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User Topic: Is there always a reason for an affair?
FightingBack
♀ 34770
Member # 34770
Default  Posted: 8:02 AM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Do I constantly search for a deeper reason or the "why" my H had an affair because I just can't accept that he did it because he could?

I hear so much about the WS "doing the work" to find out their "why's" or what led them to have an A.

My H had indeed given this some thought, but all he can come up with is that he enjoyed the attention and that it was easy and convenient.

When asked why he needed this attention from someone other than me, he says that he felt I was unavailable to talk. Things were always so busy at home with four young children.

His OP was his employee and unhappy in her marriage. In the beginning she was the pursuer but he admits that he encouraged her.

The A lasted over half of out marriage. Due to no pressure from her for more of his time, or for any commitment, he felt safe that the A would never be discovered. He led a double life, unaware that it was driving a wedge between us.

If I hadn't found out, it would probably have continued indefinitely.

Is this all there is to it? Are there deep rooted problems in my WH that he needs to address? He doesn't think so. He is sure that this will never happen again. That he made a terrible mess of things but now he realizes that I am all he ever needed.
He always loved me but just took me for granted.

Huh? Is that it? Let's move on?

I know that no reason will ever satisfy me, but shouldn't there be a little more soul searching going on here?

What kind of person does this?

Is there always something "broken" in the WS? Or is this just how some people are wired. If there is no better reason than "She made it so easy and I was selfish", couldn't those conditions happen again sometime?

Please give me something to work on.

[This message edited by FightingBack at 8:04 AM, May 15th (Wednesday)]


Me 53
WH 58
Married 25 years
4 children S30,D24, S23,S21
D-Day Nov. 29, 2011
15 year affair with married employee.
Together trying to make sense of it all!

Posts: 809 | Registered: Feb 2012
annb
♀ 22386
Member # 22386
Default  Posted: 8:10 AM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

but all he can come up with is that he enjoyed the attention

^^^Same situation here.

My WH enjoyed the attention. OW lived 3,000 miles away, pursued him over the e-mail, relentlessly. The master manipulator.

After two years, WH did the same thing, encouraged her by not dismissing her.

WH did it because he could and bc he was getting some high from her constant attention. He did not have to did deep, he understood exactly what allowed him to slide down that slippery slope.


Posts: 7628 | Registered: Jan 2009 | From: Northeast
Lucky2HaveMe
♀ 13333
Member # 13333
Default  Posted: 8:19 AM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Is there always something "broken" in the WS? Or is this just how some people are wired. If there is no better reason than "She made it so easy and I was selfish", couldn't those conditions happen again sometime?

Yep. What happens the next time a woman pursues him? If she is persistent? If he thinks he can get away with it again?

Sounds like he would rather rugsweep than look inward at himself.


Love isn't what you say, it's what you do.

Posts: 6630 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: WNY
FightingBack
♀ 34770
Member # 34770
Default  Posted: 8:36 AM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

WH did it because he could and bc he was getting some high from her constant attention. He did not have to did deep, he understood exactly what allowed him to slide down that slippery slope.

But understanding what they were getting out of the A is not understanding how they ALLOWED themselves to betray all that they supposedly held dear.

I can understand the ego boost, the feelings of being desirable, the high of the attention and the high of the sex, but I can't understand the acceptance of the betrayal and all the deception that is necessary to keep it going.


Me 53
WH 58
Married 25 years
4 children S30,D24, S23,S21
D-Day Nov. 29, 2011
15 year affair with married employee.
Together trying to make sense of it all!

Posts: 809 | Registered: Feb 2012
SisterMilkshake
♀ 30024
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 9:00 AM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

There is always a reason, and they are all crappy and unacceptable.

My FWH had an affair because he was selfish, the OW made sure he knew it was available and easy. He made absolutely no effort whatsoever. I believe his affair would have lasted indefinitely, also, if OW hadn't decided that my FWH was the "Love of Its Life" and wanted more.

If the answer is because "I was selfish" than your WS can learn to not be selfish. My FWH is learning this. I am now the #1 priority in his life, he isn't his #1 priority anymore. This is how I know that he won't betray me again. He actually thinks of me and my feelings and how his actions will effect me. He has learned that he had built walls to keep me out and that he had very poor boundaries. He has knocked those walls down and he is working on having very strong boundaries.

I know when I joined SI, many here say that your WS has to dig for the deeper answers. For some that maybe true, for others, it is quite simple. They were selfish, they could so they did. Thats it! However, because many here insist that it must be deeper than that, I was unsatisfied with my FWH's answers. My FWH has done introspection. He does have FOO issues. But, that isn't why he had an affair. He could and he did. I believe it can be that simple. I can't force my FWH to come up with some deep, meaningful answer. I can choose to accept his answers or get all hung up on the "there must be more to it". As long as I can see, hear and feel that my FWH is doing all that is necessary for me and our marriage, that he is working on himself to be a better man, husband, father, I am satisfied with his simple answer.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9952 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
FightingBack
♀ 34770
Member # 34770
Default  Posted: 9:10 AM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sister,
I think it is possible to be as simple as "because I could", but maybe I don't want to accept that because that would tell me that he really didn't care about me during those years although he professes to have always loved me.

I guess I know that that simply isn't true and I should just accept it. But it will always make me doubt the depth of his love and commitment now.

Maybe I was hoping for something "fixable".


Me 53
WH 58
Married 25 years
4 children S30,D24, S23,S21
D-Day Nov. 29, 2011
15 year affair with married employee.
Together trying to make sense of it all!

Posts: 809 | Registered: Feb 2012
sisoon
♂ 31240
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 10:06 AM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

There's always a reason, not a good one, but a reason nonetheless. IMO, it's possible to change the A behavior without understanding why a person cheated in the first place, but I think IC is necessary in all but the rarest of cases.

Is your H in IC? An IC can and should be an external force who confronts the client and shows him/her the way to dig deep and make lasting changes. Again, JMO.


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10570 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
PeaceLove187
♀ 33559
Member # 33559
Default  Posted: 10:42 AM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It has to go deeper than just being selfish. We're all selfish to one degree or another (yes, I've been known to eat the last slice of pie!) but most of us don't make choices we know will devastate our spouse. What allowed him to put his selfish impulses above your need to be protected? Something is different about the way he's wired. I know some experts say each one of us is vulnerable to affairs under the right circumstances but I don't buy that. Way back during my H's first A I knew our marriage wasn't working and was tempted by an attractive man who seemed to find me attractive as well. I'm selfish too (remember that slice of pie?) but I'm smart enough to realize how much an A would hurt my H and I just couldn't do that to him. I walked away from temptation. So what made one selfish person walk away from temptation and the other person walk toward it? There's something deeper going on, and in our case I think it was my H's lack of confidence and self-esteem. So where did that come from? Probably from overly critical parenting. I'm not sure if finding the root cause truly prevents another A from happening but stopping at selfish does even less to prevent it.


BW--Me, 57
FWH--Him, 59
Married 35 years
Empty Nesters

Posts: 642 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: Midwest
Sal1995
♂ 39099
Member # 39099
Default  Posted: 10:48 AM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

There's always a reason. I think the question is: Is there ever a GOOD reason for an affair?

My wife's reasons: I was selfish, he said the right things, I felt disconnected from you, I wanted to escape, I felt old and fat for years and now I was getting attention, etc.

Those were her reasons for betraying what had been 17 years of a mutually faithful and loving relationship/marriage. None of them good.

[This message edited by Sal1995 at 11:20 AM, May 15th (Wednesday)]


Me (BS)-46, WW-43
DDay 2/17/13, 9-10 month PA/EA
M - 18 years, 4 children
Reconciling

Posts: 1485 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Texas
FightingBack
♀ 34770
Member # 34770
Default  Posted: 11:31 AM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

After all this time, I still can't wrap my head around it.

I want to discover that he was captured by aliens and that my real husband is back now.

I don't know how long I can go on hoping that one day it will make some kind of sense. Or that I can actually accept that someone who loved me could do this to me.

Reading here helps me to see that it can, but I must be still in the denial stage.


Me 53
WH 58
Married 25 years
4 children S30,D24, S23,S21
D-Day Nov. 29, 2011
15 year affair with married employee.
Together trying to make sense of it all!

Posts: 809 | Registered: Feb 2012
Grimwyrm
♂ 39014
Member # 39014
Default  Posted: 11:32 AM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This is a hard one. For my WW it was simply that she felt trapped in a loveless marriage, felt unappreciated and taken advantage of, was depressed, and she got too friendly with someone at work that blossomed into a full blown EA/PA. When I asked her what she found attractive about him...she said that it was because he showed her attention and talked to her. She's been honest with me about everything else so I believe her when she says this.

I think that as the BS, we feel the need for a deeper meaning to this because we want to believe that our WS would only seek out a relationship with someone else for a very important and deep reason. I'm beginning to believe that it sometimes really is that simple.

For me, the A ended...I started meeting those emotional needs that she had wanted the entire time and she now tells me that she's the happiest she's been in our marriage in the entire 10 years we've known each other.


Posts: 21 | Registered: Apr 2013
LivinginLimbo
♀ 35004
Member # 35004
Default  Posted: 11:40 AM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Actually, recognizing that they are selfish is major. It's a lot better than blaming you, the marriage, the weather, blah, blah, blah. When my H finally blurted out "I was selfish", it changed everything.

Are we all selfish to some extent? Perhaps, but the WS reach a level that's foreign to a BS.


BS - 62
FWH - 60
Married 34 years
D-Day 2/12/12
Doing well with R

Posts: 1055 | Registered: Mar 2012
SisterMilkshake
♀ 30024
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 11:42 AM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It has to go deeper than just being selfish.
Why? This drives me crazy. Oh, yes, there was a whole lot of contributing factors, self esteem issues, FOO issues, blah, blah, blah. The bottom line, though, was he was selfish. Only thinking of himself. What he wanted, what he needed.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9952 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
Undefinabl3
♀ 36883
Member # 36883
Default  Posted: 11:51 AM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Why? This drives me crazy. Oh, yes, there was a whole lot of contributing factors, self esteem issues, FOO issues, blah, blah, blah. The bottom line, though, was he was selfish. Only thinking of himself. What he wanted, what he needed.


This is true, but the question is why did he feel that cheating was an approprite choice to make.

Why did his morals, his value of you as a person, his value of the relationship - why did that not factor in his choice when he continued with the affair.

There is a part missing that needs filled, why did he feel it was ok to make the choice to cheat. It goes beyond being selfish.


Me: 31 MH
Him: 37 MH
New online find 6/19/14 - shit
Phone Find 11/21/14 - I can't even right now.

Posts: 1814 | Registered: Sep 2012
tired girl
♀ 28053
Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 11:55 AM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Being selfish is not a reason. What needs was the affair meeting that the WS couldn't meet on their own? That is what has to be looked at, because if that isn't fixed and looked at, there is a ticking timebomb. And those needs can vary from person to person. It isn't always about validation, usually it is, but not always. And these are needs the WS has to learn to fulfill within themselves, the BS cannot fill that for them. The M can't do it, because at some point, the BS or the M is going to fall down on the job, and that will leave the WS susceptible again.

If it was just about being selfish, well then everyone would be having affairs, because we are all selfish creatures. But not everyone has affairs.


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 5155 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
FightingBack
♀ 34770
Member # 34770
Default  Posted: 12:00 PM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think being selfish as in only thinking of what one wants/needs/finds pleasure in, is at one end of the spectrum.

Being selfish to the point where one does not consider/care or disregards how ones actions effect others is at the far end of that spectrum.


Me 53
WH 58
Married 25 years
4 children S30,D24, S23,S21
D-Day Nov. 29, 2011
15 year affair with married employee.
Together trying to make sense of it all!

Posts: 809 | Registered: Feb 2012
TrustGone
♀ 36654
Member # 36654
Default  Posted: 12:23 PM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't think that there has to be a deeper meaning than they were selfish, it was easy, and they thought they could get away with it. I also thought that in the beginning. That there had to be a deeper meaning than that. But after all this time I am coming to accept it as being that simple and complex.

The thing is they take selfish to a higher degree than most people. Some even think that they deserve to have an affair if they want. Once they start it is like an addiction. They get the "high" from the attention they are getting, it boosts their ego. It is like positive/negative reinforcement. Only when the affair comes out do they actually think of what it has costs everyone else. Some are so selfish they don't care and can't give up that "high".

I knew my husband was very selfish. I had seen it in other areas of his life before the A. He craves attention. He also had the mindset that what I didn't know wouldn't hurt me and thought he would never get caught. Like Sister's WH's OW, his also fell in Luvvvv with him. That complicated the A for him and he had to do more and more to try to keep her quiet. He failed to keep her in check and she outted him not once, but twice. He didn't figure on the fact that she would want more from the relationship than he did when the LTA started.

He now realizes how stupid he was in thinking that she just wanted to have fun and get her ego stroked like he did. Because of his selfishness that never dawned on him and when it did he was trapped into trying to keep her happy and quiet. He even gave her an engagement ring to shut her up for a while, even though he had no intention of ever marrying her. He was already married and he loved me, not her, but still dug that hole due to his selfishness and low self-esteem. He is still very selfish and I have started pointing things out to him that show that. Like on Mother's Day he wanted to take MIL out for lunch, but he wanted to go where he wanted to go eat. I pointed out it is not Mr. Trustgone Day and you don't decide where your Mom wants to eat. It's her day and her decision. Of course she went along with it when he suggested where he wanted to go, but he did realize what I was saying and I didn't just ignore it like I have done before. I brought his selfishness to his attention. Hopefully in time he will start to do that himself, who knows.


BW-50
WH#2-51
M-9 yrs T-11 yrs
4 children-none together
DD#1-9/5/11 LTA 2yrs
DD#2-7/3/12 False R
DD#3-4/29/13 (OW broke NC)
Status: Your guess is as good as mine.

Posts: 2420 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: Texas
SisterMilkshake
♀ 30024
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 12:31 PM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Being selfish to the point where one does not consider/care or disregards how ones actions effect others is at the far end of that spectrum.
Exactly. Yeah, not talking about the taking of the last piece of pie selfish.

Whilst I can be selfish and save the last piece of cheesecake for myself, that doesn't mean I don't have integrity or boundaries. I do. I am not so selfish as to not realize that what I do effects other people.

FWH was so selfish that he knew his affair was going to hurt me, but he just didn't care enough because, ya know, his wants and needs are the most important. He also convinced himself I was never going to find out. No harm, no foul. He was the most important person in his world.

There is a part missing that needs filled, why did he feel it was ok to make the choice to cheat.
Because he was selfish. His needs were the most important.
What needs was the affair meeting that the WS couldn't meet on their own?
You are right, tg, these questions need to be answered and fixed. I wasn't having my needs met in my marriage. I didn't have an affair. I didn't have an affair for 2 reasons. 1. I have integrity. 2. I am not that selfish. , The reason why and what needs the affair was meeting, I feel, are two separate issues.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9952 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
Undone1
♀ 37683
Member # 37683
Default  Posted: 12:38 PM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Fightingback,

There are the obvious reasons that everyone has mentioned...selfishness, narcissism, the attention, ego boost, easy, not challenging. Yes, he wanted it, he could do it and he believed he wouldn't get caught but that's only part of the story.

In my H's case, he was/is very conflict avoidant and passive. His Mom was very domineering, and his other two siblings are also conflict avoidant. He never brought up issues to me that concerned him and he developed a pile of resentments. He doesn't know how to "stand up" to a strong woman and he is now learning how to do that. He lives his life in fear of conflict and although that has made him very successful in mediating business issues, it causes problems in our relationship. I had no idea he had resentments going back to the start of our marriage and before. He developed "omission" as a pattern of communication. Further, he says that he got bored with his work and was "looking for something more." Because he felt selfish and guilty for doing healthy things for himself, he chose to be oppositional in getting those needs met. Thus he was ripe for an affair. He discovered in his IC he didn't feel enough guilt or was able to push it down, but felt horribly guilty about a 3 hour bike ride.

I do think that he is working on finding his "why's" and working on becoming a healthy person. A good indiv therapist is a MUST!

Good luck...hope this helps.


Undone1
Married 10+ years to my high school sweetheart
DDAY 10/27/12
Me 55
WH 55
Blended Family: 25, 21, and 20
Married 10 years
"The Universe Unfolds as it Should"

Posts: 301 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Missouri
happierdays
♀ 38537
Member # 38537
Default  Posted: 12:59 PM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So many of the replies so accurately describe my WH. In his case he said it was about the attention OW showered on him and that he's never considered himself an attractive guy, etc... It would make a tremendous difference to me if he was willing to do some soul searching to figure out if there are deeper issues, but I'm not holding my breath.

When it comes down to it he was incredibly selfish, I believe if I hadn't discovered his A it probably would have continued indefinitely. What he doesn't seem to get is that at the same time he was unsatisfied in our M, I was too, but never did I consider starting an A, even when the opportunity arose. I couldn't live with myself. But he seemed to cope well with the lying and deceit, disturbing really.

It hurts knowing what we had, even though I totally get it was far from perfect, was worth so little to him. He says thoughts of DD and I are what stopped it from turning into a full blown PA, but it had no bearing on the EA.

He and OW spent a full day golfing, I figured out from their emails that it was the day most of the kissing and messing around happened. His reasoning for spending the day with her was "I really wanted to go golfing". Doesn't get much more selfish than that.


Me - 40
WH - 41
Dday - Oct 7, 2012
Dday 2 - June 4, 2013
Married - 7 years
2 daughters, 9 years old and 1 month old

Posts: 146 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Canada
Topic Posts: 56
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