My very astute 16 year old daughter said she wanted to read the list meant for men looking for wives too. She said it wouldn't be fair for her to expect so much of her future husband, without doing the work to make herself a good wife for him.
This was the point of the particular book I pulled this quote from.
I agree....people who choose to do the right things within a M are VULNERABLE to the other persons desires. But, if you start out with an attitude of keeping your spouse at a distance and trying to find an angle to use their vulnerability for your own selfish desires.....you are doomed to fail.
Marriages are made up of two people. People have free will....adapt over time to stimulus (FOO coping only lasts so long, middle age, menopause, deaths in the family, financial strains, chronic health issues)....stimulus that can and do change people. They can motivate our spouses to choose actions that hurt us...motivate US to hurt our spouses. Not just adultery...but lesser hurts like sarcasm, taking your spouse for granted, snapping at them, ignoring them, etc. Stuff you would never do when you were dating them. Back then you were just showing them your good traits....kind of like our fWS did while in their affairs.
The key is to have the courage to use your wisdom and really see as much of the other person as you can.....especially their faults and lesser qualities....before you use YOUR free will to either ask or agree to marry that person. It takes even more courage to look into YOURSELF and own your faults and lesser qualities....many of which may have been buried in you for decades (as is the case with me).
But we are all where we are and through this agony I'm going to become the very best that I can be not just for my fwh and my M but for my children and for me.
Very well summarized Marathonwaseasy.
I have two young daughters. I am committed to doing all I can on my side of the my marriage to model healthy behaviors to them. My parents chose D pretty quickly and without much work to do otherwise. To this day they blame the other for the end of their M. So in their minds they had no role in their trouble M....30 years later neither have grown to accept much of any responsibility. My wifes parents D too...similar stance. To be sure their were obvious faults within both of our Dads that led to an unhealthy marriage....but our Moms also had unhealthy interactions pre-D too.
We ignorantly thought we WERE modeling healthy roles to our daughters in our pre-A marriage. Sadly, I have come to realize some of the behaviors I was modeling were NOT that of a healthy person in a healthy marriage. FOO has a profound affect on a person.
The underlying message I got from this reading was you have to take responsibility for yourself. Yes, a M takes two...but if you aren't willing to grow and endure some pain associated with that growth you are not marriage material.
On DD I could have D immediately....blamed my wife for the end of our M....and lived the rest of my life with this unhealthy attitude, which would very possibly lead me into another unhealthy marriage because of MY attitude and MY perception. Perhaps I would have adopted the attitude that I WAS the right person, the good person, the flawless person. If I did this I would remind blind to my unhealthy habits. I believe this is one reason the D rate on second marriages goes from 50% of first marraiges to 70% in second marriages, and up from there. I could see how it could have entrenched forever a superior attitude in me...allowing me to immediately adopt the attitude that when marital troubles arose in my second marriage that it was OBVIOUSLY my second wifes problem...because, afterall, I was and always have been the RIGHT person. right?
Look, when I met my wife I really believed I WAS the right person to marry. I believed my wife was the right person to ask to marry me. I thought I was complete and healthy. I thought she was complete and healthy, she did too. We dated for over a year, had another year of engagement, waited for 7 years to have children. Our closest friends thought we were perfect together. 14 years into our M other couples thought we were the model of what a modern marriage should look like. I would have sworn we really knew ourselves, each other, and weighed what we were doing very carefully....and we did, but we were so ignorant about how our FOO shaped and formed us that we didn't see the unhealthiness in ourselves and each other. Furthermore, our FOO issues complimented each other nicely....so a lot of things felt healthy. But in actuality it kept both of us from being fully honest and committed to our marriage.
We have both been shown the true nature of ourselves...which rolls up into a more true nature of our marriage.
It is possible I am more flawed then your typical BS...so that is my perspective. But thus far my individual journey has had substantial surprises for me....surprises about myself.
I fully accept that it is possible for a BS to be so fully healthy, fully complete that their is no room on their side of a M for improvement or growth....but that is not me. Again, on my DD, I would have sworn I WAS that healthy BS. For the record, my wife would have sworn I was too. It has only been thanks to 12 months of IC that I see the errors in my ways.
I also own this statement. A spouse choosing adultery is singularly THEIR decision. A BS could not have hugged them more, had sex with them more, provided a nicer home, given them more children, etc, and made them choose differently. We ceased to be a factor in their decision when they choose the first secret associated with their affair.
And there's no guarantees for our futures either
We have been hurt deeply (some say adultery is a pain unlike any other one person can administer to another). If adultery is a deal breaker for a person....it is. End of story, end of marriage.
If adultery is NOT a deal breaker....at some point a BS is going to have to make the decision to be the right person (again?) and choose to be vulnerable within their marriage.
But if a person wants to be in a healthy marriage at any time post-A, either the original one or a new one, they will have to be vulnerable. They will have to admit they are flawed and have areas to grow in and mature.
I sometimes wonder if the people who have 3, 4, 8 marriages in a lifetime actually choose to stay in a relationship up until the point in which their growth is needed to sustain it. At that point they choose to find a reason and call it quits.....then repeat the cycle again? This is just a light wonder of mine. Just seems like in that chain of events there is only one common denominator.....right?
God be with us all.