my husband doesn't want to do shitThose were the words that one of our friends told Linda recently…

Saturday night we met up with two other couples who we consider to be some of our closest friends.  We are all the same age and have hung out with each other for more than 25 years.  For years, the six of us and all of our kids would go camping and do other stuff together several times a year.

We are all now to the point where our kids have either graduated from college, in college or will be entering college next fall.  Empty nest for all of us is just around the corner.

After a very entertaining and tasty dinner at a casual restaurant, we went outside to where a jazz concert was going on.  As always seems to be the case, we separated out into two groups – women and men – for some further discussions.

Now, us men stood there and talked about the normal stuff…sports, work, kids and yes, one of the other guys did do just a little wife-bashing.  Just a little!

Not until later on the drive home did I learn what the gals were chatting about.  Yes, you guessed it…their husbands.  And not much of it was very good at all. 

Linda claims it was the other two women that were doing all of the complaining (uh, huh) and the core complaints were that their husbands never wanted to do anything and were basically boring stick-in-the-muds. 

With empty nesthood approaching fast they were concerned that the rest of their lives were going to be lifeless and dull.  They questioned whether or not they had anything in common anymore with their husbands. They were bored.  They were also agitated, aggravated and fed up.

See also  What is Commitment in a Marriage?

Our friends and their issue were on-again, off-again topics of discussion between Linda and I for a few days after our night out.  We were trying to understand how they could have gotten to this place and hypothesized what could possibly be going on in their relationships, and why.

Without getting into too much of the details and background, it is apparent to us that they have fallen into a serious marital trap.  We even half-joked that the guys must be suffering from a lack of testosterone while both of the women are now ripe for affairs.

Extramarital Affairs and Boredom

I saw something somewhere that research indicates that 65% or more of extramarital affairs can be directly attributed to boredom.   Apparently it’s not caused by lack of love at all, but probably more likely due to the lack of newness, adventure and passion.

When you think about it, it makes sense. If there’s one thing that does not exist in a long-term marriage it’s that feeling of newness.  It can be a major weakness to a marriage. And as the years go by and more time and effort is devoted to raising and nurturing kids and taking care of all of life’s other issues, this weakness, along with adventure and passion, is often overlooked.

No matter how much our friends love each other – and they do – they are not immune to boredom.  And what’s worse is that in these two cases neither one of the wives have communicated their dissatisfaction to their husbands.  Sound familiar?

It’s in cases just like this that many people turn to infidelity in an ill-fated attempt to solve their boredom (or some other) problem.  There has to be a shift in thinking and approach here.   

See also  Getting Over the Affair – Minimizing the Damage of “Loving” the Affair Partner

Infidelity expert Suzie Johnson says:

“Monogamy isn’t a one-time choice for human beings; it’s an ongoing choice. And that choice requires both daily practice and unwavering commitment. This means monogamy cannot be forced. It can only be inspired.  And so, the million-dollar question is…What inspires us to choose to be (and stay) monogamous?  Two key things: our passion and our principles.

If you want to create and sustain a lifetime of monogamy, then you must also know how to renew passion, inspire desire and sustain a lifetime of commitment.

Since monogamy is an ongoing choice, it’s something that has to be inspired over the long term.  Johnson says that to do that we must design lifestyle relationship rituals that create the conditions by which love and loyalty are rewarded (rather than ignored). 

Five Lifestyle Rituals to Inspire Monogamy

  1. Rituals of Pleasure:  These would be things that you and your partner do because they are fun and pleasurable.  It could be a great meal, great sex or just watching a movie on the couch together.  Basically, stuff you enjoy. 
  2. Rituals of Relaxation: Here’s where you pamper yourselves to de-stress and chill out. It could be getting a massage or even enjoying a nice glass of wine together on the deck. 
  3. Rituals of Shared Common Experiences:  These are the live events like concerts, seminars, hobbies, etc.  They are activities that you do and/or share together. The best shared common experiences are those that are new to both of you. 
  4. Romantic Rituals:  Romantic rituals are often hard to define. They are those experiences that make a woman feel valued, admired or appreciated while a man can certainly have his share of fun while feeling valued and admired as well. They can be your date nights or romantic weekend getaways, for instance.
  5. Spiritual Rituals:  Spiritual rituals feed your soul. They should be positive and inspire you to more love and gratitude.   Activities like going to church or meditating are examples.                                                     
See also  How Infidelity Affects the Eight Areas that Lead to Successful Relationships

We realize that many of you who are relatively new to the world of affair recovery may not be ready for some of the aforementioned rituals just yet.  Hopefully, those of you who are further along and are in the marriage rebuilding and strengthening phase can find this helpful.

What are your thoughts on Johnson’s idea that the two main factors that keep us monogamous are passion and principles?

What are some things that you do to try and keep the passion alive and kicking?

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    69 replies to "Most of the Time My Husband Doesn’t Want to do Sh*t"

    • gizfield

      I can see where boredom could be a contributing factor to cheating, especially at work, lol. I even wrote a comment to that effect not long ago. I also remember a few years ago my husband saying he would “honor his boring commitment.” Guess The Turd does more interesting things like eat sushi, try to look “phat and fresh”, and try to be a hipster. That said, anyone who knows my husband and I would say that HE is the boring one; ie, wants to stay home, etc. So, what gives, lol?

    • Donna

      I love to be out and do fun things from traveling to movies to concerts etc. my husband constantly has a headache and does suffer from migraines but refuses to go anywhere. if we do go to a wedding as it is an obligation he will sit and not speak to anyone and always won’t to leave early. there was a time he was the life of the party and now….I believe he is depressed and has seen his doctor and neurologists for his headaches but no one has told him he may suffer from depression . I have even spoken with his dr. Who says she doesn’t see it yet he has all the signs. Any ideas?

      • Doug

        Donna, he may indeed suffer from depression. In fact, that is one of the explanations we have for one our friends. It runs in his family and he has suffered with it and sleep disorder for years. Certainly you must determine that there is nothing more serious physically going on as well. On the other hand, Linda read some book ( I think by Suzanne Somers) that claimed much of the fuddy-duddyness in men stems from a lack of testosterone. Once her (much older) husband started doing things to increase his T-levels, he once again became more active, horny, etc.

    • Donna

      Doug,
      My husband is on testosterone crime as his numbers were really low and he is better as he used to be really nasty and kept telling me he doesn’t love me anymore. I had counseled with Jed diamond who believed he is depressed but my husband will not even consider this. he had an emotional affair a few years ago and I have had a hard time forgiving him but I do not let him know this. I try to engage him and put energy into our relationship and it helps for a few days then he is back to doing nothing. Jed believed he was having a midlife crisis and he does fit the scenario but I am just worn out and tired of dealing with him. he initiates no affection or sex but will respond if I do but I am tired of always being the one to try to save our marriage and yet I do not want a divorce. I have begun traveling without him because he won’t go. unless he goes to work doesn’t want to go out at all but will sometimes . he says he feels indifferent even to his family. We have a son who lives in Australia and he would not even go see him. I don’t know what to do any,more. But living with a depressed person takes the life out of you

    • john

      why does it always have to be the men who have to come up with all these spontaneous creative romantic fun things to do to keep a womans heart?! I’m running out of ideas and she’s boring the sh## outta me and she’s the one who cheated. So as a reward for trying to keep my marriage together I get to work harder than ever on our relationship while my character and personality is constantly on trial. I’m doing everything I can to bring the romance and passion back to our marriage while she acts miserable every day. I can’t help but ask myself is it worth it? Now she’s pregnant (it’s mine) and I don’t really have a choice. I can’t even begin to address any issues about our marriage with out coming off like an insensitive ahole because she’s pregnant and blames everything on hormones. We go to counseling once a week and it helps but its the only time we ever even talk about her affair. I know now we got pregnant way too early after the affair becuse I’m obviously still struggling in the aftermath. she willingly goes to counseling but I don’t think think she puts much effort towards repairing our marriage.

      • IMHO

        At least you are trying. My husband doesn’t try to do ANYTHING. He has no ideas, no desire to do simple fun or actively engage with me on anything.
        I am tired of the many years of being his personal assistant, ‘director’, PR person, party planner, date night organizer, relational health coach, spiritual leader and the ‘bad guy’ parent.
        I want him to do SOMETHING, but he’s happy with being on his laptop or watching the depressing news all day long.
        I feel trapped and I don’t want to live life separately from him, but I really have no choice but to move on and do things on my own. Problem is, is that when I do, he texts or calls me frequently asking when I’ll be home.
        Its control, but only when he sees me doing things that don’t involve him.
        I feel like I’m slowly being snuffed out.

      • Donna Rose Angel

        Your child is not an “it.” Your child was in heaven with God (the Almighty God who made you and everything else, including your child). God made the decision to give you and your wife a child. Your child is a little boy or a little girl. Your child is a baby- a precious, marvelous, magical little bundle of joy, giggles, cries, awareness, intelligence and soul. Your problem is not your wife nor your child. Your problem is that you are not aware of how much God loves you and your wife and your child. Your children are your treasure, and your wife was a gift from God. He gave you a human being to love, protect and admire. She is also capable of becoming pregnant with your human offspring, the progenitor of the generations of your descendants who will follow you in this great adventure called life after you are dead and gone. Get closer to God (Jesus). Pray. Read the Bible. Listen to some good sermons (ones you enjoy on topics that interest you – plenty on YouTube). Go to church. Hunt around until you find one you love. They are out there, but you have to search for them. Read articles on fatherhood and how special fathers are. Don’t waste these precious years resenting your wife and children. One day, you will realize they are way more important than sports, TV, boats, motorcycles, cars, video games, your job or whatever else you use to occupy your time. Grow up. Learn to enjoy fatherhood and husbandry. Become a man, a real one. Learn to appreciate your blessings and thank God for them every day. Thank God you have a wife and a child. Thank God you have that job to go to no matter how much you sometimes might hate it. If you didn’t have it, you would be out job hunting, and that’s a bitch. If you didn’t have a wife, you would be lonely and would be out there hunting for a woman, and that can also be a bitch, especially when you are older and maybe not so hot as you used to be. If you didn’t have a child, your life would not matter nearly as much. So, be glad for your family, and draw close to your Maker. Signed: Donna Rose Angel, An Angel of God, a real one.

    • Disappointed

      My H never wants to do anything and has called his existence dead with me and that she awakened him. he will drive an hour to see her for 20 min and goes out fo coffee and to movies, etc. he doesn’t want things to improve. Easier to blame me.

    • exercisegrace

      “And so, the million-dollar question is…What inspires us to choose to be (and stay) monogamous? Two key things: our passion and our principles.”

      What about commitment as a daily choice? You can be bored, stressed, depressed, or a whole host of other emotions on ANY given day. Particularly in a long term relationship. For ME, the absolute foundation of monogamy is my commitment to that very principle. Remember what the marriage vows say? Well some days will be poorer (and not just in money). You have to commit, for better or worse.

      • IMHO

        I agree that, for me, its my commitment to God, first and foremost.
        This commitment keeps me here but I don’t know what kind of godly marriage this is, when he contributes no energy or time to it.
        This is not what God intended for marriage…at all.

    • Rachel

      Friday may 31st will be divorce day. Also, the 21st birthday of my oldest son. How profound.
      My ex made out very well during the pre-trial. Unless I wanted to peruse thing it would have cost me between 15,000-20,000.
      The judge stated that nobody wins in a divorce. My ex may have made out well with money , but I have my sons. I WON!

      • exercisegrace

        Rachel, I am so sad that this is the path you have been forced to walk. BUT I am so happy that this is FINALLY coming to closure for you. There will be peace in it being OVER, pursuing it would likely not be worth the emotional cost. You are so VERY right. The money he gets will be spent and gone. You have your sons’ hearts, love, support, and respect. Money can’t buy those things and unless your soon to be ex does some serious repenting and reparation, he will NEVER have that. Blessings friend! Stay strong. You have my prayers.

        • forcryin'outloud

          I couldn’t say it better EG. Best wishes Rachel…you have won what is most important to you!!!

          • Rachel

            Thank you exercise grace and for cryin’outloud, I appreciate your kind words.

      • Tryinghard

        Rachel
        I’m glad it’s over for you. No, no one wins we just keeping moving forward. Prayers for peace for you. And really peace for your ex too. My son is starting his divorce proceedings this week and he has a 3 year old son. ULK I hate it all for everyone but I am trying to be the constant for him. Kind of hard though.

    • exercisegrace

      Doug, I know you were joking but “knowing” Linda and what you guys have learned through hard experience, I am willing to bet she did very, very little husband bashing. It IS easy to jump on the band wagon when everyone is picking apart their spouses. Pre-affair I was as guilty as anyone. Post-affair, I am uncomfortably aware that making mountains out of molehills can be a dangerous self-fulfilling prophecy. I vent ONLY to my bff, who knows our story and my level of commitment to this relationship. Just not appropriate to do so with anyone else. Also I am MUCH more aware of making even the slightest joke at his expense. I never did that very much, but now I try not to AT ALL.

      • Doug

        EG, I was indeed joking as she playing the role of advisor, not basher. Besides, I’m a fun person and I do like to do sh*t! 😉

        • IMHO

          Here, here! I too am a fun person, and we don’t do shi* b/c other half is content doing nothing. His apathy is excruciating and I feel myself just shriveling up and blowing away in the wind.

          • DMC

            IMHO….
            Can I ask how old you are? I ask because I feel exactly the same way as you. My husband is retired and never wants to do anything. I am 62 and he is 70, maybe it’s his age….
            I do everything outside the home with friends, nothing with him. Not much of a marriage, I know.
            Just wanted to let you know I understand what you’re going through, you’re not alone!

            • IMHO

              I’m 66, hubby is 73. The age difference could be one contributing factor, but I believe its much more than that for me. He hasn’t changed a whole lot since we started our family. It’s as if having a family ended any ‘fun’ for him. He is physically able and strong to do things still. Maybe he’s just waiting until he is unable to do things anymore; only then he may realize what a jerk he was for putting life off.
              I do everything. Period. Always have. He just loved to work, work and more work. (at least 80 hours/wk) He never took up any hobbies or expressed a desire to do anything fun together. If we did, its b/c I researched, planned and executed the whole event. He’d let accrued vacation time EXPIRE in order to work more. He dug a 6 ft hole for my soul and buried it, really. When he retired, I thought, “Yay, maybe now he will relax enough to enjoy life together.” But as I have found out, it didn’t change a thing. He still doesn’t do hobbies, hang out with friends, do guy things or have a desire to do anything with me. I’ve always been a person who loved to have fun, have parties, try new things, laugh, go dancing, basically ENJOY life. Any ‘fun’, I must create myself without any assistance from him. Now he ‘lives’ to do chores (cut the lawn, trim trees, weed whack the weeds, run an errand it its something he wants). Bigger problem is, I don’t know how to make a life for myself and to enjoy things on my own. I’ve spent our 44 years of marriage waiting for him to be available for us and its ruined me. We just moved across the country to a rural home with property (a long desired lifestyle), but regrettably, I’m more isolated than ever before. There’s not much here to do and if there is, its a minimum of an hour away. He won’t engage in a lively discussion with me, but he sure and hell can talk for 2 hrs on the phone or with neighbors. I finally admitted to myself that I married a really boring person. Someone who was all bright eyed and bushy tailed for the first 6 years of our marriage but who turned life OFF when kids came into the picture. So how do I get myself to just go my own way? Not in the sense of divorce but finding enjoyment outside our marriage? This can be a dangerous thing to do. I’m petite and pretty given my age and my personality draws people in. So this concerns me a bit. He was and still is, a fool. But I guess, I myself, was fooled too.

      • Tryinghard

        Eg
        True. I don’t husband bash has either. Too painful and once I would start I wouldn’t know where to stop! Not exactly good party talk! I only vent here. Aren’t all of you lucky:)

    • exercisegrace

      Very good post Doug. I think the trap your friends fell into was set years ago. It is so easy to make our lives about our kids. If friends tend to be the parents of our kids’ teammates, school friends, etc. they are dependent on those activities. Our social lives can revolve a bit too much THROUGH our kids. We become so busy raising our kids, that we neglect to pursue our OWN interests and hobbies, especially as a couple.

      I don’t think we should ever let ourselves fall into the boredom trap either, but I am so tired (as the betrayed spouse) of feeling like I need to become a one woman circus to keep the interest going. I feel like I need to turn into a stepford wife. Everywhere you look there are things telling us how to be hotter in the bedroom, cook healthier more exciting menus, pick up thrilling new hobbies. Right now some days I just want to crawl under a rock.

      • forcryin'outloud

        I have to agree. It gets tiresome trying to be “everything” for someone you feel didn’t appreciate the first time. Sometimes I feel like we divorced while staying married. If that makes sense.

        • exercisegrace

          FCOL, it makes TOTAL sense. I have said to him more than once that I don’t know who I am anymore. While I am not perfect, I was a loving, supportive, faithful wife. Even he says he had no complaints. It was his stress and depression and need for “escape”. Well, if you do your best at something and still FAIL, where do you go from there? I kind of envy the people who say….we were on the verge of divorce before the affair and I can kind of see why it happened. Or well, our marriage had really drifted apart and I knew we were very disconnected. He keeps telling me I did nothing wrong, there was nothing I could have done better or different. It was his brokenness and going into self-destruct mode. Ok fine. But where is my security? Where is the feeling that what I have devoted the last THIRTY years of my life to, has mattered?

          • Doug

            This came to our email by mistake. It’s from Donna:

            “I so agree..I had supported my husband for years while he went to school. Devoted my life to him and my children..worked at a job I hated for the money and where am I know? I feel none of it was appreciated and he has a sense of entitlement. It sucks”

            • IMHO

              Dear sister, yes, these feelings haunt me daily.
              For many years I have silently said to myself (as my husband worked almost 80 hours/week and let vacation time go because he was “too busy” to take time off), I told myself to hang in there, it’ll work out at some point. We saw therapists through the years but nothing changed.
              But I, like you, intensely feel like the decades of marriage, taking care of everything (house, kids, social life and working myself), has led me nowhere.
              What I thought would come back to me at some point (like a true relational marriage), is no longer my dream. My husband retired last year and although he has time to do things, he does nothing.
              Yes, it SUCKS the big one and I struggle to deal with the profound disappointment, frustration and anger towards him and I don’t like myself anymore because I’ve lost respect for him and I’m irritable all the time. I am normally a fun person and outgoing, but even that has faded away.

          • Strength required

            EG, who is perfect, ohhh that’s right the ow that’s who. In the midst of the fog, they can do no wrong, probably a fair way out of the fog too, before things start showing themselves for what it really was.
            My h and I were the same, it was my h brokenness stress and depression, midlife crsis (he had these dreams of retiring at 40) too, we hadn’t argued, I was loving, faithful and there for him, there was really no reason for this to happen to us. Yet here we are.
            I too told him, I know Im nit perfect , nor will I ever be perfect, but you won’t find anyone that loves you more than me.

        • Strengthrequired

          Rachel, my prayers are with you, I’m so relieved your children are with you,.
          My h was telling me on the weekend how his mistress told him, if I didn’t want my children, how she would be so happy to raise them with him. Peace of trash she is, I see even more with that comment she made how she wanted my children, as well as my h, I cam only imagine the bad things she told my h to get him on her side with that idea, having him think I was a terrible mother as well as wife.
          Thankfully, my h told her, there is no way I will take the children away from their mother.
          So I’m so happy for you that you have your children.
          Take care

        • Strengthrequired

          Fcol, it’s very tiresome, I guess we just have to focus on our h losing their way and were not strong enough to see their way clearly. I wonder at times how my h felt when he looked at himself in the mirror while his eyes mind was battling with his heart and soul. We can only imagine how his own eyes and mind were deceiving him. Having him believe something that wasn’t true.
          I know my h has always been a strong capable man, full of honor, self respect and pride, it definately would not have been an easy road seeing someone else staring at you in the mirror.
          I can see how my h would prefer to forget.

      • Doug

        Agreed. Our marriage for many years was all about our kids and their activities, sports, etc. Most of our friends were developed through the people we have met in those activities (those mentioned in this post excluded). Prior to our experience with infidelity Linda had always been the family organizer and planner and she did a hell of a job. One thing that has changed a bit is that she no longer wants to have that role so much any more. She wants me to take the lead with planning nights out, hikes, weekend trips, etc. Things have evened out quite a bit and we have some nice little teamwork going on.

        • exercisegrace

          Excellent point Doug. I was always the family planner and organizer too. The “glue” as our therapist says. My husband’s job was mainly to just show up and participate. The affair has changed that for me. While I used to assume that he valued our time together as much as I did, and assume that he wanted to do things together, I no longer do. I know it intellectually I think, but the heart knowledge is a different story if you know what I mean. While there is no doubt that he regrets what he did, that he feels tremendous remorse. I am asking him to step up into a role he has really never (in 26 years of marriage) had to fulfill. Then I feel hurt when he doesn’t. I have to keep reminding myself that he needs time to adjust to the fact that life has changed.

        • IMHO

          Yup, I no longer want all the responsibility of doing it all, anymore. I’m exhausted and burned out. My other half knows this, but still, does not take any of the responsibility on. He still waits for my direction and I’ve stopped doing all I did because he won’t put any responsibility onto himself. We’ve been married 42 years. I think I’ve done my share. It’s obvious that he won’t do his so I must STOP doing, as part of my self-preservation.

    • gizfield

      Exercise Grace, I totally agree. No matter what the level of infidelity ( from daydreaming about an ex to full blown adultery) the one constant factor in cheaters is that they chose to dishonor their commitment while people who did not cheat honored it. NO MATTER WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES. everything else is just circumstantial, and an excuse.

    • exercisegrace

      Doug, Linda, anyone else……one topic I would love to see discussed: how do you handle ti when the topic of affairs comes up in discussion with friends, etc. Last night my husband and sister got into a somewhat heated discussion when she brought up a friend from our hometown that got caught cheating. He has become a public figure, and the repercussions are potentially enormous. Of course my sister feels that he is getting exactly what he deserved, put himself in that position, etc. My husband said you don’t know what was going on his life, what he was dealing with, etc. She does not know our situation.

      I tried to strike a balance and move the conversation in a different direction. But after she left, he was angry. he said if she was going to be such a jerk, she didn’t need to come over here, or he didn’t need to ever be around her, blah blah blah. Of course that was a trigger for me, and I told him that it was nice that he was focusing on how the whole thing made HIM feel, and totally ignored how gut wrenching it was for ME as she sat there describing a college boyfriend who cheated on her, and went on at length about “how I have no idea the pain, the agony, the etc etc…of being cheated on”. Ugh. I felt gutted. If she only knew.

      I basically told him I understand how shamed and guilty that all made him feel, but he has done the crime and this discussion WILL come up from time to time. And he had better think about how to mentally gird himself and decide how to react calmly to it. I handled it FAR better than he did, and I think I should be the one ranting and raving over how bad it made me feel. Oh wait, here I am doing JUST THAT, LOL LOL.

      Just curious how everyone else deals.

    • gizfield

      Exercise grace, this is exactly the kind of thing I was trying to get through to Eyes Opened about. Yes, she says she feels “remorse” but she is still “defensive” about what she did. And I’m but judging her about this, I’m just commenting on it. I totally believe until you honestly think that both “affair partners” are equally responsible for the affair, under any circumstances,no matter what “reasons”they give, no matter who they are, yourself or others, it is being defensive. If anyone thinks they were lured, or tricked, or coerced, or anything else into cheating on your spouse then there is an issue. The responsibility for what you did is totally on YOU, no one else. So you are either In or Out on this one. If anyone condones cheating, or blames one of the affair partners or a spouse, you just have to wonder WHY.

      • exercisegrace

        It’s a vicious cycle I see repeated on many blogs. The affair partner wants to place the blame on the betrayed spouse. Something along the lines of, well if he was happy he wouldn’t be with me. It’s his wife’s fault for not meeting her husband’s needs. Stupid. That’s like saying it’s ok for me to walk into a bank and steal money if the security guard isn’t looking. It’s his fault for not paying enough attention. Alternately, the affair partner wants to place the blame on the cheating spouse. He lied to her, manipulated her, made her promises he didn’t keep. Well, wow. Big surprise.
        The betrayed spouses often like to place more blame on the OW. And honestly I have done that at times. She is a safer target to vent my rage towards. I don’t live with her, I am not trying to make a life and raise a family with her. Others blame their spouse ONLY. That too is wrong. The truth lies in the middle, where two selfish people made themselves look like “all that” and they were both stupid enough to think that someone who was willing to lie and deceive their spouse would magically be some honest, ethical person with THEM. HA.

    • gizfield

      Oh, one more thing. I’m guilty of this some what, but all cheaters will have a”sob story” regarding why they cheat. Some are more compelling than others but every body has one. My husband did, I did, my affair partner did, my husband’s affair partner did, every body who ever cheated did, lol. It may be kind of obscure sometimes but it’s there. My spouse is: old, fat, boring, lazy, doesn’t like sex, doesn’t love me, harsh, critical, unappreciative, ugly, jealous, nagging, a shrew, etc. the list goes on and on and on. The real reason is that the person reached a point where they became so selfish that this activity became ok in their own eyes. And yes, if they were that “unhappy” they should grow up, admit to it, and get a divorce. No exceptions.

      • exercisegrace

        And that goes right to the heart of why so very few people actually DO leave. They are NOT as unhappy as they profess themselves to be. They are selfishly seeking attention, with NO intention of giving up their “real” relationship. While I will own my mistakes, own what I need to work on in MY life and own how I can communicate better, etc to improve my marriage, I am sick to death of the prevalent societal idea that people cheat because something is lacking at home. If that something is lacking so severely than they would simply LEAVE. If the marriage was that fundamentally screwed up, there would be NO staying and no ability to fix it and move forward (as most people do). While some marriages are beyond repair, most are not. And the selfish person cheating is fooling themselves and their affair partner to justify what they are doing.

    • gizfield

      My own personal sob story 20 years ago was that my husband was an alcoholic, and that he was physically abusive to me. If you have been in this situation you know that this will also include mental, sexual, and many other types of abuse as well. Like threatening to kill my cats, destroying my property, etc. I really did want out but didnt see a way. My parents were recent ly deceased, I had no money cause he would not work, and no where to go. Does that excuse me got cheating on him? even if it was my high school boyfriend that I felt was my “true love” at the time? Absolutely NOT ! was I the one responsible for what “I” did? Absolutely 100%. Was my husband responsible for his alcoholism and abuse? Yes! Was he responsible for me cheating on him? Not one bit. That is a rough thing to admit, but doing so frees me of any thought that any cheater isn’t responsible for his or her actions. I have complete clarity on this issue in my mind.

    • exercisegrace

      Giz, you one of the most remarkable people I have “met” on this journey. You absolutely tell it like it is. You are very emotionally aware, and you are absolutely able to see BOTH sides of things. Your story proves my point. You endured much more than most would be able to. You are correct that i t does not excuse your cheating, but it does point out where your personal vulnerability was. You went into “survival mode” and I think a lot of cheaters do. Yes, this is selfish behavior but we ALL have our emotional limits. Some people are able to deal with reaching those limits in a healthy way (seeking help, being honest, or even leaving) and others implode. Self-destruct, and take the easy way out. That is exactly what my husband did and he admits it. It ticks me off because I loved and supported him and he knew it. No, not perfectly but he COULD have asked for what he needed. Plus, he flatly turned down my request that he get counseling or even that WE get counseling. I wasn’t neglecting him or abusing him in any way. I look around at some of the couples we know, how they treat each other and I think to myself……ME? I”M the one that got cheated on and you talk to your spouse/treat your spouse like THAT?? I have even pointed a few of these things out to my husband, and said….gee, what would you have done if I acted/spoke like THAT? Cheated twice? Yeah I know…..not productive, LOL.

    • gizfield

      Thank you, EG! I value your opinion so I really appreciate your comments. I have found that this site has been so helpful to me, it is just incredible. One thing I have done in the past is move along too quickly, so I end up in Crap again. I found a good website on CPTSD, called Strength to Heal, I think. It had an article about trauma recovery that said basically you are healed when you can review the trauma in a non emotional way. That obviously will take a while. So making comments and getting feedback really helps me. Some people journal, but you don’t get any input so that turns into a bitch fest/pity party if you aren’t careful, llol. I think my summer project is going to be to read all of the blog posts and comments from the beginning. I’m totally fascinated by what people have to say about infidelity and it’s helpful in challenging myself about what I think.

    • gizfield

      Oh, I know, EG. Pisses me off too. My major “flaw” is that I’m “fat”. I gained weight after the birth of my child, I admit. But when I am anywhere in public, if there are 10 people, at least 6 or 8 of them will be as “fat” or fatter. I’m sure my husband’s girl friend was skinny and she really does think she is superior based on that. She is also a very nasty person and looking like Miss America couldn’t compensate for her internal self. Guess thats why she can’t keep a man or have a real relationship. Trash is it’s own reward.

      • Strengthrequired

        Gizfield, I had put on heaps of weight too after my children, I guess she thought she had the upper hand. I ended up losing it through the ea, and looked damn good, yet became in the mind, of ” here I am looking good, yet my h still doesn’t let her go”. Guess what happened, I lost focus on me again and I gained most of it back, it doesn’t feel good at all. Yet he is still here, just as is your h. Why couldn’t he show me that he could drop her, when I was feeling good about myself.

      • exercisegrace

        What a crock! You know it has nothing to do with looks. My husband’s whore weighed roughly a hundred pounds MORE than me. Egos don’t care what the external package looks like.

        • Strengthrequired

          Eg, unfortunately with my h cousin it, she thought it was and when it looked like she could use it she threw herself at him like a bitch on heat. When that didn’t seem to work, more bad mouthing me, more wanting my family. More lies to manipulate him, each time something would backfire. Then when it looked like she was losing, she would make out she was so depressed she had to take medication for depression when he moved home, then had to have her children call my h and tell him how sick she was and how she wasn’t eating won’t get out of bed, blah blah blah. Then he would call her because ohh it made her feel better, the. He had ti see her because it made her feel better, then when that wasn’t working anymore, let’s bring mummy dearest over from overseas to help her with her attempts at getting my h away from me. The stupid tart would call him every time he saw her and say are you ok, don’t let your wife get to you, this is how you talk to her. Blah blah blah. It makes me sick the lengths she went to, and I truly believe it was her manipulation, making him feel guilty for him being home with his family. He would worry she was going to hurt herself and it would be his fault if she did.
          These are the games she played, along with you promised me thus, you promised me that, boo hoo. I say.

          • Strengthrequired

            Ohh and the funny thing is, she wasn’t on anything for depression. My dr had wanted me to start being on medication for depression but had also said things would be better if your h would change his attitude and start helping you, because this is why you are so depressed.
            My h would tell me, he didn’t want her on medication, in the next breathe he would tell me to go take medication. All through his fog.
            See he would watch me falling and he would hold his hand out to her to help her up. I get upset just thinking about it.

    • gizfield

      Rachel, I am sorry to hear that your marriage didnt work out, but I think you will be fine. Your boys sound wonderful, and your husband is an idiot. But you already know that, lol. I hope that eventually you can look back on your marriage and not look at it as wasted time. I’ve never really figured out how to process my first marriage and all it involved. I dont really think badly of my husband. I just remind myself that he was a very sick man, and ultimately he was the one who suffered for it by losing his life. I usually dont think of him at all. It’s better that way. Wishing you all the best ! You deserve it, you seem like a very nice lady. And he will be”the old guy at the club.” Lol, and ewwwww.

    • Strengthrequired

      Eg, it’s funny you commented about being a step ford wife, lol. Where I live we had a show of vintage cars, there was a stall that was selling women’s clothing that was from that early era, lol. I was thinking, I wonder how my h would like to see me in those clothes, all vintage like. Running around all dressed up, making and baking. Was so close to call out to my h and ask, but then my little girl started to take off.

      • exercisegrace

        OMG my husband would think he had died and gone to heaven, LOL. For nearly twenty five years before the affair he had a very traditional marriage, by both of our choices. I stayed home with the kids, took care of all the household stuff, cooking cleaning etc. He did help out by having someone come in once a week and do the heavier cleaning. But basically things rotated around ME supporting HIM. Now I have more expectations.

        • Strengthrequired

          What a shame eg, they are not going to see it. Lol.

    • John

      Exercise grace I relate entirely to the “one-women circus” comment (except the women part-haha.) one of the bs excuses my wife made after her affair was how she’d found new excitement. So now I feel like if we’re not doing something exciting all the time I’m gonna lose her again. I hate how uncomfortable and insecure this makes me feel in our marriage. It’s also extremely exhausting and expensive. I can’t go on like this forever. Then when I think about how unappreciative and selfish her betrayal was in the first place I feel like fool for stretching myself so thin when I feel like she should be kissing MY ass. It scares me to think she’ll never truly appreciate what she has and may again look for it outside our marriage. i just have to keep telling myself to quit obsessing over her happiness and to just do my own thing and invite her along for the ride. But I know one thing I won’t go through this again kids or not I’m better than that and don’t deserve it.

      • exercisegrace

        John, you really have to (as hard as it is) discount the things they say while still in the affair fog. This includes the time during and for months after, the affair. They go into a mode of “I am such a good person, it must be YOUR fault that I did such an awful thing”. It’s called denial and justification and it is a POWERFUL thing. It can take months for them to grasp the idea that they and they alone are responsible for the choices they made and the ensuing crap storm that resulted.

        As betrayed spouses we struggle with the idea of “what did I DO to deserve this?” Well, the truth is we did NOTHING. While it IS true that there is not a marriage on this planet that could not benefit from better communication, increased date nights and focus on each other as a couple, etc, feel free to add your wants and needs…….Cheating is WRONG. ALWAYS. It will always throw things twenty steps back. If we can love and forgive and we are both willing to work hard, I do believe it can be regained. Maybe even in a better, truer, more open and honest way.

        I agree with you. I will NEVER go through this again. Not even for the kids. I am smarter this time around, and while I don’t plan to live my life constantly suspecting him of something, I will not live it with blind trust again, either. I know the signs now, I know his “tells” when something is up. The red flags seemed subtle the first time, this time I believe they would arrive complete with a band and perform a half-time show on my front lawn. If I had listened to my gut and gone with my instinct, I could have stopped this all much much sooner.

        Will they appreciate what they have? Time will tell. My husband actually says he has a NEW and DEEPER appreciation of not only me and our marriage, but our family as well. He is at the point where it scares him to think of what he could have lost. All for some worthless, bunny boiling slut. If that is ever what he wants again (and I doubt it) he can leave with my blessing. Time for ME to start setting the bar for my OWN self-esteem and not basing it on HIS assessment of me.

        • Strengthrequired

          Good advise eg. I think I need to do the same, start giving myself the self respect and stop basing it on my h assessments of me. It’s so true, if my h wants to choose slutty over me, then go right ahead, I deserve better in my life and my expectations are much higher, I deserve so much better, as we all do.
          I’m worthy f respect, from him and his family, he should stand by my every time his family disrespect me.

          • exercisegrace

            Some of the big realizations I have had in this post affair phase are: a. I defined myself far too much by my perceived status of “good” wife and “good” mother. Worse, I let others judge that for me.
            b. I let the selfish decisions of two very self absorbed people turn me into someone I am NOT.
            c. I need to stay true to who I am. This is separate from and at times in spite of, others around me.
            d. regardless of what others’ choose, I can still choose to be a happy person.
            e. just because someone throws something down it doesn’t mean you have to pick it up. What this means for me is If he wants to pick an argument or indulge in another round of self pity, I don’t have to join in.
            f. I can and will choose PEACE for my life.

      • Decimated

        John, I felt exactly the same as you after I found out bout my XWW’s almost 2 year affair. She said the same thing about being bored and finding excitement. I busted my ass for 2 years afterward trying to keep her stimulated with things to do, trips, vacations, outings…whatever. I also lived in constant fear that she would get bored again and run back to him. I was tiresome and costing me a fortune! I couldn’t understand her whole “bored” thing. I was never bored. I realized that I was not bored because I was always giving to our marriage and family…she was the taker which meant she was always waiting for something to be given to her or to happen for her. She was not invested like I was. People value what they invest in as opposed to what they are not invested in.

        Over time I discovered that her POSOM didn’t spend a dime on her…except for cheap hotel rooms. He was slightly above a dead-beat. They didn’t really do anything or go anywhere special together and to the casual observer, certainly not anything or anywhere exciting. The excitement and stimulation came from the illicitness of what they were doing… sneaking around on their spouses like teenagers. It was certainly different from our normal family life. That made it interesting to them I suppose.

        During our false “R”, I too felt like a fool, like I was being used. I was busting my ass and kissing hers at the same time…even after the magnitude of her betrayal. She treated him better during their affair then she was treating me afterward. She got to screw another guy for 2 years and I was now bending over backwards trying to make her happy…wth?

        I finally decided that she will never appreciate how much I did for her…before or after her cheating. She will never understand the pain she caused me and our children. I give up on getting a true apology. I deserved better. I finally found my balls and filed for divorce.

        • Linda

          Decimated,

          “I realized that I was not bored because I was always giving to our marriage and family…she was the taker which meant she was always waiting for something to be given to her or to happen for her. She was not invested like I was. People value what they invest in as opposed to what they are not invested in.”

          You words ring true, I have read it so many times in the hundreds of relationship books, when a person invests in a relationship the relationship is important to them and will do everything to preserve it. Also when a person complains about being bored they are often bored with themselves not their marriages or spouses. It is just easier to blame someone else rather than looking within.

          So many affairs are blamed on boredom, Doug’s included. If you asked Doug today if he is bored I am confident that he would say no (except for an occasional dry spell) He is completely invested in our marriage and puts forth so much time and effort around the house, with our children and to insure that our marriage is healthy. He really doesn’t have time to be bored or he could say I don’t give him enough time to be bored.

          I believe that is why most BS wouldn’t even think about entering an affair, really who had the time and energy. Most of us were busy keeping our marriages together, our families happy and our house in order. I am sure that when most of us look back they realize how little effort the cheater put into any of those things prior and during the affair. They just weren’t invested, and I believe it has to do with how they felt about themselves at the time.

          Great comment, I am just sorry that your wife didn’t wake up and realize how lucky she was to have someone who was so committed to their marriage and family.

    • Donna

      John
      I so understand and feel the same way. I’m just so tired of him and all of this. Now I am thinking of calling it quits…never thought I would feel this way..worked so hard to keep my marriage together….but I’ve been at this now for 4 years and still not sure if one day he is going to come home and say he is leaving

    • Strengthrequired

      John, it’s one of the hardest things to go through, I highly doubt I could go through it again. It just proves to me that I am not worth his commitment if it does.
      Let’s face it, we aren’t children anymore, either have an adult relationship or don’t, if you do not want to, then let the other person go so he/she can.

    • John

      Strong words eg thanks. I guess if I’ve found any silver lining in my situation it has been establishing a value of self worth that cannot be skewed by anyone and as was said before no more blind faith. I know now that the only sure thing in this world I can depend on is myself. I used to have a higher regard for my wedding vows but these scars will unfortunately stay with me and so be it. I’m in the best shape of my life and I blame the dirtbag she affaired with for that, not that he’s better looking than me by any means, but the second I picture his face and dream about ripping him limb from limb my workouts get very intense. It’s my own sort of therapy to keep myself outta trouble. Whether she values what she has or not I know her friends and coworkers are jealous when they stair at me like a piece of meat-haha. Someday she’ll wake up. I hope it’s not too late

      • chiffchaff

        John – when my workouts are flagging I also think of the slutty OW and suddenly I can muster plenty of energy! I’m also in the best shape of my life because of it (not because of her, but my self-determination to improve myself and keep on challenging myself). In contrast my H is in the worst shape he’s ever been and for the first time I see him slightly worried about how he compares to the men I must see at the gym. Not that I’m interested one bit.

        • Strengthrequired

          I need to get that back, John and chiff, I need to start feeling good about myself again. I want to see that worried look on my h face, but you know I’m not sure I will see it, I was looking good while in his affair fog and he still told me I could lose more, I painted the whole house on my own and he put that down too, all while in the fog.

        • Disappointed

          I have lost a lot of weight and am going to the gym but my husband cuts that down. Told me why now when he doesn’t care. he says he knows I am fighting for us but he also knows me and I am just getting ready for when we divorce. No way to win with this guy.

    • Gizfield

      I totally agree, Decimated. The most irksome part of this entire process is that it is completely backward from what it should be. The cheating spouse still seems to be calling the shots. At least mine was, for a while. It was all about ME and what I should or shouldn’t do, NOT about him and the nasty tramp he was running around with, protecting, putting on a pedestal,
      being a “friend” to. Ughhhh. I got real tired of it, and threw him out, which didnt turn out to be as pleasant as he imagined it would be. I only wish I had done it MUCH SOONER.

      • Decimated

        Me too. I have often thought about why I dragged my feet too. I should have kicked her out immediately and filed for divorce. I just didn’t want to believe what was actually happening and also, I didn’t have the guts!

        Over the years, she had torn down my self esteem…piece by piece. I had almost no confidence left by the time I discovered her cheating. The lack of confidence was not about my career or who I was outside of our marriage. That was still intact. she had destroyed my confidence in our marriage.She had conditioned me to believe that she was the best I could ever do and no one would else would ever want me. I’m guessing that she was betting on I would not leave her.

        If I would have filed at the beginning I would be years ahead in of where I am now in terms of my recovery.

    • Tryinghard

      I heard the boredom comment as well. I brought it up in marriage counseling and the counselor said if he was bored it was because he was boring. I loved that. Yes I did everything to make his life comfortable not so much now. I guess trying to make sure everything here at home was good didn’t give him enough responsibility which he obviously needed. Now he helps make the bed every morning or it doesn’t get made. He shops with me for groceries or they don’t get bought. He helps make meals or we don’t eat. I however am back to working full time at our business since he practically decimated it with his affair partner working there so I don’t have much time or inclination to be the perfect homemaker he used to be married to. Growing up the worst thing I could say to my mother is that I was bored. She made sure to find me enough work to make sure I never uttered or even thought those words again! I say grow up, be bored and count yourself lucky you have the luxury to be bored.

    • Rachel

      Well, my court date for Friday was cancelled because the ex couldn’t make it. It is now scheduled for this Thursday .
      It’s all about him and he’s still in control!

      • forcryin'outloud

        Rachel, he’s not winning or in control. When he’s wrinkly, shriveled, and losing his faculties he will know in his heart and probably mind too that he caused destruction. Not a legacy to be proud of.
        Keep your chin up girl, we are all rooting for you! I think your awesome, full of integrity and heart!

      • Strengthrequired

        I hope all is well Rachel.

    • Gizfield

      It may seem that way, Rachel, but from what youve said he really isn’t in control. My first husband “seemed”in control, too. I had a saying “Lose the battle, win the war.” Meaning the final outcome is in your favor cause you are done with them !

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