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"Mistake"

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hedothprotest posted 10/19/2019 15:42 PM

Frequently on here I see posters writing that having an affair isn't a mistake...that a mistake is only something minor like grabbing the wrong milk at the store. When I first started reading the Just Found Out forum, this confused me, because the definition of mistake is "an action or judgment that is misguided or wrong". Isn't that what an affair is? Maybe just not one mistake, but usually a series wrong actions? Wouldn't it be considered a mistake if a husband thought his wife would never find out and she did? He had the misguided judgment to believe he is smarter than her, right? There can be little mistakes, accidental mistakes, like grabbing the wrong milk, but there are also huge mistakes like thinking you can flirt without crossing the next line and underestimating your self control.

I only mention that this because I think we are being adamant about defining the word, and we're off the mark. I think that other readers might be confused (like I was) by the limited idea that a mistake has to be an accident. That's because it's not true and it's not the only definition of the word. I also think that when a WS uses this word, it is important because it shows us what sort of judgments that person was making. That can tell us a lot about them and their value systems and reasoning processes.

[This message edited by hedothprotest at 3:56 PM, October 19th (Saturday)]

beenthereinco posted 10/19/2019 15:53 PM

I think where the problem comes in for me when someone says that an Affair was a mistake is the lumping of so many decisions, deceptions, lies, events, etc. into one word that as you say can mean something as minor as forgetting to pick up the shirts at the cleaner. When someone classifies an Affair as a "mistake" it typically done as a way to minimize it and that is to me the issue. If someone were to say that an Affair was a series of large and small mistakes, committed over and over, with knowledge that each one of them was wrong then maybe the word "mistake" would be appropriate but that is not what is done. It is this minimization of an Affair by classifying it as a single "mistake" that is wrong with the word.

rugswept posted 10/19/2019 15:58 PM

Mistake = Minimize
Followed by rugsweeping.
Until they meet again.
Or, it's someone else.

hedothprotest posted 10/19/2019 16:00 PM

So it has more to do with the singular nature of mistake that is the problem? I guess that makes sense. But I do think that mistakes are at the heart of almost every A (with the exception)of those infidelities that are committed with the explicit desire to hurt the other person).

The1stWife posted 10/19/2019 16:02 PM

A mistake is an error that is made unintentionally. Like you went to the store and picked up the wrong kind of ice cream. Or you added 4 + 3 and you got 8. A mistake is you thought your meeting was at 2 pm not 3 pm.

An affair (unless it is a drunken one night stand) is not a mistake. It is a series of choices made knowing you are doing the wrong thing almost every step of the way. You flirt. Wrong. You flirt a bit more. Wrong. You start texting. Wrong.

If you never told your spouse about any of these interactions it is because the cheater (or soon to be cheater) knows this is wrong. And the spouse wonít tolerate it. It then progresses to either an emotional affair or a physical affair.

The choices made are wrong. But it is a conscious decision to have a relationship outside of the marriage. The results of the flirting or interaction are intended.

rugswept posted 10/19/2019 16:10 PM

I agree with The1stWife.

The only time an affair is a "Mistake" is if it's a one time moment of weakness, a one night stand, where someone just got caught up in the moment. That still means there are issues, but they are far more limited than a "mistake" that goes through the many stages of the usual A, where there are many opportunities to turn back and say, no, I can't do this.

MyAnimals posted 10/19/2019 16:30 PM

I think it's not that the word mistake is incorrect, so much as it is incomplete.

Mistake sounds like "oops." It implies a lack of ownership/accountability for what at a base level is a choice.

From personal experience I will say my ww likes to use the phrase "I wasn't thinking" which is her way of saying "oops" i.e. mistake.

Marz posted 10/19/2019 16:37 PM

Affairs don't just happen. You have to make a concentrated effort to carry one out. It's a choice/decision willingly made.

Want2BHappyAgain posted 10/19/2019 16:56 PM

This thread comes up regularly . My H said he made a HUGE mistake in deciding to have an A while working overseas. I understood that...until I came on here and saw people writing about mistake vs choice. I understood that too.

I thought about it... and came to the conclusion that my H made a horrible CHOICE when he decided to have NSA sex...but he made the MISTAKE of thinking he could keep this a secret. This mistake led him to keep making the choice to stay in the A until he came back to the States. He never expected the overwhelming guilt that he felt when he saw me at the airport when he came back home. He confessed to the A two days later. He had no other choice...he couldnít function with the shame he felt.

The way I see it...either word...mistake or choice...can work depending on what the circumstances are. If you feel more comfortable saying ďmistakeĒ...and that fits for your situation...then use it .

landclark posted 10/19/2019 17:12 PM

I feel comfortable saying choice, in my case. My WH went through 10 years of EAs. He wasnít making a mistake, it was a choice. The only mistake he made was underestimating how much it would hurt me.

One could argue that the start of the first EA was a mistake. Continuing it was a choice. He knew he was doing wrong. Heís not a stupid man.

I honestly feel like saying it was a mistake is minimizing and almost absolving people of their actions.

SMSA925 posted 10/19/2019 17:18 PM

I believe a mistake is different from a moral failure.
A mistake doesnt involve knowing something is wrong and doing it anyway. I have NEVER seen an unintentional affair, although some WS (mine as well) tried the "I wasnt looking to have an affair line. An affair is preplanned behavior where the WS gets a desired result.

TheGuy123 posted 10/19/2019 17:24 PM

The mistake was not leaving the bar as soon as she found out the friends bailed on the GNO. The choice getting drunk and banging strange in a pick up truck in the parking lot.

The mistake was not letting her H know she had a problem. The choice was seeing the OM again at a motel this time.

The mistake was not finding professional help for her issues. The choice was acting on these unhealthy issues knowing there was help for said unhealthy behaviors!

The mistake was not knowing she was in a no parking zone at OM place. The choice was not paying the ticket.

The mistake was staying with an abusive husband. The choice was betraying said husband instead of leaving his sorry ass with moral compass intact.

The mistake was leaving her phone out. The choice was phucking around again after getting busted.

[This message edited by TheGuy123 at 5:30 PM, October 19th (Saturday)]

TheGuy123 posted 10/19/2019 17:33 PM

The mistake was trusting her. The choice was taking her back!!!!

Buffer posted 10/19/2019 17:52 PM

A mistake = unintentionally doing something.
Infidelity = conscious decision or act by one or both parties.

Going somewhere, getting naked and bumping up repeatedly against someone else canít be construed as a selfish mistake.

I believe it is the WS trying to lessen their actions.

Thoughts?

amli posted 10/19/2019 18:36 PM

I don't think it's a matter of disagreeing with the definition, the harm is that it is too simplistic. If someone says "I am sorry", okay, great, but for what and why are you sorry? It was a mistake is too vague too be of any value, particularly when it is an ongoing one. No one grabs the wrong bottle of milk many times over, more likely they chose it the other times. So, no, mistake is not sufficient.

Brokenandsolost posted 10/19/2019 19:33 PM

I personally hate this bullshit term. My WW used it a lot in the beginning and every time it was like a slap in the face to me. Thankfully she no longer uses this word when referring to her betrayal.

InvoluntarilyCuc posted 10/19/2019 22:36 PM

Your defintion of "mistake" is correct. Many people get the words "accident" and "mistake" confused.

However I dont believe affairs are mistakes. They are 100% deliberate. They know its wrong but they do it anyways.

Its like writing a test and you write the wrong solutions to the problems knowing full well they are the wrong answers. When you write the wrong answer but you believe it to be correct, that is a mistake.

MalibuBayBreeze posted 10/19/2019 23:40 PM

My WH had a LTA. That was no mistake. That was a choice. A conscious choice made over and over again. There is a tremendous amount of time, planning and effort that goes into a LTA and it happened because he wanted it to. Nothing about that is accidental.

Dragonfly123 posted 10/20/2019 02:37 AM

My WH didnít make a mistake, he made a conscious choice to give a woman who was attracted to him his number. He then made a conscious choice to answer her texts. He then made a conscious choice to flirt with her. He then made a conscious choice to hide the communication from me. He then made a conscious choice to kiss her, touch her, fuck her etc etc. None of those actions were mistakes. Not one. Do I believe it was a domino effect.. yes... but each action led to the likelihood of the next happening, and he absolutely wanted those things to happen. I stick with conscious actions because Ďmistakesí minimises the damage, minimised the pain, minimises the intention behind every move. This was a deliberate action, mistake implies reflection on an action, there was no reflection on any action after that first number was swapped.

[This message edited by Dragonfly123 at 2:39 AM, October 20th (Sunday)]

Marie2792 posted 10/20/2019 19:56 PM

Someone has a tag line here that explains it perfectly:

A mistake is running a stop sign you didnít see. A bad choice is seeing the sign and driving through it anyway. Affairs are not mistakes. They are intentional. My husbands penis didnít fall into the OWs vagina. They rented a room, bought condoms, got undressed and had sex. All choices.

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