But do the WS agree? If so, how far do you agree and when did you start realising this?
In my situation, I vehemently disagree. But that's just me sticking to my situation only.
I never vilified my XH or rewrote marital history. I take (and took, at the time of D-day and before) all responsibility for my choice to cheat. My XH or my marriage had NOTHING to do with my choices. I never used flaws of either, whether real or imagined, to justify my choices.
I had so-called "friends" (who have since been eliminated from my social circle) who tried to talk shit about my XH and find excuses, on my behalf, for why I cheated. I remember vividly going out to dinner with one such "friend" shortly after D-day, who told me (and everyone else with us), "Forget about him [XH]. He's old and ugly and bald." I burst into tears in the middle of the restaurant.
These people blamed my XH's looks (yes, he's balding, but so fucking what? He's very handsome to me), his lack of communication skills, his personality in general, etc. etc. ad nauseum for why I "had" to look elsewhere.
Bullshit. I cheated because I sucked as a person and didn't use the morals and integrity I was raised with. Period. My XH or my M (which was actually very good compared to many) had nothing to do with it.
Married 2.5 years
Reconciling after divorce
Just to illustrate this – before I was discovered I had a “reason” for cheating on my wife in “lack of sex” I was experiencing in my marriage. I don’t want to go in length and explain where did I get this idea, and why it was so wrong. As I was discovered, this become the prominent thought in my head and the thing that was justifying everything I have done for a while. I was blaming my spouse for what I have become. It took hours and months of tears for me to dig deeper and come to fully understand my actions and my behavior. Once I came to the terms of what I have done and accepted the guilt, it changed. But, like for most of what I have done, it was late, things were done, said, and never to be erased.
I see you are fresh out of your last Dday, the full disclosure day. As I said, this is a phase and it should pass soon. I can only talk from my experience, and not even from the stories on this site, because the WS’s that come to this site are already pass that phase. Obviously, there are some that never went through this phase, admitted their faults than and there and started working on the marriage straight away. I might not have been as good person as they were, or I wasn’t that lucky to understand that. For me it took time. The person I believed I was disappeared in front of my eyes within a week and I had somebody else to deal with. I’m not saying this to justify the blame I was passing to my wife, it just happened like that. At that time I could not understand and explain but now I can.
I don’t think there is such a thing as serial cheater. I believe in “sex addict” term, regardless how wrong and limiting the official definition is.
In case of an SA, there is always underlying problem that is in the core of the cheating. SA’s create a fog around themselves that can enable them to do the things they are doing without remorse or guilt and still function in their daily lives. They hardly ever break out of that fog unless they are discovered and they have to face the destruction they have caused in the real life. They have to hit the “rock bottom” before they can get up again and look at the world the way it really is. That is why they:
Once they are discovered confess only to the things that are already known
They will never answer honestly if questioned
Honest answer will come only after they hit the rock bottom and they realize what they have done.
While a full disclosure is something you owe to your BS and it is a minimum you can do as a human being and somebody that claims that has more feelings than a plant, BS’s often underestimate the shame WS might feel in disclosing the dirty details of their affairs, and sometimes disgusting sexual behavior. So, WS’s are trying desperately to hide anything they can. That is why most of confessions come out in the form of Trickle Truth. But, as I can see from your profile, your wife is still far from hitting the “rock bottom” and still deep into her fog. Before she comes out, there is no point even in asking questions because all the answers will be distorted. How to get her to “rock bottom” and “out of the fog” is a different issue and I’m afraid only somebody like CSAT or IC would be able to help. They would also look at underlying problems that sometimes are real reason for such behavior.
My WH had a lot of sexual partners before me (around 20) and in the past year he has had 4 purely physical affairs (one monthlong fling with no emotional attachment, and three one night stands.. the monthlong fling was, per him, "because it was easier than putting in the effort to find a new girl"). He says he does not enjoy the actual physical act of sex at all (which I do understand & believe), he just enjoys the ego stroke he gets from getting a girl to want to have sex with him.
Would this be a characteristic of SA / NPD? Or something else? Does anyone (BS's can answer too) have any experience with something like this?
Does anyone (BS's can answer too) have any experience with something like this?
FYI-BSs aren't allowed to answer questions on this thread.
My advice to you.. Try not to "diagnose" your WH through the Internet or through this forum. 4 affairs in a year doesn't necessarily mean either one. It definitely means he was behaving like a selfish dirty bastard but SA/NPD..? I don't know, I can't say and honestly, not one person on SI can either.
I could have easily been diagnosed as a SA due to my sexual past before my BH and my affair activity last year. I talked to my IC about it.. We discussed and addressed all the problems at hand and then she felt it was not addiction related.
If you can't shake the feeling, get your WH to an IC that either specializes in that field or can refer to a SA counselor to be diagnosed.. Same for NPD (not sure how that one is diagnosed though)
Good luck MP.
The WW formerly known as messedupchick
I can somewhat relate to this. For me the ego stroke was it.
It was like a drug. The two OWs were so far below my BS in every measurable way. The As were not about them though. It was about me. It was about who I was pretending to be. It was feeding the ego. Did BS give me ego strokes? Of course, and so much more.
As I am still peeling the layers off, I don't have much to offer for advise, but I can say that this could be something entirely different than SA or NPD. I had many partners before BS too. I think this though has nothing to do with my As.
he just enjoys the ego stroke he gets from getting a girl to want to have sex with him.
Get your WH to talk to IC about this. This is a big piece to the puzzle. Or at least it is for mine...
Does WH have any insecurity issues?
But the "high" from an ego boost? For a sustained period of time?
Some background on the context of my sitch, which is really bringing me down right now: After I discovered my FWW's A in Sept 2011, it died a slow death over the course of about 7 months. I won't get into the specifics of why, but contact between her and OM slowly dwindled in frequency and intensity. During this time, we were reconnecting, becoming "friends", rediscovering our love for one another. I was in therapy to address my depression, and per my W and most folks that know me, I became a very different person. Opened up, yada, yada.
So, pre-A... I can kinda understand the "why" of my wife's A. I can understand the draw she had from simple compliments, of feeling desirable again.
In April 2012, the OM and my W were thrown together again because my W was helping out with some stuff in OM/OBS life (again, details are not relevant). Basically, my W was sucked right into the EA again, like instantly. While she did acknowledge NC had to occur, and the OBS had to be told about the A... the addiction was full-on again.
What I am having trouble with right now (Antiversary of this time last year) is just how she could do this, at that point, with all the progress we had made?? How on earth she could allow herself to have these feelings rekindled? She simply says the addiction...
Any input on this would be mucho appreciated.
He does have insecurity issues. Tremendous insecurity issues. Like, if he goes to the mall and "only a couple of people" look at him / check him out, it will ruin his day. Me on the other hand -- I'm insecure too, but attention / people being attracted to me doesn't fill that hole. I know it's my hole and I have to fill it, KWIM? Half a dozen good looking guys can hand me their number in one day and I won't feel any better or worse about myself than if I go weeks getting no attention, you know? So this whole thing is kinda foreign to me.
The thing I try to be careful about is shifting all blame onto the addiction. Its a very strange hill to climb, but a person who wants to start showing up to life has to take ownership of his/her deals. I think a thorough examination of one's self is the only way to break wayward behavior. IC is very helpful. Meditation, getting out of one's mind etc. I think the question your WS should ask herself is this:
Yeah, I have a weird addiction to a terrible behavior...so what am I going to do about it?
For me, it is about getting to the whys if I can.
Yeah, I have a weird addiction to a terrible behavior...so what am I going to do about it?
For me, it is about getting to the whys if I can.
And she definitely has done that. There are some patterns she exhibited before we met that were eerily similar to behaviors and emotions she had before and during the A. Those I can understand, because I can be detached enough from her previous experiences to see them in an objective light. I guess the 'addiction' part just doesn't click with me. After all, these previous experiences were when she was in her teens, and very early 20's. A world of difference from being 39 and doing the same thing after being married 15 years.
I started to do 180 about a week ago. He immediately suggested we go see the MC. I ignored it and ignored him for over a week. We had lunch yesterday after our pediatrician appt for our baby's 2 month check up. I shouldn't have accepted but I did. He didn't bring anything up. Today I told him that we've reached the 2 month point and I'm done. I told him he was free to do what he wished because it's been two months and by not making a decision or doing anything about this situation he's made his choice. He says I ignored his request to go to MC and I said it's because I can't listen to him say it's all my fault or he's confused. In the meantime I'm raising this baby alone.
I told him if he made the appointment I would go and he has till the end of the day to schedule it. I also said I wouldn't go if he is still seeing someone else or if he's going to blame me for the affair. I said I'm willing to talk about any marital problems that led to his unhappiness in our marriage, but I'm not taking the blame for his affair. He said "ok." He says he wants to come back in the house but "it's not that easy" and he doesn't think I'm willing to change.
Here is my question...I've been reading this site long enough to know that I'm dealing with an unremorseful WS that is in the fog. He might not come out of it until I actually file or he may never come out of it at all. I also know he's probably still in contact with the OW...cause what kind of man is ok to sleep at his sisters house while wife and new baby are alone 10 minutes away? Anyway, my question for any WS is...is this a positive step? Can a good MC help with the blame shifting? I know I will recognize a true attempt at reconciliation when I see it..and clearly this isn't it. But is his agreeing to go and talk about it a good step in the right direction? I just feel like it's going to be another way to string me along.
BTW...bring on the 2x4's. I feel like I already know the answers to my own question but thought I'd ask those with experience.
I guess I'm not really getting it. WW didn't really go NC for the 7 months between Sept and April? Were they in A that had subsided, and then sparked up again? If she thinks that this is actually some sort of addiction, NC is a must. How well would an alcoholic do with simply cutting back on his/her drinking? Or a dope addict? How about we just shoot a little bit every few day... it doesn't work. I'm not saying that behavioral addictions have the same physical or mental strain as heroin addiction, but NC is a must regardless. The problem is with the way of thinking. Can she change her way of thinking?
My advice to you.. Try not to "diagnose" your WH through the Internet or through this forum
But is his agreeing to go and talk about it a good step in the right direction?
You have done everything right. Now it's time to watch his actions. Do not just listen to his words. If his actions do not match, then you know where you stand.
He needs to work on himself first before he works on the marriage. You will absolutely know if he is being remorseful and trying to find out why so that he never cheats again.
And if you know where you stand, don't talk to him anymore. Don't give him one last chance or ask him what the status is. You take control. Hand him papers the next time you see him.
I say serial because she wasn't crazy into sex. [...] I think she fits into a narcissist catagory and enjoys casting her line to get attention.
Sex addiction is not wanting to have lots of sex. It is misnamed. It should be called avoidance of intimacy through sexual behaviors.
Google "sex addiction types" and go to the first or second link that has the 10 types of SA.
How would we react if the fog was proven to be baloney or was something we had invented? As victims, we use the fog to explain their lies, uncharacteristic behaviour and use it to protect ourselves against the immense betrayal. It allows us to believe that what they're doing isn't personal (although it sure feels like it)
And what if the reasons they give us about why the affair started are legit? My WS claims that she didn't feel she could talk to me about her feelings. She was befriended by her boss and of course he was able to manipulate the situation for his benefit. After all, people can often tell a therapist their inner most secrets but can't tell a spouse or family member. We say that we shouldn't take responsibility for the affair, we should only take responsibility for the things which contributed to it. It's quite a grey area even if we do think they could have handled it better. However, some people just don't have the strength to move on without having a new nest to fly to.
I suppose these are just my expressions of self analysis and doubt, trying to find out why, and how I have contributed to it.
Are we just kidding ourselves to bolster our own healing process?