Our MC uses the addiction analogy with us a lot in terms of describing what the WS goes through when trying to extricate themselves from an affair. I am sure that not many people in an affair feels in general at the time that they are being abused, but isn't it, by its nature, abusive? It brings out the worst in someone, causes them to go against their ethics and morals, causes them to hurt people they love, causes them to lose self-esteem, and self-control, and generally feel rotten about themselves, and it causes them to lie and deceive. It is so similar to having an abusive relationship with alcohol or drugs.
And then, it is the gift that keeps on giving if you go into R, because then you have to see all of this pain reflected in the eyes of the person you love.
And of course, for those whose waywards professed love for their AP, it is all mixed up with this totally crazy notion that you loved this person who caused you so much pain -- that this person had your back. I guess it is like thinking it is ok to "party" and thinking alcohol is this great thing, and finding yourself a decade later in rehab.
Anyway, I am wondering what others think.
I edit, therefore I am.
I can't say that I feel like my H was 'abused' in the A, or by the A. I don't feel at all that he is/was any kind of victim. The biggest part of his healing has been all about taking personal responsibility for every single choice he made. I do definitely feel that he abused me in it, and by having it. I definitely feel that his FOO played a huge factor in his decisions, and that there are some real adult consequences for him to his childhood abuse. I definitely feel that he took my trust, my faith in him, my unconditional love for him, and he used it against me.
Huh. That's an interesting and bold question. My concern is that as a WS, an affirmative answer could be perceived as casting myself as a victim. I feel sorry for people in abusive relationships in which there's an imbalance of power, because no fault lies with the victim. I feel compassion for alcoholics or meth addicts. So that's where the analogy between a drug/alcohol abuser and a WS falls short for me. I don't feel deserving of anyone's sympathy for my participation in the abusive A relationship.
Like any substance abuser, my As were a means of self-medicating. I'm no expert on addiction, but alcoholics don't drink because they *love alcohol,* they drink to forget, to feel numb, etc....to self-medicate. The solution, I suppose, is the same...no matter what your poison. Figure out what you're medicating, and heal it. In that sense, the addiction analogy absolutely works for me, and it's been very helpful to my recovery.
If that's what you're asking, the A could be a form of self abuse. But it's also abusive to the spouse and that shouldn't be overlooked.
Their actions were destructive to themselves and to each other. (Not to mention, the rest of us collateral damage.) and, they knew it. But, the 'high' was so compelling.
20 Wrongs, it was like a knife in my heart every time my H said he felt trapped and powerless and like he couldn't get out prior to dday. The addiction analogy is the only thing that has made those sentiments bearable to me. So, the addiction analogy rings true for you as well? He was definitely escaping.
[This message edited by bionicgal at 1:20 PM, November 13th (Wednesday)]
It is interesting you mentioned this because I used to have recurring nightmares about my FOO. Not all the time, but very intense, wake up from a dead sleep kind of nightmares. I did start having fairly regular nightmares about infidelity after Dday. When my W, who had seen the FOO nightmares effects on me, found out that the nightmares I had were about her cheating on me, it crushed her.
Time and many IC sessions later I am better. I see the parallels though. In my experience, I felt the infidelity hurts more because I choose that family member that hurt me. If that makes sense.
DS 1, DD 6
Dday 8/31/11. ONS that occurred 3 years earlier. Lied to for 3 years.
Every truth comes to light in a long enough timeline.
me (WW/BS): 48
4 kiddos in mid 20's
“Follow your intuition. Be smart, be brave. Tell the truth and don’t take any shit.”
Every WS makes a choice to cheat, and continue cheating. We were never trapped or helpless. We have to own that.