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Originally Posted By: Cherished
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.

Cherished


Yes...remember, the WS ALWAYS had the option, ALL ALONG THE WAY, of coming to his/her BS and saying something like:

"Look, we have some problems in our marriage that need to be addressed...I find myself developing attractive "feelings" toward (OP) and I don't want to GO THERE. We need to talk!"

Most WSs don't bother to do this out of a sense of selfish and immoral self-entitlement.


xWW:
Secret LTA w/ thrice married OM at her workplace; EA/PA starts ~ 2005-6
Files & completes D - 2007, OM/OMW#3 D - 2007, Affairage - immediately thereafter
Disappears in 2006 w/o even a goodbye to anyone, Never a paragraph of real truth ever spoken
Me/xBH:
M "for life", Suspicions (denied) & desperate Plan A latter-half '06
1st D-day 1/07, full truth D-day 7/08 (all via 3rd parties)
NC w/ xWW 8/08-date, better off w/o unrepentant vileness, betrayal, & rampant deceit in my life anymore
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Originally Posted By: sexymamabear
Originally Posted By: Neak
For most waywards, the A is a temporary aberration of what used to be a good character, and what can be a good character again.




This would describe my FWH. For 19 years, he was an affectionate, considerate, generous, hard-working, dedicated husband and father.

During the affair, he was unrecognizable to me.

When he ended his affair, the character I had known him to have for all those years returned and even grew.

I don't think a man can hide his real character for 20+ years.

It seems much more plausible that a man could be morally and spirtually lost for 9 months and then redeemed.



SMB, you have first hand knowledge of what it takes to be wayward. Why don't you sight your own experience?


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Originally Posted By: SDCWman
Originally Posted By: Cherished
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.

Cherished


Yes...remember, the WS ALWAYS had the option, ALL ALONG THE WAY, of coming to his/her BS and saying something like:

"Look, we have some problems in our marriage that need to be addressed...I find myself developing attractive "feelings" toward (OP) and I don't want to GO THERE. We need to talk!"

Most WSs don't bother to do this out of a sense of selfish and immoral self-entitlement.


I agree, my H and i even told one another that is what we would do before we ever had an A on the other one. Guess he lied........

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"Cherished, the time you're spending now in a love-less M can never be retrieved once it's gone. We are not equipped with a "reverse" option for life, to get back those years that we chose to spend in an unhappy situation. If you're waiting 8 years to D, that's 8 years that could have been spent finding and engaging in a much more fulfilling relationship, either with your H or with someone else."

I am enjoying my children. I am blessed with four wonderful children.

Cherished

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Quote:
Yes, we are all imperfect, but an affair is not usually the result of one weak moment.


To be very clear, the "weak moment" I refer to is not the act of sex. (Sex is the culmination of many weak moments.) It is the first, subtle step off the path - the first unsavory feeling left unrejected.

Up until that point, most waywards were good people.

After the A, most become good people again.

If they were all so defective originally, they wouldn't be worth the bother of recovering with.


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



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The problem, as seen in Spartan's most recent thread, is that all too often waywards end up showing they AREN'T worth the bother. On another love and relationships board I hang out at, there is a general belief among the people there that "once a cheater, always a cheater", and their experiences tend to bear out that statement.

It seems to me that the stories here reinforce that, while not all waywards repeat their mistake, it does appear that for many WSs, once that line is crossed, it's VERY difficult to step back over it. Once you've done it, it seems like it's all too easy to repeat-which is why the wise BS has to watch even a FWS like a hawk for the rest of their marriage.

It's obvious that recovery is difficult and often unsuccessful.


The Macnut-42, W - 45 3 stepkids,
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Quote:
Once you've done it, it seems like it's all too easy to repeat


Not for a couple who follows Dr. H's methods - they are worth their cyber-weight in gold!

Quote:
the wise BS has to watch even a FWS like a hawk for the rest of their marriage


I guess I'm not very wise. wink I know I can check on anything, any time. and very seldom feel any need to. While he was trying to hide stuff, I felt the need to check constantly. After almost 4 years of him being totally honest and open, sharing anything I ask for and lots that I don't, it's a nonissue.

If I ever felt unsafe for any reason, I already got an A+ in snooping. And he is fine with that - more than fine - he is glad to have a chance to show me he is trustworthy.


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



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What an interesting discussion. It's something I question at times. Does my FWH fundamentally have a weak character or does he have the ability to put aside a strong character to fulfill selfish wants?

I'm not sure which of the two options I prefer???

One thing I do know that he has always struggled with is empathy. He is a pain avoider and so will choose not to walk in another persons shoes so as to avoid feeling any sort of pain.

He doesn't read fiction because he doesn't "get" characters in the books, he doesn't listen to lyrics in songs; they wash over him, so music to him is never an emotional experience. I have never seen him cry at a sad film, agonising news report etc, because he just chooses not to put himself in a place where he might feel someone elses emotions/pain.

For me, it is that lack of empathy that in part led him to have his A. He NEVER put a moments thought into how I might feel when it was uncovered.

As soon as the A was discovered he went into a deep shock about what he had been capable of doing with complete and utter disregard. He is still shocked now, nearly 9 months later, and has had no choice but to face the consequences of what he has done, and possibly for the first time to walk in another persons shoes.

Let me clarify that he is not a narcissist, nor is he a psychopath. He was/is again a very giving and caring person who before the A had always put others needs before his own.

So what part does a lack of empathy play in having an A, and is it a weakness of character?


Me - BW
FWH - BB -(PA Jul 08 - Aug 08)
D-Day - 8 Aug 2008
Recovering nicely


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Originally Posted By: myfamilyilove

SMB, you have first hand knowledge of what it takes to be wayward. Why don't you sight your own experience?




I don't think a woman can hide her real character for 20+ years.

It seems much more plausible that a woman could be morally and spirtually lost for 1 month and then redeemed.



What is your agenda, Vladi?

You repeatedly post after me to bring up my affair. Is it really so complicated to you why I identify more with the BS?

If I see a BS turning WS during abandonment by the WS, I would be eager to share my experience as it would be RELEVANT. I have many times warned BS's about their vulnerability to someone outside their marriage meeting ENs by sharing about my affair.

I fought against my FWH's affair by working Dr. H's plans in Surviving an Affair. I've worked Dr. H's marital recovery plan. I counseled with the Harleys and attended the MB weekend. I have insight and experience to offer BS's who are fighting for their families. That experience includes the vulnerability of the BS to have an affair.

What exactly do you feel you bring to this board besides the desire to stir up strife?


Happily married to HerPapaBear



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Originally Posted By: HURTandSHOCKED
I don't disagree with anything you say except that 'good character'. But in my eyes, strong moral character = does not cheat. I agree all the FWS on here have taken tremendous steps, but I would argue that they will all agree that they have put EPs in place to protect an A from happening again. If we as humans all had strong character, we would not need these EPs. Maybe I should have said, very few people have strong character, and I will be the first to admit that we all make mistakes. But I think it is more helpful to us to realize that we do have 'weak character' as human beings and fall victim to temptation.


Then what would be the universal guidelines of what qualifies as "good character" and at what age is it decided that one's character is what it is? Do young college students drinking and acting like idiots, all have weak character? I never did that myself but does that define who they are? If some one shop lifts food three times have they always been and always will be weak in character. Does if matter that they were desperate and hungry and wouldn't have normally done something like that? It's still wrong but given the right circumstances it happened.

Or are those who don't have a remorseful spouse jaded more than others because their spouse is still wayward (even if in thinking) and show no signs of remorse or regret for the pain they have caused? I think that might be a big part of it. Some cheaters are just going to be messed up people for life. But that goes for non-cheaters too though.


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.
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He's got a crush on you. flirt


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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Originally Posted By: Neak
Cher, I can understand how you have come to your beliefs about WS's, and even FWS's.

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For me personally, the obsession with the OW had to do with not wanting to face that the man I married could have acted in such a way. Of course, there are women out there who will have an affair with a man with young children. There are lots of people out there who have no morals or such weakness of character as to have an affair.

The fact is you married a man who has no morals or weakness of character. When you are able to face that fact, you'll realize how totally irrelevant it is that he had an affair with this married coworker with young children vs. that married coworker with young children.

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


You may very well have married a person of weak character. He may have always been that way.

Where our views differ is whether this represents ALL waywards and former waywards, or even a majority of them. I don't believe it does.

For most waywards, the A is a temporary aberration of what used to be a good character, and what can be a good character again.

In the case of your husband, I would still consider him a wayward. The absence of an active affair does not grant him the right to wear an "F'. He is still totally steeped in his wayward mentality, has not repented or made any amends, and thus is still just another WS.


Quote:
Sorry to all FWSs, but this is like saying, someone who murders is not a murderer. In my world integrity and strong moral fibre are defined by keeping your commitment (or vows) and being honest. By that definition, a FWS has weak character by definition.


H&S, this is a slap in the face of all good and repentant FWS's, and especially the ones here. They know they can never undo what they did, and yet find new strength and courage to rebuild themselves, often their marriages, and give generously of themselves to help others who are hurting.

Just as there is a difference between someone who murdered someone once, and a serial killer or assassin who murder people as a way of life, there is a big difference between your basic WS/FWS and a serial cheater, for example.

Of my many FWS friends here, they were all good people before, gave themselves over to evil for a while, and reclaimed their good character after learning some life-shattering lessons. I am proud to know them, and I am proud to be married to my husband - a good man of strong, Godly morals.

I'm saddened that you are unable to see the beauty and strength in the life of a repentant FWS.


Great post.

During my A- I was certainly of weak character- I was just plan weak.

Do I think that one act ruins my character for the rest of my life?? Certainly not.

Before my A no one that knew me would ever say I was of weak character. I was born again Christian, Sunday School teacher, and someone who has never even cheated a cashier out of extra money or cheated on my taxes! I really lived my values- it was not a front- it was not me not showing who I truly was. But yet, I had an affair.

Now for me years later I would say that my character is strong. I would never have another affair. I do not come to this website for myself, I come here to help others if I can that are going through what I've been through. Many of the other FWS- and I don't know them at all- but to name a few- Kiwi J and Mrs. Wondering? Well it's just hard for me to accept that someone who has spent so much time helping others is of weak character because years ago they had an affair. I'm certain that their spouses do not feel that way either.

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Originally Posted By: black_raven
He's got a crush on you. flirt



rotflmao


Thanks for splaining, BR.

I'll be sure to keep my love bank closed.

crosseyedcrazy


Happily married to HerPapaBear



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All FWS are worthless human beings that should be slowly tortured and then disemboweled.

They are evil and will always be so.

Never try to recover and get a divorce today.

What is the point of this thread?



You either believe that people can change or you don't. You either believe that people can be redeemed or not. I tend to think that people can and do change. Perhaps they mature, become less selfish, and finally develop respect for their marriage that they should have had in the beginning.

I had an affair, 9 years ago now. I will never have another. I protect my soft underbelly now. So am I irrevocably evil and of no character? Maybe. But not because I am an adulterer. I am many things, but I am not that now.


What we think or what we know or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do. ~ John Ruskin
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Originally Posted By: Comfortably_Numb
You either believe that people can change or you don't. You either believe that people can be redeemed or not. I tend to think that people can and do change. Perhaps they mature, become less selfish, and finally develop respect for their marriage that they should have had in the beginning.

I had an affair, 9 years ago now. I will never have another. I protect my soft underbelly now. So am I irrevocably evil and of no character? Maybe. But not because I am an adulterer. I am many things, but I am not that now.


It is not a WS thing...it is a human being thing. We all have done things that do not reflect well upon ourselves. However, by realizing that we are 'weak', we allow ourselves to change. We 'protect' ourselves to build stronger character. Would you say a priest that molests a little boy had a weak moment? Supposed to be the strongest of character, yet not so much. Read this thread and see how many "strong characters" cheated, and then ask yourself "if they had such strong character, what happened?" And now that we all know the dangers of getting close to the opposite sex, how many tempt it because we have 'strong character'. I never said anyone had no character, or that weak character was a bad thing. We all sin and all sins are equal, so it does not matter if it is adultery, lying, cheating, stealing, or envying our neighbors Bentley.


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"Would you say a priest that molests a little boy had a weak moment?"

No, I'd say he is a pedophile and a criminal and should go to prison for a very long time and meet a pal named Bubba that will let him know what it felt like to be that little boy. That is what I think.

I've read this tread and many like it over the years I've been here.

So since all have sinned and all sins are equal and people sin because they have weak character then everyone must have weak character? Again I ask, what is the point of this thread?

I didn’t have an affair because I had weak character. I did it because I wanted to. There it is. And I will live with that the rest of my life.



What we think or what we know or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do. ~ John Ruskin
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Comfortably Numb,

Very few people think adultery is acceptable. When they set aside the moral value of fidelity in marriage, it is because they have set aside the moral value of fidelity in marriage or they don't have that moral value. Mostly, I think it is due to setting aside the moral value. And why? "I wanted to" means that a choice was made to violate moral values. Why do people violate moral values? "Because I wanted to" is another way of saying weak character, in my view.

That doesn't mean a person is destined to cheat again. I think people can do terrible things, repent, and protect their own weakness by using extraordinary precautions.

Not all sins are equal. This sin of adultery is one of the worst and is covered by two of the 10 Commandments. It is devastating.

Despite my being devastated by the choices he made 7 - 8 years ago, my bitterness towards my husband is not about what he did back when our second grader was a baby. It's about his attitude today. He has had the opportunity to be gracious in reconciling with my parents, and instead he asked me last night why I was avoiding him, I told him I was upset that he was muttering about being stuck with my parents during a Band Concert while I went to pick up our oldest child from Driver's Ed, and he called me this morning to complain that I am not considering how he feels.

Yep. He has turned the conversation to how he feels.

Same thing. It's all about him.

He violated his moral value to have an affair. What is deeper is narcissism. He thinks about himself to the exclusion of everyone else. The affair was just an egregious example of nacissims which violated his moral code. I'm still dealing with his unwillingness to consider anyone but himself. I am honest when he asks, even though I anticipate that he'll just turn the conversation to "You don't care about how I feel" and "I'm just here to fix the sink."

He used to say 'Leave me alone" to me all the time. Now I think "Leave me alone." I avoid him and not because of his affair seven years ago.

The fact that I am willing to honestly answer his questions means that I still have hope he will channge, although more often than not what I get back is some variation of "All you ever do is complain" and "All you care about is yourself". I believe that, when there is life, there is hope. He may wake up someday to the fact that his behavior impacts other people and those other people need to be considered when he makes choices. In the meantime, he has a wife who avoids him because he makes life unpleasant for her.

Cherished

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Originally Posted By: Comfortably_Numb
So since all have sinned and all sins are equal and people sin because they have weak character then everyone must have weak character? Again I ask, what is the point of this thread?

I didn’t have an affair because I had weak character. I did it because I wanted to. There it is. And I will live with that the rest of my life.


Yes, we all have weak character. You having an affair because you wanted to is a reflection of that weak character. You will leave with it the rest of your life but by knowing that weakness, you make your character stronger in the future.


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What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Has a WS or FWS always had a weak character? - The answer to this question is completely subjective and based on our opinions. Therefore, there is no correct or incorrect answer. Merely opinions, and opinions are like a**holes. Everybody has one, and most of them stink.

E.g, fat people who want to lose weight but still eat like a fat person - weak character.

Everybody is weak about something, or under certain circumstances can/will be. We all face temptation and we all "pass". Until we don't. MB principles are about eliminating 1) Temptation and 2) Circumstances that might allow to us give in to that temptation.

So do I have "weak character"? Yes. Did I before my A? Yes. Just not for skanks and their "feel goods".

Until the circumstances where I gave in to the temptation.


"Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." - Freidrich Nietzsche

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Cherished,

Very few people think it is ok to lie and murder too. One could say that to lie shows an wanton ability to set aside moral values don't you think? That is why I wonder about the intent of this tread. And I'm not trying to say that adultery is on the same scale as lying, because it isn't.

When I said I had an A because I wanted to, what I was trying to do is tell the simple truth. Of course my marriage had issue at the time, ENs were not being met, yada yada yada, but that wasn't why I did it. I didn't respect my marriage the way it should have been respected. I didn't think about my wife at all at the time. It was all about what I wanted at the moment. I wasn’t yet a proper man or a husband. A proper husband protects his wife. A proper man doesn’t hurt the woman that loves him.

To me, saying that it was some lack or weak character trait almost makes me not responsible for what I did . . . see I had this defect that made me do it. Hogwash.

On a different note, why do you think your husband feels the way he does, why does he think he is there just to fixe the sink? I’m sure it isn’t pleasant to feel that. If your husband is a narcissist, then his actions are not in violation of his moral code. He acted just the way a narcissist would. He wanted something and he took it. No regret.


What we think or what we know or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do. ~ John Ruskin
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