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User Topic: Fault - 100% of A, 50% of M
ReunitePangea
Member
Member # 37529
Default  Posted: 2:00 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

I see this statement commonly used on here and sometimes I am not sure if it always applies.

"The A is 100% the WS fault, problems in the M are 50/50 though."

Yes, I think the A is 100% the WS fault - they choose that path rather than addressing issues directly if they existed. However saying problems in the M is 50/50 is not fair. I view it more like a traffic accident. Yes, sometimes fault is 50/50. Sometimes though there are other issues at play that may reside with one spouse and not the other and it isn't a 50/50 split. Sometimes, the A itself is the major problem in the M, how is it still 50/50 then. Sometimes (in my case) there really are not any major issues in the M at all, there is just the A. In my case the A stated day one, any M issues that exist were always tainted by the A in some fashion. Everyone has different circumstances but this statement gets used in just about all cases.

I get the point to the statement - the WS needs to own the A and not blame shift. Saying the M problems is 50/50 is sort of a negotiated position as a result of the WS taking blame for the A 100%. I just think in many cases the A itself is one of the major problems in the M and saying it is 50/50 is still blame shifting.


BS - Me 38
WS - Wife 39
D-Day - Oct 12
Married 10 years
OM1 - 12-year LTA
OM2 - 9 month A turned into open relationship with couple for another 1 1/2 years

Posts: 489 | Registered: Nov 2012
tushnurse
Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 2:08 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

well said, and I agree.


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 8681 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
AFrayedKnot
Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 2:13 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

2nd that


BS 40
fWS 36 (SurprisinglyOkay)
DD DS
A whole bunch of shit that got a lot worse before it got better.
"Knowing is half the battle"

Posts: 2628 | Registered: Aug 2012
confused615
Member
Member # 30826
Default  Posted: 2:15 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

Thank you for starting this thread. This has been something that has been bothering me lately.

I used to say the same thing..both are 50% responsible for the problems in the marriage,but the A is 100% the WS's fault. Heck,I said it so often someone quoted me in their tag line.

I've changed my mind. I was not perfect...I had days when I was bitchy...but I was/am a damned good wife to WH both before and after dday. I have absolutely adored this man from the moment I saw him. I never said anything against him to others,instead I pointed out his positives. I respected him and his opinions,and in situations where we disagreed and a decision needed to be made,I deferred to him 99% of the time. Im attractive,sexy,in shape,keep my house clean,he has a hot meal on the table when he comes home from work..even when that was at 11:30PM, and I do everything around the house. I've worked both inside and outside the home and have always contributed to this family. I have taken care of his elderly parents..and looked the other way when MIL was less than kind to me. We had a great sex life..often..passion..adventurous..this man knew he was the center of my world.

A lot of WS's try to rewrite history..mine can't. When he has attempted to deflect some blame onto me during an argument,he has to reach back to when I was 14 years old and did something I shouldn't have done(we met when I was 24). He can't find ONE thing to throw at me during an arguement. Not one. Because he KNOWS there is nothing to throw. I have been *that* good to him.


So...50/50???

MY ASS.

Again...I was not perfect..I had my moments. But I was not the problem in this marriage.

And now that he has finally started to "get it" and has finally showed up in this marriage? I can REALLY see the difference. So now I know what I haven't been getting for the last 15 years. But Im going to take it..all of it. I've earned it..and so has he(Hi husband..I know you're reading this..I love you...bunches
).

[This message edited by confused615 at 2:17 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)]


BS(me)42
FWH 45
4 kids
M: June 2001
D-Day: 8/10/10
Status: Reconciling?

..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.


Posts: 7669 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Indiana
Simple
Member
Member # 18814
Default  Posted: 2:15 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

I simply do not agree with you.

Saying 50/50 is for me a phrase that what it's trying to say is that marriage is a partnership. It takes 2 people to make it work and just because 1 person is doing everything right doesn't mean the marriage is going to work. If the person doing everything right is not in tune with their partner, then you still have a failed marriage.

We all BS and WS have a part in that partnership. If both parties think of the big picture, then they are more likely to succeed even if BOTH parties aren't perfect. Think of it like in a company. If multiple departments aren't working in sync no matter how great each department is, you'll see company goals not being met.

50/50 isn't blameshifting. It's realizing that we as BS was not in sync with our partners in one way or another. That doesn't mean we caused the A, it just means part of reconciliation and part of learning about yourself is realizing that partnership. Honestly, the 50/50 quote helped me because I learned to swallow my pride and realize there are things I did mess up on in the M no matter how small. We all know that pride is a killer of Marriages. Can any of us say that there isn't at least ONE thing we regretted doing or not doing in our marriage? Sometimes a simple "not paying attention to your instincts or turning a blind eye to issues" is enough to start a snowball of issues in a marriage.

Hope this helps.

[This message edited by Simple at 2:15 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)]


Love is a choice.

True love is harder to come by than soul mates. True love requires work.

Ignorance can be cured with knowledge. There is no cure for being an idiot.


Posts: 927 | Registered: Mar 2008
devasted30
Member
Member # 39439
Default  Posted: 2:16 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

I accept more blame in our marriage problems. I was a very difficult person to live with many times. Very headstrong - not willing to bend. Unfortunately, my WS didn't really fight me on any serious issues - just let it ride. Eventually it festered so much inside him that he got even more depressed because of the way I was and other sad stuff that happened in our lives. He went looking for thrills - sex (because he sure wasn't getting it from me) etc and yes, the affair was 100% his fault, but maybe I shouldn't have been so na´ve or so unforgiving in so many things.
He is only a man, after all.
I hate so many of the things he has done, but, I have to admit if I had been more approachable and he hadn't been such an avoider our lives wouldn't have gone down this path. Or at least, I don't think it would have. Hopefully, someday I will understand why he did the things that he did, but I think he needs to find out himself why he chose that path. I'm not sure he is clear on that himself.

[This message edited by devasted30 at 2:18 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)]


And remember Murphy is right. Nothing is so bad that it can't get worse!!!

Posts: 1317 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Ontario, Canada
ShockedErica11
Member
Member # 37550
Default  Posted: 2:23 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

I can understand both sides of this actually. I understand why members on this site say that you have to own 50% of the marital problems: it's mostly due to the fact that the BS has many options in terms of dealing with their spouse and the changes that happen in their marraige once an A occurs (even if they don't know about it). For example, in my case, WH had/has a serious problem with boundaries; these were red flags that I saw, if you will. Inappropriate comments to other females, inappropriate friendships, the way he viewed women and objectified them sexually, how he was very disrespectful of his mother, his family relationship and his overall immaturity when faced and confronted with difficulties. I saw all this and turned a blind-eye because I was blinded by "love", but these were all red flags that I still choose to ignore for the sake of keeping the peace, for the sake of his well-being. A lot of things I DID talk with him about, argue with him about, asked to seek marital counseling about and sought ways - on my own - to improve our relationship. He didn't bite, had a 2yr LTA and during the entire time period that our communication had broke down, he had become distant, working too much, etc, etc (not to mention I saw the msgs between him and AP on twitter and din't confront him about it because he ALWAYS got defensive of his "friendly" relationships with females without giving a rat's about MY feelings), I had only one option: Leave. I chose not to take the option because of my own fears, FOO issues, etc and thus gave him "permission" - in a sense - to keep treating me the way he did, to allow him his selfishness and in so doing, his selfish, poor me baby, I'm-such-a-good-guy-why-does-no-one-understand-me became his fucked up decision to have an affair for 2 yrs on-and-off with the same OW.

However, I get what you're saying if you're WH/WW/WS had been loving, kind and had really given you NO indication that there had EVER been a problem and you guys are traveling on your merry way through marriage and then the A-bomb drops and obliterates everything, then yes, you should probably absolve yourself of 50% of the blame.

Typically, I think most marriages though probably have some indicator that there are problems (usually break downs in communication) that either spouse has the option of addressing and thus making an affair least likely to happen (that is not to say that it won't, because no marriage is affair proof 100%, but it would just make it more difficult, I suppose).

Just my 2 cents.


Him (31): Taurus517 (17 mon EA/PA); others
Me (27): 3mo EA/PA (kissed once)
One too many D-days
(Full story: see profile)

Posts: 230 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Atlanta, GA
Fireflies
Member
Member # 40210
Default  Posted: 2:24 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

I was reading After the Affair last night. The shared responsibility and blame for M problems, and how they can make the M vulnerable to infidelity, were mentioned several times in the sections I read. The more I thought about it, the less I believed it. Like you my WS's LTA started before we even got married. So, while I get the whole M problems are 50/50 in many cases, how is my WH never being 100% committed to our M my fault at all? IDK, I guess maybe our situations are just pretty unique and a lot of the wisdom and advice doesn't apply.


Me: BS
Him: WS
Go your way,
I'll take the long way 'round,
I'll find my own way down,
As I should.

Posts: 79 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Grr Argh
ReunitePangea
Member
Member # 37529
Default  Posted: 2:31 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

Thank you for starting this thread. This has been something that has been bothering me lately.

Confused - its been bothering me lately too when I see it overused.

We all BS and WS have a part in that partnership. If both parties think of the big picture, then they are more likely to succeed even if BOTH parties aren't perfect. Think of it like in a company. If multiple departments aren't working in sync no matter how great each department is, you'll see company goals not being met.

Simple - I do get it to some extent. Now that I am a year out to be honest who is at fault doesn't matter much anymore. I will use myself as an example though, my WW had her LTA the entire time - she was always foggy and deceiving me, how the heck was I to know? Sure, I guess I could have hired a PI from day one. I just think that newer people that dealing with this are not that prepared to understand the partnership aspect of it all, they need to look out for themselves first. Allowing the WS to still blame shift on the M is 50/50 may not be the best advise in some cases.


BS - Me 38
WS - Wife 39
D-Day - Oct 12
Married 10 years
OM1 - 12-year LTA
OM2 - 9 month A turned into open relationship with couple for another 1 1/2 years

Posts: 489 | Registered: Nov 2012
doubleboggy
Member
Member # 40622
Default  Posted: 2:32 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

IMHO, sometimes its 100% of M too. But only sometimes.


D Day: 3/31/13

Posts: 106 | Registered: Sep 2013
RyeBread
Member
Member # 37437
Default  Posted: 2:43 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

When dealing with the A the M issues really shouldn't be part of that discussion. It only adds salt (and lots of it) to the betrayel wound the BS is already dealing with. if the WS is using them as reasons or "to let you know what my state of mind was" (I heard that A LOT), then the WS has a lot more digging to do.

Sure the BS has some responsibility for the M issues. So does the WS. It's keeping score in a M that kills it too. I think one of the worst ways to start out R is by saying who is more at "fault" for how the M was. Realize it was F'd up, realize one or both people coped with it wrong, and work forward.

Maybe it's not that simple but it seems like it should be to me. Then again, I'm not in R so ...


Let him that would move the world first move himself. - Socrates

Posts: 1030 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Midwest
SisterMilkshake
Member
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 5:33 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

Everyone's post on this thread has truth and wisdom in it.

I have a problem with the 50/50 concept, too, RP. But, the point I always try to make is that the BS is 100% responsible for their role in the marriage and the WS is 100% responsible for their role in the marriage. That isn't laying blame on anyone, just saying you are 100% responsible for yourself and the role in the marriage.

We all are 100% responsible for our behaviour, always. We aren't 50% responsible. And, we certainly shouldn't be just putting 50% effort into the marriage. No, I feel marriage is 100/100. We each need to put 100% effort into our marriage, and we all need to be 100% responsible for our role in the marriage.

eta: Forgot to add that the WS is 100% responsible for his choice to have an affair. The marriage or the spouse had no part in the choice the WS made.

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 5:34 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)]


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9793 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
TxsT
Member
Member # 39996
Default  Posted: 5:40 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

I personally think if all of us were putting the 100% into our marriages most of us wouldn't be here at all. That's the saddest part of all to me.

I like saying 50/50 for now because it is just easier to not over blame and cause more friction then what already exists. I came to understand pretty quickly where I fell short, I still have no idea how much that was in the over all picture but just knowing I contributed to this was hurtful in itself.

T


Me: BS 50
Hubby: WH 53
Together: 32 years
Married: 25 years 09/10/2013
2 boys: 23&21
Dday: 09/11/2012
A length: 4+ years (yes years)
status: Ongoing Reconciliation :o)

Through thick and thin we will survive but he gets only one shot at it!


Posts: 605 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: CDN
SisterMilkshake
Member
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 5:45 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

TxsT ~ you didn't contribute to the choice he made to have the affair. You contributed to the state of the marriage. The marriage, or you, doesn't cause someone to have an affair.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9793 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
Simple
Member
Member # 18814
Default  Posted: 5:49 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

RP, I understand what you're saying. When we talk about 50/50 it has nothing to do with the A. It has everything to do with the M and each other's part in it. As sistermilkshake said, it's really 100/100.

In my case, my FWH had been having EA and PA since we were dating, all the way to M for a whole 11 years. There's no way I would've known about A but that's not the point I was talking about. Affairs aren't the only things that can destroy marriages. Plenty of people divorce for other reasons with both parties not having any A's.

Part of my healing, once I'm not such a "new" BS, involved looking into myself and not burying my head into the sand regarding what I've done towards marriage REGARDLESS of my FWH's A. I hope that makes sense now. I am a believer of finding the root cause of issues and fixing it at the root so that it doesn't happen again no matter who I have a relationship with or whether or not there is R or D.

The only problem I see with the original sentence is maybe they shouldn't be lumped together. They are 2 separate concepts and WS should NEVER use them in the same sentence. Mine did and told him off but at the same time did listen to what he had to say. It helped me see a different perspective of my actions but no way in hell did I let him make me feel like I contributed to the A or let him get away with blameshifting. We're in 5 year R now and we're both continuing to grow and learn.


Love is a choice.

True love is harder to come by than soul mates. True love requires work.

Ignorance can be cured with knowledge. There is no cure for being an idiot.


Posts: 927 | Registered: Mar 2008
gonnabe2016
Member
Member # 34823
Default  Posted: 6:19 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

"The A is 100% the WS fault, problems in the M are 50/50 though."

This statement is like nails on a chalkboard for me.
I believe the 50/50 portion of that statement is only applicable in *certain* instances and can, in no way, be applied as a blanket.

I especially don't believe that it can be applied in situations where the cheating started early in a marriage and continued. Or when SA (or some <other> addiction)is involved. Or when a personality disorder is involved.

In some marriages, the only *we* problem that exists....is that *we* are still married.


"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: 8073 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Midwest
dameia
Member
Member # 36072
Default  Posted: 7:04 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! This bothers me as well. Yes, there are relationships which were troubled before the A. But many of us thought there were no problems.

You know what the problems in my M were? My WH was a selfish, emotionally abusive asshole. How in the world does that qualify as 50% my fault? The only thing that I take responsibility for is not being strong enough to kick him to the curb years ago.


Me: BS
D-Day: 7/7/12

Trust is like paper. Once it's crumpled it can never be perfect again.


Posts: 1167 | Registered: Jul 2012
Spelljean
Member
Member # 35624
Default  Posted: 7:14 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

I see it as owning 50% of the relationship. The percentage of who contributed more or who was less of an instigator will never be equal.

I read an interesting article the other day that said "irreconciable differences are part of every long term healthy marriage. Every marriage has at least 10 major areas of incompatability. All one gets with a new partner is 10 new irreconcilable differences."

It also stated that the key to a marriage's success is accepting these differences and feeling good about knowing your partner so well. You can work around those differences.

[This message edited by Spelljean at 7:17 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)]


WH: 41
me: BS, 45
Together 18 1/2 years, married 17
DDAY 8/2/12
OW: EA- friend of 4 months
Status: separated

Posts: 903 | Registered: May 2012 | From: California
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 7:22 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

I think the idea of setting a relationship up as something that has a % value is where the concept fails for me, because it doesn't matter how much or little spouses put into their relationship, they're both always 100% responsible for their own choices, actions, behavior, etc. To me, those aren't annual contributions into some kind of inanimate entity created by an exchange of vows or bodily fluids, they're extensions of self.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7469 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
SisterMilkshake
Member
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 7:33 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

Thanks, SG, I was going to come back and say the same thing as you, but you said it in your inimitable way.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9793 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
ReunitePangea
Member
Member # 37529
Default  Posted: 8:13 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

Great posts, thanks for everyones valuable thoughts.

I can agree with the 100/100 concept actually, that makes some sense. I don't know if you tried to explain it to me a couple of weeks after dday that would be something good for me to hear though.

When dealing with the A the M issues really shouldn't be part of that discussion

Ryebread, this is what I think is the best answer. I did the same thing, when our A conversation starts to go towards an issue with the M I just say we can have a separate conversation about that but I will not mix it in with the A. I think the fault of the A and the possible fault of the M should not even be in the same sentence.

Gonnabe - nails on the chalkboard is exactly how I feel when I read the statement often.


BS - Me 38
WS - Wife 39
D-Day - Oct 12
Married 10 years
OM1 - 12-year LTA
OM2 - 9 month A turned into open relationship with couple for another 1 1/2 years

Posts: 489 | Registered: Nov 2012
SisterMilkshake
Member
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 9:24 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

if you tried to explain it to me a couple of weeks after dday that would be something good for me to hear though.
I agree, RP. However, I feel it would be good to hear, and I did hear it, but I just wasn't able to wrap my head around that when I first arrived at SI.

There is a certain someone from the wayward forum who valiantly battles the cause of personal responsibility. About. Every. F*cking. Thing. I am 100% responsible for whatever I brought to the marriage or took away. Just like FWH is.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9793 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
sailorgirl
Member
Member # 38162
Default  Posted: 9:27 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

There are many different affair/marriage situations, but the 50/50 statement doesn't apply in ours.

Pre-A, I had no issues or problems with our marriage. I was fulfilled and happy being married to my best friend and lover for over a decade. We had the normal challenges of life, and we met them together as a well-functioning team.

Pre-A, fWH's problems were from emotional damage in childhood. He had a fear that I was too good for him which he never voiced to me--he suppressed it. Deep down, he felt that I would only love him if he were successful and invulnerable, despite all evidence to the contrary. He had a gut feeling that if he opened up to me about his abusive childhood, I would realize how screwed up he was and leave him. But he buried all this insecurity and went into denial.

He didn't have any issues with his real wife or his actual marriage. But there was no way I could be supportive, loving and passionate enough to heal him from the issues within himself: low self-esteem and distrust caused by child abuse.

So, there were no big problems in the marriage for anyone to take responsibility for. There was big hidden brokenness in the STBWS though.

Once the A started, fWH went off the deep end. He was miserable, lashing out with emotional abuse. I didn't consider that a marital problem, although he desperately tried to get me to believe it was. I evaluated our parenting, our communication, our sexual relationship--the only thing wrong was that WH was suddenly acting like a lunatic.

At that point, I guess our marriage did have an issue, which was that WH was unhinged, so I 180'd to protect myself. Still not so much a relationship issue as temporary insanity on the part of a panicked, guilt-wracked WH. And detachment for self preservation on the part of a BW.

Sometimes the pre-A marriage is really good. Even when it's not, the marriage did not cause the affair. The WS did.


Married 14 years, three amazing kids
H had 17 month EA/PA
D-day 1/5/13
Reconcilling

Posts: 787 | Registered: Jan 2013
SisterMilkshake
Member
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 9:55 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

which was that WH was unhinged, so I 180'd to protect myself.
And detachment for self preservation on the part of a BW
sailorgirl ~ that is so funny that you posted that because I almost posted the same exact thing in my last post here. I built a wall up, a 180, to protect myself from my selfish asshole husband. However, that wasn't the right choice. And, I am responsible for that. FWH didn't make me build that wall. His behaviour didn't make me build that wall. I chose to build that wall. It wasn't the right choice. I had better, healthier options.
1. Get into counseling. (to see why I would stay with someone that treated me like this)
2. Separate/Divorce
3. Get FWH into counseling.
4. Both go to MC.

However, just because I built a wall up to protect myself and FWH started feeling unloved and unwanted, doesn't make me responsible for his choices. Not at all. He had options. Fucking OW wasn't one of them.



BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9793 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 10:15 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

I've never understood the statement. Maybe before the choice to cheat taking a solid inventory of the relationship status is necessary. After the d day, to me, it's moot.

A betrayed spouse can't morph into a pre-affair knowledge version of themselves any more than a wayward can. The experience has forever changed the narrative.

After the shit show any forensic analysis should be for personal growth and health. Relating it to an environement now toxic by the "a' dump is not helpful. Serious issues can get whitewashed with a, "yeah, but I didn't cheat" brush or become the sole owner of a shame infused wayward (and sadly some betrayed's as well) and small issues that are bellwethers of larger ones can be either dismissed or blown up. Neither given proper perspective.


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
GeauxTigers
Member
Member # 28301
Default  Posted: 10:27 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

Relating it to an environement now toxic by the "a' dump is not helpful.

Well said, and in my personal experience, I feel it is a convenient escape valve in a discussion about her recent (and current) infidelities for my WW as well.

But what struck me was that just the other day we were discussing if it (the M) was even salvagable, and I said "I really don't know...its so polluted". My EA was first, but her multiple EA/PA/PAs since havent made the water any clearer.

Your post struck a chord.


Sigh... how did I end up here?

Posts: 1379 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: Nashville
trebleclef
Member
Member # 33488
Default  Posted: 10:44 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)

I dislike this cliche as well, and I hear it often, even more so outside SI. I agree that both parties need to contribute somewhat equally to a relationship, but that does NOT mean that if there's something wrong we are equally at fault!

My marriage was a difficult one for 39 years. I did everything possible to love, support, cherish, encourage, my PD husband and try to make it work. It does not matter how much you jump up and down on your end of the teeter-totter, you cannot make it work if there is no one on the other end. After all that, he went and had two simultaneous As.

I have struggled with this concept, due to all the remarks about "It takes two". I wanted to acknowledge and learn from my mistakes - delved into this with IC. In the end, she said, "Treble, the only mistake you made was not packing his bags for him when he tried to break off your engagement".

I was not perfect, but I was a DARN GOOD WIFE - far better than he deserved. I don't dare SAY as much though, because then it seems as if I'm "not owning my part in this". ( WHAT part????!!!) and I get the knowing glances from people who believe the cliches. Makes me crazy. Why is it that we just ASSUME both people contribute to the issues?? I'm sure that happens often, but it is not a rule!


True remorse isn't followed by a "but".

Posts: 1809 | Registered: Sep 2011 | From: Alberta
gonnabe2016
Member
Member # 34823
Default  Posted: 12:08 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

The reason that I really dislike this is because NO marriage is truly 50/50. As SMS said, it should be 100/100. Which, to me, means that each spouse should be 100/100 into having their spouses back and having the *best interest* of the marriage/family at heart long-term.

Life happens. Situations arise.
Jobs are lost.
New careers are embarked on.
Parents die.
Family members have disagreements.
Kids come along.
After pregnancy, PPD can happen. PPD is a REAL thing.

So there will be times that one spouse is giving more than their fair share and the other is taking more. But over the long run, it should all balance out. Isn't that kind of the whole *idea* behind what a marriage is about? Being there *in good times and bad, in sickness and in health*?

So say that a spouse loses his/her job. Is maybe upset because the job loss is considered unfair. Looks for another job and can't find anything. Becomes dejected and depressed. Or has surgery or cancer....and becomes a 'bit' self-centered for a time. Go figure. If you have just received a *bad* health-check....is your priority going to be to make sure that your spouse is well-attended to? No. THAT is the time that your spouse should be there for YOU. That is where *grace* comes into play.

But I cannot recount the number of times that I've seen posts where the poster feels guilty for not *being there* for their cheating spouse as the BS is going through some really horrific life-altering situations--surgeries, cancer, PPD, parents dying, SN kids, etc..... These are situations where it is the spouse's turn to *be there*.

I am just really sensitive to this topic because of my own circumstance.

If you are dealing with an emotionally abusive person and you have to *protect* yourself by either doing a 180 or *accept* the treatment....how is that a marriage issue? That seems to be an individual issue. And keep in mind that people that are being emotionally abused have a hard time realizing that they are being emotionally abused.

I remember in one of my earlier MC sessions...the MC asked if stbx was a *jealous* guy and if that was an issue. I said No. (????) But the only reason that *his* jealousy wasn't an issue at that time was because I had *learned* how to conduct myself in a manner that made it not an issue, so it didn't *seem* to be, kwim? But it really WAS an issue. I remember a time when we were driving on an interstate, stbx had fallen asleep, happened to wake up just as some guy pulled in front of us and waved his hand under his rear-view mirror as if he were swatting a fly....and stbx asked me "why is that guy waving at you?"

At the times when my spidey-senses detected a *problem* in our marriage, *I* was the one that bought the relationship books and implemented the suggested strategies, *I* was the one that went to IC, *I* was the one that booked MC appointments. I even took AD's for a while because *I* was depressed. What was stbx doing during all of this time? Going to strip clubs and cheating on me constantly while reveling in the fact that I was *bettering* myself in order to meet *his* needs.

What a joke.

I could have been *the best wife ever* (and I was) and it would have made no difference. Stbx's internal tapes, thought processes, and skewed perceptions were just so off-the-charts that *I* never stood a chance.

TC won't say it...but I will. I own 0% of my marriage's demise. It rests squarely on HIS shoulders......


"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: 8073 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Midwest
aesir
Member
Member # 17210
Default  Posted: 12:08 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

I get a little eye rolling dizzy stabby feeling when this topic comes up. I think I am most disturbed by the impossible math sometimes quoted.

So here is how I see it, for every personal relationship we are involved in, we are responsible for half of it. Well, the betrayed is not involved in the affair, and the AP can go fuck themselves for all I care, so that leaves the relevant responsibility for that with the WS. As it relates to the marriage, the entire affair is a problem.

As for the marriage itself, being responsible for half of that relationship says nothing at all about where the problems lie. Could be any mix at all.

I am relying on memory for an old episode of Have Gun - Will Travel where Paladin is discussing his dissatisfaction with the bullets from his ammunition maker. The bullet maker makes some sort of comment about why does it matter, and Paladin replies that shooting a man is a very intimate relationship. Now clearly there is a relationship between the man being shot and the one shooting him, and most people would see this as a troubled relationship filled with problems. I have seldom heard anyone claim that both participants are equally responsible for the problems.


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

Do not back up. Severe tire damage.


Posts: 14924 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Winnipeg
inca
Member
Member # 35298
Default  Posted: 12:25 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

Great posts, great topic. This is why I keep coming here. More thoughtful than my own therapy, or for that matter any light my BH has shed on this situation.

50/50 is bullshit. If my husband was a histrorian, I would call him a revisionist.


Posts: 129 | Registered: Apr 2012
sailorgirl
Member
Member # 38162
Default  Posted: 6:38 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

I wanted to add that during the A, I did go to IC. I also calmly suggested IC to WH multiple times. He refused.

His emotional abuse was episodic (after every time he was with OW). I did not call it that at the time--I was in shock. I kept talking to him, having sex, giving back rubs, planning nice vacations, trying to lower his stress level. I read about mid-life crisis, irritable male syndrome etc. IC advised me to "seduce him back into the marriage" and I tried that too (initiating sex, new lingerie, etc.).

I didn't just detach right away. I only 180'd when it was clear that nothing I did was helping. It was not a real 180 because I kept being his wife in the basic ways. But I also started all sorts of healthy things for me, and refused to take his shit personally.


Married 14 years, three amazing kids
H had 17 month EA/PA
D-day 1/5/13
Reconcilling

Posts: 787 | Registered: Jan 2013
RockyMtn
Member
Member # 37043
Default  Posted: 7:33 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

As others have said, my issue with the 50/50 statement is that I fundamentally disagree that the relationship is what makes a person vulnerable to an A. The person having the A is vulnerable to the A, no matter what the context, no matter who the BS. I honestly don't care what the BS was doing pre-A. I don't care what the pre-A issues were. I don't care if the proportion of issues was 50/50, 75/25, 60/40 or anything else. It is wholly irrelevant.

Sure, WH and I have worked on general things like communication and conflict management in R. That's part of recovery - creating a new context in which to thrive after this crisis. In improving things like communication, we obviously discuss pre-A behaviors. But none of those things made him vulnerable to an A. His lack of respect, lack of morals, alcoholism, selfishness - those things caused the A. I don't believe my temper, for example, as part of my 50% (using that proportion) made a damn bit of difference in his choice.

I just think the whole 50/50 statement takes the heat off the WS. Because it suggests that somehow, the marital problems were the cause of the A.


Me, BS, 30s
Him, WS, 30s, Steppenwolf
Kids: Yep
D-Day 1: September 2011, 6 week EA
D-Day 2: January 2013, discovered EA was a PA; there was another PA in 2010. All TT.
Goal = serenity.

Posts: 667 | Registered: Oct 2012
SisterMilkshake
Member
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 7:35 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

@sailorgirl ~ I am so sorry. I was speaking of just my situation. I built up that wall way before the affair. I had undiagnosed PPD (even though I went to dr.'s and kept telling them there was something wrong with me) finally, after 4 years, I get the correct diagnosis. But, damage done. FWH had already started on his path of selfishness, instead of being there for me. That is when the first bricks started being set in my wall.

eta: Meaning my wall was there for many, many years. Unlike you.

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 7:38 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)]


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9793 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
sailorgirl
Member
Member # 38162
Default  Posted: 7:57 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

Thanks, Sister!
Can you tell that this topic makes me defensive? :)
PPD education seems like it's finally starting to increase--wish your doctors hadn't been clueless about it!


Married 14 years, three amazing kids
H had 17 month EA/PA
D-day 1/5/13
Reconcilling

Posts: 787 | Registered: Jan 2013
7yrsflushed
Member
Member # 32258
Default  Posted: 8:01 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

For me it has different meanings. Initially that statement was a wake up call for myslef and many other BS's that come to the site taking blame for their WS's decision to have an A. While some may not agree with how it's presented it is an effective way to change an emotionally distraught BS's mindset when they are falling victim to blameshifting and self doubt.

However after the initial trauma is over, for me at least, it became more about personal responsibility and taking inventory of what things each of us did or did not do in the M. At this point for me it becomes, WS work through your shit and BS work through your shit.

I do think the meaning of the statement in unique to each couples situation as well. For instance do things get murkier when MadHatters's are involved, the BS was physically or emotionally abusive to the WS for much of the M prior to the A, or it as an LTA that ocurred over the majority or all of the M?

Everyone situation is unique to them but how BS's and WS's view their situation changes over time which is why the statment had multiple meanings for me.


D-day 5/24/11
BH = Me
2 children
The first true sense of calm I felt in YEARS was when I filed for D...
Divorced 9/2/14 and loving life!

Posts: 1907 | Registered: May 2011 | From: VA
rachelc
Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 8:16 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

If my husband was a histrorian, I would call him a revisionist.

ha!

I agree with RockyMtn - my husband tried to talk to me about marital issues before my affair. And then I proceeded to have one. How could he be 50% responsible for the marriage when he was willing to fix it but I was not?


his Dday: 2/10 but TT until 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

The conditions we face do not define us. They remind us of who we are and who we want to be.


Posts: 5236 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Midwest
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 8:34 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

Thanks, SG, I was going to come back and say the same thing as you, but you said it in your inimitable way.

I thought that was inimicable and I was all set to apologize, but then I saw it said inimitable and I thought hey, she spelled it wrong but wait, that's a word too and why is inimicable trying to tell me it isn't a word so I checked and it is so FUCK YOU WORDS.

IMO the real problem with the 50/50 thing isn't that it can't be a useful tool but the bulk of its application is a post dday distribution of woes. Like it was said back there it shouldn't even be part of the discussion beyond the self-exploration of the WS in looking at why s/he gave him/herself permission to cheat.

IMO it's like saying "His alcoholism is 100% his responsibility but we share 50/50 of the relationship issues" on the way home from detox.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7469 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
SisterMilkshake
Member
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 8:40 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

No, never inimicable. However, I was scared you were going to say Fuck you "Milkshake" instead of "words". Now that would have been inimicable.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9793 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
Painfuljourney
Member
Member # 40208
Default  Posted: 8:41 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

Fault is 100% WH's. No ifs ands or buts...

However were we broken as a couple? Yes we were for years...

Did this justify his behavior?
No it didn't.

He could have talked to me, divorced me first or something other than fucking another person. EA and PA with another. That is a cowardly and weak move and it shatters everyone along the way.


BS (me) - 44
WH - 46
DD - July 1, 2013
2 daughters, 14 and 10

Posts: 102 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Southwest
Ostrich80
Member
Member # 34827
Default  Posted: 8:46 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

I fully own my part in the M problems that ws used as an excuse to have an A but I refuse to accept responsibility for his decision to step out of the M. My mistake was thinking he would snap out of his funk and get back with the program. I had bigger fish to fry and put the M on the backburner to address when other issues calmed
down...that was a big eff up on my part.


BS..me
WS..him
Been with him over half my life
4kid
DD1 10-01-09 DD2 02-12-12 discovered it never ended
OW..nothing special. Just your average skank
Status..#$%@????

Posts: 5125 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: midwest
wert
Member
Member # 34478
Default  Posted: 8:47 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

I to dislike the impossible math. I also agree that new variables are entered into the M equation post dday making objective retrospection really difficult.

When I talk of my M these days I refer to is as MY M. I ask my W how is YOUR M. The reason. There is no M. We both have agree to do it but it is just made up like advertising spots. We both have our own and then we talk about how we are doing with them. Its that talking, sharing and communication that matters. Everything else is just assumptions based on our own perspective.

take care...

[This message edited by wert at 8:47 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)]



Posts: 1428 | Registered: Jan 2012
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 8:49 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

I hadn't thought of it that way before wert, that's pretty awesome.

[This message edited by StillGoing at 8:51 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)]


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7469 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
TrustGone
Member
Member # 36654
Default  Posted: 9:04 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

I agree with 7yrsflushed. It also has a different meanings for me at different times. When I have used that analogy with someone here it was because they were trying to blame themselves or how they were in the marriage for their spouse cheating. I was not referring to the fact that they were only 50% responsible for their marriage or themselves. I will try to be more aware in the future that some people may take this literally however.

I also think that a BS or WS are not always 50% at fault for how their marriage is pre-A. There are alot of instances where it is not 50/50.

We are all 100% responsible for ourselves however in what we put up with in the marriage or how we react to our spouse and their needs.

My WH started his A during a time of crisis with health problems I was having. He could not cope with having a wife that was not 100% healthy and there for him and his needs. Is that 50% my fault? Of course it wasn't, but it was 50% my fault that we did not discuss it like we should have at the time it was happening. I thought he should have been more sympathetic and caring, he thought that I didn't love him during that time because I was not being my usual energetic self and initiating sex like I had in the past. That was just an example of how we should have had better communication with each other on how we both were feeling. We were both feeling negelected in different ways. Was he being selfish? Yes, in my opinion he was, but I wasn't looking or communicating how I was feeling or how he might be feeling negelected.


BW-50
WH#2-51
M-9 yrs T-11 yrs
4 children-none together
DD#1-9/5/11 LTA 2yrs
DD#2-7/3/12 False R
DD#3-4/29/13 (OW broke NC)
Status: Your guess is as good as mine.

Posts: 2420 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: Texas
MC_Jack
Member
Member # 35016
Default  Posted: 9:05 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

Wert, that is a good way to look at it.

I think all the views above are correct in the aggregate. 50/50 is to me shorthand for shared responsibility for the relationship, with each person having 100% of their role.

We all learn something about ourselves and the M after dday.

In terms of the M history, I was more neglectful and selfish and consciously ignored her needs often stated. I was also in denial. My issues.

but what I have now discovered is the 'why' behind my behavior. Partly my own FOO stuff. But a big part of it was what seems to be an attachment disorder that my WW has. She kind of had one foot out of the door from the time we got engaged. So I suffered a LOT in the M due to her unconscious behavior and I can now look at my actions as reactions. With such understanding, I can forgive myself and have been actively working on...ME. No more bad reactions, no more denial, better communication, etc. And guess what? WW might just fix herself in such an environment. We will see.


I am not a marriage counselor. I chose "MC Jack" because I like the Music City. I did know what MC stood for on this site. Duh.

Posts: 881 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: Mountain West
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 9:22 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

I think this becomes tricky for many of the reasons that some very wise people have listed here. I feel like flushing out (Pre-A) marital issues starts to become tricky, because the WS has become (to crib a phrase from WAL), an unreliable narrator.

I would imagine that in healthy marriages, when your spouse tells you that they're unhappy with something you're doing, you assess how valid the complaint is and then make some attempt to affect some changes. After an A, any suggestions or thoughts that the WS has on any kind of marital issue (aka some shit *I* need to work on) gets seen with suspicious eyes, KWIM?


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2164 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
mouse
Member
Member # 3106
Default  Posted: 9:27 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

It's a simplistic formula, but when I was a "newby" to this Board, it helped me so much. The 100% part especially. At the time, I was more than willing to accept 50% responsibility. Now, I have to agree that the 50% can ebb and flow, or that one spouse was never in for their full 50. Lots of permutations of the 50%.


It is what it is.

Posts: 412 | Registered: Jan 2004
wert
Member
Member # 34478
Default  Posted: 9:37 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

After an A, any suggestions or thoughts that the WS has on any kind of marital issue (aka some shit *I* need to work on) gets seen with suspicious eyes, KWIM?

That is spot on, but....
It's the BS's job to figure that shit out and clear their filter regarding how they view their partner. It sucks and it hard but that baseball after the A if you want to be healthy and have the relationship healthy.

I do think the BS's responsibility to to make themselves healthy and view the world as it is now is a key element in R (and I mean R as recovery for my betrayed ass.) If a WS feels like shit about being so hosed up, works towards fixing that and demonstrates that through actions toward the BS, the BS needs to not work through the A filter. It that delicious sandwich we all get to eat. You know the, "I got screwed but hey I will give you another even handed roll of the dice."

The only way I can reconcile that so far with myself is that I am full of understanding, I rock the house and am dropping grace on people. Bam! You know, "take that shit you unfair life."

Thinking people need to rationalize our existence somehow right?

Take care...



Posts: 1428 | Registered: Jan 2012
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 9:46 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

wert-
I totally agree. Once you decide to R, at some point you have to make a good-faith effort to start giving the WS the benefit of the doubt again. I think I was referring more to pre-A 'marriage issues' as brought up by the WS.
I rock the house and am dropping grace on people. Bam! You know, "take that shit you unfair life."
I love this. ^^^


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2164 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
Eudaimonia
Member
Member # 32445
Default  Posted: 11:31 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

I am just really sensitive to this topic because of my own circumstance.
*I* was the one that bought the relationship books and implemented the suggested strategies, *I* was the one that went to IC, *I* was the one that booked MC appointments. I even took AD's for a while because *I* was depressed. What was stbx doing during all of this time? Going to strip clubs and cheating on me constantly while reveling in the fact that I was *bettering* myself in order to meet *his* needs.

I did the same thing, except I have to change your *his* needs to: "I was bettering myself to meet *our* needs as a partnership and a family. I felt that my PPD and anxiety needed some help and it would therefore benefit us together. As a matter of fact, if his story is correct, I began working on myself *before* he dove head first into acting out. Books, joined a gym, IC, ADs, etc. Now, again speaking ONLY from my case, these things were-according to him-partially what CAUSED him to act out. My trying to improve myself and, in turn, our marriage were some of the many *justifications* for his sh***y behavior. "Why does ToG get to work to make herself a better person?" Again, his words, not mine.

Look, I was repeatedly told for 2 months and 13 days after D-day that his AMing, C/Ling, PAs, EAs, etc. were a direct result of me and my role in the marriage. I was told and retold that he had never done this to anyone before and that I had caused all of it. After 2 months and 13 days (including his first IC who told him that I(ToG) was 100% at fault for his A and that the BS ALWAYS is)I learned that not only has he done this to every single person he has ever "cared" about-including his first wife-but that the sneaking around/lying/pulling one off on those who cared most about him was what really 'got him off.' For over 2 decades before I met him plus the 1 decade that I was married to him, this is just who he was due to his FOO. He enjoyed it. He thought he was a secret freaking agent and he thought he was the best there was.

I'm not perfect, not even close. I had a lot to work on and I have a lot to work on. But, I was a damn good wife and mother. I DID try to work on myself. And, he punished me for it (I, of course didn't even know this till years later).

Maybe all of this is quantifiable. But, there's no way to determine the numbers. There is no way to know the actual results from an epistemic angle. I think that, in my case, his and his first IC's blaming me for his utterly despicable "issues" relating to the marriage AND to his behavior in general, set me back years in my healing and certainly set us back if this marriage can even be salvaged at all.

I get both sides of this. I do. But, once again, every case is different enough to where it may not really be helpful to quantify it when we can't actually get truly accurate results.


So long, and thanks for all the fish!

Posts: 472 | Registered: Jun 2011
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 11:43 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

because the WS has become (to crib a phrase from WAL), an unreliable narrator.

While this is so true I believe "unreliable narratives" are a universal condition when it comes to relationships.

Separating the message from the messenger is helpful if you want to data mine for a personal growth project.

At my job we give 360 degree reviews. I review my boss, my staff reviews me and I review them at review time. If I see feedback from a source I may not find very "reliable" in particular areas I look at it just as closely. Yeah, these are annonymous but you don't have to be psychic to recognize writing styles.

I have found some of the best observations are from those not a fan for whatever reason. Yeah, they may be skewed (as are the ones from devoted followers) but they do have truth in there and that's my treasure.

My ex has a very interesting relationship with the truth. The truth he tells is spot on. The lies he doesn't are beyond fucked. His complaints of me are valid and founded. A detached spouse is brutal. Was I from the beginning? I don't honestly know. I can't rely on my narrative any more than his. My decision to disconnect may have been reaction to a real threat or pre-emptive which changes everything.

Sadly, my choice to remain in the relationship further convolutes the picture. It becomes far less clear when "you" can list the atrocities yet you return voluntarily home every time you venture out.

I'm not talking about those that are "biding time" until a better financial picture can emerge and have clearly decided. That wasn't me. Don't know if I wanted to exact my pound or was honestly hopeful in some way. That too is a narrative I can't trust myself with.


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
rbf1234
Member
Member # 39471
Default  Posted: 11:58 AM, September 11th (Wednesday)

Earlier someone wrote:

When dealing with the A the M issues really shouldn't be part of that discussion

Can someone give some specific suggestion for how to do this? If you aren't talking about the M... then how can you talk about the A?

Thanks.


Posts: 81 | Registered: Jun 2013
ReunitePangea
Member
Member # 37529
Default  Posted: 12:18 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)

Earlier someone wrote:
When dealing with the A the M issues really shouldn't be part of that discussion

Can someone give some specific suggestion for how to do this? If you aren't talking about the M... then how can you talk about the A?

rbf - many times when a BS & WS begin discussing the A and get to the why of the WS for having the A, the list of needs, demands, disappointments, you name it, start being thrown at the BS from the WS as to why they had an A. These are excuses and the WS attempt to somehow justify their actions. They are not the real why. This is when the conversation of fault usually starts. I am of the opinion that at that point in time, it is sometimes not good for the BS to negotiate and try to say the WS is 100% responsible for the A but the other marriage issues are 50/50. It is important for the WS to own their shit, all of it, no excuses. Don't give them an excape clause, they have to own up to what they did.

The way I did this when I got the list, I said I would be willing to listen to her needs in the M that she would like met but I will not have that conversation when we are discussing the A. That A is her responsibility 100% and no way was I going to allow any attempts to justify it on any needs she felt were not being met.


BS - Me 38
WS - Wife 39
D-Day - Oct 12
Married 10 years
OM1 - 12-year LTA
OM2 - 9 month A turned into open relationship with couple for another 1 1/2 years

Posts: 489 | Registered: Nov 2012
Razor
Member
Member # 16345
Default  Posted: 12:20 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)

M issues. Thats a tangled knot.

M issues are oft cited by WSs and used as a excuse for their LTA. Its pretty common. Are those issues valid? Mostly YES. Are those issues often overblown? Also YES.

Addressing these issues can be tricky. For a long time I corresponded with a WS I met here at SI. She was in a head long rush to deal with the M issues that in her view were the cause of her LTA. Her issues were valid but her timing of when to deal with them was bad. She wanted to rush through dealing with her LTA and get to the M issues. But her husband having his universe crushed was in no way ready to deal with what she was pushing for.

One thing to look at is on those *pre-LTA M issues* how many were overblown or possibly even created to justify the LTA? Everyone has faults. None of us are perfect partners in our M. We have all done things that hurt our partner. Mostly these things are done out of ignorance but sometimes we do them even when we know that our partner will be hurt by our actions. To leverage these issues as justification for a affair is just wrong in my view.

Certainly many of us BSs can point to issues that we could use as justification for cheating. I know I could and so I suppose others can. Many people are desperately unhappy in their marriages but still remain faithful. The POV of the woman I was corresponding with was that these people simply were not unhappy enough to cheat that there was a threshold beyond which cheating was somehow inevitable. I did not agree and we remained deadlocked on that issue.

I believe that having a LTA is a choice. Its a decision. And we can justify a decision in allot of ways many of which are just excuses we use to give our self permission to do what we want to do.

Going out on a limb here and I am sure I will be shot at. But I think that that choice has be be looked at closely before M issues can be resolved. Examining that choice might shed light on which M issues were real or fabricated and which were overblown. My view is that the choice is what is the most important thing. After that we can look at improving the M. Just my opinion tho.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


Posts: 3483 | Registered: Sep 2007
Simple
Member
Member # 18814
Default  Posted: 12:27 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)

This:

However after the initial trauma is over, for me at least, it became more about personal responsibility and taking inventory of what things each of us did or did not do in the M. At this point for me it becomes, WS work through your shit and BS work through your shit.

Is part of understanding what I meant to support what RB said:


When dealing with the A the M issues really shouldn't be part of that discussion.

Also, I said:

When we talk about 50/50 it has nothing to do with the A. It has everything to do with the M and each other's part in it.

50/50 is a percentage of ownership in M not fault.

The A is a separate subject. Reason being is that a WS will cheat no matter who their spouse is because they themselves have their own personal issues. I know this because my FWH has been in denial about his issues since before he met me and been cheating since we were dating when he barely knew me or have a relationship with me.

When you talk about M, that's when we brought up issues or baggage we're bringing into the marriage or unrealistic expectations or fairy tales we're bringing into the marriage. For example, my FWH truly believes there's a problem in marriage if H and W are having arguments while I believe arguments if done right can flush out issues and is not a big deal. When I tell my FWH to get over his depression, that doesn't help or if I keep hounding him for us to talk when he's not ready just because I am. Those are M problems REGARDLESS of A.

We're now in R for 5 years now and my fWH has figured out what his problems are with why he did A. I learned to swallow my pride and admit I could be more supportive of his mental issues and learn how to handle it calmly instead of frustratingly.

I am in the belief that the A flushes out a lot of issues in M sometimes and no matter how small the issues you think may be, as people, we are better people to LEARN from our mistakes. Just as people continue to have A's no matter who they are married to, there are just as many people who keep getting divorced even without A's because they don't want to take responsibility for the 50% part of their M.

Just because you think you're a good W or H doesn't mean you ARE a good W or H FOR THAT PARTICULAR PERSON you are married to. THERE IS NO FORMULA for a each individual couples. I think if you read Love Languages that is pretty much what I got out of that. I can give my husband all the quality time in the world but if he wants words of affirmation, then he's not getting the love HE NEEDS. Basically we need to be a good W or H by GIVING our spouse the love THEY need and vice versa, not the love we need.

I hope that makes more sense. None of us are experts, we just do what works for us. I agree that the 50/50 shouldn't come up until later and not when you've just had your DDay.


---
edit: gave credit to RB for the quote, I expanded on it in a later post after his.

[This message edited by Simple at 12:40 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]


Love is a choice.

True love is harder to come by than soul mates. True love requires work.

Ignorance can be cured with knowledge. There is no cure for being an idiot.


Posts: 927 | Registered: Mar 2008
RyeBread
Member
Member # 37437
Default  Posted: 12:33 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)

Earlier someone wrote:
When dealing with the A the M issues really shouldn't be part of that discussion
Can someone give some specific suggestion for how to do this? If you aren't talking about the M... then how can you talk about the A?

That was me. To be honest I don't know how you do this. I think it is highly subjective based on your unique relationship circumstances. But I will do my best to elaborate on what I meant.

Disclaimer:
I am no expert on this by any means so take what I write with a grain of salt so to speak. This is what I have gathered from my own experience and from what I have seen here on SI.

Here goes nothing ...
The M had issues before the A. And now the M has those same issues along with the A. The M issues could have been dealt with in other ways. Such as D, IC, MC, reading books, etc. Instead the WS abandon the M and chose to have an A. Why did he/she make that choice? What in their mind made it OK, or an option for them? If the BS was in on the choice to cheat then sure, you could bring the M into that decision. But the choice to have an A is a unilateral one on the part of the WS.

In the end, each person affected by the A betrayel has to do their own work to heal from that. In relation to the M, yes it is affected and has relavance to the A afterward. But to have the M issues used as a reason for the A prior is bogus and reflective of a WS in denial of the real "reasons" they CHOSE to do what they did. And those reasons are very personal, hidden in a vault within the WS's mental and emotional dark corners. They have to be willing to own the fact that their choice was a personal one. If they do that, then when the A comes up it won't move to the M issues because the WS owns it. That person knows it was their choice, and regardless of the M issues, they accept responsibility for it. I believe once that is the case the M issues can be looked at objectively and with some clarity, not getting muddied by resentment and pain of the A.

Thats my perspective on it as a BS and I appreciate any insight anyone has regarding it.

[This message edited by RyeBread at 12:35 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]


Let him that would move the world first move himself. - Socrates

Posts: 1030 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Midwest
heartbroken0903
Member
Member # 27879
Default  Posted: 12:39 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)

I agree that the A is a completely different subject from the M.

A WS who blames the M for their A is full of shit, IMHO, because as so many here have stated (and I firmly agree with them), the BS might have had plenty of their own complaints about the M but didn't cheat.

The M isn't to blame for the WS cheating. The WS using an A as a means to cope with issues in the M is wrong, and the WS is fully to blame there. That's not to say that a WS might not have valid pre-A gripes about the M. As has also been often said, not every BS is a perfect saint. (Not speaking about anyone in particular here.) But again, choosing to cheat because of marital problems is always the wrong choice.

I do think there has to be shared responsibility (I'm leery of putting a percentage on it) by each spouse to have a good M. Otherwise, it's not a marital relationship beyond the legal sense of the word---it's two people who are married by law, but who are in their own world, looking out for their own interests and to hell with the joint venture of the M.

It's hard to quantify though. One person could be putting in their 100% and yet the other spouse still sees a problem. Does this mean they're just a "taker" and will never be satisfied? Possibly. It could also mean that it's just a mismatch between personalities.


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. Reconciliation is a process and I still struggle.


Posts: 2222 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: the cat's meow
AFrayedKnot
Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 12:51 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)

When dealing with the A the M issues really shouldn't be part of that discussion

I think this is dependent on individual circumstances. There was no way in hell I was going to even consider attempting R just to go back to the way things were before Dday.


BS 40
fWS 36 (SurprisinglyOkay)
DD DS
A whole bunch of shit that got a lot worse before it got better.
"Knowing is half the battle"

Posts: 2628 | Registered: Aug 2012
rachelc
Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 1:02 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)

I believe once that is the case the M issues can be looked at objectively and with some clarity, not getting muddied by resentment and pain of the A

and thus the crux, especially if the major problem in the marriage, pre DDay, is conflict avoidance. Hell, my husband can chew with his mouth open all day long now. I'd gladly take that instead of his affairs. However, it's the avoidance that's the issue, not whatever problem we had.


his Dday: 2/10 but TT until 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

The conditions we face do not define us. They remind us of who we are and who we want to be.


Posts: 5236 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Midwest
aesir
Member
Member # 17210
Default  Posted: 1:09 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)

I think this is dependent on individual circumstances. There was no way in hell I was going to even consider attempting R just to go back to the way things were before Dday.

And I think this is where the whole statement came from originally.

For those who want to do the work of R, it requires much more than just processing the A. At what point does the A stop being a trump card for all disputes? When is it appropriate to be looking at other issues in the marriage. These questions have been raised a lot here over the years.

I think the reason this statement is so controversial is that it started out as discussion of a very valid point, and devolved into a poorly phrased mindless platitude.

Often this platitude is stated as an obligatory preamble when someone is posting about struggles with non A issues, or had been dealing with non A issues and then an A issue comes up out of the woodwork. In many ways, it is comparable to the WS forums obligatory preamble of "I know nothing excuses... but" when they are posting about non A issues and wondering how to deal with them when all the focus is on the A. Most often I kinda zone out until I get to the actual post. I get it, you did things in the past you are not proud of, I can't change that, so what's up now, I'll see if I can help.


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

Do not back up. Severe tire damage.


Posts: 14924 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Winnipeg
wert
Member
Member # 34478
Default  Posted: 1:15 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)

At what point does the A stop being a trump card for all disputes?

Excellent point. The point at which the BS doesn't play it and the WS can forgive themselves...Because in our R, both of play the trump card in different ways...

take care...



Posts: 1428 | Registered: Jan 2012
Eudaimonia
Member
Member # 32445
Default  Posted: 2:20 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)

I can give my husband all the quality time in the world but if he wants words of affirmation, then he's not getting the love HE NEEDS.

Exactly. But, if ([in my case only] by his own admission of FOO ingrained behaviors and beliefs) the love he "needs" is dependent upon personal superiority by means of deception and the excitement of one-upmanship by one A after another, what is left to work with? Which love language is defined by the necessity of deceit? (Yes, I have read it.)

It took me a long time to be able to say that I AM and I WAS a good wife and mother. Since his activities were all blamed on me and his activities were "caused" by me "causing" the bad marriage (which was never bad to my face: only behind my back!) I thought that I must have been the most horrible person in the world! This was PRECISELY what he had hoped to accomplish by blaming the "marriage" on me. It was a manipulation tactic that is quite popular in his family. It deflected from his behavior, it deflected from his extracurricular activities and it was a stall tactic to avoid facing the person that he really was to take responsibility for himself. Believe me, I took more than my share of the responsibility. But, in this case, more than my share was an inaccurate amount. As is/was 50%.

This is JUST my case. I understand that this is NOT the case with most. I am only trying to illustrate that some of us have special circumstances in regards to this topic.

I think that that choice has be be looked at closely before M issues can be resolved. Examining that choice might shed light on which M issues were real or fabricated and which were overblown. My view is that the choice is what is the most important thing. After that we can look at improving the M.

Yes.

I can't wait to get to the point where we start taking responsibility for our share of the breakdown in our M. I'm all for it. Any way that I can look at what I can do to make this world a better place is welcome.

He isn't there yet. He's getting there. But, at this point, (yes, even 2+ years later) he is only beginning to process the concept that his acting out, lying, the excitement of pulling one over on your loved ones is NOT natural nor is it healthy.

It is not my responsibility for him to do this work on himself. It is his. It is not even 50% my responsibility.

One person could be putting in their 100% and yet the other spouse still sees a problem. Does this mean they're just a "taker" and will never be satisfied? Possibly. It could also mean that it's just a mismatch between personalities.

And, maybe I do have an unlikable personality. Fair enough. This is one of the things that I saw on his emails and AM/CL/dating profiles: that his wife was unlikable. But, he never said any of that to my face. He still insists that he was lying to manipulate his targets. See, I don't think so. No one that has ever met me has said anything but that I was a friendly, warm, loving person. No one, but him. And that was never to my face.

There ARE "takers" out there. I guess I married one, unknowingly. They put on a great show. I bought it.


So long, and thanks for all the fish!

Posts: 472 | Registered: Jun 2011
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 7:03 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)

None of us is clairvoyant. It can help to rebuild the marriage later, and some of what you want to rebuild can be referenced from things you noticed or felt pre-A. But after? It's more than just the M - it's who we are down to our souls. Both partners are near-destroyed. Both partners most likely now have deep personal problems. And then they might have personal problems from before that are either put on the back burner for new ones, or that are exacerbated and come to the forefront. Everyone's story is different.

What I wonder is, AFTER the A, is it still 50-50, or 100-100, or whatever?

Presumably it is, because it takes two people to make a marriage, two people to be present. But suddenly we're doubting our tools. Doubting our teammate. Doubting ourselves. Still trying to read the new terrain. So where do we start?

Maybe that's why limbo is a horrible time to look for 100-100. Maybe we're still trying to figure out whether the A finished us. Or if this means that our teammate is permanently untrustworthy. So it's not always going to work to put that analogy out there. That's muddy. How can we worry about 100-100 when there may be no "us" anymore? When one spouse went out and made an "us" with someone else?

So if a person does want to rebuild their marriage... a lot of it depends on the willingness of your teammate. If your teammate is willing, then it becomes a joint effort, with each person working simultaneously on their own issues and on the marriage together. A team of support. If your teammate is unwilling, then you work on yourself and your part in the M as best as you can. It's impossible to be specific. Everyone's stories are different.

The question I ask is, what's the healthiest next step? That goes to another place outside of need or want, which is more subjective. Healthy. What is a healthy way to act? As we work on ourselves, we get a better idea of what healthy is.

We know what we can and can't do. We should know how capable we are of doing a lot of different things, whether we disagree with them or not - we are still capable. So what's the thing to do that's going to keep as many people safe as possible?

[This message edited by silverhopes at 7:08 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]


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: 3905 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
Topic Posts: 62