Nellie - I have to agree with you - I, too, don't know if I can ever trust someone again and have another relationship. If relationships are about nothing except getting needs met, how can either person feel truly loved for who they are, for the uniqueness of themselves? If all that matters to a spouse is getting their needs met, then I guess it doesn't matter to them who meets them, only that they are met. So if the current spouse doesn't meet them, you are then justified in finding someone who will? This seems to be merely reducing people and relationships to basic terms of "getting" instead of giving. It seems that the difference between the betrayers and the betrayed comes down to this - the betrayers only care about what they need, not about what they need to give. The betrayed ones seem to not be as concerned about what they need, but about what the relationship needs, but, as you said, the betrayers very often do not articulate their needs or their unhappiness. In other words, they do not take responsibility for themselves and their part in the unhappy relationship. If they did, they may have to face themselves and the fact that they are really unhappy with themselves, not just the spouse. Betrayeds usually tend to neglect themselves and their own needs, trying in vain to make the betrayers happy, but to no avail. The betrayers take the easy way out, merely replacing one "needs provider" with another - one that will more likely meet their "needs". Seems to me that this is selfish and shallow in the extreme - that marriage vows mean nothing, your spouse who loves you means nothing, promises made mean nothing, honesty means nothing, a shared life that is basically happy means nothing. Shouldn't we be loved more for who we are, and not solely for what we do? Also, some betrayers "need" things that are unreasonable, things that cannot be given. Then what? Are we required to give in to emotional blackmail in order to keep our spouse?
My H (now ex) walked after 17 years, in order to get what he wanted with another woman. The woman he picked has been divorced twice, is mentally unstable, and apparently has not much moral fiber or strength of character. I was a loyal, hardworking, loving, tolerant wife to him, even when he neglected our marriage and refused to be honest. But, as long as she met the need that I could not provide, that was all he needed to throw away 17 years, a person who loved him unconditionally, his home, his honor and his integrity. Says a lot about his lack of judgement, I say. All I can do is shake my head with disbelief. So I guess I am better off without the likes of him. But if one cannot trust the person you spent half your life with, trusted with your life, then who can you trust?