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Fault - 100% of A, 50% of M

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ReunitePangea posted 9/10/2013 14:00 PM

I see this statement commonly used on here and sometimes I am not sure if it always applies.

"The A is 100% the WS fault, problems in the M are 50/50 though."

Yes, I think the A is 100% the WS fault - they choose that path rather than addressing issues directly if they existed. However saying problems in the M is 50/50 is not fair. I view it more like a traffic accident. Yes, sometimes fault is 50/50. Sometimes though there are other issues at play that may reside with one spouse and not the other and it isn't a 50/50 split. Sometimes, the A itself is the major problem in the M, how is it still 50/50 then. Sometimes (in my case) there really are not any major issues in the M at all, there is just the A. In my case the A stated day one, any M issues that exist were always tainted by the A in some fashion. Everyone has different circumstances but this statement gets used in just about all cases.

I get the point to the statement - the WS needs to own the A and not blame shift. Saying the M problems is 50/50 is sort of a negotiated position as a result of the WS taking blame for the A 100%. I just think in many cases the A itself is one of the major problems in the M and saying it is 50/50 is still blame shifting.

tushnurse posted 9/10/2013 14:08 PM

well said, and I agree.

AFrayedKnot posted 9/10/2013 14:13 PM

2nd that

confused615 posted 9/10/2013 14:15 PM

Thank you for starting this thread. This has been something that has been bothering me lately.

I used to say the same thing..both are 50% responsible for the problems in the marriage,but the A is 100% the WS's fault. Heck,I said it so often someone quoted me in their tag line.

I've changed my mind. I was not perfect...I had days when I was bitchy...but I was/am a damned good wife to WH both before and after dday. I have absolutely adored this man from the moment I saw him. I never said anything against him to others,instead I pointed out his positives. I respected him and his opinions,and in situations where we disagreed and a decision needed to be made,I deferred to him 99% of the time. Im attractive,sexy,in shape,keep my house clean,he has a hot meal on the table when he comes home from work..even when that was at 11:30PM, and I do everything around the house. I've worked both inside and outside the home and have always contributed to this family. I have taken care of his elderly parents..and looked the other way when MIL was less than kind to me. We had a great sex life..often..passion..adventurous..this man knew he was the center of my world.

A lot of WS's try to rewrite history..mine can't. When he has attempted to deflect some blame onto me during an argument,he has to reach back to when I was 14 years old and did something I shouldn't have done(we met when I was 24). He can't find ONE thing to throw at me during an arguement. Not one. Because he KNOWS there is nothing to throw. I have been *that* good to him.



Again...I was not perfect..I had my moments. But I was not the problem in this marriage.

And now that he has finally started to "get it" and has finally showed up in this marriage? I can REALLY see the difference. So now I know what I haven't been getting for the last 15 years. But Im going to take it..all of it. I've earned it..and so has he(Hi husband..I know you're reading this..I love you...bunches

[This message edited by confused615 at 2:17 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)]

Simple posted 9/10/2013 14:15 PM

I simply do not agree with you.

Saying 50/50 is for me a phrase that what it's trying to say is that marriage is a partnership. It takes 2 people to make it work and just because 1 person is doing everything right doesn't mean the marriage is going to work. If the person doing everything right is not in tune with their partner, then you still have a failed marriage.

We all BS and WS have a part in that partnership. If both parties think of the big picture, then they are more likely to succeed even if BOTH parties aren't perfect. Think of it like in a company. If multiple departments aren't working in sync no matter how great each department is, you'll see company goals not being met.

50/50 isn't blameshifting. It's realizing that we as BS was not in sync with our partners in one way or another. That doesn't mean we caused the A, it just means part of reconciliation and part of learning about yourself is realizing that partnership. Honestly, the 50/50 quote helped me because I learned to swallow my pride and realize there are things I did mess up on in the M no matter how small. We all know that pride is a killer of Marriages. Can any of us say that there isn't at least ONE thing we regretted doing or not doing in our marriage? Sometimes a simple "not paying attention to your instincts or turning a blind eye to issues" is enough to start a snowball of issues in a marriage.

Hope this helps.

[This message edited by Simple at 2:15 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)]

devasted30 posted 9/10/2013 14:16 PM

I accept more blame in our marriage problems. I was a very difficult person to live with many times. Very headstrong - not willing to bend. Unfortunately, my WS didn't really fight me on any serious issues - just let it ride. Eventually it festered so much inside him that he got even more depressed because of the way I was and other sad stuff that happened in our lives. He went looking for thrills - sex (because he sure wasn't getting it from me) etc and yes, the affair was 100% his fault, but maybe I shouldn't have been so nave or so unforgiving in so many things.
He is only a man, after all.
I hate so many of the things he has done, but, I have to admit if I had been more approachable and he hadn't been such an avoider our lives wouldn't have gone down this path. Or at least, I don't think it would have. Hopefully, someday I will understand why he did the things that he did, but I think he needs to find out himself why he chose that path. I'm not sure he is clear on that himself.

[This message edited by devasted30 at 2:18 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)]

ShockedErica11 posted 9/10/2013 14:23 PM

I can understand both sides of this actually. I understand why members on this site say that you have to own 50% of the marital problems: it's mostly due to the fact that the BS has many options in terms of dealing with their spouse and the changes that happen in their marraige once an A occurs (even if they don't know about it). For example, in my case, WH had/has a serious problem with boundaries; these were red flags that I saw, if you will. Inappropriate comments to other females, inappropriate friendships, the way he viewed women and objectified them sexually, how he was very disrespectful of his mother, his family relationship and his overall immaturity when faced and confronted with difficulties. I saw all this and turned a blind-eye because I was blinded by "love", but these were all red flags that I still choose to ignore for the sake of keeping the peace, for the sake of his well-being. A lot of things I DID talk with him about, argue with him about, asked to seek marital counseling about and sought ways - on my own - to improve our relationship. He didn't bite, had a 2yr LTA and during the entire time period that our communication had broke down, he had become distant, working too much, etc, etc (not to mention I saw the msgs between him and AP on twitter and din't confront him about it because he ALWAYS got defensive of his "friendly" relationships with females without giving a rat's about MY feelings), I had only one option: Leave. I chose not to take the option because of my own fears, FOO issues, etc and thus gave him "permission" - in a sense - to keep treating me the way he did, to allow him his selfishness and in so doing, his selfish, poor me baby, I'm-such-a-good-guy-why-does-no-one-understand-me became his fucked up decision to have an affair for 2 yrs on-and-off with the same OW.

However, I get what you're saying if you're WH/WW/WS had been loving, kind and had really given you NO indication that there had EVER been a problem and you guys are traveling on your merry way through marriage and then the A-bomb drops and obliterates everything, then yes, you should probably absolve yourself of 50% of the blame.

Typically, I think most marriages though probably have some indicator that there are problems (usually break downs in communication) that either spouse has the option of addressing and thus making an affair least likely to happen (that is not to say that it won't, because no marriage is affair proof 100%, but it would just make it more difficult, I suppose).

Just my 2 cents.

Fireflies posted 9/10/2013 14:24 PM

I was reading After the Affair last night. The shared responsibility and blame for M problems, and how they can make the M vulnerable to infidelity, were mentioned several times in the sections I read. The more I thought about it, the less I believed it. Like you my WS's LTA started before we even got married. So, while I get the whole M problems are 50/50 in many cases, how is my WH never being 100% committed to our M my fault at all? IDK, I guess maybe our situations are just pretty unique and a lot of the wisdom and advice doesn't apply.

ReunitePangea posted 9/10/2013 14:31 PM

Thank you for starting this thread. This has been something that has been bothering me lately.

Confused - its been bothering me lately too when I see it overused.

We all BS and WS have a part in that partnership. If both parties think of the big picture, then they are more likely to succeed even if BOTH parties aren't perfect. Think of it like in a company. If multiple departments aren't working in sync no matter how great each department is, you'll see company goals not being met.

Simple - I do get it to some extent. Now that I am a year out to be honest who is at fault doesn't matter much anymore. I will use myself as an example though, my WW had her LTA the entire time - she was always foggy and deceiving me, how the heck was I to know? Sure, I guess I could have hired a PI from day one. I just think that newer people that dealing with this are not that prepared to understand the partnership aspect of it all, they need to look out for themselves first. Allowing the WS to still blame shift on the M is 50/50 may not be the best advise in some cases.

doubleboggy posted 9/10/2013 14:32 PM

IMHO, sometimes its 100% of M too. But only sometimes.

RyeBread posted 9/10/2013 14:43 PM

When dealing with the A the M issues really shouldn't be part of that discussion. It only adds salt (and lots of it) to the betrayel wound the BS is already dealing with. if the WS is using them as reasons or "to let you know what my state of mind was" (I heard that A LOT), then the WS has a lot more digging to do.

Sure the BS has some responsibility for the M issues. So does the WS. It's keeping score in a M that kills it too. I think one of the worst ways to start out R is by saying who is more at "fault" for how the M was. Realize it was F'd up, realize one or both people coped with it wrong, and work forward.

Maybe it's not that simple but it seems like it should be to me. Then again, I'm not in R so ...

SisterMilkshake posted 9/10/2013 17:33 PM

Everyone's post on this thread has truth and wisdom in it.

I have a problem with the 50/50 concept, too, RP. But, the point I always try to make is that the BS is 100% responsible for their role in the marriage and the WS is 100% responsible for their role in the marriage. That isn't laying blame on anyone, just saying you are 100% responsible for yourself and the role in the marriage.

We all are 100% responsible for our behaviour, always. We aren't 50% responsible. And, we certainly shouldn't be just putting 50% effort into the marriage. No, I feel marriage is 100/100. We each need to put 100% effort into our marriage, and we all need to be 100% responsible for our role in the marriage.

eta: Forgot to add that the WS is 100% responsible for his choice to have an affair. The marriage or the spouse had no part in the choice the WS made.

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 5:34 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)]

TxsT posted 9/10/2013 17:40 PM

I personally think if all of us were putting the 100% into our marriages most of us wouldn't be here at all. That's the saddest part of all to me.

I like saying 50/50 for now because it is just easier to not over blame and cause more friction then what already exists. I came to understand pretty quickly where I fell short, I still have no idea how much that was in the over all picture but just knowing I contributed to this was hurtful in itself.


SisterMilkshake posted 9/10/2013 17:45 PM

TxsT ~ you didn't contribute to the choice he made to have the affair. You contributed to the state of the marriage. The marriage, or you, doesn't cause someone to have an affair.

Simple posted 9/10/2013 17:49 PM

RP, I understand what you're saying. When we talk about 50/50 it has nothing to do with the A. It has everything to do with the M and each other's part in it. As sistermilkshake said, it's really 100/100.

In my case, my FWH had been having EA and PA since we were dating, all the way to M for a whole 11 years. There's no way I would've known about A but that's not the point I was talking about. Affairs aren't the only things that can destroy marriages. Plenty of people divorce for other reasons with both parties not having any A's.

Part of my healing, once I'm not such a "new" BS, involved looking into myself and not burying my head into the sand regarding what I've done towards marriage REGARDLESS of my FWH's A. I hope that makes sense now. I am a believer of finding the root cause of issues and fixing it at the root so that it doesn't happen again no matter who I have a relationship with or whether or not there is R or D.

The only problem I see with the original sentence is maybe they shouldn't be lumped together. They are 2 separate concepts and WS should NEVER use them in the same sentence. Mine did and told him off but at the same time did listen to what he had to say. It helped me see a different perspective of my actions but no way in hell did I let him make me feel like I contributed to the A or let him get away with blameshifting. We're in 5 year R now and we're both continuing to grow and learn.

gonnabe2016 posted 9/10/2013 18:19 PM

"The A is 100% the WS fault, problems in the M are 50/50 though."

This statement is like nails on a chalkboard for me.
I believe the 50/50 portion of that statement is only applicable in *certain* instances and can, in no way, be applied as a blanket.

I especially don't believe that it can be applied in situations where the cheating started early in a marriage and continued. Or when SA (or some <other> addiction)is involved. Or when a personality disorder is involved.

In some marriages, the only *we* problem that that *we* are still married.

dameia posted 9/10/2013 19:04 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! This bothers me as well. Yes, there are relationships which were troubled before the A. But many of us thought there were no problems.

You know what the problems in my M were? My WH was a selfish, emotionally abusive asshole. How in the world does that qualify as 50% my fault? The only thing that I take responsibility for is not being strong enough to kick him to the curb years ago.

Spelljean posted 9/10/2013 19:14 PM

I see it as owning 50% of the relationship. The percentage of who contributed more or who was less of an instigator will never be equal.

I read an interesting article the other day that said "irreconciable differences are part of every long term healthy marriage. Every marriage has at least 10 major areas of incompatability. All one gets with a new partner is 10 new irreconcilable differences."

It also stated that the key to a marriage's success is accepting these differences and feeling good about knowing your partner so well. You can work around those differences.

[This message edited by Spelljean at 7:17 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)]

StillGoing posted 9/10/2013 19:22 PM

I think the idea of setting a relationship up as something that has a % value is where the concept fails for me, because it doesn't matter how much or little spouses put into their relationship, they're both always 100% responsible for their own choices, actions, behavior, etc. To me, those aren't annual contributions into some kind of inanimate entity created by an exchange of vows or bodily fluids, they're extensions of self.

SisterMilkshake posted 9/10/2013 19:33 PM

Thanks, SG, I was going to come back and say the same thing as you, but you said it in your inimitable way.

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