Newest Member: KMS60087


I was once a June bride. I am now a June phoenix. The phoenix is more powerful. The Bride is Dead. Long Live The Phoenix.

"I Didn't Mean It, It Was an Accident..." (... and then sex happened.)

I do NOT have the energy to go through the back story *again* tonight.

I am beyond frustrated.

My husband, 3 years 2.5 months post DDay2, the closest thing I've gotten to a realistic DDay so far, persists in clinging to this narrative that 'it was an accident.'



1. You most certainly WERE NOT in a 'coffee shop,' and that was obvious from the two day lead up to you being in that place from the get go. Your 'friends' weren't looking for a 'coffee shop.' You weren't following them around in the sketchy, dark corners of a strange city looking for 'a coffee shop.'

Coffee shops ain't that damned hard to find.

By your account, it was completely unintentional, an accident even! that you were *still there, still forking over money to continue the experience,* when she showed up. Nope nope nope, no intent at all on your part. Total accident that you were still there and that
you were still facilitating the entire situation.

3. You had *no idea whatsoever* about what would happen when you paid her.
When you kept paying her.
When you put your hands on her.
Why, no one was more surprised than you, when you got turned on and couldn't stop! Didn't want to stop! So you didn't stop! SURPRISE!!! YOU HAD NO IDEA WHATSOEVER THAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN! SEXUAL CONTACT? TURNED ON??? TOTAL SURPRISE!!!

We've *struggled* with this very pivot point, from the beginning.
My husband *insists* that it was all 'an accident.'
He simply didn't understand.
He could not by any stretch of the imagination comprehend what was happening, what was about to happened, what he was literally purchasing. HE THOUGHT IT WAS A CUP OF COFFEE. OR SOMETHING. Certainly not SEX! OH NOES!!!

My husband keeps steering around to:
"Well I didn't leave home looking for sex."
"It wasn't my idea."
"What was I supposed to do??? I was there. There was nothing else to do in that place. Was I supposed to sit there with my hands in my pockets?" (Was that somehow a physically impossible choice?)

WORKING WITH ALPHA MALES (and alpha females, I've been hit on HARD by both sexes) FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF MY LIFE.

I could have 'accidentally had sex' on most days of my working life, and many, many days off as well, had I chosen to do so.

Not only could I have had 'sex,' I could have 'greased the wheels' of my daily life in the process, and I wouldn't have even had to pay for it.

In fact, I did not have to *even* 'facilitate' it, other than simply fucking showing up for work. Like you, I wasn't 'looking for it.' OK, it happened. In my lap. And that's about as far as my empathy for you goes, Dude. I showed up for a purpose completely unrelated to titillation and guess what? Titillation occurred. Got it.

I didn't facilitate nor escalate the titillation.
You did.
And you *really* expect me to *believe* that you were "surprised" when sex happened?
That you didn't anticipate it?

Whether you walked out of our front door 'looking for it' or not becomes *completely fucking irrelevant* at the moment that it was offered, and you failed to say, "No thank you."

I know that, intimately.
How do I know that, intimately?

My husband made a decision to have an illicit sexual encounter early in our marriage.
He followed through on that decision.
He decided to, and literally tried, to do something dishonest to me and to us.
He couldn't handle the guilt in the aftermath.
So he told me *just enough* to 'confess' and 'be forgiven' and 'call it good.'
He'd never do it again. (To the best of my knowledge, he has not.)

To me, his inability to own his basic, fundamental decision to do something overtly cheating and dishonest is much, much more disturbing than what he actually did, which, I will agree with his premise on this, was largely inconsequential.

My/our situation is the literal definition of,
"It's the dishonesty, not the sex."

The inability to own that decision feels all kinds of unsafe to me.
Because, until he owns the decision itself, we cannot even begin to address the impetus, the fundamental 'whys.'

It wasn't because she was more attractive than me- according to my husband- we've beaten that one to death. Don't know if I believe that. Don't know that I care. There are billions of women who are more attractive than me. I have better ways to spend my time, attention and energy.

It wasn't because he wasn't getting sex at home- that's for damned sure.

It wasn't because I wasn't up for something 'new' or 'different,' also for damned sure.

I could go on in this 'disproving' vein for pages and for years. Futile.

Then there's his, "I thought that this was just something guys do."

Guys do LOTS of things.
Is cheating one of them?
Does that make it OK?

The whole, 'It was an accident!' thing is, and has been, ON MY LAST FUCKING NERVE.
Anyone with a glancing familiarity with risk management, accident investigation, actuarial tables and sentinel events knows that even 'accidents' are not 'accidents.'
Every 'accident' in the history of 'accidents' is the culmination of a series of choices and decisions.

Until we get to that place where my husband accepts and admits that HE MADE A DECISION, A CONSCIOUS CHOICE TO CHEAT,

We cannot *even* begin to parse out 'why,'
Even if it was an isolated, 'in the moment' why and nothing more, and nothing less.
Why did it feel OK enough in that moment?
Why (on earth?) was *that moment* worth the balance of your *entire fucking life*?

And if we cannot parse out the whys of the moment in which your entire fucking marriage, your entire fucking family, your entire fucking life, hung in the balance of a single, stupid fucking decision to 'go for it,'

Then all the rest of our infrastructure?
It feels like a house of cards. =(

If I wake up one day next week,
and I find myself in a situation where I cannot pay the mortgage,
and my bank account is overdrawn,
and I'm over the limit on my credit card and behind on the payment,
and I decide that the solution to my problem, or, not to even name it as a 'problem,' but the only thing to do in this situation, is to rob a bank-
I will not rob the bank simply because the bank exists.
Nor simply because the bank is there.
Looking like a big fucking delicious target of opportunity.
The bank didn't cause my issues.
The bank didn't cause my dilemma.
The bank didn't force my choices nor my decisions upon me.
The bank's existence didn't cause my temptation.
My own choices did.

If I run a red light tomorrow and in the process, kill a family of five,
you can rest assured that "It was an accident!"
will not satisfy a court of law,
nor my insurance company,
nor their insurance company,
nor their family and friends,
nor mine.

There's going to be *an exhaustive review* of every, any and all contributing factors to this 'accident.'

Just look at any given NTSB investigation of an airplane crash.
Does "It was an accident!" ever suffice?
Is infidelity in a marriage, in a committed relationship, anything less than a plane crash???

I have the distinct impression that "I didn't mean to!" and "It was an accident!" is a form of stonewalling on the part of the cheater, a means of protecting an especially vulnerable, sensitive area, and likely something that is causing shame, and/or something the cheater does not understand, and perhaps is something that may cause him/her fear.

It is a wholly unsatisfying explanation, and one that causes more doubt and uncertainty than it resolves.

14 comments posted: Saturday, September 25th, 2021

It's a Mixed Bag, and You're Not Crazy

Duplicate post

[This message edited by SI Staff at 9:01 AM, July 16th (Friday)]

0 comment posted: Friday, July 16th, 2021

It's a Mixed Bag, and You're Not Crazy

Duplicate post.

[This message edited by marriageredux959 at 10:46 AM, July 16th (Friday)]

0 comment posted: Friday, July 16th, 2021

Set Back, Stupid Set Back

Things were going well. I felt like I'd turned a corner. The past was becoming, the past.

And then, over the holiday, we had a conversation.

My husband, of his own volition, told me that he doesn't believe that what he did was 'cheating' as he defines cheating.

It wasn't an affair.

It wasn't even a one night stand in his eyes.

It wasn't really 'sex' because it didn't involve intercourse.

It was "wrong," but it wasn't cheating.

He then went on to elaborate that, if boiled down to a 'yes or no' question, he'd be forced to admit that yes, it was cheating, but to paraphrase him, it really doesn't count as 'cheating' because it wasn't premeditated cheating and cheating wasn't his intent.

It just sort of, happened.

Strangely, I understand big chunks of that, to a point.

I understand that a one off isn't the same as a full blown affair that involves repeated dishonesty over time. And I would have felt differently about it, I would feel differently about it, if the act included intercourse or penetration.

But now it's like we are parsing out 'a little bit pregnant.'

I've explained, once again, for the one millionth time, that the betrayal happened the moment he decided, he chose, he gave himself permission, to do something physical and sexual with another woman, precisely because I'd never find out. He could get away with it. He wouldn't tell and I'd never know.

He has reluctantly admitted that's exactly what happened.

He couldn't handle the guilt afterwards.

He didn't tell me on his own when he got home.

I knew something had happened the moment he walked in the door. For the first time in our relationship, he couldn't look me in the eyes. I remember it distinctly. He kept talking to a spot in the distance, somewhere behind me, over my left shoulder.

He 'told me,' gave me a minimized, sanitized version on his third day home, after I'd asked him several times what had happened, because it was obvious that something had happened. He 'confessed' with a narrative that made the whole encounter sound much more random and brief and unintended on his part than it actually was.

Truth came out many years later, 2.5 years ago.

So now, 2.5 years after DDay2, I'm hearing, "But it wasn't really 'cheating.'"

I also tried to explain, for the one millionth time, that insult on top of injury, the very fact that he was on that trip in the first place, with money earmarked for another purpose, against my clearly stated objections, and in direct opposition to what we were supposed to be doing with that money, that was an unfair exercise in entitlement and privilege. And I extended goodwill in the face of that, trying to be 'a good wife.' He was going on that trip, ultimately I could not stop him, I might as well be a good sport about it and not crap the bed, right?

Meanwhile, I'm at home with two sick babies, of which he was full well aware, because we discussed it at least a couple of times on the phone before this incident occurred. "No, Honey, you don't need to cut your trip short and come home. I'm fine, we're fine."

It sounds incredibly petty, even to me, even now, but my entire brain is screaming, "And that's the thanks I got?"

He attributes the whole incident to "immaturity."

I get that, but that explanation feels like he's somehow trivializing the moment he decided to do something behind my back.

To me, insisting on taking that trip at that time under those conditions was in fact immature and selfish. I agree with that, and for many reasons, I can forgive that and move on.

Consciously choosing to do something physical and sexual with another woman behind my back because it was offered and I'd never find out rises to a whole different level of problem. That's not a maturity issue. That's an integrity issue. That's a character issue. That's a commitment issue. That's a faithfulness issue. It's not called 'infidelity' for nothing.

My gut feeling right now is that he doesn't want to call it "cheating" because he doesn't want to think of himself as a cheater.

I don't believe that he's trying to 'make wriggle room' for a repeat of the actual incident. He says that he felt incredibly guilty afterwards and I believe that. His guilt was palpable when he arrived home. He says that it never happened again and I believe that. He says it will never happen again and I believe that too.

I believe I am seeing, he is feeling, real remorse.

Isn't this the best outcome any of us can hope for, after the infidelity line has been crossed?

Still. Hearing him say that he still struggles with admitting that what he did was cheating is a real set back for me. I'm back to fucked up about it.

He's parsing out if his level of physical involvement with the woman rises to the definition of 'cheating.' I'm over here *still* arguing that it was 'cheating' the moment he decided to do something he would hide from me.

Is it stealing when one embezzles a million dollars, but not so much if one lifts a $5 bill out of a coworker's coat pocket without her knowledge and permission? Doesn't count because it was only $5? Not stealing because it was in her coat pocket, not in her purse? Not in her bank account? Should she trust you now, because you feel terribly guilty about it?

Again, I don't think my husband is trying to create wriggle room to cheat again.

I think he's having a hella time accepting that he did it in the first place.

I actually have some empathy for that, a lot of empathy, in fact. "Out, damned spot!"

My husband actually said, in a subsequent conversation yesterday, that he doesn't want to go stand with the cheaters. That's not who he is.

But I'm also on the receiving end of this mind fuck, and that's affecting me too.

Like the fictional coworker in the fictional example above, how do you forgive someone when they won't fully own the transgression? When the perpetrator describes what he did as "borrowing a fiver" out of your coat pocket, "by accident." "Didn't mean for that to happen." "Didn't leave home that morning planning to steal five dollars."

How do you trust again? How do you NOT feel even further betrayed and disrespected when you realize that you're being fed a euphemism? How do you feel safe? Is his self esteem more important than my feelings of psychological and emotional safety?

This may be too Esther Perel-y but is there any merit to coming at this from the opposite perspective?

Is *this* what forgiveness is about?

Can he fully own what he did in that moment, if the cost of doing so isn't too high?

I have this sense that this is why he is arguing the degree of transgression: he *knows* what he did in the moment he decided to step over that line, and then when he lied by omission. He *knows* that he intended to deceive me. *He knows.*

He's trying to walk it back, even a little bit, by arguing that what he did when once over that line, 'wasn't so bad.'

All of you understand what it feels like on the receiving end of this mind fuck. "I only murdered the vow a little bit!"

Idiot, it's the fact that you stuck a knife in its back in the first place. Never mind that you were "immature" and 'it was just a little knife.'

But again, is this where *my* forgiveness makes us both safe enough to fully heal? And again, I feel as certain as humanly possible that it never happened again and will never happen again.

Is there any merit to, "I don't want to go stand with the cheaters!" if, indeed, he is not a cheater anymore?

Do we get to a healthier place, ultimately, if I *don't* hold his feet to the fire?

How do *I* get myself to that place, knowing that I feel confident that this didn't and won't happen again...

...but also feeling somewhat vaguely ripped off that he is still struggling with 'trickle truthing' *himself*?

[This message edited by marriageredux959 at 11:40 PM, November 28th (Saturday)]

19 comments posted: Saturday, November 28th, 2020

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