Archive for September, 2006

Some research as I write my stories:

A man or woman who is unhappily married may use an affair as the way to leave the marriage.

Though afraid of their spouse’s anger over the affair , they are mortified of the conflict of trying to fix problems within the marriage, the affair provides the reason for the marriage to end.

A spouse who has an exit affair may have been faithful throughout the marriage until being emotionally ready to leave the marriage. It is not difficult to find someone to have an affair with and the dynamics of the affair itself will provide the support the exiting spouse needs to pull away from the marriage.

As the affair progresses the adulterous spouse may even feel that their affair partner is their “one true love” or their “soul mate” and this gives them even more reason to want out of their marriage. Unable to directly confront their spouse, they let evidence of the affair act as the catalyst to divorce.

Small but deliberate clues are left around. Perhaps phonecalls are answered in the presence of the spouse.

Divorcing the Betrayer

If the dynamics of the exit affair go as planned, the betrayed spouse will initiate a divorce and both betrayed and betrayer will focus on the divorce process, ignoring fatal flaws within the marriage. It may take years for the pain of the betrayal and the damage of the divorce itself to subside so that the betrayed spouse can analyze the marriage and determine the real reasons it failed.

If the exit affair partners continue their relationship that relationship, or subsequent marriage, may eventually end due to the same type of issues that ended the prior marriage.

In an exit affair the betrayed spouse may direct their anger at the other person in the affair instead of focusing on the adulterous spouse and the issues that brought the marriage to its end. The other person becomes the reason the marriage ended, whether or not he or she initiated the affair.

The exit affair provides the means to an end. It is the excuse for a marriage ending, but not the real reason the marriage comes to such a painful end.


Read Full Post »

NIGYSOB (psyco babble)

Eric Berne, the great euhemerus of Transactional Analysis and originator of social game theory, observed that most people would not be able to tolerate continuous intimacy. Therefore, rituals, activities, pastimes, games, and even withdrawal serve a useful social purpose, at times. It is the addictive compulsion to rely upon the drama triangle of social games, due to an underdeveloped or damaged capacity for intimacy, which threatens the quality of our personal relationships, and it is the awareness of the existence of a choice that defines autonomy.

He identified somewhere around thirty different TA games in his famous book Games People Play, which he first published in 1964. In the decades since Games was published, other TA specialists have identified many more. Yet to this day, two of the most widely-played games continue to be NIGYSOB (an acronym for “Now I’ve got you, you son of a bitch”), and Kick Me.


NIGYSOB is perhaps the easier of the two games to spot. It is an entrapment game, played by people for whom anger is an important, recurring feeling. This anger may be demonstrated in obvious ways, or it may be submerged. It may build up slowly, or it may build up quickly and violently. But no matter what its depth, or how quickly it builds up, it is always released when a NIGYSOB player sets up other people to do something that enables him to justify yelling at them, and to thus relieve the anger that he has built up in himself (and to feel “better,” or less frustrated, as a result).

In business, NIGYSOB players tend to select people to play with who are in positions of lesser authority and who have little or no obvious interest in resisting entrapment. At home, the stronger of the two spouses usually chooses the weaker spouse to play NIGYSOB with, and mothers and fathers usually select their own sons and daughters.

Occasionally, the opening move in a game of NIGYSOB may be one of the traditional “Isn’t it true that…?” variety – the types of questions used so often by hostile lawyers, TV interviewers, and reporters to entrap their witnesses, guests, and the people who they are interviewing. But more often than not, the opening move in a game of NIGYSOB will be even less obvious – perhaps, for example, some innocuous-sounding statement of fact, like, “I thought you were going to…,” a statement that is equally, if not even more effective, in luring the other person into a trap when he responds “incorrectly.”

Every NIGYSOB player needs a person to play with, and most players need a person with enough skill and experience to help them maintain the forward momentum of the games that they play. Games are always preprogrammed. Each move is always followed by a expected response – a complementary, hoped-for response provided by the next player that challenges or answers the first player in a way that permits the first player to still remain in the game. Without this sort of unconscious help, the first player would often be at a loss as to what to say or do next.

In their never-ending quest for people to play with, NIGYSOB players often select some of their most skilled partners from among the ranks of the KICK ME players of the world.


Kick Me players are people who received so many negative strokes when they were young that the feeling of being rejected, or of being unwanted, has become one of their most important recurring feelings. Structuring time by playing games that offer them an opportunity to recreate such negative feelings as a matter of course has become something at which they’ve developed considerable skill.

The game of Kick Me serves this purpose ideally. Kick Me is not quite as sophisticated a game as NIGYSOB. But it is, in its way, equally powerful. Sometimes a good Kick Me player can simply look dejected, or act inept, and the spouse will kick him.

Normally, Kick Me players choose NIGYSOB players to give them their kicks, as NIGYSOB players are much more inclined to do so than most other people.

Read Full Post »

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), has a fascination as well as a mystery about it. For example, it’s possible to recognize each different personality, or “alter,” from just a few words—in the same way that it’s possible to recognize instantly the voice of a person calling on the telephone.

We should first realize that no one has a truly single, or unified, personality. For the most part, what psychologists talk about as identity,” although a useful construct, is a complete illusion.

The manager who works in a highly competitive work environment is quite a different “person” from the parent who plays with children, who is again a completely different “person” from the intimate lover. Still, this is all one and the same “person.”

These different qualities of personality are called ego states.

Sometimes, we say “I saw so-and-so at the company picnic over the weekend, and when he was playing with the children he showed a child-like side of himself that I had never seen before.” Only we don’t notice this often.

Similarly you might hear about a person who is implicated in a scandal. Friends and family may rush to the defense, saying “It couldn’t be true! He is so religious and so devoted to his family.” Well, sad to say, it could very well be that a lewd ego state exists side-by-side with the pillar-of-the-community ego state.

Therefore, a person’s behavior in one situation does not “prove” anything about the rest of his or her life.

The motivation for one’s behavior may be unconscious. An ego state is not a dissociative experience. But let us realise that when acting from a particular ego state one is still aware of the behavior itself.

Unless your values embrace all your ego states you will always be vulnerable to the “snares” of corruption. It takes considerable discipline to communicate with and heal all the aspects of your personality so as to live a truly honest and spiritual life.

So we have the on-going problem of apparently upstanding members of the community hiding—and denying—their secrets. Secrets, for example, such as emotional abuse,child abuse and more.

Dissociative Amnesia refers to the inability to recall important personal information, usually of a traumatic or stressful nature. This amnesia, from the Greek term meaning a lack of remembering, is far more extensive than ordinary forgetfulness.

Dissociative Fugue refers to a sudden, unexpected travel away from home with the inability to recall one’s past, leading to confusion about one’s identity—or even the assumption of a new identity.

Depersonalization Disorder refers to the experience of feeling detached or estranged from one’s self, but with reality testing intact; that is, you know what is happening, but you don’t feel like you’re experiencing it yourself or don’t feel like you’re experiencing it in your body.

It can be said simply that dissociative personalites within our selves leave us with a confused mass of ordinary human emotions. But this confusion can feel so painful that your primary defense will be to “get away” from it all and to turn your back on honest values such as love and forgiveness.

Thus you will find yourself in a living hell with recourse to nothing but empty human solutions of anger, bitterness, and fear.

If, through proper psychotherapy you have the courage to face those emotions, these personalities within yourself, tease them apart, and understand how each one affects your behavior, then there is real hope.

Otherwise you will spend the rest of your life reacting automatically and blindly to your emotions, blaming others and feeling victimized by circumstances that are really of your own making.

As hard as it sounds, it’s your choice, and yours alone. It may be a tragic mistake, influenced by ignorance and fear—or even the social pressure of “programming” or brainwashing—but, at its root, it’s still your free choice.

Read Full Post »