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Hey Student!

Not all people are as you described. I will admit, I am guilty of some of the things but not all.

I don't wake up to an alarm anymore. My windows are open and I can hear the many dogs and cows everyday. My water comes from a spring so I don't pay for it. Yes, I do use my car to get to work.

As for my job, it is not meaningless. My job is very beneficial to my communtiy and my family life. You see, I work for an independent living program for mentally retarded adults. I like to think that in doing the things I do with them, I am making their lives better and making them more accepted by our community. I teach them day to day living skills such as cleaning, preparing meals, safety in the community, hygiene, how to purchase things, etc...I also have my children and other family members around my clients. It makes them more compassionate and more accepting. Believe it or not, my sons spend a lot of time with a client that alot of my staff are afraid of.

Just wanted to let you know that not all are like that.

Mitzi


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Mike,

"Nice post, but a little dark...go outside, look up with your eyes closed and feel the warmth of the sun on your face....that's God smiling on you...just be, and be healed. Take the responsibility upon yourself. You won't be sorry."

You're right, it was dark. The saddest thing is that people often don't even KNOW how disconnected they are. They just go along and wonder why they are not happy or at peace.

I have taken the responsibility upon myself. That is why I say we're all to blame. My life has changed 100% for the better since I made a commitment to live within walking distance from work, to do volunteer work, to go to a park with my dogs in the morning and meeting my neighbors instead of spending that time putting on makeup, fussing with my hair, watching TV, going to the mall, commuting, etc.--or coming to MB

Before I came here, I was just as caught up in all that "stuff" as anyone else. In fact, one could say that it was what brought me to Atlanta in the first place (getting a PhD).

Mitzi,
It appears that people have gotten the impression that I'm wagging fingers at others. I'm not. *I* was one of "those" people. As most know, I was also one of "those" who had an affair. I believe the first step to the demise of my marriage was me and my exH getting caught up in all the "stuff" I mentioned above.

It is natural for people who have been betrayed to try and distinguish themselves from others who are not as strong in that respect. It is easier to think "I'm a moral person, and they are not". I've done it myself and still do. There is a saying..."There but for the grace of God go I". I'm not a particularly religious person, but this statement means something to me. I have to ask myself, what is it about my living condition or life circumstances that have brought me to where I am today? Some of those circumstances are completely out of my control--some are not. If I were living in the conditions that some others were in, would my choices be different? This is about more than just "I'm good, they are bad". It's about understanding the influences we all are subject to, being conscious about them, and doing something about it once we become aware.

I have co-workers who sit around and gripe about how bad the crime is, how bad the schools are, etc. I tell them, "Ok, go volunteer at the local elementary and teach a child to read so that they can find a job when they get older, and also improve the schools". Do they do that? No. They go home, pop a beer, watch sports on TV, then wonder why nothing changes. It's someone else's problem.

Oh, and BTW, keep up the good work Mitzi!!!


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Student,

I didn't think you were pointing fingers at any one person in particular.

And you're right, if people would just do something about the things that are wrong in society, instead of just complaining about it, the world would be a much better place.

Before my ex left, I was one of those people. I didn't complain about my situation, but I wasn't happy and I never did anything about it. Not so now. I've found out that life is what you make of it. I can't change everyone else, neither can you, nor can anyone. The only thing we can do is make changes in ourselves. And we can make a difference, maybe just a small one.

One day, Stu, you will get to a place where you are more than just comfortable, but you will be completely happy. Hopefully all of us will. I guess it just takes time and a whole lot of patience.

Mitzi


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I have to admit that I was rather angry when I first posted this topic. I had just found out about the incident and my post was a “knee-jerk” reaction because of my anger. Had I stopped to gather more of the facts, I would have learned that even though the event took place, there was much more to the story.

My anger was also a bit selfish because both people involved here are really more than acquaintances, they are friends. One is even a person I turned to myself for some support and guidance when my wife first left me. All of us had been involved in discussions and supported each other to a certain degree over the past year which made it that much harder for me to understand.

I have spent more time being involved with this situation over the past few days and have learned a wealth of information that I had not known before. This information still does not justify the affair to any degree, but it has made me understand a bit more as to WHY it happened. I still think it was wrong, but that’s just my opinion.

It’s strange, but I am witnessing first hand a situation very similar to my own divorce, but I am now starting to understand it from my ex wife’s point of view….or least from what she was willing to share with me. I feel fortunate to be here for my friend, but at the same time, the demise of this marriage is helping me to understand more about my own. I never knew if there was an affair during my marriage or not, but learning what I have witnessed in the past few days, I can’t dismiss the possibility. I think it’s important for all of us to realize and remember that an affair is not the cause of problems in a relationship, rather it is a symptom of the problems. If my one friend was completely happy in marriage, the affair would never have happened. I think the affair took place more as way to prove to oneself that the marriage was over and having the ability of being with someone other than the spouse was proof.

Jo/Stu,

I’m glad to see that the two of you are still around. I haven’t seen anything from either of you for quite a while and was curious as to how you both were doing?

I feel honored…My post has gotten Murph, Jo and Stu all out of hiding


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Okay, then Jayhawk...you have been given a gift here...knowledge of what you can do to change things, both for you, and for the rest of us. You are definitely growing in this process. I admire you for that, yes, and respect it, too. Rather than simply rail about our sits...we need to be positive about it. I just talked to one of my only remaining true friends, and he has an about to WAS...she is a friend, too. Tonight, I am going to give them the books I bought when it was too late for me...I think there is hope, but I am not standing back and watching their 18 year marriage die...like the others did to mine. I'm not depserate, they will either work it out, or not...but I am not going to stand idly by, and say...too bad. I care about them, and I care about everybody else, too. Your thread may save a marriage...that is worth something, don't you think? Take care, my friends...we can make a difference. -Mike

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[ August 08, 2004, 01:50 PM: Message edited by: laura_lee ]

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Hi Jayhawk,

just thought I'd share this. This is what my father said to me on my wedding day.

He said that there would always be attractive men in the world, some whom I would feel an attraction to, but being married meant saying NO. Simple isn't it??

That to me is the upshot of all of **this**. People don't seem to say no anymore. They just go with the flow and say hang the consequences.

I often wonder why so many people don't have the moral fibre to just say NO...

I know there are so many varied reasons for why people have affairs, all that I have learnt from being here. And I make absolutely no judgements against those of us who have had an affair. However I still can't stop myself from asking that little question.

I had quite a few opportunities to have affairs 10 years ago when I first started flying, I was younger, I was slimmer, didn't have quite so many lines etc etc etc. But I said NO. Yes there was instant attraction to a couple of them, (I can still remember them!!!) yes it was flattering, but I always thought "NO, I'm married". There was no way I was going to risk my marriage. The chances are that I wouldn't have been found out, because it would have happened in other cities on layovers, but I still had no interest.

I guess I just must be a one man woman!!!! I'm also not a very good juggler!!!

take care of you, and have a great night

hugs

Jo


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quote:
I think the affair took place more as way to prove to oneself that the marriage was over and having the ability of being with someone other than the spouse was proof.

that is the definition of an EXIT affair.


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laura_lee...I think that you have answered your own question! I agree...wholeheartedly.

The term 'exit affair' is defined AFTER the fact, watch yourself there...you could be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy by 'going there'.

One thing that permeates the BS world is to 'even it up'...the justification, blame, self-serving behavior...I feel that a WAS conceives a future WAS in the BS that they leave behind...we nurture it, and give birth to it later...sad...very sad. We are thinking that we are standing on moral ground, but that is not necessarily the truth.

Here, we commiserate...we hold each other, and validate each other...the 'who needs them', and we will move on to better things....it still leaves the OR unresolved, and we will carry the baggage to our next relationship, and the cycle will continue.

We need to charge ourselves with breaking that cycle. The media LL mentions is a powerful persuasion, we need to steel our resolve to fight it. Yes, there is a serious morality decline in society today, caused by the me-me-me thing, and we are playing right into it when we rage, and try to 'make it fair'. -Mike


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"I think there is hope, but I am not standing back and watching their 18 year marriage die...like the others did to mine."

Right on!!

"Are people more hungry these days that they have been in past days? Why? What has made the appetite for sex outside of marriage stronger and "too tempting" to resist (why do people choose to do it more now than in prior generations?) And what makes it easier, today, to feed an appetite for sex outside of marriage?"

I don't want anyone to get the impression that I'm pining for the "good ol days". There is a myth that people were more "moral" in the past, and I disagree. Affairs are seldom about just sex. What makes people hungry for connection? To answer that question, just ask yourself why you come here. We don't know if there was more or less infidelity in the past. When I talk to older folks, I find that it was a topic that wasn't often discussed unless it became completely obvious to the outside community. They had more pressing things to worry about perhaps. Getting food on the table or even basic survival. What has changed is that our basic survival needs have been met, and we all now have the luxury of pursuing lots of things that do not relate to our basic survival needs. Affairs, getting a PhD , video games, you name it. While I don't blame people for trying to distinguish themselves from others they consider inferior to them (and that is my impression from some of these posts), it doesn't solve the problem. Ask yourself, what do people think they have to gain by certain behaviors? If they didn't have something to gain, they wouldn't do it. Even things you consider sick or immoral. I bet you can find evidence of things that you do in your own life that are not good for you...and you do them anyway. Extrapolate that line of thinking out to infidelity, and you will start to understand.

People did alot of things in the past I consider morally abhorent. Owning slaves, beating children, etc. All of these were considered acceptable behavior at one time. Consider the context of the person and the society they live in.

About the me, me, me thing? Everyone is selfish to some extent. Everyone has a line they draw between what they give to others and what they keep for themselves. We know that alot of these behaviors (ie infidelity) only serve people in the short-term. However, consider how many wasteful behaviors we ALL do that are short term and don't serve the health of our community. Understanding the "evil" in each of us helps us understand the "evil" in others.


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I think we all just do the best we can with what we have inside of us at any given moment.

I have learned, the very hard way, that choices are sometimes made that "feel right" at the time, but hurt people we love later -- and I put "me" in that "people we love" catagory, too.

I agree that we need to simplify our lives -- to find the good in the "little things" like hearing "I love you," or a hug from a loving child, or a cat's purr, laundry hanging on the line, or fresh cookies...

...and I **will** say I long for the "good old days" when it just felt easier.

We can change our little corner of the world... and it's worth the effort.


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quote:
The term 'exit affair' is defined AFTER the fact, watch yourself there...you could be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy by 'going there'.

what am i supposed to watch?

the self fulfilling prophecy is done by the fogged in spouse, who doesn't know how to use their words or actions appropriately, because they are fogged in, or are having other internal struggles. . . . which we aren't aware of. . .

and what am i to watch out for again? fog?


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[ August 08, 2004, 01:51 PM: Message edited by: laura_lee ]

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I think one factor is that, if you compare our culture to the agrarian culture of even less that 100 years ago, there was a much stronger connection between fathers and their children. The Amish believe that one of the reasons that farming is the best occupation is that it allows both parents to be home with the children, and the father has a much stronger influence and relationship with them. I rarely saw our Amish neighbor without at least one of his children.

It is very easy for a parent to become disconnected from his children if they are away from each other 10-12 or more hours a day. Depression plays an important role - depression almost always leads to disconnection from others, but conversely I think that the feeling of disconnection also can contribute to depression.

I believe that the first step toward infidelity is a disconnection from your FAMILY - not just your spouse. In so many cases I have seen on this board, the BS is the primary parent. This is especially so in cases where the WS actually left the family.

I do not agree that affairs are generally a result of the "marriage being over." As waiting_for_her pointed out, an exit affair is defined after the fact. My H has told me that as of early spring in 1998 he had NO plans to leave our marriage. By the end of the summer he was involved in the affair, and he left for her the following February. Relationships of a quarter of a century don't become "over" in that time period. However, during that time a relative was murdered, my H sunk into depression, and our oldest daughter left for college.

Affairs are rarely if ever about the marriage. Affairs happen in "good" marriages and "bad". Many people in "bad" marriages do not have affairs. Affairs are about issues in the betrayer, frequently clinical depression.


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quote:
Originally posted by Nellie1:
Affairs are rarely if ever about the marriage. Affairs happen in "good" marriages and "bad". Many people in "bad" marriages do not have affairs. Affairs are about issues in the betrayer, frequently clinical depression.

I'll agree that affairs are symptoms of a greater, deeper problem, but to suggest that they are "rarely, if ever" about the marriage is wrong (in my opinion - always have to be careful about saying that).

It's a "which came first" question - was it the bad marriage that caused the bad/wrong/depressive attitude of the spouse, or the other way around?

I know it makes you feel like you've got a handle on the "why" of your H's affair, Nellie. I don't want to dispute that - especially in YOUR marriage, where I have no business interferriing.

But...

I simply do not agree that a marriage is fine, good even, and then one day (in MOST cases, as you say), BAM, one spouse is gone forever.

I don't suppose (and I ask this sincerely and with respect) that you have an idea as to why some spouses return, and some spouses never do?

... and that goes for the board too... anyone reading... why do some spouses feel such intense guilt (whether they stay away or return to the marriage), and some go merrily along with NO guilt? Now, THAT'S gotta be a personality deficit, right?


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I think that people are becoming too desenintized in daily life. I don't know if it is because of what we watch on television or hear on the radio or at the movie theaters. It has to be some combination of things that we are exposed to in daily life. Maybe the WS thinks that if they start over then things will get better in their life. Perhaps in some cases that is yes but I don't think that is true in all cases. There is some turmoil going on in their life that they don't know how to deal with and we are on the receiving end. It doesn't seem fair but fair was never promised to anyone in life. I still hold out for hope that my wife will let me back into her life and we can try and solve her problems and my problems together. We can solve our own problems but it is usally much easier when we have some type of support from a loved one. Just my opinion from what I have seen.

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Sheryl-
Good question!! I don't know. Maybe the ones that feel guilt really have a conscience, are not as deep into the fog, or enjoy pain. I think maybe it's about denial for the others. IMHO, people who are more "analytical," emotionally intelligent/aware, or expressive have a harder time reconciling what they have done because they can't escape in their minds the reality that they just left their spouse. The other possibility is that the ones who don't show guilt are feeling it, but are poor at expressing it. How many WSs demonstrate hostility toward their ex's? Passive agressive behavior? Those are all just masks for guilt.

My ex is marrying his OW this summer. They have been engaged for a little over a month. In May and the two months prior to that, he expressed regret and remorse, confusion about his new "love," hate for himself, and tender feelings for me. After seeing him for the first time in 6 months, he decided the pain was too difficult, and is now engaged to be married. Despite his "guilt" and depression that he was in, he is marrying her. Maybe to heal his pain, maybe to do things "right" this time. Maybe to validate his decision.


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Sheryl,

I believe the biggest factor in whether a WS who leaves for an OP returns is whether and how quickly that relationship ends. I also think in many cases the ones who feel most guilty are more likely to not return, because they are trying to avoid the overwhelming pain they feel when they are reminded of what they did to their family. I agree with gsd that many WS who do feel guilty express it as hostility, etc.

I do not think that the state of a marriage can cause depression, except perhaps in cases where there is serious physical abuse for instance. However, people who are depressed do disconnect from their loved ones, and conflict avoiders have a hard time making strong connections. I remember worrying within the first few months after meeting my H that he might be suffering from depression, but I just blamed it on his rotating shift work messing up his biological clock.

Except in cases of things like extreme abuse, I don't think there really is any such thing as a "bad" or a "good" marriage. That implies that if you replaced one of the partners, the new relationship would somehow magically be different.

Frank Pittman said that men who have affairs are looking for someone they have not yet hurt. They have affairs not because their wives do not understand them, but because their wives understand them too well.


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Hey Jayhawk..

You raise and interesting question. This type of behavior is exactly why we have a 60% divorce rate in this country. I cannot stress this point enough. Everyone needs to keep their pants on and get real! There are so many dangerous diseases that anyone can catch and still, many people decide to drop the pants and ruin their entire life and the lives of their families.

Note to all of you WS out there, if you haven't been discovered yet, YOU WILL BE, and if you think adultery is justified for any reason, ITS NOT!

DAMN IT WS! WAKE THE HELL UP AND GET REAL. Its time you start living for your spouse and family! There is no other moral choice!

Bryan

------------------
BJK


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Hey Bryan, long time no see!

How 'bout a quick update on what's happening with you?


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