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User Topic: The word Mistake
WWMEH13
Member
Member # 38722
Default  Posted: 2:28 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

Why is calling an A a mistake considered wrong?

I see many BS and even WS correct someone when they said they made a mistake by having an A.

Here is the definition of mistake - An action or judgment that is misguided or wrong

Why is saying a series of deliberate poor choices any better than calling it a mistake? Seems that a series of bad choices could also be the definition of mistake.

I am not trying to minimize what I have done by calling it a mistake, but based on that definition from Webster, my A was a mistake, but I see some as taking umbrage with that.


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
Aubrie
Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 2:40 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

Choice: An act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.


Why do people have affairs? Because they chose to.

When I logged onto CL, I made the choice to click Missed Connections.
I made the choice to reply to a comment.
I made the choice to open an email reply.
I made the choice to reply to that email and open a chat window.
I made the choice to send pictures.

They were all choices. They were not mistakes. I didn't "accidentally" or "mistakenly" send nude shots. I deliberately clicked the image and dropped it into the email. That was a choice. I didn't "mistakenly" hide the emails and chats from my husband. I deliberately made the choice to hide and pretend everything was normal and ok.

Saying it was a "mistake" is flippant and avoiding taking responsibility. Your "mistake", however misguided it is, is still made by a choice. The choice to step over a boundary.

Did that make any sense at all?

[This message edited by Aubrie84 at 2:42 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)]


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne


Posts: 6333 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
authenticnow
Moderator
Member # 16024
Default  Posted: 2:42 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

I get your point. My As were the biggest mistake I've made in my life. I think the word 'choice' sits better because we did have a choice. A mistake is kind of like, oops, I didn't mean to do that. But really, we did. Just make sure when you're using the word mistake you're not minimizing, which it doesn't sound like you are.

I don't get hung up on labels. Whatever it's called, it is what it is---infidelity, cheating, affairs. The label is just that. It's the work that is done internally afterwards that matters.


Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."


Posts: 38209 | Registered: Sep 2007
cheerless
Member
Member # 38135
Default  Posted: 2:42 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

BS here. I think the difference is intent.

"Mistake" sounds passive, which affairs most definitely are not.

Affairs and the deception needed to make them and keep them happening and secret are intentional choices.

Everyone makes mistakes. Not everyone has affairs.


♪I'm not fine; I'm in pain
It's harder every day ~ Maroon 5♫

BS:45 WH:47 needhelp123
8yr EA&PA w/MCOW emp/frmr emp
19y M * 25y T, 2 teens
DDay 12/31/12*5w TT
Sick tired sad


Posts: 273 | Registered: Jan 2013
Undefinabl3
Member
Member # 36883
Default  Posted: 2:43 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

Mistake is something that you did wrong yes.

An affair was a choice you made and KNEW it was wrong. That's not a mistake, that's a choice.

You cant mistakenly start and affair.

You cant mistakenly have sex with your affair partner.

You cant mistakenly try to cover your tracks (ie secret phones, lying about staying late at work, ect)

You cant mistakenly lie to your spouse when they confront you.

You cant mistakenly trickle truth about things.

Having an affair is a choice.

You choose to have an affair

You choose to have sex with that affair person.

You choose to hide and lie.

The only way to look at an affair is making the wrong choice, but it was not made on accident, or mistakenly. It was a purposefully made choice.

Now, you have to own that choice, learn why this was the WRONG choice, and find out what in your past and current make you think that an affair was even a choice to begin with.

[This message edited by Undefinabl3 at 2:44 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)]


Me: 31 MH
Him: 37 MH
New online find 6/19/14 - shit

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2012
WWMEH13
Member
Member # 38722
Default  Posted: 2:55 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

I can see where the distinction is trying to be made. I guess in the definition "action" could be choice, is where I was going.

It was more of a curiosity thing.


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
ophelia24
Member
Member # 38438
Default  Posted: 4:31 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

What Aubrie said, and others about choice.

A mistake to me feels too narrow. For example, if Im colouring in a picture and go outside the lines, that is a mistake. It wasn't purposeful. Choosing to have an affair, is purposeful. As someone mentioned, there is intent.

Good question your asking WWHEH13.


“Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.”
― James Baldwin

Posts: 283 | Registered: Feb 2013
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 4:32 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

Why is it considered wrong? Because of how it's perceived. I just posted about words and meanings. This always confounded me too.

A mistake is an action or judgement that is misguided or wrong. I think that fits very well.

Choices can absolutely be mistakes. Shit we make wrong choices on who to date, marry (sometimes) based on very misguided or wrong thought processes and assumptions.

My affair was the biggest mistake I ever made. I thought my honesty would protect my integrity. That was a VERY misguided assumptions based on thought process that were as wrong as wrong can be.

Oh, and the not picking up milk from the store is "forgetful".

Some affairs active assaults using a weapon that is surgeon sharp double edged. That would also apply to my affair, very easily. Here's the thing, though. It was only after much digging that I was able to see that, which again loops back to the misguided and wrong definition quite nicely.

I chose to turn left to get to your house because I made didn't understand the directions. A choice can very easily be a mistake and if you are in the middle of a raging snow storm get lost it can actually be fatal. One family in Oregon or Washington found that out a few years ago. Saying that mistake was "passive" or "small and dismissive" would be argued quite effectively by the survivors of that little ooops.

As far as intention, if the intention was to knowly hurt your spouse I'd think keeping it a secret would be a "mistake".


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
Syzy
Member
Member # 15190
Default  Posted: 7:25 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

I think the word mistake implies a negation of responsibility. Though I clearly get that it can be the worst mistake of someone's life. But when dealing with a very triggery very hurt BS its a good rule of thumb to avoid that word.

In the first couple of years Mistake sounds to a BS a lot like "Oops I tripped and our genitals collided." I'm not being snarky either.. I'm a BS and I don't hear the word mistake the same way I used to anymore if it is surrounded by other language that implies taking responsibility. But I'm 7 years out now and not triggery anymore.

[This message edited by Syzy at 7:26 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)]


BS
Dday Aug 17, 2006
R - what's that.
Me - Moved on long ago.
It takes two to make it work, but only one to fuck it up.

Posts: 945 | Registered: Jul 2007 | From: So Cal
WWMEH13
Member
Member # 38722
Default  Posted: 8:25 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

Syzy et al- thank you for your perspectives. My intent when using it was never to be dismissive, so since it seems rub people the wrong way, I'll try to consider my word choices more carefully.


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
wifeno2
Member
Member # 31529
Default  Posted: 8:28 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

For me all of the above posts are correct. I also think of a mistake as something like getting off the wrong exit. It is a one time action done thinking you are doing something else. One time. With a clear, expected outcome that is different from what the outcome winds up being. Innocent.

An A requires hundreds, if not thousands of choices, decisions and actions. It isn't a one time action done expecting one outcome but getting another. There isn't any innocence. You know what the outcome is likely to be. Whether you want to admit this to yourself or not.


Me-BW (45)
Him-WS (42)
DS 19 (prior relationship)
DS-8
DDay #1- 10/22/2010 EA/PA with MOW coworker
Dday#2:11/17/2010 beginning secret emails with potential OW#2
DDay #3 11/22/2010 still seeing OW#1
Too many DD's to count: Now up to OW #6.

Posts: 696 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: the south
still-living
Member
Member # 30434
Default  Posted: 8:35 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

My wife tried to use that word and I objected. It felt like she was failing to take ownership, like it was uncontrollable. If someone murders, first degree, is it a mistake then? Whoops, sorry about that.


BH(me)47
WW 47 FOO Issues
DDay 11/09 Coworker
High School Sweethearts
Married 06/91
8 months TT
Sons 19 and 14
Recovery is constructing a pyramid of inference from which to see clearer.
The process involves using the reflexive loop.

Posts: 787 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Ches
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 8:55 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

Still, I get why the word would be offensive. I don't understand how it's viewed as someone stating it was uncontrolled or the "whoops" that I see.

Mistakes aren't uncontrolled at all. That's exactly what makes them mistakes. If they were uncontrolled they'd be accidents. Tripping and falling isn't a mistake.

Committing first degree murder is far different than often than cheating. I know the response is often that "you" can give your spouse a deadly std. Sure. You would contract it yourself and I'd hardly think suicide is on folks minds.

When you set out to kill someone the goal is to see them dead, not as an unintended consequence to an action or choice but that's the entire goal. Someone's death.

If someone feels their spouse wanted that how on earth could anyone ever even contemplate reconciliation?

I would very much understand why anyone hit with this shit would not be a fan of the word. I do feel it very accurately describes for me and if anyone thinks I view my actions and choices as uncontrolled, not catastrophic, not soul threatening life altering, well, they'd be very wrong, or in other words, mistaken.


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: 9:03 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

well, they'd be very wrong, or in other words, mistaken
.

Here is the definition of mistake - An action or judgment that is misguided or wrong

Pretty much sums up my decision to cheat, IMO.

I think sometimes when a WS calls their cheating a "mistake" they're trying to minimize. I think that's where the stigma of the term used to describe cheating probably came from.

Other times, the WS isn't trying to do that at all. I agree with the posters who say it's all about the intent behind the use of the term.

[This message edited by heartbroken0903 at 9:04 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)]


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: 2250 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: the cat's meow
archernine
Member
Member # 31898
Default  Posted: 9:45 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

We can discuss six ways till Sunday what the word means. I understand we question certain meanings and the intent of those who use the word. While the original meaning of mistake is a misunderstanding, somewhere along the line it became an error in judgement. It doesn't really matter what it means or which word is used. The thing is it doesn't make what happened go away or even allow understanding of why that mistake or choice was made. At the end of the day, this isn't about word choice. It's about healing and growing.

[This message edited by archernine at 10:03 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)]


An affair isn't like taking pottery ... they always end disastrously...and it's the one thing in my life I would undo if I could-- from the movie, Unfaithful.

Posts: 84 | Registered: Apr 2011 | From: Maryland
FaithStricken
Member
Member # 34080
Default  Posted: 10:25 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

The word mistake is using a "lesser" word and implies a "lesser" significance. For example, drunk driving involves risking ones own and others lives. People knowingly make a decision to drive drunk. Calling it a mistake, especially if someone is harmed, is like equating it to an accident or unfortunate consequence. More accurately the outcome was due to the persons deliberate decision to drive drunk and knowingly risk harm to others.

I don't think the choice of a word is insignificant. Words have meaning and people often select particular words to depict or illustrate their thoughts or opinions more accurately.

[This message edited by FaithStricken at 10:30 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)]


Posts: 85 | Registered: Dec 2011
nuance
Member
Member # 28793
Default  Posted: 10:32 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

The A is not a mistake. The mistake was thinking there wouldn't be consequences, the consequences would be minimal, or thinking nobody would find out.


Dday May 2000. R'ed.
People suck.

Posts: 1221 | Registered: Jun 2010 | From: California
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 10:35 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

Words have meaning.

Yes, they do. They also very much reflect the context they are used.

"It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes... we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions - especially selfish ones."

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

I doubt very much he's discussing forgetting milk, misunderstanding, ooops, my bad. Especially considering his life experiences.

Again, individual. My ex thought whacking me around from time to time was a mistake. I thought him doing so thinking I'd be there forever (he was completely shocked when I left) was a mistake. Turns out we were both right.


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
hopefulmother
Member
Member # 38790
Default  Posted: 10:58 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

When you make the mistake you don't always know if it is a right or wrong decision. It isn't till the consequences are negative that you know the action was a mistake. When you choose to have an A, you already knew it was wrong. Everyone knows it is wrong. When you chose to do the wrong thing, knowing it is the wrong thing it is not a mistake. It is a choice (better definition) The wrong choice. So stop calling it a mistake.

[This message edited by hopefulmother at 11:01 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)]


Me-BW 39
WH-39
D-day 9-4-12
Major TT 8-14
Friends for 20yrs dating since 2000
Married 10yrs with 2 toddlers
My wedding band is a symbol of hope, forgiveness, love, and grace.

Posts: 946 | Registered: Mar 2013 | From: PA
WWMEH13
Member
Member # 38722
Default  Posted: 11:05 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

But the definition specifically says the action or judgement is misguided or wrong, so wouldn't you be aware when you make mistakes, before any consequences?

But, as mentioned above, in the grand scheme of things, the word doesn't matter, the action/judgement does, and how we respond/learn and grow from our past mistakes is important. Becoming aware enough to avoid them in the future.

I just don't want to offend, so I won't use the word in the context of my A again.


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
aesir
Member
Member # 17210
Default  Posted: 11:15 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

When you chose to do the wrong thing, knowing it is the wrong thing it is not a mistake.

A lot of times, I believe that things trace back farther than where we would say "this is obviously wrong". The inappropriate stuff starts off small and insignificant before the problem becomes apparent.

I believe that words have meanings. Those meanings are far more important to me than the feelings people choose to attach to them, but I suppose for some the feelings are more important than the meanings.

So for everyone that complains about it being called a mistake and that not being accurate, how would you feel if your WS said "It was not a mistake"?

Ultimately, even though we are all speaking English here, this issue comes down to a language barrier in most cases. I expect that long after we are all gone, and the surviving members of the human race have uploaded their consciousness to the cloud, people will still be debating this issue.


Your mileage may vary... in accordance with the prophecy.

Do not back up. Severe tire damage.


Posts: 14924 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Winnipeg
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 11:45 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)

When you chose to do the wrong thing, knowing it is the wrong thing it is not a mistake.

It's not that simple. Ever heard of lesser of two evils? Some affairs are viewed, when making those fucked choices, just that way.

People in horrible pain making choices they know to be wrong thinking that they have no workable choice. They don't feel they can leave. They don't feel they can take the situation any more. They mistakenly let their pain and lack of viable immediate solutions enable them to use thought processes that don't serve them in making healthy choices.

They know it's wrong. They don't like who they are or what they've become. Sound familiar? Doesn't just get said in wayward. They do something they never felt they'd ever have in them, lash out brutally, by some descriptions. Find themselves getting too close to another not their spouse.

They mistakenly believe another has made them lose control, change who they are, respond in ways they'd never imagine. Why would anyone do something they know to be wrong??? PAIN!!! Soul crushing, pain. They misguidedly and wrongly believe they have no other options.

Can some honestly not see how that can be a very huge mistake and also a knowable wrong?


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
Betrayeddaddio
Member
Member # 30198
Default  Posted: 2:43 AM, April 3rd (Wednesday)

The whole Mistake/choice debate is pretty straight forward IMO. If you are an unremorseful WS then call it what ever you like, but if you are remorseful and wish to not add anymore fuel to the fire, choose words that aren't as offensive/dissmisive to your BS. I agree that your definition is "technically correct", such as in war when a fellow soldier kills another, they say "friendly fire", or when a school or hospital gets a bomb dropped on it, "Colateral damage".....technically correct doesn't seem to mesh with the damage done.

It is all semantics, or fun with words as I've heard said, and if your BS tells you they find the word "mistake" offensive, and you debate with them it's technical merits, you may not be conveying as much remorse as they might require.

[This message edited by Betrayeddaddio at 12:10 AM, April 4th (Thursday)]


BH-42 WW-40 DD-5 DD-9 DD-11
D-Day 09/27/2010 Wayward wife had a 10 month A with married DB co-worker Separated Oct. 2013

Posts: 709 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: Canada
Undefinabl3
Member
Member # 36883
Default  Posted: 10:20 AM, April 3rd (Wednesday)

Ever heard of lesser of two evils? Some affairs are viewed, when making those fucked choices, just that way.

But there were OTHER choices that could be made. The lesser of the two evils could have been a divorce, or counseling, or a marriage retreat, or something else.

Saying that the lesser of two evils is an Affair, and it was a mistake really does sound like its being minimized.

I guess for me a mistake is doing something that you didnt mean to do.

Like I meant to call my mom, but called my dad.

Or I meant to order the red shirt but ordered the blue.

I am still failing to see how having an affair is doing something that you didnt mean to do. You kind of have to 'mean' to have sex right...there is no slipping and falling into anyone's naught bits...that's not a mistake.


Me: 31 MH
Him: 37 MH
New online find 6/19/14 - shit

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2012
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 10:29 AM, April 3rd (Wednesday)

But there were OTHER choices that could be made. The lesser of the two evils could have been a divorce, or counseling, or a marriage retreat, or something else.

Yes, there are. Problem is when people are in pain the scope gets pretty myopic. It's supposed to. Pain causes us to focus on ourselves in order to fix what's wrong. When people don't have the tools or don't know how to use them bad choices are made.

Doesn't really matter what you call them. If trying to reconcile I would avoid any word like the plague that would hurt my spouse.

I am not so am free to pretty much define my narrative any way that fits for me. I feel the word is quite descriptive. I honestly can't stand the word affair. I think it sounds like a spring party, but again, just me.

Like aesir said. People attach feelings to words and sometimes context become irrelevant.


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
hopefulmother
Member
Member # 38790
Default  Posted: 10:59 AM, April 3rd (Wednesday)

Good decision from one BS to a fWH. Here was my H "mistake" we chose to move away from home for his job. We lost all contact with our support groups, which meant less time spent with each other. A real stresser on our M. At the time we took the action or judgment to move we did not know it was the wrong decision for us (hence became a mistake). His way of coping: he chose to have an A. That wasn't a mistake to me. It is what he wanted. I feel he fears admitting this to himself, because it doesn't paint a pretty picture of his character. Us BS see the word "mistake" as a cop out. In my opinion, my fWH is still not owning his actions. Just hang in there. Open up to her emotionally and share your feelings with her. She will want to know that this affects you too, but in a constructive way. Build her up again. Try reading the love languages and find out what hers is.


Me-BW 39
WH-39
D-day 9-4-12
Major TT 8-14
Friends for 20yrs dating since 2000
Married 10yrs with 2 toddlers
My wedding band is a symbol of hope, forgiveness, love, and grace.

Posts: 946 | Registered: Mar 2013 | From: PA
Kelany
Member
Member # 34755
Default  Posted: 1:36 PM, April 3rd (Wednesday)

If my FWH had said to me his affairs were a "mistake" because he was in some sort of "pain", any chance of r would have been off the table.

We all have free will to make choices every day. You choose to have an affair. You choose to lie. You choose to cause pain. Its not an accident by any means.

Calling it a mistake is akin to "it just happened" in my opinion.


BS - Me
SA/FWH Him
DDay 1 - Jul 11
DDay 2 - Jul 12
R Dec 12

Former 80s Icon wishful thinking


Posts: 2031 | Registered: Feb 2012
redrock
Member
Member # 21538
Default  Posted: 2:14 PM, April 3rd (Wednesday)

I have a problem when the word 'mistake' is used to mitigate the act of infidelity.

There is a reason why publicists use it to craft the speeches for the podium of the public figures forced to acknowledge infidelity. Another word often used is- 'indiscretion'.

I feel that both words can and are 'used' in ways that minimize culpability. Does that mean is is never applicable? No.


I don't respect anyone that can't spell a word more than one way:)

Posts: 3157 | Registered: Nov 2008 | From: Michigan
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 3:54 PM, April 3rd (Wednesday)

I agree with the posters who say it's all about the intent behind the use of the term.

This.

Maybe part of why it can be a trigger reading about it in the news and the articles that say 'mistake' is that we can't hear the emotion the author was feeling when they wrote. And it does feel like minimizing.

But for someone remorseful who says, "I made a big mistake, and I'm so sorry!" I don't think they're trying to minimize. I think they're trying to take responsibility. Instead of "it just happened", they're saying "I made". "I made this happen and I am so sorry!" Hopefully the next words would be what, specifically, they're sorry for - sorry for hurting their loved ones. It really does depend on context. But I can see how the word triggers. A person who says defensively, "I made a mistake! Aren't you ever going to let it go?" is clearly minimizing.

If the word triggers you, or if (as the WS) you're afraid or wondering if it triggers your BS, ask. It's a sign of consideration that you're trying not to trigger your partner, that you are being thoughtful of them, and hopefully the consideration behind asking and not saying the word will really count in the long term of healing. That's what empathy is.

They mistakenly let their pain and lack of viable immediate solutions enable them to use thought processes that don't serve them in making healthy choices.

This too. The mistake we made was in choosing the wrong way to handle it.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 3911 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
Tearsoflove
Member
Member # 8271
Default  Posted: 5:43 PM, April 3rd (Wednesday)

My husband and I recently had this very conversation. I am a BS but I agree that an affair can most certainly be both a choice and a mistake. Throughout our lives, we make many choices that can be considered mistakes. Although I didn't have an affair, I have made many mistakes in my life, some of which were conscious choices that I now regret.

I think the issue for the BS is that mistake seems like such a small word for something so immeasurably painful. It feels like minimizing. And, to me, if you don't regret the act, it wasn't a mistake to you. Regret and remorse are paramount to actually being able to call a choice a mistake.

I don't split hairs with words. My husband considers what he has done huge mistakes. I don't disagree that they are mistakes. But as I've told my children, learning from your mistakes is how you can pull something good from it. In fact, sometimes you have to make mistakes to learn. But making the same mistake repeatedly without learning from it is, to me, the definition of stupidity. If you keep doing something devastating that you should have learned from, you really aren't making mistakes anymore- you're choosing the same painful path and proving you don't regret it by continuing on that path.

So, if you believe you've made a mistake then the following must also be true: 1. You wish you hadn't done it. 2. You would take it back if you could. 3. And you will learn lessons from it and not repeat it.

If all of these things are true, in my opinion, you have the right to call your affair a mistake. If they are not, you don't. However, it's not my opinion that really counts here- it's your betrayed spouse's opinion that matters. If mistake feels like the wrong descriptive word, get a thesaurus and find one that conveys the magnitude of your mistake. After all, it's really going to be the actions afterward that matter, not the word itself.


"Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand." ~Homer Simpson


Posts: 4161 | Registered: Sep 2005
authenticnow
Moderator
Member # 16024
Default  Posted: 6:45 PM, April 3rd (Wednesday)

Tearsoflove, You put that so eloquently.

Also, I can't help thinking that why so much fuss about a word? At SI we all know it's all about actions, not words.

ETA Just want to clarify---I did not mean to minimize anybody's opinions or feelings. I think what's most important is how we act, not what we label the A.

Also, ***posting as a member*** .

[This message edited by authenticnow at 6:46 PM, April 3rd (Wednesday)]


Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."


Posts: 38209 | Registered: Sep 2007
WWMEH13
Member
Member # 38722
Default  Posted: 8:30 PM, April 3rd (Wednesday)

All this fuss over a word?

It is a word that is obviously divisive.

My initial reactions to reading people chastise other for using it, was "well, that's just ridiculous", but hearing why people feel the way they do about it, helps me use it in what I consider a more appropriate manner pertaining to my own A.


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
toomanyregrets
Member
Member # 37740
Default  Posted: 9:40 PM, April 3rd (Wednesday)

BH here.
An A is a choice.
It may be a mistake, but it's still a choice.
You chould just as well have chosen to be faithful.


BH - 64
fWW - 60

"Affairs are not mistakes, they are a series of deliberate choices." - CrappyLife


Posts: 485 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Upstate NY
Offhispedestal
Member
Member # 32528
Default  Posted: 9:53 PM, April 3rd (Wednesday)

You can make bad choices over and over. You choose to continue to lie, you choose to continue to screw the AP, You choose to keep in contact, you choose the AP over your spouse, kids and friends.....
Those are choices. Mistakes is something you don't repeat 100 times.
The way I see it my H chose to hide, lie, deceive, have sex on and off for a year.
Those are not mistakes. I think it hurts us BS because a mistake is minimizing and with a choice is something the WS was well aware of before doing it.


ME-44
WH-45
Married 24


2Beautiful daughters
DD 6/26/10 (he broke down & confessed)
DD#2 3/14/11 H in OW's car
TT 7/1/11 (NC broken, through emails)

In R


Posts: 639 | Registered: Jun 2011
still-living
Member
Member # 30434
Default  Posted: 10:00 PM, April 3rd (Wednesday)

I think the issue for the BS is that mistake seems like such a small word for something so immeasurably painful. It feels like minimizing. And, to me, if you don't regret the act, it wasn't a mistake to you. Regret and remorse are paramount to actually being able to call a choice a mistake.

Well said. I agree there needs to be remorse and learning on the offending side, and also, a matching maturity on the receiving side. Not sure how many couples have this full package in the early stages of affair recovery. I know I didn't.

Something else I thought of as an example of minimizing, or inversely, maximizing, and appropriately using the terms: We often tell our kids to be careful of their choices when leaving for the night, and that a single wrong choice could negatively change their lives forever. We intentionally utilize the term "Wrong choice" to them to emphasis the statement, but later refer to their wrong choices as "mistakes." This to me is a clear example of where the two terms are appropriately used, although, if my son chose to speed to work because he was late, and as a result, lost control of his vehicle and killed another teenage, I would not say to the other parent that my son made a mistake. He did, but the other parent will not want to hear it.

[This message edited by still-living at 10:06 PM, April 3rd (Wednesday)]


BH(me)47
WW 47 FOO Issues
DDay 11/09 Coworker
High School Sweethearts
Married 06/91
8 months TT
Sons 19 and 14
Recovery is constructing a pyramid of inference from which to see clearer.
The process involves using the reflexive loop.

Posts: 787 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Ches
gonnabe2016
Member
Member # 34823
Default  Posted: 10:11 PM, April 3rd (Wednesday)

Taken literally, yes....an affair can be characterized as a *mistake*.

I, personally, do not see it that way. It seems too trite. And frankly, I think that the definition should be changed because the way that the word is used in society typically applies when someone has a *brain fart*. When you answer a question incorrectly it's called a mistake.

When you give a person the wrong amount of change it's called a mistake. When you drive the wrong way on a one-way street it's called a mistake. When you walk into the wrong house for a party because you didn't look at the address it's called a mistake. The key theme in those things is *not paying attention* or being careless. As has been mentioned....more along the lines of an "shit, sorry, I should have been paying attention."

But now add in *intent*. You purposefully drive the wrong way, enter the wrong house, or give the wrong amount of change. Now you've committed a crime. And you *chose* to do those things.

And many times a person that purposefully makes a *choice*....and gets caught....uses the *it was a mistake* defense.

Add in the fact that Sultan used the word constantly....and it was typically linked to some form of *get over it, it's no big deal*.....so, no. I'll never be able to refer to an affair as a mistake. Even if I end up being the only person on Earth that feels that way, I won't do it.

Just saw this:

how would you feel if your WS said "It was not a mistake"?

In my situation, I would have been just fine with it because it would have been *honest*. There was absolutely nothing mistaken about what he was doing.

Eta: Tears. Your description fits exactly what I was trying to *get at*. I just can't call a repeating event a mistake.

[This message edited by gonnabe2016 at 10:20 PM, April 3rd (Wednesday)]


"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." - Sir Walter Scott

In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.


Posts: 8112 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Midwest
Jospehine85
Member
Member # 35971
Default  Posted: 11:00 AM, April 4th (Thursday)

Perhaps BS dislike the term "mistake" because when the WS say it, it feels as if they aren't owning what they did. Why use a euphemism to describe what occurred? Why not just call it what it is? Using "mistake" is a bit of a cop out from having to use words specifically describe one's behavior.

A BS would much rather hear a WS say, "I am sorry I put your life at risk having unprotected sex with a woman I knew nothing about. It was selfish of me and showed a complete lack of respect for you." vs. "I am sorry, I made a mistake"

The former statement shows an understanding of the exact wrong committed, why it was wrong and how it makes the BS feel.

The latter statement is too general. It doesn't lead the BS to believe that any deep thinking has occurred or that the WS is acknowledging what they did.

Also, there is a connotation to "mistake" that it is a choice made in the belief one is doing something correctly, but misguidedly makes the wrong choice.


Me - BS 40s
WH - 50s
4 Kids
Dday May 2012

Posts: 903 | Registered: Jun 2012
hardlessons
Member
Member # 35025
Default  Posted: 11:08 AM, April 4th (Thursday)

If we spent this much time on the intent of the label we are trying to apply instead of the title of the label... Its like government arguing over the naming of post offices instead of how to keep it out of bankruptcy.


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

Posts: 880 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: Arizona
Kelany
Member
Member # 34755
Default  Posted: 11:12 AM, April 4th (Thursday)

A BS would much rather hear a WS say, "I am sorry I put your life at risk having unprotected sex with a woman I knew nothing about. It was selfish of me and showed a complete lack of respect for you." vs. "I am sorry, I made a mistake"

Exactly.


BS - Me
SA/FWH Him
DDay 1 - Jul 11
DDay 2 - Jul 12
R Dec 12

Former 80s Icon wishful thinking


Posts: 2031 | Registered: Feb 2012
whatlysbeneath
Member
Member # 32665
Default  Posted: 4:39 PM, April 5th (Friday)

IMO, It is a mistake to label multiple, horrible, deliberate choices a "mistake".


Me: BH
Her: WW
Together 18 years
M 17
D day 2010
4 young children
Every secret in a marriage is a lie...I'm tired of being lied too.

Posts: 131 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: Mayberry to Hell to Limboville
Topic Posts: 40