To paraphrase the X-Files, the truth is out there!
I think that I have some of the root causes identified in the past year of reflection and digging although LF feels that I'm still not really facing the truth face on. But I am hoping that IC will be able to help me focus on this issue.
As it’s been said before, the statement of "selfish bastard" doesn't really count as the answer to the question and neither does “she was my xgf and I had unresolved issues”.
Considering our D-day was over a year ago, the late IC might seem strange but considering my overseas work, it was the best that we could do at this time. With that in mind, I strongly encourage all the WS’s to continue on their IC paths so they can get to the root of their issues and work on that along with the other things such as boundaries, transparency, intimacy etc.
Yes, it’s a long and hard road ahead for many of us but with professional IC and the help of friends on SI, we have it within ourselves to become the spouses that we want to be for our partners.
Wisdom from Gamine - Make a decision and discipline yourself not to waver. Don't be someone who stands for nothing. Stand for what you decide and back it with the full force of your character and conviction. DECIDE. CHOOSE. COMMIT. PERIOD.
Thanks to ScarletA for starting and for all the WSs and BSs for sharing over the years. This is one that should be on a permanent BUMP.
I was a big flirt and show off (the loud jokster In the group) to cover my inadequacies. Make fun of myself before someone else could (at least in my mind, probably had a lot to do with being born harelip and cleft palate with a speech impedemint,that my wife has never noticed until after dday) in all honesty most people don't notice. But to me my speech has always been a big deal
I think these things and probably the way I was raised (very young parent). Has made me an emotionaly and sexually immature person.
Anytime any woman seemed to show me what I thought more than normal attention. I thought she likes me and this was exciting. I was smart enough (or lucky enough) to not spend much time with these women knowing this might be a problem for me.
The ow my BSs BBF was also my boss at the time was a recent widow when I came in to help her with their company that they ran out of there home. The other woman was a known adultress. I'm not sure who started the flirting probably me. When she responded instead of me running away I stayed and didn't confide in my BS. Instead I was there day in day out playing with fire until the point the PA started. Once that started the sexual imaturity really kicked in and I acted like a teenager. Not caring about anyone are anything but this selfish POS in my skin. It didn't matter if the ow wanted to do anything are not she had once and that was enough for me to keep trying like that imature teenager.
Its been a year and a half since dday and eleven years since the A. This is the first time I've really come to grasps with a lot of this In this post.
Thanks for this eyeopening thread.
Stongandwomanly don't give up on me please.even though you've married such a horrible person
I strongly relate to this:
I completely relied on other people's opinions of me to determine how I felt about myself. I always have.
I have had various boundry issues because I am more worried about other people's opinion of me that I am about asserting myself and doing what I know is the right thing to do. I have also been taught not to rock the boat because you might hurt other people's feelings, or they might not like you. I have been a doormat because I want external validation, I have been subject to way too much peer pressure for the same reason. I had an A because of this reason. I wanted the external validation from OM so badly that I crossed boundries to get it, knowing it was immoral and inconsistent with my core beliefs.
I also greatly identify with this:
nothing I ever did was good enough. Not for other people, but for me. And as many successes or positive things I had going for me, I could only ever focus on the one or two negatives that I experienced. They ballooned in my mind. They festered. They occupied all my thoughts, all my attention. To the outside world... heck, to my BW... I seemed a confident, charming, capable fellow. Inside... I felt anything but.
I think this negativity and striving for some type of f'd up perfectionism is what has caused me to be so unhappy with who I am. I think it comes from FOO issues. At the time of the A, I wanted to be another person. I hated not that I was a mom, but that I wasn't the good type of mom that I wanted to be. I hated that I was getting older, and no longer felt desirable. I hated that I had this great title at work, but because of family obligations and my own lack of interest in my job, felt I was always letting down my managers and wasn't doing a very good job. I liked being married and a wife, but I had this view that my marriage wasn't very good, and that H and I didn't love each other anymore the way we should as H and W (again, this perfectionism thing made me have this warped sense of what our love should be like, and when it wasn't I made some assumptions that took me to worst case scenario). Basically, I felt I was failing at every single aspect of my life.
I am still working on this stuff a lot and I'm not fully there yet, but if I had to sum it up, knowing what I know now, I would say this:
I had horrible self-esteem and a driven need for external validation--i didn't love myself, and my need for these things led me to want OM's attention so badly that I crossed boundries to get it.
I didn't raise my brokenness and my unhappiness with my H because of FOO and past betrayls, that led me to silence myself, and be so afraid of not being loved or being left alone, that I buried the issues--I guess maybe I thought it was easier to get the immediate need to external validation met, than to tackle all of this pain.
The question i am still struggling with, as is my BH, is why the need for external validation--my own ego--became more important than my morals, my committment to my H and kids.
A very warped imbalance, indeed. I'll keep working to figure that out.
I used a lot of compartmentalization and self talk to maintain that balance and continue the A. In the end, the balance shifted back. But it was too late, the A had already happened.
For that, I am ashamed and so very sorry.
someone said this:
Me telling him he's hot, has a terrific bod, etc. (he does have all of those qualities), is like a mother telling her "uncool" kid that he/she is cool.
I have explained this same feeling to my BS. The question is, why, when my parents told me these things, did I not love myself or trust them enough to believe them, and why, in more recent history, did I feel the same way when my BH said them to me. I have the feeling some of this has to do with words being inconsistent with actions. (that is not said to blame)
The natural follow up question then, is why, for at least a time, did we waywards believe these compliments or affirmatios more coming from the OP?
I'm going to be thinking about that one, but I know this for sure: It didn't take me very long to realize I didn't believe them from the OP either. In fact, my short term belief of these validations from OP just made me feel even more pathetic in the end... and on top of that, I betrayed the ones I love the most to get those bullshit affirmations.
My why story. Simply it was external validation mixed with an exit A.
I feel if I tell the depth of my story it might give too many details to indenfiy me and I'm not comfortable with that.
It does stem from my childhood (not mom and dad) but in HS. It also stemmed from having poor boundaries and being an ENOURMOUS flirt.
I've come a long way. This thread saved me.
I pray everyday for forgiveness.
If I'm being truly honest with myself, I knew I would have problems with infidelity, serious problems. I knew my skills at deceit were not only trained but well honed. I knew I was not mentally ready to get married, I knew my brokenness, but I let my husband, innocent and wanting to save me, I let him believe that he could, when deep down, I knew who I was, what I was. Who gets married and has kids when they know they will cheat? But I knew I would cheat, I really did, there wasn't a question of if, it was when.
I've seen my share of posts that downplay effects of sexual abuse, that it's not a good enough reason, it's a get-out-of-jail free card that people use to manipulate others and whine and boo hoo. All I know is that for me, my why has everything to do with my abuse. My entire childhood memories is nothing but the abuse, about hiding it, lying about it, living in terror of being discovered and destroying my family, or living in terror of it never ever stopping.
I remember by high school I had the words to describe and rationalize the incest. I seriously considered myself as the other woman, that's what I was, that's what I actually told myself. I was my father's other woman. It was a lot easier to rationalize why still, at 17, 18, 19, a practical adult, was having a sexual relationship with her father. It was much more difficult to see the helpless victim of abuse.
The long years of abuse left me empty, dead inside, I felt murdered, but my body, this living carcass, the shell of me, kept on walking and talking. I was determined to fix that. I didn't stumble into infidelity by accident, I opened the door and walked through it with open eyes and open arms. It chills me to know I was actively seeking my own destruction and I didn't care who got caught in the crossfire. I wasn't seeking escape from a problematic marriage or looking for some excitement on the side. I wasn't addicted to male attention and ego boosts, I just wanted to die. I sent out an open invitation to death. I didn't care if this guy or the next guy was going to be the one to finally put me out of my misery. But after each time, I was left emptier still, disappointed I survived again, to live another day to tell the tale, having to go back and face my disgust and self hatred and self loathing. It was all very cowardly, and not only self-destructive, but the damage meted out to those intertwined in my life, utterly selfish with complete disregard to the innocents around me. Only a person truly broken beyond repair does this.
It sounds like a justification, an excuse. I cheated because I had an abusive childhood. Of course I had low self-esteem, non-existent boundaries, entitlement, selfishness, FOO issues and on and on and effing on. But I remember things a 3 year old should never remember, no daughter should know exactly what it's like to be screwed by her father on the living room floor, in her bed, in her parent's bed, no child should be exposed to and forced to endure such depravity, no child's trust should be shattered in such a way, and no child, a mother herself now, should envy her own children's abuse-free lives.
I have been chewing things over and over since reading a post by wincing sparkles about accepting personal responsibility. I argued with WS over a few points...in my head only, but necessary for me to fully digest such a powerful post.
My parents did make me what I am today, it is the luck of the draw. These thoughts , and a couple others, caused me to stop and take serious reflection and inventory of my internal rhetoric and personal truths, and a bigger and more powerful truth emerged. I need to stop punishing that helpless child, even now. No one but me wishes her dead, and no one but me can now save her and give her the care she deserves. I'm a sexual abuse survivor. It may define me, but it does not doom me for a lifetime of inappropriate choices. I'm broken, but not beyond repair. I have the tools, the insight and knowledge that I didn't have before, but I do now. I am not dead. I am alive and deserve to live in every sense of the word. I have purpose, I am useful, I am not helpless. I have choices. I make my own choices, as I always have.
And even as a young girl, I basked in male attention
This quote perfectly describes me. I have always sought out male attention and approval. I was a daddy's girl until my dad passed away when I was 12. I was very promiscuous as a a teen. I was often told how pretty I was and I learned at an early age that my looks could get me just about anything I wanted. I know how horrible that sounds, but it's how it was for me. I suppose the one thing that my looks couldn't do for me was make me happy and they couldn't bring back my dad...who I so terribly missed.
I was a terrible flirt and still am to a certain extent. I am aware of it now and make a constant effort to keep it toned down, but it is something I have to make myself do.
I hadn't really thought about it until just recently, but I cheated on every serious boyfriend I had prior to getting married. In fact, the man I've been married to for 23 was someone I had cheated with. Now that I have recognized the pattern, I am somewhat shocked that I managed to be faithful to my husband for 23 years.
So I guess the answer to your question would be that I cheated because I look for approval and worthiness from external sources. The thing that scares me the most is that if I don't figure out what I need to really and truly need to be happy with myself, that I will fall back into the same old pattern and do it again. I don't EVER want to do this again and I am 100% certain that my husband wouldn't stick around for a second dose of this pain and misery.
Hopefully with continued IC and MC I can get this all figured out.
What was your relationship with your parents like?
Did you suffer any molestation, abuse, or rape as a child or teen?
What can happen to a girl is if she is abused in some way, she starts to seek validation for her worth by promiscuious behavior. Problem is that you get used more, you feel worse, you search for more. You start looking for any validation.
you are not alone, your not the first person to go through this. Unfortunately I have known so many women who sought the wrong kind of attention, because they were so empty inside.
You may have to do a little thinking and soul searching, to figure out the source of that emptiness.
And learn to forgive yourself and not be ashamed anymore.
Best of luck to you.