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User Topic: 5 reasons we stick with Cheaters
RoadtoPeace
New Member
Member # 39141
Default  Posted: 1:36 PM, May 9th (Thursday)

No Soliciting

Great article that resonated all to well with me. Hope it helps some of my fellow BSers examine possible reasons we stick with people who continue to betray us.

[This message edited by wifehad5 at 8:20 PM, May 10th (Friday)]


me - BS
him - WH
Married 5 1/2 years
Dday#1 - 10/2009
Dday#2 - 3/2013
Status - He wants R, I am not sure I can get on that ride again

Posts: 41 | Registered: Apr 2013
RoadtoPeace
New Member
Member # 39141
Default  Posted: 1:38 PM, May 9th (Thursday)

Article below:

Are you on the fence about leaving a cheater? Is this not their first rodeo? Here are some common traps that keep you stuck with a cheater and prevent you from moving on.

1. Hope. Codependency has been described as the addiction to the potential of things. Are you hooked on a cheater's potential? Wow, she could be a great partner... if only? Or -- I want the guy I thought I married back? Do you grasp at the smallest indication that this person gives a flip about you? You've got hope sickness.

It's hard to be down on hope. It's hard to fault people who have hope. It seems virtuous. But in cases of serial infidelity, it can keep you stuck. Listen to me chumps -- hope is not your friend. You need to bludgeon hope with a fencepost and begin to operate with total lucidity.

Because hope is so strong, cheaters know exactly what a powerful manipulation tool this is. The goal of a cheater is usually cake -- the affair and the marriage. Your goal is to get them to come to their senses and be that sparkly person you fell in love with and commit to you. So they will use hope to keep you on the hook. They will feign remorse, cry, say they miss you. They may go to counseling. Admit, hey, they aren't perfect or Mistakes Were Made. They may crack open a book (usually something like "When Splendid People Cheat.") And you, desperate to save this mess -- take it as a Sign.

The only antidote to hope sickness is self knowledge. Know what you will and will not tolerate. What your values are. Where your boundaries are. Be unswerving in your loyalty to own well-being, and what sort of relationship you want. Hold out for that. Cheaters lie and they lie artfully. So it is essential to watch what your cheater does and pay zero attention to what they say.

This is very hard to do. Hope is like that siren song in Ulysses. You're going to have to tie yourself to the mast and stuff cotton in your ears. But stay strong, because crazy hope that this person is going to fix this and stop hurting you -- in the face of evidence to the contrary -- is a powerful reason why people stay stuck with cheaters.

2. Fear. It's scary to leave someone. We humans are programmed to bond. There's that famous Harlow study about baby monkeys. Some baby monkeys are put in a cage with real monkey mommies and some in a cage with barbed wire mommies, wrapped in a thin veneer of terry cloth. A pale mommy monkey substitute. But the babies with the barbed wire mommies try to bond with that thing. Even though they get pricked and are bleeding and the entire experience sucks. Inside their little baby monkey brains, they must be thinking... something better than this exists. But they haven't experienced it. So they cling hard to the barbed wire monkey. Of course, the babies with the real mommies are thriving.

Moral of the story? Step out of the cage and go find some real monkeys to bond with. It's scary to leave the barbed wire monkey -- but if you find the courage to do it, you'll experience true monkeys. You don't know what you've been missing.

3. Denial. As coping mechanisms go, denial is pretty effective. When hope fails, there is denial. Just be oblivious about your situation and your feelings about it. Poof! It never happened! We spackle over our life messes, because we're invested. It's hard to walk away from an investment, even a bad one. In economics, they call this "sunk costs" -- the more you invest, the harder it is to walk away, even when you know you're losing! So, naturally you just pretend the investment isn't really that bad. (See "Hope" above). If you want to get unstuck, you have to take a hard, unvarnished look at your reality.

4. Pride. It's hard to admit to yourself and the world that you screwed up something as important as choosing a life partner. Being cheated on is humiliating. It's natural to want to control the outcome, and put lipstick on that pig and reconcile. Either you don't tell anyone (and suffer alone or on online forums or in your therapists office), or you tell people and spend the rest of your marriage either avoiding everyone who hates your cheating spouse or convincing them that your Marriage Is Stronger For It.

Remember -- infidelity is not your failure to own. Do not borrow shame. It takes a lot of strength and character to navigate this crap. If you loved a lousy partner, okay, so what? You're human. You picked from the barbed wire monkey pile. Explore that, fix it, and choose better next time.

5. Inertia. Infidelity is exhausting. Did you know the universe is conspiring to keep you stuck? Inertia is a basic law of physics -- "the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion or rest, or the tendency of an object to resist any change in its motion." Change is hard. But staying stuck is painful. When the pain gets too great, you'll make a plan and get unstuck. The problem is, a lot of us are endurance athletes when it comes to pain. We think it's our lot, what we deserve. Expect better for yourself -- and move toward it. Better is out there.


me - BS
him - WH
Married 5 1/2 years
Dday#1 - 10/2009
Dday#2 - 3/2013
Status - He wants R, I am not sure I can get on that ride again

Posts: 41 | Registered: Apr 2013
doesitgetbetter
Member
Member # 18429
Default  Posted: 4:45 PM, May 9th (Thursday)

How interesting. Oddly enough, I stayed for exactly zero of those reasons. Hmmm. Maybe I didn't really stay then?


DDay - Dec '07
Me - BS
Him - FWS
Us - Committed
May 18, 2010 - I forgave him fully!
"Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." Isaiah 48:10

Posts: 3859 | Registered: Feb 2008
Ashland13
Member
Member # 38378
Default  Posted: 8:42 PM, May 9th (Thursday)

Thanks for the article. Some if it is quite familiar.

Fear of change and massive codependency kept me searching the stars for M.

As long as I did not begin D, I could trick myself with hope that it wasn't over, but it was...basically I tricked myself and held myself back from moving on and really healing...purgatory many call it limbo, where we fence sit as a BS) is not a good place.


Ashland 13

The only thing that stays the same, is change. -M. Etheridge


Posts: 1965 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: New England
rumorhasit
Member
Member # 38943
Default  Posted: 9:30 PM, May 9th (Thursday)

Wow, the answer to a question I was about to ask! Because I am scared that I will eventually be stoopid and take him back...


BGF- 30 (me)
WXBF- 30 (him)
Last Dday- 4-8-13, he left for OW#2
Us- 1 DS 3yo, Him- 1 DD 7yo

Mrs. Robinson- 41, S but still M

"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - Christopher Robin


Posts: 205 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Southern California
Snowy
Member
Member # 14028
Default  Posted: 9:52 PM, May 9th (Thursday)

Moral of the story? Step out of the cage and go find some real monkeys to bond with. It's scary to leave the barbed wire monkey -- but if you find the courage to do it, you'll experience true monkeys. You don't know what you've been missing

This is so true

Posts: 149 | Registered: Mar 2007
debbysbaby
Member
Member # 32962
Default  Posted: 9:31 AM, May 10th (Friday)

I've been divorced over 8 years, and I can say all of these reasons were relevant to varying degrees in my situation. During all those years I was married and knew I was with a cheater, I would have been offended by that article but primarily because the truth behind it would scare me. I would have insisted that it was only because I loved him and I would have said we were stronger because of what we'd been through but it all would have been a lie.


-betrayed almost my whole almost 15 yr marriage
-divorced since 2004

Posts: 782 | Registered: Aug 2011
nofool4u
Member
Member # 38509
Default  Posted: 10:02 AM, May 10th (Friday)

1. Hope. Codependency has been described as the addiction to the potential of things. Are you hooked on a cheater's potential? Wow, she could be a great partner... if only? Or -- I want the guy I thought I married back? Do you grasp at the smallest indication that this person gives a flip about you? You've got hope sickness.

I left because I knew there was no hope of any of the above. My x-wife would have NEVER been the same person I married. Wasn't going to happen no matter how hard she tried.

2. Fear. It's scary to leave someone.

Yes it was scary, but only because of finances and leaving my kids. But I knew if I stayed, I'd be miserable, and I'm no good to my kids that way and money wouldn't mean a thing.


4. Pride. It's hard to admit to yourself and the world that you screwed up something as important as choosing a life partner. Being cheated on is humiliating. It's natural to want to control the outcome, and put lipstick on that pig and reconcile. Either you don't tell anyone (and suffer alone or on online forums or in your therapists office), or you tell people and spend the rest of your marriage either avoiding everyone who hates your cheating spouse or convincing them that your Marriage Is Stronger For It.

Pride is one of the small reasons I DID divorce my wife.


Better is out there.

Amen


Me - fBS

Posts: 210 | Registered: Feb 2013
idiot85
Member
Member # 38934
Default  Posted: 10:11 AM, May 10th (Friday)

Not everyone can be tarred with the same brush- that goes for B's and Ws.

We're all far too complicated in my opinion- the cave man days would have suited me more.


BH-29 (me)
WW-28

Alea iacta est...


Posts: 555 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Old Blighty
7yrsflushed
Member
Member # 32258
Default  Posted: 10:12 AM, May 10th (Friday)

Good article. For me these may ahve applied initially but eventually they became 5 of the many things ultimately led me to file for D and free myself.

I learned to break codep behavior. I was more afraid of remaining stuck in the misery that was my dead end marriage than I was of the unknown after D, so fear was a catalyst for change for me. Denial just left a bad taste in my mouth after a year of false R. Gets kind of hard to deny what is staring you right in the face after a few months. As for pride, I swallowed my pride once I realized I had done nothing wrong and had nothing to be ashamed of. Inertia wasn't an issue once it clicked that my WW definitely had no problem with inertia holding her back durign her A's so why should it hold me back from moving forward with my new life.


D-day 5/24/11
BH = Me
STBXWW = Her
2 children
The first true sense of calm I felt in YEARS was when I filed for D...
Separated 6/2013, D official around 6/2014

Posts: 1580 | Registered: May 2011
nofool4u
Member
Member # 38509
Default  Posted: 10:33 AM, May 10th (Friday)

idiot85 I realize about the generalizations.

But I think many of us, as in the case of thinking once a cheater always a cheater, is more of a general guideline for us and we know there are exceptions to the rule.


Me - fBS

Posts: 210 | Registered: Feb 2013
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 11:44 AM, May 10th (Friday)

I think these can be reasons for people who remain in a relationship with someone who is openly and actively cheating, but I think that tends to be the minority and primarily springs from confusion, fear and pain.

I don't think any of them apply to those who have laid out boundaries after dday, or those who were not in the know before dday.

It's a useful list to help people stuck in that place where they have discovered an affair but aren't sure what to do about it, and try all the wrong things to make their marriage work, instead of trying to make themselves safe.


“Fate is a fickle bitch who dotes on irony.”

Posts: 7115 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
k9lover1
Member
Member # 8531
Default  Posted: 12:44 PM, May 10th (Friday)

I think one of the reasons people stay with cheaters is purely financial.

If the BS has plenty of cash, cars and a home and financial security, the loser WH would be out the door.

[This message edited by k9lover1 at 12:44 PM, May 10th (Friday)]


D-Day was 10/9/05
He promised NC. He lied. After 4 chances, I kicked him out 1/05/06.
Since then I have survived cancer surgery and a heart attack.
Now he's sorry, but it's too late.

Posts: 8053 | Registered: Oct 2005 | From: Wisconsin
RoadtoPeace
New Member
Member # 39141
Default  Posted: 12:58 PM, May 10th (Friday)

StillGoing - I did lay out boundaries after my first Dday but my STBXH just got smarter about hiding it. In no way was he open about his continued infidelity. I of course knew he was likely back at it but since I swore off checking up on him again (hoping my trust in him would keep him on the right path) I had no evidence to the contrary.

But similar to what nofoolu said, it was ultimately my pride that has nudged me to my very recent decision to ask for a divorce.

By no means does the article speak for the experiences of all BSs, but certainly for those who continue to stay despite a litany of broken promises.


me - BS
him - WH
Married 5 1/2 years
Dday#1 - 10/2009
Dday#2 - 3/2013
Status - He wants R, I am not sure I can get on that ride again

Posts: 41 | Registered: Apr 2013
idiot85
Member
Member # 38934
Default  Posted: 1:48 PM, May 10th (Friday)

I can honestly say I don't think any apply to me- I mean of course I'm hopeful but I don't think I'm wrong to be.

It's also certainly not for money.

Generalisation is a dangerous game- the 'us' and 'them' arguments make me uncomfortable in pretty much all situations. No doubt this does apply to the serial cheater types whose BS's stick around but not them all.

I almost feel sort of offended to be honest- I know I shouldn't so please don't take it personally but articles like this imply I'm stupid for sticking around.


BH-29 (me)
WW-28

Alea iacta est...


Posts: 555 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Old Blighty
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 4:02 PM, May 10th (Friday)

StillGoing - I did lay out boundaries after my first Dday but my STBXH just got smarter about hiding it. In no way was he open about his continued infidelity. I of course knew he was likely back at it but since I swore off checking up on him again (hoping my trust in him would keep him on the right path) I had no evidence to the contrary.

But similar to what nofoolu said, it was ultimately my pride that has nudged me to my very recent decision to ask for a divorce.

By no means does the article speak for the experiences of all BSs, but certainly for those who continue to stay despite a litany of broken promises.

I apologize if this appears confrontational - I don't mean it to be, but I can't figure out a wording that doesn't appear that way to me.

If you knew he was back at it, and you had sworn off verifying, does that not fall into that description? He was openly and actively involved in an affair enough that you were aware of it to some degree, enough so that you eventually decided you did not need evidence of continued cheating on which to base your decision to D - either his attitude and behavior gave enough of that away, or you came to the conclusion that this was a dealbreaker no matter what he did.

I don't think this list is a negative thing. I just think it's one that applies in context. Identification of a problem is the first step to resolving it.

In particular, this comment:

It's natural to want to control the outcome, and put lipstick on that pig and reconcile. Either you don't tell anyone (and suffer alone or on online forums or in your therapists office), or you tell people and spend the rest of your marriage either avoiding everyone who hates your cheating spouse or convincing them that your Marriage Is Stronger For It.

Is rather broad sweeping and offensive.

[This message edited by StillGoing at 4:02 PM, May 10th (Friday)]


“Fate is a fickle bitch who dotes on irony.”

Posts: 7115 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
libertyrocks
Member
Member # 38924
Default  Posted: 4:09 PM, May 10th (Friday)

That's not true! I DID NOT marry my H because he's successful or wealthy. I loved him for the broken ass he was. Boy, was he broken! As a little girl, I always wanted to make a lucky guy happy. Well, failed at that! lol. I'm just kidding everyone...But, no, not everyone is into material stuff. And, I really don't need H at all, financially. I make my own money. NO OFFENSE TO SAHM. Staying at home is harder than working a 12 hour day! Shoot. I took extra maternity time off. I know.

Love conquers all.

[This message edited by libertyrocks at 4:10 PM, May 10th (Friday)]


Me-BW 35. STBXH-35,active alcoholic, suspected NPD SA. 2 little boys. M 6yrs T13.
Year+ false R & TT from Dday1 Nov 2012 IEA - Feb 2014 count at 10 OW PA's 1LTA (all W lied to) for 3 years that I know of.
Filed for D.

Posts: 816 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: So Cal, baby. :)
wifehad5
Moderator
Member # 15162
Red  Posted: 8:22 PM, May 10th (Friday)

The author of this article is a former member of SI who asked that her account be frozen when asked to stop using members in her blog.


FBH - 42
FWW - 43 (BrokenRoad)
2 kids 7&12

The people you do your life with shape the life you live


Posts: 35359 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Michigan
cosmicjoke
Member
Member # 39159
Default  Posted: 10:59 PM, May 10th (Friday)

They forgot a few really BIG obvious ones:

*Shared, intertwined lives-- (history, friends, family members)- it's hard to think about starting over from scratch, especially the older you get.

*Kids- and for some people, shared pets

*Finances

*You both love the home you live in.

*You have great chemistry, aside from the problems.

*You actually love the person.


Posts: 86 | Registered: May 2013
LovingFool
New Member
Member # 39090
Default  Posted: 2:32 AM, May 11th (Saturday)

Personally I think this article does t belong in the "Just Found Out" thread. The generalizations that it infers can be detrimental to those who literally just found out. Certainly the "General" forum might be a better. Heck, with all the rants from divorced or separated members, maybe the article should be posted there.

Also, I am always interested in who actually authored the article and what the credentials are or if it is just a biased, personal opinion. I think there is danger I articles such as these when the author is coming across as an authority, but in actuality, it maybe just a personal opinion. Quoting literary works like Ulysses or medical studies does not necessary make this an authority.

While perhaps I have taken an offense at it, I can slightly appreciate it for giving some food for thought.

But, again, I was under the impression that this forum was for those that "Just Found Out" as perhaps a venting and compassionate thread. I didn't really get the impression that this article was compassionate in the least. Rather the whole article was geared to making someone think they are a fool for staying.


Me: BS
Him: WH
Married almost 15 years
Kids- 5
D-day - March 2013 and trickle truth for a few weeks after
Currently in R - I hope

Posts: 32 | Registered: Apr 2013
lost100
New Member
Member # 39128
Default  Posted: 7:14 AM, May 11th (Saturday)

I feel that in these awful 'just found out' times all information is helpful. I am so glad to see a balance between going or staying. There is no right or wrong about this. If I stay I will lose the opportunity to see an alternative life unlived; if I go - the life unlived maybe significantly worse than the one created by me over the years. Is the life less lived more valid than the unknown. The abyss reflects back at all those who look into it.

Posts: 24 | Registered: Apr 2013
windowsnotwalls
Member
Member # 36983
Default  Posted: 7:22 AM, May 11th (Saturday)

I'm in 180, really working hard to discover why I've allowed the betrayals so long, working to make myself stronger to never allow it again. I found this article very useful. Thanks for posting. This should go in the healing library.


"She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails" (Elizabeth Edwards).
http://youtu.be/62oby83NtGw
Forever Conditionally Detached

Posts: 503 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Pittsburgh, PA
wanttofeelwhole
Member
Member # 31830
Default  Posted: 11:42 AM, May 11th (Saturday)

I love this article.

Pride is why I took him back. I had to win.

Hope an inertia are why I stay. Fortunately the pain of being struck has become unbearable and I have been pushing the other way. Change us coming and one way or the other I WILL be happy again.

Thank you for helping this make sense.


Sorry I don't edit the typos
Love is giving someone the power to destroy you...but trusting them not to.-Unknown
For every good reason there is to lie, there is a better reason to tell the truth.-Bo Bennett
Memory is a complicated thing, a rel

Posts: 786 | Registered: Apr 2011 | From: Sliding down the backside of the rainbow
idiot85
Member
Member # 38934
Default  Posted: 3:17 PM, May 11th (Saturday)

Maybe I'm just more sensitive than I thought but although I'm not so blind as to see it rings true for some- it's hurtful to people who have stayed.

My wife is still a human being- this means she's flawed it also means she isn't pure evil with the sole intention of destroying me. The article has to be aimed at serial cheaters- if it isn't then it's nonsense in my opinion.


BH-29 (me)
WW-28

Alea iacta est...


Posts: 555 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Old Blighty
Hopefulguy
New Member
Member # 39219
Default  Posted: 3:38 PM, May 11th (Saturday)

I have to agree with idiotguy and others.

The article clearly has a slant and is great at helping to justify why people stayed in relationships that ultimately failed - clearly these other things were just going on. An incredibly over simplistic view of the psyches of 1/2 of the equation. Maybe it's a feel good piece for them though.

For those who are looking at reconciling though it offer nothing. It ignores that forgiveness may be possible and that's why this piece is biased.

It's basically a longer version of the simplistic notion that cheaters always cheat. Doesn't necessarily comport with reality and I am glad it was not one of the first things I read when I first came here.


D-day 5/7/13

Posts: 40 | Registered: May 2013
RoadtoPeace
New Member
Member # 39141
Default  Posted: 4:39 AM, May 12th (Sunday)

I am truly sorry that this article offended some. My sense was this article was written for those who have forgiven serial cheaters only to be right back in the same situation again and again.

Some WS do reform and recommit to their marriages, and some don't. I forgave my WH after our first D-day and did so not from a place of weakness or stupidity, but from a place of love and hope. And I don't regret giving our marriage and him a second chance. But given his track record, I had to examine why or how I could consider giving him a third or fourth chance.

I admit this article is about as subtle as a 2x4 but some of us need to hear the messages, then reflect and ultimately decide for ourselves.


me - BS
him - WH
Married 5 1/2 years
Dday#1 - 10/2009
Dday#2 - 3/2013
Status - He wants R, I am not sure I can get on that ride again

Posts: 41 | Registered: Apr 2013
idiot85
Member
Member # 38934
Default  Posted: 5:04 AM, May 12th (Sunday)

RoadtoPeace- you don't need to be sorry where I'm concerned- it sounds like we're in agreement it doesn't refer to every situation and is best applied to serial cheaters.

You should take strength and support from wherever you can, just like I do.


BH-29 (me)
WW-28

Alea iacta est...


Posts: 555 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Old Blighty
Tiredofthepain
Member
Member # 37932
Default  Posted: 5:51 AM, May 12th (Sunday)

My wife is still a human being- this means she's flawed it also means she isn't pure evil with the sole intention of destroying me.

I can relate to this. I have to keep reminding myself that my SAWS isn't my enemy, even though it feels like it because he has hurt me so much.

I know that he didn't intentionally cheat to hurt me. He is a good person that is very fucked up and made the worst choices in his life due to that.

I am not staying for any of the reasons listed. I am staying because my WS has a serious problem that he is in recovery for, he is beyond remorseful. I truly do love him and I am not going to throw away 20 years now when he finally sees what has been wrong with him and I can finally (hopefully) get the H I deserve. I am staying to give my future a chance to be a lot better than some of my past.


ME-BS 48
HIM-WS 38
WS is SA, multiple visits to prostitutes.
Status: Hanging in there

I would rather be told a hurtful truth than a comforting lie.

Posts: 559 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: NC
nofool4u
Member
Member # 38509
Default  Posted: 9:35 AM, May 12th (Sunday)

I think one of the reasons people stay with cheaters is purely financial.

This is, along with not bearing to be with my kids every day, was the main reason I considered staying in my marriage. After about a month I couldn't take it any longer and said #$%& it, and I didn't care if I had to go into debt to get divorced. I knew I'd recover financially, it was just going to be tough while it was going on.

I heard someone say once: "Why is divorce so expensive? Because its worth it" That was true in my case, not true for many others though because I realize for alot of other people losing their marriage wasn't worth anything.


Me - fBS

Posts: 210 | Registered: Feb 2013
metamorphisis
Administrator
Member # 12041
Default  Posted: 9:55 AM, May 12th (Sunday)

5 reasons I stuck with a cheater..

1. Because I am intelligent enough to make my own decisions.
2. Because I saw reason to believe that we could heal, and we did.

Oh look at that.. just two reasons.
One answer is not for everyone and can't be summed up in a cute little list. It just doesn't work that way. What was required was keeping my eyes open, making sure I was listening to my instincts and being honest with myself.
That could have easily ended in divorce but it didn't. No one solution is going to be a good fit for everyone.



“We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.”... Anais Nin

Posts: 42812 | Registered: Sep 2006
Brokenheart777
Member
Member # 38561
Default  Posted: 10:47 AM, May 12th (Sunday)

What was required was keeping my eyes open

And this is why this list is valuable. I read it as a list of reasons which tend to blind betrayeds to healthier, or more realistic views of things as they actually are.


ME - BBF 31
HER - WXGF 28
DDay - 2/22/2013
2-3 month EA/PA
Together for 6 years, ready to start my life . . .

"I can fill the flask up, but can't get past us
I'm in the storm, staying strong, but can't get back up"


Posts: 176 | Registered: Feb 2013
Topic Posts: 31