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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
When my CH of 23 yrs. at the age of 40 was at a business conference, a employee that works under him came on to him in the ****tail lounge. She sat next to him and proceeded to flirt and build up his ego. She was a secretary and he was a Senior Vice-President of a large corporation. She knew he was married, had children, etc. She worked in one of the branches, not in the main headquarters. So for 2 nights, everyone got together, had ****tails, danced and talked. Nothing else happened. She suggested, that maybe they could get together for lunch one day. Well my husband did end up calling her, rationalizing that he wasn't doing anything to bad and called her to meet for lunch. his is an excuse to see her again. So then things proceeded to ****tails, more dancing, kissing and eventually off for 2 weekends in the course of 3 yrs. His love letters were very passionate and she believed that he loved her. As she said, she wouldn't have stayed in it otherwise as no one likes to feel used. The OWH sent me the love letters and that's how I found out. My CH lied like crazy and wouldn't tell me the truth, nor the details of anything. I had to call her to try and get some answers to if they went off together or not. I often wonder why she did see me twice and talk on the phone several times? I still think they were talking to each other to keep their stories straight.

It was a rocky 5 yrs. with MC & my IC. First he told me I couldn't go because we couldn't afford it, which wasn't true. I finally was at the point of a nervous break down and had to go. He didn't go to IC from the very beginning as he didn't believe in therapy. When he went with me, his participating was minimal. After 5 yrs. of therapy, group sessions, Retro weekends that I went on to keep myself sane and try to salvage the marriage, I finally made the decision to let it go and forgive him. I hadn't stopped loving him at that time, which surprises me after all that I had been through with. I decided to forgive him and move on and that's what I did for over 20 yrs.

I go now from being sad, frustrated and angry at him. I don't even think that I have any feelings left at this point. I feel like I am living a life of a liar, but he knows how I feel, so it is out in the open. He knows how angry I am at him for not telling me the truth from the very beginning. His lying to me wasn't fair. I had the right to know, so I could make the decision if I wanted him to stay or go and he took that away from me. If I had know sooner, I would have divorced him, as it was the one thing that I couldn't live with or forgive. I had already put up with so much with his control, drinking and not being a good Father or give me the emotional support when I needed it. I so wish he had been honest with me from the very beginning. Yes, I would have left him as he had basically killed me the night I found out about the A. I had 4 D-days of trickle truth, that I found myself by going through receipts and phone call records. He changed the course of my life by what he did and I had no say so in it. It's all about morals and lies!

Fast Forward 25 more yrs. when his behavior changed after the stock market crash, more drinking, daughter owing us $10,000 and not paying it back like she promised. She would have been in jail and our 3 granddaughter's wouldn't have had a Mother and she would have had a record. We were the only one's that had the money to help her. He also stopped showing me affection, even though I would show him. Sex maybe every 3 months and I would initiate it. This all made me question my whole life and while looking back on it I realized that he had always took in the marriage and I gave. I loved him very much, didn't work, except in the home and took care of everything. So all of this made me start questioning if we ever had a good marriage? I started trying to put the pieces of our life together and figure out what we really did have going for us all those 45 yrs. or so. So, I started back into therapy as I was getting very depressed again. I started asking him the same questions that I asked him over 25 yrs. ago, hoping that now he would give me some answer's so that we could get on with our life. I still loved him at that point. But these past 2 yrs. have been hell, arguing, fighting, verbal abuse on his part. He doesn't like to be questioned and looses his temper and the stress level was so high that it started affecting my health.

I was trying to get to the bottom of the exact question that this post is about. How much did he love her, did he feel guilty, how did he get so involved if he loved me? How could he look me in the eye and tell me he loved me after being out with her the same night? How did he get so involved with her, when he swears that he never stopped loving me? His behavior during those 3 yrs. wasn't very good. I blamed it on his high level job, but it wasn't. It was trying to lead 2 lives, drinking a lot more. He was really cruel sometimes and wasn't as interested in making love as much as he had before the A. I still believe that he loved her and himself more than he loved me. I was just his warm place to come home to. She ended the A right before our 25th Wedding Anniversary, when they got into an argument while in the spa at a hotel. She walked out on him and he wasn't very happy about it. He even swallowed his pride to see her a couple more times, so that it could be called off in a better way. He still cared, so the A wasn't winding itself down in his mind. He had just went off on a weekend 3 months before that special event, so he sure wasn't thinking of our 25th. Anniversary was he?

So, that's why I am asking this question, sorry I got a little long winded there.

CAN YOU LOVE YOUR SPOUSE AND DISRESPECT HER, WITHOUT THINKING THAT YOU ARE DOING THAT, AND STILL CHEAT AND LOVE ANOTHER WOMAN? I DON'T PERSONALLY CALL THAT LOVE! SO, I'M ASKING THAT QUESTION NOW OF OTHERS ON HERE THAT HAVE BEEN PERSONALLY INVOLVED ONE WAY OR THE OTHER?

If you truly love your spouse and someone flirts with you, wether you've been drinking or not, does that mean all of a sudden you forget your married? Especially if you ARE GETTING YOUR NEEDS MET AT HOME BY A WIFE WHO LOVES YOU AS MUCH AFTER 23 YRS. AS THE DAY SHE MARRIED YOU. Can a person make that much of an impression on you for you to forget your wife, children, your job that you have worked so hard to achieve. Forget your wedding vows, lose your morals, character and respect for your wife and even yourself? It's that easy to betray and look your partner in the face when you come home after kissing the OW? Betrayal is that easy for a man that claims to love his wife?

If they had worked together, side by side for months on a project, I can see where it would have happened a little better, even though their is never an excuse. However, for the life of me I can't understand what would possess a man to forget his wife who loved him dearly, was affectionate, sexy, built his ego up and did everything possible to show him how much she loved him and he was able to just put forget that and the 23 yrs. of marriage and pursue another woman? Not to mention that she was married with 2 little girls.

He was never the type to flirt with other women, he was around them all the time, they worked for him, but she was the first one to actively flirt so openly with him. Nothing has happened in the 25 yrs. since then either. I just can't get it in my head that her flirting was all it took for him to act on it? He sure wasn't missing anything at home and yes I know that new things can be exciting, but I never thought he would act on it. I was asked to have an A once with one of the people at a National Conference, he was good looking, I knew him well and was a few yrs. younger than me. I just smiled, told him, "No Thank you, I'm happily married and wouldn't do that to my husband." He knew my husband very well also. He understood and we continued to be friends.

Can someone help me out on this. He will not admit that he never stopped loving me during the A. He claims that he just enjoyed the extra attention, it made him feel young, she built up his ego and he enjoyed it. No one had ever come on to him before and he was weak and wanted to pursue it. He didn't think of me and my getting hurt, because I didn't know about it and he felt that they could cover it up really well. She was also married, with 2 little girls and he never even gave it a second thought that he was messing around with another man's wife (of course she gave him the story that her marriage wasn't doing that good) she had little children that could get hurt. He could have lost his job at their company as they are totally against dating anyone that works together, especially if they are married to someone else and also if your an executive on the board. It was highly frowned upon. When I received the love letters and they were really hurtful to read. He told her, "That no one had ever meant as much to him as she did and that he couldn't imagine living life without her." Those are pretty powerful things to say to the OW, yet she never told him she loved him.

He knew my feelings on cheating very clearly, as some of our friends had done it in the past and I told him, "If he did that to me he would be out the door in a heartbeat." If he had only told me the truth from the beginning that's what would have happened, but he made it out to be only for lunch's for a few months and I was in so much shock that I couldn't even re-read those letters, as the answers were right there in them.

So, I know I've gotten way off course, but if you truly love your wife, drinking or not, wouldn't you have gotten out of the situation? We are having major arguments on this and he doesn't have an answer, except that he feels that he was selfish and he wanted to do what he wanted to do and he knew that he was never going to marry her or anything. It was just fun and I wasn't getting hurt.

<<<I need to add a very important fact to this question. Their was no sex involved. It was an E/A of 3 yrs. and it was off and on, as her husband found out about it and sent me a letter. But I unfortunately believed my H as he was always home. So this extra information does add more to the question!>>>

Thanks for any input on this question. I'm so sorry it was so long. I just am so sad, angry and don't know what I am going to do with my life right now. I just turned 70 and these should be the best yrs. of our life, but I can't seem to forget all the hurt and betrayal and move on. Believe me, I wish I could as it would be so nice to be happy again.

Granny7
 

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Yes; I do believe that you can still love your spouse but also cheat on them at the same time. With my husband, I feel it was purely selfishness on his part. He liked his ego stroked by her, and she made him feel "special." They aren't thinking with their head when they get all this attention and it trumps what they have at home.

I can feel in your post how hurt you are by his actions. There is nothing more devastating than being betrayed like this. My husband also told me he would NEVER cheat and I believed it. Given the right circumstances and the state of our marriage, it happened.
 

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Men are not always emotionally involved in sex, but some emotions always come into play, even if the intention is to leave them out. But for sure when a couple is really in love they don't have such a great need to go outside the marriage. Emotional neglect is not the only reason for affairs. Women can be curious about sex, too.

Regardless, fornication is seldom directly positive to a marital relationship.

In your situation, there are different questions:

1) Do you want to punish your husband for what happened back then? That is legit, I mean you cannot deny the feeling if you have it.

2) Do you think that more description of your husband's thoughts and emotions back then will satisfy you? It has been a long time. He may not remember everything clearly.

3) Are you satisfied today? What needs fixing?
 

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Yes, you can love your spouse and have an affair. You risk hurting them if they find out, of course, and damaging or destroying the relationship. But, that does not mean you don't love them.

Look at it from the perspective of an open marriage. Either or both can have sex with other people, yet still be deeply in love, and care about each other, etc. The primary difference is that the "affair" in this case is completely open and consensual, so there is no cheating, no lying, no emotional distress or relationship damage. In cheating, you risk the harm and damage, probably out of selfishness, but that does not equate to not also loving your spouse.
 
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No, I don't think a cheater "truly' loves their spouse and still cheats on them. Love is not juts a feeling, it is an action. To behave so heinously, selfishly, and disrespectfully to a spouse by cheating on them, that is not love or loving behavior at all. I think cheaters love their spouses the best way they now how, but again, that's not saying much based on behavior, and is a crappy consolation.
 

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I don't think there's true, romantic, marriage-type love in a cheater.

Frankly, a cheater loves nobody, not even him or herself.

You must love yourself before you can love someone else. And if you don't even like yourself, you aren't going to give anything good to anyone else. You just become good at playing a game.
 

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You probably can, but who cares?
Will your spouse love you? That's the primary question, and whether you will care. If your spouse will not love you if you have an affair (even if you still love your spouse) and you will care if you lose your spouse's love, then I think it's best not to have the affair. Because then it's clear, you have no love for yourself (and your best interests.)
 

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I think the answer to this is yes you can.

Marriage and love is so complex that there are so many variables that it's impossible to know for sure or say definitively. But if I had to guess I would say that a person can cheat and still love their spouse.

Doesn't mean it's right, just that it's possible.
 

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Yes. It can happen. How did our pre-GrecoRoman ancestors handle polygyny? Do you think they only loved one of their wives?

Of course, the difference here is that, depending on your vows, your husband probably promised to love only you, not you and his harem.

Your husband sounds like a sociopath and probably has dark triad tendencies. Maybe that's why women come onto him.

There are probably more women.
 

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You can "love" the person, or think you do, but you are not "in love" with them if you can cheat. That's just my personal view. When you are happy and satisfied you typically won't even be tempted by someone else. It's when things go lacking in whatever department that the door is opened for possibility...

To me, you can't possibly TRULY love or care about someone and still subject them to the pain and betrayal. Like someone else said, that is not loving behavior. Would you steal your mother's retirement fund, even though you "love" her? No, you wouldn't, because that would seriously harm her in many ways. You could only do this if you didn't care about her at all. Which is how I feel about the cheating.

To me, you are saying that the risk of hurting and losing that person is worth it. Doesn't sound like love to me.
 

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Yes, think I some people can love the person they cheat on.

One of the most difficult realizations I ever had as my marriage was ending was not that my husband didn't love me, but that he absolutely did. His behavior, the type of marriage we had, the lies, the betrayals, the gaslighting, the emotional manipulation - all of that was what love looked like to him. For him, love did not preclude serial cheating.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes, I some people can love the person they cheat on.

One of the most difficult realizations I ever had as my marriage was ending was not that my husband didn't love me, but that he absolutely did. His behavior, the type of marriage we had, the lies, the betrayals, the gaslighting, the emotional manipulation - all of that was what love looked like to him. For him, love did not preclude serial cheating.
Rowan,
I hear you. I know my H loves me now, but I almost feel that it's out of desperation as he doesn't want to loose me and be alone at 70 yrs. of age. I just can't get over everything he did, his lack of remorse both after the A and for the next 20 yrs. with his control factors, drinking to much and not treating me special, especially after what he did to me. I loved him so much, but I think that I've been through so much that he has killed the love that I had left and I'm to tired to even deal with it anymore. He did the one thing that I swore I would never stay in a marriage for, especially since I had put up with so many other behaviors that I didn't approve of.

Thanks for your opinion,
Granny7
 

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I think a completely separate question is whether you can be IN LOVE with someone while cheating on them.

Love? Yes.

In love? No.

Hence all the ILYBINILWY speeches we hear about on this forum.
 

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Can you still love your spouse but get crabby with him/her? Or full out lose your temper with him/her? How about when you have a big fight with him/her? Not very "loving" but you do it anyway.

I think it depends on the spouse who has the affair. Some actually don't love us, and have what amounts to an exit affair, so those marriages are pretty much done for anyway. Some DO love us, but still have an affair - just like loving us but fighting with us, it's possible to love but do things that will hurt the one you love.

I do agree, to some extent, with doubletrouble, in terms of people having affairs and loving themselves - I suspect when they're in the middle of it, they don't love themselves very much. And when one doesn't love oneself very much, one IS going to be very limited in the ability to give love. Not that I think the ability is gone, but I do think very limited.
 

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"Love" is such a subjective term...it's kind of semantics. But how it boils down for me is this: If in fact the WS does "love" the BS, it's a very unhealthy, very sick, very dysfunctional love, if love at all.

To me, loyalty and honesty are a huge part of the "love" equation, and neither of those exist in infidelity.
 

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I posted a lot on your original thread about a year ago because your situation was somewhat similar to my own. I was then ending a 45 year marriage -- with considerable opposition from my family and friends. I remember saying to you that the polygraph you were scheduling wouldn't necessarily give you closure regarding his affair and it sounds as if it hasn't. I'm very sorry.

People cheat because they think they can get away with it. That's what it comes down to. We will never make sense of it because it's not what we would do. We thought they were one person but they were another. Unfortunately.

In my case, I decided that getting out was worth whatever price I had to pay because I wanted the opportunity to be happy for what remained of my life. And I haven't regretted it for a moment. But it wasn't easy getting here. Walking away from a very long marriage is not something most people do. I know a woman who ended her 60 year marriage and, like me, her only regret is not doing it sooner. But it's not for everyone.
 

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They think they love you. And they might perceive that they do- this is called compartmentalization and deflection, common behavior traits among cheaters.

But they do not love you the way a spouse, partner, lover and mate should.

Some Betrayed Spouses, are just happy and pleased to get "crumbs from the table" so to speak. I just don't get it.

Can you "love" someone and cheat and betray them. Put their physical, mental, emotional and financial health at risk. All the while feeding into your selfish needs...

NO. NO. NO.

That is not love. It is abuse and cruel. And having an affair is a character flaw.

And you cannot change character. You either have it. Or you don't.
 

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People cheat because they think they can get away with it. That's what it comes down to. We will never make sense of it because it's not what we would do. We thought they were one person but they were another. Unfortunately.
:iagree: QFT

When I confronted my fWW about her affair, she said she never told me because she didn't want to hurt my feelings.

What?????

She thought she'd gotten away with it. I never let it go. I still haven't, even though I sure would love to. I'd love to have a relationship that was honest, carefree, open, trusting, loving and long-lasting.

I feel at this point in my life I'll never realize that feeling. I wanted all of them at the same time. I get some of them some of the time.
 
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