The question in my mind is, what makes the difference between someone who is having that temptation, someone who has the chance to cheat, and doesn't, and someone who does? Is it simply a matter of character? Is it that some people are just more honorable than others? Or is there more to it? I'm sure there's no simple answer, but I would like to hear people's thoughts. From BSs, from WSs, anyone.
My H, on the other hand, came from a broken home with two alcoholics, parents divorced due to infidelity, father not around, mother absent, only father figure molested him from ages 8-10, older brothers routinely beat him, absolutely no one to count on or look up to, his mother dated married men and every other male around cheated. He had only himself to count on and not a single role model for healthy intimacy. Started having sex at 12 and had a string of partners.
How can I say that I am a better person because I didn't cheat? How can I know how I would have reacted under such pressure? I literally have never struggled with temptation--just don't feel it. I have also never struggled with depression, low self esteem, attachment disorders, etc.
So, clearly, I see this as complicated and try to reserve judgement when possible. However, when the chips are down and people are downright cruel I do get judgey.
I can't even guess now if he would have ever or never or for sure, I feel like I don't know him at all - but the timing was right for him to cheat and it wasn't because I pushed him to it or anything. he was unhappy with himself and found someone to fix it all.
He, on the other hand, escaped. He was away from home, hotel, drinking at a conference late at night, talking to a co-worker who could drink with the boys and do the dirty talk and...it all went downhill from there.
It's incredible to me that he even did this. He was seriously messed up. Today he says that he doesn't even recognize that person and the A "repulses" him.
Guess we all get back to reality eventually.
The OW was a neighbor,friend of us, co-worker and had been my ICU nurse in years before the affair. She, per WS, and she has not denied it is the one that pursued him....sexual temptation including emails, cards and etc. They discussed the game plan and rules.....and WS words now he sold his soul and all he was to have illicit sex.
He did everything he perceived as a immoral person...putting his job, his family (marriage and kids), our financial situation, his health and etc in jeopardy while lying, deceiving, disrespecting our house, his job....and on and on but refused to admit until he literally almost died and I discovered the confirmed the affair.
He loved the excitement of the chase, loved the secret life, but hated himself whiling do it, the deception, the lying to me and other friends...not enough to stop though.
He hates the shame and guilt now and loss of respect for those few that know. Loss of a good friend (OW's husband) and OW...he takes total responsibility for giving in to the temptation and the hurt/pain he has caused.
We are in R, only cause I choose so far to be here.
But there are some who just don't resist. In my opinion, it is for one of two reasons: Either their moral compass is just not strong enough or they are not sure they want to stay with their spouse forever (which is also a rather weak compass), but I do think there are times when some WS's - some but not all - have decided that they might have made a mistake in the choosing of their mate. They wonder what they are missing. They wonder if they could have it better. Some may consider that it wasn't a mistake to marry their spouse, but now it may be time for a change; they're not sure. Of course, the right thing to do is to go to MC, but too many times, they don't.
It is true that a person who is honorable in other things, like honesty in finances, honesty when it comes to refusing to lie or cheat in other ways, a person of integrity, is far less likely to cheat on a spouse. There's no guarantee, but the chances are far fewer.
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
He was away from home, hotel, drinking at a conference late at night, talking to a co-worker who could drink with the boys and do the dirty talk and...it all went downhill from there.
Before when XH traveled, he would call us (me and kids) and LAUGH at 'those people' that acted like they were on Spring Break. Then he turned into one of them.
You know what? I sort of 'get it'. I wasn't 'fun, sexy or exciting'. I was taking care of kids, house and cleaning up catshit. I get where the 'fun peeps' were simply more fun.
But I still would have never stooped like he did.
Is it simply a matter of character? Is it that some people are just more honorable than others?
Or is there more to it?
No. Not really.
Married for over 14 years
2 beautiful boys in elementary school
The temptation part, where someone has to "resist" an affair, is unacceptable to me. If they have to resist it....it's because they want it, and I surely don't want to waste my time with someone who has this idea that being with me, causes them to miss out on something else.
It's kind of hard to tempt someone with Chocolate if they don't like chocolate. Dangling it in front of them, isn't going to make that person suddenly like chocolate.
(and for the record...I like chocolate and would selfishly take the chocolate)
Opportunities have presented themselves over the years, and I did not feel the least bit tempted. I am certain that it is NOT because I have some extra special code of higher moral character. I haven't the slightest interest in other men, and I think it's because I am lazy, and I don't *want* the hassle or the junk. The payoff isn't there for me.
I have no trouble getting up in the morning to exercise, but I just can't do it at night after work. Other people can't drag themselves out of bed, but can stop at the gym after work. We are wired differently. And saying selfish, bad character, IMHO, is too simplistic. Just like that kid who joined the gang; what were the influences at play?
I'm not trying to not hold waywards responsible for their actions in any way; we all know right from wrong. I just think that the motivations, etc are more complicated.
In my book thats all it takes.
All the M problems are just pig shit. Excuses and justifications.
There is a point though where many would turn back. A decision point. I like to call it the *get naked moment*. Where things have gone to a point where the deed is the next step.
At that time our morality should be screaming at us. That voice in our head telling us right from wrong is yelling dont do this. I think this is where justification comes in. The morality is shoved aside by the justification of *I deserve this because..*
And Damn - who hasn't been tempted??? Not just by sex, by anything? Another potato chip, a piece of chocolate? An unattended purse? A mean joke at someone else's expense? There are millions of temptations all around us.
All I see is a weak character.
A selfishness, a sense of entitlement, and a "I'll deal with it later" attitude if they get caught.
I hope they all burn in hell.
Wish I could watch.
I talked with my H about it. And I prayed. A lot. An A did not happen, although it could be argued I was in the beginning of an EA that was curtailed.
My H and I both have a strong moral compass. He has great integrity, or so I thought. The difference, I think was that I communicated to my H, and others, while my H did not. Not only did he not tell me of his temptation, but when I had told him of mine he really didn't want to talk about it much. And later, when I brought it up again he acted like he didn't know what I was talking about!
My H denies his feelings. When really bad things happen, he does not talk about them. He avoids and denies. That is the difference between us.
Is the pride and esteem I feel from doing the right thing worth missing out on that rush that the wrong thing can provide?
Is that rush worth abandoning myself and others?
It is a deep internal subconscious battle. So many factors play a role: FOO, habit, perception of reality, perceived self worth and on and on.
But all if those factors are inside the WS. It is not the state of the M but the perceived state if the M
"Knowing is half the battle"
Expecting progress not perfection