My Monday morning routine for the website basically boils down to finding good content for the Higher Healing Member area and coming up with a topic for Wednesday’s discussion. 

This Monday, figuring out a discussion topic was a struggle, as is sometimes the case.  Just when I was about to put  this task on the back burner for the day, I checked my inbox and there was an email from Anne Bercht that pretty much handed this week’s topic to me all nice and gift-wrapped. 

Anne writes…

“What if you were told it was inevitable. An affair was going to happen in your marriage. There was nothing you could do about it. However, you had a choice. You could choose which side of the affair you were going to be on, the one who had the affair, or the one who did not have the affair.”

Obviously this is a hypothetical situation, but what if it wasn’t?

So the question this week is…

Which side of the affair would you choose to be on?  Why?

Before you answer this question, it might be a good thing for you to read Anne’s article and then come back and make your comment.

That’s it for this week!

Be sure to respond to one another in the comment section.

Thanks!

Linda & Doug

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LINESPACE

See also  Discussion – Your Position on Infidelity Versus Reality

    51 replies to "Discussion – Would You Rather be the Faithful or the Unfaithful?"

    • Patsy50

      Without a question— I would rather be the faithful. Sometimes it seems the unfaithful have it much easier but I truly believe they suffer as well.

      I would love to hear comments from the unfaithful side.

    • blueskyabove

      This is an easy decision for me.  I would rather be the betrayed spouse.   Just the thought of being so lost and confused that I would readily disregard my values frightens me.  My husband and I have had this discussion and he admits that it scares him to know that he basically had very few boundaries in place at the time.  He was at a really weak, low point in life.  He was unstable and desperate.  It is not beyond my understanding to realize that desperate people do desperate things.  One of my regrets is that he did not trust me enough to share his feelings of worthlessness with me and chose instead to run away to fantasyland with the other woman.  He took what he thought at the time was the easy way out.  Ha!  Nope, I wouldn’t want to be the one who had the affair.  I do not want to heap that onto my already-full plate.

    • OnlyTricia

      I would love to be the unfaithful so maybe I would have a clue why the hell would somebody risk everything to live in a fantasy world and blissfully run away from my problems instead of dealing with them like an adult should..

      • Recovering

        OnlyTricia,

        LOL! I initially thought the same thing, but it just isn’t possible for me to even begin to imagine what the heck my husband was thinking and how he could do what he did, no matter what! It just isn’t possible for me to be able to see things from his side, because I’ve always looked down on guys that hit on me when they knew I was married! It disgusted me then even if THEY were not married, but to cheat with a MARRIED person when YOU are married yourself? Why does that person even seem attractive? Yuck! Just the fact that they were married would kill any idea of them being attractive in my eyes, even if they were Matt Damon or Ryan Reynolds!!! I just can’t… And to be a liar… not in my moral character! Just can’t do it! Plus now that my husband has his head out of his butt he doesn’t know what he was doing either. He was drunk the first night they fooled around… I am pretty sure that after that she pursued him and he convinced himself that he would’ve have done that if he hadn’t been happy at home and so on it went, becoming MY fault that he cheated… until the day the OW made fun of a sweet text I had sent my husband and called me a name… that led to them arguing and him coming home all upset and me FINALLY finding the proof on his phone that night… I was SOOO bad he was defending me to his whore! Ha!! Clearly his head was up there pretty far… and I would never want to look THAT stupid! At least as the betrayed spouse we only look stupid to the point of loving and trusting what our spouse tells us, and THAT isn’t really stupid at all! Plus the thrill is easy to put back in your marriage… with a little work anyway…

    • forcryin'outloud

      A delusional narcissistic jerk or an adult trying to deal with the hurdles of life with their morals intact. The latter every time! At the very least I don’t have to look in the faces of my family and know the pain is my fault.

    • Hopeful

      Faithful. When everything hits the fan, as it always does, the faithful are hurt badly, as I was, but for me I was also relieved and I finally was able to regain a sense of coherence to my life. My intuition and reality were reunited, once again, as spot on. I was not going crazy. I was not imaging things. I was right. I knew all along. The unfaithful has to deal with their breakdown of reality that they had denied, along with guilt, shame, embarrassment, and the need to STILL FACE the issues that landed them in this place to begin with while also taking on the role of healer, punching bad, and shit eater without the benefits of a secret fantasy ego pumper upper.

    • Rachel

      Well, in my situation my not soon enough ex husband AKA the cheater, seems to have it made. Once again he has cancelled divorce court for tomorrow . His excuse this time is he doesn’t agree with everything so he now has a new proposal. Well, he can try all he want I’m not budging!
      I will go to trial even if it will cost more money. His piggy girlfriend will be on the stand gazing at her sole mate ! I can’t wait!

      • Doug

        Rachel, I guess I’m ignorant when it comes to divorce court, but isn’t a court date a court date that needs to be adhered to? I would have thought that there had better be a pretty damn good reason for a hearing to be postponed. Sorry that this is dragging out for you.

        • Rachel

          Yes Doug one would think. I’m completely drained. July 21st will be one year.

          • Doug

            Seems to me that his intentions are to wear you down.

            • Strengthrequired

              I agree with you Doug, i think he is hoping Rachel will have enough and give in to what he wants.
              I too am so surprised that court can be cancelled at any moment, it just doesn’t seem right.
              I’m thinking of you Rachel.

    • Strengthrequired

      I would prefer to be faithful, why let my morals drop, my standards drop, just to hurt my family or someone else’s family. I could not do it.
      Unfaithful shows weakness
      Faithful shows strength.

    • overwhelmed

      I suppose this question is easy for most of us considering our circumstances

      But after 20 years of 100% faithfulness, I can’t see it any other way. I made a promise to my W which I take very seriously. I will not break that promise. Ever.

      Well put Strengthrequired. I agree 100%.

      • Strengthrequired

        Overwhelmed, 100% faithful here too for over 22yrs. I would prefer to leave then be unfaithful, who wants that price tag anging around their neck, not me, that’s for sure.

    • kelbelly

      Years ago I cheated on my boyfriend and I have never forgot the hurt that I caused him. I made myself a promise to never go down that path again and never have. I have told my hubby many times that if I really felt I needed someone else, I would leave him first. I would choose being the BS anytime over being the CS

    • overwhelmed

      Let me put my comment in perspective. A few years ago, I met a woman in a business meeting. I felt good around her. Excited, pulse quickened. And after our 3rd business meeting I recognized it for what it was and just shut it off. End of story.

    • Strengthrequired

      That’s where you showed strength in yourself and commitment to your marriage. If only everyone could have that, maybe we wouldn’t be here now.

    • Rachel

      Thank you all. And the drama continues.
      My ex told my oldest son that he really made a mistake and he misses me and he hopes it’s not too late. My son told his father it’s too late!!!
      The ex said to my youngest that he made a mistake, misses me and hope it’s not too late for me to take him back. ?????
      He hasnt mentioned it to me? It’s all a game to make me look bad. And it worked. My youngest son is upset with me .
      I had to go to an attorney today because the ex has a new proposal. Boy this is not from someone who misses me that’s for sure. It’s all about $$$$$. In his favor of course.

    • Strengthrequired

      I’m not sure what to say rachel, sometimes reading your posts with how your h keeps canceling court it had me wonder if your exh was having second thoughts about the divorce.
      I can see how your oldest son said it’s too late, he is the man if the house now, and wants to protect mum, now as for the youngest, for being upset with you because of what his dad said, it’s because he just wants his family back together. So now he thinks if dad wants to come home then it must be mums fault for not making it come happen.
      See what your exh new demands are when you see your attorney, I really do hoe all works out for the vest for you and your family. Your doing great in a bad situation.

    • Strengthrequired

      Just ti let you know everyone, don’t ask your cheating spouse this question, it doesn’t go down well.
      My h thought I was having a dig at him. So an innocent question turned ugly.
      Learn by my mistake, don’t ask.

    • overwhelmed

      SR: What question? Confused!

      • Strengthrequired

        Who they would prefer to be, the bs or cs ?

        • overwhelmed

          Oh duh….lol. That one.

    • Disappointed

      Today I would rather be the cs: entitled, living in fantasyland without remorse or guilt. Today I am tired of the immense, never-ending pain that the person that is everything to me thinks I am nothing and has rewritten our whole history so that he can justify his selfishness. I am tired of the blame and tired of their mutual admiration society. I am tired of being the better person.

      • overwhelmed

        I know exactly how you feel Disappointed. I kicked her out again tonight. She’s with the OM of course. At least she had the guts to tell the kids this time. I pretty much forced her hand on that issue.

        My daughter was a mess when they spoke on the phone.

        Don’t ever tire of being the better person. At the end of the day, we can say we’ve done all we can, maintained the high ground and been there for the rest of the family while our spouses are off in La-La-Land. Nothing else we can do but continue to be good people and better ourselves and to continue to care for those who want our love.

        Look at it this way; the very fact that we’re here on this site shows that all of us have an awful lot of love to give. If our CS’s won’t accept that love, it’s their loss. 🙁

    • Disappointed

      I know I could never be a CS. This week I told the OW’s husband that their affair restarted. He had no clue. I was shocked to learn they are separated and she moved out and has a rental home. the poor guy thought he was doing something wrong and was still trying to save the marriage. he thanked me for giving him peace of mind. Now I am waiting for the fallout and trying to figure out how best to handle. Feel much better that I told him. just wish my paralysis would end. guess I am one step closer. so tired.

    • nessw

      It is tiring, I would not want to be the one responsible for the collapse of our family. I wish I knew how to make my h move out. The simple logic of….. you’re not happy with our relationship, you’re not prepared to do anything to fix it while I am, you move out then….he calls a blame game. I’ve given up talking about blame but I don’t see why I should pick up and move out. Well done Overwhelmed, I guess my h must be the most stubborn ever cos no one else seems to be dealing with this.

      • overwhelmed

        I would have to disagree with you on the stubborn issue. My W is extremely stubborn when she digs her heels in. The only way I got her to leave was to badger her like this; “Leave. Get Out, Have you packed yet? You’re no longer welcome here.” etc

        It took the better part of a day. But it worked. It sucked doing that, (again) but after what she did yesterday, meeting the OM at the park with MY kids, that was the last straw.

    • nessw

      Hmmm. Well done overwhelmed, I’m happy for you. I tried several days of that some time ago with my h. It only made him more determined to stay in HIS house with HIS children and I’m afraid it backfired on me big time as that has become hos default position now. His family etc all think he should leave but this just fuels his ‘you and me against the world’ view that he shares with the ow. The fact that they have minimised but not ended their relationship gives them what they believe to be the moral high ground. There they are, being decent and not getting romantic so that he can stay with his kids…..so how dare I be upset about it and, if I don’t like it, tough. They really do see themselves as the most wonderful people. 🙁

      • exercisegrace

        Sounds somewhat familiar. When my husband ended the affair, the OW insisted they could continue to work together. She said she could separate business from personal and he believed her!!!! She spent most of a year trying to lure him back. He spent that year ducking away from her, but still being nice enough to avoid her subtle hints of blackmail.

        We have had huge fights because he has tried to hold this up as an example of how committed to me he was. How faithful he was at this time, and how hard he was working to rebuild our relationship. How HE ended it and stayed true to that decision. Funny, all I remember is that they were still working together every day and my life was a hell of fear and insecurity.

        You are exactly right. Just because they change “some” of their inappropriate behavior, does not mean they hold the moral high ground. When you have been wallowing in a manure dump, a mud puddle is not really an improvement even if it seems like one.

    • exercisegrace

      I too would choose to be the betrayed spouse, and for all the reasons already mentioned above. Chief among them knowing that I took the moral high road, while I EASILY could have claimed MOST of the same reasons for making the choice my husband made.

      Having said that, I wonder at times what it would be like to know that the mess you are in is of YOUR OWN choosing. I don’t doubt that my husband suffers for his mistake. I can see that he regrets it, it has caused him pain, he has lost SO much because of the affair. BUT. In some ways I wonder if it is easier to find your footing again when you can acknowledge to yourself that you messed up royally. When you can review the choices you made, the actions you took, and OWN that. As the betrayed spouse I feel like I was bombed by someone I thought was an ally not an enemy. Knowing that I had absolutely NO control over the situation, I had NO idea what was going on, was given NO voice in the situation whatsoever……is very very hard for me. At least if I was the cheating spouse I would have to see each little text, each stolen moment, each word for what it was and what exactly it cost me.

      • overwhelmed

        Very well put EG. I like your perspective.

    • tryingtoowife

      EG – I would sign bellow your statement. I could not have put it any better. I am stuck exactly on this one. My husband also have done all the work he could on himself and although he says it is very hard to live with the knowledge of choices he made and the pain and destruction he caused, I am still somewhere, where it is so hard to accept that the 19 years we shared previously, were nothing as I believed it to be. He owned up to the ” I made a BIG mess of everything, and I am so sorry!”, but I am left with the question: How could I have been excluded from his caring, and given such a blow from someone I used to love and trust without boundaries? How can I keep sharing my life, with someone that I got to know such ugly side? How can I learn to live the NOW, although I know exactly who put me into this sad state of mind? And he had all the joy of the moments he lived (at the time, and by his OWN choice) to justify his fall. And I?

      But I still would prefer to be the BS, living in regret and shame, can not be good. I have lots of regret too, but I can still hold my head high, even after finding out about all his betrayal, I am here, holding the family together, and us.

      • forcryin'outloud

        EG and TTW I can relate to both of your comments:
        “As the betrayed spouse I feel like I was bombed by someone I thought was an ally not an enemy.” -AND-
        “How could I have been excluded from his caring, and given such a blow from someone I used to love and trust…”
        It’s hard for me to stomach that my H had lost all respect for me as a person. Our marriage aside, why couldn’t he treat me w/the decency I deserved as a person who had been a part of his life for over 2 decades.
        I’ve come to realize I’m damaged from his actions but he has a damaged soul.

    • Disappointed

      The hold my head high thing doesn’t work for me. hold my head high when the world will know he thinks I am nothng compared to her? that 21yrs means nothing compared to 5minutes with her? hold my head high for what? because I am the honorable one? The law doesn’t ccare and neither doess much of the world. she will hold her head high. she has taken everything from me. She is triumphant. I have lost. holding my head high means nothing right now.

      • overwhelmed

        What other people think doesn’t matter. Anyone who thinks that you are somehow less of a person because you spouse is cheating isn’t worth the air they’re breathing.

        Stay strong. Keep you head held high. One way of the other, on the other side of this you’ll be

        • overwhelmed

          OK.

      • exercisegrace

        Disappointed, you DO need to hold your head high. I have come to the conclusion that I have spent TOO many years basing my self esteem, my sense of worth, and my value on the judgement of other people. When my husband cheated, I felt like a failure. I failed as a wife to keep him home. Well, no that’s not the case. Not for me and not for you. If we had been asked, if we had been given a vote we could have been part of the solution instead of creating a bigger problem.

        My goal right now is to learn to value MYSELF. And define that value for myself. I want to be ME again, and like who that person is. If my husband likes her too, that’s a bonus. Yes, I love him and I want to repair our marriage. But I will never again turn myself inside out and upside down to be what someone, anyone, else wants me to be. If you love me, you accept ME for who I am. After all, that’s who he fell in love with thirty years ago. I am the one that LET that change over the years. I LET other people define me. No more. BE YOU. Decent, honorable, good YOU. She has NOT won. it may not feel that way right now, but it will in time.

    • tryingtoowife

      Disappointed. You are hurting and angry! I hold my head high for reasons that have nothing to do with my husband actions, but my own. When you find your “feet” in your situation, you might feel that too. Wishing you strength.

    • Gizfield

      Hey, guys. I need your help please. The other day someone posted a comment that her husband became different , depressed, and had an affair after having coronary bypass surgery. I was shocked because this is what happened to me. I wanted to respondst that time but wasn’t able to. I never have had any luck with finding anything on this anywhere. The only reason I ever connected the two was a friend of mine at work was talking about her mother being depressed and negative and that she hated to see her that way, she used to be so different. I asked what happened and she said her mother became a completely different person after bypass surgery. so if you posted this our remember it please let me know. Thank you so much!!

      • exercisegrace

        It’s pretty common for heart patients to become depressed and scared. As LOAF said, it’s a reminder of how short life is and also that they have so many new limitations that they didn’t before, ie: dietary restrictions, activity restrictions. It gives them a huge sense of loss of control. this all spills out in various forms. Depression, risky behaviors, “re-inventing” themselves etc.

    • livingonafence

      Gizfield, it’s an outlook on life thing, not a physical thing. Bypass surgery means…getting on in years usually. It’s a physical reminder of our short time on earth. It, and other issues, can cause a midlife crisis.

    • Gizfield

      Thanks, ya’ll, I understand that anyone with a life threatening condition will have depression, mid life crisis, etc.but what I’m referring to is physical, and it is related to the bypass Surgery itself. Something to do with the high level of anesthesia, or having your heart completely stopped for an extended period of time. Not sure exactly. He has memory loss too from this. It’s very serious, and no one even mentions it. I will say seeing him in the recovery room was one of the scariest experiences of my life. He literally looked like a 200 year old dead mummy, not a 42 year old man.

      • Rachel

        Wow, thanks guys for this interesting subject.
        My husband had surgery on his neck two discs herniated.
        He became a different person after that. I noticed my boys my parents and our friends.
        He had the incision in the front of his neck. He went to a plastic surgeon to see if and when the scar would disappear. He was not perfect anymore.
        I nursed him back to health that summer. It was nice although I thought. Four months later, he hooked up with his ex from 30 years ago, when he was 20 and perfect.

    • Gizfield

      I think it’s a fascinating topic, Rachel I just wish I could find the person who commented the other day about the side effects of the by pass surgery. My husband did not want to talk about it at all afterward. He never even told his mother he had it ! It has been difficult keeping his secret, and I have almost slipped and told it by accident. Later, he told me that he “”went crazy”. Became obsessed with feeling “young”. Looked up a chick he had a crush on, or dated or some shit, when he was in his 20s. his only explanation was “she took me back to my youth.” Which I find odd, cause he doesn’t seem to think his youth was that great ! At least my husband liked me, not the fact that he knew me when I was 20 years old . Not that I “make him feel young”.

    • Gizfield

      Why, thank you, Overwhelmed! That is so sweet of you. I was beginning to think I had imagined seeing that comment. Lol, I have a horrible memory.

    • Recovering

      There is no question about it… if I wanted to be the betrayer I could have easily been already, but my moral compass doesn’t sway in that direction, nor am I selfish, or sick, enough to do that to myself or anyone else. The pain that I am going through I DO wish on the whore that my husband cheated with, but I would never be the one to cheat with her husband to get back at her (not that I haven’t had a sick fantasy about it, though! LOL!!). There is obviously something totally wrong with someone who is okay with being someone that most people hate, that is okay with lying, and having sex with someone who is obviously still having sex with someone else, who is still living with someone else, who still goes home to that someone else on a nightly basis, and spends all weekend with the children he made with that someone else… Cheating is disgustingly sick!! I would NEVER choose to be that person, and it still makes my stomach turn that my husband was okay with himself being that person for 2 years!! I can honestly say that I have NEVER cheated on ANYONE… EVER! Not before marriage, and certainly not since!! And I am sick of the bullcrap that society is putting out there that is making people believe it is okay – that crap that we weren’t meant to be monogamous, the auctioning off of Monica Lewinsky’s nightie… Gimmie an f-ing break already!!!! No wonder I am in this mess!! UGH!! I just wish HE could feel what I am going through! I am realizing that I will never trust him again like I did before, and that to me is so sad because it means that I will never fully love him the way I did before – and I enjoyed that love and safety… and now it’s gone. Sure, we still have love, but for me it is much more lonely…. I would NEVER want to be the cheater… never!

    • Sadtolong

      Definitely the betrayed spouse. My H was 60 at the time with 29 years together. His reasoning, she was a feather in his cap, she was 46 and married as well. Her husband never found out. He didn’t think he would get caught. It lasted 6 months, I think, maybe longer to this day he has never owned up to it in depth. Answers I got, “can’t remember or I forget” . Ya right! Gets upset if I bring up the subject , wants to sweep it under carpet. My problem, I can’t trust him with lies and secrets between us. Says he loved me and I was in no way the cause. So, I have had to deal with feelings and emotions alone. I love him in spite but at 69 I’m afraid to leave, but my life is a hell. I’ve told him how I suffer from his affair, he says he wishes I could trust him once again. Even living like this I would never cross the line and cheat. I would have a hard time living with myself. I can’t imagine living a double life and telling him I loved him while sneaking off with someone else.

    • chiffchaff

      The faithful.
      I think the reason for that is that I had a few opportunities with work colleagues over the years and althought they were an ego boost at the time I just couldn’t (and didn’t) let it develop beyond the initial flirting. It made me feel distinctly uncomfortable as well as horribly guilty. I think I knew that it was just an ego boost and felt guilty about that as much as anything. I also tended to view these men as having character flaws that were also best avoided, many of them I knew had had office affairs before and another I knew was having marital difficulties. When I took these things into account the ego boost left pretty quickly as you realise that you’re nothing special but you just seem available to them.
      I think that the problem for my H was that he’d had an opportunity early in our marriage and rebuffed it, felt guilty and thought that was it. The next opportunity he took it to the next level and had a snog and fumble with her, in part because he felt like he’d got away with me not finding out about the opportunity he’d had before. He got away with the snog and fumble event and so the next opportunity he had, when he was also very low about himself, he took it to the next level and slept with her. and that was the OW. It was an ever increasing cycle of deceit, shame and then more deceit.
      If I hadn’t discovered the affair when I did I think if it wasn’t the OW he left me for it would’ve been another one on these shores.

    • anthony

      I turn down a few affairs,i loved my life and family ,now I wish I did not. my wife and boy friend are living together and makes me mad, I just hope they both are killed in some sort of incident that makes them both shit in their pants for an hour or so before they both die

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