** Posting as a member **
I believe this accounts for the various phenomena we observe here: the intense hysterical bonding; the cycle of grief, dissociation, anger, depression, and POLF; the inability of a faithful partner to end the marriage right away in most cases.
This sentence as written applies to all BSes who don’t dump their WSes. Is that what you mean, Thumos?
Many writers on the grief and trauma recovery processes generally agree on the stages of those processes. The ‘cycle of grief, dissociation, anger and POLF’ cycle is observable without TB, so TB doesn’t explain it as a general rule.
Bonding with the person who caused the trauma certainly is noted as part of the healing process for people who consider or choose R, but I know of no data that shows TB is a major factor for those people. Many BSes in R post about how weird it is to be connecting with the person who did a whole lot to sever the connection, but they don’t report doing so because the WS tried to sever the connection. I know there were unhealthy aspects to my choice to R, but I’d say that at least 70% of my choice was healthy. Maybe I'm lying to myself and to you. My bet, though, is that I'm telling the truth. I'm at least living my choice without recommending to others that they do something else.
TB is likely to be part of HB, but it’s likely only part of the phenomenon. Sex itself can build healthy bonds and give pleasure in ways that support recovery. (Sex builds unhealthy bonds, too, but the partners are in charge of that….)
Some people do appear to be unable to leave their WSes, but no one can see inside other people’s minds well enough to determine ability or inability, especially if ‘inability’ is an observation of Internet forums. I can think of one member who was told for 2 years that D was his best option; he refused to D … for a couple of more years. It was his life. He got choose his timing. Two years out he was unwilling to D; I don't know if he was unable to D. He certainly was able to D 2 years later.
I don’t think I’d have delayed definitive action if I were in your sitch, Thumos. But you know your sitch much more fully than I can possibly know it, so I defer to your judgement. Hell, my W knows her sitch better than I can know it. I’ll add: if one doesn’t defer judgment of other people’s sitches to them, one is making mistakes, and one is likely to be giving less than optimal advice.
Each of us is entitled to decide how long to wait for an outcome.
It also makes the blithe "you heal you" advice given to betrayed spouses look like cruel and unnecessary mockery….
Who else can heal a person except for the person themself?
It is really important not to conflate r(ecovery) with R(econciliation). In R, both partners are obligated to support each other, and they take on that obligation willingly.
If you’re not in R, you are not obligated to support the other, and your partner is not obligated to support you.
A BS who isn't in R is unwise to rely on the WS for anything the BS can do for themself. If you are relying on your WS for support without getting a commitment from your WS beforehand, you're making a mistake. Sometimes you're making a mistake even with a commitment.
In the Peanuts cartoon strip, Lucy repeatedly promised Charley Brown she'd hold the football for a place kick, and she always (as far as I know) screwed him. Lucy kept failing as a human being, but Charley could have lessened the pain by not buying into the game. Sure, it's unfair that Lucy kept hurting Charley, and it’s unfair that Charley had to protect himself from a community member - but Charley would have been the prime beneficiary of not playing Lucy's game (unless he was getting off on the pain, that is). If you're going to benefit, what would keep you from doing the necessary work?
Healing requires internal change. I’m the only one with access to my internals. You’re the only one with access to your internals, Egal Bernal is the only one with access to his internals, and so forth, for every single individual on earth. People with no acces to your internals can help you access your strengths, but they can't heal you.
You’re right: the statement appears to be cruel and unnecessary mockery. It’s not. It’s an honest, if perhaps over-simplified, statement of the work that needs to be done and who can do it.
In other words perhaps the first piece of advice here on SI should be for a betrayed spouse to immediately get to a place of safety away from the abuse of infidelity.
I’m not sure what you mean by that, but do you really mean to argue that separation is appropriate in every case?
If not, what do you mean? If so, I’ll go back to: if one doesn’t defer judgment of other people’s sitches to them, one is making mistakes, and one is likely to be giving less than optimal advice.
I wanted as little disruption to my life as possible when my W revealed her A. The less change I had to deal with, I thought, the more energy I’d have to heal and to decide what to make of my life after being betrayed. My life, my decisions. I am as certain as I can be that separation would have slowed my healing down. Separation doesn't work for everyone.
There is no single specific step that works for everyone.
Note that I've always seen betrayal as a good reason for ending a relationship, but I've always seen R as another reasonable outcome if the partners so choose, and I’ve always thought gathering data may be a good option when a decision is not time-constrained.
IMO, decisiveness is over-rated. I've seen too damned many decisions that would have been much better if the decider had gathered a bit more data.
Besides, after d-day, BSes generally go back and forth between decisions several times every instant, so how can the BS whose mind keeps shifting know the best decision right away?
Who has a right to force the BS who has genuine questions about each option to choose immediately?
Who thinks it would help a person with genuine questions to decide before the questions are answered?
Who thinks it honors a fellow human being to force that human being to decide when they want to wait?
Who says the BS must end the relationship with a WS when the cheating has been discovered?
What right does that authority have to enforce compliance?
[This message edited by sisoon at 11:31 PM, Wednesday, September 1st]