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My feelings after my wife cheated on me

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Skex
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Re: My feelings after my wife cheated on me

Post by Skex » Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:07 am

I appreciate the splitting of the thread I was actually intending to try and do something like that myself as it seemed that more people were interested in talking about my situation than Ama210's,

Now to some replies not necessarily in order
LostAgain wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:17 am
Skex,gotta say for a guy who claims not to be angry you are giving a pretty good impression of it.
You seem like a person who would punch anyone's lights out if they disagreed...(awaits angry riposte)
If you read more threads you would find that many of those struggling with LE never act on their feelings.
As for your attack on AMA I reckon it is shitty and cowardly and ad hominem.Seems you are a bit sensitive yourself to the ad hominem.
We all get that you are angry.We sympathise for your pain.What is not acceptable is to try to assuage that by sticking the boot in to someone else.
Stop being a dick.
Hate to disappoint you but I'm not generally a physically aggressive person. Verbally? Sure I speak my mind and I don't sugar coat things I just say things as I see them I'm not always right but I strive to make sure that the things I believe are those that are best supported with evidence.

I do wonder at why people see my posting as angry, I don't feel angry when posting. Frustrated that I'm not getting my point through and at what looks to be an almost intentional obtuseness sure, but not angry. My goal is to always have the most accurate understanding of reality that I can given an understanding that I have imperfect tools of perception and cognition.

I think that you are failing to understand the definition of an ad hominem attack. An ad hom attack is an attack on the person rather than the idea. You and others who accuse me of being angry are attempting to discredit my argument on that basis rather than on the merits of my argument itself.

Whether I'm angry or not is irrelevant to whether or not my argument has merit and your response should not rely on my emotional state.

As far as people here having not acted on their crushes so much the better. The best place for intervention is before someone does something stupid and destructive. The problem that most people get into is that they find themselves well past the point of no return before they think about it and by then it's too late and they go 'oh well in for a penny and all of that'.
David wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:33 am
Skex, thanks for sharing more. I have no idea what its like to discover a partner has been cheating. I get a sense from the work I do and that's hard enough. I am sorry you have endured this. I am sad we live in a culture where the causes and impact of affairs is not discussed more openly. Its only by getting this stuff out of our shadows and into the light that we have a chance to learn and grow.
It's has been the hardest thing I've ever done and I'm a Marine. It causes PISD, before I went through this I used to chuckle at the idea of triggers, now I get it. I'm a very sexually open and liberal individual. I'm not by nature controlling or jealous, a huge part of why my wife was able to get away with as much as she did for as long as she did was because I trusted her. Because I was secure in our relationship I didn't give any thought to her having male chat buddies (other than one who I had specifically asked her to not stay in contact with.

We had a very open and adventurous sex life, up to and including swinging and opening up our relationship to other sexual adventures as long as certain rules and guidelines were agreed to and followed, guidelines that were to ensure safety rather than control and attempt to smooth out some of the potential pit falls.

I don't claim to be perfect, no one is. I have my flaws just like anyone else does. I burp I fart, I make, bad jokes and snore. I get fixated on video games or any project for that matter. But she knew all of that going into this relationship and I didn't suddenly start doing something different. She knew that I was always available and open to talking yet by her own admission she took advantage of my trust and did her own thing. There is more to the rationalizations and mental gymnastics she engaged in over the period but that's the gist.
David wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:33 am
Whilst I agree with this as an initial strategy, few people have the capacity to enforce this strategy because of their own relationship with conflict. And invariably their inability to dealing with honest communication that may be conflictual is what led the relationship to hit the buffers in the first place. It seems few people have the capacity to just drop their people pleasing co-dependence shackles and enact a 180. It takes a lot of work.

I would be interested to read how you managed to do this as boy, do others need to develop this ability to set and more importantly enforce boundaries.
I know it is. and part of the reason it is is because we have people say stupid shit like this
VV VV
David wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:33 am

For a relationship to work at the most intimate of levels, it requires both halves to do their own growing up. Until the betrayed takes 100% responsibility for their own behaviour that led up to the betrayal , the relationship is unlikely to get to a place of one built on honesty, trust, respect and agape love.
Read this to start then move on to this In fact as a therapist I suggest that you read through the entire site for your own information and knowledge.

The key thing here is that yes the state of the relationship is a shared responsibility to which both parties contribute I don't buy into any sort of 50% split because nothing is ever that clean cut. Is the responsibility really 50/50 if one party builds up resentments, never communicates their dissatisfaction, rebuffs any attempts by the other party get to the bottom of their issues? No it's not and given that most people who end up cheating are conflict averse to begin with they don't tend to speak up for themselves and instead get surly resentful and start building up their list of grievances.

The problem with your argument is that having relationship problems still doesn't justify cheating. For one every relationship has problems. No matter how emotionally mature and mentally health you are, No matter how well you communicate and much you love the other person shit happens. People change. situations change. And sometimes people do grow apart and nothing says that relationships should last forever.

There are ethical, respectful and honest ways to deal with all of those situations, unless you live in some totalitarian theocracy where women are still regarded as property you can always leave the relationship. Sure it has challenges. So does getting up in the morning. Yeah if you leave your husband because you don't feel like he pays enough attention to you , you're going to lose the benefit of his paycheck. If you leave your wife because you don't think that she's giving you enough nookie and you have kids you're probably going to have to pay child support and in any case where children are involved there will be the necessity of having to split custody. That's just part of life. Everything has costs, everything has tradeoffs and no one get's to have it all.
David wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:33 am
Agree again with you here. And my sense is the people that stay on this forum realise that their limerence (which brought them here in the first place) is not the answer to their inner strife. They are here to learn and grow and are doing something about themselves.
And I applaud them for seeking an answer to it. But to be honest at some point the talking and moaning has to give way to reason and control. As for trying to find an answer. But let me ask you this. if you wanted to learn how to play a piano would you go find someone else who wants to play the piano and figure out the answer together or would you looks for someone who already knows how to play and can actually teach you?

This is the problem with an echo chamber. That's part of why I sought out a place like this. Because it's hard to learn anything if you only seek out information and voices that agree with you. If I can accomplish nothing else perhaps my argument and their perception of my pain and anger will give them pause in taking further steps down the slippery slope to choices that they will later regret.

There is also always the possibility that I'll learn something too that someone may make an argument so compelling that I go "huh" and change my views. I'm always open to changing my mind, a friend of mine once said that arguing with me was like having a sea battle firing cannons broadside at each other and when I start to lose he'd look to his and see me there calling fire onto my former craft.

I don't get attached to ideas because of emotional reasons, my core value in all things is honesty, most important of which has always been being honest with myself.

That said I've spent 47 years developing and refining my beliefs and seeking out hostile territory to test them so I don't change them much anymore.
David wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:33 am
I can only answer for myself. I take 100% for my limerence and my actions at that time. And yes, I do attribute my chaotic attachments that led to my L to my FUFFO. I allow myself to get in touch with all the feelings my inner child holds towards my FOO as that way I do the necessary grief work that will minimize the chances of repetition. Learning to let go of the toxic shame that allows me to be vulnerable in my relationships.
Honestly, and it this kind of keys off how so many people here seem to perceive me as angry. I think that people who end up in these situations where they are cheating emotionally or physically are conflict averse to the extreme. They often lived lives where showing emotions was punished or mocked. So instead of processing their emotions by actually experiencing them they shove them down in their little box and pretend that as long as it's not on the top of their mind it's not in their subconscious slowly simmering and cooking until an explosive force builds up and it has to be released.

If I had to say how I deal with these emotions it is that I don't fight them. I don't ignore them or push them down. I experience them I accept that being angry is an appropriate response to some circumstances. I don't punch people when they make me angry because that's not an effective or rational response if for no other reason that I don't want to suffer the consequences for doing so (like going to jail). It's the same reason that I don't cheat, because I don't want to suffer the consequences of hurting someone else.

If I'm mad I'm mad. if I'm sad I'm sad, if I'm happy, well. hopefully you get the picture here. I also have always engaged in a lot of introspection and questioning of myself and my own motivations and desires. I'm not perfect. There are times that I will find myself ignoring an emotion or letting another mask my true emotion. But I don't beat my self up about it I spend time thinking about it talking about it and working it out and figuring out how to deal better with it in the future.

I recognize that I'm a caveman with a cell phone and rather than fight it I embrace it and try to learn how to control it and influence it.
David wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:33 am
I dont agree with you on this one. Ive yet to meet a couple where one person is 100% to blame for the dysfunction and other 0% responsbile. After all, what attracted you (unconsciously) to a woman that behaved this way?
Don't equate relationship issues with cheating. The two are not related. Everyone has relationship issues, sometimes even irreconcilable issues, but not everyone cheats. There are always better, ethical and effective solutions available. Cheating is none of those things. Cheating is closer to trying to put out a kitchen fire by dropping a bomb on you house sure the kitchen fire get's put out but now you have a smoldering crater where your home used to be.
David wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:33 am
I would like to see the stats for longevity where the betrayed has done a 180, the marriage reconciles and the betrayed does no heavy lifting of their own.
Good luck finding stats on any of this stuff. Thanks to attitudes like the the betrayed somehow being responsible for for getting fucked over most people don't even want to talk about it much less answer surveys about it. As best I can tell truly successful reconciliations (as opposed to divorce avoidance plans that typically result in multiple ddays and continued misery for both members of the couple) are rare as hell to begin with.

I've also noticed that betrayed almost always end up doing a massive amount of heavy lifting and introspection. We can't help it. Our entire reality is shifted out from under us as we realize that the lives we thought we were living with a friend, companion and ally was a lie, a fiction crafted specifically to keep us complacent, docile and under control. We pick through our memories we dissect every thought every experience we've had, we go back through those moments when our spider sense tingled when we thought that an answer to a question just didn't ring true but we dismissed as paranoia or our own insecurities because "they'd never do that to us" and then to realize that yes they did indeed do exactly that to us, typically gleefully and repeatedly and that despite all of their protestations to the contrary you know that they knew what they were doing was wrong and hurtful and decided that you just weren't worth enough to protect.

I guess part of it comes down to what you consider to be a successful reconciliation to be. Divorce avoidance? or a truly healthy happy relationship? Plus it's hard to know with therapists everywhere coddling cheaters and reinforcing this ridiculous "unmet needs" paradigm with this idea that the betrayed should be jumping through all kinds of hoops so that their partner won't punish them again for failing to meet some "need" because they aren't perfect little slaves.
David wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:33 am
I agree the children are innocent parties. I dont agree the betrayed is innocent in what led up to to the affair. Unconscious likely, innocent no. After the discovery, then yes the betrayed becomes the innocent victim to the betrayal.
They are victims and suffer even before discovery. Because as the wayward focuses their attention at their affair partner and start shifting their energies and time into their secret relationship they reduce their focus on their family, including their children. When my wife was in her cheating asshole mode she spent every spare moment on her phone chatting and flirting and what ever else and the moment I got home from work she'd check out and leave them to me because "she'd been with them for the whole 2 hours since they got off school" the bulk of which she spent on her phone chatting anyway.

That's one of her biggest regrets looking back on it now. All the time she lost with our children, time that you can't get back. And yes our children suffered from it. Not to mention that after discovery they got to suffer through having a broken father who could barely keep his shit together to go through the motions of going to work much less be a fun and happy father.

Just because it isn't obvious and even if it's not ever discovered and disclosed don't fool yourself into thinking that children aren't affected. If nothing else seeing the change in the relationship of their parents during it all will affect them long into adulthood.
David wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:33 am
The question for me is, are both betrayed and betrayer willing to look at their contribution? Sadly this seems rare where both halves are prepared to do the heavy lifting and I cant help but wonder if this is why so few relationships manage a healthy reconciliation.
This question demonstrates your ignorance and lack of empathy for those you don't identify with, Would you ask a rape victim to look at their contribution to their assault? Would you ask a battered wife to look at her contribution for why her husband beat the shit out of her? I my opinion the reason why so few relationships manage a healthy reconciliation is because the kind of person who cheats in the first place isn't the kind of person who is given to introspection and being in touch with their feelings, they aren't the kinds of people who are willing to stand up for themselves so instead they sneak around building up oppression narrative in their heads and nursing their resentments until they find some outlet where they feel like they can safely act out. They are in essence adult children who never learned how to think and behave like adults.

I've seen hundreds of betrayed who bent over fucking backwards to be the perfect mate and you know what usually happens to them? More cheating. more ddays and more disrespect.

It behavior 101. You reward good behavior and discourage the bad.

What happens in the typical therapist lead "shared responsibility you failed to meet mah needs" model of treatment is that you are rewarding the cheaters behavior. Cheater goes and fucks around then when they are eventually caught, they swear up and down that they will never do it again, they convince their chump to go to couples counseling to figure out what went wrong. The poor cheated on chump who's world has just been turned upside down limps in with them and then we get a therapist who starts nodding sagely as the story is told saying how they understand that the poor little cheater was confused and just couldn't control themselves and thus just had to have crazy porn sex with their AP because their partner wasn't fulling some "need" they have after all. The counselor then looks at the chump and says "ok so cheater is responsible for their cheating but do you see how your actions pushed them to it" remember that the "but" in a sentence negates everything that comes before it. You might as well tell them that "they cheated because you didn't do what they wanted so do what they want in the future and they won't hurt you again".

So chump takes that lesson to heart and busts their butt to change to meet those needs and become the perfect mate for their cheater. Betrayed wives go buy new sexy underwear, they get waxed and work out and read books on how to give blow jobs. Betrayed men buy their wives flowers and arrange more date nites and spend more time taking care of chores or the children or whatever it is that their cheater told them they needed to behave like a decent human being. So from a behavioral standpoint what is the lesson that the cheater learns from this? I'll tell you. they learn that if they cheat and hurt their partner they'll be rewarded and get what they want.

What do you think would happen if you gave a puppy a treat every time they pooped on the living room floor? Do you think that puppy would start going outside to take care of their business? Or do you think that they'll keep pooping in the floor and maybe even expand to the bedroom, dinning room and kitchen.

Sure human beings aren't dog's but we are animals and we're driven by the same basic motivators. Move towards good things move away from bad. You don't give someone money when they rob a bank even though they obviously felt that they needed the money since they robbed a bank. You don't reward shitty behavior in people.

Now this doesn't mean that a betrayed should be oblivious to legitimate gripes that a cheater may have. It just means that you don't tie addressing those gripes to the cheating. And it sure as fuck doesn't come before the cheater doing some hard work on sorting their own shit out first.

Also let's talk for a minute about "needs", your needs are air, water, food, shelter, sleep and a case can probably be made for human social interaction. Everything else is a want. And it's important to understand the difference a need is something that you require to survive and maintain some semblance of sanity. Everything is else is a nice to have but you can live without it.

I may want a Ferrari but that doesn't give me the right to steal one from someone. and let's be honest anyone deserves to be robbed it's someone who owns a Ferrari. I may want to have sex with Scarlett Johansson (I mean who wouldn't) that doesn't give me the right to rape her. Now a homeless person shop lifting in a grocery store for food, that's a legitimate moral quandary, going out and starting a relationship with someone new while you are still in a relationship with someone else is not.

Yet your argument seems to suggest that in the case of infidelity (which isn't really about sex it's about betrayal of trust) we should reward bad behavior. Why the exception? It's emotional abuse. Would you tell a woman who's husband is constantly calling her a fat cow that maybe she should go on a diet and lose some weight so he'd stop? So why the hell would you tell a person whose partner hurt them in one of the most profoundly damaging ways legally possible that they should do the same?

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David
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Re: My feelings after my wife cheated on me

Post by David » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:22 am

duplicate post
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." - C.G. Jung

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Re: My feelings after my wife cheated on me

Post by David » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:57 am

Skex, I appreciate your considered responses and your contribution here. Again,much of what you write I can't disagree with. I see many betrayed with PTSD symptoms and I appreciate the grief can be as severe if not greater than loosing a loved one.
David wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:22 am
This is the problem with an echo chamber. That's part of why I sought out a place like this. Because it's hard to learn anything if you only seek out information and voices that agree with you. If I can accomplish nothing else perhaps my argument and their perception of my pain and anger will give them pause in taking further steps down the slippery slope to choices that they will later regret.
Thats why your voice is so important here. I can and do give my perspective of the damage done by progressing an EA to a PA. Your voice will have more impact here. Most here whilst in their fantasy wish to progress things realise that's not the answer and the vast majority never do act out their feelings. This site is not about condoning affairs, its about helping people take responsibility for their own baggage.

I am confused as to why you feel im saying the betrayer should be rewarded for their behaviour, far from it. I never condone the betrayer however much abuse they face. Nothing justifies an affair. The betrayer needs to be held to account for their actions. For me the affair is a symptom of deeper underlying issues that the betrayer needs to understand why they chose this course of action and learn healthier coping mechanisms when their needs are not being met.

And yet I do understand how affairs happen and know much of what leads up to these events is unconscious. Again im not justifying the behaviour here. If people were more conscious they wouldn't buy into the myth of romantic relationships in the first place and wouldn't be seeking parental figures in their partners to rescue them.

Its what makes me passionate about the work I do - to help people learn how to communicate more clearly, concisely and clearly so that they dont seek out another magical other rescuer when their needs are not being met in the primary relationship. Our narcissistic, co-dependent culture is full of white knights and entitled snowflakes all acting out their own immature demands.

During the height of my limerence I read a number of affair recovery sites to try to understand the impact upon my SO. I agree with you its about the rupture of trust and boundary violation. I see few couples sit down at the beginning of their relationships and be explicit about where the boundaires are around flirting and interactions with people they are attracted too and more importantly what the consequences are for busting these.

My work for me is now to help people (mostly men as I can relate better to men) become more emotionally intelligent and learn how to live a life taking responsibility for their own baggage, be more honest and live with integrity. Its why i'm involved with the ManKind Project charity here in the UK https://www.mankindproject.co.uk/
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." - C.G. Jung

For Relationship Coaching help see www.loverelations.co.uk
For Individual Coaching and Mentoring see www.drdavidperl.com

Limfriend1
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Re: My feelings after my wife cheated on me

Post by Limfriend1 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:42 am

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Last edited by Limfriend1 on Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kenophobia
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Re: My feelings after my wife cheated on me

Post by kenophobia » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:35 am

Skex wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:15 am
(thread split due to OP posting in another thread).

If you are not happy in your marriage either fix it or get out of it. All this limerence nonsense is a bunch of rationalization and self deception. You are most likely pushing your husband away because deep down you know what you are doing is wrong but your self image can't accept it so you demonize your husband and nit pick every little fault or slight in order to dehumanize him in your mind so you can deal with the cognitive dissonance of doing something that you know is wrong.

What you really need to do is accept that you are the problem here, your poor coping mechanisms, your sense of entitlement. Maybe your husband isn't perfect, maybe he is a cold uncaring asshole. That is not a justification for you to abuse him.

Let's consider this, be really really honest with yourself here, which really came first, your dissatisfaction with your husband or your fascination with your affair partner(s)?

No one else can fix you but you.
Most direct and forthright post I've seen here in a long time, thanks for sharing.

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Re: My feelings after my wife cheated on me

Post by Skex » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:26 pm

David wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:57 am
Skex, I appreciate your considered responses and your contribution here. Again,much of what you write I can't disagree with. I see many betrayed with PTSD symptoms and I appreciate the grief can be as severe if not greater than loosing a loved one.
We call it betrayal for a reason. One way I explained it to my wife is that it's essentially the same as a traitor during wartime. We were supposed to be a team and have each others backs. To be the person who the other could always count on. Just like in war your allies and squad mates are people you depend on. The betrayal from cheating is most similar to having one of your allies secretly turn out to be a traitor working for your enemy. Taking advantage of your trust and faith in them in order to cause you harm.

There is a reason why traitors are executed while enemy soldiers are treated under the rules of war in civilizations that operate on the rule of law. Because an enemy soldier is just doing their job in an objectively open and honest way (war criminals not withstanding) a traitor however is someone who pretends to be your friend and ally only so that they can undermine you and cause you harm.

That said obviously different people react differently to such betrayals and from what I've seen the level of pain from said betrayal is strongly related to the level of trust that the betrayed felt for their betrayer prior to the betrayal and the how invested they were in the relationship (marriage vs dating, children, sacrifice to help their partner achieve their goals).

People don't generally get as upset if someone they just started dating cheats on them. There isn't much trust to begin with so there isn't much to destroy. Even in a longer marriage with kids if there is a lot of mutual resentment and animosity and already a lack of trust I imagine it is easier to deal with as well.

The ones that I find have the hardest time are those where the betrayal is unexpected, where trust did exist and where the betrayed is heavily invested in the relationship.

David wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:57 am
Thats why your voice is so important here. I can and do give my perspective of the damage done by progressing an EA to a PA. Your voice will have more impact here. Most here whilst in their fantasy wish to progress things realise that's not the answer and the vast majority never do act out their feelings. This site is not about condoning affairs, its about helping people take responsibility for their own baggage.
I appreciate your openness to discussion try to keep in mind that I attack ideas not people though it may be hard to tell the difference when it's an idea you hold. I already know from your references to RedPill and MRA stuff that we're going to be at odds on a lot of underlying philosophical questions, so I appreciate your willingness to entertain opposing views.

David wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:57 am
I am confused as to why you feel im saying the betrayer should be rewarded for their behaviour, far from it. I never condone the betrayer however much abuse they face. Nothing justifies an affair. The betrayer needs to be held to account for their actions. For me the affair is a symptom of deeper underlying issues that the betrayer needs to understand why they chose this course of action and learn healthier coping mechanisms when their needs are not being met.
I'm tempted to give a flip and sarcastic response here, But I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that I have failed to explain my point in a way that you understand.

This is what I am referring to.
David wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:33 am
For a relationship to work at the most intimate of levels, it requires both halves to do their own growing up. Until the betrayed takes 100% responsibility for their own behaviour that led up to the betrayal , the relationship is unlikely to get to a place of one built on honesty, trust, respect and agape love."
From you previous reply. In particular I'm referring to the bold portion where you say that the betrayed needs to take responsibility for their behavior that led to the betrayal. You are drawing direct link from a purported cause (whatever justification/reason the betrayer gave to excuse themselves) to effect (betraying trust and having affair) with that thought. That statement and belief is condoning the affair. What you are saying when you say that is that their choice to cheat was caused by the betrayed.

It's also a big assumption to start with that the betrayed is emotionally immature. Sure they might be, but it's a completely separate issue from the choice to cheat.

If the relationship was that bad why didn't they cheat as well? In my case I was very deliberate when I decided to marry my wife. I had been cheated on in the past and was tired of dealing with immature women. So I specifically sought out a woman who was together, emotionally mature, reasoned and honest. Turned out that my wife was really good at faking it and acting like that kind of a person. Good enough to convince me that I'd found a reliable partner who valued honesty and communication as much as I did. In fact from day one our relationship motto was "communicate, communicate, communicate and if that doesn't work communicate some more." and that worked great until life pressures became such that she couldn't fake her way through it and her deeper dysfunctional coping mechanisms from growing up in an alcoholic home manifested in depression and the eventual seeking out of validation from other men.

She could have talked to me, she could have insisted that we go to couples counseling, she could have divorced me. If she had made her feelings clear to me I would have been more than happy to work with her to resolve them together and if not I may not have liked it but I could have at least respected her decision if she chose to leave.

But she didn't do that. She just decided to deal with her dissatisfaction and shut up about it because she was conflict avoidant. I can understand that her home life was chaos covered by an illusion of normality. Her mother was emotionally abusive and her father was an alcoholic who was emotionally detached. She projected her own relationship issues with her parents onto me, her fear of rejection, her fear that I'd leave her or hurt her and pulled back. But I can also recognize that I am not in any way responsible for how people treated her before I even knew that she existed.

Even if I had been a horrible husband and it had been a miserable relationship, I had nothing to do with her poor coping mechanisms or her projection of her unresolved issues with her family onto me. Now I can understand how her FOO and depression and way of thinking led her to her choices but I'm not taking any ownership of them. I've got plenty on my own plate that I am responsible for I don't need to be trying to take responsibility for her shit childhood and the crappy choices that came out of it as well.

Sure I wasn't the perfect husband who did every little thing that she wanted just the way that she wanted me to but I shouldn't have to be for her to be honest and respectful of me and treat me like a decent human being. I didn't decide to do something that I knew would hurt her because she wasn't the perfect wife. It's not like she and I hadn't discussed cheating and the potential consequences I had told her about my past experience with cheaters and how important honesty was to me and to the health of a relationship. Yet she went right ahead and did it, even going so far to say to one of her APs that "I'm happy that my husband is oblivious, no not oblivious he just expects me to come and talk to him if something is wrong" while discussing their desires for each other.

She did what she did for her own messed up FOO based dysfunctional reasons and nothing that I could change about me, my communication or my behavior in the relationship can address that. That's something that she is has to work through. My support for her is not kicking her out and divorcing her while she does it.

I'm self aware enough and far enough out that I can see the demarcation between "relationship issues" and "fucked up destructive behavior" and that the former is something that everyone faces but the latter is a function of how the one who engages in the dysfunctional behaviors processes and deals with those relationship issues. The betrayed bears no responsibility or culpability for their betrayer's dysfunction.

By drawing a connection between the relationship and the choice to cheat you are condoning the affair, you are acknowledging that it was an understandable and thus reasonable response to the circumstances they faced. You are saying that if the betrayed had done X or not done Y that the cheater wouldn't have cheated. You are putting all of the responsibility for the cheaters choice on the betrayed. Sure you say the words "I don't condone cheating" but your reasoning calls lie to that statement. While the betrayed may have a share of responsibility for the states of the relationship they have no share of responsibility for how their betrayer decided to react to it.

This is why Betrayed partners who've been through this experience tell the newly betrayed to avoid relationship counselors until the infidelity and the betrayers issues are addressed. Because while the relationship state may have been a factor in the stress that the cheater was reacting to, their reaction to that stress is entirely on them, Yet when these newly betrayed go see a relationship counselor they generally aren't ready to see that demarcation and when someone says something like "Until the betrayed takes 100% responsibility for their own behaviour that led up to the betrayal" they internalize it and start doing everything they can to address it even though it does nothing to address the base cause of the infidelity which is has everything to do with how the cheater chose to react to their stress in an unethical and destructive manner.

Try to understand this. Cheating is largely about control. The cheater controls their faithful partner by denying them a true picture of the reality that they are living in (such as the idea that they have a partner they can trust and who has their back and wouldn't intentionally hurt them) , a not insignificant part of the reason that they get away with it as long as they do is because the faithful partner does have a healthy attitude towards the relationship. You are supposed to be able to trust your partner, you shouldn't have to keep track of them and worry about who they are chatting or texting with. A healthy relationship between two people who are emotionally mature is one where neither partner feels a need to be concerned about the actions of their mate.

So when that is destroyed through betrayal and the betrayed is desperately trying to figure out what was wrong with them. What they did to deserve this. The top two questions that betrayed ask in the aftermath of discovery are "why?" (did you do this to me) and "how?" (could you do this to me) no matter how rational, reasonable and emotionally healthy we may have been before, the reaction to such betrayal is primal, instinctual and overwhelming. You are flailing about desperately trying to understand how this happened and how you were responsible. Because if you can figure out what you did wrong you can fix it. Trust me I've never seen a betrayed partner who didn't look for and admit their own failings in a relationship.

The problem is that it wasn't because of you, and you can't fix it. You can be the most loving, caring, attentive, conscientious and giving person in the world and if you end up with someone with bad coping mechanisms and no ethical center they will cheat on you. You can't protect yourself save through being a hermit.

People want to believe that other people cheat because of problems with their relationship or dissatisfaction with their partner. Because if it's the betrayed fault then they can pretend that they can prevent it from happening to them. If they recognized the reality that they have absolutely no control they couldn't be smugly assured that they won't ever been in that place themselves.

Of course the cheaters are more than happy to glom onto that idea because it simultaneously absolves them of culpability and vindicates their actions and people always find it easier to agree with ideas that validate their desires (see confirmation bias), on top of that they now have a partner who is scrambling around to kiss their ass (What is known as the "Pick me dance") showering them in attention and giving them power in the relationship. Which means that yes they end up getting rewarded for their shitty choice.

This attitude is ultimately counter productive for the emotional growth and positive change for the cheater as well. Because by supporting the idea that they cheated because of something their partner did or didn't do you are discouraging them from taking responsibility and recognizing their own agency and power over themselves. And frankly given that power is such a strong aspect of cheating the last thing that a cheater needs is to feel like they are powerless.
David wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:57 am
And yet I do understand how affairs happen and know much of what leads up to these events is unconscious. Again im not justifying the behaviour here. If people were more conscious they wouldn't buy into the myth of romantic relationships in the first place and wouldn't be seeking parental figures in their partners to rescue them.
I actually doubt your assertion, I think that you are like most people who focus on the trivial surface reasons (they didn't pay enough attention to me, they didn't help enough around the house, only wanted me for sex. didn't want enough sex, etc etc ad infinitum) aka "unmet needs" instead of focusing on the real cause which is going to be either mental disorder or FOO related deficiency in character.

You think that the dysfunction is the circumstance under which the dysfunction manifests rather than the true dysfunction being how people react to those circumstances.

David wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:57 am
Its what makes me passionate about the work I do - to help people learn how to communicate more clearly, concisely and clearly so that they dont seek out another magical other rescuer when their needs are not being met in the primary relationship. Our narcissistic, co-dependent culture is full of white knights and entitled snowflakes all acting out their own immature demands.
People who are secure in themselves and have good mature coping skills don't feel the need to seek out a magical other rescuer because we understand that we are responsible for meeting our own desires in a way that is ethical and consistent with our own values. Ethical means that we take how our choices affect others into account and we don't cause others harm in order to satisfy our desires if we can help it and that sometimes our desires have to go unsatisfied because to satisfy them would require us to do something that violates our values.

That has nothing to do with communication. It's a question of character and the ability to accept disappointment. Communication skills are great when two people who have those good personal coping skills need to resolve conflicts. But ultimately whether or not someone will use those communication skills is a question of each individuals emotional maturity and character not their awareness of their existence and use. All of the tools in the world will do fuck all if your first impulse is to always reach for a stick of dynamite.

David wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:57 am
During the height of my limerence I read a number of affair recovery sites to try to understand the impact upon my SO. I agree with you its about the rupture of trust and boundary violation. I see few couples sit down at the beginning of their relationships and be explicit about where the boundaires are around flirting and interactions with people they are attracted too and more importantly what the consequences are for busting these.
They shouldn't have too. There are a base set of social assumptions that apply unless otherwise negotiated. The default assumption in marriage for instance is monogamy. There is an implicit expectation of faithfulness and loyalty built into the concept, even dating it's generally understood as the default position. It's a part of the vows that most people swear when they get married. It's "I promise to love, honor and respect ,though sickness and health" not " I promise to love, honor and respect until things get difficult then I'm going to go fuck you over" hell most people have that "forsaking all others" in their vows as well which is a pretty fucking explicit statement that they aren't going to go find other people for sexual or romantic relationships.

There is also that well known option available for those who decide that they want out of that arrangement. It's called divorce and is generally understood to be the default consequence for cheating. So stop with this "they didn't know and didn't understand or think about the consequences" They'd have to live under a fucking rock to not know what was expected and the potential consequences for cheating.

The cheater knows what the boundaries are and they understand the potential consequences of violating them, they just don't care enough to stop because they rationalize themselves into thinking that their situation is different and that the rules shouldn't apply to them (which is the definition of a snowflake). If they didn't they wouldn't work so hard to hide it.

David wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:57 am
My work for me is now to help people (mostly men as I can relate better to men) become more emotionally intelligent and learn how to live a life taking responsibility for their own baggage, be more honest and live with integrity. Its why i'm involved with the ManKind Project charity here in the UK https://www.mankindproject.co.uk/
You do people no good if you reinforce their cognitive fallacies and shit reasoning. In fact by asserting an objectively false narrative you cause actual real harm to people. I've talked to the other betrayed partners who have dealt with therapists who use that stupid "shared responsibility/unmet needs in the relationship" paradigm and have seen the very real damage that it causes.

I have one friend who caught her husband in an affair 12 years at the time he made all the right noises said all the right things they did relationship counseling and she bought into this idea so instead of holding him accountable and applying any real consequences for his shit behavior, she forgave him and worked to be the wife he convinced her that he wanted.

How did he repay her for her forgiveness and all the efforts she made? Well 10 years later during her father's wake she finds a cell phone that she doesn't recognize then when she starts asking around her husband pulls her aside and confesses that it's the phone that he used to communicate with his affair partner.

Where is that her fault? The only fault I've seen from her in this is that she's been too scared to tell him to pack his shit and get the fuck out which doesn't surprise me at all given the amount of abuse he's put her through.

I met her because she was posting on a polyamory board because she'd decided that since he wouldn't stop cheating and she still loved him she would just learn to deal with it. Which is when I reached out to her and expressed that it was completely understandable that she was having so much trouble dealing with it because she wasn't in a poly relationship she was being cheated on. I've spent the last 2 years trying to get her to understand how shitty his treatment of her is. How it's his problem and how she deserves better.

Because even though it's ostensibly an "open" relationship now the reality is that he's just as selfish and insensitive to her feelings as he was when he was "cheating". Because he didn't pay a cost. He got to have his cake and enjoy his side piece. She got hours and hours of tears and misery. He continues to lie and be dismissive of her feelings and if anything has become worse now that she's "accepted" his "love" for another woman so now he feels entitled to it. Because she focused on what she did that caused his behavior rather than admitting that he's just a childish immature shit heel and expecting some real substantive change from him to even consider giving him a chance.

I my opinion therapist should be helping people to recognize and change dysfunctional behavior not just teach them how to rationalize living in dysfunction.

Ivanhoe
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Re: Feelings Towards DH

Post by Ivanhoe » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:09 am

LisaTranscending wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:12 am
just.... I want to apologize to every member in here for all those times I went too far perhaps in my furthering my values sometimes onto others in an oppressive manner. Dear members...please forgive me.

and that would include you skex, forgive my forthright indignation that I'm accusing you of in the very same breath.
Love the humor!! :))
65 (feel 50); Male

"Grief makes children of us all. Any intellectual difference is destroyed. The wisest know nothing."
- Emerson

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