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The value of support groups.

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blakesteele posted 8/11/2014 08:37 AM

Heard a webinair...the topic was the incredible value of support groups. Specifically people who gather who have experienced similar trama in their lives.







Since my signing up for SI my wife has had serious issues with my involvement here. She has basically resigned herself to the fact that I am an active member here and she must just learn to live with it.

Been pondering her adversion to this this support group for those affected by adultery. Not sure if other waywards can comment in the General forum...but don't know where else to post this type of post.

If I had contracted AIDES from her unprotected sexual encounters during her time in affairland....would she fight me on joining groups that support those fighting that battle?

If she contracted HPV that morphed into ovarian cancer....would she avoid cancer support groups?

Is this admission from her that yeah, she knows what she did was bad....but not THAT bad?

I have asked her what bothers her about this.....I believe it comes down to having other people comment about my journey and, specficially, her role in how my journey unfolds.

I guess it ties back into her way of doing she wants to project NOTHING but positive, look how strong and confident I am image to the rest of the world.....public at large all the way down to her relationship with me and her closest girl friends.

Adultery....yeah, its sucks big time. But at two years out I have healed enough from that trauma that I am now examining what steps got my wife to that fruit. What she prioritizes in her life to choose as she chooses.

I judge her evaluation and detest of SI is directly related to her life-long desire to remain spotless within and unconnected from the real world.

No where within her has been any sense, any expression that SI has real value...that she desires to see me heal from the pain her choices have caused me. 2 years out her world is still all about her.

She took a step outside of herself and posted in the wayward side a few months back....the post was all about how my choices to use porn hurt her and our marriage. It was dang hard for me to read...both to "see" her pain in text and to read the comments of other women who the post resonated with. ......but it was all true, real shit.

I asked her how it felt....she quietly admitted it felt good to be heard and supported.

It did me good to SEE my destructive choices in brighter light too.

Though she did it in a "Oh yeah...two can play at this game!!!" mentatlity....the end result was SOME healing, SOME normalizing of that particular pain. As odd as it sounds....I welcomed a REAL peak into a wife that has made a regular habit of hiding herself.

I judge she wanted me to contest her actions....denounce her actions as mean and uncaring. I did not. I noted as her subsequent responses to fellow SI members rolled out...they were less anger filled and more pain filled....just like support groups everywhere help folks do.

But that was about the last time she opened up on here or, as near as I can tell, to anyone else.

Then I found she had been making a habit of lurking OM FB page over the entire past 2 year period.

So......what to make of this.

Any waywards expand on this phenomenon? Am I close to on the trail of a rabbit worth chasing?

God is with us all.

authenticnow posted 8/11/2014 08:51 AM

Maybe your W is afraid that SI will open your eyes to things that you may not see otherwise, and call her on it, and then she'll have to face it and/or act accordingly.

I remember when I was still lying (not implying that your W is) and polygraphs were mentioned on here (something that BH would have probably not thought of without SI), I was like, "Oh no! They're telling him about polygraphs! What am I going to do?"

SI is like looking in the mirror. If you're willing to really 'see' and look at things, it's helpful. If you're not and it makes you very uncomfortable, you won't like it.


tired girl posted 8/11/2014 09:28 AM

I am going to comment on how I see your wife, not as a wayward. I don't think she likes the fact that she sees you as needing this site. She wants to see you standing on your own two feet handling this, like she sees herself doing.

jendo posted 8/11/2014 09:29 AM

I don't think my WH loves that I am on here. He is sad that the A is sucking up so much of my mind and my life and that is why. It is more that he sees the damage he has done to me. I also always come up with more questions for him after reading on these sites. He answers willingly, but I know doesnt love it.

MissedRedFlags posted 8/11/2014 09:31 AM

My WH also disapproves of my reading or posting on here and really disapproves of my reading anything related to Affairs or Infidelity. He believes that I am not "moving forward" if I am re-hashing the past and trying to understand what happened. I don't care what he thinks on this issue because it is helping me. Just this morning, I tried to find support groups in my area. Still looking.

I recently read an article at

that identified that there are two types of recovery: personal and marital.

In an effort to personally heal, she recommends:

Deliberately focusing on dealing with it and talking openly about what happened
--Not trying to bury it, which "buries it alive" - so that it continues to be a burden to carry forever.
--Accepting real support and saying no to unsolicited advice.
--Allowing time to heal - which requires patience and persistence while you work to recover.

blakesteele posted 8/11/2014 09:43 AM

Oh tired I wish this trial was not so damn painful....just like people who experience war and fighting a terminal disease wish the same thing.

I get that. And there probably are people married to vets and people with addicitions that wish for a better lot in life.

Am I to take from your post that in order to save my marriage it would be wise to cut ties with the support group I have found here on SI? Or just that is a fantasy my wife is holding out to have play out in her marriage to me? That I will somehow just rug sweep this and forget I am in pain, turn a bliind I to the actions I can control to break free from a well-studied destructive CoD cycle we have both willingly participated in?

What I observe of my wife as I live with her is her doing the same things that got her to that dark spot that made adultery so damn appealing. The isolation and lost she experiences is a direct result of her NOT reaching out to others. Her choice to lurk FB and lie to me when I checked in with her regarding her feelings...that is as it was pre-A. This, plus no boundaries, are precisely what lead her to aggressively seek adultery.

If she is like you say she is....perhaps her affair was indeed an exit affair. Because she must realize that the "island to herself" is not agreeable to either her or I. Her actions appear to point to she is satisfied with who she is and how she process's life.

It is true I lean on my support network...but my feet are still under me. I find the strength and courage to help others along the way. I have NOT buckled under this wait to reach for destructive, marriage killing choices. I do NOT lurk other womens facebook pages and have used this opportunity to conduct my own personal battle on my use of porn.

My wife is welcome to view those efforts in the correct light...or continue to subscribe to the theory that anyone who reaches out to others is "weak" and "needy". Perhaps she thinks I should just be able to stop using porn....end of 12 step program or accountability partner needed?

Again, I get your point. She wants to be with a man that is as independent in stance as she is. Which is how we operated in our M originally. And perhaps we have reached an incureable impass because of this.

To a therapist, book read, and retrouvaille.....all speak to the value in fellowship with others. Seeking support from your spouse as well as from a healthy, boundary laiden network of marriage friendly people.


blakesteele posted 8/11/2014 10:09 AM

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

Albert Einstein

How does one raise their level of consciouness? Buy reaching out of their known circles of influence.

If I or my wife took a polygraph test 5 years ago and were asked if we felt we were doing all we could to make a great marriage....we would both honestly answer "yes". We would point to our reference spot....our parents.....and marvel at how much better we are then they were.

This was what our collective conscious allowed for. It was how we were comfortable doing M, coping with life. It was fraught with errors...but it worked until it didn't.

I fail to see how our consciousness can grow without reaching outside of ourselves.

Perhaps if we were two perfect people....but then if that were the case, would porn or adultery be a part of our journey to begin with?

There is no wife has a superior view of herself and her solo abilities. This view was absolutely present during her time in her she was ever so confident she "had this". Just needed to be with him "one more time and thats it". And she could control all that needed to be controlled for her to find ways to get all of her needs met...regardless of the dark alleys she had to traverse to get that done.

I get she sees me as weak. That is her perspective and I know where that view was formed....and it was not from me and occurred well before we even met.

I also am aware that the average guy I work with may very well offer up that same opinion to me.....stand on your own and kick the woman out! would be what they think a strong, independent man would do.

Therapy and SI are among the resources that have encouraged me to fight this common but incorrect definition of what true strength is.

God is with us all.

tired girl posted 8/11/2014 10:10 AM

I responded to you on your other post as well. Reading that post, this one would make more sense. I am not saying that you need to do anything. I am coming at it from her viewpoint. If she is someone that doesn't need anyone to lean on, she would not understand your needing anyone. Does that explain it better?

hopefull77 posted 8/11/2014 10:18 AM

Adultrey is plain and simple selfishness...trying to understand and accept that takes work ....hard work...for me having a site like this helps me see the whole picture from all helps me in trying to understand WHY someone you thought you knew crossed the is a real 'head shaker' to me....
This site has also shown me how I minimized his change in behavior and justified it!
I will NOT be blindsided again...
SI has also shown me I am not alone! I/ we will survive this.

MissedRedFlags posted 8/11/2014 10:36 AM

I agree with you. This site has made a huge difference for making me feel that I'm not the only one going through this!

seethelight posted 8/11/2014 10:50 AM

I judge her evaluation and detest of SI is directly related to her life-long desire to remain spotless within and unconnected from the real world.

No where within her has been any sense, any expression that SI has real value...that she desires to see me heal from the pain her choices have caused me. 2 years out her world is still all about her.

My wayward hates the fact that I read SI, too. I feel as you do regarding the reasons why.

Then I found she had been making a habit of lurking OM FB page over the entire past 2 year period.

Me, too. About three months ago, I discoverd the same and the poop hit the fan.

I told him that psychologists believe that a wayward checking out a face book page is considered contact. We agreed on absolutely no contact. His IC also ageed that checking the FB page was considered a form of continued contact.

He insisted it was not contact and claimed he did nothing wrong. At that point the poop hit the fan, and I told him to stop or I would file. He did stop.

Later, when asked why, he claimed that since she was stalking us, he simply wanted to know where she was.

Personally I think that's a lame reason.

I am also curious what excuse your wive gave for checking FB page

blakesteele posted 8/11/2014 11:19 AM

Folks...go to Expressing needs and feelings Tired Girl response to me.

It will summarize what I believe to be a common truth among wayward\BS interactions such that I am a part of and many of you are too.

Thanks again tired girl.

I am also curious what excuse your wive gave for checking FB page

This most recent time? "just curious"

Her answer was a bit elusive after that.....

She said her reasons changed over time....but never really told me directly.

I guess she did it first out of "love for him", then did it to "see if she could get a glimpse of the new OW he found after dumping my wife", then "anger towards him as she blamed him for her choices", then to "see if he was missing her", then to "just curious".

How do I guess this? 20 plus books read on infidelity as well as hours in therapy.

This is a shit storm like none other...but it is anything but unique. What my wife did was textbook adultery...plain and simple.

Odd thing is....she THANKED me for discovering this?

Odd......guess she is so removed from emotional pain that she fails to see the explosion that just took place in OUR world.

But, like tired girl states firmly, what I note as an explosion my wife sees as one of those throw-down snap-dragons you casually throw at your buddies feet at a 4th of July BBQ.

I think that is like 80% correct over how my wife views her lurking FB and its impact on our M and family.

Like I said....7 weeks later, no mention of her FB lurking. We had the 10 minute convo on it the day it happened, I went to my interview, maybe talked about it like 15 total more minutes sometime later....and then.........nothing.

Please take the time to go to the other thread Tired Girl posted on.

It lines up with what could very well be going on inside several of ours marriages.

Like all is sad and painful, but will lead to healing and growing.

God is with us all.

tired girl posted 8/11/2014 11:39 AM

Your welcome blake. I am glad it helped.

seethelight posted 8/11/2014 14:41 PM

I guess she did it first out of "love for him", then did it to "see if she could get a glimpse of the new OW he found after dumping my wife", then "anger towards him as she blamed him for her choices", then to "see if he was missing her", then to "just curious".

I think that may be accurate. I am certain my wayward went through all these phases.

I am not certain that just curious is a good reason, at this point.

They know it will upset us, by now.

Lark posted 8/11/2014 14:53 PM

There is a lot of research and writing on the importance of having a group where others understand your interests or concerns. Of the powerful collective intelligence that can be achieved in these kinds of groups as people lend their experiences, offer resources, and scaffold the learning of others.

For these kinds of groups, there is also an incredible healing aspect to being amongst peers who understand what your'e going through. For those wanting to R, to have resources and collective intelligence on how to do that. For waywards, to have others who call their bullshit while supporting them as they face it. For the JFO, realizing that you aren't totally alone even when your entire world is upside down and torn apart. For those going through divorce, having the resources and collective intelligence on what to think, ask, do.

There is a downside too, of course, and people have to be smart about participating in them. Opening your marriage up to a group of strangers is not always a healthy thing to do, depending on how it's done. the audience only has the author's perspective to go off of - although here the audience is so widespread they can often see more sides than on many other groups. The audience may cheerlead/affirm the author's perspective when the author may actually need some insights or new ways of looking at it. And in this type of setting, there is also a danger of opening your marriage up to an audience that includes those who have a history of preying upon those who need "rescuing" from those types of marriages. Includes those who look for others online. I do not accept private messages for this reason.

It can also be dangerous for those who use the group to affirm their victim position. I know several people who go to ACA - adult children of alcoholics - and the only thing they are getting out of it is that they're right to see themselves as just victims. Not that I think that's what ACA is about, but that some people use these types of groups as tools to fuel their anger, devastation, pain rather than as tools to process, heal, and grow beyond it. Take responsibility for their own lives, their own choices.

So I think the groups are great, not perfect. And everyone is hopefully reflecting at some poitn at why they are here, what they're getting out of it, and whether it's truly helping them in their journey forward in life and, if they've chosen it, their marriage.

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