his boundaries need work or need to be made more apparent, perhaps she's just inappropriate and crass like that, who knows).

When in doubt, err on the side of your BS and on that of your M. Do the right thing, and you'll never need to second-guess yourself. Hang in there. ((( )))

lovemywife4ever posted 8/12/2014 07:26 AM

My wife says don't erase just show me and tell me if someone sends something not quite right. She still gets upset at times but at least I am doing what she asks in that case. I have also told buddies not to send me jokes that have naked females or are inappropriate. They don't know why just that I told them not to.

Brandon808 posted 8/12/2014 08:35 AM

How do I change something that seems to be at the core of who I am? Is my wife right? Can it be changed? I know what conflict avoidance is...I should. But I don't know what to do to fix it.
If it's at the core of your being then it would apply to other areas of your life, correct? Then that's where you need to start. Pick some other area where you're conflict avoidant. Then do something out of your comfort zone. I'm talking about something simple. If a retail clerk is rude say something if you normally wouldn't. The point is whatever discomfort you feel in the moment embrace it. When you get conflict avoidant you're denying your own feelings. You're the one invalidating them. Now we're all guilty of conflict avoidance on some level, but there is a point where you have accept that conflicts happen. It's not a bad thing. It's just part of human nature. How we handle them and resolve can be an important part of defining ourselves.
I'm speaking to the behavior itself at the moment. You do need to address the why's because without fixing those issues the pattern will take hold again.

scream posted 8/12/2014 08:49 AM

Thanks everybody. I realize its another wasted oppertunity to prove to her how I'm changing. I know there is a serious issue here for me to address in IC. Never really felt it till now. Even when I was doing all along. Always thought of myself as one not to rock the boat or stir things up.

Please keep responding. 2x4s are most likely needed.

StartingFreshNow posted 8/12/2014 09:01 AM

You're not alone. The other day I deleted an email account my BH knew about but could potentially cause me problems in the future. Then I got sidetracked by some other issues we were dealing with and I totally forgot to tell him about deleting the account. Yesterday he went to check it and found out it was gone. It didn't go well.

So although I have no advice I wanted to tell you you're not alone in these screw ups. Also- the advice you have gotten has been very helpful for me too so thank you for your post.

NewWorldMan posted 8/12/2014 09:31 AM

You may also want to take a moment before you speak or act on anything...and think about the consequences of what you're about to say or do.

Think to yourself, "Am I about to tell the truth? Is the next action I'm going to take something to cover the truth? Is it something to cover a lie? Am I doing something to make myself seem like something or someone I'm not? If not, what will happen if the lie gets out?"

This behavior has helped me tremendously. I have had to admit some pretty ugly things when asked. But, you know what? It's the truth, and I'm not covering up a series of lies. I feel better about myself.

scream posted 8/12/2014 11:28 AM

Right now the consequences are space. She wants space. And I am giving it to her. We have talked. And I have appologized over and over. And we have talked about why.

So space is what she wants right now. I don't know how long or if there are more to follow. Either way I deserve it.

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