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My husband’s affair is my fault


Or so recent comments would have you think. Twice in the past two days, visitors to the blog have commented that I am not taking any responsibility for my husband’s affair, and that I should look at my own shortcomings to figure out why my husband strayed.

Interesting perspectives…but I don’t agree, nor does the literature on affairs,
nor do those who have been intimately hurt by this experience. It is a convenient thing though, to find blame in the spouse who was innocent in the matter….maybe it is just easier than looking deeper.

I posted a long comment just not on a comment left for me, and then I decided that it would make a good blog post of its own, so I thought I would share it, since comments are publicly available anyway here.

“Michele” writes:

I find your blog interesting. You are 100% willing to blame the mistress, your husband, your friends (in one of your posts you talk about how many of your friends disappointed and abandoned you) but you – yourself are 100% blameless. You are the victim. You were the perfect wife whose husband was lured away by the evil adulteress. Your husband is now perfect as he has 100% told you the truth. You had a lawyer refuse to represent you? Don’t you think that might raise a red flag that you are a little bit over the top?

I do understand that this is your blog and as such you are entitled to write whatever you want and I am only a guest here but you claim you want to allow a place for all people to respectfully post their views yet you refuse to give any weight to a view that differs from your own. An example of this is that Youngsub91 stated that as a single person she has the right to date anyone she wants. She has no legal or moral obligation to anyone yet you hold her responsible for dating a married man. Why? She doesn’t owe his wife anything. You really think that men are so stupid that they need others to force them into responsible behavior? Is the bartender responsible for the alcoholic taking that drink and stepping off the wagon? Is the casino responsible for the gambling addict?

Please understand that I am not defending anyone but everyone has a right to their opinion and you seem unable to see any other point of view but your own. You respond to many comments pointing out that their cheating husbands are still keeping secrets every time reminding us that your husband told you everything. Why? Is it to make you feel better and others worse about their own struggles?

You want women to have each other’s backs yet you freely call women skanks, sluts, whores etc. on this blog. Is that having another women’s back?

I guess my point is this – the world is not so black and white. They are many grey areas and good people make mistakes (as you can attest to as I know you believe your husband is a good man who made a mistake). In most of what you write you sound really bitter and angry and many times you have a superior than thou attitude – Is that who you are? Maybe? Do you have the right to feel superior because of what you went through? Maybe but everyone has their own shit and most people are just trying to do the best they can with what they were given.

My reply follows:

Michele,I appreciate your viewpoints, although as I am sure you can forecast, I am not going to agree with you.I don’t *blame* my friends for my husband’s affair. I do, however, point out that as a result of the trauma that came from the affair, and the aftermath, that some of my friends were no longer able to be friends with us, as it was too hard for them to look past what he did. In another case, another friend was unable to listen to the ongoing sagas that seemed to be coming one after another, after another, and distanced herself from what she probably perceived as “too much drama”. Everyone follows their own path, and not all friends were fit to remain on my path, once the affair caused it to deviate. Am I blameless for my husband’s affair? Absolutely. Did I ask him to have one? Did I lead him towards another woman? Did I suggest that he might want to take a mistress to help deal with the personal pains he was going through at the time? No. The decision to have an affair was HIS and HIS ALONE. He had alternative options available (counselling for his stress and family issues with his father, talking to me more openly about his worries and career stress, attending counselling together…), and he chose an affair. He regrets that deeply now, and would handle things in a much different way, should those vulnerabilities ever come up again.What you need to realize, perhaps, is that marital issues and affairs are separate issues, and are mutually exclusive. A betrayed spouse doesn’t CAUSE an affair. I had no part in my husband’s affair. In fact, had I had a role in it, I probably would have advised against it. I would like to share a quote taken from a page from a wise woman who survived her husband’s infidelity and who has come to be a great mentor and friend to my husband and I. Anne Bercht writes:

To every betrayed spouse: YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE AFFAIR

To every unfaithful spouse: YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR AFFAIR

I am often asked when I appear on television talk shows, “Do you accept responsibility for your part in Brian’s affair? I answer, “I didn’t have a part in Brian’s affair, and if I would’ve been given a part I would’ve voted “no, let’s not do it.”

When I stand before God to give an account for my life, one question God will not be asking me is “Anne, why did you make Brian have an affair?”

I will, however, give an account for ways that I may have failed Brian in the marriage, but these things did not cause the affair.

For every marriage where we discover problems where there has been an affair, I can point to other marriages with worse problems where there has not been an affair. PROBLEMS IN MARRIAGE DOES NOT LEAD TO AFFAIRS. I’m appalled that I must state the obvious, but there are actually healthy ways to deal with problems in marriage!

If you are interested in reading more about her thoughts on the separation between marital issues and affairs, I would encourage you to take a look here:

http://www.beyondaffairs.com/articles/betrayed_spouse_contributions.htm

If issues in a marriage cause an affair, why is it that some marriages can be far worse off, far uglier, and far more toxic than the next, and yet never suffer an affair? Marital issues and problems are one thing, the decision to have an affair is a separate issue. Often in an attempt to make sense of the affair, people combine the two, looking for a reason to justify the affair or make sense of it. “The marriage must have been poor”, “She must not have been good in bed”, “perhaps she’d gained too much weight”, “she wasn’t a good listener”, and if you’ve ever looked to those, you are looking in the wrong place. The root of the affair lies within the psyche of the one who strayed, because s/her had a choice, and did something destructive.

Did I have a perfect marriage? No. Was I always a great listener? No. Did I always cook home cooked meals and have them waiting when he gets home? No. Did I pay enough attention to him? Not always. Did I make an effort to boost his self esteem regularly? No. Were there times when I could have done better as a wife and friend? Absolutely. We both could have. Why? Because we aren’t perfect, and marriages aren’t perfect. But just because I wasn’t always perfect, did that entitle my husband to betray me and decimate our wedding vows? Did it give him permission to sleep with another woman and impregnate her by mistake? No. The decision to embark into an affair was his, and his alone, and would have happened regardless of anything *I* did, because the affair had nothing to do with me, and all to do with him, how he felt, how he coped (or lack thereof), and the right vulnerabilities and circumstances colliding. You can try to blame me if you want to, but that would be an unfortunately hurtful thing to do, and misguided given the volumes of research into affairs, and my personal experience which tells a different story. Don’t get me wrong, I used to blame myself entirely in the beginning, as I think most people do. It was after time, therapy and much tough talks with my husband that I realized that I was not to blame, and that is when the healing could begin. I am always responsible for my half of any marital issues. I am not, however, responsible for his affair. His choice. A bad one.

To address your comment that I think my husband is perfect, I think this blog is proof that he isn’t, but by the grace of God, he is trying :)

A laywer didn’t refuse to represent me. I am not sure which context you are pulling that into, but it needs to go back into the context in which it belongs. My husband hired a lawyer to represent him against his mistress, and it was important that I was not taken on as a client as well. It was not my fight, and although it was suggested that we be listed together on the retainer agreement, that was later re-evaluated because it was felt that although our family was being terrorized and we were battling that trauma together, from a legal standpoint, the fight was not between me and the mistress, it was between them and I agreed. I wanted to support my husband, but I didn’t need to be listed in court documents in order to do that.

YoungSub is free to do whatever she wants, but like anything, people are always going to have an opinion about it. No one can stop her from engaging in a relationship with a married man, but I do reserve the right to have an opinion, and my opinion is that her behaviour (and his) is hurtful to an innocent other who I am certain would not condone their actions. A sick woman with what sounds like a terminal (?) disease, is shacked up in bed while her husband takes a lover on the side? Does she deserve that? No. I think YoungSub could easily find someone single and available, someone to love her and care for her, but instead she chooses to find a married man…why, because she embraces polygamy? Does his wife embrace it? It isn’t fair to those who will be most hurt by their actions, and I don’t agree or condone her choice to engage in a relationship with another woman’s husband? Would you want your husband taking up with someone else? Would that be OK with you? Maybe it would…but it isn’t for me, and likely isn’t for the innocent wife who doesn’t have a say or a choice.

You are right…mistresses don’t “owe” the wife anything, unless you think that people should just respect one another, respect their marriages, respect their property, respect their boundaries. If you don’t agree, then go rob a store, and take what you want without second thought to the damage you are causing and how many others will hurt because of your selfish choice. It is the same thing. As women, and as people, do we not respect each other enough to hold marriages as sacred, and not trespass? The husband has a choice but so does the mistress when she decides to lay down with a man who is married. He is vowed to someone else…and together they are sneaking around hoping to not get caught and knowing it’s wrong. They are both responsible for what they choose to do. The difference is simply that the law makes only the man legally responsible for the damages. If a friend helps another friend kill another over a disagreement, we would call that being an “accessory to a murder”. Can the one who helped defend himself saying “I don’t owe him anything. I don’t owe him any respect? My friend asked me to go along with it, and it sounded like fun, so I did”….we still call that a crime, just not when a marriage has been killed. If a woman knows a man is happily married with children, why not walk away? Why pursue and cause harm? They both know he is married…they are both assholes and should be held responsible for THEIR actions, not the betrayed wife though.

I am not sure where I have anywhere told others who are hurting that their husbands are keeping secrets while asserting that my husband is perfect. I don’t see where I have written that anywhere. Feel free to link me to the page where you feel that was stated.

I call the woman who tried to steal my husband a skunk, a slut and a whore. I don’t call ALL women that. I have the backs of all women who are deserving. This woman has proven herself to be far from deserving of any respect of mine, and that is that.

For the record, I don’t feel superior. I feel bruised, battered, decimated, desecrated, taken advantage of, hurt, betrayed…but not superior. I am just a woman who had the unfortunate circumstance of learning of her husband’s affair, and who works tirelessly every day to recover from and heal. I am just a woman rescuing my marriage. It is a pity that you read ‘holier than thou’ into my posts. I simply write what I feel. Some days I felt badly, but lately I feel pretty good, and for that I am grateful. As you said, we are all just people doing the best with what we’ve got.

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Comments

  1. I know exactly how you feel. My ex found a little skank at his new job and walked out on his wife,children and his animals. I didn’t have an address for him for six months because the skank didn’t want me to know where they were living. He chose that pig over visitation with his daughter because on the advice of my attorney, she was not allowed to go with him until I had an address. She knew he was married and had a family. All I can say is that Karma is a bitch and she came back and bit him, big time. In fact, last week when he called me to tell me that he lost his job, God gave me the grace to be kind to him. After three years and many fights and breakups, they finally ended it. Am I collecting alimony? You bet. Was I a perfect wife? No. I did my best. Maybe sometimes I fell short of his expectations, but there were many times he fell short of mine. So Michele, my daughter lost her family because some skank decided that my husband looked much better than a single man that could give her a good life. Remember KARMA. We all answer for our sins on Judgement Day. I will keep you in my prayers.

  2. Yeah, bless that apologist ‘s for skanks ,little black heart ! She is just another pathetic, justifying, self absorbed narcissist, not accountable to anyone but herself. IN CA. There actually are laws that say you may not use your rights to damage others rights including the relationships of others or their property…. CA civil code 43 and 1708.
    IT ‘ s also called an intentional infliction of emotional distress TORT !

    I call bullshit on …whores don’t owe the wife any duties … They sure as hell do when their actions trespass on another’s rights !

  3. As further proof that marital problems and affairs are in no way linked, I on the other hand had a perfectly wonderful marriage and still do. We had absolutely no problems in 30 years and my husband will tell anyone that. He in no way felt that anything was missing from his life. He still however was tempted by a complete stranger who came on to him and had a four month EA with her. It was mild, there was alot of talking, flirting but that is as far as he would let it go. Good people in good marriages can also make mistakes.

  4. Okay, has this women ever been in the positon of being cheated on!!! OMG!! Has she not been treated poorly, unable to trust, lied to, left not knowing when and if they are comimg back and explaining to your children daddy love’s you he just needs some time to figure out what he want!!! Six months latter he still doesn’t know what he wants. Still with the single woman who is a Counceler and know my husdand is married with two boys. One minute he wants a divorce the next a seperation. Shall we say have his cake and eat it too!! Oldest wants nothing to do with him, youngest is frustrated and wants his dad back! Dad. wants to have a relationship with them by texting them once a week. This man is not the man I married, he has become a selfish, self centered, three time affair man who only cares about himself. All his choice!! Doesn’t want to work on our marriage just himself!!

    • Cut your losses and move on. He isn’t worth it and you deserve better. So do your children. He is a terrible example of a man for your children and I know you don’t wnat them growing up learning that treating people the way he has treated you is ok. Good luck and keep us all posted.

  5. dotcablogger says:

    Very accurate writing Rescuingmymarriage.

    Also Youngsub91 will meet a harsh in-person rebuttal likely sooner than later. Likely very soon a pissed chick will confront her decision to date any married guy because she believes she has the freedom to. Problem with that thinking is that another woman has the same freedom and might as well date the guy Youngsub91 will one day wholly want exclusive to herself.

    She may be 20 now, but that doesn’t mean that when she’s 30 or older that another woman won’t do the same cheating with her boyfriend or husband at that time.

    So Youngsub91 has to live by the sword and also die by the sword. So what she justifies as her freedom to date attached men, then so the same must be done to her. She deserves her choices to be made against her. Even in a polygamous setup, she should get “replaced” or demoted to 4th ranking girlfriend or the one that will occasionally be called up for a hookup. So likely some form of karma will play out against her. In some form of backlash, she’ll get her own words said to her that “I can date who I want. …And that happens to be your partner. He chose me, so tough.”

    In the end, that other person’s shoes will be put on her feet, and she won’t be in the position (due to her past dating choices) to get sympathy.

  6. Juan Blackman says:

    Wow! Okay, so first off, Michele sounds like the voice of all backstabbing whores on Earth lol. The only way i could see a woman taking a stance such as hers on this subject is if she had already or possibly still is someone’s mistress. Of course the mistress doesn’t want to feel guilty. It’s not her fault that he cheated….It IS her fault that he cheated with her. Any woman who knowingly dates a married man and is intimate with him has no morals to feel responsible for. This is a woman who will do anything to get what she wants. She has no respect for anyone except those who do for her, and even that is fleeting. This is a woman who has probably or will definitely cheat on her own man. These women feel that they don’t owe anyone anything for any reason, and don’t feel that anything is owed to them in the way of dignity or respect. Kinda like prostitutes 😉
    Anyone who is unfaithful in a marriage is AT FAULT. The faithful person IS THE VICTIM. There is no other way to say it, define, or describe it. There may have been things you were or weren’t doing to make your husband unhappy or unsatisfied. As your husband, and as a MAN, it was his duty to alert you to these things so that you could perhaps fix them. If you couldn’t make things right in his eyes, it was his prerogative to file for divorce and leave. Not to be a deceitful, sneaking animal of some sort, dissolving trust and questioning love.
    There were obviously some things wrong with your marriage, but it did not give your husband the right to cheat on you. He completely disrupted the sanctity of your relationship, your household, and your lives together. it is really inexcusable, and if you were able to forgive him, you must surely be a woman of virtue….just don’t be a fool.
    I would never blame a woman who dated a man, unaware of the fact that he was married. In that instance she is just a single woman and can’t be held accountable for any infidelity the man may partake in with her. But once she knows about it….she’s a hoe–not really any other way to say it LMAO

    • I completely agree. Once a woman is aware she is trespassing on a marriage, she is violating the lives of others. Wrong. Disgusting. If my husband’s mistress felt any remorse, it would be one thing, but the money-grabbing whore continues to harass us for petty amounts that she could easily pay for with her larger-than-average child support. Tens of thousands of women support more children on less money than she gets for one, and she can’t pay a $20 prescription? No, she just wants us to pay for it cause – free money! Perfect whore – take what you feel entitled to and keep taking. Selfish piece of shit. She doesn’t deserve to parent. She doesn’t even like the kid, shoving her in full time
      Daycare when she doesn’t even have a job…just wants to turf the kid. Poor thing.

      “Michele” is obviously someone’s whore, has been someone’s whore, or is defending a family member (cousin?) who is someone’s whore. There is no excuse for thinking the way she does. It’s immoral to blame the victim. It’s like saying that the woman raped was at fault cause she brought it on. No way that’s gonna fly. Can’t wait til she’s on the other side of the fence and statistics say she will be. Won’t that be an interesting day.

      • I may be beating a dead horse, here, but as someone who has read your entire blog through and through, admires your journey to rescuing your marriage, and also as someone who has suffered the devastation that an affair can have on a committed relationship, I feel the need to state that it is not at all “obvious” that Michele “is … someone’s whore, has been someone’s whore or is defending … someone’s whore”. I have absolutely no problem in you using such vitriolic language to speak of the woman who has wronged you and your marriage, but I do find it quite irresponsible that you chose to use those words to attack someone else because she has a point of view which differs from yours. I am of the opinion that Michele is entirely wrong and that her views are fundamentally flawed. But to call her a “whore” because she has shared her opinion – at your invitation and in a forum which you entirely control – to me, that borders on bullying.

      • You are entirely right, no one should feel bullied here. This is a place of healing. I wasn’t intending to name-call, and perhaps should have chosen my delivery better. However I also don’t take kindly to someone coming to my healing place and telling me to consider how my faultless as a wife contributed to my husband’s affair, re-triggering the self doubts I’ve worked hard to combat. Perhaps that is the true bullying here – stepping into a space and using hurtful words to cause more harm.

        What I meant to communicate was that it seemed to me that her passion for the side of the mistress seemed to point to the idea that she either was one, is one, or knows one. It doesn’t seem at all natural to assume that betrayed wives are the ones responsible and asked me why I found myself blameless for his affair.

        It is my blog, you are right, and I do control it, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t and won’t post everyone’s opinion, even though it differs from mine, and even when others (like you have done here) call me out for bad behaviour. I suppose I was just feeling attacked. This is a delicate topic for me.

      • Juan Blackman says:

        O good lord, I didn’t know he had a child with the slut! Look, I know you want to honor your vows and save your marriage, but the wisest thing to do here would be to turn coat, take half, and run. Let him worry about paying support for HIS child. As long as you’re married to him, that child is also your responsibility. I hate to speak so negatively, but take it from a man–HE WILL CHEAT AGAIN. It’s not over and it probably wasn’t the first time. Cheaters are called cheaters because they cheat. They never stop–until they find someone NEW who they consider worthy of not being cheated on. Once you accept an apology for a crime so heinous, you are basically giving him card blanch to do it over and over again. I have friends who cheat on their wives, get caught, then apologize, then have a kid, get caught, apologize, then start all over again.
        Besides all that, you have to remember this: if a man has a child as a result of an extramarital affair, it means he was most definitely unprotected while cheating. This means that he has shown a blatant disregard for your health, your safety, and your life. In this day and age, that’s nothing to play with. When you lie down with dogs, you’re subject to come up with fleas. Don’t become another statistic.
        Upon conception, you were created complete and whole, without the need for another in your life for any reason. Once you were able to walk, you were able to accomplish any feat all on your own (believe it !). I don’t know you personally, but unless you are a murderer, rapist, or adulterer, you have seemingly done nothing to suggest that you should commit your body, mind, and soul to a man who has already shown you how little he actually cares for you
        Love is a many splendid thing, but it is NOT everything

      • Juan I think it would be good to read the “anatomy of an affair”, “the big W”, and “forgiveness” to better understand why I’ve stayed. I don’t think you are wrong. I think many men cheat serially. That doesn’t apply here and I can guarantee you his affair is over. It’s the reason the whore went psycho.

      • Juan Blackman says:

        Unfortunately, that’s what every single woman believes every time she takes a man back. I wish you the best ;).

      • Not this woman. I was ready to end it many times. I didn’t fully commit back into the marriage until I was satisfied that he was as sick with himself as I was, as angry at himself as I was, and he had ruined his life the way he’d ruined mine. I’m not an idiot. I’m not a doormat and my children and I deserve better. He spends every day making
        amends for his mistake and wishes he could take it back but he can’t. If he could turn back time he would. He can’t. We can’t. We can only take it day by day. Thank you for your comments, but I don’t really need him to convince you of his integrity, just me.

      • Juan Blackman says:

        I’m just telling you what I know, as a man, and what I’ve seen my friends put their wives through (they do a WHOLE lotta makin’ up lol). I don’t need to be convinced of anything, but as long as you are, then i guess I’m wrong. Just promise me you’ll never delete this conversation, and if you do, that you’ll always keep my words in the back of your mind. (you don’t really have to promise lol)

      • Trust me when I say it’s over. He isn’t still sleeping with her. She has taken us to court to a tune of over $100k something you don’t do to the guy you’re screwing on the side 😉

  7. Nobody is saying we are perfect and that relationships dont have there ups and downs. BUT we are not responsible for our partner screwing us. Our partners chose to be sexual with someone else I know I wasnt asked if it was alright for my husband to let another woman give him a head job. I bet nobody was asked if it okay for our partners to have a little on the side. My husband is to blame for BETRAYING our vows He was not forced HE CHOSE of his own free will. Whatever troubles WE had in our relationship or he thought we had should have been talked about between us and fixing the problem. I thank you for your blog. I found out in Feb this year that he betrayed us nearly 4 years ago and reading your blog has helped me immensly We are trying to make it work .People who blame the wronged partner should pray that karma doesnt come and bite them on the butt. The pain and devastation I would not wish on anybody.

    • That’s the beauty on relationships. No one has to be perfect. Why expect more in a relationship than anywhere else? Perfect relationships can’t have affairs, and imperfect relationships may not. The truth is, there is no such thing as a perfect relationship, because there is no such thing as a perfect individual. What most people don’t realize is that affairs are not caused generally by dissatisfaction in a relationship. Many people can be dissatisfied in a relationship, and opt not to have an affair. There are simply constructive ways of dealing with difficult situations, and destructive ones. Marriage takes work, and it takes communication. If someone can’t communicate their concerns, there needs, or their feelings, and there will be trouble. In my husband’s case, which he can attest to, he was completely satisfied. He wasn’t unhappy, he wasn’t feeling shortchanged, we were having frequent sex, we laughed together, we played together, and we enjoyed one another. The only complaint that he has, looking back, is that I was not always been very vocal with my feelings, and often left things bottled up inside. But that has very little, if anything, to do with his choices to have an affair. Instead, it was his personal life circumstance at the time, a change in career, the stress of the new baby, additional responsibilities at work, paired with the recent loss of his father, the only parent with him he identifies, which caused a cascade of stressful events in his life from which he wished to escape. He wasn’t looking to escape from me. He wasn’t looking to escape from his children. He was just looking to escape from the reality of his life in general, because it was filled with a lot of pain at the time. That pain was not caused by me. Inject a woman who is actively seeking a man, who is striving to be attractive 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and he tells him anything he wants to hear, including boost his ego, stroking his feelings, and being available to him at all hours of the day. It was a comfort that he needed at the time. It was an escape from his life that he needed at the time. It was nothing more. He never found her attractive, in fact, he thinks she’s quite ugly. He finds her bottom heavy, overweight, with bad skin, unattractive features, and a hideous personality. But, at the time, his ego needed stroking, and she was willing to do whatever it took to win his affection.

      It’s funny, he had the opportunity to see her face-to-face a few months ago, during a court proceeding. He came home, and immediately shared with me how stupid he felt to have ever been involved with someone like her. She was so disheveled, so unattractive, and such an over-the-top drama queen, that he shook his head at ever having been remotely interested. The truth is, men in affairs aren’t interested in the woman they’re having the affair with. Instead, they’re interested in the mental image of themselves that is projected back to them, through the affair partner’s eyes. The adoration, the absolute devotion…it just feels good. Doesn’t really matter that the package is subpar, as long as the package delivers what he emotionally needs.

  8. I once heard an analogy I used to think was pretty extreme but I definitely see the parallels. “No one would say a wife was partly to blame if her husband hit her, no matter what the underlying issues were in their marriage. Similarly, a betrayed spouse is not to blame when his/her partner decides to cheat. When a spouse chooses to deal with marital or personal problems in any way which disrespects the marriage or the other partner, they are solely to blame.” I think this analogy makes the same point you and Anne Bercht are trying to get across: when two people are married, the one and only way to deal with any issue that arises is together and respectfully of the vows and each other. That is part of the promise we make to each other on our wedding day. If one spouse decides to deal with it any other way (abuse, cheating, drinking, abusing drugs, etc) then they are solely to blame for choosing this alternative coping mechanism and should bear the consequences.

  9. This was the passage I was talking about:

    “Of course, it was different for me in that my husband was willing to end all contact that same day, and also be completely honest, pulling all the cards face up on the table. Asking for all of the details meant not having to fight hard to stand up, and then get knocked down again with details that surface later. “Give it all to me now” was my motto.”

    In terms of the lawyer comment I was referring to this post:

    “I’ll take a betrayal with a side of deceit and coward please”

    I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I agree with you that you are not responsible for your husband’s affair. I don’t agree with you that problems in a marriage don’t lead to affairs. Yes – people can be in very happy marriages and still have affairs and people can be in horrible marriages and not have affairs but to say that there is no correlation is just ridiculous. Your example of:

    “For every marriage where we discover problems where there has been an affair, I can point to other marriages with worse problems where there has not been an affair.”

    It is like saying that smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer. Many people smoke their entire lives and do not get lung cancer but that doesn’t mean there is no correlation between the two.

    I am in no way saying that the betrayed spouse is solely responsible for problems in the marriage. Just as many of the comments on this blog are saying that I am a mistress (skank, whore) who is just trying to justify my actions I think that the betrayed spouses are using the theory that problems in a marriage don’t lead to affairs as a way to justify their actions and make them feel better. And by justify their actions I mean behaving badly once the affair is discovered and blaming the mistress. To say that it is the same as helping with a murder is not a fair analogy because a murder is illegal. Two consenting adults having sex is not illegal.

    For the record – I am not a mistress. I am happily married. Now I know I am going to get a ton of comments saying you will get yours when your husband cheats on you but is that good karma on your part to call me names and wish me sorrow because I am trying to respectfully express a different point of view?

    • This was the passage I was talking about:

      “Of course, it was different for me in that my husband was willing to end all contact that same day, and also be completely honest, pulling all the cards face up on the table. Asking for all of the details meant not having to fight hard to stand up, and then get knocked down again with details that surface later. “Give it all to me now” was my motto.”

      Exactly what are you pointing out in that comment? That I suggested that things were different from me than can sometimes be the case when a man divulges an affair? My husband was honest and forthcoming. He chose to tell me rather than keep it a secret. He chose to give me all of the details, instead of cherry-picking which ones I could tolerate, while keeping some secret. He put it all out on the table for me, and allowed me to make a choice. He took all the blame, and didn’t once point a finger at me. I said this because this isn’t always the case. I’ve spoken with and met many women who found their husband’s affairs, and after they confronted their partner, it was denied. If it was ever acknowledged later, it was sometimes deemed to be her fault (“I only slept with her because you…”), and other times, only part of the story came out, with little tidbits to follow over many weeks, months or years. I didn’t have that situation, and was simply remarking that my situation was the way that it was, different from some other scenarios. I am not sure what you interpreted as being inappropriate about me sharing how my disclosure went down. Is that holier than thou to you? Is that somehow painting myself as “better”? I don’t think so. None of us who go through this are better than the next. Some of us, however, receive the information in the way that they would have needed it, in order to heal properly, and I count myself as one of those, knowing that it could have gone down many other ways, and for that I am grateful that it was disclosed and dealt with in a manner that I could digest, and deal with.

      In terms of the lawyer comment I was referring to this post:

      “I’ll take a betrayal with a side of deceit and coward please”

      Our lawyer didn’t refuse to represent me. He never represented ME, he represented my husband. When faced with the suggestion that he was talking about us behind our backs, instead of handling it like a mature individual, he became defensive and refused to speak with me. He no longer wanted to be on the case, simply because I’d suggested that he may have had an offside discussion with a mutual friend about our case. He could have simply put my mind at ease, but instead he became a drama queen about it, and stormed off. Not terribly mature. I wasn’t sure who to believe, my mother or the lawyer, as my mother has deceived me many times before. Instead of jumping to conclusions, I simply asked what had happened, and bailing on the case was his reply. As it turns out, many months later, it turns out the two of them have talked about it. My mother wasn’t completely wrong, and hadn’t fabricated it. She has simply flourished some parts of the story, and simply wanted me to let it go and not mention it. I wasn’t able to do that, as our privacy was at stake, and so I gently asked if it was true. I see nothing wrong with doing that – do you? He stepped off the case because he wasn’t able to handle the conflict that he saw coming. He knew he was guilty of it (after all, he has in conversation given us details of countless cases, including details of this mutual friend’s case without our desiring to hear them, so it speaks to his integrity and the reason I saw it as a plausible occurrence).

      I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I agree with you that you are not responsible for your husband’s affair. I don’t agree with you that problems in a marriage don’t lead to affairs. Yes – people can be in very happy marriages and still have affairs and people can be in horrible marriages and not have affairs but to say that there is no correlation is just ridiculous. Your example of:

      “For every marriage where we discover problems where there has been an affair, I can point to other marriages with worse problems where there has not been an affair.”

      It is like saying that smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer. Many people smoke their entire lives and do not get lung cancer but that doesn’t mean there is no correlation between the two.

      I did not say that there is NO correlation between the two. I simply stated that MY marriage wasn’t an unhappy one, and that affairs can happen in good marriages. Affairs sometimes don’t happen in bad ones. The correlation lies in the fact that poor communication in a marriage prevents individuals from working together to cope with the stresses that invade their lives and relationships. Instead of turning toward one another, they turn away, or one runs off and seeks comfort from another. Not all bad marriages have affairs, and not all good marriages are clean of an affair. That was my only point. I don’t see the issue.

      I am in no way saying that the betrayed spouse is solely responsible for problems in the marriage. Just as many of the comments on this blog are saying that I am a mistress (skank, whore) who is just trying to justify my actions I think that the betrayed spouses are using the theory that problems in a marriage don’t lead to affairs as a way to justify their actions and make them feel better. And by justify their actions I mean behaving badly once the affair is discovered and blaming the mistress. To say that it is the same as helping with a murder is not a fair analogy because a murder is illegal. Two consenting adults having sex is not illegal.

      I don’t think that betrayed spouses need to rely on anything to justify their anger towards their spouse. Their spouse made a decision to violate them, and that is a pretty damned good reason to feel justified in your anger. I don’t see any betrayed spouse saying “we had no problems in our marriage and I am completely innocent, having been the perfect wife and mother, and yet he violated me”. No one is saying that. What I do see is people acknowledging that no marriage is perfect, and no husband/wife is perfect, but issues or problems in a marriage need to be dealt with IN THE MARRIAGE, and that their human qualities that sometimes make them err in their marriages does not render them worthy of being cheated on. When someone chooses to step outside as a means of dealing with it, that is a violation.

      For the record – I am not a mistress. I am happily married.

      I am glad to hear that you are happily married. I sincerely hope nothing like this ever happens to you, because trust me….you don’t see it coming, and most of us also thought we were in happy marriages. Communication and honesty…absolute transparency and trust – vital to keeping it that way.

    • dotcablogger says:

      Michele, I don’t care about your different point of view. I can say a different opinion too, but then is it respectful or empathetic to the person that I wish to say this different idea to? You know, I could say to you that “Well I guess your husband’s massage therapist visits weren’t really body rub visits afterall. …I guess you shouldn’t get bothered by that because it was only a business he was getting a service from.” I might as well sit back and be noncommital to helping you out when you’re getting your marital trust violated.

      You do realize that it isn’t bad karma for the women here to say “If you believe mistresses are immune to criticism because they’re just women free date whomever, then you can’t cry when your own husband cheats on you.” What these women are saying is a fact of reciprocity. Or you get back what you put out as your opinion. So, yeah, because you say to these women here, who have had some skank (with full knowledge) date their married men, that a mistress is exempt from anger and repayment, then you are setting yourself up for a backlash of no sympathy when your own husband cheats on you.

      >>For the record – I am not a mistress. I am happily married. Now I know I am going to get a ton of comments saying you will get yours when your husband cheats on you but is that good karma on your part to call me names and wish me sorrow because I am trying to respectfully express a different point of view?

      • dotcablogger says:

        Michele is also not being bullied. Really cyber-bullying sadly is done by kids, through the Internet, to other kids. So I wouldn’t pull out the bully card here and call a penalty on Rescuingmymarriage.

        But should an opinion of: “Wait. Let’s have a different perspective on the mistress” be posted here?

        This audience is a group of women (maybe even men) who’ve had some other adult just not care and still begin an affair with their partner. So, yes, being pro-mistress here doesn’t have a place here for respectful debate.

        What is there to debate about a woman who knowingly pursues an affair with a married man? She’s similar to a theft who knowingly steals from a business, grocery store or other, and doesn’t care to respect that business’ rules of paying for what is wanted from it. Or would you support and debate that a business is solely at fault for getting robbed?

        Or that business wasn’t perfect in its security and so the business had it coming that it would get robbed? The thieves are only educational and not to have some blame?

        No, we have laws about theft. And the robbed business is not solely blamed or debated that it wasn’t perfect with its security and so had it coming. Thieves get charged because their choice to steal is a violation. So any woman who chooses to date a married man chooses to violate that guy’s wife’s trust, too. The mistress is an accessory. The guy decided to cheat, and she accepted and became accessory to his cheating.

        And, by the way, to counterpoint Michele’s statement that sex between two consenting adults isn’t illegal:

        Well, just because sex between two consenting adults isn’t illegal does not make all sexual encounters acceptable and worth a place as a different point of view. Some sexual encounters are just morally wrong, like the woman who dates the married guy (these two people both do a wrong thing).

  10. I know I did not see it coming. I thought we were happily married. Yes, there were times when we didn’t get along, but that happens in any marriage and handled the right way, it can actually help clear the air. There is no excuse for cheating and a woman who knows that a man is married and still pursues a relationship with him is a “skank”. So Michele, I hope that you continue to be happily married, but if it does happen to you – think back on these conversations and I think you will know how we feel. Walk a mile in my shoes and smile while you are trying to hold yourself together and drying your children’s tears, pay bills, take over the few things your ex actually might have contributed and all the while keeping a smile on your face and trying to fool the world that you are ok. Oh and by the way, most of your married friends will desert you like you are contagious. I have put my life back together and I have found a wonderful man, but I will never be able to trust anyone like I trusted my ex. The one good thing that came out of all this is that I have found that I am alot stronger than I ever thought and I can accomplish anything with the help of my true friends. So Good Luck.

  11. So, I’m a bit late to the game, but having been mentioned in the post I felt the need to comment.
    I’d just like it said that our previous comment conversation was absolutely wonderful! It isn’t often that 2 people can express such drastically different opinions on such a volatile subject and remain civil about it…so, thank you!
    I never intended to change your mind, just express my thoughts. Mission accomplished.
    As for the commenters: Geez! Talk about a tough crowd. I am well aware that I’m 20 years old and have much to learn. However, had dotcablogger even bothered to learn a bit more about me, they would have discovered that my relationships are quite firmly rooted in BDSM. Honestly, relationships are a bit different in that world. Boundaries are more fluid and there is less of a reason to ‘cheat’, mostly because the Dom can always ‘play’ with others. Not entirely on topic for this post, so I’ll leave it at that. Anyone is welcome to visit my blog where I have listed my contact information. I would be happy to answer or clarify anything.

    As a total side note, I have really enjoyed following your blog these past few weeks. 🙂

    • If the rule is that the Dom can play, can’t you?

      • Yes, I can, but only because my Dom has allowed it. He can just as easily decide that he wants me all to himself.
        Don’t get me wrong. I have quite a bit of say in our relationship. The rules he creates are for my own good. I trust him not to abuse his power over me. If I didn’t trust him, he wouldn’t be my Dom. 🙂

      • So what happens if you want to play and he doesn’t let you? How is that honoring your needs/wants?

      • He will usually have a good reason. He has at times asked me to not play with certain people because he felt they were assholes, for lack of a better term. Completely justified on his part, and much appreciated by me.
        However, if my needs were going unmet, then it would be time to seriously reevaluate our relationship. We have 2 guiding documents in our relationship in which we each state our responsibilities towards each other. It is up to each of us to fulfill them.

      • I guess the term “Dom” tells me that he dominates you and you do how he pleases which puts you second and submissive. The way you describe it isn’t exactly that way. Sorry I was just interested in how that works if the premise is an open relationship but mainly for him and not you. Personally, I prefer equality and making decisions for myself, not a man or anyone else making them for me.

      • He allows me to have other relationships. I wrote about it here: http://youngsub.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/miscommunications/

  12. Recovering Wayward says:

    there are different types of affairs — some of which the causes are totally that of the Wayward Spouse, and others that are about the poor state of the marriage. Or a combination of both. Your husband is 100% responsible for his decision to have an affair. However, I have to say that, as many psychologists have pointed out, the reason that the majority of both men and women have affairs is because of a dangerous emotional distance that has occurred in their marriages. Which means the Betrayed Spouse bears at least some responsibility for the breakdown of the marriage — the dangerous vacuum created — where having an affair appears to have become a possibility for the other partner.

    This is not an excuse for an affair, but it is often the reason (except for Sex addicts, or serial cheaters — Tiger Woods types). I don’t think you can even blame the mistress in this case, unless you’re saying that your husband is that weak-minded.

    I think the argument is not whether you were to blame for your husband’s affair, but I think you have to acknowledge at least some responsibility for the crappy marriage that made it possible. It’s a first step to marital recovery.

    Unless he’s a sex addict, you weren’t the perfect spouse and you didn’t have a great marriage. That’s reality.

    • Yup and I’ve acknowledged that in pervious postings.

      • Recovering Wayward says:

        I agree I have to read more. You have written a lot and you have many comments and responses.

      • As mentioned in a previous posting, I take 50% responsibility for a less than ideal marriage, but I will not take 50% responsibility for my husband’s affair. Marital issues and affair issues should not be combined as one does not cause the other. One can be a factor, but at the heart it doesn’t cause an affair. If it did, all marriages would have an affair because all
        Marriages go through unhappy times.

  13. Thank you for this blog, sharing your story with us all, I don’t feel so alone now. My husband had a 5 year affair & I’m still trying to figure out how to stop blaming myself.

  14. People who live their lives based on justification amaze me. As the woman said, “The world isn’t black and white,” we all realize this, the difference is, there are those who use the gray area as justification for their behavior. Add the word relationship to this gray area, and some seem to think this is the catalist for poor choices. People who use their feelings to justify poor choices really don’t have a solid set of core values, they live their lives as camealeons, changing their colors to suit their environment. They justify their poor choices as caused by the environment around them. Just as a comealeon changes it’s colors to protect itself from preditors, never staying the same color for fear of being exposed to the world around them, they protect only themselves. So do those who justify their hurtful actions protect only themselves for fear of being vulnerable to the world around them. To have a set of core values and taking the risk of not blending in with the world is too scary and intimidating. When things don’t go their way Changing their colors is the safest option, and what better way to justify their color change than to blame the environment around them. People without core values are able to justify and rationalize their choices without it affecting their sense of self, because their sense of self comes from the world around them, not from within them.
    This lack of self-awareness allows people to harm others without guilt.

    An extreme examples of how these people think:

    I robbed a bank because I got fired from my job. I blame my boss because I feel he never liked me, never supported me, and he was always trying to control the way I did my job. He doesn’t have any idea how to manage people and he’s made a big mistake firing me. I can’t beleive he did this knowing I have 5 children to feed. My boss is making money off the work I did while my children starve. I needed the money at the moment and I was doing what I needed to do to meet my needs. Not to mention, I have no obligation to the people who’s money I stole. I never made a promise to them that their money would be safe. It was the banks job to protect their money. If these people I stole from were so worried about their money, they should have never put it in the bank, or maybe they should have taken better care in choosing a bank with tighter security. I guess I did them a favor by stealing their money, because now they know that bank isn’t a good place to keep their money. I don’t have any responsibility to those people, and they are idiots if they think I’ll feel bad for taking something that they so carelessly left unprotected.

    When the romantic aspect is taken out of it, the gray area doesn’t seem so gray. No person in their right mind would look at that and say that this person was justified in robbing a bank.

    Just because infidelity isn’t illegal doesn’t mean it’s not wrong. Other people get hurt and instead of stealing an object, you are stealing the happiness from the lives of innocent people. Yet, because you didn’t make a commitment to the person who’s life you’re stealing, you think it’s okay? Personal responsibility is not something that can be dumped on others. Personal responsibility is about OUR responses. If you choose to engage in an affair with a married person, you’re personally responsible for that choice. Just because someone engaged in that choice with you, does not obsolve you from responsibility! You can’t dump the responsibility of your choice on a married affair partner, their spouse or any other circumstance.

    Anyway, I know people like this wont change until they understand the pain themselves, and maybe even that won’t change them- because their responses to the world are a result of the world around them. They’ve absolved themselves of any personal responsibility to the life around them.

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