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My WH says he cheated because our marriage wasn't a Fairty tale?

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MissedRedFlags posted 7/3/2014 09:43 AM

A little background---my WH had a 3 yr affair and we are attempting to reconcile. It's been 1 year since DDay. The affair went from a EA to PA in June of 2010. DDay was June 4, 2013. It's hard to remember exactly the spring of 2010. Immediately after DDay, he claimed we "fought a lot" and I was "mad all the time". This never made sense to me-- that's not how I remembered the spring of 2010. Anyway, flash forward to now. We were walking the dog and I asked him how he could love two people at the same time---he claimed he always loved me but also he told the AP that he loved her too. He stated that he'd been "thinking" about why the affair started and he came up with "our marriage wasn't a fairy tale". What?!
My reactions:
1) No marriage is a fairy tale! Is he saying that because our marriage isn't perfect, that gives him the right to sleep with other women?
2) Our marriage is never going to be perfect. We are imperfect people. It's never going to be a fairy tale--so am I staying in this marriage only to be devastated again when he cheats again?
3) I firmly believe that he cheated because he
a) desired her b) was able to rationalize his excuse (fairy tale lacking marriage) c) was willing to lie to me and d) had the opportunity.

My question is---- he and I have argued over this and he now states that I misunderstood---that he believes the affair started in 2010 because he thought our marriage wasn't a fairy tale. He states that he is trying to understand why he did it. He doesn't think it is an acceptable "why" now. I am afraid to stay in a marriage where he thinks "not having the fairy tale" is reason to cheat. Does that make sense?

Me: BS 41
Him: WH 39
3 year LTA, DDay June 4, 2013
Married 16 years, together 21 years
2 kids aged 9 & 7

somethingremorse posted 7/3/2014 10:03 AM

WH here --

There are a couple of extra thoughtst that go hand in hand with "not a fairy tale" and an A. They all come from inside your WH. They include:

1. My M isn't a fairy tale AND I foolishly think that M should be.

2. My BW isn't satisfying all my needs AND I think all my needs should be satisfied all of the time by her.

3. My M doesn't make me happy all the time, AND that is because of BW, not anything that I am doing wrong.

4. My M doesn't make me happy all the time AND there is no sense trying to fix it in a productive way because it won't work/BW will just get upset/M aren't supposed to last, you get the drift.

5. I don't get everything I think I need from BW AND the things I am not getting are the important things, not everything else that I have because of her and my M.

6. My M isn't perfect AND so it's OK for me to have an A.

The first part of those mostly legitimate M problems. The second part of those statements are your WH's terrible responses to those problems.

I know -- that was me.

Today, my M is much better. It is absolutely not perfect, and far, far from a fairy tale. The difference is that I know it is not supposed to be.

My M and my BW are never going to satisfy everything that I think I need. It cannot happen. If I feel like I am missing something, I need to (a) figure out if I can get it in a productive way; (b) if not, figure out if I actually "need" it; and (c) if I do, compare that missing thing with everything else in the world that I have because of my M and BW. This is not settling for something less than I want. This is realizing what it is that I actually do want.

You need to feel comfortable that your WH knows that "fairy tale" is not a realistic requirement for a M.

sisoon posted 7/3/2014 10:11 AM

Maybe I misunderstand your post, but it sounds like your H realizes he's living in fantasyland, knows that's a problem, and is working to resolve it.

If that's the case, it sounds to me like it might be good progress for your H's healing and for R, even though it's disgusting and all sorts of other types of awful for you to hear.

Summerluv123 posted 7/3/2014 10:26 AM


Has your WH read the book "How to help your spouse heal from your Affair"? My WH just read it this week and immediately saw the error in his thinking. He learned that he was comparing apples to oranges when he looked at me vs his AP's. I represented real life with the day to day struggles and the AP's were stress free (an escape). Now he sees how that skewed thinking got us to where we are now and he feels the pain he has inflicted on his family.

I'm glad I came here and found that book. I hope when we start MC they will expand on the basics he learned in the book (I read it too - it is very good). I ordered it from Amazon and it came real quick. I know this book did not "fix" things, but just knowing that he now can see why he was thinking that way and is taking steps to change it is very encouraging. Taking this day by day!

MissedRedFlags posted 7/3/2014 10:31 AM

Thanks Somethingremorse---I appreciate the insights. Thanks for sharing that :-)
Summerluv--- I've ordered the book & it's coming today :-)

blakesteele posted 7/3/2014 10:32 AM


Solid post...thank you for posting it missedredflags and thank you for your honest response somethingremorse.

Immediately after DDay, he claimed we "fought a lot" and I was "mad all the time". This never made sense to me-- that's not how I remembered the spring of 2010.

I don't recall the months leading up to my wifes affair fully either...but do remember heightened anxiety within me. I do remember a joint family vacation not "feeling right" with my wife. Your nickname is solid too missedredflags....boy did I miss some big ones!

Your husband, my wife, many waywards DO lie about the state of their M before and during the affair. The first lie told in adultery is the one the wayward tells themselves. They must do this to enable themselves to choose to have an affair.

IF the marriage was really that bad...why not do MC, why not file for D? Because the FACTS wouldn't support the choices a wayward wants to make. Waywards desperately want to support their selfish feelings. To do that their only choice is to treat feelings as "facts"...and then its off to the races. The fact is if they actually worked on their M...well, that would be work....they want to continue to play (all fantasy, no reality).

Lots of feelings driving affairs....hardly any facts.

Keep in mind the "love" your husband shared with another woman? Not love. Lust yes...but not love.

If someone truly loved someone in an affair....would they really help them destroy parts of themselves, many times destroy families they were a part of?

They didn't love each other any more than two crack heads love each other as they shot each other up.

Sadly, your husband choose NOT to love you by choosing to have an affair. The facts don't support the feelings.

Fact is his actions put your physical health at risk.

Fact is his actions but your emotional health at risk.

And thats just the start of the facts that must come into the light...that you both must accept to heal from this trauma.

Facts that will very clearly just how a wayward did NOT choose to love you.

As you journey this route I am confident you will find more flags missed. As you dig for why they were missed you will find facts within you that will be unpleasant to face. I for one have looked at facts that have been a part of me for 30 years for the FIRST TIME! Wow.....

....this is a shocking thing to do. But it is the only way to heal and grow.

Keep posting and keep reaching outside of yourself. This is too much trauma to hold within.

Feelings are always buried alive and require daily feeding. Get them out in the light and let them be known. Recognize and honor those feelings...but don't use them as dictators.

Feelings are merely flags waving....see what they are waving about.

I have spent a lifetime of avoiding doing just exactly what I am urging you to do.

For the past 1.5 years I have grown comfortable doing this....and it feels soooooo goood!!!!

Thanks for a thought provoking post. I hope I offered you some comfort.

God is with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 10:35 AM, July 3rd (Thursday)]

MindMonkey posted 7/3/2014 10:47 AM

Your husband, my wife, many waywards DO lie about the state of their M before and during the affair. The first lie told in adultery is the one the wayward tells themselves. They must do this to enable themselves to choose to have an affair.

My FWW didn't lie about the state of the M. She torpedoed the state of the M so she could have the A...It's a subtle variation of the same theme.

What is messed up is that it wasn't just a marriage, it was a family. What kind of lie does a WS have to tell themselves to justify betraying the family? Were the kids not feeding WS enough ego kibbles.

I'm not sure I made a clear point but it seems like when a WS (mine included) explains thier reasons the answer is M-centric and not family-centric. I guess it doesn't feel right blaming innocent children, while it's easier to blame an innocent spouse.

Alex CR posted 7/3/2014 18:28 PM

Unless he is Prince Charming, he doesn't get to use that excuse.

Assuming he's not the Prince, then he is living in the real world with the rest of us and no marriage is a fairy tale even though the industry built up around today's expensive weddings would like everyone to believe that.

Is he trying? Is he transparent? Are you doing MC and are either or both of you doing IC? This doesn't get better unless you're both working at it. And in the end, the most you can do is take care of yourself and work on healing, getting to the point where you feel safe and confident and know that you'll make it, with or without your H.

And if you both want to R, it's not an easy road, but so far, from my limited experience, I can say it's been worth it for me although it has been almost five years...but only you can make the call whether staying in this marriage is good for you.

Take good care and be kind to yourself....

hopefull77 posted 7/3/2014 18:57 PM

Fantasyland 101....
selfish behavior didn't start with the A....
But that is what fuels it....
My H's EA started in June of 2010...PA started in September 2010...dday Nov 2012...I went to IC a few times in the middle of the A because I just couldn't figure out what was going on...I was afraid....fear is the real 'f' was paralyzing and intoxicating....I even was afraid of counseling...did NOT want to dig up all that childhood stuff....but like blakesteele has done I too have done the deep digging....painful and liberating all at the same time...
My H was in therapy for 15 months....he too has done the deep digging....get out your shovels and start digging!

Awaken posted 7/18/2014 18:42 PM

I have the same concerns, especially knowing that my WS was making plans to start an affair with another person and while having the fairy tale experience with the other AP. I'm also questioning when is it going to happen again?

Hopefuldad468 posted 7/21/2014 13:14 PM

So your story is the same as my WW...

All the things my WW says about our marriage before the A are the lies and excuses she uses to justify her having the A in he own mind. She recently polled others about the state of our marrage before the A and nobody agreed with her "memory". She was using revisionist history to reduce her guilt. I think this is quite typical.

As for the fairytale....I called it the Harlequin Romance fictional life. My WW believes life should be like a fictional story where everything comes easy and natural...with no work or effort in love. The problem is we like in a REAL world with REAL people. Things do not come effortlessly (especially a relationship)

Of course everything is easier in the A as you don't have to live with the person, you don't have to raise kids with the, every time you see them it is magical and a fairy tale.

Unfortunately in the fairytale...everyone lives happily ever after. I am not sure about you or your WH...but I do not think this is happily ever after.

I am still trying to break my WW of her delusion that everything should be Easy in something that is truly worthwhile.

[This message edited by Hopefuldad468 at 1:16 PM, July 21st (Monday)]

Lark posted 7/21/2014 13:20 PM

My snarky response is "never heard of the fairytale in which Prince Charming is off boinking Princess Whoretunia of the Royal Affair Kingdom"

My marriage has never been a fairytale, though at times I thought it was. But, my husband's entire perspective of what our marriage was during the affair is so beyond skewed because of the affair. A nicq quantitative breakdown is that he gave me 4% of the texts messages compared to 96% to each of the other women... so yeah, it's not hard to fathom why in HIS head, our marriage was "distant." It's ahrd to feel close to someone you give 4% of your energy.

Flip it around and look at my stats? I gave him 98% of my messages.

Hopefuldad468 posted 7/21/2014 14:31 PM

My WW does not believe in texts (and the OM wants nothing in writing)....

She believes in old fashion phone minutes....stats as follows for las 2.4 years not including work phone, disposable cell, seeing him in person, etc:

Me 1626 calls for a total of 3790 mim but an average of 2 min

OM 327 calls for a total of 3514 min at an average of 11 min and a max of 70 min

His call time and averages are bigger than all her friends and family members COMBINED. Oh she was also sleeping with him as an extra bonus.

And my WS claims it was only a little 5% diversion from our life and suggested we just keep it going that way.

She does not realize her little 5% diversion took 100% of her emotional energy away from us and 100% of her desire to fix anything.

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