** Posting as a member **
I think there's some misreading of posts going on, and misreading does no one much good.
I'll start with:
I've suggested that a therapeutic separation might be a SOP recommendation in most cases, including my own, because of a trauma bond.
That's not how I read your posts, which include, for example:
I’m not sure what you mean by that, but do you really mean to argue that separation is appropriate in every case?
You go on to say 'most cases' in a sentence below that, but it's buried. If 'in most cases' were not just an afterthought for you, I suspect your initial response would probably have been something like, 'Yes, in most cases.'
You've stated in a number of ways that every BS should separate. (And since you never qualified 'separation', it's reasonable to conclude you mean 'physical separation.') I believe you've implied that trauma bonding is a major motivation for R. You restated your 'always separate' advice even after I asserted that a separation would have harmed me and after CT wrote separation would not have been best for her and her H. Frankly, it looks like you ignore evidence that doesn't fit your model of the world.
There is no way I can accept that there's a single action that will benefit all BSes. There is no way I can accept that separation specifically will benefit all BSes. In this thread, you can see at least 4 voices stating that separation is not necessarily best for all BSes.
I agree with NLP theory that the receiver of a communication decides what it means, but I also agree that people do more or less filtering in determining meaning. If you do not think those comments are substantive responses to the assertion, you're doing a lot of filtering, and you’re adding meaning that isn’t inherently in the communication you’ve received.
Some readers have apparently read 'separation is not beneficial for all BSes' to mean 'all BSes should choose R'. THAT is an archetypical straw man – misunderstand a statement and argue against the misunderstanding. Look at my statements and CTs’, and Bigger’s, and virtually everyone else’s who has posted that R is possible in this and other threads, and you’ll see none of us think or post that ‘all BSes should R.’ It’s almost always qualified with something like:
‘All Ms can R – if the partners do the work’, or
‘You can R, if your WS is remorseful’, or
‘You can R, if you both do the work’.
A MUCH more accurate corollary for 'separation is not beneficial for all BSes' is 'separation is possibly beneficial for some BSes.' That's a theoretical corollary. Based on what I've read here, separation has definitely help some people. Not many, but some. (See below about testing the WS for one case in which separation can help.)
One responder has read the arguments against 'every BS should separate' as stemming from a belief that all BSes should R. That, too, is a very serious misreading of the posts. I’ve forgotten exactly to whom (was it to CT? Me?) that was directed, but it’s a serious misreading of both CT’s and my thoughts, and it’s a serious misreading of the thoughts of most people who post in response to D-always voices.
Most of us who think R is possible or even advisable think and state clearly that – here it is again – R succeeds only if the partners do the necessary work.
There is a WORLD'S difference between, immediately after Dday, with "I am going to reconcile with my partner" vs "I really want to reconcile with my partner...."
This is really important. (The part I didn't quote is important, too, but this part is crucial, IMO.)
I tested my W's commitment to R every way I could think of. I also have recommended again and again that other BSes test their WSes. I gave my W innumerable opportunities to choose between doing her work and not doing it. Although I very much wanted to R, I chose R because she chose to do her work at every opportunity. Had she chosen differently, I think I would have, too - but, of course, we can't know that.
BTW, if my understanding of myself is accurate, I wasn't (particularly) trauma bonded, since I was NOT in any way 'unable to leave my WS'. If you think I’m blowing smoke, both my W and our MC thought there was a definite possibility that I was going to leave.
I guess I could have tested my W if we had separated - but it was easier to test her, and I had much more opportunity to test her, because we were together, not separated.
My point is this: staying together after d-day can be used to gather a lot of data that feeds into the BS's decision to D or R. In fact, staying together is the best way I can think of to find out if one's WS is or is not a good candidate for R. (This point, BTW, is yet another substantive response to the proposition that all BSes should separate, at least temporarily.
For me, I'm concerned that other readers may make bad decisions for themselves based on any argument that divorce isn't a good outcome after infidelity.
I haven't seen this argument in this thread. Virtually none of us who think R is a great decision for some people would dream of arguing that D is not also a great decision for many.
IOW, the following looks like another serious misreading:
It seems more like those who seek to deny the possibility that the act of infidelity can cause a trauma bond to form, are more focused on defending their own decision to not separate and immediately go into R.
I believe I stated that trauma bonding was probably part of my decision to R.
Some BSes do not want to or can not use staying together as a way of testing their WSes, and separation may be the best way for those people to figure out what they want. We each have to find our own path to surviving and thriving, and finding that path may be the most important part of recovery. That's one of my points: what works for person A may not work for person B. There is no single response to being betrayed that will benefit every BS. It’s not that I object to separation per se; rather I object to a principle that separation is for everyone.
Let's remember, also, that some people separate to run away from their problems. If a person uses separation as a way to rug sweep, that person is doing themself a disservice.
By the same token, some people stay together in order to run away from their problems. That doesn’t work well, either – but it doesn’t justify proclaiming that all BSes should separate.
But both ways of rug sweeping (I guess that’s what ‘run away from problems’ is) support this: Different strokes for different folks. There is no OSFA (One-Size-Fits-All).
…a guide taking someone to task for giving advice that they didn't follow ... is unbelievably inappropriate, whether posted "as a member" or not.
A couple of points:
First, a 'guide' guides members on how to use SI and does some things for the mods, like ping them when a 'mod, please' thread isn't attended to for some time. Guides are not survive-and-thrive gurus per se, though we certainly have heavy experience in that area.
Second, I stated that separation would have harmed me, and Thumos came back with his 'all BSes should separate' advice. He's articulate and persuasive. I know something of his story, but members who have been around less than 2 years may not, and I obviously think it's appropriate to let them know that Thumos does not follow his own apparently unambiguous advice.
It’s important to take all advice with several grains of salt. It especially important to use a lot of salt when the adviser isn’t following their own advice.
BTW, I thought long and hard about confronting this contradiction. Obviously, I decided it was a useful confrontation, but I could have been wrong.
You could say that sisoon posts again and again that healing for the BS consists of processing feelings, figuring out what one wants, figuring out what's attainable, etc., so sisoon preaches OSFA.
My response is that each of us processes feelings in our own way. At the 'meta' level, maybe it's OSFA, but at the level of doing the work, each of us does our own work in our own way. Therefore, I respond, it's not one-size-fits-all.
OTOH, the people who are happiest after d-day do seem to be the people who figure out what they want and go for it, adjusting for each obstruction and making the best of it. They get to a point where thoughts of the A no longer bother them (much), which IMO means they've somehow dealt with their feelings about the A.
So even if what I propose is OSFA, it works.
Sisoon mentioned a BS that waited 2 years to try to reconcile, and now(unwillingly) is moving to divorce.
Clarification: he was unwilling to D for a couple of years, despite the advice he got. A few years, after that, he was more than willing to D.
The fact that you think that you were better off staying with your abuser doesn't mean we should be advising new BS to do it too.
Well, we could argue the nuances of that point, but it’s moot. In fact, I advise new members to look inside and to start with figuring out what they want and taking care of themselves. THAT – not R, not D – is my ‘agenda’ for other SIers.
I have regularly advised SIers who are undecided not to push for a decision but to gather info and let the decision grow organically. A quick decision that one keeps second guessing is not healing, IMO. I also have advised against separation, especially when an advice-seeker is uncertain whether to separate at all and uncertain about the goals of separating. But that's because I am against taking a 'ready - fire' approach. I much prefer 'ready - aim - fire'.
I'm honestly stunned that the idea that the victim of an abuser leaving immediately to safety to get clarity is contentious here.
This is another straw man. First you note accurately that people need to get away from physical abuse as soon as possible, because physical abuse tends to escalate, and it’s an almost palpable threat to the victim’s physical health and, perhaps life. Then you conflate physical abuse with emotional abuse and argue a victim of emotional abuse has to get away from the abuser ASAP.
This ignores the fact that another response to emotional abuse, for example, is to develop the strength necessary to resist. In fact, if kids are involved, developing the strength to resist is a better approach, because if you co-parent, you will be exposed to your XWS regularly.
Even if kids aren’t involved, it’s a lot better, IMO, to learn to deal effectively with gaslighting, TT, minimizing, etc. than to have to avoid these phenomena. I consider most of sales and marketing to be abusive, so learning to deal with it effectively helps in intimate relationships and life in general.
I conceded some weeks ago that WSes are abusive and therefore are doing terrible things. But I also asked, 'What next?' Once one decides one's WS is an abuser, where does that get you, except to keep focusing on what a POS your WS is?
No one has answered.
So if you can't get past the fact that As are abusive, I urge you to ask yourself, 'What am I doing with this knowledge? Is that enough? What else I can do besides being angry that my WS abused me?'
[This message edited by sisoon at 10:58 PM, Monday, September 6th]