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BS Questions for WS's - Part 13

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Barregirl posted 11/24/2019 11:57 AM

I have always considered a grand gesture to be something one chooses to do, not something one is forced to do as a requirement. It's not much of a gesture if it is not authentic. My H did not want a grand gesture, he wanted a consistent effort to make him my #1 priority over time.

ManishsDad posted 11/24/2019 12:26 PM

I have a question.

Do you, as a FWS on this forum, think itís healthy for you as a person and for your marriage overall for you to be on SI? (Explanation for my question is below.)

My wife would probably answer yes. Though she no longer posts nor reads (at my request), she feels that she gained a lot from being here. She maintains that overall both the WS and the BS advice she received were helpful for her in terms of understanding her thought patterns and her actions and that even though sometimes the feedback stung, ultimately it allowed her to grow.

She says that while there were some unhelpful posters whose remarks seemed more about stirring up drama, for the most part posters were committed to helping people navigate their way out of fidelity and toward healing (whether that meant D, R, or whatever).

As a BH looking at it from my perspective, I donít know if I would answer yes to that question. I donít know necessarily if she was still on SI now if I would think it was a healthy thing for her as a WS nor for our marriage either.

Interestingly, on the flip side, if a related question was asked to me, ďFor you as a BS, is being on SI at this time healthy for you and for your marriage?Ē I would probably say yes, it is generally is. As a BH I have mostly found this site to be helpful but probably in a different way than it was helpful for my wife. For me itís been a place to learn and process. I donít post a whole lot but I do take things in.

That said, both trying to view things from the POV of a WS and as in my role as the husband of one, this place can be pretty brutal.

Some of that is to be expected. Everyone on here has been through a lot of shit. Weíre bearing scars from the pain that was inflicted and trying to keep living and not lose ourselves. Everyone has had different experiences too. People need a safe place to vent and to try to figure things out. I know I did. I get that. But even taking that into account there can be a lot of vitriol on SI too. As well as thinly veiled personal attacks (especially toward formerly wayward wives). That bothers me. I canít tell if it bothers the WS posters here, but shouldnít it?

I might be a BH, but the ďHĒ part is the part that is of most relevance. I canít see how an environment where one is perpetually treated and perceived as the proverbial whipping boy for the actions of all waywards is going to continue to be conducive to waywards becoming, and remaining, healthy and whole persons who value themselves and their spouses.

Isnít thinking low of oneself often part of what made them susceptible to decide to engage in an A? Shouldnít they push back against that narrative whether itís coming from the BS side or not if they are truly committed to seeing themselves as a person who has internal worth despite their atrocities in the past?

Iím not trying to turn on my fellow betrayed spouses. I know weíve been through some fucked up shit. But where is the balance?

[This message edited by ManishsDad at 12:30 PM, November 24th (Sunday)]

BraveSirRobin posted 11/24/2019 13:21 PM

I have been thinking a lot recently about exactly this question, and I know I'm not alone. It is a topic of concern and discussion in multiple marriages on this site.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 1:22 PM, November 24th (Sunday)]

Darkness Falls posted 11/24/2019 13:22 PM

My H thinks itís unhealthy. He would prefer me to not be here; he says SI ďkeeps [me] focused on the negativeĒ and ďliving in the past.Ē He told me years ago never to mention anything I read here to him again.

I donít think itís positive or negative to still be here. Itís a net neutral, for me. I just try to provide my perspective where possible.

[This message edited by Darkness Falls at 1:23 PM, November 24th (Sunday)]

JBWD posted 11/24/2019 19:16 PM

I canít see how an environment where one is perpetually treated and perceived as the proverbial whipping boy for the actions of all waywards is going to continue to be conducive to waywards becoming, and remaining, healthy and whole persons who value themselves and their spouses.

I donít necessarily see the community as one of persecution of WSs. I think that there ARE times where WSs bear the brunt here, but itís not excessive. I may be hanging out in search of redemption since not R, but I think regardless WSs, are here to offer insights from the far side of cognitive distortions. So were I in R Iíd likely be here less, but the insight of those further along would still be sought. And I donít think I could continue to take without having paid first.

MrsWalloped posted 11/25/2019 07:58 AM

Itís a very good question. I originally came here because my BH thought it would be good for me. He was right. In many ways it was. But at the beginning I kind of was a whipping boy in some ways. I wasnít prepared for how widely known my husbandís story and I guess my story too, was known and when I started posting people came out of the woodwork with questions and comments and PMís. I didnít handle them well. It was 2 years after DDay and people were asking what I thought at such and such time or things I did that I had no clue my husband even told anyone. Iím not even going to go into some of the crazy PMís like the ones commenting on the APís penis compared to my BHís. Plus I had other things going on between me and my BH that resulted in me having a full blown meltdown. Good times, right?

So, rough start at SI for me. But I stuck it out and being here helped me develop a thicker skin and gave me insight into lots of peopleís stories and situations. It helped with my empathy and was a great check on what I was doing and what I wasnít doing.

Isnít thinking low of oneself often part of what made them susceptible to decide to engage in an A? Shouldnít they push back against that narrative whether itís coming from the BS side or not if they are truly committed to seeing themselves as a person who has internal worth despite their atrocities in the past?

This is a very big deal for me. As I said before, I didnít handle it well at first. But over time Iíve gotten better at seeing me. I donít think itís about pushing back against a narrative. I think itís understanding that narrative and incorporating the parts that fit into the rest of who you are. I am the same person who cheated and betrayed my BH. I also have value and self worth. I am doing my best with my BH and with my family. Whenever I get push back or comments I try to think about whether itís coming from pain or anger or whether itís true. And usually itís both. I feel like that push against me helps me. It grounds me and challenges my thinking and keeps me from becoming comfortable and complacent.

If SI became too much for me or became harmful for the way I viewed myself, then it wouldnít be healthy. You know how people say to take what you need and leave the rest? Thatís true for WSís too. I think we have to be more careful not to leave 2x4ís that can be helpful and questions that challenge wayward thinking, but all in all, itís good advice.

[This message edited by MrsWalloped at 8:20 AM, November 25th (Monday)]

leavingorbit posted 11/25/2019 08:17 AM

My husband and I talk about reading on SI frequently. I share everything I post with him before I put it up, ask for his input, we talk about threads, etc. Heís read here in the past.

His view is that SI is a good resource. If Iím internalizing every viewpoint and stewing in shame, Iím not doing my work. Compassion is key for us and our views on recovery.

He does think that Iím too hard on myself after reading here sometimes. That to me is also indicative of more work being necessary.

Pippin posted 11/25/2019 08:23 AM

Do you, as a FWS on this forum, think itís healthy for you as a person and for your marriage overall for you to be on SI?

When I first arrived I was immensely helped by 1. understanding my husband's perspective and needs 2. the sense that I was not alone and there was hope for getting better 3. the endless compassion and support of one person and 4. many who offered advice and pointing out problems in my thinking. If I had stopped once coming to SI when I was up on my feet again, I'd have mostly positive memories.

Reading about betrayed spouse anger was helpful to me and by extension to my husband, who benefits when I understand more about his perspective. But I think betrayed spouse anger and the tribal human instinct to become cohesive with one group and hate, vilify, and dehumanize another are confounded here. When things veer from the personal ("I hate my spouse and AP and I want them tortured") to the group ("all waywards are horrible people and deserve everlasting punishment and they will never get better" or milder versions of the same sentiment) I wonder who is helped. Not waywards who stop reading and posting, and not their betrayed spouses and their children. Not the people who might be helped if they continued to post. And it drives me crazy when people say "they weren't ready" about people who leave or never post. Sometimes that's true but I know from specific people (betrayed and wayward) that they have left because of the tone of the boards. It also drives me crazy when people say "it's the safest place for waywards on the internet." The logic is so flawed. I could point to the very best federal prison for minors and it's still a bad place. Or, to make it completely a-political, I could point to the very best school cafeteria lunch and it's still barely edible. You get the drift. Whether or not it is a good place, or decisions made are the right decisions, is a totally different question.

When you say "be on SI" - there are many ways to "be on SI" and I change my mind frequently. Sometimes I withdraw totally, not because I don't want to participate with people who are trying to heal (I very much do), not because I have decided I'm done with my own improvement (that's far from true!) but I think that participating in any way is a form of tacit agreement with how waywards are treated. So sometimes I don't participate at all, not reading or posting. Sometimes only by PMs with other waywards. At the moment I mostly post on wayward and if I see a child issue in one of the other forums. I don't post on general even if it says WS welcome and I don't read much there. I read often on JFO, but I screen comments and only read the original poster. I'd be very willing to talk to betrayeds who want to converse but I think that's where it would stop being healthy for me very quickly. I stopped posting on this thread for the most part because of a couple of times where I answered questions sincerely and then noticed the same people mocking the very idea of wayward whys or venting about waywards in general, so I thought to hell with that. Now I check the recent posts of people who ask questions before deciding whether or not to respond, but mostly I don't respond.

As for whether it is good for my marriage, other than what I wrote above about the initial benefit to me and by extension to him, it's an overall plus because my husband and I read here together, I adore reading his posts (he only posts when I nudge him and even then often says "they don't want to hear what I have to say"), and when I post something we often talk about it to see if I'm missing his perspective or misunderstanding something. So that's not a commentary on whether SI is good or not (he thinks it is not a good place and is continually disappointed in it) - it's that we could make something good from anything when we do it together.

hikingout posted 11/25/2019 08:26 AM

Mannish,

This comes from a deeply empathetic place for waywards. I would say that empathy has made it possible for you to reconcile successfully. My husband also has that same feeling of empathy, and struggles with many of the same questions you are asking.

For me, I am familiar with most of the posters here. Any time one is attacking, I can use the same empathy towards them as you are using here for us. They aren't coping well in their situation. They are angry at the world. Often times, they really can't see it can get better.

They do not understand this concept:

Isnít thinking low of oneself often part of what made them susceptible to decide to engage in an A? Shouldnít they push back against that narrative whether itís coming from the BS side or not if they are truly committed to seeing themselves as a person who has internal worth despite their atrocities in the past?

Because their own spouse has not reached redemption. And, 9 times out of 10 it's because their WS was a shitty person and spouse prior to their decisions to cheat.

I also think the Wayward wives are targeted more, but for three specific reasons. One, we post a lot more. I know myself, I can end up being the poster child, just on the fact my posts are everywhere. Two, we are the OW to many of the women. Three, we are the perpetrator to the men.

I think the men are not immune to getting their 2 by 4's by any stretch of the imagination when they post over in wayward, but they are left alone a lot more than the women are. But, there aren't a lot of men who are heavy posters, there is less being put out there to hate them over.

I canít see how an environment where one is perpetually treated and perceived as the proverbial whipping boy for the actions of all waywards is going to continue to be conducive to waywards becoming, and remaining, healthy and whole persons who value themselves and their spouses.

So, I look at this a bit differently. But, I will admit it has taken a lot to get here, and there are days when I can see why my husband thinks there are some toxic tendencies of the forum. The viciousness really comes from a super small number of BS's. By and large, the BS on this site are awesome and supportive and I would not have gotten to where I am without them encouraging me to shed my shame and to fight for my marriage.

I have worked very hard to become whole again. I have worked on self compassion and self love. I have worked on being a better spouse for my H. So, when you have that you can give it to others, even when they are at their worst. I am not going to say I don't get fed up with it, or I don't have to vent sometimes when I feel like someone is being shitty to me. But, overall, it's a humbling reminder that this is a person in pain. Actions that I took caused that same amount of pain. Having humility isn't a bad thing, I think it's something most of us WS can benefit from. I try and remember that my problems are no more important than their problems.

I think the posts that get me the most is the ones that are blanketly directed about "ALL WS's" those bother me far more than the ones that are more pointedly about me. Probably because I too can look at it as hard for some of the other WS who are desperately struggling. Their pain is valid even if they are the ones who caused it. Those posts can be really triggering because they are so general, and a lot of the things they are saying all WS do, you can pick apart and say "no that one doesn't fit me". But, in many ways, it doesn't really matter in the end.

I guess what I am trying to say when you have both self-esteem and compassion/empathy for others, that sort of stuff starts rolling off your back a little easier.

My H though thinks a lot like you do. He feels that I don't deserve it, and often will speak up when it gets to a level he is uncomfortable with. We are trying to navigate it. I would quit right this minute if he said he wanted me to, and I think that day is coming. But, in other ways resistance builds muscles, right? That resistance may have played it's own part to my healing.

Incarnate posted 11/25/2019 09:03 AM

Yaknow.

I often think about posting in this thread specifically. I consider what questions I would throw down, what verbal coup de grace I could deliver that would truly and utterly strike to the core of the WSs in a way that would leave them in as much pain and disarray as I am in.

But frankly, these are not questions for anyone other than my STBXW, because none of you can answer them the way they need to be answered; situationally, specific to what happened between me, my ex, and her various APs. None of you know the inner workings of her mind; hell, I don't even think she does. And the fact is, none of you, specifically, deserve my ire, specifically. None of you hurt me. I don't have the right to try and hurt you.

I suppose, then, the only questions I have are the kind that I don't know if I could trust being answered by waywards. The first A that I found out about almost killed me; I was in the process of setting up the end of my life on my birthday in 2015, shortly after joining here. It was my kids that pulled me out of it, thankfully. This second one almost drove me there, but it was my anger, my spite, and my will to strike back that pushed me through that point this time ("I don't care if I lose so long as you don't win.").

But my self esteem and confidence has been shattered. There's still some pieces floating around, but for the most part, I have no faith in myself anymore. I have no trust in my ability to pick someone who isn't going to hurt me. I have no trust in my ability to properly discern the motives and hidden actions of another. I feel like a sucker, a schmuck, a cuckolded loser whose attractive with pranced off into the arms, laps, and beds of other people while acting like a frigid ice queen at home and convincing me it was just that she "needed some space" to "work on some things."

What do you, as Waywards, say to that? What can you say to someone who is NOT on the road to R, who is NOT trying to salvage their shattered relationship, to someone who is just left picking up the pieces of their broken home, sweeping up all the skeet tissues their betraying, unfaithful spouse keeps tossing around their life?

What is there to say that isn't just pity lip service?

[This message edited by Incarnate at 9:05 AM, November 25th (Monday)]

Evertrying posted 11/25/2019 10:40 AM

Question for the wayward's:

When your A ended, how did it end? Did you end it and if so, what did you say to your AP? If your AP ended it, how did they end it and what did they say to you? In either case, was there still some communication or did you go NC and stay that way?

Nolife posted 11/25/2019 10:46 AM

We separated 3 months got back together after he had an Indiscretion with sister in-law in my home and got caught by me. I dealt with it for two years as he did not except responsibility and thatís why I left him. We got back together after three months. I asked if he had sleep with anyone he said no!

My thing!
How do you lie about an affair you had for 38 years ago and sleeping with someone your wife considered her a friend. Not only did he lie about that he lied while I was going through the third one and came clean about it but lied about previous one. Dday May 2019 Iím dying inside. I will be 62 tomorrow and I see no future and have list my past and I can except the excuse I was ashamed and didnít want you or anyone to know.

Ws please help me understand the why so I can move forward. I feel the need to talk to her but she probably dead she was a little older then him.

Nolife posted 11/25/2019 10:52 AM

We separated 3 months got back together after he had an Indiscretion with sister in-law in my home and got caught by me. I dealt with it for two years as he did not except responsibility and thatís why I left him. We got back together after three months. I asked if he had sleep with anyone he said no!

My thing!
How do you lie about an affair you had for 38 years ago and sleeping with someone your wife considered her a friend. Not only did he lie about that he lied while I was going through the third one and came clean about it but lied about previous one. Dday May 2019 Iím dying inside. I will be 62 tomorrow and I see no future and have list my past and I can except the excuse I was ashamed and didnít want you or anyone to know.

Ws please help me understand the why so I can move forward. I feel the need to talk to her but she probably dead she was a little older then him.

hikingout posted 11/25/2019 11:09 AM

I stopped posting on this thread for the most part because of a couple of times where I answered questions sincerely and then noticed the same people mocking the very idea of wayward whys or venting about waywards in general, so I thought to hell with that. Now I check the recent posts of people who ask questions before deciding whether or not to respond, but mostly I don't respond.

I have experienced the same - and in some cases had actually put a lot of effort in talking to them over a longer span of time. And, what I have done in this situation is I no longer will respond or help them. I am interested in reciprocal relationships.

hikingout posted 11/25/2019 11:21 AM

What do you, as Waywards, say to that? What can you say to someone who is NOT on the road to R, who is NOT trying to salvage their shattered relationship, to someone who is just left picking up the pieces of their broken home, sweeping up all the skeet tissues their betraying, unfaithful spouse keeps tossing around their life?
What is there to say that isn't just pity lip service?

It's true, you did choose to be with a person who has been not only unfaithful and the abuse that comes with that, but someone who also emotionally abused you, belittled you, and has really treated you like trash.

I guess I would say a few things to you.

One, Didn't you pick this person when you were in your teens? That would have been before you were really formed as a person. So, I do think that will be different.

I also think it's not actually a terrible thing that you might not trust yourself yet to pick another person. You have a lot of healing to do, to become whole again and be able to be ready to be another good partner for someone else.

And, I think you have an opportunity to not tie yourself down immediately and explore your likes and dislikes and actually begin to enjoy the process.

Right now, you are vulnerable, you have healing to do, you have the marriage to still be put behind you. I think it's wise NOT to trust yourself yet in choosing another mate. But, that doesn't limit you from experimenting and learning about yourself. The best way to feel like you can choose well will be when you are choosing from a fully healed place. And, in that place you will fully understand that her cheating and treating you like complete shit had nothing to do with who you are or aren't, but everything to do with who she is or isn't. Her decision to cheat was completely about her - and in that decision disregarded a man that a lot of women would truly want to be with. I say that with the knowledge of having a lot of single friends that can't find a man who wants a relationship, wants to be faithful, and has a job (not because they want him to support her, they just want someone who can support themselves). Usually they have one or two of those characteristics.

The reason you don't feel this way yet is you have some healing to do, but I think you are going to find as time goes by your wife and her chaos is only going to follow her around, and the life you will find yourself enjoying will make you feel vindicated and thankful that she isn't your problem any more.

MrsWalloped posted 11/25/2019 11:43 AM

Hi Incarnate.

What is there to say that isn't just pity lip service?

I donít pity you. I sympathize with you and try very hard to empathize too.

Unfortunately, anything I say is going to sound like lip service, but itís sincere. I read so many of your posts (even the ones in the gasp! Betrayed Menz forum). Youíre a wonderful writer with a great sense of humor and are really interesting. I love reading about the symbols you engrave and your woodworking.

Your story is heartbreaking and every time I read something you wrote I think about what I am doing that day and how it can be perceived by my husband. You help us in our R journey. Thought you should know. My husband felt like you do. He used to say that he felt there were these big neon signs and flashy arrows all pointed at him calling him a loser or a wimp. Family get together weíre the hardest because our immediate family knows about my A and whenever heíd show up there was this awkward silence. He said it felt like some cheesy game show host was introducing him. ďOur next contestant is a man whoís been lucky in business but not in love. Yes, thatís right, his wife cheated on him with another man for 5 months. Heeeeereís Walloped!Ē

But he found his self confidence and self esteem. It didnít come from what I did to him and what I was doing afterwards. He learned that my actions were not about him, they were about me. He spent time doing things he enjoyed and building himself back up again. It took time and heís not all the way there. I know that. But he walks differently and he smiles and laughs and his good nature is much more apparent. He has fun. He likes himself. More than R that is the greatest gift he has given me, seeing his return to who he has always been until I shattered him.

Your wife doesnít care about you. Sheís into herself and getting her fix and trying to fill that unfillable void in her. Thatís her, not you. What she does isnít about you. Focus on yourself and your children (theyíre adorable btw). It will take time but it will happen. You have so much to offer. I sincerely hope that you recognize the person you really are and that one day youíll find someone who will see that man and love and appreciate him for who he is.

hikingout posted 11/25/2019 14:16 PM

Question for the wayward's:
When your A ended, how did it end? Did you end it and if so, what did you say to your AP? If your AP ended it, how did they end it and what did they say to you? In either case, was there still some communication or did you go NC and stay that way?

Hi Evertrying!

Okay, so the AP dumped me because he was caught with our messages by a family member. He had a few days between that and confessing, so we exchanged all these stupid messages professing our love and wishing each other the best.

Looking back, I think for his part was more about "handling me" so that I didn't cause him more trouble. For my part I was a clueless idiot and I believed everything being said and more.

NC went up and it was never violated by either party, not once.

MrCleanSlate posted 11/25/2019 15:38 PM

Evertrying and Hikingout,

I ended the affair. I was done and regretting the affair for about 3 months before I ended it (it was a 12 month affair). The last month or so was about trying to 'handle her' so she wouldn't expose the affair to my wife. Well, she blew it up real good. She believed my lies about my wife so well that she thought my BW would side with her.

I went NC, but my AP tried to connect with me several ways by text, email (new email addresses, and even snail mail).

The point is, if we are waywards are really committed to our marriage, we put the effort in. The regret is that I was too chicken to do the hard work before the affair, and I can tell you four years on, the affair weights more heavily on me now. It sucks knowing what i did.

earlydetour posted 11/25/2019 16:26 PM

WS's - At some point in your journey did you believe that your BS didn't have another option other than to stay with you and R? That they wouldn't choose D bc (to you) they'd be choosing to be alone for the rest of their lives? You didn't believe they'd leave, move on w/ their life and maybe find another partner? That they wouldn't consider that future path as a possibility? That they'd never leave?

MrsWalloped posted 11/25/2019 16:31 PM

Did you end it and if so, what did you say to your AP? If your AP ended it, how did they end it and what did they say to you?

Neither. I was caught.

OMG I just realized what you meant. Alright Iím a ditz. Iím gonna leave that there. Okay, umm, I ended it because I was caught. I guess it was similar to hikingout. I told him my husband found out and that we couldnít see each other again or contact each other and that I loved him and that what we had was so special and Iíll always remember him. Ugh. Itís so embarrassing and cringeworthy. No matter how many times I tell it over I feel icky when I do. Yes, itís as horrible as it sounds. My AP was happy my husband found out and wanted me to leave my husband so we could be together. I never intended for that to happen and didnít want that so I told him no way (I thought he went off the deep end) and that it was over. It was a longish convo but a lot of the same over and over again with lots of crying on my end.

I was supposed to go NC. I didnít. I broke NC 3 times. 2 times officially and one time when I wanted to call but my sister stopped me from calling. My husband also had his attorney send him a letter to stop calling me or something like that.

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