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You've been living under a rock if you haven't seen this one:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/joyce-mitchell-deep-husband-article-1.2267662

The funny thing (if there is anything funny about this situation, which there is not) is that she is STILL minimizing the affair--as though at this point that's what people really care about. I read in another article that she plotted to kill her husband with the murder.

Waywards do the darnedest things, indeed.


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It's so hard to understand. I know we're all "wired for affairs," but I still can't understand how people can give up everything. I just don't think I would do that.


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PW,

So what % of crimes are linked to infidelity, people acting in ways they would never have imagined acting before getting into an affair, I would have to imagine it is greater than 1%.

Frequently in the news all you hear is that a woman had her husband killed or something like that.

As for the % of people who have accidents while texting, I would have to guess 5% are texting an affair partner.

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Well, this woman is a serial cheater. Her current husband was actually the AP in her first marriage...so there is that.

I agree that we are all wired for affairs. However, it's not an inevitability in ANY circumstance. Character is defined as the proper exercise of the human will to do the right thing. When you have good character in a marriage, it means you have good boundaries, you think about other's feelings, you are able to delay gratification, etc.

I am starting to realize that people that continue affairs, even AFTER widespread exposure or are serial cheaters have really difficult character issues. They have huge boundary and entitlement issues. I don't believe that they are totally irredeemable, but the consequences of their actions have to be SO HIGH for them to change, it's incredible. And even then, their outrageous sense of entitlement means that they don't usually value what they are giving up enough to change.


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I so agree with you, PW!


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Originally Posted By: Gamma
PW,

So what % of crimes are linked to infidelity, people acting in ways they would never have imagined acting before getting into an affair, I would have to imagine it is greater than 1%.

Frequently in the news all you hear is that a woman had her husband killed or something like that.

As for the % of people who have accidents while texting, I would have to guess 5% are texting an affair partner.

Gamma



Well, if you ever watch any of those investigation shows, there are a considerable number of people who off their spouses for affairs and/or to prevent exposure.

It's not a scientific sample by any means, but it's not an uncommon story by any means.


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Originally Posted By: PigletWiglet
Well, this woman is a serial cheater. Her current husband was actually the AP in her first marriage...so there is that.

I agree that we are all wired for affairs. However, it's not an inevitability in ANY circumstance. Character is defined as the proper exercise of the human will to do the right thing. When you have good character in a marriage, it means you have good boundaries, you think about other's feelings, you are able to delay gratification, etc.

I am starting to realize that people that continue affairs, even AFTER widespread exposure or are serial cheaters have really difficult character issues. They have huge boundary and entitlement issues. I don't believe that they are totally irredeemable, but the consequences of their actions have to be SO HIGH for them to change, it's incredible. And even then, their outrageous sense of entitlement means that they don't usually value what they are giving up enough to change.


You just described the exact characteristics of an alcoholic. They will give up everything in pursuit of alcohol. It is not a matter of character, but being at the mercy of an all consuming addiction. I knew a Catholic Monsignor who actually lived under a bridge because he lost everything in pursuit of alcohol. Addictions override morality.

That being said, the addict is always responsible and this is not being stated as an excuse. THERE ARE NO EXCUSES.


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Most people who have affairs are historically very moral people and practice moral standards in other areas of their lives. People don't usually set out to have an affair or become an alcoholic. IT happens much like the frog in boiling water, it is slow and subtle. Once the person realizes what has happened, they are completely consumed with their addiction and can't seem to get themselves out.

They know deep down it is wrong but they are so deeply consumed that they rationalize and justify it. We call that the FOG. It is easier to change your beliefs than your behavior.


"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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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Most people who have affairs are historically very moral people and practice moral standards in other areas of their lives. People don't usually set out to have an affair or become an alcoholic. IT happens much like the frog in boiling water, it is slow and subtle. Once the person realizes what has happened, they are completely consumed with their addiction and can't seem to get themselves out.

They know deep down it is wrong but they are so deeply consumed that they rationalize and justify it. We call that the FOG. It is easier to change your beliefs than your behavior.



I agree that once you are in it, it's hard to get out of. However, getting in it IS a character issue. It indicates lack of boundaries and a sense of entitlement. Getting to the point at which you are addicted starts from a series of choices--the decision to talk to this person, to keep talking, etc.

I used to have a traveling job (long before my husband's affair), in which I traveled internationally often. I was propositioned a couple of times and once had a very nice colleague who I would have dated had I not been married. I always kept the conversation professional and declined time a hotel bars, etc. I don't say this because I am super human, but because I had a sense of boundaries and I didn't even want to have the appearance of impropriety.

I believe that the fog is real--but it doesn't just land on people. The behavior that LEADS to the affair is conscience and is very much a character issue.


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Originally Posted By: PigletWiglet
Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Most people who have affairs are historically very moral people and practice moral standards in other areas of their lives. People don't usually set out to have an affair or become an alcoholic. IT happens much like the frog in boiling water, it is slow and subtle. Once the person realizes what has happened, they are completely consumed with their addiction and can't seem to get themselves out.

They know deep down it is wrong but they are so deeply consumed that they rationalize and justify it. We call that the FOG. It is easier to change your beliefs than your behavior.



I agree that once you are in it, it's hard to get out of. However, getting in it IS a character issue. It indicates lack of boundaries and a sense of entitlement. Getting to the point at which you are addicted starts from a series of choices--the decision to talk to this person, to keep talking, etc.

I used to have a traveling job (long before my husband's affair), in which I traveled internationally often. I was propositioned a couple of times and once had a very nice colleague who I would have dated had I not been married. I always kept the conversation professional and declined time a hotel bars, etc. I don't say this because I am super human, but because I had a sense of boundaries and I didn't even want to have the appearance of impropriety.

I believe that the fog is real--but it doesn't just land on people. The behavior that LEADS to the affair is conscience and is very much a character issue.


I agree. I'm no Tom Cruise, but I had younger women hit on me numerous times (no jewelry allowed in martial arts/boxing practice). My ex was not meeting my emotional needs, especially when we were apart for several months during our international move, but it never occurred to me that cheating was an option. There were so many reasons not to! I wasn't just considering my own morals but also the inevitable consequences.


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Originally Posted By: nmwb77
Originally Posted By: PigletWiglet
Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Most people who have affairs are historically very moral people and practice moral standards in other areas of their lives. People don't usually set out to have an affair or become an alcoholic. IT happens much like the frog in boiling water, it is slow and subtle. Once the person realizes what has happened, they are completely consumed with their addiction and can't seem to get themselves out.

They know deep down it is wrong but they are so deeply consumed that they rationalize and justify it. We call that the FOG. It is easier to change your beliefs than your behavior.



I agree that once you are in it, it's hard to get out of. However, getting in it IS a character issue. It indicates lack of boundaries and a sense of entitlement. Getting to the point at which you are addicted starts from a series of choices--the decision to talk to this person, to keep talking, etc.

I used to have a traveling job (long before my husband's affair), in which I traveled internationally often. I was propositioned a couple of times and once had a very nice colleague who I would have dated had I not been married. I always kept the conversation professional and declined time a hotel bars, etc. I don't say this because I am super human, but because I had a sense of boundaries and I didn't even want to have the appearance of impropriety.

I believe that the fog is real--but it doesn't just land on people. The behavior that LEADS to the affair is conscience and is very much a character issue.


I agree. I'm no Tom Cruise, but I had younger women hit on me numerous times (no jewelry allowed in martial arts/boxing practice). My ex was not meeting my emotional needs, especially when we were apart for several months during our international move, but it never occurred to me that cheating was an option. There were so many reasons not to! I wasn't just considering my own morals but also the inevitable consequences.


Indeed, if it were not about lack of character/boundaries, then all betrayed spouses would be having affairs. I have been asked out a few times while separated and never gone, even tough at this point I don't see any hope of reconciliation AND I can see this divorce dragging out a long time. If the fog just landed on people, betrayed spouses would be the best targets.


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Quote:
I agree that we are all wired for affairs. However, it's not an inevitability in ANY circumstance. Character is defined as the proper exercise of the human will to do the right thing. When you have good character in a marriage, it means you have good boundaries, you think about other's feelings, you are able to delay gratification, etc.


"Character" is defined as "moral excellence and firmness," which many waywards had before having affairs themselves. Most people who have affairs were very moral people and did not believe in affairs.

We get onto shaky ground when we start claiming waywards have affairs because of "bad character." It sets people up to believe that if they are good enough people, they will never have an affair -- a very dangerous assumption. It also sets up the belief that people who do not have affairs are somehow superior to those who do -- which, again, is a dangerous belief for those who wish to recover their marriages.

There are reasons Dr. Harley focuses on boundaries rather than character.


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Character is more like the exercise of the will to do what is right (like putting up boundaries). But it doesn't really matter if you call it boundaries or character. Character sounds more preachy, which puts people off. The fact is that it is a series of choices that leads to affairs. The fog doesn't just land.


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Character is simply a pattern of behavior. Change your behavior, change your character

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Dr. Harley doesn't usually focus on words like "character" because it's disrespectful. All of us would have an affair under the right circumstances.


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Dr. Harley used to take an approach more like that to saving marriages, but it did not work.

Here's a great radio clip where he discusses this:

What Marriage Builders is all about


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

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Originally Posted By: markos
Dr. Harley doesn't usually focus on words like "character" because it's disrespectful. All of us would have an affair under the right circumstances.



That statement simply cannot be true. That is a totally fatalistic statement. It's like stating "all of us would commit murder (not self defense, but murder) under the right circumstances. Again, if that were true, betrayed spouses would always have affairs--especially those who have to go through lengthy divorces, etc.

All of us are capable of having affairs is more accurate. But it's not inevitable that all people would have affairs. Many people are celibate forever, etc. It assumes that people have no self-control if the stars align the right way. And that simply is not true.


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Originally Posted By: PigletWiglet
Originally Posted By: markos
Dr. Harley doesn't usually focus on words like "character" because it's disrespectful. All of us would have an affair under the right circumstances.



That statement simply cannot be true.


Nevertheless it's the position Dr. Harley expresses over and over.


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Ok. I have to believe the sentiment is one of being "capable" of having an affair, not that everyone would actually have one.

The pull of romantic love is very strong and having needs met is extremely tempting. I can believe that for most people there are circumstances that make affairs extremely tempting--just like there are circumstances that would make stealing extremely tempting (like starvation). But the fact remains that actually getting into it is a choice. It's an exercise, at the very core of boundaries, will, character or whatever you want to call it. It may be moralistic and disrespectful to say, but it remains the truth.

I don't believe that waywards are irredeemably horrible people at all. Just like I don't believe all robbers are irredeemably horrible, but I don't soften my language around their behavior either.

And I don't believe that faithful spouses are above them (you can be a totally crappy spouse and be faithful); however, we have to be careful no to absolve them of their choices. Sometimes, I fear that the language of fog and addiction does that. Once you are in, I get it. Sticking with Plan B for the first few months was the hardest thing I have ever done. I LOVED that man and felt like I was dying. But everyday I have been in Plan B has been an exercise of will over my feelings (character, boundaries, whatever). I wanted to see him and talk to him so badly. But I didn't and I haven't. It was a choice.

Anyway, again, I think we are generally talking about the same thing. So if saying boundaries instead of character is better, then I am fine with that. But the bottom line really is: No excuses. You're a grown up who made a vow. You broke that vow in an extremely hurtful (and frankly immoral) way. You have the responsibility to stop that even if it hurts you. The hope is that you then can build a romantic marriage with your spouse (MB), but you didn't have an uncontrollable disease. you made a choice to have poor boundaries.


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Quote:
Character is more like the exercise of the will to do what is right (like putting up boundaries).

You are making up definitions.

Quote:
But it doesn't really matter if you call it boundaries or character.

Actually, it does ...

Quote:
Character sounds more preachy, which puts people off.

... and that's one of the reasons why ...


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