TimT
Note: I'm looking of input regarding the experiences of the unfaithful partner. Some contributions may be quoted in an affair recovery manual I am writing. (I'll give you a free copy if I quote you.) I'm especially looking for quotes from those who had an affair, but betrayed spouses may also comment about their experiences with an unfaithful spouse in these areas.

Questions to consider: Who is more responsible for the affair: you or your spouse? What does your spouse do to make you aware of their pain? When confronted with their pain, what do you do (retreat from it, get angry, try to understand, attempt to comfort, etc.)? What helps you or hinders you from being able to open to empathizing with your spouse's pain?
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HonestWife
TimT wrote:
/>Questions to consider: Who is more responsible for the affair: you or your spouse? What does your spouse do to make you aware of their pain? When confronted with their pain, what do you do (retreat from it, get angry, try to understand, attempt to comfort, etc.)? What helps you or hinders you from being able to open to empathizing with your spouse's pain?



Really, Tim? Who is MORE (emphasis mine) responsible for the affair? Is that a misprint? Are you really asking unfaithful spouses who is MORE responsible for an affair??? I am a faithful spouse, and I certainly contributed to many difficulties in my marriage but I didn't have a vote in my husband screwing other women.

I'm still in shock. How could you word a question like that?? The only way I could see a faithful spouse being somewhat "responsible" for an affair is if she said "Go have an affair. You have my permission".

I have yet to meet someone like that.

Frank pittman says bad marriages don't cause infidelity. But infidelity causes bad marriages.
Trying to make marriage work after my husband's 15 years of affairs. Just found out. Currently in house separation.
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TimeToFly
HonestWife wrote:
TimT wrote:
/>Questions to consider: Who is more responsible for the affair: you or your spouse? What does your spouse do to make you aware of their pain? When confronted with their pain, what do you do (retreat from it, get angry, try to understand, attempt to comfort, etc.)? What helps you or hinders you from being able to open to empathizing with your spouse's pain?
Really, Tim? Who is MORE (emphasis mine) responsible for the affair? Is that a misprint? Are you really asking unfaithful spouses who is MORE responsible for an affair??? I am a faithful spouse, and I certainly contributed to many difficulties in my marriage but I didn't have a vote in my husband screwing other women. I'm still in shock. How could you word a question like that?? The only way I could see a faithful spouse being somewhat "responsible" for an affair is if she said "Go have an affair. You have my permission". I have yet to meet someone like that. Frank pittman says bad marriages don't cause infidelity. But infidelity causes bad marriages.


HonestWife,

I can certainly understand what you are saying as my ex had the affair & I have always said I made mistakes in our marriage but that didn't give him the right to do what he did. However I don't think Tim intentionally meant to hurt anyone by what he was asking. Surely you can see by all the work he has done to create this forum that he's not out to hurt either party. He genuinely wants to help people who have been affected by an affair. Perhaps the wording could have been different & maybe something like "do you feel that your part in the marriage had anything to do with the affair"? Again, while I am not responsible for the choices my ex made I do feel that some of the things that occurred in our marriage may have been contributing factors that led to what happened. Still, that didn't give him the right to do what he did & I will always stand by that. An affair is never the right choice & always ends up hurting so many people.
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Kalmarjan
HonestWife wrote:
TimT wrote:
/>Questions to consider: Who is more responsible for the affair: you or your spouse? What does your spouse do to make you aware of their pain? When confronted with their pain, what do you do (retreat from it, get angry, try to understand, attempt to comfort, etc.)? What helps you or hinders you from being able to open to empathizing with your spouse's pain?



Really, Tim? Who is MORE (emphasis mine) responsible for the affair? Is that a misprint? Are you really asking unfaithful spouses who is MORE responsible for an affair??? I am a faithful spouse, and I certainly contributed to many difficulties in my marriage but I didn't have a vote in my husband screwing other women.

I'm still in shock. How could you word a question like that?? The only way I could see a faithful spouse being somewhat "responsible" for an affair is if she said "Go have an affair. You have my permission".

I have yet to meet someone like that.

Frank pittman says bad marriages don't cause infidelity. But infidelity causes bad marriages.


I believe that Tim is looking for the Way wards side of things. He is not saying that you are responsible, rather what the wayward thinks.

To be frank and honest too, it may hurt to hear this, but to put your head in the sand and refuse to see that you are somewhat responsible for your situation in your marriage isn't helping you in your healing.

Granted, I may be a wayward myself but I've yet to meet a saint in a marriage that a wayward purposely screwed over just for the fun of it.

I do, however, see a lot of finger pointing, and I know that it hurts to hear this, but if you really want to get past your situation, the best way through is looking at yourself.

Getting back to Tim's question, I think maybe he is looking to see what the mindset of the Wayward spouse is, so that perhaps you, as the Betrayed Spouse, will have some understanding of what is really going on.
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Kalmarjan
TimT wrote:
Who is more responsible for the affair: you or your spouse?

I know that I should say me. I know that now, yes, I am the one directly responsible. This is after much soul searching.

Let me. Unpack a truth bomb for you out there. If I hadn't have made it my wife's fault, I don't think I could ever have gone through with the affair. Allow me to explain.

I was number one in my wife's life, that is until my son came along. Then I got to meet the number one thing when it came to me in my wife's eyes. The resentment. Resentment because I "got to go" to work while she stayed home with my son. Resentment because I had to leave her in the hospital on the third day because I could not refuse to go to work three days in a row or I could lose my job.

Resentment for working so much, as my field is a low paying field, and to get big money you need to be on the top, which mean you work a lot. So, catch 22...work a lot don't get to see family... And pay for it in Resentment.

So, I am also a "nice guy" and I need validation. I start losing it from my wife, so I dig deeper into work. Which then fuels the Resentment.

As a result, I'm sleeping on the couch 9 times out of 10,and I'm not getting any affection from my wife. In fact, she may not even show any respect for me as a person or a man. Like, when it comes to parenting, she would overrule me. In front of family, or even my son.

These are small things, but they add up. I of course, can't confront her and let my feelings be known because I might lose her.

Then even better... I get sick. And my wife one time left me on the couch with full blown pneumonia... To take a trip with the rest of the family, pissed off because I "ruined the weekend" for her.

I'm not using this as an excuse now... But believe me... I was in a bad place and my wife basically took me for granted. She never, ever, ever, in a million years, thought that I woukd ever leave. She thought it would be her that left.

This is what I mean above.

Here's the thing, it brought me to this place... The blame. But I also made the choice to do what I did, but at the time I had convinced myself that I deserved to be happy. I deserved to have that happiness, so I thought I'd find it in a marginally hot 22 year old.

TL[biggrin]R - I'd say it was BOTH of our fault. To place blame on one partner is putting your head in the sand. Like it or not, you BOTH have a role to play in this affair. Sure, my wife didn't choose for me, but like I said in other posts... You starve and beat a dog, deprive it of water... Why are you shocked that he would bite the burger out of your hand?

Quote:
What does your spouse do to make you aware of their pain?


I pick up on body language, and I ask the questions. But, she will now calmly tell me, or it will come out in a fight that I know is not really what we are fighting about.

Quote:
When confronted with their pain, what do you do (retreat from it, get angry, try to understand, attempt to comfort, etc.)?


I try to understand. In the past I "fixed" the pain. I took it on myself. But, that didn't work.

Now I listen. I understand. I ask what I can do.

Quote:
What helps you or hinders you from being able to open to empathizing with your spouse's pain?


Judgement. I get it. I did wrong. I hurt my wife.

What will a pile of judgement do for that? If you think for one second that my wife has judged me more harshly than I have to myself? Not even close.

What helped me immensely was my wife trying to understand me and what I was going through. I know I've read some BS on here talking about how that shouldn't be their problem, or that boo hoo..

Well, if it works for you great.

In my case... while it hurts the other of us to examine this stuff, in the end I believe it helps to understand where and how we got to here.

Bottom line is this... I do not have any desire to go back to the way things were before... That led me to cheating.

Yes, some. May chalk me up to being dishonest, a liar, a cheat, scumbag. Hey. Label me. I'm cool with it.

I do know that I am making the effort to find myself.

You know the number one thing that attracted me back to my wife? Listen up to you BS out there, this may be relevant, or it may not be.

My wife can get along without me. She proved it. She showed me beyond a shadow of a doubt that she could be independent of me, and that she didn't really need me in the end.

She looked inside herself and made the necessary changes. She took a HARD look at her actions and how they contributed. She got professional help to change herself FOR HERSELF, not to "win" me back.

What that showed me was she WANTED to be with me. She was willing to meet me HALFWAY and we can get this done.

See, in the end, I don't agree with some of the material up in this forum. I don't agree with the subservient "I gotta do this for you" plan.

I am a reforming "nice guy" who for YEARS went through covert contracts and did all sorts of stuff for my wife because... I thought that everything would then work out. Well, it didn't.

So, in this case, we BOTH identified that there was something broken on the marriage and yes, I did sleep with someone else. But that doesn't change nor hide that fact, just obscures it.

Instead of the "I'll do anything to get back" plan, (which in all honesty will drive away any NG because they gave years of covert contracts) what I had to do was start to get real with WHO I am, define my boundaries, and stick to them.

My wife did the same. We are meeting each other half way. Marriage counselling, talking, dating, and taking a chance.
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TimT
HonestWife wrote:
Really, Tim? Who is MORE (emphasis mine) responsible for the affair? Is that a misprint? Are you really asking unfaithful spouses who is MORE responsible for an affair???

Others have done pretty well at understanding my perspective. The question is for the unfaithful spouse. And, yes, some of them blame their spouses for their affair. I was simply looking for their honest feedback at this point, not trying to judge whether they are right or wrong. (I think you know my position on this, HonestWife. You've been on this site a lot and know my perspective. Still friends?) [smile]
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Intuition77
Kalmarjan wrote:
HonestWife wrote:
TimT wrote:
/>Questions to consider: Who is more responsible for the affair: you or your spouse? What does your spouse do to make you aware of their pain? When confronted with their pain, what do you do (retreat from it, get angry, try to understand, attempt to comfort, etc.)? What helps you or hinders you from being able to open to empathizing with your spouse's pain?



Really, Tim? Who is MORE (emphasis mine) responsible for the affair? Is that a misprint? Are you really asking unfaithful spouses who is MORE responsible for an affair??? I am a faithful spouse, and I certainly contributed to many difficulties in my marriage but I didn't have a vote in my husband screwing other women.

I'm still in shock. How could you word a question like that?? The only way I could see a faithful spouse being somewhat "responsible" for an affair is if she said "Go have an affair. You have my permission".

I have yet to meet someone like that.

Frank pittman says bad marriages don't cause infidelity. But infidelity causes bad marriages.


I believe that Tim is looking for the Way wards side of things. He is not saying that you are responsible, rather what the wayward thinks.

To be frank and honest too, it may hurt to hear this, but to put your head in the sand and refuse to see that you are somewhat responsible for your situation in your marriage isn't helping you in your healing.

Granted, I may be a wayward myself but I've yet to meet a saint in a marriage that a wayward purposely screwed over just for the fun of it.

I do, however, see a lot of finger pointing, and I know that it hurts to hear this, but if you really want to get past your situation, the best way through is looking at yourself.

Getting back to Tim's question, I think maybe he is looking to see what the mindset of the Wayward spouse is, so that perhaps you, as the Betrayed Spouse, will have some understanding of what is really going on.



No one is perfect in their marriage. Yet not everyone cheats. I can guarantee if a wayward spouse felt their needs weren't being met in the marriage then the betrayeds weren't either. Yet one party chose to cheat and the other didn't. An affair isn't helping your marriage and is purposefully hurting your spouse. If any wayward wants to argue that then their not being fully honest with themselves. No one goes through weeks months of choices to engage in an affair and thinks well this will make my marriage better. That's why you lie about it. There is no excuse to cheat. None. Your u happy? Get a divorce. Ask for counseling. But cheating? Entirely selfish and unloving. Any other way you try to frame it is more lies to yourself. Sorry. But it is. It's never the BS fault you cheated. Show me a marriage that doesn't have problems I don't know a single one. After an affair is dealt with should both spouses equally face what they contributed to a marriage that wasn't working? Yes. But it has nothing to do with the affair. The affair wasn't about the spouse or the marriage. It was about the WS only. Everyone brings problems to a marriage but only certain people cheat. And they would have cheated regardless. Hear all the same BS stories? How they tried to work at the marriage change things talk about things. How the wS tend to be very similar? From what I see usually the BS is the one working at the marriage because of personal issues in the wS. I bet a hundred dollars not one wS said to their BS hey if something doesn't change I'm going to have an affair. Why? Because that would be honesty approaching a problem. Lies and hiding and avoiding conflict. All rampant in the wS. Can't solve a problem if your spouse lies and hides everything can you?

No BS owns ANY responsibility for the affair. None. My husband could have treated me horribly. Wouldn't have been a reason to cheat on him. Reason for divorce. Not to go against my own morals ethics and beliefs and trash my vows. I don't care what a wS is making themselves believe during the affair. If after you still want to blame your spouse and pretend you wouldn't have cheated if they had been "better" then your still playing blame game lying and not owning your own stuff. No one makes me do anything. Unless you held a gun to my head you can't make me go against my own morals and ethics and lie and cheat. Not just to my spouse but for me. My husband had a million issues and things he did wrong yet i never choose to hurt him
That way. I did a million things wrong too. The difference? I kept trying to talk about it. He chose to avoid it and cheat. And you'll see that same story played out. You know whose needs weren't being met in my marriage? Mine. Desperately. You know how I handled that? Like a mature adult who tried over and over to talk about it and get us to work together to improve the marriage. Could I have done things differently? Sure. Guess what? He'd have still cheated. Because HE couldn't change or talk or face the issues or deal with his own.

You want to handle your marriage issues that's one thing. By itself. No one made cheating an issue except the wS. Your BS had no Input whatsoever and it had nothing to do with them. Own it. All of it. As yours and yours alone. Or you'll stay stuck forever. This is the biggest issue I see in wS. They have no personal responsibility. Guess what? That flaw helped you cheat in the first place. You make your own choices. You alone. You chose to cheat. You didn't trip and fall into bed with someone. It took MANY choices and chances to stop to get there.

You want to know what your marriage problems we're before the affair-marriage problems. That's it. Probably the same
As
Millions of others. There was a million ways to solve them that didn't include lies betrayal and cheating. YOU chose that option. No one else and no one forced you. After an affair you know what your marriage problems are-the same problems you had before with lies betrayal deceit and disgust added on top. And your BS doubting your very core of character. Rightfully so. You lacked character to stand for anything. To solve problems and take responsibility. You hurt the one person who thought they could always trust you and count on you. And you knew you we're doing it. There is no way hell you can blame that on another person or any marriage problems. You can try but your not owning anything then.
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Intuition77
Kalmarjan wrote:
TimT wrote:
Who is more responsible for the affair: you or your spouse?

I know that I should say me. I know that now, yes, I am the one directly responsible. This is after much soul searching.

Let me. Unpack a truth bomb for you out there. If I hadn't have made it my wife's fault, I don't think I could ever have gone through with the affair. Allow me to explain.

I was number one in my wife's life, that is until my son came along. Then I got to meet the number one thing when it came to me in my wife's eyes. The resentment. Resentment because I "got to go" to work while she stayed home with my son. Resentment because I had to leave her in the hospital on the third day because I could not refuse to go to work three days in a row or I could lose my job.

Resentment for working so much, as my field is a low paying field, and to get big money you need to be on the top, which mean you work a lot. So, catch 22...work a lot don't get to see family... And pay for it in Resentment.

So, I am also a "nice guy" and I need validation. I start losing it from my wife, so I dig deeper into work. Which then fuels the Resentment.

As a result, I'm sleeping on the couch 9 times out of 10,and I'm not getting any affection from my wife. In fact, she may not even show any respect for me as a person or a man. Like, when it comes to parenting, she would overrule me. In front of family, or even my son.

These are small things, but they add up. I of course, can't confront her and let my feelings be known because I might lose her.

Then even better... I get sick. And my wife one time left me on the couch with full blown pneumonia... To take a trip with the rest of the family, pissed off because I "ruined the weekend" for her.

I'm not using this as an excuse now... But believe me... I was in a bad place and my wife basically took me for granted. She never, ever, ever, in a million years, thought that I woukd ever leave. She thought it would be her that left.

This is what I mean above.

Here's the thing, it brought me to this place... The blame. But I also made the choice to do what I did, but at the time I had convinced myself that I deserved to be happy. I deserved to have that happiness, so I thought I'd find it in a marginally hot 22 year old.

TL[biggrin]R - I'd say it was BOTH of our fault. To place blame on one partner is putting your head in the sand. Like it or not, you BOTH have a role to play in this affair. Sure, my wife didn't choose for me, but like I said in other posts... You starve and beat a dog, deprive it of water... Why are you shocked that he would bite the burger out of your hand?

Quote:
What does your spouse do to make you aware of their pain?


I pick up on body language, and I ask the questions. But, she will now calmly tell me, or it will come out in a fight that I know is not really what we are fighting about.

Quote:
When confronted with their pain, what do you do (retreat from it, get angry, try to understand, attempt to comfort, etc.)?


I try to understand. In the past I "fixed" the pain. I took it on myself. But, that didn't work.

Now I listen. I understand. I ask what I can do.

Quote:
What helps you or hinders you from being able to open to empathizing with your spouse's pain?


Judgement. I get it. I did wrong. I hurt my wife.

What will a pile of judgement do for that? If you think for one second that my wife has judged me more harshly than I have to myself? Not even close.

What helped me immensely was my wife trying to understand me and what I was going through. I know I've read some BS on here talking about how that shouldn't be their problem, or that boo hoo..

Well, if it works for you great.

In my case... while it hurts the other of us to examine this stuff, in the end I believe it helps to understand where and how we got to here.

Bottom line is this... I do not have any desire to go back to the way things were before... That led me to cheating.

Yes, some. May chalk me up to being dishonest, a liar, a cheat, scumbag. Hey. Label me. I'm cool with it.

I do know that I am making the effort to find myself.

You know the number one thing that attracted me back to my wife? Listen up to you BS out there, this may be relevant, or it may not be.

My wife can get along without me. She proved it. She showed me beyond a shadow of a doubt that she could be independent of me, and that she didn't really need me in the end.

She looked inside herself and made the necessary changes. She took a HARD look at her actions and how they contributed. She got professional help to change herself FOR HERSELF, not to "win" me back.

What that showed me was she WANTED to be with me. She was willing to meet me HALFWAY and we can get this done.

See, in the end, I don't agree with some of the material up in this forum. I don't agree with the subservient "I gotta do this for you" plan.

I am a reforming "nice guy" who for YEARS went through covert contracts and did all sorts of stuff for my wife because... I thought that everything would then work out. Well, it didn't.

So, in this case, we BOTH identified that there was something broken on the marriage and yes, I did sleep with someone else. But that doesn't change nor hide that fact, just obscures it.

Instead of the "I'll do anything to get back" plan, (which in all honesty will drive away any NG because they gave years of covert contracts) what I had to do was start to get real with WHO I am, define my boundaries, and stick to them.

My wife did the same. We are meeting each other half way. Marriage counselling, talking, dating, and taking a chance.



I appreciate much of what you said and your marriage problems honestly sound like many others. But your not taking ownership of your own stuff. You can't confront the issues or you'll lose her? That's yours and yours alone. That's your issue and belief and way of avoiding conflict. And excuse to engage in pa behavior.

You sound similar to my husband so let me
Give you this perspective. You know how the wife of this resentful nice guy feels?
Alone. Entirely. All the stuff about work and resentment. Guess what? Your spouse had it too. I overruled my husband on family/kid things too. Did I realize then I was doing it? No. Did he ever mention it? No. You know the perspective of why I did that? It wasn't to disrespect him or hurt him. It was because for years everything was on me. All responsibilities. He didn't step up and I was on standby mode of just taking over. And i resented the hell out of that. I asked and asked for input opinions equalness and after years it was just easier to do it myself. Because time and again he refused. So when he would make a rare decision or Input it was extremely foreign to me and 9 times out of 10 ( what I see now) it was a bizarre passive aggressive stand that he knew I would overrule. Like telling our daughter she couldn't pierce her ears after knowing I had already told her yes but having no reason whatsoever for telling her no & never ever mentioning he had a problem With it. So sure you had resentment. She did too. Trust me. There's always a flip side. Doesn't sound like you've given any perspective to your wife's side but wow how your obsessed with Insisting she needs to see your side. You are the one who hurt her you realize? If you want a good perspective of the wife of a "nice guy" and how that feels read the blog "letters to sh*tty husbands "(written by a man).
I have read the nice guy site you've referred to before and while it had good info it did rub me the wrong way as blaming everyone else for one not taking personal responsibility.

You talk about not pointing fingers yet your post is all about how you cheated because you felt you deserved it because you didn't feel appreciated. Implying had your wife appreciated you more (in ways you needed but never expressed so she would have no idea how to do so by the way-meet passive aggressive) you wouldn't have cheated. I'm guessing she didn't feel appreciated either. You know what happens in most long term
Relationships after a certain point-they stop appreciating each other. You know how typical people respond to that? They talk
About it & work on it. They don't betray their vows & cheat.

Sounds so much like my own marriage in which I'll say I tried to talk to my husband about our own needs etc and he rather then deal with it chose to take it as attacks and passive aggressively added it to the list of expectations he felt put out for being asked to meet. When all I wanted was simple things and in turn wanted to meet his needs as well.

That is the key to PA behavior. It's all covert. And you can't blame others for not knowing the very things YOU refused to discuss. Yet that's what your doing. Comes across like you still believe you deserved to cheat. Your post above is quite different from your other posts here and comes off quite entitled and selfish. And extremely in compassionate and lacking empathy or personal responsibility. You sound tired of being judged. and angry. Really really angry. You sound angry at others for judging you for actions you know/knew we're wrong & most likely would have serious issues with someone treating you the same way. You sound very much like my own husband. angry at the injustice of being asked to face consequences for his own choices. Who was ok to make the choices to get him here when it wasn't hurting him yet wants to be angry at everyone else for the consequences of his choices rather then owning them. You do not sound like your feeling your wife's pain or any idea or desire to know how badly she hurt or to feel that empathy.

And the comment about starving & beating a dog is referencing yourself as a victim. You cheated on your spouse & managed to blame her & paint yourself the victim in just one post.

I'm Sorry kal normally I've enjoyed your posts this one really rubbed me
Wrong and possibly because it's very similar to my own story in how the wS avoids responsibility and the massive PA behaviors.

The difference in rebuilding your marriage after you've cheated and the "you gotta do this plan" is it's not covert. Only you can make it that way. Typical
People feel remorse and WANT to rebuild trust, establish intimacy etc not because they feel they have to or should or they'll get something out of it. Because they feel pain for causing someone else pain. When I wrong someone I want to make it right. For me. That's the difference.
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Courage
I take 50% responsibility in the demise of my marriage. It has taken me a while to get here... But I take 0% resonsibility in his decision to have an affair. As I stated in a earlier post, I too felt I was on the cusp of exploring the possibility of an affair... But I looked beyond the present and saw there were no winners in going through with it. I couldn't bare the thought of the pain I would cause my husband or my children if my marriage ended for another man. I made a very difficult but very conscious decision to not go there and do everything in my power to make my marriage work. Unbeknownst to me at that time, my husband was very deep in his affair. I made a 100% decision to not cross the line, he on his own made 100% decision to cross the line. That is not my fault. I have no responsibility in that. Those are his demons he has to face. I am so glad I went a different route. I would never in a million years want my actions to be responsible for causing this unbearable pain on another human being- least of all my spouse!!!
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Kalmarjan
To be honest, I never said that I did not own my part in the betrayal. I didn't say that I made a choice. I own my choices and the fact that I hurt my wife. I also own the fact that I lacked character to "do all the right things" that you deem right.

What I don't get though is the refusal to see that in some part you had some responsibility for the situation. I'm not saying you led your spouse into bed with the AP, but you are not completely blameless in the situation, no matter how "right" you feel you are.

Bottom line is this, I know that what I did was wrong, I know that I made a choice, even if it was an uninformed choice. Make no mistake though, if my wife was completely blameless here, then perhaps she married the wrong person. The reason? By your description she must have married a psychopath. Someone who really didn't care.

Yes, I was selfish. You know why? Because for YEARS, it was all about my wife. Yes, I admit it, I was a coward. I could have spoke to her about it, or went to counselling. Oh, except I tried that. I tried to speak to her, but yep... Didn't have the ability or the integrity to communicate it with her effectively.

But yep... Of course none of this was her fault. She gets a pass in the relationship because I cheated right? Tell you what... Ask my wife.

She owns that she made mistakes. She owns that her actions or her mindset did lead to the marriage breaking down to the point where I would consider cheating.

The difference is that she owns and is making the change necessary to build something bigger.

Yes, at the surface, she is right. I cheated. But, she asked herself the question... One that other BS may want to ask...

Do you want to be right, or do you want to repair things and make them better?

My wife chose the high road. She owns her part in what happened. You are absolutely correct, she did not MAKE me sleep with someone else, but WE sure as heck didn't ensure that our marriage was strong enough so that I would not stray. Im not saying it's her fault, but I am saying that we both were complacent. (Notice the use of the word WE here. As in 50/50)

I'm sorry to be harsh, but to hear all about "the BS is never at fault" IS putting your head in the sand. To say that you have no ownership over your marriage implies you have no control over the outcome. You know that isn't true.

I get it. It's easier to lay blame than to look at yourself. It is hard for me to be openly and brutally honest about my mindset and my actions, but rest assured, my wife did the same amount of work as me.

If she hadn't... I can't be sure that I would have ever returned. It wouldn't be worth it. Why would I be the person who did the wrong, make all the changes, only to have my BS not make any change - and clearly lay the complete blame at my feet, make no changes, and maybe I'll find myself in the same situation down the road?

Doesnt sound like a good deal to me. If that was what was presented to me, then I understand completely why it's so much easier for the WS to stay with the AP. There wouldn't be a change for them to come back to.

Sorry to open up a truth 2x4, but that is how I see it.
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Kalmarjan
Intuition77 wrote:
Kalmarjan wrote:
TimT wrote:
Who is more responsible for the affair: you or your spouse?

I know that I should say me. I know that now, yes, I am the one directly responsible. This is after much soul searching.

Let me. Unpack a truth bomb for you out there. If I hadn't have made it my wife's fault, I don't think I could ever have gone through with the affair. Allow me to explain.

I was number one in my wife's life, that is until my son came along. Then I got to meet the number one thing when it came to me in my wife's eyes. The resentment. Resentment because I "got to go" to work while she stayed home with my son. Resentment because I had to leave her in the hospital on the third day because I could not refuse to go to work three days in a row or I could lose my job.

Resentment for working so much, as my field is a low paying field, and to get big money you need to be on the top, which mean you work a lot. So, catch 22...work a lot don't get to see family... And pay for it in Resentment.

So, I am also a "nice guy" and I need validation. I start losing it from my wife, so I dig deeper into work. Which then fuels the Resentment.

As a result, I'm sleeping on the couch 9 times out of 10,and I'm not getting any affection from my wife. In fact, she may not even show any respect for me as a person or a man. Like, when it comes to parenting, she would overrule me. In front of family, or even my son.

These are small things, but they add up. I of course, can't confront her and let my feelings be known because I might lose her.

Then even better... I get sick. And my wife one time left me on the couch with full blown pneumonia... To take a trip with the rest of the family, pissed off because I "ruined the weekend" for her.

I'm not using this as an excuse now... But believe me... I was in a bad place and my wife basically took me for granted. She never, ever, ever, in a million years, thought that I woukd ever leave. She thought it would be her that left.

This is what I mean above.

Here's the thing, it brought me to this place... The blame. But I also made the choice to do what I did, but at the time I had convinced myself that I deserved to be happy. I deserved to have that happiness, so I thought I'd find it in a marginally hot 22 year old.

TL[biggrin]R - I'd say it was BOTH of our fault. To place blame on one partner is putting your head in the sand. Like it or not, you BOTH have a role to play in this affair. Sure, my wife didn't choose for me, but like I said in other posts... You starve and beat a dog, deprive it of water... Why are you shocked that he would bite the burger out of your hand?

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What does your spouse do to make you aware of their pain?


I pick up on body language, and I ask the questions. But, she will now calmly tell me, or it will come out in a fight that I know is not really what we are fighting about.

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When confronted with their pain, what do you do (retreat from it, get angry, try to understand, attempt to comfort, etc.)?


I try to understand. In the past I "fixed" the pain. I took it on myself. But, that didn't work.

Now I listen. I understand. I ask what I can do.

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What helps you or hinders you from being able to open to empathizing with your spouse's pain?


Judgement. I get it. I did wrong. I hurt my wife.

What will a pile of judgement do for that? If you think for one second that my wife has judged me more harshly than I have to myself? Not even close.

What helped me immensely was my wife trying to understand me and what I was going through. I know I've read some BS on here talking about how that shouldn't be their problem, or that boo hoo..

Well, if it works for you great.

In my case... while it hurts the other of us to examine this stuff, in the end I believe it helps to understand where and how we got to here.

Bottom line is this... I do not have any desire to go back to the way things were before... That led me to cheating.

Yes, some. May chalk me up to being dishonest, a liar, a cheat, scumbag. Hey. Label me. I'm cool with it.

I do know that I am making the effort to find myself.

You know the number one thing that attracted me back to my wife? Listen up to you BS out there, this may be relevant, or it may not be.

My wife can get along without me. She proved it. She showed me beyond a shadow of a doubt that she could be independent of me, and that she didn't really need me in the end.

She looked inside herself and made the necessary changes. She took a HARD look at her actions and how they contributed. She got professional help to change herself FOR HERSELF, not to "win" me back.

What that showed me was she WANTED to be with me. She was willing to meet me HALFWAY and we can get this done.

See, in the end, I don't agree with some of the material up in this forum. I don't agree with the subservient "I gotta do this for you" plan.

I am a reforming "nice guy" who for YEARS went through covert contracts and did all sorts of stuff for my wife because... I thought that everything would then work out. Well, it didn't.

So, in this case, we BOTH identified that there was something broken on the marriage and yes, I did sleep with someone else. But that doesn't change nor hide that fact, just obscures it.

Instead of the "I'll do anything to get back" plan, (which in all honesty will drive away any NG because they gave years of covert contracts) what I had to do was start to get real with WHO I am, define my boundaries, and stick to them.

My wife did the same. We are meeting each other half way. Marriage counselling, talking, dating, and taking a chance.



I appreciate much of what you said and your marriage problems honestly sound like many others. But your not taking ownership of your own stuff. You can't confront the issues or you'll lose her? That's yours and yours alone. That's your issue and belief and way of avoiding conflict. And excuse to engage in pa behavior.

You sound similar to my husband so let me
Give you this perspective. You know how the wife of this resentful nice guy feels?
Alone. Entirely. All the stuff about work and resentment. Guess what? Your spouse had it too. I overruled my husband on family/kid things too. Did I realize then I was doing it? No. Did he ever mention it? No. You know the perspective of why I did that? It wasn't to disrespect him or hurt him. It was because for years everything was on me. All responsibilities. He didn't step up and I was on standby mode of just taking over. And i resented the hell out of that. I asked and asked for input opinions equalness and after years it was just easier to do it myself. Because time and again he refused. So when he would make a rare decision or Input it was extremely foreign to me and 9 times out of 10 ( what I see now) it was a bizarre passive aggressive stand that he knew I would overrule. Like telling our daughter she couldn't pierce her ears after knowing I had already told her yes but having no reason whatsoever for telling her no & never ever mentioning he had a problem With it. So sure you had resentment. She did too. Trust me. There's always a flip side. Doesn't sound like you've given any perspective to your wife's side but wow how your obsessed with Insisting she needs to see your side. You are the one who hurt her you realize? If you want a good perspective of the wife of a "nice guy" and how that feels read the blog "letters to sh*tty husbands "(written by a man).
I have read the nice guy site you've referred to before and while it had good info it did rub me the wrong way as blaming everyone else for one not taking personal responsibility.

You talk about not pointing fingers yet your post is all about how you cheated because you felt you deserved it because you didn't feel appreciated. Implying had your wife appreciated you more (in ways you needed but never expressed so she would have no idea how to do so by the way-meet passive aggressive) you wouldn't have cheated. I'm guessing she didn't feel appreciated either. You know what happens in most long term
Relationships after a certain point-they stop appreciating each other. You know how typical people respond to that? They talk
About it & work on it. They don't betray their vows & cheat.

Sounds so much like my own marriage in which I'll say I tried to talk to my husband about our own needs etc and he rather then deal with it chose to take it as attacks and passive aggressively added it to the list of expectations he felt put out for being asked to meet. When all I wanted was simple things and in turn wanted to meet his needs as well.

That is the key to PA behavior. It's all covert. And you can't blame others for not knowing the very things YOU refused to discuss. Yet that's what your doing. Comes across like you still believe you deserved to cheat. Your post above is quite different from your other posts here and comes off quite entitled and selfish. And extremely in compassionate and lacking empathy or personal responsibility. You sound tired of being judged. and angry. Really really angry. You sound angry at others for judging you for actions you know/knew we're wrong & most likely would have serious issues with someone treating you the same way. You sound very much like my own husband. angry at the injustice of being asked to face consequences for his own choices. Who was ok to make the choices to get him here when it wasn't hurting him yet wants to be angry at everyone else for the consequences of his choices rather then owning them. You do not sound like your feeling your wife's pain or any idea or desire to know how badly she hurt or to feel that empathy.

And the comment about starving & beating a dog is referencing yourself as a victim. You cheated on your spouse & managed to blame her & paint yourself the victim in just one post.

I'm Sorry kal normally I've enjoyed your posts this one really rubbed me
Wrong and possibly because it's very similar to my own story in how the wS avoids responsibility and the massive PA behaviors.

The difference in rebuilding your marriage after you've cheated and the "you gotta do this plan" is it's not covert. Only you can make it that way. Typical
People feel remorse and WANT to rebuild trust, establish intimacy etc not because they feel they have to or should or they'll get something out of it. Because they feel pain for causing someone else pain. When I wrong someone I want to make it right. For me. That's the difference.


Im not upset at being judged. I'm upset because people here are not owning up to how their marriage is a 50/50 proposition. I take issue with the whole "well they cheated, so it's all their fault."

I understand about covert contracts. I understand about passive aggressive behaviour.

It's also not about assigning blame. It's about understanding how I got to where I did. It's stating the facts. How I felt at the time. How I was in a position to make a bad choice. My wife owns part of that, and believe it or not, is a good enough person to understand and own that. And to fix it so we both can make the marriage better which is the purpose of all this soul searching.

At the end of the day, please don't mistake what I am saying perspective wise to say that I am not taking blame. You and I both know that isn't true. I'm just speaking the truth of what happened in my case, which I am sure is different in your case with your husband.

I am also not saying that I deserved to cheat, or that I was right. I am saying that given the circumstances I can understand why it was so easy for me to fall under the fog of an affair.

I am not tired of being judged. I'm not tired of trying to fix things. I'm not tired of looking at myself and making myself better and stronger for our marriage. I'll never ever let my guard down again. My marriage is worth it, and I am lucky to have a spouse that is working at this as well.

Oh, and just to be clear... You all seem to be implying that I came up with the whole responsibility thing. Think again. As part of our marriage counselling, the situation was brought into the light. The marriage counsellor was not "sir you are completely wrong because you cheated and apologize and all will be better."

No,the MC got my wife to realize that she had a part in the situation. She didn't make the choice for me, but she did contribute to the situation. If she were to make a change so it would not put our marriage in the same position as before it would be like we learned from what happened.

No offense, but I see a lot of high horse talking here. I am not seeing anyone owning up to their parts. I see a lot of people refusing to acknowledge they have some power in their marriage. Like the WS spouse holds all the cards and keys to the happiness of the marriage, and how the BS can't have any ownership of the situation caused by the affair. In other words, no accountability for what their actions in their marriage brought to the table. Nice.

Finally, the no more Mr nice guy isn't about shifting blame. It's about taking responsibility for your actions and living with integrity. Just because I identify some things that happened in order to get me to a point where I made a stupid mistake doesnt mean that I don't take responsibility for my actions. In fact, understanding it helps me for the next time I will be in that situation, so I will act differently. I am not going to just say, we'll, hell... It's completely my fault about this whole situation. Truth be told, that would not be acting with integrity, or honesty. Uou know, the very things you referenced in your response to me that I should have done. Just saying.
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Kalmarjan
I also want to put it out there. I am 100% committed to the work on my marriage. In fact, I know my wife is doing the 100%
I have been reading books about recovery, also books on making me better, and how to be more vulnerable, and live with integrity. Why?
Because I know that I acted like someone that I wasn't. Without integrity. I know it was out of character. Hell, I'm. Sure Tim can even identify with this truth bomb...
If my wife and kid were not in my life (like I never got married) , if I was single truly.. There is no way that I would look at my AP right now and even consider her an option. There are too many things on the outside that would scare me away. I look at her now and think, what was I thinking?
I am working hard on myself so I can be good to myself, and be a good role model to my son, and be the best husband for my wife.
But, and this is huge... I will not refuse to identify something that contributed to the situation just because it is uncomfortable truth. No, I will leave no stone unturned and so the work so my marriage to my best friend has a chance to be better than it was before. I won't just mambo pamby up and tell my wife what I think she needs to hear so I can make her feel better and have nothing change. I legitimately want things to be stronger between us so I don't stand to lose my partner in crime again...

The point here (that was lost above) is that it ISN'T just a one person change-athon. My wife has put in just as much effort as I have. 100%/100%
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Bustedsmiles
No one in a marriage is perfect but I ABSOLUTELY will not take any of the blame for my spouses betrayal. Can I and will I keep trying to refine and grow as a person and as a wife? Of course! It's what I have been doing all along. I spent too much time and money in counseling to finally get it through my head that I did not cause IN ANY WAY the betrayal that was thrust upon me, to even for a second buy into the idea that, at least in my situation, I created the situation for an affair to happen. Nope. Not gonna happen....but no two marriages are exactly the same.
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Kalmarjan
Bustedsmiles wrote:
No one in a marriage is perfect but I ABSOLUTELY will not take any of the blame for my spouses betrayal. Can I and will I keep trying to refine and grow as a person and as a wife? Of course! It's what I have been doing all along. I spent too much time and money in counseling to finally get it through my head that I did not cause IN ANY WAY the betrayal that was thrust upon me, to even for a second buy into the idea that, at least in my situation, I created the situation for an affair to happen. Nope. Not gonna happen....but no two marriages are exactly the same.

This here I can get behind. This is said with no judgement. No two marriages are alike. In your case there may have been no fault on your part. (I don't know your situation.)

I know in my case that I didn't cheat 10 years ago, when I had the opportunity. I just didn't go there. It wasn't on my radar. This is what I mean when I say I acted out of character.

My situation was different. There were a lot of factors that went into what happened.

BustedSmiles I wish you all the best!
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Intuition77
You still sound really angry. I'm
Not high horsing. I'm not saying oh I made no mistakes. Never did I say I don't own my half of the marriage problems. I made plenty of mistakes in how I communicated interacted even how I sometimes treated my husband. To a non passive aggressive person when someone wrongs you and then apologizes you don't keep score. The PA oh they keep score. So I realized all the wrongs my husband dealt me pre affair I was wiping the slate when he apologized or what have you yet any wrongs I committed he was mentally keeping a tally. My apologies didn't even count. You seem
To be doing the same thing. All the wrongs your wife dealt you are still on the scoreboard yet your own extremely hurtful painful marriage ending wrong-just a mistake and anyone who wants to point it out is just out to get you & judge you & wants to be superior to you.

I do not nor will I ever own half the affair. I wasn't involved in it. I choose a different path for my marriage problems. I also have no interest in being right for the sake of being right. I do however have an interest. In not excusing wrong behavior. Which I'm sorry IS what your doing. If you want to say your wife gave you reasons to cheat that's fine but to me that's burying your head in the sand. Do you know what I see lacking in all your posts? Your wife's perspective. There's always I did this because I felt this way, yet you never say perhaps my wife felt this way and that's why she did this or that. In contrast I see most BS posts at least trying to get in their wS shoes or head. There's a definite lack of empathy or seeing through a lens that isn't your own. I won't argue because as I've learned arguing with passive aggressiveness is a lose lose. No matter what their always the victim somehow and someone else is to blame.
You'll say no my wife didn't make me
Cheat BUT she did this and that and so I had reasons. That's not owning anything it's blaming. Just because you say it isn't blaming doesn't change that it is.

I can understand hey we didn't put "us" first and it made the marriage hard, I own half of that in my own marriage. It still didn't make you cheat. Or she would have cheated too. Or I would have. We all would have. Your choices weren't misinformed. If your a grown adult and I assume you are then you knew cheating was wrong, not going to fix anything, and going to hurt your wife. If you didn't think it was wrong you wouldn't have lied and hid it. That's just excuses. If you chose to pretend no one would find out or ignore the obvious consequences like my wife will be hurt that doesn't mean you weren't aware-you chose to pretend not to be. Big difference. Really hard thing for a person to admit they knew they we're going to hurt someone and did it anyway, and maybe even did it to hurt them.

Look I get there's a lot of shame probably. No one likes to say wow look what I did that was so hurtful. All I'm saying is when someone looks past their own shame and sees instead someone else's pain that's when they can transform their shame into changes. Right now yeah you sound really angry. At me, posters here, anyone who you think judges your behaviors and especially your wife. Especially odd because your previous post agreed with much of what your now arguing against.

My husband does it too. Saying it's all half my wife's fault then closing it with but she's so awesome she takes half the blame doesn't make the anger at your wife non apparent. It doesn't change the fact you are blaming your wife for a situation she had no Input in. Yes we all can own our marriages and make changes none of us are powerless. However when you lie and hide your activities, feelings and reality none of us can make I formed decisions or changes then. A BS is powerless over an affair because they aren't involved in it & your hiding it and lying about it! By all means be angry at your wife for your perceived wrongs she dealt you, it may be very justified, your allowed to feel that. Express it. It doesn't mean she owns half of your affair. There's a difference between owning half the marriage problems and owning half the affair. The affair was yours. She had nothing to do with it. To suggest so is yes blaming someone else for your choices.

I had no desire to "judge" my husband beyond this is not acceptable way to treat me. I have that right. However when he chose to blameshift and makes excuses and continued awful behaviors yes I judge someone's behaviors. Doesn't mean I don't have empathy. Doesn't mean I don't sit and think if he was maybe feeling this way maybe that seemed attractive to him etc. But it doesn't excuse his choices.

When I say judge character it's because it's integral to who you are. If you didn't believe yourself it was wrong and hurtful you wouldn't have lied about it. A wS needs to come to terms with that own grasp of their character. They didn't just betray their spouse they betrayed themselves. That's a huge loss for a BS as well. Do you think we all sit around judging saying oh well aren't they just scum? We're just so much better then them? Look around. We go back & forth trying to make sense of it & figure it out. Trying to put ourselves in those shoes. To somehow make ok of a horrible wound. You have no idea how it shakes you to your core to see the person you love lose all their own self respect and integrity. When that person can stand against their own mistakes and choices and own it fully without placing blame that's when they start to regain their self respect and integrity and core character. And as Long as they place
Blame at others feet they can't reach a place of true self love & growth that they we're usually lacking in the first place.

My husband will say I don't blame anyone, I own this. Then follow with a million excuses, minimizing (I slept with another woman but that's beside the point-minimizing) justifying etc and that's why he stays stuck. Because he's saying he's owning it but he's not really doing it. He's still just selfish and angry and scared and handling things in the same passive aggressive immature way of not taking responsibility.

When I was a teenager I had a friend who I had a huge fight with and said some really nasty things to. And they did to me too. Things that when your a kid and selfish and thinking well I'll just apologize later. I never got to apologize because the family moved suddenly right after and being no internet cell phones etc then I had no way to contact them. That shame and guilt of what I said stayed with me for years. Not just remorse for hurting them but a shame for being who I wasn't & hurting someone. Because I went against my own core character. That's the shame I see in wS that they can't get past to heal their spouses hurt. Because they just can't take responsibility, doing so either makes them
Feel less or makes them
Feel their worse fears are true-they are horrible people etc. Years later I bumped into this person. I could have blamed. I could have said hey remember when we we're kids & you said this to me so I said this to you etc. I didn't. Because they didn't make me hurt them. I chose to respond that way. I could have pretended it didn't happen. Years had passed. But I didn't. Because ignoring it wouldn't make it right Inside me. Instead I said years ago I said some really mean things to you and it always bothered me that I never got to tell you I was wrong and so sorry for hurting you. They accepted my apology. But here's my point, even if they hadn't I had to own my own stuff. For me. For my own morals and ethics. I had to right that wrong to the best of my ability for myself. To meet my own standards & hold myself accountable for my actions. There was no if you hadn't done this or hadn't said that then I wouldn't have thought insulting you was an option. I was wrong. And I had to own my mistakes and try to make them right. I loved myself enough to know that my wrong did not create who I was or define me but I knew it was my wrong and my own to handle and that until I accepted responsibility for it without blame I wasn't honoring myself. As long as you try to blame your affair on your wife or marriage you'll never truly honor yourself and your own beliefs. It's just excusing your own behavior and not taking personal responsibility for your choices. And yes saying she did this so that made it an option for me is blame. Covering it with I own my choices doesn't remove the blame. Wow that's so similar to my husband. He truly believes if he says something that contradicts what he just said then it makes it so.

I'm Not saying that to judge but to try to help. I'm not a very religious person so forgive me for this reference if you are not religious or Christian etc. I remember reading as a kid about how one day you'll stand before god & have to accept judgement for your sins or wrongs. And no one else will be there for you to blame or half blame. It's just about you and your choices. And religion aside I think it's a good analogy for life. I operate my life in a manner that I hold myself accountable for my own actions. At the end of my days I stand in judgement of myself, I think we all do. Not that we make no mistakes but that we own our own stuff fully. Without blaming anyone else's part in it. I may in context of marriage talk here reference how my husband didn't talk or want to address issues, that doesn't mean I use that as my excuse for my own mistakes in my marriage. I see my mistakes standing alone. Regardless of if he said this bothered him, I wasn't being my best me when I did that etc. And I work on things in me I see as issues that created my half of those dynamics even though my marriage is over.

By your example your wife could treat you horribly for the rest of your marriage & always just refer it to well he cheated so that's why I do this now. He cheated so he caused how I treat him. I don't think you'd appreciate that much. Special rules just for you or what? Cause that's what your saying my wife did this and this and that gave me a reason to cheat. Well then wouldn't your cheating give her a reason to treat you poorly? No you (rightfully so) expect her to own her own actions and conduct herself in a manner separate from your actions. To stand alone and own her behaviors without blame. To stand in judgement of herself and hold her standards for marriage regardless of your actions. But yet you don't hold yourself to this standard. Usually I find when people complain about judgement and expectations put on them and standards and right and wrong it's because they're not holding themselves to the same standards they hold others to. You have no problem putting expectations on your wife and even expecting her to own half of your mistakes yet all her expectations on you are what led you to cheat, or be resentful etc. Just some food for thought. What's good for the goose and all. These special rules seem to appear for WS a lot. And the BS don't seem to have this thinking. Which doesn't make us morally superior though I think it does make us healthier individuals more ok with ourselves because of it.

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