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Things that every WS needs to know

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sorrowfulmate posted 1/15/2015 15:55 PM

bump to put it up top

Mike26 posted 1/15/2015 22:36 PM

I have to say, things like this annoy me. They come across like middle school Facebook posts (especially when everyone and their mother "bumps" the post...) There is no "Do this and your BS will fall back in love with you" formula. The best thing a WS can do after cheating or having an affair is to get themselves into counseling and hopefully get into MC with their BS. It needs to be said: This site DOES NOT come EVEN REMOTELY CLOSE to being a substitute for individual and/or marriage counseling. Too often, I see people on here peddling advice as if they are therapists, and that can be quite damaging. No two relationships are the same. People stray for many reasons. Sometimes the betrayed spouses can say the fault lies completely with their WS, other times they might need to jump into marriage counseling, roll up their sleeves, and do some dirty work to fix some underlying issues in the marriage that they brought to the table. (Note: That doesn't excuse the cheating whatsoever, but it does mean that BS might need to take ownership of getting the relationship back on track if they want to regain a healthy marriage.) While its fine and dandy to reach out for support from other WS or BS on this site, I've found that sometimes, you need to take a prolonged break from being on here and truly deal with YOU and YOUR marriage. Why did you cheat? Why did your spouse cheat? The answers don't lie on this site. This site is for people to commiserate about the pain they have been through and to offer suggestions. Don't let other people's suggestions become your truth. Do the work in therapy, recognize that your relationship and the issues in your relationship are unique, and get the help you need from trained professionals.

Attempting to better your marriage by reading some arbitrary "checklist" will do nothing but make you feel disappointed and frustrated. I can practically guarantee it.

authenticnow posted 1/20/2015 19:55 PM

***Posting as a member***

I'd say by the 22 pages of positive responses that this post has been tremendously helpful to most.

How are you doing, Mike? And what's been working for you? (Not being snarky, seriously wondering)

Coming here and slamming what's been working for the majority of 22 pages worth of posts doesn't seem productive.

How about some support and sharing in the form of what has worked for you?

[This message edited by SI Staff at 7:56 PM, January 20th (Tuesday)]

Mike26 posted 1/20/2015 23:23 PM

If this is working for people, great (and I don't mean that to be snarky. Seriously, wonderful if it does.) I don't mean to be slamming something that's working, but I more meant to warn people that simply reading something isn't going to work. What has been working wonders for me is seeing a MC and IC that my partner and I trust, and doing a lot of work on meditation and yoga.

We are all on such different journeys, both as individuals and as couples. I think when I first came to this site, it actually made me more depressed because I would compare myself individually and as a couple to others on here. My hope for everyone is to realize that the answers to fixing themselves and their relationships don't lie in some internet forum or in any book, but rather, they lie within themselves, but that takes a lot of time and silence to get to (and I am by NO means there, but I'm having realizations every day.)

I guess I don't mean to come off as negative by saying this, but don't let this checklist (or any checklist, book, conversation on here, etc.) be all that you do to work on yourself or your marriage. If its a soothing starting point, great! At some point, you HAVE to turn your attention inward, both on yourself and your relationship, and shut out the advice from other professionals, family, and friends, because it will make you feel crazy. Everyone needs to trust that they have the answers inside them, because they do!

Be well :)

authenticnow posted 1/21/2015 03:44 AM

I guess I don't mean to come off as negative by saying this, but don't let this checklist (or any checklist, book, conversation on here, etc.) be all that you do to work on yourself or your marriage. If its a soothing starting point, great! At some point, you HAVE to turn your attention inward, both on yourself and your relationship, and shut out the advice from other professionals, family, and friends, because it will make you feel crazy. Everyone needs to trust that they have the answers inside them, because they do!
Thank you for clarifying. I 100% agree with this.

There is no magic pill, and if people come here (or anywhere) looking for that, they will be disappointed. I get it .

Wishing you well in your healing journey!

TheAmazingWondertwin posted 1/21/2015 05:20 AM

Having my FWH read this way back when was the turning point for us. One in many.
And yes- your post did come off as snarky, rather than helpful as you commented as your intention afterwards.
If you spend enough time on SI, it will become quite clear that NO ONE ever says "here's a list for everyone and it works" and they most certainly NEVER advise against seeking IC or MC.
Eveything on this site is simply one tool in a box full of thousands- and much of the advice given is not said as "you have to". It comes from people who have been there and share their stories.
I don't know about most people but- just reading a book and talking to someone who gets paid to listen but has never been here? THATS inadequate for me. I needed a group of people that have actually been where I have been to help me feel not so alone.
This "facebook" like list, as you call it, is anything but.
Sorry... The tone of your first post came off very condescending to me. Very condescending on a site where thousands have helped eachother for YEARS with tools just like you see above.
Most BSs that read this? Automatically ️thank whatever that they have something in words that can explain to their wayward what they are going through. And most WSs- those NOT still in the foggy state and simply looking for justification for why the whole process is a waste of time- most WSs are grateful for this little list as well.

Again- sorry for the rant- but the tone of that post was really offensive to me.

silentscream13 posted 1/21/2015 06:05 AM

I printed this list off the 1st month after DDay, highlighted parts, and handed it to my WH. It helped my WH to understand my pain. He still carries it in his journal.

Your post was extremely snarky and condescending. It came across as though you still have much anger and bitterness. I hope I am wrong.

My WH and I are in MC and both of us are in IC. He attends AA (sober 15 months). I attend Alanon. He is completely remorseful and doing the work. I am also doing the work. And I still turn to SI for support. It is not to replace all the above that I mentioned, but for support. That is why SI is here.

Mike26 posted 1/21/2015 08:01 AM

Again, not my intention to be an asshole. The "middle school facebook post" isn't about the content, its about the pages upon pages of "bumping." Say something of substance to bring a topic back to the top, please :)

If lists like this work for people (as it appears they do) then that's wonderful. Whatever gets you through it. They tend to annoy me, especially when the title is "Things that EVERY WS needs to know." That lumps us all into the same category, which isn't at all helpful to me. Some of us cheated 1 time, some of us had 1 affair, some of us had multiple affairs, some of us have been in and out of R with continued affairs, some of us have been honest and upfront and done the work, and others have expressed no remorse and been shitty human beings. That's where I say that the answers lie inside of us, not on here.

I think this site has the potential to be helpful, and many people have found it to be, which is great. I've gotten some good advice on here, but I've also gotten plenty of unsolicited and sometimes unhelpful or unhealthy advice. There have been times that I've reached out for support and gotten virtually none, and other times that I've made a comment and had people ready and willing to attack. This site can be helpful, but it can also be a coven of depression and anger. I guess I'm just not finding it as helpful as others. I took a break from it for a while, and decided to try coming back. It seems like this just might not be the site for me.

Be well, everyone!

silentscream13 posted 1/21/2015 08:28 AM

Mike26

That lumps us all into the same category, which isn't at all helpful to me. Some of us cheated 1 time, some of us had 1 affair, some of us had multiple affairs, some of us have been in and out of R with continued affairs, some of us have been honest and upfront and done the work, and others have expressed no remorse and been shitty human beings. That's where I say that the answers lie inside of us, not on here.

I absolutely agree with this, just as all BS are not the same.

I think this site has the potential to be helpful, and many people have found it to be, which is great. I've gotten some good advice on here, but I've also gotten plenty of unsolicited and sometimes unhelpful or unhealthy advice. There have been times that I've reached out for support and gotten virtually none, and other times that I've made a comment and had people ready and willing to attack. This site can be helpful, but it can also be a coven of depression and anger. I guess I'm just not finding it as helpful as others.

As a BS, I have had the same happen. However, just like in Alanon I take what I like and I leave the rest. If it doesn't apply to my situation or I feel as if someone is just transferring their emotions unto me, I ignore it. For me, more often than not, I find the most insight by reading the Wayward forum. Regardless if they are new or salty it helps me, as a BS, understand my WH's thinking.

You may not be aware, but a few of your posts have been helpful to me in my healing.

I took a break from it for a while, and decided to try coming back. It seems like this just might not be the site for me.

I constantly need to take breaks from SI as it is a trigger for me at times. However, it is nice to have a place to vent where both WW and BS's know to an extent what I and my WH are going through.

With that said, I honestly hope you don't throw SI to the curb entirely. You may at times not feel your getting what you need from the site, but perhaps your perspective can help another through this process.

LosferWords posted 1/21/2015 08:32 AM

Hi Mike,

**posting as a member**

Usually the little one-liner "bumps" on this thread occurred after someone replied directly to a brand new WS on this site. The substance itself is in their individual threads, followed by something like, "there's this thread that might be helpful, I'm going to bump it to the top for you". So basically, the "bumps" are to make it easier to find, since sometimes this thread bubbles down to page 2, 3, 4... of this forum.

I really like the fact that this site is not like facebook or other forums in so many ways. There is no "like" button for people's posts, so if someone wants to express that they like what someone has to say, they have to reply and type something out. Also, you can't add other members here as "friends" like you can on facebook. Everybody is welcome to reply to every post within the guidelines (certain restrictions apply to some of the protected forums here, such as JFO and the WS forum).

Another difference that I like about SI versus facebook is the fact that there are no political posts and no debating about religion allowed. I've seen so many "friends" on facebook become so divided because they can't get past their religious and political differences. I like that I don't have to worry about that here.

I agree that this site is not for everyone. I see many folks post here that say this site is just not their spouses bag. Some prefer to stick to traditional counseling, reading, spiritual work, etc. That's okay.

I am personally so glad I have this site to turn to. The support has been overwhelming, and I do honestly feel that it has saved my life, saved my marriage, and saved me from doing some really stupid things in the aftermath of D-Day. This particular thread is one that helped my wife and I work through some of the initial grief, and to start to gain some expectations of the storm that was brewing. It really helped us a lot, so good for us.

As far as feedback goes, if you find any feedback you see unhelpful, you are certainly welcome to ignore it. People have gotten frustrated at me for ignoring some of their feedback. That's okay. I listened to what they had to say, I didn't agree, and I moved on. I've also started some healthy debates here that have resulted in changing my views on certain things.

I, for one, hope you stick around. I'd like to see how things progress in your marriage. If there is something different that you are doing that works for you, then others might gain from that.

Take care,
Losfer

Mike26 posted 1/21/2015 20:40 PM

Silentscream and Losfer, thanks for your responses. Losfer, your explanation of the bumps makes a lot of sense. Thanks for explaining :)

MessedUpAndDown posted 1/23/2015 14:05 PM

I think it’s important to note that the primary purpose of the article is to provide information and foster understanding. Yes, there are some tips but it is not any sort of “checklist.” Further, it does not claim or even hint that it's a substitute for therapy. In fact, it specifically urges therapy.

Mike26 posted 1/25/2015 01:24 AM

I've read and reread this article over and over to try and figure out where my disconnect is. Clearly, many people on here have found it to be tremendously helpful, and I have not. I have a hard time imagining that I am the only one who doesn't find it helpful, but let's put that to the side for a minute. I think that my problem is how prescriptive it seems. I'm 5 months out from DD. I am in intensive IC, and am paying out of pocket for MC because the MC my BH wanted to go to is out of network (and she is AMAZING, so I am willing to do so.) I think my annoyance stems from the fact that it reads like a "Step 1: Do XYZ" type pamphlet, when that simply isn't the case. Yes, many relationships might benefit from this article. What the article doesn't seem to address is that no two couples go through the tragic heartbreak of infidelity in the same way, and therefore no two couples can heal with the same advice. If you have found this article helpful, fantastic, I am happy for you, if not slightly jealous! Every couple deals with infidelity on a different level, and on a different timeline. I think my overall purpose in "rebelling" against this article is to give others who haven't found it to be helpful some hope. Yes, some couples might be able to do all the things in this article and work their way back to happiness. My BH and I have not been able to (yet.) I am firmly convinced that at some point we will be able to, but I don't think comparing myself to the suggestions of certain steps will get me there. I think doing the work on myself, independent of others' opinions about me, will. I'm writing all of this not to further piss off people who read this article like its their infidelity Bible, but rather to offer hope to people who read this and feel like they've been there and tried that, but still don't see any progress or hope. I firmly believe that the answers to all of our problems lie deep within our own minds. I hope that whatever course anyone chooses to take, they are able to find those answers.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 2/6/2015 15:06 PM

Bump

iasion posted 2/7/2015 08:59 AM

My take on the original posting is that it's what we (WSs) need to know. Just what the title says. It doesn't say DO these things (although, you can see that it might help) and there is nowhere that it preaches this is the Gospel according to SI...(maybe "Apologize, Apologize, Apologize", but that is pretty standard advice if you've wronged someone).

I get where you are at though, Mike. Not everything works for everyone. This happened to work for me, at least to the extent of understanding something I didn't understand. Part of that was what my wife was going through, although she had a lot of this work begun before coming to SI. Part of that was also what I was going through. To that extent this has not only been good, it's been necessary.

And if commenting makes this bump, maybe another newbie will see something they need, too.

cosmicjoke posted 2/7/2015 10:20 AM

Losfer, thanks for the explanation on bumping.
Mike, I think you are trying to backpedal a bit but I did read that post as pretty insulting, to the mods who run this amazing site and the people on it as well. Middle school..? Facebook..? Really..?

Anyway.. what you should realize is that IC DOES NOT WORK for everyone. And/or, not everyone can AFFORD it. Not everyone has insurance, or a job with insurance, and last time I checked therapy is anywhere from $50-$125/ hr out of pocket. Which is undoable for many. Also, some people keep trying to find the right fit and they never do. For many of us the 'talking cure' never helps. It just makes us broke. And for many of us, our partners flat-out refuse to do MC with us (or- again, it's not an option financially).
I for one have a pretty negative view of IC... after many thousands of dollars, what do I have to show for it? They all failed me in so many ways. But not to t/j (I may discuss this over in Recon)...

My point is obviously, this forum is a godsend for so many people, and one of the few places on the net that is tightly moderated that the members feel safe in discussing their private lives without having to worry about being attacked or distracted by political arguments, spam, etc.
This site actually takes he place of therapy for many (or it's a helpful addition to it)- and you are wrong that regular people aren't a replacement for therapists. I think you give therapists too much power! They are only people too. The hard-earned advice on here is priceless (not just 'feeling' stuff but actual real life practical advice, legal, etc.) and IMO, far BETTER than advice you will get from most therapists- by a long shot..! Because it is REAL LIFE advice from those who've really been through it.. (The 'survivors'.. hence the title of the site..) and it's like getting it within a round table discussion, or group therapy. And then to be able to jump around to different specific topics,, is priceless.
So no, it's not just 'commiserating'. Although, commiserating IS helpful..! To know that you're not alone in your experience- and to learn how others deal with it- is a huge part of healing from trauma.

So I'm glad IC & MC has worked so well for you, but please understand that isn't always the case. And please respect that this forum is a godsend for so many that is a replacement for, or better than, or a supplement to therapy.

And thanks mods for continuing to bump this extremely important thread..!

Mike26 posted 2/7/2015 18:44 PM

Folks, I expressed an opinion that obviously wasn't popular. I have since explained my thinking and conversed with several of you. Please do not continue making replies personal. It serves no purpose other than venting, and its making me feel quite unwelcome here. Enough is enough. Move on, please.

SisterMilkshake posted 2/11/2015 17:59 PM

This thread gave us the first real clues to do what we needed to do to start some real healing. Yes, like Amazing said, this was an epiphany for MisterSister. Then we followed up with "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair" by Linda MacDonald, which I feel expands on some of the ideas given in the original post.

Bumping for baffledandhurt.

BtraydWife posted 2/20/2015 21:30 PM

BUMP

SisterMilkshake posted 2/26/2015 12:43 PM

Bump

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