Thank you. I just wish I hadn't had to learn any of this..
Nope, it's just that your W and my H were both abducted by aliens from the same planet.
I think one of the tragedies here is that in many cases there is no way for the betrayed to have had a clue. Either the marriage really was happy, and the prospect of a new relationship is a strong enough force to pull apart even the strongest of marriages, or the betrayer was unhappy with the marriage and purposely hid that fact from the betrayed, or the betrayer was unhappy with himself, and the affair let him escape from himself and blame it all on external factors.
Yes, it is scary to know you can never fully trust.
If the betrayer shows remorse, and is interested in working on the marriage, perhaps the marriage can be stronger after an affair. But there are two sorts of betrayers (at least): ones who show remorse immediately or within a short time, and the rest, who convince themselves that they "had" to have an affair, who continue to blame the betrayed, perhaps for the rest of their lives.
I agree that there are two different types of people. I am just not at all sure that I would be able to identify who was worthy of marriage and who was not - I would never have predicted that my H would be unfaithful.
Yes, I could teach my children about emotional needs - but I am not sure how that would apply to my own situation. I tried to discuss the topic with my H, and each time I mentioned an emotional need, he denied that it was an important factor. He claimed that there are other emotional needs other than those on the list, but he wouldn't tell me what they were.
No, this is not just a vent. I am certainly not going to negate everything that came with my marriage - since that included my six children. My H has admitted that he has not been truthful for years. At first I thought that he was just looking at our history negatively because of the affair, but I am no longer sure. Perhaps the one thing that we will be able to agree on is that our marriage was a sham. He complained after he left that one of the things he didn't like about me was that I was oblivious - perhaps he was hoping that I would somehow figure out that he didn't want to be married to me - though he did not even hint that that was the case.
Unfortunately, I have changed. I used to be basically optimistic and trusting - and look where that got me.
I hope that I can teach them about responsibility, in spite of the fact that he is demonstrating that lack of responsibility can bring happiness, at least in the short term, and possibly in the long term.
Unfortunately, I still have no idea what went wrong in our relationship, and probably never will. He has given me very little information as to what he thought our "problems" were - just that they would not have been resolvable, even if we had dealt with them early in the relationship.
True, not all relationships end up like this - but enough do that I believe it is unwise to hope that any given relationship would be any different. No, he was not always a jerk. All my life I believed that you could count on a good person staying that way - and knowing that that is not the case is the worst part of this. I could deal with the knowledge that some large percentage, even 99.9% of people, were jerks, if only one could assume that the few good people would stay that way.
Glad (sort of) to see that I'm not the only negative one around here.
Unfortunately, my H and I were together for almost a quarter of a century before the marriage fell apart.