I think the affair was a messed up way of getting more attention. The AP, his wife, and his family paying attention to me was very powerful. The attention was like a drug Ė I became addicted to being in the spotlight. I kept getting ego kibbles that fed into my selfishness. Itís very sick and I know that it is a flaw within me that I really didnít recognize. I didnít realize that I could destroy so many people due to my neediness. Obviously the affair was based on other factors as well, but I need to recognize that this was an important component in my whys.
I have learned that my need for attention isnít going away, so I need to get attention in positive and healthy ways. I need to be able to express to my BH when I feel that I am not getting enough and not shove it down inside like I have been doing for so long. Case in point, this weekend we were visiting my brother and we were at a bar. The two of them were sitting next to each other and I was on the end. I didnít feel involved in the conversation and really couldnít hear, so I pulled out my phone to play on it. BH noticed that I was on the phone and asked if I wanted to sit in the middle of us. I said, ďNo itís okayĒ even though I really did want to sit in the middle. BH almost immediately got up and switched seats with me so I could be in the middle, because he knew I wasnít expressing my feelings. I think the reason that I originally said no is that I didnít want to inconvenience anyone but when I hoard my feelings, I become resentful. I think it is such a strong habit I had (hoarding my emotions) that itís hard to break. I am working on really expressing my needs. I have to start recognizing that my needs are important even though my focus needs to be on my BH. I know I didnít a horrendous thing by having an affair, but my needs are important too, right?
I am not sure where my desperate need for attention comes from. Perhaps it started when I was around 12/13 when my dad lost his job and had to getting another job that was lower paying. My mom then went back to work and my brother and I became latch key kids. My dad has admitted (he attended one of my IC sessions) that he didnít have as much time to spend with my brother and I This was also around the time where I started to be more interested in boys and male attention. Losing my virginity at age 15 (an obviously negative experience) began the equation in my mind that sex = male attention. This caused me to spiral in a promiscuous phase of my life. I really wish I could go back and change that moment in my life Ė that my 15 year old self wouldnít have felt pressured to have sex with an 19 year old who used me Ė but I canít.
Me - WW 39
Him - BH 40 (mpb1974)
2 Furrbabies - sweet cats
Met - 8/13/99
Started dating - 9/11/99
Moved in together - 3/03
Engaged - 6/5/09
Married - 8/21/10
D-Day - 1/24/13
Affair started 5/09
I'm not really sure what to say, and I hope others, more experienced and savvier members will be here shortly, but I just wanted to say that you've been heard, I'm sorry for what you've been through in life and that from where I'm sitting, it seems like you're doing a tremendous amount of progress in becoming a healthy, functional person, safe for both yourself and your BH.
Best wishes to both of you!
One of the strong truths I have discovered is my desperate need for attention
I said, ďNo itís okayĒ even though I really did want to
but my needs are important too, right?
"If you don't eat the elephant in one bite, it might trample you while chewing"
ME: WH HER: BS (holesinmybucket)
no stop sign = BS always welcome
I do not PM with women
I have learned that my need for attention isnít going away, so I need to get attention in positive and healthy ways. I need to be able to express to my BH when I feel that I am not getting enough and not shove it down inside like I have been doing for so long.
My husband works sick hours. I can whine and complain about not being the center of his world. Or I can find peace within myself in the stillness of my home. Sure. I want conversation and 101 time with him. Not always possible. And I've learned I'm ok with being alone. I'm ok with stillness and quiet. TBH, the reason I needed entertainment and attention is because I wasn't ok with just being. That's changed.
There is a difference between "Babe. I really need/want to talk some things out and get a hug from you." and "Look at meee. I'm prettyyyyy. Love meeee. Dote on meeee." Take care you don't replace your affair partner with your husband. It's not your husband's job to validate your need for attention. It's yours. Get to the real core of it.
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne
My suggestion is to continue to learn to let your H know what you are thinking. Sometimes it is hard but once you start it gets easier and easier. Our MC talked about our communication and really helped both of us. The results have been great and it is becoming better than ever for both of us as we have vastly improved our communication skills.
Take care you don't replace your affair partner with your husband. It's not your husband's job to validate your need for attention. It's yours. Get to the real core of it.
I may be in a minority here, but i don't feel it's our spouses responsibility to entertain us and make us feel special just because we "need" it and they are are healthy "outlet
It doesn't mean you stuff your feelings, it means you learn to deal with your own feelings yourself, not by expecting someone else to fill your bucket.
I think the reason that I originally said no is that I didnít want to inconvenience anyone but when I hoard my feelings, I become resentful.
My mom then went back to work and my brother and I became latch key kids. My dad has admitted (he attended one of my IC sessions) that he didnít have as much time to spend with my brother and I
Plenty of people who were latch key kids don't have affairs.
What are you going to do about changing this 'need' to be the centre of attention?
"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.
True selfishness is about an inability to love your BS fully because you are the center of the universe and the true focus of attention, not them. Its about greed and getting what you want every time. An inability to feel empathy, since your own selfishness prevents you from seeing other peoples POV. Its a lack of sensitivity and the inclination to be cruel since you don;t have the empathy to appreciate the wrong you are committing, and the devastation that will result from the affair being revealed.
I also believe a selfish person can become unselfish. It a shame that it takes a traumatic experience such as infidelity to bring that about.
I'm sorry for what you've been through in life and that from where I'm sitting, it seems like you're doing a tremendous amount of progress in becoming a healthy, functional person, safe for both yourself and your BH.
Therefore I needed others to accept me, so that I could accept me. You may find the same for yourself. I found that it was unfair to expect my BS to fill my need for attention, because the void was so huge that it set her up for failure. So I have to be enough for me. This frees my BS of a duty that she could not possibly fulfill.
Both of your feelings and emotional needs are important. But to be fair, as a WS you have been filling emotional needs elsewhere and most likely not filling your BS's needs. At least that was true in my case. So IMO the BS gets the leniency do to the damage caused. Your BS asked you, because he noticed your discomfort. And in essence you lied. And then he took actions to comfort you. He showed you that your needs were important. Without you even asking.
but my needs are important too, right?
a valid question, but it sounds like the start of a pity party. so think that through.
Chin up and keep reminding yourself you are enough.
I needed the drama.
So if you express your 'need' to be the centre of attention and no one fulfills that 'need', despite them being told, you wouldn't be resentful or get your knickers in a twist?
I think the reason you originally said no was that you wanted your BS to do exactly what he did, make a fuss over you, thereby making it an even more satisfying 'feel good hit' to your 'need'.
[This message edited by pizzalover at 3:21 PM, June 19th (Thursday)]