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TimT
Intuition77 wrote:
...I see a lot of selfish people that are just sorry they got caught & wish to keep being selfish. I see people say they are sorry and full of remorse all while justifying what they did. I see people who think it's ok to sleep with someone else's spouse and call it "we just couldn't help it" (yes the rest of us also walk around falling Into sexual positions with random people all the time) or "fate" (my favorite cause fates always lining up partners who are already married damn fate) "his/her spouse didn't know them Like I did"... I see people say there is no excuse for what they did and then follow it with a lists of excuses. I see people say it was all my fault, completely I own my choices, i know that now but if only they had done x more I wouldn't of been brought to that place. Really? Cause you weren't doing x for your spouse either yet they didn't go to that same place. I've seen blame on the time period, work projects, deaths, schedules, kids being born, kids moving out, hobbies, pets, in laws, friends, vacations, addictions and yet they never ever own the fact they we're in control of their own choices. They'll say they own that, only it's immediately followed by their friend blame. Sometimes it's tiny, a fleeting short little sentence yet it's tacked there on the end to be absolutely sure you know THIS WAS SOMEONE ELSES FAULT JUST NOT THEIRS. I see people lie and lie and lie beyond anything I've ever considered even comprehensible. Lies of omission, avoidance, bold lies, tiny lies, felony lies, gaslighting lies, twisted truth and turn of phrase lies... I see families torn apart and children suffering and the ones who chose that knowing full well what they we're doing suddenly crying I was in a fog, it's in the past now we need to move forward because I'm too selfish to deal with this. I see married & unmarried people who have no respect for marriage at all. I see people who at the drop of a compliment or the Buzz of a naked photo or sext destroy the one person they swore to love honor and protect forever and their families yet can't even face their own slight discomfort at being honest about their actions or dare be called out on those actions without crying unfair. I see good people who while not perfect we're honest and faithful have their hearts ripped out and their kids lives uprooted all so the person responsible can say oops it was just a mistake what about me and my entitlement. And I guess it in a way makes me lose faith in the human race. That maybe the human mind and ego is such a thing that people can't ever truly face their misdeeds with any real remorse or selflessness.

I've seen all of that, too. But I've also had the privilege to witness:
  • a man so torn by the awareness of his own brokenness and betrayals that he confessed his multiple affairs and asked for a chance to make their marriage different (six years ago and they continue to build an intimate relationship)
  • a woman who kept her affair private until the conflict in her led her to confession with a commitment to the hard work of regaining her husband's trust
  • a man caught in infidelity who works at repairing his marriage only to be caught with compromising texts several years later and then crumbling at the awareness of who he was becoming... determined to tell a different story with his life and humbly asking his wife to risk joining him again
  • a mother so consumed by the by the passion of her affair that she abandoned her children until the day when your daughter's words finally broke into that hardened place and started a process of life change (and marriage salvation)
  • a couple who hurt each other in their mutual infidelities, realizing the cycle of their choices always returned them to a place of disappointment and pain, committing to help each other discover the more vulnerable choices that might guide them to a better relationship, together
I wish every couple experienced these things. They do not. Change is hard and not everyone wants to put in the work required. But it is the story of many. And it's why I work to help people toward affair healing.

And part of my work is coming alongside people whose hearts have been so broken that they seem close to losing all hope. I do not have the magic words to sprinkle over such pain to make it all better. The wounds are too deep for such superficial expectations. But I do want them to at least get a glimpse of other possibilities.

If I had not been witness to them, I could not do what I do.
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Intuition77
Kalmarjan wrote:
I can see the raw emotion here.

There are two things here.

1) There has to be some form of change on both the WS and BS behalf in order for things to work out. There is no way that the situation will get better if one side decides that they do not need to change anything. It's not fair by any means, but it is what it is. I know the BS didn't choose this avenue, but to go forward some form of change is needed.

2) The score keeping I'm talking about has nothing to do with the affair. I'm talking about the events that led up to the affair. You touched on this in your post there. Yes, to some extent I guess all marriages have some form of score keeping, but I'm talking about the destructive score keeping - the covert contracts from a lack of communication. From both sides. Things like, "if I give her a child she will be happy," or "if I buy him this gift he will show me affection" or various forms of contract.

Again I have to reiterate that in almost all cases the BS is more than right in saying that they don't have to change. They are not the ones who entered into this situation in a dishonest way. But Intuition77, I think you can agree that the situation a couple finds themselves in after an affair is a broken one. There has to be some form of change.

In order for things to move forward there has to be acceptance on both sides. I'm not saying you need to condone the actions of the WS, far from it. But eventually both sides need to let go of the situation, the blame, who's right, who did what to whom, who's the ass, who is abusing whom, and all of the attachments.

Then, a decision has to be made. Do we go forward from here together? Or do we split?

If you choose the latter, then I believe things will go better if you just stop. It comes down to what's more important? One of us being "right" or the two of us working through this together? (Put another way, we both "win" not one of us. There's that nasty score keeping again!)

Oh, and the most important thing a WS needs to do is own their actions. I'm not talking about making a million excuses. Really own that they did what they did. I mean, yeah - you're right in some respects. I cheated because I wanted to. But that's like saying the building burned down because it was on fire. It simplifies things too much.

Once a cheater, always a cheater... Perhaps. That is if someone just goes through the motions and doesn't enact the change they need to genuinely reconnect with their spouse. I didn't want a quick fix here, I wanted to have my spouse back, and for us to give it a go.

In my case, I could at some level apply all of your feelings to my spouse because she chose to have a rebound affair. Like I said, I'm in a unique position because on some level I understand what you are going through because 7 days after d-day my wife slept with her "high school sweetheart."

The worst part on that is that my wife still doesn't consider it all that bad. See, had I not cheated she would never have been put in the position to do that. To be honest, I don't completely buy it because I know that they had an EA while she was trying to figure out what was wring between the to of us.

But again, that is all just keeping score. I prefer to go about accepting what I did, why I did it, and changing what I have to so I can become the husband that my wife would want to be a partner with.

On my wife's end, we went through the truth part of this recovery, and she made her change. She tries not to dwell on what went down, and if she does have a trigger, I'm there to help her feel safe. I'm not talking about a bunch of rules, I'm talking about communication. Way more than before all this ugliness started.

Most of all, anger is toxic. She (and i) above all else needed to work through the anger. This was key. I used to always avoid her anger. (Thus the covert contracts!) I would very quickly in the past try to "fix" things when I noticed my wife could get angry. Of course there was no quick fix for the anger this time. For the first time in our relationship we worked through the anger together. We talked. Communicated our needs.

Honestly, on both sides - it is easier to just walk away. I could have stayed away from my wife - with or without the AP. She could have pushed me away and went on it by herself.

The most important question I think the MC asked us was "why do you want to be with him/her?" It's the "why" that is key here.

My answer was because I love my wife. I always have. I lost sight of that and went off the rails, but that didn't change.

Her initial answer was because she wanted the family to be together. You know it hurt me to hear that. It was like She said she didn't want it because she loved me, but rather just to keep us whole as a family.

That prompted the very first honest communication (outside of the affair) A real uncomfortable conversation that back in the day we would have avoided. It was one of the first times that we were completely raw and honest with each other.

I think that had to happen before we could both let go of keeping score.

I'm not trying to ramble honest... It's just the browser on my phone won't let me scroll up to edit this. (it does that from time to time.)



I'm still not sure where your going with this. You take what I say & argue I'm wrong for things I didn't even say. Your first two points-changes and score keeping are again making it sound as if I'm saying no changing shouldn't be required for the BS and it isn't fair etc. You keep going over this except Where exactly am I saying this? I believe my exact words we're along the lines of YES change can & should occur in both parties. You constantly reference a BS wanting to express their pain (usually their already coming from a place of at least wanting to not hurt the other) and that they NEED safety and understanding to rebuild and turn that into a BS saying it's not fair I shouldn't have to change. I'm not saying that. I haven't seen any say that. We're more then well aware how unfair it is. Most BS aren't actually focused on that.

Your argument for the injured party needing understanding that their hurt was unjust and well painful is that it's unfair to put that pressure on the wS? Seeing the entitlement and value inequality yet? The wS needs incentive and change in the BS to have enough decency to simply treat another human with respect? But It's unfair when the BS has issues they need to address but that's because hey marriage just isn't fair? Why is it all the trump cards: score keeping, unfairness, secrets, anger, hurt etc are all ok when they're in the wayward a hand but not the betrayed? And why everytime I mention this do you try to make it into well marriage isn't fair so just let it go. Or you get a bit condescending about you can be right or you save your marriage. I'm not talking about what's fair or who's right. Im not talking about arguing pointing fingers back and forth about who started it and whose position is right. Lying and hurting someone is wrong-there's no right to it. No matter which party did it. So yes in that case the injured spouse is "right" not a win lose situation. A basis of relationships situation. A very basic situation in how people treat each other. If you feel lying and cheating is "right" or ok then that's fine as long as you need to be upfront with your partner before you marry if not then I'm pretty sure you agreed about the no lying no cheating rule-until it applied to just you. There's the lack of equality again. The rules always change when they apply to the wS. It's ok as long as it's not being done TO you. its understandable,excusable as long as it's YOU doing it. I'm talking about what's equal. I'm talking about entitlement to special rules and that's exactly what's still happening for most well after dday. When given an example of how you'd most likely not like being treated in a similar hurtful, dismissive way you had nothing to say.

Because what it looks like to me Is you taking what I said then trying to gloss it over as me arguing the opposite with patronizing well look bs's now that the affair is out we should all play fair and be on even playing grounds etc you can be "right" or you can "save" your marriage. It's sleight of hand. A magic trick. Look Over here at your flaws! Every single time it boils down to taking responsibility. Your kind of proving my point here. That many wS do.

When a BS gets real about what is required and what they actually need to be capable of working through this immense pain but brings up major issues that need addressed suddenly the wS doesn't want to deal with those so they gloss it all over as we/team that's now how it will work etc and then try to twist it Into this marriage can't work if you aren't willing to change too, if your just gonna score keep. My point was this is all bull. The BS is still approaching the marriage with personal responsibility -accepting and not fighting their own change, seeking out info and help etc while the wS every time personal responsibility comes up they do this magic trick-look over here at your problems and you just don't want to change or you expect this To be fair etc etc all to avoid dealing with the real issues. Them.

Your doing the exact same thing in response to my posts and I say posts because you've done it more then
Once. Your arguments aren't valid-not because of your points or because your feelings aren't valid or because I disagree but simply because I wasn't actually arguing what your defending yourself against. It didn't exist. It's just more gas lighting. I'm talking about a wS personal responsibility and a BS NOT being Doormat and saying that if in any relationship at any time one spouse is putting more worth on themselves and their needs feelings then that's a major issue that needs addressed first because you can't have an equal or even considerate let alone respectful relationship based on that.

Your response is to argue things I'm
Not even saying? When did I or any BS say they didn't want to let alone have to change? I haven't seen a BS argue wanting to change, except the change waywards want to see is "forget your pain and rug sweep" no a BS should not change like that. That isn't change that's giving up your basic needs of safety and love so someone else can avoid being real.

But beyond not wanting to give up their basic human rights as people I'm not seeing BS balking at change. I am Seeing ws balk At it though. They don't want to talk about it. They don't want to see their spouses feelings or pain. They don't want to figure out why they lie. They just won't anymore. Until they do. Then it's you put too many expectations to not lie on me! It's your anger that makes me lie. And so on. They don't want to take responsibility for what got them I to this in the first place-their wants being more important then someone else's needs. Which was my point. Yet somehow you turned that back into the BS crying it's not fair and not right as we don't want to change? I don't see any BS actually saying that.

In the same post where you reference score keeping Again as bad when it's what BS do when they discuss the affair and don't just take one for the team And ignore it and come from a "place Of we" (same place NONE of the wS we're interested in before it helped them avoid their own flaws)
Yet at least 2 points about your own BS is score keeping- her cheating after you cheated, and telling her to go sleep with someone else & her not wanting the marriage just for love. You mention these 2 points various times. They seem to be your score keeping solution to having to face your own choices-you jump to well she did this and it hurt me. I'm in pain, pain caused by her but through a series of events I created so that evens out her pain. Let's not point fingers at who was wrong first-but only when the wS was wrong first. It's almost used as not an excuse but dismissing things. And in doing so dismisses a person as less then the other. I don't need to understand her pain more because look I felt pain too. And to me it comes across very grudge holding. You seem Almost relieved she did these things so you can use them in retaliation anytime your own choices are mentioned. This was my point. Why is it always good for the goose but not the gander? Where's the we/united front/ empathy and understanding there? Why are her flaws ok to scorekeep but yours are off the table?

I'm sorry you just seem to also want to paint yourself with the golden brush and act above anger, reproach, judgement, bitterness, pain, responsibility etc but only when it suits your personal situation-when it applies to a wS and talking about issues this is all silly and should be taken for the team-we not me, let go the toxic anger and forgive etc et
But the minute it applies to a BS situation your all about anger, indifference, they need to take ownership of their flaws, etc. That's all on them. And this comes out in your posts because your arguing things no ones arguing. Your taking a BS saying I have no problem With changes but why is it all about my change not theirs too (as in both)-you somehow take that and make it well we can sit and argue who gives more but that's no way to a marriage. I'm sorry but wth is that besides entitlement? The arguments are only good when the wS can use them, the second they are turned around on them they are considered invalid. My ws did this too. His most famous line was 2 wrongs don't make a right! Said with indignant anger and superiority. Immediately followed by excusing his own actions as well I only did this because you did that. Also said with indignant anger & the same superiority. There's no equal ground there. It's all just as long as it suits me it's ok but it's not ok for you.

Then there's the line about well it's time to let go who abused who. WOAH there. This is exactly what I mean. I feel it's I humane to reference another persons pain and suffering and trauma as dismissive let it his simply because it suits your personal agenda. And it's lumped in surprisingly with all the things we should let go of-all the ws mistakes. Funny I don't see you saying we also need to let go of being defensive towards righteous anger & instead meet it with empathy or we should let go of the BS mistakes. I don't see you actually letting go of any of your wife's mistakes, I see you using them to justify your own actions. I see you mention her "affairs" & I say it that way because according to you, you left for another woman and told your wife sleep with someone else. You didn't drop your ap day one and commit to the marriage so yes I see your wife's affairs as wrong since she was still married yet you we're telling her and showing her you didn't want the marriage. I see you mention she still is in some contact with some of these men and that it rightfully bothers you, as you know anyone here would agree that no contact is a must. Yet you seem to mention this almost to one up her-she still does this but I let it go because I know what I did was wrong. That still sounds like passive aggressive score keeping and not being open or honest. You mention it enough that I'd be fair to say (understandably) you haven't let go of it. But to admit that means that the same can be true for her. So have you really let it go or are you not letting it go but pretending to in order to justify her having to let go?

Rebuilding a marriage for me isn't about letting go of the wounds or abuse you dealt another person. Work through them
With change yes. Acknowledge them
Fully. But minimizing emotionally abusing someone as well it's over so we're going to start new that doesn't matter now isn't going to change anything. It's going to keep the ideas that one party is more valuable and their needs feelings worth more then the other. Which again is what started the whole thing to begin with. Which was my point. The wS many times isn't trying for a better more equal respectful marriage. They're trying to keep a marriage where they rank higher at least in their own heads. I'm not seeing a lot of genuine remorse in ws's of how could I do that to another person something in me needs to change-I'm seeing no you change so I don't have to. I'm seeing the problem isn't my actions hurting you it's you needing things to heal from the hurt-completely dismissing another persons needs for their own agenda of avoidance. Or they really are just THAT selfish. They really don't care what anyone else feels as long as they come out on top in control. Majority of BS are trying to save their marriage. In doing so they are already sacrificing much and giving more then they probably should. Majority of wS are focused more on their own shame or wants then saving the marriage. Approaching it as a give them
Incentive, let it go, your just score keeping mentality is setting a BS up to be a doormat and no change coming from the wS. I'm not saying the correct approach is a BS beating their wS over the head with mistakes or letting rage fly off the handle either. I'm saying it needs to be approached with respect to both parties. Yes as the injured spouse their basic needs may need to be met first before things can move forward some simply because the situation the wS created is a safety issue. The BS didn't create a safety issue. I'm sorry if that's not "fair" to a wS. They chose it so crying unfair is a little ridiculous. They didn't think It was unfair when they weren't having to face consequences. Then it was all ok. Getting caught? Now that's unfair. Having to actually face the side of them
Capable of doing such things? So unfair.

No one can meet your needs for affection or attention etc coming from a place of fear. The wS put them there. They made themselves unsafe. And now what we're all supposed to be sorry the wS chose to do that? How about taking some personal responsibility! Your telling the injured spouse who majority of the time is the one whose already focused on trying to heal wanting to forgive trying to change wanting to have openness that they need to give more is usually not the answer. Usually they we're already giving too much. I see many stories where it seems the BS biggest flaw was enabling their wS selfishness, always giving never making them step up and take responsibility. BS need to be less selfless and more self love and care focused. Especially immediately after the betrayal. And yes that is a flaw in the BS but one they have to take care of themselves to fix. Continuing to enable isn't going to change it. And it's not going to earn them the respect and love they deserve from Someone too selfish to give it freely. Someone who is ok with entirely selfish deeds when it hurts someone else but who then cries your selfish! when
Someone else's boundaries don't let them abuse any longer.

It's all just more smoke screens and sleight of hand to avoid the wS having to actually do anything like have remorse, make changes or stop making excuses. Look over here at you expecting so much for your pain, look at you keeping score and not seeing my side-cause that sure deflects away from the person who put the pain there to begin with. And it's more selfishness. And I'm beginning to think it's just ingrained in some people. If your prerogative is you need incentive to not lie cheat steal or hurt another person then your not standing on very solid ground. And I personally wouldn't join someone as a partner for life on such shaky ground. Life doesnt walk around handing people incentives.

I've not seen a single BS say I don't need to change anything. Even the angriest ones stuck in rage talk about what could be different, what they would've done differently. But I've seen almost all the ws trying like hell to avoid any real change. So no I wasn't saying or implying a BS doesn't have to change anything or it's not fair that they do. That's not the problem. But by making it the problem one can avoid the real problem and avoid all change.
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Intuition77
TimT wrote:
Intuition77 wrote:
...I see a lot of selfish people that are just sorry they got caught & wish to keep being selfish. I see people say they are sorry and full of remorse all while justifying what they did. I see people who think it's ok to sleep with someone else's spouse and call it "we just couldn't help it" (yes the rest of us also walk around falling Into sexual positions with random people all the time) or "fate" (my favorite cause fates always lining up partners who are already married damn fate) "his/her spouse didn't know them Like I did"... I see people say there is no excuse for what they did and then follow it with a lists of excuses. I see people say it was all my fault, completely I own my choices, i know that now but if only they had done x more I wouldn't of been brought to that place. Really? Cause you weren't doing x for your spouse either yet they didn't go to that same place. I've seen blame on the time period, work projects, deaths, schedules, kids being born, kids moving out, hobbies, pets, in laws, friends, vacations, addictions and yet they never ever own the fact they we're in control of their own choices. They'll say they own that, only it's immediately followed by their friend blame. Sometimes it's tiny, a fleeting short little sentence yet it's tacked there on the end to be absolutely sure you know THIS WAS SOMEONE ELSES FAULT JUST NOT THEIRS. I see people lie and lie and lie beyond anything I've ever considered even comprehensible. Lies of omission, avoidance, bold lies, tiny lies, felony lies, gaslighting lies, twisted truth and turn of phrase lies... I see families torn apart and children suffering and the ones who chose that knowing full well what they we're doing suddenly crying I was in a fog, it's in the past now we need to move forward because I'm too selfish to deal with this. I see married & unmarried people who have no respect for marriage at all. I see people who at the drop of a compliment or the Buzz of a naked photo or sext destroy the one person they swore to love honor and protect forever and their families yet can't even face their own slight discomfort at being honest about their actions or dare be called out on those actions without crying unfair. I see good people who while not perfect we're honest and faithful have their hearts ripped out and their kids lives uprooted all so the person responsible can say oops it was just a mistake what about me and my entitlement. And I guess it in a way makes me lose faith in the human race. That maybe the human mind and ego is such a thing that people can't ever truly face their misdeeds with any real remorse or selflessness.

I've seen all of that, too. But I've also had the privilege to witness:
  • a man so torn by the awareness of his own brokenness and betrayals that he confessed his multiple affairs and asked for a chance to make their marriage different (six years ago and they continue to build an intimate relationship)
  • a woman who kept her affair private until the conflict in her led her to confession with a commitment to the hard work of regaining her husband's trust
  • a man caught in infidelity who works at repairing his marriage only to be caught with compromising texts several years later and then crumbling at the awareness of who he was becoming... determined to tell a different story with his life and humbly asking his wife to risk joining him again
  • a mother so consumed by the by the passion of her affair that she abandoned her children until the day when your daughter's words finally broke into that hardened place and started a process of life change (and marriage salvation)
  • a couple who hurt each other in their mutual infidelities, realizing the cycle of their choices always returned them to a place of disappointment and pain, committing to help each other discover the more vulnerable choices that might guide them to a better relationship, together
I wish every couple experienced these things. They do not. Change is hard and not everyone wants to put in the work required. But it is the story of many. And it's why I work to help people toward affair healing.

And part of my work is coming alongside people whose hearts have been so broken that they seem close to losing all hope. I do not have the magic words to sprinkle over such pain to make it all better. The wounds are too deep for such superficial expectations. But I do want them to at least get a glimpse of other possibilities.

If I had not been witness to them, I could not do what I do.



I appreciate your experiences. And I did not wish to imply that everyone here should give up or that there is never any hope. Just that it is disheartening to hear so many lies and betrayals with very little awareness or wish to have it. I hate to see BS feeling they have to be a doormat to save their marriage because one I don't think you can save it that way. And two from experience I see that some people really don't change or get to a place where they even want to see themselves clearly in the light of another persons pain. And in that case you can't save your marriage at all. And being a doormat is only going to hurt your chances going forward either way.
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Kalmarjan
Somehow this all went off the rails. I feel like your projecting anger on me, and subsequently making an assumption about how I would be/act/in a given situation. I am not your WS. My situation is unique to me, my wife, and this affair. 

Okay. 

I'm talking about letting sh*t go. Period. To go forward. 

I'm not saying that I'm a doormat, my wife is a doormat, or anyone is a doormat. We are in a relationship that we both want to work. In the end, I. Am. Not. Keeping. Score. 

Neither is she. 

We dropped it. We looked at things, and said, okay. We both have issues, our marriage is what's important. 

I honestly am not using my wife's rebound as an excuse for what I did. I'm saying that IF I kept score, then I would use it as an excuse. I did that in the beginning. Right now, it doesn't matter. 

I am not above anyone else, and in fact, I am just trying to make my marriage better. I had an affair, and I know WHY I did it, and why I lied. I understand it completely. You know the funny thing is that I am harder on myself than anyone believes I should be. My wife included. 

At the end of the day, the only person that I need to answer to is myself, then my wife second. I don't agree with what I did to her, and THAT is the reason that I strived to make a change. 

It sure as hell wasn't from a place of guilt, but of a place of empathy and compassion for what I put her through. Guilt brought me to the place where I had a choice - wallow in it, and feel sorry for myself, or actually LOOK at myself and make that change.

The crux of things comes down to this. You alluded to it in your writing. Do you want to be right, or to move on? Whether you are a BS, or a WS, both can go back and forth and justify their actions until the sun doesn't rise again. The problem is, it gets you nowhere - at least in what I have seen. I could come up with a thousand reasons as to why I did what I did, including, "I just wanted to," which really, isn't an excuse at all. My wife could throw things back into my face and around and around we would go.

BUT

We, as a couple, decided to drop it. It really, really was getting us nowhere. 

Instead, for the first time in a really long time, it became about us. Our recovery. Not the BS, not the WS, but OUR recovery. I HAVE to say it again.

That could only happen if the both of us:

dropped the blame
owned up to our actions
stopped keeping score
moved to understand each other
accepted that this happened, and the process to getting through it

I'm not trying to hold myself up and make myself look good. I'm suggesting another way. It's one that seems to be working in my case. 

There are times where triggers will happen for the both of us. I might see something that reminds me of my AP, or something like it. She may hear or see me doing something that puts her into a place where she feels uncomfortable - but between the two of us we communicate that to each other, and from a place where there is no anger or blame. 

I get angry, sure. But I make sure to take that time out and really think about things. Oh, and the line about abuse? I think that I don't agree that all of this constitutes abuse. I think that as a person who was a victim of both mental and physical abuse growing up, that painting it with that proverbial brush is a little much, and speaks WAY more towards entitlement from a BS perspective than I have EVER written here. 

The god-awful honest truth about everything to do with this situation is that NOONE is entitled to anything. Bottom line is, if you want to go forward with recovery, that is on you as a couple. I chose to look at myself, and I made the decision to change. Not because my wife was "entitled" to anything, but because I genuinely, from a standpoint of empathy and understanding of what I put her through, WANTED to make that change. 

She doesn't owe me anything either. 

In the end, we CHOOSE to be together. She doesn't need me, I don't need her, we WANT to be together. Which means we need to work through this together. How are we supposed to do that if we are constantly bickering back and forth about who is the bigger ass in this relationship?

Oh, and before anyone here thinks that I am off the proverbial hook... not so. I won't let myself off the hook until I am sure that SHE is okay. I don't need her to tell me it's okay, because until I am sure that she is completely okay with this, I will always, always be harder on myself than any of you could ever be. Why? 

Because I DO understand and OWN what I did. Through a LOT of self reflection. Forgiveness will come when I know that she is all right. Not because she is ENTITLED to it, but because in my mind, in some little tiny way, it will make up for the damage that I did. 
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Intuition77
I wasn't projecting anger at you. I was angry you kept Insisting as you did yet again above that I am Arguing the opposite of what your saying. Yes that made me angry. Because you we're putting words in my mouth and using my words for an avoidance agenda. Your Insisting I disagree and in the same tone that your view is "right". Hmm. Doesn't that go against your own words above? Your putting arguments in my mouth I didn't make. But your aware of that.

My anger in my original post wasn't really directed at my wS but people in general I see not taking personal responsibility. And more
So The situation where in bs's are advised to become Doormats.

How exactly is calling an affair emotional abuse, when it is in fact emotional abuse, how is that entitlement? And yes I've suffered emotional and physical abuse before as well. So What. Does my tit for tat earn me more of a right to call lying, hurting, gas lighting, taking away a persons control over their own life, causing them traumatic suffering, flashbacks , triggers, destroying their sense of reality self and esteem emotional abuse? Am I qualified more so now? From
Wikipedia:
"
According to the University of Illinois counseling center, ″Emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature. It can include anything from verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics, such as intimidation, manipulation, and refusal to ever be pleased. Emotional abuse can take many forms. Three general patterns of abusive behavior include aggressing, denying, and minimizing'.″[5] Even though there is no established definition for emotional abuse, emotional abuse can possess a definition beyond verbal and psychological abuse. Blaming, shaming, and name calling are a few identifiers of verbal abuse which can affect a victim emotionally. The victim's self-worth and emotional well being is altered and even diminished by the verbal abuse and the result is an emotionally abused victim.[6] The victim may experience severe psychological effects. This would involve the tactics of brainwashing, which can fall under psychological abuse as well, but emotional abuse consists of the manipulation of the victim's emotions. The victim may feel their emotions are being affected by the abuser so much that the victim may no longer recognize what their own feelings are about issue/s the abuser is trying to control. The result is the victim's self-concept and independence are `systematically taken away.[7]"

Yes that easily sums up how most affairs affect a BS. Without even delving in to the more detailed ways. So emotional abuse isn't a big deal to a wS because their the ones who did it? So minimizing someone else's emotional trauma is ok just because the person causing it doesn't want to say yeah I did that? Who exactly is that healing? No
Body. And you know it. It's no different then physically abusing someone and then saying oh I didn't really hurt you it's not that bad you pushed my buttons. So someone saying hey own your mistakes here and change how you treat me because you've been abusive-that's entitlement now? I love how the words are so easily thrown around when they suit the wS agenda. WS avoiding responsibility-not entitlement but BS saying I need you to take responsibility that's now entitlement? This was my very point-that special rules apply to wS. They can use all the terms when it suits their view but not anyone else's. Every human being IS entitled. To basic human rights. Me, or anyone else wS, BS, anyone saying hey what your doing is abuse, your manipulating, minimizing and trying to make me less of a human or less equal or my rights less equal just to appease your own shame is not entitlement. It's stating a fact and protecting our own boundaries. Trying to shoo it away and minimize it by calling it entitlement is simply because it makes your "part" look worse is insulting and more a us ice minimizing. Which is what many wS are doing after dday. They keep the abuse going and the inequality. By throwing every conversation and anything to do with their own personal responsibility back and twisting it. Which I'm sorry is exactly what your doing here. You don't address any of the points I made. You simply twist them and push them back as BS responsibility. Yes you and your spouse are unique. No one a arguing that. But when you approach everything as a team, us, the marriage, letting go, score keeping, starting over etc ONLY when it allows you to gloss over your own misdoings or feelings about them and then whenever a BS talks about their feelings you throw all that at them and it's their responsibility then yes it makes me
Question out loud (sorry if that bothered you I prob should t have) whether real Healing is happening or just lip service.

Your still going round in circles with an argument I never made. All your points of right or wrong good bad letting go- I wasn't arguing against your view. I was saying they only seem to be valid for the wS when it suits them. That was my issue. You just keep wanting to avoid what I'm actually saying with these circles so I can see the conversation will never go anywhere. My bottom
Line was I agree many of your points are valid for going forward with a marriage, it has to be equal. Those points don't mean anything if their used to excuse wayward behavior and responsibility yet betrayeds are expected to keep to those points. Again not because it's "not fair" but because that's not a marriage between two equal humans-it won't work.
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Kalmarjan
Okay

I don't know what points I'm supposed to be answering.

Lay them out - one per line. Then I'll answer. I have nothing to lose.

After all, it's in the spirit of helping. I'm just not understanding what you are expecting here.

If you are asking if I am taking responsibility or just paying lip service... Well I am definitely not paying lip service. I'm in this to win. I'm not following a set of rules because "that's what I have to do," but I am reconnecting with my wife after I have taken responsibility for my actions.

I'm not minimizing anyone's pain, emotional trauma or whatever. I'm not saying anyone else needs to do anything except understand that eventually in order to move forward both sides have to essentially surrender.

I read a long time ago that a relationship (a healthy one anyway) is built on interdependence. I never really, truly knew what that meant until all of this happened.

It's wanting to be together, not needing to. Choosing us, not being gm forced into it.

Honestly, as a man I could tell you that if I wasn't cool with all that I needed to do in order to make this situation right for both of us, I'd walk. Because for me, that would be being truthful to myself. The same goes for my wife.

No one is higher than the other in this relationship, we are equal partners.

If I don't meet my wife's needs and she decides that it won't work out after all, then I respect that.

Where we are right now is we are working together to go through this. As a team, a couple. Nothing is swept under the rug, we have both dealt and are dealing with our hurt and feelings.

There is also hurt on a WS side too. It may not look like it on the surface, but only a real monster wouldn't be affected by what they have done.

No one was coerced into reconciling. There isn't any abuse on either end of our relationship, only a genuine effort to understand and reconcile.

All other points, as far as I am aware, are off on the side. The big issue here is how to get through this. Honestly, when you get down to it, it doesn't matter anymore that I did all of this or maybe she did something that triggered this, I'm an ass, she's less than stellar, all of the ugliness that this situation became.

What truly matters is that we are now at a place where we are working together to be more intimate and in a place where we want our marriage to be. We haven't forgotten the past, just moving past it.
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