Happy Wednesday!

This week’s discussion topic just sort of landed in our lap late yesterday afternoon when a reader asked a question. I thought it might be a good topic to throw out there for discussion.

Here it is, short and to the point:

Does having an affair make one a bad person?

If any of you have ideas or suggestions for future discussion topics, don’t be afraid to shoot us an email and we will certainly consider your ideas. Our email is [email protected]

Also, don’t forget to utilize the forum!

Thanks again!

Doug & Linda

See also  Open 'Mic' #36 - What's On Your Mind?

    44 replies to "Open Discussion: Is a Cheater a Bad Person?"

    • Broken

      Yes I believe a cheater is a bad person. What makes them a good person? They destroy families and hurt their spouse. I don’t take the “affair fog” excuse and “infatuation” excuse. These are all excuses the person uses to take the blame off of themselves, and make it seem like they had no idea what they were doing. All cheaters know exactly what they are doing, and have no one and nothing to use as an excuse.
      I’ve been thinking lately… why is it that when your spouse is involved in an affair all the feelings they have are considered “fake”, but yet they had the same feelings for their spouse at one point in time. So why are those feelings fake now and weren’t fake for your spouse when you had them? I think it’s just an excuse us hurt spouses use to make us feel better about the whole shitty situation. I don’t think any of the feelings or actions in an affair are fake, they are all real. No one wants to admit to it, because it would hurt too much.

      • Doug

        The feelings may not be “fake” but they are incomplete, as you do not usually see the affair partner as they truly are. That is, you only see them in an ideal setting under ideal circumstances where they are not exposing their true self. Every relationship starts out that way but eventually moves on to different stages of love. I do agree that sometimes psychological speak seems to be a bunch of BS though.

        • Broken

          Doug… why do you think that you didn’t see Tanya for who she truly was? How do you know that she wasn’t being her true self. Maybe she was. My H spent a lot of time at work talking and seeing the OW. He also spent a lot of time on the phone with her, at some point she had to be her true self. I’m sure the side of her that he saw was real. They spoke for two whole years, what more real can come after that?
          I’m just tired of all the excuses, I’m tired of putting a label on all of this affair nonsense. I keep trying to rationalize it in some way so that I can feel better about it. But the truth is I don’t think I will ever feel anything but anger. I’m so fed up with it all. Putting a label and rationalizing the affair will never make me feel better about it, the reality is that it happened and the painful memories are there forever. Now I just have to decide if I can deal with or not. It’s been a year and I still feel like it happened yesterday.
          My marriage hasn’t gotten any better, I have just lost all desire to make it work. Every time I try, I just get reminded of what he did and I feel like there is no way I can do this. I mean for GOD’S sake we are married!!! Doesn’t marriage have any value anymore? It’s supposed to be a lifelong commitment. How can a spouse do something this hurtful and then expect things to work out? It doesn’t make any sense to me at all.

          • Doug

            Broken, I know I didn’t see her for what she truly was because I really only saw her in an office setting. Towards the end I started to see her true self come out by her jealousy, manipulation and pettiness. I still believe that those in an affair are only putting their best foot forwards, though this probably isn’t the case in an affair that lasts for a long period of time.

            Is your husband trying to make your marriage work? Has he apologized, shown remorse and done things to prove that the affair is over and he wants to stay married to you? Have you forgiven him?

            I understand the anger and hurt, and maybe it’s just too soon for you to get beyond that, but until you do and he does what he needs to do on a consistent basis to repair things, then it will be hard for you to move on.

          • Michael

            Broken,
            I sucks to hear that after a year you still feel the same. I am right there with you but only at 7 months.
            Most days I’m fine and everything is stable with us. But then something just hits me. Like her mom asking me how I’m doing. Or just a random thought pops in my head. And I’m right there where you are today.
            I too grow tired of the same old excuses. Same old I don’t remember. Or “I thought we were fine, now what’s wrong with you?”. Wow, do you really think everything just went away. How much have you worked on what got us here. When was the last time we talked about this.
            Do you think I’m hurting or angry today? I told myself and my wife that if I ever found out anything on my own again that I would be done. Well I found out she lied about our friends cell phone.
            Does it even matter today. Well by my elevated tension and harsh feelings, I guess it did.
            Wow. She must have FORGOT she used our friends phone for a few dozen times, once even for an hour and a half. And all over the month before I found out and for a couple of months after. Fog my ass. More like fuck I didn’t think he would find out about it.
            When I found out about her first trip to see him, I asked her if she used any other way to COMUNICATE with him. Her answer was no. Then when I found out about how much she used my sons phone. Damn it did you use anyone elses phone, another email, anything. She said she used our friends phone a couple of time in the beginning. My ass. A few dozen times is more like it. Now she’s just pissing me off.
            So I asked about something else yesterday and when she played dumb I said” never mind I probably won’t believe you anyway”. She said that was harsh. Well let’s see. I Always get that “I didn’t want to hurt you more” answer when I find something. So she knows what she has done. And she only keeps lying to herself.
            Sorry to go on and on. But Broken just opened the door for me to vent. I don’t think my wife is a bad person. Just learned too many bad traits along the way in life.
            The OM. Well he’s just a piece of shit that WILL get what he deserves in life.

            • Broken

              Michael, I’ve heard all the excuses and lies too. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of being treated like an idiot. I just want to be done with this. For the last few months, I’ve been totally overwhelmed. I have just gotten to the point where I’m like, now what? Do I try or not? And I still don’t have an answer.

      • Kristy

        I don’t think that the feelings are necessarily “fake”, but they aren’t REAL because they aren’t deriven from reality but fantasy. When I met my husband we were living in the real world. He saw what I looked like in the morning, he saw how I interacted with family, he saw what I did on Saturday mornings, and took care of me when I was sick. He watched me stress over bills… NONE of these things did he do with the OW – I doubt he ever even passed gas in front of her!! So how is that reality? Reality is dealing with the OW’s husband and kids, which he also has NEVER had to do – he’s never even met them!! So he couldn’t have had REAL feelings when there wasn’t even REAL life going on in the affair – not to mention that it was ALL based on lies, and lies don’t promote reality, therefore there are no REAL feelings, just what the affair people WANT to feel… NONE of it is real. My husband even says now that he wasn’t thinking clearly – that he couldn’t even see the real me because everything with me was based off of his fantasy with her. He admits, finally, to re-writing our history so that he could feel better about what he was doing. Affairs are NOT real in any way shape or form. They are lies perpetrated by selfish cowards.

    • Broken

      My H is trying to make things work, he doesn’t apologize or show real remorse though. He attempts to be affectionate and initiate conversation with me. But I can’t respond. He is proving that the affair is over. I have not and will not forgive him ever. I can see that he is trying in some ways to make things better and he says he wants to be married to me. I just don’t believe any of it. I think all that he is doing now is FAKE. I think he really doesn’t want to be here. Maybe I am just paranoid. Either ways, I don’t care anymore. That’s my problem. I just don’t care. I’m so angry at this whole situation and I feel humiliated. He tries to tell me why and how things went, but I can’t believe him. I think every thing is just a whole big mess and he is trying to make me think none of what he did was important or meant anything. Either ways, I am mentally exhausted from all this. I think I have given up.

      • Doug

        Broken, You are obviously still too angry and hurt to want to continue, and that’s understandable. It takes time and everybody’s recovery period is different. Until you can get past that and forgive your husband you will be at a stand still. I won’t get into the whole forgiveness stuff as I’ll be here typing all night and I know you have been a reader for a while and you have probably read most if not all of the posts on the subject anyways. In case not, here is a link to the forgiveness category: https://www.emotionalaffair.org/category/forgiving-infidelity/

        We all know that not every marriage can survive an affair. We were lucky, but perhaps you will not be. In that case, you need to prepare yourself for that possibility.

        • Broken

          Doug… your right, I have read every post you have written. I read the one about forgiveness to, I just don’t think I have the heart or desire to forgive. I’m not sure if my marriage will survive this or not, to be completely honest I don’t think it will. I’m not ready for that if it happens, who can be ready anyway? It will be life changing no matter what. I don’t think anyone is ever ready for it. Maybe things will change, who knows.

          • Doug

            Broken, I agree that preparing yourself would be difficult until you get to that point where you make the final decision to leave.

      • Michael

        I’m not as concerned about my recovery period as I am with hers. The whole, it didn’t mean anything, and it didn’t matter is what they have to figure out in their head.
        Yes it did matter. The pain and near destruction they brought to their family is on their shoulders. It did matter and it should matter.
        And yes, it did mean something. If I were to believe that the drive and commitment she put into the affair was for no feelings at all. Then how can I see what she is doing for her marriage means anything at all.
        Their were feelings their. And if you chose to blow off what happened as just a stupid acting out. Then it WILL happen again. To make light of what happened and not figure out why they felt what they did is on them. If they don’t learn. The never WILL.

        • Doug

          Michael, You’re are absolutely right. Until she can truly take responsibility and come to grips with the affair and what it meant, and that it did matter, then recovery will be difficult.

      • Karen

        Broken:
        Unfortunately I do believe forgiving your husband and the OW (yuck!) is a necessity to your marriage surviving and healing. Sure, the marriage can continue in fact, but it will never be the marraige that you deserve, and you will continue to relive the affair and suffer from it. Sorry to be so blunt, but I’m a betrayed spouse also (1 month from D-day). By not forgiving, the one you hurt the most is yourself.

        I too think the majority of what my husband is doing right now to make amends for the EA is fake; in fact, I feel much the same way as you many days!! Today I told my husband to think on how much his EA with OW affected/played in to how poorly he treated me over the 2year EA – he was comparing me with the fantasy OW!! I was really steamed.

        Until I can work through the process of forgiveness (I’m told can take quite a while depending on length and depth of affair), I can’t make a final decision on my marriage.
        But I know I DESERVE to not be tormented by my husband’s and the OW’s affair, so when I forgive, it will be for me.

        Do you tell your husband that you need to hear apologies? I’ve told my husband he cannot say “I’m sorry” enough and I thank him every time he says it. Do you ask your husband if he is remorseful and to tell you exactly how? I keep a journal, and we are having once a week deep (and painful) conversations where I ask him questions (often the same ones) and listen to his answers (all the while taking deep breaths to remain calm).

        I so see myself in your posts. I do, however, understand the “affair fog” though and the other excuses used – but I tell my husband these excuses in no way justify what he and the OW did. But they help me in the healing process. Reading Doug’s posts and others are very informative for me. Even though you may not buy into the explanatins given by the betraying spouse, you have to accept that that’s how they feel/felt at the time and the proceed to forgive (much easier said than done). Is it worth the effort? Can’t say. But divorce and rebuilding your life takes a lot of effort too. Is that worth it? Don’t know. Only you can decide which is the better course for you. Take good care of yourself – you deserve it.

        • Broken

          Karen… thank you for your input. I know what I have to do to make it work, but I don’t want to. I don’t think he deserves it. Two years is a long time to have a relationship with someone. Two years means no jokes, and a commitment to the other person. He was willing to lose me over her. And I can’t forgive that. For those two years, I was second best.
          I have tried telling him many times that he can’t say sorry enough, that I would want to see more effort on his part, but in the end I get nothing. He says he wont show the effort I want because I am not being friendly and kind towards him. He says he would be able to be more sympathetic if I was more agreeable. I disagree. I think that If you want your marriage to work, you’ll do anything and everything. And I don’t see that in him.
          How is your H making things better with you?

          • Karen

            Broken: Ouch, that 2-year comment hurts as I totally agree! 2 years is a big commitment to another person other than your wife (me), and it is VERY SERIOUS!!!!!!
            And it makes me furious that my husband trys to downplay that “commitment” and always turn it back on me and my shortcomings as a wife and minimize what he and the OW did. Boy, is that going to come up in our next talk (grrrr)

            To answer your question: (1) My husband (so far) is having no contact with the OW (I hope); (2) My husband
            sits and listens to me rant and rave and answers every question I ask (multiple times); (3) Frequent sex initiated both by him and me (still reading/learning why this is helping me) (4) We are doing a marriage study together called Love and Respect (very hard but allows me to hear how my husband feels/felt) and does make me feel better; (5) Lots of kissing, pda, verbal affirmation (although I still believe often it’s fake) (6) Gave me all his email passwords, changed email addresses, changed cell phone number; cancelled multiple email accounts(I did some other things to block OW’s numbers and spy); (7) Treats me completely differently than before I found out about and demanded termination of the affair.

            I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff, and many days this isn’t enough to prevent his affair from ruining my day or dominating my thoughts. I just keep focusing on myself and taking care of myself and taking ownership of my contribution to making him vulnerable to this affair and not tending to our marriage of 26 years properly (guilty as charged). I’ve warned him he has to be in for the
            long, ugly haul as this will NOT GO AWAY for a long time. Really don’t know what will happen in the future – but does anyone really know??? Every day above ground is a good day (okay, I say that a lot lately).

            Take care.

            • Broken

              Karen… my H is doing the same things yours is doing. I guess I want more. I want a little note or email saying I love you and I’m sorry. I want him to be understanding and compassionate when I ask the same questions a thousand times. I want him to tell me the damn truth already. Sometimes I think maybe he is telling the truth, but I just have no trust in him whatsoever that I can’t believe a word he says. I want him to admit that he had feelings for the OW. I want him to admit that at one point he wanted to leave me for her. I want to know these things, because hearing him deny it makes it that much harder on me. I want so many things. I wish I could have my old marriage, sometimes I can’t even remember what it was like. I’ve been so focused on our life after and during the EA that I can’t remember what our life was like before. I miss being happy most of all. And I haven’t been happy ever since I found out about the EA. I pretend to be happy when were around people, but really I’m dying inside.
              My H thinks I am overreacting to this whole situation. He says I’m making more of it than it really is. Really? Is that so? Is it really not such a big deal to talk to another women for two years? Is it not a big deal to tell her that you hate me and wish you could be with her? Is it not a big deal to call this women the love of your life? WOW!!! I must be a complete fool! It’s really no big deal… I’m just too sensitive I guess. I should just forget this whole thing ever happened… stupid me!! Obviously I am being extremely sarcastic. To me this is horrible. And I will not forget and downplay anything. He can try that BS with someone else, not me. I wont be played for a fool again.

    • Michael

      Even his name comes up in every day sentences. How’s that for a trigger. I guess I Will just have to get over that. 🙂

    • ruth

      Yes they are bad people. I have tried to forgive them have to be honest I think I have forgiven my husband some but not her.Why haven’t I??? She knew he was married and her husband left her for a younger women. So to know what if felt like for someone to go through this and she still has an affair with a married man is just disgusting!!! She knew this would ruin our marriage. My husband is just at fault but cant bring myself to hate him as much as her!! I have never hated anyone in my life but I do now and I am not afraid to say it. I know in time I will have to come to forgive both or it will eat at me but I am not ready yet. My husband is truly trying but is he really remoseful I DO NOT THINK SO!!

      • Broken

        Ruth, I agree with you in that they are not truly remorseful. I think they are sorry they got caught. I think if they never got caught then they would never give it up. Your only truly remorseful when you give it up on your own without your spouse forcing you to.

    • Karen

      Broken: No, you’re not overreacting and no, you’re not making more of it than what it was. Hopefully you’re also not holding on to your anger and pain as a crutch and excuse not to move forward and stop focusing on the past (which you can do nothing about). If your posts are venting, that’s fine because you’re right. But being right doesn’t always equate with healing and bettering your situation. You can’t go back. If you’re dwelling on what should/could/might have been, I just want to say two words, “Stop it.” Whenever I fall into that, I make a conscious decision to do just that, stop it. I truly don’t see how the constant “dwelling” is productive or good for me in any way. Or you.

      • Broken

        Karen… I know your absolutely right, I have to let it go. My problem is I just can’t. I know that until I let it go to some extent things will never get better. Something is holding me back. I feel trapped. I’m definitely dwelling on the past. I wish I could be more understanding like you and Linda seem to be. It’s definitely not productive in anyway to hold so much resentment and anger. I need some kind of miracle to help me learn to move past this.

    • Rushan

      My husband is also trying very hard. He tells me how much he loves me and how frightened he became whenhe realised he nearly lost me. I do not think he or she is really bad people but they made bad decisions regarding the affair. He tells me now that he didn’t love her merely liked her very much?????? I told him that naybe he didn’t love her but he was very much infatuated and in love with her. He couldn’t do enough for her. Even phoned her on christmas day when all our family were here also on her birthday and then told me that he didn’t know it was her birthday that her mother told him so on the morning. but on his cellphone that day is remembered with a reminder birthday but no name. He still denies that it was an affair. They were only friends. But I decided to forgive him and her for myself to carry on with my life. I am going to try not thinking about it and starting to make a success of our marriage. Hope I can succeed as he has other personal problems with his family now, so I do not want to pile all the problems on top of those he has now. Later I’ll try doing something about it again when the family problems are resolved.

    • OW/NowWife

      I was a cheater, so was my husband. We are an “affair marriage” 19yrs now. I heard all of it. “what goes around comes around”, “what makes you think he won’t do it to you?, “once a cheater always a cheater”. My H had an EA and we are in recovery now 10months. Am I a bad person? No and neither is my H. We are all human. Like all “normal marriages” we fell prey to “life”. Am I getting my “what goes around comes around?” maybe. But why did it happen to you? “once a cheater always a cheater”. That is not a true statement. I was a cheater. I am not one now 21yrs later. Neither of our spouses did anything to win us back if they had who knows how things would have turned out. Luckily our infatuation did turn into real love. We knew it would be hard, we would be judged be we were willing to make it work and we have. We are going through all the same things you are and I don’t want to lose my marriage. If you have never gone through a divorce, well I don’t wish it on my worst enemy. Bad people are those who can’t or refuse to allow themselves to forgive. I have been all of it, the betrayor, the OW and now a betrayed spouse. What’s left? But I love my H, I understand why the EA happened and I am doing my part to do the things I should have been doing to keep my marriage strong. We are happy and we are recovering together. And we are good people. Its your choice you can start working to move passed it or you suffer. It’s hard as hell but it’s doable.

      • Doug

        OW/NowWife, Thanks for sharing your story and your opinion. I believe you are the first “affair marriage” reader to have commented. I appreciate you doing so and your honesty. We hope you will stick around and offer more of your somewhat unique experiences. Good luck to you.

        • OW/NowWife

          I will, I just want everyone to know, especially the betrayors who are not out of infatuation yet that there is no “riding off into the sunset” it’s more like riding into a “Forrest fire”. One time only marriages are hard enough. Imagine adding everyone else’s feelings, including the feelings of guilt that come when the fog wears off, child support, Ex’s, animosity from others etc into the mix. Not too many affair marriages survive that. Regardless I wouldn’t trade my H for anything in this world. We have built a lot together. But it hasn’t been easy and we still work on it everyday.

      • Broken

        OW/NowWife… why did you cheat on your first husband? Just curious. I would like to know from a cheaters perspective what makes you do it. Also, why did your current husband have an EA? Did he tell you why? I just want to know what makes people cheat.

        • OW/NowWife

          Looking back now it was because I didn’t feel loved by him, he didn’t respect me, called me names, told me I was fat and rediculed me if I ate in front of him. Didn’t go anywhere with me, I was always alone at family events etc. I was second to alcohol and as many times as he promised to quit he didn’t. I also started dating him at 14, married him at 26 and divorced at 30. You can’t make love happen with someone who doesn’t show you respect. I got a degree and he never pursued anything past high school and he resented me for that. I wanted children, he didn’t, there were many reasons. I just saw no hope, but I thought “if he finds out about my affair that might shock him into reality”…it didn’t. I know it’s hard Broken but you have to forgive him for yourself and look at what changed in your marriage, you do love him or you would’nt be so angry and hurt. My marriage has never been better than it is now and I thought we had a good marriage before. But I got too secure, too trusting and he mistook that as I didn’t care and that I didn’t love him. It’s usually something very simple but unless you communicate you have no way of knowing. You can ask me anything, I want to be able to help you.

          • Broken

            OW/NowWife… your first marriage seemed to be filled with a lot of trouble. I can see what drove you to have an affair. My marriage on the other hand was not bad at all. I mean of course obviously we had our share of problems (money and family issues) but nothing crazy. I just think my H got bored of me and our relationship and found someone new and exciting to entertain him. I also believed he had genuine feelings for her. This is the hardest part for me to get over. The fact that he cared for her. It makes me sick to my stomach. I know that I definitely don’t feel the same way for him like I did before, and I’m starting to think that I don’t love him anymore. If I loved him I think I would be able to make an effort to forgive and move past this. Yes I’m definitely still in the anger stage. Everyday I say that I’m going to try and make a tiny effort of some kind and then I get a trigger and say forget it. Damn those triggers!!! How long did your H’s EA last? Thank you for your words, Broken.

            • ruth

              Broken, I have to agree with you. Every time I think about the lies and secrets and how much he loved her and now he says he doesn’t?? OMG he had an affair with her for 2 yrs and not only an EA one. They went away on weekends when he told me he was with his buddys golfing. I cant get passed it either no matter how hard I try.I have triggers everyday. I found an email that he had told her that he now knows that he has never been in love as he is now. His was only exsisting not living. When I question him on this the only thing he said is I should of never spyed and that wasn’t meant for me to see! NO KIDDING! If I didn’t finally put my foot down and give him an ultimatium he would still be seeing her. He told me that she ended it. NOT him. So how do I believe what he say now is true. Is it only because she in no longer availible to him? Sometime when he is quite I know he is thinking about her. ALL I WANT IS HIM TO TELL THE TRUTH and let me deal with it. He did tell me he was addicited to her. I also want my old marriage back. At least then I felt conencted to him. I feel like I am living with a stranger. I want him to talk to me like he talk to her. I want him SHOW me how he feels not just say the words he thinks I need to hear. I have tried to make him understand but he still refuses to talk about it and wont answners any of my question. I keep praying time will heal but what if he never gets over her and one day in a year or so she is back in the picuture?? than what? I will have wasted more time of my life to live in happiness. Sorry to rant but even after 4 mos of his no contact with the ow and trying its the first thing I think about when I wake up. When the triggers hit I also feel sick to my stomach. And I will continue to spy until I am 100% sure its over for them and not a minute sooner.

            • OW/NowWife

              Broken,Forget my first marriage. In regards to my current H’s EA. I don’t know how long it lasted exactly, they are co-workers so based on dates and timelines I have been able to piece together etc I have estimated it to be at the very least a year (probably longer). I think it really got serious about a month before DDay, I am sure that is when her H became suspicious and started snooping. But of course it started innocently as they all do. She was pregnant(with her H’s baby)so I think for my H that was a safety net for the EA not to become physical. Dday for me was in Sept5/09. Her H found out and he is the one who told me. So my H was in shock as was I. He never stopped telling me he loved me, or being intimate with me so it was very confusing. My H harbored a lot resentment and hurt over many things in general. He always just wanted me to be happy, so he internalized his anger and never communicated any negatives to me. They both hated their boss and gossiped about other co-workers etc. In my opinion it was a pretty toxic relationship in that respect. You have to remember they think have feelings for them while in the fog and they even think or say the love them. I know my H told her he loved her. That cut like a knife but I have come to accept it and it has gotten easier. I worried about my H and I wanted to be the one he could talk to during withdrawl but once he got busted that pretty much put an end to that, he wasn’t depressed or sad or any of that stuff. I was mostly angry at myself for not paying attention to my gut etc. He is doing everything right. If I have to go trough this I couldn’t ask for a better H to go through it with. If that makes any sense.

        • OW/NowWife

          Looking back now it was because I didn’t feel loved by him, he didn’t respect me, called me names, told me I was fat and rediculed me if I ate in front of him. Didn’t go anywhere with me, I was always alone at family events etc. I was second to alcohol and as many times as he promised to quit he didn’t. I also started dating him at 14, married him at 26 and divorced at 30. You can’t make love happen with someone who doesn’t show you respect. I got a degree and he never pursued anything past high school and he resented me for that. I wanted children, he didn’t, there were many reasons. I just saw no hope, but I thought “if he finds out about my affair that might shock him into reality”…it didn’t, end of that marriage.
          I know it’s hard Broken but you have to forgive him for yourself and look at what changed in your marriage, you do love him or you would’nt be so angry and hurt. My marriage has never been better than it is now and I thought we had a good marriage before. My H had an EA because I got too secure, too trusting and he mistook that as I didn’t care and that I didn’t love him. It’s usually something very simple but unless you communicate you have no way of knowing. You can ask me anything, I want to be able to help you.

          • Broken

            OW/NowWife…. My H’s EA lasted about two years, they are co-workers also, so according to the emails that I saw I can tell that it lasted about two years. I also believe they got serious right before my D-Day. My husband stopped telling me he loved me, but our sex life really didn’t change. I can tell from the few emails that I saw that their affair did not turn physical, she is single so I am not sure why it didn’t. There was no “barrier” for them at all. If anything they would have had plenty of opportunities. I am still not sure why he did it, he says it was fun and entertaining. I believe it was because I had maybe not shown him the admiration and flattery she did. I wasn’t supportive or interested in a lot of what was going on with him. But to be honest at that time in our relationship he wasn’t supportive of what I was doing either. He took no interest in what I was doing. It’s interesting that you say your H didn’t go through the withdrawal. My H seemed to cut off all contact with the OW (unless it was work related) as soon as I found out. She of course went crazy and started sending emails to our personal email, just nonsense stuff, she pretended to be someone else, but we both knew it was her. She is still trying to maintain the same contact with him as before, but he ignores her emails. I don’t understand her attachment to him, especially since they claim nothing sexual happened. It’s been a year since I found out, and she still sends him “friendly” emails, that he ignores. I don’t get it. She obviously doesn’t want to lose the relationship she had with him, and would obviously continue it if he allowed. Why do you think this is? Why do you think she can’t let it go? I’m not sure why she is so angry at him and he seems to not care about her at all. That doesn’t make sense to me.

    • HarrieB

      I don’t think there is a “one size fits all” answer to this question either. Firtsly it depends on your definition of “bad” as applied to a person. Also, whilst there do seem to be some people who are cruel, uncaring, selfish (and who might therefore fit a description of “bad”), I am of the opinion that there are as many, perhaps more, who are misguided, weak, fearful or damaged perhaps by something from their own past, who embark on affairs. As others have said, I felt anger and hatred, to my H and certainly towards the OW, and then I recognised that this was harming me – eating away at me and making me feel wretched – and was warping my view of them both. I don’t think they are bad people – after all I chose one of them for my husband once upon a time and the other as my friend. I don’t think my judgement was that wrong! They let me (and themselves) down “big time”, but I still don’t think (FOR MY PARTICULAR SITUATION at any rate) they are bad….but I CAN only speak for my situation.

      • Doug

        HarrieB, Good points you make there. I was thinking the same thing, I’m glad you beat me to it!

    • Exhausted

      I think I have come to the conclusion that an affair causes good people to act crazy..including me. For everyone involved, the betrayer, the spouse, and the OW, find ourselves doing things over the course of saga that in normal circumstances we could never see ourselves doing. My latest situation happened when the OW (whom I have never seen before up close) showed up at a family outing. As i exited the restroom, I saw a strange woman talking with my kids and my husband was talking with someone else across the room. When I looked at my H, his face was pale and he looked distressed. When i went back to sit with my kids, I knew something bad was going on. After about 10 min, I realized what was going on. WE stayed and continued with our family time laughing and having fun. Meanwhile she started to drink and started to throw beer bottles at the trash. Finally before we left, I told my H to take the kids to the car. I approached her and told her to never go near my kids again. She asked if I was threatening her. I said take it any way you want to. She started screaming at me. We happen to know the owner of the business, he jumped over the counter and immediately escorted her out. My H had pulled the car to the door. So she was escorted past our car to hers. Later when I asked my H how she knew we would be there, he said that he had told the man she was with( they all work together) earlier that we were going. But she assumed that I would not be there because it was my chemo day. He said she wanted to see his kids. ( This was the conversation he was having with the man while I was in the restroom). He says there has been no contact, I believe it to be true, because she is really acting very desperate.

      • Doug

        Exhausted, Wow, what a crazy story. It’s amazing how desperate this woman is acting. Again, is she a bad person because of it, or just acting badly?

    • Exhausted

      Just acting very badly…

      • HarrieB

        Exhausted – I really admire you! Well done for your amazing dignity during such a BIZARRE event. I am sure I couldn’t have kept it together so well.

        I almost feel my H has come back to me from somewhere else. He simply wasn’t himself during the EA, and I don’t think he can explain it now, or understand it at all. At one point he has said he just felt “invincible” as it was happening – and it all occurred at a time when he was very much “on the up” career wise too so I can believe that he did feel that way. He seems so (genuinely) relieved that it is all over and that the marriage has survived, and grateful for all the research I have done. As Linda has said, I possibly understand more about EAs (and perhaps marriage in general) than he does. I have certainly gone through the mill – for a normally relatively placid person I have been at times, incandescent with white-hot rage, speechless with hatred, eaten away with bitterness and almost paralysed by depression along the way – with rather more alcohol-sodden lows and caffeine-fuelled highs than I am proud of. In my heart, I still haven’t forgiven my H, and wonder whether I ever will….but for me, he is still not a bad person. And her? She is just a rather silly, self-centred, immature – and possibly lonely, girl….and I don’t suppose I shall ever forgive her either!

    • surprised

      Wow Exhausted – after that display by the OW I think I might have a restraining order or a harrassment report taken so that if it happens again she’ll be charged criminally. I would go beserk if she was aiming to get to know my kids. I am not as forgiving as you & would have to say that she is a bad person!
      In general, though, I think my H is not a bad person, he has some sort of unmet need for womens’ appreciation. It has been an ongoing MO for him. My step-daughter who is 30 confirmed this. His father was also like this.
      I love my H so much & he is so much better than my first H (who I am pretty sure was gay). I think we can make it if he will just stand up for us.

    • once wayward heart

      When I look at myself, I don’t see a bad person. I see a person, who made an awful mistake, who sought answers to pain and loneliness in the wrong person, who walked straight into trouble without seeing it coming. I am not bad. I am merely human.
      If my husband was not the amazing man he is, he could’ve cast me aside in all fairness, although I would have almost felt vindicated, that he would have been so cruel. Instead I feel honored, indebted, and in awe of the grace he has given me in my failure.

      I am an addict by nature. I have come to see now, that my past as an opiate addict correlates to the easiness, and sensitivity I have of forming a new close relationship. When marrital problems, and the business of a new baby drove a wedge between us, that I was to busy and sleep deprived to notice even the wedge, I left my self vulnerable. A woman, alone all day, with no real friends, except her husband (which I know and remember now why I made him my best friend), sleep deprived, emotionally drained…. vulnerable. I was not a victim. I was not a bad person. I did a bad thing. I stopped it myself, once the enormity of what I had done really set in. I am so glad I did.
      I am only 3 days in recovery now. It was some physical symptoms I had during these days since I broke it off with my emotional ex-lover, that made me wonder about the chemical addiction. Whether psychological or true symptoms I experienced mild withdrawal similar to my opiate addiction in the past.

      • Sarah

        There are reasons people cheat, and although the cheater made the decision, their partner is just as responsible for the reasons that led to that decision. I was in a sexless and loveless marriage for 5 years, and did everything, including therapy, being totally honest with my husband about the fear that I would cheat if things didn’t change. Nothing changed and I cheated. I was wrong to do it, but he is also responsible for the outcome because he chose to dismiss my pleas for help. Anyone could be a cheater, given the horrendous circumstances that lead someone to that point. It is pure desperation and misery, and everyone is responsible.

        • Karen

          Sarah: I too was in a sexless, loveless marriage for years, but I did not cheat. I hear you that you feel you did everything possible to communicate to your H your needs, to no avail. But you did have an option if you absolutely are desperate to feel loved and have sex again. Leave the marriage. I’m sure you had very good reasons not to do that (kids, $$, etc.), but I just can’t agree with you that your H is equally responsible for your decision to have an affair.
          That is all on you.

    • Lea

      Hello! The cheaters aren’t bad people. They are very confused and lost people who make the wrong choice when the time comes. That is how i see my situation. By piecing together things i can i say that ow was always the pursuer, and after things got hard in our marriage, my h chose the easy way out: turning to her instead of to me. Right now i don’t lnow if my marriage will it because he move out. He said not with her, and cannot know if it is true. They srill see each other at work, since he is her boss.

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