He has admitted to buying them drinks, sometimes gifts, playing pool and darts and hanging out...in other words..dating.
He says none of these dates were with women he saw for long periods of time, over say months or years. He says he never saw them outside of the bars or had sex of any kind with them. He said he never telephoned or e-mailed them.
He says they were inappropriate but did not ever evolve into anything else..with one exception..which is an affair that deeloped from the final "bar buddy" relationship.
This one he has elaborated upon and it did become an affair. His behavior escalated until an affair did finally happen.
I know there are details that I do not know about regarding the earlier women as he has said that he has decided it is too insignificant to elaborate upon and that it has been so traumatic for me to go through the story of his one affair that to add more would be harmful.
He became sober through this crisis and he has decided that to tell me more details would cause harm..something that he does not feel is right for him to do...according to his 12 step program.
This places me between a rock and a hard place as I cannot ask him to compromise his program but I do feel he owes me more details regarding those years. Any suggestions? Thanks,
Self-deception- is literally a matter of deceiving oneself- and thus raises unique questions.
How can one deceive himself-unless he already knows-what it is that he is deceiving himself about?
I cannot ask him to compromise his program but I do feel he owes me more details regarding those years.
Good luck, I hope someone with 12 step smarts can give you some more suggestions.
If I am wrong and his concern is for me, perhaps your point will be understood. Thanks again.
It's not uncommon for a WS to choose to hold details back. Remember that throughout the lies that a WS develops during their A, they counter in their own mind with false facts to justify their own behavior.
It's a way to protect us from ourselves. To not let the harm of our actions make us feel lower than we already are.
The stretch from "I won't tell because I'm afraid of the consequences to me" to "I won't tell because it will only hurt her more" is not much greater than the step from "Flirting online is wrong" to "It's only cybersex - if it's not physical it's not cheating".
It's an extension of the habit that was formed to justify wrong actions for what we fool our brain into believing are the right reasons.
It may help if you create an environment of amnesty for your WH. If you tell him that what you already know has hurt deeply, but that the lack of details is hurting worse and his telling the full story will actually help the healing process, it might help.
It might also help to remind him that as long as there are secrets he is keeping from you, they cannot possibly be insignificant because they are hurting you each day.
If he wants to avoid hurting you, he has to remove the things that cause you pain. If you can get him to understand that, you'll start to get the information you need.
I have been on the receiving end of this very thing. I understand that it is somewhat "normal" for WSs to do this, as it helps them justify their actions to themselves and the APs. It seems as though some WSs don't, like there is a line they wont cross!?!?
With this said, can you share your experiences with this?
I am particularly interested in HOW you undid this in your mind. How did you remove / untangle / untell yourself the lies you BELIEVED to justify your actions. For those of you that have been successful in this what were the steps?
Do others struggle with removing the version of your BS that was made up? Again, can you share your experiences?
My WH and I are really struggling with this. I would appreciate your input.
Thanks in advance.
I didn't demonize my husband before or during the affair. It was only after the affair, when I started to work out how and why, that I started to wonder whether there could be something that I needed that my husband didn't provide. I made some bad calls there, and talked them through with my husband. I corrected myself relatively quickly. I haven't discussed these perceived 'slights' with anyone else.
The other kind of demonizing that I did do, years ago, was to discuss my husband's annoying or bad habits with friends. I stopped that long before the affair.
All this to say that there may be WSs that didn't demonize. I don't think there are many.
Then again, I haven't really read that thread you're referring to.
How did you remove / untangle / untell yourself the lies you BELIEVED to justify your actions. For those of you that have been successful in this what were the steps?
Honestly, I didn't really start by untangling lies and false beliefs. Once I started to verbalize my former ideas and feelings, I got a clearer picture of them - and they were rather obviously false in many cases. The more insidious ideas were gradually replaced with true ones. I think that happened when I started to question the truth and value of whatever ideas I could. I built images of truth and value, and my former views just didn't cut the mustard.
So. Speaking/writing out was one tactic. Another was to build truth and see which ideas can keep up with that.
ETA an answer to your question...
[This message edited by leftoolate at 2:48 PM, October 12th (Tuesday)]
Sadly, unlike LTL I did demonize Wells to xMOW. It really boiled down to the way the spiral worked for me.
It started with sharing things with xMOW that bothered me. Some were little, some were bigger. My fear of conflict kept me from sharing these concerns with Wells. But with xMOW, I had someone who would listen and "take my side" on every issue. The more I talked about the negative, the more support I was getting. It fed the beast - the external validation I was looking for. It got to the point where I was talking 80% or more of the time about things in a negative context and was exaggerating things badly.
So how did the portrayal stop? It came in stages. First, establishing NC with xMOW cut off the validation on those issues. Second, work in IC got me to see where some issues were being absurdly blown out of proportion, while others were legitimate things to be addressed. Finally, when I did my work through "The Assertiveness Workbook" I was able to get through some of the conflict avoidance and openly share with Wells the things that bothered me so we could work on them together.
Other smaller events happened in between that aided the process as well. But I would say those are the big ones for me.
At first he stopped minimizing but he has returnned to it with a vengence. I believe it has to do with his very uneducated IC, who I believe is ecouraging him in things such as, "If no intercourse, then it is not real sex etc".
I had not considered
"amnesty", as I am not really certain that I can offer it..lies unseen. He has kept this secret for years and I really don't know?
I will think about it and consider it.
I want to be that "fly" on the wall and take a peek into what goes on inside the mind of a WS.
STBXH - never told me the truth - NEVER! He lied throughout MC, R, and even now.
Did he ever feel any remorse? How can a man be married (25plus years) and just act like the end of our marriage is "no big deal". Does he have moments, when he truly mourns the loss of his home, family and everything he worked so hard to achieve? What could he possible say to himself - that justifies his behavior?
From a WS point of view, is his indifference an act? Is it really possible to be that numb to reality?
(...)found it hard to quell the urges to contact her and thought about her a lot. He asked me for support, but what do I do? Im smarting from the pain of it all, but I still love him. What do WS need from BS during this time?
While withdrawal can be really hard, I don't think it is very compassionate to ask your betrayed spouse for support. Was he specific? If not, invite him to explain what he expects form you. If you feel that you can supports him in the way he wants, by all means, do so.
What I needed from my husband at the time was for him to be aware that my urges to contact the other guy, and my triggers, were slowly changing and receding. For a short period, I actually counted the times that I felt I wanted to make contact, and and I could report to my husband that they were lessening. If he asked, I explained the triggers or circumstances. Other than that, withdrawal is the WS's burden to bear, I think.
He might benefit from reading Maia's Withdrawal Guide. I'll bump it in Wayward Forum, so you can get it to him if you want to.
From a WS point of view, is his indifference an act?
Is it really possible to be that numb to reality?
From my point of view, that is. Sorry.
Also I dont understand the why of it all. WS says he didnt miss anything in our marriage and missed me when he was with OW. Please help me understand this one. He says drawn to OW at an energy level where being with her made him feel revitalised. He wanted me to share this feeling with him but never got round to telling me the whole time. NC is in place but I'm devastated Has anyone been through this?
is his indifference an act? Is it really possible to be that numb to reality?
It's the outward sign of the impact of the fog. As a WS, we have to play so many games in our own mind to justify our own actions that eventually we believe our own lies. We ignore the truth even though it's placed right in front of us.
He cannot mourn any loss, let alone feel any remorse, unless the elements that keep him in his fog are removed. That's why a combination of NC with the OP plus consequences for our actions (loss of family, money, home, stability) need to be in place long enough that they break through the fantasy world we created.
WS asked me to support him during his withdrawal, how do I do this when I'm still hurting myself?
For me, the best thing my BW did to support me during my recovery phase was to hold me accountable. She wouldn't let me back down or shy away from IC. When she noted that I was quiet or withdrawn, she pushed me to talk to her and let her know what was going through my mind. I have no doubt that at times the things I told her were painful for her to hear during that phase, but I also know that by her not letting me run and hide I felt we were a team facing the challenge of R (not two individuals trying to deal with just our piece of it).
Also I dont understand the why of it all.
It's hard for any BS to understand this, because it's not a normal or healthy mindset that creates the problem. In my case, I feared conflict too much, and so when there were things I did not like about the way my BW might do things I kept it bottled up inside rather than tell her.
There's also the fantasy that develops with a relationship that does not have the day to day pressures that a M has. No kids to take care of, no bills to pay. The relationship is fully focused on feelings and emotions, and often both parties just say to the other positive things with no negative offset. It builds a fantasy world where both people feel they are always treated well by the other. It's not sustainable, but for a period of time it can give the illusion of a "happier" environment than the M.
Pretty sure OM is no longer in the picture.
WW wants to "be friends" but sees our marriage as over.
I am doing the 180, never call her, short answers to questions, probably asked how she is twice in last two weeks.
She is more friendly but still self-centred.
She has a tough personality, will cut off her nose to spite her face.
Dumb and insecure questions, but if you can´t ask here, where can you? - Is she still in the fog, is there still hope for us, am I doing the right thing by following 180?
Part of me thinks if OM out of picture, should I be more friendly. Would appreciate a WS perspective.
Say Fuck It, and move on. Life is the present and the future. The past is just to learn from
Is she still in the fog
I'd say yes. The fog doesn't have to mean just focus on the OP. It can involve (and often does) the lies we convinced ourselves about the M itself and how "dead" the M was.
is there still hope for us
It's really tough to say. If she starts to feel the loss of the relationship and it exposes the flaws in her fantasy world thinking then there's a chance. But for some WS's, they just convince themselves that they were done with the M and no amount of logic will counter it.
am I doing the right thing by following 180?
Yes, but remember the 180 is for your health primarily. It isn't about creating pain for the WS to try to get them to change. You can't change who your WW chooses to be. But you can strengthen yourself to be the strongest Ozzy you can be for yourself and your kid's sake.
I am a fWW and I'd say that what you are doing is the most likely to result in a good response from your WW down the road. If she's going to reconsider R with you, I think she needs to see that your life can go on just fine without her. More importantly 180 will show YOU that your life can go on without her.
Gently, though, sometimes I see a mentality like there is a "right" way and if you find that "right" way of approaching your spouse, she will come to her senses and decide to reconcile. For better or worse, that puts way too much power in your hands to control the fate of the relationship. You cannot control her emotions and actions. You can only do what's best for you, and right now, it sounds like 180 is it.
It may be that no matter what you do, no matter how you approach her (or don't) she's going to want a D. It may also be that no matter what you do, get every step in the book "wrong" and she'd eventually come to her senses anyway and want to R. You only control you, as maddening as that is to think about.
For me, my marriage was over. I told him so before I even met OM. So when D-Day came around there was no changing my mind. The A is long over. I believe all "fog" is lifted. But I am divorced and I wouldn't change that, no matter how much I wish I could change my series of heinous decisions to have the A.
I haven't read much of your background (will now), but how do you know OM isn't in the picture? Did you and your WW have problems before the A?
No guarantee the OM is out of the picture, but I am pretty sure. We had a text arguement last week and I made a comment about the fact she bet on the wrong horse, and her reply was "You are right, he does not want me". Also said last week that he has given her the finger and she is feeling how I am feeling. But as I said, no guarantees on the future.
No problems before A except we were both very lazy and did not nurture M. This was a mutual thing as we are both stay at home people.
Year and a half ago, if we argued, she would come to me and say promise me you would never leave me etc. She admits she would never have thought her feelings would change like this and she would´ve died for me.
Good marriage, good husband and wife, only failure was we did nothing together.
I agree the 180 is for me, and also what you say about the right way of approaching wife. It´s just a fine line of being compassionate and not being walked over.
Just found out today she has taken my surname out of hers (she used to have it double-barreled)!!
Oh well, she´s given me enough hints about where she´s at, just gotta convince myself to step out of the ring!
I miss the man I married, STBXH is merely a shell of the man I know.
[This message edited by strike3 at 3:20 PM, October 13th (Wednesday)]
I have found that listening more to my WH than barrage him with my own feelings is helping him to be more open. This is still a difficult thing for him to do because he has always bottled things up since childhood. He is having a hard time getting rid of the feelings for OW because he felt it was something that completed him and that I could have also benefited from. I made it clear that if she is not out of the picture, I am walking even though we resolved to save our marriage. I am hoping that the more we connect through talking things through, we shall come through