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Reconciliation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Is there always a reason for an affair?
doesitgetbetter
♀ Member
Member # 18429
Default  Posted: 1:09 PM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The thing is, he wanted the attention, yes, ok. But WHY did he feel going outside of his marriage was an acceptable solution? That's the why. The attention thing, that's superficial, that's like the scab on the wound. But what caused that wound to bleed in the beginning, what caused him to look elsewhere for it and made him think it was ok. Yes, he thought you were unavailable, but still, WHY did he think that made it ok to seek it outside the marriage?


DDay - Dec '07
Me - BS
Him - FWS
Us - Committed
May 18, 2010 - I forgave him fully!
"Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." Isaiah 48:10

Posts: 3859 | Registered: Feb 2008
Grimwyrm
♂ New Member
Member # 39014
Default  Posted: 1:19 PM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think His Needs, Her Needs provides a pretty good explanation of how one can fall into the temptation of an affair. I found it to be an incredibly helpful book, though some have argued it throws way too much on the BS for contributing to the bad marriage prior to the A. I choose to look at it differently and have found it be a valuable resource that also conforms with how my WW discusses why she had an A.

[This message edited by Grimwyrm at 1:19 PM, May 15th (Wednesday)]


Posts: 21 | Registered: Apr 2013
hopefullromantic
♀ Member
Member # 16652
Default  Posted: 1:28 PM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Why do some people beat their children? Because it was easy and convenient, they found it enjoyable and they didn't love their children anyway?

I don't think so. I imagine there are some parents who don't love their children but I would guess the majority of child beaters do, in fact, love their children. I doubt they find beating them enjoyable, although there probably is some feeling of "release". I guess there could be something to be said for easy and convenient. But why do they give into the "need" to beat their children? Especially when they are going to feel badly about it afterward. Bad because it hurts those they love. Bad because it's socially unacceptable and they feel ashamed. Yeah, but they do it anyway because they are selfish? Because they could?

Nobody "wants" to beat their children. They give into it because they lack a better way of coping with what is going on in their life.

I imagine there are some waywards that feel ok about cheating because their value system sees nothing wrong with it. But I think most cheaters are not okay with it. At least not until they have found ways to justify it because they are doing it, or planning to do it anyway. But before that happens, most cheaters believe that cheating is wrong. It's against their values. There is no justification.

IMHO, most cheaters lack proper coping skills. Their need for attention, escape, and/or feeling better about themselves overrides their values and their common sense. Instead of getting their needs met in healthier ways (like communicating better with their spouse, for one), they succumb to behaviors that even they are ashamed of, even at the expense of their loved ones, even at the expense of their self respect. They are self-ish, but even more so, not self-aware enough to know that they are heading for an A which is the wrong solution to their problems. Sometimes they are not even self-aware enough to realize they have a problem with unmet needs. The quick "fix" of some extra attention becomes their drug of choice and like all addictions they find themselves in deeper and deeper as time goes by.

We all want to feel good about ourselves and positive attention makes us feel good. Some of us need it more than others (because we didn't get enough as a child?). There are times when we need it more than other times (to counteract negative feelings about ourselves because we just lost a job?). Sometimes our perceptions are off and we don't feel it even when we are getting it from our spouse (because we don't love ourselves?).

Addressing our boundaries, coping skills and especially our perceptions about ourselves is the best defense against becoming a repeat offender, IMO. To me, that requires a bit of deep introspection, and maybe a lot. Understanding the triggers that made one vulnerable is essential. Anything less is avoiding or denying the real issues.

Everyone is selfish at times. Selfish at the expense of self respect is something bigger.


It's not really a fairy tale 'till the witch is deposed and a few dragons are slain

Posts: 1736 | Registered: Oct 2007
wert
♂ Member
Member # 34478
Default  Posted: 1:28 PM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

For me - I simply don't care anymore. I don't want to spend anymore time on her stupid choices and her childish behavior. I am interested in the now and moving forward.

My guts tells me cheaters cheat, at the end of the day, for only one reason. Because they want to. It comes in different packaging, some with paper bags, some with bows on top, but I just think it is as simple as that. Because they want to. Simple put the BS just gets screwed. That is acceptance.

I think WS's need to decide what kind of human being they want to be, define it for the BS, live it and then we get to chose if we still want to be with them. I can forgive most transgression with effort and achievement like that.

I have heard a lot of people talk about how their M is better than evar. Screw that. I want my W to be better than evar....I was there all along. She is getting there and it is cool.

take care...



Posts: 1414 | Registered: Jan 2012
PeaceLove187
♀ Member
Member # 33559
Default  Posted: 2:15 PM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

IMHO, most cheaters lack proper coping skills.

~~This~~ I know my H had crappy coping skills and had always turned to his parents and then to me to make things better when they went wrong. Of course we had the corresponding mommy/child issues as well. So of course the A was my fault, because I was supposed to fix everything and obviously I'd slipped up on my job.


BW--Me, 57
FWH--Him, 58
Married 34 years
Empty Nesters

Posts: 622 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: Midwest
ms521
♀ Member
Member # 12008
Default  Posted: 2:39 PM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

IMHO, most cheaters lack proper coping skills. Their need for attention, escape, and/or feeling better about themselves overrides their values and their common sense....They are self-ish, but even more so, not self-aware enough to know that they are heading for an A which is the wrong solution to their problems. Sometimes they are not even self-aware enough to realize they have a problem with unmet needs. The quick "fix" of some extra attention becomes their drug of choice and like all addictions they find themselves in deeper and deeper as time goes by.

Wow - this just hit home for me. WH often referred to OW1 as "heroin," and has compared OW2 to a drug as well, in the sense that he knew it was awful and wrong and didn't even really "want" to be doing it, but couldn't let go.

Thanks, FightingBack, for this post. I struggle daily (hourly?) with the lack of a good "reason" for WH's choices over the last 3 years. It's so interesting for me to read other's thoughts on this subject!


Madhatters.
Me: FWW (STA 2002), now a BW.
Him: FWH (OW1: 2006-2007), now just WH (OW2: 2010-2013)

I will never stop trying... because when you find 'the one' you never give up. (Cal Weaver)


Posts: 429 | Registered: Sep 2006
LA44
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Member # 38384
Default  Posted: 3:00 PM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My H and I were not meeting each others' emotional needs. His primary stressers were work related. He did not share those at all with me. I was concentrating on our two young boys with the youngest being quite...challenging the first few years. We had also moved. I was lost. Miserable and I let him know it.

In Sept. 2009, he said he woke up with ZERO intention of cheating on me. But later that night, away from home, at a conference and in a bar with a head office employee who was dazzling him with her sexual inneuendos and ability to drink with the boys, he saw an open door. They bantered back and forth had drinks and he was initiating a rendevouz in her room. Then another. And so it went on for two years when they were in the same town.

When it became too emotional for her, he was out. You see - I was not meeting his emotional needs but he did not want them from her.

But why? I asked, WHY did YOU - the good guy - take this path? How COULD you? It was there. It was easy. It was fun. It was the opposite of our life at the time. The two wolds could not collide. He felt alive by the attention, wanted.

His inability to discuss the trouble spots and what he wants/needs is something he is doing in IC now. Everything came easy to my H in childhood and adulthood. But when things got hard, he needed an escape and he sure as hell found one.

Why did this happen? How about I now ask, "why will this NEVER happen again?"

Because, we are talking like we never have before. What we feel, we discuss. We are digging deep. He is repulsed by that person in the bar. He never wants to go there again. His behaviour today backs this up.

I say, figure it out hon, bc there are no second chances.


Me: 44
He: 47 WH
Married: 15 years
D Day: December 2012
Affair: Fall 2009 - Dec. 2011
R is not linear

Posts: 2109 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Canada, eh
hopefulmother
♀ Member
Member # 38790
Default  Posted: 3:14 PM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

FightingBack...my exact story too. That is what my fWH said. Because he could and it felt good. He enjoyed the attention and will never do it again. She was his employee and unhappy in her relationship. She started it and he encouraged it. He went to a IC, said the same thing and that was that. Apparently that was good enough for the IC and him. But, I see all these other posts about WS working on themselves or bigger issues. WTH?

The end. excuse I should accept-selfish asshole he calls himself.

Is that really it?


Me-BW 39
WH-39
D-day 9-4-12
Major TT 8-14
Friends for 20yrs dating since 2000
Married 9yrs with 2 toddlers
My wedding band is a symbol of hope, forgiveness, love, and grace.

Posts: 918 | Registered: Mar 2013 | From: East Coast
Knowing
♀ Member
Member # 37044
Default  Posted: 3:37 PM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you, doesitgetbetter & hopefullromantic, for being the voices of reason on this crucial issue. I enjoyed both your posts.


Me: BW, Him: fWH
Together 12 years
My EA (?) 2005-2011
His STA/PA: D-day: 19/09/12
TT: 08/12/12

We are in R.


Posts: 697 | Registered: Oct 2012
hopefulmother
♀ Member
Member # 38790
Default  Posted: 3:44 PM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

LA44....thanks for that response. It really does put it in perspective.

The reality is-there will never be a good enough reason for why? Being selfish to the point of hurting the ones we love will never cut it for us. It will not cut it for anyone. The reality is-we are married or in a relationship with people that are prone to selfish instant gratification for whatever reason or another.

We must face the "how will it never happen again." Since, we love them enough to give them the gift of R.

Personally, I think they all have really low self-esteem and worth and need others to build them up. How do they do that? Build up their self-esteem at this age? Frankly, I don't want to raise an adult child.(I have 2 toddlers to deal with right now) My H is my partner. Someone to support, not constantly reassure like a child. I am getting tired of wondering if I am giving him enough attention to remain faithful to me. They need to learn how to internally self-gratify themselves.


Me-BW 39
WH-39
D-day 9-4-12
Major TT 8-14
Friends for 20yrs dating since 2000
Married 9yrs with 2 toddlers
My wedding band is a symbol of hope, forgiveness, love, and grace.

Posts: 918 | Registered: Mar 2013 | From: East Coast
tired girl
♀ Member
Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 3:51 PM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I really think hopeful romantic nailed it. And coming from that kind of childhood, ya, I can tell you my mother didn't set out to do it the times she did. It just happened. Over and over. It wasn't planned.


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 4506 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
1devastedmom
♀ Member
Member # 38399
Default  Posted: 4:04 PM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Because he's a selfish bastard that only thinks about himself. He said that he felt he "deserved" screwing hookers because he worked hard He tried to say that he started doing it because our marriage was not good, but I don't buy that excuse. If it's so bad that you want to resort to screwing hookers let me know so I can get off the crazy train before you bring me down with you.


Me BS: 42
WH: 44
DDay- April 17, 2013
Married 22 years
3 children: 18, 15 & 9
Reconcilling

Posts: 132 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: 1devastedmom
FightingBack
♀ Member
Member # 34770
Default  Posted: 10:37 PM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you to each and every one of you for taking the time to reply.

I am going to bookmark this thread and read it all again.


Me 53
WH 58
Married 25 years
4 children S30,D24, S23,S21
D-Day Nov. 29, 2011
15 year affair with married employee.
Together trying to make sense of it all!

Posts: 720 | Registered: Feb 2012
Hearthache again
♀ Member
Member # 28564
Default  Posted: 11:24 PM, May 15th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hopefullromantic was right on in their response.

I also want to point out that most of us can not fully grasp the whys of cheating because we never have or never will cheat. While we still can face the circumstances of what led our WS to cheat, we can not fully understand it because we didn't cheat.

Getting hung up on the whys can sometime delay R. I was hung up on it for a long time. I then realized that his answers were the truth and the only way he could explain it to me. My H does not have good communication skills when talking about feelings and reasons for doing things. His reasoning is: he does not have some deep answer(he wishes he did) besides he was stupid, has poor boundaries, and a conflict avoid-er.

I think we as BS need to focus after the why on what our WS are doing to fix the whys now. In our case my H has accepted he can not have close friendships with members of the opposite sex. He always makes sure I am with him and no about every women he has contact with. He went through a year of IC. He is learning to say no and set boundaries with people including his family(he failed at this miserably before). He is willing to talk about all disagreements and expresses his feelings to me. He no longer is the Yes man.

[This message edited by Hearthache again at 11:26 PM, May 15th (Wednesday)]


Me-BS(32)
Him-WS(35)
Married-12 years together 13
Kids 4: 15, 12, 8, and 3
DDay#1 9-26-2008 Dday#2 4-26-2010
We have R!!! But I still hate the number 26!

This too shall pass
I edit a lot because that stupid box is so small!


Posts: 871 | Registered: May 2010 | From: Michigan
Beautifulmom
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Member # 37611
Default  Posted: 9:39 PM, May 16th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

What kind of person does this?

I have the same thought. When I start to let my guard down a little, the question rises right back up.

I am stuck on whether my WH felt an appropriate amount of guilt while he was having the affair, and whether he has enough guilt to not lie to me again.
I think the problem is, he sees it like your husband does: the reason is that she was there, she was "hot", and it "just happened". He has no other insight. Maybe if he laid it out like, "I had gained weight, I have always felt the need to have attention from women and we had just had a baby and I was feeling unattractive (isn't that my line?)" I would feel a lot better. I think we see it as caring enough to deeply think about it for a few minutes. But he shakes his head at all these theories. Nope, she was there, she was hot, that is all.
I try to explain to him, there are a lot of hot women out there who are available. Your excuse leads me to feel extremely vulnerable to this happening again. He shakes his head, Nope, this will never happen again.

It's like, HELLO? Is there anyone in there? Do you really not have anything beyond, "What am I going to eat today, what am I going to wear, who am I going to fuck today?" floating around in your head?

However, unfortunately this posting has confused me. No one seems to agree on whether you need a deep reason or not. Personally, if he came to me and said, 'I did it because I am broken. I have always needed attention, and when she showed me attention it was exciting and even though she was your best friend for those 3 years I really didn't give a crap about you, because there is something emotionally wrong with me. I realize I treated you poorly because it was my justification for having the affair" I would feel much better. Wow, he cares enough to actually THINK about it, and he GETS it.
My IC thinks a lot of men have a great difficulty verbalizing the way they feel. But I have asked him if it was because he had gained weight, he felt like I didn't pay attention to him, or he needed more sex. He just blankly stares and says no, that wasn't it. She was just hot. Ugh. so, again, what kind of person does that?

[This message edited by Beautifulmom at 9:53 PM, May 16th (Thursday)]


33 years old (Wh and me)
Married 10 years
2 children: 4yo and 1yo
Dday#1 10/28/12
Dday#2 12/24/12 (Merry Christmas)
Affair: 3+ years (as far as I know) w/my best friend of 14 years

Posts: 64 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Beautifulmom
Beautifulmom
♀ Member
Member # 37611
Default  Posted: 9:47 PM, May 16th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Heartache again, I like your answer. My WH is a conflict avoider, in fact we both are. I have to prod him to the point of making him really mad now to make sure I know where he stands and he knows where I stand. For some reason now having conflicts makes me feel better now, like I am not passively letting anything by my gaze (and he knows it).

Maybe it's a personality thing. Maybe it's a rugsweeper thing. Maybe focusing on the future and how the WS's are treating the M now is a smart thing. I have just backed down for so long that I am afraid of letting ANYTHING go for fear it will backslide.


33 years old (Wh and me)
Married 10 years
2 children: 4yo and 1yo
Dday#1 10/28/12
Dday#2 12/24/12 (Merry Christmas)
Affair: 3+ years (as far as I know) w/my best friend of 14 years

Posts: 64 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Beautifulmom
catlover50
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Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 3:30 AM, May 17th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Once again I think we need to allow that there are major differences between people and situations. Because we share so many of the same feelings sometimes we forget that.

Bottom line, IMHO, the WS puts his/ herself ahead of the BS. I read recently that betrayal is not taking into account a person who is relying on you and treating them as if they don't matter. No wonder it feels so awful! Sure, that's selfishness. But I feel it does matter how they got to that place.

I think of it as "attachment". Shirley Glass talks about this and we all have our own attachment styles, often due to FOO. Some of us were lucky enough to have healthy intimacy and attachment modeled for us and it is natural for us. We would no more betray our spouse than our children, no matter what else is going on in our lives. Some of us had such poor modeling that we will abandon our children. It runs a gamut.

I believe that it is important for a WS to discover what about them made such supreme selfishness okay. That's where digging is important. Loyalty in a M should be a given; why it wasn't deserves some deeper thought.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1710 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
wonderpets
♂ Member
Member # 35901
Default  Posted: 4:12 AM, May 17th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yes,"I was selfish"is a valid answer. Often the underlying reason is poor impulse control and good old fashioned poor judgement. I think there are people, that no matter how sorry they are, will make the same choice again when enough time has passed to make them forget how sorry they are.

These people may feel sorry when the consequences for their actions are severe-the OP dumps them, they realize they are penniless and alone, etc. , but if circumstances seem more favorable they will gladly ditch you again.

Some people are just assholes.


Posts: 200 | Registered: Jun 2012
Sue1964
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Member # 37057
Default  Posted: 7:25 AM, May 17th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Always a reason men just thinking of one thing no consideration of the hurt iit does to his wife and family.SELFISH!

Posts: 287 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: Uk
SisterMilkshake
♀ Member
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 12:05 PM, May 17th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I imagine there are some parents who don't love their children but I would guess the majority of child beaters do, in fact, love their children. I doubt they find beating them enjoyable, although there probably is some feeling of "release". I guess there could be something to be said for easy and convenient. But why do they give into the "need" to beat their children? Especially when they are going to feel badly about it afterward. Bad because it hurts those they love. Bad because it's socially unacceptable and they feel ashamed. Yeah, but they do it anyway because they are selfish? Because they could?

Nobody "wants" to beat their children. They give into it because they lack a better way of coping with what is going on in their life.

I am going to disagree with this. Child abusers do not love their children. Yes, many want to abuse their children. Many feel no shame or remorse, they don't feel "bad", the child deserved it. They are sick mo fo's who don't know the first thing about love.

Also, I don't feel the behaviour of child abusers can or should be compared to WS's behaviours. jmo

Once again I think we need to allow that there are major differences between people and situations. Because we share so many of the same feelings sometimes we forget that.
I agree with catlover50. For some, the why isn't as simple as being selfish and they could, but for others it is just that.

My FWH is lazy when it comes to relationships. He doesn't want to put in any effort. I take effort. I am not willing to be his blow up doll/cumdumpster. OW was willing to be just that. It was easier for him to betray me than to make any effort to fix our relationship. Selfish! He was selfish because it was easy and fun, no work, no fuss no muss. Or, so he thought.

I just hope that BS's don't get all hung up on the why's like I did. I was obsessing about it, thought it had to be deeper, had to be more. I feel it is more important for me to focus on what my FWH is doing now. What actions is he taking now. My FWH did/does a lot of introspection. He read, MC, Retrouvaille, talking. He still comes up with the same answer. He feels that he was a weak, selfish asshole. I agree! Who am I to not accept that his feelings are valid and what he concludes is his "why"?

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 12:10 PM, May 17th (Friday)]


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9404 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
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