First of all, what is this AGENCY in the context of infidelity?? What does 'having back your agency' mean in the context of infidelity?
When do you consider your agency was fully restored to make one of the most important and difficult choices of your life, i.e., to choose between R or D??
1. Is it when you found out about the affair?
2. Is it when you gathered enough info/truth about the affair and the nature of it?
3. Is it when you were in the acceptance stage of grief and were emotionally stable because of physical and/or emotional distance from your WS manipulation or gaslighting attempts?
Is it automatically restored, or does BS need to work towards restoring it? If it's the latter, then what should the BS do to restore their agency? Also, what should WS do to help restore the agency of their BS?
4 comments posted: Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023
Can someone recommend some good books on codependency?
5 comments posted: Wednesday, April 12th, 2023
Question for BS.
This question is for my general curiosity.
Is there any BS here who were pursued by someone whom you found interesting for various reasons, found them physically attractive and overall had a very good chemistry with them and yet refused to go on the path of infidelity with them? How did you fight the temptation and how did you deal with such people?
Has this happened before your spouse's affair? If yes, then did that experience and understanding of that temptation help you in dealing with your spouse's infidelity? Yes, then how?
45 comments posted: Friday, March 24th, 2023
Need relationship advice... and blessings too.
This is going to be a very long post and am really sorry for that.
I am a 28 year old male.
I had my first relationship when I was 16. I also experienced my first betrayal at 17. My first partner got pregnant, and I wasn't the father. Our relationship was largely emotional. We did make out a few times but never had sex. So, when she got pregnant, I was super shocked and confused. All of our friends knew about our relationship. So, they all believed that I was the father. Naturally, her family also believed I was the one who impregnated her, and so they were furious with me. They harassed me and my family for the next 3 weeks or so. My family demanded a paternity test, and later, she confessed that it wasn't me but someone else. Her family backed off after that, but the damage was already done. I was shamed and embarrassed. I got a bad reputation in my neighborhood and lost most of my friends. Expectedly, my family suffered too.
I went to a different city for college. I went into depression. I felt insecure. It affected my grades. I was a popular kid, always doing some kind of mischievous acts while performing well at my studies. Had many friends and was fun to be around. Enjoyed good relations with most of my teachers, too. But after all of this, I went aloof. I became hyper self aware of my flaws. Went hard on myself for putting shame on my family. Her family blamed me for corrupting her, and I believed it, and so I blamed myself for that too.
When I was 19, a closed friend of mine proposed to me. I rejected her. I don't like having love realtions with best friends. I guess she didn't like that. There was a guy in my college who was very popular, more handsome and good in my studies. I was very jealous of him because I was like him a few years ago, but now I was something else. He was getting all the attention that i used to get, but now I was in some corner trying to get through my issues. I hated it. This close friend of mine sensed my jealousy for this guy, and she took advantage of it. Whenever she got the opportunity, she used to praise this guy and rub it in me to make me feel inferior. She would always talk about him in front of me. Always!! When I told her not to talk about him, she would get defensive and say, "You are jealous and have a massive ego problem". She wasn't wrong, though. This guy did nothing wrong to me, yet I was jealous of him, and somewhere deep inside, I hated him. But her rubbing it in me made me more miserable than I already was. Then I met another girl. She knew my story and had sympathy for me. She told me she understood my pain and wanted to help me. I felt good about it. She used to give lots of advice (many of these advices were silly and unrealistic, though) regarding any issues I faced. She also tried to help in my studies. We started spending a lot of time together. Eventually, we confessed we wanted more than friendship. I felt safe around her for a time being. She was helping me heal. But then I saw her getting closer with this popular guy. I was already jealous of him. My close friend made sure I always felt inferior to him. Then I saw my girl spending time with him, getting closer to him. My insecurity was off the charts. Insecurity induced depression was high too. I confronted her about this, but she said he also needed some help to deal with his issues, and that's why she was spending more time with him. There was nothing inappropriate going on between them. When i asked her what issues he was going through, her reply was, "You won't understand. So just leave it at that". That may have been true. But in hindsight, i believe she was in an emotional affair with him. But after her emotional infidelity, our relation dynamics changed a lot. She spent less time with me. She wasn't available to me whenever I needed her emotionally. But she was available to him, and it always triggered hard for me. My mind and environment became very toxic. I started behaving like a toxic person. I didn't have many friends at that time because everyone found me weird and toxic. On top of that, my grades were really poor.
But thank God, one of the teachers reached out to me. She was very young in her early 30s. My misery was very visible to the eyes. She saw that and reached out to me. I really wanted someone to listen to me and give me some real helpful advice. So, I told her everything unfiltered. I really felt a lot better when I unloaded everything I had in me. She listened to everything and then gave me some real advice. She told me what I was doing wrong and what I must do. It really helped. She promised to stand by me and guide me until I was in a safe place. With her help, I started to focus on studies and on my healing. I cut off my toxic friend and my gf. My teacher made sure they stayed away from me. I felt safe around her. I got back to my best form and did great in exams and in my healing process. At 20, I got selected to the first university I applied for. I was really happy. Made some really wonderful and reliable friends there after many years. Everything was going well. I was no longer depressed. Started enjoying my university life. I also started dating again. I dated 3 different girls in the next three years (not all at the same time😅). The last one lasted longest of the three. It lasted more than a year.
All these dates failed because I just couldn't go full on with them. I just couldn't commit 100% with them. They were nice, good-looking, and very much my type. They all expected more from me, but I always felt stuck and withheld(by me) during dating period. I couldn't let myself get too attached to them. I couldn't feel the intensity I felt in my first two relations. I felt like I was just stringing them along. So, I ended all three dates before they got worse. After the third date, I felt I was not ready for this now. May be am too young or too immature for this. So, I stopped dating and focused on my studies and later on my job. For the next 5-6 years, I didn't date anyone. I had a few opportunities but always declined because I felt I was not ready.
Now, I am 28. Have a good job. Also, preparing for the civil service exam. Many of my friends are finding love and settling down. This has made me feel lonely, and now I have started longing for connection and intimacy. A very good friend of mine arranged a date for me a few months ago. My date had 7 years long relation which ended 2 years ago. In the last 2 years, she didn't date anyone. Instead, she worked on her healing process. I do like her. She knows realistically what one should expect from relations, how to navigate through it, how to bond, how to communicate, and also when and how to quit when things don't work. She also talks a lot about boundaries and their importance in a successful relationship. Through SI, i have learned how important boundaries are, and this makes her a very good candidate for a relationship. I, on the other hand, am a virgin when it comes to relationships. I never really truly experienced love or bonding. None of my relations lasted more than a year or 2. And i always withheld in my past relations. Even though in terms of number of relationships, i score bigger than her, but when It comes to experiencing love and related stuff, i stand nowhere near her. It really felt good to learn what all she experienced through her past relation, but at the same time, I felt sad that I didn't experience much of that. One thing she never experienced that i had experienced in a relationship is betrayal, and I am glad she didn't experience that. Now the problem here is I am feeling stuck and withheld in this relation too. I thought 5-6 years of dry spell might have changed me. I believed I was ready for dating. Thought i had matured. But, alas, I am still at the same place I was 6 years ago. I really don't know what to do. Also, a family member and a friend of mine have both going through infidelity related problems in their respective marriages right now. These two incidents have really triggered hard for me for the past 1 year. That is how I ended up on this website. I have read many stories here. I have learned about infidelity inflicted trauma. I never really knew about this before. Now, I believe my predicament with dating could be because of the infidelity I experienced in the past. I don't know. That is why i come here seeking your advice and your analysis of my issue.
I really like this woman, but if I can't fully commit to her, then I should just let her go. 6 months from now, she will be posted to a different city because of her job. So, I have to know if I can really do this before her posting. She is looking for a serious partner. She doesn't mind settling with me if she finds me serious and compatible.I just don't want to string her long if am not that partner she is looking for.
1.So, do you really think my issue is related to infidelity inflicted trauma? If so, then how should I navigate through this?
2. With these issues, am I a safer partner to her?
3. Recent trigger is also causing me to withhold in this relation. Is it just a phase that will eventually pass, or should I do something about it?
4. I never felt this intense trigger for the past 8 to 9 years. So, should I expect such triggers in the future, too? Will they always be this intense? Can't i do something about it?
5. Lastly, what challenges or difficulties will a person like me who never actually experienced true love in my life face while having a relation with a woman like her who had 7 years intense relation?
I am extremely sorry for this very lengthy post and for trying your patience. Also, sorry if i made any mistakes in my sentences. English is not my native language. Thank you so much for reading.
1 comment posted: Monday, March 6th, 2023
Need relationship advice and blessings...
I posted this in general forum.
0 comment posted: Monday, March 6th, 2023
What is this behavior?
This is my friend's story. She and I have been friends since school. And I have taken her permission to post her story here.
My friend, P married a guy, M 5 years ago. Right from the beginning of their marriage he has been showing lots of red flags. Few examples: a month after their marriage P saw a message on his phone that said,"miss you a lot." That was sent by a woman. Later he started going out to a gym with a female friend of his. He refused to take his wife with him to this gym. He started coming home late and always lied about where he was and who he was with. He is a party animal. So every weekend he goes to some pub with his friends to party. His friends would, very oftenly, bring their respective wives to these pubs but he would rarely bring P with him. He would dance with stranger women in parties (revealed by his friend's wife).
Aside from these obvious red flags, 2 years after their marriage P caught him sexting a coworker of his. This was the first time he was caught red handed. But then he apologized and acted like he was remorseful and somehow successfully manipulated her to forgive him. He also told P that it was just chats and nothing physical happened with this coworker. P called this coworker and she told P that this was 1 year long affair and nothing physical had happened. P ate this shit sandwich and agreed to give him second chance without making him walk through reformation path. She didn't follow any of the steps that are usually advised on this forum. That was her big mistake. He didn't change but got more careful in covering his tracks. Then a year later dday2 happened. One night he was as usual late from work. He said he would be at home by 1 o clock at midnight. Around 12.30 P called him to ask where he was. He picked the call to respond. While P was talking him, she heard a woman's voice in the call. The voice said,"who are you talking to?". When P asked him who this lady was, he said "there's no lady here. It's all in your mind. Stop doubting me" and he hung up call. She called back but he didn't pick the call. Next day, at home when she confronted him, he goes with the same "it's all in your head" routine.
This is when she realized that nothing has changed in him since the first Dday. He still carries the same red flags that he carried before dday1. Not only that, one night he went for party and was super drunk and messaged P's sister around 3 mid night, calling her 'Babe!'. When he is drunk he is a complete different person. He gets abusive. Throws foul and derogatory terms at her and her family. Couple of times he hit her. When he is sober he is polite and soft spoken until he gets angry which is very frequent nowadays and many times he gets angry over silly reasons and tend to overreact.
From all the things P has told me about M, he looks like a complete narcissistic, manipulative, self absorbed, and insecure person. P is complete opposite to him. She is very sweet, and completely harmless person. She is an introvert. She does know how to make friends with people who are safer and good to her. She never wishes harm to anyone. But she is too ignorant and naive. She believed that him hitting her when he was drunk is 'not that serious of a problem'. Him texting her sister and calling her 'Babe' is, according to P, bad but not that bad because he was drunk. She has found many screenshots taken by him of him texting to prostitutes and has evidences of payments made to these people. But for some odd reasons, him trying to have his way with these prostitutes really doesn't bother her that much. He always maintained that they were just texts and he never met them. Her only problems were his affair with coworker, his continuing lies and lack of physical and emotional affection from his part.
Until recently she truely believed that his affair with his coworker was only emotional and through text. She had taken screenshots of those chat messages they shared before dday1. Until now she never completely read all these messages. She only read few selective messages that confirmed their affair. That's it. I was skeptical about that relation just being only emotional. So I asked her to read them. And yes, as I expected, these messages clearly indicated that it was also physical affair. A couple of messages revealed that they used to have their affair meet after office hours. Ap once wrote what she wants to do (sexual) next time they meet. And that meet did happen. This was a wake up call for P. Until now she was in this naive believe that 'it was all just text. Just emotional etc". She never wanted to believe it had gone physical. She really didn't believe until now that emotional affair is a form of cheating. She only saw it as 'inappropriate'. Evidences were so clear and infront of her all the time. She didn't wanted to look at them. Few months back she reached out to me after dday2. It took 2 months for her to give me every detail that he had done. After hearing her out, I carefully pulled out every detail, every lie he has told her, every evidence that points to what exactly he has done and painted a clear picture of what this guy really is - a classic, remorseless, non-empathetic, pathological liar and a serial cheater.
Now she gets it. She is furious. Extremely sad and depressed. She went to her parents house for few months to think this through. Meanwhile, I gave her all the standards advises that are given on this website. Refereed her some books related to infidelity. Talked about doing 180. Asked her to go to therapy. Asked her to expose him to his and her family. Told her to meet an attorney to know her rights and how she could protect herself. Her husband is a lawyer. So he knows more about law than her and so he could use it against her to harm her and her family legally if she went on divorce path. So asked her to be prepared for it. I gave many more advices. She followed none of it. She cried every day but followed none of my advices. She did absolutely nothing during the days she was with her parents. She has a job. She works from home. So i don't know if it's because of the job or something else that she couldnt to do anything to heal or come out this mess. She used to say she wanted divorce. She wanted to leave him.
Now, everybody in her and his family knew their marriage is in trouble but didn't know why. So they came forward to resolve it through talks. P never revealed to both families what M has really done to her. So they all thought it was usual martial problem which can be easily fixed through talks. So they fixed a date to talk and reconcile P and M. And only few days before the TALK, P revealed to her family what all M has done. They were shocked. No doubt. But it seems it didn't help her cause. They were already in reconciliation mode and so they asked her to rug sweep it and give him another chance. And during the TALK, she revealed only a tiny part of M's indiscretions infront of his family but again it was too late and too little. He had already manipulated them to believe that 'she was at the fault here'. They also forced her to rug sweep it and reconcile. Worst part here is she didn't defend herself. She had all the cards but didn't reveal any of them. She immediately agreed to go back to him. And within a week she went back to his house. He acted nice for few days and immediately went back to his old habits. Nothing changed.
She still cries and whines about what he does. I asked her, "why did you go back to him?","why didn't you stand up for yourself?", "why didn't you reveal all the evidences you had infront of his family?". She replied," because I still love him. I don't want to loose him." I asked her, " Even after all the shit he gave to you, all the mental abuse he put you through, you still love him? Even after knowing what kind of a person he is, you still love him? Why? How?". I seriously couldn't wrap my mind around this. So this was not a rhetorical question but a genuine frustrated curiosity. She only replied, "I know it's weird. But I can't help it. I am addicted to him. I can't function without him." And yet she acts surprised when he does something he always do.
So my question here is: what is this behavior of P?
Is she in some form of fog? Or Stockholm syndrome? Or is this what true love looks like?? Will she ever come out of this trap?
She is very depressed and feels lost and clueless. I have no idea what to tell her. Even our other friends are clueless about this. Hence, I came to you.
Sorry, if my English is bad. English is not native language. Also, sorry for this super long post and thank you for your patience.
17 comments posted: Saturday, January 7th, 2023