But if what we are all saying on this forum is true,(and we would say that, wouldn't we?) why are the websites for counselling and lawyers full of statements about affairs being a symptom of a failing marriage? Why isn't our belief the most commonly held view out there in the real world?
Well, in the first place, you have to consider who is running these websites and holding these views. Mostly, they are well-meaning, caring individuals that want to be a help to others, but who have no experience outside of book learning. Most of them are also young, many of them are fresh from college. While I am a great advocate of book learning, when you experience something in real life, it teaches so much more - and so much more thoroughly.
Also, I have seen many polls and statistics say that a shocking percentage of marriages with infidelity in their record were "happy marriages" before the affair. I have seen articles that say infidelity happens in GOOD marriages. Sometimes (as in the case with my first M) things are going very well, goals have been met, success can be claimed, kids are well-adjusted. One spouse or the other then looks around them and thinks, "So, what else is there?" They need a new challenge, and they make a tragic choice.
It seems incredible that affairs happen in good marriages, but when you think about it, you realize that, as Sailorgirl said, an affair is a symptom of a sick person, not a symptom of a sick marriage. Then it makes sense.
Many good marriages end up suffering from infidelity.
I'm not saying all infidelity happens in good marriages. Many marriages are troubled and rocky before the affair. In these cases, both partners are responsible for taking steps to heal the marriage, and if one chooses to have an A instead, then the A is all on the guilty partner, even though other problems may be on both their shoulders.
Walk a Mile In My Shoes
Married 14 yrs. Now Separated & in NC
2 grown DD's - his from previous M
4 grown kids (2DS, 2DD) mine from previous M
No longer together
"To be loyal to myself is to allow myself to grow and change, and challenge who I am and what I think."
I cannot love him enough, watch him enough, clean enough, cook enough, have sex enough, or look good enough to keep him honest in our marriage. He has to work on himself...
As do we all. An A is a bad coping mechanism for problems in life, in general, not necessarily the marriage.
[This message edited by hopefullromantic at 10:08 AM, June 6th (Thursday)]
How is someone supposed to fix a marriage, especially the BS, if that kind of childish idea is floating around out there?
I agree that an A is a symptom of a bad marriage, but I don't agree that the BS should shoulder half the blame. I will shoulder half the blame for the bad marriage, but none of the blame for the A.
If he was not happy, I would have moved mountains to work on the marriage.
He is a serial cheater - twice cheated on wife number two and once with me, wife number three.
HE made the decision to have the affair. HE made the decision to continue the affair. HE made he decision to meet her at a hotel. HE made the decision to deceive me for months. HE made the decision to lie to me. HE never had the balls to tell me, just started to act like a bastard. I asked him what was wrong and all he ever said to me was that "he wasn't ready to talk about it". But he was more than ready to text her while he was lying in bed next to me for two mornings and then I went into his computer and found the text messages. It was me that confronted him on the affair.
Everyone I told was shocked to hear it, everyone thought we the real thing, a solid, happy marriage.
I refuse to take ANY responsibility for the affair. If he was unhappy in the marriage, he should have come to me and talked about it, we could have gone into couple's therapy to work on the issues and then, after a few months of working, come to a decision to either end the marriage, or continue on. Then, if the decision was to end the marriage, go through the divorce, finalize it and THEN start dating. Not while you are still married.
They cheat because they're bored, because they want love, because they're lonely, because they couldn't resist the stars that fell out of AP's butt...whatever....they'll say any excuse they can think of but when it comes right down to it...they do it because they want to....
If they weren't selfish people, they would think about the person they made a commitment to, the children they made, the needs of the family they created. They could choose not to cheat, but they don't.
Marriage is work and sometimes it's not all roses, but grownups know that and they work things out together or they decide to call it quits....together.
Everyone can leave if things are that bad instead of using and emotionally abusing someone they supposedly loved. And cheating, IMO, is a form of abuse.
Your WS's reasoning is not just wrong, but a selfish way to justify one's actions.
And let's not forget that 'failing marriages' are big business. I may be cynical, but there are lots of people who make their living off of 'failing marriages' and I wonder if promoting that idea might just be better for business.
I have worked on that part myself.
You can shoulder the blame for what lead to an empty marriage, but not her having an affair.
The simple truth is that once an affair has become an option, majority of couples are both unsatisfied. But yet it is only one that cheats.
She needs to figure out what made that option okay.
You work on what she tells you was missing in the marriage.
If one of you is unwilling to do the work, reconciliation will NOT work.
Sometimes it can feel like a blurry line, but I assure you, it's not.
Obviously we must accept at least 50% of the problems in the marriage but I haven't seen one therapist website that says that the cheater must accept 100% of the affair and should have dealt with it another way.
I reject the notion that the BS must take 50% of the responsibility for problems in the M. In our case, I was trying hard to address what I perceived to be the things that were wrong, but without honesty and commitment from him, I was trying to fix what I perceived to be the problems, but I was chasing red herrings and trying to fix things that weren't mine to deal with.I'm sure there are BS's who share none of the burden, and some who deserve most or all of the responsibility. It kind of becomes irrelevant once infidelity enters the picture, since both parties have to change and adapt to the new state of things.
To put it this way, my FWH's treatment of me during his LTA could have led me to seek out validation through an affair. The marriage sucked and I was miserable to the point that I was very near divorcing him, despite his insistence that nothing was wrong. I didn't cheat because I made a commitment to work through issues in my marriage.
Ultimately the difference is that I had coping skills that he did not. I had them because I examined my options and tried to act in positive ways instead of shutting down. I like to think my FWH has learned these skills, and there is certainly evidence he has, but that is on him. I am done trying to solve other people's problems.
Sorry for the length, I just get my back up when I hear BS's getting pressure to own something that isn't theirs.
There is not a snowball's chance in h*ll that I will take ANY responsibility for his stupidity and pure *ss behavior with chickie.
arguing is a symptom, disrespect is a symptom, lacking sex is symtom, not doing nice things for each other anymore, is sysmptom.
Having an affair is a choice that one person makes because of their broken self when they can not act in a mature responsible manner. Having an affair is the choice of a weak person who dosent have the metal capcity to understand their fuckupidness and decide that they are justified in creating a life, even for a short time, with another person - based on rewritten marriage 'facts' and one sided assumptions about what their spouse is/was/knows/does/ect.
Because an affair is not a symptom of a "sick" marriage. An affair is a symptom of a "sick" person.
I'm the Wayward, ITA with this. Had a row with my mom & sister, trying to explain that it doesn't matter if the M was great or awful--I am 100% responsible for the A. Anyone who says different is an A enabler.
I agree that a M is 50/50, but responsibility for specific M problems can be 90/10.
Something I learned through all of this is what a "why" really is. Why is not: I felt unloved, I liked the attention, I wanted something different, you were a bad husband/wife. Those are excuses. The why is: I have poor communication skills or never learned, I'm selfish, I'm NPD, I'm a fucking idiot who lacks empathy. So no, it's not a symptom of a failing marriage. It's a symptom of a failing person
I reject the notion that the BS must take 50% of the responsibility for problems in the M
I feel the same way. If the WS is having issues with the M but not communicating them, then the WS can be responsible for much more than 50% of the M problems, as well as the 100% for the affair.
So, as usual for me, I have some questions:
Is it possible that you're misreading the statements? That is, are you too sensitive to possible bias toward the WS?
Do you have other sources for a referral - a pastor, for example? (Just for the record, I'm not a great fan of organized religion myself, but lots of people get good support from their pastors.)
Can you cold call some Cs and interview them by phone?
For every WS who says she cheated because her H did or didn't do A, B, and/or C there are untold 100s or 1000s of wives who didn't cheat, even though their Hs do or do not do A, B, and/or C.
Also, every BH was in the same M as their WWs were, but the BHes didn't cheat.
If M problems cause As, I think we'd see a lot more MHs than we actually do.
[This message edited by sisoon at 3:01 PM, June 6th (Thursday)]
Exactly. You were in the same 'bad marriage' and didn't cheat, right?