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Podcast With Infidelity Theme

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Butforthegrace posted 11/20/2019 13:26 PM

I was listening today to the podcast "Criminal" by Phoebe Judge, episode 121 ("Off Leash").

It describes a married woman who worked for years in a prison running a prison service dog program who ended up getting into an affair with an inmate serving a life sentence for a carjack that resulted in a killing. She ultimately agreed to help him escape, based on a fantasy of running off with him and living happily ever after.

The sheer lunacy of the thought that this could ever work is overwhelming. What would ever lead any rational person to bank a future on an escaped violent felon who would be totally unemployable? Literally insane.

What is really interesting about the podcast is the segment where the protagonist talks in detail about how dead she felt in her marriage and how, in context, emotional attention from the AP was like a drink of water to a person parched in The desert.

I'm not by any means suggesting her infidelity was justified. All I'm saying is that the episode lends a human voice to many of the stories told by WWs here on SI. Trigger warnings big time, but a strong recommend.

BluesPower posted 11/20/2019 13:59 PM

What you say about what we hear is true.

But here is the problem, if we are to believe what we hear on the wayward side, then it was the fog, they were unhappy, they had bad coping mechanisms, and on and on.

And, not to say that some of that is not completely and totally true.

So I guess that everyone just has to assume that yes, some people are starved in their marriages, and some people say that because it justifies what they are doing.

The BS is left wondering which it really is...

But often both are starved and only one cheats, so how do you deal with that?

[This message edited by BluesPower at 2:00 PM, November 20th (Wednesday)]

Butforthegrace posted 11/20/2019 16:02 PM

I'm not suggesting that a WWs subject experience of a marriage as an arctic hellscape is in any way a justification of cheating. Explaining a thing is not the same as excusing a thing, and understanding a thing is not the same as approving it.

However, in the abstract, understanding and explaining are helpful to ones own healing. This podcast introduces a human, real time POV to what seems from a distance to be an insane set of facts.

hikingout posted 11/20/2019 16:09 PM

That reminds me of the case in NY where the woman helped two men escape. She had affairs with both of them. Her husband is waiting for her to get out of jail and plans to take her back. They made a mini-series out of it called "Escape at Dannemora".

To answer your question Power, I think the issue with a WS is that they often do not have good relationship skills themselves to get their needs met. It is my responsibility to make sure I am happy. I failed at that responsibility and blamed my husband. Totally not fair.

Tracing the way I became that person, I started with my whys, moved on to my foos and discovered where all the broken thinking came from, what it was. Once I was cognizant of it then I worked to change it. So, to me when you hear a WS talking about FOO, or past trauma, or whatever, it's not a way to excuse the cheating. It's talking about the work that one should do to understand what needs to change, why, and actually use that information to do better.

At the end of the day, when I had an affair it was because I chose to. I wanted to. That's different than figuring out why I wanted to or how I came to be a person who would have wanted to. It's never to me about deflecting responsibility.

I was thirsty because I didn't ask for a drink, basically. Sometimes humans are so stupid.

[This message edited by hikingout at 4:10 PM, November 20th (Wednesday)]

cocoplus5nuts posted 11/21/2019 07:25 AM

I know that dead feeling. That's one of the things that really gets me about my sitch. I was in the same fucked up M as my fch. I was just as lonely and unhappy and feeling unloved.

The difference is that I didn't cheat. I sought help from a therapist, not another man. I tired to get my fch to do the same. I took him to therapy with me. He willingly agreed. Turns out he was only there to help me with my problems. He didn't have any.

I asked a friend of his from his unit to talk to him. I thought maybe part of his problem was from something he experienced while deployed. I even went so far as to talk to his unit chaplain. My fch told everyone he was fine. Everything was fine.

Denial is insidious.

Both of those stories are insane. Why anyone would think they could build a life with an escaped convict is just...idk...insane!

Butforthegrace posted 11/21/2019 07:48 AM

The woman in this event is named Toby Dorr, also known as The Dog Lady of Lansing Prison. You can find a lot about her on line. Her husband divorced her right away. The divorce decree arrived the day she was sentenced to prison.

hikingout posted 11/21/2019 08:00 AM

Denial is insidious. I agree.

Prior to the A, I never had any experience with a therapist. I didn't know much about trauma. I was just on a road of choosing one vice after another to escape my feelings. Obviously, there is never a good reason to cheat.

cocoplus5nuts posted 11/21/2019 11:28 AM

Not having experience with something isn't the same as not knowing about it. I think I can make a pretty good assumption that most people these days know about therapy. Along with knowing about it, the stigma attached to it is eroding. There's no excuse in this day and age to avoid therapy.

My fch actively avoided therapy for himself prior to him cheating. He went. He just didn't participate the way he needed. The reason he didn't was that he couldn't admit that he had a problem. He couldn't admit that there might be something he could work po n within himself. He did admit after dday that the time just prior to him cheating was the lowest point in his life (before the cheating). He felt like a failure. His ego was too big to admit that, though.

cocoplus5nuts posted 11/21/2019 11:29 AM

I'm going to change my response a little. I'll take back no excuse. There might be valid one, like past abuse from a therapist.

hikingout posted 11/21/2019 12:24 PM

I guess my point was I didn't know much about therapy in that I didn't relate it to what I was experiencing. I thought it was more for mental illness, which I was experiencing at the time, but that's the thing sometimes you don't know you are experiencing it.

Denial is a big problem, because it means you deny to yourself there is a problem. Which is really what you are saying was your husbands experience. I would classify that as mine as well.

I don't mean to say any of this is an excusable reason to have an affair by any means. I just didn't see therapy as "for me". It would have meant I needed to admit there was a problem. I do think if I had prior experience with a therapist, I would have related better to why I needed to go. And, of course I just wish I had.

[This message edited by hikingout at 12:57 PM, November 21st (Thursday)]

Thumos posted 11/21/2019 12:42 PM

What is really interesting about the podcast is the segment where the protagonist talks in detail about how dead she felt in her marriage and how, in context, emotional attention from the AP was like a drink of water to a person parched in The desert.

The problem with this is what is known in literature as the "unreliable narrator." It's often a trick novelists employ to entertain the audience by using a major reversal at the end of the story showing how skewed and distorted the story has been as told through the eyes of a narrator who was lying to the audience.

Wayward spouses repeatedly say something like this or "I was unhappy for years."

The problem with this is that, given the prevalence of infidelity, if it all happened in the context of bad marriages we wouldn't be very successful in maintaining social order.

It stands to reason that most marriages are good ones, very few are bad ones, and that most infidelity happens in the context of good marriages. Thus "the parched desert" gambit must be taken as usually an "unreliable narrator" who isn't telling the truth.

hikingout posted 11/21/2019 12:57 PM

I would say that was a fair point. My marriage was in the "good" column. If I was unhappy, it was due to my own issues and failure to address them, and I think that covers actually MOST wayward situations.

I think we also have some amount of abused women who show up here as well, and they to me are maybe the most complicated when you look at what has happened in their situation. It's hard to suss them out, as I agree waywards lie (even to themselves) and rewrite marital histories. But, there are some that come here that I have believed and they are twisting themselves in a pretzel to try and fix things when they really should be thinking of how to get out of their situation.

Butforthegrace posted 11/21/2019 13:13 PM

Thumos, I agree. My only point was that hearing her describe it, in her words, was interesting. Keep in mind that her BH divorced her right away. No attempt at R. And she describes it as an exit A. The last word she said to her BH when she left to get the guy out of prison was, "goodbye".

They have been permanently estranged. So she has been carrying that viewpoint without filter. Her view now is that she wanted out of the marriage and her mistake was choosing this highly messed up path to exit the marriage, rather than face up to her BH and simply leave him.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 5:52 AM, November 22nd (Friday)]

Vomitousmass posted 11/22/2019 03:03 AM

She needed to get that narrative out there. If her BH had just not made her so thirsty then she wouldn't have fallen for an inmate. If he just hadn't been someone she needed to stand up to then she wouldn't be a felon. If her BH hadn't forced her to make a lot of really bad choices then she wouldn't be in prison.

Curious to know what "if then" statements her BH might have as a counterpoint.

Butforthegrace posted 11/22/2019 05:53 AM

Curious to know what "if then" statements her BH might have as a counterpoint.

Me too. I tried Googling to see if I could find any statement from him, but got nada.

deephurt posted 11/22/2019 07:12 AM

We are all responsible for our own happiness and it sounds like this woman is unhealthy as she needs validation from a criminal to feel good about herself.

Healthy people donít feel this way. Healthy people will request that their spouse go to coy felling to work out their problems or seek a divorce so they can have a healthy relationship. Unhealthy people may decide that having an affair is a suitable reaction to a marriage that isnít working for them.

Iím the end, we have to make ourselves happy and not count on anyone, including our spouse to make us happy. That is healthy.

Butforthegrace posted 12/3/2019 19:05 PM

Now I'm listening to the LA Times podcast series "Dirty John". It has infidelity, but oh so much more. The bad guy is a dude with a documented record and history of duping and conning women out of money, and threatening them when they try to break it off. He convinces one to marry him using a false identity. She finds out about his true identity, and he convinces her to stay with him. It's amazing what low self esteem will cause one to overlook.

pinkpggy posted 12/3/2019 19:10 PM

I just listened to Criminal "Homewrecker" was interesting too. And Dirty John was made into a short series on Bravo. Really intriguing.

[This message edited by pinkpggy at 7:15 PM, December 3rd (Tuesday)]

KingofNothing posted 12/3/2019 20:40 PM

It describes a married woman who worked for years in a prison running a prison service dog program who ended up getting into an affair with an inmate serving a life sentence for a carjack that resulted in a killing. She ultimately agreed to help him escape, based on a fantasy of running off with him and living happily ever after

Based on a very real story about a woman named Toby Dorr. A friend of mine works in a prison system in another state. They had a similar situation happen with a female guard committed infidelity with two inmates. She helped them escape out of love for one of the inmates. What they didnít get around to accomplishing was murdering her husband so they could have a safe house to crash at while the heat was on. She was a part of the plot and presumably, aware of their plans. When she got convicted, her husband publicly forgave her!

Butforthegrace posted 12/4/2019 07:18 AM

When she got convicted, her husband publicly forgave her!

That's crazy. "Dirty John" explores a backstory where the wife's sister was murdered in cold blood by her husband, whom she was divorcing (the podcast doesn't state this expressly, but it implied that she was openly cheating on the husband with an NFL player who sent limos to pick her up).

In the subsequent criminal trial, the victims mother testified passionately in support of the defense of the murderer, the man who shot and killed her daughter. In the end, he served about 2.5 years for putting a bullet into the back of his estranged wife's head at point blank range, in cold blood.

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