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User Topic: just random thoughts, BS welcome
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Default  Posted: 2:06 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I definitely do know that I need to fix that within myself. My self esteem has never been stellar to begin with. But I was getting to be comfortable in my own skin until his affairs. But I see it as the ultimate rejection from him. And it's so very hard to overcome that. It's nice to say I need to change and fix that within myself, I just don't know how to put that into practice.

BS - Me
DDay 1 - Jul 11
DDay 2 - Jul 12
R Dec 12

Former 80s Icon wishful thinking

Posts: 2031 | Registered: Feb 2012
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Default  Posted: 2:07 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

By the way, this post is very therapeutic. Again I thank you all for your honesty and willingness to share.

BS - Me
DDay 1 - Jul 11
DDay 2 - Jul 12
R Dec 12

Former 80s Icon wishful thinking

Posts: 2031 | Registered: Feb 2012
tired girl
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Default  Posted: 2:18 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


I think that unfortunately or fortunately, however you want to look at it, because we are madhatters, I had a true understanding from the get go that his A was not about me. It was about his brokenness. Because of that I could step back and most of the time not let it be about me. There were times where my low self esteem stepped up and smacked me and tried very hard to make it about me. And I would slide back into self loathing. That was when I would usually reach out to my other WS friends and they would remind me what it was about. Those friends were my light in the darkness in the early days, UO, MJ,WS.

As I got stronger I started getting back to the things that made me feel good about me, doing better in school and really focusing on it, getting better grades. Doing things for me, nails, pedicures, small things, enjoying time to myself. Allowing myself the freedom to heal at my pace.

But the biggest step is realizing this was not about you.

[This message edited by tired girl at 2:18 PM, June 12th (Wednesday)]

Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 5068 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
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Default  Posted: 2:18 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

wonderboy said:
So if the need for external validation drives many of the waywards into affairs, then how do they cope with the aftermath in an attempt to reconcile?

After my wife's affair was discovered, I know that I wasn't exactly heaping praise on my wife. If there is a reliance on this validation, how does a wayward (who is attempting R) deal with the criticism, anger, blame, name-calling, that often follows the D-Day?

Do you fix a clock before it's broken, or does the clock becoming broken make you realize and seek out instinctively what broke it in the first place in order to repair it or make the determination to throw it away?

Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 801 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
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Default  Posted: 2:32 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

According to me, the need for external validation is only a surface level reason. It goes deeper. There are reasons why you need it.

I can only speak from what I have been reading and exploring on my part. As a child, i made myself responsible for my parents mood. I have a younger brother who was very naughty as a child. And it was a HUGE responsibility to take care of him. My parents used to be very stressed when it came to him. So i just assumed the responsibility of being the "nice kid". I behaved in a certain way and if din, i just hid it from them. I developed this pattern in all the relationships. Taking responsibilty of how the other person feels. Basically I was "making" them like me. Hence whenever they complimented me, it din really count as Duh!!! i was working for that. OTOH if some stranger out of blue says something nice it feels real as I din "make" him do it.

All this happens on a very unconscious level. Even I cant warp my head around it . and every time it feels like "really?? WTF!! why would i do that". I dont have the confidence that anybody would like me for being ME because I never let myself have that corrective experience.

I needed the external validation from people close to me as that was the only way I could figure out how to behave.. or what parts of me to hide(to avoid being disliked) but when they did, it din count and i was left feeling "not likable"

If people said they liked me, I would question "why?"

External validation can take many many forms .. there are other reasons too for me and strangely low self esteem is not one of them.

The thing with self esteem is - it stems from what you think about yourself.. Honestly we can make ourselves believe anything! so working on self esteem just seems illogical to me.

According to my understanding "Now i wont seek external validation" approach isnt gonna take anybody anywhere. You need to get to the bottom of it.

Not that I have but I am trying. This shit is pretty twisted.

[This message edited by EmotionalFool at 2:36 PM, June 12th (Wednesday)]

WW: 28 (ME)
BH: 28 (SI profile: CrappyLife)
D-Day- 15/10/12

Posts: 334 | Registered: Nov 2012
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Default  Posted: 2:43 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This shit is pretty twisted

Now that's absolute truth!

BS - Me
DDay 1 - Jul 11
DDay 2 - Jul 12
R Dec 12

Former 80s Icon wishful thinking

Posts: 2031 | Registered: Feb 2012
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Default  Posted: 3:10 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

BS here. I come into the WS forum rarely. I like to try to learn what may have been behind STBXWW’s actions, but it’s hard because I am envious of the BS’s who actually have a WS working on themselves. But this thread has helped me. I’m glad I came along.

STBXWW moved out in January. During a recent argument, she told me she wouldn’t have even started talking to “those guys” if I had been there for her. This made absolutely no sense to me, as I was always there for her. The emotional distance in the relationship was all created by her. She would tell me she needed space, so I gave her space. Girls night out whenever she wanted, and even vacations with her friends instead of the family.

Past MC turned into her complaining about me. First it was she needs help taking the kids to school, so I started going in late to work so I could help her. Then it was she needed help picking them up from school (but I couldn’t do both; go in late and come home early). Then it was me not helping with the cooking (I already did 90% of the laundry, and we had a house keeper), so I started to take turns cooking. Then it was I don’t help with the grocery shopping, so I took over the grocery shopping. Then it was I don’t help with the meal planning and creating the list so I took that on too. Then it was my fault she was unhappy with her career, so I took over the household 100% in the evenings and paid for her to get her masters degree.

If I complimented her hair she’d say she needed to get it cut. If I complimented dinner she said it was easy. If I complimented her weight loss, she said her legs were fat. I never realized what she was doing until now. I realize she’s not a humble person, but she definitely could not take a compliment from me.

I finally realize she needed to alienate me to create distance and demonize me to justify what she wanted to do. Her behavior suggests a MLC. It didn’t matter at all that I tried really hard to help her feel good about herself, she didn’t believe it and needed animosity toward me to get out.

Me: BH
Her: who cares?
Married: 22 years
2 sons at home
1 son in college
Divorced on 9/4/14!
Often it's the deepest pain which empowers you to grow into your highest self.

Posts: 332 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Midwest
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Default  Posted: 3:16 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If your spouses pain is your reason to not cheat how does that really address your problem areas to begin with?

It was more of a wake up call than addressing my own problems. It was more of a catalyst to get me to address my problems. If I could hurt someone like this..who am I really?

The simplest thing can be the hardest thing to do....FRM

Posts: 2534 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Florida
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Default  Posted: 3:32 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

who am I really?

You know perhaps a WS should really be answering that question - who - instead of why?

On the other hand shouldn't we all?

take care...

Posts: 1428 | Registered: Jan 2012
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Default  Posted: 3:34 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow. Never expected so many responses.
Keep in mind that I didn't post this as a reason for my A, but more to address questions from another forum and I do agree that "seeking validation" isn't a reason to have an A, but really, what is? Validation is one of the branches on the tree and some of us WS, like myself, didn't know I was looking for validation when I had my A, hell, I'd never heard of that before. Of course I knew someone was looking for attention when they dressed provocativly or cutting themselves, etc. But at the time I didn't see it so clearly as I do now and I didn't recognize it within myself as I do now...I know I'm leaving some more stuff out but my fingers aren't typing as fast as my brain is thinking.

UO, I believe you asked some questions on the previous page and I owe you an explanation, sorry for the delay.
I get what you meant about the collectors, however since I'm not one it wasn't sitting on my brain. I do very much agree with your analogy and I'm sure I left some more *types * out so thank you for the contribution. shows.
I could be wrong in my assumption, but I think you feel the way you do because you were used to such abuse from one relationship to the next; your mother and your ex. So you figured out a way to validate yourself...I didn't. Neither one of us made the right choose in the end. I'm not saying this to point fingers by no means. As far as my feelings? Honey at that time I had none. I literally remember the day I gave up. I just completely gave up. I figured no one cares about me, why should I care about them? It was a pity party at best and the first time I heard having an a was like soul suicide- your words? I said to myself, "that's the absolute best way to describe it." Of course I loved my H and my compliments were real, but if you look at it, at the time of my A and leading up to it, my actions weren't loving and I'm sure I wasn't doing much complimenting at the time.

Having bachstage passes and knowing him genuinely how great he is, would nag at me but it wasn't enough to stop me from having my A, I'd think of him and quickly push him out of my mind. I didn't WANT to think of him. I was mad at him for my own selfish reasons. He didn't do anything wrong, it was me. Remember Groundhogs Day with Bill Murray? The inn keeper with the coffee was so sweet and Bill Murray looked like he was going to stab her. She was cheerful and helpful and he was all the more bitter and hate-filled. Needle-nose Ned Ryerson! Poor guy was trying to sell insurance and Bill Murray HATED the guy. For what? Because of Bill Murrys own fuckedupedness...and because of the Ned's overly jovial "BING!"

How have I changed this need? By making it a habit. By reminding myself of my worth, remembering what I've learned here at SI and by basically telling myself I can either stay stagnant and have my world really fall to shit, or get the fuck up and do something. My H is moving to a better placd and I can either stay or get up and join him. I do have to remind myself of things at times and give myself little pep talks, but I know I'm doing so much better.

I'm glad you guys can understand what I'm saying and I'm especially glad that this topic has not only helped communications between BS's and WS's; theirs or the ones on SI, but it more importantly has people looking into themselves, BS & WS and I think that's awesome!

That is MY validation.

[This message edited by stilllovinghim at 4:14 PM, June 12th (Wednesday)]

“You have a choice. Live or die.Every breath is a choice. Every minute is a choice. Every time you don't throw yourself down the stairs, that's a choice. Every time you don't crash your car, you re-enlist.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor

Posts: 1942 | Registered: Oct 2010
tired girl
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Default  Posted: 3:41 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You know perhaps a WS should really be answering that question - who - instead of why?

I feel this is exactly right. I was having a conversation with a another SI'er yesterday about how after DD I felt at war with myself. I didn't ever post about this, but I looked like I had been the one cheated on after DD, I couldn't eat, I didn't sleep, my hair fell out in clumps. I was at war with myself. I no longer knew who I was anymore. I had betrayed myself at my core level. There was nothing left. I remember having a very vivid visual of myself being in mirrored shards on the ground and I couldn't put the pieces back together. Who was I?

It was a long way back from that place. Waywards have to understand that the betrayal is to themselves first, to everyone else after, start there and fix it.

Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 5068 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
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Default  Posted: 3:55 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I felt at war with myself.

My W has said the same thing. Its a great question for the BS as well. Who the hell is this person I am with?

That can be both negative and positive and the transition between the two has been fun for me. In other words, at first I would say who is this stupid child who behaves like this? Now I say, who is this women? and I wonder at her depth and insights.

I mean don't get me wrong its not as if anyone and I mean anyone hits some magical point of being healed. It's the exploration that is the game, hey?

Posts: 1428 | Registered: Jan 2012
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Default  Posted: 4:04 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wert and TG I can agree with that. I really did look horrid after DDay as well. I didn't eat, couldn't sleep for days at a time, barely recognized myself in the mirror but not because I wasn't taking care of myself but because I didn't know who I was anymore. I would look at pictures of myself and remember asking myself who is this woman. I also remember the day I looked in the mirror and didn't flinch, it was 5 months after dday. I spoke out loud. I said your name is Unagie, you cheated on SO, you told him the truth, you are doing the work to figure out who you were, who you are and who you want to be, you are figuring out how you could disrespect yourself and your relationship so badly, and you are doing a good job.

I felt stronger that day, but I also know the road ahead is long. It took me a long time to stop thinking I had disrespected just him and to realize how much damage I had done to myself.

Heartbroken madhatter trying to rebuild

No longer together

"To be loyal to myself is to allow myself to grow and change, and challenge who I am and what I think."

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Default  Posted: 4:19 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Chico, I don't even want to start my car when I get to the parking lot after work. I just sit there for a few minutes...

But.... I pull in the driveway and I automatically feel like an undesirable pathetic loser, constantly searching for attention and validation.

[This message edited by libertyrocks at 4:19 PM, June 12th (Wednesday)]

Me-BW 36. STBXH-35,Recovering Alcoholic, M6yrs T13. Boys 2 & 4 1/2.
DDay #1 Nov,2012. 1 1/2 year false R & TT. 10 OW PA's 1LTA (W lied to) 3 years.
S Nov, 2013 again Jan,2014
Filed for D Feb,2014.

Posts: 962 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: So Cal, baby. :)
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Default  Posted: 5:08 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

But I see it as the ultimate rejection from him.

Samantha, I think we all go through that to some extent, but I think you need to ask yourself if there's any woman in the world your husband could have been with that he wouldn't have eventually betrayed. My guess is no, because the same issues would have existed inside of him, regardless of who he was with.

Model Elizabeth Hurley's beauty didn't stop Hugh Grant from seeking a strung-out Vegas prostitute. Apparently actress Eva Longoria wasn't hot enough to keep Tony Parker from straying. I think one of the toughest things for us BS's to do is to not see our wayward's brokenness as a reflection of our worth, desirability, etc. Easier said than done, I know. But not rational when you think about it.

Me (BS)-45, WW-43
DDay 2/17/13, 9-10 month PA/EA
M - 18 years, 4 children

Posts: 1451 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Texas
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Default  Posted: 5:09 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Its a great question for the BS as well. Who the hell is this person I am with?

BS here. I always thought he was more "together" then me. More confident, not judgmental, more patient, smarter, kinder.

One of the first things I asked that D-Day night was, "who are you?" He just looked at me blankly.

And he too looked like hell. Like every lie, every crappy little deceptive moment between us, every first-look-at myself-in-the-irror-the-morning-after-a night with the AP, was on his face for weeks on end. Yeah. He was at war with himself.

Who is he now? He said he doesn't even recognize that person. He's working on figuring it out. I asked him to join SI. Maybe he will chime in one day.

For me, I still think he is kind, smart, and more patient with the kids. I know he is a good man who made some terrible choices. I know this much is true.

Incidentally, after reading this spec thread, I did one of those charts with Validation in the centre and all kinds of stems shooting from it. I felt like Russell Crowe in the Beautiful Mind writing out some half-cocked formula. Just trying to find my sanity.

Thank you guys and gals. I have learned a lot about myself too, from this post.

[This message edited by LA44 at 7:27 PM, June 12th (Wednesday)]

Me: 44
He: 47 WH
Married: 15 years
D Day: December 2012
Affair: Fall 2009 - Dec. 2011
R is not linear

Posts: 2444 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Canada, eh
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Default  Posted: 6:26 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow, this thread really took off since I left for work this morning!

I personally always knew that I craved validation. Lets face it, we all want validation in our lives. What I did not know, however was that there was no full point. That no amount of validation would ever be enough to fill my tank. What I wanted, I felt I needed and I needed way too much of it.

The really sad part is that had I been listening, I was really getting it the whole time. And when I did hear it, I was so wrapped up in feeling bad about myself that I couldn't believe it.

I'm one of those that felt my husband told me things because he had to. He was obligated as my husband to be kind to me. I felt he liked me well enough but I also felt he had settled on me in most ways. I felt that if something better came along my happy marriage would be in shambles. I feared him leaving me alone. Validation from him was greatly important to me because it helped give me a sense of false security. But in trying to get validation from him I set myself up for failure. Doing my hair and makeup, dressing up, or wearing new shoes. Waiting for compliments that didn't come. Surely he didn't care if I had put so much effort into looking nice and he never even noticed, right? So then the resentments would build. Enter MOM who was willing to go through hoops and fire to lavish me with compliments, well that must be real. Why else would he take such risks if I weren't worth it?

As we all know that's all bullshit. MOM would have said anything to fuck me, not because I am all that and worth it but because I was a willing participant. It turns out that BH thinks I look my best when I have my hair thrown up in a ponytail and a t shirt and cargo pants. That being cute is not a four letter word. And that I had to stop the inner dialogue so that I could finally soak in what was going on around me.

I had to learn to stop living out of fear of an outcome that may or may not exist. I had to learn to start living my life and doing things because they were right and felt good. Once I began doing that I started feeling good about myself and the person I was growing to be. I can honestly say that I like myself these days. Do I still like validation? Of course. But I have a much better understanding of what's healthy and what's not.

Ironically I know that the tables have turned and much of what I perceived before is now HT's burden. We are trying our damnedest to break that cycle. Some days are better than others. But the biggest difference is that neither one if us are in the dark anymore. As uncomfortable as it may be, we talk about it. And that makes all the difference in the world.

Me: WS 42
Him: BH 43(HoldingTogether)
M: 18years, together 22
2 Daughters: 13 and 10
D Day: 7/24/2010; TT to 10/17/10
If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

Posts: 736 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Texas
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Default  Posted: 6:42 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

BS here. I can't thank everyone enough for their thoughts and sharing their experiences. Outstanding work. Definitely worth the price of admission and has helped me see my WW in a new light. Aww, who am I kidding? It has helped me see myself in a new light as well.

[This message edited by thinkingclear at 6:51 PM, June 12th (Wednesday)]

BS - Me
WW - Her
10 month EA/PA

Posts: 211 | Registered: Apr 2013
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Default  Posted: 10:16 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

External validation was, I told myself, what I wanted from an A.

Ok, and I agree my wife was also seeking external validation at times, but in my opinion external validation was just another "fix" for my wife. Graduating from college, getting married, moving to a new state, new job, another state, another job, another state, another job, another job, increasing our salaries, bigger house, leather couches, second house, big screen tv, third house, more tvs, pool, paint, redecorate, car, car. Things started to slow down in the material department so she turned to plastic surgery, botox, laser ablation, then a Valium prescription, then night clubbing, pole dancing classes, getting a tatoo, going out with the girls, etc., etc., etc, etc,. These all provided her with a temporary fix but not true happiness". And she dropped the MOM like a bad habit when I discovered her affair, because it was arranged with "no strings attached", because it wasn't about him, it was about her. If she had only had her affair sooner, my life would have been alot easier.

WW 47 FOO Issues
DDay 11/09 Coworker
High School Sweethearts
Married 06/91
8 months TT
Sons 19 and 14
Recovery is constructing a pyramid of inference from which to see clearer.
The process involves using the reflexive loop.

Posts: 777 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Ches
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Default  Posted: 9:45 AM, June 13th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Samantha Baker, I bet you are really beautiful and hot. I always thought, it doesn't matter what you look like, even the most beautiful women get cheated on. But, I TOTALLY get how it could shatter your self esteem. Mine's screwed up as well and I'm making it a priority to build it back up these days. The 180 is working on me! When I first read it through blurry crying eyes, I thought I would NEVER get there. Now, I don't even call H. He's so into me. And, I'm not even sure I want him anymore...

Me-BW 36. STBXH-35,Recovering Alcoholic, M6yrs T13. Boys 2 & 4 1/2.
DDay #1 Nov,2012. 1 1/2 year false R & TT. 10 OW PA's 1LTA (W lied to) 3 years.
S Nov, 2013 again Jan,2014
Filed for D Feb,2014.

Posts: 962 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: So Cal, baby. :)
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