Originally Posted by Pepperband
I was worried about her brother's feelings instead of worrying about DWG's feelings

I beg to differ.

I sure hope I can explain this ...

Back to your very first post on the forum ...

I am 61 and retired. I have been unfaithful once in 1984 for a brief encounter but carried on a six year "relationship" with a dirtbag that ended on discovery three months ago. I have been an addictive personality all my adult life and a narcissist with a huge ego, though at heart I am a good person.

This is you, doing your thing.

Let's put aside, for now, the lies and obfuscation of the actual depth of your betrayals.
Let's just look at the last bit.

"I am a good person"

Who are you trying to convince when you write such a thing?

The MB peanut gallery?
Complete strangers?

Are you even aware, that a person who KNOWS they are a "good person" does not feel compelled to convince others of that fact?

Have I ever written "I am a good person" on the MB forum?
Why not?
Because my ability to recognize my own good qualities does not hinge on my convincing others that I am "a good person".
It would never occur to me to even write such a thing.

GM, you are not the first wayward on MB to write "I am a good person" in order to convince others (complete strangers) that they are not a "bad person".

You see, GM, I don't need to announce that I am "a good person" because I know I am not a "bad person".

Here's my 2 cents.

The man in the mirror, the guy who you see shaving every day, is not sure if he is good, or not. In fact, he's pretty sure he is not.
But, he wants to be.

The only way you know how to take your own measure ~~~> What is reflected in the opinions of others? What do I look like to ~~~> that person over there.

So, you say to a suspect man-fishing FB widow, "I like you a lot" ... when you don't like her a little.
You say it is to spare her feelings.
I say, it is to gain her favorable opinion so that you can feel better about yourself.

You were really not concerned with DWG's brother's feelings.
You wanted to look good ....

GM, isn't it exhausting?
The reflected sense of self?

A reflected sense of self is a never-ending appetite to be "stroked" by others. (for the lack of a better word)

Now, getting stroked by others is not a bad thing.
Sometimes we earn that.

I'd like you to imagine what you might think of yourself if you did not rely on the approval and stroking of outsiders ...

Are you "a good person" ?

Now, go back and re-read that first post of yours.

You were lying to us.
And you wanted us to believe you are a good person.
While you were lying.

Can you see the problem with this?

Are you a good man if no one but you is around?

Think about it.

Take care.

You're right, PB. About everything.

I'm frightened. I am not a "good person". I am deeply flawed and have wrought sadness and enormous damage. I am nothing like I thought I was. I am an easy liar and live in a fantasy world, where unless it is revolving around me, I get agitated and resentful. Ideas that pop into my head become truth rather than just a daydream. For the first time, I am really frightened. I thought I was getting better, getting well, after that breakdown, but I need a power much greater than myself to help me. For the first time, I have deep doubts about whether I can become the person that DWG needs and deserves. TST is so kind and has been calling and coaching and helping me. He was able to change and learn. I want to be like him, but I just can't seem to break through. Sometimes, I think I am making some steps. Then, it just vanishes. Trying to have faith.

FWH, age 63. 24 years of narcissistic behavior, infidelity, and emotional abandonment of my BS, age 57, DancesWithGoats (DWG). D-day two years ago, leading to emotional breakdown. Been working MB program and toward spiritual transformation and personal growth since then, with some slow but real progress. DWG still with no trust, but with grief starting to subside a bit.