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Once a cheater...

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Aubrie posted 8/2/2013 16:53 PM

...always a cheater.

Those are the words my mother voiced today while we were running an errand together. I almost dropped the paint.

Wonder how she'd feel to know her daughter is a cheater. TBH, I was about 0.2 seconds from dropping that bomb on her but I thought, "Nah better not. I have things to do today."

Happy Friday from a reformed cheater.

Unagie posted 8/2/2013 16:57 PM

I've heard it from my friends who have no idea what I've done. I take the hit and keep on walking because I know the truth. Everyone is capable of changing and if you give them a chance you might be there to witness the change.

TxsT posted 8/2/2013 17:12 PM

As a BS I have to agree with Unagie....the only problem I have encountered is that so many people seem to feel that our situation hits too close to their own marriages. We have lost the support of many friends through our honesty.

I stand beside my husband through thick and thin. It was my ultimate choice to make to stay and I wish people would just support me and us!

I come on this forum to try and understand his side of things. That is the least I can do when I see him struggling to understand how he got to his A.


LosferWords posted 8/2/2013 17:26 PM

I have heard that phrase so many times, and I even believed it about myself.

I can tell you that it felt really damn good to finally be able to look myself in the eye (literally, in the mirror), and speak the words "NEVER AGAIN" with conviction.

Happy Friday to you, too.

KBeguile posted 8/2/2013 23:08 PM

For my money, it's all in the connotation.

On the one hand, you have people who have been through the School of SI. When these people say it, it is without the heavy-handed moralistic interpretation most people use. It is simply a matter-of-fact, much along the lines of "once a felon, always a felon." We will always bear the scars of our betrayals. While we may identify BY them, we choose not to identify WITH them. Felons can reform, so can we. But we still did it.

On the other hand, the high and mighty who have never had to deal with such things in their lives tend to pass judgment with a sweep of a broad brush. No offense to you or yours, Aubrie, but from everything you've posted on here about your mother, hearing this kind of Absolute Conviction come from her mouth doesn't surprise me. These people speak comfortably and blissfully from ignorance.

Yakamishi posted 8/3/2013 00:12 AM

I wish I still could...

gahurts posted 8/3/2013 07:55 AM


I am so sorry that you had to hear that from her. I know that hit hard.

From what you've posted, I do not know if it is a good idea to broach that subject with your family or not. I have learned that many people can be very judgemental in their own righteousness and I know that I have been guilty of it many times in the past as well. It usually takes a major life change before someone can see past the prejudices of safety that they have established for themselves. I know it did for me.

Aubrie posted 8/3/2013 08:14 AM

but from everything you've posted on here about your mother, hearing this kind of Absolute Conviction come from her mouth doesn't surprise me.
At first I was shocked. I've never heard someone say that word for word in my real life. But then I was like, "Yeah ok Mom." It just felt, whatever. After all, nothing should surprise me coming from FOO anymore.

I wish I still could...
I'm very sorry you're hurting Yakamishi.

I do not know if it is a good idea to broach that subject with your family or not.
This is something I've been waffling back and forth on for a looooong time. I am about 97% sure I'm going to tell my mom at some point simply because I'm tired of "hiding" this. (Yes, QS and I have talked about it a zillion times.) Let the chips fall where they may. I just don't care anymore. Should we face persecution or mistreatment, fine. Makes distancing ourselves from them easier. Should we face "love, acceptance, and support", fine. Boundaries Baby. IF we need you, we'll call. Don't bug us. We've managed 2 years without your help. Have a nice day.

mindbody posted 8/3/2013 11:11 AM


Neither one of us wanted to tell our families and friends. Not everyone in our lives is emotionally healthy enough, compassionate enough, mature enough, wise enough, or experienced enough to involve in our personal trauma. Once the bomb would have been dropped by us, the floodgates would have opened - who knows what would/might have happened.

Immediately following D-Day, I felt safer handling the rollercoaster without family and friends.

Looking back, I do think if some of our relatives had known, I would have had a lot more support and WSO would have felt an urgency or a lot more compelled to own, dig, and heal. IMO you have been self-motivated and consistent with your healing, your R and M, sans your mother's knowledge or help.

If your mother did know, how would that affect you and your R? I recognize that being transparent and authentic are wonderful signs of healing. Just remember there's a lot of room between "deaf ears" and "explosive ears".

I hope had a Happy Friday evening as a reformed cheater.

Williesmom posted 8/3/2013 12:22 PM

I look at it like alcoholism- as if you're a "recovering or recovered cheater".

However you title yourself, I feel that you're a wonderful person. You give me hope, Aubrie.

Kelany posted 8/3/2013 12:33 PM

It was true for 5 years an four AP's. However we are now one year in real reconciliation and he just hit one year for sexual sobriety. I have a lot of hope.

Darkness Falls posted 8/3/2013 12:46 PM

My FOO doesn't think this about me (even though it was true for a long time). They have seen the work I've done over the past 3 years. I think my XH's FOO probably does believe this. Whether they do or don't is not my concern. I no longer behave or "be" for other people...just me.

918Mama posted 8/3/2013 18:04 PM

I honestly giggled when I read the "nah better not. I have things to do today."

Epic moment! Surely that shows you how far you've come. :-) instead of letting it derail you and your thoughts all day.

WPaul posted 8/3/2013 19:09 PM

My Mum did know about my cheating - she was told by my betrayed wife.

We have just been to stay for a few days and to say the least she has not helped the healing process. It seems that she brought up things to deliberately trigger my poor betrayed wife.

I am very impressed that my wife managed to keep her cool throughout all this. But we probably will not go and stay at my Mum's place again. We will pop in there to let her see our son, but we will not stay.

We had a discussion after leaving and jointly decided that she could not be called "a friend of the marriage" :-(

uncertainone posted 8/3/2013 19:10 PM

Your own mother didn't want you...I can't get rid of you...what good are you but a burr in my shoe.

My mom had a thing about burrs. None around our house but she sure brought them up quite a bit.

Learned at a very young age that people don't have any idea what the fuck they're talking about when it comes to passing judgement on others. They're most likely channeling their own inner voice.

There is nothing another can paint you with. Doesn't matter what your relationship is with then.

I know it's hard. We look to our parents to see and feel love and acceptance. Our friends. Our co-workers. Funny thing is they're doing much the same thing.

Patterns are comforting. The tried and true. Allows us not to feel we're taking a risk. If we can act as if something is certain we feel more sure. Both good and bad.

I like risk. I have faith I will be ok knowing regardless of what has happened to me and by me tomorrow is fresh and clean. It hasn't been spoiled. It hasn't been ruined or spent. No reason to act like it has. I am my past. The unwanted child. The uncared for wife. The unloved. I'm also the one who survived each and every one of those trial including the onces I put myself through.

People can go on and label away. I appreciate a good joke and apparently so does "God". He made quite a few of them.

Card posted 8/3/2013 19:11 PM

Once a cheater, always a cheater....

Powerful statement!

Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic....
Once an addict, always an addict....

Again, powerful statements!

Are they true?

I've been in AA & NA, sober and clean for 30 years now. and I know that I'm still as much an addict as I ever was. The difference though, is years of recovery, working a plan to maintain recovery and staying sober and clean in the process.

In my eyes, my adultery is much the same. I cashed in my loyalty to my wife for an OW. I don't get 20 years of loyalty back. I cheated my wife out of them. Once a cheater, always a cheater? Maybe so, but like my drug and alcohol addictions, if I work a program of solid recovery and maintain strong, healthy boundaries, it won't be an active, recurring problem. I can establish loyalty and fidelity again. But yes, I will always have been a cheater.

Does it define me. In many ways, absolutely! The changes that occurred in my marriage and in my life, as a direct result of my cheating and recovery from, have made me soooo much better as a man, husband and daddy. So of course it's defined me. How can it not.

Sooooo, as my wife say's, it's all about perspective.

Knowing that I'm a cheater is not a curse, It's just another place that I came from, but I must plan and work a plan that helps me to avoid returning there again.

Just an ole' addicts thoughts....

[This message edited by Card at 7:15 PM, August 3rd (Saturday)]

LosferWords posted 8/3/2013 22:32 PM

I'm just going to air some feelings, as a member.

These five words from Yakamishi were very poignant to me:

I wish I still could...

I feel those words as a betrayed spouse, and I also feel them from the side of being a betrayer.

My wife is doing, and has been doing so much work on herself. Do I trust her now? Yes. 99%. I will never fully trust her completely.

This is the wayward forum, so I am going to concentrate on my waywardness here.

As for me, the day I stood in the mirror, and said "never again" was a long time ago. August 20, 1997, to be exact. My affair was finished in January of 1996. I came 100% clean with my wife almost three years ago.

Last night, I was talking with my wife, and during one of our conversations she casually mentioned, "I don't think you'd ever cheat on me again."

Holy crap did that hurt.

After almost three years of transparency, and over 17 years of not cheating, she only "thinks" I won't cheat on her again? But then I caught my breath and realized that this is a 100% fair assessment. You can't 100% trust anybody, whether they have cheated on you in the first place or not. And when that person has cheated on you, even after they've done the work, you can't really have full trust in them. That's just the facts.

Then I had to eat the shit sandwich of, yeah, I've been faithful all of these years, but not really. Fifteen years of lies by omission of truth. Ugh. Not only omission of truth but some straight forward lies in there, too. I felt about three inches tall.

That being said, the whole "once a cheater" thing only has to do with me. And I'll never do it again. This is only something I know about myself. I cannot convince my wife to 100% believe this, nor do I wish, or even remotely expect her to. I can only hope that my wife feels safer because of my continued actions, my truthfulness, and my new-found transparency (yeah, I do consider almost three years to be new).

Amazing how one small phrase can elicit so many feelings.

ETA: My high school English teacher would totally be cracking my knuckles with her ruler right about now.

[This message edited by LosferWords at 10:49 PM, August 3rd (Saturday)]

uncertainone posted 8/3/2013 22:45 PM

Do you trust her 100%, Lostfor? Do you need to?

I guess I don't understand why it would hurt to hear she doesn't think you'd ever cheat again. That's a very healthy safe place to be, to me.

Blind trust is dangerous. It assumes far too much not only of others but also of yourself. Vigilance isn't a curse. It's a survival tool and a damn good one. that would hurt.

Like you posted. Perspective. Interesting how, while we have walked some of the same paths we're all different. A good thing

LosferWords posted 8/3/2013 23:05 PM

Do you trust her 100%, Lostfor? Do you need to?

No, I don't. At one point I thought I did need to.

I guess I don't understand why it would hurt to hear she doesn't think you'd ever cheat again. That's a very healthy safe place to be, to me.

It hurts just because it hurts. Overall, I have been a trustworthy person throughout my life. I agree about that being a healthy safe place to be. It was one of your posts about a year or so ago that convinced me of this, and swayed me from blind trust.

Vigilance isn't a curse. It's a survival tool and a damn good one. that would hurt.

I agree with both of these points as well.

ETA: Edited to add "need to", and to substitute "be" for "me". I feel like I am becoming a bit anal retentive about my ETA's lately. Hope that's okay. lol

[This message edited by LosferWords at 11:42 PM, August 3rd (Saturday)]

nuance posted 8/3/2013 23:17 PM

Blind trust is dangerous.

Well, now we know. But is the price too high? That means we can never again be 100% vulnerable with anyone. Which means we'll never have that level of intimacy with anyone.

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