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Wayward Side
User Topic: Why did you cheat?
pizzalover
Member
Member # 38336
Stop  Posted: 11:20 AM, March 13th (Wednesday)

I am curious to know from the Waywards on here why you started and continued your affair. I've learned from here, from reading, and from MC that the BS could not have caused you to have an affair. I'm desperately trying to figure out my internal reasons to try to give my
BH peace. It may take me a long time, but I'm curious to hear other's reasons. Maybe it will give me some direction.


Repulsed daily by my actions

Me - WW 39
Him - BH 39 (mpb1974)
2 Furrbabies - sweet cats

Met - 8/13/99
Started dating - 9/11/99
Moved in together - 3/03
Engaged - 6/5/09
Married - 8/21/10
D-Day - 1/24/13
Affair started 5/09


Posts: 393 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: PA
OktoberMest
Member
Member # 34173
Default  Posted: 11:36 AM, March 13th (Wednesday)

Ok to strip it down. I had a hole in my soul and I used the OM to fill it temporarily.

There are many more complicated reasons why this hole developed and critically how I learnt dysfunctional coping strategies to keep it full...the A was the culmination of all of these faulty strategies...

For me things of relevance were and are:
Poor self-esteem - resulting attention seeking behaviour and a need for external validation
Low self- respect
Reversal of parent/child roles leading to disrupted emotional development and emotional immaturity.
Very low boundaries - resulting in inappropriate conversation/development of inappropriate emotional attachments
Bullying tactics to get my own way/poor communication skills in terms of listening
Poor awareness of other peoples emotional needs and of my own needs.
FOO issues which allowed lying to become insideous in everyday life and FOO problems also played a huge role in the boundary issues.
Selfishness

Fundamentally, I was incomplete. I relied on others to complete me, rather than developing myself. Then when they failed to fill the hole I had, I projected my issues onto them and blamed them for my failings, as well as their own.

Maybe that helps as a starter?


Me: FWW (35) Growing up at last.
LonelyHusband: BH (41)
Dday 1: 29/Oct/11; Dday 2:15/Nov/11; last TT 15/Mar/12
In R...working my arse off.
When you're struggling with commitment to your marriage, just imagine what it's like to be a penguin.

Posts: 558 | Registered: Dec 2011 | From: UK
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 12:02 PM, March 13th (Wednesday)

Because my choices made sense to me at the time. They seemed to work. I was honest with my ex so felt my integrity was protected. Completely wrong. 

Of course my ex didn't "cause" my choices. How could he? Every choice I make is using my thought processes, my reasoning, my rationalization. 

I think that's one reason why some of my posts don't resonate. If my ex hauled off and smacked me and I was blindsided his actions hurt me. His alone. If I see it coming and stand there letting him connect, it's "our" actions that hurt me now. Contributory negligence. Yeah, he did something very damaging...and I let him. His action totally his to own. My response totally mine. 

Your relationship may have been pretty fucked up, no question. Why did you find that ok and what inside you green lighted your actions with the OM and against his wife? None of those are his to own. Not one. They were all your choices. Choices to stay with someone that thought it was ok to act that way toward you. Choices to devalue yourself and another to get whatever it was you got from those actions. 

None of that, none of it, would have taken place without thought processes you had in place already. What were those thought processes? How did you make sense of your choices and actions? That's got to be the focus. Healthy people don't take shit from others or themselves. They just don't, so folks that join here with the laundry list of abuse (I had mine) and then say but why did I cheat? Well, let's start by looking at why you have your "list"? What did you tell yourself to justify staying in a situation that was clearly dysfunctional? Those thought processes are very much a part of the whole clusterfuck that followed and every bit yours, no one else's. 


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
tired girl
Member
Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 12:14 PM, March 13th (Wednesday)

None of that, none of it, would have taken place without thought processes you had in place already. What were those thought processes? How did you make sense of your choices and actions? That's got to be the focus. Healthy people don't take shit from others or themselves. They just don't, so folks that join here with the laundry list of abuse (I had mine) and then say but why did I cheat? Well, let's start by looking at why you have your "list"? What did you tell yourself to justify staying in a situation that was clearly dysfunctional? Those thought processes are very much a part of the whole clusterfuck that followed and every bit yours, no one else's.

This was huge for me as well.

Being as my situation was very similar to UO's, I had to figure out that my honesty with HL didn't protect me from my choice to cheat. I betrayed myself and everything I thought I was.

I had to figure out why I had thought it was ok to stay in a M that was so clearly dysfunctional. It was because I had no respect for myself. And because I had lost all respect, I betrayed myself in the ultimate way and in turn him as well.

I know now I can and do require more from my M. I respect who I am, and that is how I know I will never let that happen ever again. It has very little to do with not betraying him. It has everything to do with not betraying myself again. And I know that makes him safe.


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 4727 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
FR2012
Member
Member # 36345
Default  Posted: 7:00 PM, March 13th (Wednesday)

My A had nothing to do with my husband. I have never once said that it did.

That said, I had a few reasons why I had an A.

I was looking for a fatherly figure. That is why my AP was almost 20 years older than me. I hate saying his age because actually thinking about it disgusts me. Someone who is old enough to actually be my father, I fucked. It gross if you think about it.

I was looking for a reason for my husband to leave me. I wanted him to be happy and I felt that I wasn't making him happy. So I was trying to do everything so he would leave me (messed up, I know), so that he could be happy. Maybe try and find someone that would make him happy.

My boundaries were horrible. I let anyone in to my life without even thinking about it. I would let anyone hurt me too. I honestly thought it was the way I should be treated because I thought I was a horrible person and I deserved it.

My rape as a child made me believe that I should be treated horribly. That I didn't deserve respect or anything like that. I always thought it was my fault and no one told me otherwise. So I guess that in a way fed into why I had my A.


BH (him): 28 ~ FWW (me): 27
Together 9 years
2 kids
D-Day: April 19, 2012

Posts: 167 | Registered: Aug 2012
etaoin
Member
Member # 33270
Default  Posted: 8:25 AM, March 14th (Thursday)

This is a hard question to break down. For me, I always had an odd notion that I had missed out on something - some all consuming love affair of the kind one reads about or sees on film. Add the general unhappiness at home, feeling entitled, feeling unappreciated etc.

So when I met someone that seemed perfect for me, and she reciprocated in kind, the affair went ballistic and remained that way from more than a year.

Of course, we were systematically destroying everything around us and making everyone around us miserable. But hey, we were in "love."

So now, I contemplate the damage and the road ahead and wonder if some of this can ever be repaired.


Posts: 229 | Registered: Sep 2011
Allthatineed
New Member
Member # 38704
Default  Posted: 2:46 PM, March 14th (Thursday)

I wonder if I cheated because of unresolved teenage dating insecurities. I was not good with flirting, asking girls out. Later in life, I became more self confident and found that when I flirted with the OW and she responded it was like a little drug fix. So, I forged ahead even though I knew it was wrong. Trying to have that experience I missed in my youth?


Posts: 17 | Registered: Mar 2013
hardlessons
Member
Member # 35025
Default  Posted: 4:52 PM, March 14th (Thursday)

Allthatineed, I can guarantee you that your choice to cheat wasn't because you gained self confidence and missed some experiences from your teen years. I hope your looking deeper than that.

My reason was that I had emotional holes and I filled them the only way I knew how, external validation. Someone else posted about a little black cloud always following them and that really struck me, as that is how I always felt, I honestly cannot remember a time when it wasn't there. No matter the success there was always a "but" a "if only", "just bit more would have been better". It's when I looked at my emotional bucket I was trying to fill and saw the huge hole in the bottom that I realized it was all me. Had nothing to do with others or shoulda/coulda/woulda. Just me.


Me WH
Wife Tired Girl
3 adult sons
"a wayward...annnnd just a tad betrayed."

Posts: 880 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: Arizona
heartbroken0903
Member
Member # 27879
Default  Posted: 6:54 PM, March 14th (Thursday)

The shortest and simplest answer I can give to this question is that I cheated because I wanted to and because I thought I could get away with it.

I never developed boundaries. I had a large sense of entitlement and thought the rules didn't apply to me when it came to relationships. Which is odd, because I have always been VERY much a rule-follower in the rest of my life. Never cut class, never did drugs, never stole, never cheated on a test, etc. In fact, I was "in trouble" so infrequently that I was petrified of ever BEING in trouble. One thing that led to was my tendency to lie (to my parents) to get out of trouble. Minor stuff as a child, because again, I never did the major stuff. But if I did something wrong at the house, my first instinct was to lie, deny, self-protect, deflect, blame my brother, etc. It became a go-to mechanism, and part of the "why" it was so easy to lie, hide, sneak, etc. during the A.

I had very, very limited experience with interpersonal social relationships as a youngster. I was very small for my age so I was teased a lot. I was socially unpopular with both other girls and boys. I stopped forming close friendships around middle school. By never having authentic relationships, I never developed societal boundaries; more accurately, I developed very antisocial traits. Moodiness, unpredictability, lack of empathy, detachment, etc. to name a few. This bothered me a little bit, because I was lonely and longed for connection with peers, but on the whole I didn't find it drastically upsetting. I just accepted it as who I was, and "people would just have to deal with it." Nice, huh?

I was a late bloomer when it came to relationships with the opposite sex and I had a lot of bad ones. One was outright abusive, most others just with jerks who didn't treat me well or did shitty things with their lives (drug use, porn addiction, etc.) I was very naive and didn't even see a lot of it happening in front of my face. And what I did find out about/recognize, I stayed because a.) I thought I could "fix" them and b.) I was afraid to be alone. When one relationship would end, I would immediately get into another. It was my pattern. Sometimes I would even have one "lined up" before I was out of the first, again due to lack of boundaries/appropriateness and putting out an "available" vibe constantly. I simultaneously never felt I was good enough for anyone, yet also felt I was too good for everyone. That part is very complicated and it's something I'm still figuring out.

I had a very idealistic view of relationships. I believed that "real love" was the kind of eternal hearts-and-flowers, rainbows-and-unicorns kind and that I needed to feel that at all times; if I didn't feel it or stopped feeling it, the relationship was doomed and was no longer worth exerting any effort in. I believe that stems from my coping mechanisms as an adolescent, immersing myself in fictional romance (i.e. certain soap opera characters, internet fanfiction, etc.) as something to aspire to, "someday" when my social awkwardness would be a thing of the past and I too would find that grand, passionate love. I wish I could go back and shake my 15-year-old self and tell her she was delusional, believe me.

Initially, when the affair started, I was a classic cake-eater. The OM was my ex and I allowed him to come back into my life in the first place. I had no boundaries or "walls" up around my M, so this was mentally easy for me to do. My M with XH was perfectly adequate, even happy, but I was STILL---at 28 years old---immersed in the butterflies-and-fairy dust idea of "luuurve" and thought a few things: 1.) if OM came back to me, it must be "meant to beeeeee" ***cue the swelling passionate music here as the star-crossed lovers embrace and ride off into the sunset*** and 2.) that if I felt this much passion/"love" for another man, my M and my XH must not have been right for me. Yet, I still thought I loved my XH and enjoyed our relationship and wanted to be with him...I just wanted to be with the OM too. So at first it was cake-eating.

Then I thought I wanted to be with just the OM, but I didn't have the guts to leave my XH and cause a scandal amongst our families/friends/coworkers/etc. so I stayed in the affair like a coward as I racked my brain trying to figure out what to do. (As my XH said after D-day, "How about stop cheating?!?!?!?!" Yeah, no kidding. )

THEN I thought that maybe XH and I could just somehow get a divorce without it being known that I was cheating; that way "he wouldn't be hurt" (again...delusional...I staunchly believed in the "what he doesn't know won't hurt him" theory at the time) and after an appropriately non-suspicious period of time had passed, OM and I could openly re-start a relationship and I could save face and everybody would live on puppy-and-rainbow-land and be happy ever after.

Finally I decided that due to "practical reasons" I was going to end the affair and stay with my XH. Reasons such as the aforementioned wish to not cause a scandal, the fact that the "quiet divorce with no one the wiser" was probably unrealistic, and a few other factors. Due to something else going on in the M, I even had an "end date" in mind for the A: March 15, 2010, wherein I was going to break it off with the OM and recommit to my XH (of course, 99% likely never telling him of what I had done) and I was going to be the great martyr, suffering through marriage with XH while silently mourning the lost luuurve of my life.

Of course, the end of the story is that my XH caught me 9 days before the great planned End of the Affair, promptly divorced me---gave me what I thought I wanted---and it turned out, holy shit, whoops, I didn't want that after all. I ended the affair anyway and, huge wake-up call in hand, started figuring out and fixing my shit. It's still a work in progress. Sorry for the epic length of that post.

[This message edited by heartbroken0903 at 6:55 PM, March 14th (Thursday)]


Me: WS, 30s
XH: BS, 40s
No kids

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

Reconciled after divorce

"Someday you'll look back on all these days
And all this pain is gonna be invisible." - Hunter Hayes, "Invisible"


Posts: 2091 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: the cat's meow
OktoberMest
Member
Member # 34173
Default  Posted: 6:15 AM, March 15th (Friday)

if I felt this much passion/"love" for another man, my M and my XH must not have been right for me.

Sadly, this was spot on for me too...
How naive. I can see how just how destructive that belief is, and yet so common.


Me: FWW (35) Growing up at last.
LonelyHusband: BH (41)
Dday 1: 29/Oct/11; Dday 2:15/Nov/11; last TT 15/Mar/12
In R...working my arse off.
When you're struggling with commitment to your marriage, just imagine what it's like to be a penguin.

Posts: 558 | Registered: Dec 2011 | From: UK
July73
New Member
Member # 37426
Default  Posted: 9:10 AM, March 15th (Friday)

This is a hard question to break down. For me, I always had an odd notion that I had missed out on something - some all consuming love affair of the kind one reads about or sees on film. Add the general unhappiness at home, feeling entitled, feeling unappreciated etc.
So when I met someone that seemed perfect for me, and she reciprocated in kind, the affair went ballistic and remained that way from more than a year.

Of course, we were systematically destroying everything around us and making everyone around us miserable. But hey, we were in "love."

So now, I contemplate the damage and the road ahead and wonder if some of this can ever be repaired.

I could have wrote this but it goes deeper as I look into myself. Sorry Etaoin that was meant to be a quote

[This message edited by July73 at 9:14 AM, March 15th (Friday)]


WH Me 41
BW 39
M 18 yrs.
LTA 1.5 yrs.
D-day Sept 21,2012. Worst day of my life... can not imagine how it must have been for my loving wife. I am so sorry.

Posts: 38 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Alberta,Canada
cs2384
Member
Member # 34873
Default  Posted: 9:40 AM, March 15th (Friday)

I never thought I would cheat. It is awful and damages lives and families

My marriage was in a bad spot. There are a couple different answered to why did I cheat.

At first, I never had any intention. He was a friend! We really clicked and had a lot in common. Nothing more. Then as things progressed I said it was because my marriage sucked and my husband didn't care about me so why should I care.

Then BAM reality hit. I did it because I was hurt and confused. My husband had wronged me so many times.

Then I realized that holy cow. I'm messed up. The REAL reasons I did it was because I was allowing myself to be placed in a victim role in my marriage. I had poor boundaries("I could never have an affair"). I was proud and thought I wouldn't do something so stupid. I also had terrible coping skills. I had tried talking to my husband about the marital problems and he ignored me. I thought I had done everything I could. I was wrong. An affair was definitely not the answer. I was trying to control situations in my marriage by reacting.

I'm much more self focused. Working on ME. Whatever issues my husband has are his. I can only change me.


WW--me 28
BH--32
Married ten years
Two daughters 7 and 8
In recovery

Posts: 86 | Registered: Feb 2012
pizzalover
Member
Member # 38336
Default  Posted: 5:46 PM, March 15th (Friday)

Thanks everyone for your feedback. I can relate to some of what each one of you are saying. I'm hoping that when I find my answers it will give my BS some peace. Hopefully your reasons gave your BS's peace too.


Repulsed daily by my actions

Me - WW 39
Him - BH 39 (mpb1974)
2 Furrbabies - sweet cats

Met - 8/13/99
Started dating - 9/11/99
Moved in together - 3/03
Engaged - 6/5/09
Married - 8/21/10
D-Day - 1/24/13
Affair started 5/09


Posts: 393 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: PA
WWMEH13
Member
Member # 38722
Default  Posted: 7:06 PM, March 15th (Friday)

Because I am broken, but I don't want to be anymore.


WW - 38
BH - 38
EA/PA - 8 months
Married 4 years together 7
2 Ddays, same AP last one in December 2012
NC - 2/1/2013
DS - 2 years old

Status - Divorcing


Posts: 80 | Registered: Mar 2013 | From: USA
longroadahead22
Member
Member # 37328
Default  Posted: 8:23 PM, March 15th (Friday)

Why did I cheat?
That is such a loaded and deep question yet so very simple. I relatively new at this but have been trying to dig deeper and deeper for more and more answers.

I originally thought as most do that it was for the rush for the adrenaline high.

But in all reality I had very big holes in myself that I never got filled, not by my BS, my AP , not myself, not anyone. There for I was looking for validation someone to make me feel important. And now my BS needs that more than I ever did and I’m not sure if my attentions and actions are enough.

I was looking to fix my AP’s life. I have always been a “healer” and I always want to fix someone’s problems. My AP was supposedly from a bad childhood and in a bad marriage. But even that response isn’t deep enough. It still goes back to wanting to be wanted or needed for what I can give to someone else. Still self validation.

I lacked a lot of self confidence, even though I put on a good show, I still lacked it hard core. Therefore, when my AP gave me positive attention for being me, it made me feel important/”luvvved”. Once again self validation.

Starting to see a pattern, I DO!

I was so broken and empty that I couldn’t see my own self worth and defined myself by what other’s thought of me. Not so much anymore, but I’m working on it!

This is actually the first time I’ve written this out, and I’m sure as I keep digging I’ll find more and more holes that I tried to fill.

Hope this helped and good luck with your “why’s”


WS (Me): 26 y/o
BS (Her): 26 y/o (MandoBando)
Relationship: M for 4 years, a 20 month old son and a 8 month old son.
D-Day: 10/23/12
Working towards R...

Despite the fact that i am an ass hole, horrible father, and horrible husband; i LOVE and


Posts: 76 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: Toledo, OH
Topic Posts: 15