How can it not be about me as a wife? as a woman? as a human being?
However, the pain is about you. The need for remorse, his to you is about you. The need for him to turn heaven and Earth to figure out why he lost sight of all that is real and good in the world is on him.
Try thinking about it like this. His choices to do what he did are not about you, however the devastation and pain he has wreaked is all about you and your family.
He didn't choose to cheat because you were too thin/fat, too smart/dumb, too much of/not enough of anything. He chose to cheat because he is a sad broken person with crappy coping skills. It's not that you didn't do enough of anything that he chose this path. It's about him not being enough of a man to deal with life and all that comes with it, and instead chose to live a fantasy.
YOU should NOT feel shame, embarrassment, or weak because of what he did. You were doing the right things, you were loving him, and your family, and trying your best to do it all.
I know how you feel I too felt that had I been thinner, kept a cleaner house, was a better disciplinarian, and been an overall more perfect person he wouldn't have been wanting to make the decisions he made. Now looking back that is very flawed thinking, and will do nothing to help you heal, and nothing to help him to work on figuring out his why's.
He chose this, he felt the need for attention, ego stroking, escape, whatever he got from it, rather than asking you to help him through it. He has to figure that out, otherwise he will be bound to repeat his behaviors.
The path of devastation he has left by his bad choices certainly effects you your kids, and your relationships. But his choices were just that - his choices.
It sure feels about you, doesn't it? You were right there, for him, and he went elsewhere. How does that not say something about you? I understand the question intimately.
However, it isn't about you, and it wasn't about me. It's about the WS. It's about the WS wanting attention. It's about the WS not believing the BS when we say we love them, or think they're amazing, or attractive, or smart, or charming or whatever else we say. We are their spouse - we're supposed to say that.
It's about loving that 'spark' of a new relationship. It's about the 'badness' of it all. It's about feeling 'alive' and wanted and all of the things that come with an A.
It was not, in any way, about you. You were the collateral damage of his selfish choices, but you are NOT why he made them.
But that's just it...he didn't choose her OVER me. There was no comparison in his head, like "this girl has a better body than my wife, I'd rather have sex with her." It was never about him trying to find a superior partner.
In fact, my WS is so emotionally messed up that he was looking for INFERIOR partners that he could dominate so as to repeat the cycle of sexual abuse that he went through as a child. But I didn't realize this until I had read a few books and started my own IC.
Arais, realizing this was incredibly healing and helpful for me. A few men that I know have respectfully told me that I am a he** of a woman and that ANY man who wasn't already married would jump at the chance to be with me. And you know what? It might sound arrogant, but it's true. There's plenty wrong with me, I'm no supermodel, but I have worked hard on myself and I do believe that I was a great wife. WS admits this himself; he knows that he is losing probably the best life partner he will ever have, all because he couldn't keep it in his pants.
I, too, feel humiliated -- and doubly so because WS's AP's were all teenage girls. Yup, that's right. Talk about embarrassing. I don't even feel right referring to any of them as "OW"...they're hardly women, barely finished with puberty!
Perhaps your WH didn't love enough...himself. Because sometimes with the WH it's about self-esteem. Other cases, the WH is a narcissist who loves himself TOO much and puts himself and his selfish desires first. Either way, it's about WH. Which is something very hard for anyone who hasn't experienced infidelity to understand...I still get people telling me, "But you did so much for him!" or even, "But you're so attractive, why would he look for someone better?"
If Halle Berry could be cheated on, then there's the quintessential proof for you. You can bet your boots her husband wasn't looking for a superior woman.
Of course that's a hypothetical question, and we will never 100% know the answer, but here goes:
I truly love my W. When we were younger and first met, and later married, I could not/did not see certain characteristics about her personality. Chalk it up to youth and ignorance. Now, 18 years later, her personality traits have grown into addiction, negative coping, selfishness, poor decision making, low self esteem, and validation issues. All these FOO issues were there years ago, I just couldn't see them. Now I can see that they run in her family.
If she had married someone else, life may not have given them the same ups and downs as she and I have had. Maybe better, maybe worse, we'll never know. But, there would have been some ups and downs, whatever they were, and she would still have her personality traits that she had before we even met.
I was in the same marriage as she was, and I didn't cheat.
I didn't get a say-so in her decision to cheat. Obviously, I would have voted against it. She did it on her own, no matter what the justification she uses for a reason.
Ask yourself this: Is your decision not to cheat a reflection of you or him?
If he slapped you so hard you passed out, would you wake up and blame yourself for not giving him a longer blackout? Or more cheek to slap?
Infidelity is emotional abuse. It's about the weak self hatred the wayward has inside, poisoning their soul. Just like physical abuse is about the expression of anger and power, you didn't force the abuser to raise a hand, or to join another in bed. It's abuse. It's popular to talk about it like an addiction, but I disagree. The cheater wants the attention, wants the thrill, and could care less about you or anyone else. That's hard, but it's true.
You didn't cheat, right? You were in the same marriage. You were faithful. That's because you embraced the honest, decent, loving way to live. Your partner/spouse did not.
You can't change someone else, only they can change themselves. The irony of affairs? The shock of something so gigantic and life changing often forces these waywards to look into themselves for the first time. Usually, they hate what they see, and Iím sure thereís some WW or WHís on SI that will back me up on that. The shame is, had they done this before the affair, many of them could have saved a really good marriage to a fine person.
You did nothing wrong Arias.
Me: fBH 46
Her: exWW 42
DDay: Nov 1, 2012
Divorced: September 17, 2013