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User Topic: What makes or breaks an affair?
sisoon
♂ Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 9:40 AM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The justification of the A is a differentiator, IMO.

WRT people who cheated because they were unhappy in their marriages, I suspect these folks never did the introspective work that leads to the realization that if person Z is unhappy, person Z has the problem, and only person Z can solve it.

A corollary is: if person Z thinks his problem is with his partner and person Z changes/adds partners, the problem simply won't be solved.

When I've been unhappy with my W - very rare before her A - I always understood that the only solution was to choose between 1) accepting her, or 2) raising the issue and working with her to resolve it.

IMO, a lot of As start for other reasons. For example, my fear was that I'd cheat because I got impulsive - maybe someone would turn me on so much that I'd forget my commitment, even though I was very happy in my M. (I kept my guard up.) Clearly, some As happen because a WS can't or won't control his/her impulses.

Some people cheat because they have lousy boundaries or because they give up their boundaries to a more powerful personality, even though they're happy with their Ms.

Different types of As have different reasons behind them.

I'll say this: I don't attribute it to good or bad character or good or bad morals. To make that judgment, I'd have to look inside a person's heart and brain, and I simply can't do that. I just can't evaluate motivation from external behavior.

[This message edited by sisoon at 9:44 AM, June 20th (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: 10384 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 9:49 AM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Character, yes. Also lack of respect for the SO.

I believe this says it all.


Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
PeaceLove187
♀ Member
Member # 33559
Default  Posted: 10:10 AM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Character. Moral compass. Impulse control issues. But also empathy. People who have As are generally more selfish and I believe that's a function of empathy. They often are blindsided by the pain caused by the As because they aren't tuned in to the emotions of other people. They aren't in the habit of seeing the world through the eyes of others. During the period of my H's first A, I was tempted as well. Our marriage wasn't working due to my H's failing business and general depression and I was tired of trying to hold everything together. One of my clients seemed interested and the attention was very compelling but nothing happened. I couldn't cause that kind of pain to my husband so I dropped the client. Apparently my H was more focused on his problems than on my pain, so he moved forward with his A. My H lacked empathy, another way of saying he was selfish or self-focused.


BW--Me, 57
FWH--Him, 59
Married 35 years
Empty Nesters

Posts: 638 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: Midwest
uncertainone
♀ Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 10:17 AM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

They aren't in the habit of seeing the world through the eyes of others

Quite true. Some affairs are very pain based coupled with horrible coping skills.

Ever stubbed your baby toe really hard? Almost impossible to sit. Pain can make one quite narcissitic. It's supposed to, actually. Your mind and bodies way of saying "focus, people, we're in distress!!!"

You match that with horrible coping skills and tools and voila. Nightmare.


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
ifinallyfoundme
♀ Member
Member # 39523
Default  Posted: 10:22 AM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Everyone is tempted but everyone does not act on that temptation.

As others have stated it all about the wayward spouse. Circumstances whether good or bad, are just an excuse to indulge in destructive behavior.
People have been cheating since the dawn of man and the only real difference in the mix is technology. When it comes to the behavior of human beings there is nothing new under the sun.


Posts: 180 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: United States
20WrongsVs1
♀ Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 10:28 AM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I shared your WW's perspective; perhaps all waywards do. What I'm coming to realize is, I was unhappy with myself and deeply resentful about a terrible wrong done to me at age 7. Under stress those negative feelings spiked, and I projected my unhappiness and resentment onto BH and made him the enemy, the impediment to my fulfillment. Hopefully with time and therapy I will figure out why I chose to turn away from BH, instead of toward him--as I now wish I would've.

Character, honor and decency: yes, I agree, in my poor mental health state I disconnected from those traits.


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: 1237 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
nofool4u
♂ Member
Member # 38509
Default  Posted: 10:29 AM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

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?

Yes, a matter of character IMO. There are lots of people who are unhappy in their marriages that don't cheat and wouldn't.

If you were unhappy too, maybe you can ask your WW something like, "Hey, I was unhappy as well, why do you think I didn't cheat?" I'd love to hear the answer from her on that one.


Me - fBS

Posts: 210 | Registered: Feb 2013
ifinallyfoundme
♀ Member
Member # 39523
Default  Posted: 10:49 AM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yes, a matter of character IMO. There are lots of people who are unhappy in their marriages that don't cheat and wouldn't.

In our current state of culture we look outside of ourselves for something to make us happy or bring us joy. We should bring that joy with us into the marriage.

Happiness is based on circumstance but joy is internal/eternal.

I hear people say they are unhappy in their marriage because of their mates. What happens if a person becomes ill, unemployed, or unable to have sex.
I know of a nice woman who left her husband because his business partner cheated him out of the finances. He sounded like a good man but she was bitter because of money. Circumstances are transitory and happiness like the weather.
Two whole joyful complete individuals make a good marriage, not two broken ones.


Posts: 180 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: United States
RyeBread
♂ Member
Member # 37437
Default  Posted: 11:03 AM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

she had an affair because she was unhappy in our marriage.

She needs to dig a lot deeper than that.

The excuses/reasons for having an A are varied and convoluted. They are like swiss cheese, there are holes in all of them.

What really matters IMHO is to ask the question, why was an A even an option? There are other ways to handle perceived unhappiness. Why go for such a destructive force? With all the negative consequences that come from them, why would anyone want to do that? (rhetorical)

I also think (as mentioned by others) you have to own your happiness. It's not up to others to make us happy. Only we can make ourselves happy. if we are not happy then it's up to each of us as an individual to figure out why we are not happy and make the changes we need to get there without creating hurt and destruction towards others along the way.

My 2 cents.


Let him that would move the world first move himself. - Socrates

Posts: 1030 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Midwest
Rebreather
♀ Member
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 1:10 PM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I never understand this "lack of character" definition of the affair driver. There are so many great former waywards on this site. Are they all lacking character? Or did they grow it back?

How many of us are/were married to people that we thought had great character? It is what DREW ME to my spouse. He was honest. He was true. He was not a skirt chaser. Before we ever dated and were just friends I knew he believed in "quality, not quantity."

But when the going got tough, boy did he get going! Is that lack of character? That seems like such a simple answer. We focused instead on why he decided to hit the self-destruct button. What allowed him to become selfish in that manner?

If cheating is only lack of character, how do you fix that?


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6549 | Registered: Jan 2011
uncertainone
♀ Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 1:30 PM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If cheating is only lack of character, how do you fix that?

You don't. Character isn't static, though. That's the thing.

Friend of mine is finding this out with his Mustang. 2006c 4.6l v8. Nice car. He decides he wants more hp ( dumb. It's a commuter car) so he changes the exhaust from 2 1/2 to 3 and a muffler delete. Back pressure and lower end performance vanishes (duh). Now he either reinstalls the old exhaust (which of course he doesn't want to do) or invest a shit load to get back basically what he once had.

As life happens our belief system can change. We see it on here when some post about things done après dday that never would have been contemplated pre.

RA's, DV, total distrust of all, perception as a whole. The changes can bring about or illuminate chinks not known prior.

To me, character would be shown by how experiences life brings are coped with and how what those uncover or introduce are handled. Growth happens when they're owned and fixed. Doing that is an example of character not a lack of it. For anyone. If "you" live long enough life can test us all.

[This message edited by uncertainone at 1:31 PM, June 20th (Thursday)]


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
heartbroken0903
♀ Member
Member # 27879
Default  Posted: 1:33 PM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm going to come back to this thread tonight when I can reply from my computer but I want to respond to Rebreather's post quickly:

We as way wards all know right from wrong. Those of us that want to make it right don't necessarily grow our character back or grow it from scratch in some cases---I feel we just make the commitment to follow it as we should have all along...to choose right vs. wrong. Leaving aside all the bullshit excuses and justifications and "why"s, sometimes it's as simple as that---choosing to do right.

Temptations of all kinds will always be there in the world. I'd love to eat cake every day, but I don't want to be fat. I'd love to tell 'em "take this job and shove it" but I don't want to be homeless. Bad behavior stops when the payoff is less than the cost. I learned that the hard way.

[This message edited by heartbroken0903 at 1:34 PM, June 20th (Thursday)]


Me: XWS, 30s, 5-month EA/PA in '09-'10
Husband: XBS, 40s
No kids

Married 2.5 years
D-day 3/6/10
Divorced 5/14/10

Remarried.


Posts: 2232 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: the cat's meow
copingdaily
♀ Member
Member # 34713
Default  Posted: 1:42 PM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

defenitely morals but I find it intresting that years before the affair my husband met the ow at a concert once, I didnt introduce them but she stopped and chatting with me for a minute.He never gave her a second look that night, timing I guess also


Treat others as you want to be treated

Posts: 296 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Texas
Rise And Shine
♀ Member
Member # 27513
Default  Posted: 2:05 PM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

But when the going got tough, boy did he get going! Is that lack of character?

Rebreather, yes!

It doesn't mean that having poor character is a life sentence...for most people, anyway.

A person who bails when the going gets tough may or may not qualify as a person with poor character.

A person who deceives qualifies as a person with poor character.

They aren't in the habit of seeing the world through the eyes of others

If that were true then how come most cheaters try to hide their affair?


April 25, 2009

Posts: 3263 | Registered: Feb 2010
nofool4u
♂ Member
Member # 38509
Default  Posted: 3:48 PM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Redbreather
I never understand this "lack of character" definition of the affair driver. There are so many great former waywards on this site. Are they all lacking character? Or did they grow it back?

Well if you have one person unhappy in a marriage that doesn't cheat and would never cheat, and one that does, what do you think the difference is?


Me - fBS

Posts: 210 | Registered: Feb 2013
nofool4u
♂ Member
Member # 38509
Default  Posted: 3:51 PM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Rebreather, yes!

It doesn't mean that having poor character is a life sentence...for most people, anyway.

Yes, this ^^

Perhaps temporary lack of good character. Its fixable, just lacked character when doing the deed IMO.

Like you said, not a life sentence.


Me - fBS

Posts: 210 | Registered: Feb 2013
Phoenix519
♀ Member
Member # 26186
Default  Posted: 4:50 PM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So..your wife was unhappy in the marriage..well whoop de doo...who isn't at some point in a relationship? That has nothing whatsoever to do with her decision to cheat, IMHO.

I grew up with parents that cheated on one another. My father was an alcoholic, my mom had mental issues, I was molested as a child..and so on and so forth. At the time my FWH cheated I was unhappy too.

I think that people that cheat are self-centered and selfish people that lack humility.

I've never been a selfish person, I've never been someone that could justify hurting another person and I'm humble.

My FWH grew up in the brady bunch family. A wonderful, supportive, financially stable loving family.

And he was a selfish little shit that could justify his affair because he felt like he "deserved to be happy" without the hard work it sometimes takes to get through the ruts of a normal long lasting relationship.

So, add lazy to the list as well.

Just my 2cents.

ETA grammar, until I got bored with fixing grammar and typos.

[This message edited by Phoenix519 at 4:51 PM, June 20th (Thursday)]


Posts: 581 | Registered: Nov 2009
dbellanon
♂ Member
Member # 39236
Default  Posted: 5:08 PM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Lots of fascinating responses.

I am as sure as I could possibly be that I would never cheat (especially now), but to be fair, I've never really had the opportunity. Part of this has to do with the fact that I am always very guarded and conservative with my interactions with the opposite sex. I never even really let myself become friends with other women unless it's in the context of a relationship with both husband and wife.

Part of this stems from the fact that before my wife and I were married (before we even started dating), I was very close friends with another woman. It was as platonic as a friendship could be, but it was intimate nonetheless. When my wife and I began our relationship, I was a little too slow to realize that I couldn't be friends with this other girl in the same way that I had been, and I ended up hurting them both. After that, women were basically off limits as far as close personal interactions went. And I've stuck to that.

So when I ask myself what I would do if, let's say, I found a mutual connection and attraction between myself and another woman, it's purely hypothetical. I've never let myself get close enough to anyone to even find out. But I have to ask if I really do know what I would do in such a scenario?

I am fairly certain, though, that whatever attraction that I felt could never overcome the disgust and shame that could accompany acting on that attraction. So it seems to me that in order to have an affair, either the opposite has to happen (that the attraction does somehow overcome the shame and disgust), or somehow the shame and disgust are not felt at all.

What I don't get is that my wife says that she did something that made her happy. But how can doing something that brutalizes and traumatizes another human being make you happy? If you're happy doing something that harms someone else, doesn't that make you a psychopath?

I've actually compared my WWs current state to temporary psychopathy. In order to do it, she had to be completely disconnected from any capacity for empathy. And I wonder when that happened. Was she always stunted in her capacity for empathy (She certainly has not always been the most sensitive person in the world)? Was this, as someone suggested, a response to pain, that she turned so far inward that she simply wasn't thinking of anyone else? Was it a defense mechanism erected specifically in response to the affair, to prevent her from feeling the full weight of guilt for her actions?

What has to happen inside a person to make this possible?


ME: BH, 28
Her: WW, 27
DD: 4
Married 6 Years.
DDay: Early May, 2013
Divorced

Posts: 228 | Registered: May 2013
uncertainone
♀ Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 5:41 PM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If you're happy doing something that harms someone else, doesn't that make you a psychopath?

Yes...or human. Ever read posts on here wishing tread marks on OP?

Sometimes the affair itself is a nuclear revenge bomb that fucks everyone. Kind of a murder suicide thing.


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
Ostrich80
Member
Member # 34827
Default  Posted: 6:52 PM, June 20th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

In mt sich, it was the perfect storm.. DS 17 at the time was spiraling into a horrible drug addiction. WS and i conflicted on how to deal with it. He wanted ti disown him, i desperately wanted to save him. IMy co dependency inflated. I remember the night He screamed, choose ds or i. I told him not ti ask me ti do that bécause i could not give up on him. So he left me in the trenches alone when i needed him most. Add financial ruin to it and our home became à warzone.
Ow knew what was going on and helped fuel his thoughts that i didnt care or appreciate him. I felt so scared and alone. He became emotionally attached to her and soon
stopped talking to me, it was her he became close to. The choice was his
i can see how it happened and why. Not excusing him, i mean i was hurting too and i didnt go looking for someone.


BS..me
WS..him
Been with him over half my life
4kid
DD1 10-01-09 DD2 02-12-12 discovered it never ended
OW..nothing special. Just your average skank
Status..#$%@????

Posts: 5141 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: midwest
Topic Posts: 57
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