Now ten months down the road and she says that she needed male attention because of her father didn't pay her enough attention as a child. This has all come out in counseling since DDay. I don't doubt that her father didn't pay her the attention that she deserved when she was a child. I happen to know the man and he is a stand up family man that would give his life for his family without a thought. He is selfless and has sacrificed a hell of a lot to provide for all of them.
I'm sure he didn't do everything right but he damn for sure tried. I'm just really pissed off about this and this thread really hit home with the way I feel about being "broken".
For whatever reasons, by choosing to betray, deceive and lie, you are willing, at the time, to wager all of those things.
I think that the comparing and or devaluing of the BS comes afterward as a way to justify what has already happened and rationalize taking it further.
For many, I think it like the frog in boiling water, or the slippery slope, and then "oh Sh@&", and then "getting out of this is going to be much less fun than getting into it."
But then, for many, the pain of being in the A starts to outstrip the good times. The piper wants his due. . . So 2 meet ups, 2 months or 2 years later, they confess, or get caught. (Or imagine they got caught, so they could confess, like my H).
I digress. I agree we are all broken to some degree. When bad coping, plus bad marital communication, plus a stressor come together, and opportunity knocks, then I think more of us than we imagine could cheat. Ask a wayward of they thought themselves capable of doing such a thing, and most will say no.
I edit, therefore I am.
What if the betrayer just never really cared that much for their spouses feelings? They didn't choose to cheat because they wanted to hurt their spouse, just didn't care enough for them to deny themselves what they wanted.
This was me. Also, what Razor said.
Maybe the above-quoted paragraph describes "broken." But, as you asked in your original post, does asshole = broken? Or does it just = asshole?? Where is the difference?
Married 2.5 years
The eight most feared words used together in the English language: We need to talk. Th
Why can't someone just say you made a sorry choice and your a sorry excuse for a human being? That would be mean and hurt their wittle feewings I guess!
I did say this. I made a horrible choice and I was a horrible excuse of a human being. Was I broken, yes, I was in a depression so deep I so no way out but I didn't value myself either. Were my coping mechanisms bad? Yup I buried all of it, allowed myself to get worse, turned to alcohol then the A. Is any of it okay or an excuse? No. I did what I did and I own that. Does it hurt to hear my xSO tell me I was a horrible person. Yes. Does it hurt to see the judgement in someone's eyes when I confess my actions? Yes. Do I know that 100% my fault and I need to own that? Yes and I do. But I am human as well, being a wayward doesn't mean I am now an unfeeling monster that has no capacity to be hurt, especially as a remorseful wayward. It just means that i have to learn to handle it in a healthy way. I will forever hate the person I allowed myself to become. I will forever hate the choices I made and know that my life went to shut because I let it. Most of all I will forever hate the fact that I hurt the man I loved most in this world, the man who trusts me with his heart and life. I killed him and there is no way to bring him back. I miss him and that pain is like a knife to the heart every day. I own that I did that and that I will live with regret and shame for the rest of my life.
So yes brokenness can always exist but it is never a reason for committing these actions. The reason is different for everyone but everyone needs to eventually own the fact that they did this, they made a series of choices that destroyed their lives and the lives of others. It is a horrible thing to live with and I am sorry.
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."
Here are the recurring three, along with my comments:
1. He was bored--well, boo-f*cking-hoo
2. He was not happy being celibate --although he never told me this even when I asked him annually if he wanted to revisit that issue of his PE and ED!!--hellooooo, not a mind reader here!
3. I made more money than he did -- even though he had the choice get a different job that paid more, he opted for status quo...and now it's an issue even though he benefited greatly, as my spouse, from my salary!
The truth is that he did it because he could. Some hot slut crossed his path, gave him her "business" card (her cover business) because she was working a party that he crashed, and from then on, he did all the calling and contacting her because she was a *working girl* and hookers don't call their johns.
He thought I'd never find out and said he just didn't think of how I would feel.
I became unimportant to him, and was just like a piece of furniture, and I was just a living breathing human who happened to live in the house, and we did things together like family events, grocery shopping, going to the movies etc.
He loved the sex with her, said it was really GOOD, and always an 8 or a 9, sometimes a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best ever. BIG ego boost for him.
For seven years, he believed he was a sexual god, skilled, accomplished, and he actually still believes he got her off (it was her job to make him believe this)--and he always took his boner pill before seeing her.
Sex with the pretty young boobalicious blonde who really liked him was an ego boost. He thought they had a relationship and he was the only one she was seeing, and that he was special to her--but each and every time, she asked him for money to help with the bills, the rent, the cell phone bill, so he fooled himself into thinking she was his special friend who had fallen on hard times. What a fool.
He would have continued the A if I hadn't found out.
They didn't choose to cheat because they wanted to hurt their spouse, just didn't care enough for them to deny themselves what they wanted. Especially if they were confident that their affair would never be found out, no one would be hurt right?
He wanted it, his life had become all about him and what he wanted much like a 2 or 3 year old demanding child, he had a sense of entitlement, and I was chopped liver.
He wasn't entrapped--she was very physically attractive, made him believe he was so wonderful and good in bed, loaded with sexual prowess, and he walked into it willingly and continued to make the choice to step outside of the marriage, all the while going to church every week and living in his special fantasy world where the whore peed rainbows, farted glitter, and pooped unicorns. His head was so far up his ass he thought that smell must have been clover.
And now, with IC and MC and reading and all the work we are still doing--where before I was nothing to him--now, like flipping a light switch, he says he loves me. Really, WH? For years I was nothing, and now you love me?
My marriage ended the day he called her to arrange to go over to her place, where he thought he might get sex.
I consider myself a widow. Instead of being married for going on 34 years, in my head I've been married for about 26...when he stepped outside of the marriage, he and the marriage I had up to that point, died.
[This message edited by Hope2B at 2:30 AM, March 17th (Monday)]
Were you hurt because of the affair?
Did your husband not protect you, his family, from the intruder but participate in the damage?
Did your husband do something without regard for the pain and hurt it would cause another person, while he had fun?
Did your husband not recognize that what he was doing would hurt you terribly?
I would say that a yes answer to any of those questions means he is broken.
But, what you wrote, to me, is the very definition of broken.
Is one "broken" if they don't create boundaries to protect their families from intruders? What if they enjoy the intrusion? What if they just didn't care enough to stop the intrusion?
The question is not whether he is broken, but "why".
My wife enjoyed the affair and the attention it brought. She got a thrill out of the secrecy. When she confessed, she just wanted to say that was all there was to it, just having careless fun. Our MC put a stop to that pretty quickly...but it still took her months to really begin to talk, and year at least to get to her why, and she is still working on her self actions and responses to others 4 years out.
What if the betrayer just never really cared that much for their spouses feelings? They didn't choose to cheat because they wanted to hurt their spouse, just didn't care enough for them to deny themselves what they wanted. Especially if they were confident that their affair would never be found out, no one would be hurt right?
I think this hits the nail on the head where my ex H is concerned. I can sit back now after 3 years and say that I don't believe he cheated on me with intent to hurt. There are just some parts of his psyche that are incapable of empathy. I don't know whether this points to narcissism or sociopathy or not. My head can no longer figure it out.
I know he loved me (as much as he could) but it just never included respect for my feelings because he is incapable of seeing things from someone else's viewpoint. He is so immature that he actually admitted to me that the major part of the thrill of his A with my close friend and neighbor was the fact that me and her BH were walking around it for 5 years totally oblivious. It was the risk that was the major pull. Now to most sane people that would point to a disgusting level of cruelty and disrespect. But not to my ex H or his AP apparently. They gave no thought to the disrespect involved at all, the victims did not even come into the equation and I am including the BS's, all our children, extended family and community. It is all about the feelings that they, the WS's and AP are receiving. It is their personal "high" and even if they do feel initial guilt, this high is too great to deny themselves.
It is definitely a major sense of entitlement, whether or not you can describe the cheater as "broken" or just plain selfish and immature. I can't even label it anymore.
My ex H told me to my face that I had done NOTHING wrong. That it was all him. Then I find out from friends that he is going around saying it is my fault because I didn't give him enough sex (which is true - for many reasons) and that because I had had his babies I was no longer a thrill for him. Lovely.
Everyone needs to be validated from time to time, everyone has had their share of problems, family traumas, illness, work pressures, worries over children/sibling/parents, lack of sex drive at various times due to illness/childbirth/pregnancy etc etc.
Whatever drives someone to have an affair, whatever complex emotional issues there are, whatever problems there are within a relationship or even if there are none, it all comes down to this one thing:
Someone made a decision that their needs were more important than anyone else's and that it was OK to drive the marriage/relationship into a ditch.
We are all "broken", we are all cracked in some way. It is just that some of us use the cracks to let in the light and others use excuses to paper over them.
“Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light.“ - Groucho Marx
[This message edited by Ellejay at 3:16 AM, March 17th (Monday)]
..none of them are 'GOOD' reasons!!!!
I think A's are based on a combination of low self-esteem and lack of moral character. How each person manifests these things depends on the person. Some choose A's, others choose another way to be self destructive. Unfortunately those closest to them are the collateral damage for their selfish choices.
Broken means what? Someone give me a definition I can wrap my head around.
In my opinion....we are all broken. I was broken by my parents awful divorce....my Dads promises to stick around which always failed.....my warped 16 year old baby sitter (female) who liked to explore....being jumped by 4 seniors because I was talking with another female senior and they deemed me unworthy as a soph (I wasnt cool). They beat me unconcious.....Army and deployed to 2 conflicts.....death of my mother to cancer and wasn't around due to financial issues....growing up deathly poor......then...the almighty affair.
Broken......to me is a sad excuse for "Why"....this is just my opinion.
Apply the 5 Whys......
Why did you have the affair? "Im Broken"
Why are you Broken? - "crickets"
[This message edited by Long Gone at 9:38 AM, March 17th (Monday)]
While I think I understand what this quote is saying, I’m not sure I can agree that it explains the A:
Then I think there are those who choose the "cowards way out" and have issues in the marriage that they have talked with the BS about and nothing has changed.
The thing is, choosing the “coward’s way out” is the choice of a broken person. A whole person doesn’t choose to hurt the BS so badly just to force the BS to be the strong one and end the marriage. I’m also fairly well convinced most exit affairs only get labeled exit affairs after the A is discovered. It’s an easy excuse and if the WS had really intended to end the marriage he or she would have done so. Most so-called exit affairs are just another way of blaming the BS for the WS’s selfish behavior. And I say this from the experience of being very unhappy before my H’s first A decades ago and feeling strongly attracted to a man who seemed to be attracted to me. I could have started an A and called it an exit affair but I wasn’t broken in that way. I’m too smart to buy all the rationalizations I was trying to give myself and too empathetic to hurt my H in that way. Divorce was an option but an A was not.
Bingo. And the “not caring” has to extend to a lot of people for the A to occur. I’m ashamed to say that if I had launched into an A in the example above then his wife’s pain wouldn’t have been a consideration. I had projected my complaints about my M onto his M and had convinced myself his wife didn’t deserve him. It has helped a little in our R that I get this, that I understand how easily the AP can dismiss the impact of the A on a person she has never even met. It’s part of the fantasy and the AP can paint the BS as any type of character she wants in her fantasy story or write her out entirely and pretend she doesn’t exist.
Of course realizing my H doesn’t care as much about my feelings as I do about his isn’t exactly comfortable. He’s learning how to think of other people’s needs above his own and he’s being rewarded with a much better relationship with his daughter and with me. I guess that’s part of fixing his brokenness.
I don't think the value of the spouse or the marriage plays that much of a role for most WS. I don't think they consciously risk them because they never expect to get caught. I don't think it is a conscious decision that the AP is worth losing the BS. I don't think the tape is played that far out.
I think that the comparing and or devaluing of the BS comes afterward as a way to justify what has already happened and rationalize taking it further.
It's more like, "My cheating shows everyone something is off about the way I act, so I'll fix what's broken and rejoin the human race.'
Or, when WS says, 'I'm broken, so you can't expect me to act like a full-fledged member of the human race,' ...
BS says, 'ILYBINILY - get out!'
Many times there's brokenness, most times it's selfishness.
Here's an article that I came across (maybe here?) that lays the foundation for a successful marriage.
It's easier to wish someone is broken and that's the "why?", but sometimes it's just because of the convenience and the ego boost, nothing more/nothing less.
[This message edited by cvs2kkids at 2:08 PM, March 17th (Monday)]
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your mind
This is why I love SI. It's a complex question, and in this post are some very thoughtful and thought provoking statements and opinions.
For me, I think the answer to your first question is that involving yourself in an A is at the very least ALWAYS a SHITTY (self-centered) way to handle stress, unmet needs or FOO issues. Some adulterers may do it to be purposefully hurtful; some may be involved in an A because they truly are personality disordered to the point that their psyche is wired in a way that they don't see their behavior as wrong, but ALL of the time it is selfish. All of the time it is sneaky. All of the time it includes lying. All of the time it is deceitful. And pretty much most of the time, they do not want to be caught.
That's my 2 cents.
It was insane for me to look at that and think we could find a way to have a healthy relationship without help. I often marveled that she turned out as well as she did all things considered. But I was blind in many ways and this all lead directly to her affair.
That being said none of it justifies or excused her actions. As an adult we are responsible for ourselves. If there is something from the past driving us in a way that we don't want to go we are responsible to find a way to work through that.
Over all there is a clear brokenness to someone who has an affair. Even a cereal cheater who puts his family on the line for personal gratification is at best a narcissist. There is nothing together about narcissism.
The question is, is the WS willing to fix what is broken in them that lead to cheating. Or are they going to give lip services to the BS and comfortably slip back into the same old patterns.
It's a lot easier for someone like my wife to recognize that there is a problem, then it is for a narcissists. My wife realizes she feels bad all time time and doesn't want to any more. Where a narcissist thinks they are perfect.
Married 4 years. Dating 8. Living together 7.
If a man took his time on earth
to prove be for he died
what on man's life could be worth
I wonder what would happen to the world
- Harry Chapin
I don't think they consciously risk them because they never expect to get caught. I don't think it is a conscious decision that the AP is worth losing the BS. I don't think the tape is played that far out.
I think this fits in my WH's case. He has said virtually the same thing.