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T/j - is cheating abuse?

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iwillNOT posted 12/10/2013 01:22 AM

Another recent thread got me thinking about this. There was a thread about a BS physically lashing out at a WS. I shared in that thread that, the day I caught my husband cheating, I hit him. I don't feel too good about it, but I did it. Read my post if you want details, I don't want to retype the story.

I have read others in this forum state that affairs are abuse, plain and simple. I read people's descriptions of their emotional state, using the language of violence - ripped my heart out, shattered my soul, stabbed me in the back, shredded me to pieces, I feel like I am dying...Pain so intense that the only way to begin to describe it is with hard words of physical destruction.

To me, it seems that this pain is a result of an " emotional violence" inflicted by the discovery of the betrayal, as bodily injury is a result of a physical violence. Not quite sure about categorizing affairs as abuse, though, because for so many of us, our WP's didn't have affairs specifically to hurt us - though that was an acceptable risk to them, and what they ended up doing.

I don't have a set opinion or agenda, just curious about other's thoughts on this if they are moved to share.

Marathonwaseasy posted 12/10/2013 01:31 AM

IMO yes an affair is emotional abuse. And with risk of STIs potentially physical abuse
There might be mitigation due to lack of intention in the law regarding certain crimes but it's not legally seen as a total defence against law breaking.

gotmylifeback posted 12/10/2013 01:45 AM

Yes, absolutely abuse. And mix in trickle truth, gaslighting, etc and you have psychological abuse. Doesnt matter that they didnt intend to hurt us. They hide their A for a reason. If there was no risk to their marriage or relationship then why hide and lie? To me, its like a form of sexual abuse that we are not aware of. And sex is the most intimate, vulnerable part of a person.

needrespect posted 12/10/2013 02:15 AM

For me the false R that I went through was and still is the most horrible emotional abuse I can think of. I am 19months out from Dday 1 and 13 months out from my false R. The last 13 months I can honestly say I have had only 2 good DAYS. I feel as if I am being tortured daily by the memory of just how deceitful and self serving my WH could be.
It remains to be seen if we will make it through this hell he has created. I feel like the false R was the final nail in MY coffin.

bitterbetrayal posted 12/10/2013 03:05 AM

Oh yes most definitely. Also I have said to my WH that when we had sex during his affair I see it as rape, as I would never had consented to it if I had known he was having sex elsewhere.

Jesu posted 12/10/2013 03:09 AM

It's most definitely abuse. As a BSO I have been violated emotionally, verbally, physically and sexually.

That's right...considering my WSO had unprotected sex with strangers, lied to me about it, then didn't even have the common decency to get tested for STDs, before turning around and having unprotected sex with me...constitutes as sexual abuse, IMO.

Thera77 posted 12/10/2013 03:55 AM

In the first year post DD, I would have said no. The worst possible betrayal that my FWH could have inflicted on me and mean to boot. But not necessarily abuse. But then that dreaded 2nd year of R hit and I realized that I was coping and reacting to the trauma of the A in the exact same ways that I had with my CSA. In fact in some ways I felt that FWH's A added to the sexual abuse that I had endured through childhood - almost like I was being re-abused if that makes any sense. It didn't matter if FWH meant to hurt me, because whether or not he intended to hurt me, doesn't change that I was in fact abused. Pretty sure my original abuser wasn't thinking of me either. My personal boundaries were still violated and I had ZERO say in the matter. To me that's abuse.

silverhopes posted 12/10/2013 04:36 AM

Yes, it's abuse. I think it's abuse of the BS, and also very definitely abuse of the marriage. Pretty simple, when someone completely betrays their marriage and their partner, knowing full well it's wrong and that it would hurt their partner and then doing it anyway, then it's abuse. What else do we call willfully hurting someone?

soveryweary posted 12/10/2013 06:00 AM

It is mental and emotional abuse, period.
One other member here ( I am sorry, but I don't remember who the poster was), put in her topic title: Emotional Waterboarding. That nailed it for me.

solus sto posted 12/10/2013 07:41 AM

Set the semantics aside.

Is adultery harmful to the BS? Does it cause emotional and physical harm the WS could predict---and prevent?


Just as striking a spouse or verbally abusing him/her cause harm (and are often instantly regretted by the perpetrator, who "didn't mean to"), so does adultery. The emotional damage is profound. The physical can be, as well. Many of us have been given STDs, for one thing.

Adultery is abuse.

You can categorize it however you want. I view having my body exposed to the oral and vaginal flora of every whore my husband used as abuse.

iwillNOT posted 12/10/2013 12:15 PM

Cheating as abuse is not something I considered until my most recent Dday. After all that I have been through, and all I have read of other experiences, I have to agree with all of you.

It is a violent act towards the BS, intention or no. I wonder how many WP's have ever thought of it that way.

Razor posted 12/10/2013 12:30 PM

IMO YES a affair is abuse. BOTH physical and mental abuse.

mental: controlling us thru lies. anger and resentment toward us fueling and justifying the affair. all that crazy making stuff. making us doubt ourself. then the blow to our core self and self esteem. much much more.

physical: placing us in physical danger from STDs. sometimes physical violence (from both WW and WH). danger to our children. possible violence by the OP. allot of BS are murdered by their WS and OP.

Kierst13 posted 12/10/2013 17:58 PM

Good question. It would not be a stretch to see it as abuse. But then I think about all the affairs that are never discovered; would those also be categorized as abuse? Does that mean the spouse does not know they have been abused?

littlefoggy posted 12/10/2013 18:02 PM


painfulpast posted 12/10/2013 18:06 PM

Yes, absolutely. Betraying a person while lying to them and continuing to trick them into trusting you - emotional abuse. Gaslighting? emotional abuse. The emotional destruction caused by the person that should be your closest ally when in reality they are attacking you? Definitely abuse. The horrible things said in 'the fog'? Abuse.

It is a long string of traumatic and abusive behaviors.

For those that aren't caught - yes, the BS was abused. They were put in harm's way, emotionally and physically. The fact that they didn't find out is only a thin barrier between them and the abusive behavior they have been subjected to.

Lovedyoumore posted 12/10/2013 18:13 PM

Yes, it is abuse on every level.

Kierst13, it does not matter whether the A is known or not. It is not the knowledge of the A that causes abuse, it is the A that causes abuse.

Even further, it is the A that causes the hurt and pain, not DDay. Even if you never knew of the A, you are being abused by your WS. They may be having a great life with you, sex and all, but if they are sharing themselves with another person, they are an abuser of the worst kind. Ignorance is not bliss. It is dangerous. It is a unauthentic life, out of the BS control. How cruel is that?

twokids posted 12/10/2013 22:54 PM

I agree that it is abuse, albeit generally unintentional abuse, with the BS as collateral damage.

My WH conveniently maintained that I'd never find out about his continued cheating. All he thought he was "guilty" of was falling in love with the OW, and hey, is that really a crime? This type of rationalization suggests a broken individual, one not well suited to being in a loving, committed relationship.

I must acknowledge my failure to protect myself by stubbornly continuing efforts to R in the face of multiple ddays.

I'm just glad it is over, that I finally detached and know I'll never again let him near my heart. I feel strong and healthy, knowing I can protect myself.

[This message edited by twokids at 10:56 PM, December 10th (Tuesday)]

Dare2Trust posted 12/10/2013 23:27 PM

YES: During my WH's secret adulterous long-term affair - He abused me psychologically, emotionally, verbally and emotionally. The only abuse I didn't suffer by him was Physical Abuse.

plainpain posted 12/11/2013 00:06 AM

I feel that infidelity is absolutely abuse, discovering it is the most traumatic thing I have ever experienced. He used my love for him against me, to commit an act of violence upon my spirit. I'm not going to say that I hit my H - I'm not going to say that I didn't. If I had, that would have been completely wrong, without defense. I would not be remotely proud of it, or justifying of it in any way. I will say that if my H had punched me in the face, shoved me down the stairs, poured gasoline on me and lit me on fire, I would have actually far preferred that to what he did to me. Just because the pain isn't inflicted on my body (aside from the stds, f**k you very much) doesn't mean it's not abuse. Psychological, spiritual, physical, emotional abuse all wrapped up in one invisible soul pummeling.

I seriously don't know how our society even functions with so many abused souls walking around. It's horrifying. Adultery is domestic violence.

Spelljean posted 12/11/2013 00:26 AM

Yes most definitely. I may not have had that opinion before experiencing it, but the mental trauma I have been through that was ongoing makes it nothing short of abuse.

My first husband was physically and emotionally abusive to me. The physical abuse was easier to recover from. The verbal abuse, the emotional abuse when he had his affair, those have stayed with me. Now my current marriage, and the affair, the gaslighting, the trickle truth, telling me cruel things like OW "is everything I am not" and while telling me this not doing the decent thing and just leaving me...instead staying with me for two more months and cake eating with me and OW while knowing full well how deeply I was hurt.....yep, no doubt this was abusive. Worse than the A. Cake eating and continued lying after discovery day? After already witnessing me basically fall on the floor with a severe arrhythmia triggered by discovering another dday....

I am in counseling to recover from the aftermath of dday and not even the dang affair! I am suffering due to the insanity that followed, the assault to my very being. It was hell on earth.

ETA....just fixin typos

[This message edited by Spelljean at 12:31 AM, December 11th (Wednesday)]

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