The stubborn streak of the weak

Everyone has a stubborn streak.  I suppose it’s that streak which gives us the ability to succeed against all the odds.

But in the emotionally weak ( the Alex’s and B’s of this world, even the outwardly confident cheats) I think it distorts.  Their stubborn streak seems to act like a switch in their brains. Switched on the power is so great everything else gets switched off.  Everything else distorts. 

They see someone new and it is that they must have and with a stubbornness which has hitherto been dormant they trample over everything and everyone in their quest to get what they now perceive to be their right to have.

No matter how many of their friends, their counsellors, whoever, tries to encourage them to face and sort out the issues they have in their current relationship, to re-ignite that relationship,  they refuse with a determination which is breath-taking.  They may decide to deal with their pasts, and to a certain extent face their demons but this new found stubbornness stops them going that final mile. They can’t because they’ve ‘turned off’ their moral compass.  So, actually they can only pay lip service to whatever they are being taught.  Deep inside the stubbornness is still winning.  It must take a very strong and determined Counsellor/Life Coach to break through the barrier they erect.  And so often at this point most weak men run.

So, having run, they role out all the famous clichés as if they were the first person ever to say them:

  • “No one understands me”
  • “No one knows how I feel”
  • “I haven’t loved you for the last 10 years”
  • “You don’t listen”
  • “I’ve never felt this way before”
  • “We should never have got married”
  • “She only wants me to be happy”
  • “I have such empathy with her”
  • “I know I’m right – everyone else is wrong”
  • “I know I’ve now met the ‘right one'”

 And with this newly switched on distorted stubborn streak everything else goes ‘out of the window’. Their values and the rules they apply to those values distort.  Distorted Rules make the situation even more dangerous as everything is now justified:

  • Love – of course I’m giving myself love – I feel empowered
  • Respect – I respect me for seeing I need to move on
  • Growth – Wow this new releationship is giving me the growth I desire.  My old relationship was going nowhere
  • Strength – Finally I’ve found the strength to do something for me and my life.  I’ve made a decision for me and making a decision and taking action feels fantastic.

Add into this corrosive brew a determined OW (other woman)  who is out to get what she wants and the result is as predictable as night following day.

So, now left with having to sort out the previous relationship the only route is to duck, dive, lie and hide.  Because  – probably – deep inside something is telling them all is not as good as they’d like to think it is.  After all  let’s face it  – THEY’VE FAILED

But hey there is an easy solution at hand.  They hide from their friends, don’t look anyone in the eye who challenges them, lie as this is easier and justify the whole charade as feeling guilty. Guilt can be distorted into being a noble feeling:

  • “I feel so bad for doing this to you…..”
  • “I’ve found it so difficult to tell you because I didn’t want to hurt you”
  • “I do still care”
  • “I do hope we can still be friends”  (good one this as it keeps the door open should they need an escape route)

How often they run this loop depends on them.  Some will run this for their entire lives going from one relationship to another – always justifying their actions, never totally happy.  Some will do it only once and then stick with the OW either too scared to face the whole process again or too ashamed to admit they were wrong.  Some will finally take action.

Why?  Because there’s a cure.

And the cure?

I think the cure is pain.  Unrelenting day-in, day-out pain.  When the pain gets too great and can’t be avoided they will finally turn off the distorted stubborn streak button (probably they will need help but may manage it without) and switch everything else back on. They will find out how to deal with the distortions.  They will become strong – stronger than they ever imagined they could be.  They will decide to become Real Men.  And then they will get the happiness they seek.

So anyway – dear reader (if you’re still with me at this point and haven’t given up!) this is how I see it.

I’d love to read what you think so please comment away.  As you know I love comments!

10 thoughts on “The stubborn streak of the weak

  1. Caroline,
    I really don’t understand either how it can possibly seem easier or more fulfilling for someone to throw out their values and history and the people they love and who love them than it is to work on themselves and the relationship they already have. My husband has always been one of the strongest, most loving, and most emotionally centered people I have known. Still, in dealing with an overwhelming load of stress, instead of turning to me, he had an affair. He understood immediately that he had made a terrible error, said immediately after the physical encounter that he didn’t want to lose me, our love or our life (although I had no idea what he had done), and still did everything he could to avoid telling the truth and even more to avoid FACING the truth for almost a year and a half. While trying to put our marriage back together, he still said some of the same things to me (and to himself) to justify straying as Alex said to you to avoid taking responsibility for leaving. Life is complicated now as we try to figure out which of those statements have meaning for our current relationship and which were a product of temporary insanity…. Neither of us is walking an easy path, since both of us were thrown out in unfamiliar territory without a map by the person we most trusted. Your sharing of your journey has really helped me with mine.

    • After X’s first affair with J….I told her that if we lined up all the women on the planet, she would have been the last I ever would have thought would do this. When we began to heal the first time, the “real” X took over and we moved forward. But the demons in her persisted. The “longing” to live and be more, spurred on by the memories of promised fantasies, took over. Reality was not good enough.
      When we started marriage counseling this time, she admitted that there were inresolved issues that we did not deal with. My reply was that now that we had professional help, we could work through them. She said…she didn’t want to do that anymore. That our foundation was cracked. I looked at the life we built as being a base of strength, and she looked at it as being the reason she was not all she wanted to be.
      The funny thing is that I read her blog now, and she struggles with all the same things she always did. She just now has a man that is more “extreme” than me.
      The f’d up thing is that he and I have similarities….I just have ethics and lines. he is always over the top (and so freakin phony it’s unbelievable)….but all she sees is what she wants to. Her family sees right through the guy.
      It sucks because I still love her and a part of me wishes my family were still whole. It is comforting to know though that i am not the only one with the same struggles.
      Peace to you

    • I think stress can make us behave in ways which are totally contrary to our normal behaviour. Alex had 2 ‘meltdown moments’ in our marriage. The first when his father died when he just withdrew into himself and became almost ‘uncontactable’ and the second when his mother died 30 months ago. The difference between the first and the last was when his mother died he’d already met the OW but (I still believe) although attracted to her she was only a friend, and she then grabbed her chance and came in like the cavalry to ‘rescue him’. The rest is history as they say!

  2. Although my ex did not stay in a relationship with his OW (partially because somewhere down the line he relaized she was a nut job, and partially because he had already passed her on to his brother and the situation became way too complicated) but I do see him in the lines you’ve written here.

    Emotionall weak but outwardly confident
    “We should have never gotten married”
    “I feel so bad for doing this to you…..”, “I’ve found it so difficult to tell you because I didn’t want to hurt you”, “I do still care”, “I do hope we can still be friends”

    It seems that not only are we very similiar in our feelings, emotions and tohughts, but our cheating spouses are similar in theirs.

    • My X’s J is also outwardly confident and emotionally weak. He is probably the most inwardly insecure person I have ever known.
      He still writes poetry to his ex wife, telling her how much he still loves her and that they are on the same team with regard to the kids…yadda yadda yadda. Basically…he wants his ex AND my X in his life. He is very passive aggressive. complimenting and then condoning in the same breath. (or same emails etc).
      In case you didn’t know….all of this was my fault for driving X from my heart. THEY did nothing wrong. they COULDN’T help the affair. they NEVER meant for this to happen. HE SPENT MONTHS helping X with her marriage to me. He loved her like a sister. They can not turn back their open hearts to each other. and the killer that he said to me “I exhibit a glaring lack of civility toward him, he means me no harm and he wants to work together with me for the sake of al the people we love”
      Galling Bastard

  3. Caroline you seem to be developing an alphabetical list of male Ner’er-do-wells, I think it’s high time you start hanging out in a better class of pub!
    Take care young lady, AJ

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