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June 16, 2019 7:47 am  #11

Re: Chump Lady sums it all up...

I gave you my A-game in exchange for a sh*t sandwich....made me laugh out loud...and that doesn’t happen very often.  Thank you.  Maybe today won’t be so bad.


June 16, 2019 9:23 am  #12

Re: Chump Lady sums it all up...

This is a little off topic, but it's about another media site with an article relevant to our situation and to the question of "what's relevant."   On the NYT website today is an op-ed piece, a short essay, written by a gay father about his relationship with his daughters.  There is not one word about his ex-wife, the mother of these girls.  I left a comment there about that absence.  What I didn't think to say then, but thought later, is that it seems very convenient for me for the gay father to write a warm and fuzzy piece about his daughters, because that relationship--father and daughters--was not severed, no matter how much it was complicated, and allows him not to confront the more troublesome aspect of his life story: the deception of their mother, and the years of pain he put her through, in exactly the ways OMOTF details.  How much more ego-stroking to get a lot of comments commending him and his courage from NYT readers than to confront the reality of the life he subjected his wife (and daughters) to.


November 26, 2019 1:39 am  #13

Re: Chump Lady sums it all up...

OnMyOwnTwoFeet wrote:

I agree with both major points we're making here:
 Here on SSN, there are different kinds of pain and betrayal. But one of the biggest similarities we share is the distortion of reality from the foundation of the relationship. The level of distortion, the length of it, the level of cruel behaviors, the level of denial even in the face of facts, the amount the spouse wants to draw us into their fantasies--those may differ, but still the false reality is huge, and it leads to damage in foundational ways, aven as we aren’t aware of what’s happening.
"What is cheating" is one question. "What is betrayal" is another. "How this has destroyed me" is all connected.
Sexual assault is violent not because of sex, but because of how it takes one of the most intimate things that should bond two people’s souls and turns it into a weapon of control. A systemic pattern of withholding sex and affection is a kind of sexual betrayal, a kind of sexual assault, a kind of violent infidelity toward an intimate partner. Similarly, a pattern of pushing away and even criticizing an intimate partner’s loving actions—this is also a kind of sexual betrayal, an emotionally violent infidelity. Using someone’s body without loving it is wrong. Using an intimate partner’s body without loving it—as a tool, as a front, as a worker, as means to have children—is also wrong, is also an act of physical (and sexual) violence. When perpetrated in an intimate relationship, it is sexual betrayal.

It is another aspect of the thing I posted the other day about the “non” or the “un” being the thing to pay attention to. The lack of action is still an action—but hard to see, hard to define, hard to hold the other person accountable, hard to say “this happened! And it was horrible! And part of the horror was that I could not see it!”
Chump Lady emphasizes all the decisions it takes to actually cheat, to emphasize how much of a betrayal it is.  And this question of decisions is also related to the agony of the straight spouse: how much did my betrayer know they were doing this? Can I hold them accountable? Does anyone else think they are accountable? That challenge of trying to find a reality check for our experiences is part of the horror too: “is my real experience of betrayal even real?”
When people have strict definitions of what “cheating” is, or when they privilege cheating as the most significant form of betrayal--including sexual betrayal, they don't understand how deep it goes for straight spouses.

Yet on ChumpLady, I learned to recognize a lot of the tactics used to protect secrets. So seeing all those secret-protecting tactics from my husband has helped me to know there is something there and see the hidden picture.

This is so well articulated. Thank you for giving a few of my meandering thoughts structure.

I've been trying to tie this feeling of constant existential dread since I discovered my wife's infidelity to something tangible. A visual or idea to anchor it. And the only one that feels apt is cosmic horror from HP Lovecraft, like Chthulu. That feeling that pure terror of a disordered universe that is truly indifferent to your suffering. It is a lonely terror which there is no escape.

Your note on the horror being what's unseen is so true. My situation was like a small cut that unravelled across me inch by inch. While I was both in terror about the immediate pain, I was much more horrified that this would keep going endlessly into the future, and my ultimate prize would be for no one in my life to accept the truth. Because my wife is "not that kind of person", she can't be gay? So far, this major fear is coming true, and she will walk away the victim while I sit with years of proof of purposeful deceit. I need to be the better person so we can co-parent, while every cell in my body is screaming to spread the word.

I'd never considered these acts as sexual assault, but my goodness, they are. Need to wrap my head around this one...


November 26, 2019 5:42 am  #14

Re: Chump Lady sums it all up...


Yeah ..that was what scared me the most about my GX..it was not just her gay cheating but the years of deceit that it revealed to me.  Maybe not gayness but years of narcissm. It was like that movie The Sixth Sense when he looks back and sees reality.

I will say I take comfort in the fact that I gave my A game even if she did not.  In this life and the next I can say I gave it my all,  I loved fiercely and treated her so kindly.
Don't think for a minute think we did anything so wrong that made them treat us this way.

"For we walk by faith, not by sight .."  2Corinthians 5:7

November 26, 2019 5:07 pm  #15

Re: Chump Lady sums it all up...

Rob wrote:

I will say I take comfort in the fact that I gave my A game even if she did not. In this life and the next I can say I gave it my all, I loved fiercely and treated her so kindly.

This is a lovely way to think of it. Thank you, Rob.


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