Return to Forum List

Return to General

SurvivingInfidelity.com® > General

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

Why (Or Why Not) a PA is a dealbreaker?

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5

sisoon posted 12/14/2019 09:33 AM

We grew up in the '50s and '60s. An A never was, in itself, a deal breaker for either of us. We discussed it early in our M, probably when we read Open Marriage. We both thought that an A would be a sign of a problem in our M and that we could recover of we wanted to solve the problem.

Most business contracts I've been involved in have a clause that states violation of one provision doesn't invalidate the whole contract. That's the way I feel about the M contract. It's not an easy contract to live up to - 'better or worse', 'sickness or health' - but it's what couples who marry sign up for.

Real life interferes with easy choices. It's not easy breaking the bonds that have been built up over what could be many years, when so many of the bonds are healthy and highly pleasurable.

It's not easy to break one's vows for a true BS, and the M vows, as noted above, will be viewed by some of us as iron-clad. It's not easy to parent children after D. It may not easy to doom oneself and/or one's partner to a tremendously lowered standard of living. It's not easy to give up the good in a marriage if the good can be restored.

So I can say why I stayed - partly because of my values, partly because of lust, and partly because my W was changing for the better (and I required all 3) - and I can serve as a devil's advocate for others, but I can't tell anyone why s/he should stay. It has to be freely chosen.

But I can say that the choice is binary - stay or go, 0% or 100% - but the factors that drive the choice are usually not either-or.

*****

** Posting as a member **

Staying with a cheater requires zero courage.
Anyone who thinks that would benefit from getting a better understanding of what 'courage' is.

Furthermore, both staying and going can be acts of courage or cowardice, depending on how a person who has to choose makes his/her choice. In fact, one can choose a path out of combined sourage an cowardice.

There's very little in life that's only one thing.

[This message edited by sisoon at 9:36 AM, December 14th (Saturday)]

HouseOfPlane posted 12/14/2019 09:41 AM

Striver

I read JFO. People go with their gut.

Unless you are in an arranged relationship, itís all gut all of the time.

You really donít know where you stand on these sorts of things until faced with them. Then you make a choice. Then you make it rational by rationalizing it.

Striver posted 12/14/2019 10:31 AM

Most business contracts I've been involved in have a clause that states violation of one provision doesn't invalidate the whole contract. That's the way I feel about the M contract. It's not an easy contract to live up to - 'better or worse', 'sickness or health' - but it's what couples who marry sign up for.

Respectfully, this is not the marriage contract.

You have rationalized that adultery is included under "for better or for worse." It is not as is known to the world at large.

For better or for worse comes down to time of life and personal characteristics. People are allowed a lot of performance leeway in a marriage. I do not consider weight gain, temporary job loss, depression, being bored, hubby's best friend I don't like, TV shows she watches that I hate, and a whole host of other things as valid grounds for divorce. Those in a fire at will marriage, "as long as you both shall love" marriage disagree. That's not marriage to me, but if two people want to try that, if they both know the rules, that's up to them.

Loyalty is the underpinning of marriage. NOT personal characteristics, not this is the prettiest woman I ever met, this is the richest guy I ever met. Loyalty. Adultery violates the loyalty. Other behaviors can too, like serious abuse. I suppose non-sexual betrayals would also qualify. My ex betrayed me in a non-sexual way by accusing me of being mentally ill and unfit. It was all connected to sex anyway, but the particular betrayal was non-sexual.

So are the two of you in an open marriage now? If you step out on your wife, do you expect her to move heaven and earth in reconciliation?

HouseOfPlane posted 12/14/2019 10:47 AM

Respectfully, this is not the marriage contract.
It is a sad truth that the worst of the ďfor worseĒ in marriages are self-inflicted injuries. Everything else pales in comparison.

SisterMilkshake posted 12/14/2019 11:03 AM

@SpaceGhost

I just donít get why marriage is so important.
And this is because not all people are the same. People feel and think differently. It really isn't that hard to understand that some people place great value on their marriage and that it is very important to them. It isn't hard to understand that others feel as you do.

What I find hard to understand is a fellow member posting this to a struggling BS:

Staying with a cheater requires zero courage. Do you feel courageous? What brave deed have you done, what fearful odds have you faced? I bet you did not even have to move your toothbrush. As far maturity goes, does a mature person stay in limbo, or take conclusive action to get out of it? From what I read here, you are neither mature nor courageous mate.
This shows zero empathy nor courage on your part to hit below the belt not only towards Thumos but to all who have reconciled, redbaron007. Not everyone operates on what you may perceive as the proper timeline, redbaron007. And I wouldn't question anyone else's maturity nor courage, especially if you have never walked in their shoes. Rather presumptuous, imo.

gmc94 posted 12/14/2019 11:29 AM

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I agree -and think this name calling is bullshite.
RedBaron's comments go well beyond presumptuous. They are cruel and unsupportive. We are all different. We all have differing opinions and values and beliefs about marriage. I've read stories here of people who R and people who D in circumstances that I doubt I could ever agree to - but if there's one thing I've learned since dday, its that no one really knows what they can or cannot do until they are actually face-to-face with the decision. I'd bet there are folks here who think I'm crazy for not having filed for D with my "wants to but can't be remorseful or empathetic" WH. I'm OK with that. I am NOT OK with a unilateral statement that anyone who does not file for D lacks courage. One could argue the exact opposite - that anyone who goes straight to D and does not even attempt R is devoid of the courage to be vulnerable and learn and grow, and is devoid of the empathy required to "turn the other cheek" (note: I am not personally making that argument - just playing devil's advocate).


My WH had a ton of EAs throughout or M. Until dday, I didn't realize what an EA was, but his "work wives" would have qualified. He was ALWAYS "one of the girls" and was often the only man at girls nights outs (sometimes with me, sometimes not). Some of those relationships bothered me (and I confronted), others did not.

But NOTHING prepared me for the devastation of the PA. Nothing. I don't know if I could ever understand why he still needed a "secret friend" for nearly our entire M, given how permissive I was with all the "work wives" and other women "friends" about which I knew. Once he had a secret woman friend, it was just a matter of time for it to turn physical - there is no other reason to keep a "friendship" secret from your spouse.

That he was never "in love" with any of those women seems to make quite the difference in his mind, but not mine. The emotional aspects of his LTA (or any of the EAs) has not knocked me to my knees the way the PA and the decades of lying has - it's the PA and the YEARS of living a secret life that have torn me to shreds.

As to "dealbreaker"? I'm in the camp that all As are 'dealbreakers' to the extent that the BS sees the relationship as an A.

So, I look at it as once he lied about his secret friend, the "deal" of our M was broken. For me, it was the secrecy that killed it - not having a woman friend. His dropping his trousers was just another nail in the coffin, as was the extreme length of his deception.

Bottom line: It was the deception that murdered our M, and the PA was a way to further (and routinely) defile its corpse. I really didn't have much issue with the EAs which I knew about (and when I did take issue, I confronted & watched closely). It's strange to say it, but had he never kept a "secret friend" or if he had never had a PA, he would still be enjoying all of that women-fed ego kibble with my blessing (because I'd still be clueless what an EA even was, and I would still be in possession of the blind trust he enjoyed -and abused- for more than two decades of M before dday).

[This message edited by gmc94 at 11:43 AM, December 14th, 2019 (Saturday)]

KingRat posted 12/14/2019 14:04 PM

As far maturity goes, does a mature person stay in limbo, or take conclusive action to get out of it? From what I read here, you are neither mature nor courageous mate.

Thatís horseshit. Youíve never walked a mile in this manís shoes. You know 0.000001% of his life. Donít be that guy.

sisoon posted 12/14/2019 14:12 PM

Respectfully, this is not the marriage contract.
For most of the world, M is a business contract.

You have rationalized that adultery is included under "for better or for worse."
What do you mean by 'rationalize'? I'll cop to using reason as a way of understanding infidelity. If, however, you see 'rationalizing' as 'excusing,' I would say that you are letting your emotions screw up your thinking.

Moreover, I think I made it clear I was sharing my own opinion and not trying to impose it on others.

*****

You have made invalid assumptions about my points of view.

Are you aware you can view members' recent posts and thereby get some understanding of their views?

To do so, click 'My Profile.' Then search for the member and click 'View Recent Posts' in the upper right of the screen.

[This message edited by sisoon at 2:14 PM, December 14th (Saturday)]

hopefullife posted 12/14/2019 21:09 PM

I thought PA was a dealbreaker for me. I told him so all throughout our relationship. But when it happened I accepted and tried to R. But it was falling in love with the other woman that ended it. The EA was more damaging since he did not want our relationship anymore. He wanted theirs and there's nothing more I could do.

EllieKMAS posted 12/14/2019 21:21 PM

For many of us the A isn't an aberration. The actual infidelity part might be but the conflict avoidant, inauthentic, cowardly and arrogant behavior and general lack of empathy for the BS are all present before the A itself. And a lot of us BSs are already complicit in that. Or codependent or whatever you want to call it. I was the proverbial frog in the pot and it wasn't until DDay that I realized that the water was boiling.
Wow, this resonated. This was exactly the way it was with my xwh. I truly just stopped examining all of the red flags because just getting by was so exhausting. It wasn't until I gained some distance that my fog started clearing. TBH, I kinda feel like I brainwashed myself in my M.

notanotherchance posted 12/14/2019 21:27 PM

PA deal breaker for me. Once the EXWW stripped naked with the OM, had unprotected sex with the OM, enjoyed spending time together in bed after sex with OM there was no way in hell that I would have even considered R. The feeling of being less than a man (Emasculated) because I couldn't keep the WW from straying was an additional nail in the R.
I also have principles & standards in a M and when those are spit on & shit on by the WS than it was up to me the BS to decide to R or D. We both stated that if either of us cheated than D was the outcome & I stuck by my word.

notanotherchance posted 12/14/2019 21:27 PM

Sorry Dbl Post

[This message edited by notanotherchance at 9:47 PM, December 14th (Saturday)]

CallingSpades posted 12/14/2019 23:32 PM

For many of us the A isn't an aberration. The actual infidelity part might be but the conflict avoidant, inauthentic, cowardly and arrogant behavior and general lack of empathy for the BS are all present before the A itself. And a lot of us BSs are already complicit in that.

My WS didn't want to end the M. He never did. He wanted me to be a "better wife" and to STFU.


So *we* tried to R. And slowly it began to occur to me, deep down, that this M was never going to get better for me.

It was the aftermath of the A that killed the M.

BrokenheartedUK, it seems like your story resonates with many BS's, me included. The act of the A was not the dealbreaker. The A was a big flashing neon sign on all the sneaky dealbreakers that were already there, and that we BS's were telling ourselves were in our heads, or insignificant. Without discovering the A I could've gone on being complicit in minimizing, ignoring, or blaming myself for all those things.

TBH, I kinda feel like I brainwashed myself in my M.

Same here, Ellie. DDay, rather than feeling like a stand-alone dealbreaker, it now feels like a catalyst. Gradually it is helping me stop with the CoD crap and just settle on, "NO, eff no." Since DDay, when I see WH's blaming and entitlement, it's these things in the light of the A, more than the A itself, that are the dealbreakers.

Don't get me wrong. I'm fairly destroyed over the EA/PA itself. But without the context of general shittiness (which autocorrected to shiftiness, how apropos) I feel I could have kept it together for our family. Specifically the shittiness before combined with an second helping while he was supposedly doing "everything he could" to R.

Same with my D'd younger sister, I'd say. She was married to a legitimate douchecanoe first class (worse than my standard-issue asshat). When DDay hit, she was just done with all of it. The A was a revelation to her that, yes, it (he) really was that bad.

Hope I'm not presuming on what you all intended in those quotes, but again, it really resonated. So thank you for the insights.

[This message edited by CallingSpades at 12:22 AM, December 15th, 2019 (Sunday)]

Walloped posted 12/15/2019 00:07 AM

Yukon Gold, FTW!!!

Oh, wait. Wrong thread...

Unhinged posted 12/15/2019 03:54 AM

I've been giving this a lot of thought lately and I wanted to see if I could spark a crowdsourced discussion about why a physical affair is a dealbreaker, or why it isn't?

Infidelity is always a deal-breaker. That's why it's called infidelity, as in the opposite of fidelity, which, to me, is the quintessence marriage. The moment my FWW invited the OM into her hotel room was the moment she ended her marriage.

She broke the deal.

I didn't know this for a days, of course, but I suspected. The moment I read the text messages between them was the moment my marriage ended. After two months of listening to her blame-shifting, equivocating bullshit, I started calling divorce lawyers.

I couldn't pull the trigger.

I couldn't do it. My son was four years old.

Four!

I'd read in some random book (I wouldn't recommend to anyone) that reconciliation was possible. I came to SI to find out if that was true and, if so, how to go about it.

We're almost five years out from d-day. I'm pretty sure I made the "best" decision possible.

I think takes a lot of courage to offer a WS the gift of reconciliation. I think it takes a lot of courage to get a divorce. I do what I can, when I can, to encourage people to find their own courage, their inner strength, and make a decision either way, because not making a decision, not having the courage to take action, only sets up the BS for further betrayal and abuse.

I don't honestly have the wisdom or the insight to accurately assess, if it's even possible, whether R or D is more mature. Personally, I don't think "revenge" is a very mature response, but I understand. Maturity, I think, would only influence how a person responds to the shock and trauma of the betrayal(s), not necessarily to the decision to D or offer R.

It comes down to a profoundly difficult and life-altering choice we're forced to make. I don't know that there's any right or wrong in it. It just is. That's life. It's not always right, fair or just and there's not a fucking thing I can do about that. All I can do is make the best choices for myself as often as my own courage and maturity allows.

[This message edited by Unhinged at 3:57 AM, December 15th (Sunday)]

ShutterHappy posted 12/15/2019 07:14 AM

I think that when, before Infidelity strikes, we declare ďit would be a deal breakerĒ, itís like... when you watch those action movies... Our hero get shot in the leg, in the chest, and we go ďgeez it must have hurtĒ (before our hero kills another 32 bad guys).

We imagine infidelity as only a spouse that betrays us, a single concept thar enrages us, discounting or not thinking about everything else that comes with it, like the absolute trauma it causes us emotionally. Just like our hero getting shot and us saying, ďgeez heís hurting, but now comes the revenge hahahahaĒ, getting shot for real is not like in Die Hard.

Considerations like life experience, emotional bonding with our WS, children, financial, untangling of everything, how bad was the infidelity all comes into play.

Thereís a few John McClain amongst us, who find their spouse in bed with the AP at 4PM, call their lawyer at 4:10 and move on at 4:20. However, for the most of us... itís complicated.

Iím remarried. If infidelity strikes again, my stance is that I donít want to go through that again, itís D right away. But life taught me that I can never say for sure how I will behave in a given situation.

The good news for you Thumos, is that you can decide to R today (not a deal breaker) and D tomorrow (you know what, screw this Iím out of here)

sisoon posted 12/15/2019 11:37 AM

The good news for you Thumos, is that you can decide to R today (not a deal breaker) and D tomorrow (you know what, screw this Iím out of here)
That is very important to remember. Despite being happy in R, I know - it's always close to awareness - that D is the solution if my W & I hit an issue we can't resolve to our mutual satisfaction.

For 90 days or so after d-day, the first question I asked about any issue was, 'Do I D over this?' Now I don't ask that question, because I believe we will resolve all issues. But I can ask that question at any time.

*****

You know, Thumos, it just occurred to me that some variety of fear of making a mistake may be keeping you stuck.

Life is risk, bro. The choice between D, R, and waiting is just part of your life, due to your W's infidelity.

You can't predict the future. You may make the wrong choice. If you do, it's easier to change form R to D than from D to R, but that's neither here nor there.

I've written on your threads that you can't heal unless you deal with your feelings. Let me add this:

You can't heal unless you accept the possibility of making a mistake.

Even if you blow this decision, though, you can survive and thrive, and you can help your kids.

WRT D/R, go for what you want, bro. You may not get it, but then again, you may.

[This message edited by sisoon at 11:37 AM, December 15th (Sunday)]

Gemini83 posted 12/15/2019 12:58 PM

I always thought it would be a deal breaker for me. I think the reason I stay is because of the circumstances behind it. Weíd been living in different states for almost two years. He was hiding how bad his PTSD was and he was in a self destructive mode. He seemed bound and determined to mess his life up as much as he could. I knew when he came out of that mode and really what he had and lost it would kill him. I decided to hold on as long as I could. What was most devastating to me was DDay when I found out his little ďfriendĒ was another AP. Seven months they were together. She was at his apartment on average every other weekend. The idea of her playing house with him is what kills me. Her sleeping in my place, in my bed with my husband.......there are no words for that.

I found all this out from her after he passed out. If he had not been so remorseful and honest starting the morning after I would have filed that day.

Iím not sure whatís worse. I hated her when o thought it was just texting and her coming over for game night with other friends of his. Finding out it was physical from their first meeting was just icing on the cake.

Like other posters said being abandoned by your spouse is brutal. Especially when you know they were emotionally available for someone else and their problems.

Thumos posted 12/15/2019 13:35 PM

You know, Thumos, it just occurred to me that some variety of fear of making a mistake may be keeping you stuck.

Life is risk, bro. The choice between D, R, and waiting is just part of your life, due to your W's infidelity.

You can't predict the future. You may make the wrong choice. If you do, it's easier to change form R to D than from D to R, but that's neither here nor there.

I've written on your threads that you can't heal unless you deal with your feelings. Let me add this:

You can't heal unless you accept the possibility of making a mistake.

Even if you blow this decision, though, you can survive and thrive, and you can help your kids.

WRT D/R, go for what you want, bro. You may not get it, but then again, you may.

Sissoon, this was very insightful. Yes Iím terrified of making a mistake, particularly with regard to my 10 year old child. I know some might minimize the impact a divorce has on children, or Iíve seen comments like ďyouíre really afraid of being a part time parent, not about the impact it has.Ē Well thatís a distinction without a difference, and when youíve got another humanís destiny relying on decisions you make, jumping to D seems foolish and unwise ó and perhaps even immature. Iím in a lot of pain but one thing I donít want to do is extend my pain to others who have done nothing. I just canít. Iíve read too much. The research and stats donít lie.

Justgetitoverwith posted 12/15/2019 14:09 PM

TBH, I kinda feel like I brainwashed myself in my M.

Same here. Another pot boiled frog. Looking back, I think I was way too easy to sway with a plausible sounding excuse, and once he'd found he could fool me, continued.

I think this is what will end our M. I was devastated to find out he'd deliberately lied about his whereabouts for 2 months to sneak for sex at APs. And then I found out he lied about other stuff. Lots of it. Over many years. I'd never considered whether a PA was a deal breaker or not because I simply didn't believe he would stoop that low. And when I found out, it was over years ago. But if I found out he had one now, after seeing all the devastation the original PA caused, I'm pretty sure that would be a deal breaker now.

Like 1stwife's, my WH has travelled the world for his job, and now knowing he is capable of that, I know he could have done it many more times. I'm still struggling with this. If it comes out that he did, I also think that will be a deal breaker. As pathetic as I find his EAs, it's the knowledge that he constantly disrespected me and our lt relationship for sex with someone with dodgy morals that really hurts, now I've got over the initial PA shock. If anything else happens now, none of his FOO or other excuses will save him, as he's now aware of them and should be fixing them.

I'm too trusting.

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5

Return to Forum List

Return to General

© 2002-2020 SurvivingInfidelity.com ®. All Rights Reserved.     Privacy Policy