FH I'm being as real as I possibly can be about this.
So you are being as real as you can possibly be about this from your perspective. I understand that. I have a slightly different perspective about it and am being as real about it as you are about yours.
If infidelity is involved,
after you've discovered the affair and confronted your spouse about it and asked them to end the affair. If they choose not to end the affair, my point of view is to accept their decision and let them go and move on with my life instead of living in limbo and hoping they may come back some day.
I understand your viewpoint and you have every right, as does anyone, to issue an ultimatum and then walk away from the marriage. That right, imho, is ONE of the rights of any Betrayed Spouse. But it’s also NOT the “only” right or the only path that a Betrayed Spouse can choose for themselves. Tto call those who are willing to try to fight for their marriage “living in limbo,” in the WAY that you are talking about it, implies strongly that they are idiots for even trying to do anything other than issue and ultimatum of the “end the affair TODAY or I am gone forever.”
If you want to call the “uncertain” time before a WS ends an affair and wants to attempt to recover the marriage, “limbo time,” as in you are married but you don’t have a strong loving marriage, then I’d say that’s fine. But to use the term as you do as some sort of derogatory statement toward those who do choose to endure what they can in order to hopefully save their marriage appears to be insensitive and mean…all coming from the perspective of what YOU would do. You are not them, neither am I. And, yes, I lived in “limbo” of one sort or another for quite some time and now have a strong recovered marriage where my wife not only loves me deeply but is disgusted with her former OM and her former affair behavior.
Rob, what you seem to be doing is the same thing that we all do from time to time…projecting ourselves into someone else’s situation as THE “only way” to do something.
I am for marriage and have nothing against marriage as long as prenup's that protect both spouses are in place.
If you want a pre-nup as a requirement before getting married, that’s fine for you and for others who may believe the way you do. What do you want in your pre-nup? I’d even agree that they are a good idea for couples who are “later in life” and have prior families and assets that need to be reserved for their own children, grandchildren, etc.
My point about the obscure wedding ceremony that took place several years ago is that after that one day, a lot of couples go down hill right after that
I disagree, but I’d love to see your statistics that support this claim. I think couples go “downhill” in their marriage because the stop working at, stop considering their spouse’s needs, get involved in “me first,” “let themselves go physically,” etc. There a LOT of reasons why marriages go downhill, but very few of them are “after that one day.” They are things that are usually in the “years” category and are an accumulation of things. Regardless, insensitivity toward one’s spouse and poor communication are two of the big causes of the “downhill” you are referring to. For those who are believers, it also involves NOT performing the roles of husband and wife as assigned by God, but choosing to ignore God and “do it my way because that’s what *I* want.”
- they don't remember their vows to each other, they become lazy with each other, treat each other poorly and disrespectfully
I’d agree that is what happens over time, as I said in the prior response above.
and then one spouse makes the decision to have an affair and the LBS starts spewing forth words like "what happened til death do us part? what happened to respecting and honoring your marriage vows?"
Yes, and it’s a legitimate question because the marriage VOWS are a commitment that EACH person makes. So it’s legitimate to ask a WS, “what happened to your promises that you committed to?” But, again, your choice of the word “spewing” is pejorative against the Betrayed Spouse.
and then we find out that the LBS has been a lazy sloth, hasn't loved, honored or cherished their spouse to the best of their abilities, they've become fat and lazy, they don't communicate with their spouses, they don't make an effort to continue to date their spouse, grow and develop with them, discover new things with them and they certainly don't put their spouses at the top of their list of priorities.
Got it. You think the Wayward Spouse’s choice to have an affair is the fault of the Betrayed Spouse. EVEN IF a Betrayed Spouse had acted in the way you describe, the answer is either counseling or divorce, but NOT an affair. That is NOT how one “signals” their displeasure with the other spouse.
Rob, very few of the Betrayed Spouses I’ve encountered over the past almost 10 years of these sites would fit your above description to a “T.” And they are NOT “responsible “ for a spouse’s decision to cheat. That decision is 100% “owned” by the Wayward Spouse. They could have addressed the “problems” that they saw in their spouse directly, rather than use their imagined (or real) unfulfilled emotional needs as an excuse and a justification to commit adultery.
Those marriage vows don't just end when you pay the bill for the wedding reception, they start the day after the marriage - most people lose sight of that and wonder why their spouses decided to eventually seek out the companion energy they needed in another person.
I’d tend to agree with you that the vows don’t just end when you pay the bill for the wedding reception. I’d also disagree that they start BEFORE the wedding for a lot of people. I think it’s a societal problem with the sanctity and seriousness of marriage that many have “bought into.” They see it as a “try it and if you don’t like it you can just end it” sort of thing. The “dumbing down” of marriage to one that only includes a man and woman is a problem. It speaks to morality in general and marriage as an institution created and ordained by God in specific.
The problem is one of “relative morality,” of putting “me first” and ignoring the First and Second greatest commandments as stated by Jesus. Remove those two (upon which all of the other commandments depend) and there is nothing stopping anyone from doing whatever they feel like doing and using any excuse they want to use to “justify” their choice.
As I said previously: If someone sees their marriage vows as a commitment that they make, "for better or for worse," then the "worse" of an affair does not automatically nullify their commitment. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who see marriage as more of a relationship of convenience, good only so long as they have "feelings" of love for their spouse. In those cases, WS's will seek someone else and BS's will likely not pursue saving their marriage unless they see some other benefit (i.e., children, $'s, etc.) that they see as practical reasons to not split up the family "assets" if it can be avoided.
For the record, I don't have a problem with my view of someone choosing to attempt to recover their marriage. What I have is my point of view, I don't consider it to be a problem or problematic.
Your point of view isn’t a problem, but it can be problematic. You seem to support the “ultimatum” approach to ending an affair and recovering a marriage. Again, ultimatums are fine so long as you (the individual Betrayed Spouse) are willing and committed to ending the marriage if the Wayward Spouse does not immediately submit to your ultimatum. The “point” about any ultimatum is that you have to be prepared to enforce the consequence(s) attached to the ultimatum if the spouse does not “comply.” In essence, you are
trying to “force” your spouse to return to the marriage through the use of an ultimatum…and that rarely works, given the fact that a Wayward Spouse in an affair has already chosen to end the marriage, usually after a long build up to the affair choice, as their “way” of dealing with what they perceive to be the “problems” in the marriage.
And for the record I agree that the "worse" of an affair does not automatically nullify their commitment. What nullifies the commitment is when you have confronted your spouse after discovering the affair, asked them to make a choice to stop what they're doing and work on improving the marriage and they choose to continue their affair relationship.
I disagree. The marriage commitment of the WS is already nullified on their part, that’s why we often speak of the marriage actually being “over” when an affair occurs. But the commitment of the BS to their vows does not automatically end with their spouse’s affair, nor does it automatically end with the Wayward Spouse’s refusal to surrender to the hammer of the ultimatum. There is
the “added right” of the Betrayed Spouse that they CAN choose to end the marriage on the basis of their spouse’s unfaithfulness IF
they want to choose that route at any time prior to forgiveness and reconciliation with a repentant spouse who is trying to recover the marriage. WHEN divorce may be chosen is up to the Betrayed Spouse and is not limited to “immediate positive response to the ultimatum.”
At that point, the decision has been made, you have to accept it and move on with your life or you can choose to live in limbo and hope that they change their mind at some point but make no mistake, the commitment that a married couple made to each other is broken when one of them chooses to be with their affair partner even after being confronted and given the choice to stop the affair.
There is no question, never has been, that the marriage is broken. But your continued insistence on the term “limbo” for a Betrayed Spouse implies that they are willing to live with a third person in the marriage. That is NOT what attempting to end an affair and recover a marriage is all about. It is
about having to endure for a time the emotional hurts of an affair in the hope of being able to recover the marriage. It is a hope that is based in Love and their commitment to their own half of the marriage vows. It is a realization that they can only “control” their own actions and responses to the affair and can only do so for “some period of time” that varies in length from person to person. It is
about honoring their half of the wedding vows and attempting to “love your neighbor (spouse) as yourself.” It is attempting to put their (the WS) needs ahead of your own needs because affairs are destructive to not just the marriage but to the WS and everyone connected to the family.
If you choose to remain committed to your cheating spouse when they have made it clear to you that they don't want to be in a relationship with you and would prefer to be in a relationship with their affair partner, that is not a marital commitment you are pursuing because your spouse has communicated to you that they don't want the same thing - you are no longer committed to each other.
I’m sorry, Rob, but I disagree with your statement and reasoning here. I think you may be “jumping ahead” in the scenario here to when the WS is “adamant” AFTER reasonable attempts have been made to “change the mind of the WS.” In that case I would agree with you. But you “limit” those attempts to just a single ultimatum approach, to which an immediate and positive response by the WS is the requirement. That is, imho, short-sighted and unrealistic given that most affairs we are talking about and dealing with are NOT just “getting some strange” or a One Night Stand, they are Emotional Affairs and/or EA/Physical Affairs. When the emotions are involved there is usually no “On/Off” switch, it’s more akin to a “Dimmer Switch” that doesn’t immediately reach “off.”
The BS is remaining committed to their own marital commitment, with the understanding that the “bad” potential (now real) parts of the marriage vows generally are going to take time to get through.
Generally speaking you do not “get rich” overnight and solve the “for poorer” problem. You do not “get healthy” overnight and solve the “in sickness” problem. You do not “get better” overnight and solve the “or worse” problem. It takes a commitment to one’s own vows to “get through” the bad times, working towards achieving the “better, the health, the riches, etc.” that most couples really hope for and want for their marriages.
And you are absolutely correct,
"..there are a lot of people who see marriage as more of a relationship of convenience, good only so long as they have "feelings" of love for their spouse. In those cases, WS's will seek someone else"
But this part is not accurate based on what we see on these forums:
"....and BS's will likely not pursue saving their marriage unless they see some other benefit (i.e., children, $'s, etc.) that they see as practical reasons to not split up the family "assets" if it can be avoided."
The LBS will usually spend a considerable amount of time trying to find a way to get their spouse back in these situations.
Rob, your took your disagreement here out of the context that I set of just a “marriage of convenience.” For BS’s who themselves saw (see) marriage as just a “convenience” for them to get what they want, I stand on my previous statement.
For people who married for Love, true love for their spouse, those motivations may be a part of why they choose to attempt to save their marriage, but they are not the primary reason(s). The primary reason would be love and their belief in their own vows.
That's why I say prenup's and taking marriage classes & receiving some form of marriage license should be a requirement, not an option.
With the exception of the prenup, I would agree. But outside of religious reasons, WHY would anyone submit themselves to a “requirement” for classes? We already have “no fault” divorce as the “standard” for marriages in our society. That alone implies strongly the “try it and if you don’t like you can just leave the marriage” marital counseling of the secular society. That IS
“the class” that is taught to people today, also implying that the marriage commitments (vows) are essentially meaningless BEFORE they ever actually “get married.”
I think you would see less people getting married when you remove the financial incentives and open their eyes to the reality of how much work is involved in being married and living together, the people who do get married, will probably be getting married for the right reasons which would likely result in fewer divorces.
Possibly. There is no question in my mind that an emphasis on the seriousness and sanctity of marriage would help a lot. There is no question in my mind that if financial incentives are the ONLY reason to get married , they’d be far better off just forming a LLC or some other form of “mutual financial incentive” arrangement that does not include marriage.
I’m also not sure about your conclusion though. I think the problem runs deeper that just the “reality of how marriage works.” I think it has a lot more to do with seeing marriage as a relationship between God, the husband, and the wife. As long as the husband and/or wife sees theirself
as being the “master” and not the “servant,” the potential for divorces will remain very high, regardless of one’s professed belief structure. For many today, the idea of “submission” to anyone is a “fighting word” because they don’t understand what it means within the context of a Marriage. It goes right back to the First and Second greatest commandments, which are commandments, not “suggestions.”
So, in that respect, I would agree with you that it is more difficult for those who do not believe in God, in Christ, to recover their marriages because it all tends to be “all about me” first and foremost. If someone will not “surrender their life” to God, why would they want to “surrender their life” to a spouse, let alone a spouse they have already (given their choice to have an affair) decided “wasn’t good enough” for them and all their perceived “needs?”