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Wayward Thinking or Not? Waywards Please Weigh In

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SisterMilkshake posted 6/10/2013 07:37 AM

This is actually kind of a t/j from another thread about blaming the AP more than your WS.

Many in that thread said they don't blame the AP at all. Afterall, the AP didn't make any vows or promises to us, our WS's did. That they may hate the AP but they don't blame the AP.

I fall squarely in the both the WS and AP are 100% responsible for their actions and the affair camp. I don't blame the OW more in our situation but equally. It couldn't have happened if they both didn't participate. I also believe that adultery is just wrong. Period.

It really irritates me when I hear/read that phrase "the AP didn't make vows or promises to me". The phrase irritates me, not the poster. Since I have been a member of SI I have read many threads about that subject and it always just irritated me. I have finally figured out why.

A long, long time ago before I was married (newly engaged, actually) I was in my early 20's and a girlfriend and I were planning a road trip. We didn't have a lot of money and it was going to be from Minnesota to Florida and back. My friend had a co-worker that wanted to join us. She was about 30 years old and single. I said sure as that would be another person to share expenses.

Turns out, this friend of my friend was an OW. The OW talked about her MOM a lot. She told us "I am not doing anything wrong. I am single, he is the one that is married. I didn't make any promises or take any vows!" She wouldn't tell us who he was, but he was older in his 40's. A local businessman. Did I mention we lived in a very small rural community?

I never warmed up to this OW. Besides being uncomfortable with her being an OW, I just didn't much care for her personality. But, she was okay. Would never be a good friend of mine. However, since she was a friend of my good friend I did have some association with her even after the road trip. We finally did find out who she was having a LTA with and it was the husband of a good friend of my future MIL. A women that I did know and liked very much. She was warm, funny and kind. I never told her about the affair. They are still married to this day and they are in their 70's now. I have no idea what happened to the OW as I am not in touch with my former good friend anymore, either.

Anyway, it never sat right with me when the OW told us "I am not doing anything wrong. I am single, he is the one that is married. I didn't make any promises or take any vows!" I feel this is very typical wayward thinking. A way to justify and rationalize what they know is just morally wrong.

Now, my question is, when a BS makes this statement do you feel that is wayward thinking? I feel it is, but of course, I can be wrong. I am wrong about many things, so this wouldn't be shocking to me.

There is a certain wayward here that I respect and admire a lot. She is often pointing out to us where many BS's (including me) have wayward thinking. I have become more aware of that. I try to be vigilant in my thinking. Afterall, I can't expect something from my FWH if I am not willing to do the same.

WhatsRight posted 6/10/2013 07:44 AM

My response is this...

The OW / OM is responsible to himself / herself. In my opinion, they betrayed a moral code (which they may or may not subscribe to).

The WS, however is responsible to himself, but ALSO TO YOU.

That's the difference to me.

My husband was with a prostitute. Sure I was repulsed by the thought of her (and her naked picture that I had) but I didn't have a relationship with her. She did not speak vows in the presence of God to me - she did not owe me loyalty or faithfulness.

But he did.


Holly-Isis posted 6/10/2013 07:56 AM

I do think it's wayward thinking.

It's that part of society that says if you're not actively involved, you're not in the wrong. Like the people recording rapes on their cell phones but not helping the victim. They did nothing wrong, they didn't rape her.

They sure as hell are part of the victimization. Of taking part in what's wrong by NOT doing what's right. In the case of the OP it's simply saying the word NO.

A single OW can tell herself she's doing nothing wrong. I will say I felt violated when I discovered that MrH would have sex with her then me on the same day. She knew who his sexual partners were, I did not. I thought I was in a monogamous relationship. She knowingly took that from me and risked my well being for her selfishness.

Like you, I get irritated when a BS says the OP isn't to blame. That case can be made about people who know but don't tell I suppose. But the OP actively participates in infidelity.

If I started smacking my kids around and a friend saw it and joined in. Would she be blameless because they aren't her kids? If someone was filching money from a business they owned, would an employee not be at fault if they did the same?

ETA- when it comes to the vows, perhaps the OP is 100% free of that violation. When it comes to the A...100% responsible for their choices and participation in it. If they didn't think it was wrong, they wouldn't participate in hiding the A (and usually taking it further underground after d-day).

[This message edited by Holly-Isis at 7:59 AM, June 10th (Monday)]

stillhere09 posted 6/10/2013 08:02 AM

I believe in the phrase, "It takes a village to raise a child." Along the same lines, it takes a village to nurture a marriage.

I don't know if you will find that one easy to follow, so I'll elaborate a bit.

Every member of the village has the best interest of the child at heart. They all have a responsibility to correct him kindly when they see that his behavior or way of thinking is in error.

Likewise, every member of the village (society) should have the best interest of the marriages of others in the village at heart. When they see a spouse who is thinking along wayward lines, it is their responsibility to the human race to correct the error of the person's thinking. In so doing, they have helped a marriage. Thus, the AP is in serious wrong to encourage the wrong rather than help guide their fellow man along the road of loyalty.

So yes, I think the AP is in the wrong as much as the WS. They may not have made a vow to you, the BS, but they should go by a decent moral code of their own to help rather than harm their fellow man.

They may not be the parent of a drowning child, but would they pass up a drowning child or lend a helping hand? If their fellow man is drowning emotionally, they should lend a helping hand ("You should talk to a professional if your M is in trouble."), not push the drowning person all the way under.

Sorry - I'm not a wayward, so perhaps I shouldn't have weighed in.

SisterMilkshake posted 6/10/2013 08:06 AM

Of course you should weigh in stillhere09. And I appreciate your thoughts and I agree.

Thanks also Holly and WhatsRight. I agree with you Holly.

WhatsRight, I appreciate your point of view, but you didn't answer my question. Is it wayward thinking or not in your opinion? I am assuming you mean it isn't wayward thinking but you didn't exactly say that.

circe posted 6/10/2013 08:19 AM

Many in that thread said they don't blame the AP at all. Afterall, the AP didn't make any vows or promises to us, our WS's did. That they may hate the AP but they don't blame the AP.

In my mind there are many different kinds of blame. In the realm of my FWH's A, there are two. There is a sort of blanket moral judgment: affairs are wrong, therefore both willing affair partners are wrong in the exact same way, to the same degree. And then there is the moral judgment I have as a wife, as part of a two-person marriage: my husband, my committed partner, violated our marriage, and he is solely and completely responsible for the violation of our marriage.

So while I fully agree that the OP is to blame in a moral, human way, when it comes to looking at the two person marriage I'm part of, only the two of us have the power to violate it. The OW isn't part of our intimate circle of two, formed by our vows, and so as far as our intimate marriage goes, only me or my H could form those vows, and only me or my H can break those vows.

I think a lot of the debate stems from shifting the focus from "is the OP to blame in a human sense" to "is the OP to blame in a marital sense". In the human, moral sense of course the OP is to blame, since they are part of the human and moral relationship we all share, and violated a basic code that we all share, whether they acknowledge that code for their own convenience or not. They did something wrong as a human being, in the same exact way our WS did something wrong as a human being. And as a human being, I am equally angry and hurt by both my WS and the OP. In the marital sense the OP don't even figure into the equation, since it is an equation of only two parts. In the marital sense, the OP doesn't even exist.

For me, years out, the fact that the OW does not share in my marital equation is a huge source of comfort and security. In the earlier days when I was so intent on distributing my anger and blame, I did cast out that blame into her. But as I focused more on the intimate space of my marriage between two people, I took so much comfort in knowing that we were the heart and soul, and we alone were responsible for the health of the heart and soul. Despite challenges from the outside, it was our place to tend and care for.

My priorities as far as being a wife, a spouse, mean that I put my marriage first before outside relationships. For better or worse. In good times that means I am the recipient of that special status with my husband. He puts us first. I put us first. And we reap the rewards of that. In bad times it means that I shoulder the blame to insults I have inflicted upon our marriage. And my husband does the same. It is still the same special status that only takes into account two people. Our vows say "for better or worse" and that doesn't mean, to me, that I only stay with my husband in good and bad times. It also means that I accept the special status of primary ownership of the marital "better" and the marital "worse". My husband does the same. The affair was a marital "worse", and in the intimate realm of our marriage my husband accepts his special status of primary ownership of the insult he inflicted upon our marriage. Nothing outside our relationship is a consideration in that - just the same as nothing outside of our relationship is a consideration in our celebration of our marriage's "better" times.

And I've found that as time goes on in our marriage, that relationship of two people is the one that matters about 1000x more than the relationship between all of humanity, when it comes to this subject.

crossroads2010 posted 6/10/2013 08:24 AM

Almost 4 years ago, on dday, I found out the following:

My H of almost 35 years was having an A with an old gf he had an intense relationship with when he was 17...we started dating three years late and I NEVER knew about her. I also found out that he had had an A with her for several weeks about 20 years before when our first child was a toddler. After the shock wore off some and I was able to feel/think again, I had an intense hatred for this woman I never I found out what I could from fb and her texts to him etc...I realized she was pretty pathetic, but knew exactly what she was doing...she was single but in a relationship and had been married several times before and one marriage lasted about 20 in the scope of what most married people consider taboo, she is not a good person, but is one of those who tries to portay herself as rightious and moral and giving to others (via fb page. She is manipulative.

I can't really hate my H...he was my soulmate for so many years and I see the good in him and well as the bad...I see the good man trying to be be a good husband, father and grandfather. I am not so naive as to think that at least half of his mostivation to do right comes from his desire to avoid pain and other words, it is still about him. I don't think he intentionally tried to hurt me, but that he seems to think that it is my probelm to get over it and I gueass it really is.

I try not to be concerned about her...she is insignificant.

MrsDoubtfire posted 6/10/2013 08:25 AM

It really irritates me when I hear/read that phrase "the AP didn't make vows or promises to me". The phrase irritates me, not the poster. Since I have been a member of SI I have read many threads about that subject and it always just irritated me

Now, my question is, when a BS makes this statement do you feel that is wayward thinking?

Ooh. Deep. FWIW- my personal opinion is that the OP didn't break any vow to me but they sure didn't feel guilty helping someone else break a sacred vow so that makes them equally culpable if they know their AP is M.

When a BS states this fact I guess they are minimising the OP's responsibility but is that wayward thinking? I'm genuinely unsure how to respond as the honest answer is I could say yes and no

Waiting for others' input as I'm really interested in the answers you'll get Sister.

20WrongsVs1 posted 6/10/2013 08:46 AM

when a BS makes this statement do you feel that is wayward thinking?

I can't answer that question, but it's another popular response in that thread that seems more like wayward thinking. Paraphrasing: The OW was predatory, she took advantage of H when he was in a vulnerable state. I blame OW much more than I blame H.

When I told my devout Christian mother about my As, her reaction stunned me. She said: "These things happen. Every M has problems." She was excusing me, and blame shifting! Believing your WS was powerless to resist an outside temptation is similar. It may be comforting to shift blame away from your loved one, but those reactions are enabling toward wayward behavior.

My decision to cheat was not caused by "marriage problems," or a specific AP. I sought out As because (in part) I am a CSA survivor, with deep unresolved damage. I was hurt during my developing years, repressed those intense feelings and memories--and under extreme stress they resurfaced with a vengeance. Fortunately BH agreed to try to R, and I'm looking for a therapist. My point is: if I blamed the As on my M or the AP, I'd be less likely to seek help.

the AP is in serious wrong to encourage the wrong rather than help guide their fellow man along the road of loyalty

Agreed. It takes two to tango, and I feel ashamed (and responsible) for my part in damaging the OBS's marriage. I'm certain my APs would've strayed anyway, with someone else, but at least then I'd have zero responsibility.

P.S. SisterMilkshake, I'm from Mille Lacs County.

itainteasy posted 6/10/2013 08:51 AM

The only time I feel an affair partner is not to blame is if they truly do not know their "significant other" is married. (my own experience colors that, I know)

Otherwise, as a person, you know that married people are off limits for romantic relationships.

Any person who can see that ring on the finger (or in the case of people who don't wear rings--know they're married another way) and OVERRIDES that in the same instant is violating the moral code that they should hold themselves to.

I think when you know someone is married, and you enter into a relationship with them anyway, regardless of who pursued who, you are equally responsible for the hurt and destruction you bring to the innocent party- The BS and/or children.

I have seen posters say that the affair wouldn't have started if their spouse had said "NO!" or if their spouse wasn't looking for it. And that's true. But it's also true that the other person can say "NO!"

Razor posted 6/10/2013 08:57 AM

I think that as human beings we are responsible to and for each other at some level.

Many are taught to treat others as you would have them treat you. This teaching sits on that foundation of being responsible to each other. We owe each other a basic level of courtesy. It is that courtesy that makes civilization and eventually creates nations.

We make no promises that say we ill not steal from others or murder them. Sure these things happen. But they are wrong not because of the law and they are not right because we made no overt promise not to do these things. These things are wrong because they violate that core morality.

Just my (probably wrong) thoughts on this.

stillhere09 posted 6/10/2013 09:13 AM

Excellent, Razor!

keeponkeepingon posted 6/10/2013 09:34 AM

Yes, I know that MrKOKO was the one who was married to me. I have never met the out of state TicK. He is ultimately the one that should have said no but he did not. When she kissed him, he responded.

The TicK knew about me. MrKOKO had his wedding ring on for the beginning of the A. He began to take it off when he would met up with her as the A continued.

When discussing this topic with MrKOKO, he told me that he was the one to blame. I agree. One things that he told me was the she was a cheerleader in the continuing of the A and the ultimate falling apart of our family. She encouraged him the whole time to dump me and DS and start a "new family" with her and her son.

Jospehine85 posted 6/10/2013 09:47 AM

I agree Sister that "they didn't make me a vow" is wayward thinking.

The burglar who broke in to my house and stole my TV didn't make me any vows or promises not to, but what he did is still wrong.

I actually liken the OW to the anonymous online bully who torments some poor kid. The kid has done nothing wrong. Yet is being tormented and having their life destroyed by this anonymous bully simply because they can.

MOW bullied me and I didn't even know she existed. She encouraged WH to do and say nasty things to me, then would call him to hear the results. THEY PLOTTED the things he would do. They actually PLANNED for him to pick fights. And every time she was excited to hear what happened.

One time WH came home from a business trip, he was skyping with her at the airport while waiting for his luggage. She started telling him that jospehine85 would never give him the love and attention when he got home that she would. Cause Jospehine85 was an ice cold bitch. So what did he do? He got home and kicked the door open, slammed it shut, threw a bag he was carrying, slammed his suitcase into a wall, kicked anything within legs reach as hard as he could, came in to the room glaring at me and DS and almost knocked DD to the ground when she came around a corner and tried to hug him.

He described it to MOW as "I got home and there was no hello, no hug, no kiss."

Her reply, "Unbelievable. What the fuck is wrong with her? I would never do that to you."

Yeah, that is bullying by both of them. That was one of their spontaneous moments. Don't even want to tell you about the planned ones.

silverhopes posted 6/10/2013 09:48 AM

I agree it's wayward thinking. If the OW or OM knows that their "partner" is married or otherwise committed, they're equally responsible. They made the choices too. Also, we've all got a responsibility not to interfere in each others' marriages or committed relationships. Why else would these things be made public and official?

I fall squarely in the both the WS and AP are 100% responsible for their actions and the affair camp. I don't blame the OW more in our situation but equally. It couldn't have happened if they both didn't participate. I also believe that adultery is just wrong. Period.

Yes, this exactly.

blessedbyluck posted 6/10/2013 11:24 AM

I am a fww. I would be telling a lie if i said i never at least down deep thought i was no obligated to my mm wife since i was not married to him. That was during my affair and shortly after. Now 10 years later i think yes i was just as responsible for my affair as he was in spite of the fact that he initiated it i knew he was married. I feel guilty for my part in it and his wife has every right to blame me as much as she does him. I was lucky that the worst she did to me was call me and lay me out but i desrved a lot worse then she gave me. It is just as much your h ow fault as it is his and you have that right to be iritated.

copingdaily posted 6/10/2013 14:29 PM

they are both at fault. A person who is your "friend" or cares about you at all, wouldnt be part of the destruction of a marriage and family. The WS has more fault but both at fault none the less.

aesir posted 6/10/2013 15:14 PM

"I am not doing anything wrong. I am single, he is the one that is married. I didn't make any promises or take any vows!"

I can't really get into if it is wayward thinking or not, but I do dispute the facts asserted in the statement.

There are some pretty specific criteria that must be met in order for a marriage to be recognized by the state (government). You need to get a license, you have to fill out the forms to register the marriage, they have to be signed by the couple and witnesses, it has to be officiated over by someone authorized to do so by the state. The state is heavily involved in creating the marriage and it's vows. The reason for the state to be involved is to act in a legal capacity of agency on behalf of the population. Each jurisdiction has it's own procedures for doing so, but each jurisdiction also recognizes marriages performed in other jurisdictions.

Therefore, unless the single AP comes from some barbaric place that does not recognize marriage, their government has made these vows on their behalf. Regardless of how the AP feels about the marriage, they are as legitimate and binding as any other actions of the government. If we are all bound by government actions like declarations of war (try ignoring one of those at your peril), then it is a trivial matter to accept the recognition of a marriage and all that it implies. How hard is it to not fuck one person? Pretty sure there are a few billion people out there that I have not fucked. Of course I don't get out much.

libertyrocks posted 6/10/2013 15:40 PM

You're so very right my sister.

People know what's right and what's wrong, when they have to make up excuses for their behavior and blame someone else. Even when THEY know it's wrong, they always find a way to justify their selfishness.

I've had other men try to talk to me when I was a young adult. I also KNEW some of them were married. I stood away. Why? Because I know right from wrong and I knew exactly what those men wanted...

crossroads2010 posted 6/10/2013 16:06 PM

I honestly don't know if I had met up with someone in my 20's or even 5 years ago, I would have given much thought to their I would probably in some way let them know what I think and point out what they are doing to their BS.

A few weeks after my dday, I was at my first IC session with a male IC I only saw a few times...he listened to my story and as I related everything my H had done and sid and simply pointed out the obvious to me...did my H make the effort to look her up and contact drive to her house...take her out, etc. etc? Did she not respond to the door...did he force her?

They both made an ongoing decision to do what most consider wrong...but she is a stranger to me and never mattered. He bacame a stranger to me and it mattered. I don't blame him more though...I think she hurt someone also.

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