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a decent guy

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ionlytalkedtoher posted 10/27/2013 06:53 AM

I was talking with a friend about affairs in general and I disclosed that my H had an A. This is huge for me since I really don't ever tell this to random ppl--I think I should trust my gut and not mention this to ppl who don't understand or haven't been there. So....

she said that her H was a decent guy and my H was not.

So...I took offense.

What do you think?

Just because that you commit an A doesn't mean that you can't also be a decent guy too right? Or not?

See--I think A's happen to every type of person...evil ppl, good ppl, broken ppl, decent ppl...I don't think anyone is immune to A's.

Or am I just not seeing the truth? Do I just not want to believe that my H is no longer a decent person???

I mean if he wasn't a decent person I wouldn't be reconciling. If he was an ax murder or a serial rapist--that would not be decent. But in my opinion, he was just a guy who was broken and chose to have an A--but that doesn't cancel out his entire being, right?? or wrong.

ugghhh. This is upsetting me. I am like why bother with R if your H isn't even a decent guy otherwise---??? help with these thoughts.

authenticnow posted 10/27/2013 06:58 AM

Well, I am a fww so take this from where it comes.

My As do not define me. I know I am a decent person. I know that I was broken and fucked up and dealt with my issues in the most destructive way possible. That was a very dark period in my life.

I've worked on me. I'm aware, I'm mindful, thoughtful and kind. I've reprioritized and continue to live life positively and honestly. Before my pre-A downward spiral, I was a decent person.

My BH believes as you do. Without it, he could not have reconciled.

BTW, we are madhatters. We both behaved terribly at different points in our M but we knew we were worth fixing and fighting for.

ionlytalkedtoher posted 10/27/2013 07:03 AM

thank you for replying.

Its just so different talking to someone who hasn't been there vs someone who has. I think i will keep this info to myself from now on.

yeah, its upsetting.

and honestly yeah there is ZERO point in going forward with R if I didn't see past the A.

now thats not saying that I forget about it--I can't forget it but, its not all of a person.

chick posted 10/27/2013 07:03 AM

Well if you had spoken to me 4 weeks ago about your husband then I would have said the same as your friend. I thought that my perfect husband loved me so much and was such a good guy that he would never in a million years do anything like that to me and any man/woman who would do that to their other half was a slimeball and deserved to be kicked aside without a second thought.

Fast forward to now. My husband had a one night stand. He is a decent guy, he did something fundamentally stupid and it doesn't make him a slimeball. Yes I am disgusted with him but it doesn't make him a horrible human being. Exactly as you say - if I didn't believe in him then I wouldn't be trying so hard to work things out right now.

So what I am saying is that your friend is lucky enough to either never have had this happen to her or just not have have found out about it. Because if it had then she would have a very different opinion I am sure.

This is exactly why I haven't told anyone - I have 1 or 2 friends who are very fair and are also very good friends with my husband and know he is a good guy - and I do think that if I told them then they would probably see it my way. But I have other friends who would be much more black and white and would make me feel like a stupid pushover for not throwing him out. I prefer to make up my own mind without all of these opinions from people who haven't been there themselves.

So I totally get where you are coming from, I would find it very hard to hear someone else saying those things about my husband - yes he has broken my heart but it doesn't make him evil. I am so sorry that you had this reaction from your friend and it has made you doubt things. But if you have decided that your husband is a decent guy and you want to stay with him then that's your decision, only you know your relationship and how he is feeling and acting right now. Of course you will be upset by the words of your friend but try to think how you would have reacted if a friend had confided the same in you before your husband had an affair.

Stick to your own thoughts, you don't have to justify yourself to anyone else.

blakesteele posted 10/27/2013 07:32 AM

We are the sum of our actions...and none of our actions define us. A confusing message from society today, and from the bible.

We are all sinners and we all have equal value in Gods eyes....sin is sin, our value does not increase or decrease in relation to sin.

All actions are forgivable but all actions have consequences....consequences of a particular sin are proportionate to the nature of the sin...this is where the character of sin differs...but a persons value doesn't.

So what is a decent guy? What are the odds our marriages can overcome the consequences of our fWS actions?

I wrestled with this too.

Here is where I am at;

Or am I just not seeing the truth?

As BS we are seeing the truth. We see the truth that our fWS have sinned. We see the truth that our spouses are capable of adultery. The lie we were living pre-A, the lie that our spouses could NEVER do such a thing (which is where I am assuming your friends reality lays today), is no more. The truth has set us free.

Free to really look at marriage, both our marriage and the purpose of marriage, in a complete, truthful manner.

Once we process enough of this truth (the truth that our spouses had an affair) we then move into the harder territory....inside us. How many times have you read a post on SI where a BS reports seeing parts of themselves for the first time? This is us being truthful with ourselves.

I am no longer the decent guy I thought I was. Like my wife, I am sorry for some of my choices, I was embarrassed by them, and I am repenting from them.

You asked if your husband is a decent guy? I don't know your husband, only seen him through your post, but I have seen enough of him to know he is repenting and owning the consequences of his actions right now. He is no longer committing adultery, he is repenting, and he is looking inside himself.

This is a real, fallible, valuable man. This is a decent guy. My wife is a real, fallible, valuable woman. She is a decent woman. You and I are of the same cloth they are, we all are.

See--I think A's happen to every type of person...evil ppl, good ppl, broken ppl, decent ppl...I don't think anyone is immune to A's.

I agree. When we think we are the strongest, we are the weakest...

I would like to think that I would never engage in adultery...but I would be lying to myself if I thought I would NEVER choose it. I have had serious moments of weakness since my wifes RA was a real threat to me. But it is more than that....I think my own actions with regards to my M were so unintentional, so NOT full of purpose pre-A that if I found myself in a tempting situation, this particular sin would be a part of my history as well.

Choosing to R means, in part, processing our combined history (less then decent actions on both sides) to a conclusion then jointly committing to leaving our history where it belongs, behind us....and boldly looking forward and intentionally trying to lead the decent life while being truthful that we are both fallible. With this new knowledge we have a greater chance of living within a radically truthful, honest, deep marital relationship then we ever thought possible.

All because we recognize what a decent person really is.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 7:38 AM, October 27th (Sunday)]

blakesteele posted 10/27/2013 07:45 AM

Decent guy = perfect guy = a lie

Decent guy = imperfect guy = the truth

I thought I was married to a perfect woman. That was a lie, it was not sustainable, it was not fair of me to put this constraint of an unattainable goal on my wife. I think my wife may have done the same to me....saying things like You would never cheat on me. We are working past these lies and are trying to work within a much more truthful, realistic framework that is attainable and more full-filling. We hope to experience a deeper intimacy then we ever imagined....but this takes real, truthful work....meaning we see each others flaws and choose to love each other completely....not just the perfect parts of us.

Peace to us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 7:47 AM, October 27th (Sunday)]

embee posted 10/27/2013 08:06 AM

Yes, decent people have affairs. There were no "warning signs" with my WH. I had about a thousand reasons, some of them very good reasons, to believe he would NEVER cheat on me. And yet, here we are.

I think people like your friend create this false dichotomy to make themselves feel safer in their own relationships. The truth is, you can't really guard against infidelity. But that's a terrifying notion for most people, so they invent reasons why it will never happen to them. Believing that a "decent person" can cheat basically removes any possible safeguard.

Without knowing her, I would guess she didn't mean to offend you. I think most people who haven't been there can't understand. And I say that as a very newly BS - I used to think of myself as being very open-minded and understanding of people's foibles, accepting that circumstances can cause people to make decisions that some would consider "out of character." But I still believed my WH would never cheat on me. And because the A was happening right in front of my face, with his "best friend," I didn't have to do any mental gymnastics to explain his whereabouts or make up excuses. No one could be more shocked than I could, to find out about an A.

But my WH is still the same person. That's what my gut is telling me, and my gut is never wrong. It warned me about this many times, and I never listened. And now? It's telling me to stay with him. And no matter how difficult that might be at times, I know it's right. I still love him, and he's still the same man I married.

Trying2013 posted 10/27/2013 09:18 AM

I never have and still don't doubt that my guy is a good man. His emotions and self esteem were a mess and he cheated. I chose to work on it with him, and it was my first instinct.

I told my bff, who I tell almost everything to, and she is always honest with her thoughts.

One of the first things she said was that she felt betrayed too because she thought he was a good guy and she really liked him, so she felt like he let her down too. We talked and she kept saying that while she was mad at him for letting her down and for hurting me, she always believed that he was a good guy and good for/to me. I was so afraid that, if he and I worked it out, she would hate him forever. She said that if I can continue to love and believe in the good in him, that she would do the same, because she saw it too.

Good people do bad things some times. I think I'm a good person. I have done really bad things before. I try to learn from every bad choice and a good person uses a bad situation to make them better.

StillGoing posted 10/27/2013 10:02 AM

I think the idea that anyone is inherently good is misinformed. Even if we're operating on some kind of supernatural standard, and unless you're the deity in question you don't get to judge that one anyway.

devasted30 posted 10/27/2013 10:13 AM

I belive a decent guy can slip up and have an affair.
Everyone makes mistakes - some make big ones. But, having more than one affair - well, the jury is out on that one. I don't think a decent guy would slip up more than once.

sisoon posted 10/27/2013 11:43 AM

Part of my approach to life is to ask myself (and others, when I hope it's appropriate) very difficult questions. I hope it's reasonably appropriate now.

Believe me, I'd bet a lot that your H is very decent, but here's the thing:

Friends see things we don't. Among other things, they tend to see us as better than we see ourselves. (Let's discount the folks who choose friends they can look down on.)

Our friends are right about how they see our strengths, so they may be right about weaknesses, too.

So look closely at your H and your friend. Is he really decent? Is your friend just reacting to your terrible revelation, or is she seeing something in your H that you need to see, too? Or is she not really a good friend?

See--I think A's happen to every type of person...evil ppl, good ppl, broken ppl, decent ppl...I don't think anyone is immune to A's.

I absolutely agree. Again, I'd bet a lot that your H is very decent, but I don't think it'll hurt to check again to see if you're ignoring any red flags.

Also, I don't think it's the number of As that govern R-ability. If the WS finds remorse, s/he can recover her/his decency, and remorse makes R possible.

JMO, of course.

Thessalian posted 10/27/2013 19:20 PM

I think everyone is both a complete ass and a good person at the same time, and it's simply a matter of which choices we make and which side of ourselves we choose to cultivate.

What does "good" mean? "Decent"? Does a "decent" person never have a bad impulse or desire? I don't want to be married to someone who's so-called "good" because they've never been tested - that's not "goodness" to me. Real decency, in my mind, comes from strength of character. Having been through the flames and screwed up, then having been through them again and making the right choice. I think it's braver and more "decent" that someone has bad impulses and faces them down with honesty and courage, then that someone has no bad impulses at all, or has simply never in a situation that tempts them enough.

So I don't think decency has anything to do with the way you feel. Everyone has the capacity to do bad. I have bad impulses - sometimes I think about throwing acid in AP's face. I would never do this, because I don't nurture that part of myself by taking actions that validate those ugly thoughts. But I think if I actually took a leap into badness and did something like that, I would then have to justify why I did it to make myself OK with it, and that just sets my mental state and myself down a bad road, and paves the way for taking other bad actions. So I think decency has everything to do with what you DO. We are judged on our actions, not our emotions. I think we become good or bad based on our actions.

What this says to me is that yes, during the affair period, my WH was a complete jerkoff. His actions made him that way, and the more bad actions he took, the more of a jerk he became. He fed and validated destructive impulses with wrong action. I think that now that he's been through the fire, the longer he validates the good side of himself with right action, conscious right action, the more honestly "good" he'll become.

If your WS never starts taking right action, and building on a foundation of honesty, I think he doesn't have a chance to become "decent", and your friend is right. But if he does, why is he not decent?

On a side note, I agree with what others have said: six months ago, I would have said what your friend said with 100% certainty. Now I think back on that attitude and realize how naive it was.

[This message edited by Thessalian at 7:25 PM, October 27th (Sunday)]

LA44 posted 10/27/2013 19:33 PM

What does "good" mean? "Decent"? Does a "decent" person never have a bad impulse or desire? I don't want to be married to someone who's so-called "good" because they've never been tested - that's not "goodness" to me. Real decency, in my mind, comes from strength of character. Having been through the flames and screwed up, then having been through them again and making the right choice.


karmahappens posted 10/27/2013 19:39 PM

Ohhh sisoon

So look closely at your H and your friend. Is he really decent? Is your friend just reacting to your terrible revelation, or is she seeing something in your H that you need to see, too? Or is she not really a good friend?

Good thought.

jstbreathe posted 10/27/2013 19:40 PM

Sounds to me like she is trying to convince herself that it couldn't happen to her. Unfortunately, we all know better now.

learningtofeel posted 10/27/2013 23:38 PM

For me the decency has come in the actions since D-day. My fWS spent some time coming out of the fog, but since then he has Owned His Sh*t. I am super proud of him for that. We are all capable of doing really stupid things and making mistakes. Important to try not to, but they do happen. It's what you do next that matters.

It is so true that one needs to take care about who one tells. You never quite know where others may be coming from in this particular minefield.

Unagie posted 10/27/2013 23:47 PM

T/j blake your post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for your words.

End t/j

ionlytalkedtoher posted 10/28/2013 05:39 AM

well she doesn't even know my H so she has no idea what type of person he is...she was just making a blanket statement from what I said that my H had a 3 year EA behind my back and she just said her husband was a decent guy and mine wasn't...

but in reflection...overall, he is a good person to so many types of ppl and situations. I can't tell you the amount of ppl that have come up to me and said--ohhh your husband is so great--he is very perceived as very moral and giving...He would be the type to stop if a car was broken down on a road to help, to offer food to a homeless person, to give someone his last dollar--yeah good to a fault that he can't tell someone NO who makes even though I know he is good it just depresses me and this has made me so sad. I just keep questioning, if he is so kind--why can't he be kind to me?? why can't he be overally generous to me ?? why can't he give me his all and everything??

all this has done has been to leave me with more questions and sadness.

But I do feel this friend was basically saying it could never happen to her in protection of herself. But I really feel that isn't true. I do believe everyone is capable of this. Even me if I chose so. I just haven't chosen this path. But then I think...why not? why did my H? why did so many on here chose to go on the wrong path?

Just don't feel very good about all these thoughts.

bionicgal posted 10/28/2013 05:54 AM

That is wonderful, Thessalain.

wert posted 10/28/2013 08:32 AM

My As do not define me.

My W asked me in a MC session about 6 months post discovery if her A defined her. I responded with with two answers.

First - I was much more important if she decided that for herself.

Second - For me, yes it does. UNTIL you do something about it. I told her that people change all the time and I think she needs to change if she wants my opinion of her to change. Not very empathetic, but its were I was and I think good for her to here...

Post D-day her A was all consuming as I think it is for many BS's. Once I got passed the initial "you awful person, who are you stage" I started reading about healing and forgiveness. It helped.

My guess is your friend was reacting to pretty awful information and did not have time to process. Seems like a pretty normal reaction albeit uninformed. I would explore it further with her if you think she is worth a tinkers dam in your life.

The decent vs non decent duality is pretty worthless. When was the last time someone was all of anything. We are a mix muddle us humans...

take care...

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