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MammaMia posted 5/16/2014 21:12 PM

This question has been bothering me for a while. None of us knows the answer and it depends on the individual, but still, I wonder....

In my opinion, a spouse who cheats does not respect their spouse. But above all they do not respect themselves. If one does not respect oneself, how can one respect their spouse?

We also know, that most male WS would not give us a second chance if the tables were turned. It is always harder for a man to forgive infidelity.

The question is: Having given our WS a second chance, having decided to R,does our WS respect us after all? Or does he perceive us as weak women who for whatever reason made the decision to R?And maybe that's why some are repeat offenders? Or maybe that is why some continue contact with the AP?

[This message edited by MammaMia at 9:14 PM, May 16th (Friday)]

hopelesslydvoted posted 5/16/2014 21:24 PM

I think it really does depend on the situation. I think if my WH allowed himself to really feel the shame of what he did, R would have been possible. But, he wanted to be the victim and learned to blame shift, During one of our last arguments he said, I only stuck around because I have such a great life and he convinced himself it was a financial choice for me.

If he only knew, what a great life really is. But I do, and it's not surrounded alone with stuff.

Some can convince themselves of pretty wacky sh*t to justify their actions and not feel the pain. Others feel the pain and never do it again.

justinpaintoday posted 5/16/2014 21:40 PM

hopeless is right. It depends. I think it depends on the character of the WS. I know some would say they have no character but that is not true. My WW still has many beaustiful qualities. She is still the mother of my children and we had far more great times than bad. I offered R to my WW but she could not handle the responsibilit that comes with it. She would have had to admit to herself that the A was 100% her fault (vs being able to blame me for issues). She would have had to come clean and expose all her sins (vs keeping her shame inside).

My WW has acknowledged she cannot understand how I could ever have extended her R as an option when even she knew her actions were so wrong. She did not accept my precios gift not because I as a man wasn;t strong enough to forgive and work to heal ,but because she wasn't. Even today, it is so mucheasier to spin and lie to protect herself from the realization of her own choices. Oh the webs we weave.

sunvalley posted 5/16/2014 21:42 PM

I don't believe that mine sees me as weak. I do believe that he did not respect me during the As, or respect himself either for that matter, but how can you respect anyone when you're self destructive? If you can't take care of yourself you can't take care of the M or anyone else really. But I do think he has respect for me in my choice to stay - he thinks that I'm pretty amazing for what I've been put through and standing by his side still. He reminds me of this daily. I think as you said it depends on the situation, but in our case I would say during the As he had no respect, consequences or love for anyone...he was in self destruct mode. Now he has respect for the person who has stood by him and gave him more love than he ever felt deserving of...hopefully he can learn to respect himself enough to never do this again, because I dont' think I would stick it out if he did it after knowing what he put me through already.

K Phantom posted 5/16/2014 21:52 PM

Gave my WS a second chance and got burned again. These were EAs but still took away from the marriage. I would have done anything to save it but it was just not meant to be. Did she see me as week??? I think it was more cake eating. When we were separated 4 months i told her that we had to R or not. She did not want to R at that time so i filed. She started crying when we go together with lawyers to get property settled but i think that was more about the $. Up until that day i think i would have tried to R if she said the words but, it is what it is.

Sad in AZ posted 5/16/2014 22:12 PM

Respect by the WS does not logically follow their being given a second chance. You can always give an unremorseful cheater a second chance, but I wouldn't expect much from them in terms of respect--or anything else.

If your WS truly wants to R and is doing what you have requested, that shows you your respect. Anything else is pointless.

somanyyears posted 5/16/2014 22:28 PM


a spouse who cheats does not respect their spouse. But above all they do not respect themselves. If one does not respect oneself, how can one respect their spouse? WW admited she had no respect for me to do what she did with our best friend (for 18 years) and little did I know the complete lack of respect my old friend had for me and my marriage and my family.

..I know now that 'respect' for me or for themselves was the LAST thing on their minds each and every time they met up.

..they were both selfishly motivated, him for the bjs and her for the power and control she felt she had over him.

At the beginning of their betrayal, I don't think either of them even had an idea of what respect was, let alone why it should have been a reason to NOT do what they did.

..there is a part of me that doesn't respect myself for staying with her after D-day#3.. I stayed for my children back in 1987..they were 11 and 3.. I respected my decision to stay then, not knowing the whole truth, ..

..I still wrestle with my decision to stay after 2009 when the whole story came out..


I'm not sure if she respects me for staying now, she'd say she does but I think sometimes she's just glad I am, ..for her own benefits to holding this 42 year marriage together.

..can you love someone but not respect them???

..she's been trying to earn my respect again and I've been trying to rebuild it for both our sakes!


[This message edited by somanyyears at 10:30 PM, May 16th (Friday)]

heartache101 posted 5/16/2014 23:11 PM

I believe there are truly remorseful waywards out there.
Yes they need to respect and love themselves before they can respect and love others.
of course we as BS have to learn to respect and love the wayward spouse for who they are now in the present.
Good luck with that one..

MammaMia posted 5/16/2014 23:51 PM

Can you love someone but not respect them???

Somanyyears: What a great question!!!!!!Thought provoking
No, You cannot love someone and not respect them.

You can respect but not love the person.We respect many people in life but we do not necessarily love them ( I mean: love= to be in love with)

But no: you cannot be in love with someone and not respect them. Love and respect go together.
At least that's how I see it.

Scubachick posted 5/17/2014 01:38 AM

My husband actually said "I never disrespected you in front of ow" I said you kept her a secret and were sneaking around with her..that is disrespecting me in front of her!!

sunvalley posted 5/17/2014 02:06 AM

I disagree about the loving someone and respecting them thing. Like currently for me, I love my H, but I don't respect him because I am still working through my grief over the As...he lost a lot of my respect, if not all of it on DDay. He is earning it back, but I would still say I don't respect his choices. Respect is earned based on behaviors IMO and in some cases like authority figures it is expected as you said, separately of love. I love my mom but I don't respect her either, it's been a consistent problem with her...she feels she can command respect out of her children, yet she's never provided us anything to respect her for. But I love her because she's my mom. I think you can have love without respect, when someone has let you down. It's not the same, the bond is strained if not almost broken, but I think you can still feel love or be in love with someone who's choices you don't respect....I think if there is nothing about that person you can admire or find positive though, or if they are not earning back your respect, then you have to question why you're with them.

I also feel my H was in love with me even when he was disrespecting me by having As. Yes, I realize that he was doing hurtful terrible things, but he compartmentalized and never fully allowed himself to realize the consequences of his actions til DDay. His actions were completely disrespectful, but yet he was loving and affectionate towards me even during the As. The As were his suffering, his issues and his terrible choices, but he never allowed himself to realize how much he was hurting me, the person he loved the most in the world and who's love he felt the least deserving of...but I don't doubt that he always loved me, even when he was in self destruct mode and took me down with him.

devasted30 posted 5/17/2014 06:27 AM

Wow, what a great topic. I struggle with this everyday. It's a battle. I am still in my M for many reasons. I don't have enough respect for myself to leave. I am 64 years old. I am retired. I have spent the last 31 years planning my old age with my WS. I had no clue what was going on. To say I was devastated-well look at my tag name, I couldn't even spell properly when I found this site. So, no I don't believe my WS has respect for me. If he did, he wouldn't have cheated. Unfortunately, I've shown him my true colours by not leaving. He always thought I was strong, hard even, but who would stay in a marriage where the WS cheated off and on for 7 years? Who would stay in a marriage where the children were fully grown and living lives of their own? Who would stay in a marriage where your spouse made a career of lying and cheating? Me. I don't even respect myself so how on earth could my WS respect me?????

Sadmumma posted 5/17/2014 07:06 AM

I think it would depend...

if, in R you rugswept and allowed yourself to be gaslighted then I imagine the WS would have no respect for the betrayed.

If, however in true R your betrayed made you accountable for your actions (and I dont mean punished) and together you worked toward unity .. that would earn respect in my books.

rachelc posted 5/17/2014 07:30 AM

If a wayward TRULY understands that the affair was about THEM, then I don't see how they cannot respect the BS and realize the gift they are being given with reconciliation.

I think continued contact with the AP is only getting hits of the crack pipe again and has nothing to do with the feelings of the WS. In fact, I would guess the WS feels like shit about themselves for continuing to go there.

I don't even contemplate if my husband respects me as a BS. i have to respect myself first. Everyone else after that seems small.

MammaMia posted 5/17/2014 22:12 PM


I understand what you say. But I would think that as married couples, committed to each other, we would expect to be respected by our spouses. Your comment " everyone else after that seems small" contradicts the above. It says that it is not important whether our spouse respects us or not, esp. as a BS. Why would we then marry someone that is irrelevant to us whether they respect us or not?

plainpain posted 5/17/2014 22:30 PM

My H said that he thought I forgave him too quickly after Dday 1. Of course, I only had about 1/10 of the truth at that point, and it had a spin on it. Honestly, I think he did think I was weak in the beginning. He grew up in an abusive home, saw his mom get punched around. All the kkds were violently abused, and yet she stayed - God only knows why. I think I reminded him of his mother post-A.. too afraid to be without a man to do the right thing.

When he finally told me everything after Dday 2, it took awhile for me to feel that he could actually respect me for being committed to him as my life partner, because I loved him, but eventually I did. I could do without him. He knew it. I knew it. I had lost respect for myself in our marriage, and I had to get it back for me, first. There will be no "one more chance". We are already well past the point of what I am able to forgive on my own.

Badhurt posted 5/18/2014 09:31 AM

I'm going to say this but probably will get a lot of flak, but I think a lot of the reasons men having a much more difficult time as you stated forgetting and R after affairs is because today a lot more women are refusing to accept that the A was them, not their husbands deficiencies. There was just an article published by a cheating website that gave a list of ten reason woman cheat. Forgetting that source, you can look at ANY leading womens magazine from Cosmo to Glamour to all the rest and you will find some article in their about how men are to blame for for causing the dynamics for cheating and NOT a lot of article telling women it is their fault for making that choice. A lot of this information actually spins for women how positive it can be to have an affair.
You DO NOT see this information constantly being published in men's magazines everywhere extolling how great it would be to cheat on your wife because she is doing one of these things wrong.
I am not saying men are not equal partners in crime, but when you combine the sense of entitlement that a lot of women have from this with the physical acts and lying, i think this contributes to why men dont R as well.

unfound posted 5/18/2014 09:52 AM

... having decided to R,does our WS respect us after all? Or does he perceive us as weak women who for whatever reason made the decision to R

I questioned this as well. here's a gem/analogy from our MC about this subject (paraphrasing, cause I can't remember what I had for dinner, much less what was said 8 years ago).

let's say you parachuted as a hobby, and your partner packed your chute every time over the years and there was never a problem.

then one day you jump, pull the cord and ... nothing happens.

still, after that, you decide to try it again.

does your partner respect your decision or do they think you're a fool?


do you just let them pack your chute then blindly jump? or do you insist that they go back to chute packing school and watch them pack the chutes over and over again before you even think about jumping?

then add in, does your partner balk at the thought that they need to relearn how to pack the chute and that you need to SEE them do it and double check their work? or, do they willingly and earnestly encourage you to see their progress and extend patience with you while you build up the confidence and trust to jump again?

a ws that can appreciate and be humbled at the fact that a bs can give them another chance and really understands the emotional risk the bs is taking respects them for their decicion.

a ws that thinks they're entitled, deserves another chance without doing the hard work, and is only feeling their own ego doesn't.

in the end, whether or not they respect you for your decision or not, you ALWAYS learn how to pack your own back up chute. respecting yourself is what ultimately matters.

sisoon posted 5/18/2014 14:31 PM

Respect was a giant issue for me, so I talked about it a lot during the period I used to decide which way to jump.

My W started out saying she respected me throughout her A. (She cheated even though our M was good.) It turns out there were times/events in which she did not respect me. She owned it and started to make amends. I decided on R. She continued to make amends.

BTW, I write the following to share a different perspective on the 'gift of R'. I'm not arguing other perspectives are wrong; just that what follows is my view, and it's working for me. The 'gift' perspective works for others.

I think my W sees the offer of R as a gift, but I see it more as a contract. My first task was to decide what I wanted. When I decided I wanted R, I negotiated what that would require from her, and my W asked for me to do some things.

OTOH, my W made it plain from a moment after revealing her A that she wanted to R, and she started showing it by answering my Qs, working hard in IC & MC, etc. So, although I use the term 'negotiate', it was pretty much organic and totally non-confrontational.

Anyway, different strokes for different folks.

clueless1 posted 5/18/2014 18:48 PM

What a great topic. Can you demand respect if you don't respect yourself? I guess every situation is different and of course every Wayward is different as well. My D-Day was 4/20/14 and we both want to R. I'm struggling with trusting him again. I don't know how to do that. I don't know if I'm pushing myself too soon. And honestly I'm unsure if deciding to R means that he'll respect me less and perhaps do it again. Great topic.

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