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Is cheating abuse?

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storm77 posted 11/3/2013 21:30 PM

Not sure if this is the right spot. Last night my H watched a episode of Ilyanla Fix My Life. The episode dealt with a pastor who had cheated on his wife over 20x and had a child with one of his OW. She gave the woman a card in which she defined abuse. My H was furious as lieing, hurtful words and other examples that many BS deal with from the fallout of an affair were on the card. He refused to go to church and was a all around jerk. I thought this was just his own guilt and really had nothing to do with me, but then I thought maybe this is something more. Is cheating a form of abuse or does it depend on the circumstances?

Lyonesse posted 11/3/2013 22:02 PM

I would define it as abusive behavior, yes.

homewrecked2011 posted 11/3/2013 22:04 PM

Yep, emotional abuse is domestic violence ,,,and I didn't know this until I called my local Domestic Violence center for help for my children and I.

Merlin posted 11/3/2013 22:27 PM

Legally, no.

But otherwise, yes.

cookiegrl posted 11/3/2013 22:32 PM


GotMyLifeBck2013 posted 11/3/2013 22:49 PM

The answer is yes.

LearningToFly posted 11/4/2013 01:31 AM

It felt like abuse to me while it was happening, before I knew what it was. WH was cold as ice, impossible to work with (and we had three out of control teens/young adults living in our house), I felt that I was the one he wanted out while the kids were using drugs, drinking and having sex in our house. He pushed me emotionally to the brink several times and I felt like ending my life. There was a lot going on in our home and I was barely making it through. To find out later that he was feeling like a teenage boy sharing songs and poems with his highschool girlfriend really hurt. I thought he was my best friend and he turned out to be the worst kind of enemy possible. Someone who knew how much I was going through yet used it to his advantage because i wasn't strong enough to see what he was doing. I have a lot of forgiving to do.

The hardest part is that he says I was abusive because I called him a jerk and an immature little boy as well as ranted at him. I know this was not the proper way to deal with feeling like he had cut me out of his life and was "playing" while I tried to hold our kids accountable. Hearing him point his finger at me and say I "devastated" him with my words makes it harder for me to move forward. It seems like he has no idea of how much pain he was causing me throughout the affair, not just once it came out. He insists to this day that he was there for me through the kids stuff and sibling deaths. How could he be? He was totally wrapped up in the emotional affair fog and I didn't know what it was but I sure could feel it.

standinghere posted 11/4/2013 01:51 AM


Emotionally at the very least, and if your WS exposes you to another through unprotected sex, it is physical abuse.

stronger08 posted 11/4/2013 01:55 AM

In my opinion Infidelity is the most severe form of emotional abuse one individual can inflict on another. And I would like to add that an unremorseful WS is nothing more than a Emotional Terrorist. That's my .02 cents anyway !!!!

womaninflux posted 11/4/2013 02:17 AM

In the eyes of a court of law? Not in most jurisdictions.

In the eyes of your friends and family? Yes. In most sane people? Yes.

Laura28 posted 11/4/2013 02:25 AM


While I agree that cheating is a form of abuse in itself, I also believe that cheaters engage in other forms of abuse as well which are a direct consequence of the wayward behaviour.

Because they are cheating, they have to somehow justify their behaviour (consciously or subconsciously) to themselves. So in order to believe in their own minds that their BS deserves to be cheated on, they manufacture or exaggerate deficiencies in their BSs which they punish (as we of course deserve to be punished).

So some BSs suffer emotional, psychological or perhaps even sexual and physical abuse while their WSs are engaged in the As.

In my case my FWH was actually a cruel and abusive bully during the affair years.

I could never understand why he was so nice to everyone else and so mean to me.

Since dday and a swift kick from my bitch boots he is a changed person.

Funny that


suckstobeme posted 11/4/2013 04:27 AM


From what I know, abuse is about power. The abuser maintains all power and control and is able to use that to manipulate the victim.

Affairs are secrets. The one who keeps the secrets keeps the control. Once we get the inkling that something is wrong, we get lies and gas lighting. We are made to think we are crazy and cruel for even thinking they could cheat. They don't call it mind fuckery for nothing.

With an unremorseful wayward, like mine, it gets even worse. Once the A is exposed, the victim is vilified. I believe he said whatever mean things came to mind in the moment just to shut me up. Worse than that, i was ignored. That is the thing that got me the most. I would be curled up in the fetal position crying and hyperventilating. He looked right through me. He would literally step over me as though I didn't and never mattered. It was the height of cruelty. In fact, he never really spoke to me about what was really going on, when it started, etc. He ate cake like a pro and I was essentially forced to end a fifteen year M without having one honest conversation about why.

It's such a trauma - one that I don't think I will ever truly get over. The one person who was supposed to be the safest person in the world to me, turned out to be the biggest enemy.

It's abusive. No question about it.

devasted30 posted 11/4/2013 04:36 AM


painfulpast posted 11/4/2013 05:50 AM

The lying, the gaslighting, the withholding of affection, the criticism, the withdrawal...

Yes, without question it is abuse. This list, of course, doesn't include the yelling or namecalling that some do, and then the probable TT that follows.

Very, very abusive.

heforgotme posted 11/4/2013 06:33 AM

Yep. Trying to make someone think they're crazy is abuse.

Exposing someone to disease is abuse.

Just to name two.

cayc posted 11/4/2013 06:42 AM

WS is nothing more than a Emotional Terrorist.

I call them & other emotional dramatists "emotional vampires" because they suck the life right out of you!

storm77 posted 11/4/2013 07:13 AM

Thanks All,
I think everything you said explains why he was so angry. I watched the episode again and think it held up a mirror for him to see himself through. He did not like what saw. I think it may have been so powerful because it came through a stranger.
I have felt like he just didn't care. Laura28 my H was also nice to everyone else and cruel to me. I just thought he wanted out of our marriage. Many days I wish he had just left. That would have been much less cruel than what he has done to our family.

Gumdropped posted 11/4/2013 08:58 AM

The cheating in its own way is abusive. The real emotional abuse starts after D Day when theTT, the gas lighting, the denial of it being "cheating" to have on line affairs and chats. That is the real "crazy making " behaviour. The cruelest part I find is that every time we revisit he remembers more information. The trickle truths that keep chipping away at our relationship like termites.

whattheh posted 11/4/2013 14:26 PM

Yes emotional abuse for sure. If a PA then both emotional and physical abuse if WS continues to have sex with BS during and after A if WS keeps secret due to STD and communicable disease exposure.

[This message edited by whattheh at 2:28 PM, November 4th (Monday)]

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