Behavior Towards Betrayed Spouses that is No Longer Acceptable

betrayed spouses

 

This article is about behavior that is no longer acceptable: Making cruel and blaming statements about betrayed spouses, statements that invalidate the experience of the betrayed spouse, and statements that silence the feelings of the betrayed spouse.

By Sarah P.

This post has been a long time in the making. It has been simmering inside me for years and has finally exploded to the surface.

This post is divisive and I am going to ask all of you who want to change the way society views affairs, to join me in standing up for betrayed spouses. It does not matter if you are at a dinner party or among friends, don’t let statements blaming and invalidating betrayed spouses slip by.

For the past twenty years, I have been in various situations, including among so-called religious groups and among psychologists/psychiatrists and I have heard the following phrases stated in very condescending and flippant ways:

“John just doesn’t do it for Jenny anymore and that’s John’s fault. He needs to stop being such a problem and give her all the assets.”

OR

“Maya just can’t accept that Vicky is better than her. Why can’t Maya just let Vicky and Bob have the house and go away? She is making social occasions so awkward for us.”

OR

“Sometimes people just fall in love with others and have sex. No one is at fault in these situations. Betrayed spouses need to grow up and stop making something so normal out to be a problem.”

OR

“I do not understand why wives think it is such a big deal when a husband wants a friend with benefits. Why do wives take it so personally? It’s just sex.”

OR

“She/he has to accept that they don’t do it any longer for their spouse and they need to be grown ups and move on.”

OR

“Why doesn’t she just leave him because he obviously doesn’t want her. She has to stop being so pathetic.”

OR

“Men are such pigs and she should have known that. She only has herself to blame.”

OR

“If Earl had sex with Betty, then Peggy wasn’t being a good wife. Peggy is the one to blame because some women just do not know how to take care of their man. It’s Betty’s fault, so why is everyone blaming Earl?”

OR

“Women are unreliable. He was so stupid to get married.”

OR

“Veronica was stupid to get her PhD. No one can blame Steve for leaving Veronica for Nancy; Steve told the guys that Veronica was just a frigid intellectual and the guys said it must have been hell for Steve to live with Veronica.”

AND

A quote from a female MD who I strongly suspect is a spouse poacher…

“Wives should just give up, you know? If he wants the other woman, a wife should realize she has lost the game and move on quietly. There is nothing more pathetic than watching a woman beg and plead to keep her marriage together.”

Finally….

My a quote from another person in the mental health profession who has practiced for a long time…

“Sarah, you write about infidelity for a living. I don’t understand why wives cannot accept that their husbands will become attracted to other women. Why can’t wives just allow their husband to explore the sexual connection with someone else? Why do wives take it so personally when it’s just sex? Marriage would be easier if women could accept that everyone would be happier if her husband could explore sexual connections with other women.”

When I call that my favorite quote, I say that with sarcasm. But, it is an important quote because it shows the hypocrisy and also irony embedded in the thinking of someone who works in the mental health field. That person is trained to know better and I am sure this person would never say that to a client. Or maybe they would. If you have met a therapist like that, run the other way.

 

 

People Say the Darndest Things

None of those statements above are fictional. I have heard these statements.

I have changed the names of people involved and removed the context, but these statements have come from the mouths of diverse people I have encountered in person over the past twenty years. Also, I have altered the wording a bit, but it is identical to the idea the person conveyed. 

My personal friends do not say such things, because my good friends have too much compassion to say such things and understand that cheating is a choice.

So where did I hear those things?

I have heard these statements out at social events, or I have heard them at gatherings with my husband’s coworkers, or while sitting in a coffee shop working alone on my laptop, or at book clubs; I have heard them at gatherings with my coworkers when I worked in various corporations, and I have even heard them from the mouths medical professionals.

Will You Speak Up?

The next time you are out at a social event and hear people blaming a betrayed spouse, will you speak up?

Speaking up does not have to include a confrontation. It can be as simple as, “Did you know that it is impossible to make a spouse cheat? Cheating is a choice.”

You do not even have to follow it up.

You can just let it hang in the air and let it be.

If someone you know was cheated on and people around them invalidate them, will you stand up or stay silent?

Note: Invalidation takes many forms. It can be as simple as telling a person they do not have a right to feel the way they do about their experience, or that their experience is “no big deal,” that they deserve no space to work through their experience, or that they have no right to feel at all.

I know we all have certain levels of comfort and I am not asking you to step out of your comfort zone as an individual.

I am simply asking if you could take a stand with me and say in your own words and at the right time that betrayed spouses do not cause cheating.

Communication 

I have to admit that talking about affairs at dinner parties or stating a view that is contrary to the views of others regarding affairs can be difficult.

This is no “cake walk.”

But, if that topic of having one’s cake and eating it too comes up, I would ask all readers to change the perceptions of others, even if it’s just a single sentence. For example, when someone is gossiping and blaming a betrayed spouse and will not stop blaming and shaming the betrayed spouse, you could simply say:

“This has been on my mind too because of what happened to (person the friend is gossiping about). There is an article I read that was written by a psychologist. He/she talks about why affairs happen and the role of the betrayed spouse. Are you interested in hearing what he/she said?

If your friend, spouse, or acquaintance says no, then you can drop the subject. But, I think that statement is non-confrontational enough to start a discussion on the topic.

If your friend wants to hear more, you could say:

“The person who wrote the article specializes in infidelity and has discovered through research that cheating is a choice. I don’t know if they are right, but isn’t that interesting?”

If your friend scowls and disagrees, just hear them out with compassion, and then just drop the topic. You have planted a seed for someone to think about.

If your friend asks to hear more, then you can discuss that the article you read stated affairs are mostly about opportunity and ego gratification, and that each person must make a choice when someone flirts with them or offers sex.

If a friend wants to hear more, you can send them some links from your favorite authors from Psychology Today or the Huffington Post.

The right kind of communication is the key.

One of the most effective ways to communicate difficult topics in person is by using a soft, compassionate tone of voice and speaking a truth without making a certain individual a target. Stay away from absolutes and keep emotion out of it.

You need to stay authentic and speak your truth without offending others. Speaking about affairs is a difficult topic, even if you are speaking among friends about infidelity.

Rick Hanson PhD has some good tips on communicating about difficult topics:

 

“Speaking truly does not mean saying everything. You can cut to the chase in a conversation, not burden a child with more than he or she can understand, be civil when you’re angry, and not spill your guts in a meeting.

Nor should you confide more than is appropriate. There’s a place for privacy, for not telling A everything you know about B, for recognizing how intimately you can safely communicate in a particular situation or relationship.

Speaking truly – to yourself and to others – does mean being authentic. Is your outer expression lined up with your inner experience? Most of us have “that thing” which is hard to express. For me growing up, it was feeling inadequate. For many men, it’s feelings of fear or weakness. For many women, it’s feelings of anger or power. Could you find appropriate ways to say your whole truth, whatever it is?

Ask yourself: “What am I actually experiencing?” Relax your face completely and look at it in the mirror: What does it tell you? What does it say you really need these days?

Also ask yourself: “What’s important that’s not getting named?” This applies both to you and to others. Consider the hurt or anxiety beneath irritation, or the rights or needs that are the real stakes on the table. Is there an elephant in the room that no one is mentioning?” (1)

 

The not spilling your guts part resonated with me. When I am having a hard day, stress has built up over a period of time, and I am speaking with someone I know, I end up spilling my guts.

I refer to them as “verbal hairballs.” If a cat’s stomach ingests too much fur, a cat will cough up a hairball. The cat’s stomach has reached its maximum carrying capacity for hairballs and so out comes the hairball all over the carpet. And the carpet cleaner just cleaned the carpet yesterday.

Yikes.

What a mess.

Well, I have a mental equivalent of verbal hairballs and I have to monitor myself for them during stressful times. 2018 has put many verbal hairballs all over that clean carpet.

Let me make it clear that I do not yell. I just have to process too much stress by either writing it out or speaking it out.

So, avoid verbal hairballs if you can. Sadly, I am a metaphorical Siamese cat who has been swallowing the hair of others all year long. 90% of these situations truly come from outside of myself, which is frustrating.

I cannot control the physical health of a disabled parent, or the fact that another family member has metastatic cancer, or the fact that elderly family members are financially struggling even though they were gainfully employed their whole lives and lost all assets during the big crash of 2008, or the fact that my husband’s company was acquired and everyone is getting pay-cuts, or the fact that friends I have known for years are passing away… and on and on. I did not cause any of these incidents, yet they all affect me. And I have not named all the incidents; those are the tip of the iceberg.

Can 2019 be a better year?  Because the carpet is soiled from all those verbal hairballs.

But, you don’t have to spill your guts. You can be neutral and factual when you are communicating about topics like infidelity.

 

Effective Communication – What is it and how do I do it?

 

More Tips On General Communication

Of course, the day will come when you might have to talk with a spouse who has hurt you or you might have to speak to a friend who is a wayward spouse and who is asking you to “cover for them.”

Such conversations are metaphorical gunpowder. If you unintentionally light a match, the conversation blows up.

There are also specific strategies you can use to prepare yourself for difficult conversations, whether they are about infidelity or something else.

These tips are for planning future conversations about difficult topics. Here is an addended article from Psychology Today about scheduling hard talks and how to communicate.

 

“Before launching into your talk, schedule a conversation. Before having a difficult conversation, it helps to better understand your personal motivations:

  • “What is the worst part about it?
  • How does that worst part make me feel?
  • When else have I felt this way?
  • Is it better to be right or just have peace?
  • What am I trying to achieve?
  • What scares me about this?
  • How will this affect my life in the long term?
  • What would be an ideal outcome?

Invitations support cooperation, rather then bullying [the other person] into speaking when it’s convenient only for you,” said Karmin, who also pens the popular Psych Central blog “Anger Management.”

These are several options for setting a time to talk (which needs to work for both people):

  • “Is this a good time to talk?
  • I want to talk; can we sit down tomorrow after dinner?
  • I need your help with what just happened. Do you have a few minutes to talk?
  • I’d like to talk about___________. When is a good time for you?”

Use an “I” statement.  “Come right to the point and use an ‘I’ statement,” he said. Examples include: “I felt hurt when…” or “I’m concerned about…” or “I’m feeling really… (e.g., sad, scared, frustrated, overwhelmed, stressed), and I need your help.”

Don’t expect others to be mind readers.   Avoid the belief that other people should know what you’re thinking or what you need without you ever saying it, he said.

Avoid accusatory or critical phrases.   They only lead others to become defensive. “You always… You never… You said… You should have… Why didn’t you…” This also steers you away from finding a solution, and ensures you’ll just fight “about the 10 last things that pissed each of you off.” (2)

 

Some of you might be thinking these strategies are obvious and some of them are. However, it is important to revisit communication strategies over and over again until you can communicate the most difficult topics successfully.

In Summary

Will you stand with me on finding non-confrontational ways to educate people when they bring up infidelity?

I have actually been discussing this hard topic instinctively all my life. If someone blamed betrayed spouses in the past, I would always ask them to consider why they would blame a betrayed spouse. Of course, asking such questions is not in everyone’s comfort zone.

But, can you find a way to gently spread the word about the facts regarding infidelity?

To Readers…

  • Tell me how you handle situations when your friends gossip about infidelity. Do you have any strategies?
  • Do you have any strategies on how to talk to an unfaithful spouse or unfaithful friend?
  • What have you done that has not worked?
  • What communication pitfalls do you have in your life so that we can all brainstorm solutions together? (What are your verbal hairballs?)
  • What was the worst conversation you had with a wayward spouse?
  • If you had a turning point in your marriage, was it due to finding how to truly communicate with your partner or was it due to some other factor?
  • What have you experienced this week?
  • What outrageous statements about betrayed spouses or infidelity have you heard?

 

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Sources:

Rick Hanson, PhD. From: https://www.mentalhelp.net/blogs/speak-truly/

Margarita Tartakovsky. From: https://psychcentral.com/blog/tips-for-talking-about-tough-topics/

Photo:  Thomas Szynkiewicz

 

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11 Responses to Behavior Towards Betrayed Spouses that is No Longer Acceptable

  1. Hopeful December 11, 2018 at 1:22 pm #

    I will say I avoid many of these conversations. However I do speak up often. I find it somewhat easy since I can site knowing more about it due to my husband’s mental health career. Ironic!! Also I find it most critical to impart what I have learned to my kids. I find that these lessons apply to all relationships.

  2. Soul Mate December 11, 2018 at 1:40 pm #

    Hi Sarah P.

    To be totally honest with you I have never heard another woman talk such nonsense as your examples about a betrayed spouse. I have heard nothing but sympathy or indifference.

    “None of my business”

    “That’s their problem not mine”

    “oh the poor thing, and such a nice family”

    I think the worse was;

    “He/She is an idiot for staying”

    Where I come from, cheaters are not thought well of, and in fact were called on their bad behavior and ostracized from our group. Or thought of as dogs or skanks not to be associated with.

    I can tell you that if I were to hear someone say something as vile as what you have, I can assure you I would let them know that betrayal has many forms and can happen to anyone at any time.

    Will it make a difference to those who spit out that kind of word vomit? I doubt it. Much like the spouse poacher, they revel in the pain of others and what they perceive is their weakness.

    My mother used to say “Be careful how you judge others. You never know what is in the future for yourself”. And “If you haven’t anything nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all”.

    Sounds like the old proverbial sayings, but my guess they still carry a lot of weight around ignorant folks who have nothing better to do but find some kind of amusement in an others suffering.

    Peace and thanks again for your sage counsel.

    Sounds harsh, but karma can be just that. Harsh!

    Peace

    • Hopeful December 11, 2018 at 6:29 pm #

      I will say the most common thing I have heard from very good friends is “how can anyone be so dumb” “how could they not realized there was a problem” “there is no way I would not know this is happening in my marriage” “I know my husband would never do this”. Then I will not say my friends have been as direct as these quotes but the conversation has been focused on what each person has been doing wrong but mainly the above statements or the guy was always a dog why did she marry him… And honestly I struggle with many of these statements since I too thought those exact things about my husband.

      • Sarah P. December 11, 2018 at 8:11 pm #

        Hi Hopeful,

        So you have heard similar things…. yes I have heard the “how can anyone be so dumb?” too. And that’s a very insulting one toward betrayed spouses. The betrayed spouses I know are some of the smartest people I have ever met. They are as far from dumb as anyone could get.

        And the, “I know my husband would never do this…” Yes, that is exactly what their husband wants them ti believe. Because as long as a wife is 100% certain her husband would NEVER do such a thing, she will blind herself to some of the key signs that indicate infidelity.

        Hopeful, I saw in a recent comment you mentioned you sometimes struggle with happiness. That is totally normal, but it also hurts when happiness is hard to come by. Life can feel as if it is lived in a dulled palette of colors and that is no fun.

        How are you feeling this week?

        Hugs,
        Sarah

        • Hopeful December 12, 2018 at 9:15 pm #

          Sarah,

          You are always so kind. I respect you so much. I know this work is your passion and calling but I also know how hard it can be when you have your own challenges. I do have happy moments and enjoy parts of life. I guess when I refer to that before dday I was a happy person. I felt like I understood the world and it made sense. I lack trust now and overall happiness. In many ways I feel now I fake it or limp through. There is a lot to be happy for and I focus on those things. I have moved toward a more minimalist life and focus on fewer things and what does make me happy.

          And yes I have heard all those things from a variety of people. They have no idea what I have been through and they are my closest friends. They would be shocked to know what has happened in our marriage. I think people do say this since it makes them uncomfortable to consider it could happen in their world. And I would have said all of those things too before dday. It is hard when someone lies to your face for so many years when asked direct questions. I have never been mean or rude about it. And I have maintained for years you never know what goes on behind closed doors. And even within a marriage I had no idea what my husband was hiding. I can only control and be responsible for myself.

    • Sarah P. December 11, 2018 at 8:06 pm #

      Hi SoulMate,

      I want to live where you live!! (I am NOT being sarcastic). it seems wherever you live people have their “heads screwed on straight.”

      I too was raised with “if you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.” The quote from your mom about judging others is great too. My rule is I will only judge those who harm individuals by engaging in very specific and very harmful behaviors where they know better. Hint: I don’t like people who destroy families via selfish actions. But, everyone knew that.

      As for speaking up with mean folks, sometimes it can make a difference, other times it may not. What I have found is that if you don’t take the bait and join in and attack the person they are attacking, they generally get bored. And if they have an ounce of insight, they will perhaps think about it.

      As for the vile statements… these were statements collected over the past 20 years. These statements have become more often just because of the work I do. Also, in the past 20 years, I have lived in ONE geographical area and the place where I moved FROM did not think the way the people here think. In fact, looking at the friends I have made while here, all are from different places. None were born and raised here. We have all noticed that there is something very “off” about this state and the “off-ness” is becoming more noticeable as the years go by. (Many of my friends are planning on moving in the next two years. One is moving to the furthest geographical location away from this state).

      I am pretty sure the specific area of the state I live in is ground zero for sociopaths. But, I am speaking of ONE area. My state is split between east and west by many mountain chains. The East side of the state is a different world and people behave in ways that are “more normal,” but not completely normal.

      For whatever reason, the general culture in this state is that it’s ok to poach married people. There are groups of women who help each other poach their target. This is NOT a joke. I have not told this story, but there is concrete evidence online of how FAR they are going to help each other poach married men. Again, I have concrete evidence. This is NOT speculation because I know of this group personally.

      The above is probably one of those mental hairballs. 2018 has been the most challenging year of my life. Not only were there crises within my home with my kids, everyone I knew (family member and friend) was in crisis mode– even friends who live in other states. Then five different friends of the family passed away this year and my grandma is set to get an operation right before Christmas and she may not wake up from the anesthesia. We keep trying to intervene and ask for the operation for after the new year because grandma is hosting Christmas dinner and no one wants a Christmas funeral. (The operation can wait because of the nature of the operation.

      As many know, I have been hoping to relocate to the Big Island of Hawaii (the West side) because things feel most normal there for me. Every person has “that place” where they feel at home. The experiences I have with people on the Big Island are the opposite of the general experiences I have where I live now.

      Speaking of Hawaii… future conferences…

      Please send good vibes my way because I now have a beautiful, retreat space on the Big Island that I own as part of my townhome community. The retreat area is more beautiful than anyone can imagine and sits next to an enormous lagoon pool with waterfalls and tropical landscaping. It is an indoor/outdoor space and fits up to 70 people. The space also has a full kitchen, restrooms, outdoor BBQ’s, outdoor covered areas and is built in the Hawaiian style with the floor to ceiling glass doors that open to the outside and has high ceilings covered with woven grass.

      I have mentioned this before… but who wants to attend an EAJ retreat in Hawaii?

      Since I “co-own” the space, I am able to keep retreat costs LOW. And Doug, Linda, and I have thought about setting up payment plans for when the time comes. But really, our cost for the conference will be LOW. And I will see if I can negotiate a bunch of luxury condos for guests. The folks I know can probably negotiate a 3-bedroom, luxury condo for $99/night. Obviously that is not the normal price, but I network with other business owners and know of a woman who manages many of these properties and can negotiate low prices.

      This is all in the works… but who would like to join Doug, Linda, and I for this Big Island adventure?

      We are still in the planning stages, but I can guarantee you will have the time of your life. I know places where you can swim up close with tame sea turtles and bays where you can swim with wild dolphins. But, that is just the beginning. I wanted to have the conference in the morning and group activities in the afternoon: group snorkeling, group dolphins swims, night swims with MANTA RAYS… these guys don’t have stingers– they have long rubbery tails, but no stinger and they are friendly and harmless. There are less than five places in the world where you can do night swims with manta rays. The Big island is one. I have done this, and it is one of the most awe inspiring experiences I have ever had. And no, it was not frightening. My children were young the first time we did this and they were absolutely enthralled with these gentle rays that appeared to “fly though the water.”

      I am getting ahead of myself and I will one day put a few short videos online so you can meet me face-to-face and see that I “don’t bite.” The way I show up on the blog is different than how I show up in real life. I am calm, non-judgmental, compassionate, and very gentle and loving to others.

      This is off-topic, but has anyone else had a really dreary 2018? Is there anyone else looking forward to 2019 and hoping against all hope that it is a better year?

      SoulMate thanks for your comment- how are you doing this week?

      Sarah

  3. Sarah P. December 11, 2018 at 8:23 pm #

    Note to All:

    I can tell this article could be perceived as a harsh read. I would NEVER judge someone for staying silent about infidelity or just listening when people say unkind things about betrayed spouses.

    This article is more about the personal stand I have taken. I am no longer quiet. I used to listen to these stories and not make any comments when people said truly cruel things. But these days, I say something. I am not confrontational when I do it. I just pepper the conversation with comments about how there is no research to back statements like: “The betrayed spouse already knew and was in denial” OR “If he or she was a better spouse, there would have been no affair.” If people want to hear more I say that every marriage has its challenges, EVERY MARRIAGE. Some couples are better at putting on the “we are such a happy couple” act than others. Some people are genuinely happy since marriages go through cycles– but they still have hard topics to discuss like finances and they are still subject to life’s stressors.I tell whomever will listen that life is hard, but we have a thousand choices as to how we respond to life’s challenges. I talk about if a marriage was truly bad, then infidelity just makes it a million times worse. So a couple went from a generally bad marriage to a marriage that was a million times worse and caused trauma to all.

    Anyhow, I will NOT judge anyone if you don’t feel comfortable speaking up. (It is NOT my place to judge you at all and there is also no reason to judge someone for staying in their comfort zone). But, if you do want to speak up, there are ways to do it that won’t cause a verbal war.

    And I never expect anyone to take my advice as if it were gospel. (I am not a Prophet and would never want to be one.) All of you know your situations better than I do. So take my advice with a grain of salt.

    Also, when I mentioned in the post if someone would like to hear about the role of a betrayed spouse in infidelity, I forgot to add the sentence “they have no role.” People who have read this site forever will know that, but I should have added it for new readers.

    Peace, Many Blessings to You and Your families, and Happy Holidays to All,
    Sarah

  4. Soul mate December 12, 2018 at 9:08 am #

    Hi Sarah P.,

    Yes, I came from a very small town where the women I socialized with were no one to put up with cheaters. As a matter of fact they were what a sisterhood absolutely looked like. I’m not saying that cheating never happened, but if you made that mistake of cheating with someone else’s husband, no one sympathized with you much less blamed the betrayed.
    If anything, they showed compassion and would help you anyway they could. I know because it happened to me with my first husband who was a serial cheater.

    I lived in my hometown until I was 30 and moved to the DC metro area. I’ve now lived and worked here for the last 27 years and have been married to my 2nd H all of that time.

    I can tell you that coming from a small close knit community into this sludge hole has been a true culture shock for me however I’ve met some wonderful folks along the way and keep my circle small.

    I can tell you though that the federal government and private corporations are ripe and stinking with adultery and spouse poaching is a very popular sport here. Ever heard of the blog Beltwaybangin? Me neither until recently. It’s disgusting.

    I worked for 15 years for one of the top mental healthcare companies in the country and reported to many MD’s, psychologists, LCSW, EAP, well you get the gist. As a matter of fact, I worked for the lady who founded the EAP program back in the day when it started.

    In my opinion, coming from both a corporate and government background what I would like to see is an HR employee policy instituted on the fratrinization and conduct of personnel who carry on and or start affairs in the workplace specifically spelled out in a manual along with the repercussions strictly adhered to.

    Address conduct on social media that is unacceptable much like drug, alcohol and disruptive behavior is addressed.

    Especially for those folks in the government who require clearances to perform their jobs, infidelity poses a risk of black male and a total disruption in performance of job duties. These folks are performing duties of public trust. And if one of them is willing to betray, lie and cheat for any reason, they should be stripped of their clearance and removed from their jobs.

    You are absolutely correct in wanting to bring awareness of the devastation to the betrayed and their children.

    In my opinion I believe it needs to start on a much larger scale.

    People want to sweep adultery under the rug. Deny it’s ugly truth and the repercussions because they are either petrified it will happen to them or they practice it themselves.

    It’s time corporations and government entities to take off the rose colored glasses and address the issue by adopting a strict policy against it. And spelling it out explicitly in their employee manuals, policies and procedures.

    Peace

    So when I

  5. Rose December 14, 2018 at 12:34 pm #

    Sarah, you know I’m in! Maybe you can use a nursing/medical name for the conference.

  6. T's Mom December 19, 2018 at 8:11 pm #

    It is really funny (not), but my H was always vehemently angry at anyone who cheated. Then there came the day when he realized that he was the cheater! He luckily had a good support group helping him. For me, it was part of my supreme puzzlement that he could do this when he hated cheaters so much. Obviously, I have grown much since DDay (march 2016) to where I can feel some compassion for him. I like what someone here said in that we don’t know what our future brings. I almost got into two EA’s myself, but made the choice to immediately end the “friendship” when I realized it was inappropriate. Unfortunately, my husband did not do the same.

    In regards to negative comments about the BS, it really angers me and makes me sad that people look at the person who “looks” the worst (because of the betrayal) and they justify their friend’s bad behavior. In one case, I know the wife from my support group. My coworker lives next door to the betraying spouse. They take his story and talk badly about her. It was very, very hard to sit there and hear them. They did not know (because he didn’t tell them) that he had had multiple affairs and she was at her wits end. They made fun of her. I cry thinking about it. I mumbled something like, “There are always two sides to every story.” What i wanted to scream was . . . “This is an amazing woman who was betrayed by the man who said he would stand by her side – and ONLY her side – for the rest of their lives.

    Thank you for this topic. In the future, I will try to make it an educational moment rather than an angry confrontation/defense. Of course, I also need to make sure that I’m not putting my own feelings into this.

    PS. I would love to be included in any information about a retreat in Hawaii. I’m struggling with what happens next after 2.5 years. I’m still having trouble with adjusting and with PTSD. My spouse is having trouble with guilt over the pain that he has caused.

  7. Shifting Impressions December 29, 2018 at 6:01 pm #

    I don’t usually avoid these conversations but I don’t go looking for them either. I have no problem speaking my opinion. Cheating is the cowards way….and I stand by that.

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