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Reconciliation
User Topic: Opportunity.......greatest predictor of A.
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 5:26 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

New MC, new article has pushed me a bit more to understand how my wife got to adultery. (Homework from a MC? LOVE IT!)

Yes, 17 months out and I still find myself mulling this same old question over. MC said that is fine and gave me an article to further my journey.

Lots of the same stuff in that article as I have read before.....has a connection to "After the Affair" book I read 12 months ago.

Many good points mentioned in this article, made in a way that helped me mature my wisdom from this experience.

But this singular quote is why I am posting.

---"By far, the biggest predictor of affairs, experts agree, is sheer opportunity--how people vary in access and desirability to others."

My wife had zero boundaries with her fAP. She also had VERY limited access to one on one time with a man due to her SAHM status. I say this with some confidents because she was not a member of AshleyMadison or a poster on Craigslist.

Her fAP was the first man she knew that I didn't that she actually did "stuff" with, alone, one on one. From the very first text, my wife never mentioned him to me. At first I thought she had intended to have an affair with him all along...now I see it started with a shockingly lack of a boundary, and she most likely had no intention of keeping him a secret from me or eventually fucking him. (I will never know the validity of that statement, but believe it is likely a truth.).

As I read this article I really started to get a sense of....."Well no shit we were having M issues before the A. No shit she was able to choose adultery." But all of those problems didnt add up to adultery....I was in the same marriage and I didn't choose adultery. Other marriages had similar or less issues in their M and adultery was still choosen by one of the people in those marraiges.........so how did this occur? How was it invited into our M?

Our pre-A marital issues are pretty standard, run of the mill stuff....I think that are pretty common to most marriages. I was a part of this marriage and I did not cheat.....why?

Opportunity.


It was not that I have a higher moral code, stronger moral fabric, less sinful, more perfect, less viral, less attractive, etc.....its that I was aware of the "strongest contributing predictor" to having an affair......opportunity....and I strenthened this weakness by using boundaries and techniques that kept those opportunities below the "choosing threshold".


According to the article, I was actually at higher risk than my wife for choosing adultery....because I came from a D home WITH Adultery as part of that D, travel regularly with work, team building exercises and group projects, socialize with work people......stuff my wife, as a SAHM, doesnt have.


So I really do believe that opening statment about opportunity. God help me, I have the desire in me to interact inappropriately with other women--not my wife. Since my wifes affair I HAVE gone to professional gatherings and loosened some boundaries.....I COULD have the opportunity should I dissolve my boundaries. NOTE: I dig interacting with women....a boundary on SI is no PM women members....honestly, that is a boundary I didnt have when I started my membership here. I thought "Its annonymous, I dont need boundaries where we dont really meet." Through discussions with my wife, I choose to put that boundary up....but it is an example on how easily it is to create opportunities by ignoring or justifying the need for them.

So that, right now, is why I am a BS and not a WS.....my one simple boundary I put in place as a response to one of my long-standing, known weakness's. End of story.


"Boundaries in Marriage"....GREAT BOOK!!!! I read it a couple of months ago.

I mention it because I want to make the STRONG point that the previously talked about boundary is one of a very very very few that I had in my life pre-A.

I see NOW how MY lack of boundaries has played and continues to play a role in limiting intimacy within my marriage.

While I am grateful my one boundary did what I needed it to do, I am sorry for the lack of so many other boundaries. It hurt my wife, hurt me, and had the potential to hurt my relationship with our daughters.

I am hopeful I am developing a committment to new, needed, additional boundaries that will make the framework I can build healthy, strong relationships from.


Like so much of this journey.....I wonder how I could be so ignorant, so blind, for so long.......

God help us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 5:38 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3635 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
notquiteoverit
Member
Member # 32919
Default  Posted: 5:36 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

I've read the same article, and taken the quiz in "Not Just Friends" It indicated that I was more likely to cheat than WS. For example, I work in a male-dominated industry and am one of only 3 females in my department. But boundaries are really what it is really about. Sure, I socialize with my male co-workers. But, our conversations are business and speculations about upcoming episodes of the Walking Dead - never anything too personal. There have been many opportunities, for me but boundaries always kept me from straying.


Me - BS 50
Him - WS 49
SOW - 52 destitute loser
D-day 1/28/11

Posts: 574 | Registered: Jul 2011
TattoodChinaDoll
Member
Member # 34602
Default  Posted: 5:40 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

I'm not sure I'm following you. Are you saying that opportunity is a bigger factor than boundaries? Because then I don't buy it. Sheesh...I am a certified official in a male dominated sport. First female official in the state and every winter I'm the only female in the room at our rules interpretation meeting and chapter meetings. If that isn't opportunity then I don't know what is! Boundaries and love for my husband was the biggest factor. I've had all the opportunities in the world. But I don't want to have an affair.


Me (BW): 32
WH: 33 TimeToManUp
Married: 11 years, together 16 years
3 daughters: 9, 5, 2, and and 2 angel babies (2013 and 2014)
D-Day: 12/21/2011
Confronted him: 12/22/2011

Posts: 1719 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: New Jersey
Later
Member
Member # 39375
Default  Posted: 5:47 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

At first I thought BS, as I have had women express an interest in me, had the means and could have gotten away with it.

But I absolutely agree about the concept of taking proactive steps so that you are never faced with a decision underr circumstances where you might give in to temptation

So, I tend to think a more accurate statement is that the greatest predictor would be a lack of adequate boundaries.


Posts: 385 | Registered: May 2013
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 5:50 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

notquiteover...interesting, isnt it?

In my line of work I use predictability models regularly.....I make decisions based on those models.....I have faith in those models. By the many factors listed in this article....my wife and I have about equal amount in our respective "tally columns". The ONLY difference I can see is the difference is this one....boundary.

And I supported my wifes view that she was independent, above temptation....hell, 3 years ago blakesteele would buy another man running shoes so that my wife would have a running partner!

I think of this one analogy in the "Boundaries in Marriage" book..


You can be a world-class swimmer, but without lane separation and start-finish lines (boundaries) you will never realize your full potential.

I dont do that analogy justice...but hopefully you get the meaning behind it.

Boundaries are NOT limiting or bondage in nature....they actually allow us the freedom to reach our full potential.

Think about your situation. I work with a woman in a male dominated profession. She has had an affair with our CEO and another high ranking manager from another state....both are known about. This woman has achieved some status in her profession....but her potential is limited because of her choice to have affairs. At least limited in her ability to command respect and have her team fully embrace and support her.....trust in her is weak. To reach her full potential as a manager, for anyone to reach higher potential as a manager, you must have respect and support from your team.

I suspect you have a much better chance of achieving a higher level of trust, growing your potential NOW than if you had choosen to have an affair. (realizing there are many other ways to loose trust (not just adultery) and it is a very easy thing to loose)).

Peace.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3635 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
Morhurt
Member
Member # 40166
Default  Posted: 5:53 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

I'm confused too.
"It was not that I have a higher moral code, stronger moral fabric, less sinful, more perfect, less viral, less attractive, etc.....its that I was aware of the "strongest contributing predictor" to having an affair......opportunity.."

I'm not sure I buy that, but I haven't read the article. I think that yes, your boundaries are strong... That's what prevented the affair, not the lack of opportunity (at least that's what I think you said). So in essence I think you're disagreeing with the article.
I'm a SAHM and I think my H had much more opportunity than I, but I also have strong boundaries and would never have allowed the slippery slope. If I had wanted an A, or even thought I wanted just a male "friend", it would have been easy. It was my boundaries and self respect that kept the As at bay.


Me: BS
Him: FWS
M: 15 years
4 lovely daughters
Working to rebuild.

Posts: 919 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Canada
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 5:55 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

Are you saying that opportunity is a bigger factor than boundaries?

Oh, no....not at all. I am trying to relay that the article mentions there is an inverse relationship between opportunity and boundaries.

Opportunity's are all around us....heck, we live in a town of less than 3,000....my wife found a willing partner in the first man she had no boundaries with (meaning she did one on one things with him that I didn't know about).

This article also talked about living in larger metropolitan areas increased your risk for adultery.

What I AM suggesting, and what this article eludes to, is that strong boundaries can reduce your likelyhood of being in an affair.

Make more sense TattooedChinaDoll? I totally agree with your post....this article totally supports what you have just posted.

Maybe I should copy and paste your post into my original post!

Sorry for the confusion....I am working on more concise, easier to read posts......

Peace.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3635 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 5:57 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

So, I tend to think a more accurate statement is that the greatest predictor would be a lack of adequate boundaries.


Later....this is what the article eludes to...and I totally agree with this. This IS the most accurate way to summarize this part of the article.

Opportunities....I had MORE than my wife did. No doubt about it.

The kicker is...it only takes ONE opportunity to commit adultery. So if I was stranded with a woman on an island and had no boundaries.....I could chose it. Dont have to be in a topless bar on amature night to choose it....but you could be in that same bar and NOT choose it if healthy boundaries were in place.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:09 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3635 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 6:04 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

I'm not sure I buy that, but I haven't read the article. I think that yes, your boundaries are strong... That's what prevented the affair, not the lack of opportunity (at least that's what I think you said). So in essence I think you're disagreeing with the article.

Morhurt....you shouldnt buy that, I am not even selling that. Again, sorry....I screwed something up in translation!!!

I absolutely have opportunity....I think opportunity is all around....just look at the membership to this site, infidelity and adultery stats, AshleyMadison and Craigslist......it is all around.

Let me try a formula example.


blakesteele + opportunity + boundary = no affair

mrsblakesteele + opportunity + NO boundary = affair

The article also mentioned lesser but important traits that factor in...but opportunity WITHOUT boundarys is a MUST HAVE.

Boundarys sometimes reduce opportunity....going back to your hotel room before 8 PM while away at a conference is one example of that....and this is one way in which I "strengthened my weakness".

The whole moral code talk? That was me trying to explain that I, blakesteele, left to my own accord with no boundaries would fall into that category of "high predictability" of having an affair.

Making any more sense?

Really sorry....thought I did a better job on my initial post.

Maybe someone could "edit" for me? Point out where I mis-spoke?

So far, anyone that has a "differing opinion" on this post has actually shared my original opinion.

So I know I did something wrong.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3635 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 6:14 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

Maybe the confusion came from an off-shoot of my boundary description?

and I strenthened this weakness by using boundaries and techniques that kept those opportunities below the "choosing threshold".

Is this the part that caused the confusion?

Part of my boundaries was to limit my opportunities......through accountability, schedule manipulations, how I interacted with women co-workers , etc.

I was not cocky in thinking I could stay at a hospitality suite till midnight, drinking and conversing with women and be strong enough to resist temptation....I never gave myself that opportunity, though it is there at every single conference I have been to.

That help out at all?

[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:15 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3635 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
notquiteoverit
Member
Member # 32919
Default  Posted: 6:15 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

Here's another aspect of this. Those individuals without boundaries will seek opportunities even without thinking about them. Opportunities exist everywhere. My WS has been hit on in the grocery store, at the dog park, gas station, etc. Learning about and sticking to boundaries is what I am hoping will keep him from repeat offending. That, and respect for one's spouse (and also for oneself).


Me - BS 50
Him - WS 49
SOW - 52 destitute loser
D-day 1/28/11

Posts: 574 | Registered: Jul 2011
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 6:16 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

I think that opportunities and boundaries are connected somewhat.

I think those with good boundaries have the good sense to avoid certain situations, but that being said, I still think porousness of boundaries is the better predictor of positive correlation with infidelity. If your boundaries as a man are airtight, you could send a million Megan Fox look-alikes, wave upon wave, at your junk and nothing would happen....because your boundaries do not break.

I think that opportunity becomes much more important to consciously avoid if you yourself recognize that you are someone who has problems maintaining said boundaries. I reckon it's similar to alcoholics avoiding bars.....maybe you're strong enough to resist altogether, and it's probably important to be, but you're better off avoiding temptation if possible...but it's never *always* possible.


I refuse to let a wound ruin me.
**Guts over fear.**

Posts: 2064 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Illinois
tooanalytical
Member
Member # 22306
Default  Posted: 6:17 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

There are several factors and all seem to play in it.


- Opportunity
- Poor Boundaries
- Lack of Self Esteem (and the need for external validation)
- Lack of Strong Morals

I had opportunity but always had good boundaries and healthy self-esteem. FWW on the other hand went wayward when the first opportunity presented itself because of low self esteem and low boundaries.


Me BH 44
FWW 44
Married 21 years
D-Day Apr 29, 2008
Children: 19,17,14
EA/PA - 1 year
Status: R

Posts: 280 | Registered: Jan 2009
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 6:35 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

First, I agree many factors played into my wife choosing adultery.....opportunity just a part of it.

Just trying.....but not succeeding....to point out what some professionals credit as the single biggest predictor is....opportunity.


Going fishing with a woman would NOT be an option for me.

Going for a run with a man WAS an option for my wife.


I reduced opportunity.....my wife increased opportunity .

My wife chose adultery, I did not.

Trying to see why.....look for differences between us.

This is a strong one .

There are others....but I keyed in on this one due to the "single biggest" statement.

Provably tried to make a complex issue too simple.

God be with is all.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3635 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 6:41 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

I have some of the classic traits, I have sought external validation, I had unmet needs, I had life changing events, I am middle aged, etc.

I wonder why I didn't cheat......this same article speaks to "other factors" that predict a person will choose adultery....and I have some of those, some that my wife DOESNT.

KWIM?

[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:59 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3635 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
stillprettyupset
Member
Member # 41286
Default  Posted: 6:57 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

If stranded on an island with that gal, I would assess her ability to gather water, build shelter, and make fire. If I found those skills lacking, I would bash her empty skull with a rock and eat her.
No dead weight on my island, mister.

I''m a bit surprised that I have never seen a comment relating to the criminal standard of Opportunity, Motive, and Culpability.

With the proper frame of mind and power of will, opportunities can be created.
I want something new/different/better (motive) and don''t give a fuck about risking this shitty, dead marriage (culpability) so I will tell hubby I need a "girls night out" (opportunity).

In this example, opportunity is merely an afterthought. A means to an end.


Me: 42
WW: 36
Latest D-day: Sept 2013
Reconciling? Limbo?

Posts: 96 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: NE Ohio
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 7:02 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

Hahaha....I like your addition stillprettyupset!

Probably not a worthwhile post......rabbit not worth chasing.

This post....me living in the past too much ? I know better.......dang it.


Peace

[This message edited by blakesteele at 7:03 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3635 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 7:11 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

I think, too, that opportunity is ALWAYS going to happen, even when you do your best to avoid it. Life happens, and shit happens....but you carry your boundaries with you wherever you go.


I refuse to let a wound ruin me.
**Guts over fear.**

Posts: 2064 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Illinois
rachelc
Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 7:20 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

Blake- boundaries shmoundaries. What ppl who don't have affairs do is have values, morals, etc.
My affair caused me to actually identify them, your wife's caused you to stare your porn addiction in the face.
Boundaries to me mean gutting out a good choice. Really internalizing who you want to be as a person?. That is values and integrity. It's easy, not a personal "don't go there" stop sign - boundary . JMO


his Ddays: 2/10, 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

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4899 | Registered: Dec 2010
Scubachick
Member
Member # 39906
Default  Posted: 7:22 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

What about a man that always had very strict boundaries? I use to think it was weird how rigid he was about his boundaries with other women and especially employee's. If a woman sits down next to him at a blackjack table and tries to talk to him, he will get up and move to a different table. He's borderline rude with women because he won't even acknowledge they are speaking to him or he's really short with them. At times I've wondered if he just doesn't trust himself to be around women if I'm not there. So how does a man go from this to having an EA with an employee? She is the exception to every rule and professional and personal boundary this man has ever had! I don't get it.

Posts: 656 | Registered: Jul 2013
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 9:17 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

I don't get it either Scubachick......this post is proof of that fact.

Maybe I was trying to read too much into what this new MC was trying to do today.....maybe I was trying to pull out of a rut ..... Maybe I thought if I posted my thoughts would develop more.

I don't get it either.

I'm sure I have grown. I'm sure I have and am changing. But $4k and. 17 months into this......I still can't fully grasp WHY.

Maybe I never will. Maybe it is not important. Maybe I already know why and am not willing to accept the simple facts if the matter ..... because those simple facts seem to have cost SO MUCH !

God help us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:17 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3635 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
womaninflux
Member
Member # 39667
Default  Posted: 9:40 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

My SAWH - at the height of his waywardness - would probably have boundaries with someone who is unattractive and get away from them ASAP but definitely "cruise" someone who fit his attraction ideal.

I agree with the comments about opportunity. I am sure that had a lot to do with my SAWH's affair. It was a perfect storm of low self esteem, FOO, opportunity, bad coping skills and bad boundaries. And 10 months after DD and 3.5 years after the affair began, the wreckage is still being cleared, so watch where you step.

I read "NOT 'just friends'" a few weeks ago myself. My husband fit 10 of the 11 indicators of having an affair as he doesn't travel frequently for work. But lots of family issues, no worries about social or familial repercussions of having an affair (I suspect that one of his parents had one), opportunity to meet attractive females through work.

I had the opportunity to get together with an old friend recently. She's about 8 years older than I am and has a similar situation in that she rarely had sex with her husband, he did not want to seek therapy. So she had an affair. She hasn't left her BS and the A has ended because it was with someone she worked with and both of their work situations changed and they would not have been able to finance the A otherwise. I guess what this showed me is that if I had the opportunity to cheat (which I don't because I am currently at home with my kids) I might be tempted. I think I had reached that point last year around the time I discovered the affair. I was trying to work up the courage to talk about our issues with him…imagine my surprise to find out about the affair.

I think all of us BS would like to think we are way above all of that…but speaking for myself, I may have been tempted to cheat if I had the opportunity.


BS - mid-40's
SAWH - mid 40's
Kids - 2 elementary school aged
Getting tons of therapy and trying to "work it out"

Posts: 891 | Registered: Jun 2013
TattoodChinaDoll
Member
Member # 34602
Default  Posted: 9:42 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

I'm not a total believer on the opportunity being a factor thing. Obviously if you are a heterosexual male and only surrounded by men all day, don't own a phone or computer with Internet access, etc etc, you have little to no opportunity. I feel like opportunity is just a justification for the A. Like my WH could say "what do you expect...I worked with her everyday." Right now I'm at the gym. It is just me and one other person. The other person is a man, probably a little younger than me. Could I blame an A with this person because we were both in the same place at the same time and alone?

ETA: My point is that than opportunity is everywhere so how much of a factor is it really?

[This message edited by TattoodChinaDoll at 9:45 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]


Me (BW): 32
WH: 33 TimeToManUp
Married: 11 years, together 16 years
3 daughters: 9, 5, 2, and and 2 angel babies (2013 and 2014)
D-Day: 12/21/2011
Confronted him: 12/22/2011

Posts: 1719 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: New Jersey
RidingHealingRd
Member
Member # 33867
Default  Posted: 10:19 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

When one lives life consistent with the high values that they have adopted and strives to live their life with integrity it reduces that need to purposefully set boundaries.

I do not to cheat, not because I set boundaries, but because I know right from wrong and I choose to do right.

It was not that I have a higher moral code, stronger moral fabric, less sinful, more perfect, less viral, less attractive, etc.....its that I was aware of the "strongest contributing predictor" to having an affair......opportunity.

When opportunity presents itself a persons strength of character, integrity, and value system will dictate the decisions and actions that he/she takes.


[This message edited by RidingHealingRd at 10:22 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]


ME: 54 BS
HIM: 61 WH
Married: 28 years
D'Day: 10/29/10
in R 3.5 years and it's working but he is putting 200% into it (as he should) to make it right again.

The truth hurts, but I have never seen it cause the pain that lies do.


Posts: 2109 | Registered: Nov 2011
FaithStricken
Member
Member # 34080
Default  Posted: 10:38 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

I think that people who don't have awareness of any issues with boundaries but end up in a situation where opportunity is "strongly encouraged" can end up being in an affair.

I think some people haven't had to test certain boundaries yet ... maybe just by chance or maybe because of some structure that has limited their exposure to certain opportunities.

In other words, I do agree that opportunity is a big key factor in many affairs but that boundaries are what ultimately keep a person from having an affair.

I also agree that a person can seek to find opportunities because of poor boundaries but this is different than someone being in a situation where opportunity presents itself without their orchestrating it.

I think my FWH is an example of someone who didn't have foresight of his own boundary issues. I don't think he deserves "a break" for this either but the toxic AP he had opportunity with was a big factor in his having an affair. He has since had to shore up his boundaries and rethink how he wants to live his life up to his own moral standards.

[This message edited by FaithStricken at 10:43 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]


Posts: 85 | Registered: Dec 2011
BeyondBreaking
Member
Member # 38020
Default  Posted: 11:11 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)

I work in a primarily woman dominated field, and in an office that has almost all women. There are literally three men in our office, none of whom are attractive.

Most of the women in our office are in relationships of some sort. But even for women not in relationships- people present themselves as available, or as unavailable. It has a lot to do with boundaries, topics of conversations that they bring up, and their whole demeanor.

I don't think that ANY of the women in my office go to work and INTEND to start an affair with the men in our office. But some of the women in our office definitely send "available" vibes, and it very obvious.

That, I believe, is the difference.

I sit by a man in the office. He is very nice. We work in a medical clinic. Stuff comes up that isn't necessarily "appropriate." I have had conversations about vaginas, periods, boobs, babies, penises- you name it with and in front of this man. He and I have been out to lunch together (in a group setting, not privately), we have gone to after work group functions together. One time, he even drove and I rode in the car with him. He knows I have a husband- and he knows when we are irritated with each other. I know he has a girlfriend, and I know when they are fighting. I know he loves his girlfriend, even when he is mad at her. He knows I love my husband even when I am mad at him (and we don't talk about relationship specifics or anything). We are friends. Not best friends, but good friends.

Why is this not an affair? Because:
1) I am not available. He knows this. I have not presented myself as available. There is no confusion about this, no mixed messages sent.
2) boundaries- I don't hang out with him alone, I don't call or text him unless it is work related, I don't go into relationship specifics or vent about my husband to him. Not tons of strict boundaries, but appropriate ones.
3) I would act no differently around this man if my husband was at work and sitting right next to me.

I think that those who don't have specific boundaries unconsciously (or consciously) present themselves to others as available. To me, that is the difference.


I have been cheated on by 3 different men, and I have more DDays than anyone ever should. I am here, just trying to pickup the pieces.

At least the current man "only" cyber-cheated.

"Love means never having to say you're sorry."


Posts: 840 | Registered: Jan 2013
Kyrie
Member
Member # 41825
Default  Posted: 12:16 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)

Thank you, blakesteel, for initiating this conversation. I appreciate everyone's comments and insights. It's helpful to me, too, to be reminded that opportunity was indeed a huge factor as well as my H's naivete about boundaries. But I could list several other things that were priming him for his A - and most of them were unique to him and the circumstances he was in. And we've gone round and round about all of them. How he got involved with the OW is a story I can tell very well now. In fact, I've often repeated it to him just to make sure I have the facts straight and the details right. I actually think a good bit of those details allude to the why of the A. But I think the only way I would ever be able to understand the how and why of it all is if I crawled inside my H's skin and re-lived every minute of it. And even then, because I am not him and he is not me, I probably still wouldn't get it.


Oh, and blakesteel, go easy on yourself with the self criticism. You are not ignorant or blind, this is a worthwhile post and your threads are thoughtful and very helpful! I believe every journey that's worth taking, and that includes this one that we're all on, demands we open our eyes and learn something new.


Me: BW (47), WH (48)
Married 24 yrs, 2 teenagers
DD#1 01.20.12 When diagnosed w/STD
Told it was 15 mo. PA that ended 6 years ago
DD#2 04.06.14 Truth: PA was 2yrs/8mo
Separated for 6 weeks
Reconciling and healing now

Posts: 192 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: southeast USA
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 2:32 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)


Thanks for the continued posts..... Not at all where I thought I was going with this. Fell asleep while talking to my brother on the phone last night at 8:30.....a bit embarrassing but speaks to how tired I was yesterday and explains a bit of my Ricky and confusing start of this post. It's 2 a.m., should be asleep but have some clarity now....and it jives with what some of you have posted .

I tried to discuss this with my wife last night.... After I fell asleep talking to my brother but before I had " decent rest". Didn't go well and I should have passed on this until I had rested.

I think my multiple DD's, the fact that my wife was dumped and never chose to stop her A, months of intentional lies and trickle truths, regret over losing her OM was quick to come to her while remorse for hurting me was slow to come all factor into why I think I ask "why" if her.

Then, when the "healthy natural progression" a WS goes through to become a fWS.....the process by which real light disposes of the fantasy light their world was lit by.....and a healthier perspective is had by them, they see their actions in a "truer light"......it causes me to feel as if the facts have once again changed.

Because many of my "facts" if my wife's affair are tied to the "truths" she told me ......I am dependent on her to tell me the truth.....17 months out and some truths appear to be "dynamic in nature ?????

Am I confusing facts and truths? KWIM?

Maybe this is the "crazy making shit" my old counsellor spoke of as she said what adultery is.....and I should just leave it at that?

. I don't think he deserves "a break" for this either but the toxic AP he had opportunity with was a big factor in his having an affair.

Faith stricken....as my wife's perspective has changed I have learned a few new details about her A. A big one was that he presented poems to her when they met to run together . So the simple act of being alone on a remote trail together was NOT all that was "in play" here. The first poem was accepted with a "why are you giving a poem to me?" response from my wife. She sees NOW why "just a friend" might do that. He was also the one to repeatedly suggest they meet at a house they own in the country...."so they don't have to worry about people thinking the wrong thing if they were seen on the trail together".

Like your husband.....it is easy to see what the fAP was up to now. But at the time these actions "seemed innocent enough". Like you pointed out, my wife STILL had a choice...and, while the AP actions made it easier for my wife to make those dreadful choices, she still made them . Not raped or was slipped a "Mickey"....


I think all of us BS would like to think we are way above all of that…but speaking for myself, I may have been tempted to cheat if I had the opportunity.

This is me womaninflux......and is most likely why I had my boundaries and safety's in place.....I simply didn't trust myself to be able to resist all temptation. My wife disagrees with me.....says she could never see me cheating. But would NOT be comfortable with me spending the day wade fishing my favorite creek with a girl. A factor of how cunning a woman can be and how simple I am, worried might not chose to commit adultery but would find myself in an A anyway?

I would have been totally supportive if my wife running with a man pre-A. At that time my wife would not be okay with me going fishing with a woman.

Which is why I thought my wife knew exactly what am she was up to from the beginning..... I had ZERO jealous feelings....never felt threatened by other men interacting with my wife. Have my wife zero reason not to tell me about this OM.....and, yet, she chose to keep it a secret.

As it has come out over the past 17 months......this "secret keeping" or "omitting full truths" from me is a mode of operation my wife has had since childhood. Her sister has encouraged this at key points in our M where the truth would have been hugely beneficial to us. (I know, when is the truth destructive....right? Truths can be painful but I think are almost always constructive....or are at least needed to START construction.... The foundation if you will).


BeyondBreaking.....totally agree with all you posted.

A person can put out the "available" or "not available" vibe out. My wife was putting the available vibe out....vibe to him as she accepted poetry, vibe to herself as she reached out to her sister but revealed the situation as she wanted to do that her sister would say what she wanted to hear.....that what she was
doing was "not that bad and she could just stop on her own".

Boundarys are a part of this as well.

The whole "would I do this if my spouse were here?" question? This is a trick I have used for a long time to check my actions. I observe a man at work who is engaged in at least an EA with a co-worker. I thought that for years.....my wife even noticed something was not right between them. How? Because if his change in body language as well as their conversation switch when I "walk in in them". Wife saw this one day when he came into the restaurant where wife and I were having lunch. I offered to have him join us......to which he nervously replied "thanks.......but I am meeting.......someone ." 5 minutes later I walks this woman coworker. Why wouldn't he just say I am meeting "coworker" for lunch if they were truly "just friends".

Think my wife would have felt comfortable accepting a poem from the OM if I had been standing next to her?

That "question tool" works! Thanks for the reminder.

God help us all.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3635 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 2:39 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)

Thanks kyrie!

This post HAS been helpful.

First, humbled me as I was proud of it...thinking I had a well thought out opening statement . Wasn't the case and a reminder that my passion does not equal wisdom.

Second, the many varied responses actually DID give me a chance to pick up some new thoughts, if not full on wisdom.

Note: I was humbled by the fact that I fell asleep talking to my brother on the phone last night. My wife nudged me, my first response was confusion, followed by defensiveness ( no way did I do that!), followed by embarrassment, acceptance then a call to apologize.

It appears I needed to check my pride last night....and had a couple of opportunities to do just that!

I do appreciate the kind words.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 2:41 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3635 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 3:02 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)

I think that opportunity becomes much more important to consciously avoid if you yourself recognize that you are someone who has problems maintaining said boundaries.

Liked your whole post FacePunched.... But that part is probably me.

I worry about NOT being able to maintain my boundary if temptations are too great....so I avoid those situations when I am aware of them, then use that " question technique" to shore that boundary up when I find myself in "unavoidable" or "unforeseen" circumstances.

This is what I meant when I said I don't have a particularly strong moral code...I question the porosity of my boundaries.....so it's more like I don't go to places where they will be regularly and rigorously tested.....kwim?

I perceive a weakness in me.....am glad I have not proven this weakness to be an actual part if me...... But something perceived can be achieved . Said another way.....I don't want to be a drunk , think I could be , so I don't drink regularly.....consciously limit myself to 1 beer when I cook dinner on the grill and stop after that.

Actually, that is a real world example. My family has alcoholism as a common trait. My brothers and I are aware of this.....none of us are alcoholics but we all very much operate with firm boundaries surrounding alcohol because we perceive this to be an area in our lives needing to be cautious of.

Cool.......that analogy helps me out.....thanks for your post FacePunched ! Kind of an ah-ha moment.

My dad had an A........perhaps this is why I thought I was prone to A as well?

Peace .


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3635 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
still-living
Member
Member # 30434
Default  Posted: 4:19 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)

I wanted to respond yesterday but I didn't have time.

I agree with Tooanalytical's comment, that several factors are needed, which I say are AKA ingredients, AKA first layers of whys, AKA predictors:
- Opportunity, - Poor Boundaries, - Lack of Self Esteem, - Lack of Strong Morals. These are all needed.

I also agree with Facepunched's statement that opportunities and boundaries are connected somewhat, and Scubachick's comment, on how a man having strict boundaries can sometimes seem rigid and borderline rude.

I would like to add that people sometimes create their own opportunity because of who they are and who they hang around with, like how a drug user hangs around with drug users, and low moral selfish spouses hang around with like spouses or with a "fun" single or divorced crowd. Birds of a feather flock together and this creates more opportunity.

I would also like to add that more women are working in today's society and this is being used to explain why more women are having affairs, aka, increased opportunity. I don't disagree there is more opportunity and it contributes , but I would also like to say we seem to be working harder and longer and I believe the "connection" between spouses is more strained and our society has not compensated for it. I am hopeful that our next generations will come to understand the trauma caused by workforce affairs and the senselessness of it. Teach say no to drugs AND say no to affairs.

I think we are all vulnerable to some extent. People may become more vulnerable due to an increase in opportunity (workforce), temporary lack of self esteem (fight with spouse, boss, job problem), drop in boundaries (e.g., working longer and closer with a coworker where conversations become deeper), loss of connection with their spouse (busy, time away, kids sports), or drop in morals (hanging with the the wrong crowd, group think), .....or a combination of all five. Either we are lucky enough or smart enough to identify the increased vulnerability and compensate for it, or enough straw is piled on the camel's back and we become infatuated and sucked into an affair.


Thank you for this discussion Blakesteele.


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

Posts: 738 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Ches
rachelc
Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 6:57 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)

When one lives life consistent with the high values that they have adopted and strives to live their life with integrity it reduces that need to purposefully set boundaries.
I do not to cheat, not because I set boundaries, but because I know right from wrong and I choose to do right.

this. this this this is what I was trying to say.


his Ddays: 2/10, 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

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4899 | Registered: Dec 2010
ItStillHurts
Member
Member # 33617
Default  Posted: 7:10 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)

and she most likely had no intention of keeping him a secret from me

I really have difficulty with this.


The cruelest lies are often told in silence (RLS).
DD: December 24, 2010, when she called me from a pay phone pretending to be someone else.
Me: BS (53)Him: WS (56) OW: 63 yr old Husband hunting predatory whore

Posts: 361 | Registered: Oct 2011
RipsInMyChest
Member
Member # 41166
Default  Posted: 8:46 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)

I agree with opportunity = an increase in affairs. The root of it all though is one's morals and integrity. It all starts there. And then if those are not strong, you will not have the boundaries that you need. When you don't have strong boundaries you increase opportunity.

In other words, I think every remorseful WS had eroded their integrity and morality in their own mind (curiousity, seeing peers having affairs, thinking their behaviors are innocent, thinking that they have it under control and it wont go further, telling themselves what their spouse doesnt know wont hurt them, etc). That led to boundaries being loosened.....the WS doing things that they shouldn't have been doing. That led to more opportunities and possibly putting out the vibe that they were "receptive". After that it was only a matter of time.

Obviously many things factor into your morals and integrity. F00 issues, self-esteem, your sense of right and wrong, the "perceived" harm of a particular situation, and life stress can all factor into your decision at the time. It is my belief that the real work a WS needs to do is to raise their own integrity and morality. This is where each WS has to look at their own issues and what caused their morality and integrity to not be up where it should be. For some it's F00 issues for others it's self-esteem. And for some, it's just wayward mindset (Independent thinking, selfishness, lack of empathy, etc.).

For my H, it was the wayward mindset with a little bit of the infidelity-friendly work environment (My grandmother always said if you lie down with dogs you come up with fleas.) Which alone would never have led him to do what he did. But when combined with acute stress and temptation by someone he was attracted to coming on to him....he seized the opportunity to "feel better". He regretted it immediately and he sees clearly that moral erosion. He has changed his views on infidelity, selfishness, empathy, communication, and most importantly his own integrity. These changes in thought are what produces changes in action. one of those actions is making sure he has firm BOUNDARIES.

Great topic Blakesteele!

[This message edited by RipsInMyChest at 8:49 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)]


Me: BW 41
FWH 41
Together 21 yrs, M 18, 2 kids
DDay: 12/11/12 ONS with CW
Used condom, got chlamydia anyway.

His betrayal of me was not because I didn't shine brightly enough, but because he chose to put on blinders.


Posts: 259 | Registered: Oct 2013
Blobette
Member
Member # 36519
Default  Posted: 9:27 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)

I feel like "boundaries" is shorthand for a lot of stuff that might be worth unpacking. Why does or doesn't a person have boundaries? -- that's the question! In some cases (like my WH) it's a simple case of emotional immaturity.

But personally, I think that the main thing that allowed my WH to cheat was his ability to compartmentalize. As far as I can tell, he really was able to convince himself that A had nothing to do with B. I (and many other people on here) find that really hard to understand. But then, we're healthy, integrated people. Or at least somewhat healthy... The point here is that he has had a huge amount of practice with compartmentalizing -- that was his response to his family issues. That's just how some people respond to messed-up families, and in some cases it's a viable coping mechanism. It's not clear why some people do that rather than other ways of dealing, but that's beyond my area of expertise. Whatever. That was WH's method and, unfortunately, it really enabled him to do something that -- perhaps -- he might not otherwise have done. Who knows?

Opportunity was a big factor for him, of course. His A started in Edinburgh on a work trip, and was consummated in DC, on a work trip. Very easy to think it was a totally separate thing. But, like many other people here, I have also had opportunity. Motive, opportunity, and weapon, in fact -- a ready and willing partner that I was extremely attracted to. But I didn't go there, in part because I KNEW not just how it would make WH feel -- which was horrible to contemplate -- but also how it would make ME feel -- like a dirty liar.

So, sure he didn't have boundaries. But boundaries are only part of the picture. The big question, for me, is how do you live with yourself while you're in an A? You need to be able to shut off empathy for your spouse. Those of us who don't, don't because we feel connected enough to know, in our heart, how our actions would affect our partners. My WH dealt with this by convincing himself that I would never know, would never be hurt by it. He shut it down and by doing so, shut himself down. It's nice to see that changing.


BS (me): 50
WS: 50
Married: 26 yrs
Kids: 2
OW: Co-worker, 7 yr LTA
DD 8/1/2012, Working on R

Posts: 1057 | Registered: Aug 2012
shatteredapart
Member
Member # 41978
Default  Posted: 11:48 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)

Thanks for posting this blakesteele. It's something that's been on my mind. I think both myself and WH showed most of those signs...before becoming a SAHM I had opportunity, poor boundaries and low self esteem. WH has opportunity, poor boundaries and low morals. Ironic that I'm the one who would get too friendly with employees/coworkers telling them tmi all the time. My WH would call me out on it. I never really "got it" until a few years ago. Because of my low self esteem I wanted to be everyone's friend. I way over shared. I see that now. There was even one coworker who's marriage was going through a rough patch at the same time as mine several years ago. He ended up getting divorced. The opportunity to cheat could've been there but I have high morals so maybe that's what stopped me from sending signals. I really don't know. We definitely talked about our marriage woes at length. I would complain constantly about my WH all the while saying I love him. Kwim? Then after we move here (500+ miles away from almost everyone we know) 15 months ago he sets poor boundaries with new coworkers and his EA (PA?) starts 5 months later. His "journey" was definitely a slippery slope affair. It started out with her mentoring him through a store opening and became more as problems with the location persisted and they chatted more and more through calls and texts, finally leading to weekly meet ups for lunch. Of course I knew nothing about her at all. He kept their relationship hidden. And of course I heard the line we're "just friends" when I discovered it. What I've learned about myself from all this is that I needed to shore up my boundaries especially since I'm planning to go back into the workforce soon. Also, I'm working on making WH more away if his issues...besides the obvious poor boundaries he has a bad habit of using little white lies constantly. I continue to point them out to make him aware because it's now become a bad habit he's not aware of.
Another thing I agree wholeheartedly about is asking yourself the question. ..Is this something I would do or say if my spouse is here? It's a great way to make sure your boundaries are firmly in place. It's another thing I'm hoping WH will start doing. And I'm firm believer to never put yourself in a place where you are alone with the opposite sex. That's when many opportunities arise IMO.


Me-BS
Him-WS
EA(PA?) 10 months with COW
3 ddays-Sept '13, Oct '13, Dec '13
Attempting Reconciliation...time and actions will tell

Posts: 122 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: USA
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 12:03 PM, January 23rd (Thursday)

Great topic Blakesteele!

Funny......I almost deleted this post completely after my stumbling start. Never felt like doing that before....and am glad I didn't!

The many posts strengthened what was an incredibly weak original post to start with.

Thanks everyone for salvaging this into a productive post!

God be with us all.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3635 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
bionicgal
Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 12:09 PM, January 23rd (Thursday)

In my experience, boundaries are imperative.

I bristle a little at the "values and morals" argument, because I just don't think it is accurate to act as if they are something you have, or you don't. Or, that if you "have" them, then you are immune from cheating. Most cheaters never thought they would -- so to me it is empty to say "I'd never do that because of my morals." Very few people imagine themselves to be doing an evil thing -- most waywards rationalized what they were doing -- they fooled themselves. So, while it would be a stretch to say that many of them thought they were acting morally during the affair, my bet is that most of them probably saw themselves as people with values and morals before. . .

their boundaries slipped when there was opportunity.

I also don't see the boundaries thing as a black and white issue. Some people have poor boundaries all the time, some are walled in like Fort Knox (can be its own problem - that was me.) But, it is the relaxing of the boundaries either in the face of opportunity, or due to opportunity, that causes the slippy slide down into affair land.

My H had good boundaries in most areas. He didn't get personal with co-workers, he traveled extensively and didn't socialize with women or go out drinking, he (mostly) knew to not talk too personally with women at the gym. Where his boundaries fell down was with a relatively close family friend, someone he had a level of comfort, familiarity, and trust in, via email after a discussion in the grocery store.

Seems kind of innocent, right? But after she shared a struggle an injury that she was having, he shared. And then she shared. .. and then he shared more. . . and then, Boom. Opportunity. (She had been kind of stalking him for a while, but it was all kind of under the radar.)

So, I think it is way more complicated than he had bad values or morals. He certainly expressed poor judgement and morals at the time of the affair, but they aren't what led him to it. We will pretty much all have opportunity if we are open to it, but it is having solid boundaries in place that keep us from engaging.


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is more like a mental break than a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 1944 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 12:21 PM, January 23rd (Thursday)

I have pondered this as well with my H. He is the classic candidate for infidelity; attractive, powerful, etc, in an environment with almost all young, single women who treat him like God. Both parents cheated, early sexual experience, blah, blah. His work involved late nights and "rounds" at the local bar. No real boundaries there. Dismissive attachment, which allowed him to not have empathy for my feelings. Great ability to compartmentalize. I wasn't even aware of the CSA, low self-esteem, etc.

He was bound to cheat. Really, I'm surprised he didn't more, knowing what I know now. So why wait as long as he did? The M was as stable as ever. Why then?

Well, a few things, IMO. Extreme stress at work. Mid-life. And opportunity.

He actually didn't go looking for it in his life, and in fact had boundaries with clients and lay-employees. But when an associate started having marital troubles and work worries (and had always looked up to him) started leaning on him and "needing" him, and they went out drinking and worked all hours together. Well, what could be easier for someone with no real attachment? Wife would never know. No strings attached.

My H has said that the OW in question was not someone he had been attracted to previously. She was "easy", and fed his ego.

I truly think that it is possible if this particular situation had not arisen he may never have cheated. But he would have continued on as a "dry adulterer". His issues would have remained like a undiagnosed disease that makes you feel tired and fatigued but until it makes you acutely ill can't be discovered and treated.

So in some ways I'm glad that all of it is out in the open. And we can build something authentic together.

Thanks, blakesteele for your post today!



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1729 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
RipsInMyChest
Member
Member # 41166
Default  Posted: 2:08 PM, January 23rd (Thursday)

Catlover, I could have written your post....our husbands are very similar!


Me: BW 41
FWH 41
Together 21 yrs, M 18, 2 kids
DDay: 12/11/12 ONS with CW
Used condom, got chlamydia anyway.

His betrayal of me was not because I didn't shine brightly enough, but because he chose to put on blinders.


Posts: 259 | Registered: Oct 2013
bionicgal
Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 2:31 PM, January 23rd (Thursday)

"My H has said that the OW in question was not someone he had been attracted to previously. She was "easy", and fed his ego."

So true - my H had not had feelings for her that were at all out of the ordinary (for 5 years of friendship) until he started getting signals at a vulnerable time that she thought he was Mr. Groovy. (She is no head-turner, either.)

It is the ego feeding, totally.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 2:50 PM, January 23rd (Thursday)]


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is more like a mental break than a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 1944 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 8:59 PM, January 23rd (Thursday)

I''ve watched enough Law & Order to know that after a crime, law enforcement looks at MMO. Means, motive, and opportunity.

For years I had all the opportunity in the world. I was a Realtor, I''d often be gone all day, and there was no such thing as GPS tracking. For that matter, I had means, too. Often the houses I listed were vacant, so I would''ve even had a perfect, private location. (Sorry if that creeps out anyone who''s currently selling their house.)

Opportunity is a necessary element, clearly, but I disagree with the assertion that it''s the greatest predictor. Of the three, I''d say motive (or, as we say around here, "why" is the winner. Unfortunately our motives are usually delusional and almost always kept secret from our BS. If we had the guts to share our "motives" with our BS, we wouldn''t choose infidelity as an answer to our problems.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1165 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
womaninflux
Member
Member # 39667
Default  Posted: 9:28 PM, January 23rd (Thursday)

Interesting - the available vs. unavailable vibe. Yep. I can totally see it. It's part of the double life. "In this life I am a 25 yo single person. In my other life I am a 40 yo married man with children." Also, the "trusting," low maintenance spouse creates part of the opportunity. We're not supposed to blame ourselves, but the fact that we had a very long leash on our spouses and were not the jealous type was part of the opportunity. They took advantage of that. Why weren't we supposed to believe they were on a business trip over a weekend in Paris (yes…I fell for that!)?


BS - mid-40's
SAWH - mid 40's
Kids - 2 elementary school aged
Getting tons of therapy and trying to "work it out"

Posts: 891 | Registered: Jun 2013
Scubachick
Member
Member # 39906
Default  Posted: 10:36 PM, January 23rd (Thursday)

Also, the "trusting," low maintenance spouse creates part of the opportunity. We're not supposed to blame ourselves, but the fact that we had a very long leash on our spouses and were not the jealous type was part of the opportunity. They took advantage of that. Why weren't we supposed to believe they were on a business trip over a weekend in Paris (yes…I fell for that!)?

How true! My husband is the only person I've ever trusted in my entire life and it took years to allow myself to trust him. He works all nights and sleeps days and I went to bed every night and slept well...without a doubt in my mind that he wasn't really where he said he was. I never checked up on him. Not one time! Never checked his phone or email. I feel like an idiot for trusting someone so much now. I made it so easy for him!! He even said I trusted him too much.


Posts: 656 | Registered: Jul 2013
Later
Member
Member # 39375
Default  Posted: 11:48 PM, January 23rd (Thursday)

boundaries shmoundaries. What ppl who don't have affairs do is have values, morals, etc.
My affair caused me to actually identify them, your wife's caused you to stare your porn addiction in the face.
Boundaries to me mean gutting out a good choice. Really internalizing who you want to be as a person?. That is values and integrity. It's easy, not a personal "don't go there" stop sign - boundary . JMO

No offense, but I think this is a dangerous way of thinking.

In my opinion, you can't rely on your morals. That's the same as falling into the trap of, it can't happen to me."

Personally, I think we are all at risk, given the right, or should I say wrong, circumstances. To me the key is appreciating that risk and putting up boundaries so that you will not be put to the test.

As Blake indicated, don't let yourself get to the point of having to make a decision in a tempting situation.

Use your morals to become determined that you will reduce the risk.

Using a sports analogy, win the game before it is ever played.


Posts: 385 | Registered: May 2013
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 6:23 AM, January 24th (Friday)


He was bound to cheat. Really, I'm surprised he didn't more, knowing what I know now. So why wait as long as he did? The M was as stable as ever. Why then?

Well, a few things, IMO. Extreme stress at work. Mid-life. And opportunity.

Catlover50.....both my wife and I trace a life shift in our M to 3 years ago. A very dear loved one past on. It is at that point that my anxiety started to rise. Then our youngest daughter was going to go to school....SAHM without any children....created anxiety in my wife. And then the mid-life thing.

So I totally get what you are saying.....and at least one counselor agrees that the events I listed are "profound" in nature.

As I become more aware of how my wife operated within our M, within life at large.....I find it almost inevitable that two things occurred .

1. Our intimate bonding lagged.

2. She chose adultery.

Womaninflux.....I agree with you as well . My general disposition was a contributing factor.....not to her choosing adultery, but it did enable her the ability NOT to grow past the way she coped with life.

To be sure, if a person chooses or subconsciously operates in a way that limits intimacy and love being received ...there is not a damn thing you can do about changing them.

However , if my OWN coping mechs were not limiting ME....I could have requested? a more healthy relationship then we were in. (If I did not have some codependency, abandonment fears in me....or if I were just aware if them at least).


And this is the crux of my "learning to R" lies.....We BOTH have to want to change . Then find the courage TO change. Then realize our nurturing and growing of our M is NOT a 2-5 year process....it is a lifetime commitment .

Womaninflux.....as I examine myself I don't believe I was "the great guy who did everything out of loving trust". I think a real part of me was afraid to ask anything of my wife for fear she would just leave me . I see how this "hidden fear" has subconsciously influenced me for 30 years. I am grateful it did not leads to drugs or adultery, but am resentful over what it DID cost me for 30 years. Namely the opportunity to develop true, deep, mature intimacy.

I am more grateful for the opportunity to change....even though this change is painful, I am hopeful for the future and have faith I WILL experience healthy intimacy and be in a mature relationship and that all of my relationships will benefit from my commitment to processing past my own limitations.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:26 AM, January 24th (Friday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3635 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
steadfast1973
Member
Member # 24719
Default  Posted: 6:32 AM, January 24th (Friday)

I am a WAHM. I am a wedding coordinator/officiant/photographer. I am also ( not tooting any horns) pretty attractive. I was also ignored, neglected, and rejected by my fWH. Many of my business connections are men. I had both opportunity and motive to cheat. I had (for realsies) all the "excuses" in the Wayward Handbook. I lacked desire to do so. Because, what I had, along with that, was a healthy set of boundaries.


Me- 40- BS Him- 36- WH D-day#1 5/25/09 3 mo. EA d-day#2 11/06/13 Prostitute 11/5/13 in R
"I've seen your flag on the marble arch, our love is not a victory march, it's a cold and broken hallelujah."- Leonard Cohen

Posts: 2256 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: Midwest
womaninflux
Member
Member # 39667
Default  Posted: 9:38 AM, January 24th (Friday)

On the subject of morality…

I am agnostic. Raised agnostic, parents are very conservative (but with socially moderate tendencies) but agnostic. I'll never forget getting to a big public high school which was fed by lots of elementary schools - public and private. I became friendly with a group of girls that had been in Catholic school together since a very young age. I must have been the first person they ever encountered that was a non-believer or questioned the existence of a God. They said I had no morals. LOL. Is that why all of them had sex way before I ever did? Is that why they lied to their parents about things? Is that why they deceived friends? Is that why there were always drugs available through the catholic boys high school in our town? Oh, ok. I have long said I learned all of my bad habits from my Catholic friends. And by the way, it was my husband, who was raised Catholic, who had an affair.

Steadfast - I agree with what you are saying about boundaries vs. opportunity but I do think there is a recipe for infidelity. I have a longtime friend who was in same situation as me - sexually and emotionally ignored by her husband, he probably has a porn issue, he had some FOO issues that were NEVER talked about. The difference is they don't have kids and she works full time. She definitely had opportunity and the thing about boundaries is that they tend to shift when you are drinking and away from home and starting to cross lines. So something you believe about yourself when sitting here sober and typing on a keyboard and hurt that your spouse went astray may very well be something different you feel when you have an opportunity, someone expresses interest, you've both had a little too much to drink and someone dares to cross a line and the other follows suit and convinces themselves in their mind that what they are doing "isn't so bad…no one will find out." Shirley Glass wrote about this in "NOT 'Just Friends'" and I have to believe that she knows what she is describing. She researched infidelity for years. I guess what I now believe is that ANYONE is capable of crossing the line because the boundaries of what is appropriate tend to change when there is a perfect storm.


BS - mid-40's
SAWH - mid 40's
Kids - 2 elementary school aged
Getting tons of therapy and trying to "work it out"

Posts: 891 | Registered: Jun 2013
steadfast1973
Member
Member # 24719
Default  Posted: 9:51 AM, January 24th (Friday)

The thing about boundaries, is that I would never allow myself to be in a situation where i would be alone with another man while drinking. I HAVE that recipe. Foo issues out the ass, rSA, sexual abuse, abandonment issues... A neglectful spouse and a low self esteem brought on by aging. It's for THOSE reasons, i keep myself out of tempting situations. That's boundaries. I am not all high and mighty saying, I'm morally better than anyone. Simply, live by stricter boundaries. I have male friends. One of which, at one time was my best friend. Since i got married (the first time) I kept them at arms length. We keep in touch, share news, pictures of family... But we've not had so much as coffee alone together. As a married woman, I have no business going on "dates", with anyone other than my H. That's my boundary. I avoid getting anywhere near that slope, because I know how slippery it can be. Anyone has it in them to become a wayward. It's boundaries that keep us from doing so.


Me- 40- BS Him- 36- WH D-day#1 5/25/09 3 mo. EA d-day#2 11/06/13 Prostitute 11/5/13 in R
"I've seen your flag on the marble arch, our love is not a victory march, it's a cold and broken hallelujah."- Leonard Cohen

Posts: 2256 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: Midwest
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 10:09 AM, January 24th (Friday)

Blakesteele-- Sorry to t/j here, but I did ask, out loud, clearly and repeatedly for the intimacy and connection that I felt was missing from my H. All it did was cause him to withdraw further (he saw it as criticism and control). I tried piling on the praise, giving him space, exotic vacations, lingerie.... I designed our dream home, kept it up, raised our kids, volunteered in their school as well as in the community, cooked gourmet meals, stayed fit and well- groomed, all while working full time as a professional.

All this is just to say that it wasn't me. Wasn't the M. And there wasn't a damn thing I could have done to change him. That had to come from him, and he had to be really ready.

Womaninflux--I agree with your premise. Those of us who have been betrayed tend to be very judgmental of the betrayers, for very good reason!! But slippery slope notwithstanding, human beings are very complex, we have very different upbringings and life experiences. People will say--I was abused and I didn't cheat, or, I had a crappy childhood...or of course, I was in the same M and I didn't cheat. However, even siblings can have different experiences growing up in the same house, much less one person's FOO or CSA. I'm not making excuses at all for someone's deliberate choices, just saying that we can never be sure how we would react, with a different upbringing, different brain chemistry in a different situation. It is not as easy as saying that some of us are basically bad and immoral and others are good and moral.

My father prides himself on his loyalty and, I believe, would never cheat on my mother. However he verbally, and during a stressful time when I was a child physically, abuses her. Is he a better man than my H? He would sure say so.

And to further thread jack, I suspect sometimes WS intentionally use alcohol to "allow" themselves to cross that line, especially in the beginning.

Eta--yep steadfast, I agree, boundaries are the difference and something that can be learned if desired.

[This message edited by catlover50 at 10:11 AM, January 24th (Friday)]



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1729 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
bionicgal
Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 10:19 AM, January 24th (Friday)

And there wasn't a damn thing I could have done to change him. That had to come from him, and he had to be really ready.

You know, seeing the changes in my husband since dday, I can't help but think that this is true for us as well. It took really blowing it, for my H to evaluate his personal/emotional life, his priorities, what he really wanted, and how much he was willing to change to have a better marriage. Because our marriage was on balance good, there was just no real impetus for either of us to do anything differently. (Except the whole "real intimacy" thing, which both of us were kind of clueless about.)

The crisis (he generated) became the opportunity. I hate it, he hates it, and I wish it had happened differently, but we are doing the best with what we have at this point.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 10:19 AM, January 24th (Friday)]


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is more like a mental break than a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 1944 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
SoVerySadNow
Member
Member # 36711
Default  Posted: 11:47 AM, January 24th (Friday)

- Sorry to t/j here, but I did ask, out loud, clearly and repeatedly for the intimacy and connection that I felt was missing from my H. All it did was cause him to withdraw further (he saw it as criticism and control). I tried piling on the praise, giving him space, exotic vacations, lingerie.... I designed our dream home, kept it up, raised our kids, volunteered in their school as well as in the community, cooked gourmet meals, stayed fit and well- groomed, all while working full time as a professional.

And I appologize ahead for the t/j.
This describes me too, except that I didn't continue working. I stayed home to make life easier for WH.
After much searching, reading and discussions (as well as a year, so far, of IC for WH) I feel in our case there was a lack of connection for us from the beginning. I had no idea of the extent of his FOO issues. They crippled him and made him wear a mask.

I gave WH my love and adoration, but even ego stroking from me didn't prevent him from thinking that the same words from a stranger meant more. Lack of boundaries- absolutely. Add in opportunity. Wham! He was all in. I had just had a difficult delivery of our first child four weeks before. He's also mentioned possibly feeling jealous of attention I received during that time.

So maybe the poor boundaries put him into a situation that allowed opportunities to happen. Flirting followed by meeting at a hotel bar brought extremely poor boundaries together with opportunity. Poor boundaries got even worse and things progressed to unprotected sex. Compartmentalization tied it all up neatly into a dirty little package.

I think that the opportunity to explore loose and inappropriate boundaries is what you are talking about.
Thought provoking thread-thanks Blakesteele!


Me:BW
Him:WH
D-day(s),after years of TT and Gaslighting was Labor Day Weekend 2012, continuing for a week after. *Dammit! More TT 3/9/13
Really trending toward D- planning about it is my "happy place" now.

Posts: 1292 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Sunny Florida
blakesteele
Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 1:01 PM, January 24th (Friday)

Please....never worry about t/j any of my posts.....I love to see them grow on their own.

I enjoy the fluid nature.

Plus, many of my posts need help to mature!

Peace.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3635 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
Topic Posts: 53