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SeanFLA posted 4/21/2014 07:34 AM

I was talking to somebody I hadn't seen in quite a long time and she asked me about my exWW. I gave her the quick low down and she asked me why we divorced. I said mainly because of my ExWw's infidelity and self esteem issues she didn't want to work on.

The instant response from her..."Why did she cheat? Were you ignoring her for your job and not satisfying her needs?"

You cannot imagine the anger I held back. I said..."No the complete opposite in fact...she spent so much time with her job and grew quite the ego."

Her reaction was almost disbelief. Why are men so stereotyped when infidelity arrives in a marriage that regardless of whomever participates in it, it is always somehow the man's fault it occured? It's either the man is a cheating dirtbag or it's his actions somehow that drove her to cheat...really?

[This message edited by SeanFLA at 11:13 PM, April 21st (Monday)]

DepressedDaddy posted 4/21/2014 07:48 AM

This is one of my fears. There is a stigma about the ending of relationships being a man's fault. Of course this is not an all or nothing situation and people know that women can be at fault too, but it is an assumption that a lot of people hold.

Williesmom posted 4/21/2014 07:50 AM

That's OK. People are stupid if it hasn't happened to them.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard "if you don't feed a dog at home, he's going to stray".

Trust me, my dog was getting fed at home.

trumanshow posted 4/21/2014 07:51 AM

Ahh..they assume the same about BW

If there wasn't butterflies and blow jobs every night year after year we weren't taking care of them

justinpaintoday posted 4/21/2014 07:51 AM

Sean: Heck my wife already believes this is all my fault. She was justified because I couldn't fill the frickin hole in her self esteem bucket.

I find myself saying less and less because it just doesn't matter what they think. You know the truth.


neverbeokay posted 4/21/2014 07:56 AM

Many people who have never experienced infidelity think that the BS must have done or not done something to "cause" the cheating. I think it is a defense mechanism so they can convince themselves it will never happen in their relationship. Of course, a lot of things we believed before about infidelity are different once we actually go through it.

renee21 posted 4/21/2014 08:11 AM

Yep. People assume that the BS wasn't handling "business" at home if their WS decided to cheat.

In most cases that is completely untrue, the WS are broken people that had options and they went with the most selfish and destructive one.

I refuse to be blamed for his choice to cheat. I'm not perfect and will own my issues, but not his.

nowiknow23 posted 4/21/2014 08:22 AM

I'm sorry, Sean. You did an admirable job of not blowing up at such rude and out-of-line statements.

I am blown away that grown up people think it's ok to pry into someone's personal business to such an extent, let alone accuse them of causing the problem.

I fully support the right to call people out on these kinds of questions.

"Wow, Jane. That was really rude and offensive."

SBB posted 4/21/2014 08:29 AM

Yes. Because good people cheat when their 'needs' are not being met.

IMO this reaction says more about them than their view of your situation. Clearly she a) thinks it's OK to cheat as long as X, Y, Z does or doesn't happen or b) she lives in that bubble where she thinks she has any influence or control over whether or not her husband cheats on her.

Both are fatally flawed.

Try not to let this stuff get to you. It is a view borne of deliberate ignorance or shady character.

My own view used to be that wayward women were vilified as whores and demons yet wayward men just victims of their primal urges, naughty boys.

I've been schooled here that in infidelity a large part of society blames the BS in some way for the reasons I set out in a) and b) above.

Ignorance is bliss, right. Until that ignorance kicks you hard in the arse.

BTW - nobody likes to hear me say "He used me to have kids." It is absolutely true but it makes them enormously uncomfortable. Surely there can't be monsters like this walking among us? No. No - I'll assume she wasn't meeting his needs instead.

I had the shittest husband on the planet. He had not met my needs for years. I did not cheat. I would have divorced him with or without a DD had it continued as it had been going for those last 2 awful years.

[This message edited by SBB at 8:29 AM, April 21st (Monday)]

Dadtryingtocope posted 4/21/2014 08:49 AM

Sean -

This is it for sure:

That's OK. People are stupid if it hasn't happened to them.

I would probably say any one of us probably didn't understand either until it happened to us.

Bottom line you know what happened. I'm coming up on my 2 year D-day anniversary. She still blames me for her infidelity. I wasn't home enough, I didn't take her away, the flame had gone out for her, etc. etc. etc. Just a reminder of the type of person she became. Blame shift all the way. People don't ask me much any more, most people I know have heard through the grape vine. Now they just see me with my kids trying to be a good dad to them. That's the only thing I want people to see. They see her with her new husband, driving expensive car, showboating around, acting as if she is happier than she has ever been.

You can put lipstick on a pig my friend.

Merlin posted 4/21/2014 08:54 AM

Many try to turn back the 'reason(s)' for infidelity back onto the one that was cheated on.

It's not a gender thing at all.

Just people without a clue.

Make it a teaching moment if you want. Otherwise, attend to your own business.

norabird posted 4/21/2014 09:54 AM

I'm sorry, Sean. This person had a chip on their shoulder and unfairly inflicted it on you. I don't want to wish this hell upon anyone...but, I kind of do wish it on people who are so ignorant.

MadeOfScars posted 4/21/2014 10:22 AM

I am lucky in that those people who really know me and knew us as a couple do NOT blame me at all for her infidelity. One of my fears, however, is whether or not someone says to me what was said to you, that it'll be assumed by some that I wasn't holding up my end and somehow deserved this. I know it shouldn't bother me, but it does. Eventually though, I am convinced that the opinion of others has no bearing on who I am and I will be able to hold my head high no matter what others may think.

jagged posted 4/21/2014 10:23 AM

You did well. But I'm certain you understand that there are likely many people in your life - outside of close friends and family who may know the details - who think this way, who assume these things you find offensive, and over whom you have no control. They're going to think what they're going to think.

Like many of us here, I was one of those people: while I maybe didn't actively ascribe blame to a particular party, I almost always quietly assumed some of these same things. Many of us did, before it happened to us.

(Ironically, it was seeing the lasting effects of a serial-cheating XMiL that changed my view, during my M. XWW openly talked about how she saw her mother as a selfish, broken person who cheated on men who were devoted to her. Crazy, right? I think ultimately, XWW reconciled her own A's with the same bottom line: good people cheat when they're "unhappy"...but I digress).

I agree that there's stigma for both a BW and BH, as others have mentioned here. I am perhaps more attuned to the culture of forgiveness for the "modern" WW, however, as I've said sells more books and makes for better daytime talk show ratings for an audience of women who can convince themselves that they're neglected or unfulfilled, and need to "find themselves"...and if infidelity is part of that process, then the damage and fallout is all part of their growth/rebirth/discovery process, too.

I've yet to encounter anyone as blunt as your friend, however, and it mostly doesn't come up with anyone anymore. Too bad - I would almost welcome that opportunity to say "Yeah, I know, right? I used to think those same things. Until it happens to you, it all seems pretty cut-and-dried...hope it never does".

dbellanon posted 4/21/2014 12:12 PM

It's alientating, isn't it, to realize that so many people think like this?

Whalers11 posted 4/21/2014 12:16 PM

I was incredibly unhappy in the months leading up to my ex's cheating. Something had shifted in our relationship dynamic and things were not right. I believe we were both very unhappy and neither one of us knew how to fix it. I like to think it was something fixable, but experience now tells me it might not have been... Regardless - I was likely just as unhappy as he was and I never cheated. It never even crossed my mind. I thought about ending the relationship, definitely. But continuing toblive in misery with him while sneaking around behind his back with someone else? Never even considered it.

The fact that that was an acceptable solution to him just goes to show up what a fucked up thinking broken people have.

MadeOfScars posted 4/21/2014 13:09 PM

Good points there Whalers11. I knew something was wrong in my relationship too. I think I tried to rationalize it away or just didn't face it head-on like maybe I should have, but I too never considered cheating. It's easy to get caught up in self-blame and wonder "what if I had done X, Y or Z," but ultimately, the decision to cheat is their's alone.

One thing my stbxww cited was intimacy issues. I will admit that after everything that happened with our son and all, our sex life never fully recovered. Point is, she made it clear she wanted more, so I kind of "snapped out of it" and actively worked to be more intimate with her, and not just sex. It seemed to be working and we were connecting like we had before, or so I thought. Then there was the night of "meltdown" where she cried about how we were never intimate - within 5 minutes of us just having been intimate. Then there was proclaiming with certainty later that we hadn't had sex "in months" when it had been a few times that week alone. I guess when you're screwing multiple people its hard to keep things straight. Then there was the hint of blaming me for her infidelity all over intimacy issues. This was also after saying "I know I asked for more intimacy, but you're being clingy."

My long winded point here is that while it's still difficult for me to not wonder "what if," her actions make it pretty clear it was a lose-lose situation for me. Nothing I could have done would've stopped her infidelity. She made that decision on her own, and her own account of things that don't line up with reality bear that out. I'm either "clingy" or absent altogether. She was past the point of talking rationally or really wanting to work on us. That's on her, not me, and anyone who would say otherwise has their head up their ass.


shiloe posted 4/21/2014 13:25 PM

This happens to BW's too. It is assumed we did "something' to make them cheat.

The only people who say things like this person did to you are . . in my mind . . cheaters or former cheaters. I have never thought that about the BS, even before infidelity happened to me.

I just "knew" there is never an excuse for someone to cheat.

That is why it is called cheating and not "forced to stray"

7yrsflushed posted 4/21/2014 13:32 PM

That's OK. People are stupid if it hasn't happened to them.
^^^This. I had something similar happen to me a few weeks ago in a discussion with my neighbor. I told her my stbxww had an LTA and she still asked me what I did wrong because I had to have done something. That conversation started with her asking if there were any job openings in my area of the company. Guess who I will NOT be calling if anything does come up.

Jduff posted 4/21/2014 15:06 PM

This is it for sure:

That's OK. People are stupid if it hasn't happened to them.

I would probably say any one of us probably didn't understand either until it happened to us.

And on top of that, most of us first blamed ourselves for the A after Dday and thought "What did WE do to deserve this!?!?"

At first, we are our own worst enemy.

I'll counter Sean's bad experience with that of my first experience having to explain to anyone that asked, with a single mom who asked me what happened with my D. She knows my STBXW. After I gave her a summarized version, her immediate response was disbelief because she never pegged STBXW to be this "naughty". Then she asks me if this was when STBXW started "working out" at the gym. I said "Yup! Also, she's practically married to her iPhone, started shopping at Victoria Secrets, doing girl's night outs, etc. etc."

The single mom then tells me "I'm a beautician and I here all the time how my clients do exactly what your STBXW is doing and then brag about how they f&cked their trainer, or got a new boyfriend or two behind their husbands' backs...I mean, what the hell is wrong with these women!?!? It's like they have midlife crisis or something is in the water!" In conclusion, she was disgusted with STBXW and told me "I knew there is always two sides of the story." Implying STBXW was already badmouthing me in our social circles.

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