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Moving this discussion from the thinking of OW thread:

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Neak:

Quote:
" Her husband, if he is in the category of the majority of WS's, temporarily set aside his value system and moral fiber in order to justify the crime he was committing. As did mine."

We are in agreement. You did an excellent job of defining what I would call "weakness of character."

A person of strong character would not set aside his value ssytem and moral fiber in order to justify the crime he was commiting.

Cherished


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I still disagree with you, but in the nicest way possible. laugh

I did not marry a person of weak moral character. I don't believe that most BS's did.

That transformation came later, when they set aside their good character. They didn't set aside their good character because they had always been weak, but because they chose to be weak right then.

JMO. wink


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
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It's funny, I was just thinking about starting a thread like this, about the character of a WS, or rather their sense of integrity.

My thoughts are this-I've been around this board awhile, and I've learned that one of the reasons spouses go Wayward is because of unfulfilled emotional needs, whatever they may be. The other spouse fails to fulfill the soon to be wayward spouse's top ENs, someone else comes along promising to fulfill those needs and bingo, an affair is born.

Except for one catch. I see posts from other people on this board, people with ENs that have gone unfulfilled for years. Wives whose husbands barely talk to them, or show any affection or romance, husbands who are frustrated over their wives' low or non-existent desire for SF, which they may have lived with for years.

According to the MB formula, these folks should have gone Wayward some time ago. Yet, as far as one can tell from their MB posts anyway, they remain faithful. Not only that, but from what I've seen on the forum, more often than not it's the spouses refusing to provide ENs who end up going Wayward! For example, the wife who refuses to have SF with her husband goes and has an affair where SF is frequent and freely given-to the OM.

One conclusion one could come to is that the spouses who remain faithful despite their top ENs NOT being met seem to have a stronger sense of integrity, a stronger moral fibre, than the ones who go wayward. And yet Dr. Harley is reputed to say that ANYONE could become a WS under the right circumstances...

So what to make of all that? Is it that some people's character is far stronger than others, or that the frustrated spouses I've mentioned above simply haven't really faced temptation yet?


The Macnut-42, W - 45 3 stepkids,
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For me...

I don't kid myself that I'm immune from temptation, no matter how strong I think my moral fiber is.

My life is full of a grace that isn't mine - that didn't come from within me.

Any day I relinquish that grace, I open myself to becoming the worst that is in me to be.

And in answer to your question, some of each. There are frustrated BS's who haven't had an A only because they lacked the opportunity. And others, many others, whose character (indwelling grace) is too important for them to give up.


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I most DEFINITELY do not have a weak character. I am nearly 55 years old. I have had integrity all my life, apart from the 18 months of my A. I've always been the goody two shoes in any group I'm in. I always stand up for what's right. That is why my A affected my health so badly. When you go against your core beliefs and your core character the fallout is revolting.

My SIL summed it up. She said "Jen thought she could play with the big girls but it's against her nature."

Regarding ENs - when my H and I did the EN questionnaires soon after the A, my H scored me a 10 on all his ENs.


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Kiwi, I'm not sure I understand your last sentence. Does it mean you were meeting his ENs, or vice versa?

And if you had strong integrity all your life, then how did you end up in an affair, going against everything you believed? How were you even able to START one?

Not attacking you Kiwi, just trying to understand and learn...


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this is a hard area for me.

What exactly is the character of a spouse who deceived all through our marriage and then decided he deserved some happiness, a vacation from the pain of being married to me!

I didn't know that was what our marriage was for him.


Even during the height of his A, when I was feeling the most rejected and abandoned, but not knowing it was because of his A, I had an opportunity to get my EN for conversation and admiration met with a coincidental meeting of an old friend. I chose to avoid contact.

It could have been an innocent friendly visit, but because I was so needy, before I even knew the EN concepts, I knew somehow that it was dangerous and so chose not to engage.

Now, what makes me chose that and my WS chose to bring OW into our home to actively pursue her under the guise of "fathering"?

"splain" character to me!


BS -me 69 WS - him 68
Married 40 years
OW - "daughter" added to family 1/05 for "Fathering healing" - 26 years younger
EA 1/05 - 12/07 PA 8/07 - 12/07
NC 1/08
DDay March 30, 2008
Separation Feb. 17, 2010 two days before our 33 anniversary
DDs 31, 25
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MacNut, I was meeting all his ENs.

Yep, that's the $60,000 question. How did I start an A when it went against everything I believed in? Circumstances. I've been over this quite a few times here (lol I've got 8000 posts) but it was at a time when our marriage had become difficult for the first time in 28 years (my H was suffering from severe depression from grief - losing his parents and my father all in one year). Enter old HS boyfriend completely out of the blue. That's it in a nutshell really.

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The classic MB infidelity formula, in other words. The timing of it was atrocious though-the man was already going through something and it may have looked to others like you were kicking him when he was down (not that I'm saying you were, I'm sure you didn't plan it that way).

I fully understand that if he had been on top of meeting your ENs, the HS boyfriend would not have had an in. Still, this bothers me; maybe because I can identify somewhat with your husband, I also lost my mother and brother a few years apart, and I'm still feeling the loss-they were just about my only remaining blood relatives. It would just about kill me if my wife went off and had an affair while I was trying to deal with these losses.

However, I'm guessing your husband's depression went on for a long time after the deaths in the family, and seemed like it would never end?


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OK, weak character combined with pride. My ENs most definitely were not being met in our marriage, and I did get into situations where I found myself attracted to another guy, like going off for coffee breaks with a guy from work. What did I do? I stopped going. I had little trust in my ability to avoid an affair. Over the course of my life, I've gotten into this situation several times, and the instant I recognized it I got away from the person as soon as I could.

My husband developed a friendship that turned into weekly lunches. I told him I was concerned about it, and he said, "I can handle it."

He did handle it. He stopped talking about it, figuring that what I didn't know wouldn't hurt me.

"Pride goeth before the fall.'

To this moment, I am very bitter. There's more to my story, but I married a man who was very proud of his integrity and character. His affair did not humble him. Now he feels more forgiving of others because he understands how they could get into an affair or being abusive. There still is no empathy for the woman he chose to marry. Instead, I am of a less compassionate character because of my bitterness.

The heart of a good marriage, I believe, is the desire to understand the other person. He completely lacks that. He made a commitment to me, and it seems to me that that commitment is that I should put up with whatever he dishes out.

The bitterness is not over what he did years ago. The bitterness is over his ongoing complete lack of desire to understand me or even to learn what is going on in my life. I put up with it because our children are still young, and I can work part time and be available to them after school and during the summer. There is no emotional connection between us but there is between the children and me. I settled for a bad marriage when the choice was between that and the life associated with divorce. I settled for the sake of our children.


Cherished

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Yikes, sorry about what happened to you Cherished.

Note to self: continue efforts to understand and emphasize with wife before others and also avoid at ALL costs anything more than acquaintance-type relationships with other women.

No real worries on the second point though. I haven't had a female friend besides my wife since college (many years ago) and I'm not around other women enough to form new friendships or anything else for that matter.


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I've come to believe this as well. Meeting EN's is important, but it takes more than that to make a intimate relationship work.

Let's go back to the beginning of mankind where Adam and Eve were in the garden. I'm confident God met all their needs and was perfect in not love busting.

Yet Adam and Eve were unfaithful to God.

So meeting EN's is only a small part of the equation. Integrity is a very large part of that equation.

Many a WS can be tempted. What they do when they face that temptation is what counts.
Originally Posted By: MacNut
It's funny, I was just thinking about starting a thread like this, about the character of a WS, or rather their sense of integrity.

My thoughts are this-I've been around this board awhile, and I've learned that one of the reasons spouses go Wayward is because of unfulfilled emotional needs, whatever they may be. The other spouse fails to fulfill the soon to be wayward spouse's top ENs, someone else comes along promising to fulfill those needs and bingo, an affair is born.

Except for one catch. I see posts from other people on this board, people with ENs that have gone unfulfilled for years. Wives whose husbands barely talk to them, or show any affection or romance, husbands who are frustrated over their wives' low or non-existent desire for SF, which they may have lived with for years.

According to the MB formula, these folks should have gone Wayward some time ago. Yet, as far as one can tell from their MB posts anyway, they remain faithful. Not only that, but from what I've seen on the forum, more often than not it's the spouses refusing to provide ENs who end up going Wayward! For example, the wife who refuses to have SF with her husband goes and has an affair where SF is frequent and freely given-to the OM.

One conclusion one could come to is that the spouses who remain faithful despite their top ENs NOT being met seem to have a stronger sense of integrity, a stronger moral fibre, than the ones who go wayward. And yet Dr. Harley is reputed to say that ANYONE could become a WS under the right circumstances...

So what to make of all that? Is it that some people's character is far stronger than others, or that the frustrated spouses I've mentioned above simply haven't really faced temptation yet?

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Originally Posted By: MacNut
It's funny, I was just thinking about starting a thread like this, about the character of a WS, or rather their sense of integrity.

My thoughts are this-I've been around this board awhile, and I've learned that one of the reasons spouses go Wayward is because of unfulfilled emotional needs, whatever they may be. The other spouse fails to fulfill the soon to be wayward spouse's top ENs, someone else comes along promising to fulfill those needs and bingo, an affair is born.

Except for one catch. I see posts from other people on this board, people with ENs that have gone unfulfilled for years. Wives whose husbands barely talk to them, or show any affection or romance, husbands who are frustrated over their wives' low or non-existent desire for SF, which they may have lived with for years.

According to the MB formula, these folks should have gone Wayward some time ago. Yet, as far as one can tell from their MB posts anyway, they remain faithful. Not only that, but from what I've seen on the forum, more often than not it's the spouses refusing to provide ENs who end up going Wayward! For example, the wife who refuses to have SF with her husband goes and has an affair where SF is frequent and freely given-to the OM.

One conclusion one could come to is that the spouses who remain faithful despite their top ENs NOT being met seem to have a stronger sense of integrity, a stronger moral fibre, than the ones who go wayward. And yet Dr. Harley is reputed to say that ANYONE could become a WS under the right circumstances...

So what to make of all that? Is it that some people's character is far stronger than others, or that the frustrated spouses I've mentioned above simply haven't really faced temptation yet?


Loved this post.

I sit back and think NOW about my FWH (since the A and i took off my rose colored glasses for the first time since i met him) and i do believe that he has been somewhat "selfish" our entire marriage (i allowed it to happen so i can't put all the blame on him). I have went 25 years with some of my ENs not being met and i have not considered having an A.

In a way i guess i could say that i have not faced temptation yet because i just naturally have followed EPs when it comes to members of the opposite sex.

I think my FWH "selfishness" made it easier for him to cross that line for sure. However I am not sure if that is "weak" character or "lack of integrity".

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Originally Posted By: KiwiJ
MacNut, I was meeting all his ENs.

Yep, that's the $60,000 question. How did I start an A when it went against everything I believed in? Circumstances. I've been over this quite a few times here (lol I've got 8000 posts) but it was at a time when our marriage had become difficult for the first time in 28 years (my H was suffering from severe depression from grief - losing his parents and my father all in one year). Enter old HS boyfriend completely out of the blue. That's it in a nutshell really.


I will be the first to admit that i am hard on FWSs so am apologizing now as this is not directed AT Jen but waywardness in general.

My FWH has talked a lot about "how much he had been through" prior to the A (we had some pretty traumatic things happen to us it seemed like every couple of months since 2005) and the start of his panic attacks post-A.

However when you really look at it all of these things happened to US, not just him and we helped one another through it just like we had for 23 years before. When you have been married for a long time your lives are intertwined so much that you both suffer together. So why in the heck does one spouse rip their betrayed spouse's heart out and the other spouse does not, i do not understand it at all.

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My husband called it "a convenient escape."

It was really hard dealing with a frazzled wife with colicky baby, a 1 year old, a 3 year old and a 6 year old. It was much more fun to go out to nice restaurants with a nice-looking woman who could pay rapt attention to you.

That 1 year old is now 8, and her First Communion is in two days. My parents are coming and seeing my husband for the first time since they learned that, in addition to having an affair, he broke my arm because I threatened to call this woman. That was the week before Christmas and 12 days after I had a hysterectomy, and I hid the broken arm for four months. He's not being very gracious about seeing them. It makes me realize how little he has changed. He once said that he's the same person I married. Yes, it's true. He is. The affair was not out of character. The affair revealed his character.

My parents are staying with my brother, who lives in my same town. Next Wednesday is a band concert for our 10 year old, and our 15 year old is attending Driver's Ed until 6 and then leaving for a band trip at 8. My husband wanted to attend the Band Concert, and I said I'd be willing to take care of the daughter who needs to be picked up from Driver's Ed and then taken back to the school at 8 for the Band concert. As he was leaving, I heard him mutter under my breath, "But I don't want to be stuck with your parents." When I asked him what he said, he said, "Nothing."

What a despicable jerk.

I do believe people can change. I believe he could change in the future. I married him with a different view of his character. My view has changed because of how he has treated me and continues to act.

We have managed to live together to care for our children, and I try to stay away from him as much as I can. For our wedding anniversary, I am giving him a book that portrays how two people can live together for years with completely different views of the marriage and one person can create an entire myth about their spouse to justify immoral behavior. It's called The Viper's Tangle. I doubt very much that he'll see himself in the main character, if he bothers to read the book at all. That is the extent of my communicating with him. We manage to coordinate rides, take care of finances, and care of the home, but I live alone in this marriage. He doesn't understand me at all and doesn't care about how I feel or what I do. Dr. Harley himself said to me, "The concept of care doesn't make sense to him."

It's all about him and how he is affected by what goes on around him. He has no empathy whatsoever for my mother in particular who had the shock of her life to find out that her son in law was beating up her daughter in front of her grandchildren. He has no realization how difficult it has been for her to accept that I am staying with this guy and to attend a Band Concert with him.

In the book The Viper's Tangle, the husband eventually came to an understanding of what he had done and he intended to reconcile with his wife, but she died before he actually did talk with her. The book is in the form of a journal by this husband. It is very moving. Where there's life, there's hope. In the meantime, I am following the words of John Paul II: "The man loves, and the woman loves in return." I wait. My husband has learned to not be physically abusive, and I doubt he'll have another affair because of the pain it caused him in facing his own moral deficiencies and not because of any pain his affair caused anyone else.

We have been married 16 years next week, and our lives are not intertwined at all. He has no clue. I am a stranger to him.

Cherished

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>They didn't set aside their good character because they had always been weak, but because they chose to be weak right then.


Thank you Neak. That's it exactly.


I never had to take the Kobayashi Maru test until now. What do you think of my solution?

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The question posed here has had me thinking. Having witnessed it with my parents, dealing with it in my own marriage, and reading about it, it seems to me that even though Dr. Harley has stated that we are all wired for an affair, it is simpler than that.

We are Human and therefore imperfect by nature. Our grace/goodness comes from the ability to recognize this and our ability to forgive and love others despite their mistakes or flaws.

Or another way to put it is turtles may have different shells, size, color, thickness etc.. but in the end they are all still turtles.

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I do not think my H always had a weak character but I do think he has been more selfish during our M. Our childhoods were very different when it comes to family dynamics too. H had a dead beat dad and no real positive male role model in his life since he was a toddler. He had a very difficult childhood but still came out of it with his head screwed on straight. His family does not cope well with problems. They don't talk, hide problems out of shame and hold grudges for 100 years no matter what the issue. I would say that H is weak in coping with problems but is not necessarily weak in character. He was definetly more needy than me.

After the fallout of Dday and riding the rollercoaster from hell, H admits his weakenesses and is taking EP to safe guard our M. His thought process is not the same either. I hear and see the change.


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Many a good man has failed because he had a wishbone where his backbone should have been.

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Yes, we are all imperfect, but an affair is not usually the result of one weak moment. It is a pattern of behavior built over months of developing a friendship which becomes sexual. There are moments along the way when a person realizes this is pleasurable but is crossing the line into something it shouldn't be, and yet the person continues.

There are people who recognize the danger and stop, and there are people who decide not to stop. It is not one decision. It is a series of decisions, and that is why I think it is due to weak character or immorality.

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Originally Posted By: Cherished
I doubt he'll have another affair because of the pain it caused him in facing his own moral deficiencies


Cherished,

I don't know your whole story but this comment struck me. Why wouldn't H have another A if you two are living like strangers? I don't see most men being celebate for years on end especially if they are wayward already. Sorry for your pain. Your choice to stay in your M is yours, but this is a redflag to me.


BW - me
exWH - serial cheater
2 awesome kids
Divorced 12/2011




Many a good man has failed because he had a wishbone where his backbone should have been.

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.
--------Eleanor Roosevelt
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