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Why is this behavior a thing during the A?

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maise posted 9/18/2020 08:42 AM

Ive read often on here how some of us BS’s experienced our WS’s being very angry and short-fused with us during the affairs. Why is this a thing? I was going to ask my own WS but decided to spare my energy instead and post it here.

Im wondering if it’s because of all the shady shit theyre doing, and keeping up with it all is causing them anxiety/stress so they take out the frustration on the innocent bystanders (us and sometimes the kids)?

What say you SI?

Catwoman posted 9/18/2020 08:47 AM

I think a lot of it has to do with the stress of leading a double life, certainly.

I think the rest of it has to do with the fact that affairs are fantasy and marriage/relationship is the reality. Reality comes with bills, cat puke and the like. Fantasy is a rainbow studded land where unicorns roam freely shitting Skittles and farting Chanel #5 perfume. Obviously, reality takes a distant second to fantasy.

Another facet is that the WS often denigrates the marriage as justification for their actions, even when said denigration is either false or exaggerated.

So yeah, this all mixes up into a toxic stew making the WS nasty as all get out.

Cat

Want2BHappyAgain posted 9/18/2020 08:49 AM

Good question maise !

What helped me to understand this was reading about how anger is a secondary emotion. It is brought on by a primary emotion such as guilt...shame...hurt...etc.

For ME...my anger mostly stemmed from feeling hurt. I assume most of the WS who have anger toward their BS is because of the guilt they are feeling.

maise posted 9/18/2020 09:00 AM

Fantasy is a rainbow studded land where unicorns roam freely shitting Skittles and farting Chanel #5 perfume.
this.

After both of your very good responses and points I also thought, “resentment!” When we don’t express ourselves and “do what we think is expected of us/play our role” we internally build resentment that eventually explodes. Our WS have been playing roles all their lives but man is that role amplified during their A’s...and who better to blame for them having to be in this specific role at all but their BS’s!

Unhinged posted 9/18/2020 09:02 AM

The simplest explanation is cognitive dissonance.

Thumos posted 9/18/2020 09:02 AM

Um, why is this a thing?

Because this is how entitled, self involved people with low EQ and low empathy act. Comes with the territory and with the powerfully toxic package of neuroses they've been carrying around their entire lives.

Another word for them is crazymakers. Julia Cameron has written a lot about that phenomenon.

thatbpguy posted 9/18/2020 09:04 AM

I believe we were meant to be monogamous and the betrayer lives in deep shame that often manifests itself in anger. I offer this:

31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

And this:

3But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5For [a]this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7Therefore do not be partakers with them.

sleepylove posted 9/18/2020 09:05 AM

I think it’s a coping mechanism. Anger toward the BS covers drowns their shame and guilt. My W was a pro on this tactic.

hikingout posted 9/18/2020 09:11 AM

I do think it is shame/cognitive dissonance. Affairs are as self-destructive as they are destructive to everything else. We hate ourselves and are trying to drown it out. Any reminders of why we hate ourselves is a major inconvenience.

But, I also think it's what catwoman expresses. When someone is having an affair they want to live in fantasyland as much as possible. Reality is a wet blanket. We want to be high.

VaeVictis posted 9/18/2020 09:18 AM

I think the reason varies. I have a few hypotheses.

As you said, it may just be a case of deflection. Their adultery is generating logistical issues, as well as anxieties of them being caught. Thus, they vent their frustrations by lashing out at people who are nearest, I.e; the BS & possibly children.

Another potential explanation is their belief that their A is justified. Everybody likes to believe they are good, morally upright people, so when one performs an act that is contrary to our morality, most people cannot reconcile their explicit morals with their actions. Thus, in order to preserve their self image, they must try to rewrite history in order to justify their actions. Cherry picking a few instances of your past behaviour that they found to be questionable and voila, the BS is the villain in their mind.

I also think that, in some instances, the WS believes that the BS is somehow "holding them back from their true love" , and that somehow justifies them being un-empathetic, or downright antipathetic.

Another potential explanation is that they're trying to encourage you to leave the relationship. They want you to leave them, either out the belief that their A proves they're unworthy of your affection, or out of a purely selfish desire to have you appear to be the "bad guy", thus once again retroactively contributing to the justification of their A.

The most cynical one, but one that we've seen on SI before, is that they're simply people suffering from a psychopathology (E.g. Cluster B Personality Disorder) that prevent them from feeling empathy, and/or have an entitlement complex. They know that you would hold them responsible for their A, and so they seek to punish you for what they believe is a transgression against their "right".

There are most likely other potential explanations, too.

[This message edited by VaeVictis at 9:32 AM, September 18th (Friday)]

maise posted 9/18/2020 09:27 AM

VaeVictis 👏
Great post in summarizing different theories. And of course thanks all that have responded so far, picking everyone’s brain has been very thought provoking.

Chaos posted 9/18/2020 09:35 AM

Things do tend to explode when fantasy and reality collide.

Sofarsogood posted 9/18/2020 11:14 AM

I think affairs can be a form of escapism and when the reality of marriage interferes with that, the WS gets resentful and lashes out.

SadieMae posted 9/18/2020 11:31 AM

Think about a child that really wants to be doing something else. Say they want to go to the swimming pool. But they can't go to the swimming pool until they have finished their homework and made their bed. How do they act when they are told this? They are angry, they sulk, they mope thru what they have to do until they can do what they want to do. This was my husband when real life interfered with his time in fantasy world.

[This message edited by SadieMae at 11:32 AM, September 18th, 2020 (Friday)]

Thissucks5678 posted 9/18/2020 11:32 AM

I think for my WH it was a combo of hearing from the COW how terrible I was, knowing what he was doing, all of the resentments that led him down the path in the first place and then needing validation that what he was doing was ok. My God he was such a different person. Such an angry asshole all of the time. He started drinking unbelievably heavy. My dumb naive self thought it was work stress.

Evertrying posted 9/18/2020 11:36 AM

I think it’s a coping mechanism. Anger toward the BS covers drowns their shame and guilt. My W was a pro on this tactic.

^^^^^
THIS

And if the WW can convince themselves to be pissed because the BS left the cap off the toothpaste, well, that's just dandy. Then they can blame EVERYTHING on the BS and it just further justifies their shitty choices and behavior.

maise posted 9/18/2020 12:00 PM

This whole topic just reminded me of how my WS told me she literally felt like she hated me during those times. She compared herself and her life to me and mine all the time and felt inferior as a result. In this way of thinking she believed I was the one being hard on her, I was the one that was controlling...I remember being so confused because it wasn’t true.

She was so twisted and mean to someone that compromised themselves so much for her that they lost themselves...(me)

I remember that was part of the residual effects that hurt me deep in all of this, “how could u do this to me when I gave you everything, more than I’ve ever given anyone? How could you hate me? Wish me to be as low as you? Who does that?! How is it that I gave my all and it still wasn’t enough?!”

^^ getting past that and taking my own accountability for giving to that degree was crucial to my own healing and recovery. This was just something that came to mind while reading the responses to this thread.

[This message edited by maise at 12:00 PM, September 18th (Friday)]

J707 posted 9/18/2020 12:16 PM

Little Billies soccer practices and little Joey's dental appointments are in the way of fantasyland. Then the wayward comes home after playing hooky at work to be with the AP, only to have the responsible BS asking about the realities of those mentioned above. You probably made the wrong dinner too, just because. Got a tax question, theres a blowup and the BS is an asshole. BS is just annoying because the WS is constantly thinking about the AP and the unicorn ride they had earlier. The stress of hiding texts. Constant paranoia of being caught yet it's all part of the thrill. Projecting their failures onto us. Lovey dovey texts coming in and they can't answer prince wonderful because the BS is there next them. So get angry over something stupid and blame the BS for existing. What a horrible way to live.

nervousnelly posted 9/18/2020 12:29 PM

Another potential explanation is their belief that their A is justified. Everybody likes to believe they are good, morally upright people, so when one performs an act that is contrary to our morality, most people cannot reconcile their explicit morals with their actions. Thus, in order to preserve their self image, they must try to rewrite history in order to justify their actions. Cherry picking a few instances of your past behaviour that they found to be questionable and voila, the BS is the villain in their mind.

^^THIS

NotMyFirstRodeo posted 9/18/2020 12:33 PM

Lots of possible reasons:
Maybe time with you steals time from the ome who truly has their heart. Maybe they are building a wall to limit emotional connection with the inevitably injured BS.

In my case I believe there were many factors but I think the #1 factor was that she really did hate me a very long time. I believe she enjoy speaking poorly of me.

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