I am also a wayward.
A few days after our second DDay due to my WH's recent LTA, ONSs and EA,, I confessed.
Two years into our marriage, when we were geographically separated for around 8 months, I drank too much at a party and kissed another man. And by saying "kissed," I am minimizing, because we kissed for several minutes (my best estimate is 5-10) so in actuality, we made out.
Memories of the events of the party were and still are spotty, but needless to say, I made very bad choices. I chose to go out with single friends from work. Often.
I chose to drink too much and abuse alcohol. Often.
I chose to be self-absorbed and not to think of my husband. Often.
The only good choice I made was in not letting the kissing progress to anything else, and realizing my terrible choice in time not to make a worse one by going home with the man when he asked. While I am relieved that I didn't compound my actions by making even worse choices, I realize this is, in and of itself, a pathetically small comfort.
I made the bad choice not to tell my husband immediately. I had several reasons, but I realize now they are all crap. (Note: I would not recommend reading Dr. Laura for sound how-to-handle-infidelity advice. Her advice will assist you in rationalizing the easier--and IMO, wrong--path of keeping your bad choice a secret from your spouse)
This, of course, complicates our healing. It also sometimes helps, in a tiny way. Because I can more easily understand the knee-jerk defensive reaction, the gut-punch of shame, the urge to avoid discomfort he sometimes experiences. Since I am conflict avoiding due to FOO issues (though I've been working on that for the past couple of years), I'm used to avoiding discomfort. While talking to my husband about my infidelity is a painful process, I think it's also necessary, and one that is helping me grow.
But it also complicates healing, too. My husband will ask for minute details that I try to provide to the best of my ability--but then it triggers me to think I'm not asking enough details about his As.
I think it's also hard for him not to see himself in my actions. So while I never talked to, emailed, or otherwise tried to contact the man again (I was horrified by my actions, and from that point on worked on putting up boundaries and being safe with alcohol), he has a hard time processing that. Which is to be expected. And I will answer the questions again and again and again.
It's also hard, because several times now he has tried to figure out what he did beforehand to contribute to my cheating. I keep reminding him that he is not to blame. I am. But I think he has so much guilt, shame, and remorse for his actions, that it colors his thinking about himself.
The no comparison thing is also crazy hard at times, but we are working hard to keep the two issues separate.
Both husband and I are in IC and are currently shopping for a new MC. We are both dedicated to making our marriage stronger. We both know its going to take a lot of pain and hard work--but also hope it will bring a lot of love, compassion, and laughter.
Since that time 11 years ago, I've kept my boundaries up, and so far that has worked to keep my behavior in line with my morals. But I'm glad that I am also in IC, so I can figure out more of the "why" and "how" and continue my journey as a person I am comfortable with looking at in the mirror.
Thank you for reading.
[This message edited by SpotlessMind at 12:57 PM, January 27th (Monday)]
My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.
I'm sure several will be able to help you
Also, don't know if you're aware of it, but there is a thread in the ICR forum for Madhatters. There's alot of people there that can also help you maneuver your way thru this confusing situation.
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne
"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?
As for wantimg to avoid discomfort, I think it's almost instinctive. No one likes pain, whether it's emotional or physical. But the quest to avoid or reduce pain can lead to very unhealthy behaviors, such as excess alcohol/drug use. Or As.
But pain can serve a purpose. Think of pruning a rosebush. The harder you prune, the larger, more beautiful the flowers. Think of yourself as the rosebush, pruning away all the unhealthy, unnecessary branches. The resulting blooms will be ones that people will admire (and perhaps be envious of.)
All affairs are variations on a theme. No one has 'Beethoven's 5th' to everyone else's 'Chopsticks'.
kissed another man
Do you know why you did this?
[This message edited by Remone at 11:51 PM, January 28th (Tuesday)]
Clarissa, that is a wonderful analogy--so vivid and easy to visualize. I will definitely be sharing that with hubby.
UnexpectedSong--I guess I still don't have a perfect grasp of the why? I know that I used to rely heavily on external validation. I also know I can't blame alcohol. I have to figure out more about the why behind drinking so much back then, too. I'm a person who is reserved sexually when sober, and I know it's not a lie to say that I would not have kissed anyone sober. But I also knew my history of kissing and engaging in sexual behavior with guys back in college, and I knew that alcohol made that a possibility. If I didn't drink, I didn't kiss anyone unless we were dating, which begs the question--why did I engage in behavior (drinking) that I knew put me at risk? And why was I behaving like I was single? I'm sure poor self-awareness played a role, but it's not enough to explain the why. I know there must be more.
I abused alcohol during college and my 20's. So many of my friends binge drank too, that it was hard for me to recognize that I personally had an issue. Or maybe part of me did and I didn't want to acknowledge it?
I'm in IC, and she brought up shame from FOO issues, and it really resonated. I think I carry a lot of shame, for many things--one being that my mom never accepted blame for anything, so everyone else in the house was constantly "guilty" of something. She also put huge pressure on achievement and looks, and made it clear I would never measure up to my sister with the former. She was emotionally abusive--she screamed all the time. The constant screaming matches between her and my dad contributed to me being conflict avoiding.
And sex really plays into my feelings of shame. I wasn't sexually active in high school, but the only talk my mom ever had with me was a shaming one. Meanwhile, she'd been letting me read her romance novels---full of alpha males, rape that turns into love, and kinky harem scenes--since 5th grade, without ever once talking to me about sex.
In college, my first time was the result of excessive amounts of alcohol and acquaintance rape. More shame there, and it turned into more drinking and more sexual behavior.
I also know I have a fear of rejection. A need to be liked. Both of which I've worked on a ton these past years--though I never really thought about how I got there and how they affected past behavior. I know it's time to integrate everything into a ""why" that makes sense.
I know hubby would like a why, too. And I would like to be able to tell him something that makes sense to both of us.
Wow, sorry--I feel like I just subjected you all to stream-of-consciousness word vomit. Thank you so much for listening.
[This message edited by SpotlessMind at 10:15 AM, January 28th (Tuesday)]
In college, my first time was the result of excessive amounts of alcohol and acquaintance rape.
I am so sorry for your pain. Did you ever talk to a therapist about the rape?
I'd like to echo UnexpectedSong's question/assertion that you may want to talk to your therapist about the rape - especially now that you are already in IC.
I bet if your WS could tell you right now, he'd tell you how immensely he loves you.
The ride home was the only thing I trickle truthed on, bc I feared it would make my husband think I had done more than kiss him. And I was correct.
I'm sorry you find yourself in the same position, and I suggest you take your own advice about no TT. I'd tell him everything, and then really work on not being defensive when he asks questions (which can be hard).
UnecpectedSong--thank you. No, I've never talked to a therapist before my life came crashing down with husband's DDay--and even then, it took me a few months to start. But I plan on bringing that topic up this week (though I know it will be hard, bc I feel shamed just thinking about it)
BlankPage--I'm not so sure about that. I'm afraid he's obsessing about this--demanding minute details that I don't have and pouncing on my admission of being a shamed child as "proof" that I must have done more. The sad thing is--he is so caught up in my bad choice back then that I don't feel like there is any way he could be working on his own recent bad choices and why's. And I think what I've read on this forum is true--you do your best work when wearing the wayward hat.
Either way, though, it won't change my course of action. I will continue to work on me. It took me awhile to start digging in, bc I was so devastated by my husband's DDay at first that I could barely function. Now, it feels good to regain control of the one person I can control--me.