flipperfive
Each of us is unique with different characters and things that make us who we are. But what is a healthy way of looking at parts of our character which may have contributed to our partner's dissatisfaction with our relationship? For example my WH has made comments to me which indicate he found me controlling whereas I would say one of my qualities is that I am an organised person who likes everything in its place for life to run smoothly and he finds me controlling as he is a procrastinator who tends to be disorganised.

We have separated following WH's desire to continue his relationship with his AP but I feel it is healthy for me to look at and reflect on our past relationship and learn from it.

From where I am sitting today as I reflect on our 16 years in a relationship together I see a wife who looked wholeheartedly after her husband and children and did this largely with joy. I wouldn't quite describe myself as a complete Proverbs 31 woman but I am not far short (or am I just putting myself up on a pedestal I don't belong on?). I can not see any deficits in my character that contributed to the failure of our marriage but how can this be correct if is said it takes two people to make a marriage and two people to make it fail? Is it not possible for it to take two people to make a marriage and only one person to see it fail?

I see the issues that WH has, as he continues with the AP and tells me why he no longer wishes to be married, come largely from his life cycle of dissatisfaction followed by changes then a time of satisfaction before dissatisfaction creeps in once more. My character has not changed from what it was when we first met (although the rigidity of it has mellowed due to my merging and adapting to WH's character). In fact one of the things he found appealing was that I had it all together and I was a person who provided him with a feeling of security. In the early years of our relationship his cycle of dissatisfaction was reflected in his regular changes in job but over that last five or so years it has appeared to also encompass our marriage.

So once again I ask the question what is a healthy way of looking at our characters? Should we find fault for the sake of excusing our WS's behaviour or should we say that character is part of what makes me who I am and if your WS has issues with it then it is their problem and not mine?
Quote 0 0
Heidi
Hi flipperfive. I think it's always healthy to examine ourselves, to look at where we can grow, improve and become better people. However, I don't think that any BS should do this in the light of what their WS says in the fog of an affair, because that's usually then making excuses for their own shortcomings.

The simple fact is that they had an affair because of THEIR lack of boundaries, THEIR lack of integrity and THEIR issues, if healthy people are unhappy in their marriage they discuss it with their spouses, and either make changes or agree to separate. They don't include a third party, because how the hell will that improve things?

Soon after I discovered the affair, my WS said it was because we didn't talk as much as we used to, and because I was too demanding for sex. He readily admits this was his way of justifying things now, because 1. He was too busy messaging the AP to talk to me and 2. Why the hell would you solve having to have sex too much by having it more?

The fact is, an AP will initially do anything to avoid taking blame for their affair. That involves blaming the BS. Please don't take his words as the truth. He's already proved himself to be a liar, a cheat and a man without integrity, he's not currently the best source of information on what makes a good character.

If in the future you reconcile, and he takes ownership of his poor choices, and starts to work in his own character, then that's the time to start looking at what works and doesn't with in your marriage. But until he comes out of the fog of lies he's created to justify his actions, I'd find it hard to believe anything he says.
Quote 2 0
sunflower07
I'm a recovering controlling wife. I know that this is my part to own in the circumstances of my husband's affair.

One way I think of it is that I helped set the stage. Sort of like getting the stage ready for the play. I was talking about this to my husband the other day and he said it made total sense. He told me, "Yes, you and I set the stage but I'm the one who opened the curtain and started and acted in the play".

I thought this was a good way to frame it.

I'm now working on my controlling habits and I'm following the Surrendered Wife philosophy. It has helped us except for our recent struggles that I've discussed in other threads.i m trying to get back on track now.
Quote 1 0
Guiltguilt
Our relationship had turned more into a mother child relationship. My BS took control, I let her. She did more, I did less. She got bigger, I got smaller. I thought she was getting what she wanted bar two things I wouldn't give in on.

My reaction was to act in what I know now to be a passive aggressive way, until the ultimate. All because I couldn't or wouldn't communicate. "Man without integrity" yep. I'll wear that one for life. I never want to be or put anyone in that position again.
Quote 3 0
Dirazz
Guiltguilt, your actions were without integrity. It doesn't mean you don't have integrity. The affair does not define you as a person. Forgive yourself. You made a horrible choice and you are owning up to your bad choices. You are human you are flawed like the rest of us.
Quote 2 0
Heidi
Dirazz wrote:
Guiltguilt, your actions were without integrity. It doesn't mean you don't have integrity. The affair does not define you as a person. Forgive yourself. You made a horrible choice and you are owning up to your bad choices. You are human you are flawed like the rest of us.


I agree with this. I believe in redemption, and in the ability of us all to change. I'm not sure if any of us would be here if we didn't believe that. I'm one of those who hopes for a better marriage than they had before, through hard work and grace.

Guiltguilt, for a while you were a man without integrity. That doesn't mean you still are / always will be. It's the actions in the here and now that count.
Quote 2 0
UrbanExplorer
An affair can be a symptom of the marriage, but that's not to say the BS is at all responsible for the affair. There were reasons I was vulnerable to an affair, but I ultimately allowed it to happen. To reconcile, there are often changes needed by both partners.
Quote 1 0
Dirazz
Urban I 100% agree with that^
Quote 1 0
Heidi
I think any successful marriage requires partners to talk, listen, adapt and show each other grace and love. However, I don't think that the things used by the WS to justify the affair in the immediate aftermath should be taken to heart.

Most marriages have ups and downs. Communication should lead us to say when we are happy / unhappy. And attitude / love towards the other person is probably 90% of what's needed in order to make it work.

I've said before that in reconciling, I need to know that in the bad times my WS will never use an affair as a way to cope or fulfill his needs again. And there WILL be bad times. Parents die, children have illnesses / problems. All sorts of things can rock a marriage. He's showing me that's he's developing new ways to deal with life. I'm showing him that I'm trying to learn to trust him.
Quote 2 0
Guiltguilt
Thanks Dirazz and Heidi. I'm amazed at the capacity for compassion here. I certainly wasn't fishing for that response!

There are just some times when, although my wife and I have the best relationship we've had in years, I can't help but be down on the destruction that's taken place.

We talked on the phone for 33 minutes tonight, and I don't think we've done that since before we were married.

Quote 2 0
Heidi
For me at least, seeing the true regret in my husband's eyes actually helps sometimes. Not all the time, and I definitely hope that in the future neither of us will feel that awful gut wrenching feeling, but sometimes it helps to know just how sorry he is.

Quote 2 0
Dirazz
Seeing my husbands true remorse was healing for me also. His actions spoke so much louder than any words he could say. That with almost approaching a year from DD and his course is still towards me towards us. There's really not much else he can do. He sure can't undo his betrayal to me( god how I wish he could) but I need to be able to receive and let him show me. That is if I truly want a better marriage. We have to move past this to move forward. I know my husband is a good man, he's just a man that made a horrible choice. And know one knows the horror of his actions better than him. I can now see that none of this was about me it was about something not right with my husband. Maybe I made it hard for him to be honest I don't know? I know I wasn't perfect. But I was able to extend my husband grace that lead to forgiveness that is leading to true healing for both of us. #lovewins
Quote 2 0