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Opportunity.......greatest predictor of A.

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blakesteele posted 1/22/2014 17:26 PM

New MC, new article has pushed me a bit more to understand how my wife got to adultery. (Homework from a MC? LOVE IT!)

Yes, 17 months out and I still find myself mulling this same old question over. MC said that is fine and gave me an article to further my journey.

Lots of the same stuff in that article as I have read before.....has a connection to "After the Affair" book I read 12 months ago.

Many good points mentioned in this article, made in a way that helped me mature my wisdom from this experience.

But this singular quote is why I am posting.

---"By far, the biggest predictor of affairs, experts agree, is sheer opportunity--how people vary in access and desirability to others."

My wife had zero boundaries with her fAP. She also had VERY limited access to one on one time with a man due to her SAHM status. I say this with some confidents because she was not a member of AshleyMadison or a poster on Craigslist.

Her fAP was the first man she knew that I didn't that she actually did "stuff" with, alone, one on one. From the very first text, my wife never mentioned him to me. At first I thought she had intended to have an affair with him all I see it started with a shockingly lack of a boundary, and she most likely had no intention of keeping him a secret from me or eventually fucking him. (I will never know the validity of that statement, but believe it is likely a truth.).

As I read this article I really started to get a sense of....."Well no shit we were having M issues before the A. No shit she was able to choose adultery." But all of those problems didnt add up to adultery....I was in the same marriage and I didn't choose adultery. Other marriages had similar or less issues in their M and adultery was still choosen by one of the people in those how did this occur? How was it invited into our M?

Our pre-A marital issues are pretty standard, run of the mill stuff....I think that are pretty common to most marriages. I was a part of this marriage and I did not cheat.....why?


It was not that I have a higher moral code, stronger moral fabric, less sinful, more perfect, less viral, less attractive, etc.....its that I was aware of the "strongest contributing predictor" to having an affair......opportunity....and I strenthened this weakness by using boundaries and techniques that kept those opportunities below the "choosing threshold".

According to the article, I was actually at higher risk than my wife for choosing adultery....because I came from a D home WITH Adultery as part of that D, travel regularly with work, team building exercises and group projects, socialize with work people......stuff my wife, as a SAHM, doesnt have.

So I really do believe that opening statment about opportunity. God help me, I have the desire in me to interact inappropriately with other women--not my wife. Since my wifes affair I HAVE gone to professional gatherings and loosened some boundaries.....I COULD have the opportunity should I dissolve my boundaries. NOTE: I dig interacting with women....a boundary on SI is no PM women members....honestly, that is a boundary I didnt have when I started my membership here. I thought "Its annonymous, I dont need boundaries where we dont really meet." Through discussions with my wife, I choose to put that boundary up....but it is an example on how easily it is to create opportunities by ignoring or justifying the need for them.

So that, right now, is why I am a BS and not a one simple boundary I put in place as a response to one of my long-standing, known weakness's. End of story.

"Boundaries in Marriage"....GREAT BOOK!!!! I read it a couple of months ago.

I mention it because I want to make the STRONG point that the previously talked about boundary is one of a very very very few that I had in my life pre-A.

I see NOW how MY lack of boundaries has played and continues to play a role in limiting intimacy within my marriage.

While I am grateful my one boundary did what I needed it to do, I am sorry for the lack of so many other boundaries. It hurt my wife, hurt me, and had the potential to hurt my relationship with our daughters.

I am hopeful I am developing a committment to new, needed, additional boundaries that will make the framework I can build healthy, strong relationships from.

Like so much of this journey.....I wonder how I could be so ignorant, so blind, for so long.......

God help us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 5:38 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]

notquiteoverit posted 1/22/2014 17:36 PM

I've read the same article, and taken the quiz in "Not Just Friends" It indicated that I was more likely to cheat than WS. For example, I work in a male-dominated industry and am one of only 3 females in my department. But boundaries are really what it is really about. Sure, I socialize with my male co-workers. But, our conversations are business and speculations about upcoming episodes of the Walking Dead - never anything too personal. There have been many opportunities, for me but boundaries always kept me from straying.

TattoodChinaDoll posted 1/22/2014 17:40 PM

I'm not sure I'm following you. Are you saying that opportunity is a bigger factor than boundaries? Because then I don't buy it. Sheesh...I am a certified official in a male dominated sport. First female official in the state and every winter I'm the only female in the room at our rules interpretation meeting and chapter meetings. If that isn't opportunity then I don't know what is! Boundaries and love for my husband was the biggest factor. I've had all the opportunities in the world. But I don't want to have an affair.

Later posted 1/22/2014 17:47 PM

At first I thought BS, as I have had women express an interest in me, had the means and could have gotten away with it.

But I absolutely agree about the concept of taking proactive steps so that you are never faced with a decision underr circumstances where you might give in to temptation

So, I tend to think a more accurate statement is that the greatest predictor would be a lack of adequate boundaries.

blakesteele posted 1/22/2014 17:50 PM

notquiteover...interesting, isnt it?

In my line of work I use predictability models regularly.....I make decisions based on those models.....I have faith in those models. By the many factors listed in this wife and I have about equal amount in our respective "tally columns". The ONLY difference I can see is the difference is this one....boundary.

And I supported my wifes view that she was independent, above temptation....hell, 3 years ago blakesteele would buy another man running shoes so that my wife would have a running partner!

I think of this one analogy in the "Boundaries in Marriage" book..

You can be a world-class swimmer, but without lane separation and start-finish lines (boundaries) you will never realize your full potential.

I dont do that analogy justice...but hopefully you get the meaning behind it.

Boundaries are NOT limiting or bondage in nature....they actually allow us the freedom to reach our full potential.

Think about your situation. I work with a woman in a male dominated profession. She has had an affair with our CEO and another high ranking manager from another state....both are known about. This woman has achieved some status in her profession....but her potential is limited because of her choice to have affairs. At least limited in her ability to command respect and have her team fully embrace and support in her is weak. To reach her full potential as a manager, for anyone to reach higher potential as a manager, you must have respect and support from your team.

I suspect you have a much better chance of achieving a higher level of trust, growing your potential NOW than if you had choosen to have an affair. (realizing there are many other ways to loose trust (not just adultery) and it is a very easy thing to loose)).


Morhurt posted 1/22/2014 17:53 PM

I'm confused too.
"It was not that I have a higher moral code, stronger moral fabric, less sinful, more perfect, less viral, less attractive, etc.....its that I was aware of the "strongest contributing predictor" to having an affair......opportunity.."

I'm not sure I buy that, but I haven't read the article. I think that yes, your boundaries are strong... That's what prevented the affair, not the lack of opportunity (at least that's what I think you said). So in essence I think you're disagreeing with the article.
I'm a SAHM and I think my H had much more opportunity than I, but I also have strong boundaries and would never have allowed the slippery slope. If I had wanted an A, or even thought I wanted just a male "friend", it would have been easy. It was my boundaries and self respect that kept the As at bay.

blakesteele posted 1/22/2014 17:55 PM

Are you saying that opportunity is a bigger factor than boundaries?

Oh, no....not at all. I am trying to relay that the article mentions there is an inverse relationship between opportunity and boundaries.

Opportunity's are all around us....heck, we live in a town of less than 3, wife found a willing partner in the first man she had no boundaries with (meaning she did one on one things with him that I didn't know about).

This article also talked about living in larger metropolitan areas increased your risk for adultery.

What I AM suggesting, and what this article eludes to, is that strong boundaries can reduce your likelyhood of being in an affair.

Make more sense TattooedChinaDoll? I totally agree with your post....this article totally supports what you have just posted.

Maybe I should copy and paste your post into my original post!

Sorry for the confusion....I am working on more concise, easier to read posts......


blakesteele posted 1/22/2014 17:57 PM

So, I tend to think a more accurate statement is that the greatest predictor would be a lack of adequate boundaries.

Later....this is what the article eludes to...and I totally agree with this. This IS the most accurate way to summarize this part of the article.

Opportunities....I had MORE than my wife did. No doubt about it.

The kicker only takes ONE opportunity to commit adultery. So if I was stranded with a woman on an island and had no boundaries.....I could chose it. Dont have to be in a topless bar on amature night to choose it....but you could be in that same bar and NOT choose it if healthy boundaries were in place.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:09 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]

blakesteele posted 1/22/2014 18:04 PM

I'm not sure I buy that, but I haven't read the article. I think that yes, your boundaries are strong... That's what prevented the affair, not the lack of opportunity (at least that's what I think you said). So in essence I think you're disagreeing with the article. shouldnt buy that, I am not even selling that. Again, sorry....I screwed something up in translation!!!

I absolutely have opportunity....I think opportunity is all around....just look at the membership to this site, infidelity and adultery stats, AshleyMadison and is all around.

Let me try a formula example.

blakesteele + opportunity + boundary = no affair

mrsblakesteele + opportunity + NO boundary = affair

The article also mentioned lesser but important traits that factor in...but opportunity WITHOUT boundarys is a MUST HAVE.

Boundarys sometimes reduce opportunity....going back to your hotel room before 8 PM while away at a conference is one example of that....and this is one way in which I "strengthened my weakness".

The whole moral code talk? That was me trying to explain that I, blakesteele, left to my own accord with no boundaries would fall into that category of "high predictability" of having an affair.

Making any more sense?

Really sorry....thought I did a better job on my initial post.

Maybe someone could "edit" for me? Point out where I mis-spoke?

So far, anyone that has a "differing opinion" on this post has actually shared my original opinion.

So I know I did something wrong.

blakesteele posted 1/22/2014 18:14 PM

Maybe the confusion came from an off-shoot of my boundary description?

and I strenthened this weakness by using boundaries and techniques that kept those opportunities below the "choosing threshold".

Is this the part that caused the confusion?

Part of my boundaries was to limit my opportunities......through accountability, schedule manipulations, how I interacted with women co-workers , etc.

I was not cocky in thinking I could stay at a hospitality suite till midnight, drinking and conversing with women and be strong enough to resist temptation....I never gave myself that opportunity, though it is there at every single conference I have been to.

That help out at all?

[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:15 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]

notquiteoverit posted 1/22/2014 18:15 PM

Here's another aspect of this. Those individuals without boundaries will seek opportunities even without thinking about them. Opportunities exist everywhere. My WS has been hit on in the grocery store, at the dog park, gas station, etc. Learning about and sticking to boundaries is what I am hoping will keep him from repeat offending. That, and respect for one's spouse (and also for oneself).

Ascendant posted 1/22/2014 18:16 PM

I think that opportunities and boundaries are connected somewhat.

I think those with good boundaries have the good sense to avoid certain situations, but that being said, I still think porousness of boundaries is the better predictor of positive correlation with infidelity. If your boundaries as a man are airtight, you could send a million Megan Fox look-alikes, wave upon wave, at your junk and nothing would happen....because your boundaries do not break.

I think that opportunity becomes much more important to consciously avoid if you yourself recognize that you are someone who has problems maintaining said boundaries. I reckon it's similar to alcoholics avoiding bars.....maybe you're strong enough to resist altogether, and it's probably important to be, but you're better off avoiding temptation if possible...but it's never *always* possible.

tooanalytical posted 1/22/2014 18:17 PM

There are several factors and all seem to play in it.

- Opportunity
- Poor Boundaries
- Lack of Self Esteem (and the need for external validation)
- Lack of Strong Morals

I had opportunity but always had good boundaries and healthy self-esteem. FWW on the other hand went wayward when the first opportunity presented itself because of low self esteem and low boundaries.

blakesteele posted 1/22/2014 18:35 PM

First, I agree many factors played into my wife choosing adultery.....opportunity just a part of it.

Just trying.....but not point out what some professionals credit as the single biggest predictor is....opportunity.

Going fishing with a woman would NOT be an option for me.

Going for a run with a man WAS an option for my wife.

I reduced wife increased opportunity .

My wife chose adultery, I did not.

Trying to see why.....look for differences between us.

This is a strong one .

There are others....but I keyed in on this one due to the "single biggest" statement.

Provably tried to make a complex issue too simple.

God be with is all.

blakesteele posted 1/22/2014 18:41 PM

I have some of the classic traits, I have sought external validation, I had unmet needs, I had life changing events, I am middle aged, etc.

I wonder why I didn't cheat......this same article speaks to "other factors" that predict a person will choose adultery....and I have some of those, some that my wife DOESNT.


[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:59 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]

stillprettyupset posted 1/22/2014 18:57 PM

If stranded on an island with that gal, I would assess her ability to gather water, build shelter, and make fire. If I found those skills lacking, I would bash her empty skull with a rock and eat her.
No dead weight on my island, mister.

I'm a bit surprised that I have never seen a comment relating to the criminal standard of Opportunity, Motive, and Culpability.

With the proper frame of mind and power of will, opportunities can be created.
I want something new/different/better (motive) and don't give a fuck about risking this shitty, dead marriage (culpability) so I will tell hubby I need a "girls night out" (opportunity).

In this example, opportunity is merely an afterthought. A means to an end.

blakesteele posted 1/22/2014 19:02 PM

Hahaha....I like your addition stillprettyupset!

Probably not a worthwhile post......rabbit not worth chasing.

This living in the past too much ? I know better.......dang it.


[This message edited by blakesteele at 7:03 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]

Ascendant posted 1/22/2014 19:11 PM

I think, too, that opportunity is ALWAYS going to happen, even when you do your best to avoid it. Life happens, and shit happens....but you carry your boundaries with you wherever you go.

rachelc posted 1/22/2014 19:20 PM

Blake- boundaries shmoundaries. What ppl who don't have affairs do is have values, morals, etc.
My affair caused me to actually identify them, your wife's caused you to stare your porn addiction in the face.
Boundaries to me mean gutting out a good choice. Really internalizing who you want to be as a person?. That is values and integrity. It's easy, not a personal "don't go there" stop sign - boundary . JMO

Scubachick posted 1/22/2014 19:22 PM

What about a man that always had very strict boundaries? I use to think it was weird how rigid he was about his boundaries with other women and especially employee's. If a woman sits down next to him at a blackjack table and tries to talk to him, he will get up and move to a different table. He's borderline rude with women because he won't even acknowledge they are speaking to him or he's really short with them. At times I've wondered if he just doesn't trust himself to be around women if I'm not there. So how does a man go from this to having an EA with an employee? She is the exception to every rule and professional and personal boundary this man has ever had! I don't get it.

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