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#914704 05/18/01 10:40 PM
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I have been reading here on this board a lot more than usual...<P>One thing I have noticed is the "out of the blue" syndrom...<P>My exes affair was out of the blue...I was rocked to the core...<P>Upon reflection and painful introspection...I sucked at meeting her needs...<P>IMHO if you have been here for a while and still see yourself as blameless...you ain't looking too hard for answers...<P>Yes that is an all encompassing statement but I bet a nickle to a doughnut that I am am in the ballpark...<P>Wake up folks!! If you want to change your life you have to change your life...<P>That means owning our stuff even when we don't want to...<P>Need help???<P>Read the <A HREF="http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3400_lovebust.html" TARGET=_blank>Love Busters</A>, <A HREF="http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3200_love.html" TARGET=_blank>Love Bank</A>, <BR><A HREF="http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3300_needs.html" TARGET=_blank>Emotional Needs</A><BR>pages on this site...<P>I predict they will be revealing...oh and answer the questions from the WS viewpoint...<P>Denial isn't a river in Egypt...<P>Those that are still raw emotionaly...give yourselves a break to get through the initial pain and trauma of this...but don't linger too long...time is precious if you want your spouce back...<P>Much Love to All,<P>Bill<P>------------------<P><BR>May the roads rise to meet you,<BR>May the winds always be at your back,<BR>May the sun shine warm upon your face,<BR>The rains fall soft upon your fields,<BR>And until we meet again,<BR>May god hold you<BR>In the hollow of his hand.<p>[This message has been edited by WilliamJ (edited May 18, 2001).]

#914705 05/18/01 10:45 PM
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Ok, I'm frustrated...I see so many hurting folks here and I only want the best for each of us...The reality is we don't have to be honest....we have to <B>get</B> honest...<P>I'm going to bed now....I tried and if I reach just one person then I have done my job of carrying the MB message.<P>Bill

#914706 05/18/01 11:21 PM
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For the most part I would agree with your statement that <P>"IMHO if you have been here for a while and still see yourself as blameless...you ain't looking too hard for answers..."<P>However, I do think that here are instances where the BS is not to blame for not meeting the WS's needs and therefore not to blame for the afair(s). And I feel that mine is one of those situations. I've added a link to my story so I don't have to tell it again and so you can see what I am talking about. <P>You see, my fiance and now husband was having affairs the entire time we were engaged and married. He has always told me that he is happy. That nothing was missing. We cannot guess what a person's emotional needs are. So if he told me that things were perfrect and he was happier then ever, how was I to know that his needs were not being met. If he had given me a chance, by telling me, by being honest, I would have been more then glad to meet his needs and then some.<P>To this day he says that there was nothing I could have done differently. That he was happy in our relationship. That in the time between his divorce and when we got engaged he got involved in some bad behavior on the internet. That is why he told everyone he was single, because he certainly could not tell them that he was engaged and then married and keep the "friendships". It was just so easy and available. He says he kept wanting to stop it but was compelled to seek the stimulation. His most important need is conversation. He is far more verbal then most men - a brilliant writer too. So he found the internet and chat a great place to be verbal. Says he just wanted the conversation, but of the 60 women he chatted with on a regular basis, 10 of the relationshiops just went too far. <P>So did I not fill his need for conversation? When he is not teaching classes he works alone out of the house. So he was alone part of the time. But I was always willing to talk. As a matter of fact, he spent so much time "working" (really in chat) that my need for conversation and other things were not being filled. My need for help raising and caring for HIS children were not being met either.<P>At the time I found out about the affairs in March, he said he had come to his senses and was breaking off the relationships. I found out before he completed the clean up job.<P>So will you please point out to me where I am to blame here for my fiance/husband's choice to have multiple affairs. I just do not see it.<P>E<BR> <A HREF="http://www.marriagebuilders.com/forum/Forum31/HTML/003008.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.marriagebuilders.com/forum/Forum31/HTML/003008.html</A>

#914707 05/19/01 12:38 AM
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where does the concept that accepting responsibility for the state of the marriage = responsibility for the A come from??<P>i dont get that?<P>look the BS is not to blame for the A. i have not heard of a case yet where the wife was a participant at least not on this site. how could they be to blame for the A?? <P>look i was the only one on the phone and in bed with another woman, I made those choices not my wife. she isnt to blame for the A i dont think any BS is.<P>but i guess i come here with the assumption that people who are choosing to try and reclaim thier marriage are going to allow that choice and all that blame rest on the sholders of the WS. and that they are here to figure out how to lets see whats the sub-title of the book?? oh yea AFFAIR PROOF YOUR MARRIAGE. or SURVIVE AN AFFAIR<P>so coming here in my mind requires the humble examination of the roles that each of the spouse played in the marriage that created and environment ripe for an affair.<P>i get that there are real losers and emotionally sick people, that even when there spouse is actively seeking to meet their needs (notice i didnt say meeting i said seeking to meet) they make this choice, and the quote brougth forward in the other trhead about being the luckiest guy in the world just proves that losers exist and that they dont deserve the chance they are being given. but there are people who through their life experiance could be so emotionally messed up that when things get too close they do things to intentionally create distance, the extream being having an affair. <P>i would offer that both of those instances are rare here, and the loser componant is larger than the other.<P>there is at times profound wisdom in the simpleist of things and at the base of the strongest of building and relationships is a foundation comprised of the simplist design found in it entirety yet without it they crumble.

#914708 05/19/01 12:49 AM
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Hey Bill......How are ya? <P>Great threads you've got going!!!!<P>Just a quick note to zorweb on my way to bed......<P>It's not about "blame".....it's about self reflection, spouse reflection and the reflection of the marital atmosphere and behaviors of both parties.<P>Some people know that they could have done much better as a "partner"....some perhaps could have done only a bit better and some have no idea what they could have done better. Doesn't mean that ANY of them are responsible for their spouses actions, just means that they also may have room for improvement - and NOW is the time to focus on what they can control as opposed to dwelling on or trying to "force the realignment" of their spouses behaviors.<P>Didn't get to your link yet, but just from what you have written here....<P>OK, maybe you had no idea about his needs exactly. How about any inklings of suspicious behaviors or gut feelings that something was amiss? He was divorced...why? Do you know facts or just his version? Were their doubts as your engagement and marriage progressed that came from either actual events or gut feelings within yourself that you ignored?<P>This is what you may be having to look at rather than an out-an-out "I was not meeting needs". Maybe his "needs" are still a bit askew from his previous marriage? Maybe you are meant to be evaluating your own character assessment skills, observation skills, communication skills, etc......<P>It is not just one factor that we all are dealing with.....but rather an accumulation of many!!!<P>Just some thoughts about what may help you gain some insight as to why things are the way they are and what YOU can do to aid them into developing in the right direction.<P>BIG HUGS and hang in there......You can't change him, you can't "blame", but you can effect the future by your understanding, knowledge and positive steps with action/behavior towards making the kind of marriage that you want and deserve.<P>Sheba

#914709 05/19/01 01:04 AM
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oh yea, and another thing, nothing in the concepts here or in any of the Many and i mean MANY marriage related books i have read and studied did i get the impression that i had the ability to change anyone but myself.<P>so as i post, i seek only to understand what might possibly be going on in my wife, and then seek to modify my behavior or gain new beliefs that change how i am in the relationship.<P>so i guess i come here looking to share and learn from others who have taken on the burden of self development and when i come across people who are not reflecting on self i guess i am surprised and dissapointed.<P>i mean really if we can all agree that we cant change the other person and i have a mountain of evidence to support that if anyone questions it, then i have to assume we are here to look at ourselves and the role we played in all of this.<P>why would you be at a place that is basically all about self development for the betterment of a marriage and not be willing to admit the role you played? again i dont get it.<P>

#914710 05/19/01 06:12 AM
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William, good food for thought. <P>Sheba, really great to "see" your words. So true... It is "we" who need to be honest with ourselves. The truth begins with us. It is extremely difficult to get to that point. We tend to personalize it all, much in the same way the WS does. It's becomes what is done to me.<P>I don't think we have that much power to control... or cause!! We only have power within ourselves and control of our reactions to the things that happen to us...( and boy has that been a hard pill to for me to swallow.)<P>I think when you can get to the point of disengaging from the power struggle of blame, and really do some serious self examination.... you learn more about yourself, your needs, and your motives than you could ever possibly imagine.<P>And hopefully, when you get to that point (learning about yourself and your own needs and motives) you are able to understand more about the needs of the 'others" in your life...and meet them.<P>Getting to that point, may or may not save your marraige (as it takes two), but hopefully it will strengthen the relationships you have with the important people in your life, and the ones that come in the future, and most of all yourself!!!

#914711 05/19/01 07:45 AM
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I see that I have a few folks thinking [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] excellent!!<P>I have never stated nor believed that the BS is 100% responcible...<P>Hell sometimes they are only 10% responcible...<P>But somewhere the BS missed the boat on meeting some needs...<P>Yes of course there are exceptions to every rule...<P>The WS that is a sex addict is one...<P>And yes of course the WS chose to cheat...But I believe that a situation was created that upped the risk in any marriage to suffer infidelity...aside from the SA...<P>My intent is for each of us to see what we did to help create that situation...That is the first step in recovering a marriage...We learn to eliminate Lovebusters...<P>I tend to dissagree with the "they are losers" statement...If they were such losers we wouldn't have married them [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>Hi Sheba!!<P><BR>Bill<P><BR>[This message has been edited by WilliamJ (edited May 19, 2001).]<P>[This message has been edited by WilliamJ (edited May 19, 2001).]<P>[This message has been edited by WilliamJ (edited May 19, 2001).]<p>[This message has been edited by WilliamJ (edited May 19, 2001).]

#914712 05/19/01 09:05 AM
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<B>Bill</B>,<P>Excellent food for thought (check where you've used "BS" and "WS" in your last post, tho).<P>I am reminded of the saying "All generalizations are untrue. Including this one". There are exceptions to most any rule. Having said that, there is a lot of truth in what you said, for at least most cases.<P>My W is the <B>former</B> WS (I've come to dislike using that as a permanent label since I'm trying to rebuild). We <B>both</B> brought lots of FOO baggage to our marriage, and both made bad decisions, as we didn't practice or know about POJA. We both had unmet needs. No, I'm not responsible for her choice to have an A, but I do have some responsibility for the state of the marriage. By making changes to which she reponds positively I may even be able to start us on the road to a great marriage beginning with my changes alone.<P>Character in a marriage isn't primarily waiting until you're tempted, then choosing to not succomb. It's making the choices now so that neither partner has a reason to be tempted. The point about accepting responsibility is not to place blame on the BS--I think that usually there is more fault on the part of the WS, certainly there is for their choice to have an A. The point is rather that we generally have more power over our relationship than we acknowledge, if we learn the right practices in time to save things.<P>This is <B>not</B> to point the finger at any one individual. I understand that some cases really are/were hopeless, but most aren't.<P>Bill, thanks for trying, you have a lot to contribute. Unfortunately, I see a lot of people just wanting to vent, with no MB principles in sight. Sometimes I post to the newbies and try to get them to read the materials, but it can seem like swimming against the tide.<P>Steve

#914713 05/19/01 09:10 AM
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My W has graciously allowed me to post this using her log-in name.<P>Although my W, as the BS, has posted on MB, I have not, though we do read some of the discussion threads together; we also discuss a lot of the thoughts shared here.<P>About blame: As the WS, I can state this with utmost certainty: my W was blameless in my behavior. There were EN that were not being met, certainly: however, I did not articulate those needs to her (this was before we both read Dr. Harley's books), and thus, the "blame" passes back to me in that regard.<P>There were many causal effects that led to me behaving the way I did, but ultimately, my behaviors were my behaviors. Of course, not all situations are similar--but I would be willing to wager that these "out of the blue" revelations all come back to the same issue: the WS is not being honest--either with the BS or with themselves. WS tend to pass these causal effects off as "excuses" for their behavior. "I was in a fog." "I just couldn't help myself." etc.; I have seen a lot of this transference of blame to the causal effect(s) in the writings here on MB.<P>From reading on MB it is obvious that many WS have not reached this stage: where they recognize that they are solely to blame in what has transpired, despite the causal effects that brought them to that point, ultimately the WS made an extreme error of judgment and followed an improper course of action.<P>Ultimately however, it goes beyond blame: owning the blame is one of the initial steps in marital recovery. Once blame has been accepted by the WS, it is incumbent on both spouses to move beyond that "finger-pointing" stage and begin implementing Dr. Harley's methods.<P>Since all this struck the BS "out of the blue" two months ago, we have come far: we have far yet to go. At least now, however, it is out in the open and a problem we can both surmount. It has been a painful experience for us both, but the long-term result--having now read Dr. Harley's books--will be a stronger marriage, a much better marriage.<P>The bottom line for both: be honest and frank (but remember the rule of protection) ... separate the causal effects, determine where the path strayed ... then, using Dr. Harley's methods, get back on the path and stay there.<P>Godspeed and good luck to all WS and BS: may you find your path.<P>B

#914714 05/19/01 09:22 AM
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Steve, <BR>I edited my typo...oops..LOL<BR>You made my point in your remarks, this is what many are failing to see...Thanks...<P>Z's spouce,<BR>You unknowingly made my point [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] by stating that important needs were unmet. Granted you didn't tell your W of those before hand, however that was ultimately the cause...<P>The essence of this post is to try get everyone to think. I find it dissingenuous if any of us refuse to see our part, regaurdless of if we knew it or not...I didn't know I wasn't meeting my exes need for admiration until after she beat track with the LRB...Does mean I was blameless...Nope! This did come out of the blue, but on reflection, the writing was on the wall...<P>Bill<P>

#914715 05/19/01 09:47 AM
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by WilliamJ:<BR><B><BR>This did come out of the blue, but on reflection, the writing was on the wall...<BR></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><B>Bill</B>,<P>My sentiments exactly! The reason it comes "out of the blue" is usually not because the signs were not there. Generally (uh oh!...another generalization coming) both BS and WS were not knowledgeable as to how to make a relationship work. Being unaware of how a good relationship works they were unaware of the depth of problems in their own, and of the danger of another relationship occurring which would start to meet the previosly unmet needs.<P>Usually the signs are there. Most of us may have been aware that our marriage wasn't that great, but did not fully appreciate the trouble signs prior to our MB education. Again, I'm probably saying the same thing as you did, just with a lot more words [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com].<P>Steve

#914716 05/19/01 10:27 AM
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Thanks Bill for a very interesting thread. At least it is one that I am not "out of bounds" in responding too. (BTW, yes, upon reflection, although I believe what I said in previous threads, I recognize one was not appropriately placed and for that I AM sorry.)<P>To me, from my own personal experience and from reading various posts, I do believe that (some) BS's do accept some responsiblity for the breakdown of the marriage. However, what I have seen (in my life and through MOST threads) is that although BS's are taking an internal analysis of EN they have not met and perhaps and internal beating up of themselves, they take an external(and very verbal) beating up of the WS. Like I cannot read my BS's thoughts and feelings, so too he cannot read mine. But, I can hear! I hear the anger, grief, self-pity. Once in a while, in a passing, inconsequential remark, I might hear, well yeah, I am sorry too. As I might never understand and appreciate the grief, sorrow and real heartache of a BS, so too, they might never feel mine. But I am here to say that yes, it is real--hurt is universal. Mine is real too and is not easily passed off with the causal remark that YOU had the affair (I can't but feel that such remark is meant to deflect from personal responsibilty for the breakdown of the marriage).<P>I can fully understand such remarks when the BS does not wish the marriage to continue. But, I must admit that I am still ignorant as to the impetus for such remarks when they want the marriage to continue. Yeah, hurt speaks; but I was under the (mistaken?) impression that the desire to mutually save the marriage would mean individual sacrifices on both parties. I believe an A is a choice. So to, do I believe that a BS's choice to forego meeting an expressed need in the marriage is a choice. And, at least for me, I don't think that wrong choices are to be assigned more blame than others.

#914717 05/19/01 10:31 AM
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Z and Hubby<P>thank you! that you two can read this together and come to your conclusions together is a very desirable quality i am seeking with my W.<P><BR><B>There were EN that were not being met, certainly: however, I did not articulate those needs to her (this was before we both read Dr. Harley's books), and thus, the "blame" passes back to me in that regard.</B><P>i keep wanting to change the word blame when i talk about the BS. the real deal here for me isnt Blame for the affair, there is a distinct difference between the A and the Marriage. the BS wasnt personally involved in the choice to have an A. so cannot possibly be to Blame.<P>the marriage, you all remember the marriage right? its that thing were all working to save? the marriage however is something that the WS and BS share in responsibility.<P>believe me if i were to catch a WS on here declaring that they didnt have any responsibilty in the condition of their marriage before the A id be all over them too. i just havent seem any do it yet, ill be ready though.<P>i use the analogy of feeling like a anti-aircraft gunner in WWII shooting in to the dark sky hopeing that i can somehow hit the plane i cant see and can barely hear when i describe to others how seeking to meet my wifes EN's. she simply cand articulate them on paper or in voice. what she writes down is clearly what she thinks is appropriate, what her faith would approve of what someone told her is right. and then she shuns the things she says she wants, outright avoids it. and is completely unresponsive. but when i finally figure one out and apply energy to it BINGO! now we are talking. <P>that she isnt telling me what her needs are dosnt relieve me of the responsibilty of meeting them, it doesnt shift back to her, its still up to me to get the job done, i just have to work harder at it. remember I choose her, so its my challenge.<P>

#914718 05/19/01 10:33 AM
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NV,<P>Maybe the intent of this thread has been missunderstood...<P>I'm not here to place blame nor am I here to chastise others choices...I'm here to share experience, strength and hope...<P>Finger wagging gets no where, it is a lovebuster...<P>Finding out what we as BS brought to the table and conciously making those changes is what I am trying to get across...<P>Bill

#914719 05/19/01 10:43 AM
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Bill, I certainly did not think finger wagging or placing blame was the intent of your post. And if my post come across as saying as much, I apologize, it was not my intent. My response, at least my attempt in the post, was to reveal what my H brought to the table. After reading much here, I surmised (perhaps mistakenly) that it was what many BS's bring to the table. I just wanted to say how those offerings, for me, are received.

#914720 05/19/01 02:01 PM
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Again using my W's log-in:<P>There are two separate areas of "blame" here: problems within a marriage and the conduct of the WS in having the A.<P>In regards to the first: If neither party articulates EN or problems they see within their marriage, then both are to "blame" ... The EN Questionnaire and honest and open communication can fix that. In a situation where one spouse thinks that the EN are being met because the other has not articulated that a problem exists, then the BS would certainly be "blameless". Note that there is a distinct difference here in blame (perhaps culpability is a better word) and in indirect contribution because of erroneous feedback from one's partner (ignorance is not bliss). <P>In regards to actual conduct: we all have choices to make in life, and we cannot pass blame when we make the wrong ones; and certainly, having an A falls in that category. So, as the WS, it is our responsibility to own up to that erroneous behavior and thus move on to recovery.<P>I heartly agree that finger-pointing is a huge LB; but it is essential that certain things occur before the rebuilding process can begin: total honesty and open communication (it is amazing that not only have we lied to the BS, but how much we have lied to ourself {self-justification runs rampant)); acceptance by the WS that the A is entirely a decision that they made, regardless of causal effects in the marriage or due to other factors (not that the WS has to beat themselves with it unmercifully ... but they should realize that the current marital status is a direct result of their behavior); and a whole-hearted willingness to implement Dr. Harley's steps to recovery. Without these things, the recovery will eventually flounder.<P>We have choices: the A can end the marriage or it can be the wake-up call that eventually takes the marriage to new heights. Thankfully, my W has hung in there--indeed, was the one who found Dr. Harley's books and this site--and this has been a HUGE impetus in my commitment on this road to rebuilding and eventually enhancing our marriage.<P>Godspeed and good luck to you all.<P>B (and Z)

#914721 05/19/01 03:48 PM
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Hi Bill,<P>When I wrote the "out of the blue" thread, it was for a specific reason, which I outline in a post about half way through. In short, it is a fear that no matter what I do, infidelity can (and sometimes does) enter into a relationship.<P>My intent was never to say that *I* didn't have a part in the breakdown in my past-marriage. Of course, there are two sides to the breakdown process -- although I am <B>very</B> careful to say that the person who has an affair is 100% responsible for THAT CHOICE. <P>I know even Harley says there are "reasons" not "excuses" for affairs. I have to be honest in saying that it upsets me to read that. I could come from the side of my ex-H having five affairs, or the side of my having one affair. Either way you look at it, I simply cannot use "reasons" to justify it. There is NO **good enough** reason to cheat. NEVER.<P>Okay, off my soapbox for now!! [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>Nice to see you among the posting, Bill [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>Love ya, Sheryl<P>

#914722 05/19/01 05:25 PM
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Hi WilliamJ,<P>The weather in fine here in NC today, isn't it?<P>I believe the purpose of your post was to try to get BS's to look beyond the horror of the affair and back to the way things were before the affair. To honestly face the state of the marriage and to look realistically at behaviors that might have set the stage for the breakdown into the affair. Do I have that right?<P>I for one realize that my husband had EN's that were not met. Specifically, recreational companionship and respect/admiration. Our of the ten ENs on the questionaire, those were the only two he says I did not adequately meet. I accept full responsibility for the fact that I did not do everything he wanted recreationally, and I did not give him the amount of admiration and respect he feels that he needs.<P>Yet amazingly enough, out of those same ten ENS, he was only meeting three of mine. And guess what? I didn't have an affair!<P>My husband had every right to be unhappy and dissatisfied that I would not partake of recreational activities with him as often as he liked, and that I did not shower him with respect, admiration, and blind adoration 24/7. I had every right to be unhappy with the fact that our marriage lacked conversation, affection, sexual fulfillment, domestic support on his part, etc. That doesn't give anyone the right to be unfaithful, but I have had this conversation (ad nauseum) on this site before.<P>The fact of the matter is that some people would be unfaithful no matter what the state of their marriage was, and some people would never cheat no matter how unhappy the marriage was. Not all affairs can be explained away by the fact that "my emotional needs weren't being met". If that were true, wouldn't everyone with unfullfilled ENS be unfaithful?<P>How about this- let's take the Harley approach. Stop concentrating on the past (affairs, behaviors, missing ENs, etc.) and take ALL the Harley knowledge and focus on today and tomorrow. Apply the ENs, lovebusters, POJA, time and honesty rules to our marriages TODAY and from now on.<P>Here's the way firestorm and I have agreed to look at it. It was OUR fault that our marriage wasn't everything it should have been and it was HIS fault that he had an affair. We have both acknowledged our responsibilities and apologized for our mistakes. But that is a very personal thing between the two of us.<P>You know, we counseled with Steve Harley for quite some time and I believe that he helped us more than anything else. But HE never one time told me that my husband was unhappy or unfaithful because of ME. Yet that is the way your post made me feel. And I don't think that I am the only reader who took it that way.<P> I was not completely insensitive to his feelings of unhappiness, but my husband's affair caught me completely off-guard because I totally loved and trusted him. Why should I feel stupid or guilty for saying that? And why would anyone want me to feel that way? MB is a wonderful way to build a marriage, but I wonder how many people were even aware of the Harleys until an affair had already occurred. <P>My point is that when people come to this site they ARE caught "out of the blue" and are in shock and pain. These members need to be comforted, cared for, and gently led to the Harley way, not chastized because they didn't already know what happened. I sense that you get frustrated because you KNOW what needs to be done. Most people here don't know what to do yet, but with the help of veterans like you, they can find out. Isn't that why we're still here?<P>Peppermint<p>[This message has been edited by peppermint (edited May 19, 2001).]

#914723 05/19/01 05:47 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 174
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Zorweb,<P>(for WS)I deeply appreciate your acceptance of full responsiblity. I feel that is critical to recovery especially since you admit to not being honest with your wife about your emotional needs. There is so many better choices the WS could have made instead of the pain of an affair. Maybe I am not reading enough of these posts, but it appears to me that many BS's are going above and beyond the call of duty in accepting responsibility for their half of their marriage. Obviously most BS's are not getting atleast some of their needs met if their spouse is screwing around. Can you imagine the agony these faithful spouses endure during plan A/plan B?<P>All WS's, give your BS a huge bear hug, a big kiss, flowers, a beautiful card with a handwritten love letter inside...... and just wait and see if that doesn't help you get your emotional needs met!

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