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Interesting insight from book re honesty

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sleepless34 posted 9/25/2013 13:04 PM

So, I got some books from the library...various divorce, infidelity, healing, etc.

I have been reading parts of this one book called "When Good People Have Affairs" (okay, I know, your thinking that title sucks and isn;t true but knowledge is power ...) This book is written for people having affairs, so different slant, but interesting for me nonetheless.

There is a section about To tell or not to tell. The book says the answer is NO.

It says...."That most people confess their affair because it will somehow discharge their guilt. How does it make a person less guilty to put another person in a permanent state of hurt and grief and loss of trust and the inability to feel safe?"

A lot of people confess bc they feel they 'just have to be honest' Well honesty is great. But it is very abstract moral principal. A much more concrete moral principal is not hurting people. And when you confess to affair, you are hurting someone. More than you can imagine.

If you care that much about honesty, figure out who you want to be with, commit to that relationship, and devote the rest of your life to making it the most honest relationship you can have. But confessing your affair is the kind of honesty that's unnecessarily destructive."

The author goes on to say that she didn't always feel this way, but after seeing years of the destruction the truth can do, she changed her opinion about it.

I have to say, I would rather NOT have known. If my WH had either decided his A was all wrong and recommitted to our M, OR even if he decided that our M was over and he wanted out it would have been less destructive to all involved to think it was about his unhappiness vs another person.


What do you think???

notquiteoverit posted 9/25/2013 13:43 PM

I'm sorry, but I just find the author's point of view offensive and enraging. Everyone has the right to know who they are married or involved with. Also, not knowing takes away your right to choose whether or not you want to be involved with a cheater. I won't even go into the parts about STDs, being unaware of crazy OWs, etc. As far as I am concerned, keeping an affair secret is the most selfish and cruel thing a WS can do.

Griefstricken25 posted 9/25/2013 13:46 PM

I don't agree. Truth is freeing. I'm willing to bet the author is a wayward trying to justify behaviour.

ajsmom posted 9/25/2013 14:26 PM

The truth can save you from STD's.

Just sayin'...


AJ's MOM

nowiknow23 posted 9/25/2013 14:29 PM

Secrets change the secret keeper. They impact their perspectives, actions, emotions, etc. So even if you thought not knowing was better for the betrayed, the relationship is still impacted, just in less overt ways.

It's just bunk. The damage isn't inflicted by "the truth" being told. It's inflicted by the betrayal itself.

Catwoman posted 9/25/2013 15:21 PM

Secrets within a marriage destroy intimacy. Even if the affair is over, the secret is still being kept. It is wholly unfair to the betrayed partner to keep them unaware of a significant event in the marriage and, by extension, keep them "in" the marriage.

Yes, tremendous damage is inflicted by confessing. But that damage was always there--it just wasn't evident.

Finally, I believe keeping it a secret could lead to more affairs and/or more dishonesty. After all, once the line is crossed, it can be much easier to do it again.

Cat

Dreamboat posted 9/25/2013 15:25 PM

A much more concrete moral principal is not hurting people.

How about finishing the sentence as "By having an A and lying, you are hurting someone. By diverting your affection and attention to another person, you are hurting your spouse. Be honest about what is really going on and then own it."

What a bunch of drivel!!

SBB posted 9/25/2013 16:56 PM

And when you confess to affair, you are hurting someone. More than you can imagine.

It is not the confession it is the affair.

Secrets change the secret keeper. They impact their perspectives, actions, emotions, etc. So even if you thought not knowing was better for the betrayed, the relationship is still impacted, just in less overt ways.

^^THIS. I didn't know about the first affairs but I could have described the elephant in the room in great detail. There was something wrong and I didn't know what it was. First it made resentful, then crazy, then self-blaming then it made me numb.

"Oh! What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive"

I have to say, I would rather NOT have known. If my WH had either decided his A was all wrong and recommitted to our M, OR even if he decided that our M was over and he wanted out it would have been less destructive to all involved to think it was about his unhappiness vs another person.

I would rather he D me without the betrayal. I know several people who have D'd out of the blue and here they are years later still wondering WTF went wrong. They blame themselves. I suspect their Xs cheated but never told.

The OWs ARE about his unhappiness. Not with you but with himself.

I am glad I know. It meant I didn't stay in limbo hell for too long. He didn't cheat because we had an unhappy M, we had an unhappy M because he presented himself to be something he is not. Eventually the mask slips. Rather than acknowledge that and face himself he chose to give me a dealbreaker he knew I could not refuse.

Not telling is such terrible advice. It buys into the bullshit that cheating is a whoops, not rooted in deep fuckedupness. Truth is it is but the tip of the iceburg of fuckedupness.

[This message edited by StrongButBroken at 6:05 PM, September 25th (Wednesday)]

Take2 posted 9/25/2013 17:56 PM

What Cat said 100%. Especially this:

Secrets within a marriage destroy intimacy. Even if the affair is over, the secret is still being kept
...and barriers are erected to protect that secret.

And what stronger said too:

First it made resentful, then crazy, then self-blaming then it made me numb.

I couldn't figure out where the love had gone - how we'd devolved into nothing... and being mean wasn't beneath him to keep his secrets...

phmh posted 9/25/2013 18:00 PM

That was one of the most frustrating books I read on infidelity -- and I read it within the first couple of weeks of finding out, so when I was still deep in wanting to stay with XWH.

I don't think it's insight. It's foggy, irrational thinking.

sleepless34 posted 9/25/2013 18:07 PM

Yes, the author is definately writing to the cheater audience, as apparently that can sell a lot of books cuz there are tons of them. I also found it a little offensive, but I was also intrigued a little bit.

Yes, Yes totally of course it matters the length of the affair, the possibility of STDs, all that...I totally understand why most people think Honesty is the only way to go. But being honest just to unburden yourself and puke that all over someone else is NOT the reason for being honest.

Maybe I am the only one, but I guess I still would rather not know if it was truly a mistake or a ONS or something and the person was going to truly recommit and make it their life work to make it up to you. In the case that you are splitting up anyway, knowing there is an OW and that is the reason, I think that is just a symptom of HIS ISSUES not the cause and therefore, I think I would be better off not knowing about that skank ho.

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