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Reconciliation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: pre-A issues with the M
Rebreather
♀ Member
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 4:12 PM, December 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

That's why I bristle when I hear either party say, "The blame for the A is totally on the WS, but the M wasn't perfect."

Correct. If indeed affairs are about the brokenness of one partner (or both, as we see as well), then how is mentioning the marriage relevant in any way? It's not. They are totally different subjects.

Whose marriage is perfect, anyway? Never had a lull? And if one hasn't ever had a lull or any conflict, then I think conflict avoidant, rug sweeping, codependency, etc. Conflict is natural. If there has never been conflict, that's a problem! Managing it healthily is the key.


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6549 | Registered: Jan 2011
AFrayedKnot
♂ Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 4:31 PM, December 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

What if 95% of the problems in the relationship were caused by the WS and stemmed from the same root "why" as the A. Should they too be separate from the A? Or should it all be looked at in its entirety?


BS 40
fWS 36 (SurprisinglyOkay)
DD DS
A whole bunch of shit that got a lot worse before it got better.
"Knowing is half the battle"

Posts: 2635 | Registered: Aug 2012
ReunitePangea
♂ Member
Member # 37529
Default  Posted: 4:43 PM, December 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

When I see that "but," that's when I bristle a bit. Because the state of the M is irrelevant and IMO shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence as the A. Irrelevant! Doesn't matter. Not even a little.

20Wrongs, I love reading posts from WS that really get it. Congrads to you for getting as far as you have.

I fully agree - M issues should not be even in the same sentence as A issues. I actually told my WW that very same thing. She had accepted full responsibility but she started to bring up things she felt were missing in the M during LTA when we were talking about the A - I stopped her and a said I would be more than happy to discuss those things but I will not discuss them when we are talking about the A.

I have a problem with the statement the fault of the A is 100% WS, but the M is 50/50. I think that is bad advise especially when a BS or WS is recent after DDay. A BS spending too much time wondering what they did wrong is not helpful and/or a WS still trying to justify poor actions is not a good start to a path of R. Now after some time and progress - then issues of M can better be discussed but for the first few months it is way too soon.


BS - Me 38
WS - Wife 39
D-Day - Oct 12
Married 10 years
OM1 - 12-year LTA
OM2 - 9 month A turned into open relationship with couple for another 1 1/2 years

Posts: 489 | Registered: Nov 2012
Rebreather
♀ Member
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 4:49 PM, December 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

What if 95% of the problems in the relationship were caused by the WS and stemmed from the same root "why" as the A. Should they too be separate from the A? Or should it all be looked at in its entirety?

If they are addressed as part of the affair, aren't they being addressed?

Meaning, some of our problems stemmed from me withdrawing from the relationship due to anger and resentment. I was angry and resentful due to my spouse's selfish actions. The root of those actions is the same that "caused" his affair. Fixing that root (weedkiller?) helped cure both problems. Then it was up to me to let go that old hurt and resentment.

Yes? No?


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6549 | Registered: Jan 2011
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 4:51 PM, December 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

And if one hasn't ever had a lull or any conflict, then I think conflict avoidant, rug sweeping, codependency, etc. Conflict is natural.

We had a very unnatural M pre-A...hardly ever fought! Codependent (me), Conflict avoidant, rug sweeper (her) It worked so well....till it didn't.

problems in the relationship were caused by the WS and stemmed from the same root "why" as the A. Should they too be separate from the A? Or should it all be looked at in its entirety?

This is where I am at now.

I see adultery not as a singular, unrelated event...I see it as the fruit of a way of coping with life that was started most likely before I ever met my wife.

Right now (and that is important because this is a roller coaster like none other) I need to see what brokenness is within my wife that caused adultery to be a choice.

I get that WS are good at avoiding conflict and denying their feelings, compartmentalizing......but is that the singular answer to my search? Is it just bigger and bigger doses that finally lead up to adultery?

I see a relation to how my wife was affected in childhood and her ability to choose adultery. She sees a relationship....or at least recognizing how NOT healthy her childhood was in ways that she simply dismissed too quickly?

I know that at 2 years into our M she was crying to her sister over a man she knew before we met, a man that she corresponded with while we were engaged via email....she never admitted it was an A. When she talked to her sister about her feelings her sister told her to just stop that and focus on her M to me. This same advice was given again to my wife while she was involved with her OM....to just stop it and concentrate on her M to me.

Adultery is not a singular mistake....maybe a drunken ONS can be chalked up to that....but the kind of adultery my wife engaged in was made possible by her families ability to NOT face their feelings, admit they have needs.....and actually view feelings and needs as weaknesss.

My wife is working tremendously hard on this...I see her reading books that speak to her childhood issues. I see her sister asking to get those books when she is done. And I have compassion for their situation.....

I use this as an example to show how I believe pre-A M issues on her side led to adultery.

Pre-A M issues on my side led me to destructive things as well....namely porn use. I have traced it back to my childhood as well.

I just fail to see how a person can grow through this if you don't look for the root why behind pre-A issues.......this is all connected.

That is my opinion today. I have formed this opinion from my journey into my poor coping mechanisms...why I do what I do. I could not find the answer by just looking back to 18 months ago...I had to go back 30 years.

God help us all.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 4004 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
AFrayedKnot
♂ Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 4:58 PM, December 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yes and no...if they are only discussed in regards to the A then the depth of the harm may never be realized. The A was just the tip of the iceburg. Unless we look at how big the iceburg really is it could still sink the ship.


BS 40
fWS 36 (SurprisinglyOkay)
DD DS
A whole bunch of shit that got a lot worse before it got better.
"Knowing is half the battle"

Posts: 2635 | Registered: Aug 2012
Razor
♂ Member
Member # 16345
Default  Posted: 5:03 PM, December 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

IMO what oftimes gets overlooked is that the BS is also unhappy in the M. Many times we were at least as unhappy as our WS. Maybe more.

That *maybe more* has to do with what happens when the WS starts to give themself permission to have the affair. Maybe subconsciously (at least) the WS has even lined up a perspective AP. Maybe they have even started talking about their respective *M problems*. And IMO from this comes many of the complaints they have about us.

What I am suggesting is that maybe before the EA or PA actually kick off there is a period of distancing. Distancing = communication problems. Communication problems = M problems. M problems = a excuse to cheat.

In my experience my WW was horrible to me and our kids long before her PA started. Maybe that was do to her on going EA that eventually led to the PA. All I can say is that she was terrible to be around. Verbally and emotionally abusive. Angry without reason. And every single attempt I made to please her and bring us closer together was rebuffed and scorned.

Even with all that. I did not cheat. She did.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


Posts: 3483 | Registered: Sep 2007
bionicgal
♀ Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 5:21 PM, December 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

What I am suggesting is that maybe before the EA or PA actually kick off there is a period of distancing. Distancing = communication problems. Communication problems = M problems. M problems = a excuse to cheat.

This absolutely happened in our case, and I have heard it said that infidelity actually starts in this early phase. . .when we are no longer holding that person front and center. When there is distance and a lack of real intimacy.

I am going to make people mad here, but the distancing in our relationship was on both sides in our case, we both were acting too independently, and both getting too many needs met outside the marriage. Now, my H cheated, and I didn't -- so yes, he has to deal with why. (Including voluminous FOO issues, and midlife crisis issues, and his own, crappy, selfish, destructive thinking and behavior.) But, we both have to be realistic about what wasn't going right between us pre-A, so that we can end up with the marriage that we both want.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 5:22 PM, December 18th (Wednesday)]


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is a personal crisis, not a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 2065 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
sailorgirl
♀ Member
Member # 38162
Default  Posted: 5:21 PM, December 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Taking responsibility and ownership of the A, as a WS, is about more than just "saying" we do. We have to believe it. We have to stop keeping score, stop looking at the state of the M as a contributing factor.

20Wrongs, to me, the fact that my H has internalized ^^^ is crucial to R. The other half of the equation is just as crucial--as the BS, I need to believe that it wasn't about me and it wasn't about the marriage. Once we both accepted that deeply and consistently, it was like a black cloud lifted away from "us".

I don't think that means I take responsibility for anything I shouldn't, but it does acknowledge there were cracks in the vase before H took the sledgehammer to it.

Bionicgirl, what you guys are doing clearly works well for you, and it sounds like your marriage work is paying off already. I'm thinking your H doesn't believe that "the cracked marriage made the A possible" or some such nonsense. You would sense if he were blaming anything other than himself.

I think any relationship has "cracks", and both H and I worked on ours constantly from the time we met right up until the A started. It was like striving for a "more perfect Union". When we fought, we fought fair. We didn't blame or say "never" or "always". We diligently used our "I" statements and actively listened to each other. I helped H understand how his "tone" affected me, he helped me understand how hard it was for him to admit to problems at work.

H opened up to me more than he ever had to anyone on this earth, but he had walled off toxic FOO sludge deep inside. He was in denial about how much his awful childhood had affected him, and he had developed some poor coping skills to mask the old emotions of fear, hurt and anger. Yet we were intimately connected. He told me many of his anxieties and insecurities, but not the extent or the root cause. I let him know verbally and physically how much I appreciated it when he shared anything hard like that.

We had the regular challenges of any human relationship--possibly fewer since we were well matched and had learned a lot about communication. But even if we had been poorly bonded with negative patterns of communication, the really huge problem still would have been the same: Cracks within the WS. His cracks finally ran so deep that he exploded and took me down as collateral damage.

But I'm not going back to sea in a boat that isn't one hell of a lot safer than the old one.

If the boat is the marriage, I'd be happy to get back in, even if it's a leaky piece of shit, as long as my crew mate is whole and healthy and no longer wayward. (Because once we're both responsible, caring and committed grown-ups, we'll fix that boat together.)

Thanks for getting this, 20Wrongs--for me and my H, it's been the most helpful idea on SI (and that's saying a lot because this site is chock-a-block helpful ideas).

[This message edited by sailorgirl at 6:22 PM, December 18th (Wednesday)]


Married 14 years, three amazing kids
H had 17 month EA/PA
D-day 1/5/13
Reconcilling

Posts: 787 | Registered: Jan 2013
bionicgal
♀ Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 5:28 PM, December 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

20 Wrongs - have you read "Sexual Detours?" You may appreciate it. My H got a lot out of it, and it helped him figure out some of his "why."


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is a personal crisis, not a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 2065 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
20WrongsVs1
♀ Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 8:15 AM, December 19th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This thread has organically grown without me, which is awesome. Thanks everyone for contributing.

((sailorgirl))

The other half of the equation is just as crucialas the BS, I need to believe that it wasn't about me and it wasn't about the marriage.

Yes! Ding ding ding! Thanks for this! If I may be so bold, I would add, and it wasn't about the AP/OP either. In my very amateur opinion, the impediments I see to R, which are repeated on SI constantly are

-the WS says they want to R, but they don't "get it." They (we!) blameshift, lie, TT, and are quick to turn the spotlight from our transgressions and onto the pre-DDay state of the M.
-the WS has had their cake and don't want to quit eating it. They "play nice" but take the A underground so they can continue to get their fix.
-the BS, directly or indirectly, blames himself for the A. Maybe he really was distant, didn't appreciate her enough, etc.! Now he's going to be the best H evah!
-the BS tells herself, my WH would never have cheated if it weren't for that predatory OW! She led him into temptation, he tried to refuse, but she wore him down, and he didn't even like it.
-both parties agree (explicitly or implicitly) to sweep it under the rug and move forward. It was a one-time thing, she's sorry, it'll never happen again.
-the WS can't (doesn't want to) let go of fond memories of the AP. And/or, the BS constantly wonders if he's being compared to OM, if OM had something he didn't.
-the WS has a professionally-diagnosed underlying psychological condition, which was brought to light by his infidelity

I would love to get y'all's opinion on this, I don't claim to be an expert, but I'm a data analyst by profession, and this list is what I've (just now) synthesized from 8 months of input.

Also I want to acknowledge that these themes are repeated over and over on SI because they're (in my observation) common and normal reactions to infidelity. As I wrote earlier, I don't claim to be "healed" or "reconciled." Maybe I've finished mile 1 or 2 of the marathon of self-discovery. And I'm not taking my M for granted, but today I'm optimistic.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1236 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
bionicgal
♀ Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 8:38 AM, December 19th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

20 Wrongs - I 100% agree that is wasn't about the OP/AP either. That is actually very freeing for me, and makes me feel safer. She was simply opportunity disguised as a friend.

One of my H's worst realizations, because he is -- at heart -- a very decent person, is that he used someone for his own selfish gain. It is not something he thought himself capable of, and not what he thought he was doing at the time, but it is certainly the case.


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is a personal crisis, not a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 2065 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
bionicgal
♀ Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 8:43 AM, December 19th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Another couple possible impediments to R:

+ BSes who get so caught up in resentment and the feeling of being wronged that they don't take responsibility for their negative behavior (post-A);
+ WSes who think self-flagellation and feeling bad about themselves is remorse/making amends. It is still about them and not their BSes, then.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 9:46 AM, December 19th (Thursday)]


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is a personal crisis, not a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 2065 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 9:20 AM, December 19th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((20wrongs)))

Your list is really accurate. I love the way this post has grown on its own. Thank you for starting it and continuing to nurture it.

This latest addition by you is really resonating with me. Honestly, its as if you were spying on our journey! The first couple of WS reactions? check, check. The first couple of BS reactions? check, check. This whole list looks shockingly like the receipe we have followed...minus the final one of being diagnosed with serious mental health issues! But our journey is not over...and, as our old MC said, "adultery is crazy making shit!"

I am 16 months out.

8 months out, through lots of prayer and weekly IC sessions, I accepted that my wifes adultery was not about me....not about what I had or had not done within our marriage. That was VERY tough for me to accept....so I took longer than most....but I did get there.

At 12 months out I realized....really REALIZED and accepted my wifes choice to comitt adultery had almost nothing to do with her AP. He was available and she saw what she wanted to see. He did play a role in letting her see what she wanted to see....but I don't think it would have mattered too much to my wife if he was "fumbly" in his efforts...meaning if he said "Yeah, I did this before with another woman....but you are different". I don't think my wife would have seen that as a flag.

I believe she would have put that statement in the same arena that she, herself, was viewing me. That is "It's okay. I'm married. We all make mistakes. What WE (her AP and her) have is special...what we have is different. The fact that you had another AP before me doesnt matter....we are all imperfect and broken."

I also like your statements regarding what a BS might feel and choose to do within an adultery-affected M. I did many of those things too!

I gotta tell you....I appreciate your boldness within the R forum. It is not often I see a fWS venture in here. By your post I am hopeful other fWS will find the courage to interact here.

Your original post title speaks to the validity of having both fWS and BS interact in this environment....not the "General" forum (pretty tough crowd in there towards WS but can bleed into offensive to the fWS area too)....but R is about both affected spouses to come back and grow together.


Your thoughtful and thought provoking post has helped me grow. Thank you.

God be with us all.

I pray you continue to find the courage you have shown to do what you have done thus far. Part of this is so that 20wrongs and Mr 20wrongs M can be R and a family saved....but, selfishly, I hope you find the courage so that you keep posting in the R forum. We are much better than we were, but I still crave fWS (particularly fWW) to share their experiences, thoughts, theorys....anything related to their journey into and away from their choice to comitt adultery. Mercy on me for this partially-selfish request.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:30 AM, December 19th (Thursday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 4004 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 9:23 AM, December 19th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((bionicgal)))

....and this post keeps on giving!

2 very important parts to this complex puzzle, for sure.

God be with us all.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 4004 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
rachelc
♀ Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 9:37 AM, December 19th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

the BS is also unhappy in the M. Many times we were at least as unhappy as our WS. Maybe more.

I agree with this. My BH tried to talk to me about our lack of intimacy. Saying no was the only power I had in the marriage - or so I thought - which is screwed up thinking. If I just would have made my committment to honesty. "I'm not happy here," or "we have a problem" even if I DIDN'T know what to do about it.. I didn't have the words to articulate how I felt. As an adult, I now know I have this responsbility.


his Dday: 2/10 but TT until 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

“Follow your intuition. Be smart, be brave. Tell the truth and don’t take any shit.”


Posts: 5281 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Midwest
Topic Posts: 36
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