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When I mentioned to my wife that she was the really the one neglecting my EN's not the other way around, her response was "Well I'm sorry, but I have not loved you in years..."

So in her mind its ok that she did not meet my needs and then goes off and has an affair. This type of rationalization is probably pretty common amongst WSs.

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OK, kick me off and I'm sorry I'm butting in. But I wanted to validate here. No way was I meating BH's needs when I cheated. I was so selfish it would have been impossible for me to have been meeting his needs. Life was all about me. I don't think a WW can honestly say she was meeting her H's needs and then go out and have an A. If I had cared about H the way I was supposed to I not only would have met his needs, I probably wouldn't have had an affair. Don't let your WS pull that wool over your eyes. You are right on the money about this one. Okay, I'll go away now.

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An interesting perspective, lurioosi2. One I'd like to believe is true. But the WS can't see that, can they?

My WW, in her (now recognized as) fogbabble maintained that she had not changed in the relationship, I had. She had continued to show affection, was willing and available for SF at any time, and that it was I who had distanced myself from the relationship.

And it's true, in part. In an earlier post today, I gave perhaps my first analysis of what EN I hadn't been receiving. I struggled to find these, which is one reason WW was able to batter me with her justifications and accusations.

She was much more able than I to identify where her EN hadn't been met. In this respect, she was being completely honest, but only because the focus was completely on her.

We haven't gotten to the point where we can sit down and work on recovery. Perhaps we never will.


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Okay I'm jumping on the band wagon of my EN's were not being met either. Before I found out about exWH 2nd affair if he did do anything nice for me and I would tell him thank-you that I liked that he would stop doing it.
During the last year before he left anytime I would try to intiate SF he would reject me. We had even gone to a resort with friends and he rejected me every night that we were there. I never thought about resorting to an A, I knew how deeply they hurt.
I guess he didn't want to cheat on his ho.

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Using unmet needs as an EXCUSE to have an affair is about like the bank robber blaming the bank for robbing them because they wouldn't give him a loan. Dr. Harley actually uses that analogy in the post he wrote to me once.

I agree that many, if not MOST betrayed spouses were not getting their needs met either. But, they didn't have an affair, did they?

Originally Posted by Dr. Harley
MelodyLane: Let me add something to what I have already written to you. I hope I'm not being too redundant.

You will hear Joyce and I repeat, "there are reasons but no excuses." One of the reasons for an affair is that emotional needs are not being adequately met in marriage, which makes an affair that meets those needs more tempting. But the same thing can be said of some who rob banks. They may be out of work, need money to pay the rent, ask for a loan but are refused by the bank, which makes robbing it more tempting. One reason for the robbery is that the bank refused the loan, but it wasn't the bank's fault that it was robbed. On hindsight, a bank might have helped the robber get the help he needed through social services, but the bank is under no obligation to do so, even though they advertise that it is a "caring bank."

An affair is different from robbing banks in that a couple have promised to be more caring than banks. But the principle is the same. The lack of care by one spouse does not excuse harmful behavior by the other spouse. Even when one spouse absolutely refuses to be affectionate, or to make love, or to talk intimately, or to join in recreational activities with the other spouse, it gives them no right to have those needs met by someone else of the opposite sex in an affair. They have the right to separate until the other spouse meets those needs, or even divorce when it becomes obvious that there will be absolutely no cooperation (there are many who strongly disagree with me on that point). But an affair is so cruel and so painful that nothing any one spouse does (including having an affair themselves) can justify the suffering that an affair causes.

Making a disgraceful act more tempting by someone is no excuse for that person committing the disgraceful act. Besides, in most marriages, there are times when emotional needs are not being met for reasons beyond anyone's control. That's why I recommend extraordinary precautions to help spouses avoid an affair. They are to not allow anyone of the opposite sex to meet their need for affection, or intimate conversation, or recreational companionship, or sexual fulfillment. When those needs are met, they deposit so many love units that you are likely to fall in love with that person, and make you hurt your spouse in the worst way possible. I hope that explanation helps.

Best wishes
Willard F. Harley, Jr.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Thanks for the reality check ML. While what lurioosi wrote is likely true to an extent, my WXH wasn't meeting my ENs for a long, long time. I'm pretty sure he wasn't cheating that whole time. I wasn't meeting his very well either. He cheated, I didn't. Two different choices made to deal with the same problem. No, unmet ENs does not excuse adultery.

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You are correct in that unmet needs does not excuse adultery however i am sure that most WSs would disagree with you crazy ...............

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Originally Posted by Still_Crazy
You are correct in that unmet needs does not excuse adultery however i am sure that most WSs would disagree with you crazy ...............

Yes, you here them bandying this justification about, incessantly. What hypocrites, as most were terrible at meeting the needs of their spouses, IMO.
One has to really have to have a huge sense of entitlement and lack perspective to try to say that as the type of person likely to cheat, the WS was decent at meeting needs in the marriage.

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I wonder if a good question is whether the BS or WS spoke openly about how their EN were not being met and for how long. Were we or they vocal about it? I am not defending, just a question and could be said for BS withdrawing (if they did) before D-Day.

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Well count me in on the "BS not getting EN's Met" tally..... sigh

Our marriage was the pits...as I had described numerous times on my thread.

HOWEVER, I couldn't ignore the fact that I had not done my part in the marriage. I took on FULL RESPONSIBILITY of my part in the demise of my marriage. I also totally believed in Dr. H's reasoning in why people have affairs and HOW they happen. I also know that while my boundaries were much stronger than H's (I don't think he had any...) that given the right circumstances, I was too could have found myself on the other side of that equation.

BUT in the end, I had to quit doing a "scoreboard" of who was meeting who's needs better and just do the job I SHOULD have done all along......

not2fun


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Originally Posted by themud
I wonder if a good question is whether the BS or WS spoke openly about how their EN were not being met and for how long. Were we or they vocal about it? I am not defending, just a question and could be said for BS withdrawing (if they did) before D-Day.

I was vocal about it. I tried everything. His answer was that's just the way he was. I even accused him of tricking me into marrying him - because before that he WAS affectionate, we used to go out dancing and we had a group of friends we played cards with, and he was ambitious in his work and cared about fiscal responsibility. However, when he flat out refused to even attempt to meeting my needs, I did withdraw. That and I found my own ways to fulfill myself (friends, horses, work etc) so I not only didn't complain to him anymore, but I wasn't even really around him much. So yes, I am responsible for my share of the state of the M but I still didn't cheat.

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not2fun,

I think you explained it well. For some reason BS seem to act like they could never have A, when we've seen it on this board. Either RA or after d-day working to R, but having some sort of loss from finding out and then later (like months/years) find someone who "will listen" or "understand" and before they know it land in A land.

By saying you SHOULD have worked on you and worked on meeting S EN and not have a scoreboard of who's meeting who's needs how often, which ones, and how long. It's my opinion that we should always try to be in Plan A, shouldn't we? Isn't that the point of MB? To get rid of LB, AO, AH, and to meet our S ENs? With the Plan A, isn't this suppose to bring our S back to us. If there is no A, then "Plan A" is really implementing MB principles that ARE Plan A, which in turn will make for a better M, right? However, what if you are implementing MB principles yet the S doesn't put any effort in? This last question should not be included, but that is where MB breaks down.

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tabby,

I hear you. I have done the same with my S. I have been vocal since day one and 15 years later she is actually "getting" it. The other night was another argument about lack of SF. She always used, "Most M have trouble with SF." I was actually whitty enough this time to say, "Most M have nasty fighting too, do you want to be part of the most, and have an average M, or do you want an exceptional one?" She shut up at this and I could tell it was an epiphany moment for her, she was quite the rest of the night. Those moments use to be non existent until a year ago, and now they seem to be happening more frequent so I think after 7+ years of MB from one side of the marriage, it is actually working!!! But I'm exhausted from doing most of the lifting, glad to see her at least seeing that I've been lifting, not that she will at anytime in the future.

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I've accused my H of tricking me into marrying him before, too. After everything came to light, I found out he'd cheated on me before we were married.

And that's when things between us were always great.

My biggest fear is that my H is a serial cheater who will have ONS after ONS if he knows he won't get caught. Part of me wants to try to set him up with a female decoy of sorts to see if he'd take the bait.

Just to test him. Before I put too much time and effort into recovery. I know this is probably the wrong attitude to have, but how do you know if you're dealing with a serial cheater?

My H never once wanted to "leave" me. He just was fine sleeping with random skanks. ONS after ONS. And lying to me about it. I never once thought he ever wanted "out" of the marriage. He's even said that. i don't worry about him up and leaving me one day, I worry about him being, "that guy" who cheats on his wife any chance he gets.

Sure, now he's being great. Saying all the right things, doing all the right things... but there will always be another opportunity to cheat. I just wonder if he'd take it.

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It takes TWO to torpedo a marriage. But it only takes ONE to have the affair.

And yeah, I got the babblecrap from my husband too. His line though was even more pitiful. We had reached a real low point; a time when we barely interacted with each other. Truthfully, I was very close to leaving him. When I put him on that plane to go to his high school reunion, I jumped for joy at having two weeks WITHOUT him (if I had only known....)

But did I go out and have an affair? Would have never dawned on me to do so.

He once admitted to me that he thought my withdrawal was due to my having an affair. I wonder when I would have had the time to fit that in?

Anyway, his line of "I thought we were over" is just about the most pitiful thing I've heard yet. He thinks we're over so he hooks up with an old girlfriend? Yes, very mature. NOT More like "my navel is the center of the universe and I can only be concerned with my own happiness"

I lost a LOT of respect for him over this and the sad part is I don't think I'll ever, ever regain it.

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Originally Posted by not2fun
Well count me in on the "BS not getting EN's Met" tally..... sigh

Our marriage was the pits...as I had described numerous times on my thread.

HOWEVER, I couldn't ignore the fact that I had done my part. I took on FULL RESPONSIBILITY of my part in the demise of my marriage. I also totally believed in Dr. H's reasoning in why people have affairs and HOW they happen. I also know that while my boundaries were much stronger than H's (I don't think he had any...) that given the right circumstances, I was too could have found myself on the other side of that equation.

BUT in the end, I had to quit doing a "scoreboard" of who was meeting who's needs better and just do the job I SHOULD have done all along......

not2fun

...and,then, get out if the cheater does not respond to your doing your part. But do not resort to cheating, like the WS has done.

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It CAN take two to torpedo the marriage. But, one, alone, can do it ,as well, if the behaviors are egregious enough. The 50/50 pre affair problem thing sounds nice. But, it does not always hold up under scrutiny.

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My guess is all of them. Their giver stops giving and their taker comes out. The other persons taker comes out and the WS finds themselves in an affair.

From the MB website...
But in marriage, a strange thing happens to the way our Givers and Takers operate. They seem to work independently of each other. Either the Giver is in charge, and we give unconditionally to our spouses, or the Taker is in charge where we take what we want from our spouses without giving anything in return.

When the Giver is in charge, we are loving and considerate. But we tend to make personal sacrifices to see to it that our spouses are happy and fulfilled, because our Takers are not there to defend our personal interests and our Givers do not care how we feel.

But when the Taker is in charge, we are rude, demanding and inconsiderate. All we seem to think about is ourselves, and what our spouses can do to make us happy. We expect our spouses to make sacrifices for us, because our Takers don't care how our spouses feel.

I want to emphasize to you that this is normal behavior in marriage. You might think you're married to a crazy person, or you may think you're crazy yourself, but let me assure you, marriage is one of the very few conditions that bring out the pure Giver and Taker in each of us. And that usually makes us seem much crazier than we really are.

It should be no surprise to you that it isn't the Giver that ruins marriages -- it's the Taker. But the Giver plays a very important role in creating the problem. It's the effort of the Giver to give our spouses anything they want that sets up the Taker for it's destructive acts. After you have been giving, giving, giving to your spouse, and receiving little in return (because you haven't bargained for much), your Taker rises up to straighten out the situation. It sees the unfairness of it all, and steps in to balance the books. But instead of coming to a more balanced arrangement, where you get something for what you give, the Taker just moves the Giver out of the picture altogether. It says, "I've been giving enough, now it's your turn to give."



Me: 32 BS DDay: 9/14/08
Slowly coming to the realization that I
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Originally Posted by themud
I wonder if a good question is whether the BS or WS spoke openly about how their EN were not being met and for how long. Were we or they vocal about it? I am not defending, just a question and could be said for BS withdrawing (if they did) before D-Day.


It is a good question.....for us, the question would be "How were we vocal?"...Ummmm, through AO'S, DJ'S, Sarcasism.....you know, all those lovely love bustin ways.....

In seriousness though, 5 yrs prior to Dday, H did write me a letter about his unhappiness in our marriage. It mostly told me what he was missing, which EN'S weren't being met (not that we knew about EN'S then....), and which LB's I had been engaging in. The letter DID NOT go over well with my Taker though.... sigh....Unfortunately, some issue's came into our lives that had to take precedence over the issue's in our marriage, and by the time all that was resolved a couple of years later, neither one of us were willing to address our marriage. So we just coasted by, letting the other know about how our EN'S were going unmet (can we say total Taker mode....) through LB'S and fights, not resolving them, and then wham!!! before you know it, H is head long into an affair......the only if's.


I would gather many spouse's, both BS's and WS's probably DID let the other know about their unhappiness, but when done through Love Buster's, usually the point is missed. And so they enter into WD. The state of confliction is usually dealt with in either a fight or flight method and when the fighting doesn't resolve anything (like it ever does....), the next logical step is flight, which typically is WD. Thus the cycle continues......

Looking back, all of this is easy for me to see NOW, but at the time, no understanding what-so-ever......live and learn

I would also like to add, that when my EN'S were not getting met, I never thought to have an affair. But then again, neither did H. I truly believe that most affairs aren't done intently.

I can also attest that in COW's sitch, both of them were happy with their M and attested that the other was doing well with meeting each other's EN's. So, while H and I are the "unhappy and crappy" example, they were the "happily married" example.....

not2fun

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COW's sitch is a perfect example of the uppitiness of most on this thread, like it would be impossible for them to have an affair. Yeah, our WS were the weaker, but we are all vulnerable. Bump into someone on a regular basis at work or any where, say passing cliches, then wham! Caught in a web.

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