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Waywardness scale, pain shopping, self-punishment?

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Macsecond posted 8/13/2014 19:09 PM

Had a big, but good, talk with BH last night. Neither of us could sleep, and we've been working on opening up to one another more, rather than just stewing on thoughts on our own, so we spent a few hours in bed talking.

We discussed a lot of things (which may come up in future posts), but one that came up was BH's observation/interpretation that there is a scale of waywardness - that situations range in severity and intensity from crush/flirting or EA or one kiss all the way to multi-year/decade PA and every incarnation of an A or infidelity in between.

He said that on his scale (and he acknowledges that different people will rank things differently), He sees my A and everything that transpired as being on the lower end (still wrong, and not the lowest/easiest to forgive or get over, but not on the higher end because it was never physical) but that he thinks I see the A as ranking higher in severity than it was and am punishing myself accordingly.

He's happy to see me working at improving our communication, improving my openness and transparency, working at being more loving and expressing that (a mutual thing), and he's also happy to see I'm working on improving myself.

But he knows I have a history of depression, and that usually he tends to simplify things whereas I tend to over-think and over-process/over-feel things and he's worried I'm working myself into a depression over everything. I don't want to say that he wants me to "get over it" because I don't think that's his intent at all. I think he wants me to not get stuck in it and to keep moving forward.

I have agreed that I don't want to spend my time/energy wallowing in shame, guilt or self-pity, and that I should (and do) feel bad and remorseful, I acknowledge and take full responsibility for the shitty choices and decisions I made that led up to and continued the EA as well as the hurt I inflicted on him as a result of those choices and decisions, but not to the extent where I'm not able to function or see to helping him heal because I'm self-absorbed in how badly I feel or how badly I f'ed up.

I'm not pain-shopping, or at least I don't think I am, but also wondered if I tend to self-punish as a defense mechanism... sort of a way of saying/showing "you don't need to punish me because I'm doing it to myself already. I acknowledge that I've hurt you and I've done wrong, and I'm already taking care of it."
Don't know if anyone else has encountered this or seen it this way?

I do know BH tends to try to protect me, even when I'm the one who hurt him, and I still don't think he's letting himself feel the full hurt of it all in order to protect me, but I want him to know that he has every right to, and that I expect it and can/will take it if it helps him as part of the process and steps of R'ing from infidelity.


I don't know if any of that made sense...

tangledknot posted 8/13/2014 19:55 PM

Deleted what I wrote b/c seemed like a thread jack.

[This message edited by tangledknot at 9:11 PM, August 13th (Wednesday)]

Scubachick posted 8/13/2014 20:53 PM

I don't have any answers but I just wanted to say that it sounds like you have an amazing husband that loves you very much.

Macsecond posted 8/13/2014 23:40 PM

TK - i did read your response before you deleted it, and didn't feel it was a thread jack. I appreciated your thoughtson it and am sorry if it brought up any bad feelings.
I just wanted to say that I was lucky enough to have the circumstances such that geography kept it from becoming a pa. Had I encountered the opportunity to physically cheat , I worry that I wouldn't have had the boundaries or strength to uphold that "no physical cheating" limit I had set for myself or to keep from being persuaded to keep up the A. I still don't know why it kicked in when it did or why it didn't kick in for me sooner (like before the A even had a chance to happen), but as stupid as I was to engage in the activity that led to an EA, I do consider myself lucky that I did choose to listen to whatever little voice inside that enabled me to keep it from continuing or progressing. . I'm lucky the arguments and reasoning presented to me that c

A betrayal is a betrayal, though, and I Tried to convey to my BH that even though he may not see the severity of my a and betrayal as high as I see it, I don't want to discount it and feel he's due everything that he feels is necessary for his healing from it and then some.

Macsecond posted 8/13/2014 23:43 PM

Scubachick - he is amazing, and I'm so incredibly lucky to have his love and a chance to work on things with him. I'm such a fool for stepping out on our marriage and for hurting him. Such an idiot.

SlowUptake posted 8/14/2014 05:18 AM

Just one. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. KWIM?

DrJekyll posted 8/14/2014 08:28 AM

In my experience. It would have only been a matter of time. I had an OEA 1.5 years before my pa. There was a moment 6 months after the EA where something happened while I was drunk and concussed. I rugswept it. And a year later I was in a PA. So please take this opportunity to fix your Shit. So that you can heal.

Next the only wayward scale is to what point it is a deal breaker for the BS. For some porn is a deal breaker. For others they are working through R with SAFWS of 20+ APs. The reality is a betrayer is a betrayer.

So look into your self-destructive patterns. Read "transforming your dragons"

Lark posted 8/14/2014 10:52 AM

BS here.

I think it is important to keep moving forward - WS and BS can easily fall into the pit of how much it hurts, or how wrong, etc. Moving forward doesn't deny it, it just seeks to say "ok, now what can I do?" Or processing.

I'd also be prepared for a roller coaster still. I'm on month 2... this has been my experience on processing my husband's As:
Shock. Then try to figure out timeline (he told me it, I wanted to write a book of it essentially) by meticulously going through the details. I felt, at this point I had reached a point of "ah, I know what happened now. Now I can move forward" and felt that perhaps things would get less painful.
Then I started to wonder the whys - that got nowhere, as it isn't my question to ask.
Now I'm cycling around putting his feelings/thoughts/wants of me vs both OW side by side, which hurts.

So I guess what I'm saying is that even though, as a Bs, we seem to feel like we got to a point of "ok i understand this part now..." we may find ourselves cycling to a different aspect to think, wonder, pain about.

It's a lot of sides to process, particularly when it overlaps what the BS thought of was "real life."

I will add that the ranking of As is difficult. My husband had two OW - one was 10 months, the other 5 months. One was an EA/PA, the other was strictly PA. For me, the EA side has been far far far harder to process than the PA. I've heard the physical side tends to be more horrifying to men. Not of course all at all, and not at all saying that the physical side doesn't horrify me. But that my husband had feelings - of some/any sort towards the woman... he can be physically separate from someone, but if he let them in your head and heart - how will I ever know they're gone. And even if they are gone, that he gave away a deeper, more"him" side.

Sorry, this may sound like rambling, just wanted to say that the ranking is so hard to tell, and at just one month out, be cautious that it still may get harder for him

Macsecond posted 8/14/2014 13:39 PM

So look into your self-destructive patterns. Read "transforming your dragons"

Thanks DrJ! I haven't heard of this one, so I'll add it to my kindle list!

Macsecond posted 8/14/2014 13:43 PM

Lark - I appreciate your input!

Sorry, this may sound like rambling, just wanted to say that the ranking is so hard to tell, and at just one month out, be cautious that it still may get harder for him

Not rambling at all. Made perfect sense. And I'm cautious and wary about assuming things are well and truly processed on his end, because I know they're not. Thanks to much reading on this site, I'm aware of the cycles and ups and downs of the roller coaster, and know that things won't stay stable, or may not. Which is why this:

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

I feel like I can't do yet. I don't want to let down my guard. I want to keep questionning and keep digging, and keep working, but at the same time I don't want to make mountains out of molehills. It's hard to find that balance.

TheIrishGirl posted 8/15/2014 08:28 AM

I think the attempt at 'ranking' is a bit of a self preservation thing. I did it too- my WH was online, mostly sexual content in the correspondence, not much emotion, but obviously there was something that kept him going back to talk to her again. It's kind of a, 'it could be worse' thing- yours was 'only' online, at least it didn't get physical. Someone else's was physical, but at least they weren't emotionally involved. Someone else's lasted 15 years, but at least there's no OC. Someone else had a child with their AP, but it was only from their ONS... A little attempt at rationalizing from the BS side so that it doesn't feel like we're compromising ourselves if we stay.

My DDay was about 3 months earlier than yours, and I'm kind of over comparing what he did to what other people did. Sure, I'm grateful it wasn't physical because I wasn't exposed to STIs (while pregnant no less), but betrayal is betrayal no matter how you slice it. Maybe once your BH gets his head around it a bit more his attitude will change, maybe it won't. You do have the advantage, if you can call it that, of ending it on your own & confessing, so I can imagine knowing you saw it for what it was on your own helps your BH to move forward rather than always wondering what might have happened if he hadn't found out.

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