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Married Husband here. With my wife for 20+ years. Both of us are in our 40s. No children together. I'm coming to the conclusion that our marriage has to end. Haven't expressed this to my wife yet, but once I talk to the lawyer and figure out a plan of action I will.

Our marriage has been at times incredibly messy. We've separated on multiple occasions. Including once 16 years ago when she ended up pregnant by another man - we weren't together at the time but...... I've helped support that child financially for the last 15 years. I did not adopt it though and I am not its father.

As far as I know she has been faithful in our marriage aside from that, which arguably is infidelity.

I have been repeatedly unfaithful. And I haven't really felt much of any guilt for my actions. I'm taking recall of past events and if my memory serves me right I've had,

8 affairs of varying lengths in the last 10-12 years.
4 One night stands
And visited escorts on 25+ occasions

As well as gone on romantic dates with other women. A bunch of other "incidents" of cheating but no sex.

I honestly do not feel guilty for any of my actions. Is that a deficiency in my character? My wife and I live almost separate lives. I travel frequently and for long periods of time for work. During the "season" I live 3 hours away for much of the week. So it was never difficult to conceal anything. And my wife is not a jealous woman. I honestly do not think she would be that bothered if she knew. She doesn't know anything though.

No plans on confessing or anything of that sort. My question is in the title. Does everyone feel guilty for cheating? I'm a well adjusted person and successful and well liked and I do not feel like an abomination. Yet just reading this forum cheaters are seemingly considered to be that. Just looking for some feedback into my situation. Also please no comments about my wife's child. No desire to discuss that any further. I've had a couple other threads that have been hijacked with questions about that topic.

Thanks,

M11
 

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I honestly do not feel guilty for any of my actions. Is that a deficiency in my character?
Yes it is. Normal people feel guilt for repeatedly betraying someone they supposedly love. You sound like a psychopath, or perhaps a sociopath. Have you ever had a psychiatric evaluation?
 

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M11, have you considered that you might have a personality disorder, or be somewhere on the Aspberger's spectrum? It's not normal to engage in that kind of double life for that long without so much as a pang of WTF am I DOING?! guilt, remorse -- or even a nagging feeling of lacking a moral compass.

A really good place for you to read would be Dr. George K Simon, Author, In Sheep -- Dr. George Simon's works and his blog. I think the articles could help give you some perspective, as he works with people he calls "character disturbed." Only if you're a true sociopath and you're wired without any empathy, then there's not much hope. But sociopaths don't tend to go in for introspection...

There is emerging science on what are called "callous unemotional" traits -- do a google search on it. It may be that you have hard wiring issues on empathy.

Of course none of that absolves you from your really sh*tty, horrific behavior. You seem totally disconnected in every sense from your wife. And whether she knows or not, and you're sparing her that agony -- you have subjected her to countless STDs and that is unconscionable. The kindest thing you can do is divorce the poor woman and STAY SINGLE.

Unless she's also disordered and a sociopath -- I promise you, she would be MORE than "bothered." She'd be devastated. Read on this and other boards. People are shattered by infidelity. Destroyed. It's not a big WTFever shrug.

Get yourself checked out. Read Dr. Simon.
 

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Sounds like the both of you have had your share of getting busy.

Could be your utter lack of guilt is grounded in the nature of the 'relationship' the 2 of you seem to have crafted. Which - I would guess... is rather atypical. 'separate lives' and so on.

the only thing that strikes me... is that you both have invested a fairly large portion of life on this - and I never take joy in seeing such a tragedy unfolding.

Yeah - most people feel guilty.
 

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Are you perhaps 'paying her back' by being made pregnant by another man and you being expected to pay for raising his child?
He should still feel guilty though.

I really think you need to 1) get tested for STD's and 2) become single and stay that way. Oh, and 3) see a psychiatrist.
 

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It is not a deficiency in character. Should i assume the OP did all this AFTER the fact that his wife stepped out of marriage and became pregnant? Her actions showed she was not serious about her vows, her dedication to her husband/family and to her husbands honor as a man by her being faithful. Op may have though "how serious i take my marriage comittment if my wife took it easy to cake eat."

In all seriousness as a single lad, if i had a gf that was messing around, either id mess around or dump her. Since you are married the begging question is why be married if youre livjng the single life? Tax deductions? Just confess and tell her all the facts and see is she actually cares. Most cheaters dont like being cheated on. I am sure she has har her cake and ate plenty too.
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Thanks for the quick replies.

Yes it is. Normal people feel guilt for repeatedly betraying someone they supposedly love. You sound like a psychopath, or perhaps a sociopath. Have you ever had a psychiatric evaluation?
I have not been evaluated before. I do not think I am a sociopath or a psychopath. Granted, I have little experience with what that entails. No violent tendencies. I'm successful in my career. I think I can be incredibly caring and loving. So my gut feeling is that it doesn't fit. But I have to do my research.

I do not think I've loved my wife for a number of years. When we were madly in love, I never cheated on her.

M11, have you considered that you might have a personality disorder, or be somewhere on the Aspberger's spectrum? It's not normal to engage in that kind of double life for that long without so much as a pang of WTF am I DOING?! guilt, remorse -- or even a nagging feeling of lacking a moral compass.

A really good place for you to read would be Dr. George K Simon, Author, In Sheep -- Dr. George Simon's works and his blog. I think the articles could help give you some perspective, as he works with people he calls "character disturbed." Only if you're a true sociopath and you're wired without any empathy, then there's not much hope. But sociopaths don't tend to go in for introspection...

There is emerging science on what are called "callous unemotional" traits -- do a google search on it. It may be that you have hard wiring issues on empathy.

Of course none of that absolves you from your really sh*tty, horrific behavior. You seem totally disconnected in every sense from your wife. And whether she knows or not, and you're sparing her that agony -- you have subjected her to countless STDs and that is unconscionable. The kindest thing you can do is divorce the poor woman and STAY SINGLE.

Unless she's also disordered and a sociopath -- I promise you, she would be MORE than "bothered." She'd be devastated. Read on this and other boards. People are shattered by infidelity. Destroyed. It's not a big WTFever shrug.

Get yourself checked out. Read Dr. Simon.
I have not considered that I am disordered as a possibility. I suppose its possible but I think not. I will read the article you linked and get back to you. Thank you for the recommendations.

Very disconnected from my wife. No argument.

I honestly do not think she would be devastated. I haven't been that sneaky. I've had affairs with people she knows. I think she must know something is up and I think she has decided to be wilfully ignorant. We aren't that connected so I do not think it would be a betrayal of great magnitude. It isn't as if we are deeply in love and I went and cheated on her while things were rosy at home. Someone suggested our marriage was a business arrangement in one of my previous threads and that is very apt description.

Are you perhaps 'paying her back' by being made pregnant by another man and you being expected to pay for raising his child?
I chose to stay and I've known from day its not my child. Which in retrospect was a mistake. So expect is probably too harsh of terminology; I made the piss-poor decision to stay.

That said I have enormous resentment towards that child being conceived. I would be lying if that didn't play a factor in this. I think to me, it gives me a free pass of sorts. Nothing I do can be as bad as being impregnated by someone else.
 

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It's not normal to engage in that kind of double life for that long without so much as a pang of WTF am I DOING?! guilt, remorse -- or even a nagging feeling of lacking a moral compass.
Chumplady is correct. I went through pretty much what you're going through, and I can tell you it ain't right. Like me, you're basically an addict. And like most addicts, you will walk over anyone to satisfy that hunger. What got you there is beside the point at this juncture; that will come later. I can tell you this, the urge is like the Terminator, it will never stop until you're dead. It like the Lou Christie song,

If she gives me a sign
That she wants to make time
I can't stop
I can't stop myself
Lightning is striking again
Lightning is striking again
And again and again and again

At best, and the good news is, you can control it.
 

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ok so 2 wrongs make a right there are not varying degrees of cheating you cheated more than i did so as payback i am going to

8 affairs of varying lengths in the last 10-12 years.
4 One night stands
And visited escorts on 25+ occasions

seems a little much as far as getting even dont ya think ???
 

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With all that side action why be married ?? I would think that most normal people would feel guilty or at least have a conscience
Inertia. The last few years have become very comfortable. Incredibly boring but it is nice to have that safe place to go. My wife is still probably my closest friend. With my career it is very helpful to have a family. My wife has helped me a lot with that. And the perception of a nuclear family is one that can only help. I've had my reasons for staying.

It is not a deficiency in character. Should i assume the OP did all this AFTER the fact that his wife stepped out of marriage and became pregnant? Her actions showed she was not serious about her vows, her dedication to her husband/family and to her husbands honor as a man by her being faithful. Op may have though "how serious i take my marriage comittment if my wife took it easy to cake eat."

In all seriousness as a single lad, if i had a gf that was messing around, either id mess around or dump her. Since you are married the begging question is why be married if youre livjng the single life? Tax deductions? Just confess and tell her all the facts and see is she actually cares. Most cheaters dont like being cheated on. I am sure she has har her cake and ate plenty too.
Its a fair point. The cheating was after her fling while we were separated. She embarrassed me and took something away from me. I'll never forgive her for that. Technically what she did was okay since we were together but it takes a special type of woman to go get pregnant by someone else while legally married to someone. A separation doesn't mean you have kids with another man. Like I said earlier. Incredible, indescribable resentment from that.

I've looked to see if she is cheating. I don't think so. But I'm not at home that much and there is certainly opportunity for her to mess around. If she did, not the end of the world but I'd be disappointed. I lost the right to complain about cheating a long time ago.

Could be your utter lack of guilt is grounded in the nature of the 'relationship' the 2 of you seem to have crafted. Which - I would guess... is rather atypical. 'separate lives' and so on.

the only thing that strikes me... is that you both have invested a fairly large portion of life on this - and I never take joy in seeing such a tragedy unfolding.
We have an atypical bond for married couples. Its not as close as most marriages so I think it might be fair to assume my lack of guilt comes from the lack of closeness in our marriage.

Right now, I just realized we have incompatible views on our futures. I've accepted that a divorce has to happen. Its something I've flirted with for many years but I'm ready to move on now.
 

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I feel remorse but I do not feel guilty about cheating on my wife. It happened and if i could take it back to take away the pain I caused her I would. But for any other reason I would not.

Here's a little definition of guilt vs remorse that I really liked.

Real remorse means seeing the pain you caused someone, and reaching out to make it better. Feeling bad for the person in pain.

A person who feels guilt rather than remorse sees the pain of others (that they inflicted) as judgment, condemnation, and feels bad for themselves. What they feel for the person in pain is anger - anger for showing them what they don't want to see (the consequences of their actions).

Someone who feels remorse for doing a bad thing will always consider the thing they did to be bad.

Bad feelings associated with guilt are situational, and change with circumstances.

Someone really remorseful doesn't want to repeat a harmful action - they aren't even tempted to. Real remorse means never doing it again, self accountability.

Someone who feels guilty can still repeat the actions causing the guilt, precisely to escape the guilt. The only way to end feelings of guilt is self accountability - guilt happens when someone runs from it.

Remorse says "I'm sorry I hurt you".

Guilt says "stop making me feel bad for what I did".

Remorse cares more about the one wounded. They don't care about others holding them accountable because they already hold themselves accountable.

Guilt worries more about how the wounded one makes them appear in the eyes of others. They feel their self image is being attacked. They do worry about others holding them accountable because they shirk self accountability.

Remorse means learning from one's harmful actions.

Guilt means not even facing what one has done, so learning from it isn't likely.

Remorse means leaving the harmful actions one did in the past, but not forgetting them.

Guilt carries harmful actions around, keeping them ever present, by attempting to avoid dealing with them. They will always be ever present, a thorn in ones side, looming large and affecting one's life until faced and dealt with. This is self inflicted torture - although a person struggling with guilt will blame others.

Remorse leads to the ability to forgive the self.

Guilt leads to self hatred.

Remorse is action, actively doing something about the harm one caused.

Guilt is feeling self pity and doing nothing about the harm one caused.

BTW, I'm just curious how you refer to the child as "it" instead of her or him. IMO, this marriage was done long ago (16 years ago when she had another man's child). Why you stuck around, only you can answer that and why you're still there, again only you can answer that.
 

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So you've decided against adopting then? Good choice!
Decided against doing so with my wife. I tried to update my previous thread. We had a talk and she didn't seem overly interested in the idea. So I dropped it. I do not want her force her and our marriage is already not the strongest or healthiest.

Its very important to me that children happen but it will be in the future with someone else. I am 44 right now so time is running against me. Hopefully kids happen sooner than later. But that is not the topic of this thread.
 

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That said I have enormous resentment towards that child being conceived. I would be lying if that didn't play a factor in this. I think to me, it gives me a free pass of sorts. Nothing I do can be as bad as being impregnated by someone else.
Uhhh wanna bet? How about impregnating one of your mistresses or the escorts? And then expecting your wife to be in that child's life? No, I know, she doesn't expect anything from you regarding her daughter. But the same principle applies. Her getting pregnant by another guy = you getting another woman pregnant.

And yes, I can say with certainty that I feel remorse for cheating on my husband. And he feels remorse for cheating on me. Neither of ours were physical, but they hurt just the same. If someone wants to remain married, it is not normal to NOT feel guilty for cheating. It is not normal to NOT feel remorse for it.
 

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I cheated in my marriage, twice. And I feel very little guilt over it. My wife had shut down our sex life long before I cheated. My only real regret is that I feel like I lost some of my ethics and morality by doing that, and now if I start another relationship, I'll have to admit to doing something that I'm not proud of and that someone I might want a relationship may judge me (rightfully so) for.

In my opinion, you checked out of your marriage long ago, and likely haven't loved your wife in a "marriage way" for that time. And that's why you have no guilt. Would you feel guilt towards your housekeeper or maid for having sex with someone, no matter how much you liked that "staff"? I'd guess not.

C
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So, OP, you come to a forum to tell everyone that you feel no guilt.

Riiight. :rolleyes:

I think you do feel guilt, but have suppressed it.

It's possible your wife engineered the separation to have an affair, got pregnant and ran back to hubby to fix it all.
 
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