Marriage Builders®
Posted By: patriot92 opinions about the effect of consequences - 01/30/08 05:48 PM
I have been quite for a while, but I had an issue I wanted to get opinions on.

the effect of consequences on the FWS being a deterrent to subsequent infidelity.

A few preface remarks from the site. We are all wired for affairs. Meet enough needs in someone's love bank and they can cross the love threshold with/for you.

I have seen it written by several posters here, consequences are the results of actions. I have also seen it that if you want behavioral change, then consequences is how to get it. Further, you don't save the person from the consequences of their actions.

So, what I would like to know is who really believes that an FWS can resolve to never have an affair again because the consequences were so great the first time? Do you think consequences stop people from doing things?

"I bet he'll never do that again"

does that not hold true in this arena as well?

Frankly, the consequences for myself and my wife have been disasterous. Does that I consider the consequences felt by me show selfishness? Does that I considered the consequences experienced by my wife show compassion? The pain and destruction caused by my actions is simply to great to bear.

if we make it through this, I want nothing to do with this kind of pain of issue every again.

I was wondering because mostly I see what looks like to me some talk of consequences and even agreement that they are something people should feel. In fact, I have seen people say that it is THE way yo enforce boundaries and 'teach' others those lines.

doesn't that matter here?


thanks.
Posted By: WhoMe Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 01/30/08 06:04 PM
Patriot,

Great question. I think that unfortunately, WS sometimes forget or block out the memory of how terrible things are following the A and frankly for him, even during the affair. In my own situation, my FWH's A nearly finished us both off. We both would have sworn on our lives that he would never again even contemplate another affair.

Well, then we went thru a rough period and darn if he didn't start walking down the same behavoir road that led him to his first affair.

I am sure that deep down inside, if he had thought his actions thru, he would have stopped himself right off. But once again, he didn't see where his actions might just lead him nor did he consider how I might react to his heading in that direction yet again.

Once I discovered it, I nearly ended our marriage immediately. FWH finally woke up and realized that he didn't have to end up in a full-blown affair again to bring our marriage to an end.

I do believe that he does now have a pretty clear understanding of what any further potentially adulterous behavior on his part will lead to, but I still pray often that it will be enough to overcome his propensity to make really bad decisions when he is either hurt or angry, cause if it does happen again, I'm done with him.

Who
WhoMe,

I have a question for you. After the first affair, you said that you both would have sworn that he would never again even contemplate another affair.

Did your husband put in place extraordinary precautions after the first affair that would help to affair-proof your marriage?

We counsel w/ Jennifer and that has been a huge part of our recovery. FWH has put into place a LONG list of extraordinary precautions, far more than is listed in SAA.

Both FWH and I both feel that he would never have another A. But I still have those BS fears, ya know. He is doing everything right. And counseling with Jennifer goes WAY beyond what is in SAA.

So I am curious what was in place to protect your marriage after the 1st affair? Did your H have precautions in place that he just blew off?

Thank you for your willingness to share.
Hi patriot!

My only response is that some people NEVER learn from consequences, some do. It depends on how much you care about yourself, and how much you care about others. Heck, in some cases, I learn from others' mistakes.

Also, the pain inflicted on the BS continues as long as the past behaviors continue (justifications, blame game, anger, resentment, and withholoding/withdrawal, among others) even in the absense of an affair.

Simply choosing not to have an affair is not enough, IMO. But hey, that's me, and I do learn from the consequences that I've suffered. I was part of the problems in our M, before the A's, and have made the choice to change, adn have changed. I also have boundaries in place for my relationships, that I didn't have before.

ANy one of us could be the WS, so I say NEVER SAY NEVER.
Posted By: Tyk Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 01/30/08 06:39 PM
SMB, would you be willing to share that list with us?
Posted By: WhoMe Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 01/30/08 06:54 PM
SMB,

The simple answer is that no he didn't. But it was as much my mistake as his.

We came away from our initial d-day at which time he had already ended his affair. Neither he nor I knew about MB until 15 months post d-day so our recovery was never really valid or firm.

We didn't get the MC we should have and completely believed that all we really needed to do was meet each others EN's.

Now he did get it mostly right being completely open and honest, writing a NC letter (although we didn't know that was what it was), and pretty much accounting for all of his time.

What we failed to grasp was that his affair was as much a coping mechanism that he used when things were not going well between us, or at his job, or whatever situation he was experiencing that he didn't feel he was in control of.

So his slip up was in response to our having a severe disagreement on our way to a class reunion. While there he ignored me and flirted with a woman he hadn't seen in nearly 30 years.

It really upset me that he would do such a thoughtless thing after all we had been thru. If that wasn't enough, he followed up his betrayal with an email to a male classmate who was also at the reunion and expressed his interest in the woman.

I found the email message since I had access to the account and just plain told him we were done.

Initially, he thought that he had done nothing wrong because he had no intention of actually getting or staying in contact with her. The similarity to how his first affair began with a former college classmate completely escaped him.

Honestly, It was the folks here at MB that helped open his eyes to what he had done and how terribly serious the situation was.

We began counseling with Jennifer and she was really able to help him understand the absolute necessity for him to never put himself in a position where someone other than me could make deposits into his love bank.

We are fine now, and I do believe we are recovered. But, you know that I also think that I will always be just a little bit fearful that overtime he will forget and possible slip up again.

Who
The death penalty does not deter people from committing capital crimes.

Certain obesity does not stop folks from eating the next unhealthy meal when they're hungry.

Certain poor health doesn't deter junkies from their next fix.

I think our temporary addiction to the sensations of an experience makes us not consider consequences until later.

After all most affairs happen in secret right ? So active waywards clearly have SOME idea that bad consequences might ensue.

Ever heard that a hard "member" has no conscience ? Not until later anyway.

I think what we can do is try to live our lives away from situations where we may be tempted to have an affair again.

Its unreasonable to expect that we might never give into temptation again.

BTW haven't heard from you in ages. I hope that's a good sign.
Posted By: Mulan Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 01/30/08 08:17 PM
I think you are confusing "punishment" with "consequences".

Punishment is the deliberate infliciting of pain or suffering in hopes of teaching a lesson, as in physically abusing a WS.

Consequences are the Natural Result of bad behaviour and bad choices, as in: "Gee, my friends and family and co-workers really think I'm a jerk now that they know I lied to my wife to date some office bimbo instead."

Punishment doesn't always help, because it usually involves the inflictor being just as unreasonable and outrageous as the transgressor. Then nobody has a moral leg to stand on.

Consequences usually do help *when they are allowed to happen*, because it's not the BS who is bringing them about. It's the WS's own actions that do that.

Consequences.

Not punishment.

Big difference, even if most WS don't think so.

One way to recognize a *F*WS is that they *do* recognize the difference.
Mulan
Hey TYK,

I thought I would post the list you asked SMB about.
This is my list:

Extraordinary Precautions:

a) I am responsible to protect my wife at all times.
b) I will give full access of all my business records to my wife.
c) I will agree to give all passwords, account codes business and personal to my wife.
d) I will not put myself in an advice giver role with another woman, unless my wife is present and has given her prior approval.
e) I will defer to my wife as the advice giver when it involves another woman, unless she specifically calls on me.
f) I will not spend any time with another woman that my wife is not present.
g) I will allow only my wife to hear my problems or concerns.
h) I will not share my infirmities with another woman.
i) I will allow my wife to be my exclusive care giver, unless she specifically calls on someone else to help her.
j) I will defer to my wife in all matters of charity and outreach, with her being the sole point of contact when caring for women.
k) I will not teach martial arts to another woman without my wife being present and having enthusiastic agreement about such training in advance.
l) I will openly share my daily business schedule with my wife.
m) At any time she requests, I will trade cell phones with my wife for the time she deems necessary.
n) I will allow only men to provide essential care, such as Doctors appointments, hair cuts, massages, individual counseling, etc.
o) I will always defer to my wife regarding any outside activity and will agree to eliminate any activity she feels is interfering in our relationship or the relationships of our children.

This list is to let SMB see that "I Get It" and I am responsible to protect her at all times.....

I put this list together and it is in my "Marriage Notebook" that I keep with me at work and at home. I review this list at minimum once a week, and I can add to it at any time.

An old friend used to say to me all the time "if you go into the shoe store often enough, sonner or later you will walk out with a new pair of shoes". The "extraordinary precautions" are not "general precautions" to keep me from buying shoes in the store. They are a road map designed to keep me completely away from the shoe store to begin with.

Hope this can help someone....
Posted By: WhoMe Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 01/30/08 08:31 PM
tst,

You rock! This is more or less what my FWH and I stick to as guidelines. Even tho I have never been unfaithful to him, and haven't been tempted to either, I do recognize that I too could be equally vulnerable if the right situation occurred.

Who
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The death penalty does not deter people from committing capital crimes.

Lol, tell that to the recipients of such a penalty. Seriously, it certainly does not seem to deter others that come after. Much the same way that my infidelity is probably not going to stop the next person that is starting their affair right at this moment. And don’t we all wish we could step in and whack some sense into that person. I would assert that consequences have to be felt by the person before that person ‘knows’ that was a bad idea. Meaning your consequences for driving over the speed limit today and getting a ticket might not have the same power over me as ME getting a ticket today would. Does that make sense?

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Certain obesity does not stop folks from eating the next unhealthy meal when they're hungry.

True. Maybe a different level of consequence? Like this would be mild compared to an affair?

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I think our temporary addiction to the sensations of an experience makes us not consider consequences until later.

Ok. The first time I will grant you that. But after you burn you hand the first time on the stove, you CAN figure out that touching the hot stove is a bad enough idea that simply THAT information is enough to deter you. But it did take doing it the first time to really learn it, right?

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After all most affairs happen in secret right ? So active waywards clearly have SOME idea that bad consequences might ensue.

Again, I assert that you only ‘know’ what you have actually experienced, so maybe the first time wayward doesn’t get this idea like a FWS does. I have seen several times on this forum where the repeat offenders are considered much worse than the one time offenders. I think that holds true in life in general. Why do people say “Didn’t you learn from the last time?”. I think that is because it is considered worse to have erred and make the same mistake yet again, than to err and figure out that when reality shows up, this is not something you ever want to go though again.

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I think what we can do is try to live our lives away from situations where we may be tempted to have an affair again.

And what is the definition of those situations? In my opinion, that can not be boiled down to “don’t work with women” or something of that nature. It is more comprehensive than that.

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Its unreasonable to expect that we might never give into temptation again.

I agree, in as much as it is also impossible to call any marriage affair proof. The only marriage that is truly affair proof is the one that doesn’t exist. And that means managing risk. That is what life is anyway, in many areas. Managing risk.

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BTW haven't heard from you in ages. I hope that's a good sign.

Frankly, no. Things are not great.

Mulan,

You said

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“No consequences for actions = no motivation to change.”

From that I derive that an appropriate influence to behavioral modification is allowing people to reap what they sow. Sound fair? There is, I am sure, I philosophical debate as to what is allowing and what is adding to, but for now, I will limit my definition to the above. For meaning, when I say philosophical debate, I am talking about the gray area difference between consequence and punishment. A consequence for infidelity can be estrangement from family, yes? I think in the gray area, it could possibly be a punishment, because you have other peoples feelings involved. And that varies based on who know how many variables. It is reasonable to assume that bad feelings will be the result of infidelity, but to what degree? Total estrangement? Temporary? Obviously the variables exist because not ALL marriages that come here make it. Some do.


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I think you are confusing "punishment" with "consequences".

Oh? Was it the use of the word ‘teach’? or something else. I was pretty certain that I had a good grasp on the difference. A consequence would be would be pain after you cut your finger off. A punishment would be as you describe here

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Punishment is the deliberate inflicting of pain or suffering in hopes of teaching a lesson, as in physically abusing a WS.

That said, I still assert that the former fingerless person has certainly ‘learned’ something from their experience. Thus they have been taught.

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Consequences are the Natural Result of bad behavior and bad choices, as in: "Gee, my friends and family and co-workers really think I'm a jerk now that they know I lied to my wife to date some office bimbo instead."

I don’t disagree, but to me it still holds some human variability, and I think it is this variability that can convert a consequence into a punishment and vice versa.

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Punishment doesn't always help, because it usually involves the inflictor being just as unreasonable and outrageous as the transgressor. Then nobody has a moral leg to stand on.

I think often that can be true. But not always.

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Consequences usually do help *when they are allowed to happen*, because it's not the BS who is bringing them about. It's the WS's own actions that do that.

Consequences.

Not punishment.

Well, I am not a WS anymore, but I don’t think there is such a vast chasm between the two.


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One way to recognize a *F*WS is that they *do* recognize the difference.

Do you think I get it now? Have I reflected an understanding of the difference?
It seems to me that many people make a poor connection between actions and consequences.

As in, they recognise that the 'action' of being unfaithful for Reason A with Person B resulted in Consequences 'C'.

But they don't necessarily recognise that a slightly different action with a slightly different personality for a slightly different reason is essentially the same action.

For many, infidelity is a coping method for a particular stressor...given the same stressor at a later date, they have no other solution than the one that offered relief before.

Bob P seems quite right to me in pointing out that the intense distraction obviates the guilt, for someone who has let themselves get into a state of serious temptation.

TA
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Bob P seems quite right to me in pointing out that the intense distraction obviates the guilt, for someone who has let themselves get into a state of serious temptation.

I think this is important. If you get into that state of serious temptation, the rational part of the brain is compromised.

This is why "protecting your weaknesses" is so important.

I would love to hear the input from any of our members who recovered from one or more As only to have another. Was it due to lack of protection?
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So, what I would like to know is who really believes that an FWS can resolve to never have an affair again because the consequences were so great the first time? Do you think consequences stop people from doing things?


It depends on a person's maturity level. Emotional intelligence.
Immaturity causes repeat performances of misbehaviors.... with or without consequences.

One would HOPE that the pain of "consequences" is not the ONLY means by which a former wayward learns life lessons! (touch the stove and hand hurts)

One would hope that any former wayward develops a strong moral compass with clearly defined 'right vs wrong' behaviors .... for MORAL reasons .... not just to avoid pain.

Emotional intelligence ~and~ moral development .... if one only avoids infidelity just because "IT HURTS" ... it's a shallow reason, in my opinion.

I require more from my spouse than behaving well in order to avoid pain.

Pep
Interesting question. I don't think consequences do as much to change behavior as people like to think. I have several reasons for thinking that way.

Many people are not inclined to think in the abstract. In simplest definition, anything that has not actually happened is abstract. So, as Pep pointed out, most children do not learn that touching a hot stove will burn their hand, until they have actually burned their hand. Now, WS, suffer consequences, but when trying to motivate them to not repeat infidelity, the consequences are still abstract. i.e. until you actually D them, getting a divorce is still an abstract consequence.

Additionally, many people do not truly recognize cause and effect. The best analogy I've seen for this is the game of Russian Roulette. When someone plays this game, 1 round in six chambers, it is easy to see what caused a participant to blow his head off. But if you had a gun with 10,000 chambers and still only the one round, he could play the game for years and never blow his brains out. When he eventually did, there are those who would have never predicted it, and even worse, those who would be stumped at the cause of the individual's demise. The effect (or consequence) is discounted because it happens infrequently. The other items that seem to obscure cause and effect is time and cumulative actions. Most people need to see effect immediately preceded by cause to connect the events. A delay in this sequence tends to allow people to forget the cause. Cumulative actions i.e. when A, B and C combine to cause an effect, while neither A or B or C, by itself would have caused the same thing, often never get recognized. If you can't see cause and effect, consequences don't mean much.

Many people denigrate history. Believing hindsight is 20/20 often causes a certain bias. When we review history, we tend to assess something as being a mistake based on what we know now, as opposed to what they knew then. Read history and often the writer will describe a military leader A (when losing a battle) as making such and such mistake, because that writer also knows what the military leader B was doing. However, at the time, military leader A had no idea what military leader B was doing and the reality is military leader A did not make a mistake. This gets repeated time and time again. The perception that most develop is that if military leader A had been smarter, more keen or what not, he could have avoided negative consequences. And since most people believe they are smarter, more keen, more capable, while they are aware negative consequences exist, they assume that their capability will allow them to avoid them.

This is driven by the fact, it is in our nature to believe good fortune follows the more exceptional person. Take the book The Millionaire Next Door. It attempts to say these are the characteristics of millionaires, (hard work, perseverence, frugality, etc.) and if you have these characteristics you too will be a millionaire. It comes to this conclusion by saying we interviewed 1,000 millionaires and they all have this characteristic. But, interview 10,000 people who have those characteristics and you will find scant few who are actually millionaires. One could call this the impact of luck or randomness. Some don't believe in luck or randomness. They believe if they act a certain way, certain results will occur. This decreases the impact of consequences as a motivator, since the bad thing can't happen if I act in the proper way. This gets seen time and again when one says I am a good husband/wife, I do all the right things, yet I have fallen in love with someone else. This relates to the inability to truly recognize cause and effect.

Another problem is the consistent misvaluation of the effects. In the Russian Roulette example, what if each game the participant won, they recieved 1,000,000 dollars. Some would say playing this game is worth it. Only a 1 and 10,000 chance that I end up dead. 99.99% of the time I walk out of here with a million dollars. But I would suggest that this is a misvaluation. How much is one's life worth. Even probablity adjusted its worth more than many millions. Now, most people would not make this misvaluation, since the stakes are so high, and the results so stark. Yet, how many people have lunch with a co-worker, which 99.99% of the time would not lead to losing your family, friends, etc, because they put too low a price on keeping them. Consequences are meaningless, because they have been probablistically devalued.

Which leads to, even worse, when keeping the family hasn't been devalued, but the 1,000,000 dollars has been overvalued. I view this as loss of perspective. I read a quote once that said "For the many wonderful things he possess, he fancies a thousand others." Consequences mean little when the grass is always greener. A lot greener to some.

Additionally, most people can't tolerate doing something (or not doing something) that does not appear to pay off. For example, most people can't stand insurance. They complain about the premium being wasted money, since nothing happened. The more years they pay it, the more upset they are about it, the more they desire to quit doing it. Which is really ironic, because statistically, the longer it doesn't "pay off", the more likely it is to pay off. Again, this works against consequences being a motivator for change, since the change doesn't appear to pay off.

Finally, many people do not truly appreciate that they have a choice. While I concede that there may be situations where one has no choice about a course of action, many, many times, these arise out of self made artificial constraints. When a person convinces themselves they have no choice, then consequences are irrelevant.

So, to sum up, many people can't recongnize consequences, or their role in brining them about, and even if they do, they assume that the can avoid them either by their own gifts or superior strategy, and if they can't avoid them, its worth the risk, besides they are tired of not taking chances, and they really don't have any choice in the matter.

Just my 2 cents.
if one only avoids infidelity just because "IT HURTS" ... it's a shallow reason, in my opinion.

That is also the opinion of one of the greatest moralists and philosophers of all time...Kant, and his categorical imperative which is based soley on 'duty'.

"Kant believed that if an action is not done with the motive of duty, then it is without moral value. He thought that every action should have pure intention behind it; otherwise it was meaningless."* <other source>

If the only reason to NOT do something is because of the later consequences...it has no moral value.

One should't commit adultry because it is WRONG...pure and simple. There should be nothing to come after that...no "it hurts families", "i might get caught" "my wife would kill me".

When you base action on the consequences you could actually be saying that you WOULD do it if those things were removed from the listed outcomes.

If there was no chance that it would hurt the family...you would. If there was no chance of getting caught...you would. If there was no chance of your wife killing you...you would.

It leads to that conclusion...imho.

committed

*edited to not not take credit for someone else's words
I think a LACK of consequences will pretty much assure another affair.

Death penalty not deter? OK, then remove it, and watch the killings increase. It certainly detered those it affected! They for sure never killed again!
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When you base action on the consequences you could actually be saying that you WOULD do it if those things were removed from the listed outcomes.

I agree completely.

The problem with using the "consequence" threat as a deterrent is that it basically teaches the potential WS to be more careful about not getting caught - but not to avoid the action.

Moreover, many WS use the "action-consequence" logic to actually justify their actions - "well, the BS was not meeting my EN's, therefore I had the affair" - no doubt we all heard that one.

AGG
I think a LACK of consequences will pretty much assure another affair.

I think that lack of CHARACTER will.

In my opinion, repeat and serial adulterers all have one thing in common...lack of character.

committed
Character matters, and mattered, more than the economy. That was true back in '92, and is still true today. And will always be true.
Posted By: Tabby1 Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 01/31/08 07:46 PM
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The problem with using the "consequence" threat as a deterrent is that it basically teaches the potential WS to be more careful about not getting caught - but not to avoid the action.

Moreover, many WS use the "action-consequence" logic to actually justify their actions - "well, the BS was not meeting my EN's, therefore I had the affair" - no doubt we all heard that one.

AGG

This is so true. It's not just "F"WS's that suffer consequences. Those that haven't earned their "F" also do - sometimes even more so. It must be nice to have a BS to blame all your problems on <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" />.
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So, what I would like to know is who really believes that an FWS can resolve to never have an affair again because the consequences were so great the first time? Do you think consequences stop people from doing things?


I struggled with this same questions. Especially since plan A seems to be an effort to prove you are a better choice that the OP. It felt like my H was getting off scott free, and it killed me. I wanted him to hurt as much as I did/do.

Anyway, looking at the consequenses to my H, I'd say no, they wouldn't be enough to deter him from another A. I had always told my H that an A would be the end of our M, and he chose one anyway. ENs being filled by another can cause all logic to flee the brain of the party about to engage in an A. Consequences alone will not stop it from happening.
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We counsel w/ Jennifer and that has been a huge part of our recovery. FWH has put into place a LONG list of extraordinary precautions, far more than is listed in SAA.


Curious what those additional extraordinary precautions include?? Would you mind posting some of them?
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It felt like my H was getting off scott free, and it killed me. I wanted him to hurt as much as I did/do.


wonderin, for me, I don't wish the pain the BS experiences on anybody, even my FWH, but it would go a long way if he tried to better understand me by asking me how I'M doing, how I'M feeling, how I'M coping. It would make a great deal of a difference if he showed concern for what I've been thru and comforting me.

In the absense of the BS divorcing the WS, and MAJOR problems directly affecting the WS due to the adultery (eg children shunning them and their OP, financial problems, loss of family, friends, etc), what consequences are their for the WS affair?

I think there is an assumption, also, that a FWS will 'get it' and take responsibility and seek forgiveness for what they have done TO their BS. I think even Dr. Harley states that some FWS NEVER feel/show remorse for their A. Is the absense of remorse an indicator that this particular WS doesn't feel what they've done is WRONG and are more susceptible to seeking out another A when things aren't so easy or good at home?

I hope that made sense. I've been thinking about this thread a lot.
wonderin,

SMB's husband, tst, posted his list above.
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So, what I would like to know is who really believes that an FWS can resolve to never have an affair again because the consequences were so great the first time? Do you think consequences stop people from doing things?

IMVHO it is not the consequences that will make a difference.

If you are punishing you will lose the WS/FWS. So recovery will probably not be an option.

I think it is a reallignment of the WS/FWS Conscience that has more effect.

Conscience is an ability or faculty or sense that distinguishes whether our actions are right or wrong. It leads to feelings of remorse when we do things that go against our moral values, and to feelings of rectitude or integrity when our actions conform to our moral values. It is also the attitude which informs our moral judgment before performing any action.

Learning that an Affair, under no Circumstance, is acceptable. Then not being able to justify it using a skewed conscience that suits a persons want to stray.

I don't think a consequence can fix a twisted conscience.
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Hey TYK,

I thought I would post the list you asked SMB about.
This is my list:

Extraordinary Precautions:

a) I am responsible to protect my wife at all times.
b) I will give full access of all my business records to my wife.
c) I will agree to give all passwords, account codes business and personal to my wife.
d) I will not put myself in an advice giver role with another woman, unless my wife is present and has given her prior approval.
e) I will defer to my wife as the advice giver when it involves another woman, unless she specifically calls on me.
f) I will not spend any time with another woman that my wife is not present.
g) I will allow only my wife to hear my problems or concerns.
h) I will not share my infirmities with another woman.
i) I will allow my wife to be my exclusive care giver, unless she specifically calls on someone else to help her.
j) I will defer to my wife in all matters of charity and outreach, with her being the sole point of contact when caring for women.
k) I will not teach martial arts to another woman without my wife being present and having enthusiastic agreement about such training in advance.
l) I will openly share my daily business schedule with my wife.
m) At any time she requests, I will trade cell phones with my wife for the time she deems necessary.
n) I will allow only men to provide essential care, such as Doctors appointments, hair cuts, massages, individual counseling, etc.
o) I will always defer to my wife regarding any outside activity and will agree to eliminate any activity she feels is interfering in our relationship or the relationships of our children.

This list is to let SMB see that "I Get It" and I am responsible to protect her at all times.....

I put this list together and it is in my "Marriage Notebook" that I keep with me at work and at home. I review this list at minimum once a week, and I can add to it at any time.

An old friend used to say to me all the time "if you go into the shoe store often enough, sonner or later you will walk out with a new pair of shoes". The "extraordinary precautions" are not "general precautions" to keep me from buying shoes in the store. They are a road map designed to keep me completely away from the shoe store to begin with.

Hope this can help someone....

That is an excellent list of extraordinary precautions. Yours and SMB's story is an inspiration!
Posted By: medc Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/01/08 09:28 PM
Patriot...perhaps before you say anything else on this thread, you should start being honest with your BW.
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The death penalty does not deter people from committing capital crimes.

Of course it does. Anyone who undergoes the death penalty for a capital crime will probably not commit the same crime again <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
If an act that I may commit carries with it a probability of .9 that I will succeed and that success will result in sufficient reward, then the fact that failure would result in death is offset. So playing Russian roulette for 1 million dollars might be tempting enough to overcome my fear of death.

So a 90% chance of becoming a millionaire might cause me to ignore the 10% likelihood that I will end up dead. If we assign a value of 1 reward point to each dollar, then 1M reward points X .9 probability of success gives me 900K reward points value for the playing the game.

But if a person is acting in a rational manner, that is, they are a rational actor, then the .1 probability of death would likely rule out my participation since for most, death would far outweigh any monetary gain that might be incurred and the value of death might be well over a billion negative points and even when multiplied by .1 would still outweigh the paltry 900K value points associated with the one million dollars after the probability of winning is calculated.

Two problems with the idea of consequences being sufficient deterrent to someone committing any specific act are that in some cases what we might assign to the successful effort is much lower than their perceived reward. And the other problem is that an actor involved in the act might terribly underestimate the probability of failure.

To those involved in an affair, or contemplating the beginning of one, the probability of getting caught and therefor actually suffering the consequences is severely underestimated. In addition, the perceived reward is of such high value to them that even a multiplier of .5 or worse for success does not become a deterrent.

These two factors combined mean that relying on consequences alone to ensure specific behavior from any group or individual can be a crap-shoot at best. As BP pointed out, the threat of death for murder seldom causes someone acting in the heat of the moment from actually pulling the trigger and ending someone else's life. This is because they have over estimated the reward and underestimated the probability of failure.

The death penalty does pretty much assure that any given person will not commit the same act twice, however, but only from the standpoint of their inability to commit the crime after they themselves are already put to death.

This is what makes the suicide bomber so difficult to deal with, BTW since for the bomber, success means death and that is at least in part their goal, to be a martyr and by dying accomplish the goal of taking others for the trip. In the case where they have been taught by religious leaders that to die in such an effort is actually the greatest of all rewards, this ensures their entry into paradise regardless of any other reward and punishment system that religion teaches or what their reward would be otherwise.

So as it applies to affairs, the reward versus consequences equation fails because of both overestimation of the reward and underestimation of the likelihood of failure or even of getting caught. Since the affair is based on emotions that are generally overwhelming to the actors, no rational consideration is even give to the process and therefor success and failure mean nothing because the feelings themselves are the reward and the lack of rational control overrides any thoughts of consequences.

So it has to be something other than consequences that act as a deterrent to future affairs and that other thing is the idea of extraordinary precautions.

A person, especially one who has already exhibited a weakness in this regard must take precautions that make a repeat affair less likely because the possible consequences alone aren't likely to result in prevention of allowing the emotions to run away once the situation begins to evolve.

Ah, but this was only an exercise that it has been too many years since performing and now it is all kind of foggy. So if you don't like the argument, ignore it, because it means didly to me anyway.

But if it's worth discussing, have fun.


With much ado about nada...

Mark
tst,
that list is one any of us should have when in a serious committed relationship with someone. that list is about respect for the other person. i agree with it completely.

mlhb
i can see my ex reading that list and going "yea,that would be the day i'd be that open" but i think if you TRULY love someone that list would be no big deal at all. i'd be that open with someone, no problem.

mlhb
mlhb,

Dr Harley's Extraordinary Care...
Quote
One would HOPE that the pain of "consequences" is not the ONLY means by which a former wayward learns life lessons! (touch the stove and hand hurts)

One would hope that any former wayward develops a strong moral compass with clearly defined 'right vs wrong' behaviors .... for MORAL reasons .... not just to avoid pain.

Emotional intelligence ~and~ moral development .... if one only avoids infidelity just because "IT HURTS" ... it's a shallow reason, in my opinion.

I require more from my spouse than behaving well in order to avoid pain.
Exactly and I require more from myself as well.
Instead of getting into a long philosophical discussion about consequences, why don't we discuss whether or not an ex wayward husband should be TRUTHFUL about his conversations with women he works with?
To believer's point, there can be FWS who resolve to hide their inconsiderate behavior better the next time. Many of us have heard "I didn't tell you about the affair because I knew how much it would hurt you."

Either you are willing to care for your spouse by following the POJA, or you aren't. If you aren't, put both of you out of the misery of a cat and mouse game.

Cherishing
Children need consequences to learn right from wrong.

Adults only need conscience and character to refrain from repeating a wrong. Adults without these two attributes are beyond "consequences" - because they're not children, they "don't get it" when a consequence comes - they become a victim instead of learning because their conscience is seared over and they have no character.
ditto
Posted By: mopey Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/02/08 07:26 PM
Hi Patriot,

I just posted this in your wife's thread and I'd like for you to see it too.

Quote
Frozen,
I am so sorry you are going through this. I had no idea that Patriot was still keeping things from you. THAT IS NOT RIGHT and I don't care how long ago it happened. Dr. Harley said to tell the BS everything they need to know and THEN you can move past that IF there is "just compensation" and "extraordinary care".

And I think that Patriot should add your name on the deed to the house. I mean, if he's a BUYER, he would right? I wouldn't feel SAFE that he was buyer without it.

I also agree that if he said he would pay for half of your son's education that he should put that in writing too. Unless he said, "well if we get a divorce I'm not going to help with the education expenses". And well, that would only mean that he doesn't care about your son really. To me if he felt that way, he's IS using that as some kind of manipulation because he KNOWS it scares you and that you'll do just about anything for your son because YOU are a good person. But you don't have to that Frozen. You CAN do this without him.

It might ease your fears a little bit if you talk to a lawyer and see what your rights are should you decide to not live in deception and manipulation anymore.

You have put just as much, if not more, effort into your marriage and you have every right to benefit from that.

I personally don't see him as a "F"WS until he starts being completely honest with you and does what it takes to earn your trust back. I wouldn't feel valued and cherished in this case. His actions speak differently of someone who is a FWS.



IF you really want this marriage, you have to stop protecting yourself and stop abusing your wife this way.

The poor girl is still in the "discovery" phase.
One last thought Patriot because I don't want to pound on you

A few years back there was a "character" on this web site who controlled his wife by posting provocative questions designed to excuse or endorse his behavior. His wife had been so beaten down about questions she would "dare" to ask about his behavior and so-called recovery (not) and over all, there was quite a sense that their marriage could not and would not be saved without a total personality change.

I've watched you post here for quite some time now (years) reserving judgment, but with a growing sense that you could become the next SNL - you are not as depraved (yet) toward your wife - but you could if you continue on this path.

Set aside your pride. Deal with your issues about control. You will find that life has quite the sweet rewards once you deal with your fear about surrender.
Posted By: Mulan Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/03/08 04:29 PM
Quote
A few years back there was a "character" on this web site who controlled his wife by posting provocative questions designed to excuse or endorse his behavior. His wife had been so beaten down about questions she would "dare" to ask about his behavior and so-called recovery (not) and over all, there was quite a sense that their marriage could not and would not be saved without a total personality change.

I've watched you post here for quite some time now (years) reserving judgment, but with a growing sense that you could become the next SNL - you are not as depraved (yet) toward your wife - but you could if you continue on this path.

I completely agree. I remember SNL before he was (thankfully) banned from this site. His wife would try and try and try, but he had NO interest in recovery - only in utterly and thoroughly defeating and punishing his wife for interfering with his personal life and "making him look bad." Too bad he never realized he didn't need any help for that.

SNL used passive-aggressive, gaslighting, guilt-tripping and word-twisting behaviour in the extreme, until his wife was having a nervous breakdown right here on this forum. They were both banned. I have never seen anything approaching his level of cold-blooded cruelty and pettiness and selfishness - until now.

And what for? To prove he was "right" and his wife was wrong? To make sure he "won" and she lost? To punish her and make her suffer and make her sorry she ever dared question anything he did?

Well, he suceeded. He won. His wife suffered terribly and so did the rest of his family. But He Won. And we're still here talking about it today.
Mulan
Do any of you have a link for the SNL saga you are referring to? For the sake of education, I'd like to see it.
I've watched you post here for quite some time now (years) reserving judgment, but with a growing sense that you could become the next SNL - you are not as depraved (yet) toward your wife - but you could if you continue on this path.


Not even close...and actually insulting in my opinion.

committed
Quote
Do any of you have a link for the SNL saga you are referring to? For the sake of education, I'd like to see it.

I agree. And, I think it would be helpful to BS's who are struggling with recovery, to discuss how you know whether a WS is a FWS. I know this has been discussed before. But I am wondering, for example, how long does it take for a WS to really become sorry for the hurt they have caused, and to truly want to do what it takes to make it up to the BS? I hear FWS (really former) who realize the pain they've caused and are willing to do whatever it takes... Extraordinary Care. Then I hear others (not Former???) who just want to "move past it..." Are they still foggy? Are they "former" or are they still in danger of backsliding? How long does it usually take, if the WS is truly on the road to recovery?

Quote
To believer's point, there can be FWS who resolve to hide their inconsiderate behavior better the next time. Many of us have heard "I didn't tell you about the affair because I knew how much it would hurt you."

Either you are willing to care for your spouse by following the POJA, or you aren't. If you aren't, put both of you out of the misery of a cat and mouse game.

Exactly. Then wouldn't they be not really Former?

What are some signs a BS can watch for? What would help someone who is being gaslighted?
Posted By: mopey Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/03/08 10:21 PM
Patriot, have you told your BW the ENTIRE truth yet?

You were asking where you have control. The control is in the lying. It's manipulation, aka, control. You're not giving your BW the truth to make her own choices for one. At some point, she may give up. This road is tooooo hard for this kind of stuff going on. I wouldn't even consider it recovery if you're still lying to her.

How about lying by ommission? Are you doing that?
Patriot - You know that I'm divorced, so take this with a grain of salt. I got so tired of fighting for my marriage, with hubby continuing on his path.

If I were you, I would put your wife on the house deed. I would sign a paper to help pay for college for your son.

The problem (for me) is that this stuff has happened over again. The stakes keep getting raised.

You need to figure out that your marriage has been forever changed because of your actions. You will need to take EXTRAORDINARY PRECAUTIONS from here on out - and that includes not doing anything that could lead to an affair, or anything that could be PERCEIVED to lead to an affair.
Posted By: Mulan Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/03/08 10:58 PM
Quote
You were asking where you have control. The control is in the lying.

Absolutely. You control your wife by controlling the truth. Nobody can make an honest decision when they do not have all the facts, and when you withold the facts you rob your wife of control over HER life and keep all that control entirely for yourself.

People who control the truth keep others dangling like puppets on strings. They seem to enjoy the "power" they have by constantly jerking those strings and then pretending not to understand when the puppets strenuously object to this treatment.

They pretend to be victims of their own suffering puppets but are absolutely determined to remain a victim. Why? Because victims cannot be held responsible for their actions. They're victims, remember? Victims Deserve No Consequences!

Sad, sad, sad. What a pathetic waste of a marriage, a family and several lives.
Mulan
Posted By: mopey Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/03/08 11:51 PM
Quote
pretending not to understand when the puppets strenuously object to this treatment.........

They pretend to be victims of their own suffering puppets but are absolutely determined to remain a victim. Why? Because victims cannot be held responsible for their actions. They're victims, remember? Victims Deserve No Consequences!


This is my husband right here. I have started talking to my MC about this last week. She told me my H is playing the anger card on me too. Using my "anger" to throw it back in my face and then "HE becomes the victim". It is sick. I am sick. Literally. After making a horrible comment to me yesterday, to further lower my self esteem, he asked ME for affirmation and hugs (after an apology). Like how on earth is HE ever going to get through it.

Grrrrrr........

*edited
Posted By: Mulan Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/03/08 11:59 PM
mopey, if you haven't already, please check out the links in my sig line . . . and good luck.
Mulan
I'm only still continuing to post to Patriot because apparently his wife still might consider remaining married. I got so sick of the behavior that I got a divorce. But maybe he has some redeeming factors.

Also I give him some points because apparently the son is still close to him.
believer ~ I think it is going to take nothing short of a miraculous turn around on his part to save this marriage.

Quote
They pretend to be victims of their own suffering puppets but are absolutely determined to remain a victim. Why? Because victims cannot be held responsible for their actions. They're victims, remember? Victims Deserve No Consequences!

This is Pat to a T.
Posted By: mopey Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/04/08 12:49 AM
Mulan, I have checked out those links awhile back and THAT is where I STARTED learning about this stuff. And I really do hope I thanked you for those threads in the past, if not, THANK YOU.

Knowledge is power and the more I have learned, the more I KNOW I am not crazy. I can SEE the behavior.

Luck? I too need a miracle. Thanks.
BR - I've seen lots of miraculous turn arounds here. I forget when Pat and Frozen started posting, but I've been doing this for 5 years. Ended up divorced, but I think we could have made it.

The most person most dangerous to the marriage now is Frozen, and apparently she is still interested. I would have been long gone.

It just hurts to see two people so close to turning things around give up.
I don't think they are close to turning it around.

Frozen has grown by leaps and bounds, Pat has hidden behind her struggles as a martyr and used her flaws to protect himself from scrutiny.

To some extent, you can say that he is only now exposed, after three years of hidden agendas. But I am not even sure he is fully exposed yet.

She's lovebusted deeply into the red. Even now, he is peppering her with disrespect and demands, digging himself in deeper and deeper.

As far as I am concerned, she's earned her ticket out of this marriage.
I recommended the book "Why Does He Do That?" to your wife, and you might consider reading it as well. One line in there that really struck me went something like this:

He needs to stop focussing on her behavior and his feelings and start focussing on her feelings and his behavior.

Think about how she feels. She's already been betrayed and now she's caught you lying. You lied to avoid consequences to your actions.

My husband is a charming man. There is much to admire about him. And yet, our marriage has been a nightmare for me. Why? He hasn't wanted to consider my feelings when he made his choices.

We are following the POJA. If I ever caught him in a lie, it would be over. I'd turn the page. I'd never want to see him again.

One lie, and it would be over.

If your wife is willing to talk with the Harleys to try to straighten this out, consider yourself very, very lucky. You may not appreciate the seriousness of what you have done. My recommendation to you is to focus on following the POJA, promising her that every choice you make will be with her interests in mind. That means you never lie, even if you think there is nothing "wrong" with what you are doing. The point isn't whether something is wrong or not. The point is something is negative for her, and for that reason you don't do it.

I can imagine you might be quite confused now about why this big fuss about something you didn't think was wrong. My heart goes out to you, too. I know that my husband thinks that, if he has to always consider my feelings, then his feelings are never considered. You said you felt like a prisoner. He has said he feels trapped. What we are trying to do is to find what works for both of us. It's not exactly what he wants to do, and it's not exactly what I want to do, but it's what works for both. Good luck to you.

Cherishing

PS. Jayne241 asked how you can tell if a WS is a FWS. In my opinion, it is that the FWS starts to focus on the BS's feelings and the WS's behavior.
Posted By: mopey Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/04/08 01:22 AM
My husband is very similiar to Patriot. He JUST sent me this e-mail (part of it)............

Quote
My "victimish" letter yesterday was my realization of how much hurt I continue to cause you when I feel like I'm trying not to hurt you.

I don't want to continue causing you pain and even when I think I'm not going to....I do. You don't deserve that and I am thinking the only way to actually stop it is to go our seperate ways until at least I'm a better person. Then maybe if you were still interested, we may try dating.

I'm done. He KNOWs a lot of what has been causing me pain and doesn't do anything about it.

I'm going to post this on my thread. I just wanted to post here to give a birds eye view of what I consider to be victimish.
Posted By: medc Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/04/08 03:16 AM
Cherishing...great post. I agree 100%.
My H told me himself since the BEGINNING of RECOVERY...4 years ago.."don't listen to what I SAY, watch what I DO"..and just like Dr. Harley says on his video, he has been constantly making REPARATIONS to ME..BEHAVIORAL ACTIONS to make up for what he did to me..he does this on HIS OWN..without me asking...he goes OVERBOARD it seems to me sometimes in explaining his conversations with women or his lateness or whatever...

You can DO this too...if you choose to do so...it doesn't take ROCKET SCIENCE...BEHAVIORAL ACTIONS that you choose to do on your own ...to EVIDENCE your LOVE for her...

THIS IS YOUR WORK..not HERS...
Posted By: 2long Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/04/08 03:47 AM
mimi:

Right on! (that phrase dates me).

This thread is about hypotheticals 2 hide or avoid facing what's ac2ally happening. Don't know why: Fear? Patriot afraid of himself or what he's doing or might do?

"Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse. It uses persistent denials of fact which, as they build up over time, make the victim progressively anxious, confused, and less able to trust his or her own memory and perception. A variation of gaslighting, used as a form of harassment, is to subtly alter aspects of a victim's environment, thereby upsetting his or her peace of mind, sense of security, etc."

I ac2ally agree with Mulan, I think it was, who first suggested this.

But never mind.

What about firs principles here?

Froz is scared because she doesn't feel she can trust Patriot. What should patriot do, first and foremost?

Comfort her. Respect her enough 2 be truthful and honest with her.

Need an accountability partner? What for?? And who better than your own wife?

Oh, wait a minute - your W doesn't want you 2 have an association that would require an accountability partner?

Easy answer: Don't have those associations. Stop mulling over the differences between consequences and punishment - or any other putative synonym that might come along.

Look right in front of you. See anything wrong? Correct that, then look for any other areas for improvement and correct those as well.

Don't discuss marriage with anyone other than the person your married 2.

-ol' 2long
my beloved asked me to offer my thoughts on this thread. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get to it. I hope you still get to see them and it makes a difference.

About consequences...

1- We don't get to always get to know what the consequences of our actions are anywhere close to the time of decision making.

There is a lag time between cause and effect that delays the results of our choices from becoming evident to us. For example the generation that was alive during the beginning of the industrial revolution and which started burning fossil fuels never dreamed of global warming. Now 2 generations later we still have a difficult time even convincing some people that it's a reality and it's almost to the point of no return as far as maintaining a livable planet eco-system. Are there consequences to choices? Always! Do we know what they are at the time of decision making? Seldom.

2- Consequences are only effective learning tools IF they can be properly connected with the choices and actions that precipitated them.

Our brains are built to make associations. We form associations based usually on proximity of events. Proximity of events however may have nothing to do with events relating to each other.

The story is told of a monkey that lived in a cage in a zoo which happened to be in the approach path of a local airport. As planes would fly overhead the monkey was frightened and rattled the bars on it's cage. The first time the monkey did this he learned that when he rattled the bars on his cage the noise gradually passed further and further away. The monkey concluded that his ferocious cage rattling was scaring away the monster and so continued doing it. To the monkey it believed that it's actions are what made the planes retreat. How many times are we exactly like the monkey in thinking that our choices and actions are causing things? If then our perceptions can be so far off the mark with causes and effects how can you be sure you have anything that you've experienced properly associated with your choices and actions?

Conclusion:
To the heart of the matter then. Does the choice to have an affair have a consequence? Absolutely. But when will you know what that consequence is? Probably not for some time, perhaps not until you are near or at the point of no return. What then do you perceive in your relationship during the time of decision making about having an affair? The consequences of PREVIOUS relationship skills (or lack thereof) and choices that you've made using those skills. As my wife would say the consequences of your character(s) manifest in your relationship up to that point. And I would add WITH the lag time effects of them manifesting to you.

Therefore if you have 'disastrous consequences' shortly after choosing to have an affair guess what you're actually experiencing? You are experiencing the coming home to roost of how you have both been choosing and acting PRIOR to the start of the affair. The fact is that is what led or brought you to that point of making the choice to have the affair in the first place. The lamentable reality is that by the time you've made that choice the 'consequences' of which you have yet to even begin to experience, you are experiencing what you call 'disastrous' results.

I hope this insight serves to sober you a little bit about what you believe are the consequences of your choices. I know this awareness sobers me. (when I remember it) I often remind myself that I don't get to know what the consequences of my actions are when I make choices, not in full anyway. I use this to help me be more careful and stop to think just a little longer before I give in to some compulsive urge.

The last thing I want to say on this is that there is a process of making amends in recovery. If you've ever attempted to make amends for anything with a sincere effort and desire you learn that it involves a change of character to actually do so. Changing one's character is not easy. I don't believe it can be done by a person alone and actually requires the help of a higher power, at least that seems to be the reality for me. Having worked for years to change my own character I've found it to be nigh impossible for me to change without the help of higher power(s).

I wish you and your family every happiness, joy, fulfillment and success.

You and I don't get to know the consequences in time to feel them in time to choose out of mistakes up front. We can however acknowledge our mistakes and amend them hopefully before the things we feel which are the actual consequences of previous choices overwhelms us. That is what we will do if we are wise. If we are not wise we will get to experience the overwhelm. Consequences tend to accumulate as we persist in our beliefs and chosen paths.

While we may not be able to connect the dots directly to our choices we CAN discern if pathways in general are leading us to a happy result or an unhappy one. We need to learn to trust the process and pay attention as we sift out what aspects of our characters are leading us to happiness or to misery.

My suggestion is that you focus on building your character and overcoming those qualities which bring you misery as near as you can discern what they are. Don't wait until you have to feel the consequences of your mistakes before you start working on what led you to make the mistakes in the first place. By then it may be too costly and painful already. Be wise instead and get to work on the roots of your character.

take what helps and leave the rest.
Anyone else here notice that you may be responding to a blank wall?

Pat has not responded here to his very own thread in nearly a week since Froz's revalation.

I do wish Froz and Pat good luck with their recovery, but based on what Froz has reported, the failure of Pat to protect his own weaknesses, will be their undoing.

Dr H says that that is the most important thing in recognizing why you do or did what you did.

don't know what else to say?

Al Blessings,
Jerry
Posted By: mopey Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/05/08 10:25 PM
Yes, I feel the same about the silence.

As TST put it on my thread....

He's avoiding the conflict that he himself is creating.

Come on Pat. Spit out what's up and face your fears. We are here because we want to help you save the marriage you claim to want.
I am not avoiding conflict. I have some email conflict. I have conflict here and at home. So there is no avoiding it. Simple truth. Not feeling sorry for me.

So to say I am conflict avoiding is false. what would you like to talk about?

I have a call tomorrow evening with Kim. Until then, no relationship talks will ensue. Pretty simple. I tried to talk about things and that was not received well. The boundary was stated that no negotiations will happen until after discussions with the Harleys.

I thought that talking about things was a better idea than doing nothing, which is what I am doing now. Yes, even in the face of being told not to talk about things. That was not the case.

So, I really don't know what you would like to talk about. As I see it, I am out in the open here anyway, so we can talk about anything.

I am at work right now and can't really focus on this right at this moment, but I will post some responses this evening and we can see what happens.
Posted By: medc Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/05/08 10:42 PM
Quote
Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would like to stop hurting my wife.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Really??? But you need someone to hold your hand and tell you to not do it? I don't know how to say this without appearing to 2 x 4 you...but needing an accountability partner to stop hurting your wife sounds very childish to me. It seems to me that it is all about appearances.

I would strongly suggest that if you truly need that...intensive IC would likely be your first step.

So, what gives you the right to lie to your wife? And if your answer is a simple..."I don't have the right...." then why take away her ability to make decisions about her own life based on truth?

Don't you realize that you should count your lucky stars that Froz even married you after what you did? You didn't deserve her...she gave you a gift and this is how you repay her? Think about how self centered and cruel that is. You owe her nothing less than EVERYTHING.

So, let me ask you...are you still a liar? About what? Would you be willing to truly put that to a test with a polygraph? If not...why not? I mean you have honestly shown yourself to be untrustworthy over a long stretch of time...is there really any reason to believe anything you say at this point?

Look at the difference in recovery between you and TST. What he has done in a few short months is more than you have done in three years.


How about answering the above questions.
ok. here is something

the following is my thoughts, which I am tossing out there to have them be seen. I am not trying to manipulate anyone.

I lie to avoid conflict. I believe, to varying degrees, that frozen over reacts to my actions, so I lie to avoid the conflict of that. In my mind I justify it because I am not doing anything wrong and she just overreacts.

reminder.... this is my internal thinking and I SEE flaws in it. Again, not trying to persuade anyone here.

a little over three years ago was DDay. Before I had an affair that lasted 1.5 years, I had not had one. Since that time, I have not had one. These are important facts to me. they seem less important to people here and I don't understand why. to me, it is the whole reason we are all here.

if there was no affair, you wouldn't be here, save the occasional idiot looking for a good time reading this stuff.

so, if I stop the affair, and take some steps to not do it again, isn't that a great thing?

I have not had any more inappropriate relationships with women. that is my stance. Maybe people here see it otherwise. I am willing to attempt to defend my position. I certainly don't go ****** around with the office fluzzies like some others. In fact, I pretty much do my work in the day and come home on or about the time I am supposed to. I don't go hardly anywhere alone. Most of the time, if it without frozen, I take a kid.

I am probably starting to defend... I have ADD and my mind wanders in this posts.

so I will stop. I lie because I think it is overreacting to explode over a conversation with a female. She did not talk about her relationship at length. I was not asked for advice. I was polite and when I left the situation, I couldn't have cared less. All during this time, it was well known that I was married and I mentioned "I'll need to check with my wife" all the time on anything with anyone.

And I did check with her.

So this is what is in my head. trying to put myself in her shoes really doesn't seem to be doing it. I am terrible at empathy because I can just simply disconnect at will.

sometime not at will I think. I don't know.

I understand that the lack of empathy is causing a big problem. I understand that lying is wrong and there is no excuse.

But my mind still work the way it does. Any ideas on how to change that?
MEDC

I have answered some of that. Holding my hand? it seems in all other things I can manage just fine, but in a romantic relationship, nope. As far as needing someone to hold my hand, no I don't.

Yes, I realize I am lucky to have her and that what she did was give me a gift.

Polygraph? I am not a big fan of them because I have taken a few before when I was younger. The box said I lied. Come to find out, irrefutable proof said I didn't... but as far as taking one, sure. I'll take one.

No, I suppose there is no reason to believe anything I say.

Congratulations to TST. He and his wife should certainly be proud. And they seem happy as well. that is a very good story.
Posted By: mopey Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/05/08 11:08 PM
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I have conflict here and at home.


Conflict that you yourself created? Will you be more specific about the conflicts you're referring to?

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So to say I am conflict avoiding is false.


It's always a play on words with you isn't it? To try to worm your way around the truth. Yes, we all see that you are up to your ears in conflict that you created. And YES, you are avoiding the conflict that you created. You created this thread and have been avoiding it because it conflicts with what you want to hear. Ex:

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I tried to talk about things and that was not received well.


What you were trying to do was cry about the mess you're in, disguising it as an attempt to prove to Frozen and everyone else that she is obsessing and punishing you, in my opinon. And when everyone saw right through you and challenged you, you bailed and therefore avoided the conflict.

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I have a call tomorrow evening with Kim. Until then, no relationship talks will ensue.


No relationship talks with us, or with Frozen? I think Frozen would find it healing if you were getting help from the people who "get it". Or is that another excuse to avoid conflict? You didn't mind talking about this stuff when you started the thread. If we all agreed with you, I wonder if you'd be posting away.....

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So, I really don't know what you would like to talk about. As I see it, I am out in the open here anyway, so we can talk about anything.


O.K., are you still holding back truths from Frozen?

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I am at work right now and can't really focus on this right at this moment, but I will post some responses this evening and we can see what happens.


I certaintly understand your need to work, but I do hope that you make Frozen your #1 priority by answering some of the hard questions that were asked of you. Avoiding conflict is way harder and emotionally draining than actually working through it. One resolves, the other festers and gets bigger.
Posted By: medc Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/05/08 11:09 PM
Pat...you really believe your own bullchit don't you?
A suggestion for future use, if a fellow employee of the opposite sex starts with her relationship problems, refer her to the company wellness program who, will, in turn refer her to a counselor. This has happened to my FWH and this was the path he took, and then he came home and told me about it. Next time I saw her socially, I asked if she and "Bob" were doing ok. This let her know that my H tells me everything. Just in case she was trying to make a play for him, this put her on notice to find another "knight" GF
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Pat...you really believe your own bullchit don't you?

for the moment, yeah.. I do. But I see chinks in the armor. Are there flaws? Are they fatal flaws?

Look, I want to get to some revelation about all this and wake up tomorrow being different, but I seriously doubt it is going to happen with snide remarks and rude ******.

the point is, i want to think differently. I want to behave differently. Simply choosing to be different isn't cutting it because you can only will yourself into something so long. That is no plan to change behavior.

A plan to change behavior. That's what is needed.

I'm babbling because I am still at work.

I will respond in a little while.
Posted By: mopey Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/05/08 11:27 PM
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I lie to avoid conflict. I believe, to varying degrees, that frozen over reacts to my actions, so I lie to avoid the conflict of that. In my mind I justify it because I am not doing anything wrong and she just overreacts.


Frozen has every right to be angry when she hears something that you've done to hurt her. And I guarantee you that if she is overreacting, it is because the pain and anger is compounded with each lie and each disclosure. And then you compound her pain EXPONENTIALLY when you say she's overreacting and blame her for you not feeling safe enough to comfort her.

In your own little selfish world, you are basically saying that you are allowed to hurt frozen and even lie to her and she is not allowed to get "that upset".

Anger is a healthy emotion. It alerts you to harms that are being done to you. It is a secondary emotion to pain.

You are using the anger card on Frozen. You are hurting her and when she gets upset about it, you throw it back in her face and blame her because you don't want to face what you have done. You don't want to see yourself in her mirror.

And if you see flaws in this thinking, why do you continue to do it? Why don't you just surrender your pride for the woman you claim to love? Put your image and your fears aside and help her heal. DEAL with the consequences and bend over backwards making it up to her. Make her feel safe.

And NEVER allow yourself to talk R with another woman again so Frozen will feel safe.

Now if you don't think you can do these things then you need to be honest and quit stringing her along.

And pride is a sin.
Posted By: mopey Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/05/08 11:32 PM
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A suggestion for future use, if a fellow employee of the opposite sex starts with her relationship problems, refer her to the company wellness program who, will, in turn refer her to a counselor. This has happened to my FWH and this was the path he took, and then he came home and told me about it. Next time I saw her socially, I asked if she and "Bob" were doing ok. This let her know that my H tells me everything. Just in case she was trying to make a play for him, this put her on notice to find another "knight" GF


GF, this is the BEST defense strategy I have seen yet for this situation. Brilliant. All of it. Thank you.
Posted By: mopey Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/05/08 11:37 PM
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Are there flaws? Are they fatal flaws?


Yes and yes. The flaw is putting your pride and fears before your BW's pain. And yes, that is a fatal flaw in a marriage.

You want to change your behavior? When you get home, get on your knees and beg her forgivess for putting her through this hale. Then ask her to write down for you what she needs from you and then break your back to do everything on that list, and then some.

And by doing this you won't be meeting her "demands", you'll be meeting her "needs" so that she can fall in love with you again.

Want to start tonight?
Posted By: mopey Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/05/08 11:40 PM
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Simply choosing to be different isn't cutting it because you can only will yourself into something so long.


What are you having to "will" yourself into Pat?


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Conflict that you yourself created? Will you be more specific about the conflicts you're referring to?
Yes, I created most of this conflict. Did you say it like that because you heard me say that I am in conflict that I did not create? Here is the world according to patriot on this. My having an affair created the majority of conflict. The big issue. Had I not had an affair, most of the current state of things probably would not be this way. But maybe it would. Frozen has stated that affair or not, the deception is not ok. My form of deception is “stay out of trouble” lying. And the largest part of that is ommission. But maybe, without having an affair in the past, talking to some female at work would be a non-issue and then there would be nothing to get into trouble for…. I know that I created conflict by having an affair. I am not blind to that.

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It's always a play on words with you isn't it? To try to worm your way around the truth. Yes, we all see that you are up to your ears in conflict that you created. And YES, you are avoiding the conflict that you created. You created this thread and have been avoiding it because it conflicts with what you want to hear.
No, it is not always a play on words with me. Frankly, I am not sure where the play is in that remark. I’m not working my way around truth. I don’t see how it appears I am doing that.

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What you were trying to do was cry about the mess you're in, disguising it as an attempt to prove to Frozen and everyone else that she is obsessing and punishing you, in my opinon. And when everyone saw right through you and challenged you, you bailed and therefore avoided the conflict.
Ok. Here I am. Please point out where I did these things. Cry about the mess? I don’t see it. From the passive aggressive angle, I am suppose to get my feelings out so they don’t come out sideways. But, when I get the feelings out, it is always seen as crying. Ok. That is getting really old. How are you SUPPOSED to get your feelings out and it isn’t wrong? I know that holding them in is a bad idea. So they have to get out. Is the problem that I shouldn’t feel upset about things?

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No relationship talks with us, or with Frozen? I think Frozen would find it healing if you were getting help from the people who "get it". Or is that another excuse to avoid conflict? You didn't mind talking about this stuff when you started the thread. If we all agreed with you, I wonder if you'd be posting away.....
Just with her. I can talk here. She reads it. She can ask me about things if she chooses to.

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O.K., are you still holding back truths from Frozen?

I don’t think so, but I have been through that several times already. To me, the point is I stopped the affair over 3 years ago. I have not relapsed. No matter where I have worked or been, I have not had ONE inappropriate email, phonecall, chat conversation, list of websites, google search, porn material or credit card expenditure that was the beginnings of or accrued during the conduct of an affair. I am forgetful all the time. I would leave something out. I mean seriously, I got caught because I checked my email from work and she saw like 15 emails from OW in the window. 3 years later, I haven’t been caught doing anything and I can promise you she has all the access she never used to have. But then this brings me to thinking of an issue. People say this isn’t enough. What is? Changing everything about me? Changing something? If it is not enough to give all the accesses and always show the ‘books’ then what beyond that must be done? Honest question. I read someone the other day say that stopping the affair and never doing it again was not enough? What is the BS entitled to?

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I certaintly understand your need to work, but I do hope that you make Frozen your #1 priority by answering some of the hard questions that were asked of you. Avoiding conflict is way harder and emotionally draining than actually working through it. One resolves, the other festers and gets bigger.

What questions has I missed here? Any? Please let me know, if you will please.
[quote]pride and fears[quote]

I was thinking about this remark. What am I doing that is prideful? That 3 years later I am not perfect? That 3 years later I still have some problems? That I haven't signed over house, money, and all of it to her? That I haven't done a post-nup granting her first right of refusal of all property should we divorce?

What is/are the prideful action(s)
How do you feel about signing half the house over to your wife and an agreement for college costs?
fine, why?

... well, a little apprehensive about college costs. But paying a bill hasn't been my issue here. Frozen has said more than once providing is a strong quality I possess.
From my viewpoint, the BS is entitled to believe there is no other man or woman in the world in the viewpoint of the WS. The only lies that are permitted are those associated with birthday and Christmas gifts, the only deceit is when they are planning something special for the BS. The thought process of the WS should be, not how to defend themselves against what is perceived to be an accusation, but to relieve the mind of the BS. Your mindset should be knowing that every time you hurt your spouse you have hurt yourself. Everytime you disrespect your spouse, you disrespect yourself. You know the old 2 hearts, 2 souls equals one love. You love yourself and you will love your spouse in the proper way. Throw out the trash in your past that "made" you act up. The only ego trip a WS needs is to see the love in the eyes of their BS, after the emotional assault the WS has given them. Go forward into tomorrow with a renewed spirit and soul.....Prayers for you both GF
GoingForward - Good post.

Patriot - I'm looking at it from my own point of view. I would need some kind of ACTION from you that you are intending to really work on things. It is almost like a high cost compensation, although affairs really can't be compensated for. It is something to level the playing field.

But, then, I'm divorced.
Pat - take the action then. Put her on the title tomorrow as soon as the court house opens. Give her a signed letter of intent to cover the college tuitions. Remove the barrier that keeps her chained to you against her will - and take the risk that she still may not want to stay.

She's not free to stay until she's free to leave.

Pat - I believe you have a good heart, but you have some serious walls.

It's not the lingering fallout from the affair that is causing you problems. It's the walls - to your heart. Move from the intellectual and take a risk to feel.

There is a book called "Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting" by Lynn Grabhorn. There's another one from my adult child of alcoholics therapy days about intimacy by Janet Woititz I would also recommend - but I don't have the copy of the book to get the exact title.

Then get a therapist who can help you take what you learn and internalize it - the biggest danger to a couple is when one learns something new, and uses it to try to change their partner. The next biggest challenge is for the one who doesn't learn, to recognize that their partner HAS changed THEMSELVES and is not trying to change their partner - but their focus on their own personal growth causes the dynamics of the relationship to change, which requires the reluctant party to change or no longer be in the life of their loved one.

Patriot - I get that you love Froz - but the disconnect between her growth and your status quo is causing you great discomfort. You can try to pull her back to who she used to be - but you wouldn't be happy destroying her (which you would have to do if she ever goes back to that dark place), and until you relax into the growth for yourself, you will be forever unhappy and unable to recognize the gift she is to you.
To me, it sounds like you are downplaying the TRAUMATIC and HORRIFIC NATURE of an AFFAIR.

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But maybe, without having an affair in the past, talking to some female at work would be a non-issue and then there would be nothing to get into trouble for…. I know that I created conflict by having an affair. I am not blind to that.


But..you DID have an AFFAIR..so talking to a FEMALE at work is A MAJOR ISSUE...A TRIGGER..tearing into her soul..my H does MUCH LESS, and I feel HURT sometimes.

Do you recognize the EXTENT of THE WOUNDING that your having had an affair has done to her..and that you must continue to work on REPAYING her and helping her to heal?
Woah, you are back to spinning this as you have been a saint and Froz is just unreasonable....

Thats the whole point Pat.

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I don’t think so, but I have been through that several times already. To me, the point is I stopped the affair over 3 years ago. I have not relapsed. No matter where I have worked or been, I have not had ONE inappropriate email, phonecall, chat conversation, list of websites, google search, porn material or credit card expenditure that was the beginnings of or accrued during the conduct of an affair.

Hiding email from a female coworker, no matter how onesided is affair behavior, a lie, and attempt to control your wife - to keep her from making decisions for herself.

The fact that you felt you had to hide it screams to every logical person that there was something about those emails that was a problem. Froz was already uncomfortable with this woman's flirtatious behavior at a work function.

I think it highly unlikely that this woman flirted and sent you emails about her marriage with absolutely NO ENCOURAGEMENT FROM YOU.

Dr. Harley didn't see it your way either. This whole incident is why the Harleys have stepped up support for you and Froz. They aren't concerned about Froz's reaction, they are concerned about YOUR BEHAVIOR.

And deny it all you want, you sound like a sulky child.
Posted By: medc Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/06/08 11:56 AM
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And deny it all you want, you sound like a sulky child.


Exactly. I read Pat's words and feel like I am reading the nonsensical rantings of an immature teenager.
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I read someone the other day say that stopping the affair and never doing it again was not enough? What is the BS entitled to?


As far as I'm concerned it's not about ENTITLEMENT; it's about love and compassion. You will never understand the blow to the psyche that you have dealt, not to mention the physical and emotional turmoil that the BS is subjected to when they learn of the A AND fight for their M. Just accept that you have a lot of work to do, and set about doing it. That means absolutely and unequivocably NO MORE LIES. None. Even if you feel some engrained conflict avoidance, knee jerk, fight or flight reaction, fight against it. Being honest is not nearly as difficult as lying.

And, as for Froz, and her reaction, none of it is OVERREACTING. If she came at you with a pair of scissors, I'd have to say, even then, she's not overreacting. She's experiencing the pain that you dealt her over and over again everytime she CATCHES you in a lie. If you can't face that, then it may be best to let her go, and help her as best you can to be financially safe and sound. She's not entitled to it, but loving someone else in not about entitlement, IMO.
BR,

she never sent me emails about her marriage. Even so, I agree it was wrong to allow the situation with the emails to continue as I did. It was cruel and insulting to allow something to look bad given how I betrayed her.

I have learned from then that ensuring her access to my email without hinderance is the only right thing to do. She has that currently and she will not lose that. In fact, when I interviewed for this job, access to email from home was a question I asked. How did it work. Was it available. If I would have found that there was not access, then I would have continued looking.

I realize it is important for frozen to have full access to my email. And she does.
I really LOVE the notion of REPARATIONS that Dr. Harley speaks about...

For some of US, with a childhood history of emotional abuse, and with it again occurring in ADULTHOOD, maybe MORE than EXTRAORDINARY PRECAUTIONS are necessary.

Just like Froz, I have done my part regarding PERSONAL RECOVERY. I'm less sensitive and irrational. I can take better care of MYSELF. However, it continues to be necessary for my H to take SPECIAL, SPECIAL CARE with me. He recognizes that. Plus, he has taken BOLD STEPS to evidence his LOVE of me and his SERIOUSNESS about RECOVERY. BOLD STEPS as are being recommended to you regarding FINANCES...so when I inevitably begin to question things, not very often, but I still do..I can LOOK at those BOLD STEPS..I have CONCRETE EVIDENCE...PROOF of his COMMITTMENT.
Posted By: Lexxxy Re: opinions about the effect of consequences - 02/06/08 06:10 PM
Pat;

You tricked her into marrying you.
And you are tricking her into staying with you.

My XH tricked me into marriage too. He was in the midst of an affair prior to and immediately following our wedding.
And (of course!) he had to lie -- otherwise I may have made a different choice. I cannot express to you how much resentment I have for his dishonesty. Getting married is one of the BIGGEST life decisions we make...and I got to make mine based on a LIE.

So we started our marriage with secrets and lies. My XH had a huge intimacy barrier between us. He was afraid to get too close to me, because I might discover his secret. So he kept me at arms length for our whole marriage. I felt unimportant, disregarded, and taken for granted. Those are all the things that led me to an affair of my own.
I destroyed my integrity. And it all could have been so different....

Don't keep secrets from your wife.

That she is still willing to work on this with you is a miracle.
Pat - I feel really bad for Froz. But I feel equally bad for you. What I see in your posts is absolute terror.

This is just my random thoughts.

It seems to me that you have been going along all these years, doing things a certain way. You being you. Probably been successful. But underneath, something's missing. Not sure what it is, but you try different things to fill the void.

You might mention it to someone, but you don't really talk about it. If you talk about it, it might be discovered that your way, isn't the best way. Which is terrifying. Because if you're way isn't the best way, then you don't deserve any future success. More terrifying still, if your way isn't the best way, you don't deserve the success you had. You're a fraud, a fake.

Nope, best not to go down that path. Keep your head down, move along, and assume that success validates your approach. Besides everyone likes the presentation of who you are.

So, in your search for what is missing, you've exhausted all the obvious and acceptable distractions, so you turn to an A. Its a double dose of what you wanted, not only does it distract from what is missing, its daily validation of you and your way. Sure, you know its "wrong", but it fits with your way of doing things, and doing things your way has never let you down before.

Then D-day. And those who know of the A, now know that the presentation of who you are is exactly that. A presentation. They don't know who you are at all, but they would like to have a few words with them.

And your response to that is? No way. But saying no way, is not your way, so to speak. So the negotiations begin. How do we get the horse back in the barn? How do we get out off this mess, without facing the fear that comes with admitting your way isn't the best way?

And so, your version of recovery begins. Expertly haggling with your BW. You'll give up the A, that should be enough, case closed. Sorry, not enough. I'll post to a support forum, that really ought to be enough. Sorry, not there. I'll go to a MB weekend, really, that should be enough. Nope, not yet.

The haggling continues. What is asked of you, you claim not to possess, you claim to not be able to provide it, you claim it is not worth anything. Using the language of recovery and personailty disorders as smoke and mirrors to distract and confuse. When the big picture is brought up, you talk details. Details brought up, you need the big picture. Feelings being talked, let's look at the facts. Facts mentioned, how about my feelings. What you aren't doing, how about what I've done. Contrite and humble when opening your arguements, defiant when closing. Offend from the victim position. Its a lovely presentation. I'm sure its worked many times before. But like I said, once people know its a presentation, they want to deal with the reality.

I think you're afraid. Afraid to change because you fear that changing invalidates you. Afraid to change because you believe how you are is superior, effective. Changing that is risky. Always feels better to deal with the devil you know. I could tell you why these are irrational fears, but I've long since learned using logic doesn't do much for irrational fears.

Finally, you aren't going to negotiate your way out of it. Cause in the end, you aren't neogtiating with Froz. You're negotiating with yourself, with that something that is missing. And it isn't fooled and the price is the price.

Best of luck.
I think alot of us are saying that it is necessary for you to HUMBLE YOURSELF.

Do you believe in REPENTANCE?

How would you EVIDENCE that to your wife..NOW..TODAY..in order to be BELIEVABLE?

BELIEVABLE to HER...because of your HUMBLENESS and REPENTANCE...

BTW...in case you are interested, WORDS will not be sufficient...
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so when I inevitably begin to question things, not very often, but I still do..I can LOOK at those BOLD STEPS..I have CONCRETE EVIDENCE...PROOF of his COMMITTMENT.

Well said, Mimi. I think THIS is KEY in any successful recovery.
"I have learned from then that ensuring her access to my email without hinderance is the only right thing to do. She has that currently and she will not lose that. In fact, when I interviewed for this job, access to email from home was a question I asked. How did it work. Was it available. If I would have found that there was not access, then I would have continued looking.

I realize it is important for frozen to have full access to my email. And she does."

Well, this is deja vu. I was reading back through your posts in August where there was lots of discussions about Froz's access to your email.

Apparently it is going to take a lot more than that.

Poor frozen..........................
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