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When The Wife Has The Affair #219289
03/30/12 02:21 AM
03/30/12 02:21 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 7,566
New Zealand
Lil Offline OP

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Quote:
(Please note: anytime gender differences between men and women are discussed, these are generalizations. There are always exceptions to the rule.)

A husband and wife sit in our office beside each other on the sofa. She is pregnant with the other man’s child. “I don’t love my husband,” she tells us and part of me cringes.

How much does this betrayed husband have to endure? I wonder. He loves his wife, but is devastated because she’s been unfaithful. Not only that, but she’s pregnant with another man’s child, and now he must hear the words, “I don’t love you.” Yet, there he sits, man of honor, willing to take responsibility for ways he may have failed her in the marriage, willing to work on himself, willing to work towards reconciliation.

I understand the wife FEELS she doesn’t love her husband, and I know pushing her to stay in her marriage is not the answer. She cannot be forced to love. Love must always be a choice.

In another situation, I am working with a betrayed husband. It has taken him months to reach out for help and support. He’s a 6’6” handsome bodybuilder with a successful career. He tells me he’s not normally one to talk much, nor to show emotion, and really not too aware of his emotions.

Yet he explains to me how the pain of his wife’s affair has overwhelmed him and caused him to feel emotions so intense he didn’t know he was capable of feeling these things. At times he tells me he’s found himself huddled on the floor in the fetal position, feeling nearly unable to bear the emotional pain.

It’s hard. Normally high-functioning, moral, good people finding themselves feeling, doing, and considering things they once never thought they would or could.

When the wife has had the affair it is often more difficult to get her to give up her affair and to be willing to put effort into the marriage. She has already checked out.

A husband may have the ability to have feelings for more than one woman, whereas a woman tends to give her devotion to only one man, so when she has come to the point of engaging in an affair, she has generally withdrawn her affection from her husband and given it to the other man. When a husband cheats, generally his love has remained steadfast for his wife, even while he’s given part of himself to another. When the wife cheats she is more likely to have entertained thoughts of leaving her marriage for her affair partner.

The cheating wife has often gone to her husband, pre-affair, time and again wanting to “talk” about their relationship, to tell him how she’s hurting, to ask for what she needs, but for whatever reasons she has not been able to get through to him, so she has given up trying and shut down.

She feels she’s given him chance after chance and now “that’s it!” After the affair, she’s more reluctant to give him a chance to win her heart back. Wives in general tend to be more “relationally tuned in,” and aware of a disconnect within the marriage, so more likely to make effort to read books, go to counseling or marriage retreats, or even engage their spouse in a “let’s fix our marriage” conversation prior to the time she’s gotten sucked into an affair.

If a man has been unhappy in the relationship, he is less likely to be direct in asking for help. He is not likely to say, “Honey, we need to talk about our relationship.” He is fearful of being vulnerable in this way.

Some of the factors we find common when the wife has been unfaithful include:

• She didn’t feel heard in the marriage.


• She didn’t feel understood.


• She felt the heart connection was missing.


• She lost herself in the marriage giving too much, and losing a sense of her own identity.

• Her husband was an absentee father.

• She felt a disparity in fairness in roles in the relationship.

And if she’s a woman of faith, she may have felt frustrated that her husband wasn’t taking on the role of spiritual leader in the home. She’s tired of trying to be the “good” person in the relationship, and she’s been carrying the responsibility for too many things for too long.

Today’s wives are under more stress than ever, because they generally work full-time outside the home and still carry the responsibility for most of the work in maintaining home and children. Plus women do not carry stress in the same way men do. Studies have shown that they feel twice as much stress at work given the same job/stressors as a man.

When a man comes home he generally has the ability to relax. This is how he de-stresses from the day. A woman on the other hand comes home to a second job and her stress now multiplies four times. Her Cortisol level (the stress hormone) shoots through the roof. Even if her husband says “here relax, I’ll take care of the kids, make dinner and do those extra loads of laundry,” she’ll only relax for a couple of minutes, then think of more things that need to get done and get up and start doing. The wife cannot relax until the work is done. Today’s women are generally experiencing far too much stress.

Wives are more likely to struggle with “greener grass syndrome.” “If only my husband would learn 
how to ___________ like so and so’s husband.”

The unfaithful wife often is not honest because she wants to hide the fact that she doesn’t want to get rid of the other relationship.

When a spouse cheats our society tends to assume there were problems in the marriage, which led to the affair. While marriages with problems are certainly more susceptible to affairs, problems in marriages are not the only reasons for affairs. AFFAIRS HAPPEN IN GOOD, STRONG MARRIAGES TOO.

When a wife cheats it is more likely that the husband has failed her in the marriage in some way, than when the husband cheats. When the husband cheats it is more likely nothing to do with his wife, or satisfaction in his marriage.

When a man is the betrayed spouse he is more likely to be concerned with counting the number of times the wife had sex in the affair. He wonders, “How good was the other man in bed?”

When the woman is the betrayed spouse she is likely to be more concerned with thoughts of “you must have loved her if …”

When the wife cheats she is more likely to have had a strong emotional connection to the other man. It’s less likely that her affair was only for sex.

When a husband cheats, while many times there is a strong emotional connection, there are also many times when the unfaithfulness was only about sex.

When a wife cheats she often gives sex to gain the emotional connection that is satisfying her.

When a husband cheats he is more likely to give the emotional connection to gain the sex he wants with this person.

When the wife cheats she suffers a greater social stigma and rejection. Her girlfriends are not likely to admire or support her in anyway (unless they’re desperate housewives protégés.)

When the husband cheats some of the men in his circle of influence may look up to him and envy him a bit, even if it’s never said, and he knows this. In some circles the man’s unfaithfulness is basically accepted. This is not likely for the woman, so she suffers with a greater sense of quiet desperation.

There is tremendous hope for couples where the wife has been unfaithful, because the betrayed husband is serious about becoming the man he needs to be for his wife, and the changes he makes stick, so now more than ever the wife can have the husband she always wanted with the man she married. The illusion that things will be better with the affair partner is exactly that, an illusion. In real life the other man comes with his own set of character flaws, and the loving courtship behaviors that are present in the secret relationship, don’t continue if the affair becomes a marriage.

What can a betrayed husband do who wants to win his wife’s heart?

1. Really love your wife. Read The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, by Dr Gary Chapman. Speak all of these languages for your wife, and find out what her primary languages are and do more of those. A woman longs to be pursued and cherished.

2. Refrain from being vindictive. Don’t throw stones. She’ll just continue to see you as a “jerk,” something she’s likely been struggling with while caught up in the affair (and possibly before.)

3. Be consistent. Learn how to fight fair.

But it’s not fair you say. Yes, I know. There is nothing fair in affair.

Suggestions for the wife who has had an affair:

1. Recognize that generally your affair partner is not better than the one you’re with.

2. Create reassurance for your husband, and give him lots of encouragement.

3. Reach out for support for yourself from sound, safe sources. This journey is way too hard. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can do it alone.


Source


AKA Lildoggie

Just found out about your spouses affair?
Infidelity Guide For The Betrayed Spouse


Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: Lil] #219329
03/30/12 04:59 AM
03/30/12 04:59 AM
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believer Offline
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ACK!!!!!!!!

The article started out so good, until it got to this part -

"Conclusion: What became of the couples referred to in the opening?

The wife in the first scenario committed to putting her whole heart into the work we would guide her through for a 3-month period of time. If she felt like leaving after this we agreed she could, but she was not to entertain the thought of divorce during that time. By 3 months they had moved significantly forward, her feelings of love for her husband were returning, and they decided to continue the work. They purchased a coaching package for one year, and attended 3 of our seminars. By the time her baby was born, they had fallen in love again, and were well on their way to healing. The husband adopted the child as his own and they have a wonderful family and life together today."

There is a guy I used to post to on SI, named AlexA. He is a loving and honorable husband. His wife got knocked up by her lover, and passed the baby boy off as his. He found out, loved his son, and spent 3 years trying to "save" the marriage. He's on his way to divorce now.

Perhaps he should have purchased the coaching package and attended 3 seminars, instead of being tortured for 3 years by a deceptive woman who never deserved him.


"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: believer] #219365
03/30/12 08:01 AM
03/30/12 08:01 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 7,566
New Zealand
Lil Offline OP

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Thats kinda why I did not include the advertising for the programme section. The advice was good, but I didn't feel inclined to promote anything else.


AKA Lildoggie

Just found out about your spouses affair?
Infidelity Guide For The Betrayed Spouse


Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: Lil] #219445
03/30/12 03:19 PM
03/30/12 03:19 PM
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Great article.

Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: broken soul] #219542
03/30/12 08:49 PM
03/30/12 08:49 PM
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Beyondaffairs.com has lots of articles and teleseminars that are good. Always pushing their programs which are very expensive as is their coaching. If you can ignore the ads, the info is generally good.


Accept what is,
Let go of what was
and have faith in what will be.
Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: 20yrsdone] #219545
03/30/12 08:52 PM
03/30/12 08:52 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
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Lil Offline OP

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Yup.

I felt the info I copied above has value for MA members and lurkers, particularly information for the betrayed husband. As it has been pointed out several times, we have a dearth of info for that group.

But I am a bit gun shy of programme pushers at the moment.

So I will copy, and link for anyone who really cares, but not promote.

Last edited by lildoggie; 03/30/12 08:54 PM.

AKA Lildoggie

Just found out about your spouses affair?
Infidelity Guide For The Betrayed Spouse


Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: Lil] #219914
03/31/12 09:27 PM
03/31/12 09:27 PM
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Marlowe Offline
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Sorry, but I think that article is horrible, once again reinforcing the idea that women cheat because the husband has failed to hear, understand, validate or provide. The only reaction you're entitled to have is the one that validates you were an ass and must change to win her back. That's the noble an honorable thing to do.

That sort of advice is destructive, demoralizing, aimed at eroding the betrayed spouse's self-esteem, and teaches them that their worth in the marriage isn't who they are and what they bring to the table, but how they can make themselves look to the wayward spouse.

Just because your spouse says you are failing, does not mean that you are failing. The failure is just as likely to be in your spouse's expectations -- trying to cast you into their own dysfunctional family-of-origin mold, for instance.

Entirely too many articles of this ilk are aimed at saving the marriage at the husband's expense rather than saving the husband so he can contribute healthily to the marriage, or to the next relationship he chooses after the marriage has been taken out behind the barn and shot in the head like it should be.

I have no doubt that plenty of wayward wives complain about:

Quote:
Some of the factors we find common when the wife has been unfaithful include:

• She didn’t feel heard in the marriage.

• She didn’t feel understood.

• She felt the heart connection was missing.

• She lost herself in the marriage giving too much, and losing a sense of her own identity.

• Her husband was an absentee father.

• She felt a disparity in fairness in roles in the relationship.


...just like plenty of wayward husbands complain about wives who don't put out, treat them like children, don't pay attention to them, etc.

When a WH says those things, his wife says he's a lying ass, and he gets accused of re-writing the objective truth of the marital history. I tend to believe that WW's are just as prone to that particular error, and teaching her husband to believe that he was a bad spouse who earned infidelity through his failures and needs to change himself in order to salvage the marriage is little more than manipulation.

It's just manipulation with a hammer in hand, because now he knows what the price is of not complying with her every wish.

Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: Marlowe] #219961
04/01/12 12:16 AM
04/01/12 12:16 AM
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LadyGrey Offline
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Originally Posted By: Marlowe
Sorry, but I think that article is horrible, once again reinforcing the idea that women cheat because the husband has failed to hear, understand, validate or provide. The only reaction you're entitled to have is the one that validates you were an ass and must change to win her back. That's the noble an honorable thing to do.


I'm curious as to what you think the explanation is. And so we are clear, I have a pretty nuanced view of causation. I have, to date, been unsuccessful in communicating my thoughts on the matter on a forum.

So that's one question.

The second one is what would you have the husband do?

I found the comments after the article very interesting -- these men are on the wing without a parachute. A betrayed wife will get all kinds of public support -- husband not so much, plus it is my sense (which may be totally wrong) than men may be quicker to assume personal inadequacy (shame) than women, who will be quicker to blame the [Bleep!] who went after their husband.

I think this is very hard stuff. I wish sometimes I had the courage to post what my husband did and didn't do that turned the worm, but I don't.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: LadyGrey] #219971
04/01/12 12:32 AM
04/01/12 12:32 AM
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Grand assumptions Marlowe. Working together as two are required to recover a marriage, does not mean either has to give up their needs. I'm sure there those that do. I'm equally sure there are many more that don't.


Accept what is,
Let go of what was
and have faith in what will be.
Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: LadyGrey] #220016
04/01/12 01:53 AM
04/01/12 01:53 AM
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Marlowe Offline
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Absolutely fair questions, LadyGrey.

The problem I really have with most articles, because they must be brief, is that they're really only going to hit about half of the audience with a meaningful message. The other half is going to get exactly the wrong message.

For instance, in my situation, with an undiagnosed, mentally ill spouse where I was the one saying over and over that things were falling apart, she was making dangerous decisions, etc. -- that is, where I was the one communicating about the deteriorating state of the marriage -- an article like this is worse than just facile, it's actively destructive.

Make no mistake: I've seen lots of marriages where the BS was truly horrible/disconnected/abusive, and when it finally came out that their WS was cheating on them, my fundamental reaction was, "Well, duh." Didn't mean I approved, but I certainly understood.

(So I'm going to say this as an example, and I know it's going to hurt a certain percentage of people, but you know, if articles can do it, I can too. If you don't put out for your spouse for two solid years without a bona fide medical excuse for it, they're probably going to cheat on you, and I'm not going to blame them. You don't get to unilaterally decide that the marriage becomes sexless. You can decide you're going to be sexless. Period. If you try to make that decision, I'm not going to say it's your fault your spouse cheated, 'cuz we've all got choices, but if you decide to act surprised about it, somebody should drop an anvil on your head. My apologies to anyone I've offended.)

So, if you're an asshat husband who knows you're an asshat, then an article like this should be right in your wheelhouse. If you're not, and even if it's just that you believe you're not after a searching moral inventory, then here's what you do as a betrayed husband: nothing. Or at least nothing you wouldn't do with regards to self-improvement and marital contribution in the absence of infidelity. If you want to stay, keep doing what you do, with maybe a pinch of using the affair as leverage to change some of the dynamics you don't like to suit your taste better. (After all, opportunities to change dynamics in a marriage just to suit your taste without having to offer any quid pro quo do not grow on trees. You should seize those opportunities when they arise. I got to parlay my wife's affair into real therapy, med compliance, and urging/demanding my wife into the work force after her having been a SAHM for our entire marriage. The last one was the only purely selfish one. If we ended up divorced, I wasn't paying alimony, and I didn't want to go to jail over it.)

Don't get me wrong: my wife had a whole litany of complaints about me. Almost as long a litany as the one I had about her. I learned a very important lesson in that first six months: I truly was a horrible husband after D-day. Didn't give a rat, couldn't get a kind word out of me with a pry bar, wouldn't have been particularly moved if she'd fallen over dead. I went to work, came home, ignored her, blew up if I felt like she was even thinking disrespectfully.

Funny thing there. She started describing me as the best husband ever, even though I consciously knew I was completely abdicating my responsibility. All those things in her litany of complaints magically disappeared. Some of that was the guilt/shame cocktail, I'm sure. I can tell which ones in that litany actually mattered, because by year three, they were beginning to resurface in our discussions. I had my share of apologies to make for past incidents that I had handled poorly in the early years of our marriage.

The rule of thumb I developed from that experience was that a BS should never listen to most of what comes out of their WS's mouth in the first six months. It's affair talk and manufactured justifications that attempt to restore lost equality in the post-D-day reality.

Sometimes, that's horrible advice, especially if the WS has some legitimate gripes, but I'm sort of laissez faire on that score. I figure that if you make mistakes and drive a permanent wedge between you and your spouse, and thus end up divorced, the worst you've lost is a cheating spouse. I mean, that's not going to cost you anything in the future dating pool.

"Hey, so how did your first marriage end?"
"She cheated on me. We couldn't work it out. She left."
"Oooh, what a twat!"

It's a win-win for a BH, honestly. If you stay, you're a God-King to all the people who hear your story, because you overcame, reconciled and found a way to forgive. If you divorce, you're a good man who shacked up with the wrong sort of woman. Completely unfair in some cases, and not particularly a fair apportionment of responsibility in the demise of a marriage, but most people don't spend much time thinking about infidelity outside of "Cheeterz r EVIL like Angelina Jolie!!!" (except I don't think AJ was actually the cheater there, that was Brad Pitt, but he's got a better PR machine and doesn't insist on looking more and more like his dad with each passing day as he ages gracelessly. Of course, he might. I don't know his dad. But at least is dad isn't John Voight. *shudder*)

So, when you ask what I would have a husband do, it's this: Be yourself. Decide what you want. If you like you, be you. If you want to mix some stuff up that you've been putting off, do that. You don't have to ask anyone's permission. You don't have to worry about freaking out your wife because you're suddenly a different guy than you used to be. Seize the opportunity to get out of the rut of defining yourself as a husband in relation to the marriage -- after all, there's probably never going to be another time in your life where transforming it is going to cost you less than it will right now. It's a completely fresh start.

Figure out what you need, personally, to heal, and do that. Whatever it takes to do that. Good ideas, bad ideas, things that seem to be good ideas but turn out to be bad ideas in retrospect...doesn't matter. It's the act of taking control of your own life that's significant. I mean, we all have control of our own lives all the time. We just tend to forget that somewhere in the complex web of responsibilities, obligations and roles. Infidelity has a way of stripping you down to core elements where you can discover what really matters to you.

If you look into that core and see a guy you really like, but had forgotten he existed, embrace him. Don't try to alter him to meet someone else's definition of who you ought to be. Now, they may decide that's not enough for them to stay in your life, because they'd really rather you were someone else...and that's their right. But why would you want to be with someone who doesn't want you for who you are anyway? Don't let fear of life change contort you into becoming someone who is going to make you miserable in order to keep up the facade.

But as I said, this is all complicated, and it's all individual. People have to be willing to weigh advice, look inside themselves for what fits, throw out what doesn't, and accept the cost of any decisions they make.

Me? I was a pretty good husband. Probably wasn't going to win any awards, but better than most. My wife is mentally ill (doing better!), and that gives me a different set of issues than someone whose wife just up and cheats on him, because so much of my wife's complaint base was skewed by either bipolar depression or mania.

An article like the above is just about worthless to someone in my shoes. It is, in fact, the equivalent of validating mental illness in a marriage. In the same way, if you're an asshat husband who has spent years ignoring your wife, beating your children, gambling away the life savings, drinking yourself into a gutter, etc., then everything I've just said should be just as worthless to you.

I guess that's a long way around of saying that it's complicated. It's also one of the reasons I hold the message board format in such high esteem. Articles have just about enough space to propose and adequately defend one viewpoint. Message boards tend to give a ton of competing opinions and trust the user to figure out which position best fits their circumstances.


Last edited by Marlowe; 04/01/12 02:00 AM. Reason: Used "to" when I meant "too". Please don't throw copies of Strunk & White at me.
Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: Marlowe] #220024
04/01/12 02:08 AM
04/01/12 02:08 AM
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Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: Fergie] #220032
04/01/12 02:30 AM
04/01/12 02:30 AM
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yup,
times like this where a F!@#$%* "LIKE" button would be nice!

Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: Marlowe] #220062
04/01/12 03:18 AM
04/01/12 03:18 AM
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In Puppy's absence...


whistle whistle whistle whistle




"A desire presupposes the possibility of action to achieve it; action presupposes a goal which is worth achieving." - Ayn Rand
Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: pookie69] #220087
04/01/12 04:13 AM
04/01/12 04:13 AM
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LadyGrey Offline
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Thank you for that Marlowe. In my opinion, you are one of the more insightful posters.

My experience is that there is much to be healed on both sides.

I think we can all be called to be better without it being pointed out where we fell short.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: LadyGrey] #220104
04/01/12 05:00 AM
04/01/12 05:00 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 7,566
New Zealand
Lil Offline OP

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Marlow,

would you consider reposting your above posts and making a new article/thread with an appropriate title? This is great info, but as it's tacked onto this article thread, it may not reach the audience you intended it for.


AKA Lildoggie

Just found out about your spouses affair?
Infidelity Guide For The Betrayed Spouse


Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: Lil] #220112
04/01/12 05:32 AM
04/01/12 05:32 AM
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Marlowe Offline
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Perhaps I'm misunderstanding...I thought my audience was LadyGrey, who asked for clarification on my initial reaction to the article.

I'm more than happy to move it or remove it if it isn't appropriate in this forum.

Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: Marlowe] #220114
04/01/12 05:39 AM
04/01/12 05:39 AM
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I think Lil means that the post was so good that it would be nice if could have it's own thread so it doesn't get lost. That crossed my mind, too.

Maybe it could be in the enough is enough section.


"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: believer] #220128
04/01/12 08:34 AM
04/01/12 08:34 AM
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Lil Offline OP

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Sorry. Yes what B said
I think this info would reach more people if it was given its own thred.


AKA Lildoggie

Just found out about your spouses affair?
Infidelity Guide For The Betrayed Spouse


Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: Lil] #220231
04/01/12 07:56 PM
04/01/12 07:56 PM
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LadyGrey Offline
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I'm intrigued with the idea of using the affair as leverage to change dynamics you don't like to suit your taste as such opportunities are rare. I tried to express that concept -- one with which I agree -- but it didn't sit too well coming from me.

I'd like to discuss on its own thread how those pivotal moments can present opportunities but don't want to limit the consideration to infidelity. Where do y'all think I should put it?


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: LadyGrey] #220257
04/01/12 08:57 PM
04/01/12 08:57 PM
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Posts: 7,566
New Zealand
Lil Offline OP

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Lil  Offline OP

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lol.

TD


AKA Lildoggie

Just found out about your spouses affair?
Infidelity Guide For The Betrayed Spouse


Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: Lil] #220270
04/01/12 09:33 PM
04/01/12 09:33 PM
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LadyGrey Offline
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Originally Posted By: lildoggie
lol.

TD


Yea, I know....

But hope springs eternal.

I do think it is fantastic concept though. Certainly happened with my cancer, although I wasn't specifically aware of it. All of the sudden not being honest with each other about our thoughts and feelings was a luxury item we could no longer afford. The consequences could have been literally deadly.

I'm reflecting back on other pivotal moments and how I not only didn't use the leverage -- I actively worked to maintain a status quo in which I was very unhappy. Such is the fear of the unknown.

The pivotal moments don't come often but they do come, and there is power there that can be harnessed for the good of the marriage.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: LadyGrey] #220299
04/01/12 10:28 PM
04/01/12 10:28 PM
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Marlowe Offline
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I understand what you're saying. The pivotal moments don't have to have anything to do with infidelity at all. I had my first such moment in December 2002, when I came down with a near-fatal case of encephalitic meningitis. It took me 18 months to fully recover from that, and a ton of changes that had to be made for the sake of my recuperation.

Some of those changes, and my own physical frailty, were direct contributions to the stressors that resulted in my wife's first major manic episode (and so, related to infidelity after all, drat!) But there were so many lessons learned by both of us about what we could stand and what we needed when suddenly I couldn't be the strong/protective one and maintain my tenuous grip on my health at the same time. I was lucky if I could make it through the work day without passing out or having debilitating panic attacks.

My wife felt abandoned as I withdrew to focus on my health, and likely quite legitimately so. I was doing my best to survive, but I was not at my best during that 18 months, and part of her could never forgive me for having failed her in that way. Her father fought a 15 year battle with cancer, and passed away about 6 months before I fell ill. My illness was a major trauma on top of that loss -- and that it was a loss off the same ilk, has all sorts of psychological ramifications. I was fragile. I was not safe to talk to in any way that would generate stress. Not for fear of violence or anything of that sort, but because my brain simply couldn't process stress very effectively.

So much of our discussion about the affair was mired in talk about my illness, to the point that my illness felt like a weapon she was wielding against me. It was just as pointed, hurtful and traumatic for her as the affair was for me. We've found many parallels in excavating those comparisons. I have very vague memories of that 18 month span because of the way my brain re-wired. My wife's bipolar identity blocks most of the memories from her affair. I literally know more of the details about it than she does, just as she knows more about the period of my illness than I do. In many ways, they were both traumas that we each had to navigate alone, though our spouse was right there beside us the whole time, albeit wholly unreachable.

I guess that's the downside of pivotal moments. You can seize them when they arise, but how you seize them is going to have ripples of consequence. None of us are ever acting in a vacuum, and there's usually a price to be paid later. The question becomes whether or not the depth of change is worth the cost that will be incurred.

Thank you for sparking this discussion, lildoggie and LadyGrey. It goes to show that there are still lessons worth reminding ourselves about years after the fact.

I'm going to go hug my wife.

Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: Marlowe] #220311
04/01/12 10:59 PM
04/01/12 10:59 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,535
Ace Offline
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Ace  Offline
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Originally Posted By: Marlowe
Thank you for sparking this discussion, lildoggie and LadyGrey. It goes to show that there are still lessons worth reminding ourselves about years after the fact.

I'm going to go hug my wife.


Thanks for sharing your intriguing insights, Marlowe. I agree with lildoggie.....it would be great to see your thoughts developed into an original article here on MA.

Hope you stick around or at least stop by more often.

Ace


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: LadyGrey] #220312
04/01/12 11:01 PM
04/01/12 11:01 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 7,467
right here waiting Offline
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right here waiting  Offline
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Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
I'm intrigued with the idea of using the affair as leverage to change dynamics you don't like to suit your taste as such opportunities are rare. I tried to express that concept -- one with which I agree -- but it didn't sit too well coming from me.

I'd like to discuss on its own thread how those pivotal moments can present opportunities but don't want to limit the consideration to infidelity. Where do y'all think I should put it?


LG, it IS an intriguing idea, and it applies both to betrayer and betrayed. I would find such a discussion useful. Where? Although lil's suggestion to put it in TD makes sense because it would likely be contentious, I don't think the looser rules there would protect such a discussion. Perhaps Carport, where moderating standards are tighter, or even a separate blog? Heck, I'd be happy to start such a thread myself, because I can see how my H and I did address some of the the pre-affair "dynamics we didn't like" during our recovery.

Re: When The Wife Has The Affair [Re: Marlowe] #220315
04/01/12 11:07 PM
04/01/12 11:07 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 7,467
right here waiting Offline
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right here waiting  Offline
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Marlowe, your situation illustrates well how each marriage is unique, and working through issues is just as unique to the couple involved.

It sounds like you and your wife have addressed the specifics of the issues in your marriage that led to problems, and even infidelity. Do you consider yourselves fully recovered?

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