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Can we discuss the shame of staying?

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3

fournlau posted 5/4/2021 09:03 AM

Iíve read a lot about this, and Helping Coupleís Heal has an entire episode about it. Yet I still feel it! I donít tell people my WH cheated. Not because I want to protect him, but because I donít want anyone to know that he cheated on me and I didnít walk away. I feel that shame! I also feel the shame of having had it happen to me. I know logically that it had nothing to do with me. But then, why does he still cling to the ďI take full responsibility for what I did, you arenít to blameÖbutÖthere were contributing factors.Ē Contributing factors which include him feeling lonely and alone, thinking that I didnít love him anymore, not feeling intimacy, no sex, etc etc etcÖ

So yeah, I feel shame.
Just read in another thread about a book that states the default setting of an A is D. And lets not forget about Cheating in a Nutshell which states that it goes against your core physically and emotionally to R. To get away from the person who caused you so much Trauma because they will forever be a trigger for you.
And of course, the fact that every long term R couple continues to say (whether they are happy or not), you NEVER forget!

Not to mention that I also worry when posting anything because I donít want to be shamed for staying. And sometimes thatís what it feels like. It just fucking sucks and I shouldnít feel this shame. Itís not mine to bear, but it seems like he only feels it when I ďtalk about the AĒ, which he would happily never talk about EVER!

But this isnít about his shame, itís about mine. Shame for staying. Shame because maybe my reasons for staying arenít good ones. Or ones that other people see as good ones. Ugh, I donít know!

How do you guys feel about BS shame?

Chaos posted 5/4/2021 09:14 AM

I feel shame. More just in the fact that I am the BS of a LTA.

Sadly - the world these days looks for reasons to shame. They relish in someone else's misfortune.

In fact 99.5% of people in our lives don't know of his LTA. That shame is mine and mine alone.

He has his own as a WH - that's his self inflicted burden to handle.

Prior to all this - I was probably more judgey that I should have been. I was the friend that would come over and help during a DDay. I was the friend that offered wine, carpet, duct tape and a shovel. I was the friend you called on your dealbreaker day. I was the friend that helped you put your life back together holding you while you sobbed.

And look at me now. A BASGU [bad ass sparkly goddess unicorn] BS of a LTA working on R. Dealing with a wackadoodle of a donut of a LTAP that just won't stay the fuck away [legal action was taken]

Instead of a good murder mystery I read books on healing from infidelity. Instead of some good old school punk rock, listen to podcasts of how to heal myself. Instead of looking in the mirror and feeling invincible, I look and wonder if anyone will notice the sorrow I try to hide.

I have shame. But it is not so much for staying. It is just for simply having this had happen to me.

fournlau posted 5/4/2021 09:35 AM

I have shame. But it is not so much for staying. It is just for simply having this had happen to me.

Yes, this too. I used to be so proud of my M. There were hard times, low times, but many good times too. More good than bad, or so I thought. People would ask how many children I had and would be so impressed that it was with the same man! We married young and nobody thought we would last. So yeah, I was so proud.

But obviously the M wasn't great, nothing to be proud of, and I feel deep shame for having this happen to me. Even though I didn't do anything to deserve it.

twicefooled posted 5/4/2021 09:54 AM

Thank you for posting this.

I'm on the other side - I left. That is what was best for me.

I'm probably guilty of being judgy about people staying - for me, I want people to love themselves enough to walk away. But I also know that it's not that easy and not everyone is as resourceful (or stubborn) as I am.

I will extend more grace to those that stay. I know better so I will do better.

****here is a but, however I'm not arguing just explaining*****

Please know that most of us (here, at least) don't say stuff to shame you. I had people tell me (for years) to leave, so I know that shame of staying. But one of them also helped me to stay gone once I left, and I needed that push at that time. I try to pay forward what worked for me, but I see how it comes across as shaming.

landclark posted 5/4/2021 09:57 AM

Or ones that other people see as good ones.

I definitely struggle with this one. We all have our different reasons for staying, and are in unique situations. I fully own that if I didn't have a son, I would not have given him a chance. That was my primary reason for staying, also finances, etc. I can't remember who it was now, but somebody went so far as to suggest I should be ok with an open marriage since my reasons for staying were something other than undying love. So basically, I should be ok with him continuing to cheat even though cheating is what got me in this position. Some people really just SUCK.

I take full responsibility for what I did, you arenít to blameÖbut

It's really that but that kills it. There should be no but. If there's still a but for him, it's no wonder you're feeling that way.

For me, it's really not shame about staying because I own that and my reasons for it, and am prepared to walk if need be. I am comfortable with my reasons, even the ones that others don't agree with. I don't know if it's really shame, but I do look back on my behavior after DDAY and think, WTF, who was that person? I even apologized to him at one point for feeling like he needed to turn to porn due to our lack of sex life (which really was not my doing at all, it was all him). I took some blame for his story of us being "disconnected" until I realized the timing of when things started. I overall definitely too quickly accepted that I had some hand in all of this, and do honestly regret that. This was of course while he was still withholding the whole truth from me. Had I known everything, it may have been different, but who knows.

I did tell several people about his affairs, mostly people who really don't know him but are more my friends, but then also my sister and I made him tell his sister. I needed that support, and refused to carry his lies for him. People were really supportive in my case. I didn't get any of the "why do you stay" stuff at all. That came more from here on SI, to be honest.

Instead of a good murder mystery I read books on healing from infidelity. Instead of some good old school punk rock, listen to podcasts of how to heal myself.

Just curious, do you find this helpful, or do you feel like it keeps you stuck? I admittedly had to walk away from SI for a bit because I felt like it was keeping me stuck. I felt much better after I did. Doesn't mean I rugswept, we still talked about it, I just needed a break from being completely immersed in it.

bad ass sparkly goddess unicorn

T/J, but are you selling t-shirts? I would buy one!

sisoon posted 5/4/2021 10:15 AM

I can almost always see shades of gray and colors. Society dumps shame on BSes no matter what they do. In fact, to expand a bit on what Chaos wrote, we get shame dumped on us day after day, hour after hour, whenever we don't do what someone tells us to do. In a real sense, shame is a normal reaction to being imperfect.

That's why it's so important to do what one wants to do with one's M after being betrayed. IOW, since a BS is going to feel shame no matter what the BS does, choosing what one wants makes it easier to deal with the shame, IMO. (Apparently Nietzsche recommends wanting things that are necessary, so if one wants R, but one's WS isn't a good candidate for R, it would be helpful emotionally/psychologically to change so one wants D.)

And lets not forget about Cheating in a Nutshell which states that it goes against your core physically and emotionally to R.
I agree, but I think leaving also goes against our physical and emotional core, too, because 1) it's wrenching, and 2) it's an acknowledgement of failure.

That's the thing about being betrayed - it's always no win. The only way to win is to take control of one's response.

That's another reason for doing what one wants to do in one's own specific situation.

Many people set themselves up as experts after trying something and not succeeding. Part of human psychology assumes that no one can do what one can't do oneself.

On SI, one set of voices that can be viewed as negative towards R are who think R is possible theoretically, but not for them in their specific reality. They share their experiences, especially the experiences that caused them to call R off. A reader can match their own experience with those posters and gain insight into their own lives.

fornlau, I can't know where you are. You may really want R and are just in the process of working R out for yourself. You may really not want R, and it's taking time to figure that out. Where do you think you are?

Remember this, though: cheating shames the BS, whether the outcome is D or R. You have to get yourself out of shame by working on yourself internally. That's true even though the BS did nothing shameful.

*****

Good old-fashioned punk rock - that's, like, Bartok, right?

[This message edited by sisoon at 10:30 AM, May 4th (Tuesday)]

TX1995 posted 5/4/2021 10:28 AM

I have shame. But it is not so much for staying. It is just for simply having this had happen to me.

Chaos, I literally just typed this out in a pm a few minutes ago. It's EXACTLY what my shame is.

I've been able to reframe the staying part a little bit better. I'm CHOOSING to stay. I can go at any time. Financially, I made it so. However, I choose to keep my family intact right now. I choose to be in a relationship with someone who seems to be working hard at being a better person, husband and father. My alternative would be fine, but I do think my life is better with him in it. So by taking back that power, the shame is lessened.

However, it's the shame of not being good enough for him to stay faithful that is the killer. That's the big one (I know, I know, it's not about me, it's his problem). I cannot shake that and honestly, I don't see how I can. Sure, I can say to myself that I am pretty fucking great. If I want to compare myself to the OW, she loses in every way. But that kinda makes it worse, you know? I always knew my worth and thought he did too. When asked, he totally admits that HE was the problem. I really haven't changed much. I've always been open, I've always been wanting closeness, shit, I even always wanted sex (but the caveat was that I wanted it with a partner who is interested in me beyond the bedroom). It's embarrassing that I picked someone that was so inauthentic and lacking in integrity - and I didn't even see it, I just kept telling myself that the little that I got was good enough for me. And yet *I* wasn't good enough for him to care about at all. I got destroyed and he didn't even give me a second thought.


I used to be so proud of my M

100% this too. WH and I got together at 19. I was his first. We were really really good. I loved telling people our story. I loved our story. Now, I hate it when people ask our story, how long we've been married. My daughter asked a few weeks ago about our first date and my face fell immediately. WH had to tell the story. I hate my whole past now. It sucks.

That's the thing about being betrayed - it's always no win. The only way to win is to take control of one's response.

I think this is spot on. I was just telling WH yesterday (after I broke down triggered by something ridiculous) that there really is no fixing what broke. It is what it is. I will never heal that fracture in such a way that it goes away. He hurt me. Period. He broke our vows. Period. He ruined that history.BUT someone said here (Maybe in the divorce forum, I forget who) that you should look in the mirror and ask yourself what you would say to yourself in 5 years, would you wish you had left? And honestly? If my WH stays the course he's on, and I do as well, I will be glad I stayed. We have a good life right now and if he doesn't devolve into the same person, we'll have a really good future. I won't be ashamed that I CHOSE to stay with THIS man. And that's the only positive I've got!

[This message edited by TX1995 at 10:38 AM, May 4th (Tuesday)]

hikingout posted 5/4/2021 10:35 AM

Just read in another thread about a book that states the default setting of an A is D. And lets not forget about Cheating in a Nutshell which states that it goes against your core physically and emotionally to R. To get away from the person who caused you so much Trauma because they will forever be a trigger for you.
And of course, the fact that every long term R couple continues to say (whether they are happy or not), you NEVER forget!

You know there are a lot of things out there that are pro R, and there are a few things out there pro D. And, some things out there that I find a bit more neutral.

One thing that I found helpful was writing down the reasons I want to R. I keep this list as a living thing that I edit from time to time. It helps remind me why I am doing the things I am doing and makes me feel less concerned about what other people think about it. I have brought it to IC twice, once in the beginning and once recently in order to make sure my closed feedback loop wasn't getting distorted. That's the hardest thing sometimes - trusting yourself and your thought process when it's been proven wrong. Maybe that part was more WS still but I don't think it is we are all capable of excusing others or on the opposite spectrum catastrophizing things.

The other aspect of this is the shame. What I learned through my WS work is that shame has been something I have collected since I was a small girl. And cheating confirmed my shame, and exacerbated it all at once. Also when my husband cheated, it also confirmed my shame again. There have been undermining feelings of not being worth being faithful to, and also confirmation of not having worth.

Eradicating shame is really just a lot of changing your self talk. The narrative you tell yourself.

So, if you want R, and that is a reasonable goal for your situation meaning:

1. You are with someone someone who wants that with you too and is showing you that consistently. (I put in this disclaimer not because I have judgment about anyone's specific situation, but as something to weigh for yourself)

2. You have great and valid reasons for going through with R. (And to me these evolve, at first often the reason have to do with family structure and finances. Nothing wrong with these they just shouldn't be the only thing on your list in my opinion)

Then what is there to be ashamed of? Life and marriage can be very long, if the relationship can continue to grow and evolve then you are not settling. If you just want it to grow and evolve and it isn't, then maybe you will have to reconsider if you are settling.

I also recommend, highly, that you maybe sift through other sources of shame with your IC. At some point my shame was strangling me, when the sources of it were few, but longstanding things that needed to be healed anyway. Some of it was from my dysfunctional "trailer trash" family, some of it was from SA, some of it was because of the ways I have acted out over the many years in between.

Shame compounds. Some of the shame you are feeling is confirmation of past shame and feelings of worthlessness.

That's not to discount that it is hard to swallow ones pride in staying with someone who disregarded you so terribly. Dehumanized you, abused you, lied to you, and betrayed you. You aren't staying for more of the same, however, are you? You are staying for the hope of something better. Just also make sure that you don't just hang on to that hope in an endless loop. Because when we do that, we are damaging ourselves further in saying "we are not worth it".

Self worth and self love are so elusive, and almost seem impossible when the person who promised us the world turned around and disappointed, deceived, betrayed us like we are nothing. The great news is the only person who really can determine our worth is ourselves. The bad news is that can be quite a journey to elevate that.

Anyway, I agree logically you have nothing to be ashamed of, but it's very hard emotionally to internalize that, especially if you have been compounding shame your whole life like most of us have.

numb&dumb posted 5/4/2021 10:56 AM

One of the things about our R that stands when I read your post is the shame I felt. If you choose to keep the A a secret it becomes very isolating and lonely. I had a good IC that help me see things more clearly.

I will say this as someone who has successfully R'd. Choosing any path from this point in our lives it is courageous. To not let the details of our lives prevent us from enjoying our life. Whatever way that might be.

Who knows about my Ws A and our R ? A few counselors, my W, myself and OM. That is it. While it was hard at times it does feel better now. I can see the sacrifice I made paying dividends. No akward family gatherings. No people we know were waiting out the end of our M. It made things simplier, but harder on me.

I told my W that if I was going to keep my big mouth shut then the only person, outside of my IC I could talk to was my W. My wife got all of the ugly thoughts, anger, sadness, rhetorical questions, etc. No these were no walk in the park either, but what was the alternative? For me to lean on everyone ? What kind of repercussions would that lead to ?

No WS do not have a monopoly on shame. BS feel it very deep too. Keeping as few people as possible in the loop help me eventually move through that shame. Any time I felt that shame and discussed it with my I could see her spirit break and realize the enormity of her actions. You know what ? I felt like I was putting the shame/burden back on my W shoulders. It doesn't make it go away, but it helps.

Accepting that I could not change the past was key for me as well. Another thing was that I invested in me without regard to my W. I was social, I had evenings away with friends, I resumed old hobbies. I had to remember who I was because somewhere along the way I had become half of myself to be one couple. It took me a long time to see my co-decency was driving my shame.

Shame to me is wasted emotion. I know it isn't that easy, but it is. Shame exists to punish those who know that they did wrong. Did you get a choice when your A choose to have an A ? No.

Once you figure out and accept what has happened it builds a stepping stone to the next step. You an then figure out what you want.

Let me ask you this ? What is it about the shame of staying that bothers you the most ? Is it the lack of consequences that you see your WH experiencing ? Is it that you feel you no good choices from here ? Is it you are still wishing for a different past even though you know that is impossible ?

You believe in second chances. You believe in commitment. You are wise to see that things in life are sometimes bigger than just what you want. You are courageous. Don't forget that :)

I think if you can talk to somebody it will help break the loneliness and isolation you feel. This is a confusing time and having an objective resources to talk to can be very helpful. If you are not already I would bring this to an IC. Friends, family members, your WH are all going to be biased. Only an IC can maintain the objectivity.

Do I feel shame today ? I do, but for different reasons. I feel shame for the pure hell I put my W through at times. I have forgiven myself for those times, but I remember them and the A too. Somehow I am peace with everything that has happened and can look forward again. The memories remain. That is just how memories work. I still remember getting my first car too. I remember the first car accident I had as well. Do the bad memories take away the joy of my first car ? No it is part of the story and in some ways it has become ingrained into my life.

Also be kind to yourself. Do not own things that do not belong to you. You have enough already.

JulyDD posted 5/4/2021 10:56 AM

This is so helpful to me today.

Recently on SI, I came across a past post where someone wrote (who was in R) that they sometimes felt badly about not being on Bad Ass Woman Island after discovering their spouse's affair. That just spoke to me! Whoever you are and I know I butchered your line, thank you!

I stayed. I am staying. Me? A lady who has lived an honest life with boundaries and standards. But a lady who is bounding between feeling good and feeling so very ashamed that she didn't don a little black dress and sip on a martini while loading a PODS container with his belongings.

I have felt so much shame and I know I absolutely should not. But I see no way around it. I always thought I would be a country western song "Get out and stay out" while I (not crying and sobbing) showed my cheatin' man the door. I was strong! I was financially independent! I had done hard things! But this whole experience brought me to my knees. I absolutely adored him and adored our marriage. We had both been married before so know that I didn't have any cockiness about "we got it right the first time." Please note I massively respect people married to their first spouse.

But that feeling of safety, pride, comfort, I miss it every single day. We are in R. He is working harder on himself than I would have thought possible. But I am still struck many times a week with "how did we get here? What happened?" We had soooooo many discussions based on our previous marriages about putting the work into your relationship, being loyal, on and on.

I had not dialed in my life. I lived very intentionally. I spoke highly to him and about him. When I felt lonely or whatever, I looked at myself first. He basically threw away what we had to reconnect with a widow in Atlanta who was in financial dire straits, a drinker, an aging party girl. She invited him to be her date to a wedding (this when I was completely in the dark), he said yes?!?!?!?! Really? And invented a snowmobile trip to fly out of town? Really? That situation had nothing to do with me (and trust me it was only the beginning) but I feel shame every time I think about it.

I stayed with him? I am staying with him? What kind of a doormat am I? A doormat who loves her husband and wants to try and rebuild the sticks and twigs that are left of her life. A doormat who has a long loving relationship that was real. It was. No one will tell me otherwise.

I am also working on myself (duh). I hope I can feel proud of staying at some point with no hesitation.

SadieMae posted 5/4/2021 10:59 AM

I sometimes wonder if how the BS viewed the marriage pre A/pre D-Day affects the shame after finding out about the A/D-Day.

I had a happy marriage hell, WH even told his AP he was happily married and loved his wife as they were in the getting to know you stage.

I was very proud of our marriage before. I was proud of the friendship I thought H and I had and that I wasn't the kind of wife who griped about my H when talking with friends.

Also, because I was a betrayed child, H and I discussed infidelity often, which gave me (a false sense of) security.

I mistakenly felt that we had our bases covered. And then I found his girlfriend.

I feel that my false "security" pre-A, pre D-Day added to my shame afterwards.

I've also had to have a lot of talks with my ego... Apparently we think we're wonderful, and anyone who disagrees with that can go F themselves. But Ego and I are working on that.

Thumos posted 5/4/2021 11:03 AM

Thank you for bringing this topic up. I think people need to talk about it.

I wanted to say that whenever I read this kind of thing...

Contributing factors which include him feeling lonely and alone, thinking that I didnít love him anymore, not feeling intimacy, no sex, etc etc etcÖ

I just want to say nope nopety nope.

Adultery is abuse. Full stop. It is an especially pernicious form of abuse, and soul rape. It is a toxic combination of abuse, manipulation and lie after lie after lie.

Whenever "contributing factors" get piled on top of this trauma, it just makes it worse. Much worse.

Your husband has said this as a form of blameshifting, more subtle than some I will admit, but still blameshifting.

So let's be blunt. The "contributing factors" were: lust, entitlement, brokenness, lack of empathy.

How do we know this? We can ask some easy questions to test it.

1. If it wasn't this AP, would it have been another? More than likely the answer is yes.

2. You were in the same marriage the WS has identified as having all of these "contributing factors." Did you cheat? No.

3. If it was such a bad marriage, why didn't you cheat?

4. If it was such a bad marriage, why didn't he separate from you?

5. Do you notice how his list of "contributing factors" are all subjective, relativistic notions twirling around in his own head? He projected "thinking I didn't love him anymore." He didn't "feel" intimacy. He "felt" lonely and alone.

There are a lot of other questions I could ask, but once you start doing this exercise you can see how quickly the "contributing factors" become like so much sand in his hands.

I too struggle with the shame you've identified. It's a very real phenomenon. I don't know that I have any stunning insights here beyond other than the comfort of shared misery.

Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Also EDIT TO ADD: Thank you sissoon for your post here. We disagree from time to time, but this was an excellent set of insights.

[This message edited by Thumos at 11:06 AM, May 4th (Tuesday)]

Thumos posted 5/4/2021 11:09 AM

Self worth and self love are so elusive, and almost seem impossible when the person who promised us the world turned around and disappointed, deceived, betrayed us like we are nothing. The great news is the only person who really can determine our worth is ourselves. The bad news is that can be quite a journey to elevate that.

Thank you for all of this, the whole post, hikingout. So insightful and helpful.

EllieKMAS posted 5/4/2021 11:21 AM

I remember feeling that shame in the hellish limbo of false R. It took me time to get my feet under me after dday and to decide on what I wanted. With the benefit of hindsight, I do wish I had kicked him out directly, but I also think that the path I walked was what I needed to do for myself.

I think shame can be a crippling emotion, but OTOH it can be a good marker for further reflection.

In my situation, I offered R and was willing to try. My xwh was not willing to do any work on anything. I felt ashamed for staying, but the more time I stewed in that the more clearly I saw that he was not willing and would never BE willing to do any of the work that he would have to in order to R. My 'shame' made me really focus on what needed to give in order for ME to move forward. In my case it was divorcing. I also didn't tell my family for a long time while trying for R (mostly just because I didn't want to have to be wrangling their opinions during a really difficult time) but once I decided on what I needed, I did tell them. Once my path was clear and once I felt free to shout it from the rooftops that he was a cheater, the shame pretty much entirely went away.

DevastatedDee posted 5/4/2021 11:32 AM

I remember feeling profound shame for the months that I was still there after DDay. That absolutely did leave me when I left him, but I still feel shame about the time I was there. Sometimes I would say something hurtful to him to lessen my own shame for sharing the same room with him. Funny thing is that I don't think that any other BS has anything at all to be ashamed of. It's so self-directed. It takes so much strength to try to R. I don't think I would have what it takes to even try in any situation. Everything that makes it so hard is enough without punishing ourselves with shame too.

Even if you're trying to R with someone who isn't even close to deserving a chance, the shame is not on you. The fact that you're able to even try to R says that you're an empathetic and compassionate person and that is never something to be ashamed of. The shame is on the other side. Not one person I know of in R has any shame to own, in my opinion.

Edited to add: Ellie, I still haven't told most people about the cheating. He had drug issues and that was the reason I used. I still feel shame that I was with someone who did that to me.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 11:35 AM, May 4th (Tuesday)]

gmc94 posted 5/4/2021 11:32 AM

This topic always brings such a rush of emotion. Always.

And I think Sisoon makes a good point that there is some shame whether we R or D. HOWEVER, reading from those who chose D, I don't get the sense there is a lot of shame still nibbing around... at least not like we see from those who are in R or trying to R. I also don't see/read about a lot of shame from the VERY few, like Sisoon or Tushnurse, who I think would say they are "successfully" Rd. The thing is, I do believe that the oft-touted "successful" R is much more of an exception vs the rule. I still believe in that possibility, but my impression is that most folks subjected to the horrors of infidelity will D or just stay M, vs having BOTH parties do the long, and hard-ass work to get to "successful" R. JMO.

It's embarrassing that I picked someone that was so inauthentic and lacking in integrity
TBH, I think that is probably the biggest source of my shame. Not to say I don't still carry a ton from not leaving (tho those ducks are lining up one by one), but the bottom line is that sense that I should have somehow KNOWN BETTER than to be so extremely duped and for such a LONG DAMN EFFING FUCKING TIME (and this is another of the ways where I do think a long LTA adds its own layer/dimensions). My WH is like the king of "ethics" when it comes to the rest of his life (tho after dday, a really wonder how much of that was a charade as well).
Logical brain is 1000% on top of NONE of this being my fault, but emotional and lizard brains? Not so much. I pray that continued work on self love will temper some of this, but who knows.

Somewhere along the way I had become half of myself to be one couple.
Me too. And TBH, I really enjoyed that. I LOVED being M to my WH, even when his personal quirks would drive me nuts. I LOVED that I always considered my WH to be my BFF... that both of us often preferred hanging out with each other vs doing some social thing. It felt like magic. Today? I see the ways in which I compromised for the sake of the M, starting w/in weeks of WH's 1st sexual encounter with POSOW. Lesson learned.... the hard way - right?

I was very proud of our marriage before. I was proud of the friendship I thought H and I had and that I wasn't the kind of wife who griped about my H when talking with friends.
Yup. Don't get me wrong, I never held back when I was angry with him, but that was expressed TO him and not to the rest of the world. I held him in high esteem and publicly put him on a GIANT tall ass pedestal. Another lesson learned... the hard way.


I had a happy marriage hell, WH even told his AP he was happily married and loved his wife Ö
Mine too. Nothing says SHAME to a BS better than the thrice-divorced, serial cheating AP telling the BW how much her WH loves her and that she shouldn't divorce him. And nothing says shame to that BS who now knows the kind of power trip a woman gets from a MM saying in words how much he "loves" his BW, but saying in action that the POSOW is so fucking amazing and irresistible he's willing to risk all of that "love" and family and the entire relationship so he can perform oral sex on her.

I feel that my false "security" pre-A, pre D-Day added to my shame afterwards.
Yup. File that one under the shame of should have known better.

And I'd add that I feel ashamed that R isn't even an option. That my WH is so full of baggage that he is not a candidate for R. I won't have the opportunity to even really TRY to recommit to the M, bc there is no fucking way I would marry the man I see before me today. I guess this is still part of the 'should have known better' line of thinking... Should have known I married someone with such low morals, values, integrity. Should have known better than to be proud of my WH or our M. Should have known better than to be duped. All of it. All of not really EVER knowing my WH. He may be a great liar and fake, but I always thought I was smarter than that. Turns out I'm not so smart after all, and that feels very shameful to me.

I think many/most BS will have similar feelings, each with their own unique twists. To me, the question is how to overcome it? And I do believe that finding that elusive self love is the key to walking through the next door.... walking out of the long-ass hall of shame into something different. For some that can be done via R. For others, I think D is the only way to the next chapter.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 11:35 AM, May 4th, 2021 (Tuesday)]

DevastatedDee posted 5/4/2021 11:37 AM

And I think Sisoon makes a good point that there is some shame whether we R or D. HOWEVER, reading from those who chose D, I don't get the sense there is a lot of shame still nibbing around... at least not like we see from those who are in R or trying to R

I still feel shame for every minute I stayed. But I don't live with it anymore after D, if that makes sense. I wish my story was that I packed it up right after, and honestly had I not cheated back that day, I think it would have gone that way.

NorthernMSB posted 5/4/2021 11:51 AM

Yep. *hand up*

I don't think shame covers what I feel, and to be brutally honest, I feel it most of all when I come on here. It isn't just shame, it is a profound sense of failure.

IRL, if you met me professionally you would think...damn...bad ass fierce talented smart woman. She doesn't take shit from anyone and gets it done. And you wouldn't be wrong except much of that take charge kick-ass work ethic comes from a deep need to be the best.

IRL, if you met me in my home or as my boys' mom or socially, you would understand very quickly I take care of everyone, love my animals too much, am there for support, cool in a crisis, and work myself to exhaustion.

I dropped the ball in my marriage. My husband blames me for his 20 plus years EA (and maybe PA). I wasn't sexy enough, didn't have the same interests, he was "at the bottom" of the list, I nagged, was insecure, worked too much, etc so on. And is there an element of truth to that? Sure. Caught up in the daily grind of living and expectations of my generation to be and do EVERYTHING effortlessly, I just hoped he was along for the ride at a minimum. I can live with that and try to change.

However, I am ashamed I stayed. My daily fantasies revolve around Dday and his getting caught realtime sexting resulting in a swift kick to the ass out the door. Or somehow being financially secure enough to say goodbye NOW and keep my little house and all my lovely babies (although he wouldn't want them). I feel shame I have chosen security in my 50s and later over a future without this man who broke me. I bow down in awe and cheer on those here who made the leap out of their situations and wish things were different.

crazyblindsided posted 5/4/2021 12:01 PM

HOWEVER, reading from those who chose D, I don't get the sense there is a lot of shame still nibbing around

I had a lot of shame for staying with my xWS after so many D-Days and False R. I was really afraid to leave my M and break up the family. I did decide to leave because of the wayward thinking, emotional abuse, and probably ongoing cheating (which I was was too tired to look into anymore). I have to admit the shame is gone now that I left. My situation is a lot different than those who have remorseful spouses though. My shame came from allowing abuse and allowing it to continue to me. I felt shame for my kids watching how I was being treated. I felt shame for not knowing my M was a lie. I will no longer carry any of that shame.

This0is0Fine posted 5/4/2021 12:09 PM

I'm not ashamed of staying, but I'm not proud of the decision either.

EDIT: I have told a lot of friends, but I haven't told my family. That is related to the "shame" of staying. But it's a more functional decision in that I have no good options for cutting my family out of my life if they don't support my decision.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 12:34 PM, May 4th (Tuesday)]

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