. In those situations, here are the contrasting fears usually stirred up when we start asking these questions:
- The betrayed spouse fears that any attention placed on the unfaithful partner's disappointment or dissatisfaction in the marriage means they are somehow to blame for the affair. Because they do not want to accept any responsibility for a choice of infidelity (and I agree that they should not), they guard against anything that sounds like blame. There is no move toward empathy for the unfaithful spouse. There needs to be. I wouldn't expect this to happen too early in the recovery process, but eventually the betrayed spouse must move to an empathetic position. If not, that couple will not build genuine connection and intimacy.
- The unfaithful spouse fears that by accepting all the blame for the affair, the matter is closed. They fear that there will be no honest discussion about the marriage; that saying "I'm guilty; that's it" means that they can expect to return to an unchanged marriage. They fear that the betrayed spouse now feels justified in making no effort toward change. They return to a marriage, but without hope of having any real satisfaction in it.
If either partner stands firmly on their justifications, then they may feel like they've won the argument, but they are losing love.
As I said, I've read the posts from both sides of this discussion. (Sorry Kalmarjan: you ended up being the lone spokesperson, so far, for one side.) It seems to me that most of you are saying the same thing, but you've learned a different language in expressing it. This is a great place for WS and BS to learn from each other's perspective. You won't always agree, but I hope you'll keep encouraging each other in the progress you're making.
Thank you Tim, you put it right there in terms that I can get around. I couldn't say it any better.
I didn't take the time to analyze what I was writing, therefore I came off as defensive.
I do not blame my wife for my choice to have an affair. I made that choice, and I will stand in judgement in that. (I was raised a Baptist but I am not a believer in the church as it is. I believe that the judgement I stand in is today, and from society.)
In the end I think the responsibility for the repair needs to come from both ends. 100%/100%. And you know what, I agree 1 000 000% about something Tim touched on. It's not about who wins.
I read somewhere that in infidelity there is no winner, just survivors. My wife doesn't win because I came to my senses, I don't win because I get to go back. One partner doesn't have to do all the work, while the other sits back and basically just accepts that the WS is a cheating jerk so they better just do right.
Oh, I read somewhere here that I don't seem to have my wife's perspective on things? I guess I don't express it because this thread is asking from my perspective. Most threads here are asking for my perspective. There are no threads asking me to put down what my BS feels.
I also put my perspective there in an honest fashion with no holds barred so you all can understand a bit of the mindset I was in and perhaps it would help you.
I talked to my wife about what I was doing here, and she said that as long as I was helping someone understand, and it was helping me understand the perspective of a BS that it was something very cool to do.
I have gained a lot of insight from the bs here, enough to ask the questions that I need to get communication going with my wife.
Tim, if you had a section where someone could post about what they think or know how their BS feels, I woukd gladly post there.