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Infuriated by the Internets

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NoGoodUsername posted 5/7/2014 15:40 PM

My BW is in emotional agony today because of the narrative stirred up on the Internets about an infamous OW from the 1990ís.
Apparently the consensus on the Internets is that infidelity is a consensual act between two people and is victimless. Thatís just @!$%!#$ great. We have 43 thousand-plus members on this site and no victims. I guess we can all just pack up now because our suffering, our destroyed lives and our hard-fought lessons donít mean anything because there are no actual victims here.
It also seems that anyone can expound endlessly on any subject they wish, unless they have direct life experience with a traumatic event, in which case they are now biased and should be summarily labeled and permanently disregarded. Obviously, someone who has never been through infidelity knows more about the destruction and wrongfulness of the situation than someone who is living through it and doing their damnedest to build a new life. Sure, that makes sense, people who know nothing get to yammer on and dismiss others while those who know about the harm because they have lived it are invalidated and victimized yet again.
I tell you now, I am an adulterer and my actions had consequences. To my betrayed wife, I have removed trust, stability and safety. She canít trust me, she canít trust friends; everything in her life was kicked out from under her by my infidelity. Everything in her world is now uncertain and potentially hostile because of the actions of myself and my AP.
This statement only brushes the surface and only addresses my betrayed wife. I also hurt friends; I hurt people who believed in me and in our marriage. My actions have traumatized our cats because of all the fighting and heartache in the house. I hurt myself. Goodness knows how far the ripple effect goes, weíre ten months out and still finding things. Infidelity is victimless? Not by a long shot.
Furthermore, the idea of the AP not owing the betrayed partner anything is morally bankrupt. The only time I can even think that is true is if the AP thought the wayward was single and free for a relationship. It doesnít matter whether the AP made promises to the betrayed, the actions are still theft from and damage to the marriage. We would be hurt and angry if a stranger helped themselves to other marital resources, why does it seem to be common perception that helping yourself to someoneís spouse means the betrayed person canít focus any anger on the affair partner? Donít anyone give me a line about the Wayward spouse consenting. That doesnít hold water because itís effectively putting three people into the relationship and the Betrayed didnít consent! That also neglects the impact of the lies, betrayal and the removal of resources from the marital pact. I could go on.
I know that we are a small population here at SI, but the fact is that is that infidelity is obscenely common. The harm that we, as Waywards have done in more than enough, we need to not stand by and let random people keep the pain coming. You donít have to hunt them down and pick fights, but if someone blames the victim in front of you or says how the other person doesnít owe the betrayed spouse anything, call them on it. They are wrong and they are making it worse.

BrokenButTrying posted 5/7/2014 16:00 PM

I hear you.

There was a discussion on a parenting forum I use the other day about the reason people have A's. Now this was a parenting website so it's mostly women, over a hundred replies from waywards saying 'he didn't pay me any attention' or 'he was always out with his friends' and 'he wasn't satisfying my needs'.

My heart was bleeding for the BS' reading who must be thinking 'maybe it was my fault'.
I did comment with my opinion but I immediately got shouted down with justifications that cheating was the best thing they'd ever done, either because it had made their spouse pay attention and now their marriage was better or because they had left the relationship and shacked up with the OM

I suppose it hits a nerve because I blameshifted too for a little while and I hate myself for it now, I was a delusional bitch!

A's being victimless is a load of rubbish too. I really don't understand that logic. My A hurts every single person I know, it is devastating.

Sorry your BW is being triggered by the news this evening NGU. Support her and comfort her. Sending you both strength.

[This message edited by BrokenButTrying at 4:01 PM, May 7th (Wednesday)]

painfulpast posted 5/7/2014 16:01 PM

As a member that also has traumatized pets, I'm curious to see the site that claimed infidelity is victimless.

I mention the pet trauma because I think it's often overlooked and yet shows just how far the damage can be. If my dogs run when I raise my voice, I can only imagine what happens to others in the household (children) when infidelity strikes. It's an excellent point that you've raised!!

NoGoodUsername posted 5/7/2014 16:05 PM

PainfulPast, the site in question is political in nature and I can't mention it here.

painfulpast posted 5/7/2014 16:16 PM

Well that explains it - no one ever learned anything on a political site

(kidding - I hope that wasn't too political)

Wayflost posted 5/7/2014 16:55 PM

Yeah, one of my dogs hides even if all I'm doing is crying now. She's super sensitive to any sort of emotional charge.

My BH is definitely hurt by my choices. I'm hurt by my choices. My BH's family was hurt by my choices, even if they don't know the details. Our friends are hurt by my choices.

Darkness Falls posted 5/7/2014 18:25 PM

I have mixed feelings on this. Yes, I do believe adultery is (in most cases) a consensual act among two people. However, that doesn't make it victimless.

I haven't been following the latest nonsense about the OW in question. I don't think she's the victim she portrays herself to be, but nor do I think she was nothing but a predator on the prowl out to seduce a poor innocent MM either. I think they were both in it for their own opportunistic reasons---like most affairs.

And, like ALL affairs, there was plenty of collateral damage and plenty of (true) victims.

[This message edited by heartbroken0903 at 6:26 PM, May 7th (Wednesday)]

Sal1995 posted 5/7/2014 18:54 PM

We would be hurt and angry if a stranger helped themselves to other marital resources, why does it seem to be common perception that helping yourself to someoneís spouse means the betrayed person canít focus any anger on the affair partner?

I think such people are really low, at least while they have the mentality that they are entitled to take what they want without regard to the rights and feelings of others.

Having said that, I'm one of the persons on this site who advocates focusing your time, attention, anger, whatever, on your WS and not his or her AP. Because I think focusing on the AP is a clear waste of psychic energy that accomplishes nothing good. I went into my marriage knowing full well there were men out there who would happily sleep with my wife if given a chance, even knowing that she is married. I also went into my marriage knowing that there were women out there who would sleep with me, even knowing that I was married.

The real question is why my wife was willing to break her marriage vows and what that means for us going forward. If she ever chooses to break her vows again, I have no doubt there are a thousand men just in our city alone who will happily oblige her. If my own wife doesn't give a shit about our marriage, I can't expect some lowlife who never met me to, either.

As for the infamous OW thing that has resurfaced recently...I barely gave it a thought. Old news. Let the chattering class say what they want. Sometimes what's said has more of a political agenda than a sociological one.

Having said that, kudos to you for owning your actions. I'm sorry your BW is hurting. Anything that triggers memories of our greatest pain tends to send us spiraling down. But it gets better. I'm dealing with things a lot better at 15 months than I was at 10 months, which was a hell of a lot better than 6 months. At 3 months it was pure hell. Time, even in measurements of months, really does heal.

Edited for grammar

[This message edited by Sal1995 at 6:58 PM, May 7th (Wednesday)]

LifeIsBroken posted 5/7/2014 18:58 PM

Wow, NGUNÖ. you 'get' and have the guts to say what my xh would never have said because he never will 'get it.' IMO, if you haven't lived it, it's impossible to understand the devastation caused by infidelity. I went from being self assured & confident to second guessing every single move I had to make; even driving or going to the grocery store became difficult. I'm 5 yrs out and still cannot watch certain tv shows or movies due to the content. They don't even have to contain infidelity; violence of any kind brings the same feelings as when my H was lying & cheating. I just wanted to acknowledge YOUR acknowledgement of what infidelity did to your M. Here's wishing you and your BS well. OH - my xh found the bimbo via the internet. You're right - anyone can say anything they want without real consequence.

NoGoodUsername posted 5/7/2014 20:45 PM

Thank you all for the responses. It's good to hear the other voices in this turmoil.

BBT, that parenting forum with the foggy waywards must have been brutal on you at times. Being here on SI where BSs get lots of support and validation is sometimes enough to make me want to apologize to all of the BSs there ever were on behalf of the unrepentant waywards. I can only imagine what it was like in the midst of these people who embraced their infidelity.

Folks who talked about the animals, When I think about them responding to the rough times and how they used to be before my infidelity, it's a huge source of guilt and shame. I'm strongly attached to the boys and they are wholly innocent. I introduced fear and uncertainty to them as well and it's horrible.

heartbroken, as I understand it, the label of 'consensual relationship' for and adulterous relationship is being applied as a means of legitimizing it. i.e. that because it is two people deciding what they want to do together that it justifies their choices. That is a way of treating it that is not OK in my book.

I want to start by saying thank you for your kindness and support.
Now I'm going to explore your thoughts because you raise some good points. I hear what you are saying about how much one should be investing in the other person in trying to live through the experience of infidelity. From that perspective, yes, one needs to manage how much headspace they will be allowed to occupy. However, I argue that on a larger perspective, at an ethical level, the other person is culpable for their actions regardless of whether they had any formal or informal obligation to the betrayed spouse. Having society acknowledge that the other person was indeed wrong and committed injustices against the BS supports an environment of validation for the injured party. That also creates an environment that subtly discourages inserting oneself into another relationship and creates a path to social consequences.

A giant part of the pain that my wife feels is that no one seems to care that my affair gutted her life. A generalized sense of knowing that the default reaction of a stranger will be one of sympathy rather than scorn would make the world a safer place for betrayed spouses. I have to say that is part of what makes SI so very special.
As it stands, she was exposed yesterday and today to statements like "If you don't like infidelity you shouldn't cheat and you shouldn't marry someone who is going to cheat." Great advice, o' Wisdom of the Internet. If it were that easy, there wouldn't be anyone on this board.

People need to have their pain acknowledged and they need to feel it. It is good to be supported in it. Being told that our hurts really don't matter is not a path to healthy living.

Even as a Wayward, it is good to be supported in one's pain. LifeIsBroken, thank you for your gentle words. One of the best benefits to being on SI for me as a Wayward is the chance to feel like a person. Deeply flawed and in need of work, but a person nonetheless.

numb&dumb posted 5/8/2014 11:48 AM


I did comment with my opinion but I immediately got shouted down with justifications that cheating was the best thing they'd ever done, either because it had made their spouse pay attention and now their marriage was better or because they had left the relationship and shacked up with the OM

Most of those people are trying to convince themselves more than they are convincing you. Some people have a mentality of " it happened and all I can do is try to prove I was in the right because I can't change the past."

While they can't change the past, admitting that they were wrong is more than there fragile egos can stand. I doubt you would find most of those people happy in their day to day lives. The ones that ended up with APs have less than a 5% chance of making it. (I don't remember the exact figure, but I know it low single digits).

"The unexamined life is not worth living."


end t/j

victimless isn't the right word to use. Any BS who heals and does their self work wouldn't consider themselves a "victim," they would call themselves a survivor (After time has past. Time in infidelity is years). It essentially takes power away from whoever brought this into their life and allows one to grow beyond the sum of that experience.

Being a victim takes your power away from you. While it serves as an effective, forgive overuse of the word, survival method in the early days it is not a good longer term strategy. A victim isn't in control, whereas a survivor is.

It triggered your W. Support her and show her how you are not the same person you were before and never will be again.

FWIW the "timing" of this story is more than likely political, but not facilitated by the people you'd think it would be.

News has a shelf life. People get tired of it and quit watching or buying print.

Sal1995 posted 5/8/2014 12:56 PM

A giant part of the pain that my wife feels is that no one seems to care that my affair gutted her life.

That's sad, NGU. I can't say that I've had the same experience, although we've limited those in the know. The ones who do know seem to be genuinely sympathetic. As for those cases that become public fodder - people love celebrity scandals and generally don't care about them as individuals. And I write the latest stuff off as political b.s.

I think the only thing you can do NGU is show your wife that YOU care, very much. In the end your care and attention to her pain will be all that really matters. All the sympathies from outsiders in the world wouldn't make up for you being cruel and insensitive to her pain. It sounds like you are being anything but that, so her long-term healing prospects seem good from where I sit.

[This message edited by Sal1995 at 12:57 PM, May 8th (Thursday)]

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