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What Made You Think You Had The Right/Deserved More Chances?

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Kitchentable123 posted 12/8/2019 18:28 PM

I am wondering what made serial cheaters and liars think they have the right, or deserve more chances? Is it not fair to ask them to keep trying, to stay in their misery when they would be better off without you and free from this hell? I am so torn and lost, I feel horrible and I struggle every moment with the choices and decisions I made.

I seek answers from people who aren't married or have children, but any responses I appreciate.

Maybe one day I will post my story, but not right now. It is very long, 15 years worth of agony I have caused.

BraveSirRobin posted 12/8/2019 18:46 PM

At the time of my A, I was unmarried and had no kids. There was no life to untangle other than some embarrassment with families who loved us both (we had been together for almost 4 years). Even our daily lives were separate, at universities several hundred miles apart.

The conventional wisdom of SI is to turn and run under such circumstances. I'll be honest: it's CW for a good reason. Past performance is often a telling indicator of future returns, which you know as a serial cheater.

You don't deserve more chances. Of course you don't. No one "deserves" even a second chance. Every R on this forum was offered to someone who didn't deserve it. But yes, it gets harder to offer, or even to understand offering it, to someone who takes that grace and stomps all over it. At 15 years in, your SO has a lot of sunk costs in you, or presumably they would already be gone.

So I need to know more. What's different this time? What makes you believe you won't betray them again? And why do you see it as your choice to make? Is it because you know in your heart the truth they don't want to accept? That you know you will, in fact, do it again?

Kitchentable123 posted 12/8/2019 19:28 PM

BraveSirRobin,
What is different this time, is that in the past when this happened I did not put any kind of effort into making anything better. I gave ultimatums, did not get therapy for what I have done, with him, and before him. I had an awful selfish way of thinking that I did not have to earn or work for love, that I did not have to deal with what I have done. Expecting him to just move on and deal with it. I put no effort in whatsoever.

The last time I cheated was an EA was about 7 years ago, texting and pictures (not naked) that lasted about a week. 3 years prior to that I cheated on him and left and then came back. I lied up until this past August of the truth of those incidents, and I finally told him the honest truth, no more secrets or lies of what I had done. I have been faithful and committed since the last time, but I was in delusion, denial, I was still lying and somehow thinking that If I don't go out anywhere, I don't have social media, I work and come home, access to my phone, my email, that he would see that I love him and want to be with him for the rest of my life. Such a fucked up way of thinking, I know that.

Since August, I have started IC. I found a psychologist who I trusted and felt good with. I bought the books 'How to help your spouse' and 'after the affair'. I read them multiple times, did the exercises, tried to apply what I was learning. I started a journal, started to really dive in and understand the reasons behind why I was so shitty and selfish. I do try to tell him about this, but it comes across as excuses and not taking responsibility, even though I have expressed multiple times that there is noone, and nothing to blame but myself for my choices and actions. I did that, and I own that. I try to be there for him to talk to whenever he wants, middle of the night, whatever, I have been there the best I could to hear his pain and take it head on. I never get upset or say things like, I've already apologised, or get over it. I say I am sorry constantly, because I mean it. I don't expect anything from him. I struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts, guilt, shame, feelings of hatred of myself and what I did. I try to walk this line of dealing with my own stuff, and yet at the same time, try to be a healer and be strong for him. I took a polygraph, but waited to long to get it done. He asked me to do the first month, and I didn't do it until 2 weeks ago. Actually, he asked me 14 years ago, and I didn't do it until now. I am the worst and I know it.

I understand that I was running away from my pain, pain from things that happened before him, pain from parental divorce and my mother's suicide attempt. I wasn't there for them for these things and I felt so bad about it. Numbing it with alcohol, drugs, and compliments and attention from other men, anything to hide from who I was, I didn't want to be me, and I did what I could to flee. All the while, he was in pain from me cheating and never doing anything to make it better in any way. I skewed my thinking to justify my behaviour, I was absolute destruction to him, and didn't care because I was too focused on myself and wanting to be anyone else but me. I hated myself tremendously.

That is a big part of why I know I will never do it again, and I haven't since the last time. I made a choice, that I wanted him and nobody else, and that would not change, and it has not. I know now that I am the only one who can heal myself, that I am the only one that can make me happy and deal with my issues, and I am working on it everyday. I feel his pain, I see it, it tears me up and I know I would never do that again to him. I would honestly rather die.

Sometimes I think the only way to guarantee that he will never suffer at my hands again is to let him go. I feel selfish and self centered. I should have just walked away so many times, and let him find someone who would not hurt him the way I did.

Sometimes I think that I can be the one to make him happy, that I can be his everything again, and we can have the life and dreams that we had hoped for.

I know in my heart that I would never do it again. Not to him, not to anyone. I am not the person I was 7, 10, 15 years ago. I understand myself more than I every have before, and still learning and will be for years.

I don't know if I see it as my choice, every day that he is here is more than I expected, more than I thought I would have. I thought he would leave or kick me out right after I told him. At this time, we are planning for a separation at the end of January. I would leave now, but he has said he wants the peace of mind that I will be OK financially and whatnot. He doesn't want to have to worry about me once we split. I will find my own place and we will say goodbye. I know that I have to let him go in order for him to heal, it is not happening with me here. I still make it worse but deflecting, minimising, interrupting him, using the word 'just'. When I do I try to stop right away, but the damage is done. I am not doing the right things all the time, and it is something I try to work on every minute, every time he speaks to me.

This just turned into a ramble. I am sorry, I am new at posting, and my thoughts run away from me. That is just scratching the surface. There is so much more to it.

[This message edited by Kitchentable123 at 7:39 PM, December 8th (Sunday)]

Kitchentable123 posted 12/8/2019 19:49 PM

Should I take the stop sign off? I am wondering if BS's may have input or comments.

wifehad5 posted 12/8/2019 19:57 PM

I removed the Stop Sign. Betrayed spouses can now post on this thread.

LifeDestroyer posted 12/8/2019 20:35 PM

We don't deserve another chance. Another chance would be amazing, but we aren't owed one. I TTed for 3 months right up to the polygraph test. That night he told me I had to move out. As much as I didn't want it, deep down I knew we had to separate. He can't heal with me there. He absolutely deserves to have a life with someone that he can be happy with, someone who hasn't betrayed him. This separation will more than likely end in divorce, but on that slight chance he does give me another chance, I will be very lucky.

We lost the right to another chance when we became a betrayer.

xhz700 posted 12/8/2019 20:57 PM

Cheaters that think they are entitled to another chance have a hell of a lot of work to do. If you don't feel that way, or understand, you have a leg up.

Go at this knowing that what you've already done has caused enough damage for him to leave, and treat every day like a chance to make up for your past.

Kitchentable123 posted 12/8/2019 22:23 PM

Thank you wifehad5 for removing it.

Lifedestroyer, thank you for your comment. I feel very much the same, that this separation will likely end with him never speaking or seeing me again. I hope too, that if there is even a slight chance that he may come back to me, I would beyond the luckiest woman in the world. If he doesn't, and whether he finds happiness with someone else, or alone, at least he is still better off than the suffering he would be dealing with by staying or trying with me. I know I can't control what will happen, his well being and mental health are the most important thing to me. I have hope he can be happy again in some capacity.

Xhz700, you are completely correct. I definitely do not believe I deserve another chance, I guess that does help in some way. I appreciate the advice, I did already know it, but I need to prove my words with actions, and not let my own self misery get in the way as I have.

Thank you all, it actually does help to talk to others about this. I don't feel as alone.

nightmare01 posted 12/8/2019 23:02 PM

BH here.

Your post resonated with me, but I doubt there's anything of worth I can say.

My WW had a long term romantic and very physical affair, DDay was something over 18 years ago. My WW really wasn't reconciliation material, and she still isn't, but I made a choice to stay. WHY? I have 2 daughters that were still young on Dday - and divorce usually favors the wife when it comes to custody. Statistic regarding child abuse is very high where step fathers are concerned. That kept me in place. I also had worked really hard, pulling myself from a kid living on the street to a successful adult, and I didn't want to reward her behavior by giving more than half of what I earned (a lot of it while she was cheating), plus alimony, child support, and our house.

My own insecurities kept me in the marriage too. I grew up believing I was disposable - and to this day I sometimes refer to myself as a throw-away person. Criminal parents, seeing a lot of drug abuse while in my early years, then my parents arrested, juvenile hall at first since none of our extended families would take me in, then an abusive foster family, then several years living on the street selling heroin to junkies. I literally was a throw-away person. Then I found my WW - and thought that I had finally found someone that would value me - obviously I was wrong.

Sorry - this has gone off the rails.

Maybe I just wanted to say that a normal person that had a normal life probably would have walked away. WW has done nothing to help me heal - her version is, well, I won't do that again, and that's about it. Sometimes though, more chances come by way of a BS that is so broken that they feel worthless, and a WS is all they deserve, and if they leave they'll be alone for the rest of their life. So - FEAR in the heart of the BS can grant more chances.

[This message edited by nightmare01 at 11:04 PM, December 8th (Sunday)]

forgettableDad posted 12/9/2019 00:13 AM

I'm married and have kids but the kids didn't play a part in our decision to R.

What made me think I had the right to R?
I didn't have the right to R. And I didn't deserve a second chance. My wife was graceful enough to offer a gift and luckily for me I was far enough in my IC and self-work that I was able to see it for what it was. And I treasure that gift every day.

I had lots of second chances throughout my marriage by the way. I've lied about a lot of things. I've betrayed my wife in many ways (though never with another woman until my affair last year). And I've never actually owned up to any of it or worked to fix myself. I've always said the same thing: "I'm not that person any more, I've changed".

It took me a long time in IC and through reflection to see that I am still that person, I've done those things. I made those choices. They are mine. Forever. I choose differently now. I'm more aware of why I feel certain emotions and I listen to what they tell me. For me, understanding that the person that I am is a connected flow of choices from the past to the future is what helps me to own up to my decisions. When I let go of needing a second chance; when I understood that divorce isn't the worst option for us, it's just an option and life will continue. Then I managed to step up and be committed to my role as a friend, a partner, a husband and a father.

[This message edited by forgettableDad at 12:13 AM, December 9th (Monday)]

nightmare01 posted 12/9/2019 00:25 AM

I've always been confounded by the phrase 'I'm not that person anymore.' I mean, are we talking demonic possession or something?

I don't believe people can change - BUT coping mechanisms and how decisions are made CAN CHANGE.

Thumos posted 12/9/2019 01:25 AM

Some reasons my WW has offered up:

1. Her affair was not as bad as so many posted here on SI - in other words she wasn’t a serial cheater, she didn’t have a LTA. She had a three moth affair with a friend of mine and they had unprotected sex in our home.

2. She loves me so much.

3. She only had sex with him “one time.”

4. She says I must know that she loves me so much.

5. We’ve been together so long and built such a good life.

6. I couldn’t possibly be willing to blow up my family over something like this.

7. I’m sexually “immature” since I’ve only ever been intimate with one woman in my life (HER) and don’t understand that is was just meaningless sex.

8. It would devastate our children.

9. The bond we have is so special, and the sex we have is so loving and intimate and amazing. I must know this. Surely I must.

10. She made “a horrible mistake”

11. She doesn’t know what she was thinking.

12. She never meant to hurt me.

13. It wasn’t about me.

14. She thought I didn’t care.

15. She thought we’d fallen out of love.

16. Our marriage wasn’t good for years (although she recently recanted this).

17. I’m triggered when I have to see the AP all the time? What about her and her anxiety and how much she is triggered?

All of these reasons have worked, actually, insofar as the impact they had on me. I’m at year 3 with her since D-Day. So if WW’s are looking for a good script to keep their BH’s sticking around, just look at the above. It’ll work if you can live with it.

[This message edited by Thumos at 1:41 AM, December 9th (Monday)]

Thumos posted 12/9/2019 01:36 AM

and divorce usually favors the wife when it comes to custody.

Yep. Divorce laws are very biased against men, especially in an age when women are fully capable of being economically independent. Everyone knows this, but for some reason it’s deeply unpopular to say so. No lawmaker would take up the banner to make it more equitable to men.

Thus divorce rape for men continues unabated. Eventually this will catch up to society, as bestselling books like “Men on Strike” are beginning to say.

BraveSirRobin posted 12/9/2019 01:59 AM

Thumos, your WW's response to SI sounds like me when I started lurking here. I've written before about my "otherizing" thought process and my entitled case of "at least I." At least I did this. At least I didn't do that. There is almost always someone here to point at whose story is worse and whose offenses are more egregious in some aspect. Focusing on that, instead of the many things we did wrong, is anathema to remorse. I didn't start the work until I admitted how very, very typical my A behavior was, and how much damage I continued to actively cause by refusing to admit it.

If your WW were posting here, I would beg her to let go of that habit and point her head in the direction of her many offenses. I am so deeply ashamed that my script -- so similar in so many ways to hers -- kept my BH around. And I would tell her that no matter how long you wait, that shit stays there waiting to be shoveled. It only gets more pungent with time.

BraveSirRobin posted 12/9/2019 02:07 AM

Nightmare, my heart goes out to you. What a devastating story.

Now that your children are grown, do you still feel committed to staying in false R? As the OP asks, why is the trade-off of staying with an unremorseful partner still worth it to you?

Thumos posted 12/9/2019 02:10 AM

At least I did this. At least I didn't do that.

Oh man oh man. I even got “at least you don’t have cancer!”

BraveSirRobin posted 12/9/2019 02:30 AM

Sorry, it's late/early and my brain just registered what you wrote in #1 on that list. Your WW reads here on SI? Including your posts?

forgettableDad posted 12/9/2019 05:08 AM

I've come to the conclusion that an affair has many reasons but no excuse.

@Thumos
gently, do you think there will come a time when "living with it" will not be enough? I'm a WS and a liar (but I repeat myself I guess) and your wife sounds exactly like every rugsweeping moment I had throughout my marriage. I'm sorry, I know you're in pain; I've read through some of your other replies and story. I wish you find the happiness you (both of you) deserve.

I grew up with a father who cheated repeatedly and lied constantly about everything. My mother abused us emotionally. And I learnt early on that rugsweeping is the solution for everything! To a point, I repeat those patterns even while trying to distance myself from it.

Children are intuitive. They pick up dishonesty even if we think we hide it. Part of my IC was learning to hug myself as I hug my children. To be as genuine with myself while I am with them.

oldtruck posted 12/9/2019 06:12 AM

ome reasons my WW has offered up:
1. Her affair was not as bad as so many posted here on SI - in other words she wasn’t a serial cheater, she didn’t have a LTA. She had a three moth affair with a friend of mine and they had unprotected sex in our home.
2. She loves me so much.
3. She only had sex with him “one time.”
4. She says I must know that she loves me so much.
5. We’ve been together so long and built such a good life.
6. I couldn’t possibly be willing to blow up my family over something like this.
7. I’m sexually “immature” since I’ve only ever been intimate with one woman in my life (HER) and don’t understand that is was just meaningless sex.
8. It would devastate our children.
9. The bond we have is so special, and the sex we have is so loving and intimate and amazing. I must know this. Surely I must.
10. She made “a horrible mistake”
11. She doesn’t know what she was thinking.
12. She never meant to hurt me.
13. It wasn’t about me.
14. She thought I didn’t care.
15. She thought we’d fallen out of love.
16. Our marriage wasn’t good for years (although she recently recanted this).
17. I’m triggered when I have to see the AP all the time? What about her and her anxiety and how much she is triggered?
All of these reasons have worked, actually, insofar as the impact they had on me. I’m at year 3 with her since D-Day. So if WW’s are looking for a good script to keep their BH’s sticking around, just look at the above. It’ll work if you can live with it.


This is not what the OP should do this a WW blame
shifting and minimizing what her affair did.

Kitchentable, you need to fight for your marriage.
moving out and separating will not save it. keep
doing the work that you are doing, letting your
BH see your effort and results.

Have you sent NC letters?
Do you know how to do a NC letter correctly?
Have you written a timeline?
Did you share all passwords with your BH?
Allow your BH access to your phone?
Did you delete the APP, social media that you
used to contact your OM?

Talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words.

Stall moving out, negotiate for six months more.
then use that time wisely.

[This message edited by oldtruck at 6:12 AM, December 9th (Monday)]

LifeDestroyer posted 12/9/2019 06:30 AM

Oldtruck, moving out for a separation doesn't mean she isn't fighting for her marriage. If her BH needs the space to finally heal, then moving out is the right thing to do. I didn't have a choice but to move out. Leaving your home does not mean you are giving up on your marriage. Staying there against your BS's wishes or what they actually need would be not working on your marriage. So many members here have said "you have to be willing to lose your marriage in order to save it." If she truly wants to rebuild her marriage, then she won't let a separation stop her. While it will certainly feel pointless at times because you aren't physically in front of your BS to show the change and fight, it's still what's needed.

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