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User Topic: MC philosophy. Affairs are a symptom of a failing marriage
stillhere09
♀ Member
Member # 24924
Default  Posted: 9:56 AM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


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.


Me-50 BW
Him-55,STBXWH

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


Posts: 3020 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: Ohio
Unagie
♀ Member
Member # 37091
Default  Posted: 9:58 AM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

As as wayward I took 100% responsibility. I remember SO saying it was partially his fault and me telling him no its not it is all on me. That was before I even found SI. She needs to take responsibility. She's right people don't have affairs for no reason. But that reason lies within her and her issues, not because of you.


Heartbroken madhatter trying to rebuild

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."


Posts: 2762 | Registered: Oct 2012
hopefullromantic
♀ Member
Member # 16652
Default  Posted: 10:06 AM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

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.


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

Posts: 1787 | Registered: Oct 2007
hopefullromantic
♀ Member
Member # 16652
Default  Posted: 10:06 AM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

sorry, double post

[This message edited by hopefullromantic at 10:08 AM, June 6th (Thursday)]


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

Posts: 1787 | Registered: Oct 2007
TattoodChinaDoll
♀ Member
Member # 34602
Default  Posted: 10:19 AM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

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.


Me (BW): 32
WH: 33 TimeToManUp
Married: 11 years, together 16 years
3 daughters: 9, 5, 3, and and 2 angel babies (2013 and 2014)
D-Day: 12/21/2011
Confronted him: 12/22/2011


Posts: 1727 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: New Jersey
Josephine01
♀ Member
Member # 38511
Default  Posted: 10:20 AM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My H told her all about the problems in our marriage before he told me. When I asked why didn't you come to me. His reply? "Because it was easier to start over with someone new then to face and work on my own problems at home," he said.

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.


Me, 42 BS
H, 61 WH
2 boys 19 and 15 years old
Married 24 years

Posts: 314 | Registered: Feb 2013
NoMorDeceit
♀ Member
Member # 23547
Default  Posted: 10:21 AM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

No it isn't always a symptom of a failing marriage. My H was cheating on me the whole time we dated, the whole time we were engaged, the first 5+ years of our marriage...and our marriage was awesome! No problems. I thought he was perfect, he thought and still thinks I am perfect for him, perfect. He had a reason: He didn't want to be monogamous, but he did want a wife at home. We spent very little time in MC because they just didn't have anything to counsel us about. The problem really was with him and he needed to make a choice...just me or no me at all. If he needed to get that clarified in IC, that was up to him. I really think most therapists have a hard time accepting that some people are just selfish, immature and entitled...and that sometimes there isn't anything the other partner could have done to change their behavior or choices.


FBS, been through the D marathon too.
Many D Days in April 2009
Multiple affairs, LTAs, and many OWs
Reconciled... There is hope! :)


Posts: 540 | Registered: Apr 2009
Dawn58
♀ Member
Member # 37656
Default  Posted: 10:24 AM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Oh man, does this piss me off. I was driving home one night and had Dr, Laura on the radio (will never do that again) and she was talking about how to affair proof your marriage. BS!!!! It doesn't matter what we do, the affair would have happened because they are damaged good and this is what they do. An alcoholic drinks, a cheater cheats. I thought I was in a happy marriage, he never said that he was unhappy. He told me he loved me every single day! There were never any discussions that he was not happy until after Dday. And then I think he was just trying to justify the affair.

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.


I got into the marriage, because I loved him. I got out of the marriage, because I love me.

Posts: 479 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Southern California
Alex CR
♀ Member
Member # 27968
Default  Posted: 10:48 AM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Affairs do happen for a reason...because the cheater is selfish.

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.


BS Me 61
WS Him 62
Married 33
Together 40
DD 11/16/09
The future looks good....

Posts: 1713 | Registered: Mar 2010
losingmyground
♀ Member
Member # 36070
Default  Posted: 12:55 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I can tell you that I looked for what my part was that lead him to even consider the affair as an option.

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.


Married 13 yrs
3 kids 13, 10 & 1
I'm 34
FWH 37
Affair lasted 6 months
Ended 09/2011
Found out 06/2012
My father died during the affair
In the middle of Reconcilliation

Posts: 291 | Registered: Jul 2012
twodoves
♀ Member
Member # 39181
Default  Posted: 12:58 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

We each are 50% responsible for the marriage, but the WS is 100% responsible for the affair.

Sometimes it can feel like a blurry line, but I assure you, it's not.


Me - BS
Him - WS (N3v3rG1v1ngUp)
Together 7 years, married for 2
He was cheating for 5 years
5 OW
D-days: 4/23/13, 4/27/13, 5/10/13
1 toddler, baby girl on the way in December

Posts: 160 | Registered: May 2013 | From: Illinois
cdnmommy
♀ Member
Member # 30182
Default  Posted: 1:23 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

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.


Me: BW
DDay: Oct 2010 + 6 weeks false R
2.5 (+?) year A with married coworker/my "friend"
1 great kid.
Reconciling and healing

Posts: 1742 | Registered: Nov 2010
TrustGone
♀ Member
Member # 36654
Default  Posted: 2:05 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If my marriage was failing, I had no clue. We never had problems in our marriage before he started his LTA with an old GF. She offered and he didn't turn her down, it was that simple. After the A started we then started having some problems with him complaining about not enough sex. He was treating me disrespectfully (probably the same way he treated her- groping/grabbing me) and it turned me off sexually and I told him that on numerous occasions. This was our only problem and I didn't have a clue where it was coming from and blamed it on his drinking. Our marriage is in trouble now and failing because of his LTA and alcoholism, not because of anything I am doing/have done. If we went to an MC that tried to say I was to blame for his affair, I would tell the MC how imcompetent he/she is and walk out and find another MC that gets A's. I am willing to take the blame for things that I have done that he may bring up, but no way am I taking blame because he needed his ego-kibbles.


BW-50
WH#2-51
M-9 yrs T-11 yrs
4 children-none together
DD#1-9/5/11 LTA 2yrs
DD#2-7/3/12 False R
DD#3-4/29/13 (OW broke NC)
Status: Your guess is as good as mine.

Posts: 2420 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: Texas
stunnedin12
♀ Member
Member # 38141
Default  Posted: 2:12 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I will take responsibility for my part in my marriage.

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.


ME - Betrayed Spouse
Him - Wayward spouse
Not sure, but trying I guess.

Posts: 477 | Registered: Jan 2013
cancuncrushed
♀ Member
Member # 28156
Default  Posted: 2:14 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

dr phil answered this yesterday. An A is 100% the cheaters fault. A marriage can be having difficulties, but the decision to cheat is made by the cheater. And my addition, is that if its kept secret, how can it be anyone elses fault? They are alone in this decision. And trying to keep it to themself. ... Its a wrong choice made by the weaker link.


a trigger yesterday

Posts: 951 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: athome
Undefinabl3
♀ Member
Member # 36883
Default  Posted: 2:33 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am a fWS and I am also calling out Bullshit on this theory.

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.


Me: 31 MH
Him: 37 MH
New online find 6/19/14 - shit

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2012
20WrongsVs1
♀ Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 2:49 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

allatsea, I have read your story from day one and it breaks my heart.

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.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1234 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
didiknow
♂ New Member
Member # 39410
Default  Posted: 2:55 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

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

absolutely agree

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.


Me-BH (38)
Her-WW (27)
M Aug 29, 2010
D-day May 25, 2013
A #1 June 2012
A #2 Late 2012-May 2013
No matter what "new" information you find out, it's all just part of the same iceberg, hidden under the surface.

Posts: 50 | Registered: May 2013 | From: wa
sisoon
♂ Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 2:58 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The big issue here is that your best bet for an MC is someone who sees the A as the WS's responsibility and who will address the pain of the A before addressing underlying issues, and finding that type of MC is hard work.

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)]


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10374 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
DeadMumWalking
♀ Member
Member # 25341
Default  Posted: 3:03 PM, June 6th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If M problems cause As, I think we'd see a lot more MHs than we actually do.

Exactly. You were in the same 'bad marriage' and didn't cheat, right?


Me (BS), Him (WH): early 50's
3 DS: teens!!! :)
M: 25 (19 1/2 at Dday), Together 30
Dday: Dec 2008
Limbo-ish, again (after multiple S) -- weighing my options

Posts: 2606 | Registered: Aug 2009 | From: EU
Topic Posts: 67
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