Putting it out there.

Both MC and I were members of Surviving Infidelity, but banned because our views did not align with the site administrator’s views. We believe the cheater does not get to use the excuse of “triggers” or shame to avoid talking to or dealing with their betrayed’s hurt feelings. We also believe that not all serial cheaters are sex addicts, that the sex addiction label and twelve-step are not the only diagnosis and treatment that can and should be used for serial cheaters, and certainly it is not the right fit for us personally. In addition, we do not believe the terms “reconciled” or “happily ever after” are healthy or appropriate when dealing with reconciliation; it is just setting oneself up for resting on their laurels, so to speak. After being banned for such views, we created Reconcile4Life.

We recently found another forum called Infidelity Health Group (IHG). We had such high hopes that it would be a good fit, appearing to share some of the views above. We had what we thought was a respectful conversation with Wayfarer, in the comments section, about love and ethics. With a disagreement about whether or not love should be transactional, we do not believe it should be. I do think that how we think that works was not completely understood by Wayfarer and IHG, but it doesn’t need to be by them, it is their site and forum after all. Ultimately, we were asked to not comment further as our views on love were muddying the waters for their readership.

Still, I wanted to clear up their misconceptions about what we were saying.

First, when we do loving and kind things for others, we do them because we want to do them. Perhaps, we simply want to help, or bring a touch of joy, kindness, and/or laughter to someone’s day. Perhaps we just want to show someone we think lovingly about them in some way. We do not do these things with an expectation of anything in return.

Second, we should expect that we treat each other ethically, respectfully, and with kindness. We should also set boundaries for ourselves that do not allow others to treat us poorly.

But, these are two SEPARATE things. One does not beget the other. I should do the first because I choose to do it out of love. All too often, we perform one expecting the other. Both are good, healthy and appropriate things, but expecting one to bring about the other is a fool’s errand.

Wayfarer explained that our views would muddy the waters of the purpose of their site. We understand, but must admit a bit of disappointment. We had hoped that the IHG site and forum might be more accepting of allowing us to learn new ideas, while at the same time allowing us to share our thoughts, to learn and grow from and with each other.

We were looking to find a sense of community with on-going conversations that are most conducive to a forum environment, conversations that would instigate us thinking, and instigate others thinking, about new thoughts and new ideas that may help each of us on this journey. We just cannot seem to find that, out in the world of infidelity forums, for both partners as individuals and as a couple. We seem to have just enough of a mix of things different from both types of forums to not be accepted into either for exact opposite reasons.

We enjoy mutually respectful conversations so we can build on ideas together. We would love to start that kind of conversation here, with our readers. The blog is picking-up in comments and readership. We are beginning to see more conversations and we really do appreciate that so very much. So, if you have some thoughts, ideas, questions you would like to share, explore, discuss, and/or ponder together, let’s do it.

I hope if you’ve read the blog, you can see disagreement is ok. Agreement is ok. Finding common ground together is ok. Agreeing to disagree is ok. All we ask is for mutually respectful conversation and thus far our readers have been fantastic on this front. Let’s have a place for this type of discussion that seems so lacking out in the world of infidelity forums.

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9 thoughts on “Putting it out there.

  1. I think what you guys are doing is both brave and admirable. Allowing others going through the same thing a window into how you guys are working through this is so valuable. I hope everyone who reads your posts and comments on them remains respectful of your situation and the manner in which y’all are going about your business. It’s your journey, not theirs.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sonofabeach, We appreciate so much your kind words and the comments and respectful nature of all of our readers and commentators. We feel so fortunate. We also hope that our commentators know that we appreciate the idea of growing, learning and building upon each other’s knowledge and ideas, as well as helping each other to shine new light into areas of darkness.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Totally get where you’re coming from. Adultery cannot be simplified! We have to be vigilant against ideology otherwise our experiences take second place to theory. I have learned so much about my circumstances through the sharing of others’ experiences. MC your letter of remorse was a real turning point in my marriage. The best we can do is be the experts in our own marriages – no room for anyone else to be expert! Pamela Druckerman suggests a ‘marriage-industrial complex’ of relationship entrepreneurs who believe we should not attempt to manage our marriages on our own. Many apply systems theory. Me, I’m cobbling together my own bricolage of theory & experience that speaks to me and my husband. Happy to contribute to any discussion and debate.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. MR, thank you so much!!! Talking with you here and on your blog has been so helpful on our journey forward. You have brought up ideas for us to ponder. Ideas that have instigated thoughts that we had not yet considered or fully shone a light upon. We are so glad to hear that we have been able to do maybe just a little bit of the same.

    It is funny how set in dogma people can become. We just don’t see the point in setting our dogma in stone in such a way that it requires all who want to interact with us to share that dogma. We like the idea of respectful discourse on this path forward, to consider others’ thoughts and ideas that so often add something relevant to the conversation.

    Part of our path in recovery is to speak our truth, lovingly, authentically and courageously. I am proud of Mindless and me for learning to speak-up for ourselves and not just “go along” with the trendy dogma of the day. Too many on these forums become nothing more than a platform for the administrator and their flying monkeys. That may benefit the administrator’s ego, but it doesn’t benefit the conversation of how to move forward in the healthiest way possible for each individual or couple.

    We don’t want our own flying monkeys, we don’t want to be flying monkeys, we just want to have conversations with others, conversations that are not just talking at each other, but really talking to each other.

    MR and Sonofabeach and our other readers too, we so appreciate being part of the conversation with you! We hope that R4L can become such place for those on their own path forward.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Bugsmetwo, I will be curious if the moment you mention an issue in the forum section, if they then immediately send you to one of their articles. After being sent to an article, I found much of value in it and shared it with MC. We made the mistake of commenting on it. We both thought we were adding to the conversation, to some thoughts we both found interesting and intriguing. But, they took our comments as an attempt to muddy the waters and asked for us to not comment further, when we were each really just trying to add to the conversation.

    Still, I don’t think our ideas were mutually exclusive, but it is their right to not agree and to ask us not to comment in a way that they think muddies their waters. Though they were not all-out nasty about it, they were increasingly condescending and dogmatic in their response. You might find a better experience there than we did. I think forums have such potential as a support network for folks wanting to move forward. I wish I knew how to create one here!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One other thought, then I must let this go (why is that so hard)!

    At ChumpLady, it is clear it is only for the betrayed. And, I have been a reader and occasional commentator on ChumpLady since long before our blog and NEVER had such issues. It is clear, unlike IHG, ChumpLady does not shy away from “reasoned debate, disagreement,” and “good natured snark,” which is probably a big part of what I respect about her so much.

    I think a small part of the problem with IHG is that I misunderstood the purpose of their site. It would appear that it is truly geared toward the betrayed, whether in R or D. They prefer to not talk with the unfaithful spouse in their public web space. I suspect, in general, they prefer to only receive comments that compliment them or their articles. The funny thing is we thought our comments were agreeable and complimentary to their ideas when we first commented. We were quite surprised by the initial backlash, followed by their “request” that we no longer participate in the conversation because our views “muddy the waters.” It is their site and their right. But, it definitely flies in the face of their online published statement that “we support open and even heated disagreement, but not personal attacks intended to hurt or discredit someone.”

    The bigger part of the problem with IHG is that we have a fundamental difference of opinion on love’s place in both marriage and reconciliation, a difference we did not understand, until much further along in the conversation, was diametrically opposed to their views. We agree to disagree, they prefer to claim that wanting to include a healthy definition of love is a “red flag,” in our reconciliation. That is fine if they disagree and think that such disagreement indicates a red flag. It is a conversation we were willing to have and explore with them. We think that such a conversation would be healthy and a fundamental benefit to those trying to reconcile, but they preferred we not “muddy the waters.” I would just caution that if a respectful conversation is stopped because it “muddies the waters,” perhaps the real issue is a fear that some might find validity in the other’s views. But, if we are all in this to find healing, then that fear seems more about ego than healing. And, again, it definitely flies in the face of their statement “we support open and even heated disagreement, but not personal attacks intended to hurt or discredit someone.” Still, it is their site, so I will respect that fact.

    Why is reasoned, respectful conversation such a threat, especially when we actually agree on many points, just not every point? I’ll never understand that.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I really like IHG theories but I had to be careful I rarely commented only to compliment but if one is seriously unstable as I was in the beginning of all of this
    I find even now where I kind of have a better sense of my life and my thoughts
    That it can be easy to ride the condemnation ride for Charles and for myself.
    I think that is something to be addressed in the info forum of these sites
    I’m sorry they were condescending to you now that you said that about them it confirms my thoughts on their articles that I read I agreed with but found condescending about Charles’s behavior.
    I did not link Charles the site at first I wanted to but I really felt it might do him harm than good
    Which made me think twice about IHG for myself as well

    Here’s to you finding your voices to help others!

    I know you both have helped me😊

    Liked by 1 person

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