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#2545954 09/20/11 10:21 PM
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What defines a serial cheater as opposed to say long term affairs, or someone that had an affair 2x?

Is the road harder with multiple affairs or just different?


is serial cheating somehow worse than a long term affair? If so why? If not, why?

Is there less hope for recovery with serial cheaters?

I understand that even one affair is devastating. I don't want to minimize that at all. Just a few random questions running through my brain tonight...

CV


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Where to start. I have also considered some of these very things, as my WH is a serial cheater. The twisted path my life took because of this still has my head spinning. Some thoughts:

I have considered that having more than one affair is about the lowest thing a WWard can do. My WH had an affair 11/05 until he got sloppy in 2/06 and was discovered. He lied through his teeth. While I was still in the dark and couldn't figure out why we couldn't recover, he pursued another old GF 7/08. I discovered that one 9/09. Lied again. I even screamed at the screen when I saw he started a thread here, got terrific feedback and was lying through his teeth. I am beginning to think that after almost six years of this, he is still fogged out. Only revealed one affair and said he would try to get me to start a thread. Never mentioned anything to me. He doesn't know I post here now and then.

Still with me? lol! First A was PA, second EA with him as the instigator. BUT! The second one was worse for me. At the point of discovery, we were already separated. He was already living the consequences of lying about the first one. Saw the pain it caused me and the kids. Lived outside the house. Handled it the same way he handled the first one. Had to educate him that this was indeed another affair even if he didn't have sex with her. Eventually he would have. He lied, berated me, and tried to convince me of what he already convinced himself: it wasn't what I thought it was. MrRollieEyes

During this time he also managed to have a "fun" email dalliance with potential OW3 who offerred him sex two days before Christmas. My DD, who was 14 at the time intercepted that one. mad

Managed to tuck in a mission trip to Mexico with the church pastor and others who thought he was the best thing to come along since strained peas. puke Oy!

Is there less hope for recovery with a serial cheater? Well, it depends on what he/she decides to do. My WH did nothing but blameshift, excuse and lie. He managed to walk over every boundary I set. Dealbreakers were laughable to him. I used to think we could recover, now I just feel like a fool for wasting so much time. Personal recovery is now my gig.

Last edited by seeingclearly; 09/20/11 11:36 PM.

me: bw, 50
he: wh, 51

m: 1990
sep: 2007

dd: 18
ds: 14
dd: 11

multiple affairs: two with past gf's, one email dalliance.
Too many d-days to count. First one 2/06. After all this time, it's still my fault.

I've had enough. Divorce in progress.
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Dear Celtic Voyager:

This is something that I've been thinking about too.

I consider my husband (CGIR) to have had four affairs. One PA early in our marriage with co-worker, one ONS with a stripper-prostitute at a bachelor party, one "coulda-been" affair with a co-worker who either did not share an interest in having an affair or had some boundaries of her own and another PA with a different co-worker. Each affair (other than the ONS) lasted about a year and ended because the OW ended it. (But CGIR never did what it would have taken to continue the affairs either).

I have actually been considering taking some comfort in the fact that CGIR has been a serial cheater - one way of looking at it, I've been thinking, is that it shows the problem was within him. He was not with another woman because he met his match, "soul mate," whatever - he was missing something or looking for something not to be found in a relationship.

If OW #1 was so great, he could have left me to pursue her. We were only married a year and had nothing - it would have been easy. But he didn't.

The stripper was just about a BJ; no relationship potential there.

If he didn't have the courage to take the risk with "potential" OW #3, how great could she have been? He took the risk to ask me out when he was just a kid.

If he really wanted OW #4, he knew what he needed to do. But he didn't do it. In fact, he did some things that made a "relationship" unlikely, such as bringing her into his car and telling her to get out when he was done with her because he had to go home.

Through all the OW, he stayed with me, even though our relationship had become pretty, uh, "unpleasant" by the time OW #4 rolled around.

CGIR seems to have changed. Is the change permanent? I don't know. We had a conversation over the summer about a hypothetical situation, that had it come up, CGIR felt he would have lied to me about. (The situation did not involve an OP). But maybe that CGIR told me the truth about considering lying is a step toward truthfulness? I don't know - things get pretty convoluted sometimes.

For me, the test will be when CGIR gets a FT, regular job. For the past 3 years, CGIR has been unemployed, punctuated by limited-term contract work. Once he gets a steady job, employed by a company, and settles in, will he spot OW #5? All of his previous OW (except for the stripper) were co-workers.

If he could work a few years in a steady job without beginning another affair, maybe I could start to hope that our marriage will not end because of new infidelity.

I don't know if this is type of response you were looking for, but like you, the topic has been on my mind.

I just don't want to pursue this line of thinking if it's just denial/rationalization on my part. "D & R" got me a marriage marred by four affairs.

BV


Me - WW/BW - 49
Him - CGIR - WH/BH 49
Married 27 years, together 33 (HS sweethearts)
No kids
DDay #1 - 1989 EA co-worker
DDay #2 - 2004 internet porn
DDay #3 - July 2006 EA different co-worker
DDay #4 - Aug. 2006 EA with OW #2 was actually a PA
DDay #5 - Sept. 2010 False recovery - H dishonest about both affairs and porn usage
DDay# 6 - Sept. 26, 2010 - Full disclosure - 1989 EA was actually a PA and lasted one year. 2006 PA more extensive than originally thought. 1992 ONS with prostitute.
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Originally Posted By: brokenvase
Dear Celtic Voyager:

This is something that I've been thinking about too.



I don't know if this is type of response you were looking for, but like you, the topic has been on my mind.

I just don't want to pursue this line of thinking if it's just denial/rationalization on my part. "D & R" got me a marriage marred by four affairs.

BV



I am thinking along those lines. My FWW had two affairs. there was 6, almost 7 years between them. Was not the pursuer for either. She posts here sometimes, and has come a Loooong way.

I guess what I am looking at is the "anatomy"of the serial cheater. Something along these lines...

serial cheaters are often, or often do these:

1. mainly initiators

2. cannot go for extended periods without pursuing an affair

3. Are not motivated by EN's, but by ????

4. know the repercussions but disregard them

5. ???

CV

Last edited by celticvoyager; 09/21/11 01:10 AM.

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Originally Posted By: seeingclearly
Where to start. I have also considered some of these very things, as my WH is a serial cheater. The twisted path my life took because of this still has my head spinning. Some thoughts:

I have considered that having more than one affair is about the lowest thing a WWard can do. My WH had an affair 11/05 until he got sloppy in 2/06 and was discovered. He lied through his teeth. While I was still in the dark and couldn't figure out why we couldn't recover, he pursued another old GF 7/08. I discovered that one 9/09. Lied again. I even screamed at the screen when I saw he started a thread here, got terrific feedback and was lying through his teeth. I am beginning to think that after almost six years of this, he is still fogged out. Only revealed one affair and said he would try to get me to start a thread. Never mentioned anything to me. He doesn't know I post here now and then.

Still with me? lol! First A was PA, second EA with him as the instigator. BUT! The second one was worse for me. At the point of discovery, we were already separated. He was already living the consequences of lying about the first one. Saw the pain it caused me and the kids. Lived outside the house. Handled it the same way he handled the first one. Had to educate him that this was indeed another affair even if he didn't have sex with her. Eventually he would have. He lied, berated me, and tried to convince me of what he already convinced himself: it wasn't what I thought it was. MrRollieEyes

During this time he also managed to have a "fun" email dalliance with potential OW3 who offerred him sex two days before Christmas. My DD, who was 14 at the time intercepted that one. mad

Managed to tuck in a mission trip to Mexico with the church pastor and others who thought he was the best thing to come along since strained peas. puke Oy!

Is there less hope for recovery with a serial cheater? Well, it depends on what he/she decides to do. My WH did nothing but blameshift, excuse and lie. He managed to walk over every boundary I set. Dealbreakers were laughable to him. I used to think we could recover, now I just feel like a fool for wasting so much time. Personal recovery is now my gig.


I think with serial cheaters it *is* hard. There are so many more obstacles to overcome.

CV


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well, with my limited knowledge... I can only speculate on my own experience. I have a friend who has what i consider a sexual addiction who has had several affairs lasting up to 3 years he has no real love for the op just needs to fill some sort of personal gap....for some reason i understand this.....make no mistake i dont condone it but i may understand it a little..
w/ my affair things were really dark.. I was getting emotional needs met that were not met at home at the time......the feelings were the same as all ws????? still puzzeles me. when i was exposed the fog lifted immediately.....I understood what i wanted clear as water..
with my spouse, I think it may be lost love syndrom(my own word) she is her soulmate, she is willing to give anything and everything and is not willing to break it off even though i know about the whole thing...
yes there may be more partners to deal with but the depth of emotion of the so called soulmate is a tough nut to crack!

I Think and this may be a stretch to believe, but sometimes sex is sex......yes i know it is sacred, but to have your spouses heart and soul is the most important thing....If they want you but have issues their issues can be worked on if they are willing and able to do the work.

sorry if i offended anyone
still considered a newbie

Last edited by tryingtofeelgood; 09/21/11 08:52 AM.

Me: BH 40
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D Day July 11,2011
WW in P.A. with OW
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Originally Posted By: tryingtofeelgood


I Think and this may be a stretch to believe, but sometimes sex is sex......yes i know it is sacred, but to have your spouses heart and soul is the most important thing....If they want you but have issues their issues can be worked on if they are willing and able to do the work.

sorry if i offended anyone
still considered a newbie


TTFG,

do you think that with serial cheaters, there is simply no interest in relationship or en's being met by op? that what drives them is something different?


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Originally Posted By: celticvoyager
What defines a serial cheater as opposed to say long term affairs, or someone that had an affair 2x?

Is the road harder with multiple affairs or just different?


A serial cheater is a person who has multiple affairs. I think serial cheating and long term affairs are equally hard to recover from. Dr Harley told me that serial cheaters tend to be addicted to AFFAIRS, whereas, your typical one time cheater is addicted to the person. A serial cheater, in order to recover, has to live a completely integrated, transparent lifestyle to recover.

I called Dr Harley back in 2006 and asked him what the difference is between a serial cheater and a one time cheater. Here is the radio clip" http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=578


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

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I truely truely think that with a serial cheater, and i am not a psych, only had one class in psych 20 yrs ago in college, there is always some sort of pain in the past. Maybe I am niave in thinking this, mind you I only know 1 individual....but I know him very very well. I dont know if he can help himself, I truely think there is a void somewhere in his persona, that makes him need for anothers something......I know he loves his wife above all else and loves his family. But i think he is driven by pain, and maybe if there was a way to crack him open and make him realize what he is doing and why, what the root cause of his need. then maybe he could see it for what it is,,,pain from the past and that need to have the space filled, would be ok left unfilled....just a divot in the armor of a great person.....which i know him to be
It is very tough to put myself in your position cause I am reeeling in mine....I am upside down and wishing my spouse was just being selfish and looking for simple sexual gratification....when there is a true relationship people are having their intimate needs met, that one is tough


Me: BH 40
WW 39
S13, D9
Married 15 yrs together 19!!!
D Day July 11,2011
WW in P.A. with OW
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Holy carp breath i have been spelling truly wrong my whole life....................argg what an idiot, see even really educated people are stupid sometimes


Me: BH 40
WW 39
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Married 15 yrs together 19!!!
D Day July 11,2011
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thanks for posting cv- have been thru this in my mind so much.

I have a serial cheater, thats a fact.

and i mean alot!


"actually been considering taking some comfort in the fact that CGIR has been a serial cheater - one way of looking at it, I've been thinking, is that it shows the problem was within him. He was not with another woman because he met his match, "soul mate," whatever - he was missing something or looking for something not to be found in a relationship."

I agree with this statement. in that way it helps.

few things i can say:

I stinks beacuse you have to look over you shoulder for EVERYONE.

It was definately fulfilling a need, SF and Affection. but no interest in going any further than getting off. - but i dont think H could define his Affection need - it like the feeling that you know you are hungry but you dont what would satisfy you. so you eat it all and feel like crap.

But i take a little comfort in that he didnt care about any of them and it was a means to an end. typing this make me want to puke..

there was no emotional attachment so there is no withdrawal.

It was a game- like fishing i guess

I think i wouldnt be able to handle what so many here go thru with the Sole mate situation or one who is addicited to the OP, so i guess you really only get what you can handle

there are so many EP to maintain, and so many things to check and recheck and so many different points of potential contact. that makes it very triggerish

H says he is glad its over, its very hard to play the game all the time. and so many levels

i asked him to write about it and i have to reread to see if there is anything to say that is enlightening about multiples.

in recovery, very emotional, working with jennifer (just got pushed out of the nest) to look into online classes as a boost.


just a few thoughts.


Me 44- yes ugggh
WH 47
together 26 years M 19
serial cheater big time
DD1 2.24.11
NC letter sent 3/7/11
NC letter to OW2 april
final truths 5/8-- all of them poly confirmed 5/18
working the plan

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Originally Posted By: tryingtofeelgood
I know he loves his wife above all else and loves his family. But i think he is driven by pain, and maybe if there was a way to crack him open and make him realize what he is doing and why, what the root cause of his need. then maybe he could see it for what it is,,,pain from the past and that need to have the space filled, would be ok left unfilled....just a divot in the armor of a great person.....which i know him to be


I dont disagree, i will try to find a link to our radio show ( back to back). I also know that as we are going thru this my H is learing many things about the needs in his life that were never filled and why he persued his actions. in addition to dealing with this mess he is also learing about emotions, feelings, communication, acceptance, shame, and love and many other things. for the first time! yes it is like he is being born into a whole new world and he says infact everything is so much more colorful with out all of the baggage.


Me 44- yes ugggh
WH 47
together 26 years M 19
serial cheater big time
DD1 2.24.11
NC letter sent 3/7/11
NC letter to OW2 april
final truths 5/8-- all of them poly confirmed 5/18
working the plan

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sorry I can find the link and i have to run but. it was on May 13th.


Me 44- yes ugggh
WH 47
together 26 years M 19
serial cheater big time
DD1 2.24.11
NC letter sent 3/7/11
NC letter to OW2 april
final truths 5/8-- all of them poly confirmed 5/18
working the plan

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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Originally Posted By: celticvoyager
What defines a serial cheater as opposed to say long term affairs, or someone that had an affair 2x?

Is the road harder with multiple affairs or just different?


A serial cheater is a person who has multiple affairs. I think serial cheating and long term affairs are equally hard to recover from. Dr Harley told me that serial cheaters tend to be addicted to AFFAIRS, whereas, your typical one time cheater is addicted to the person. A serial cheater, in order to recover, has to live a completely integrated, transparent lifestyle to recover.

I called Dr Harley back in 2006 and asked him what the difference is between a serial cheater and a one time cheater. Here is the radio clip" http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=578


Mel,

Now I can put a voice to the image in my wee little brain! Lol!

This is very helpful. As I understood what he said, even a person who has had only 2 or three affairs may *not* fit the bill of a serial cheater, because it isn't about the number so much as about *what* they are addicted to.

Now this fits with my thought that they are often the initiator, because someone who is addicted to the affairs and not the person will tend to pursue the feelings more than a particular person. Almost in a predatory way.

This to me is something very different from the person who has an A and breaks it off out of guilt and years alter has one not because the A was good or even a person, but because they never did what it took and took the attitude "well I am a pos" and gives up. Not that there isn't a host of other issues there, but the difference may be qualitative rather than quantitative if that makes sense?

Extreme narcissism, detachment issues, etc... all seem to play important factors with serial cheaters

CV


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Extreme narcissism, detachment issues, etc... all seem to play important factors with serial cheaters

CV



[/quote]

CV
You hit it right out of the park.....



My buddies w is also one of my good friends and has been part of my support system and has shared their sit. and that is exactly what she says about her H.....Dam How did you guys become so insitefull


Me: BH 40
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Originally Posted By: celticvoyager
Extreme narcissism, detachment issues, etc... all seem to play important factors with serial cheaters


My STBxWH (currently on affair #4 which he started shortly after I went into Plan B) is a serial cheater.

I spoke to Dr Harley about this and he DID say that STBxWH has low self-esteem and that it plays a role in his going after women ~ that a good M (with ENs being met) isn't enough for him and he needs the extra boost/thrill to feel good.

At the same time he said he doesn't recommend looking at how to solve those types of childhood/underlying issues when trying to recover.

He emphasized looking at the conditions that made the affairs possible. [My translation: for a serial cheater, most likely stronger EPs will need to be in place.] So for my STBxWH he recommended (if we were to attempt R) that he change professions, most likely work out of the home, have no email, no cell etc. so that it would impossible for him to have an affair...


Ddays 2007 and 2011
Plan B 6/21/11
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I have an aquaintance (can't really call her a friend) who has cheated on every husband she's ever had (she's scouting for #4 now).

She's a narcissist with a HUGE need for admiration. The second she gets settled into marriage, and the guys stop telling her she's beautiful every 5 minutes, she starts hitting the bars.

She knows it's wrong, but she has to have extreme admiration. She explained it's like crack to her.

So, to me, serial cheaters are addicted to the high, not the person. Once the high starts to wane, they need to refresh it with a new source. They don't believe in recycling :p


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NC again 07/11 broken 12/11
Plan D full steam ahead, made WH leave
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Originally Posted By: celticvoyager
What defines a serial cheater as opposed to say long term affairs, or someone that had an affair 2x?


Anyone who has had more than one A; does not necessarily have to be with a different AP...could be breaks with the same AP vs one LTA.

Quote:
Is the road harder with multiple affairs or just different?


I would say harder and different.


Quote:
is serial cheating somehow worse than a long term affair? If so why? If not, why?


Idk...both suck. I suppose worse is the one a BS has to deal with. I have to deal with serial cheating...to me it is worse because I could at least understand my WH being drawn, in lurve, addicted to one person. To have multiple APs seems more seedy and gross in ways...like he just want a warm body...a user. NC has to be with more than one AP as well...the logistics become more widespread...just simply math when you have more than one.


Quote:
Is there less hope for recovery with serial cheaters?


Yes



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.

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Originally Posted By: celticvoyager

This is very helpful. As I understood what he said, even a person who has had only 2 or three affairs may *not* fit the bill of a serial cheater, because it isn't about the number so much as about *what* they are addicted to.

Now this fits with my thought that they are often the initiator, because someone who is addicted to the affairs and not the person will tend to pursue the feelings more than a particular person. Almost in a predatory way.

This to me is something very different from the person who has an A and breaks it off out of guilt and years alter has one not because the A was good or even a person, but because they never did what it took and took the attitude "well I am a pos" and gives up. Not that there isn't a host of other issues there, but the difference may be qualitative rather than quantitative if that makes sense?

Extreme narcissism, detachment issues, etc... all seem to play important factors with serial cheaters

CV



Hmmmmm...I don't I agree that the serial cheater has to be a predator or initiator. The As can start as "innocently" as other As. I don't even think my stbx is a narcissist. Not a one size fits all IMO.


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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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Originally Posted By: celticvoyager
What defines a serial cheater as opposed to say long term affairs, or someone that had an affair 2x?

Is the road harder with multiple affairs or just different?


A serial cheater is a person who has multiple affairs. I think serial cheating and long term affairs are equally hard to recover from. Dr Harley told me that serial cheaters tend to be addicted to AFFAIRS, whereas, your typical one time cheater is addicted to the person. A serial cheater, in order to recover, has to live a completely integrated, transparent lifestyle to recover.

I called Dr Harley back in 2006 and asked him what the difference is between a serial cheater and a one time cheater. Here is the radio clip" http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=578


Loved hearing your voice!

I believe LTA's and serial cheater's moral compasses are off. Or they've allowed their consciences to become seered from repeatedly violating it.

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