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User Topic: WS Loving the BS During The Affair – Some Thoughts
Ascendant
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Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 9:11 PM, January 21st (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

*Warning: Empathy Follows*

Sometimes I think that we think about this topic too simply. I mean, if we talk all the time about "love is a verb" and not a state of being, then we should be able to say that some actions might have been loving, while others were certainly not. While my wife was in the affair, I got really sick with the flu...she took care of me, got me soup, worked for me, etc.....those are loving actions, certainly.

Other things she did during that time period? Eh, not so much.

I read posts where the BS says something along the lines of "Everyone thinks my WS is a pillar of the community, everyone looks up to them, but no one sees the horrible person they are on the inside.”, and I think to myself, is it really that simple?

I mean, affairs are awful. They are definitely among the worst possible things you can inflict on a human being….but does it totally negate all the good that a person has done in their life? If a person spends a good portion of their time devoted to good works, but also has an affair, why is the ‘cheater’ the person they actually are underneath it all?

The decision to cheat is vile. The thought processes (or lack thereof) need to be dealt with, for sure…but aren’t we all a mix of our actions, both good and bad?

I often read the question, “I don’t understand how my WS could do X, Y, and Z if they loved me.”

I bring up my brothers a lot on here because they’re both sober (former) heroin addicts and I think that for me there are a great many, many parallels to infidelity. My brothers stole money and goods from us, their family. They were, for a time, a sucking black hole of emotion and resources….and I don’t doubt for a second that they ‘loved’ us the entire time and would have told you as much. Their actions were, for a time, horrendous and vile…they still held great affection for us, but the immediacy of *other needs* took a priority in their brains at that moment. When they were dope sick, that was literally ALL they could think of...

...I need this (money), so that I can get that (heroin), so that I don’t feel like this (sick)...

...and I think that for a great many affairs (and other situations in life), that formula applies. A great many of us (BS and WS alike) make it our life’s mission to acquire people, or money, or things, so that maybe we won’t feel bored, or lonely, or inadequate, or anxious. Many of us just aren’t all that comfortable in their own skin, just being. I know that I’m not, most of the time.

Just my thoughts.

[This message edited by FacePunched at 9:13 PM, January 21st (Tuesday)]


I refuse to let a wound ruin me.
**Guts over fear.**

Posts: 2117 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Illinois
Lowlow
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Member # 38653
Default  Posted: 9:23 PM, January 21st (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You might be on to something there. This does not mean that the act of choosing to cheat time and time again is not horribly wrong. However, many of our WSs have also done wonderful things. I just think that we tend to focus on the bad and not the good, particularly when we are hurt so badly and completely.

It's been nearly a year since DD for me. I too find it hard to focus on the good my WS has done and the positive changes he has made. I'm trying so hard. I find it difficult not to use a score card to mark the good and bad things.


Me (BS) 42 Him (FWS) 43
AP#2 (LTA EA/PA) DD #1 16 Feb 2013
AP#1 (LTA EA with my BF) DD #2 16 Nov 2013
Married 11 years, T 19 years
Reconciling

Posts: 228 | Registered: Mar 2013
SisterMilkshake
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Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 9:57 PM, January 21st (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Some good, deep and interesting thoughts, FacePunched.

I like this quote, and I feel it fits in to what you are saying.

Theres more to you than your worse self. ~ Sookie Stackhouse
On d-day, I actually told my FWH "You are a good man, you made some really shitty mistakes (maybe I said choices, but IDK, the choices distinction came from SI, I think later), but I know you are a good man." He looked so devastated, he literally shrunk down from his 6 ft., turned a ghastly gray color and he aged in front of my eyes. His eyes were haunted, desolate.

And, he is a good man. He was a really crappola husband for a long time, but he was a good man. If he wasn't, than his infidelity would have been the dealbreaker, I am sure. Because I was still able to see the goodness in my FWH I was able to give him a chance.

I feel you are spot on with the analogy of your brothers addiction to WS's in affairs. Yes, our family have substance abusers in it and I agree 100% about the addicts loving their family but their immediate *needs* overriding everything else. I also believe it about my FWH.

I am actually comfortable in my own skin, for the most part. I like myself, I don't think I am perfect and there is lots of room for improvement on many fronts, but I still like myself and am comfortable with who I am.

I like empathy, FP. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9713 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
GotMyLifeBck2013
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Member # 40531
Default  Posted: 10:00 PM, January 21st (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Very interesting question here. I dont think everything my xww did during our marriage was bad. That said, i do view the marrige with a tainted eye. She was hiding her true self, she escalated negative behaviors. Even some good things lead me to question. Her kind heartedness was always an excuse to harm us and not make us stronger, at the time i just saw it as her heart, but now i see her attention and focus was always away from her marriage.

Look at it this way, even the most disturbed people have done good things. The measure isnt have they done good so now theres a grey area where they might be better in the future, the measure is the likelihood that they have this significant flaw as a person and will the behavior repeat? That all depends on them, their actions and ownership, their seriousness about recovery. Its not auch a bad thing for a cheater to have to live with the perception that people will carry toward them...it reminds them of what they are now. If your brother stayed at a friends house with 5 guys who never stole in their life and something came up missing, he would be, fairly or not, the first person suspected. Doesnt mean he stole the item. When you severely break trust, not just with your spouse but with all those people who looked at you as being a good example or a solid citizen, you live with the consequence. Its not fun, but it is earned.

Should this time in their lives define who they are forever? Well, heres my thought on that. Its not up to them. It reaches the core nature of what we all hope is true that the person we love and trust more than anyone is faithful to us. We hold it against a wayward because each violation compounds the problem. It destroys. Actions that destroy naturally turn us off and make us wary. And the past is a fair barometer of future actions. Why? Because the kind of change you need to really become good and decent again is so dang hard most people fail. And the cheating takes an already broken person, makes them feel worse, so they again need validation. If theres no true deep change guess what? They cheat again, right? Maybe not all, but thats the perception. It is about trust. And for many waywards guess what? It is the defining moment of their life. Sad but true. Thats the club they signed up for.

[This message edited by GotMyLifeBck2013 at 10:16 PM, January 21st (Tuesday)]


I define me! I don't just survive, I thrive!!

Me: fBH 46
Her: exWW 42
DDay: Nov 1, 2012
Divorced: September 17, 2013


Posts: 289 | Registered: Sep 2013 | From: Ohio
Ascendant
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Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 11:16 PM, January 21st (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Its not up to them
I guess this is where I disagree. We as individuals define who we are. Yes, public perception is a real thing, and definitely can make life difficult based upon past choices... But I think that at the end of the day, your own opinion of yourself is really the only one that matters, as well as anyone else who's opinion you lend credibility to.


I refuse to let a wound ruin me.
**Guts over fear.**

Posts: 2117 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Illinois
Ostrich80
Member
Member # 34827
Default  Posted: 2:04 AM, January 22nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I see where your coming from. I get the addicts comparison. My DS is a recovering heroin addict and like your brother's, sucked our emotions and finances dry. I.have no doubt his love for our family. I know my son loved me even while destroying us. My ws does have qualities that are good. I really meant what I said when I told him on DD, if you love this woman, I will not tell the kids of the A and you can ride off into the sunset with her. He probably thinks he does love me, in his own way. I wish him no harm but just don't want to be tagging along in some sick 3 way relationship. Cut me loose so I can find my own way in the big world. He's not a monster, if there were not feelings that were positive, I would have already walked. There are times I'm even proud of him. I wish I knew how he really felt, but he won't tell me.


BS..me
WS..him
Been with him over half my life
4kid
DD1 10-01-09 DD2 02-12-12 discovered it never ended
OW..nothing special. Just your average skank
Status..#$%@????

Posts: 5072 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: midwest
refuz2bavictim
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Member # 27176
Default  Posted: 3:10 AM, January 22nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think it's ok if we view these ideas simply. Mainly because of the simplicity in this statement.

at the end of the day, your own opinion of yourself is really the only one that matters,

Absolutely agree. This is often the source of the most complex messes we create.

And this is likely one of the biggest factors that gets both the WS and the BS into this mess in the first place. This is also a key factor as to why I feel comfortable rejecting the idea that I was being "loved" during the A.

I have stated many times that while my fWh can "say" he still loved me until he is blue in the face. I have refused to accept it.

My reasoning:

In the extreme of abusive relationships... there comes a point where both parties confuse harmful actions such as anger, emotional extortion as "love". This is in the extreme...but we can also be stuck in more subtle patterns.
I have come realize that not all expressions that appear "nice" are actually LOVE. And while my FWh did some "nice" things during his A, (and many dutiful, obligatory and habitual type things) I make certain not to confuse, nice or dutiful, with love, just as I don't want to confuse anger, or passive aggression as love.
Accepting expressions of love, that aren't really "love" resembles the abuse cycle in my mind. I feel that if I am accepting those as expressions of love, I am not acting loving toward myself. And my opinion of myself matters, and it dictates what I am willing to accept, or reject.

I want to accept the kind of love I deserve, (patient, kind, long suffering) and because my fwh wasn't even able to love himself, he certainly wasn't capable of giving what he did not have. If I continue accepting that as my standard of love, I remain stuck in that cycle with him.

Nowhere in this view that I have, does this define *him* as whole person.

I think many of the posts we see about this topic are people in earlier stages where the focus is still mainly on the act of the infidelity. I don't think the lens has been zoomed out yet, for the bigger view. That happens later, when the emotional bleeding has subsided.

As you said

Many of us just aren’t all that comfortable in their own skin, just being. I know that I’m not, most of the time.

This is part of the process for sure. And one of the things I learned about getting comfortable in my own skin, is that I must decide what I will and won't accept. The better I get at loving myself, the better I am at loving.

I expect my views to continue shifting and expanding as the view in my lens continues to zoom out to take in the larger landscape.


BS:ME DDay: 7/18/09 Last of TT 7/11/10
MOW's EA/PA all were my "friends" but one


Posts: 2372 | Registered: Jan 2010
cl131716
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Member # 40699
Default  Posted: 6:05 AM, January 22nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I get what you are saying and I do believe that. I think my WH is a SA. It's not an excuse for his behavior but I suppose I find comfort in the thought it is a disease and never had anything to do with me. My WH has good parts and I think if he would do the work to fix the broken parts he would be an amazing man. He hasn't shown he is really willing to do the work yet, however.


Me BS 31
Him WS 34 Trying4change
Together 3 years, married for one
D-day: 07/23/13 cybersex with COW
D-day: 12/27/13 found out he met and kissed a "friend" in 2011
"A clear and innocent conscience fears nothing."

Posts: 935 | Registered: Sep 2013 | From: Oklahoma
stillprettyupset
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Member # 41286
Default  Posted: 6:28 AM, January 22nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Great post FP. Mine is a wonderful partner with a lot of great qualities who made a shitty decision (lord knows I have made a few). The comments you see are made in angry or frustrated moments and don't tell both sides with a level, unbiased eye. We talked about this recently after she had read my early posts. I wanted nothing more than to reconcile and be a great couple but my rants let my underlying rage bubble to the surface.

Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, "I think I'll be evil today.". They are just doing what they can with horrible media influence, bad coping skills, FOO gone awry, and weakness. Not having evil intent doesn't negate them doing evil. But, you're right. That isn't their totality. If it were, this site wouldn't exist and we would not all be struggling to stay or make them understand. It would be much simpler and easier to stamp "Evildoer" on their foreheads and walk away. I do not equate it to drug addiction, however. Heroin does not have a heart. These are concepts of Love that we are talking about (a post all by itself) but physical addiction, not so sure. Having never been or loved a drug addict, I can't speak to it. Just seems different between human love versus inanimate need.

Mrs SPU and I still have a shit-ton of work to do, but for my part I have committed to not posting while pissed. She has reengaged in our marriage and does nice things for me. It's a start.


Me: 42
WW: 36
Latest D-day: Sept 2013
Reconciling? Limbo?

Posts: 96 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: NE Ohio
bionicgal
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Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 6:28 AM, January 22nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Face Punched
I am glad you wrote this post. I chimed in on a similar theme yesterday a few times, and talked to my H about it last night as well. Not all affairs are the same, but for us the addiction metaphor has been very apt. My smart, capable, and imminently responsible husband kept telling me after dday that he was "trapped" in the affair, and that he "couldn't quit," and I keep thinking, WTF?? This is a man who has the mental discipline to run marathons, and whose judgement I trusted explicitly. What the hell has happened? (Of course in the beginning I didn't know about love vs infatuation, so I was very hurt by the seeming "strength" of his feelings.)

When my H was struggling with thinking about the AP in the very first days, our very smart MC had the wisdom to say: "Welcome to what it feels like to be a crack addict." Those words alone eased my H's mind, and he defogged pretty rapidly. Our MC also said, "Don't think about missing her (the AP), think of it as missing how you felt when you were with her." So, the high. Those two statements were profound in his emerging from the hell-hole he had gotten himself into.

And while it is true that my husband was not acting loving towards me for the most part during the affair, and his actions were the epitome of self-hatred, he was still, well, him -- manifesting (what will hopefully be) the worst behavior of his life.

I come from a liberal religious viewpoint, so I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and I believe that we are all basically good. My belief is that we make errors, and we miss the mark (sin), but what makes us human is the ability to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and do better.

It is hard, because people here come with ONS, 2 month, 2 year and 20 year affairs -- certainly the issues that get people into all of those things, and allows them to stay in them, are slightly different. But it hurts me to see WS demonized (even though they have done terrible things), because in our lives, all of us will falter. Some to greater or lesser extents. I would not yoke myself to someone who was going to hurt me over and over again (I knew not to marry someone with alcohol issues, etc.) but Mr. Bionicgal and I had 20 years of a fairly happy marriage going into this, and I do believe in redemption. I have seen enough healing on these boards, and felt enough in my marriage in the last 8 months, that I don't think I am taking an unreasonable risk. That doesn't mean that it is not scary as hell; it is the biggest risk I have even taken, but I think it has the potential to have the greatest reward.

So, I commend all the people here, working hard, and trying to do better.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 7:03 AM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is more like a mental break than a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 2004 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
AFrayedKnot
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Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 6:48 AM, January 22nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for the post FacePunched.

I could relate on a lot of levels. It made me think about my " love" towards my family when I was using heroin. I was trapped in the cycle of using and couldnt get out. Even though I loved my family I knew what I was doing would hurt them. I did everything I could to hide it from them. As twisted as that reasoning is, it was the best solution I could come up with. I would disappear for months on end living on the street or sleeping in cars. Now I see that the worry and anxiety that I caused my family was probably even worse than the drugs I was doing.

I equate this to lies and TT that occurs during and after the A. In a twisted f-up way it is an attempt to be "loving".


BS 39
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: 2600 | Registered: Aug 2012
Ascendant
♂ Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 9:29 AM, January 22nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

In the extreme of abusive relationships... there comes a point where both parties confuse harmful actions such as anger, emotional extortion as "love". This is in the extreme...but we can also be stuck in more subtle patterns.
I agree that empathy can be taken to an extreme of making excuses for a loved one's awful behavior and choices. I think that empathy is definitely something that is earned eventually in the aftermath of seriously awful behavior, like an affair.

I definitely think that it safe and necessary to be wary for a good, long time after DDAY. Empathy too freely given after such a traumatic experience is probably unhealthy for the BS. Empathy and understanding is one of those things that slowly creep in as time goes by and your partner demonstrates authenticity and prolonged sanity, for lack of a better word....and I don't know that the BS ever has to reach that point, it's totally up to the individual.

I have come realize that not all expressions that appear "nice" are actually LOVE. And while my FWh did some "nice" things during his A, (and many dutiful, obligatory and habitual type things) I make certain not to confuse, nice or dutiful, with love, just as I don't want to confuse anger, or passive aggression as love.
Accepting expressions of love, that aren't really "love" resembles the abuse cycle in my mind. I feel that if I am accepting those as expressions of love, I am not acting loving toward myself. And my opinion of myself matters, and it dictates what I am willing to accept, or reject.
I'm curious about this. It would seem really messy to me to try to separate different actions into categories of 'duty' or 'nice'. How do you determine when an action is performed because it's 'duty' and not done for a loving reason? Not an attack, I'm honestly intellectually curious.


I refuse to let a wound ruin me.
**Guts over fear.**

Posts: 2117 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Illinois
Jesu
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Member # 36422
Default  Posted: 10:13 AM, January 22nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


And, he is a good man. He was a really crappola husband for a long time, but he was a good man. If he wasn't, than his infidelity would have been the dealbreaker, I am sure. Because I was still able to see the goodness in my FWH I was able to give him a chance.

This is basically how I feel about the matter. Well said.


Me: BSO 39
Her: WSO 29
Together: 9 years
Married?: No
Children?: No
OM: A friend of a friend
DD#1: June 18th 2012
Many more DD after TT
PA#1: 1 week in Nov/Dec 2010, which led to a long distance EA
R: ?

Posts: 608 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: Oz
Ascendant
♂ Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 10:18 AM, January 22nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just wanted to add as well that 'being a good person' is fantastic, but if even a 'good person' has an annoying tendency to do hurtful things on a semi-frequent basis, at some point it becomes important to step back and say to yourself and them, "You do lots of good things, and I love you, but I'm tired of being hurt by your actions and I can't do it anymore."


I refuse to let a wound ruin me.
**Guts over fear.**

Posts: 2117 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Illinois
scarednbroken
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Member # 41961
Default  Posted: 10:37 AM, January 22nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Facepunched -

I have mixed feelings on the sympathy. If I were here 20 years ago, I think I would be more receptive, because I was more forgiving of my WH.

It is confusing. Even now, he is confusing to me - some of the quotes you have mentioned sound like me.... He is a pillar, etc etc etc...Outwardly he is the "perfect husband" but he has been cheating on me for 20 years....

Now, with me emotionally withdrawing from him, he is complaining that I am not acting the same as before. I seem distant. (He doesn't know what I know). Which is one of the excuses he has used for cheating on me in the past...

He does not act like a cheating spouse. You would think with all the action he is getting, he wouldn't need me - but he acts like he does.

It may be part of their ability to lie and deceive. They have to keep appearances so they don't look like they are doing anything.


BS: Me 44 WH: 50 Kids: 13, 15, 17, 28 DD: every yr Ow: tons Status: fed-up. A woman should never invest in a relationship she wouldn't want for her daughter, nor should she allow any man to treat her in a way she would scold her son for

Posts: 417 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Midwest
refuz2bavictim
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Member # 27176
Default  Posted: 10:52 AM, January 22nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

How do you determine when an action is performed because it's 'duty' and not done for a loving reason? Not an attack, I'm honestly intellectually curious.

Great question! Not to worry, I absolutely view your question as intended.

There are some things my FWH does, because he has always done them. These would be described by me as thoughtful actions...but in reality, they don't require a whole lot of "thought". These are things that you would do for anyone. Helpful, nice gestures.
For example, pre A my FWH normally makes the coffee in the morning and he would pour me a cup and hand it to me. It was/is a very nice thing to do. I appreciate it. He doesn't have to go out of his way to do it, and it became a habit. It's just something he *does* without putting a whole lot of thought or effort into. He does these things on autopilot. They don't require any type of mindfulness. These are his good manners at work. To his credit, he has very good manners. They are part of him, so they are very passive acts for him. Please understand that I AM grateful that he does these things and continues to do them.

The motives behind some of his actions weren't revealed to me, until after Dday.

One example of many is this:

We had people over for a BBQ during his A with my my coworker and another family friend (both of whom turned out to be MOW's). We were sitting around the table discussing how all the couples had met and at one point my H went into this very descriptive memory of when we first met, and how we were best friends and had such a great relationship and how much he loved me...etc...He said really nice things that almost brought me to tears. But what I didn't know at the time.... he was in the EA phase heavily pursuing the physical aspect at that time. It was a lure..."see how nicely I treat my wife" kind of thing. It appeared nice at the time, but it was not a loving act. After Dday, it was very painful to surf back through all those situations and find them to be what they were.

I believe that people in general (not just BS's) confuse "nice" with love and kindness more often than we realize. Nice can be used to hide, anger, sadness, or intention. People also can confuse limits or a firm demeanor as mean and unloving, even when opposite is true. (I'm thinking teenage limit setting here or allowing someone to fail so they learn the necessary lesson)

While every single action taken during the A was not driven by an ill motive, more often than not there was a reliance on autopilot behavior. It's how things seemed "normal" for a while.

In General, the A was a lack of consideration for me.
When I WAS considered it was either to keep me in the dark (under control) or to use me as a tool to gain favor. Lack of consideration is not love...even when good manners are used and even when it's being done with nice words. Being nice, to appear good, or to appear normal...is not love. Being nice to avoid conflict is even worse.

I guess when it comes down to it, I view love as intentional.

I understand that we all need to find some way to reframe how we can accept the awful treatment during that time. Moreso, if we are moving forward into R. I know that it's one of those subjects that is touchy.

I do have a question though. I find it interesting that you chose the word empathy when discussing the "cycle" I referred to. That confuses me. Because I don't see the cycle as having or lacking empathy, but as a cycle where we accept a role in perpetuating that cycle. In my case, I was telling myself how much my husband loved me, when he was making my coffee, telling my friends he loved me, leaving on a saturday morning to pick up the groceries so I could "sleep". I had to play a role and continue to accept it, in order for him to maintain the A and enter into others. Doing those things meant that he loved me. At the time that was good enough, because I didn't even notice something was amiss. Now that I know better, I have removed myself from this cycle. So empathy isn't really playing a role for me in that. Part if that involves what I accept or how I will define "love' and "loving relationship". Perhaps that's a "failing" on my part.

A lack of consideration for me, or from me toward him, would be a problem now, even without infidelity.

I don't have a spreadsheet that determines the value of "love points" an activity carries. It's about my expectations for me. My actions must be intentional. As I put this into practice for myself I become more skilled at recognizing the same. When he makes me a cup of coffee, he looks at me as he hands it to me. He sees me. Before he slid it to me in a very perfunctory way.

Things actually seem a bit "Less messy" if that makes any sense at all, because this new way of viewing Love, requires no accounting. It requires intent and awareness.

Most importantly, my beliefs don't need to be adopted by any others. Each person must find a way to frame these hurts in a way that will allow them to heal with a sense of self firmly intact.


Sorry for the rambling! I'm working hard to process my thoughts and beliefs into words.

edit for clarity and attempt to find all my typos....

[This message edited by refuz2bavictim at 11:01 AM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]


BS:ME DDay: 7/18/09 Last of TT 7/11/10
MOW's EA/PA all were my "friends" but one


Posts: 2372 | Registered: Jan 2010
Blobette
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Member # 36519
Default  Posted: 11:14 AM, January 22nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I, too, have done a lot of thinking about what love means. But I want to put this out there first: there are some waywards who are high-functioning sociopaths, able to mimick the behavior of normal people, but when push comes to shove -- ie, when their interests conflict with that of their spouse -- their interests come first. These are the ones who just walk away. Some are even cruel and manipulative. These folks may use the word "love" but they really have no idea what it means. It's currency for them.

So I think a lot of what we BSs go through is trying to figure out whether our WSs are capable of the kind of love we want from them. Was the behavior the "mistake" of a basically decent person who lost his or her way, or is it a sign that this person really is a toxic, irredeemable sociopath? There are some humans who just aren't safe to be with, regardless of how well-meaning they are, or seem to be.

I think my parents loved me. But that didn't stop my father from verbally and physically abusing me. What kind of love is that? If I say love is a verb, that wipes out the fact that he was a confused, probably depressed person with serious anger management problems, who also had his good days and fulfilled a lot of the basic responsibilities of being a parent.

So, bottom line, love isn't enough. You can have that feeling of pleasure -- even joy -- of being with another person. You may genuinely feel joy for their successes and want good things for them. But if, in the end, you can't take their feelings and well-being into account in your own behavior, that's not very important -- to the BS, at least. That's where we have to steel ourselves and ask whether this person is good for us. So many of us BSs are to some extent co-dependent, and concerned with making the WS happy. The challenge is flipping that around and being selfish, asking "what's in it for ME?" The WS who can rise to that challenge is worth empathy. The WS who can't should be kicked out on their butt. And yes, sometimes it's not a smooth journey or a clear path -- that's what makes R such a gamble and such hard work (not that kicking someone out on their butt isn't hard work, too).

I struggle with this because, nearly 18 months post-DD with a genuinely remorseful WS, I STILL don't feel the love -- I certainly haven't told him that, although he says it to me all the time. My ACTIONS -- well, they say I love him. So if love is a verb, I'm living it, and right now WS will just have to accept that. I'd like to get the feeling back, too, though.

I think a lot of us spend a lot of time trying to figure out who this person is that we're married to and what they're actually capable of, love-wise. Their A doesn't necessarily mean that they're bad people, but it does force the BS to re-assess prior events. That's one of the most awful aspects of this whole thing -- it makes us re-write our history (obviously, this is particularly relevant to someone like me, dealing with WH's LTA). We're trying to reconcile Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.


BS (me): 50
WS: 50
Married: 26 yrs
Kids: 2
OW: Co-worker, 7 yr LTA
DD 8/1/2012, Working on R

Posts: 1060 | Registered: Aug 2012
BeyondBreaking
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Member # 38020
Default  Posted: 12:56 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I guess it comes down to what defines a person- their actions, who they “are on the inside” or something else entirely. Maybe a combination?

I take a look at my daughter’s dad. 6 years ago, I thought he was a great person. He was my world, my everything. I was 20, and he was older and I was completely enamoured by him. He was this adult- had an adult job and didn’t live with his parents and had a car that he bought with his own money. I, on the other hand, still had my college job as a lifeguard, lived with my parents, and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. And then HE showed up. I thought he was so great. I thought he was sweet and sensitive, and caring and thoughtful, and I could go on and on for hours about how great of a person he was. I thought that I was always going to see him as a great person- never could he fall from the high pedistal I put him on.

4.5 years ago (during custody battling), I thought he was a terrible person. Never had I met such a selfish, lost, horrible human being. He was disgusting, a liar, manipulative, a bad father, irresponsible and racist to boot, and just an all around asshole. I was convinced that he was a bad human being, and never, ever, would I ever feel otherwise.

Now- I see him as selfish and foolish. I see him struggling, and I remember his addictive personality. He only participates in parenting when it is convenient to him. At the same time- I could say that he is consistant in making his child support payments on time, he communicates with me well, and he and our daughter have fun when they do spend time together. I don’t know that I consider him a “good” or a “bad” person. He is a person- a person who will be part of my life for a long, long time and will (or had better) be present at all of my daughter’s major life events. His family loves him. My H hates him. And as for me, I sometimes hate him and sometimes think he is fantastic, but usually I don’t really think about him at all.

Has he changed? Did he change from a “good person” six years ago, into a “bad” person? Or was he just a person all the way along, and it was my perspective that changed?

I don’t know if I consider myself a good person or a bad person. I suppose it depends on who you ask. Ask my daughter- and I’m the best person ever. Ask my old boss, and I am awful. As for my H- I don’t know about him either.

My daughter’s dad’s OW- I will always think of her as a bad person. Seriously- she could become a nun and win a nobel peace prize and cure all cancer patients for free- and I would still look at her and see a horrible, selfish, disgusting human being.

I don’t know if doing good deeds make us good people and bad deeds make up bad people, or if that determination is based on something else entirely. What I do know is that I don’t think my opinion about who is “good” versus “bad” makes it so.


I have been cheated on by 3 different men, and I have more DDays than anyone ever should. I am here, just trying to pickup the pieces.

At least the current man "only" cyber-cheated.

"Love means never having to say you're sorry."


Posts: 840 | Registered: Jan 2013
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 1:14 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have a problem comparing a heroin user with a cheater. You can "know" a heroin user has stopped. You can never know a cheater has stopped.

We all know good people do bad things. Why are we hesitant to know bad people do good things? Imho, a cheater is a bad person who may do some good things. You can see a cheater as a good person who has done some bad things. Neither opinion is wrong.

Once you make your own decision, then you need to live with it and accept it. Second guessing yourself does nobody any good.

eta: A good man isn't necessarily a good husband and vice versa.

[This message edited by Skye at 1:16 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]


Posts: 5622 | Registered: Jul 2002
Ascendant
♂ Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 6:02 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It was a lure..."see how nicely I treat my wife" kind of thing. It appeared nice at the time, but it was not a loving act. After Dday, it was very painful to surf back through all those situations and find them to be what they were.
I think this actually illustrates your point nicely in a way I hadn't considered when writing the original post. Thanks. I think I get what you're saying here....things can be done to be superficially 'nice' but the underlying reason for doing them is selfish or twisted?
People also can confuse limits or a firm demeanor as mean and unloving, even when opposite is true. (I'm thinking teenage limit setting here or allowing someone to fail so they learn the necessary lesson)
Oh, absolutely. I know that in my case, I set really clear boundaries around our sex life, pre-A, for some reasons I won't get into. Not as a way to punish her, but as a way to protect myself emotionally when it came to sex. She took it as rejection, 100%.

So refuz, I guess my question is then, how do you recognize and judge 'intent'? I mean, you have good reason (I assume) to think that he's not cheating anymore, and so do you assume that the things he did before and still does now are automatically done with a better, more authentic 'intent'?

I have a problem comparing a heroin user with a cheater. You can "know" a heroin user has stopped. You can never know a cheater has stopped.
I think a lot of people would be surprised at the parallels. Like many affairs, until the shit starts REALLY spiraling out of control, it's not hard to overlook or dismiss odd behavior as the product of stress, being tired, cranky, etc. Obviously, if someone is 'nodding off' right in front of you, it's as clear as if your spouse was making out with someone in front of you...but many times it's catching a bit of odd behavior here and there and just chalking it up to quirks, especially if they're shooting up somewhere less obvious than their arms. That whole thing that BS do where we revisit all the past odd behaviors and start to question whether it was affair-related? That happens, too.
We all know good people do bad things. Why are we hesitant to know bad people do good things?
That's food for thought as well.

[This message edited by FacePunched at 6:04 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]


I refuse to let a wound ruin me.
**Guts over fear.**

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