If my W had said something like 'I just made a mistake', or 'Can't you forgive me for making this mistake', I'd have accused her of minimizing and avoiding responsibility.
I pretty much feel it's OK for a BS to use the term, if the BS is really calling the WS to account, but it's not OK for a WS to use it.
JMO, of course - but I've thought this for almost 3 years.
As a teacher - I talk to my students about mistakes, good choices, and poor choices. (We don't use "bad" bc it's like using a red pen. - rolling my eyes)
I think a mistake carries the connotation that it was UNINTENTIONAL. And that is where the breakdown is in the discussion here. Yes a mistake is defined as an action that is misguided BUT social definition provides for a mistake to be less damning than making a bad choice. Like using not using a red pen saves the ego a little, takes away the bite. But before red pens were used as showing errors it was just a pen...
Mistake, bad choice, poor choice, whatever it is the wayward need to own that mistake, bad choice, poor choice and make retribution to the wronged. And take steps not to make that mistake, bad choice, poor choice again.
My fWH has said both. He said it was a mistake that he made such a poor choice. But he has owned it.
I don't dwell on this anymore for us because he 'gets it' now.
noun: mistake; plural noun: mistakes
an action or judgment that is misguided or wrong.
ETA: Sometimes I hate the semantics game.
[This message edited by Tred at 5:21 PM, January 28th (Tuesday)]
But.. if I am going to play the semantics game:
To me a mistake implies some sort of innocence or ignorance. I think the WS knows exactly what they are doing. Therefore, not a mistake.
The pain of being betrayed is awful whether an A is revenge in some way or not.
Besides, what WS hasn't said something like, 'I didn't mean to hurt you,' or 'I thought you didn't love me any more?'
On the use of these words, we're going to fall into at least 2 camps. Let's keep in mind that we mostly seem to like and respect each other.
That's at least where I'm at in all this. My wh chose some pretty pour choices for his life, but he didn't do them by accident!!! He knew what he was doing and did it anyway.
[This message edited by RealityStinks at 6:57 PM, January 28th (Tuesday)]
It is very common in our society to use the word "mistake" to mean "accident" or even things that aren't a big deal.
Ripping my pants is an accident.
Spilling my coffee is an accident.
Neither is a very big deal. Annoying, damaging- but in the grand scheme of things, not the end of the world.
I rear-end someone in the car-accident. Unintentional error. Accidental mistake. It can be very destructive and expensive- but it was something I didn't mean to do.
Mistakes can also be bad choices that were made intentionally. Losing my virginity in the back seat of a car was very much an intentional choice I made in high school- and a mistake I regretted doing afterwards.
An affair is indeed a mistake- one that is intentional, calculated, and a choice knowing that the consequences would be hurtful and negative. The choices to lie, trickle truth, continue speaking to the OP, continuing sleeping with the OP- all are choices, and all are mistakes.
The problem is that mistake is so often used to mean "accident" that when someone uses it about an affair- it does leave a sour taste in my mouth. When I hear my H say, "I made a mistake," what I end up hearing is: "this isn't my fault and I don't take responsibility. I don't recognize that cheating wasn't a one time error in judgement, but a series of inter-tangled webs of calculated lies and omissions, multiple betrayals, and the choice to disrespect me every single moment of every day for six months."
I prefer the word choice, because when I hear choice, at least I am NOT hearing "accident."
At least the current man "only" cyber-cheated.
"Love means never having to say you're sorry."
He made a very corrupt, selfish choice to let the A go past our marital boundaries. No matter what the reasons, he made a choice every day.
I tell people I am tired but really my heart is broken and I am sad.
How it's described by anyone else but someone who is harmed is meaningless. It is what it is and if my husband views his actions as mistakes is so irrelevant to me. The fact he did them is the only focus for me right now. I don't value anything that comes out of his mouth right now. Splitting hairs on meaning would just be pointless when it's all just shit.
Say it, own it, believe it.
[This message edited by iwillNOT at 2:08 AM, January 29th (Wednesday)]
[This message edited by Ostrich80 at 3:58 AM, January 29th (Wednesday)]
I feel pretty comfortable with my understanding of who owns what.
I do that for my BW peace of mind and my piece of mind that I am aware of my behavior and I am not "forgetting" how I got there in the first place. It is part of healing I believe. Ownership.
[This message edited by astudentoflife at 6:16 AM, January 29th (Wednesday)]
Oooops, now that IS a mistake.
I stand firmly behind the thought that the only mistake made is thinking one could handle the guilt or being caught. The A, nah, that's no mistake.