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User Topic: Are Affairs always due to "brokenness"?
FightingBack
Member
Member # 34770
Default  Posted: 12:42 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

And what exactly is "brokenness"?

Is having an affair always due to an inability or unwillingness to cope with stresses, unmet needs, FOO issues?

What if the reason simply because an opportunity presented itself and the betrayer was selfish enough to enjoy the attention, the ego boost, the sex?

Does the fact that they were selfish mean that they were "broken"?

Does enjoying the attention and/or sex mean that there is a deep reason or need for external validation?

What if the betrayer just never really cared that much for their spouses feelings? They didn't choose to cheat because they wanted to hurt their spouse, just didn't care enough for them to deny themselves what they wanted. Especially if they were confident that their affair would never be found out, no one would be hurt right?

Keeping secrets was their way of protecting their spouse, as well as protecting their lifestyle and reputation.

What if there was no child abuse or sex abuse in their past that we can discover and say "aha, no wonder this person is damaged and hurting." There is no alcohol or drug abuse, no sex addiction, no personality disorder. Yes there was a sense of entitlement and lack of empathy, but that is not enough to be labeled as a narcissist.

Poor boundaries obviously, but enough boundaries to protect themselves from becoming totally enmeshed or entrapped. Marital boundaries that stretch enough to include an AP but not enough to break the marriage wide open.

Is one "broken" if they don't create boundaries to protect their families from intruders? What if they enjoy the intrusion? What if they just didn't care enough to stop the intrusion?

Just simply, not enough love.

I have been searching for the "why" because I didn't want to accept what my H told me on dday. He said he did it because he enjoyed it. Is he "broken"? or was he just being perfectly honest with me?


Me 53
WH 58
Married 25 years
4 children S30,D24, S23,S21
D-Day Nov. 29, 2011
15 year affair with married employee.
Together trying to make sense of it all!

Posts: 785 | Registered: Feb 2012
lhhell
Member
Member # 40332
Default  Posted: 12:52 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

OMG this is probably the best question I've seen asked. Sometimes it feels like there's no "broken", just someone who's self-absorbed and selfish. I don't know the answer and I guess it's a case by case basis.

I know my husband is really trying to make things work. It's been a year and a bit and I look at him and all I see is someone who really only cares about what he wants.


Me: BS
Him: WH
Dday: Jan 4, 2013

Posts: 52 | Registered: Aug 2013
Howie
Member
Member # 41922
Default  Posted: 12:53 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

There are many reasons and more excuses.People, the circumstance differ. You have covered many of the angles in a thoughtful post.There is a universe of motives, some "perps" are deeply damaged at the level of self-esteem. Others have issues in the marriage- bad sex,for instance. Whatever. 15 years later, I still struggle with "why?"
To give my opinion, yes some do it for the pure fun.The thrill, a new partner, the high of the drama. Entertainment .My wife said she enjoyed-get this-the identity of being an adulteress.Sorta a hero, a spy, a star. Oh yes. We are talking extreme selfishness. As she said "if you don't know and feel no real difference in the relationship- you aren't being hurts, are you?" Does that answer the question? best-

Posts: 183 | Registered: Jan 2014
Lovedyoumore
Member
Member # 35593
Default  Posted: 12:55 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

I would say carrying on a 15 year A would indicate some brokenness. The long term deceit does not indicate a healthy individual with a healthy mentality. The length of the A shows that your H definitely got something good from it or he would have ended it earlier. The brokenness comes into play due to the fact he had to have an A to find that satisfaction rather find it in his "real" life.


Me 52
WH 52
Married 30+ years
Together trying to R

I tell people I am tired but really my heart is broken and I am sad.


Posts: 1532 | Registered: May 2012 | From: Southern, bless your heart
Razor
Member
Member # 16345
Default  Posted: 1:04 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

*broken* could be one of those words that has a different meaning to different people. Its also a word that can be used as a excuse.

*you cant blame me for what I did because Im broken*

EVERYONE has FOO issues. EVERYONE is selfish. But not everyone cheats.

It could be that it comes down to entitlement. *I matter more than you do* and *my happiness is more important than any pain you may feel*

Opportunity.
Can get away with it.
Wanted to do it.


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
hummingbird8
Member
Member # 25086
Default  Posted: 1:16 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

My opinion is unpopular and I was the BS. Divorced and happily remarried now.

I think there are people who are just serial cheaters. They will cheat because they can no matter who they are with. They have multiple partners and have cheated multiple times in the past.

Then I think there are those who choose the "cowards way out" and have issues in the marriage that they have talked with the BS about and nothing has changed. Whether it's they don't want to lose time with kids, split money or whatever, they truly want out of the marriage but instead they cheat. I think they will cheat maybe once maybe multiple times then will leave and could possibly be happy and faithful to someone else.

I think most people have some brokenness not necessarily from abuse. Some cheat, some overeat, some abuse alcohol, some are in denial.

I personally don't believe every affair is from fog, brokenness or whatever. But I think it depends on past behavior and the behavior when they cheated.


Posts: 510 | Registered: Aug 2009
AFrayedKnot
Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 1:25 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

If there was integrity, meaning no brokenness, there would be no reason to lie or hide anything. They would be able to communicate their wants and needs and allow others to let them be filled or not and decide whether to keep those people in their life or not.

Brokenness is doing something you shouldn't do and hiding it. If someone truely believes in their heart and soul they should be doing something then there is never a reason to hide it.

The brokenness is really abandoning themselves.


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: 2647 | Registered: Aug 2012
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 1:48 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

I think there are many reasons. As far as "brokenness" goes, I don't know if one can decide a person is broken if the only sign they see is an affair. I would suspect that a broken person shows that in other aspects of their life. I will say that, in my case, I knew my husband was broken but loved him and was there for him. When he chose to cheat, I realized his brokenness was more than I could handle.


Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
SeanFLA
Member
Member # 32380
Default  Posted: 1:53 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

Then I think there are those who choose the "cowards way out" and have issues in the marriage that they have talked with the BS about and nothing has changed.

What this doesn't address is the ones that cheat but have never said they weren't happy to begin with. Either there wasn't anything really wrong in the marriage or they struggled in silence. My exWW tried to pass the later on to me said she hadn't loved me in years when I found out. Yet I have cards, presents, verbal declarations where she told me all the way up to Dday that she loved me. She never showed any sign of pulling away from.

Much of mine was due to her ego centered around a job unfortunately. Her head got too big and she used it as an exit affair. At first she was devastated she could do such a thing and actually get caught. But once the reality set in she figured she would let me take whatever it was I needed and divorced me. But I do know from quitting MC after four sessions once the MC told her that having an A is extremely selfish, she quit and basically ran to someone who would tell her she was a good person and yes it was my fault. I'd still like to get a hold of the IC who told her that and challenge his license.


BS(me) 48
WW 46
1 son 14 yrs old
Married 18 yrs, together 21 yrs

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." ~ Bob Marley


Posts: 1470 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: Zombie Land
unfound
Member
Member # 12802
Default  Posted: 1:58 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

I'm a believer that everyone is broken to some degree. It's how that brokenness manifests itself that is the difference. Why people with the same brokenness deal with it, react to it and cope with it etc differently is something I don't know.

I think a sense of entitlement, selfishness and so on is a form of being broken, regardless of whether or not youre born into it, or it's a learned (forcibly or accepted) way of being.

It's never an excuse as there's this free will and choice thing that we all have (as adults), broken or not. To me, it's when we deny/ignore/discount our brokenness that it can manifest itself into hurtful things, not only to others, but to ourselves as well.

jm2cents


ka-mai
*******************
From time to time, I do consider that I might be mad. Like any self-respecting lunatic, however, I am always quick to dismiss any doubts about my sanity. DK

Posts: 14861 | Registered: Nov 2006 | From: mercury's underboob
hummingbird8
Member
Member # 25086
Default  Posted: 2:05 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

Sean my ex would have those same letters, cards etc. That doesn't mean I also didn't tell him or that he didn't know we had major issues and I was unhappy. I would tell him all the time how unhappy I was with certain things, but if you would ask him "we" were happy because he was happy. When he cheated I left.

I think it's rare that someone doesn't bring up the things that are bothering them. Not unheard of but rare. Whether it's in the middle of a fight and someone says you don't have sex with me enough, or you don't put effort into planning things for the two of us.

A week before I left my ex I was trying my hardest get over his affair and make our marriage work. It took one small thing to push me over the edge and I was done.


Posts: 510 | Registered: Aug 2009
FightingBack
Member
Member # 34770
Default  Posted: 2:21 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

If there was integrity, meaning no brokenness, there would be no reason to lie or hide anything. ..........If someone truely believes in their heart and soul they should be doing something then there is never a reason to hide it...............
The brokenness is really abandoning themselves.

I hadn't looked at it this way. When I use the word 'integrity' I use it in terms of one's honesty, trustworthiness, sense of fairness etc. But of corse it can be used to describe a structure, a building, a bridge. When its integrity is compromised, it is unreliable, unsafe, not firm and strong, in essence, broken.


It's never an excuse as there's this free will and choice thing that we all have (as adults), broken or not. To me, it's when we deny/ignore/discount our brokenness that it can manifest itself into hurtful things, not only to others, but to ourselves as well.


Really good replies. You people are so smart.


Me 53
WH 58
Married 25 years
4 children S30,D24, S23,S21
D-Day Nov. 29, 2011
15 year affair with married employee.
Together trying to make sense of it all!

Posts: 785 | Registered: Feb 2012
Charity411
Member
Member # 41033
Default  Posted: 2:22 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

It took me years after my divorce to realize I was the broken one. He's the one that cheated, and this is in no way letting him off the hook for that, but time and distance has put it in perspective for me.

You see, now that I'm honest with myself, I knew he was a cheater when I married him. Things didn't always add up.

When I met him (on the phone because we worked for the same company in different states) he was going through a divorce. So was I. Funny but my divorce was final way before his was even though he started a lot earlier. Then there was the illegally sublet rent controlled apartment in NY he was living in that had been the apartment of a particularly bombshell co-worker. In reality, I believe he left his first wife for the co-worker, moved into her apartment and then she found someone else and he stayed in the apartment and she left. I know because I heard rumors of their affair. But I chose not to believe it. I chose not to see it. I chose to believe his story that his nurse wife had an affair with a doctor. I'm a smart lady by everyone's account, but I checked my intelligence at the door when confronted with charm, flattery and passionate sex.

In fairness, he didn't really try all that hard to hide who he was. I re-imagined him to be what I needed. Disney Imagineers have nothing on me. We would never have lasted. Our value systems were polar opposites. He had no problem cheating on taxes, buying drugs and other stuff I couldn't live with. I was the church going bible camp cook. I saw this all before I married him but I looked away and married him anyway.

So if I'm going to call him broken, I have to own the title for myself too. I've come to understand that no one can do anything to us that we don't to some degree let them do.


Posts: 391 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: Illinois
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 3:01 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

I've come to understand that no one can do anything to us that we don't to some degree let them do.

How do we allow them to cheat on us? Should we keep them locked up in handcuffs? Should we leave the house with them every time they leave? Do we never leave the house alone? Can you explain yourself a little better?


Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
Charity411
Member
Member # 41033
Default  Posted: 3:15 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

I'm talking about my situation. He would have cheated no matter what. He was a cheater when I married him and I knew it and married him anyway. So I in effect allowed this to happen to me by choosing to ignore the facts that were right there in front of me. I was catching him in lies but I wanted to believe him. I'm just being perfectly honest about my situation. He's still a scum but I was stupid. That certainly wouldn't apply to everyone. It just does to me.

He's not the only bad choice I made. In my very next relationship I did the exact same thing. Because I had been dumped and ripped off by my husband and his girlfriend I felt like an utter unattractive unlovable failure. So when the town bad boy that would never settle down in a million years hit on me, I went for it. I was going to prove I was so lovable that I could actually make the player settle down. That didn't work too well either.

So I guess what I am saying is that it really wasn't all my ex's fault. I have to take some responsibility for my own bad choices. I tried to make him into something he wasn't and that never works.


Posts: 391 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: Illinois
Uhtred
Member
Member # 40392
Default  Posted: 3:50 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

Fighting Back,

I have had this conversation verbatim with my wife. She grew up in a good home with problems like we all did. Hell my crib had lead base paint on it too!

Through doing IC she has realized that her mom was controlling but loving and her dad was a workaholic that didn't pay her much attention. Now all of the blame for the affair has been shifted to this and I hate it.

She told me she told her affair partner that she was happy with me and didn't know why she was doing this. I said perhaps because you were just being a slut? Why does there always have to be a reason?

I'm fed up with all the foo excuses. My mother was killed when I was four (we were both in an auto accident). I grew up without a mother until my step mom came along and she was a far cry from a mother at the time. Does that give me an excuse to say I need female attention and go have an affair? Hell no it doesn't.

It appears to me that counselor's like to lead people down these roads of all kinds of foo. Why can't someone just say you made a sorry choice and your a sorry excuse for a human being? That would be mean and hurt their wittle feewings I guess!


Me: BH 32years old DDay 4-29-13
Her: WW 33 years old
“Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard
Some do it with a bitter look
Some with a flattering word
The coward does it with a kiss
The brave man with a sword”

Posts: 617 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Houston, Texas
Melian40
Member
Member # 41205
Default  Posted: 4:17 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

They are broken because they don't ADMIT that there is a problem in the M or in themselves.
They are broken because they don't try to solve this problem with their spouses.
They are broken because they LIE even when you catch them. They lie to you and to themselves.
They are broken because they don't stop and think "how would I feel if I were in the shoes of my BS?'
They are broken because they don't have the guts to end the marriage when they feel no love for their spouses.
They are broken because they waste your time and withhold the CHOICE the BS could have to move on with their lives.
You can't fix a broken man, but he can break you.

You might as well consider this a little vent.


BW-me:40
BH-him:41
DD-age 9
Together 7 years, married 17 years
DD1:8/12/2013 -OW1-PA 1.5 months in 2009
DD2:8/17/2013 - OW2-EA Spring 2013- He tried to hit on her but she denied.

"You can't fix a broken man, but he can break you"


Posts: 210 | Registered: Nov 2013
Vulcanized
Member
Member # 33523
Default  Posted: 4:35 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

I think so.

I was broken, in that I knew he cheated right before the wedding. Rather than confront, I just buried it and convinced myself that I was mistaken.

Later in the M, I knew he was having an A w/my 'friend'. I couldn't get any concrete proof, but my gut was screaming. I talked to my BFF, who told me I was crazy. I let BFF talk me out of something I knew to be true.

There were numerous issues I back down from or completely ignored b/c I thought XH wouldn't be able to deal w/. Obviously, there was something wrong in me that I'd live like that for close to 10 years.

As for XH, he's a virtual cauldron of dysfunction. Drug issues, alcohol issues, cheating issues, self esteem issues, etc, etc, etc. His solution is to wallow in self-destructive behaviour. I tried numerous times (pre DD) to get him to get some therapy, and he flat out refused. According to him, he didn't need it, but I sure did!

I think a sense of entitlement, selfishness and so on is a form of being broken, regardless of whether or not youre born into it, or it's a learned (forcibly or accepted) way of being.

Exactly. I don't know which is worse, the inability to see these things in yourself or the refusal to do anything about them.

I think everyone is screwed up one way or another. It's a matter of being passive and not doing anything to change it or at least making the effort to better yourself.


Me: MH 40s; Him: MH 40s (I had RA)
OW: 30s, moron; one of many
M: 8 yrs
3/13: D'd
-----------------------------------------------------------
Everything is as it should be.

Posts: 767 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: Vulcania
whattheh
Member
Member # 40032
Default  Posted: 5:16 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

I've been pondering this too lately.

I too am tired of people being given outs for doing bad things like they had no control or couldn't help it. Many of us have suffered the same or worse and we didn't cheat.

Cheating for my fWH was very unexpected even by him. He definitely betrayed himself and his own moral code. And he is very ashamed of what he did.

I don't feel he is broken. But I do feel he lost his integrity and his authentic self when he cheated and lied about things.

Sometimes I wonder if there is evil or negative energy in the world which finds its way into some people for awhile. Not religious but I experienced a vision where Jesus told me I could trust the man in front of me now. And my fWH experienced a vision of a demon creature floating up to him in the room after dDay and he spoke out loud to it telling to get lost. We were both awake and neither of us is religious. Maybe we imagined these things separately but its not like us so who know?

[This message edited by whattheh at 5:18 PM, February 6th (Thursday)]


BW- mid 50's (me)
fWH-late 50's
M 33 T 35
DD-Early 2013 PA 2010
In R but I have PTSD...

Posts: 575 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
crazyblindsided
Member
Member # 35215
Default  Posted: 6:50 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

I think the only way to have an A is if you are broken.


BS/FWS (me):40 Madhatter
WS/BS:42 Serial Cheater
Together 18 years, Married 13
DD(10) DS(7)
DDay(s) 5/08, 5/09, 3/30/12
Final Dday 7/11/14 Affair never ended

Posts: 2266 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: California
Uhtred
Member
Member # 40392
Default  Posted: 8:27 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

We're all broken in some sort of way. Each and everyone of us have experienced trials and tribulations of some sort in life. Some more so than others. I just hate the blame shifting on being "broken". My wife has never been with anyone except for me and the first excuse I was given was "I wondered what it would be like to be with another person".

Now ten months down the road and she says that she needed male attention because of her father didn't pay her enough attention as a child. This has all come out in counseling since DDay. I don't doubt that her father didn't pay her the attention that she deserved when she was a child. I happen to know the man and he is a stand up family man that would give his life for his family without a thought. He is selfless and has sacrificed a hell of a lot to provide for all of them.

I'm sure he didn't do everything right but he damn for sure tried. I'm just really pissed off about this and this thread really hit home with the way I feel about being "broken".


Me: BH 32years old DDay 4-29-13
Her: WW 33 years old
“Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard
Some do it with a bitter look
Some with a flattering word
The coward does it with a kiss
The brave man with a sword”

Posts: 617 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Houston, Texas
FightingBack
Member
Member # 34770
Default  Posted: 9:41 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

I am beginning to think that it all comes down to how much you value your spouse, value your marriage or commitment and your own integrity.

For whatever reasons, by choosing to betray, deceive and lie, you are willing, at the time, to wager all of those things.


Me 53
WH 58
Married 25 years
4 children S30,D24, S23,S21
D-Day Nov. 29, 2011
15 year affair with married employee.
Together trying to make sense of it all!

Posts: 785 | Registered: Feb 2012
AFrayedKnot
Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 9:57 PM, February 6th (Thursday)

I don't think the value of the spouse or the marriage plays that much of a role for most WS. I don't think they consciously risk them because they never expect to get caught. I don't think it is a conscious decision that the AP is worth losing the BS. I don't think the tape is played that far out.

I think that the comparing and or devaluing of the BS comes afterward as a way to justify what has already happened and rationalize taking it further.


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: 2647 | Registered: Aug 2012
bionicgal
Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 9:16 PM, March 16th (Sunday)

I agree Chico, but I think it is a more general thoughtlessness than thinking they won't get caught for many waywards, especially ones that weren't trawling for an A. More like thinking chain smoking won't kill you, at least for a long while. It is all so theoretical.

For many, I think it like the frog in boiling water, or the slippery slope, and then "oh Sh@&", and then "getting out of this is going to be much less fun than getting into it."

But then, for many, the pain of being in the A starts to outstrip the good times. The piper wants his due. . . So 2 meet ups, 2 months or 2 years later, they confess, or get caught. (Or imagine they got caught, so they could confess, like my H).

I digress. I agree we are all broken to some degree. When bad coping, plus bad marital communication, plus a stressor come together, and opportunity knocks, then I think more of us than we imagine could cheat. Ask a wayward of they thought themselves capable of doing such a thing, and most will say no.


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is a personal crisis, not a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 2077 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
heartbroken0903
Member
Member # 27879
Default  Posted: 9:47 PM, March 16th (Sunday)

I haven't read all the replies but this from your original post stood out to me:

What if the betrayer just never really cared that much for their spouses feelings? They didn't choose to cheat because they wanted to hurt their spouse, just didn't care enough for them to deny themselves what they wanted.

This was me. Also, what Razor said.

Maybe the above-quoted paragraph describes "broken." But, as you asked in your original post, does asshole = broken? Or does it just = asshole?? Where is the difference?


Me: XWS, 30s, 5-month EA/PA in '09-'10
Husband: XBS, 40s
No kids

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

Remarried.


Posts: 2244 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: the cat's meow
IsthereEVERanend
Member
Member # 42216
Default  Posted: 12:13 AM, March 17th (Monday)

Everyone is broken to one degree or another. Everyone has FOO issues of some kind. Not everyone is blessed with, or has the moral fiber to resist sexual transgression or infidelity in their marriage. Many have that moral fiber. Many do not and every one of us on this forum can attest to that.
I have to say that in every case, something is broken.


Me: Older than dirt
FWW 63
DD 8/1990 She confessed to a 2 month ea/pa
Asked forgiveness but volunteered to leave. No way was I going to give her the boot

The eight most feared words used together in the English language: We need to talk. Th


Posts: 88 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Utah
Unagie
Member
Member # 37091
Default  Posted: 1:44 AM, March 17th (Monday)

Here is my opinion and take it with a grain of salt please. Most people are a bit broken. People have their issues, foo, addiction, abuse, workaholic, alcoholic, sex addict...the list goes on. Many people realize a healthy way to deal with these issues and learn how to cope and move on. Others never learn or do not want to learn how to cope in a healthy adult manner. Some people commit suicide, some people self harm and cut their bodies up or do drugs, some people hurt others purposely, some slap a smile on and bury it all until they are in a major depression with no true joy and some people have A's. All the destructive coping mechanisms I named can hurt more then just the person committing them and every one of their actions is on them.

Why can't someone just say you made a sorry choice and your a sorry excuse for a human being? That would be mean and hurt their wittle feewings I guess!

I did say this. I made a horrible choice and I was a horrible excuse of a human being. Was I broken, yes, I was in a depression so deep I so no way out but I didn't value myself either. Were my coping mechanisms bad? Yup I buried all of it, allowed myself to get worse, turned to alcohol then the A. Is any of it okay or an excuse? No. I did what I did and I own that. Does it hurt to hear my xSO tell me I was a horrible person. Yes. Does it hurt to see the judgement in someone's eyes when I confess my actions? Yes. Do I know that 100% my fault and I need to own that? Yes and I do. But I am human as well, being a wayward doesn't mean I am now an unfeeling monster that has no capacity to be hurt, especially as a remorseful wayward. It just means that i have to learn to handle it in a healthy way. I will forever hate the person I allowed myself to become. I will forever hate the choices I made and know that my life went to shut because I let it. Most of all I will forever hate the fact that I hurt the man I loved most in this world, the man who trusts me with his heart and life. I killed him and there is no way to bring him back. I miss him and that pain is like a knife to the heart every day. I own that I did that and that I will live with regret and shame for the rest of my life.

So yes brokenness can always exist but it is never a reason for committing these actions. The reason is different for everyone but everyone needs to eventually own the fact that they did this, they made a series of choices that destroyed their lives and the lives of others. It is a horrible thing to live with and I am sorry.


Heartbroken madhatter trying to rebuild

No longer together

"To be loyal to myself is to allow myself to grow and change, and challenge who I am and what I think."


Posts: 2767 | Registered: Oct 2012
Hope2B
Member
Member # 40474
Default  Posted: 2:07 AM, March 17th (Monday)

I struggle with the "why" as well. I actually kept a list of his different reasons/excuses for the "why."

Here are the recurring three, along with my comments:
1. He was bored--well, boo-f*cking-hoo
2. He was not happy being celibate --although he never told me this even when I asked him annually if he wanted to revisit that issue of his PE and ED!!--hellooooo, not a mind reader here!
3. I made more money than he did -- even though he had the choice get a different job that paid more, he opted for status quo...and now it's an issue even though he benefited greatly, as my spouse, from my salary!

The truth is that he did it because he could. Some hot slut crossed his path, gave him her "business" card (her cover business) because she was working a party that he crashed, and from then on, he did all the calling and contacting her because she was a *working girl* and hookers don't call their johns.

He thought I'd never find out and said he just didn't think of how I would feel.

I became unimportant to him, and was just like a piece of furniture, and I was just a living breathing human who happened to live in the house, and we did things together like family events, grocery shopping, going to the movies etc.

He loved the sex with her, said it was really GOOD, and always an 8 or a 9, sometimes a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best ever. BIG ego boost for him.

For seven years, he believed he was a sexual god, skilled, accomplished, and he actually still believes he got her off (it was her job to make him believe this)--and he always took his boner pill before seeing her.

Sex with the pretty young boobalicious blonde who really liked him was an ego boost. He thought they had a relationship and he was the only one she was seeing, and that he was special to her--but each and every time, she asked him for money to help with the bills, the rent, the cell phone bill, so he fooled himself into thinking she was his special friend who had fallen on hard times. What a fool.

He would have continued the A if I hadn't found out.

They didn't choose to cheat because they wanted to hurt their spouse, just didn't care enough for them to deny themselves what they wanted. Especially if they were confident that their affair would never be found out, no one would be hurt right?
Yuppers, what's in the quote box, but it's so much more complex than that in real life, after DDays. He didn't even consider "protecting" me--protecting me didn't enter into the equation. There was no thought to protect me at all, ever. He.Didn't.Care.

He wanted it, his life had become all about him and what he wanted much like a 2 or 3 year old demanding child, he had a sense of entitlement, and I was chopped liver.

He wasn't entrapped--she was very physically attractive, made him believe he was so wonderful and good in bed, loaded with sexual prowess, and he walked into it willingly and continued to make the choice to step outside of the marriage, all the while going to church every week and living in his special fantasy world where the whore peed rainbows, farted glitter, and pooped unicorns. His head was so far up his ass he thought that smell must have been clover.

And now, with IC and MC and reading and all the work we are still doing--where before I was nothing to him--now, like flipping a light switch, he says he loves me. Really, WH? For years I was nothing, and now you love me?

My marriage ended the day he called her to arrange to go over to her place, where he thought he might get sex.

I consider myself a widow. Instead of being married for going on 34 years, in my head I've been married for about 26...when he stepped outside of the marriage, he and the marriage I had up to that point, died.

[This message edited by Hope2B at 2:30 AM, March 17th (Monday)]


Me: early 60s
Him: 65 yrs old, LTA w/a pro$titute
Married since 1980, no children
DDay: Feb. 25, 2013
Trickle Truth Days: Sept 10, 11, 13, 15 (2013)
His affair--says it was only 8 times 1x/mo, then found out it was 7 YEARS 2-3x/mo or maybe ever 4x/mo

Posts: 360 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: out west/west coast U.S.A.
standinghere
Member
Member # 34689
Default  Posted: 2:46 AM, March 17th (Monday)

Yes.

Were you hurt because of the affair?

Did your husband not protect you, his family, from the intruder but participate in the damage?

Did your husband do something without regard for the pain and hurt it would cause another person, while he had fun?

Did your husband not recognize that what he was doing would hurt you terribly?

I would say that a yes answer to any of those questions means he is broken.

But, what you wrote, to me, is the very definition of broken.

Is one "broken" if they don't create boundaries to protect their families from intruders? What if they enjoy the intrusion? What if they just didn't care enough to stop the intrusion?

The question is not whether he is broken, but "why".

My wife enjoyed the affair and the attention it brought. She got a thrill out of the secrecy. When she confessed, she just wanted to say that was all there was to it, just having careless fun. Our MC put a stop to that pretty quickly...but it still took her months to really begin to talk, and year at least to get to her why, and she is still working on her self actions and responses to others 4 years out.


BH - Me - Late 30's (now late 40's)
WW - Her - Late 30's (now late 40's)
4 Children
Her - Love of my life...still is.
Reconciled - Partly...she can't get over it.
Her - Thunderstruck by what she did.

Posts: 1020 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: USA
Ellejay
Member
Member # 30498
Default  Posted: 3:13 AM, March 17th (Monday)

Excellent post Fightingback

What if the betrayer just never really cared that much for their spouses feelings? They didn't choose to cheat because they wanted to hurt their spouse, just didn't care enough for them to deny themselves what they wanted. Especially if they were confident that their affair would never be found out, no one would be hurt right?

I think this hits the nail on the head where my ex H is concerned. I can sit back now after 3 years and say that I don't believe he cheated on me with intent to hurt. There are just some parts of his psyche that are incapable of empathy. I don't know whether this points to narcissism or sociopathy or not. My head can no longer figure it out.

I know he loved me (as much as he could) but it just never included respect for my feelings because he is incapable of seeing things from someone else's viewpoint. He is so immature that he actually admitted to me that the major part of the thrill of his A with my close friend and neighbor was the fact that me and her BH were walking around it for 5 years totally oblivious. It was the risk that was the major pull. Now to most sane people that would point to a disgusting level of cruelty and disrespect. But not to my ex H or his AP apparently. They gave no thought to the disrespect involved at all, the victims did not even come into the equation and I am including the BS's, all our children, extended family and community. It is all about the feelings that they, the WS's and AP are receiving. It is their personal "high" and even if they do feel initial guilt, this high is too great to deny themselves.

It is definitely a major sense of entitlement, whether or not you can describe the cheater as "broken" or just plain selfish and immature. I can't even label it anymore.

My ex H told me to my face that I had done NOTHING wrong. That it was all him. Then I find out from friends that he is going around saying it is my fault because I didn't give him enough sex (which is true - for many reasons) and that because I had had his babies I was no longer a thrill for him. Lovely.

Everyone needs to be validated from time to time, everyone has had their share of problems, family traumas, illness, work pressures, worries over children/sibling/parents, lack of sex drive at various times due to illness/childbirth/pregnancy etc etc.

Whatever drives someone to have an affair, whatever complex emotional issues there are, whatever problems there are within a relationship or even if there are none, it all comes down to this one thing:

Someone made a decision that their needs were more important than anyone else's and that it was OK to drive the marriage/relationship into a ditch.

We are all "broken", we are all cracked in some way. It is just that some of us use the cracks to let in the light and others use excuses to paper over them.


EJ

“Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light.“ - Groucho Marx

[This message edited by Ellejay at 3:16 AM, March 17th (Monday)]


Married 25 years now divorced.
D-Day: 20/11/10
Me: 48.5 plus 10% GST
Him: mental age 6 (apologies to all 6 year olds)
Betrayal: Who cares anymore?

Posts: 1096 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Adelaide, South Australia
somanyyears
Member
Member # 26970
Default  Posted: 9:07 AM, March 17th (Monday)


..there's a million different reasons..

..none of them are 'GOOD' reasons!!!!

smy


trust no other human- love only your pets
She isn't and never was who I thought..I can't believe who I married and what she did to us.
Me 67
Her 63
Married 42 yrs (together 47)
18 yr LTA with bf


Posts: 4129 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: the sad state of affairs
RyeBread
Member
Member # 37437
Default  Posted: 9:26 AM, March 17th (Monday)

I know in my case it is due to my STBXWW's brokenness. Needing constant affirmation and validation caused a lot of issues for us even pre-A. She chose to cope with it by finding another man.

I think A's are based on a combination of low self-esteem and lack of moral character. How each person manifests these things depends on the person. Some choose A's, others choose another way to be self destructive. Unfortunately those closest to them are the collateral damage for their selfish choices.


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

Posts: 1030 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Midwest
Long Gone
Member
Member # 32587
Default  Posted: 9:37 AM, March 17th (Monday)

I don't buy "Broken" for a second......

Broken means what? Someone give me a definition I can wrap my head around.

In my opinion....we are all broken. I was broken by my parents awful divorce....my Dads promises to stick around which always failed.....my warped 16 year old baby sitter (female) who liked to explore....being jumped by 4 seniors because I was talking with another female senior and they deemed me unworthy as a soph (I wasnt cool). They beat me unconcious.....Army and deployed to 2 conflicts.....death of my mother to cancer and wasn't around due to financial issues....growing up deathly poor......then...the almighty affair.

Broken......to me is a sad excuse for "Why"....this is just my opinion.

Apply the 5 Whys......

Why did you have the affair? "Im Broken"
Why are you Broken? - "crickets"

[This message edited by Long Gone at 9:38 AM, March 17th (Monday)]


D-Day 11/26/10

Posts: 772 | Registered: Jun 2011
PeaceLove187
Member
Member # 33559
Default  Posted: 10:04 AM, March 17th (Monday)

Yes, everyone who has an A is broken to some extent. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily demolished, but something inside them doesn’t work right. Maybe it’s an excessive need for validation. Maybe it’s an inability to feel empathy. Maybe it’s depression. There are a million pieces inside us that can malfunction and each of us has something that doesn’t work right, but the WS’s brokenness falls in whatever sector of their brain handles commitment and integrity.

While I think I understand what this quote is saying, I’m not sure I can agree that it explains the A:

Then I think there are those who choose the "cowards way out" and have issues in the marriage that they have talked with the BS about and nothing has changed.

The thing is, choosing the “coward’s way out” is the choice of a broken person. A whole person doesn’t choose to hurt the BS so badly just to force the BS to be the strong one and end the marriage. I’m also fairly well convinced most exit affairs only get labeled exit affairs after the A is discovered. It’s an easy excuse and if the WS had really intended to end the marriage he or she would have done so. Most so-called exit affairs are just another way of blaming the BS for the WS’s selfish behavior. And I say this from the experience of being very unhappy before my H’s first A decades ago and feeling strongly attracted to a man who seemed to be attracted to me. I could have started an A and called it an exit affair but I wasn’t broken in that way. I’m too smart to buy all the rationalizations I was trying to give myself and too empathetic to hurt my H in that way. Divorce was an option but an A was not.

What if the betrayer just never really cared that much for their spouses feelings? They didn't choose to cheat because they wanted to hurt their spouse, just didn't care enough for them to deny themselves what they wanted.

Bingo. And the “not caring” has to extend to a lot of people for the A to occur. I’m ashamed to say that if I had launched into an A in the example above then his wife’s pain wouldn’t have been a consideration. I had projected my complaints about my M onto his M and had convinced myself his wife didn’t deserve him. It has helped a little in our R that I get this, that I understand how easily the AP can dismiss the impact of the A on a person she has never even met. It’s part of the fantasy and the AP can paint the BS as any type of character she wants in her fantasy story or write her out entirely and pretend she doesn’t exist.

Of course realizing my H doesn’t care as much about my feelings as I do about his isn’t exactly comfortable. He’s learning how to think of other people’s needs above his own and he’s being rewarded with a much better relationship with his daughter and with me. I guess that’s part of fixing his brokenness.


BW--Me, 57
FWH--Him, 59
Married 35 years
Empty Nesters

Posts: 639 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: Midwest
obliquestrat
Member
Member # 42165
Default  Posted: 10:23 AM, March 17th (Monday)

I don't think the value of the spouse or the marriage plays that much of a role for most WS. I don't think they consciously risk them because they never expect to get caught. I don't think it is a conscious decision that the AP is worth losing the BS. I don't think the tape is played that far out.

I think that the comparing and or devaluing of the BS comes afterward as a way to justify what has already happened and rationalize taking it further.


I hate the term "broken." This quote really resonated with me!


ME: BS 36 - HER: WS 33
TOGETHER: 2001 - MARRIED: 2008 - KIDS: 2 (3 and 1)
D-DAY: 1/6/2014 (accidentally discovered 3M EA which had developed into sexting, makeouts, tickets for biz trip to Disneyworld)
R, IC, MC, NC (coworker)

Posts: 109 | Registered: Jan 2014
sisoon
Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 1:44 PM, March 17th (Monday)

Again, to say the WS is 'broken' is just a quick, convenient way to say the WS has to fix something. It's not an excuse - 'Gee, I'm broken, so you can't expect me to act like a full-fledged member of the human race.'

It's more like, "My cheating shows everyone something is off about the way I act, so I'll fix what's broken and rejoin the human race.'

Or, when WS says, 'I'm broken, so you can't expect me to act like a full-fledged member of the human race,' ...

BS says, 'ILYBINILY - get out!'


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10421 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
cvs2kkids
Member
Member # 41298
Default  Posted: 2:08 PM, March 17th (Monday)

In an over-sexualized world where it's a "me first philosophy", marriage partners have to work to keep the focus on the other partner.

Many times there's brokenness, most times it's selfishness.

Here's an article that I came across (maybe here?) that lays the foundation for a successful marriage.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/seth-adam-smith/marriage-isnt-for-you_b_4209837.html

It's easier to wish someone is broken and that's the "why?", but sometimes it's just because of the convenience and the ego boost, nothing more/nothing less.

[This message edited by cvs2kkids at 2:08 PM, March 17th (Monday)]


Philippians 4:6-7

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your mind


Posts: 234 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: NB Canada
Gotmegood
Member
Member # 41407
Default  Posted: 2:41 PM, March 17th (Monday)


Is having an affair always due to an inability or unwillingness to cope with stresses, unmet needs, FOO issues?

This is why I love SI. It's a complex question, and in this post are some very thoughtful and thought provoking statements and opinions.
For me, I think the answer to your first question is that involving yourself in an A is at the very least ALWAYS a SHITTY (self-centered) way to handle stress, unmet needs or FOO issues. Some adulterers may do it to be purposefully hurtful; some may be involved in an A because they truly are personality disordered to the point that their psyche is wired in a way that they don't see their behavior as wrong, but ALL of the time it is selfish. All of the time it is sneaky. All of the time it includes lying. All of the time it is deceitful. And pretty much most of the time, they do not want to be caught.
That's my 2 cents.


Me: faithful wife 62.
Him: WH 64 , prostitute 20 yr old
DDay: 8-13-2013
Status: boinging up and down like a yo-yo

Posts: 495 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: Florida
Wodnships
Member
Member # 42750
Default  Posted: 3:34 PM, March 17th (Monday)

I've been thinking about this a lot. I've talked about my wife's issues in various details in many other threads. The truth is I married a woman who had no understanding of adult relationships, and no skills in dealing with them. Not a single role model in her life for it, and most of her family interactions are so dysfunctional it's damaging.

It was insane for me to look at that and think we could find a way to have a healthy relationship without help. I often marveled that she turned out as well as she did all things considered. But I was blind in many ways and this all lead directly to her affair.

That being said none of it justifies or excused her actions. As an adult we are responsible for ourselves. If there is something from the past driving us in a way that we don't want to go we are responsible to find a way to work through that.

Over all there is a clear brokenness to someone who has an affair. Even a cereal cheater who puts his family on the line for personal gratification is at best a narcissist. There is nothing together about narcissism.

The question is, is the WS willing to fix what is broken in them that lead to cheating. Or are they going to give lip services to the BS and comfortably slip back into the same old patterns.

It's a lot easier for someone like my wife to recognize that there is a problem, then it is for a narcissists. My wife realizes she feels bad all time time and doesn't want to any more. Where a narcissist thinks they are perfect.


me: BH 35
Her: WW 28

Married 4 years. Dating 8. Living together 7.

If a man took his time on earth
to prove be for he died
what on man's life could be worth
I wonder what would happen to the world

- Harry Chapin


Posts: 519 | Registered: Mar 2014 | From: California
SoVerySadNow
Member
Member # 36711
Default  Posted: 8:08 PM, March 17th (Monday)

I don't think they consciously risk them because they never expect to get caught. I don't think it is a conscious decision that the AP is worth losing the BS. I don't think the tape is played that far out.

I think this fits in my WH's case. He has said virtually the same thing.


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
still-living
Member
Member # 30434
Default  Posted: 9:25 PM, March 17th (Monday)

This is broken and needs exploring,

he enjoyed it

-not enough value inside worth protecting, not enough value lost, not enough intrinsic motivation to say no, -resulting in animalistic like, survival-like, selfish-like, short selling behavior.



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: 784 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Ches
Bobbi_sue
Member
Member # 10347
Default  Posted: 6:31 AM, March 18th (Tuesday)

There are words that have very little meaning to me because they are so overused. Brokenness and special are two of them.

I think most people whether they are a BS or WS or neither could be labeled as broken because of the way they cope, or other aspects of their lives.

I believe that many or at least some who "cheat" have a different set of morals, different than the morals of those who don't cheat. They don't think it is "wrong" to follow their hearts (or lust). They consider it natural and almost unnavoidable. They believe themselves to be "wired" that way. That does not make them "broken" but does make them "not my kind" of person.



Posts: 5764 | Registered: Apr 2006
cvs2kkids
Member
Member # 41298
Default  Posted: 7:50 AM, March 18th (Tuesday)

This is broken and needs exploring,

he enjoyed it

-not enough value inside worth protecting, not enough value lost, not enough intrinsic motivation to say no, -resulting in animalistic like, survival-like, selfish-like, short selling behavior.

With all due respect, maybe, maybe not.

In a world of Ashley Madson, AFF, Craigslist, etc.. it is too easy to find no-strings sex.

In a world of FB, smart phones, cell phones, 100's of free email services, its easy to stay hidden.

Yes, many people have severe FOO issues, but given enough time, a psychiatrist can find issues with anybody.

As BS's, we wish to answer "why?" easily and deflect some blame off of our WS and on to "circumstances". In most cases, they are looking out for the most basic of animal instinct and after themselves.

All we can do is either accept that bad choice, maybe get to the root of it, and either D or accept and move forward.

On SI, we find people of a similar mindset about monogamy and commitment. If you go to mainstream websites and magazines like Ask Men, Cosmo, etc. although not telling people to cheat directly, they glorify a life of multiple partners, no commitment, mind blowing sex.

As my kids get older, I preach to them the anti-message of all that. They have to understand the joy of an LTR and the consequences that come from breaking that commitment.


[This message edited by cvs2kkids at 7:52 AM, March 18th (Tuesday)]


Philippians 4:6-7

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your mind


Posts: 234 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: NB Canada
still-living
Member
Member # 30434
Default  Posted: 5:29 PM, March 18th (Tuesday)

In a world of Ashley Madson, AFF, Craigslist, etc.. it is too easy to find no-strings sex.

In a world of FB, smart phones, cell phones, 100's of free email services, its easy to stay hidden.

Right. So we can either conclude that having an affair is right or wrong depending on how we craft and spin our thoughts. However, if we conclude that having an affair is wrong, and with all the stealthly no-strings opportunities existing out there, then what else stops a person from having an affair? The only stop that remains comes from within, and if we can't call that stop broken then how can we call having the affair wrong? My thoughts are that when things are right, having an affair should feel wrong, cause pain, and certainly should not be enjoyed for several reasons. Having an affair should be taking away, more than it provides.



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: 784 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Ches
BtraydWife
Member
Member # 42581
Default  Posted: 6:09 PM, March 18th (Tuesday)

Right. So we can either conclude that having an affair is right or wrong depending on how we craft and spin our thoughts. However, if we conclude that having an affair is wrong, and with all the stealthly no-strings opportunities existing out there, then what else stops a person from having an affair? The only stop that remains comes from within, and if we can't call that stop broken then how can we call having the affair wrong? My thoughts are that when things are right, having an affair should feel wrong,

This! When I say broken I mean they have personal issues that allowed them to have an A. There is something that stops people from having As. That thing in them is broken.

That doesn't mean people who don't cheat don't have their own problems, most do. It just means the A is a symptom of unhealthy thinking and behaving that originates from something deeper. It's why they can't fix it on their own. Their "fix" of the problem was to have an A. They clearly aren't qualified for the job of figuring themselves out.

Same with people who are just assholes. The only difference is the assholes have no intention of getting "fixed" because they don't have a problem with the consequences of their actions. They are fine to continue using people's lives for their own benefit. They will probably be pissed at losing control over their BSs but there is no empathy there, just an asshole.


Me-BW
Him-WH
DD-March 2010
TT for 6 months
Unremorseful for 3.5 years

Delay is the deadliest form of denial. - C. Northcote Parkinson

Your standards aren't up for negotiation just because he/she can't meet them.


Posts: 1983 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: United States
still-living
Member
Member # 30434
Default  Posted: 8:32 PM, March 18th (Tuesday)

It''s why they can''t fix it on their own.

But they can, and they must, otherwise they are allowing themselves to be controlled by fear. Choosing not to have an affair should be a positive choice which must be derived from a new set of beliefs, imo


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: 784 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Ches
Topic Posts: 46