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A Message from Michele
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may22 #2906119 10/18/20 11:56 PM
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May,

Just popping in to send you positive vibes and always wishing the best for you.

Mar

may22 #2906126 10/19/20 01:21 AM
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thanks Alison and Mar.

Mar-- positive vibes right back at you! smile

Originally Posted by AlisonUK
I do think that STFU and validation are good when all else is failing. But if you are choosing a marriage, and you are choosing to be connection with someone who says they want to be in connection with you, then there's room for more. And that 'more' is assertive communication. I'm not sure that is covered in the 'how to respond right after BD rules' that are so useful to us all at the start. But I do think those rules help us develop self respect, self control, self-soothing mechanisms, boundaries and a willingness to take responsibility. From that ground work (that your H has not done yet) we can speak something like the truth.

This is really interesting, Alison. I think there is a lot of truth to this. And in the end I think it comes down to knowing yourself, having that deep well of self-love and self-respect that fuels your boundaries, and being able to do what is right for you in an authentic way, regardless of whether it pushes your spouse out or in. Because if you stop being true to yourself, you're not going to be happy whether your S is in the picture or not. i think I'm not quite as far along on this path as you are, Alison. I still need to sit in this place for a bit of being OK with leaving, OK with staying, what i will and won't accept over the long term in my M. And also, spending enough time on self-care and GAL that my H's slow timeline no longer bothers me.

I'll share something else he said during our little mini fight the other day, before I walked away and cooled down and returned to share my thoughts. He said I'd wrecked our M with the SSM (I can't recall exactly what prompted this, I think something along the lines of me basically overreacting to his rudeness, like I took a sledgehammer to our M for what was really a minor thing in the grand scheme). I said, you wrecked our M by having an A. He said (big honest eyes)-- I think the A is what may save our M. And I thought, DANG. This guy is really trying everything he can to excuse his own behavior.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D11
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
9/20-present R attempt #2
may22 #2906166 10/19/20 02:45 PM
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Quote
I'll share something else he said during our little mini fight the other day, before I walked away and cooled down and returned to share my thoughts. He said I'd wrecked our M with the SSM (I can't recall exactly what prompted this, I think something along the lines of me basically overreacting to his rudeness, like I took a sledgehammer to our M for what was really a minor thing in the grand scheme). I said, you wrecked our M by having an A. He said (big honest eyes)-- I think the A is what may save our M. And I thought, DANG. This guy is really trying everything he can to excuse his own behavior.


May - perhaps I could push back a little bit on this?

I know if my H had said this to me at any point I'd have wanted to break crockery, so I really really understand how you might have reacted to hearing this. And there is no excuse for his A at all - none whatsoever.

But, well, a SSM really does have terrible, terrible effects on a relationship - for both of you, though perhaps the HD spouse feels it more keenly, and feels it in a way that the LD spouse struggles to really properly feel and understand. I know for me, as the HD spouse, the SSM felt like a kind of infidelity, a betrayal of our intimate and special relationship - and it went on for such a long time, and the marriage only really functioned because the LD spouse (my H) was perfectly okay with me feeling miserable, lonely and rejected pretty much all the time.

And perhaps a SSM was working, in some ways, for you, until the A happened. Perhaps it would have gone on working for you - for a long time - so long as your H was quiet about his own misery, or didn't act it out (in what was obviously an outrageous and totally inexcusable way). And you know I am no fan of your H so it's a lot for me to push back at you - I hope gently - in this way.

What he did wasn't okay. It was so far past okay that okay is a vanishing point in the distance! He could have divorced you and that would have been a more honourable thing to do if he was unhappy in your marriage. But perhaps the A is going to be the catalyst for you having a better marriage and finally dealing with the problems that caused the SSM (that weren't yours and yours alone to fix - not at all). Or perhaps it will be the catalyst for you ending your marriage, and that being a kind of long-term good news for you both too, even if it doesn't feel like it.

I am not glad that my H had an EA and I think my H's infidelity is a drop in the water compared to yours so I don't mean to put us on the same level here. But I do think that the direct conversations we've had about what we need, and how our dynamic works would never, never have happened without that A, and my terrible reaction to it, and our separation. Things are difficult now and still not satisfactory for me (or him) in lots of ways. But they are better. And I do think we're closer, in a more real and adult way, than we were before. I wish it hadn't happened. But if it was a choice between drifting along in misery towards a divorce, or suffering the pain that brought us to a new marriage that is still evolving, then I'd sign up for him having the A and us needing to separate for that time, I really would.

may22 #2906231 10/19/20 10:34 PM
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Hi may -

Just dropping a quick line of support. You are a very strong person - in case no one has told you that recently.

Our situations could not be more different. You have a live insight into someone in crisis that many here including myself do not have or may never have. The fact that your S is still willing to communicate with you is remarkable.

I am not really sure what to say more than that, because my sit is so different. However I think that difference offers the opportunity to learn and step outside of our own perspectives.

Don't forget to take time for you. Give yourself a break sometimes. It's ok to do that too smile

Take care.

may22 #2906242 10/20/20 05:10 AM
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May!

Hi friend! I hope you had a good day. Thanks for popping over to my MLC thread, I am always so grateful for your support. (((May)))

Oof, these conversations between you and Alison are hitting me hard. In a good way. I love Alison’s SSM perspective from the HD point of view and there is some strong truths there that are applicable to my situation as well (I was the LD partner for years and the SSM deeply affected my H). But as she says, a SSM does not give our Hs carte blanche to do what they will. Nor does it justify their actions or behavior. If it was a dealbreaker for them, then the onus was on them to express it as such and let us decide what we were capable of doing with that information. A SSM does not equal an A.

Did the SSM lead to a decline in the overall M? Probably, yes. But why is it OK for men to use it to justify their actions when there are so many women in the same position who are not straying from their marriages for the same reason? I am a little up in arms about this one, with three daughters under my wing. There are so many factors to this conversation; biology (women are not meant to desire procreation when physically sapped from childbirth/child rearing), emotions (I loved the chapter in Mating in Captivity that explored this) and just missed connections between two humans who both have needs and whose needs are to be met first with the least amount of trauma? Fascinating discussion, I am learning so much as a voyeur on this one.

Back to your specific situation, I have to say that I think it’s positive that H is viewing his A as a potential marriage saver. It’s very Perel-ian of him and at this point in your sitch he could be right for once. Not as an excuse for his behavior, but in the sense that it is either going to kill the M or make it the best it could ever be. Would it be possible for you to take a 40,000’ view and see this as the inflection point in your M? And that 40,000’ view sees things in a broader timeline that you are at the moment. It’s not about today or tomorrow, but more like a year from now?

I have so much faith in you, strong May, to see this this through. You are Wayfarer right now. Living in the moment with a seed of understanding that this isn’t the end for you and H. Trust your gut, take the longview and give yourself so much grace and compassion for what you have been through.

Xx

may22 #2906245 10/20/20 11:09 AM
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Interestingly before my wife came back and she was texting me she said the same thing. She said I know its crazy but maybe what's happened is a good thing, maybe it it will help is appreciate each other more. I was taken a back by this train of thought and wasn't sure how to respond.

WMWB #2906246 10/20/20 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by WMWB
Interestingly before my wife came back and she was texting me she said the same thing. She said I know its crazy but maybe what's happened is a good thing, maybe it it will help is appreciate each other more. I was taken a back by this train of thought and wasn't sure how to respond.

Yeah I think it was Relationship expert Gottman who once said “nothing spruces up a relationship like a good old down right deceitful and dirty affair”. Insert LH eye roll.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

“Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.”- Will Smith
may22 #2906248 10/20/20 11:41 AM
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I think there's a difference between accepting that infidelity happens in a context and blaming the betrayed spouse for it. And there's also a difference between acknowledging that a SSM causes immense suffering for the HD partner and making that free hall pass for infidelity. Just as there's a difference between acknowledging that out of incredible suffering there is a chance for more honesty and closeness, and being glad that the affair happened.

I think we're called to look at our situations with a longer term view, and sticking in victim mode (which I actually don't think, May, you are doing) means holding on to these simplistic views, rather than accepting that it is extremely complex.

I also think that if there ever is a moment where someone looks back on an A and sees it as a catalyst for long term positive change, expressing that thought should be left to the betrayed spouse and not to the unfaithful spouse.

So I can see what you're saying. But I do think that generally infidelity happens when an immature and entitled spouse applies a bad coping mechanism to a broken marriage. And the immaturity and entitled behaviour is entirely the responsibility of the wayward spouse, but the responsibility for the broken marriage needs to be shared. Otherwise the betrayed spouse remains a powerless victim. And we're not powerless or victims unless we choose to be.

may22 #2906256 10/20/20 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by may22
I'll share something else he said during our little mini fight the other day, before I walked away and cooled down and returned to share my thoughts. He said I'd wrecked our M with the SSM (I can't recall exactly what prompted this, I think something along the lines of me basically overreacting to his rudeness, like I took a sledgehammer to our M for what was really a minor thing in the grand scheme). I said, you wrecked our M by having an A. He said (big honest eyes)-- I think the A is what may save our M. And I thought, DANG. This guy is really trying everything he can to excuse his own behavior.


This is baiting, and you took the bait.

When things are calm - perhaps you can go back and tell your H how you feel when he does this. Often in the moment when someone lashes out - it is difficult to do anything but Defend ourselves. This is not to hear about how he feels... again it's about how he can express it.

You and your H need to set some ground rules... even when you fight. Topics, behaviors, tactics, that is completely off the table. Neither of you will be perfect... but when the mistake happens - you go right to "Hey.. we agreed we weren't going to do this in our fights" and your H has every right to do the same.

You can't walk out the door every time you and your H disagrees. You gotta create the tools to work through the disagreements.


M(f): 38
D'ed: 8/12

Show empathy when there's pain. Show grace when warranted. Kindness in the midst of anger. Faith in the face of fear.

Love at all costs because you are loved well.
WMWB #2906259 10/20/20 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by WMWB
Interestingly before my wife came back and she was texting me she said the same thing. She said I know its crazy but maybe what's happened is a good thing, maybe it it will help is appreciate each other more. I was taken a back by this train of thought and wasn't sure how to respond.


#1 rule of DBing: BELIEVE NOTHING THEY SAY AND ONLY HALF OF WHAT THEY DO.

They will say a lot of things. You can put stock into approaching 0% of it.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
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