Shame is a very familiar subject to me. And when I say "familiar", it also ties into another word that derives from the same source, "family".
I started digging into the topic of shame with my IC, and I am still working on it. Turns out, the shame that I have long predates my marriage and my relationship with my wife. It goes back to my childhood. It's rooted in FOO issues.
Turns out the shame I felt as a BH... or on the other side of my coin, the shame I felt as a WBF, was merely an enhancement of the shame that I was already carrying with me.
A book that I have been revisiting from time to time (I haven't gotten through the whole thing yet, it is a very emotionally tough book for me to read), is "Healing The Shame That Binds You" by John Bradshaw. Wow... if anybody "gets" shame, it's Bradshaw. Definitely worth looking into, if you are interested in digging in deeper into this part of yourself, but it is not a book for the faint of heart.
Sounds like you are doing some amazing work on your own at casting shame aside, and treading forward, though. I think that takes a lot of strength, and that is awesome and inspiring.
Losferwords... I am going to go and buy the book you mentioned. I too have old issues that I am addressing and the book sounds helpful to my journey :o)
HeartBroken...I have been following your posts and I am so glad you feel you are making progress!!
To Sister.....I really do believe our path would have been different because my H approached me 10 years before he had his A. We both honestly feel we could have changed much of the last 15 years if we had both been more reseptive to fixing us.
I find too many married couples these days are over taxed, over stressed and life is too big and complicated. So many of us just go with the flow in hopes things will get better. Too many of us are worried abvout metioning bad things because we feel it will destroy what we have built. I find this aspect of LTA's very sad. Most of tthe time there was simply not enough attention from either partner to nuture the marriage.
My story has scared the shit out of many of my close friends. They have realized tthat if this could happen to my husband and I this could definitely happen to them. Many have sought out their own counseling to get better communication in their own marriages.
My goal on SI now is to learn from other WS's so I can in turn help my hubby shed his skin of shame. So many of you have helped me make my journey a bit more meaningful. I thank all of you for responding.
Through thick and thin we will survive but he gets only one shot at it!
Through IC I have turned this thinking around and realize how flawed my WH's thinking was and still is.
It is no surprise this event has brought me shame. Shame is not a new emotion for me, it has been by my side as a SAB survivor and is something I will always have to work against.
For what it is worth, my AP is delusional and still feels, after a year of no contact from my H that she is rightfully his most loved, neatest friend in the whole wide world.....how would you like to be her BS????
Feeling some sense of shame is not a bad thing though. Think back to when you were in school and did badly on a test, you likely felt shame. It is that shame that motivated you to try harding for the next test. Same when dealing with this. If something is off that your WS did, have the courage to say something. If things are not going well in the M, take the initiative to fix them as best you can.
Don't let shame turn into blame but let it motivate you to do your best.
I can totally relate to what you are saying here... and thank you to ReunitePangea for that wonderful course correction of shame vs. blame. That's an idea I can work with!
I, too, feel a lot of shame for letting my M disintegrate and for being so oblivious and TRUSTING for the longest time. Head way down deep in the sand. And, once, I started to suspect, saying nothing! Nothing! Internalizing all my fears, stress, and anger. So not healthy.
Yes, I even had shame, thinking about what others must think about me and whether I was "good enough" for him. I have abandoned that bit of shame, though. I have come to realize and accept that he holds the BLAME for the choices he made. I am working on improving my self-image, so that I can agree with people when they say, "how could he ever do that to such a beautiful, wonderful, caring, compassionate human being?" Now he needs to do all the self-discovery to figure out the answer to that question. Not me.
I am sure that my teenagers feel ashamed of their father. And my DD is ashamed of me for being willing to try to R.
There's so much damn shame and blame to go around, isn't there?
(Sorry, if I'm making no sense today and rambling. I had an awful run-in with DD last night with H present and trying to "help". I'm an emotional mess today. end t/j)
I am glad you are operating from a position of strength. I think your introspection and willingness to take accountability for your part in letting your M slide is the reason your R is going well. I am proud of you and your progress. Stay strong and stay happy!
Thank you for reading. My trip to NYC has been nothing but hell and I will send you th whole story tonight.
I am so sorry to hear about your D. At least it is good to hear H was watchging! I want to hear all about it.
you know what i feel shame about?
i feel shame for how i allowed myself to be treated like a doormat. i saw things in my m that were red flags, and put my head in the sand because i was too scared, and too insecure to stand up for myself, and demand respect. i wasnt strong enough to show him the door when he was foul.
him choosing to cheat for whatever reason....and his reasons are the same as most waywards....but him choosing to cheat is all on him. he was an asshole for making such a foolish, selfish decision that has rocked our world. he should feel shame for that.
i dont take any responsibility for those stupid decisions. sure, we had issues...but what married couple doesnt? i had issues...just like him...but i didnt make the decision to have sex with other men to make me "feel better." have i thought about it over the year?...of course...i am human. but deep in my heart, i knew that i wouldnt not cross that line...simply because i knew how deeply hurt that kind of betrayal would bring to my spouse.
he chose a different path.
he had every opportunity to try to work things out with me before cheating. but he wanted the new, exciting side sex more. and that is just the truth guys. the cold, ugly truth.
the only thing i will take responsibility for are my shortcomings in the m....pre a. i could have made some changes. i own that...and that is why they are being addressed in mc.
but he needs to fully own fucking around. that is all on him...and has nothing to do with me.
just another way we as BS blameshift by taking any responsibility for our spouses fucking someone else.
they did exactly what they wanted to do...and it had nothing to do with what we did or didnt do.
they sought it out, like fucking on the side, and thought they could get away with it. and if the ap was on board with him being married, then all the better in keeping it on the down low.
my h is remorseful and trying to be the model h now...and we are doing well in our attempt at r.
but i dont for one minute think for a second that what i did or didnt do pre a made him decide to cheat on me. no way. btdt. and it doesnt help the healing anyway.
he did that. all on him.
[This message edited by sri624 at 6:09 PM, August 30th (Friday)]
This is not a "feeling" "thinking" or "believing". It is a fact. Unless we held a gun to our WS's head and made them fuck the AP, we have absolutely no blame whatsoever.
with a little help and shove from me!
But, what kind of a fool would I be if I didn't accept the fact that I was at least 50% accountable for the mess my marriage was in.
I really do believe our path would have been different because my H approached me 10 years before he had his A. We both honestly feel we could have changed much of the last 15 years if we had both been more reseptive to fixing us.
To realize that you, the BS, had at your fingertips, the ways and means to possibly stop a LTA from happening in the first place
I am sorry TxsT, you don't have the ability to control your WS's actions with your actions.
eta: to fix a bunch of mistakes!
[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 7:27 PM, August 30th (Friday)]
"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson
I feel sad that our, mostly good, marriage got into a mess. I feel sad that I didn't push for counseling earlier. I feel sad that the need that my husband expressed over and over again went largely unmet and, when coupled with some other issues, allowed him to rationalize and pursue an affair.
I feel very sad that I tried, to the best of my ability, to meet the need with the tools I had at the time, and I still fell short. But, I feel angry that he put all the blame on me for not meeting this need, when part of the responsibility was his. His not taking any responsibility helped keep us in a terrible dynamic, which led to him having an affair.
So, it is like a dance. I can see where the decision to do it was all his -- and his actions are all his. But, the conditions that led up to it were certainly half my fault. There is really no way around that. But, I don't think I feel shame about it so much, as much as sadness.
We have learned so much.
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA/then PA
In MC & Reconciling
I edit, therefore I am.
I am so sorry he blamed you.....I have never had that said to me and I can't even imagine how I would feel. We sound similar in our pasts. Isn't it interesting how many different paths come from the same situations????
I wish you luck on your journey
Also I am ashamed at my mom. Because I found out she was the OW.. And my dad divorced his first wife and married my mom. I found put the real details after my dad passed away. So not only am I ashamed but I am angry at her. I would never go out with another woman's man PERIOD.
So I am ashamed that my parents did this to my step brothers and sister. I understand their pain and anger. Even though I was young and I didn't understand the dynamics it's clear they hated me and my sister.
Yes Shame.. I have it and I understand how you feel.
It is a shame we couldn't avoid these destructive behaviors .. Us BS living likes Zombies.. the selfish OW/OM with their false veils of shunting 50% of their role in the destruction and our WS choosing to act out instead of looking in and realizing that we were just as unhappy, needing love and attention and desire but hoped that they would some how return to us.
As always I am saddened when a new member shows up on SI. What a horrible world we live in!
Your post was very heartfelt and I am so sorry you are going through not only the BS thing for yourself but you are also realizing that your mom was an OW.
I have to admit I did not know really how I would react to an A until it honestly, truly happened. I had suspected for almost a year and a half since my husband continued to spiral downward and I had absolutely no idea why. I went through a lot of different scenarios during that time....lots of what ifs. I even rationalized that it was our fallow marriage that had caused this. But once I figured out WHY our marriage had gone fallow I was shocked to realize that I wanted what I call a do-over. I didn't want to leave my sweet H of 32 years, I felt that I wanted the M we should have had from day 1 together.
I will say only this though....my husband gets only one shot at making this right. Yes we will have many ups and downs and mistakes will be made and corrected but if he EVER does something like this again he is toast. My children will make sure of that.
I will look for your posts in the future and I hope your time here brings you good advise. Thank you for sharing your story. Your post is exactly why I felt I wanted to start this thread. Sometimes we BS's need to hear a certain thought said in a different way or shown in a different light. You brought up things that made me sit back and go wow.
[This message edited by TxsT at 11:16 PM, August 31st (Saturday)]
It was "not today we can talk later I/ve had a hard day at the office" or i would get the palm of her hand in my face while she would say "too much information at this time"
i need to relax my brain.
In retrospect, i know today why she didnt want to discuss our issues because she was knee-deep in her "A".
Our MC told us each of us we are responsible for our participation in the marital problem-issues 50% each but my WW was 100% responnsible for her "A". I did not make that decision for her she made that decision for her and also for me. CC said she could have found other ways to deal with our issues perhaps a separation or setup marital counceling or just filed for "D" but she made a "choice" all by herself and was 100% responsible for that choice.
WW didnt like that and agrued that openly in MC and IC. This is most likely why she didnt like any of the books C gave us and I gave WW to read.
We were in family counseling with same C for our daughter's eating disorder issues when I found out about her "A". I have 2 months of IC all aobut my wifes "A" before I confronted WW.
WW lied to the MC about her "A". To this day WW thinks her "A" had nothing to do with our d's eating disorder.
When I had my confrontation with WW, it was choriographed completely by C in my IC session. We role played the session before i confronted and it worked well for me.
Every time WW lied to me when i connfronted, I would calmly ask "would you like to re-think your answer"?
I told WW that C knew of her "A" and she got angry and insisted we have a CC the next night and she apologized to Dr. S for lying to her.
Then 3 mos later while they took the "A" underground", (no physical contact during those 3 mos only phone calls) I had a VAR in her car which did a great job while she and her AP talked on her bluetooth with 11 speakers in her car and AP's wife sent me voice msgs & test msgs. left on her husbands phone by my wife she was playing detective during the night.
I played the conversations for counselor before i confronted a final time about her lying on NC..and again told her Dr X knows about your lying on no contact as she also heard your conversations with your AP. I played several of them for her.
Again...we had couples session the next night and she openly apologized to counselor. (again-serial liar)
So with all this being said, if there is shame WW has not expressed that to me,all she ever said was she ws "embarassed" ..for what getting busted?
but im too much of a proud man, father and son-in-law to out her behavior to family.
If we dont make it, and "D" it will come out. it always does in a "D".
No one knows, except 5 people AP, AP-wife, WW, me and our CC.
Daughter would be devastated if she found out, she had threatened suicide multiple times when she was fully into her Eating disorder...down to 94#, hypo -glycemic, panic attacks frequently. I couldnt let that happen, things may have been different if i didnt have a daughter to think about. but ill never know as ive decided to take this journey and its been a rocky road
LTA- 7 yrs maybe 10? (former boss)
Daughter-24 yrs former ED and OCB today
Married 25 yrs.
D-day -March 2012
Confrontation day-April 2012
True NC- July 2012
ended MC October 2012 (at WW's insistance)
in "R" but its really tuff and im determined to give this my all
Edited for spelling
[This message edited by hurtsobadinside at 7:48 AM, September 1st (Sunday)]
Thank you and sending you hugs for being a good SI friend