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Why did he choose her? Article

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FightingBack posted 4/23/2014 10:19 AM

I found this article on another website and found it interesting.
It lists generalized reasons why APs were chosen.


“What in the world attracted you to her? She out-weighs you by 150 pounds! You’re disgusting!” Sandy screamed. Across town a similar conversation was going on between John and Margret. “Are you kidding me?” John said in disbelief. “You’re having an affair with an alcoholic who barely scrapes by? Do you really think he has the ability to support you? He only makes a tenth of what I earn.” And yet another: “Frank how could you do this to me? She’s 25 years younger. She’s practically the same age as our daughter! What in the world could the two of you have in common?”

Before I even start this article let me stress that there’s no way I could ever write something that will be able to fully answer why your mate chose their affair partner. Why someone becomes involved in an extramarital relationship can’t be explained in a paragraph. While reading, please don’t assume you know your mate’s motivations. I promise you’ll always get part of it wrong; it is impossible to pinpoint another person’s motives. I do hope however to give some general reasons for why your mate may have chosen that particular person.

In past articles I’ve addressed the justifications and motivations of those having affairs; this week I’d like to tackle why we (the unfaithful spouses) choose who we choose. What is it about that woman or that man that would cause someone to risk it all? Is it intentional or just chance? This topic could be a book, but hopefully I can help shed a little light in this article.

The Missing 20%

I’ve always contended that people affair-down if for no other reason than because it is an affair; it’s not real. Even if they believe they’ve found someone who does a better job of meeting their needs than their mate, it simply isn’t true. Their mate probably incorporates 80% of what they want and need. Affair partners possess the missing 20%. Why would someone trade the 80% for the 20%? In the moment, satisfying the longing created by the missing 20% seems like a good idea.

Two thirds of all marital problems are unsolvable, which means it’s impossible for one person to meet all your needs. No amount of searching for the right person will ever yield the perfect match. Unrealistic expectations are a core issue when it comes to this type of marital dissatisfaction, which may then lead one to search for the missing 20%. Take the example of John and Margret above. John is a steady, stable guy who provides for his family. His wife chose an affair partner who was just plain fun. She was chasing the 20%.

Seduction

Many won’t like hearing this, but at times the AP simply knew the right words to say. There are some “experienced APs” who’ve had serial affairs and are constantly trolling for their next victim. They are constantly casting a lure in the water to see if anyone will take the bait. That isn’t an excuse, but if your spouse is by nature insecure they are vulnerable to the person who knows how to say the right things to make them feel special. The person who takes the bait isn’t a victim, they volunteer, but they choose that person for the way they make them feel. Leslie Hardie, the author of Harboring Hope, says “If you meet someone who always knows how to say just the right thing, run away as fast as you can.” Someone that slick has had lots of practice.

Past History

Many affair partners are chosen out of past history. The attachments we form prior to marriage still exist at some level. When we reconnect with those individuals, rekindling past attachments is easy. The reasons that relationship went by the wayside are long forgotten and the nostalgic feelings associated with days gone by make having an affair with that person simple.

Excessive Time and Familiarity

Many affair partners are chosen because of attachments created due to excessive time spent together in a shared activity that is exclusive of their mate. Online gaming, shared projects at work, serving together at church, or recreational sports drive the choice of the affair partner. When time spent with another exceeds time spent with their spouse, choosing to connect with this individual seems natural.

Authority Rape

At times the affair partner is chosen out of envy and magical thinking. Mentors, pastors, therapists, teachers and other authority figures are often chosen in this scenario. The respect and trust placed in this individual as well as the hope generated by what they represent causes the potential AP to overvalue the relationship and an attachment is created. Magical thinking on the authority figure’s part allows them to distort their mentee’s respect and admiration and, through an abuse of their role as an authority figure, they take advantage of the mentee. This is called “authority rape” and is a criminal offence. In this instance the affair partner chooses their victim.

Trauma Bonds

Past abuse can also drive how the AP is chosen. If there is unprocessed abuse in your spouse’s past they can be vulnerable to someone who treats them the same way as their original perpetrator. Choosing this type of AP is particularly confusing for the betrayed spouse because they can see the abuse and it makes no sense why their mate would hook up with an abusive AP. In reality the trauma bond compels them to choose someone with whom they can reenact the abuse.

Envy and Magical Thinking

Some choose their affair partner out of envy. They are drawn to characteristics in that person that they envy. Magical thinking causes them to believe that somehow connecting with that person allows them to possess those qualities. They tell themselves that being with that person somehow soothes the places where they feel inadequate. They think the AP makes them a better person.

Common History

There are times the AP is chosen out of common history or common circumstances. For instance, in cross-cultural marriages, an AP from your spouse’s country of origin may give them the feeling of being understood and that they have more in common with this person than they do with their mate. This can happen if two people grew up poor and felt ostracized, if both are children of alcoholics, or countless other “connections” they may find. The perception that this person understands them draws them to the relationship.

Misery Loves Company

This affair partner is also chosen out the perception of things shared in common. If the husband or wife begins commiserating with the AP about their miserable marriages, the validation they receive from telling the other person creates the bond for the affair. What’s sad is this process causes them to focus only on the negatives in the marriage in order to justify the validation they are receiving from the AP.

The Willing Partner

Some individuals, as a result of sexual addiction or because they’ve given themselves permission to stray for whatever reason, are looking for anyone willing to have an affair. Once they locate someone willing to interact with them, that person becomes the affair partner. The qualities they are looking for determine who that might be. For instance, if they just want sex then they hook up with someone who also wants to avoid attachments. Many relationships created on dating websites fall into this category.

Midlife Crisis

Those in a midlife crisis typically choose an AP who can help them feel young again. They are likely to choose someone who’s 20 years younger then them and is willing to be with an older man. It’s the youth and beauty of a person that makes them feel young again that drives their choice.

This is not an exhaustive list, but hopefully it provides some understanding for what drives the choice for the unfaithful spouse. As I said earlier, none of the above-mentioned items are excuses for having an affair. I do hope however they provide some insight as to what drives the choices made by the unfaithful spouse.

Rick Renolds

ItsaClimb posted 4/23/2014 10:33 AM

Very interesting. I commented on another thread today about how difficult I find my fWH's choice of AP - she has some particular characteristics that my fWH has always found off-putting... I think "magical thinking" mentioned in the article you posted is a very apt term.


Having read the article you posted, I think the "missing 20%" theory, excessive time and familiarity and also the fact that they were both looking for the same type of intimacy.. intimacy with no true, deep bonds... is what made my husband choose his OW.

MailServer posted 4/23/2014 10:56 AM

Nice article FB. Thanks for posting! I can see several that apply with my WH.

nekorb posted 4/23/2014 11:03 AM

Thanks for sharing.

My WH also falls into several of those categories.

FightingBack posted 4/23/2014 11:25 AM

Mine too. I am always trying to figure it out. Too bad he is so content now, and "relieved" that the A is over, he has no interest in questioning "why her" or "why" in general.

Although he did say that he didn't "choose" her, she was just there and available. So I would guess, The Missing 20%, seduction, excessive time and familiarity (for sure), and the Willing Partner.

momof1girl posted 4/23/2014 11:41 AM

My WH (soon to be ex) falls into a few categories here... and it actually hurts a little more to know that he threw away what we had because of the missing 20%. Also, I warned him when he started getting closer to this other person that he was listening to her complain about her marriage and it was causing him to see things in our own marriage that weren't there. Sure enough, that is what happened and he swears he is in love with her.

Brokenworld posted 4/23/2014 11:56 AM

FightingBack, this is one of the most interesting articles I've read in some time. The 20% analogy is a concept that explains much. When I found out I remember asking "Why", but I never asked "Why her?" Now I wish I had. Thank you for posting this.

notquiteoverit posted 4/23/2014 12:03 PM

Could you possibly PM me the website where you found the article? Thank you!

LostSamurai posted 4/23/2014 12:11 PM

I received this article today too. I think my WW would say she doesn't know.

IntoTheLight posted 4/23/2014 14:30 PM

I am a WW and I fall into a couple of these categories, but the one that sticks out the most is seduction. I look back and see AP was just casting bait and I was pathetic enough to take it. He knew all the right things to say at a time when I was very lonely in my marriage and felt unloved by BH. I never thought I was capable of having an affair until AP started pursuing me, but I got hooked on being chased and admired. So I guess I chose him because of how he made me feel- beautiful and special. Why did MOM pick me? I was there and he knew I was vulnerable. I am out of the fog and it turns out I'm not beautiful or special in any way. I have no idea why BH took me back.

FightingBack posted 4/23/2014 19:12 PM

Intothelight,
You Are beautiful.

Scubachick posted 4/23/2014 19:30 PM

The 80/20% makes a lot of sense. My husband is a workaholic so he was always at work. OW worked long hours and had worked for him for over 13 years. I resented his business because it always took priority over me and our family. When he wasn't at work, he was on the phone with work or obsessing over it. When he would vent to me about work my eyes would glaze over and everyone once in awhile I say uh huh or really. I never understood what he was talking about anyway because I never took the time to learn about it. When he promoted her he then had someone who knew what he was talking about, could relate to it, liked to talk about it as much as he did and revolved their life around it. She was a yes man too. So it became them against world. She "got" him in ways I never could. She made work more fun for him. I hate her!!!

jjct posted 4/23/2014 20:08 PM

FightingBack - o so right! Keep punching IntoTheLight!

Now, let's breathlessly wait for the plethora of articles about why did SHE choose HIM?

umm. I detect a paucity! Why is that?

Because there's no established narrative for that, nothing acceptable yet (to the brainiacs that tell us how things should be)...

Here's what's true for the both of them though - (I think we should just see SI as the cutting edge of knowing all this stuff - we're better and better than these writers, these published so-called dimwits)

There's a hole in them
that they seek to fill.
Hell! There's hell there in all of us
that we seek to fill.
Is there not?

Identify yours, sweet posters on here.
Say bye to the assclowns
let some truth
tickle
in your inner ear.

They're an emptiness that always seeks filling, is it your job? No.
That tank is not your life's job
to keep filling.

Ostrich80 posted 4/24/2014 01:27 AM

I see some categories on.here that could describe why my ws chose to have an A. This article is prob one of the many I would say is easy to read and has truths to it.

jjct....good point. I tend to agree with this too


Identify yours, sweet posters on here. Say bye to the assclowns let some truth tickle in your inner ear.

They're an emptiness that always seeks filling, is it your job? No. That tank is not your life's job to keep filling

.

StillLivin posted 4/24/2014 01:54 AM

My very stbx chose his OW because he is an idjat. Simple.

Skye posted 4/24/2014 08:44 AM

I’ve always contended that people affair-down if for no other reason than because it is an affair; it’s not real.

Fits my husband, the cheater, to a tee! I've said before he would die before he brought her home or if his son had brought her home.

FightingBack posted 4/24/2014 09:18 AM


Now, let's breathlessly wait for the plethora of articles about why did SHE choose HIM?

umm. I detect a paucity! Why is that?

Because there's no established narrative for that, nothing acceptable yet (to the brainiacs that tell us how things should be)...

jjet, There is nothing acceptable in any of it.

Although there may be reasons why an AP is chosen, there exists no justification in making a decision which profoundly changes someone else's life, and keeping the knowledge of that from them.

We all want to understand what led us to where we are, but we will never find any of it acceptable.

steadfast1973 posted 4/24/2014 09:43 AM

Seduction

Many won’t like hearing this, but at times the AP simply knew the right words to say. There are some “experienced APs” who’ve had serial affairs and are constantly trolling for their next victim. They are constantly casting a lure in the water to see if anyone will take the bait. That isn’t an excuse, but if your spouse is by nature insecure they are vulnerable to the person who knows how to say the right things to make them feel special. The person who takes the bait isn’t a victim, they volunteer, but they choose that person for the way they make them feel. Leslie Hardie, the author of Harboring Hope, says “If you meet someone who always knows how to say just the right thing, run away as fast as you can.” Someone that slick has had lots of practice.

Past History

Many affair partners are chosen out of past history. The attachments we form prior to marriage still exist at some level. When we reconnect with those individuals, rekindling past attachments is easy. The reasons that relationship went by the wayside are long forgotten and the nostalgic feelings associated with days gone by make having an affair with that person simple.

These things combined... The never had "closure" and she was also a writer... he was feeling down about working so much, and not getting to write as often as he wanted... she offered to read his book, and offer criticism... That became "squandering his talent, raising a family he never wanted and sacrificing his dreams for a woman who didn't support him" she could turn every single one of his issues onto me. She helped him not own his shit. Even after NC, he could put it all off as "her being manipulative". Even after it was over she served her purpose, by giving him another person to blame.

He picked her because he was too lazy to fix the problems, and she seemed willing to overlook them. She even made him feel good about them... Who wouldn't want someone who could, seemingly, turn your insecurities and faults into strengths?

AML04 posted 4/24/2014 10:45 AM

Mine too. I am always trying to figure it out. Too bad he is so content now, and "relieved" that the A is over, he has no interest in questioning "why her" or "why" in general.
Although he did say that he didn't "choose" her, she was just there and available. So I would guess, The Missing 20%, seduction, excessive time and familiarity (for sure), and the Willing Partner.

FightingBack-I could've written this!! But!!! We had a really good MC session last night and I think he finally gets why he needs to do the dirty digging to figure it out.

I would definitely say the reasons above would apply to my WH. I sent him this thread to read. Maybe we can discuss it. Thanks for posting!

918Mama posted 4/24/2014 12:18 PM

Really interesting read. Thanks for posting!

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