It is almost 2 yrs since WH moved back home, & he is finally starting to be able to talk about this.
We had a very important conversation last night, following a MC session where the MC told WH that he had a very emotionally abusive childhood, growing up in a broken home with a bullying, narcissistic mother who cheated on WH’s father with a married man ,broke up 2 families, & has always maintained that she “didn’t do anything wrong.”
WH said that now he looks back and wonders how he let his A happen.
I pointed out that infidelity is a series of choices. If we define infidelity as “doing something that you wouldn’t want your spouse to know you are doing”, then WH’s A did not last “Just 8 days”,it lasted for months--- it started the first time WH was inappropriately friendly with his single female coworker, the first time he complained about me to her,the first time she texted him & he texted back, etc., each of those steps down the slippery slope were a choice.
WH said that he knew it was wrong while he was doing it (he was referring to the physical act of sex ).
I asked him “What did you tell yourself to give yourself permission to go ahead.”
WH said that I had been acting very angry towards him for awhile (true, I was angry & communication was terrible between us)
& here was someone who thought he was the best thing since sliced bread.
I think that WH was able to give himself permission because of hearing his mother say, all his life, that she didn’t do anything wrong , & that she was entitled to be happy. As a child, we think that what our parents say is the truth.
What if I was a severe diabetic , & was tempted to eat a cookie. I would have an internal dialogue in my head that it is wrong--that it will terribly impact my health, but the other voice would argue that I deserve it, that I am entitled to it.
The difference is the selfishness aspect------eating the cookie only affects myself, whereas a decision to cheat on your spouse affects the marriage/family. WH chose his own desire over our marriage.
But I imagine the internal dialogue may be similar.
All input welcome.