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Guilt

OwningItNow posted 12/25/2019 07:29 AM

Over and over and over, I read how a BS feels guilty (or bad or responsible)-

For snooping
For pushing
For asking
For leaving
For wanting
For changing
For checking
For hurting
For feeling
For needing

Is guilt ever healthy, or is it an element of codependency? What is the proper (a.k.a. healthy) way to navigate this emotion?

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 7:31 AM, December 25th (Wednesday)]

Justsomelady posted 12/25/2019 07:45 AM

I think guilt is productive. If we didn’t feel it we wouldn’t be motivated to act pro-socially outside of “getting what we want”. Guilt it a major part of how I have stopped myself from bad behavior.

I am a weirdo around here and don’t think codependency is a real “thing”. I think taking good care of each other makes the world a better place and if we start to lose sight of ourselves or accepting abuse or messing up things for ourselves in the process of caring for others, then we need to rethink, leave or take breaks and focus on ourselves, but I don’t think caring about others is a “condition”

[This message edited by Justsomelady at 7:50 AM, December 25th (Wednesday)]

OwningItNow posted 12/25/2019 07:50 AM

I think guilt is productive.

All guilt? What about a BS that feels guilty breaking up the family when a WS continues cheating?

Two things that really bother me and appear repeatedly:

WS frequently manipulate BS by trying to make the BS feel guilty.

And WS seem to feel much less guilt than BS. Why? Is it healthy for a BS to feel guilty about a R when a WS does not?

OwningItNow posted 12/25/2019 07:51 AM

And what about if a WS is sick? Should a BS feel guilty leaving the M?

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 7:52 AM, December 25th (Wednesday)]

landclark posted 12/25/2019 07:53 AM

I think much of what people feel is false guilt, or misplaced guilt. It’s how society or even our partners make us feel after discovering infidelity. Like somehow we as betrayed did something wrong. We were too codependent or needy, we didn’t put out enough, we are not open enough, we are too controlling, in my case “we were disconnected”, etc. It’s the sense that we somehow didn’t live up to expectations. I think anybody, codependent or not, can feel false guilt. True guilt is what the wayward should be feeling.

False guilt is in no way healthy or productive.

Justsomelady posted 12/25/2019 07:54 AM

I think guilt can be misplaced. (Must have posted at same time as land Clark) Like the guilt you may feel for “breaking up a family” is not really that. The WS broke it, the BS is leaving an abusive dynamic.

I am sure there are many WSs who don’t feel guilt or much empathy but I think many -who aren’t truly personality disordered or in the thick of self delusion - do feel a lot of guilt. I certainly did for my part - but my and my husband’s situation are in a totally different dynamic

As far as the WS being sick, I guess it depends. How close to the offense is the leaving happening? If they cheated years ago and have been remorseful, and just sick now then I think guilt at leaving makes sense. If they just cheated they are the ones (WS) that should feel guilt. I don’t know your situation. But ultimately if you are falling apart in a situation it may make you feel guilty but you may at the same time have reason to leave. For example, I feel guilt I can’t do more for my severely mentally ill family member, I have tried in the past. I feel guilt I no longer invite her into my life aside from occasional text update. Now I know she isn’t willing to do much herself and I have pretty much removed myself from her life. I feel guilt but I was also in so much pain trying to be w her and change her when she couldn’t change herself. I don’t know how I will act when she is older and needs somewhere to stay. TBD.

[This message edited by Justsomelady at 8:43 AM, December 25th (Wednesday)]

tushnurse posted 12/25/2019 08:32 AM

Guilt is our built self check. It serves a very important purpose and allows us to pause and evaluate our feelings.
The trick is to do just that. Dont run from the guilt but pause and evaluate why you feel the way you do. Is it warranted. Could there be better options. Is your behavior justified based on the actions of those around you?
Dont run from it but evaluate it. Then decide with reason what your actions should be.

traicionada posted 12/25/2019 09:33 AM

Think of guilt like your personal smoke detector. Sometimes, it is going to send false alarms but we should always stop and assess for the validity of the situation. Why? Because checking may save us.

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