Marriage Builders®
Posted By: Neak Has a WS or FWS always had a weak character? - 04/23/09 04:11 AM
Moving this discussion from the thinking of OW thread:

Quote:
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
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
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?
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.
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.

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...
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!
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.
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?
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
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.
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?
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".
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.
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
>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.
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.

JMO
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.
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
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.
Originally Posted By: Cherished
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.


I agree that it's a series of decisions and it ultimately does lead to a weakness of character, but I don't think my H was ALWAYS weak. At some point he made the decision to make his life all about him and not consider anyone else. If he had always been an ass or was still continuing to be an ass I would agree that it would be indicitive that he was always of weak character. If that were the case, I'd be divorced.
From my perspective, based on things he has said to me, the devastating part of the affair to him was the change in his own view of himself. It was painful to have put himself up on a pedastal as far as moral character is concerned and then have to face that he had an affair. He seems to completely lack any sort of appreciation for the pain he has caused his wife, his parents, his children, or his wife's family.

Since the pain he feels has to do with his own view of himself, the reason why he wouldn't have another affair is to avoid experiencing that pain again.

Sure, he could justify another affair. He justified having an affair as the only way he could stay married, which was the moral thing to do. What would hold him back is the pain it would cause him.

As for me, he can't hurt me anymore. As the years pass, the kids get older, and it gets less important for me to be available to them. I also rebuild my career with part time work. We are headed for divorce. If we divorce today due to a second affair, I am in a much better position than when we had children ages 1 - 7. In another 8 years, the youngest will be able to drive, and the others will be out of the house. At that point, there will be no reason for us to share a home.

Cherished
Originally Posted By: Cherished
From my perspective, based on things he has said to me, the devastating part of the affair to him was the change in his own view of himself. It was painful to have put himself up on a pedastal as far as moral character is concerned and then have to face that he had an affair. He seems to completely lack any sort of appreciation for the pain he has caused his wife, his parents, his children, or his wife's family.

Since the pain he feels has to do with his own view of himself, the reason why he wouldn't have another affair is to avoid experiencing that pain again.

Sure, he could justify another affair. He justified having an affair as the only way he could stay married, which was the moral thing to do. What would hold him back is the pain it would cause him.


Actually this sounds like my FWH as well, it is more about HIS pain than mine and his children.
Originally Posted By: Cherished
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


While i will admit that i feel this way too because my H doesn't KNOW me very well. It is even worse for our children, he does not know their likes and dislikes.

However prior to his A i do feel that our lives were intertwined as we spent all of our time together if we were not at work. And i had been married almost 23 years before my H had his A
My husband has impeccable integrity in many areas of his life. Pre-affair, I believed he would always be faithful.

Now ten years post affair, I believe differently.

I know pride goes before a fall, but really, I can't imagine myself in an affair in any circumstance, before or after my husband's affairs. For one thing men hitting on me makes me want to puke It has since I have been married. I lose any respect for any man, especially married men, who exhibit any inappropriate attention to a married woman or a woman other than his wife. I am very monogamous. And I think for those of us that ARE pre-disposed to this level of faithfulness also have the hardest time SEEING potential problems and then recovering when the worst happens. Nothing hurts worse than when something is done to us, that we would never do.

But I have other weaknesses.

So when you are looking at a lifetime mate, it stands to reason that a bad set of circumstances, timing and needs not met can contribute to infidelity in people that are vulnerable to this weakness.

It is just a shame that we don't come with a warning label or a disclaimer before we mate for life.
Originally Posted By: FaithHopeLove
My husband has impeccable integrity in many areas of his life. Pre-affair, I believed he would always be faithful.

Now ten years post affair, I believe differently.

I know pride goes before a fall, but really, I can't imagine myself in an affair in any circumstance, before or after my husband's affairs. For one thing men hitting on me makes me want to puke It has since I have been married. I lose any respect for any man, especially married men, who exhibit any inappropriate attention to a married woman or a woman other than his wife. I am very monogamous. And I think for those of us that ARE pre-disposed to this level of faithfulness also have the hardest time SEEING potential problems and then recovering when the worst happens. Nothing hurts worse than when something is done to us, that we would never do.

But I have other weaknesses.

So when you are looking at a lifetime mate, it stands to reason that a bad set of circumstances, timing and needs not met can contribute to infidelity in people that are vulnerable to this weakness.

It is just a shame that we don't come with a warning label or a disclaimer before we mate for life.


Love it!!!

This person has the possibilty to cheat on you marry with caution rotflmao !

PS I agree with you about men hitting on women too it makes me want to puke as well!!
Originally Posted By: MacNut
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...


ITA. 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. Otherwise, why would the EPs have to be put in place? If any FWS told their BS, it is OK, I learned my lesson. I can go out alone with a member of the opposite sex, what would the BS say? Here even if the S is not a WS, we still say it is dangerous!
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 helps make my point. The peole who stop are those with Strong character and strong moral fibre. Those who fall into the trap cannot be defined as having strong moral fibre except for "a weak moment". Again, he is not a murder except for 'one weak moment' when he killed his WS...
Originally Posted By: FaithHopeLove
I know pride goes before a fall, but really, I can't imagine myself in an affair in any circumstance, before or after my husband's affairs. For one thing men hitting on me makes me want to puke It has since I have been married. I lose any respect for any man, especially married men, who exhibit any inappropriate attention to a married woman or a woman other than his wife. I am very monogamous. And I think for those of us that ARE pre-disposed to this level of faithfulness also have the hardest time SEEING potential problems and then recovering when the worst happens. Nothing hurts worse than when something is done to us, that we would never do.


I agree with this.

Quote:
So when you are looking at a lifetime mate, it stands to reason that a bad set of circumstances, timing and needs not met can contribute to infidelity in people that are vulnerable to this weakness.


This makes sense. I do think my H is "weaker" than me in the areas that can make or break a relationship. I don't know if that weakness is due to biology, upbringing, values, character, or a combination of things. But it can't be argued that at some point that weakness kicked in and overrode all sense of decency and morals.

Quote:
It is just a shame that we don't come with a warning label or a disclaimer before we mate for life.


LOL although we might all be in that gaga love stage that we overlook the redflag until it's too late. People have had warning labels on cigarettes for decades and still claim ignorance. As a further deterent, can the label come with a twobyfour if we ignore the warning?
I hate to admit it but I warned my husband about his actions for months before he started the affair. He believed that I was just jealous and unreasonable. I knew better. He believed that he was better than he actually was. I avoided all opportunities to be in tempting situations because I knew the dangers were real and potentially devastating. He sought out the tempting situations and enjoyed the risk and the ellicit admiration. It was an exhibit of selfishness and arrogance IMO. I am not perfect either. I do believe that if I put myself in a tempting situation and fostered an inappropriate friendship I would cheat also. I don't foster friendships with men. I don't go to bars alone to hang out. When an attractive man started working at my place of employment, I would avoid him. I go home and take care of my family. I am not better than my husband. I am just as weak. I am much more careful. I don't want to hurt my husband the way that he hurt me. I don't ever want to be that person. I like living an honest and open life that I can be proud of.
Originally Posted By: stillstanding2
I hate to admit it but I warned my husband about his actions for months before he started the affair. He believed that I was just jealous and unreasonable. I knew better. He believed that he was better than he actually was. I avoided all opportunities to be in tempting situations because I knew the dangers were real and potentially devastating. He sought out the tempting situations and enjoyed the risk and the ellicit admiration. It was an exhibit of selfishness and arrogance IMO. I am not perfect either. I do believe that if I put myself in a tempting situation and fostered an inappropriate friendship I would cheat also. I don't foster friendships with men. I don't go to bars alone to hang out. When an attractive man started working at my place of employment, I would avoid him. I go home and take care of my family. I am not better than my husband. I am just as weak. I am much more careful. I don't want to hurt my husband the way that he hurt me. I don't ever want to be that person. I like living an honest and open life that I can be proud of.


We have the big winner. I think the #1 driving factor/problem is SELFISHNESS. In our me, me, me society, we are taught to do whatever makes us happy at the expense of those around us. I don't believe in that and was taught that you represent your Family first, your Job, your College, etc. If your actions will reflect badly upon that, then you better not take that action.
Cher, I can understand how you have come to your beliefs about WS's, and even FWS's.

Quote:
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.
Originally Posted By: Cherished
From my perspective, based on things he has said to me, the devastating part of the affair to him was the change in his own view of himself. It was painful to have put himself up on a pedastal as far as moral character is concerned and then have to face that he had an affair.


That looks like something my FWW might have said.

Can you guess what happened?

Sure it took her several years before she cheated again, but I believe that was more a question of opportunity, rather than time, and all it took was someone to show more than a passing interest.


Originally Posted By: Cherished
At that point, there will be no reason for us to share a home.


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.
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.
I hope no one thought I could resist this topic, this thread, for long.

I must have weak character. I’m posting.


What is character?

There is an old saying; character is what you do when you think no one is looking.

So, what is it when you do and don’t care who is looking? Or who you hurt? Who will eventually find out? What is it when you lie, cheat and steal and you know everyone is watching you do it? And not lie, cheat and steal from just anyone, but from a person, even your own children, you promised in public to protect?

Is it weak character? A hole in character? Morphed character? A lack of character?

Or is it, instead of a missing part of character, a something tangible and warped embedded in character?

The above, IMO, are all the same people. There is no difference except in degree.

To be able to intentionally suppress an otherwise outstanding code of ethics and morals is not intrinsically possible. Such ability means, it is evidence for, a problem with a persons ethics and morals and character to start with. It can be traced to one’s very wiring, as Dr H says.

It simply means they have been tested and found wanting.

And if you could go back in time and proctor their previous tests, tests when they thought no one was looking, they will have failed a lot in all kinds of smaller things.

IMO, it is well established the vast majority, 99.44%, of adulterers were the ones giving the least to the marriage all along. The upstanding, saintly, totally ethical and moral, give until it hurts spouse suddenly tripping and falling is a myth. And on the rare occasion such a one shows up here it is very easy to recognize them.

MB sort of reminds me of democracy. You know, the worst system except for all the others. But my main heartburn with it is its totally unwarranted assumption that adulterers are not who they really are. An assumption that claims they will not do it again when no one is watching, first because now the BS knows to watch them like a hawk all the time and for the rest of their lives; and second because the adulterer is now always satiated with ENs - exactly like a drug addict so stoned he can’t move. Ok, yeah. They won’t be able do it again if they can’t even move on their own. Sheesh.


I need to stop for a bit. Back later. (LOL, whether you want me back or not.)
Originally Posted By: MacNut

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?


I was one of the frustrated spouses that you described, and I had plenty of opportunity and temptation. Yet I didn't have an A. I like to think I have integrety and that my character is strong. I also think I rank at least a point or 2 ahead of any "strong character" who had a weak "moment".

In the beginning when I still wanted to pursue marital recovery, I wanted to think that WstbxH was better than that and that he simply had a weak "moment". In his case, it simply wasn't true. A lot of my grief in my personal recovery was specifically about this - that the strong, moral character I thought my "DH" was didn't actually exist. This is my case. I'm sure others' WS's are completely different.
Originally Posted By: Neak
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 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.
None of us have a strong character on our own anyway - all we have is the greater or lesser measure of grace that we allow into our hearts.

smile
Originally Posted By: Aphelion
To be able to intentionally suppress an otherwise outstanding code of ethics and morals is not intrinsically possible. Such ability means, it is evidence for, a problem with a persons ethics and morals and character to start with. It can be traced to one’s very wiring, as Dr H says.


My thoughts exactly...from wiktionary:

A comparison of character and reputation: It would be well if character and reputation were used distinctively. In truth, character is what a person is; reputation is what he is supposed to be. Character is in himself, reputation is in the minds of others. Character is injured by temptations, and by wrongdoing; reputation by slanders, and libels. Character endures throughout defamation in every form, but perishes when there is a voluntary transgression; reputation may last through numerous transgressions, but be destroyed by a single, and even an unfounded, accusation or aspersion.
I don't think an A is an indication that the WS always had "weak" character. Possibly in some cases that is true, but I imagine in most cases, it is an indication that the WS has or had a different moral philosophy than what we wanted. Their moral philosophy was situational rather than virtue or duty based.
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.
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?
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........

"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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
He's got a crush on you. flirt
Originally Posted By: Neak
Cher, I can understand how you have come to your beliefs about WS's, and even FWS's.

Quote:
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.
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
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.
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.
"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.

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
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.
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.
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.
This is an interesting thread.

I think BS's want to believe that most of the people think like Aristotle or Plato or Kant. Who argued that the key element of ethical thinking is "character" (Aristotle and Plato) or "duty" (Kant). I think the reality is most people think like Machiavelli. Who argued that the key element of ethical thinking was the consequence of the action taken.

I think the vast majority of the people are Machiavellian, but appear to be "Aristotlean". This is because, in general, good consequences come from following one's duty (or laws) in accordance with one's virtues. But there are times when this does not hold true. Times when a person feels they must violate their sense of duty and virtue in order to achieve a good result. The man speeding through traffic, running red lights, to get his injured child to the hospital, has revealed himself to be Machiavellian.

I find it ironic that most people embrace a Machiavellian approach when they are on the good side of its consequences (the child or father in the example above), and despise it when they are on the short side (the guy who got run off the road) of its consequences. But I suppose it has to be that way, else we would have no "certainty" in our life. How could we function if at anytime we could be the victim of someone else's good consequences. So, we pretend that most embrace Aristotle's view and Kant's view. Then when we are the victim of a Machiavellian assualt, we debate the flaws of that individual, so we can once again feel safe. Then we reveal our Machiavellian side saying, it doesn't matter about my moral view on marriage or divorce, doesn't matter what "duty" was created by my vow, if circumstances don't change, I will choose a course of action that leads to a "good" result.

Harley says there is no such thing as unconditional love. I think that is true because their are no Aristotle's or Plato's or Kant's. (I seriously doubt they actually "lived" what they "believed"). Just a bunch of Machiavelli's. BS's and WS's both.

Because of that, I don't think the BS has the moral "high ground." What they have is the judgement "high ground." If one truly believes that they are unloved by their spouse, love and are loved by another, divorce will crush their spouse, they are trapped in a life of suffering, nobody will ever find out, and everyone will be better off, then the majority of fault lies not with the action they took, but with the assessment of their situation. For me, the questions that roll around in my mind are not how could you do this, but how could you think I did not love you? How could you think you loved someone else? How could you think they loved you? How could you think divorce would destroy me? How could think you are trapped or suffering? How could you think I would never find out? How could you think we would be better off? It's poor judgement.

And good judgement is what shields the BS, who's gone for years with out having their EN's met, from an affair. Put them in the exact same situation as their WS, and they will not draw the same conclusions.

If one wants to argue poor judgement is a character flaw, then so be it. But then good luck finding a person with flawless character, because I've known no one who hasn't suffered a case of poor judgement.
Originally Posted By: Skald
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.


That is the point of this thread. Not only do WS or FWS have weake character, we ALL have weak character. This deserves repeating..."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."

MB assumes we have weak character b/c we do (i.e. ANYONE CAN HAVE AN AFFAIR). Knowing we are flawed lets us protect ourselves. Saying I have strong character so I would never do that, could never do that...well, we all know where that leads.
Originally Posted By: rprynne


Because of that, I don't think the BS has the moral "high ground." What they have is the judgement "high ground." If one truly believes that they are unloved by their spouse, love and are loved by another, divorce will crush their spouse, they are trapped in a life of suffering, nobody will ever find out, and everyone will be better off, then the majority of fault lies not with the action they took, but with the assessment of their situation. For me, the questions that roll around in my mind are not how could you do this, but how could you think I did not love you? How could you think you loved someone else? How could you think they loved you? How could you think divorce would destroy me? How could think you are trapped or suffering? How could you think I would never find out? How could you think we would be better off? It's poor judgement.

And good judgement is what shields the BS, who's gone for years with out having their EN's met, from an affair. Put them in the exact same situation as their WS, and they will not draw the same conclusions.

If one wants to argue poor judgement is a character flaw, then so be it. But then good luck finding a person with flawless character, because I've known no one who hasn't suffered a case of poor judgement.


First of all i want to say that i always love reading your posts and secondly i think this is stated to perfection!!!!
My point is that adultery is a big deal. Yes, we all sin. What is the difference between a person who commits adultery and one who does not? I think it has to do with character, (sticking with moral values no matter what) opportunity (although, in this day and age, who doesn't have the opportunity to commit adultery?), and humility (recognizing that we are capable of falling so avoiding situations that could become tempting becasue we aren't sure we could handle it).

There is a difference between flawless character and the character of a person willing to commit adultery.

I believe in Aristotle's view that virtue is about deciding on a habit and sticking with it. I believe I am Aristotelean and not Machiavellian. My values are set and not subject to the circumstances of how my husband treats me. I may divorce, but I will never remarry because I made a commitment for life.

A priest once told me that his aunt married a guy who became an acoholic, she separated from him, she always considered herself married, she prayed for him, and forty years later he returned to her to die of cihrossis of the liver.

I think that is the truest story I have heard of commitment to marriage. It is not about putting up with whatever the other person dishes out. It is about being bonded to this person but being willing to accept that the other person may make choices which are so terrible that a separation is necessary.

I really like Aristotle's Ethics. It's one of my favorite books. It's helped me to sort out what to do in light of my husband's ongoing display of selfishness. I usually don't like labels, and I regret labeling him selfish or a narcissist. What is more appropriate is to describe his behavior. If he asks for feedback from me, and I give it, he turns it around into being about him. He doesn't address my concerns. Instead, he brings up one of his own. I was in therapy for a few years in the wake of the affair and broken arm, and the therapist said something that still sticks in my mind, "Defensiveness is another form of aggression."

He doesn't try to understand me. I told him this morning that the sink is dripping in the laundry room, and his response was, "All I'm here for is to fix the sink." In my mind, it's another way to put off looking at the sink. During the affair, when we had a baby and a 1 year old, the bathtub needed to be fixed. I waited a year. Looking back, I see it's the same thing. He told me all I did was complain, and so I had to figure out how to bathe a baby in the shower.

Today, I'm wiser. If it doesn't get fixed, I'm calling a plumber. POJA doesn't work in a marriage where the spouse doesn't want to understand you. When you don't care about your spouse, POJA is just a way to get your spouse off your back.

Cherished
The more and more I think of this, the more I think it has to do with what you do WHEN you exercise bad judgment, a lack of good character or whatever you call it.

I recall a case a LONG time ago, where I was working on a software project and I deleted ALL the users home directories.

I was the system admin, I could have staged a panic of the system and claimed it was a hardware failure.

No, I went to the lead developer and told him to pass the word for folks to keep what they were working on locally, as I had to recover from last nights backups due to my bone-headed move.

Not that I'm any beacon or example of how to act in all circumstances. But I'm comfortable with admitting failures, mistakes and saying sorry when I discover I'm wrong or I learn I've hurt someone.

So I think the difference is first, do you think it's wrong, and obviously some don't or as has been said, they've so deeply buried their conscience that the ends always justify their means. Secondly, for those who do realize it's wrong, do you then stop, AND admit and apologize for hurting your spouse.

That can also be said of the BS. They too, in most cases have hurt the WS. Do they take the affair as justification to continue to hurt the WS, or do they apologize for their failures and commit to the MB program?

I think character is more about what you do when mistakes happen than it's about not making mistakes.
Cherished my H does the same thing to me all the time, he will ask me about my feelings and then when i tell him he turns it around to himself and does not even respond to the very thing he just asked me.

Just last weekend we were discussing "anxiety" because we are both on medicine for it and we both had very bad "panic attacks" last year mine started in July his started in October.

While we were having these discussions he said that he thought his "anxiety" was worse than mine because HE has been through so much. It was so hard not to just reach out and slap him for that.

I am not saying that he has not been through a lot of guilt because i am sure he has, however it was a self inflicted punishment, "i" did not cause his guilt it came from his choice to have an A.
Originally Posted By: rprynne
Harley says there is no such thing as unconditional love. I think that is true because their are no Aristotle's or Plato's or Kant's. (I seriously doubt they actually "lived" what they "believed"). Just a bunch of Machiavelli's. BS's and WS's both.


Maybe there is no unconditional love for a spouse but I believe there is for a child or a parent. And I think you are overthinking the WS mindset. It seems more like to me that WSs tend to 'Feel' good as ENs are being met and the selfishness of 'Feeling Good' takes over. If one WS here actually went through the thought process that you describe, I hope they speak up. I view it more as thinking with their 'feelings' and not their brain. Notice how stupid WSs are...
Originally Posted By: rprynne
I think BS's want to believe that most of the people think like Aristotle or Plato or Kant. Who argued that the key element of ethical thinking is "character" (Aristotle and Plato) or "duty" (Kant). I think the reality is most people think like Machiavelli. Who argued that the key element of ethical thinking was the consequence of the action taken.

I think the vast majority of the people are Machiavellian, but appear to be "Aristotlean". This is because, in general, good consequences come from following one's duty (or laws) in accordance with one's virtues. But there are times when this does not hold true. Times when a person feels they must violate their sense of duty and virtue in order to achieve a good result. The man speeding through traffic, running red lights, to get his injured child to the hospital, has revealed himself to be Machiavellian.

ITA. Well put.

Although, IMO there are quite a few cases of Unconditional Love in existence. So there is no reason one should not strive for it. (BTW, UL is generally misunderstood. It does not mean extreme self sacrifice.)
Quote:
MB assumes we have weak character b/c we do (i.e. ANYONE CAN HAVE AN AFFAIR).
This is meaningless.

Anyone can rob a bank. Anyone can rape a child. Anyone can mass-murder. Anyone can crate their dog. Anyone can do almost anything they want to do.

But does anyone?

No!

And neither does just anyone commit adultery. It was part of who they were, though latent. It is part of who they will always be and perhaps, but not likely, latent again.

But adultery is not part of everyone. No more so than the worst mass murderer ever lived is part of everyone. Some people’s morals, ethics and character are better than mass murder and they are better than adultery. No apologetics required.


What is love? Could a child hurt me so much that I don't feel love for that child anymore? Yes, I think so. Same with a parent. Same with a spouse.

I think unconditional commitment is a more appropriate term because it gets at action rather than feeling.

Very few people would separate from an alcoholic spouse and wait forty years for a conversion.

Cherished
Originally Posted By: Enlightened_Ex
I think character is more about what you do when mistakes happen than it's about not making mistakes.

Well, yes. But this confuses adultery with a mistake. Like CN wrote - his adultery was not a mistake. He admits he wanted it. He consciously chose it in the cold light of day.

And want it they all do. Mistakes are, well, mistakes. Adultery is intentional harm. Different. Intentional calculated (to whatever silly degree) breaking of solemn promises. No mistakes about it.

Adulterers neglecting to think of the likely consequences to themselves? There you may have an argument for a mistake. But not for the choice.


Aphelion,
I think Harley is making the point that anyone could go down the path where they have fallen in love with someone else and so one thing leads to another and they commit adultery. I certainly have felt capable of it and even talked with my husband about it before we got married. He never thought it would be a problem for him. The result is that I avoided the slightest hint of impropriety and he thought there was nothing wrong with a deepening friendship with another woman. "Pride goeth before the fall."
Cherished
Agreed, adultery is more than just a mistake.

Still, that doesn't take away from the point that what someone does after they engage in that behavior that is the most telling.

So if it's a cold, calculated choice and the WS justifies the choice, never acknowledging to those they've hurt how hurtful those choices were, then recovery is unlikely.

However, I would argue that for those who really do end the affairs, and commit to MB, they would say that their decision to engage in the affair WAS a mistake. The word mistake is used by some to minimize a persons blame in choosing a course of action. I.E. it was just a mistake, I'm human after all, let it go... kinda speech.

That's not the context I really speaking about when I use mistake. I mean CATASTROPHIC when I used the word mistake. As in if I had it to do over again, I would not make the same choices. It was a mistake to choose that way.

So I don't think the word mistake is bad. In fact, for those who come out of an affair with a stronger character, I think mistake is one of many words that can be used to describe the decision to have an affair.

So to return to my main point, character matters and character is built. It's more important to examine a spouses character AFTER the affair, than it is to argue about if they had character or not before.

Some did, some didn't. Some had a mature character, some only thought their character was mature. But the most important thing is are they engaged in a program to strengthen their character so they don't repeat the same hurtful behavior in the future.

That's what demonstrates true character.

Like most other things in life, character is seldom a destination, but a journey.

The question is, which direction are you headed?
Originally Posted By: Enlightened_Ex


Like most other things in life, character is seldom a destination, but a journey.

The question is, which direction are you headed?


nice !
One makes a choice went contemplating an affair. I don't think calling it a mistake is correct. A mistake is me stepping on your toe. Or calling your "Bob" and your name is "Frank". An affiar is a choice. And a poor choice in my opinion.

And Ap. I don't think most people have an affair with the purpose of causing intentional harm. Of course that is the result, but I don't think it was the intent for many of us who made that poor choice. If my sole purpose was to hurt my wife I'm sure I could have thought up any number of nasty things to do. But think what you want. We are all evil. I actually stay up late in the night thinking of things I can do to hurt my wife. . . And I kick puppies too. And pinch babies.
It was a mistake for me to marry my XWW. Some would call it more than a mistake. Fine with me. But it was still a mistake.

One can make a conscious, thought out decision and that decision is STILL a mistake.

Contemplation of a choice doesn't guarantee one will not make a mistake and choose unwisely.

It certainly would not be correct to say an affair is NOT a mistake. I find that to be far more offensive, saying an affair is not a mistake, than calling an affair a mistake.

Again, mistake by no means minimized what an affair is. Just like hurt, the word needs qualification.

Stubbing my toe hurts, being betrayed by my spouse hurts as well. Just like we use the word hurt to describe both is no different than using mistake to describe the choice to have an affair, or to choose to eat too much.

Mistake is not a quantifiable term, so the scope and scale of a mistake requires a separate description.
I believe my husband when he said he didn't have an affair to cause intentional harm. After the affair was revealed, I asked him if he had considered my feelings, and he said "You weren't relevant to my thoughts."

Brutal but honest. The choice of an affair is thoughtless. I wasn't considered.

He's not thinking about me today, either.

Cherished
If you are running with the premise that making a mistake means making a poor choice then I agree with you. Mistake can mean a lot of things.
"I believe my husband when he said he didn't have an affair to cause intentional harm. After the affair was revealed, I asked him if he had considered my feelings, and he said "You weren't relevant to my thoughts."


I think this is true. At least it was in my case. I didn't consider my wife's feelings either.
Originally Posted By: Comfortably_Numb
If you are running with the premise that making a mistake means making a poor choice then I agree with you. Mistake can mean a lot of things.


Which is what I've been saying all along. Mistake is not quantifiable. I.E. the term mistake has no unit of measurement. Just like I can say someone is overweight.

That would apply to someone who is 10 pounds overweight or 200 pounds overweight.

Until I add other terms, it's just a concept.

One can make a careless mistake, no thoughts, or one can make a whopper of a mistake and do that after great deliberation.
Quote:
Maybe there is no unconditional love for a spouse but I believe there is for a child or a parent.


I tend to disagree. Certainly the conditions are different, but I think they still exist.

Quote:
And I think you are overthinking the WS mindset. It seems more like to me that WSs tend to 'Feel' good as ENs are being met and the selfishness of 'Feeling Good' takes over. If one WS here actually went through the thought process that you describe, I hope they speak up. I view it more as thinking with their 'feelings' and not their brain. Notice how stupid WSs are...


Perhaps. But I am not trying to imply WS's go through some formal rigorous process. It is my opinion that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interrelated. I think feelings and thoughts are the flip side of the same coin. Ask a person why they felt some way and they usually tell you what they were thinking. Ask them why they think one way and they usually tell you what they were feeling. So while a WS may be being "led" by their feelings, their feelings are being influenced by their thoughts.
Originally Posted By: Enlightened_Ex
One can make a careless mistake, no thoughts, or one can make a whopper of a mistake and do that after great deliberation.

This sound like an optimization problem, somthing for Integer Programming: What is the best mistake to make, if you are determined to make a mistake... but wait, if one is determined to make a mistake, is it still a mistake?
Quote:
Although, IMO there are quite a few cases of Unconditional Love in existence. So there is no reason one should not strive for it.


Perhaps. Although I have my doubts.

The concept of UL reminds of the words of B.B. King

"Nobody loves me but my Momma. And she may be jivin' too." smile
Originally Posted By: Comfortably_Numb
We are all evil. I actually stay up late in the night thinking of things I can do to hurt my wife. . . And I kick puppies too. And pinch babies.

I figured so. Saw you on UTube. You were letting air out of tires and egging random BS.


Or if mistakes are inevitable.

I don't think one sets out to make mistakes. However, in hind-sight, many of us learn the things we set out to do were in fact, mistakes we chose to make.
My mom was/is an alcoholic. She loved me, I think - best she could.

Comfortably Numb -

As the originator of this thread, which you have repeatedly demanded to know the purpose of, may I kindly suggest you read the very first post on it?

Do you really think that a suffering woman, wanting to know how to get thoughts of the OW out of her head, would be benefitted by this type of dicussion continuing on her thread?

If so, please explain why.

Your tone has come across as very rude to someone who was simply trying to protect a hurting BS from having this continue to erupt on her thread. As well as someone who was also determined to speak up on behalf of all the terrific FWS's who are being maligned and written off.

MB has always been a place of hope to me. It's hard to see so much doom and gloom being touted as fact.
Neak,

What it the world are you talking about? How can what I have written be misconstrued into hurting suffering women?

This topic has been done over and over. I wanted to know what you really wanted to do with this. Bash FWS? I can take that if that was the intention.

"Do you really think that a suffering woman, wanting to know how to get thoughts of the OW out of her head, would be benefitted by this type of dicussion continuing on her thread?"

So you started this tread to get this discussion off her own tread? Is that it?


"Your tone has come across as very rude to someone who was simply trying to protect a hurting BS from having this continue to erupt on her thread. As well as someone who was also determined to speak up on behalf of all the terrific FWS's who are being maligned and written off."

Who am I being rude to? I don't think I even posted to you. It seemed to me that a lot of this thread was dedicated to maligning FWS. That thay have moral character issues and will always be jerks. At least that was what I was getting from it.



What gloom and doom are you speaking of?

This is my reality. I made a selfish choice and hurt my marriage. It took a lot of time for me to understand the extent of what I did.

Our marriage is much better now after all these years have past. I respect my marriage and my wife probably a lot more because I almost lost them both. What gloom? What doom?

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

I've pretty much said the same thing in different words. Perhaps I'm just a poor communicator.



I'm baffled.
I did not say that you, personally, were hurting a suffering woman or women.

I said that for this discussion, had it continued on Ashes' thread, would have been hurtful to her, (As well as distracting and unhelpful.)

So I moved it.

And if anyone could read what I have written on this thread, and come away with any thought that I am trying to bash any FWS, then I guess my verber skills are defective.

Doom and gloom? You don't think that a BS who came on here would be discouraged to read from so many posters, that their WS has always been defective, will always be defective, with the implication that it's not worth the bother of recovery? (Not to mention the self-deception of those who think they are somehow innately a better person than a WS or even a FWS, simply because they haven't had an A. But I guess that's a whole nuther subject.)

I will fight on the side of hope for as long as there is blood in my fingers.
"Doom and gloom? You don't think that a BS who came on here would be discouraged to read from so many posters, that their WS has always been defective, will always be defective, with the implication that it's not worth the bother of recovery? (Not to mention the self-deception of those who think they are somehow innately a better person than a WS or even a FWS, simply because they haven't had an A. But I guess that's a whole nuther subject.)"

Well yes I would think a BS could get that impression from this tread. It seemed to me that you were calling me out for bringing the gloom and doom. It is my position that FWS are just people. They are imperfect and have a history of making bad decisions(at least to what is the best interest of their marriage.) They aren't necessarily evil.

I didn't have an affair to hurt my wife. I did it for my selfish reasons. And I fail to see how that position is all gloomy.

edited to add . . . I don't see much difference in our positions. Am I missing something?


Finally, my question for the intention of thread was retorical. I didn't mean to make it sound like I was questioning you personally. But I certainly see now how you read that into my words and I'm sorry for that.
I see we cross-posted.

Yes, I see that you're happily recovered, which is why I didn't understand why you were disagreeing with me in sticking up for FWS's...
No, I wasn't disagreeing with you personally. I was disagreeing with some of the post that said FWS are morally damaged and will always be so. Because if that is the case, all BS should instantly divorce. And if that is the case I owe it to my wife to divorce her. I care for her too much to see her strapped to a forever damaged moral cripple. If I am that I need to get out of my kid's lives as well.

I think that there is hope that people can change if their motivation is great enough.

No offence meant Neak.

Cross-posted again, lol.

You were not the 'doom and gloom' yourself...I didn't understand why you objected to my motives in moving a discussion so I could attempt to counter such depressing opinions.

S'all good! grin
My husband has been a jerk from our wedding night on, with a few exceptions totally perhaps one month's worth of time. He can change. I can't change him. That's the choice he has to make, starting with being honest with himself and taking responsibility for his actions.

As I read your posts, Comfortably Numb, it appears to me that you have been honest and taken responsibility for your choices. My husband has not.

Cherished
Send your husband here and I'll give him a little talkin' to.

Of course I took responsibility for my actions. I did it.

Frankly I'm always amazed that any BS would want to rebuild a marriage after adultery. There are some fine people here. I guess that is why I keep coming back.
Well, my husband just called and said he wasn't coming home tonight. He ruined our oldest daughter's First Communion (in the midst of his affair at the time and just a week prior to D-day -- I'd already told the woman's husband what I knew), and now he's on track to ruin our youngest daugther's.

At some point, you just think the effort that you put into trying to rebuild a marriage like this isn't worth the cost because the likelihood of success approaches zero.

Being honest is the first step to rebuilding a marriage, and you are being honest. Adultery is built on deceipt.

I'm disgusted.

Cherished
Hugs, Cherished.

Ultimately, this is going to come down to: what are you willing to tolerate?

If I were you, I think I would Plan B him until he is seriously ready to work on the M with you. Plan B would protect you from the worst of his damaging actions, since he won't protect you himself.

CN, I getcha. You know, when I told AJ about this thread last night he nearly fell over. We had such a nice talk, not that we don't always lol, of how proud I am of him for standing up again after he fell so hugely.

I am SO GLAD to be recovered with my DH, and he's even gladder to be recovered with me. We had a fairly good marriage before, and now it's great and getting even better.

hurray
***Their moral philosophy was situational rather than virtue or duty based.

I think you have 100% hit the nail on the head with this. My XWH was exactly like somebody proud of the fact that he never stole money - until he started working in a bank and for the first time had the *opportunity* to steal money. Then he never thought twice about it.

In XWH's case, he started working for a very large corporation which provides all employess with absolute secrecy from spouses (their email, meetings, outings, business trips, company newsletters and especially corporate dinners and celebrations are all completely inaccessible to "outsiders" - including spouses.)

All this secrecy, combined with a company full of cheap ho-bag girls who were more than happy to date a married man who could provide them with a promotions, parties and President's Plates, was just waaayy too much temptation for him (and most of them) to put up healthy boundaries against.

So they didn't bother.

The place is full of crazy spouses and broken families. But that's just a coincidence. They have no idea why it's like that.

I don't think I'll ever get past knowing that the very, very good man I *thought* he was for many years instantly chose to walk out and divorce me once he finally realized I would NEVER play second fiddle to some corporate wh*re.

Character? What character? This was a case of situational morals, pure and simple. And I was too dumb/naive to realize that's how he was until way too late.
Mulan

***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 also think that many folks Really and Truly Believe that if your spouse ain't givin' you what you want, you have the right to look elsewhere for it.

It's kind of an unwritten rule that many folks do subscribe to. Of course it's dead wrong, but you will find many who honestly do believe that and it's usually due to the way they were brought up (very poorly).

And for some, who have grown up believing in this unspoken rule that "every knows about", they may well sabotage things so that their spouse will react with anger / grief / despair. Then, of course, said spouse is REALLY no longer giving them what they want, so they're even more entitled to look elsewhere.

Works really, really well. Anyone seen this?
Mulan
Cherished, you seem to feel that you have the choice of staying with your husband or not for as long as you deem it necessary.

I often wonder what you would do if HE made that choice for you and just walked out one day.

Are you so sure he will not?
Mulan
Originally Posted By: Mulan
***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 also think that many folks Really and Truly Believe that if your spouse ain't givin' you what you want, you have the right to look elsewhere for it.


That thought never entered my head. I never had a sense of entitlement. Never, not once.

Originally Posted By: Mulan
It's kind of an unwritten rule that many folks do subscribe to. Of course it's dead wrong, but you will find many who honestly do believe that and it's usually due to the way they were brought up (very poorly).


Nope. I was brought up to have integrity, stand up for what's right, weather the storms, marry for "better or worse".

Originally Posted By: Mulan
And for some, who have grown up believing in this unspoken rule that "every knows about", they may well sabotage things so that their spouse will react with anger / grief / despair. Then, of course, said spouse is REALLY no longer giving them what they want, so they're even more entitled to look elsewhere.

Works really, really well. Anyone seen this?


Not me. That wasn't even on my radar. But I have seen this IRL. The fact that your H (xH?) thought that stealing money was ok tells me that he is a jerk and probably always has been.
Mulan, you have my full permission and encouragement to put your WXH right on top of the "always defective" stack. hug
I've just had an epiphany.

Pep's thread about the two types of WW is spot on. It also counts for WHs.

One of the things that upset my H the most about my A was that he related it to two of the most revolting men he knew. Both of them were serial cheaters, they had no character, no morals and were weak as dishwater.

There ARE differences and my H saw that. He knows me.
I believe in the difference. laugh
Mulan,

He returned last night and said he felt bad that I had cut him off. If he walked out the door one day, I'd be prepared. I went to bed last night to calm down.

Our child's First Communion today brings up memories of the First Communion of the oldest, when I was doing my best to please him and he was in the his affair.

What was he thinking to threaten to leave the day before my parents meet him for the first time in seven years and, most important of all, an important day in my daughter's life?

What was he thinking?

It's a good question to ask of someone after an affair. The husband who has an affair even though considers himself a moral peson has somehow twisted his thinking into: This is OK. My husband summed it up once for me, "I had a crazy wife and a shi**y marriage. I had no choice but to have an affair."

That is weak character.

As for you, Mulan, your husband has worked in a business which is full of thieves, and the thievery is being exposed. My husband does not. In fact, I was very impressed by how the hiring went. As a condition of employment, we had to see all our stock in one company because of the potential for conflict of interest. I think it makes a big difference if the ocmpany you work for is above board. If you ever want to read a book on the relationship between personal morals and corporate ethics, there's a book called The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse. My first job after being a stay at home Mom for seven years was for a company that was blatantly violating the law. When I figured that out, I got myself out of there. It was the year I had four surgeries for a rare type of cancer, and at the time the filthiness I felt from having gotten into that situation without understanding it and then understanding it and trying to figure out how to get out was traumatic. I figured it out about late March and April and got myself on a different project but didn't leave until early June. My husband told me to quit, but I was tryig to figure out what to do -- call the government? call the ethics department? When a SrVP tells salespeople in your presence that something they do as a business practice is illegal, it's just shocking. Only I was the only one shocked. This was the company culture.

But I got out and am now happily employed with an organization that is doing its best to provide good value to its customers in an ethical way.

Is this similar to an affair and weak character? Yes.

When does a person get out of a relationship that has become immoral?

At first recognition? (Not my husband)

When someone warns him about it? (Not my husband)

When his wife is upset with him? (Not my husband)

When his wife threatens to call his wife and he breaks her arm to prevent her? (Not my husband)

When his wife calls the woman's husband and he gets the truth out of her and tells me and I expose to my entire family and his both the abuse and the affair? (Yes, my husband)

Why did the affair end, or did it?

I compare my husband's affair with my staying on at the company after hearing the Sr VP say it was illegal what they were doing. First there was disbelief, like the person heading into an affair thinking this was OK, it was just a friendship. Then there was recognition but what to do about it? I remember my husband saying to me things like, "We walked down this path together. I can't just end the friendship."

Once I realized it and decided not to do anything internally, I was gone. With my husband, the morals were abandoned in a justification "affair fog."

Do I claim stronger character than him? Yes I do. When I've gotten into situations that were headed to compromising, even a hint of it, I've gotten out of there. He did not.

Does that mean he'll do it again? No. He may be wiser the next time and less confident in his own ability to "handle it."

Cherished
Quote:

Not me. That wasn't even on my radar. But I have seen this IRL. The fact that your H (xH?) thought that stealing money was ok tells me that he is a jerk and probably always has been.


And having an A is not being a jerk?

My H has always told me i was "too honest" because i would give back money if i did not received the correct change or things like that.

I always ask him "is there really such a thing as being too honest?"

As has been posted on this thread and many others usually the BS does not even know things are as "bad" as the WS perceives them to be.

What makes someone who becomes a WS not feel they can talk to their spouse about it rather than go have an A especially those who have been married a long time?

I do not think i am better or have better character because i have chose not to become wayward. However i believe that there is some feeling of "entitlement" or something going on in the waywards mind.

In my sitch, it think that way more of my needs were not being met than my FWHs and for a very long time (not saying that his weren't but mine weren't either) and i have not even considered having an A. Even with all the things that have happened in our 25 years that makes me feel "entitled" to have one I have chosen not to.

So what is the difference, is it character, is it entitlement, is it selfishness, I do not know.
Quote:
However i believe that there is some feeling of "entitlement" or something going on in the waywards mind.


I agree, or certainly in my sitch this was the case. Not entitled to an A, but entitled to be "happy" and "free to make my own decisions"


Quote:
...and i have not even considered having an A.


I agree with this also. Matches exactly my case. Never once in my life did I consider having an A. Even up to the day/week/month before and several months AFTER my A started. Then I finally woke up to what was going on, looked back at the last couple months and then thought ... well, I won't say the dreaded three words that are so common among WS babble. (IJH)

Quote:
So what is the difference, is it character, is it entitlement, is it selfishness, I do not know.


It is all these and many other factors combined.

It's kind of a simple thing. Take a good look in the mirror, consider your own character flaws (If you aren't Jesus or a Disney Princess, you have them too.) And then look your image in the eye, and quote Dr. H : We are ALL vulnerable to an affair.
Quote:

It's kind of a simple thing. Take a good look in the mirror, consider your own character flaws (If you aren't Jesus or a Disney Princess, you have them too.) And then look your image in the eye, and quote Dr. H : We are ALL vulnerable to an affair.


Whilei certainly know that i have character flaws and i love most of the MB principles and all that Dr Harley has put on this webiste, this is one thing that i do not agree with.

I just have always followed EPs since the day i met my H, i do not put myself in a place where anyone besides my H can meet my ENs and so far it has been pretty easy to do.
Originally Posted By: Skald
[It's kind of a simple thing. Take a good look in the mirror, consider your own character flaws (If you aren't Jesus or a Disney Princess, you have them too.) And then look your image in the eye, and quote Dr. H : We are ALL vulnerable to an affair.


You forgot to add: We are ALL vulnerable to an affair, under certain conditions. Most people don't place themselves under vulnerable conditions.

Like StillCrazy said, she PRACTICES extraordinary precautions, therefore, she is NOT VULNERABLE to an affair. It is the folks who do not have any boundaries who are vulnerable.
No, no weak character here and a full set of pre A morals, as seconded by my BH (over my shoulder). Somehow once my "friendship" developed, I developed an enormous sense of entitlement.
Originally Posted By: staytogether
No, no weak character here and a full set of pre A morals, as seconded by my BH (over my shoulder). Somehow once my "friendship" developed, I developed an enormous sense of entitlement.

Situational indeed. This is the defintion of intrinsically weak character, morals and ethics.




Originally Posted By: Still_Crazy
Quote:
Not me. That wasn't even on my radar. But I have seen this IRL. The fact that your H (xH?) thought that stealing money was ok tells me that he is a jerk and probably always has been.


And having an A is not being a jerk?


I'm drooling on myself with the same astonishment.

It's pretty dang odd to say deciding to steal money defines intrinsically bad character, but deciding to steal one or more marriages, huge chunks of innocent people's lives, homes, families and happiness is not.

Kind of stoopid, in fact.
Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
You forgot to add: We are ALL vulnerable to an affair, under certain conditions. Most people don't place themselves under vulnerable conditions.

Like StillCrazy said, she PRACTICES extraordinary precautions, therefore, she is NOT VULNERABLE to an affair. It is the folks who do not have any boundaries who are vulnerable.


So, Mel, what are the conditions under which you would have an affair?

What are the conditions under which I would have an affair?

Seems certain conditions under which I would commit adultery are absolutely none of the conditions under which ever other human being who have ever lived decided to have their affairs.

Otherwise I would have one by now. Hundreds by now. Right?
Originally Posted By: Aphelion


So, Mel, what are the conditions under which you would have an affair?



I can see it happening to me if I allowed another man to meet my needs. For example, if I had sloppy boundaries and went out to bars, restaurants with male friends/coworkers and engaged in alot of personal talk and allowed him to meet my needs. I can see how I could cross that line. But I don't do those things, so I am not vulnerable to an affair.

It is the same invisible line that I crossed into alcoholism. It wasn't a PLAN, it was a more a SLIDE into the pig pen and once I got there, I found myself so addicted that it was easier to ABANDON my morals than to abandon my behavior. It wasn't situational ETHICS, it was a wholesale ABANDONMENT.
Aphelion, why don't you just put me back on ignore - for both our sakes. Then you won't have to read what I write and I won't have to read the tosh and insults you write back to me.

And do let me know when St Aphelion day is. I'm not Catholic but, gosh, I really should honour someone who is completely perfect. You don't see it that often.
Originally Posted By: sexymamabear
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?


The issue here is that here on MB an affair is an A, period. Whether the WS had one first of whether it was a ONS or a LTA it doesn't matter.

You had an A! The point is that I think that you should be more up front about it. Most posters here don't know that as you always identify yourself as the BS.

Even Jen, a long term poster here was not aware! This has nothing to do with my personal belief on the subject as I can totally understand why/how you did what you did.

Mt issue is that it is constantly swept under the rug as if it never happened and that is not the MBers way!

You named a few WS's above and left yourself off this list.

My question to you is: Do you class yourself as a WS?
Originally Posted By: myfamilyilove
Mt issue is that it is constantly swept under the rug as if it never happened and that is not the MBers way!



Why in the world are you badgering her? It most certainly was not "swept under the rug." If that were the case, then we wouldn't know about it. There is no reason to rub her nose into it and badger her. What in the world are you doing?
Its very cleat that a lot of posters here don't know. Especially the new posters. SMB refers to herself as a BS ONLY. This is not the case. I think she should be more open with current posters (eg even KiwiJ didn't seem to know) and new posters. I just don't think SMB considers what she had was really an A when it clearly was!
Originally Posted By: myfamilyilove
Its very cleat that a lot of posters here don't know. Especially the new posters. SMB refers to herself as a BS ONLY. This is not the case. I think she should be more open with current posters (eg even KiwiJ didn't seem to know) and new posters. I just don't think SMB considers what she had was really an A when it clearly was!



I think its very clear that you have an agenda to harass her and you might want to knock it off.
SMB is welcome to put me on ignore if my questions are too hard, as is anyone else.

I believe this board should promote O & H.

Her situation is a classic case of "what not to do". It could be very useful if it wasn't such a hush hush affair
Vladi,

IMO my wife (smb) is not a WS, nor was she ever a WS. "I" was the WS.

smb had an A, but that does not mean she was a WS!

There's a huge difference. If I have to explain that difference, then you must be deft.

I would ask, since you weren't divorced when you were dating the woman you are now married to, does that make you a WS? Does that make what you have an affairage? If that were the case, your username should be myfamilyileave instead of myfamilyilove.

Originally Posted By: tst
I would ask, since you weren't divorced when you were dating the woman you are now married to, does that make you a WS?



hmmm Is it true you dated before you were divorced, Vladie?
Originally Posted By: tst
smb had an A, but that does not mean she was a WS!



OMG this has to be the the FOGGIEST statement I've ever heard!!! Imagine a WS turning up here and saying this??? They would be run off the board! THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR HAVING AN AFFAIR! EVER!

But this is exactly what I suspected your views were. Thats all I wanted to know, thanks
Yep! Definitely deft!
SMB, your wisdom, and yes, your honesty and transparency about your A has been a boon to many on here.

I pray you and TST may continue to have a wonderful recovery. You both deserve it!
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