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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am simply amazed by the continued use of marital problems as an excuse for cheating. But what is even more amazing is how many BS's buy into this idea.
We have here on TAM a large segment of WS's who will post pages and pages of excuses, all giving marital problems as reasons why they cheated. Anything from sexual incompatibility, lack of emotional connection/attention, to the BS's manners and habits, all seem to be excuses to cheat. Why do they feel this way, when virtually every single expert in the field say that this is definitely NOT the case? In a troubled marriage, the WS and BS are presented with 5 options. 1. End the marriage. 2. Work on resolving the issues together. 3. Work on resolving the issues, individually. 4. Endure the issues. 5. Cheat. Why is it that infidelity is considered, by some, the best option? I would like any and all WS's to come here and explain this idea. I understand that this is a very challenging question, but would think it would be very helpful to those posters who are reconciling to be able to better understand their actions, and why they feel as they do. After all, self-improvement is (or should be) the goal of every one here.
 

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I don't get it either. Thankfully I never had this problem. But I can see how easy it is for many BS's to subscribe to the theory.

Last night hubby and I were having a long discussion about what he did and why. Over and over he said that I was very cold and distant in our marriage, I had moved forward and he hadn't, it was 'sexless', we were emotionally distant, etc.etc. Listening to this, it would have been VERY easy to say to myself, "Well, if I hadn't been all those things toward him he wouldn't have cheated". And maybe that's even true. BUT - what I also know is that 1) he was treating me the same way and I didn't cheat, 2) many other spouses in that situation don't cheat, 3) and he takes full responsibility for his choice to cheat. If he was trying to tell me that my actions caused him to cheat, he'd be out on his ass.

Maybe it takes a certain mindset on the part of the BS to refuse to allow what the WS says to make them feel guilty. It would be nice if we could figure it out.
 

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I think that the WS can justify anything in their head. Even if the BS is a perfect spouse (we all know, no one is perfect). But once someone decides to, and gives themselves permission to cheat...they can dig up every last bad thing about their partner to justify their actions in their own head.

And then when they are caught! Assuming they feel remorse and shame - they don't just say, "Sorry, I was being selfish and not even thinking of you." They say, "Well, you did this, and you acted this way, and you made me feel this way...etc". Basically saying, "You made me do it." And sometimes, I think they actually believe that!

The bottom line is, if someone cheats, it's their own selfish brain telling them that somehow they "deserve this"...They talk themselves into believing it.

Its amazing what the human mind can do.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Perhaps some of the braver WS's will come here to give some input? I especially would like Affaircare and Pidge, as I think they are the most honest and straightforward WS's on TAM.
 

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OK, I'll bite. I got a Bill Clinton from a couple of different prostitutes about 2 years or so into my marriage. Also, I went to a few strip clubs and got a few lap dances. (Many wouldn't consider this cheating, but my wife sure does.) A year and a half or so ago, I went through a spell of a month or two where I frequented an area with available company during my lunch breaks. I purchased a few more Bill Clintons. One night, I stayed in a hotel and took one back to the room and had sex.

Reasons: None of it was justified. Cheating in any form is never justified. I have put a lot of thought into the "why". I'll explain what was going on in my head at the time.

When dating my wife, I had sensed something was up at one point. She was out and her journal was laying there. I peeked. There was a line that I haven't been able to get out of my head for 15 years. It is always there in the back of my mind, even now, just like it was still in front of me. "I wish I could find a man that I am strongly attracted to that treats me like "hurting" does. I want to see ____ again." ____ was the best man in my wedding. They both denied that anything had ever happened between them. She also had a fling with a couple of old boyfriends when we had a bumpy patch during dating. I never properly dealt with those issues. We got married a while later.

Sex was an issue from the beginning. Our marriage bed would probably earn a spot in the Guinness book for the coldest on record. Looking back, I am sure I am somewhat to blame for that. She has said that since I always "pressured" her for sex, she never felt free to give it. Every time I would make an advance and she would refuse, I would think about the other men from when we were dating. I built up a lot of bitterness and resentment.

I often will give folks walking on the road a ride. One day, I gave a lady a ride. I did not think she was a prostitute. She didn't look the part. When we got to where I was taking her, she mentioned that she could "do me a favor". I partook. My anger and bitterness over the lack of sex was justification in my mind at the moment. I actually thought that if anyone found out, they would understand because of our ice cold marriage bed.

The same flawed logic applied to the next one, except for the fact I knew what I was getting into when I asked that one if she wanted a ride. Another factor was the flawed logic of "What they don't know won't hurt them."

I believe the lure of hookers and strippers is more than just the physical aspect. Sure, I love boobies. I don't think there is anything in the world more beautiful than a woman's body. Watching strippers is pleasurable to the eye. But it is deeper than that. I had (have) a strong desire to feel wanted. I believe all men do. Strippers and hookers are masters at making men feel wanted. You know they just want the cash, but the attention somewhat fulfills that desire to feel wanted.

On the last round of indiscretion, my wife was having an emotional affair. That story is well documented on these pages, unfortunately. Before hers went physical, I had done the things mentioned in the first paragraph. I believe the wanting to feel wanted part was still a major factor. In this case, a healthy dose of revenge was probably involved as well. I never meant for her to find out. She never would have if I hadn't confessed several months ago. Part of my justification in my mind was that it was anonymous. They didn't know me and I didn't know them. That was far less serious than the hours she was spending playing online games with her boyfriend every night.

So, to summarize my long answer, anger and bitterness were strong factors. We have 3 children, so I have always felt that divorce was not an option. I tried to work on making the marriage bed more warm. In my mind, I had two options. Live a sexless life or get some on the side.

"What they don't know won't hurt them" is a very bad thought process that I indulged in.

I hope this helps to give some insight.
 

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I think some people are simply so selfish that they cannot really wrap their brains around something being their fault. I mean, totally and completely their fault. They like to think of themselves as good people (or are at least interested in presenting a good image to others), so anything crappy they do must, naturally, be the fault of someone else.

At least, that seems to be the issue with my husband.
 

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One of the things that i learnt from therapy was that affairs are not a symptom of bad marriages. Its surprising that even Dr.Harley(His Needs,Her Needs) thinks that they are.

Cheaters know that their actions are inherently wrong, which is why there is a need for all the secrecy. Another thing is that when a man or a woman cheats, they don't think about their spouse till after the deed is done( I can vouch for this) even if they do think about their spouses, its often pushed to the recesses of their minds , which is why people go about feeling guilty. I think that people are aware of marital boundaries on a subconscious level but choose to ignore them, I did. There were many times when I realized that what I was doing wasn't correct but the combination of temptation flattery and anticipation just stops you from thinking with your rational brain.

Another thing that has been oversold to the society is the concept of happiness, and the fact that people should do anything to be happy or satisfy their needs.
 

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I think some people are simply so selfish that they cannot really wrap their brains around something being their fault. I mean, totally and completely their fault. They like to think of themselves as good people (or are at least interested in presenting a good image to others), so anything crappy they do must, naturally, be the fault of someone else.
I agree. I forgot to mention totally selfish in my earlier post. I did like to think of myself as a good person, even when I was doing horribly stupid and wrong actions. Placing the blame on my wife eased my sense of guilt.
 

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"What they don't know won't hurt them" is a very bad thought process that I indulged in.
This is exactly what my husband thought. Our marriage sucked. He didn't want a divorce, he wanted us to be good again. But he thought it would take more time than he wanted to just wait, so he went looking for a little something on the side to tide himself over.

I asked him last night whether, if things had been different, and instead of continuing to indulge himself he stood up for himself and demanded that we get together and work on things, if he would have confessed what he had done up to whatever point he was at. He said no.
 

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I can't really speak from experience but I can say that sexual incompatability is sure not an excuse but it does explain a whole lot. If you marry somebody who you know is HD and you know you are LD and you refuse to work on your problems and just ignore them - and you add to that young children...ya I can see how it can happen.

Again not an excuse as you can choose to leave but....these things are not always black and white.
 

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My WS talked in depth about guilt afterwards, how when he was conducting his EA -the thoughts of me simply didn't exist. It was like I was just erased from his mind during. When his contact would end for the day/night then he would be hit with guilt but not during the communication. I still have trouble wrapping my brain around that.

He also said that the fact that we had a good marriage, that I wasn't doing anything _wrong_ added to his distress as to how he was deceiving me. He told our MC that we hadn't been "connecting" and she told him....."because you weren't responding to her attempts at connecting, you were turned toward the AP and couldn't see them and your computer addiction in general"------

Maybe more WS will add input- but as above poster said, Affairs don't always equal a bad marriage, they can happen in all kinds of marriages.
 

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My WS talked in depth about guilt afterwards, how when he was conducting his EA -the thoughts of me simply didn't exist. It was like I was just erased from his mind during. When his contact would end for the day/night then he would be hit with guilt but not during the communication. I still have trouble wrapping my brain around that.
Mine says the same thing. When he was in the middle of whatever acting out he was doing, he enjoyed it, but as soon as he came back to reality he felt guilty and would swear to himself never to do it again.
 

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OK, I'll bite. I got a Bill Clinton from a couple of different prostitutes about 2 years or so into my marriage. Also, I went to a few strip clubs and got a few lap dances. (Many wouldn't consider this cheating, but my wife sure does.) A year and a half or so ago, I went through a spell of a month or two where I frequented an area with available company during my lunch breaks. I purchased a few more Bill Clintons. One night, I stayed in a hotel and took one back to the room and had sex.

Reasons: None of it was justified. Cheating in any form is never justified. I have put a lot of thought into the "why". I'll explain what was going on in my head at the time.

When dating my wife, I had sensed something was up at one point. She was out and her journal was laying there. I peeked. There was a line that I haven't been able to get out of my head for 15 years. It is always there in the back of my mind, even now, just like it was still in front of me. "I wish I could find a man that I am strongly attracted to that treats me like "hurting" does. I want to see ____ again." ____ was the best man in my wedding. They both denied that anything had ever happened between them. She also had a fling with a couple of old boyfriends when we had a bumpy patch during dating. I never properly dealt with those issues. We got married a while later.

Sex was an issue from the beginning. Our marriage bed would probably earn a spot in the Guinness book for the coldest on record. Looking back, I am sure I am somewhat to blame for that. She has said that since I always "pressured" her for sex, she never felt free to give it. Every time I would make an advance and she would refuse, I would think about the other men from when we were dating. I built up a lot of bitterness and resentment.

I often will give folks walking on the road a ride. One day, I gave a lady a ride. I did not think she was a prostitute. She didn't look the part. When we got to where I was taking her, she mentioned that she could "do me a favor". I partook. My anger and bitterness over the lack of sex was justification in my mind at the moment. I actually thought that if anyone found out, they would understand because of our ice cold marriage bed.

The same flawed logic applied to the next one, except for the fact I knew what I was getting into when I asked that one if she wanted a ride. Another factor was the flawed logic of "What they don't know won't hurt them."

I believe the lure of hookers and strippers is more than just the physical aspect. Sure, I love boobies. I don't think there is anything in the world more beautiful than a woman's body. Watching strippers is pleasurable to the eye. But it is deeper than that. I had (have) a strong desire to feel wanted. I believe all men do. Strippers and hookers are masters at making men feel wanted. You know they just want the cash, but the attention somewhat fulfills that desire to feel wanted.

On the last round of indiscretion, my wife was having an emotional affair. That story is well documented on these pages, unfortunately. Before hers went physical, I had done the things mentioned in the first paragraph. I believe the wanting to feel wanted part was still a major factor. In this case, a healthy dose of revenge was probably involved as well. I never meant for her to find out. She never would have if I hadn't confessed several months ago. Part of my justification in my mind was that it was anonymous. They didn't know me and I didn't know them. That was far less serious than the hours she was spending playing online games with her boyfriend every night.

So, to summarize my long answer, anger and bitterness were strong factors. We have 3 children, so I have always felt that divorce was not an option. I tried to work on making the marriage bed more warm. In my mind, I had two options. Live a sexless life or get some on the side.

"What they don't know won't hurt them" is a very bad thought process that I indulged in.

I hope this helps to give some insight.
My STBEH was rejecting me.

One counselor opined that he had Madonna/wh*&re complex.

I didn't cheat.

Perhaps your wife had an EA because she felt neglected or pressured into porn star sex or perhaps you, too have Madonna/Who*$re complex.

My STBEH used to do the pressuring thing, too. Even though I told him it turned me off and I needed some romance, not just a let's do it and a wham bam thank you ma'am.

Still he continued to pressure and it was always a quickie.

With the OW, based on the emails and texts sent to me anonymously, he was wooing and romancing her non stop.

So he was capable of it.

Anyway that is in part why I filed.
 

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I agree. I forgot to mention totally selfish in my earlier post. I did like to think of myself as a good person, even when I was doing horribly stupid and wrong actions. Placing the blame on my wife eased my sense of guilt.
Wow, just wow, at least you are honest enough to admit that blameshifting eased your own guilt
 

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My WS talked in depth about guilt afterwards, how when he was conducting his EA -the thoughts of me simply didn't exist. It was like I was just erased from his mind during. When his contact would end for the day/night then he would be hit with guilt but not during the communication. I still have trouble wrapping my brain around that.
My STBEH said the same thing, but I don't buy it.

They know exactly what they're doing.

As I have mentioned prior, among my STBEH's ever shifting excuses for cheating, one was a sense of male entitlement to cheat.

That sense of entitlement makes the most sense to me and sounds the most honest to me.
 
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