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I'm not sure I can find the right words to express my question but I'll try.

Today I went to a new Conventional and Holistic GYN for a check up. He was especially into energy work.
In the course of the initial Q&A I told him that my H had had 3 affairs in our 27 yr marriage the last one ending a year ago.

At the end of the appointment he asked if I had considered what in me created the atmosphere that allowed this to happen again and again. Kind of like when an woman (my sister for one) who has a pattern of getting together with one abuser or alcoholic-abuser after another until they can process what it is that draws them to that type of person or why that type of person is drawn to them. There tends to be patterns.

The Dr. suggested I meet with a woman who practices bio-feedback and hypnotism to look back at my childhood issues possibly involving trust. I would prefer not to do this with hypnosis. I believe that we are all a bit hynotised by life and need to find our way out of that hynosis to really see clearly in the moment maybe through meditation but not being further hypnotised..

When I was 18 I was with one other boyfriend that was into cheating who told me he loved all women. He was an alcoholic drug abuser too (that isn't one of my H's problems). Other than that guy the only one who has cheated on me was and has been husband whom I've been with since I was 22 yrs. old. If H had another A and I decided to divorce would I be likely to choose another man who would also be inclined to be unfaithful just as my sister has chosen seriously abusive men a few times over?

I've looked at my contribution to the environment that allowed the affairs to happen but I don't take responsibility for his choice to have A's. For example: I have corrected a couple of areas one being the need to be right all the time, seeing things a bit too black and white or rigidly, and not being a good listener.

Have any of you worked on looking at whether there is something to the idea that this could be a pattern? What have you found out about yourselves from your childhood etc. through IC or another alternative therapy, or method?

It is said that once an abuser always an abuser or something implying that it is very hard to nearly impossible to change. People have told me "a leopard doesn't change his spots". (I'm hoping my H has changed his and it sticks this time.) Does the same hold true for the BS?

I know that as we are working our way though MB principals and making many positive changes in our marriages that we hope that we will be able to sustain these changes and not get complacent. I don't want to miss something else that I may need to work on in myself.

I know there is always a risk in every relationship. I know that any of us could choose to cheat if we let down our bounderies and the right mix of temptation presents itself. No one is supposedly immune. We'd just like to think we are. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="images/icons/rolleyes.gif" />

It just seems that when I make a decision to stick with a plan, like fidelity, and now that I've learned many of the ways that they can and do happen; it seems like I have sufficient bounderies to avoid the situations that foster their inception.

<small>[ December 15, 2004, 07:24 AM: Message edited by: Trix ]</small>

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I firmly agree with you about the part of deciding about fidelity. Our pastor has always preached that most people don't intend to sin - they just get caught up in it. He said that when a married person starts getting close to a person of the opposite sex, they need to RUN the other direction.

My H did not "guard his heart" and now admits this. He started out trying to comfort a neighbor whose H was called up for active duty. It developed into an affair and now they are living together.

I do believe that I am "affair proof" because I always put honoring my marriage first in my life, and never let anything get started. I think the BS has very little to do with it. I know this goes against the thought on this board, but I am certain that MY needs were not being met in my marriage, but was prepared to stay for the long haul. My H on the other hand came from a very dysfunctional family, and requires constant care and all of the marriage's resources. He is now with a woman that cheated on H and left her daughter. She is prepared to totally devote all of her time and energy to him. She does not work, and all her efforts go towards making him happy.

We raised 4 kids together and had 2 of his step-children part time. Plus I work full time. Lots of my energy went toward children, cleaning, cooking, and work. That is just life. He decided it would be easier to take up with OW who dumped her daughter. Now she can devote all of her life to him. This is just something he appears to need.
So I hope this answers your question. Good luck and keep posting here. It really helps.

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Hi Believer,
Thanks for responding. I was about to try to delete the thread since it wasn't getting a response.

Your H moved in with your neighbor? Are they still your neighbors? If so, how awful!

I am not recalling your story, guess you've tried to plan A & B? Did you try the 180. That type of approach seemed to work the time before last. I also read "Love Must Be Tough" by Dobson. The last one I plan A'd before the actual D-day and then told him he was free to go live with her (she was separated from her 4th husband) and we would split up our assets. I found MB website right away and read lots and lots of the articles. I was at the point where I would move on unless he decided to fully commit to NC and our marriage. He woke up out of that fog pretty quickly. He was already feeling very guilty. We got some counseling and did the MB weekend. I think he gets it now: no more friendships with personal conversations with people of the opposite sex.

I'm reluctant to say I won't go through another A but that is how I feel. He knows what he has to do and I also know what I have to do. No excuses left.

Are you still holding out hope for your H to wake up?

Do you think that we/BS types attract adulterers?

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I definitely think there is a profile to the abused wife. For one thing, I relied too heavily on my H's opinions and so was willing to take the blame for abuse, including a broken arm.

With the A, I think part of it is that the H thinks he can get away with it. The W may have shown such dependence and lack of self-respect that she would put up with anything.

Well, I don't know that I can get from M what I wanted now that he has cheated. BUT while I try to decide that, time passes and he has had limited consequences other than complete physical withdrawal.

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Hmmm...

Well, I've only had two serious relationships in my 34+ years of life. Well, three longer than maybe 3 weeks, but only two that were really serious, my current marriage, and one other engagement.

Just read my sig and you'll know how my marriage is going. But that other engagement, wow, the similarities are scary.

Quick summary of how that one ended is that she moved out to "figure out how she felt". We continued to see each other and share SF until Valentine's Day, about three weeks after she moved out, when she came over for dinner.

It was then that she told me she was engaged to marry someone else, who had proposed the night before for Valentine's Day, because he was working that night. In fact, she only told me AFTER we had been intimate again. In fact, she came to me a few more times over the next month, being unsure of her decision, maybe wanting to be with me again, and continuing the SF.

And the kicker is that, after they got married in May, and she got pregnant, their child was born the next year on my birthday!

So anyway, I've wondered this myself. In my only two very serious relationships, my partners have been unfaithful. So maybe it's something about what I'm drawn to or how I treat my relationships.

Hmmm...

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4-give - My H fell in love with neighbor. Luckily I figured out what was going on. He wanted me to move out, but I didn't. I told him at the time that I was worried that he would move her in. He said that was not even in his mind.

Since then they have moved in together - but away from here. Her H and 12 year old daughter are still neighbors.

I am still in Plan B and have been in NC for 10 weeks. Life is much better for me now. I have been able to move on with my life and take responsibility for it. I don't have very much hope that we will reconcile because he is getting all of his needs met by OW.

I don't think that we BS's attract cheating spouses. It is a decision that they make. However if I ever have a relationship again (and right now I'm not thinking about one), there is going to have to be a lot more giving from the other person. I will never put up with what I have gone through for the last several years.

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I don't think that there are similar personality traits that causes one to seek out relationships that involve infidelity.

I think that infidelity is a much more common theme to a lot persons lives especially in the dating scene.

There is a different mindset in cheating that occurs in people who are young. early twenties...that it is such unchartered waters for both parties in figuring out and realizing the importance/significance of committment and what all it really means...

when in my twenties I tolerated many behaviors in myself and others that in my now thirties I would never tolerate
game playing, mind playing, manipulation, huge rationalization for me and others... etc...

I don't think that at eighteen we have the tools or experiences that apply to infidelity and its true ramifications that occur later in our relationship, marriage, dating patterns....

I would look at the ages of persons involved in the infidelity rather than a personal pattern or specific personal traits...


The repeatitive pattern of abuse goes much deeper than a repeatitve pattern of infidelity over the span of time...and I would argue that once cheated on in what was believed to be a seriously committed relationship...makes the BS even more vigilant and more wary of ever falling in that trap again.

But being abused by a spouse affects many external factors.

Persons in abusive relationships are often much more isolated from healthy relationships either by the abuser or self inflicted from fear of being found out....

Persons subjected to abuse suffer greatly from self esteem issues that can affect seriously their own interaction with others...often to the point of surrounding oneself in an environment in which the people you let get close to you...are people capable of the same type of treatment or abuse towards you....

So abused persons shun and hide from healthy individuals that would never even consider abusing another person so that even when they get out of an abusive relationship...their whole social system is made of others ready to step in and take up where the last abuser left off...

People who experience infidelity abhor it so much they seek much healthier relationships....and find other infidels intolerable....

I do believe people can change and learn...
some are on the very low slow point of that learning curve though <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" />

I believe that people who engage in infidelity truly can come to learn the error of their ways...and in a lot cases become a person that would never ever go back and do that again....
I know I could never go back and be that young twenty year old...nor would I want to be like some of the things I was then.
Figure if I can change...so must others be able too as well

People who engage in affairs do a lot of compartimentalizing and can really have a hard time seeing it as causing harm to their spouses...and though it is false, can claim in their minds it never was about their spouse...and they really never did mean to hurt them...
(though we all know it hurts...)

People who abuse know that their actions directly hurt another person....they can't get around that fact no matter how they try...
deep down they know it in their soul...

The Dr. suggested I meet with a woman who practices bio-feedback and hypnotism to look back at my childhood issues possibly involving trust.

I think you are wise to be wary of this advice...it can be a double edged sword...and there are lots of "therapists" ready to label us all as victims. Powerless over anything in our lives...
It is more important to stay focused on our behaviors that are present today...see which ones serve us and the persons we love in our lives well...
and replace the ones that ineffective...

Last thing we need is someone to come up with some thought that it is the BS own personality trait that CAUSED the WS to stray....
whoooo-hooo would the other sites supporting infidelity have a field day with that one.. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="images/icons/rolleyes.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Razz]" src="images/icons/tongue.gif" />

ARK

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An interesting thought. I don't know if I like the idea of having qualities that would attract infidelity, but maybe because it hits home. This is a great topic. You stated:

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">
Today I went to a new Conventional and Holistic GYN for a check up. He was especially into energy work.
In the course of the initial Q&A I told him that my H had had 3 affairs in our 27 yr marriage the last one ending a year ago.

At the end of the appointment he asked if I had considered what in me created the atmosphere that allowed this to happen again and again.</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I like that your Dr is making sure that you are taking care of yourself, protecting yourself. As a BS, we MAY have HELPED create the "atmosphere" for infidelity. But "attract" it?

By applying what can be learned through MB, other educational sources, professional guidance, that "atmosphere" should no longer exist, right? Does he (your Dr)know what you have done and/or are doing to change the "atmosphere"?

I do think people can change, but certain patterns or habits are very difficult, I would agree... nearly impossible. My IC/MC has reminded me of this on more than one occasion while helping me understand some of H issues.

I know I had childhood issues with love and trust. Not every man I was ever in a relationship with cheated on me. Knowing what I know now, I see the problems that were in the relationship with the man I chose to marry, though. Even an unhealthiness about it, compared to men I dated who didn't cheat. There were signs, so to speak, in hindsight. I was young and dumb, I mean "in love". I did choose someone who didn't treat me with the kind of respect I deserved.

It wasn't obvious to me at the time, though I "wanted" his "love" even though all of his actions didn't display that he would be good for me. Exactly what I felt in my childhood, where love wasn't displayed in a way that felt consistently good or that I felt I could trust. I did choose this man while I still had my "baggage". For me, and I know I'm not alone, it was because of what I "knew" and was "comfortable with"(even though its not really comfortable, its what you are used to) that I chose the man I did. Then, I guess I sort of trained him how to treat me, just in case he was going to be good to me (god forbid). We all have our own baggage. His A was definitely my wake up call.

A are disrespectful. Couldn't we say its possible we either married someone that didn't have enough respect for us, or that they lost some respect for us, or a combination of those? We are so close to those we marry. Its so tough to separate the baggage once it has been mixed together, to say what belongs to who. Maybe our spouse never had enough self-respect. Whatever the case may be, we are the one that chose our spouse.

I chose to stay in my M (so far), so long as we are BOTH working on ourselves, and seeing improvement. I love all that I have learned over the last few years because of A, and wouldn't trade it. At this point in time, unfortunately, I can't say I'm feeling overly optomistic about my M. There is still hope, though, thanks to MB.

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Hello...I've only got a second, but wanted to suggest that you read the book, Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix. This might be the type of "attracting" that your Doc was talking about. The basic idea is that we look for a life partner who has all of the basic traits of our parents or primary caregivers (good and bad). We hope that this person will do it all right, unlike our caregivers...basically helping us to heal any childhood wounds. These requirements that we have for a spouse without even realizing it holds quite true statistically according to Hendrix. There are exercises in the back of the book that are similar to getting a couple of months of therapy!

Take care!

Stillwed

P.S. Our timelines are very similar!! Read about the men's group in my signature line. They build men of integrity if your H wants some support in his desire to be a different man than he was before.

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Thank you all for your responses.

Broken Heart and Arm:
You said:
"I think part of it is that the H thinks he can get away with it. The W may have shown such dependence and lack of self-respect that she would put up with anything."

I do think that my H also thought that he could get away with it and at the time that I wasn't worthy of respect. I did probably also lack some self-respect from some of my reactions after finding out. But I wouldn't put up with anything . I don't think you have either.

Uncomfortably Numb:

It does seem odd the way the woman you were previously engaged to behaved as she did. I don't think that you brought that on. That speaks more to her lack of character. Odd also that the baby was born on your birthday. I'd be surprised if her marriage lasts.

It is hard to know if it is who your attracted to or how the dynamics are within your relationships that would allow your partners to cheat. Is it possible that you put them on a pedastal too much giving them all the 'power'? You may want to look at that. Woman seem to act like we want the power but I think that we really want the man to take on the task. I'm not talking about a chauvinistic power struggle either.

You know how it is said that some women are attracted to bad boys and the nice guys finish last...maybe it is along that lines that we've are chosen our partners for the wrong reasons.
Maybe men also choose a woman because of some more shallow criteria than looking at her 'character' too. Of course once we are in these marriages we are bound by our vows to make the best of them.

There was probably some wisdom in having arranged marriages if the parents are trustworthy and of good character themselves.

Believer:
I'm glad they aren't living next door but it must be kind of weird for you and OW's H.

Isn't is awful how low people can sink in the throws of these A's.

Ark:
As usual your post has lots of truths.
I do know that I am much more vigilant...maybe too much so.(?) I hate having thought before H's last A that it was because of some self fullfilling prophesy..that I was projecting somehow. I know, I know, it was his choice to have another A. I do see his choices as having been a flaw in his character and integrity which he seems to have changes. When he is good he is very very good and when he is bad he is awful.

I know that it was hard to word this to not imply that the BS is the cause. That wasn't my intent.
It is who we chose and why that I'm questioning. Maybe when we were young we weren't always wanting to focus on the negative character traits we may or may not have seen. There may have been clues we overlooked. (there were in my case) Or as you said many of us have grown up to not tolerate similar things.

tofeelthelove,
You said:
"I know I had childhood issues with love and trust. Not every man I was ever in a relationship with cheated on me. Knowing what I know now, I see the problems that were in the relationship with the man I chose to marry, though. Even an unhealthiness about it, compared to men I dated who didn't cheat. There were signs, so to speak, in hindsight. I was young and dumb, I mean "in love". I did choose someone who didn't treat me with the kind of respect I deserved."

That struck home with me. When I was first with my husband I witnesses how he used his charm and flirted with other women even when he was with me. It wasn't very respectful. Women really liked him...I liked him too..I thought that he chose me exclusively at some point. Afterall, he asked me to marry him. It was after he accepted the Lord in a very powerful conversion experience and thought it wrong for us to continue to live together. Anyway, before that, in hindsight, there were signs of his character that I chose to overlook. After we were married I often questioned him about his commitment to me and never felt quite secure with his somewhat evasive answers. (he still had a roving eye) Or, when I questioned his ethics I didn't like what I heard. He had intimacy issues from his own past relationships and I bore the brunt of that too.
We both had "baggage".

Stillwed,
Thank you for reminding me of what "Getting the Love You Want" teaches. I will go back and look at that. We each have the book and went to a weekend "Getting the Love You Want" Imago weekend (taught by Harville Hendrix certified therapists) back in '97 or '98. The stuff they taught about choosing our spouse after the traits of one of our parents was interesting. Some of it did ring really true it just isn't easy to clearly recognize. We learn lots but I don't always retain stuff well. It isn't always easy to continue to use some of the skills we've learned but the communication techniques taught there are helpful when we do. Gary Smalley teaches a very similar communication technique (also like the Parrots)to Hendrix. We went to one of his seminars too but the Getting the Love You want one was more intense and detailed. Unfortunately, neither affair proofed our marriage as I hope that MB is helping to accomplish this time.

I did have HNHN after the 2nd A but H wasn't receptive to it then. SAA had an impact in helping H to end the last one.

By the way we've done the Ennegram tests and I'd like to read more about that sometime.

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by 4give:
<strong> Uncomfortably Numb:

It does seem odd the way the woman you were previously engaged to behaved as she did. I don't think that you brought that on. That speaks more to her lack of character. Odd also that the baby was born on your birthday. I'd be surprised if her marriage lasts. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Well, their marriage ended about 3 months after the baby was born, on or around their 1st anniversary. When her now Ex (who had been a friend of mine) talked about it, he had this to say. Mind you, this comment was coming from a man to whom family is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in life...

"I don't care if I ever see my son again! I just want that b**** out of my life!"

That's not how it ended up of course, but that's how negative his feelings had become for her in their 1.5 year relationship.

Also, that was 7-8 years ago. What was kind of funny for me was that they split up right around the time that my WW and I started our relationship, and that woman was one of the first "tests" I had. More than once she tried to seduce me, including once while my then GF now W was there with me! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="images/icons/rolleyes.gif" />

Anyway, I don't know if we "attract" this "type" of person. But I do see in myself a pattern of behaviors that most certainly helps to create a less than "ideal" environment.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Is it possible that you put them on a pedastal too much giving them all the 'power'?</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Absolutely!

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Why am I not surprised that her marriage didn't last. I wonder if she will ever wake up and recognize the mess she makes. I wonder how many marriages it will take. The feel sorry for the child. That is the sad part about it all.

It is so important for us as parents to be good examples of people with character, honor, integrity, and morals.

You sound like one of the good guys. Be strong and you will be a survivor.

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Dear 4give,

If you had a lot of these tools before your H had his affairs then I'd really be concerned about what his motivations were for having the affairs. Does he have childhood issues? The only way to affair proof the marriage is to affair proof yourselves as individuals. Three is a lot of affairs to have when you are actually working on your marriage with the likes of Harville Hendrix's materials.

If you were applying these principals and he still had affairs, then he's got to look really deep inside of himself to see why he does this. The marriage is most likely not the problem. Any ideas?

Stillwed

<small>[ December 23, 2003, 11:57 AM: Message edited by: stillwed ]</small>

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Well, through MB we learned that he is a classic conflict avoider. He also seems to have a clear understanding that he is not a person that can make friends of with persons of the opposite sex.

His last A, he claims, was an EA for the first until the last few weeks where it became a PA on two occasions. That has been very difficult for me to believe but he has agreed to the policy of radical honesty and I don't know why he would think that lying about this would have diminished any affect that would have on me.

He recognizes the moment he took this woman's call (he had developed a friendship with her when working on a rehab home in her neighborhood in 2000 that ended when I discovered him there and told him I didn't approve and he had to end it. He did end at that time telling me nothing ever happened they just talked) in on May 5th 2002, after her husband left her that it became an affair. He didn't tell me about who it was that called (stupid me I gave her his cell phone # because she called our office and I was taken off guard...didn't recognize the name thought it was job related. I was trusting again..mistake....) and then they picked up where they left off with their secret friendship by phone and then meeting for lunches..progressing to his being hard to reach by cell (especially at lunch) and being late from work, kind of disappearing for hours at a time...to starting to drink out of guilt (the last few weeks before D-day) which is not his norm....to discovery when I got his cell phone detail again. That phone detail is something I will always want now. Unfortunately, the new company doesn't show incoming call detail. That EA/PA lasted 8 months.

It was the one before ('94 to '98) that was much more serious-4yrs on and off. That is the main one where I felt like I went to hell and back. That OW was a mother of a fellow team mate on our middle son's ice-hockey team. She was needy. Her husband wanted her to move back up north and she didn't want to; so he was gone for most of each month. He became a 'good friend' to her and it progressed quickly to a P.A. He started living a moral relative lifestyle. She put him on a pedestal and showered him with gifts. Her husband was rich. It was probably an exit affair for her, she had had several other affairs. She was divorced a year and a few months after D-day. I had informed her H hoping he would try to save their marriage. He didn't try to save it. He believe she was hopelessly in LOVE. When that A ended is when my H had some IC (me too) and went to that Hendrix weekend. We did do Retrouvaille before yet another false recovery in about '97. He had to play the whole thing out...he moved in with her which lasted not much more of a month or two. The fog lifted. He wanted to reconsile. He then moved in with his business partner and his wife for a couple of months. He joined his partner's choir and was considering converting to Catholism (I was raised Catholic but he never wanted to try it out before. He went through 7 months of preparation for that (I went with him.) We then renewed our vows in the church. I thought that was it...

I thought he got it. BUT:He still didn't think he needed bounderies. He still didn't understand how it happened.

His first affair was with a neighbor in '86. She was separated; getting a divorce from a verbally abusive husband. Her daughter had leukemia (did pass away sometime after the affair) and she was also emotionally needy. She was a Christian and a singer. She had been a model and was proud of it. That A lasted 6 weeks the whole time I was one a cross country road trip with our 3 young children.

Each time he felt he fell in love. I think he is a 8w1 or 2 but I need to look it up again at home.

So, he tends to 'be there' for needy women who can worship him. He's always been an easy going flirtatious, charming , good looking guy. I thought the middle one was a mid-life crisis. The first one I can say I just about drove him to it. Before both of them I was somewhat depressed and disatisfied with our marriage and relationship as a whole and almost desiring to be in love with someone else myself. I did have a brief revenge EA purposely with a guy who was building cabinets for our kitchen. It was a turn on but I wasn't attached and it was easy to end and I had no desire for it to go anywhere deeper. The guy had a way with words. I also saw that it wasn't worth risking my marriage and was an incredibly stupid, hurtful, choice that I would not repeat. I am basically more of a commited type.

H always enjoyed the 'fun' of the affairs. The high of the passion and the illicit excitement of the secrecy of it all. But he was proud of his 2nd affair and the whole hockey crowd knew. They flaunted it. It is as if he snagged a prize fish.
It was very humiliating.

The counselor that we saw after this last one asked my H if he really understood what commitment meant. I don't think he did. He explained it and H agreed to be commited to our marriage. He is doing everything right so far I just hope it sticks and that when satan tempts him he will not succumb again.

I was reading Low Orbits post about bumping into OW after 2 yrs. I wonder what it would be like if H bumps into OW #2 without me someday. It is bound to happen. (My son went to her sons wedding a couple of months ago.) He knows what he would need to do but I hope he can withstand it if we happen to be having a low week like Low Orbit has had.

I still get freaked out more than I like when I can't reach him when I want for an hour. But so far it is all my imagination and the post tramatic stuff kicking it. I am vigilant. We are very happy and thankful that we are still together. Our kids are all out of the house (though nearby) now and we are enjoying that as well.

I'm sorry this was so long. I know it was more than you asked for.

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4give,

You ask a very interesting question. Where we live Dr. Phil comes on at night, 8-9 PM. So it happens the football game is boring and I start channel surfing and run into Dr. Phil. He has on couples where one of the couple has serious issues with jealousy and control. This one lady, who looks awfully young, but they all do to me <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="images/icons/wink.gif" /> , is so jealous of her H, that she won't let him out of her sight, and calls him constantly at work. etc.

So Phil is talking to her, and apparently she has mentioned that she has been in 4 other relationships and all of them ended with the guy having an affair and she is petrified that her H will as well.

He pointed out that her behavior (which apparently she exhibited in the other relationships) was very likely the cause of the other relationships ending in her partner having an affair. He pointed out that people don't like to be disrespected, ordered around, and checked up on constantly, and if she thought about it, she would see her endeavor to protect herself was indeed setting the stage for exactly what she feared most.

So the point of all of this, is that perhaps people are not attracting affair prone people. Perhaps, the actions of the individual sets the stage for their partner to have an affair, and unless it is changed the result will be the same pretty much constantly.

It is also interesting to speculate that the lady on Dr.Phil probably attracted certain types of men, to begin with due to her personality and then her actions set the stage.

I note that you have addressed many of your issues along these lines. Does your H recognize the efforts you have made? Does he see the changes in you and why you made them? If not, talk to him about them.

So to answer your conjecture, my observation is that if there are no changes, then nothing changes. You have changed, so I suspect you are not on the treadmill that the lady on Dr. Phil was on.

The same behavior often gets the same results, very like explains some of these patterns.

Interesting question to think about. I look forward to reading other answers.

God Bless,

JL

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Thank you Just Learning for your response. I'm a fan of your posts.

Interesting that you sighted the Dr. Phil example. I missed that show. So many of his shows seem to be about weight lately which isn't one of my problems at all.

After D-day of H's 2nd A, he told me I was controlling. I think that was part of the justification that he would get into as part of the A.

When it was pretty early in his A I had just started working in our business so I was pretty pre-occupied trying to fix things after the office had been burglarized and the computer system stolen. I was learning the program and rebuilding months that hadn't been backed up and closing the past year in both our companies. Lots of work. He would say that I was a nag at times. That I didn't respect him. He had a great desire to be admired and yet I found it difficult to find much to admire. I didn't like our main business and it isn't a profession that is particully respected. The more he got into his 2nd A the more his morals and integrity in all aspects of his life deteriorated. I was looking for and catching him in lies and not only related to the A. He was almost priding himself in being able to lie about the slightest things.

It was a battle with myself to finally recognize how my judgement and lack of encouragement in his chosen profession contributed to our drifting apart. We became married singles before and around this time.

We didn't spend any Recreational time together...he was on a sailing team and I wasn't envited to participate. He would job without me. I was absorbed with the kids lives/being a mom for years. I had homeschooled (and ran a support group for others) for many years and then when they went to school I went through a depression from the withdrawal.

He had a great need for admiration. I wasn't fullfilling that. He had a need for more domestic support...(the 2nd OW had a maid, gardner, and pool man, I'm really lacking in that area being a bit of a pack rat with papers. It is still a battle with me. I get easily sidetracked. I am an overall a great cook and homemaker but get overwelmed with not being able to throw away interesting mailings and papers. There is some child hood fear that must stem from...probably the loss of my mom to cancer when I was finishing 8th grade??

SF could have been better.

I had a great need for conversation and financial security. Neither one of those did I feel were being met.

Our love banks were spent before the 2nd A. Although we were better before the 3rd A I was beginning to get complacent. Then as he got more and more involved with the OW he found more and more wrong with me again to justify his A. I took it to heart and thought he had just had it with the clutter in the office etc. Neither one of us is perfect. The only housework he ever does is washing dishes or cleaning the stovetop or counters. He usually hires someone to do most of the outside work. He sees that some of his expectations of me aren't always fair.

Yes, I have learned through MB to appreciate my H and show him admiration. We POJA recreational stuff..I go to an occasional hockey game, we go for walks and bike rides together etc.....I have tried and succeeded in making many changes and he has acknowledged these changes. He is also working on meeting my EN's too. We both expressed just yesterday that our Love banks are pretty full for each other. He now says that the term controlling is pretty much BS...

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Dear 4Give,

Do check his Enneagram type if you get a chance. I won't be on much as I'm really behind on Christmas!! However, if he's a conflict avoider, then he's not an Eight....they actually enjoy conflict and rise to it as needed.

How about his childhood relationship with his parents?

Stillwed

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4give,

You know the one thing I have learned here is the term "controlling" is used frequently by the WS because the BS won't get out of the way and ease their conscience about what they are doing. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" /> Too bad.

In the case on Dr. Phil, the lady would call him up and order him home "or else". Yet, the real problem was her "fear". She may have been somewhat the jealous type before her first relationship, but it seemed she just tried to control her life and used jealousy as a tool. It didn't work.

The reason the guy wrote to Phil (yup the guy wrote) was that she was so jealous that she wished the guys children from a previous marriage did not exist. That is getting pretty extreme. But, she had used the same behavior with all but perhaps the first relation and gotten the same results.

Now having been around here awhile <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="images/icons/shocked.gif" /> , I realize that no matter what the affair is the choice of the WS, period, end of story. If things so bad then divorce. But, I suspect the deeper answer is that they don't want the divorce in many cases. What those guys wanted was that woman AND away from her at the same time.

You posted many things in your response, but I fear you are trying to explain something you don't need to explain. No matter what you did or didn't do, your H made his choices and you have to accept that. You have worked on your approach to things, hopefully you have addressed your depression, and you are meeting your H's neeeds. Now it appears that he is meeting yours and is working on the marriage as well. The neat thing is that you now have to ACCEPT that he is making a choice once again <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="images/icons/wink.gif" /> , but this one is to stay with you and love you.

So while you have to accept that he choose the A's you are then forced to accept that he has choosen you as well. Pretty cool don't you think? <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

It sounds as if you two are doing very well now and I would bet as the children leave the nest, and focus becomes more on the two of you, things will get even better.

In addressing your original post, I don't think people change. But, I do think they can change their perspective on things. As you and your H come to see your marriage differently, it will change how you both function in the marriage and how the marriage responds to your needs. But, you two will still be the same people. That is good news actually, because he was someone you could love deeply and you were someone he could love deeply AND YOU STILL ARE. That is an important point to remember.

I wish you both the best.

God Bless,

JL

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JL,
Yes, that woman on Dr, Phil sounded extreme. I can't say I've not been jealous but usually it's been pretty well founded when I've felt threatened it was usually real. But I know that my reactions were from my own insecurities and lack of self assurance. I am not depressed any longer. I take more nutritional supplements than I used too which may help. SamE has been good at helping my moods.

You made a good point about people changing.. or not. Yes, we are still basically the same people we fell in love with. He is the same easy going,positive, spontaneous,people person. Lots of acquaintenses. (Not very vulnerably open with his male friends though) He's usually been a friendly person who smiles quite a bit.

I, by contrast, am more reserved, quiet, artsy, somewhat of a non-conformist, introvert. I'm the detail person in our relationship. He shuns detail. We are opposites in many ways but somehow complement each other.

I told very few about his last A. Most would have encouraged me to divorce. Some would have thought less of me for staying in this M. I didn't even tell my two sister's this time.

But, we have done and are still doing the work on our marriage and we are more in love, and have a greater respect for each other than ever before.

This forum has been a blessing to me. My H doesn't read here on his own; only an occasional post that sticks out to me. He has never been inclined to post. Interesting how it is either one or the other but seldom both spouses that post or read here.

Sometimes I worry that it consumes too much time and has become a time consuming addiction that I need to temper. I don't want H to start resenting my time here.

I hope we make if for the long haul.

You were close to throwing in the towel. I hope you are happy with your decision to remain married. Has your wife been interested in MBs or is she just the benefactor of your knowledge and all you've been just learning?

God Bless you and yours too.

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4give,

I would like to think she has been a benefactor. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

As for telling your friends, you may be right, but you know 4give, you should never feel the need to apologize for doing something in your heart you KNOW is right. I think that is the best thing about this site. Most people are willing to try and rebuild their marriage, IF they knew that there was hope for all of the effort and that it was a doable thing.

People come here and realize it is doable and learn that it takes focus on the marriage to make it function as they would like.

The one final thing that I think people get from here is that they know how to productively work on things and if that doesn't work they KNOW they have done all they could. That is a good position to be in.

I did want to laugh when you said you are a detail person. I am pretty much with my work but otherwise not so much. My W on the other hand has lists of lists. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="images/icons/shocked.gif" /> She IS a detail person and she is very very good at it. But, she does get lost in the details and what I learned here was that I needed to speak up and pull out her of the details IF I wanted much of a marriage.

I also had to learn that her attention to details with regard to the family, and the home, and things that I needed done, WAS/IS her way of showing love and care. If I wanted something else I had to tell her, because it would NEVER occur to her that I felt she wasn't loving me. It is NOT spontaneous, but it works.

So as you and your H work through things talk about what each of you like to do to show love to the other. You know most of us guys think making a living is what is wanted, and a good living is better, and a great living is the best. I was amazed at how many women don't seem to get that. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" />

What was so surprising and yet sensible about Harley's idea that meeting needs often is not done effectively and often the wrong needs are being met. It is a learning experience isn't it?

I was a decent athlete in my day and still play golf, but I learned from those sports something that might help you to address your thoughts. I learned that for fastest response I needed to be loose and flexible. I learned for best effort I needed to be balanced, and for the longest drives I needed to have a light grip on the club with little tension.

I suspect if you took those thoughts and applied them to your life, you would see some of you focus on details and any attempts to control sort of melt away into a well balanced, comfortable, preparedness to deal with anything that shows up.

Just a thought.

Must go.

God Bless,

JL

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