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should someone's past affairs matter ?

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ionlytalkedtoher posted 10/26/2013 14:12 PM

This was in a discussion I just had with a friend. I said in terms of infidelity--yes, for me, if someone told me that they previously had an affair it would cloud how i view them. Now, of course no one is perfect and everyone has a past...but if someone told me that they had an addiction to drugs or alcohol I just feel differently towards someone like that than I would if someone told me they had a history of clouds my outlook on them. Am I seeing this wrong? Should I just forgive and forget ? and not keep their history in the forefront ? is it JUST a mistake? what if they had about 3 affairs with married men ???

how can it not cloud every aspect of everything?

I mean, I could see maybe one A was a mistake but multiple??? over multiple years??

ionlytalkedtoher posted 10/26/2013 14:15 PM

and also other things alcohol addiction--there is proof that those who struggle with it have a genetic do those who have A's have a genetic issue??? I don't think so--although I could be wrong--but thats how I see it. A's are usually chosen on purpose and alcohol/drugs/even gambling?? can have other reasons like genetics....right or not??? Thoughts ?

Missymomma posted 10/26/2013 14:15 PM

One affair and they learned their lesson. More than that, you start to question their thinking and morals. Unless someone has examined why they did it and show some remorse over their past behavior, then I would have no interest being around them. Same as with a alcoholism or any addiction, someone with years of a good strong recovery is a great friend to have. One of my best friends has been in recovery for 25 years, it was only 5 when we met but she really had her head together and has continually worked on herself.

Lucky2HaveMe posted 10/26/2013 14:21 PM

It would matter to me if they did any kind of work on themselves - whether it be 1 or 2 or howeverthehellmany they had.

I believe people can change IF they really want to and get the help they need to do it. I don't think just telling themselves "I will never do that again" works. If they can honestly show that they've done the work, figured themselves out, then I could give them a chance - I gave my WH that chance and he has proven himself worthy.

housenotahome posted 10/26/2013 20:50 PM

Am I seeing this wrong?
You see it as you see it. You may even change your mind as time goes by and then change it back. I've gone back and forth. With that said, I feel that there is something to be said about someone who could disclose that part of there life, especially if they acknowledge it as a poor choice and didn't blame it on anyone but themselves. If they boast about it and blame their former partner or ap then RED FLAG! If my H disclosed his 1st affair from his previous M to me, that might have prevented him from having another, maybe not, I'll never know.

sisoon posted 10/27/2013 12:03 PM

Before D-Day, I would have withdrawn from a cheater. In fact I've done that. If there was a whiff of infidelity, at best, I always said to myself, about the BS, 'There but for the Grace of God go I.'

Since D-Day, a number of fWSes have helped me immensely. Now I would want to know what the WS has done to heal. To me, a healed fWS is a regular person.

The number of As doesn't seem to bother me. Remorse and changed behavior pretty much wipe out the As for me at this point.

[This message edited by sisoon at 12:04 PM, October 27th (Sunday)]

jackson posted 10/27/2013 13:18 PM

It would be a cause for concern.

BeyondBreaking posted 10/27/2013 20:20 PM

It depends.

If I were divorced and perusing a romantic relationship with someone else, and that person had been unfaithful to their wife in the past- that would be too big of a risk for me.

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Sure, he might be one of the people who had a one time lapse in judgement and did the work to fix himself and learn his lesson. Or, it could be something he swore never to do again- until opportunity presented itself. For me, it would be too big of a risk, and I would not want to get involved enough to find out.

For me, the comparison is like picking a financial investor. Do you invest your life savings with someone who you know has laundered money in the past- but swears he did his time and learned from his mistake? Or do you invest with someone who has a clean past? Sure he could do the same, but at least his track record is good.

I would go with the one who was trustworthy in the past. That's just me.

As far as friends and whatnot go- I have some friends who have cheated in the past. I don't immediately cut off their friendship- but I do tend to distance myself. First, cheating tells me about their values. That is NOT my values. I find that friends who don't share my core values really don't tend to have a lot in common with me long term to maintain a friendship. Second, I don't want someone I know did that to another BS around my husband.

Unagie posted 10/27/2013 21:01 PM

As a FWS I have been told here and by people in my life that the A's don't make me who I am, they are a part of what I have done. You feel as you feel but one of the reasons I am so hesitant to tell people what I have done is the reaction of "oh you cheated, I cannot be friends with you, date you or be around you because you cheated on someone before I even knew you."

I know the changes I have made, I know the digging I have done, I know the depression I have worked through and the nights of anguish over the part of who I was that took me so long to acknowledge. I am not that person anymore, to solely judge me on that and not who I am is harsh. I speak from the experience of knowing people who have done shameful things in their past be it drugs, alcohols, infidelity, gambling, stealing, etc. and have made changes to be different. If after you make your changes you are still viewed as the person you were before those changes were made that is a hard pill to swallow. If those actions are enough to negate everything else that makes you who you are then what honestly is the point of change? I know that to change and become a healthy and authentic person is for the benefit of the former wayward yet if I change and I am still shunned that is a lonely existence, discouraging , and just a hard life overall.

I am the person that I am today because I was forged in the fires of the hell I created with my infidelity. I was thrown into another dimension of that hell when he cheated and changed once again. I am not who I was a year ago, hell I'm not who I was 7 months ago. My reality is very different now as is the person I present to the world. At the end of the day if you find out I am a former wayward that acknowledges their horrible choices and has worked on figuring out what was broken and fixed it, is always vigilant now of behaviors and actions and you still do not want to associate with me that is your decision, no fighting it. I know who I am now and what I am worth and if my past choices make me unacceptable now then so be it.

StillGoing posted 10/27/2013 21:27 PM

Well if the fucked up shit people have done doesn't matter then neither does the wonderfully helpful shit, either. It's all part of the character balance. I mean a guy builds a dozen homeless shelters, that's great, but if he beats puppies to death with chinchillas it's not like that goes away eventually and you go back to talking about the wonderful houses he built. Looking at everything makes it complicated but, well, I guess people are fucking complicated.

Unagie posted 10/27/2013 21:55 PM

StillGoing I am unsure if your reaction was in reference to what I wrote or overall. If it was in reference to what I wrote I want to clarify that I am not saying what I did is not an aspect I should be judged by, it just should not be the only aspect I am judged by. It felt like the original poster stated that if infidelity is found out about then suddenly everything else is clouded...I'm finding it difficult to explain what I'm trying to say. I think the best way is if you like a person, enjoy all other aspects of who they are yet find out later that they cheated in their past and that negates all else or clouds everything else they are then isn't that basing the whole of that person on the actions of infidelity? Maybe I'm not making sense or perhaps I am and am being foolish.

RightTrack posted 10/27/2013 23:49 PM

I know I am impressed by drug and alcohol addicts (even former smokers or people who lose 100 pounds) who manage to kick the habit and turn their lives around. I'd be encouraging if they just started and a true believer if they were 5yrs or 10 yrs out. Introspection, AA meetings, religious conversion, or just those people who wake up to reality and are able to go cold turkey show a lot of will power and courage to change.

If they were cavalier or still blaming their BS though, I would still view them a cheater.

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