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Coping with Infidelity Relationship recovery from the destructiveness of infidelity.

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Old 01-28-2011, 09:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Never say Never

I was having a discussion with someone who said "I would never cheat"... That conversation hit me in between the eyes because what this person said was almost word for word what my W had said to me before she had her affair...

It prompted me to put together some information I've learned while trying to understand and cope with what is happening to my family and write this in response...

I don’t think the majority of people involved in affairs, or even drugs for that matter set out with the intention of becoming drug addicts or adulterers. It is a snow ball effect. Most people don’t even know it’s rolling until its already gained significant speed and can very easily get out of control.

The DS doesn’t always realize what is happening or they see it through “the fog”. A bad (often dismissed as “innocent”) decision starts the ball rolling, which forces another bad decision, which may be difficult to cope with, which is rationalized, which kicks in all of the defense mechanisms, which force more bad decisions…. Etc, etc, etc…

You are not as strong as your mind, and in affair situations your mind IS ON DRUGS. It most often starts as something “innocent” and somewhere along the line it starts… Chemicals get naturally released into the brain.. when fed small doses of "love drugs" i.e. phenylethylamine (or "PEA" -- a naturally occurring trace ammine in the brain. PEA is a natural amphetamine, which leases Dopamine. Dopamine stimulates the production of oxytocin). This begins "intrusive thinking," where it seems like your brain is fixated on the object of your affection. When your heart rules your head, there's actually one part of your brain running the other: the cortex is the area of your brain that controls logical thinking, while emotions are processed by the limbic system. When too many happy chemicals like PEA and dopamine flood your brain, they head straight for the limbic system.

The DS is now on the addiction path. Then your mind can begin a process of defensive mechanisms which can and will shield you from realizing what is really happening, and before you know it you lose control. But most often I believe the DS thinks they are in control of the situation as does any “addict”. They don’t see it; after all that IS a defense mechanism. It’s your mind’s way of protecting itself, an unconscious process that tries to reduce the anxiety associated with instinctive desires. The most well known and common in an adulterer would be Rationalization, Denial, and Repression. Read any story here or anywhere else about “the fog” or a DS’s behavior the characteristic signs of these defense mechanisms are present.

Denial is probably one of the best known defense mechanisms, used often to describe situations in which people seem unable to face reality or admit an obvious truth (i.e. "more than friends”) Denial is an outright refusal to admit or recognize that something has occurred or is currently occurring.

Denial functions to protect the ego from things that the individual cannot cope with (guilt?). While this may save us from anxiety or pain, denial also requires a substantial investment of energy. Because of this, other defenses are also used to keep these unacceptable feelings from consciousness.

Rationalization is a defense mechanism that involves explaining an unacceptable behavior or feeling in a rational or logical manner, avoiding the true reasons for the behavior. Rationalization not only prevents anxiety, it may also protect self-esteem and self-concept. Rationalization also kicks in when confronted by perceived moral failure or wrongdoing (i.e.; DDay); people tend to blame other people or outside forces.

Repression is another well-known defense mechanism. Repression acts to keep information out of conscious awareness. (i.e. selective memory regarding conversations or acts with the OM/OW) Sometimes we do this consciously by forcing the unwanted information out of our awareness, which is known as suppression, but it is usually believed to occur unconsciously.

Sublimation, Displacement, Projection and Intellectualization are other defense mechanisms which play small parts in the process of mental self protection in affair or addiction situations…

Often the DS attributes “outside forces” to what happened that lead to an affair, (i.e. "it just happened") Outside forces don’t get people into these situations. But “inside forces” can… I’m just saying this is a powerful thing.

In the end, A person is responsible their actions and the decisions they made to get to that point. I only mentioned what I did to point out that your brain + affairs (oxyticon, dopamine, etc) love drugs) are dangerous, situations. It could happen to almost anyone, don’t kid yourself.

Last edited by Pit-of-my-stomach; 01-28-2011 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Great post!
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't explain any of this because of justification for my wifes actions...

I have educated myself on some of these things and shared some of what I've learned with you because it helps me cope with this situation.

As with many people who come here seeking answers and advice on how to cope, Ideally I would love to make it through this with a stronger marriage, and my child's family intact. Can that happen? I don't know. I just don't want to contribute to the reason it couldn't.

Knowing what I know, takes the sting out of some of it. It helps to understand and better fight the emotions that get in the way of my goals. Because of all of my anger and hurt, it's difficult to say and do what is needed to deal with this situation and effect the end goal.

The end goal is and always has been to give my family the best chance I can give them to heal from this. If recovering my marriage is possible, I don't want my own insecurities, hurt and defensiveness to be what stands in the way of that. Yes, her actions are the reason I have these emotions and this hurt. That is her fault. But it is my choice to allow those things to effect my actions moving forward. It would be easy to just blame her for making me feel this way and make her responsible for what happens as a result. But, does that help me?

Anyway, it has helped me to understand these things. If I understand them, I can try to control my reactions. If I can control my actions, I hope that gives me a better chance of success.

I'm sharing because I hope some of this information can help one or more of you and gives back to this community for everything each of you has done and continues to do to help my family through this...

Pit~of~my~Stomach

p.s. I'd like to mention I got the info on love drug chemicals from an ariticle Affaircare forwared me a month or so ago about the chemistry of love, and the defense mech information is directly from Freud's studies on the subject. Rest is pieces parts from the massive storage of posts and artciles all taking space in my head.

Last edited by Pit-of-my-stomach; 01-28-2011 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I can attest to the never say never portion of this.....and I was the one that cheated.

I first started looking on this board before I had cheated because I wanted things to be better in my marriage........I was looking for ways to improve my marriage, increase the desire my wife had for me, etc. I found great ideas but also saw how many bad marriages/relationships were out there. Somewhere along the way I forgot about the "I would never do that". It started with needing and wanting more conversation......I thought what harm can some email exchanges be? It wasn't long until I was anxiously awaiting that next email, that proceeded to chat, and then to actually meeting this woman.

Don't have the time or desire right now to rehash what followed other than to say my wife found out, affair was ended.....she hasn't left, we are in counseling, doing pretty good now but everything changed in the way we both think about marriage.

Your post discusses the drugs the body produces, I've read that...and can say there was a "high" during the affair....at the time no thoughts were going on about if it was worth it. I suppose that is the "fog" that is discussed. In hindsight was it worth it......NO, even though we communicate better now than ever, the sexual intimacy is the best it has ever been.....I would still trade what we have now for being able to say I had remained faithful to my wife.
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Great post.

My H also said he would never cheat. In fact, it was so out of character for him, when he talks about people cheating, he says it with disgust, as if he forgets he is one of them now.

How true - I said I would NEVER stay with someone that cheated - you cheat, you're gone. I never left, I never let him leave. Never say never.................
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Never say Never

poms,
Thanks for the time in putting this down. I do appreciate it.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Great post!

Wow! By reading this, I felt like that I was "seeing" what my wife was going through. This may not be the explanation of what she is going through, but a lot of what was posted here almost mirrors her moods, actions and thought processes. I was faithful in my relationship to her, but she sought out the company of another, and I could not win her back due to his "charming personality".
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Very well-written and right on target factually.

Fog does not mean they aren't feeling it--obviously disloyals do have an emotional attachment to their OP--but it does mean that the ability to think in a clear-heading, rational way is clouded. I've seen time and again where a loyal, having known their spouse for decades, will say "Oh he/she would never do that!" and in their normal, unfogged way of thinking they wouldn't! But the fog is partially due to the brain chemistry, and partially due to the defense mechanisms. And WOW you explained it so clearly!

Well done!
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Top post. Someone who can apply their intellectual resources to a problem as you seem to have should be successful. I hope things work out for you.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Never say Never

I would like to challenge this: Quote: The DS doesnt always realize what is happening or they see it through the fog. A bad (often dismissed as innocent) decision starts the ball rolling, which forces another bad decision, which may be difficult to cope with, which is rationalized, which kicks in all of the defense mechanisms, which force more bad decisions. Etc, etc, etc
Are you sure they're all bad decisions?
In a LS points of views, they're bad and evil.
In a DS points of views.
They're good decisions, moreover, fun decisions.
Furthermore, they're decisions of awakening.
After being unhappy in the marriage, it's the first few steps in search of happiness.
It could be, the DS found a great opposite sex who could share heart to heart conversation.
It could be, a initial plan as a preparation of getting divorce.
It could simply be falling in love with the affairs.
They're decisions but not necessarily all bad and all foggy.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I used to say that I'd never cheat. I thought it was disgusting and selfish. I'm at a point in my marriage where I understand it all too well. I'd love to have someone there who'd listen to me and show that they genuinely care. In the beginning of any relationship, that's always there.

I recognize that even if I were to go outside of my marriage and have the new relationship work out, that I'd have another set of issues to overcome with that person at some point. Relationships are all simple in the beginning.

I'm determined to stay faithful. There are things I'd love to do right now (a yoga class for example) to relieve some of this stress, but I'd be putting myself in a tempting situation. I'm still fairly certain that I'd stay true, but the fact that I understand the appeal of an affair scares the hell out of me. I've put myself on anti-social lockdown.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:05 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsLonely View Post
I would like to challenge this
Really?
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:47 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhereAmI View Post
I used to say that I'd never cheat. I thought it was disgusting and selfish. I'm at a point in my marriage where I understand it all too well. I'd love to have someone there who'd listen to me and show that they genuinely care. In the beginning of any relationship, that's always there.

I recognize that even if I were to go outside of my marriage and have the new relationship work out, that I'd have another set of issues to overcome with that person at some point. Relationships are all simple in the beginning.

I'm determined to stay faithful. There are things I'd love to do right now (a yoga class for example) to relieve some of this stress, but I'd be putting myself in a tempting situation. I'm still fairly certain that I'd stay true, but the fact that I understand the appeal of an affair scares the hell out of me. I've put myself on anti-social lockdown.

This hits a little close to home for me. I have friends telling me that I should be looking for a female companion to share my thoughts and feelings with, or even if it is just for a dinner or a movie. But I still have a strong enough connection to my wife to where I don't even feel like looking.

With our separation, it is difficult. Lonliness is a powerful emotion to overcome at times, but I am not willing to put myself out on the market just yet. I am avoiding situations that could lead me to temptation. I avoid talking to ladies who show even a hint of interest for me.

I will remain faithful to the end, if there is an end to our marriage. In the mean time, I will keep my hopes up and continue to live the right way. In the beginning, my wife and I use to have wonderful heart-to-heart talks, but then life, a child and reality kicked in. We started to take life for granted and forgot about what it took to keep us happy and connected. Maybe, after some much needed healing time, we will once again reconnect. But in the mean time, I will remain faithful. I will let her open up her eyes to what she has done, and fix the broken connection that has come between us.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:49 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsLonely View Post
I would like to challenge this:
There is no gray area here. People who have experienced the fog tend to repaint situations and circumstances to come to grips with their own Cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is the psychological phenomenon describing the sensation of discomfort felt when there is a discrepancy between what someone already knows or believes (i.e. Right & Wrong), and new information or interpretation (i.e. Conflicting desires). When such tensions arise, steps are taken to decrease that tension by changing one's thinking. Cognitive dissonance is the Fog “jumping off” spot for all of the defense mechanisms which become present as a result of the “rebuilding of reality” in the fog.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MsLonely View Post

Are you sure they're all bad decisions?
Yes. I am certain. They are all bad decisions.

The baseline which I am using to determine “bad” vs. “good” is not relative or subjective. You are married. With the promise you made when you confirmed your vows comes a moral and ethical obligation of faithfulness.

It doesn’t “depend” on your definition of “bad”. There is no moral ambiguity regarding a person's decision to commit adultery. If a person chooses to continue in denial, rationalizations, and justifications or ignore and paint these facts to suit their ability to digest what is happening or has happened, they can choose to do that and they will get very good at it. Just realize, you and your subconscious mind are doing it.

This is concrete. These decisions are wrong, they are “bad, evil, immoral, sinful”. Whatever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MsLonely View Post
In a LS points of views, they're bad and evil.
In a DS points of views. They're good decisions, moreover, fun decisions.
No, As I mentioned above. Despite an internal need to paint this gray, it can’t be. They are undeniably “bad” decisions.

Again, a bad decision is one in which you override your senses and choose an option that, at some level, you know you should not.

When a person ignores the signals in their own system and makes bad decisions (by the definition here) they will generate the consequences of bad decisions. There will be misery and disappointment. Guaranteed. It's only a question of when, to whom and how much.

The effects of bad decisions consists of some or all of the following:

* The individual compromises themselves.

* they don't get what they actually want or they do get what they want but at the expense of others, which damages multiple relationships amongst the people involved in the dynamic.

* Anxiety, distress, guilt, depression etc., etc. Which can lead to physical symptoms, aches and pains etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by MsLonely View Post
Furthermore, they're decisions of awakening.
Awakening to what? To "awaken" is "to be made more aware of." To use the term awakening when justifying an affair can only be referring to “awakening” to a disloyal spouses own selfish needs and wants and how they have convinced themselves that they are paramount.

They do indeed awaken. Not awaken somehow enlightened, awaken addicted. As an addict (even by definition a "soft addiction", or an Behavioral addiction) (also called process addiction or non-substance-related addiction) which is a recurring compulsion condition whereby a person engages in a specific activity despite harmful consequences to the person's health, mental state, or social life.

In this state a disloyal spouses decision making has become compromised.

a Disloyal Spouse's new found foggy “awakening” should include some of the following enlightened behaviors.

* Denial. Addicts often deny that there is an addiction. Denial is a way to ignore or dismiss the idea of affair addiction and avoid seeing a problem. Sometimes, addicts will acknowledge being addicted, but nevertheless dismiss the significance of the addiction.

* Selfishness. Addictions/Affairs make people selfish and blind them. Nothing is more important than the addiction itself. Everything is geared towards getting the dependence met, and the deeper into affair addiction the greater the selfishness.

* Covert Behavior. Addictive behaviors eventually become a source of concern for others. Consequently, in order to meet the needs of the addiction, addicts often hide their affairs and the behaviors from others.

* Irresponsible and Undependable. In the throes of an affair addiction, addicts must pay far more attention to the needs of their addiction than the needs of anyone or anything else. Accordingly, addicts often become unable to meet social expectations and responsibilities, whether in school, work, relationships, or social roles.


I only had time to answer part of your challenge... I will try to finish when I can.

Last edited by Pit-of-my-stomach; 02-03-2011 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:53 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Just thought you guys in this thread might enjoy seeing this:

What Is Disloyal Fog?

Pit-of-my-stomach--all I can say is "You've been reading!" LOL I am excited to see how clear and down-to-earth you're making some of this. Obviously a person could go pretty deep into some psychological type talk when describing what "the fog" is, yet the way you write it is so easy to understand. Just so you know I am going to ask Chris to sticky this one because it just so well explains why someone we have known for YEARS suddenly is acting so out of character that it makes no sense!
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