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The word Mistake

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WWMEH13 posted 4/2/2013 14:28 PM

Why is calling an A a mistake considered wrong?

I see many BS and even WS correct someone when they said they made a mistake by having an A.

Here is the definition of mistake - An action or judgment that is misguided or wrong

Why is saying a series of deliberate poor choices any better than calling it a mistake? Seems that a series of bad choices could also be the definition of mistake.

I am not trying to minimize what I have done by calling it a mistake, but based on that definition from Webster, my A was a mistake, but I see some as taking umbrage with that.

Aubrie posted 4/2/2013 14:40 PM

Choice: An act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.

Why do people have affairs? Because they chose to.

When I logged onto CL, I made the choice to click Missed Connections.
I made the choice to reply to a comment.
I made the choice to open an email reply.
I made the choice to reply to that email and open a chat window.
I made the choice to send pictures.

They were all choices. They were not mistakes. I didn't "accidentally" or "mistakenly" send nude shots. I deliberately clicked the image and dropped it into the email. That was a choice. I didn't "mistakenly" hide the emails and chats from my husband. I deliberately made the choice to hide and pretend everything was normal and ok.

Saying it was a "mistake" is flippant and avoiding taking responsibility. Your "mistake", however misguided it is, is still made by a choice. The choice to step over a boundary.

Did that make any sense at all?

[This message edited by Aubrie84 at 2:42 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)]

authenticnow posted 4/2/2013 14:42 PM

I get your point. My As were the biggest mistake I've made in my life. I think the word 'choice' sits better because we did have a choice. A mistake is kind of like, oops, I didn't mean to do that. But really, we did. Just make sure when you're using the word mistake you're not minimizing, which it doesn't sound like you are.

I don't get hung up on labels. Whatever it's called, it is what it is---infidelity, cheating, affairs. The label is just that. It's the work that is done internally afterwards that matters.

cheerless posted 4/2/2013 14:42 PM

BS here. I think the difference is intent.

"Mistake" sounds passive, which affairs most definitely are not.

Affairs and the deception needed to make them and keep them happening and secret are intentional choices.

Everyone makes mistakes. Not everyone has affairs.

Undefinabl3 posted 4/2/2013 14:43 PM

Mistake is something that you did wrong yes.

An affair was a choice you made and KNEW it was wrong. That's not a mistake, that's a choice.

You cant mistakenly start and affair.

You cant mistakenly have sex with your affair partner.

You cant mistakenly try to cover your tracks (ie secret phones, lying about staying late at work, ect)

You cant mistakenly lie to your spouse when they confront you.

You cant mistakenly trickle truth about things.

Having an affair is a choice.

You choose to have an affair

You choose to have sex with that affair person.

You choose to hide and lie.

The only way to look at an affair is making the wrong choice, but it was not made on accident, or mistakenly. It was a purposefully made choice.

Now, you have to own that choice, learn why this was the WRONG choice, and find out what in your past and current make you think that an affair was even a choice to begin with.

[This message edited by Undefinabl3 at 2:44 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)]

WWMEH13 posted 4/2/2013 14:55 PM

I can see where the distinction is trying to be made. I guess in the definition "action" could be choice, is where I was going.

It was more of a curiosity thing.

ophelia24 posted 4/2/2013 16:31 PM

What Aubrie said, and others about choice.

A mistake to me feels too narrow. For example, if Im colouring in a picture and go outside the lines, that is a mistake. It wasn't purposeful. Choosing to have an affair, is purposeful. As someone mentioned, there is intent.

Good question your asking WWHEH13.

uncertainone posted 4/2/2013 16:32 PM

Why is it considered wrong? Because of how it's perceived. I just posted about words and meanings. This always confounded me too.

A mistake is an action or judgement that is misguided or wrong. I think that fits very well.

Choices can absolutely be mistakes. Shit we make wrong choices on who to date, marry (sometimes) based on very misguided or wrong thought processes and assumptions.

My affair was the biggest mistake I ever made. I thought my honesty would protect my integrity. That was a VERY misguided assumptions based on thought process that were as wrong as wrong can be.

Oh, and the not picking up milk from the store is "forgetful".

Some affairs active assaults using a weapon that is surgeon sharp double edged. That would also apply to my affair, very easily. Here's the thing, though. It was only after much digging that I was able to see that, which again loops back to the misguided and wrong definition quite nicely.

I chose to turn left to get to your house because I made didn't understand the directions. A choice can very easily be a mistake and if you are in the middle of a raging snow storm get lost it can actually be fatal. One family in Oregon or Washington found that out a few years ago. Saying that mistake was "passive" or "small and dismissive" would be argued quite effectively by the survivors of that little ooops.

As far as intention, if the intention was to knowly hurt your spouse I'd think keeping it a secret would be a "mistake".

Syzy posted 4/2/2013 19:25 PM

I think the word mistake implies a negation of responsibility. Though I clearly get that it can be the worst mistake of someone's life. But when dealing with a very triggery very hurt BS its a good rule of thumb to avoid that word.

In the first couple of years Mistake sounds to a BS a lot like "Oops I tripped and our genitals collided." I'm not being snarky either.. I'm a BS and I don't hear the word mistake the same way I used to anymore if it is surrounded by other language that implies taking responsibility. But I'm 7 years out now and not triggery anymore.

[This message edited by Syzy at 7:26 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)]

WWMEH13 posted 4/2/2013 20:25 PM

Syzy et al- thank you for your perspectives. My intent when using it was never to be dismissive, so since it seems rub people the wrong way, I'll try to consider my word choices more carefully.

wifeno2 posted 4/2/2013 20:28 PM

For me all of the above posts are correct. I also think of a mistake as something like getting off the wrong exit. It is a one time action done thinking you are doing something else. One time. With a clear, expected outcome that is different from what the outcome winds up being. Innocent.

An A requires hundreds, if not thousands of choices, decisions and actions. It isn't a one time action done expecting one outcome but getting another. There isn't any innocence. You know what the outcome is likely to be. Whether you want to admit this to yourself or not.

still-living posted 4/2/2013 20:35 PM

My wife tried to use that word and I objected. It felt like she was failing to take ownership, like it was uncontrollable. If someone murders, first degree, is it a mistake then? Whoops, sorry about that.

uncertainone posted 4/2/2013 20:55 PM

Still, I get why the word would be offensive. I don't understand how it's viewed as someone stating it was uncontrolled or the "whoops" that I see.

Mistakes aren't uncontrolled at all. That's exactly what makes them mistakes. If they were uncontrolled they'd be accidents. Tripping and falling isn't a mistake.

Committing first degree murder is far different than often than cheating. I know the response is often that "you" can give your spouse a deadly std. Sure. You would contract it yourself and I'd hardly think suicide is on folks minds.

When you set out to kill someone the goal is to see them dead, not as an unintended consequence to an action or choice but that's the entire goal. Someone's death.

If someone feels their spouse wanted that how on earth could anyone ever even contemplate reconciliation?

I would very much understand why anyone hit with this shit would not be a fan of the word. I do feel it very accurately describes for me and if anyone thinks I view my actions and choices as uncontrolled, not catastrophic, not soul threatening life altering, well, they'd be very wrong, or in other words, mistaken.

Darkness Falls posted 4/2/2013 21:03 PM

well, they'd be very wrong, or in other words, mistaken

Here is the definition of mistake - An action or judgment that is misguided or wrong

Pretty much sums up my decision to cheat, IMO.

I think sometimes when a WS calls their cheating a "mistake" they're trying to minimize. I think that's where the stigma of the term used to describe cheating probably came from.

Other times, the WS isn't trying to do that at all. I agree with the posters who say it's all about the intent behind the use of the term.

[This message edited by heartbroken0903 at 9:04 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)]

archernine posted 4/2/2013 21:45 PM

We can discuss six ways till Sunday what the word means. I understand we question certain meanings and the intent of those who use the word. While the original meaning of mistake is a misunderstanding, somewhere along the line it became an error in judgement. It doesn't really matter what it means or which word is used. The thing is it doesn't make what happened go away or even allow understanding of why that mistake or choice was made. At the end of the day, this isn't about word choice. It's about healing and growing.

[This message edited by archernine at 10:03 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)]

FaithStricken posted 4/2/2013 22:25 PM

The word mistake is using a "lesser" word and implies a "lesser" significance. For example, drunk driving involves risking ones own and others lives. People knowingly make a decision to drive drunk. Calling it a mistake, especially if someone is harmed, is like equating it to an accident or unfortunate consequence. More accurately the outcome was due to the persons deliberate decision to drive drunk and knowingly risk harm to others.

I don't think the choice of a word is insignificant. Words have meaning and people often select particular words to depict or illustrate their thoughts or opinions more accurately.

[This message edited by FaithStricken at 10:30 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)]

nuance posted 4/2/2013 22:32 PM

The A is not a mistake. The mistake was thinking there wouldn't be consequences, the consequences would be minimal, or thinking nobody would find out.

uncertainone posted 4/2/2013 22:35 PM

Words have meaning.

Yes, they do. They also very much reflect the context they are used.

"It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes... we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions - especially selfish ones."

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

I doubt very much he's discussing forgetting milk, misunderstanding, ooops, my bad. Especially considering his life experiences.

Again, individual. My ex thought whacking me around from time to time was a mistake. I thought him doing so thinking I'd be there forever (he was completely shocked when I left) was a mistake. Turns out we were both right.

hopefulmother posted 4/2/2013 22:58 PM

When you make the mistake you don't always know if it is a right or wrong decision. It isn't till the consequences are negative that you know the action was a mistake. When you choose to have an A, you already knew it was wrong. Everyone knows it is wrong. When you chose to do the wrong thing, knowing it is the wrong thing it is not a mistake. It is a choice (better definition) The wrong choice. So stop calling it a mistake.

[This message edited by hopefulmother at 11:01 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)]

WWMEH13 posted 4/2/2013 23:05 PM

But the definition specifically says the action or judgement is misguided or wrong, so wouldn't you be aware when you make mistakes, before any consequences?

But, as mentioned above, in the grand scheme of things, the word doesn't matter, the action/judgement does, and how we respond/learn and grow from our past mistakes is important. Becoming aware enough to avoid them in the future.

I just don't want to offend, so I won't use the word in the context of my A again.

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