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User Topic: How Often Do *Both* Partners Cheat?
WaywardInHayward
♂ 41964
Member # 41964
Default  Posted: 5:55 PM, January 7th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Most of the reading I've done here seems to indicate most SI members experience a one-sided cheating scenario.

I'm wondering how common it is that both partners have cheated at one point or another, and whether that complicates (or simplifies?) the healing / remorse, making the reconciliation harder (or easier?) to achieve.

Any thoughts on this? I'd love to hear what others think about this.

**** Edit 3/24/2014 - please scroll to the last posting on this page for an edit / retraction.

[This message edited by WaywardInHayward at 9:49 AM, March 24th (Monday)]


Posts: 26 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Hayward, CA
Aubrie
♀ 33886
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 5:57 PM, January 7th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

There's actually quite a few couple here that have both cheated. (Also called madhatters)

There's a thread in the ICR forum specifically for madhatters to share and work thru their struggles.

http://survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=509142

From what I've read here, it does make R more difficult. There's two whole sets of issues to work thru. But I also know that Madhatters here have R'd successfully.

[This message edited by Aubrie at 5:58 PM, January 7th (Tuesday)]


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne


Posts: 6532 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
WaywardInHayward
♂ 41964
Member # 41964
Default  Posted: 7:09 PM, January 7th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you... I had seen the Madhatter topic and had no idea what it meant. :)

Seems like at least one (maybe more) of the Mad Hatter threads have filled up... maybe time for its own forum?

Perhaps it's more common than I had thought.

**** Edit 3/24/2014 - please scroll to the last posting on this page for an edit / retraction.

[This message edited by WaywardInHayward at 9:49 AM, March 24th (Monday)]


Posts: 26 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Hayward, CA
Unagie
♀ 37091
Member # 37091
Default  Posted: 7:39 PM, January 7th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The threads can fill up but not enougb for our own forum. It makes it harder to R, much harder. It can go a few ways. One way is that the second person has an A and they feel it was their right and never take accountability. Another is that they have their A and the first person thinks this makes them equal and they no longer have anything to "make up" for. Yet another is that they have their A and are discovered or confess and are remorseful. Now both BS and WS wear both hats and have to recover from the pain of 2 affairs. Not one of those makes it easier.

I'm one of the MH's here and we have a few more that post regularly. Feel free to ask whatever you need. I am curious though as to the reasoning behind your original post.


Heartbroken madhatter trying to rebuild

No longer together

"There are times when our reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind." Patrick Rothfuss


Posts: 2811 | Registered: Oct 2012
exhaustedheader
♂ 39459
Member # 39459
Default  Posted: 7:54 PM, January 7th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yep, come on over...
Good folks over there.
Madhatters, indeed.
By the way, i believe it to be less common, but
more trying in every way possible.
Sorta like, not just nuclear blast, but, umm, two. ..shot at
each other.

Posts: 107 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: exhaustedheader
LosferWords
♂ 30369
Member # 30369
Default  Posted: 8:16 PM, January 7th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hello, and welcome to SI, WIH!

I am another one that fits into the madhatter category. I think this is becoming a more and more common thing. In the context of this website, a madhatter is someone who wore both hats in their current relationship. I think it's even more common to have someone who has worn both hats in their lifetime, spanning across multiple relationships (i.e. cheated in one relationship, cheated on in another).

I think overall, being a madhatter does not simplify anything. To try to analogize, it's kind of like running over someone you love with a car, and then that person runs over you, or you both purposely hit each other at the same time. Now you both have to rehabilitate yourselves individually, and you both have to try to each other heal. It is definitely harder to help someone heal, when they have inflicted so much damage upon you, and you are struggling to heal as well.

Comparisons are probably the biggest hurdle. "Yours was a PA, but mine was 'only' an EA." "Yours was a one night stand with a friend." "But yours was an LTA with a total stranger." "You hired a hooker!", etc., etc.

The comparisons will only sink you further into the quicksand. Both affairs cause injuries, and one affair's injuries have nothing to do with the other affair's injuries.

The only possible thing I could see how it would be "easier", is the potential for a better understanding of the wayward mindset. So many betrayed spouses have no clue about what it is like to have a wayward mindset. How asinine, shallow, stupid, and selfish it really is. To be fair, a lot of waywards never understand this mindset either. At least not the ones that don't do the work. You will find that the vast majority of the waywards who have been on this site for any significant period of time have a firm grasp of the wayward mindset.

Hope this helps.

I'm glad you are reaching out here for support, and I hope you share your story here whenever you are comfortable doing so. In the meantime, there is plenty to read and soak in. We're here to help you with whatever you are dealing with.

Take care.


Why don't you just say it? I'm the worst toy-maker in the world. I'm a Cotton-Headed Ninnymuggins!

Posts: 8259 | Registered: Dec 2010
Ascendant
♂ 38303
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 8:46 AM, January 8th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The only possible thing I could see how it would be "easier", is the potential for a better understanding of the wayward mindset. So many betrayed spouses have no clue about what it is like to have a wayward mindset. How asinine, shallow, stupid, and selfish it really is. To be fair, a lot of waywards never understand this mindset either. At least not the ones that don't do the work. You will find that the vast majority of the waywards who have been on this site for any significant period of time have a firm grasp of the wayward mindset.
I wanted to +1 this. I came to this site as a BH, and after a little bit of time decided I was a madhatter as I was flirting with women early on in my marriage via FB. I don't start posts in Wayward, but I do read a lot because reading other people's processes (as well as IC) has helped me immensely in trying to figure out my personal why's for what was, at the very minimum, terrible boundaries and innappropriate behavior.


Other people are not medicine.

Posts: 2303 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
MairISaoirse
♀ 41497
Member # 41497
Default  Posted: 11:43 AM, January 8th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think it makes it harder

Comparisons are probably the biggest hurdle. "Yours was a PA, but mine was 'only' an EA." "Yours was a one night stand with a friend." "But yours was an LTA with a total stranger." "You hired a hooker!", etc., etc.

this is whats hard for me right now, because BF had an EA, so he thinks that my ONS is way worse. this kind of thinking will definitely get you stuck

best of luck though


Mad Hatter

Me: 21
Him: 21
Together 2 years
my ONS->1 mo EA abroad

after D-Day BF admitted he had broken NC with EXGF (EA)
D-DAY 11/21/13

In Limbo


Posts: 114 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: Kentucky
DixieD
♀ 33457
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 12:12 PM, January 8th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I wanted to +1 this. I came to this site as a BH, and after a little bit of time decided I was a madhatter as I was flirting with women early on in my marriage via FB. I don't start posts in Wayward, but I do read a lot because reading other people's processes (as well as IC) has helped me immensely in trying to figure out my personal why's for what was, at the very minimum, terrible boundaries and innappropriate behavior.

Same here FacePunched. The thing that helped me early on was that I knew my behavior was not linked to how my husband treated me or how I was feeling (even though it wasn't positive), it was strictly about me. Who I was.

However, it has been extremely difficult for us not to compare the two situations. It helped me recognize the wayward mindset but when it came right down to it and I realized what I was doing was wrong (to me, no one else) and the alarm bell went off, my immediate gut reaction was NO -- this is wrong. I can't do that and I can't lie about it. Doesn't mean I was an awesome wife or human being, it just meant that something internal stopped me. When my husband came to that same fork in the road, he went the other way.

I was very angry and resentful about that for a long time. That was my comparison. I could stop, why couldn't you? I came to realize his choice was his and it damaged him immensively. It wasn't about me.


Growing forward

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2011
majortom87
40350
Member # 40350
Default  Posted: 3:31 PM, January 8th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I had a revenge affair and it's eating me up inside. I can't help thinking that now we are the same. She cheated first and worse (we both agree on this and we are not together, despite her attempts). I also hurt the OW, who was a friend helping me through the initial affair. It was an awful idea, I regret it everyday. If someone is reading this, please, don't have revenge affairs, you'll get nothing out of them

Posts: 17 | Registered: Aug 2013
Jrazz
♀ 31349
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 3:36 PM, January 8th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't know about "common", but we have several longstanding members who have been in that situation.

From my own observation, it seems that it makes things exponentially more difficult from a confusion/pain perspective.

Regarding reconciliation? I think that the MadHatter couple stands as much of a chance as anyone. It ALWAYS comes down to the work that each partner is willing to put into living authentically and compassionately, especially the Former Wayward.


"Welcome the rawness of vulnerability as an opportunity to open." - Pema Chodron

Me: BW 35
Crazz: WH 33
Daughter: 4.5 Going on 16


Posts: 18694 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
regret12
♀ 41902
Member # 41902
Default  Posted: 4:05 PM, January 8th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi WiH

I'm concerned about this right now. My BS and I are separated, but we're living together still. So pretty much it's like normal, except we are sleeping in different BRs, and oh yeah...I just told him a month ago I had an A 12 years ago.

My H has been texting like crazy over the last 3 1/2 weeks (and he has always hated texting). He told me it was his primarily his 2 guy friends he is talking to for support. But the cell bill shows the majority are going to two numbers that I was able to trace to two different women. One is a woman he's had inappropriate interactions with before. I confronted him about it and he said "we're separated, stop snooping." I'm pretty sure that a "revenge affair" is in the works. And it's not going to help anything.


Me: WW (PA for 2 1/2 mos. 2001) - DDay 12/8/13
Him: WH (multiple EAs throughout dating and marriage) and two revenge PAs - DDay 1: 1/27/14 DDay 2: 2/20/14
Together 22, married 14
No children

Posts: 51 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Midwest US
Kalliopeia
♀ 35053
Member # 35053
Default  Posted: 4:22 PM, January 8th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Did your partner cheat, OP?

My father cheated repeatedly on my mother. She told me she knew he had been screwing around on her when he would come home after a night out and attack HER, accusing her of cheating.

Of course she wasn't. It was his excuse to pretend he wasn't cheating, and to attack her. His last attack on her consisted of beating her black and blue with a pistol after she refused to "confess". After the doctors stitched up the cuts on her face, she waited a day until he was drinking again, and walked out and eventually divorced him.

All I see with the accusations of your partner cheating after you are caught is an abysmal attempt to blameshift.


Posts: 478 | Registered: Mar 2012
Weatherly
♀ 18222
Member # 18222
Default  Posted: 6:11 PM, January 8th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't know how often it happens, but I know it does. I was a mad hatter, in my previous marriage.

It definitely complicates things, and ultimately, my marriage ended. I felt reconciliation never had a chance. He wasn't willing to do the work before my A, then after he saw no reason to even pretend to.

Comparisons are probably the biggest hurdle. "Yours was a PA, but mine was 'only' an EA." "Yours was a one night stand with a friend." "But yours was an LTA with a total stranger." "You hired a hooker!

Yup. I'd be hurt over his affairs, and he'd tell me to shut up, I cheated too. I'd tell him that yes, with one person, not 10. He'd shout back "for 8 months! Not a couple weeks each" and things just kept going down hill. If you couldn't communicate before one affair, then it isn't going to improve if you throw a couple more affairs into the marriage.


Me-29,Two boys, 10 and 9

It will all be ok in the end. If it's not ok, it's not the end

Happily remarried to a wonderful man (Aussie). I think I found the right guy and the right finger this time.


Posts: 4505 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: Indiana
Unagie
♀ 37091
Member # 37091
Default  Posted: 3:27 AM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I had a revenge affair and it's eating me up inside.

I am sorry for your pain but step one is to stop calling it a revenge affair that word revenge gives it a sort of justification and their is never a good reason for an affair.

I can't help thinking that now we are the same. She cheated first and worse (we both agree on this and we are not together, despite her attempts).

No you are not the same. You had your affair and she had hers. They are 2 different things. What the hell does worse mean and first doesn't matter either. You had a choice to leave and instead chose to devastate her with the same emotional pain you were feeling and then jusify it a bit by saying hers was worse and she did it first. Some might say you were worse for doing it despite first hand knowledge of the pain. Stop comparing it does nothing but let you avoid facing your shit. You cheated now deal with that, even if you are never with her again you were capable of cheating.

I also hurt the OW, who was a friend helping me through the initial affair. It was an awful idea, I regret it everyday. If someone is reading this, please, don't have revenge affairs, you'll get nothing out of them

Who care if you hurt the OW. How would you feel if she had said I feel bad because I hurt the OM? Also OW was never a friend, a friend would not come in, see your pain and see you are still in a relationship and have an affair with you. She had an affair knowingly with a married man during an emotionally vulnerable state, how is that a friend? You're right about never having affairs not just "revenge" affairs. It destroys everything.


Heartbroken madhatter trying to rebuild

No longer together

"There are times when our reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind." Patrick Rothfuss


Posts: 2811 | Registered: Oct 2012
majortom87
40350
Member # 40350
Default  Posted: 5:05 AM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

No you are not the same. You had your affair and she had hers. They are 2 different things. What the hell does worse mean and first doesn't matter either. You had a choice to leave and instead chose to devastate her with the same emotional pain you were feeling and then jusify it a bit by saying hers was worse and she did it first. Some might say you were worse for doing it despite first hand knowledge of the pain. Stop comparing it does nothing but let you avoid facing your shit. You cheated now deal with that, even if you are never with her again you were capable of cheating.

There's little arguing that her affair was worse. I know I shouldn't compare but it's so obviously worse than I can't. Altough she has faced a lot more consequences than me, too, so I think we are on the same level now and I hate it. She even took my own affair as a consequence, something I never asked her to do, and kept asking me a second chance as it never happened. Well, it happened to me. Seeing her in such a low place now, facing the loss of lots of friendships for something she did to ME and to noone else, I feel guilty. It's mymain cause of regret regarding her. I hope she'll move on, altough I won't be there to help her.

Regarding the OW, right now her situation haunts me more than the xGF's. She is the best person of the four of us (me, xGF, OW and OM) by far, and I was the one that took advantage. I used her as an "exit affair" (not sure if that's the right expression). Fixing things with her is my main priority right now. But she won't speak to me and that's OK.

I don't know, I thinks everything is my fault. I just want them to be happy as if they would never have met me. It's going to be a long time until I get involved with someone, I tell you that.


Posts: 17 | Registered: Aug 2013
Unagie
♀ 37091
Member # 37091
Default  Posted: 5:48 AM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

There is no worse. You caused someone inexplicable pain and then allowed her to accept it as a consequence. You say you didn't but you sound like you did nothing to show remorse for what you did since you used it to exit. Secondly was the OW aware you were married and still actively in your relationship? If so she went in with eyes wide open that she was doing something with a married man. If she used your wife's A to justify it then that's on her. There is no "best" all of you did horrible things to each other. I personally find it horrid that you'd feel more compassion for your OW then the wife who showed remorse for her actions and never held you accountable for yours.

Edited for typos

[This message edited by Unagie at 5:49 AM, January 9th (Thursday)]


Heartbroken madhatter trying to rebuild

No longer together

"There are times when our reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind." Patrick Rothfuss


Posts: 2811 | Registered: Oct 2012
Unagie
♀ 37091
Member # 37091
Default  Posted: 5:51 AM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Also try to work on the wish they never met you feeling. Every experience in life shapes us. Allow it to shape you into what you want to be.


Heartbroken madhatter trying to rebuild

No longer together

"There are times when our reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind." Patrick Rothfuss


Posts: 2811 | Registered: Oct 2012
majortom87
40350
Member # 40350
Default  Posted: 7:36 AM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It's not that easy, Unagie. I'm not saying that her affair was worse per se, in like "she did that and I didn't so mine is better". That's not what I'm talking about. It's the identity of the OM the only thing that makes her affair worse, the kind of person he is, because it transcends the harm a normal affair causes. This little adventure of hers has caused me not just emotional pain, usual in affairs and the same I'm sure she felt with mine, but also other kind of problems, which were more serious. One thing is to f*ck around and another is to place people you love in a situation like this. When I started my own affair, I was not only in pain but also afraid. As I said, there's no discussing that point. It doesn't justify my affair, losing our relationship is "punishment" enough, but it's the truth and I won't ignore it. I'm sure she regrets it very much and obviously I forgive her for the affair itself, but I can't do the same with the other stuff.

I personally find it horrid that you'd feel more compassion for your OW then the wife who showed remorse for her actions and never held you accountable for yours.

It may be horrid, I reckon. I think it's because of my issues with other things that it's hard for me to feel "safe" with someone. I felt safe with the OW and not with my xGF and all the remorse in the world cannot change that now. The OW treated me good, my xGF didn't and I wronged the both of them, so I feel more regretful towards one than to the other. It may be horrid, but it's how I feel. The best thing I can do is to cut them both loose and let them move on without me.


Posts: 17 | Registered: Aug 2013
WaywardInHayward
♂ 41964
Member # 41964
Default  Posted: 2:15 PM, January 16th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

***Edit / Addendum 03/24/2014:

I have wronged my wonderful wife by calling this a Madhatter situation.

This truly was started by me, even back then.

The more I defog, the clearer I see my own self deception. Lies and deception have been a deeply troubling aspect of myself that I'm trying to get to the origins of so that I can break these habits and live a life worthy of my wife's amazing gift of love, even in the worst of times.

My sincerest apologies to her and to you all for the misinformation.

[This message edited by WaywardInHayward at 9:30 AM, March 24th (Monday)]


Posts: 26 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Hayward, CA
Topic Posts: 22
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