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Wayward Side Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: being approachable for an A
Alyssamd24
♀ Member
Member # 39005
Default  Posted: 11:09 AM, February 26th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I recently read a post in another forum about how A start, and that people who have A already have poor boundaries or something else about them that is broken. Or that they portray themselves in a way that makes them vulnerable or i guess an easy target.

This is something my IC had said to me once before....that there was something about me that XAP picked up on and thats why he approached me. (Not that im saying her tricked me into it or anything cuz I take full responsibility for my choices.)

This is interesting to me for a couple reasons....before my A started I didn't even realize how broken i was so I didn't realize I had issues with boundaries or codependence...it wasn't something I was aware of.

Also I dont know how or what I did to make myself approachable to XAP. Before the A started I had already known him for about a year. None of our interactions before then were inappropriate or even memorable.

What about others? Has anyone thought about this?


"I need to be redeemed to the one I've sinned against because he's all I ever knew of love"

Posts: 815 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Massachusetts
SpotlessMind
♀ Member
Member # 41775
Default  Posted: 11:25 AM, February 26th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I've definitely thought about it, and in the past, I think my desire for external validation and approval was probably readily apparent to anyone who cared to look. I think that need came out a lot more when I drank. I picture it sort of like a beacon that said, "Easy Target."

I am the polar opposite now. Over the years, I think I've perfected the "Back off because I am NOT interested" vibe. All of my friends' husbands/male acquaintances have learned that I have pretty big boundaries. Interestingly enough, the rare male these days who ever attempts a step too close is usually drunk (and probably oblivious to my signals)...and I've learned how to knock them firmly back to a respectable distance.

This isn't to pat myself on the back, but to let you know that it can be done. You can change, and I think that people will notice, subconsciously or not.

[This message edited by SpotlessMind at 1:04 PM, February 26th (Wednesday)]


fWS/BS--me
BH/WH--him
Married: 12 yrs
D-Day: October
Kids: yes

Posts: 277 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Where am I?
badchoice
♂ Member
Member # 35566
Default  Posted: 11:25 AM, February 26th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for posting this. I read that post too, and it really got me thinking about my behavior as well.

I too didn't realize how broken I was. I look back now and see that my boundaries were not only porous, but they were non-existent. My coping skills were crap - all developed as a child to survive, and I never learned to mature those skills as an adult.

While I put on the air of the good guy, great father, etc, deep in the core I was a very shady person. I held on to anger and resentments that gave me all the excuses I needed to justify what I did.

I have been picking apart the lead up to my 2nd PA, and can really see how AP was testing the waters with me by making comments and paying me compliments to see my reaction (i think, it's just guesses since I haven't spoken to her about it), and instead of closing the doors, I opened them wider. Not blaming her, but instead seeing my part too, and how my lack of boundaries allowed it to happen, and if I had stronger boundaries, it most likely wound not have happened.

Not only that, but if I had been a better communicator, and not so conflict avoidant, I would have gone to my W at that time and talked to her about how that relationship was making me feel, instead of avoiding those feelings. In retrospect, the lead up to my 2nd A made me feel very sick in my stomach, but I was so good at avoiding my feelings and trusting myself, I kept choosing to out myself in bad situations, and choosing to continue down that road. I didn't have the tools to work those complex emotions out. What i did understand is how to make myself feel better in the short term (sex) and I chose that instead of the more difficult options.

The whole, broken attracts broken theme. Very true.

I can still see where I am still 'broken' but now in speaking to my IC about it, there is an awareness of it. An ability to notice when I start to fall into old coping skills. The ability to talk about and seek help. Not the denial of the past. My IC thinks that my awareness is a huge step for me in making better decisions.


Me: fWH/BH 46

Separated transitioning to D


Posts: 725 | Registered: May 2012 | From: L.A.
sparkysable
♀ Member
Member # 3703
Default  Posted: 12:18 PM, February 26th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I once heard someone compare it to a lion spotting a gazelle with a limp. I thought that was a pretty good metaphor.


D-day OW#1 2/2004; R for 6 years; D-day OW#2 5/2010

Marriages that start this way, stepping over the bodies of loved ones as the giddy couple walks down the aisle, are not likely to last.


Posts: 3314 | Registered: Mar 2004 | From: NY
JustDesserts
♂ Member
Member # 39665
Default  Posted: 12:56 PM, February 26th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Is it possible to be both a lion AND a limping gazelle? That's how I see the man I was.

JD


2 year EA/PA. DDay 3/12. Broke NC 6/13 w/one stupid 5 line e-mail (which brought me to SI). Me: WH, 50. Her: BW, 49. Married 19 years. Two kids. Dog. Reconciling...together.

Posts: 403 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Suburbia, New England, USA
SurprisinglyOkay
♀ Member
Member # 36684
Default  Posted: 1:15 PM, February 26th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Is it possible to be both a lion AND a limping gazelle? That's how I see the man I was.

YES! Predator, and prey. That's how I was too.

I've given this thought as well. I had NO boundaries. None.

I was so broken. I had no internal validation, I had spent my whole life doing things I was ashamed of, and trying to feel better about those things by doing more shameful things.
Feeling "good" about myself from the outside, not from the inside.

I have shut this down, the being approachable. I am learning how to interact with people in an appropriate manner.

I find myself not needing external validation to know I am good enough.
I know that being who I am is good enough.
By doing the work I have been over the past two years I am able to feel better about myself.

[This message edited by broevil at 2:44 PM, February 26th (Wednesday)]


FWS me 36 (recovering addict)
BS him 39 AFrayedKnot
Together 7 years
2 children


"Your secrets keep you sick"


Posts: 1130 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: 221B
knightsbff
♀ Member
Member # 36853
Default  Posted: 2:04 PM, February 26th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow Alyssa, your whole post resonates with me.
before my A started I didn't even realize how broken i was so I didn't realize I had issues with boundaries or codependence...it wasn't something I was aware of.
Me too! My BH has been so pissed off at me for not telling him I was broken before we married. Like I intentionally deceived him somehow. I did have a vague sense of something broken in me, but I thought everyone struggled with that. I thought me brokenness was normal and it was just the human condition that we all struggled to overcome our brokenness. I had no clue that mine might be out of the "normal" range and that it was dangerous to me and those close to me.

Is it possible to be both a lion AND a limping gazelle? That's how I see the man I was.
I have wondered about this myself. I definitely did not actively seek out an A. And picking back through the rubble I identified that the AP was the first to cross boundaries into inappropriate conversation. BUT I was inappropriate in that I was so desperate for attention or validation that I was overly accepting of any conversation or attention I was offered from him. Was I overly friendly? Very possible. He seemed like a nice person. I knew nothing bad could come of it. We were equally stupid and equally culpable IMO. And weighing myself against the AP to determine lion vs gazelle is not something I think is productive or healthy.

I'm focusing on myself. My lack of boundaries prior to the A is clear to me. The hole in myself that could never be filled is clear to me. Abandonment issues, low self esteem, emotional immaturity, dysfunctional coping, poor communication, neglect of my M and my BH; I can see these things now. These are the things I'm working on. These are some things that definitely made me and my M vulnerable.

I don't have all these things worked out yet but I don't worry that I am an easy target any more. I have two things in place that I believe remove me from that category; boundaries and open communication with my BH.

I won't go into boundaries here, but I feel so much better having them, checking them, and constantly evaluating and strengthening them. I'm not infallible in the boundary department which is where the open communication comes in. If I ever feel something iffy in an interaction where I maybe could have handled something better the first place I turn is to my BH. We talk about it. Sometimes he's pissed, sometimes he tells me he thinks I handled something the best way possible. If ever I have the feeling that I would rather my BH not know about something then that is something I definitely discuss with him. Bad stuff happens in hidden corners.

Sorry if I went off on a t/j.


FWW 40's
D-day August 27, 2012
3 kids and 2 dogs

Posts: 1411 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Deep South, USA
SurprisinglyOkay
♀ Member
Member # 36684
Default  Posted: 2:46 PM, February 26th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I won't go into boundaries here, but I feel so much better having them, checking them, and constantly evaluating and strengthening them. I'm not infallible in the boundary department which is where the open communication comes in. If I ever feel something iffy in an interaction where I maybe could have handled something better the first place I turn is to my BH. We talk about it. Sometimes he's pissed, sometimes he tells me he thinks I handled something the best way possible. If ever I have the feeling that I would rather my BH not know about something then that is something I definitely discuss with him. Bad stuff happens in hidden corners.

Bingo.

I know if I get anxious about something I NEED to discuss it with my BH.

[This message edited by broevil at 2:46 PM, February 26th (Wednesday)]


FWS me 36 (recovering addict)
BS him 39 AFrayedKnot
Together 7 years
2 children


"Your secrets keep you sick"


Posts: 1130 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: 221B
210012
♀ New Member
Member # 42052
Default  Posted: 4:16 PM, February 26th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I definitely sympathize with this... I know I have trouble with establishing boundaries and that I send "mixed messages". But realizing this doesn't in itself fix it. I'm such a cliche: I was inappropriately touched by a family friend throughout elementary school, I lost my virginity to date rape at college, I've been through the psych ward and medicated for bipolar 2, and I started an affair with my married manager when my boyfriend wanted "space" and freedom to see other people. With happily married coworkers I feel they set appropriate boundaries and I can comfortably follow their lead. When I'm in a relationship, my emotional focus is on my lover and I'm slightly distant with other people, so that tends to prevent trouble too. But when I'm single I'm friendly with everyone and I foolishly assume they're just being friendly to me when they joke around and go out of their way to spend time with me. I've been told by male friends that my flirty friendliness could be interpreted as sexual interest not only appropriate-friendly interest, but at the same time I'm a shy introvert and struggle to meet new people, so I can't just dial back the friendliness in general. It is confusing, I guess I've never learned how to be friendly while maintaining boundaries if the other person doesn't lead the way.

Posts: 40 | Registered: Jan 2014
Stillstings
♀ Member
Member # 36549
Default  Posted: 4:43 PM, February 26th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I know the thread of which you speak. I also mentioned I had no patience for a male co-worker who thought it would be okay to ask me to go off with him.

I was just wary and told him to go away. I have little patience for that type of behavior. I had a couple of drinks in me and still just thought he was an annoying bug that needed to be squished. It took little effort. He was a very attractive man but found his dumb behavior to be so irritating. He's married. I am married. Kind of like the annoying jerk at the club that asks you to dance even though you tell him to go get stuffed.


Love yourself. You're worth it. Face your self. You need to do it.

Posts: 358 | Registered: Aug 2012
Trying33
♀ Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 3:03 AM, February 27th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

AP was testing the waters with me by making comments and paying me compliments to see my reaction (i think, it's just guesses since I haven't spoken to her about it), and instead of closing the doors, I opened them wider.

This is true for me too but it was less about boundaries as this has happened several times before but I've never allowed the doors to open. I've cut off anything in the past that was inappropriate with ease and have had pretty strong boundaries and walls.

I think for me it was about who AP was. He was somebody out of reach, unattainable. I was flattered and curious. It was a challenge, at a time where I had no other challenges in my life. I wanted to find out why someone as great as him would be interested in ME?

I'm not sure where I'm going with this but I'm sure I could go further with this and dig deeper.


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
BrokenButTrying
♀ Member
Member # 42111
Default  Posted: 3:11 AM, February 27th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Boundaries are a huge part of the reason for my A. I had none. Absolutely none at all.

My dad was very violent towards me on one occasion when I was 16, a few months later I met my first boyfriend. He was emotionally and physically abusive, he systematically broke down all my boundaries. After three years I was broken and vulnerable, I had no idea how to protect myself. If I tried to enforce personal boundaries with my exbf (No, it's not ok to scream in my face for hours on end. No, it's not ok to have sex with me when I said I didn't want to but you threatened me with violence so I would let you) the consequences often lead to physical violence so I just stopped bothering. I was so worried about upsetting him, I just didn't ever say no. This transferred to the rest of my life. I am so worried about upsetting people by enforcing personal boundaries that I just don't.

I've never had any self respect, self esteem or self worth, I didn't enforce boundaries because I didn't think there was anything for those boundaries to protect. And I had no idea about any of this until I started my IC. I was so broken, so vulnerable to an A and I never knew.

I can't undo or change the choices I made. But I can change my future. I can work on placing value in myself and building up my boundaries. I can make myself less vulnerable in the future. I am determined to be a safer and more emotionally healthy person.

[This message edited by BrokenButTrying at 3:14 AM, February 27th (Thursday)]


Me - 27
Him - 27
Madhatters

My Ddays - 01/10 & 12/04/14
His Dday - 23/12/13

Chin up. Unwavering. Fight. I can do this.


Posts: 1234 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: UK
RipsInMyChest
♀ Member
Member # 41166
Default  Posted: 9:06 AM, February 27th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

A BS here.... Our story is kind of interesting. My WH was never a flirt, never interested in other woman and didn't even go out with his guy friends. He is a shy introvert.

WH lost his first patient at work the week that he had his ONS. He had an acute stress reaction and He kind of went temporarily insane. I found out later that the OW had had a crush on him for a very long time. It's like she had radar that he was not in his right mind that day. (they only work together when he is on call on the weekends).She invited him over to "help her" if he could after his surgeries were done. He was feeling the need for external validation, attention, an ego boost, and escape from stress and responsibility. He went not realizing she would seriously like to have sex...(he thought flirting and hoped for more but thought it unlikely...they had never been flirty and had never exchanged phone numbers before that day).

I don't think his ONS would've ever happened if he hadn't lost the patient that week. He must've been putting out some kind of weird vibe and she picked up on it. Predator.


Me: BW 41
FWH 41
Together 21 yrs, M 18, 2 kids
DDay: 12/11/12 ONS with CW
Used condom, got chlamydia anyway.

His betrayal of me was not because I didn't shine brightly enough, but because he chose to put on blinders.


Posts: 251 | Registered: Oct 2013
steadychevy
♂ Member
Member # 42608
Default  Posted: 9:26 AM, February 27th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Could someone post where to find the post mentioned in the first post. I would like to read it.

I should say that I am a BS. This is my first post. There was no stop sign so am assuming it is okay.

I don't know how to put the information of what category I am or any of the details that show up on some posts about personal situation.


BH(me)63
WW-57
M 37 years
DDay1-09/1/13;DDay2-10/13;DDay3 12/19/13
LTA-09/02-11/02 EA;12/02-?/06 PA
OM -COW
"dates" w/3 former lovers post engagement;ONS w/stranger post commitment;years of lies, denial

Posts: 73 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: Alberta, Canada
Deeply Scared
♀ Administrator
Member # 2
Default  Posted: 9:29 AM, February 27th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

steadychevy...

I just sent you a PM


"Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest." My Mom:)

My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.


Posts: 197378 | Registered: May 2002
NikkiD
♀ Member
Member # 38173
Default  Posted: 9:29 AM, February 27th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=524040

^^^ That is the original post.


"Spoil me with Loyalty; I can finance myself...."
ME: BS-33
HE: WS-32
Married 3 years, known 20
2 kids
D-Day #1 12/30/12
False Recovery
D-Day #2 1/21/14
LTA 5 years-ish
Riding the "Struggle Bus"
Living apart....

Posts: 668 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Midwest
Topic Posts: 16

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