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User Topic: unicorns & rainbows--exception or rule?
remorsefulww
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Member # 42029
Default  Posted: 8:41 AM, May 29th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

" It applies in situations where the AP's good qualities are all emphasized (with bad qualities either overlooked or not given very much weight) while the BS undesirable qualities are all emphasized"

I did this to justify what I was doing until I realized the shitty bad choice I was making letting AP back into our lives. AP knew all the right words and I was putty in his hands. All the while BH was right there in front of me doing what he always does and that was being the great husband and father to our children, working his butt off to provide for us, helping me when I needed help loving us, and just being there.

ap was nothing more than a man child that fed my ego and used his charm to get what he wanted before deploying again. Looking back 4 1/2 years ago and now I can see just how stupid I was with blinders full on. I also realized the reason I thought ap was great was because we never left from the honeymoon phase.

[This message edited by remorsefulww at 8:42 AM, May 29th (Thursday)]


Posts: 55 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: new york
Unagie
♀ Member
Member # 37091
Default  Posted: 8:50 AM, May 29th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sister I agree with you it wasn't rainbows and unicorns meaning it wasn't me sitting there with a happy grin on my face. I truly did hate myself and what I was doing but it was a fantasyland where I was listening to pure shit from an as whole.


Heartbroken madhatter trying to rebuild

No longer together

"To be loyal to myself is to allow myself to grow and change, and challenge who I am and what I think."


Posts: 2760 | Registered: Oct 2012
somethingremorse
♂ Member
Member # 42047
Default  Posted: 8:52 AM, May 29th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Just FWIW, A#2 was at a really really low point in my depression. AP#2 was a secretary here at the office. She was my secretary, until offices got shuffled around and I went from a good secretary to a very not so good one.

I give this background to point out that I think A#2 had a lot of self destructive motivation in it. I felt shit on by everyone, including work and AP#1 at the time. A#2 had a lot of "what is the worst thing I can do right now" in it.

A#1 was more of the typical rainbows and unicorns stuff.


Me: WH (42)
DDay 11/03/13
In MC and IC

Posts: 620 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Pennsylvania
SisterMilkshake
♀ Member
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 8:52 AM, May 29th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((Unagie)))

eta: Great post Ascendant.

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 8:54 AM, May 29th (Thursday)]


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: 9797 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
splitintwo
♀ Member
Member # 42951
Default  Posted: 8:53 AM, May 29th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Just to clarify, DixieD:

And I'd guess a fair number start with the same slippery slope that mine did--just a friend you can talk to without all the bullshit drama that has taken over your life.

The "without all the bullshit drama that has taken over your life" was specifically in reference to a BS operating in a fog created by the drama the A introduces to a M. My AP was "just a friend" that I could talk about trivial nothings with, banter with, debate pointless topics with--often it was just a place to say stupid things like praise bacon as the nectar of the gods--that was the initial reason we maintained contact once we reconnected. I enjoy that dynamic, and AP could be a selfish ass & an alcoholic & no one that I'd ever want a "real" relationship with & fill that role. Eventually the dynamic changed & we lost that aspect, and that's the same point in which I lost my mind & tried to "fix" the relationship, get that "safe fix" back, and I used some of the most f*ed up ways possible in an attempt to achieve that goal.

Also, this is my truth:

You appear to have a need to set people straight and it nags away at you if you can't.

IRL, I've cut off my in-laws & my sister from sharing the "leading up to X bad decision" drama with me because it took over my thinking, caused me tons of extra unnecessary stress because I couldn't detach, & it frustrated me that they would make the bad decisions anyway even when they're being shown, clearly & directly, how it will play out. I now only play the role of helping them pick up the pieces when they make a choice & it falls apart.

Also, I'm keenly aware of how hypocritical I am. I made many bad choices with my A, during which I at least intellectually understood the potential fallout. I judge myself as harshly as them.


BH: 42
WW: 37
LTA ended Jan. 1, 2014; NC started in April.
Married 17 years.
No DDay; this, like all of life's decisions, is a work in progress.

My best thinking brought me to SI.


Posts: 213 | Registered: Mar 2014
DixieD
♀ Member
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 8:54 AM, May 29th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm currently reading The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism.

Narcissism seems to play a role in many (perhaps all?) affairs. Yes, I know that's close to a sweeping generalization. I'm not saying every AP is a full blown Narcissist but during an affair people sure seem to get intouch with their narcissistic traits.

Magical Thinking

The need to avoid shame at all costs creates a continuing dilemma for the Narcissist, as life has a way of regularly doling out humbling experiences that cannot be taken in stride. There is always someone who is better, brighter, more beautiful, more successful, more anything-you-can-think-of. The fact that no one is perfect is of little comfort to Narcissists, however, because they see themselves as the exception to this natural law. Their challenge is to find a way to stay pumped up inside in order to hold these harsh realities at bay. The methods they typically employ involve a considerable amount of distortion and illusion, what psycholgists call 'magical thinking.'

Thoughts?


Growing forward

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2011
sunnyrain
♀ Member
Member # 30164
Default  Posted: 9:00 AM, May 29th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

*tmi

[This message edited by sunnyrain at 12:46 PM, July 1st (Tuesday)]


"I'm not much into health food, I am into champagne."

Posts: 444 | Registered: Nov 2010
heartbroken0903
♀ Member
Member # 27879
Default  Posted: 10:09 AM, May 29th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

From what I am reading from the wayward's posting here, you all wanted to escape your real life.

More like I was trying to *replace* my real life. The "fantasy" of my A was in the fallacious thinking that I could seamlessly transition from "real life" with XH to "real life" with the OM without any trouble on any front. That it would simply be falling back into place with him, like old times.

Ultimately I was a coward. I didn't ever like to be uncomfortable in relationships and was too afraid to leave XH right away in case I regretted it, but unwilling to not cheat with the OM. The fantasy was that I could eat cake and "have it all" until *I* was ready to pull the plug in one direction or another.

Appalling, selfish, narcissistic, cowardly behavior and to this day I'm ashamed of myself.


Me: XWS, 30s, 5-month EA/PA in '09-'10
Husband: XBS, 40s
No kids

Married 2.5 years
D-day 3/6/10
Divorced 5/14/10

Remarried.


Posts: 2226 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: the cat's meow
badchoice
♂ Member
Member # 35566
Default  Posted: 10:28 AM, May 29th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree that it was a fantasy, but I also see clearly that it was not better than real life.

At one point I equated it to the scene in Fight Club, where the Edward Norton character realizes he is Tyler Durden, and he starts to see that it was him all along. Re-living parts of his life from that persecptive. I had so bought into my fantasy, that I effectively split myself in two (and 3 at times) in order to survive it.

As for Unicorns and rainbows...

I think the other aspect of not seeing AP for who they really are applies to me too. I thought there were friends. Lied to myself about both of them, and myself too, all to keep reality from crashing in on me. That is where I saw my unicorn. Complete and utter fabrication.

I don't believe that a fantasy world has to be better than real life to be considered a fantasy, it just has to not be based or grounded in any sort of reality.


Me: fWH/BH 46

Separated transitioning to D


Posts: 730 | Registered: May 2012 | From: L.A.
Faithful w/Love
♀ Member
Member # 33128
Default  Posted: 11:06 AM, May 29th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Even (and especially) in situations where the WS says "I would never be with that person IRL..." this element comes into play, because it begs the question: If you (the impersonal you) would never have sex with this person 'in real life', and yet you ARE having sex with them...then where IS the sex taking place, if not in a fantasy-land of thinking?

Thank you I always wondered why my WH would say this and still does? I don't get it but now I have maybe a better understanding.

For my WH LTA... It was a huge fantasy land. The OW(single) would do anything for him, gifts, money, and she would pump herself up to be this great person who understands him and gets him. Stating she would never be jealous of other women like his wife. They were so mean to me and the things that were said about me simply were not true. I still can not wrap my head around how he allow them to disrespect me so badly.

I think when you get to a point in the A that you are bashing your BS, allowing OM/OW to bash your BS, to lie on them so you look like the poor soul to get ego kibbles is fantasy. My WH is a NPD and he knows how to use people to get what he wants. OW fed into it and still trys to as they are still in contact even tho he wants nothing to do with her as in an A but for work, she still trys after all this time and she is single, so she is in fantasy land also even tho she knows what he is like also.

I will never understand and that is most likely why we are separating again.

I feel that the WHs here get it because they want to get it and live in a real authentic life.

Point is... fantasy can be Cinderella or the wicked witch.... because neither are real.


BS(ME)40 WH(HIM)38
DD 20 and DS 15
Separated Aug 2012
Moved back home Oct 31 2013
Separated again June 2014. Heading toward divorce.
False R. Still Lying.

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is all you have left"


Posts: 2782 | Registered: Aug 2011
bionicgal
♀ Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 11:18 AM, May 29th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I hope this isn't inappropriate as a BS, but my H's take was a little different. The AP was our friend, and (unbeknownst to me) had had a crush on him for years. She may be a narcissist -- the magical thinking came up again and again in the affair.

But anyway, he was getting all these ego-kibbles from her, carefully constructed after years of knowing us. He had not had an attraction to her, but when he started picking up on her interest (at a low point personally, and a difficult time in our marriage) the trust he had in her didn't allow him to see the beginning of the slippery slope. What allowed him to keep going was the idea that she was my friend, and "she must be like" me. Me, "with a sex drive." Yeah. How's that for awful?

So, the mirror aspect of the relationship (she reflected what he wanted to see) with a fairly significant denial of reality (AP and I have some things in common as all friends do, but are very different) allowed him to project my good qualities onto her. How is that for a mind-f^&k?

I remember me buying this bit about us being "so much alike" when he said it after dday, and when I told a mutual friend about it, she was really surprised and offended for me, because it was clearly a fantasy and a rationalization. So anyway, I just thought it was interesting, and wondered if this didn't happen more when the APs are friends or even extended family members.

I don't know if this is helpful for anyone, but I am grateful for being able to hear the experience of WSes. I find it healing, so thank you.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 11:25 AM, May 29th (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: 2058 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
BrokenButTrying
♀ Member
Member # 42111
Default  Posted: 1:02 PM, May 29th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think mine might be classified as an exit affair to some extent. I had given up on BH as being able to be the partner I wanted, and I was angry at him. Obviously I had terrible boundaries and other issues, but I just took up on the first opportunity I found. I guess that doesn't make anything any different, but I still have a very hard time seeing it as fantasy land. Ok, I guess it was fantasy to me because for the first time in a while I felt appreciated?

THIS!!!

I'm SO glad Jovie is back, it's like she pulls thoughts from my head and posts them here.

I wasn't physically attracted to AP, I didn't find him funny or intellectually stimulating because he was thick as two short planks. I used him to tell me what I needed to hear about myself. That was the fantasy.

No unicorns, no rainbows. Just me whoring myself out for some ego kibbles.


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: 1235 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: UK
SisterMilkshake
♀ Member
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 1:32 PM, May 29th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

No unicorns, no rainbows.
Just because you didn't see them doesn't mean they weren't lurking around. The point is, as some have pointed out, the fantasy doesn't have to be a good one, the point is the affair is in its own little vacuum, it isn't real life. It is an escape from whatever it is you are escaping from, the reality of your life. That is the fantasy.


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: 9797 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
familyfirst
♀ Member
Member # 42651
Default  Posted: 1:53 PM, May 29th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I had unicorns, rainbows, "special connection", "he really gets me like no one else" and every other catchy phrase you can find on SI

It felt like love, but it was very twisted and full of pain

^^^This was me. And to me coming out of the fog meant stopping the denial of the twistedness and pain.


Posts: 223 | Registered: Mar 2014
WalkinOnEggshelz
♀ Member
Member # 29447
Default  Posted: 4:24 PM, May 29th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If you stick around long enough on SI there are particular phrases that we (in a very general term) kind of latch onto.

Rainbows and Unicorns
Forgiveness
The Fog
Remorse
Drinking the Koolaid

These are just a few. They are catchy and phrases/words like these can help get a point across without having to go into long explanations of that particular situation.

The problem is that we are all individuals and these phrases can mean something different to us based on our personal experiences. I know for a fact that what forgiveness means to me is not the same as what it means to several other members. There have been several threads about The Fog in various forums. But when we are talking about our own situation or our own frustrations, it makes it easier to get the point across to use some more general terms.

I feel that when the term "Rainbows and Unicorns" is used it's short hand for the non-reality the wayward was experiencing in his or her situation. Non-reality doesn't imply fun. It implies that the perspective of the individual is skewed, unrealistic. Alcoholics are great at this. They are able to convince themselves why taking another drink is A-OK all the time. Doesn't mean it looks pretty. Just means they can sell themselves quite the pitch as to why that bottle is so worth it.

I know a lot of people have suggested that Rainbows and Unicorns is about escaping real life. For me, I'm not sure I really understood what real life was. I wasn't necessarily trying to escape it, but find it. The problem was the thing I was trying to find doesn't exist. Turns out real life is pretty darn good after all.

My point is, that everyone is making good points! I love Dixie D's example of Magical Thinking. Ascendant made greats points, as usual. Sister M and bionicgal are on point too. And Jovie, even your exit affair can have aspects of fantasy. I classify mine as an exit affair and I was in Lala Land for sure! Try not to take the term Rainbows and Unicorns so literally (they don't exist ). Look at the term more figuratively for the state that you were in to justify your behavior.



Me: WS 42
Him: BH 43(HoldingTogether)
M: 18years, together 22
2 Daughters: 13 and 10
D Day: 7/24/2010; TT to 10/17/10
If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

Posts: 734 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Texas
Actionsoverwords
♂ Member
Member # 41949
Default  Posted: 8:53 PM, May 29th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Not the exception, it is the rule.

When I was cheating on my ex long term girlfriend, I thought about how much "better" my AP was. She didn't tell me what to do, supported whatever I wanted to do, the PA was amazing, hell - she even drove and was willing to chauffeur me around!

The truth? I had to make up these reasons to make myself feel better that I was carrying on a PA with someone who I found unattractive and unintelligent.

Beginning and end.


Me: WH, 30's
Her : BW, 30's, (determinata)
Children: An amazing son.
I am a sex addict, working on myself, and facing the wreckage of my actions.



Posts: 271 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: New York City
Tred
♂ Member
Member # 34086
Default  Posted: 8:58 PM, May 29th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Damn WOES, I was just about to say the exact same thing! Well said.


Married: 17 years (14 @JFO)
D-Day: 11/09/11
"Ohhhhh...shut up Tred!" - NOT the official SI motto (DS)

Posts: 4002 | Registered: Dec 2011
plainpain
♀ Member
Member # 40139
Default  Posted: 9:17 PM, May 29th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My WH says his A was about being selfish. He didn't like his AP - he liked how much she liked him. He was larger than life in her eyes. He basically treated her like a dog - fetch this, roll over, that kind of thing. He liked that he didn't care about her or her feelings. He hated himself during the A. He felt bipolar. He wanted to kill himself. He started smoking pot every day, all day. He was not happy. I don't know if he would say he felt he was fulfilling a fantasy, so much as maybe letting go of a fantasy? He said he gave in to the worst parts of himself, and let go the illusion that he was this really great, adoring, respectable man. He said he was tired of trying to live up to the image everyone had of him, because he struggled so much on the inside.

I would say no unicorns and rainbows here. Maybe a couple of inner demons.


Me: Believer; 40s
Him: Liar; 40s
Married 19 years
1 year EA/2 month PA/incidental infidelities I can't begin to process
OC born 2014
OW:21
In successful R, but still in just plain pain.

Posts: 807 | Registered: Jul 2013
SlowUptake
♂ Member
Member # 40484
Default  Posted: 6:01 AM, May 30th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You put on your costume, you assume your character and you go off to your adventure.

SMS nailed it for me.

In real life I am quiet and reserved, barely touch alcohol, would rather read a book or watch a DVD at home then go out.

When I was cheating, I drank to excess, stayed at a bar till closing regulary, was the life of the party, loud, obnoxious, the fun time guy. (makes me sick thinking about it)

My cheating took place while traveling for work overseas.
I took on the different persona as soon as the plane landed.


Me:WS,50+
Her:BS,50+ (WantToWakeUp)
Married 33yrs
Dday Dec 2009

"Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few." Pythagoras

There are two kinds of people in the world.
Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.


Posts: 390 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Limbo in Oz
hopingforhappy
♀ Member
Member # 29288
Default  Posted: 9:41 AM, May 30th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My FWH has said that he would never have been with the OW long term. He didn't want to be seen with her in public. He certainly would not have introduced her to family and friends. She was just something on the side, an escape from his real life. It started out pretty good, but became more problematic when she wanted to break out of the box and become part of his real life. Bad, bad fantasy!

I do agree that "unicorns and rainbows" doesn't accurately fit all situations, that it is more of a shorthand. I don't know what you want to call it, but I think it is clear that there is something wrong with the thought processes of those involved in an A. My FWH characterizes it as temporary insanity. Or maybe it is just lack of thought for anybody but oneself. Probably a little different for everybody. Working out where your mind was is an important step in the process. For BS, I think understanding that the WS thinking was skewed is an important step too. I have stopped asking my FWH "What were you thinking?" because I understand now that his thought process was skewed and he can't really explain it. Not in a way that makes sense to me.

Edited because my original post came across way too harsh. My apologies.

[This message edited by hopingforhappy at 11:39 AM, May 30th (Friday)]


Me--BW (56)
Him--FWH (53)--5yr. LTA--OW probably BPD
Married 20 years
DS-18, DD-15
Reconciling--but boy is it hard!

Posts: 1333 | Registered: Aug 2010
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