I have been following, albeit intermittently, another blog – whyhaveanaffair. It has been incredibly interesting and illuminaating. It is written by a MM who had an affair, with comments by his W. They are working to repair and keep their marriage. There is another blogger who comments often, betrayalsurvivor1981, on this blog and she has raised some very interesting points to me that I would like to post here – full credit to her, to the other bloggers and whyhaveanaffair’s blog.
As most of my readers know, I spent a lot of time wondering what my xMM’s W was thinking immediately after d-day. This blog answers a lot of those questions. But the posting on “hysterical bonding” rocked my world. I didn’t understand it. I spent a lot of time ruminating whether MM and his W were sleeping together/having sex, after d-day and if so, why would SHE do it, how could HE do it. I also understand that all affairs are different, just as people are different, situations are different and while we can find comfort and education in other people’s trials and tribulations, we need to learn from our singular mistakes, triumphs, heartbreaks and loves.
I would like to share my exchanges with the bloggers as I found their insights quite poignant – and of course I would love to respond.
The posting was “Hysterical bonding”:
ME:Thanks, betrayalsurvivor1981 and mr and mrs. Yes, my “about me” is outdated. I haven’t thought to change it. The blog is always evolving, just like me. I think that the writing/blogging helps get through some sticky, unhappy times. Betrayalsurvivor – I’m so intrigued by your moniker, your comments. I would be very interested in hearing your story.How you came to where you are now. You are right. My xMM is now my BF – or at least we are now publically a couple after all of the years of being hidden. I’m sure that our story is not much different than the story of Mr.’s friend who married his AP. Sometimes marriages are irretrievably broken but no one walks away until something forces the issues. Like pergatory. We can all drift there forever. There are a million reasons why people have affairs, why those affairs end, perpetuate, fizzle, explode or morph into something more, or die. Do not judge unless you walk a mile in that person’s shoes. Easier said than done, right? And don’t forget that the blogging is a snapshot. Not everyone writes everything. It is a place to vent. Am I happy? Am I satisfied? Am I a villain? A hero? A good person or bad? All of the above to a mullitude of people. But if you ask the questions, I would happily tell. We all hope to learn from each other. That’s why we are hear in the blogging world. Not to condemn. But to learn and for some catharsis. Yes, please read my blog. But understand that I too bleed, hurt, love, care and didn’t go into an affair with the hopes of destroying anyone’s marriage. And my last thought of the day, it is alway easier to make the “Other” woman/man the villain, yet we are not the ones who took the vows; we are not the ones who broke those vows. We are oftentimes not the crazies that the Married man/woman portray us to be, yet we are often the scapegoats. You know why? Because the BS doesn’t always want to know the truth or they really really want to believe their spouse. I KNOW what I did, how I behaved and I KNOW what my MM told his W. I KNOW the lies he told her. He asked me to corroborate them. He lied to his W after d-day telling her I called when I didn’t, telling her I emailed, texted when I didn’t. But my relationship was with him, not with her. The flaw in their marriage wasn’t me. It was between them and their inability to end their marriage and walk away after it had died (or rightlyfully before it had started.) Ask away. I have a milion questions for you!
Happy Valentine’s day!!
February 14, 2013 at 11:58 pm
(“…I definitely appreciate more the ones from supportive people like yourself. We feel like you’re a friend (albeit at a distance !) and we both appreciate your support and friendship.”) – from whyhaveanaffair 2/9/13
Because of this “cyber-friendship,” I feel comfortable responding to Susan on your blog, Mr. and Mrs. B (as I haven’t started my own blog – yet).
From Susan: (“Betrayalsurvivor – I’m so intrigued by your moniker, your comments. I would be very interested in hearing your story. How you came to where you are now.”)
Susan, firstly I want to thank you for your interest in my story. EVERY human being on the face on this planet has a right to his/her opinions & beliefs. Therefore, I want to assure you in advance that my post is NOT aimed to try and vilify you. However, my beliefs and opinions – like yours – are ROCK SOLID and FIRM! Buckle your seatbelts, sweetheart, because this is going to be a bumpy ride.
I am an African American grandma. In 1981 my physically and mentally abusive serial-cheating husband deserted his family. On every DDay prior to the final affair that resulted in his leaving, I received from him the usual begging and pleading for my forgiveness, and promises that he would spend the rest of his life making it up to me. After fathering an OC (a baby girl) with one of his affair partners, he left me for yet another affair partner (not the OC’s mother) whom he later married. He left me pregnant with our third child (a girl), as well as our 2-years-old and 1-year-old sons. Having EXTREMELY low self-esteem at that time in my life (and therefore not realizing that I was actually better off for him leaving), I was absolutely devastated and ashamed. (My parents were happily and solidly married for nearly forty years until my father died in 1995, and divorce made me feel like the “black sheep” of the family [no pun intended]. My mother is also now deceased.)
Despite all the negative things that had occurred in my marriage, I loved the ground my husband walked on, and I literally wanted to die after he abandoned us. In fact, I attempted suicide when my husband abandoned us, and it landed me in the hospital for over a week. Although my devastating grief could maybe EXPLAIN such a reckless act, NOTHING can ever EXCUSE it – mainly because I was PREGNANT! (She is now a very healthy 31-yr-old businesswoman. ) When I think of the damage my selfish act could’ve done to my unborn child, even though I survived the suicide attempt; as well as the devastating legacy I would’ve foisted upon our 2 baby sons had my attempt succeeded – all because of my heartache over my children’s serial-cheating father, coupled with my excessively low self-esteem – I am STILL ashamed to this day and will never COMPLETELY forgive myself! However, I am now a “tough-as-nails” BETRAYAL SURVIVOR, and sincerely GRATEFUL to have lived to see my 4 (so far) grandkids!
As a divorced mother I worked full time as an administrative assistant and raised my kids. They are now 31, 33 and 34; all have attended college; my sons are married with children of their own; my daughter is an unmarried (by her choice) and childless businesswoman (“you go, girl!” ); and all of them are successful. My three children’s half-sister (the OC) is a magnificent woman who is 32 and married with an adorable son, and my children love and have been very close to their sister for many years. She’s also one of my Facebook “friends.” (Twenty years ago her mother called me and apologized for having slept with my husband, and I accepted her apology. I NEVER blamed my children’s sister, because human beings have absolutely no control over the circumstances of our births. The adultery was committed by her father and mother, NOT by the innocent child!)
Although my children love their father (of course they do, because he is their father, after all, and always will be), they have told me (AND him) several times through the years that they DON’T RESPECT him, due to his past behavior toward me and his betrayal and abandonment of me AND them. My children have told me (AND their father) that they love AND respect me, and hold me in high regard for how I survived the life-shattering heartbreak and calamity that was forced upon me by their father’s actions back then.
It wasn’t easy raising three children alone by a long shot (I remarried after they were grown), but with God’s grace those childrearing years were the very best times of my life! (BTW, my children’s father -– my ex-husband -– who left me for wife #2, is now with wife #4. Go figure.)
Susan, I’m a church pastor’s daughter (my father is deceased), and a Christian. I said I’m a Christian – NOT Christ! I have so many faults you could fill an encyclopedia with them! Absolutely NO human being – those who have lived on this earth and are no longer alive; those of us who are currently alive; and those who have yet to be born – are perfect! (For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23) I’m a firm believer that people have a right to live our lives as we see fit – so long as we do not encroach upon someone’s else’s life – which is EXACTLY what affairs do!
From Susan: (“But understand that I…didn’t go into an affair with the hopes of destroying anyone’s marriage.”)
This is an example of what separates adults from children. “I didn’t MEAN to do it, Mommy,” (when a child has been caught in wrongdoing); “I never intended for anybody to get hurt, Pops,” (when a child’s folly causes harm in ways the child could have never foreseen); is behavior that is – childish. As adults, we are responsible for our actions, and adults know that engaging in extramarital affairs is wrong. Therefore, any pain and devastation that occur – directly or indirectly – related to an affair is the fault of BOTH the CH/CW AND the OW/OM!
From Susan: (“…It is always easier to make the “Other” woman/man the villain, yet we are not the ones who took the vows; we are not the ones who broke those vows.”)
This is a common “AP” fallacy that must be addressed. There is no way ANYONE involved in an affair has “clean hands.” The OW who has an EA/PA/BOTH with a MM is with someone who DOESN’T belong to her; and the OM who has an EA/PA/BOTH with a MW is with someone who DOESN’T belong to him. It doesn’t matter that the AP didn’t take vows with the Betrayed Spouse. It doesn’t matter that the marriage had vulnerabilities, as EVERY marriage has vulnerabilities. That doesn’t give the CH/OW or CW/OM carte blanche to be with each other! If the owners of a house, for example, are away and the front/back/garage door has been left unlocked, any person who enters that house unauthorizedly will be guilty of a felony, punishable by law. It doesn’t matter that the house was vulnerable. If a car is parked anywhere, unlocked and even with the keys in the ignition, any person who enters that car unauthorizedly and drives away is guilty of felony. It doesn’t matter that the car was vulnerable. People argue that other PEOPLE don’t BELONG to anybody. As a Christian, my beliefs dispute that argument based on 1 Corinthians 7:3-4: “A husband should give to his wife her sexual rights, and likewise a wife to her husband. It is not the wife who has the rights to her own body, but the husband. In the same way, it is not the husband who has the rights to his own body, but the wife.”
From Susan: (“We are oftentimes not the crazies that the Married man/woman portray us to be, yet we are often the scapegoats. You know why? Because the BS doesn’t always want to know the truth or they really really want to believe their spouse.”)
There is something that I firmly disagree with: the tendency for ONLY the OW to be branded as the homewrecker! BOTH the CH AND the OW, or the CW AND the OM, are EQUAL homewreckers! The MM wrecked his own home, and his AP participated in it. The MW wrecked her own home, and her AP participated in it. As for the BS not wanting to know the truth: Seriously, Susan? “Other” women are NOTORIOUS for believing ANYTHING the MM says about his Wife, even though – in MOST cases – the OW has NEVER EVER met the W personally! What married man is going to walk up to a woman and say, “Hey baby, I’m deeply in love with my wife, we have a great sex life, and I’m never going to leave her for any THING, any BODY, or any REASON. But, you sure look good to me, Sugar. How about giving me some of that?” That man will find himself picking up his teeth after being slapped into next week by the woman he propositioned in that ridiculous manner. Married Men know EXACTLY the time-worn clichés that work with Other Women, and OWs continue to fall for the lies every single day!
From Susan: (“I KNOW what I did, how I behaved and I KNOW what my MM told his W. I KNOW the lies he told her. He asked me to corroborate them. He lied to his W after d-day telling her I called when I didn’t, telling her I emailed, texted when I didn’t. But my relationship was with him, not with her.”)
You’re right about that, Susan, your relationship was/is with him – a LIAR and a CHEAT (by your own description above). He did NOT stop being a liar and a cheat when the divorce papers were signed. Please don’t fool yourself, Susan. (I have read your ENTIRE blog, by the way.)
From Susan: (“It was between them and their inability to end their marriage and walk away after it had died [or rightfully before it had started].”)
Who has the right to decide if “rightfully” a marriage should not have started? What about if a mass killer should have “rightfully” been born? Should Adolf Hitler, Timothy McVeigh, Aileen Wuournos, Charles Manson, or Adam Lanza (to name a VERY VERY few) “rightfully” should not have been conceived and born because of the murder and absolute devastation their existence would cause? The “that marriage should never have happened in the first place” is yet another argument used to justify and affair, and it DOESN’T HOLD WATER.
I honor marriage and I detest divorce, whether affair-related or not. However, I am fully aware that there ARE times when divorce is the BEST thing for the wife and/or husband in a doomed marriage. (Please see my comments on the blog of “Bad Husband” http://www.affairturmoil.wordpress.com ) Although I didn’t realize it over thirty years ago, through the years I HAVE realized that my divorce from my first husband ended up being the BEST thing to have happened to me AND our children with regard to my marriage, because, as I stated above, he was also PHYSICALLY abusive. Who knows when one of his beatings may have resulted in serious injury or even death to me or to one of our children?
February 15, 2013 at 1:59 am
(My comment is continuing here, Susan, because I was granted more time on this computer. The “gods” are looking out for me today! )
There certainly ARE marriages that have “died” and need to be buried. But, it is COWARDLY for the husband and/or wife in that “dead” marriage to enter into an extramarital affair with someone WITHOUT FIRST HAVING OBTAINED A DIVORCE! Married men are NOTORIOUS for “having their cake and eating it, too.” They want “out” of their “unhappy” marriages, yet MOST of them are the first ones on their knees on DDay, begging and pleading for the wife’s forgiveness, and promising to high heaven that they will spend the rest of their lives making it up to the wife. Often, it is the Betrayed Spouse who decides that she (or he, if the cheater was the wife) can no longer live with someone who committed the most egregious offense possible against their spouse. (From your “Time is of the Essence” 2/8/13 post: “But my BF/xMM stayed after HIS affair was discovered, to try and work things out. I can’t help but ruminate from time to time, what would have happened if his wife hadn’t wanted to push for the divorce.”)
In closing, I’ll say this:
Susan, it is NEVER a CONTEST between the Wife and the Other Woman! Nobody “wins” when it comes to affairs. (From your “And the winner is” 1/6/10 post: “After all of this, you know what? He chose her. He didn’t choose me. So I guess she wins. What’s the prize? An emasculated, castrated unhappy man, in love with someone else for 3 years; fucking someone else for 2 1/2 years; sending her emails about loving her, missing her, wanting to be with her. Even if he doesn’t tell [his wife] everything or only tells her some of it, or shockingly lies about our affair, what is she thinking? What does she get? His honesty? His loyalty? His fidelity? His love? His companionship? Is she letting him sleep in her bed? In her house? Under her roof? Are they eating their meals together? Doesn’t she want to smack him? I do. What I really want to know is who wins? Her? MM? Me?”)
[Please read “Debunking the myths of infidelity: revisited” 12/29/12 @ http://www.rescuingmymarriage.wordpress.com
February 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm
Betrayalsurvivor1981 – Thank you so much for your response. I didn’t want you to think that I wouldn’t respond. I would like to give you the proper response, however, but US/east coast time is pushing me to work. Honestly, your story is one of strength and courage. And one I admire. I am a firm believe in the adage that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and you certainly live it. I’ll be back. And I would certainly love to share your comments on my blog.
February 16, 2013 at 5:15 pm
Thanks, Susan, for your quick “mini-response.” (I know you were on your way to work and that, of course, is a huge priority. We gotta pay our bills, right? ) Also, thank you for your statement concerning my story, and for honoring me with your request to share my comments on your blog.
I’m an “optimistic skeptic” (now THAT’S an oxymoron, if there ever was one!). I welcome the compliment of your using my comments on your blog, with the following requests (that I’m sure you already know, but being an “optimistic skeptic” I must say this anyway: please be sure to notate me as the author of any of my comments you use; and I ask that “creative editing” not be used when quoting me. (I studied journalism in college, and I know the “tricks of the trade.” )
Again, thank you for your interest, and I look forward to your “proper response” (as you worded it above).
So – Holy cow! Some of the things that betrayalsurvivor said knocked me down. I don’t agree with everything, but it was certainly informative and from a completely different perspective from mine. And funny how we have some similarities in our stories.
I had an affair for a selfish reason – it was something I needed at that time in my life. I was ending my marriage and craved physical and emotional intimacy with someone, anyone. My ex-husband was emotionally abusive so while my children and I do not have physical scars, we carry around the motional ones – not readily visible or easily discussed. It was hard to end my marriage after 17 years, and yes, my parents are still married after 50 years. It was what I thought marriage was about – a life long commitment to someone I loved, admired, respected and wanted to grow old with. Unfortunately, that wasn’t my ex. I probably never should have married him, but then I wouldn’t have my kids.
While betraylsurvivor quotes the bible and whose body belongs to whom, I find that beautiful in a perfect world. Unfortunately, most of us don’t live there. We live here. Sometimes in our own miserable hell. So what MM does/doesn’t do – his vows are not my vows. Yeah, if a MM tells an OW it’s just a fuck, likely she may not be “up” for it (pun intended), but there are plenty of OW/OM who don’t care. Do I believe that MM/MW are liars when they enter into affairs?? You betcha!! But then there are people who are weak, who are trapped – from every direction. Who can’t make a decision, an action without someone telling them, approving it. My MM should have ended his marriage for all the right reasons instead of because he had an affair. It was shitty for all concerned. And the ripple effect continues. Retribution, for sure.
A couple of months ago, I spent a long weekend with my BF/xMM and his parents – just the 4 of us. And if you’ve read all of my blog, then you know that his xW, made him call his parents after d-day, confess his affair, spend 2+ weeks with his parents in exile and then try to repair his broken marriage at the direction of his parents. xMM/BF and I have now been together, openly, for 3 years. It was time to address the elephant in the room. So I did. And BF’s mother said – that he believes and has consistently maintained that he and I are soul-mates. Yeah. Not so difficult. But a lousy way to start. I wish that we had met after he had divorced his xW, but perhaps without me, he never would have. Perhaps without me, he would have stayed in his emotionally abusive relationship with an asbergers narcissistic woman, solely responsible for the financial and emotional needs of his children. What a lousy way to live.
As to knowing he lied to xW – yeah, it concerns me. Once a liar, always a liar is a popular theory. But my BF isn’t Is there trust? Do I trust him? Yes, I do. If I don’t, then we have nothing. And to be fair, there are times when I don’t. I hate those moments. The re-reading the old emails, the chats; replaying the memories, the conversations, the feelings. And this time of year particularly galls me – as xW’s birthday has come and gone – It was after d-day, March, 2010 when he was telling me how much he loves me, needs me, misses me, wants to be with me and is going to separate from his xW after d-day, that he took her to the Carribean for her birthday, texting me all weekend that he was fighting a cold and getting lots of sleep. (The other day I was leafing through some books in his house and found the receipt for Bubba Gumps in Cancun, March 2010 and got pissed off all over again.)
Lastly, a lot of the MM/MW who have cheated haven’t had “love affairs.” They have had a physical indiscretion. I’m not saying one is better or worse. Being physicallly intimate with someone other than your spouse is difficult for the BS, but being emotially cheated on must be worse. So the spouse LOOKING for it, in my humble opinion, is worse than the one who isn’t. The spouse who falls in love or becomes emotionally attached to someone other than their spouse is in an entirely different category than the one night stand. But, like the rest of this blog, that’s just my opinion.
Don’t know why it took me so long to write, edit and post this entry. Been busy. With life. And the hurt and the anger, fade over time and are replaced by other feelings. And life has a regular rhythm – good, bad, ugly, beautiful. Thank goodness.