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#59408 - 04/30/04 11:28 PM No excuses for infidelity
April Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/15/03
Posts: 10
Let me apoligize for sounding angry. But everytime I come in here, all I hear is historical blame for "acting out".

Yes, SA victims have a right to be outraged and disrupted mentally. However, it still provides no justification.

When you are in a relationship, you are portraiting to the person that you are with a life of committment and love. Not a life of deceipt and lies. It still comes down to pure respect for your partner and life.

Are we supposed to accept our partners "acting out" and exposing us to ... who knows what.. because of childhood experiences ????? years ago.

I have nothing but emphathy for the SA victim, but there are other victims at hand. The people that trusted and loved and were trashed aside for reasons I will never begin to understand.

Bottom line: It is still a betraying, deceiptful act - no matter the source. Therefore, no excuses.

A coping? wife


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#59409 - 05/01/04 12:10 AM Re: No excuses for infidelity
theo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 1117
april,
male survivors come to this site for one reason only, to understand their current journeys on the way to overcoming the disability of the trauma. there is no attempted justification for acting out and we are fully aware of the impact it has on our families and partners. we come here to support and help each other to overcome debilitating trauma. i understand the parner's anger and sense of betrayal. i lived through it four years ago when my former wife abandoned and betrayed me. i also lived it last year when i was overwhelmed by behavior i could not comprehend and ended up drastically hurting lady theo. it is not possible to truly experience empathy unless you have been able to experience the raw pain we go through. we do not act out and try to justify or rationalize it later. we come here to understand, not to be judged.

i believe, and trust, that your intent was nothing more than to voice your own understandable anger. i hear that, i validate that...however, i caution you to re-evaluate the words you used to express this anger. the men who come here come here to learn and to grow while we are struggling with hell itself.

_________________________
journey well,
theo dewolfe

- It is gift, and gift will find its way
- I inherit through my choice. I build through my affirmation. It is through my freedom that I nurture, or fade into autonomy
- I was not given to serve life, but to embrace it

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#59410 - 05/01/04 02:54 AM Re: No excuses for infidelity
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Hi April,

What you see as excuse making, I see as a dialogue between survivors and partners who are all trying to understand and move on from an experience that is hurtful to everyone involved. Most of the survivors I've seen discuss their acting out here make no secret of, and have no excuse for, the hurt they've caused their loved ones. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen someone come here trying to minimize or justify hurtful and unhealthy behavior, and NOT get set straight by survivors and partners alike. I think we are all here trying to learn about the things you mention as "given" in relationships--trust, respect for our lives and our loved ones--some of us for the first time.

Let me be clear. I don't excuse my boyfriend's actions. I forgive him for them. I am able to forgive him because I believe and understand that his inexcusable behaviors were rooted in the inexcusable actions that characterized his childhood, for which he is not at fault, and which I'm sure he'd gladly trade any "fun" he had acting out not to have experienced in the first place.

He still bears the responsibility for these actions and I don't accept any justification or excuse for what I've experienced as an "other victim" of his abuse. I don't accept "acting out" as a necessary or fundamental part of our relationship, I accept it as something that occurred... and he has had to accept it as well and acknowledge it to himself and to me. I choose to focus with him on the present and the future. I do not choose to let myself or my relationship be victimized by anger and blame any longer. These are the ways I express MY committment and love.

It took me "discovering" my boyfriend's acting out for him to tell me about his abuse at all, although I suspect that since he successfully kept it all from me for so long, he probably orchestrated the discovery because he was ready to tell.

The painful and clearly important link between the abuse and the affair seemed so insane to me, and so difficult for him to talk about, that I was convinced that there must be something legitimate about it for him. As I learned more, I began to understand and believe that the lessons he'd learned about power, sex, self esteem and "manhood" led him to act out as a "last resort" method of escaping/coping. As you say, we may never understand it entirely, but then again, I believe in a lot of things I don't entirely understand.

SAR


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#59411 - 05/01/04 04:36 AM Re: No excuses for infidelity
Wifey1 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 380
Dear April,
I hear your anger and yes I can Identify with it. Sometimes still even feel the anger and the rage more so than other times when I feel the empathy, helplessness and deep sadness.
When I first learned of my spouses "acting out" I know he was not looking for, nor seeking "justification" of his actions. He had spent entirely too many years of his life doing just that ... justifying his actions by acting out, in the form of sex addiction, sex with prosititutes, drug abuse, drug addiction, alcoholism, self harm, lying, blaming, avoidance, gambling - the list is or could be endless in his actions that he tried to use to justify his actions that he chose to attempt to deal with the results of his childhood sexual abuse and other abuses he survived.

Quote:
When you are in a relationship, you are portraiting to the person that you are with a life of committment and love. Not a life of deceipt and lies. It still comes down to pure respect for your partner and life.
I can only speak for myself as a survivor and for what I understand of my spouse as a survivor in regards to portraying to a person a life of committment and love. What I and my spouse learned from our abuse and our families of origin about committment and love is exactly what we portrayed to each other, and included in that portrayal to each other we also shared what we "believed" a normal healthy relationship should or could be. Real or perceived. Most of what we were taught were a double edged sword, a price to pay for anything good, a price of severe pain be in emotional or physical. Never written out nor spoken neccesarrily but expected the never ending feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop to "prove" that our gut instincts were right, or that so & so knew better than we did. Yet we were "True and Honest in presenting in what WE "knew as our committment and love" at the time.
For my spouse and I all we grew up with was a life filled with deceit and lies. There fore not knowing that life could hold real honesty or truths, taught that even our very basic animal instincts to trust our guts were "wrong" , all we had to hold onto for truths were the ones taught to us. We never knew what a lie was or what deceit was, we only knew that what we felt never matched up with what our heads or what others told us never mind our hearts.
Basically, deceit and lies WERE our TRUTHS. Because of this it was ALL we knew for Respect for not only the first most important "our SELVES", but for our chosen Partners.
Quote:
Are we supposed to accept our partners "acting out" and exposing us to ... who knows what.. because of childhood experiences ????? years ago.
No, we dont have to "accept" our partners acting out and exposing us to who knows what. Only we as individuals can define what we are willing to choose and or accept, work to understand, as individuals in a relationship we also have the right to express boundaries, request, demand and command respect, empathy, compassion and understanding of our role in being a partner of a survivor. We also owe it to ourselves to prepare a back up plan or be able to support ourselves if by chance the relationship with the survivor ends.
In my own experience in this short time of learning to rebuild a better relationship with my partner probably the hardest part I have had to learn to really look hard and deep at is my very own beliefs, boundaries and what I as an individual am willing to accept as responsibility, obligation and to OWN my very own behaviors that allowed for the years of deceit and lies to continue to be the cornerstone function of our relationship. It's been very painful, and I have felt tremendous shame and embarrassment when I've come across a discovery of an area that because of what ever real or imagined reason I chose NOT to confront or communicate to my spouse over what ever issue was at hand, whether it was a lie or deceit or just a plain ol feeling of I'm cleaning the bathroom more than he has. I have had to come to an understanding that I made the bet choices I could at the time with the knowledge I had at the time. Quite simply we functioned and continue to function to the best of our abilities with the tools we had at the time and are developing now as we move through and forward in our relationship.

Quote:
I have nothing but emphathy for the SA victim, but there are other victims at hand.
I think I have heard the term or phrase used to describe this as "co survivors". It is true - the effects of sexual abuse reaches in and effects / affects every aspect of a survivors life, truly NO area goes uneffected. This yet again emphasizes WHY the tragedy of child abuse with emphasis on sexual abuse is such a HUGE issue, a small example that has always seemed to sum up how deep the damage is done to the human spirit after such trauma was hearing my spouses voice filled with such deep sorrow as he said to me "I spent so many years being afraid to even hug my own daughters when they needed to be held the most, and I could not bring myself to hold them or rock them."

Quote:
The people that trusted and loved and were trashed aside for reasons I will never begin to understand
Because of my own experience with being a survivor I see this in 4 points, those who were abused were "trashed aside", another point as in those who I "pushed or trashed aside" for my own protection (real or perceived), those to whom I never gave a chance to even get to know a little bit, and not allowing myself a chance to even slightly know or trust someone enough effectively not trusting myself and trashing myself aside.

Quote:
Bottom line: It is still a betraying, deceiptful act - no matter the source. Therefore, no excuses.
Some may perceive these as excuses, I perceive them as coping tools developed without an intructor -- self taught for self preservation, for survival of heinous crimes against the most innocent and unsuspecting and most vulnerable.

I would never profess or want anyone to get the impression that life is some kind of "awww honey how awful mean those people were to your innocent little person you were"... first of all that would insult his intelligence and 2nd of all he knows i've told him in my own rages of anger to go take a flying f*k at a rolling donut for what ever bullshit he's tried to feed me, as well as he has said the same to me ---
but April, we're trying, we are a work in progress.....
And even work in progress can be a beautiful sight and experience.
Peace,Sammy


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#59412 - 05/01/04 12:49 PM Re: No excuses for infidelity
MikeNY Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/07/04
Posts: 927
Loc: NY
I am a survivor and I PERSONALLY agree that there is no excuse for endangering the health of someone that you claim to care about or who cares about you by cheating, etc. STD's are serious business. The person who is with someone who is cheating or acting out has a right to know what is going on and to choose for themselves. Otherwise, it can literally be as serious as murder by HIV. It is biological assault. It is actually covered by some laws in some states. It does count as Sexual assault in some places. If your wishes have been stated, and the person ignores them, is that consent? No. It is a person performing a type of sexual assault. It is sexual contact that you did not consent to and are not comfortable with. It can literally be somone taking someone else's life into their own hands while ignoring their partners stated wishes.

_________________________
"Every child asks the questions which hold the answers to the secrets of the universe, WHAT?, and WHY?". --Me

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#59413 - 05/01/04 08:09 PM Re: No excuses for infidelity
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
April
I understand your anger, and I won't minimise your beliefs.

Acting out isn't something I wanted to do, and I'll talk about my own personal experience here.
Just before our 25th wedding anniversary my wife discovered that I had acted out with other men, I gave unprotected BJ's to total strangers.
That was some kind of shock to her, I can't begin to imagine her thoughts.

But to her infinite credit, and because she loved me, she gave me a chance to do two things.
Firstly explain my actions. They could have been taken as a list of excuses, and that was a fear for me I admit. But the truth was at that time I was a sex addict driven by incredible forces. The drivers were rooted in my abuse and the guilt and shame I felt. The surfaced as a need to degrade myself even more - I felt like 'shit' so I believed that I should act that way.
What I did was nothing to do with confusion over my sexuality, I wasn't having a gay affair, I was degrading myself.

The second thing she did was support me.
But this was a two way deal. I had to make assurances, and keep them, that I wouldn't do it ever again. And I haven't. I won't lie and say that I turned the drivers off overnight, I'd developed those drivers over nearly 30 years so there was no way it was going to be easy. I struggled for a couple of years, but I did it. The chances of me acting out to that degree now are nil.

"To that degree" implies that some of the urge is still there, well it is - I can't deny that. But it's in control now, not just my control but OUR control. Her support is so much a part of that.
If she wasn't around to support me would I revert to acting out ? I don't believe I would because I've developed my sense of self-esteem and worth tosuch a degree that the base urge to degrade myself has gone.
So what does "acting out to that degree" mean to me now ? It means that sex acts with strange men for degradation are over and finished. The residual acting out is now an occasional use of porn, but I'm working on that and I'll get over that as well eventually, with her help once again because I tell her and WE work on it together.

I do disagree with you a bit here -
Quote:
When you are in a relationship, you are portraiting to the person that you are with a life of committment and love. Not a life of deceipt and lies. It still comes down to pure respect for your partner and life.
The first part is what I lived and breathed, I was, and still am, in love and committed, and respect was there.
I know my actions said otherwise with the deceipt and lies, but even if it does sound like an excuse I didn't have control over my actions, no more than an alcoholic or a drug addict has control over their addictions. But like them I can live a life of abstinence.

After we had talked the night she discovered what I'd been doing she said to me "It wasn't you doing those things, those bastards led you by the hand and took you there"

We've been married 30 years this year, and things are going from strength to strength because we support each other, and love has a lot to do with it.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#59414 - 05/02/04 01:20 AM Re: No excuses for infidelity
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
Quote:
Originally posted by April:
Let me apoligize for sounding angry. But everytime I come in here, all I hear is historical blame for "acting out".

Yes, SA victims have a right to be outraged and disrupted mentally. However, it still provides no justification.

When you are in a relationship, you are portraiting to the person that you are with a life of committment and love. Not a life of deceipt and lies. It still comes down to pure respect for your partner and life.

Are we supposed to accept our partners "acting out" and exposing us to ... who knows what.. because of childhood experiences ????? years ago.

I have nothing but emphathy for the SA victim, but there are other victims at hand. The people that trusted and loved and were trashed aside for reasons I will never begin to understand.

Bottom line: It is still a betraying, deceiptful act - no matter the source. Therefore, no excuses.

A coping? wife
Hmm. I understand your anger. But 'historical blame'? 'Disrupted mentally'? 'Because of childhood experiences ????? years ago'?

The 'historical blame', in my case, was ten years with a father physically abusive enough to cause the death of my younger brother. And sexual abuse by a sporting coach for 8 years. 'Disrupted mentally' equates to 'nightmares, loss of sleep, inability to eat, inability to trust, dissociating to point of insanity, flashbacks, body memories, depression, panic and anxiety'. And the '???? years ago' was basically my entire child life, which ended about 6 years ago.

I have a relationship that I have not cheeted on. But there have been times when I have been less then pleasant, and have pushed away everyone that I know is good for me and cares about me, including her. That is part of the mental disruption I suppose.

I realize that there are other victims of MY abuse. The people who care about me that I push away, or have hard time to trust are also victims. But, in due respect to them, and as much as I love them, they do not have the mental and physical repercussions of MY life.

Maybe there is no excuse for infedelity. That has not been issue for me. But there is reasons for our behaviors, including wrong ones. True, the choices are our own. But there are reasons.

leosha

_________________________
Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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#59415 - 05/02/04 08:35 AM Re: No excuses for infidelity
Caetel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
I just wanted to give April a little support here. I believe this forum has been created for partners and in that sense this is the proper place to release emotions (and strong ones too). It can be tough for SA survivors to hear them but still they are part of us partners, we need to express them too. What would happen otherwise ? We bottle up the emotions inside and at some point we turn them violently against the very same men we love and try to support.
I think this is somewhat dysfunctional to mix up the expression of emotions and judgement. The problem is that sometimes our men take advantage of that fact that if we love them, we should be understanding and forgiving all the time if we want to receive their love in return. But it doesn't work like that. I love V., he betrayed me, I understand his reasons (even more so in the last few days) but still he hurt me bad, I am angry and I believe male survivor or not people have ALWAYS the choice.
This is what I call "ambivalence", this is what we have to integrate and deal with as partners. This is what I have to deal with as a survivor regarding my parents (my father the abuser has been a victim too before raping me, my mother chose not to protect, not to see anything because of her own family history... but knowing that, still I have the right to my own rage, sadness...). I believe partners are also victims of their man's trauma (called secondarary trauma in victimology) and their healing journey has to be also, just like you guys, to fully integrate that ambivalence.
I have reached that point as a survivor but as a partner I am still far away.
Bottom line is: partners are NOT super heroes, just women with the right to express emotions. If some male survivors feel uneasy about the consequences of betrayal, tough, but you need also to know the impact of betrayal on us, and I am talking real emotional consequences, real extreme pain.
Nevertheless, we are still here trying to support and love our men the best we can. We are also on the battle ground, everyday !

_________________________
Mitakuye oyasin ! We are all related !

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#59416 - 05/02/04 03:31 PM Re: No excuses for infidelity
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Sammy

I came back to this thread and you've said just what was on my mind:

Quote:
I have had to learn to really look hard and deep at is my very own beliefs, boundaries and what I as an individual am willing to accept as responsibility, obligation and to OWN my very own behaviors that allowed for the years of deceit and lies to continue to be the cornerstone function of our relationship.

I have had to come to an understanding that I made the bet choices I could at the time with the knowledge I had at the time. Quite simply we functioned and continue to function to the best of our abilities with the tools we had at the time and are developing now as we move through and forward in our relationship.
When you live with someone day in and day out, nothing that either one of you does happens in a vacuum. Which is part of why it's so hard for us as partners to really believe that ANYTHING having nothing to do with us, abuse included, could be the cause of the behavior.

I don't for a minute think that this makes me at fault for his actions--none of what he did was my fault--and I don't think you're saying that, Sammy, because I'm sure that if either of our partners implied such a thing, the "rolling donut" would be the least of their problems ;\)

BUT... I am responsible for the way I responded (or didn't respond) to things that were happening in my relationship at the time... I'm also responsible for what I, as an individual, expected/demanded from the person I shared my life with, and I think this goes back to what April was saying about acceptance. If my boyfriend were to say (explicitly or implicitly) to me, "My acting out behavior is going to continue and that will have to be a part of your relationship with me," that would be unacceptable to me and I would end the relationship, even though it would hurt me to do so, because if he says that and I do nothing, I'm no better than all the other people in his life who did nothing. So in that sense, no, I don't think partners should continue to "accept" anything but what they personally find acceptable.

But, I do think that it's crucial to "accept," as in "recognize as true," what HAS happened to us, and a big part of that for me has been understanding that in my life and my relationship, I've tolerated much that I found unacceptable--this includes the distancing/ deceit/ general passive-aggressive crap that I knew about even when I didn't know about the infidelity. And yes, this is a painful recognition for me.

Is it possible that if I'd reacted differently to those behaviors, if I'd been able to let him know that I loved him but I insisted on a better kind of relationship for us, that he'd have gotten help then? That he'd have felt comfortable telling me about the abuse at that point? Would it have stopped the acting out before it got to the point of infidelity? Or would it have strained an already unstable relationship to the point of breaking? I don't know and I don't really need to know, because I couldn't and didn't react any way but the way I reacted--we did what we knew how to do. And today we know new things and we are still doing what we know how to do, and one of the things we're learning how to do is put the past into perspective.

That means being honest about the past and the very real emotional consequences of it, but it also means trying to understand and reconcile what's happened so that we can make the next 8 years better than the first 8 years--that's the part that's most important to me. If I didn't believe that talking and learning about the reasons behind our past actions would contribute to our healing today, I'd probably do everything I could to leave the past in the past.

SAR


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#59417 - 05/02/04 05:15 PM Re: No excuses for infidelity
theo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 1117
april, and ladies,
i wanted to take a moment to respond to what has been shared here and hopefully clarify something. the justified anger at betrayal is something i have lived with on both sides. i never meant to imply that there was a like it or lump it attitude. i trust that this was conveyed in my first response. the pain of our partners is real and should be given equal weight of importance. i would never want to take away the justified anger at our actions that have harmed those who love us. my first response was intended to respond to the categorical statement that we come here to justify and continue our dysfunctional coping that kept us alive. i know there was justified anger at the actions, but to say that we were trying to make excuses and continue in the same pattern was incorrect and an injustice to those men here on the journey of recovery. i know you were angry and venting april, and this is the place for it. i apologize for intruding on that. had you asked a question about the feeling that we only seek to justify and continue our negative coping, then my answer would have been appropriate. you should not have been hurt and betrayed and put at risk, april, this is true. just try to remember that recovery is a process and a journey. not all men are committed to recovery and some do use it as an excuse, but the men here have dedicated themselves to the journey. that is all i wanted to convey. i should have said in the beginning that not all male survivors are makers of excuses, i should not have taken the defensive posture. take care, april.

_________________________
journey well,
theo dewolfe

- It is gift, and gift will find its way
- I inherit through my choice. I build through my affirmation. It is through my freedom that I nurture, or fade into autonomy
- I was not given to serve life, but to embrace it

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#59418 - 05/02/04 05:50 PM Re: No excuses for infidelity
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Caro
Quote:
I just wanted to give April a little support here. I believe this forum has been created for partners and in that sense this is the proper place to release emotions (and strong ones too). It can be tough for SA survivors to hear them but still they are part of us partners, we need to express them too. What would happen otherwise ? We bottle up the emotions inside and at some point we turn them violently against the very same men we love and try to support.
It was never my intention to devalue April's emotions and feelings over her 'betrayal' - that was her genuine feeling and I can't take that away from here - unfortunately.
And this IS the place to express those feelings, but anyone dealing with Survivors has to be prepared for a rough ride, not from us although we do tend to "tell it like it is". Just about everything to do with us is both unpredictable and hard to deal with.

So you MUST express your fears, emotions, hopes and love; just as we should try to do the same.

I haven't seen April reply yet, and I truly hope that we haven't offended her with our 'defensive' replies. I hope that she has read all our replies and is thinking hard about her relationship with her Survivor, and hopefully what she can do to support and help a man she loves.

For me the thought of losing my wife was more than I could bear, which is why I didn't tell her ANYTHING for 25 years. And when I did the thought that any minute I was likely to be "out on my arse" was unbearable. I didn't have a clue what her response was likely to be, and that's incredibly sad after 25 years.

So, April, if you're still here and reading this we are on your side, we will support and help you. But we won't put sugar on the 'bad stuff'

SAR,
Your reply say's everything I think my wife feels and does, that's how her reactions to my past, and present, behaviours seem to be conveyed to me.
Neither of 'recognised' my history until I disclosed. I knew my history, but not what it was doing to me. She only knew that over the years since we'd married I'd become distant, argumentitive and generally obnoxious, but she hadn't the slightest knowledge why.
The pair of us lived in oblivion to the facts, but now we can act on those facts and look forward to better times.
And it's honesty that makes that possible.


Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#59419 - 05/03/04 03:18 AM Re: No excuses for infidelity
Tribear Offline
Member

Registered: 11/09/03
Posts: 66
Loc: USA
Excuses are not all I hear on this forum, or I wouldn't come here. Many posts here are not about infidelity at all, and I think that needs acknowledged too. This place does good in many ways.

Ed


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#59420 - 05/03/04 02:48 PM Re: No excuses for infidelity
crisispoint Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts
April and others,

I too in no way wish to minimize the damage done by infidelity, which I consider to be a worthless, degrading act on all parties. I speak as one who was "acting out" with married men (even before my memories came back) and carry a boatload of shame for the women and families I willingly and knowingly helped betray.

But there are two people at fault.

Yes, I chose to behave the way I did, but so did the other person. They knew what they were doing. One of them raped me, and I not only feel guilty about hurting (again, not my fault) his wife and children, but I fear for them as well. A man who rapes, rapes. I fear for everyone involved with him.

Were they abused? I don't know. If they were, it adds to the dimension of their decision, but they STILL chose to cheat.

Would I do it again? No. Never. Even without being raped, Im carrying enough shame to live with. Your words cut me and we've never met. I feel like I did it to you.

But the other person carried responsability too. More than likely, they were lied to or perhaps they just didn't ask. They may have known your partner was spoken for, but just not cared. But they carry a degree of responsability.

The final decision, though, was with your partner. And he did the damage. I feel your pain and, even though we've never met, since I engaged in that behavior, I feel guilty for him. I'm sorry his actions have caused you so much pain.

I'm rambling, so I'm going to shut up now.

Peace and love,

Scot

_________________________
There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

fromacuriousmind.blogspot.com
malehurtandsurvive.blogspot.com

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#59421 - 05/03/04 04:14 PM Re: No excuses for infidelity
Pollyanna Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 211
Loc: Missouri
Hi people

This may sound like I'm "making excuses" for things, but it's really the way I see it.

To me, from what I have learned, it seems that "acting out" is completely seperate from the feelings of committment of the relationship. Geez, I wonder if I can explain what's in my head...I'll try. As in anything else in my life, I can probably best describe it in terms of chocolate!!

If I eat chocolate every time I'm stressed, or "triggered" by something, it doesn't mean I don't love my husband...even if he says something like, "If you really love me you won't ever even look at chocolate." It may be what I "do", or what my brain is conditioned to "do" when a particular thing surfaces. Every single particle of my existence runs straight there at that particular stimulus. It has nothing to do with my husband, with eating, with love, with committment...with anything except what that particular trigger does to ME. The "fatitude" that results from it is not pleasant, nor the guilt from disappointing someone, but it doesn't stop the insatiable desire the next time that trigger happens by. All I can do is try to find a different way to deal with it, which takes time and patience.

"Acting out" looks much the same to me. For some, it manifests itself in sexual things. For some, it's self harm. For some, extreme anger, for some food. Yeah, sexual things seem like betrayal to someone who isn't the survivor. To the survivor, that's not what the intent is. Then comes the extreme guilt, and the "I'm so disgusting" syndrome. It's not their fault. It takes a lot to un-do programming that takes place at early ages, like it or not. Not that people should just say "oh well...my bad"... and dismiss it, but as in any other acting out behavior, it takes some work, time, understanding, patience... and more time. I FIRMLY believe that foundations can be rebuilt. It's not easy, but it can be done.

I'm also not saying that people shouldn't be responsible for their actions. It does hurt when it feels like a relationship has been compromised. I haven't heard one guy say yet that they were thrilled to pieces and so proud that they "acted out" in ANY way.

I'm not trying to minimize the pain that a companion "should" or "should not" feel. It's just that my perception is a little different I guess. I love the example that Lady Theo and Dave's (Lloydy's) wife have shown. They are succeeding...because of unconditional love.

I believe it's the only way.

Hugs,

Lynn

_________________________
"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up."

Anne Lamott

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#59422 - 05/03/04 05:21 PM Re: No excuses for infidelity
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
in the group therapy I go to, and in other areas of work I do with Survivors, one thing took a long time to sink in.

The things we do are driven by the same forces.
I've spoken at length with self harmers, drug users, alcoholics, over-eaters, porn addicts, serial womanisers and other guys like me who sought sex with other men. All different behaviours.

Some of these are easier for a partner to accept, there's no infidelity in too many pizzas and beers.
But the force that drives us there is uncannily the same.

I've described before the planning that I used to put into my acting out - and that makes it easy to think that I had a concious process that I could turn off at any time. But the truth is I can't. I say "can't" because I still don't fully trust myself if I allowed the process to kick in, so I have gone back beyond the 'start' point.
In the past once it got started I would plan my acting out, and from then on build up levels of excitement and anticipation until I was on an adreniline high that was capable of making me completely irrational. The high was better than cocaine.
Why else would I give bj's in public places, just hiding behind a corner of an alleyway ?
That has nothing to do with infidelity.

I hear exactly the same process from guys who cut themselves and do all kind of dysfunctional behaviours.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#59423 - 05/03/04 06:55 PM Re: No excuses for infidelity
Caetel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
Just wanted to add that emotions just ARE ! One can be angry, sad, in rage and still love unconditionnally. It's not one or the other !
This is what I was talking above ! The necessity for us partners to have room for both inside us.
I am glad Theo and Lloydy have added their comments.
This post is really developping interesting comments. Keep posting ! \:\)

_________________________
Mitakuye oyasin ! We are all related !

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#59424 - 05/03/04 07:17 PM Re: No excuses for infidelity
April Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/15/03
Posts: 10
Hi All:

Thanks for your posts. They always help.

I did not mean to offend anyone or minimize the causes of acting out. I come to this site to try and find some common thread and understanding as to how this can happen.

I have been struggling for eight months. I don't know that I have it in me to look past this. I don't think that it is my pride. I think it is more of an insecurity issue.

Perhaps I am too much of a romantic. In my heart, I feel that if there were true love, the compulsions for acting out would have ignored.

It makes it really hard to believe that your partner loves you when they can perform these acts and then come home, look you in the eye and tell you they love you.

It makes one feel that they are dealing with someone that has no conscience.

I love my husband and believe deep down that he loves me, but it is really hard not to take this personally.

I know that his childhood caused his acting out. I see his shame, regret and remore. He wishes that it never happened, as do I.

It is nice to see that there are people in here who continue to try and make the relationship work.

I hope that I can be as strong. I keep waiting for time to heal the wounds, but they keep swelling up again. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day.

Thanks for providing hope.

April


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#59425 - 05/04/04 01:05 AM Re: No excuses for infidelity
theo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 1117
april,
true love offers the strength to keep going in the union of two soulmates, but it cannot sever the programming of the past. i know what my negative coping did to lady theo and i will carry that the rest of my life. i will also carry the knowledge that she was able to see beyond the behavior into my heart. there was a point at which i still had control last summer, though at the time i was not aware of it. it was the point at which that first step in pushing the button for surf porn that i could have changed the outcome. i did not know i had a choice then, april, i was just trying to run from the pain that was overwhelming me. now, i can see at what point i have a choice. it took me a year of constantly working through it with lady theo's help and my therapist, but i can see now where i do have the power to make a choice before it gets too bad to where i am out of control. three times in the last few months that i can recall being at that point but somehow, i was able to make the right choice. i still fall, april, but i keep trying. true love gives strength, not miracles in a magical sense. your husband's remorse is there for your eyes and heart to see and feel. it is ultimately the choice of both of you. try to understand though that the drives we have are not about reacting to the current moment in terms of the current relationship, it is about reacting to the darkness that is still so very real and so very "now" iin our subconscious. the darkness is a ever present reality for survivors and that is what we are reacting against, not our current partners. i wish you peace, april, and hope for you both to find the strength to continue within each other's arms. it takes time and mutual effort, but it can be done, april. take care. if you need to, you may pm me with any questions.

_________________________
journey well,
theo dewolfe

- It is gift, and gift will find its way
- I inherit through my choice. I build through my affirmation. It is through my freedom that I nurture, or fade into autonomy
- I was not given to serve life, but to embrace it

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#59426 - 05/04/04 03:47 PM Re: No excuses for infidelity
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by Lloydy:
The things we do are driven by the same forces. I've spoken at length with self harmers, drug users, alcoholics, over-eaters, porn addicts, serial womanisers and other guys like me who sought sex with other men. All different behaviours.

Some of these are easier for a partner to accept, there's no infidelity in too many pizzas and beers. But the force that drives us there is uncannily the same.

*stuff snipped*

Why else would I give bj's in public places, just hiding behind a corner of an alleyway ?
That has nothing to do with infidelity.

This could indeed be expanded to ANY "escape" behaviour that is harmful but is glossed over, excused, enabled or rationalized. Theoretically, infidelity, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, or any other escape behaviour is pretty much the same damn thing - they all result from people using them to mask emotional pain, and they can wreak major havoc on peoples lives, and the lives of people around them.

The hardest thing with these escape behaviours is when people engaged in them are still in denial about their impact on themselves, on others, on relationships, etc.

Its one thing if the event happened and is now stopped, and the survivor is actively involved in healing (therapy or whatever) , but if it is still happening, and it does not look like there is much healing going on, then I could see the experience of SA as an explanation/ rationalization for infidelity indeed appearing as an "excuse", and I dont know if I would put up with that either.

I grew up the child of a survivor of physical and psychological abuse (maybe more, who knows) who spent many years as an alcoholic and and later on, pre>

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#59427 - 05/04/04 05:09 PM Re: No excuses for infidelity
theo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 1117
pas,
if the negative coping is continuing at full speed, then i concur as a survivor myself that such lies and deceit are devastating. if, however, the actions were isolated i time but the struggle continues to face it and stop it, then bringing up the past is more devastating for the relationship. this is what you already stated quite clearly, i was just wantiing to respond to offer the perspective of one male survivor who fell but continues to try.

no matter the content of the escape avenue (alcohol, sex, etc), when it leads to secrecy, deceit, and shame, it is mutually destructive. last summer i could not discern that i had a clear choice, this was the escape i used for so many years in one form or another to survive. two things happened last summer. i learned how devastating the secrecy was any kind of escape behavior, no matter the content. i also learned that i had a choice, which i now do my best to exercise.

pas, you stated that so long as the male survivor is trying to overcome the negative escape patterns that there should be support as well as addressing the valid anger over the crossed boundaries. this is true. the only thiing i wanted to convey here in response was that if the male survivor was trying but still struggling with the desire to escape the same way (one statement here: infidelity is dangerous, once the behavior is faced it is up to the survivor to not do it again, but the desire will still be there...once we know we are responsible to accept what that entails to the best of our ability). two things must be happening for this to work. the survivor must not be condemned for past behavior, though we should be held accountable to a point and both work through the justifiable anger. both partners deserve to be validated in their emotions. if, however, the past is continuously held over the head of the survivor, then no progress can be made. what gave me strength this past year was that though the initial month after the disclosure was very awkward for both of us and i felt as though every detail of my behavior was being questioned (it was not, of course, just my distorted thinking), it eventually evened out and i was able to work through the reasons for what i did and establish ways to prevent them in the future. yes, the behavior hurt her deeply, but she believed in me and did not hang the summer on my neck. i saw this and felt this and developed the strength to continue fighting. i still fall sometimes, and i tell her when i do, but as you said, pas, this is what it is all about. it is that dedication to each other that is important to the long term strength and stability of the relationship. suspicious minds will kill a relationship, as will secrecy and hidden shame. if either is present, then there is no way a relationship can survive if it is not faced and elimiinated.

one of the most difficult things i had to accept about myself was allowing myself to be failible. i never considered myself perfect, i just pushed myself to not make mistakes. i still struggle with this, but i am slowly giving myself permission to make mistakes. the key is that when i know something is destructive, i am responsible for tryiing to short circuit the pattern. i can only do this if i am aware of it.

i feel as though this has turned into some rambling bit of nonsense, but i hope it does make sense. we are responsible for what we understand. culpability is only possible when it is understood what is going on and it cintinues nonetheless. i am now fully responsible for short circuiting the surfiing behavior by any productive means possible. if, however, i become so overwhelmed from memories i have a right to expect that i would not be condemned as a person, partner, or man by the one i love. no excuses, the pain would still be there, but we would hope and expect our partners would still be there as well to work through it together. take care.

_________________________
journey well,
theo dewolfe

- It is gift, and gift will find its way
- I inherit through my choice. I build through my affirmation. It is through my freedom that I nurture, or fade into autonomy
- I was not given to serve life, but to embrace it

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#59428 - 05/04/04 05:48 PM Re: No excuses for infidelity
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by theo:
pas, you stated that so long as the male survivor is trying to overcome the negative escape patterns that there should be support as well as addressing the valid anger over the crossed boundaries. this is true. the only thiing i wanted to convey here in response was that if the male survivor was trying but still struggling with the desire to escape the same way (one statement here: infidelity is dangerous, once the behavior is faced it is up to the survivor to not do it again, but the desire will still be there...once we know we are responsible to accept what that entails to the best of our ability). two things must be happening for this to work. the survivor must not be condemned for past behavior, though we should be held accountable to a point and both work through the justifiable anger. both partners deserve to be validated in their emotions. if, however, the past is continuously held over the head of the survivor, then no progress can be made.
Yeah I totally agree. good points...

I guess from the partner side of the fence there is only so much pain that a partner or a family member can endure... unconditional love is ideal but everyone has their limits.... but totally agree with your point where a partner and a survivor have had a lot of water under the bridge that a relationship should not continue if the partner continues to hold it over the survivor's head. If the partner chooses to stay with the survivor even after infidelity, there has to be a clear commitment and clear awareness by the partner to NOT hold it over the survivor's head. If the partner cannot do this they should seriously think about ending the relationship, and in turn, the survivor must try to accept the partner's decision to leave.... again..sometimes there's only so much pain you can take.

Sorry if my contribution to this post is less than objective - I have been having serious dad problems lately.


P


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#59429 - 05/04/04 05:50 PM Re: No excuses for infidelity
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
April,

I was speaking with someone else on this site today about the insecurity we feel as partners, about many aspects of our relationships. As Ed pointed out, the issues we face as partners include more than, and can go deeper than, infidelity. And I think it's possible that, just as survivors sometimes make their childhoods work overtime to compensate for/excuse their adult choices (in the way that PAS describes), we as partners sometimes do the same with the more glaring negative behaviors such as infidelity or drug abuse.

Maybe this is because it's easiest for us to see, or because it feels more "legitimate" to have this kind of focus for our insecurities and hurt?

If your husband had never cheated on you but still kept his secrets from you, would you have any less of a right to feel betrayed? What if you'd learned about the abuse but had yet to discover the infidelity? Would you still feel hurt and betrayed on discovering it? No, there's not REALLY infidelity in too many pizzas and beers, but if you're sitting at home by yourself every night while he's at the pizza place with friends, does it really feel better than sitting at home every night while he's telling you he's at the pizza place but really looking for sex?

Intellectually, I think it's pretty easy for us to say, our feelings are our feelings and we can have them no matter what. But emotionally, it feels strange for me to think that I might be more hurt by the general selfishness and distance that characterized the period during the "acting out" than the affair itself. And I know how weird that would probably sound to all the "normals" too... even if I had any friends who knew the whole story of his abuse, infidelity, etc., I'm sure if I told anyone but you guys that I was hurt more by a few years of constant medium-level crappy treatment than I was by a year of infidelity, they'd look at me like I was nuts.

But, compared to the way I was treated, it's easy to believe that the infidelity had nothing to do with me. Even if our true love couldn't have kept him from ignoring the compulsion to act out, why didn't it keep him from treating his family badly? That's where the "I love you, I'm sorry" felt like a lie to me, not in the acting out.

Until I came to terms with this, it was hard for me to look past the past, because I was trying to heal from the wound that wasn't hurting anymore--and how do you say to your boyfriend, "No, honey, I don't want to talk about Ms. X, I want to talk about how you never put the kids to bed?" :rolleyes:

My point, April, is that while the infidelity and betrayal might be the conspicuous sore point in your marriage, healing that wound all by itself won't fix everything--and in some ways, it's not the most important thing that needs healing. If his infidelity is over with, and you're still feeling as insecure and personally hurt as ever, there may be other factors there that need attention as well.

SAR


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#59430 - 05/04/04 07:38 PM Re: No excuses for infidelity
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
April
Quote:
It makes it really hard to believe that your partner loves you when they can perform these acts and then come home, look you in the eye and tell you they love you.

It makes one feel that they are dealing with someone that has no conscience.
I understand totally how hard it is to believe that we still love our partners while we act out.......

But I have always had a conscience, and it's always been active. That was one of the components that I call drivers.
What I subconciously craved was 'degradation'. The effects of the abuse, the resultant PTSD and all the other negative effects I had compounded together to tell me "Dave, your worthless" That was my life>
_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#59431 - 05/04/04 08:11 PM Re: No excuses for infidelity
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
SAR
Quote:
Intellectually, I think it's pretty easy for us to say, our feelings are our feelings and we can have them no matter what. But emotionally, it feels strange for me to think that I might be more hurt by the general selfishness and distance that characterized the period during the "acting out" than the affair itself.
This is what Linda often says to me, and what she said the day she discovered I had acted out.
The major hurt was from the neglect, the lies, the feeling of being frozen out, me not trusting her with my worst secrets and all those peripheral feelings she felt that surrounded not only my acting out but the previous years as I'd gone off the rails.
She was even apologising for reading my journal and discovering my acting out ! she actually felt guilty about doing that, and still does to this day.

My journal described a day, that she recognised, and basically said "I went to a toilet at ***** and ****** *** a stranger". There was no amount of lying that was going to get me out of that !
But this act that had been exposed in print and sat on the kitchen table between us didn't become the main focus of the long long talk we had.
What Theo ( are we long lost brothers ? ) says -

Quote:
two things must be happening for this to work. the survivor must not be condemned for past behavior, though we should be held accountable to a point and both work through the justifiable anger. both partners deserve to be validated in their emotions. if, however, the past is continuously held over the head of the survivor, then no progress can be made.
just happened that night between my wife and I.
It was such an incredible even in my life that I'm crying now just thinking about it.
Somehow she found the compassion, love or whatever to support me, and therefore us, through all this.
Yes, I had to be accountable - big time accountable - and I still feel that I got off lightly in some respects, or did I ? How much work have I done since to ensure I never go to those dark places in my mind again ?
However much it's been the deal was worth it, and that's not the way to look at it really.

Linda's greatest attribute throughout all this, and all the other problems we have encountered, is that she never drags up old issues and beats me with them. And thankfully I don't believe I do either.
Theo's right, with that attitude nobody moves forward. In fact I think that I for one would have left our marriage long ago because I detest having the past thrown back at me.
I belive fervently that I have to be accountable at the time and stand by any and every assurance I make about my future behaviours, but I want to move on - not back.

Also the point about 'infidelity' was discussed at length when we talked, if I had entered into any kind of relationship, even meeting someone by arrangement, then I'd have been out on my arse.
But in 30 years I've NEVER strayed in the sense of seeking an alternative, even when I've been pursued by the tart at work ! I have always been able to resist in that sense, in fact it's more than 'resist' - I just have no interest in going outside my marriage because 'that' has never been the problem - the inside of my head was the problem.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#59432 - 05/05/04 03:03 AM Re: No excuses for infidelity
Tribear Offline
Member

Registered: 11/09/03
Posts: 66
Loc: USA
Quote:
Originally posted by April:
Hi All:

Thanks for your posts. They always help...

I have been struggling for eight months. I don't know that I have it in me to look past this. I don't think that it is my pride. I think it is more of an insecurity issue...

Thanks for providing hope.

April
Dear April,

Having read the above words, I'm not afraid to write this to you now. You seemed very angry, and I didn't want a war, or to cause more harm either.

While visitors have free access to reading the posts in the male survivors section, the posts are written with other male survivors in mind. That calls for some filtering by visitors to avoid being traumatized, or judging too quickly. Put another way, this is a tough place to visit. The posts can be very candid, self-exposing and even self-deprecating, and therefore very painful and triggering.

So first, I hope you realize that "acting out" is a generic term we use that covers a multitude of things, including cutting oneself and getting drunk, as mentioned. It also includes sexual behavior, of course.

When we post, we don't necesarily specify which of those it is, because SOMETIMES the 'what' is not the issue of danger for us. Instead, sometimes it's knowing we've still got the acting-out 'monkey on our back' that is of itself so depressing, and can lead to more self harm. The monkey is as pretty and welcome as a dirty little leech, and I hate the power he has over me. "Is it his strength, or my weakness that is causing the real problem here? Does it even make a difference?" The answer to those questions cause me to struggle for my sense of identity, and sometimes give in to self hatred, just wanting to give up. BTW, I'm not sexually cheating on anybody. I've been alone for 11 years, and I hate it. It's part of the 'price' I'm paying for being abused. Add to that the monkey thing, and maybe you can see the frustration.

Anyway, brass tacks: For the whole world, the question of sexual betrayal is filled with hurt, and now with more danger than ever. It's good to be cautious. Whether childhood sexual abuse is an 'excuse' or 'contributing factor' doesn't matter much if an HIV test comes back positive, does it? Aids is robbing some children of both parents today. And besides, how sad it is when it is spread to an unsuspecting, sexually-faithful mate, with no warning of dangerous behavior from the other partner. HIV/AIDS is not the only life-altering STD out there.

I know that being and feeling sexually betrayed can cause deep harm, and it makes for new victims. It is not a 'by the way' thing. The repurcussions can be similar to those of other types of victimization.

Summing it up, I respect your right to be safe and healthy, and to be angry about an affair. Also, your right to need a monogamous relationship in your life, and to clearly state your position about all those things to the other person involved. Understanding is important--not throwing the baby out with the bath water. But I've known a few who may have used their history as an excuse or license. Either way, as stated, the results can be the same. With our actions come consequences.

Those who are not acting sexually responsible or with consideration right now are works in progress I hope, and some will change. They should post if it helps them change. Where there is life there is hope, so it's said. On the other hand, some of us are fighting like he** to rise above it, and are succeeding right now. We are also here on this site.

I hope things in your life can be resolved to your health and happiness.

Sincerely,

Ed


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#59433 - 05/05/04 10:51 AM Re: No excuses for infidelity
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
So I unconciously searched for ever more effective ways to 'prove' to myself that I was the low life scum I believed I was. And what better than returning to the acts that put me in that situation ? It was as though I had finally reached my true level on the social ladder, the bottom rung with the rest of the perverts and low life.

But did I feel at home there ? no, it still wasn't enough. That's when I escalated the acting out to include the risk of getting caught, and losing everything. My wife, home, friends, family and job.
A bum in the gutter seemed to be my ambition.

As a survivor of abuse myself, but not sexual abuse, I can completely understand this... its interesting to see the correlation - my abuse was psychological and verbal, and when I get triggered I tend to verbally and psychologically (and physically at times) abuse myself.

I kind of look at the sexual acting out behaviour by SA survivors in that way - the stuff that Dave describes, and the other stuff, is NOT the stuff of love and daydreams.. its often degrading and humiliating, and I cannot see it being particularly enjoyable for the survivor to be engaging in. Even my own fiance's past sexual acting out before we met, he told me once that he felt AWFUL and HORRIBLE and disgusting when he did that stuff, and even more so afterwards, so dont be fooled that sexual acting out is anything but a horrible experience for the survivor. But unfortunately, when that stuff is going on, they are so wrapped up in their own pain, so mired in it, it controls them for a time.

I dont know if there's any pscyhological theory on this but the way I look at it, my own "acting out", which really manifests itself in self abuse (psychological self torture, mental/emotional distancing, hitting myself, verbally insulting myself) was MY way to manage the unfathomable rage that I had about what happened to me in my childhood. It matches the type of abuse that I got when young (psychological/emotional/verbal). Maybe if I was sexually abused too my acting out would include sexual behaviour - but I wasn't sexually abused and I dont engage in sexual acting out with others.

Here's my theory - when young, whenever I stood up for myself and protested the shoddy treatment I was getting, the abuse escalated. So then, what do I do with the anger I cannot do anything with? Its gotta go somewhere, so you turn it against yourself, make your reality actually match up with what your abusers are telling you that you are, and bingo, presto! No more anger. To me, that seems to be the most plausible reason why I, as an abuse survivor, sought and sometimes continues to seek to make myself feel bad - its what I learned was a "safe" way to manage the unbelievable quantity of anger that lurks in the soul of every childhood abuse survivor.

Anyhow, despite the explanations we have tried to provide it must be horribly tough to try and look at infidelity/sexual acting out in any kind of objective light. The pain that must be felt must make it really hard to see it as anything but a total betrayal and a slap in the face.

(((((Hugs))))))

Hopefully time, talk, and maybe some therapy will help you get some resolution on this. But it will take time... and that's ok. Its probably the hardest thing to deal with.. that this will take a chunk of time to heal from. Nothing anyone can say to take away that pain.

We're here for you.

P


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#59434 - 05/06/04 05:54 PM Re: No excuses for infidelity
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I was looking through my journal tonight, I've written since I first started therapy and haven't stopped yet, and came across an essay I wrote in 1999 that I called "Fantasy Island".
I write in there about the forces and influences that created the 'monster of fantasy' that led me to act out.

I've posted it on the Stories Forum, it's long winded and triggering, but for me still true - and frightening.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#59435 - 05/07/04 10:54 AM Re: No excuses for infidelity
darp123 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/25/03
Posts: 15
Loc: Maryland
April,

My H also had an affair. We had been married for 16 yrs. I found out about the affair and the childhood sexual abuse on the same night. The affair was with a coworker who had also been sexually abused as a child. I understand where you are coming from. It has been sixteen months tomorrow since I have found out about the Affair and SA. At 8 months, My h and I were barely starting to heal. My H and I are both in IC. He is working on his SA issues and also how that has affected every aspect of his life. I am in IC to work on my own healing and also work on our relationship. Every day gets better as he is starting to heal and I am working on getting past the affair. It has been a very hard and long process but I love my H with all my heart and I know he is a wonderful person that has so much hurt inside and he is really trying to heal.

I am also a member of Surviving Infidelity forum (Survivinginfidelity.com) and there are many members who have a partner that has been SA and been affected by adultery in their relationship. There is a very good article that was written by one of the members that discusses some of the vulnerabilites of sex abuse victims and how it relates to adultery or "acting out"
The thread is http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=23608


If you ever want someone to talk to you can pm me on Surviving infidelity. My name on that board is Stayintogether

Take care,
darp123


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#59436 - 05/07/04 07:27 PM Re: No excuses for infidelity
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Darp
that's a great thread you've linked to, and they seem to be a great bunch of people there.

But they could do with a link to MS at the end of that thread ! ;

Dave)

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#59437 - 05/07/04 07:57 PM Re: No excuses for infidelity
darp123 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/25/03
Posts: 15
Loc: Maryland
Good point Lloydy,
The people at Surviving Infidelity and MS are both wonderful people. I mostly lurk at both sites but have learned so much about SA and infidelity in the past 16 months just by reading. I have a hard time putting my thoughts into words. I will mention a link to this site to the person that wrote the article.


Take care,
Darp


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